2 Corinthians 6:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

New Living Translation
Don't team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?

English Standard Version
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

New American Standard Bible
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

King James Bible
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?

International Standard Version
Stop becoming unevenly yoked with unbelievers. What partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? What fellowship can light have with darkness?

NET Bible
Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Do not be associates with those who are unbelievers; for what partnership has righteousness with evil, or what intimacy has light with darkness?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Stop forming inappropriate relationships with unbelievers. Can right and wrong be partners? Can light have anything in common with darkness?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship does righteousness have with unrighteousness? and what communion does light have with darkness?

King James 2000 Bible
Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what partnership has light with darkness?

American King James Version
Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?

American Standard Version
Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness?

Darby Bible Translation
Be not diversely yoked with unbelievers; for what participation [is there] between righteousness and lawlessness? or what fellowship of light with darkness?

English Revised Version
Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness?

Webster's Bible Translation
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Weymouth New Testament
Do not come into close association with unbelievers, like oxen yoked with asses. For what is there in common between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what partnership has light with darkness?

World English Bible
Don't be unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Young's Literal Translation
Become not yoked with others -- unbelievers, for what partaking is there to righteousness and lawlessness?
Parallel Commentaries
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?

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 14. - Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. Ewald, followed by Dean Stanley, Holsten, and others, thinks that here there is a sudden dislocation of the argument, and some have even supposed that the section, 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, is either an after thought written by the apostle on the margin of the Epistle after it was finished; or even an interpolation. The latter view has arisen from the unusual expressions of the section, and the use of the word "Belial," and the command of Greek shown by the varied expressions. There is no adequate ground for these conjectures. Every writer is conscious of moods in which words come to him more fluently than at other times, and all writers of deep feeling, like St. Paul, abound in sudden transitions which correspond to the lightning-like rapidity of their thoughts. It is doubtful whether the readers would not have seen at once the sequence of thought, which depends on circumstances which we can only conjecture. Probably the alienation from St. Paul had its root in some tampering with unbelievers. Such might at any rate have been the case among the Gentile members of the Church, some of whom were even willing to go to sacrificial feasts in heathen temples (1 Corinthians 8-10.). "Unequally yoked" is a metaphor derived from Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:10, and is the opposite of "true yoke fellow" (Philippians 4:3). What fellowship; literally, participation (Ephesians 5:6-11). Unrighteousness; literally, lawlessness (1 John 3:4). It was a special mark of heathen life (Romans 7:19). Light with darkness. This antithesis is specially prominent in Ephesians 5:9-11 and Colossians 1:12, 13, and in the writings of St. John (John 1:5; John 3:19; 1 John, passim).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers,.... This seems to be an allusion to the law in Deuteronomy 22:10 and to be a mystical explanation of it; and is to be understood not as forbidding civil society and converse with unbelievers; for this is impracticable, then must believers needs go out of the world; this the many natural and civil relations subsisting among men make absolutely necessary; and in many cases is both lawful and laudable, especially when there is any opportunity or likelihood of doing them any service in a spiritual way: not is it to be understood as dehorting from entering into marriage contracts with such persons; for such marriages the apostle, in his former epistle, had allowed to be lawful, and what ought to be abode by; though believers would do well carefully to avoid such an unequal yoke, since oftentimes they are hereby exposed to many snares, temptations, distresses, and sorrows, which generally more or less follow hereon: but there is nothing in the text or context that lead to such an interpretation; rather, if any particular thing is referred to, it is to joining with unbelievers in acts of idolatry; since one of the apostle's arguments to dissuade from being unequally yoked with unbelievers is, "what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" and from the foregoing epistle it looks as if some in this church had joined with them in such practices; see 1 Corinthians 10:14. But I rather think that these words are a dissuasive in general, from having any fellowship with unbelievers in anything sinful and criminal, whether in worship or in conversation:

for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? This, with what is said in the following verse, and in the beginning of the next to that, contain reasons or arguments engaging believers to attend to the exhortation given not to keep company with unbelievers. By "righteousness" is meant righteous persons, who are made the righteousness of God in Christ, to whom Christ is made righteousness, or to whom the righteousness of Christ is imputed for justification; and who also have principles of grace and holiness in their hearts, or have the kingdom of God in them, which consists of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; and who being made free from the dominion of sin, are become servants of righteousness: and by unrighteousness is designed unrighteous persons, who are destitute of a justifying righteousness, are filled with all unrighteousness, and are, as it were, a mass and lump of iniquity; now, what fellowship can there be between persons of such distant characters?

And what communion hath light with darkness? regenerate men are made light in the Lord; they are enlightened into their state and condition by nature, to see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, to behold the glory, beauty, fulness, and suitableness of Christ, so as to be sensible of their need of him, and to be able to look unto him for life and salvation; they are enlightened more or less into the doctrines of the Gospel, and the duties of religion; and their path is a shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect day. Unregenerate persons are "darkness" itself; they are dark and ignorant of God in Christ, of the way of salvation by Christ, of the work of the Spirit of God upon the heart, and of the mysteries of grace; they know not themselves, nor the sad estate they are in; they are born, and brought up in darkness worse than Egyptian darkness; they go on in it, and if grace prevent not, will be cast into utter and eternal darkness. Now, what "communion" can there be between persons so different one from another? for what is more so than light and darkness? these the God of nature has divided from each other; and they are in nature irreconcilable to one another, and so they are in grace.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

14. Be not—Greek, "Become not."

unequally yoked—"yoked with one alien in spirit." The image is from the symbolical precept of the law (Le 19:19), "Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind"; or the precept (De 22:10), "Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together." Compare De 7:3, forbidding marriages with the heathen; also 1Co 7:39. The believer and unbeliever are utterly heterogeneous. Too close intercourse with unbelievers in other relations also is included (2Co 6:16; 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 (1Th 5:5).

2 Corinthians 6:14 Additional Commentaries
Context
Do Not Be Unequally Yoked
14Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?…
Cross References
Genesis 24:3
I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living,

Deuteronomy 22:10
Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.

Ezra 9:2
They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness."

1 Corinthians 5:9
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people--

1 Corinthians 6:6
But instead, one brother takes another to court--and this in front of unbelievers!

1 Corinthians 7:39
A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:7
Therefore do not be partners with them.

Ephesians 5:11
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

1 John 1:6
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
Treasury of Scripture

Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?

unequally.

Exodus 34:16 And you take of their daughters to your sons, and their daughters …

Leviticus 19:19 You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle engender …

Deuteronomy 7:2,3 And when the LORD your God shall deliver them before you; you shall …

Deuteronomy 22:9-11 You shall not sow your vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit …

Ezra 9:1,2,11,12 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, …

Ezra 10:19 And they gave their hands that they would put away their wives; and …

Nehemiah 13:1-3,23-26 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the …

Psalm 106:35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.

Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man you shall not go:

Malachi 2:11,15 Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in …

1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote to you in an letter not to company with fornicators:

1 Corinthians 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if …

1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

James 4:4 You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship …

for.

1 Samuel 5:2,3 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the …

1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long halt you between …

2 Chronicles 19:2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said …

Psalm 16:3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in …

Psalm 26:4,5,9,10 I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers…

Psalm 44:20,21 If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands …

Psalm 101:3-5 I will set no wicked thing before my eyes: I hate the work of them …

Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear you, and of them that keep your precepts.

Psalm 139:21,22 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate you? and am not I grieved with …

Proverbs 29:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright …

John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of …

John 15:18,19 If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you…

Acts 4:23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all …

1 Corinthians 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: you …

Ephesians 5:6-11 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things …

1 John 3:12-14 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And …

and what.

Proverbs 8:18,19 Riches and honor are with me; yes, durable riches and righteousness…

Romans 13:12-14 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast …

Ephesians 4:17-20 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you from now …

Ephesians 5:8-14 For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: …

Philippians 2:15 That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without …

1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake …

1 Peter 2:9,10 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, …

1 Peter 4:2-4 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to …

1 John 1:5-7 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare …

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