10:1 Now 1 I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and a gentleness of Christ, who in presence [am] base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
(1) He returns to the defence of his apostleship, but in such a way that he uses his authority in his defence: for he warns them earnestly and gravely, using also terrible threatenings, to show themselves to be those who are able to be instructed. And he reviles certain proud men who made no better account of him, than of a bragging proud man, in that he used to be sharp against them when he was absent, because they saw no great majesty in him after the manner of men; and besides, he had proved his gentleness, even though in his absence he had written to them sharply. Therefore first of all he professes that he was gentle and moderate, but after the example of Christ: but if they continue still to despise his gentleness, he protests to them that he will show indeed how far they are deceived, who judge the office of an apostle in the same way that they judge worldly offices, that is, according to the outward appearance. 10:2 But I beseech [you], that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked b according to the flesh.
(a) That nature which is inclined to mercy, rather than to rigor of justice.
(b) As though I had no other aid and help than that which outwardly I seem to have: and therefore Paul contrasts his flesh, that is, his weak condition and state, with his spiritual and apostolic dignity. 10:3 2 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(2) Secondly, he witnesses that although he is similar to other men, yet he comes furnished with that strength which no defence of man can match, whether they resist by craft and deceit, or by force and might, because he battles with divine weapons. 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not c carnal, but mighty through d God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
(c) Are not those weapons that men get authority over one another with, and do great acts. 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, 3 and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
(d) Stand upon the foundation of Gods infinite power.
(3) An amplification of this spiritual power, which conquers the enemies in such a way, be they ever so crafty and mighty, that it brings some of them by repentance to Christ, and justly avenges others that are stubbornly obstinate, separating them from the others who allow themselves to be ruled. 10:7 4 Do ye look on things after the e outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christs, let him of f himself think this again, that, as he [is] Christs, even so [are] we Christs.
(4) He emphasises the same matter with very weighty words and sentences. 10:10 For [his] letters, say g they, [are] weighty and powerful; but [his] bodily presence [is] weak, and [his] speech contemptible.
(e) Do you judge things according to the outward appearance?
(f) Not being told about it by me.
(g) He notes out those who were the cause of these words. 10:12 5 For we h dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by i themselves, and k comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
(5) Being forced to refute the foolish braggings of certain ambitious men, he witnesses that they are able to bring nothing, but that they falsely think highly of themselves. And as for himself, although he brags of excellent things, yet he will not pass the bounds which God has measured him out. And according to these bounds he came even to them in preaching the Gospel of Christ, and trusts that he will go further, when they have so profited that he will not need to remain any longer among them to instruct them. And to this is added an amplification, in that he never followed the labours of other men. 10:13 But we will not boast of things without [our] l measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.
(h) This is spoken in a taunting manner.
(i) Upon a vain persuasion that they have of themselves, they attribute to themselves anything at all.
(k) They condemn others, and measure all their doings only by themselves.
(l) Of those things which God has not measured to me. 10:15 Not boasting of things m without [our] measure, [that is], of other mens labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
(m) As though God had divided the whole world among the apostles to be governed. 10:16 To preach the gospel in the [regions] beyond you, [and] not to boast in n another mans line of things made ready to our hand.
(n) In countries which other men have prepared and cultivated with the preaching of the Gospel. 10:17 6 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
(6) He somewhat moderates that which he spoke of himself, and in so doing also prepares the Corinthians to hear other things, witnessing that he seeks nothing else but to approve himself to God, whose glory alone he seeks.