2 Corinthians 10:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

New Living Translation
We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.

English Standard Version
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

New American Standard Bible
for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

King James Bible
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Holman Christian Standard Bible
since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments

International Standard Version
For the weapons of our warfare are not those of the world. Instead, they have the power of God to demolish fortresses. We tear down arguments

NET Bible
for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The weapons of our warfare are not according to the flesh, but of the power of God, and by it we subdue rebellious fortresses,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The weapons we use in our fight are not made by humans. Rather, they are powerful weapons from God. With them we destroy people's defenses, that is, their arguments

Jubilee Bible 2000
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God for the destruction of strong holds),

King James 2000 Bible
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)

American King James Version
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

American Standard Version
(for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),

Douay-Rheims Bible
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to God unto the pulling down of fortifications, destroying counsels,

Darby Bible Translation
For the arms of our warfare [are] not fleshly, but powerful according to God to [the] overthrow of strongholds;

English Revised Version
(for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strong holds);

Webster's Bible Translation
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Weymouth New Testament
The weapons with which we fight are not human weapons, but are mighty for God in overthrowing strong fortresses.

World English Bible
for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds,

Young's Literal Translation
for the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful to God for bringing down of strongholds,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

10:1-6 While others thought meanly, and spake scornfully of the apostle, he had low thoughts, and spake humbly of himself. We should be aware of our own infirmities, and think humbly of ourselves, even when men reproach us. The work of the ministry is a spiritual warfare with spiritual enemies, and for spiritual purposes. Outward force is not the method of the gospel, but strong persuasions, by the power of truth and the meekness of wisdom. Conscience is accountable to God only; and people must be persuaded to God and their duty, not driven by force. Thus the weapons of our warfare are very powerful; the evidence of truth is convincing. What opposition is made against the gospel, by the powers of sin and Satan in the hearts of men! But observe the conquest the word of God gains. The appointed means, however feeble they appear to some, will be mighty through God. And the preaching of the cross, by men of faith and prayer, has always been fatal to idolatry, impiety, and wickedness.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - Weapons (see 2 Corinthians 6:7; Romans 6:13). Not carnal. He did not rely on the mere "arm of flesh," or on earthly sword or panoply. Mighty through God; literally, powerful for God; i.e. either

(1) powerful for the cause of God, or

(2) powerful in his estimate. To the pulling down of strongholds. The word for "pulling down," which implies the entire clearance of an obstacle, is only found in the New Testament in this Epistle (vers. 4, 8; 2 Corinthians 13:10). The word for "strongholds" is found here alone. These "fortresses" were the opposition aroused by factious and hostile partisans, and he hoped to subdue them by the strong exercise of apostolic authority (l Corinthians 4:21; 5:1-5). Dean Stanley suggests a reminiscence of the hundred and twenty Cilician fortresses pulled down by Pompey; but I think that these general allusions are often pressed too far.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For the weapons of our warfare,.... By "warfare" is here meant, not that which is common to all believers, who are enlisted as volunteers under the captain of their salvation, and fight his battles, and are more than conquerors through him; but what is peculiar to the ministers of the Gospel; and designs the ministerial function, or office, and the discharge of it. So the Levitical function, or the ministerial service of the Levites, is called "the warfare of the service", Numbers 8:25. The ministry of the word is so styled, because that as war is waged in defence of men's rights, properties, and liberties, and for the weakening of an enemy's power and possessions, and for the enlargement of kingdoms and dominions; so this is in defence of the truths and liberty of the Gospel, that they may continue and abide; for the weakening of Satan's kingdom, by delivering the lawful captives, taking the prey from the mighty, turning souls from the power of Satan to God, and translating them from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Christ Jesus; and so for the enlargement of his kingdom, by spreading the Gospel far and near. The "weapons" with which this warfare is managed are the Scriptures of truth, the sword of the Spirit, the word of God; and which indeed are an armoury, out of which may be taken weapons of all sorts, both offensive and defensive; such as serve both to establish and secure the doctrines of the Gospel, and to refute the errors of the wicked: to which may be added all those gifts which Christ has received for, and gives to men, qualifying them for the work of the ministry, and for the understanding of the sacred writings; together with all those means made use of by them for their improvement in spiritual knowledge; such as diligent reading the word of God, and the labours of his faithful servants, frequent meditation thereon, and earnest prayer to God for more light and experience. Also the various graces of the Spirit, with which they are endued, may be taken into the account; such as the breast plate of faith in Christ, and love to himself, his people, word, ordinances, cause, and interest; the helmet of salvation, hope, the girdle of truth and faithfulness, and the excellent grace of patience to endure all hardships, reproaches, insults, afflictions, and persecutions, cheerfully; and finally, all the acts of their ministration, such as preaching, prayer, the administration of ordinances, and laying on of censures, with the consent of the church. Now these weapons

are not carnal; such as the men of the world fight with, not the temporal sword; for Christ sent forth his apostles without that, naked and unarmed amidst their enemies, his kingdom not being of this world, and so not to be defended and propagated in such a way; or as the weapons the false apostles used, such as natural eloquence, fleshly wisdom, carnal reason, cunning craftiness, the hidden things of dishonesty, and great swelling words of vanity; or they were not weak and impotent, which is sometimes the signification of "flesh"; see Genesis 6:3

but mighty through God: powerful and effectual through the blessing of God, and the influences of his grace and Spirit for the conversion of sinners, the edification of saints, the defence of truth, the confutation of error, the destruction of Satan's kingdom, and the enlargement of Christ's: for these weapons are not powerful of themselves; they are passive instruments, which are only efficacious when used by a superior hand; when the Gospel ministration is attended with "the demonstration of the Spirit, and of power"; and then they are serviceable

to the pulling down of strong holds. The allusion seems to be to the falling of the walls of Jericho, at the sound of ram's horns, which must be ascribed not to those instruments, which were in themselves weak and despicable, but to the power of God that went along with the sound of them. By strong holds are meant, the strong holds of sin and Satan; such as unbelief, pride, hardness of heart, &c. with which the heart of man is walled (so , "the walls of the heart", Jeremiah 4:19) against God and Christ, and the Gospel of the grace of God, and by which Satan fortifies himself, and keeps the palace and goods in peace, until the everlasting doors are thrown open, which were bolted and barred; and these walls of defence are pulled down by the King of glory, who enters in, which is usually done by the power of God, in the ministry of the Gospel: so sins are called strong holds, fortresses, and bulwarks, by the Talmudists (k), who give this as the sense of Ecclesiastes 9:14

"a little city, this is the body; "and few men in it", these are the members; "and there came a great king against it, and besieged it", this is the evil imagination, lust, or concupiscence; and built against it "great bulwarks", or fortresses, , "these are iniquities".''

And so Philo the Jew (l) speaks of , "the firm munitions of vice" being broken down. Or else by them may be meant the fortresses of a man's own righteousness, holiness, good works, and moral duties, in which he entrenches, and thinks himself safe: which the Spirit of God, in the ministry of the word, blows a blast upon, and which are cast down by it, that revealing a better righteousness, even the righteousness of Christ; or else the fleshly wisdom, rhetorical eloquence, and sophisms of false teachers, with which they endeavoured to fortify themselves against the doctrines of the Gospel, but in vain.

(k) T. Bab. Nedarim, fol. 32. 2.((l) De Confusione Linguarum, p. 335.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. A confutation of those who try to propagate their creed by force and persecution (compare Lu 9:54-56).

weapons—for punishing offending members (2Co 10:6; 1Co 4:21; 5:5, 13); boldness of speech, ecclesiastical discipline (2Co 10:8; 2Co 13:10), the power of the word, and of the sacraments, the various extraordinary gifts of the Spirit.

carnal—Translate, "fleshly," to preserve the allusion to 2Co 10:2, 3.

mighty through God—Greek, "mighty to God," that is, mighty before God: not humanly, but divinely powerful. The power is not ours, but God's. Compare "fair to God," that is, divinely fair (Ac 7:20, Margin). Also above (2Co 2:15), "unto God a sweet savor." "The efficacy of the Christian religion proves its truth" [Bengel].

pulling down—As the Greek is the same as in 2Co 10:5, translate, "casting down." Compare Jer 1:10: the inspired servants of God inherit the commission of the Old Testament prophets.

strongholds—(Pr 21:22); namely, in which sinners entrench themselves against reproof; all that opposes itself to Christ; the learning, and eloquence, and philosophical subtleties on which the Corinthians prided themselves. So Joshua's trumpet blast was "mighty" under God to overthrow the walls of Jericho.

2 Corinthians 10:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul Defends his Ministry
3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,…
Cross References
Jeremiah 1:10
See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."

Jeremiah 23:29
"Is not my word like fire," declares the LORD, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

Romans 13:12
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

1 Corinthians 9:7
Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk?

2 Corinthians 6:7
in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;

2 Corinthians 10:8
So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it.

2 Corinthians 13:3
since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you.

2 Corinthians 13:10
This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority--the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.

1 Timothy 1:18
Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well,
Treasury of Scripture

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

the weapons.

2 Corinthians 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness …

Romans 6:13 Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness …

Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast …

Ephesians 6:13-18 Why take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand …

1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate …

our.

1 Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies …

2 Timothy 2:3 You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

mighty.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of …

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency …

2 Corinthians 13:3,4 Since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward …

Judges 7:13-23 And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream …

Judges 15:14-16 And when he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and …

1 Samuel 17:45-50 Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, and …

Psalm 110:2 The LORD shall send the rod of your strength out of Zion: rule you …

Isaiah 41:14-16 Fear not, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel; I will help you, …

Zechariah 4:6,7 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, This is the word of the …

Acts 7:22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was …

1 Corinthians 1:18-24 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; …

1 Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

2 Corinthians 13:3 Since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward …

Hebrews 11:32,33 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of …

through God. or, to God. to the.

Joshua 6:20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and …

Isaiah 30:25 And there shall be on every high mountain, and on every high hill, …

Jeremiah 1:10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, …

Hebrews 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed …

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