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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Corinthians 6:17

"Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.


Adam Clarke Commentary

Wherefore come out from among them - Is it not plain from this and the following verse that God would be their God only on the ground of their taking him for such, and that this depended on their being separated from the works and workers of iniquity? for God could not inhabit in them if they had concord with Belial, a portion with infidels; etc. Those who will have the promises of God fulfilled to them must come under the conditions of these promises: if they are not separate - if they touch the unclean thing, God will not receive them; and therefore will not be their God, nor shall they be his people.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Wherefore - Since you are a special people. Since God, the holy and blessed God, dwells with you and among you.

Come out from among them - That is, from among idolaters and unbelievers; from a frivolous and vicious world. These words are taken, by a slight change, from Isaiah 3:11. They are there applied to the Jews in Babylon, and are a solemn call which God makes on them to leave the place of their exile, to come out from among the idolaters of that city and return to their own land; see my note on that place. Babylon, in the Scriptures, is the emblem of whatever is proud, arrogant, wicked, and opposed to God; and Paul, therefore, applies the words here with great beauty and force to illustrate the duty of Christians in separating themselves from a vain, idolatrous, and wicked world.

And be ye separate - Separate from the world, and all its corrupting influences.

Saith the Lord - see Isaiah 3:11. Paul does not use this language as if it had original reference to Christians, but he applies it as containing an important principle that was applicable to the case which he was considering, or as language that would appropriately express the idea which he wished to convey. The language of the Old Testament is often used in this manner by the writers of the New.

And touch not the unclean thing - In Isaiah, “touch no unclean thing;” that is, they were to be pure, and to have no connection with idolatry in any of its forms. So Christians were to avoid all unholy contact with a vain and polluted world. The sense is, “Have no close connection with an idolater, or an unholy person. Be pure; and feel that you belong to a community that is under its own laws, and that is to be distinguished in moral purity from all the rest of the world.”

And I will receive you - That is, I will receive and recognize you as my friends and my adopted children. This could not be done until they were separated from an idolatrous and wicked world. The fact of their being received by God, and recognized as his children, depended on their coming out from the world. These words with the verses following, though used evidently somewhat in the form of a quotation, yet are not to be found in any single place in the Old Testament In 2 Samuel 7:14, God says of Solomon, “I will be his Father, and he shall be my son.” In Jeremiah 31:9, God says, “For I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born.” It is probable that Paul had such passages in his eye, yet he doubtless designed rather to express the general sense of the promises of the Old Testament than to quote any single passage. Or why may it not be that we should regard Paul here himself as speaking as an inspired man directly, and making a promise then first communicated immediately from the Lord? Paul was inspired as well as the prophets; and it may be that he meant to communicate a promise directly from God. Grotius supposes that it was not taken from any particular place in the Old Testament, but was a part of a hymn that was in use among the Hebrews.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-corinthians-6.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you. And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Almighty.

Many have spoken of the fact that Paul here combined the thought of several Old Testament passages, even adding some words of his own (i.e. daughters); but it seems best to view this passage not as a blundering effort of the apostle to quote the Old Testament, but as his own inspired words, which quite naturally, of course, used some of the terminology of previous holy writings.

Come ye out ... touch no unclean thing ...; Isaiah 52:11 has this:

Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.

However, as cited above, Paul was not "quoting Scripture" here; he was WRITING SCRIPTURE. The difference is apparent in the formula by which he introduced this paragraph. He did not say, "Thus it is written," but "Thus saith the Lord" the magnificent formula used a thousand times by the holy prophets of the Old Testament, and here used by the blessed Paul, and for exactly the same purpose! It is from this evident truth that we feel compelled to reject as irreverent and inaccurate such a comment as the following:

Paul quoted from memory, and so long as he got the substance right he did not worry about the actual wording. It was not the letter of the Scripture but the message of the scripture which mattered to Paul[19]

The denial of any validity to such a view is implicit in the fact that nobody ever got the message of the scripture without getting it from the words of scripture. As further proof that Paul was writing, and not merely quoting God's word, the mention of "daughters" must be considered conclusive. That did not come out of any of the passages suggested by Paul's words here, but it was a brand new revelation by the Spirit of God through the apostle Paul. Concerning this inclusion of the word "daughters," David Lipscomb said:

It is characteristic of Christianity that it was the first system that ever recognized the dignity of women and raised them generally to the same moral and spiritual level with men. This was very suitable at Corinth, where above all other places in the world, women were lured to their ruin by organized immoralities under the cloak of religion.[20]

Regarding the application of this paragraph, which is actually concluded in 2 Corinthians 7:1, it must be said that the same principles are binding today. It is true that paganism has lost its old forms; but no person in his right mind can be unaware of the neo-paganism which today threatens to engulf the world. All of the old essentials of paganism are still operative. The deification of humanity, the gross emphasis upon the secular, the material, the sensual and devilish are still struggling to dominate the minds of mankind. The so-called sex liberation, the abandonment of ancient moral values, and the encroaching dishonesty, selfishness and libertinism even in the highest echelons of government - all of these and many other things proclaim in tones of thunder that paganism is still around.

[19] William Barclay, op. cit., p. 249.

[20] David Lipscomb, Second Corinthians (Nashville: The Gospel Advocate Company), p. 97.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-corinthians-6.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Wherefore come out from among them,.... Since they were the temple of the living God, built up an habitation for the Most High; since he resided among them, took his walks in the midst of them, was their God, and they were his people. These words are taken out of Isaiah 52:11 where the several phrases here used may be observed. They seem to be directed to the Israelites, and particularly to the priests and Levites, who bore the vessels of the Lord; and are fitly applied to believers under the Gospel dispensation, who are by Christ made priests unto God. They are usually interpreted by the Jewish writers, as a call to the Jews to come out of captivity, to quit Babylon and Persia, and the several cities and countries where they were; and are applied in Revelation 18:4 to mystical Babylon, the church of Rome, as a call to God's people, to leave the superstitions and idolatries of that church, lest they be partakers of her plagues; and here, by the apostle, as an exhortation to believers in general, to forsake the company and conversation of the men of the world: who may be said to come out from among them at first conversion, when they are called to forsake their own people, and their Father's house, to leave their native country, and seek an heavenly one; and when, in consequence of effectual calling grace, their conversations are different from what they were before, and from other Gentiles; when they dislike their former companions, abhor their sinful conversation, abstain from it, keep out of it, as being infectious, hurtful, and detrimental to them; when they have no fellowship with the workers of iniquity, but reprove them both by words and deeds, which is their incumbent duty: the phrase in Isaiah is, "go ye out from the midst of her"; which Kimchi interprets, "out of the midst of every city in which thou art"; that is, in which idolaters lived; and well agrees with εκ μεσου αυτων here, "out of the midst of them":

and be ye separate, saith the Lord; this phrase is not to be met with expressly in our version of the above text in Isaiah, but is signified by several expressions in it; the words rendered "depart ye, depart ye", are by the Targum, or Chaldee paraphrase on the place, expressed by אתפרשו אתפרשו, "be ye separate, be ye separate", which are the very words of the apostle here; and the phrase, "touch no unclean thing", is explained by R. Aben Ezra, מאומות העולם שיבדלו, "that they might be separate from the nations of the world" and another word, הברו, "be ye clean", signifies such a purgation as is made by separation, by removing the clean from the unclean, by separating the wheat from the chaff. The people of God are a separate people in election, redemption, and the effectual calling, and ought to be so in their conduct and conversation; they ought to separate themselves from all superstition and will worship in religious matters, and from the evil customs and manners of the world, though they are sure to become a prey, and to expose themselves to the contempt and rage of it:

and touch not the unclean thing. The allusion is to several laws under the former dispensation, which forbid touching many things which were accounted unclean, whereby pollution was contracted, and the persons were obliged to a ceremonial cleansing; see Leviticus 5:2 Numbers 19:11. It has no regard to touching, tasting, and eating any sort of food, which was forbid as unclean by the ceremonial law; for the difference between meats clean and unclean was now removed; but if anything is particularly designed by the unclean thing, it seems to be idolatry, and to be a prohibition of joining with worshippers of idols in their idolatrous practices, whereby a moral pollution is contracted; since in the beginning of the former verse it is said, "what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" though it is rather intended in general, to forbid all communion and fellowship with unclean persons and things, not to touch them, to come nigh them, or have anything to do with them:

and I will receive you; this, and what follows in the next verse, are said to encourage believers to keep at a distance from wicked and immoral persons, whose company and conversation are dishonourable, ensnaring, and defiling. These persons had been already received into the love of God, his best and strongest affections, from which there can be no separation; and in the covenant of grace, which as it cannot be removed, so neither could they be removed out of that; they were received into the church of Christ, and had a place and a name in it, better than that of sons and daughters; and as they had been received by Christ, when they came to him as poor perishing sinners without him, so they were still received graciously, notwithstanding their many backslidings: neither of these therefore is the sense of this passage: but, that whereas by quitting society with carnal men, they would expose themselves to their resentments; the Lord here promises, that he would take them under the wings of his protection; he would take care of them and preserve them, keep them as the apple of his eye, and be a wall of fire round about them, whilst in this world; and when he had guided them by his counsel here, would "receive" them "to glory": this clause seems to be taken from the latter part of Isaiah 52:12 which may be rendered, "the God of Israel will gather you"; i.e. to himself, and protect them.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-corinthians-6.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Quoted from Isaiah 52:11, 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 (2 Corinthians 5:1-10). With this accords the clause, “Come out from among them,” namely, so as to be received to me. So Ezekiel 20:41, “I will accept you”; and Zephaniah 3:19, “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).


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.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-corinthians-6.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Saith the Lord (λεγει Κυριοςlegei Kurios). Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 20:33. Cf. Revelation 18:4.

Unclean thing (ακαταρτουakathartou). Or unclean person. Genitive case is the same for both.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/2-corinthians-6.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Come out, etc.

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


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/2-corinthians-6.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

Touch not the unclean person — Keep at the utmost distance from him.

And I will receive you — Into my house and family. Isaiah 52:11; Zephaniah 3:19,20.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-corinthians-6.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

The unclean thing; the sinful pursuits and pleasures of the idolatrous world around them.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/2-corinthians-6.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

17.Wherefore come out from the midst of them. This exhortation is taken from Isaiah 52:11, where the Prophet, when foretelling the deliverance, at length addresses the priests in these terms. For he makes use of a circumlocution to describe the priests, when he says, Ye that bear the vessels of the Lord, inasmuch as they had the charge of the vessels, by means of which the sacrifices, and other parts of divine worship, were performed. There can be no doubt that his design is to admonish them, that, while eagerly desirous to come forth, (621) they should be on their guard against any contamination from the many pollutions with which the country (622) was overrun. Now this is no less applicable to us, than to the ancient Levites, for if so much purity is required on the part of the keepers of the vessels, how much more in the vessels themselves! (623) Now all our members are vessels, set apart for the spiritual worship of God; we are also a royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2:9.) Hence, as we are redeemed by the grace of God, it is befitting that we keep ourselves undefiled in respect of all uncleanness, that we may not pollute the sanctuary of God. As, however, while remaining in this world, we are nevertheless redeemed, and rescued, from the pollutions of the world, so we are not to quit life with the view of departing from all uncleanness, but must simply avoid all participation. The sum is this. “If with a true affection of the heart, we aim at the benefit of redemption, we must beware of defiling ourselves by any contamination from its pollutions.”


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/2-corinthians-6.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

come out from among them

Separation, Summary:

(1) Separation in Scripture is twofold: "from" whatever is contrary to the mind of God; and "unto" God Himself. The underlying principle is that in a moral universe it is impossible for God to fully bless and use His children who are in compromise or complicity with evil. The unequal yoke is anything which unites a child of God and an unbeliever in a common purpose Deuteronomy 22:10.

(2) Separation from evil implies (a) separation in desire, motive, and act, from the world, in the ethically bad sense of this present world-system. (See Scofield "Revelation 13:8") and (b) separation from believers, especially false teachers, who are "vessels unto dishonour" 2 Timothy 2:20; 2 Timothy 2:21; 2 John 1:9-11.

(3) Separation is not from contact with evil in the world or the church, but from complicity with and conformity to John 17:15; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Galatians 6:1.

(4) The reward of separation is the full manifestation of the divine fatherhood 2 Corinthians 6:17; 2 Corinthians 6:18 unhindered communion and worship Hebrews 13:13-15 and fruitful service 2 Timothy 2:21 as world-conformity involves the loss of these, though not of salvation. Here, as in all else, Christ is the model. He was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners" Hebrews 7:26 and yet in such contact with them for their salvation that the Pharisees, who illustrate the mechanical and ascetic conception of separation (See Scofield "Matthew 3:7"), judged Him as having lost His Nazarite character. Luke 7:39 Cf; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; 1 Corinthians 10:27.


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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/2-corinthians-6.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

Ver. 17. And be ye separate] For gross idolatry and for fundamental errors only must we separate. Corruptions grew so great in the Church of Rome, that it justly occasioned first the separation of the Greek Churches from the Latin, and then of the reformed Churches from the Roman. Machiavel observed; that after the thousandth year of Christ, there was nowhere less piety than in those that dwell nearest to Rome. (Disp. de Rep.) And Bellarmine bewails it, That ever since we cried up the pope for antichrist, his kingdom hath not only not increased, but hath greatly decreased. (Lib. iii. de Papa Rom. c. 21.)

And I will receive you] So you shall be no losers, I will put you into my bosom. God imparteth his sweetest comforts to his in the wilderness, Hosea 2:14.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

As if the apostle had said "Go not then to the idol's temples, join not with idolaters in communion to avoid persecution; but come out from amongst them, as an holy people separated to the Lord, and defile not yourselves with any unclean thing; and while you are pure, and cleave to God, he wil own you for his sons and daughters."

Observe here, 1. A pressing exhortation to make a full separation from unclean persons and things, particularly from all idolatry and idolatrous worship; Come out from among them. The words are taken out of Isaiah 52:11 where the prophet exhorts the remnant of Israel to come fully out of unclean Babylon.

Learn hence, That God expects and requires his saints should make a separation from all uncleanness, but especially from the uncleanness of idolatry. God expects a separation from us, from all unclean courses, from all unclean company, from the presence and appearance of all uncleanness, from communion with idolatrous churches, and from communicating with what is sinful in the truest churches of Christ upon earth.

Observe, 2. A quickening encouragement to back this exhortaion: I will receive you, and be a Father to you.

Here is a twofold promise,

1. Of reception, I will receive you.

2. Of adoption, I will be a father to you.

God will receive them both into his house and heart.

Learn hence, That Almighty God will, as a Father, undoubtedly receive all those into his family and favour who renounce communion with all impurity. As he is Almighty, he is abundantly able, and as he is a Father, he is graciously willing, to recompense all the services and sufferings of his children, for the honour and interest of his name and truth.

It is sufficiently known how this text hath been mispplied by separatists to very bad purposes:

1. To justify their schismatical separation from the best and purest of the reformed churches, under pretence of finding greater purity among themselves: whereas nothig will justify a separation from a church, but that which makes a separation between God and that church. If the church's way of worship (in their opinion) be faulty, they presently pronounce it false, and they must not join in false worship, if all that is faulty be false worship: if Christ doth not disown his church for that faultiness, we ought not to desert her for it.

2. Others would seek occasion from these words, to justify their practice, in refusing to come to the Lord's table where some vicious persons are apprehended to be, lest they should pollute the ordinance, and there touch the unclean thing; whereas the presence of a bad man at the sacrament pollutes the ordinance only to himself; for unto the pure all things are pure; and who will neglect a certain duty, to escape an uncertain danger? True, we must not own such worship, as we know God rejecteth. But as God pardoneth the faulty imperfections of other men's worship, and of our own also, thus must we bear with our own and one another's failings that are tolerable, so far as we cannot cure them.

Woe unto us, had Almighty God no more charity for us than we have for one another! A defective worship is not a false worship; sinful defects in the administration of ordinances, do not hinder the saving effects of ordinances; a wise and good man is certainly as great an enemy to separation, as he is to superstition: doctrines crying up purity, to the ruin of unity, reject; for the gospel calls for unity, as well as for purity.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

17.] The necessity of separation from the heathen enforced by another citation,—Isaiah 52:11,—freely given from memory; κἀγὼ εἰσδέξ. ὑμ. being moreover substituted, from Ezekiel 20:34, for προπορεύσεται γὰρ πρότερος ὑμῶν κύριος, κ. ὁ ἐπισυνάγων ὑμᾶς θεὸς ἰσραήλ. The ἀκάθαρτον must be understood of the pollutions of heathenism generally, not of any one especial polluted thing, as meat offered to idols.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/2-corinthians-6.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

2 Corinthians 6:17. With the foregoing quotation Paul now combines another in keeping with his aim (2 Corinthians 6:14), containing the application which God has made of His previous promise. But this quotation is still freer than the one before, after the LXX. Isaiah 52:11, and the last words, κἀγὼ εἰσδέξομαι ὑμᾶς, are perhaps joined with it through a reminiscence of Ezekiel 20:34 (comp. Ezekiel 11:17; Zechariah 10:8). Osiander and most expositors find in κἀγὼ εἰσδέξ. ὑμ. a reproduction approximately as to sense of the words in Isaiah 52:12 : καὶ ἐπισυνάγων ὑμᾶς κύριος θεὸς ἰσραήλ; but this is, at any rate, far-fetched, and, considering Paul’s usual freedom in joining different passages of the O. T., unnecessarily hars.

αὐτῶν] applies to the heathen.

ἀκαθάρτου μὴ ἅπτεσθε] Just as ἐξέλθετε κ. τ. λ. had referred (aorist) to the separation to be accomplished from the fellowship of heathen life, so this refers, in the sense of the prophetic fulfilment, to the continuing (present) abstinence from all heathen habits (not simply from offerings to idols), and κἀγὼ εἰσδέξ. ὑμ. to their reception into sonship, see 2 Corinthians 6:18. It is correlative to ἐξέλθατε; God wishes to receive those who have gone forth into His paternal house, i.e. into the fellowship of the true theocracy (2 Corinthians 6:18).


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

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.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/2-corinthians-6.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The apostle here quoteth words out of the Old Testament, no where to be found there syllabically, without variation, but keeping to the sense of them, which is a thing very usual with the penmen of the New Testament. The first quotation seemeth to be taken from Isaiah 52:11: Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. Interpreters are not agreed as to the term from whence the prophet there admonisheth the Jews to depart: some make it to be their former sinful courses; others make it to be the kingdom of the devil and antichrist; others make it to be literal Babylon; the prophet foreseeing, that when the Jews should have a liberty given them to leave Babylon, (which happened in the time of Cyrus the Persian monarch), some of them (now as it were incorporated with the Chaldeans) would linger, and find a difficulty to pluck up their stakes in Babylon, though it were in order to their return to Jerusalem, heretofore the joy and praise of the whole earth. Whatever was the prophet’s meaning, certain it is, the apostolical precept cannot be interpreted of a leaving literal Babylon, for neither the Christian jews, nor Gentiles, were at this time there; he must therefore be understood of a mystical Babylon. And the sense must be this: Come out and be ye separate from those with whom your souls will be in as much danger as the Jews were in the literal Babylon. But whether by these are to be understood idolaters only, or all notorious scandalous livers, is the question: The true determination of which, I conceive, dependeth upon the sense of those words: Come out, be ye separated; which words, I think, are not fully interpreted by those that follow,

touch not the unclean thing; for, doubtless, the former words are a precept concerning the means to be used in order to that as an end, it being a hard thing to touch pitch, and not to be defiled therewith. On the other side, they interpret it too rigidly, who make it to be a prohibition of all commerce or company with such persons; for this is contrary to the apostolical doctrine in his former Epistle to this church, where he had allowed, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, a civil commerce and traffic with the worst of men; and, 1 Corinthians 7:1-40, had forbidden the separation of Christians and heathens, once joined in marriage, unless the unbeliever first departed. The text therefore must be understood only of elective and unnecessary, intimate communion; and is much the same with that, 2 Corinthians 6:14: Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers. So as that it doth by no means justify the withdrawing of all civil or religious communion from those whose judgments or practice in all things we cannot approve; it only justifieth our withdrawing our communion from idolaters, and from notorious scandalous sinners in such duties and actions, or in such degrees, as we are under no obligation to have fellowship and communion with them in; and our forbearing to touch their unclean things in that fellowship and communion which we are allowed with them, having no fellowship with them in their unfruitful works of darkness, but reproving them, even while in civil things, and some religious actions, we have some fellowship with them.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Come out from among them; do not unite with them, nor encourage or connive at any of their idolatrous or wicked practices. Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:15-16.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/2-corinthians-6.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

17. διὸ Ἐξέλθατε. The Apostle draws the conclusion to which he pointed in 2 Corinthians 6:14. God’s people must be separated from the life of the heathen, at once and decisively (aor. imperat.). The quotation is made freely from memory, and is a mosaic of several passages; Isaiah 52:11-12; Ezekiel 20:34; comp. Ezekiel 11:17; Zephaniah 3:20; Zechariah 10:8. Exite de medio eorum, non corpore, sed mente, non vagatione loci, sed devotione (Atto Verc.).

κἀγὼ εἰσδέξομαι ὑμᾶς. And I will welcome you. The compound occurs nowhere else in the N.T., but is fairly common in the LXX., esp. of the Divine promises (Hosea 8:10; Micah 4:6; Zechariah 10:10; Jeremiah 23:3; &c.), as here. Cremer, Lex. p. 687. In Lk. and Acts ἀποδέχομαι is common. Both mean ‘receive with favour.’


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Bibliography
"Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/2-corinthians-6.html. 1896.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Wherefore “Come you out from among them, and be you separate,” says the Lord, “And touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be to you a Father, And you shall be to me sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty.’

So in response to His sovereignty and the ratification of the covenant they must come out from the world and be separate, avoiding contact with all that is unclean, that is, in this context, all that is connected with idolatry and the sins connected with it. This may refer to food known to have been offered to idols, or to the temple catamites and prostitutes, or to sexual misbehaviour, or all of these. Jesus, however, went further. He defined unclean in the New Testament sense in these terms, ‘fornication, thefts, murders, adulteries, coveting, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, ranting and raving, pride, foolishness’ (Mark 7:22). All such uncleanness must be avoided.

Paul’s words are possibly based on Isaiah 52:11, where the command to ‘come out from there, touch no unclean thing’ is given but it is not intended to be a direct quotation. It is the idea rather than the actual literal Scripture which he saw as important. God’s people must come out to Him from the world and separate themselves to Him leaving behind all that is unclean. Since He takes up His home among us, they in turn (as we are) are called to separate themselves from everything that is incompatible with his holiness. The verbs are aorist imperatives (exelthate, aphoristhete) indicating that immediate and decisive once-for-all separation is called for.

‘Says the Lord.’ This is not in the text of Isaiah but is Paul’s addition to stress from Whom the command comes.

The pledge is then given that if His people will obey Him, then God will receive them and be a father to them, and they, in turn, will be to Him sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).

I will receive you is possibly drawn from Ezekiel 20:34 LXX ("I will receive you from the countries where you had been scattered," ). The second part is taken from 2 Samuel 7:14, "I will be his father, and he will be my son." Paul sees God's promise to David, that he will be a father to Solomon, and that Solomon will be a son to him, fulfilled again in God's relationships with His people. But the singular son is here changed to the plural sons, and the phrase ‘and daughters’ is added, possibly under the influence of Isaiah 43:6, "Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth". There is to be a family relationship and family affection between God and his people.

This whole string of Old Testament part references concludes with the phrase ‘says the Lord Almighty’. The phrase is a familiar one in the LXX (but unique in Paul). The term pantokrator, which translates the Hebrew seba’ot, is commonly rendered "almighty" but actually means "master of all things" or "ruler of all". With this phrase Paul emphasises the awesome truth that it is the One who rules over all Who chooses to dwell among us and be our Father.

This use of pantokrater suggests that there is a good possibility that this string of loosely bound together extracts from Scripture may have been found by Paul in a record of such quotations, and that he quotes them as he found them, for the references to the Lord sound as though they are part of a quotation. He could not carry his Bible around with him. Such lists are known, for example, from Qumran. But if this be so he puts his stamp of approval on it.


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/2-corinthians-6.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17. Wherefore—In order to secure the fulfilment of these promises they must be a faithful and not an apostate Church.

Come out—The earnest warning of Jehovah (to his people to come out from Babylon) applied to the Christian Church to come out from the uncleanness of an unregenerate world. This injunction requires not hatred against the wicked as men, but avoidance of participation in their works as sinners, or in such associations with them as imply a countenancing of their sins.

The unclean thing—The thing defiled with sin, by whose touch you would yourself be defiled.

I will receive you—Namely, into favour and fellowship with myself, and to all the joys of my salvation.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-corinthians-6.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Third, Paul quoted from Isaiah 52:11 where God called His people to separate (depart) from Babylon and its idolatry. He applied this to the Corinthian situation in which unbelievers practiced idolatry. The contexts both in Isaiah and here have nothing to do with separation because of doctrinal differences between Christians. Both passages are speaking about pagan idolatry. The promise of fellowship with Himself for separation ( Ezekiel 20:34; Ezekiel 20:41) should motivate us to be obedient.

"There was a grave danger that, through carelessness and compromise, the Corinthian believers would be carried away, as it were, into a Babylonian captivity of the soul." [Note: Ibid, p256.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/2-corinthians-6.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

2 Corinthians 6:17. Wherefore, come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch no unclean thing. We have here another quotation, from Isaiah 52:11, in which Israel is prophetically summoned to shake off the defilement they contracted by their long residence among the idolaters of Babylon, by finally quitting it;

and I will receive you—a reminiscence from Ezekiel 20:34, as rendered in the LXX.,

and will be to you a Father, and ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. This is a free combination of various passages in the Old Testament—such as Jeremiah 31:9, Isaiah 43:6; and as the word “Almighty” occurs nowhere in the Old Testament save in the LXX. of 2 Samuel 7:8, it is possible that 2 Corinthians 6:14 of that chapter may have come under the apostle’s eye while writing (or dictating) this sentence. The spirit of these concluding words may be thus expressed:—‘Hard duty this (ye will say) in such a case as ours; for if we are to “come out from among” all unbelievers, all idolaters, all the unclean, we shall have to come out from all our nearest and dearest relatives, even fathers and mothers.’ ‘Perhaps so (replies the apostle), but even then ye will find One who will be to you what all the parents in the world cannot be, and ye will be to Him sons and daughters in a sense unutterable and eternally enduring.’ (Compare Psalms 27:10.) And here there seems, too, a touching reminiscence of our Lord’s own words to Peter when he said, “Lo, we have left all and have followed Thee:”—“Verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or hinds for my sake and for the Gospel’s sake, but he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brethren, and sisters and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life” (Mark 10:28-30), and our Lord Himself was the first to exemplify, in His own case, this re-construction of all the relationships and affections of life, on the basis of a deeper and more enduring tie, after they have been sacrificed in their natural form on the altar of lofty principle (see Matthew 12:46-50).

Note.—Though “unequal yoking” here seems to have no special reference to marriages of this character, yet, as a fact, greater and more varied evils, from the very earliest period and in every age, have sprung from this cause than can well be described. It was the immediate cause of that frightful wickedness that brought the flood upon the old world (Genesis 6:1-7). Against this snare the Israelites were repeatedly warned in view of their entrance into the Promised Land (Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7:3-4, etc.). Into this pit Samson fell to his cost ( 14:3); and Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-10); and on account of the extent to which marriage with strange wives had been carried during the captivity, Ezra ordered a national humiliation, which was followed by a formal undoing of the unlawful connexion (Ezra 9:10). Of course, by how much the Christian calling is higher, and the consecration it implies more sacred, than that which preceded it, the more glaring is the inconsistency, and the greater the loss incurred. The result—on a principle obvious enough—is, not that the “righteousness” of the one party dissolves the “unrighteousness” of the other, but that the lower drags down the higher (see 1 Corinthians 15:33).


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Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/2-corinthians-6.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

2 Corinthians 6:17. διὸ ἐξέλθετε κ. τ. λ.: wherefore, “Come out from among them and be separate” saith the Lord, “and touch not an unclean thing and I will receive you.” So, too, the Heavenly Voice of the Apocalypse cried “Come out of her” to those who were in danger of contamination with the sins of pagan Rome (Revelation 18:4). But the command must not be misapplied. St. Peter was wrong in “separating” himself from his Gentile brethren (Galatians 2:12), as he was wrong in calling that “unclean” which God had cleansed (Acts 10:14). And St. Paul never counsels any at Corinth to “separate” himself from the body of his fellow Christians on account of their sinful lives. (1 Corinthians 5:13 is a direction to the Church to excommunicate a sinful member, a quite different thing.) To the Apostle separation from heathendom was imperative, but separation from the Christian Church was a schism and a sin.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/2-corinthians-6.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

from among = out of (Greek. ek. App-104.) the midst of.

Lord. App-98. a. Quoted from Isaiah 52:11.

the = an, i.e. any.

receive. Greek. eisdeclomai. Only here.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-corinthians-6.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

From Isaiah 52:11. Paul, as inspired, gives variations sanctioned by the Holy Spirit.

Be ye separate - `be separated' (Hosea 4:17).

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

I will receive you - `to myself' [ eisdexomai (Greek #1523)], as persons heretofore out of doors, but now admitted within (2 Corinthians 5:1-10). Or, as persons heretofore among the enemy, but now received among the Lord's people. With this accords, "come out from among them" - namely, to me. So Ezekiel 20:41; Zephaniah 3:19. In Isaiah 52:12, literally, The Lord will gather you up, as a general brings up the rear of his army, not suffering one straggler to be lost (cf. note there; John 18:9). 'The contact of believers with the world should resemble that of angels, who, when sent from heaven, discharge their errand with the utmost promptness, and joyfully fly back home to the presence of God' (1 Corinthians 5:9-10; 1 Corinthians 7:31).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-corinthians-6.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) Wherefore come out from among them.—Another composite quotation follows, beginning with Isaiah 52:11. In their primary historical sense, the words were addressed as to the priests and Levites who were to return from Babylon. They were not to bring back with them any symbol of that “unclean” ritual which they had witnessed there. The local and historical meaning has for the Apostle passed away, and the “unclean thing” is identified with the whole system of heathenism. The close connection of this verse with the great prophecy of the atoning work makes it probable that, in writing of that work, St. Paul had remembered, or, perhaps, actually turned to Isaiah 53, as it stood in the LXX. version, and so was led on to the verse which almost immediately preceded it. “I will receive you” comes, in lieu of the ending of Isaiah, from the Greek of Ezekiel 11:17; Jeremiah 24:5.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-corinthians-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
come
7:1; Numbers 16:21,26,45; Ezra 6:21; 10:11; Psalms 1:1-3; Proverbs 9:6; Isaiah 52:11; Jeremiah 51:6; Acts 2:40; Revelation 18:4
and I
John 6:37,38; Romans 15:7

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-corinthians-6.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

And so. Paul paraphrases Isaiah 52:11 to show they must separate themselves from the false teachers who make the messianic community (church) unclean by their unholy conduct and their distorted teaching! And I will accept you. This phrase comes from Ezekiel 20:34. God will accept all who follow him!!!


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/2-corinthians-6.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

2 Corinthians 6:17

"Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."— 2 Corinthians 6:17

If we are entangled in the love of the world, or fast bound and fettered with worldly anxieties, and the spirit of the world is rife in our bosom, all our profession will be vapid, if not worthless. We may use the language of prayer, but the heart is not in earnest; we may still manage to hold our head high in a profession of the truth, but its power and blessedness are neither known nor felt.

To enjoy any measure of communion with the Lord, whether on the cross or on the throne, we must go forth from a world which is at enmity against him. We must also go forth out of SELF, for to deny it, renounce it, and go forth out of it lies at the very foundation of vital godliness. There must be "a mortifying, through the Spirit, of the deeds of the body;" a being "always delivered unto death for Jesus" sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh;" and unless there is a going forth out of self by this self-crucifixion, there is no walking in hand with Christ, no manifest union, no heavenly communion with him; for there can no more be a partnership between Christ, the soul, and self than there can be a partnership between Christ, the soul, and sin.


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Bibliography
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:17". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jcp/2-corinthians-6.html.

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Thursday, November 26th, 2020
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