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2 Corinthians 2 Commentary

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A verse by verse commentary with quotations from many different authors.
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  2 CORITHIAS 2 COMMETARY Edited by Glenn Pease 1 So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you. 1. BARES, But I determined this with myself - I made up my mind on this point; I formed this resolution in regard to my course. That I would not come again to you in heaviness - In grief ( νη λύπ   enē lup ). “I  would not come, if I could avoid it, in circumstances which must have grieved both me and you. I would not come while there existed among you such irregularities as must have pained my heart, and as must have compelled me to resort to such acts of discipline as would be painful to you. I resolved, therefore, to endeavor to remove these evils  before I came, that when I did come, my visit might be mutually agreeable to us both. For that reason I changed my purpose about visiting you, when I heard of those disorders, and resolved to send an epistle. If that should be successful, then the way  would be open for an agreeable visit to you.” This verse, therefore, contains the statement of the principal reason why he had not come to them as he had at first proposed. It was really from no fickleness, but it was from love to them, and a desire that his visit should be mutually agreeable, compare the notes, 2Co_1:23. 2. CLARKE, But I determined this - The apostle continues to give farther reasons why he did not visit them at the proposed time. Because of the scandals that  were among them he could not see them comfortably; and therefore he determined not to see them at all till he had reason to believe that those evils were put away. 3. GILL, But I determined with myself  ,.... The apostle having removed the charge of levity and inconstancy brought against him, goes on to excuse his delay in coming to them, and to soften the severity, which some thought too much, he had used in his former epistle: he determined with himself, he took up a resolution within his own  breast some time ago, says he, that I would not come again to you in heaviness ; that he would not come with sorrow and heaviness, bewailing their sins not repented of, and by sharp reproofs and censures, which in such a case would be necessary, be the cause of grief and trouble to them; wherefore he determined to wait their repentance and amendment before he came again. The word again , may be connected with the phrase in heaviness ; and the sense   be, that in his former epistle, which was a sort of coming to them, he made them heavy and sorry, by sharply rebuking them for some disorders that were among them; and since it has been a settled point with him, that he would not come in heaviness again: or  with the word come ; and then the meaning is, as his first coming among them was to the joy of their souls, so it was a determined case with him, that his second coming should not be with grief, either to them or himself, or both; and this is the true reason  why he had deferred it so long. 4. HERY, In these verses, 1. The apostle proceeds in giving an account of the reason  why he did not come to Corinth, as was expected; namely, because he was unwilling to grieve them, or be grieved by them, 2Co_2:1, 2Co_2:2.  He had determined not to come to them in heaviness,  which yet he would have done had he come and found scandal among them not duly animadverted upon: this would have been cause of grief both to him and them, for their sorrow or joy at meeting would have been mutual. If he had made them sorry, that would have been a sorrow to himself, for there would have been none to have made him glad. But his desire was to have a cheerful meeting with them, and not to have it embittered by any unhappy occasion of disagreeing. 5. JAMISO, 2Co_2:1-17.  Reason why he had not visited them on his way to  Macedonia; The incestuous person ought now to be forgiven; His anxiety to hear tidings of their state from Titus, and his joy when at last the good news reaches him.  with myself  — in contrast to “you” (2Co_1:23). The same antithesis between Paul and them appears in 2Co_2:2. not come again ... in heaviness — “sorrow”; implying that he had already  paid them one  visit in sorrow  since his coming for the first time to Corinth. At that visit he had warned them “he would not spare if he should come again” (see on 2Co_13:2; compare 2Co_12:14; 2Co_13:1). See on Introduction to the first Epistle. The “in heaviness” implies mutual   pain; they grieving him, and he them. Compare 2Co_2:2, “I make you sorry,” and 2Co_2:5, “If any have caused grief (sorrow).” In this verse he accounts for having postponed his visit, following up 2Co_1:23. 6. CALVI, But I had determined Whoever it was that divided the chapters, made here a foolish division. For now at length the Apostle explains, in what manner he had spared them. “I had determined,” says he, “not to come to you any more in sorrow,” or in other words, to occasion you sorrow by my coming. For he had come once by an Epistle, by means of which he had severely pained them. Hence, so long as they had not repented, he was unwilling to come to them, lest he should be constrained to grieve them again, when present with them, for he chose rather to give them longer time for repentance. 311 The word ἔκρινα (I determined) must be rendered in the pluperfect tense, 312 for, when assigning a reason for the delay that had occurred, he explains what had been his intention previously.7. PULPIT COMMETARY, But I determined this. The division of chapters is here unfortunate, since this and the next three verses belong to the paragraph which began at 2 Corinthians 1:23. The verb means, literally, I judged, but is rightly rendered determined, as in 1 Corinthians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 7:37. He is  contrasting his final decision with his srcinal desire, mentioned in 2 Corinthians 1:15. With myself; rather, for myself; as the best course which I could take. That I would net come again to you in heaviness. The again in the true reading is not placed immediately before the verb, but it seems (as Theodoret says) to belong to it, so that the meaning is not that I would not pay you a second sad visit, but that my second visit to you should not be a sad one. There have been interminable discussions, founded on this expression and on 2 Corinthians 13:1, as to whether St. Paul had up to the time of writing this letter visited Corinth twice or only once. There is no question that only one visit is recorded in the Acts (Acts 18:1-18) previous to the one which he paid to this Church after this Epistle had been sent (Acts 20:2, Acts 20:3). If he paid them a second brief, sad, and unrecorded visit, it can only have been during his long stay in Ephesus (Acts 19:8, Acts 19:10). But the possibility of this does not seem to be recognized in Acts 20:31, where he speaks of his work at Ephesus night and day during this period. The assumption of such a visit, as we shall see, is not necessitated by 2 Corinthians 13:1, but in any case we know nothing whatever about the details of the visit, even if there was one, and the question, being supremely unimportant, is hardly worth the time which has been spent upon it. If he had paid such a visit, it would be almost unaccountable that there should be no reference to it in the First Epistle, and here in 2 Corinthians 1:19 he refers only to one occasion on which he had preached Christ in Corinth. Each fresh review of the circumstances convinces me more strongly that the notion of three visits to Corinth, of which one is unrecorded, is a needless and mistaken inference, due to unimaginative literalism in interpreting one or two phrases, and encumbered with difficulties on every side. In heaviness. The expression applies as much to the Corinthians as to himself, he did not wish his second visit to Corinth to be a painful one.8. Alan Redpath writes, “Personally, I would rather have the spiritual gift of bringing life to one broken heart than the ability to preach a thousand sermons. Indeed, any public ministry which has not at its heart something of the tenderness which has come because of the personal experience of what Paul calls “The sufferings of Christ” is lacking in the one thing that really matters.” 9. REV. F. W. ROBERTSON, M.A., He was not one of those who love to be censors of the faults of others. There are some who are ever finding fault : a certain appearance of superiority is thereby gained, for blame implies the power oi scanning from a height. There are political faultfinders who lament over the evil of the times, and demagogues who blame every  power that is. There are ecclesiastical faultfinders who can see no good anywhere in the Church, they can only expose abuses. There are social faultfinders,, who are ever on the watch for error, who complain of cant and shams, and who yet provide no remedy. There are religious faultfinders who lecture the poor, or form themselves into associations,  in which they rival the inquisitors of old. Now all this was contrary to the spirit of St. Paul. Charity with him was not a fine word: it was a part of his very being: he had that love which thinketh no evil, which re'oiceth not in iniquity, but in the truth, which beareth, believeth, hopeth all things. It pained him to inflict the censure which would give pain to others : i{ to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. Whenever you find a man trying to believe, and to make others  believe, himself to be necessary to their salvation and progress, saying, Except ye be circumcised, except ye believe what I teach, or except I baptize you, ye cannot be saved, there you have a priest, whether he be called minister, clergy-man, or layman. But whenever you find a man anxious and striving to make men independent of himself, yea, in-dependent of all men ; desiring to help them — not to rest on his authority, but — to stand on their own faith, not his ; that they may be elevated, instructed, and educated ; wish-ing for the blessed time to come when his services shall be unnecessary, and the prophecy be fulfilled — They shall no more teach every man his brother, saying, Know ye the Lord; for all shall know Him from the least to the greatest,  — there you have the Christian minister, the servant, the helper of your joy. The second reason St. Paul alleges for not coming to Corinth is apparently a selfish one : to spare himself pain And he distinctly says, he had written to pain them, in order that he might have joy. Very selfish, as at first it sounds : but if we look closely into it, it only sheds a  brighter and fresher light upon the exquisite unselfishness and delicacy of St. Paul's character. He desired to save himself pain, because it gave them pain. He desired joy for himself, because his joy was theirs. He will not separate himself from them for a moment : he will not be the master, and they the school : it is not I and you, but we ; (i my joy is your joy, as your grief was my grief. And so knit together are we beloved, — minister and congre-gation !
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