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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The New Testament Greek word: χηρα

Source: https://www.abarim-publications.com/DictionaryG/ch/ch-et-r-a.html

χηρα

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary

χηρα

The noun χηρα (chera) means widow. It stems from the same Proto-Indo-European root "geh-", to go or leave behind, as does our English verb to go (and the German gehen).

Although predominantly denoting a lady whose husband died, the classics would also use this word in a slightly broader sense, to describe general bereavement (specifically: a house bereaved of men), or even a dish without sauce (which reminds of the not-related but similar word ξηρα, xera, dry, as in a dry river bed or dry food as opposed to wine and oil).

In ancient languages, masculinity is the tendency to be individual whereas femininity is the tendency toward collectivity. This is why body parts of which there is one are usually masculine, whereas body parts that come in pairs are usually feminine. It's also the reason why God is masculine (God is one: Deuteronomy 6:4), and creation is feminine (creation consists of many creatures). The Hebrew word for people is the same as for mother, namely אם ('em), which means that Eve, the "mother" of all living, is what we moderns call the biosphere.

A king (or centralized government) is the masculine embodiment of the nation's constitutional law, whereas the people are the feminine embodiment of that same law. Our human world is of course positively crawling with kings without kingdoms: guys who know it all but can't get anybody to listen to them. The opposite is equally sad, namely a people whose king has died: whose law-giving and policy-making government has lost its ability to organically respond to the living nature of their ever evolving people.

A country whose laws are synchronous with the eternal laws of nature has no centralized government (but a decentralized self-government), and is thus the Bride of God (whose laws govern the whole of creation and never change). A country whose laws never change and are enforced from a central human government, is governed by a tombstone. That's a widow (Revelation 18:7).

Our noun χηρα (chera) occurs 27 times in the New Testament; see full concordance.

χωλος

The adjective χωλος (cholos) means lame. It probably derives from the unused verb χαλαω (chalao), to slacken or loosen (of bow strings, of one's grip, of a horse's reins, of things drawn closely together, of indulging in the demands of a persistent person), which in turn probably derives from the PIE root "geh-", to leave behind, we discussed above.

Lameness is the proverbial counterpart of blindness (see our article on the proverbial lame and blind: עור ופסח, 'iwwer wa piseah), since blindness was considered to be caused by excess (specifically of skin: a cataract, or generally by insensitivity due to wealth, obesity, laziness, and so on), whereas lameness was considered due to a lack of something (specifically of the strength in one's legs, or generally of the ability to assume a different position, to change one's mind: hyper-sensitivity or vulnerability due to poverty, bad health, fear, ignorance, and so on).

Corresponding to these two main forms of infirmity are two verbs of healing: θεραπευω (therapeuo) mostly refers to removal of an excess, insensitivity or coldness, whereas ιαομαι (iaomai) mostly refers to supplying what is lacking, restoring one's inner order, and giving courage and mobility.

Our adjective χωλος (cholos), lame, is used 15 times, mostly substantially, to describe the lame, the people that are lame; see full concordance.