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The meaning of Ask in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

ask (sha'al "to inquire," "to seek for counsel," "to demand"): It is the word commonly used in the Old Testament and is equivalent to eperotao, "to request," used in the New Testament. It does not imply any inferiority on the part of the person asking (Psalms 2:8). It is the Son who is bidden to ask, and therefore the word expresses the request of an equal. It has also the meaning "to inquire": "Wherefore .... ask after my name?" (Genesis 32:29) signifying, "Surely you must know who I am." "Ye shall ask me no question" (John 16:23), i.e. "about the true meaning of My words, for all will then be clear to you" (Dummelow). aiteo, is the word commonly used with reference to prayer. It means "to ask," "to implore," and presents the petitioner as an inferior asking from a superior (Matthew 6:8; Matthew 7:7-8; Mark 10:35; John 14:13, and in many other places). It is not, however, asking in the sense of the word beg, but rather that of a child making request of its father. The petitioner asks both because of his need and of the assurance that he is welcome. He is assured before he asks that the petition will be granted, if he asks in accordance with God's will (I John 3:22; I John 5:15). Moreover the Spirit leads us to such asking in that He reveals our need and the goodness of God to us.

See AMISS; PRAYER.

Jacob W. Kapp


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