Vincent Word Studies - Galatians 5:22 - 5:22

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Vincent Word Studies - Galatians 5:22 - 5:22

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The fruit of the Spirit (ὁ καρπὸς τοῦ πνεύματος)

The phrase N.T.o. Fruit, metaphorical, frequent in N.T., as Mat 3:8; Mat 7:16; Joh 4:36; Joh 15:8; Rom 1:13; Rom 6:21, etc. We find fruit of light (Eph 5:9); of righteousness (Phi 1:11); of labor (Phi 1:22); of the lips (Heb 13:15). Almost always of a good result.

Love (ἀγάπη)

Comp. love of the Spirit, Rom 15:30. In Class. φιλεῖν is the most general designation of love, denoting an inner inclination to persons or things, and standing opposed to μισεῖν or ἐχθαίρειν to hate. It occasionally acquires from the context a sensual flavor, as Hom. Od. xviii. 325; Hdt. iv. 176, thus running into the sense of ἐρᾶν which denotes sensual love. It is love to persons and things growing out of intercourse and amenities or attractive qualities. Στέργειν (not in N.T., lxx, Sir. 27:17) expresses a deep, quiet, appropriating, natural love, as distinguished from that which is called out by circumstances. Unlike φιλεῖν, it has a distinct moral significance, and is not applied to base inclinations opposed to a genuine manly nature. It is the word for love to parents, wife, children, king or country, as one's own. Aristotle (Nic. ix. 7, 3) speaks of poets as loving (στέργοντες) their own poems as their children. See also Eurip. Med. 87. Ἁγαπᾶν is to love out of an intelligent estimate of the object of love. It answers to Lat. diligere, or Germ. schatzen to prize. It is not passionate and sensual as ἐρᾶν. It is not, like φιλεῖν, attachment to a person independently of his quality and created by close intercourse. It is less sentiment than consideration. While φιλεῖν contemplates the person, ἀγαπᾶν contemplates the attributes and character, and gives an account of its inclination. Ἁγαπᾶν is really the weaker expression for love, as that term is conventionally used. It is judicial rather than affectionate. Even in classical usage, however, the distinction between ἀγαπᾶν and φιλεῖν is often very subtle, and well-nigh impossible to express.

In N.T. ἐπιθυμαῖν to desire or lust is used instead of ἐρᾶν. In lxx ἀγαπᾶν is far more common than φιλεῖν. Φιλεῖν occurs only 16 times in the sense of love, and 16 times in the sense of kiss; while ἀγαπᾶν is found nearly 300 times. It is used with a wide range, of the love of parent for child, of man for God, of God for man, of love to one's neighbor and to the stranger, of husband for wife, of love for God's house, and for mercy and truth; but also of the love of Samson for Delilah, of Hosea for his adulterous wife, of Amnon's love for Tamar, of Solomon's love for strange women, of loving a woman for her beauty. Also of loving vanity, unrighteousness, devouring words, cursing, death, silver.

The noun ἀγάπη, oClass., was apparently created by the lxx, although it is found there only 19 times. It first comes into habitual use in Christian writings. In N.T. it is, practically, the only noun for love, although compound nouns expressing peculiar phases of love, as brotherly love, love of money, love of children, etc., are formed with φίλος, as φιλαδελφία, φιλαργυρία, φιλανθρωπία. Both verbs, φιλεῖν and ἀγαπᾶν occur, but ἀγαπᾶν more frequently. The attempt to carry out consistently the classical distinction between these two must be abandoned. Both are used of the love of parents and children, of the love of God for Christ, of Christ for men, of God for men, of men for Christ and of men for men. The love of man for God and of husband for wife, only ἀγαπᾶν. The distinction is rather between ἀγαπᾶν and ἐπιθυμεῖν than between ἀγαπᾶν and φιλεῖν. Love, in this passage, is that fruit of the Spirit which dominates all the others. See Gal 5:13, Gal 5:14. Comp. 1Co 13:1-13; 1Jo 2:5, 1Jo 2:9-11; 1Jo 3:11, 1Jo 3:14-16; 1Jo 4:7-11, 1Jo 4:16-21; 1Jo 5:1-3.

Joy (χαρά)

Comp. joy of the Holy Ghost, 1Th 1:6, and see Rom 5:2; Rom 14:17; Rom 15:13; 2Co 6:10; Phi 1:25; Phi 4:4; 1Pe 1:8; 1Jo 1:4.

Peace (εἰρήνη)

See on 1Th 1:1. Here of mutual peace rather than peace with God.

Long suffering (μακροθυμία)

See on be patient, Jam 5:7, and comp. Rom 2:4; 2Co 6:6; Eph 4:2; Col 1:11.

Gentleness (χρηστότης)

See on good, Rom 3:12; see on easy, Mat 11:30; see on gracious, 1Pe 2:3. Better, kindness; a kindness which is useful or serviceable.

Goodness (ἀγαθωσύνη)

Po. See on Rom 3:12.

Faith (πίστις)