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Position of Honor

Elect of God: LXX

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old testament

Category B: Position of Honor

[dropcap class="article-dropcap"]L[/dropcap]et us return to the illustration of the infatuated young man.  Suppose some time has passed: there has been a proposal, a ring, a lovely ceremony, and a romantic honeymoon.  Now the happy couple is returning to their home, which is nothing less than the royal palace.  You see, the young man is none other than the crown prince.  And who is the young lady?  She is now, of course, the princess.  However, before her wedding, she was, well, a mere citizen of the kingdom.  Her parents were not royalty, and she had no titles to her name.  There was nothing in her lineage or accomplishments that would particularly qualify her to be the royal princess - only the fact that the crown prince chose her to be his wife.  Because of his choice, she is now elevated in status above all other women in the kingdom, regardless of whatever titles they might possess.  The young lady is now choice in a different sense than before.  It is not her inherent qualities of lineage or accomplishments that make her a choice young lady, but her position obtained through the selection of the prince.

[dropcap class="article-dropcap"]T[/dropcap]he use of G1588 in this sense first occurs in the passage of when King David asked the Gibeonites what was required for atonement to bring a severe famine to an end.  The Gibeonites, as non-Israelites, had greatly suffered under Saul's policies of ethnic cleansing, which contradicted the treaty of protection established in the days of Joshua (Joshua 9).  The Gibeonites replied to David,

“Let seven men of [Saul's] descendants be delivered to us, and we will hang them before the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD chose.” And the king said, “I will give them.”  (2 Samuel 21:6)

Evidently, they did not use G1588 in this passage with the same nuance as in Category A, which would be to describe Saul as a man with inherently good characteristics.  It is true that when he was first chosen as king, he was perceived to have desirable features of a superior physique.  However, the policies he adopted when he was king demonstrated that he was of an ungodly character, unfit to be king over the people of God.  We see that, instead of describing a man who was choice due to inherent qualities, the Gibeonites were describing a man whom God chose to be king over Israel.  They recognized Saul had not become king because of his inherent qualities, but because God had placed him on the throne.

[dropcap class="article-dropcap"]U[/dropcap]nlike the broad use of Category A, this sense of the word was only used in the LXX to describe people and not inanimate objects.  Furthermore, it was only used to describe people chosen by God for a position of authority, as demonstrated by the following three verses.

Then You spoke in a vision to Your holy one, and said: “I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people.  I have found My servant David; with My holy oil I have anointed him”  (Psalms 89:19-20)

Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them.  (Psalms 106:23)

And I shall shake all the nations.  And the chosen of all the nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD almighty.  (Haggai 2:7, LXX)

God chose each of these men for a position of authority.  None attained their position by first convincing the general public of their inherent personal qualities of excellence, and then being voted into office.  Nor did they achieve their position by their greatness of power.  God chose them for their position and established them in it.  As far as the author can tell, these four verses are the extent of the use of G1588 with this nuance in both the LXX and the NT.

[dropcap class="article-dropcap"]I[/dropcap]n Category A, we noted the described objects had not necessarily gone through a G1586 type of selection process.  We can see that Category B is distinct from A in that it is evident the objects did go through a G1586 kind of selection process in which God deliberately selected each man.  Thus, in this category, we see G1588 described people as having been deliberately chosen by God.

As previously noted, God chose each man for a position of authority.  A person in authority is typically treated differently than the average person, in that they are given honor and shown respect.  Now, it is worth noting that honor and respect are shown not only to people in authority but also to individuals who have inherent excellent qualities of one form or another.  For example, sports stars receive honor and respect for their athletic abilities, movie stars for their acting skills, musicians for their talent, soldiers for their courage, engineers for their superior practical intelligence, and so forth.  As the public shows honor and respect to talented people, so also people do to individuals in authority.  Of course, we prefer that those in authority over us also possess highly excellent characteristics, but such is not always the case.  However, regardless of the quality of their inherent characteristics, we are expected to treat people in authority with honor and respect as if they did inherently have superior excellent features.

Although this nuance is distinct from Category A, we see it is related in the sense that a man described by the Category B nuance of G1588 would receive the same honor and respect as one described by the Category A nuance.  In other words, a man placed in a position of authority (Category B) typically expects to receive the same honor and respect as a person who has superior qualities and characteristics (Category A).  G1588 acted as a descriptor in both cases.

[dropcap class="article-dropcap"]W[/dropcap]ith regards to Category B, it appears the definition of the English adjective 'chosen' is closest to the definition of this nuance of G1588.

Chosen: (adj.) having been selected as the best or most appropriate: "music is his chosen vocation."

This nuance was used to describe men whom God selected for positions of authority and honor.