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Escape

The English word "escape" originated from a compound Latin word, ex, meaning out, and cappa, meaning a mantle, a cape (the English word "cape" originated from the same word). "Escape" literally means to go out of one's mantle, or to exit what covers us.

As is very often the case, a single English word, "escape," is used to translate a number of actual Hebrew and Greek words of the Holy Scriptures. For that reason, some understanding of the original words is important because the original words were often more specific than any single "one size fits all" translation word (that applies not only to English, but all of the languages that the Holy Bible has been translated).

In the Old Testament, a number of Hebrew words are rendered as "escape." The two most common are (pronounced) naw-thawts, which means to tear down, or to pull down, and pel-ay-taw which means deliverance, or to deliver someone out of something or somewhere.

In the New Testament the words most-often translated as "escape" are (pronounced) ek-fyoo-go, which means to flee out of and dee-af-yoo-go, which means to flee through (notice the more specialized definitions of those two words that have been translated as "escape" - both mean to flee, but one means to flee out of something, while the other means to flee through something). Two other Greek words that are translated as "escape" are ek-basis, which means a way of escape and fyoo-go which means to flee away, or to vanish.

"A way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it"

Lot and his family were given an escape out of Sodom; the only one who didn't make it was Lot's wife who longed to return to the physical beauty of the city (Sodom was as physically beautiful as the Garden of Eden had been i.e. "13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD" Genesis 13:10 KJV), while ignoring the behavioral ugliness that was rampant there ("18:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous" Genesis 18:20 KJV; see The Day That Christ Incinerated Sodom).

The Holy Scriptures

"19:15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

19:16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. 19:17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed." (Genesis 19:15-17 KJV)

Most of his Psalms were written by David after he escaped either Saul during The Civil War, or during the times when David had been forced to flee the city after a coup staged by one of his own sons (see Absalom).

"19:10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night." (1 Samuel 19:10 KJV)

It wasn't the city that David had escaped; it was the violence (mostly from Saul) and the strife (from David's own rebellious family).

"55:5 Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. 55:6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. 55:7 Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.

55:8 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. 55:9 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen Violence and Strife in the city." (Psalm 55:5-9 KJV)

When the Israelites (in both north and south - see The Northern Kingdom and The Southern Kingdom) became so corrupt that they would soon have destroyed themselves with their own corruption and immorality, the LORD took away their sovereignty and sent them into exile to escape the destruction that they were inflicting upon themselves.

"6:6 In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. 6:7 And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

6:8 Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries." (Ezekiel 6:6-8 KJV)

The Messiah's warning to those who knew better (see The Unpardonable Sin) was in plain language.

"23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matthew 23:33 KJV)

Salvation is about Deliverance - in which we must do our part for the escape to happen.

"21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:34-36 KJV)

Hypocrisy is a barrier to escape. It denies that an escape is necessary - and so it may not happen for those who think that they are already "saved."

"2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things [see also Is The Holy Bible 'Hate Literature'?]. 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God." (Romans 2:1-11 KJV)

The way of escape is always open; the LORD "will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able."

"10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 KJV)

The greatest danger to those with whom the escape is in progress is to be drawn back down into a false escape in which the only chance for true freedom will be lost.

"2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." (2 Peter 2:19-21 KJV)

Fact Finder: How does the Holy Spirit enable the beginning of a process of development toward a new birth - an escape from carnality?
See When 'Born Again' Means 'Conceived Again'


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