What Does The Word ‘Afflicted’ Mean In Hebrew and Greek?

The word afflicted was one of the words God chose to describe the suffering of the Messiah when He would appear on earth. Jesus Christ was the One who came and fulfilled all the specific prophesies found in the Old Testament. Yet, His own people rejected Him. He truly fits the description of afflicted and that’s why I want to look at what does the word afflicted mean in Hebrew and Greek.

But first, let’s look at the definition of afflicted from the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary:

“Affected with continued or often repeated pain, either of body or mind; suffering grief or distress, of any kind; followed by at, by or with; as, afflicted at the loss of a child, by the rheumatism, or with losses.”

All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

“Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.”

– Isaiah 53:4

What Does The Word ‘Afflicted’ Mean In Hebrew?

dak- crushed; injured.

yaga- to grieve; to cause grief.

mac – disconsolate; fainting.

anah- to afflict; be afflicted.

As a verb, this word means “to be afflicted, be humbled, be bowed down, be meek.” It often expressed painful and harsh treatment. Frequently, this term suggests the idea that God sends affliction for disciplinary purposes.

“And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”

– Deuteronomy 8:2

oniy- depression, misery.

This noun means affliction and represents the state of punishment or pain resulting from affliction.

“You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.”

– Deuteronomy 16:3

In the above passage, the shewbread is the ‘bread of affliction’ because it’s a physical reminder of sin (the cause of affliction), the hardship involved in sin, and the divine deliverance of sin.

aniy- depressed in mind or circumstance.

As a noun, aniy means “weak, afflicted, poor, humble.” Frequently, this word is used with ebyon (needy) and dal (poor).

Financially, the aniy lives day to day and is defenseless. They’re subject to oppression. Throughout scripture, the goldy protect and deliver the afflicted while the ungodly take advantage of them.

To rob the needy of justice,
And to take what is right from the poor of My people,
That widows may be their prey,
And that they may rob the fatherless.

– Isaiah 10:2

Also, aniy can refer to a person who is physically oppressed. Physical oppression is sometimes directly associated with spiritual oppression.

Sometimes, it means “lowly” or “humble”. It’s used in this sense in Zechariah 9:9 to describe the messiah.

Zechariah 9:9

tsar- trouble, opponent.

As a noun, this term means “enemy, adversary, distress, foe, affliction.”

In Proverbs 24:10, tsar means scarcity. However, it can also mean the distress caused by scarcity.

Also, the Lord may be the enemy of His sinful people as His judgment comes down upon them. Therefore, the book of Lamentations describes God as an adversary of His people.

tsarar- to wrap up; tie up; be narrow; be in pangs of birth; be distressed.

qalal- to be easy, trifling, vile.

It’s basic idea is light with a negative connotation. Furthermore, it includes the idea of cursing or making little.

ra’a- to make good for nothing.

What Does The Word ‘Afflicted’ Mean In Greek?

thlibo- to suffer affliction or to be troubled.

This term has reference to sufferings due to circumstances or pressure. It’s translated into the following words:

  • afflict (2 Corinthians 1:6)
  • narrow (Matthew 7:14)
  • throng (Mark 3:9)
  • suffer tribulation (1 Thessalonians 3:4)
  • trouble (2 Thessalonians 1:6)

kakopatheo- to undergo hardship.

Kakopatheo is made up of two separate words. The first one is kakos (evil) and the second one is pathos (suffering). It signifies to suffer hardship. This term is translated:

  • endure hardness (2 Timothy 2:3)
  • suffer trouble (2 Timothy 2:9)
  • endure afflictions (2 Timothy 4:5)
  • afflicted (James 5:13)

talaiporeo- to be afflicted.

This word comes from two words: tlao (to bear undergo) and poros (a hard substance).

“Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.”

– James 4:9

Conclusion

The word afflicted has such a deeper meaning than what anyone would’ve thought. It covers a wide array of areas. It can mean physically, socially, mentally, or spiritually afflicted. However, those who suffer afflictions usually end up crying out to God during the midst of their troubles. That’s what the word afflicted means in Hebrew and Greek.

All in all, as Christians, we are to help those who are afflicted. Therefore, whenever you’re in a positive to help someone in need please do!

I pray this article was helpful to you. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to leave any thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

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