2 Corinthians 7:1-16 . SELF-PURIFICATION THEIR DUTY RESULTING FROM THE FOREGOING. HIS LOVE TO THEM, AND JOY AT THE GOOD EFFECTS ON THEM OF HIS FORMER EPISTLE, AS REPORTED BY TITUS.
9. Now I rejoice--Whereas "I did repent" or regret having made you sorry by my letter, I rejoice NOW, not that ye were caused sorrow, but that your sorrow resulted in your repentance.
ye sorrowed--rather, as before, "ye were made sorry."
after a godly manner--literally, "according to God," that is, your sorrow having regard to God, and rendering your mind conformable to God ( Romans 14:22 , 1 Peter 4:6 ).
that--Translate in Greek order, "to the end that (compare 2 Corinthians 11:9 ) ye might in nothing receive damage from us," which ye would have received, had your sorrow been other than that "after a godly manner" ( 2 Corinthians 7:10 ).
10. worketh . . . worketh--In the best Greek reading the translation is, "worketh (simply) . . . worketh out." "Sorrow" is not repentance, but, where it is "godly," "worketh" it; that is, contributes or tends to it (the same Greek word is in Romans 13:10 ). The "sorrow of the world" (that is, such as is felt by the worldly) "worketh out," as its result at last, (eternal) death (the same Greek verb is in 2 Corinthians 4:17 ; also
repentance . . . not to be repented of--There is not in the Greek this play on words, so that the word qualified is not "repentance" merely, but "repentance unto salvation"; this, he says, none will ever regret, however attended with "sorrow" at the time. "Repentance" implies a coming to a right mind; "regret" implies merely uneasiness of feeling at the past or present, and is applied even to the remorse of Judas ( Matthew 27:3 ; Greek, "stricken with remorse," not as English Version, "repented himself"); so that, though always accompanying repentance, it is not always accompanied by repentance. "Repentance" removes the impediments in the way of "salvation" (to which "death," namely, of the soul, is opposed). "The sorrow of the world" is not at the sin itself, but at its penal consequences: so that the tears of pain are no sooner dried up, than the pleasures of ungodliness are renewed. So Pharaoh, Exodus 9:27 Exodus 9:28-30 ; and Saul, 1 Samuel 15:23-30 . Compare Isaiah 9:13 , Revelation 16:10 Revelation 16:11 . Contrast David's "godly sorrow," 2 Samuel 12:13 , and Peter's, Matthew 26:75 .
11. Confirmation of 2 Corinthians 7:10 from the Corinthians' own experience.
carefulness--solicitude, literally, "diligence"; opposed to their past negligence in the matter.
in you--Greek "for you."
yea--not only "carefulness" or diligence, but also "clearing of yourselves," namely, to me by Titus: anxiety to show you disapproved of the deed.
indignation--against the offender.
fear--of the wrath of God, and of sinning any more [SCLATER and CALVIN]; fear of Paul [GROTIUS], ( 1 Corinthians 4:2 1 Corinthians 4:19-21 ).
vehement desire--longing for restoration to Paul's approval [CONYBEARE and HOWSON]. "Fear" is in spite of one's self. "Longing desire" is spontaneous, and implies strong love and an aspiration for correction [CALVIN]. "Desire" for the presence of Paul, as he had given them the hope of it ( 1 Corinthians 4:19 , 16:5 ) [GROTIUS and ESTIUS].
zeal--for right and for God's honor against what is wrong. Or, "for the good of the soul of the offender" [BENGEL].
revenge--Translate, "Exacting of punishment" ( 1 Corinthians 5:2 1 Corinthians 5:3 ). Their "carefulness" was exhibited in the six points just specified: "clearing of themselves," and "indignation" in relation to themselves; "fear" and "vehement desire" in respect to the apostle; "zeal" and "revenge" in respect to the offender [BENGEL]; (compare 2 Corinthians 7:7 ).
In all--the respects just stated.
clear--Greek, "pure," namely, from complicity in the guilty deed. "Approved yourselves," Greek, "commended yourselves." Whatever suspicion of complicity rested on you ( 1 Corinthians 5:2 1 Corinthians 5:6 ) through your former remissness, you have cleared off by your present strenuousness in reprobating the deed.
12. though I wrote unto you--"making you sorry with my letter" ( 2 Corinthians 7:8 ).
his cause that suffered wrong--the father of the incestuous person who had his father's wife ( 1 Corinthians 5:1 ). The father, thus it seems, was alive.
that our care for you, &c.--Some of the oldest manuscripts read thus, "That YOUR care for us might be made manifest unto you," &c. But the words, "unto you," thus, would be rather obscure; still the obscurity of the genuine reading may have been the very reason for the change being made by correctors into the reading of English Version. ALFORD explains the reading: "He wrote in order to bring out their zeal on his behalf (that is, to obey his command), and make it manifest to themselves in God's sight, that is, to bring out among them their zeal to regard and obey him." But some of the oldest manuscripts and versions (including the Vulgate and old Italian) support English Version. And the words, "to you," suit it better than the other reading. 2 Corinthians 2:4 , "I wrote . . . that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you," plainly accords with it, and disproves ALFORD'S assertion that English Version is inconsistent with the fact as to the purpose of his letter. His writing, he says, was not so much for the sake of the individual offender, or the individual offended, but from his "earnest care" or concern for the welfare of the Church.
13. The oldest manuscripts read thus, "Therefore (Greek, 'for this cause,' namely, because our aim has been attained) we have been (English Version, 'were,' is not so accurate) comforted; yea (Greek, 'but'), in OUR comfort we exceedingly the more joyed for the joy of Titus," &c. (compare 2 Corinthians 7:7 ).
14. anything--that is, at all.
I am not ashamed--"I am not put to shame," namely, by learning from Titus that you did not realize the high character I gave him of you.
as . . . all things . . . in truth, even so our boasting . . . is found a truth--As our speaking in general to you was true ( 2 Corinthians 1:18 ), so our particular boasting to Titus concerning you is now, by his report, proved to be truth (compare 2 Corinthians 9:2 ). Some oldest manuscripts read expressly, "concerning you"; this in either reading is the sense.
15. his inward affection--literally, "bowels" (compare 2 Corinthians 6:12 , Philippians 1:8 , 2:1 , Colossians 3:12 ).
obedience--( 2 Corinthians 2:9 ).
fear and trembling--with trembling anxiety to obey my wishes, and fearful lest there should be aught in yourselves to offend him and me ( 2 Corinthians 7:11 ; compare 1 Corinthians 2:3 ).
16. therefore--omitted in the oldest manuscripts. The conclusion is more emphatical without it.
that I have confidence in you in all things--rather, as Greek, "that in everything I am of good courage concerning (literally, 'in the case of') you," as contrasted with my former doubts concerning you.