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Verse 7

The sixteenth requisite is, that he should have a good report of them which are without - That he should be one who had not been previously a profligate, or scandalous in his life. Such a person, when converted, may be a worthy private member of religious society; but I believe God rarely calls such to the work of the ministry, and never to the episcopate. Them that are without are the Jews, Gentiles, and the unconverted of all kinds. For the meaning of this term see the note on Colossians 4:5 .

Lest he fall into reproach - For his former scandalous life.

And the snare of the devil - Snares and temptations, such as he fell in and fell by before. This is called the snare of the devil; for, as he well knows the constitution of such persons, and what is most likely to prevail, he infers that what was effectual before to their transgressing may be so still; therefore on all suitable occasions he tempts them to their old sins. Backsliders in general fall by those sins to which they were addicted previously to their conversion. Former inveterate habits will revive in him who does not continue to deny himself, and watch unto prayer.

The snare of the devil. - Some would translate παγιδα του διαβολου , the snare of the accuser; and they give the same meaning to the word in 1 Timothy 3:6 , because it is evident that διαβολους has that meaning, 1 Timothy 3:11 , and our translators render it slanderers. Now, though διαβολος signifies an accuser, yet I do not see that it can, with any propriety, be restrained to this meaning in the texts in question, and especially as the word is emphatically applied to Satan himself; for he who, in Revelation 12:10 , is called the accuser of the brethren, is, in Revelation 12:9 , called the great dragon, the old serpent, the Devil, διαβολος , and Satan.

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