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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies
2 Corinthians 6



Verse 1

As workers together with Him ( συνεργοῦντες )

Lit., working together. With Him is implied in the compounded ούν withThat it refers to God, not to the fellow-Christians, is evident from the parallel 1 Corinthians 3:9, laborers together with God, and because the act of exhortation or entreaty in which the fellowship is exhibited is ascribed to God in 2 Corinthians 5:20. The phrase Θεοῦ πάρεδροι assessorsof God, occurs in Ignatius' letter to Polycarp. Compare Mark 16:20.

In vain ( εἰς κενὸν )

Lit., to what is vain. Equivalent to the phrase to no purpose.

Verse 2

He saith, etc.

From Isaiah 49:8, after Septuagint. The Hebrew is: “In the time of favor I answer thee, and in the day of salvation I succor thee.” The words are addressed to the servant of Jehovah, promising to invest him with spiritual power, that he may be a light to Israel and to others. Paul, taking the words in their messianic sense, urges that now is the time when God thus dispenses His favor to Christ, and through Him to men. The application turns on the words acceptable time; a time in which God receives. As He receives, receive ye Him.

The accepted time ( καιρὸς εὐπρόσδεκτος )

Rev., acceptable. Paul uses for the simple adjective of the Septuagint a compound “well -received,” which is stronger, and which occurs mostly in his own writings. See Romans 15:16, Romans 15:31; 1 Peter 2:5; and compare acceptable year, Luke 4:19.

Verse 3


Rev., ministration. See on Romans 12:7.

Blamed ( μωμηθῇ )

Only here and 2 Corinthians 8:20. The kindred μῶμος blemishis found 2 Peter 2:13, and in the Septuagint of bodily defects. Similarly the Septuagint ἄμωμος spotlesswithout bodily defect; and, in the moral sense, 1 Peter 1:19, applied to Christ. Compare Hebrews 9:14; Ephesians 5:27; Judges 1:24.

Verse 4

Necessities ( ἀνάγκαις )

See on 1 Corinthians 7:26.

Distresses ( στενοχωρίαις )

See on Romans 2:9.

Verse 5

Imprisonments ( φυλακαῖς )

See on Acts 5:21.

Tumults ( ἀκαταστασίαις )

See on Luke 21:9, and compare ἀκατάστατος unstable James 1:8. This is one of the words which show the influence of political changes. From the original meaning of unsettledness, it developed, through the complications in Greece and in the East after the death of Alexander, into the sense which it has in Luke - political instability. One of the Greek translators of the Old Testament uses it in the sense of dread or anxious care.

Watchings ( ἀγρυπνίαις )

Only here and 2 Corinthians 11:27. See on the kindred verb, Mark 13:33. For the historical facts, see Acts 16:25; Acts 20:7-11, Acts 20:31; 2 Thessalonians 3:8.

Fastings ( νηστείαις )

Mostly of voluntary fasting, as Matthew 17:21; Acts 14:23; but voluntary fasting would be out of place in an enumeration of hardships.

Verse 7

Right - left

Right-hand and left-hand weapons. Offensive, as the sword, in the right hand, defensive, as the shield, in the left.

Verse 8


See 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 4:2. The opinions concerning Paul as a deceiver are mirrored in the Clementine Homilies and Recognitions, spurious writings, ascribed to Clement of Rome, but emanating from the Ebionites, a Judaizing sect, in the latter half of the second century. In these Paul is covertly attacked, though his name is passed over in silence. His glory as the apostle to the Gentiles is passed over to Peter. The readers are warned, in the person of Peter, to beware of any teacher who does not conform to the standard of James, and come with witnesses (compare 2 Corinthians 3:1; 2 Corinthians 5:12; 2 Corinthians 10:12-18). Paul is assailed under the guise of Simon Magus, and with the same words as those in this passage, deceiver and unknown.

Verse 9


See 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, and compare Psalm 118:18.

Verse 10

Having - possessing ( ἔχοντες - κατέχοντες )

The contrast is twofold: between having and not having, and between temporary and permanent having, or having and keeping. Compare Luke 8:15; 1 Corinthians 15:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Hebrews 3:6.

Verse 11

Ye Corinthians

The readers are addressed by name in only two other epistles, Galatians 3:1; Philemon 4:15.

Is enlarged ( πεπλάτυνται )

Only here, 2 Corinthians 6:13, and Matthew 23:5, where it is used of widening the phylacteries. From πλατύς broadQuite common in the Septuagint, and with various shades of meaning, but usually rendered enlarge. Of worldly prosperity, “waxed fat,” Deuteronomy 32:15; compare Genesis 9:27. Of pride, Deuteronomy 11:16. Of deliverance in distress, Psalm 4:1. Expand with joy, Psalm 119:32. The idea of enlargement of heart in the sense of increased breadth of sympathy and understanding, as here, is also expressed in the Old Testament by other words, as concerning Solomon, to whom God gave largeness of heart, Sept., χύμα outpouringCompare Isaiah 60:5.

Verse 12

Not straitened in us

It is not that our hearts are too narrow to take you in. Straitened in antithesis with enlarged.

In your own bowels ( τοῖς οπλάγχνοις ὑμῶν )

See on 1 Peter 3:8; see on James 5:11. Rev., affections. It is your love that is contracted.

Verse 14

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.

Verse 15

Concord ( συμφώνησις )

Only here in the New Testament. From σύν together φωνή voicePrimarily of the concord of sounds. So the kindred συφωνία , A.V., music, see on Luke 15:25. Compare σύμφωνος withconsent, 1 Corinthians 7:5; and συμφωνέω toagree, Matthew 18:19; Luke 5:36, etc.

Belial ( βελίαρ )

Beliar. Belial is a transcript of the Hebrew, meaning worthlessness or wickedness. The Septuagint renders it variously by transgressor, impious, foolish, pest. It does not occur in the Septuagint as a proper name. The form Beliar, which is preferred by critics, is mostly ascribed to the Syriac pronunciation of Belial, the change of l into r being quite common. Others, however, derive from Belyar, Lord of the forest. Here a synonym for Satan. Stanley remarks that our associations with the word are colored by the attributes ascribed to Belial by Milton (“Paradise Lost,” B. ii.), who uses the word for sensual profligacy.

Verse 16

Agreement ( συγκατάθεσις )

Only here in the New Testament. Compare the kindred verb συγκατατίθεμαι toconsent, Luke 23:51. Lit., a putting down or depositing along with one. Hence of voting the same way with another, and so agreeing.

Ye are

Read, as Rev., we are.

God hath said, etc.

The quotation is combined and condensed from Leviticus 27:11, Leviticus 27:12; and Ezekiel 37:27, after the Septuagint. Paul treats it as if directly affirmed of the christian Church, thus regarding that Church as spiritually identical with the true church of Israel.

Verse 17

Come out, etc.

Isaiah 52:11, Isaiah 52:12, after the Septuagint, with several changes.

Verse 18

I will be to you, etc.

From 2 Samuel 7:14, where the Septuagint and Hebrew agree. Paul says sons and daughters for son.

Almighty ( παντοκράτωρ )

The word is peculiar to Revelation, occurring nowhere else in the New Testament. Here it is a quotation. Frequent in the Septuagint.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

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