Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 11

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Verse 1

Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.

Would to God - Greek, 'I would that.'

Bear with me - I may not unreasonably ask to be borne with: not so the false apostles. (2 Corinthians 11:4; 2 Corinthians 11:20).

My. So 'Aleph (') G f g, Vulgate. B Delta omit "my" [ tees (G3588)].

Folly. The Greek is a milder term than "foolishness" (1 Corinthians 3:19; Matthew 5:22; Matthew 25:2). The [ afrosunee (G877)] "folly" here implies imprudence; the Greek [moria] "foolishness," includes perversity and wickedness.

And indeed bear. A request (so 2 Corinthians 11:16). But the sense favours, 'But indeed ye do bear with me:" still I wish you to bear with me further, in entering into self-commendations.

Verse 2

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

For I am jealous. The justification of his self-commendations, his zealous care lest they fall from Christ, to whom he, as "the friend of the bridegroom" (John 3:29), has espoused them: in order to lead them back from false apostles to Christ, he is obliged to boast, as the apostle of Christ, in a way which, but for the motive, would be "folly."

Godly jealousy - literally, 'jealousy of God' (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:12, Greek): a jealousy which has God's honour at heart (1 Kings 19:10).

I have espoused you. Paul uses a term [ heermosameen (G718)] applied properly to the bridegroom, just as he ascribes to himself "jealousy," a feeling belonging to the husband [the active hermosa would be used of a father espousing his daughter to a man]: so entirely does he identify himself with Christ.

To one husband. Those who would attach you to another (1 Corinthians 1:12-13) make you unfaithful to Him. Compare Isaiah 54:5; Isaiah 62:5; Jeremiah 3:1, etc.; Ezekiel 16:8, etc.

Present you as a chaste virgin to Christ - at His coming, when the heavenly marriage shall take place (Matthew 25:6; Revelation 19:7; Revelation 19:9). What Paul here says he desires-namely, to "present" the church as "a chaste virgin" to Christ-Christ Himself does in the fuller sense. Whatever ministers do effectively, is really done by Christ (Ephesians 5:27-32). The espousals are going on now. He does not say ' chaste virgins;' for not individuals, but the whole body of believers conjointly constitute the Bride.

Verse 3

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

I fear (2 Corinthians 12:20) - not inconsistent with love. He feared their yielding character.

Subtilty - the foe of the "simplicity" which is intent on ONE object, Jesus, and seeks none 'other,' and no 'other' and different spirit (2 Corinthians 11:4); but loves him with tender SINGLENESS OF AFFECTION. Where Eve first gave way was in mentally harbouring for a moment the possibility insinuated by the serpent, of GOD not having her truest interests at heart, and of this 'other' professing friend being more concerned for her than GOD.

Corrupted - so as to lose their virgin purity through seducers (2 Corinthians 11:4). The same Greek [ noeemata (G3540)] stands for "minds" as for 'thoughts' (2 Corinthians 10:5, note): intents. 'Aleph (') B Delta f g, after "simplicity," add, 'and the purity' or 'chastity' [ hagnoteetos (G54): B, hagioteetos (G41), 'the holiness'].

In Christ - Greek, that is, 'toward Christ.'

Verse 4

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

If ... - if it were possible, ye might then bear with them (see note, 2 Corinthians 11:1). But there can be no new gospel: there is but the one which I first preached; therefore it ought not to be 'borne' by you, that the false teachers should supersede me.

He that cometh - Christ's own title, arrogantly assumed by the false teachers [ ho (G3588) erchomenos (G2064), Matthew 11:3, and Hebrews 10:37 ], 'He that is coming.' Perhaps he was leader of the party which assumed peculiarly to be "Christ's" (2 Corinthians 10:7; 1 Corinthians 1:12).

Preacheth ... receive - is preaching ... ye are receiving.

Jesus - the "Jesus" of Gospel history. He does not say "Christ," which refers to the office.

Another ... another, [ allon (G243) - heteron (G2087) - heteron (G2087)] - 'another Jesus ... a different Spirit ... a different Gospel.' Another implies a distinct individual of the same kind; different implies one distinct in kind. Spirit ... received [ elabete (G2983 )] ... gospel ... accepted [ edexasthe (G1209 )]. The will of man is passive in RECEIVING the "Spirit;" but it is actively concurrent with the will of God (which goes before to give the good will) in ACCEPTING the "Gospel."

Ye might well bear with him, [B reads anechesthe (G430), 'When anyone preaches to you another Jesus, etc., ye hear well with it.' The 'well' thus is ironical: covert censure. But 'Aleph (') Delta G f g, Vulgate, support the English version reading, aneichesthe (G430)]. There would be some excuse for your conduct, though a bad one (for ye ought to give heed to no gospel other than what ye have already heard from me, Galatians 1:6-7); but the false teachers do not even pretend they have "another Jesus," 'a different Spirit,' and 'a different gospel' to bring before you, they merely try to supplant me, your accredited Teacher. It therefore is inexcusable that ye not only "bear with" but prefer them.

Verse 5

For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.

For - my elaim is superior to that of the false teachers. "For," etc. So 'Aleph (') Delta G f g, Vulgate. But B reads 'But.'

I suppose - I reckon [ logizomai (G3049)].

I was not - Greek, 'that I have not been, and am not.'

The very chiefest apostles - James, Peter, and John, the witnesses of Christ's transfiguration and agony in Gethsemane. Rather, 'those over-much apostles' [toon huperlian apostoloon], those surpassers of the apostles in their own esteem. The context does not compare him and the apostles, but him and the false teachers: 2 Corinthians 11:6 also alludes to these: cf. also the parallel, 'false prophets' (note 2 Corinthians 11:13, and 2 Corinthians 12:11).

Verse 6

But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.

Rude, [ idiootees (G2399)] - 'a common man:' 'a laic;' not rhetorically trained. 1 Corinthians 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 10:10-11, shows his words were not without weight, though his 'speech' was deficient in oratorical artifice. 'Yet I am not so in my knowledge' of Gospel mysteries (2 Corinthians 12:1-5; Ephesians 3:1-5).

But (on the contrary) we have been throughly made manifest - read, with 'Aleph (') B G, 'we have made (Gospel truths) manifest' [ faneroosantes (G5319)]; so far are we from being 'rude, in knowledge.' The English version means, 'Nay,' ye know my knowledge, for 'we have been in every thing made manifest in respect to you.' He had not by reserve kept back his "knowledge" in divine mysteries from them (2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 4:2; Acts 20:20; Acts 20:27).

In all things - rather 'among all men:' the sense then is, we have in everything manifested the truth among all men with a view to [ eis (G1519) humas (G5209)] your benefit (Alford). But the Greek, Philippians 4:12, 'In each thing and in all things,' sanctions the English version-a clearer sense. Billroth, 'In every part' [ en (G1722) panti (G3956)] expresses the mode of handling the truths: "in all things" [ en (G1722) pasin (G3956)], the extent of the truths handled.

Verse 7

Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?

Have I - literally, 'OR have I?' 'Or will you make it an objection that I have preached to you gratuitously?' He leaves their good feeling to answer, that this, so far from being an objection, was a superiority in him above the false apostles (1 Corinthians 9:6-15).

Abasing myself - in my mode of living, earning my maintenance by manual labour-perhaps with slaves as his fellow-labourers (Acts 18:3; Acts 20:34; Philippians 4:12).

That ye might be exalted - spiritually: that ye might be edified, by my removing every handle of offence in not asking you for the maintenance which is my right.

Because - `in that.'

Gospel of God. "Of God" implies its divine glory.

Freely - `without charge.'

Verse 8

I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.

I robbed - i:e., took from them, in order to spare you the cost of my maintenance while preaching to you, e.g., the Philippian church (Philippians 4:15-16).

Wages `subsidy ' Wages - `subsidy.'

To do you service - Greek, 'with a view to ministration to you:' cf. 'supplied in addition,' 2 Corinthians 11:9, implying he brought with him from the Macedonians supplies toward his maintenance at Corinth; and (2 Corinthians 11:9) when those resources failed ("when I wanted"), he received a new supply while there, from the same.

Verse 9

And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

And wanted - `though in want.'

Chargeable, [ katenarkeesa (G2655)] - 'burdensome;' literally, 'to torpify;' so to oppress: a Cilician word, natural to Paul of Tarsus in Cilicia (2 Corinthians 12:14; 2 Corinthians 12:16).

The brethren which came, [ elthontes (G2064): not, hoi (G3588) elthontes (G2064)] - 'the brethren when they came.' Perhaps Timotheus and Silas (Acts 17:15; Acts 18:1; Acts 18:5). Compare Philippians 4:15-16, which refers to donations received from the Philippians (in Macedonia) at two distinct periods ("once and again") - one at Thessalonica, the other after his departure from Macedonia, when he came into Achaia to Corinth (for he would receive no help from the Corinthians); and this 'in the beginning of the Gospel' - i:e., at its first preaching in these parts. Thus all three, the two letters and history, undesignedly coincide: a sure test of genuineness.

Supplied, [ prosanepleeroosan (G4322)] - 'supplied in addition;' namely, in addition to their former contributions; or, as Bengel, in addition to the supply obtained by my own manual labour.

Verse 10

As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.

Greek, 'There is (the) truth of Christ in me that,' etc. (Romans 9:1).

No man shall stop me of, [ ou (G3756) frageesetai (G5420)] - 'this boasting shall not be shut (have its mouth stopped) as regards me.' Lest they should think his saying he would not ask their help was in anger, he calls it his 'boast.'

Verse 11

Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.

Love is often offended at its favours not being accepted, as though the other party wished to be under no obligation to the offerer.

Verse 12

But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.

I will do - I will continue to decline help.

Occasion, [ teen (G3588) aformeen (G874)] - 'the handle,' namely, of misrepresenting my motives, which would be afforded to detractors, if I accepted help.

That wherein they glory they may be found even as we. This cannot mean that the false teachers taught gratuitously even as Paul (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:20; 1 Corinthians 9:12). Olshausen makes this explain the "occasion which Paul's adversaries sought-namely, that by his accepting maintenance, in receiving which they 'gloried' as an apostolic prerogative, they might he found on a level with him: in spite of their boast of maintenance, and their sneering at him for not accepting it, they would have been glad to have him on the same level of selfishness in this with themselves. But should it not then be 'that we may be found even as they?' Probably this clause expresses Paul's aim-namely, that "wherein they glory (in respect of their receiving apostolic maintenance) they may be found (to say the least, not superior, but, through your understanding my disinterestedness in declining it) even AS we," having no cause to glory over us. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:18, etc.

Verse 13

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

For. Reason why he needs to cut off "occasion" from his detractors.

False apostles. Those 'overmuch apostles' (note, 2 Corinthians 11:5) are no apostles at all.

Deceitful workers - pretending to be 'workmen' for the Lord, really seeking their own gain.

Verse 14

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Is transformed - rather, 'transforms himself' (cf. Job 1:6); habitually: the first occasion was in tempting Eve. So in tempting Jesus. "Himself" is emphatic: If their master himself, the 'prince of darkness,' the most alien to light, does so, it is less marvelous in his servants (Luke 22:53; Ephesians 6:12).

Verse 15

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

No great thing - no difficult matter.

Righteousness - answering to "light" (2 Corinthians 11:14); the manifestation wherewith God reveals Himself in Christ (Matthew 6:33; Romans 1:17).

End - the test, is the end, which strips off every specious, form into which Satan's agents now 'transform' themselves (cf. Philippians 3:19; Philippians 3:21).

According to their works - not according to their pretensions.

Verse 16

I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.

I say again - again, taken up from 2 Corinthians 11:1, the apology for his boasting.

If otherwise - but if ye will think me a fool.

Yet as a fool - `yet even as a feel receive me;' grant me the indulgent hearing of my "boasting," conceded even to a fool. The Greek [ afrona (G878)] denotes one who does not rightly use his mental powers; not having blame necessarily attacked to it: one deceived by foolish vanities, yet boasting himself (2 Corinthians 11:17; 2 Corinthians 11:19) (Tittmarsh).

That I - Greek, 'that I, too-namely, as well as they-may boast myself.

Verse 17

That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.

Not after the Lord. By inspired guidance he excepts this 'glorying' from the inspired authoritativeness which belongs to all else that he wrote: even this boasting, though undesirable in itself (Luke 17:10), was permitted by the Spirit, taking into account its aim-namely, to draw off the Corinthians from false teachers to the apostle. This passage gives no proof that any Scripture is uninspired. It merely guards against his boasting being made a justification of boasting in general, which (as in the ease of the false apostles) is not ordinarily "after the Lord" - i:e., consistent with Christian humility.

Foolishly - Greek, 'in foolishness.'

Confidence of boasting (2 Corinthians 9:4).

Verse 18

Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.

Many - including the 'false teachers.'

After the flesh - as fleshly men boast; namely, of external advantages, their birth, doings, etc. (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:22), contrasted with "after the Lord" (2 Corinthians 11:17).

I will glory also - i:e., I also will boast of fleshly advantages, to show you that even in these I am not their inferiors, and therefore ought not to be supplanted by them in your esteem: though these are not what I desire to glory in (2 Corinthians 10:17).

Verse 19

For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.

Gladly - willingly. Irony. It is a mark of the wise to bear with fools. A plea why they should "bear with" (the same Greek, 2 Corinthians 11:1) him in his folly - i:e., boasting: ye are, in sooth, so "wise" yourselves (1 Corinthians 4:8; 1 Corinthians 4:10); his real view of their wisdom was very different (1 Corinthians 3:1-9); moreover ye "bear with" the folly of others complacently (2 Corinthians 11:20).

Verse 20

For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.

For - ye may well "bear with" fools; for ye even "bear with" oppressors. 'Ye bear with them.'

If a man - as the false apostles do.

Bring you into bondage - to himself. Translate, 'brings,' for the case is not a supposed case, but a case actually then occurring. Also 'devours,'-namely, by exactions (Matthew 23:14) - 'takes,' 'exalts,' 'smites,' take of you. So the Greek [ lambanei (G2983)] for "take" is used for 'take away from' (Revelation 6:4). Billroth translates, as 2 Corinthians 12:16, 'catches you.'

Exalt himself - above you, under the pretext of apostolic dignity.

Smite you on the face - under the pretext of divine zeal. The height of insolence on their part, and of servile endurance on yours (1 Kin. 31:24; Nehemiah 13:25; Luke 22:64; Acts 23:2; 1 Timothy 3:3).

Verse 21

I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.

As concerning reproach - rather, 'by way of self-disparagement.' I speak as though the allegation were true, that [ legoo (G3004) hoos (G5613) hoti (G3754)] WE 'were weak' when with you, in not, like them, exalting ourselves at your expense (2 Corinthians 11:20). Irony. Billroth, 'By way of reproach (he does not add to you and your teachers, leaving their own self-respect to supply the ellipsis), I speak in consequence of the allegation that [ hoos (G5613) hoti (G3754)] we were weak.' But the "reproach" [ atimia (G819)] must refer to the same person, as the only pronoun expresses-namely, "WE:" "reproach" is explained by 'we were weak.' The "WE" is contrasted with the false teachers who so oppressively displayed their power. Howbeit (we are not really weak; for) whereinsoever any is bold, etc., I am bold also.

Verse 22

Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.

Hebrews ... Israelites ... the seed of Abraham. A climax, - "Hebrews" referring to the language and nationality; "Israelites," to the theocracy and descent from Israel, the 'prince who prevailed with God' (Romans 9:4); "the seed of Abraham," to the claim to a share in the promised (Galatians 3:29) Messiah (Romans 9:7; Romans 11:1). Compare Philippians 3:5, "an Hebrew of the Hebrews;" not an Hellenist or Greek-speaking Jew, but a Hebrew in tongue, sprung from Hebrews (cf. Acts 22:3).

Verse 23

Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

(I speak as a fool) [ parafronoon (G3912)] - 'I speak as if beside myself:' mad, not merely "as a fool."

I am more - namely, in respect to the credentials and manifestations of my ministry; more self-denying; richer in tokens of God's recognition of my ministry. 1 Corinthians 15:10; B Delta f, Vulgate, read the order, 'In prisons above measure [ perissoteroos (G4056)], in stripes more abundantly' [ huperballontoos (G5234)] (English version, less accurately, 'more frequently'). Clement (1st Epistle to Corinthians) describes him as having suffered bonds seven times.

In deaths oft (2 Corinthians 4:10; Acts 9:23; Acts 13:50; Acts 14:5-6; Acts 14:19).

Verse 24

Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

Deuteronomy 25:3 ordained that not more than forty stripes should be inflicted. To avoid exceeding this number, they gave one short of it-thirteen strokes with a treble lash. This is one of those minute agreements with Jewish usage which a forger would have not been likely to observe.

Verse 25

Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

The beating by Roman magistrates at Philippi (Acts 16:23) is the only one recorded in Acts, which does not give a complete biography, but only a sketch of his life in connection with the design of the book-namely, to give an outline of church history from its foundation at Jerusalem to the period of its reaching Rome, the capital of the Gentile world.

Once was I stoned (Acts 14:19).

Thrice I suffered shipwreck - before the shipwreck at Melita, (Acts 27:1-44.) Probably in some of his voyages from Tarsus, where he stayed for some time after his conversion, and from which, as being a seafaring place, he was likely to make missionary voyages to adjoining places (Acts 9:30; Acts 11:25; Galatians 1:21).

A night and a day ... in the deep - probably swimming, or in an open boat.

Verse 26

In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

In - rather 'By:' connected with 2 Corinthians 11:23, but now not with "in," as there, and as in 2 Corinthians 11:27, where again he passes to the idea of surrounding circumstances or environments (Alford).

Waters, [ potamon (G4215)] - 'rivers'; namely, perils by their flooding, as on the road often traversed by Paul between Jerusalem and Antioch, crossed by the torrents rushing down from Lebanon.

Robbers - perhaps in his journey from Perga to Antioch in Pisidia. Pisidia was notorious for robbers; as indeed were all the mountains that divided the high land of Asia from the sea.

The heathen - Gentiles.

In the city - Damascus (Acts 9:24-25), Jerusalem (Acts 9:29), Ephesus (Acts 19:23).

False brethren (Galatians 2:4).

Verse 27

In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Fastings - voluntary, to kindle devotions (Acts 13:2-3; Acts 14:23; 1 Corinthians 9:27); for they are distinguished from "hunger and thirst" which were involuntary. See, however, note, 2 Corinthians 6:5. The context refers solely to hardships, not to self-imposed devotional mortifications. "Hunger and thirst" are not 'foodlessness' (as the Greek of "fastings" [ neesteiais (G3521)] means), but its consequences.

Cold and nakedness - "cold" resulting from "nakedness" [insufficient clothing: gumnoteeti (G1132)], as "hunger and thirst" result from 'foodlessness' (cf. Acts 28:2; Acts 28:2; Romans 8:35). 'When we remember that he who endured all this was a man constantly suffering from infirm health (2 Corinthians 4:7-12; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Galatians 4:13-14), such heroic self-devotion seems almost superhuman' (Conybeare and Howson).

Verse 28

Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

Without. 'Beside' trials externally, there is "that which cometh upon me [literally, the impetuous concourse to me of business; episustasis: so f g, Vulgate, a crowd rising up against one again and again, to bear him down], the care of all the churches" (including those not yet seen in the flesh, Colossians 2:1); an internal and more weighty anxiety. But 'Aleph (') B Delta G read epistasis (G1987a), 'the pressing inspection that is upon me daily.' Wahl, 'Independently of what is BESIDES' [ parektos (G3924)] - namely, those other trials besides those recounted. But the Vulgate supports the English version.

The care, [ merimna (G3308)] - 'my anxious solicitude for all the churches.'

Verse 29

Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

I am not weak - in condescending sympathy with the weak (1 Corinthians 9:22). 'Care generates sympathy, which causes the minister personally to enter into the feelings of all his people, as if he stood in their position' (Calvin).

Offended, [ skandalizetai (G4624)] - by some stumblingblock put in his way by others. The "weak" " is liable to be "offended." I burn not. The "I" in the Greek is emphatic, but not so in "I am not weak." I not only enter into the feeling of the party offended, but I burn with indignation at the offender, as if his cause were my own. Compare his zeal, 1 Corinthians 5:3-5.

Verse 30

If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.

Glory of ... infirmities. A striking contrast! Glorying in, not power, riches, eloquence, but what others make matter of shame-namely, infirmities; for instance, his humbling escape in a basket (2 Corinthians 11:33), imprisonment, etc.-a character incompatible with an enthusiast (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:5; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Verse 31

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.

This solemn reseveration refers to what precedes, and also what follows, including the revelation, 2 Corinthians 12:1-21, which is in beautiful contrast with the preceding infirmities. The persecution at Damascus was the first. He had no human witness of it to adduce, being a fact that happened long before, and was known to few (cf. Galatians 1:20): he therefore subjoins it separately. 'In Damascus also, before any of these trials, I had a narrow escape, when the ethnarch guarded the city of the Damascenes.' This accounts for the tautology. The ethnarch did it to please the Jews, who, in Acts 9:24, are said to have 'watched the gates day, and night to kill Paul.'

Verse 32

In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

Governor - Greek, 'Ethnarch'-a commandant to whom pagan rulers gave authority over the numerous Jews in large cities. He was in this case under Aretas, king of Arabia. Damascus was in a Roman province. But at this time, 38 or 39 A.D., three years after Paul's conversion, 36 AD, Aretas-against whom the emperor Tiberius, as the ally of Herod Antipas, had sent an army under Vitellius-had gotten possession of Damascus on the death of the emperor, and the consequent interruption of Vitellius' operations. The war of Aretas with Herod arose from the latter having put away, for Herodias, his wife, Aretas' daughter (Neander). Rather, it was granted by Caligula (38 AD) to Aretas, whose predecessors had possessed it. This is proved by our having no Damascene coins of Caligula or Claudius, though we have of their immediate imperial predecessors and successors (Alford).

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.