|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:5-15 It is far better to be plain in speech, yet walking openly and consistently with the gospel, than to be admired by thousands, and be lifted up in pride, so as to disgrace the gospel by evil tempers and unholy lives. The apostle would not give room for any to accuse him of worldly designs in preaching the gospel, that others who opposed him at Corinth, might not in this respect gain advantage against him. Hypocrisy may be looked for, especially when we consider the great power which Satan, who rules in the hearts of the children of disobedience, has upon the minds of many. And as there are temptations to evil conduct, so there is equal danger on the other side. It serves Satan's purposes as well, to set up good works against the atonement of Christ, and salvation by faith and grace. But the end will discover those who are deceitful workers; their work will end in ruin. Satan will allow his ministers to preach either the law or the gospel separately; but the law as established by faith in Christ's righteousness and atonement, and the partaking of his Spirit, is the test of every false system.
Verse 14. - Even Satan ... angel of light. This is one of Satan's devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). The allusion may be to the temptation (Matthew 4:8, 9); or to the appearances of Satan with the angels before God in the Book of Job (Job 2:1); or perhaps to the Jewish hagadah, that the "angel" who wrestled with Jacob was in reality Satan.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And no marvel,.... This need not be wondered at, nor is it any new or strange thing; nor should it be thought to be incredible that there are such persons in being:
for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light; a good angel, one that has his abode in the regions of light; and is possessed of divine and spiritual light and understanding; who is clothed and arrayed with light, this is his form and essence. The apostle speaks agreeably to the notion, of the Jews, who say (t),
"rwa Mh Mlk Mykalmhv, "that all the angels are light", the clothing of God himself;''
and they have a distinction between , "angels of the day", and angels of the night (u): now Satan, the enemy of mankind, sometimes appears in the form of one of these; as he did to Eve in the garden, and to Christ in the wilderness; and by such appearances he often imposes on mankind; pretends the greatest friendship, when he designs nothing but ruin; and under a notion of good, either honest, or pleasant, or profitable, draws on into the commission of the greatest evils; and, under a show of truth, introduces the most notorious falsehoods and errors; and, under a pretence of religion, all sorts of idolatry, superstition, and impiety; it is in this way he has succeeded in his enterprises and temptations; these are his wiles, stratagems, and cunning devices.
(t) R. Abraham Seba, Tzeror Hammor, fol. 18. 4. (u) Zohar in Numb. fol. 91. 1. & 93. 3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. is transformed—rather, "transforms himself" (compare Job 1:6); habitually; the first occasion of his doing so was in tempting Eve. "Himself" is emphatical: If their master himself, who is the "prince of darkness," the most alien to light, does so, it is less marvellous in the case of them who are his servants (Lu 22:54; Eph 6:12).
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