Defining The Meaning Of Discipline In The Original Languages Of Greek And Hebrew

 

Defining “discipline” in the New Testament (Greek)

 

 

The following are the definitions of the Greek & Hebrew words for discipline.  The first is Greek, and is the word found in Hebrews 12:5 and of course many other texts.  The bold text indicates the actual meaning and applications.  Note I consulted several different sources, utilizing the best references first:

 

 

Below is a listing of the particular Greek word paideía use throughout the NT; while there may be varieties of cognates, this is a specific search.  The Amplified Bible was used, which “amplifies” the use of the Greek word for discipline.  The words that have been translated from “paideia” into English are in bold letters.

 

ENGLISHMAN’S CONCORDANCE LIST FOR PAIDEÍA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISCIPLINE = Paideía (NT: 3809) originates from the following cognates; this path comes from Strong’s Concordance; NT:3809 paideia (pahee-di'-ah); from NT:3811; tutorage, i.e. education or training; by implication, disciplinary correction.

 

 

 

 

 

It appears this Greek word involves punishment with the idea of training and education in mind; in other words, not just hitting to punish, but with the “deed” (goal) of “training” (educating) the child.  Of course, as noted, the “child” extends to adults as children of God.

 

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon definition says of paideía (I prefer Thayer’s generally Al; it is a very reliable and thorough source):

 

DISCIPLINE = NT:3809 paideia:

 

     1. The whole training and education of children Eph 6:4

 

     2. Whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, especially by correcting  

         mistakes and curbing the passions

 

            a. Instruction which aims at the increase of virtue: 2 Tim 3:16

            b. According to Biblical usage chastisement, chastening Heb 12:5

 

(From Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

 

Hebrews 12:11 makes it clear by the context that some form of pain is involves in the disciplinary process; no pain no gain.  By the same token we see from this verse that such disciplinary action yields the peaceable “fruit” of righteousness, or right living with and right standing before God.

 

Discipline defined in Old Testament (Hebrew)

 

The Hebrew word or words for “discipline” are varied, but here’s a dominant word used.  The New American Standard Updated Bible (NASU) was consulted for the use and spelling of the word translated as, “discipline.” 

 

DISCIPLINE = OT: 4148 muwcar (moo-sawr'); from OT: 3256; properly, chastisement; figuratively, reproof, warning or instruction; also restraint:

 

 

Note that “muwcar” originates from a cognate “yacar” OT: 3256; yacar is defined below:

 

OT: 3256 = yacar (yaw-sar'); a primitive root; to chastise, literally (with blows) or figuratively (with words); hence, to instruct:

 

 

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

 

The Hebrew word meaning is consistent with the Greek use, the applications nearly identical, and this should be no surprise, as God’s ways never change.  These little “nuggets” are what makes the divine “inspiration” of scripture verifiable. 

 

Below is another definition for OT: 4148 muwcar taken from Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Copyright (c) 1993, Woodside Bible Fellowship, Ontario, Canada. Licensed from the Institute for Creation Research:

 

DISCIPLINE = OT: 4148 muwcar -- discipline, chastening, correction

 

a)                 discipline, correction

b)                 a chastening

 

Here’s the AMG WordStudy definition of muwcar:

 

4148. Muwcar; chastisement, punishment, correction, discipline, instruction, self–control. This masc. noun is derived from yacar (3256). Essentially, it is a bond, a checking, restraint, i.e., correction which results in education. (See Deut. 11:2ff. [cf. Deut. 4:35ff.]). The term is very frequent in Proverbs (e.g., Prov. 3:11). Often it is oral not corporal discipline. The prophets developed the theme of God’s discipline (Is. 8:11; 53:5; Jer. 2:30; 5:3; 7:28; 17:23; 32:33).

 

There is another much used Hebrew word used for the chastisement and/or discipline:

 

REPROOF = OT: 8433 towkechah (to-kay-khaw'); and towkachath (to-kakh'-ath); from OT: 3198; chastisement; figuratively (by words) correction, refutation, proof (even in defense)

 

 

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

 

 

PARTIAL ENGLISHMAN’S LIST OF OT: 4148 ‘muwcar’

Al, I used a variety of Bible translations to help you see the range of use for the Hebrew word for discipline (muwcar)

 

Deuteronomy 11:2 "Know this day that I am not speaking with your sons who have not known and who have not seen the discipline (muwcar) of the LORD your God--His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm.”  NASU

 

Job 5:17 "Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, So do not despise the discipline (muwcar) of the Almighty.”  NASU

 

Job 36:10 He also opens their ears to instruction and discipline (muwcar), and commands that they return from iniquity.  AMP

 

Psalms 50:17 For you hate discipline (muwcar), and you cast My words behind you. NASU

 

Proverbs 1:2-3 To know wisdom and instruction (muwcar), to discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction (muwcar) in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity.  NASU

 

Proverbs 1:7-8 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline (muwcar).  8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction (muwcar) and do not forsake your mother's teaching. (NIV)

 

Proverbs 3:11 My son, do not despise or shrink from the chastening (muwcar) of the Lord [His correction by punishment or by subjection to suffering or trial]; neither be weary of or impatient about or loathe or abhor His reproof, [Psalm 94:12; Hebrew 12:5,6; Revelation 3:19.]   AMP

 

Proverbs 4:1 Hear, O sons, the instruction (muwcar) of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding.  NASU

 

Proverbs 4:13 Take fast hold of instruction (muwcar); let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.  KJV

 

Proverbs 5:12 And you say, How I hated instruction and discipline (muwcar), and my heart despised reproof!  AMP

 

Proverbs 5:23 He will die for lack of discipline and instruction (muwcar), and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray and be lost.  AMP

 

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction (muwcar) are the way of life. KJV

 

Proverbs 7:22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction (muwcar) of the stocks. KJV

 

Proverbs 8:10 Receive my instruction (muwcar), and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. KJV

 

Proverbs 8:33 Hear instruction (muwcar), and be wise, and refuse it not. KJV

 

Proverbs 10:17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction (muwcar): but he that refuseth reproof erreth. KJV

 

Proverbs 12:1 Whoso loveth instruction (muwcar) loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. KJV

 

Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heareth his father's instruction (muwcar): but a scorner heareth not rebuke. KJV

 

Proverbs 13:18 Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction (muwcar): but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured. KJV

 

Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth (muwcar) him betimes. KJV

 

Proverbs 15:5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction (muwcar): but he that regardeth reproof is prudent. KJV

 

Proverbs 15:10 Correction (muwcar)is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die. KJV

 

Proverbs 15:32 He that refuseth instruction (muwcar) despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. KJV

 

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction (muwcar) of wisdom; and before honour is humility. KJV

 

Proverbs 16:22 Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction (muwcar) of fools is folly. KJV

 

Proverbs 19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction (muwcar), that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. KJV

 

Proverbs 19:27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction (muwcar) that causeth to err from the words of knowledge. KJV

 

Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction (muwcar) shall drive it far from him. KJV

 

Proverbs 23:12 Apply thine heart unto instruction (muwcar), and thine ears to the words of knowledge. KJV

 

Proverbs 23:13 Withhold not correction (muwcar) from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. KJV

 

Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction (muwcar), and understanding. KJV

 

Proverbs 24:32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction (muwcar). KJV

 

Isaiah 26:16 LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening (muwcar) was upon them.  KJV

 

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement (muwcar) of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. KJV

 

Jeremiah 2:30 In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction (muwcar): your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion. KJV

 

Jeremiah 5:3 O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction (muwcar): they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.  KJV

 

Jeremiah 7:28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction (muwcar): truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth. KJV

 

Jeremiah 17:23 But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction (muwcar). KJV

 

Jeremiah 30:14 All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement (muwcar)  of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased. KJV

 

Jeremiah 32:33 And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction (muwcar). KJV

 

Jeremiah 35:13 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction (muwcar)  to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.  KJV

 

Ezekiel 5:15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction (muwcar)  and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it. KJV

 

Hosea 5:2 And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker (muwcar) of them all. KJV

 

Zephaniah 3:2 She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction (muwcar); she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God. KJV

 

Zephaniah 3:7 I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction (muwcar); so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings. KJV

 

PARTIAL ENGLISHMAN’S LIST OF OT: 8433 ‘towkechah’

 

2 Kings 19:3 And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke (towkechah), and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. KJV

 

Job 13:6 Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings (towkechah) of my lips. KJV

 

Psalms 38:14 Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs (towkechah). KJV

 

Psalms 39:11 When thou with rebukes (towkechah) dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah. KJV

 

Psalms 73:14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened (towkechah) every morning. KJV

 

Psalms 149:7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments (towkechah) upon the people. KJV

 

Proverbs 1:23 Turn you at my reproof (towkechah): behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. KJV

Proverbs 1:25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof (towkechah). KJV

 

Proverbs 1:30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof (towkechah). KJV

 

Proverbs 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening (towkechah) of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction. KJV

 

Proverbs 5:12 And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof (towkechah).  KJV

 

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs (towkechah) of instruction are the way of life. KJV

 

Proverbs 10:17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof (towkechah) erreth.  KJV

 

Proverbs 12:1 Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof (towkechah) is brutish.

KJV

 

Proverbs 13:18 Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof (towkechah) shall be honoured. KJV

 

Proverbs 15:5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof (towkechah)  is prudent.  KJV

 

Proverbs 15:10 Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof (towkechah) shall die.  KJV

 

Proverbs 15:31 The ear that heareth the reproof (towkechah) of life abideth among the wise.

KJV

 

Proverbs 15:32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof (towkechah) getteth understanding.  KJV

 

Proverbs 27:5 Open rebuke (towkechah) is better than secret love.  KJV

 

Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved (towkechah) hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. KJV

 

Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof (towkechah) give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

KJV

 

Isaiah 37:3 And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke (towkechah), and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. KJV

 

Ezekiel 5:15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes (towkechah). I the LORD have spoken it. KJV

 

Ezekiel 25:17 And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes (towkechah); and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them. KJV

 

Hosea 5:9 Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke (towkechah): among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. KJV

 

Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved (towkechah). KJV

 

 


 

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