|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:15-24 The apostle clears himself from the charge of levity and inconstancy, in not coming to Corinth. Good men should be careful to keep the reputation of sincerity and constancy; they should not resolve, but on careful thought; and they will not change unless for weighty reasons. Nothing can render God's promises more certain: his giving them through Christ, assures us they are his promises; as the wonders God wrought in the life, resurrection, and ascension of his Son, confirm faith. The Holy Spirit makes Christians firm in the faith of the gospel: the quickening of the Spirit is an earnest of everlasting life; and the comforts of the Spirit are an earnest of everlasting joy. The apostle desired to spare the blame he feared would be unavoidable, if he had gone to Corinth before he learned what effect his former letter produced. Our strength and ability are owing to faith; and our comfort and joy must flow from faith. The holy tempers and gracious fruits which attend faith, secure from delusion in so important a matter.
Verses 15-22. - His change of purpose in visiting Corinth. Verse 15. - In this confidence. In reliance on the mutual respect and affection which exists between us. I was minded. The stress is partly on the tense: "my original desire was." When speaking of matters purely personal, St. Paul generally reverts to the first person. To come unto you before. I meant to visit you, first on my way to Macedonia, and again on my return from Macedonia, as explained in the next verse. A second benefit; rather, a second grace. There is another reading, χαρὰν, joy, and the word χάρις itself sometimes has this sense (as in Tobit 7:18), but not in the New Testament. Here, again, there is no boastfulness. St. Paul, filled as he was with the power of the Holy Spirit, was able to impart to his converts some spiritual gifts (Romans 1:11), and this was the chief reason why his visits were so eagerly desired, and why his change of plan had caused such bitter disappointment to the Corinthians. The importance of the Church of Corinth, its central position, and its unsettled state made it desirable that he should give them as much as possible of his personal supervision.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And in this confidence I was minded,.... Being fully persuaded of your affection for me, as having been instrumental in the conversion of many of you, and of your esteem of me as a faithful and upright minister of the word, and of your being my rejoicing in the day of Christ, I was desirous, and had determined, and so promised,
to come to you before; when I sent my first epistle to you, or before now, or before I went into Macedonia; and what I now say was the sincere intention of my mind; I thought really to have done what I had such an inclination to: and my view in it was,
that you might have a second benefit; the meaning of which according to some is, first by his letter to them, and then by his presence with them; or as others, one benefit when he should pass by them to Macedonia, and a second, when he should return to them from thence, according to the following verse; or rather, as the first benefit which they received from him, and under his ministry, was their conversion, so this second benefit may design their edification, and establishment in the faith, their growth in grace, and improvement in spiritual knowledge.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. in this confidence—of my character for sincerity being "acknowledged" by you (2Co 1:12-14).
was minded—I was intending.
before—"to come unto you before" visiting Macedonia (where he now was). Compare Note, see on 1Co 16:5; also see on 1Co 4:18, which, combined with the words here, implies that the insinuation of some at Corinth, that he would not come at all, rested on the fact of his having thus disappointed them. His change of intention, and ultimate resolution of going through Macedonia first, took place before his sending Timothy from Ephesus into Macedonia, and therefore (1Co 4:17) before his writing the first Epistle. Compare Ac 19:21, 22 (the order there is "Macedonia and Achaia," not Achaia, Macedonia); Ac 20:1, 2.
that ye might have a second benefit—one in going to, the other in returning from, Macedonia. The "benefit" of his visits consisted in the grace and spiritual gifts which he was the means of imparting (Ro 1:11, 12).
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