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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament
2 Corinthians 5



Verse 1

Of this tabernacle. A tabernacle is a tent,--that is, a movable and temporary dwelling,--and hence is an appropriate image of the frailty and transitoriness of the mortal body.

Verse 2

We groan; under the burdens of anxiety and suffering.--To be clothed upon; to be invested with, or received into.

Verse 3

The meaning seems to be, if we shall be so happy as to be thus clothed and not left destitute and naked.

Verse 4

Not for that we would be unclothed, &c. The feeling is not impatience to leave this scene of painful and laborious duty; but rather a desire to enjoy the happiness of the new spiritual existence.

Verse 5

The earnest of the Spirit; the influences of the Spirit as the earnest, or pledge of the divine love.

Verse 6

Are at home in; reside in.

Verse 7

We walk; that is, we live and act.

Verse 8

Confident; strong in our hope of life and happiness beyond the grave, and in our desire to attain to it,--referring apparently to the earnest desire alluded to 2 Corinthians 5:2. The term is explained in 2 Corinthians 5:8.

Verse 10

Receive the things, &c.; receive according to the things, &c.

Verse 11

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord; experiencing the fear of the Lord,--that is, being influenced by it,--we are faithful in our duty of persuading men.--Are made manifest unto God; our fidelity is fully known to him. The latter clause of the verse would seem to refer to false teachers in the Corinthian church, whose piety was apparent only, not heartfelt and sincere.

Verse 13

Be beside ourselves; be carried away with ardent zeal.

Verse 16

Know we no man after the flesh, we do not regard, or attach importance to, the earthly conditions and relations of men.--Though we have known Christ, &c.; though we have, in former times, had worldly and carnal ideas of the person and mission of Christ. Such is perhaps the meaning, though the passage has been greatly controverted.

Verse 18

All things are of God; the change, eat as it is, is wholly the work of god.--The ministry of reconciliation; the commission to offer reconciliation.

Verse 21

To be sin for us; to be condemned for us,--subject to the terrible penalties of sin in our stead.--Made the righteousness of God; made subjects of the righteousness of God.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". 1878.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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