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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
2 Corinthians 6

 

 

Verse 1

2 Corinthians 6:1. συνεργοῦντες, workers together) Not only as the ambassadors of God, or on the other hand, as beseeching, we deal with you; but also, as your friends, we co-operate with you for your salvation. [This is the medium between the dignity of ambassadors and the humility of beseeching, ch. 2 Corinthians 5:20. That is, we try all means.—Not. Crit.] For you ought to work out your own salvation, Philippians 2:12. The working together with them is described, 2 Corinthians 6:3-4; the exhortation, 2 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 [as far as ch. 2 Corinthians 7:1.—V. g.] He strongly dissuades them from Judaism, as an ambassador, and by beseeching; as working together with them, he strongly dissuades them from heathenism. None but a holy [ch. 2 Corinthians 7:1] minister of the Gospel can turn himself into all forms of this sort.— καὶ, also).— τὴν χάριν, the grace) of which ch. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 treats, [and ch. 2 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Corinthians 6:17-18.—V. g.]— δέξασθαι) This word is drawn from the δεκτῷ of 2 Corinthians 6:2 [receive—For this is God’s season of receiving sinners]. Divine grace offers itself: human faith and obedience avail themselves of the offer.


Verse 2

2 Corinthians 6:2. λέγει, He saith) The Father to Messiah, Isaiah 49:8, embracing in Him all believers.— γὰρ, for) He is describing grace.— δεκτῷ, accepted) the acceptable time of the good pleasure of God. Hence Paul presently after infers its correlative, εὐπρόσδεκτος, well-accepted, that it may be also agreeable to us.(33)ἐπήκουσά σου) I have heard thee, viz. praying.— ἐν ἡμέρᾳ, in a day) Luke 19:42; Hebrews 3:7.— ἰδοὺ νῦν, behold now) The summing up of the exhortation, 2 Corinthians 6:1; set before us in the way of a supposed dialogue.(34)


Verse 3

2 Corinthians 6:3. ἐν μηδενὶ, in nothing) corresponds to ἐν παντὶ, in every thing, in the following verse.— διδόντες, giving) The participle depends on 2 Corinthians 6:1.— προσκοπὴν, offence) which would be the case, if we were without ‘patience’ and the other qualifications, which are presently afterwards mentioned.— διακονία, the ministry) The Abstract. The ministers of God, the Concrete, 2 Corinthians 6:4.


Verse 4

2 Corinthians 6:4. διάκονοι, ministers) This word has greater force, than if it had been written διακόνους.— ὑπομονῇ, in patience) This is put first; ch. 2 Corinthians 12:12 : chastity, etc., follow in 2 Corinthians 6:6. A remarkable gradation.— πολλῇ, in much) Three triplets of trials follow, which must be endured, and in which patience is exercised, afflictions [necessities, distresses]: stripes [imprisonments, tumults]: labours [watchings, fastings]: The first group of three includes the genera; the second, the species of adversities; the third, things voluntarily endured. And the variety of cases of the several classes of trial should be observed, expressed, as it is, by the employment of the plural number.— ἐν θλίψεσιν, ἐν ἀνάγκαις, ἐν στενοχωρίαις, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses) These words are in close relation, and are variously joined with one another and with the others, ch. 2 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:7; Romans 2:9; Romans 8:35; Luke 21:23. In afflictions [ θλίψεσιν, the pressure of trials] many ways are open, but they are all difficult; in necessities [ ἀνάγχαις], one way is open, though difficult; in distresses [straits, στενοχωρίαις], none is open.


Verse 5

2 Corinthians 6:5. ἀκαταστασίαις, in tumults) either for, or against us.


Verse 6

2 Corinthians 6:6. ἐν γνώσει) γνῶσις often means leniency [æquitas], which inclines to and admits of putting favourable constructions on things somewhat harsh; and this interpretation is consonant with the phrase, in long-suffering, which follows; comp. 2 Peter 1:5; 1 Peter 3:7, note.— ἐν μακροθυμίᾳ, ἐν χρηστότητι, in long-suffering, in kindness) These words are also joined together in 1 Corinthians 13:4 under the name of one virtue [charity].— ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ, in the Holy Spirit) That we may always have the Holy Spirit present, that we may always be active, as also in the putting forth into exercise miraculous gifts, 1 Thessalonians 1:5. There immediately follows, in love, which is the principal fruit of the Spirit, and which regulates the use of spiritual gifts.


Verse 7

2 Corinthians 6:7. δεξιῶν καὶ ἀριστερῶν) by offensive armour, when we are prospering; and defensive, when we are in difficulties. In the case of soldiers, κλίνειν, ἄγειν, ἐπιστρέφειν ἐπὶ δόρυ or ἐπὶ ξῖφος signifies towards the right hand; the ἐπὶ ἀσπίδα, ἐφʼ ἡνίαν or χαλινὸν, signifies, towards the left hand, just as the left hand is called by the French, the bridle hand (main de la bride), and the right hand is called the lance hand (main de la lance). Add the note to Chrysost. de Sacerd., p. 464. Paul has so placed these words, that they might at the same time form a transition; for he just now treated of the armour for the right hand, and he is forthwith about to treat of that for the left.


Verse 8

2 Corinthians 6:8. δόξης, glory) δόξα and ἀτιμία, glory and disgrace are derived from those, who possess authority, and fall upon those, who are present; evil report and good report are in the hands of the multitude, and fall upon the absent. [Furthermore, glory proceeds from those, who recognise the character which the minister of God sustains; disgrace, from those, who do not recognise him as such, and therefore esteem more highly others, that in the affairs of this world perform any trifling work whatever. Infamy or evil report proceeds from the ignorant and malevolent; good report from the well-informed in like manner as also the well affected. In proportion as a man has more or less of glory or good report, in the same proportion has he also more or less of either disgrace or infamy respectively.—V. g.] The contraries are elegantly mixed togother.— δυσφημίας, evil report) If not even the apostles escaped this evil report, who can ask to escape it?— ὡς πλάνοι, as deceivers) men of the deepest infamy.— ἀληθεῖς, true) in the opinion of believers, and in reality.


Verse 9

2 Corinthians 6:9. ἀγνοούμενοι, unknown) [so that we are either quite unknown and neglected, or we are considered altogether different from what we really are.—V. g.]—Galatians 1:22; Colossians 2:1.— ἐπιγινωσκόμενοι) well known.—(35) ἰδοὺ, behold) suddenly and contrary to hope.


Verse 10

2 Corinthians 6:10. ἀεὶ) alway, at every time. As often as we had been made sorrowful.— πλουτίζοντες, making rich) spiritually.— πάντα κατέχοντες [Engl. V. not so well, possessing], holding fast all things) lest they should be lost to others.


Verse 11

2 Corinthians 6:11. τὸ στόμα, the mouth) A Symperasma,(36) by which Paul prepares a way for himself, in order that, from the praise of the gospel ministry, brought down from 2 Corinthians 2:14 up to this point, he may derive an exhortation to the Corinthians.— ἀνέῳγε, is opened) hath opened itself. There is truly something very extraordinary in this epistle.— κορίνθιοι, O Corinthians) a rare and very life-like address, expressive, as it were, of some privilege belonging to the Corinthians; comp. Philippians 4:15, note.— καρδία, the heart) They ought to have concluded [drawn an inference] from the mouth to the heart [of the apostle]. To be opened and enlarged, are closely connected.— πεπλάτυνται, has been enlarged) is diffused [in a widely extended stream of love], 1 Kings 4:29, רהב לב, largeness of heart as the sand, that is by the seashore.


Verse 12

2 Corinthians 6:12. οὐ στενοχωρεῖσθε, ye are not straitened) The Indicative. The antithesis is, be ye enlarged [2 Corinthians 6:13].— ἐν ἡμῖν) in us. ἐν, in its strict sense, in, as at ch. 2 Corinthians 7:3. Our heart has sufficient room to take you in. The largeness of Paul’s heart is the same as that of the Corinthians, on account of their spiritual relationship, of which 2 Corinthians 6:13.— στενοχωρεῖσθε, ye are straitened) by the narrowness of your heart on account of your late offence.— ἐν τοῖς σπλάγχνοις ὑμῶν, in your bowels) which have been grieved on my account.


Verse 13

2 Corinthians 6:13. τὴν) supply κατὰ, according to.— αὐτὴν) the same; that you may have the same feeling, as we.— ἀντιμισθίαν, recompense) which you owe to me as a father; comp. Galatians 4:12.— ὡς τέκνοις λέγω, I speak as to children) He hints in this parenthesis, that he demands nothing severe or bitter.— πλατύνθητε, be ye enlarged) A double exhortation. Throw yourselves open before the Lord, and then before us; comp. 2 Corinthians 8:5; be enlarged, that the Lord may dwell in you, 2 Corinthians 6:14—ch. 2 Corinthians 7:1, receive us, ch. 2 Corinthians 7:2.


Verse 14

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.


Verse 15

2 Corinthians 6:15. βελιαρ, Belial) The LXX. always express in Greek words the Hebrew, בליעל; but here Paul uses the Hebrew word for the purpose of Euphemism [avoiding something unpleasant by the use of a term less strictly appropriate]. This word is an appellative, 1 Samuel 25:25, and occurs for the first time in Deuteronomy 13:14. Hiller, Onom. S. p. 764. Belijahal, without ascending; i.e., of the meanest condition, of a very low and obscure rank. Paul calls Satan Belial. Nevertheless Satan is usually put ir antithesis to God, Antichrist to Christ. Wherefore Belial as being opposed to Christ, seems here also to denote all manner of Antichristian uncleanness.


Verse 16

2 Corinthians 6:16. συγκατάθεσις) LXX. Exodus 23:1 : οὐ συγκαταθήσῃ μετὰ τοῦ ἀδίκου, thou shalt not agree with the wicked.— μετὰ εἰδώλων, with idols) He does not say, μετὰ ναοῦ εἰδώλων, with the temple of idols (although the Syriac version supplies with the temple), for idols do not dwell in their worshippers.— ὑμεῖς, ye) The promises, made to Israel, belong also to us.— ἐνοικήσωλαὸς, I will dwell in them—my people) Leviticus 26:11-12, LXX. θήσω τὴν σκηνήν μου ἐν ὑμῖνκαὶ ἐμπεριπατήσω ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ ἔσομαι ὑμῶν θεὸς, καὶ ὑμεῖς ἕσεσθέ μοι λαός: I will set my tabernacle among you—and I will walk among you, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people. Paul quotes a single verse, he wishes the whole paragraph to be considered as repeated.— ἐμπεριπατήσω, I will walk among [in]) I will dwell signifies the continuance of the Divine presence; I will walk; its operation. The subject of God’s gracious dwelling in the soul and body of the saints may be explained from its contrary, viz., the subject of [the question concerning] spiritual and bodily [demoniacal] possession; as every dispensation of evil and good may be compared together according to their opposite aspects [principles].— ἔσομαι, I will be) The sum of the Divine covenant, Exodus 6:7; Hebrews 8:10.— θεός· λαός, their God: my people) There is a gradation, [here θεὸς; but in 2 Corinthians 6:18, εἰς πατέρα] in the relation of a father; [again here λαός; but εἰς υἱοὺς] in the relation of sons, 2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 21:3; Revelation 21:7; Jeremiah 31:1; Jeremiah 31:9.


Verse 17

2 Corinthians 6:17. ἐξέλθετεμὴ ἅπτεσθε) Isaiah 52:11, ἀπόστητε, ἀπόστητε, ἐξέλθετε ἐκεῖθεν, καὶ ἀκαθάρτου μὴ ἅψησθε· ἐξέλθτετ ἐκ μέσου αὐτῆς, ἀφορίσθητε, κ. τ. λ.— ἐκ μέσου αὐτῶν, from the midst of them) from the Gentiles.— λέγει κυρίος, saith the Lord) The additional epithet follows [in 2 Corinthians 6:18, augmenting the force of the words by Epitasis (end.)], the Lord Almighty.— ἀκαθάρτου, unclean) The masculine, Isaiah 52:11; Isaiah 52:1 : comp. Isaiah 65:5. To this may be referred, let us cleanse ourselves, ch. 2 Corinthians 7:1.— μὴ ἅπτεσθε, touch not) To see, when it is necessary, does not always defile: Acts 11:6; to touch is more polluting.— εἰσδέξομαι, I will receive you [within] to me) as into a family or home [Comp. ch. 2 Corinthians 5:1-10.—V. g.] We are out of doors, but we are admitted within. The clause, Come out from, etc., corresponds to this. God is in the saints, 2 Corinthians 6:16, and the saints are in God. εἰσδέχομαι corresponds to the Hebrew word קנץ, Ezekiel 20:41; Zephaniah 3:19-20.


Verse 18

2 Corinthians 6:18. εἰς υἱοὺς καὶ θυγατέρας, in the relation of sons and daughters) Isaiah 43:6. The promise, given to Solomon, 1 Chronicles 28:6, is applied to all believers.— κύριος παντοκράτωρ, the Lord Almighty [the Universal Ruler]. From this title we perceive the greatness of the promises. Now the word παντοκράτωρ, [Universal Ruler] Almighty, occurs nowhere else in the New Testament but in the Apocalypse; but here Paul uses it after the manner of the LXX. interpreters, because he quotes the passage from the Old Testament.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/2-corinthians-6.html. 1897.

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