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GREEK WORD DEFINITIONS καθεύδω, 'katheudo' Strong's 2518

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Introduction 2.1

This study defines the meaning of the Greek word καθεύδω, 'katheudo' Strong's 2518 in the New Testament and in the Septuagint. We have examined every verse where the 'katheudo' appears to obtain a true understanding of this word, and these scriptures need to be meditated on and notes made of their meaning in different contexts. We have used extracts from some others who have defined this word. In quotations from scripture the translation of the Greek word katheudo is highlighted with bold and yellow. If any words are in italics then there is no equivalent word for it in the Greek. Every blessing be to those who seek the truth of God's word.

#2.11 New Testament definition of καθεύδω, 'katheudo' Strong's 2518

Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
STRONGS NT 2518: καθεύδω
καθεύδω; imperfect 3 person plural ἐκάθευδον; from Homer down; the Sept. mostly for שָׁכַב;
1. to fall asleep, to drop off to sleep: Matthew 25:5.
2. to sleep;
a. properly: Matthew 8:24; Matthew 9:24 (on this and its parallels, cf. B. D. American edition, p. 1198{a}); ; Mark 4:27, 38; Mark 5:39; Mark 13:36; Mark 14:37, 40; Luke 8:52; Luke 22:46; 1 Thessalonians 5:7.
b. euphemistically, to be dead: 1 Thessalonians 5:10; (Psalm 87:6; Daniel 12:2).
c. metaphorically, to yield to sloth and sin, and be indifferent to one's salvation: Ephesians 5:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

Expository Dictionary of Bible Words W.E. Vine P80
KATHEUDO (καθεύδω) 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, Matthew 9:24; Mark 5:39; Luke 8:52. In the epistles of Paul it is used as follows:
(a) of natural sleep, e.g., 1 Thessalonians 5:7;
(b) of carnal indifference to spiritual things on the part of believers, Ephesians 5:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:10 (as in Mark 13:36), a condition of insensibility to Divine things involving conformity to the world (cp. hupnos below).

There are 21 New Testament scriptures where katheudo appears.

In 14 scriptures it refers to natural sleep.

Matthew 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
25:5 While the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
26:40 And he comes to the disciples, and finds them asleep, and says to Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour?
26:43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
26:45 Then comes he to his disciples, and says to them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is near, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Mark 4:27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he does not know how.
4:38 And he was in the rear part of the boat, asleep on a pillow: and they woke him up, and say to him, Teacher, do you not care that we perish?
13:36 Lest coming suddenly he finds you sleeping.
14:37 And he comes, and finds them sleeping, and says to Peter, Simon, do you sleep? Could you not watch one hour?
14:40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) nor did they know what to answer him.
14:41 And he comes the third time, and says to them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough. The hour has come, behold, the son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Luke 22:46 And said to them, Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.

In 4 scriptures it refers figuratively to death.

Matthew 9:24 He said to them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleeps. And they laughed him to scorn.
Mark 5:39 And when he had come in, he says to them, Why do you make a tumult, and weep? The young girl is not dead, but sleeps.
Luke 8:52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeps.
1 Thessalonians 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

In 3 scriptures it refers to being spiritually asleep.

Ephesians 5:14 Therefore he says, Awake you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.
1 Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
5:7 For those who sleep, sleep in the night; and those who are drunk are drunk in the night.

#2.12 Septuagint definition of καθεύδω, 'katheudo' Strong's 2518

All references to the Septuagint are chapter and verse as in the bible, not the original Septuagint references. We have renumbered them.
In the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament, 'katheudo' occurs less often than in the New Testament. We have traced 13 occurrences translated from Hebrew, so we have excluded the Apocrypha.

#2.121Translating the Hebrew שָׁכַב 'shakav' Strong's 7901

In six scriptures 'katheudo' refers to 'lying down' for rest or sleep.

Genesis 28:13 And, behold, Yahweh stood above it, and said, I am Yahweh God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac: the land upon which you lie, I will give to you and to your seed;
1 Samuel 26:7 So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul was lying sleeping inside the camp, and his spear stuck in the ground by his head: but Abner and the people were lying round about him.
Proverbs 3:24 When you lie down, you shall not be afraid: and you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet.
6:22 When you go, it shall lead you; when you lie down, it shall keep you; and when you awake, it shall talk with you.
Isaiah 51:20 Your sons have fainted, they lie at the top of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of Yahweh, the rebuke of your God.
Amos 6:4 Who lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;

In one scripture 'katheudo' refers to 'lying down' for fornication.

Genesis 39:10 And it came to pass, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not listen to her, to lie with her, or to be with her.

In one scripture 'katheudo' refers to the dead body lying in a grave.

Psalm 88:5 Free among the dead, like the slain lying in a grave, whom you remember no more: and they are cut off from your hand.

In one scripture 'katheudo' refers to Ezekiel 'lying down' to bear the sin of Israel.

Ezekiel 4:9 Take also to you wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make bread of it, according to the number of the days that you are lying upon your side, three hundred and ninety days shall you eat of it.

#2.122Translating the Hebrew יָשֵׁן 'yashen' Strong's 3463

In one scripture 'katheudo' refers to natural sleep.

Song of Solomon 5:2 I sleep, but my heart is awake: it is the voice of my beloved who knocks, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

In one scripture 'katheudo' figuratively refers to a god being asleep.

1 Kings 18:27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is busy, or he is in a journey, or perhaps he sleeps, and must be awaked.

In one scripture 'katheudo' refers figuratively to sleep as death.

Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and long-lasting contempt.

#2.123Translating the Hebrew יָשַׁב 'yashav' Strong's 3427

In one scripture 'katheudo' refers to sitting down.

1 Samuel 19:9 And the evil spirit from Yahweh was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.

#2.13 Conclusion of the meaning of καθεύδω 'katheudo' Strong's 2518

Katheudo is a verb, Strong's 2518, which literally or figuratively means 'to sleep' in the New Testament. Out of 13 occurrences in the Septuagint it is used 9 times to translate the Hebrew word שָׁכַב 'shakav' which means 'to lie down' Strong's 7901. The evidence that the word is used figuratively and refers only to the body when used of a dead person is its use in Daniel 12:2 where it mentions 'those who sleep in the dust of the earth', and Psalm 88:5 where it refers to 'the slain lying in a grave'. The evidence that it refers only to the body when it refers to natural sleep is the fact that the spirit or soul of the person does not sleep when a person sleeps. It keeps all the body functions working, such as heart beating and breathing, and is often active in dreams or visions. Its meaning, or the way it is translated in any place must be determined by the syntax and context in which it occurs.

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