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Cling (2853) (kollao from kolla = glue) means literally to glue, cement, join or fasten together and thus to unite (someone with or to someone or some thing). To fasten firmly together. Kollao is used to describe joining oneself to a harlot in a sexual union in (1Co 6:16). Kollao is used by John idiomatically in Rev 18:5-note to describe the sins of Babylon piled up or reaching to heaven. The picture John paints is that of sins greatly increased. I sense a potential play on words here - compare the fleshly desire of the first inhabitants of Babel in Ge 11:3, 4! God-hating men will finally get the desire of their heart, a "tower" that reaches to heaven! But fittingly it will be a "sin city tower", not a sacred tower! O, the inveterate deceitfulness of Sin! Kollao can mean to attach oneself to a master in a job means to hire oneself out as a servant ("the prodigal son" in Lk 15:15). In Acts 8:29 kollao refers to join to a chariot which signifies to accompany. Kollao as used in Ro 12:9 by Paul is not in the active voice which means to join or glue two things together but is in the middle voice (Note: some say passive voice) which means “attach yourself closely” (middle = "reflexive" = emphasizes "yourself" = you initiate and participate in the effect/result) to everything that is good. The picture inherent in Paul's use of the present tense is that of continually entering into close contact with that which is good (cp continually filing you mind with or thinking "good" thoughts = Php 4:8-note). Keep yourself continually cemented or glued to that which is good (this will also be a good deterrent from evil!). One of the most familiar uses of kollao is in the description of the marriage covenant (see Covenant: As It Relates to Marriage), where the man is charged to leave and cleave (Ge 2:24 uses the derivative verb proskollao) or "stick like glue" to his wife (Mt 19:5, cp the "counterfeit cleaving" in 1Co 6:16, 17!). Try the following exercise for a powerful illustration of the impact of divorce = Glue a picture of a husband and wife together. Allow to dry. Then separate the two who have been "glued" together. What do both pictures look like now? The case against divorce which God hates rests on the results reaped! David, a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22, 1Sa 16:7) illustrates Paul's charge in Romans 12:9... Psalm 101:3 I will set no worthless thing (Hebrew = Belial, a word used in the NT [2Co 6:15] as an apropos name for Satan! Woe!) before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip (Hebrew = dabaq = cleave; Lxx = kollao) on me (Young's Literal = "It adhereth not to me."). Comment: What a vivid picture! Evil is like "Velcro" which fastens tight a shoe or a jacket! Sin will cleave like leprosy. Sin is like a leech, that sucks the spiritual "life blood" from one's soul! Abhor it continually! In modern Hebrew (in Israel today) the verb dabaq means "to stick to, to adhere to.' Spurgeon: I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes (Ed: This parallels Paul's charge to "abhor what is evil"). I will neither delight in it, aim at it or endure it. If I have wickedness brought before me by others I will turn away from it (Read Pr 3:7, 8:13, 14:16, 14:27, Neh 5:15, Job 28:28, Ps 34:11, 12, 13, 14-note, Ec 12:13,14, 2Co 7:1-note), I will not gaze upon it with pleasure. The psalmist is very sweeping in his resolve, he declines the least, the most reputable, the most customary form of evil -- no wicked thing; not only shall it not dwell in his heart, but not even before his eyes, (Dear Christian brothers, let us read the next words soberly!) for... What fascinates the eye is very apt to gain admission into the heart! (cp Pr 5:3, 4, 7, 8-note, Pr 5:22-note, Pr 6:25-note, Pr 7:21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27-note. See the tragic confession [noting especially the progression] of Achan in Josh 7:19, 20, 21 = "saw...coveted...took...concealed" - The pathetic progressive pattern of many a secret sin!), even as Eve's apple first pleased her sight and then prevailed over her mind and hand (Read Ge 3:1, 2, 3, 4, 5 which is culminates in Ge 3:6). I hate the work of them that turn aside. He was warmly against it; he did not view it with indifference, but with utter scorn and abhorrence. Hatred of sin is a good sentinel for the door of virtue. There are persons in courts who walk in a very crooked way, leaving the high road of integrity (see Integrity - A Few Thoughts); and these, by short cuts, and twists, and turns, are often supposed to accomplish work for their masters which simple honest hearts are not competent to undertake; but David would not employ such, he would pay no secret service money, he loathed the practices of men who deviate from righteousness. He was of the same mind as the dying statesman who said, "Corruption wins not more than honesty." It is greatly to be deplored that in after years he did not keep himself clear in this matter in every case (1Sa 11:1,2,3,4,5ff), though, in the main he did; but what would he have been if he had not commenced with this resolve, but had followed the usual crooked policy of Oriental princes? How much do we all need divine keeping! We are no more perfect than David, nay, we fall far short of him in many things; and, like him, we shall find need to write a psalm of penitence (Ps 51:1ff) very soon after our psalm of good resolution. It shall not cleave to me. I will disown their ways, I will not imitate their policy: like dirt it may fall upon me, but I will wash it off, and never rest till I am rid of it. Sin, like pitch, is very apt to stick. In the course of our family history crooked things will turn up, for we are all imperfect, and some of those around us are far from being what they should be; it must, therefore, be one great object of our care to disentangle ourselves, to keep clear of transgression, and of all that comes of it: This cannot be done unless the LORD both comes to us and abides with us evermore. Kollao - 12x in the NT - Mt 19:5; Lk. 10:11; 15:15; Acts 5:13; 8:29; 9:26; 10:28; 17:34; Ro 12:9; 1Co. 6:16, 17; Rev 18:5. NAS = associate(3), cling(1), clings(1), hired(1), join(1), joined(2), joins(2), piled(1). Matthew 19:5 and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH '? 19:6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together (suzeugnumi - aorist active indicative = pictures a past supernatural event, something that God did the moment they said "I do!"), let no man separate (present imperative with a negative) Comment: As noted above, it is interesting that in the next verse (Mt 19:6) Jesus uses the verb suzeugnumi (only other use of this word is Mark 10:9) which literally means "to yoke together" or to make a pair (good picture of a husband and wife!) Clearly when two people marry, they in effect put their necks into the same yoke (actually God brings about this effect) and it follows that they should stay together the rest of their lives. One could paraphrase Mt 19:5 as the man "shall be glued to his wife!" Luke 10:11 'Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.' Luke 15:15 "So he (the "prodigal son") went and hired himself out ("joined himself") to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. Acts 5:13 But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem. Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot." Acts 9:26 When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. Acts 10:28 And he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. Acts 17:34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 1 Corinthians 6:16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH." 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him Zodhiates: The union of a man with a woman as his wife is a wonderful earthly mystery (Eph. 5:31, 32). It is the union not of two bodies alone, as is the case with a prostitute, but of two human beings, a male and a female, and this includes their spirits and souls in addition to their bodies. The apostle Paul calls this a mystery demonstrating the greater mystery concerning the union of Christ and the church. Comment: Note that in 1Cor 6:16 the believer is "glued" to the Lord. The passive voice for "joins" indicates that this supernatural attachment (union, oneness) is brought about by someone other than himself. Indeed it is the Spirit of God Who "glues" the believer to the Lord (cf 1Jn 4:13). Zodhiates goes on to add "This is an initial attachment to Jesus Christ that involves the power of the Holy Spirit making the man a sheep of the Great Shepherd. He becomes cognizant and obedient to the voice of Christ and receives eternal life. He is placed in the charge of God the omnipotent Father from whose hands no one can detach him (John 10:27-29). No wonder the apostle Paul considers the earthly marital union as an example of the greater mystery of the union of a human personality with the Lord (Eph. 5:32)." Albert Barnes: The union with Christ is more intimate, entire, and pure than that can be between a man and woman, and that union should be regarded as sacred and inviolable. If all Christians regarded this as they should, how would they shrink from the connections which they often form on earth! Revelation 18:5-note for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Kollao - 27x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) - Dt. 6:13; 10:20; 28:60; 29:20; Ru 2:8; 2Sa 20:2; 1 Ki. 11:2; 2 Ki. 1:18; 3:3; 5:27; 18:6; Job 29:10; 38:38; 41:16, 23; Ps. 22:15; 25:21; 44:25; 63:8; 101:3; 102:5; 119:25, 31; 137:6; Jer. 13:11; Lam. 2:2; 4:4. Below are a few of the OT uses of this picturesque verb kollao... Job 29:10 The voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue stuck to their palate. Ruth 2:8-note Then Boaz said to Ruth, "Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here (KJV = "abide...fast"; Lxx = kollao) with my maids. In Deuteronomy 6 note which Hebrew verb the Septuagint translators chose to render with kollao! Deuteronomy 6:13 "You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship (Hebrew = Abad = NAS renders abad as "worship", ESV, NET render abad as "serve"; LXX = kollao!) Him and swear by His name. Comment: What's the truth in Dt 6:13 that should motivate abhorring evil and clinging to good (God)? Is it not a healthy, holy, fear (reverential awe, a sense of dread that I might behave in a manner that displeases my Holy Father)? Rightly directed fear stimulates rightly motivated choices (conduct) (see Job 1:1 and note what follows "fearing God"!, see also 1Pe 1:17-note) Deuteronomy 10:20 "You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling (Hebrew = dabaq = cleave; Lxx = kollao) to Him, and you shall swear by His name. Deuteronomy 28:60 "He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they will cling to you. Psalm 63:8 My soul clings (Hebrew = dabaq = cleave; Lxx = kollao) to You; Your right hand upholds me. Comment: The proper preparation for abhorrence of evil is to hold fast to the ultimate good, God! C H Spurgeon: My soul followeth hard after thee, or is glued to thee. We follow close at the Lord's heels, because we are one with Him (cp The Oneness of Covenant). Who shall divide us from His love? If we cannot walk with Him with equal footsteps, we will at least follow after with all the strength He lends us, earnestly panting to reach Him and abide in His fellowship. When professors follow hard after the world, they will fall into the ditch; but none are ever too eager after communion with the Lord. Samuel Chandler: The primary sense of followeth hard after is to glue together; from thence it signifies figuratively to associate, to adhere to, to be united with; and particularly to be firmly united with strong affection....The psalmist, therefore, means that his soul adhered to God with the warmest affection, and longed to offer up his sacrifice of praise in his sanctuary. Alexander Pringle: My soul cleaves after Thee, as do things which hang by another; the root is of so great frequency in Scripture, as of enquiry amongst critics; it imports here the posture of David's spirit, and speaketh it close to God; and so depending upon him, as nothing could loosen it from him: Satan's subtlety, Saul's cruelty, his own personal loss and indemnity, are not all of them of any force or dexterity, to cut asunder or untie the Gordian knot of this unity. The cleaving of David's spirit was a gluing of the Lord's spirit: a marriage of the Lord's making is altogether incapable of the devil's breaking. It is no wonder David's words report him so much devoted to God, seeing with the same breath they speak him supported by God (Your right hand upholds me) John Gibbon: My soul cleaves after thee. As if he had said, Go, lead on, my God! Behold, I follow as near, as close, as I can; I would not leave any distance, but pursue thy footsteps, step by step, leaning upon thine everlasting arms, that are underneath me, and following thy manuduction. William Jay: The soul's following, and following hard after God -- What means this? Surely it intends much more than a languid, inert inclination; or "the desire of the slothful which killeth him, because his hands refuse to labour." It evinces an intenseness of concern that quickens and rouses the man into life and earnestness; that draws his very soul along with it; that reconciles him to every needful exertion and sacrifice, however trying; and urges him to persevere, whatever difficulties or discouragements he meets with in his course. And sometimes the distance is long, and the progress up hill, and the road rough, and the weather unfriendly, and enemies would thrust us back; and sometimes we lose sight of Him, and ask those we meet: "Saw ye Him Whom my soul loveth?" and when we spy Him again, He seems to advance as we advance, and when we gain upon Him and get nearer, He seems to look back and frown, and tell us to retire. The exercises and feelings of Christians in the divine life will enable them to explain these allusions. Who among them all has not, like the Jews, been sometimes "discouraged because of the way?" Who has not resembled Barak's adherents -- "Faith, yet pursuing?" Who has not frequently said, My soul followeth hard after thee? HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS: The soul's pursuit after God. It follows, In desire. In action. Earnestly. Quickly. Closely. The soul's support. Thy right hand upholdeth me, the arm of strength. In doing and bearing. Psalm 119:25 My soul cleaves (Hebrew = dabaq = cleave; Lxx = kollao) to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. Spurgeon comments: My soul cleaveth unto the dust. He means in part that he was full of sorrow; for mourners in the east cast dust on their heads, and sat in ashes, and the Psalmist felt as if these ensigns of woe were glued to him, and his very soul was made to cleave to them because of his powerlessness to rise above his grief. Does he not also mean that he felt ready to die? Did he not feel his life absorbed and fast held by the grave's mold, half choked by the death dust? It may not be straining the language if we conceive that he also felt and bemoaned his earthly mindedness and spiritual deadness. There was a tendency in his soul to cling to earth which he greatly bewailed. Whatever was the cause of his complaint, it was no surface evil, but an affair of his inmost spirit; his soul cleaved to the dust; and it was not a casual and accidental falling into the dust, but a continuous and powerful tendency, or cleaving to the earth. But what a mercy that the good man could feel and deplore whatever there was of evil in the cleaving! The serpent's seed can find their meat in the dust, but never shall the seed of the woman be thus degraded. Many are of the earth earthy, and never lament it; only the heaven born and heaven soaring spirit pines at the thought of being fastened to this world, and bird limed (entangled) by its sorrows or its pleasures. (Full note) Psalm 119:31 I cling (Hebrew = dabaq = cleave; Lxx = kollao) to Your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame! Spurgeon comments: I have stuck unto thy testimonies, -- or I have cleaved, for the word is the same as in Ps 119:25. Though cleaving to the dust of sorrow and of death, yet he kept fast hold of the divine word. This was his comfort, and his faith stuck to it, his love and his obedience held on to it, his heart and his mind abode in meditation upon it. His choice was so heartily and deliberately made that he stuck to it for life, and could not be removed from it by the reproaches of those who despised the way of the Lord. What could he have gained by quitting the sacred testimony? Say rather, what would he not have lost if he had ceased to cleave to the divine word? It is pleasant to look back upon past perseverance and to expect grace to continue equally steadfast in the future. He who has enabled us to stick to Him will surely stick to us! Here is an OT Septuagint use of kollao which is the anti-thesis of the habitual behavior Paul is calling for in believers who have presented themselves to God as living sacrifices (Ro 12:1-note)... Nevertheless, he (Jehoram/Joram the son of Ahab - 2Ki 3:1,2) clung (Hebrew = dabaq = cleave; Lxx = kollao) to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin; he did not depart from (2 Ki 3:3) In marked contrast to King Jehoram above, another king, Hezekiah, is also described with the verb kollao but in the same sense as used by Paul here in Romans 12:9... (Context = 2Ki 18:1, 2, 3, 4, 5) For he clung (Hebrew = dabaq = cleave; Lxx = kollao) to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. (2Ki 18:6) Comment: What a great OT illustration of Romans 12:9 and of the "fruit" reaped from such action (see the fruit in 2Ki 18:7, 8, cp a similar principle in Ezra 7:9, 10-note). Dear brother or sister in Christ which king (Jehoram or Hezekiah) best describes your behavior (your choices, your thoughts, words, actions) the past few weeks? In light of the above contrast between two Jewish kings, it is utterly mind boggling to read the record of the wisest king of Israel (!)... 1Ki 11:2 (Context = 1Ki 11:1) from the nations (pagan, godless, idol worshipping Gentiles) concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, "You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you (Literally = "you must not go into them, and they must not go into you"), for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods." (Literally Hebrew reads "Surely they will bend your heart after their gods.") Solomon held fast (Hebrew = dabaq = cleave; Lxx = kollao) to these in love. (And what was the fruit from clinging to that which was evil instead of abhorring it? See 1Ki 11:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. God is not mocked! Solomon would reap the bitter fruit of failing to abhor evil and cling to God, see this eternal, immutable principle in Gal 6:6, 7, Ho 8:7) The Christian must cleave to what is good and not let go. Grip God's truth in Romans 1-12 and then rely on it and let it hold you fast! Cleaving begins by becoming united (kollao) with Jesus Christ (1Co 6:17). Our attachment to "what is good" is to be like the devotion illustrated by the bond of marriage. (Ge 2:24 where related verb proskollao is Greek word translating "cleave"). To cling to what is good then is to be "wedded" to it. Total commitment allows neither time nor inclination to go courting evil (cp "make no provision" in Ro 13:14-note). Hate and cling are particularly strong and express the highest degree of hatred on the one hand and of persevering devotion on the other. As servants of Jesus Christ, we are to bind ourselves to what is good (agathos), that which is inherently right and worthy. As Paul has already explained, the key to finding and following what is good is in not being “conformed to this world, but [being] transformed by the renewing of [our] mind, that [we] may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Ro12:2). As we separate ourselves from the things of the world and saturate ourselves with the Word of God, the things that are good will more and more replace the things that are evil. The message here is clear: there can be no neutrality in the moral realm. We cannot hide behind some alleged moral or cultural relativism. Good and evil objectively exist in God’s own nature and in God’s law. Christians must take a clear and unequivocal stand against the evil and for the good.

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