Stiff Neck In The Bible

Stiff neck is a common ailment in our society, especially when there is no proper posture and people don’t carry themselves properly. In this article you will realize the meaning of stiff neck in the Bible and know about its punishments – This will help you lead a healthy life and have a better understanding of the context in which the disease was described.

In the Bible, the stiff neck was a symbol of rebellion against God or authority. The stiff neck was used in numerous passages in the Bible to describe and impact various individuals or groups. From the stiff neck of Pharaoh to Jesse and his sons, we’ll look at how this symbol was frequently used during biblical times as well as how it’s symbolism can impact us today.

A stiff neck in the Bible is often times a sign of pride and rebellion. Furthermore, the Bible continually warns about being stiff necked and stubborn (Deut. 32:21; Prov. 6:16-19; Heb. 3:7). In fact, Solomon condemns the proud and stiff necked man (Prov. 11:2). By contrast, Jesus rebukes those that are hard of heart (Mark 8:17-18). Even further, Paul reminds us that a stiff necked person is not fit to rule over others (1 Tim. 3:3). Though we might have good intentions, being stiff necked is harmful to our individual spiritual well-being as well as damaging relationships with other people on a global scale.

The Bible is considered to be the most read book of all time but there are many people who have never read it. There have been numerous translations of the Bible but one thing that hasn’t changed throughout them all is the accuracy. The Bible has maintained its accuracy over various centuries and translations, which can only be accounted through divine intervention.

Stiff Neck In The Bible

To be stiff-necked is to be obstinate and difficult to lead. The Bible often uses this figure of speech when describing the attitude of Israel toward God (e.g., Exodus 33:3; Deuteronomy 9:13; Nehemiah 9:16; Acts 7:51). The term was originally used to describe an ox that refused to be directed by the farmer’s ox goad. When a farmer harnessed a team of oxen to a plow, he directed them by poking them lightly with a sharp spike on the heels or the neck to make them pick up speed or turn. An ox that refused to be directed in such a way by the farmer was referred to as “stiff-necked.” A stiff-necked animal (or person) refuses to turn the head in order to take a different path.

The Israelites were familiar with the term stiff-necked, so when the Lord used it to describe them, they got the message. Every farmer well understood the frustration of trying to plow a field or transport a cart when an ox was being stiff-necked. An ox that refused to be guided was useless for any real work. A stiff-necked ox was a disappointment in that it was not performing the task it was intended to perform. When God’s chosen people refused to love Him, honor Him, and obey Him, they were not living the purpose for which God chose them as His own (see Isaiah 41:8–9; Jeremiah 7:23–24; Exodus 19:5–6). God made His will clear to the Israelites, and their disobedience was rightly referred to as being stiff-necked and hard-hearted. As Israel rebelled against God, they ignored the “goads” that God used to try to redirect them.

Stephen, the first Christian martyr, used the term stiff-necked when he told the Jews they had murdered their Messiah. He said, “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him” (Acts 7:51–52). For his truth-telling, Stephen was stoned to death.

All human beings were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) for the purpose of reflecting His glory as we walk in fellowship with Him. But, since Adam’s sin in the Garden, we want to go our own way (Romans 5:12). God sent His Son to pay the penalty for that rebellion, and yet millions continue to reject His offer (2 Corinthians 5:21; John 3:16–18). Those who have the opportunity to know God but serve themselves instead are following the example of Israel in being “stiff-necked” (Hebrews 3:7–12).

God promises to guide His loved ones, and He pleads with them to not be stiff-necked:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you” (Psalm 32:8–9).

Stiff Neck In The Bible

Acts 7:51 ESV / 11 helpful votes 

“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.

2 Chronicles 30:8 ESV / 7 helpful votes 

Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you.

Deuteronomy 9:6 ESV / 6 helpful votes 

“Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.

Exodus 32:9 ESV / 6 helpful votes 

And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people.

Nehemiah 9:16 ESV / 5 helpful votes 

“But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments.

Ephesians 4:15 ESV / 4 helpful votes 

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ESV / 4 helpful votes 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; …

Exodus 34:9 ESV / 4 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

And he said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.”

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