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TEXT. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more: in
labours inore abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more
frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered
shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in
perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils
among false brethren ; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and
thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Besides those things that are without, that which cometh upon me
daily, the care of all the churches.
PARAPHRASE. So am I. Is he an Israelite, truly of the Jewish nation, and bred in that religion? So am I. Is he of the seed of
Abraham, really descended from him? And not a proselyte, 23 of a foreign extraction ? So am I. Is he a minister of Jesus
Christ? (I speak in my foolish way of boasting) I am more so: in toilsome labours I surpass him: in stripes I am exceedingly
beyond him %: in prisons I have been oftener; and in the 24 very jaws of death, more than once: Of the Jews I have, five 25 times, received forty stripes save one.
Thrice was I whipped with rods: once was I stoned: thrice shipwrecked: I have 26 passed a night and a day in the sea: In journeyings often: in
perils by water; in perils by robbers; in perils by mine own countrymen; in perils from the heathen; in perils in the
city; in perils in the country; in perils at sea; in perils among 27 false brethren ; In toil and trouble, and sleepless nights, often; in hunger and thirst; in fastings, often ; in cold and naked
Besides these troubles from without, the disturbance
NOTES. that in the text, to avoid an inconsistency in the paraphrase, which could not but shock the reader. But this I would be understood to do, without imposing my opinion on any body, or pretending to change the text : but, as an expositor, to tell my reader that I think, though St. Paul says “ they,” he means but one; as often, when he says we," he means only himself, the reason whereof I
have given elsewhere. 23 : 'Ev ahnyaīs un epeana617ws, “ in stripes above measure," rather“ in stripes ex
ceeding.” For these words, as the other particulars of this verse, ought to be taken comparatively, with reference to the false apostle, with whom St. Paul is comparing himself, in the ministry of the Gospel. Unless this be understood so, there will seem to be a disagreeable tautology in the following verses; which, taking these words in a comparative sense, are proofs of his saying, “ In stripes I am exceedingly beyond him; for of the Jews five times,” &c.
TEXT. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine
infirmities. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for
evermore, knoweth that I lie not. 32 In Damascus, the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of
the Damascenes, with a garrison desirous to apprehend me: 33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and
escaped his hands.
PARAPHRASE. that comes daily upon me, from my concern for all the 29 churches. Who is a weak Christian, in danger, through
frailty or ignorance, to be misled, whose weakness I do not feel and suffer in, as if it were my own? Who is actually
misled, for whom my zeal and concern do not make me uneasy, 30 as if I had a fire in me? If I must be compelled" to glory',
I will glory of those things which are of my weak and suffer31 ing side. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who 32 is blessed for ever, knoweth that I lie not. In Damascus,
the governor, under Aretas the king, who kept the town with 33 a garrison, being desirous to apprehend me; I was through a
window let down in a basket, and escaped his hands.
NOTES. 30 h “ Compelled.” Vid. chap. xii. 11.
By xauxão bas, which is translated sometimes “ to glory," and sometimes “ boast,” the apostle all along, where he applies it to himself, means nothing, but the mentioning some commendable action of his, without vanity or ostentation, but barely upon necessity, on the present occasion.
SECTION IV. No. 6.
CHAPTER XII. 1-11.
He makes good his apostleship, by the extraordinary visions and revelations which he had received.
TEXT. 1 It is not expedient for me, doubtless, to glory: I will come to
visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I knew a man in Christ, above fourteen years ago, (whether in the
body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God
knoweth) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body,
I cannot tell : God knoweth) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable
words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in
mine infirmities. 6 For, though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will
say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me
above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 7 And, lest I should be exalted above measure, through the abundance
of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
1 If I must be forced to glory & for your sakes ; (for me it is
not expedient) I will come to visions and revelations of the 2 Lord. I knew a man', by the power of Christ, above four
teen years ago, caught up into the third heaven, whether the
entire man, body and all, or out of the body in an ecstasy, 3 I know not; God knows. And I knew such an one b,
whether in the body, or out of the body, I know not, God 4 knows, That he was caught up into paradise, and there heard 5 what is not in the power of man to utter.
Of such an one I will glory: but myself I will not mention with any boasting,
unless in things that carry the marks of weakness, and show 6 my sufferings. But if I should have a mind to glory in other
things, I might do it, without being a fool; for I would speak nothing but what is true, having matter in abundance C: but I
forbear, lest any one should think of me beyond what he sees 7 me, or hears commonly reported of me. And that I might
not be exalted above measure, by reason of the abundance of revelations that I had, there was given me a thorn in the flesh", the messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I might not be over
NOTES. I a Ei xauyācomo &eĩ, “ If I must glory,” is the reading of some copies, and is justified TEXT, 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from
by ver. 30, of the foregoing chapter, by the Vulgar translation, and by the Syriac, much to the same purpose; and suiting better with the context, renders
the sense clearer. 2, 3 \ Modestly speaking of himself in the third person. 6 « Vid. ver. 7. 7 d " Thorn in the flesh :" what this was in particular, St. Paul having thought
fit to couceal it, is not easy for those who came after to discover, nor is it very material.
9 And he said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my
strength is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest
upon me. 10 Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities,
in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake : for when I am weak,
then am I strong. 11 I am become a fool in glorying ; ye have compelled me: for I ought
to have been commended of you; for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
PARAPHRASE. 8 much elevated. Concerning this thing, I besought the Lord 9 thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said, .My
favour is sufficient for thee: for my power exerts itself, and its sufficiency is seen the more perfectly, the weaker thou thyself art. I, therefore, most willingly choose to glory, rather in things that show my weakness, than in my abundance of glorious
revelations, that the power of Christ may the more visibly be 10 seen to dwell in me. Wherefore, I have satisfaction in
weaknesses, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I, looked upon in my
outward state, appear weak, then by the power of Christ, which 11 dwelleth in me, I am found to be strong. I am become foolish
in glorying thus: but it is you who have forced me to it. For I ought to have been commended by you ; since in nothing came I behind the chiefest of the apostles, though in myself I am nothing
SECTION IV. NO. 7.
CHAPTER XII. 12, 13.
He continues to justify himself to be an apostle, by the miracles he did, and the supernatural gifts he bestowed amongst the Corinthians,
12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you, in all pa
tience, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. 13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it
be that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong.
PARAPHRASE. 12 Truly the signs, whereby an apostle might be known, were
wrought among you, by me, in all patience a and submission,
under the difficulties I there met with, in miraculous, won13 derful, and mighty works, performed by me. For what is
there which you were any way shortened in, and had not equally with other churches b, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this injury.
NOTES. 12 a This may well be understood to reflect on the haughtiness and plenty, wherein
the false apostle lived amongst them. 13 b Vid. 1 Cor. i. 4–7.
SECTION IV. NO. 8.
CHAPTER XII. 14--21.
He farther justifies himself to the Corinthians, by his past disinterestedness, and his continued kind intentions to them.
TEXT. 14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and will not be
burdensome to you ; for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
14 Behold, this is the third time I am ready to come unto you;
but I will not be burdensome to you; for I seek not what is yours, but you: for it is not expected, nor usual, that children should lay up for their parents, but parents a for their children.
NOTE. 14 a Vid. 1 Cor. iv, 14, 15.