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1. As workers together with Him (sunergountev). Lit., working together. With Him is implied in the compounded oun with. That it refers to God, not to the fellow-Christians, is evident from the parallel 1 Corinthians iii. 9, laborers together with God, and because the act of exhortation or entreaty in which the fellowship is exhibited is ascribed to God in ch. v. 20. The phrase Qeou paredroi assessors of God, occurs in Ignatius' letter to Polycarp. Compare Mark xvi. 20.
In vain (eiv kenon). Lit., to what is vain. Equivalent to the phrase to no purpose.
2. He saith, etc. From Isa. xlix. 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 (kairov euprosdektov). 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 Rom. xv. 16, 31; 1 Pet. ii. 5; and compare acceptable year, Luke iv. 19.
Blamed (mwmhqh). Only here and ch. viii. 20. The kindred mwmov blemish, is found 2 Pet. ii. 13, and in the Septuagint of bodily defects. Similarly the Septuagint amwmov spotless, without bodily defect; and, in the moral sense, 1 Pet. i. 19, applied to Christ. Compare Heb. ix. 14; Eph. v. 27; Jude 24.
4. Necessities (anagkaiv). See on 1 Cor. vii. 26.
Distresses (stenocwriaiv). See on Rom. ii. 9.
5. Imprisonments (fulakaiv). See on Acts v. 21.
Tumults (akatastasiaiv). See on Luke xxi. 9, and compare ajkatastatov unstable, Jas. i. 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.
8. Deceivers. See ch. ii. 17; iv. 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 iii. 1; v. 12; x. 12-18). Paul is assailed under the guise of Simon Magus, and with the same words as those in this passage, deceiver and unknown.
9. Chastened. See ch. xii. 7-9, and compare Psalm cxviii. 18.
10. Having - possessing (econtev - katecontev). The contrast is twofold: between having and not having, and between temporary and permanent having, or having and keeping. Compare Luke viii. 15; 1 Corinthians xv. 2; 1 Thess. v. 21; Heb. iii. 6.
Is enlarged (peplatuntai). Only here, ver. 13, and Matt. xxiii. 5, where it is used of widening the phylacteries. From platuv broad. Quite common in the Septuagint, and with various shades of meaning, but usually rendered enlarge. Of worldly prosperity, "waxed fat," Deut. xxxii. 15; compare Gen. ix. 27. Of pride, Deuteronomy xi. 16. Of deliverance in distress, Psalm iv. 1. Expand with joy, Psalm xix. 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., cuma outpouring. Compare Isa. lx. 5.
12. Not straitened in us. It is not that our hearts are too narrow to take you in. Straitened in antithesis with enlarged.
14. Unequally yoked (eterozugountev). Only here in the New Testament. Not in classical Greek, nor in Septuagint, though the kindred adjective eJterozugov of a diverse kind, occurs Lev. xix. 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 Deut. xxii. 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 (metoch). Only here in the New Testament. The kindred verb metecw to be partaker is found only in Paul's epistles and in Hebrews: metocov partner, partaker, only in Hebrews and Luke v. 7. Having part with is the corresponding English expression.
Righteousness - unrighteousness (dikaiosunh - anomia). Lit., what sharing is there unto righteousness and lawlessness? Dikaiosunh 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.
15. Concord (sumfwnhsiv). Only here in the New Testament. From sun together, fwnh voice. Primarily of the concord of sounds. So the kindred sufwnia, A.V., music, see on Luke xv. 25. Compare sumfwnov with consent, 1 Cor. vii. 5; and sumfwnew to agree, Matt. xviii. 19; Luke v. 36, etc.
Belial (beliar). 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. 2.), who uses the word for sensual profligacy.
16. Agreement (sugkataqesiv). Only here in the New Testament.
Ye are. Read, as Rev., we are.
God hath said, etc. The quotation is combined and condensed from Lev. xxvii. 11, 12; and Ezek. xxxvii. 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.
17. Come out, etc. Isa. lii. 11, 12, after the Septuagint, with several changes.
Almighty (pantokratwr). The word is peculiar to Revelation, occurring nowhere else in the New Testament. Here it is a quotation. Frequent in the Septuagint.