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Patience

PATIENCE

pa'-shens (hupomone, makrothumia):

"Patience" implies suffering, enduring or waiting, as a determination of the will and not simply under necessity. As such it is an essential Christian virtue to the exercise of which there are many exhortations. We need to "wait patiently" for God, to endure uncomplainingly the various forms of sufferings, wrongs and evils that we meet with, and to bear patiently injustices which we cannot remedy and provocations we cannot remove.

The word "patience" does not occur in the Old Testament, but we have "patiently" in Psalms 40:1 as the translation of qawah, "to wait," "to expect," which word frequently expresses the idea, especially that of waiting on God; in Psalms 37:7, "patiently" ("wait patiently") is the translation of qul, one of the meanings of which is "to wait" or "to hope for" or "to expect" (of Job 35:14); "patient" occurs (Ecclesiastes 7:8) as the translation of 'erekh ruach, "long of spirit," and (Job 6:11) "that I should be patient" (ha'arikh nephesh). Compare "impatient" (Job 21:4).

"Patience" occurs frequently in the Apocrypha, especially in Ecclesiasticus, e.g. 2:14; 16:13; 17:24; 41:2 (hupomone); 5:11 (makrothumia); 29:8 (makrothumeo, the Revised Version (British and American) "long suffering"); in The Wisdom of Solomon 2:19, the Greek word is anexikakia.

In the New Testament hupomone carries in it the ideas of endurance, continuance (Luke 8:15; 21:19; Romans 5:3,4, the American Standard Revised Version "stedfastness"; Romans 8:25, etc.).

In all places the American Revised Version margin has "stedfastness," except James 5:11, where it has "endurance"; makrothumia is translated "patience" (Hebrews 6:12; James 5:10); makrothumeo, "to bear long" (Matthew 18:26,29; James 5:7; See LONGSUFFERING); the same verb is translated "be patient" (1 Thessalonians 5:14, the Revised Version (British and American) "longsuffering"; James 5:7,8, the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "patient"); makrothumos, "patiently" (Acts 26:3); hupomeno (1 Peter 2:20); anexikakos is translated "patient" (2 Timothy 2:4, the Revised Version (British and American), the King James Version margin, "forbearing"); epieikes, "gentle" (1 Timothy 3:3, the Revised Version (British and American) "gentle"); hupomeno (Romans 12:12, "patient in tribulation"). For "the patient waiting for Christ" (2 Thessalonians 3:5), the Revised Version (British and American) has "the patience of Christ."

Patience is often hard to gain and to maintain, but, in Romans 15:5, God is called "the God of patience" (the American Revised Version margin "stedfastness") as being able to grant that grace to those who look to Him and depend on Him for it. It is in reliance on God and acceptance of His will, with trust in His goodness, wisdom and faithfulness, that we are enabled to endure and to hope stedfastly.

See also GOD.

W. L. Walker


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'PATIENCE'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.