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- 2 Corinthians
by Matthew Poole
Concerning the sacred penman as well of this as the former Epistle, and the church to whom this as well as that Epistle was sent, enough hath been said before. It is plain, that the apostle, when he wrote it, was in Macedonia; probably at Philippi, which was the first city of Macedonia, Acts 16:12, whither Paul went after the uproar that Demetrius had made at Ephesus, of which we read, Acts 20:1. The occasion of his writing this Second Epistle seemeth to be, partly the false teachers' aspersing him:
1. As an inconstant man, because he had promised to come in person to Corinth, and was not yet come; the reason of which he showeth, 2 Corinthians 1:1-24, was not levity, but the troubles he met with in Asia, and his desire to hear they had first reformed the abuses he had taxed them for.
2. As an imperious man, because of the incestuous person against whom he had wrote; which charge he avoids, by showing the necessity of his writing in that manner, and giving new orders for the restoring him, upon the repentance he had showed.
3. As a proud and vain glorious man.
4. As a contemptible person; base in his person, as he expresseth it.
The further occasions of his writing were: To commend them for their kind reception of and compliance with the precepts and admonitions of his former Epistle, and their kind reception of Titus: as also to exhort them to a liberal contribution to the necessities of the saints in Judea, to which they had showed their forwardness a year before: and his hearing that there was yet a party amongst them bad enough, that went on in vilifying him and his authority, as well as in other sinful courses; against whom he vindicateth himself, magnifying his office, assuring them he was about to come to Corinth; when they should find him present such as, being absent, he had by his letters declared himself, if they were not reformed. The substance therefore of this Epistle is partly apologetical, or excusatory, where he excuseth himself for his not coming to Corinth so soon as he thought, and for his so severe writing as to the incestuous person: partly hortatory, where he persuadeth them, more generally, to walk worthy of the gospel; more specially, 2 Corinthians 8:1-24 and 2 Corinthians 9:1-15, to a liberal contribution to the saints: partly minatory, or threatening, where he threateneth severity against those whom, when he came amongst them, he should find contumacious and impenitent offenders. He concludes the Epistle (as usually) with a salutation of them, pious exhortations to them, and a prayer for them.
Eve of Ascension