sarx: fleshOriginal Word: σάρξ, σαρκός, ἡPart of Speech:
flesh, body, human nature, materiality; kindred.
4561 sárksproperly, flesh ("carnal"), merely of human origin or empowerment.
[4561 /sárks ("flesh") is not always evil in Scripture. Indeed, it is used positively in relation to sexual intercourse in marriage (Eph 5:31) – as well as for the sinless human body of Jesus (Jn 1:14; 1 Jn 4:2,3). Indeed, flesh (what is physical) is necessary for the body to live out the faith the Lord works in (Gal 2:20).]
4561 (sarks) is generally negative, referring to making decisions (actions) according to self – i.e. done apart from faith (independent from God's inworking). Thus what is "of the flesh (carnal)" is by definition displeasing to the Lord – even things that seem "respectable!" In short, flesh generally relates to unaided human effort, i.e. decisions (actions) that originate from self or are empowered by self. This is carnal ("of the flesh") and proceeds out of the untouched (unchanged) part of us – i.e. what is not transformed by God.
NAS Exhaustive ConcordanceWord Origin
a prim. wordDefinition
bodily (1), bodily condition (1), body (2), earth (1), earthly (1), fellow countrymen (1), flesh (129), fleshly (4), life (3), man (1), mankind (1), nation (1), personally (1).
Thayer'sSTRONGS NT 4561: σάρξσάρξ
; hence, it seems to be derived from σύρω
, akin to σαίρω
, 'to draw,' 'to draw off,' and to signify what can be stripped off
from the bones (Etym. Magn.
708, 34; sed quis subsignabit
(Lob. Paralip., p. 111))), from Homer
down, Hebrew בָּשָׂר
1. properly, flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood) of both men and beasts: 1 Corinthians 15:39; plural — cf. the flesh of many beings, Revelation 19:18, 21; of the parts of the flesh of one, Luke 24:39 Tdf.; Revelation 17:16; accordingly, it is distinguished both from blood, σάρξ καί αἷμα (on which expression see below, 2 a.; 3 bis; 4 at the end (cf. Winer's Grammar, 19)), and from bones, πνεῦμα σάρκα καί ὀστέα οὐκ ἔχει, Luke 24:39 (οὐ γάρ ἔτι σάρκας τέ καί ὀστέα ἰνες ἔχουσιν, Homer, Odyssey 11,219). φαγεῖν τάς σάρκας τίνος: properly, Revelation 17:16; Revelation 19:18 (Leviticus 26:29; κατεσθίειν, 2 Kings 9:36, and often in the Sept.; in classical Greek frequently βιβρώσκειν σάρκας; σαρκῶν ἐδωδή, Plutarch, septem sap. couviv. c. 16); tropically, to torture one with eternal penal torments, James 5:3, cf. Micah 3:3; Psalm 26:2<10> (); φαγεῖν and τρώγειν τήν σάρκα τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, in figurative discourse, to appropriate to oneself the saving results of the violent death endured by Christ, John 6:52-56; ἀπέρχεσθαι or πορεύεσθαι ὀπίσω σαρκός, to follow after the flesh, is used of those who are on the search for persons with whom they can gratify their lust (see ὀπίσω, 2 a.), Jude 1:7; 2 Peter 2:10; τό σῶμα τῆς σαρκός, the body compacted of flesh (cf. Winer's Grammar, 188 (177)), Colossians 1:22. Since the flesh is the visible part of the body, σάρξ is
2. equivalent to the body, not designating it, however, as a skilful combination of related parts (`an organism,' which is denoted by the word σῶμα), but signifying the material or substance of the living body (cf. Aeschylus, Sept.622γέροντα τόν νοῦν σάρκα δ' ἡβωσαν φέρει);
a. universally, John 6:63 (see πνεῦμα, 2, p. 520a middle); Acts 2:26, 30 Rec.; 2 Corinthians 12:7; Galatians 4:14; Ephesians 5:29; Hebrews 9:10, 13; (1 Peter 3:21); Jude 1:8; μία σάρξ, one body, of husband and wife, Mark 10:8; so εἰς σάρκα μίαν (from Genesis 2:24), Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:8; 1 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 5:31; opposed to ψυχή, Acts 2:31 (ἔδωκεν ... Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν ... τήν σάρκα ὑπέρ τῆς σαρκός ἡμῶν καί τήν ψυχήν ὑπέρ τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν, Clement of Rome, 1 Cor. 49, 6 [ET] (cf. Irenaeus 5, 1, 1; but G L T Tr WH drop ἡ ψυχή αὐτοῦ in Acts, the passage cited)); opposed to πενυμα (the human), 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Colossians 2:5; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:6; σάρξ καί αἷμα, equivalent to ψυχικόν σῶμα, 1 Corinthians 15:50, cf. 1 Corinthians 15:44; ἡ περιτομή ἐν σαρκί, Romans 2:28; Ephesians 2:11; τό πρόσωπον μου ἐν σαρκί (A. V. my face in the flesh), my bodily countenance, Colossians 2:1; ἀσθένεια σαρκός, of disease, Galatians 4:13; ἐν τῇ θνητῇ σαρκί ἡμῶν, 2 Corinthians 4:11 (cf.ἐν τῷ σώματι ἡμῶν, 2 Corinthians 4:10); ἐν τῇ σαρκί αὐτοῦ, by giving up his body to death, Ephesians 2:14 (15); also διά τῆς σαρκός αὐτοῦ, Hebrews 10:20, cf. John 6:51 (προσφέρειν τήν σάρκα μου, to offer in sacrifice my flesh — Christ is speaking, the Epistle of Barnabas 7, 5 [ET]; τήν σάρκα παραδοῦναι εἰς καταφθοράν, ibid. 5, 1 [ET]). life on earth, which is passed in the body (flesh), is designated by the following phrases: ἐν σαρκί εἶναι, Romans 7:5 (where Paul uses this expression with designed ambiguity in order to involve also the ethical sense, 'to be in the power of the flesh,' to be prompted and governed by the flesh; see 4 below); ζῆν ἐν σαρκί, Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:22; ἐπιμένειν ἐν σαρκί, Philippians 1:24; ὁ ἐν σαρκί χρόνος, 1 Peter 4:2; αἱ ἡμέραι τῆς σαρκός αὐτοῦ, of Christ's life on earth, Hebrews 5:7. ἐν σαρκί or ἐν τῇ σαρκί, in things pertaining to the flesh (body), such as circumcision, descent, etc.: Galatians 6:12f; πεποιθέναι, Philippians 3:3f; ἔχειν πεποίθησιν, Philippians 3:4.
b. used of natural or physical origin, generation, relationship: οἱ συγγενεῖς κατά σάρκα, Romans 9:3 (cf. Winer's Grammar, § 20, 2 a.); τέκνα τῆς σαρκός, children by bird, natural posterity, Romans 9:8; ἀδελφόν ἐν σαρκί καί ἐν κυρίῳ, a natural brother (as it were) and a Christian brother, Philemon 1:16; οἱ τῆς σαρκός ἡμῶν πατέρες, our natural fathers (opposed to God ὁ πατήρ τῶν πνευμάτων, see πατήρ, 1 a. and 3 b.), Hebrews 12:9; τά ἔθνη ἐν σαρκί, Gentiles by birth, Ephesians 2:11; Ἰσραήλ κατά σάρκα, 1 Corinthians 10:18 (the opposite term Ἰσραήλ τοῦ Θεοῦ, of Christians, is found in Galatians 6:16); τό κατά σάρκα, as respects the flesh i. e. human origin, Romans 9:5 ((Clement of Rome, 1 Cor. 32, 2 [ET]; Irenaeus haer. 4, 4, 1 and fragment 17 ed; Stieren, p. 836)); γενομένου ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυίδ κατά σάρκα, Romans 1:3; ὁ κατά σάρκα γεννηθείς, born by natural generation (opposed to γεννηθείς ... τόν κατά πνεῦμα, i. e. by the supernatural power of God, operating in the promise), Galatians 4:29, 23; τό γεγεννήμενοι ἐκ τῆς σαρκός σάρξ ἐστιν, that which has been born of the natural man is a natural man (opposed to one who has been born again by the power of the Holy Spirit), John 3:6; ἡ σάρξ μου, those with whom I share my natural origin, my fellow-countrymen, Romans 11:14 (ἰδού ὀστᾶ σου καί σάρκες σου, 2 Samuel 5:1; add, ; Genesis 37:27; Judges 9:2); εἶναι ἐκ τῆς σαρκός καί ἐκ τῶν ὀστέων τίνος, which in its proper use signifies to be 'formed out of one's flesh and bones' (Genesis 2:23; to be related to one by birth, Genesis 29:14), is transferred metaphorically, to the church, which spiritually derives its origin from Christ and is united to him, just as Eve drew her origin from her husband Adam, Ephesians 5:30 (R G Tr marginal reading brackets). 10>
c. the sensuous nature of man, 'the animal nature': without any suggestion of depravity, τό θέλημα τῆς σαρκός, of sexual desire, John 1:13; the animal nature with cravings which incite to sin: Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38; Romans 7:18 (for which τά μέλη is used in Romans 7:22f); ; Jude 1:23; opposed to ὁ νοῦς, Romans 7:25; ἡ ἐπιθυμία τῆς σαρκός, 1 John 2:16 (with its manifestation, ἡ ἐπιθυμία τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν; (others regard this last as a new specification; cf. Westcott at the passage)); plural 2 Peter 2:18 (τά τῆς σαρκός πάθη, 4 Macc. 7:18; τό μή δεδουλωσθαι σαρκί καί τοῖς πάθεσι ταύτης διάγειν, ὑφ' ὧν κατασπωμενος ὁ νοῦς τῆς θνητης ἀναπιμπλαται φλυαριας, ἐυδαιμον τί καί μακάριον, Plur. consol. ad Apoll c. 13; τῆς σαρκός ἡδονή, opposed to ψυχή, Plutarch, de virt. et vit. c. 3; add, Philo de gigant. § 7; (Diogenes Laërtius 10, 145;animo cum hac carne grave certamen est, Seneca, consol. ad Marc. 21;animus liber habitat; nunquam me cato ista compellet ad metum, Seneca, epistles 65 (7, 3, 22);non est summa felicitatis nostrae in carne ponenda, ibid. 74 (9, 3, 16)). the physical nature of man as subject to suffering: παθεῖν σαρκί, 1 Peter 4:1; ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου, in that my flesh suffers afflictions, Colossians 1:24 (where cf. Meyer and DeWette (and Lightfoot)); θλῖψιν ἔχειν τῇ σαρκί, 1 Corinthians 7:28.
3. a living creature (because possessed of a body of flesh), whether man or beast: πᾶσα σάρξ (in imitation of the Hebrew כָּל־בָּשָׂר (Winers Grammar, 33)), every lving creature, 1 Peter 1:24; with οὐ preceding (qualifying the verb (Winers Grammar, § 26, 1; Buttmann, 121 (106))), no living creature, Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20; specifically, a man (ἄνθρωπος for בָּשָׂר, Genesis 6:13), generally with a suggestion of weakness, frailty, mortality: Sir. 28:5; ἐν τῷ Θεῷ ἤλπισα, οὐ φοβηθήσομαι τί ποιήσει μοι σάρξ, Psalm 55:5<10> (); cf. Jeremiah 17:5; ἐμνήσθη, ὅτι σάρξ εἰσιν, Psalm 77:39<10> (); σάρξ καί αἷμα, Ephesians 6:12; γενεά σαρκός καί αἵματος, ἡ μέν τελευτᾷ, ἑτέρα δέ γεννᾶται, Sir. 14:18; ὁ λόγος σάρξ ἐγένετο, entered into participation in human nature, John 1:14 (the apostle used σάρξ, not ἄνθρωπος, apparently in order to indicate that he who possessed supreme majesty did not shrink from union with extreme weakness); εὑρίσκειν τί κατά σάρκα, to attain to anything after the manner of a (weak) man, i. e. by the use of merely human powers, Romans 4:1 (for substance equivalent to ἐξ ἔργων in Romans 4:2); Hebraistically (see above), πᾶσα σάρξ, all men, Luke 3:6; John 17:2 (Winer's Grammar, § 30, 1 a.); Acts 2:17; Sir. 45:4; with οὐ or μή preceding (qualifying the verb (Winers Grammar, and Buttmann, as referred to above)), no man, no mortal, Romans 3:20; 1 Corinthians 1:29; Galatians 2:16. man as he appears, such as he presents himself to view, man's external appearance and condition: κατά σάρκα κρίνειν, John 8:15 (cf. Winer's Grammar, 583 (542)) (equivalent to κρίνειν κατ' ὄψιν, John 7:24); γινώσκειν or εἰδέναι τινα κατά σάρκα, 2 Corinthians 5:16; οἱ κατά σάρκα κυρίου (see κατά, II. 3 b.), Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22. universally, human nature, the soul included: ἐν ὁμοιώματι σαρκός ἁμαρτίας, in a visible form, like human nature which is subject to sin, Romans 8:3 (cf. ὁμοίωμα, b.); ἐν σαρκί ἔρχεσθαι, to appear clothed in human nature, 1 John 4:2 and Rec. in 3; 2 John 1:7 (the Epistle of Barnabas 5, 10 [ET]); φανερουσθαι, 1 Timothy 3:16 (the Epistle of Barnabas 5, 6 [ET]; 6, 7 [ET]; 12, 10 [ET]); κεκοινωνηκεναι αἵματος καί σαρκός, Hebrews 2:14.
4. σάρξ, when either expressly or tacitly opposed to τό πνεῦμα (τοῦ Θεοῦ), has an ethical sense and denotes "mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God"; accordingly it includes whatever in the soul is weak, low, debased, tending to ungodliness and vice ("Thou must not understand 'flesh', therefore, as though that only were 'flesh' which is connected with unchastity, but St. Paul uses 'flesh' of the whole man, body and soul, reason and all his faculties included, because all that is in him longs and strives after the flesh (Luther, Preface to the Epistle to the Romans); note that 'flesh' signifies the entire nature of man, sense and reason, without the Holy Spirit" (Melanchthon, Loci, edition of 1535, in Corpus Reform. xxi., p. 277). This definition is strikingly supported by these two utterances of Paul: οὐδεμίαν ἔσχηκεν ἄνεσιν ἡ σάρξ ἡμῶν, 2 Corinthians 7:5; οὐκ ἔσχηκα ἄνεσιν τῷ πνεύματι μου, 2 Corinthians 2:13): Romans 8:3; Galatians 5:13, 19; opposed to τό πνεῦμα (τοῦ Θεοῦ), Romans 8:6f, 12; Galatians 5:16; Galatians 6:8; Colossians 2:13 (on which see ἀκροβυστία, c.); Colossians 2:23 (see πλησμονή); ἐπιθυμία σαρκός, Galatians 5:16; αἱ ἐπιθυμίαι and τά θελήματα τῆς σαρκός, Ephesians 2:3; ὁ νοῦς τῆς σαρκός, Colossians 2:18; σῶμα τῆς σαρκός, a body given up to the control of the flesh, i. e. a body whose members our nature, estranged from God, used as its instruments (cf. Romans 6:19), Colossians 2:11 G L T Tr WH; τά τῆς σαρκός (opposed to τά τοῦ πνεύματος), the things which please the flesh, which the flesh craves, Romans 8:5; σαρκί ἐπιτελοῦμαι, to make for oneself an end (see ἐπιτελέω, 1 tim) by devoting oneself to the flesh, i. e. by gradually losing the Holy Spirit and giving oneself up to the control of the flesh, Galatians 3:3; σταυρουν τήν σάρκα αὐτοῦ (see σταυρόω, 3 b.), Galatians 5:24; ἐν σαρκί εἶναι (opposed to ἐν πνεύματι, namely, τοῦ Θεοῦ), to be in the power of the flesh, under the control of the flesh, Romans 8:8f, cf. Romans 7:5 (see 2 above); οἱ κατά σάρκα ὄντες, who exhibit the nature of the flesh, equivalent to οἱ σαρκικοί (opposed to οἱ κατά πνεῦμα ὄντες), Romans 8:5; κατά σάρκα περιπατεῖν, to live according to the standard of the flesh, to comply in conduct with the impulse of the flesh, Romans 8:1 Rec.; 2 Corinthians 10:2; opposed to κατά πνεῦμα, Romans 8:4; βουλεύεσθαι, 2 Corinthians 1:17; καυχᾶσθαι, 2 Corinthians 11:18 where cf. Meyer; (opposed to κατά πνεῦμα) ζῆν, Romans 8:12f (ἐν σαρκί τυγχάνουσιν, ἀλλ' οὐ κατά σάρκα ζῶσιν, of Christians, Ep. ad Diogn. 5, 8 [ET]); ἐν σαρκί περιπατοῦντες οὐ κατά σάρκα στρατευόμεθα, although the nature in which we live is earthly and therefore weak, yet we do not carry on our warfare according its law, 2 Corinthians 10:3 (οὐ κατά σάρκα γράφειν, ἀλλά κατά γνώμην Θεοῦ, Ignatius ad Rom. 8, 3 [ET]); with the suggestion of weakness as respects knowledge: σάρξ καί αἷμα, a man liable to err, fallible man: Matthew 16:17; Galatians 1:16; ἡ ἀσθένεια τῆς σαρκός, Romans 6:19; σοφοί κατά σάρκα, 1 Corinthians 1:26. Cf. Tholuck, Ueber σάρξ als Quelle der Sünde, in the Theol. Studien und Kritiken for 1855, p. 477ff; C. Holsten, Die Bedeut. des Wortes σάρξ im Lehrbegriffe des Paulus, 4to, Rostock 1855 (reprinted in his Zum Evang. des Paul. u. Petr., p. 365ff. (Rostock, 1867); see also (with especially reference to Holsten) Lüdemann, Die Anthropologie des Apest. Paul. (Kiel, 1872)); Ritschl, Entstehung der altkathol. Kirche, edition 2, p. 66ff; Baur in the Theol. Jahrbb. for 1857, p. 96ff, and in his Biblical Theol. des N. T., p. 142ff, etc.; Wieseler, Br. an die Galater, pp. 443ff, 448ff (cf. Riddle in Schaff's Lange's Commentary on Romans, p. 235f) Weiss, Biblical Theol. des N. T. (3rd edition) § 68, p. 243ff, § 100, p. 414f; Rich. Schmidt, Paulin. Christologie, p. 8ff; Eklund, σάρξ vocabulum quid ap. Paulum apost. significet (Lund, 1872); Pfleiderer, Paulinismus, p. 47ff. (English translation, vol. i., p. 47ff); Wendt, Die Begrifle Fleisch u. Geist im Biblical Sprachgebr. (Gotha, 1878); (Cremer in Herzog edition 2 under the word Fleisch, but especially in his Biblical-theol. Wörterbuch, 3te (or 4te) Aufl., under the word; Laidlaw, The Bible Doctr. of Man (Edinb. 1879), pp. 74ff, 373f; Philippi, Glaubensl. edition 2, vol. iii., pp. 231-250; especially Dickson, St. Paul's use of the terms Flesh and Spirit (Glasgow, 1883)); and the references in Meyer on Romans 4:1 (6te Aufl.).<1> 10>10>
Probably from the base of saroo; flesh (as stripped of the skin), i.e. (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul (or spirit), or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred), or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions), or (specially), a human being (as such) -- carnal(-ly, + -ly minded), flesh(-ly).
see GREEK saroo