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The previous post in this series is found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/translation-and-notes-1-clement-14-1-let-us-do-kindness/

For it is written

The kind shall live in the land and the innocent shall remain upon it. But the lawless will be utterly destroyed from the land.

And again it says,

I saw the ungodly –raised up, towering like the cedars of Lebanon! Then, I passed by; I looked, yet he was not. I searched everywhere for him, but found him not.

Protect innocence; observe righteousness: a future remains for the man of peace.



As good counselor, Clement lays out the consequence for both warring and peace. For those who seek peace, there will be a future. They will “live in the land.”  For those who bring disorder, “the ungodly”, there will be utter destruction.

The pattern of demonstrating the consequence, whether good or ill, of decisions is the pattern of wisdom literature.  Biblical counselors should not merely use the conclusions of Scripture, but should also use the pattern of presentation.  When Clement used narrative, he briefly recounted the narratives and then drew a conclusion.  In this instance, using wisdom literature, he presents his counsel in the same pattern as his original.

Many people have a particular idiom of thought and then try to stuff all their presentation in that idiom. Young men fresh out of seminary are often drawn to Paul’s propositional argument. While such a structure is valid; such a structure is not the only appropriate structure.  To force everything into the same mold it is to (1) misrepresent the original; and (2) ignore your audience.

For example, when the poetry of a prophet is stuffed into an analytical framework, the beauty and mystery of the original is lost.  The prophet/poet does not draw out images merely to make a emphatic statement: God will judge! Or, God will restore! Certainly that is true, but it is not everything.

When Nahum writes,  the Lord will “pursue his enemies into darkness” (Nahum 1:8), he does not merely mean that God can see in the dark. Rather he means to convey the utter horror of the enemy who realizes that he cannot hide. When the criminal runs, he dashes into a dark alley and dives behind a dumpster. The camera comes in close. In the poor light of a dim overhead bulb we see the shivering and fear as the he realizes there is no escape.  When teaching (where in a sermon to a congregation or to an individual in counseling) a line from a prophet, the goal must be convey both the proposition – you cannot escape God – and the recognition of that truth – you must know a shiver of fear.

Too often the teacher transforms the poetry into proposition. In so doing, he radically misrepresents the original. By stripping out the beauty, he makes the prophet sound long-winded. The audience will begin to think, “Why didn’t Amos just say, God will judge you! Didn’t he waste a lot of words by going on for three paragraphs?”

It also cheats the hearer. First, the teacher simply hides the text from the audience by misrepresenting the text. Second, he it cheats the audience, because some people will be more sensitive to poetry or narrative than to proposition and argument. To reduce everything to argument is to cheat everyone.

The same takes place with wisdom. The pointedness of wisdom literature is to drop the point of a proposition squarely in the conscience. It must come in so sharply that is seen as self-evident. Of course, the godly will remain and the wicked will be destroyed!

Since the proposition is so plain, merely stating and restating the proposition will have little effect. Therefore, the emphasis in teaching wisdom will (most often) be upon heeding.

Look at how Clement makes his argument (in chapter 14):

Therefore, it is just and holy, men and brothers, that we should be obedient to God – rather than follow leaders of a loathsome jealousy in their arrogance and chaos.  For we will not suffer common harm, but rather endure profound danger if we recklessly surrender ourselves to the will of mere men – men who hurl you out into strife and rebellion, separating you from everything good. Rather, let us do kindness to them, according to the compassion and sweetness of the One who made us.

For it is written

The kind shall live in the land and the innocent shall remain upon it. But the lawless will be utterly destroyed from the land.

And again it says,

I saw the ungodly –raised up, towering like the cedars of Lebanon! Then, I passed by; I looked, yet he was not. I searched everywhere for him, but found him not.

Protect innocence; observe righteousness: a future remains for the man of peace.

Clement’s understanding of Scripture is also interesting. He considers it beyond cavil that what Scripture says is true and authoritative.  Having made his argument he sets it beyond question by quoting Scripture.


Comment on Clement’s Quotations

He first quotes Proverbs 2:21(-22):

Proverbs 2:21–22 (ESV)

21  For the upright will inhabit the land,

and those with integrity will remain in it,

22  but the wicked will be cut off from the land,

and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.


Proverbs 2:21–22 (LXX)

21 χρηστοὶ ἔσονται οἰκήτορες γῆς, ἄκακοι δὲ ὑπολειφθήσονται ἐν αὐτῇ, ὅτι εὐθεῖς κατασκηνώσουσι γῆν, καὶ ὅσιοι ὑπολειφθήσονται ἐν αὐτῇ, 22 ὁδοὶ ἀσεβῶν ἐκ γῆς ὀλοῦνται, οἱ δὲ παράνομοι ἐξωσθήσονται ἀπ̓ αὐτῆς.


In the first two clauses he differs from Ralfs in the final prepositional phrase:  Clement substitutes (? Is he working from a different original) epi + genitive for en + dative.  The difference in meaning is negligible in this instance.

Clement does not quote verse 22, although the concept is present in his next quotation:

Psalm 37:35–37 (ESV)

35  I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,

spreading himself like a green laurel tree.

36  But he passed away, and behold, he was no more;

though I sought him, he could not be found.

37  Mark the blameless and behold the upright,

for there is a future for the man of peace.


Psalm 36:35–37 (LXX)

35 εἶδον ἀσεβῆ ὑπερυψούμενον καὶ ἐπαιρόμενον ὡς τὰς κέδρους τοῦ Λιβάνου, 36 καὶ παρῆλθον, καὶ ἰδοὺ οὐκ ἦν, καὶ ἐζήτησα αὐτόν, καὶ οὐχ εὑρέθη ὁ τόπος αὐτοῦ. 37 φύλασσε ἀκακίαν καὶ ἰδὲ εὐθύτητα, ὅτι ἔστιν ἐγκατάλειμμα ἀνθρώπῳ εἰρηνικῷ,

Clement here also shows some minor variations.

In verse 36, Clement uses ekzeteo rather than zeteo. The difference is that Clement uses what is often a more emphatic form of the verb; although, the meaning is substantially the same.

In addition, LXX has, “I sought him, but [and] it was not found the place of him [his place]”; while Clement has “I sought the place of him, but [and] not I found [I didn’t find (it)].”  The difference in writing does not change the essential meaning.

I do not know whether Clement altered his text; worked from a different text; or quoted from memory.


Greek Text:

1 Clement 14.2

4 *  γέγραπται γάρ· Χρηστοὶ ἔσονται οἰκήτορες γῆς, ἄκακοι δὲ ὑπολειφθήσονται ἐπʼ αὐτῆς· οἱ δὲ παρανομοῦντες ἐξολεθρευθήσονται ἀπʼ αὐτῆς. 5 *  καὶ πάλιν λέγει· Εἶδον ἀσεβῆ ὑπερυψούμενον καὶ ἐπαιρόμενον ὡς τὰς κέδρους τοῦ Λιβάνου· καὶ παρῆλθον, καὶ ἰδοὺ οὐκ ἦν, καὶ ἐξεζήτησα τὸν τόπον αὐτοῦ, καὶ οὐχ εὗρον. φύλασσε ἀκακίαν καὶ ἴδε εὐθύτητα, ὅτι ἐστὶν ἐγκατάλειμμα ἀνθρώπῳ εἰρηνικῷ


γέγραπται γάρ

For it is has been written

This is an introductory formula for Scriptural quotation: Matthew 4:6, 26:31; Luke 4:10; Acts 1:20, et cetera. It is used in Plutarch’s “Ceasar” at 65.1: γέγραπται γὰρ ὑπὲρ πραγμάτων μεγάλων καὶ σοὶ διαφερόντων.

Χρηστοὶ ἔσονται οἰκήτορες γῆς

The kind, they shall be those who inhabit the earth

Gh, earth,  is anarthrous and definite as a generic noun.

ἄκακοι δὲ ὑπολειφθήσονται ἐπʼ αὐτῆς

Even the innocent they shall be left upon it.

 οἱ δὲ παρανομοῦντες ἐξολεθρευθήσονται ἀπʼ αὐτῆς

But the law breakers they shall be completely destroyed from it.

οἱ παρανομοῦντες: substantive, articular participle. The participle emphasizes the action: they are destroyed because they are law breakers.

ἐξολεθρεύω:  an emphatic form of destruction: utterly destroyed.

καὶ πάλιν λέγει: And again it says [Scripture]

Scripture has been written and yet it presently speaks. No need to overstate the case.

Εἶδον ἀσεβῆ ὑπερυψούμενον:

I saw the ungodly lifted up high/exalted/praised.

ὑπερυψούμενον: complementary participle. It completes the idea of “seeing”.

καὶ ἐπαιρόμενον ὡς τὰς κέδρους τοῦ Λιβάνου: and lifted up as the cedars of Lebanon.

The participle matches is ahendiadys: two nouns expressing a single idea. The effect is emphatic. The emphasis is completed with the simile, “as the cedars of Lebanon.” The ungodly were supremely exalted.  This makes the disappearance more pointed.

καὶ παρῆλθον, καὶ ἰδοὺ οὐκ ἦν: I passed by, and behold, he [the ungodly] was not.

καὶ ἐξεζήτησα τὸν τόπον αὐτοῦ: and I thoroughly sought the place of him (his place)

The parallel aorist verbs emphasize the thorough nature of the search and its completion: He is certain the ungodly cannot be found.

καὶ οὐχ εὗρον.: and I did not find [him]

The kai (and) places the passing and searching  in conjunction with not-finding. It was all part of a singular [although not instantaneous] event.

φύλασσε ἀκακίαν: guard/protect innocence.

Φύλασσε: present imperative: guard. Thus, some emphasis on continually guarding.

ἀκακίαν:  adjective which recalls the “the innocent” who shall remain in the land.

καὶ ἴδε εὐθύτητα: and see uprightness

ἴδε: With a moral object, “observe”: Not merely ‘see’ but also a direction to be upright.

εὐθύτητα: “the scepter of uprightness,” Hebrews 1:8.

ὅτι ἐστὶν ἐγκατάλειμμα: because there is a remnant

Here hoti introduces the dependent causal clause (Wallace, 460).

ἀνθρώπῳ εἰρηνικῷ: for the peaceful man

 A dative of interest. This is an example of the fourth attributive position of the adjective (Wallace, 310-311).