Vincent Word Studies - Galatians 2:9 - 2:9

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Vincent Word Studies - Galatians 2:9 - 2:9

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Who seemed to be pillars (οἱ δοκοῦντες στύλοι εἶναι)

Better, who are in repute as pillars. The metaphor of pillars, applied to the great representatives and supporters of an institution, is old, and common in all languages.

The grace (τὴν χάριν)

Including all the manifestations of divine grace in Paul - his mission, special endowment, success in preaching the gospel - all showing that he was worthy of their fellowship. He is careful to speak of it as a gift of God, δοθεῖσαν.

They gave the right hands of fellowship (δεξιὰς ἔδωκαν κοινωνίας)

The phrase only here in N.T. A token of alliance in the apostolic office of preaching and teaching. The giving of the right hand in pledge was not a distinctively Jewish custom. It appears as early as Homer. Deissmann cites an inscription from Pergamum, 98 B. C., in which the Pergamenes offer to adjust the strife between Sardes and Ephesus, and send a mediator δοῦναι τὰς χεῖρας εἰς σύλλυσιν to give hands for a treaty. See δεξιὰν or δεξιὰς διδόναι 1 Macc. 6:58; 11:50, 62; 2 Macc. 11:26; 12:11; 13:22; and δεξ. λαμβάνειν to receive right hand or hands, 1 Macc. 11:66; 13:50; 2 Macc. 12:12; 14:19. The custom prevailed among the Persians, from whom it may have passed to the Jews. See Joseph. Antiq. 18:9, 3. Images of right hands clasped were sometimes exchanged in token of friendship (see Xen. Anab. ii. 4, 1). Tacitus (Hist. i. 54) says: “The state of the Lingones had sent, according to an ancient institution, right hands, as gifts to the legions, a signal token of good will.” On Roman coins often appear two hands joined, with various inscriptions, as Exercituum Fides; Concordia; Consensus. To give the hand in confirmation of a promise occurs Eze 10:19. In Isa 62:8, God swears by his right hand.