Sufficient to such a man is this punishment
By this punishment is meant, the excommunication of the incestuous person, or the censure that was laid upon him by the church: for this
was inflicted by many;
not by the pastor only, or by the elders or more eminent persons in the church, but by the multitude, by the whole congregation, at least (upo twn pleionwn) , "by the more"; the greater, or major part; and not by one, or a few only: in inflicting this punishment, or laying on this censure in the public manner they did, they were certainly right, and to be commended; but inasmuch as there appeared signs of true repentance, it was sufficient, it had answered the purpose for which it was inflicted, and therefore it was high time to remove it: from whence we learn, that in case of gross enormities, there ought to be a public excommunication; and that this is to be done by the vote, and with the consent of the whole church, or the major part of it; and that in process of time, when the person thus dealt with has given the church satisfaction as to the truth and genuineness of his repentance, the censure ought to be taken off and he be cordially received into the communion of the church again. This "punishment", or "rebuke", (epitimia) , "by many", is the same which the Jews call F5 (Mybrb hxkwth) , "a reproof by many"; which is given by many, or in the presence of many.