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Romans 13:13 – Dark practices

04-01-2022 - Posted by Hans

As in the day, respectably, should we be walking, not in revelries and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and jealousy.

Dark practices belong to the night. This includes all works that take place in secret because they do not stand the light of day. Paul cites three pairs of examples of such obscure behaviors. Elsewhere, the “revelries” (wildly exuberant parties) mentioned also. It indicates flat entertainment. In the Greek word ‘komos’ we recognize our word ‘comic’. The combination here with ‘drunkenness’ is telling: it is pleasure from a bottle but has nothing to do with ‘joy’. The hangover that follows drunkenness is illustrative of such fake joy.

The second pair of words is “chambering and wantonness”. The word for “chambering” (Gr. koite) is derived from the verb “to lie” and related to our word “coitus”. The plural form “beds” seems to hint that one bed is not enough and hence the combination with “wantonness”. It refers to sexual intercourse (“one flesh”) without the marital bond of “a man and his wife”.

“Strife and jealousy” are again a separate category. But it also belongs to the night. It contrasts with people of the “day”. Because those shine and are translucent! Reputable!