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Provoked (3947) (paroxuno from pará = at point of, implying movement toward a certain point + oxúno = sharpen, incite, irritate) means to sharpen (this literal meaning is found in Lxx of Dt 32:41). This Greek verb gives us our English word paroxysm which is defined as a fit, attack, or sudden increase or recurrence of symptoms (as of a disease), a convulsion (like paroxysm of coughing) or a sudden violent emotion or action, and so an outburst (a paroxysm of rage). Moses lost control and had a "paroxysm" which cost him dearly (Study Nu 20:10, 11, 12, cp Mt 5:22-note). Proverbs warns us that... A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated. (Proverbs 14:17) Figuratively paroxuno came to mean to spur on, to cause to be upset, to stimulate and as used in this verse to arouse or stir someone to anger. To be incensed which is frequently the meaning in the 45 uses in the LXX. usually reflecting God's reaction to sin of His people Israel. Clearly God's provocation is righteous anger, but in the present verse Paul is referring to sinful anger that is never provoked in one who is living out selfless, supernatural love. They are willing to endure slights and insults even as did the One Who is the essence of these attributes of agape love. And it is His life in us as the Spirit of Christ that enables us to manifest this love, which is not possible in our own strength. Paul gave an exhortation in Romans 12 which is the corollary of non-provocation... Bless (present imperative = charge for bestowing blessings to be the believer's lifestyle! How are you doing, beloved? Have you blessed anyone today?...this week?) those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Ro 12:14-note). Never take your own revenge (Love does not seek to give out a proverbial "eye for an eye" response, a tit for a tat!), beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. (Ro 12:19-note) and Thiselton notes that... The heart of the word (paroxuno) conveys the semantic force of to exasperate, to irritate, as metaphorical extensions of to make sharp, to make pointed, to make acid... Virtually every lexicon and primary source indicates the notion of reaching a level of exasperation. But how does this express itself? The English pique combines the same range of nuances as the Greek: something between irritation and anger which takes offense because one’s self-regard has been dented, wounded, or punctured by some sharp point. Love, Paul urges, does not become exasperated into pique (a transient feeling of wounded vanity), partly because patience delays exasperation and partly because lack of self-interest diverts a sense of self-importance away from reacting on the grounds of wounded pride: “it is not embittered by injuries, whether real or supposed.” (Ibid) As noted above the derived English word paroxysm describes a convulsion or sudden outburst of emotion or action. Love guards against being sharply irritated (and irritable), upset, or angered by things said or done against it. Note the relation of this trait to the former (a spirit of selfishness) for the one who is intent on having his or her own way is generally the same one who is easily provoked or angered. The only other NT use of paroxuno is a "positive" usage in Acts 17 where Luke records that... Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked (imperfect tense = over and over, again and again) within him as he was beholding the city full of idols. (See notes Acts 17:16) On the other hand there are 45 uses of paroxuno in the Septuagint (LXX) (Nu 14:11, 23; 15:30; 16:30; 20:24; Deut. 1:34; 9:7f, 18-Deut.9.29" class="scriptRef">18f, 22; 31:20; 32:16, 19, 41; 2 Sam. 12:14; Ezra 9:14; Ps. 10:3, 13; 74:10, 18; 78:41; 106:29; 107:11; Prov. 6:3; 14:31; 17:5; 20:2; 27:17; Isa. 5:24-25; 14:16; 23:11; 37:23; 47:6; 60:14; 63:10; 65:3; Jer. 22:15; 50:34; Lam. 2:6; Dan. 11:10; Hos. 8:5; Zech. 10:3; Mal. 2:17) Here are some representative uses... Deuteronomy 9:7 "Remember, do not forget how you provoked (paroxuno) the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD. Deuteronomy 9:18 "And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you had committed in doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD to provoke (paroxuno) Him to anger. Deuteronomy 9:22 "Again at Taberah and at Massah and at Kibroth-hattaavah you provoked (paroxuno) the LORD to wrath. Psalm 106:29 Thus they provoked (paroxuno) Him to anger with their deeds; And the plague broke out among them. Isaiah 65:3 A people who continually provoke (paroxuno) Me to My face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks As one reads this letter is clear that the church at Corinth had to deal with numerous situations which could easily provoke and in fact did produce provocation -- factions, immorality, lawsuits, friction in or disputes about marriage, and eating food offered to an idol. The result was that disagreements were common and disrupted relationships. J B Phillips paraphrases it well writing that love "is not touchy" which conveys the readiness to overreact on one’s own behalf. Robertson and Plummer render it... Not merely 'does not fly into a rage' but 'does not yield to provocation'; it is not embittered by injuries, whether real or supposed. Henry Drummond in "The Greatest Thing in the World" wrote the following about this negative trait noting that... the peculiarity of ill temper is that it is the vice of the virtuous. It is often the one blot on an otherwise noble character. You know men who are all but perfect, and women who would be entirely perfect, but for an easily ruffled, quick-tempered, or "touchy" disposition. Pritchard adds... I know that some people excuse their bad temper by saying, "Sure, I lose my temper a lot, but it's all over in a few minutes." So is a nuclear bomb. A great deal of damage can be done in a very short time. Even small temper "bombs" can leave behind a lot of hurt, especially when they explode on a regular basis. Your temper is a sign of what is in your heart. A bad temper is a symptom of a terrible disease within the soul. It is an escaping bubble that reveals a fetid pit within. The perfect example of this "negative attribute" of love is our Lord Jesus Christ. Peter writes... For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. (See notes 1 Peter 2:21; 2:22; 2:23) Cole writes that selfless love... does not have a hair-trigger temper. Some people make everyone around them walk on eggshells. They’re easily offended. One little thing that doesn’t go their way and “KABOOM!” They use their temper to intimidate and to punish. When you confront them, they say, “Sure, I have a bad temper. But I get it all out and it’s over in a few minutes.” So is a bomb. But look at the devastation it leaves behind! When you’re angry, usually you’re not loving. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 PDF) Walvoord writes that this trait was manifest in the church at Corinth for People who are not easily angered usually do not start lawsuits (cf 1Cor 6:1-11). (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor or Logos) John MacArthur has some pithy thoughts regarding the individual who is easily provoked writing... The great colonial preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards had a daughter with an uncontrollable temper. When a young man fell in love with her and asked her father for her hand in marriage, Dr. Edwards replied, “You can’t have her.” “But I love her and she loves me,” he protested. “It doesn’t matter,” the father insisted. Asked why, he said, “Because she is not worthy of you.” “But she is a Christian isn’t she?” “Yes,” said Edwards, “but the grace of God can live with some people with whom no one else could ever live.” Surely the number one reason both for mental and physical illness in our society today is the overwhelming preoccupation with our rights and the consequent lovelessness. When everyone is fighting for his own rights, no one can really succeed or be happy. Everyone grabs, no one gives, and everyone loses—even when one gets what he wants. Lovelessness can never win in any meaningful or lasting way. It always costs more than it gains. We get angry when another person gains a privilege or recognition we want for ourselves, because it is our “right.” But to put our rights before our duty and before loving concern for others comes from self–centeredness and lovelessness. The loving person is more concerned about doing what he should and helping where he can than in having what he thinks are his rights and his due. Love considers nothing its right and everything its obligation. Telling our wives or husbands that we love them is not convincing if we continually get upset and angry at what they say and do. Telling our children that we love them is not convincing if we often yell at them for doing things that irritate us and interfere with our own plans. It does no good to protest, “I lose my temper a lot, but it’s all over in a few minutes.” So is a nuclear bomb. A great deal of damage can be done in a very short time. Temper is always destructive, and even small temper “bombs” can leave much hurt and damage, especially when they explode on a regular basis. Lovelessness is the cause of temper, and love is the only cure. Love that takes a person outside of himself and centers his attention on the well–being of others is the only cure for self–centeredness. (MacArthur, J: 1Corinthians. Chicago: Moody Press or Logos) DOES NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT A WRONG SUFFERED: ou logizetai (3SPMI) to kakon: (2Sa 10:3; Job 21:27; Jer 11:19; 18:18, 19, 20; 40:13, 14, 15, 16; Mt 9:4; Lk 7:39) it does not brood over injury (NAB) (it does not) store up grievances (NJB) Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. (New Century Version) Not (3756) (ou) is the strongest Greek particle for negation, signifying direct and full negation, independently and absolutely, and hence, objectively. Stop "keeping score" is the idea and those of us who are guilty of this sin know exactly what this entails! We may not write it on a notepad, but we keep a mental checklist that's just as effective and perhaps even more destructive! "Copy and paste the address below into your web browser in order to go to the original page which will allow you to access live links related to the material on this page - these links include Scriptures (which can be read in context), Scripture pop-ups on mouse over, and a variety of related resources such as Bible dictionary articles, commentaries, sermon notes and theological journal articles related to the topic under discussion."

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