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Disputes (3163) (mache from machomai = to fight - this word is used for physical combat, especially military) when used literally refers to physical combat or a contest fought with weapons = battle, conflict, fight. The idea is a serious clash or conflict, and can be either physical or non-physical. It pictures violent personal relationships. The antithesis of mache is the derivative Greek word amachos which according to Vine originally meant "invincible" (incapable of being conquered, overcome or subdued) but then came to mean a "non fighter", one who is reluctant to fight and who is not always looking for a fight (especially of a verbal nature). Not quarrelsome (not apt or disposed to quarrel in an often petty manner = stresses an ill-natured readiness to fight without good cause). This person is not contentious and so does not exhibit an often perverse and wearisome tendency (even a fondness) for arguing, quarreling and disputing. You usually know who these folks are! Amachos refers not so much to physical violence as to a quarrelsome person. To have a contentious person in leadership will result in disunity and disharmony, seriously hindering the effectiveness of that leadership team. Wuest says that amachos describes a person "who does not go about with a chip on his shoulder." Amachos is in the list of qualifications of an overseer, where Paul records that a candidate should not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. (1Ti 3:3) All the NT uses of mache are figurative and in the plural referring to battles fought with words not weapons (although the tongue can certainly be a vicious weapon of sorts!) - disputes, fightings, quarrels, strife. Mache is thought by some lexicons to be the source of the word machaira (“sword”). NIDNTT writes that mache etc. (from Homer), originally meant hand to hand combat, first of all in war, but then also in sport. It has also in addition the neutral sense of to quarrel, wrangle, contend. Mache is used only 4 times (here in Titus 3:9) in the NT... 2Co 7:5 For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts (mache) without, fears within. (Comment: Paul came to Troas in search of Titus. Instead of relief Paul found conflicts - probably refers to those in Macedonia who did not welcome Paul and in fact wanted to get rid of him) 2Timothy 2:23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. (see note) James 4:1 What is the source of quarrels ("the wars" KJV = polemos = warfare) and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? (Comment: Polemos pictures the chronic state or continuous campaign of war while mache presents the separate conflicts or battles of the war in general.) Mache - 17x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) - Ge 13:7-8; Jos 4:13; Jdg 20:38; 2 Sam 22:44; Job 38:23; Pr 15:18; 17:1, 14, 19; 25:8, 10; 26:20, 21; 30:32, 33; Isa 58:4). The LXX uses refer to both physical or non-physical conflicts. Genesis 13:7 And there was strife (LXX = mache) between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. Now the Canaanite and the Perizzite were dwelling then in the land. 8 Then Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife (LXX = mache) between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. Joshua 4:13 about 40,000, equipped for war (LXX = mache), crossed for battle before the LORD to the desert plains of Jericho. 2 Samuel 22:44 "Thou hast also delivered me from the contentions (Hebrew = rib = strife, disputes; LXX = mache) of my people; Thou hast kept me as head of the nations; A people whom I have not known serve me. Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife (LXX = mache), But the slow to anger pacifies contention. Proverbs 17:1 Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it Than a house full of feasting with strife (LXX = mache). Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. Proverbs 17:19 He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction. Proverbs 26:20 For lack of wood the fire goes out, And where there is no whisperer, contention (LXX = mache) quiets down. 21 Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife. (LXX = mache) Proverbs 30:33 For the churning of milk produces butter, And pressing the nose brings forth blood; So the churning of anger produces strife. A related Greek word, polemos, from which we get the English “polemics (an aggressive attack on or refutation of opinions or principles of another)” relates to general, prolonged, and serious disputing or combat and is often rendered “war". In comparison, mache represents the separate conflicts or battles of the war in general. (cf use of both words in James 4:1 below). These word fights are over the Law of Moses presumably as it relates to Christians, a battle which was settled on the Cross, when Jesus took upon Himself the curse that the Law decreed for sin. FOR THEY ARE UNPROFITABLE AND WORTHLESS: eisin (3PPAI) gar anopheleis kai mataioi: (Job 15:3; 1Corinthians 8:1; 13:2; 2Timothy 2:14) These things listed above produce no spiritual benefit. They are useless and morally fruitless, and hence unworthy of time and serious consideration.

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