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the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 7

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New TestamentMeyer's Commentary

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2 Corinthians 7:3 . For the order πρὸς κατάκρ . οὐ λέγω (Lachm.) even the testimony of B C א is not sufficient as against all the vss. and most of the Fathers. 2 Corinthians 7:8 . Instead of the second εἰ καί , B has εἰ δὲ καί , and the γάρ after βλέπω is omitted by B D* Clar. Germ. (put in brackets by Lachm.); the Vulgate has read βλέπων (without γάρ ), and Rückert wishes to restore the text accordingly: εἰ δὲ καὶ μετεμελόμην βλέπων ὅτι … ὑμᾶς , νῦν χαίρω . But the Recepta has far preponderant attestation, and the variations are easily explained from it. It was rightly seen that with εἰ καὶ μετεμ . there starts a new portion of the discourse (whence in B δέ was inserted as an adversative conjunction), and either the apodosis was already begun at βλέπω , whence followed the omission of γάρ , or it was rightly perceived that the apodosis only began with νῦν χαίρω , and so βλέπων was substituted as a gloss for βλέπω γάρ . 2 Corinthians 7:10 . Instead of the first κατεργάζεται , Lachm. Rück. Tisch. have only ἐργάζεται , following B C D E א * 37, Justin. Clem. Or. (thrice), Chrys. Dam. Rightly; the compound has crept in on account of the one following (comp. also 2 Corinthians 7:11 ); it is (in opposition to Fritzsche, de conform. Lachm. p. 48) too rash to conclude from 2 Corinthians 7:11 that Paul wrote κατεργ ., for there, after the previous κατεργ ., the compound might present itself, naturally and unsought, to the apostle, even if he had used the simple form in the first half of 2 Corinthians 7:10 . 2 Corinthians 7:11 . ὑμᾶς ] is to be deleted as a supplementary insertion, with Lachm. and Rück., following B C F G א * 17, Boern. Ambrosiast. Au.

ἐν τῷ πράγματι ] The ἐν is wanting in witnesses of importance; bracketed by Lachm. and Rück.; deleted by Tisch. An explanatory addition to the dative. 2 Corinthians 7:12 . οὐδέ ] B א ** 37, 73 have ἀλλʼ οὐδέ , an error of the copyis.

τὴν σπουδὴν ἡμῶν τὴν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ] B C D** E K L and many min., also Syr. Arr. Copt. Aeth. Germ. Damasc. Oec. have τὴν σπ . ὑμῶν [253] Τ . ὙΠῈΡ ἩΜῶΝ . Recommended by Griesb., adopted by Matth. Lachm. and Tisch. Rejected on account of the sense by Rück. and Hofm. But it is precisely the apparent impropriety in the sense of this reading which has given rise to the Recepta , just as πρὸς ὑμᾶς seemed also unsuitable, and is therefore wanting in Syr. Erp. Arm. Aeth. Vulg. Ambrosiast. Pel. Lachmann’s reading appears, therefore, to be the correct one; it is defended also by Reiche, Comm. crit. I. p. 367. 2 Corinthians 7:13 . ΠΑΡΑΚΕΚΛΉΜΕΘΑ ἘΠῚ Τῇ ΠΑΡΑΚΛΉΣΕΙ ὙΜῶΝ · ΠΕΡΙΣΣΟΤΈΡΩς ΔῈ ΜᾶΛΛΟΝ ] Lachm. Tisch. and Rück. read: ΠΑΡΑΚΕΚΛΉΜΕΘΑ · ἘΠῚ ΔῈ Τῇ ΠΑΡΑΚΛΉΣΕΙ ἩΜῶΝ ΠΕΡΙΣΣ . ΜᾶΛΛΟΝ , according to considerably preponderating attestation. Rightly; the ἘΠΊ , twice taken in the same sense, caused ἘΠῚ Τῇ ΠΑΡΑΚΛ . ἩΜῶΝ to be attached to ΠΑΡΑΚΕΚΛΉΜΕΘΑ , and hence the position of ΔΈ to be changed; and now the sense further demanded the change of ἩΜῶΝ into ὙΜῶΝ . The Recepta is defended by Reiche. 2 Corinthians 7:14 . ἠ καύχησις ἡμῶν ἡ ἐπὶ Τ .] ὑμῶν for ἡμῶν (Lachm.) is supported only by B F, with some vss. and Theoph. A mechanical repetition of ὑμῶν from what precedes. 2 Corinthians 7:16 . The οὖν (Elz.) after χαίρω deleted, as a connective addition, by Griesb. and the later editors on decisive evidence.

[253] So also א , which, however, has ὑμῶν again instead of ἡμῶν , obviously through a copyist’s error, which is also found in D* F.

Verse 1

2 Corinthians 6:11 to 2 Corinthians 7:1 . After the episode in 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 , [248] Paul turns with a conciliatory transition (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 ) to a special, and for the Corinthians necessary, form of the exhortation expressed in 2 Corinthians 6:1 (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ). This is followed up in 2 Corinthians 7:1 by a general appeal, which embraces the whole moral duty of the Christian.

[248] The supposition that there is an abnormal, and in this respect certainly unexampled construction, under which ver. 11 should be taken as concluding the main clause along with “the preceding long-winded participial clause” (Hofmann), ought to have been precluded by the very consideration that that “long-winded” accumulation of participles, in which, however, Paul paints his whole life active and passive with so much enthusiasm, and, as it were, triumphant heroism, would stand utterly disproportioned to that which he says in ver. 11, and which is only a brief, gentle, kindly remark. What a magnificent preparation for such a little quiet sentence without substantial contents! The examples cited by Hofmann from Greek writers and the N. T. (Acts 20:3 ; Mark 9:20 ) are too weak analogies. See regarding similar real anacolutha, Winer, p. 527 f. [E. T. 709 f.]. Comp. on Mark 9:20 .

Verse 2

2 Corinthians 7:2 . Having finished his exhortation, 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 2 Corinthians 7:1 , he now repeats the same request with which in 2 Corinthians 6:13 he had introduced that exhortation ( πλατύνθητε ὑμεῖς ), using the corresponding expression χωρήσατε ἡμᾶς : take us, i.e. receive us, give us room in your heart (comp. Mark 2:2 ; John 2:6 ; John 21:25 ; 4Ma 7:6 ; Herod. iv. 61; Thuc. ii. 17. 3; Eurip. Hipp. 941), and then adds at once (without the medium of a γάρ ) in lively emotion the reason why they had no cause whatever to refuse him this request ( στενοχωρεῖσθαι ἐν τοῖς σπλάγχνοις , comp. 2 Corinthians 6:12 ). Chrysostom rightly as to substance explains the figurative χωρήσατε by φιλήσατε and Theophylact: δέξασθε ἡμᾶς πλατέως , καὶ μὴ στενοχωρώμεθα ἐν ὑμῖν . Comp. Theodoret. So also most of the later commentators, though the meaning was often limited in an arbitrary way (comp. Rosenmüller, Stolz, Flatt, and Pelagius), e.g.: give ear to us , and the like. Others take it: understand us rightly (Bengel, Storr, Bretschneider, Rückert, de Wette). Unobjectionable from a linguistic point of view (see Wetstein, ad Matthew 19:11 ); but in the exhortation of 2 Corinthians 7:1 there was nothing to be misunderstood, just as little as for the readers in the disclosure that follows (to which de Wette refers it); and if Paul, as Rückert thinks, had had it in his mind that the measures of his first Epistle had been judged unfavourably, he could not have expected any reader to gather this from the simple χωρήσατε ἡμᾶς , especially as in what follows the idea of the effects of the first Epistle is quite kept at a distance by οὐδένα ἐπλεονεκτήσαμεν . [255]

οὐδένα ἠδικήσαμεν κ . τ . λ .] This is no doubt aimed at hostile calumniations of the apostle and his companions. Some one must have said: They act wrongly towards the people! they ruin them, they enrich themselves from them! It is impossible to prove that ἐφθείραμεν applies exactly to the corruptela quae fit per falsam doctrinam (Calvin and most, following the Fathers; just as Hofmann also refers it to the inward injuring of the persons themselves, 1 Corinthians 3:17 ); the way in which the word is associated with ἠδικήσ . and ἐπλεονεκτ . is rather in favour of a reference to the outward position . In how many ways not known to us more precisely may the apostle and his fellow-labourers have been accused of such a ruining of others! How easily might such slanders be based on the strictness of his moral requirements, his sternness in punishing, his zeal for collections, his lodging with members of the church, the readiness to make sacrifices which he demanded, and the like! Probably his prosecution and administration of the collections would be especially blackened by this reproach of πλεονεκτεῖν . Comp. 2 Corinthians 12:17-18 . Rückert refers all three words to the contents of the former Epistle: “ with what I wrote you, I have done no one wrong ,” etc.; so that ἠδικ . would refer to the severe punishment of the incestuous person, ἐφθείρ . to his delivery over to Satan, and ἐπλεονεκτ . to the control which Paul by this discipline seemed desirous to exercise over the transgressor and over the church. But if his readers were to know of this reference to his former Epistle , he must have expressed it (the reader could not guess it). Besides, the word ἐπλεονεκτ . is against this view, for in the N. T. it denotes overreaching for one’s own benefit as an act of covetousness properly so called , provided the context (as in 2 Corinthians 2:11 , by ὑπὸ τοῦ Σατανᾶ ) does not furnish a more general reference. And, moreover, those acts of discipline, to which Paul is supposed to refer, were acts so completely personal on the part of the apostle, that the plural expression in our passage would be quite unsuitabl.

οὐδένα ] in the consciousness of innocence is with great emphasis prefixed three times; but we cannot, with Rückert, infer from this that the incestuous person is concealed under it. Comp. πάντες and πάντα , and 1 Corinthians 12:29 ; 1 Corinthians 13:7 ; Buttm. neut. Gram. p. 341 [E. T. 398].

[255] This also in opposition to de Wette’s way of completing the thought: “Impute no evil designs to me in writing the first Epistle. For such imputation I have given you no occasion in my apostolic conduct. I have wronged no one,” etc.

Verses 2-16

2 Corinthians 7:2-16 . Regarding the impression made by the former Epistle and its result. A conciliatory outpouring of love and confidence serves as introduction, 2 Corinthians 7:2-4 . Then an account how Paul received through Titus the comforting and cheering news of the impression made by his Epistle, 2 Corinthians 7:5-7 . True, he had saddened the readers by his Epistle, but he regrets it no longer, but rejoices now on account of the nature and effect of this saddening, 2 Corinthians 7:8-12 . Therefore he is calmed, and his joy is still more heightened by the joy of Titus, who has returned so much cheered that Paul saw all his boasts to Titus regarding them justified. He is glad to be of good courage in everything through them, 2 Corinthians 7:13-16 .

Verse 3

2 Corinthians 7:3 . Not for the sake of condemning do I say it , namely, what was said in 2 Corinthians 7:2 . I do not wish thereby to express any condemnatory judgment, as if, although we have done wrong to no one, etc., you failed in that love to which χωρήσατε ἡμᾶς lays claim. Κατάκρισιν was taken of the reproach of covetousness (so Theodoret, and comp. Emmerling and Neander), but this is an arbitrary importation into the word. According to Rückert, πρὸς κατάκρισιν is not to be supplemented by ὑμῶν , but Paul wishes here to remove the unpleasant impression of 2 Corinthians 7:2 , in which he confirms the severity of his former Epistle, so that there is to be regarded as object of κατάκρισις primarily the incestuous person, and secondarily the whole church, in so far as it has acted towards this man with unchristian leniency. This explanation falls to the ground with Rückert’s view of 2 Corinthians 7:2 ; the ἐστέ that follows puts it beyond doubt that ὑμῶν is really to be supplied with πρὸς κατακρ . for its explanation. According to de Wette, οὐ π . κατάκρ . λ . applies in form, no doubt, to 2 Corinthians 7:2 , but in substance more to the censure, of which the expostulatory tone of 2 Corinthians 7:2 had created an expectation; in other words, it applies to something not really said , which is arbitrary, since what was said was fitted sufficiently to appear as κατάκρισις .

προείρηκα γάρ ] for I have said before (2 Corinthians 6:11 f.), antea dixi , as 3Ma 6:35 , 2Ma 14:8 , and often in classical writers. Comp. Ephesians 3:3 . This contains the proof that he οὐ πρὸς κατάκρισιν λέγει ; for, if he spoke now unto condemnation , he would contradict his former word.

ὅτι ἐν ταῖς καρδ . κ . τ . λ .] Comp. Philippians 1:7 . In 2 Corinthians 6:11 f. he has expressed not these words , but their sense . By his adding the definition of degree, εἰς τὸ συναποθ . κ . τ . λ ., Paul becomes his own interprete.

εἰς τὸ συναποθανεῖν καὶ συζῇν ] is usually taken (see still Rückert, de Wette, Ewald, also Osiander, who, however, mixes up much that is heterogeneous) as: so that I would die and live with you , and this as “vehementissimum amoris indicium, nolle nec in vita nee in morte ab eo quem ames separari,” Estius, on which Grotius finely remarks: “egregius χαρακτὴρ boni pastoris, John 10:12 .” Comparison is made with the Horatian tecum vivere amem, tecum obeam lubens (Od. iii. 9. 24), and similar passages in Wetstein. But against this may be urged not only the position of the two words, of which the συναποθανεῖν must logically have been put last, but also the perfectly plain construction, according to which the subject of ἐστε must also be the subject of συναπ and συζῇν .: you are in our hearts in order to die and to live with ( us ), [256] i.e. in order not to depart from our hearts (from our love) in death, if it is appointed to us to die, and in life, if it is appointed to us to remain in life. For he, whom we love, dies and lives with us, when regarded, namely, from the idea of our heartfelt love to him, and from our sympathetic point of view feeling this consciousness of love which has him always present to our heart a consciousness according to which we, dying and living, know him in our hearts as sharing death and life with us. And how natural that Paul, beset with continual deadly perils (2 Corinthians 6:9 ), should have put the συναποθανεῖν first! in which case συζῇν is to be referred to eternal life just as little as ζῶμεν in 2 Corinthians 6:9 (Ambrosiaster, comp. Osiander). Hence the thought can as little surprise us, and as little appear “tolerably meaningless” (de Wette), as the conception of alter ego . Hofmann, too, with his objection (“since they, nevertheless, in fact do not die with him,” etc.) mistakes the psychological delicacy and thoughtfulness of the expression; and wishes to interpret it which no reader could have hit on (expressly as προείρ . does not point back further than to 2 Corinthians 6:11 ) from 2 Corinthians 6:9 and 2 Corinthians 4:11 to the effect that the life of the apostle is a continual dying, in which he yet remains always in life, and that consequently it is his life so constituted which the readers share, when they are in his heart.

[256] There is no justification for departing in any passage from the telic reference of εἰς with the infinitive. Comp. on 2 Corinthians 8:6 .

Verse 4

2 Corinthians 7:4 . A further, and that a psychological, proof for the οὐ πρ . κατάκρ . λέγω .

παῤῥησία is the internal frame of mind, the good joyous confidence (see on Ephesians 3:12 ), without which no καύχησις , no self-boasting for the sake of the readers, would outwardly take place ( ὑπέρ , as in 2 Corinthians 5:12 , 2 Corinthians 8:24 ). To take it of the libertas loquendi (Pelagius, Beza, Luther, Vatablus, Cornelius a Lapide, and many others, including Schrader and Ewald) is inappropriate, because by the παῤῥησία in this sense there would be no negation of πρὸς κατάκρ . λέγειν . And the taking the καύχησις of inward boasting before God (Osiander), ought to have been precluded by 2 Corinthians 7:14 , comp. 2 Corinthians 9:3 .

πεπληρ . κ . τ . λ .] The two clauses form a climax, so that πεπλ . is correlative with ὑπερπερ . and παρακλ . with χαρᾃ . In the use of the article with παρακλ . and χαρᾷ Paul already looks to the special comfort and joy, of which he intends to speak further (2 Corinthians 7:7 ). The dative of the instrument (as at 2Ma 5:5 ; 2Ma 7:21 ; 3Ma 4:10 ) is used with πληρ . in the N. T. also at Romans 1:29 , and in classic Greek, though seldom. See Elmsley, ad Soph. Oed. Col. 16; Blomfield, Gloss. Aesch. Agam . 163; Bernhardy, p. 168. Comp. also Jacobs, ad Anthol. XI. p. 209.

ὑπερπερισσεύομαι ] I am exceeding richly provided with , Mosch. vi. 13; comp. the passive in Matthew 13:12 ; Matthew 25:29 . The present sets forth the thing as still continuously taking plac.

ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ θλίψει ἡμ .] does not belong to τῇ χαρᾷ , but to the two whole affirmations πεπληρ . τῇ παρακλ . and ὑπερπερισσ . τῇ χαρᾷ ; and ἐπί is not, as Grotius thought, post , as in Herod. i. 45: ἐπʼ ἐκείνῃ τῇ συμφορῇ (see, generally, Wurm, ad Dinarch . p. 39 f.), since (comp. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 ) the tribulation still continues, but in, at . See Winer, p. 367 [E. T. 490].

Verse 5

2 Corinthians 7:5 . In all our tribulation, I say, for even after we had come to Macedonia we had no rest.

In this καί , even , Paul refers back to what was stated in 2 Corinthians 2:12-13 ; but it does not follow that with Flatt we should regard what lies between as a digressio.

ἔσχηκεν ] as in 2 Corinthians 2:13 . Still B F G K (not א ), Lachmann, have the reading ἔσχεν , which appears to be original and altered into accordance with 2 Corinthians 2:13 .

ἡ σὰρξ ἡμῶν ] our flesh, denotes here, according to the connection, the purely human essence as determined by its corporeo-psychical nature, in its moral impotence and sensuous excitability, apart from the divine πνεῦμα , without whose influence even the moral nature of man (the human πνεῦμα with the νοῦς ) lacks the capacity for determining and governing the ethical life. Comp. on Romans 4:1 ; John 3:6 . The σάρξ with its life-principle the ψυχή is by itself morally incapable even in the regenerate man, and stands too much in antagonism to the divine πνεῦμα (see on Galatians 5:17 ), not to have unrest, despondency, etc., occurring even in him when he confronts the impressions of struggle and suffering. Comp. Matthew 24:41 . No doubt the expression in this passage seems not to agree with the τῷ πνεύματί μου in 2 Corinthians 2:12 ; but there, where, besides, Paul is speaking simply of himself, he speaks only of inward unrest, of anxious thoughts in the moral consciousness; whereas here (where he includes also Timothy) he speaks of outward ( ἔξωθεν μάχαι ) and inward ( ἔσωθεν φόβοι ) assaults, so that that which lies, as it were, in the middle and is affected on both sides is the σάρξ . [257] Rückert brings in here also his groundless hypothesis regarding an illness of the apostl.

ἀλλʼ ἐν παντὶ θλιβόμενοι ] Paul continues as if he had written previously: οὐκ ἤμεθα ἄνεσιν ἔχοντες , or οὐκ ἐν ἀνέσει ἤμεθα , or οὐχ ἥσυχοι ἤμεθα , or the like. Quite similar departures from the construction are found also in the classics. See Matthiae, p. 1293; Fritzsche, Dissert. II. p. 49. Comp. 2 Corinthians 1:7 , εἰδότες , and the remark on it. It arises from vividness of excitement as the thought proceeds. Comp. Kühner, II. p. 617. Buttmann, neut. Gram. p. 256 [E. T. 298].

ἔξωθεν μάχαι , ἔσωθεν φόβοι ] The omission of ἦσαν gives greater prominence to the short, concise representation. Chrysostom, Theophylact, Pelagius, Calvin, Grotius, Bengel, Wetstein, and others, also Schrader, explain ἔξωθεν and ἔσωθεν as extra and intra ecclesiam ; and of this various interpretations are given; Chrysostom holding that the former applies to unbelievers, the latter to the weak brethren; Theodoret: that the former applies to the false teachers, the latter to the weak brethren; and Grotius: that the former applies to the Jews and heathen, the latter to the false teachers. But after ἡ σὰρξ ἡμῶν (see above), and on account of φόβοι , it is more in keeping with the context to refer it to the subject: from without struggles (with opponents, who may have been Christian or non-Christian), from within (from our own minds) fears . The latter are not defined more precisely; but it is in keeping with the contrast of χαρῆναι afterwards in 2 Corinthians 7:7 to think of fears regarding the circumstances of the Corinthians , and in particular regarding the effect of his former Epistle on them (comp. also 2 Corinthians 2:12 ). Hofmann holds, without any basis in the text, that Paul was apprehensive lest the conflicts to be undergone by him (probably with the Jews) might degenerate into persecutions .

[257] Ernesti, Urspr . d. Sünde , I. p. 56, has wrongly objected to this interpretation that Paul would have said ἡ ψυχὴ ἡμῶν . He might have done so, hut there was no need for it; the σάρξ rather corresponds with the ἔξωθεν most naturally as that which is first affected from without.

Verses 6-7

2 Corinthians 7:6-7 . Τοὺς ταπεινούς ] the lowly, i.e. the bowed down. This ὁ παρακαλῶν τοὺς ταπεινούς is a general designation of God, significant in its practical bearing (comp. 2 Corinthians 1:3 ), so that the suffering ἡμεῖς (in παρεκάλεσεν ἡμᾶς ) belong to the category of the ταπεινοί .

ὁ θεός ] is brought in later by way of attraction, because ὁ παρακαλῶν … παρεκάλεσεν ἡμᾶς were the chief conceptions. Comp. Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. iv. 3. 1.

ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ ] through the arrival .

Τίτου ] See Introd. § 1.

οὐ μόνον δὲ κ . τ . λ .] A delicate form of transition. Not merely through his arrival , not only through the reunion with him did God comfort us, but also through the comfort, wherewith he was comforted in regard to you (1 Thessalonians 3:7 ) while he announced to us , etc. When Titus informed us of your desire, etc., this information had so soothing an effect on himself that we too were soothed. Comp. Ewald. The usual view, that Paul meant to say: through the comfort which he brought to me, for he related to me , etc., and thus wrote with logical inaccuracy, is as arbitrary as Hofmann’s way of escaping the difficulty for which he adduces erroneously 1 Thessalonians 3:10 that it must have run properly (?) in the form of παρακληθεὶς ἀνήγγειλεν . Certainly Titus had himself been comforted by what he saw in Corinth; but psychologically it was most natural that this “being comforted” on the part of Titus should be repeated and renewed by his communicating to Paul and Timothy his cheering observations and experiences, and so they too were comforted with the comfort which was afforded to Titus himself by the report which he was able to give. This interpretation in which there is thus not to be assumed any blending of the comfort which Titus had felt in perceiving the improved state of matters at Corinth, and then in communicating it (Osiander) is neither unnatural (Hofmann) nor turning on punctilious reflection (de Wette), but founded necessarily on the words, which Paul has not written otherwise, just because he has not conceived them otherwis.

ἐπιπόθησιν ] longing , namely, to see me again among yo.

ὀδυρμόν ] lamentation , for having saddened me so by the disorders tolerated in your church, especially in reference to the incestuous person. Comp. 2 Corinthians 7:11-12 .

τὸν ὑμῶν ζῆλου ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ ] your eager interest for me , to soothe me, to obey me, etc. There was no need to repeat the article here after ζῆλον , since we may say ζηλοῦν or ζῆλον ἔχειν ὑπέρ τινος (Colossians 4:13 ), in which case ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ is blended so as to form one idea with ζῆλον . Comp. on Galatians 3:26 and Fritzschior. Opusc . p. 245.

ὥστε με μᾶλλον χαρῆναι ] so that I was all the more glad . The emphasis is on μἀλλον ( magis in Vulgate); on its meaning, all the more , comp. Nägelsbach on the Iliad , p. 227, Exodus 3:0 . The apostle’s joy was made all the greater by the information longed for and received, since from it he learned how, in consequence of his letter, the Corinthians had on their part now met him with so much longing, pain, and zeal. Observe in this the emphatic prefixing, thrice repeated, of the ὑμῶν , which gives the key to this μᾶλλον χαρῆναι . The former Epistle had had its effect. He had previously had for them longing, pain, zeal; now, on their part , such longing, etc., had set in for him . Thus the position of things had happily changed on the part of the church , which before was so indifferent, and in part even worse, in its mood towards Paul. Billroth, following Bengel, takes it: so that I rather rejoiced, i.e. so that my former pain was not merely taken away, but was changed into joy. Comp. also Hofmann. [258] In this case μᾶλλον would be potius . But the very prefixing of the μᾶλλον , and still more the similarity of 2 Corinthians 7:13 , are against this.

Theophylact, we may add, has rightly remarked that Paul could with truth write as he does in this passage, inasmuch as he wisely leaves to the readers the distingue personas .

[258] Who finds the meaning to be: “that with the apostle for his own person the comfort, which he shared with Timothy, rose into joy .” In that case ἐμέ at least must have been used instead of the enclitic με . The transition to the first person singular is caused simply by the fact, that Paul now has in view the rebuke and injunction of the former Epistle, chap. 5.

Verse 8

2 Corinthians 7:8 f. Information regarding this μᾶλλον χαρῆναι , explaining the ground of it. With εἰ καὶ μετεμελόμην there begins a new protasis, the apodosis of which is νῦν χαίρω κ . τ . λ ., so that the βλέπω γὰρ κ . τ . λ ., which stands between, assigns parenthetically the ground of the protasis. For if I have even saddened you in my Epistle, I do not regret it; if I did regret it (which I have no wish to deny) formerly (and as I now perceive, not without ground, for I learn from the accounts of Titus that that Epistle, if even for a short time, has saddened you ), now I am glad , etc. Comp. Luther; Rinck, Lucubr. crit. p. 162, and the punctuation of Lachmann and Teschendorf; also Kling. Only in this way of dividing and interpreting this passage does the explanatory statement advance in a simple logical way (1, I do not regret; 2, if I did previously regret, now I am glad), and the imperfect μετεμελ . stand in right correlation with the present νῦν χαίρω , so that μετεμελόμην applies to the time before the present joyful mood was reached . The common punctuation, adopted also by Osiander and Hofmann, which connects εἰ καὶ μετεμελ . with the previous words, and begins a new sentence with νῦν χαίρω , breaks asunder the logical connection and the correlation of the parts, and leaves βλέπω γὰρ κ . τ . λ . (which must be the reason assigned for οὐ μεταμέλομαι , as Hofmann also correctly holds, and not for ἐλύπησα ὑμᾶς , as Olshausen, de Wette, and others would make it) without any proper reference. Bengel, indeed, wishes to take εἰ καί before πρ . ὥρ elliptically: “Contristavit vos, inquit, epistola tantummodo ad tempus vel potius ne ad tempus quidem .” But it is not the bare εἰ καί which is thus used elliptically, but εἰ καὶ ἄρα , or more often εἴπερ ἄρα , even εἰ ἄρα (see Vigerus, ed. Herm. p. 514; comp. Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 440; Klotz, ad Devar. p. 521); further, πρὸς ὥραν must have logically stood before εἰ καί ; lastly, the thought itself would be in the highest degree unsuitable, since Paul could not cast doubt on the genuine sadness of the readers (comp. ὀδυρμόν , 2 Corinthians 7:7 , and see 2 Corinthians 7:9 ff.). The meaning would not be, as Bengel thinks, ἤθους apostolici plenissimum , but in contradiction with the context. Billroth would (and Chrysostom in a similar way) bring out a logical grounding of οὐ μεταμέλομαι by taking βλέπω as meaning: I take into consideration ; [259] “I take into consideration that it has saddened you, though only for a short time, as I had intended; by allowing yourselves to be saddened, you have shown that you are susceptible to amendment” (2 Corinthians 2:2 ). But in this way everything, in which the probative force is supposed to lie, is imported . This is the case also with Hofmann, who makes (comp. Bengel above) εἰ καί form by itself alone a parenthetic elliptic sentence, but in a concessive sense, so that the import of the whole is held to be: “Although the Epistle has saddened them, it is a temporary, not a permanent, sadness with which it has filled them. This the apostle sees, and he therefore does not regret that he has saddened them by it.” Paul does not write in this enigmatical fashion; he would have said intelligibly: ἡ ἐπιστ . ἐκείνη , εἰ καὶ ἐλύπησεν ὑμᾶς , πρὸς ὥραν ἐλύπησεν , or, at any rate, have added to εἰ καί the appropriate verb (comp. 2 Corinthians 7:12 ). Such an elliptic εἰ καί is as unexampled as that which is assumed by Bengel, and both serve only to misconstrue and distort the meaning of the words. Rückert comes nearest to our view; he proposes to read βλέπων (as also Lachmann, Praef . p. xii., would), and to make the meaning: “ That I have thus saddened you I do not regret, but although I regretted it ( εἰ δὲ καὶ μετεμελόμην ) when I saw that that Epistle had caused you … sadness, still I am glad now ,” etc. But apart from the very weak attestation for the reading βλέπων , and apart also from the fact that εἰ δὲ καί would be although, however , not but although , βλέπων … ἐλύπησεν ὑμᾶς would only contain a very superfluous and cumbrous repetition of the thought already expressed in the acknowledgment εἰ καὶ ἐλύπησα ὑμᾶς , since βλέπων would not apply to the insight gained from the news brought by Titus. Ewald has the peculiar view, which is simply an uncalled for and arbitrary invention, that Paul intended to write: for I see that that Epistle, though it saddened you for a short time, has yet brought you to a right repentance ; but feeling this to be unsuitable, he suddenly changed the train of thought and went on: I am now glad , etc. Neander has a view quite similar.

On πρὸς ὥραν , comp. Philemon 1:15 ; Galatians 2:5 . The clause “ although for a short time ” is here a delicately thoughtful addition of sympathetic love, which has in view the fact that the sadness caused by it will only last up to the receipt of the present Epistle , which is intended to assure the readers of the apostle’s pardon and joy (comp. 2 Corinthians 2:4 ff.).

[259] Camerarius already took it as hoc intueor et considero . It is simply animadverto, cognosco (Romans 7:23 ). Comp. Jacobs, ad Anthol . II. 3, p. 203.


Some make an alteration in the meaning of εἰ καὶ μετεμελόμην : etiamsi poenituisset (Erasmus, Castalio, Vatablus, and others, including Flatt); or hold that poenitere is here equivalent to dolorem capere (Calvin, comp. Grotius); or suggest explanations such as: “Non autem dolere potuit de eo quod scripserit cum severitate propter schismata …; hoc enim omne factum instinctu divino per θεοπευστίαν ; sed quod contristati fuerint epistola sua et illi, quos illa increpatio adeo non tetigit,” Calovius (comp. Grotius); or the more ingenious device of Beza: “ut significet apostolus, se ex epistola illa acerbius scripta nonnullum dolorem cepisse, non quasi quod fecerat optaret esse infectum, sed quod clementis patris exemplo se ad hanc severitatem coactum esse secum gemens, eventum rei expectaret.” But these are forced shifts of the conception of mechanical inspiration. The Theopneustia does not put an end to the spontaneity of the individual with his varying play of human emotions; hence Wetstein is so far right in remarking: “ Interpretes, qui putant, et consilium scribendi epistolam (rather of writing in so hard a vein of chastisement), et ejus consilii poenitentiam, et poenitentiae poenitentiam ab afflatu Spir. sancti fuisse profectam, parum consentanea dicere videntur .” Not as if such alternation of moods testified against the existence of inspiration; but it attests its dependence on the natural conditions of the individual in the mode of its working, which was not only different in different subjects, but was not alike even in individuals where these were differently determined by outer and inner influences; so that the divine side of the Scripture does not annul the human, or make it a mere phantom, nor can it be separated from it mechanically. It is indissolubly blended with it.

Verse 9

2 Corinthians 7:9 . Νῦν χαίρω ] see on 2 Corinthians 7:8 . To take the νῦν not in a temporal, but in a causal sense ( proinde, jam vero , with Emmerling and Billroth), is quite at variance with the context, because the thought is implied in the previous clause: I no longer regret i.

οὐχ ὅτι ἐλυπ .] not regarding the sadness caused to you in itself .

κατὰ θεόν ] according to God, i.e. in a way in keeping with the divine will. See on Romans 8:27 . Bengel aptly remarks: “ Secundum hic significat sensum animi Deum spectantis et sequentis.” Not: by God’s operation , which (in opposition to Hofmann) Paul never expresses by κατά (nor yet is it so even in 1 Peter 4:6 ); with the Greeks, however, κατὰ θεόν means according to divine disposal .

ἵνα ἐν μηδενὶ ζημιωθ . ἐξ ἡμῶν ] not: ita ut , etc. (so Rückert), but the divinely-ordained aim of the previous ἐλυπήθητε κατὰ θεόν : in order that ye in no point (comp. 2 Corinthians 6:3 ; Philippians 1:28 ; James 1:4 ), in no sort of way (not even in the way of severe, saddening reproof), should have hurt (injury as to the Messianic salvation) from us , from whom, in fact, only the furtherance of your true welfare ought to proceed. See 2 Corinthians 7:10 . According to Osiander, ἐν μηδενί means: in no part of the Christian life (neither in the joyfulness of faith nor in purity of morals). At variance with the context: for to the matters negatived by ἐν μηδενί must belong the λύπη itself caused by him, which, had it not occurred κατὰ θεόν , would have injured the σωτηρία of the readers (2 Corinthians 7:10 ).

The clause of purpose is to be connected with the ἐλυπ . γ . κατὰ θεόν immediately preceding, which is no parenthetic remark, but is the regulative thought controlling what follows (in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 ); wherefore ἵνα κ . τ . λ . is not, with Hofmann, to be attached to ἐλυπ . εἰς μετάνοιαν .

Verse 10

2 Corinthians 7:10 . Ground assigned for ἵνα ἐν μηδ . ζημιωθ . ἐξ ἡμῶν : for godly sadness works repentance unto salvation unregretted, i.e. unto the Messianic salvation, the attainment of which is not regretted. The connection of ἀμεταμέλ . with σωτηρίαν is held by Augustine and other Latin Fathers, following the Vulgate, which has stabilem , [260] and among modern expositors by Fritzsche, Billroth (yet doubtfully), Schrader, de Wette, Ewald; decidedly by Castalio also, but undecidedly by Erasmus, Annot. The more common connection is with μετάνοιαν , so as to give the antanaclasis poenitentiam non poenitendam (for similar collocations see Wetstein, comp. Pliny, Ep. vii. 10); οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἑαυτοῦ καταγνώσεται , ἐὰν λυπηθῇ ἐφʼ ἁμαρτίᾳ , ἐὰν πενθήσῃ καὶ ἑαυτὸν συντρίψῃ , Chrysostom. But for such an antanaclasis Paul would not have chosen an adjective from quite a different root, but ἀμετανόητον (Lucian, Obadiah 1:11 , comp. also Romans 2:5 ), which is also the reading [261] of some minor authorities. And if ἈΜΕΤΑΜΈΛ . were to belong to ΜΕΤΆΝΟΙΑΝ , it would stand immediately by its side, so as to make ΕἸς ΣΩΤΗΡΊΑΝ appear as the result throwing light upon ἈΜΕΤΑΜΈΛ . When placed after ΕἸς ΣΩΤΗΡΊΑΝ , ἈΜΕΤΑΜΈΛ . is an epithet of ΜΕΤΆΝΟΙΑΝ no longer suitable, insipid, and halting. Olshausen and Hofmann wrongly object that the epithet is not suitable to the idea of salvation, the absolute good. It expresses by way of litotes the eternal satisfaction of the ΣΩΤΗΡΊΑ , and is selected with a glance back to what was said in 2 Corinthians 7:8 . If the apostle, namely, has caused a sadness which works a contrition unto a salvation exposed to no regret , it is obvious how this step of his can no longer give rise to any regret in his case, but can only make him joyful. Comp. on the expression itself, Romans 11:29 , and especially Plato, Tim. p. 59 D: ἀμεταμέλητον ἡδονὴν κτᾶται , Legg. ix. p. 866 E; Polyb. xxi. 9. 11; Plutarch, Mor. p. 137 B; Socrates in Stob. 101, p. 552; Clem. Cor . I. 2.

ἡ δὲ τοῦ κόσμον λύπη ] i.e. the sadness, however, which is felt by the world , by the ungodly-minded unbelievers. This is certainly λύπν διὰ χρήματα , διὰ δόξαν , διὰ τὸν ἀπελθόντα κ . τ . λ . (Chrysostom), in so far, namely, as the loss of outward advantage in and for itself determines the sadness, [262] but the genitive τοῦ κόσμου is the genitivus subjecti , and we must retain as the characteristic of this λύπη that it is not κατὰ θεόν (because it cannot be determined by the knowledge of God and of His will); hence, instead of working repentance unto salvation, it works despondency, despair, exasperation, obduracy, etc., unto death. Even ΔΙᾺ ΧΡΉΜΑΤΑ Κ . Τ . Λ . there may be a sadness ΚΑΤᾺ ΘΕΌΝ .

ΘΆΝΑΤΟΝ ] i.e. not generally: “all that is embraced in a state of things not founded on God” (Hofmann), but, as the opposite of that unregretted σωτηρία , eternal death , the Messianic ἀπώλεια ; comp. 2 Corinthians 2:16 . Calovius says aptly: “quia mundus dolet, cum affligitur, solatii ex verbo Dei expers ac fide destitutus.” The exposition of vexing oneself to death (Theodoret), or the reference made by Grotius, Rosenmüller, and others to fatal diseases and suicide , is quite at variance with the context; and Sir 38:18 has no bearing here. Even the ethical view ( moral ruin through despair or new sins, de Wette, comp. Neander) is not in keeping with the contrast to σωτηρία ; besides, Paul never uses ΘΆΝΑΤΟς of ethical death. See on Romans 5:12 .

Regarding the difference between ἐργάζεται and ΚΑΤΕΡΓΆΖ . ( bring to pass ), see on Romans 1:27 ; van Hengel, ad Romans 2:10 .

[260] According to the reading ἀμετάβλητον , which Origen has (once), but before εἰς σωτηρ .

[261] And which (in opposition to Osiander) would have expressed the idea of something painful quite as well as ἀμεταμέλ .

[262] As this would have been the case also with the Corinthians, if they had grieved over the reproof only, and not over the sin. Comp. Elwert in the Wûrtemberg. Stud . IX. 1 p. 135 ff.

Verse 11

2 Corinthians 7:11 . What has just been said of the godly sorrow is now proved by experience from the instance of the readers themselves. For see, this very thing (nothing else), the having been afflicted with godly sorrow , etc. The emphatic use of the preparatory τοῦτο before infinitives is very common in classic writers. See Kühner, II. p. 330; Breitenb. ad Xen. Oec . 14. 10.

ὑμῖν ] not: among you , but: vobis .

σπουδήν ] activity , namely, to efface and make amends for the offence, as opposed to their previous negligence in regard to the incestuous perso.

ἀλλά ] yea rather, imo , corrective, and thereby advancing beyond the last idea (comp. 1 Corinthians 3:2 ; John 16:2 ). Paul feels that he has said too little by using σπουδήν . The co-ordinate repetition of ἀλλά before each point lays on each a special emphasis. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 6:11 .

ἀπολογίαν ] πρὸς ἐμέ , Chrysostom and Theophylact rightly say; but we must at the same time observe that they have answered for themselves in the first instance to Titus , and through him to Paul (that they were not partakers in the guilt of the incestuous person). Billroth understands the de facto exculpation by the adjudging of punishment to the transgressor. An arbitrary view, and opposed to the context ( ἐκδίκησιν ). Ewald, in accordance with his assumption of a letter in reply now lost, refers it to the latte.

ἀγανάκτησιν ] displeasure, vexation , that such a disgraceful thing had been carried on in the churc.

φόβον ] “ne cum virga venirem” (Bengel), namely, in the event of the state of things not being amended (1 Corinthians 4:21 ), or even of new transgressions. Comp. Chrysostom and Theophylact. The explanation: fear of God’s punishments (Pelagius, Calvin, Flatt, Olshausen), is at variance with the context ( ἐπιπόθησ .).

ἐπιπόθ .] as in 2 Corinthians 7:7 , longing after the apostle’s comin.

ζῆλον ] not as in 2 Corinthians 7:7 , where ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ is associated with it, but, as is suggested by the following ἐκδίκησιν (punishment of the transgressor): disciplinary zeal against the incestuous person, not zeal in general for the honour of Christ, of the church, and of the apostle (Osiander). The six objects introduced by ἀλλά go logically in pairs, so that ἀπολογ . and ἀγανάκτ . relate to the disgrace of the church, φόβον and ἐπιπόθ . to the apostle, and ζῆλον and ἐκδίκησιν to the incestuous person, the latter, however, without the arbitrary distinction drawn by Bengel, that ζῆλον refers to the good of his soul, and ἐκδικ . only to his punishment for his transgression. ζῆλος is the zeal for bot.

ἐν παντὶ συνεστήσατε κ . τ . λ .] a judgment on the whole matter added asyndetically, and so with the more weight (Dissen, ad Pind. Exc . II. p. 278): in every respect you have proved that you yourselves are innocent as regards the matter in question . By this the Corinthians are acquitted from positive participation in the offence; they could not be acquitted (comp. 1 Corinthians 5:6 ) of a negative participation (through toleration and connivance), but this is not further touched on in accordance with his purpose, which is here throughout conciliator.

ἑαυτούς ] you for your own person , as opposed to the evil-doer.

On συνίστημι , with the accusative and infinitive, comp. Diod. Sic. i. 96, xiv. 45. Without εἶναι (comp. Galatians 2:18 ) the attribute would appear as purely objective , as the proved fact ; with εἶναι the expression is subjective , denoting the relation from the standpoint of the readers. Comp. in general, Krüger, § 65, 1. 4.

The dative τῷ πράγματι is that of ethical reference, expressing the matter with respect to which what is affirmed takes place. See Matthiae, p. 876; Bernhardy, p. 84. Comp. ἐλεύθεροι … τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ , Romans 6:20 ; Matthew 5:8 . This, at the same time, in opposition to Rückert’s assertion that ἐν (see the critical remarks) cannot be dispensed with. On the term itself, Bengel rightly remarks: “indefinite loquitur de re odiosa.” Comp. 2 Corinthians 2:5 ff.

Verse 12

2 Corinthians 7:12 . Ἄρα ] therefore , for how natural was it for the readers to think that Paul had written on account of the ἀδικήσαντος and on account of the ἀδικηθέντος ! And yet the effect which that part of the Epistle had produced on themselves had showed them by experience that the apostle’s true purpose was quite different. So at least Paul represents the matter in a delicate and conciliatory wa.

εἰ καὶ ἔγραψα ὑμῖν ] if I have also written to you, i.e. have not kept silence, but have expressed myself by letter regarding the affair in question. Commonly a so, so sternly , or the like, is imported quite arbitrarily. Grotius indicates the right meaning: “si quid scripsi, nempe ea de re.” Comp. Osiander. Those who assume an Epistle now lost between our first and second (Bleek, Neander, Ewald, Beyschlag, Hilgenfeld) find it here alluded to. Comp. 2Co 2:3 ; 2 Corinthians 2:9 . The apodosis already begins at οὐχ εἵνεκεν κ . τ . λ ., and does not follow only at διὰ τοῦτο (as Hofmann complicates it, without sufficient ground), the more especially as in this construction, according to Hofmann, διὰ τοῦτο does not apply to 2 Corinthians 7:12 to which it must apply (comp. 1 Thessalonians 3:7 ) but to 2 Corinthians 7:11 .

οὐχ … ἀλλʼ ] is not non tam … quam (Erasmus, Estius, Flatt, and many others), but non … sed . Paul denies absolutely that he has written that part of the Epistle on account of the two persons mentioned. In the nature of the case, no doubt, he had to write against the ἀδικήσας , and so indirectly in favour of the ἀδικηθείς ; but the destined purpose of this letter, as Paul from the true light of his apostolic standpoint is aware, lay not in this aim affecting the two persons primarily concerned, but in its higher significance as bearing on the church’s relation to the apostle: ἀλλʼ εἵνεκεν τοῦ φανερωθῆναι κ . τ . λ .

Regarding the form εἵνεκεν , see on Luke 4:18 , and Kühner, I. p. 229, Exodus 2:0 . The ἀδικήσας is the incestuous person , and the ἀδικηθείς his father , as the party grievously injured by the son’s incestuous marriage with the step-mother. Theodoret, however, is quite arbitrary in supposing from this that he was already dead ( καὶ τεθνεὼς γὰρ ἠδίκητο , τῆς εὐνῆς ὑβρισθείσης ). See on 1 Corinthians 5:1 . This explanation of the ἀδικηθείς seems from the relation of the two participles active and passive to be the only natural, and, in fact, necessary one. It is no objection that, in the first Epistle, nothing was said at length regarding the father and the wrong done to him (see only 2 Corinthians 5:1 ), since the censure and ordaining of chastisement to the transgressor of themselves practically contained the satisfaction to the injured father. Comp. on the passive ἀδικ . in the sense of infringing marriage -rights, Plut. Anton . 9; Eurip. Med. 267, 314; and see in general on ἀδικεῖν in reference to adultery, Dorvill. ad Charit . p. 468; Abresch, ad Xen. Eph. , ed. Locella, p. 222. Others (Wolf, Storr, Emmerling, Osiander, Neander, Maier) think that Paul means himself , in so far as he had been deeply injured in his office by that transgression. But this mode of designating himself, set down thus without any more precise indication, would be strangely enigmatical, as well as marked by want of delicate tact (as if the readers were not ἀδικηθέντες , like Paul!), and no longer suiting what was already said in 2 Corinthians 2:5 . The reference of τοῦ ἀδικηθέντος to the apostle himself would only be right on the assumption that allusion is here made to the state of things discussed by Paul in an intermediate letter now lost . [263] Others (Bengel, comp. Wolf also) think that the Corinthians are meant, but the singular is decisive against this view, even apart from the unsuitable meaning. Others have even referred τοῦ ἀδικησ . and ΤΟῦ ἈΔΙΚΗΘ . to the adulterer and the adulteress (Theophylact: ἀμφότεροι γὰρ ἀλλήλους ἠδίκησαν ); others, again, have taken ΤΟῦ ἈΔΙΚΗΘ . as neuter (Heinsius, Billroth), equivalent to τοῦ ἀδικήματος . The last is at variance with linguistic usage; and what sort of delicate apostolic tact would it have been, to say that he had not written on account of the deed!

ἀλλʼ εἵνεκεν κ . τ . λ .] According to Lachmann’s correct reading, as translated also by Luther (see the critical remarks): but because your zeal for us was to become manifest among you before God , i.e. but because I unshed to bring it about that the zealous interest which you cherish for us should be brought to light among you before God (a religious expression of uprightness and sincerity, 2 Corinthians 4:2 ). Comp. on the thought, 2 Corinthians 2:9 ; πρὸς ὑμᾶς is the simple with you, among you , in the midst of you, in your church-life, not exactly in public meeting of the church (Ewald), which would have been indicated more precisely. Comp. 1 Corinthians 16:7 . Rückert, without due ground, finds the meaning of πρὸς ὑμᾶς so ambiguous that he prefers the Recepta , according to which the meaning is: because our zealous interest for you was to become manifest upon you before God . Comp. 2 Corinthians 2:4 . Hofmann, who rejects both the Recepta and the reading of Lachmann, and prefers that of א : Τ . ΣΠΟΥΔῊΝ ὙΜῶΝ ΤῊΝ ὙΠῈΡ ὙΜῶΝ ΠΡῸς ὙΜᾶς , takes this ΠΡῸς ὙΜᾶς even in a hostile sense: “You are to show yourselves diligent for yourselves and against yourselves;” the strict procedure of the church against its adherents is on the one hand an acting for themselves ( ὙΠῈΡ ὙΜῶΝ ), and on the other hand an acting against themselves ( πρὸς ὑμᾶς ). This artificial interpretation is wrong, because, if πρὸς could mean contra here, Paul must have written at least ΤῊΝ ὙΠῈΡ ὙΜῶΝ ΤΕ ΚΑῚ ΠΡῸς ὙΜᾶς , and because ΠΡΌς with ΣΠΟΥΔΉ (Hebrews 6:11 ; Herod. iv. 11. 1; Diod. xvii. 114) and with ΣΠΟΥΔΆΖΕΙΝ (Dem. 515. 23, 617. 10) has not that arbitrarily assumed sense, but the sense of an interest for some one, though this is more commonly expressed by περί . If the reading of א were right, it would have to be explained simply: in order that your zeal, in which you aim at your own good, should become manifest among you before God . Had Paul wished to express the singular meaning which Hofmann imports, he would have known how to write: ΤῊΝ ΣΠΟΥΔῊΝ ὙΜῶΝ ΤῊΝ ὙΠῈΡ ὙΜῶΝ ΤΕ ΚΑῚ ΚΑΘʼ ὙΜῶΝ .

[263] On this assumption Bleek is of opinion that Paul, in that lost Epistle, had rebuked the wanton defiance of the incestuous person towards him (comp. also Neander). According to Ewald, Paul is the ἀδικηθείς over against the man of reputation in the church, who had been endeavouring to deprive him of his repute in it by public accusations. Comp. Hilgenfeld in his Zeitschr . 1864, p. 169, 1865, p. 252, according to whom Paul is the ἀδικηθείς , because things had in the meanwhile come to a pronounced rejection of his apostolic repute. According to Beyschlag in the Stud. u. Krit . 1865, p. 254, Timothy is meant, who was personally insulted by a spokesman in the ranks of the opponents.

Verse 13

2 Corinthians 7:13 . Wherefore , because I had no other purpose than this (which is now attained), we are comforted; and, to our consolation there was further added a very great increase in joy over the joy of Titus , et.

ἐπὶ δὲ τῇ παρακλ . ἡμ .] ἐπί used of supervening on something already in existence. [264] See Matthiae, p. 1371; Winer, p. 368 [E. T. 490].

περισσοτ . μᾶλλον ἐχάρημεν ] the joy of our consolation became still more increased. Comp. on 2 Corinthians 7:7 . Regarding the strengthening of the comparative by μᾶλλον , see Pflugk, ad Eur. Hec. 377; Heind. ad Plat. Gorg . p. 679 E; Boissonade, ad Aristaen . p. 430.

ὅτι ἀναπέπαυται κ . τ . λ .] does not specify the reason of Paul’s joy (Rückert, although with hesitation), for that is contained in ἘΠῚ Τ . ΧΑΡᾷ ΤΊΤΟΥ , but is a more precise definition confirmatory of Τῇ ΧΑΡᾷ ΤΊΤΟΥ ; since indeed his spirit (2 Corinthians 2:13 ) is refreshed by you all . ἀναπέπαυται (comp. 1 Corinthians 16:18 ; Philemon 1:7 ; Philemon 1:20 ) is placed first as the pith of the thought; ἈΠΌ denotes the proceeding from , the origin: forth from, from the side of . See Bernhardy, p. 222; Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. vi. 5. 18.

[264] Yet it may also be taken simply of the state: in our consolation . But the explanation above is more in keeping with the climactic character of the discourse.


According to the Recepta διὰ τοῦτο παρακεκλήμεθα ἐπὶ τῇ παρακλήσει ὑμῶν · περισσοτέρως δὲ μᾶλλον κ . τ . λ ., the first ἐτί is through , properly on account of , just as in ἐπὶ τῇ χαρᾷ Τίτου , so that the παράκλησις ὑμῶν is that which causes the παρακεκλήμεθα (Winer, p. 368 [E. T. 491]); but ὑμῶν is not, with Flatt, de Wette, and many others, to be explained: by the consolation, which you have afforded to me , but: “ consolatione vestri ” (Luther, Beza, Cornelius a Lapide, Bengel, and most), i.e. by your being comforted over the pain, which my Epistle caused to you, now by means of the happy change which it has produced among you (2 Corinthians 7:11 ). The two genitives, namely ὑμῶν and Τίτου , must be taken uniformly . On the state of the case delicately denoted by παρακλ . ὑμῶν Calvin aptly remarks: “Nam correctionis acerbitas facile dulcescit, simulatque gustare incipimus, quam nobis fuerit utilis.” Michaelis, on the other hand, objects that what follows will then be discourteous ; but the seeming discourtesy disappears before the reason for Titus’ joy, and is amply outweighed by 2 Corinthians 7:14 . According to Reiche, Comm. crit. I. p. 370, the παράκλησις ὑμῶν means the admonitio et castigatio given in the first Epistle, for the sharpness and severity of which Paul is now consoled by the happy result. But after παρακεκλήμεθα , according to the analogy, moreover, of ἐχάρημεν ἐπὶ τῇ χαρῇ , as well as in accordance with 2 Corinthians 7:4 ; 2 Corinthians 7:6 , παράκλησις cannot be otherwise taken than as solatium .

Verse 14

2 Corinthians 7:14 f. Polite statement of the reason why the joy of Titus had rejoiced him so greatl.

εἴ τι αὐτῷ ὑπὲρ ὑμ . κεκαυχ .] Comp. 2 Corinthians 9:2 . Who could deny that Paul, both alone, of which he is thinking here, and in company with Timothy (at which ἡ καύχησις ἡμῶν then glances), had justly boasted before Titus ( coram Tito ) to the advantage of the Corinthians ( ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν , comp. 2 Corinthians 9:2 )? See 1 Corinthians 1:4 ff. He had, in fact, founded the church and laboured so long in it, and they were in his heart, 2 Corinthians 7:3 .

οὐ κατῃσχύνθην ] This κατῃσχ . would have taken place, if Titus had experienced among you an opposite state of things, contradicting the truth of my καύχησις . But when he came to you: διὰ τῶν ἔργων ἐδείξατέ μου τὰ ῥήματα , Chrysosto.

ἀλλʼ ὡς πάντα κ . τ . λ .] Opposite of οὐ κατῃσχ .: “as we have spoken everything truly to you , our boasting before Titus has also become truth.” No doubt Paul is here making a passing allusion to the attack on his veracity (comp. 2 Corinthians 1:17 ff.), and that in such a way as emphatically to confront it with, first, what was said by him ( πάντα … ἡ καύχησις ἡμῶν ), and then the persons to whom he spoke ( ὑμῖν … ἡ ἐπὶ Τίτου ). Thus the first, and next to it the last, place in the arrangement of the sentence has the emphasis (Kühner, II. p. 625).

πάντα ] quite general: we have lied to you in nothing. Chrysostom and Billroth think that it applies to all the good, which Paul had said of Titus to the Corinthians , a purely arbitrary view, not to be guessed by any reade.

ἐν ἀληθείᾳ ] i.e. truthfully . Comp. Colossians 1:6 ; John 17:19 ; Pind. Ol. vii. 127. The adverbial use is genuine Greek (Matthiae, p. 1342; Bernhardy, p. 211), not a Hebraism (Rückert). See on John 17:19 .

ἐλαλήσαμεν ] locuti sumus , quite general, and not to be limited, at variance with the context, to doctrine (Emmerling, Flatt, Hofmann, and others, following Theodoret).

ἐπὶ Τίτου ] coram Tito . See Schaefer, Melet . p. 105; Fritzsche, Quaest. Luc . p. 139.

ἐγενήθη ] se praestitit ; it has shown itself as truth by experience. Comp. 2 Corinthians 1:19 ; Romans 3:4 ; Romans 7:13 . Often so also in classic writers.

Verse 15

2 Corinthians 7:15 . Καὶ τὰ σπλάγχνα κ . τ . λ .] joyful result of ἡ καύχησις ἡμῶν … ἐγενήθη . A comma only is to be put after 2 Corinthians 7:14 : and thus, therefore, his inmost heart (comp. 2 Corinthians 6:12 ) is attached to you in a still higher degree (than before his presence there) since he remembers , et.

εἰς ὑμᾶς ἐστίν ] is for you . Comp. εἰς αὐτόν , 1 Corinthians 8:6 ; Romans 11:36 .

ὑπακοήν ] namely, towards him, Titus; for what follows is epexegetica.

μετὰ φόβου κ . τρόμου ] i.e. with a zeal, which fears lest it should not do enough for its duty. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 2:3 .

Verse 16

2 Corinthians 7:16 . Concluding result of the whole section, introduced vividly (without οὖν , comp. 2 Corinthians 7:12 ): I am glad that in every respect I have confidence on you .

ἐν ὑμῖν ] not as to you , which would have been expressed prepositionally by περί , ὑπέρ , ἐπί , πρός , ἕνεκα ( εἰς , 2 Corinthians 10:1 , is in an adverse sense), but Paul knows his consolation as closely resting on the readers; that is the causal nexus, in which his joyous frame of mind depends on them. Comp. Winer, p. 218 [E. T. 291 f.]; Soph. Aj. 1294: ἐν ἐμοὶ θρασύς ,1071: ἐν θανοῦσιν ὑβριστὴς γένῃ , Eurip. Or. 754: ἐν γυναιξὶν ἄλκιμος , Sir 38:23 ; Matthew 3:17 .

Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hmc/2-corinthians-7.html. 1832.
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