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Dictionaries :: Way

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International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia


wa ('orach, orcha',' erets, bo', derekh, halikhah, ma‘galah, nathibh; hodos, parodos, poreia, tropos; "highway," mecillah, meclul; diexodoi ton hodon): The list just cited contains only a portion of the words translated "way" or "highway" in the King James Version. Most of them have the primary meaning of "road," "customary path," "course of travel" (Ge 3:24; Ex 23:20; Nu 20:17, etc.). By a very easy and natural figure "way" is applied to the course of human conduct, the manner of life which one lives (Ex 18:20; 32:8; Nu 22:32; 1Sa 8:3; 1Ki 13:33, etc.; Ac 14:16; 1Co 4:17; Jas 5:20). "The way of an eagle.... of a serpent.... of a ship.... and of a man" (Pr 30:19) agree in that they leave no trace behind them (compare The Wisdom of Solomon 5:10,11). In some cases the language may be such as to leave it indeterminate whether the way or course of conduct is good or bad (De 28:29; 1Sa 18:14; 2Ch 27:7; Job 13:15; Pr 3:6; 6:6; Jas 1:8), though in most cases the Bible writers attach to every act an ethical evaluation. Sometimes this way of conduct is of purely human choice, without reference to either God or good (Jud 2:19; Job 22:15; 34:21; Ps 119:9; Pr 12:15; 16:2). Such a course is evil (2Ch 7:14; Ps 1:6; 119:101,104,128; Pr 1:19, etc.) and will obtain such punishment as its lack of merit warrants (1Ki 8:32,39; 2Ch 6:23; Job 30:12; 34:11; Jer 17:10; Ezk 7:3,9; Ho 12:2). At the opposite extreme from this is the good way (Ps 1:6; Pr 8:20; 12:28; 15:10; Isa 26:7), which is that course of conduct enjoined by God and exemplified in His perfect conduct (Ge 6:12; 18:19; De 8:6; 26:17; 1Ki 2:3; Job 23:11; Ps 51:13, etc.). These two ways briefly but graphically described by the Lord (Mt 7:13,14; compare Lu 13:24) became the subject of extended catechetical instruction in the early church. See the Epistle of Barnabas, xviii, and the Didache i.1. Frequently the way in this metaphorical sense is characterized by that quality which is its outstanding feature, e.g. mention is made of the way of life (Pr 15:24; Jer 21:8; Ac 2:28); of truth (Ps 119:30; 2Pe 2:2); of peace (Isa 59:8; Lu 1:79; Ro 3:17); of justice (Pr 17:23; Da 4:37); of righteousness (Mt 21:32; 2Pe 2:21); of salvation (Ac 16:17); of lying (Ps 119:29), and of death (Jer 21:8). Frequently God's purpose or His customary action is described as His way (Ps 103:7; Isa 26:8; Mt 22:16; Ac 13:10). Since all of God's plans and purposes tend toward man's salvation, His provisions to this end are frequently spoken of as His Way, and inasmuch as all of the divine plans center in Christ He is preeminently the Way (Joh 14:6). Out of this fact grew the title, "The Way," one of the earliest names applied to Christianity (Ac 9:2; 18:25,26; 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:22).

The word highway is used to denote a prominent road, such a one for example as was in ancient times maintained for royal travel and by royal authority. It is always used in the literal sense except in Pr 15:19; 16:17, where it is a course of conduct.

Written by William Charles Morro


Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g3598 Greek: hodos



(a) "a natural path, road, way," frequent in the Synoptic Gospels; elsewhere, e.g., Act 8:26; 1Th 3:11; Jam 2:25; Rev 16:12;

(b) "a traveler's way" (see JOURNEY);

(c) metaphorically, of "a course of conduct," or "way of thinking," e.g., of righteousness, Mat 21:32; 2Pe 2:21; of God, Mat 22:16, and parallels, i.e., the "way" instructed and approved by God; so Act 18:26; Hbr 3:10, "My ways" (cp. Rev 15:3); of the Lord, Act 18:25; "that leadeth to destruction," Mat 7:13; "... unto life," Mat 7:14; of peace, Luk 1:79; Rom 3:17; of Paul's "ways" in Christ, 1Cr 1:17 (plural); "more excellent" (of love), 1Cr 12:31; of truth, 2Pe 2:2; of the right "way," 2Pe 2:15; of Balaam (id.); of Cain, Jud 1:11; of a "way" consisting in what is from God, e.g., of life, Act 2:28 (plural); of salvation, Act 16:17; personified, of Christ as the means of access to the Father, Jhn 14:6; of the course followed and characterized by the followers of Christ, Act 9:2; 19:9, 23; 24:22.

Note: In Luk 5:19; 19:4 the noun is not expressed in the original, but is understood.

2 Strong's Number: g3938 Greek: parodos


"a passing or passage," is used with en, "in," 1Cr 16:7, "by the way" (lit, "in passing").

3 Strong's Number: g5158 Greek: tropos


"a turning, a manner," is translated "way" in Rom 3:2, "(every) way;" Phl 1:18, "(in every) way."


(1) In Jam 1:11, AV, poreia, "a journey, a going, is rendered "ways" (RV, "goings").

(2) In Hbr 12:17, topos, "a place," is rendered in AV marg., "way (to change his mind)."

(3) For the AV rendering of makran "a good (or great) way off," Mat 8:30; Luk 15:20, see FAR, B, No. 1.

(4) In Luk 14:32, porro is rendered "a great way off."

(5) In Hbr 5:2, AV, planao, Middle Voice, "to wander," is rendered "(them) that are out of the way," RV, "(the) erring."

(6) In Col 2:14; 2Th 2:7, ek mesou, is translated "out of the way;" see MIDST, Note (1) (e).

(7) For "two ways" in Mar 11:4, AV see STREET.

(8) In Jhn 10:1, the adverb allachothen, "from some other place" (from allos, "another"), is translated "some other way."

(9) In 2Pe 3:1, the AV translates en "by way of" ("by," RV).

(10) In Gal 2:5, the renderings "by," AV, "in the way of," RV, serve to express the dative case of hupotage, subjection.

(11) For propempo, "to bring on one's way," Act 15:3; 21:5, and the AV of 2Cr 1:16 (RV, "to be set forward on my journey"), see BRING, No. 25.

(12) Aperchomai, "to go away," is rendered "to go one's way," e.g., Mat 13:25; 20:4; Mar 11:4; 12:12; Luk 19:32; Jhn 11:46; Act 9:17; Jam 1:24: see GO, No. 14.

(13) In Luk 8:14, AV, poreuomai, "to go on one's way" (RV), is rendered "go forth;" in Luk 13:33, AV, "walk" (RV, "go on my way"); in Mat 24:1, AV, it is rendered "departed" (RV, "was going on his way"): see DEPART, No. 8.

(14) In Act 24:3, pante is rendered "in all ways" (AV, "always").

(15) In Rom 3:12, AV, ekklino, "to turn aside" (RV), is rendered "are gone out of the way."

(16) See also ESCAPE, B, LASCIVIOUS.


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