2 Corinthians 1:15
And in this confidence I was minded to come to you before, that you might have a second benefit;
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(15) And in this confidence.—What has been said hitherto paves the way for the explanation of his apparent change of purpose which he is anxious to give, though he will not formally plead at the bar of the tribunal of those who accused or suspected him. It was because he trusted that they would judge him rightly that he had done that which had led some to judge him wrongly. His plan had been at first to go straight by sea from Ephesus to Corinth, then to pass on to Macedonia, thence to return to Corinth, and thence set sail for Jerusalem. When he wrote 1Corinthians 16:5-6, he had already modified his plan by deciding to go to Macedonia first. His original scheme had shown his wish to see as much of the Corinthians as possible. They were to have two visits (“a second favour”), and not one only. Had he shown less regard, he asks, in the change with which he had been taunted?

2 Corinthians 1:15-16. And in this confidence — That is, being confident of this, namely, of our mutual affection to, and esteem for, each other; I was minded — Εβουλομην, I purposed; to come unto you before — Or first, as προτερον seems here to signify. “As soon as the apostle was informed, by some of the family of Chloe, that dissensions had arisen among the Corinthian brethren, he determined to go to Corinth first; that is, before he went into Macedonia. His intention was to go straightway to Corinth by sea, because he wished to be there soon, in the expectation that his presence among the Corinthians would put an end to their divisions, either in the way of persuasion or of punishment. Wherefore, to prepare the Corinthians for his coming, he notified his resolution to them by Timothy and Erastus; but after their departure, having great success in preaching, and the messengers from Corinth arriving with a letter from the sincere part of the church, the apostle judged it prudent to delay his visit to Corinth, to give them who had sinned time to repent. And therefore, instead of going straightway to Corinth, by sea, he resolved to go by the way of Macedonia. This alteration of his purpose he signified to the Corinthians in his first epistle, 1 Corinthians 16:5-7.” That you might have a second benefit — So our translators have rendered δευτεραν χαριν; that is, a further confirmation and edification in gifts and graces, wherewith ye were enriched by my first coming to you. And to pass by you into Macedonia — To make you a short visit in my way thither; and then, having despatched my business in the churches there, to come again to you from Macedonia, and make a longer stay; and of you to be brought (sent) forward toward Judea — When I shall go thither to deliver the money raised by the contribution of the Gentile Christians, for the relief of their distressed Jewish brethren.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.And in his confidence - In this confidence of my integrity, and that you had this favorable opinion of me, and appreciated the principles of my conduct. I did not doubt that you would receive me kindly, and would give me again the tokens of your affection and regard. In this Paul shows that however some of them might regard him, yet that he had no doubt that the majority of the church there would receive him kindly.

I was minded - I willed (ἐβουλόμην eboulomēn); it was my intention.

To come unto you before - Tyndale renders this: "the other time." Paul refers doubtless to the time when he wrote his former Epistle, and when it was his serious purpose, as it was his earnest wish, to visit them again; see 1 Corinthians 16:5. In this purpose he had been disappointed, and he now proceeds to state the reasons why he had not visited them as he had purposed, and to show that it did not arise from any fickleness of mind. His purpose had been at first to pass through Corinth on his way to Macedonia, and to remain some time with them; see 2 Corinthians 1:16. compare 1 Corinthians 16:5-6. This purpose he had now changed; and instead of passing through Corinth on his way to Macedonia, he had gone to Macedonia by the way of Troas 2 Corinthians 2:12; and the Corinthians having, as it would seem, become acquainted with this fact, had charged him with insincerity in the promise, or fickleness in regard to his plans. Probably it had been said by some of his enemies that he had never intended to visit them.

That ye might have a second benefit - Margin, grace. The word used here χάρις charis is that which is commonly rendered grace, and means probably favor, kindness, good-will, beneficence; and especially favor to the undeserving. Here it is evidently used in the sense of gratification, or pleasure. And the idea is, that they had been formerly gratified and benefitted by his residence among them; he had been the means of conferring important favors on them, and he was desirous of being again with them, in order to gratify them by his presence, and that he might be the means of imparting to them other favors. Paul presumed that his presence with them would be to them a source of pleasure, and that his coming would do them good. It is the language of a man who felt assured that he enjoyed, after all, the confidence of the mass of the church there, and that they would regard his being with them as a favor. He had been with them formerly almost two years. His residence there had been pleasant to them and to him; and had been the occasion of important benefits to them. He did not doubt that it would be so again. Tyndale renders this: "that ye might have had a double pleasure." It may be remarked here that several mss. instead of χάριν charin, "grace," read χαράν charan, "joy."

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 [2302]1Co 16:5; also see on [2303]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).

Being confident that my presence with you would be matter of rejoicing both to you and also to me, I purposed: to come unto you before I went into Macedonia, visiting you shortly in my journey thither, that so you might have, a second longer visit in kindness to you. We find, Acts 16:9, that Paul received his first call into Macedonia in a vision; we read again of his passing through Macedonia to go to Jerusalem: the apostle seemeth to speak here of the latter. 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.

And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a {o} second benefit;

(o) Another benefit.

2 Corinthians 1:15-16. Καὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πεποιθ.] and by means of this confidence, viz. ὅτι ἕως τέλους ἐπιγν. κ.τ.λ. in 2 Corinthians 1:13-14. πεποίθησις (2 Corinthians 3:4, 2 Corinthians 8:22, 2 Corinthians 10:2; Ephesians 3:12; Php 3:4; Joseph. Bell. i. 3. 1) is later Greek. See Eustathius, ad Od. iii. p. 114, 41; Thom. Mag. p. 717; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 294 f.

ἐβουλόμην] Paul entertained the plan for his journey, set down in 2 Corinthians 1:16, before the composition of our first Epistle, and he had communicated it to the Corinthians (whether in the first now lost letter, or otherwise, we know not). But before or during the composition of our first Epistle he altered this plan (as we know from 1 Corinthians 16:5) to this extent, that he was not now to go first to Corinth, then to Macedonia, and from thence back to Corinth again (2 Corinthians 1:16), but through Macedonia to Corinth. The plan of travel, 1 Corinthians 16:5, was accordingly not the first (Baur; comp. Lange, apost. Zeitalt. I. p. 200 f.), but the one already altered, which alteration was ascribed to the apostle as indecision. This is intelligible enough from the antagonistic irritation of their minds, and does not require us to presuppose an expression in the alleged intermediate Epistle (Klöpper, p. 21 f.). Chrysostom, Theodoret, and Oecumenius make the apostle say: I had, when I wrote to you 1 Corinthians 16:5, the unexpressed intention to arrive still earlier than I promised, and to reach you even sooner (immediately on the journey towards Macedonia). Quite a mistaken view, since such a mere thought would not have been known to his opponents, and no excuse for his fickleness could therefore have been engrafted on i.

πρότερον] belongs to πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐλθεῖν:[130] I intended to come to you first of all,—not, as I afterwards altered my plan, to the Macedonians first, and then from them to you. Beza, Grotius, Bengel, and others, including Rosenmüller and Rückert, connect πρότ. and ἐβουλ., which, however, on the one hand is opposed to the sense (for Paul cannot say, “I intended formerly to come to you,” since his intention is still the same), and on the other would not accord with ἵνα δευτ. χάρ. ἔχ.; for not the προτερον ἐβουλόμην, but the πρότερον πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐλθεῖν, was to bring in its train a δευτέρα χάρις.

ἵνα δευτέραν χάριν ἔχητε] δευτέραυ corresponds ingeniously to the πρότερον: in order that you might have a second benefit of grace. By χάριν is meant a divine bestowal of grace, with which Paul knew his coming to be connected for the church; for to whatever place he came in his official capacity, he came as the imparter of divine χάρις, Romans 1:11; comp. Romans 15:29. Chrysostom, Oecumenius, and others, including Kypke, Emmerling, Flatt, and Bleek (in the Stud. u. Krit. 1830, p. 622), hold that χάρις is equivalent to χάρα (and hence this is actually the reading of B L, some min., and Theodoret). Certainly χάρις also means pleasure, joy, and is, as in Tob 7:16, the opposite of λύπη (Eur. Hel. 661, and more frequently in Pindar; see Duncan, Lex., ed. Rost, p. 1191; also in Plato, Ast, Lex. III. p. 538), but never in the N. T. This sense, besides, would be unsuitable to the apostle’s delicate and modest style of expression elsewhere. Nor, again, is a benefit on the part of the apostle meant (Grotius, Rosenmüller, Schrader, Billroth, comp. also Hofmann), because the expression is only in keeping with his affection and humility (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:10) if a divine display of grace is meant. The comparison with 1 Corinthians 16:3 is therefore not to the point, because there a χάρις is named, of which the readers were givers. But what does he mean by δευτέραν χάριν? Many answer with Estius: “ut ex secundo meo adventu secundam acciperetis gratiam, qui dudum accepistis primam, quando primum istuc veniens ad fidem vos converti.” Comp. Pelagius, Calvin, Wolf, Mosheim, Bengel, Emmerling. But against this it may be urged: (1) historically, that Paul certainly had been already twice in Corinth before our two Epistles (see Introd. § 2); and (2) from the connection, that the δευτέρα χάρις in this sense can by no means appear as an aim conditioned by the πρότερον; for even a later coming would have had a δευτέρα χάρις in this sense as its result. This second reason is decisive, even if, with Schott, Erörterung, etc., p. 58 ff., and Anger, rat. temp. p. 72 f., we were to set aside the former by the supposition: “apostolum intra annum illum cum dimidio, quem, quum primum Corinthi esset, ibi transegit, per breve aliquod temporis spatium in regiones vicinas discessisse; sic enim si res se habuit, Paulus, etsi bis ad Corinthios venerat, ita ut in secunda, quam iis misit, epistola adventum tertium polliceri posset: tamen, quoniam per totum illud intervallum Corinthi potissimum docuerat, simile beneficium, quod in itinere seriore in eos collocaturus erat, jure secundum appellavit,” Anger, l.c. p. 73. The right solution results from 2 Corinthians 1:16, which is appended by the epexegetical καί, viz., that the δευτέρα χάρις appears as setting in through the πάλιν ἀπὸ Μακεδ. ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς. Paul had intended on his projected journey to visit Corinth twice, and had therefore proposed to himself to come to the Corinthians first of all (not first to the Macedonians), in order that they in this event might have a second χάρις on his return from Macedonia (the first χάρις they were to have on his journey thither). From this it is at once obvious: (1) how superfluous is the linguistically incorrect supposition that δευτέραν is here equivalent to διπλῆν, as Bleek and Neander, following Chrysostom and Theodoret,[131] take it; (2) how erroneous is the opinion of Rückert, that ἵνα δευτ. χάριν ἔχητε is put in a wrong place, and should properly only come behind ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, 2 Corinthians 1:16. No; according to the epexegetical ͅκαί, 2 Corinthians 1:16, διʼ ὑμῶν ἀπελθεῖν εἰς Μακεδ. serves to give exact and clear information as parallel to the πρότερον πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐλθεῖν, and then καὶ πάλιν ἀπὸ Μακ. ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς as parallel to the ἵνα δευτέρ. χάριν ἔχητε. Comp. Baur, I. p. 338, ed. 2.

[130] The position of πρότερον, immediately after ἐβουλ. (Lachmann, Tischendorf, Rückert), which has preponderating evidence, and is therefore to be preferred, makes no difference in this respect.

[131] In other respects Theodoret, Bleek, and Neander, as also Billroth, Olshausen, and Rückert, agree in thinking that δευτέραν refers to the repeated visit to Corinth which had been intended after returning from Macedonia. But Chrys., quite against the context, explains the double joy as καὶ τὴν διὰ τῶν γραμμάτων καὶ τὴν διὰ τῆς παρουσίας. So also Erasmus, Vatablus, and others.2 Corinthians 1:15-22. HIS CHANGE OF PLAN WAS NOT DUE TO FICKLENESS. καὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πεποιθήσει ἐβουλόμην κ.τ.λ.: and in this confidence (sc., that they would acknowledge his sincerity) I was minded to come before (sc., before he went to Macedonia) unto you, that ye might have a second benefit. The circumstances seem to have been as follows. While St. Paul was at Ephesus (Acts 19) his intention had been to cross the Ægean to Corinth, thence to visit Macedonia, and then to come back to Corinth on his way to Judæa with the contributions which he had gathered (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:3-4). The Corinthians would thus have enjoyed a “second benefit” (cf. Romans 1:11; Romans 15:29), inasmuch as he would have visited them both on his way to Macedonia, and on his return journey. This project he had communicated to them, probably in the letter which is lost (1 Corinthians 5:9). But he received bad news from Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:11), and he wrote 1 Cor. in reply. In this letter (1 Corinthians 16:5) he incidentally mentioned that he had changed his plans, and that he now proposed to travel from Ephesus to Corinth viâ Macedonia, the route which he adopted in the sequel (Acts 20:1 ff., chap. 2 Corinthians 2:12, 2 Corinthians 7:5). When the Corinthians heard of this, they began to reproach him with fickleness of purpose (chap. 2 Corinthians 1:17), and the charge came to his ears. We have his defence in the verses (15–22) before us.15–24. St Paul’s reason for putting off his coming

15. And in this confidence] It was the conviction of this community of interest which made St Paul desire to visit Corinth. It was (see 2 Corinthians 1:23) the consciousness that all his converts did not realize it which made him anxious to try the effect of a letter first. See ch. 2 Corinthians 2:3, 2 Corinthians 7:8-12.

I was minded to come unto you before] i.e. before going to Macedonia.

that you might have a second benefit] Lit. grace. These words would be more intelligible had they been placed at the end of the next verse. By the ‘second benefit’ is meant the effects of the visit which the Apostle hoped to have paid to the Corinthians after his return from Macedonia. It has been explained, (1) of the favour of the Apostle’s presence, (2) of the outpouring of God’s grace or favour which St Paul, as an Apostle of Christ, had the privilege of imparting. See Romans 1:11. Tyndale, who is followed by Cranmer and the Geneva Version, renders one pleasure more. Wiclif, the (Rhemish a) secunde grace.2 Corinthians 1:15. Τάντῃ, in this) of which 2 Corinthians 1:12 treats at the beginning.—πρότερον, before) We have frequent mention of this intention in the former epistle; it is construed with I was minded.—δευτέραν χάριν, a second benefit) They had had their first benefit [exhibited by Divine help; 2 Corinthians 1:12] at the first visit of Paul: comp. thy first love, Revelation 2:4. He had designed a second benefit for them at his second visit. Grace is in itself one; but in being had [in the having of it], there is a first, second grace, etc.: comp. John 1:16. [Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.]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. Before (πρότερον)

Rather, first of all. Instead of going first to the Macedonians, as he afterward decided. See 1 Corinthians 16:5.

Second benefit (δευτέραν χάριν)

Benefit is, literally, grace. Not a mere pleasurable experience through Paul's visit, but a divine bestowal of grace. Compare Romans 1:11. Second refers to his original plan to visit Corinth twice, on his way to Macedonia and on his return.

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