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Chapter 7

7:1 These promises [tautas tas epaggelias]. So many and so precious (2Pe 2:4 [epaggelmata]; Heb 11:39f.). Let us cleanse ourselves [katharisōmen heautous]. Old Greek used [kathairō] (in N.T. only in Joh 15:2, to prune). In Koinē [katharizō] occurs in inscriptions for ceremonial cleansing (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 216f.). Paul includes himself in this volitive aorist subjunctive. From all defilement [apo pantos molusmou]. Ablative alone would have done, but with [apo] it is plainer as in Heb 9:14. [Molusmos] is a late word from [molunō], to stain (see on 1Co 8:7), to pollute. In the LXX, Plutarch, Josephus. It includes all sorts of filthiness, physical, moral, mental, ceremonial, “of flesh and spirit.” Missionaries in China and India can appreciate the atmosphere of pollution in Corinth, for instance. Perfecting holiness [epitelountes hagiosunēn]. Not merely negative goodness (cleansing), but aggressive and progressive (present tense of [epiteleō] holiness, not a sudden attainment of complete holiness, but a continuous process (1Th 3:13; Ro 1:4; 1:6).

7:2 Open your hearts to us [chōrēsate hēmas]. Old verb (from [chōros], place), to leave a space, to make a space for, and transitive here as in Mt 19:11. He wishes no further [stenochōria], tightness of heart, in them (6:12). “Make room for us in your hearts.” He makes this plea to all, even the stubborn minority. We wronged no man [oudena ēdikēsamen]. A thing that every preacher ought to be able to say. Cf. 4:2; 1Th 2:3; Ac 20:26f. We corrupted no man [oudena ephtheiramen]. We ruined no one. “It may refer to money, or morals, or doctrine” (Plummer). He is answering the Judaizers. We took advantage of no man [oudena epleonektēsamen]. That charge was made in Thessalonica (1Th 4:6) which see for this late verb and also on 2Co 2:11. He got the best of (note [pleon] more in the root) no one in any evil way.

7:3 Not to condemn you [pros katakrisin ou]. “Not for condemnation.” Late word from [katakrinō], found in Vettius Valens, and here only in N.T. To die together and live together [eis to sunapothanein kai sunzēin]. “For the dying together (second aorist ingressive active infinitive of [sunapothnēskō] and living together (present active infinitive).” One article [to] with both infinitives. You are in our hearts to share death and life.

7:4 I overflow with joy in all our affliction [huperperisseuomai tēi charāi epi pāsēi tēi thlipsei hēmōn]. A thoroughly Pauline sentiment. [Perisseuō] means to overflow, as we have seen. [Huper-perisseuō] (late word, so far only here and Byzantine writers) is to have a regular flood. Vulgate superabundo.

7:5 When we had come [elthontōn hēmōn]. Genitive absolute with second aorist active participle of [erchomai]. Paul now returns to the incident mentioned in 2:12 before the long digression on the glory of the ministry. Had no relief [oudemian eschēken anesin]. Perfect active indicative precisely as in 2:13 which see, “has had no relief” (dramatic perfect). Afflicted [thlibomenoi]. Present passive participle of [thlibō] as in 4:8, but with anacoluthon, for the nominative case agrees not with the genitive [hēmōn] nor with the accusative [hēmas] in verse 6. It is used as if a principal verb as in 9:11; 11:6; Ro 12:16 (Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 182; Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1132-35). Without were fightings [exōthen machai]. Asyndeton and no copula, a parenthesis also in structure. Perhaps pagan adversaries in Macedonia (cf. 1Co 15:32). Within were fears [esōthen phoboi]. Same construction. “Mental perturbations” (Augustine) as in 11:28.

7:6 Cormforteth [parakalōn]. See on 1:3-7 for this word. The lowly [tous tapeinous]. See on Mt 11:29. Literally, low on the ground in old sense (Eze 17:24). Low in condition as here; Jas 1:9. In 2Co 10:1 regarded as abject. In this sense in papyri. “Humility as a sovereign grace is the creation of Christianity” (Gladstone, Life, iii, p. 466). By the coming [en tēi parousiāi]. Same use of [parousia] as in 1Co 16:7 which see. See also 2Co 7:7; 10:10.

7:7 Wherewith [hēi]. Either locative case with preceding [en] or instrumental of the relative with [pareklēthē] (first aorist passive indicative). “The manner in which Paul, so to speak, fondles this word [parakaleō] is most beautiful” (Vincent). In you [eph’ humin]. Over you, upon you. Your longing [tēn humōn epipothēsin]. Late word from [epipotheō] [epi], directive, longing towards, yearning). Only here in N.T. Mourning [odurmon]. Old word from [oduromai], to lament. Only here in N.T. So that I rejoiced yet more [hōste me mallon charēnai]. Result expressed by [hōste] and the second aorist passive infinitive of [chairō] with accusative of general reference.

7:8 Though [ei kai]. If also. Paul treats it as a fact. With my epistle [en tēi epistolēi]. The one referred to in 2:3f. I do not regret it [ou metamelomai]. This verb really means “repent” (be sorry again) which meaning we have transferred to [metanoeō], to change one’s mind (not to be sorry at all). See Mt 21:30; 27:3 for the verb [metamelomai], to be sorry, to regret as here. Paul is now glad that he made them sorry. Though I did regret [ei kai metemelomēn]. Imperfect indicative in the concessive clause. I was in a regretful mood at first. For I see [blepō gar]. A parenthetical explanation of his present joy in their sorrow. B D do not have [gar]. The Latin Vulgate has videns (seeing) for [blepōn]. For a season [pros hōran]. Cf. 1Th 2:17. It was only “for an hour.”

7:9 Now I rejoice [nun chairō]. Now that Titus has come and told him the good news from Corinth (2:12f.). This was the occasion of the noble outburst in 2:12-6:10. Unto repentance [eis metanoian]. Note the sharp difference here between “sorrow” [lupē] which is merely another form of [metamelomai] (regret, remorse) and “repentance” [metanoia] or change of mind and life. It is a linguistic and theological tragedy that we have to go on using “repentance” for [metanoia]. But observe that the “sorrow” has led to “repentance” and was not Itself the repentance. After a godly sort [kata theon]. In God’s way. “God’s way as opposed to man’s way and the devil’s way” (Plummer). It was not mere sorrow, but a change in their attitude that counted. That ye might suffer loss by us in nothing [hina en mēdeni zēmiōthēte ex humōn]. Purpose clause with [hina] and first aorist passive subjunctive of [zēmioō], old verb to suffer damage. See on Mt 16:26. This was God’s intention and so he overruled their sorrow to good.

7:10 For godly sorrow [hē gar kata theon lupē]. “For the sorrow according to God” (God’s ideal, verse 9). Worketh repentance unto salvation a repentance without regret [metanoian eis sōtērian ametamelēton ergazetai]. This clause alone should have prevented the confusion between mere “sorrow” [lupē] as indicated in [metamelomai], to regret (to be sorry again) and “change of mind and life” as shown by [metanoian] [metanoeō] and wrongly translated “repentance.” The sorrow according to God does work this “change of mind and life” unto salvation, a change “not to be regretted” [ametamelēton], an old verbal adjective of [metamelomai] and [a] privative, but here alone in N.T.). It agrees with [metanoian], not [sōtērian]. But the sorrow of the world [hē de tou kosmou lupē]. In contrast, the kind of sorrow that the world has, grief “for failure, not for sin” (Bernard), for the results as seen in Cain, Esau (his tears!), and Judas (remorse, [metemelēthē]. Works out (perfective use of [kat-] death in the end.

7:11 This selfsame thing [auto touto]. “This very thing,” “the being made sorry according to God” [to kata theon lupēthēnai], articular first aorist passive infinitive with which [auto touto] agrees and the proleptic subject of the verb [kateirgasato]. Earnest care [spoudēn]. Diligence, from [speudō], to hasten. Cf. Ro 12:11. Yea [alla]. Not adversative use of [alla], but copulative as is common (half dozen examples here). Clearing of yourselves [apologia]. In the old notion of [apologia] (self-vindication, self-defence) as in 1Pe 3:15. Indignation [aganaktēsin]. Old word, only here in N.T. From [aganakteo] (Mr 10:14, etc.). Avenging [ekdikēsin]. Late word from [ekdikeō], to avenge, to do justice (Lu 18:5; 21:22), vindication from wrong as in Lu 18:7, to secure punishment (1Pe 2:14). Pure [hagnous]. Kin to [hagios] [hazō], to reverence), immaculate.

7:12 But that your earnest care for us might be made manifest [all’ heineken tou phanerōthēnai tēn spoudēn humōn tēn huper hēmōn]. So the correct text, not “our care for you.” Easy to interchange Greek [humōn] (your) and [hēmōn] (our). Usual construction with preposition [heneken] and genitive of articular infinitive with accusative of general reference.

7:13 We joyed the more exceedingly [perissoterōs mallon echarēmen]. Double comparative (pleonastic use of [mallon], more, with [perissoterōs], more abundantly) as is common in the Koinē (Mr 7:36; Php 1:23). For the joy of Titus [epi tēi charāi Titou]. On the basis of [epi] the joy of Titus who was proud of the outcome of his labours in Corinth. Hath been refreshed [anapepautai]. Perfect passive indicative of [anapauō]. Cf. 1Co 16:18 for this striking verb.

7:14 If—I have gloried [ei—kekauchēmai]. Condition of first class. On this verb see 1Co 3:21; 2Co 5:12. I was not put to shame [ou katēischunthēn]. First aorist passive indicative of [kataischunō]. Paul had assured Titus, who hesitated to go after the failure of Timothy, that the Corinthians were sound at bottom and would come round all right if handled properly. Paul’s joy is equal to that of Titus. In truth [en alētheiāi]. In the sharp letter as well as in I Corinthians. He had not hesitated to speak plainly of their sins. Our glorying before Titus [hē kauchēsis epi Titou]. The two things were not inconsistent and were not contradictory as the outcome proved.

7:15 Whilst he remembereth [anamimnēskomenou]. Present middle participle of [anamimnēskō], to remind, in the genitive case agreeing with [autou] (his, of him). The obedience of you all [tēn pantōn humōn hupakouēn]. A remarkable statement of the complete victory of Titus in spite of a stubborn minority still opposing Paul. With fear and trembling [meta phobou kai tromou]. He had brought a stern message (1Co 5:5) and they had trembled at the words of Titus (cf. Eph 6:5; Php 2:12). Paul had himself come to the Corinthians at first with a nervous dread (1Co 2:3).

7:16 I am of good courage [tharrō]. The outcome has brought joy, courage, and hope to Paul.

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