Hollywood likes to sprinkle their scripts with Scripture now and then to appeal to a wider audience and appear culturally savvy. Rarely do they have a clue to the true meaning behind what they quote.
The Quick and the Dead, a 1990s Western, is one such example. Its title infers that you had better be fast on the draw or you won’t last long on this earth. But this same phrase appears three times in the King James Bible and the word “quick” has nothing to do with speed!
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.
Quick—#H2416: alive; hence raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year); strong; life (or living thing.)
#H4241: taken from #H2421, preservation of life, hence sustenance, also the live flesh, recover selves, reviving
#G2198: to live, (literally or figuratively); life, lifetime, live, alive, lively
Quicken—#H2421: to live, (literally or figuratively) to revive, keep alive, leave alive, make life, promise life, let live, preserve alive, recover, restore, save alive, God save
#G2227: to vitalize, revitalize (literally or figuratively); make alive, give life; taken from #2226: a live thing and #2225: to engender life, to rescue from death; also from #4145: abounding with, rich; and #4146: copiously, abundantly rich
Quickened—#H2421 (see above)
#G2227 (see above)
#G4806: from #G4862 denoting union, with or together, completeness; and #G2227 (see above), to reanimate conjointly with
Quickeneth—#G2227 (see above)
Quickening—#G2227 (see above)
[Underlining, brackets, and words in bold are added for emphasis in Bible verses throughout this study.]
Who shall give account to him [Christ] that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 1 Peter 4:5
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom. 2 Timothy 4:1
And he commanded us to preach unto the people and to testify that it is he [Christ] which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. Acts 10:42
None of the instances of the word quick found in the KJV Bible refers to being fast, speedy, hasty, or swift. Not one.
Quick in the above scripture references means ALIVE. Whoa, what? Yep. Quick (#G2198 zaō) means “to live”.
Peter and Timothy are talking about God’s judgment of those who have died and those who are still alive at His coming and again later after the thousand-year span of His kingdom. (This could use its own blog series, I know.)
There are two resurrections mentioned in Scripture.
The first is at Christ’s second coming immediately after the great tribulation (read Matthew 24; Revelation 13; Daniel 7). Those who have died in Christ will rise and all believers still standing will be changed in a twinkling of an eye (now that’s QUICK!) into spirit beings and reign with Christ a thousand years (1 Cor. 15:51-53).
And the second resurrection is after the thousand years have ended at the Great White Throne judgment. Just prior to that, Satan is loosed from his chains and proceeds to deceive the nations (again! Revelation 20:3;7-8).
Every soul not called by God who died prior to Christ’s millennium and those who lived and made their choice within the millennium will be judged out of the Book of Life. (I love prophecy, don’t you? Read Revelation 20, and Daniel 12:1-2.)
Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Psalms 71: 20
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us. Psalm 124:2-3
The Psalmist is saying “we would be swallowed ALIVE if God were not on our side.” (Isn’t that the truth, my friends?)
The same thing is being said in Numbers 16:30 when God opened the earth to swallow up the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. “They [will] go down quick into the pit.”
Yes, once again “quick” here is not referring to speed or swiftness in the judgment, although I’m sure that it was, but that the ground swallowed them ALIVE.
And ten times in Psalm 119 alone, the Psalmist cries out to God to quicken him (#H2421: promise life, revive, save alive) according to God’s word, ways, righteousness, judgments, and His lovingkindness.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
The word of God is alive, my friends.
It is filled with life-giving truth and fearful judgment. We have everything we need for life and godliness resting within the pages of this book.
The word of God attests to the Word of life, Jesus Christ:
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty of high. Hebrews 1:3
Christ, the Bread of life, the Manna from heaven, spoke to His disciples about physical and spiritual sustenance saying, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63).
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Romans 8:11
It is God the Father who raised up our Lord.
It is God’s very essence that flows from the heavens and dwells inside each one of His chosen.
It is by faith and obedience in Christ that God has promised to quicken us. To rescue us from death and revitalize us with the Spirit of His dear Son (#G2227, Greek zōopoieō; zōos=alive, poieō= make).
For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son . . .
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5:21-29
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Romans 8:9
Our carnal nature condemns us to separation from a holy God. But it is the Spirit of Christ within us that sets us apart from the world and gives us strength to overcome our sins and live by the fruits of that same Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
We are complete in Christ,
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. Colossians 2:11-13
Our faith in Christ, the indwelling of His Spirit, and our daily dying to self ensures our quickening (copiously, abundant rich; life) at the last trump.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
Are you comforted, dear Christian? I am.
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.
Abiding in the Vine,
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The post “Quick/Quicken: KJV Bible Word Study Series” was first published on Desert Rain.