Romans 15:4-13

Romans 15:4-13
Second Sunday of Advent A


For whateverA was written in former daysB was writtenC for our instruction,D

Notes on verse 4a

A {untranslated} = pas. This is all or every.
B “written in former days” = prographo. 4x in NT. From pro (before, first, in front of, earlier) + grapho (to write or describe). This is to write above or before, to designate earlier, to show openly, or figuratively to announce.
C “written” = grapho. Related to “written in former days” in v4. See note B above.
D “instruction” = didaskalia. From didaskalos (teacher, master); from didasko (to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge; in the New Testament, almost always used for teaching scripture); from dao (to learn).. This is teaching or instruction.

so that by steadfastnessE and by the encouragementF of the scripturesG we might haveH hope.I 

Notes on verse 4b

E “steadfastness” = hupomone. From hupo (by, under, about) + meno (to stay, remain, wait, await, continue, abide). This is properly to remain behind or remain under. It implies endurance, patience, steadfastness, and waiting in hope.
F “encouragement” = paraklesis. From parakaleo (to call to, summon, invite, request, or beg; to exhort or admonish; to encourage, comfort, or console; has legal overtones and is used of one’s advocate in a courtroom); {from para (beside, by, in the presence of) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud); {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}}. This is calling someone for help, a personal exhortation, comfort, encouragement, joy, entreaty, urging. This word comes from a legal setting – as bringing evidence to advocate for another in court. This word is related to the word “Advocate” or paraclete used for the Holy Spirit.
G “scriptures” = graphe. Related to “written in former days” and “written” in v4. From grapho (see note B above). This is literally writing, a document. In the New Testament, this is always used for scripture.
H “have” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.
I “hope” = elpis. From elpo (to anticipate, welcome, expect; usually to anticipate positively). This is expectation, hope, trust, confidence faith. The expectation can be abstract or concrete.

May the GodJ of steadfastness and encouragement grantK you to live in harmonyL with one another, in accordance with ChristM Jesus,N 

Notes on verse 5

J “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
K “grant” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.
L “harmony” = phroneo. From phren (diaphragm, heart, intellect, understanding; figurative for personal opinion or inner mindset; thought regulating action; sympathy, feelings, cognition); perhaps from phrao (to rein in or curb). This is to think, judge, use one’s mind, have an opinion, shape one’s opinion through action. It refers to one’s insight or inner perspective expressing itself through behavior.
M “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
N “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.

so that togetherO you may with oneP voiceQ

Notes on verse 6a

O “together” = homothumadon. 11x in NT. From homou (together); {from homos (the same)} + thumos (passion, wrath; actions emerging from passion or impulse) {from thuo (to rush along, breathe violently, offer sacrifice)}}. This is having one mind or a shared passion. It is people who share the same desire.
P “one” = heis. This is one, a person, only, some.
Q “voice” = stoma. Perhaps from tomoteros (sharp, keener); from temno (to cut). This is mouth, speech, language, the tip of a sword, an opening in the ground.

glorifyR the God and FatherS of our LordT Jesus Christ.

Notes on verse 6b

R “glorify” = doxazo. From doxa (glory, opinion, praise, honor, renown; particularly used as a quality of God or manifestation of God – splendor); from dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is to render or hold something as glorious, to glorify, honor, magnify, or celebrate. This is ascribing weight to something by recognizing its true value or essence.
S “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
T “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.

WelcomeU one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the gloryV of God. For I tellW you that Christ has becomeX a servantY

Notes on verses 7-8a

U “welcome” = proslambano. 12x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + lambano (active acceptance/taking of what is available or what has been offered; emphasizes the choice and action of the individual). This is to take aside, accept, receive, or welcome. It can be to take in a friendly or hospitable sense or to eat (i.e. take food).
V “glory” = doxa. Related to “glorify” in v6. See note R above.
W “tell” = lego. This is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally.
X “become” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
Y “servant” = diakonos. Perhaps from dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + konis (dust) OR from dioko (to chase after, put to flight; by implication, to persecute or to purse like a hunter after its prey; this can be earnestly pursue or zealously persecute) {related to dio (put to flight)}. This is a servant, minister, waiter, or attendant. It is used for a person who performs a service, including religious service. This is the root of the word “deacon.”

of the circumcisedZ on behalf of the truthAA of God in order that he might confirmBB the promisesCC given to the ancestorsDD 

Notes on verse 8b

Z “circumcised” = peritome. Related to “voice” in v6. From peritemno (to circumcise; literally cut around); {from peri (about, concerning, all around, encompassing) + same as tomos or tomoteros (see note Q above). This is properly, cut around, referring to the way that foreskin is removed and so this is to circumcise. It can be used or the rite or the people who are circumcised – in a literal or figurative sense.
AA “truth” = aletheia. From alethes (true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested; literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic). {from a (not, without) + lanthano (unnoticed, concealed)}. Truth is literally that which is not or cannot be concealed. This word covers more than the sense of true versus false. It spoke of truth as that which corresponds to reality – reality as opposed to illusion. Thus, it includes, sincerity, straightforwardness, and reality itself.
BB “confirm” = bebaioo. 8x in NT. From bebaios (properly, ground that is solid enough to walk over; firm, unshakable; figuratively, guaranteed, valid, sure, steadfast, enduring; literally and figuratively “solid footing”); from the same as basis (a step; hence, a foot, pace, or base); from baino (to walk or go). This is secure, guantee, reliable, firm, dependable. It is something that you can put your trust in.
CC “promises” = epaggelia. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + aggello (to announce, report); {from aggelos (angel, messenger); probably from ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, drive)}. This is a summons, promise, or message. It is a formal promise that is officially sanctioned. In the New Testament, this usually refers to a promise made in the Old Testament.
DD “ancestors” = pater. Same as “Father” in v6. See note S above.

and that the gentilesEE might glorify God for his mercy.FF

As it is written,

“Therefore I will confessGG you among the gentiles
    and sing praisesHH to your name”;II

Notes on verse 9

EE “Gentiles” = ethnos. Probably from etho (a custom or culture). This is people who are united by having similar customs or culture. Generally, it is used to refer to Gentiles. This is a tribe, race, nation, or Gentiles in general. This is where the term “ethnicity” comes from.
FF “mercy” = eleos. This is mercy, pity, tender mercy, or compassion, whether from humans or from God. This is mercy, generally understood in action by word or deed. When we sing or say “kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy), it is related to this word.
GG “confess” = exomologeo. Related to “tell” in v4. 10x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + homologeo (to agree, speak the same, declare, promise, praise, celebrate; to align with, express the same conclusion, endorse); {from homologos (of one mind); {from homos (the same) + lego (see note W above)}}. This is agree, consent, or acknowledge. It can also be confess, give thanks, or praise. It includes an open, public, unabashed declaration.
HH “sing praises” = psallo. 5x in NT. From psao (to rub). This is to twang, play, sing psalms, pluck a stringed instrument such as a harp. Always used for songs of praise to God in the New Testament. It is where “psalm” comes from.
II “name” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.

10 and again he says,JJ

“Rejoice,KK O gentiles, with his people”;LL

11 and again,

“PraiseMM the Lord, allNN you gentiles,
    and let all the peoples praiseOO him”;

Notes on verses 10-11

JJ “says” = lego. Same as “tell” in v8. See note W above.
KK “rejoice” = euphraino. Related to “harmony” in v5. 14x in NT. From eu (good, well, well done) + phren (see note L above). This is to be glad, revel, feast. It is having a positive outlook, rejoicing.
LL “people” = laos. This is the people or crowd – often used for the chosen people. This is where the word “laity” comes from.
MM “praise” = aineo. 8x in NT. From ainos (praise, saying, story, proverb). This is to praise.
NN “all” = pas. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note A above.
OO “praise” = epaineo. Related to “praise” in v11. 6x in NT. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + aineo (see note MM above). This is to praise or laud. It is to give someone the credit that they are due.

12 and again IsaiahPP says,

“The rootQQ of JesseRR shall come,SS
    the one who risesTT to ruleUU the gentiles;
in him the gentiles shall hope.”VV

Notes on verse 12

PP “Isaiah” = Esaias. Related to “Jesus” in v5. From Hebrew Yeshayahu (Isaiah, “salvation of the Lord”); {from yasha (see note N above) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note N above)}. This is Isaiah, meaning “salvation of the Lord.”
QQ “root” = rhiza. 17x in NT. This is a root literally or figuratively so it would be the root of what comes from it – shoot, source, descendant. This is where the word “rhizome” comes from.
RR “Jesse” = Iessai. 5x in NT. From Hebrew yishay (Jesse); perhaps from the same as yesh (being, existence, substance). This is Jesse, perhaps meaning “God exists.” See
SS “come” = eimi. This is to be, exist.
TT “rises” = anistemi. From ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + histemi (to make to stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand by, stand still, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is to raise up, rise, appear. It is to stand up literally or figuratively. Can also mean to resurrect.
UU “rule” = archo. 2x in NT. This is to begin or rule. It is something that comes first, whether in terms of status, rank, or power.
VV “hope” = elpizo. Related to “hope” in v4. From elpis (see note I above). This is to expect, trust, hope for, or to wait in an active way.

13 May the God of hope fillWW you with all joyXX and peaceYY in believing,ZZ

Notes on verse 13a

WW “fill” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.
XX “joy” = chara. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is joy, delight, gladness. Can be understood as the feeling you get when you are aware of grace.
YY “peace” = eirene. Perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony. Peace was a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) and this well-wishing included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual. This word also indicates wholeness and well-being – when everything that is essential is joined together properly. This is peace literally or figuratively. By implication, it is prosperity (but not in the sense of excessive wealth. Prosperity would have meant having enough from day to day.)
ZZ “believing” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.

so that you may aboundAAA in hope by the powerBBB of the HolyCCC Spirit.DDD

Notes on verse 13b

AAA “abound” = perisseuo. From perissos (abundant, more, excessive, advantage, vehemently); from peri (all-around, encompassing, excess). This is more than what is ordinary or necessary. It is abounding, overflowing, being leftover, going above and beyond. It is super-abounding in number or quality.
BBB “power” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.
CCC “Holy” = Hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
DDD “Spirit” = Pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breathe, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.

Image credit: “Scroll of Isaiah from Qumran at Israel Museum” by KOREphotos, 2008.

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