|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:11-18 It is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. The word unbeliever applies to all destitute of true faith. True pastors will caution their beloved children in the gospel, not to be unequally yoked. The fatal effects of neglecting Scripture precepts as to marriages clearly appear. Instead of a help meet, the union brings a snare. Those whose cross it is to be unequally united, without their wilful fault, may expect consolation under it; but when believers enter into such unions, against the express warnings of God's word, they must expect must distress. The caution also extends to common conversation. We should not join in friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers. Though we cannot wholly avoid seeing and hearing, and being with such, yet we should never choose them for friends. We must not defile ourselves by converse with those who defile themselves with sin. Come out from the workers of iniquity, and separate from their vain and sinful pleasures and pursuits; from all conformity to the corruptions of this present evil world. If it be an envied privilege to be the son or daughter of an earthly prince, who can express the dignity and happiness of being sons and daughters of the Almighty?
Verse 12. - Ye are not straitened in us. Any narrowing of the sympathy or straining of the relations between us does not rise in any way from me. (For the verb, see 2 Corinthians 4:8.) Ye are straitened in your own bowels; rather, in your own hearts. Any tightening or pressure of the feelings which should exist between us rises solely from your own hearts. Enlarge and open them, as I have done, and we shall once more love each other aright. The verb has already occurred in 2 Corinthians 4:8 ("distressed"). Your own bowels. It is to be regretted that the Authorized Version adopted the meaningless and often rather incongruous word "bowels" for the Greek word σπλάγχνα used in its Hebraic sense of "feelings," "affections" (Song of Solomon 5:4; Isaiah 16:11). This literalism is always out of place, and especially in Philemon 1:7, 12, 20.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ye are not straitened in us,.... The meaning of which is, either you are not brought into straits and difficulties by us; we do not afflict and distress you, or fill you with anguish and trouble;
but ye are straitened in your own bowels; you are distressed by some among yourselves, who ought not to be with you, with whom you should have no fellowship and communion: or thus, you have room enough in our hearts, our hearts are so enlarged with love to you, that they are large enough to hold you all; an expression, setting forth the exceeding great love, and strong affection the apostle bore to the Corinthians; when, on the other hand, they had but very little love to him comparatively; he had a heart to hold them all without being straitened for room; and among all them they could scarce find room enough in their hearts and affections for him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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 2Co 12:15).
not straitened in us—that is, for want of room in our hearts to take you in.
2 Corinthians 6:12 Parallel Commentaries
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