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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

2 Corinthians 11



2 Corinthians 11:1 . ἀνείχεσθε ] Elz.: ἠνείχεσθε , following min. Chrys. Theophyl. But the former is decisively attested by B D E G L M ( א has ἀνάσχεσθε ) and many min., also Chrys. ms. Damasc. Theoph. ms. K and several min., as also Theodoret, have ἀνέχεσθε , which appears to be a corruption of the original ἀνείχεσθε , easily arising from the ἀνέχεσθε that soon follow.

τῇ ἀφροσύνῃ ] So Mill, Beng. Matth. Griesb. Scholz, Reiche, following K L and many min. Copt. Chrys. Theodoret, Damasc. Oec. Theophylact, ms. But there is far more support for the reading of Lachm. Rück. and Tisch.: τι ἀφροσύνης , following B D E א , min. (Elz. has τι τῆς ἀφρ ., following F G, min. vss. Fathers). This τι ἀφροσύνης is to be held as the original, not, however, as if Griesbach’s reading had arisen only from a copyist’s error of itacism ( τῇ for τι , as Rinck holds, Lucubr. crit. p. 167, and Rück.), but on account of the relatively preponderant attestation, and because the following ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀνέχεσθέ μου most naturally suggested to the copyists to regard μου as the object of ἀνείχεσθε , to which then the genitive ἀφροσύνης was no longer suitable. Τῇ ἀφροσύνῃ had to be made out of it (in regard to folly), and thereupon the superfluous τι easily disappeared through the following τῇ . The reading μικρὸν τῆς ἀφροσύνης μου (F G, It. Vulg.) is explained partly from imperfect critical restoration (of the genitive), partly as an indication of the right construction. 2 Corinthians 11:3 . οὕτω ] is wanting in B D* F G א , It. Copt. Goth. Arm. Clem. Epiph. Lucif. Gaud.; deleted by Lachm. and Rück. An addition.

After ἁπλότητος B F G א , min. Syr. p. (with asterisk), Aeth. Copt. Goth. Boern. Pol. Aug. Beda have καὶ τῆς ἁγνότητος (so Lachm.); D E, Clar. Germ. Epiph. (once) change the order of the two parts; Epiph. (once) has ἁγνείας instead of ἁγνότητος . After 2 Corinthians 11:2 ( ἁγνήν ) ἁγνότητος was written alongside as a gloss on ἁπλότητος , and was already at an early date incorporated in the text, partly behind, partly before ἁπλότ . 2 Corinthians 11:4 . ἀνείχεσθε ] The form ἠνείχεσθε (Elz.) is condemned here also by decisive evidence. Comp. 2 Corinthians 11:1 . Lachm. reads ἀνέχεσθε , but only supported by B, where it has arisen from the apparent grammatical necessity of the present. Fritzsche also, on account of this necessity, declares for the present; but see the exegetical remarks. 2 Corinthians 11:6 . φανερωθέντες ] Lachm. Tisch. and Rück. read φανερώσαντες , supported by B F G א * 17. φανερωθέντες was explained by the gloss φανερώσαντες ἑαυτούς , as is actually the reading in M, 108** Arm., and thus the active participle came into the text, where it was the more easily retained, as it could be referred without difficulty to τὴν γνῶσιν . 2 Corinthians 11:14 . θαυμαστόν ] B D* F G א , 17, 39, 67** 74, Or. have θαῦμα . So Lachm. Tisch. and Rück. The former is a gloss. 2 Corinthians 11:16 . The order κἀγὼ μικρ . τι καυχ . (Elz. has μικρ . τ . κἀγὼ καυχ .) has decisive attestation. 2 Corinthians 11:21 . ἠσθενήσαμεν ] Lachm. has the perfect, but follows only B א , 80. 2 Corinthians 11:27 . ἐν before κόπῳ is on decisive evidence, with Lachm. Tisch. and Rück., to be deleted as an addition. 2 Corinthians 11:28 . ἐπισύστασίς μου ] B F G א *: ἐπίστασίς μοι ; so Lachm. Rück. Ἐπίστασις is supported also by D E א ** 39, al., which have the reading ἐπίστασίς μου . Comp. also instantia mea in Vulg. Boern. Ambrosiast. Pel. The word ἐπισύστασις has crept in from Acts 24:12 , because ἐπίστασις was not understood, and μου is a hasty correction. 2 Corinthians 11:32 . θέλων ] is wanting in important witnesses, deleted by Lachm. Rück. and Tisch. An exegetical addition.


The apostle’s self-glorying against his opponents . (1) Introduction, 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 . (2) Theme of the self-praise, 2 Corinthians 11:5 f. (3) Vindication of the special boast that he had preached to his readers gratuitously (2 Corinthians 11:7-9 ), a practice which he will continue to observe on account of his opponents (2 Corinthians 11:10-15 ). Then, (4) after a repeated entreaty for patience towards the folly of his self-glorying, which entreaty he accompanies with bitter remarks. (2 Corinthians 11:16-20 ), he compares himself with his enemies ( a ) in general, 2 Corinthians 11:21 ; ( b ) specially as a Jew, 2 Corinthians 11:22 ; ( c ) as a servant of Christ, 2 Corinthians 11:23 ff., in which latter relation he vindicates his sufferings, toils, and dangers, as things of which he will glory (2 Corinthians 11:23-30 ). Lastly, (5) after a solemn assurance that he does not lie, he begins an account of his experiences of suffering (2 Corinthians 11:31-33 ), which, however, is not continued.

Verse 1

2 Corinthians 11:1 . Would that ye would bear from me a little bit of folly! The connection of thought is this: after the principle just expressed in 2 Corinthians 10:18 , I am indeed acting foolishly when I boast of myself; but would that you became not angry on that account! Irony ; the apostle’s περιαυτολογία was not, like that of his opponents, idle self-exaltation, but a vindication enjoined by the circumstances and accordant with his duty, in order to drive the refractory boasters at length quite out of the field. Flatt and Baur would insert an also (from me also as from mine enemies), but quite arbitraril.

ὄφελον ] see on 1 Corinthians 4:8 .

ἀνείχεσθε ] Hellenistic form with the simple augment (Piers. ad Moer. p. 176) instead of the common ἠνείχ . in the older writers (Buttmann, Ausführl. Sprachl. II. p. 189 f.; Blomfield, ad Aesch. Choeph. 735). The imperfect is not: have borne (Erasmus, Calvin, and others), but: ferretis, would bear . Comp. εἴθε with imperfect: “ubi optamus eam rerum conditionem quam non esse sentimus,” Klotz, ad Devar. p. 516; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 499; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 185 [E. T. 215].

μου ] does not belong to ἀφροσύνης (Hofmann), so that its position standing apart and prefixed would be emphatic, which, however, does not at all suit the enclitic form, but, as genitivus subjecti , to μικρόν τι ἀφροσ ., so that μικρ . τι has two genitives with it. Comp. LXX. Job 6:26 : οὐδὲ γὰρ ὑμῶν φθέγμα ῥήματος ἀνέξομαι . See in general, Kühner, § 542. 3; Lobeck, ad Aj. 309; Stallbaum, ad Plat. Rep. p. 329 B. With the reading μικρὸν τῇ ἀφροσύνῃ (see the critical remarks) it would have to be attached to ἀνείχ . (would that ye endured me a little as to folly), not to τῇ ἀφροσύνῃ , as Fritzsche, Diss. II. p. 53 f., contrary to the simple order of the words, prefers, and μικρόν would have to be taken either of time, or, with Reiche, of degree: paulisper , “non nimio fastidio.”

ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀνέχεσθέ μου ] corrective: yet this wish is not needed, ye really bear patiently with me . The imperative interpretation of ἀνέχεσθε (Vulgate, Pelagius, Castalio, Beza, Calvin, Grotius, Estius, Bengel, Hofmann), according to which Paul would proceed from wish to entreaty, would be quite tame on account of the preceding wish, and in the corrective form unsuitabl.

καί ] also , i.e. in reality . See Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 132.

μου ] ἀνέχεσθε governs either the accusative , as in the case of μικρόν τι before (and this is the more common construction in Greek authors), or, as here, the genitive (so usually in the N. T.), which is also found in Greek authors when the object is a thing (Hom. Od. xxii. 423, and later authors, such as Herodian, viii. 5. 9, i. 17. 10), but very seldom with persons (Plat. Protag. p. 323 A), without a participle standing alongside , as Xen. Anab. ii. 2. 1; Plat. Pol. ii. p. 367 D, or without a simple participle, as Plat. Pol. viii. p. 564 D, Apol. p. 31 B; Herod. v. 89, vii. 159.

Verse 2

2 Corinthians 11:2 . Ground of the ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀνέχεσθέ μου : My jealousy for you is, in fact, a divine jealousy; how can you then refuse to me the ἀνέχεσθαι ! Rückert refers γάρ to ὄφελονἀφροσύνης , but in this way ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀνέχεσθέ μου is overleaped all the more violently, seeing that it is a correction of what goes before. Calvin (comp. Chrysostom and Bengel): “ en cur desipiat , nam hominem zelotypia quasi transversum rapit.” Against this may be urged the emphatic θεοῦ , in which lies the very point of the reason assigne.

ζηλῶ γὰρ ὑμᾶς κ . τ . λ .] As Paul, in what follows, represents himself as a marriage-friend (comp. John 3:29 ) who has betrothed the bride to the bridegroom, and is now anxious that she may not let herself be led astray by another, ζηλῶ is to be taken in the narrowest sense as equivalent to ζηλοτυπῶ : I am jealous concerning you (comp. Numbers 5:14 ; Sir 9:1 ), for the marriage-friend very naturally takes the bridegroom’s part. The more indefinite interpretation: I am zealous concerning you (Flatt and others), is therefore, according to the context, too general , and the explanation: vehementer amo vos (Rosenmüller, comp. Fritzsche), is at variance with the contex.

θεοῦ ζήλῳ ] with a jealousy, which God has ; which is no human passion, but an emotion belonging to God, which I therefore have in common with Him. Paul consequently conceives of God as likewise jealous concerning the Corinthian church ( ὑμᾶς ), that she might not, as the bride of Christ, suffer herself to be led astray. God appears in the O. T. as the spouse of His people, and therefore jealous regarding it (Isaiah 54:5 ; Isaiah 62:5 ; Jeremiah 3:1 ff.; Ezekiel 16:8 ff., Ezekiel 16:23 ; Hosea 2:18-19 ). Now, as the representative of God in the theocracy of the N. T. is Christ , with whom, therefore, the church appears connected, partly as spouse (see on Romans 7:4 ), partly as betrothed (with reference to the completion of the marriage at the Parousia), as here (comp. Ephesians 5:25 ff.); the falling away from Christ must therefore be the object of divine jealousy, and so Paul knows his ζῆλος , the ζῆλος of the marriage-friend, as the ζῆλος of God . θεοῦ has been taken as genitivus auctoris (Wolf and others, comp. Flatt, de Wette), or as: zeal for God (Romans 10:2 , so Calvin, Grotius, Estius, Semler, Schulz), or as: zeal pleasing to God (Billroth, comp. Flatt), or as: zeal extraordinarily great (Emmerling, so also Fritzsche; comp. Bengel: “zelo sancto et magno”); but all these interpretations lie beyond the necessary definite reference to what follows, in which a reason is given for the very predicate θεοῦ .

ἡρμοσάμην γὰρ κ . τ . λ .] for I have betrothed you … but I fear , etc., 2 Corinthians 11:3 , so that, with Lachmann, only a comma is to be put after 2 Corinthians 11:2 . ἁρμόζειν , adaptare , then specially in the sense of betroth ; see Wetstein. The more Attic form is ἁρμόττειν . See Gregor. p. 154, Schaef.; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 241. That Paul has expressed himself contrary to the Greek usage (according to which ἁρμόζεσθαί τινα means: to betroth oneself to a woman, Herod. v. 32, 47, vi. 65), is only to be said, in so far as a classical writer would certainly have used the active (Herod. ix. 108; Pind. Pyth. ix. 207), although in late writers the middle also occurs in the active sense (see the passages from Philo in Loesner, p. 320, e.g. de Abr . p. 364 B; γάμος ὃν ἁρμόζεται ἡδονή ), and here the following ἑνὶ ἀνδρί leaves no doubt of the reference: I have joined ( i.e. according to the context, betrothed ) you to one husband . Paul regards himself as a marriage-friend ( προμνήστωρ ὑμῶν ἐγενόμην καὶ τοῦ γάμου μεσίτης , Theodoret), by whose intervention the betrothal of the Corinthians with Christ was brought to pass. Chrysostom aptly says on the figurative representation of the matter: μνηστείας γάρ ἐστι καιρὸςπαρὼν καιρός · ὁ δὲ τῶν παστάδων ἕτερος , ὅταν λέγωσιν · ἀνέστηνυμφίος … Ὃ μάλιστα τούτοις (to the readers) ἔφερεν ἀξίωμα , τοῦτο τίθησιν , ἑαυτὸν μὲν ἐν χώρᾳ τῆς προμνηστρίας , ἐκείνους δὲ ἐν τάξει τῆς νύμφης στήσας . Pelagius, Elsner, Mosheim, Emmerling wrongly hold that he conceives himself as father of the Corinthians; their father (but this figure is here quite out of place) he has, in fact, only come to be through their conversion to Christ ( 1Co 4:17 ; 2 Corinthians 12:14 ; comp. Titus 1:4 ); he had not been so already before. Regarding the marriage-friend of the Jews, שׁוֹשְּׁבֵן , παρανύμφιος , who not only wooed the bride for the bridegroom, but who was the constant medium between the two, and at the wedding itself was regulator of the feast, see Schöttgen, Hor. ad Joh. iii. 29. With the Rabbins, Moses is represented as such a marriage-friend. See Rab. Sal. ad Exod. xxxiv. 1, al.

ἑνὶ ἀνδρί ] to one husband, to belong to no one furthe.

παρθένον ἁγνὴν κ . τ . λ .] Aim, with which he had betrothed the Corinthians to a single husband: in order to present a pure virgin to Christ ( παραστ ., comp. 2 Corinthians 4:14 ), namely, at the Parousia, when Christ appears as bridegroom, to fetch home the bride, Matthew 25:1 ff.; Ephesians 5:27 ; Revelation 19:7-9 . The church in its entirety, as a moral person, is this virgin. On ἁγνήν , comp. Dem. 1371. 23; Plut. Mor. p. 268 E, 438 C; Plat. Legg. viii. p. 840 D. The whole emphasis is on παρθένον ἁγνήν . When this is attended to, there disappears the semblance of εἷς ἀνήρ and ὁ Χριστός being different persons, a semblance for which Rückert blames the apostle. Fritzsche regards τῷ Χριστῷ as apposition to ἑνὶ ἀνδρί (in which Rückert agrees with him), and encloses παραστῆσαι between two commas; but this is an unnecessary and enfeebling breaking up of the passage. Beza and Bengel connect ἑνὶ ἀνδρί with παραστ ., and take τῷ Χριστῷ likewise epexegetically. But the absolute ἡρμοσάμην ὑμᾶς would in fact mean: I have betrothed myself to you! In order that it may not mean this, it must necessarily be joined to ἑνὶ ἀνδρί .

Verse 3

2 Corinthians 11:3 . The point of comparison is the leading astray by the devil , which took place in the case of Eve (through the serpent), and was to be feared in that of the Corinthians (through the false apostles, Satan’s servants, 2 Corinthians 11:15 ). For Paul presupposes it as well known to his readers, that Satan had led astray Eve by means of the serpent. To him and to them the serpent was by no means either a symbol or a mystical figure of the cosmical principle (Martensen). Comp. Wis 2:23 f.; 4Ma 18:8 ; 1 John 3:8 ; Revelation 12:9 ; Revelation 12:14 f., Revelation 20:2 ; and see on John 8:44 , and Grimm on Wisd. l.c. For the monstrous inventions of the later Rabbins, see Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenth. I. p. 830 ff.

Paul’s mention (comp. 1 Timothy 2:15 ) of Eve (not Adam ) is alike in keeping with the narrative (Genesis 3:0 ) and with the comparison , since the church is represented as feminine (comp. Ignat. Eph. interpol. 17). In Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:22 , the connection demanded the mention of Adam .

ὄφις ] the well-known serpen.

ἐν τῇ πανουργ . αὐτοῦ ] instrumental. Comp. Ephesians 4:14 ; Aq. Genesis 3:1 : ὁ ὄφις ἦν πανοῦργος , Ignat. Phil. 11 interpol.: ὁ σκολιὸς ὄφις κ . τ . λ .

φθαρῇ ] become corrupted , not be corrupt (Ewald). Paul expresses himself with tender forbearance ; the corruption of the church by anti-Pauline doctrine (2 Corinthians 11:4 ) he sees as a danger .

ἀπὸ τῆς ἁπλότ . κ . τ . λ .] a pregnant phrase: lest your thoughts (comp. 2 Corinthians 3:14 , 2 Corinthians 4:4 , 2 Corinthians 10:5 ) become corrupted and led away from the simplicity towards Christ ( εἰς Χ . is not equivalent to ἐν Χ ., as the Vulgate, Beza, Calvin, and others have it). See Fritzsche, Diss. II. p. 63 f.; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 277 [E. T. 322]. The ἁπλότηςεἰς Χ . is the quality of simple, honest fidelity in the παρθένος ἁγνή , who shares her heart with no other than with her betrothed.

Verse 4

2 Corinthians 11:4 An ironical (and therefore not conflicting with Galatians 1:18 ) reason assigned for that anxiety. For if, indeed, my opponents teach and work something so entirely new among you, one would not be able to blame you for being pleased with it .

Regarding εἰ μέν , if indeed , see Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 414 f.; Klotz, ad Devar. p. 522.

ἐρχόμενος ] does not refer to ὁ ὄφις , 2 Corinthians 11:3 (Kniewel). It might doubtless mean the first comer, as Emmerling and Billroth hold (Bernhardy, p. 318), comp. Galatians 5:10 ; but, since Paul manifestly has in view the conduct of the whole fraternity of opposing teachers (see immediately, 2 Corinthians 11:5 ), it is rather this totum genus that is denoted by ὁ ἐρχόμενος , and that concretely, and in such a fashion that their emergence is vividly illustrated by reference to one definitely thought of, of whom, however, the point is left undetermined who he is: is qui venit . Comp. Fritzsche, Diss. II. p. 65; Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. v. 8. 22. The word exhibits the persons meant in the light of outsiders , who come to Corinth and there pursue their courses in opposition to the apostle. They are intruders (comp. 2 Corinthians 3:1 ), and by the present tenses their coming and practices are denoted as still presently prevailing, just as this corrupting intercourse had been already going on for a considerable time. Ewald thinks here, too, of a special individual among the counter-apostle.

ἄλλον Ἰησοῦν κηρύσσει ] i.e. so preaches of Jesus, that the Jesus now preached appears not to be the same as was previously preached, [317] consequently as if a second Jesus. Hence, to explain it more precisely, there is added: ὋΝ ΟὐΚ ἘΚΗΡΎΞΑΜΕΝ : who was not the subject-matter of our preaching, of whom we have known nothing and preached nothing , therefore not the crucified Saviour (1 Corinthians 2:2 ) through whom men are justified without the law, etc. ἄλλος negatives simply the identity, ἝΤΕΡΟς at the same time the similarity of nature: an other Jesus … a different spirit . Comp. Acts 4:12 ; Gal 1:6-7 ; 1 Corinthians 12:9 ; 1 Corinthians 15:40 .

πνεῦμα ἕτερον κ . τ . λ .] , or , in order to describe this reformatory working from another side, another kind of Spirit , etc. As the false apostles might have boasted that only through them had the right Jesus been preached to the Corinthians, [318] they might also have added that only through their preaching had the readers received the true Holy Spirit, whom they had not before received, namely, when Paul had taught them ( ὃ οὐκ ἐλάβετε ). Moreover, it is decidedly clear from ΠΝΕῦΜΑ ἝΤΕΡΟΝ Κ . Τ . Λ . that it cannot have been (this in opposition to Beyschlag) a more exact historical information and communication regarding Jesus, by means of which the persons concerned attempted to supplant Paul among the Corinthians. It was by means of Judaistic false doctrines; comp. 2 Corinthians 11:13 ff. See also Klöpper, p. 79 f.

οὐκ ἐδέξασθε ] for the Pauline gospel was accepted by the readers at their conversion: the gospel brought by the false apostles was of another kind ( ἕτερον ), which was not before accepted by them. Rückert arbitrarily says that ἐδέξασθε is equivalent to ἘΛΆΒΕΤΕ , and that the former is used only to avoid the repetition of the latter. How fine and accurate, on the other hand, is Bengel’s remark: “Verba diversa, rei apta; non concurrit voluntas hominis in accipiendo Spiritu, ut in recipiendo evangelio.” Comp. on the distinction between the two words, Theile, ad Jacob . p. 68.

καλῶς ἀνείχεσθε ] καλῶς , like praeclare in the ironical sense of with full right . See on Mark 7:9 ; Fritzsche, ad Marc. p. 271 ff.; Diss. II. p. 72 f.; and regarding the ironical use of the adjective καλός , Stallb. ad Rep. p. 595 C, 607 E. According to Hofmann, καλῶς is an expression of an earnest approval, which, however, is cancelled of itself by the impossibility of the case which is put. But in the protasis the case, in fact, is just simply put , not put as impossible (comp. Galatians 1:8-9 ); hence in the apodosis an ἀνάθεμα on the seducers, or a severe censure of those who did not withstand them, would have had its place in the mind of the apostle rather than a ΚΑΛῶς ἈΝΕΊΧΕΣΘΕ earnestly meant. The imperfect ἀνείχεσθε does not, indeed, in strict logic suit ΚΗΡΎΣΣΕΙ and ΛΑΜΒΆΝΕΤΕ in the protasis, and we should expect ἈΝΈΧΕΣΘΕ , as is actually the reading of B. But it is not on that account to be explained as if ΕἸ ἘΚΉΡΥΣΣΕΝ Κ . Τ . Λ . stood in the protasis (if the comer was preaching … ye would, etc.), as Chrysostom, Luther, Castalio, Cornelius a Lapide, and many others, including Baur, l.c. p. 102, explained it, which is wrong in grammar; nor is along with an otherwise correct view of the protasis

καλῶς ἀνείχεσθε to be taken in the historical sense, as has been attempted by some, as interrogatively ( have you with right tolerated it? ), such as Heu-mann, by others, such as Semler, [319] in the form of an indignant exclamation ( you have truly well tolerated it! ), both of which meanings are logically impossible on account of the difference of tenses in the protasis and apodosis. No; we have here the transition from one construction to the other . When Paul wrote the protasis, he meant to put ἀνέχεσθε in the apodosis; but when he came to the apodosis, the conception of the utter non-reality of what was posited in the protasis as the preaching of another Jesus , etc., induced him to modify the expression of the apodosis in such a way, that now there is implied in it a negatived reality , [320] as if in the protasis there had stood εἰ ἐκήρυσσεν κ . τ . λ . For there is not another Jesus; comp. Galatians 2:6 . Several instances of this variation in the mode of expression are found in classical writers. See Kühner, II. p. 549; Klotz, ad Devar. p. 489. Comp. on Luke 17:6 . The reason for the absence of ἄν in the apodosis is, that the contents of the apodosis is represented as sure and certain. See Krüger, § 65, 5; Stallb. ad Plat. Sympos. p. 190 C; Kühner, ad Xen. Andb. vii. 6. 21; Bremi, ad Lys. Exc. IV. p. 438 ff.

[317] If Paul had written ἄλλον Χριστόν , the reading of F G, Arm. Vulg., the meaning of it would be: he preaches that not Jesus, but another is the Christ. How unsuitable this is, is self-evident.

[318] Against the interpretation that it was a spiritual, visionary Christ whom the Christine party had given out for the true one (Schenkel, de Wette, and others), see Beyschlag, 1865, p. 239 f.

[319] He is followed recently by Hilgenfeld in his Zeitschr . 1865, p. 261.

[320] Here, too, the delicate and acute glance of Bengel saw the correct view: “Ponit conditionem, ex parte rei impossibilem; ideo dicit in imperfecto toleraretis ; sed pro conatu pseudapostolorum non modo possibilem, sed plane presentem; ideo dicit in praesenti praedicat . Conf. plane Galatians 1:6 f.” Comp. also 1 Corinthians 3:11 . Rückert refines and imports a development of thought, which is arbitrarily assumed, and rests on the presupposition that there is no irony in the passage. With the same presupposition Hofmann assumes the intermingling of two thoughts, one referring to the present, the other to the past, which would amount to a confusion of ideas without motive. This also in opposition to Klöpper, p. 84, who thinks that Paul does not wish to charge the readers with the ἀνέχεσθαι for the immediate present , but had been distinctly aware that they had tolerated, etc. In that case we should have here a singular forbearance and a singular form of its expression , the former as undeserved as the latter is unlogical. There was as little need for the alleged forbearance toward the readers as in ver. 19 f.

Verse 5

2 Corinthians 11:5 . You might well tolerate it , Paul had just said ; but every reader who knew the apostle could not but at once of himself feel that he did not mean it so, that the meaning at his heart was rather: then you would be very far wrong in tolerating such novelties; that he thus in the way of ironical censure makes it palpable to his readers that their complaisance towards the false apostles was the ground of his anxiety expressed in 2 Corinthians 11:3 . Hence he now by γάρ [321] at once gives a reason for the censure of that complaisance so disparaging to his own position as an apostle, which is conveyed in the ironical καλῶς ἀνείχεσθε . This γάρ does not refer therefore to 2 Corinthians 11:1 , but to what immediately precedes, in so far, namely, as it was not meant approvingly (Hofmann), but in exactly the opposite sense. Hofmann groundlessly and dogmatically replies that the reason assigned for an ironical praise must necessarily be itself ironical. [322]

λογίζομαι ] censeo , I am of opinion. Romans 2:3 ; Romans 3:28 ; Romans 8:18 , al.

μηδὲν ὑστερηκέναι ] in no respect have I remained behind . Comp. on Matthew 19:20 . Rückert without reason adds: “ i.e. in my action .” The μηδέν , in no respect a stronger negation than the simple μή (Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. iv. 4. 10), excludes any restriction to some mere partial aspect of his official character. The perfect exhibits the state of the case as at present continuing to subsist (Bernhardy, p. 378): to stand behind . In 2 Corinthians 12:11 the conception is differen.

τῶν ὑπερλίαν ἀποστόλων ] The genitive with a verb of comparison. Comp. Plat. Pol. 7, p. 539 E. See Matthiae, p. 836. Comp. Kypke, II. p. 265. ὑπερλίαν , overmuch, supra quam valde , is not preserved elsewhere in old Greek, but is found again, nevertheless, in Eustath. Od. i. p. 27,35: ἐστι γάρ ποτε καὶ τῷ λίαν κατὰ τὴν τραγῳδίαν χρᾶσθαι καλῶς , καθʼ ὃ σημαινόμενον λέγομέν τινα ὑπερλίαν σόφον . Similarly we have ὑπεράγαν ( 2Ma 8:35 ; 2Ma 10:34 ; Strabo, iii. p. 147), ὑπέρευ (Kypke, Obss. II. p. 267), ὑπεράνω , etc., as well as generally Paul’s frequent application of compounds with ὑπέρ (Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p. 351). But whom does he mean by τῶν ὑπερλίαν ἀποστόλων ? According to Chrysostom, Theodoret, Grotius, Bengel, and most of the older commentators, also Emmerling, Flatt, Schrader, Baur, Hilgenfeld, Holsten, Holtzmann ( Judenth. und Christenth . p. 764), the actual summos apostolos , namely, Peter, James, and John (comp. Galatians 2:9 ). But Paul is not contending against these, but against the false apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13 ); hence the expression: “ the over-great apostles ,” which is manifestly selected not μετʼ ἐγκωμίων (Chrysostom), but with a certain bitterness, would be very unsuitable here (comp. on the other hand, 1 Corinthians 15:9 ; 1 Corinthians 9:5 ) if the old apostles should be simply incidentally mentioned, because they were possibly placed high above Paul by his opponents. [323] Rightly, therefore, Richard Simon, Alethius, Heumann, Semler, Michaelis, Schulz, Stolz, Rosenmüller, Fritzsche, Billroth, Rückert, Olshausen, de Wette, Ewald, Osiander, Neander, Hofmann, Weiss, Beyschlag, and others have followed Beza’s suggestion (comp. Erasmus in the Annot .), and understood the Judaistic anti-Pauline teachers to be the pseudo-apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13 ; 2 Corinthians 11:22 ), whose inflated arrogance in exalting themselves over Paul is caricatured. Nevertheless they are not to be considered as the heads of the Christ-party (comp. on 2 Corinthians 10:7 ).

[321] δέ , adopted by Lachm. on the testimony of B only, and approved by Rückert, appears after εἰ μέν in ver. 4 as an alteration, because no reference was seen for the γάρ . With δέ there would result the quite simple course of thought: “ If indeed … I mean, however ,” etc., not as Rückert would have it, that Paul passes from the justification of the intended self-praise given in vv. 2 4 to the self-praise itself.

[322] Without conceding this arbitrary assertion, observe, moreover, that ver. 5 also has a sufficiently ironic tinge. Comp. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 . See also Klöpper.

[323] The immediately following εἰ δὲ καὶ ἰδιώτης τῷ λόγῳ would also be quite unsuitable, since every other apostle, at least as much as Paul, was ἰδιώτης τῷ λόγῳ .


The reference of our passage to Peter, James, and John was supported among the earlier Protestants from polemical considerations, for the comparison in itself and the plural expression were urged against the primacy of Peter. See Calovius, Bibl. ill. p. 505. In defence of this primacy, it was maintained by the older Catholic writers that the equality referred to preaching and gifts, not to power and jurisdiction. See Cornelius a Lapide.

Verse 6

2 Corinthians 11:6 . A more precise explanation of this μηδὲν ὑστερηκέναι τῶν ὑπερλ . ἀποστόλων , starting from a concession, so that δέ introduces something apparently opposed. Although, however, I am untrained in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge, but in everything we have become manifest among all in reference to you . The view of Hofmann, that that concession bears on the preference of the opponents for Apollos , finds no confirmation in the discussion that follows. Comp. on the contrary, 2 Corinthians 10:10 .

Φανερωθέντες does not apply to the γνῶσις (Bengel, Zachariae, and others), for how inappropriate 2 Corinthians 11:7 would then be! But Paul proceeds from the γνῶσις , which he has attributed to himself in opposition to the reproach of want of training in discourse, to his having become manifest in every respect , so that τῇ γνώσει and ἐν παντί are related to one another as species and genus. [324] It is arbitrary to supply a definite reference for φανερωθ . (Rosenmüller: “tanquam verum apostolum et doctorem;” Rückert: “as apostle and honest man”); in every respect , says Paul, we have become manifest as to how we are constituted; and what kind of manifestation that was its qualitative aspect he leaves entirely to the judgment of his readers. Rückert (following Flatt) regards εἰ δὲ καὶγνώσει as a parenthesis, and places ἀλλʼ ἐν παντὶ κ . τ . λ . in connection with 2 Corinthians 11:5 , so that Paul, instead of keeping to the infinitive construction, would pass over into the participial; but after what has been said above, this is a quite superfluous expedient, according to which, moreover, εἰ δὲ καὶγνώσει would only stand as a strangely isolated, as it were forlorn thought, out of all connection. Olshausen, too (comp. Beza), breaks up the passage by taking the second ἀλλά as corrective: “Yet ye know in fact my whole conduct, why should I still describe it to you?” And yet ἀλλʼ ἐν παντί stands in so natural relation and connection with the previous οὐ τῇ γνώσει , that it more readily occurs to us to take ἀλλά as: but on the contrary , than, with de Wette, to take it as co-ordinate with the first ἀλλά (introducing a second apodosis), as in 1 Corinthians 6:11 .

ἰδιώτης τῷ λόγῳ ] Paul therefore did not reckon a scholastically-trained eloquence (and he is thinking here specially of the Hellenic type, of which in fact Corinth was a principal seat) as among the requisites for his office. [325] Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:17 ; 1 Corinthians 2:1 ff. But his opponents (comp. 2 Corinthians 10:10 ) disparaged him for the want of it. Regarding ἰδιώτης , see on Act 4:13 ; 1 Corinthians 14:16 .

Τῇ ΓΝΏΣΕΙ ] “quae prima dos apostoli,” Bengel; Matthew 12:11 ; Ephesians 3:3-4 ; Galatians 1:12 ; Galatians 1:15 .

ἘΝ ΠΑΝΤΊ ] not: at every time (Emmerling, Flatt), nor ubique (Erasmus), but, as it always means with Paul: in every point, in every respect , 2Co 4:8 , 2 Corinthians 6:4 , 2 Corinthians 7:16 , 2Co 8:7 , 2 Corinthians 9:8 ; see Bengel. Particularly frequent in this Epistle.

After φανερωθέντες , ἐσμέν is to be supplied from what goes before. The aorist contains the conception: have not remained hidden, but have become manifest . The perfect is different in 2 Corinthians 5:11 . The device of Hofmann, that after φανερωθ . we should supply an ἘΦΑΝΕΡΏΘΗΜΕΝ to be connected with ἘΝ ΠᾶΣΙΝ ΕἸς ὙΜᾶς , yields a thought weak in meaning (“after that we … had been made manifest we have … been made manifest in presence of you”) and is utterly groundless. How altogether different it is at 2 Corinthians 8:24 ! The transition to the plural form inclusive of others (by which Paul means himself and his fellow-teachers) cannot surprise any one, since often in his case the purely personal consciousness and that of fellowship in a common office present themselves side by side. Comp. 2 Corinthians 1:23 f., 2 Corinthians 5:11 ; 1 Thessalonians 3:4 f.; Philemon 1:7 f., al.

ἐν πᾶσιν ] being separated from ἘΝ ΠΑΝΤΊ cannot (as in Philippians 4:2 ) be taken as neuter (in all things, Billroth, Neander; in all possible points, Hofmann: ἐν πᾶσιν οἷς ποιοῦμεν κ . λέγομεν , Theophylact), but only as masculine: among all we have been made manifest in reference to you, that is, among all (i.e. coram omnibus ) there has been clearly displayed, and has remained unknown to none, the relation in which we stand to you; every one has become aware what we are to you. Comp. Erasmus (“quales simus erga vos”).

[324] Billroth follows the reading φανερώσαντες : “If I, however, am unskilled in an artistic discourse of human wisdom, I am not so in the true, deep knowledge of Christianity; yea rather, I have made it (the knowledge) in every point known to you in all things.” Ewald, following the same reading: “but people, who in everything (in every position) have spoken clearly regarding all kinds of matters ( ἐν πᾶσιν ) towards you.”

[325] How Paul, with the great eloquence to which all his Epistles and speeches in the Book of Acts bear testimony, could yet with truth call himself ἰδιώτης πῷ λόγῳ , Augustine, de doctr. Christ. iv. 7, has rightly discerned: “Sicut apostolum praecepta eloquentiae secutum fuisse non dicimus: ita quod ejus sapientiam secuta sit eloquentia, non negamus.” Comp. also how Xenophon ( de venat . 14, 3) designates and describes himself as idiotes , in contradistinction to the sophists .

Verse 7

2 Corinthians 11:7 . That Paul meant by his ἐν παντὶ φανερωθ . an advantageous manifestation, was obvious of itself; comp. 2 Corinthians 5:11 . Hence, in order now to make good a distinctive peculiar point of his φανέρωσις , he continues with a question of bitter pain, such as the sense of being maliciously misunderstood brought to his lips: Or have I committed sin abasing myself in order that ye might be exalted that I gratuitously preached to you the gospel of God? No doubt the opponents had turned this noble sacrifice on his part, by way of reproach, into un-apostolic meannes.

ἐμαυτὸν ταπεινῶν ] namely, by my renouncing, in order to teach gratuitously, my apostolic ἐξουσία , 1 Corinthians 9:0 , and contenting myself with very scanty and mean support (comp. Acts 18:3 ; Acts 20:34 ). Chrysostom and others exaggerate it ἐν στενοχωρίᾳ διήγαγον , for καὶ ὑστερηθείς , 2 Corinthians 11:8 , is only a temporary increased degree of the ταπείνωσις .

ἵνα ὑμεῖς ὑψωθῆτε ] viz. from the lowness of the dark and lost pre-Christian condition through conversion, instruction, and pastoral care to the height of the Christian salvation. It is much too vague to take it of prosperity in general (Schulz, Rosenmüller, Flatt); and when Zachariae explains it: “in order to prefer you to other churches,” or when others think of the riches not lessened by the gratuitous preaching (Mosheim, Heumann, Morus, Emmerling), they quite fail to see the apostle’s delicate way of significantly varying the relations. Comp. 2 Corinthians 8:9 . Chrysostom already saw the right meaning: μᾶλλον ᾠκοδομοῦντο καὶ οὐκ ἐσκανδαλίζοντο .

ὅτι ] that , belongs to ἁμαρτ . ἐποίησα (to which ἐμαυτ . ταπεινῶν is an accompanying modal definition), inserted for the sake of disclosing the contrast of the case as it stood to the question. Ὅτι may also be taken as an exegesis of ἐμαυτ . ταπειν . κ . τ . λ ., so that already with the latter the committing of sin would be described as regards its contents; comp. Acts 21:13 ; Mark 11:5 (so Luther, Beza, and many others, also Osiander). But our view interweaves more skilfully into one the question with its contradictory content.

δωρεάν ] has the emphasi.

τοῦ θεοῦ ] Genitivus auctoris . Note the juxtaposition: δωρεὰν τὸ τοῦ θεοῦ εὐαγγ .: gratuitously the gospel of God (“pretiosissimum,” Bengel).

Verse 8

2 Corinthians 11:8 . Further information as to the previous δωρεὰν κ . τ . λ .

ἐσύλησα ] I have stripped , plundered, a hyperbolical , impassioned expression, as is at once shown by λαβὼν ὀψώνιον after it. The ungrateful ones are to be made aware, in a way to put them thoroughly to shame, of the forbearance shown to them.

The ἄλλαι ἐκκλησίαι meant were beyond doubt Macedonian . Comp. 2 Corinthians 11:9 .

λαβὼν κ . τ . λ .] contemporaneous with ἐσύλησα , and indicating the manner in which it was don.

ὀψώνιον ] pay (see on Romans 6:23 ), i.e. payment for my official labou.

πρὸς τὴν ὑμῶν διακονίαν ] Aim of the ἄλλας ἐκκλ . ἐσύλησα λαβὼν ὀψ ., so that the emphatic ὑμῶν corresponds to the emphatic ἄλλας . Paul had therefore destined the pay taken from other churches to the purpose of rendering (gratuitously) his official service to the Corinthians , to whom he travelled from Macedonia (Acts 17:13 f., Acts 18:1 ) in order to preach to them the gospe.

καὶ παρὼν κ . τ . λ .] and during my presence with you I have, even when want had set in with me, burdened no one . He thus brought with him to Corinth the money received from other churches, and subsisted on it (earning more, withal, by working with his hands); and when, during his residence there, this provision was gradually exhausted, so that even want set in ( καὶ ὑστερηθείς ), he nevertheless importuned no one, but (2 Corinthians 11:9 ) continued to help himself on by Macedonian pecuniary aid (in addition to the earnings of his handicraft). Comp. on Philippians 4:15 . Rückert thinks that Paul only sought to relieve his want by the manual labour entered on with Aquila, when the money brought with him from Corinth had been exhausted and new contributions had not yet arrived. But, according to Acts 18:3 , his working at a handicraft of which, moreover, he makes no mention in this passage is to be conceived as continuing from the beginning of his residence at Corinth; how conceivable, nevertheless, is it that, occupied as he was so greatly with other matters, he could not earn his whole livelihood, but still stood in need of supplies! On πρὸς ὑμᾶς , which is not to be taken “after my coming to you ” (Hofmann), comp. 1 Corinthians 16:6 ; Matthew 13:56 .

κατενάρκησα ] Hesychius: ἐβάρυνα , I have lain as a burden on no one . It is to be derived from νάρκη , paralysis, debility, torpidity ; thence ναρκάω , torpeo, Il. viii. 328; Plat. Men. p. 80 A B C; LXX. Genesis 32:32 ; Job 33:19 ; hence καταναρκᾶν τινος : to press down heavily and stiffly on any one (on the genitive, see Matthiae, p. 860). Except in Hippocrates, p. 816 C, 1194 H, in the passive ( to be stiffened ), the word does not occur elsewhere in Greek; and by Jerome, Aglas. 10, it is declared to be a Cilician expression equivalent to non gravavi vos . Vulgate: “nulli onerosus fui.” Another explanation, quoted in addition to the above by Theophylact (comp. Oecumenius): “ I have not become indolent in my office” (so Beza, who takes κατὰοὐδενός , cum cujusauam incommodo ), would be at variance with the context. See 2 Corinthians 11:9 . Comp. also 2 Corinthians 12:13-14 . Besides, this sense would not be demonstrable for καταναρκ . but for ἀποναρκ . (Plutarch, Educ. p. 8 F).

Verse 9

2 Corinthians 11:9 . τὸ γὰρ ὑστέρημα down to Μακεδονίας is not, with Griesbach, Lachmann, and others, to be made parenthetical, [326] since ΚΑῚ ἘΝ ΠΑΝΤῚ Κ . Τ . Λ . is structurally and logically (as consequence) connected with it: for what was wanting to me the brethren (known to you) supplied, after they had come from Macedonia, and , et.

προσανεπλήρωσαν ] addendo suppleverunt (comp. 2 Corinthians 9:12 ). But we are not, with Grotius (who in 2 Corinthians 11:8 and here thinks of the means for supporting the poor) and Bengel, to seek the reference of πρός in the addition to the earnings of his labour , for of this the whole context contains nothing; but the brethren added the support brought by them to the apostle’s still very small provision, and so supplemented his ὑστέρημα . This aid is later than that mentioned in Philippians 4:15 (see in loc. ). the names of the brethren (were they Silas and Timothy? Acts 18:5 ) are unknown to u.

καὶ ἐν παντὶ κ . τ . λ .] and in every point (comp. 2 Corinthians 11:6 ) I have kept and will keep myself non-burdensome to you ; I have occasioned you no burden in mine own person, and will occasion you none in the future (“tantum abest, ut poeniteat,” Bengel).

ἀβαρής only here in the N. T., but see Arist. de coel. 4; Chrysipp. in Plut. Mor. p. 1053 E; Luc. D. M. x. 5.

[326] So also Ewald, who takes ver. 8 and ver. 9 still as a continuation of the question in ver. 7.

Verse 10

2 Corinthians 11:10 . Not in form an oath, but a very solemn assurance of the καὶ τηρήσω : there is truth of Christ in me, that , etc. That is to say: By the indwelling truth of Christ in me I assure you that , etc. The apostle is certain that as generally Christ lives in him (Galatians 2:20 ), Christ’s mind is in him (see on 1 Corinthians 2:16 ), Christ’s heart beats in him (Philippians 1:8 ), Christ speaks in him (2 Corinthians 13:3 ), all, namely, through the Spirit of Christ, which dwells in him (Romans 8:9 ff.); so, in particular, also truth of Christ is in him, and therefore all untruthfulness, lying, hypocrisy, etc., must be as foreign to him as to Christ Himself, who bears sway in him. The ὅτι is the simple that , dependent on the idea of assurance , which lies at the bottom of the clause ἔστιν ἀλήθ . Χ . ἐν ἐμοί , and has its specific expression in this clause. Comp. ζῶ ἐγὼ , ὅτι , Romans 14:11 . See Fritzsche, ad Rom. II. p. 242 f. Rückert’s view is more far-fetched: that ὅτι κ . τ . λ . is the subject, of which Paul asserts that it is ἀλήθεια Χριστοῦ in him, i.e. what he says is a proposition, which just as certainly contains truth, as if Christ Himself said it. Olshausen attenuates the sense at variance with its literal tenor into: “as true as I am a Christian.” The thought is really the same in substance as that in Romans 9:1 : ἀλήθειαν λέγω ἐν Χριστῷ , οὐ ψεύδομαι , but the form of the conception is differen.

καύχησις αὕτη οὐ φραγ . εἰς ἐμέ ] this self-boasting will not be stopped in reference to me . The gloriatio spoken of, namely as to preaching gratuitously, is personified ; its mouth is not, as to what concerns the apostle, to be stopped, so that it must keep silence. Hofmann, not appreciating this personification, takes offence at the fact that the καύχησις is supposed to have a mouth , while Rückert resorts to an odd artificial interpretation of φραγ . εἰς ἐμέ ( will not be cooped up in me ). Just because the καυχᾶσθαι is an action of the mouth , the personified καύχησις has a mouth, which can be stopped . Comp. Theodore.

φραγήσεται ] Comp. Romans 3:19 ; Hebrews 11:33 ; LXX. Psalms 106:42 ; Job 5:16 ; 2Ma 14:36 ; Wetstein, ad Rom. l.c. ; Jacobs, ad Anthol. XII. p. 297. It cannot surprise us that τὸ στόμα is not expressly subjoined, since this is obvious of itself, seeing that the καύχησις is conceived as speaking . There is nothing in the context to justify the derivation of the expression from the damming up of running water, as Chrysostom and Theophylact, also Luther (see his gloss), and again Hofmann take it. There is just as little ground for de Wette’s suggestion, that φραγήσεται is meant of hedging in a way (Hosea 2:6 ).

εἰς ἐμέ ] For, if Paul should so conduct himself that he could no longer boast of preaching gratuitously, the mouth of this καύχησις would, in reference to him , be stopped. In this εἰς ἐμέ , as concerns me , there is implied a tacit comparison with others , who conducted themselves differently, and in regard to whom, therefore, the mouth of καύχησις αὕτη would be stoppe.

ἐν τοῖς κλίμασι τῆς Ἀχ .] is more weighty, and at the same time more tenderly forbearing, than the direct ἐν ὑμῖν , which would be πληκτικώτερον (Chrysostom).

Verse 11

2 Corinthians 11:11 . Negative specification of the reason for his continuing to preach gratuitously in Achaia.

How easily, since he had accepted something from the poorer Macedonians, might his conduct appear or be represented to the Corinthians as the result of a cold, disdainful, distrustful disposition towards them! Love willingly accepts from the beloved one what is due to i.

θεὸς οἶδεν ] namely, that the reason is not want of love to you.

Observe the lively interrogative form (Dissen, ad Dem, de cor. pp. 186, 347).

Verse 12

2 Corinthians 11:12 . [327] Positive specification of the reason , after brief repetition of the matter which calls for it ( ὃ δὲ ποιῶ , καὶ ποιήσω ).

Since Paul, in accordance with 2 Corinthians 11:10 , wishes to specify the aim inducing the future continuance of his conduct, καὶ ποιήσω must be apodosis (comp. Erasmus, Annot. , Beza, Bengel, Lachmann, Tischendorf), and must not be attached to the protasis, so as to make it necessary to supply before ἵνα a ΔΙᾺ ΤΟῦΤΟ ΠΟΙῶ (Erasmus, Paraphr. , Luther, Castalio, Emmerling), or τοῦτο ποιῶ κ . ποιήσω (Rückert, but undecidedly), or simply ΓΊΝΕΤΑΙ (Osiander, Ewald).

ἽΝΑ ἘΚΚΌΨΩ Κ . Τ . Λ . ] in order that I may cut off the opportunity of those, who wish (exoptant, Beza) opportunity , namely, to degrade and to slander me. Τὴν ἀφορμήν , having the article, denotes the definite occasion, arising from the subject in question, for bringing the apostle into evil repute. Had he caused himself to be remunerated by the Corinthians, his enemies, who in general were looking out for opportunity ( ἈΦΟΡΜ . without the article), would have taken thence the opportunity of slandering him as selfish and greedy; this was their ἀφορμή , which he wished to cut off ( ἈΝΑΙΡΕῖΝ , Chrysostom) by his gratuitous working. Others understand by ΤῊΝ ἈΦΟΡΜΉΝ the occasion of exalting and magnifying themselves above him (Calvin, Grotius, Flatt). But according to this, we should have to assume that the false apostles had taken no pay, on which point, after the precedent of Chrysostom, Theophylact, Calvin, Grotius, Billroth, and others, Rückert especially insists. This assumption, however, which Neander also supports (comp. against it, Beza), has against it à priori the fact that Paul lays so earnest stress on his gratuitous preaching which would not be appropriate to his apologetico-polemic train of argument, if on this point he had stood on the same footing with his opponents. Further, 2 Corinthians 11:20 and 1 Corinthians 9:12 are expressly opposed to it; and the objection of Rückert, that the apostle’s testimony to the baseness of his opponents loses much of its force owing to his passionate temperament, is an exaggerated opinion, to which we can concede only this much, that his testimony regarding his opponents is strongly expressed (comp. 2 Corinthians 11:20 ), but not that it contains anything untrue. If they had worked against him from honest prejudice, it would have been at once indiscreet and un-Christian in him to work against them. Rückert’s further objection, that the adversaries, if they had taken payment where Paul took none, would have coupled folly with selfishness, is unfounded, seeing that in fact, even with that recommendation in which Paul had the advantage of them by his unpaid teaching, very many other ways were left to them of exalting themselves and of lowering his repute, and hence they might be all the more prudent and cunning. Comp. on 2 Corinthians 11:6 .

ἵνα ἐνκαυχῶνται κ . τ . λ .] may be parallel to the previous clause of purpose (Düsterdieck). Yet it is more in keeping with the logical relation that here something positive, and previously only something negative, is asserted as intended and thereby with the climactic course of the passage, to assume that ἽΝΑ ἘΝ ΚΑΥΧ . Κ . Τ . Λ . is the aim of ἐκκόψω τὴν ἀφορμὴν τ . θ . ἀφ ., and thus the final aim of the ὃ δὲ ποιῶ , καὶ ποιήσω in regard to the opponents: in order that they, in the point of which they boast, may be found even as we . This is what I purpose to bring about among them. If, namely, the enemies did not find in Paul the opportunity of disparaging him as selfish, now there was to be given to them withal the necessity (according to his purpose) of showing themselves to be just such as Paul [328] in that, in which they boasted, i.e. according to the context, in the point of unselfishness . Hitherto, forsooth, the credit of unselfishness, which they assigned to themselves, was idle ostentation, see 2 Corinthians 11:20 . De Wette makes objection, on the other hand, that they could not have boasted of unselfishness, if they had shown themselves selfish. But this was the very point of his enemies’ untruthfulness (2 Corinthians 11:13 , comp. 2 Corinthians 5:12 ), that they vaingloriously displayed the semblance of unselfishness, while in fact they knew how to enrich themselves by the Christians. Theodoret aptly says: ἔδειξε δὲ αὐτοὺς λόγῳ κομπάζοντας , λάθρα δὲ χρηματιζομένους . Düsterdieck, too, can find no ground in the context for saying either that the opponents had reproached the apostle with selfishness, or had given themselves out for unselfish. But the former is not implied in our explanation (they only sought the occasion for that charge), while the latter is sufficiently implied in 2 Corinthians 11:20 . The expositors who consider the opponents as labouring gratuitously understand ἐνκαυχῶνται of this unpaid working, of which they had boasted, so that Paul in this view would say: in order that they, in this point of which they boast, may be found not better than we . See Oecumenius, Erasmus, Calvin, comp. Billroth and Rückert; Billroth and others (comp. Düsterdieck above) taking withal the second ἵνα as parallel to the first, which Rückert also admits. But against the hypothesis that the opponents had taught gratuitously, see above. And the not better than we arbitrarily changes the positive expression καθὼς ἡμεῖς into the negative. Lastly, this explanation stands in no logical connection with what follows. See on 2 Corinthians 11:13 . Following Augustine, de serm. Dom. in monte , ii. 16, Cajetanus and Estius regard ἵναἡμεῖς as an exposition of ἈΦΟΡΜΉΝ : occasion, in order to be found as we , and ἐνκαυχ . as parenthetical: in quo, sc. in eo quod est inveniri sicut et nos, gloriantur . Comp. also Bengel. But the opponents did not, in fact, boast of being like Paul, but of being more than he was (2 Corinthians 11:5 ), and wished to hold him or to have him held as not at all a true apostle, 2 Corinthians 11:4 . This also in opposition to Hofmann, who, attaching the second ἵνα to ἈΦΟΡΜΉΝ , and referring [329] ἐνκαυχῶνται to the apostleship of which the opponents boasted, finds Paul’s meaning to be this: maintaining in its integrity the gratuitous character of his working, he takes away from those, who would fain find ways and means of making their pretended apostleship appear equal to his genuine one, the possibility of effecting their purpose . But in the connection of the text, ἐνκαυχῶνται on the one side and ΚΑΘῺς ΚΑῚ ἩΜΕῖς on the other can only denote one and the same quality, namely, the unselfishness , of which the opponents untruly boasted, while Paul had it in truth and verified it. Olshausen has been led farthest astray by taking the second ἵνα as the wish of the opponents; he imagines that they had been annoyed at Paul’s occupying a position of strictness which put them so much to shame, and hence they had wished to bring him away from it, in order that he might have no advantage, but that he should be found even as they. And the ἘΝ ΚΑΥΧ . is to be taken, as if they had put forward the authority to take money as an object of glorying, as an apostolic prerogative (1 Corinthians 9:7 ff.); so that the whole passage has therefore the ironical meaning: “ Much as they are opposed to me, they still wish an opportunity of letting me take a share of their credit, that I may allow myself to be supported as an apostle by the churches; but with this they wish only to hide their shame and rob me of my true credit: in this they shall not succeed! ” But that the opponents had put forward the warrant to take money as an apostolic prerogative , is not to be inferred from 1 Corinthians 9:7 ff., where Paul, in fact, speaks only of the right of the teacher to take pay. Further, there is no ground in the context for the assumed reference of ἐνκαυχ .; and lastly, in keeping with the alleged ironical meaning, Paul must have written: ΕὙΡΕΘῶΜΕΝ ΚΑΘῺς ΚΑῚ ΑὐΤΟΊ , which Olshausen doubtless felt himself, when he wrote: “in order that he might have no advantage, but that he should be found such as they .”

On ἐκκόπτειν , in the ethical sense of bringing to nought , comp. LXX. Job 19:10 ; Malachi 3:2; Malachi 3:2 ff.; Plat. Charm. p. 155 C; Polyb. xx. 6. 2. The opposite: παρέχειν ἀφορμήν (Bähr, ad Pyrrh. p. 237).

On the double ἵνα , the second introducing the aim of the first clause of aim, comp. Ephesians 5:27 ; John 1:7 . Hofmann, without reason, desires ὍΠΩς in place of the second ἽΝΑ .

[327] See regarding ver. 12, Düsterdieck in the Stud. u. Krit. 1865, p. 517 ff.

[328] Beza well gives the substantial meaning: “Isti quidem omnem mei calumniandi occasionem captant, expectantes dum poeniteat me juri meo renuntiantem in praedicando evangelio ex manuum mearum labore victitare. At ego nunquam patiar hanc laudem (qua ipsos refello) mihi in Achaiae ecclesiis praeripi. Imo in hoc instituto pergam, ut et ipsos ad exemplum meum imitandum provocem, nedum ut quam captant occasionem inveniant.”

[329] De Wette and Düsterdieek also refer ἐνκαυχῶνται to the apostolic working and dignity . According to the latter, the meaning would be: in order that they, as regards unselfishness, may let themselves be found just such as I, the apostle vilified by them, and may in this way show what is the worth of their boastful claim to apostolic dignity . Even this clear interpretation does not remove the difficulty that, as the καύχησις of Paul concerned the gratuitous nature of his labouring (ver. 10, comp. 1 Corinthians 9:15 ), so also the καυχᾶσθαι ascribed in the immediate context to the opponents , and pointing back by καθὼς καὶ ἡμεῖς to the apostle’s conduct (which was the subject-matter of his boasting), requires no other object , nay, when we strictly adhere to the immediate connection, admits of no other.

Verse 13

2 Corinthians 11:13 . Justification of the aforesaid ἵνα ἐνκαυχῶνται , εὑρεθ . καθὼς κ . ἡμεῖς . “Not without ground do I intend that they shall, in that of which they boast, be found to be as we; for the part, which these men play, is lying and deceit.”

Those who take καθὼς κ . ἡμεῖς in 2 Corinthians 11:12 : not better than we , must forcibly procure a connection by arbitrarily supplying something; as e.g. Rückert: that in the heart of the apostle not better than we had the meaning: but rather worse , and that this is now illustrated. Hofmann, in consequence of his view of ἵνα ἐνκαυχ . κ . τ . λ . 2 Corinthians 11:12 , interpolates the thought: “ for the rest ” they have understood how to demean themselves as Christ’s messenger.

οἱ γὰρ τοιοῦτοι κ . τ . λ .] for people of that kind are false apostles , etc., so that ψευδαπόστολοι is the predicate . [330] So also de Wette and Ewald. Usually, after the Vulgate (also Flatt, Billroth, Rückert, Hofmann), ψευδαπόστολοι is made the subject: “for such false apostles are,” etc. But it should, in fact, be rather put: “for the false apostles of that kind (in distinction from other false apostles; comp. 2 Corinthians 12:3 ; Soph. O. R. 674; Polyb. viii. 2, 5, xvi. 11, 2) are,” etc., which would be quite appropriate. Besides, the ψευδαπόστολοι , disclosing entirely at length the character of the enemies, would lose its emphasis. On the contemptuous sense of τοιοῦτος , comp. Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 843.

ἐργάται δόλιοι ] comp. Philippians 3:2 . They were workers , in so far certainly as they by teaching and other activity were at work in the church; but they were deceitful workers (dealt in δολίαις βουλαῖς , Eur. Med. 413, δολίοις ἐπέεσσιν , Hom. ix. 282, and δολίαις τέχναισι , Pind. Nem. iv. 93), since they wished only to appear to further the true Christian salvation of the church, while at bottom they pursued their own selfish and passionate aims (2 Corinthians 11:20 ). For the opposite of an ἐργάτης δόλιος , see 2 Timothy 2:15 .

μετασχηματιζ . εἰς ἀποστ . Χ .] transforming themselves into apostles of Christ . Their essential form is not that of apostles of Christ, for they are servants of Satan; in order to appear as the former, they thus assume another form than they really have, present themselves otherwise than they really are. In working against Paul in doctrine and act, they hypocritically assumed the mask of apostle, though they were the opposite of a true apostle (Galatians 1:1 ; Romans 15:18 ff.; 2 Corinthians 12:12 ).

[330] Bengel says aptly: “Haec jam pars praedicati, antitheton, ver. 5. Nunc tandem scapham scapham dicit .” On the idea of ψευδαπόστολοι , Erasmus rightly remarks: “ Apostolus enim ejus agit negotium a quo missus est, isti suis commodis serviunt.” Without doubt the people maintained for themselves their claim with equal, nay, with better right than Paul, to the name of apostle , which they probably conceded to Paul only in the wider sense (Acts 14:4 ; Acts 14:14 ; 1 Corinthians 15:7 ).

Verses 14-15

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 . And that is quite natural!

καὶ οὐ θαῦμα ] neque res admiranda est . Comp. Plat. Pol. vi. p. 498 D; Epin . p. 988 D; Pind. Nem. x. 95, Pyth. i. 50; Eur. Hipp. 439; Soph. Oed. R . 1132, Phil. 408; Pflugk, ad Eur. Hec. 976.

What follows is an argumentum a majori ad minus .

αὐτός ] ipse Satanas , their lord and master. Comp. afterwards οἱ διάκονοι αὐτοῦ . See Hermann, ad Viger. p. 733.

εἰς ἄγγελον φωτός ] into an angel of light . As the nature of God (1 John 1:5 ; Revelation 21:23-24 ) and His dwelling-place (1 Timothy 6:16 ; 1 John 1:7 ) is light, a glory of light, a δόξα beaming with light, which corresponds to the most perfect holy purity, so also His servants, the good angels , are natures of light with bodies of light (1 Corinthians 15:40 ); hence, where they appear, light beams forth from them (Matthew 28:3 , al. ; Acts 12:7 , al. ; see Hahn, Theol. d. N. T. I. p. 274 f.; Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 460). Regarding Satan, on the other hand, comp. Ephesians 6:12 ; Acts 26:18 ; Colossians 1:13 . He is ὁ κληρονόμος τοῦ σκότους , Ev. Nic. 20.

There is no trace in the narratives concerned to justify the assumption [331] that 2 Corinthians 11:15 points to the fall of man (Bengel, Semler, Hengstenberg, Christol . I. p. 11), or even to the temptation of Christ , Matthew 4:8 , in which the devil appeared as the angel to whom God had entrusted the rule of Palestine (Michaelis); but, at any rate, it is the apostle’s thought, and is also presupposed as known to the readers, that devilish temptations in angelic form assail man. In the O. T. this idea is not found; it recurs later, however, in the Rabbins, who, with an eccentric application of the thought, maintained that the angel who wrestled with Jacob (Genesis 32:24 ; Hosea 12:4-5 ) was the devil . See Eisenmenger, entdeckt. Judenth. I. p. 845. For conceptions regarding the demons analogous to our passage from Porphyry and Jamblichus, see Grotius and Elsner, Obss. p. 160.

[331] The present would not be against it. See Bengel: “Solet se transformare; fecit jam in paradiso.” According to Ewald, we are to think of a narrative, which was known then but is not preserved in our present O. T., to which Paul alludes, or of a narrative similar to that in Matthew 4:1-11 .

Verse 15

2 Corinthians 11:15 . It is not a great matter, therefore , not strange and extraordinary, if , etc. Comp. 1 Corinthians 9:11 ; Plato, Hipp. maj . p. 287 A, Menex . p. 235 D; Herod. vii. 38.

καί ] if, as he does himself, his servants also transform themselves, namely, as servants of righteousness, i.e. as people who are appointed for, and active in, furthering the righteousness by faith. Comp. on 2 Corinthians 3:9 . The δικαιοσύνη , the opposite of ἀνομία , but in a specifically Christian and especially Pauline sense (comp. on 2 Corinthians 6:14 ) as the condition of the kingdom of God, is naturally that which Satan and his servants seek to counteract. When the latter, however, demean themselves as ἀπόστολοι Χριστοῦ , the δικαιοσύνη , which they pretend to serve, must have the semblance of the righteousness of faith , although it is not so in reality. This view is therefore not “ out of the way ” (Klöpper, p. 90), but contextual; and the δικαιοσύνη cannot be the righteousness of the law , the preaching of which is not the mark of the ἀπόστολοι Χριστοῦ . As to ὡς ( transform themselves and become as ), comp. on Romans 9:29 .

ὧν τὸ τέλος κ . τ . λ .] of whom the servants of Satan the end, final fate, will be in accordance with their works . Comp. Philippians 3:19 ; Romans 6:21 ; 1 Peter 4:17 . “Quacunque specie se nunc efferant, detrahitur tandem schema,” Bengel.

Verse 16

2 Corinthians 11:16 . I repeat it: let no one hold me for irrational; but if not, receive me at least as one irrational (do not reject me), in order that I too (like my opponents) may boast a little . Thus Paul, after having ended the outpouring of his heart begun in 2 Corinthians 11:7 regarding his gratuitous labours, and after the warning characterization of his opponents thereby occasioned (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ), now turns back to what he had said in 2 Corinthians 11:1 , in order to begin a new self-comparison with his enemies, which he, however, merely introduces and that once more with irony, at first calm, then growing bitter down to 2 Corinthians 11:21 , and only really begins with ἐν ᾧ δʼ ἄν τις τολμᾷ κ . τ . λ . at 2 Corinthians 11:21 .

That, which is by πάλιν λέγω designated as already said once (2 Corinthians 11:1 ), is μή τίς με δόξἄφρ . εἶναι and εἰ δὲ μή γεκαυχήσωμαι , both together , not the latter alone (Hofmann). The former, namely, lay implicite in the ironical character of 2 Corinthians 11:1 , and the latter explicite in the words of that vers.

εἰ δὲ μή γε ] sed nisi quidem . Regarding the legitimacy of the γε in Greek (Plato, Pol. iv. p. 425 E), see Bremi, ad Aesch. de fals. leg . 47; Klotz, ad Devar. p. 527; Dindorf, ad Dem . I. p. v. f. praef. After negative clauses εἰ δὲ μή follows even in classical writers (Thuc. i. 28. 1, 131. 1; Xen. Anab. iv. 3. 6, vii. 1. 8), although we should expect εἰ δέ . But εἰ δὲ μή presupposes in the author the conception of a positive form of what is negatively expressed. Here something like this: I wish that no one should hold me as foolish; if, however, you do not grant what I wish, etc. See in general, Heindorf, ad Plat. Parm. p. 208; Buttmann, ad Plat. Crit. p. 106; Hartung, Partik. II. p. 213; and in reference to the N. T., Fritzsche, ad Matth. p. 254 f.

κἄν ] certe , is to be explained elliptically: δέξασθέ με , καὶ ἐὰν ὡς ἄφρονα δέξησθέ με . Comp. Mark 6:56 ; Acts 5:15 . See Wüstemann, ad Theocr. xxiii. 35; Jacobs, ad Anthol. XI. 16; Winer, p. 543 [E. T. 729].

ὡς ἄφρονα ] in the quality of one irrational , as people give an indulgent hearing to such a on.

μικρόν τι ] accusative as in 2 Corinthians 11:1 : aliquantulum , may deal in a little bit of boasting.

Verse 17

2 Corinthians 11:17 . More precise information as to the κἂν ὡς ἄφρονα .

λαλῶ ] namely, in the boastful speech now introduced and regarded thereby as already begu.

κατὰ κύριον ] according to the Lord (comp. Romans 15:5 ; Romans 8:27 ), i.e. so that I am determined in this case by the guiding impulse of Christ . A speaking according to Christ cannot be boasting; Matthew 11:29 ; Luke 17:10 . Now as Paul knew that the κατὰ κύριον λαλεῖν was brought about by the πνεῦμα working in him (comp. 1 Corinthians 7:10 ; 1 Corinthians 7:25 ; 1 Corinthians 7:40 ), οὐ λαλῶ κατὰ κύριον certainly denies the theopneustic character of the utterance in the stricter sense, without, however, the apostle laying aside the consciousness of the Spirit’s guidance, under which he, for his purpose, allows the human emotion temporarily to speak. It is similar when he expresses his own opinion , while yet he is conscious withal of having the Spirit (1 Corinthians 7:12 ; 1 Corinthians 7:25 ; 1 Corinthians 7:40 ). Regarding the express remark , that he does not speak κατὰ κύριον κ . τ . λ ., Bengel aptly says: “quin etiam hunc locum et propriam huic loco exceptionem sic perscripsit ex regula decori divini , a Domino instructus.”

ἀλλʼ ὡς ἐν ἀφροσύνῃ ] but as one speaks in the state of irrationality .

ἐν ταύτ . τ . ὑποστ . τ . κ .] belongs to οὐ λαλῶ κατὰ κύριον , ἀλλʼ ὡς ἐν ἀφροσ . taken together: not according to the Lord, but as a fool do I speak it, with this confidence of boasting . ὑπόστασις is here interpreted as differently as in 2 Corinthians 9:4 . According to Chrysostom, Rückert, Ewald, Hofmann, and many others: in this subject-matter of boasting (comp. Luther, Billroth, and de Wette: “since it has once come to boasting”). But what little meaning this would have! and how scant justice is thus done to the ταύτῃ prefixed so emphatically (with this so great confidence)! The boasting is indeed not yet actually begun (as de Wette objects), but the apostle is already occupied with it in thought; comp. previously λαλῶ . According to Hofmann, ἐν ταύτ . τ . ὑπ . τ . κ . is to be attached to the following protasis ἐπεὶ πολλοὶ κ . τ . λ . But apart from the uncalled-for inversion thus assumed, as well as from the fact that the ὑπόστασις τ . κ . is held to be specially the apostleship , the τῆς καυχήσεως would be a quite superfluous addition; on the other hand, with the reference to the general λαλῶ as modal definition of ὑπόστασις it is quite appropriate.

Verse 18

2 Corinthians 11:18 . That which carries him away to such foolishness, 2 Corinthians 11:16 : ἵνα κἀγὼ μικρ . τι καυχήσ .

Seeing that many boast according to their flesh, so will I boast too , namely, κατὰ τ . σάρκα .

Since κατὰ τὴν σάρκα is opposed to the κατὰ κύριον in 2 Corinthians 11:17 , and is parallel to the ὡς ἐν ἀφροσύνῃ , it cannot express the objective norm (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:16 ), or the object of the boasting (comp. Philippians 3:3 ff.; Galatians 6:13 ), as Chrysostom and most expositors, including Emmerling, Flatt, and Osiander, explain it: on account of external advantages , [332] but it must denote the subjective manner of the καυχᾶσθαι , namely: so that the καυχᾶσθαι is not guided by the Holy Spirit, but proceeds according to the standard of their natural condition as material, psychically determined, and striving against the Divine Spirit , whence they are urged on to conceit, pride, ambition, etc. [333] Comp. Rückert: “according to the impulse of self-seeking personality;” also de Wette, Ewald, Neander. Billroth, in accordance with his philosophy, takes it: “as individual, according to what one is as a single human being.” κατὰ ἄνθρωπον in 1 Corinthians 9:8 is not parallel. See on that passage.

Rückert denies that Paul after κἀγὼ καυχήσομαι has again supplied in thought κατὰ τ . σάρκα , and thinks that he has prudently put it only in the protasis and not said it of his own glorying. But it necessarily follows, as well from the previous οὐ λαλῶ κατὰ κύριον , in which the κατὰ τ . σάρκα is already expressed implicite , as also from the following ΤῶΝ ἈΦΡΌΝΩΝ , among whom Paul is included as ΚΑΤᾺ ΤῊΝ ΣΆΡΚΑ ΚΑΥΧΏΜΕΝΟς . It is otherwise in John 8:15 .

[332] To this category belongs also the interpretation of Baur, who, however, refers σάρξ quite specially to Judaism as what is inherited, and therefore understands a boasting, the object of which is only inherited accidental advantages . The διάκονοι Χριστοῦ , ver. 23, and the apostle’s subsequent glorying in suffering , ought to have dissuaded Baur from adopting such a view.

[333] Osiander is quite wrong in objecting to this interpretation that the article is against it, since Paul, when he means σάρξ in this sense, never puts the article after κατά . Paul, in fact, has the article only in this single passage, and elsewhere writes always κατὰ σάρκα (i.e. conformably to flesh ) whether he uses σάρξ in the subjective or objective sense; hence, so far as the article is concerned, there is no means at all of comparison. Besides, τήν here is very doubtful critically, because it is wanting in D* F G א * min. Chrys. Dam., and is at variance with the Pauline usage. Osiander’s further objection, that κατὰ τὴν σάρκα , as understood by us, is in the apostle’s mouth unworthy of him for the apodosis, is likewise incorrect, for he is speaking ironically; he wishes, in fact, to deal in boasting like a fool! As to the distinction between κατὰ σάρκα and κατὰ τὴν σάρκα , we may add that the one means: “after the manner of natural humanity,” the other, “after the manner of their natural humanity.” Comp. on Philippians 1:24 ; Philippians 1:22 . In substance they are equivalent; the latter only individualizes more concretely.

Verse 19

2 Corinthians 11:19 . Not the motive inducing, but an ironical ground encouraging , the just said κἀγὼ καυχήσομαι : For willingly you are patient with the irrational (to whom I with my καυχᾶσθαι belong), since ye are rational people! The more rational person is on that account the more tolerant toward fools. Hence not: although you are rational (Ewald and the older commentators).

Verse 20

2 Corinthians 11:20 . Argumentum a majori for what is said in 2 Corinthians 11:19 , bitterly sarcastic against the complaisance of the Corinthians towards the imperious ( καταδουλοῖ ), covetous ( κατεσθίει ), slyly capturing ( λαμβάνει ), arrogant ( ἐπαίρεται ), and audaciously violent ( εἰς πρόσωπον δέρει ) conduct of the false apostle.

καταδουλοῖ ] enslaves . Comp. on Galatians 2:4 ; Dem. 249. 2, and the passages in Wetstein. Paul has used the active , not the middle, as he leaves quite out of view the authority, whose lordship was aimed at; beyond doubt, however (see the following points), the pseudo-apostles wished to make themselves lords of the church, partly in religious, i.e. Judaistic effort (comp. 2 Corinthians 1:24 ), partly also in a material respect (see what follows).

κατεσθίει ] swallows up , devours, sc. ὑμᾶς , a figurative way of denoting not the depriving them of independence in a Christian point of view (Hofmann), which the reader could the less guess, since it was already said in καταδουλ ., but the course of greedily gathering to themselves all their property . Comp. Psalms 53:5 ; Matthew 23:13 ; Luke 15:30 ; Add. to Esther 1:11 ; Hom. Od. iii 315: μή τοι κατὰ πάντα φάγωσι κτήματα , Dem. 992. 25; Aesch. c. Tim. 96. So also the Latin devorare (Quintil. viii. 6). Comp. also Jacobs, ad Anthol. X. pp. 217, 230. Rückert, who will not concede the avarice of the opponents (see on 2 Corinthians 11:12 ), explains it of rending the church into parties . Quite against the meaning of the word; for in Galatians 5:15 ἀλλήλους stands alongside. And would it not be wonderful, if in such a company of worthlessness avarice were wanting?

λαμβάνει ] sc. ὑμᾶς , captures you . Comp. 2 Corinthians 12:16 . The figure is taken from hunting , and denotes the getting of somebody into one’s power (Dem. 115. 10, 239. 17) in a secret way, by machinations, etc. (hence different from καταδουλοῖ ). Comp. Reiske, Ind. Dem. , ed. Schaef. p 322: “devincire sibi mentes hominum deditas et veluti captas aut fascino quodam obstrictas.” This meaning is held by Wolf, Emmerling, Flatt, Billroth, Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, and others. The usual older interpretation: if any one takes your goods from you (so also Ewald), is to be set aside, because ὑμᾶς would necessarily have to be supplied, and because already the far stronger κατεσθίει has preceded. The same is the case with Hofmann’s interpretation: if any one seizes hold on you (“ treats you as a thing ”), which after the two previous points would be nothing distinctiv.

ἐπαίρεται ] exalts himself (proudly). See the passages in Wetstein. As in this clause ὑμᾶς cannot be again supplied, and thus the supplying of it is interrupted, ὑμᾶς is again added in the following claus.

εἰς πρόσωπ . δέρει ] represents an extraordinary, very disgraceful and insolent maltreatment. Comp. 1 Kings 22:24 ; Matthew 5:39 ; Luke 22:64 ; Acts 23:2 ; Philostr. vit. Apoll. vii. 23. On the impetuous fivefold repetition of εἰ , comp. 1 Timothy 5:10 .

Verse 21

2 Corinthians 11:21 . In a disgraceful way (for me) I say, that we have been weak! Ironical comparison of himself with the false apostles, who, according to 2 Corinthians 11:20 , had shown such energetic bravery in Corinth. For such things we , I confess it to my shame, were too weak!

κατὰ ἀτιμίαν ] is the generally current paraphrase of the adverb ( ἀτίμως ), to be explained from the notion of measure (Bernhardy, p. 241). See Matthiae, p. 1359 f.

ὡς ὅτι ] as that (see in general, Bast, ad Gregor. Cor . p. 52), introduces the contents of the shameful confession, not, however, in an absolutely objective way, but as a fact conceived of ( ὡς ). Comp. 2 Thessalonians 2:2 ; Xen. Hist. iii. 2. 14; and the passages from Joseph, c. Revelation 1:11 , and Dionys. Hal. 9 ( ἐπιγνοὺς , ὡς ὅτι ἐσχάτοις εἰσὶν οἱ κατακλεισθέντες ) in Kypke, II. p. 268; also Isocr. Busir . arg. p. 362, Lang.: κατηγόρουν αὐτοῦ , ὡς ὅτι καινὰ δαιμόνια εἰσφέρει , and the causal ὡς ὅτι , 2 Corinthians 5:19 . The confession acquires by ὡς ὅτι something of hesitancy , which strengthens the touch of iron.

ἡμεῖς ] is with great emphasis opposed to the men of power mentioned in 2 Corinthians 11:20 .

ἠσθενήσαμεν ] namely, when we were there; hence the aorist . On the subject-matter , comp. 1 Corinthians 2:2 .

There agree, on the whole, with our view of the passage Bengel, Zachariae, Storr, Flatt, Schrader, de Wette, Neander, Osiander, and others. The main point in it is, that κατʼ ἀτιμίαν denotes something shameful for the apostle , and λέγω has a prospective reference. Rückert also gives λέγω a prospective reference, but he diverges in regard to κατʼ ἀτιμίαν , and supplies μέν : “ in the point, indeed, to bring disgrace upon you, I must acknowledge that I have been weak .” But in that case how unintelligibly would Paul have expressed himself! For, apart from the arbitrary supplying of μέν , the definite ἀτιμίαν would be quite unsuitable. Paul, to be understood, must have written κατὰ τὴν ἀτιμίαν ὑμῶν (as regards your disgrace), or at least, with reference to 2 Corinthians 11:20 , κατὰ τὴν ἀτιμίαν (as regards the disgrace under consideration). Ewald and Hofmann take κατὰ ἀτιμ . rightly, but give λέγω a retrospective reference. In their view of ὡς ὅτι they diverge from one another, Ewald explaining it: as if I from paternal weakness could not have chastised you myself ; Hofmann, on the other hand, taking ὡς ὅτι on as specifying the reason for saying such a thing (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:19 ). Against Ewald it may be urged that ὡς ὅτι does not mean as if , and that the five points previously mentioned are not brought under the general notion of chastisement ; and against both expositors, it may be urged that if κατὰ ἀτιμίαν were in reference to what precedes to mean a dishonour of the apostle himself , ἡμῶν must of necessity (in Philippians 4:11 , κατά is different) have been appended in order to be understood, because the previous points were a shame of the readers ; consequently the fine point would have lain just in an emphatically added ἡμῶν (such as κατὰ τὴν ἡμῶν ἀτιμίαν ). In our interpretation, on the other hand, κατὰ ἀτιμίαν receives its definite reference through ὡς ὅτι ἡμεῖς ( that we ), and a ἡμῶν with ἀτιμίαν would have been quite superfluous. Most of the older commentators, too, though with many variations in detail, refer κατὰ ἀτιμ . λέγω to what precedes , but explain κατὰ ἀτιμ . of the shame of the readers . So Chrysostom, [334] Theophylact, Theodoret, Pelagius, Erasmus, Beza, Calvin, Hunnius, and others: to your shame I say this (2 Corinthians 11:20 ), as if [rather: as because ] we had been weak , and could not have done the same thing, although we could do it but would not. Similarly also Billroth (followed by Olshausen): “ In a disgraceful way, I maintain, you put up with that injustice from the alleged reason that we are weak ” (rather: had been ). But since κατὰ ἀτιμ . is not more precisely defined by a ὑμῶν , we have no right to give to it another definition than it has already received from Paul by the emphatic ἡμεῖς ἠσθενήσ . Against the retrospective reference of λέγω , see above. Finally, in that view the passage would lose its ironical character, which however still continues, as is shown at once by the following ἐν ἀφροσύνλέγω .

ἐν ᾧ δʼ ἄν τις τολμᾶ κ . τ . λ .] Contrast with the ironical ἠσθενήσαμεν : wherein , however, any one is bold

I say it irrationally

I too am bold ; in whatever respect ( quocunque nomine ) any one possesses boldness, I too have boldness. In ἐν ᾧ lies the real ground , in which the τολμᾶν has its causal basis. As to τολμᾷ , comp. on 2 Corinthians 10:2 . ἄν contains the conception: should the case occur . See Fritzsche, Conject. p. 35.

ἐν ἀφροσύνλέγω ] Irony ; for μή τίς με δόξἄφρονα εἶναι , 2 Corinthians 11:16 . But Paul knew that the τολμῶ κἀγώ would appear to the enemies to be a foolish assertion.

[334] Chrysostom observes that ὡς ὅτι κ . τ . λ . is given obscurely, in order to conceal the unpleasantness of the meaning by the obscurity.

Verse 22

2 Corinthians 11:22 . Now comes the specializing elucidation of that ἐν ᾧ δʼ ἄν τις τολμᾷ , τολμῶ κἀγώ , presented so as directly to confront his enemies. Comp. Philippians 3:5 . Observe, however, that the opponents in Corinth must have still left circumcision out of the dispute.

The three names of honour, in which they boasted from their Judaistic point of view, are arranged in a climax , so that Ἑβραῖοι , which is not here in contrast to the Jews of the Diaspora, points to the hallowed nationality , Ἰσραηλῖται to the theocracy (Romans 9:4 f.), and σπέρμα Ἀβραάμ , to the Messianic privilege (Romans 11:1 ; Romans 9:7 , al. ), without, however, these references excluding one another. The interrogative interpretation of the three points corresponds to the animation of the passage far more than the affirmative (Erasmus, Luther, Castalio, Estius, Flatt, and others).

Verse 23

2 Corinthians 11:23 . In the case of those three Jewish predicates the aim was reached and the emotion appeased by the brief and pointed κἀγώ . Now, however, he comes to the main point, to the relation towards Christ ; here κἀγώ cannot again suffice, but a ὑπὲρ ἐγώ must come in (comp. Theodoret), and the holy self-confidence of this ὑπὲρ ἐγώ gushes forth like a stream (comp. 2 Corinthians 6:4 ff.) over his opponents, to tear down their fancies of apostolic dignit.

παραφρονῶν λαλῶ ] also ironical, but stronger than ἐν ἀφροσ . λέγω : in madness (Herod. iii. 24; Dem. 1183. 1; Soph. Phil. 804) I speak! For Paul, in the consciousness of his own humility as of the hateful arrogance of his foes, conceives to himself a: παραφρονεῖ ! as the judgment which will be pronounced by the opponents upon his ὑπὲρ ἐγώ ; they will call it a παράφρον ἔπος (Eur. Hipp. 232)!

ὑπὲρ ἐγώ ] He thus concedes to his opponents the predicate διάκονοι Χριστοῦ only apparently (as he in fact could not really do so according to 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ); for in ὑπὲρ ἐγώ there lies the cancelling of the apparent concession, because, if he had granted them to be actually Christ’s servants, it would have been absurd to say: I am more! Such, however, is the thought: “servants of Christ are they? Well, if they are such, still more am I!” The meaning of ὑπὲρ ἐγώ is not, as most (even Osiander and Hofmann) assume: “I am a servant of Christ in a higher degree than they” (1 Corinthians 15:10 ), but: I am more than servant of Christ ; for, as in κἀγώ there lay the meaning: I am the same (not in reference to the degree , but to the fact ), so must there be in ὑπὲρ ἐγώ the meaning: I am something more . Thus, too, the meaning, in accordance with the strong παραφρονῶν λαλῶ , appears far more forcible and more telling against the opponents. [335] ὑπέρ is used adverbially (Winer, p. 394 [E. T. 526]); but other undoubted Greek examples of this use of ὑπέρ are not found, as that in Soph. Ant. 514 ( ὁ δʼ ἀντιστὰς ὑπέρ ) is of doubtful explanatio.

ἐν κόποις περισσοτέρως κ . τ . λ .] Paul now exchanging sarcasm for deep earnest, under the impulse of a noble μεγαληγορία (Xen. Apol. i. 2) and “argumentis quae vere testentur pectus apostolicum” (Erasmus), begins his justification of the ὑπὲρ ἐγώ , so that ἐν is to be taken instrumentally: through more exertions , etc. The comparative is to be explained from the comparison with the κόποι of the opponents. The adverb , however, as often also in classic writers, is attached adjectivally ( sc. οὖσι ) to the substantive. So also de Wette. [336] Comp. Luk 24:1 ; 1 Corinthians 12:31 ; Philippians 1:26 ; Galatians 1:13 ; see Ast, ad Plat. Polit. p. 371 f.; Bernhardy, p. 338. Billroth, Osiander, Hofmann, and the older commentators incorrectly hold that εἰμί is to be supplied: “I am so in a yet much more extraordinary way in labours.” Apart from the erroneous explanation of ὑπὲρ ἐγώ , which is herein assumed, the subsequent πολλάκις is against it, for this with εἰμί supplied would be absurd. Hofmann would make a new series begin with ἐν θανάτ . πολλάκις ; but this is just a mere makeshift, which is at variance with the symmetrical onward flow of the passage with ἐν . Beza, Flatt, and many others supply ἦν or γέγονα ; but this is forbidden by 2 Corinthians 11:26 , where (after the parenthesis of 2 Corinthians 11:24-25 ) the passage is continued without ἐν , so that it would be impossible to supply ἦν or γέγονα furthe.

ἐν πληγ . ὑπερβαλλ .] by strokes endured beyond measure .

ἐν φυλακ . περισσοτ .] by more imprisonments . Clement, ad Cor . i. 5 : ὁ Παῦλος ὑπομονῆς βραβεῖον ἀπέσχεν ἑπτάκις δεσμὰ φορέσας , in which reckoning, however, the later imprisonments (in Jerusalem, Caesarea, Rome) are include.

ἐν θανάτοις πολλάκις ] πολλάκις γὰρ εἰς κινδύνους παρεδόθην θάνατον ἔχοντας , Chrysostom. Comp. 1Co 15:31 ; 2 Corinthians 4:11 ; Romans 8:36 ; and Philo, Flacc . p. 990 A: προαποθνήσκω πολλοὺς θανάτους ὑπομένων ἀνθʼ ἑνὸς τοῦ τελευταίου , Lucian, Tyr . 22; Asin. 23. See on this use of θάνατος in the plural, Stallbaum, ad Plat. Crit. p. 46 C; Seidler, ad Eur. El . 479.

[335] So that the absolute ὑπέρ is not to be explained ὑπὲρ αὑτούς , but ὑπὲρ διακόνους Χ . Our view is already implied in the plus (not magis ) ego of the Vulgate. Luther also has it, recently Ewald; and Lachm. writes ὑπερεγώ as one word. Comp. also Klöpper, p. 97.

[336] In the Vulgate this view has found distinct expression at least in the first clause; “in laboribus plurimis .”

Verses 24-25

2 Corinthians 11:24-25 . Parenthesis, in which definite proofs are brought forward for the ἐν θανάτοις πολλάκις .

ὑπὸ Ἰουδαίων ] refers merely to πεντάκιςἔλαβον ; for it is obvious of itself that the subsequent τρὶς ἐῤῥαβδίσθην was a Gentile maltreatment. Paul seems to have had in his mind the order: from Jews … from Gentiles , which, however, he then abandone.

τεσσαράκοντα παρὰ μίαν ] sc. πληγάς . Comp. on Luke 12:47 , and Ast, ad Legg. p. 433. παρά in the sense of subtraction; see Herod. i. 120; Plut. Caes 30; Wyttenb. ad Plat. VI. pp. 461, 1059; Winer, p. 377 [E. T. 503]. Deuteronomy 25:3 ordains that no one shall be beaten more than forty times . In order, therefore, not to exceed the law by possible miscounting, only nine and thirty strokes were commonly given under the later administration of Jewish law. [337] See Joseph. Antt. iv. 8. 21, 23, and the Rabbinical passages (especially from the treatise Maccoth in Surenhusius, IV. p. 269 ff.); in Wetstein, Schoettgen, Hor. p. 714 ff.; and generally, Saalschütz, M. R. p. 469. Paul rightly adduces his five scourgings (not mentioned in Acts) as proof of his ἐν θανάτοις πολλάκις , for this punishment was so cruel that not unfrequently the recipients died under it; hence there is no occasion for taking into account bodily weakness in the case of Paul. See Lund, Jüd. Heiligth . ed. Wolf, p. 539 f.

τρὶς ἐῤῥαβδίσθην ] One such scourging with rods by the Romans is reported in Acts 16:22 ; the two others are unknown to u.

ἅπαξ ἐλιθάσθ .] See Acts 14:19 ; Clem. 5.

τρὶς ἐναυάγ .] There is nothing of this in Acts, for the last shipwreck, Acts 27:0 , was much later. How many voyages of the apostle may have remained quite unknown to us! and how strongly does all this list of sufferings show the incompleteness of the Book of Acts!

νυχθήμερον ἐν τῷ βυθῷ πεποίηκα ] Lyra, Estius, Calovius, and others explain this of a miracle , as if Paul, actually sunk in the deep, had spent twenty-four hours without injury; but this view is at variance with the context. It is most naturally regarded as the sequel of one of these shipwrecks, namely, that he had, with the help of some floating wreck, tossed about on the sea for a day and a night, often overwhelmed by the waves, before he was rescued. On βυθός , the depth of the sea , comp. LXX. Exodus 15:5 ; Ps. 67:14; Psalms 106:24 , al. ; Bergl. ad Alciphr. i. 5, p. 10; and Wetstein in loc.

ποιεῖν of time: to spend , as in Acts 15:33 ; James 4:13 ; Jacobs, ad Anthol. IX. p. 449. The perfect is used because Paul, after he has simply related the previous points, looks back on this last from the present time (comp. Kühner, § 439, 1a); there lies in this change of tenses a climactic vividness of representation.

[337] This reason for omitting the last stroke is given by Maimonides (see Coccej. ad Maccoth iii. 10). Another Rabbinical view is that thirteen strokes were given with the three-thonged leathern scourge, so that the strokes amounted in all to thirty-nine. See in general, Lund, p. 540 f. According to Maccoth iii. 12, the breast, the right and the left shoulder, received each thirteen of the thirty-nine strokes. But it cannot be proved from the Rabbins that it was on this account that the fortieth was not added, as Bengel, Wetstein, and others assume.

Verse 26

2 Corinthians 11:26 f. After the parenthesis of 2 Corinthians 11:24-25 , the series begun in 2 Corinthians 11:23 is now continued, dropping, however, the instrumental ἐν , which is not to be supplied, and running on merely with the instrumental dative through frequent journeys, through dangers from rivers , etc. The expression ὁδοιπορ . πολλάκις is not to be taken as saying too little, for Paul was not constantly engaged in journeys (comp. his somewhat lengthy sojourns at Ephesus and at Corinth); wherefore he had the less occasion here to put another expression in place of the πολλάκις which belonged, as it were, to the symmetry of the context (2 Corinthians 11:23 ; 2 Corinthians 11:27 ). Hofmann wrongly joins πολλάκις with κινδύνοις , and takes πολλάκ . κινδύνοις as in apposition to ὁδοιπορίαις : “ journeys, which were often dangers .” As if Paul were under the necessity of expressing (if he wished to express at all) the quite simple thought: ὁδοιπορίαις πολλάκις ἐπικινδύνοις (journeys which were often dangerous), in a way so singularly enigmatical as that which Hofmann imputes to him. Besides, if the following elements are meant to specify the dangers of travel , the two points ἐκ γένους and ἐξ ἐθνῶν at least are not at all specific perils incident to travel . And how much, in consequence of this erroneous connection of ὁδοιπορ . πολλάκ . κινδυν ., does Hofmann mar the further flow of the passage, which he subdivides as ποταμῶν κινδύνοις , ληστῶν κινδύνοις , ἐκ γένους κινδύνοις κ . τ . λ . down to ἐν θαλάσσκινδύνοις , but thereafter punctuates: ἐν ψευδαδέλφοις κόπῳ κ . μόχθῳ ἐν ἀγρυπνίαις , πολλάκις ἐν λιμῷ κ . δίψει , ἐν νηστείαις πολλάκις ἐν ψυχ . κ . γυμν . [338] In this way is lost the whole beautiful and swelling symmetry of this outburst, and particularly the essential feature of the weighty anaphora, in which the emphatic word (and that is in 2 Corinthians 11:26 ΚΙΝΔΎΝΟΙς ) is placed first (comp. e.g. Hom. Il. x. 228 ff., i. 436 ff., ii. 382 ff., v. 740 f.; Arrian, Diss. i. 25; Quinctil ix. 3. Comp. also 2 Corinthians 11:20 ; 2 Corinthians 7:2 ; Philippians 3:2 ; Philippians 4:8 , al. ).

κινδ . ποταμῶν κ . τ . λ .] The genitive denotes the dangers arising from rivers (in crossing, swimming through them, in inundations, and the like) and from robbers. Comp. Heliod. ii. 4 65: κινδύνοι θαλασσῶν , Plat. Pol. i. p. 332 E; Euthyd. p. 279; Sir 43:24 .

The κινδύνοις each time prefixed has a strong oratorical emphasis. Auct. ad Herenn. iv. 28. There lies in it a certain tone of triump.

ἘΚ ΓΈΝΟΥς ] on the part of race, i.e. on the part of the Jews , Acts 7:19 ; Galatians 1:14 . The opposite: ἐξ ἐθνῶν .

ἐν πόλει , in city , as in Damascus, Jerusalem, Ephesus, and others; the opposite is ἐν ἐρημίᾳ , in desert . On the form of expression, comp. ἐν οἴκῳ , ἐν ἀγρῷ , ἐν μεγάρῳ , and the like. Xen. de rep. Lac. viii. 3 : ἐν πόλει καὶ ἐν στρατιᾷ καὶ ἐν οἴκῳ .

ἐν ψευδαδέλφοις ] among false brethren , i.e. among Judaistic pseudo-Christians , Galatians 2:4 , οἱ ὑπεκρίνοντο τὴν ἀδελφότητα , Chrysostom. Why should not these, with their hostile and often vehement opposition to the Pauline Christianity (comp. Philippians 3:2 ), have actually prepared dangers for him? Rückert, without reason, finds this inconceivable, and believes that Paul here means an occasion on which non-Christians , under cover of the Christian name, had sought to entice the apostle into some danger (? κινδύνοις ). 2 Corinthians 11:27 . ΚΌΠῼ Κ . ΜΌΧΘῼ ] by trouble and toil ; comp. 1Th 2:9 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:8 . [339] Then with ἘΝ ἈΓΡΥΠΝ . there again appears the instrumental ἘΝ . On ἘΝ ΛΙΜῷ Κ . Τ . Λ . , comp. Deuteronomy 28:48 .

ἘΝ ΝΗΣΤΕΊΑΙς ΠΟΛΛΆΚΙς ] by frequent fastings . Here precisely, where ἐν λιμῷ κ . δίψει , and so involuntary fasting, precedes, the reference of νηστ . to voluntary fasting is perfectly clear (in opposition to Rückert, de Wette, Ewald). Comp. on 2 Corinthians 6:5 . Estius aptly observes: “jejunia ad purificandam mentem et edomandam carnem sponte assumta.” Comp. Theodoret and Pelagius.

[338] So that πολλάκ . ἐν λιμῷ κ . δίψει would belong to ἀγρυπνίαις , and πολλάκ . ἐν ψύχει κ . γυμνότητι , to νηστείαις , each as a circumstance of aggravation; while both ἐν ἀγρυπνίαις and ἐν νηστείαις belong to κόπῳ κ . μόχθῳ .

[339] From these passages, combined with Acts 20:31 , we may at the same time explain the ἀγρυπνίαι , which Hofm. interprets of night-watchings in anxiety about the pseudo-Christians . This results from his error in thinking that all the points in ver. 27 are to be referred to ἐν ψευδαδέλφ .

Verse 28

2 Corinthians 11:28 . Apart from that which occurs beside (beside what had been mentioned hitherto), for me the daily attention is the care for all the churches . [340] He will not adduce more particulars than he has brought forward down to ΓΥΜΝΌΤΗΤΙ , but will simply mention further a general fact, that he has daily to bear anxiety for all the churches. On ΧΩΡΊς with the genitive: apart from , see Stallbaum, ad Plat. Apol. S. p. 35 C. The emphasis is on πασῶν . Theodoret: ΠΆΣΗς ΓᾺΡ Τῆς ΟἸΚΟΥΜΈΝΗς ἘΝ ἘΜΑΥΤῷ ΠΕΡΙΦΈΡΩ ΤῊΝ ΜΈΡΙΜΝΑΝ . Nevertheless, this ΠΑΣῶΝ is not, with Bellarmine and other Roman Catholic writers, as well as Ewald et al. , to be limited merely to Pauline churches, nor is it to be pressed in its full generality, but rather to be taken as a popular expression for his unmeasured task. He has to care for all . Chrysostom, Theophylact, and others attach χωρ . τ . παρ to what precedes, and separate it from what follows by a full stop; but this only makes the latter unnecessarily abrupt. Luther, Castalio, Bengel, and many others, including Flatt, Billroth (but uncertainly), and Olshausen, consider ἘΠΊΣΤΑΣΙς Κ . Τ . Λ . (or, according to their reading: ἘΠΙΣΎΣΤΑΣΙς Κ . Τ . Λ . ) as an abnormal apposition to ΤῶΝ ΠΑΡΕΚΤΌς : not to mention what still occurs besides, namely, etc. This is unnecessarily harsh, and ΧΩΡῚς ΤῶΝ ΠΑΡΕΚΤΌς would withal only be an empty formul.

ΤᾺ ΠΑΡΕΚΤΌς is: quae praeterea eveniunt, [341] not, as Beza and Bengel, following the Vulgate, hold: “quae extrinsecus eum adoriebantur” (Beza), so that either what follows is held to be in apposition (Bengel: previously he has described the proprios labores , now he names the alienos secum communicatos ), or τῶν παρεκτός is referred to what precedes, and what follows now expresses the inward cares and toils (Beza, comp. Erasmus). Linguistic usage is against this, for παρεκτός never means extrinsecus , but always beside , in the sense of exception . See Matthew 5:32 ; Acts 26:29 ; Aq. Deuteronomy 1:36 ; Test. XII. Patr. p. 631; Geopon. xiii. 15. 7; Etym. M. p. 652, 18. This also in opposition to Ewald: “without the unusual things,” with which what is daily is then put in contrast (comp. Calvin). Hofmann, following the reading ἡ ἐπισύστασίς μου , would, instead of ΤῶΝ ΠΑΡΕΚΤΌς , write ΤῶΝ ΠΑΡʼ ἘΚΤΌς , which is, in his view, masculine , and denotes those coming on to the apostle from without (the Christian body), whose attacks on his doctrine he must continually withstand. With this burden he associates the care of all the many churches , which lie continually on his soul. These two points are introduced by χωρίς , which is the adverbial besides . This new interpretation (even apart from the reading ἐπισύστασις , which is to be rejected on critical grounds) cannot be accepted, (1) because ΟἹ ΠΑΡʼ ἘΚΤΌς , for which Paul would have written ΟἹ ἜΞΩ (1 Corinthians 5:12 ; Colossians 4:5 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:12 ) or ΟἹ ἜΞΩΘΕΝ (1 Timothy 3:7 ), is an expression without demonstrable precedent, since even Greek writers, while doubtless using ΟἹ ἘΚΤΌς , extranei (Polyb. ii. 47. 10, v. 37. 6; comp. Ecclus. Praef. I.), do not use οἱ παρʼ ἐκτός ; (2) because the two parts of the verse, notwithstanding their quite different contents, stand abruptly (without ΚΑΊ , or ΜῈΝ ΔΈ , or other link of connection) side by side, so that we have not even ΔῈ ΜΈΡΙΜΝΆ ΜΟΥ (overagainst the ἘΠΙΣΎΣΤΑΣΊς ΜΟΥ ) instead of the bare ΜΈΡΙΜΝΑ ; and (3) because the adverbial ΧΩΡΊς m the sense assumed is foreign to the N. T., and even in the classical passages in question (see from Thucydides, Krüger on i. 61. 3) it does not mean praeterea generally, but more strictly scorsim, separatim, specially and taken by itself . [342] See Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 974. But the two very general categories, which it is to introduce, would not suit this sens.

ἐπίστασις ] may mean either: the daily halting (comp. Xen. Anab . ii. 4. 26; Polyb. xiv. 8. 10; Soph. Ant 225: πολλὰς γὰρ ἔσχον φροντίδων ἐπιστάσεις , multas moras deliberationibus effectas ), or: the daily attention . [343] See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 527; Schweigh. Lex. Polyb. p. 265. This signification is most accordant with the context on account of the following ἡ μέριμνα κ . τ . λ . Rückert, without any sanction of linguistic usage, makes it: the throng towards me, the concourse resorting to me on official business. [344] So also Osiander and most older and more recent expositors explain the Recepta ἐπισύστασίς μου or ἐπισύστ . μοι . But likewise at variance with usage, since ἐπισύστασις is always (even in Numbers 26:9 ) used in the hostile sense: hostilis concursio, tumultus , as it has also been taken here by Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Beza, [345] Bengel, and others. See Acts 24:12 , and the passages in Wetstein and Loesner, p. 230.

The μοί , which, in the interpretation of ἘΠΙΣΤ . as concourse , would have to be taken as appropriating dative (Bernhardy, p. 89), is, according to our view of ἐπίστ ., to be conceived as dependent on the ἘΣΤΙ to be supplied.

[340] Accordingly the comma after ἡμέραν is to be deleted. If μέριμνα κ . τ . λ . be (as is the usual view) taken as a clause by itself, the ἐστί to be supplied is not a copula, but: exists . But according to the right reading and interpretation, ἡ ἐπιστ . μοι , as an independent point, would thus be too general.

[341] The Armenian version gives instead of παρεκτός ; ἄλλων θλίψεων . A correct interpretation. Chrysostom exaggerates: πλείονα τὰ παραλειφθέντα τῶν ἀπαριθμηθέντων .

[342] So, too, in the passage, Thuc. ii. 31. 2, adduced in Passow’s Lexicon by Rost and by Hofmann, where χωρίς further introduces a separate army contingent, which is counted by itself .

[343] Gregory of Nazianzus has ἐπιστασία , which is to be regarded as a good gloss. See Lobeck, l.c. ; Kühner, ad Xen. Mem . i. 5. 2, var.

[344] ἐπίστασις does not once mean the pressing on (active), the crowding . In 2Ma 6:3 (in opposition to Grimm in loc. ), ἡ ἐπίστασις τῆς κακίας is the setting in , the coming on, i.e. the beginning of misfortune (Polyb. i. 12. 6, ii. 40. 5, al. ). In Dion. Halicarn. vi. 31, the reading is to be changed into ἐπίθεσιν . In Polyb. i. 26. 12, it means the position . Nevertheless, Buttm. neut. Gr . p. 156 [E. T. 180], agrees with Rückert.

[345] Chrys.: οἱ θόρυβοι , αἱ ταραχαί , αἱ πολιορκίαι τῶν δήμων καὶ τῶν πόλεων ἔφοδοι . Beza renders the whole verse: “Absque iis, quae extrinsecus eveniunt, urget agmen illud in me quotidie consurgens, i.e. solicitudo de omnibus ecclesiis.” Comp. Ewald: “the daily onset of a thousand troubles and difficulties on him .” Bengel: “obturbatio illorum, qui doctrinae vitaeve perversitate Paulo molestiam exhibebant, v. gr. Galatians 6:17 .”

Verse 29

2 Corinthians 11:29 . Two characteristic traits for illustrating the μέριμνα πασῶν τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν . Chrysostom aptly says: ἐπήγαγε καὶ τὴν ἐπίτασιν τῆς φροντίδος , and that for the individual members (Acts 20:31 ).

As ἀσθενεῖ with σκανδαλίζεται , so also ἀσθενῶ with πυροῦμαι forms a climax and in a way highly appropriate to the subject! For in point of fact he could not in the second clause say: καὶ οὐ σκανδαλίζομαι .

The meaning of the verse is to express the most cordial and most lively sympathy (comp. 1 Corinthians 12:26 ) of his care amidst the dangers, to which the Christian character and life of the brethren are exposed: “ Who is weak as regards his faith, conscience, or his Christian morality, and I am not weak , do not feel myself, by means of the sympathy of my care, transplanted into the same position? Who is offended , led astray to unbelief and sin, and I do not burn , do not feel myself seized by burning pain of soul?” Semler and Billroth, also de Wette (comp. Luther’s gloss), mix up what is foreign to the passage, when they make ἀσθενῶ apply to the condescension of the apostle, who would give no offence to the weak, 1 Corinthians 9:22 . And Emmerling (followed by Olshausen) quite erroneously takes it: “ quem afflictum dicas, si me non dicas? quem calamitatem oppetere, si me non iis premi, quin uri memores? ” In that case it must have run καὶ οὐκ ἐγὼ ἀσθενῶ ; besides, σκανδαλίζεσθαι never means calamitatibus affici , but constantly denotes religious or moral offence; and lastly, σκανδαλίζεται and πυροῦμαι would yield a quite inappropriate climax (Paul must have repeated σκανδαλίζομαι ).

ἀσθενεῖ ] comp. Romans 4:19 ; Romans 14:1-2 ; Romans 14:21 ; 1Co 8:9 ; 1 Corinthians 8:11 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:14 ; Acts 20:35 . The correspondence of σκανδαλίζεται in the climax forbids us to understand it of suffering (Chrysostom, Beza, Flatt).

πυροῦμαι ] What emotion is denoted by verbs of burning, is decided on each occasion by the context (comp. 1 Corinthians 7:9 ; see in general on Luke 24:32 ), which here presents a climax to ἀσθενῶ , therefore suggests far more naturally the idea of violent pain (comp. Chrys.: καθʼ ἕκαστον ὠδυνᾶτο μέλος ) than that of anger (Luther: “it galled him hard;” comp. Bengel, Rückert). Augustine says aptly: “quanto major caritas, tanto majores plagae de peccatis alienis .” Comp. on the expression, the Latin ardere doloribus, faces doloris , and the like (Kühner, ad Cic. Tusc. ii. 25. 61); also Malachi 4:2; Malachi 4:2 , and Abresch, ad Aesch. Sept. 519.

Lastly, we have to note the change in the form of the antitheses , which emerges with the increasing vividness of feeling in the two halves of the verse: οὐκ ἀσθενῶ and οὐκ ἐγὼ πυροῦμαι . In the former case the negation attaches itself to the verb, in the latter to the person. Who is weak without weakness likewise occurring in me? who is offended without its being I , who is burning? Of the offence which another takes, I on my part have the pain .

Verse 30

2 Corinthians 11:30 . Result of the previous passage from 2 Corinthians 11:23 onward [346] in proof of that ὑπὲρ ἐγώ in 2 Corinthians 11:23 put, however, asyndetically (without οὖν ), as is often the case with the result after a lengthened chain of thoughts (Dissen, ad Pind. Exc. II. de asynd . p. 278); an asyndeton summing up (Nägelsbach on the Iliad , p. 284, Exodus 3:0 ). If I must boast (as is the given case in confronting my enemies), I will boast in that which concerns my weakness (my sufferings, conflicts, and endurances, which exhibit my weakness ), and thus practise quite another καυχᾶσθαι [347] than that of my opponents, who boast in their power and strength. In this ΤᾺ Τ . ἈΣΘ . Μ . ΚΑΥΧ . there lies a holy oxymoron. To refer it to the ἈΣΘΕΝΕῖΝ in 2 Corinthians 11:29 either alone (Rückert) or inclusively (de Wette), is inadmissible, partly because that ἀσθενεῖν was a partaking in the weakness of others , partly because the future is to be referred to what is meant only to follow . And it does actually follow; hence we must not, with Wieseler ( on Gal. p. 596), generalize the future into the expression of a maxim , whereby a reference to the past is facilitated. So also in the main Hofman.

καυχᾶσθαι , with accusative , as 2 Corinthians 9:2 .

[346] Everything in this outburst, from ver. 23 onward, presented him, in fact, as the servant of Christ attested by much suffering . Thus, if he must make boast , he wishes to boast in nothing else than his weakness . And this καυχᾶσθαι is then, after an assurance of his truthfulness (ver. 31), actually begun by him (ver. 32) in concrete historical form.

[347] Chrys. exclaims: Οὖτος ἀποστολικὸς χαρακτήρ , διὰ τούτων ὑφαίνεται εὐαγγέλιον .

Verse 31

2 Corinthians 11:31 . He is now about to illustrate (see 2 Corinthians 11:32-33 ) the just announced τὰ τῆς ἀσθενείας μου καυχήσομαι by an historical enumeration of his sufferings from the beginning, but he first prefaces this detailed illustration (“rem quasi difficilem dicturus,” Pelagius) by the assurance, in God’s name, that he narrates nothing false . The objections taken against referring this assurance to what follows (see Estius and Rückert) that the incident adduced in 2 Corinthians 11:32 stands, as regards importance, out of all proportion to so solemn an assurance, and the like lose their weight, when we reflect that Paul has afterwards again broken off (see 2 Corinthians 12:1 ) the narrative begun in 2 Corinthians 11:32-33 , and therefore, when writing his assurance, referred it not merely to this single incident, but also to all which he had it in his mind still to subjoin (which, however, was left undone owing to the interruption). Others refer the oath to what precedes , and that either to everything said from 2 Corinthians 11:23 onward (Estius, Calovius, Flatt, Olshausen), or to 2 Corinthians 11:30 alone (Morus, Rückert, Hofmann; Billroth gives a choice between the two). But in the former case logically we could not but have expected 2 Corinthians 11:31 after 2 Corinthians 11:29 , and in the latter case the assurance would appear as quite irrelevant, since Paul at once begins actually to give the details of his τὰ τῆς ἀσθεν . μου καυχήσομαι (2 Corinthians 11:31 f.).

θεὸς κ . πατὴρ τ . κυρ . ἡμ . Ἰ . Χ .] Union of the general and of the specifically Christian idea of God. Ἡμῶν γὰρ θεὸς τοῦ δὲ κυρίου πατήρ , Theodoret. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 15:24 and Ephesians 1:3 .

ὢν εὐλογητὸς κ . τ . λ .] appended by the apostle’s pious feeling, in order to strengthen the sacredness of the assurance. “Absit ut abutar ejus testimonio, cui omnis laus et honor debetur in omnem aeternitatem,” Calovius.

Verses 32-33

2 Corinthians 11:32-33 . Paul now actually begins his καυχᾶσθαι τὰ τῆς ἀσθενείας αὐτοῦ , and that by relating the peril and flight which took place at the very commencement of his work. Unfortunately, however (for how historically important for us would have been a further continuation of this tale of suffering!), yet upon the emergence of a proper feeling that the continuation of this glorying in suffering would not be in keeping with his apostolic position, he renounces the project, breaks off again at once after this first incident (2 Corinthians 12:1 ), and passes on to something far higher and more peculiar to the revelations made to him. The expositors, overlooking this breaking off (noted also by Hilgenfeld), have suggested many arbitrary explanations as to why Paul narrates this incident in particular (he had, in fact, been in much worse perils!), [348] and that with so solemn asseveration and at such length. Billroth, e.g. (comp. Flatt), says that he wished to direct attention to the first danger pre-eminently by way of evidence that everything said from 2 Corinthians 11:23 onward was true (2 Corinthians 11:31 ). In that case he would doubtless have written something like ἤδη γὰρ ἐν Δαμασκῷ , or in such other way as to be so understood . Olshausen contents himself with the remark that Paul has only made a supplementary mention of the event as the first persecution; and Rückert even conjectures that it was by pure accident that Paul noted by way of supplement and treated in detail this story occurring to his recollection! Osiander thinks that he singled it out thus on account of its connection (?) in subject-matter and time with the following revelation, and, as it were, by way of further consecration of his official career. Comp. also Wieseler on Gal. p. 595, who likewise considers the narrative as simply a suitable historical introduction to the revelation that follows. But we do not see the purpose served by this detailed introduction, which, withal, as such, would have no independent object whatever, nor yet, again, the purpose served by the interruption in 2 Corinthians 12:1 . According to Hofmann, the mention of this means of rescue, of which he had made use, and which many a one with merely natural courage would on the score of honour not have consented to employ, is intended to imply a confession of his weakness . The idea of weakness, however, is not at all here the opposite of the natural courage of honour, but rather that of the passive undergoing of all the παθήματα of Christ, the long chain of which, in Paul’s case, had its first link historically in that flight from Damascus. Calvin correctly names this flight the “tirocinium Pauli.”

ἘΝ ΔΑΜΑΣΚῷ ] stands as an anacoluthon. When Paul wrote it, having already in view a further specification of place for an incident to follow, he had purposed to write, instead of the unsuitable ΤῊΝ ΔΑΜΑΣΚΗΝῶΝ ΠΌΛΙΝ , something else (such as ΤᾺς ΠΎΛΑς ), but then left out of account the ἘΝ ΔΑΜΑΣΚῷ already written. It is a strange fancy to which Hofmann has recourse, that Τ . ΔΑΜΑΣΚ . ΠΌΛΙΝ is meant to be a narrower conception than ἘΝ ΔΑΜΑΣΚῷ .

ἘΘΝΆΡΧΗς ] prefect (Josephus, Antt. xiv. 7. 2; 1Ma 14:47 ; 1Ma 15:1 ; Strabo, xvii. p. 798; Lucian, Macrob. 17), an appellation of Oriental provincial governors. See in general, Joh. Gottlob Heyne, de ethnarcha Aretae , Witeb. 1755, p. 3 ff. The incident itself described is identical with that narrated in Acts 9:24 f. No doubt in Acts the watching of the gates is ascribed to the Jews , and here, to the ethnarch ; but the reconciliation of the two narratives is itself very naturally effected through the assumption that the ethnarch caused the gates to be watched by the Jews themselves at their suggestion (comp. Heyne, l.c. p. 39). “Jewish gold had perhaps also some effect with the Emir,” Michaeli.

τὴν Δαμασκ . πόλιν ] namely, by occupying the gates so that Paul might not get out. Regarding the temporary dominion over Damascus held at that time by Aretas, the Arabian king, and father-in-law of Herod Antipas, see on Acts, Introd. § 4, and observe that Paul would have had no reason for adding ἈΡΈΤΑ ΤΟῦ ΒΑΣΙΛΈΩς , if at the very time of the flight the Roman city had not been exceptionally (and temporarily) subject to Aretas a state of foreign rule for the time being, which was to be brought under the notice of the reader. Hofmann thinks that the chief of the Arabian inhabitants in the Roman city was meant; but with the less ground, since Paul was a Jew and had come from Jerusalem , and consequently would not have belonged at all to the jurisdiction of such a tribal chief (if there had been one). He went to Arabia (Galatians 1:17 ) only in consequence of this inciden.

διὰ θυρίδος ] by means of a little door (Plato, Pol. ii. p. 359 D; Lucian, Asin. 45). It was doubtless an opening high up in the city wall, closed, perhaps, with a lid or lattic.

ἐν σαργάνῃ ] in a wickerwork , i.e. basket (Lucian, Lexiph . 6). Comp. Acts 9:25 : ἐν σπυρίδι .

On the description itself Theodoret rightly remarks: ΤῸ ΤΟῦ ΚΙΝΔΎΝΟΥ ΜΈΓΕΘΟς Τῷ ΤΡΌΠῼ Τῆς ΦΥΓῆς ΠΑΡΕΔΉΛΩΣΕ .

[348] Arbitrary explanations are already given by Chrysostom (comp. Bengel, Ewald, and others): because the incident was older and less known ; and by Pelagius: because in Damascus the Jews had stirred up etiam principes gentium against Paul.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 11". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. 1832.