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suf'-er-ing: A great variety of Hebrew and Greek expressions, too large to be here enumerated, have been translated by "suffering" and other forms derived from the same verb. The most obvious meanings of the word are the following: (1) The commonest meaning perhaps in the English Versions of the Bible is "to permit," "to allow," "to give leave to": "Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away" (Mk 10:4). (2) "To experience," "to go through,"' "to endure": "I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him" (Mt 27:19). A woman "had suffered many things of many physicians" (Mk 5:26). Other common phrases are "to suffer affliction" (1 Thess 3:4; Heb 11:25, the Revised Version (British and American) "share ill-treatment"), "to suffer hardship" (2 Tim 2:9), "to suffer adversity" (Heb 13:3 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "to be ill-treated"), "to suffer dishonor" (the King James Version "shame," Acts 5:41), "to suffer violence," (Mt 11:12), "to suffer wrong" (Acts 7:24), "to suffer terror" (Ps 88:15), "to suffer shipwreck" (2 Cor 11:25), "to suffer hunger" (Ps 34:10; Prov 19:15), "to suffer thirst" (Job 24:11). (3) "To put up with," "to tolerate": the King James Version, "For ye suffer fools gladly (the Revised Version (British and American) "ye bear with the foolish gladly"), seeing ye yourselves are wise" (2 Cor 11:1,9). (4) "To undergo punishment": "Think ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they have suffered these things?" (Lk 13:2). (5) "To sustain loss": "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss" (1 Cor 3:15; also Phil 3:8). (6) "To suffer death." Here the clearest references are to the suffering or passion of Christ, which indeed includes the enduring of untold hardships and affliction, all of which culminate in His vicarious death for man (Mt 16:21; Mk 8:31; 9:12; Lk 9:22; 17:25; 22:15; 24:26,46; Acts 3:18; 17:3; 26:23; 1 Pet 3:18).
Suffering belongs to the discipline of all Christ's followers (Rom 8:17; 2 Cor 1:7; Gal 3:4; Phil 3:10; 1 Thess 2:2; 2 Thess 1:5; 2 Tim 2:12; 3:12; Jas 5:10; 1 Pet 2:20 f; 3:14,17; 4:1,13,16; 5:10). Such suffering is called a suffering for God's or Christ's sake (Jer 15:15; Acts 9:16; Phil 1:29; 2 Tim 1:12). This fellowship in suffering unites us with the saints of God in all times (Jas 5:10), and is indeed a fellowship with the Lord Himself (Phil 3:10), who uses this discipline to mold us more and more according to His character.
H. L. E. Luering
Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'suffering'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". - ISBE; 1915.

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