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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words
from a root ster-- meaning "hard, firm" (hence Eng., "sterile"), signifies "barren, not bearing children," and is used with the natural significance three times in the Gospel of Luke, Luke 1:7,36; 23:29; and with a spiritual significance in Galatians 4:27 , in a quotation from Isaiah 54:1 . The circumstances of Sarah and Hagar, which Isaiah no doubt had in mind, are applied by the Apostle to the contrast between the works of the Law and the promise by grace.
denoting "idle, barren, yielding no return, because of inactivity," is found in the best mss. in James 2:20 (RV, "barren"); it is rendered "barren" in 2 Peter 1:8 , AV, (RV, "idle"). In Matthew 12:36 , the "idle word" means the word that is thoughtless or profitless. See IDLE , SLOW; cp. katargeo, under ABOLISH.
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Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Barren'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ved/b/barren.html. 1940.