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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

2 Corinthians 2

 

 

Verse 1

2 Corinthians 2:1. ἔκρινα δὲ ἐμαυτῷ, But I determined for myself) so far as I myself am concerned, for my own advantage. The antithesis is, to you in this ver.: comp. 2 Corinthians 1:23.— δὲ, but) This is an antithesis to not as yet, 2 Corinthians 1:23.— πάλιν, again) This is construed with come; not with, come in heaviness (sorrow): he had formerly written in heaviness, he had not come.— ἐν λύπῃ, in heaviness (sorrow) twofold; for there follows, for if I make you sorry, and, if any one have caused grief [sorrow, 2 Corinthians 2:5.] This repetition (anaphora(11)) forms two antithetic parts, the discussion of which elegantly corresponds to each respectively, I wrote that you might know [2 Corinthians 2:4]; I wrote that I might know, 2 Corinthians 2:9; [the joy] of you all; [overcharge] you all, 2 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 2:5.


Verse 2

2 Corinthians 2:2. λυπῶ, I make you sorry) either when present with you, or by letters.— καὶ τίς ἐστιν, and who is) The if has an apodosis consisting of two numbers, and who [ καὶ τίς], and I wrote [ καὶ ἔγραψα]: both, and, i.e. as well, as also.— εὐφραίνων με, that maketh me glad) by the sorrow of repentance.— εἰ μὴ, unless) It affords me no pleasure to have struck with sorrow by my reproofs the man, who now gives me joy by his repentance. I would rather it had not been necessary.— λυπούμενος, he, who is made sorry) He indicates the Corinthians, but more especially him who had sinned.— ἐξ ἐμοῦ, by me) ἀφʼ ὧν, from whom, in the following verse. These particles differ thus: ἀπὸ [coming from, or on the part of] applies to something more at large; ἐξ [out of, by means of], to something more within; comp. 2 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:6.


Verse 3

2 Corinthians 2:3. καὶ ἔγραψα, and I wrote) He shows that he had this intention at the time, when he sent his first epistle, in which he had promised a visit, an intention which he explains at 2 Corinthians 2:1.— ἀφʼ ὧν, from whom) as from sons.— ὅτι, that) The joy of Paul itself is desirable not for his own sake, but for the sake of the Corinthians.


Verse 4

2 Corinthians 2:4. ἐκ γὰρ, for out of) I wished to stir you up before I went to you, that afterwards it might not be necessary. Anguish of heart produced tears, much anguish produced many tears. The Corinthians might have seen the marks of tears on his letter, if he himself wrote it—a proof of anguish.— οὐ ἵνα), not so much that, etc. The fruit of sorrow is not sorrow, but the fruit of love is love.— λυπηθῆτε, you should be grieved) He is easily made sorry, who is admonished by a friend himself weeping.— τὴν ἀγάπην, love) The source of sincere reproof and of joy derived from it.— γνῶτε, you might know) according to my faithful admonition.— περισσοτέρως εἰς ὑμᾶς, more abundantly to you) who have been particularly commended to me by God, Acts 18:10.


Verse 5

2 Corinthians 2:5. τὶς, any) He now speaks mildly; any one and any thing, 2 Corinthians 2:10. In both epistles Paul refrained from mentioning the name of him, of whom he is speaking.— οὐκ ἐμὲ λελύπηκεν, he hath not grieved me) i.e., He has not made me lastingly grieved [I am not now so disposed towards him] ἀλλʼ ἀπὸ μέρους, only in part) he has occasioned me sorrow.— ἐπιβαρῶ, be heavy upon [overcharge]) a weightier expression, than I make sorry, 2 Corinthians 2:2.


Verse 6

2 Corinthians 2:6. ἱκανὸν) Neuter, in place of a substantive; it is sufficient for such a one, so that no more can be demanded of him: ἱκανὸν, a forensic term. It is the part of Christian prudence to maintain moderation. A considerably long time intervened between the writing of the two epistles.— ἐπιτιμία, reproof) In antithesis to forgive, as also, to comfort, 2 Corinthians 2:7.— τῶν πλειόνων, by many) not merely by those, who ruled [the bishops and ministers.] The Church at large bears the keys.


Verse 7

2 Corinthians 2:7. χαρίσασθαι) This word has the meaning of an indicative, whence he is rather forgiven; and the indicative is a very mild form of exhortation: 2 Corinthians 12:9; Matthew 26:18, note.


Verse 8

2 Corinthians 2:8. κυρῶσαι, to confirm) the κῦρος is connected with love, not with sorrow. The majesty of the ecclesiastical government and discipline consists in love. It is this, which reigns. קם, LXX., κυροῦσθαι, Genesis 23:20 ; Leviticus 25:30.


Verse 9

2 Corinthians 2:9. καὶ ἔγραψα) not only I write, but I also did write.— τὴν δοκιμὴν, the proof) whether you are genuine, loving, obedient sons.(12)εἰς πάντα, in all things) in reproof [2 Corinthians 2:6], and in love.


Verse 10

2 Corinthians 2:10. τὶ, any thing) He speaks very gently of the atrocious, but acknowledged sin.— χαρίζεσθε, ye forgive) He has no doubt, but that they will do what he wrote at 2 Corinthians 2:7.— καὶ ἐγὼ, I also) He modestly subscribes assent to the act of the Corinthians, and regards himself, as it were in the same category with them.— εἲ τι κεχάρισμαι, if I forgave any thing) The matter is limited by if any thing, in order that Paul may show his willingness to follow up the forgiveness granted to the sinner by the Corinthians. From the present I forgive, the past immediately results, I have forgiven, while Paul is in the act of writing these things.— διʼ ὑμᾶς, for your sakes) namely, I forgave.— ἐν προσώπῳ χριστοῦ, in the presence [but Engl. Vers., person] of Christ) in the face of [before] Christ, 1 Corinthians 5:4.— ἵνα μὴ πλεονεκτηθῶμεν, lest we should be defrauded [lest an advantage be gained over us.]) The loss of a single sinner is a common loss; therefore he said for your sakes.— ὑπὸ τοῦ σατανᾶ, by Satan) to whom Paul delivered or was about to deliver the sinner; 1 Corinthians 5:5. Satan not only devised to destroy the flesh, but the soul: and he seeks an opportunity of doing a very great injury by means of sorrow.


Verse 11

2 Corinthians 2:11. οὐ γὰρ, for not) True ecclesiastical prudence. Those who have the mind [referring to νοῦς contained in νοήματα] of Christ are not ignorant of hostile devices and attempts. νοήματα and ἀγνοεῖν are conjugates.


Verse 12

2 Corinthians 2:12. καὶ) even although [Engl. Ver., and]. Paul would have willingly abode at Troas.— θύρας, a door) Nevertheless Paul did not sin, in departing, inasmuch as it remained free to him to do so.— ἄνεσιν, rest) His spirit first began to feel the want of it, then the flesh, 2 Corinthians 7:5. He was desirous of knowing how the Corinthians had received his former epistle.— τῷ πνεύματι, in spirit) He perceived from this, that it was not imperatively necessary to avail himself of that door.— τίτον, Titus) who was about to come from you.


Verse 13

2 Corinthians 2:13. εἰς ΄ακεδονίαν, to Macedonia) where I would be nearer and might be sooner informed [what was the fruit of my former epistle to you.—V. g.]—These topics are continued at 2 Corinthians 7:2; 2 Corinthians 7:5 : and a most noble digression is here introduced in respect to events, which had in the meantime occurred and sufferings which had been endured by him elsewhere: the benefit of which he makes to flow even towards the Corinthians, whilst he hereby prepares the way for a defence against the false apostles.


Verse 14

2 Corinthians 2:14. τῷ δὲ θεῷ, but [now] to God) Although I have not come to Corinth, I did not remain at Troas; nevertheless there is no want of the victory of the Gospel even in other places: The modal expression is added [Append. on Modus, i.e. with expression of feeling, not a mere categorical proposition]; Thanks be unto God.— πάντοτε, always) The parallel follows, in everyplace.— θριαμβεύοντι ἡμᾶς) who shows us in triumph, not as conquered, but as the ministers of His victory; not only the victory, but the open ‘showing’ of the victory is denoted: for there follows, Who maketh manifest. The triumph forcibly strikes the eyes; the savour, the nostrils [sense of smell.]— τὴν ὀσμὴν, the savour) The metaphor is taken from all the senses to describe the power of the Gospel. Here the sight (of the triumph) and its savour occur.— αὐτοῦ, of Him) of Christ, 2 Corinthians 2:15.— φανεροῦντι, who maketh manifest) a word, which often occurs in this epistle, and refutes the suspicions of the Corinthians [towards the apostle.] So 1 Corinthians 4:5.


Verse 15

2 Corinthians 2:15. εὐωδία) a sweet savour, i.e., powerful, grateful to the godly, offensive to the ungodly. The savour of Christ pervades us, as the odour of aromatics pervades garments.— ἐν) in the case of.— σωζομένοις· ἀπολλυμένοις, in them, who are saved; in them, who perish) To which class each may belong, is evident from the manner in which he receives the Gospel. Of the former class he treats, 2 Corinthians 3:1 to 2 Corinthians 4:2; of the latter, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6.— ἀπολλυμένοις, in them that are perishing) 2 Corinthians 4:3.


Verse 16

2 Corinthians 2:16. ὀσμὴ θανάτου, the savour of death) They reckon us [and our Gospel message] as a thing dead; hence they meet with death as the natural and just consequence.— οἷς δὲ, whilst to the former) who are being saved. This verse, if we compare the antecedents and consequents, has a chiasmus.(13)καὶ πρὸς ταῦτα τίς ἱκανός; and who is sufficient for these things?) Who? i.e. but few, viz., we. This sentiment [idea] is modestly hinted at, and is left to be perceived and acknowledged by the Corinthians; comp. the next verse. Paul asserts at considerable length both his own sufficiency ( ἱκανότητα) and that of the few in the following chapter, and repeats this very word, 2 Corinthians 2:5-6, of that ch., so that his adversaries seem either expressly or in sense [virtually] to have denied, that Paul was sufficient.


Verse 17

2 Corinthians 2:17. οἱ πολλοὶ, the many) so 2 Corinthians 11:18. הָרַבִּים, 1 Kings 18:25 . The article has force; the many, most men, ἄοσμοι, void of savour: comp. Philippians 2:21.— καπηλεύοντες [cauponantes]) corrupting [adulterating for gain]; men who do not make it their aim to show forth as much virtue [as much of the power of the Gospel] as possible, but to make gain by it. These men speak of Christ, but not as “from [of] God,” and “in the sight of God.” κάπηλοι, [caupones], vintners, select their merchandise from different quarters; they adulterate it; they manage it with a view to profit. The apostles deal otherwise with the word of God; for they speak as of God, and as of sincerity, and so as to approve themselves unto God. δολοῦντες, adulterating, 2 Corinthians 4:2 [Engl. Vers., handling deceitfully], is a synonymous expression, and also ἐμπορεύεσθαι, to make merchandise of, 2 Peter 2:3.— ἐξ εἰλικρινείας, of sincerity) We give our whole attention to [our whole aim is] the word of God by itself.— ἀλλʼ ὡς ἐκ, but as of) a gradation [ascending climax], but being repeated; as is explanatory.(14)κατενώπιονλαλοῦ΄εν, in the sight of God—we speak) So decidedly, ch. 2 Corinthians 12:19. We always think, that God, from [sent by] whom we speak, is present to the speakers; we do not care for men.— ἐν, in) Our discourse, which we hold in Christ, is given and directed from above.— λαλοῦμεν, we speak) We use the tongue; the power belongs to God.

ABCD ( λ) read the ὡς after ἀ λλ’ (or ἀλλὰ in B), in the first ἀλλʼ ὡς: Gfg Vulg. Memph. Iren. omit it. In the second ἀλλʼ ὡς, ABCD ( λ) support the ἀλλʼ. Gfg Vulg. (Fuld.), later Syr. Iren. omit it.—ED.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 2:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/2-corinthians-2.html. 1897.

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