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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - 2 Corinthians 12:4

    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 12:4

    How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

    World English Bible

    how he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable
    words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

    Douay-Rheims - 2 Corinthians 12:4

    That he was caught up into paradise, and heard secret
    words, which it is not granted to man to utter.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    That he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable
    words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

    Greek Textus Receptus

    3754 CONJ ηρπαγη 726 5648 V-2API-3S εις 1519 PREP τον 3588 T-ASM παραδεισον 3857 N-ASM και 2532 CONJ ηκουσεν 191 5656 V-AAI-3S αρρητα 731 A-APN ρηματα 4487 N-APN α 3739 R-APN ουκ 3756 PRT-N εξον 1832 5901 V-PQP-NSN ανθρωπω 444 N-DSM λαλησαι 2980 5658 V-AAN

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (4) -
    Eze 31:9 Lu 23:43 Re 2:7

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 12:4

    que fue arrebatado al paraíso, donde oy palabras inefables que el hombre no puede decir.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - 2 Corinthians 12:4

    Verse 4. Caught up into
    paradise] The Jewish writers have no less than four paradises, as they have seven heavens; but it is needless to wade through their fables. On the word paradise see the note on Gen. ii. 8.

    The Mohammedans call it (Arabic) jennet alferdoos, the garden of paradise, and say that God created it out of light, and that it is the habitation of the prophets and wise men.

    Among Christian writers it generally means the place of the blessed, or the state of separate spirits. Whether the third heaven and paradise be the same place we cannot absolutely say; they probably are not; and it is likely that St. Paul, at the time referred to, had at least two of these raptures.

    Which it is not lawful for a man to utter.] The Jews thought that the Divine name, the Tetragrammaton hwhy Yehovah, should not be uttered, and that it is absolutely unlawful to pronounce it; indeed they say that the true pronunciation is utterly lost, and cannot be recovered without an express revelation. Not one of them, to the present day, ever attempts to utter it; and, when they meet with it in their reading, always supply its place with ynda Adonai, Lord. It is probable that the apostle refers to some communication concerning the Divine nature and the Divine economy, of which he was only to make a general use in his preaching and writing. No doubt that what he learned at this time formed the basis of all his doctrines.

    Cicero terms God illud inexprimible, that inexpressible Being. And Hermes calls him aneklalhtov. arrhtov, siwph fwnoumenov: The ineffable, the unspeakable, and that which is to be pronounced in silence. We cannot have views too exalted of the majesty of God; and the less frequently we pronounce his name, the more reverence shall we feel for his nature. It is said of Mr. Boyle that he never pronounced the name of God without either taking off his hat or making a bow. Leaving out profane swearers, blasphemers, and such like open-faced servants of Satan, it is distressing to hear many well intentioned people making unscripturally free with this sacred name.

    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 4. How that he was caught up into paradise , etc..] Not the earthly paradise in which our first parents were; this was destroyed by the flood, and the place where it was not now to be known; and to what purpose the apostle should be carried thither cannot be guessed at; though some have thought that this is here meant: but not this, nor any place distinct from the third heaven, or place of the blessed, is meant; which is the sense of many of the ancients, who suppose the third heaven and paradise to be two distinct places, and that the apostle had two separate raptures. Clemens Alexandrinus f132 , reads the words thus, I knew a man in Christ caught up to the third heaven, kakeiyen eiv ton paradeison , from thence to paradise; and so Theophilact upon the place says, from the third heaven he was immediately called up into paradise; and so Oecumenius, he was caught up unto the third heaven, and so again from thence into paradise; and some modern writers have been inclined to think there were two raptures, and the rather inasmuch as the apostle is said to be caught up to the one, and caught up into the other, and makes use of the words caught up twice; or otherwise he would be guilty of a tautology, both in that and in repeating his ignorance of the manner of the rapture; to which is added, that he proposed to speak of visions and revelations in the plural number, ( 2 Corinthians 12:1), and afterwards calls this vision an abundance of revelations, ( 2 Corinthians 12:7), but as it was at the same time that he was caught up to the third heaven, and into paradise, there being one and the same date of fourteen years ago to both; and as, in the account of the one and the other, he was equally ignorant of the manner how he was caught up, whether in the body, or out of the body; and seeing that there is no account of what he saw and heard in the third heaven, but only what he heard in paradise, which is referred to be told in the after account of this vision; and as the third heaven and paradise are one and the same place, it seems most reasonable to conclude, that not two raptures and two visions are here designed, but only one; and without any show of a vain repetition, the apostle having begun the account of this vision, might reassume what he had said, in order to give a more plain and clear account of it; and especially as there were some things he had not yet mentioned, and the whole was not easy to be understood and taken in, and the manner of it even unknown to himself; and this he might do to raise the attention the more unto it, as being something wonderful and extraordinary; besides, if his design had been to have given an account of two raptures, he would have distinguished them in a numerical way; and would have told us that he was twice caught up, as well as he afterwards says that he besought the Lord thrice, at another time; and this would have been necessary to have prevented a mistake, of taking the one and the other for the same rapture, as is generally done; heaven is called paradise, because as the garden of Eden, which bears that name, was of God's planting, so is this made and prepared by him; as that was a delightful place, so is this; also because of Christ the tree of life, which is in the midst of it, besides an innumerable company of angels, and spirits of just men made perfect, the pure and undefiled inhabitants of it; and because of the river of divine love, of endless pleasures, the saints there are made to drink of. It was usual with the Jews to call heaven d[ g , the garden of Eden, or paradise; and which they sometimes speak of as upper and lower; the lower they suppose the souls of men are introduced into, immediately upon their dissolution; where they stay a while, and then go up to the upper paradise, the world of souls, where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are. The Jews ought not to object to the apostle's being had into paradise before his death, for they tell us of several that entered there whilst alive; nine (they say f134 ). d[ gb hyyjb wsnkn , entered in their life time into the garden of Eden, or paradise; and these are they, Enoch the son of Jared, and Elijah, and the Messiah, and Eliezer the servant of Abraham, and Hiram king of Tyre, and Ebed Melec the Ethiopian, and Jabez the son of Rabbi Judah the prince, and Bethiah the daughter of Pharaoh, and Sarah the daughter of Asher; and there are some that say also Rabbi Joshua ben Levi; and in another place f136 , four sdrpb wsnkn , entered into paradise; and these are they, Ben Azzai, and Ben Zoma, another, and R. Akiba; upon which is added, they entered into paradise as it were by the hands of God, and they did not ascend up above really, but it seemed to them as if they ascended; how far this may serve to explain and illustrate the apostle's case, I leave, with this observation more concerning another use of the word paradise with them; which sometimes signifies a considerable share of knowledge of mysterious things, relating to the nature of God, angels, etc.. of which Maimonides having spoken, says f138 , these things the former wise men called sdrp , paradise, as they say, four entered into paradise: and although they were the greatest men of Israel, and exceeding wise men, yet they had not all of them power to know and comprehend all these things clearly; and I say, that he is not fit to walk sdrpb , in paradise, but he whose belly is filled with flesh and bread, and it is bread and flesh to know what is forbidden, and what is lawful, and the other precepts of a like nature; and again f139 , a man that is filled with all these virtues (meaning with wisdom, and understanding, and government of the passions and appetites) is perfect in his body, as he that enters into paradise, and inclines himself to these things which are great and afar off: once more f140 , the words of the tradition are comprehended in the written law, and the exposition of them in the oral law; and the things which are called sdrp , paradise, are contained in the Talmud; this they call hmkjh sdrp , the paradise of wisdom; whether this sense and use of the word may be applied to the passage before us, and so be expressive of that large share of divine knowledge which was communicated in an extraordinary way to the apostle, may deserve some consideration: however, this is certain, that when he was caught up into paradise, he heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter ; to instance in particular things, which be then either saw or heard, as some have done, is bold and daring; as that he saw the divine Being with the eyes of his understanding, the several angelic forms, thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, and the glory and beauty of the souls of departed saints; and heard the harmonious music of each of these happy creatures; had a view of the book of life, and was shown the order and method of divine predestination; was let into the mystery of the calling of the Gentiles, and the change that will be on living saints, and heard the whole account of the dispensation of things, in the church of Christ to the end of the world: the things were unspeakable, never yet related, and so not to be known: they were such things which the apostle himself, when out of the rapture, might have but very inadequate ideas of, and such as he was not able to put into proper words and language to be understood by others; and which as he heard them not from a mere man, but from the Lord, so no mere man was able to utter them, none but he of whom he had heard them: and besides, whatever conceptions the apostle might have of them himself, and how capable soever he was of expressing them; yet they were not fit and proper to be told in the present state of things, being no part of the counsel of God relating to man's salvation, the whole of which he faithfully declares; and yet were necessary to be heard by him, in order to establish his faith in the Gospel, to animate him in his ministry, and fortify his mind against all the afflictions, reproaches, and persecutions, he was to meet with for the sake of Christ. The phrase seems to be the same with wrmal rpa ya , it is impossible to say it f142 ; and of such like secret things in paradise, or the world of souls, the Jews say that they are hidden, and which hbytkb twl[l ywar nya , are not fit to produce in writing; and so these were such as were not lawful to speak out, glwssaiv anyrwpinaiv , with human tongues, as Justin Martyr says f144 ; they were not in such sense unspeakable, as not to be expressed by any; for they were expressed either by Christ himself, who was glorified in human nature, whom the apostle might now see and hear, or by some angel or angels, or they could not have been heard by the apostle as they were; but they were such as before never been spoken to any mortal man, and so could never have been spoken by any; and though they had been spoken to a mortal man, yet they could not be spoke by him to others; for though when he heard them, his human soul, for that present time, might conceive and take in much of the nature and meaning of them, yet they were such as he could not express by words, and represent to others by speech after the vision was over, and especially at this distance: not that it was sinful to have done it, if he could have done it; or that the things themselves were of such a nature, that it would have been criminal to have rehearsed them; but rather that it was impossible to do it, at least fully, since they might greatly regard the glory of the divine Being, and the worship paid him by the heavenly inhabitants: or could it be done in any tolerable manner, it might not be altogether convenient and proper in the present state of things; since the worship of the upper world lying in praise without prayer, might not be so fit to be related, lest it should be imitated by saints on earth: and seeing what the apostle heard was ineffable, and not to be spoken by himself; no credit is to be given to those spurious things called the Revelation and Ascension of Saint Paul, in which the author or authors of them pretend to tell us what these things were.

    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

    3754 CONJ ηρπαγη 726 5648 V-2API-3S εις 1519 PREP τον 3588 T-ASM παραδεισον 3857 N-ASM και 2532 CONJ ηκουσεν 191 5656 V-AAI-3S αρρητα 731 A-APN ρηματα 4487 N-APN α 3739 R-APN ουκ 3756 PRT-N εξον 1832 5901 V-PQP-NSN ανθρωπω 444 N-DSM λαλησαι 2980 5658 V-AAN

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    Paradise. See on Luke xxiii. 43.

    Unspeakable words (arrhta rhmata). An oxymoron, speaking which may not be spoken.

    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    12:4 {Into Paradise} (eis paradeison). See on Lu 23:43 for this interesting word. Paul apparently uses paradise as the equivalent of the third heaven in verse #2. Some Jews (_Book of the Secrets of Enoch_, chapter viii) make Paradise in the third heaven. The rabbis had various ideas (two heavens, three, seven). We need not commit Paul to any "celestial gradation" (Vincent). {Unspeakable words} (arreta remata). Old verbal adjective (a privative, retos from re"), only here in N.T. {Not lawful} (ouk exon). Copula estin omitted. Hence Paul does {not} give these words.

    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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