The previous post in this series is found here:
1 Clement 15:
Therefore, let us be joined with the pious who seek peace – not with hypocrites only pretend to want peace. For it says somewhere
This people honors me with their lips
But their heart is far from me.
With their mouth they praise
But in their heart they always curse.
And again it says,
They loved Him with their mouths;
But their tongue lied to him.
Their heart was not upright within them;
Neither did they keep the His covenant.
Therefore, let their deceitful lips be silent
-those who condemn the righteous.
May the Lord utterly destroy the deceitful lips
Tongues that speak great things
Those who say,
We will magnify our tongue
Our lips are our ours!
Who is lord over us?
Yet, because of the wretchedness of the poor
And the groaning of the beggar
Now I shall arise, says the Lord.
I will place him in safety,
I will act boldly for him.
Clement here unleashes a series of Biblical texts from the prophets and Psalms which demonstrate God’s hatred of the usurper and hypocrite. He begins with calls to peace but ends with a warning: God will act on behalf of the one who is persecuted.
3 May the LORD cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,
4 those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,
our lips are with us; who is master over us?”
5 “Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the LORD;
“I will place him in the safety for which he longs.” Psalm 12:3–5 (ESV)
I heard Wayne Mack give this counseling advice: Where someone refuses to take good, Scriptural counsel, I let them go but warn them that “the way of the transgressor is hard.”
15 Good understanding giveth favour:
but the way of transgressors is hard. Proverbs 13:15 (AV)
Providing a true warning is in no way unloving; though, it may not be pleasant.
Greek Text and Translation Notes:
1 Τοίνυν κολληθῶμεν τοῖς μετʼ εὐσεβείας εἰρηνεύουσιν, καὶ μὴ τοῖς μεθʼ ὑποκρίσεως βουλομένοις εἰρήνην. 2 * λέγει γάρ που· Οὗτος ὁ λαὸς τοῖς χείλεσίν με τιμᾷ·, ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἄπεστιν ἀπʼ ἐμοῦ. 3 * καὶ πάλιν· Τῷ στόματι αὐτῶν εὐλογοῦσιν, τῇ δὲ καρδίᾳ αὐτῶν κατηρῶντο. 4 * καὶ πάλιν λέγει· Ἠγάπησαν αὐτὸν τῷ στόματι αὐτῶν καὶ τῇ γλώσσῃ αὐτῶν ἐψεύσαντο αὐτόν, ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν οὐκ εὐθεῖα μετʼ αὐτοῦ, οὐδὲ ἐπιστώθησαν ἐν τῇ διαθήκῃ αὐτοῦ. 5 * διὰ τοῦτο ἄλαλα γενηθήτω τὰ χείλη· τὰ δόλια τὰ λαλοῦντα κατὰ τοῦ δικαίου ἀνομίαν. καὶ πάλιν· Ἐξολεθρεύσαι κύριος πάντα τὰ χείλη· τὰ δόλια,1 γλῶσσαν μεγαλορήμονα, τοὺς εἰπόντας· Τὴν γλῶσσαν ἡμῶν μεγαλυνοῦμεν, τὰ χείλη· ἡμῶν παρʼ ἡμῖν ἐστιν· τίς ἡμῶν κύριός ἐστιν; 6 ἀπὸ τῆς ταλαιπωρίας τῶν πτωχῶν καὶ τοῦ στεναγμοῦ τῶν πενήτων νῦν ἀναστήσομαι, λέγει κύριος· θήσομαι ἐν σωτηρίῳ, 7 παρρησιάσομαι ἐν αὐτῷ.
Τοίνυν κολληθῶμεν τοῖς μετʼ εὐσεβείας εἰρηνεύουσιν
Therefore, let us be joined with those pious peace-makers
Τοίνυν: therefore (toi: Emphatic particle; nun: now)
κολληθῶμεν: Aorist, passive hortatory subjunctive
τοῖς… εἰρηνεύουσιν: Articular, substantive participle. By using a participle, Clement puts the emphasis on their action of making/being/pursuing peace
Meta: The preposition controls the entire clause and thus requires the dative.
καὶ μὴ τοῖς μεθʼ ὑποκρίσεως βουλομένοις εἰρήνην.
And not with those hypocrites who claim to want peace.
καὶ μὴ: The kai (and) draws a parallel between the two halves of the sentence. The “and” is thus ambiguous or awkward in English.
τοῖς μεθʼ ὑποκρίσεως βουλομένοις εἰρήνην: with those hypocritically desiring peace.
λέγει γάρ που· Οὗτος ὁ λαὸς τοῖς χείλεσίν με τιμᾷ
For he/it says somewhere, “These people by their lips honor me”
λέγει γάρ που: This speech formula sounds similar to the formulas used in Hebrews.
Οὗτος ὁ λαὸς: This particular people.
τοῖς χείλεσίν: Dative of means.
τιμᾷ: Present active third person singular
ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἄπεστιν ἀπʼ ἐμοῦ
But their heart is far away from me
De creates a contrast with the previous clause and thus explains the hypocrisy.
Πόρρω: adverb, far.
ἄπεστιν, apeimi rather than the LXX’s apechein. Little change in meaning.
καὶ πάλιν· Τῷ στόματι αὐτῶν εὐλογοῦσιν
And, again, By means of their mouth they bless
LXX, Ps. 61:5
Τῷ στόματι: By means of their mouth: dative of means.
τῇ δὲ καρδίᾳ αὐτῶν κατηρῶντο
But with their hearts they curse
Dative of means.
The imperfect κατηρῶντο is interesting because it contrasts with the present tense, “they bless”. It should be taken as an iterative imperfect, they started and kept going in their cursing, i.e., it is in their nature.
καὶ πάλιν λέγει· Ἠγάπησαν αὐτὸν τῷ στόματι αὐτῶν
And again it says, They loved him with their mouth
LXX, Psalm 77:36-37: “Under severe punishment, they repented and searched for God, remembering that he was their redeemer and source of security (vv 33–35), their Rock. But the turning to God was not genuine (v 36); it was done out of necessity and not out of steadfast loyalty and consistency of commitment to Yahweh (v 37)” (Marvin E. Tate, Psalms 51–100, vol. 20, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998), 291).
καὶ πάλιν λέγει: Quotation formula from Romans 15:10.
Ἠγάπησαν αὐτὸν : In the context of the Psalm “him” is God. The Hebrew has they deceived/flattered (NASB 95/ESV), וַיְפַתּ֥וּהוּ. The meaning is not that distinct, in that they loved only with their mouth, i.e., it was a false profession of love.
καὶ τῇ γλώσσῃ αὐτῶν ἐψεύσαντο αὐτόν
and by means of their tongue, they lied to him.
ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν οὐκ εὐθεῖα μετʼ αὐτοῦ
But their heart was not right/upright with him
De draws the contrast.
εὐθύς, εῖα: when used with “heart”, it means upright, proper: Acts 8:21.
μετʼ αὐτοῦ: “With him” is awkward in English. “Towards God”. (The New Fowlers states that “towards” is more formal in AmE. Although both toward and towards are acceptable.)
οὐδὲ ἐπιστώθησαν ἐν τῇ διαθήκῃ αὐτοῦ
Neither were they faithful to the covenant with Him/His covenant.
διὰ τοῦτο ἄλαλα γενηθήτω τὰ χείλη τὰ δόλια
Because of this, unable to speak them him be the lips the deceitful ones
LXX Psalm 30:19
διὰ τοῦτο: idiom: Because of this, on account of this.
ἄλαλα: Dumb, unable to speak.
Γενηθήτω: Third person singular: ‘his lips’
τὰ χείλη: accusative as the direct object of the verb. The article is used to indicate possession (without the use of a pronoun), Wallace, 215, “The article is sometimes used where possession is implied.”
τὰ λαλοῦντα κατὰ τοῦ δικαίου ἀνομία
The lawless ones speaking against the righteous
τὰ … ἀνομία: It is also like speaking a great deal in one breath: Those speaking-against-the-righteous lawless one.
κατὰ τοῦ: kata with the genitive: against.
καὶ πάλιν· Ἐξολεθρεύσαι κύριος πάντα τὰ χείλη τὰ δόλια
And again, May the Lord utterly destroy all deceitful lips
LXX Pslam 11:4-5
Ἐξολεθρεύσαι: an aorist optative. Tense shows aspect: destroy once and for all.
γλῶσσαν μεγαλορήμονα, τοὺς εἰπόντας
(the) boastful tongue, those saying ….
Tongue is definite because it is a generic noun.
τοὺς εἰπόντας: participle with article: Those speaking. The participle is aorist, but the translation is present, due to idiom.
Τὴν γλῶσσαν ἡμῶν μεγαλυνοῦμεν:
The tongue of us we will exalt
τὰ χείλη ἡμῶν παρʼ ἡμῖν ἐστιν
The lips of us are with us
Our lips are our own.
τίς ἡμῶν κύριός ἐστιν;
Who is our Lord?
Who is Lord over us?
Implied answer: No one.
Genitive of subordination (Wallace, 103).
ἀπὸ τῆς ταλαιπωρίας τῶν πτωχῶν
From the wretchedness of the poor
Apo + genitive can used to indicate cause: Because of ….
Of the poor: the wretchedness which belongs to the poor. Alternative: the wretched poor, attributive genitive.
καὶ τοῦ στεναγμοῦ τῶν πενήτων
and the groaning of the beggars
ἀναστήσομαι λέγει κύριος
I shall arise! Says the Lord
The king stands to act.
θήσομαι ἐν σωτηρίῳ,
I shall place him/put him salvation/safety
Soterios is a technical term for “salvation” but also is used more broadly for health or safety. The “him” is the poor/needly one who cries out to the Lord.
παρρησιάσομαι ἐν αὐτῷ
I shall act boldly for him.
In the same line with these passages are commonly ranged certain others, in which Scripture seems to be adduced with a subjectless λέγει or φησί, the authoritative subject—whether the divinely given Word or God Himself—being taken for granted.
Benjamin B. Warfield, The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield, Volume 1: Revelation and Inspiration (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 285.