Updated: Jan 2, 2021
Many times in Scripture we see the word sleep. However this word has not been translated accordingly to the actual definition the author of that particular scripture was trying to convey.
Meaning: sleep to us has many different meanings when you look it up in Strong's Hebrew/Greek Lexicon. This sermon will help you understand what you are reading.
1. sleep, grow old, to die, to be slack
H3462 : יָשֵׁן yâshên, yaw-shane'; a primitive root; properly, to be slack or languid, i.e. (by implication) sleep (figuratively, to die); also to grow old, stale or inveterate:—old (store), remain long, (make to) sleep.
Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry.37 And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.38 They shall roar together like lions: they shall yell as lions' whelps.39 In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep(H3426) a perpetual sleep (H8142), and not wake, saith the Lord.
How do we know sleep here doesn't mean to sleep as in rest or lay down to awake in the morning?
Perpetual: H5769 עוֹלָם ʻôwlâm, o-lawm'; or עֹלָם ʻôlâm; from H5956; properly, concealed, i.e. the vanishing point; generally, time out of mind (past or future), i.e. (practically) eternity; frequentatively, adverbial (especially with prepositional prefix) always:—alway(-s), ancient (time), any more, continuance, eternal, (for, (n-)) ever(-lasting, -more, of old), lasting, long (time), (of) old (time), perpetual, at any time, (beginning of the) world (+without end). Compare H5331, H5703.
G2837 κοιμάω koimáō, koy-mah'-o; from G2749; to put to sleep, i.e. (passively or reflexively) to slumber; figuratively, to decease:—(be a-, fall a-, fall on) sleep, be dead.
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept G2837 arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
2. sleep, be sleepy, to be indifferent to ones salvation, to yield to sloth and sin
H3463 יָשֵׁן yâshên, yaw-shane'; from H3462; sleepy:—asleep, (one out of) sleep(-eth, -ing), slept.
1 Samuel 26:12
So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them.
H8153 שְׁנָת shᵉnâth, shen-awth'; from H3462; sleep:—sleep.
Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions: 2 How he sware unto the Lord, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob;3 Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed;4 I will not give sleep H8153 to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids,5 Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
H8142 שֵׁנָה shênâh, shay-naw'; or שֵׁנָא shênâʼ; from H3462; sleep:—sleep.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. H8142
H8139 שְׁנָה shᵉnâh, shen-aw'; (Aramaic) corresponding to H8142:—sleep.
Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep H8139 went from him.
G2518 καθεύδω katheúdō, kath-yoo'-do; from G2596 and εὕδω heúdō (to sleep); to lie down to rest, i.e. (by implication) to fall asleep (literally or figuratively):—(be a-)sleep.
And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep G2518, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Indifferent Means: having no particular interest or sympathy; unconcerned.
Are you unconcerned about your salvation? This is an important question to ask yourself.
3. deep sleep, trance, lethargy, hypnosis
H8639 תַּרְדֵּמָה tardêmâh, tar-day-maw'; from H7290; a lethargy or (by implication) trance:—deep sleep.
Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.10 For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, H8639 and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:
G5258 ὕπνος hýpnos, hoop'-nos; from an obsolete primary (perhaps akin to G5259 through the idea of subsilience); sleep, i.e. (figuratively) spiritual torpor:—sleep. (hynposis, hypnotize...derived from this word)
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Hypnosis-the induction of a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction. Its use in therapy, typically to recover suppressed memories or to allow modification of behavior by suggestion, has been revived but is still controversial.
Definition of torpor- Merriam Webster
1a : a state of mental and motor inactivity with partial or total insensibility
b : a state of lowered physiological activity typically characterized by reduced metabolism, heart rate, respiration, and body temperature that occurs in varying degrees especially in hibernating and estivating animals
4. sleep from drowsiness, slumber
H5123 נוּם nûwm, noom; a primitive root; to slumber (from drowsiness):—sleep, slumber.
Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.
18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.
19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?
5. upon, veil, of, lie, be appointed
G2749 κεῖμαι keîmai, ki'-mahee; middle voice of a primary verb; to lie outstretched (literally or figuratively):—be (appointed, laid up, made, set), lay, lie. Compare G5087.
2 Corinthian 3:14-17
But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
G5087 τίθημι títhēmi, tith'-ay-mee; a prolonged form of a primary θέω théō theh'-o (which is used only as alternate in certain tenses); to place (in the widest application, literally and figuratively; properly, in a passive or horizontal posture, and thus different fromG2476, which properly denotes an upright and active position, while G2749 is properly reflexive and utterly prostrate):—+ advise, appoint, bow, commit, conceive, give, × kneel down, lay (aside, down, up), make, ordain, purpose, put, set (forth), settle, sink down.
As you can see there many uses for the word sleep. Knowing what they mean in context is important. If you are still asleep, I pray you wake up!
But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest G2518, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.