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Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges
2 Corinthians 7

 

 

Introduction

CHAP. 7. CONCLUSION OF THE EXHORTATION TO HOLINESS AND RESUMPTION OF THE APPEAL FOR RECONCILIATION


Verse 1

1. ταύτας οὖν ἔχοντες τὰς ἐπαγγελίας. These, then, being the promises which we have. The emphasis is on ταύτας, promises so glorious and gracious as those which have just been mentioned.

ἀγαπητοί. For the first time in this letter he uses this affectionate address. It occurs once more 2 Corinthians 12:19 : comp. 1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

καθαρίσωμεν ἑαυτούς. The Apostle makes the exhortation more gentle by including himself. He refers to that τοὺς πόδας νίψασθαι which even ὁ λελουμένος requires (John 13:10). Even good Christians are constantly incurring taints which need to be as constantly removed. For καθαρίζειν ἀπό comp. 1 John 1:7; Hebrews 9:14; Psalms 51:2; Sirach 23:10. It is found in inscriptions; Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 216.

ἀπὸ παντὸς μολυσμοῦ. From every kind of defilement, inquinamentum. The substantive occurs here only in the N.T. and thrice in the LXX. (1 Esdras 8:80 [84]; Jeremiah 23:15; 2 Maccabees 5:27); but the verb is frequent in both LXX. and N.T. (1 Corinthians 8:7; &c.). Greiner, Lex. p. 785; Trench, Syn. § xxxi.

σαρκὸς καὶ πνεύματος. The genitives mark the recipients of the defilement, not the sources of it. The cause of the pollution is sin, which attacks the spirit through the flesh. But no hard and fast line can be drawn between defilement of flesh and defilement of spirit, for each communicates its condition, whether evil or good, to the other. The general meaning here is sensuality of all kinds.

There is no sufficient reason for believing that S. Paul had added to Jewish conceptions of the frailty of the flesh the Gnostic idea that the flesh is originally and in its own nature evil. It is perhaps true that S. Paul gave to σάρξ a more moral signification than it had previously carried. But in the opposition to which he points (e.g. in Romans 7) between σάρξ and πνεῦμα, he does not mean that flesh is in itself sinful and the source of sin. His theory of human nature is not dualistic. See Gifford on Romans, Speaker’s Comm. III. pp. 48–52, and Sanday and Headlam on Romans 7:14.

ἐπιτελοῦντες ἁγιωσύνην. This is the positive side, as ‘cleansing from every kind of defilement’ is the negative side, of the progress towards that perfection to which the Christian is called (Matthew 5:48). The process of bringing ἁγιωσύνη (Romans 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 3:13) to completeness (2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 8:11; Philippians 1:6) is continually going on.

ἐν φόβῳ θεοῦ. A lower atmosphere than the love of God, but one above which man cannot at all times rise. It is the level of the O.T. rather than of the N.T.; but it is necessary for Christians, especially for beginners, such as the Corinthians were. In this world at any rate, fear and love are complementary sides of the filial mind. Comp. Acts 9:31; Romans 3:18; 1 Peter 3:15. We have ἐν φόβω̣ Χριστοῦ, Ephesians 5:21. Qui sine timore Domini vult bonum aliquod facere superbus est (Herveius Burgidol.).


Verse 2

2. Χωρήσατε ἡμᾶς. Open your hearts to us (R.V.); make room for us in your hearts as in Matthew 19:11-12. Neither there nor here does it mean ‘understand rightly’: comp. Mark 2:2; John 2:6; John 8:37; John 21:25. It refers back to πλατύνθητε καὶ ὑμεῖς (2 Corinthians 6:13). Now follow, with emotional abruptness, reasons why the Corinthians ought not to close their hearts against him.

οὐδένα ἠδικήσαμεν κ.τ.λ. The three aorists indicate that in no single instance had he done any one of them an injury. Comp. the similar disclaimer, Acts 20:23, and that of Samuel, τίνα κατεδυνάστευσα ὑμῶν ἢ τίνα ἐξεπίεσα; (1 Samuel 12:3). It is not probable that this refers to his letters. It refers to charges made against him respecting his conduct; some supposed abuse of his apostolic authority in matters of discipline, raising money for the poor, &c. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4.

οὐδένα ἐφθείραμεν. We ruined no one. Some interpret this of corrupting their morals, or of teaching false doctrine (2 Corinthians 11:3), or of handing over to Satan. But the context points rather to ruining financially. We know too little about the facts to make sure conjectures. Comp. the list of things which he says that they do suffer at the hands of others (2 Corinthians 11:20): and perhaps here there is a side reference to the Judaizers’ treatment of the Corinthians: corripuerunt eos falsa docendo, circumvenerunt eos substantiam eorum exhauriendo (Atto Vercel.).

οὐδένα ἐπλεονεκτήσαμεν. We took advantage of no one. It is not certain that any of the three verbs refers to money matters; and therefore English words which imply fraud had better be avoided. Comp. 2 Corinthians 12:17-18 : we had the passive of this verb 2 Corinthians 2:11. Assuming that 10–13 was written before 1–9, this passage may refer to 2 Corinthians 12:17-18. Excepting 1 Thessalonians 4:6, the verb is peculiar to 2 Corinthians in the N.T.; it occurs only thrice in the LXX.


Verses 2-4

2–4. Return to the appeal for reconciliation, which in turn brings him back to the subject of the news brought by Titus, of which he began to tell in 2 Corinthians 2:12, but from which he almost at once digressed, 2 Corinthians 2:17.


Verse 3

3. πρὸς κατάκρισιν οὐ λέγω. I am not saying this to condemn you. Comp. πρὸς ἐντροπὴν ὑμῖν λέγω (1 Corinthians 6:5). ‘It is not for condemnation that I am saying this. In defending myself I am not blaming any one. That cannot be my object.’

προείρηκα γάρ. Comp. 2 Corinthians 1:6, 2 Corinthians 3:2, 2 Corinthians 4:12, 2 Corinthians 6:11-12. The expression is rare in Biblical Greek (3 Maccabees 6:35), but common in classical.

ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν ἐστὲ εἰς τὸ συναποθανεῖν καὶ συνζῆν. Ye are in our hearts to share death and to share life. In strict grammar this should mean, that, ‘whether we die or live, you will be in our hearts.’ But it may also mean, ‘you are so much in our hearts that we are willing to share either death or life with you. Tecum vivere amem, tecum obeam libens (Hor. Odes III. ix. 24), said in all earnestness, is probably what is here expressed: egregius χαρακτήρ boni pastoris John 10:12 (Grotius). The plur., ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν, includes others; Lightfoot on 1 Thessalonians 2:4. See on 2 Corinthians 3:2.


Verse 4

4. πολλή μοι παρρησία πρὸς ὑμᾶς, πολλή μοι καύχησις ὑπὲρ ἱμῶν. If παρρησία means ‘boldness of speech’ (2 Corinthians 3:2), what is here expressed is, ‘am very frank in dealing with you; ‘I am full of boasting when I talk to others about you.’ If it means ‘confidence’ (1 Timothy 3:13; Hebrews 10:19), the thought is, ‘I am full of confidence in respect of yon; full of boasting on your behalf’ (2 Corinthians 5:12, 2 Corinthians 8:24); i.e. the internal feeling of confidence produces the external act of glorying. This is better. If the two clauses expressed a contrast, πρὸς ὑμᾶς and ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν would probably have stood first. For παρρησία in the secondary sense of ‘confidence’ comp. Wisdom of Solomon 5:1; 1 Maccabees 4:18. In this verse we have three of the key-words of this letter, καύχησις, παράκλησις, and θλίψις.

πεπλήρωμαι. ‘I have been filled and remain so.’ This is surpassed by ὑπερπερισσεύομαι, as τῇ παρακλήσει by τῇ χαρᾷ: the second clause is a balanced advance on the first. I am filled with comfort, I am overflowing with joy. In Romans 5:20 we have ὑπερεπερίσσευσεν ἡ χάρις: the verb is not found elsewhere in Biblical Greek. With the alliteration (π) comp. 2 Corinthians 8:22, 2 Corinthians 9:8, 2 Corinthians 10:6.

ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ θλίψει. This belongs to both clauses, as is shown by 2 Corinthians 7:6-7. The ἐπί indicates the occasions on which the comfort and joy were felt (Philippians 1:3). The thought of comfort and joy sends him back to the recent cause of these emotions.


Verse 5

5. Καὶ γὰρ ἐλθόντων ἡμῶν εἰς ΄. For indeed when we were come into Macedonia; probably at Philippi. Getting away from Troas and reaching Macedonia did not suffice to ease his mind. Comp. Acts 20:1.

οὐδεμίαν ἔσχηκεν ἄνεσιν. Literally, as in 2 Corinthians 2:13, has no relief, the perf. vividly recalling the feeling of the moment. See critical note; the change to ἔσχεν was made because of the apparent difficulty of the perf. Comp. 2 Corinthians 8:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:7. Here ἡ σὰρξ ἡμῶν is not the seat of sinfulness, but of human suffering and excitement.

ἐν παντὶ θλιβόμενοι (2 Corinthians 4:8). Nullum genus tribulationis non sumus experti (Primasius). The participle has no construction; but such irregularities are natural and intelligible: comp. 2 Corinthians 11:6; Judges 1:16; and for ἐν παντί, 2 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 6:4, 2 Corinthians 8:7, 2 Corinthians 9:8; 2 Corinthians 9:11, 2 Corinthians 11:9. Winer, p. 442.

ἔξωθεν μάχαι, ἔσωθεν φόβοι. This refers to what was all round the Apostle and within his own mind, not to what was outside and inside the Church. The μάχαι point to opposition in Macedonia, but whether from Christians or others there is nothing to show: concursus fidelium et infidelium (Atto Vercel.). The fears were caused, partly by this hostility, but chiefly by the condition of Corinth and his own personal depression. These conflicts without and anxieties within explain ‘afflicted on every side.’ That there is nothing reprehensible in the emotions which S. Paul here and elsewhere reveals is pointed out by Augustine in his noble defence of the Apostle De Civ. Dei xiv. 9. Even Christ Himself exhibited similar emotion.


Verses 5-16

5–16. Statement of the happy tidings brought from Corinth by Titus. Comp. the similar mission of Timothy to Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 3:1-8). For the silence about Timothy here see on 2 Corinthians 12:18.


Verse 6

6. ἀλλʼ ὁ παρακαλῶν τοὺς ταπεινούς. But He that comforteth the depressed, even God: from Isaiah 49:13. Comp. θεὸς πάσης παρακλήσεως (2 Corinthians 1:3). It is perhaps true to say that ταπεινός in Scripture never means ‘low, mean, servile,’ as often in classical Greek. It may be used of a low tree (Ezekiel 17:24); or of those of low estate (James 1:9); or of low spirits, which seems to be the meaning here. In Sirach 25:23 a bad woman is said to produce a καρδία ταπεινὴ καὶ πρόσωπον σκυθρωπόν in him who has to deal with her. Comp. σκυθρωποὺς καὶ ταπεινοὺς περιιόντας (Xen. Hell. VI. iv. 16). It is the low-spirited rather than the lowly that need to be ‘comforted.’

ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ Τίτου. By the coming and presence of Titus. Both words are needed to bring out the meaning of παρουσία, the word so frequently used of the Second Advent (Matthew 24:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 15:23; James 5:7; 2 Peter 3:4).


Verse 7

7. The repetition of the word ‘comfort’ must be maintained. For ἐφʼ ὑμῖν, which indicates that the Corinthians were the basis of the comfort, comp. 1 Thessalonians 3:7; 1 Corinthians 13:6; 1 Corinthians 16:17; Romans 16:9.

ἀναγγέλλων ἡμῖν. while he told us (R.V.); Titus found comfort in the telling of what he had witnessed at Corinth. But this need not be pressed. By a natural anacoluthon S. Paul writes ἀναγγέλλων, attracted to παρεκλήθη, instead of ἀναγγέλλοντος agreeing with αὐτοῦ.

ἐπιπόθησιν. Longing. Except in 2 Corinthians 7:11 and in Aquila, Ezekiel 23:11, the word occurs nowhere else in Biblical Greek: and neither πόθος, ποθή, nor πόθησις occurs in the N.T. or the LXX. But ἐπιποθεῖν is found in all groups of the Pauline Epistles. For ὀδυρμός comp. Matthew 2:18; Jeremiah 48 [31]:15; 2 Maccabees 11:6; and for ζῆλος, 2 Corinthians 7:11, 2 Corinthians 9:2; Romans 10:2; Philippians 3:6; Colossians 4:3. But ζῆλος may be used of evil ardour, envious rivalry, jealousy (2 Corinthians 12:20; 1 Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 5:20). Trench, Syn. § xxvi. For ὑμῶν see last note on 2 Corinthians 12:19.

ὥστε με μᾶλλον χαρῆναι. So that I rejoiced still more (than at the meeting with Titus): or, so that I rejoiced rather (than was troubled). But the former is better (2 Corinthians 7:13). S. Paul’s sympathy and craving for sympathy are very conspicuous here.


Verse 8

8. ὅτι εἰ καὶ ἐλύπησα ὑμᾶς ἐν τῇ ἐπιστολῇ, οὐ μεταμέλομαι. Because, though I made you sorry (2 Corinthians 2:2) in my letter, I do not regret it. ΄εταμέλομαι (Matthew 21:30; Matthew 21:32; Hebrews 7:21) has less serious associations than μετανοέω (2 Corinthians 12:21 and often in Lk. and Rev.). Trench, Syn. § lxix. A colon or full stop should be placed at μεταμέλομαι.

εἰ καὶ μετεμελόμην. The δέ after εἰ, admitted by Weiss on the authority of B, may be ignored. Though I did regret itI now rejoice. This is strong evidence that the painful letter alluded to here is not 1 Corinthians. It is difficult to believe that anything in 1 Corinthians ever made the Apostle regret, even for a time, that he had written it. He does not say that it had pained him to pain them, but that for a time he regretted having sent the letter that pained them, though he does not regret it now. We are therefore again (2 Corinthians 1:17, 2 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 2:9) pointed to the hypothesis of a second lost letter, viz. one between 1 and 2 Corinthians, the other being that of 1 Corinthians 5:9, before 1 Corinthians. If 2 Corinthians 10-13 is part of this letter, there are passages there which he might at times regret having sent, and in the remainder of the letter there may have been things which he would be still more likely to regret.

βλέπω ὅτιἐλύπησεν ὑμᾶς. If βλέπω be the right reading (see critical note), it is best to take this clause as a parenthesis: Though I did regret it (I see that that letter, though but for a season, made you sorry), I now rejoice. The R.V. does not give this arrangement a place even in the margin; but the American Revisers prefer it. In the A.V. the change from ‘letter’ to ‘Epistle’ is unwarrantable, and to translate ἐλύπησενhath made sorry’ spoils the sense, by implying that the sorrow still continues.


Verse 9

9. νῦν χαίρω. The νῦν is in emphatic contrast to μετεμελόμην. Yet his joy is not the result of their pain, but of the good effect of their pain, viz. their repentance.

κατὰ θεόν. ‘According to God’ means ‘according to the will of God’ (Romans 8:27); as God would have you sorry, ‘in God’s way.’

ἵνα ἐν μηδενὶ ζημιωθῆτε ἐξ ἡμῶν That in nothing ye might suffer loss (1 Corinthians 3:15; Luke 9:25) at our hands (John 6:65); nostra negligentia. Etsi pœnitert, eo quod vos nimium increpassem, tamen vester me facit non pœnitere profectus (Primasius). This was God’s will, that they should be helped towards salvation by the Apostle’s severity, not towards eternal loss by his silence.


Verse 10

10. μετάνοιαν εἰς σωτηρίαν ἀμεταμέλητον. Repentance which bringeth no regret. The A.V. again creates a verbal antithesis which is not in the Greek; ‘repentance not to be repented of.’ To connect ἀμεταμέλητον with σωτηρίαν produces an empty truism. Who could suppose that σωτηρία would ever bring regret? But a ‘change of mind’ might be regretted. With stabilem (Vulg.) as the rendering of ἀμεταμέλητον, it is easy for Latin commentators to take the epithet with salutem and interpret non transitoriam, sed aeternam (Herveius Burgidol.).

ἡ δὲ τοῦ κόσμου λύπη θάνατον κατεργάζεται. But the sorrow of the world worketh out death. The world feels the painful consequences of sin, without any thought of returning to God. Comp. the case of Judas; μεταμεληθεὶςἀπελθὼν ἀπήγξατο (Matthew 27:3; Matthew 27:5). Just as σωτηρία is spiritual soundness tending to eternal life, so θάνατος means spiritual deadness tending to eternal death. Comp. ἡ ἁμαρτία κατεργαζομένη θάνατον (Romans 7:13). The difference between ἐργάζεται and κατεργάζεται (2 Corinthians 4:7, 2 Corinthians 5:5) is that between promoting and producing. The Vulgate has operatur for both. For the play on words comp. 2 Corinthians 1:13, 2 Corinthians 3:2, 2 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 5:4, 2 Corinthians 6:10, 2 Corinthians 10:5-6; 2 Corinthians 10:12.

The contrast between different kinds of sorrow and shame is found both in heathen and in Jewish literature; αἰδὼς ἥτʼ ἄνδρας μέγα σίνεται, ἠδʼ ὀνίνησι (Hes. Opp. et D. i. 316), which may be an interpolation from Hom. Il. xxiv. 44, or both may come from an older source; comp. εἰσὶ δʼ ἡδοναὶ πολλαὶ βίου, μακραί τε λέσχαι καὶ σχολὴ, τερπνὸν κακὸν, αἰδώς τε. δισσαὶ δʼ εἰσίν· ἡ μὲν οὐ κακὴ, ἡ δʼ ἄχθος οἴκων (Eur. Hippol. 383): ἔστιν γὰρ αἰσχύνη ἐπάγουσα ἁμαρτίαν, καὶ ἔστιν αἰσχύνη δόξα καὶ χάρις (Sirach 4:21), which in the LXX. is found also in Proverbs 26:11.


Verse 11

11. The Corinthians themselves are shown to be a joyous illustration of ἡ κατὰ θεὸν λύπη and its results. The delight with which the Apostle rehearses the particulars of the tidings brought by Titus is very characteristic.

ἰδοὺ γὰρ αὐτὸ τοῦτο κ.τ.λ. For behold, what earnestness this very being made sorry as God would have you sorry worked out in you; or, For, behold, this very thing, your being sorry in God’s way,—what earnestness it worked out in you. The σπουδή (2 Corinthians 7:12, 2 Corinthians 8:7-8; 2 Corinthians 8:16) is the opposite of their previous indifference and neglect. But S. Paul feels that there was a great deal more than σπουδή, and he goes on, with great animation, to add six other items.

ἀλλὰ ἀπολογίαν. Nay, what clearing of yourselves; i.e. defence, exculpation,—in the first instance to Titus, but through him to the Apostle, with whom the judgment lay. They had never contended that the offender had done no wrong. The ἀλλά means ‘but over and above this,’ or ‘not only this but.’ The repetition of ἀλλά, in 1 Corinthians 6:11 is not quite parallel.

ἀγανάκτησιν. Indignation at the scandal. Originally used of physical discomfort (Plato Phaedr. 251); then of mental vexation (Thuc. II. xli. 3). The word occurs nowhere else in Biblical Greek.

φόβον. Fear of the Apostle’s punishment of the rebellious.

ἐπιπόθησιν. Longing for the Apostle’s return. But fear of God’s judgments, and longing for His forgiveness may be meant.

ἐκδίκησιν. Avenging: a late word, but frequent in the sense of avenging or punishing (2 Thessalonians 1:8; Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30; 1 Peter 2:14; &c.). This comes last, because the punishment of the offender (2 Corinthians 2:6) had been one of the chief difficulties. There may be truth in Bengel’s suggestion that the six topics are in three pairs directed to [1] the shame of the Church, [2] the feeling towards the Apostle, [3] the attitude towards the offender. But ζῆλος suits [2] better than [3]. Ideo patet quod tristitia quae secundum Deum est operatur pœnitentiam in salutem, quia generat omnes has virtutes, quae ducunt ad aeternam vitam (Herveius Burgidol.).

ἐν παντὶ συνεστήσατε ἑαυτούς. In everything ye approved yourselves. For ἐν παντί see on 2 Corinthians 7:5 : here it sums up the points just mentioned.

ἁγνοὺς εἶναι τῷ πράγματι. To be pure in the matter, i.e. to be purged from contamination (Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 5:22; 1 Peter 3:2; James 3:16; 1 John 3:3, where see Westcott’s note). The use of ἁγνός is no evidence that the offender in question (2 Corinthians 2:5) is the incestuous person of 1 Corinthians 5:1. The vague τὸ πρᾶγμα indicates a distasteful topic: comp. 1 Thessalonians 4:6.


Verse 12

12. ἄρα εἰ καὶ ἔγραψα ὑμῖν. So then, although I did write to you, and did not let ‘the matter’ pass without notice. This is again a reference to the painful letter between our 1 and 2 Corinthians: see on 2 Corinthians 1:17 and 2 Corinthians 2:3.

τοῦ ἀδικήσαντος. Not the incestuous person of 1 Corinthians 5:1; for in that case ὁ ἀδικηθείς would be the man’s father, and would have been alive when the son contracted the incestuous union. Theodoret tries to evade this difficulty by suggesting καὶ τεθνεὼς γὰρ ἠδίκητο, τῆς εὐνῆς ὑβρισθείσης. But the Apostle would not have written thus of a dead person. It is hardly credible that a member of the Corinthian Church had had his father’s wife while his father was still alive, and that the Corinthian Christians, so far from being distressed and feeling humiliated, were πεφυσιωμένοι (1 Corinthians 5:2), i.e. retained their usual self-complacency and spiritual pride. Moreover, the Apostle would hardly treat such a sin as being an injury inflicted on an individual. It was a scandal to the whole Church. Perhaps ὁ ἀδικηθείς is Timothy, who may have been grossly insulted by a leader of rebellion against S. Paul; or (more probably) it may be the Apostle himself. Then the meaning would be, ‘Still less (οὐδέ) was my letter prompted by personal resentment’; nor yet for his sake that suffered the wrong. If the ἀλλʼ before οὐδέ is genuine, this makes the second alternative still more improbable when compared with the first: ‘not on account of the injurer, but (I need hardly say) still less on account of the injured.’ See p. 44; also Findlay on ‘Paul the Apostle,’ and Lock on ‘Timothy,’ in Hastings’ DB. iii. p. 711, iv. p. 768.

ἀλλʼ ἕνεκεν τοῦ φανερωθῆναι τὴν σπουδὴν ὑμῶν τὴν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν πρὸς ὑμᾶς. See critical note. But for the sake of your earnestness on our behalf being made manifest (2 Corinthians 3:3, 2 Corinthians 4:10-11, 2 Corinthians 5:10-11) unto you. The repetition of ἕνεκεν is worth preserving in translation, and ‘for the sake of’ suits all three clauses. The apparent difficulty of the Apostle’s wishing the Corinthians’ zeal for him to be made manifest to themselves probably caused the change of reading. But Calvin gives the right sense; vos ipsi nondum intelligebatis, quo essetis in me studio, donec in hac causa experti estis. This crisis revealed to themselves their own fundamental loyalty to him. Moreover, πρὸς ὑμᾶς might mean ‘among you’ or ‘with you’ (1 Thessalonians 3:4).

ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ. The letter was written, not only with a high aim, but with a ‘full sense of responsibility. The R.V. rightly keeps the clause at the end of the sentence, when it comes with solemn emphasis, as in 2 Corinthians 4:2 and Romans 14:22. The clause must be taken with ἔγραψα, not with φανερωθῆναι.


Verse 13

13. διαʼ τοῦτο παρακεκλήμεθα. For this cause (because you behaved so well and our purpose was conscientious) we have been comforted, and remain so. These words, with a full stop after them, should be the conclusion of 2 Corinthians 7:12. They sum up 2 Corinthians 7:11-12.

Ἐπὶ δὲ τῇ παρακλήσει ἡμῶν κ.τ.λ. See critical note. But besides our comfort, we joyed the more exceedingly for the joy of Titus. The comfort was one joy; on the top of which came joy at the joy of Titus περισσοτέρως (2 Corinthians 1:12, 2 Corinthians 2:4) μᾶλλον (2 Corinthians 3:9).

ὅτι ἀναπέπαυται τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ πάντων ὑμῶν. Because his spirit hath been refreshed by you all. Comp. Philemon 1:7; Philemon 1:20. The πάντων here and 2 Corinthians 7:15 confirms the explanation given of ὑπὸ τῶν πλειόνων (2 Corinthians 2:6). That majority, which inflicted punishment on the offender, is contrasted with a minority; and the minority was not a rebellious minority, contending that no punishment ought to be inflicted (in which case πάντων ὑμῶν, here and 2 Corinthians 7:15, would not be true), but an ultra-loyal minority, contending that the punishment was inadequate as a vindication of the Apostle’s authority. But most were in favour of some penalty, and the rest in favour of a more severe one, so that the πάντων ὑμῶν in both verses is quite true. ‘Hath been refreshed and remains so’: Titus returned to S. Paul in this frame of mind. For ἀπό = ‘at the hands of’ comp. Luke 7:35; James 1:13.


Verse 14

14. εἵ τικακαύχημαι, οὐ κατῃσχύνθην. For if in anything I have gloried (see on 2 Corinthians 9:2) to him on your behalf (2 Corinthians 5:4, 2 Corinthians 9:2) I was not put to shame (2 Corinthians 9:4; Romans 9:33). ‘I am not ashamed’ (A.V.) is not what S. Paul says. He ‘was not put to shame’ (R.V.) by his praise of them turning out to be undeserved. He had praised them to Titus, and Titus had found that the praise was true.

ὡς πάντα ἐν ἀληθείᾳοὕτως καὶ ἡ καύχησις. As we spake all things to you in truth, so our glorying also was found to be truth. Both in what he said to them, and in what he has said about them, he was proved to be sincere.

ἐπὶ Τίτου. Before Titus, in his presence: comp. ἐπὶ τῶν ἀδίκων καὶ οὐχὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἁγίων, and ἐπὶ ἀπίστων (1 Corinthians 6:1; 1 Corinthians 6:6).


Verse 15

15. ‘And this happy result has had a marked effect upon Titus, so that his inward affection is more abundantly towards you. Your receiving him with fear and trembling proved your obedience, the remembrance of which keeps his heart very warm towards you.’ They had received him ὡς ἄγγελον θεοῦ (Galatians 4:14); comp. 1 Samuel 16:4.


Verse 16

16. Χαίρω ὅτι ἕν παντὶ θαρρῶ ἐν ὑμῖν. The οὗν is a weak interpolation. I rejoice that in everything (2 Corinthians 7:11) I am of good courage concerning you. In 2 Corinthians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 5:8 ‘be confident’ is the better rendering of θαρρῶ: but here and 2 Corinthians 10:1-2 ‘be of good courage’ is more suitable. And it is important that the rendering here and in 2 Corinthians 10:1-2 should be alike, for, if 10–13 be part of the second lost letter, this passage may be connected with 2 Corinthians 10:1-2. In the painful letter he had to think of being of good courage in withstanding them. Here he is of good courage about their loyalty. See on 2 Corinthians 1:23, 2 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 2:9, 2 Corinthians 4:2, 2 Corinthians 5:13, 2 Corinthians 7:2 for other cases in which passages in 1–9 seem to refer to passages in 10–13. But, whether there be any connexion between this verse and 2 Corinthians 10:1-2 or not, how could the Apostle write this, and then in the same letter write 2 Corinthians 12:20-21?

This ends the first main portion of the Epistle (2 Corinthians 1:12 to 2 Corinthians 7:16). The next two chapters form the second main portion.

 


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Bibliography Information
"Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7:4". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/2-corinthians-7.html. 1896.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, September 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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