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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
2 Corinthians 1

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

παύλου πρὸς κορινθίους ἐπιστολὴ δευτέρα.

A B K א, min. have only πρὸς κορινθίους B., the most simple, and doubtless the oldest superscription.

CHAPTER 1

2 Corinthians 1:6. εἴτε παρακαλούμεθα, ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμῶν παρακλήσεως, τῆς ἐνεργουμένης ἐν ὑπομονῇ τῶν αὐτῶν παθημάτων, ὧν καὶ ἡμεῖς πάσχομεν· καὶ ἐλπὶς ἡμῶν βεβαία ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν· εἰδότες κ. τ. λ.] So Beza, ed. 3, 4, 5, Beng. and Griesb., following A C, min. Syr. Erp. Copt. Aeth. Arm. Flor. Harl. Vulg. Ephr. Antioch. Ambrosiast. Pel. Beda. But Elz. (following Erasm. ed. 2(121)): τῆς ἐνεργου΄ένης ἐν ὑπο΄ονῇ τῶν αὐτῶν παθη΄άτων ὧν καὶ ἡ΄εῖς πάσχο΄εν· εἴτε παρακαλού΄εθα, ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑ΄ῶν παρακλήσεως καὶ σωτηρίας· καὶ ἐλπὶς ἡ΄. βεβ. ὑπὲρ ὑ΄ῶν· εἰδότες κ. τ. λ. Finally, Lachm. Tisch. Scholz, and Rück, read, with Matth., after Erasm. ed. 1 : καὶ ἐλπὶς ἡ΄. βεβ. ὑπὲρ ὑ΄ῶν immediately after πάσχο΄εν, but in other respects with Elz., and have the support of B D E F G K L א, min. Ar. pol. Goth. Syr. p. Slav. It. Chrys. Theodoret, Damasc. Phot. Theophyl. Oec. The Recepta must be rejected on account of the want of ancient attestation, and the choice remains only between Griesbach’s and Lachmann’s reading. The latter is defended most thoroughly by Reiche, Comment, crit. I. p. 318 ff. But the former, sufficiently attested, appears to be the original, in so far as from it the rise of the others is easily and naturally explained. An immediate transition was made from the first παρακλ. to the second; the intermediate words were left out, and brought in again afterwards at wrong places, so that the corruption of the text proceeded thus:—1. Original form of 2 Corinthians 1:6 as in Griesb. 2. First corruption: εἴτε δὲ θλιβό΄εθα, ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑ΄ῶν παρακλήσεως, τῆς ἐνεργου΄ένης ἐν ὑπο΄. τῶν αὐτῶν παθη΄. ὧν κ. ἡ΄εῖς πάσχο΄εν· καὶ ἐλπὶς ἡ΄ῶν βεβαία ὑπὲρ ὑ΄ῶν. 3. Erroneous restoration: εἴτε δὲ θλιβόμεθαὑπὲρ ὑμῶν· εἴτε παρακαλούμεθα, ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμῶν παρακλ. Anothe erroneous restoration (“ex judicio eclectico,” Beng. Appar.) is contained in the Received text. 4. The καὶ σωτηρίας, still wanting, was finally added, in part rightly only after the first παρακλ., in part wrongly only after the second παρακλ. (B, 176), in part wrongly after both.—2 Corinthians 1:8. ὑπὲρ τῆς θλ.] A C D E F G א, min. Bas. Chrys. Theodoret, Antioch. have περὶ τ. θλ. So Lachm. Rück. But περί offered itself as more curren.

ἡ΄ῖν] is wanting in preponderant witnesses. Suspected by Griesb., rejected by Lachm. Rück. A superfluous gloss on γενο΄.—2 Corinthians 1:10. καὶ ῥύεται] is wanting in A D* Syr. Clar. Germ. Vulg. ms. Chrys. Ambrosiast. So Rück. But B C א, 73, 93, 211, Copt. Aeth. Arm. Slav. ms. Tol. Boern. Ath. Damasc. have καὶ ῥύσεται. So Lachm., but in brackets. Thus the Recepta, reverted to even by Tisch., has certainly preponderating testimony against it; still it retains the considerable attestation of D*** E F G K L, and most min. Vulg. Syr. p. Theodoret, Theophylact, Oec. Or. int. Jer., and the subsequent ῥύσεται might very easily be written at once after καί instead of ῥύεται, so that subsequently, owing to the erroneous restoration of what was left out, the spurious καὶ ῥύσεται in some cases remained, but in others was dropped without the genuine καὶ ῥύεται being put in its place.—2 Corinthians 1:11. εὐχαρ. ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν] The reading εὐχαρ. ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, though preferred by Beng., recommended by Reiche, and adopted by Tisch., has weaker attestation, and does not suit the sense.—2 Corinthians 1:12. ἁπλότητι] A B C K א* min. Copt. Arm. Clem. Or. Damasc. have ἁγίοτητι. So Lachm. Rück. Rightly; ἁπλότητι, though defended by Reiche and Tisch., must be considered as a gloss of more precise definition; it was from our very Epistle well known and current, whereas ἁγίοτης was unfamiliar (only elsewhere in Hebrews 12:10).—2 Corinthians 1:13. The first is wanting in A, min. Bracketed by Rück. But appearing superfluous, and not being understood, it was omitted.—2 Corinthians 1:16. διελθεῖν] A D* F G, 80, Copt. Chrys. Damasc.: ἀπελθεῖν. Recommended by Griesb., adopted by Lachm. and Rück. Rightly; it was more natural to introduce the reminiscence of 1 Corinthians 16:5 than that of Romans 15:28.—2 Corinthians 1:17. βουλόμενος] Elz. and Tisch. have βουλεύομενος, against preponderant evidence. Gloss in accordance with what follows.—2 Corinthians 1:18. ἐγένετο] Lachm. Scholz, Rück. Tisch. have ἔστιν, as Griesb. also recommended, in accordance with a great preponderance of testimony. ἐγένετο, which Reiche defends, came in from 2 Corinthians 1:19.—2 Corinthians 1:20. καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ] A B C F G א, min. vss. and Fathers have διὸ καὶ διʼ αὐτοῦ. So Lachm. Rück. The Recepta arose in this way: διό fell out by an omission of the copyist (so still D* Clar. Germ.), and was then added to διʼ αὐτοῦ after the previous ἐν αὐτῷ as a gloss, which accordingly came into the text. This alteration was the more natural, as the two definitions διʼ αὐτοῦ and διʼ ἡ΄ῶν might seem not to accord. The liturgical reference of the ἀ΄ήν does not appear a sufficient occasion for the insertion of διό, nor for the change from ἐν αὐτῷ into διʼ αὐτοῦ, particularly after the ἐν αὐτῷ which went before and was left unglossed. This in opposition to Fritzsche, de conform. Lachm. p. 56, and Reiche, Comment. crit. I. 331 ff.


Verse 1-2

2 Corinthians 1:1-2. Address and greetin.

διὰ θελ. θεοῦ] See on 1 Corinthians 1:1.

καὶ τιμόθ.] His relation to this Epistle is the same as that of Sosthenes to the first Epistle: he appears, not as amanuensis, but as (subordinate) joint-sender of it. See on 1 Corinthians 1:1.

ἀδελφ.] as at 1 Corinthians 1:1.

σὺν τοῖς ἁγίοις πᾶσι κ. τ. λ.] Grotius: “Voluit P. exempla hujus epistolae mitti ad alias in Achaia ecclesias.” So also Rosenmüller, Emmerling, and others. But, in that case, would not Paul have rather written σὺν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις πάσαις? Comp. Galatians 1:2. And are the contents of the Epistle suited for an encyclical destination? No; he means, in agreement with 1 Corinthians 1:2, the Christians living outside of Corinth, scattered through Achaia, who attached themselves to the church-community in Corinth, which must therefore have been the sole seat of a church—the metropolis of the Christians in the province. The state of matters in Galatia was different.

Under Achaia we must, according to the sense then attached to it, understand Hellas and Peloponnesus. This province and that of Macedonia comprehended all Greece. See on Acts 18:12.—2 Corinthians 1:2. See on Romans 1:7.


Verse 3

2 Corinthians 1:3. θεὸς κ. πατ. κ. τ. λ.] God, who is at the same time father of Jesus Christ. See on 1 Corinthians 15:24; Romans 15:6. Against the connection of τοῦ κυρίου κ. τ. λ. also with θεός (Hofmann), see on Ephesians 1:3.

πατὴρ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν] אֲבִי הַרַחֲמִים, i.e. the Father, whose fatherly frame of mind and disposition is compassionateness,—the compassionate Father ( μάλιστα ἴδιον θεοῦ καὶ ἐξαίρετον καὶ τῇ φύσει συγκεκληρωμένον, Chrysostom). Comp. on 1 Corinthians 2:8 and Ephesians 1:17. It is the qualitative genitive, such as we find in the language of the Greek poets (Seidl. ad Electr. 651; Herm. ad Viger. p. 890 f.). Rückert (comp. before him Theodoret) takes it as the genitivus effecti: “The Father from whom all compassion comes” (comp. 2 Corinthians 13:11; Romans 15:5; Romans 15:13, al.). But, since οἰκτιρμοί (comp. Plato, Polit. p. 305 B) is the subjective compassion (Tittm. Synon. 69 f.), it would have to be explained: “The Father who works in us compassion, sympathy,” and this sense would be altogether unsuitable to the connection. On the contrary, τῶν οἰκτιρμ. is the specific quality of the Father, which dwells in Him just as the Father of Christ, and in consequence of which He is also θεὸς πάσης παρακλ.; and this genitive is that of the effect which issues from the Merciful One: “The compassionate Father and God who worketh every consolation.” This rendering, differing from that of the first genitive, is demanded by 2 Corinthians 1:4 (in opposition to Hofmann); comp. 2 Corinthians 7:6; Romans 15:5. As to οἰκτιρμοί, see on Romans 12:1. Observe that the characteristic appellation of God in this passage is an artless outflow of the experience, which was still fresh in the pious heart of the apostle, 2 Corinthians 1:8-10.


Verses 3-11

2 Corinthians 1:3-11. A conciliatory introduction,—an effusion of affectionate emotion (comp. Ephesians 1:3) out of the fulness of special and still recent experience. There is no hint of a set purpose in it; and it is an arbitrary supposition, whether the purpose be found in an excuse for the delay of his journey (Chrysostom, Theophylact), or in a confirmation of his apostolic standing (Beza, comp. Calovius, Mosheim), or in an attestation of the old love, which Paul presupposes also on the part of the readers (Billroth), and at the same time in a slight alienation which had been suggested by his sufferings (Osiander).


Verse 4

2 Corinthians 1:4. ἡμᾶς] Where Paul in this Epistle does not mean himself exclusively, but wishes to include Timothy also (or others, according to the context), although often only as quite subordinate, he speaks in the plural. He does not express himself communicativè, but in the singular, where he gives utterance to his own personal conviction or, in general, to anything concerning himself individually (2 Corinthians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 1:17; 2 Corinthians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 2:1-10; 2 Corinthians 2:12-13; 2 Corinthians 7:4; 2 Corinthians 7:7 ff., al.). Hence the frequent interchange between the singular and plural forms of expression.(122)

Chrysostom already gives the force of the present παρακαλῶν correctly: ὅτι οὐχ ἅπαξ, οὐδὲ δὶς, ἀλλὰ διηνεκῶς τοῦτο ποιεῖ διὸ εἶπεν παρακαλῶν, οὐχ παρακαλέσας.

ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ θλίψει] concerning all our affliction. The collective sufferings are regarded as one whole. Afterwards, on the other hand, ἐν πάσῃ θλ.: in every affliction. ἐπί marks the ethical foundation, i.e. here the cause, on account of which. See Matthiae, p. 1373. Comp. 2 Maccabees 7:5 f.; Deuteronomy 32:36. According to Rück., παρακαλ. denotes the delivering, and hence he takes ἐπί of the circumstances: in. See Matthiae, p. 1370. But throughout the passage παρακ. means to comfort; and it is quite an open question, how the comforting takes place, whether by calming or by delivering. God did both in the apostle’s cas.

εἰς τὸ δύνασθαι κ. τ. λ.] in order that we may be able, etc. For he, who for himself received comfort from God, is by his experience placed in the position of being able to comfort others. And how important was this teleological view of his own sorrows for the apostolic calling! “Omnia sua P. ad utilitatem ecclesiae refert,” Grotiu.

τοὺς ἐν πάσῃ θλίψει] is erroneously and arbitrarily taken as equivalent to πάντας τοὺς ἐν θλίψει (see Emmerling, Flatt, Rückert). It means: those to be found in every trouble, the all-distressed; not: those to be found in whatever sort of trouble (Hofmann), but ἐν παντὶ θλιβόμενοι, 2 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 7:5.

διὰ τῆς παρακλ. κ. τ. λ.] i.e. through communication of our own comfort, which we experience from God. This more precise determination of the sense is demanded both by the preceding mention of the purpose εἰς τὸ δύνασθαι κ. τ. λ., and by the αὐτοί. Olshausen, it is true, holds that Paul conceives the comfort to be a real power of the Spirit, which may again be conveyed to others by the recei2Colossians 1 :But there is no analogy in the whole N. T. for this conception; for Matthew 10:13 is merely a concrete illustration of the efficacy or non-efficacy of the εἰρήνη ὑ΄ῖν.

ἧς] Attracted, as in Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 4:1, because one can say παράκλησιν παρακαλεῖν. See Gieseler in Rosenmüller, Repert. II. p. 124; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 247 [E. T. 287]. The attracted genitive instead of the dative in other cases is very rare. See Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. ii. 2. 5.

αὐτοί] ipsi, for our own selves, in contrast to the others to be comforted.


Verse 5

2 Corinthians 1:5. Ground assigned for the ἧς παρακαλούμεθα αὐτοὶ ὑπὸ τ. θεοῦ.

περισσεύει εἰς ἡμᾶς] is abundant in relation to us, i.e. it is imparted to us above measure, in a very high degree. Comp. Romans 5:15.

τὰ παθήματα τοῦ χριστοῦ] are not the sufferings for Christ’s sake (so Pelagius and most), which cannot be expressed by the simple genitive, but the sufferings of Christ (Winer, Billroth, Olshausen, Neander, Ewald, Hofmann), in so far as every one who suffers for the gospel suffers the same in category as Christ suffered. Comp. Matthew 20:22; Philippians 3:10; Colossians 1:24; Hebrews 13:13; 1 Peter 4:13. See also on Romans 8:17. Hence Cornelius a Lapide, Leun, and Rückert render correctly in substance: “quales passus est Christus.” But Chrysostom, Theophylact, Oecumenius, Beza, Calovius, and others are wrong, who render: “the sufferings, which Christ endures in His members;” comp. de Wette and Osiander. For the conception of a Christ continuing to suffer in His members is nowhere found in the N. T., not even in Acts 9:4, and is contrary to the idea of His exaltation. See on Colossians 1:24.

διὰ τοῦ χ.] through His indwelling by means of the Spirit. See Romans 8:9-10; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:29, al.


Verse 6-7

2 Corinthians 1:6-7. δέ] leading on to the gain, which the two, this affliction and this comforting, bring to the readers.

Be it that we are afflicted, we are afflicted for the sake of YOUR consolation and salvation; it redounds to this, that you are to be comforted and advanced in the attainment of Messianic salvation. In how far? According to Erasmus, Calvin, Estius, Calovius, Wetstein, and many, including Rosenmüller, Flatt, Emmerling, Reiche: through the example of the apostle in his confidence toward God, etc. But the context has as little of this as of what is imported by Billroth and Olshausen: “in so far as I suffer in the service of the gospel, through which comfort and salvation come to you;” so also Hofmann. Rückert, without ground, gives up all attempt at explanation. Paul himself has given the explanation in 2 Corinthians 1:4 by εἰς τὸ δύνασθαι ἡμᾶς παρακαλεῖν κ. τ. λ. Hence the sense of the definition of the aim ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμῶν παρακλ. κ. σωτ.: “in order that we may be enabled to comfort you, when ye come into affliction, and to further your salvation.” For this end we are put in a position by experience of suffering, as well as by that, which is its other side, by our experience of comfort in the school of suffering ( εἵτε παρακαλούμεθα κ. τ. λ.).

ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμ. παρακλ. τῆς ἐνεργ. κ. τ. λ.] i.e. in order to be able to give you the comfort, which is efficacious, etc. Paul does not again add κ. σωτηρίας here, because he has still to append to παρακλήσεως a more precise and detailed explanation, after which it was impracticable to bring in καὶ σωτηρίας; and it could be left out all the more readily, as it did not belong essentially to the representatio.

τῆς ἐνεργουμ. ἐν ὑπομ. κ. τ. λ.] which is efficacious in patient endurance of the same sufferings, which we also suffer. ἐνεργουμ., as in the whole N. T. (2 Corinthians 4:12; Romans 7:5; Galatians 5:6; Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; James 5:16), is middle, not passive (3 Esdr. 2:20; Polyb. i. 13. 5, ix. 12. 3), as it is here erroneously taken by Oecumenius, Theophylact, Castalio, Piscator, Calvin, Grotius, Estius, and others, including Rosenmüller, Emmerling, Billroth, Rückert, Ewald.(123) For the distinction between active (personal efficacy) and middle in Paul, see Winer, p. 242 [E. T. 273].

ἐν ὑπομονῇ] denotes that by virtue of providing which the παράκλησις is efficacious. It is therefore the working of the Christian παράκλησις, which we experience when θλίψις ὑπο΄ονὴν κατεργάζεται, Romans 5:3.

τῶν αὐτῶν παθη΄άτων, ὧν κ. τ. λ.] in so far, namely, as they are likewise sufferings of Christ. The sufferings appointed to the readers are meant, which do not differ in kind from the sufferings of Paul (and Timothy) ( ὧν κ. ἡμεῖς πάσχομεν). Billroth, Olshausen, Neander understand the sufferings of the apostle himself, in so far as these were jointly felt by all believers as their own in virtue of their fellowship of love with him. Compare Chrysostom on 2 Corinthians 1:7, also de Wette, who refers it partly to the foreboding, partly to the sympathetic joint-suffering. But, then, Paul would have been utterly illogical in placing the καί before ἡ΄εῖς; for it would, in fact, be sufferings which the readers also had suffered (with Paul through their loving sympathy). How erroneous this exposition is, is shown, besides, by 2 Corinthians 1:4. It does not appear from this passage, we may add, that at that time the Corinthians had otherwise to endure affliction for the gospel’s sake. Paul has rather in view the case of such affliction occurring in the future, as the following καὶ ἐλπὶς κ. τ. λ. proves. Comp. on 2 Corinthians 13:11.

καὶ ἐλπ. ἡ΄. βεβ. ὑπ. ὑ΄.] is not to be placed in a parenthesis, with Griesbach and others, since εἰδότες is connected not with πάσχο΄εν, but with ἐλπὶς ἡ΄ῶν. The contents of 2 Corinthians 1:6, namely, is not the expression of a present experience undergone by the readers, but the expression of good hope as to the readers for the future, that what is said by εἴτε δὲ θλιβόμεθαπάσχομεν will be verified in their case in afflictions which would come on them for Christ’s sake, so that they would in that case obtain from the apostle, out of his experience of suffering and consolation, the comfort which through patience is efficacious in such sufferings. Therefore he continues: and our hope is firm on account of you. ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν does not belong either simply to ἐλπ. ὑ΄., or simply to βεβαία (Billroth), but to the whole thought of ἐλπ. ὑ΄. βεβ. On ὑπέρ, comp. Polyb. xi. 20. 6, xiv. 1. 5, and the contrary expression φοβεῖσθαι ὑπέρ τινος, propter aliquem in metu esse.

εἰδότες] refers, according to a common anacolouthon, to ἐλπὶς ἡ΄., in which ἡ΄εῖς is the logical subject.(124) See Stall-baum, ad Apol. p. 21 C, Phaedr. p. 241 D, Phaedo, p. 81 A Fritzsche, Dissert. II. p. 49. Comp. on Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 2:2. It introduces the certainty on which rests the hope just expressed: for we know that you, as you are sharers of the sufferings, are sharers also of the consolation. To have a share in the sufferings, and also in the consolation, to be excepted neither from the one nor from the other, is the appointed lot of the Christian. Paul knows this in regard to his readers, and he grounds on it the firm hope for them, that if they shall have their share in bearing sufferings, they will in that case not lack the effectual consolation; to impart which consolation he is himself qualified (2 Corinthians 1:4) and destined (2 Corinthians 1:6) by his own experience of suffering and consolation. Accordingly, κοινωνοὶ κ. τ. λ. is contextually not to be explained of an ideal, sympathetic communion, and that in the sufferings and consolation of Paul ( ὥσπερ γὰρ τὰ παθήματα τὰ ἡμέτερα ὑμέτερα εἶναι νομίζετε, οὕτω καὶ τὴν παράκλησιν τὴν ἡμετέραν ὑμετέραν, Chrysostom. Comp. Theodoret, Grotius, Billroth, Olshausen, and others), but τὰ παθήματα and παράκλησις are to be taken generically. In both kinds of experience the Christian has a share; he must suffer; but he is not excluded from the consolation, on the contrary, he partakes also in it.


Verse 8

2 Corinthians 1:8. οὐ γ. θέλ. ὑμ. ἀγν.] See on Romans 1:13; Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13.

ὑπὲρ τῆς θλίψ.] regarding (de) the affliction, concerning the same. See Bernhardy, p. 244; Kühner, II. § 547, 2.

ἐν τῇ ἀσίᾳ] as in 1 Corinthians 16:19. What particular affliction is meant, and at what place it happened, we do not know. The readers, who must have known it, may have learnt it from Titus or otherwise. Perhaps it was the ἀντικείμενοι πολλοί, 1 Corinthians 16:9, who had prepared for him the extraordinary trial. The tumult of Demetrius in Ephesus, Acts 19:23 ff. (Theodoret, Calvin, Estius, Cornelius a Lapide, Michaelis, Vater, Schrader, Olshausen, Osiander, Ewald, and others), is not to be thought of, since Paul was not in personal danger there, Acts 19:30, and immediately after the tumult set out on his journey to Greece, Acts 20:1. Heumann, Emmerling, Rückert, Bisping, suggest a severe illness. Against this it may be urged that, according to 2 Corinthians 1:5, it must have been a πάθημα τοῦ χριστοῦ (for the special experience must be held as included under the general one previously spoken of), as well as that Paul speaks in the plural. Both grounds tell at the same time against Hofmann, who thinks of the shipwreck, 2 Corinthians 11:25, to which, in fact, ἐν τ. ἀσίᾳ, 2 Corinthians 1:8, is not suitable, even if we ventured to make a mere stranding on the coast out of the incident. Besides, the reading ῥύεται, 2 Corinthians 1:10, militates against thi.

ὅτι καθʼ ὑπερβ. κ. τ. λ.] that we were burdened to the uttermost beyond strength, a statement of that which, in regard to the affliction mentioned, is not to be withheld from the readers. καθʼ ὑπερβολήν defines the degree of ἐβαρ. ὑπὲρ δύναμ. See Fritzsche, Diss. I. p. 1 f. (“ut calamitates vires meas egregie superarent”). The view which regards the two expressions as co-ordinate (Chrysostom, Luther, Calvin, Estius, and many, including Flatt, Rückert, Osiander, Hofmann): so heavy that it went beyond our ability, would place alongside of each other the objective greatness of the suffering and its disproportion to the subjectivity (see de Wette): still the position of ἐβαρ., as well as the want of a καί before ὑπέρ, is more favourable to the view which takes ἐβαρ. ὑπ. δύν. together; and this is also confirmed by the subjectivity of the following ὥστε ἐξαπορ. κ. τ. λ. The suffering made itself palpable to him as a πειρασμὸς οὐκ ἀνθρώπινος (1 Corinthians 10:13). Rückert, moreover, has no ground for thinking that ἐβαρήθ. is inappropriately used of persecutions, attempts to murder, and the like, and that ὑπὲρ δύναμιν is also opposed to it. βαρύς, βαρέω, and βαρύνω are used of all troubles by which we feel ourselves burdened. See the passages from Homer in Duncan, Lex., ed. Rost, p. 202; comp. Plat. Crit. p. 43 C Soph. Trach. 151; Theocr. xvii. 61, and expressions like βαρύμοχθος, βαρύποτμος, βαρυπενθής, βαρυδαίμων, and the lik.

ὥστε ἐξαπορ. κ. τ. λ.] so that we became quite perplexed even ( καί) in regard to life, placed in the highest perplexity even with regard to the preservation of our life, ἐκ strengthens the simple verb, iv. 8. Polyb. i. 62. 1, iii. 47. 9, 48. 4. The genitive ( τοῦ ζῆν) is the usual case in Greek with ἀπορεῖν, in the sense of having lack of something; seldom is it found in the sense of being perplexed about something (Dem. 1380, 4; Plat. Conv. p. 193 E).


Verses 8-11

2 Corinthians 1:8-11. Out of his own (and Timothy’s) experience of suffering and comfort, Paul now informs his readers of something special which had lately befallen the two in Asia. The fact in itself he assumes as known to them, but he desires to bring to their knowledge the consoling help of God in it. There is nothing to indicate a reference to an utterance of the church (Hofmann) concerning the event.


Verse 9

2 Corinthians 1:9. ἀλλά] is the simple but, the contrast of the negation contained in ἐξαπορηθῆναι, which contrast, nevertheless, no longer depends on ὥστε: the independent position makes it all the weightier. There is therefore the less ground for taking ἀλλά as nay indeed, with Hofmann, and making it point to the following clause of purpose, whereby the chief clause αὐτοὶ κ. τ. λ. would be arbitrarily forced into a position logically subordinate—viz., “if we ourselves, etc., it was to serve to the end, that we,” et.

αὐτοὶ ἐν ἑαυτοῖς] for our own selves in our own consciousnessi.e. apart from what might take place from without, through divine interference, to cause a change in our position. This certainty in their own heart, however, could not but exclude all self-confidence; hence ἵνα μὴ πεποιθότες κ. τ. λ.

ἀπόκριμα] not equivalent to κατάκριμα (so most, following Hesychius), but to responsum (Vulgate, Billroth), the award, decision. Comp. ἀπόκρισις. So in Suidas (see Wetstein) and Josephus, Antt. xiv. 17 (in Kypke). Chrysostom says well: τὴν ψῆφον, τὴν κρίσιν, τὴν προσδοκίαν τοιαύτην γὰρ ἠφίει τὰ πράγματα φωνήν· τοιαύτην ἀπόκρισιν ἐδίδου τὰ συμβάντα, ὅτι ἀ̓ ποθανούμεθα πάντως.

As to ἐσχήκ., observe the perfect habuimus, which represents the situation as present. Comp. on Romans 5:2.

ἵνα μὴ κ. τ. λ.] divinely appointed aim of the αὐτοὶἐσχήκαμεν. Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:15.

τῷ ἐγείροντι τοὺς νεκρ.] is to be referred not only to the future awaking of the dead, but to the awaking of the dead in general, as that which is exclusively God’s doing. This characteristic of God is the ground of the confidence. For the awaker of the dead must also be able to rescue from the danger of death (2 Corinthians 1:10). Comp. Romans 4:17; Hebrews 11:19. See on Rom. l.c. “Mira natura fidei in summis difficultatibus nullum exitum habere visis,” Bengel. Hence Paul, in spite of the human ἐξαπορηθῆναι, 2 Corinthians 1:8, could yet say of himself, 2 Corinthians 4:8 : οὐκ ἐξαπορούμενοι.


Verse 10

2 Corinthians 1:10. Result of this confidence, as well as the hope grounded thereon for the futur.

ἐκ τηλικ. θανάτου] out of so great death. Paul realizes to himself the special so mighty death-power which had threatened him (and Timothy), and by the expression ῥύεσθαι ἐκ θανάτου (see examples in Wetstein, p. 178) makes death appear as a hostile power by which he had been encompassed. θάνατος does not signify peril of death (as most say, even Emmerling and Flatt), but it represents that sense. Comp. 2 Corinthians 11:23.

καὶ ῥύεται] The θλίψις, which had been survived in Asia, therefore still continued in its after-effects, which even extended over to Macedonia (perhaps by continued plots against their lives), and Paul and Timothy were still continuing(125) to experience the rescuing power of Go.

ἠλπίκα΄εν] have set our hope. See Herm. ad Viger. p. 748; Kühner, II. p. 71; comp. 1 Corinthians 15:19; 1 Timothy 5:5; 1 Timothy 6:17; John 6:45.

ὅτι κ. ἔτι ῥύσεται] that he will rescue (us) even further, namely, ἐκ. τηλικ θανάτου, in the continuing danger from the Asiatic enemies which was still to be apprehended in the future. In the fact that Paul speaks of a present, nay, of a future rescue, Rückert finds a support for his opinion regarding a dangerous illness (not yet fully overcome); see on 2 Corinthians 1:8. But could no machinations pass over from Asia to Macedonia? and could not these be recognised by Paul as the more dangerous, in so far as they were more secret? Comp. Acts 20:3.


Verse 11

2 Corinthians 1:11. A trustful and conciliatory mention of the intercessions of the readers. This is regarded as not so much conditioning (Erasmus, Rosenmüller, Rückert, and others), as rather furthering the καὶ ἔτι ῥύσεται: “he will also still save us, since ye also are helpful together for us,” etc. On the idea of the efficacy of intercession, comp. especially Philippians 1:19; Romans 15:30 f.

The reference of the συν in συνυπουργ. is to the apostle’s own work of prayer, with which that of the readers is joined by way of help: similar help on the part of other churches is just hinted by the καί before ὑμῶν.

ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν] on our behalf. A transposition for τῇ δεήσει ὑπὲρ ἡμ. would indeed be grammatically possible (Bernhardy, p. 461), but is in the highest degree superfluous (in opposition to Erasmus, Grotius, Schulz, Rosenmüller).

ἵνα ἐκ πολλ. προσώπ. κ. τ. λ.] divinely-appointed aim of the συνυπουργ. κ. τ. λ. The correlations are to be noted: 1. ἐκ πολλῶν προσώπ. and τὸ εἰς ἡμᾶς χάρ.; 2. διὰ πολλῶν and ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν; 3. χάρισμα and εὐχαριστηθῇ. Accordingly, there stand parallel to one another ἐκ πολλ. προσώπ. and then διὰ πολλῶν; as also τὸ εἰς ἡμᾶς χάρισμα and then ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν. Hence, it is to be connected and taken thus: that from many countenances for the gift of grace made to us thanks may be rendered by means of many on our behalf. Paul means that the thanksgiving for his (and Timothy’s) rescue (i.e. τὸ εἰς ἡμ. χάρ.(126)) is not to be offered to God by himself (and Timothy) alone, but that it is to be a rendering of thanks made for him by many through the mediation of many. The many are the same in ἐκ πολλ. προσώπ. as in διὰ πολλῶν; but there they are conceived of as those who give thanks, and in διὰ π. it. as those who have been the procuring means of the thanksgiving, in so far as through their prayer they have aided in obtaining the apostle’s rescue.(127) πρόσωπον, according to the use of the later Greek (see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 380; Schweigh., Lex. Polyb. p. 540; Wahl, Clav. Apocr. p. 430), is taken as person by Luther and most others (already in codd. of the Italic version). But it is nowhere used thus in the N. T., not even in passages like Jude 1:16; and, if Paul had had person in mind, there would have been no motive for choosing ἐκ instead of ὑπό. Hence we must abide by the literal signification, countenance (Billroth, Ewald, Osiander, Hofmann): the expression ἐκ πολλ. προσώπ. is pictorial, for on the merry countenance the feeling of gratitude is displayed (Proverbs 15:30); it is mirrored therein, and goes out from it and upward to God in the utterance of thanksgiving. Fritzsche, ad Rom. III. p. 53, in the same way rightly joins ἐκ πολλ. προσώπ. as well as διὰ πολλ. with εὐχαρ., but he takes ἐκ πολλ. πρ. of those who have besought the rescue and have thereby become the causers of the thanksgiving, and διὰ πολλῶν of the thanksgivers themselves. So also Neander. But by this view justice is not done to the mediating sense of διά, and the pictorial reference of προσώπων (see above) can, according to the text, be found only in the act of thanksgiving itself. It is obvious from what has already been said, that neither can διὰ πολλ. be joined to τὸ εἰς ἡ΄. χάρισ΄α (Theophylact and others, Billroth, Olshausen, Osiander, Kling), nor can ἐκ πολλ. προσώπ. be connected with τὸ εἰς ἡ΄. χάρ. as if it stood: τὸ ἐκ πολλ. προσώπ. εἰς ἡ΄ᾶς χάρισ΄α (Ambrosiaster, Valla, Beza, Calvin, Grotius, Estius, and many others, including Flatt, Fritzsche, Diss., Rückert, de Wette). Only on our view does the simple construction, as given by the order of the words, remain without dislocation, and the meaning of the words themselves uninjured. Whether, further, in ἐκ πολλ. προσώπ. the πολλῶν is masculine (Hofmann and Vulgate, “ex multorum facie”) or neuter, cannot be decide.

ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν] on our behalf, superfluous in itself, but suitable to the fulness of the representation.

The time in which the thanksgiving is to happen is after the beginning of the ῥύσεται, not on the last day (Ewald).

The passive expression εὐχαριστεῖσθαι (comp. Hipp. Ep. p. 1284, 31) is conceived like ἀχαριστεῖσθαι (Polyb. xxiii. 11. 8), to experience ingratitude, to be recompensed with ingratitude. Comp. Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 130 [E. T. 148].


Verse 12

2 Corinthians 1:12. The apostle now begins the vindication of himself, at first in reference to the purity of his walk in general (2 Corinthians 1:12), then in reference to his honesty in writing (2 Corinthians 1:13-14), and afterwards specially in reference to the changing of his plans for the journey (2 Corinthians 1:15-24).

γάρ] Ground assigned for the confidence uttered in 2 Corinthians 1:11, that the readers would help him by their intercession in the manner denoted: for we boast, according to the witness of our conscience, to have made ourselves worthy of your help.

καύχησις is not equivalent to καύχημα, materies gloriandi (so most, but in no passage rightly, see on Romans 4:2), but we should interpret: For this our boasting (which is contained in 2 Corinthians 1:11) is the testimony which our conscience furnishes that we, etc. In other words: This our boasting is nothing else than the expression of the testimony of our conscience, that, etc.; hence no αἰσχύνεσθαι ἀπὸ καυχήσεως (Isaiah 12:1-3) can take place. The contents of this testimony ( ὅτι κ. τ. λ.) shows how very much the καύχησις of Paul is a καυχᾶσθαι ἐν κυρίῳ (1 Corinthians 1:31). Accordingly, αὕτη is to be taken together with καύχησις ἡμῶν (comp. 1 Corinthians 8:9 : ἐξουσία ὑμῶν αὕτη); τὸ μαρτύριον κ. τ. λ. is the predicate, which is introduced by ἐστί, and ὅτι κ. τ. λ. is the contents of the testimony. By the plain simplicity of this explanation we obviously exclude the view that αὕτη is preparative, and that it is to be referred either to τὸ μαρτύριον (Luther and most), or, more harshly, with Hofmann, to ὅτι κ. τ. λ., because in that case τὸ μαρτύριον κ. τ. λ. is made an interpolated appositio.

ἐν ἁγιότητι (see the critical remarks) καὶ εἰλικρ. θεοῦ] θεοῦ is not used superlatively, as Emmerling would still take it. Further, it neither denotes what is well-pleasing to God (Schulz, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Rückert, Reiche), nor what avails before God (Calvin, Beza, Estius, Billroth, and others, following Theophylact), nor what is like God (Pelagius), nor the God-like (Osiander), which is God’s manner (Hofmann), but the moral holiness and purity established by God through the influence of the divine grace, as the following οὐκ ἐν σοφ. σαρκ., ἀλλʼ ἐν χάριτι θεοῦ proves.(128) So also Olshausen, de Wette, Kling, Neander, Winer, p. 221 [E. T. 261]. Comp. δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ, Romans 1:17, εἰρήνη θεοῦ, Philippians 4:7, and the like. The rare word ἁγιότης is found also in 2 Maccabees 15:2; Hebrews 12:10; Schol. Arist. Thesm. 301. Regarding εἰλικρ., see on 1 Corinthians 5:8. Stallbaum, ad Plat. Phaed. p. 66 A.

οὐκ ἐν σοφ. σαρκ. ἀλλʼ ἐν χάρ. θεοῦ] is not to be placed in a parenthesis, for it is parallel to the previous ἐν ἁγιότ. κ. εἰλικρ. θεοῦ, and gives negative and positive information about it. The σοφία σαρκ. is the merely human wisdom, the wisdom which is not the work of the divine influence (of the Holy Spirit), but of human nature itself unenlightened and unimproved, guided by the sinful lust in the σάρξ. See on 1 Corinthians 1:26.

ἐν χάριτι θεοῦ] is not to be explained of miracles (Chrysostom), nor yet with Grotius: “cum multis donis spiritualibus,” but without any limitation of the influence of the divine grace, under which Paul lived and worked.

The thrice repeated use of ἐν denotes the spiritual element in which his course of life moved (Ephesians 2:3; 2 Peter 2:18).

ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ] i.e. among profane humanity. This serves by contrast to make the holiness of his walk and conversation more prominent. Comp. Philippians 2:15.

πρὸς ὑμᾶς] denotes the direction of his association, in intercourse with you. See Bernhardy, p. 265. More than with others, he had established such a relation with the Corinthians (hence περισσοτ.).


Verse 13

2 Corinthians 1:13 f. In order to vindicate the apparently vainglorious (2 Corinthians 1:10) περισσ. δὲ πρ. ὑμᾶς (2 Corinthians 1:12), in so far as it might be suspected as not honourably meant, he asserts his candour in writing, which must have been assailed by his opponents (comp. 2 Corinthians 10:10), who probably maintained, “His letters to us are not the expression of his genuine inmost opinion!”

For Znothing else do we write to you than what you (in our letters) read or also understand; i.e. in our letters to you we do not hide or disguise our genuine opinion, but it agrees exactly with what the reading of the same, or your acquaintance with our mode of thinking and character, says to you. Comp. Theodoret. On γράφειν in its reference to the sense of what is written, comp. 1 Corinthians 5:11. According to de Wette, the sense amounts to the thought: “I cannot do otherwise, I must write thus.” But Paul is making an appeal to the readers.

ἀλλʼ ] praeterquam, nisi. For examples in which the previous negative sentence has also ἄλλος, see Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 45; Heindorf, ad Prot. p. 354 B Klotz, ad Devar. p. 36 f.; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 5. The mode of expression depends on a blending of the two constructions

οὐκ ἄλλαἀλλά and οὐκ ἄλλα; Stallbaum, ad Plat. Phaed. p. 81 B Kühner, II. p. 438.

ἀναγινώσκετε, κ. ἐπιν.] This latter is in no connection with the former, in which case it could not but have stood a ἀναγ., καὶ ἐπιγ. This in opposition to Fritzsche’s way of taking it: “neque enim alia ad vos perscribimus, quam aut eaaut ea, quae,” etc. ἀναγινώσκειν is to read, as it is usually in the Attic authors, and always in the N. T., not to understand, as Calvin, Estius, Storr,(129) following the Peshito, wish to take it, though it has this meaning often in classical Greek (Hom. Il. xiii. 734, Od. xxi. 205, xxii. 206; Xen. Anab. v. 8. 6; Pind. Isthm. ii. 35; Herodian, vii. 7; comp. also Prayer of Manass. 12).

καὶ ἐπιγιν.] or also (without communication by letter) understand. Wetstein imports arbitrarily: “vel si alicubi haereat, post secundam aut tertiam lectionem, attento animo factam, sit intellecturus.” Rückert: “and doubtless also understand.” Quite against καί, which stands also opposed to the view of Hofmann: Paul wishes to say that he does not write in such a way, that they might understand something else than he means in his words. In this case we should have had καί only, since καί points to something else than to the reading, with which what he has written agrees.

The assimilation of the expressions ἀναγιν. and ἐπιγιν. (comp. 2 Corinthians 3:2) cannot be imitated in German, but in Latin approximately: legitis aut etiam intelligitis. Comp. on Acts 8:30; Plat. Ep. II. p. 312 D.

ἐλπίζω δὲ κ. τ. λ.] The object to ἐπιγνώσεσθε is ὅτι καύχημα ὑμῶν ἐσμεν κ. τ. λ., and καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγν. ἡμ. ἀπὸ μέρ. is an inserted clause: “I hope, however, that you will understand even to the end,—as you have understood us in part,—that we are your boast,” etc. We might also consider on ὅτι καύχημα κ. τ. λ. as a nearer object to ἐπέγνωτε ὑμᾶς (Estius, Rosenmüller, Billroth, Rückert, de Wette); but, since in this way ἐπιγνώσεσθε remains without an object (Billroth supplies: “that I think the same as I write;” comp. Rückert; Osiander: “all my doing and suffering in its purity”), the above mode of connection is easier and simpler. Ambrosiaster, Luther, Grotius, and others, also Olshausen (Osiander doubtfully), take ὅτι as for, stating the ground for καθὼς κ. ἐπέγν. ἡμ. ἀπὸ μέρ. But in that case the accurate, logical connection is still more wanting, since from the general καύχημα ὑμῶν ἐσμεν κ. τ. λ. no inference to the ἐπέγνωτε ἡμᾶς restricted by ἀπὸ μέρους is warranted; the reason assigned would not be suitable to ἀπὸ μέρους. The connection which runs on simply is unnecessarily broken up by Ewald holding 2 Corinthians 1:13 and 2 Corinthians 1:14 on to μέρους as a parenthesis, so that ὅτι, 2 Corinthians 1:14 (that), joins on again to 2 Corinthians 1:12.

ἕως τέλους] does not mean till my death (Hofmann), but till the end, i.e. till the ceasing of this world, till the Parousia. Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Corinthians 15:51 f.; Hebrews 3:6.—2 Corinthians 1:14. καθὼς κ. ἐπέγν. ἡμᾶς compares the future, regarding which Paul hopes, with the past, regarding which he knows. And therefore he adds a limitation in keeping with the truth, ἀπὸ μέρους (comp. Romans 11:25); for not all the Corinthians had thus understood him. Hofmann, quite against the usage of the language, takes ἀπὸ μέρους of time, inasmuch as the apostle’s intercourse with them up to the present was only a part of what he had to live with them. In that case Paul would have written ἕως ἄρτι in contrast to ἕως τέλους. Calvin, Estius, and Emmerling refer it to the degree of knowledge, quodammodo (comp. 2 Corinthians 2:5), with which Paul reproaches the readers, ὡς μὴ παντελῶς ἀπωσαμένους τὰς κατʼ αὐτοῦ γεγενημένας δια βολάς, Theodoret. But a purpose of reproach is quite foreign to the connection; and certainly the readers to whom ἐπέγνωτε applies had not only understood him quodammodo, but wholly and decidedly, that, etc. Billroth thinks that Paul wishes to mark his cordial love, which till now he could only have shown them in part. Comp. Chrysostom, according to whom ἀπὸ μέ ρους is added from modesty; also Theophylact, according to whom Paul is thinking of the imperfect exhibition of his virtue. But how could the readers conjecture this!

ὅτι καύχημα κ. τ. λ.] that we redound for glory (i.e. for the object of καυχᾶσθαι) to you, even as you to us on the day of the Parousia. It will be to your honour on that day that you have had us as teachers, and it will be to our honour that we have had you as disciples. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:19 f.; Philippians 2:16. With how much winning tact the addition κάθαπερ κ. ὑμεῖς ἡμῶν suppresses all appearance of self-exaltation! ὡς μαθηταῖς ὁμοτίμοις διαλεγόμενος οὕτως ἐξισάζει τὸν λόγον, Chrysosto.

ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τ. κυρ. ἰησοῦ] belongs to the whole ὅτι καύχημαὑμεῖς ἡμῶν, not, as Rückert arbitrarily thinks, to καθάπερ κ. ὑμ. ἡμῶν merely (so Grotius, Calovius, and others); nor yet, as Hofmann would have it, primarily to καύχ. ὑμῶν ἐσμεν.


Verse 15-16

2 Corinthians 1:15-16. καὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πεποιθ.] and by means of this confidence, viz. ὅτι ἕως τέλους ἐπιγν. κ. τ. λ. in 2 Corinthians 1:13-14. πεποίθησις (2 Corinthians 3:4, 2 Corinthians 8:22, 2 Corinthians 10:2; Ephesians 3:12; Philippians 3:4; Joseph. Bell. i. 3. 1) is later Greek. See Eustathius, ad Od. iii. p. 114, 41; Thom. Mag. p. 717; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 294 f.

ἐβουλόμην] Paul entertained the plan for his journey, set down in 2 Corinthians 1:16, before the composition of our first Epistle, and he had communicated it to the Corinthians (whether in the first now lost letter, or otherwise, we know not). But before or during the composition of our first Epistle he altered this plan (as we know from 1 Corinthians 16:5) to this extent, that he was not now to go first to Corinth, then to Macedonia, and from thence back to Corinth again (2 Corinthians 1:16), but through Macedonia to Corinth. The plan of travel, 1 Corinthians 16:5, was accordingly not the first (Baur; comp. Lange, apost. Zeitalt. I. p. 200 f.), but the one already altered, which alteration was ascribed to the apostle as indecision. This is intelligible enough from the antagonistic irritation of their minds, and does not require us to presuppose an expression in the alleged intermediate Epistle (Klöpper, p. 21 f.). Chrysostom, Theodoret, and Oecumenius make the apostle say: I had, when I wrote to you 1 Corinthians 16:5, the unexpressed intention to arrive still earlier than I promised, and to reach you even sooner (immediately on the journey towards Macedonia). Quite a mistaken view, since such a mere thought would not have been known to his opponents, and no excuse for his fickleness could therefore have been engrafted on i.

πρότερον] belongs to πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐλθεῖν:(130) I intended to come to you first of all,—not, as I afterwards altered my plan, to the Macedonians first, and then from them to you. Beza, Grotius, Bengel, and others, including Rosenmüller and Rückert, connect πρότ. and ἐβουλ., which, however, on the one hand is opposed to the sense (for Paul cannot say, “I intended formerly to come to you,” since his intention is still the same), and on the other would not accord with ἵνα δευτ. χάρ. ἔχ.; for not the προτερον ἐβουλόμην, but the πρότερον πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐλθεῖν, was to bring in its train a δευτέρα χάρις.

ἵνα δευτέραν χάριν ἔχητε] δευτέραυ corresponds ingeniously to the πρότερον: in order that you might have a second benefit of grace. By χάριν is meant a divine bestowal of grace, with which Paul knew his coming to be connected for the church; for to whatever place he came in his official capacity, he came as the imparter of divine χάρις, Romans 1:11; comp. Romans 15:29. Chrysostom, Oecumenius, and others, including Kypke, Emmerling, Flatt, and Bleek (in the Stud. u. Krit. 1830, p. 622), hold that χάρις is equivalent to χάρα (and hence this is actually the reading of B L, some min., and Theodoret). Certainly χάρις also means pleasure, joy, and is, as in Tobit 7:16, the opposite of λύπη (Eur. Hel. 661, and more frequently in Pindar; see Duncan, Lex., ed. Rost, p. 1191; also in Plato, Ast, Lex. III. p. 538), but never in the N. T. This sense, besides, would be unsuitable to the apostle’s delicate and modest style of expression elsewhere. Nor, again, is a benefit on the part of the apostle meant (Grotius, Rosenmüller, Schrader, Billroth, comp. also Hofmann), because the expression is only in keeping with his affection and humility (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:10) if a divine display of grace is meant. The comparison with 1 Corinthians 16:3 is therefore not to the point, because there a χάρις is named, of which the readers were givers. But what does he mean by δευτέραν χάριν? Many answer with Estius: “ut ex secundo meo adventu secundam acciperetis gratiam, qui dudum accepistis primam, quando primum istuc veniens ad fidem vos converti.” Comp. Pelagius, Calvin, Wolf, Mosheim, Bengel, Emmerling. But against this it may be urged: (1) historically, that Paul certainly had been already twice in Corinth before our two Epistles (see Introd. § 2); and (2) from the connection, that the δευτέρα χάρις in this sense can by no means appear as an aim conditioned by the πρότερον; for even a later coming would have had a δευτέρα χάρις in this sense as its result. This second reason is decisive, even if, with Schott, Erörterung, etc., p. 58 ff., and Anger, rat. temp. p. 72 f., we were to set aside the former by the supposition: “apostolum intra annum illum cum dimidio, quem, quum primum Corinthi esset, ibi transegit, per breve aliquod temporis spatium in regiones vicinas discessisse; sic enim si res se habuit, Paulus, etsi bis ad Corinthios venerat, ita ut in secunda, quam iis misit, epistola adventum tertium polliceri posset: tamen, quoniam per totum illud intervallum Corinthi potissimum docuerat, simile beneficium, quod in itinere seriore in eos collocaturus erat, jure secundum appellavit,” Anger, l.c. p. 73. The right solution results from 2 Corinthians 1:16, which is appended by the epexegetical καί, viz., that the δευτέρα χάρις appears as setting in through the πάλιν ἀπὸ ΄ακεδ. ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς. Paul had intended on his projected journey to visit Corinth twice, and had therefore proposed to himself to come to the Corinthians first of all (not first to the Macedonians), in order that they in this event might have a second χάρις on his return from Macedonia (the first χάρις they were to have on his journey thither). From this it is at once obvious: (1) how superfluous is the linguistically incorrect supposition that δευτέραν is here equivalent to διπλῆν, as Bleek and Neander, following Chrysostom and Theodoret,(131) take it; (2) how erroneous is the opinion of Rückert, that ἵνα δευτ. χάριν ἔχητε is put in a wrong place, and should properly only come behind ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, 2 Corinthians 1:16. No; according to the epexegetical ͅ καί, 2 Corinthians 1:16, διʼ ὑμῶν ἀπελθεῖν εἰς ΄ακεδ. serves to give exact and clear information as parallel to the πρότερον πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐλθεῖν, and then καὶ πάλιν ἀπὸ ΄ακ. ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς as parallel to the ἵνα δευτέρ. χάριν ἔχητε. Comp. Baur, I. p. 338, ed. 2.


Verse 17

2 Corinthians 1:17. Wishing this therefore (according to what has just been said), did I then behave thoughtlessly? Was this proposal of mine made without duly taking thought for its execution? μήτι supposes a negative answer, as always, in which case ἄρα (meaning: as the matter stands) makes no alteration, such as the suggesting, perhaps, a thought of possible affirmation. Such a sense, as it were, of a mere tentative nature feeling its way, which is foreign here, could only be suggested by the context, and would have nothing to do with ἄρα (in opposition to Hartung, whom Hofmann follows). See Klotz, ad Devar. p. 176 f.

τῇ ἐλαφρίᾳ] The article marks the thoughtlessness not as that with which the apostle was reproached by the Corinthians (Billroth, Olshausen, Rückert, de Wette), which he must have indicated more precisely, in order that it might be so understood, but thoughtlessness as such in general, in abstracto: have I then made myself guilty of thoughtlessness? ἐλαφρία belongs to the substantives in - ρια formed late from adjectives in - ρος. See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 343. For the ethical sense (wantonness), comp. Schol. Aristoph. Av. 195, and ἐλαφρός in Polyb. vi. 56. 11; ἐλαφρόνοος, Phocylides in Stob. Flor. app. iii. 7.

βουλεύομαι, κατὰ σάρκα βουλεύομαι] is not aut (Billroth, Rückert, Osiander, Hofmann, after the Vulgate and most expositors), but an; for without any interrogation the relation of the two sentences is: My proposal was not thoughtless, unless it should be the case that I form my resolves κατὰ σάρκα. See Hartung, II. p. 61.

Mark the difference between ἐχρησάμην as aorist (historical event) and βουλεύομαι as present (behaviour generally).

κατὰ σάρκα] according to the flesh, after the standard of the σάρξ, i.e. so that I let myself be guided by the impulses of human nature sinfully determined, Galatians 5:16 ff.

ἵνα παρʼ ἐμοὶ τὸ ναὶ ναὶ καὶ τὸ οὒ οὔ] By ἵνα is expressed simply the immoral purpose, which would be connected with the βουλεύεσθαι κατὰ σάρκα; in order that with me there may be the Yea, yea, and Nay, nay, i.e. in order that with me affirmation and denial may exist together; that I, according as the case stands, may assent to the fleshly impulse, and in turn renounce it; to-day yea, and to-morrow nay, or yea and nay as it were in one breath. Billroth errs in thinking that in this explanation καί must be taken as also. That it means and, is proved by 2 Corinthians 1:18-19. The duplication of the ναί and οὔ strengthens the picture of the untrustworthy man who affirms just as fervently as he afterwards denies. Failing to discern this, Grotius and Estius wished to prefer the reading of the Vulgate, τὸ ναὶ καὶ τὸ οὔ, which has very weak attestation. The article marks the ναὶ ναί and the οὒ οὔ as well-known and solemn formulae of affirmative and negative asseveration (as they were also in Jewish usage; see Wetstein, ad Matthew 5:37). Comp. on ναὶ ναί, Soph. O. C. 1743. As to the main point, namely, that the ναὶ ναί and the οὒ οὔ are taken as the subject of , this explanation has the support of Erasmus, Beza, Calvin, Estius (though conjecturing ἵνα μή instead of ἵνα), Cornelius a Lapide, Grotius, Mill, Wolf, and others; also of Rosenmüller, Emmerling, Flatt, Schrader, Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Neander, Maier, and others; even Olshausen, who, however, sets up for ναί and οὔ the “peculiar” signification (assumed without any instance of its being so used) of “truth” and “falsehood.” The diplasiasmus ναὶ ναί and οὒ οὔ is not without reason (as Billroth and Hofmann object), but quite accords with the passionate excitement of the moral consciousness; whereas afterwards, in 2 Corinthians 1:18, where his words go on quietly with a glance towards the faithful God, the bare ναὶ καὶ οὔ is quite in its place. Note, further, that the simple expression of the coexistence of the yea and nay (to which Hofmann objects) is more striking, than if Paul had given a more precise explanation of the maxims of yea and nay. The readers knew him, and even his evil-wishers could not but know that he was no yea-and-nay man. Others consider the second ναί and the second οὔ as predicates, so that a wholly opposite sense is made out of the words: in order that with me the Yea may be yea, and the Nay be nay, i.e. in order that I may stubbornly carry through what I have proposed to myself. Comp. James 5:12. So Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Oecumenius, Erasmus, Castalio, Bengel, and others, and recently Billroth; Winer, p. 429 [E. T. 481], gives no decision. The context, however, before (“levitatis et inconstantiae, non autem pertinaciae crimen hic a se depellere studet,” Estius) and after (2 Corinthians 1:18-19), is decisive against this view. Hofmann imports into παρʼ ἐμοί a contrast to παρὰ τῷ θεῷ, so that the idea would be: to assent to or refuse anything on grounds taken from one’s own self, without reservation, because purely as an expression of self-will, with which James 4:13 is compared.(132) Such a contrast could not but be based upon what went before, in itself as well as in the sense assumed. Besides, to this pretended emphasis on παρʼ ἐμοί the order ἵνα παρʼ ἐμοὶ would have been suitable; and the idea of speaking no absolute yea or nay, would have demanded not καί but between the ναί and the οὔ. And was Paul, then, the man in whose resolves “the yea is always meant with the reservation of a nay”? Luther’s translation (comp. Ambrosiaster and Erasmus) comes back to the result, that the mark of interrogation is placed after κατὰ σ. βουλ., and in that case there is supplied nequaquam, of which negation ἵνα κ. τ. λ. specifies the purpose. This is intolerably arbitrary. Regarding the erroneous translation of the Peshito (Grotius agrees with it), which distorts the meaning from misconception, see Fritzsche, Diss. II. p. 2.


Verse 18

2 Corinthians 1:18. But according to His faithfulness, God causes our speech to you to be not yea and nay, not untrustworthy.(133) The δέ introduces the contrast (yea rather) to the state of things denied in the preceding question (Baeumlein, Partik. p. 95); and ὅτι is equivalent to εἰς ἐκεῖνο, ὅτι, like John 2:18; John 9:17; John 11:51; 1 Corinthians 1:26, al.: Faithful is God in reference to this, that our speech, etc., i.e. God shows Himself faithful by this, that, etc. Beza, Calvin, and others, including Flatt, Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Neander, Ewald, Hofmann, take πιστὸς θεός as an asseveration: proh Dei fidem! Against all linguistic usage, for the ζῶ ἐγὼὅτι (see on Romans 14:11), which is compared, is a habitual formula of swearing, which the πιστὸς θεός, very frequent with the apostle (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 1 John 1:9), is not. Nor can we compare 2 Corinthians 11:10, where a subjective state of things is asserted as a guarantee of what is uttere.

λόγος ἡμῶν] is by most understood of the preaching of the gospel, according to which Paul thus, against the suspicion of untruthfulness in his resolves and assurances, puts forward the truthfulness of his preaching,—in which there lies a moral argument a majori ad minus; for the opinion of Hofmann, that Paul means to say that his preaching stands in a different position from the conditioned quality of his yea and nay, falls with his view of 2 Corinthians 1:17. From 2 Corinthians 1:19, however, it appears to be beyond doubt that the usual explanation of λόγος, of the preaching, not in general of the apostle’s speech (Rückert), or of that unfulfilled promise (Erasmus in the Annot.), is the right one. Olshausen mixes up the two explanations.


Verse 19

2 Corinthians 1:19. γὰρ τοῦ θεοῦ υἱός] or, as Lachmann, Rückert, and Tischendorf, following preponderating testimony, have it rightly: τοῦ θεοῦ γὰρ υἱός ( γάρ in the fourth place; see Fritzsche, Quaest. Luc. p. 100; Ellendt, Lex. Soph, I. p. 339; Hermann, ad Philoct. 1437), marks the τοῦ θεοῦ as emphatic, in order to make what is to be said of Christ, οὐκ ἐγένετο ναὶ κ. οὔ, felt at once in its divine certainty. To be God’s Son and yet ναὶ κ. οὔ would be a contradiction. In the whole . χ. there lies a solemn, sacred emphasi.

ἐν ὑμῖν διʼ ἡμῶν κηρυχθείς] reminds the readers of the first preaching of Christ among them, of which Paul could not but remind them, if they were to become perfectly conscious, from their experience from the beginning, that Christ had not become ναὶ κ. οὔ. But in order to make this first preaching come home to them with the whole personal weight of the preachers, he adds, in just consciousness of the services rendered by himself and his companions as compared with the later workers, a more precise definition of the διʼ ἡμῶν, with more weighty circumstantiality: διʼ ἐμοῦ κ. σιλουανοῦ κ. τιμοθέου. For the two latter had been his helpers in his first labours in Corinth. See Acts 18:5. From this it is obvious why he has not named others, as Apollos, but simply these (Calvin thinks, that these had been most calumniated); hence also there is no need to suppose any intention of making his assurance more credible (Chrysostom, Theophylact, and many others). A side glance at the Christ preached by Judaistic opponents (2 Corinthians 11:4) is here quite foreign to the connection (in opposition to Klöpper, p. 86 f.).

σιλουανοῦ] Universally so with Paul (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1); also in 1 Peter 5:12. In the Acts of the Apostles only the shortened name σιλας appears. Silvanus is here placed before Timothy, because he was an older apostolic helper than the latter. See Acts 15:22 ff.

οὐκ ἐγένετο ναὶ κ. οὔ] He has not become affirmation and negation, has not showed Himself as untrustworthy, as one who affirms and also denies (the fulfilment of the divine promises, 2 Corinthians 1:20), as one who had exhibited such contradiction in himself. This Paul says of Christ Himself, in so far as in the personal objective Christ, by means of His appearance and His whole work, the ναί in reference to the divine promises, the affirmation of their fulfilment, is given as a matter of fact. Wrongly most expositors (comp. Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact) understand χριστός as doctrina de Christo (“our gospel of Christ is not changeable, sometimes one thing, sometimes another, but it remains ever the same”), an interpretation here specially precluded by verses 20 and 21. This may be urged also against the similar interpretation of Hofmann, that, with the very fact that Christ has come to the readers through preaching, there has gone forth a Yea (the affirmation of all divine promises), without any intervention of Nay. Olshausen and Rückert take it rightly of Christ Himself; but the former puts in place of the simple meaning of the word the thought not quite in keeping: “Christ is the absolute truth, affirmation pure and simple; in Him is the real fulfilment of the divine promises; in Him negation is entirely wanting;” and the latter arbitrarily limits ἐγένετο merely to the experience of the Corinthians (“among you He has not shown Himself untrustworthy”). Paul, however, uses the words οὐκ ἐγένετο ναὶ κ. οὔ of Christ in general, and by ἐν ὑμῖντιμοθ. directs the attention of the Corinthians to the recognition of the truth on their part and out of their own experienc.

ἀλλὰ ναὶ ἐν αὐτῷ γέγονεν] of the two only the former, i.e. affirmation (that the divine promises are fulfilled and shall be fulfilled) is established in Him: in Christ is actually given the yea, that, etc. In the perfect γέγονεν (different from the previous aorist ἐγένετο) is implied the continuance of what has happened. Comp. on Colossians 1:16; John 1:3. Grotius, in opposition to the context (see 2 Corinthians 1:20), referred ναὶ ἐν αὐτῷ γέγ. to the miracles, by which Christ confirmed the apostolic preaching. And Beza awkwardly, and, on account of 2 Corinthians 1:20, erroneously, took ἐν αὐτῷ of God, whose Son is “constantissima Patris veritas.”


Verses 19-22

2 Corinthians 1:19-22. Paul furnishes grounds in 2 Corinthians 1:19 f. for the assurance he had given in 2 Corinthians 1:18; then refers his veracity to the stedfastness bestowed on him by God, 2 Corinthians 1:21 f.; and finally, 2 Corinthians 1:23, makes protestations as to the reason why he had not yet come to Corinth.


Verse 20

2 Corinthians 1:20. A more precise explanation and confirmation of ναὶ ἐν αὐτῷ γέγονεν, running on to the end of the verse. Hence ὅσαιἀμήν is not to be put in a parenthesis, as Griesbach, Scholz, and Ewal.

τὸ ναί and τὸ ἀμήν cannot be synonymous, as most of the older commentators take them (“repetit, ut ipsa repetitione rem magis confirmet,” Estius), for this is rendered impossible by the correct reading διὸ κ. διʼ αὐτοῦ τὸ ἀμήν (see the critical remarks). Rather must the former be the cause ( διό) of the latter. And here the expression τὸ ἀμήν is without doubt to be explained from the custom in worship, that in public prayer a general Amen was said as certifying the general assurance of faith as to its being heard (see on 1 Corinthians 14:16). Accordingly τὸ ναί and τὸ ἀμήν are here to be distinguished in this way; τὸ ναί, as in the whole context, denotes the certainty objectively given (comp. on that point, Romans 15:8), and τὸ ἀμήν, the certainty subjectively existing, the certainty of faith. Consequently: for, as many promises of God as there are (in the O. T.), in Him is the yea (in Christ is given the objective guarantee of their fulfilment); therefore through Him also the Amen takes place, therefore it comes to pass through Christ, that the Amen is said to God’s promises; i.e. therefore also to Christ, to His work and merit, without which we should want this certainty, is due the subjective certainty of the divine promises, the faith in their fulfilment. Billroth, indeed (and in the main, de Wette), thinks the conception to be this: that the preachers of the gospel say the Amen through their preaching, so that τὸ ναί refers to the living working of God in Christ, in whom He fulfils His promises, and τὸ ἀμήν to the faithful and stedfast preaching of these deeds of God. But the saying of Amen expressed the assurance of faith, and was done by all; hence τὸ ἀμήν would be in the highest degree unsuitable for denoting the praedicatio. Finally, Rückert is quite arbitrary when he says that τὸ ναί relates to the fulfilment of the prophecies wrought by the appearing of Christ Himself, and τὸ ἀμήν to the erection of the church, which had grown out of that appearing.

The article before ναί and ἀμήν denotes the definite Yea and Amen, which relate to the ἐπαγγελίαι θεοῦ and belong to them. The article was not used before in 2 Corinthians 1:19, because no definite reference of the yea was yet specifie.

τῷ θεῷ πρὸς δόξαν διʼ ἡμῶν] a teleological definition to διʼ αὐτοῦ τὸ ἀμήν with the emphatic prefixing of τῷ θεῷ: to God’s honour through us, i.e. what redounds to the glorifying of God (2 Corinthians 8:19) through us.

διʼ ἡμῶν] nostro ministerio (Grotius), in so far, namely, as the ministry of the gospel-preachers brings about the Amen, the assurance of faith in God’s promises, Romans 10:14.


Verse 21

2 Corinthians 1:21 f. δέ] not specifying the ground of τῷ θεῷ πρὸς δόξαν (Grotius), nor confirming the assurance that he had preached without wavering (Billroth), but continuative. Paul has just, with διʼ ἡμῶν, pointed to the blessed result which his working (and that of his companions) is bringing about, namely, that the Amen of faith is said to all God’s promises to the glory of God. But now he wishes to indicate also the inner divine life-principle, on which this working and its result are based, namely, the Christian stedfastness, which is due to no other than to God Himself.

On the construction, comp. 2 Corinthians 5:5; hence Billroth (whom Olshausen follows) has incorrectly taken δὲ βεβαιῶνθεός as subject, and καὶ σφραγ. κ. τ. λ. as predicate. It is to be translated: “And He who makes us stedfast with you toward Christ, after He has also anointed us, is God; who also,” etc. Since the anointing precedes the βεβαιοῦν, and is its foundation, and Paul has not written δὲ χρίσας ἡμᾶς καὶ βεβαιῶν κ. τ. λ., it is not to be regarded with the expositors as qui autem confirmat et unxit, but καὶ χρίσας ἡμᾶς is to be taken as a definition subordinate to the βεβαιῶν, and καί as the also of the corresponding relation; otherwise, there would be a hysteron-proteron, which there is no ground for supposin.

εἰς χριστόν] in relation to Christ, so that we remain unshakenly faithful to Christ. Chrysostom well says: μὴ ἐῶν ἡμᾶς παρασαλεύεσθαι ἐκ τῆς πίστεως τῆς εἰς τ. χριστόν. The explanation: into Christ (Billroth, Olshausen) has against it the present participle. For the believers are already in Christ; their continued confirmation ( βεβ., see on 1 Corinthians 1:6) therefore could not but take place in Christo, Colossians 2:7, not in Christum.

σὺν ὑμῖν] Paul adds, in order not to appear as if he were denying to the readers the βεβαίωσις εἰς χριστόν. Estius says aptly: “ut eos in hac sua defensione benevolos habeat.” This agrees with the whole tone of the context; but there is not, as Rückert conjectures, a side-glance at those who had held the apostle to be a wavering ree.

χρίσας ἡμᾶς] here, without σὺν ὑμῖν, is a figurative way of denoting the consecration to office (Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; Acts 10:38; Hebrews 1:9), i.e. to the office of teacher of the gospel, without, however, pressing the expression so far as Chrysostom and Theophylact: ὁμοῦ προφήτας καὶ ἱερεῖς κ. βασιλέας ἐργασάμενος. Whether, however, did Paul conceive the consecration as effected by the call (Billroth, Olshausen, Rückert) or by the communication of the Spirit (Calvin, Grotius, Estius, Osiander, and many others, following the ancient expositors)? 2 Corinthians 1:22 is not opposed to the latter view (see below); and since the call to the office is, in point of fact, something quite different from the consecration, χρίσας is certainly to be referred to the holy consecration of the Spirit (comp. Acts 10:38). Comp., further, 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27, and Düsterdieck on 1 John 1. p. 355. An allusion to χριστόν (Bengel, Osiander, Hofmann, and others) would not be certain, even if there stood καὶ χρίσας καὶ ἡμᾶς, because χριστόν is not used appellatively, but purely as a proper name. An anointing of Christ (as at Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; Acts 10:38; Hebrews 1:9) is as little mentioned by Paul as by John. If, however, it had been here in his mind, in order to compare with it the consecration of the ἡμεῖς, he could not but have added σὺν αὐτῷ, or some similar more precise definition of the relation intended, to make himself intelligible; comp. the idea of the συζωοποιεῖν σὺν χριστῷ, and the lik.

καὶ σφραγισ. ὑμᾶς κ. τ. λ.] is argumentative. How could He leave us in the lurch unconfirmed, He, who has also sealed us, etc.! How would He come into contradiction with Himself! This σφραγισ. ὑμᾶς does not present the same thing, as was just expressed by χρίσας ἡμ., in another figurative form; but by means of καί it adds an accessory new element,(134) namely, the Messianic sealing conferred, although likewise through the Holy Spirit (see the sequel), apart from the anointing, i.e. the inner confirmation of the Messianic σωτηρία. Comp. on Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30. It is not added to what the sealing objectively relates (to the Messianic salvation), because it is regarded as a familiar notion, well known in its referenc.

καὶ δοὺς κ. τ. λ.] is epexegetical of σφραγισάμ. ἡμᾶς, Winer, p. 407 [E. T. 545].

τὸν ἀῤῥαβῶνα τοῦ πνεύματος] Comp. 2 Corinthians 5:5. The genitive is the genitive of apposition, as 1 Corinthians 5:8 : the earnest-money, which consists in the Spirit, ἀῤῥαβών (also with the Romans arrhabo or arrha) is properly ἐπὶ ταῖς ὠναῖς παρᾶ τῶν ὠνουμένων διδομένη προκαταβολὴ ὑπὲρ ἀσφαλείας, Etym. M.; Aristot. Pol. i. 4. 5; Lucian, Rhet. praec. 17, 18. Then it is a figurative expression for the notion guarantee. See in general Wetstein, and especially Kypke, Obss. II. p. 239 f. For what the Holy Spirit is guarantee, Paul does not say, but he presupposes it as an obvious fact in the consciousness of the readers, just as he did with σφραγισάμ. The Holy Spirit is in the heart as an earnest-money given for a guarantee of a future possession, the pledge of the future Messianic salvation. Comp. 2 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:14. How? see Romans 8:2; Romans 8:10 f., 2 Corinthians 5:5, 2 Corinthians 8:15 ff.; Galatians 4:6 f.; Ephesians 5:19. In ἀῤῥαβ., therefore, the climax τῶνμελλόντων ἀγαθῶν (Theodoret) is characteristi.

ἐν ταῖς καρδιαῖς ἡμ.] The direction is blended with the result, as 2 Corinthians 8:1 : He gave the Spirit, so that this Spirit is now in our hearts. Comp. 2 Corinthians 8:16, and on John 3:35.


Verse 23

2 Corinthians 1:23. After Paul has vindicated himself (2 Corinthians 1:16-22) from the suspicion of fickleness and negligence raised against him on account of his changing the plan of his journey, he proceeds in an elevated tone to give, with the assurance of an oath (2 Corinthians 11:31; Romans 1:9; Galatians 1:20), the reason why he had not come to Corint.

ἐγὼ δέ] Hitherto he has spoken communicativè, not talking of himself exclusively. Now, however, to express his own self-determination, he continues: but I for my own part, etc.

For examples of ἐπικαλεῖσθαι τὸν θεὸν μάρτυρα, see Wetstein. Comp. Hom. Il. xxii. 254. θεοὺς ἐπιδώμεθα· τοὶ γὰρ ἄριστοι μάρτυροι ἔσσονται, Plat. Legg. ii p. 664 C.

ἐπὶ τ. ἐμ. ψυχ.] not: against my soul, in which case it would be necessary arbitrarily to supply si fallo (Grotius; comp. Osiander and others, also Ernesti, Urspr. d. Sünde, II. p. 102), but, in reference to (for) my soul, “in qua rerum mearum mihi conscius sum, quam perimi nolim,” Bengel. It expresses the moral reference of the invocation, and belongs to ἐπικαλ., in which act Paul has in view that he thereby stakes the salvation (Hebrews 10:39; 1 Peter 1:9; James 1:21) or ruin of his soul (Romans 2:9). Comp. the second commandmen.

φειδόμενος ὑμ.] exercising forbearance towards you. This was implied in the very fact of his not coming. Had he come, it must have been ἐν ῥαβδῷ, 1 Corinthians 4:21. Comp. 2 Corinthians 2:1.

οὐκέτι not again, as would have accorded with my former plan, 2 Corinthians 1:16. But since this former plan is altered already in 1 Corinthians 16:5 f., the ἔτι in οὐκέτι must refer to a visit preceding our first Epistl.

εἰς κόρινθον] “eleganter pro ad vos in sermone potestatem ostendente,” Bengel.


Verse 24

2 Corinthians 1:24. Guarding against a possible misunderstanding of φειδόμενος. Theodoret says aptly: τοῦτο δὲ ὡς ὑφορμοῦν τέθεικεν; for the expression φειδόμενος might be interpreted as a pretension to lordship over fait.

οὐχ ὅτι] is equivalent to οὐκ ἐρῶ, ὅτι. See on John 6:46, and Tyrwhitt, ad Arist. Poet. p. 128.

κυριεύομεν κ. τ. λ.] The apostle knows that no lordship over faith belongs to him; how the faith in Christ is to be shaped among the churches as respects contents, vital activity, etc., he has not to command, as if he were lord over it, but only to teach, to rouse, and entreat (2 Corinthians 5:20) thereto, to promote it by praise or blame, etc. The order κυρ. ὑμῶν τ. πίστ. depends on the form of conception: we do not lord it over you as to faith. Comp. on John 11:32, and Stallbaum, ad Plat. Symp. p. 117 A, Rep. p. 518 C. This prefixing of the pronoun occurs very often in the N. T.; hence it was the more preposterous to supply a ἕνεκα before τῆς πίστ. (Erasmus, Calvin, Estius, Flatt, and others).

ἀλλὰ συνεργοί] but (it is implied in my φειδόμενος ὑμῶν) that we are joint helpers of your joy, that it is our business to be helpful to you, so that you rejoice. To this destined aim an earlier coming would have been opposed, because it would have caused grief (2 Corinthians 2:1). The συν in συνεργοί refers to the union of the helping efficacy with the working of the Corinthians themselves. Contrary to the context, Grotius suggests: “cum Deo et Christo,” which Osiander also imports. The χαρά is not to be taken of the joy of blessedness (Grotius and others), but of the joy of the church over the improvement and the success of the Christian life amongst them. Only this agrees with the context, for the want of this success had been the cause of Paul’s formerly coming ἐν λύπῃ to the Corinthians, and of the necessity for his coming again ἐν ῥάβδῳ (1 Corinthians 4:21).

τῇ γὰρ πίστει ἑστήκατε] for in respect to faith ye stand; the point of faith, in respect to which you are firm and stedfast, is not now under discussion. Note the emphatic placing of τῇ πίστ. first. Theophylact well says: οὐκ οὖν ἐν τούτοις ( τοῖς κατὰ πίστιν) εἶχον τι μέμψασθαι ὑμᾶς· ἐν ἄλλοις δὲ ἐσαλεύεσθε. On the dative of more precise definition, comp. Polyb. xxi. 9. 3; Romans 4:19-20; Galatians 5:1 (Elzevir). It does not mean per fidem, Romans 11:20, as Bengel and Hofmann hold (through faith you have an independent and firm bearing), in which case we should have for ἑστήκ. a very vague and indefinite conception; but it is, in substance, not different from ἐν τῇ πίστει, 1 Corinthians 16:13.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/2-corinthians-1.html. 1832.

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