|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:5-11 The apostle desires them to receive the person who had done wrong, again into their communion; for he was aware of his fault, and much afflicted under his punishment. Even sorrow for sin should not unfit for other duties, and drive to despair. Not only was there danger last Satan should get advantage, by tempting the penitent to hard thoughts of God and religion, and so drive him to despair; but against the churches and the ministers of Christ, by bringing an evil report upon Christians as unforgiving; thus making divisions, and hindering the success of the ministry. In this, as in other things, wisdom is to be used, that the ministry may not be blamed for indulging sin on the one hand, or for too great severity towards sinners on the other hand. Satan has many plans to deceive, and knows how to make a bad use of our mistakes.
Verses 5-11. - The results of his letter in their treatment of the incestuous offender. Verse 5. - But if any have caused grief. The word "pain" or "grief" which has been so prominent in the last verses, naturally reminds St. Paul of the person whose misdoings had caused all this trouble. The "any" is in the singular. He hath not grieved me, but in part, etc. Of the various ways of taking this verse, the most tenable seems to be this: "If any one has caused pain, he has not pained me but partly (not to weigh down too heavily) all of you. St. Paul is denying that the feelings with which he hat(written his severe letter were due to mere personal sorrow or indignation. In writing he felt for the wrong done to them, to the whole Corinthian Church, at least as much as for the smart of his own grief and disappointment. The word "partly" is introduced, as St. Chrysostom says, to soften the expression, "he has grieved you all." It will then mean "to a certain extent." The words, "that I may not overcharge," or rather, as in the Revised Version, "that I press not too heavily," assign the reason for the modifying clause, "in part." When St. Paul says that this man's conduct had even to any extent grieved the whole community, his words may seem to conflict with 1 Corinthians 5:2; but he is thinking, not of the immediate condonation of the offender there alluded to, but of the agony of subsequent repentance which his letter had awoke in the whole (or practically the whole) community (2 Corinthians 7:11). The phrase, "that I press not too heavily," refers then to the offender: "I will not say outright that he has grieved not me, but all of you, because I do not wish to bear too hard on him" (comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8), "but I will say that he has grieved you and me alike to some extent." The phrase, "in part," occurs also in Romans 11:25.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But if any have caused grief,.... The incestuous person is here manifestly designed, though he is not named, who had been the cause and occasion of much grief and sorrow, both to himself and others; for the apostle is not to be understood, as though he doubted whether he had caused grief or not, but rather takes it for granted, as a certain point; "if", seeing, or although he has caused grief:
he hath not grieved me but in part; or in some measure; as it has reflected dishonour on God and his ways, truths and ordinances; and has brought trouble upon himself, and the church of which he is a member; for the apostle now rejoiced, that he was truly humbled for his sin, and sincerely, and in an evangelical manner, repented of it; his grief was over, and it was as if it was not; and the offence he took was now wholly removed: besides, though this man did grieve him, it was but in part; he was not the sole cause of his grief: they also greatly added to it by their unconcernedness of him, and negligence in reproving him, though he takes notice only of this single man:
that I may not overcharge you all; bear hard upon them, aggravate their sin, and increase their trouble: or thus, that man has not grieved me only, but in some measure all of you; for the phrase "all you", may be considered, not in connection with the word "overcharge", but with the word "grieved"; and the reading and sense of the whole be this, "he hath not grieved me, but in part, or in some measure"; or as the Syriac reads it, , "almost all of you": but this, as if he should say, I do but just mention, would not dwell upon it, "that I may not overcharge" him, or be thought to be overbearing, or should aggravate his sin and sorrow: for,
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. grief … grieved—Translate as before, "sorrow … made sorry." The "any" is a delicate way of referring to the incestuous person.
not … me, but in part—He has grieved me only in part (compare 2Co 1:14; Ro 11:25), that is, I am not the sole party aggrieved; most of you, also, were aggrieved.
that I may not overcharge—that I may not unduly lay the weight of the charge on you all, which I should do, if I made myself to be the sole party aggrieved. Alford punctuates, "He hath not made sorry me, but in part (that I press not too heavily; namely, on him) you all." Thus "you all" is in contrast to "me"; and "in part" is explained in the parenthetical clause.
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