2 Corinthians 6
Vincent's Word Studies
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
As workers together with Him (συνεργοῦντες)

Lit., working together. With Him is implied in the compounded ούν with. That it refers to God, not to the fellow-Christians, is evident from the parallel 1 Corinthians 3:9, laborers together with God, and because the act of exhortation or entreaty in which the fellowship is exhibited is ascribed to God in 2 Corinthians 5:20. The phrase Θεοῦ πάρεδροι assessors of God, occurs in Ignatius' letter to Polycarp. Compare Mark 16:20.

In vain (εἰς κενὸν)

Lit., to what is vain. Equivalent to the phrase to no purpose.

(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
He saith, etc.

From Isaiah 49:8, after Septuagint. The Hebrew is: "In the time of favor I answer thee, and in the day of salvation I succor thee." The words are addressed to the servant of Jehovah, promising to invest him with spiritual power, that he may be a light to Israel and to others. Paul, taking the words in their messianic sense, urges that now is the time when God thus dispenses His favor to Christ, and through Him to men. The application turns on the words acceptable time; a time in which God receives. As He receives, receive ye Him.

The accepted time (καιρὸς εὐπρόσδεκτος)

Rev., acceptable. Paul uses for the simple adjective of the Septuagint a compound "well-received," which is stronger, and which occurs mostly in his own writings. See Romans 15:16, Romans 15:31; 1 Peter 2:5; and compare acceptable year, Luke 4:19.

Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:

Rev., ministration. See on Romans 12:7.

Blamed (μωμηθῇ)

Only here and 2 Corinthians 8:20. The kindred μῶμος blemish, is found 2 Peter 2:13, and in the Septuagint of bodily defects. Similarly the Septuagint ἄμωμος spotless, without bodily defect; and, in the moral sense, 1 Peter 1:19, applied to Christ. Compare Hebrews 9:14; Ephesians 5:27; Jde 1:24.

But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
Necessities (ἀνάγκαις)

See on 1 Corinthians 7:26.

Distresses (στενοχωρίαις)

See on Romans 2:9.

In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
Imprisonments (φυλακαῖς)

See on Acts 5:21.

Tumults (ἀκαταστασίαις)

See on Luke 21:9, and compare ἀκατάστατος unstable, James 1:8. This is one of the words which show the influence of political changes. From the original meaning of unsettledness, it developed, through the complications in Greece and in the East after the death of Alexander, into the sense which it has in Luke - political instability. One of the Greek translators of the Old Testament uses it in the sense of dread or anxious care.

Watchings (ἀγρυπνίαις)

Only here and 2 Corinthians 11:27. See on the kindred verb, Mark 13:33. For the historical facts, see Acts 16:25; Acts 20:7-11, Acts 20:31; 2 Thessalonians 3:8.

Fastings (νηστείαις)

Mostly of voluntary fasting, as Matthew 17:21; Acts 14:23; but voluntary fasting would be out of place in an enumeration of hardships.

By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
Right - left

Right-hand and left-hand weapons. Offensive, as the sword, in the right hand, defensive, as the shield, in the left.

By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;

See 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 4:2. The opinions concerning Paul as a deceiver are mirrored in the Clementine Homilies and Recognitions, spurious writings, ascribed to Clement of Rome, but emanating from the Ebionites, a Judaizing sect, in the latter half of the second century. In these Paul is covertly attacked, though his name is passed over in silence. His glory as the apostle to the Gentiles is passed over to Peter. The readers are warned, in the person of Peter, to beware of any teacher who does not conform to the standard of James, and come with witnesses (compare 2 Corinthians 3:1; 2 Corinthians 5:12; 2 Corinthians 10:12-18). Paul is assailed under the guise of Simon Magus, and with the same words as those in this passage, deceiver and unknown.

As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;

See 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, and compare Psalm 118:18.

As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
Having - possessing (ἔχοντες - κατέχοντες)

The contrast is twofold: between having and not having, and between temporary and permanent having, or having and keeping. Compare Luke 8:15; 1 Corinthians 15:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Hebrews 3:6.

O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
Ye Corinthians

The readers are addressed by name in only two other epistles, Galatians 3:1; Philippians 4:15.

Is enlarged (πεπλάτυνται)

Only here, 2 Corinthians 6:13, and Matthew 23:5, where it is used of widening the phylacteries. From πλατύς broad. Quite common in the Septuagint, and with various shades of meaning, but usually rendered enlarge. Of worldly prosperity, "waxed fat," Deuteronomy 32:15; compare Genesis 9:27. Of pride, Deuteronomy 11:16. Of deliverance in distress, Psalm 4:1. Expand with joy, Psalm 119:32. The idea of enlargement of heart in the sense of increased breadth of sympathy and understanding, as here, is also expressed in the Old Testament by other words, as concerning Solomon, to whom God gave largeness of heart, Sept., χύμα outpouring. Compare Isaiah 60:5.

Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.
Not straitened in us

It is not that our hearts are too narrow to take you in. Straitened in antithesis with enlarged.

In your own bowels (τοῖς οπλάγχνοις ὑμῶν)

See on 1 Peter 3:8; see on James 5:11. Rev., affections. It is your love that is contracted.

Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Unequally yoked (ἑτεροζυγοῦντες)

Only here in the New Testament. Not in classical Greek, nor in Septuagint, though the kindred adjective ἑτερόζυγος of a diverse kind, occurs Leviticus 19:19. Unequally gives an ambiguous sense. It is not inequality, but difference in kind, as is shown by the succeeding words. The suggestion was doubtless due to the prohibition in Deuteronomy 22:9, against yoking together two different animals. The reference is general, covering all forms of intimacy with the heathen, and not limited to marriage or to idolfeasts. The different shades of fellowship expressed by five different words in this and the two following verses are to be noted.

Fellowship (μετοχὴ)

Only here in the New Testament. The kindred verb μετέχω to be partaker is found only in Paul's epistles and in Hebrews: μέτοχος partner, partaker, only in Hebrews and Luke 5:7. Having part with is the corresponding English expression.

Righteousness - unrighteousness (δικαιοσύνη - ἀνομίᾳ)

Lit., what sharing is there unto righteousness and lawlessness? Δικαιοσύνῃ righteousness, though the distinctively Pauline sense of righteousness by faith underlies it, is used in the general sense of rightness according to God's standard.

Communion (κοινωνία)

See on Luke 5:10; see on Acts 2:42.

And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
Concord (συμφώνησις)

Only here in the New Testament. From σύν together, φωνή voice. Primarily of the concord of sounds. So the kindred συφωνία, A.V., music, see on Luke 15:25. Compare σύμφωνος with consent, 1 Corinthians 7:5; and συμφωνέω to agree, Matthew 18:19; Luke 5:36, etc.

Belial (βελίαρ)

Beliar. Belial is a transcript of the Hebrew, meaning worthlessness or wickedness. The Septuagint renders it variously by transgressor, impious, foolish, pest. It does not occur in the Septuagint as a proper name. The form Beliar, which is preferred by critics, is mostly ascribed to the Syriac pronunciation of Belial, the change of l into r being quite common. Others, however, derive from Belyar, Lord of the forest. Here a synonym for Satan. Stanley remarks that our associations with the word are colored by the attributes ascribed to Belial by Milton ("Paradise Lost," B. ii.), who uses the word for sensual profligacy.

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Agreement (συγκατάθεσις)

Only here in the New Testament. Compare the kindred verb συγκατατίθεμαι to consent, Luke 23:51. Lit., a putting down or depositing along with one. Hence of voting the same way with another, and so agreeing.

Ye are

Read, as Rev., we are.

God hath said, etc.

The quotation is combined and condensed from Leviticus 27:11, Leviticus 27:12; and Ezekiel 37:27, after the Septuagint. Paul treats it as if directly affirmed of the christian Church, thus regarding that Church as spiritually identical with the true church of Israel.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
Come out, etc.

Isaiah 52:11, Isaiah 52:12, after the Septuagint, with several changes.

And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
I will be to you, etc.

From 2 Samuel 7:14, where the Septuagint and Hebrew agree. Paul says sons and daughters for son.

Almighty (παντοκράτωρ)

The word is peculiar to Revelation, occurring nowhere else in the New Testament. Here it is a quotation. Frequent in the Septuagint.

Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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