2 Corinthians 12:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows.

King James Bible
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

Darby Bible Translation
I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago, (whether in [the] body I know not, or out of the body I know not, God knows;) such [a one] caught up to [the] third heaven.

World English Bible
I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I don't know, or whether out of the body, I don't know; God knows), such a one caught up into the third heaven.

Young's Literal Translation
I have known a man in Christ, fourteen years ago -- whether in the body I have not known, whether out of the body I have not known, God hath known -- such an one being caught away unto the third heaven;

2 Corinthians 12:2 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

I knew a man in Christ - I knew a Christian, or a Christian man; for to such alone God now revealed himself, for vision and prophecy had been shut up from the Jews.

Fourteen years ago - On what occasion or in what place this transaction took place we cannot tell; there are many conjectures among learned men concerning it, but of what utility can they be when every thing is so palpably uncertain? Allowing this epistle to have been written some time in the year 57, fourteen years counted backward will lead this transaction to the year 42 or 43, which was about the time that Barnabas brought Paul from Tarsus to Antioch, Acts 11:25, Acts 11:26, and when he and Paul were sent by the Church of Antioch with alms to the poor Christians at Jerusalem. It is very possible that, on this journey, or while in Jerusalem, he had this vision, which was intended to be the means of establishing him in the faith, and supporting him in the many trials and difficulties through which he was to pass. This vision the apostle had kept secret for fourteen years.

Whether in the body I cannot tell - That the apostle was in an ecstasy or trance, something like that of Peter, Acts 10:9, etc., there is reason to believe; but we know that being carried literally into heaven was possible to the Almighty. But as he could not decide himself, it would be ridiculous in us to attempt it.

Caught up to the third heaven - He appeared to have been carried up to this place; but whether bodily he could not tell, or whether the spirit were not separated for the time, and taken up to the third heaven, he could not tell.

The third heaven - The Jews talk of seven heavens, and Mohammed has received the same from them; but these are not only fabulous but absurd. I shall enumerate those of the Jews.

1. The Velum, or curtain, וילון - "Which in the morning is folded up, and in the evening stretched out." Isaiah 40:22 : He stretcheth out the heavens as a Curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.

2. The firmament, or Expanse, רקיע - "In which the sun, moon, stars, and constellations are fixed." Genesis 1:17 : And God placed them in the Firmament of heaven.

3. The Clouds, or Ether, שקים - "Where the mill-stones are which grind the manna for the righteous." Psalm 78:23, etc.: Though he had commended the Clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, and had rained down manna, etc.

4. The Habitation, זבול - "Where Jerusalem, and the temple, and the altar, were constructed and where Michael the great prince stands and offers sacrifices." 1 Kings 8:13 : I have surely built thee a House To Dwell In, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever. "But where is heaven so called?" Answer: In Isaiah 63:15 : Look down from Heaven, and behold from the Habitation, מזבול, of thy holiness.

5. The Dwelling-Place, מעון - "Where the troops of angels sing throughout the night, but are silent in the day time, because of the glory of the Israelites." Psalm 42:8 : The Lord will command his loving-kindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me. "But how is it proved that this means heaven? "Answer: From Deuteronomy 26:15. Look down from thy holy habitation, ממעון, the Dwelling-Place of thy holiness; and from heaven, השמים, and bless thy people Israel.

6. The Fixed Residence, מבון - "Where are the treasures of snow and hail, the repository of noxious dews, of drops, and whirlwinds; the grotto of exhalations," etc. "But where are the heavens thus denominated?" Answer: In 1 Kings 8:39, 1 Kings 8:49, etc.: Then hear thou in Heaven thy Dwelling - Place, מכון שבת, thy Fixed Residence.

7. The Araboth, ערבות - "Where are justice, judgment, mercy, the treasures of life; peace and blessedness; the souls of the righteous, the souls and spirits which are reserved for the bodies yet to be formed, and the dew by which God is to vivify the dead." Psalm 89:14, Isaiah 59:17; Psalm 36:9, Judges 6:24; Psalm 24:4; 1 Samuel 25:29; Isaiah 57:20 : All of which are termed Araboth, Psalm 68:4. Extol him who rideth on the heavens, בערבות ba Araboth, by his name Jah.

All this is sufficiently unphilosophical, and in several cases ridiculous.

In the sacred writings three heavens only are mentioned. The first is the atmosphere, what appears to be intended by רקיע rekia, the firmament or expansion, Genesis 1:6. The second, the starry heaven; where are the sun, moon, planets, and stars; but these two are often expressed under the one term שמים shamayim, the two heavens, or expansions, and in Genesis 1:17, they appear to be both expressed by רקיע השמים rekia hashshamayim, the firmament of heaven. And, thirdly, the place of the blessed, or the throne of the Divine glory, probably expressed by the words שמי השמים shemei hashshamayim, the heavens of heavens. But on these subjects the Scripture affords us but little light; and on this distinction the reader is not desired to rely.


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


2 Corinthians 12:3,5 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;)...

in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17,21 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new...

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you...

Isaiah 45:24,25 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come...

John 6:56 He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him.

John 15:4-6 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you...

John 17:21-23 That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us...

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles...

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Galatians 1:22 And was unknown by face to the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:

Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.

about. 'A.D

46, at Lystra,'

Acts 14:6 They were ware of it, and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the region that lies round about:

Acts 22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;

in the.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord...

1 Kings 18:12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry you where I know not...

2 Kings 2:16 And they said to him, Behold now, there be with your servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray you, and seek your master...

Ezekiel 8:1-3 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house...

Ezekiel 11:24 Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity...

Acts 8:39,40 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more...

Acts 22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;

Philippians 1:22,23 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I know not...

Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

Revelation 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.


2 Corinthians 12:3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;)

See on

2 Corinthians 11:11 Why? because I love you not? God knows.


2 Corinthians 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Luke 24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air...

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself...

Revelation 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up to God...


Genesis 1:14-20 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs...

1 Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain you...

Isaiah 57:15 For thus said the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place...

Not Yours but You
'I seek not yours, but you.'--2 COR. xii. 14. Men are usually quick to suspect others of the vices to which they themselves are prone. It is very hard for one who never does anything but with an eye to what he can make out of it, to believe that there are other people actuated by higher motives. So Paul had, over and over again, to meet the hateful charge of making money out of his apostleship. It was one of the favourite stones that his opponents in the Corinthian Church, of whom there were very
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Collection for St Paul: the Farewell
PHILIPPIANS iv. 10-23 The Philippian alms--His sense of their faithful love--He has received in full--A passage in the Scriptural manner--The letter closes--"Christ is preached"--"Together with them" The work of dictation is nearly done in the Roman lodging. The manuscript will soon be complete, and then soon rolled up and sealed, ready for Epaphroditus; he will place it with reverence and care in his baggage, and see it safe to Philippi. But one topic has to be handled yet before the end. "Now
Handley C. G. Moule—Philippian Studies

That Man Hath no Good in Himself, and Nothing Whereof to Glory
Lord, what is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that Thou visitest him?(1) What hath man deserved, that Thou shouldest bestow thy favour upon him? Lord, what cause can I have of complaint, if Thou forsake me? Or what can I justly allege, if Thou refuse to hear my petition? Of a truth, this I may truly think and say, Lord, I am nothing, I have nothing that is good of myself, but I fall short in all things, and ever tend unto nothing. And unless I am helped by Thee and inwardly
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Extracts No. viii.
"In regard to the story reported among the Jews, respecting the body of Jesus, I admit there is a greater probability of there being such a report, especially if the body could not be found, and the apostles affirmed that he was risen from the dead, than there is that the resurrection, should be actually true: hence, perhaps, I was not so much on my guard in the expression as I ought to have been. What I particularly had in my mind was, that I might find it difficult to prove even the existence of
Hosea Ballou—A Series of Letters In Defence of Divine Revelation

Cross References
Deuteronomy 10:14
To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.

Psalm 148:4
Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.

Ezekiel 8:3
He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood.

Ezekiel 11:24
The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia in the vision given by the Spirit of God. Then the vision I had seen went up from me,

Ezekiel 43:5
Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple.

Acts 8:39
When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

Romans 16:3
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus.

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