(This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much! Read our full disclaimer here.)
All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
In today’s world, hope means something that may or may not happen. We sure hope today would be a good day. Or we hope our spouse washed the dishes before we arrive home. However, the word ‘hope’ in the Bible means something totally different. It calls God ‘the God of hope’. Certainly, the Lord isn’t an undecided being. Instead, He’s extremely trustworthy and can be relied on. When we place our hope in God, we shouldn’t feel unsure of His actions and intentions. Let’s see exactly what the Bible means when it mentions the word ‘hope’.
Meaning Of The Word ‘Hope’ In Hebrew
chacah- to flee for protection; to trust; confide in; to have hope; to make a refuge. This term is used when God is compared to a shield, a rock, or described as one with protective wings.
“He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;“
yachal- to be patient, hope, wait, trust, to stay in expectation.
“O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.“
“Therefore I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
My God will hear me.“
mibtach- confidence; trust; assurance; hope. This word means “the act of confiding” as found in Proverbs 21:22, “ A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.” (KJV) Mibtach is also used in Job 8:14 referring to the “object of confidence”: “Whose confidence shall be cut off, And whose trust is a spider’s web.” There’s another meaning of this term meaning, “the state of confidence or security.” Used in Proverbs 14:26, “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.“
machaceh- a shelter; hope; a place of refuge, trust.
sabar- to scrutinize, to expect with hope and patience; hope.
“The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.“
towcheleth- expectation, hope.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.“
tiquah- expectation; hope.
“The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.“
The word ‘hope’ in Hebrew actually means ‘to expect’ or have some sort of ‘expectation’. This means we aren’t merely hoping it to be completely. We’re 100% expecting it to be completed. There should be no doubt anywhere in our mind concerning the Lord’s promises to us.
Meaning Of The Word ‘Hope’ In Greek
elpizo- this verb means “to hope”. The verb is followed by three prepositions:
- eis- “on”. Ususally translated “in” and used in John 5:45:
“Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust.“
2. epi- “on”. Found in Romans 15:12, “There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”
3. en- “in”.
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”
-1 Corinthians 15:19
These prepositions express that Christ is the sphere and element where this ‘hope’ is placed. Since hope is a verb, those who walk in this hope are considered “hopeful” and have a character of hope.
elpis- to anticipate, usually with pleasure. As a noun it means, “favorable and confident expectation, a forward look with assurance.” Elpis refers to the future and the unseen such as in Romans 8:24-25: “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
Elpis is found over 50 times in the New Testament. The apostle Paul was constantly talking about anticipating future events with joy, such as in these scriptures:
“And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers.”
“For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”
“if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.“
“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power“
Hope is a purifying power. It says so in 1 John 3:3: “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
Since the term hope in Greek means anticipation, we could read all these scriptures with the replacement of those words (to get a deeper understanding of them). This would change our perspective on these scriptures. Paul was constantly talking about expecting or waiting with absolute certainly for the Lord’s promises.
I hope this list helped you. If you have any more words you would like to see broken down in the original languages of Hebrew and Greek, comment down below. Thanks for checking in!