1 Clement, 1 Clement 9, 1 Clement translation, 1 Peter, 1 Peter 3:20, Ante-Nicene, Biblical Counseling, Church History, Enoch, First Clement, Greek, Greek Translation, New Testament Background, Noah, Obedience, Philo, Preaching, Repentance, Sorrow
IX. Διὸ ὑπακούσωμεν τῇ μεγαλοπρεπεῖ καὶ ἐνδόξω βουλήσει αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἱκέται γενόμενοι τοῦ ἐλέους καὶ τῆς χρηστότητος αὐτοῦ προσπέσωμεν καὶ ἐπιστρέψωμεν ἐπὶ τοὺς οἰκτιρμοὺς αὐτοῦ, ἀπολιπόντες τὴν ματαιοπονίαν τὴν τε ἔριν καὶ τὸ εἰς θάνατον ἄγον ζῆλος. 2 Ἀτενίσωμεν εἰς τοὺς τελείως λειτουργήσαντας τῇ μεγαλοπρεπεῖ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ. 3 + λάβωμεν Ἐνώχ, ὃς ἐν ὑπακοῇ δίκαιος εὑρεθεὶς μετετέθη, καὶ οὐχ εὑρέθη αὐτοῦ θάνατος. 4 Νῶε πιστὸς εὑρεθεὶς διὰ τῆς λειτουργίας αὐτοῦ παλιγγενεσίαν κόσμῳ ἐκήρυξεν, καὶ διέσωσεν δι ̓ αὐτοῦ ὁ δεσπότης τὰ εἰσελθόντα ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ ζῶα εἰς τὴν κιβωτόν.
Translation: Therefore, let us give obedience to his greatness and the glory of his counsel, becoming suppliants of his mercy and goodness; let us fall, let us turn to his compassions – having left behind vaintoil and strife and jealousy which only leads to death. Let us fix our attention upon those true servants of his great splendor. Consider Enoch: he was found a righteous servant and he was translated – even death could not find him. Noah was found faithful in his service: He preached the regeneration of the world, and the Master used him to save the animals who came peacefully into the Ark.
Pastoral Use: Clement keeps his focus on the Bible. He relentlessly applies the example of Scripture to the condition of the Corinthians. Notice that he uses the biblical examples to draw out the biblical commands. He knows the biblical injunctions, which he drives home with biblical illustrations.
He uses a phrase, “let us ….” Thus, rather than raining down upon the Corinthians a Thus Sayeth the Lord! He exhorts and pleads with them to come to repentance.
He lays out the steps and nature of repentance: There is a call to obedience to the glory of God. But is not an obedience which seeks to earn mercy, it is an obedience which simply seeks mercy itself: The glorious will of God is repentance (Acts 17:30). The repentance is a turning to and a turning away: to God and away from sin.
This is a useful pattern to follow in biblical counseling and preaching.
Διὸ Therefore. Since God has called us to us repentance (as discussed in the previously section).
ὑπακούσωμεν, let us obey: hortatory subjunctive
τῇ μεγαλοπρεπεῖ: The magnificence, majestic [One]. Adjective used as a substantive, Hansen & Quinn, 125-126. Dative of direct object: see Wallace 171-172.
καὶ: The kai links clauses of equal status (Runge): thus, obedience and giving glory are of equal status.
ἐνδόξω: to [his will] glorious
βουλήσει αὐτοῦ: his will.
καὶ: The kai links these clauses as of equal weight with the command to obedience.
ἱκέται γενόμενοι: suppliants having become. No NT for suppliants. The verb is an aorist, middle, participle.
τοῦ ἐλέους: of mercy. Objective genitive: suppliants who seek mercy.
καὶ binds the objects of supplication
τῆς χρηστότητος: the kindness, goodness: suppliants who seek kindness
αὐτοῦ: of him: the kindness and mercy come from God. Genitive of source/producer, which he produces.
προσπέσωμεν καὶ ἐπιστρέψωμεν ἐπὶ τοὺς οἰκτιρμοὺς αὐτοῦ: Let us fall down and let us turn ourselves to his mercies/compassions.
The verbs are hortatory subjunctives. Epi + accusative = spatial, upon. The mercies come from him. The verbs are parallel to the preceding verbs: obey, become suppliants, fall before and seek mercy. The action: falling down and turning describes the repentance counseled in the preceding paragraph.
ἀπολιπόντες τὴν ματαιοπονίαν τὴν τε ἔριν: having abandoned/abandoning the vaintoil and the strife
Abandoning is an aorist participle: the abandonment takes place before the repentance as part of a turning from the sin to God.
Vaintoil is mataois: vanity (LXX), futile + ponos: strenuous, painful labor. The sin which they have engaged in is the vaintoil – further defined by the next words.
καὶ τὸ εἰς θάνατον ἄγον ζῆλος: and the jealousy/zeal which leads to death.
Literally: and the to death leading jealousy. For a discussion of the concept of zeal/jealousy is used in the OT see here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/parallel-texts-on-envy-in-ecclesiastes-44-part-2/
Behind this sentence seems to be both the fruit of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21 & Romans 6:21).
Ἀτενίσωμεν: Let us give close attention/fix our gaze
εἰς τοὺς τελείως λειτουργήσαντας: upon those perfect servants. The word for servants refers especially to one who is an official servant, as in a temple or public service. The participle is used substantively.
τῇ μεγαλοπρεπεῖ δόξῃ: Upon the magnificent glory. This parallels the langague of the first verse of this paragraph. The servants sought/served his magnificent glory.
αὐτοῦ: of him, his: the glory – as it were – streams from him.
λάβωμεν Ἐνώχ, ὃς ἐν ὑπακοῇ δίκαιος εὑρεθεὶς μετετέθη, καὶ οὐχ εὑρέθη αὐτοῦ θάνατος.
Let us take/receive Enoch, he who in obedience-righteous being found was translated, and not was found him death (Death did not find him).
Νῶε πιστὸς εὑρεθεὶς διὰ τῆς λειτουργίας αὐτοῦ παλιγγενεσίαν κόσμῳ ἐκήρυξεν: Noah faithful he was found because of the service his, the regeneration of the world he proclaimed. That is, Noah was found a faithful because of his service: he preached the regeneration of the world.
Παλιγγενεσία: Interesting word: again-born. The word was used by Greek philosophers to discuss a cosmic renewal. It was used by Philo to discuss the renewal of the world after the Flood.  The word is used by Jesus in Matthew 19:28:
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28 (ESV)
It is also used in Titus 3:5
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5 (ESV)
καὶ διέσωσεν δι ̓ αὐτοῦ ὁ δεσπότης τὰ εἰσελθόντα ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ ζῶα εἰς τὴν κιβωτόν
And he saved through him the Master [the Master saved through Noah, not Noah the Master]the entering into in harmony living beings/animals into the Ark.
The Master saved (through Moses) the living animals which entered peacefully into the Ark.
διέσωσεν δι ̓ αὐτοῦ: A similar clause is used in 1 Peter 4:20, where Peter writes, “
20 ἀπειθήσασίν ποτε ὅτε ἀπεξεδέχετο ἡ τοῦ θεοῦ μακροθυμία ἐν ἡμέραις Νῶε κατασκευαζομένης κιβωτοῦ εἰς ἣν ὀλίγοι, τοῦτʼ ἔστιν ὀκτὼ ψυχαί, διεσώθησαν διʼ ὕδατος. 1 Peter 3:20 (NA27)
The verb to save diasozo which not exactly rare is not very common. The idea is to bring someone safely through some hazard. It is used in 1 Peter 3:20, also in Acts 27:44 & 28:4 to refer to Paul (and the others) making it safely through a shipwreck. It is also used in Acts 23:24 to describe Paul being brought safely through the assassination plot and to Felix.
The precise reason for mentioning Noah and the harmony of the animals on the Ark seems to be shame the Corinthians: even the beasts were brought to harmony by the service of Noah, but you ….
+ cf. 2 Pet. 1:17
 “Adonijah also, as afraid of the king for what he had done, became a supplicant to God, and took hold of the horns of the altar, which were prominent.” (Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987).)
(47) And, moreover, those persons who allege conflagrations and regenerations of the world, think and confess that the stars are gods, which nevertheless they are not ashamed to destroy as far as their arguments go; for they are bound to prove them to be either red hot pieces of iron, as some do affirm, who argue about the whole of the heaven as if it were a prison, talking utter nonsense, or else to look upon them as divine and godlike natures, and then to attribute to them that immortality which belongs to gods.
Philo of Alexandria and Charles Duke Yonge, The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995), 712.
(64) But after the purification, in this way, of all the things beneath the moon, the earth being thus washed and appearing new again, and such as it appeared to be when it was at first created, along with the entire universe, Noah came forth out of his wooden edifice, himself and his wife, and his sons and their wives, and with his family there came forth likewise, in one company, all the races of animals which had gone in with them, in order to the generation and propagation of similar creatures in future.
(65) These are the rewards and honours for pre-eminent excellence given to good men, by means of which, not only did they themselves and their families obtain safety, having escaped from the greatest dangers which were thus aimed against all men all over the earth, by the change in the character of the elements; but they became also the founders of a new generation, and the chiefs of a second period of the world, being left behind as sparks of the most excellent kind of creatures, namely, of men, man having received the supremacy over all earthly creatures whatsoever, being a kind of copy of the powers of God, a visible image of his invisible nature, a created image of an uncreated and immortal original.
Philo of Alexandria and Charles Duke Yonge, The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995), 496.