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Friday, May 05, 2006

Walking in the Bible

I did a search on the word "walk" in the English Standard Version of the Bible. How was the word used? What were the meanings? (Yesterday's post was on walking in 2006, for exercise.)

The word occurs a few hundred times, depending on how you count various forms of it.

One meaning was the ordinary one of going from place to place on foot. The first such reference is Genesis 3:8, which says that God walked in the Garden of Eden. There are many other examples of such use, including the beginning of the story of David and Bathsheba, which began with David walking on his roof, and looking around as he did so. (2 Samuel 11:2)

Another meaning is in the sense of accompanying God, as in Genesis 5, which says that Enoch walked with God, and was, apparently, so God-like that God took him to heaven. In Leviticus 26, God tells the Israelites that 3 “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them . . ." certain good things will follow. The same chapter, which has 10 occurrences of walk, in one form or another, also promises that God will walk with the Israelites, and warns them of bad consequences if they don't walk with God. David is said to have walked with God, in this sense, in 1 Kings 3:14. There are many other examples of this sort of use.

Perhaps there is another meaning, which is to have certain kinds of experiences or emotions. This use occurs in the familiar Psalm 23, verse 4, which speaks of walking through the valley of the shadow of death. This is not a real walk, and it isn't accompanying anyone, it seems. It also occurs in Psalm 136:7, where the Psalmist speaks of walking through trouble.

The phrase, "walk in his integrity," occurs a few times in Proverbs, one being in Proverbs 20:7.

Isaiah 9:2 speaks of walking in darkness, then seeing light.

Jeremiah 23:14 speaks of walking in lies.

Most of the walk words in the gospels are in the literal sense, but there are exceptions, such as Mark 7:5, where the Pharisees ask why the disciples don't "walk in the tradition of the elders."

John uses walking in darkness and walking in light, as in John 8:12.

Here's Romans 8:4: "in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

Romans 14:15 speaks of walking in love. 2 Corinthians 5:7 speaks of walking by faith. Colossians 2:6 commands us to walk with him, him being Christ.

The word occurs in Revelation, too, more than once. In Revelation 3:4, Christ promises that His children will walk with Him in white.

I didn't find any great surprises, but I'm glad I did this study. Thanks for reading.

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