Being defamed, we entreat
Being blasphemed, as the word signifies, being evil spoken of, our good name taken away, and characters hurt; we entreat or pray to God for them, that he would convince them of their evil, give them repentance unto life, and remission of their sins, according to Christ's direction, ( Matthew 5:44 ) and in imitation of his example, ( Luke 23:34 ) or we entreat them; so the Syriac version reads it, (Nwhnm Nnyeb) , "we beseech them": not to blaspheme and speak evil of us, since it will be to their own hurt; we give them smooth words, and soft language, not rendering railing for railing, or reviling for reviling:
we are made as the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all
things unto this day;
referring, as some think, to ( Lamentations 3:45 ) or to the lustrations and expiations among the Heathens, who when any calamity was upon them, particularly a plague among them, used to take one of the refuse of the people, and sacrifice him by way of expiation; or any living creature, as a sheep which with imprecations they cast into a river, or into the sea, fancying it carried away all the contagion along with it; hence, by way of reproach, such that were under disgrace, and were ejected, and exiled, were called (kayarmata) , "purgations"; the refuse of the people, by which the rest were purged F21 or the reference is to any dirt, or filth in common, swept out of houses, and trodden under foot; and so expresses the mean and abject condition of the apostles, and with what disdain and contempt they were treated in the world: all which shows that they were far from reigning as kings; and whilst this was their case, who were at the head of the interest of Christ, it must be a vain conceit of the Corinthians, that they reigned as kings without them.
F21 Vid. Turnebi Adversaria, l. 19. c. 22. & 26. 7. & 27. 16.