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Study Resources :: Dictionaries :: Asleep, Sleep

Dictionaries :: Asleep, Sleep

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Below are articles from the following dictionary:
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
A-1 Verb Strong's Number: g2518 Greek: katheudo

Asleep, Sleep:

"to go to sleep," is chiefly used of natural "sleep," and is found most frequently in the Gospels, especially Matthew and Luke. With reference to death it is found in the Lord's remark concerning Jairus' daughter, Mat 9:24; Mar 5:39; Luk 8:52. In the epistles of Paul it is used as follows:

(a) of natural "sleep," e.g., 1Th 5:7;

(b) of carnal indifference to spiritual things on the part of believers, Eph 5:14; 1Th 5:6, 10 (as in Mar 13:36), a condition of insensibility to Divine things involving conformity to the world (cp. hupnos below).

A-2 Verb Strong's Number: g2837 Greek: koimaomai

Asleep, Sleep:

is used of natural "sleep," Mat 28:13; Luk 22:45; Jhn 11:12; Act 12:6; of the death of the body, but only of such as are Christ's; yet never of Christ Himself, though He is "the firstfruits of them that have fallen asleep," 1Cr 15:20; of saints who departed before Christ came, Mat 27:52; Act 13:36; of Lazarus, while Christ was yet upon the earth, Jhn 11:11; of believers since the Ascension, 1Th 4:13-15; Act 7:60; 1Cr 7:39; 11:30; 15:6, 18, 51; 2Pe 3:4.

Note: "This metaphorical use of the word sleep is appropriate, because of the similarity in appearance between a sleeping body and a dead body; restfulness and peace normally characterize both. The object of the metaphor is to suggest that, as the sleeper does not cease to exist while his body sleeps, so the dead person continues to exist despite his absence from the region in which those who remain can communicate with him, and that, as sleep is known to be temporary, so the death of the body will be found to be....

"That the body alone is in view in this metaphor is evident,

(a) from the derivation of the word koimaomai, from keimai, to lie down (cp. anastasis, resurrection, from ana, 'up,' and histemi, to cause to stand); cp. Isa 14:8, where for 'laid down,' the Sept. has 'fallen asleep;'

(b) from the fact that in the NT the word resurrection is used of the body alone;

(c) from Dan 12:2, where the physically dead are described as 'them that sleep (Sept. katheudo, as at 1Th 5:6) in the dust of the earth,' language inapplicable to the spiritual part of man; moreover, when the body returns whence it came, Gen 3:19, the spirit returns to God who gave it, Ecc 12:7.

"When the physical frame of the Christian (the earthly house of our tabernacle, 2Cr 5:1) is dissolved and returns to the dust, the spiritual part of his highly complex being, the seat of personality, departs to be with Christ, Phl 1:23. And since that state in which the believer, absent from the body, is at home with the Lord, 2Cr 5:6-9, is described as 'very far better' than the present state of joy in communion with God and of happy activity in His service, everywhere reflected in Paul's writings, it is evident the word 'sleep,' where applied to the departed Christians, is not intended to convey the idea that the spirit is unconscious....

"The early Christians adopted the word koimeterion (which was used by the Greeks of a rest-house for strangers) for the place of interment of the bodies of their departed; thence the English word 'cemetery,' 'the sleeping place,' is derived." *
[* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine. p. 172.]

A-3 Verb Strong's Number: g1852 Greek: exupnizo

Asleep, Sleep:

"to awake" (ek, "out," hupnos, "sleep"), "to awake out of sleep," is used in Jhn 11:11. In the Sept., Jdg 16:14, 20; 1Ki 3:15; Job 14:12.

A-4 Verb Strong's Number: g879 Greek: aphupnoo

Asleep, Sleep:

"to fall asleep" (apo, "away"), is used of natural "sleep," Luk 8:23, of the Lord's falling "asleep" in the boat on the lake of Galilee.

B-1 Adjective Strong's Number: g1853 Greek: exupnos

Asleep, Sleep:

Act 16:27, signifies "out of sleep."

C-1 Noun Strong's Number: g5258 Greek: hupnos

Asleep, Sleep:

is never used of death. In five places in the NT it is used of physical "sleep;" in Rom 13:11, metaphorically, of a slumbering state of soul, i.e., of spiritual conformity to the world, out of which believers are warned to awake.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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