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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Patience

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pā´shens ( ὑπομονή , hupomonḗ , μακροθυμία , makrothumı́a ): "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 Psalm 40:1 as the translation of ḳāwāh , "to wait," "to expect," which word frequently expresses the idea, especially that of waiting on God; in Psalm 37:7 , "patiently" ("wait patiently") is the translation of ḥul , 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 rūaḥ , "long of spirit," and (Job 6:11 ) "that I should be patient" (ha'ărı̄kh 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 ( hupomonē ); 5:11 ( makrothumia ); 29:8 ( makrothuméō , the Revised Version (British and American) "long suffering"); in The Wisdom of Song of Solomon 2:19 , the Greek word is anexikakı́a .

In the New Testament hupomonē carries in it the ideas of endurance, continuance ( Luke 8:15; Luke 21:19; Romans 5:3 , Romans 5:4 , 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 ); makrothumeō , "to bear long" (Matthew 18:26 , Matthew 18:29; 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 , James 5:8 , the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "patient"); makrothúmōs , "patiently" (Acts 26:3 ); hupoménō (1 Peter 2:20 ); anexı́kakos is translated "patient" (2 Timothy 2:4 , the Revised Version (British and American), the King James Version margin, "forbearing"); epieikḗs , "gentle" (1 Timothy 3:3 , the Revised Version (British and American) "gentle"); hupomenō (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 .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Patience'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/p/patience.html. 1915.

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