Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Persecuted, but not forsaken.—Better, perhaps, as expressing in both terms of the clause the condition of a soldier on the field of battle, pursued, yet not abandoned. The next clause is again distinctly military, or, perhaps, agonistic: stricken down (as the soldier by some dart or javelin), yet not perishing. In the “faint, yet pursuing,” of Judges 8:4, we have an antithesis of the same kind in a narrative of actual warfare.
But not forsaken - Not deserted; nor left by God Though persecuted by people, yet they experi enced the fulfillment of the divine promise that he would never leave nor forsake them. God always interposed to aid them; always saved them from the power of their enemies; always sustained them in the time of persecution. It is still true. His people have been often persecuted. Yet God has often interposed to save them from the hands of their enemies; and where he has not saved them from their hands, and preserved their lives, yet he has never left them, but has sustained, upheld, and comforted them even in the dreadful agonies of death.
Cast down - Thrown down by our enemies, perhaps in allusion to the contests of wrestlers, or of gladiators.
But not destroyed - Not killed. They rose again; they recovered their strength; they were prepared for new conflicts. They surmounted every difficulty, and were ready to engage in new strifes, and to meet new trials and persecutions.
cast down—or "struck down"; not only "persecuted," that is, chased as a deer or bird (1Sa 26:20), but actually struck down as with a dart in the chase (Heb 11:35-38). The Greek "always" in this verse means, "throughout the whole time"; in 2Co 4:11 the Greek is different, and means, "at every time," "in every case when the occasion occurs."Persecuted; violently pursued and prosecuted by such as are the adversaries of the gospel, and enemies to our Lord Jesus, because of our profession of him, and preaching his gospel;
but yet not forsaken of God, nor wholly of men; God, by the inward influences of his Holy Spirit, supporting, upholding, and comforting us; and also, by his providence, raising us up some friends that stick by us.
Cast down, either in our own thoughts, (as it is the nature of worldly troubles and afflictions to sink men’s thoughts), or cast down by the violence of men, thrown to the earth;
but not destroyed; but yet we live, and are by the mighty power of God preserved, that we are not utterly destroyed.
cast down we sometimes are, as an earthen vessel; 2 Corinthians 4:7, which may be cast out of a man's hands, in order to be dashed to pieces; or as a man in wrestling, see Ephesians 6:12 may be thrown to the ground by his antagonist, so we are sometimes foiled by sin, Satan, and the world:
but not destroyed; we are still safe in the hands of Christ, and are kept by the power of God; and, indeed, to what else can all this be ascribed? it is surprising that earthen vessels should bear and suffer so much, and not fall, or be dashed to pieces.Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2 Corinthians 4:9. Being persecuted, but not left (by God) in the lurch (Plato, Conv. p. 179 A: ἐγκαταλιπεῖν καὶ μὴ βοηθῆσαι). Comp. 2 Timothy 4:16; Hebrews 13:5. Paul here varies the mode of presentation, since the contrast does not again negative an action of enemies. Lydius (Agonistic. sacr. 24, p. 84 ff.), Hammond, and Olshausen think that we have here the figure of a foot-race, in which the runner overtaken ἐγκαταλείπεται (see the passages in Lydius); but the figure would be unsuitable, since the runners have a common goal (1 Corinthians 9:24). Hostile persecution in general is meant. Comp. διωγμός, 2 Corinthians 12:10; Romans 8:35; 2 Thessalonians 1:4, al.
καταβαλλόμ. κ.τ.λ.] Figure of those seized in the act of flight, who are thrown to the ground (Hom. Odyss. iv. 344, viii. 508; Herod. ix. 63), but not deprived of life. This part thus appears in a most suitable relation of climax to what precedes; hence we should not think, as many do, of wrestlers in the games (comp. Plato, Hipp. min. p. 374 A).cast down, but not destroyed] i.e. struck or thrown down, as in warfare or wrestling, but not yet deprived of life, and therefore not unable to renew the conflict.2 Corinthians 4:9. Διωκόμενοι, persecuted) καταβαλλόμενοι, cast down, is something more [worse] than persecution, viz., where flight is not open to one.Verse 9. - Not forsaken. St. Paul, like the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, knew by blessed experience the truth of the promise, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5, 6). Cast down. Flung to the ground, as in some lost battle; yet not doomed, not "perishing." "Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand" (Psalm 37:24).
Rev., for persecuted, pursued, the primary meaning of the verb, thus giving vividness to the figure. Forsaken, lit., left behind in (some evil plight). The figure is, pursued by enemies, but not left to their power: left in the lurch.
Cast down - destroyed (καταβαλλόμενοι - ἀπολλύμενοι)
This carries on the previous figure. Though the pursuers overtake and smite down, yet are we not killed. Rev., smitten down. In all these paradoxes the A.V. fails to bring out the metaphors.
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