The power of God (2 Cor. 4:7)

“But we have this treasure

In clay jars.

Thus,

This transcendent power

Belongs to God

And not to us.”

Ἔχομεν δὲ τὸν θησαυρὸν τοῦτον ἐν ὀστρακίνοις σκεύεσιν, ἵνα ἡ ὑπερβολὴ τῆς δυνάμεως ᾖ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ μὴ ἐξ ἡμῶν·

Paul said that we have this treasure (Ἔχομεν δὲ τὸν θησαυρὸν τοῦτον) in clay jars (ἐν ὀστρακίνοις σκεύεσιν), so that this transcendent power (ἵνα ἡ ὑπερβολὴ τῆς δυνάμεως) belongs to God (ᾖ τοῦ Θεοῦ) and not to us (καὶ μὴ ἐξ ἡμῶν).  Only the Pauline letters used this word ὀστρακίνοις, that means earthen or made of clay, and the word ὑπερβολὴ, that means throwing beyond, excess, superiority, surpassing excellence, or preeminence.  Paul explained that our human bodies are like clay jars or vessels.  However, we have a superior treasure that is not perishable like our clay bodies.  This transcendent power belongs to God and not us.  He has graced us or given this preeminent power in our human frail bodies.  It is God’s gift, not our gift.  Do we treasure God’s gift to us?

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