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given us for edification, and not for your
destruction, I should not be ashamed: Against the false apostles, who disgraced the weak
9 That I may not seem as if I would terness of his person and bodily presence, he setteth out the spiritual might and authority, with which
rify you by letters. he is armed against all adversary pouers, 7 as
10 For his letters, say they, are weighty suring them that at his coming he will be found and powerful; but his bodily presence is as mighty in word, as he is now in uriting being weak, and his speech contemptible. absent, 12 and withal taxing them for reaching 11 Let such an one think this, that, such out themselves beyond their compass, and vaunting themselves into other men's labours.
as we are in word by letters when we are
absent, such will we be also in deed when Now I Paul myself bescech you by the we are present. meekness and gentleness of Christ, who 'in 12 For we dare not make ourselves of presence am base among you, but being ab- the number, or compare ourselves with some sent am bold toward you:
that commend themselves : but they mea2 But I bescech you, that I may not be suring themselves by themselves, and combold when I am present with that confidence, paring themselves among themselves, 'are wherewith I think to be bold against some, not wise. which "think of us as if we walked according 13 But we will not boast of things withto the flesh.
out our measure, but according to the mea3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do sure of the rule which God hath distributed not war after the flesh:
to us, a measure to reach even unto you. 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are 14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond not carnal, but mighty through God to the our measure, as though we reached not unto pulling down of strong holds ;)
you: for we are come as far as to
also 5 Casting down imaginations, and every in preaching the Gospel of Christ: high thing that exalteth itself against the 15 Not boasting of things without our knowledge of God, and bringing into cap- measure, that is, of other men's labours; tivity every thought to the obedience of but having hope, when your faith is inChrist;
creased, that we shall be "enlarged by you 6 And having in a readiness to revenge according to our rule abundantly, all disobedience, when your obedience is 16 To preach the Gospel in the regions fulfilled.
beyond you, and not to boast in another 7 Do ye look on things after the outward man's line of things made ready to our appearance? If any man trust to himself hand. that he is Christ's, let him of himself think 17 °But he that glorieth, let him glory in this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so the Lord. are we Christ's.
18 For not he that commendeth himself 8 For though I should boast somewhat is approved, but whom the Lord commendmore of our authority, which the Lord hath cth. 1 Or, in outward appearance.
3 Or, to God. * Or, reasonings. 5 Or, understand it not. & Or, line.
? Or, magnified in you. Verse 1. “Who in presence am lase," &c.--St. Paul now proceeds to notice one of the new misrepresentations of his opponents at Corinth, who appear to have pretended that, through distrust of his own authority, he had conducted himself humbly, and even servilely, when present at Corinth; but that in his absence he wrote to them haughty and menacing letters.
4. “ The weapons of our warfare," &c.—These weapons are said to be mighty, because they are “not carnal,"— mighty through God." Thus, as Bloomfield beautifully illustrates, when Patroclus, clothed in the armour of Achilles, conquered, he conquered by the strength of Achilles, not by his own.
10. “ His bodily presence is weak.”—It has generally been conceived that this and other passages of similar import, refer to the disadvantageous personal appearance of the apostle, particularly to his diminutive stature and ungracious, air and manner. It is, in fact, difficult to understand such expressions in any other way. The heathen writer Lucian, or Pseudo-Lucian) of the dialogue called • Philopatris' concurs, with Chrysostom and Nicephorus, in describing the apostle as short of stature, crooked, and bald. The first of these makes one of his two talkers relate how he had met with a bald-pated and long-nosed Galilean, who had been caught up into the third heaven, and there learned most wonderful things. This puts the reference to St. Paul beyond doubt. The friendly hand of Nicephorus (1. ii., c. 37) does pot draw a more flattering portrait ; though, to a physiognomist, it would not appear that his description is that of an ignoble countenance. “ He had a small and contracted body, somewhat bent. His head was small, his face pale, and he looked old. He had a sharp eye, with overhanging eyebrows. His nose, though finely curved, was somewhat long; his beard was thick, and long; and that, as well as the hair of his head, was largely sprinkled with gray hairs.” Some have been unwilling to concede that our distinguished apostle had any disadvantages of personal appearance. And why this reluctance? Because man seeth not as God seeth:--"Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (1 Sam. xvi. 7.)
2 Or, reckon.
8 Or, rule.
Jer. 9. 24. I Cor. 1.31.
16. “ To preach the Gospel in the regions beyond you.”—What regions he mea is has been disputed. Some think Peloponnesus is intended ; but this supposes thist the Gospel had not already beea preached there; and this is by to means clear, since we know that Paul himself had been preaching the word in and through Achaia, and Achaia, as a Roman province, comprehended Peloponnesus, indeed all Greece except Macedonia. But since we know from the Epistle to the Romans, written a year or two after, that Paul intended to take a journey into Spain, by way of Rome, it seems to us far better to understand that he here refers to this intention. Compare this with the following, in the first epistle of Clement of Rome (who knew Paul) to the Corinthians. Speaking of this apostle, he says, “ He preached both in the east and in the west; leaving behind him the glorious report of his faith: and so, having taught the whole world righteousness, and for that end travelled even to the utmost bounds of the west, he at last suffered martyrdom by the command of the governors." From this it would seem that St. Paul was ultimately enabled to fulfil his intention of taking a journey into Spain ; for “the utmost bounds of the west” can hardly mean less than Spain; if it does not even, as some suppose, denote Britain.
man shall stop me of this boasting in the 1 Out of his jealousy over the Corinthians, who regions of Achaia. spemed to make more account of the false apostles
11 Wherefore? because I love you not? than of him, he entereth into a forced cominenda- God knoweth. tion of himself, 5 of his equality with the chief
12 But what I do, that I will do, that I apostles, 7 of his preaching the Gospel to them freely, and without any their charge, 13 shering
may cut off occasion from them which desire thut he wus not inferior to those deceitful workers occasion; that wherein they glory, they may in any legal prerogative, 23 and in the service of be found even as we. Christ, and in all kind of sufferings for his mi
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful nistry, far superior.
workers, transforming theinselves into the Would to God ye could 'bear with me a apostles of Christ. little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is
2 For I am jealous over you with godly transformed into an angel of light. jealousy: for I have espoused you to one 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his husband, that I may present you as a chaste ministers also be transformed as the minisvirgin to Christ.
ters of righteousness; whose end shall be 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the according to their works. . serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, 16 I say again, Let no man think me a so your minds should be corrupted from the fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool ‘receive me, simplicity that is in Christ.
that I may boast myself a little. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth ano- 17 That which I speak, I speak it not ther Jesus, whom we have not preached, or after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in if ye receive another spirit, which ye have this confidence of boasting. not received, or another Gospel, which ye 19 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, have not accepted, ye might well bear with I will glory also. him.
19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye 5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind yourselves are wise. the very chiefest apostles.
suffer, if a man bring you into 6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take in knowledge; but we have been throughly of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite made manifest among you in all things.
you on the face. 7 Have I committed an offence in abasing 21 I speak as concerning reproach, as myself that ye might be exalted, because I though we had been weak. Howbeit wherehave preached to you the Gospel of God insoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I freely ?
am bold also. 8 'I robbed other churches, taking wages 22 Are they Hebrews? 'so am I. Are they of them, to do you service.
Israelites? so am 1. Are they the seed of 9 And when I was present with you, and Abraham ? so am I. wanted, 'I was chargeable to no man: for 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak that which was lacking to me the brethren as a fool) I am more; in labours more which came from Macedonia supplied : and abundant, in stripes above measure, in priin all things I have kept myself from being sons more frequent, in deaths oft. burdensome unto you, and so will I keep 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty myself.
stripes save one. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, 'no 25 Thrice was I 'beaten with rods, Ponce
1 Or, yine do bear with ine. * Chap 12 13. 3 Gr. this borssting shall not be stoppet in me. • Oi, super,
Phil. 3 5.
6 Deut. 23. 3.
7 Acis 16. 21.
# Acts 11. 19.
was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak ? a night and a day I have been in the deep; who is offended, and I burn not?
26 In journeyings often, in perils of wa- 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of ters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine the things which concern mine infirmities. own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus in perils in the city, in perils in the wilder- Christ, which is blessed for evernore, knowness, in perils in the sea, in perils among eth that I lie not. false brethren;
32 "In Damascus the governor under 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watch- Aretas the king kept the city of the Daings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings mascenes with a garrison, desirous to appreoften, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, 33 And through a window in a basket that which cometh upon mc daily, the care was I let down by the wall, and escaped his of all the churches.
hend me :
Verse 2. " Present you as a chaste rirgın to Christ.”_"This circumstance is much illustrated by recollecting that there was an officer among the Greeks whose business it was to educate and form young women, especially those of rank and figure, designed for murriage, and then to present them to those who were to be their husbands : and if this officer permitted them, through negligence, to be corrupted between the espousals and the consummation of the marriage, great blame would naturally fall upon him.” (Doddridye.) Others give the same explanation : but many, with whom our translators may apparently be numbered, rather follow the Greek commentators in understanding that there is an allusion to the friend or friends who made and procured the marriage for the bridegroom.
6. " Rude in speech.”—The apostle is here adverting to the more personal objections of his adversaries, in verse 10 of the preceding chapter. The remarks on his personal appearance he does not condescend to notice further ; but with respect to the allegation that he was in “speech contemptible,” he answers, “Though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge.” Some difference of opinion has been entertained with regard to the defect which gave occasion to the objection and the vindication. Some suppose it was a natural defect consisting either of an impediment in his speech, or a weak and squeaking voice. But we must take the word “ rude,” in this text, to illustrate the meaning of " 603temptible” in the other. Now this word is idiwrns, which we have had more than one occasion to explain as meaning one of the common people, as distinguished from the learned and the polite. He says therefore that his phraseology was as that of the common people, without pretensions to that polish or elegance which the native Greek speakers sa sedulously cultivated. This is indeed rather what his Corinthian opponents said ; and he is repeating their objection. That they should have made it, will not appear strange, when we reflect on the critical attention which the Greeks were accustomed to give to the pronunciation and phraseology of their orators, and at the same time consider that Paal was a Jew of Asia Minor, and that, as such, his style of speech in the Greek language, was doubtless provincial, popular, idiomatical, and negligent of those minor graces of elocution which the ear of the native Greek demanded.
7. “ I have preached to you the Gospel of God freely."—Now the apostle again refers to a subject on which it seems the Corinthians were very sore, and to which he had already adverted in the previous epistle. His refusal to aecept his maintenance from the Corinthian church seems to have led to various misrepresentations. One was, that he was himself conscious that he was no apostle, since he declined to accept that which he allowed to be due to him in that character: another was, that he did not love them (verse 11); and a third, that this apparent disinterestedness was only a crafty trick to ensnare them (xii. 16). All this he answers.
12. “ That I may cut off occasion.”—The Jewish teachers also sometimes felt the desirableness of that line of conduet, which St. Paul thought it expedient to adopt with regard to the Corinthians. It was indeed a maxim among then that, “ It is better for the wise men to skin dead beasts for a living, than to ask a maintenance from the generosity of those whom they teach.” To understand the force of this it should be recollected that the skinning of dead beasts, as well as tanning the skins, were the most degraded of occupations in the eyes of the Jews,
24. “ Forly stripes save one."-See the note on Deut. xxv. 3.
25. “ Thrice was I beaten with rods.”—This was a Roman punishment, and was therefore inflicted by the civil authórities. The principle of this and other forms of beating and scourging has already been sufficiently explained in this work: and we have also noticed that scourging, properly so called, was at this time considered far more ignominious than beating with rods. The punishment was usually inflicted by the lictors, who were in constant attendance on the principal magistrates, going before them as they went. The insignia of their office, as well as of the dignity of the magistrate on whom they attended, consisted of a number of elm rods bound with a tholig into a bundle, which they carried on their shoulder. An axe was bound up in the bundle, and its head jutted forth from it. Within the city oi Rome, however, the axe was omitted, out of respect to the Roman people. The bundle, in fact, comprised the apparatus of the lictor as executioner of the magistrate's sentence. The thong served him to bind the criminal, with the rods be inflicted beatings, and with the axe he beheaded.
Dr. Paley in his · Horæ Paulinæ,' ch. iv. No. ix., makes admirable use of this enumeration by Paul of his varias sufferings, in support of his great argument derived from the independent corroborations which the Acts of the Aposties and the Epistles of Paul offer to each other. He observes, what every reader will notice, “That the particulars here given cannot be extracted out of the Acts of the Apostles, which proves that the Epistle was not framed from the history: yet they are consistent with it, which, considering how numerically circumstantial the account is, is more than could happen to arbitrary and independent fictions. When I say that these particulars are consistent with the history, I mean, first, that there is no article in the enuineration which is contradicted by the history: secondly, that the history, though silent with respect to many of the facts here enumerated, has left space for the existence of these facts, consistent with the fidelity of its own narration."
With reference to the present instance, Dr. Paley observes: "When St. Paul says, thrice was I beaten with rods, although the history record only one beating with rods, viz. at Philippi, (Acts xvi. 22.) yet is there no contradictios. It is only the omission in one book of what is related in another. But had the history contained accounts of fear beatings with rods, at the time of writing this epistle, in which St. Paul says he had only suffered three, there would have been a contradiction properly so called. The same observation applies generally to the other parts of the easmeration concerning which the history is silent."
“ Once was 1 stoned.”—This was at Lystra in Lycaonia, Acts xiv. 19.
“ Thrice I suffered shipwreck.”—The history only records one shipwreck, that Melita; and that, as it occurred after this time, must have been at least the fourth. Paley thinks it possible that these three shipwrecks may hare occurred in the interval of apparently three or four years, during which the history leaves Paul at his native city of Tarsus (Acts ix. 30 ; xi. 25). “As Tarsus was situated upon the sea-coast, and as, though Tarsus was his home. yet it is probable that he visited from thence many other places, for the purpose of preaching the Gospel, it is not unlikely, that, in the course of three or four years, he might undertake many short voyages to neighbouring countries, in the navigating of which we may be allowed to suppose that some of those disasters and shipwrecks befel him to which he refers in the passage before us."
" A night and a day I have been in the deep.”—That "the deep" here means a well or dungeon, as Hammond and others think, seems a very untenable conjecture. Neither does it appear necessary to conclude, with others, that he supported himself all this time by swimming. Most commentators suppose that he sustained himself on some beam or other broken portion of the ship. Paley, observing that Paul is recounting his sufferings, not relating miracles, is inclined to explain it of his being obliged to take to an open boat, on the loss of the ship, and his continuing out at sea, in that dangerous situation, a day and a night.
32. “ The governor under Aretas the king:"— The name of Aretas, as the Lord of Damascus, does not occur in asy previous account of this transaction: and the mention of it here is not without its difficulty. We do not read in Jón sephus or any other writer that Damascus was ever subject to Aretas : and the question naturally occurs, What au thority could a governor under Aretas, a petty king of Arabia, have in Damascus, a city belonging to the Romans? It is not wonderful that we have no existing evidence of the fact; but it is something to be able to show that it was not by any means improbable, that Aretas should, at the time in question, have had Damascus under his dominion. It will be recollected that the daughter of this Aretas was married to Herod, tetrarch of Galilee, by whom she was repudiated. that he might form the incestuous marriage with his niece Herodias. (See the notes on Matt
. xiv. 1, 3.) Incensed at this treatment of his daughter, Aretas commenced hostilities against Herod, and in the last year of the emperor Tiberius (A.D. 37) had completely defeated his army. It also appears that Herod notified this event to Tiberius, who, proroked at an act so much like that of an independent sovereign, ordered Vitellius, the prefect of Syria, to declare war against Aretas, and to take him alive, or send him his head. Vitellius commenced preparations accordingly; but receiving news of the emperor's death, he dismissed his forces into winter quarters; and Aretas was delivered from the danger he had incurred. Thus far we have history; from which we learn that, a few years before the transaction now referred to, war had been declared between the Romans and Aretas. On this is based the very reasonable conclusion, that at the time when Vitellius drew off his forces, Aretas invaded Syria. took Damascus, which had once belonged to his ancestors, and retained it in his possession during all the reign of Tiberius's stupid successor Caligula. Kuinoel
, indeed, concludes that Aretas did not finally subdue Damascus until Vitellius had already departed from the province. The German critics, particularly Heyne and Walch, have some able dissertations on this subject. The above, which in the main embodies their views, is derived from Michaelis, vol. ii. p. 12; and Kuinoel ap. Bloomfield.
cutions, in distresses for Christ's sake : for
when I am weak, then am I strong. 1 For commending of his apostleship, though he
11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye might glory of his wonderful revelations, 9 yet he rather chooseth to glory of his infirmities, 11
have compelled me: for I ought to have blaming them for forcing him to this vain boast- been commended of you: for in nothing am ing. 14 He promiseth to come to them again: | I behind the
I behind the very chiefest apostles, though but yet altogether in the affection of a father, 20
I be nothing although he feareth he shall to his grief find many offenders, and publick disorders there.
12 Truly the signs of an apostle were
wrought among you in all patience, in signs, It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. and wonders, and mighty deeds. I will come to visions and revelations of the 13 For what is it wherein you were infeLord.
rior to other churches, except it be that 'I 2 I knew a man in Christ about fourteen myself was not burdensome to you ? forgive years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot
me this wrong tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot 14 Behold, the third time I am ready to tell God knoweth ;) such an one caught up come to you; and I will not be burdensome to the third heaven.
to you: for I seek not your's, but you : for 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the children ought not to lay up for the
pa. the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell : rents, but the parents for the children. God knoweth;)
15 And I will very gladly spend and be 4 How that he was caught up into para- spent for you ; though the more abundantly dise, and heard unspeakable words, which it I love you, the less I be loved. is not 'lawful for a man to utter.
16 But be it so, I did not burden you: 5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you myself I will not glory, but in mine infir- with guile. mities.
17 'Did I make a gain of you by any of 6 For though I would desire to glory, I them whom I sent unto you shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: 18 I desired Titus, and with him I sent but I forbear, lest any man should think a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? of me above that which he seeth me to be, or walked we not in the same spirit? walked that he heareth of me.
we not in the same steps ? 7 And lest I should be exalted above 19 Again, think ye that we excuse ourmeasure through the abundance of the reve- selves unto you? we speak before God in lations, there was given to me a "thorn in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet for your edifying. me, lest I should be exalted above mea- 20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not
such as I would, and that I shall be 8 For this thing I besought the Lord found unto you such as ye would not : lest thrice, that it might depart from me. there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes,
9 And he said unto me, My grace is suffi- backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: cient for thee: for my strength is made per- 21 And lest, when I come again, my God feet in weakness. Most gladly therefore will will humble me among you, and that I shall I rather glory in my infirmities, that the bewail many which have sinned already, and power of Christ may rest upon me.
have not repented of the uncleanness and 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmi- fornication and lasciviousness which they ties, in reproaches, in necessities, in perse- have committed. 101, possible.
3 Chap. 11. 9. Verse 2. “ The third heaven.”—The apostle speaks in conformity with the division established by the Jews, who described the heavens as threefold :- 1. The lower heaven ; that is, the aèrial heaven, including the clouds and atmosphere. 2. The middle heaven, being the place of the stars. 3. The third heaven, otherwise the supreme heaven, or heaven of heavens; being the habitation of God agd his angels.
* See Ezek. 58. 24.