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Notes on Hope

English Definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
HOPE, n. [L. cupio.] 1. A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety... 2. Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God's gracious promises; a scriptural sense. A well founded scriptural hope,is, in our religion, the source of ineffable happiness. 3. That which gives hope; he or that which furnishes ground of expectation, or promises desired good. The hope of Israel is the Messiah. The Lord will be the hope of his people. Joel 3. 4. An opinion or belief not amounting to certainty, but grounded on substantial evidence. The christian indulges a hope, that his sins are pardoned. HOPE, v.i. 1. To cherish a desire of food, with some expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope for good success. Be sober and hope to the end. 1 Pet 1. 2. To place confidence in; to trust in with confident expectation of good. Why art thou cast down, O my soul,and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God. Psa 43. HOPE, v.t. To desire with expectation of good, or a belief that it may be obtained. But as a transitive verb, it is seldom used,and the phrases in which it is so used are elliptical, for being understood. So stands the Thracian herdsman with his spear, Full in the gap,and hopes the hunted bear...

Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible
Hope - confident expectancy. In the Bible, the word hope stands for both the act of hoping (Rom. 4:18; 1 Cor. 9:10) and the thing hoped for (Col. 1:5; 1 Pet. 1:3). Hope does not arise from the individual's desires or wishes but from God, who is Himself the believer's hope: “My hope is in You” (Ps. 39:7). Genuine hope is not wishful thinking, but a firm assurance about the things that are unseen and still in the future (Rom. 8:24-25; Heb. 11:1,7). Hope distinguishes the Christian from the unbeliever, who has no hope (Eph. 2:12; 1 Thess. 4:13). Indeed, a Christian is one in whom hope resides (1 Pet. 3:15; 1 John 3:3). In contrast to Old Testament hope, the Christian hope is superior (Heb. 7:19). Christian hope comes from God (Rom. 15:13) and especially His calling (Eph. 1:18; 4:4), His grace (2 Thess. 2:16), His Word (Rom. 15:4) and His gospel (Col. 1:23). Hope is directed toward God (Acts 24:15; 1 Pet. 1:21) and Christ (1 Thess. 1:3; 1 Tim. 1:1). Its appropriate objects are eternal life (Titus 1:2; 3:7), salvation (1 Thess. 5:8), righteousness (Gal. 5:5), the glory of God (Rom. 5:2; Col. 1:27), the appearing of Christ (Titus 2:13) and the resurrection from the dead (Acts 23:6; 26:6-7).

Hebrew and Greek Definitions

Hebrew words translated as “hope” or ”hoped” in the KJV (Strong's numbering):
982, 983,  2342, 2620, 3176, 3689, 4009, 4723, 7664, 8431, 8615

Greek words translated as “hope,” “hoped,” “hope's,” “hopeth,” or “hoping” in the KJV (Strong's numbering):
560, 16791680

Strong's Hebrew and Greek Definitions:
H3176 yachal - A primitive root; to wait; by implication to be patient, hope: - (cause to, have, make to) hope, be pained, stay, tarry, trust, wait.
H8431 tocheleth - From H3176; expectation: - hope.
G1679 elpizo - From G1680; to expect or confide: - (have, thing) hope (-d) (for), trust.
G1680 elpis - From elpo which is a primary word (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation (abstract or concrete) or confidence: - faith, hope.

Brown-Driver-Briggs' Hebrew Definitions:
H3176 yachal - 1) to wait, hope, expect 1a) (Niphal) to wait 1b) (Piel) 1b1) to wait, await, tarry 1b2) to wait for, hope for 1c) (Hiphil) to wait, tarry, wait for, hope for
H3431 tocheleth - 1) hope

Thayer's Greek Definitions:
G1679 eplizo - 1) to hope 1a) in a religious sense, to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence 2) hopefully to trust in
G1680 elpis - 1) expectation of evil, fear 2) expectation of good, hope 2a) in the Christian sense 2a1) joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation 3) on hope, in hope, having hope 3a) the author of hope, or he who is its foundation 3b) the thing hoped for

Vine's Expository Dictionary:
A. Noun. ELPIS, in the N.T., favourable and confident expectation (contrast the Sept. in Isa. 28:19, “an evil hope”). It has to do with the unseen and the future, Rom. 8:24, 25. Hope describes (a) the happy anticipation of good (the most frequent significance), e.g., Tit. 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:21; (b) the ground upon which hope is based, Acts 16:19; Col. 1:27, “Christ in you the hope of glory;” (c) the object upon which the hope is fixed, e.g., 1 Tim. 1:1.
Various phrases are used with the word hope, in Paul's Epistles and speeches: (1) Acts 23:6, “the hope and resurrection of the dead;” this has been regarded as a hendiadys (one by means of two), i.e., the hope of the resurrection; (2) Acts 26:6,7, “the hope of the promise (i.e., the fulfilment of the promise) made unto the fathers;” (3) Gal. 5:5, “the hope of righteousnesss;” i.e., the believer's complete conformity to God's will, at the Coming of Christ; (4) Col. 1:23, “the hope of the Gospel,” i.e., the hope of the fulfilment of all the promises presented in the Gospel; cp. 1:5; (5) Rom. 5:2, “(the) hope of the glory of God,” i.e., as in Tit. 2:13, “the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ;” cp. Col. 1:27; (6) 1 Thess. 5:8, “the hope of salvation,” i.e., of the Rapture of believers, to take place at the opening of the Parousia of Christ; (7) Eph. 1:18, “the hope of His (God's) calling,” i.e., the prospect before those who respond to His call in the Gospel; (8) Eph. 4:4, “the hope of your calling,” the same as (7), but regarded from the point of view of the called; (9) Tit. 1:2 and 3:7, “the hope of eternal life,” i.e., the full manifestation and realization of that life which is already the believer's possession; (10) Acts 28:20, “the hope of Israel,” i.e., the expectation of the coming of the Messiah.
In Eph. 1:18; 2:12 and 4:4, the hope is objective. The objective and subjective use of the word need to be distinguished; in Rom. 15:4, e.g., the use is subjective.
In the N.T. three adjectives are descriptive of hope: “good,” 2 Thess. 2:16; “blessed,” Tit. 2:13; “living,” 1 Pet. 1:3. To these may be added Heb. 7:19, “a better hope,” i.e., additional to the commandment, which became disannulled (v.18), a hope centred in a new Priesthood.
In Rom. 15:13 God is spoken of as “the God of hope,” i.e., He is the Author, not Subject, of it. Hope is a factor in salvation, Rom 8:24; it finds its expression in endurance under trial, which is the effect of waiting for the Coming of Christ, 1 Thess. 1:3; it is “an anchor of the soul,” staying it amidst the storms of this life, Heb. 6:18,19; it is a purifying power, “every one that hath this hope set on Him (Christ) purifieth himself, even as He is pure,” 1 John 3:3, R.V.  (the Apostle John's one mention of hope).
The phrase “fulness of hope,” Heb. 6:11, R.V., expresses the completeness of its activity in the soul; cp. “fulness of faith,” 10:22, and “of understanding,” Col. 2:2 (R.V., marg.).

B. Verbs. 1. ELPIZO, to hope, is not infrequently translated in the A.V., by the verb to trust; the R.V. adheres to some form of the verb to hope, e.g., John 5:45, “moses, on whom ye have set your hope;” 2 Cor. 1:10, “on whom we have set our hope;” so in 1 Tim. 4:10; 5:5; 6:17; see also, e.g., Matt. 12:21; Luke 24:21; Rom. 15:12,24.
The verb is followed by three prepositions: (1) eis, rendered “on” in John 5:45 (as above); the meaning is really “in” as in 1 Pet. 3:5, “who hoped in God;” the hope is thus said to be directed to, and to centre in, a Person; (2) epi, “on,” Rom. 15:12, “On Him shall the Gentiles hope,” R.V.; so 1 Tim. 4:10; 5:5 (in the best mss.); 6:17, R.V.; this expresses the ground upon which hope rests; (3) en, “in,” 1 Cor. 15:19, “we have hoped in Christ,” R.V., more lit., 'we are (men) that have hoped in Christ,' the preposition expresses that Christ is not simply the ground upon whom, but the sphere and element in whom, the hope is placed. The form  of the verb (the perfect participle with the verb to be, lit., 'are having hoped') stresses the character of those who hope, more than the action; hope characterizes them, showing what sort of persons they are.
2. PROELPIZO, to hope before (pro, before, and No.1), is found in Eph. 1:12
3. APELPIZO, lit., to hope from (apo, and No.1)

Occurences in the Bible:

Old Testament examples:
H3176 yachal - Total KJV Occurrences: 41
hope (19) - Job 6:11, Psa. 31:24; 33:18,22; 38:15; 42:5,11;43:5; 71:14; 119:49,81,114; 130:5; 130:7; 131:3; 147:11; Lam. 3:21,24; Eze.13:6
waited (6) - Job 29:21,23; 30:26;32:11; 32:16; Eze. 19:5
wait (5) - 2Ki. 6:33; Job 14:14; Isa. 42:3-4 (2); Mic. 7:7
hoped (3) - Psa. 119:43,74,147
tarry (2) - 1Sa. 10:8; 2Sa. 18:14
trust (2) - Job 13:14-15 (2); Isa_51:5
pained (1) - Jer. 4:19
stayed (1) - Gen. 8:12
tarried (1) - 1Sa. 13:8
waiteth (1) - Mic. 5:7

H8431 towcheleth - Total KJV Occurrences: 6
hope (6) - Job 41:9; Psa. 39:7; Pro. 10:28; Pro. 11:7; Pro. 13:12; Lam. 3:18

New Testament examples:
G1679 elpizo - Total KJV Occurrences: 32
trust (15) - Matt. 12:21; John 5:45; Rom. 15:12; Rom. 15:24; 1Co. 16:7; 2Co. 1:10; 2Co. 1:13; 2Co. 5:11; 2Co. 13:6; Phi. 2:19; 1Ti. 4:10; 1Ti. 6:17; Phm. 1:22; 2Jo. 1:12; 3Jo. 1:14
hope (7) - Luke 6:34; Acts 26:7; Rom. 8:24-25 (2); 1Co. 15:19; Phi. 2:23; 1Pe. 1:13
hoped (4) - Luke 23:8; Acts 24:26; 2Co. 8:5; Heb. 11:1
trusted (2) - Luke 24:21; 1Pe. 3:5
hope’s (1) - Acts 26:7
hopeth (1) - 1Co. 13:7
hoping (1) - 1Ti. 3:14
trusteth (1) - 1Ti. 5:5

G1680 elpis - Total KJV Occurrences: 53
hope (52) - Acts 2:26; Acts 16:19; Acts 23:6; Acts 24:15; Acts 26:6; Acts 28:20 (2); Rom. 4:18 (2); Rom. 5:2; Rom. 5:4-5 (2); Rom. 8:20; Rom. 8:24 (3); Rom. 12:12; Rom. 15:4; Rom. 15:13 (2); 1Co. 9:10 (3); 1Co. 13:13; 2Co. 1:7; 2Co. 3:12; 2Co. 10:15; Gal. 5:5; Eph. 1:18; Eph. 2:12; Eph. 4:4; Phi. 1:20; Col. 1:5; Col. 1:23; Col. 1:27; 1Th.1:3; 1Th. 2:19; 1Th. 4:13; 1Th. 5:8; 2Th. 2:16; 1Ti. 1:1; Tit. 1:2; Tit. 2:13; Tit. 3:7; Heb. 3:6; Heb. 6:11; Heb. 7:18-19 (2); 1Pe. 1:3; 1Pe. 1:21; 1Pe. 3:15; 1Jo. 3:3
faith (1) - Heb. 10:23

Questions (taken from the book Bible Readings for the Home):

1. What is the relation between faith and hope? Heb. 11:1
2. Why were the Scriptures written? Rom. 15:4
3. Why should God's wonderful works be rehearsed to the children? Ps. 78:4-7
4. In what condition are those who are without Christ? Eph. 2:11, 12
5. What does hope become to the Christian? Heb 6:19
6. Who have hope in their death? Prov. 14:32
7. In bereavement, from what hopeless sorrow are Christians delivered? 1 Thess. 4:13
8. Unto what has the resurrection of Christ begotten us? 1 Pet. 1:3
9. What is the Christian's hope called? Tit. 2:13
10. At what time did Paul expect to realize his hope? 2 Tim. 4:8
11. What will this hope lead one to do? 1 John 3:3
12. What does the prophet Jeremiah say is a good thing for a man to do? Lam. 3:26
13. What is said of the hope of the hypocrite? Job 8:13, 14
14. What is the condition of one whose hope is in God? Jer. 17:7
15. In what may the child of God abound? Rom. 15:13
16. In what do Christians rejoice? Rom. 5:2
17. What will prevent us from being put to shame? Rom. 5:5
18. In the time of trouble, who will be the hope of God's people? Joel 3:16
19. What inspiring words are spoken to such as hope in God? Ps. 31:24
20. How long should our hope endure? Heb. 6:11

How cheering is the Christian's hope
While toiling here below!
It bouys us up while passing through
This wilderness of woe.

It points us to a land of rest
Where saints with Christ will reign;
Where we shall meet the loved of earth,
And never part again,--

A land where sin can never come,
Temptations ne'er annoy;
Where happiness will ever dwell,
And that without alloy.

Quotations (taken from the books: Spurgeon's Sermon Illustrations, Exploring the Heart and Mind of the Prince of Preachers, and The Westminster Collection of Christian Quotations):

“You remember what the Scotchwoman said to Rowland Hill when she stood looking at his face. He said, “Well, good woman, you have looked at me a long while. What are you looking at?” She said, “I was looking at the lines of your face.” Well, and what do you make of them?” said he. “I was thinking what an awful rascal you would have been, if you were not converted,” was her unexpected answer. Now I think we might say the same of a good many; and if it be God's intent, He should get a glorious name for Himself. I see hope for big rascals, I see hope for great sinners.” C.H. Spurgeon

“Hope what you please; but remember, that hope without truth at the bottom of it, is an anchor without a holdfast. A groundless hope is a mere delusion.” C.H. Spurgeon

“It is reported that in the Tamul language there is no word for hope. Alas! poor men, if we were all as destitute of the blessed comfort itself as these Tamul speakers are of the word! What must be the misery of souls in hell where they remember the word, but can never know hope itself!” C.H. Spurgeon

“Hell alone excepted, hope is a dweller in all regions.” C.H. Spurgeon

“Hope as much as ever a man can hope; for when your hope is in God you cannot hope too much.” C.H. Spurgeon

“Do not bury a man before he is dead; hope that so long as a sinner lives he may yet live unto God.” C.H. Spurgeon

“Kill hope in a man, and you have killed the man's best self.” C.H. Spurgeon

“In a word, no condition can be so bad but God can change it.” C.H. Spurgeon

“The New Zealander has a word for hope which signifies the 'swimming-thought'; because when all other thoughts are drowned, hope still swims.” C.H. Spurgeon

“If any man could prove the religion of Christ to be a delusion, the next thing he should do would be to hang himself, because there is nothing worth living for.” C.H. Spurgeon

“There is not a heart but has its moments of longing, yearning for something better, nobler, holier than it knows how.” Henry Ward Beecher

“Other men see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope.” Gilbert Brenken

“Hope can see heaven through the thickest clouds.” Thomas Benton Brooks

“What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope for the meaning of life.” Heinrich Emil Brunner

“Optimism means faith in men, in their human potential; hope means faith in God and in His omnipotence.” Carlo Carretto

“Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate.” Gilbert Keith (G.K.) Chesterton

“If you do not hope, you will not find out what is beyond your hopes.” Clement of Alexandria

“To live without hope is to cease to live.” Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Hope is a dimension of the spirit. It is not outside us, but within us. When you lose it, you must seek it again WITHIN YOURSELF and in people around you--and not in objects or even in events.” Václav Havel

“Hope is itself a species of happiness, and perhaps, the chief happiness which the world affords.” Samuel Johnson

“Never cease loving a person and never give up hope for him, for even the Prodigal Son who had fallen most low could still be saved. The bitterest enemy and also he who was your friend could again be your friend; love that has grown cold can kindle again.” Søren Kierkegaard

“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” Martin Luther

“Hope is the struggle of the soul, breaking loose from what is perishable, and attesting her eternity.” Herman Melville

“In hope we count on the possibilities of the future and we do not remain imprisoned in the institutions of the past.” Jürgen Moltmann

“Hope springs eternal in the human breast.” Alexander Pope

“The future belongs to those who belong to God. This is hope.” W.T. Purkiser

“I am a man of hope, not for human reasons, nor from any natural optimism, but because I believe the Holy Spirit is at work in the Church and in the world even when His name remains unheard.” Leon Joseph Suenens