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2 Corinthians 3:7 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— But if the ministration of death, written, [and] engraven on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look stedfastly upon the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which [glory] was passing away:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— But if the ministration of death, written [and] engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which [glory] was to be done away:
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading [as] it was,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— But if the ministration of death, written [and] engraven on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which [glory] was to be done away;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— (But if the ministry of death, in letters, graven in stones, began with glory, so that the children of Israel could not fix their eyes on the face of Moses, on account of the glory of his face, [a glory] which is annulled;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— But, if, the ministry of death, in letters engraven in stones, was brought into existence with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look steadfastly into the face of Moses, by reason of the glory of his face—which [glory] was to be done away,
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— and if the ministration of the death, in letters, engraved in stones, came in glory, so that the sons of Israel were not able to look stedfastly to the face of Moses, because of the glory of his face—which was being made useless,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Now if the ministration of death, engraven with letters upon stones, was glorious (so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance), which is made void:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— But if the ministration of death written, and ingrauen in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly beholde the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, which [glorie] was to be done away:
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— But if the ministry of death in the writing engraven on stones was with glory, as that the sons of Israel could not look on the face of Musha because of the glory of his face which is abolished,
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— Now if the ministration of death was engraved upon stones in writing, and was so glorious that the children of Israel could not look on the face of Moses, on account of the glory upon his face which vanished away;

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
But 1161
{1161} Prime
δέ
de
{deh}
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
if 1487
{1487} Prime
εἰ
ei
{i}
A primary particle of conditionality; if, whether, that, etc.
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
ministration 1248
{1248} Prime
διακονία
diakonia
{dee-ak-on-ee'-ah}
From G1249; attendance (as a servant, etc.); figuratively (eleemosynary) aid, (official) service (especially of the Christian teacher, or technically of the diaconate).
of death, 2288
{2288} Prime
θάνατος
thanatos
{than'-at-os}
From G2348; (properly an adjective used as a noun) death (literally or figuratively).
written 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
1121
{1121} Prime
γράμμα
gramma
{gram'-mah}
From G1125; a writing, that is, a letter, note, epistle, book, etc.; plural learning.
[and] engraven 1795
{1795} Prime
ἐντυπόω
entupoo
{en-too-po'-o}
From G1722 and a derivative of G5179; to enstamp, that is, engrave.
z5772
<5772> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 463
in 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
stones, 3037
{3037} Prime
λίθος
lithos
{lee'-thos}
Apparently a primary word; a stone (literally or figuratively).
was 1096
{1096} Prime
γίνομαι
ginomai
{ghin'-om-ahee}
A prolonged and middle form of a primary verb; to cause to be ('gen' -erate), that is, (reflexively) to become (come into being), used with great latitude (literally, figuratively, intensively, etc.).
z5675
<5675> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Passive Deponent (See G5789)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 79
glorious, 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
1391
{1391} Prime
δόξα
doxa
{dox'-ah}
From the base of G1380; glory (as very apparent), in a wide application (literally or figuratively, objectively or subjectively).
so y5620
[5620] Standard
ὥστε
hoste
{hoce'-teh}
From G5613 and G5037; so too, that is, thus therefore (in various relations of consecution, as shown).
that x5620
(5620) Complement
ὥστε
hoste
{hoce'-teh}
From G5613 and G5037; so too, that is, thus therefore (in various relations of consecution, as shown).
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
children 5207
{5207} Prime
υἱός
huios
{hwee-os'}
Apparently a primary word; a 'son' (sometimes of animals), used very widely of immediate, remote or figurative kinship.
of Israel 2474
{2474} Prime
Ἰσραήλ
Israel
{is-rah-ale'}
Of Hebrew origin [H3478]; Israel (that is, Jisrael), the adopted name of Jacob, including his descendants (literally or figuratively).
could 1410
{1410} Prime
δύναμαι
dunamai
{doo'-nam-ahee}
Of uncertain affinity; to be able or possible.
z5738
<5738> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle or Passive Deponent (See G5790)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 109
not 3361
{3361} Prime
μή
me
{may}
A primary particle of qualified negation (whereas G3756 expresses an absolute denial); (adverbially) not, (conjugationally) lest; also (as interrogitive implying a negative answer [whereas G3756 expects an affirmative one]); whether.
stedfastly x816
(0816) Complement
ἀτενίζω
atenizo
{at-en-id'-zo}
From a compound of G0001 (as a particle of union) and τείνω [[teino]] (to stretch); to gaze intently.
behold y816
[0816] Standard
ἀτενίζω
atenizo
{at-en-id'-zo}
From a compound of G0001 (as a particle of union) and τείνω [[teino]] (to stretch); to gaze intently.
z5658
<5658> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 516
x1519
(1519) Complement
εἰς
eis
{ice}
A primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases.
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
face 4383
{4383} Prime
πρόσωπον
prosopon
{pros'-o-pon}
From G4314 and ὤψ [[ops]] (the visage; from G3700); the front (as being towards view), that is, the countenance, aspect, appearance, surface; by implication presence, person.
y1519
[1519] Standard
εἰς
eis
{ice}
A primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases.
of Moses 3475
{3475} Prime
Μωσεῦς
Moseus
{moce-yoos'}
Of Hebrew origin [H4872]; Moseus, Moses or Mouses (that is, Mosheh), the Hebrew lawgiver.
for 1223
{1223} Prime
διά
dia
{dee-ah'}
A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through (in very wide applications, local, causal or occasional). In composition it retains the same general import.
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
glory 1391
{1391} Prime
δόξα
doxa
{dox'-ah}
From the base of G1380; glory (as very apparent), in a wide application (literally or figuratively, objectively or subjectively).
of his 846
{0846} Prime
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
countenance; 4383
{4383} Prime
πρόσωπον
prosopon
{pros'-o-pon}
From G4314 and ὤψ [[ops]] (the visage; from G3700); the front (as being towards view), that is, the countenance, aspect, appearance, surface; by implication presence, person.
which y3588
[3588] Standard

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
[glory] was to be done away: 2673
{2673} Prime
καταργέω
katargeo
{kat-arg-eh'-o}
From G2596 and G0691; to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literally or figuratively.
z5746
<5746> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 360
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Corinthians 3:7

_ _ the ministration of death — the legal dispensation, summed up in the Decalogue, which denounces death against man for transgression.

_ _ written and engraven in stones — There is no “and” in the Greek. The literal translation is, “The ministration of death in letters,” of which “engraven on stones” is an explanation. The preponderance of oldest manuscripts is for the English Version reading. But one (perhaps the oldest existing manuscript) has “in the letter,” which refers to the preceding words (2 Corinthians 3:6), “the letter killeth,” and this seems the probable reading. Even if we read as English Version, “The ministration of death (written) in letters,” alludes to the literal precepts of the law as only bringing us the knowledge of sin and “death,” in contrast to “the Spirit” in the Gospel bringing us “life” (2 Corinthians 3:6). The opposition between “the letters” and “the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:8) confirms this. This explains why the phrase in Greek should be “in letters,” instead of the ordinary one which English Version has substituted, “written and.

_ _ was glorious — literally, “was made (invested) in glory,” glory was the atmosphere with which it was encompassed.

_ _ could not steadfastly behold — literally, “fix their eyes on.” Exodus 34:30, “The skin of his face shone; and they were AFRAID to come nigh him.” “Could not,” therefore means here, “for FEAR.” The “glory of Moses’ countenance” on Sinai passed away when the occasion was over: a type of the transitory character of the dispensation which he represented (2 Corinthians 3:11), as contrasted with the permanency of the Christian dispensation (2 Corinthians 3:11).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:6-11.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Corinthians 3:7

And if the ministration of death — That is, the Mosaic dispensation, which proves such to those who prefer it to the gospel, the most considerable part of which was engraven on those two stones, was attended with so great glory.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

2 Corinthians 3:7

But if the ministration of death, written (g) [and] engraven in stones, was (h) glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which [glory] was to be done away:

(g) Imprinted and engraved: so that by this place we may plainly perceive that the apostle speaks not of the ceremonies of the Law, but of the ten commandments.

(h) This word "glorious" indicates a brightness, and a majesty which was in Moses physically, but in Christ spiritually.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the ministration:

2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
2 Corinthians 3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation [be] glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
Romans 7:10 And the commandment, which [was ordained] to life, I found [to be] unto death.

written:

2 Corinthians 3:3 [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
Exodus 24:12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
Exodus 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Exodus 32:15-16 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony [were] in his hand: the tables [were] written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other [were] they written. ... And the tables [were] the work of God, and the writing [was] the writing of God, graven upon the tables.
Exodus 32:19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.
Exodus 34:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon [these] tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
Exodus 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
Deuteronomy 4:13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, [even] ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
Deuteronomy 5:22 These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.
Deuteronomy 9:9-11 When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, [even] the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water: ... And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, [that] the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, [even] the tables of the covenant.
Deuteronomy 9:15 So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant [were] in my two hands.
Deuteronomy 10:1-4 At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. ... And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.
Hebrews 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein [was] the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

was:

Deuteronomy 4:8 And what nation [is there so] great, that hath statutes and judgments [so] righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
Nehemiah 9:13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
Psalms 19:7-8 The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple. ... The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psalms 119:97 MEM. O how love I thy law! it [is] my meditation all the day.
Psalms 119:127-128 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. ... Therefore I esteem all [thy] precepts [concerning] all [things to be] right; [and] I hate every false way.
Psalms 119:174 I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law [is] my delight.
Romans 7:12-14 Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. ... For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

that:

Exodus 34:29-35 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. ... And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
Luke 9:29-31 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment [was] white [and] glistering. ... Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
Acts 6:15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

which:

2 Corinthians 3:10-11 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. ... For if that which is done away [was] glorious, much more that which remaineth [is] glorious.
2 Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which [vail] is done away in Christ.
Romans 10:4 For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
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Gn 3:21. Ex 24:12; 31:18; 32:15, 19; 34:1, 28, 29. Dt 4:8, 13; 5:22; 9:9, 15; 10:1. Ne 9:13. Ps 19:7; 119:97, 127, 174. Lk 9:29. Ac 6:15. Ro 7:10, 12, 22; 10:4. 1Co 13:10. 2Co 3:3, 6, 9, 10, 14. He 9:4.

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