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1 Corinthians 16:8-12

8. But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.

8. Commorabor autem Ephesi usque ad Pentecosten.

9. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

9. Nam ostium milli aperture est magnum et efficax, et 161161     “Et, ou mais, il y a;” — “And, or but, there are.” adversarii multi.

10. Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do

10. Quodsi venerit Timotheus, videte, ut absque metu sit apud vos: opus enim Domini operatur, quemadmodum et ego.

11. Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.

11. Ne quis igitur eum spernat: sed prosequamini eum cum pace, 162162     “En paix (ou, seurete);” — “In peace (or, safety.)” ut veniat ad me: exspecto enim eum cum fratribus.

12. As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.

12. Porro de Apollo fratre, multum hortatus sum illum, ut veniret ad vos cum fratribus, at omnino non fuit voluntas nunc eundi: veniet autem, quam opportunitatem nactus erit.

 

8. I will remain. From this statement I have argued above, that this epistle was sent from Ephesus, rather than from Philippi. For the probability is, that the Apostle speaks of the place in which he was at the time, and not of a place, in going to which he would require to make a long circuit; and farther, in passing through Macedonia, 163163     “En passant de Philippes par Macedone;” — “In passing from Philippi through Macedonia.” it would have been necessary to leave Corinth when already in the neighborhood of it, and cross the sea in order to reach Ephesus. He accordingly tells them beforehand that he will remain at Ephesus until Pentecost, adding the reason — in order that they may wait for him the more patiently. Erasmus has preferred to render it — until the fiftieth day, influenced by frivolous conjectures rather than by any solid argument. He objects, that there was as yet no day of Pentecost appointed among Christians, as it is now celebrated; and this I grant. He says, that it ought not to be understood as referring to the Jewish solemnity, because in various instances he annuls and condemns the superstitious observance of days. (Galatians 4:10; Romans 14:5; Colossians 2:16, 17.) I do not concede to him, however, that Paul celebrated that day at Ephesus from being influenced by a superstitious regard to the day, but because there would be a larger assembly at that time, and he hoped that, in that way, an opportunity would be presented to him of propagating the gospel. Thus, when he was hastening forward to Jerusalem, he assigned as the reason of his haste, that he might arrive there at Pentecost, (Acts 20:16;) but while others presented themselves there for the purpose of sacrificing according to the ritual of the law, he himself had another object in view — that his ministry might be the more useful in proportion to the largeness of the attendance. It were, however, an excessively poor meaning to understand Paul here as simply specifying fifty days. Besides, when he expressly says τὴν πεντηκοστήν (the Pentecost,) he cannot but be understood as speaking of a particular day. As to this festival, see Leviticus 23:16

9. For a great and effectual door is opened to me. He assigns two reasons for remaining for a longer time at Ephesus — 1st, Because an opportunity is afforded him there of furthering the gospel; and 2dly, Because, in consequence of the great number of adversaries that were there, his presence was particularly required. “I shall do much good by prolonging my stay here for a little while, and were I absent, Satan would do much injury.” In the first clause, he makes use of a metaphor that is quite in common use, when he employs the term door as meaning an opportunity. For the Lord opened up a way for him for the furtherance of the gospel. He calls this a great door, because he could gain many. He calls it effectual, inasmuch as the Lord blessed his labor, and rendered his doctrine effectual by the power of His Spirit. We see, then, how this holy man 164164     “Ce sainct Apostre;” — “This holy Apostle.” sought everywhere Christ’s glory, and did not select a place with a view to his own convenience or his own pleasure; but simply looked to this — where he might do most good, and serve his Lord with most abundant fruit; and in addition to this, he did not merely not shrink back from hardships, but presented himself, of his own accord, where he saw that he would have to contend more keenly, and with greater difficulty. For the reason why he remained 165165     “En Ephese;” — “In Ephesus.” was, that many adversaries were at hand; and the better equipped he was for enduring their assault, he required to be so much the better prepared, and the more resolute.

10. But if Timothy come. He speaks as if he were not as yet certain as to his coming. Now he charges them as to Timothy, so that he may be with them in safety — not as though he were in danger of his life among them, but because he would have enemies of Christ 166166     “Beaucoup d’ennemis de Christ;” — “Many enemies of Christ.” to oppose him. He wishes, therefore, that they should carefully take heed that no injury be done to him.

He adds the reason — for he worketh the work of the Lord Hence we infer, that the Church of Christ ought to be concerned for the preservation of the lives of ministers. And assuredly, it is reasonable, that, in proportion as an individual is endowed with superior gifts for the edification of believers, and applies himself to it the more strenuously, his life ought to be so much dearer to us.

The clause — as I also do, is made use of, either to express his excellence, or simply to point out the similarity as to office, inasmuch as both labored in the word.

11. Let no man, therefore, despise him Here we have a second charge, that they may not despise him — perhaps because he was as yet of a youthful age, which usually draws forth less respect. He wishes them, therefore, to take care, that there be no hinderance in the way of this faithful minister of Christ being held in due esteem — unless, perhaps, it be that Paul reckoned this very thing to be an evidence of contempt, if they were not concerned, as it became them to be, in reference to his life. This injunction, however, appears to include something farther, that they should not undervalue Timothy, from ignorance of his worth.

In the third place, he charges them to conduct him forward in peace, or, in other words, safe from all harm, for peace here means safety.

12. As to our brother Apollos. He had succeeded Paul in the work of building up the Corinthians; and hence he has in previous passages ascribed to him the office of watering. (1 Corinthians 3:6, and Acts 19:1.) He now states a reason why he does not come with the others, and he states the reason of this, in order that the Corinthians may not suspect that he had been hindered by him. For the better he was known by them, they were so much the more favourably disposed towards him, and they would be the more ready to conjecture, that matters had been designedly contrived, that he should not go to them, in consequence of offense having been taken. 167167     “Que sainct Paul se sentant offense par les Corinthiens, auoit attitre cela tout expres, qu’ Apollos n’allast point vers eux;” — “That St. Paul feeling offended with the Corinthians, had intentionally brought it about, that Apollos should not go to them.” They might, at least, be prepared to inquire among themselves: “Why has he sent these persons to us rather than Apollos?” He answers, that it was not owing to him, inasmuch as he entreated him; but he promises that he will come as soon as he has opportunity.


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