2 Corinthians 1:6-11
6. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
6. Sive autem affligimur pro vestra consolatione et salute, 1 quae efficitur in tolerantia ipsarum passionum, quas et nos patimur: sive consolationem accipimus pro vestra consolatione et salute:
7. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
7. Spes nostra firma est de vobis, 2 scientes, quod quemadmodum socii estis passionum, ita et consolationis.
8. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
8. Nolo enim vos nescire, fratres, de tribulatione nostra, quae accidit nobis in Asia: nempe quod praeter modum gravati fuerimus supra vires, ita ut de vita quoque anxii essemus.
9. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
9. Quin etiam 3 ipsi in nobis ipsis sententiam mortis acceperamus: ne confideremus in nobis, sed in Deo, qui ad vitam suscitat mortuos:
10. Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver; in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us:
10. Qui ex tanta morte eripuit nos, et eripit, in quo spem fixam habemus, quod etiam posthaec eripiet;
11. Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that, for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
11. Simul adiuvantibus et vobis per deprecationem pro nobis: ut donum, ex multis personis erga nos collatum, gratiarum actione per multos 4 celebretur pro nobis.
It is, however, to be observed, that the word
For such were Paul's afflictions, and his consolations also, that they would have contributed to the edification of the Corinthians, had not the Corinthians of their own accord deprived themselves of the advantage redounding from it. He, accordingly, declares his confidence in the Corinthians to be such, that he entertains the assured hope that it will not be vain, that he has been afflicted, and has received consolation for their advantage. The false apostles made every effort to turn to Paul's reproach everything that befell him. Had they obtained their wish, the afflictions which he endured for their salvation, had been vain and fruitless; they would have derived no advantage from the consolations with which the Lord refreshed him. To contrivances of this nature he opposes his present confidence. His afflictions tended to promote the comfort of believers, as furnishing them with occasion of confirmation, on their perceiving that he suffered willingly, and endured with fortitude so many hardships for the sake of the gospel. For however we may acknowledge that afflictions ought to be endured by us for the sake of the gospel, we, nevertheless, tremble through a consciousness of our weakness, and think ourselves not prepared for it. 11 In that case, we should call to mind the examples of the saints, which should make us more courageous.
On the other hand, his personal consolation flowed out to the whole Church, inasmuch as they concluded, 12 that God who had sustained and refreshed him hi his emergency, would, in like manner, not be wanting to them. Thus their welfare was promoted in both ways, and this is what he introduces as it were by way of parenthesis, when he says --
There are, accordingly, two things to be observed here. In the first place -- that the fleshly confidence with which we are puffed up, is so obstinate, that it cannot be overthrown in any other way than by our falling into utter despair. 22 For as the flesh is proud, it does not willingly give way, and never ceases to be insolent until it has been constrained; nor are we brought to true submission, until we have been brought down by the mighty hand of God. (1 Peter 5:6.) Secondly, it is to be observed, that the saints themselves have some remains of this disease adhering to them, and that for this reason they are often reduced to an extremity, that, stript of all self-confidence, they may learn humility: nay more, that this malady is so deeply rooted in the minds of men, that even the most advanced are not thoroughly purged from it, until God sets death before their eyes. And hence we may infer, how displeasing to God confidence in ourselves must be, when for the purpose of correcting it, it is necessary that we should be condemned to death.
The epithet that follows, Paul has adapted to the connection of the subject, as he does in Romans 4:17, where he speaks of Abraham. For to
believe in God, who calleth those things that are not, as though they were, and to hope in God who raiseth the dead,
are equivalent to his setting before him as an object of contemplation, the power of God in creating his elect out of nothing, and raising up the dead. Hence Paul says, that death had been set before his eyes, that he might, in consequence of this, recognize the more distinctly the power of God, by which he had been raised up from the dead. The first thing in order, it is true, is this -- that, by means of the strength with which God furnishes us, we should acknowledge him as the Author of life; but as in consequence of our dulness the light of life often dazzles our eyes, it is necessary that we should be brought to God by having death presented to our view. 24
"Your prayers, also," he says, "will help me." 27 For God wills not that the duty of mutual intercession, which he enjoins upon us, should be without advantage. This ought to be a stimulus to us, on the one hand, to solicit the intercession of our brethren, when we are weighed down by any necessity, and, on the other, to render similar assistance in return, since we are informed, that it is not only a duty that is well pleasing to God, but also profitable to ourselves. Nor is it owing to distrust that the Apostle implores the friendly aid of his brethren, 28 for, while he felt assured, that his safety would be the object of God's care, 29 though he were destitute of all human help, yet he knew that it was well pleasing to God, that he should be aided by the prayers of the saints. He had respect, also, to the promises that were given, that assistance of this kind would not be in vain. Hence, in order that he might not overlook any assistance that was appointed to him by God, he desired that the brethren should pray for his preservation.
The sum is this -- that we follow the word of God, that is, that we obey his commandments and cleave to his promises. This is not the part of those who have recourse to the assistance of the dead; 30 for not contented with the sources of help appointed by God, they call in to their aid a new one, that has no countenance from any declaration of Scripture. For whatever we find mentioned there as to mutual intercession, has no reference to the dead, but is expressly restricted to the living. Hence Papists act childishly in perverting those passages, so as to give some colour to their superstition. 31
In this interpretation there is nothing forced; for as to the circumstance that in the Greek the article being introduced between the two clauses
It may, however, be asked, why he says
1 "Pour vostre consolation et salut, ou, C'est pour vostre;" -- "For your consolation and salvation, or, It is for your," etc.
2 "Nostre esperance est ferme de vous, ou, Et l'esperance que nous auons de vous est ferme, scachans;" -- "Our hope is firm respecting you, or, And the hope which we have respecting you is firm. Knowing."
3 "Mesme, ou, Mais;" -- "Nay more, or, But."
4 "Pour l'esgard de plusieurs personnes, ou, Par le moyen de plusieurs personnes;" -- "For the sake of many persons, or, By means of many persons."
5 Dr. Bloomfield, who gives to this reading of the passage his decided preference, says of it: "The evidence in its favor is exceedingly strong; while that for the common reading is exceedingly weak." -- Ed.
6 "Qu'il ha certain espoir;" -- "That he has a sure hope."
8 "Voyans les passions du sainct Apostre;" -- "Beholding the sufferings of the holy Apostle."
9 "Afin d'oster aux Corinthiens ceste mauuaise fantasie;" -- "With the view of ridding the Corinthians of this wicked fancy."
10 "Iusques en la fin;" -- "Until the end."
11 "Et ne pensons point estre assez forts;" -- "And do not think that we are sufficiently strong."
12 "Les fideles recueilloyent de là, et s'asseuroyent;" -- "Believers inferred from this, and assured themselves."
13 "Traduisant, Qui oeuure ou besongne;" -- "Rendering it, Which works or labors."
14 Dr. Bloomfield, in his Notes on Thessalonians 2:13, explains
15 The Corinthians . . . . were
16 "Pressed above measure. (
17 "Vn champion si preux et magnanime, perdoit -- il courage attendant la mort?" -- "Did a champion so valiant and magnanimous lose heart, looking for nothing but death?"
19 "The Greek word is
20 "Il se propose aux autres comme pour exemple, non pas qu'il en fust ainsi quant à luy;" -- "He sets himself forth, as it were by way of example -- not that it had been so as to himself."
21 "De peur qu'ils ne saisissent plenement son esprit et son coeur;" -- "That they might not take full possession of his mind and his heart."
22 "Sinon que nous tombions en telle extremite que nous ne voyons aucune esperance en nous;" -- "Except by our falling into such an extremity, that we see no hope in ourselves."
23 "Comme il nous est necessaire premierement de venir comme à mourir;" -- "As we need first to come as it were to die"
24 "Il nous est necessaire pour estre amenez à Dieu, d'estre reduits â telle extremite que nous voyons la mort presente deuant nos yeux;" -- "It is necessary, in order that we may be brought back to God, that we should be brought to such an extremity, that we see death presented before our eyes."
25 Granville Penn reads the passage as follows: "Who hath delivered us from so great a death; and will deliver us: in whom we hope that he will deliver us." -- "The Vat. and Ephrem MSS." he observes, "read
26 "Mais aussi auec bonne issue, d'autant qu'ils seront exaucez;" -- "But also with good success, inasmuch as they will be heard."
27 "L'aide, dit il, que vous me feriez par vos prieres, ne sera point sans fruit;" -- "The aid, he says, that you will afford me by your prayers, will not be without advantage."
28 "You also helping together by prayer for us,
29 "Que Dieu auroit soin de son salut et proufit;" -- "That God would take care of his safety and advantage."
30 "Qui out leurs recours aux prieres des saincts trespassez;" -- "Who have recourse to the prayers of departed saints."
31 "Pour desguiser et farder leur superstition;" -- "To disguise and color over their superstition."
32 "Car à suyure l'ordre du texte Grec il y auroit ainsi mot à mot, Afin que de plusieurs personnes, à nous le don conferé, par plusieurs soit recognu en action de graces pour nous;" -- "For, following the order of the Greek text, it would be literally thus: In order that from many persons the gift conferred upon us, may by many be acknowledged with thanksgiving on our account."
33 "En lieu de quelque article aduersative qu'on appelle, comme Toutesfois ou Neantmoins;" -- "In place of some adversative particle, as it is called, as for example, Notwithstanding or Nevertheless."
34 "De rapporter ce mot Par plusieurs, aux choses;" -- "To take this phrase, By means of many, as referring to things."