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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

2 Corinthians 6




Verse 1

1. workers together—with God (Acts 15:4; 1 Corinthians 3:9). Not only as "ambassadors."

beseech—entreat (1 Corinthians 3:9- :). He is describing his ministry, not exhorting directly.

you also—rather, "WE ALSO (as well as God, 1 Corinthians 3:9- :) beseech" or "entreat you": 2 Corinthians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 6:15, on to 2 Corinthians 6:15- :, is part of this entreaty or exhortation.

in vain—by making the grace of God a ground for continuance in sin (2 Corinthians 6:15- :). By a life of sin, showing that the word of reconciliation has been in vain, so far as you are concerned (Hebrews 12:15; Judges 1:4). "The grace of God" here, is "the reconciliation" provided by God's love (2 Corinthians 5:18; 2 Corinthians 5:19; compare Galatians 2:2).

Verse 2

2. For—God's own promise is the ground of our exhortation.

he saithGod the Father saith to God the Son, and so to all believers who are regarded as one with Him.

heard thee—In the eternal purposes of my love I have hearkened to thy prayer for the salvation of thy people (compare John 17:9; John 17:15; John 17:20; John 17:24).

accepted . . . accepted—The Greek of the latter is more emphatic, "well-accepted." What was "an accepted time" in the prophecy (John 17:24- :, Hebrew, "in the season of grace") becomes "the well-accepted time" in the fulfilment (compare Psalms 69:13). As it is God's time of receiving sinners, receive ye His grace: accept (2 Corinthians 6:1) the word of reconciliation in His accepted time.

in the day of salvation—"in a day of salvation" (Luke 4:18; Luke 4:19; Luke 4:21; Luke 19:42; Hebrews 3:7).

Verse 3

3. Resuming the connection with 2 Corinthians 6:1, interrupted by the parenthetical 2 Corinthians 6:2. "Giving no offense" (compare 2 Corinthians 6:2- :), "approving ourselves," and all the other participles down to 2 Corinthians 6:10, are nominatives to "we also entreat you" (2 Corinthians 6:10- :), to show the pains he took to enforce his exhortation by example, as well as precept [ALFORD]. "Offense" would be given, if we were without "patience" and the other qualifications which he therefore subjoins (compare 2 Corinthians 6:10- :).

Verse 4

4. Translate, to mark the true order of the Greek words, "in everything, as God's ministers recommending ourselves," that is, that our hearers may give our message a favorable hearing, through our consistency in every respect, not that they may glorify us. Alluding to :-, he implies, We commend ourselves, not like them by word, but by deed.

patience— ( :-). Put first. "Pure-minded" follows ( :-). Three triplets of trials exercising the "patience" (patient endurance) follow: Afflictions (or "tribulations"), necessities, distresses (or "straits"); stripes, imprisonments, tumults; labors, watchings, fastings. The first triplet expresses afflictions generally; the second, those in particular arising from the violence of men; the third, those which he brought on himself directly or indirectly.

Verse 5

5. stripes— (2 Corinthians 11:23; 2 Corinthians 11:24; Acts 16:23).

imprisonments— (Acts 16:23- :). He had been, doubtless, elsewhere imprisoned besides at Philippi when he wrote this Epistle.

tumults— (Acts 13:50; Acts 14:5; Acts 14:19; Acts 16:22; and recently Acts 16:22- :).

labours—in the cause of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:23; Romans 16:12).

watchings— (Romans 16:12- :). Sleepless nights.

fastings—The context here refers to his trials, rather than devotional exercises (compare 2 Corinthians 11:27). Thus "foodlessness" would seem to be the sense (compare 1 Corinthians 4:11; Philippians 4:12). But the usual sense of the Greek is fasts, in the strict sense; and in Philippians 4:12- : it is spoken of independently of "hunger and thirst." (Compare Luke 2:37; Acts 10:30; Acts 14:23). However, Matthew 15:32; Mark 8:3, justify the sense, more favored by the context, foodlessness, though a rare use of the word. GAUSSEN remarks "The apostles combine the highest offices with the humblest exterior: as everything in the Church was to be cast in the mould of death and resurrection, the cardinal principle throughout Christianity."

Verse 6

6. By . . . by, c.—rather, as Greek, "In . . . in," implying not the instrument, but the sphere or element in which his ministry moved.

knowledge—spiritual: in Gospel mysteries, unattainable by mere reason (1 Corinthians 2:6-16 2 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

long-suffering . . . kindness—associated with "charity" or "love" (1 Corinthians 13:4), as here.

by the Holy Ghost—in virtue of His influences which produce these graces, and other gifts, "love unfeigned" being the foremost of them.

Verse 7

7. By the word of truth, by the power of God—rather, "IN . . . in," c. As to "the word of truth" (compare 2 Corinthians 4:2 Colossians 1:5), and "the (miraculous) power of God" (Colossians 1:5- :); 1 Corinthians 2:4, "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power."

by the armourGreek, "through" or "by means of the armor." "Righteousness," which is the breastplate alone in Ephesians 6:13-17, here is made the whole Christian panoply (compare 1 Corinthians 2:4- :).

on . . . right . . . and . . . left—that is, guarding on every side.

Verse 8

8. Translate, "Through glory and dishonor (disgrace)," namely, from those in authority, and accruing to us present. "By," or "through evil report and good report," from the multitude, and affecting us absent [BENGEL]. Regarded "as deceivers" by those who, not knowing (2 Corinthians 6:9), dishonor and give us an evil report; "as true," by those who "know" (2 Corinthians 6:9) us in the real "glory" of our ministry. In proportion as one has more or less of glory and good report, in that degree has he more or less of dishonor and evil report.

Verse 9

9. unknown . . . yet well known—"unknown" in our true character to those who "evil report" of us, "well known" to those who hold us in "good report" ( :-). CONYBEARE explains, "Unknown by men, yet acknowledged by God" (1 Corinthians 13:12). Perhaps both God and men (believers) are intended as knowing him (2 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 11:6).

dying . . . live— (2 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 4:10; 2 Corinthians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 11:23). Compare GAUSSEN'S remark, see on 2 Corinthians 6:5. "Behold" calls attention to the fact as something beyond all expectation.

chastened . . . not killed—realizing Psalms 118:18.

Verse 10

10. The "as" no longer is used to express the opinion of his adversaries, but the real state of him and his fellow laborers.

making many rich—Spiritually (1 Corinthians 1:5), after the example of our Lord, who "by His poverty made many rich" (1 Corinthians 1:5- :).

having nothing—Whatever of earthly goods we have, and these are few, we have as though we had not; as tenants removable at will, not owners (1 Corinthians 1:5- :).

possessing all things—The Greek implies firm possession, holding fast in possession (compare 1 Corinthians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 3:22). The things both of the present and of the future are, in the truest sense, the believer's in possession, for he possesses them all in Christ, his lasting possession, though the full fruition of them is reserved for the future eternity.

Verse 11

11. mouth . . . open unto you—I use no concealment, such as some at Corinth have insinuated ( :-). I use all freedom and openness of speech to you as to beloved friends. Hence he introduces here, "O Corinthians" (compare Philippians 4:15). The enlargement of his heart towards them (Philippians 4:15- :) produced his openness of mouth, that is, his unreserved expression of his inmost feelings. As an unloving man is narrow in heart, so the apostle's heart is enlarged by love, so as to take in his converts at Corinth, not only with their graces, but with their many shortcomings (compare 1 Kings 4:29; Psalms 119:32; Isaiah 60:5).

Verse 12

12. Any constraint ye feel towards me, or narrowness of heart, is not from want of largeness of heart on my part towards you, but from want of it on your part towards me.

bowels—that is, affections (compare 2 Corinthians 12:15).

not straitened in us—that is, for want of room in our hearts to take you in.

Verse 13

13. Translate, "As a recompense in the same kind . . . be enlarged also yourselves" [ELLICOTT]. "In the same way" as my heart is enlarged towards you ( :-), and "as a recompense" for it ( :-).

I speak as unto my children—as children would naturally be expected to recompense their parents' love with similar love.

Verse 14

14. 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 Deuteronomy 7:3- :. 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 Corinthians 10:14- :).

Verse 15

15. BelialHebrew, "worthlessness, unprofitableness, wickedness." As Satan is opposed to God, and Antichrist to Christ; Belial being here opposed to Christ, must denounce all manner of Antichristian uncleanness [BENGEL].

he that believeth with an infidel—Translate, "a believer with an unbeliever."

Verse 16

16. agreement—accordance of sentiments (compare 1 Kings 18:21; Ephesians 5:7; Ephesians 5:11).

the temple of God—that is, you believers (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19).

with idols—Compare Dagon before the ark (1 Corinthians 6:19- :).

as—"even as God said." Quotation from Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 31:33; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 37:26; Ezekiel 37:27; compare Matthew 28:20; John 14:23.

walk in them—rather, "among them." As "dwell" implies the divine presence, so "walk," the divine operation. God's dwelling in the body and soul of saints may be illustrated by its opposite, demoniacal possession of body and soul.

my people—rather, "they shall be to me a people."

Verse 17

17. Quoted from :-, with the freedom of one inspired, who gives variations sanctioned by the Holy Spirit.

be ye separate—"be separated" (Hosea 4:17).

touch not the unclean thing—rather, "anything unclean" (2 Corinthians 7:1; Micah 2:10). Touching is more polluting, as implying participation, than seeing.

receive you—The Greek implies, "to myself"; as persons heretofore out of doors, but now admitted within (Micah 2:10- :). With this accords the clause, "Come out from among them," namely, so as to be received to me. So Micah 2:10- :, "I will accept you"; and Micah 2:10- :, "gather her that was driven out." "The intercourse of believers with the world should resemble that of angels, who, when they have been sent a message from heaven, discharge their office with the utmost promptness, and joyfully fly back home to the presence of God" (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 Corinthians 5:9; 1 Corinthians 5:10).

Verse 18

18. Translate, "I will be to you in the relation of a Father, and ye shall be to me in the relation of sons and daughters." This is a still more endearing relation than (2 Corinthians 6:16), "I will be their God, and they . . . My people." Compare the promise to Solomon (1 Chronicles 28:6; Isaiah 43:6; Revelation 21:3; Revelation 21:7; Jeremiah 31:1; Jeremiah 31:9).

Lord AlmightyThe Lord the Universal Ruler: nowhere else found but in Revelation. The greatness of the Promiser enhances the greatness of the promises.

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.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.