What the scriptures say about
HUMBLE: Right with God; Inferior to God; Modest; Lowly, Low in rank; Not his own, but God's
HUMILITY: State of being humble; Poor; Afflicted; Evil; Unworthy; Not self-satisfied
HUMILIATE: Humble, Disgrace
Easton's Bible Dictionary | International Standard Bible Encyclopedia | Thompson Chain Reference

HUMBLE in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

select Cross Reference Bible links
2 Chronicles 34:27 - because you have humbled yourself...
Isaiah 29:4 - you will be brought down...
Exodus 10:3 - "...How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go... "
Leviticus 26:41
Numbers 12:3 - (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 - Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

Romans 12:3 - For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,
but rather think of yourself with sober judgment,
in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

HUMILITY [Easton's Bible Dictionary]

A prominent Christian grace (Romans 12:3; 15:17,18; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7; 2 Corinthians 3:5; Philippians 4:11-13).

It is a state of mind well pleasing to God (1 Peter 3:4); it preserves the soul in tranquillity (Psalms 69:32,33), and makes us patient under trials (Job 1:22).

Christ has set us an example of humility (Philippians 2:6-8). We should be led thereto

by a remembrance of our sins (Lamentations 3:39),
and by the thought that it is the way to honour (Proverbs 16:18),
and that the greatest promises are made to the humble (Psalms 147:6; Isaiah 57:15; 66:2; 1 Peter 5:5).

It is a "great paradox in Christianity that it makes humility the avenue to glory."

HUMILIATION OF CHRIST [Easton's Bible Dictionary]

(Phil 2:8), seen in
(1) his birth (Galatians 4:4; Luke 2:7; John 1:46; Hebrews 2:9),
(2) his circumstances,
(3) his reputation (Isaiah 53; Matthew 26:59,67; Psalms 22:6; Matthew 26:68),
(4) his soul (Psalms 22:1; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 22:44; Hebrews 2:17,18; 4:15),
(5) his death (Luke 23; John 19; Mark 15:24,25),
(6) and his burial (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57,58,60).

His humiliation was necessary

(1) to execute the purpose of God (Acts 2:23,24; Psalms 40:6-8),
(2) fulfil the Old Testament types and prophecies,
(3) satisfy the law in the room of the guilty (Isaiah 53; Hebrews 9:12,15), procure for them eternal redemption,
(4) and to show us an example.

HUMILITY [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

hu-mil'-i-ti (~[`anawah]; tapeinophrosune):

(1) The noun occurs in the Old Testament only in Proverbs 15:33; 18:12; 22:4,

but the adjective "humble" appears frequently as the translation of `ani, `anaw, shaphal, meaning also "poor," "afflicted";

the verb, as the translation of `anah, "to afflict," "to humble," and of kana`, "to be or become humbled"; tsana`, "to be lowly," occurs in Micah 6:8.

For "humble" (Psalms 9:12; 10:12) the Revised Version (British and American) has "poor"; Psalms 10:17; 34:2; 69:32, "meek"; for "humbled" (Psalms 35:13), "afflicted" (Isaiah 2:11; 10:33), "brought low"; for "He humbleth himself" (Isaiah 2:9) "is brought low," margin "humbleth himself"; Psalms 10:10, "boweth down"; tapeinophrosune is translated "humility" (Colossians 2:18,23; 1 Peter 5:5); in several other places it is translated "lowliness" and "lowliness of mind"; tapeinos is translated "humble" (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5; elsewhere "lowly," etc.; 1 Peter 3:8, tapeinophron), the Revised Version (British and American) "humble-minded"; tapeinoo, "to humble," occurs frequently (Matthew 18:4; 23:12, etc.); tapeinosis is "humiliation" (Acts 8:33); for "vile body" (Philippians 3:21) the Revised Version (British and American) gives "body of our humiliation."


(a) In the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament, humility is an essential characteristic of true piety, or of the man who is right with God.
God humbles men in order to bring them to Himself (Deuteronomy 8:2-3, etc.),

and it is when men humble themselves before Him that they are accepted (1 Kings 21:29; 2 Chronicles 7:14, etc.);

to "walk humbly with thy God" completes the Divine requirements (Micah 6:8).

In Psalms 18:35 (2 Samuel 22:36) the quality is ascribed to God Himself,
"Thy gentleness (or condescension) hath made me great."

Of "him that hath his seat on high" it is said, (Hebrew) "humbleth (shaphel) himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth" (Psalms 113:6).

It is in the humble heart that "the high and lofty One, .... whose name is Holy" dwells (Isaiah 57:15; compare Isaiah 66:2).

(b) The word tapeinophrosune is not found in classical Greek (Lightfoot); in the New Testament (with the exception of 1 Peter 5:5) it is Pauline. In Greek pre-Christian writers tapeinos is, with a few exceptions in Plato and Platonic writers, used in a bad or inferior sense -- as denoting something evil or unworthy.

The prominence it gained in Christian thought indicates the new conception of man in relation to God, to himself, and to his fellows, which is due to Christianity. It by no means implies slavishness or servility; nor is it inconsistent with a right estimate of oneself, one's gifts and calling of God, or with proper self-assertion when called for.

But the habitual frame of mind of a child of God is that of one who feels not only that he owes all his natural gifts, etc., to God, but that he has been the object of undeserved redeeming love, and who regards himself as being not his own, but God's in Christ. He cannot exalt himself, for he knows that he has nothing of himself. The humble mind is thus at the root of all other graces and virtues.

Self-exaltation spoils everything.

There can be no real love without humility. "Love," said Paul, "vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up" (1 Corinthians 13:4).
As Augustine said,
humility is first, second and third in Christianity.

(c) Jesus not only strongly impressed His disciples with the need of humility, but was in Himself its supreme example.

He described Himself as "meek and lowly (tapeinos) in heart" (Matthew 11:29).
The first of the Beatitudes was to "the poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3),
and it was "the meek" who should "inherit the earth.
Humility is the way to true greatness:
he who should "humble himself as this little child" should be "the greatest in the kingdom of heaven";
"Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled; and whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted" (Matthew 18:4; 23:12; Luke 14:11; 18:14).
To the humble mind truth is revealed (Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21).
Jesus set a touching example of humility in His washing His disciples' feet (John 13:1-17).

(d) Paul, therefore, makes an earnest appeal to Christians (Philippians 2:1-11) that they should cherish and manifest the Spirit of their Lord's humility -- "in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself," and adduces the supreme example of the self-emptying (kenosis) of Christ:

"Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus," etc.
The rendering of heauton ekenosen (Philippians 2:7 the King James Version) by "he humbled himself" has given rise to the designation of the Incarnation as "the Humiliation of Christ."

(e) There is a false humility which Paul warns against, a self-sought, "voluntary humility" (Colossians 2:18,23). This still exists in many forms, and has to be guarded against. It is not genuine humility when we humble ourselves with the feeling that we are greater than others, but only when we do not think of self at all.

It is not alone the sense of sin that should create the humble spirit: Jesus had no sin.

It belongs not merely to the creature, but even to a son in relation to God.

There may be much self-satisfaction where sinfulness is confessed. We may be proud of our humility. It is necessary also always to beware of "the pride that apes humility."

W. L. Walker

HUMBLE, HUMIILITY (and more) [Thompson Chain Reference]
# Leaders, examples of

    * Moses
          o Exodus 3:11
    * Gideon
          o Judges 6:15
    * King Saul
          o 1 Samuel 9:21
    * King David
          o 1 Samuel 18:18
    * King Solomon
          o 1 Kings 3:7
    * Isaiah
          o Isaiah 6:5
    * Jeremiah
          o Jeremiah 1:6
    * John the Baptist
          o Matthew 3:14
    * SEE Humility

# Penitence, examples of

    * Ahab
          o 1 Kings 21:29
    * Rehoboam and the Princes
          o 2 Chronicles 12:6
    * Manasseh
          o 2 Chronicles 33:12
    * Josiah
          o 2 Chronicles 34:27
    * The Prodigal Son
          o Luke 15:18
    * The Publican
          o Luke 18:13
    * SEE Contrition
    * SEE Repentance
    * SEE Prayer

# Service

    * Matthew 10:42
    * John 12:3
    * Acts 20:18
    * Acts 20:19 
# Promises Concerning Humility

    * Proverbs 16:19
    * Proverbs 22:4
    * Proverbs 29:23
    * Isaiah 57:15
    * Matthew 18:4
    * Luke 18:14
    * SEE Contrition
    * SEE Humble, Promises to
    * SEE Repentance

# Enjoined

    * Micah 6:8
    * Luke 14:10
    * Luke 22:26
    * Romans 11:20
    * Romans 12:3
    * Philippians 2:5
    * James 4:10
    * 1 Peter 5:5
    * SEE Contrition
    * SEE Repentance

# General Examples of

    * Jacob
          o Genesis 32:10
    * King Saul
          o 1 Samuel 9:21
    * King David
          o 2 Samuel 7:18
    * King Solomon
          o 1 Kings 3:7
          o Psalms 131:1
    * John the Baptist
          o Matthew 3:14
    * The Centurion
          o Matthew 8:8
    * The Syrophenician Woman
          o Matthew 15:27
          o John 1:27
    * Paul
          o 1 Timothy 1:15
    * SEE Confession of Sin
    * SEE Prayer
    * SEE Repentance
    * SEE Self-abasement 

# Examples of Men Humbling 
  themselves before Men

    * Genesis 41:16
    * 1 Samuel 18:18
    * 1 Samuel 24:14
    * 2 Samuel 9:8
    * Daniel 2:30
    * Luke 1:43
    * SEE Salutations 
# Humility Of Christ

    * General References to
          o Zechariah 9:9
          o Matthew 11:29
          o John 13:5
          o 2 Corinthians 8:9
          o Philippians 2:8
          o SEE Christ
          o SEE Incarnation
          o SEE Christ
          o SEE Christ 
    * He was Free from all Worldly Pride
          o Of Appearance He hath no form nor comeliness
                + Isaiah 53:2
          o Of Worldly success He is despised and rejected of men
                + Isaiah 53:3
          o Of Reputation He shall be called a Nazarene
                + Matthew 2:23
          o Of Riches He hath not where to lay his head
                + Matthew 8:20
          o Of Rank Is not this the carpenter's son?
                + Matthew 13:55
          o Of Kingship He washed the disciples' feet
                + John 13:5

# Penitential

    * (examples of)
    * Ahab
          o 1 Kings 21:29
    * Rehoboam and the Princes
          o 2 Chronicles 12:6
    * Manasseh
          o 2 Chronicles 33:12
    * Josiah
          o 2 Chronicles 34:27
    * The Prodigal Son
          o Luke 15:18
    * The Publican
          o Luke 18:13
    * SEE Contrition
    * SEE Repentance
    * SEE Prayer

# At Christ's Feet

    * Unfortunate Sufferers
          o Matthew 15:30
    * An Afflicted Father
          o Mark 5:22
          o Mark 5:23
    * A Sorrowing Mother
          o Mark 7:25
    * A Sinful Woman
          o Luke 7:37
          o Luke 7:38
    * A Healed Demoniac
          o Luke 8:35
    * A Seeker after Truth
          o Luke 10:39
    * A Bereaved Sister
          o John 11:32
    * A Reverent Worshipper
          o Revelation 1:17 

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