Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 11

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

My folly ; in relating what he had done and suffered in the cause of Christ; which, in ordinary circumstances, might have been regarded as foolish.

And indeed bear with me ; better, as the margin, "and indeed ye do bear with me." As much as to say, I acknowledge your indulgence heretofore, and ask for more of it on the present occasion. A judicious and modest Christian will not speak of himself and his labors unless the public good evidently requires it; and then he will do it, not to exalt himself, but to magnify the grace of God.

Verse 2

With godly jealousy ; I am exceedingly anxious for your good.

Espoused you to one husband ; he had been the means of uniting them to Christ.

Verse 3

His subtlety ; Genesis 3:1-5 .

Your minds should be corrupted ; by false teachers.

From the simplicity ; so as to depart from the simplicity. The simplicity that is in Christ is their simple-hearted devotion to his gospel in its purity.

Verse 4

Ye might well bear with him ; in his vain-glorious assumption of superiority over me and of dominion over your faith. But this is not the case. These boastful teachers have nothing new to offer.

Verse 6

But though I be rude in speech ; as my enemies object to me, chap 2 Corinthians 10:10 .

Thoroughly made manifest ; he had given them abundant evidence of his character as an apostle.

Verse 7

Abasing myself ; in laboring for his support, not receiving it from them. Acts 18:3 .

Verse 8

Taking wages of them ; receiving supplies from others, while laboring for you.

Verse 9

From being burdensome ; by receiving support from you. Although it is the duty of a people to support their minister, and he is as justly entitled to his living as any workman is to his wages, yet there are cases where a wise and good minister will preach without compensation, and live, if need be, by manual labor or on charity, for the purpose of doing greater good to mankind.

Verse 10

Of this boasting ; that I preach without receiving support from those to whom I preach.

Verse 11

Because I love you not? and therefore am unwilling to seem to be under obligation to you?

Verse 12

That I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion ; that his enemies should not be able to say that he was selfish, and preached for hire.

Wherein they glory ; namely, that they preach the gospel free of charges.

They may be found even as we ; have no ground or plausible appearance for pretending to be more benevolent or worthy of regard then we.

Verse 13

Transforming themselves ; attempting to appear like apostles of Christ.

Verse 14

An angel of light ; tries to seem like one.

Verse 15

Satan has ministers who pretend to preach Christ’s gospel; they make professions of piety and benevolence, enter into other men’s labors, and strive to draw away Christians from ministers who have been instrumental in their conversion, and who preach to them the truth as it is in Jesus.

Verse 16

Think me a fool ; in seeming thus to boast of what I am and what I have done; for present circumstances render this needful.

If otherwise ; if it does appear foolish, let him bear with me in mentioning a few things which the case seems to require.

Verse 17

Not after the Lord ; not in accordance with his usual inspired instructions.

As it were foolishly ; as may appear foolish, and would be, were it not for the peculiarities which now call for it.

Verse 18

Many glory after the flesh ; in their birth, rank, and worldly distinctions.

Verse 19

Ye suffer fools gladly ; your persuasion of your own wisdom makes it easy for you to bear with the conduct of fools. He alludes to their false teachers, who without any good reason boasted of their preeminence.

Verse 20

For ye suffer ; that is, ye endure patiently. He now adduces the proof that they suffer fools gladly.

Bring you into bondage ; by usurping dominion over you.

Devour you ; devour your property.

Take of you ; or, take you; that is, take you by fraud, circumvent you.

Exalt himself ; over you.

Smite you of the face ; treat you with insolence and abuse. The inference is, that if they can suffer all this patiently, they ought to bear with the apostle in his boasting.

Verse 21

I speak as concerning reproach ; or, I speak by way of dishonor, as if admitting the truth of the reproaches cast upon me by my enemies. This, however, he does not admit, as he proceeds to show.

Any is bold ; to state things of which he may boast.

I am bold also ; for in all the grounds of preeminence on which they pride themselves, I go beyond them.

Verse 25

A night and a day I have been in the deep ; floating, it is supposed, on something after one of his shipwrecks.

Verse 28

Besides those things that are without ; or, besides other things, some of which he proceeds to name.

Verse 29

Is weak ; needing assistance.

And I ; do not sympathize with him.

Offended ; tempted, or led into sin.

I burn not ; with grief and indignation.

Verse 30

Mine infirmities ; my sufferings for Christ’s sake, and my need of his help. The above enumeration shows that in the Acts of the Apostles we have but a brief account of Paul’s labors and sufferings for Christ’s sake.

Verse 31

The labors, sacrifices, and trials of faithful ministers are all known to God; and it is a great consolation when they are able in sincerity to appeal to him for the truth of their declarations, the benevolence of their plans, and the fidelity of their efforts. Though they may here be reproached, vilified, persecuted, and slain, yet He will remember them in the day when he makes up his jewels, and will bring forth their righteousness as the light and their judgment as the noonday.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 11". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.