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St. Paul was actually condemned to this punishment, though by the mercy of God, delivered from that death. Acts xix. 2 Cor. i. 9, 10.
XVI.-22. “ Let him be Anathema, Maran-atha.” Namely, Let him be accursed, the Lord cometh. When the Jews had power of life and death, the form of the curse was, Let him be Anathema, i.e. accursed, which curse they carried into effect. When, however, they lost that power, they added, Maran-atha, i. e. the Lord cometh ; who will execute judgment upon the offender. The apostle here retorts upon the Jews the curse which they appear at 1 Cor. xii. 3. to pronounce against Christ. In the mouth of St. Paul it is not an imprecation, but a prophetic denunciation.
1.-24. “ Not for that we have dominion over your faith.” Bp. Middleton understands here the exercise of a domineering and arbitrary power, as in Luke xxii. 25.
II.-15. “ In them that are saved.” Are saved : See the same form of expression at Luke xiii. 23. 1 Cor. i. 18. Rev. xxi. 24. Why the translators have given to Acts ii. 47. a meaning so forced and arbitrary, would probably puzzle a bench of divines to determine
II.-17. For we are not as many which corrupt the word of God.” Thus Beza:-Non enim, ut plerique, cauponamur sermonem Dei; i. e. For not, as many, do we adulterate or sell the word of God for gain.
III.-I. “Epistles of commendation.” Commendatory epistles, certifying the piety and good character of the person
to whom they were given, and recommending him to an hospitable reception in the places to which he travelled, were an antient custom in the primitive church. Whether they took their rise from the tessere hospitalitatis of the heathens, or from the Jews, among whom the same custom prevailed, is an undecided point.-- See Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. i.
III.18. “With open face.” Literally, unveiled face, in allusion to the veil which Moses put on.
V.-10. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” The original is, We must all be made manifest.
V.-17. If any man be in Christ he is a new creature." More correctly, There is a new creation. See Horne's Introduction, vol. ii. p. 527.
V.-21. “Made him to be sin for us." Or rather & sin-offering.–See Romans viii. 3.
VI.-15. "Belial.” This word is of Hebrew etymology It is a name given to Satan, representing him without yoke or profit. Buxtorf, in his Hebrew Lexicon, under this word, says: Absque jugo, qui jugum laboris, pietatis ac legis Dei excussit, ac proinde nihil boni agit; vel qui nihil prodest, qui nullius frugis et utilitatis est.
VII.-12. Not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong." There is some difficulty in determining who the person is, named here as having sustained an injury. Some suppose that the father is intended. Michaelis thinks that the apostle might mean himself; see chapter ii. 5. Schleusner is of opinion that the step-mother is intended. The most probable conjecture is, that some member of the church had sharply rebuked the incestuous person, and had, in return, received some illtreatment.
VIII.-14. “That there may be equality.” Not as to property as a whole; but as to a mutual return in supplying each others wants as the case may require.
VIIT. -19. “ Who was also chosen of the churches." The Greek word here rendered chosen, and at Acts xiv. 23. ordained, signifies, from its etymology, to extend or raise the hand. But whether the hand was raised perpendicularly, as in voting, or horizontally, as in the act of imposition, in commending a person to God's future protection, Gen. xlviii. 14. or in appointing him to any important function in the church, is, probably, difficult to determine. It is not, however, too much to suppose that both customs were formerly in use at the same time. The common import of the word is no more than to constitute, ordain, or appoint.
IX.-15. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” This doxology is understood by some as a thanksgiving to God for the unspeakable gift of Christ; but it refers to the charity ; the Apostle blesses God for putting it into their hearts so liberally to relieve the necessities of the saints, by which so much glory did redound to God, and so much honour to the Christian religion.--Valpy's Greek Testament.
X.-10. “His bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” Some authors relate of St. Paul, that his stature was low, his body crooked, and his head bald, which seem to be the infirmities here referred to.--Ostervald,
X.-14. “We stretch not ourselves," &c. It may help very much to understand this and the following verses, if, with Hammond, we consider the terms used in them as agonistical. In this view of them, the measure of the rule alludes to the path marked out and bounded by a white line, for racers in the Isthmian games, observed among the Corinthians; and so the Apostle represents his work in preaching the gospel as his spiritual race, and the province to which he was appointed as the compass or stage of ground which God had distributed or measured out for him to run in. Accordingly, to boast without his measure (verse 15.) and to stretch himself beyond his measure, refer to one that ran beyond or out of his line. We are come as far as to you (verse 14.) alludes to him that came foremost to the goal; and in another man's line, (verse 16.) signifies in the province that was marked out for somebody else; in allusion to the line by which the race was bounded, each of the racers having the path which he ought to run chalked out to him, and if one stepped over into the other's path he extended himself over his line.—See Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. i.
XI.-2. “That I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” This circumstance, says Doddridge, is much illustrated by recollecting that their was an officer among
the Greeks, whose business it was to educate and form young women, especially those of rank and figure, designed for marriage, and then to present them to those who were to be their husbands; and if this officer permitted them, through negligence, to be corrupted between the espousals and the consum. mation of the marriage, great blame would naturally fall
XI.-6. “But though I be rude in speech.” See note at Acts iv. 13.
XI.-24. “Forty stripes save one." See remarks at Matthew x. 17.
XI.-25. “A night and a day I have been in the deep. Some commentators have understood this of a prison and others of a well : in either case, says Bp. Middleton, even if we admit the word ever to bear these senses, the article would have been omitted. This may be understood of some of the shipwrecks mentioned here, in which St. Paul might be so long tossed to and fro in the sea, upon some broken pieces of the ship. It could not be the shipwreck mentioned Acts xxvii. for that happened after the writing of this Epistle.Valpy's Greek Testament.
XII.-7. “There was given to me a thorn in the flesh.” What this trial was which the Apostle calls a "thorn in the flesh," no one appears to know. There are, it is true, many conjectures on this circumstance, but as they are mere conjectures, the reader, probably, will be satisfied with one only: “I rather acquiesce in that interpretation,” says Doddridge, “of Dr. Whitby, which the author of Miscel. Sacra has adopted, and taken pains to illustrate, that the view he had of celestial glories affected the system of his nerves in such a manner, as to occasion some paralytic symptoms; and particularly a stammering in his speech, and perhaps some ridiculous distortion iu his countenance, referred to elsewhere in the phrase of the infirmity in his flesh.
1.-13. “In the Jews' religion.” More correctly, in Judaism. L'Enfant observes, that this does not signify the religion originally taught by Moses, but that which was practiced among the Jews at that time, and much of it built upon the traditions of the elders.
III.-l. “Who hath bewitched you.” It is not to be imagined that the apostle, by the use of this expression, gave countenance to the popular error which prevailed, not only among the heathens, but among some of the more ignorant and superstitious christians—that of facination, or bewitching with