Do Not Be Unequally Yoked: What Does 2 Corinthians 6:14 Mean?


2 Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” King James Version (KJV)

Translation2 Corinthians 6:14
ESVDo not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
NASBDo not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
NIVDo not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
NLTDon’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?

Do Not Be Unequally Yoked: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

6:11-18 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?

2 Corinthians 6:14 | Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

14. Be not—Greek, “Become not.”

unequally yoked—”yoked with one alien in spirit.” The image is from the symbolical precept of the law (Le 19:19), “Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind”; or the precept (De 22:10), “Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together.”

Compare De 7:3, forbidding marriages with the heathen; also 1Co 7:39. The believer and unbeliever are utterly heterogeneous. Too close intercourse with unbelievers in other relations also is included (2Co 6:16; 1Co 8:10; 10:14).

fellowship—literally, “share,” or “participation.”

righteousness—the state of the believer, justified by faith.

unrighteousness—rather, as always translated elsewhere, “iniquity”; the state of the unbeliever, the fruit of unbelief.

light—of which believers are the children (1Th 5:5).

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