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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Waiting

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Waiting involves expectancy or hope (q.v. ), being related to an event or contingency regarded as still in the future. It finds varied expression in the apocalyptic atmosphere of early Christianity with its expectation of an immediate Parousia (q.v. ). Of its more general form, as distinguished from this Parousia-expectation, we can find no better illustration than Romans 8:19, where St. Paul vividly describes the eager longing (ἀποκαραδοκία) of all creation which is waiting for the sons of God to be revealed, that is, the issue of the world-sifting process of life and history in the ultimate triumph of the good (see ExpT xxii. [1910-1911] 71 f. for ἀποκαραδοκία). In the succeeding verses (8:23, 25) the Apostle expounds the experience of full sonship, and identities this with ‘the redemption of our body,’ for which the believer is in this stage of existence ever waiting. In each of these passages the verb used is a compound of δέχομαι in the form ἀπελδέχομαι. It is used again in Galatians 5:5 in reference to an issue of Christian experience, namely ‘the hope of righteousness’ (ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης); but, as a rule, the verb is applied to the Parousia, as in 1 Corinthians 1:7 and Philippians 3:20, while in 1 Peter 3:20 it is found in an absolute sense, of the longsuffering of God in the days of the Flood, though the context suggests that what is waited for is the repentance and moral resurrection of mankind.

Other compounds of the same verb, namely ἐκδέχομαι and προσδέχομαι, are also found to express the notion of waiting. The former, with the suggestion of selection or concentration, is found in 1 Corinthians 16:11, Hebrews 10:13; Hebrews 11:10, James 5:7, Ep. Barn. x. 11 (τὸν ἄγιον αἴωνα), 2 Clem. xii. 1 (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) and xx. 3 (ταχὺν καρπόν). The latter, with the suggestion of welcome, is found in the Synoptics (Mark 15:43, Luke 2:25; Luke 2:38; Luke 23:51) and in Acts 23:21; Acts 24:15; it is also found in Titus 2:13 (τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης κτλ.), Judges 1:21, and Herm. Vis. III. xii. 2 (τὴν ἐσχάτην ἠμέραν).

The same thought is conveyed by such compounds of μένω as περιμένω (Acts 1:4) and ἀναμένω (1 Thessalonians 1:10). This mood or attitude of the spiritual life finds a parallel in the waiting on or for the Lord (ÄåÌÈä) in the Psalms passim, indicating the spirit of expectancy which can be satisfied only by a token of the Divine favour in the form of ‘salvation’ or some manifestation of the Divine will.

R. Martin Pope.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Waiting'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/w/waiting.html. 1906-1918.

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