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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

2 Corinthians 7



Verse 1

Filthiness ( μολυσμοῦ )

Rev., defilement. Only here in the New Testament. For the kindred verb μολύνω todefile, see on Revelation 14:4. Compare 1 Corinthians 8:7.

Verse 2

Receive ( χωρήσατε )

From χῶρος placeor space. Primarily, to leave a space, make room for. See on containing, John 2:6; see on John 8:37. The meaning here is make room for us. Rev., open your hearts to us, which is felicitous in view of the reference to 2 Corinthians 6:12. It is equivalent to saying enlarge your hearts to take us in, as our heart is enlarged (2 Corinthians 6:11).

Defrauded ( ἐπλεονεκτήσαμεν )

Used by Paul only. It adds the idea of wrong for the sake of gain, which is not necessarily implied in either of the other verbs.

Verse 4

My boldness

Note the change for the first time to the first person singular.


The Greek has the comfort, the article apparently pointing to the special comfort he had received through the coming of Titus (2 Corinthians 7:6).

I am exceeding joyful ( ὑπερπερισσεύμαι τῇ χαρᾷ )

Lit., I superabound with the joy. Rev., I overflow with joy. Note the article again, the joy.

Verse 5

Rest ( ἄνεσιν )

Rev., relief. See on liberty, Acts 24:23.

Verse 6


The Rev. improves on the A.V. by putting God in its emphatic place at the end of the clause. “He that comforteth,” etc. - “even God.”

Those that are cast down ( τοὺς ταπεινοὺς )

Rev., the lowly. See on Matthew 11:29. Here the A.V. is more nearly true to the idea, which is that of depression through circumstances, rather than of lowliness of character. The neater rendering would be the downcast.

Verse 7


The manner in which Paul, so to speak, fondles this word, is most beautiful. Compare 2 Corinthians 1:4-6.

Mourning ( ὀδυρμόν )

Only here and Matthew 2:18. It implies a verbal expression of grief. Cebes, a disciple of Socrates, in his Pinax represents Λύπη LupeSorrow, as a woman, with her head bowed upon her breast; Ὁδύνη Oduneconsuming Grief, follows, tearing her hair. By her side is Ὁδυρμός OdurmosLamentation, a revolting, emaciated figure, whose sister is Ἁθυμία AthumiaDespondency.

Verse 8

Repent ( μεταμέλομαι )

See on Matthew 21:29. Rev., regret it.

Though I did repent

Punctuate as Am. Rev., I do not regret it: though (even if) I did regret it (for I see that that epistle made you sorry, though but for a season ) I now rejoice.

Verse 9

Repentance ( μετάνοιαν )

See on the kindred verb repent, Matthew 3:2, and compare note on Matthew 21:29. Repentance is different from regret of 2 Corinthians 7:8, indicating a moral change, as is shown by the next clause.

Ye might receive damage ( ζημιωθῆτε )

Rev., might suffer loss. See on Matthew 16:26; see on Luke 9:25. This somewhat obscure sentence means that the salutary moral results of the apostle's letter compensated for the sorrow which it caused. The epistle which won them to repentance was no damage to them.

Verse 10

Sorrow - repentance ( λύπη - μετάνοιαν )

Paul's words strike effectively at the popular identification of sorrow with repentance.

Not to be repented of ( ἀμεταμέλητον )

Construe with repentance. The Rev., in order to bring out this connection, amplifies the translation: a repentance which bringeth no regret. The oxymoron (see on Romans 1:20; Romans 4:18) is in the A.V. rather than in the Greek. It should be carefully observed that the two words, repentance, not to be repented of, represent different roots and different ideas: repentance ( μετάνοιαν ) denoting the moral change, and to be repented of denoting the sentiment of misgiving or regret (see on Matthew 21:29), and so answering to λύπη sorrowThe Rev. brings out the distinction by substituting regret for repentance.

Sorrow of the world

Antithesis with the sorrow which is according to God (A.V., godly sorrow ). Sorrow which is characteristic of the world; grief for the consequences rather than for the sin as sin.

Worketh ( κατεργάζεται )

Brings to pass. Notice that the simple verb ἐργάζετι is used in the previous clause, the distinction from this verb being obliterated by rendering both worketh. The difference is between contributing to a result and achieving it.

Verse 11

Sorrowed ( λυπηθῆναι )

Rev., correctly, were made sorry. The verb is in the passive voice, and is so rendered by the A.V. in 2 Corinthians 7:9, but, inconsistently, sorrowed in the next clause.

Carefulness ( σπουδήν )

See on diligence, Romans 12:8. Rev., earnest care.

Clearing of yourselves ( ἀπολογίαν )

See on 1 Peter 3:15. Exculpation or self-defense from complicity with the incestuous person by their neglect and refusal to humble themselves.

Indignation ( ἀγανάκτησιν )

Only here in the New Testament. Compare the kindred verb ἀγανακτέω tobe indignant, Matthew 20:24; Mark 10:14, etc.

Revenge ( ἐκδίκησιν )

An unfortunate rendering, because of the personal feeling of vindictiveness which attaches to the popular usage. Rev. avenging is little, if any, better. It is rather meting out of justice; doing justice to all parties. See on Luke 18:3; see on Luke 21:22. The word has, however, the sense of requital (see on Romans 12:19; compare 2 Thessalonians 1:8), and carries with it, etymologically, the sense of vindication, as Luke 18:7, Luke 18:8. Bengel remarks that the six results of godly sorrow fall into pairs: clearing and indignation relating to the disgrace of the Church; fear and longing (vehement desire) to the apostle; zeal and avenging to the offender.

Verse 12

Our care for you ( τὴν σπουδὴν ἡμῶν τὴν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν )

The correct text reverses the pronouns and reads your care for us. This difficult passage means that while Paul did desire the punishment and reformation of the offender, and the vindication of the wronged party, his main object was that the fidelity and zeal of the Church toward God should be manifested, as it was (2 Corinthians 7:11). This would appear in the manifestation of their zealous interest for him as God's minister. He states this as if it were his only object. Manifest unto you is rather among you ( πρός ), as in 2 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 16:7.

Verse 13

Were comforted in your comfort ( παρακεκλήμεθα ἐπὶ τῇ παρακλήσει ὑμῶν )

The best texts place a period after were comforted, transfer the δὲ and(yea) from after ἐπί exceedinglythe more to directly after ἐπί in(your comfort), and instead of your read our. The whole, as Rev., therefore we have been comforted. And in our comfort we joyed the more exceedingly, etc.

In our comfort ( ἐπί )

In addition to. Stanley, with this comfort before me, I was still more rejoiced, etc.

Verse 16

I have confidence in you ( θαῤῥῶ ἐν ὑμῖν )

Wrong. Rev., correctly, I am of good courage. In you expresses the ground of his encouragement as lying in them.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

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