2 Corinthians 3:10
For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
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(10) For even that which was made glorious had no glory.—More accurately, St. Paul reproducing the very tense which he found in the LXX. of Exodus 34:35, that which had been glorified has not been glorifiedi.e., has lost its glory.

In this respect . . .—The phrase is the same as in 2Corinthians 9:3; 1Peter 4:16. The English expresses it very fairly. “In this point,” as compared with the gospel, the Law has lost its glory; it is thrown into the shade by “the glory that excelleth.” The imagery seems to bring before us the symbolic meaning of the Transfiguration. Moses and Elijah appear in glory, but the glory of the Son of Man surpasses that of either. (Comp. Notes on Matthew 16:1-4.) The word for “excelleth” may be noted as peculiar to St. Paul among the writers of the New Testament.

2 Corinthians 3:10-11. Even that which was made glorious — The law, especially at its first dispensation; had no glory in this respect, &c. — That is, none in comparison of the gospel, which has such a transcendent glory in it. The greater light swallows up the less. For if that which is done away — The law, and the whole Mosaic dispensation, which, being only typical and shadowy, of course ceased when the antitype and substance came. Hence its priesthood is changed, Hebrews 7:11-12; its covenant, Hebrews 8:6; its sanctuary and whole service, Hebrews 9:1-9; with all its privileges and blessings, they being generally of a worldly and carnal nature; much more that which remaineth — The gospel, which is to continue without any alteration to the end of time; is glorious — Its high- priest is consecrated for ever, and has an unchangeable priesthood, Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 7:24; Hebrews 7:28. Its law, or covenant, remains the same through all ages: its sanctuary, the visible church, is built on a rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it: its spiritual worship and service are of perpetual obligation; and its privileges and blessings, being all of a spiritual and heavenly nature, though possessed in their first-fruits in time, shall be reaped in their full harvest in eternity. Such are the three particulars in which the glory of the new covenant far exceeds that of the old.

3:1-11 Even the appearance of self-praise and courting human applause, is painful to the humble and spiritual mind. Nothing is more delightful to faithful ministers, or more to their praise, than the success of their ministry, as shown in the spirits and lives of those among whom they labour. The law of Christ was written in their hearts, and the love of Christ shed abroad there. Nor was it written in tables of stone, as the law of God given to Moses, but on the fleshy (not fleshly, as fleshliness denotes sensuality) tables of the heart, Eze 36:26. Their hearts were humbled and softened to receive this impression, by the new-creating power of the Holy Spirit. He ascribes all the glory to God. And remember, as our whole dependence is upon the Lord, so the whole glory belongs to him alone. The letter killeth: the letter of the law is the ministration of death; and if we rest only in the letter of the gospel, we shall not be the better for so doing: but the Holy Spirit gives life spiritual, and life eternal. The Old Testament dispensation was the ministration of death, but the New Testament of life. The law made known sin, and the wrath and curse of God; it showed us a God above us, and a God against us; but the gospel makes known grace, and Emmanuel, God with us. Therein the righteousness of God by faith is revealed; and this shows us that the just shall live by his faith; this makes known the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ, for obtaining the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The gospel so much exceeds the law in glory, that it eclipses the glory of the legal dispensation. But even the New Testament will be a killing letter, if shown as a mere system or form, and without dependence on God the Holy Spirit, to give it a quickening power.For even that which was made glorious - (τὸ δεδοξασμένον to dedoxasmenon). That was splendid, excellent, or glorious. This refers doubtless, to the laws and institutions of Moses, especially to the primary giving of the Law. Paul does not deny that it had an honor and majesty such, in some respects, as the Jews claimed for it. It was glorious in the manner in which it was given; it was glorious in the purity of the Law itself; and it was glorious, or splendid in the magnificent and imposing ritual in which the worship of God was celebrated. But all this was surpassed in the brighter glory of the gospel.

Had no glory - Greek: "Was not glorious, or splendid" (οὐδὲ δεδόξασται oude deoxastai. It had comparatively no glory or splendor. Its glory was all eclipsed. It was like the splendor of the moon and stars compared with the bright light of the sun.

By reason of the glory that excelleth - In the gospel; in the incarnation, life, sufferings, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus; in the pardon of sin; in the peace and joy of the believer; and in the glories of the heavenly world to which the gospel elevates dying men.

10. For even the ministration of condemnation, the law, 2Co 3:7 (which has been glorified at Sinai in Moses' person), has now (English Version translates less fitly, "was made … had") lost its glory in this respect by reason of the surpassing glory (of the Gospel): as the light of the stars and moon fades in the presence of the sun. The law had in it something of intrinsic glory and excellency, as it was the revelation of the will of God to and concerning his creatures; there was an inseparable glory attending it upon that account: and it was made glorious in the ministration of it; as it pleased God that the giving of it should be attended with thunder and lightning, fire and smoke, and an earthquake, and a voice like to the sound of a trumpet, as we read, Exodus 19:16-18: this was an accidental and adventitious glory, and made that which was glorious in itself, glorious also in the eyes of the people, that saw and heard these things. But yet, saith the apostle, if we compare it with the glory of the gospel, it had comparatively no glory; so much doth that excel. For though the law was the revelation of the Divine will, as well as the gospel, yet the law was the revelation of the Divine will but as to duty, and wrath, in case of the nonperformance of that duty: but the gospel is the revelation of the Divine will, as to grace and mercy, as to remission of sin, and eternal life. And although the gospel came not into the world as the law, with thunder, and lightning, and earthquakes; yet that was ushered in by angels, foretelling the birth and office of John the Baptist, and of Christ; by the great sign of the virgin’s conceiving and bringing forth a Son; by a voice from heaven, proclaiming Christ the Father’s only begotten Son, in whom he was well pleased. But that which the apostle doth here principally intend, is the exceeding excellency of it, in regard of its further usefulness and comfortable nature.

For even that which was made glorious,.... The apostle grants that there was a glory in the law: it "was made glorious"; it was glorious in the author of it, who is God; it was of his appointing and ordaining, agreeable to his nature, and a declaration of his will; his authority was stamped upon it, and it was written by himself, which cannot be said of any other law whatever; it was glorious in its promulgation, God himself appeared in great glory at the giving of it; Christ was then present; it was ordained by angels, and by them delivered into the hands of Moses, on whose face such a glory was left as could not be steadfastly looked upon; and it was attended with thunderings, lightnings, the sound of a trumpet, &c. it was glorious in the matter of it, it contained great and excellent things; the substance of it is love to God, and to our neighbour; and it was glorious in its properties, being, in its nature and substance, holy, just, good, spiritual, perfect, immutable, and eternal; but yet

had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. There is such an excelling glory in the Gospel, that the other is swallowed up and lost in it; it excels it in those things in which it was so glorious: in the author of it, which, though the same, yet with this difference; the law was given by God as a judge, the Gospel by him as a Father, as the Father of Christ, and of his people in him; the law is the birth of his holiness and righteousness, the Gospel of his wisdom, grace, and love; the law declares his will with respect to duty, the Gospel with respect to salvation; the authority of God is stamped on the law, but the Gospel is the image of Christ; the law was written by the finger of God, but the Gospel was hid in his heart, and came from thence: in the promulgation of it, through the long train of patriarchs and prophets, that went before it to usher it in; it was published by Christ, the Son of God himself, confirmed by the gifts and miracles of the Holy Ghost, and in it is a greater display of the glory of God; it was attended with angels too, and a voice from heaven delightful and not terrible; and there was a glory on Christ's countenance, far exceeding that of Moses's: in the matter of it; which is the love, grace, and mercy of God; the Lord Jesus Christ, in all the glories and fulness of his person and offices; salvation by him, spiritual blessings, exceeding great and precious promises; neither of which are to be observed in the law: the ordinances of it vastly exceed the legal ones; and it has greatly the advantage of it in its effects on the souls of men, when accompanied by the Spirit of God.

For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
2 Corinthians 3:10. A more precise grounding of the previous πολλῷ μᾶλλον περισσεύει κ.τ.λ. by the highest climax of this relation. For even (καὶ γάρ) that which is glorious is without glory in this point by reason of the superabundant glory.

οὐ δεδόξασται] The chief element is prefixed, and combined into one idea (Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 122; Baeuml. p. 278): gloria destitutum est. The perfect denotes the continuance of what had taken place; Kühner, II. p. 70.

τὸ δεδοξασμένον] is referred to the Mosaic religious economy by Emmerling and Olshausen, following older expositors, quite against the context. Most refer it to the ministry of Moses, which had been made glorious through the radiance on his countenance, 2 Corinthians 3:7-9. But see belo.

ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μέρει] in this respect (2 Corinthians 9:3; 1 Peter 4:16; Colossians 2:16; often in Greek authors), is joined with τὸ δεδοξασμένον by Fritzsche, l.c. p. 31 (also de Wette and Ewald): “quod collustratum fuit hac parte h. e. ita, ut per splendorem, qui in Mosis facie conspiciebatur, illustre redderetur.” But on the one hand—supposing that τὸ δεδοξασμ. denotes the ministry of Moses—the ἐν τρύτῳ τῷ μέρει so taken would be an utterly superfluous addition, since the reader would already have had full information in accordance with the context through τὸ δεδοξασμ. having the article; on the other hand, we should expect τούτῳ to point to something said just before, which, however, is not the case, since we must go back as far as 2 Corinthians 3:7. If, again, with Ewald, we take ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μέρει as “in all that is Jewish, apart from what is Christian,” and refer it to the then still subsisting state of the temple, synagogue, etc., how enigmatically Paul would have expressed himself, without any hint of his meaning in the context! Following Chrysostom (κατὰ τὸν τῆς συγκρίσεως λόγον) and Theodoret (ἀποβλέπων εἰς τούτους, namely, to the ministers of the N. T.), most commentators (including Billroth, Olshausen, Osiander, Hofmann) join it with οὐ δεδόξ., so that it would indicate the reference in which the sentence οὐ δεδόξ. τὸ δεδοξ. holds good (see Hofmann), and consequently would have the meaning: “over against the office of Moses.” But how utterly superfluous, and in fact cumbrous, would this ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μερ. be if so taken, especially seeing that there still follows ἕνεκεν τ. ὑπερβ. δοξ., which serves to throw light upon the relation asserted! How surprising would this amplification be at this very point, where the comparison is carried to the highest pitch, and the representation is so forcibly and pithily begun by the oxymoron οὐ δεδόξ. τὸ δεδοξ.! Rückert (following Flatt) connects also with οὐ δεδόξασται, but explains it: in this respect, that is, in so far as the first διακονία was the διακονία τῆς κατακρίσεως. At variance with the connection. For not in so far as the Mosaic διακονία ministered to condemnation and death, is its splendour darkened, but in so far as its splendour is outshone by a far greater splendour,—that of the διακονία of the N. T. Besides, if the assumed reference of ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μέρει were to be held correct, the κατάκρισις would necessarily be the principal element (predicate) in what precedes, not merely an attributive definition of the subject. On the whole, the following explanation, against which none but quite irrelevant objections[163] are made, seems to be the right one: ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μέρει is certainly to be connected with οὐ δεδόξασται; τὸ δεδοξασμένον, however, is not to be taken as a designation of the Mosaic διακονία in concreto, but signifies that which is glorified generally, in abstracto; so that, in addition to the οὐ δεδόξασται said of it, there is also given with ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μέρει the reference to the particular concrete thing of which the apostle is speaking, the reference to the ministry of Moses, namely, thus: “for in this respect, i.e. in respect of the relation of glory in which the Mosaic δισκονία stands to the Christian (2 Corinthians 3:9), it is even the case that what is glorified is unglorified.” Analogously, the δόξα of the moon, for instance, is no δόξα, when the δόξα of the sun beams forth (1 Corinthians 15:14).

ἕνεκεν τῆς ὑπερβαλλ. δόξης] by reason of (Stallbaum, ad Plat. Rep. p. 329 B) the superabundant glory, which obscures the δεδοξασμένον, exhibits its δόξα as relatively no δόξα. This applies to the future glory of the N. T. διακονία, setting in at the αἰὼν μέλλων, but already conceived as present.

[163] The objection made by Osiander is a dilemma logically incorrect. Hofmann urges that ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μέρει cannot mean: in this case. But it is not at all alleged to have that meaning, but rather: in this point, i. e. hoc respectu, in the relation under discussion. See on this adverbial usage, C. Fr. Herm. ad Lucian. hist. concer. p. 8.

2 Corinthians 3:10. καὶ γὰρ οὐ δεδόξασται: for that which hath been made glorious, sc., the Ministration of the Old Covenant, hath not [really] been made glorious in this respect, viz., on account of the surpassing glory (of the Ministration of the New Covenant); i.e., the surpassing glory of the second made the glory of the first seem nought. The phraseology of Exodus 34:35 (τὸ πρόσωπον Μωσῆδεδόξασται) is still in the Apostle’s mind. ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μέρει has been otherwise explained as equivalent to “in this instance of Moses”; but it seems (see ref.) to be merely a redundant phrase, added for the sake of emphasis, introducing ἕνεκεν τῆς ὑπερβ. δόξ.

10. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth] Rather, For even that which has been glorified (i.e. the face of Moses, typical of the Law) has not been glorified in this respect (i.e. in comparison of the New Covenant. The Geneva Version renders ‘in this point’—see ch. 2 Corinthians 9:3, where the expression occurs again, also the received text in 1 Peter 4:16) on account of the glory (i.e. of the New Covenant) which surpasses (it). Other explanations of the passage have been given, but Bp. Wordsworth, who places this passage and the LXX. of Exodus 34 in parallel columns, shews how St Paul throughout this chapter is using the very words of the LXX., which must therefore be the index to his meaning. He paraphrases thus: “that was glorified, but glorious as it was, it was not glorified in one respect—that is, it was not glorified relatively to and in comparison with the Evangelical Ministry, which far transcends its glory, and absorbs it.”

2 Corinthians 3:10. Οὐδὲ δεδόξασται, was not even glorified [had no glory]) The limitation immediately follows, in this respect. The greater light obscures the less.—τὸ δεδοξασμένον, that which was glorified) So LXX:, Exodus 34:29; Exodus 34:35, קרן, δεδόξασται.

Verse 10. - For. He proceeds to show that the latter ministration was far more superabundant in glory. That which was made glorious, etc. Many various interpretations have been offered of this text. The meaning almost undoubtedly is, "For even that which has been glorified [namely, the Mosaic ministry, as typified by the splendour of his face] has not been glorified in this respect [i.e. in the respect of its relation to another ministry], because of the surpassing glory [of the latter]." In other words, the glory of Mosaism is so completely outdazzled by the splendour of the gospel, that, relatively speaking, it has no glory left; the moon and the stars cease to shine, they "pale their ineffectual fires" when the sun is in the zenith. The phrase, "in this respect," occurs again in 2 Corinthians 9:3 and 1 Peter 4:16. 2 Corinthians 3:10That which was made glorious had no glory in this respect (οὐ δεδόξασται τὸ δεδοξασμένον ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μὲρει)

Rev., that which hath been made glorious hath not been made glorious. The peculiar form of expression is taken from Exodus 34:29, Exodus 34:35, Sept., "Moses knew not that the appearance of the skin of his face was glorified." "The children of Israel saw the face of Moses that it was glorified." Much unnecessary difficulty has been made, chiefly about the connection and meaning of in this respect. That which hath been made glorious is the ministry of death and condemnation (2 Corinthians 3:7, 2 Corinthians 3:9), the ministry of Moses in the giving of the law, which ministry was temporarily glorified in the shining of Moses' face. Hath not been made glorious is only another way of expressing was passing away (2 Corinthians 3:7): of saying that the temporary glory of Moses' ministry faded and paled before the glory of the ministry of Christ. The figure which pervades the whole passage (2 Corinthians 3:7-11) is that of a glorified face. The ministration of the law, impersonated in Moses, is described as having its face glorified. It is to this that in this respect refers. Paul says that the ministry of the law, which was temporarily glorified in the face of Moses, is no longer glorified in this respect; that is, it no longer appears with glorified face, because of the glory that excelleth, the glory of Christ ministering the Gospel, before which it fades away and is as if it had not been. This accords with ch. 4, where the theme is the same as here, ministry or ministration (2 Corinthians 4:1); and where the christian revelation is described as "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6). This is the key to our passage. To the same purpose is 2 Corinthians 4:18, where the Christian is represented as gazing, through the Gospel, with unveiled face, upon the glory of God in Christ, and as being changed thereby into the image of Christ. The glory of the law in the face of Moses has faded before the glory of the Gospel in the face of Jesus Christ.

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