Wherefore, though l wrote unto you
Meaning in his former epistle, with so much sharpness and severity, and as may have been thought too much:
I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong;
not for the sake of the incestuous person only and chiefly, not merely for his correction and restoration; though these things were intended, and earnestly desired by the apostle:
nor for his cause that suffered wrong:
that is, the father of the incestuous person, who had been injured by this wicked action; it was not only or merely out of favour and respect to him, and that some compensation should be made to him in a church way, by detesting the crime, casting out the offender, and declaring themselves on the side of the injured person, and against him that had done the injury:
but that our care for you, in the sight of God, might appear unto
some copies, and the Complutensian edition, and the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, read, "that your care for us" and then the sense is, that you might have an opportunity of showing your affection for us, your regard to us, how readily you obey us in all things; but the other reading is to be preferred, the meaning of which is, that the apostle in writing did not so much consult and regard the private good of any particular person, either the injurer or the injured, though these were not out of his view; but he wrote in the manner he did, chiefly that it might be manifest what a concern he had for the good and welfare of the whole church; lest that should be corrupted, and receive any damage from such a notorious delinquent being tolerated or coned at among them; and that it was such a care and concern as was real, hearty, and sincere, was well known to God, and for the truth of which he could appeal to him.