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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

2 Corinthians 7



Verse 1

These promises (ταυτας τας επαγγελιαςtautas tas epaggelias). So many and so precious (2 Peter 2:4 επαγγελματαepaggelmata Hebrews 11:39.).

Let us cleanse ourselves (καταρισωμεν εαυτουςkatharisōmen heautous). Old Greek used καταιρωkathairō (in N.T. only in John 15:2, to prune). In Koiné{[28928]}š καταριζωkatharizō occurs in inscriptions for ceremonial cleansing (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 216f.). Paul includes himself in this volitive aorist subjunctive.

From all defilement (απο παντος μολυσμουapo pantos molusmou). Ablative alone would have done, but with αποapo it is plainer as in Hebrews 9:14. ΜολυσμοςMolusmos is a late word from μολυνωmolunō to stain (see note on 1 Corinthians 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 (επιτελουντες αγιοσυνηνepitelountes hagiosunēn). Not merely negative goodness (cleansing), but aggressive and progressive (present tense of επιτελεωepiteleō) holiness, not a sudden attainment of complete holiness, but a continuous process (1 Thessalonians 3:13; Romans 1:4; Romans 1:6).

Verse 2

Open your hearts to us (χωρησατε ημαςchōrēsate hēmas). Old verb (from χωροςchōros place), to leave a space, to make a space for, and transitive here as in Matthew 19:11. He wishes no further στενοχωριαstenochōria tightness of heart, in them (2 Corinthians 6:12). “Make room for us in your hearts.” He makes this plea to all, even the stubborn minority.

We wronged no man (ουδενα ηδικησαμενoudena ēdikēsamen). A thing that every preacher ought to be able to say. Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:3; Acts 20:26.

We corrupted no man (ουδενα επτειραμενoudena 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 (ουδενα επλεονεκτησαμενoudena epleonektēsamen). That charge was made in Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 4:6) which see for this late verb and also on 2 Corinthians 2:11. He got the best of (note πλεονpleon more in the root) no one in any evil way.

Verse 3

Not to condemn you (προς κατακρισιν ουpros katakrisin ou). “Not for condemnation.” Late word from κατακρινωkatakrinō found in Vettius Valens, and here only in N.T.

To die together and live together (εις το συναποτανειν και συνζηινeis to sunapothanein kai sunzēin). “For the dying together (second aorist ingressive active infinitive of συναποτνησκωsunapothnēskō) and living together (present active infinitive).” One article (τοto) with both infinitives. You are in our hearts to share death and life.

Verse 4

I overflow with joy in all our affliction (υπερπερισσευομαι τηι χαραι επι πασηι τηι τλιπσει ημωνhuperperisseuomai tēi charāi epi pāsēi tēi thlipsei hēmōn). A thoroughly Pauline sentiment. ΠερισσευωPerisseuō means to overflow, as we have seen. υπερπερισσευωHupeṙperisseuō (late word, so far only here and Byzantine writers) is to have a regular flood. Vulgate superabundo.

Verse 5

When we had come (ελτοντων ημωνelthontōn hēmōn). Genitive absolute with second aorist active participle of ερχομαιerchomai Paul now returns to the incident mentioned in 2 Corinthians 2:12 before the long digression on the glory of the ministry.

Had no relief (ουδεμιαν εσχηκεν ανεσινoudemian eschēken anesin). Perfect active indicative precisely as in 2 Corinthians 2:13 which see, “has had no relief” (dramatic perfect).

Afflicted (τλιβομενοιthlibomenoi). Present passive participle of τλιβωthlibō as in 2 Corinthians 4:8, but with anacoluthon, for the nominative case agrees not with the genitive ημωνhēmōn nor with the accusative ημαςhēmas in 2 Corinthians 7:6. It is used as if a principal verb as in 2 Corinthians 9:11; 2 Corinthians 11:6; Romans 12:16 (Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 182; Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1132-35).

Without were fightings (εχωτεν μαχαιexōthen machai). Asyndeton and no copula, a parenthesis also in structure. Perhaps pagan adversaries in Macedonia (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:32).

Within were fears (εσωτεν ποβοιesōthen phoboi). Same construction. “Mental perturbations” (Augustine) as in 2 Corinthians 11:28.

Verse 6

Comforteth (παρακαλωνparakalōn). See note on 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 for this word.

The lowly (τους ταπεινουςtous tapeinous). See note on Matthew 11:29. Literally, low on the ground in old sense (Ezekiel 17:24). Low in condition as here; James 1:9. In 2 Corinthians 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 1 Corinthians 16:7 which see. See also 2 Corinthians 7:7; 2 Corinthians 10:10.

Verse 7

Wherewith (ηιhēi). Either locative case with preceding ενen or instrumental of the relative with παρεκλητηpareklēthē (first aorist passive indicative). “The manner in which Paul, so to speak, fondles this word (παρακαλεωparakaleō) is most beautiful” (Vincent).

In you (επ υμινEphesians' humin). Over you, upon you.

Your longing (την υμων επιποτησινtēn humōn epipothēsin). Late word from επιποτεωepipotheō (επιepi directive, longing towards, yearning). Only here in N.T.

Mourning (οδυρμονodurmon). Old word from οδυρομαιoduromai to lament. Only here in N.T.

So that I rejoiced yet more (ωστε με μαλλον χαρηναιhōste me mallon charēnai). Result expressed by ωστεhōste and the second aorist passive infinitive of χαιρωchairō with accusative of general reference.

Verse 8

Though (ει καιei kai). If also. Paul treats it as a fact.

With my epistle (εν τηι επιστοληιen tēi epistolēi). The one referred to in 2 Corinthians 2:3.

I do not regret it (ου μεταμελομαιou metamelomai). This verb really means “repent” (be sorry again) which meaning we have transferred to μετανοεωmetanoeō to change one‘s mind (not to be sorry at all). See note on Matthew 21:29; note on Matthew 27:3 for the verb μεταμελομαιmetamelomai to be sorry, to regret as here. Paul is now glad that he made them sorry.

Though I did regret (ει και μετεμελομηνei kai metemelomēn). Imperfect indicative in the concessive clause. I was in a regretful mood at first.

For I see (βλεπω γαρblepō gar). A parenthetical explanation of his present joy in their sorrow. B D do not have γαρgar The Latin Vulgate has videns (seeing) for βλεπωνblepōn

For a season (προς ωρανpros hōran). Cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:17. It was only “for an hour.”

Verse 9

Now I rejoice (νυν χαιρωnun chairō). Now that Titus has come and told him the good news from Corinth (2 Corinthians 2:12.). This was the occasion of the noble outburst in 2:12-6:10.

Unto repentance (εις μετανοιανeis metanoian). Note the sharp difference here between “sorrow” (λυπηlupē) which is merely another form of μεταμελομαιmetamelomai (regret, remorse) and “repentance” (μετανοιαmetanoia) or change of mind and life. It is a linguistic and theological tragedy that we have to go on using “repentance” for μετανοιαmetanoia But observe that the “sorrow” has led to “repentance” and was not Itself the repentance.

After a godly sort (κατα τεονkata 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 (ινα εν μηδενι ζημιωτητε εχ υμωνhina en mēdeni zēmiōthēte ex humōn). Purpose clause with ιναhina and first aorist passive subjunctive of ζημιοωzēmioō old verb to suffer damage. See Matthew 16:26. This was God‘s intention and so he overruled their sorrow to good.

Verse 10

For godly sorrow (η γαρ κατα τεον λυπηhē gar kata theon lupē). “For the sorrow according to God” (God‘s ideal, 2 Corinthians 7:9).

Worketh repentance unto salvation a repentance without regret (μετανοιαν εις σωτηριαν αμεταμελητον εργαζεταιmetanoian eis sōtērian ametamelēton ergazetai). This clause alone should have prevented the confusion between mere “sorrow” (λυπηlupē) as indicated in μεταμελομαιmetamelomai to regret (to be sorry again) and “change of mind and life” as shown by μετανοιανmetanoian (μετανοεωmetanoeō) 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” (αμεταμελητονametamelēton an old verbal adjective of μεταμελομαιmetamelomai and αa privative, but here alone in N.T.). It agrees with μετανοιανmetanoian not σωτηριανsōtērian

But the sorrow of the world (η δε του κοσμου λυπηhē 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, μετεμελητηmetemelēthē). Works out (perfective use of κατkaṫ) death in the end.

Verse 11

This selfsame thing (αυτο τουτοauto touto). “This very thing,” “the being made sorry according to God” (το κατα τεον λυπητηναιto kata theon lupēthēnai articular first aorist passive infinitive with which αυτο τουτοauto touto agrees and the proleptic subject of the verb κατειργασατοkateirgasato

Earnest care (σπουδηνspoudēn). Diligence, from σπευδωspeudō to hasten. Cf. Romans 12:11.

Yea (αλλαalla). Not adversative use of αλλαalla but copulative as is common (half dozen examples here).

Clearing of yourselves (απολογιαapologia). In the old notion of απολογιαapologia (self-vindication, self-defence) as in 1 Peter 3:15.

Indignation (αγανακτησινaganaktēsin). Old word, only here in N.T. From αγανακτεοaganakteo (Mark 10:14, etc.).

Avenging (εκδικησινekdikēsin). Late word from εκδικεωekdikeō to avenge, to do justice (Luke 18:5; Luke 21:22), vindication from wrong as in Luke 18:7, to secure punishment (1 Peter 2:14).

Pure (αγνουςhagnous). Kin to αγιοςhagios (αζωhazō to reverence), immaculate.

Verse 12

But that your earnest care for us might be made manifest (αλλ εινεκεν του πανερωτηναι την σπουδην υμων την υπερ ημωνall' heineken tou phanerōthēnai tēn spoudēn humōn tēn huper hēmōn). So the correct text, not “our care for you.” Easy to interchange Greek υμωνhumōn (your) and ημωνhēmōn (our). Usual construction with preposition ενεκενheneken and genitive of articular infinitive with accusative of general reference.

Verse 13

We joyed the more exceedingly (περισσοτερως μαλλον εχαρημενperissoterōs mallon echarēmen). Double comparative (pleonastic use of μαλλονmallon more, with περισσοτερωςperissoterōs more abundantly) as is common in the Koiné{[28928]}š (Mark 7:36; Philemon 1:23).

For the joy of Titus (επι τηι χαραι Τιτουepi tēi charāi Titou). On the basis of (επιepi) the joy of Titus who was proud of the outcome of his labours in Corinth.

Hath been refreshed (αναπεπαυταιanapepautai). Perfect passive indicative of αναπαυωanapauō Cf. 1 Corinthians 16:18 for this striking verb.

Verse 14

If - I have gloried (εικεκαυχημαιei- ου κατηισχυντηνkekauchēmai). Condition of first class. On this verb see note on 1 Corinthians 3:21; 2 Corinthians 5:12.

I was not put to shame (καταισχυνωou katēischunthēn). First aorist passive indicative of εν αλητειαιkataischunō 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 (η καυχησις επι Τιτουen 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.

Verse 15

Whilst he remembereth (αναμιμνησκομενουanamimnēskomenou). Present middle participle of αναμιμνησκωanamimnēskō to remind, in the genitive case agreeing with αυτουautou (his, of him).

The obedience of you all (την παντων υμων υπακουηνtēn 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 (μετα ποβου και τρομουmeta phobou kai tromou). He had brought a stern message (1 Corinthians 5:5) and they had trembled at the words of Titus (cf. Ephesians 6:5; Philemon 2:12). Paul had himself come to the Corinthians at first with a nervous dread (1 Corinthians 2:3).

Verse 16

I am of good courage (ταρρωtharrō). The outcome has brought joy, courage, and hope to Paul.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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