2 Corinthians 13:9
For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.
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(9) For we are glad, when we are weak . . .—The last words cover many shades of meaning. We may think of the weakness of his bodily presence, of his physical infirmities, of the apparent failure of his supernatural powers because the condition of the Corinthian Church, as walking in faith and truth, presented no opening for their exercise. He can find cause for joy in all these, if only the disciples whom he loves are strong with the strength of God.

This also we wish, even your perfection.—Better, your restoration. This is the only passage in the New Testament in which the word occurs; but the corresponding verb is found in the “mending their nets” of Matthew 4:21, Mark 1:19, and in the “restore” of Galatians 6:1. Its proper meaning is to bring back to completeness. This, then, was what the Apostle had been aiming at all along. In his seeming harshness and self-assertion, as in his overflowing tenderness, he was looking forward to their restoration to their first love and their first purity. He would rather threaten than act, even at the cost of the threat appearing an empty vaunt, if only he might be spared the necessity for acting.

13:7-10 The most desirable thing we can ask of God, for ourselves and our friends, is to be kept from sin, that we and they may not do evil. We have far more need to pray that we may not do evil, than that we may not suffer evil. The apostle not only desired that they might be kept from sin, but also that they might grow in grace, and increase in holiness. We are earnestly to pray to God for those we caution, that they may cease to do evil, and learn to do well; and we should be glad for others to be strong in the grace of Christ, though it may be the means of showing our own weakness. let us also pray that we may be enabled to make a proper use of all our talents.For we are glad when we are weak ... - We rejoice in your welfare, and are willing to submit to self-denial and to infirmity if it may promote your spiritual strength. In the connection in which this stands it seems to mean, "I am content to appear weak, provided you do no wrong; I am willing not to have occasion to exercise my power in punishing offenders, and had rather lie under the reproach of being actually weak, than to have occasion to exercise my power by punishing you for wrongdoing; and provided you are strong in the faith and in the hope of the gospel, I am very willing, nay, I rejoice that I am under this necessity of appearing weak."

And this also we wish - I desire this in addition to your doing no evil.

Even your perfection - The word used here (κατάρτισις katartisis) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, though the verb from which it is derived (καταρτίζω katartizō) occurs often; Matthew 4:21; Matthew 21:16; Mark 1:19; Luke 6:40; Romans 9:22; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Galatians 6:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:10, et al.; see the note on 2 Corinthians 13:11. On the meaning of the word see Romans 9:22. The idea of restoring, putting in order, fitting, repairing, is involved in the word "always," and hence, the idea of making perfect; that is, of completely restoring anything to its proper place. Here it evidently means that Paul wished their entire reformation - so that there should be no occasion for exercising discipline. Doddridge renders it, "perfect good order." Macknight, "restoration." For this restoration of good order Paul had diligently labored in these epistles; and this was an object near to his heart.

9. are glad—Greek, "rejoice."

when we are weak—having no occasion for displaying our power; and so seeming "weak," as being compassed with "infirmities" (2Co 10:10; 11:29, 30).

ye … strong—"mighty" in faith and the fruits of the Spirit.

and—not in the oldest manuscripts.

we wish—Greek, "pray for."

your perfection—literally, "perfect restoration"; literally, that of a dislocated limb. Compare 2Co 13:11, "Be perfect," the same Greek word; also in 1Co 1:10, "perfectly joined together"; Eph 4:12, "the perfecting of the saints."

Some by weak here understand a moral impotency; as the apostle had said, he could not do any thing against the truth, that is, rightly and justly he could not: and by

strong here, a spiritual strength, a reformation, growth, and proficiency in grace. These make the sense to be this; I am so far from coming with a desire to show amongst you my apostolical power in punishing offenders, as that I should be glad to find you so strong in the exercise of grace, that I should find none to punish; that men be made weak (as to the putting forth that power) by your spiritual strength. I incline to a more general interpretation. The apostle by this purgeth himself from any thing of vain glory, or seeking himself; Though (saith he) I be weak, (as some amongst you report me), yet if you be truly strong, I shall heartily rejoice therein. For I wish nothing more than

your perfection; my reputation is nothing to me compared with that.

For we are glad when we are weak,.... Appear to be so, look like persons disarmed of all power and authority; the apostles rejoiced when they had no occasion of exerting themselves, and of exercising that high office, and extraordinary commission they had received of Christ Jesus:

and ye are strong; stand fast in the doctrine of faith, and are lively and active in the exercise of the grace of faith; are strong in Christ, and in his grace, and in the power of his might, to withstand every temptation of Satan, every corruption of their own hearts, and to perform every duty aright.

And this also we wish, even your perfection; or restoration, or jointing in again; a metaphor taken from the setting of bones that are dislocated and out of joint; for the church at Corinth was like a disjointed body, and the apostle's wish was, that their animosities might cease, their divisions be healed, their disorders rectified, and each member be in its proper place, behaving as became the Gospel of Christ; see 1 Corinthians 1:10.

For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your {d} perfection.

(d) That all things may be in good order among you, and the members of the church restored into their place, which have been shaken and are out of place.

2 Corinthians 13:9. Not reason assigned for 2 Corinthians 13:7 (Hofmann), but confirmation of what is said in 2 Corinthians 13:8 from the subjective relation of the apostle to the readers, in which χαίρομεν has the emphasis. This joy is as the living seal of the heart to that axio.

ἀσθενῶμεν] according to the connection, quite the same as ἀδόκιμοι ὦμεν in 2 Corinthians 13:7, of the state in which the apostle is not in a position to exercise punitive authority on account of the Christian conduct of his readers. Comp. 2 Corinthians 13:4.

δυνατοί] correlative to the ἀσθενῶμεν, consequently: such as (on account of their Christian excellence) one can do nothing to with the power of punishment. The latter is powerless in presence of such a moral disposition. The context does not yield more than this contrast; even the thought, that the δυνατοί guard themselves against all that would call forth the punitive authority (Hofmann), is here foreign to i.

τοῦτο καὶ εὐχόμεθα] this, namely, that ye may be strong, we also pray; it is not merely the object of our joy, but also of our prayers. On the absolute εὔχεσθαι, used of praying (for after 2 Corinthians 13:7 it is not here merely wishing), comp. Jam 5:16; often in classic writers. There is no reason for taking the τοῦτο adverbially: thereupon, on that account (Ewald).

τὴν ὑμῶν κατάρτισιν] epexegesis of τοῦτο: namely, your full preparation, complete furnishing, perfection in Christian morality. Comp. καταρτισμός, Ephesians 4:12. Beza and Bengel think of the readjustment of the members of the body of the church that had been dislocated by the disputes (see on 1 Corinthians 1:10, and Kypke, II. p. 290)—a special reference, which is not suggested in the context. See 2 Corinthians 13:7.

2 Corinthians 13:9. χαίρομεν γὰρ κ.τ.λ.: for we rejoice when we are weak and ye are strong, i.e., in Christian graces. The primary reference is to that weakness which the non-exercise of Apostolic authority would seem to suggest to them (2 Corinthians 13:4, 2 Corinthians 11:21), and of which his opponents were very ready to accuse him (2 Corinthians 10:10); but in all weakness of his he repeatedly declares his contentment, if it minister in any way to their edification (see 2 Corinthians 4:12, 2 Corinthians 12:10, and cf. 1 Corinthians 4:10).—τοῦτο δὲ καὶ κ.τ.λ.: this we also pray for (and not merely rejoice in), viz., your perfecting (cf. 2 Corinthians 13:11).

9. For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong] This passage is very similar to 1 Corinthians 4:8-10. At present none of the burdens, but many of the blessings of the Gospel, have fallen on the Corinthians. St Paul rejoices that their immature faith is not subjected to the severe strain of persecution and affliction, while as respects himself, he rejoices in sorrows (ch. 2 Corinthians 12:10), regarding them as proofs of the ascendency of the life of the Spirit over that of the flesh. Cf. ch. 2 Corinthians 4:10-16. The word translated am glad is somewhat stronger in the original—rejoice. And the word translated strong is cognate with that translated mighty in 2 Corinthians 13:3. See also ch. 2 Corinthians 10:4. It refers to the inner strength of spirit with which the believer in Christ is endued. It is also to be observed—and the Greek here displays it more clearly than the English—that St Paul does not say that the Corinthians are strong, but that he rejoices when they are so.

and this also we wish] More literally, pray. St Paul rejoices when the Corinthians are strong, but whether they are so or not, he does not cease to pray for their advancement in holiness.

perfection] The word is not that usually rendered perfection in our translation, i.e. the fulfilment by any creature of the end for which it was designed. It rather signifies the fitting together of a number of souls as the pieces in a mosaic. Cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10, where the cognate word (see 2 Corinthians 13:11) is used of unity of mind and judgment; Hebrews 10:5, where it is used of preparing a body for Christ; Mark 1:19, where it is used of mending nets; Galatians 6:1, where it is used of restoring a sinner. The first and last of these meanings are probably combined here.

2 Corinthians 13:9. Ἀσθενῶμεν, we are weak) in body and with our authority unemployed.—δυνατοὶ, strong) in faith.—καὶ εὐχόμεθα, we also wish) Weakness is welcome, not wished for; κατάρτισις, is even (καὶ) wished for.—κατάρτισιν) perfect union, perfection, 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Corinthians 1:10 [“perfectly joined together”]: that there may be no need to use severity in cutting off[93] any one from the body.

[93] ἀποτόμως 2 Corinthians 13:10, Th. ἀποτέμνειν, to cut off.—ED.

Verse 9. - When we are weak, and ye are strong (comp. 1 Corinthians 4:8-10). Strong; "powerful (2 Corinthians 10:4). We wish; rather, we pray. Your perfection; rather, your perfect union; "the readjustment of your disordered elements." A similar word occurs in Ephesians 4:10, and the verb in ver. 11; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:10, etc. It is also used in the Gospels for "mending nets" (Mark 1:19, etc.). 2 Corinthians 13:9We are weak

Practically the same as unapproved. When your good conduct deprives us of the power of administering discipline, we are weak.

Perfection (κατάρτισιν)

Only here in the New Testament. See on be perfect, 2 Corinthians 13:11. Rev., perfecting.

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