|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-6 While others thought meanly, and spake scornfully of the apostle, he had low thoughts, and spake humbly of himself. We should be aware of our own infirmities, and think humbly of ourselves, even when men reproach us. The work of the ministry is a spiritual warfare with spiritual enemies, and for spiritual purposes. Outward force is not the method of the gospel, but strong persuasions, by the power of truth and the meekness of wisdom. Conscience is accountable to God only; and people must be persuaded to God and their duty, not driven by force. Thus the weapons of our warfare are very powerful; the evidence of truth is convincing. What opposition is made against the gospel, by the powers of sin and Satan in the hearts of men! But observe the conquest the word of God gains. The appointed means, however feeble they appear to some, will be mighty through God. And the preaching of the cross, by men of faith and prayer, has always been fatal to idolatry, impiety, and wickedness.
Verse 2. - I beseech you. The "beseech" is here right (deomai). The "you" is not in the Greek, but is rightly supplied. It rests with them to avert the necessity of personal severity, and he entreats them to do so (comp. 2 Corinthians 13:2, 10; 1 Corinthians 4:21). Against some. He leaves these undefined till the vehement outburst of 2 Corinthians 11:13, 14. As if we walked according to the flesh (see note on 2 Corinthians 5:16). To say this of St. Paul was to charge him with being insincere and not disinterested.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present,.... That is, he entreated them that they would so behave for the future, that he might have no occasion, when he came among them, to use that power and authority they called boldness, which he had received from Christ for edification, and not destruction; as for that asperity and roughness with which he wrote, and which was thought to be too severe, it was in order to reclaim them, and so prevent that sharpness he was empowered by Christ to use: for though he had said in his former epistle, 1 Corinthians 4:21 "shall I come unto you with a rod or in love? and in the spirit of meekness?" he chose to come in the latter, rather than with the former; namely, not
with that confidence wherewith, says he,
I think to be bold: by "confidence" he means the faith of miracles he was possessed of, and particularly the power he, and other apostles had, of striking dead or blind incorrigible offenders, or of delivering them to Satan to undergo some corporeal punishment; which he had been thinking of, and reasoning about in his own mind, and was almost come to a conclusion concerning it, to inflict it upon, and with it to be bold,
against some which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh; who not barely thought so within themselves, but reasoned the matter with others, and would fain persuade them to believe that they did walk in a carnal manner; not that they had the face to say, that they walked after the dictates of corrupt nature, or lived in open vice and profaneness; but that they walked in craftiness, had their conversation in the world with fleshly wisdom, seeking their own worldly interest and secular advantage; which is denied by the apostle, 2 Corinthians 1:12 and was the real case, and true picture of the false teachers themselves.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. I beseech you—Intimating that, as he can beseech in letters, so he can be severe in their presence.
that I may not be—that I may not have to be bold, &c.
with that confidence—that authoritative sternness.
I think—I am minded to be.
as if we walked according to the flesh—His Corinthian detractors judged of him by themselves, as if he were influenced by fleshly motives, the desire of favor or fear of giving offense, so as not to exercise his authority when present.
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