These are things that make me want to learn Greek.
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
I looked up fear and comfort on the Bible Web App and learned some amazing and wonderful stuff. Those two words were kind of hard for me. They feared the Lord but they were comforted by the Holy Spirit? Like as in comforted in their fear?
The word phobos is used in a lot of places like “They were afraid of the Jews” but in a lot of other places it is used to describe the feeling people had after an amazing miracle had just happened. They had fear when Jesus healed severely sick people or hopeless cases. They had fear when Jesus raised from the dead. The other strange definition of this word is “reverence for one’s husband.” That one right there is the bombshell. Read it that way.
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in reverence for it’s husband…it multiplied.
All of a sudden that verse goes from some strangeness of fear to the church growing in it’s relationship with the Lord. That makes sense if the next clause is that they are “in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.”
So let’s unpack that comfort. It’s the Greek word paraklēsis and it means comfort. It also means to draw near or to ask or request of. So the Holy Spirit is calling them closer, asking them and requesting things of them. It kind of fits a lot better doesn’t it?
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in reverence for it’s husband and by being drawn near and closer to God by the Holy Spirit, the church multiplied.