FILLED: pleroo (RPPMPA):
Note that this
"laundry list" of sins covers the entire gamut of life, be it the
home, the family, marriage, the workplace, the church. No area of life
is left unaffected by man's decision to turn his back on God.
In a sense, this passage is a comment upon the
doctrine of total depravity. The historic Protestant doctrine uses
phrases such as "spiritually dead, inherently corrupt, incapable of
pleasing God and hopelessly lost" to describe the plight of the human
race apart from Jesus Christ. What does it mean to be "inherently
corrupt?" It means to live in the way Paul has just described.
God Gives Up)
(pleroo) (Click word study
pleroo) which indicates more than just
pouring water in a glass up the brim.
(1) pleroo was often used of the wind filling a sail and thereby
carrying the ship along. To be filled with the Spirit then to is to be moved
along in our Christian life by God Himself, by the same dynamic by which
the writers of Scripture were “moved by the Holy Spirit” (2Pe 1:21-note). The
men in (Ro 1:29) are being moved by their depraved minds to do
(2) pleroo also conveys the idea
of permeation as of
salt’s permeating meat in order to flavor and preserve it. The depraved
minds of these men permeated their entire being resulting in the evil
actions Paul lists out for us.
(3) pleroo has connotation of total control. The person who is
filled with sorrow is no longer under his own control but
is totally under the control of that emotion. In the same way, someone
who is filled with fear, anger or even Satan (Acts 5:3) is no longer under
his own control but under the total control of that which dominates him.
God has so given these men over to their debased minds that those minds
totally control their thoughts and actions.
which speaks of having become filled
and remaining in that state, thus pointing to a state of filling and
controlling. They are completely filled and thus totally
permeated and controlled by an undiscerning rejected worthless mind! This
is a frightening truth: Men shook their fist at their Creator and He
gave them what they lusted for...to be their own god. This is
revelation of God's just wrath against unrighteous man! What a tragic,
grievous picture of MAN APART FROM GOD. Not being controlled by just a
portion of unrighteousness but being filled with ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.
You can mark it down --
Apathy leads to apostasy which brings moral anarchy. Just look at
America in the twenty first century. We see this same pattern of idolatry leading to immorality which leads to internal strife
in the book of Judges, especially the horrible description
of men doing what is right in their own eyes in Judges 17-21).
Haldane notes that being
signifies that the vices here exposed
were not tempered with virtues, but were alone and uncontrolled,
occupying the mind and heart even to overflowing. (Exposition
of the Epistle to the Romans)
Hodge comments on being
The Greek construction links this
either with the them of the preceding verse: “he gave them up, filled
with all unrighteousness”; or it depends on the preceding infinitive to
do: “so that they, filled with all unrighteousness, should commit"
It is not connected with gave them over to imply that God gave
them up after they were thus corrupt, but is linked with to do to
express the consequence of God’s abandoning them to do the things which
are not right. The crimes here mentioned were commonplace. The heathen
were full of them (pleroo). They not only abounded, but in many cases
were excused and even justified. Although the picture drawn here is
dark, it is not as dark as that presented by the most distinguished
Greek and Latin authors about their own countrymen. Commentators have
collected a fearful array of passages from the ancient writers, which
more than support the account given by the apostle. What Paul says about
the ancient heathen world is true in all its essential features of men
in all generations. Wherever men have existed, there have they shown
themselves to be sinners, ungodly and unrighteous, and therefore justly
exposed to the wrath of God." (Hodge, C. Commentary on the Epistle to
the Romans, 1835)
So, where do the evils listed in v29-31
come from? It all started back in (Ro 1:18) where Paul gave the reason
for why the gospel of the gift of God's righteousness is so desperately
needed. The gospel is the power of God to save believers because in it
God gives us what we need and could never produce on our own, namely,
His own righteousness. The righteousness that God demands from us He
freely gives to us, if we will but trust Him. This is the great Biblical
truth of justification by faith. So what Paul does in the verses
(Ro 1:18ff) is describe for us the effects of suppressing the truth of
God. He wants us to see all the evil of the world as a river that flows
from this polluted spring. Reject God, suppress God, distort God, recreate God in
your own image to your own liking, and the effect is worse than we
expect. And the thing that is worse than we expect is that God joins our
crusade against God, as it were, and delivers us into the debasing
effects of our own rebellion against him.
WITH ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, WICKEDNESS, GREED, EVIL: pase adikia poneria
means just what it says, all with no exceptions in regard to their
unrighteous conduct! Each one of these sinful attitudes and actions is
"filled to the brim"!
(adikia from a = not + dikê = right) is a condition
of not being right, whether with God, according to the standard of His
holiness and righteousness or with man, according to the standard of
what man knows to be right by his conscience.
In secular Greek adikia
referred to unjust acts, or to deeds which caused personal injury.
Rather than a general concept of injustice, this word was taken, in the
writings of Plato, to mean an unjust act which injures a specific
person. Such an act was not necessarily a violation of some specific
law, but rather an affront against the just order of society. Among the
acts which fell into this category were theft, fraud, and sexual crimes.
Later this word came to mean a neglect of duty toward the pagan gods.
used this word to describe social sins, those deeds which violated human
relations or the political order of society. Among these injustices were
deceit, fraud, and lying.
Adikia is used 25 times in the
NT - Lk. 13:27; 16:8f; 18:6; Jn. 7:18; Acts 1:18; 8:23; Rom. 1:18, 29;
2:8; 3:5; 6:13; 9:14; 1 Co. 13:6; 2 Co. 12:13; 2Th 2:10, 12; 2Ti
2:19; Heb 8:12; Jas. 3:6; 2Pe 2:13, 15; 1 Jn. 1:9; 5:17
and in the NAS is translated "doing wrong, 1; evildoers, 1; iniquities, 1;
iniquity, 2; injustice, 1; unrighteous, 2; unrighteousness, 12;
wickedness, 4; wrong."
Adikia is used over 200 times
-- Ge 6:11, 13; 26:20; 44:16; 49:5; 50:17; Ex 34:7; Lev 16:21, 22;
18:25; Nu 14:18; Dt 19:15; 32:4; Jdg 9:24; 1 Sa 3:13, 14; 14:41; 20:8;
25:24; 28:10; 2 Sa 3:8, 34; 7:10, 14; 14:32; 21:1; 1Ki 2:32; 8:50;
17:18; 2Ki 17:4; 1Chr 17:9; 2Chr 19:7; Job 11:14; 15:16; 33:17; 34:6,
32; 36:10, 18, 33; Ps 7:3, 14, 16; 11:5; 17:3; 27:12; 28:3; 52:2, 3;
55:10; 58:2; 62:10; 66:18; 72:14; 73:6, 7, 8; 75:5; 82:2; 92:15; 94:4;
119:29, 69, 104, 163; 140:2; 144:8, 11; Pr 8:13; 11:5; 15:29; 21:9;
28:16; Is 33:15; 43:24; 57:1; 58:6; 59:3; 60:18; 61:8; Je 2:22; 3:13;
11:10; 13:22; 14:6, 10, 20; 16:10, 18; 18:23; 30:14, 16; 31:34; 33:8;
36:3; 50:20; 51:5, 6; La 2:14; 4:13; Ezek 3:18, 19; 4:4, 5, 6, 17; 7:16,
19; 9:9; 12:2; 14:3, 4, 7, 10; 18:8, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 30; 21:23, 24,
25, 27, 29; 22:7, 25, 29; 24:23; 28:18; 33:13; 35:5; 39:26; 44:10, 12;
45:9; Da 4:27; 9:13, 16, 24; 12:4; Ho 4:8; 5:5; 7:1; 8:13; 9:7, 9; 10:9,
10, 13; 12:7, 8; 13:12; 14:1, 2; Joel 3:19; Am 3:10; Jon 3:8; Mic 3:10;
6:10; 7:18, 19; Nah. 3:1; Hab 2:12; Zep 3:5, 13; Zec 3:9; 5:6; Malachi
Barclay writes that...
Adikia is the precise opposite
(righteousness), which means justice;
and the Greeks defined justice as giving to God and to men their due.
The evil man is the man who robs both man and God of their rights. He
has so erected an altar to himself in the centre of things that he
worships himself to the exclusion of God and man." (Daily
Study Bible Online)
Larry Richards writes that
"unrighteousness," "injustice." Its focus is on the concept of sin as
conscious human action that causes visible harm to other persons in
violation of the divine standard. (Richards,
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
Nietzsche was not correct when he
pontificated that "might makes right". Only God makes right and only His
standard is acceptable as perfect. All other is "not right"
but is in fact adikia
and no amount of men's "might" makes it "right".
John MacArthur writes that adikia or
encompasses the idea of ungodliness
but focuses on the result. Sin first attacks God’s majesty and then His
law. Men do not act righteously because they are not rightly related to
God, who is the only measure and source of righteousness." (MacArthur,
J: Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press)
One can derive a good sense for the
meaning of adikia by studying the passages in which it is used. For
defines adikia writing that "All unrighteousness is sin" (1Jn
describes the coming anti-christ whose coming will do the work of Satan
"with all the deception of wickedness (adikia)". (2Th
corrupts the truth and chokes out the truth by its deceitfulness. From
this use in Scripture we can deduce that adikia deceives as well
as suppresses the truth (see Ro 1:18-note). Adikia or
unrighteousness is loving sin more than loving God and His truth. When
the heart is in love with self-exaltation and independence and the
pleasures of sin, the mind will inevitably distort the truth or suppress
the truth in order to protect the idols of the heart. What is needed is
not just new ideas or more information, but a new heart. And a new set
of passions and desires and pleasures. This is what God provides in the
gospel and what Paul is showing men that they are in desperate need of.
Adikia is used to describe people as
well as things. For example, adikia describes an "unrighteous steward'
an "unrighteous judge" Lk 18:6, the tongue or speech of controlled
by the fallen sin nature ("the tongue is a fire, the very world of
iniquity"). (James 3:6) Peter describes Simon the magician (who
was seeking to purchase the effects of the Holy Spirit) as "in
bitterness and in the
iniquity (adikia)." (Acts
In a similar way these reprobates in Romans 1 are in bondage to their
own unrighteousness, having been turned over by God to the depravity of
their own minds!
Luke records that the traitor Judas
Iscariot "acquired a field with the price of his wickedness
(adikia)." (Acts 1:18). Similarly Peter
warned of the just judgment on false teachers declaring they would
suffer "wrong as the wages of doing wrong (adikia)" (see 2Pe
2:13-note) going on to explain
that these men forsook "forsaking the right way they have gone astray,
having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages
of unrighteousness (he loved to earn money by doing wrong)." (See
Paul asked and answered a
rhetorical (for effect) question...
There is no injustice (adikia)
with God, is there? May it never be!" (Romans
In a passage which presents a similar
thought, Jesus in a description of Himself declared
who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the
glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no
unrighteousness (adikia) in Him. (John
Paul teaches that genuine
Christian (agape) love...
does not rejoice (is never glad
about) in unrighteousness (adikia) but rejoices with the truth" (1
One day future Jesus will declare to
men and women who thought they knew Him
tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU
"workers = ergates" of "iniquity = adikia").' (Luke
Believers however are not immune to adikia,
Paul commanding the Roman believers to stop continually (implying that
it was in fact transpiring)...
presenting the members of your body
to sin (the old sin nature inherited from Adam which was made
potentially inoperative when we were co-crucified with Christ) as instruments (describes a tool or implement for preparing
something and then a weapon of warfare) of
unrighteousness (adikia)." (see note
Paul warned that adikia would
be repaid, writing that God would give to
those who are selfishly ambitious
and do not obey the truth, but obey (
present tense -
continually persuaded by or having a settled conviction regarding)
unrighteousness (adikia), wrath and indignation (i.e.,
eternal damnation and separation from the Righteous One)." (see
Romans 2:8) The "means" justify
Paul again warns that all are to
be judged who did not believe the
truth, but took pleasure (approved of it, thought well of it, were
well-pleased) in wickedness (adikia)." (2 Thes
2:12) Notice that
the opposite of believing the truth is a life of wickedness.
In his last letter, Paul exhorts...
everyone who names the name of the
imperative - a
command to be obeyed not a suggestion) from wickedness (adikia).
Comment: Those who
are truly the Lord's are no longer free to sin wantonly, living
licentiously, but are commanded to separate from unrighteousness which
stresses the believer's need for holiness and speaks of each believer's
responsibility. It follows that if one is continually pursuing adikia
they have cause to question the "sure foundation" of their salvation.
God provides a way to deal with
adikia, John recording that...
f we confess our sins, He is
faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness. (1 John1:9)
= labor, sorrow, pain and and poneo = to be involved in work,
labor) refers to depravity, to an evil disposition, to badness or to an
evil nature. Poneria is used in the NT only in the moral and
ethical sense and refers to intentionally practiced ill will.
Kakia (see below) is
another Greek word for evil which speaks more of the vicious disposition
of one's mind (one's ill will or hatefulness, a mean-spirited or vicious
attitude or disposition) whereas poneria pictures the active
exercise of this evil.
Poneria describes the state
of lacking moral or social values (baseness, sinfulness, maliciousness,
malevolence). Poneria is active malice. Poneria is
malevolence, not only doing evil, but being evil. Webster defines
malevolence as the condition which arises from intense often vicious ill
will, spite, or hatred.
perverseness and denotes the bad instinct of the heart. Poneria is the
general inclination to evil that reigned among the pagans, and made them
practice and take pleasure in vicious and unprofitable actions.
Barclay - In Greek this word
(poneria) means more than
badness. There is a kind of badness which, in the main, hurts only the
person concerned. It is not essentially an outgoing badness. When it
hurts others, as all badness must, the hurt is not deliberate. It may be
thoughtlessly cruel, but it is not callously cruel. But the Greeks
defined poneria as the desire of doing harm. It is the active,
deliberate will to corrupt and to inflict injury. When the Greeks
described a woman as ponēra they meant that she deliberately
seduced the innocent from their innocence. In Greek one of the commonest
titles of Satan is ho poneros, the evil one, the
one who deliberately attacks and aims to destroy the goodness of men.
Poneros describes the man who is not only bad but wants to make
everyone as bad as himself. Poneria is destructive badness. (Daily
Study Bible Online)
Webster adds some interesting
thoughts on "wicked" (English word being derived from "wicca"
meaning sorcerer) including "morally
very bad, marked by mischief, disgustingly unpleasant, causing or likely
to cause harm, distress, or trouble."
Poneria - 7x in 7v - Usage:
malice(1), wicked ways(1), wickedness(5).
Matthew 22:18 But Jesus perceived
their malice, and said, "Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites?
Mark 7:21 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil
thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,
Luke 11:39 But the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees clean the
outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full
of robbery and wickedness.
Acts 3:26 "For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to
bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways."
Romans 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed,
evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old
leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the
unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but
against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this
darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly
Poneria - 46v in the
non-apocryphal Septuagint - Ex 10:10; 32:12; Deut 31:21; Jdg 9:56-57;
11:27; 15:3; 20:3, 12-13, 41; Neh 1:3; 2:2, 17; 6:2; 13:7, 27; Ps 7:9;
28:4; 55:15; 73:8; 94:23; 141:4; Pr 26:25; Eccl 2:21; 6:1; 10:5; 11:10;
Isa 1:16; 7:16; 10:1; 47:10; 59:7; Jer 4:4; 6:29; 9:7; 23:11; 24:2-3, 8;
32:32; 33:5; 44:3, 22; 48:16; Da 11:27;
from pleíon = more + écho
= to have) (See
word study on
pleonexia) means literally "to have more" and describes a strong desire to acquire more and more material
possessions (the "itch for more").
The Greeks defined pleonexia as “arrogant greediness,” as “the accursed love of
possessing,” as “the unlawful desire for the things which belong to
others.” It is the spirit in which a man is always ready to sacrifice
his neighbor to his own desires. It describes an insatiable desire and
it has been said that you might as easily satisfy it as you might fill
with water a bowl with a hole in it.
Here are the 10 uses on
pleonexia in the NT -- Mk 7:22; Lk 12:15; Ro 1:29; 2 Co. 9:5; Ep
4:19; 5:3; Col 3:5; 1Th 2:5; 2Pe 2:3, 14
says that pleonexia...
is built up of two words which mean
to have more. The Greeks themselves defined pleonexia as the
accursed love of having. It is an aggressive vice. It has been described
as the spirit which will pursue its own interests with complete
disregard for the rights of others, and even for the considerations of
common humanity. Its keynote is rapacity. Theodoret, the Christian
writer, describes it as the spirit that aims at more, the spirit which
grasps at things which it has no right to take. It may operate in every
sphere of life. If it operates in the material sphere, it means grasping
at money and goods, regardless of honour and honesty. If it operates in
the ethical sphere, it means the ambition which tramples on others to
gain something which is not properly meant for it. If it operates in the
moral sphere, it means the unbridled lust which takes its pleasure where
it has no right to take. Pleonexia is the desire which knows no law. (Daily
Study Bible Online)
The basic idea of pleonexia is the desire for that which a man has no right to
have. It is, therefore, a sin with a very wide range. If it is the
desire for money, it leads to theft. If it is the desire for prestige,
it leads to evil ambition. If it is the desire for power, it leads to
sadistic tyranny. If it is the desire for a person, it leads to sexual
Haldane writes that
pleonexia originally referred to
taking the advantage, overreaching in
a bargain, having more than what is just in any transaction with our
neighbor. Of this, covetousness is the motive. This was universal among
rich and poor, and was the spring of all their actions. (Exposition
of the Epistle to the Romans)
Pleonexia is described as the equivalent of idolatry in
(see exposition of
Colossians 3:5) for covetousness
puts things in the place of God..
D. Moule well describes it as "the opposite of the desire to
[word study]) is deliberate wickedness which takes pleasure in doing
harm. Kakia is the quality of wickedness, with the implication of that
which is harmful or damaging. It is often translated in a narrow sense
for malice, describing a deep-seated feelings against a person that
includes hatred that lasts on and on. It is an intense and long-lasting
bitterness against a person. It is actually wishing that something bad
would happen to a person. Kakia means wickedness, a deliberate intention
to harm (actively plotting revenge; passively mad when they are blessed
and happy when they have misfortune).
Kakia is used 50 times in the
NT -- Mt 21:41; 24:48; 27:23; Mk 7:21; 15:14; Lk. 16:25; 23:22; Jn
18:23, 30; Ac 9:13; 16:28; 23:9; 28:5; Ro 1:30; 2:9; 3:8; 7:19, 21;
12:17, 21; 13:3, 4, 10; 14:20; 16:19; 1Co 10:6; 13:5; 15:33; 2Co 13:7;
Php 3:2; Col 3:5; 1Th 5:15; 1Ti 6:10; 2Ti 4:14; Titus 1:12; Heb 5:14;
James 1:13; 3:8; 1Pe 3:9, 10, 11; 3Jn 1:11; Re 2:2; 16:2
Lightfoot describes kakia as
“the vicious nature which is bent on doing harm to others”
One Greek scholar refers to
kakia as “the vicious character generally.” To varying degrees, but
inevitably, the unsaved person spends his life enveloped in and
motivated by kakia.
Richards writes that
"is a flaw within us that keeps the
best of us from being what we should be and what we want to be." (Richards,
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
John MacArthur says that...
kakia, denotes moral evil and
corruption in general, especially in regard to intent. It pertains to
sin that is deliberate and determined. It may reside in the heart for a
long time before being expressed outwardly, and may, in fact, never be
expressed outwardly. It therefore includes the many “hidden” sins that
only the Lord and the individual are aware of.
J. James. Moody)
the most general Greek word for
badness. It describes the case of a man who is destitute of every
quality which would make him good. For instance, a kakos kritēs
is a judge destitute of the legal knowledge and the moral sense and
uprightness of character which are necessary to make a good judge. It is
described by Theodoret as “the turn of the soul to the worse.” The
word he uses for turn is ropē which means the turn of the balance. A man
who is kakos is a man the swing of whose life is towards the
worse. Kakia has been described as the essential viciousness
which includes all vice and as the forerunner of all other sins. It is
the degeneracy out of which all sins grow and in which all sins
Study Bible Online)
ENVY, MURDER, STRIFE, DECEIT, MALICE: mestous phthonou phonou
eridos dolou kakoetheias:
(mestos) signifies full up, full to the utmost,
"stuffed"! Mestos is generally makes reference to that of or
with which a person or thing is full.
Mestos is used 9 times in NASB (Matt. 23:28; Jn. 19:29; 21:11;
Rom. 1:29; 15:14; Jas. 3:8, 17; 2 Pet. 2:14), most often in a figurative sense
describing being full to the utmost with good and bad moral qualities:
"are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness" Mt 23:28; "full of
goodness" Ro 15:14; "tongue...full of deadly poison" Ja 3:8 , "wisdom
from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of
mercy and good fruits" Ja 3:17 ; false teachers "having eyes full of
adultery" 2Pe 2:14. The literal uses describe a "jar full of sour wine"
John 19:29 and a "net...full of large fish" John 21:11.
There are 4 uses of mestos in the Septuagint - Esther 5:2; Pr
6:34; Nah 1:10; Ezek 37:1;
(phthonos) is an attitude of ill-will that leads to
division and strife and even murder. (cp
Mt 27:18) Tacitus remarks that
this was the usual vice of the villages, towns, and cities. (Click
for in depth study of
differs from jealousy in that the former desires merely to deprive
another of what he has, whereas the latter desires as well to have the
same, or a similar, thing for itself."
Trench, calls it “the meaner sin” of the two.
which is essentially a grudging thing. It looks at a fine person, and is
not so much moved to aspire to that fineness, as to resent it. It is the
most warped and twisted of human emotions.... a mean word. Euripides
called it “the greatest of all diseases among men". The essence of it is
that it does not describe the spirit which desires, nobly or ignobly, to
have what someone else has; it describes the spirit which grudges the
fact that the other person has these things at all. It does not so much
want the things for itself; it merely wants to take them from the other.
The Stoics defined it as “grief at someone else’s good.” Basil called it
“grief at your neighbor’s good fortune.” It is the quality, not so much
of the jealous, but rather of the embittered mind.” (Daily
Study Bible Online)
The godly Scottish
preacher Andrew Bonar penned a diary entry. He wrote, “This day 20 years
ago I preached for the first time as an ordained minister. It is amazing
that the Lord has spared me and used me at all. I have no reason to
wonder that He used others far more than He does me. Yet envy is my
hurt, and today I have been seeking grace to rejoice exceedingly over
the usefulness of others, even where it cast me into the shade. Lord,
take away this
F. B. Meyer held meetings in Northfield, Mass., and large crowds
thronged to hear him. Then the great British Bible teacher G. Campbell
Morgan came to Northfield and people were soon flocking to hear his
brilliant expositions of scripture. Meyer confessed at first he was
He said, “The only way I can conquer my feelings is to pray for Morgan
daily, which I do.”
Dwight L. Moody once told the fable of an eagle who was
of another that could fly better than he could. One day the bird saw a
sportsman with a bow and arrow and said to him, “I wish you would bring
down that eagle up there.” The man said he would if he had some feathers
for his arrow. So the jealous eagle pulled one out of his wing. The
arrow was shot, but it didn’t quite reach the rival bird because he was
flying too high. The first eagle pulled out another feather, then
another—until he had lost so many that he himself couldn’t fly. The
archer took advantage of the situation, turned around, and killed the
helpless bird. Moody made this application: if you are
of others, the one you will hurt the most by your actions will be
- is it a small sin? Pilate knew that for
they had delivered Him. (cp
Envy is discontent with, or
mortification at, the knowledge or sight of another person’s superiority
ILLUSTRATION: History tells us of a statue that was erected to
a celebrated victor in the public games of Greece named Theogenes. The
erection of this statue so excited the envious hatred of one of his
rivals that he went every night and strove to throw the statue over by
repeated blows. Ultimately h e succeeded, but alas, the statue fell upon
him, and he was crushed to death beneath it. Such generally is the end
of the man who allows himself to be carried away by the spirit of envy.
(Zodhiates, S. Faith, Love, & Hope: Chattanooga, TN: AMG)
(phonos) describes murder, particularly slaughter. It can describe
slaying or killing by the sword. Murder was familiar to them, especially
with respect to their slaves, whom they caused to be put to death for
the slightest offenses.
reminds us that
Jesus immeasurably widened the scope
of this word. He insisted that not only the deed of violence but the
spirit of anger and hatred must be eliminated. He insisted that it is
not enough only to keep from angry and savage action. It is enough only
when even the desire and the anger are banished from the heart. We may
never have struck a man in our lives, but who can say he never wanted to
strike anyone? As Aquinas said long ago, “Man regardeth the deed, but
God seeth the intention.” (Daily
Study Bible Online)
(2054) (eris) means contention (applies to strife or
competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy;
a point advanced or maintained in a debate or argument; an often
perverse and wearisome tendency to quarrels and disputes), strife
(bitter sometimes violent conflict or dissension; emphasizes a struggle
for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the
persons or things involved), wrangling, fighting, discord, quarreling.
Eris describes strife about words for vainglory (ostentatious
pride especially in one’s achievements - all for show) and not truth.
Are not some of these sins like looking in the mirror, even for
believers? I am convicted!
There are 9 uses of eris in the NT - Ro 1:29; 13:13; 1Co. 1:11; 3:3; 2Co
12:20; Gal 5:20; Phil 1:15; 1Ti 6:4; Titus 3:9
Barclay writes that
is the contention which is born of envy, ambition, the desire for
prestige, and place and prominence. It comes from the heart in which
there is jealousy. If a man is cleansed of jealousy, he has gone far to
being cleansed of all that arouses contention and strife. It is
God-given gift to be able to take as much pleasure in the successes of
others as in one’s own.
Study Bible Online)
Deceit (1388) (dolos which
is derived from dello meaning to bait) literally refers to a
fishhook, trap, or trick all of which are various forms of deception.
Dolos is a
deliberate attempt to mislead, trick, snare or "bait" (baiting the trap
in attempt to "catch" the unwary victim) other people by telling lies. It is a
desire to gain advantage or preserve position by deceiving others. A
modern term in advertising is called "bait and switch" where the unwary
consumer is lured in by what looks like an price too good to be true!
Dolos is used 36 times in the
(Ge 27:35; 34:13; Exod. 21:14; Lev. 19:16; Deut. 27:24; 2 Ki. 9:23; Job
13:7, 16; 15:35; 31:5; Ps. 10:7; 24:4; 32:2; 34:13; 35:20; 36:3; 52:2;
55:11; Prov. 10:10; 12:5, 20; 16:28; 26:23f, 26; Isa. 9:5; 53:9; Jer.
5:27; 9:6; Ezek. 35:5; Dan. 8:25; 11:23; Mic. 6:11; Zeph. 1:9) and 9
times in the NT...
Matthew 26:4 and they plotted
together to seize Jesus by stealth, and kill Him.
Mark 7:21 "For from within,
out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications,
thefts, murders, adulteries,
Mark 14:1 Now the Passover and
Unleavened Bread was two days off; and the chief priests and the scribes
were seeking how to seize Him by stealth, and kill Him;
John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael
coming to Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is
Acts 13:10 and said, "You who
are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all
righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of
(note) being filled
with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder,
strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
2 Corinthians 12:16 But be
that as it may, I did not burden you myself; nevertheless, crafty fellow
that I am, I took you in by deceit.
our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of
1 Peter 2:1 (note)
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy
and all slander, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in
1 Peter 3:10 (note)
For, "Let him who means to love life and see good days Refrain his
tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile.
The related verb dolioo (1387)
is used in Romans 3:13 where Paul indicts all mankind writing that
THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH
THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," "THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER
Larry Richards explains that
picks up the metaphor from hunting
and fishing. Deceit is an attempt to trap or to trick and thus
involves treachery...Deception sometimes comes from within, as our
desires impel us to deceive. But more often in the NT, deceit is error
urged by external evil powers or by those locked into the world's way of
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
Barclay writes that...
We best get the meaning of this from the corresponding verb (doloun).
Doloun has two characteristic usages. It is used of debasing
precious metals and of adulterating wines. Dolos is deceit; it
describes the quality of the man who has a tortuous and a twisted mind,
who cannot act in a straightforward way, who stoops to devious and
underhand methods to get his own way, who never does anything except
with some kind of ulterior motive. It describes the crafty cunning of
the plotting intriguer who is found in every community and every
Study Bible - Romans 1 Commentary - Online)
In another writing Barclay explains that dolos can be
translated "guile" and that "It comes from a word which means bait;
it is used for trickery and deceit. It is used for instance of a
mousetrap. When the Greeks were besieging Troy and could not gain
entry, they sent the Trojans the present of a great wooden horse, as if
it was a token of good will. The Trojans opened their gates and took it
in. But the horse was filled with Greeks who in the night broke out and
dealt death and devastation to Troy. That exactly is dolos. It is
crafty, cunning, deceitful, clever treachery. Dolos is the
trickery of the man who is out to deceive others to attain his own ends,
the vice of the man whose motives are never pure. (Daily
Study Bible - Mark Commentary Online)
Is a lie, Ps 119:118.
The tongue an instrument of, Ro 3:13.
Comes from the heart, Mark 7:22.
Characteristic of the heart, Jer 17:9.
God abhors, Ps 5:6.
Forbidden, Pr. 24:28; 1Pe 3:10.
Christ was perfectly free from, Is 53:9, with 1Pet. 2:22.
Saints free from, Ps 24:4; Zeph 3:13;
Re 14:5; purpose against, Job 27:4; avoid, Job 31:5; shun those addicted
to, Ps 101:7; pray for deliverance from those who use, Ps 43:1; 120:2;
delivered from those who use, Ps 72:14; should beware of those who
teach, Eph. 5:6; Col. 2:8; should lay aside, in seeking truth, 1Pe 2:1.
Ministers should lay aside, 2Co 4:2;
The wicked are full of, Ro 1:29; devise, Ps. 35:20; 38:12; Pr. 12:5;
utter, Psa. 10:7; 36:3; work, Pr. 11:18; increase in, 2Ti 3:13; use, to
each other, Je 9:5; use, to themselves, Je 37:9; Obad. 3, 7; delight in,
False teachers are workers of, 2Co
11:13; preach, Je 14:14; 23:26; impose on others by, Ro 16:18; Eph.
4:14; reveling in deceit, 2Pe 2:13.
Hypocrites devise, Job 15:35.
Hypocrites practice, Ho 11:12.
False witnesses use, Pr. 12:17.
A characteristic of antichrist, 2Jn 7.
Characteristic of the apostasy, 2Th. 2:10.
Evil of: hinders knowledge of God, Je 9:6.
Keeps from turning to God, Je 8:5.
Leads to pride and oppression, Je 5:27, 28; to lying, Pr 14:25.
Often accompanied by fraud and
injustice, Ps 10:7; 43:1.
Hatred often concealed by, Pr 26:24, 25, 26.
The folly of fools is, Pr. 14:8.
The kisses of an enemy are, Pr. 27:6.
Blessedness of being free from, Ps 24:4, 5; 32:2.
Punishment of, Ps 55:23; Je 9:7, 8, 9
DECEIT [ISBE] - de-set'
(mirmah; dolos): The intentional misleading or beguiling of another; in
Scripture represented as a companion of many other forms of wickedness,
as cursing (Ps 10:7), hatred (Pr 26:24), theft, covetousness, adultery,
murder (Mk 7:22; Ro1:29). The Revised Version (British and American)
introduces the word in Pr 14:25; 2Th 2:10; but in such passages as Ps
55:11; Pr 20:17; 26:26; 1Th 2:3, renders a variety of words, more
accurately than the King James Version, by "oppression," "falsehood,"
(2550) (kakoetheia from kakós = bad, evil + ethos = disposition)
is used only here in the NT and refers to the person who has an ill-nature,
taking everything with an evil connotation and giving a malicious
interpretation to the actions of others, a nature which is evil and
makes one suspect evil in others.
Haldane writes that
in the original, when resolved into
its component parts, literally signifies bad custom or disposition, yet
it generally signifies something more specific, and is with sufficient
propriety rendered malignity, which is a desire to hurt others without
any other reason than that of doing evil to them, and finding pleasure
in their sufferings. The definition of the term, as quoted from
Aristotle by Dr. Macknight, seems true rather as a specification than as
a definition. It “is a disposition,” he says, “to take everything in
the worst sense.” (Exposition
of the Epistle to the Romans)
Barclay describes these unrighteous people as possessed of
The spirit which puts the worst
construction on everything (kakoetheia). Kakoetheia means
literally evil-naturedness. At its widest it means malignity. Aristotle
defined it in a narrower sense which it has always retained. He said it
was “the spirit which always supposes the worst about other people.”
Pliny called it “malignity of interpretation.” Jeremy Taylor said that
it is “a baseness of nature by which we take things by the wrong
handle, and expound things always in the worst sense.” It may well be
that this is the commonest of all sins. If there are two possible
constructions to be put upon the action of any man, human nature will
choose the worse. It is terrifying to think how many reputations have
been murdered in gossip over the teacups, with people maliciously
putting a wrong interpretation upon a completely innocent action. When
we are tempted so to do, we ought to remember that God hears and
remembers every word we speak. (Daily
Study Bible Online)
Instances of malice in the
Cain toward Abel, Ge 4:8.
Ishmael toward Sarah, Ge 21:9.
Sarah toward Hagar, Ge 21:10.
Philistines toward Isaac, Ge 26.
Esau toward Jacob, Ge 27:41.
Joseph's brethren toward Joseph, Ge 37; 42:21.
Potiphar's wife toward Joseph, Ge 39:14-20.
Ammonites toward the Israelites, Deut. 23:3, 4.
Saul toward David, 1 Sam. 18:8-29; 19; 20:30-33; 22:6-18; 23:7-23;
David toward Michal, 2 Sam. 6:21, 22, 23; toward Joab, 1Ki 2:5, 6;
Shimei, 1Ki 2:8, 9.
Shimei toward David, 2 Sam. 16:5-8.
Ahithophel toward David, 2 Sam. 17:1, 2, 3.
Jezebel toward Elijah, 1 Kin. 19:1, 2.
Ahaziah toward Elijah, 2 Kin. 1.
Jehoram toward Elisha, 2 Kin. 6:31.
Samaritans toward the Jews, Ezra 4; Neh. 2:10; 4; 6.
Haman toward Mordecai, Esther 3:5-15; 5:9-14.
Jeremiah's enemies, Jer. 26:8-11; 38.
Nebuchadnezzar toward Zedekiah, Jer. 52:10, 11.
Daniel's enemies, Dan. 6:4-9.
Herodias toward John, Matt. 14:3-10; Mark 6:24, 25, 26, 27, 28.
Herod toward Jesus, Luke 23:11.
The Jews toward Jesus, Matt. 27:18; Mark 12:12; 15:10; Luke 11:53, 54.
James and John toward the Samaritans, Luke 9:54.
Jews toward Paul, Acts 17:5; 23:12; 25:3.
Masters of the slave girl who had a spirit of divination toward Paul,
Acts 16:19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.
MALICE, MALIGNITY [ISBE] -
mal'-is, ma-lig'-ni-ti (kakia, poneros, kakoetheia): "Malice," now used
in the sense of deliberate ill-will, by its derivation means badness, or
wickedness generally, and was so used in Older English. W. L. Walker
THEY ARE GOSSIPS: psithuristas:
(Ps 41:7; Pr 16:28; 26:20; 2Co
(whisperers, secret slanderers)
(psithuristes) is found only here in the NT and describes an evil tongue which secretly conveys information, whether true or false
and which is
detrimental to the character or welfare of others. This is the man or
woman who pours their poison against their neighbor by whispering into
Haldane writes that...
The person spoken against may as well
be absent. It refers to that sort of evil speaking which is communicated
in secret, and not spoken in society. It is called whispering, not from
the tone of the voice, but from the secrecy. It is common to speak of a
thing being whispered, not from being communicated in a low voice, but
from being privately spoken to individuals. It refers to sowing
divisions. It is one of the most frequent and injurious methods of
calumny (a misrepresentation intended to blacken another’s reputation),
because, on the one hand, the whisperer escapes conviction of falsehood,
and, on the other, the accused has no means of repelling the secret
of the Epistle to the Romans)
Barclay adds that whisperers (gossips) (Psithuristes) and
"both describe people with
slanderous tongues; but there is a difference between them. Katalalos,
slanderer, describes the man who trumpets his slanders abroad; he quite
openly makes his accusations and tells his tales whereas Psithuristes
describes the man who whispers his malicious stories in the listeners
ear, who takes a man apart into a corner and whispers a
character-destroying story. Both are bad, but the whisperer is the
worse. A man can at least defend himself against an open slander,
but he is helpless against the secret whisperer who delights in
destroying reputations." (Daily
Study Bible Online)
Lev. 19:16; Psa. 15:1-3; Psa. 50:20; Prov. 11:13; Prov. 16:28; Prov.
17:9; Prov. 18:8; Prov. 20:19; Prov. 26:20-22; Ezek. 22:9; 1 Tim. 5:11,
13 See: Busybody; Slander; Speaking, Evil.
Joseph, Gen. 37:2.
Israelites, 2 Sam. 3:23.
Tobiah, Neh. 6.