2 Corinthians Jewish New Testament and comments of David H. Stern
1. As God’s fellow-workers we also urge you not to receive his grace and then do nothing with it.
2. For he says, "At the acceptable time I heard you; in the day of salvation I helped you" (Isaiah 49:8)
We... urge you not to receive his grace and then do nothing with it (literally, "to receive his grace in vain"), that is, and then not live for him (5:15). Thus begin the first notes of a new theme, heard again at v. 13b, "open wide your hearts," the significance of which blossoms in the charity appeal of Chapters 8-9. In line with this, v. 2 not only says what Sha'ul, imitating God, has done, but is an exhortation to the Corinthians to hear and help too.
3. We try not to put obstacles in anyone’s path, so that no one can find fault with the work we do.
Compare 1С 9:19, 23.
4. On the contrary, we try to commend ourselves in every way as workers for God by continually enduring troubles, hardships, calamities,
5. beatings, imprisonments, riots, overwork, lack of sleep and food.
6. We commend ourselves by our purity, knowledge, patience and kindness; by the Ruach HaKodesh; by genuineness of love
7. and truthfulness of speech; and by God’s power. We commend ourselves through our use of righteous weapons, whether for pressing our cause or defending it;
8. through being honored and dishonored, praised and blamed, considered deceptive and sincere,
9. unknown and famous. And we commend ourselves as God’s workers headed for death, yet look! we’re alive! as punished, yet not killed;
10. as having reason to be sad, yet always filled with joy; as poor, yet making many people rich; as having nothing, yet having everything!
Compare 4:7-12, 11:22-33, 1С 4:9-13.
11. Dear friends in Corinth! We have spoken frankly to you, we have opened our hearts wide.
12. Any constraint you feel has not been imposed by us, but by your own inner selves.
13. So, just to be “fair” (I am using the language of children), open wide your hearts too.
14. Do not yoke yourselves together in a team with unbelievers. For how can righteousness and lawlessness be partners? What fellowship does light have with darkness?
15. What harmony can there be between the Messiah and B’liya‘al? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
16. What agreement can there be between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God — as God said,
"I will house myself in them,..
and I will walk among you.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people" (Leviticus 26:12; Exodus 6:7; Jeremiah 31:32(33), 32:38; Ezekiel 37:27).
17. Therefore Adonai says,
"'Go out from their midst; separate yourselves; don’t even touch what is unclean. (Isaiah 52:11)
Then I myself will receive you. (Ezekiel 20:34, 41)
18. In fact,
"I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters.’
says Adonai-Tzva’ot." (2 Samuel 7:14, Isaiah 43:6).
v. 6:14-7:1 Sha'ul wants his dear friends in Corinth (v. 11) to open wide their hearts toward him (and others; see v. lbN), as he has toward them, and not to team up with "pseudo-emissaries" (11:13) who are actually unbelievers; indeed this would be receiving God's grace in vain (v. 1b).
Verse 14 is sometimes used to support the principle that believers should not marry (yoke themselves with) unbelievers. One can surely make a midrash along these lines, but the plain sense of the text is not concerned with marriage. A believing widow is enjoined not to marry an unbeliever (1С 7:39). From a Jewish viewpoint intermarriage is usually understood to imply assimilation; see 1С 7:18&NN. On "Adonai-Tzva'ot" (v. 18) see Ro 9:29N.
- chapter 1
- chapter 2
- chapter 3
- chapter 4
- chapter 5
- chapter 6
- chapter 7
- chapter 8
- chapter 9
- chapter 10
- chapter 11
- chapter 12
- chapter 13