. Make a Donation

Index Page
About The Author
Bible Quiz
Holy Day Calendar
Free Online Bibles
Bible Reading Plan

Quick Search the thousands of Bible studies on this website.
Just type in topic word(s) or a question.
Get Daily Bible Study on Facebook
Get Daily Bible Study on Twitter

Striving For Strife

The English word "strife," which is usually defined as a lack of agreement, or a state of conflict, originated from an old Icelandic word, strith, which meant war. The English word "strive," which is defined as "attempt by employing effort," is actually just a later variant spelling of strife.

"Strife" and "strive" are used to translate a single Hebrew word, pronounced reeb, which means to contest, or to wrangle. An example:

"13:7 And there was a strife [i.e. the Hebrew word, pronounced reeb] between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle" (Genesis 13:7 KJV)

"26:20 And the herdmen of Gerar did strive [i.e. the Hebrew word, pronounced reeb] with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is ours" (Genesis 26:20 KJV)

"It is an honour for a man to cease from strife"

It takes two opposing hands to make a clapping noise; it takes two opposing sides for strife. Not all strife can be avoided, but most can - simply by not wasting your precious time responding to someone while they choose to behave in a belligerent manner toward you. Pray for their repentance and healing, but until that has genuinely happened, don't be baited into a strife ambush; don't have any contact with someone who abuses you i.e. "22:10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease" (Proverbs 22:10 KJV).

The Good Shepherd

"10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins." (Proverbs 10:12 KJV)

"15:18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife." (Proverbs 15:18 KJV)

"16:28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer [see The Whisperer] separateth chief friends. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good." (Proverbs 16:28-29 KJV)

"17:1 Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife." (Proverb's 17:1 KJV)

"17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with." (Proverb's 17:14 KJV)

"17:19 He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction." (Proverbs 17:19 KJV)

"20:3 It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling." (Proverbs 20:3 KJV)

"26:20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. 26:21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife." (Proverbs 26:20-21 KJV)

"30:33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife." (Proverbs 30:33 KJV)

Creating, or needlessly responding to strife (which is itself creating strife), is sinful and anti-Christian. It's evil: "strife ... they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (see Galatians 5:19-21 quoted below).

"3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" (1 Corinthians 3:3 KJV)

"13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed [see When Will You Be Judged? and Could Christ Return Tonight?]. 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." (Romans 13:10-14 KJV)

"12:20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, Backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: 12:21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and Lasciviousness which they have committed." (2 Corinthians 12:20-21 KJV)

"5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)

The spirit of strife cannot be permitted to poison God's children; they must instead "in meekness instruct those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth."

"2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, Charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth" (2 Timothy 2:22-25 KJV)

James made the direct, literal-meaning connection between "war" and "strife."

"3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish [see Devils]. 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality [see Face Value], and without hypocrisy. 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:13-18 KJV)

"4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 14:1-7 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was the apostle Paul's response to being "goaded"?
See Paul's Thorn

Bible Quiz Daily Bible Study Library
Thousands of Studies!

Jesus Christ
Bible History
Christian Living
Eternal Life
By The Book
Bible Places
The Spirit World