Posted by: mattcolvin | January 13, 2008

Morsels in Romans 12 and John 13

(Repost from my old Upsaid blog.)

In reading Romans 12 last week, I was surprised by an interesting verb in verse 20:
ἀλλὰ ἐὰν πεινᾷ ὁ ἐχθρός σου, ψώμιζε αὐτόν: ἐὰν διψᾷ, πότιζε αὐτόν: τοῦτο γὰρ ποιῶν ἄνθρακας πυρὸς σωρεύσεις ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ.
“But if your enemy is hungry, give him a morsel; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink, for by doing this you will heap up coals of fire on his head.”

The verb in question is ψώμιζε, to give a morsel. It is a rare verb. LSJ cite Numbers 11:4 LXX as another instance (“the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us a morsel of flesh to eat? – τίς ἡμᾶς ψωμιεῖ κρέα”). But what caught my eye is the fact that the verb is cognate with another word, the fairly unusual noun ψωμιον. Where does it occur? In John 13:26:
25ἀναπεσὼν οὖν ἐκεῖνος οὕτως ἐπὶ τὸ στῆθος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ λέγει αὐτῷ, Κύριε, τίς ἐστιν; 26ἀποκρίνεται [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς, Ἐκεῖνός ἐστιν ᾧ ἐγὼ βάψω τὸ ψωμίον καὶ δώσω αὐτῷ. βάψας οὖν τὸ ψωμίον [λαμβάνει καὶ] δίδωσιν Ἰούδᾳ Σίμωνος Ἰσκαριώτου. 27καὶ μετὰ τὸ ψωμίον τότε εἰσῆλθεν εἰς ἐκεῖνον ὁ Σατανᾶς. λέγει οὖν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ὃ ποιεῖς ποίησον τάχιον.

“He, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus replied, “It is that one for whom I shall dip the sop and give it to him.” And so, when he had dipped the sop, he took it and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. And with the sop at that time Satan entered into him. So Jesus said to him, “What you are doing, do quickly.”
If your enemy is hungry…



  1. […] a personal favourite: Morsels in Romans 12 and John 13 In reading Romans 12 last week, I was surprised by an interesting verb in verse 20: ἀλλὰ […]

  2. […] a “sop”, pace many translations). This is an interesting word. I have blogged about it before. There is also a possible Passover connection: the Rabbis held that in order to fulfill the command […]

  3. […] Colvin has an interesting thought on the morsel given to Judas. Satan first puts the plan in the heart of Judas (verse 2), then […]

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