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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Corinthians 6:14

 

 

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Adam Clarke Commentary

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers - This is a military term: keep in your own ranks; do not leave the Christian community to join in that of the heathens. The verb ἑτεροζυγειν signifies to leave one's own rank, place, or order, and go into another; and here it must signify not only that they should not associate with the Gentiles in their idolatrous feasts, but that they should not apostatize from Christianity; and the questions which follow show that there was a sort of fellowship that some of the Christians had formed with the heathens which was both wicked and absurd, and if not speedily checked would infallibly lead to final apostasy.

Some apply this exhortation to pious persons marrying with those who are not decidedly religious, and converted to God. That the exhortation may be thus applied I grant; but it is certainly not the meaning of the apostle in this place. Nevertheless, common sense and true piety show the absurdity of two such persons pretending to walk together in a way in which they are not agreed. A very wise and very holy man has given his judgment on this point: "A man who is truly pious, marrying with an unconverted woman, will either draw back to perdition, or have a cross during life." The same may be said of a pious woman marrying an unconverted man. Such persons cannot say this petition of the Lord's prayer, Lead us not into temptation. They plunge into it of their own accord.

For what fellowship, etc. - As righteousness cannot have communion with unrighteousness, and light cannot dwell with darkness; so Christ can have no concord with Belial, nor can he that believeth have any with an infidel. All these points were self-evident; how then could they keep up the profession of Christianity, or pretend to be under its influence, while they associated with the unrighteous, had communion with darkness, concord with Belial, and partook with infidels?


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers - This is closely connected in sense with the previous verse. The apostle is there stating the nature of the remuneration or recompence which he asks for all the love which he had shown to them. He here says, that one mode of remuneration would be to yield obedience to his commands, and to separate themselves from all improper alliance with unbelievers. “Make me this return for my love. Love me as a proof of your affection, be not improperly united with unbelievers. Listen to me as a father addressing his children, and secure your own happiness and piety by not being unequally yoked with those who are not Christians.” The word which is used here ( ἑτεροζυγέω heterozugeō) means properly, to bear a different yoke, to be yoked heterogeneously - Robinson (Lexicon). It is applied to the custom of yoking animals of different kinds together (Passow); and as used here means not to mingle together, or be united with unbelievers.

It is implied in the use of the word that there is a dissimilarity between believers and unbelievers so great that it is as improper for them to mingle together as it is to yoke animals of different kinds and species. The ground of the injunction is, that there is a difference between Christians and those who are not, so great as to render such unions improper and injurious. The direction here refers doubtless to all kinds of improper connections with those who were unbelievers. It has been usually supposed by commentators to refer particularly to marriage. But there is no reason for confining it to marriage. It doubtless includes that, but it may as well refer to any other intimate connection, or to intimate friendships, or to participation in their amusements and employments, as to marriage. The radical idea is, that they were to abstain from all connections with unbelievers - with infidels, and pagans, and those who were not Christians, which would identify them with them; or they were to have no connection with them in anything as unbelievers, pagans, or infidels; they were to partake with them in nothing that was special to them as such.

They were to have no part with them in their paganism unbelief, and idolatry, and infidelity; they were not to be united with them in any way or sense where it would necessarily be understood that they were partakers with them in those things. This is evidently the principle here laid down, and this principle is as applicable now as it was then. In the remainder of this verse and the following verses 2 Corinthians 6:15-16, he states reasons why they should have no such contact. There is no principle of Christianity that is more important than that which is here stated by the apostle; and none in which Christians are more in danger of erring, or in which they have more difficulty in determining the exact rule which they are to follow. The questions which arise are very important. Are we to have no contact with the people of the world? Are we cut loose from all our friends who are not Christians? Are we to become monks, and live a recluse and unsocial life? Are we never to mingle with the people of the world in business, in innocent recreation, or in the duties of citizens, and as neighbors and friends? It is important, therefore, in the highest degree, to endeavor to ascertain what are the principles on which the New Testament requires us to act in this matter. And in order to a correct understanding of this, the following principles may be suggested:

I. There is a large field of action, pursuit, principle, and thought, over which infidelity, sin, paganism, and the world as such, have the entire control. It is wholly without the range of Christian law, and stands opposed to Christian law. It pertains to a different kingdom; is conducted by different principles, and tends to destroy and annihilate the kingdom of Christ. It cannot be reconciled with Christian principle, and cannot be conformed to but in entire violation of the influence of religion. Here the prohibition of the New Testament is absolute and entire. Christians are not to mingle with the people of the world in these things; and are not to partake of them. This prohibition, it is supposed, extends to the following, among other things:

(1) To idolatry. This was plain. On no account or pretence were the early Christians to partake of that, or to countenance it. In primitive times, during the Roman persecutions, all that was asked was that they should cast a little incense on the altar of a pagan god. They refused to do it, and because they refused to do it, thousands perished as martyrs. They judged rightly; and the world has approved their cause.

(2) sin, vice, licentiousness. This is also plain. Christians are in no way to patronise them, or to lend their influence to them, or to promote them by their name, their presence, or their property. “Neither be partakers of other people‘s sins;” 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 John 1:11.

(3) arts and acts of dishonesty, deception, and fraud in traffic and trade. Here the prohibition also must be absolute. No Christian can have a right to enter into partnership with another where the business is to be conducted on dishonest and unchristian principles, or where it shall lead to the violation of any of the laws of God. If it involves deception and fraud in the principles on which it is conducted; if it spreads ruin and poverty - as the distilling and vending of ardent spirits does; if it leads to the necessary violation of the Christian Sabbath, then the case is plain. A Christian is to have no “fellowship with such unfruitful works of darkness, but is rather to reprove them;” Ephesians 5:11.

(4) the amusements and pleasures that are entirely worldly, and sinful in their nature; that are wholly under worldly influence, and which cannot be brought under Christian principles. Nearly all amusements are of this description. The true principle here seems to be, that if a Christian in such a place is expected to lay aside his Christian principles, and if it would be deemed indecorous and improper for him to introduce the subject of religion, or if religion would be regarded is entirely inconsistent with the nature of the amusement then he is not to be found there. The world reigns there, and if the principles of his Lord and Master would be excluded, he should not be there. This applies of course to the theater, the circus, the ballroom, and to large and splendid parties of pleasure. We are not to associate with idolaters in their idolatry; nor with the licentious in their licentiousness; nor with the infidel in his infidelity; nor with the proud in their pride; nor with the frivolous in their gaiety; nor with the friends of the theater, or the ballroom, or the circus in their attachment to these places and pursuits. And whatever other connection we are to have with them as neighbors, citizens, or members of our families, we are not to participate with them in these things. Thus far all seems to be clear; and the rule is a plain one whether it applies to marriage, or to business, or to religion, or to pleasure; compare note, 1 Corinthians 5:10.

II. There is a large field of action, thought, and plan which may be said to be common with the Christian and the world; that is, where the Christian is not expected to abandon his own principles, and where there will be, or need be, no compromise of the sternest views of truth, or the most upright, serious, and holy conduct. He may carry his principles with him; may always manifest them if necessary; and may even commend them to others. A few of these may be referred to.

(1) Commercial transactions and professional engagements that are conducted on honest and upright principles, even when those with whom we act are not Christians.

(2) Literary and scientific pursuits, which never, when pursued with a right spirit, interfere with the principles of Christianity, and never are contrary to it.

(3) the love and affection which are due to relatives and friends. Nothing in the Bible assuredly will prohibit a pious son from uniting with one who is not pious in supporting an aged and infirm parent, or a much loved and affectionate sister. The same remark is true also respecting the duty which a wife owes to a husband, a husband to a wife, or a parent to a child, though one of them should not be a Christian. And the same observation is true also of neighbors, who are not to be prohibited from uniting as neighbors in social contact, and in acts of common kindness and charity, though all not Christians.

(4) as citizens. We owe duties to our country, and a Christian need not refuse to act with others in the elective franchise, or in making or administering the laws. Here, however, it is clear that he is not at liberty to violate the laws and the principles of the Bible. He cannot be at liberty to unite with them in political schemes that are contrary to the Law of God, or in elevating to office people whom he cannot vote for with a good conscience as qualified for the station.

(5) in plans of public improvement, in schemes that go to the advancement of the public welfare, when the schemes do not violate the laws of God. But if they involve the necessity of violating the Sabbath, or any of the laws of God, assuredly he cannot consistently participate in them.

(6) in doing good to others. So the Saviour was with sinners; so he ate, and drank, and conversed with them. So we may mingle with them, without partaking of their wicked feelings and plans, so far as we can do them good, and exert over them a holy and saving influence. In all the situations here referred to, and in all the duties growing out of them, the Christian may maintain his principles, and may preserve a good conscience. Indeed the Saviour evidently contemplated that his people would have such contact with the world, and that in it they would do good. But in none of these is there to be any compromise of principle; in none to be any yielding to the opinions and practices that are contrary to the laws of God.

III. There is a large field of action, conduct, and plan, where Christians only will act together. These relate to the special duties of religion - to prayer, Christian fellowship, the ordinances of the gospel, and most of the plans of Christian beneficence. Here the world will not intrude; and here assuredly there will be no necessity of any compromise of Christian principle.

For what fellowship - Paul proceeds here to state reasons why there should be no such improper connection with the world. The main reason, though under various forms, is that there can be no fellowship, no communion, nothing in common between them; and that therefore they should be separate. The word “fellowship” ( μέτοχὴ metochē) means partnership, participation. What is there in common; or how can the one partake with the other? The interrogative form here is designed to be emphatic, and to declare in the strongest terms that there can be no such partnership.

Righteousness - Such as you Christians are required to practice; implying that all were to be governed by the stern and uncompromising principles of honesty and justice.

With unrighteousness - Dishonesty, injustice, sin; implying that the world is governed by such principles.

And what communion - ( κοινωνία koinōnia). Participation; communion; that which is in common. What is there in common between light and darkness? What common principle is there of which they both partake? There is none. There is a total and eternal separation.

Light - The emblem of truth, virtue, holiness; see the Matthew 4:16; Matthew 5:16 notes; John 1:4 note; Romans 2:19 note; 2 Corinthians 4:4, 2 Corinthians 4:6 notes. It is implied here that Christians are enlightened, and walk in the light. Their principles are pure and holy - principles of which light is the proper emblem.

Darkness - The emblem of sin, corruption, ignorance; implying that the world to which Paul refers was governed and influenced by these. The idea is, that as there is an entire separation between light and darkness in their nature; as they have nothing in common, so it is and should be, between Christians and sinners. There should be a separation. There can be nothing in common between holiness and sin; and Christians should have nothing to do “with the unfruitful works of darkness:” Ephesians 5:11.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-corinthians-6.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? Or what communion hath light with darkness?

This apostolic order has at least two anchors in what Paul had just written: (1) He had just warned them against receiving the grace of God "in vain" (2 Corinthians 6:1); and (2) he had just touched upon a truth which undoubtedly had superlative impact upon his emotions, that being the loss of love for Paul on the part of the Corinthians. It was the encroachment of paganism against the holy faith which was the ground of the warning in 2 Corinthians 6:1 and the cause of the defection mentioned in 2 Corinthians 6:11-13; and it was directly in response to both of these that the scathing attack on paganism was delivered. Scholars who see some unreasonable break here and start prattling about "interpolations" have just failed to read the sacred text.

UNEQUALLY YOKED

Unequally yoked with unbelievers ... This meant that no Christian had any business making alliances of any kind with pagans; and yes, that certainly includes marriage. Why should any Christian wife accept a pagan for a husband? This writer has known many who did it to their sorrow; but it was never anything but a sin. Paul was not here discussing the situation where one of a pagan couple had obeyed the gospel and the other had not; he had already dealt with that. Here he was laying down a rule that forbade such alliances in the first place. Furthermore, there is nothing here that limits the application to marriage. Any close alliance with a pagan partner in business, recreation, marriage, or any other kind of union can mean nothing but disaster for the Christian.

Illustration: Two men went in business together; one had the money, and the other had the experience. After about a year, the one who had the experience had the money, and the one who had had the money had the experience!

With a little distortion, the above is a good example of every partnership with a pagan. And, as for the question of whether or not there are any pagans today, the answer must be that there are many whose morals and ideals are as pagan as those of the days of Aphrodite Pandemos.

What fellowship ... what communion ...? Christianity and paganism are antithetical, as diverse as righteousness and wickedness, or light and darkness.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-corinthians-6.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers,.... This seems to be an allusion to the law in Deuteronomy 22:10 and to be a mystical explanation of it; and is to be understood not as forbidding civil society and converse with unbelievers; for this is impracticable, then must believers needs go out of the world; this the many natural and civil relations subsisting among men make absolutely necessary; and in many cases is both lawful and laudable, especially when there is any opportunity or likelihood of doing them any service in a spiritual way: not is it to be understood as dehorting from entering into marriage contracts with such persons; for such marriages the apostle, in his former epistle, had allowed to be lawful, and what ought to be abode by; though believers would do well carefully to avoid such an unequal yoke, since oftentimes they are hereby exposed to many snares, temptations, distresses, and sorrows, which generally more or less follow hereon: but there is nothing in the text or context that lead to such an interpretation; rather, if any particular thing is referred to, it is to joining with unbelievers in acts of idolatry; since one of the apostle's arguments to dissuade from being unequally yoked with unbelievers is, "what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" and from the foregoing epistle it looks as if some in this church had joined with them in such practices; see 1 Corinthians 10:14. But I rather think that these words are a dissuasive in general, from having any fellowship with unbelievers in anything sinful and criminal, whether in worship or in conversation:

for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? This, with what is said in the following verse, and in the beginning of the next to that, contain reasons or arguments engaging believers to attend to the exhortation given not to keep company with unbelievers. By "righteousness" is meant righteous persons, who are made the righteousness of God in Christ, to whom Christ is made righteousness, or to whom the righteousness of Christ is imputed for justification; and who also have principles of grace and holiness in their hearts, or have the kingdom of God in them, which consists of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; and who being made free from the dominion of sin, are become servants of righteousness: and by unrighteousness is designed unrighteous persons, who are destitute of a justifying righteousness, are filled with all unrighteousness, and are, as it were, a mass and lump of iniquity; now, what fellowship can there be between persons of such distant characters?

And what communion hath light with darkness? regenerate men are made light in the Lord; they are enlightened into their state and condition by nature, to see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, to behold the glory, beauty, fulness, and suitableness of Christ, so as to be sensible of their need of him, and to be able to look unto him for life and salvation; they are enlightened more or less into the doctrines of the Gospel, and the duties of religion; and their path is a shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect day. Unregenerate persons are "darkness" itself; they are dark and ignorant of God in Christ, of the way of salvation by Christ, of the work of the Spirit of God upon the heart, and of the mysteries of grace; they know not themselves, nor the sad estate they are in; they are born, and brought up in darkness worse than Egyptian darkness; they go on in it, and if grace prevent not, will be cast into utter and eternal darkness. Now, what "communion" can there be between persons so different one from another? for what is more so than light and darkness? these the God of nature has divided from each other; and they are in nature irreconcilable to one another, and so they are in grace.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-corinthians-6.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

7 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

(7) Now he rebukes them boldly, because they became fellows with infidels in outward idolatry, as though it were an indifferent thing. And this is the fourth part of this epistle, the conclusion of which is, that those whom the Lord has condescended to in calling them his children, must keep themselves pure, not only in mind, but also in body, that they may be completely holy to the Lord.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-corinthians-6.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Be notGreek,Become not.”

unequally yoked — “yoked with one alien in spirit.” The image is from the symbolical precept of the law (Leviticus 19:19), “Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind”; or the precept (Deuteronomy 22:10), “Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together.” Compare Deuteronomy 7:3, forbidding marriages with the heathen; also 1 Corinthians 7:39. The believer and unbeliever are utterly heterogeneous. Too close intercourse with unbelievers in other relations also is included (2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Corinthians 8:10; 1 Corinthians 10:14).

fellowship — literally, “share,” or “participation.”

righteousness — the state of the believer, justified by faith.

unrighteousness — rather, as always translated elsewhere, “iniquity”; the state of the unbeliever, the fruit of unbelief.

light — of which believers are the children (1 Thessalonians 5:5).


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-corinthians-6.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers (μη γινεστε ετεροζυγουντες απιστοιςmē ginesthe heterozugountes apistois). No other example of this verb has yet been found, though the adjective from which it is apparently formed, ετεροζυγοςheterozugos (yoked with a different yoke) occurs in Leviticus 19:19 of the union of beasts of different kinds. In Deuteronomy 22:10 we read: “Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together.” Literally, “Stop becoming (μη γινεστεmē ginesthe present imperative, not μη γενηστεmē genēsthe aorist subj.) unequally yoked with unconverted heathen (unbelievers).” Some were already guilty. Marriage is certainly included, but other unions may be in mind. Cf. Ephesians 5:7. Paul gives as the reason (γαρgar) for this prohibition five words in questions to distinguish the contrasts.

Fellowship (μετοχηmetochē). Sharing with and followed by associative instrumental case of δικαιοσυνηιdikaiosunēi (righteousness) and iniquity (ανομιαιanomiāi). A pertinent challenge today when church members wink at violations of laws of the land and laws of God.

Communion (κοινωνιαKoinéōnia). Partnership to light (πωτιphōti dative case) with (προςpros), facing darkness.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/2-corinthians-6.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Unequally yoked ( ἑτεροζυγοῦντες )

Only here in the New Testament. Not in classical Greek, nor in Septuagint, though the kindred adjective ἑτερόζυγος ofa diverse kind, occurs Leviticus 19:19. Unequally gives an ambiguous sense. It is not inequality, but difference in kind, as is shown by the succeeding words. The suggestion was doubtless due to the prohibition in Deuteronomy 22:9, against yoking together two different animals. The reference is general, covering all forms of intimacy with the heathen, and not limited to marriage or to idolfeasts. The different shades of fellowship expressed by five different words in this and the two following verses are to be noted.

Fellowship ( μετοχὴ )

Only here in the New Testament. The kindred verb μετέχω tobe partaker is found only in Paul's epistles and in Hebrews: μέτοχος partnerpartaker, only in Hebrews and Luke 5:7. Having part with is the corresponding English expression.

Righteousness - unrighteousness ( δικαιοσύνη - ἀνομίᾳ )

Lit., what sharing is there unto righteousness and lawlessness? Δικαιοσύνῃ righteousnessthough the distinctively Pauline sense of righteousness by faith underlies it, is used in the general sense of rightness according to God's standard.

Communion ( κοινωνία )

See on Luke 5:10; see on Acts 2:42.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/2-corinthians-6.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers - Christians with Jews or heathens. The apostle particularly speaks of marriage. But the reasons he urges equally hold against any needless intimacy with them. Of the five questions that follow, the three former contain the argument; the two latter, the conclusion.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

on the Whole Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-corinthians-6.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Unequally yoked together; joined with them in any of the pursuits or associations of life. This prohibition is often, though without reason, supposed to refer specially to marriage. It seems, however, to be more general in its meaning, referring to connections of every kind.--Unbelievers; idolatrous heathen. The term, as used here, cannot justly be considered as intended to include individuals not professedly pious in a Christian land. (See 1 Corinthians 7:39.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/2-corinthians-6.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

14.Be not yoked As if regaining his authority, he now reproves them more freely, because they associated with unbelievers, as partakers with them in outward idolatry. For he has exhorted them to show themselves docile to him as to a father: he now, in accordance with the rights that belong to him, (608) reproves the fault into which they had fallen. Now we mentioned in the former epistle (609) what this fault was; for, as they imagined that there was nothing that was unlawful for them in outward things, they defiled themselves with wicked superstitions without any reserve. For in frequenting the banquets of unbelievers, they participated along with them in profane and impure rites, and while they sinned grievously, they nevertheless thought themselves innocent. On this account Paul inveighs here against outward idolatry, and exhorts Christians to stand aloof from it, and have no connection with it. He begins, however, with a general statement, with the view of coming down from that to a particular instance, for to be yoked with unbelievers means nothing less than to

have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
(
Ephesians 5:11,)

and to hold out the hand to them (610) in token of agreement.

Many are of opinion that he speaks of marriage, but the context clearly shows that they are mistaken. The word that Paul makes use of means — to be connected together in drawing the same yoke. It is a metaphor taken from oxen or horses, which require to walk at the same pace, and to act together in the same work, when fastened under one yoke. (611) When, therefore, he prohibits us from having partnership with unbelievers in drawing the same yoke, he means simply this, that we should have no fellowship with them in their pollutions. For one sun shines upon us, we eat of the same bread, we breathe the same air, and we cannot altogether refrain from intercourse with them; but Paul speaks of the yoke of impiety, that is, of participation in works, in which Christians cannot lawfully have fellowship. On this principle marriage will also be prohibited, inasmuch as it is a snare, by which both men and women are entangled into an agreement with impiety; but what I mean is simply this, that Paul’s doctrine is of too general a nature to be restricted to marriage exclusively, for he is discoursing here as to the shunning of idolatry, on which account, also, we are prohibited from contracting marriages with the wicked.

For what fellowship He confirms his exhortation on the ground of its being an absurd, and, as it were, monstrous connecting together of things in themselves much at variance; for these things can no more coalesce than fire and water. In short it comes to this, that unless they would have everything thrown into confusion, they must refrain from the pollutions of the wicked. Hence, too, we infer, that even those that do not in their hearts approve of superstitions are, nevertheless, polluted by dissimulation if they do not openly and ingenuously stand aloof from them.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/2-corinthians-6.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

righteousness (See Scofield "Romans 10:10").

unrighteousness Sin. (See Scofield "Romans 3:23").


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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/2-corinthians-6.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Ver. 14. Be not unequally yoked] Dare not saith Mr Ward, to yoke thyself with any untamed heifer that bears not Christ’s yoke. Quam male inaequales veniunt ad aratra iuvenci? (Ovid. Epist.) An ox and an ass might not be coupled together in the law; and hereunto the apostle seems to allude. The doctors of Douay upon Leviticus 19:19 : Here all participation, say they, with heretics and schismatics is forbidden. Philip king of Spain said, He had rather have no subjects than subjects of various religions. And out of a bloody zeal, suffered his eldest son Charles to be murdered by the bloody Inquisition, because he seemed to favour our profession.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

2 Corinthians 6:14

Communion with God.

I. We can require no proof that God and the wicked man cannot be said to have fellowship or communion, though God be about that wicked man's path and spieth out all his ways. There is no proposing of the same object or end, for God proposes His own glory, whereas the wicked man proposes the gratification of his own sinful propensities. To have fellowship, to have communion with God, what can this denote, if not that human nature has been wondrously purged from its corruption, refined into something of affinity to the ethereal, and endowed with affections which find their counterpart objects in the Divine Being alone? You see at once the contradiction between the assertions—that a man is in fellowship with God and yet loves the present world—is eager for its wealth, addicted to its pleasures, or ambitious for its honours. The phraseology of our text implies a state of concord or friendship—a state, in fact, on man's part, of what we commonly understand by religion.

II. We cannot conceal from ourselves that there is a great deal of vague hope of heaven which takes little or no account of what must necessarily be the character of the inhabitants of heaven. It follows so naturally, with regard to earthly things, that we seek what we love, that there is very little difficulty, with regard to heavenly things, to draw from the fact of loving the inference that we must be in earnest as candidates for a kingdom of which we so readily recognise the worth and attractiveness. But we forget that in order to anything of happiness there must be a correspondence between the dispositions of the inhabitants of a world and the glories and enjoyments of that world. It is nothing that we have a relish for descriptions of heaven. The question is whether we have any conformity with the inhabitants of heaven.

H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 2215.

References: 2 Corinthians 6:14.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. i., p. 223; Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., p. 246. 2 Corinthians 6:15.—G. Brooks, Five Hundred Outlines, p. 260. 2 Corinthians 6:16.—Homilist, 2nd series, vol. i., p. 296; vol. iv., p. 588; J. Irons, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. ix., p. 85; F. W. Farrar, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxx., p. 8; Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 126: Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times," vol. x., p. 142. 2 Corinthians 6:17.—Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 255. 2 Corinthians 6:17, 2 Corinthians 6:18.—W. Landels, Christian World Pulpit, vol. v., p. 4; Preacher's Monthly, vol. ix., p. 115.




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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/2-corinthians-6.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Corinthians 6:14. Be ye not unequally yoked, &c.— "Be not associates in marriage, in worship, or in any thing with infidels; for what union can there be," &c. See on 2 Corinthians 6:11.


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

The holy apostle closes this chapter with an exhortation to avoid all intimacy with idolators, either in civil affairs, in marriages, or in religious worship, lest they be brought into communion with their idolatry; there being no more agreement between a believer and an idolater, than betwixt light and darkness, betwixt Christ and Satan.

And, as we must not join with idolaters in spiritual communion or religious worship, so should we have no communion with them in marriages; that having proved a dangerous snare to the souls of many, our divines have justly pronounced such marriages sinful.

Nay, it is both wise and safe to have as little civil communion with idolaters as we can; and when we are necessitated to have civil communion with them, we must utterly avoid all sinful communion with them, that is, all communion with them in their sins.

Learn, That to associate with idolaters, or join in affinity with them, but especially to communicate with them in their idolatrous worship, is a God-provoking and a wrath-procuring sin: Be ye not unequally and unsuitiably yoked with unbelievers.


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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1700-1703.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

2 Corinthians 6:14. As a contrast to the desired πλατύν., Paul now forbids their making common cause with the heathen, and so has come to the point of stating what was said generally at 2 Corinthians 6:1 ( μὴ εἰς κενὸν τ. χ. τ. θεοῦ δέξασθαι) more precisely, in a form needful for the special circumstances of the Corinthians, in order to warn them more urgently and effectually of the danger of losing their salvatio.

μὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγ.] Bengel: “ne fiatis, molliter pro: ne sitis.” He does not forbid all intercourse with the heathen whatever (see 1 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 10:27; 1 Corinthians 7:12), but the making common cause with heathen efforts and aims, the entering into the heathen element of life. There is no ground for assuming exclusively special references (such as to sacrificial banquets or to mixed marriages), any more than for excluding such reference.

ἑτεροζυγοῦντες] see, in general, Wetstein. It means here: bearing another (a different kind of) yoke. Comp. ἑτερόζυγος, Leviticus 19:19; Schleusner, Thesaur. II. p. 557. Paul undoubtedly has in mind the figurative conception of two different animals (as ox and ass) which are yoked together in violation of the law (Deuteronomy 22:9),—a conception, in which the heterogeneous fellowship of Christians with heathen is aptly portrayed: drawing a yoke strange to you. In this verse the dative ἀπίστοις denotes a fellowship, in which the unbelieving partner forms the standard which determines the mode of thought and action of the Christian partner. For this dative cannot mean “with unbelievers” (the usual explanation), as if συζυγοῦντες had been used; but it is not so much dativus commodi (Hofmann: for the pleasure of unbelievers), a thought which Paul would have doubtless expressed with more precision, as the dativus ethicus (Krüger, § 48. 6); so that the words mean: do not draw for unbelievers a strange yoke. The yoke meant is that drawn by unbelievers, one of a kind strange to Christians ( ἑτεροῖον), and the latter are not to put themselves at the disposal of unbelievers by sharing the drawing it. The great danger of the relation against which Paul warns them, lies in this dative expression. According to Theophylact (comp. Chrysostom), the sense is: μὴ ἀδικεῖτε τὸ δίκαιον ἐπικλινόμενοι καὶ προσκείμενοι οἷς οὐ θέμις, so that the figurative expression is taken from the unequal balance (Phocylides, 13 : σταθμὸν μὴ κρούεις ἑτερόζυγον, ἀλλʼ ἴσον ἕλκειν). But apart from the circumstance that Paul would in that case have expressed himself at least very strangely, the reminiscence from the O. T., which the common view assumes, must still be considered as the most natural for the apostle.(250)

τίς γὰρ ΄ετοχὴ κ. τ. λ.] for how utterly incompatible is the Christian with the heathen character! Observe the impressiveness of the accumulated questions, and of the accumulated contrasts in these questions. The first four questions are joined in two pairs; the fifth, mounting to the highest designation of Christian holiness, stands alone, and to it are attached, as a forcible conclusion of the discourse, the testimony and injunction of God which confirm it.(251)

δικαιοσύνῃ κ. ἀνομίᾳ] For the Christian is justified by faith (2 Corinthians 5:21, 2 Corinthians 6:7), and this condition excludes immoral conduct ( ἀνομία, 1 John 3:4), which is the element of heathen life (Romans 6:19). The two life-elements have nothing in common with each other, Romans 8:1 ff.; Galatians 2:15 ff.

In the second question the Christian life-element appears as φῶς, and the heathen as σκότος. Comp. Ephesians 5:8; Ephesians 5:11 f.; Colossians 1:12 f. In the latter is implied ἄγνοια καὶ ἁ΄αρτία, and in φῶς: γνῶσις καὶ βίος ἔνθεος (in both, the intellectual and the ethical element are to be thought of together), Gregory Naz. Or. 36.

Regarding the two datives, of which the second is expressed in Latin by cum, see Matthiae, p. 883; and the ποός, in the second clause, is the expression of social relation, like our with. See Bernhardy, p. 265. Comp. Plato, Conv. p. 209 C: κοινωνίανπρὸς ἀλλήλους, Stobaeus, S. 28: εἰ δέ τις ἔστι κοινωνία πρὸς θεοὺς ἡμῖν, Philo, Leg. ad Cai. p. 1007 C: τίς οὖν κοινωνία πρὸς ἀπόλλωνα τῷ μηδὲν οἰκεῖον ἐπιτετηδευκότι, Sirach 13:2.


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

2 Corinthians 6:14. ΄ὴ γίνεσθε, do not become) a soft expression for be not.— ἑτεροζυγοῦντες, yoked with an alien party [one alien in spirit]) [unequally yoked], Leviticus 19:19, LXX. τὰ κτήνη σου οὐ κατοχεύσεις ἑτεροζύγῳ, thou shalt not let thy cattle engender with a diverse kind. The believer and the unbeliever are utterly heterogeneous. The notion of slavery approaches to that of a yoke. The word הנצמדים, Numbers 25:5. The apostle strongly dissuades the Corinthians from marriages with unbelievers; comp. 1 Corinthians 7:39, only in the Lord. He however uses such reasons, as may deter them from too close intercourse with unbelievers even in other relations [besides marriage]: comp. 2 Corinthians 5:16; 1 Corinthians 8:10; 1 Corinthians 10:14.— ἀπίστοις, to unbelievers) heathens. He pulls up all the fibres of the foreign root [of foreign and alien connections].— τίς, what?) Five questions, of which the first three have the force of an argument; the fourth, or what, and the fifth, have at the same time also the force of a conclusion.— δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀνομίᾳ, what fellowship is there between righteousness and unrighteousness) The state of believers and unbelievers is altogether different.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/2-corinthians-6.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: they too much restrain the sense of this general precept, who either limit it to religious communion with idolaters, or to civil communion in marriages. The precept is delivered in a term of more general significancy, than to be limited by either of these, though both of them, questionless, be comprehended in it: mh ginesye eterozugountev, do not become such as in the same yoke draw another way. It is a metaphor drawn from horses or oxen; which should draw together, being in the same yoke, neither standing still, nor yet holding back. It is a general precept, prohibitive of all unnecessary communion and intimate fellowship with such, as either in matters of faith or worship, or in their lives and conversations, declare themselves to be unbelievers; for why we should expound apistoiv of infidels merely, I cannot tell, especially considering that the apostle, 1 Corinthians 5:9-11, seems to allow a further communion with a heathen, than with a notoriously scandalous Christian. So as this precept may reasonably be interpreted by those in the former Epistle, of marrying with such, eating with them at idol feasts, or at the Lord’s table, {as 2 Corinthians 5:1-21} maintaining intimate communion with them, &c.

For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? The reason he giveth, is, because they could have no comfortable communion with such; they were righteousness, those persons were unrighteousness; they were light, such persons were darkness, that is, full of the darkness of sin and ignorance. In the mean time, this precept ought not to be extended to a total avoiding of commerce with, or being in the company of, either heathens, or scandalous persons; for as to that, the same apostle had before determined it lawful, 1 Corinthians 5:11. Whatever communion with such persons is either necessary from the law of God or nature, or for the support and upholding of human life and society, is lawful even with such persons; but all other is unlawful.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; intimately connected-Christians with heathen; believers in Christ with unbelievers. All such connections as tend to increase wickedness or encourage sin should be carefully avoided, and such a course of life be pursued as most tends to promote holiness in ourselves and our fellow-men.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Family Bible New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/2-corinthians-6.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

14. ΄ὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγοῦντες ἀπίστοις (2 Corinthians 4:4). Become not incongruously yoked to unbelievers. ‘Do not become heterogeneous yokefellows with heathen: they belong to one species, you to quite another. They will not work in your way; you must not work in theirs.’ The γινέσθε gently puts the error as only possible, not as having actually occurred. No doubt there is allusion to Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:10. But Dr Chase points out that Deuteronomy 11:16 may be in the Apostle’s mind, giving a turn to his thoughts: φαγὼν καὶ ἐμπλησθεὶς πρόσεχε σεαυτῷ μὴ πλατυνθῇ ἡ καρδία σου, καὶ παραβῆτε καὶ λατρεύσητε θεοῖς ἑτέροις. The Apostle may have thought it well to warn the Corinthians, that, by enlargement of heart, he does not mean such as would embrace heathen ideas and acts. Some Corinthians had claimed liberty in such things: ‘to be scrupulous about them savoured of narrowness; one must take a broad view of life and of the Gospel.’ This is not the ‘enlargement’ for which he pleads; for it is precisely this which results in receiving the grace of God in vain. Note the careful limitation of his own πλατυσμός in 1 Corinthians 9:21. The prohibition is enforced by five rapid argumentative questions (2 Corinthians 12:17-18), which show how incongruous such yoking would be. The first four questions are in pairs. Chrysostom comments on the rhetoric of this passage.

τίς γὰρ μετοχὴἢ τίς κοινωνία; There is not much difference of meaning here; but the two words are not synonymous. Here only in the N.T. does μετοχή occur. It implies that something is shared between μέτοχοι (Hebrews 1:9; Luke 5:7), as profits, or supplies; whereas κοινωνία rather implies that what is κοινόν to all is enjoyed by each in its totality, e.g. a beautiful day or view. See T. S. Evans on 1 Corinthians 10:16. Here S. Paul is evidently seeking a change of word for each question; and his command of Greek is thus illustrated. In Ps. Sol. 14:4 we find μετοχὴ ἁμαρτίας: Hosea 4:17 μέτοχος εἰδώλων. As in 2 Corinthians 6:8, the A.V. here makes an antithesis which is not in the Greek, for δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀνομίᾳ does not mean ‘righteousness and unrighteousness,’ but righteousness and Iniquity (Matthew 7:23; Matthew 13:41; Romans 4:7; Romans 6:19) or lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 John 3:4), which is the characteristic of heathen life (Romans 6:19).

φωτὶ πρὸς σκότος. S. Paul not only varies the terms; he also varies the construction in four out of the five questions. For φῶς and σκότος in this moral sense comp. Romans 13:12; Ephesians 5:8; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 2:9. For the construction comp. τί κοινωνήσει χύτρα πρὸς λέβητα; (Sirach 13:3): τίς οὖν κοινωνία πρὸς Ἀπόλλωνα, τῷ μηδὲν οἰκεῖον ἐπιτετηδευκότι; (Philo, Leg. ad Gai. xiv. 1007).


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"Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/2-corinthians-6.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

14. St. Paul trusts now, by warming the affections of his Corinthians, first to draw them into separation from sin, 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 2 Corinthians 7:1, and to bring them to an acceptance of himself, 2 Corinthians 7:2.

Be ye not— The richer your Christian affections the easier your separation from a wicked world. As Christ, his gospel, his Church, his apostles, and holy happiness, fill your hearts with abounding satisfaction, withdrawal from earthly idols becomes spontaneous.

Unequally yoked—An allusion, doubtless, to Deuteronomy 22:10, where an ox and an ass are forbidden to be yoked together. To be unequally yoked is, therefore, to be connected with an unfitting associate. There will be pulling different ways, and danger for a Christian to be pulled into danger and ruin. This unequal yoking, this binding of the Christian with the loose thinker and free liver, is a source of myriads of apostasies and destructions. Marriage is not specially indicated, but it is eminently included as the most striking instance of yoking in life. A false marriage of Christian with unbeliever is often a disaster for eternity.

Righteousness with unrighteousness—This antithesis is truly, if seen with a true eye, the greatest possible contrast in the universe. There are many opposites known or conceivable, but the greatest possible of all oppositions is that between absolute right and absolute wrong. But as the eye of the ethical man is apt to be dim and dull, Paul immediately addresses another contrast, the most powerful conceivable, to the bodily eye—light with darkness. This image is known among all religions which in any degree inculcate the idea of holiness.

In a series of intense questions, five in number, St. Paul arrays before the minds of the Corinthians a series of images to impress them with a vivid sense of the absolute contrariety between a pure Christianity and a world of wickedness. The images are drawn from ethics, from nature, from the antithesis of Christ and Belial, from faith, and from the sanctity of God’s temple. it is, doubtless, by a summary rehearsal of those lessons of holiness with which his preaching had often impressed these converts from heathenism, that he is here recalling them to first principles.

In the five words used to designate the denied connexion between the contracted objects, namely, fellowship, communion, concord, part, agreement, Meyer sees proof of Paul’s command of copious Greek. But Stanley remarks that there is no special fitness of each to its own place; they might be interchanged.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-corinthians-6.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

2 Corinthians 6:14. Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers. The figure is drawn from the heterogeneous yoking of animals in a team (compare Deuteronomy 22:10, “Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together;” and see Leviticus 19:19); and though the more immediate reference probably is to too intimate association with their unconverted fellow-citizens at feasts, and especially to intermarriage with heathens, it is doubtless meant to embrace all entangling association with those whose close fellowship would have a deadening effect on their religious life,

for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? On the meaning of “righteousness” here, see on 2 Corinthians 6:7,

or what communion hath light with dark-ness? Compare Luke 16:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; Amos 3:5; Ephesians 5:7-8; 1 John 1:6-7.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/2-corinthians-6.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

2 Corinthians 6:14. ΄ὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγοῦντες κ. τ. λ.: be not (mark that the pres. tense γίνεσθε indicates the beginning of a state, sc., “do not become”) unequally yoked with unbelievers, the constr. being “be not unequally yoked, as you would be if you were yoked with unbelievers”. The most obvious application of such a prohibition would be to intermarriage with the heathen, which was continually forbidden to the chosen people (see Deuteronomy 7:3, Joshua 23:12, Ezra 9:2, Nehemiah 13:25), and this is probably the main thought here (see ref. Lev. for ἑτερόζυγος); but to indulge in any excessive familiarity of intercourse would be “to be enlarged in heart” in a way which the Apostle strongly deprecates (cf. 1 Maccabees 1:15). He enforces this by five contrasts which illustrate the incongruity between Christianity and heathendom.— τίς γὰρ μετοχὴ κ. τ. λ.: for what fellowship have righteousness and lawlessness? or what communion has light with darkness? Cf. Ephesians 5:7, μὴ οὖν γίνεσθε συμμέτοχοι αὐτῶν· ἦτε γάρ ποτε σκότος, νῦν δὲ φῶς ἐν κυρίῳ, and cf., for the same image, Acts 26:18, Romans 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:5 and chap. 2 Corinthians 4:6, 2 Corinthians 11:14.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/2-corinthians-6.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Bear not the yoke together with unbelievers. He does not mean, that they must wholly avoid their company, which could not be done, but not to have too intimate a friendship with them, not to marry with them, to avoid their vices. Be ye separate....touch not the unclean thing. He does not speak of meats, clean and unclean, according to the law of Moses, nor of legal uncleannesses, but what is sinful under the new law of Christ, and would defile the soul, as idolatry, fornication, &c. (Witham)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Verse 14 This appeal is based on the aforementioned love. All relationships with unbelievers that hinder our service to God should be stopped. So long as we can have peaceful relationships with unbelievers that do not affect our service to God adversely, we may continue in them (1 Corinthians 5:9-10; 1 Corinthians 7:12-13).


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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/2-corinthians-6.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Be = Become.

unequally yoked. Greek. heterozugeo. Only here.

together with = to.

unbelievers. Greek. apistos. See 2 Corinthians 4:4.

fellowship = Partaking, or share. Greek metoche. Only here. See 1 Corinthians 9:10.

hath = is there to.

unrighteousness = lawlessness. Greek. anomia. App-128.

light. Greek. phos. App-130.

with = towards. Greek. pros, as in 2 Corinthians 6:11.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-corinthians-6.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Be ye not - Greek, 'Become not.'

Unequally yoked - `yoked with one alien in spirit' [ heterozugountes (Greek #2086)]. The image is from the symbolical precept, Leviticus 19:19; Deuteronomy 22:10 : cf. Deuteronomy 7:3, forbidding marriages with the pagan; also 1 Corinthians 7:39. The believer and unbeliever are utterly heterogeneous. Too close contact with unbelievers in other relations is included (2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Corinthians 8:10).

Fellowship , [ metochee (Greek #3353)] - share, participation.

Righteousness - the state of the believer justified by faith.

Unrighteousness - rather, as elsewhere [ anomia (Greek #458), lawlessness], 'iniquity:' the state of the unbeliever, the fruit of unbelief.

Light - of which believers are the children (1 Thessalonians 5:5).


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-corinthians-6.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

Do not try. Paul has just told them: "Open wide your hearts!" This phrase has a bad meaning in the Law (Deuteronomy 11:16). Too much tolerance would place them in a dangerous situation! Therefore he gives this warning. Paul's warning is: Do not try to work together as equals with unbelievers, for it cannot be done. The rest of this section gives examples. This verse is commonly quoted to forbid marriage with non-Christians. But it would better suit the context to understand the unbelievers to be the false teachers and their followers, and Paul's instruction to mean avoiding fellowship with them. See 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 and notes. Paul asks five questions to show how absurd it would be to form a bond with those who do not share The Faith. Right and wrong? One excludes the other! Light and darkness? Darkness is the absence of light. Paul's opponents at Corinth called themselves "servants of light," but their lives showed their darkness!


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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/2-corinthians-6.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(14) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.—We seem at first to enter, by an abrupt transition, upon a new line of exhortation. The under-current of thought is, however, not difficult to trace. There was a false latitude as well as a true. The baser party at Corinth might think it a matter of indifference whether they married a heathen or a Christian, whether they chose their intimate friends among the worshippers of Aphrodite or of Christ. Against that “enlargement” the Apostle feels bound to protest. The Greek word for “unequally yoked together” is not found elsewhere, and was probably coined by St. Paul to give expression to his thoughts. Its meaning is, however, determined by the use of the cognate noun in Leviticus 19:19 (“Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind”). Cattle were unequally yoked together when ox and ass were drawing the same plough (Deuteronomy 22:10). Men and women are so when they have no common bond of faith in God. Another explanation refers the image to the yoke of a balance, or pair of scales, and so sees in the precept a warning against partiality in judgment; but this rests on very slender ground, or rather, no ground at all.


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
unequally
Exodus 34:16; Leviticus 19:19; Deuteronomy 7:2,3; 22:9-11; Ezra 9:1,2,11,12; 10:19; Nehemiah 13:1-3,23-26; Psalms 106:35; Proverbs 22:24; Malachi 2:11,15; 1 Corinthians 5:9; 7:39; 1 Corinthians 15:33; James 4:4
for
1 Samuel 5:2,3; 1 Kings 18:21; 2 Chronicles 19:2; Psalms 16:3; 26:4,5,9,10; 44:20,21; Psalms 101:3-5; 119:63; 139:21,22; Proverbs 29:27; John 7:7; 15:18,19; Acts 4:23; 1 Corinthians 10:21; Ephesians 5:6-11; 1 John 3:12-14
and what
Proverbs 8:18,19; Romans 13:12-14; Ephesians 4:17-20; 5:8-14; Philippians 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8; 1 Peter 2:9,10; 4:2-4; 1 John 1:5-7

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-corinthians-6.html.


Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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