“My Yoke is Easy”

28 Come to me all [you who are] weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matt 11:28-30)

Expanding on some of the Greek words in this well-known passage:

v. 28, 29 “rest” (ἀνάπαυσις/ANAPAUSIS) “1. cessation from an activity in which one is engaged, stopping, ceasing, 2. cessation from wearisome activity for the sake of rest, rest, relief

v. 29 “gentle” (πραΰς/PRAUS) “not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s self-importance, gentle, humble, considerate, courteous“. Same word as in Matt 5:5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”

v. 29 “humble” (ταπεινός/TAPEINOS) “1. of low social status or relative inability to cope, lowly, undistinguished, of no account, 2. being servile in manner, pliant, subservient, a negative quality that would make one lose face in the Graeco-Roman world, as opposed to a free person’s demeanor, 3. pertaining to being unpretentious, humble”

v. 30 “easy” (χρηστός/ChRĒSTOS) “1. pertaining to that which causes no discomfort, easy, 2. meeting a relatively high standard of value, fine, 3. being morally good and benevolent. This meaning is in keeping with the Israelite and Hellenic ideal of morality as the exhibition of usefulness within the socio-political structure, 4. the quality of beneficence, kindness”

v. 30 “light” (ἐλαφρός/ELAPhRES) “1. having little weight, light in weight,  2. From the time of Homer, ‘quick, nimble’”

(Lightly edited from Danker, F.W., Bauer, W. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition. University of Chicago Press, 2001)