Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


2 Corinthians 6:12

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Ye are not straitened in us - That is, Ye have not a narrow place in our affections: the metaphor here is taken from the case of a person pent up in a small or narrow place, where there is scarcely room to breathe.

Ye are straitened in your own bowels - I have not the same place in your affections which you have in mine. The bowels are used in Scripture to denote the most tender affections. See the note on Matthew 9:36.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Ye are not straitened in us - That is, you do not possess a narrow or contracted place in our affections. We love you fully, ardently, and are ready to do all that can be done for your welfare. There is no lack of room in our affections toward you. It is not narrow, confined, pent up. It is ample and free.

But ye are straitened in your own bowels - That is, in the affections of your hearts. The word used here ( σπλάγχνα splangchna) commonly means in the Bible the tender affections. The Greek word properly denotes the upper viscera; the heart, the lungs, the liver. It is applied by Greek writers to denote those parts of victims which were eaten during or after the sacrifice - Robinson (Lexicon). Hence, it is applied to the heart, as the seat of the emotions and passions; and especially the gentler emotions, the tender affections, compassion, pity, love, etc. Our word “bowels” is applied usually to the lower viscera, and by no means expresses the idea of the word which is used in Greek. The idea here is, that they were straitened, or were confined in their affections for him. It is the language of reproof, meaning that he had not received from them the demonstrations of attachment which he had a right to expect, and which was a fair and proportionate return for the love bestowed on them. Probably he refers to the fact that they had formed parties; had admitted false teachers; and had not received his instructions as implicitly and as kindly as they ought to have done.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
It is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. The word unbeliever applies to all destitute of true faith. True pastors will caution their beloved children in the gospel, not to be unequally yoked. The fatal effects of neglecting Scripture precepts as to marriages clearly appear. Instead of a help meet, the union brings a snare. Those whose cross it is to be unequally united, without their wilful fault, may expect consolation under it; but when believers enter into such unions, against the express warnings of God's word, they must expect must distress. The caution also extends to common conversation. We should not join in friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers. Though we cannot wholly avoid seeing and hearing, and being with such, yet we should never choose them for friends. We must not defile ourselves by converse with those who defile themselves with sin. Come out from the workers of iniquity, and separate from their vain and sinful pleasures and pursuits; from all conformity to the corruptions of this present evil world. If it be an envied privilege to be the son or daughter of an earthly prince, who can express the dignity and happiness of being sons and daughters of the Almighty?
Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 533-4

[Mrs. E. G. White and her party on their way to the General Conference, spent five days in College View. Friday morning she spoke to five hundred students in the college chapel, and Sabbath and sunday she spoke to large congregations in the church. Monday morning, by request, she met with the college faculty. The following is a portion of her address to the thirty teachers assembled.—W. C. White.]

I will read 2 corinthians, the sixth chapter: FE 533.1

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