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Verse 20. Witchcraft. Pretending to witchcraft. The apostle does not vouch for the actual existence of witchcraft; but he says that what was known as such was a proof of the corrupt nature of man, and was one of the fruits of it. No one can doubt it. It was a system of imposture and falsehood throughout; and nothing is a better demonstration of the depravity of the human heart than an extended and systematized attempt to impose on mankind. The word which is here used, (farmakeia, whence our word pharmacy, from farmakon a medicine, poison, magic potion,) means, properly, the preparing and giving of medicine. Then it means also poisoning, and also magic art, or enchantment; because in savage nations, pharmacy or medicine consisted much in magical incantations. Thence it means sorcery or enchantment, and it is so used uniformly in the New Testament. It is used only in Ga 5:20; Re 9:21; Re 18:23; 21:8. Some have supposed that it means here poisoning, a crime often practised; but the more correct interpretation is, to refer it to the black art, or to pretensions to witchcraft, and the numerous delusions which have grown out of it, as a striking illustration of the corrupt and depraved nature of man.

Hatred. Gr., hatreds—in the plural. Antipathies, and want of love, producing contentions and strifes.

Variance. Contentions. See Barnes "Ro 1:29".


Emulations, zhloi In a bad sense, meaning heart-burning, or jealousy, or perhaps inordinate ambition. The sense is, ardour or zeal in a bad cause, leading to strife, etc.

Wrath. This also is plural in the Greek, yumoi, meaning passions, bursts of anger. See Barnes "2 Co 12:20".


Strife. Also plural in the Greek. See Barnes "2 Co 12:20".


Seditions. See Barnes "Ro 16:17".


Heresies. See Barnes "Ac 5:17"; See Barnes "1 Co 11:19"


{*} "witchcraft" "sorcery" {+} "emulations" "rivalries" {++} "strife" "disputes" {**} "seditions" "factions" {|} "heresies" "sects"

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