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Greek Word Study - Deliver

Odysseus, on his famed journey in Greek mythology, was preparing to sail through a dangerous strait. On one side was a man-eating monster; on the other side was a great whirlpool.
“May you not be there when it sucks down,” he was warned, “for no one could deliver you from ruin.”

But nowadays “deliver” has become such a tame word. It’s what mailmen and pizza boys do. And so to pray for God to “deliver us from the evil one” (Matt 6:13), seems but a small favor. How much more exciting to call for “God to the rescue”!

Throughout the pages of Scripture, the Greek word rhyomai (HROO o my) is always found in the middle of excitement and peril. A sampling of the 141 uses of this word in the Greek O.T. shows people being saved—in the nick of time—from murder, enemies, blood, sword, captivity, snares, and destruction. While the term “deliver” was often used in older translations, the better choice is “rescue.” God's people were not merely moved or delivered out of the hands of the Egyptians, they were rescued!

In the N.T. the KJV translated all 17 uses of rhyomai as “deliver.” Recognizing the urgency of the circumstances where the word is used, the NIV has changed 10 of these to “rescue.” (We are “rescued” from wrath, from the dominion of darkness, from this body of death, etc.) I would urge you to consider using “rescue” in the other seven passages as well:

“Father, rescue us from the evil one” (Matt 6:13), just as you “rescued” Paul “from the mouth of the lion” (2 Tim 4:17). “Send the Rescuer from Zion” (Rom 11:26) so “that we may be rescued from wicked and evil men” (2 Thess 3:23). As with Paul, “you have rescued and will rescue us; may you continue to rescue us always” (2 Cor 1:10).”

Lord, don’t just make deliveries—rescue us!