2 Corinthians 5

CHAPTER V.

The apostle's strong hope of eternal glory, and earnest

longings after that state of blessedness, 1-4.

The assurance that he had of it from the Holy Spirit, and his

carefulness to be always found pleasing to the Lord, 5-9.

All must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, 10.

Knowing that this awful event must take place, he laboured to

convince men of the necessity of being prepared to meet the

Lord, being influenced to this work by his love of Christ,

11-13.

Jesus Christ having died for all, is a proof that all were

dead, 14.

Those for whom he died should live to him, 15.

We should know no man after the flesh, 16.

They who are in Christ are new creatures, 17.

The glorious ministry of reconciliation, 18-21.

NOTES ON CHAP. V.

Verse 1. If our earthly house of this tabernacle] By earthly

house, the apostle most evidently means the body in which the soul

is represented as dwelling or sojourning for a time, and from

which it is to be liberated at death; for as death dissolves the

tabernacle, it can then be no habitation for the soul. The

apostle also alludes here to the ancient Jewish tabernacle, which,

on all removals of the congregation, was dissolved and taken in

pieces; and the ark of the covenant, covered with its own

curtains, was carried by itself; and when they came to the place

of rest, then the dissolved parts of the tabernacle were put

together as before. When we consider this simile in connection

with the doctrine of the resurrection, which the apostle has

treated so much at large in these epistles, and which he keeps

constantly in view, then we shall see that he intends to convey

the following meaning: that as the tabernacle was taken down in

order to be again put together, so the body is to be dissolved,

in order to be re-edified; that as the ark of the covenant

subsisted by itself, while the tabernacle was down, so can the

soul when separated from the body; that as the ark had then its

own veil for its covering, Ex 40:21, so the soul is to have some

vehicle in which it shall subsist till it receives its body at the

resurrection.

A building of God] Some think this refers to a certain

celestial vehicle with which God invests holy souls on their

dismissal from the body; others suppose it relates to the

resurrection body; and some imagine that it relates merely to the

state of blessedness which the saints shall possess in the kingdom

of glory. See the following note.

Verse 2. For in this we groan] While in this state, and in

this body, we are encompassed with many infirmities, and exposed

to many trials, so that life is a state of discipline and

affliction, and every thing within and around us says, "Arise and

depart, for this is not your rest!" Those who apply these words

to what they call the apostle's sense of indwelling sin, abuse the

passage. There is nothing of the kind either mentioned or

intended.

Desiring to be clothed upon with our house] This and the

following verses are, in themselves, exceedingly obscure, and can

be only interpreted by considering that the expressions used by

the apostle are all Jewish, and should be interpreted according to

their use of them. Schoettgen has entered largely into the

argument here employed by the apostle, and brought forth much

useful information.

He observes, 1. That the Hebrew word labash, which answers

to the apostle's ενδυσασθαι, to be clothed, signifies to be

surrounded, covered, or invested with any thing. So, to be

clothed with the uncircumcision, signifies to be uncircumcised.

Yalcut Rubeni, fol. 163.

On the words, Ex 24:18,

Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the

mount, Sohar Exod., fol. 77, has these words, He went into the

midst of the cloud, as if one put on a garment; so he was CLOTHED

with the CLOUD. Sohar Levit., fol. 29: "The righteous are in the

terrestrial paradise, where their souls are clothed with the lucid

crown;" i.e. they are surrounded, encompassed with light, &c.

2. The word beith, HOUSE, in Hebrew often denotes a cover,

case, or clothing. So, in the Targum of Onkelos,

beith appei, the HOUSE or the FACE, is a veil; and so

beith etsbaim, the HOUSE of the FINGERS, and beith yad,

the HOUSE of the HAND, signify gloves; beith regalim,

the HOUSE of the FEET, shoes. Therefore, οικητηριονεπενδυσασθαι,

to be clothed on with a house, may signify any particular

qualities of the soul; what we, following the very same form of

speech, call a habit, i.e. a coat or vestment. So we say the

man has got a habit of vice, a habit of virtue, a habit of

swearing, of humility, &c., &c.

3. The Jews attribute garments to the soul, both in this and

the other world; and as they hold that all human souls pre-exist,

they say that, previously to their being appointed to bodies, they

have a covering which answers the same end to them before they

come into life as their bodies do afterwards. And they state that

the design of God in sending souls into the world is, that they

may get themselves a garment by the study of the law and good

works. See several proofs in Schoettgen.

4. It is plain, also, that by this garment or covering of the

soul they mean simply what we understand by acquiring the image of

God-being made holy. This image they assert "Adam lost by his

fall, and they represent man in a sinful state as being naked."

So they represent the Israelites before their making the molten

calf, as having received holy garments from Mount Sinai; but

afterwards, having worshipped the calf, they were stripped of

these, and left naked.

5. But notwithstanding they speak of this clothing as implying

righteous and holy dispositions, and heavenly qualities, yet

they all agree in assigning certain vehicles to separate spirits,

in which they act; but of these vehicles they have strange

notions; yet they acknowledge that without them, whether they be

of light, fire, &c., or whatever else, they cannot see and

contemplate the Supreme Wisdom. In Synopsis Sohar, page 137, we

have these words: "When the time draws near in which a man is to

depart from this world, the angel of death takes off his mortal

garment and clothes him with one from paradise, in which he may

see and contemplate the Supreme Wisdom; and therefore the angel of

death is said to be very kind to man, because he takes off from

him the garment of this world, and clothes him with a much more

precious one prepared in paradise."

When the apostle says that they earnestly desired to be clothed

upon with our house which is from heaven, he certainly means that

the great concern of all the genuine followers of God was to be

fully prepared to enjoy the beatific vision of their Maker and

Redeemer.

Verse 3. If so be that being clothed] That is, fully prepared

in this life for the glory of God;

We shall not be found naked.] Destitute in that future state

of that Divine image which shall render us capable of enjoying an

endless glory.

Verse 4. For we that are in this tabernacle] We who are in

this state of trial and difficulty do groan, being burdened; as if

he had said: The whole of human life is a state of suffering, and

especially our lot; who are troubled on every side, perplexed,

persecuted, cast down, bearing about in the body the dying of our

Lord Jesus, and being always delivered unto death on the account

of Jesus, 2Co 4:8-11.

These were sufficient burdens, and sufficient causes of groaning.

Not for that we would be unclothed] We do not desire death,

nor to die, even with the full prospect of eternal glory before

our eyes, an hour before that time which God in his wisdom has

assigned.

But clothed upon] To have the fullest preparation for eternal

glory. We wish not to die, whatever tribulation we may be called

to pass through, till the whole will of God is accomplished in us

and by us.

That mortality might be swallowed up of life.] Being fully

prepared for the eternal state we shall scarcely be said to die,

all that is mortal being absorbed and annihilated by immortality

and glory. See the notes on 1Co 15:51-56. From the use of these

expressions among the Jews, this seems to be the general meaning

of the apostle.

Verse 5. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing]

God has given us our being and our body for this very purpose,

that both might be made immortal, and both be glorified together.

Or, God himself has given us this insatiable hungering and

thirsting after righteousness and immortality. Mr. Addison has

made a beautiful paraphrase of the sense of the apostle, whether

he had his words in view or not:-

"---Whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,

This longing after immortality?

Or whence this secret dread and inward horror

Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul

Back on herself, and startles at destruction?

'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us;

'Tis Heaven itself that points out an hereafter,

And intimates eternity to man.---

The soul, secured in her existence, smiles

At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.

The stars shall fade away, the sun himself

Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years;

But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,

Unhurt amidst the war of elements,

The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds."

The earnest of the Spirit.] See Clarke on 2Co 1:22.

Verse 6. We are always confident] θαρρουντεςουνπαντοτε. We

are always full of courage; we never despond; we know where our

help lies; and, having the earnest of the Spirit, we have the full

assurance of hope.

Whilst we are at home in the body, &c.] The original words in

this sentence are very emphatic: ενδημειν signifies to dwell among

one's own people; εκδημειν, to be a sojourner among a strange

people. Heaven is the home of every genuine Christian, and is

claimed by them as such; see Php 1:23. Yet, while here below,

the body is the proper home of the soul; but as the soul is made

for eternal glory, that glory is its country; and therefore it is

considered as being from its proper home while below in the body.

As all human souls are made for this glory, therefore all are

considered, while here, to be absent from their own country. And

it is not merely heaven that they have in view, but the Lord;

without whom, to an immortal spirit possessed of infinite desires,

heaven would neither be a home nor a place of rest. We see

plainly that the apostle gives no intimation of an intermediate

state between being at home in the body and being present with

the Lord. There is not the slightest intimation here that the

soul sleeps, or rather, that there is no soul; and, when the body

is decomposed, that there is no more of the man till the

resurrection: I mean, according to the sentiments of those who do

condescend to allow us a resurrection, though they deny us a soul.

But this is a philosophy in which St. Paul got no lessons, either

from Gamaliel, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, or in the third

heaven, where he heard even unutterable things.

Verse 7. For we walk by faith] While we are in the present

state faith supplies the place of direct vision. In the future

world we shall have sight-the utmost evidence of spiritual and

eternal things; as we shall be present with them, and live in

them. Here we have the testimony of God, and believe in their

reality, because we cannot doubt his word. And to make this more

convincing he gives us the earnest of his Spirit, which is a

foretaste of glory.

Verse 8. We are confident] We are of good courage,

notwithstanding our many difficulties; because we have this

earnest of the Spirit, and the unfailing testimony of God. And

notwithstanding this, we are willing rather to be absent from the

body-we certainly prefer a state of glory to a state of suffering,

and the enjoyment of the beatific vision to even the anticipation

of it by faith and hope; but, as Christians, we cannot desire to

die before our time.

Verse 9. Wherefore we labour] φιλοτιμουμεθα. from φιλος,

loving, and τιμη, honour; we act at all times on the principles

of honour; we are, in the proper sense of the word, ambitious to

do and say every thing consistently with our high vocation: and, as

we claim kindred to the inhabitants of heaven, to act as they do.

We may be accepted of him.] ευαρεστοιαυτωειναι To be

pleasing to him. Through the love we have to God, we study and

labour to please him. This is and will be our heaven, to study to

love, please, and serve him from whom we have received both our

being and its blessings.

Verse 10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat] We

labour to walk so as to please him, because we know that we shall

have to give a solemn account of ourselves before the judgment

seat of Christ; where he, whose religion we profess, will judge us

according to its precepts, and according to the light and grace

which it affords.

That every one may receive the things] κομισηταιεκαστος.

That each may receive to himself, into his own hand, his own

reward and his own wages.

The things done in his body] That is, while he was in this

lower state; for in this sense the term body is taken often in

this epistle. We may observe also that the soul is the grand

agent, the body is but its instrument. And it shall receive

according to what it has done in the body.

Verse 11. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord] This, I

think, is too harsh a translation of ειδοτεςουντονφοβοντου

κυριου, which should be rendered, knowing therefore the fear of

the Lord; which, strange as it may at first appear, often

signifies the worship of the Lord, or that religious reverence

which we owe to him; Ac 9:31; Ro 3:18; 13:7;

1Pe 1:17; 2:18; 3:2.

As we know therefore what God requires of man, because we are

favoured with his own revelation, we persuade men to become

Christians, and to labour to be acceptable to him, because they

must all stand before the judgment seat; and if they receive not

the grace of the Gospel here, they must there give up their

accounts with sorrow and not with joy. In short, a man who is not

saved from his sin in this life, will be separated from God and

the glory of his power in the world to come. This is a powerful

motive to persuade men to accept the salvation provided for them

by Christ Jesus. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom; the

terror of God confounds and overpowers the soul. We lead men to

God through his fear and love, and with the fear of God the

love of God is ever consistent; but where the terror of the Lord

reigns there can neither be fear, faith, nor love; nay, nor hope

either. Men who vindicate their constant declamations on hell

and perdition by quoting this text, know little of its meaning;

and, what is worse, seem to know but little of the nature of man,

and perhaps less of the spirit of the Gospel of Christ. Let them

go and learn a lesson from Christ, sweeping over Jerusalem: "O

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how oft would I have gathered you together,

as a hen would her brood under her wings!" And another from his

last words on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not

what they do!"

But we are made manifest unto God] God, who searches the

heart, knows that we are upright in our endeavours to please him;

and because we are fully persuaded of the reality of eternal

things, therefore we are fully in earnest to get sinners converted

to him.

Manifest in your consciences.] We have reason to believe that

you have had such proof of our integrity and disinterestedness,

that your consciences must acquit us of every unworthy motive, and

of every sinister view.

Verse 12. For we commend not ourselves?] I do not say these

things to bespeak your good opinion, to procure your praise; but

to give you an occasion to glory-to exult on our behalf; and to

furnish you with an answer to all those who either malign us or

our ministry, and who only glory in appearance-have no solid

ground of exultation, and whose heart is dishonest and impure.

St. Paul probably speaks here concerning the false apostle, who

had been dividing the Church and endeavouring to raise a party to

himself, by vilifying both the apostle and his doctrine.

Verse 13. Beside ourselves] Probably he was reputed by some

to be deranged. Festus thought so: Paul, thou art beside thyself;

too much learning hath made thee mad. And his enemies at Corinth

might insinuate not only that he was deranged, but attribute his

derangement to a less worthy cause than intense study and deep

learning.

It is to God] If we do appear, in speaking of the glories of

the eternal world, to be transported beyond ourselves, it is

through the good hand of our God upon us, and we do it to promote

his honour.

Whether we be sober] Speak of Divine things in a more cool and

dispassionate manner, it is that we may the better instruct and

encourage you.

Verse 14. For the love of Christ constraineth us] We have the

love of God shed abroad in our hearts, and this causes us to love

God intensely, and to love and labour for the salvation of men.

And it is the effect produced by this love which συνεχειημας,

bears us away with itself, which causes us to love after the

similitude of that love by which we are influenced; and as God so

loved the world as to give his Son for it, and aa Christ so loved

the world as to pour out his life for it, so we, influenced by the

very same love, desire to spend and be spent for the glory of God,

and the salvation of immortal souls. By the fear of God the

apostles endeavoured to persuade and convince men, and the love of

Christ constrained them so to act.

If one died for all, then were all dead] The first position

the apostle takes for granted; viz. that Jesus Christ died for ALL

mankind. This no apostolic man nor primitive Christian ever did

doubt or could doubt.

The second position he infers from the first, and justly too;

for if all had not been guilty, and consigned to eternal death

because of their sins there could have been no need of his death.

Therefore, as he most certainly died for ALL, then all were dead,

and needed his sacrifice, and the quickening power of his Spirit.

Verse 15. And that he died for all, that they which live, &c.]

This third position he draws from the preceding: If all were dead,

and in danger of endless perdition; and if he died for all, to

save them from that perdition; then it justly follows that they

are not their own, that they are bought by his blood; and should

not live unto themselves, for this is the way to final ruin; but

unto him who died for them, and thus made an atonement for their

sins, and rose again for their justification.

Verse 16. Know we no man after the flesh] As we know that all

have sinned and come short of the glory of God; and as we know

that all are alienated from God, and are dead in trespasses and

sins; therefore we esteem no man on account of his family

relations, or the stock whence he proceeded, because we see all

are shut up in unbelief, and all are children of wrath.

Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh] We cannot

esteem a man who is a sinner, were he even allied to the blood

royal of David, and were he of the same family with the man Christ

himself; nor can we prize a man because he has seen Christ in the

flesh; for many have seen him in the flesh to whom he will say;

Depart from me, for I never knew you. So we: nothing weighs with

us, nor in the sight of God, but redemption from this death, and

living to him who died for them.

We know that the Jews valued themselves much in having Abraham

for their father; and some of the Judaizing teachers at Corinth

might value themselves in having seen Christ in the flesh, which

certainly St. Paul did not; hence he takes occasion to say here

that this kind of privilege availed nothing; for the old creature,

however noble, or well descended in the sight of men, is under the

curse; and the new creature only is such as God can approve.

Verse 17. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature] It

is vain for a man to profess affinity to Christ according to the

flesh, while he is unchanged in his heart and life, and dead in

trespasses and sins; for he that is in Christ, that is, a genuine

Christian, having Christ dwelling in his heart by faith, is a new

creature; his old state is changed: he was a child of Satan, he

is now a child of God; he was a slave of sin, and his works were

death; he is now made free from sin, and has his fruit unto

holiness, and the end everlasting life. He was before full of

pride and wrath; he is now meek and humble. He formerly had

his portion in this life, and lived for this world alone; he now

hath GOD for his portion, and he looks not at the things which are

seen, but at the things which are eternal. Therefore, old things

are passed away.

Behold, all things are become new.] The man is not only

mended, but he is new made; he is a new creature, καινηκτισις

a new creation, a little world in himself; formerly, all was in

chaotic disorder; now, there is a new creation, which God himself

owns as his workmanship, and which he can look on and pronounce

very good. The conversion of a man from idolatry and wickedness

was among the Jews denominated a new creation. He who converts a

man to the true religion is the same, says R. Eliezer, as if he

had created him.

Verse 18. And all things are of God] As the thorough

conversion of the soul is compared to a new creation, and creation

is the proper work of an all-wise, almighty Being; then this total

change of heart, soul, and life, which takes place under the

preaching of the Gospel, is effected by the power and grace of

God: this is salvation, and salvation must ever be of the Lord;

and therefore men should apply to him, who alone can work this

wondrous change.

Who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ] Having

given Jesus Christ to die for sinners, they have through him

access unto God; for his sake and on his account God can receive

them; and it is only by the grace and Spirit of Christ that the

proud, fierce, and diabolic nature of men can be changed and

reconciled to God, and by and through this sacrifice God can be

propitious to them. There is an enmity in the heart of man against

sacred things; the grace of Christ alone can remove this enmity.

The ministry of reconciliation] διακονιαντηκαταλλαγης. The

OFFICE or function of this reconciliation called, 2Co 5:19,

the word; τονλογοντηςκαταλλαγης. the DOCTRINE of this

reconciliation. καταλλαγη, reconciliation, comes from

καταλλασσω, to change thoroughly; and the grand object of the

Gospel is to make a complete change in men's minds and manners;

but the first object is the removal of enmity from the heart of

man, that he may be disposed to accept of the salvation God has

provided for him, on the terms which God has promised. The enmity

in the heart of man is the grand hinderance to his salvation.

Verse 19. That God was in Christ] This is the doctrine which

this ministry of reconciliation holds out, and the doctrine which

it uses to bring about the reconciliation itself.

God was in Christ: 1. Christ is the same as Messiah, the

Anointed One, who was to be prophet, priest, and king, to the

human race; not to the Jews only, but also to the Gentiles. There

had been prophets, priests, and kings, among the Jews and their

ancestors; and some who had been priest and prophet, king and

priest, and king and prophet; but none have ever sustained in his

own person the threefold office except Christ; for none have ever

ministered in reference to the whole world but he. The functions

of all the others were restrained to the ancient people of God

alone. 2. Now all the others were appointed of God in reference

to this Christ; and as his types, or representatives, till the

fulness of the time should come. 3. And that this Christ might be

adequate to the great work of reconciling the whole human race to

God, by making atonement for their sins, God was in him. The man

Jesus was the temple and shrine of the eternal Divinity; for

in him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Col 2:9;

and he made peace by the blood of his cross. 4. Christ, by his

offering upon the cross, made atonement for the sins of the world;

and therefore one important branch of the doctrine of this

reconciliation was to show that God would not impute or account

their trespasses to them, so as to exact the penalty, because this

Jesus had died in their stead.

The whole of this important doctrine was short, simple, and

plain. Let us consider it in all its connections: 1. You believe

there is a God. 2. You know he has made you. 3. He requires you

to love and serve him. 4. To show you how to do this he has given

a revelation of himself, which is contained in his law, &c. 5.

You have broken this law, and incurred the penalty, which is

death. 6. Far from being able to undo your offences, or make

reparation to the offended majesty of God, your hearts, through

the deceitfulness and influence of sin, are blinded, hardened, and

filled with enmity, against your Father and your Judge. 7. To

redeem you out of this most wretched and accursed state, God; in

his endless love, has given his Son for you; who has assumed your

nature, and died in your stead. 8. In consequence of this he has

commanded repentance towards God, and remission of sins, to be

published in his name in all the earth. 9. All who repent, and

believe in Christ as having died for them as a sin-offering,

(2Co 5:21,) shall receive remission of sins. 10. And if they

abide in him they shall have an eternal inheritance among them

that are sanctified.

Verse 20. We are ambassadors for Christ] υπερ

χριστουπρεσβευομεν. We execute the function of ambassadors in

Christ's stead. He came from the Father to mankind on this

important embassy. He has left the world, and appointed us in his

place.

Ambassador is a person sent from one sovereign power to

another; and is supposed to represent the person of the sovereign

by whom he is deputed. Christ while on earth represented the

person of the Sovereign of the world; his apostles and their

successors represent the person of Christ. Christ declared the

will of the Father to mankind; apostles, &c., declare the will of

Christ to the world. We are ambassadors for Christ.

As though God did beseech you by us] What we say to you we say

on the authority of God; our entreaties are his entreaties; our

warm love to you, a faint reflection of his infinite love; we pray

you to return to God, it is his will that you should do so; we

promise you remission of sins, we are authorized to do so by God

himself. In Christ's stead we pray you to lay aside your enmity

and be reconciled to God; i.e. accept pardon, peace, holiness,

and heaven; which are all procured for you by his blood, and

offered to you on his own authority.

"What unparalleled condescension and divinely tender mercies

are displayed in this verse! Did the judge ever beseech a

condemned criminal to accept of pardon? Does the creditor ever

beseech a ruined debtor to receive an acquittance in full? Yet

our almighty Lord, and our eternal Judge, not only vouchsafes to

offer these blessings, but invites us, entreats us, and with the

most tender importunity solicits us not to reject them." The Rev.

J. Wesley's notes in loc.

This sentiment is farther expressed in the following beautiful

poetic version of this place, by the Rev. Charles Wesley:-

"God, the offended God most high,

Ambassadors to rebels sends;

His messengers his place supply,

And Jesus begs us to be friends.

Us, in the stead of Christ, they pray,

Us, in the stead of Christ, entreat,

To cast our arms, our sins, away,

And find forgiveness at his feet.

Our God, in Christ, thine embassy

And proffer'd mercy we embrace;

And, gladly reconciled to thee,

Thy condescending mercy praise.

Poor debtors, by our Lord's request

A full acquittance we receive;

And criminals, with pardon blest,

We, at our Judge's instance, live."

Verse 21. For he hath made him to be sin for us] τονμη

γνοντααμαρτιανυπερημωναμαρτιανεποιησεν. He made him who

knew no sin, (who was innocent,) a sin-offering for us. The word

αμαρτια occurs here twice: in the first place it means sin,

i.e. transgression and guilt; and of Christ it is said, He knew

no sin, i.e. was innocent; for not to know sin is the same as to

be conscious of innocence; so, nil conscire sibi, to be conscious

of nothing against one's self, is the same as nulla pallescere

culpa, to be unimpeachable.

In the second place, it signifies a sin-offering, or sacrifice

for sin, and answers to the chattaah and

chattath of the Hebrew text; which signifies both sin and

sin-offering in a great variety of places in the Pentateuch. The

Septuagint translate the Hebrew word by αμαρτια in ninety-four

places in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, where a sin-offering is

meant; and where our version translates the word not sin, but an

offering for sin. Had our translators attended to their own

method of translating the word in other places where it means the

same as here, they would not have given this false view of a

passage which has been made the foundation of a most blasphemous

doctrine; viz. that our sins were imputed to Christ, and that he

was a proper object of the indignation of Divine justice, because

he was blackened with imputed sin; and some have proceeded so far

in this blasphemous career as to say, that Christ may be

considered as the greatest of sinners, because all the sins of

mankind, or of the elect, as they say, were imputed to him, and

reckoned as his own. One of these writers translates the passage

thus: Deus Christum pro maximo peccatore habuit, ut nos essemus

maxime justi, God accounted Christ the greatest of sinners, that

we might be supremely righteous. Thus they have confounded sin

with the punishment due to sin. Christ suffered in our stead;

died for us; bore our sins, (the punishment due to them,) in his

own body upon the tree, for the Lord laid upon him the iniquities

of us all; that is, the punishment due to them; explained by

making his soul-his life, an offering for sin; and healing us by

his stripes.

But that it may be plainly seen that sin-offering, not sin, is

the meaning of the word in this verse, I shall set down the places

from the Septuagint where the word occurs; and where it answers to

the Hebrew words already quoted; and where our translators have

rendered correctly what they render here incorrectly.

In EXODUS, Ex 29:14, 36:

LEVITICUS, Le 4:3, 8, 20, 21, 24, 25, 29, 32-34;

Le 5:6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12; Le 6:17, 25, 30; Le 7:7, 37;

Le 8:2, 14; Le 9:2, 3, 7, 8, 10, 15, 22; Le 10:16, 17, 19;

Le 12:6, 8; Le 14:13, 19, 22, 31; Le 15:15, 30;

Le 16:3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 15, 25, 27; Le 23:19:

NUMBERS, Nu 6:11, 14, 16;

Nu 7:16, 22, 28, 34, 40, 46, 52, 58, 70, 76, 82, 87; Nu 8:8, 12;

Nu 15:24, 25, 27; Nu 18:9; Nu 28:15, 22;

Nu 29:5, 11, 16, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 38.

Besides the above places, it occurs in the same signification,

and is properly translated in our version, in the following

places:-

2 CHRONICLES, 2Ch 29:21, 23, 24: EZRA, Ezr 6:17; Ezr 8:35:

NEHEMIAH, Ne 10:33: JOB, Job 1:5: EZEKIEL, Eze 43:19, 22, 25;

Eze 44:27, 29; Eze 45:17, 19, 22, 23, 25. In all, one hundred

and eight places, which, in the course of my own reading in the

Septuagint, I have marked.

That we might be made the righteousness of God in him.] The

righteousness of God signifies here the salvation of God, as

comprehending justification through the blood of Christ, and

sanctification through his Spirit or, as the mountains of God, the

hail of God, the wind of God, mean exceeding high mountains,

extraordinary hail, and most tempestuous wind; so, here, the

righteousness of God may mean a thorough righteousness, complete

justification, complete sanctification; such as none but God can

give, such as the sinful nature and guilty conscience of man

require, and such as is worthy of God to impart. And all this

righteousness, justification, and holiness, we receive in, by,

for, and through HIM, as the grand, sacrificial, procuring, and

meritorious cause of these, and every other blessing. Some render

the passage: We are justified through him; before God; or, We are

justified, according to God's plan of justification, through him.

IN many respects, this is a most important and instructive

chapter.

1. The terms house, building, tabernacle, and others connected

with them, have already been explained from the Jewish writings.

But it has been thought by some that the apostle mentions these as

readily offering themselves to him from his own avocation, that of

a tentmaker; and it is supposed that he borrows these terms from

his own trade in order to illustrate his doctrine; This

supposition would be natural enough if we had not full evidence

that these terms were used in the Jewish theology precisely in the

sense in which the apostle uses them here. Therefore, it is more

likely that he borrowed them from that theology, than from his own

trade.

2. In the terms tabernacle, building of God, &c., he may refer

also to the tabernacle in the wilderness, which was a building of

God, and a house of God, and as God dwelt in that building, so he

will dwell in the souls of those who believe in, love, and obey

him. And this will be his transitory temple till mortality is

swallowed up of life, and we have a glorified body and soul to be

his eternal residence.

3. The doctrines of the resurrection of the same body; the

witness of the Spirit; the immateriality of the soul; the fall and

miserable condition of all mankind; the death of Jesus, as an

atonement for the sins of the whole world; the necessity of

obedience to the Divine will, and of the total change of the human

heart, are all introduced here: and although only a few words are

spoken on each, yet these are so plain and so forcible as to set

those important doctrines in the most clear and striking point of

view.

4. The chapter concludes with such a view of the mercy and

goodness of God in the ministry of reconciliation, as is no where

else to be found. He has here set forth the Divine mercy in all

its heightenings; and who can take this view of it without having

his heart melted down with love and gratitude to God, who has

called him to such a state of salvation.

5. It is exceedingly remarkable that, through the whole of this

chapter, the apostle speaks of himself in the first person plural;

and though he may intend other apostles, and the Christians in

general, yet it is very evident that he uses this form when only

himself can be meant, as in verses 12 and 13, 2Co 5:12, 13 as

well as in several places of the following chapter. This may be

esteemed rather more curious than important.

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