2Co 12:1
12:1 It {1} is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will
     come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

 (1) He continues in his purpose, and because those braggarts
     boasted of revelations, he reckons up those things which
     lift him up above the common capacity of men.  But he uses
     a preface, and prudently excuses himself.

2Co 12:2
12:2 I knew a man {a} in Christ above fourteen years ago,
     (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the
     body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to
     the {b} third heaven.

     (a) I speak this in Christ, that is, it is spoken without
         boastfulness, for I seek nothing but Christ Jesus only.
     (b) Into the highest heaven: for we do not need to dispute
         subtly upon the word "third".  But yet this passage is
         to be marked against those who would make heaven to be

2Co 12:4
12:4 How that he was caught up into {c} paradise, and heard {d}
     unspeakable words, which it is not {e} lawful for a man to

     (c) So the Greeks name that which we call a park, that is
         to say, a place where trees are planted, and wild
         beasts kept.  And those that translated the Old
         Testament out of Hebrew into Greek, called the garden
         of Eden by this name, into which Adam was put
         immediately after his creation, as a most delicate and
         pleasant place.  And from this it occurred that the
         blessed seat of the glory of God is called by that
     (d) Which no man is able to utter.
     (e) Which the saints themselves are not by any means able
         to express, because it is God himself.  This is the way
         that Clement of Alexandria explains this passage,
         Strom.  5.

2Co 12:5
12:5 {2} Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not
     glory, but in mine infirmities.

 (2) To remove all suspicion of seeking glory, he witnesses that
     he brags not of those things as though they were of
     himself, but as outside of himself.  And yet nonetheless he
     pretends nothing, lest by this occasion other men should
     attribute to him more than he indeed is: and therefore he
     would rather glory in his miseries.

2Co 12:7
12:7 {3} And lest I should be exalted above measure through the
     abundance of the revelations, there was given to me {f} a
     thorn in the flesh, the messenger of {g} Satan to buffet
     me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

 (3) An excellent doctrine: why God will have even his best
     servants to be vexed by Satan, and by every type of
     temptations: that is, lest they should be too much puffed
     up, and also that they may be made perfect by being
     continually exercised in them.
     (f) He means sinful lust, that sticks fast in us as it
         were a thorn, to such a degree that it forced Paul
         himself who was regenerated to cry out, "I do not that
         good that I would", etc.  And he calls it a thorn by a
         metaphor taken from thorns, or stumps, which are very
         dangerous and harmful for the feet, if a man walks
         through woods that are cut down.
     (g) Which sets those lusts on fire.

2Co 12:8
12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord {h} thrice, that it
     might depart from me.

     (h) Often.

2Co 12:9
12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for
     my strength is made perfect in weakness. {4} Most gladly
     therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the
     power of Christ may {i} rest upon me.

 (4) He concludes that he will only set his miseries against the
     vain braggings of the false apostles, and with this also
     excuses himself, because by their troublesome braggings he
     was forced to speak as much of those things as he did.
     That is, because if his apostleship were subverted, his
     doctrine would necessarily fall.
     (i) That I might feel the power of Christ more and more:
         for the weaker that our tabernacles are, the more does
         Christ's power appear in them.

2Co 12:10
12:10 Therefore I take {k} pleasure in infirmities, in
      reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses
      for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

      (k) I do not only take them patiently and with a good
          heart, but I also take great pleasure in them.

2Co 12:11
12:11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: {5}
      for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing
      am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be

      (5) Again he makes the Corinthians witnesses of those
          things by which God had sealed his apostleship among
          them, and again he declares by certain arguments how
          far he is from all covetousness, and also how he is
          affectionate towards them.

2Co 12:12
12:12 Truly the {l} signs of an apostle were wrought among you
      in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

      (l) The arguments by which it may well appear that I am
          indeed an apostle of Jesus Christ.

2Co 12:13
12:13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches,
      except [it be] that I myself was not {m} burdensome to
      you? forgive me this wrong.

      (m) I was not slothful with my own hands, so that I might
          not be burdensome to you.

2Co 12:16
12:16 {6} But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless,
      being crafty, I caught you with guile.

 (6) He sets aside another most grievous slander, that is, that
     he did subtly and by others make his gain and profit of

2Co 12:19
12:19 {7} Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we
      speak before God in {n} Christ: but [we do] all things,
      dearly beloved, for your edifying.

 (7) He concludes that he does not write these things to them as
     though he needed to defend himself, for he is guilty of
     nothing: but because it is appropriate for them to doubt
     nothing of his fidelity, who instructed them.
     (n) As it becomes him to speak truly and sincerely, that
         professes himself to be in Christ, that is to say, to
         be a Christian.

2Co 12:20
12:20 {8} For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you
      such as I would, and [that] I shall be found unto you such
      as ye would not: lest [there be] debates, envyings,
      wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings,

 (8) Having confirmed his authority to them, he rebukes them
     sharply, and threatens them also like an apostle, showing
     that he will not spare them from now on, unless they
     repent, seeing that this is the third time that he has
     warned them.