1 Clement, Apostolic Fathers, First Clement, Genesis 19, godliness, Greek Translation, hospitality, James 1, judgment, Lot, Lot's Wife, Sodom
Because he showed hospitality and was godly, Lot was saved when Sodom and all the surrounding country was destroyed by fire and sulphur. The Master has made clear already that he does not forsake those who trust him; but those of a contrary bent, he appoints to pain and punishment. For even Lot’s wife, though she went out with him did not have the same mind; and she was appointed as a sign for everyone, a salt pillar which remains until today: those doubled-minded, those who doubt the power of God will find themselves also tokens of God’s judgment for all generations.
XI. Διὰ φιλοξενίαν καὶ εὐσέβειαν Λὼτ ἐσώθη ἐκ Σοδόμων, τῆς περιχώρου πάσης κριθείσης διὰ πυρὸς καὶ θείου· πρόδηλον ποιήσας ὁ δεσπότης, ὅτι τοὺς ἐλπίζοντας ἐπʼ αὐτὸν οὐκ ἐγκαταλείπει, τοὺς δὲ ἑτεροκλινεῖς ὑπάρχοντας εἰς κόλασιν καὶ αἰκισμὸν τίθησιν· 2 συνεξελθούσης γὰρ αὐτῷ τῆς γυναικός, ἑτερογνώμονος ὑπαρχούσης καὶ οὐκ ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ, εἰς τοῦτο σημεῖον ἐτέθη ὥστε γενέσθαι αὐτὴν στήλην ἁλὸς ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ταύτης, εἰς τὸ γνωστὸν εἶναι πᾶσιν ὅτι οἱ δίψυχοι καὶ οἱ διστάζοντες περὶ τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ δυνάμεως εἰς κρίμα καὶ εἰς σημείωσιν πάσαις ταῖς γενεαῖς γίνονται.
Clement continues to press his point to the rebellious Corinthians. Here he notes that God rescues those who trust God (as shown by Lot’s hospitality and godliness). Yet those who doubt God’s power will find themselves (like Lot’s wife) the subject of God’s judgment.
Διὰ φιλοξενίαν καὶ εὐσέβειαν
Because of/due to hospitality and godliness
Dia + the accusative means “owing to, thank to, on account of, in consequence of” …dia tous qeous eswxomhn I was saved thanks to the gods” …Smyth, 1685.2.d, p. 375. By throwing this clause prior to the main action of the sentence (the salvation of Lot), Clement forces attention on the cause of the salvation.
In referencing “hospitality”, Clement apparently refers to the hospitality granted to the angels (that Lot would have been hospitable at other times may not be doubted, but it is likely not in view):
19 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2 and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. Genesis 19:1–3 (ESV)
As for godliness, while the LXX does not use the word “godliness” to describe those saved (it uses the word “righteous”); the negative – ungodly (asebhs) is used to describe those who will be destroyed (Gen. 18:24, LXX).
Λὼτ ἐσώθη ἐκ Σοδόμων
Lot was saved from Sodom
Saved is a “divine passive”. The preposition “ek” shows that Lot was taken out from the middle of, as opposed to the side of, Sodom.
τῆς περιχώρου πάσης κριθείσης
of the surrounding country, all of it, was judged
At the time when all the area was judged.
The article probably is used to refer to the monadic (Wallace, 223) judgment – the only one of its kind. This is an example of the first attributive position, article, adjective (here an adjectival phrase), substantive.
The genitive here refers to the time during which the judgment took place: Lot was saved at the time of judgment (Wallace, 122). For thorough examination of the theme of rescue from judgment, see God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment, James M. Hamilton, Jr.
διὰ πυρὸς καὶ θείου
by means of fire and sulphur
Symth notes that dia plus genitive can reference the “means” of an action and gives the example, dia toutou grammata pemyas sending a letter by this man. Smyth, 1685.1.d, 374.
πρόδηλον ποιήσας ὁ δεσπότης
before plainly he did the master: the Master made clear [to Lot] beforehand
“Made/did” is an aorist participle, subordinated to the main verb forsake in the next clause. This is a temporal participle, it tells us when the Master acted: First, the participle is aorist (which tends to indicate an time prior to a principle, present, active verb; Wallace, 624). Second, the adverb, before-clear/plain (beforehand is the closest English) requires a temporal reference.
ὅτι τοὺς ἐλπίζοντας ἐπʼ αὐτὸν οὐκ ἐγκαταλείπει
that those who hope (those hoping) upon him he would not leave behind
Here hoti functions as a content conjunction (that), “This use involves a conjunction that introduces a subject ….” Wallace, 678.
The verb is singular, because the subject is the Master: the Master does not leave
Symth notes that epi + the accusative can mean “reference”. Symth also has a note that epi + accusative can be used to bring out “hostility” towards; hence, it could also bring a positive intense relationship. Here is an interesting note, “To express purpose epi with accusative is generally used when the purpose involves actual or implied motion toward an object; epi with dative is used when the purpose may be attained by mental activity” (Smyth, 1689.3.d, note; 379).
τοὺς δὲ ἑτεροκλινεῖς ὑπάρχοντας
but those inclined to
The de sets up a contrast with those saved.
The substantive is a present, active accusative participle those existing.
The adjective (heteroklineis) means, inclined to, having a propensity for (a metaphorical use derived from leaning) – here there is a contrast with those who hope. Thus, the hetero-leaning is leaning away from trust in God.
Εἰς κόλασιν καὶ αἰκισμὸν τίθησιν
to punishment and mistreatment he [God] appoints
συνεξελθούσης γὰρ αὐτῷ τῆς γυναικός
For [when] she had gone out with him, the wife
She had gone out: an adverbial, temporal participle.
ἑτερογνώμονος ὑπαρχούσης καὶ οὐκ ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ,
being otherwise opinioned and not in one mind (not having the same mind, as Lot)
εἰς τοῦτο σημεῖον ἐτέθη
to this sign she was appointed
The verb tiqhmi is repeated here from the preceding sentence: God has appointed to punishment those who will not hope on him. Lot’s wife was appointed to be a “sign”.
ὥστε γενέσθαι αὐτὴν στήλην ἁλὸς
so that she became a salt pillar
hoste with the anarthrous infinitive expresses result: With the result that she became (Wallace, 610)
ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ταύτης
until this day
εἰς τὸ γνωστὸν εἶναι πᾶσιν
to be known by all
Eis is here used to express the goal, purpose, intention of God’s action. Smyth, 686.d, 376.
ὅτι οἱ δίψυχοι καὶ οἱ διστάζοντες
that the double-minded and the doubting
The language here very much echoes James 1:5-8:
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5–8 (ESV)
While the world “doubled-minded” is the same in Clement and James, the word for “doubt” is different. Neither Holmes nor Grant note this as an allusion to James. Grant writes, “It is obviously a concept characteristic of Jewish Christianity” (Grant, Apostolic Fathers vol. 1, p. 33).
περὶ τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ δυνάμεως
concerning the power of God
Peri + genitive, concerning, Smyth, 1393.b, 383.
Lot’s wife (and those like her) doubt the power of God.
εἰς κρίμα καὶ εἰς σημείωσιν
for judgment and for a sign
πάσαις ταῖς γενεαῖς γίνονται
for/thoughout all generations they are
Those like Lot’s wife are a made to be a sign of those who doubt.
The dative emphasizes the point in time – here defined as “all generations”.