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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - 2 Corinthians 12:7


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

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    King James Bible - 2 Corinthians 12:7

    And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

    World English Bible

    By reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted excessively, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a
    messenger of Satan to torment me, that I should not be exalted excessively.

    Douay-Rheims - 2 Corinthians 12:7

    And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to
    buffet me.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the
    messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

    Greek Textus Receptus


    και
    2532 CONJ τη 3588 T-DSF υπερβολη 5236 N-DSF των 3588 T-GPF αποκαλυψεων 602 N-GPF ινα 2443 CONJ μη 3361 PRT-N υπεραιρωμαι 5229 5747 V-PPS-1S εδοθη 1325 5681 V-API-3S μοι 3427 P-1DS σκολοψ 4647 N-NSM τη 3588 T-DSF σαρκι 4561 N-DSF αγγελος 32 N-NSM σαταν 4566 N-PRI ινα 2443 CONJ με 3165 P-1AS κολαφιζη 2852 5725 V-PAS-3S ινα 2443 CONJ μη 3361 PRT-N υπεραιρωμαι 5229 5747 V-PPS-1S

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (7) -
    2Co 10:5; 11:20 De 8:14; 17:20 2Ch 26:16; 32:25,26,31 Da 5:20 1Ti 3:6

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 12:7

    Y para que la grandeza de las revelaciones no me exaltase descomedidamente, me es dado un aguijn en mi carne, un mensajero de Satans que me abofetee, para que no me enaltezca sobremanera.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - 2 Corinthians 12:7

    Verse 7. And lest I should be exalted] There were
    three evils to be guarded against: 1. The contempt of his gifts and call by his enemies. 2.

    The overweening fondness of his friends. And, Self- exultation.

    A thorn in the flesh] The word skoloy signifies a stake, and anaskolopizesqai, to be tied to a stake by way of punishment; and it is used, says Schoettgen, to signify the most oppressive afflictions.

    Whatever it was, it was th sarki, in the flesh, i.e. of an outward kind. It was neither sin nor sinfulness, for this could not be given him to prevent his being exalted above measure; for sin never had and never can have this tendency. What this thorn in the flesh might be has given birth to a multitude of conjectures: Tertullian thought it dolor auriculae, the ear ache; Chrysostom, kefalalgia, the head ache; Cyprian, carnis et corporis multa ac gravia tormenta, many and grievous bodily torments. I believe the apostle to refer simply to the distresses he had endured through the opposition he met with at Corinth; which were as painful and grievous to him as a thorn in his flesh, or his being bound to a stake; for, if he could have devoted himself to destruction, Rom. ix. 3, for his rebellious and unbelieving countrymen, what must he have suffered on account of an eminent Church being perverted and torn to pieces by a false teacher! God permitted this to keep the apostle humble, and at last completely delivered the Church out of the hands and influence of this deceiver; none, not even the incestuous person, having been turned finally out of the way by the false doctrines there preached.

    The messenger of Satan] Another mode of expressing what he calls the thorn in the flesh; and he seems most plainly to refer to the false apostle at Corinth. The apostle himself was, as he styles himself to this Church, apostolov insou cristou, chap. i. 1, the apostle of Jesus Christ. The person in question is styled here aggelov satan, the apostle or angel of Satan. It is almost impossible to mistake the apostle's meaning and reference. JESUS CHRIST sent Paul to proclaim his truth, and found a Church at Corinth. SATAN, the adversary of God's truth, sent a man to preach lies at the same place, and turn the Church of God into his own synagogue; and by his teaching lies and calumnies the apostle was severely buffeted. We need seek no other sense for these expressions. Many, however, think that the apostle had really some bodily infirmity that rendered him contemptible, and was the means of obstructing the success of his ministry; and that the false apostle availed himself of this to set St. Paul at nought, and to hold him out to ridicule. I have shown this, elsewhere, to be very unlikely.

    The best arguments in favour of this opinion may be found in Whitby; but I forbear to transcribe them because I think the meaning given above is more correct. No infirmity of body nor corporeal sufferings can affect and distress a minister of the Gospel, equally to the perversion or scattering of a flock, which were the fruit of innumerable labours, watchings, fastings, prayers, and tears.


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 7. And lest I should be exalted above measure , etc..] Over much elated in his mind, and swelled with a vain conceit of himself: through the abundance of the revelations ; for he had not only one or two, or a few, but an abundance of them; and which, as everything does but grace, tended to lift up his mind, to stir up the pride of his heart, and to entertain too high and exalted thoughts of himself. Pride is naturally in every man's heart; converted persons are not without it; knowledge, gifts, and revelations are apt to puff up with spiritual pride, unless counterbalanced and over poised by the grace of God. This great apostle was not out of danger by them, for he was not already perfect; wherefore to prevent an excess of pride and vanity in him on account of them, he says, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me ; many have been the thoughts and conjectures of men about what is here meant by the apostle. This ought to be allowed and taken for granted, that the thorn in the flesh, and the messenger of Satan, design one and the same thing; the former is a figurative expression, the latter a literal one, and explanative of the former. Some have thought that corporeal afflictions are here designed, which may be compared to thorns: (see Hosea 2:6), and which are not joyous, but grievous to the flesh, and come not by chance, but are by divine appointment, and are designed and made use of, to hide pride from men; and sometimes, by divine permission, Satan has an hand in inflicting them, as in the case of Job: whilst such a general sense is kept to, it is not to be despised, without entering into the particular bodily disorder with which the apostle was afflicted, as some do; some saying it was the choleic, others the gout, others a pain in the ear, and others the headache; which latter it is said he was much troubled with; but these are mere conjectures: others think that the corruptions of nature are intended which in regenerate persons are left, as the Canaanites were in the land, to be thorns in the eyes and sides of the Israelites, ( Joshua 23:13 Judges 2:3). These, to be sure, were felt by the apostle, and were very grievous and humbling to him, and were no doubt sometimes stirred up by Satan, which made him complain bitterly, and groan earnestly; and it may be observed, to strengthen this sense, that it was usual with the Jews to call concupiscence, or the vitiosity of nature, Satan; for so they often say, [rh rxy awh jh , Satan, he is the evil imagination, or corruption of nature; and particularly they call the lust of uncleanness by this name; and it is said of a young man of Israel, being tempted by a young woman of Midian, through the counsel of Balaam, that jh wb r[wb , Satan burned in him, and he turned aside after her; and that the evil imagination is the old serpent; yea, they call this the messenger of hell, a phrase very much like what is here used. R. Hona f147 , as he was preaching to the children of men to take warning, said unto them, children, beware nhyg l ajylm , of the messenger of hell; but who is this? the evil imagination, or concupiscence, is that which is the messenger of hell; and this sense is agreeable, provided the particular corruption the apostle was harassed with is not pretended to, as is by some, who pitch upon the lust of uncleanness, and spare not to mention the person by name, one Tecla, who, they say, travelled with him, and was a snare to him; but this is to do injury to the character of so holy an apostle, and to represent him as exposing himself to the false apostles, against whom he was guarding: others think that a variety of afflictions, reproaches, and persecutions, for Christ's sake and the Gospel, are here meant, which were as pricking briers and grieving thorns to him; (see Ezekiel 28:24), and which were given and ordered by divine appointment for his good; this sense, ( Corinthians 12:9-10), lead unto, and seem to confirm: others are of opinion that the temptations of Satan are designed, which, as they are called fiery darts, which the archers of Satan, and his principalities and powers, shoot thick and fast at the saints, to their great annoyance; so may be here called, especially some very particular, eminent, and sore temptation, a thorn in the flesh, very pungent, and giving a great deal of pain and uneasiness; others suppose that some particular emissary of Satan, either some one of the false apostles and teachers, who greatly opposed him, as Alexander the coppersmith, who did him much harm; or such an one as Hymenaeus or Philetus, that blasphemed and spoke evil of him; or some violent persecutor of him is intended. But, after all, I see not but that the devil himself may be meant; for, as before observed, the phrase a thorn in the flesh is metaphorical, and the other, a messenger of Satan, is literal, and explains it; and the whole may be read thus, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, namely, aggelov satan , the angel Satan to buffet me; so that Satan, who was once an angel of light, now of darkness, is the thorn in the flesh; and might be suffered to appear visibly to him from time to time, in a very terrible manner, and which was very grievous to be borne; he might by permission have great power over his body, as he had over Job's, to use it ill, to beat and buffet it; for this also may be taken literally: and he might likewise in other ways greatly distress him by stirring up the corruptions of his heart; by following him with his satanical injections, suggestions, and temptations; by raising violent persecutions, and instigating many of his emissaries against him; and this sense is the rather to be chosen, because it includes all others that have any show of truth.

    The Jews sometimes make mention of the angel or messenger of Satan mocking at the righteous, and buffeting them; so God is by them said to deliver Nebuchadnezzar jh alml , to a messenger of Satan. This sore exercise befell the apostle for his good, to keep down the pride of his nature; lest , adds he again, I should be exalted above measure ; for such ends and purposes does the Lord, in his infinite wisdom, deal with his people. The Jews have a notion that this was one reason of God's tempting or trying Abraham with the sacrifice of his Son, to depress that pride that was likely to arise in him because of his greatness. This temptation (they say) was necessary at that time, because above, the grandeur of Abraham is declared how great it was before his enemies made peace with him; and Abimelech, king of the Philistines, and Phichol, the chief captain of his host, were obliged to enter into a covenant with him, and asked him to show favour to them, and to the land in which he sojourned; and perhaps hereby wbl hbg , his heart was lifted up, in the ways of God; wyny[ wmrw , and his eyes were lofty; when he saw himself blessed with riches, and with children, and with grandeur and glory, as the glory of kings; wherefore God was willing to try him: with a wall of iron, (this great difficulty) to see if there was any dross left in him.


    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 7-10 - The apostle gives an account of the method God took to keep him humble and to prevent his being lifted up above measure, on account of the visions and revelations he had. We are not told what this thorn in the flesh was, whether some great trouble, or some great temptation. But God often brings this good out of evil, that the reproaches of ou enemies help to hide pride from us. If God loves us, he will keep u from being exalted above measure; and spiritual burdens are ordered to cure spiritual pride. This thorn in the flesh is said to be a messenge of Satan which he sent for evil; but God designed it, and overruled it for good. Prayer is a salve for every sore, a remedy for every malady and when we are afflicted with thorns in the flesh, we should giv ourselves to prayer. If an answer be not given to the first prayer, no to the second, we are to continue praying. Troubles are sent to teac us to pray; and are continued, to teach us to continue instant in prayer. Though God accepts the prayer of faith, yet he does not alway give what is asked for: as he sometimes grants in wrath, so he sometimes denies in love. When God does not take away our troubles an temptations, yet, if he gives grace enough for us, we have no reason to complain. Grace signifies the good-will of God towards us, and that is enough to enlighten and enliven us, sufficient to strengthen an comfort in all afflictions and distresses. His strength is made perfec in our weakness. Thus his grace is manifested and magnified. When we are weak in ourselves, then we are strong in the grace of our Lor Jesus Christ; when we feel that we are weak in ourselves, then we go to Christ, receive strength from him, and enjoy most the supplies of Divine strength and grace.


    Greek Textus Receptus


    και
    2532 CONJ τη 3588 T-DSF υπερβολη 5236 N-DSF των 3588 T-GPF αποκαλυψεων 602 N-GPF ινα 2443 CONJ μη 3361 PRT-N υπεραιρωμαι 5229 5747 V-PPS-1S εδοθη 1325 5681 V-API-3S μοι 3427 P-1DS σκολοψ 4647 N-NSM τη 3588 T-DSF σαρκι 4561 N-DSF αγγελος 32 N-NSM σαταν 4566 N-PRI ινα 2443 CONJ με 3165 P-1AS κολαφιζη 2852 5725 V-PAS-3S ινα 2443 CONJ μη 3361 PRT-N υπεραιρωμαι 5229 5747 V-PPS-1S

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    7.
    Abundance (uperbolh). Rev., more correctly, the exceeding greatness. Thorn (skoloy). Only here in the New Testament. Frequent in classical Greek in the sense of a pale or stake. It occurs once in Euripides, meaning a stump ("Bacchae," 983). It is a stake for a palisade, or for impaling; a surgical instrument; the point of a fish-hook. In the Septuagint it occurs three times, translated thorn in Hos. ii. 6, where, however, it is distinguished from ajkanqaiv thorns; brier in Ezek. xxviii. 24, and prick in Num. xxxiii. 55. Nine different Hebrew words are rendered by thorn, for which, in the great majority of cases, Septuagint gives akanqa. The rendering thorn for skoloy has no support. The figure is that of the impaling stake. Herodotus, alluding to this punishment, uses ajnaskolopizein (i., 128; 3, 132). In the ninth book of his history, Lampon says to Pausanias: "When Leonidas was slain at Thermopylae, Xerxes and Mardonius beheaded and crucified (anestaurwsan) him. Do thou the like by Mardonius.... for by crucifying (anaskolopisav) thou wilt avenge Leonidas" (ix., 78). The verb seems, therefore, to have been used interchangeably with crucify; and clear instances of this occur in Philo and Lucian.

    At least one text of the Septuagint gives ajnaskolopizw in Esther vii. 10, of Haman's being hanged. 159 See further, on Gal. ii. 20. The explanations of the peculiar nature of this affliction are numerous. Opinions are divided, generally, between mental or spiritual and bodily trials. Under the former head are sensual desires, faint-heartedness, doubts, temptations to despair, and blasphemous suggestions from the devil. Under the latter, persecution, mean personal appearance, headache, epilepsy, earache, stone, ophthalmia. It was probably a bodily malady, in the flesh; but its nature must remain a matter of conjecture. Very plausible reasons are given in favor of both epilepsy and ophthalmia. Bishop Lightfoot inclines to the former, and Archdeacon Farrar thinks that it was almost certainly the latter.

    Messenger of Satan (aggelov Satan). The torment is thus personified. Messenger is the word commonly rendered angel in the New Testament, though sometimes used of human messengers, as Luke vii. 24, 27; ix. 52; Jas. ii. 25; see also on the angels of the churches, Apoc. i. 20. Messenger and Satan are not to be taken in apposition - a messenger who was Satan - because Satan is never called aggelov in the New Testament. Messenger is figurative, in the sense of agent. Satan is conceived in the New Testament as the originator of bodily evil. Thus, in the gospel narrative, demoniac possession is often accompanied with some form of disease. Compare Luke xiii. 16; Acts x. 38, and see on 1 Corinthians v. 5.

    Buffet (kolafizh). Connect with messenger, which better suits depart; not with thorn, which would be a confusion of metaphor, a stake buffeting. For the verb, meaning to strike with the fist, see Matt. xxvi. 67; Mark xiv. 65; 1 Pet. ii. 20. Compare Job ii. 5, 7, where the Septuagint has ayai touch, and epaise smote.


    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    12:7 {By reason of the exceeding greatness} (tei huperbolei). Instrumental case, "by the excess." {That I should not be exalted overmuch} (hina me huperairwmai). Present passive subjunctive in final clause of huperairw, old verb to lift up beyond, only here in N.T. this clause is repeated at the end of the sentence. {A thorn in the flesh} (skoloy tei sarki). this old word is used for splinter, stake, thorn. In the papyri and inscriptions examples occur both for splinter and thorn as the meaning. In the LXX it is usually thorn. The case of ti sarki can be either locative (in) or dative (for). What was it? Certainly it was some physical malady that persisted. All sorts of theories are held (malaria, eye-trouble, epilepsy, insomnia, migraine or sick-headache, etc.). It is a blessing to the rest of us that we do not know the particular affliction that so beset Paul. Each of us has some such splinter or thorn in the flesh, perhaps several at once. {Messenger of Satan} (aggelos satana). Angel of Satan, the affliction personified. {Buffet} (kolafizei). See on Mt 26:67; 1Co 4:11 for this late and rare word from kolafos, fist. The messenger of Satan kept slapping Paul in the face and Paul now sees that it was God's will for it to be so.


    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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