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Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary
2 Corinthians 1

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

1. διὰ θελ. θεοῦ] see 1 Corinthians 1:1, note.

τιμόθεος ὁ ἀδ.] So of Sosthenes, 1 Corinthians 1:1; ‘one of οἱ ἀδελφοί;’—but perhaps in this case with peculiar emphasis: see 1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Timothy 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 2:1. On his being with Paul at this time, see Prolegg. to this Epistle, § ii. 4.

σὺν τ. ἁγ. πᾶσιν.…] This, and the Epistle to the Galatians, were circular letters to all the believers in the respective countries: the variation of expression in the two cases ( ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τ. γαλατίας, Galatians 1:2) being accounted for by the circumstance that the matter of this Epistle concerned directly the church at Corinth, and indirectly all the saints in the province,—whereas that to the Galatians, being to correct deeprooted Judaizing error, directly concerned all the churches of Galatia. Achaia comprehended Hellas and Peloponnesus; the province was so named by the Romans because they became possessed of them by subduing the Achæan league, Pausan. vii. 16. 7. See Acts 18:12.


Verse 1-2

ππροσ κορινθιουσ βροσ κορινθιουσ β

1, 2.] ADDRESS AND GREETING.


Verse 2

2.] See 1 Corinthians 1:3.


Verse 3

3.] εὐλ., Blessed (above all others) is.…

ὁ θ. κ. πατ] The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here, as in ref. Rom., De Wette would render, ‘God, and the Father’.…, which grammatically is allowable; but I prefer the other rendering, on account of its greater verisimilitude and simplicity.

ὁ π. τ. οἰκτιρ.] οἰκτ. can hardly be the gen. of the attribute, as De W. and Grot., seeing that οἰκτ. is plural and refers to acts of mercy; but as Chrys., p. 421, ὁ οἰκτιρμοὺς τοσούτους ἐπιδειξάμενος: see ref. James. This meaning De W. himself recognizes in ὁ θ. πάσης παρακλ.,—‘the God who works all (possible) comfort,’ and refers to ὁ θεὸς τ. ἐλπίδος, Romans 15:13.


Verses 3-11

3–11.] THANKSGIVING FOR DELIVERANCE FROM GREAT DANGER OF HIS LIFE:—HIS ABILITY TO COMFORT OTHERS IN AFFLICTION. Commentators have endeavoured to assign a definite purpose to this opening of the Epistle. De Wette thinks that Paul had no definite purpose, except to pour out the thankfulness of his heart, and to begin by placing himself with his readers in a position of religious feeling and principle far above all discord and dissension. But I cannot agree with this. His purpose shews so plainly through the whole latter part of the chapter, that it is only consistent with 2 Corinthians 1:12-24 to find it beginning to be introduced here also. I believe that Chrys. has given the right account: ἐλύπει λίαν αὐτοὺς κ. ἐθορύβει τὸ μὴ παραγενέσθαι ἐκεῖ τὸν ἀπόστολον, καὶ ταῦτα ἐπαγγειλάμενον, ἀλλὰ τὸν ἅπαντα ἐν ΄ακεδονίᾳ ἀναλῶσαι χρόνον, καὶ δοκεῖν αὐτῶν ἑτέρους προτετιμηκέναι. διὰ τοῦτο πρὸς τοῦτο ἱστάμενος τὸ θορυβεῖν (al. ἀνθορμοῦν), λέγει τὴν αἰτίαν διʼ ἣν οὐ παρεγένετο· οὐ μὴν ἐξ εὐθείας αὐτὴν τίθησιν, οὐδὲ λέγει ὅτι οἶδα μὲν ὑποσχόμενος ἥξειν, ἐπειδὴ δὲ διὰ τὰς θλίψεις ἐνεποδίσθην, σύγγνωτε, κ. μὴ καταγνῶτέ τινα ὑπεροψίαν ἢ ῥᾳθυμίαν ἡμῶν· ἀλλʼ ἑτέρως αὐτὸ (al. τοῦτο) κ. μεγαλοπρεπέστερον κ. ἀξιοπιστότερον κατασκευάζει, ἐπαίρων τῇ παραμυθίᾳ τὸ πρᾶγμα, ἵνα μηδὲ ἐρωτῶσι λοιπὸν τὴν αἰτίαν, διʼ ἣν ὑστέρησε. Hom. i. p. 420. Calvin, somewhat differently: “Incipit ab hac gratiarum actione, partim ut Dei bonitatem prædicet, partim ut animet Corinthios suo exemplo ad persecutiones fortiter sustinendas: partim ut pia gloriatione se efferat adversus malignas obtrectationes pseudapostolorum.” But this does not touch the matter of the postponed journey to Corinth, which through the latter part of the chapter is coming more and more visibly into prominence, till it becomes the direct subject in 2 Corinthians 1:23.


Verse 4

4.] The Apostle in this Epistle uses mostly the first person plur., perhaps as including Timothy, perhaps, inasmuch as he writes apostolically (cf. ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀποστόλους, of himself and Apollos, 1 Corinthians 4:9), as speaking of the Apostles in common. This however will not explain all places where it occurs elsewhere: e.g. 1 Thessalonians 2:18, ἠθελήσαμεν ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, ἐγὼ μὲν παῦλος, καὶ ἅπαξ κ. δίς,—where see note. So that after all perhaps it is best to regard it merely as an idiomatic way of speaking, when often only the singular is intended.

In order that we may be able: not, ‘so that we are able.’ διὰ τοῦτο γὰρ παρεκάλεσεν ἡμᾶς, φησίν, ἵνα ἡμεῖς ἀλλήλους παοακαλῶμεν. Chrys. ib. “Non sibi vivebat Apostolus, sed Ecclesiæ: ita quicquid gratiarum in ipsum conferebat Deus, non sibi soli datum reputabat, sed quo plus ad alios juvandos haberet facultatis.” Calv.

ἧς, attr. for , or perhaps (Winer, edn. 6, § 24. 1) for ἣν ( παράκλησιν παρακαλεῖν).


Verse 5

5.] ‘As He is, so are we in this world:’ 1 John 4:17. As the sufferings of Christ (endured by Christ, whether in his own person, or in his mystical body the Church, see Matthew 25:40; Matthew 25:45) abound towards us (i.e. in our case, see reff.);—even so through Christ our consolation also abounds. The form of expression is altered in the latter clause: instead of ἡ παράκλησις τοῦ χριστοῦ περις. we have ἡ παράκ. ἡμῶν περισς. διὰ τοῦ χριστοῦ. And not without reason:—we suffer, because we are His members: we are consoled because He is our Head. There is no comparison (as Chrys., p. 422, οὐ γὰρ ὅσα ἔπαθε, φησίν, ἐπάθομεν μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ περισσά) between the personal sufferings of Christ, and theirs.


Verse 6

6.] And all this for your benefit. But whether we are afflicted, (it is) on behalf of your comfort ( εἰς τὸ δύνασθαι κ. τ. λ. 2 Corinthians 1:4, only now applied to the Corinthians) and salvation (the great end of the παράκλησις), which (viz. παράκλησις and σωτηρία) is working (not, as Chrys., Theophyl., Estius, Beza, al., ‘being worked:’ the passive does not occur in St. Paul) in the endurance of the same sufferings which we also suffer;—and our hope is stedfast on your behalf (that you will endure hardness, and be consoled and saved);—or whether we are comforted, (it is) for your comfort and salvation. This place of the words καὶὑμῶν agrees best with the sense, besides being in accordance with the best MSS. Their position has perhaps been altered to bring the two parts of the dilemma closer together, and because ἐλπὶς ἡμῶν seemed to suit the part. εἰδότες, and the future supposed to be implied after οὕτως καί (as in E. V.). The objection to this is (as De W.) that the ἐλπίς clearly must be referred to σωτηρία, which however is not hinted at in 2 Corinthians 1:7.


Verse 7

7.] εἰδότες refers back to παρακαλούμεθα:—we are comforted with the assurance that, &c. After οὕτως καί understand not ἔσεσθε, but ἐστε: he is speaking generally, of the community of consolation subsisting mutually between himself and the Corinthians; and it was this thought which helped to console him.


Verse 8

8.] see var. read.

It is generally supposed that the tribulation here spoken of was the danger into which Paul was brought by the tumult at Ephesus, related in Acts 19. This opinion has been recently defended by Neander, Wieseler, and Dr. Davidson, but impugned by De Wette, on the grounds, (1) that ἐν τῇ ἀσίᾳ can hardly refer to Ephesus, which Paul generally names, 1 Corinthians 15:32; 1 Corinthians 16:8; (2) that he was not in danger of his life in this tumult. The first ground is hardly tenable: there would be an appropriateness in ἐν τῇ ἀσίᾳ here, as he has in his mind an apologetic account of the reasons which hindered him from leaving those parts and coming to them. I own, however, that the strong expressions here used do not seem to me to find their justification in any thing which we know of that tumult or its consequences. I am unable to assign any other event as in the Apostle’s mind: but the expressions seem rather to regard a deadly sickness, than a persecution: see below, 2 Corinthians 1:9-10.

καθʼ ὑπερβ. signifies the greatness of the affliction itself, objectively considered: ὑπὲρ δύν., the relation of it to our power of endurance, subjectively.

ὥστε ἐξ.] So that we utterly despaired even of life. Such an expression surely would not be used of a tumult, where life would have been the first thing in danger, if Paul had been at all mixed up in it,—but to some wearing and tedious suffering, inducing despondency in minor matters, which even reached the hope of life itself.


Verse 9

9.] ἀλλά, moreover,—carries on and intensifies the description of his hopeless state.

We had in ourselves the response of death, i.e. our answer within ourselves to the question, ‘Life or Death?’ was, ‘Death.’ So Vulg., Estius, Billroth, Rückert, Meyer, De Wette.

τ. ἀπόκρ. may perhaps mean, the ‘sentence,’ as Hesych(1): ἀπόκριμα, κατάκριμα, ψῆφον,—and most Commentators. The perfect ἐσχήκαμεν is here (see also ch. 2 Corinthians 2:12-13) in a historical sense, instead of the aorist: which is unusual. Winer, edn. 6, § 40. 4 (see Moulton’s note 4, p. 340), illustrates the usage by ἦλθεν καὶ εἴληφεν ( τὸ βιβλίον), Revelation 5:7; see also Revelation 8:5.

ἵνα μὴ] very similarly ch. 2 Corinthians 4:7, ἔχομεν δὲ τὸν θησαυρὸν τοῦτον ἐν ὀστρακίνοις σκεύεσιν, ἵνα ἡ ὑπερβολὴ τῆς δυνάμεως ᾖ τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ μὴ ἐξ ἡμῶν.

τῷ ἐγ. τ. νεκρούς] Our thoughts were weaned from all hope of surviving in this life, and fixed on that better deliverance which God shall work when He raises us from the dead.

To see in this expression merely a figure (De W.), and understand ‘Who raiseth the dead’ as = ‘Who delivers men from peril of their lives?’ because such peril is below and elsewhere (ch. 2 Corinthians 11:23) called θάνατος,—is surely very forced. Understanding it literally as above, I cannot see how it can be spoken with reference to the Ephesian tumult. If it alludes to any external danger, I should be disposed to refer it to the same obscure part of Paul’s history to which he alludes 1 Corinthians 15:32, where he also speaks of the hope of the resurrection as his great support. But there would be this objection, that these two passages can hardly refer to the same event; this evidently had taken place since the sending of the first Epistle.


Verse 10

10.] Who rescued us from so great a death, and will rescue us,—on whom we hope that He will also continue to rescue us. The rec. ῥύεται, has been substituted for the fut. ῥύσεται, as more appropriate. But it regards the immediate future,—the καὶ ἔτι ῥύσεται the continuance of God’s help in time distant and uncertain. The whole verse (as De W. confesses, who although he repudiates the Ephesian tumult, yet interprets the passage as alluding to external danger) seems to favour the idea of bodily sickness being in the Apostle’s mind.


Verse 11

11.] συνυπουργούντωνwith whom? From the similar passage Romans 15:30, συναγωνίσασθαί μοι ἐν ταῖς προσευχαῖς ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ, it would seem as if μοι should be supplied;—but he himself could hardly be said ὑπουργεῖν, though he well might ἀγωνίσασθαι. We must therefore understand the preposition either with Chrys., Hom. ii. p. 432, τουτέστιν, εὐχομένων πάντων ὑμῶν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν,—or as merely signifying coincidence with the purpose to be accomplished, as in μὴ προσεῶντος ἡμᾶς τοῦ ἀνέμου, Acts 27:7, where see note.

ἵνα ἐκ πολλῶν προσώπων.…] “Three constructions of this verse are possible: (1) to take ἐκ πολλ. προσώπ. as well as διὰ πολλῶν with, εὐχαριστηθῇ—‘in order that the mercy shewn to me may be given thanks for on my behalf by many persons with many words’ (Storr, Opusc. ii. 253): but the rendering ‘with many words,’ is objectionable, see Matthew 6:7 :—(2) to take ἐκ πολλ. προσώπ. with εὐχαρ., and διὰ πολλῶν with τὸ εἰς ἡμ. χάρ.—‘in order that the mercy shewn to me by means of (the intercession of) many, may be given thanks for by many persons on my behalf’ (Theophyl., Billroth, Meyer, who explain ἐκ π. προσώπ. ‘ex multis oribus:’ Stanley, ‘from many upturned faces’): but the position of the words is against this,—and it is more natural that the mention of the effect of the intercession should precede that of the thanksgiving. (3) Consequently, the best method is to take ἐκ πολλ. προσώπ. with τὸ εἰς ἡμ. χάρ., and διὰ πολλῶν with εὐχαρ. (Beza, Calov., Estius, Fritz., Rückert, al.):—in order that the mercy shewn to us by the intercession of many persons, may by many be given thanks for on our behalf.” De Wette.

The emphasis of the whole being on the ἐκ πολλῶν προσώπων, he places it first, even before the art., after which it would naturally come.

προσώπων, ‘persons,’ a later meaning, which Phrynichus (see Wetst.) blames as used by οἱ ἀμφὶ τὰς δίκας ῥήτορες.


Verse 12

12.] γάρ, reason why they should help him with their united prayers.

καύχησις] viewed in its ground and substance. But we must not say that it is for καύχημα: the Apostle regards the μαρτύριον and the καύχησις as coincident:—it is not the testimony, &c., of which he boasts, but in which his boasting itself consists.

ἁγιότ.] ἁπλότητι seems to be a gloss from Ephesians 6:5 :—in holiness and sincerity of God: i.e. either ‘belonging to God,’ as ἡ δικαιος. αὐτοῦ, Matthew 6:33, or ‘which is the gift of God,’ as in ref. Rom.,—or better than either, as E. V., ‘godly,’ i.e. maintained as in the service of and with respect to God. Calvin interprets it, ‘coram Deo.’ See on ch. 2 Corinthians 2:17; and on the senses of ἁγιότ. and ἁπλότ., Stanley’s note.

οὐκ ἐν σοφ. σαρκ.] which fleshly wisdom is any thing but holy and pure, having many windings and insincerities in order to captivate men.

ἀλλʼ ἐν χάρ. θεοῦ] but in the grace of God, i.e. in that χάρις which he had received (ref. Rom.) εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν—the grace of his apostleship. To this he often refers, see Romans 12:3; Romans 15:15; Ephesians 3:2, al.

περισσοτέρως] “Non quod apud alios minus sincere con-versatus fuisset; sed quia majora sinceræ suæ conversationis documenta apud Corinthios ostenderat: ut quibus gratis ac sine stipendio prædicasset evangelium, parcens eorum infirmitati.” Estius. But perhaps it may relate only to the longer time, and greater opportunities which he had had at Corinth for shewing his purity of purpose: so Calv., De W.


Verses 12-24

12–24.] EXPRESSION OF HIS CONFIDENCE IN HIS INTEGRITY OF PURPOSE TOWARDS THEM (12–14), AND DEFENCE OF HIMSELF AGAINST THE CHARGE OF FICKLENESS OF PURPOSE IN NOT HAVING COME TO THEM (15–24).


Verse 13-14

13, 14.] Confirmation of the foregoing assertion. For we do not write to you any other things, except those which ye read, or [even] acknowledge (by experience of facts), and I hope, shall [continue to] acknowledge to the end:—i.e. ‘my character in my writings is one and the same, not fickle and changing, but such as past facts have substantiated it to be, and as I hope future facts to the end of my life will continue to do.’ ἀναγινώσκοντες γὰρ ἐπιγινώσκετε, ὅτι ἃ σύνιστε ἡμῖν ἐν τοῖς ἔργοις, ταῦτα καὶ ἐν τοῖς γράμμασι λέγομεν· καὶ οὐκ ἐναντιοῦται ὑμῶν ἡ μαρτυρία ταῖς ἐπιστολαῖς, ἀλλὰ συνᾴδει τῇ ἀναγνώσει ἡ γνῶσις, ἣν προλαβόντες εἴχετε (al. ἔχετε) περὶ ἡμῶν. Chrys., Hom. iii. p. 443, who has the advantage of being able to express in his exposition the play of words in ἀνα- and ἐπι- γινώσκετε. As also ye did partly (that part of you, viz. which have fairly tried me: ἀπὸ μέρους, because they were divided in their estimate of him, and those who were prejudiced against him had shut their minds to this knowledge. Chrys. refers it to what follows: μετριάζων εἶπεν: Theophyl. to the not yet completed testimony of his ἐναρέτου βίου: Estius and Calvin, to their inadequate estimation of him, which he blames: but I much prefer the above. So most Commentators) acknowledge us, that (not ‘because,’ putting a colon at μέρους, as Luth., Griesbach, and Scholz: nor is it to be joined with ἐπιγνώσεσθε, what follows being parenthesized, as Theophyl., al., Meyer, Olsh.) we are your boast, [even] as ye [also] are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus. ἐσμεν, ‘present,’ as of that which is a settled recognized fact. But this is no ground for its being joined with ἐπιγνώσεσθε, as Olsh. The experimental mutual knowledge of one another as a καύχημα was not confined to what should take place ἐν τῇ ἡμ. τ. κ. ἰησοῦ, but regarded a present fact, which should receive its full completion at the day of the Lord.


Verse 15

15.] ταύτῃ τῇ πεπ., i.e. of my character being known to you as that of an earnest and sincere man.

πρότερον belongs to ἐλθεῖν, not to ἐβουλόμην. πρότερον, viz. before he visited Macedonia, where he now was.

ἵνα δευτέραν χάριν σχῆτε] that you might have a second benefit (effusion of the divine χάρις by my presence: not = χαράν as Chrys., see var. read.).

δευτέραν second, because there would thus have been opportunity for two visits, one in going towards Macedonia, the other in returning. This is the interpretation of De Wette, Bleek, and Wieseler, and I believe the only one which the words will bear. The other, according to which δευτέραν χάριν would mean ‘a second benefit,’ by my visiting you for the second time, is in my view unnatural, and would hardly have justified the use of δευτέραν at all. For come when he would, the χάρις of the second visit would be the δευτέρα χάρις, and the conferring a δευτέρα χάρις would have been of no signification in the present connexion, which is to state a purpose of paying them two visits in one and the same journey. The first of these he characterizes by πρότερονἐλθεῖν,—the second by δευτέρα χάρις, implying also the first. So that I do not believe this passage to be relevant to the question respecting the number of visits which Paul had made to Corinth previously to writing these Epistles. See on that question, Prolegg. to 1 Cor. § v.


Verses 15-24

15–24.] His defence of himself against the charge of fickleness of purpose for not having come to them.


Verse 16

16.] If this is the same journey which is announced in 1 Corinthians 16:5, the idea of visiting them in the way to Macedonia as well as after having passed through it, must have occurred to him subsequently to the sending of that Epistle; or may even then have been a wish, but not expressed, from uncertainty as to its possibility,—the main and longer visit being there principally dwelt on. But perhaps the following is the more likely account of the matter. He had announced to them in the lost Epistle (see 1 Corinthians 5:9) his intention, as here, of visiting them on his way to Macedonia: but the intelligence from “them of Chloe” had altered his intention, so that, in 1 Corinthians 16, he speaks of visiting them after he should have passed through Macedonia. For this he was accused of levity of purpose. Certainly, some intention of coming to them seems to have been mentioned in that lost Epistle: see 1 Corinthians 4:18. But the προπεμφθῆναι εἰς τὴν ἰουδαίαν can hardly but be coincident with the alms-bearing scheme of 1 Corinthians 16:4; in which case the two plans certainly are modifications of one and the same.


Verse 17

17.] μή τι Did I at all use levity (of purpose)? τῇ ἐλαφ., as ἡ ἀρετή, ἡ πίστις,—the art. being generic. Olsh., De Wette, Billroth, take it to mean ‘the levity of purpose which has been laid to my charge:’ Winer, ‘the levity of purpose inherent in human nature.

Or those things which I plan, do I plan according to the flesh (i.e. according to the changeable, self-contradictory, and insincere purposes of the mere worldly and ungodly man), that there may be with me (not, so that there is with me: he is speaking not merely of the result, but of the design: ‘do I plan like the worldly, that I may shift and waver as suits me?’) the Yea, yea, and the Nay, nay (i.e. both affirmation and negation concerning the same thing)? Chrys, Theodoret, Theophyl., Œc(2), Calv., Bengel, Billroth, Winer, al., take it thus: ‘Or those things which I plan, do I plan after the flesh (as fleshly men do), so that my yea must (at all events) be yea, and my nay, nay?’ i.e. as worldly men who perform their promise at all hazards, and whatever the consequences, whereas I am under the guidance of the Spirit, and can only journey whither He permits. But this explanation is directly against the next verse, where ναὶ καὶ οὔ is clearly parallel to ναὶ ναὶ καὶ οὒ οὔ here, the words being repeated, as in ref. Matt., without altering the sense: and inconsistent with 2 Corinthians 1:23 and ch. 2 Corinthians 2:1, where he says that his alteration of plan arose from a desire to spare them. See the whole discussed in Stanley’s note.


Verse 18

18.] Such fickleness, you know, was not my habit in preaching to you. Chrys. gives the connexion well: καλῶς ἀντίθεσιν ἀνακύπτουσαν καταλύει. εἰ γὰρ ὑποσχόμενος, φησί, παραγενέσθαι ὑπερέθου, καὶ οὐκ ἔστι παρά σοι ναί, ναί (predicate in Chrys.’s interpretation; see above), καὶ οὔ, οὔ, ἀλλὰ νῦν ἃ λέγεις ἀνατρέπεις μετὰ ταῦτα, ὥσπερ ἐπὶ τῆς σῆς ἐπιδημίας ἐποίησας· οὐαὶ ἡμῖν, μή ποτε καὶ ἐν τῷ κηρύγματι τοῦτο γέγονεν. ἵνʼ οὖν μὴ ταῦτα ἐννοῶσι, μηδὲ θορυβῶνται, φησί· πιστὸς δὲ ὁ θεὸς κ. τ. λ. p. 446.

πιστ. δὲ ὁ θ., ὅτι] a form of asseveration: see reff.

The δέ follows on the denial of the preceding question.

ὁ λόγ. Our doctrine (which we preached, cf. ὁ λόγος ὁ τοῦ σταυροῦ, 1 Corinthians 1:18), to you is not (present, inasmuch as the character of the doctrine was present and abiding. The pres. has been altered in rec. to the easier ἐγένετο) yea and nay (i.e. inconsistent with itself).


Verse 19

19.] Confirmation of the last verse, by affirming the same of the great Subject of that doctrine, as set before them by Paul and his colleagues.

χριστός, personal—not for ‘doctrina de Christo’—HE HIMSELF is the centre and substance of all Christian preaching: see 1 Corinthians 1:23, and note at 2 Corinthians 2:2.

ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ υἱός is prefixed for solemnity, and to shew how unlikely fickleness or change is in Christ, being such as He is. Cf. 1 Samuel 15:29, ‘the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent.’

σιλουανοῦ] so 1 Peter 5:12; = Silas, see Acts 18:5 and al. He names his companions, as shewing that neither was he inconsistent with himself, nor were they inconsistent with one another. The Christ was the same, whether preached by different persons or by one person at different times.

ἀλλὰ ναὶ ἐν αὐτ. γέγ.] ‘Christus prædicatus, i.e. prædicatio nostra de Christo, facta est næ in Ipso Christo.’ Bengel. This seems to me far better than with De Wette, al., to make ναί the subject, and γέγονεν predicatory. The absence of the art. before ναί, as well as the sense, stamps it as the predicate. ‘Christ preached as the Son of God by us, has become yea in Him,’ i.e. has been affirmed and substantiated as verity by the agency of the Lord Himself.


Verse 20

20.] ὅσαι γὰρ is an independent relative clause, as in ref.,—not the subject answering to ἐν αὐτῷ τὸ ναί as a predicate, as E. V.:—For how many soever be the promises of God, in Him is the yea (the affirmation and fulfilment of them all); wherefore also through Him is the Amen, for glory to God by our (the Apostles’) means. This reading, which has the stronger external authority, may have arisen from an idea that the clause had reference to the Amen uttered at the end of prayers. So Theodoret, οὗ δὴ χάριν καὶ διʼ αὐτοῦ τὸν τῆς εὐχαριστίας αὐτῷ προσφέρομεν ὕμνον, from which comment De Wette thinks the reading has sprung. The apparent objection to it is, that then ἡμῶν must mean ἡμῶν καὶ ὑμῶν, which without notice it perhaps could hardly do. In the next verse, when such is about to be its meaning, we have first ἡμᾶς σὺν ὑμῖν, and then in 2 Corinthians 1:22, ἡμᾶςἡμῶν in the general sense: but here, without any such preparatory notice, διʼ ἡμῶν must signify ‘by means of us Apostles,’ ‘by our work in the Lord.’ Thus ἀμήν will be merely a strengthening of ναί—the affirmation and completion of God’s promises.


Verse 21

21.] ὁ δὲ βεβ.… ἡμᾶς is the (prefixed) predicate, and θεός the subject., βεβ. εἰς χριστόν = βεβ. τῇ πίστει εἰς χριστόν, confirmeth us (in believing) on Christ.

χρίσας ἡμᾶς, after ἡμ. σὺν ὑμῖν and the καί, cannot refer (as Meyer, al.) to any anointing of the Apostles only, but must be taken, as Chrys., al., of all, Apostles and Corinthians.— ὁμοῦ προφήτας κ. ἱερεῖς κ. βασιλεῖς ἐργαζόμενος· ταῦτα γὰρ τὸ παλαιὸν ἐχρίετο τὰ γένη. Chrys., p. 448. See 1 John 2:20. “Observe the connexion of χριστός and χρίσας.” Stanley.


Verse 21-22

21, 22.] construction as in ch. 2 Corinthians 5:5, which in form is remarkably similar;


Verse 22

22.] σφραγ. again cannot refer to the Apostles alone, nor is ref. John any ground for such a reference,—but as in the other N. T. reff., to all,—sealed by the Holy Spirit to the day of redemption.

καὶ δοὺς.…] ‘And assured us of the fact of that sealing:’ see Romans 8:16.

τ. ἀῤῥ. τ. πν.] the pledge or token of the Spirit: genitive of apposition: the Spirit is the token. ἀῤῥ., πρόδομα, Hesych(3):— ἡ ἐπὶ ταῖς ὠναῖς παρὰ τῶν ὠνουμένων διδομένη προκαταβολὴ ὑπὲρ ἀσφαλείας, Etymol. in Wetst., where see examples. “It is remarkable that the same word עֵרָבוֹן, is used in the same sense in Genesis 38:17-18, from עָרַב, to ‘mix’ or ‘exchange,’ and thence to ‘pledge,’ as Jeremiah 30:21; Nehemiah 5:3. It was therefore probably derived by the Greeks from the language of Phœnician traders, as ‘tariff,’ ‘cargo,’ are derived, in English and other modern languages, from Spanish traders.” Stanley.


Verse 23

23. ἐπὶ.… ψυχ.] against my soul,—‘cum maximo meo malo, si fallo.’ Grot.

φειδόμενος ὑμ.] sparing you,—out of a feeling of compassion for you.

οὐκέτιno more,’ viz. after the first time: see Prolegg. to 1 Cor. § 2 Corinthians 1:6. The following οὐχ ὅτι κυρ. seems to be added to remove any false inference which might have been drawn from φειδόμενος as seeming to assert an unreasonable degree of power over them. But why ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως? He had power over them, but it was in matters of discipline, not of faith: over matters of faith not even an Apostle has power (‘fides enim prorsus ab hominum jugo soluta liberrimaque esse debet.’ Calv.), seeing it is in each man’s faith that he stands before God. And he puts this strongly, that in matters of faith he is only a fellow-helper of their joy (the χαρὰ ἐν τῷ πιστεύειν, Romans 15:13), in order to shew them the real department of his apostolic power, and that, however exercised, it would not attempt to rule their faith, but only to secure to them, by purifying them, joy in believing. He proceeds to say, that it was the probable disturbance of this joy, which induced bim to forego his visit.

τῇ πίστει, dat. of the state or condition in which: cf. Romans 11:20. So Polyb. xxi. 9. ἔστη τῇ διανοίᾳ.


Verse 23-24

23, 24.] His reason for not coming to them.

 


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Bibliography Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/2-corinthians-1.html. 1863-1878.

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