Romans 8:31-39

Romans 8:31-39
A Women’s Lectionary – Proper 14

31 What then are we to say about these things? If GodA is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not withholdB his ownC Son,D

Notes on verses 31-32a

A “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
B “withhold” = pheidomai. 10x in NT. This is to spare, refrain, or to treat with leniency.
C “own” = idios. This is something that belongs to you or that is personal, private, apart. It indicates a stronger sense of possession than a simple possessive pronoun. This is where “idiot” comes from (denoting someone who hasn’t had formal training or education and so they rely on their own understanding).
D “Son” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.

but gave him upE for allF of us, will he not with him also giveG us everythingH else? 

Notes on verse 32b

E “gave…up” = paradidomi. From para (from beside, by) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is literally to hand over – hence to deliver, abandon, or betray. It implies a personal involvement.
F “all” = pas. This is all or every.
G “give” = charizomai. From charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); from chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is to extend grace or favor, to grant forgiveness, to pardon or rescue.
H “everything” = pas. Same as “all” in v32. See note F above.

33 Who will bring any chargeI against God’s elect?J It is God who justifies.K 

Notes on verse 33

I “bring any charge” = egkaleo. 7x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with, among) + 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 to call in, accuse, lay a charge. It can also be to bring to account as when one calls in a debt or obligation.
J “elect” = eklektos. From eklego (to choose, select, elect); {from ek (from, from out of) + lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. This is to select or choose. It is making a personal choice – a favorite.
K “justifies” = dikaioo. From dikaios (correct, righteous – implies innocent; this is that which conforms to God’s notion of justice, uprightness); From dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is to be righteous, plead the cause of, justify, acquit. Properly, it is being approved, particularly carrying the weight of a legal judgment. It is upright, render just, or innocent.

34 Who is to condemn?L It is ChristM Jesus,N who died,O

Notes on verse 34a

L “condemn” = katakrino. 18x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + krino (to judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue; judging whether in court or in a private setting; properly, mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty; can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging). This is judging down, which is to say to vote guilty or deserving of punishment, to condemn. This is a decisive judgment of guilt. It can also be to damn someone.
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.
O “died” = apothnesko. From apo (from, away from) + thnesko (to die, be dead). This is to die off. It is death with an emphasis on the way that death separates. It can also mean to wither or decay.

yes,P who was raised,Q, R who is at the right handS of God, who indeed intercedesT for us. 

Notes on verse 34b

P “yes” = mallon. This is rather, more than, or better.
Q “raised” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.
R {untranslated} = ek + nekros. Literally, “from the dead.” Nekros is perhaps from nekus (corpse). This is dead of lifeless, mortal, corpse. It can also be used figuratively for powerless or ineffective. It is where the word “necrotic” comes from.
S “right hand” = dexios. Perhaps from dechomai (to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome; to receive in a literal or figurative sense). This is right, right side, or the right hand.
T “intercedes” = entugchano. 5x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with, among) + tugchano (root means to become ready; to hit, meet, happen, obtain, chance, perhaps; properly, to hit the mark or be spot on; the opposite of the Greek word for sin hamartano, which literally means to miss the mark); {perhaps from tucho (to make ready, bring about)}. This is to encounter, appeal, please, chance upon, confer with, intercede, or petition. It is to meet someone in order to consult with them.

35 Who will separateU us from the loveV of Christ? Will hardship,W or distress,X or persecution,Y

Notes on verse 35a

U “separate” = chorizo. 13x in NT. From choris (apart from, separate from); from chora (space, land, region, fields, open area); from chasma (gap, gulf, chasm, open space); from chasko (to gape, yawn). Properly, this is to separate or create space. It can be literal as divide, depart, or withdraw. It can be figurative in reference to divorce.
V “love” = agape. From agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). This is love, goodwill, benevolence. It is God’s divine love or human love that mirrors God’s love.
W “hardship” = thlipsis. From thlibo (to press in on and make narrow, rub together, constrict; figuratively to oppress or afflict). This is pressure that hems us in – used often of internal pressure that makes us feel like we have no other options and are confined or restricted. So, this is persecution, affliction, trouble, distress, and anguish. There is a different word, stenoxoria, that refers to external pressure that we feel from what’s going on.
X “distress” = stenochoria. Related to “separate” in v35. 4x in NT. From stenos (narrow, confined) + chora (see note U above). This is a narrow space – used figuratively for a difficulty coming from external pressure. It is distress, difficulty, or anguish.
Y “persecution” = diogmos. 10x in NT 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 chase, pursuit, or persecution. It is hunting someone like an animal.

or famine,Z or nakedness,AA or peril,BB or sword?CC 

Notes on verse 35b

Z “famine” = limos. 12x in NT. Probably from leipo (to leave behind, be lacking). This is hunger, famine, or lacking.
AA “nakedness” = gumnotes. 3x in NT. From gumnos (naked; generally, not completely clothed i.e. only wearing the undergarment and not the complete attire for going out; rarely, completely naked; naked in a literal or figurative sense – open, bare, ill-clad). This is nakedness or exposure – whether total nakedness or naked as compared to others.
BB “peril” = kindunos. 9x in NT. This is danger or risk.
CC “sword” = machaira. Perhaps from mache (fight, battle, conflict; figuratively, controversy); from machomai (to fight, strive, dispute, quarrel; to war). This is a short sword, slaughter knife, or dagger. It is a stabbing weapon. Figuratively, associated with retribution, war, or legal punishment.

36 As it is written,DD

“For your sake we are being killedEE allFF dayGG long;

Notes on verse 36a

DD “written” = grapho. This is to write or describe. It is where the word “graphic” comes from.
EE “being killed” = thanatoo. Related to “died” in v34. 11x in NT. From thanatos (death, whether literal or spiritual; also something fatal); from thnesko (see note O above). This is to kill in a literal or figurative sense – subdue, mortify, be apart from.
FF “all” = holos. This is whole, complete, or entire. It is a state where every member is present and functioning in concert. This is the root of the word “whole.”
GG “day” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.

    we are accountedHH as sheepII to be slaughtered.”JJ

Notes on verse 36b

HH “accounted” = logizomai. Related to “elect” in v33. From logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; here, word as an account or accounting; can also be a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); from lego (see note J above). This is this is to compute or reckon up, to count; figuratively, it is coming to a conclusion or decision using logic; taking an inventory in a literal or figurative sense.
II “sheep” = probaton. Probably from probaino (to go forward literally or to advance in years); {from pro (before, ahead, earlier than, above) + the same as basis (a step, pace, foot); {from baino (to walk, to go)}}. This is literally easily led and so a sheep or another grazing animal. Also use figuratively of people who are led easily.
JJ “slaughtered” = sphage. 3x in NT. From sphazo (to slay, butcher an animal to eat or for sacrifice, slaughter, maim through violence). This is butchery of meat, whether for sacrifice or for food. It can also be used of slaughter and sacrifice more generally and figuratively of people, meaning destruction.

37 No, in allKK these things we are more than conquerorsLL through him who lovedMM us. 

Notes on verse 37

KK “all” = pas. Same as “all” in v32. See note F above.
LL “more than conquerors” = hupernikao. 1x in NT. From huper (by, under, over, above, under the authority of another) + nikao (to conquer, prevail, overcome, be victories; implies victory in battle); {from nike (victory, conquest; figurative for what makes one successful)}. This is to overwhelmingly conquer. It is a super conqueror whose victory is complete, surpassing – having a decisive victory.
MM “loved” = agapao. Related to “love” in v35. See note V above.

38 For I am convincedNN that neither death,OO nor life,PP nor angels,QQ

Notes on verse 38a

NN “convinced” = peitho. This is to have confidence, to urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust. It is the root from which the Greek word for faith is drawn (pistis).
OO “death” = thanatos. Related to “died” in v34 & “being killed” in v36. See note EE above.
PP “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
QQ “angels” = aggelos. Probably from ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide) + agele (flock, herd, drove); {also from ago (see above)}. This is angel or messenger. Properly, it is one sent with news or to perform a specific task. This messenger can be human or an angel from heaven. More commonly, it is used for angels in the New Testament.

nor rulers,RR nor things present,SS nor things to come,TT nor powers,UU 

Notes on verse 38b

RR “rulers” = arche. From archomai (to begin or rule); from archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). Properly, this is what is first. In a temporal sense, that is beginning or origin. It can also refer to the one who ranks first, i.e. king or ruler. So, it can also be magistrate, power, or principality. It can be used more generally for what is preeminent.
SS “things present” = enistemi. 7x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by with, among) + histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is literally to place in or be at hand. Thus, it is to be present or the things that are present. It can also be something that is impending or instant.
TT “to come” = mello. Perhaps from melo (something that one is worried or concerned about, something one pays attention to or thinks about). Properly, this is ready, about to happen, to intend, delay, or linger. This is just on the point of acting.
UU “powers” = 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.

39 nor height,VV nor depth,WW nor anything elseXX in all creation,YY will be able toZZ separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.AAA

Notes on verse 39

VV “height” = hupsoma. 2x in NT. From hupsoo (to elevate in a literal or figurative sense; to raise up or set something in a high place or to exalt or make something great); from hupsos (height, high position, heaven, dignity, eminence; elevation, altitude; to be exalted); from hupsi (on high, aloft); from huper (over, above, beyond). This is something that is lifted up. So, it could be height, barrier, or bulwark. It could also be a lofty thing or elevated place – altitude, presumption.
WW “depth” = bathos. 8x in NT. From bathus (deep in a literal or figurative sense); from the same root as basis (step, foot). This is depth, fullness, profundity, or immensity. This is where the term “bathysphere” comes from, but not the English word “bath.”
XX “else” = heteros. This is other, another, different, strange. It is another of a different kind in contrast to the Greek word allos, which is another of the same kind. This could be a different quality, type, or group.
YY “creation” = ktisis. 19x in NT. From ktizo (to build, create, form, shape; God’s acts of creation); probably akin to ktaomai (to get, purchase, possess). This is creation, creature, or ordinance. It is also used for when a city is founded and creation as origin.
ZZ “be able to” = dunamai. Related to “powers” in v38. Se note UU above.
AAA “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.

Image credit: “30.3 _ choose love? [EXPLORED]” by Matthias Rhomberg, 2010.

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