mod'-er-at-li (litsedhaqah): "Moderately" is the King James Version translation of litsedhaqah, "righteousness" (Joe 2:23, "for he hath given you the former rain moderately," margin "according to righteousness," the Revised Version (British and American) "in just measure," margin "in (or for) righteousness"). In Php 4:5 the King James Version, toe pieikes is translated moderation: "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand," the Revised Version (British and American) "forbearance," margin "or gentleness"; compare 2Co 10:1. The proper meaning of this word has been the subject of considerable discussion; epieikeia is translated "clemency" (Ac 24:4), "gentleness" (of Christ) (2Co 10:1); epieikes is "gentle" (1Ti 3:3; Tit 3:2; Jas 3:17; 1Pe 2:18).
Trench says (Synonyms of the New Testament, 151): "It expresses exactly that moderation which recognizes the impossibility cleaving to formal law, of anticipating and providing for all cases that will emerge and present themselves to it for decision; which, with this, recognizes the danger that ever waits upon the assertion of legal rights, lest they should be pushed into moral wrongs, lest the `summum jus' should in practice prove the `summa injuria,' which therefore, pushes not its own rights to the uttermost, but going back in part or in the whole from these, rectifies and redresses the injustices of justice. It is thus more truly just than strict justice would have been; no Latin word exactly and adequately renders it; clementia sets forth one side of it, aequitas another, and perhaps modestia (by which the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) translations it in 2Co 10:1) a third; but the word is wanting which should set forth all these excellences reconciled in a single and higher one." Its archetype and pattern, he points out, is found in God, who does not stand upon or assert strict rights in His relations to men.
Lightfoot has "forbearance": "Let your gentle and forbearing spirit be recognized by all men. The judgment is drawing nigh." Hastings prefers "considerateness" or "sweet reasonableness" (HDB, III, 413); " `Gentleness' and `forbearance' are too passive. The `considerateness' of the Bible, whether applied to God or man, is an active virtue. It is the Spirit of the Messiah Himself, who will not break the bruised reed nor quench the smoking flax, and it is the spirit of every follower who realizes that `the Lord is at hand.' " The want of this "considerateness" too often mars our religious life and spoils its influence.
W. L. Walker