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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
2 Corinthians 6

 

 

Verses 1-18

I, 2. Paraphrase. 'Now it is as coöperators with God in this work that we exhort you not to make the grace of God fruitless in your life by continuing in sin. (2) For God has told us in Scripture of a time of grace and of a day of salvation; and this is that blessed time of grace and that day of salvation.'

1. Workers together with him] For the idea cp. 1 Corinthians 3:9. In vain] i.e. by an unholy life.

2. He (i.e. God) saith] The v. is a parenthesis. The reference is to Isaiah 49:8, God's words of comfort to His Suffering Servant. Behold, now, etc.] This is St. Paul's comment on the quotation. Accepted time] RV 'acceptable time.'

3-10. Paraphrase. 'We avoid all conduct which might bring reproach upon our ministry; (4) and try, on the contrary, to commend ourselves by acting as true ministers of God. (5) This is our aim in all the trials and persecutions we endure, (6, 7) for we seek to exhibit all the Christian graces both in our life and in our teaching. (8) Whether we are held in honour or defamed our object is the same: (9) we are looked upon as deceivers, but we remain true; we are obscure, but known by our work; we are often at death's door, but through God's grace we live; (10) we are cast down, but are enabled to rejoice through Christ; in our poverty we enrich many with spiritual blessings; though having nothing of ourselves we have all through Christ.'

3. Giving no offence] The main sentence beginning in 2 Corinthians 6:1 is here resumed, these words being in apposition with 'we as workers together with him.'

4. Approving ourselves] RV 'commending ourselves,' i.e. by our conduct in the various circumstances detailed.

In much patience, etc.] The Apostle's desire to commend himself is shown (a) in endurance of hardship and trouble (2 Corinthians 6:4); (b) in the persecutions and dangers incidental to a missionary life (2 Corinthians 6:5); (c) in the purity and sincerity of his Christian life (2 Corinthians 6:6-7); (d) by his conduct in presence of friends and enemies (2 Corinthians 6:8); (e) by the manner in which he met the ordinary experiences of his life (2 Corinthians 6:9-10).

5. Stripes] cp. Acts 16:23; 2 Corinthians 11:23-33.

Imprisonments] Acts 16:23; 2 Corinthians 11:23. Tumults] Acts 13:50; Acts 14:5, Acts 14:19; Acts 18:12; Acts 19:23.

6. By] RV 'in.' The preposition 'in' is unchanged until the last clause of 2 Corinthians 6:7, 'by the armour,' etc.

The Holy Ghost] the translation, 'in a holy spirit,' is tempting, as it brings the clause into parallelism with the others.

7. By the word of truth] i.e. in the preaching of the gospel.

By the power of God] i.e. in his exercise of all the powers entrusted to him by God. The armour of righteousness, etc.] The right-hand weapon was the sword for attack, the left the shield for defence. The Apostle's methods were fair and open, whether in attacking idolatry and vice or in defending himself against traducers.

8. As deceivers] probably refers to the charges of his opponents.

10. Making many rich] i.e. with spiritual gifts. Possessing all things] i.e. all things of value for life and character in this world and a rich inheritance in the world to come: cp. 1 Corinthians 3:22-23; 2 Corinthians 4:18; 2 Corinthians 5:1.

11-13. The Apostle assures them of his deep affection for them before he lays upon them the strict injunctions which might prove unwelcome.

12. Ye are not straitened, etc.] i.e. there is abundant room in my heart for you, but too little hitherto in yours for me.

Bowels] RV 'affections'; as frequently in Scripture.

13. A recompence in the same] A return for his affection.

14-16. Paraphrase. 'Do not become entangled in alliances of any kind with unbelievers to your spiritual hurt. There is no relation possible between holiness and sin, between light and darkness, (15) between Christ and Satan, between the true and the untrue, (16) between the worship of God and the worship of idols: for we are indeed the very temple of the living God; and it is of us that He speaks in His Word, promising to dwell in us and to commune with us, making us His peculiar people, and calling us to purify ourselves and become worthy children of our heavenly Father.'

14. Unequally yoked together with unbelievers] The ever-present and ever-pressing temptation and danger was that they might be led into immorality through the abominable rites of idol-worship: cp. 1 Corinthians 5:9, 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 6:15; 1 Corinthians 8:10-11; 1 Corinthians 10:14. Unequally] better, 'incongruously.'

15. Christ with Belial] For the idea cp. Matthew 6:24

Belial] Here used as a synonym for the devil. The meaning of this name is doubtful. There is no trace of the worship of any god under this name. It is used in the OT. in such expressions as 'sons of Belial,' 'men of Belial,' meaning 'wicked men': 1 Samuel 2:12; 1 Samuel 25:17, 1 Samuel 25:25; 2 Samuel 20:1; 1 Kings 21:10.

16. The temple of the living God] cp. 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 3:17. Ye] RV 'we,' according to the best Gk. MSS. God hath said] i.e. in the Scriptures: see on Leviticus 26:12.

17. Saith the Lord] The words quoted are from Isaiah 52:11, freely rendered (2 Corinthians 6:17), with echoes of other OT. passages (2 Corinthians 6:18) like 2 Samuel 7:8; Isaiah 43:6; Hosea 1:10.

2 Corinthians 7:1. These promises] given in 2 Corinthians 6:16-18.

Filthiness] RV 'defilement.' Of the flesh and spirit] cp. Psalms 24:4. Perfecting holiness] For the thought cp. 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 6:1; Hebrews 12:14.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/2-corinthians-6.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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