2 Corinthians 12:17
Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent to you?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) By any of them whom I sent unto you?—The English expresses the meaning of the Greek, but does not show, as that does, the vehement agitation which led the writer, as he dictated the letter, to begin the sentence with one construction and finish it with another. Did any of those I sent . . . did I by this means get more out of you than I ought? He has in his mind, as far as we know, Timotheus, who had been sent before the First Epistle (1Corinthians 4:17); Stephanus, Fortunatus and Achaicus, who were the bearers of that Epistle (1Corinthians 16:15); and Titus, who was sent, as we have seen, to learn what its effect had been. Had any of these, he asks, been asking for money on his account?

12:11-21 We owe it to good men, to stand up in the defence of their reputation; and we are under special obligations to those from whom we have received benefit, especially spiritual benefit, to own them as instruments in God's hand of good to us. Here is an account of the apostle's behaviour and kind intentions; in which see the character of a faithful minister of the gospel. This was his great aim and design, to do good. Here are noticed several sins commonly found among professors of religion. Falls and misdeeds are humbling to a minister; and God sometimes takes this way to humble those who might be tempted to be lifted up. These vast verses show to what excesses the false teachers had drawn aside their deluded followers. How grievous it is that such evils should be found among professors of the gospel! Yet thus it is, and has been too often, and it was so even in the days of the apostles.Did I make a gain ... - In refuting this slander, Paul appeals boldly to the facts, and to what they knew. "Same the man," says he, "who has thus defrauded you under my instructions. If the charge is well-founded, let him be specified, and let the mode in which it was done be distinctly stated." The phrase "make a gain" (from πλεονεκτέω pleonekteō), means properly to have an advantage; then to take advantage, to seek unlawful gain. Here Paul asks whether he had defrauded them by means of anyone whom he had sent to them. 17. Paul's reply: You know well I did not. My associates were as distinterested as myself. An important rule to all who would influence others for good.Ver. 17,18. The apostle, to avoid or wipe off this imputation, appealeth to themselves to name any person (whom he had sent unto them) that had taken any thing of them for his use. He saith, that he desired Titus to come to them: of this desire we read before, 2 Corinthians 8:6,16,18,22.

With him (he saith) he sent another brother: this is that brother, of whom he had said, 2 Corinthians 8:18, that his praise was in the gospel throughout all the churches. Some guess it was Luke, but there is no certainty of that. He appeals to them, whether either of these made a gain of them? That is, took any thing of them: and whether they did not walk in the same spirit, and

in the same steps? Whether they did not show the same generosity and freedom? And by their behaviour amongst them did not show, that they did not seek what was theirs, (to be enriched by their estates), but them; to communicate the riches of grace to their souls? The circumstances of God’s providence may be such towards faithful ministers, as that they may be constrained to make use of others to do their work; but such, so near as they can judge, will never make use of any therein, but such as are of

the same spirit with themselves, and walk in the same steps. Did I make a gain of you,.... He appeals to the Corinthians against such calumnies and false insinuations, whether ever he had circumvented them in such a manner, or had ever used such artful methods to pillage them; or whether ever he had discovered any covetous disposition towards anything of theirs; or had employed any persons to draw out their substance from them, and get it for himself: he owns he had sent some persons to them on different errands, and asks if he had dealt fraudulently with them,

by any of them whom, says he,

I have sent to you: he desires them to name one single person of the many who came to them from him, that had received any money from them for him; or that they had any reason to believe he had employed for such purposes; and if they could not pitch on a single instance, they ought therefore to look upon this as a downright slander and calumny.

Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 12:17. μή τινα ὧν κ.τ.λ.: of those whom (ὧν by attraction for ἐκείνων οὕς) I have sent, was there one by whom I took advantage of you? The constr. is broken, and the resulting anacoluthon is one of the most striking in St. Paul’s writings (cf. Romans 8:3, Galatians 1:20).17. make a gain of you] See ch. 2 Corinthians 2:11.

by any of them whom I sent unto you] They may have been maintained at the expense of the Churches, but they certainly made no attempt to enrich St Paul by their mission. In their disinterested labours they followed implicitly the example of the great Apostle. Some have thought that there is a reference here to the collection for the poor Christians at Jerusalem, but this can hardly be, for the mission of Titus was simply for the purpose of urging the Corinthians to complete their preparations. St Paul had anticipated all objections as to his making use of that money for his own purposes by arranging (see 1 Corinthians 16:3) that it should be sent in the charge of brethren selected by the Corinthian Church itself. See also ch. 2 Corinthians 8:19; 2 Corinthians 8:21. We must therefore understand the words as an appeal to the conduct of Titus and his companions while at Corinth, and as a refutation of a charge which St Paul thought might possibly be brought, that he had endeavoured in an underhand manner to obtain money from Corinth through them.2 Corinthians 12:17. Μή τινα ὧνδιʼ αὐτοῦ) for μὴ διά τινος τούτων, οὕς ἀπέσταλκα. [The good faith of his associates wonderfully assisted Paul.—V. g.]Verse 17. - Did I make a gain of you, etc.? The same verb as in 2 Corinthians 2:11. It means" to overreach," "to take unfair advantages."
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