Self-Purification Their Duty Resulting from the
Foregoing. His Love to Them, and Joy at
the Good Effects on Them of His Former Epistle, as Reported by
1. cleanse ourselves—This is the
conclusion of the exhortation (2Co 6:1, 14; 1Jo 3:3;
filthiness—"the unclean thing" (2Co 6:17).
of the flesh—for instance,
fornication, prevalent at Corinth (1Co 6:15-18).
and spirit—for instance,
idolatry, direct or indirect (1Co 6:9; 8:1, 7; 10:7, 21,
22). The spirit (Ps 32:2) receives pollution through the flesh,
the instrument of uncleanness.
perfecting holiness—The cleansing
away impurity is a positive step towards holiness (2Co 6:17). It is not enough to begin; the end
crowns the work (Ga 3:3; 5:7; Php 1:6).
fear of God—often conjoined with the
consideration of the most glorious promises (2Co 5:11; Heb
4:1). Privilege and promise
go hand in hand.
2. Receive us—with enlarged
we have wronged … corrupter …
defrauded no man—(compare 2Co 7:9). This is the ground on which he asks
their reception of (making room for) him in their hearts. We
wronged none by an undue exercise of apostolic authority; 2Co 7:13 gives an instance in point. We
have corrupted none, namely, by beguilements and flatteries, while
preaching "another Gospel," as the false teachers did (2Co 11:3, 4). We have defrauded none by
"making a gain" of you (2Co 12:17).
Modestly he leaves them to supply the positive good which he had
done; suffering all things himself that they might be benefited (2Co
7:9, 12; 2Co 12:13).
3. In excusing myself, I do not accuse you, as
though you suspected me of such things [Menochius], or as though you were guilty of such
things; for I speak only of the false apostles [Estius and Greek commentators]. Rather, "as
though you were ungrateful and treacherous" [Beza].
I have said before—in 2Co 6:11, 12; compare Php 1:7.
die and live with you—the height of
friendship. I am ready to die and live with you and for you (Php
1:7, 20, 24; 2:17, 18).
Compare as to Christ, Joh 10:11.
4. boldness of speech—(compare 2Co 6:11).
glorying of you—Not only do I speak
with unreserved openness to you, but I glory (boast)
greatly to others in your behalf, in speaking of you.
filled with comfort—at the report of
Titus (2Co 7:6, 7, 9, 13; 2Co 1:4).
exceeding joyful—Greek, I
overabound with joy (2Co 7:7, 9, 16).
our tribulation—described in 2Co 7:5; also in 2Co 4:7, 8; 6:4,
5. Greek, "For also" (for
"even"). This verse is thus connected with 2Co 2:12,
13, "When I came to Troas, I
had no rest in my spirit"; so "also" now, when I came to
Macedonia, my "flesh" had no rest (he, by the term "flesh,"
excepts his spiritual consolations) from "fightings" with
adversaries "without" (1Co 5:12),
and from fears for the Corinthian believers "within" the Church, owing
to "false brethren" (2Co 11:26).
Compare 2Co 4:8; De 32:25, to which he seems to allude.
6. Translate in the order required by the
Greek, "But he that comforteth those that are cast down, even
God." Those that are of an high spirit are not susceptible of such
7. when he told us—Greek,
"telling us." We shared in the comfort which Titus felt in recording
your desire (2Co 7:13).
He rejoiced in telling the news; we in hearing them
earnest desire—Greek, "longing
desire," namely, to see me [Grotius]; or, in general, towards me, to please
mourning—over your own remissness in
not having immediately punished the sin (1Co 5:1, &c.) which called forth my
fervent mind—Greek, "zeal"
(compare 2Co 7:11; Joh 2:17).
toward me—Greek, "for me"; for
my sake. They in Paul's behalf showed the zeal against the sin
which Paul would have shown had he been present.
rejoiced the more—more than before, at
the mere coming of Titus.
8. with a letter—Greek, "in the
letter" namely, the first Epistle to the Corinthians.
I do not repent, though I did
repent—Translate, "I do not regret it, though I did
regret it." The Greek words for regret and
repent are distinct. Paul was almost regretting, through
parental tenderness, his having used rebukes calculated to grieve the
Corinthians; but now that he has learned from Titus the salutary effect
produced on them, he no longer regrets it.
for I perceive, &c.—This is
explanatory of "I did repent" or "regret it," and is parenthetical
("for I perceive that that Epistle did make you sorry, though it
was but for a season").
9. Now I rejoice—Whereas "I did repent"
or regret having made you sorry by my letter, I rejoice NOW, not that ye were caused sorrow, but that your
sorrow resulted in your repentance.
ye sorrowed—rather, as before, "ye
were made sorry."
after a godly manner—literally,
"according to God," that is, your sorrow having regard to God, and
rendering your mind conformable to God (Ro 14:22; 1Pe 4:6).
that—Translate in Greek order,
"to the end that (compare 2Co 11:9) ye might in nothing receive damage from
us," which ye would have received, had your sorrow been other than that
"after a godly manner" (2Co 7:10).
10. worketh … worketh—In the best
Greek reading the translation is, "worketh (simply) …
worketh out." "Sorrow" is not repentance, but, where it is
"godly," "worketh" it; that is, contributes or tends to
it (the same Greek word is in Ro 13:10). The "sorrow of the world" (that is,
such as is felt by the worldly) "worketh out," as its result
at last, (eternal) death (the same Greek verb is in 2Co 4:17; also see on 2Co 4:17).
repentance … not to be repented
of—There is not in the Greek this play on words, so
that the word qualified is not "repentance" merely, but "repentance
unto salvation"; this, he says, none will ever regret, however
attended with "sorrow" at the time. "Repentance" implies a
coming to a right mind; "regret" implies merely uneasiness of
feeling at the past or present, and is applied even to the
remorse of Judas (Mt 27:3;
Greek, "stricken with remorse," not as English Version,
"repented himself"); so that, though always accompanying repentance, it
is not always accompanied by repentance. "Repentance" removes the
impediments in the way of "salvation" (to which "death," namely, of the
soul, is opposed). "The sorrow of the world" is not at the sin
itself, but at its penal consequences: so that the tears of pain
are no sooner dried up, than the pleasures of ungodliness are renewed.
So Pharaoh, Ex 9:27, 28-30; and Saul, 1Sa 15:23-30. Compare Isa 9:13;
Re 16:10, 11. Contrast
David's "godly sorrow," 2Sa 12:13,
and Peter's, Mt 26:75.
11. Confirmation of 2Co 7:10 from the Corinthians' own
"diligence"; opposed to their past negligence in the matter.
in you—Greek "for you."
yea—not only "carefulness" or
diligence, but also "clearing of yourselves," namely, to me by
Titus: anxiety to show you disapproved of the deed.
indignation—against the offender.
fear—of the wrath of God, and of
sinning any more [Sclater and Calvin]; fear of Paul [Grotius], (1Co 4:2, 19-21).
vehement desire—longing for
restoration to Paul's approval [Conybeare and Howson]. "Fear" is in spite of one's self. "Longing
desire" is spontaneous, and implies strong love and an aspiration for
correction [Calvin]. "Desire" for the
presence of Paul, as he had given them the hope of it (1Co 4:19;
16:5) [Grotius and Estius].
zeal—for right and for God's honor
against what is wrong. Or, "for the good of the soul of the offender"
revenge—Translate, "Exacting of
punishment" (1Co 5:2, 3).
Their "carefulness" was exhibited in the six points just specified:
"clearing of themselves," and "indignation" in relation to themselves;
"fear" and "vehement desire" in respect to the apostle; "zeal" and
"revenge" in respect to the offender [Bengel]; (compare 2Co 7:7).
In all—the respects just stated.
clear—Greek, "pure," namely,
from complicity in the guilty deed. "Approved yourselves,"
Greek, "commended yourselves." Whatever suspicion of complicity
rested on you (1Co 5:2, 6)
through your former remissness, you have cleared off by your present
strenuousness in reprobating the deed.
12. though I wrote unto you—"making you
sorry with my letter" (2Co 7:8).
his cause that suffered wrong—the
father of the incestuous person who had his father's wife (1Co 5:1). The father, thus it seems, was
that our care for you, &c.—Some of
the oldest manuscripts read thus, "That YOUR care for us might be made manifest unto you,"
&c. But the words, "unto you," thus, would be rather obscure; still
the obscurity of the genuine reading may have been the very reason for
the change being made by correctors into the reading of English
Version. Alford explains the
reading: "He wrote in order to bring out their zeal on his behalf (that
is, to obey his command), and make it manifest to themselves in
God's sight, that is, to bring out among them their zeal to
regard and obey him." But some of the oldest manuscripts and versions
(including the Vulgate and old Italian) support
English Version. And the words, "to you," suit it better than
the other reading. 2Co 2:4, "I
wrote … that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly
unto you," plainly accords with it, and disproves Alford's assertion that English Version is
inconsistent with the fact as to the purpose of his letter. His
writing, he says, was not so much for the sake of the individual
offender, or the individual offended, but from his "earnest care" or
concern for the welfare of the Church.
13. The oldest manuscripts read thus,
"Therefore (Greek, 'for this cause,' namely, because our
aim has been attained) we have been (English Version, 'were,' is
not so accurate) comforted; yea (Greek, 'but'), in OUR comfort
we exceedingly the more joyed for the joy of Titus," &c. (compare
14. anything—that is, at all.
I am not ashamed—"I am not put to
shame," namely, by learning from Titus that you did not realize the
high character I gave him of you.
as … all things … in truth, even so
our boasting … is found a truth—As our speaking in
general to you was true (2Co 1:18), so our particular boasting to Titus
concerning you is now, by his report, proved to be truth
9:2). Some oldest manuscripts
read expressly, "concerning you"; this in either reading is the
15. his inward affection—literally,
"bowels" (compare 2Co 6:12; Php 1:8; 2:1; Col 3:12).
fear and trembling—with trembling
anxiety to obey my wishes, and fearful lest there should be aught in
yourselves to offend him and me (2Co 7:11; compare 1Co 2:3).
16. therefore—omitted in the oldest
manuscripts. The conclusion is more emphatical without it.
that I have confidence in you in all
things—rather, as Greek, "that in everything I am
of good courage concerning (literally, 'in the case of') you," as
contrasted with my former doubts concerning you.