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There is a blending in II Cor. 4: 6 of the story of Gen. 1: 3, a blending with the
record concerning the face of Moses and the prophecies that speak of a day when the
knowledge of the glory of God shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, when the
veil spread over the earth shall be removed and Israel's day shall have dawned, and they
arise and shine and moreover there is a reference to the Apostle's own experience on the
road to Damascus.
In our studies of the book of Job, which are to be found in The Berean Expositor
Volumes XXXV and XXXVI, we noted a number of passages that anticipated the
writings of Moses and the Prophets, but confessed that there were many more that
awaited the patient investigator. We believe Paul, whose knowledge of the Septuagint
Version is manifest makes reference here in II Cor. 4: 6 to a passage in Job which we
had not previously noted. The parallel is not so obvious in the A.V. but the Greek
rendering of Job 37: 15 phos (poiesas) ek skotus "Light having made out of
darkness", is similar to the Greek of II Cor. 4: 6 (ho eipon) ek skotous phos (lampsai)
"The One commanding out of darkness light to shine".
We expected to find the Greek word paragello `to command' employed by the
Apostle here, but the Greek word eipon `to say' is used instead. At first this seems less
forceful than the English word `command', but the true intention of eipon `lays more in
the adjuncts than in what is said' (Dr. Bullinger's Lexicon), consequently as Parkhurst
With a view to enquiring, it is in fact to ask (Matt. 11: 3).
In reply it is to answer, as in Matt. 2: 5.
With a view to obtaining anything, it is to request (Mark 9: 18).
At times this word means `to command', and is so translated in the A.V. eight times,
seven of the occurrences being in the Gospels and one in the epistles, the text under
review. It is very likely that the Apostle had in mind the wondrous simplicity of Gen.i.3
"And God SAID . . . . ." where the word of the Lord was with creative power.
Something of the innate power in the word spoken by the Lord can be seen in the
usage of Matt. 4: 3 "If Thou be the Son of God, command . . . . ." Consequently where
Paul uses eipon `to say', Job used poieo `to make', for with God there is no divorce
between word and deed. This light of the gospel illuminates not the surface of the earth,
as in Gen. 1:, but illuminates the heart. The heart can be darkened (Rom. 1: 21) and
nothing less than the light of the gospel can dispel that darkness. This illumination is for
a purpose. The A.V. has the verb `to give' in italics. The actual word is pros `toward'
indicating a goal, `In order to the shining forth'. We must not forget the figure already
employed in II Cor. 3: 18 `beholding' or `reflecting' the glory of the Lord. We are
illuminated in order that others may catch some of the beams that have so blessedly
enlightened our darkness. "The light" of the gospel of glory of verse 4 becomes `the
light' of the knowledge of the glory of God of verse 6, and in this later reference some
O.T. prophecies seem to be included.