2 Corinthians 11:28
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
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(28) That which cometh upon me daily . . .—The word so translated primarily signifies a “rush” or “tumult,” and is so used in Acts 24:12. Here that meaning is excluded by the fact that perils of that nature had been already specified, and that he now manifestly speaks of something differing in kind as well as in degree. But there is, as our modern phraseology shows, such a thing as a “rush” of business almost as trying as the “ugly rush” of a crowd, and that is manifestly what he means here. The daily visits of inquirers, the confessions of sin-burdened souls, the craving of perplexed consciences for guidance, the reference of quarrels of the household or the church to his arbitration as umpire, the arrival of messengers from distant churches, each with their tidings of good or evil—this is what we have to think of as present to St. Paul’s thoughts as the daily routine of his life; and the absence of any conjunction between the two clauses clearly points to the fact that, in his mind, “the care (or anxiety) of all the churches” was all but identical with the “rush” of which he had just spoken.

2 Corinthians 11:28-31. Besides those things that are without — These external troubles which I have mentioned; that which cometh upon me daily — Greek, η επισυστασις μου η καθημεραν, that which rusheth upon me daily, or that which is my daily pressure. The expression denotes a crowd of people surrounding and pressing upon a person, in order to bear him down, and trample upon him; an idea which is elegantly applied to his cares respecting the churches; crowding in upon his mind, and ready to overwhelm it. And this is very properly mentioned here among his sufferings, being certainly not one of the least of them, as may be easily inferred from the account which he has given in this and in his former epistle, of the exceeding grief which the errors and irregularities of the single church of Corinth caused him. In saying, the care of all the churches, he signified he was deeply concerned for the prosperity, even of those which he had not seen in the flesh. St. Peter himself could not have said this in so strong a sense. Who is weak — Namely, in grace, and therefore oppressed with a variety of doubts and fears, and cast down; and I am not weak — By sympathy, as well as by condescension, manifested in complying with their weakness. Who is offended — Hindered in or turned out of the good way; and I burn not — With zeal and desire to restore him: or am not pained, as though I had fire in my bosom? So that he had not only the care of the churches, but every person therein. If I must needs glory — And I am heartily sorry that any such necessity is laid upon me; I will glory of the things that concern my infirmities — In my sufferings for Christ, of various kinds, such as I have specified, (see 2 Corinthians 12:10,) sufferings which show my weakness, and his strength, and therefore humble me, and exalt him. And in what I have said, I have only spoken the exact truth, without reigning or aggravating any one circumstance; for God knoweth that I lie not — Even that eternal Majesty of heaven and earth; who is blessed for evermore. This clause is added to increase the solemnity of his appeal to God for the truth of what he had said, and was going further to say; and that not only concerning his deliverance at Damascus, but concerning the visions and revelations of the Lord, to be mentioned in the next chapter.

11:22-33 The apostle gives an account of his labours and sufferings; not out of pride or vain-glory, but to the honour of God, who enabled him to do and suffer so much for the cause of Christ; and shows wherein he excelled the false apostles, who tried to lessen his character and usefulness. It astonishes us to reflect on this account of his dangers, hardships, and sufferings, and to observe his patience, perseverance, diligence, cheerfulness, and usefulness, in the midst of all these trials. See what little reason we have to love the pomp and plenty of this world, when this blessed apostle felt so much hardship in it. Our utmost diligence and services appear unworthy of notice when compared with his, and our difficulties and trials scarcely can be perceived. It may well lead us to inquire whether or not we really are followers of Christ. Here we may study patience, courage, and firm trust in God. Here we may learn to think less of ourselves; and we should ever strictly keep to truth, as in God's presence; and should refer all to his glory, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore.Besides those things that are without - In addition to these external trials, these trials pertaining to the body, I have mental trials and anxieties resulting from the necessary care of all the churches, But on the meaning of these words commentators are not agreed. Rosenmuller supposes that the phrase means "besides those things that come from other sources," "that I may omit other things." Beza, Erasmus, Bloomfield, and some others suppose that the passage means those things out of the regular routine of his office. Doddridge, "besides foreign affairs." Probably the sense is, "Apart from the things beside" (Χωρὶς τῶν παρεκτὸς Chōris tōn parektos); "not to mention other matters; or if other matters should be laid aside, there is this continually rushing anxiety arising from the care of all the churches." That is, this would be enough in itself. Laying aside all that arises from hunger, thirst, cold, etc., this continual care occupies my mind and weighs upon my heart.

That which cometh upon me daily - There is great force in the original here. The phrase rendered "that which cometh upon me" means properly, "that which rushes upon me." The word (ἐπισύστασις episustasis) means properly a concourse, a crowd, hence, a tumult; and the idea here is, that these cares rushed upon him, or pressed upon him like a crowd of people or a mob that bore all before it. This is one of Paul's most energetic expressions, and denotes the incessant anxiety of mind to which he was subject.

The care of all the churches - The care of the numerous churches which he had established, and which needed his constant supervision. They were young; many of them were feeble; many were made up of heterogeneous materials; many composed of Jews and Gentiles mingled together, with conflicting prejudices, habits, preferences; many of them were composed of those who had been gathered from the lowest ranks of life; and questions would be constantly occurring relating to their order and discipline in which Paul would feel a deep interest, and which would naturally be referred to him for decision. Besides this, they had many trials. They were persecuted, and would suffer much. In their sufferings Paul would feel deep sympathy, and would desire, as far as possible, to afford them relief. In addition to the churches which he had planted, he would feel an interest in all others, and doubtless many cases would be refered to him as an eminent apostle for counsel and advice. No wonder that all this came rushing on him like a tumultuous assembly ready to overpower him.

28. without—"Beside" trials falling on me externally, just recounted, there is "that which cometh upon me (literally, the impetuous concourse to me of business; properly, a crowd rising up against one again and again, and ready to bear him down), the care of all the churches" (including those not yet seen in the flesh, Col 2:1): an internal and more weighty anxiety. But the oldest manuscripts for "that which cometh," read, "the pressure": "the pressing care-taking" or "inspection that is upon me daily." Alford translates, "Omitting what is BESIDES"; namely, those other trials besides those recounted. But the Vulgate, Estius, and Bengel, support English Version.

the care—The Greek implies, "my anxious solicitude for all the churches."

By the things that are without, the apostle meaneth either those evils which happened to him from persons that had nto relation to the Christian church, but were persons without, ( as the phrase is used, 1 Corinthians 5:13), or else such kinds of troubles and afflictions as very little influenced his mind, but only affected his outward man: such were his labours, travels, journeyings, imprisonment, stripes before mentioned.

Beside these (he saith) there lay upon him an inward care and solicitude for

all the Christian churches; and this was a daily care. For an apostle differed from an ordinary pastor, not only in his immediate call from Christ, but also in his work; there lay an obligation upon such to go up and down preaching the gospel, and they further had, both a power, and also an obligation, to superintend all other churches, and to direct the affairs of them relating to order and government: and thereupon they were mightily concerned about their doing well or ill.

Besides those things that are without,.... Or are omitted, which he had passed by, and had not mentioned in the account and enumeration of things he had given; for otherwise the things he had taken notice of and instanced in, were things external; but besides them and many other things which would be too tedious to relate,

that which cometh upon me daily, is not to be forgotten; meaning the prodigious deal of business which was every day upon his hands, through the continual coming of brethren to him, either for advice, or comfort, or instruction; and through the multiplicity of letters from divers parts, which he was obliged to give answers to; and the several duties of the day, as prayer, meditation, reading, praising, preaching, &c. and to sum up the whole, and which is explanative of the phrase,

the care of all the churches; not of ten, or twenty, or some only; but of all of them, he being the apostle of the Gentiles, and was concerned in planting, and raising them, and preaching the Gospel to most of them; and who continually stood in need of his watch and care over them, to provide ministers for some, to prevent schisms and heat divisions in others; to preserve others from errors and heresies, and warn them of the dangers to which they were exposed by false teachers; and to animate, strengthen, and support others under violent persecutions, lest their faith should fail, and they be tempted to desert the Gospel, and drop their profession of religion.

{9} Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

(9) He further adds this in conclusion, that the Corinthians should be ashamed to despise him upon whose care almost all churches depended, as it was plainly seen by experience.

2 Corinthians 11:28. Apart from that which occurs beside (beside what had been mentioned hitherto), for me the daily attention is the care for all the churches.[340] He will not adduce more particulars than he has brought forward down to ΓΥΜΝΌΤΗΤΙ, but will simply mention further a general fact, that he has daily to bear anxiety for all the churches. On ΧΩΡΊς with the genitive: apart from, see Stallbaum, ad Plat. Apol. S. p. 35 C. The emphasis is on πασῶν. Theodoret: ΠΆΣΗς ΓᾺΡ Τῆς ΟἸΚΟΥΜΈΝΗς ἘΝ ἘΜΑΥΤῷ ΠΕΡΙΦΈΡΩ ΤῊΝ ΜΈΡΙΜΝΑΝ. Nevertheless, this ΠΑΣῶΝ is not, with Bellarmine and other Roman Catholic writers, as well as Ewald et al., to be limited merely to Pauline churches, nor is it to be pressed in its full generality, but rather to be taken as a popular expression for his unmeasured task. He has to care for all. Chrysostom, Theophylact, and others attach χωρ. τ. παρ to what precedes, and separate it from what follows by a full stop; but this only makes the latter unnecessarily abrupt. Luther, Castalio, Bengel, and many others, including Flatt, Billroth (but uncertainly), and Olshausen, consider Ἡ ἘΠΊΣΤΑΣΙς Κ.Τ.Λ. (or, according to their reading: Ἡ ἘΠΙΣΎΣΤΑΣΙς Κ.Τ.Λ.) as an abnormal apposition to ΤῶΝ ΠΑΡΕΚΤΌς: not to mention what still occurs besides, namely, etc. This is unnecessarily harsh, and ΧΩΡῚς ΤῶΝ ΠΑΡΕΚΤΌς would withal only be an empty formul.

ΤᾺ ΠΑΡΕΚΤΌς is: quae praeterea eveniunt,[341] not, as Beza and Bengel, following the Vulgate, hold: “quae extrinsecus eum adoriebantur” (Beza), so that either what follows is held to be in apposition (Bengel: previously he has described the proprios labores, now he names the alienos secum communicatos), or τῶν παρεκτός is referred to what precedes, and what follows now expresses the inward cares and toils (Beza, comp. Erasmus). Linguistic usage is against this, for παρεκτός never means extrinsecus, but always beside, in the sense of exception. See Matthew 5:32; Acts 26:29; Aq. Deuteronomy 1:36; Test. XII. Patr. p. 631; Geopon. xiii. 15. 7; Etym. M. p. 652, 18. This also in opposition to Ewald: “without the unusual things,” with which what is daily is then put in contrast (comp. Calvin). Hofmann, following the reading ἡ ἐπισύστασίς μου, would, instead of ΤῶΝ ΠΑΡΕΚΤΌς, write ΤῶΝ ΠΑΡʼ ἘΚΤΌς, which is, in his view, masculine, and denotes those coming on to the apostle from without (the Christian body), whose attacks on his doctrine he must continually withstand. With this burden he associates the care of all the many churches, which lie continually on his soul. These two points are introduced by χωρίς, which is the adverbial besides. This new interpretation (even apart from the reading ἐπισύστασις, which is to be rejected on critical grounds) cannot be accepted, (1) because ΟἹ ΠΑΡʼ ἘΚΤΌς, for which Paul would have written ΟἹ ἜΞΩ (1 Corinthians 5:12; Colossians 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:12) or ΟἹ ἜΞΩΘΕΝ (1 Timothy 3:7), is an expression without demonstrable precedent, since even Greek writers, while doubtless using ΟἹ ἘΚΤΌς, extranei (Polyb. ii. 47. 10, v. 37. 6; comp. Ecclus. Praef. I.), do not use οἱ παρʼ ἐκτός; (2) because the two parts of the verse, notwithstanding their quite different contents, stand abruptly (without ΚΑΊ, or ΜῈΝΔΈ, or other link of connection) side by side, so that we have not even Ἡ ΔῈ ΜΈΡΙΜΝΆ ΜΟΥ (overagainst the ἘΠΙΣΎΣΤΑΣΊς ΜΟΥ) instead of the bare Ἡ ΜΈΡΙΜΝΑ; and (3) because the adverbial ΧΩΡΊς m the sense assumed is foreign to the N. T., and even in the classical passages in question (see from Thucydides, Krüger on i. 61. 3) it does not mean praeterea generally, but more strictly scorsim, separatim, specially and taken by itself.[342] See Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 974. But the two very general categories, which it is to introduce, would not suit this sens.

ἡ ἐπίστασις] may mean either: the daily halting (comp. Xen. Anab. ii. 4. 26; Polyb. xiv. 8. 10; Soph. Ant 225: πολλὰς γὰρ ἔσχον φροντίδων ἐπιστάσεις, multas moras deliberationibus effectas), or: the daily attention.[343] See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 527; Schweigh. Lex. Polyb. p. 265. This signification is most accordant with the context on account of the following ἡ μέριμνα κ.τ.λ. Rückert, without any sanction of linguistic usage, makes it: the throng towards me, the concourse resorting to me on official business.[344] So also Osiander and most older and more recent expositors explain the Recepta ἐπισύστασίς μου or ἐπισύστ. μοι. But likewise at variance with usage, since ἐπισύστασις is always (even in Numbers 26:9) used in the hostile sense: hostilis concursio, tumultus, as it has also been taken here by Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Beza,[345] Bengel, and others. See Acts 24:12, and the passages in Wetstein and Loesner, p. 230.

The μοί, which, in the interpretation of ἘΠΙΣΤ. as concourse, would have to be taken as appropriating dative (Bernhardy, p. 89), is, according to our view of ἐπίστ., to be conceived as dependent on the ἘΣΤΙ to be supplied.

[340] Accordingly the comma after ἡμέραν is to be deleted. If μέριμνα κ. τ. λ. be (as is the usual view) taken as a clause by itself, the ἐστί to be supplied is not a copula, but: exists. But according to the right reading and interpretation, ἡ ἐπιστ. μοι, as an independent point, would thus be too general.

[341] The Armenian version gives instead of παρεκτός; ἄλλων θλίψεων. A correct interpretation. Chrysostom exaggerates: πλείονα τὰ παραλειφθέντα τῶν ἀπαριθμηθέντων.

[342] So, too, in the passage, Thuc. ii. 31. 2, adduced in Passow’s Lexicon by Rost and by Hofmann, where χωρίς further introduces a separate army contingent, which is counted by itself.

[343] Gregory of Nazianzus has ἐπιστασία, which is to be regarded as a good gloss. See Lobeck, l.c.; Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. i. 5. 2, var.

[344] ἐπίστασις does not once mean the pressing on (active), the crowding. In 2Ma 6:3 (in opposition to Grimm in loc.), ἡ ἐπίστασις τῆς κακίας is the setting in, the coming on, i.e. the beginning of misfortune (Polyb. i. 12. 6, ii. 40. 5, al.). In Dion. Halicarn. vi. 31, the reading is to be changed into ἐπίθεσιν. In Polyb. i. 26. 12, it means the position. Nevertheless, Buttm. neut. Gr. p. 156 [E. T. 180], agrees with Rückert.

[345] Chrys.: οἱ θόρυβοι, αἱ ταραχαί, αἱ πολιορκίαι τῶν δήμων καὶ τῶν πόλεων ἔφοδοι. Beza renders the whole verse: “Absque iis, quae extrinsecus eveniunt, urget agmen illud in me quotidie consurgens, i.e. solicitudo de omnibus ecclesiis.” Comp. Ewald: “the daily onset of a thousand troubles and difficulties on him.” Bengel: “obturbatio illorum, qui doctrinae vitaeve perversitate Paulo molestiam exhibebant, v. gr. Galatians 6:17.”

2 Corinthians 11:28. χωρὶς τῶν παρ. κ.τ.λ.: besides the things which I omit (see reff., and cf. Hebrews 11:32; the A.V. “those things that are without” = vulg. quae sunt extrinsecus, is wrong), there is that which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the churches (see on 2 Corinthians 8:18). ἐπισύστασις of the rec. text means a combination for hostile purposes, and is used of Korah’s rebellion in Numbers 16:40; Numbers 26:9, in which latter place we have the same textual variants as here (cf. also: 1Es 5:73). This may be the true reading, both here and at Acts 24:12, for the syllable συ might readily drop out in transcription. If it be adopted here it would refer to the cabals of the Apostle’s adversaries = “the daily combination against me,” and would thus indicate a trial distinct from “the care of all the churches,” which is next mentioned. But, although this gives a good sense, we prefer to read ἐπίστασις as better supported both here and at Acts 24:12 (the only places of its occurrence in N.T.). Polybius uses the word as = “attention,” “close observation,” but this will not suit Acts 24:12. It is found in 2Ma 6:3 as = “visitation” or “pressure,” and the latter rendering seems best to satisfy the context here. We have therefore followed the Revisers in adopting the Vulgate rendering instantia = “that which presseth,” and in taking ἡ μέριμνα κ.τ.λ. as in apposition with ἡ ἐπίστασις.

28. Besides those things that are without] The six principal English versions interpret this expression (1) of external trials, of which the Apostle has hitherto been speaking—“the thynges which out wardly happen unto me” (Tyndale). As the Apostle now begins to speak of inward troubles this rendering would seem quite natural. But Chrysostom (2) interprets it of things left out of the enumeration. And this interpretation is supported by the only two other passages in which the word occurs in the N. T., namely, Matthew 5:32; Acts 26:29. Cf. Hebrews 11:32. If this interpretation be followed, we must connect the words, not only with what follows, but with what precedes. ‘And besides a host of other things, which I cannot now mention, there is the daily pressure of anxiety arising from the Churches under my care.’

that which cometh upon me daily] There is a various reading here. If we follow the received text, which is that of the Peshito Syriac in the second century and is followed by Chrysostom, we must understand it of the daily concourse of troubles arising from this source. If we follow that which is proposed to be substituted for it, which is that of the Vulgate and of the most ancient MSS. (though it may not improbably have arisen from the copyist’s eye having passed from ΣΥ to ΣΤ), it must be rendered “that which presseth on me” (instantia, Vulgate; my daily instance, Rhemish). Tyndale, Cranmer and the Geneva render, I am combred dayly.

the care] Rather perhaps, the anxiety, as we speak of care in the abstract, the Greek word being derived from a verb signifying to part asunder, and implying that the mind is torn asunder as it were by conflicting emotions.

of all the churches] This must not perhaps be pressed (as Döllinger in his Last Age of the Church) so far as to assert that each Apostle considered himself individually responsible for the care of the whole Church of Christ. That there was some division of responsibility appears from Galatians 2:7. St Paul probably means the care of all the Churches which he had planted, surely no inconsiderable burden.

2 Corinthians 11:28. Χωρὶς, beside) The particle serves the purpose of connection.—τῶν παρεκτὸς) It is thus he terms external labours and troubles. Hitherto he describes his own; he now refers to those of others, that had been shared with him.—) The Apposition of the oblique and nominative case, such as that of Basil of Seleucia, ὢ φωνῆς, σωτηρίας πηγή: comp. note on Chrys. de Sacerd. p. 504.—ἐπισύστασίς μου, that which cometh upon me) The LXX. often use the verb ἐπισυνίστημι, and the verbal noun ἐπισύστασις, of the sedition of Korah and his associates: comp. Acts 24:12. Here therefore we remark the disorderly conduct of those, who troubled Paul by the perverseness of their doctrine or life; for example, Galatians 6:17.—καθʼ ἡμέραν, daily) A large extent of time; and of place, in the words, of all.—πασῶν, of all) This is more modest than if he had said πάσης τῆς ἐκκλησίας, of the whole church. Of all, of those even, to whom I have not come, Colossians 2:1. Peter could not have alleged that of himself in an equal degree.[81]

[81] Since Peter was the apostle of the circumcision peculiarly. Whereas Paul was, of all the numerous churches of the uncircumcision.—ED.

Verse 28. - Those things that are without. The adverb thus rendered parektos only occurs in Matthew 5:32; Acts 26:29. It may either mean "trials that come to me from external and extraneous sources (quae extrinsecus accedunt) or things in addition to these (praeterea), which I here leave unmentioned." The latter meaning is (as St. Chrysostom saw) almost certainly the correct one. That which cometh upon me. The word thus rendered is either episustasis (J, K), which means "hostile attack" or "tumult," as we talk of "a rush of trouble or business;" or epistasis (א, B, D, E, F, G), which may imply "halting, lingering thoughts; "attention," and so "anxiety" (comp. Acts 24:12, where there is the same various reading). Of all the Churches. No doubt he is thinking of his own Churches, the Churches of the Gentiles (Colossians 2:1). 2 Corinthians 11:28Those things that are without (τῶν παρεκτὸς)

Some explain, external calamities; others, the things which are left out in the enumeration, as Matthew 5:32; Acts 26:29. Better, the latter, so that the literal meaning is, apart from the things which are beside and outside my enumeration: or, as Alford, not to mention those which are beside these. The word does not occur in classical Greek, and no instance of its usage in the former sense occurs in the New Testament or in the Septuagint. See Rev., margin.

That which cometh upon me (ἐπισύστασις)

Lit., a gathering together against. Both here and Acts 24:12, the best texts read ἐπίστασις onset. Rev., that which presseth upon me. "The crowd of cares."

Farrar remarks upon 2 Corinthians 11:23-28, that it is "the most marvelous record ever written of any biography; a fragment beside which the most imperiled lives of the most suffering saints shrink into insignificance, and which shows us how fractional at the best is our knowledge of the details of St. Paul's life." Eleven of the occurrences mentioned here are not alluded to in Acts.

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