2 Corinthians 12:7
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.

King James Bible
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

American Standard Version
And by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I should not be exalted overmuch.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me.

English Revised Version
And by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations--wherefore, that I should not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I should not be exalted overmuch.

Webster's Bible Translation
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

Weymouth New Testament
And judging by the stupendous grandeur of the revelations--therefore lest I should be over-elated there has been sent to me, like the agony of impalement, Satan's angel dealing blow after blow, lest I should be over-elated.

2 Corinthians 12:7 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Abundance (ὑπερβολῇ)

Rev., more correctly, the exceeding greatness.

Thorn (σκόλοψ)

Only here in the New Testament. Frequent in classical Greek in the sense of a pale or stake. It occurs once in Euripides, meaning a stump ("Bacchae," 983). It is a stake for a palisade, or for impaling; a surgical instrument; the point of a fish-hook. In the Septuagint it occurs three times, translated thorn in Hosea 2:6, where, however, it is distinguished from ἀκάνθαις thorns; brier in Ezekiel 28:24, and prick in Numbers 33:55. Nine different Hebrew words are rendered by thorn, for which, in the great majority of cases, Septuagint gives ἄκανθα. The rendering thorn for σκόλοψ has no support. The figure is that of the impaling stake. Herodotus, alluding to this punishment, uses ἀνασκολοπίζειν (i., 128; 3, 132). In the ninth book of his history, Lampon says to Pausanias: "When Leonidas was slain at Thermopylae, Xerxes and Mardonius beheaded and crucified (ἀνεσταύρωσαν) him. Do thou the like by Mardonius.... for by crucifying (ἀνασκολοπίσας) thou wilt avenge Leonidas" (ix., 78). The verb seems, therefore, to have been used interchangeably with crucify; and clear instances of this occur in Philo and Lucian. At least one text of the Septuagint gives ἀνασκολοπίζω in Esther 7:10, of Haman's being hanged. See further, on Galatians 2:20. The explanations of the peculiar nature of this affliction are numerous. Opinions are divided, generally, between mental or spiritual and bodily trials. Under the former head are sensual desires, faint-heartedness, doubts, temptations to despair, and blasphemous suggestions from the devil. Under the latter, persecution, mean personal appearance, headache, epilepsy, earache, stone, ophthalmia. It was probably a bodily malady, in the flesh; but its nature must remain a matter of conjecture. Very plausible reasons are given in favor of both epilepsy and ophthalmia. Bishop Lightfoot inclines to the former, and Archdeacon Farrar thinks that it was almost certainly the latter.

Messenger of Satan (ἄγγελος Σατᾶν)

The torment is thus personified. Messenger is the word commonly rendered angel in the New Testament, though sometimes used of human messengers, as Luke 7:24, Luke 7:27; Luke 9:52; James 2:25; see also on the angels of the churches, Revelation 1:20. Messenger and Satan are not to be taken in apposition - a messenger who was Satan - because Satan is never called ἄγγελος in the New Testament. Messenger is figurative, in the sense of agent. Satan is conceived in the New Testament as the originator of bodily evil. Thus, in the gospel narrative, demoniac possession is often accompanied with some form of disease. Compare Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38, and see on 1 Corinthians 5:5.

Buffet (κολαφίζῃ)

Connect with messenger, which better suits depart; not with thorn, which would be a confusion of metaphor, a stake buffeting. For the verb, meaning to strike with the fist, see Matthew 26:67; Mark 14:65; 1 Peter 2:20. Compare Job 2:5, Job 2:7, where the Septuagint has ἅψαι touch, and ἔπαισε smote.

2 Corinthians 12:7 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

lest.

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God...

2 Corinthians 11:20 For you suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself...

Deuteronomy 8:14 Then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt...

Deuteronomy 17:20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brothers, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left...

2 Chronicles 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God...

2 Chronicles 32:25,26,31 But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done to him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath on him...

Daniel 5:20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne...

1 Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

the abundance.

2 Corinthians 12:1-4 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord...

a thorn.

Genesis 32:25,31 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint...

Judges 2:3 Why I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides...

Ezekiel 28:24 And there shall be no more a pricking brier to the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them...

Galatians 4:13 You know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel to you at the first.

the messenger.

Job 2:7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to his crown.

Luke 13:16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, see, these eighteen years...

1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

to buffet.

Matthew 26:67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,

1 Corinthians 4:11 Even to this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place;

Cross References
Numbers 33:55
But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell.

Job 2:6
And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life."

Ezekiel 28:24
"And for the house of Israel there shall be no more a brier to prick or a thorn to hurt them among all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord GOD.

Hosea 2:6
Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths.

Matthew 4:10
Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'"

1 Corinthians 5:5
you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 10:10
For they say, "His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account."

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