2 Corinthians 10:1
Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
X.

(1) Now I Paul myself beseech you.—His thoughts, as has been said, have travelled back to Corinth. The stinging words which Titus had reported to him (see Note on 2Corinthians 10:10) vex his soul. He speaks in the tone of the suppressed indignation which shows itself in a keen incisive irony. The opening formula is one which he reserves as emphasising an exceptionally strong emotion (Galatians 5:2; Ephesians 3:1; Philemon 1:19).

By the meekness and gentleness of Christ.—On the precise ethical significance of the former word see Note on Matthew 5:5; on that of the second, on Acts 24:4. The temper described by the latter is that of one who does not press his rights, but acts in the spirit of equitable concession. The use of the formula of adjuration implies (1) that he felt how the opponents of whom he is about to speak were lacking in those two excellencies; (2) that he could appeal to what they knew of the personal character of Jesus as possessing them. This knowledge, it is obvious, must have rested on a general acquaintance with the facts of the Gospel history, like that implied in his treatment of the Lord’s Supper in 1Corinthians 11:23-25; and of the Resurrection in 1Corinthians 15:1-7; and in his reference to our Lord’s teaching in Acts 20:35.

Who in presence am base among you.—Literally, in personi.e., in personal appearance. Possibly, however, the translators may have used the word “presence” in this sense. So Bacon speaks of “dignity of presence.” The fact that “outward appearance” is given in the margin as an alternative reading, suggests, however, that though they changed the word, they meant what Cranmer and the Geneva version had expressed by “when I am present with you.” For “base,” read downcast, or of low estate. We have already seen, in 2Corinthians 7:6 a reference to the offensive word.

But being absent am bold toward you.—This also was one of the taunts. “It was easy to be bold at a distance; but would he have the courage to face them? Was not his delay in coming a proof that he was shirking that encounter?”

2 Corinthians 10:1-3. Now, &c. — Hitherto St. Paul’s discourse, in this epistle, was chiefly directed to those at Corinth who acknowledged his apostleship, and who had obeyed his orders, signified to them in his former letter. But in this and the remaining chapters he addresses the false teachers, and such of the faction as adhered to them, speaking to them with great authority, and threatening to punish them by his miraculous power, if they did not immediately repent. The different characters therefore of the two sorts of persons who composed the Corinthian Church, must be carefully attended to, otherwise this part of the epistle will appear a direct contradiction to what goes before. I Paul myself — A strongly emphatical expression; beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ — Our lowly and condescending Saviour; that meekness and gentleness which I have learned from his example, and desire to exercise toward the most unreasonable of my enemies; who in presence am base among you — According to the representation of some, and despised for the meanness of my appearance; but being absent am bold toward you — Using great freedom and authority in my letters. The false teachers, it seems, and their party, ridiculing the apostle’s threatenings in his former letter, had said that he was all meekness and humility when present among them; but very assuming and bold by letters, when absent, which they represented as wise carnal policy. To this the apostle here refers, and beseeches them that they would not compel him to be bold, and to exert his apostolical authority against some, who, on account of his meekness when present with them, had calumniated him as a person who walked after the flesh, or acted in a cowardly and crafty manner. For (he says) though he walked in the flesh — Inhabited a mortal body, and consequently was not free from human weakness, yet he assured them he did not war against idolaters and unbelievers, against the world and the devil; after the flesh — By any carnal weapons or worldly methods; but by such as were far more powerful. Though the apostle here, and in several other parts of this epistle, speaks in the plural number, for the sake of modesty and decency, and because he had associated Timothy with himself in this address to the Corinthians, yet he principally means himself. On him were these reflections cast, and it is his own authority which he is vindicating.10:1-6 While others thought meanly, and spake scornfully of the apostle, he had low thoughts, and spake humbly of himself. We should be aware of our own infirmities, and think humbly of ourselves, even when men reproach us. The work of the ministry is a spiritual warfare with spiritual enemies, and for spiritual purposes. Outward force is not the method of the gospel, but strong persuasions, by the power of truth and the meekness of wisdom. Conscience is accountable to God only; and people must be persuaded to God and their duty, not driven by force. Thus the weapons of our warfare are very powerful; the evidence of truth is convincing. What opposition is made against the gospel, by the powers of sin and Satan in the hearts of men! But observe the conquest the word of God gains. The appointed means, however feeble they appear to some, will be mighty through God. And the preaching of the cross, by men of faith and prayer, has always been fatal to idolatry, impiety, and wickedness.Now I Paul myself beseech you - I entreat you who are members of the church not to give me occasion for the exercise of severity in discipline. I have just expressed my confidence in the church in general, and my belief that you will act in accordance with the rules of the gospel. But I cannot thus speak of all. There are some among you who have spoken with contempt of my authority and my claims as an apostle. Of them I cannot speak in this manner; but instead of commanding them I entreat them not to give me occasion for the exercise of discipline.

By the meekness and gentleness of Christ - In view of the meekness and mildness of the Redeemer; or desiring to imitate his gentleness and kindness. Paul wished to imitate that. He did not wish to have occasion for severity. He desired at all times to imitate, and to exhibit the gentle feelings of the Saviour. He had no pleasure in severity; and he did not desire to exhibit it.

Who in presence - Margin, In outward appearance. It may either mean that when present among them he appeared, according to their representation, to be humble, mild, gentle 2 Corinthians 10:10; or that in his external appearance he had this aspect; see on 2 Corinthians 10:10. Most probably it means that they had represented him, as timid when among them, and afraid to exercise discipline, however much he had threatened it.

Am base among you - The word used here (ταπεινὸς tapeinos) usually means low, humble, poor. Here it means timid, modest, the opposite of boldness. Such was formerly the meaning of the English word base. It was applied to those of low degree or rank; of humble birth; and stood opposed to those of elevated rank or dignity. Now it is commonly used to denote that which is degraded or worthless; of mean spirit; vile; and stands opposed to that which is manly and noble. But Paul did not mean to use it here in that sense. He meant to say that they regarded him as timid and afraid to execute the punishment which he had threatened, and as manifesting a spirit which was the opposite of boldness. This was doubtless a charge which they brought against him; but we are not necessarily to infer that it was true. All that it proves is, that he was modest and unobtrusive, and that they interpreted this as timidity and lack of spirit.

But being absent am bold toward you - That is, in my letters; see on 2 Corinthians 10:10. This they charged him with, that he was bold enough when away from them, but that he would be tame enough when he should meet them face to face, and that they had nothing to fear from him.

CHAPTER 10

2Co 10:1-18. He Vindicates His Apostolic Authority against Those Who Depreciated Him for His Personal Appearance. He Will Make His Power Felt When He Comes. He Boasts Not, as They, Beyond His Measure.

1. I Paul myself—no longer "we," "us," "our" (2Co 9:11): I who am represented by depreciators as "base," I, the same Paul, of my own accord "beseech you"; or rather "entreat," "exhort" you for your sake. As "I beseech you" (a distinct Greek verb, 2Co 10:2) for my sake.

by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—He mentions these graces of Christ especially (Ps 18:35; Mt 11:29), as on account of his imitation of them in particular he was despised [Grotius]. He entreats them by these, in order to show that though he must have recourse to more severe measures, he is naturally inclined to gentle ones after Christ's example [Menochius]. "Meekness" is more in the mind internally; "gentleness" in the external behavior, and in relation to others; for instance, the condescending yieldingness of a superior to an inferior, the former not insisting on his strict rights [Trench]. Bengel explains it, "By the meekness and gentleness derived by me from Christ," not from my own nature: he objects to understanding it of Christ's meekness and gentleness, since nowhere else is "gentleness" attributed to Him. But though the exact Greek word is not applied to Him, the idea expressed by it is (compare Isa 40:11; Mt 12:19, 20).

in presence—in personal appearance when present with you.

base—Greek, "lowly"; timid, humbly diffident: opposed to "bold." "Am" stands here by ironical concession for "am reputed to be" (compare 2Co 10:10).2 Corinthians 10:1-11 Paul entreateth the Corinthians not to leave him

cause to exert against them that spiritual power,

with which he was armed, and meant to chastise those

who undervalued his person and apostolical character.

2 Corinthians 10:12-18 He pointeth out the difference between those who,

for want of looking beyond themselves, were arrogant

and vain intruding into, and taking merit from, the

labours of others, and himself, who kept strictly

within the province allotted him by God, and,

avoiding self-commendation, sought honour from the

commendation of Christ.

Chapter Introduction Hitherto the apostle, who in his former Epistle had blamed this church for so many things, and dealt sharply with them, in this Epistle hath treated them as if they had been a people that had had no faults, or none but what, in obedience to his former Epistle they had reformed, and become a new lump: which argueth, that the major part of the members of it were a good and an obedient people, by whose prevalent vote they had reformed much that was amiss. But in these four last chapters, to let us know that there was yet some of the old leaven amongst them, he useth another style; taking notice, that he understood there was amongst them another (though possibly the lesser) party who had much vilified him; and justifying himself against their whisperings and calumnies, not witlmut some sharp reflections upon them.

Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ: meekness respecteth the spirit or inward man, being a virtue that moderateth inward anger and rash passions.

Gentleness more respecteth the outward conversation. The apostle mentioneth both these virtues, as eminent in Christ, who is our great example, and to whom all Christians are bound to be conformable.

Who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: he here repeateth the words of those who, in this church, reproached him; they reported him a man, who, when he was there in presence with them, was lowly and humble enough; but when he was absent from them, then he wrote imperiously and confidently enough. The sense of the words is plainly this: I Paul, (of whom some amongst you say, that when I am there with you I am low and humble enough, even to some degrees of baseness; but when I am absent, then I write like a lord, boldly and confidently), I beseech you to consider the temper of our common Lord and Saviour, to remember how free he was from rash anger and passion, how gentle he was in his conversation; and by the obligation that is upon you, to love and practise those virtues which you saw, or have heard of, in him.

Now I Paul myself beseech you,.... The apostle having said what was necessary and proper to stir up the Corinthians to a liberal contribution for the poor saints at Jerusalem, returns to the vindication of himself against the false apostles; and earnestly entreats the members of this church,

by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, not to regard their reproaches, and join with them in them; for did they but consider the meek and gentle deportment of Christ, so worthy of his and their imitation, they would see there was no reason to reflect on him for that part of his conduct, in which he followed his Lord and master; whose meekness was to be seen in the assumption of human nature, in the whole of his life and conversation, and in his sufferings and death; and his "gentleness" of Spirit to be observed in his coming into this world, not to judge and condemn it, but that the world might be saved; in bearing all indignities and insults, without being provoked to wrath and revenge; in rebuking his disciples for the severity of their spirits, declaring he came to save, and not take away the lives of men; in praying for his enemies, and in his silence under all the ill treatment he met with from the worst of men. As the apostle had this excellent example before him, which served both to regulate his conduct, and support him under the hard measures he met with, so he was desirous to direct others to the observance of it, which might be a check upon the ill usage of him. He here speaks of himself in the language of his adversaries, who meant by these characters to expose him to scorn and contempt: "I Paul myself"; whose name the false teachers played upon, it signifying "little"; and he being of little stature, they reproached him for it, and would insinuate, that as his name was "little", and his person mean, his bodily presence weak, and his speech contemptible, that he had a little soul, was a man of small knowledge, mean parts, and a very insignificant minister. Now it is as if the apostle should say, I am not ashamed of my name, nor of my person, and I am willing to own myself the least of the apostles, yea, less than the least of all saints; but I beg of you by the mild and gentle Spirit of my Lord and master, whom I am not ashamed to imitate, that you would not join in those sneers. I am Paul, the "same" in my principles and practice, in my doctrine and life, when present and absent; though my enemies say the contrary, as that I am such an one,

who in presence am base, or "humble among you": they suggested, that when he was at Corinth he was humble and modest in his conversation, mild and gentle in all his expressions and deportment; and which they interpreted of a meanness and baseness of spirit, as though he crept and cringed to curry favour with men, to avoid offence, and gain and keep an interest among them:

but being absent, am bold toward you; wrote blustering, hectoring, terrifying letters, threatening to come with his apostolic rod and deliver them up to Satan, to fright them into a compliance with him.

Now {1} I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and {a} gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:

(1) He returns to the defence of his apostleship, but in such a way that he uses his authority in his defence: for he warns them earnestly and gravely, using also terrible threatenings, to show themselves to be those who are able to be instructed. And he reviles certain proud men who made no better account of him, than of a bragging proud man, in that he used to be sharp against them when he was absent, because they saw no great majesty in him after the manner of men; and besides, he had proved his gentleness, even though in his absence he had written to them sharply. Therefore first of all he professes that he was gentle and moderate, but after the example of Christ: but if they continue still to despise his gentleness, he protests to them that he will show indeed how far they are deceived, who judge the office of an apostle in the same way that they judge worldly offices, that is, according to the outward appearance.

(a) That nature which is inclined to mercy, rather than to rigor of justice.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 10:1. Δέ leads over to a new section, and its position lays the emphasis on αὐτός; comp. on Romans 7:25 : ipse autem ego, I, however, for my own self, independently and without bias from the action of others among you. See what follows. With this αὐτὸς ἐγώ, Paul, in the feeling of his elevation above such action, boldly casts into the scales of his readers the weight of his own personality over against his calumniators. The expression has something in it nobly proud and defiant; but the ἔμφασις τῆς ἀποστολικῆς ἀξίας (Theodoret, comp. Chrysostom, Theophylact, Oecumenius, and others, including Billroth) lies not in αὐτός, but in ἐγὼ Παῦλος simply. While many, as Beza and Olshausen, have left the reference of αὐτός quite unnoticed, and others have arbitrarily imported what the context does not suggest, such as Erasmus, Bengel, and also Hofmann;[298] Eminerling and Rückert assume that Paul wrote from 2 Corinthians 10:1 onward with his own hand, so that the αὐτός was explained to the readers by the altered handwriting. Comp. Ewald, according to whom Paul meant only to add a short word of conclusion with his own hand and therewith to end the letter, but on beginning this concluding word, felt himself urged to enter on a detailed discussion of the matter itself in its personal relations. But, seeing that Paul has not added anything like Τῇ ἘΜῇ ΧΕΙΡΊ (1 Corinthians 16:21; Colossians 4:18), or at least written ΓΡΆΦΩ ὙΜῖΝ instead of ΠΑΡΑΚΑΛῶ ὙΜᾶς, there is no sufficiently certain hint of this explanation in the words themselves, the more especially as the ΑὐΤῸς ἘΓΏ is frequently used by him elsewhere (2 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 7:25; Romans 9:3; Romans 15:14). Rückert finds a confirmation of that hypothesis in the fact that this Epistle does not, like the First, contain some concluding lines in his own hand. But most of the apostle’s letters contain nothing of the sort; and this Epistle in particular, on account of its whole character and on account also of its bearer, stood so little in need of any authentication, if there was to be such a thing, from his own hand, that his enemies would have made themselves ridiculous by doubting the authenticity of the composition. Apart from this, it remains very probable that Paul himself wrote the conclusion of the Epistle, possibly from 2 Corinthians 13:11 onward, without mentioning the fact expressl.

ΔΙᾺ Τῆς ΠΡᾼΌΤΗΤΟς ΚΑῚ ἘΠΙΕΙΚΕΊΑς ΤΟῦ ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ, by means of the meekness and gentleness of Christ; i.e. assigning a motive for compliance with my exhortation by pointing to the fact, that Christ, whose example I have to imitate, is so gentle and meek (Matthew 11:29-30; Isaiah 42:2; Isaiah 42:8; Isaiah 52:4-7). Comp. Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 1:10. The gentleness and meekness of Christ belong to the divine love manifested in Him (Romans 8:39; Titus 3:4 ff.), and are continually shown by Him in His heavenly government, in the working of His grace, in His intercession, etc. Estius designates rightly the ground of the motive assigned: “quia cupiebat non provocari ad severitatem vindictae” (which would not be in harmony with Christ’s meekness and gentleness). On ἐπιείκεια, clementia (Acts 24:4), which is often found in connection with πρᾳότης (as Plut. Pericl. 39, Caes. 57; Philo, de Vita Mos. p. 112), comp. Wetstein. It is attributed even to God (2Ma 10:4; Bar 2:27) and to Wisdom (Wis 12:18). Bengel gives the distinction of the two words: “πρᾳότης virtus magis absoluta; ἘΠΙΕΊΚΕΙΑ magis refertur ad alios.” It is the opposite of standing on one’s full rights, Plato, Def. p. 412 B: δικαίων κ. συμφερόντων ἐλάττωσις.

ὃς κατὰ πρόσωπον μὲν κ.τ.λ.] I who, to the face, am indeed humble, of a subdued, unassuming character among you, but in absence have courage towards you—a malicious opinion of his opponents, designed to counteract the influence of the apostle’s letters, which he here appropriates to himself μιμητικῶς. Comp. 2 Corinthians 10:10. ΚΑΤᾺ ΠΡΌΣΩΠΟΝ, coram, is not a Hebraïsm, but see Wetstein on the passage; Hermann, ad Soph. Trach. 102; Jacobs, ad Ach. Tat. p. 612. There is no need to supply anything after ταπεινός, neither ΕἸΜΊ nor ὬΝ. On ΤΑΠΕΙΝΌς, comp. Xen. Mem. iii. 10. 5, where it is connected with ἀνελεύθερος; Dem. 1312. 2.

[298] Erasmus: “ille ipse vobis abunde spectatus P., qui vestrae salutis causa tantum malorum et passus sum et patior.” Bengel, however, hesitates between three references: “ipse facit antitheton vel ad Titum et fratres duos, quos praemisit P., vel ad Corinthios, qui ipsi debebant officium observare; vel etiam ad Paulum ipsum majore coram usurum severitate, ut αὐτός, ipse, denotet ultro.” Hofmann, still referring to the collection, makes the apostle lay emphasis on the fact that this exhortation comes from himself, in contradistinction, namely, from what those others (chap. 9) will do in his stead and by his order (comp. Bengel’s 1st). But the whole matter of the collection was completely ended at 2 Corinthians 9:15. After the exclamation of thanksgiving in 2 Corinthians 9:15, a παρακαλεῖν of his own in this matter is no longer suitable; and, besides, the emphatic vindication of the apostolic authority in that case would be uncalled for.

REMARK.

Rückert is wrongly of opinion that the assertion of the opponents had been true, and just on that account had been so ill taken by Paul; that he belonged to those in whom natural impetuosity is not united with personal courage. Against this there is the testimony of his whole working from Damascus to Rome; and outpourings like 2 Corinthians 6:4 ff. al. do not lack internal truth. Comp. besides, passages like Acts 20:22 ff; Acts 21:13; Acts 24:25; 2 Corinthians 11:23 ff. al. That assertion of his opponents may be explained from the fact that, though there were not wanting disturbing phenomena even at his second arrival in Corinth (2 Corinthians 2:1, 2 Corinthians 12:21), it was only subsequently that the evils had become so magnified and multiplied as to necessitate his now writing (in our first Epistle) far more severely than he had spoken in Corinth.

After the introduction of 2 Corinthians 10:1-2, which plunges at once in medium rem, Paul, in the first place, makes good against his opponents the power of his genuinely apostolic working (2 Corinthians 10:1-8), in order to repel the malicious attack that he was strong only in letters (2 Corinthians 10:9-11). This leads him to set forth in contradistinction the very different modes of self-judgment, which are followed by him and his arrogant opponents (2 Corinthians 10:12-16), after which there is further held up to the latter the Christian standard of self-boasting (2 Corinthians 10:17-18).

REMARK.

The difference of the subject-matter—with the importance of that which had now to be decided—and the emotion excited in the high and pure self-consciousness of the grievously injured Paul, so sufficiently explain the change of tone which at once sets in, and this tone, calculated for the entire discomfiture of his enemies, is just in the last part of the Epistle—after the church as such (as a whole) had been lovingly won over—so suited to its object, that there is no ground at all for the hypothesis of ch. 10–13:10 having formed a separate Epistle (see Introd. § 2).2 Corinthians 10:1-6. HE BEGS THEM NOT TO FORCE HIM TO EXERT HIS AUTHORITY WITH SEVERITY WHEN HE COMES. He first expresses the hope that their conduct will be such as to admit of his being “meek and gentle” when he arrives at Corinth, of his coming in a “spirit of meekness,” and not “with a rod” (1 Corinthians 4:21).Ch. 2 Corinthians 10:1-6. St Paul’s intention of overcoming all opposition to the Gospel

1. Now I Paul myself] “Until now, Paul has addressed himself preeminently to the better intentioned in the Christian Church, but henceforth he addresses himself to those who had sought to lower his dignity and weaken his authority by representing him as weak in personal influence,” as well as in bodily strength and consistency of purpose, “although courageous and full of self-commendation in his letters.” Olshausen. The word ‘myself’ is difficult to explain. Deans Stanley and Alford explain it (1) of St Paul’s intention to enter upon personal matters. St Chrysostom seems to imply (2) that it refers to the emphasis with which he speaks, and he cites Galatians 5:2, Philemon 1:19. But (3) it seems more probable that it means ‘I, the very man who in absence am said to be bold, shew my consistency by preferring meekness even in my letters. I am meek, not because I am afraid, but because I ought to be meek. But if meekness fails, then I must be severe.’ Cf. 2 Corinthians 10:2; 2 Corinthians 10:9-10; also 1 Corinthians 4:21. It must be remembered that one main purpose of this Epistle is to vindicate the consistency of the Apostle. See ch. 2 Corinthians 1:17-19.

beseech] Rather, exhort. See note on ch. 2 Corinthians 1:3.

meekness and gentleness] Myldnesse and softnesse, Wiclif. Tyndale introduced the translation meekness. The word gentleness is due to our translators. But it is not the exact equivalent of the original. Derived from a word signifying like the truth, and therefore fair, equitable, it came to be the equivalent (see Aristotle, Ethics 2 Corinthians 10:10, and vi. 11) for the habit of mind engendered by the practice of regarding the rights of other people as well as our own. Aristotle describes it as the principle which underlies justice and tempers it, and as resulting in sympathy. Its nearest equivalents in English are fairness, considerateness, reasonableness. It and the cognate word occur in the N. T. only in Acts 24:4; Php 4:5; 1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 3:2; James 3:17; 1 Peter 2:18. For meekness cf. Matthew 11:29-30; Isaiah 42:2-3; Isaiah 53:7.

in presence] Some translate by in personal appearance. See 2 Corinthians 10:7, and margin here. But the word seems in this verse to be opposed to absence. See 2 Corinthians 10:11. Also the Greek of Acts 3:13; Acts 25:16.

base] See note on ch. 2 Corinthians 7:6, where the word in the Greek is the same as here. The word base signifies originally low in position. Cf. the word basement and the French bas. See also Acts 17:5. So Spenser, in his View of the State of Ireland, distinguishes between the “lords and chief men,” and the “peasants and baser people.”2 Corinthians 10:1. Αὐτὸς δὲ ἐγὼ Παῦλος, now I Paul myself) An expression very demonstrative and emphatic. Myself forms an antithesis, either to Titus and the two brethren, in reference to what Paul premised [2 Corinthians 8:18; 2 Corinthians 8:22, 2 Corinthians 9:3]: or, to the Corinthians, who of themselves were bound to attend to their duty; or, even to Paul himself, who was about to use greater severity when in their presence [2 Corinthians 10:2; 2 Corinthians 10:11], so that αὐτὸς, myself, may signify, of my own accord.—παρακαλῶ) exhort, advise, for your sake; when I might command and threaten. The antithesis is δέομαι δὲ, but I beseech, for my own sake, in the next verse [Engl. Vers. loses this antithesis by rendering both verbs, I beseech].—διὰ, by) A motive equally applicable to Paul and the Corinthians.—πρᾳότηος καὶ ἐπιεικίας, the meekness and gentleness) πρᾳότης, meekness, a virtue more absolute: ἐπιείκεια, leniency, gentleness, is more in relation to others. Each of these is the true source of even his severest admonitions [and ought to be so in ours also].—τοῦ Χριστοῦ, of Christ[60]) This signifies, that he did not derive his meekness from nature. Or else, διὰ, by, is used as at Romans 12:1 [I beseech you by the mercies of God], so that the meekness and gentleness of Christ Himself seem to be understood; but the objection to this view is, that ἐπιείκεια, gentleness, appears to be predicated of Christ Himself in no other passage, and this is a usual mode of speaking with Paul, to represent Christ as working and exerting His power in him and by him. Comp. the phrase, the truth of Christ [is in me], i.e., the truth in Christ, 2 Corinthians 11:10; and add Php 1:8, note.—ὃς, who) This is a pleasant mimesis or allusion to their usual mode of speaking, 2 Corinthians 10:10, a figure which is also here repeated more than once in the verb λογίζομαι.[61]—ΤΑΠΕΙΝῸς) humble [lowly. Engl. Vers., base], timid.

[60] i.e. By the meekness and gentleness derived by me from Christ.—ED.

[61] Λογίζομαι, I am thought, Λογισμοὺς, 2 Corinthians 10:5; λογιζέσθω, 2 Corinthians 10:7; 2 Corinthians 10:11, all refer to the λογισμοὶ of the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 10:2, λογιζομένους) by Mimesis.—ED.I Paul myself

"This emphatic stress on his own person is the fit introduction to the portion of the epistle which, beyond any other part of his writings, is to lay open his individual life and character" (Stanley). "Paul boldly casts into the scales of his readers the weight of his own personality over against his calumniators" (Meyer).

Meekness - gentleness

See on Matthew 5:5; see on 1 Peter 2:18.

Base (ταπεινός)

Better, as Rev., lowly. The sneer of his opponents that he was unassuming in their presence, but bold when absent. "It was easy to satirize and misrepresent a depression of spirits, a humility of demeanor, which were either the direct results of some bodily affliction, or which the consciousness of this affliction had rendered habitual. We feel at once that this would be natural to the bowed and weak figure which Albrecht Durer has represented; but that it would be impossible to the imposing orator whom Raphael has placed on the steps of the Areopagus" (Farrar).

This is the only passage in the New Testament in which ταπεινός lowly, bears the contemptuous sense which attaches to it in classical usage, an illustration of which may be found in Xenophon's story of Socrates' interview with the painter Parrhasius. "Surely meanness and servility (τὸ ταπεινόν τὲ καὶ ἀνελεύθερον) show themselves in the looks (διὰ προσώπου, the same word as Paul's) and gestures of men" ("Memorabilia," iii., 10, 5). So Aristotle says that frequently to submit to receive service from another, and to disparage whatever he himself has done well, are signs of littleness of soul (μικροψυχίας) and meanness (ταπεινότητος) In the Septuagint the words πένης poor, πραΰ́ς meek, πτωχός destitute, and ταπεινός lowly, are used interchangeably to translate the same Hebrew words; the reference ordinarily being to the oppressed, in contrast with their rich and powerful oppressors, or to the quiet, in contrast with lawless wrong-doers. Compare Deuteronomy 15:11; 2 Samuel 22:28; Psalm 18:Sept. 17) Psalm 18:27; Isaiah 26:6; Psalm 10:17 (Sept. 9:38); Proverbs 14:21; Proverbs 3:34; Numbers 12:3; Exodus 23:6, Exodus 23:11; Isaiah 32:7; Exodus 23:3; Ruth 3:10; Isaiah 11:4; 2 Samuel 12:1, 2 Samuel 12:3, 2 Samuel 12:4; Proverbs 13:8; 1 Samuel 18:23. The Septuagint usage therefore goes to show that these four words are all names for one class - the poor peasantry of an oppressed country, the victims of ill-treatment and plunder at the hands of tyrants and rich neighbors.

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