Pautes, or praotes, denotes “meekness.”
In its use in Scripture … it consists not in a person’s “outward behaviour only; nor yet in his relations to his fellow-men; as little in his mere natural disposition. Rather it is an in wrought grace of the soul; and the exercises of it are first and chiefly towards God. It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting; it is closely linked with the word tapeinophrosune [humility], and follows directly upon it, Eph 4:2; Col 3:12 … it is only the humble heart which is also the meek, and which, as such, does not fight against God and more or less struggle and contend with Him …”
The meaning of prautes “is not readily expressed in English, for the terms meekness, mildness, commonly used, suggest weakness and pusillanimity to a greater or less extent, whereas prautes does nothing of the kind … It must be clearly understood, therefore, that the meekness manifested by the Lord and commended to the believer is the fruit of power. The common assumption is that when a man is meek it is because he cannot help himself; but the Lord was ‘meek’ because he had the infinite resources of God at His command. Described negatively, meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest; it is equanimity of spirit that is neither elated nor cast down, simply because it is not occupied with self at all.
The word praus, “meekness,” means “power under control.” Praus was used by the Greeks for a war horse that was trained to obey instantly and absolutely, no matter how great the confusion of battle. The Lipizzaner stallions are a modern rendition of the ancient Greek warhorse. Some of the stunts these horses do—such as the capriole, where the horse leaps straight up in the air and kicks his hind legs back—were actually used by the Greeks in training their horses for battle.
When the Greeks could take a horse, with the phenomenal inherent power that can propel a thousand-pound animal at speeds over 35 miles an hour, and bring that magnificent animal under the total control of just a touch—maybe just leg pressure or knee pressure—and have that horse do exactly what they wanted, then they called that horse praus.
When we talk about the meekness of Jesus Christ, what do we mean? We are talking about the Creator of the universe, who measures the universe with the span of His hand, walking around among members of the human race, allowing people to abuse Him, to afflict Him, and ultimately to put Him on the cross. That is what the word praus means. It means that He could have snuffed out the universe with the snap of His fingers, but He had His power under control.
(See “meekness” or “gentleness” as applied to the Lord Jesus Christ: Mat 11:29, Mat 21:5; 2Co 10:1; as applied to believers: Mat 5:5; 1Co 4:21; 2Co 10:1; Gal 5:23, Gal 6:1; Col 3:12; 1Ti 6:11; 2Ti 2:25; Tit 3:2; Jam 1:21, Jam 3:13; 1Pe 3:4, 1Pe 3:15.)