For those devoted to reading the KJV Bible, nothing quite compares to the majesty, poetic beauty, and accurate rendering of the original manuscripts as the King James does.
But some passages give us pause and 1 Corinthians 16:13 is one of them.
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13
Our first impulse is to think: quit? Real men don’t quit! How can a man watch, stand fast, be strong, and quit at the same time?
Welcome to my KJV Bible Word Study Series!
In this series, I will take words that we may be unfamiliar with outside the Bible setting or that may be confusing to our modern-day English sensibilities, and expound upon their original meaning within the context of the verse.
By using Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible and Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, it is my hope to bring clarity to and broaden our understanding of many beloved (and obscure) KJV Bible passages.
Quit—#H5352: to be (or make) clean, ACQUIT at all, clear, extirpated [to root out, completely destroy], be blameless, cleanse, be free, be guiltless, be innocent
#H5355: innocent, blameless, clean, clear, exempted, free, guiltless
#H1961: to exist, to be or become, COME TO pass, be committed, be accomplished, be like
#G407: to act manly Also taken from #G435: a man, (properly as an individual male)–fellow, husband, man, sir
[Underlining and words in bold are added for emphasis in Bible verses throughout this study.]
According to Vine’s, the word quit (#G407) in 1 Corinthians 16:13 comes from the Greek word andrizõ meaning “to play the man” or as Strong’s puts it, “to act manly”. Watch, stand fast, act like men ought to act, be strong.
Whew! What a difference a little word study makes, huh?
Here in 1 Samuel 4:9, a similar meaning is extended.
Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.” 1 Samuel 4:9
Become men, be committed to being men, conduct yourselves as men. This was the call to the fearful Philistine army when they learned that the ark of the Lord was in the midst of the Israelite camp. “And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. Woe be unto us!..” 1 Samuel 4:7a
Funny, they wanted to fight the Israelites, but not the God of Israel. They knew of the mighty works of their enemy’s God and had heard of the plagues of Egypt.
No wonder they wanted to turn and run. Their heart was melting at the very thought!
And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed:
If he rise again, and walk abroad with his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. Exodus 21:18-19
In the above example, the word quit (#H5352) comes from the Hebrew word nāqâ and is akin to the English word acquit: to clear a person of a charge by declaring him not guilty; to exonerate.
A similar meaning of quit (#H5355) is found in Exodus 21:28.
If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. Exodus 21:28
Tragic accidents will happen. But when there is no negligence or ill intent on the part of the owner, God declared them quit: free of blame, exempted, and guiltless in the matter.
In the book of Joshua, we have the story of Rahab, the harlot, and the Israelite spies in Jericho.
Rahab knew of the mighty God of Israel, and at some point, came to fear Him. She chose to align herself with God and His chosen people by risking her life in hiding these men, and made a pact with the spies to save her family. The men agreed saying,
Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.
And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.
And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.
And she said, According to your words, so be it…” Joshua 2:18-21a
Swearing an oath was binding, with serious repercussions if not honored. Not just between men, but more importantly, with God.
Therefore, these men stipulated that their oath would become void if Rahab did not keep her word.
They essentially said, “If you don’t hold up your end of the bargain, then we’re clear of our promise to you. We won’t be held accountable.”
But Rahab was true to her word and embarked on a new path of faith in obedience to God.
She could have been forgotten in the annals of history, but God made it a point to teach us, through her example, that no matter where we start from, if we repent and turn away from our sins, we will be quit (made clean, be guiltless, blameless) before Him.
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. Hebrews 11:31
The word quit was only used five times in the King James Version, but for the sake of thoroughness, I’d like to mention that the word does appear once in the Revised Version.
In Luke 12:58, the use of “to be quit” comes from the Greek word apallassõ, meaning to be freed from or released, as from a lawsuit. The KJV uses (#G525) “be delivered” instead.
When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate,..give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. Luke 12:58
I love a good word study, don’t you? I hope you’ve gleaned, along with me, some additional insight into the rich words used in the KJV Bible.
Join me next time as I showcase another word we can learn the in-depth meaning behind together.
If you would like to read more posts in this series, please check out my KJV Bible Word Study Series page.
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The post “Quit: KJV Bible Word Study Series” was first published on Desert Rain.