Ephesians 4:26

Ben and Jo Crick ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Tue Mar 26 18:04:20 EST 2002

On Mon 25 Mar 2002 (22:23:32), elijahyoder at characterlink.net wrote:
> I have two questions on this phrase, with the second one being the 
> primary one.  The answer to the seond question, however, hinges on
> a person's answer to the first.
> (1)  Should ORGIZESQE be taken as a command -- "Be angry!" or 
> should it be taken as a permissive imperative?  It seems to me that 
> grammatically it can be taken either way and that one's theology will 
> determine the answer given.
> (2)  If ORGIZESQE is taken as a command, is the following a 
> grammatically possible interpretation:   "Be angry!  Stop this 
> continuing sin (of not being angry)!"?  Does the Greek grammar and   
> context allow (or support?) this interpretation?

 Dear Elijah

 This is a direct quotation from Psalm 4:4 LXX (4:5 in BH).

 In the Hebrew RiG:ZuW (be angry) is a Qal Imperative; but W:'aL-ToXo:+a'uW
 (and sin not) is a Prohibition with 'aL plus the Imperfect. A Prohibition is
 by definition a negative imperative. So yes, it's a double imperative in the
 LXX and Paul.

 Paul says it's OK to be angry, so long as you do not commit sin thereby. There
 is a time when one does well to be angry, and a time when one does not do well
 to be angry (compare Jonah 4:9).

 Paul goes on to expand on his quotation: do not nurse your anger of let your
 anger fester overnight. Get it out of your system before sundown. Jesus in the
 Gospels is said to have been angry: but without sinning. Jesus would be Paul's
 model, of course. There is such a thing as "righteous indignation".


 Revd Ben Crick BA CF, and Mrs Joanna (Goodwin) Crick
 <ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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