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Verse 11. For behold this self-same thing. For see in your own case the happy effects of godly sorrow. See the effects which it produced; see an illustration of what it is fitted to produce. The construction is, "For, lo! this very thing, to wit, your sorrowing after a godly manner, wrought carefulness, clearing of yourselves," etc. The object of Paul is to illustrate the effects of godly sorrow, to which he had referred in 2 Co 7:10. He appeals, therefore, to their own case, and says that it was beautifully illustrated among themselves.

What carefulness. spoudhn. This word properly denotes speed, haste; then diligence, earnest effort, forwardness. Here it, is evidently used to denote the diligence and the great anxiety which they manifested to remove the evils which existed among them. They went to work to remove them. They did not sit down to mourn over them merely, nor did they wait for God to remove them, nor did they plead that they could do nothing; but they set about the work as though they believed it might be done. When men are thoroughly convinced of sin, they will set about removing it with the utmost diligence. They will feel that this can be done, and must be done, or that the soul will be lost.

What clearing of yourselves, apologian. Apology. This word properly means a plea or defence before a tribunal or elsewhere, Ac 22:1; 2 Ti 4:16. Tindal renders it, "Yea, it caused you to clear yourselves." The word here properly means apology for what had been done; and it probably refers here to the effort which would be made by the sounder part of the church to clear themselves from blame in what had occurred. It does not mean that the guilty, when convicted of sin, will attempt to vindicate themselves, and to apologize to God for what they have done; but it means that the church at Corinth were anxious to state to Titus all the mitigating circumstances of the case; they showed great solicitude to free themselves, as far as could be done, from blame; they were anxious, as far as could be, to show that they had not; approved of what had occurred, and perhaps that it had occurred only because it could not have been prevented. We are not to suppose that all the things here referred to occurred in the same individual, and that the same persons precisely evinced diligence, and made the apology, etc. It was done by the church; all evinced deep feeling; but some manifested it in one way, and some in another. The whole church was roused; and all felt, and all endeavoured, in the proper way, to free themselves from the blame, and to remove the evil from among them.

Yea, what indignation. Indignation against the sin, and perhaps against the persons who had drawn down the censure of the apostle. One effect of true repentance is to produce decided hatred of sin. It is not mere regret, or sorrow; it is positive hatred. There is a deep indignation against it as an evil and a bitter thing.

Yea, what fear. Fear lest the thing should be repeated. Fear lest it should not be entirely removed. Or it may possibly mean fear of the displeasure of Paul, and of the punishment which would be inflicted if the evil were not removed. But it more probably refers to the anxious state of mind that the whole evil might be corrected, and to the dread of having any vestige of the evil remaining among them.

Yea, what vehement desire. This may either mean their fervent wish to remove the cause of complaint, or their anxious desire to see the apostle. It is used in the latter sense in 2 Co 7:7, and according to Doddridge and Bloomfield this is the meaning here. Locke renders it, "desire of satisfying me." It seems to me more probable that Paul refers to their anxious wish to remove the sin, since this is the topic under consideration. The point of his remarks in this verse is not so much their affection for him, as their indignation against their sin, and their deep grief that sin had existed and had been tolerated among them.

Yea, what zeal. Zeal to remove the sin, and to show your attachment to me. They set about the work of reformation in great earnest.

Yea, what revenge! Tindal renders this, "it caused punishment." The idea is, that they immediately set about the work of inflicting punishment on the offender. The word here used (ekdikhsin) properly denotes maintenance of right, protection; then it is used in the sense of avengement, or vengeance; and then of penal retribution or punishment. See Lu 21:22; 2 Th 1:8; 1 Pe 2:14.


In all things, etc. The sense of this is, "You have entirely acquitted yourselves of blame in this business." The apostle does not mean that none of them had been to blame, or that the church had been free from fault, for a large part of his former epistle is occupied in reproving them for their faults in this business; but he means that, by their zeal and their readiness to take away the cause of complaint, they had removed all necessity of further blame, and had pursued such a course as entirely to meet his approbation. They had cleared themselves of any further blame in this business, and had become, so far as this was concerned, "clear," (agnouv,) or pure.

{c} "godly sort" Isa 66:2 {d} "carefulness it wrought" Tit 3:8 {e} "clearing of yourselves" Eph 5:11 {f} "indignation" Eph 4:26 {g} "fear" Heb 4:1 {a} "yea, what zeal" Ps 52:1; 130:6 {b} "zeal" Re 3:19 {c} "revenge" Mt 5:29,30 {d} "to be clear" Ro 14:18

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