Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 12

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

1) "It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory," (kauchasthai dei ou sumpheron men) "it indeed is not expedient (for) me to boast," I must (have a need to glory) though it is not expedient," It is in conflict with our Lord’s conduct "who humbled himself," sought no reputation among men, Philippians 2:7-8.

2) "So I will come to visions," (eleusomai de eis optasias) "So I will come to (consider) visions," such as were seen by Daniel 10:1; and declared by Joel to come in the New Dispensation, began as declared, Acts 2:17, and continued till the Bible was completed, 1 Corinthians 13:13; James 1:25; 2 Timothy 3:16-17. To Peter Acts 10:10; To Paul Acts 9:3; 1 Corinthians 9:1; To John Revelation 1:10; Revelation 4:1.

3) "And revelations of the Lord." (kai apokalupskis kuriou) "and revelations of the Lord," things of the Lord that are disclosed, by Jesus Christ, Revelation 1:11; Paul insists that he received his message in this manner, from the Lord, Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:3; 1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3.

Verse 2

1) "I knew a man in Christ," (oida Anthropon en Christo) "I know a man in Christ," (I know now) a man in Christ,

2) "Above fourteen years ago " (pro eton Tekatessaron) "before fourteen years ago," or who prior to fourteen years ago; This first mention of this matter shows how little Paul was given to boasting; Perhaps when stoned and left for dead at Lystra, Acts 14:19-20; or after his escape from Damascus, Acts 9:23-25.

3) "Whether in the body, I cannot tell," (eite en somati ouk oida) "Whether in the body, I know not;" He is not certain whether he was caught up in the body or only in a figure, but he knows his being, his person was caught up, Acts 8:39-40; Ezekiel 8:3-4.

4) "Or whether out of the body," (eite ektos tou somatos) "or outside the body;" Paul here acknowledges at least by implication or necessary inference that one may have or hold conscious existence in a disembodied state.

5) "I cannot tell; God knoweth;” (ouk oida ho theos oiden) "God knows; I do not know," or perceive, even all revealed to me, 1 Corinthians 13:9; 1 Corinthians 8:2.

6) "Such an one caught up to the third heaven,” (arpeagenta ton tolouton heos tritou ouranou) "Such an one caught up as (far as the) third heaven, paradise," the seat of God and abode of holy angels, Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4; God’s abode is and has always been there; 1 Corinthians 2:6-9.

Verse 3

1) "I knew such a man," (kai oida ton toiouton anthropon) "I know also such a man;" He speaks with caution and reticence of this momentous event or experience, not even describing it in first person.

2) "(Whether in the body or out of the body,") (eite en somati eite choris tou somatos) "Whether in the body or apart from the body;" affirming that it was possible for one to exist consciously, his soul or personality, apart from the body, as recounted, Luke 19:22-23; 2 Corinthians 5:8-9.

3) "I cannot tell," (ouk oida) "I know not," or I perceive not -- It is not clearly disclosed to me, 1 Corinthians 13:9; 1 Corinthians 8:2.

4) "God knoweth," (ho theos oiden) "the true God knows," because he "knoweth all things," Matthew 6:8; 1 John 3:20.

Verse 4

1) "How that he was caught up into paradise," (hoti herpage eis ton, paradeison) "That he was caught up into paradise," the third heaven, the throne of God where He, his lovely angels, and souls of the redeemed witnesses abide till their bodily adoption, in the first resurrection, Romans 8:11; Romans 8:23.

2) "And heard unspeakable words," (kai ekousen arreta hremata) "and heard words unspeakable," 2 Corinthians 2:6-9; Acts 7:55-60. Stephen had, and told of a glimpse into heaven, just before his soul left his body; what he saw was a welcome scene for the saint whose soul was soon to depart, 2 Corinthians 5:8-9.

3) ”Which it is not lawful for a man to utter," (ha ouk ,ekson anthropo lalesai) "which it is not permissible for a man to speak." Had Paul been permitted to tell what he had seen, minds would have perhaps still been grasping for truth outside the Bible, the Divine Word of Truth, true from the beginning, and which perfectly equips men to every good work, offensive and defensive, as they learn to use the equipment, Psalms 119:160; 2Ti 1,16, 17; 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:15.

Verse 5

1) "Of such an one will I glory " (huper tou toioutou kauchesomai) Zon behalf of such a one I will -boast." tis well to boast mostly of men already gone to heaven -not too much before they go, lest they become persons of shame to the name of Christ, yet, while living, and cause your boasting to hurt your testimony, 1 Corinthians 10:12; 2 Corinthians 10:13.

2) "Yet of myself I will not glory" (huper de hemauou ou kauchesomai) "but on behalf of myself I will not boast," of myself, in my normal state, in the flesh, 1 Corinthians 1:29; James 4:16; Proverbs 25:14.

3) "But in mine infirmities," (ei me en tais asthenaisis) "Except in my weaknesses," natural men boast of their strength, their power, beauty, conquests of valor, achievements in the world order for a temporary crown of praise from men; but Christians are to learn to glory in their weaknesses, depravity, body of sin under subjection to the Spirit, Word, and will of the Lord in daily conduct, Ephesians 5:17; 1 Corinthians 9:22-23; 1 Corinthians 9:26-27; Romans 12:12; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Verse 6

1) "For though I would desire to glory,” (ean gar theleso kauchesasthai) "For if I shall wish to boast," "If I should choose to glory,"

2) "I shall not be a fool," (ouk esomai apron)"I shall not be foolish," or stupid. The sense is I shall stay within the truth, 2 Corinthians 11:1; 2 Corinthians 11:31.

3) "For I will say the truth," (atheian gar ero) "For I will speak truth," not exaggerate, "Ham it up," etc. He desired to be judged by his labors and sufferings for the gospel -- not because of any vision.

4) "But now I forbear," (phedomai de) "But I spare," forbear, hold back such; He refuses to bring forth further matters of the vision as evidence of truth of doctrine, except having seen Christ, 1 Corinthians 9:1; 1 Corinthians 15:8.

5) "Lest any man should think of me," (me tis eis eme logisetai) "Lest anyone reckon or attribute to me,"

6) "Above that which he seeth me to be," (huper ho Blepei me) "above what he sees me," to be in conduct, behavior, service, and suffering, 1 Corinthians 9:22-27; 1 Corinthians 11:1-2.

7) "Or that he heareth of me," (e akouei eks emou) "or above (what) he hears of me." 1 Corinthians 15:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9.

Verse 7


1) "And lest I should be exalted above measure," (dio hina me huperairomai) "Wherefore in order that I should not be exceedingly lifted up," or exalted overmuch, Matthew 23:12; 2 Corinthians 11:20.

2) "Through the abundance of the revelation," (kai tes huperbole ton apokalupseon) "And by the excess of the revelations," or "by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations;" men are to exalt Christ, not themselves, Psalms 34:3; Colossians 3:17.

3) "There was given me a thorn in the flesh," (edothe moi skolops to sarki) "there was given to me a thorn in the flesh," (a God-given thorn) Romans 8:28; Probably the "thorn in the flesh," was a physical eye or head problem, "opthalmia"-a weakened vision, accompanied by headaches that harmed his dignity of appearance, Galatians 4:13-15; Galatians 6:11.

4) "The messenger of Satan to buffet me," (angelos satana hina me kolaphize) "a messenger of Satan in order that he might buffet me," in doing the work of Satan in obstructing me in the ministry. Suffering is often a gift from God-to wit; Joseph and Job and Paul. Philippians 1:29; Acts 5:41.

5) "Lest I should be exalted above measure," (hina me huperairomai) "In order that I might not be lifted up (in pride) above measure," as Satan once was, Ezekiel 28:11-18; Luke 10:18; Matthew 11:23; Matthew 23:12; 1 Peter 5:6.

Verse 8

1) "For this thing I besought the Lord thrice," (huper touto tris ton kurion parekalesa) "as to this angel of Satan that gave the (thorn), I besought the Lord three times;" on three special occasions, in prayer, that the problem might be removed, as his Lord prayed three times that the cup might pass, if possible, Matthew 26:44.

2) "That it might depart from me," (hina aposte ap’ emou) "in order that it might depart from me," or go away from me. Paul did not receive, like his Lord did not, the request as asked, but he did receive a sufficient answer and strength to console, Ephesians 3:20; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 4:14-16.

Verse 9

1) "And he said unto me," (kai eireken moi) "and he said to me," or "hath said," the perfect tense indicates an abiding validity of Divine promise, as often quoted from the Old Testament, Acts 13:34; Hebrews 4:4; Hebrews 10:9.

2) "My grace is sufficient for thee,” (arkei soi he charis mou) "My grace suffices thee," continually, always, to meet your need, my favor is open to you, in special mercies and manners; Galatians 2:9; Romans 6:1; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 3:5.

3) "For my strength is made perfect in weakness," (he gar dunamis en astheneia teleitai) "For my power is perfected in weakness;" or "is being made perfect in weakness," denoting continuous action, progressive help in weakness, Hebrews 2:10; Philippians 4:13; Matthew 5:48.

4) "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities," (hedista oun mallon kauchesomai en tais astheneiais) "Most gladly therefore I will rather boast in my weaknesses;" for it is Christ who "strengtheneth me," Philippians 4:13; Hebrews 13:5; nothing validates early Christianity as being from God more than the weakness of the vessels by which it was carried, 1 Corinthians 1:26-29.

5) "That the power of Christ may rest upon me," (hina episkenose ep’ eme he dunamis tou Christou) "In order that the power of Christ might overshadow me," and be manifested by men, 2 Corinthians 4:7; 1 Peter 4:14.

Verse 10

1) "Therefore I take pleasure," (dio eudoko) "Wherefore I am well pleased,” Since through these trials his grace is apparent through me; Romans 5:3, "tribulations worketh patience."

a) "In infirmities," (en astheneiais) "in weaknesses," or times of sickness," to endure patiently for a testimony of the sufficiency of Christ, 2 Corinthians 7:4.

b) "In reproaches," (en hubresin) "in insults," or scorn, "I take enduring pleasure," for Jesus’ sake, Hebrews 10:33; Hebrews 11:26; Hebrews 13:13; 1 Peter 4:13-14.

c) "In necessities," (en anakais) "in necessities," knowing that God thru Christ will provide them all as I serve him, with pleasure, contentment, Philippians 4:18; Philippians 4:11.

d) "In persecutions," (en diogmois) "in persecutions," take pleasure, knowing that blessings abide with them, Matthew 5:11.

e) "In distresses for Christ’s sake," (kai stenochoriais huper Christou) "and in difficulties on behalf of Christ," I take pleasure, 1 Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5.

2) "For when I am weak," (hotan gar astheno) "For when I am weak," as to natural power; I take pleasure for there is one who strengthens weak vessels, Job 4:3; 1 Corinthians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 4:10; 2 Corinthians 13:4; 2 Corinthians 13:9.

3) "Then I am strong," (tote dunatos eimi) "Then I am powerful, dynamic," as to spiritual strength; world history testifies that the world’s throne is the cross, Galatians 6:14.


Far better is it that the sting of our sorrow should be taken away, by our having learned what it is for, and having bowed to it, than that it should be taken away by the external removal which we sometimes long for. And if we would only interpret events in the spirit of this great text, we should less frequently wonder and weep over the so called insoluble mysteries of the sorrows of ourselves or of other men. They are all intended to make it more easy for us to realize our utter hanging upon Him, and so to open our hearts to receive more fully the quickening influence of His all-sufficing grace. Here, then, is a lesson for those who have to carry some cross, knowing they must carry it throughout life. It will be wreathed with flowers if you accept it.

-A. MacLaren

Verse 11

1) "I am become a fool in glorying," (gegona aphron) "I have become foolish," in boasting thus you may say, Matthew 12:36-37.

2) "Ye have compelled me," (humeis me enagkasate) "You all compelled me;” therefore the blame is yours, Galatians 2:6.

3) "For I ought to have been commended of you," (ego gar opheilon huph’ humon sunistasthai) "For I ought to be commended by you all," on higher grounds or on higher plane, for my works sake, Galatians 6:2. You should not have left it to me to speak my own praise, 1 Corinthians 3:1; 1 Corinthians 9:1.

4) "For in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles," (ouden gar husteresa ton huperlian apostolon) "For I lacked nothing of the super-apostles, the twelve," or I am behind in nothing, 1 Corinthians 3:7; as regards the more preeminent apostles; Galatians 2:9-14; 1 Corinthians 15:9. He would not in the least admit superiority to the Corinthian Judaizers.

5) "Though I be nothing," (ei kai ouden eimi) "Though even I be nothing;" he had done, as a servant, only that which was required of him, his duty, Luke 17:10; 1 Corinthians 3:7; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Ephesians 3:8. He was nothing as he saw himself, in God’s eyes, John 8:54.

Verse 12

1) "Truly the signs of an apostle," (ta men semeia tou apostolou) "Indeed the signs of the apostle," the fruit of his labors, 1 Corinthians 9:2, such as might be expected of an apostle, Mark 16:20; for by men’s fruit they are known for what they are, Matthew 7:16; Matthew 7:20.

2) "Were wrought among you in all patience," (kateirgasthe en humen en pase hupomone) "were worked among you all in all endurance," note usage of the passive; God did the working, he did not claim to be anything more, than an instrument of God; Patience is an essential quality for a missionary, Romans 5:3; Luke 21:19; Hebrews 12:1.

3) "In signs," (semeiois te kai terasin) "by both signs and wonders," wrought among them, 2 Corinthians 6:4; Romans 15:16-19.

4) "And wonders," (kai terasin) "and by wonders," wrought to honor God, 1 Thessalonians 2:5-12; 1 Corinthians 2:4; In labors more abundant, 2 Corinthians 11:23.

5) "And mighty deeds," (kai dunamesin) "and by powerful deeds," deeds that are good, morally and ethically, honoring God, according to his Word, Matthew 7:21-22; Ephesians 2:10; Acts 7:22; 2 Corinthians 11:23; Revelation 14:13.

Verse 13

1) "For what is it wherein ye were inferior,” (ti gar estin ho hesiothete) "For what is it (in which) you all were treated less, inferior, or shorter;" 2 Corinthians 11:7-9.

2) "To other churches,” (huper tas loipas ekklesias) "than the remaining churches," of the fellowship and supporting group, 1 Corinthians 16:11; Galatians 1:2; Galatians 1:13; Galatians 1:22.

3) "Except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you?" (ei me hoti autos ego ou katenarkesa humon) "except it be that I was not encumbered (of) you all, or was not a burden of care to you?" This was the only "sign" of weakness Paul exhibited to the Corinth brethren. He ironically asks that they forgive him of this weakness, Acts 20:33.

4) "Forgive me this wrong " (charisasthe moi ten adikian tauten) "You all forgive me this wrong," for I should have required you to learn that "the laborer is worthy of his hire," and "he that is taught in the Word should contribute to the support of him that teacheth in every good thing," 1 Corinthians 9:12; 1 Corinthians 9:16; 1 Corinthians 9:18; Galatians 6:6.

Verse 14

1) "Behold the third time " (idou triton touto) "Behold, this is the third time," He had made two previous trips to Corinth, the first of which is recounted Acts 18:1-17. No further account is given of the second visit.

2) "I am ready to come to you," (hetoimos echo elthein pros humas) "I am ready to -come (of my own accord) to you all;" have completed preparation to make my journey to you all.

3) "And I will not be burdensome to you," (kai ou katamarkaso) "and I will not encumber (be burdensome to) you all;" He would not require their financial support to secure his service, even on this third visit, following his practice on the two former occasions.

4) "For I seek not yours, but you," (ou gar zeto ta humon alla humas) "Because I seek not the things of you, but you," not your material property but your spiritual welfare, 1 Corinthians 10:33; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9.

5) "For the children ought not to lay up for the parents," (ou gar opheilei ta tekna tois thesaruizein) "For the children ought not to lay up treasure for the parent," 1 Corinthians 4:14; Galatians 4:19. This especially concerns spiritual care and spiritual provision of parents to children.

6) "But the parents for the children," (alla hoi goneis tois teknois) "but the parents for the children," in which relation . Paul stood as a father to them, and as commanded in the Old Testament, Proverbs 19:14; 2 Corinthians 11:12; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:1-4.

Verse 15

1) "And I will very gladly spend," (ego de hedista depaneso) "But I most gladly will spend," in unselfish devotion to his call, 2 Corinthians 1:6-7; Romans 9:3; Philippians 2:17; 2 Timothy 2:10. "Others" was Paul’s motivation to service.

2) "And be spent for you," (kai ekdapanethesomai huper ton psuchon humon) "and will be spent on behalf of your souls," the welfare of your souls, your entire Christian lives, Mark 8:35-37; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Matthew 6:33. He would lose his life to gain it again, 1 Corinthians 3:8.

3) "Though the more abundantly I love you," (ei perissateros humas agapo) "if (it be) the more abundantly I love you all," as it appears, more it seems than other churches, reflected in both his letters written to them and years of service rendered to them, beginning with a year and six months teaching with his first visit; Acts 18:1-11; Acts 18:18.

4) "The less I be loved," (hesson agapomai) "the less I am loved," by you, less than by other churches, John 13:34-35. In non-support for me, though I require it not, the way you should respond to my love, my affections to you after a year and a half of my teaching among you all, Acts 18:11; Galatians 6:6. This is one of the most forlorn expressions in the Scriptures, responding to ingratitude of brethren whom he had helped so much, See also Galatians 4:13-18; 2 John 1:7-9.


Lord, help me to live from day to day

In such a self-forgetful Way

That even when I kneel to pray

My prayer shall be for - OTHERS.

Help me in all the work I do

To ever be sincere and true

And know that all I’d do for you

Must needs be done for - OTHERS.

Let “Self" be crucified and slain

And buried deep; and all in vain

May efforts be to rise again

Unless to live for - OTHERS.

And when my work on earth is done

And my new work in heaven’s begun

May I forget the crown I’ve won

While thinking still of - OTHERS.

Others, Lord, yes, others

Let this my motto be,

Help me to live for others,

That I may live like Thee.

-C. D. Meigs


At an accident in a coal mine a rope broke and precipitated several men to the bottom of the shaft. Two boys caught hold of a stationary chain, and held on till relief came. A man was let down by a rope to rescue them. He first came to Daniel Harding, who cried, "Don’t mind me, I can hold on a little longer. Save Joseph Brauer first, who is a little lower down, and nearly exhausted." The rescuer obeyed this instruction, and after twenty minutes returned and saved the boy who risked his own life for another.


Verse 16

1) "But be it so," (esto de) "But let it be," or let me go on with unrequited or unreturned love.

2) "I did not burden you," (ego ou katebaresa humas) "I did not burden you all,” still, 2 Corinthians 9:9; 2 Corinthians 9:13. They were well able to give what he had solicited from them, for the help of needy saints in Jerusalem and Judea.

3) "Nevertheless, being crafty," (alla huparchon panourgos) "but being crafty," "wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove," as taught by his Lord, Matthew 10:15; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 8:18; 2 Corinthians 8:20.

4) "I caught you with guile," (dolo humas elabon) "I took you with guile," his adversaries at Corinth continually, incited, jealously insane at his successes, sought to "cut him down" by attributing dishonesty, deceit, and ulterior motives to his solicitation of funds and practically everything that he did, 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 7:2; Matthew 5:11; 1 Corinthians 2:2-5.

Verse 17

1) "Did I make a gain of you." (me epleonektesa humas) "I did not defraud you all," - Did I? you be witnesses; Leviticus 19:13; Mark 10:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:6; Paul did not defraud his brethren, or profiteer from them; his solicitations and ministrations were not for personal gain or profit, 1 Corinthians 9:22-27.

2) "By any of them whom I sent unto you,” (tina hon apestalka pros humas?") "By anyone whom I have sent to you (have I)?" By Titus and others whom I sent; let them be witness, if there is any question regarding my integrity in material affairs. This is an indignant denial and an appeal to their integrity and observation of Titus and the two brethren he sent with him to make up the charitable alms gift for needy Judean brethren.


The joy of sacrifice thrills through the Apostle’s words, and it is joy in the Holy Ghost; it is a fellowship with Christ in the very life of His life that lifts Paul, for the moment, to the heavenly places. This is the spirit in which wrong is to be met, and suspicion, calumny, and contempt; it is in this, if at all, that we can be more than conquerors. Nature says, "Stand upon your rights; vindicate your position; insist on having all that you conceive to be your due;" but love says," Spend and be spent, and spare not till all is gone; life itself is not too much to give that love may triumph over wrong."

-Jas Denney

Verse 18

1) "I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother," (parekalesa Titon kai sunapesteilaton adelphon) I entreated Titus and the brother sent with him;" and this brother was also approved by the churches, morally and ethically, as honest, trustworthy, 2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 8:18; 2 Corinthians 8:20.

2) "Did Titus make a gain of you?" (meti epleonektesen humas Titos) "Titus defrauded you all not, did he?" 2 Corinthians 8:21-24, as a leader of missionary, church sent messengers and servants in handling charitable and alms gifts, did Titus profiteer from you?

3) "Walked we not in the same spirit?" (ou to auto pneumati peri patesamen) "Did we not walk by the same spirit?" the same disposition of honesty? Answering church party contentions has been a disgraceful state in the church in all ages, 2 Corinthians 7:13; Romans 12:17.

4) "Walked we not in the same steps?” (ou tois autois ichnesin) "Did we not walk in the same steps?" of sacrifice, service, and honesty? 2 Corinthians 8:21; 2 Corinthians 13:7; Philippians 4:8. To walk honestly, in the Spirit was becoming to this missionary, Galatians 5:25.

Verse 19


1) "Again, think we that we excuse ourselves unto you?" (palai dokeite hoti humin apologoumetha) "again do you all think that we are making a defence to you?" which is far from his intentions, but preparing them to answer those who falsely accuse their missionaries, 1 Corinthians 4:3; 2 Corinthians 5:12-13.

2) "We speak before God in Christ," (katenanti theou en Christou laloumen) "We speak in (the will of) Christ (as if) before God," at the judgment (bema) seat, 2 Corinthians 5:10-11. To please him was Paul’s greatest care.

3) "But we do all things, beloved," (ta de panta agapetoi) "but all things (kind o? things) beloved," we do on your behalf, as servants and helpers of you all, as laborers together with him, 1 Corinthians 3:9.

4) "For your edifying," (huper tes humon oikodomes) "are on behalf of your edification," which we seek above our own interests, 1 Corinthians 10:33; Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Ephesians 4:12; Ephesians 4:16; Ephesians 4:29.

Verse 20

1) "For I fear," (phoboumai gar) "Because I fear," after all I have said and hope, that they had not all reformed and corrected the many wrongs about which-he wrote in his first letter.

2) "Lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would,” (me pos elthon ouch hoious thelo heuro humas) "Lest, when I come of my own accord, I may not find you as I inwardly will or wish you to be," 2 Corinthians 13:2; 2 Corinthians 13:10; 1 Corinthians 4:21. Paul did not have a predominating desire to scold and chide those who did wrong, but he also would not neglect it for their good.

3) "And that I shall be found unto you such as you would not," (kago huretho humin hoion ou thexete) "and I am found by you such as you all do not inwardly mean to be," stern in reproof, reproving publicly, before all 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:13; Titus 2:1-5.

4) "Lest there be," "Lest there should be (exist):

a) "debates," (eris) "bickering strife,"

b) "envying " (zelos) jealousy, envying,

c) "wraths," (thumoi) angers, boiling temperaments.

d) "strifes," (eritheiai) rivalries,

e) "backbitings (katalaliai) distractions

f) "whispering (psithurismoi) whisperings,

g) "swellings " (phusioseis) "puffing up,"

h) "tumults," (akatastasiai) "disturbances,"

2 Corinthians 13:2-10; 2 Corinthians 6:5. Paul was anxious that boisterous, selfish contentions, and occasions for such, should be put away by the Corinthians’ subjection to Christ and keeping their bodies under control, 1 Corinthians 9:26-27; Romans 12:1-2.

Verse 21

1) "And lest, when I come again," (me palin elthontos mou) "Lest when I come again," for he was going a third time, 2 Corinthians 12:14; 2 Corinthians 13:1.

2) "My God will humble me among you " (tapeinose me ho theos mou pros humas) "my God may humble me with (among) you all," because of the scanty fruit of their testimony and because of continuing bickering and carnality, as existed, 1 Corinthians 1:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:1-5.

3) "And I shall mourn many which have sinned already " (kai pentheso pollous ton proemartekoton) and I shall mourn those having previously sinned," as described 1 Corinthians 1:10-11; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 1 Corinthians 4:18-21; 1 Corinthians 6:6-8, etc. -note he had learned that some had repented, corrected their wrongs, 2 Corinthians 2:6-8.

4) "And have not repented,” (kai me metanoesanton) "and who have not repented," or turned away from their sins," 2 Timothy 2:25.

a) "of the uncleanness," (epi te okatharsia) "over their uncleanness, moral uncleanness, such as 1 Corinthians 5:1; Romans 2:21-22.

b) "and fornication," (kai porneia) and their fornication," 1 Corinthians 5:1-2; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 7:1-2.

c) "and lasciviousness," (kai aselgeia) "and’ their lewdness;" He feared their proneness to sins of the flesh, 2 Corinthians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 7:1.

5) "Which they have committed " (he epraksan) "Which they have repeatedly done, or practiced;" which he had called them to put away, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 12". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.