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Returned (1994) (epistrepho from epí = motion toward + strepho = twist, turn quite around or reverse) means to revert, to turn about, to turn around, to turn toward, to return and figuratively to convert. The idea is a definite turn to God in conduct as well as in one's mind. Study the 39 uses below and note the association with repentance and conversion. Thayer's extended definition... 1. transitively, a. “to turn to”: to the worship of the true God, Acts 26:20. b. “to cause to return, to bring back”; figuratively, to the love and obedience of God, Luke 1:16;, to love for the children, Luke 1:17; that they may be in (R. V. to walk “in”) the wisdom of the righteous, Luke 1:17; 2. intransitive a. “to turn,” “to turn oneself”: of Gentiles passing over to the religion of Christ, Acts 9:35; 11:21; 14:15; 15:19; 26:20, cf. 1Peter 2:25; Acts 9:40; 1Thessalonians 1:9; 2Corinthians 3:16; Acts 26:18. b. “to turn oneself about, turn back”: absolutely, Acts 16:18; followed by an infinitive expressing purpose, Revelation 1:12. c. “to return, turn back, come back”; [α]. properly: Luke 2:20 Rec.; 8:55; Acts 15:36; with the addition of οπισω (as in Aelian v. h. 1, 6 (variant)), followed by an infinitive of purpose, Matthew 24:18: followed by εις with the accusative of place, Matthew 12:44; (Luke 2:39 T WH Tr marginal reading); εις τα οπισω, Mark 13:16; Luke 17:31; επι τι, “to,” 2 Peter 2:22. [β]. metaphorically: Galatians 4:9; Luke 17:4, to leave the commandment and turn back to a worse mental and moral condition, 2Peter 2:21 R G; absolutely, to turn back morally, “to reform”: Matthew 13:15; Mark 4:12; Luke 22:32; Acts 3:19; 28:27. In the middle and 2 aorist passive a. “to turn oneself about, to turn around”: absolutely, Matthew 9:22 R G; Mark 5:30; 8:33; John 21:20. d. “to return”: followed by pros (WH text epi) tina, Matthew 10:13, 1Peter 2:25 (see 2a. above); to return to a better mind, repent, John 12:40 Epistrepho is used 39 times in the NAS and is translated: back, 3; return, 6; returned, 3; returns, 2; take back, 1; turn, 8; turn back, 1; turned, 6; turned again, 1; turned around, 1; turning, 2; turning around, 2; turns, 2; turns...back, 1. There are 22" class="scriptRef">22" class="scriptRef">" class="scriptRef">6" class="scriptRef">26.20" class="scriptRef">20" class="scriptRef">20" class="scriptRef">20" class="scriptRef">20.12" class="scriptRef">12.7" class="scriptRef">7" class="scriptRef">7" class="scriptRef">78.41" class="scriptRef">41" class="scriptRef">414 uses of epistrepho in the Septuagint (LXX) . 36.11.13" class="scriptRef">13" class="scriptRef">13" class="scriptRef">13" class="scriptRef">13.6" class="scriptRef">6.8" class="scriptRef">8" class="scriptRef">8.16" class="scriptRef">16" class="scriptRef">16" class="scriptRef">16" class="scriptRef">16.12" class="scriptRef">12" class="scriptRef">Gen 8:12; 14" class="scriptRef">14" class="scriptRef">14" class="scriptRef">14.21" class="scriptRef">21.32" class="scriptRef">21:32; 24" class="scriptRef">24" class="scriptRef">24.49" class="scriptRef">9" class="scriptRef">24:49; 44.11.13" class="scriptRef">13" class="scriptRef">44:13; 31" class="scriptRef">31" class="scriptRef">31.20" class="scriptRef">20" class="scriptRef">Exod 4:20; 22" class="scriptRef">22" class="scriptRef">5:22; 18" class="scriptRef">18" class="scriptRef">18.26" class="scriptRef">26" class="scriptRef">26" class="scriptRef">26.23" class="scriptRef">23" class="scriptRef">23" class="scriptRef">7:23; 16:10; 15" class="scriptRef">15" class="scriptRef">15" class="scriptRef">15" class="scriptRef">15.19" class="scriptRef">19" class="scriptRef">19" class="scriptRef">19.34" class="scriptRef">34" class="scriptRef">34" class="scriptRef">34.31" class="scriptRef">34:31; 36" class="scriptRef">Num 10:36; 25" class="scriptRef">25" class="scriptRef">25" class="scriptRef">14:25; 16:50; 33" class="scriptRef">33" class="scriptRef">33" class="scriptRef">21:33; 23:5; Deut 1:7, 24, 40" class="scriptRef">40; 2:1, 3, 8; 3:1; 4:30, 39" class="scriptRef">39" class="scriptRef">39" class="scriptRef">39; 9:15; 10:5; 28" class="scriptRef">28.60" class="scriptRef">28:60; 30:2, 8, 9, 10; 18" class="scriptRef">31:18, 20; Josh 7:12; 27" class="scriptRef">27" class="scriptRef">19:27, 34; Jdg 6:14, 18; 7:3; 8:13, 33; 9:56, 57; 11:8f, 13, 31, 35" class="scriptRef">35, 39; 15:4, 19; 18:21, 23, 26; 19:3; 20:8, 41, 48; 21:14; Ruth 1:7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 22; 4:3, 15; 1Sa 4:19; 7:3; 10:9; 14:21, 26f; 15:12; 22:18; 26:21, 23; 30:19; 2 Sam 2:22; 3:12, 26f; 6:20; 10:5; 11:1; 12:23, 31; 14:13, 21; 15:8, 37" class="scriptRef">19f, 25, 27, 34; 16:3, 8, 12; 17" class="scriptRef">17" class="scriptRef">17.3" class="scriptRef">17:3; 18:30; 19:10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 39, 43; 1 Kgs 2:33; 8:33, 44, 47f; 12:21, 26f; 13:4, 6, 9, 11, 16, 17, 18, 22f, 26, 29" class="scriptRef">29" class="scriptRef">29, 33; 17:21; 18:43; 19:6f; 20:9, 22, 26; 22:27f, 34; 2 Kgs 1:5f; 2:13, 25; 3:4, 27; 4:22, 31, 35, 38; 5:10, 14f, 21, 26; 7:8, 15; 8:3, 6, 29; 9:18f, 23, 36; 13:25; 14:22, 28; 16:6, 18; 17:3; 19:8f; 20:5, 9, 10, 11; 21:3; 22:9, 20; 23:16, 20, 25, 34; 24:1; 1 Chr 10:14; 12:19; 16:43; 21:20; 2 Chr 6:3, 24, 26, 37f; 10:12; 11:1; 12:11; 14:15; 15:4; 18:26f, 33; 19:4; 20:27; 22:6; 24:19; 25:10, 24; 26:2, 20; 28:15; 30:6, 9; 31:1; 33:3, 13, 19; 35:19; 36:10, 13; Ezra 2:1; 6:22; 9:14; 10:16; Neh 1:9; 2:6, 15, 20; 4:4, 15; 5:11; 7:6; 8:17; 9:17, 26, 28f; 13:9; Esther 6:12; 7:8; Job 7:10; 22:23; 30:15; 33:23; 36:10; Ps 6:4; 7:7, 12, 16; 14:7; 19:7; 22:27; 23:3; 51:13; 53:6; 56:9; 59:6, 14; 60:1; 68:22; 71:20f; 73:10; 78:34, 39, 41; 80:3, 7, 14, 19; 85:4, 6, 8; 90:2, 13; 94:15; 104:9, 29; 116:7; 119:59, 79; 126:1, 4; 146:4; Prov 17:8; Eccl 1:6f; 2:20; 3:20; 4:1, 7; 5:15; 9:11; 12:2, 7; Song 6:13; Isa 6:10; 19:22; 31:6; 44:22; 45:13, 22; 46:8; 49:6; 55:7; 63:15, 17; Jer 2:24; 3:10, 12, 14, 22; 4:1; 5:3; 6:9; 8:4f; 9:5; 11:10; 12:15, 17; 15:19; 18:8; 22:10; 24:7; 27:16; 28:6; 31:16, 18; 32:33, 37; 33:7; 34:10, 15f, 22; 42:12; 44:14, 28; 47:3; 50:9; Lam 1:11f, 16, 19; 2:8, 14; 3:3, 40; 5:21; Ezek 1:9, 12, 17; 7:13; 10:11, 16; 14:6; 18:30; 26:2; 34:4, 16; 35:2; 38:12; 42:17, 18, 19; 44:1; Dan 4:34, 36; 9:25; 10:8, 20; 11:9f, 13, 15, 18f, 28, 29, 30; Hos 2:7, 9; 3:5; 5:4, 15; 6:1, 11; 7:10; 11:5; 12:6; 14:1f, 7; Joel 2:12, 13, 14; 3:1; Amos 4:6, 8, 9, 10; 9:14; Jonah 1:13; Mic 5:3; 7:19; Zeph 3:20; Hag 2:17; Zech 1:3, 16; 4:1; 5:1; 6:1; 8:3; 10:9, 10; Mal 1:4; 2:6; 3:7, 18 Epistrepho is used some 18 times (out of 39 uses) with a figurative spiritual meaning. Matthew 10:13 "And if the house is worthy, let your greeting of peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your greeting of peace return to you. Matthew 12:44 "Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came'; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Matthew 13:15 For the heart of this people has become dull, And with their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes Lest they should see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I should heal them.' (Note: Here we see a picture of repentance.) Matthew 24:18 and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. (Note: Turning back in this context is literal but also is ultimately a manifestation of a spiritual decision). Mark 4:12 in order that while seeing, they may see and not perceive; and while hearing, they may hear and not understand lest they return and be forgiven." (Note: Here we again see a picture of repentance.) Mark 5:30 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?" Mark 8:33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's." Mark 13:16 and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. (Note: This turning back of course is ultimately a manifestation of a spiritual decision). Luke 1:16 "And he will turn back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. (Note: Here again we see a picture of repentance.) Luke 1:17 "And it is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous; so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (Note: Disobedience is clearly associated with the unrighteousness. Genuine faith always obeys, albeit imperfectly in this life but perfectly in the one to come!) Luke 2:39 And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth. Luke 8:55 And her spirit returned, and she rose immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. Luke 17:4 "And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him." Luke 17:31 "On that day, let not the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house go down to take them away; and likewise let not the one who is in the field turn back. Luke 22:32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." (Note: Here epistrepho is virtually synonymous with repentance, a change of heart and mind leading to a change of conduct.) John 21:20 Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His breast at the supper, and said, "Lord, who is the one who betrays You?" Acts 3:19 "Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; (Note: Here epistrepho is clearly associated with repentance.) Acts 9:35 And all who lived at Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. Acts 9:40 But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body, he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. Acts 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord. (Note: Again we see a picture of repentance.) Acts 14:15 and saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you in order that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them. (Note: Again we see a picture of repentance.) Acts 15:19 "Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, Acts 15:36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are." Acts 16:18 And she continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" And it came out at that very moment. Acts 26:18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.' (Note: Here again we see a picture of repentance.) Acts 26:20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance. (Note: Here again we see a picture of repentance.) Acts 28:27 For the heart of this people has become dull, And with their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes; Lest they should see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I should heal them."' 2Corinthians 3:16 but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Galatians 4:9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? 1Thessalonians 1:9-note For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, James 5:19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, James 5:20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 2:25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. 2 Peter 2:22-note It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A dog returns to its own vomit," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire." Revelation 1:12-note And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands Epistrepho is used frequently in the NT to describe a sinner’s turning to God, especially in the book of Acts (Click the 8 verses that use epistrepho figuratively of turning in their hearts to God and the 3 verses that speak of turning or returning in a physical sense) At the end of his second sermon at the Temple in the so-called portico of Solomon, Peter proclaimed to his Jewish audience Repent (change your mind and let it issue in changed behavior) therefore and return (epistrepho - turn around), that your sins may be wiped away (completely - pictures wiping of ink off a document), in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19, 20) It Is Well with My Soul Click to play hymn My sin, O, the bliss of this glorious thought, My sin not in part but the whole Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! - Horatio Spafford In Paul's letter to the Thessalonians we get an excellent picture of the figurative meaning of epistrepho. Paul writes to those previously pagan idol worshippers who had become believers describing how (they) turned to (epistrepho) God from idols to serve a living and true God". (1Th 1:9-note) In short, epistrepho means turning from dead, hopeless, worthless idols to the living and true God. It’s that look that melted Peter, It’s that face that Stephen saw, It’s that heart that wept with Mary, Can alone from idols draw. —Ora Rowan In Acts we read that after Stephen's martyrdom and the dispersion of the young church from Jerusalem men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks (Jews evangelizing Gentiles!) also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of (pictures His power) the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to (epistrepho) the Lord. (Acts 11:20, 21) Jesus' apostolic commission to Paul upon was to go to the Gentiles that he might open their eyes so that they may turn from (epistrepho) darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me." (Acts 26:18). Epistrepho is found 416 times in Septuagint (LXX - Greek translation of the Hebrew OT) where it frequently translates the ideas of restore, return, repent. For example David declares that The law of the LORD is perfect (Heb = blameless, complete), restoring (Lxx = epistrepho = converting, restoring) the soul. (Ps 19:7-note) Luke uses epistrepho in his description of John the Baptist who will turn back (epistrepho) many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. (Lk 1:16) See Harry Ironside's book - Except Ye Repent by Harry A. Ironside From Ironside's introduction to this treatise... Fully convinced in my own mind that the doctrine of repentance is the missing note in many otherwise orthodox and fundamentally sound circles today, I have penned this volume out of a full heart. I hope and pray that God will be pleased to use it to awaken many of His servants to the importance of seeking so to present His truth as to bring men to the only place where He can meet them in blessing. That place is the recognition of their own demerit and absolute unworthiness of His least mercies and a new conception of His saving power for all who come to Christ as lost sinners, resting alone upon His redemptive work for salvation, and depending upon the indwelling Holy Spirit to make them victorious over sin's power in daily life. Since many of the uses of epistrepho refer to conversion it behooves us to have proper understanding of that term. George Peters offers the following description... Conversion is that principal act of faith in which the soul by the initiative and the enablement of the Holy Spirit on the basis of the finished work of Christ on Calvary and in response to the Word of God voluntarily turns to God from sin and ungodliness and enters into an abiding relationship with the Lord which vitally and permanently affects life in its various aspects and relationships and leads to its eventual and complete restoration. Our definition establishes the following principles: (1) Conversion is a principal act of faith; (2) Conversion is an act of the soul by the initiative and the enablement of the Holy Spirit; (3) Conversion is based upon the finished work of Christ on Calvary; (4) Conversion is an act of the soul in response to the Word of God; (5) Conversion is a voluntary act; (6) Conversion is an act of turning to God from sin and ungodliness; (7) Conversion is an act which results in a relationship with the Lord; (8) Conversion is an act which vitally affects life in its various aspects and relationships; (9) Conversion is an act which leads to a process in the restoration of life. These principles are illustrated by the various Biblical records on conversion. Conversion is essentially a turning to God and a turning away from sin. The two elements are unusually expressed by the two Biblical terms of faith and repentance. It is very important to realize that the Bible emphasizes both aspects, although the emphasis upon the positive definitely outweighs the negative, far more passages speaking of turning to God than turning away from sin. It must be understood, however, that both aspects are always present, the one expressed, the other implied. They form an indissoluble unit in a Biblical conversion. (Peters, George: The Meaning of Conversion. Volume 120, Issue 479, page 240. Dallas TX: Dallas Theological Seminary) TO THE SHEPHERD: poimena: (1Peter 5:4 [note]; Ps 23:1, 2, 3; 80:1; Song 1:7,8; Isa 40:11; Ezek 34:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,23,24; 37:24; Zech 13:7; Jn 10:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; Heb 13:20) "Copy and paste the address below into your web browser in order to go to the original page which will allow you to access live links related to the material on this page - these links include Scriptures (which can be read in context), Scripture pop-ups on mouse over, and a variety of related resources such as Bible dictionary articles, commentaries, sermon notes and theological journal articles related to the topic under discussion."

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