2 Corinthians 10:6
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
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And having in a readiness ... - I am ready to punish all disobedience, notwithstanding all that is said to the contrary; see the notes on 2 Corinthians 10:1-2. Clothed as I am with this power; aiming to subdue all things to Christ, though the weapons of my warfare are not carnal, and though I am modest or timid 2 Corinthians 10:1 when I am with you, I am prepared to take any measures of severity required by my apostolic office, in order that I may inflict deserved punishment on those who have violated the laws of Christ. The design of this is, to meet the objection of his enemies, that he would not dare to execute his threatenings.

When your obedience is fulfilled - Doddridge renders this: "now your obedience is fulfilled, and the sounder part of your church restored to due order and submission." The idea seems to be, that Paul was ready to inflict discipline when the church had showed a readiness to obey his laws, and to do its own duty - delicately intimating that the reason why it was not done was the lack of entire promptness in the church itself, and that it could not be done on any offender as long as the church itself was not prepared to sustain him. The church was to discountenance the enemies of the Redeemer; to show an entire readiness to sustain the apostle, and to unite with him in the effort to maintain the discipline of Christ's house.

And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience - I am ready, through this mighty armor of God, to punish those opposers of the doctrine of Christ, and the disobedience which has been produced by them.

When your obedience is fulfilled - When you have in the fullest manner, discountenanced those men, and separated yourselves from their communion. The apostle was not in haste to pull up the tares, lest he should pull up the wheat also.

All the terms in these two verses are military. Allusion is made to a strongly fortified city, where the enemy had made his last stand; entrenching himself about the walls; strengthening all his redoubts and ramparts; raising castles, towers, and various engines of defense and offense upon the walls; and neglecting nothing that might tend to render his strong hold impregnable. The army of God comes against the place and attacks it; the strong holds οχυροματα, all the fortified places, are carried. The imaginations, λογισμοι, engines, and whatever the imagination or skill of man could raise, are speedily taken and destroyed. Every high thing, παν ὑψωμα, all the castles and towers are sapped, thrown down and demolished; the walls are battered into breaches; and the besieging army, carrying every thing at the point of the sword, enter the city, storm and take the citadel. Every where defeated, the conquered submit, and are brought into captivity, αιχμαλωτιζοντες, are led away captives; and thus the whole government is destroyed.

It is easy to apply these things, as far as may be consistent with the apostle's design. The general sense I have given in the preceding notes.

And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience,.... Not with the temporal sword, as the civil magistrate, but with the spiritual one; meaning either censures and excommunication, which a faithful minister of the Gospel, with the suffrage of the church, has at hand, and a power to make use of, for the reclaiming of disobedient persons; or rather that extraordinary power which was peculiar to the apostles, of inflicting punishments on delinquents, such as what was exercised by Peter upon Ananias and Sapphira, by the Apostle Paul on Elymas the sorcerer, the incestuous person, and Hymenaeus and Philetus, and which still continued with him; it was ready at hand, he could exercise it whenever he pleased, he only waited a proper time:

when your obedience is fulfilled: till they were thoroughly reformed from the several abuses, both in doctrine and practice, they had fallen into, and were brought into a better order and decorum, and appeared to have been in all things obedient to the directions he had given; being unwilling, as yet, to use the awful authority he had from Christ, lest any of the dear children of God, who were capable of being restored by gentler methods, should suffer with the refractory and incorrigible.

And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.6. Translate, "Having ourselves (that is, being) in readiness to exact punishment for all disobedience," &c. We have this in store for the disobedient: it will be brought into action in due time.

when your obedience, &c.—He charitably assumes that most of the Corinthian Church will act obediently; therefore he says "YOUR obedience." But perhaps some will act otherwise; in order, therefore, to give all an opportunity of joining the obedient, he will not prematurely exact punishment, but wait until the full number of those gathered out to Christ has been "completed," and the remainder have been proved incorrigible. He had acted already so at Corinth (Ac 18:6-11; compare Ex 32:34; Mt 13:28-30).

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. 10:6 To revenge all disobedience. These spiritual weapons are ready to punish all disobedience at Corinth, when time had been given for all who are disposed to be obedient to show it.Verse 6. - Being in a readiness; i.e. being quite prepared. My sternness of purpose is ready, but my hope is that it may not be called into action. To revenge; rather, to do justice upon. In any case, in this infliction of justice, whatever form it might take, he would only be an agent of God (Romans 12:19). When your obedience is fulfilled. St. Paul is confident that he will overcome the mazes of those opposed to him, and win them to Christ's obedience; but if there were any who should obstinately refuse to submit, they must be reduced to submission by action, not by words.


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To avenge all disobedience, etc.

The military metaphor continued. After most have surrendered and thus fulfilled their obedience, some rebels may remain, and these will be punished.

10:6 Being in readiness to avenge all disobedience - Not only by spiritual censure, but miraculous punishments. When your obedience is fulfilled - When the sound part of you have given proof of your obedience, so that I am in no danger of punishing the innocent with the guilty.
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