Greek Thoughts Archives
First available on March 1, 2009
DIOKO* - To pursue, chase, follow after, persecute - Part 1
Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from The Literal English Translation of the Bible produced by BTE Ministries - The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.
This week we begin a series of word studies relating to the believer's battle with the attacks of Satan. Our first study is on the word diw/kw (Strong's #1377 pronounced dē ō kō**), which has a basic meaning of "to pursue" or "to chase." However, in order to establish its meaning in relation to our topic, we will examine how diw/kw is used in the Old Testament.
In the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, diw/kw is used in the book of Exodus to express the attitude of the Egyptians as they are pursuing the Children of Israel through the Red Sea:
"The enemy said, 'After having pursued (diw/kw) them, I will overtake them; I shall portion the spoils; I will lift up my soul; I will take up my sword; my hand will dominate.'"
In several of his psalms, David uses diw/kw, both alone and with the preposition kata; (Strong's #2596 pronounced kä tä**). Kata; means "down" or "against" and serves to intensify the meaning of diw/kw. In each instance of its use, David is crying out to God for deliverance from those pursuing him:
"O Lord my God, upon You I hope. Deliver me from all the ones pursuing (diw/kw) me, and rescue me."
"My lots are in Your hands. Rescue me from out of the hand of my enemies and from the ones pursuing (katadiw/kw) me."
"Discharge the broadsword and close up opposite the ones pursuing (katadiw/kw) me! Speak to my soul, 'I am your deliverance.'"
Diw/kw is also used in the same translation to express the pursuing of a goal:
"Justly you will pursue (diw/kw) justice, in order that you should live, and after entering you should inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving to you."
"Turn aside from adversity and do good. Seek peace, and pursue (diw/kw) it!"
"The ways of the ungodly are an abomination to the Lord; He loves the ones pursuing (diw/kw) righteousness."
From these Old Testament uses, we perceive that diw/kw is used to express either being chased and pursued by someone or to express chasing after or pursuing a goal. As we will see next week, this meaning of "chase" or "pursue" is carried over into the New Testament in the expressions of encouragement for believers to pursue a godly lifestyle. Additionally, it is the word most commonly used for persecution. We will also see that an accurate understanding of diw/kw allows an accurate perception of the devices Satan uses in his persecution against believers.
*DIOKO is the English font spelling of the Greek word diw/kw.
**English pronunciation of vowel sounds & accented syllables: āle, ăm, fäther; ēve, ĕnd; īce, ǐll; ōld, ǒdd, whö; oi as in oil; ow as in cow; ūse, ŭp, rude. Bold type indicates an accented syllable.
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