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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 8

Verse 8. For we would not have you ignorant. We wish you to be fully informed. See Barnes "1 Co 10:1"; See Barnes "1 Co 12:1".

The object of Paul here is to give a full explanation of the nature of his trials, to which he had referred in 2 Co 1:4. He presumed that the Corinthians would feel a deep interest in him and in his trials; that they would sympathize with him, and would pray that those sufferings and that this deliverance might be attended with a blessing, 2 Co 1:11 and perhaps he wished also to conciliate their kindness towards himself by mentioning more at length the, nature of the trials which he had been called to endure on account of the Christian religion, of which they were reaping so material benefits.

Of our trouble which came to us in Asia. The term Asia is often used to denote that part of Asia Minor of which Ephesus was the capital. See Barnes "Ac 2:9".

There has been considerable diversity of opinion as to the "troubles" to which Paul here refers. Some have supposed that he refers to the persecutions at Lystra, Ac 14:6,19,20, from which he had been recovered as it were by miracle; but as that happened so long before this, it seems improbable that he should here refer to it. There is every mark of freshness and recentness about this event; and Paul evidently referred to some danger from which he had been lately delivered, and which made a deep impression on his mind when he wrote this epistle. Semler supposes that he refers to the lying in wait of the Jews for him when he was about to go to Macedonia, mentioned in Ac 20:3. Most commentators have supposed that he refers to the disturbances which were made at Ephesus by Demetrius and his friends, mentioned in Ac 19, and by reason of which he was compelled to leave the city. The only objection to this is, that which is mentioned by Whitby and Macknight, that as Paul did not go into the theatre there, Ac 19:31, he incurred no such risk of his life as to justify the strong expressions mentioned in 2 Co 1:9,10. They suppose, therefore, that he refers to the danger to which he was exposed in Ephesus on another occasion, when he was compelled to fight there with wild beasts. See 1 Co 15:32. But nearly all these opinions may be reconciled, perhaps, by supposing that he refers to the group of calamities to which he had been exposed in Asia, and from which he had just escaped by going to Macedonia—referring, perhaps, more particularly to the conflict which he had been compelled to have with the wild beasts there. There was the riot excited by Demetrius, Ac 19, in which his life had been endangered, and from which he had just escaped; and there had been the conflict with the wild beasts at Ephesus, See Barnes "1 Co 15:32, which perhaps had occurred but just before; and there were the plots of the Jews against him, Ac 20:3, from which, also, he had just been delivered. By these trials his life had been endangered, perhaps, more than once, and he had been called to look death calmly in the face, and to anticipate the probability that he might soon die. Of these trials —of all these trials—he would not have the Corinthians ignorant; but desired that they should be fully apprized of them, that they might sympathize with him, and that through their prayers they might be turned to, his benefit.

That we were pressed out of measure. See Ac 19. We were borne down, or weighed down by calamity (ebarhyhmen,) exceedingly, (kay uperbolhn) super-eminently. The expression denotes excess, eminence, or intensity. It is one of Paul's common and very strong expressions to denote anything that is intensive or great. Ro 7:13; Ga 1:13; 2 Co 4:17.

 

Above strength. Beyond our strength. More than in ourselves we were able to bear.

Insomuch that we despaired even of life. Either expecting to be destroyed by the wild beasts with which he had to contend, or to be destroyed by the people. This was one of the instances undoubtedly to which he refers in 2 Co 11:23, where he says he had been "in deaths oft." And this was one of the many cases in which Paul was called on to contemplate death as near. It was doubtless one cause of his fidelity, and of his great success in his work, that he was thus called to regard death as near at hand; and that, to use the somewhat unpoetical but deeply affecting lines of Baxter, expressing a sentiment which guided all his ministry, and which was one source of his eminent success, \-

He preach'd as though he ne'er would preach again

And as a dying man to dying men

{a} "trouble which came" Ac 19:23

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