Monday, September 5, 2011


Nevertheless is a word that appears 97 times in the King James Version of the Bible. It’s an interesting word because it ties two thoughts together with the second thought being related, but doesn’t obviously follow the first. The word first appears in Exodus 32:34, “Therefore now go, lead the people unto [the place] of which I have spoken unto thee: behold mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.”

In context, this verse comes just after the people sinned by making a golden calf. You recall how they danced around it and said it was God. Moses went to atone for the people. Moses even went so far as to say that if God didn’t forgive them, he might as well blot Moses out of the Lord’s book. But the Lord said he would blot out those who sinned against him. The purpose of the nevertheless here seems to be that the Lord is telling Moses to go ahead and lead the people to the promised land and the Lord would lead them, but don’t take that to mean that the people won’t be punished when the Lord shows up. Verse 35 tells us that he did just that.

Another example is I Samuel 15:35, “And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.” Here it paints such a sad picture. Saul’s sin resulted in Samuel pronouncing a curse on him. It wasn’t Samuel’s desire to do so, but he was the Lord’s prophet. In that day, he lost a friend.

Psalm 31:22 gives us a beautiful example. “For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.” How often have we felt like God was no longer listening? That’s how David felt, but he came to realize that the Lord heard his supplications.

Jesus used the word in Matthew 26:64. “Jesus saith unto him, thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” This was at Jesus’ trial and the high priest asked him whether he was the Christ. Essentially, Jesus said, “you said it, not me, but I’ll tell you this. You’re going to see me sitting on the right hand of God and coming in the clouds.” He hadn’t told them that, but it was true all the same because who other than Christ would be sitting on the right hand of God and coming in clouds?

Nevertheless is such an interesting word. It’s like strong conflict in a nutshell. Just reading the Bible passages that use it provides some very interesting reading.