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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 4 - Verse 3

Verse 3. But with me. In my estimate; in regard to myself. That is, I esteem it a matter of no concern. Since I am responsible as a steward to my Master only, it is a matter of small concern what men think of me, provided I have his approbation. Paul was not insensible to the good opinion of men. He did not despise their favour, or court their contempt. But this was not the principal thing which he regarded; and we have here a noble elevation of purpose and of aim, which shows how direct was his design to serve and please the Master who had appointed him to his office.

That I should be judged. The word rendered judged here properly denotes to examine the qualities of any person or thing; and sometimes, as here, to express the result of such examination or judgment. Here it means to blame or condemn.

Of you. By you. Dear as you are to me as a church and a people, yet my main desire is not to secure your esteem, or to avoid your censure, but to please my Master, and secure his approbation.

Or of man's judgment. Of any man's judgment. What he had just said, that he esteemed it to be a matter not worth regarding, whatever might be their opinion of him, might seem to look like arrogance, or appear as if he looked upon them with contempt. In order to avoid this construction of his language, he here says that it was not because he despised them, or regarded their opinion as of less value than that of others, but that he had the same feelings in regard to all men. Whatever might be their rank, character, talent, or learning, he regarded it as a matter of the least possible consequence what they thought of him. He was answerable not to them, but to his Master; and he could pursue an independent course, whatever they might think of his conduct. This is designed also evidently to reprove them for seeking so much the praise of each other. The Greek here is, "of man's day," where day is used, as it often is in Hebrew, to denote the day of trial; the day of judgment; and then simply judgment. Thus the word

HEBREW

day— is used in Job 24:1; Ps 37:13; Joe 1:15; 2:1.

 

Yea, I judge not mine own self. I do not attempt to pronounce a judgment on myself. I am conscious of imperfection, and of being biased by self-love in my own favour. I do not feel that my judgment of myself would be strictly impartial, and in all respects to be trusted. Favourable as may be my opinion, yet I am sensible that I may be biased. This is designed to soften what he had just said about their judging him, and to show further the little value which is to be put on the judgment which man may form. "If I do not regard my own opinion of myself as of high value, I cannot be suspected of undervaluing you when I say that I do not much regard your opinion; and if I do not estimate highly my own opinion of myself, then it is not to be expected that I should set a high value on the opinions of others." God only is the infallible Judge; and as we and our fellow-men are liable to be biased in our opinions, from envy, ignorance, or self-love, we should regard the judgment of the world as of little value.

{1} "judgment" "day"

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