Biblical Meaning Of Rereward

Have you ever come across a term while reading the Bible and thought, “Hmm, what exactly does that mean?” Well, you’re not alone! The Bible is full of rich, profound language that sometimes requires a bit of digging to fully grasp its meaning.

Today, we’re going to embark on a journey together to explore one such term: “rereward.” Now, you might be scratching your head and wondering, “Rereward? What in the world is that?” Don’t worry, my friend, we’re about to dive deep into this intriguing term and uncover its significance.

Understanding biblical terms like “rereward” is like unlocking a hidden treasure chest of wisdom. It’s not just about knowing what the words mean on the surface; it’s about delving into the historical context, linguistic nuances, and deeper theological implications behind them.

Definition and Usage of “Rereward” in the Bible

First off, what is “rereward”? Well, simply put, it’s an old-fashioned term that you might not encounter in your everyday vocabulary. In biblical terms, “rereward” refers to the rear guard or the group of soldiers who protect the back of an army during a march or battle.

You might be wondering, “Where exactly does the Bible talk about rereward?” Great question! The term appears in various translations of the Bible, such as the King James Version (KJV), where it’s used in passages describing military formations and strategies.

One notable example is in Isaiah 52:12 (KJV), which says, “For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.” Here, the prophet Isaiah is reassuring the people of Israel that God will protect them both in the front and in the rear as they journey forward.

Etymology and Linguistic Considerations

Now, the word “rereward” may sound a bit archaic to our modern ears, but its roots run deep in the English language. It comes from Middle English, where “rere” means “rear” or “back” and “ward” means “guard” or “protect.” So, quite literally, “rereward” refers to guarding the rear or protecting the back.

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In the original biblical languages, such as Hebrew and Greek, similar terms are used to convey the idea of a rear guard or protector. For example, in the Hebrew Bible, the term “acharit” is often used to denote the rear or end of something, including military formations. In the Greek New Testament, words like “ὀπίσω” (opisō) can carry similar connotations of being behind or at the rear.

Understanding the etymology and linguistic roots of “rereward” helps us appreciate its significance within the biblical context. It’s not just a random word thrown into the text; it’s a term deeply rooted in the language and culture of the time.

Furthermore, different translations of the Bible may render “rereward” in various ways, such as “rear guard,” “protector,” or “guardian of the rear.” While the specific wording may vary, the underlying meaning remains consistent: the idea of protection and security for God’s people, especially in times of vulnerability.

So, whether we’re talking about “rereward” in Old English, “acharit” in Hebrew, or “ὀπίσω” in Greek, the message is clear: God is our rear guard, our protector in times of trouble, guiding us safely through life’s challenges.

Biblical Interpretations and Exegesis

  1. Traditional Interpretations: In traditional biblical scholarship, “rereward” is often understood as a symbol of God’s protective presence with His people. Just as a rear guard shields an army from attacks from behind, God watches over His followers, providing security and guidance in every situation. This interpretation emphasizes the trustworthiness of God’s promises and His unwavering commitment to safeguard His beloved children.
  2. Symbolic and Metaphorical Meanings: Beyond its literal meaning, “rereward” can also be interpreted symbolically and metaphorically. For example, some theologians view the rear guard as a representation of God’s faithfulness in our past experiences. Just as God has been faithful to us in the past, so He will continue to watch over us and protect us in the future. This interpretation highlights the importance of remembering God’s faithfulness and trusting Him for what lies ahead.
  3. Exegetical Insights: When we examine specific biblical narratives where “rereward” is mentioned, we gain valuable exegetical insights into its significance. For instance, in Isaiah 52:12, the prophet assures the people of Israel that God will be their rereward as they embark on a journey of restoration and redemption. This passage reminds us that God is not only our protector in times of trouble but also our guide and companion on the journey of life.
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In summary, “rereward” is more than just a military term; it’s a powerful reminder of God’s faithful presence and protection in our lives. Whether we’re facing challenges from the front or attacks from behind, we can take comfort in knowing that God is always with us, guarding our every step.

Theological and Practical Implications

  1. Theological Reflections: At its core, the concept of “rereward” reflects the character of God as our faithful protector and guardian. It underscores the truth that God is not only present with us in our times of need but also actively watching over us, ensuring our safety and well-being. This theological insight encourages us to cultivate a deeper trust in God’s providence and sovereignty, knowing that He is always working for our good, even when we cannot see it.
  2. Lessons and Moral Teachings: Through the imagery of “rereward,” the Bible imparts valuable lessons and moral teachings to its readers. One key lesson is the importance of reliance on God’s protection rather than human strength or strategies. Just as the rear guard shields the army from unseen dangers, so God shields His people from unseen spiritual adversaries. This reminds us to prioritize our relationship with God and seek His guidance and protection in all circumstances.
  3. Practical Applications: So, how can we apply the concept of “rereward” to our daily lives? One practical application is to cultivate a posture of prayer and dependence on God. By regularly seeking God’s guidance and protection through prayer, we acknowledge our need for His help and invite His presence into every aspect of our lives. Additionally, we can find comfort and strength in knowing that God is always with us, even in the midst of life’s challenges and uncertainties.
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In essence, the theological and practical implications of “rereward” remind us of the enduring truth of God’s love and care for His people. As we reflect on this concept, may we be encouraged to trust in God’s faithfulness, seek His guidance in all things, and find peace in His presence, knowing that He is our ever-present rear guard.


Well, my friend, we’ve reached the end of our journey through the biblical meaning of “rereward.” It’s been quite the adventure, hasn’t it? From uncovering the definition and usage of “rereward” in the Bible to exploring its theological implications and practical applications, we’ve delved deep into this fascinating term and unearthed some timeless truths along the way.

As we conclude our exploration, let’s take a moment to recap what we’ve learned:

  • We started by defining “rereward” as the rear guard or protector, particularly in the context of military formations.
  • We then delved into the etymology and linguistic considerations surrounding the term, gaining a deeper understanding of its origins and significance.
  • Next, we explored the biblical interpretations and exegetical insights into “rereward,” discovering its symbolic and metaphorical meanings.
  • We also reflected on the theological implications of “rereward,” recognizing it as a powerful reminder of God’s faithful presence and protection in our lives.
  • Finally, we discussed practical applications of “rereward,” encouraging us to cultivate a posture of prayer and dependence on God in our daily lives.

Thank you for joining me on this journey, and may you be blessed as you continue to study and meditate on God’s Word. Until next time, keep seeking wisdom and walking in faith!

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