Walk (prop. הָלִך, or יָלִך, περιπατέω). The Hebrew verb not only signifies to advance with a steady step, but also to augment a moderate pace until it acquires rapidity. It is used in this sense by the evangelical prophet with the greatest propriety in the following passage: "Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isa 40:30-31).
Walking for the sake of exercise is rarely practiced in the East; indeed, the indolent Orientals are quite unable to comprehend the conduct of Europeans in walking for mere recreation, without any immediate purpose of business. They attribute this to a spirit of restlessness which they believe to be a kind of curse inflicted upon Christian nations; and, in a dispute between Turks, it is not uncommon for one of the parties, as his worst execration, to wish that his opponent should be condemned "to walk like a Frank." Among the females, this dislike of locomotion is carried to a still greater extent, and there is scarcely any epithet which would be more offensive to a Turkish or Persian lady than to be called "a walker." This appears also to have been the case with the Egyptian ladies, for there are but few instances of their being represented on the monuments in walking attitudes. Wilkinson observes (Anc. Egypt. 2, 347, 348):
"When walking from home, Egyptian gentlemen frequently carried sticks, varying from three or four to about six feet in length, occasionally surmounted with a knob imitating a flower, or with the more usual peg projecting from one side, some of which have been found at Thebes. Many were of cherry-wood, only three feet three inches long; and those I have seen with the lotus head were Generally about the same length. Others appear to have been much longer; the sculptures represent them at least six feet; and one brought to England by Mr. Madox was about five feet in length. Some were ornamented with color and gilding. On entering a house, they left their stick in the hall or at the door; and poor men were sometimes employed to hold the sticks of the guests who had come to a party on foot, being rewarded by the master of the house for their trouble with a trifling compensation in money, with their dinner, or a piece of meat to carry to their family. The name of each person was frequently written on his stick in hieroglyphics, for which reason a hard wood was preferred, as the acacia, which seems to have been more generally used than any other; and on one found at Athribis the owner had written, 'O my stick, the support of my legs,' etc.
Walk is often used in Scripture for conduct in life, or a man's general demeanor and deportment. Thus we are told that Enoch and Noah "walked with God;" that is, they maintained a course of action conformed to the will of their Creator, and acceptable in his sight; drawing near to him by public and private devotions; manifesting, by their piety, a constant sense of his presence, and by their purity of life a reverence for the moral laws which he had established for the guidance of his creatures. In many parts both of the Old and New Test. we find God promising to walk with his people; and his people, on the other hand, desiring the influence of God's Holy Spirit, that they may walk in his statutes. "To walk in darkness" (1Jo 1:6-7) is to be involved in unbelief, and misled by error; "to walk in the light" is to be well informed, holy, and happy; "to walk by faith" is to expect the things promised or threatened, and to maintain a course of conduct perfectly consistent with such a belief; "to walk after the flesh" is to gratify the carnal desires, to yield to the fleshly appetites, and be obedient to the lusts of the flesh; "to walk after the Spirit" is to pursue spiritual objects, to cultivate spiritual affections, to be spiritually minded, which is life and peace.
By a somewhat different figure, the pestilence is said to walk in darkness, spreading its ravages by night as well as by day. God is said to walk on the wings of the wind, and the heart of man to walk after detestable things.