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 properly signifies.
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 city wall.
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