2 Corinthians 12:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

English Standard Version
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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

New American Standard Bible
And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

King James Bible
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me.

International Standard Version
but he has told me, "My grace is all you need, because my power is perfected in weakness." Therefore, I will most happily boast about my weaknesses, so that the Messiah's power may rest on me.

NET Bible
But he said to me, "My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” I shall therefore joyfully boast in my sufferings, that the power of The Messiah may rest upon me.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But he told me: "My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak." So I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ's power will live in me.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather glory in my weaknesses that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

King James 2000 Bible
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

American King James Version
And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me.

American Standard Version
And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Darby Bible Translation
And he said to me, My grace suffices thee; for [my] power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my weaknesses, that the power of the Christ may dwell upon me.

English Revised Version
And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Weymouth New Testament
but His reply has been, "My grace suffices for you, for power matures in weakness." Most gladly therefore will I boast of my infirmities rather than complain of them--in order that Christ's power may overshadow me.

World English Bible
He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me.

Young's Literal Translation
and He said to me, 'Sufficient for thee is My grace, for My power in infirmity is perfected;' most gladly, therefore, will I rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of the Christ may rest on me:
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:7-10 The apostle gives an account of the method God took to keep him humble, and to prevent his being lifted up above measure, on account of the visions and revelations he had. We are not told what this thorn in the flesh was, whether some great trouble, or some great temptation. But God often brings this good out of evil, that the reproaches of our enemies help to hide pride from us. If God loves us, he will keep us from being exalted above measure; and spiritual burdens are ordered to cure spiritual pride. This thorn in the flesh is said to be a messenger of Satan which he sent for evil; but God designed it, and overruled it for good. Prayer is a salve for every sore, a remedy for every malady; and when we are afflicted with thorns in the flesh, we should give ourselves to prayer. If an answer be not given to the first prayer, nor to the second, we are to continue praying. Troubles are sent to teach us to pray; and are continued, to teach us to continue instant in prayer. Though God accepts the prayer of faith, yet he does not always give what is asked for: as he sometimes grants in wrath, so he sometimes denies in love. When God does not take away our troubles and temptations, yet, if he gives grace enough for us, we have no reason to complain. Grace signifies the good-will of God towards us, and that is enough to enlighten and enliven us, sufficient to strengthen and comfort in all afflictions and distresses. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Thus his grace is manifested and magnified. When we are weak in ourselves, then we are strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; when we feel that we are weak in ourselves, then we go to Christ, receive strength from him, and enjoy most the supplies of Divine strength and grace.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - And he said unto me. The original is much more forcible: "And he has said to me." Is sufficient for thee. A similar phrase, though in a very different context, occurs in Deuteronomy 3:26. My strength is made perfect in weakness (comp. 2 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 2:3-5). The verse contains a paradox, which yet describes the best history of the world. The paradox becomes more suggestive if, with א, A, B, D, F, G, we omit "my." May rest upon me; literally, may tabernacle over me. The compound verb occurs here alone, but the simple verb and the substantive occur in similar meanings in John 1:14; Revelation 7:15; Revelation 21:3 (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:1).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he said unto me,.... Either by what the Jews call "Bath Kol", a voice from heaven, an articulate audible one; or by some extraordinary revelation of the Spirit of God; or by a divine impression upon his mind; whereby he was assured of what follows,

my grace is sufficient for thee; the Lord always hears and answers his people sooner or later, in one form or another, though not always in the way and manner they desire; but yet in such a way as is most for his glory and their good: the apostle had not his request granted, that Satan might immediately depart from him, only he is assured of a sufficiency of grace to support him under the exercise, so long as it should last. There seems to be an allusion to the word "Shaddai", an appellation of God, Genesis 17:1, and signifies, "which is sufficient": for God is all sufficient, and is a name that belongs to the Messiah. The angel whom God promised to the Israelites, to go before them in the wilderness, Exodus 23:23, the Jews say (g) is "Metatron" (which is a corruption of the word "mediator"), whose name is as the name of his master. "Metatron" by gematry is "Shaddai, one that is sufficient": however, certain it is, that the grace of Christ is alone sufficient for all his people, to all saving purposes, in all their times of need. It is alone sufficient, not to the exclusion of the grace of the Father or the Spirit; but in opposition and distinction to anything else, that may be rightly or wrongly called grace; what men generally call common or sufficient grace, which, they say, is given to all men, is a mere chimera; no grace is sufficient but what is effectual, and that is only the grace of Christ: the light of nature is insufficient to any saving purpose; the Gospel, which is called grace, and is the means of grace, is insufficient of itself to salvation, without the powerful and efficacious grace of Christ going along with it; and so are gifts, whether ordinary or extraordinary: nothing short of the grace of Christ is sufficient grace; and this is sufficient for all the elect of God, Jews and Gentiles, Old and New Testament saints, the family in heaven and in earth, the people of God that are already called, and are to be called, and for the worst and vilest of sinners; and it is sufficient to all saving purposes, to the acceptance of their persons before God, to their justification in his sight, to their pardon and cleansing, to their regeneration and sanctification, to the supply of all their wants, and to their perseverance in grace unto glory; and it is sufficient in all their times of need, in times of bodily affliction, of violent persecution, soul desertion, Satan's temptations, and at the hour of death, and in the day of judgment. The reason given to support this answer, and to strengthen the apostle's faith in it, is,

for my strength is made perfect in weakness; by the "strength" of Christ is meant, not his strength as the mighty God, but that communicative strength which he has, and is in him as Mediator, and which saints look to him for, and receive from him; this is "made perfect in" their "weakness"; not that their weakness can add perfection to his strength, for his strength is perfect in itself, not to say anything of the contradiction such a sense carries in it; but the meaning is, that the strength of Christ is made to appear, is illustrated and shines forth in its perfection and glory, in supplying, supporting, and strengthening his people under all their weakness; and if they were not left to some weaknesses in themselves, his strength would not be so manifest; see James 2:22. The answer to the apostle's request, supported with this reason, was wonderfully satisfactory to him; wherefore he concludes,

most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities; in the weaknesses which attended either his body or soul, through the buffetings of the angel Satan, rather than in his visions and revelations; or rather than insist upon his departure from him, he is content things should be as they were, since he had such a promise of a sufficiency of grace to bear him up, under and through whatever was the pleasure of God concerning him; and since the strength of Christ was made illustrious through his weakness, so that Satan was not able to make any advantage over him, he is willing to remain in the same posture and condition:

that the power of Christ, says he,

may rest upon me, or "tabernacle over me"; he considered himself as a poor weak feeble creature, and the power of Christ as a tabernacle over him, as the power of God is represented as a garrison about the believer, 1 Peter 1:5, sheltering, preserving, and protecting him from the insults of Satan, in every form and shape; see Isaiah 4:6, where Christ is said to be a tabernacle, for a place of refuge, and for a covert.

(g) Jarchi in Exodus 23.23. Sepher Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Numb. fol. 87. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. said—literally, "He hath said," implying that His answer is enough [Alford].

is sufficient—The trial must endure, but the grace shall also endure and never fail thee [Alford], (De 33:25). The Lord puts the words into Paul's mouth, that following them up he might say, "O Lord, Thy grace is sufficient for me" [Bengel].

my strength—Greek, "power."

is made perfect—has its most perfect manifestation.

in weakness—Do not ask for sensible strength, FOR My power is perfected in man's "strengthlessness" (so the Greek). The "for" implies, thy "strengthlessness" (the same Greek as is translated "weakness"; and in 2Co 12:10, "infirmities") is the very element in which My "power" (which moves coincident with "My grace") exhibits itself more perfectly. So that Paul instead of desiring the infirmity to "depart," "rather" henceforth "glories in infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest (Greek, 'tabernacle upon,' cover my infirmity all over as with a tabernacle; compare Greek, Joh 1:12) upon" him. This effect of Christ's assurance on him appears, 2Co 4:7; 1Co 2:3, 4; compare 1Pe 4:14. The "My" is omitted in some of the oldest manuscripts; the sense is the same, "power" (referring to God's power) standing absolutely, in contrast to "weakness" (put absolutely, for man's weakness). Paul often repeats the word "weakness" or "infirmity" (the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth chapters) as being Christ's own word. The Lord has more need of our weakness than of our strength: our strength is often His rival; our weakness, His servant, drawing on His resources, and showing forth His glory. Man's extremity is God's opportunity; man's security is Satan's opportunity. God's way is not to take His children out of trial, but to give them strength to bear up against it (Ps 88:7; Joh 17:15).

2 Corinthians 12:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul's Thorn and God's Grace
8Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Cross References
Daniel 10:19
"Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed," he said. "Peace! Be strong now; be strong." When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, "Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength."

1 Corinthians 2:3
I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.

1 Corinthians 2:5
so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power.

2 Corinthians 12:1
I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.

2 Corinthians 12:5
I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.

Ephesians 3:16
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

Philippians 4:13
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Treasury of Scripture

And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me.

My grace.

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, …

2 Corinthians 3:5,6 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of …

Exodus 3:11,12 And Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and …

Exodus 4:10-15 And Moses said to the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither …

Deuteronomy 33:25-27 Your shoes shall be iron and brass; and as your days, so shall your …

Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not …

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through …

Jeremiah 1:6-9 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child…

Matthew 10:19,20 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak…

Luke 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries …

1 Corinthians 10:13 There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but …

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed …

Colossians 1:28,29 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all …

1 Timothy 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love …

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may …

for.

Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings have you ordained strength …

Isaiah 35:3,4 Strengthen you the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees…

Isaiah 40:29-31 He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases …

Isaiah 41:13-16 For I the LORD your God will hold your right hand, saying to you, …

Daniel 10:16-19 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my …

Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to …

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

Colossians 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, to …

Hebrews 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out …

Most.

2 Corinthians 12:10,15 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, …

Matthew 5:11,12 Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and …

glory.

2 Corinthians 12:5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but …

2 Corinthians 11:30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern my infirmities.

the power.

2 Kings 2:15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw …

Isaiah 4:5,6 And the LORD will create on every dwelling place of mount Zion, and …

Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom …

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God in the middle of you is mighty; he will save, he …

Matthew 28:18,20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me …

1 Peter 4:13,14 But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; …

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Alphabetical: about all And boast But Christ Christ's dwell for gladly grace has he I in is made may me more Most My of on perfect perfected power rather rest said so sufficient that the Therefore to weakness weaknesses will you

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