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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - 2 CORINTHIANS 4

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    4:1 {We faint not} (ouk egkakoumen). Present active indicative of egkakew, late verb (en, kakos) to behave badly in, to give in to evil, to lose courage. In Symmachus (LXX), Polybius, and papyri. It is the faint-hearted coward. Paul speaks of himself (literary plural). Can he not speak for all of us?

    4:2 {But we have renounced} (alla apeipameqa). Indirect middle second aorist (timeless aorist) indicative of apeipon (defective verb) with a of first aorist ending, to speak forth, to speak off or away from. Common verb in the active, but rare in middle and only here in N.T. {The hidden things of shame} (ta krupta tes aiscunes). They do attack the minister. His only safety is in instant and courageous defiance to all the powers of darkness. It is a terrible thing to see a preacher caught in the toils of the tempter. {In craftiness} (en panourgiai). Old word from panourgos (pan, ergon), a doer of any deed (good or bad), clever, cunning, deceitful. See on Lu 20:23. {Handling deceitfully} (dolountes). Present active participle of dolow, from dolos, deceit (from delw, to catch with bait), old and common verb, in papyri and inscriptions, to ensnare, to corrupt with error. Only here in N.T. Used of adulterating gold or wine. {To every conscience of men} (pros pasan suneidesin anqrwpwn). Not to whim, foible, prejudice. See #3:1-6 for "commending" (sunistanontes).

    4:3 {It is veiled in them that are perishing} (en tois apollumenois estin kekalummenon). Periphrastic perfect passive of kaluptw, to veil in both condition (first class) and conclusion. See on 2:15f. for "the perishing."

    4:4 {The god of this world} (ho qeos tou aiwnos toutou). "Age," more exactly, as in #1Co 1:20. Satan is "the god of this age," a phrase nowhere else in the N.T., but Jesus uses the same idea in #Joh 12:31; 14:30 and Paul in #Eph 2:2; 6:12 and John in #1Jo 5:19. Satan claimed the rule over the world in the temptations with Jesus. {Blinded} (etuflwsen). First aorist active of tuflow, old verb to blind (tuflos, blind). They refused to believe (apistwn) and so Satan got the power to blind their thoughts. That happens with wilful disbelievers. {The light} (ton fwtismon). The illumination, the enlightening. Late word from fotizw, to give light, in Plutarch and LXX. In N.T. only in #2Co 4:4,6. Accusative case of general reference here with the articular infinitive (eis to me augasai that should not dawn). That is, if augasai is intransitive as is likely, though it is transitive in the old poets (from auge, radiance. Cf. German _Auge_=eye). If it is transitive, the idea would be "that they should not see clearly the illumination, etc."

    4:5 {For we preach not ourselves} (ou gar heautous kerussomen). Surely as poor and disgusting a topic as a preacher can find. {But Christ Jesus as Lord} (alla criston iesoun kurion). kurion is predicate accusative in apposition. {As your servants for Jesus' sake} (doulous humwn dia iesoun). Your bond-slave for the sake of Jesus. this is the sufficient reason for any preacher's sacrifice, "for Jesus' sake."

    4:6 {God who said} (ho qeos ho eipwn). Paraphrase of #Ge 1:3. {Who shined} (hos elamyen). Like a lamp in the heart (cf. #Mt 5:15). Miners carry a lamp on the forehead, Christians carry one in their hearts lit by the Spirit of God. {To give the light} (pros fwtismon). For the illumination. {In the face of Jesus Christ} (en proswpwi iesou cristou). The Christian who looks on the face of Jesus Christ as Moses looked upon the glory of God will be able to give the illumination of the knowledge of the glory of God. See #2:10 for proswpon.

    4:7 { this treasure} (ton qesauron touton). On qesauron see #Mt 6:19-21. It is the power of giving the illumination of the knowledge of the glory of God (verse #6). "The power is limitless, but it is stored in very unlikely receptacles" (Plummer). this warning Paul gives in contrast (de) with the exultation of verse #6 (Bernard). {In earthen vessels} (en ostrakinois skeuesin). this adjective is common in the LXX with skeuos, aggos and aggeion. It occurs again in #2Ti 2:20 with skeue. It is found also in the papyri with skeuos as here. It is from ostrakon, baked clay (same root as osteon, bone), so many fragments of which are found in Egypt with writing on them. We are but earthen jars used of God for his purposes (#Ro 9:20ff.) and so fragile. {The exceeding greatness} (he huperbole). See on 1Co 12:31 for this word, "the preeminence of the power." this is God's purpose (hina--ei). God, not man, is the {dynamo} (dunamis). It comes from God (tou qeou, ablative) and does not originate with us (me ex hemwn).

    4:8 {Pressed} (qlibomenoi). From qlibw, to press as grapes, to contract, to squeeze. Series of present passive participles here through verse #9 that vividly picture Paul's ministerial career. {Yet not straitened} (all' ou stenocwroumenoi). Each time the exception is stated by all' ou. From stenocwrew (stenocwros, from stenos, narrow, cwros, space), to be in a narrow place, to keep in a tight place. Late verb, in LXX and papyri. In N.T. only here and #2Co 6:12. {Yet not unto despair} (all' ouk exaporoumenoi). Late perfective compound with ex- of exaporew. A very effective play on words here, lost, but not lost out.

    4:9 {Forsaken} (egkataleipomenoi). Double compound of old verb eg-kata-leipw, to leave behind, to leave in the lurch. {Smitten down} (kataballomenoi). As if overtaken. {Destroyed} (apollumenoi). Perishing as in verse #3. Was Paul referring to Lystra when the Jews stoned him and thought him dead?

    4:10 {Bearing about} (periferontes). Ignatius was called qeoforos, God-bearer. See #1Co 15:31 where Paul says "I die daily" and #Php 3:10; Col 1:24. {The dying of Jesus} (tn nekr"sin tou iesou). Late word from nekrow, to put to death. In Galen. In N.T. only here and #Ro 4:19.

    4:11 {Are alway delivered unto death} (eis qanaton paradidomeqa). this explains verse #10.

    4:12 {Death worketh in us} (ho qanatos en hemin energeitai). Middle voice present tense of the old verb to operate, be at work. Physical death works in him while spiritual life (paradox) works in them.

    4:13 {According to that which is written} (kata to gegrammenon). this formula in legal documents in the papyri (_Bible Studies_, p. 250). Paul makes adaptation of the words in #Ps 95:1. {We also believe} (kai hemeis pisteuomen). Like the Psalmist. And therefore can speak with effect. Otherwise useless. {Shall present us with you} (kai parastesei sun hemin). this shows that Paul was not certain that he would be alive when Jesus comes as has been wrongly inferred from #1Co 7:29; 10:11; 15:51.

    4:15 {Being multiplied through the many} (pleonasasa dia twn pleionwn). Late word pleonazw from pleon, more, "making more through the more," with play on pleon. One can think of Bunyan's _Grace Abounding_.

    4:16 {Wherefore we faint not} (dio ouk egkakoumen). Repeats from verse #1. {Our outward man} (ho exw hemwn anqrwpos), {our inward man} (ho esw hemwn). In #Ro 7:22; Col 3:9; Eph 4:22f., we have the inward man and the outward for the higher and the lower natures (the spirit and the flesh). "Here the decay (diafqeiretai) of the bodily organism is set over against the growth in grace (anakainoutai, is refreshed) of the man himself" (Bernard). Plato (_Republ_. ix, p. 589) has ho entos anqrwpos. Cf. "the hidden man of the heart" (#1Pe 3:4). {Day by day} (hemerai kai hemerai). this precise idiom is not in LXX nor rest of N.T. It may be colloquial use of locative in repetition.

    4:17 {Our light affliction which is for the moment} (to parautika elafron tes qlipesews hemwn). Literally, "the for the moment (old adverb parautika, here only in N.T.) lightness (old word, in N.T. only here and #Mt 11:30)." {More and more exceedingly} (kaq' huperbolen eis huperbolen). Like piling Pelion on Ossa, "according to excess unto excess." See on 1Co 12:31. {Eternal weight of glory} (aiwnion baros doxes). Careful balancing of words in contrast (affliction vs. glory, lightness vs. weight, for the moment vs. eternal).

    4:18 {While we look not} (me skopountwn hemwn). Genitive absolute with participle of skopew from skopos, goal. {Temporal} (proskaira). Rather temporary, for a season (pros kairon). Late word. See on Mt 13:21. See #1Co 13:12; Heb 11:1.

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