Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: ko-LA-oh
Strong's Number: 2853
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 3140
Key Verse: “Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” -- Romans 12:9

Kollao means “to glue together, cement, adhere, or fasten together.” This verb is used only in passive voice, in the sense of “to be joined to.” In the Septuagint, kollao is used several times regarding one’s tongue clinging to the roof of the mouth, diseases clinging, or in staying close to people. The sons of Israel, in Numbers 36:7, were told to hold to the inheritances of the tribes of their fathers.

In Matthew 19:5 (quoting Genesis 2:24), “a man shall ... cleave (or be joined) to his wife,” the word denotes a union of the firmest kind. They are to adhere so firmly together that nothing can separate them. It is used in Acts 5:13; 8:29; 9:26; 10:287; and 17:34 in the sense of becoming associated closely with other people so as to accompany them or to be beside them.

Luke 10:11 refers to dust which clings to feet, and in Luke 15:15 of a man who “hired himself out.” Revelation 18:5 speaks of sins having “piled up as high as heaven.” The idea is that of joining one another in a mass, as if soldered together, giving the impression that they cling in an accumulative fashion from earth to heaven.

In 1 Corinthians 6:16 and 17, Paul compares “one who joins himself to a prostitute” versus “one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” Albert Barnes says, “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!” Several instances in the Septuagint emphasize clinging to, or holding fast to God, and in Psalm 119:31, the psalmist says, “I cling to Your testimonies.”

The key verse, ROMANS 12:9, “abhor what is evil; cling to what is good,” indicates that Christians should be firmly attached to what is good, and not separate or part from it. The present tense of the verb indicates that it should not be an occasional or irregular activity, but it should be constant and active.

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