2 Corinthians 11
11:1 Would 1 to God ye could bear with me a little in [my] folly: and indeed bear with me.
(1) He grants that in a way he is playing the fool in this exalting of things, but he adds that he does it against his will for their profit, because he sees them deceived by certain vain and crafty men, through the craft and subtilty of Satan. 11:2 For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may b present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.
(a) He speaks as one who woos them, but yet as one that seeks them not for himself, but for God. 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be c corrupted from the simplicity that is in d Christ.
(b) To marry you together.
(c) This passage is to be noted against those who hate the plain and pure simplicity of the scriptures, in comparison of the elegance and fluency of mans eloquence. 11:4 2 For if he that cometh preacheth e another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him].
(d) Which is proper for those who are in Christ.
(2) He shows that they deceive themselves, if they look to receive from any other man, either a more excellent Gospel, or more excellent gifts of the Holy Spirit. 11:6 3 But though [I be] f rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.
(e) A more perfect doctrine of Jesus Christ.
(3) He refutes the slanders of those boastful and proud men. I grant, he says, that I am not so eloquent an orator, but yet they cannot take away the knowledge of the Gospel from me, of which you have had good proof, and that in every manner of way. 11:7 4 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
(f) Paul did not lack the type of eloquence which is proper for a man, and fit for the Gospel, but he willingly lacked that eloquent type of speech, which too many now a days search after and follow.
(4) Another slander, that is, that he was a rascal, and lived by the labour of his own hands. But in this, the apostle says, what can you lay against me, except that I was content to take any pains for your sakes? For when I lacked, I travailed for my living with my own hands. And also when poverty forced me, I chose rather to seek my sustenance than to be any burden to you, even though I preached the Gospel to you. 11:9 And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all [things] I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, 5 and [so] will I keep [myself].
(5) An amplification: so far is he from being ashamed of this act, that he has also resolved with himself to act in no other way while he is among them, in order that it may always be truly said that he taught in Achaia for nothing. And this is not because he disdains the Corinthians, but rather so that these proud and boastful men may never find the occasion which they have already sought for, and he in the meantime may set something before the Corinthians to follow, so that at length they may truly say that they are like Paul. 11:10 As the g truth of Christ is in me, no man shall h stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.
(g) This is a form of an oath, as if he said, "Let me not be thought to have any truth in me." 11:12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they i glory, they may be found even as we.
(h) Will be always open to me.
(i) Pauls adversaries sought all occasions they could to be equal to him. And therefore seeing they had rather live off the Corinthians then preach to them for nothing, they sought another occasion, that is, to make Paul take something. And if he had done this, then they hoped by this means to be equal to him. For they made such a show of zeal and knowledge, and set it forth with such a flattering type of eloquence, that some of them even despised Paul. But he shows that all this is nothing but frivolities and pretensions. 11:13 6 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
(6) Now at length he portrays these fellows as they truly are, forewarning that it will come to pass that they will at length betray themselves, no matter how they may be pretending that they have a zeal for Gods glory. 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of k light.
(k) By light is meant the heavenly glory, of which the angels are partakers. 11:16 7 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.
(7) He goes forward boldly, and using a vehement irony or type of taunting, desires the Corinthians to pardon him, if for a time he argues as a fool before them, who are wise, along with those other wise ones, as he talks about those external things such as his stock, his ancestors, and valiant acts. 11:20 8 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour [you], if a man take [of you], if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
(8) Before he comes to the matter, he talks directly to the Corinthians, who persuading themselves to be very wise men, did not mark in the meanwhile that those false apostles had abused their simplicity for advantage. 11:21 I speak as concerning l reproach, as though we had been m weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
(l) As if he said, "In respect of that reproach which they do to you, which surely is as evil as if they beat you." 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I [am] n more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in o deaths oft.
(m) Paul is called weak, in that he seems to be to the Corinthians a vile and abject man, a beggarly craftsman, a most wretched and miserable idiot, whereas in reality Gods mighty power was made manifest in that.
(n) Paul being honourable indeed, defends his ministry openly, not for his own sake, but because he saw his doctrine come into danger. 11:24 Of the Jews p five times received I forty [stripes] save one.
(o) In danger of present death.
(p) He alludes to that which is written in ( Deuteronomy 25:3 ). And moreover this place shows us that Paul suffered many more things which Luke omitted in writing Acts. 11:25 q Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
(q) By the Roman magistrates. 11:27 In weariness and r painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
(r) Painfulness is a troublesome sickness, as when a man who is weary and wants rest is forced to begin new labour. 11:28 9 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
(9) He further adds this in conclusion, that the Corinthians should be ashamed to despise him upon whose care almost all churches depended, as it was plainly seen by experience. 11:30 10 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
(10) He turns that against the adversaries which they objected against him: as if he should say, "They allege my calamities to take away my authority from me: but if I would boast myself, I could use no better argument. And God himself is my witness that I am not making up or forging anything."