|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-8 Christians should not contend with one another, for they are brethren. This, if duly attended to, would prevent many law-suits, and end many quarrels and disputes. In matters of great damage to ourselves or families, we may use lawful means to right ourselves, but Christians should be of a forgiving temper. Refer the matters in dispute, rather than go to law about them. They are trifles, and may easily be settled, if you first conquer your own spirits. Bear and forbear, and the men of least skill among you may end your quarrels. It is a shame that little quarrels should grow to such a head among Christians, that they cannot be determined by the brethren. The peace of a man's own mind, and the calm of his neighbourhood, are worth more than victory. Lawsuits could not take place among brethren, unless there were faults among them.
Verse 3. - That we shall judge angels. Angels, i.e. some who belong, or once did belong, to that class. The statement furnishes no data for further speculation. It can hardly mean "evil spirits," for where the word is entirely unqualified it always means good angels; otherwise we might refer it to the "angels which kept not their first estate" (Jude 1:6). It is impossible, and not straightforward, to explain away the word "angels" as meaning Church officials, etc., or to make the word "judge" mean "involve a condemnation of them by comparison with ourselves." All that we can say is that "God chargeth even his angels with folly, and in his sight the very heavens are not clean" (Job 4:18); and that "to angels hath he not subjected the world to come" (Hebrews 2:5). We must take the plain meaning of the apostle's words, whether we can throw any light on his conceptions or not. The only alternative is to suppose that the word means "those who once were good angels," but are now fallen spirits. It was so understood by Tertullian, Chrysostom, etc. How much more; rather, to say nothing of. The accurate rendering of these verses is a matter of some difficulty, but not to an extent which affects the material sense, or which can be explained without a minute knowledge of Greek.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Know ye not that we shall judge angels,.... Meaning not the ministers of the Gospel, and pastors of churches, called "angels", Revelation 1:20 whose doctrines are examined, tried, and judged by the saints, according to the word of God; nor the good angels, who, were it possible that they could, or should publish a Gospel contrary to what has been preached by the apostle, would be contradicted, condemned, and accursed by him, see Galatians 1:8 but the evil angels, the devil and his angels: and this is to be understood not of their future final judgment and condemnation at the last day, when saints will subscribe unto, and approve of the sentence pronounced upon them, and will triumph over them in their destruction; but of the judgment of them, and of their ejection out of the Gentile world, out of their oracles, idols, and idol temples, to which Christ refers, John 12:31 and calls the judgment of this world, and the casting out of the prince of it by the ministry of his apostles; and which was now already begun, and ere long would be fully accomplished: accordingly the Syriac version renders it, "know ye not , that we are about to judge angels?" and the Arabic, "know ye not that we judge angels?" from whence the apostle infers very justly,
how much more things that pertain to this life? this animal life; to the trade and business of life; to pecuniary matters, to estates and possessions in this world, about which differences may arise between one saint and another.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. judge angels—namely, bad angels. We who are now "a spectacle to angels" shall then "judge angels." The saints shall join in approving the final sentence of the Judge on them (Jude 6). Believers shall, as administrators of the kingdom under Jesus, put down all rule that is hostile to God. Perhaps, too, good angels shall then receive from the Judge, with the approval of the saints, higher honors.
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