2 Corinthians 1:6
And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
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(6) And whether we be afflicted . . .—The better MSS. present some variations in the order of the clauses, some of them giving the words “and our hope of you is steadfast” after “which we also suffer” in this verse. The variation hardly affects the sense in any appreciable degree. That sense is that each stage of the Apostle’s experience, that of affliction no less than that of consolation, tended to make others sharers in the latter and not in the former.

For your consolation and salvation.—The latter word is added as presenting, in modern phrase, the objective side of the result of which St. Paul speaks, while the former gives prominence to the subjective. There was not only the sense of being comforted: there was also the actual deliverance from all real evil, expressed by the word “salvation.” But this deliverance is seen, not in a mere escape from, or avoidance of, sufferings, but in a patient, steadfast endurance of them.

Which is effectual.—Better, which worketh. The word is the same as in “faith working by love” in Galatians 5:6.

Which we also suffer.—What these are has not yet been specifically stated. It is assumed that the sufferings of all Christians have much in common. All have to suffer persecution from without (Acts 14:22). All have anxieties, sorrows, disappointments, which bring a keener pain than the ills that threaten the spoiling of goods or even life itself.

1:1-11 We are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The Lord is able to give peace to the troubled conscience, and to calm the raging passions of the soul. These blessings are given by him, as the Father of his redeemed family. It is our Saviour who says, Let not your heart be troubled. All comforts come from God, and our sweetest comforts are in him. He speaks peace to souls by granting the free remission of sins; and he comforts them by the enlivening influences of the Holy Spirit, and by the rich mercies of his grace. He is able to bind up the broken-hearted, to heal the most painful wounds, and also to give hope and joy under the heaviest sorrows. The favours God bestows on us, are not only to make us cheerful, but also that we may be useful to others. He sends comforts enough to support such as simply trust in and serve him. If we should be brought so low as to despair even of life, yet we may then trust God, who can bring back even from death. Their hope and trust were not in vain; nor shall any be ashamed who trust in the Lord. Past experiences encourage faith and hope, and lay us under obligation to trust in God for time to come. And it is our duty, not only to help one another with prayer, but in praise and thanksgiving, and thereby to make suitable returns for benefits received. Thus both trials and mercies will end in good to ourselves and others.And whether we be afflicted - If we are afflicted; or, our affliction is for this purpose. This verse is designed to show one of the reasons of the sufferings which the apostles had endured; and it is a happy specimen of Paul's skill in his epistles. He shows that all his trials were for their welfare and would turn to their benefit. He suffered that they might be comforted; he was afflicted for their advantage. This assurance would tend to conciliate their favor, and strengthen their affection for him, as it would show them that he was disinterested. We are under the deepest obligations of gratitude to one who suffers for us; and there is nothing that will bind us more tenderly to anyone than the fact that he has been subjected to great calamity and trial on our account. This is one of the reasons why the Christian feels so tenderly his obligation to the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is for your consolation and salvation - It will be useful for your consolation; or it is endured in order to secure your com fort, and promote your salvation. Paul had suffered in Ephesus, and it is to this that he here particularly refers. He does not mean to say that his sufferings there were particularly for the comfort of the Corinthians; but that they had been endured in the general purpose of promoting the salvation of people, and that they, together with others, would reap the benefit of his trials. He endured them in order to spread the true religion, and they would be benefitted by that, and be sides, he would be the better able by his trials to administer to them the true consolations of the gospel in their sufferings; and his example, and experience, and counsel, would enable them to bear up under their own trials in a proper manner.

Which is effectual ... - Margin, "wrought." The Greek word ἐνεργουμένης energoumenēs denotes here "efficacious, operating to, producing;" and the phrase denotes that their salvation would be effected, worked out, or secured by the patient endurance of such sufferings. Those sufferings were necessary; and a patient endurance of them would tend to promote their salvation. The doctrine that the patient endurance of affliction tends to promote salvation, is every where taught in the Bible; see the notes on Romans 5:3-5.

In the enduring - By your enduring; or by your patience in such sufferings. You are called to endure the same kind of sufferings; and patience in such trials will tend to promote your salvation.

Or whether we be comforted ... - One design of our being comforted is, that we may be able to impart consolation to you in the times of similar trial and calamity; see 2 Corinthians 1:4. The sentiment of the whole passage is, that their eternal welfare would be promoted by the example of the apostles in their trials, and by the consolations which they would be able to impart as the result of their afflictions.

6. we … afflicted … for your consolation—exemplifying the communion of saints. Their hearts were, so to speak, mirrors reflecting the likenesses of each other (Php 2:26, 27) [Bengel]. Alike the afflictions and the consolations of the apostle tend, as in him so in them, as having communion with him, to their consolation (2Co 1:4; 4:15). The Greek for "afflicted" is the same as before, and ought to be translated, "Whether we be in tribulation."

which is effectual—literally, "worketh effectually."

in the enduring, &c.—that is, in enabling you to endure "the same sufferings which we also suffer." Here follows, in the oldest manuscripts (not as English Version in the beginning of 2Co 1:7), the clause, "And our hope is steadfast on your behalf."

And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; our sufferings tend to your consolation and salvation, your souls being upheld and supported by the sight of our boldness, and courage, and confidence in our sufferings: thus, Philippians 1:13,14: My bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; and many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. And his sufferings also were for their salvation, as they encouraged them to suffer also; and, if we suffer with him, we shall reign with him; and our light and momentary afflictions shall work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 2 Corinthians 4:17.

Which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and (saith the apostle) our suffering hath had a good effect amongst you, while you, with faith and patience, endure sufferings of the same sort which we endure and suffer.

Or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation; and if we be supported, upheld, and comforted under our sufferings, the advantage of this also redoundeth to you, as you are encouraged to suffer for the gospel and profession of Christ, from seeing how God supporteth us under our sufferings. And whether we be afflicted it is for your consolation,.... The apostle repeats and explains the end of both his comforts and his troubles, and shows, by a dilemma, a strong way of arguing, that the afflictions and consolations, the adversity and prosperity of him, and the other ministers of the Gospel, were for the good of the saints: and it is as if he should say, when you see us continue to preach the Gospel with so much boldness and cheerfulness, amidst so many reproaches, afflictions, and persecutions, you must be the more established in the faith, and confirmed in the truth of the Gospel; and this cannot fail of ministering much peace, satisfaction, and comfort to your minds. This animates you to hold fast the rejoicing of your hope, and the profession of your faith firm unto the end; and with the greater cheerfulness and pleasure meet with, and endure afflictions yourselves for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel: nay, he says, that the afflictions of Christ's ministers were not only for their consolation, but also for their

salvation, which is effectual, or is effectually wrought

in, or by

the enduring, patient bearing,

of the same sufferings which we also suffer. Not that the afflictions of the saints, or of others, and their patient enduring of them, are the cause of their salvation; for Christ is only the efficient cause, he is the sole author of spiritual and eternal salvation; but these are means the Spirit of God makes use of, as he does of the word and ordinances, to bring the saints to a satisfaction as to their interest in it, and are the ordinary way in which they are brought to the possession of it.

Or whether we be comforted it is for your consolation and salvation: for whatsoever comfort God is pleased to communicate to us, it is not kept in our breasts, and for our own use, but we immediately and readily impart it to you, that you may share with us the advantage of it, and be comforted together with us; that your faith in the doctrine of salvation may be established, your hope of it increased, and that you may be more comfortably assured you are in the way to it, and shall enjoy it.

{4} And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is {d} effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

(4) He denies that either his afflictions with which he was often afflicted, or the consolations which he received of God, may justly be despised, seeing that the Corinthians both ought and might take great occasion to be strengthened and encouraged by either of them.

(d) Although salvation is given to us freely, yet because there is a way appointed to us by which we must come to it, which is the race of an innocent and upright life which we must run, therefore we are said to work our salvation; Php 2:12. And because it is God alone that of his free good will works all things in us, therefore is he said to work the salvation in us by that very same way by which we must pass to everlasting life, after we have once overcome all incumbrances.

2 Corinthians 1:6-7. Δέ] leading on to the gain, which the two, this affliction and this comforting, bring to the readers.

Be it that we are afflicted, we are afflicted for the sake of
YOUR consolation and salvation; it redounds to this, that you are to be comforted and advanced in the attainment of Messianic salvation. In how far? According to Erasmus, Calvin, Estius, Calovius, Wetstein, and many, including Rosenmüller, Flatt, Emmerling, Reiche: through the example of the apostle in his confidence toward God, etc. But the context has as little of this as of what is imported by Billroth and Olshausen: “in so far as I suffer in the service of the gospel, through which comfort and salvation come to you;” so also Hofmann. Rückert, without ground, gives up all attempt at explanation. Paul himself has given the explanation in 2 Corinthians 1:4 by εἰς τὸ δύνασθαι ἡμᾶς παρακαλεῖν κ.τ.λ. Hence the sense of the definition of the aim ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμῶν παρακλ. κ. σωτ.: “in order that we may be enabled to comfort you, when ye come into affliction, and to further your salvation.” For this end we are put in a position by experience of suffering, as well as by that, which is its other side, by our experience of comfort in the school of suffering (εἵτε παρακαλούμεθα κ.τ.λ.).

ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμ. παρακλ. τῆς ἐνεργ. κ.τ.λ.] i.e. in order to be able to give you the comfort, which is efficacious, etc. Paul does not again add κ. σωτηρίας here, because he has still to append to παρακλήσεως a more precise and detailed explanation, after which it was impracticable to bring in καὶ σωτηρίας; and it could be left out all the more readily, as it did not belong essentially to the representatio.

τῆς ἐνεργουμ. ἐν ὑπομ. κ.τ.λ.] which is efficacious in patient endurance of the same sufferings, which we also suffer. ἐνεργουμ., as in the whole N. T. (2 Corinthians 4:12; Romans 7:5; Galatians 5:6; Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; Jam 5:16), is middle, not passive (3 Esdr. 2:20; Polyb. i. 13. 5, ix. 12. 3), as it is here erroneously taken by Oecumenius, Theophylact, Castalio, Piscator, Calvin, Grotius, Estius, and others, including Rosenmüller, Emmerling, Billroth, Rückert, Ewald.[123] For the distinction between active (personal efficacy) and middle in Paul, see Winer, p. 242 [E. T. 273].

ἐν ὑπομονῇ] denotes that by virtue of providing which the παράκλησις is efficacious. It is therefore the working of the Christian ΠΑΡΆΚΛΗΣΙς, which we experience when Ἡ ΘΛΊΨΙς ὙΠΟΜΟΝῊΝ ΚΑΤΕΡΓΆΖΕΤΑΙ, Romans 5:3.

] in so far, namely, as they are likewise sufferings of Christ. The sufferings appointed to the readers are meant, which do not differ in kind from the sufferings of Paul (and Timothy) (ὧν κ. ἡμεῖς πάσχομεν). Billroth, Olshausen, Neander understand the sufferings of the apostle himself, in so far as these were jointly felt by all believers as their own in virtue of their fellowship of love with him. Compare Chrysostom on 2 Corinthians 1:7, also de Wette, who refers it partly to the foreboding, partly to the sympathetic joint-suffering. But, then, Paul would have been utterly illogical in placing the καί before ἩΜΕῖς; for it would, in fact, be sufferings which the readers also had suffered (with Paul through their loving sympathy). How erroneous this exposition is, is shown, besides, by 2 Corinthians 1:4. It does not appear from this passage, we may add, that at that time the Corinthians had otherwise to endure affliction for the gospel’s sake. Paul has rather in view the case of such affliction occurring in the future, as the following καὶ ἡ ἐλπὶς κ.τ.λ. proves. Comp. on 2 Corinthians 13:11.

] is not to be placed in a parenthesis, with Griesbach and others, since ΕἸΔΌΤΕς is connected not with ΠΆΣΧΟΜΕΝ, but with Ἡ ἘΛΠῚς ἩΜῶΝ. The contents of 2 Corinthians 1:6, namely, is not the expression of a present experience undergone by the readers, but the expression of good hope as to the readers for the future, that what is said by εἴτε δὲ θλιβόμεθαπάσχομεν will be verified in their case in afflictions which would come on them for Christ’s sake, so that they would in that case obtain from the apostle, out of his experience of suffering and consolation, the comfort which through patience is efficacious in such sufferings. Therefore he continues: and our hope is firm on account of you. ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν does not belong either simply to Ἡ ἘΛΠ. ὙΜ., or simply to ΒΕΒΑΊΑ (Billroth), but to the whole thought of Ἡ ἘΛΠ. ὙΜ. ΒΕΒ. On ὙΠΈΡ, comp. Polyb. xi. 20. 6, xiv. 1. 5, and the contrary expression ΦΟΒΕῖΣΘΑΙ ὙΠΈΡ ΤΙΝΟς, propter aliquem in metu esse.

εἰδότες] refers, according to a common anacolouthon, to Ἡ ἘΛΠῚς ἩΜ., in which ἩΜΕῖς is the logical subject.[124] See Stall-baum, ad Apol. p. 21 C, Phaedr. p. 241 D, Phaedo, p. 81 A; Fritzsche, Dissert. II. p. 49. Comp. on Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 2:2. It introduces the certainty on which rests the hope just expressed: for we know that you, as you are sharers of the sufferings, are sharers also of the consolation. To have a share in the sufferings, and also in the consolation, to be excepted neither from the one nor from the other, is the appointed lot of the Christian. Paul knows this in regard to his readers, and he grounds on it the firm hope for them, that if they shall have their share in bearing sufferings, they will in that case not lack the effectual consolation; to impart which consolation he is himself qualified (2 Corinthians 1:4) and destined (2 Corinthians 1:6) by his own experience of suffering and consolation. Accordingly, κοινωνοὶ κ.τ.λ. is contextually not to be explained of an ideal, sympathetic communion, and that in the sufferings and consolation of Paul (ὥσπερ γὰρ τὰ παθήματα τὰ ἡμέτερα ὑμέτερα εἶναι νομίζετε, οὕτω καὶ τὴν παράκλησιν τὴν ἡμετέραν ὑμετέραν, Chrysostom. Comp. Theodoret, Grotius, Billroth, Olshausen, and others), but τὰ παθήματα and ἡ παράκλησις are to be taken generically. In both kinds of experience the Christian has a share; he must suffer; but he is not excluded from the consolation, on the contrary, he partakes also in it.

[123] The passive interpretation would be necessary with the reading of Lachmann, since salvation is the goal of the state of grace, and hence is wrought (Php 2:12-13; Matthew 10:22; Jam 1:12); but nowhere is it conceived and represented as working in patience, and the like. This tells against that reading.

[124] With Lachmann’s reading it is referred by Reiche and Ewald to the Corinthians (ὑμῶν); since you know, etc.2 Corinthians 1:6-7. We follow the reading of the Revisers (see crit. note) and translate: But whether we be afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or whether we be comforted, it is for your comfort, which worketh in the patient endurance of the same things which we also suffer: and our hope for you is steadfast; knowing that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so also are ye of the comfort. This is an expansion of the εἰς τὸ δύνασθαι κ.τ.λ. of 2 Corinthians 1:4 : the Apostle’s afflictions and consolations alike are for the sake of his converts; they and he have a common fellowship in Christ, with all which that involves of sympathy with each other. The nearest parallel (see reff.) is Ephesians 3:13, διὸ αἰτοῦμαι μὴ ἐνκακεῖν ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσίν μου ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, ἥτις ἐστὶν δόξα ὑμῶν. For the constr. εἴτεεἴτε cf. chap. 2 Corinthians 5:13 and 1 Corinthians 12:26. Note that ἐνεργεῖσθαι is always in the N.T. middle, not passive, and is used intransitively (see Romans 7:5, chap. 2 Corinthians 4:12, Galatians 5:6, Ephesians 3:20, Colossians 1:29, 1 Thessalonians 2:13); when the verb is used of God it is always in the active voice (1 Corinthians 12:6, Galatians 2:8, etc.).—ἐν ὑπομονῇ: ὑπομονή means expectation or hopeful waiting in the canonical books of the LXX; but is often used for steadfast endurance in Ecclus. and in 4 Macc. (see 4Ma 17:12). It is a favourite word with St. Paul in this latter sense, in which it is always used in the N.T. (cf., e.g., Luke 21:19, 1 Timothy 6:11); for the juxtaposition of ὑπομονή and παράκλησις see Romans 15:5.—τῶν f1αὐτῶν παθημάτων: the sufferings which the Corinthian brethren must endure are here represented as the same as those of the Apostle; i.e., the reference is not to any special affliction such as that alluded to in 2 Corinthians 1:8, but to the troubles which came upon him in the general discharge of his Apostolic office and upon all those who were engaged in the struggle against Judaism on the one side and heathendom on the other.6. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation] The same may be said of every kind of suffering endured for the cause of God and of truth. It is not merely, as in Hebrews 12:6 (Cf. Deuteronomy 8:5), that ‘whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth’ for his own sake, but that the sufferings one man endures for a good cause are the source of profit to others. Cf. chap. 2 Corinthians 4:15-16; Ephesians 3:13; 2 Timothy 2:10.

which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer] Is effectual may either be translated passively (as Chrysostom and the margin of A. V.) is wrought out, or, with most commentators, as middle, works actively in you. That is either (1) consolation and safety from the power of evil are wrought in you by the endurance of suffering, or (2) that consolation (or rather encouragement) and safety from evil work themselves out by the endurance of suffering. The former gives the simpler meaning, the latter is more according to the usus loquendi of the N. T.2 Corinthians 1:6. Εἴτε δὲ θλιβόμεθα, κ.τ.λ., and, whether we be afflicted, etc.) The meaning is this, εἴτε δὲ θλιβόμεθα (θλιβόμεθα) ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμῶν παρακλήσεως καὶ σωτηρίας· εἰτε παρακαλούμεθα (παρακαλούμεθα) ὑπὲρ κτλ, and whether we be afflicted (we are afflicted) for your consolation and salvation; or whether we be comforted (we are comforted) for your consolation, which operates in enabling you to endure the same adversities which we also endure, and our hope for you is stedfast; knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings (adversities), so also of the consolation. As in Php 1:16; Php 1:19, θλίψις and σωτηρία are opposed to each other; so here θλίψις, the affliction of the ministers of the Gospel, and the consolation and salvation of the Corinthians, are opposed to each other, in the same way as the death of the former [the ministers] and the life of the latter [the Corinthians], 2 Corinthians 4:12. Furthermore, as though consolation and salvation of the Corinthians depend on the affliction of the ministers of the Gospel; so the consolation of the Corinthians, and the hope of the ministers in their behalf, depend on the consolation of the ministers. The participle knowing depends on the verbs, we are afflicted, and we are comforted, understood. Thus the members of this period are consistent with one another, of which the various transpositions are noticed in the Apparatus.[1] We shall now explain some of these words in particular.—ΕἼΤΕ, whether) sometimes we are more sensible of adversities, sometimes of consolation.—ὑμῶν, your) The communion of saints, cultivated in the heart of Paul, Titus, the Corinthians, and other Churches, is admirably represented in this epistle, 2 Corinthians 2:3, 2 Corinthians 4:15, 2 Corinthians 6:12, 2 Corinthians 7:7; 2 Corinthians 7:13, 2 Corinthians 9:12. These hearts were, so to speak, mirrors reflecting the likenesses of each other; comp. Php 2:26-27.—παρακλήσεως, consolation) in the soul.—σωτηρίας, salvation) in fact [in reality].—τῆς ἐνεργουμένης) in the Middle voice, 2 Corinthians 4:12; Romans 7:5.—ΤῶΝ ΑὐΤῶΝ) the same, in point of number. The adversities [sufferings] of Paul were the same as those of the Corinthians, who were in the heart of Paul: 2 Corinthians 6:12; and the fruit of those sufferings redounded to their advantage, although they [the sufferings] had prevented him from coming to Corinth. A mutual participation [in sufferings and consolation] is declared.—πάσχομεν, ΚΑῚ Ἡ ἘΛΠῚς, we suffer, and the hope) Hope is usually joined with the mention of afflictions and patience, 2 Corinthians 1:10; Romans 5:3-4; Romans 15:4.—βεβαία, is stedfast) It obtained stedfastness through adversity.

[1] BD (Λ) Gfg Syr. later, place εἲτε παρακαλούμεθα ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμῶν παρακλήσεως καὶ σωτηρίας after ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, and before εἰδότες. AC Vulg. Syr. Memph. omit καὶ σωτηριας. (Many MSS. of Vulg. have the et Salute), and place the rest of the words before τῆς ἐνεργουμένης. Rec. Text without good authority, places the words before καὶ ἡ ἐλπὶς.—ED.Verse 6. - And; rather, but. The verse expresses the additional thought that the comfort (i.e. encouragement and strengthening) of the apostle, as well as his affliction, was not only designed for his own spiritual training, but was the source of direct blessing to his converts, because it enabled him, both by example (Philippians 1:14) and by the lessons of experience, to strengthen others in affliction, and so to further their salvation by teaching them how to endure (Romans 5:34). The affliction brings encouragement, and so works endurance in us, and, by our example and teaching, in you. And whether we be, etc.

The MSS. differ in their arrangement of this verse. The main points of difference may be seen by comparing the A.V. and Rev. The sense is not affected by the variation.

Is effectual (ἐνεργουμένης)

See on Mark 6:14; see on James 5:16.

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