Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
EXHIBITION OF THE
FRUITS OF THE
1. workers together--with God
Not only as "ambassadors."
He is describing his ministry, not exhorting directly.
you also--rather, "WE ALSO
(as well as God,
beseech" or "entreat you":
2Co 6:14, 15,
is part of this entreaty or exhortation.
in vain--by making the grace of God a ground for continuance in sin
By a life of sin, showing that the word of reconciliation has been
in vain, so far as you are concerned
"The grace of God" here, is "the reconciliation" provided by God's love
(2Co 5:18, 19;
2. For--God's own promise is the ground of our exhortation.
he saith--God 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
Joh 17:9, 15, 20, 24).
accepted . . . accepted--The Greek of the latter is more emphatic,
"well-accepted." What was "an accepted time" in the prophecy
Hebrew, "in the season of grace") becomes "the
well-accepted time" in the fulfilment (compare
As it is God's time of receiving sinners, receive
ye His grace: accept
the word of reconciliation in His accepted time.
in the day of salvation--"in a day of salvation"
(Lu 4:18, 19, 21; 19:42;
3. Resuming the connection with
interrupted by the parenthetical
"Giving no offense" (compare
"approving ourselves," and all the other participles down to
are nominatives to "we also entreat you"
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
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
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
(2Co 11:23, 24;
He had been, doubtless, elsewhere imprisoned besides at Philippi when
he wrote this Epistle.
(Ac 13:50; 14:5, 19; 16:22;
labours--in the cause of Christ
fastings--The context here refers to his trials, rather than
devotional exercises (compare
Thus "foodlessness" would seem to be the sense (compare
But the usual sense of the Greek is fasts, in the strict
sense; and in
it is spoken of independently of "hunger and thirst." (Compare
Ac 10:30; 14:23).
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."
6. By . . . by, &c.--rather, as Greek, "In . . . in," implying
not the instrument, but the sphere or element in which his ministry
knowledge--spiritual: in Gospel mysteries, unattainable by mere
2Co 3:6, 17, 18).
long-suffering . . . kindness--associated with
"charity" or "love"
by the Holy Ghost--in virtue of His influences which produce these
graces, and other gifts, "love unfeigned" being the foremost of them.
7. By the word of truth, by the power of God--rather, "IN
. . . in,"
&c. As to "the word of truth" (compare
and "the (miraculous) power of God"
"in demonstration of the Spirit and of power."
by the armour--Greek, "through" or "by means of the armor."
"Righteousness," which is the breastplate alone in
here is made the whole Christian panoply (compare
on . . . right . . . and . . .
left--that is, guarding on every side.
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
dishonor and give us an evil report; "as true," by those
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.
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"
Perhaps both God and men (believers) are intended as knowing him
(2Co 5:11; 11:6).
dying . . . live--
(2Co 1:9; 4:10, 11; 11:23).
Compare GAUSSEN'S remark, see on
"Behold" calls attention to the fact as something beyond all
chastened . . . not killed--realizing
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
after the example of our Lord, who "by His poverty made many rich"
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
possessing all things--The Greek implies
firm possession, holding fast in possession
1Co 3:21, 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.
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
The enlargement of his heart towards them
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
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
not straitened in us--that is, for want of room in our hearts to
take you in.
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.
14. Be not--Greek, "Become not."
unequally yoked--"yoked with one alien in spirit." The image is from
the symbolical precept of the law
"Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind"; or the
"Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together." Compare
forbidding marriages with the heathen; also
The believer and unbeliever are utterly heterogeneous. Too close
intercourse with unbelievers in other relations also is included
1Co 8:10; 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
15. Belial--Hebrew, "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
he that believeth with an infidel--Translate, "a believer with an
16. agreement--accordance of sentiments (compare
Eph 5:7, 11).
the temple of God--that is, you believers
(1Co 3:16; 6:19).
with idols--Compare Dagon before the ark
as--"even as God said." Quotation from
Jer 31:33; 32:38;
Eze 37:26, 27;
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."
17. Quoted from
with the freedom of one inspired, who gives variations sanctioned by
the Holy Spirit.
be ye separate--"be separated"
touch not the unclean thing--rather, "anything unclean"
Touching is more polluting, as implying participation, than
receive you--The Greek implies, "to myself"; as persons
heretofore out of doors, but now admitted within
With this accords the clause, "Come out from among them,"
namely, so as to be received to me. So
"I will accept you"; and
"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"
(1Co 7:31; 5:9, 10).
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
"I will be their God, and they . . . My
people." Compare the promise to Solomon
Re 21:3, 7;
Jer 31:1, 9).
Lord Almighty--The Lord the Universal Ruler: nowhere else found
but in Revelation. The greatness of the Promiser enhances the greatness
of the promises.