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29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If, 30 I must needs glory, I will glory in 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.
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 1,
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.
30 "Compelled." Vid. chap. xii. 11.
By xauxaoba, which is translated sometimes "to glory," and sometimes" to 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.
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 fourteen years ago, caught up into the third heaven, whether the entire man, body and all, or out of the body in an ecstacy, 3 I know not; God knows. And I know such an one 9 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: 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
1 a Esnauxardas du, "If I must glory," is the reading of some copies, and is justified by ver. 30, of the foregoing chapter, by the Vulgar translation, and by Syriac much to the same purpose; and suiting better with the contest, renders the sense clearer.
2, 3 b 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 conceal it, is not easy for those who came after to discover, nor is it very material.
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 reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then 11 am I strong. 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.
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 Ï 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 patience 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.
12 Truly the signs, whereby an apostle might be known, were wrought among you, by me, in all patience and submission, under the difficulties 1 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, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this injury.
12 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.
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 for their children.
14 Vid. 1Cor. iv, 14. 15.
15 And I will very gladly spend, and be spent, for you, though the more abundantly I love you, 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, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? Walked we not in the same spirit? Walked we not in the same steps? 19 Again, think you that we excuse ourselves unto you? We speak before
15 bVid. 2 Tim. ii. 10.
15 I will gladly lay out whatever is in my possession, or power; nay, even wear out and hazard myself for your souls", though it should so fall out that the more I love you, the less I should 16 be beloved by you. "Be it so, as some suggest, that I was
not burdensome to you; but it was in truth out of cunning, with a design to catch you, with that trick, drawing from you, 17 by others, what I refused in person." In answer to which, I
ask, Did I, by any of those I sent unto you, make a gain of you? 18 I desired Titus to go to you, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? Did not they behave themselves with the same temper that I did amongst you? Did we not walk in the same steps? i. e. neither they nor I re19 ceived any thing from you. Again, do not upon my men
• Vid. chap. vi. 12, 13.
19 He had before given the reason, chap. i. 23, of his not coming to them, with the like asseveration that he uses here. If we trace the thread of St. Paul's discourse here, we may observe, that having concluded the justification of himself and his apostleship by his past actions, ver. 13, he had it in his thoughts to tell them how he would deal with the false apostle and his adherents, when he came, as he was ready now to do. And, therefore, solemnly begins ver. 14 with "behold:" and tells them now, "the third time," he was ready to come to them, to which joining, (what was much upon his mind) that he would not be burdensome to them when he came, this suggested to his thoughts an objection, viz. that this personal shyness in him was but cunning; for that he designed to draw gain from them by other hands. From which he clears himself, by the instance of Titus and the brother, whom he had sent together to them, who were as far from receiving any thing from them as he himself. Titus and his other messenger being thus mentioned, he thought it necessary to obviate another suspicion, that might be raised in the minds of some of them, as if he mentioned the sending of those two as an apology for his not coming himself. This he disclaims utterly; and to prevent any thoughts of that kind, solemnly protests to them, that, in all his carriage to them, he had done nothing but for their edification; nor had any other aim, in any of his actions, but purely that; and that he forbore coming merely out of respect and goodwill to them. So that all from "Behold, this third time I am ready come to you," ver. 14, to "this