2 Corinthians 12:8

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

2 Corinthians 12:8 in Other Translations

KJV
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
ESV
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.
NLT
8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.
MSG
8 At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that,
CSB
8 Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me.

2 Corinthians 12:8 Meaning and Commentary

2 Corinthians 12:8

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice
With respect to the thorn in the flesh, the messenger Satan, who gave him so much continual disturbance. This sent him to the throne of grace, to request of the Lord,

that it,
or rather, "he might"

depart from me:
this request greatly confirms the above sense, for it can hardly be thought the apostle would be so importunate about the removal of a common bodily affliction; and he knew that the corruption of his nature would remain with him as long as he was in the body; and as for afflictions, reproaches, and persecutions for the Gospel's sake, he was well apprized they would abide him wherever he went; but that so troublesome an adversary might depart, as it must be greatly desirable, so it was a very proper request: and it is made to a very proper person, to the "Lord" Jesus Christ; who in the days of his flesh had such power over the devils, as to dispossess them from the bodies of men by a word speaking, and held them in subjection, and in a panic fear of him; and when upon the cross, he spoiled principalities and powers, and in the latter day will bind Satan with a chain, and shut him up in the bottomless pit for a thousand years. This request was made thrice, not with any view to the three persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Spirit; nor to the three usual times of prayer in a day, morning, noon, and night; nor is any exact number of times intended; but the sense is, that he frequently besought the Lord on this account.

2 Corinthians 12:8 In-Context

6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say,
7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Matthew 26:39,44