WHO WERE THEY?
Rahab, Ruth, Simon the Canaanite, Simon of Cyrene, the eunuch of Ethiopia and Cornelius were not heathen, but Israelites!
It is amazing how difficult it is to get rid of some old traditions and customs. Most people have become accustomed to reading the Bible superfluously instead of studying the Word in depth.
The above-mentioned names are a typical example of persons who are incorrectly seen as heathen. Yet another reason for this misinterpretation is that it suits an old way of Bible interpretation.
The mistaken concept that the heathen have taken up the position of Israel in the Plan of God, fits the teaching that these people of high rank among God’s people were heathen. This article is written to explain that this cannot be assumed.
By Pastor F.W.C. Neser.
SIMON THE CANAANITE
Amongst the followers of the Israel Truth, there are those who say that Simon the Canaanite, a disciple of our Lord Jesus, was black because he was called a Canaanite.
Read Matthew 10:4: Mark 3:18.
4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite.
However, according to the following authorities on the matter, they were sincerely wrong:
1) The Bible with explanatory Notes Part 3, United Protestant Publishers (Pty) Ltd., Cape Town 1959 says:
‘Canaanite is the Greek form of the Aramaic word ‘canan’ and means the same as the Greek word ‘zelotes’ which means ‘zealot.’
15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes.
2) The “New Afrikaans Translation” translates it in:
4 Simon the Canaanite, ……….
3) Dictionary of the Bible’ by Dr. W.M.Smith and ‘Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary’ by Merrill C.Tenney, agree on this point. He was a Galilean, and thus an Israelite.
SIMON OF CYRENE
Some claim that Simon of Cyrene (who carried Jesus’ cross) was a black man from the North of Africa. Read Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26.
32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.
In his ‘Dictionary of the Bible’, previously referred to, Dr.W.M. Smith says the following: ‘Simon of Cyrene, a Greek Judean was in Jerusalem during the time of the crucifixion of Jesus. He was there, either for the Passover, or he had taken up residence in Jerusalem.’
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and Proselytes.
9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
He was commanded to carry the cross, when Jesus could no longer carry it, according to Matthew 27:32 (see scripture above).
Mark refers to him as the father of Rufus and Alexander. Perhaps the Rufus who was known to the Romans.
13 Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
Cyrene was a region in Northern Africa where a large Judean settlement had been. These Judaeans had maintained their liaison with the temple in Jerusalem and regularly went there for the Passover.
Why would a black man have gone up to Jerusalem for such an important Judaean Feast?
In ‘The Lion Handbook of the Bible’ on page 567, a photograph of a stone within the wall of the Temple can be seen, on which is written in Greek: that any non-Judaean (non-Jew) would be threatened by death if he would enter the enclosing wall of the temple.
In the authoritative book of Conybeare and Howsen: ‘The Life and Epistle of St. Paul’ page 3, the Jewish Historian and writer, Josephus, is quoted to have said in his book: ‘War of the Jews’ v.5,2 that there are pillars in the Temple upon which the same warning as is mentioned above, was engraved in Greek and Latin.
Therefore we can rightfully ask the question, why would Simon of Cyrene come to Jerusalem for the Passover, if he had been a black man?
These views and opinions concerning Simon the Canaanite and Simon of Cyrene as well as others we are yet to discuss, are but only a confirmation of our Lord Jesus’ words in:
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
THE MAN OF ETHIOPIA
(A Eunuch of the Queen of Ethiopia)
We read about him in Acts 8: 26-40.
Because he came from Ethiopia it is assumed that he was black. This not only reveals a lack of knowledge, but also of gross negligence concerning the interpretation of scripture.
This man came to Jerusalem to worship.
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship.
The same principle applies to him, as to Simon the Canaanite and Simon of Cyrene, namely, that had they been non-Israelites, they would not have been allowed to enter into the temple. Secondly, he was busy reading out loud from the prophet Isaiah.
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
In those days Isaiah had only been written in Hebrew and Greek (the Septuaginta).
It is therefore highly unlikely that a non-Israelite would have any interest in Isaiah or, either, be able to read it. It is more likely that he must have been an Israelite, in the service of Candace, the queen of Ethiopia. See Acts 8:27.
He was a eunuch according to the King James. It was the custom in those days for the officials who came into such close contact with the queen to be made eunuchs.
As her minister of finance he had to spend long hours alone with her, discussing her money matters in secret. As an Israelite he would also have been qualified to take care of her financial interests.
THE CAPTAIN CORNELIUS
We read in Acts 10:1-2.
1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2 A devout man and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
According to authoritative sources, the giving of alms was a strict Israelite custom. He must have been a believer in the sense of the old Covenant as devout and god-fearing giving alms to the people, and one who prayed to God always, and that he loved God’s people.
Theologians say that he was the first heathen convert that was baptised and had received the Holy Spirit. He was the first heathen also that was allowed into the ‘Church’ of Jesus Christ.
But is this true?
Let us look at the facts.
He feared God with ‘all his house’, Acts 10:2, ‘and gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.’
This is not the description of a heathen. Furthermore our Lord Jesus himself said in:
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not.
Would the Lord then command Peter to do something which He had told him not to do and for which He was not sent?
Conybeare and Howsen say in their very authoritative book- ‘The Life and Epistles of St Paul’:
‘Cornelius – no other name in Rome was more honoured than that of the house of Cornelius.’ This was the family name of ‘Scipios’ and of ‘Sullah’.
There were soldiers in the Roman army, who came from different countries and who spoke different languages, many from Syria and Judaea.
They referred to the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus: ‘Antiqueties of the Jews’ 14:15,10.
It is a well known fact that many of the ten tribes who escaped from their Assyrian Captivity, had spread across the entire ‘Roman World’ during that period.
Why do we want to force the heathen (non-Israelite) into the Christian Faith, while excluding the true Israel?
Romans 9: 4-5
4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.
Rahab was not a prostitute! Rahab was an Israelite!
The Theologians, as well as those who do not understand why God had to keep Israel pure, use Rahab, among others and make her a heathen (non-Israelite) and someone of bad report.
Experts on the Hebrew language say that there is a very small difference between the words ‘prostitute’ and ‘Inn keeper’, or someone who provides lodging and food in the Hebrew text.
Ferrar Fenton translates it in his ‘The Holy Bible in Modern English’ as Inn keeper , someone who provides lodging. According to the ‘Dictionary of the Bible’ by Dr. W.M. Smith, Josephus who was a Jewish Historian and contemporary of our Lord Jesus, also translated the word as ‘Inn keeper’.
It is a very well-known fact that many Israelites escaped out of Egypt before the Exodus and settled in other countries. Therefore it would not be unlikely that Rahab and her family went and settled themselves in Jericho.
The Israelites are people of enterprise and initiative. Rahab’s history proves that she was that kind of person. Jericho was a city of commerce, situated on one of the main roads of commerce, and therefore Inns were in great demand. Her house was built into the city wall.
15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window; for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.
….. and close to the gate of the city. Therefore her Inn was very conveniently situated for travellers.
Some learned reckon that she also spun material, therefore she had those stalks of flax upon the roof of her house.
6 But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.
….. under which she hid the messengers.
She was most probably also a producer of purple cloth, hence the scarlet thread …..
18 Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren , and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.
21 And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed : and she bound the scarlet line in the window.
….. with which she let the men down. She reminds us of another woman, by the name of Lydia, in Acts 16:14 who was a seller of purple.
The scarlet thread has a deep spiritual meaning. Blood is red, therefore the blood of Jesus that allowed us to escape from the captivity of sin and the clutches of eternal death.
It was not by chance that Rahab used that scarlet thread to save the spies, and that she used that same thread , hanging from her window as a sign for Joshua to save her and her house during the destruction of Jericho.
Joshua 6:17, 25
17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
It is so typical for the devil to mock God’s message of salvation. Did he not mock God’s Word when he asked Eve in :
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Can you hear the sneering tone within these words? Just so, is this scarlet thread of Rahab, which symbolises salvation through the blood of Jesus, used as the symbol of a prostitute. All because our Bibles speak of her as Rahab the harlot. The devil laughs at this.
But yet more proof that she was an Israelite is found in the fact that she believed in the Living God.
9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.
11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain anymore courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD our God, he is God in heaven above and in earth beneath.
If she was a Canaanite of Jericho, as is commonly claimed, she would not have acknowledged God as ‘God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.’
These two men whom Joshua had sent to spy out the land-
And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab , and lodged there.
…………these were not two frivolous men who would head straight for a brothel when arriving in a strange city. On the contrary- the first place one will look for would be a place to sleep and eat. I don’t think it impossible that they might have known about Rahab, and therefore went there first. She wouldn’t betray them either.
According to Matthew 1:5, she was of the forefathers of Jesus.
Matthew 1:5 (see also Ruth 4:21,22) Moet dit hier wees, nie in afr boek nie?
And Salmon begat Boaz of Rachab; and Boaz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse.
It is presumed that this Salmon who begat Boaz through Rahab, could have been one of those two messengers that married Rahab after the fall of Jericho.
The entire symbolism of the Passover lamb that had to be without blemish, pointed to the Lamb of God that had to be physically perfect.
Strange blood in his forefathers would have contradicted this symbolism.
Ruth was an Israelite!
What a disappointing fact that so many preachers give false teaching on this subject. This is as a result of the lack of knowledge. One such a false teaching is that our Lord Jesus the Christ, does not descend from pure Israel origin. It is believed that one of his ancestors, Ruth was a Moabite woman. Here they err greatly. Maak nie sin nie
The country of the Moabites was originally situated East and North east of the Dead Sea. Moab was the very first territory that Israel conquered after her 40 years of wandering in the desert. God had commanded them to destroy all the inhabitants of the lands they would conquer. In Moab they had obeyed that command.
In the year 1450 BC approximately, Sihon king of the Ammorites conquered and occupied the kingdom of Moab. He was therefore ruler of the land when Israel moved in.
We read from Numbers21:26 and 29 -
26 For Heshbon was thr city of Sihon the king of the Ammorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon.
29 Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Ammorites.
The Israelites conquered the land of Moab and killed all that were found. (Numbers 21:24,25).
We read from Deuteronomy 2: 32-34
32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz.
33 And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons,and all his people.
34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones,of every city,we left none to remain.
The Israelites moved northwards up to the land of Ammon.
We read in Numbers 21:33-35
33 And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle of Edrei.
34 And the Lord said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand,and all his people, and his land; and thou do unto him as thou didst Sihon king of the Ammorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.
35 So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive and they possesd his land.
This entire area east of the Jordan was occupied by yhe tribes of Reuben,Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh. They had killed or driven out all the previous occupants namely the Moabites and the Ammorites.
In Deuteronomy 3:12-16 Moses says:
12 And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites, and to the Gadites.
13 And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.
14 Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi, and called them after his own name, Bashanhavothjair, unto this day.
15 And I gave Gilead unto Machir.
16 And unto the Reubenites and unto the Gaddites I gave from Gilead even unto the river Arnon half tha valley, and the border even unto the river Jabbok,which is the border of the children of Ammon.
All of this was accomplished by the year 1450 Bc. Hence, this land was entirely Israel territory – even more so than the area west of the Jordan, because in the land of Moab and Ammon no living soul remained. White people who lived in the Transvaal of old and the Freestate, were called Transvalers and Freestaters: but because they lived in these areas that used to be inhabited by the black tribes, it didn’t make them Tswanas or Swazis or Griekwas etc.
Likewise, the Israelites who had taken over the land of Moab were often called Moabites, because they lived there. Yet, that did not make them Moabites. The same is said of the people who lived in Galilee during the time of Jesus – they were called Galileans.
Proof exists that Moab and Ammon was still occupied by the Israelites in approximately 1143 Bc. We see in Judges 11: 12-26
12 And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land?
13 And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jehpthah , Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.
14 And Jehpthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon:
15 and said unto him, Thus saith Jehpthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon:
16 but when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Kadesh;
17 then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto.
And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh.
18 Then they went along through the wilderness , and compassed the land of
Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not wihin the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab.
19 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Ammorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy
land into my place.
20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all
His people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought agains Israel.
21 And the LORD God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel , and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Ammorites, the inhabitanys of that country.
22 And they possessed all the coasts of the Ammorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan.
23 So now the Lord God of Israel hath dispossessed the Ammorites from before His people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it?
24 Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomever the Lord our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess.
25 And now art thou anything better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of
Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them,
26 while Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?
Therefore, Israel had uninterrupted occupation of the land of Moab and Ammon during that period.
Elimelech, Naomi and two sons.
Right in the middle of this period, approximately 1322 Bc or 110 yaers after the Israel tribes of Reuben and Gad had occupied the land of Moab, Elimelech, a man of Judah.
Together with his wife and two sons was driven from Judah because there was famine in the land.
1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem-Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Notice the accuracy of the words: Not among the PEOPLE of Moab, but IN THE COUNTRY of Moab, which was EXCLUSIVELY OCCUPIED BY ISRAELITES.
In my book “The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel”, I prove that Ruth was an Israelite. In 1 Chronicles 4:22 (certain families of Judah who ruled over Moab) we read
22 And Jokim , and the men of Chozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who had the dominion in Moab, and Jashubilehem. And these are ancient things.
I believe that Ruth was from this family, because the line of Jesus’ descent had to be without blemish. The sons of Elimelech married Israelite women who lived in the land of Moab. One of them was Ruth, who became the progenitress of David and through David, of Jesus the Christ. The could have been nothing but an Israelite, as no other race lived in that land. It can be no other way. God had judged the Moabites and Amorites severely from a long time before.
He had commanded in Deuteronomy 23:3
3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the conger-gation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD forever.
When God says never, He means never. He is always consistent. We read in Zeph.2:9
9 Therefore as I live, says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them.
The whole of Jeremiah 48 contains terrible judgement upon the Moabites. In Isaiah 25:10 where the triumphant second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is prophesied, we read:
10 For in his land shall the mountain of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.
Surely our Heavenly Father would not choose someone from a nation as Sodom, whom He so severely judged , to be an ancestor of our Lord Jesus! Therefore let no one tell you that our Lord Jesus, the Christ was of a mixed race- with the blood of strange races in His veins. God was so adamant that even the least of his people Israel had to keep their blood pure. He warned that they that disregarded this law, should be removed from the people.
Our Lord Jesus Himself said in Matthew 5:17
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
God Almighty is firm and consistent concerning His own laws. Ruth was a pure Israelite, of the land of Moab, but not of the race of the Moabites.
THE WILD OLIVE TREE
Some thoughts about the Wild olive: A wild branch that is grafted into the tame olive, remains wild. Therefore, this cannot be applied to Israel. Man’s sinfulness does not change his genes. Although a tax collector and sinner, Zacchaeus was still a son of Abraham. He was therefore not a wild branch. Likewise, your son is your son- even though he might have become a criminal. Therefore, the genes of the Lost Ten Tribes did not change as a result of their “Lo-Ammi” state and become as a wild branch. Only their fruit became “wild”. Not the repentance or the sinfulness of a person can change his nationality. An Englishman remains an Englishman, and a German will always be a German etc.
It is therefore contrary to nature for a “wild” olive branch to become tame by being grafted into a “tame” olive tree. That would mean that if the Ten Tribes were wild by nature, as in Romans 11, they can never be made tame by grafting in, and that is not what God had said about Israel. The branches that are grafted in cannot change the root stem of the tree. The branches that are chopped off (from Israel) can and will be grafted into the natural root stem again.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graff them in again.
24 For if thou wert cut off the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature, into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches , be graffed into their own olive tree.
That is what is going to happen as explained further on in Romans 11:25-29
25 For I would not ,brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in [part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
The absolute liberty of God’s grace- Ephesians 2:12
12 that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works , yet now hath he reconciled.
The “heathen” of Rome and of Corinth, Galilee, Ephesians etc. were just as much ‘heathen’ as those of the Lost Ten Tribes were.
Romans 11:24- The Ten Tribes were never “wild” by nature.
Romans 11:25- The fullness of the nations is the fullness of Israel.
11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty : be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins.
When the whole Israel shall come forth in repentance from her dispersion…….
33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after
you: and your land shall be desolate , and your cities waste.
…gathered together at the second coming of Christ …
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they Shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven, to the other.
…when Israel is threatened by tatl annihilation.
There are three main topics referred to in this chapter namely:
1. The tame (natural) olive tree.
2. The wild olive tree.
3. The heathen.
The natural Olive tree is the full Israel.
The wild Olive tree are those in Rome who were not of Israel, but who were from the seed.
Israel who became heathen.
Take careful note of 11 Peter 3:15-18 and meditate upon these Scriptures!
2 Peter 3:15-18
15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you.
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction
17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.