Elect of God: LXX
And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved;
but for the elect’s sake,
whom He chose,
He shortened the days.
For example, suppose an early believer is studying Mark's gospel, and the occurrence of G1588 in Mark 13:20 catches his eye. Wanting to make sure he understands what the Lord was saying, he pulls a current copy of the Modern Dictionary of Greek Words from his bookshelf and flips to the entry for G1588. As he reads the definitions for the nuances of the word, it is certain that he will not find in that secular dictionary a definition that reads: 'Individuals chosen by God for salvation.'
Suppose that, as our aspiring scholar considers the definitions he found, it occurs to him that a secular dictionary might not be the best resource to discover the theological significance of the Lord's words. Returning the dictionary to the shelf, he takes out his Exhaustive Concordance to the Greek Old Testament and carefully examines every occurrence of G1588. As we have seen above, he would likely conclude that the word could be describing either people with excellent characteristics, or people given a position of honor, or people whom God chose as His own.
However, suppose in using G1588, the Lord meant to describe people chosen by God for salvation. This early believer would have no way of knowing that this was the intended meaning unless the Mark made this definition clear in the context.
The next step in this study, therefore, is to examine the uses of the word in the New Testament to see if G1588 clearly received a definition that is different than what we find in the LXX. Then we shall be in a good position to give an educated guess on the identity of the elect in the passage quoted at the beginning of this chapter.