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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
2 Corinthians 7

 

 

Verses 1-16

(e) 7:2-16. The Apostle's Joy in the Corinthians' repentance

St. Paul goes on to ask them to give him their affection, and renews his assurance of purity of deed and motive. He tells them of the suspense in which he had awaited their response to his 'severe' letter, and his joy at the return of Titus with good news. He is now glad that he vexed them by that letter—though he was inclined to regret his action for a time—because of its happy results in their attitude and conduct; and he concludes by expressing anew his affection for them, and his joy that mutual confidence has been restored.

2-4. Paraphrase. 'Give us your affection; we have done no man any injury either in influence or in character or in pocket. (3) I am not returning to this subject to blame you again, for whether I live or die I have the deepest affection for you. (4) I speak freely to you as I boast of you freely to others; I am greatly comforted, and rejoice exceedingly amid all my sufferings.'

2. Receive us] RV 'Open your hearts to us.' We have wronged.. corrupted.. defrauded no man] St. Paul is referring to charges that had been brought against him. For hints as to these, cp. 2 Corinthians 11:4, 2 Corinthians 11:7-8, 2 Corinthians 11:9; 2 Corinthians 12:14, 2 Corinthians 12:16, 2 Corinthians 12:17.

4. Glorying of you] i.e. boasting about you: cp. 2 Corinthians 9:2, 2 Corinthians 9:3.

Paraphrase. '(5) For when I came to Macedonia looking for your answer to my letter, I was troubled both by conflicts with enemies and by forebodings about you. (6) But God, who comforts those who are in trouble, comforted me by the arrival of my friend Titus. (7) Not only was I cheered by his presence, but by the comfort he communicated to me, which he had derived from your sorrow for your faults and your affection for me; so that my anxiety was transformed into joy.'

5. 'When I came to Macedonia': see Intro.

6. God, that comforteth] cp. 2 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:4. Titus] was the bearer of the letter to the Corinthians mentioned in 2 Corinthians 7:8 : see Intro.

7. The consolation wherewith, etc.] Titus was comforted by their repentance, and this comfort he passed on to St. Paul when he gave him the good news.

8. Though I did repent] The Apostle for a time feared his previous letter had been too severe. The letter was probably that of which 2 Corinthians 10-13 of the Second Epistle form the chief part: see Intro.

10. Godly sorrow, etc.] The contrast is between repentance and remorse, between sorrow for sin and sorrow for its consequences: cp. St. Peter and Judas.

Repentance to salvation] cp. 'Heart-sorrow and a clear life ensuing' (Shakespeare). The sorrow of the world] i.e. grief that regrets not the sin, but the fact of being found out.

Death] Moral and spiritual ruin.

11, 12. Paraphrase. 'Your own repentance is a case in point. Yours was a godly sorrow, as the results proclaim; for it made you earnest to amend your ways, anxious to clear yourselves, indignant that you had been misled, afraid of the results of your conduct, anxious to see me, zealous for truth and justice, resolute in purifying the Church. In every respect you showed that you had no share in the offender's guilt, and no desire to shield him. (12) And this was the very purpose of that severe letter, not to secure the punishment of the offender, or to satisfy the resentment of the injured, but to cause you to recognise before God the feelings of affection and devotion with which you really regarded me.'

12. For his cause that had done the wrong.. for his cause that suffered wrong] The reference, of course, was obvious to the readers without particulars; but we are ignorant of some of the facts. It would seem that on the occasion of his brief visit St. Paul had been attacked and denounced by some leader of the disaffection in the Church, or else that Timothy on the occasion of his visit had been the object of vituperation; and that in either case St. Paul had insisted upon the punishment of the offender. This had now. been done. The doer of the wrong here is this leader of rebellion, and the sufferer either St. Paul or Timothy. This seems the most probable solution of the problem from the knowledge we possess. Our care for you] RV 'your earnest care for us.' The reading of RV is best attested by the MSS, and is more in harmony with the train of thought in 2 Corinthians 7:11. His letter was written to let them see the real feelings they had towards him, which were concealed for the moment by their irritation.

13-16. Paraphrase. 'Now that all has ended well, I am thankful; and my joy is increased because Titus also rejoices at your attitude. (14) For all that I said to him in your praise has been justified, and I am not ashamed of my boasting; (15) and the affection of Titus for you has increased since he visited you and saw your anxiety to do well. (16) I rejoice, therefore, that I have every confidence in you.'

14. Our boasting, etc.] Titus had evidently been rather despondent about the result of his mission with the letter when he started; but St. Paul had encouraged him by confident forecasts of the Corinthians' repentance.

15. With fear and trembling] not dread of punishment, but anxiety to fulfil their obedience: cp. Philippians 2:12.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/2-corinthians-7.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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