An die Roemer, part 5: 1:24-25

1:24-25: The punishment
διὸ παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τῶν καρδιῶν αὐτῶν εἰς ἀκαθαρσίαν τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι τὰ σώματα αὐτῶν ἐν αὐτοῖς, οἵτινες μετήλλαξαν τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν τῷ ψεύδει, καὶ ἐσεβάσθησαν καὶ ἐλάτρευσαν τῇ κτίσει παρὰ τὸν κτίσαντα, ὅς ἐστιν εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας· ἀμήν.
Therefore, 1:[because of] the desires of their hearts, God 2:[gave them over] into ritual impurity so that their bodies would be 3:[dishonored] among them, those who exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, and venerated and served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed into eternity, Amen.
1: en+D - we have a proper sequence with παρέδωκεν, which is in note 2, and this isn't part of that action. We really could say "in" here, and just leave it, but the plethora of meanings makes me want to get more specific. It denotes the state of the people so punished, but it might also denote the thing used for the punishment, "by the desires of their hearts" -- if you want it badly enough, you might get it as a way of teaching you why it's wrong. Since we already have the proper "eis" construction with paredoken, God didn't give them up "to/into the desires of their hearts." And otherwise we have causal implications, that the desires of their hearts are the reason for God's punishment in this way.
2: παρέδωκεν - paradidomi + eis + infinitive, "handed over to/into ________ for the purpose of ___________." God gives over his people regularly as punishment for unrighteousness and idolatry in the Bible. There is definite Semitic logic behind this, and one might assume in his audience as well to simply accept this recounting of history.
3: ἀτιμάζω - dishonor as the negation of τιμή: value, worth, dignity, honor, reverence, respect. Shameful treatment.
And the punishment fits the crime. God releases worshipers of bodies into ritual impurity, into unclean-ness and the void of holiness as a mark of the people of God, in order that the bodies they revere and honor and respect might quite naturally lose that value. Why? Because knowing God, they didn't want God as God. This happens a lot in the history of the people of God! But the only honor that creation has is in the holiness of her God. The glory of the creature is in its creator, which is the proper direction for pious veneration and worshipful service. And all the people say: Amen! And Paul goes on.


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