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11And we do this so that we may not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
11. That we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. This may be viewed as referring to what he had said previously respecting excessive sorrow. For it is a most wicked 330330 “Tres dangereuse;” — “Very dangerous.” fraud of Satan, when depriving us of all consolation, he swallows us up, as it were, in a gulf of despair; and such is the explanation that is given of it by Chrysostom. I prefer, however, to view it as referring to Paul and the Corinthians. For there was a twofold danger, that beset them from the stratagems of Satan — in the event of their being excessively harsh and rigorous, or, on the other hand, in case of dissension arising among them. For it very frequently happens, that, under colour of zeal for discipline, a Pharisaical rigour creeps in, which hurries on the miserable offender to ruin, instead of curing him. It is rather, however, in my opinion, of the second danger that he speaks; for if Paul had not to some extent favored the wishes of the Corinthians, Satan would have prevailed by kindling strife among them.
For we are not ignorant of his devices That is, “We know, from being warned of it by the Lord, that one stratagem to which he carefully has recourse is, that when he cannot ruin us by open means, he surprises us when off our guard by making a secret attack. 331331 The reader will find the same sentiment expressed more fully by Calvin, in the Argument on the First Epistle to the Corinthians, vol. 1, p. 38. — Ed. As, then, we are aware that he makes an attack upon us by indirect artifices, and that he assails us by secret machinations, we must look well before us, and carefully take heed that he may not, from some quarter, do us injury. He employs the word devices in the sense in which the Hebrews make use of the term זמה (zimmah,) but in a bad sense, 332332 The Hebrew term, זמה,(zimmah,) is used in a bad sense, (as meaning a wicked device,) in Proverbs 21:27, and Proverbs 24:9. The word employed by the apostle — νοήματα — is made use of by Homer, (Iliad 10:104, 18:328,) as meaning schemes or devices. — Ed. as meaning artful schemes and machinations, which ought not to be unknown to believers, and will not be so, provided they give themselves up to the guidance of God’s Spirit. In short, as God warns us, that Satan employs every means to impose upon us, and, in addition to this, shows us by what methods he may practice imposture upon us, it is our part to be on the alert, that he may have not a single chink to creep through.