Romans 13:13
This verse has the word eusche-MOno-s (behave decently) placed in contrast to a list of things not to do. Because eusche-MOno-s is an antonym of asche-moNEo-, the list items are examples of how to put ouk asche-moNEI into practice. They're examples of what decent, decorous, spiritual love does not do.

Rom. 13:13--Let us behave decently (eusche-MOno-s), as in the daytime, not in carousing (KO-mois) and drunkenness (METHais), not in sexual immorality (KOItais) and debauchery (aselGEIais), not in dissension (Eridi) and jealousy (ZE-lo-). (NIV)
Alt.:--Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don't participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. (NLT)
Alt.:--Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, (ESV)
Alt.:--... not in strife and jealousy. (NASB)
Alt.:--Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. (KJV)
Alt.:--And let us walk in a right manner as those in the daytime, not in partying, not in drunkenness, not in orgies, not in envy or in fighting, (ABPE)
Alt.:--...not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy: (DR)
Alt.:--... let us walk becomingly; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and lasciviousness, not in strife and emulation. (Darby)
Alt.:--... not in sexual promiscuity and lustful acts, (WEB)

Word: KO-mos (2970)

Definitions and Connotations:

  • Strong's: Reveling, rioting. From keimai; a carousal (as if letting loose) -- revelling, rioting.
  • Thayer: From (Homer h. Merc., Theognis) Herodotus down; a revel, carousal, i.e. in the Greek writings properly, a nocturnal and riotous procession of half-drunken and frolicsome fellows who after supper parade through the streets with torches and music in honor of Bacchus or some other deity, and sing and play before the houses of their male and female friends; hence, used generally, of feasts and drinking-parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry; plural (revellings)
  • Clarke: Komos, rioting, according to Hesychius, signifies aselge asmata, pornika symposia, odai, unclean and dissolute songs, banquets, and such like.
  • Barnes: In rioting - Revelling; denoting the licentious conduct, the noisy and obstreperous mirth, the scenes of disorder and sensuality, which attend luxurious living.
  • Gill's: Rioting; the Syriac and Arabic versions read, "in singing", or "songs"; meaning lewd ones, sung at riotous feasts and banquets, made not for refreshment, but for pleasure and debauchery, what the Romans call "comessations"; feasts after supper in the night season, and design all sorts of nocturnal revels: "Comus", the word here used, is with the Heathens the god of feasts, perhaps the same with "Chemosh", the god of the Moabites, 1 Kings 11:33.
  • John MacArthur: We have no place in a brawling barroom. We have no place in a late night carousing around the streets up to no good. That's not for a Christian to be engaged in. That is a typical sin of the darkness. And by the way, it is also mentioned as such in Galatians 5:21, the same word is used there, we are not to be engaged in what is the evidence of the flesh, envying, murders, drunkenness and there it is, komos, carousing, wild parties, exercises of uninhibited drunkenness in the night. No Christian is to indulge in that kind of activity. It is a typical scene of the darkness.

Word: MEthe- (3178)

Definitions and Connotations:

  • Strong's: Drunkenness. Apparently a primary word; an intoxicant, i.e. (by implication) intoxication -- drunkenness.
  • Thayer: Intoxication; drunkenness: Luke 21:34; plural, Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:21. (Hebrew she^kha^r, intoxicating drink, Proverbs 20:1; Isaiah 28:7; and shika^rwn, intoxication, Ezekiel 23:32; Ezekiel 39:19; (Antiphon, Xenophon, Plato, others).
  • Clarke: Methais signifies drunken festivals, such as were celebrated in honor of their gods, when after they had sacrificed (meta to thyein, Suidas) they drank to excess, accompanied with abominable acts of every kind. See Suidas and Hesychius, under this word.
  • Gill's: Drunkenness; which always attended such unseasonable and immoderate festivals.
  • John MacArthur: A drinking bout, like who can guzzle the most, the kind of intentional drunkenness, not inadvertent but trying to consume as much as possible. It's mentioned in Galatians 5:21 as an expression of the lust of the flesh, envying, murder and drunkenness, drinking bouts, indulging in as much excess alcohol as is possible for whatever reasons the heart may assign. That's a typical deed of darkness.

Phrase: me- KO-mois kai METHais


  • Barnes: Rioting and drunkenness constitute the "first" class of sins from which he would keep them. It is scarcely necessary to add that these were common crimes among the pagan.
  • JFB: Not in rioting and drunkenness: varied forms of intemperance; denoting revels in general, usually ending in intoxication.
  • Spurgeon: He speaks out plainly and he says that all Christian people, first, must have done with sensuality, which he describes as "rioting and drunkenness." If a drinking bout is held, it is usually at night. Banquets generally begin in the evening; if they become scenes of gluttony and drunkenness they advance far into the night. But the sun rebukes such orgies and men usually give heed to the warning, "they that are drunk are drunk in the night." Christian men have done with night and ought to have done with all excess in meat and drink. Alas, there are some who spend more over a single dinner for a few than would keep families of poor people a month! Gluttony is seldom mentioned as a possible fault, and yet I fear it is far from being an obsolete vice among professed followers of Jesus!
      "Drunkenness." Well, I need not say how shameful it is in any man, but he that professes to be a Christian man, how temperate, how abstinent should he be, for intoxication is a soul-destroying sin and no drunk can enter the Kingdom of God! These are night vices—let the children of night have them if they will—as for us, we desire to be filled with the Spirit and fed upon the Bread of Heaven, for we are the children of the day! We have nobler feasts than the banquets of revelers and more choice wines than the vintage of Sodom can yield!

Word: koiTE- (2845)

Definitions and Connotations:

  • Strong's: Bed, chambering, cohabitation. From keimai; a couch; by extension, cohabitation; by implication, the male sperm -- bed, chambering, X conceive.
  • from Homer, Odyssey 19, 341 down; the Sept. chiefly for mish:ka^bh, also for sh:kha^bha^h etc.;
    1. A place for lying down, resting, sleeping in; a bed, couch: eis te-n KOIte-n (see eiMI, V. 2 a.) EIsin, Luke 11:7.
    2. Specifically, the marriage-bed, as in the Tragg.: te-n KOIte-n miAInein, of adultery (Josephus, Antiquities 2, 4, 5; Plutarch, de fluv. 8, 3), Hebrews 13:4.
    3. Cohabitation, whether lawful or unlawful (Leviticus 15:4f, 21-25, etc.; Wis. 3:13, 16; Euripides, Med. 152; Alc. 249): plural meaning sexual intercourse (see peripaTEo-, b. alpha), Romans 13:13 (A. V. chambering); by metonymy, of the cause for the effect we have the peculiar expression KOIte-n Echein ek TInos, to have conceived by a man, Romans 9:10; KOIte- SPERmatos, Leviticus 15:16; Leviticus 22:4; Leviticus 18:20, 23 (here KOIte- eis spermatisMON); on these phrases cf. Fritzsche, Commentary on Romans 2, p. 291f.
  • Clarke: Chambering - This is no legitimate word, and conveys no sense till, from its connection in this place, we force a meaning upon it. The original word, koitais, signifies whoredoms and prostitution of every kind.
  • Gill's: Chambering; in unlawful copulations, fornication, adultery, and all the defilements of the bed.
  • John MacArthur: Now the word immorality here is a most interesting choice of words. He could have used the word porneia from which we get fornication or pornography in English, which means sexual sin. But he chooses to use a most interesting word, it's the word koite and the word simply means bed. It can be used in even a good sense...such as in Hebrews 13:4, and there are only four places it's used in the New Testament, where it says "The bed is undefiled," and there it is used of a marital bed. But here when he says bed, and that's all he says, wild parties, drunkenness, immorality and shamelessness, and the word immorality is just the word bed, he is assuming that we understand it is the bed that the immoral drunkard finds himself in. It is the illicit bed. It is the bed of fornication. It is the bed of adultery, the forbidden bed.

Word: aSELgeia (766)

Definitions and Connotations:

  • Strong's: Filth, lasciviousness, debauchery. From a compound of a (as a negative particle) and a presumed selges (of uncertain derivation, but apparently meaning continent); licentiousness (sometimes including other vices) -- filthy, lasciviousness, wantonness.
  • Thayer: The conduct and character of one who is Aselge-s -- a word which some suppose to be compounded of the alpha privative and Selge, the name of a city in Pisidia whose citizens excelled in strictness of morals (so Etym. Magn. 152, 38; per contra cf. Suidas 603 d.): others of a intens. and saLAgein, to disturb, raise a din; others, and now the majority, of alpha privative and SELgo- equivalent to THELgo-, not affecting pleasantly, exciting disgust -- "unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence": Mark 7:22 (where it is uncertain what particular vice is spoken of); of gluttony and venery, Jude 1:4; plural, 1 Peter 4:3; 2 Peter 2:2 (for Rec. apo-LEIais), 18; of carnality, lasciviousness: 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 4:19; 2 Peter 2:7; plural "wanton (acts or) manners, as filthy words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females, etc." (Fritzsche), Romans 13:13. (In Biblical Greek besides only in Wis. 14:26 and 3Macc. 2:26. Among Greek writings used by Plato, Isocrates and following; at length by Plutarch (Lucull. 38) and Lucian (dial. meretr. 6) of the wantonness of women (Lob. ad Phryn., p. 184 n.).) Cf. Tittmann i., p. 151f; (especially Trench, � xvi.).
  • Barnes: "Lewd, immodest behavior." (Webster.) The Greek word includes illicit indulgences of all kinds, adultery, etc.
  • Clarke: Wantonness - All manner of uncleanness and sodomitical practices.
  • Gill's: Wantonness; lasciviousness, unnatural lusts, as sodomy, &c.
  • John MacArthur: The word I like to translate shamelessness is the word aselgeia and it basically means to be without shame. It means to indulge yourself in sin without any compunction. It is the parading of senseless shameless vice, no restraint. Usually, by the way and in Galatians 5:19, it is translated lasciviousness. It is unbridled sexual perversion and evil that knows no shame. I've often asked myself, ... I understand that people can be drawn and attracted when they are weak into the sins of sex, but it is harder for me to understand how people can indulge themselves in those sins and carry no sense of shame about it. And almost parade it as if it is something to be proud about, no thought of decency, no thought of honor, no protection of reputation, flaunted debauchery, abandonment to shamelessness.

Phrase: me- KOItais kai aselGEIais


  • Barnes: The words chambering and wantonness constitute the "second" class of crimes from which the apostle exhorts Christians to abstain. That these were common crimes among the pagan, it is not necessary to say; see the Romans 1 notes; also Ephesians 5:12 note. It is not possible, nor would it be proper, to describe the scenes of licentious indulgence of which all pagans are guilty. Since Christians were to be a special people, therefore the apostle enjoins on them purity and holiness of life.
  • JFB: Not in chambering and wantonness: varied forms of impurity; the one pointing to definite acts, the other more general.
  • Spurgeon: Then Paul denounces impurity by saying, "not in chambering and wantonness." It is an awful thing when a man calls himself by the name of Christian and yet can be foul in language, unchaste in conversation, lascivious in spirit, wicked in life. If any man indulges in fornication and adultery and yet calls himself a Christian, he will surely come under the curse of God! We speak of such persons weeping, for they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ. Oh that you who are young might be kept from anything like looseness or effeminacy! Avoid glances, words and thoughts which tend that way. Do not go near the borders of that sin, for men and women sin not grossly all at once: they slide by degrees, asthe vessel slides from the stocks into the sea at the time of its launching. It moves very little at first, but, by-and-by it gathers impetus and glides rapidly into the deep. God keep you from sins of the flesh, for they are a deep ditch and the abhorred of the Lord fall into them! They are base deeds of the night; does not Nature, itself, teach us so? Vice walks abroad beneath the moon; it is by night that our streets are defiled! O you who have reached the morning light, abhor these things and hate even the garment spotted by the flesh!

Word: Eris (2054)

Definitions and Connotations:

  • Strong's: Contention, debate, strife. Of uncertain affinity; a quarrel, i.e. (by implication) wrangling -- contention, debate, strife, variance.
  • Thayer: Contention, strife, wrangling: Romans 1:29; Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Galatians 5:20; Philippians 1:15; 1 Timothy 6:4; Titus 3:9. (From Homer down.)
  • Barnes: The word "strife" means "contention, disputes, litigations." The exhortation is that they should live in peace.
  • John MacArthur: To contend, to fight. It is the spirit of antagonistic competitiveness. It is the spirit that says "I'm going to get my way if I have to step on your neck to do it." It comes basically out of a heart desire for singular prestige, for singular power, for singular prominence. It comes from a heart desire to possess everything, no matter what anybody else may have to forfeit in the process. It is that spirit that is intolerant of anyone else's success. It is intolerant of anyone else's possessions. It would steal everything from everybody if it could get away with it. It is the spirit of the one who is unwilling to take second place. It is the macho spirit. It is the utterly self-indulgent spirit. It knows no humility. It is the spirit in contemporary terms of ego-mania. "I want it all for me and I want it all right now and I want it whether anybody else suffers or not." So characteristic of fallen man, typically a deed of the darkness also mentioned in Galatians chapter 5 verse 20 as another mark of the lust of the flesh.

Word: ZE-los (2205)

Definitions and Connotations:

  • Strong's: Emulation, jealousy, zeal. From zeo; properly, heat, i.e. (figuratively) "zeal" (in a favorable sense, ardor; in an unfavorable one, jealousy, as of a husband (figuratively, of God), or an enemy, malice) -- emulation, envy(-ing), fervent mind, indignation, jealousy, zeal.
  • Barnes: Envying - Greek, Zeal. It denotes any intense, vehement, "fervid" passion. It is not improperly rendered here by envying.
  • John MacArthur: Envying. If you live for number one and are an ego maniac, you will for certain envy anything anyone else possesses that you want. By the way, the word is zelos from which we get the word zealous. It can be a good word. There are things that you should desire that are legitimate to desire. But it is used here in an evil sense. In a good sense it means zeal or enthusiasm, in a bad sense it means envy and jealousy and that is its intention here. And again it is also used in Galatians 5 and verse 20 as one of those indicators of the lust of the flesh.
  • More Information: Charity Envieth Not.

Phrase: me- ERidi kai ZE-lo-


  • Clarke: Not in contentions and furious altercations, which must be the consequence of such practices as are mentioned above. Can any man suppose that this address is to the Christians at Rome? That they are charged with practices almost peculiar to the heathens? And practices of the most abandoned and dissolute sort? If those called Christians at Rome were guilty of such acts, there could be no difference except in profession, between them and the most abominable of the heathens. But it is impossible that such things should be spoken to the followers of Christ; for the very grace that brings repentance enables the penitent to cast aside and abominate all such vicious and abominable conduct.
  • Barnes: Strife and envying are the "third" class of sins from which the apostle exhorts them. These vices are properly introduced in connection with the others. They usually accompany each other. Quarrels and contentions come out of scenes of drunkenness and debauchery. But for such scenes, there would be little contention, and the world would be comparatively at peace.
  • Gill's: Not in strife and envying; contention and quarrels, which are usually the consequences of luxury and uncleanness.
  • JFB: Not in strife and envying: varied forms of that venomous feeling between man and man which reverses the law of love.
  • People's NT: Not in strife and envying. These followed naturally upon revels and drunkenness, and shameless sensuality. This passage is referred to by the great Augustine as the cause of his conversion. It rebuked his own sins, which were the common sins of his time. (Confessions, 8.12).
  • Spurgeon: The next night deed is passion—passion taking the two shapes of "strife and envying." Brawls are for the night. Fierce assaults disturb us in our sleep, but they are not usual in the day. So Christian men, being of the day, are not to strive. It is a great pity when strife comes into a family, when brother is divided from brother and father from son and when relatives cannot speak well of one another. These bitter things are for the night; you have reached the daylight and must have done with them! Envy is a thing of darkness and shame; that "green-eyed monster" comes out in the dark and finds fault with those who are better than itself. Sinners do not like good men because their excellence rebukes them and, therefore, they endeavor to mar their reputation. This evil is not of the day! Leave it, scorn it, dread it, abhor it! God deliver you from it! Away, then, from all deeds of darkness, and seek only that which may be set in the face of the sun and cause no man to blush.

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