The second of the great Christian virtues is what the King James Version calls meekness and what we have translated gentleness. The Greek noun is praotes (<G4236>), the adjective praus (<G4239>), and these are beyond translation by any single English word. Praus has two main lines of meanings.
(a) Aristotle, the great Greek thinker and teacher, has much to say about praotes (<G4236>). It was his custom to define every virtue as the mean between two extremes. On one side there was excess of some quality, on the other defect; and in between there was exactly its right proportion. Aristotle defines praotes (<G4236>) as the mean between being too angry and never being angry at all. The man who is praus (<G4239>) is the man who is always angry at the right time and never angry at the wrong time. To put that in another way, the man who is praus (<G4239>) is the man who is kindled by indignation at the wrongs and the sufferings of others, but is never moved to anger by the wrongs and the insults he himself has to bear. So, then, the man who is (as in the King James Version), meek is the man who is always angry at the right time but never angry at the wrong time.
(b) There is another fact which will illumine the meaning of this word. Praus (<G4239>) is the Greek for an animal which has been trained and domesticated until it is completely under control. Therefore the man who is praus (<G4239>) is the man who has every instinct and every passion under perfect control. It would not be right to say that such a man is entirely self-controlled, for such self-control is beyond human power, but it would be right to say that such a man is God-controlled. — Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT).
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