The Greek Word For Drag

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Hi M____,

I am thankful that you appreciate the time and effort we all put into maintaining iswasandwillbe. com  Thank you for taking the time to send me your study. I was edified by it, and I appreciate any input I receive from others.
I think you know that I make no pretense at being either a Greek or a Hebrew scholar, and while I am always grateful for the scholarly work that has been done and is being done, I have always been straightforward with my readers in telling them that one of the main principles which guides me in my studies is “the sum of thy word is truth.”

Psa 119:160  The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever.

There are other principles as outlined in the Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth paper, but as concerns the point in this paper you have sent me, I will simply demonstrate to you how I apply this principle to this word ‘drag’.
Let’s just look at all eight of the entries for this word:

Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [ men] unto me.
Joh 18:10  Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
Joh 21:6  And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
Joh 21:11  Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
Act 16:19  And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew [ them] into the marketplace unto the rulers,
Act 16:22  And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat [ them].
Act 16:23  And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast [ them] into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Act 21:30  And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.
Act 21:31  And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
Jas 2:6  But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

There they are for any reader to study. There is every instance where this word is found in the New Testament according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. A casual reading of these verses, as I am sure you agree, will reveal to any honest mind that there is no place for free will in any of those verses including Joh 6:44 and Joh 12:32.

You say:

That is certainly a true statement, but it guts the scripture of its force. A lexicon is a long way from a literal translation, and while you are obviously comfortable with that tone, I must confess that the word ‘drag’ seems more in line with the sum of God’s words than do the words of the lexicon. I refer to words like these:

Eze 38:4  And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts [ of armour, even] a great company [ with] bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [ that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Rom 7:17  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [ how] to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

That ‘law’ is the law of sin and death which operates like “hooks in our jaws” which drag us to sin, before we are then “helkuo” [ drawn, dragged] to Christ through chastening and scourging. As little as we may like it, that is how God really is “working all things after the counsel of His own will”. As you put it, we are being “manipulated”. You are exactly right, we are not robots, but neither are we likened to puppets on a string. The only Biblical phrase that describes God’s sovereignty is “clay in the hand of the Potter”.

Jer 18:3  Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
Jer 18:4  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make [ it].
Jer 18:5  Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Jer 18:6  O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay [ is] in the potter’s hand, so [ are] ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

The Potter does not accidentally “mar the clay in His hands”. It is all by design.
My experience has been that God does nothing in our lives until we have all been struck down on our road to Damascus, where we are forced to see what we are and what we have been doing against our own Lord. That begins the making of “another vessel”.
The words of that lexicon just don’t express Paul’s experience or ours, for me. Heb 12 and Act 9 do, and those chapters give us a far more realistic view of what is the true meaning of the Greek word helkuo.

ελκυω, ελκω
helkuo  helko
hel- koo’- o, hel’- ko
Probably akin to G138; to drag (literally or figuratively): – draw. Compare G1667.

God through His holy spirit deals with each of us as He sees fit, and I appreciate that you do see that God is sovereign and “it is not of him that wills but of God who shows mercy”.

Rom 9:16  So then [ it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

What I hope you can also see is that chastening and scourging are an absolutely essential part of that mercy for “every son who God receives”.
Psa 107 is a very graphic description of what God means by this Greek word helkuo.

Psa 107:24  These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
Psa 107:25  For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
Psa 107:26  They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
Psa 107:27  They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.
Psa 107:28  Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:29  He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are stil l.
Psa 107:30  Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Psa 107:31  Oh that [ men] would praise the LORD [ for] his goodness, and [ for] his wonderful works to the children of men!

There you have it. That is how helkuo works! God Himself raises the storms which “bring us to our wits end” and then He delivers us. ‘Drag’ just doesn’t sound that unbiblical to me, yet nothing you have said is untrue. He certainly does “by His moral, my spiritual, influence win over to Himself the hearts of all.” Those words just don’t have the force of Heb 12:6, or Psa 107:27, which seem much more in line with the concept of bringing us to Himself contrary to the will of our old man and at the cost of the total destruction of our old man.
I too, have been humbled and have had to retract my writings at times. I pray I am always willing to do so when the sum of God’s Word demonstrates the need to do so.
Let me know what you think, and so I too, am simply “forwarding this for your benefit.”

Your brother in search only of the Truth,

God bless you,

It is so refreshing to have an exchange with someone who is affected by the demonstration of the spirit and power of God’s Word.

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [ they] are spirit, and [ they] are life.

You are surprised that anyone who believes in free will would mention the Potter and the clay. I agree with you, but that is just a demonstration of how capable Christ is at blinding those who see. Christ is very good at what he does:

Joh 9:39  And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

I hope you can be with us in Cincinnati in May. It would be good to see you again.
Your brother in Christ,
Mike >

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