2 Corinthians 4:17
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

King James Bible
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Darby Bible Translation
For our momentary and light affliction works for us in surpassing measure an eternal weight of glory;

World English Bible
For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory;

Young's Literal Translation
for the momentary light matter of our tribulation, more and more exceedingly an age-during weight of glory doth work out for us --

2 Corinthians 4:17 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For our light affliction - This verse, with the following, is designed to show further the sources of consolation and support which Paul and his fellow-laborers had in their many trials. Bloomfield remarks on this passage, that "in energy and beauty of expression, it is little inferior to any in Demosthenes himself, to whom, indeed, and to Thucydides in his orations, the style of the apostle, when it rises to the oratorical, bears no slight resemblance." The passage abounds with intensive and emphatic expressions, and manifests that the mind of the writer was laboring to convey ideas which language, even after all the energy of expression which he could command, would very imperfectly communicate. The trials which Paul endured, to many persons would have seemed to be anything else but light. They consisted of want, and danger, and contempt, and stoning, and toil, and weariness, and the scorn of the world, and constant exposure to death by land or by sea; see 2 Corinthians 4:7-10, compare 2 Corinthians 11:23-27. Yet these trials, though continued through many years, and constituting, as it were, his very life, he speaks of as the lightest conceivable thing when compared with that eternal glory which awaited him. He strives to get an expression as emphatic as possible, to show that in his estimation they were not worthy to be named in comparison with the eternal weight of glory. It is not sufficient to say that the affliction was "light" or was a mere trifle; but he says that it was to endure but for a moment. Though trials had followed him ever since he began to make known the Redeemer, and though he had the firmest expectation that they would follow him to the end of life and everywhere Acts 20:23, yet all this was a momentary trifle compared with the eternal glory before him. The word rendered "light" (ἐλαφρὸν elaphron) means that which is easy to bear, and is usually applied to a burden; see Matthew 11:30, compare 2 Corinthians 1:17.

Which is but for a moment - The Greek word used here (παραυτίκα parautika) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It is an adverb, from αὐτίκα autika, αὐτός autos, and means properly, "at this very instant; immediately." Here it seems to qualify the word "light," and to be used in the sense of momentary, transient. Bloomfield renders it, "for the at present lightness of our affliction." Doddridge, "for this momentary lightness of our affliction, which passes off so fast, and leaves so little impression that it may be called levity itself." The apostle evidently wished to express two ideas in as emphatic a manner as possible; first, that the affliction was light, and, secondly, that it was transient, momentary, and soon passing away. His object is to contrast this with the glory that awaited him, as being heavy, and as being also eternal.

Worketh for us - see the note, 2 Corinthians 4:12. Will produce, will result in. The effect of these afflictions is to produce eternal glory. This they do:

(1) By their tendency to wean us from the world;

(2) To purify the heart, by enabling us to 'break off from the sins on account of which God afflicts us;

(3) By disposing us to look to God for consolation and support in our trials;

(4) By inducing us to contemplate the glories of the heavenly world, and thus winning us to seek heaven as our home; and,

(5) Because God has graciously promised to reward his people in heaven as the result of their bearing trials in this life.

It is by affliction that he purifies them Isaiah 48:10; and by trial that he takes their affections from the objects of time and sense, and gives them a relish for the enjoyments which result from the prospect of perfect and eternal glory.

A far more exceeding - καθ ̓ ὑπερβολὴν εἰς ὑπερβολὴν kath' huperbolēn eis huperbolēn. There is not to be found any where a more energetic expression than this. The word (ὑπερβολή huperbolē), used here (whence our word "hyperbole") means properly a throwing, casting, or throwing beyond. In the New Testament it means excess, excellence, eminence; see 2 Corinthians 4:7. "The excellency of the power." The phrase καθ ̓ ὑπερβολὴν kath' huperbolēn means exceedingly, supereminently, Romans 7:13; 1 Corinthians 12:31; 2 Corinthians 1:8; Galatians 1:13. This expression would have been by itself intensive in a high degree. But this was not sufficient to express Paul's sense of the glory which was laid up for Christians. It was not enough for him to use the ordinary highest expression for the superlative to denote the value of the object in his eye. He therefore coins an expression, and adds εἰς ὑπερβολὴν eis huperbolēn. It is not merely eminent; but it is eminent unto eminence; excess unto excess; a hyperbole unto hyperbole - one hyperbole heaped upon another; and the expression means that it is "exceeding exceedingly" glorious; glorious in the highest possible degree - Robinson. Mr. Slade renders it, "infinitely exceeding." The expression is the Hebrew form of denoting the highest superlative; and it means that all hyperboles fail of expressing that eternal glory which remains for the just. It is infinite and boundless. You may pass from one degree to another; from one sublime height to another; but still an infinity remains beyond. Nothing can describe the uppermost height of that glory; nothing can express its infinitude.

Eternal - This stands in contrast with the affliction that is for a moment (παραυτίκα parautika). The one is momentary, transient; so short, even in the longest life, that it may be said to be an instant; the other has no limits to its duration. It is literally everlasting.

Weight - βάρος (baros). This stands opposed to the (ἐλαφρὸν elaphron) light affliction. That was so light that it was a trifle. It was easily borne. It was like the most light and airy objects, which constitute no burden. It is not even here called a burden, or said to be heavy in any degree. This is so heavy as to be a burden. Grotins thinks that the image is taken from gold or silver articles, that are solid and heavy, compared with those that are mixed or plated. But why may it not refer to the insignia of glory and honor; a robe heavy with gold, or a diadem or crown, heavy with gold or diamonds: glory so rich, so profuse as to be heavy? The affliction was light; but the crown, the robe, the adornings in the glorious world were not trifles, or baubles, but solid, substantial, weighty. We apply the word weighty now to that which is valuable and important, compared with that which is of no value, probably because the precious metals and jewels are heavy; and it is by them that we usually estimate the value of objects.

Of glory - (δόξης doxēs). The Hebrew word כבוד kabowd denotes weight as well as glory. And perhaps Paul had that use of the word in his eye in this strong expression. It refers here to the splendor, magnificence, honor, and happiness of the eternal world. In this exceedingly interesting passage, which is worthy of the deepest study of Christians, Paul has set in most beautiful and emphatic contrast the trials of this life and the glories of heaven. It may be profitable to contemplate at a single glance the view which he had of them, that they may be brought distinctly before the mind.

The one is:

continued...

2 Corinthians 4:17 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Heart of the Gospel
Let me give you a parable. In the days of Nero there was great shortness of food in the city of Rome, although there was abundance of corn to be purchased at Alexandria. A certain man who owned a vessel went down to the sea coast, and there he noticed many hungry people straining their eyes toward the sea, watching for the vessels that were to come from Egypt with corn. When these vessels came to the shore, one by one, the poor people wrung their hands in bitter disappointment, for on board the galleys
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886

Conclusion.
NEBICULA est; transibit,"--"It is a little cloud; it will pass away." This was said first, I believe, by Athanasius, of Julian the Apostate who, after a short reign of intense hostility to Christianity, perished with his work, "leaving no wreck behind."[97]97 The same may be applied to all the recent attempts to undermine the faith of humanity in the person of its divine Lord and Saviour. The clouds, great and small, pass away; the sun continues to shine: darkness has its hour; the light is eternal.
Philip Schaff—The Person of Christ

The Patience of Man, which is Right and Laudable and Worthy of the Name...
2. The patience of man, which is right and laudable and worthy of the name of virtue, is understood to be that by which we tolerate evil things with an even mind, that we may not with a mind uneven desert good things, through which we may arrive at better. Wherefore the impatient, while they will not suffer ills, effect not a deliverance from ills, but only the suffering of heavier ills. Whereas the patient who choose rather by not committing to bear, than by not bearing to commit, evil, both make
St. Augustine—On Patience

Edwards -- Spiritual Light
Jonathan Edwards, the New England divine and metaphysician, was born at East Windsor, Connecticut, in 1703. He was graduated early from Yale College, where he had given much attention to philosophy, became tutor of his college, and at nineteen began to preach. His voice and manner did not lend themselves readily to pulpit oratory, but his clear, logical, and intense presentation of the truth produced a profound and permanent effect upon his hearers. He wrote what were considered the most important
Grenville Kleiser—The world's great sermons, Volume 3

Cross References
Psalm 30:5
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Isaiah 26:20
Come, my people, enter into your rooms And close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while Until indignation runs its course.

Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

2 Timothy 2:10
For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.

1 Peter 5:10
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

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