2 occurrences in 2 dictionaries

Reference: Thorn In The Flesh


(2Co 12:7-10). Many interpretations have been given of this passage. (1.) Roman Catholic writers think that it denotes suggestions to impiety.

(2.) Luther, Calvin, and other Reformers interpret the expression as denoting temptation to unbelief.

(3.) Others suppose the expression refers to "a pain in the ear or head," epileptic fits, or, in general, to some severe physical infirmity, which was a hindrance to the apostle in his work (comp. 1Co 2:3; 2Co 10:10; 11:30; Ga 4:13-14; 6:17). With a great amount of probability, it has been alleged that his malady was defect of sight, consequent on the dazzling light which shone around him at his conversion, acute opthalmia. This would account for the statements in Ga 4:14; 2Co 10:10; also Ac 23:5, and for his generally making use of the help of an amanuensis (comp. Ro 16:22, etc.).

(4.) Another view which has been maintained is that this "thorn" consisted in an infirmity of temper, to which he occasionally gave way, and which interfered with his success (comp. Ac 15:39; 23:2-5). If we consider the fact, "which the experience of God's saints in all ages has conclusively established, of the difficulty of subduing an infirmity of temper, as well as the pain, remorse, and humiliation such an infirmity is wont to cause to those who groan under it, we may be inclined to believe that not the least probable hypothesis concerning the 'thorn' or 'stake' in the flesh is that the loving heart of the apostle bewailed as his sorest trial the misfortune that, by impatience in word, he had often wounded those for whom he would willingly have given his life" (Lias's Second Cor., Introd.).

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This was something that Satan was allowed to inflict on Paul, not because of any fault he had committed, but lest he should be puffed up on account of his having been caught up into the third heaven. 2Co 12:7-10. Apparently it was something that made him contemptible in the eyes of his fleshly opponents. See 2Co 10:10; 11:30; Ga 4:13-14.

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