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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - 2 Corinthians 12:2

    CHAPTERS: 2 Corinthians 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13     

    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21




    King James Bible - 2 Corinthians 12:2

    I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

    World English Bible

    I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the
    body, I don't know, or whether out of the body, I don't know; God knows), such a one caught up into the third heaven.

    Douay-Rheims - 2 Corinthians 12:2

    I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the
    body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up to the third heaven.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the
    body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such one caught up to the third heaven.

    Greek Textus Receptus

    1492 5758 V-RAI-1S ανθρωπον 444 N-ASM εν 1722 PREP χριστω 5547 N-DSM προ 4253 PREP ετων 2094 N-GPN δεκατεσσαρων 1180 A-GPN ειτε 1535 CONJ εν 1722 PREP σωματι 4983 N-DSN ουκ 3756 PRT-N οιδα 1492 5758 V-RAI-1S ειτε 1535 CONJ εκτος 1622 ADV του 3588 T-GSN σωματος 4983 N-GSN ουκ 3756 PRT-N οιδα 1492 5758 V-RAI-1S ο 3588 T-NSM θεος 2316 N-NSM οιδεν 1492 5758 V-RAI-3S αρπαγεντα 726 5651 V-2APP-ASM τον 3588 T-ASM τοιουτον 5108 D-ASM εως 2193 CONJ τριτου 5154 A-GSM ουρανου 3772 N-GSM

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (2) -

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 12:2

    Conozco un hombre en el Cristo, que hace catorce aos (si en el cuerpo, no lo s; si fuera del cuerpo, no lo s: Dios lo sabe) fue arrebatado hasta el tercer cielo.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - 2 Corinthians 12:2

    Verse 2. I knew a man in
    Christ] I knew a Christian, or a Christian man; for to such alone God now revealed himself, for vision and prophecy had been shut up from the Jews.

    Fourteen years ago] On what occasion or in what place this transaction took place we cannot tell; there are many conjectures among learned men concerning it, but of what utility can they be when every thing is so palpably uncertain? Allowing this epistle to have been written some time in the year 57, fourteen years counted backward will lead this transaction to the year 42 or 43, which was about the time that Barnabas brought Paul from Tarsus to Antioch, Acts xi. 25, 26, and when he and Paul were sent by the Church of Antioch with alms to the poor Christians at Jerusalem. It is very possible that, on this journey, or while in Jerusalem, he had this vision, which was intended to be the means of establishing him in the faith, and supporting him in the many trials and difficulties through which he was to pass. This vision the apostle had kept secret for fourteen years.

    Whether in the body I cannot tell] That the apostle was in an ecstasy or trance, something like that of Peter, Acts x. 9, &c., there is reason to believe; but we know that being carried literally into heaven was possible to the Almighty. But as he could not decide himself, it would be ridiculous in us to attempt it.

    Caught up to the third heaven.] He appeared to have been carried up to this place; but whether bodily he could not tell, or whether the spirit were not separated for the time, and taken up to the third heaven, he could not tell.

    The third heaven-The Jews talk of seven heavens, and Mohammed has received the same from them; but these are not only fabulous but absurd. I shall enumerate those of the Jews.

    1. The YELUM, or curtain, wlyw -" Which in the morning is folded up, and in the evening stretched out." Isa. xl. 22: He stretcheth out the heavens as a CURTAIN, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.

    2. The firmament, or EXPANSE, [yqr "In which the sun, moon, stars, and constellations are fixed." Gen. i. 17: And God placed them in the Firmament of heaven.

    3. The CLOUDS, or AETHER, yq "Where the mill-stones are which grind the manna for the righteous." Psa. lxxviii. 23, &c.: Though he had commended the CLOUDS from above, and opened the doors of heaven, and had rained down manna, &c.

    4. The HABITATION, lwbz "Where Jerusalem, and the temple, and the altar, were constructed and where Michael the great prince stands and offers sacrifices." 1 Kings viii. 13: I have surely built thee a HOUSE TO DWELL IN, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever. "But where is heaven so called?" Answer: In Isa. lxiii. 15: Look down from HEAVEN, and behold from the HABITATION, lwbzm , of thy holiness.

    5. The DWELLING-PLACE, w[m "Where the troops of angels sing throughout the night, but are silent in the day time, because of the glory of the Israelites." Psa. xlii. 8: The Lord will command his loving-kindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me. "But how is it proved that this means heaven? "Answer: From Deut. xxvi. 15.

    Look down from thy holy habitation, w[mm , the DWELLING-PLACE of thy holiness; and from heaven, ymh , and bless thy people Israel.

    6. The FIXED RESIDENCE, wbm "Where are the treasures of snow and hail, the repository of noxious dews, of drops, and whirlwinds; the grotto of exhalations," &c. "But where are the heavens thus denominated?" Answer: In 1 Kings viii. 39, 49, &c.: Then hear thou in HEAVEN thy DWELLING-PLACE, wkm tb , thy FIXED RESIDENCE.

    7. The ARABOTH, twbr[ Where are justice, judgment, mercy, the treasures of life; peace and blessedness; the souls of the righteous, the souls and spirits which are reserved for the bodies yet to be formed, and the dew by which God is to vivify the dead." Psalm lxxxix. 14, Isa. lix. 17; Psa. xxxvi. 9, Judg. vi. 24; Psa. xxiv. 4; 1 Sam. xxv. 29; Isa. lvii. 20: All of which are termed Araboth, Psa. lxviii. 4. Extol him who rideth on the heavens, twbr[b ba ARABOTH, by his name Jah.

    All this is sufficiently unphilosophical, and in several cases ridiculous.

    In the sacred writings three heavens only are mentioned. The first is the atmosphere, what appears to be intended by [yqr rekia, the firmament or expansion, Gen. i. 6. The second, the starry heaven; where are the sun, moon, planets, and stars; but these two are often expressed under the one term ym shamayim, the two heavens, or expansions, and in Gen. i. 17, they appear to be both expressed by ymh [yqr rekia hashshamayim, the firmament of heaven. And, thirdly, the place of the blessed, or the throne of the Divine glory, probably expressed by the words ymh ym shemei hashshamayim, the heavens of heavens. But on these subjects the Scripture affords us but little light; and on this distinction the reader is not desired to rely.

    Much more may be seen in Schoettgen, who has exhausted the subject; and who has shown that ascending to heaven, or being caught up to heaven, is a form of speech among the Jewish writers to express the highest degrees of inspiration. They often say of Moses that he ascended on high, ascended on the firmament, ascended to heaven; where it is evident they mean only by it that he was favoured with the nearest intimacy with God, and the highest revelations relative to his will, &c. If we may understand St. Paul thus, it will remove much of the difficulty from this place; and perhaps the unspeakable words, ver. 4, are thus to be understood. He had the most sublime communications from God, such as would be improper to mention, though it is very likely that we have the substance of these in his epistles. Indeed, the two epistles before us seem, in many places, to be the effect of most extraordinary revelations.

    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 2. I knew a man in Christ about fourteen years ago , etc..] Which is to be understood of himself, as appears from ( 2 Corinthians 12:7), where he speaks in the first person; and the reason why he here speaks in the third, is to show his modesty and humility, and how much he declined vain glory and popular applause; and whilst he is speaking of himself, studies as it were to conceal himself from being the person designed, and to draw off the mind of the reader from him to another person; though another cannot be intended, for it would not have been to his purpose, yea, quite beside it, when he proposes to come to visions and revelations he had of the Lord, to have instanced in the rapture of another. Moreover, the full and certain knowledge he had of this man, of the place he was caught up to, and of the things he there heard, best agrees with him; as also his attesting, in such a solemn way, his ignorance of the manner of this rapture, whether in the body or out of the body, and which he repeats and refers to the knowledge of God, clearly shows he must mean himself; besides, it would otherwise have been no instance of any vision of his, nor would the rapture of another have at all affected his character, commendation, and praise, or given him any occasion of glorying as this did: though he did not choose to take it, as is clear by his saying that if he gloried of it he should not be a fool, yet forbore, lest others should entertain too high an opinion of him; and after all, he was in some danger of being elated with this vision along with others, that the following sore temptation was permitted, to prevent his being exalted with it above measure: and when he calls this person, meaning himself, a man, it is not to distinguish him from an angel, whose habitation is in the third heaven, and so no wonderful thing to be found there; or from any other creature; nor perhaps only to express his sex, a man, and not a woman, though the Syriac version uses the word arbg , peculiar to the masculine sex; but merely to design a person, and it is all one as if it had been said, I knew a person, or I knew one in Christ: and the phrase in Christ, is not to be connected with the word know, as if the sense was, that he called Christ to witness the truth of what he was about to say, and that what he should say was not with a view to his own glory, but to the glory and honour of Christ only; but it is to be connected with the word man, and denotes his being in Christ, and that either, as Dr.

    Hammond thinks, in a singular and extraordinary manner; as John is said to be in the spirit, ( Revelation 1:10), that is, in an ecstasy; and so here this man was in the Spirit of Christ, and transported by him to see visions, and have revelations; or rather it intends a spiritual being in Christ, union to him, the effect of which is communion with him. The date of fourteen years ago , may refer either to the time when the apostle first had the knowledge of his being in Christ, which was at his conversion; he was in Christ from all eternity, being given to him, chosen in him, loved by him; set as a seal upon his heart, as well as engraven on the palms of his hands, and represented by him, and in him, in the everlasting covenant; and so in time, at his crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of God; in consequence of all which, when the set time was come, he became a new creature, was converted and believed in Christ, and then he knew himself to be in him; he was in him secretly before, now openly; and this was about fourteen years before the writing of this epistle; the exact time of his conversion might well be known and remembered by him, it being in such an extraordinary manner: or also this date may refer to the time of his rapture, which some have thought was some time within the three days after his conversion, when he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank; some have thought it to be eight years after his conversion; but the most probable opinion is, that it was not at Damascus, but when he was come again to Jerusalem, and was praying in the temple, and was in a trance or ecstasy, ( Acts 22:17), though the difference there is among chronologers, and the uncertainty of their conjectures, both as to the time of the apostle's conversion, and the writing of this epistle, makes it very difficult to determine this point. They that make this rapture to be at the time of his conversion, seem to be furthest off of the truth of things; for whether his conversion be placed in the 34th year of Christ, as some, or in the 35th, as others, or in the 36th; and this epistle be thought to be written either in the 56th, or 58th, or 60th, the date of fourteen years will agree with neither: they indeed make things to agree together best, who place his conversion in the year 36, make this rapture to be eight years after, in the year 44, and this epistle to be written in the year 58. Dr. Lightfoot puts the conversion of the apostle in the year 34, the rapture of him into the third heaven, in the year 43, at the time of the famine in the reign of Claudius, ( Acts 11:28), when he was in a trance at Jerusalem, ( Acts 22:17), and the writing of this epistle in the year 57. That great chronologer, Bishop Usher, places Paul's conversion in the year 35, his rapture in the year 46, and the writing of this epistle in the year 60. So that upon the whole it is hard to say when this rapture was; and it may be, it was at neither of the visions recorded in the Scripture, which the apostle had, but at some other time nowhere else made mention of: when, as he here says, such an one was caught up to the third heaven , the seat of the divine Majesty, and the residence of the holy angels; where the souls of departed saints go immediately upon their dissolution; and the bodies and souls of those who have been translated, caught up, and raised already, are; and where the glorified body of Christ is and will be, until his second coming.

    This is called the third heaven, in respect to the airy and starry heavens.

    The apostle refers to a distinction among the Jews of yatt aymw ya[xym aymw yaly[ aym , the supreme heaven, the middle heaven, and the lower heaven f126 ; and who also make a like division of worlds, and which they call lph lw[hw y[xmah lw[w wyl[ lw[ , the supreme world, and the middle world, and the lower world f127 ; and sometimes the world of angels, the world of the orbs, and the world of them below; and accordingly the Cabalistic doctors talk of three worlds; hatylt aml[ , the third world, they say f129 , is the supreme world, hidden, treasured, and shut up, which none can know; as it is written, eye hath not seen, etc.. and is the same with the apostle's third heaven. The state and condition in which he was during this rapture is expressed by the following words, put into a parenthesis, whether in the body I cannot tell, or whether out of the body I cannot tell, God knoweth : whether his soul remained in his body, and he was caught up soul and body into heaven, as Elijah was carried thither soul and body in a chariot with horses of fire; or whether his soul was out of his body, and he was disembodied for a time, as Philo the Jew says that Moses was aswmaton , without the body, during his stay of forty days and as many nights in the mount; or whether this was not all in a visionary way, as John was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and Ezekiel was taken by a lock of his head, and lifted up by the Spirit between earth and heaven, and brought in the visions of God to Jerusalem, cannot be said. The apostle did not know himself, and much less can any other be able to say how it was; it is best with him to refer and leave it to the omniscient God; one of the four persons the Jews say entered into paradise, who are hereafter mentioned in (see Gill on 2 Corinthians 12:4), is said to have his mind snatched away in a divine rapture f131 ; that is, he was not himself, he knew not where he was, or whether in the body or out, as says the apostle.

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 1-6 - There can be no doubt the apostle speaks of himself. Whether heavenl things were brought down to him, while his body was in a trance, as in the case of ancient prophets; or whether his soul was dislodged from the body for a time, and taken up into heaven, or whether he was take up, body and soul together, he knew not. We are not capable, nor is it fit we should yet know, the particulars of that glorious place an state. He did not attempt to publish to the world what he had hear there, but he set forth the doctrine of Christ. On that foundation the church is built, and on that we must build our faith and hope. An while this teaches us to enlarge our expectations of the glory tha shall be revealed, it should render us contented with the usual method of learning the truth and will of God.

    Greek Textus Receptus

    1492 5758 V-RAI-1S ανθρωπον 444 N-ASM εν 1722 PREP χριστω 5547 N-DSM προ 4253 PREP ετων 2094 N-GPN δεκατεσσαρων 1180 A-GPN ειτε 1535 CONJ εν 1722 PREP σωματι 4983 N-DSN ουκ 3756 PRT-N οιδα 1492 5758 V-RAI-1S ειτε 1535 CONJ εκτος 1622 ADV του 3588 T-GSN σωματος 4983 N-GSN ουκ 3756 PRT-N οιδα 1492 5758 V-RAI-1S ο 3588 T-NSM θεος 2316 N-NSM οιδεν 1492 5758 V-RAI-3S αρπαγεντα 726 5651 V-2APP-ASM τον 3588 T-ASM τοιουτον 5108 D-ASM εως 2193 CONJ τριτου 5154 A-GSM ουρανου 3772 N-GSM

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    2. l knew (oida). Rev., correctly, I know.

    Above fourteen years ago (pro etwn dekatessarwn). Above, of A.V., is due to a misunderstanding of the Greek idiom. Lit., before fourteen years, that is, fourteen years ago, as Rev.

    Caught up (arpagenta). Compare Dante:

    "Thou knowest, who didst lift me with thy light" "Paradiso," i., 75.

    The verb suits the swift, resistless, impetuous seizure of spiritual ecstasy. See on Matt. xi. 12; and compare Acts viii. 39; 1 Thess. iv. 17; Apoc. xii. 5.

    Third heaven. It is quite useless to attempt to explain this expression according to any scheme of celestial gradation. The conception of seven heavens was familiar to the Jews; but according to some of the Rabbins there were two heavens - the visible clouds and the sky; in which case the third heaven would be the invisible region beyond the sky. Some think that Paul describes two stages of his rapture; the first to the third heaven, from which he was borne, as if from a halting-point, up into Paradise.

    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    12:2 {I know a man} (oida anqrwpon). Paul singles out one incident of ecstasy in his own experience that he declines to describe. He alludes to it in this indirect way as if it were some other personality. {Fourteen years ago} (pro etwn dekatessarwn). Idiomatic way of putting it, the preposition pro (before) before the date (Robertson, _Grammar, p. 621f.) as in #Joh 12:1. The date was probably while Paul was at Tarsus (#Ac 9:30; 11:25). We have no details of that period. {Caught up} (harpagenta). Second aorist passive participle of harpazw, to seize (see on #Mt 11:12). {Even to the third heaven} (hews tritou ouranou). It is unlikely that Paul alludes to the idea of seven heavens held by some Jews (_Test. of the Twelve Pat._, Levi ii. iii.). He seems to mean the highest heaven where God is (Plummer).

    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21


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