In the NT meekness (prautēs and adjective praus) refers to an inward attitude, whereas *gentleness is expressed rather in outward action. It is part of the fruit of Christlike character produced only by the Spirit (Gal. 5:23, av). The meek do not resent adversity because they accept everything as being the effect of God’s wise and loving purpose for them, so that they accept injuries from men also (as Moses above), knowing that these are permitted by God for their ultimate good (cf. 2 Sa. 16:11). The meekness and gentleness of Christ was the source of Paul’s own plea to the disloyal Corinthians (2 Cor. 10:1). He enjoined meekness as the spirit in which to rebuke an erring brother (2 Tim. 2:25, av), and when bearing with one another (Eph. 4:2). Similarly, Peter exhorted that the inquiring or arguing heathen should be answered in meekness (1 Pet. 3:15, av). Supremely meekness is revealed in the character of Jesus (Mt. 11:29, av; 21:5, av), demonstrated in superlative degree when he stood before his unjust accusers without a word of retort or self-justification.
Bibliography. F. Hauck, S. Schulz, TDNT 6, pp. 645–651.
J. C. Connell.
Connell, J. C. (1996). Meekness. In D. R. W. Wood, I. H. Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, & D. J. Wiseman (Eds.), New Bible dictionary (3rd ed., p. 747). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.