Greek Thoughts Archives
First available on March 8, 2009
DIOKO* - To pursue, chase, follow after, persecute - Part Two
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.
Last week we began a series of word studies relating to the believer's battle with the attacks of Satan. Our first word is the verb diw/kw (Strong's #1377 pronounced dē ō kō**), which has a basic meaning of "to pursue" or "to chase." Last week we established its meaning in relation to our topic by examining how diw/kw is used in the Old Testament.
We understood, from an examination of Exodus 15:9, Psalm 7:1, Psalm 31:15, and Psalm 35:3 of the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, that diw/kw is used to express pursuing someone. We also understood, from Deuteronomy 16:20, Psalm 34:14, and Proverbs 15:9, that diw/kw is used to express the pursuing of a goal.
From these Old Testament verses, we comprehend that diw/kw is used to express either being chased and pursued by someone or to express chasing after or pursuing a goal. 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 and through its distinction as the term most commonly used for being persecuted. Therefore, through this week's New Testament study of its usage, we can arrive at an accurate understanding of how diw/kw represents the devices Satan employs in his persecution against believers.
Of all of the writers of the New Testament, Paul uses diw/kw the most. He employs it to encourage Christians to pursue righteousness, the things of God, and those things benefiting others, as opposed to pursuing secular interests. He even applies it to his own life:
Therefore what shall we say? Those gentiles, the ones not following after (diw/kw) righteousness, obtained righteousness, but righteousness from out of faith;
1 Timothy 6:11
But you, O man of God, flee these things; and continually pursue (diw/kw) righteousness, godly reverence, faith, love, endurance, openness.
Therefore then we should pursue (diw/kw) the things of peace and the things of the building up of one another.
1 Corinthians 14:1
Continually pursue (diw/kw) love; and continually seek spiritual things, but rather in order that you might prophesy.
Continually pursue (diw/kw) peace with everyone, and sanctification, of which apart from no one will see the Lord;
12) Not that I already received, or I have already been perfected; but I am pursuing (diw/kw), if also I might take hold, upon which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
- Brothers, I myself account to not yet have taken hold; but one thing, forgetting the things behind, and reaching out to the things before,
- according to the goal, I am pursuing (diw/kw) upon the basis of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul is not the only New Testament figure to use the verb diw/kw. Jesus himself employs it to describe Satan's persecution of believers as "chasing after" them:
Blessed are the ones who have been persecuted (diw/kw) on account of righteousness; because theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
On account of this, behold, I am sending to you prophets and wise men and scribes; and some from out of them you will kill and crucify, and some from out of them you will whip in your synagogues, and you will persecute (diw/kw) them from city to city.
Remember the word which I spoke to you, "A slave is not greater than his master." If they persecuted (diw/kw) Me, they will also persecute (diw/kw) you; if they kept My word, they will also keep yours.
2 Timothy 3:12
And indeed all the ones desiring to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (diw/kw).
The use of diw/kw, in both the Old and New Testaments, gives the understanding that it represents the pursuit of a goal, including Satan's pursuit or chasing of believers. This concept is important for understanding the warfare Satan is waging against believers. Since the Spirit of Christ resides within the soul of a believer and the soul of a believer is sealed and impenetrable (see Ephesians 1:13), the believer's flesh is the only thing left exposed to attacks. And attack it Satan does, working through the physical realm to cause the believer's mind and emotion to "run" to find a solution to a trial.
The believer is to have a response to these chasings. Some teach that believers must attack Satan in return for his attacks; others teach that a believer should ignore the attacks and think positively, while still others teach that the believer should have a passive response. Paul, however, teaches differently showing what a believer's response should be both to the attacking spiritual forces and the human beings Satan is using to carry out his attacks. Next week we will begin a study that describes the believer's response to the chasings of Satan.
*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, rüde. Bold type indicates an accented syllable.
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