January 1, 2016

ἰσχυρὸν, Strong man

January 1, 2016

This seems to be closely related or even the Greek counterpart to the Hebrew word geber. This Greek word, ischyron, is used thus in the New Testament by Jesus:

But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.  Mark 3:27

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. Luke 11:21-22

The word is derived from the root word ischuros which means strong, mighty, or powerful. The HELPS Word studies notes that it is further derived from 2479 ischys meaning “engaging, combative strength”:

For the believer, 2478 (isxyrós) is God’s power “standing by” – ready to unleash itself to bring about His preferred-will, through faith (cf. 2307/thélēma, 4102/pístis). This engaging strength is always and immediately available from the Lord, which accomplishes His assignments (cf. 1 Jn 5:4). See 2479 (isxys).

Jesus is obviously referring to Satan as a “strong man” and commentators are aware that the “stronger man” that binds him is none other than the Christ. But it must be added that Christ planned on binding the enemy through us:

Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:18

Ischyron is used in one other place—Revelation:

And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” Revelation 10:1

I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire… Revelation 10:1

Angels, no doubt, are strong as is. But these particular angels were strong and powerful looking angels. Like the strong man of Jesus’ teachings, there is no getting past these guys by your own strength.

The Bible teaches that as sons of Adam we weren’t that far beneath angels…

“What is man, that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that you care for him?
You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor… Hebrews 2:5-7

And only for a little while. Through the resurrection we’re now above them…

Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 1 Corinthians 6:3

Do we know how strong we really are?