The word rebuke is one commonly used among Christians. That’s why I wanted to research what the word rebuke means in Hebrew and Greek.
But first, let’s look at the 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary definition of the word rebuke:
“To chide; to reprove; to reprehend for a fault; to check by reproof.
The proud he tam’d, the penitent he cheer’d, not to rebuke the rich offender fear’d.
Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor. Leviticus 19:17.
2. To check or restrain.
The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan. Zechariah 3:2. Isaiah 17:13.
3. To chasten; to punish; to afflict for correction.
O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger. Psalms 6:1.”
To read more of this definition, click here.
All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
What Does The Word ‘Rebuke’ Mean In Hebrew?
ga’ar- to chide, reprimand.
ge’arah- chiding, rebuke.
cherpah- contumely, disgrace.
This word means ‘reproach’. It’s rarely used in the Pentateuch and the historical books but appears the most in the Book of Psalms, Daniel, and the books of the prophets.
“O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us.”
– Daniel 9:16
Those who were disgraced receive abuse by the words spoken to them and by rumors that were spread. Whatever the occasion of the disgrace was, the psalmist prayed for deliverance.
“Remove from me reproach and contempt,
For I have kept Your testimonies.“
– Psalm 119:22
God promised to remove the reproach at the accomplishment of His purpose.
“He will swallow up death forever,
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces;
The rebuke of His people
He will take away from all the earth;
For the Lord has spoken.“
– Isaiah 25:8
yakach- to be correct; to argue.
Some divine reproof may be physical.
“I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.”
– 2 Samuel 7:14
However, the wise know that God corrects those who He loves.
“For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.“
– Proverbs 3:12
mig’ereth- reproof (a curse).
towkechah- refutation, proof.
What Does The Word ‘Rebuke’ Mean In Greek?
This word means to be without rebuke and is also translated into the word blameless.
“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.“
– 2 Peter 3:14-16
elegcho- to admonish, rebuke.
This term means to rebuke one another with the truth. The goal is to have the other person confess their sins or at least feel a conviction.
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.“
– Matthew 18:15
epiplesso- to upbraid, rebuke; smite.
epitimao- to rebuke, warn, forbid.
Epitimao means to judge, rebuke, or find fault with. The Lord rebukes the following things in scripture:
- evil spirits (Matthew 17:18)
- winds (Matthew 8:26)
- fever (Luke 4:39)
- disciples (Mark 8:33)
All in all, rebuking takes place when someone does something wrong and must be corrected. Ultimately, it can be used in the sense of edifying one another.
That’s what the word rebuke means in Hebrew and Greek. I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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