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13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.
14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you; for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the Gospel of Christ :
15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
16 To preach the Gospel in the regions beyond you; and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.
17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
Paul being enforced, entereth into a commendation of himself, and comparison with the other apostles. WOULD to God ye could
for Christ, &c.
bear with me a little in my folly;a & indeed bear with me.
2 For 1 am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit which ye have not received, or another Gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.b
6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been thoroughly nade manifest among you in all things.
7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself,c that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the Gospel of God freely ?d
a In my folly. Paul calls his commending himself, folly, because his opposers had given it that name.
b Not a whit behind, &c. In nothing inferior to the very greatest of the apostles.
In abasing; in humbling myself by labouring for subsistence, that ye might be exalted by believing in Christ d Freely, as a free gift, or without reward.
9 And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man; for that which was lacking to me, the brethren, which came from Macedonia, supplied; and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.
10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.
11 Wherefore? because I love not? God knoweth. you 12 But what I do, that will do, that I may cut off occasion from them, which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing, if his ministers also be transformed, as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
16 I say again, let no man think me a fool ;e if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that may boast myself a little.
17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this pe confidence of boasting.
e Think me a fool for speaking in my own praise.
18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. 19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
20 For ye suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit, whereinsoever any is bold, (1 speak foolishly, f) I am bold also. 22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites ? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham ? so am I.
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool,) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.g
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save
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
ƒ I, no doubt in your opinion, speak as a fool.
g In danger of deaths often.
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 forevermore, 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, & escaped his hands.
about 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.b
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.
1 He commendeth his apostleship, not by his revelations, 9 but by his infirmities, 11 blaming them for forcing this boasting. 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 a a I knew a man in Christ. Paul here doubtless speaks of himself.
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,c the messen
b Third heaven. The Jews called the region of the air, where the birds fy, the First Heaven; the region of the stars, the Second; and the space
still higher, where is the seat of God,
of the holy angels, and into which Christ ascended after his resurrec
tion, the Third Heaven.
The thorn in the flesh, it is supposed, was some bodily weakness, occasioned by his rapture abovementioned, which might disagreeably affect his looks, gesture, and speech, and render his manner of preaching less acceptable.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
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 reproach es 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.
12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, & 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.
14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you; for I seek not yours, but you; for the children ought not to lay up for the parents,
d As the messenger of satan to buffet or mortify me.
but the parents for the children.
15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly Í the less I be loved.
16 But be it so I did not burden you; nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.
17 Did I make a gain of you by any of them, whom I sent unto you?
18 I desired Titus,e & with him I sent a brother; did Titas make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps ?
19 Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ; but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.
20 For I fear, lest when I come, I snot find you such as I wo that I shall be found u. you such as ye would not; lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings,whisperings, swellings, tumults:
21 And lest, when I come again, my God will_humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
e I desired Titus to go to you.
1 He threateneth obstinate sinners: 5 he adviseth them to a trial of their faith. THIS is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witness es shall every word be established.
2 I told you before, and foretel you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare:
3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
4 For though he was crucified through weakness,a yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.b
5 Examine yourselves, whether be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ?
6 But I trust that ye shall
• Through weakness; by reason of the weakness of his human nature, which was subject to death.
b We shall live with him, by exercising the power of God among you, if ye do not repent.
know that we are not reprobates.
7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong; and this also we wish, even your perfection.
10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.
11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.
13 All the saints salute you. 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. ¶ The second epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi, a city of Macedonia, by Titus and Lucas.