Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 11

Hampton's Commentary on Selected BooksHampton's Commentary

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Verse 1

Verse 1 Paul does not see any point in the mindless bragging of those opposing him, but he asks the Corinthians to bear with him while he proves his apostleship. He further states that he knows they will bear with him.

Verse 2

Verse 2 Paul was not jealous because of a selfish desire for gain. Rather, he wanted them to be faithful to God. Also, he says that he arranged an engagement for the Corinthian church with Christ. The waiting time, before Christ came to claim her, gave her time to prove her faithfulness and show she would not flirt with or love another.

Verse 3

Verse 3 The apostle to the Gentiles was also worried that they would be drawn away from the truth by false teachers promising attractive rewards, as Satan had drawn away Eve. They had the pure truth and should spurn any other.

Verse 4

Verse 4 If the false teacher, who probably stands for all the false teachers, had presented another plan of salvation or savior, Paul might understand their hearing him out. These claimed to preach the same Savior and salvation, yet denied what He had taught.

Verse 5

Verse 5 Apparently some were claiming to be "super" apostles in Corinth. Paul was equal to all of them.

Verse 6

Verse 6 Paul admits he was not a great orator, but he was great in knowledge and made it plain and understandable in his speaking.

Verse 7

Verse 7 Paul had not accepted payment for his work among them so that no one would be hindered from obeying the gospel. Ironically, some were saying he refused the pay of an apostle because he knew he was not one ( 1Co_9:1-15 ). He simply asks if it was a sin for him to refuse pay.

Verse 8

Verse 8 Others were deprived of their needs so that Paul might preach to the Corinthians without charge.

Verse 9

Verse 9 He did without necessities rather than lose his influence by accepting wages from the Corinthians. He waited until brethren came from Macedonia, saw his need, and cared for him.

Verse 10

Verse 10 While in Achaia, Paul would continue to refuse help from them, and would continue to boast about it.

Verse 11

Verse 11 Some wondered why he did this. Perhaps they suggested that it was out of a lack of love. Paul calls God as his witness that this was not true.

Verse 12

Verse 12 Rather than openly talk about their weakness, which caused him not to accept payment, Paul refuses to give all of his reasons. Here, he does say that he will continue to refuse pay so the false teachers will continue to be exposed. They took pay from the Corinthians, while he did not.

Verse 13

Verse 13 Those that accepted pay and opposed Paul were impostors pretending to be apostles. They worked, but hidden beneath their work were bad motives and intentions. Since they were not called of Christ, they made themselves apostles.

Verse 14

Verse 14 Satan often presents himself to man as one seeking man's good, as he did with Eve in the garden of Eden. It should come as no surprise that his ministers would likewise portray themselves as great religious leaders seeking man's good.

Verse 15

Verse 15 All who would turn God's people from the truth are ministers of Satan. They deceive and will be punished for such deception ( Rev_21:8 ).

Verse 16

Verse 16 Glorying has been the main subject, however, Paul has strayed from it twice since verse 1. Driven by his opponents to boast, Paul asks the readers' indulgence.

Verse 17

Verse 17 Delivering the message of Christ does not require boasting. However, he will do it to show he had more to glory in than the false teachers and can beat them on their own ground.

Verse 18

Verse 18 The false teachers had boasted about fleshly things while downgrading Paul in the same. He now turns to show the weakness of their argument.

Verse 19

Verse 19 They thought so highly of themselves that they patiently listened to foolish boasters.

Verse 20

Verse 20 They had been patient with the false teachers while they placed themselves in bondage to false authority and doctrine. They had paid the high wage demands. They had even stooped to the position of slaves who must suffer the great insult of being slapped.

Verse 21

Verse 21 Paul had spoken to them in meekness while in Corinth which had been misunderstood to be weakness. Now, Paul will show the boasters his superiority; but it will all be wasted since he was called to be an apostle by Christ and would be judged by Him.

Verse 22

Verse 22 The false teachers are now clearly seen as Judaizers. Paul was their equal in that religion, despite their apparent claims to the contrary ( Act_22:2-3 ; Php_3:5 ).

Verse 23

Verse 23 In Christianity, he was their superior. They might claim he was mad for making such a statement and he admits it. While they lived off of another man's labors ( 2Co_10:15-16 ), he excelled in real labor. As proof of his labor, he lists sufferings and not accomplishments.

Verse 24

Verse 24 The law allowed forty ( Deu_25:2 ), but they left one off to avoid breaking the law by accidental miscount.

Verse 25

Verse 25 Beating with rods was Roman scourging ( Act_16:22-24 ). Stoning was usually Jewish punishment for blasphemy ( Act_14:19 ).

Verse 26

Verse 26 Travel was dangerous in those days. Gentiles were enraged because he turned some away from idols. False brethren may have sought to ruin him, as in Corinth.

Verse 27

Verse 27 He worked till work was painful and lost sleep to help others.

Verse 28

Verse 28 Not only did he suffer physically, he also worried about the churches and wrongs he was called upon to right within them.

Verse 29

Verse 29 Paul worried about every Christian that faced hard times. He felt their weaknesses and blushed when they blushed because of falling short.

Verse 30

Verse 30 If he was forced to boast, at lease he would not tell of his great accomplishments. Rather, he put his enemies to shame by showing the suffering he endured for the cross.

Verse 31

Verse 31 Any doubt concerning the truthfulness of Paul's statements about his weakness should now be laid aside by this great call of God as his witness.

Verse 32

Verse 32 Act_9:23-25 tells of this great danger Paul faced early in his career.

Verse 33

Verse 33 Here was an embarrassing escape from wicked hands. With the gates closely guarded, he was forced to leave by a window from a house along the wall.

Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 11". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". 2014.