Studying the Scriptures

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The word study in the KJV is translated from the following Greek word:

G4704 σπουδάζω spoudazō
Thayer Definition:
1) to hasten, make haste
2) to exert one’s self, endeavour, give diligence

The meaning of this word is to make effort towards something. Does this mean that Paul doesn’t really admonish Timothy to study the Scriptures? In order to fully understand the meaning of this verse, we must dig deeper into the etymology of this word “study”.

The Aramaic translations of this verse are as follows:
2Ti 2:15 And study to present thyself before God, perfectly, a laborer who is not ashamed, one who correctly announceth the word of truth.
2Ti 2:15 And be careful to establish thyself perfectly before Aloha, a workman without shame, preaching rightly the word of truth.

דתקים ‘datqeem’ means to stand…the meaning of the Aramaic ‘v’vaytbtayl lakh datqeem’ means to cease to stand…ie to sit (study).

Origin of the word “study”
c.1125, from O.Fr. estudier “to study” (Fr. étude), from M.L. studiare, from L. studium “study, application,” originally “eagerness,” from studere “to be diligent” (“to be pressing forward”), from PIE *(s)teu- “to push, stick, knock, beat”

Studium, Studi(I)
N – 2 4 N -

eagerness, enthusiasm, zeal, spirit; devotion, pursuit, study;

Studeo, Studere, Studui,
V – 2 1 -
desire, be eager for; busy oneself with; strive;

Jude states that we should earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.  Studying is one way of contending for that faith.

From Websters 1828
STUDY, n. [L., to study, that is, to set the thought or mind. See Assiduous.]

1. Literally, a setting of the mind or thoughts upon a subject; hence, application of mind of books, to arts or science, or to any subject, for the purpose of learning what is not before known.
ASSID’UOUS, a. [L. assiduus, from assideo, to sit close, ad and sedeo; Eng. to sit*.]

1. Constant in application; as a person assiduous in his occupation.

2. Attentive; careful; regular in attendance; as an assiduous physician or nurse.

3. Performed with constant diligence or attention; as assiduous labor.

Sitting to learn/teach

Mat 5:1 But seeing the crowds, He went up into the mountain, and seating Himself, His disciples came near to Him.
Luk 10:39 And to this one was a sister being called Mary, who also was sitting alongside, at the feet of Jesus, and heard His Word.
Mat 13:1 And going out from the house in that day, Jesus sat down by the sea.
Mat 13:2 And great crowds were gathered to Him, so that having entered the boat, He sat down. And all the crowd stood on the shore.
Mat 15:29 And moving from there, Jesus came beside the Sea of Galilee. And going up into the mountain, He sat there.
Mat 15:30 And great crowds came to Him, having with them lame ones, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others. And they flung them down at the feet of Jesus. And He healed them;
Mat 23:2 saying, The scribes and the Pharisees have sat down on Moses’ seat.
Mat 24:3 And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, Tell us, when will these things be? And, What is the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?
Mar 3:32 And a crowd sat around Him. And they said to Him, Behold, Your mother and Your brothers seek You outside.
Luk 4:20 And rolling up the scroll, returning it to the attendant, He sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
Joh 6:3 And Jesus went up into the mountain and sat there with His disciples.
Act 13:14 But going through from Perga, they came to Antioch-Pisidia, and going into the synagogue on the day of the sabbaths, they sat down.
Act 22:3 Indeed I am a man, a Jew having been born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but having been brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, having been trained according to the exactness of the ancestral law, being a zealous one of God, even as you all are today.

Eze 33:31 And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as My people. And they hear your words, but they do not do them. For they produce much love with their mouth, but their heart goes after their unjust gain.
the Targum, “and they come unto thee as the men the disciples come:”

Deu 33:3 Yes, He loves the peoples; all His holy ones are in Your hand; and they sit down at Your feet; He lifts up each at Your Words.
2Ki 4:38 And Elisha returned to Gilgal. And the famine was in the land. And the sons of the prophets were sitting before him. And he said to his young man, Set on the big pot and boil soup for the sons of the prophets.

John Gill commentary

Jose ben Joezer (a);

“let thy house be an house of resort for the wise men, and be thou dusting thyself, בעפר רגליהם, “with the dust of their feet”:”

which by one of their commentators (b) is interpreted two ways, either

“as if it was said that thou shouldst walk after them; for he that walks raises the dust with his feet, and he that goes after him is filled with the dust which he raises with his feet; or else that thou shouldst sit at their feet upon the ground, for so it was usual, that the master sat upon a bench, and the scholars sat at his feet upon the floor.” (a) Misn. Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 4. (b) Bartenora in Misn. Piske Abot, c. 1. sect. 4.

Deu 33:3 Yes, He loves the peoples; all His holy ones are in Your hand; and they sit down at Your feet; He lifts up each at Your Words.

The Targums interpret it of the feet of the cloud of glory, they pitching their tents where that rested, Num_9:17; some think it an allusion to scholars sitting at the feet of their masters to receive instructions from them, see Act_22:3; so the disciples and followers of Christ sit at his feet, attending on his word and ordinances with calmness and serenity of mind, with much spiritual pleasure and delight, and where they continue and abide; and which may denote their modesty and humility, their subjection to his ordinances, and readiness to receive his doctrines, and their perseverance in them, see Mar_5:15; the word signifies, in the Arabic language, to sit down at a table (e), and so the word is used in the Arabic version of Mat_8:11; and the ancient manner being reclining {this is the idea of ‘Sod’ in PaRDeS} the guests might be said to sit at the feet of each, especially at the feet of the master; so Christ sits at his table, and his people with him at his feet, Son_1:12,

All of the treasures of wisdom come forth from YHWH
Col 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
Col 2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Psa 111:2 The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.

Seeking YHWH by Studying His Word
Isa 55:6 Seek YHWH while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.


The Hebrew word for seek in this verse is דרש ‘d’rash’ where the word midrash (study) comes from:


To look for or search for something or for answers. דּרשׁ

The word מדרש ‘midrash’ is used 2 times in the Scriptures, both times being translated into the LXX as Biblos (Bible).

2Ch 13:22 And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the story (מדרש ‘midrash’) of the prophet Iddo.
2Ch 24:27 As to his sons, and the greatness of the burdens upon him, and the foundation of the house of God, behold, they are written in the inquiry (מדרש ‘midrash’) of the Book of the Kings. And his son Amaziah reigned in his place.

In the Apocryphal book of Sirach there is an interesting connection between studying and worship.

Sir 51:23 Draw near unto me, ye unlearned, and dwell in the house of learning.

‘house of study/learning’… This is translated as οἴκῳ παιδείας ‘oiko paideias’.

Studying the Torah=Kissing the Son?
Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Oh the blessings of all those who flee to Him for refuge!

Psa 2:12 δράξασθε παιδείας, μήποτε ὀργισθῇ κύριος καὶ ἀπολεῖσθε ἐξ ὁδοῦ δικαίας. ὅταν ἐκκαυθῇ ἐν τάχει ὁ θυμὸς αὐτοῦ, μακάριοι πάντες οἱ πεποιθότες ἐπ᾿ αὐτῷ.

English LXX translation
Psa 2:12 Accept (grasp, take by hand) correction (learning, training), lest at any time the Lord be angry, and you should perish from the righteous way. Whenever His wrath shall be suddenly kindled, blessed are all they that trust in Him.

Psa 2:12 נַשְּׁקוּ־בַ֡ר פֶּנ־יֶאֱנַ֤ף׀ וְתֹ֬אבְדוּ דֶ֗רֶךְ כִּֽי־יִבְעַ֣ר כִּמְעַ֣ט אַפֹּ֑ו אַ֝שְׁרֵ֗י כָּל־חֹ֥וסֵי בֹֽו׃

The translators of the Hebrew Scriptures connected learning with kissing (act of worship) the Son.

This is what discipleship is. Walking hand and hand with the Messiah as He teaches us and trains us.

The word for disciple comes from the Hebrew למד ‘lamad’ meaning to be yoked with Messiah.  Being a disciple is being a student who studies at the feet of His Master and walks with Him to learn of His ways.  The word מדרש ‘midrash’ comes from the root דר ‘dor’ which means to make a circle, as in treading out grain.  Studying the Scriptures with the guidance of the Holy Spirit is like walking in cycles of righteousness with our Master.

Act 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Act 17:12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

Prove/test/try all things
1Th 5:21 Test all things, hold fast the good.
1Jo 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world.

He pardons those who seek Him
2Ch 30:8 Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves (give the hand) unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
2Ch 30:9 For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.

Be Ready to give an answer
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
2Ti 4:2 preach the Word, be urgent in season, out of season, convict, warn, encourage with all long-suffering and teaching.
Col 4:6 Let your word be always with grace, having been seasoned with salt, to know how you ought to answer each one.
Isa 50:4 The Lord YHWH has given to Me the tongue of learned ones, to know to help the weary with a word. He arouses in the morning; He wakens the ear to Me, to hear as the learned.

Yahshua/Jesus gives us understanding
Luk 24:45 Then He opened up their mind to understand the Scriptures,
Luk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

Tremble at His Word
Isa 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Zeal w/out knowledge is not good
Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Ignorance no excuse
Luk 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Luk 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

We err if we don’t study diligently
Mat 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

We are to be Doers and Hearers of the Word
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Love is the most important thing because we will never have all the answers until Messiah comes back.
Job 11:7 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
Job 11:8 It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?
Rom 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

1Co 8:2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
1Co 8:3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

Eph 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Eph 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
Eph 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Better to Fear God than to have great wisdom
Sir 19:24 He that hath small understanding, and feareth God, is better than one that hath much wisdom, and transgresseth the law of the most High.

Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.