'Rather' in the Bible
This is so that the sons of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they were sacrificing [to idols] in the open field [where they killed them], that they may bring them in to the Lord, at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting to the priest, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the Lord.
But the princes of the Ammonites [were suspicious and] said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think that David is honoring your father because he has sent comforters to you? Has David not sent his servants to you in order to search the city, to spy it out and overthrow it?”
Then his servants approached and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he has said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’”
So that I would choose suffocation,Death rather than my pain.
But Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became indignant. His indignation was kindled and burned and he became upset with Job because he justified himself rather than God [and even expressed doubts about God’s character].
“Take heed and be careful, do not turn to wickedness,For you have chosen this [the vice of complaining against God] rather than [learning from] affliction.
You love evil more than good,And falsehood more than speaking what is right. Selah.
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand [anywhere else];I would rather stand [as a doorkeeper] at the threshold of the house of my GodThan to live [at ease] in the tents of wickedness.
“Take my instruction rather than [seeking] silver,And take knowledge rather than choicest gold,
How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.
Let a man meet a [ferocious] bear robbed of her cubsRather than the [angry, narcissistic] fool in his folly.
A good name [earned by honorable behavior, godly wisdom, moral courage, and personal integrity] is more desirable than great riches;And favor is better than silver and gold.
It has not seen the sun nor had any knowledge; yet it has more rest and is better off than he.
“[Rather] is this not the fast which I choose,To undo the bonds of wickedness,To tear to pieces the ropes of the yoke,To let the oppressed go freeAnd break apart every [enslaving] yoke?
And death will be chosen rather than life by all the remnant of those who remain of this evil family (nation), who remain in all the places to which I have driven them,” says the Lord of hosts.
You adulterous wife, who welcomes and receives strangers instead of her husband!
Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” says the Lord God, “rather than that he should turn [away] from his [malevolent] acts and live?
Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back (change your way of thinking), turn back [in repentance] from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’
Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and rescued His servants who believed in, trusted in, and relied on Him! They violated the king’s command and surrendered their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.
but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
And if you had only known what this statement means, ‘I desire compassion [for those in distress], and not [animal] sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.
So when Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but rather that a riot was breaking out, he took water and washed his hands [to ceremonially cleanse himself of guilt] in the presence of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this [righteous] Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.”
But He said, “On the contrary, blessed (happy, favored by God) are those who hear the word of God and continually observe it.”
Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division [between believers and unbelievers];
“The Law and the [writings of the] Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God has been and continues to be preached, and everyone tries forcefully to go into it.
I tell you, this man went to his home justified [forgiven of the guilt of sin and placed in right standing with God] rather than the other man; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself [forsaking self-righteous pride] will be exalted.”
This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
Do not work for food that perishes, but for food that endures [and leads] to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you; for God the Father has authorized Him and put His seal on Him.”
[Rather, I will say,] ‘Father, glorify (honor, extol) Your name!’” Then a voice came from heaven saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
But Peter and John replied to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you and obey you rather than God, you must judge [for yourselves];
Then Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men [we have no other choice].
But Felix, having a rather accurate understanding about the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will decide your case.”
because [by choice] they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Who is the one who condemns us? Christ Jesus is the One who died [to pay our penalty], and more than that, who was raised [from the dead], and who is at the right hand of God interceding [with the Father] for us.
That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by your faith [as believers understanding the truth of Christ’s deity]. Do not be conceited, but [rather stand in great awe of God and] fear [Him];
Then let us not criticize one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block or a source of temptation in another believer’s way.
but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom once hidden [from man, but now revealed to us by God, that wisdom] which God predestined before the ages to our glory [to lift us into the glory of His presence].
And you are proud and arrogant! You should have mourned in shame so that the man who has done this [disgraceful] thing would be removed from your fellowship!
Why, the very fact that you have lawsuits with one another is already a defeat. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?
If others share in this rightful claim over you, do not we even more? However, we did not exercise this right, but we put up with everything so that we will not hinder [the spread of] the good news of Christ.
Let no one seek [only] his own good, but [also] that of the other person.
and as for those parts of the body which we consider less honorable, these we treat with greater honor; and our less presentable parts are treated with greater modesty,
nevertheless, in public worship I would rather say five understandable words in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue [which others cannot understand].
not that we rule [like dictators] over your faith, but rather we work with you for [the increase of] your joy; for in your faith you stand firm [in your strong conviction that Jesus of Nazareth—the Messiah—is the Son of God, through whom we obtain eternal salvation].
so instead [of further rebuke, now] you should rather [graciously] forgive and comfort and encourage him, to keep him from being overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
For while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened [often weighed down, oppressed], not that we want to be unclothed [separated by death from the body], but to be clothed, so that what is mortal [the body] will be swallowed up by life [after the resurrection].
we are [as I was saying] of good courage and confident hope, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
For even though I boast rather freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed [of the truth],
Now, however, since you have come to know [the true] God [through personal experience], or rather to be known by God, how is it that you are turning back again to the weak and worthless elemental principles [of religions and philosophies], to which you want to be enslaved all over again?
So I ask you not to lose heart at my sufferings on your behalf, for they are your glory and honor.
But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ.
The thief [who has become a believer] must no longer steal, but instead he must work hard [making an honest living], producing that which is good with his own hands, so that he will have something to share with those in need.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ.
nor to pay attention to legends (fables, myths) and endless genealogies, which give rise to useless speculation and meaningless arguments rather than advancing God’s program of instruction which is grounded in faith [and requires surrendering the entire self to God in absolute trust and confidence].
Those who have believing masters are not to be disrespectful toward them because they are brothers [in Christ], but they should serve them even better, because those who benefit from their kindly service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these [duties and principles].
but [instead] when he reached Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me—
traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God,
Now if perfection [a perfect fellowship between God and the worshiper] had been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people were given the Law) what further need was there for another and different kind of priest to arise, one in the manner of Melchizedek, rather than one appointed to the order of Aaron?
because he preferred to endure the hardship of the people of God rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.
Cut through and make smooth, straight paths for your feet [that are safe and go in the right direction], so that the leg which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather may be healed.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels [in festive gathering],
Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh [and died for us], arm yourselves [like warriors] with the same purpose [being willing to suffer for doing what is right and pleasing God], because whoever has suffered in the flesh [being like-minded with Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [having stopped pleasing the world],