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1: I wish ye would bear - So does he pave the way for what
might otherwise have given offence. With my folly - Of commending
myself; which to many may appear folly; and really would be so,
were it not on this occasion absolutely necessary.
2: For - The cause of his seeming folly is expressed in
this and the following verse; the cause why they should bear
with him, (2Co 11:4).
3: But I fear - Love is full of these fears. Lest as the
serpent - A most apposite comparison. Deceived Eve - Simple,
ignorant of evil. By his subtilty - Which is in the highest
degree dangerous to such a disposition. So your minds - We might
therefore be tempted, even if there were no sin in us. Might
be corrupted - Losing their virginal purity. From the simplicity
that is in Christ - That simplicity which is lovingly intent on
him alone, seeking no other person or thing.
4: If indeed - Any could show you another Saviour, a more
powerful Spirit, a better gospel. Ye might well bear with him
- But this is impossible.
6: If I am unskilful in speech - If I speak in a plain,
unadorned way, like an unlearned person. So the Greek word
7: Have I committed an offence - Will any turn this into
an objection? In humbling myself - To work at my trade. That
ye might be exalted - To be children of God.
8: I spoiled other churches - I, as it were, took the
spoils of them: it is a military term. Taking wages (or pay,
another military word) of them - When I came to you at first.
And when I was present with you, and wanted - My work not quite
supplying my necessities. I was chargeable to no man - Of Corinth.
9: For - I choose to receive help from the poor
Macedonians, rather than the rich Corinthians! Were
the poor in all ages more generous than the rich?
10: This my boasting shall not be stopped - For I will
receive nothing from you.
11: Do I refuse to receive anything of you, because I
love you not? God knoweth that is not the case.
12: Who desire any occasion - To censure me. That wherein
they boast, they may be found even as we - They boasted of being
"burdensome to no man." But it was a vain boast in them, though
not in the apostle.
14: Satan himself is transformed - Uses to transform
himself; to put on the fairest appearances.
15: Therefore it is no great, no strange, thing; whose
end, notwithstanding all their disguises, shall be according
to their works.
16: I say again - He premises a new apology to this new
commendation of himself. Let no man think me a fool - Let none
think I do this without the utmost necessity. But if any do
think me foolish herein, yet bear with my folly.
17: I speak not after the Lord - Not by an express command
from him; though still under the direction of his Spirit. But
as it were foolishly - In such a manner as many may think foolish.
18: After the flesh - That is, in external things.
19: Being wise - A beautiful irony.
20: For ye suffer - Not only the folly, but the gross
abuses, of those false apostles. If a man enslave you - Lord
it over you in the most arbitrary manner. If he devour you
- By his exorbitant demands; not - withstanding his boast of
not being burdensome. If he take from you - By open violence.
If he exalt himself - By the most unbounded self - commendation.
If he smite you on the face - (A very possible case,) under
pretence of divine zeal.
21: I speak with regard to reproach, as though we had
been weak - I say, "Bear with me," even on supposition that
the weakness be real which they reproach me with.
22: Are they Hebrews, Israelites, the seed of Abraham
- These were the heads on which they boasted.
23: I am more so than they. In deaths often
- Surrounding me in the most dreadful forms.
24: Five times I received from the Jews forty stripes
save one - Which was the utmost that the law allowed. With the
Romans he sometimes pleaded his privilege as a Roman; but
from the Jews he suffered all things.
25: Thrice I have been shipwrecked - Before his voyage to
Rome. In the deep - Probably floating on some part of the vessel.
27: In cold and nakedness - Having no place where to lay
my head; no convenient raiment to cover me; yet appearing
before noble - men, governors, kings; and not being ashamed.
28: Beside the things which are from without - Which I
suffer on the account of others; namely, the care of all
the churches - A more modest expression than if he had said,
the care of the whole church. All - Even those I have not
seen in the flesh. St. Peter himself could not have said
this in so strong a sense.
29: Who - So he had not only the care of the churches,
but of every person therein. Is weak, and I am not weak - By
sympathy, as well as by condescension. Who is offended
- Hindered in, or turned out of, the good way. And I burn
not - Being pained as though I had fire in my bosom.
30: I will glory of the things that concern my
infirmities - Of what shows my weakness, rather than my strength.
32: The governor under Aretas - King of Arabia and Syria
of which Damascus was a chief city, willing to oblige the Jews,
kept the city - Setting guards at all the gates day and night.
33: Through a window - Of an house which stood on the