2 Corinthians 2:12
Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,
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(12) Furthermore, when I came to Troas.—The article, perhaps, indicates the Troad as a district, rather than the city, just as it does in the case of Saron. (See Note on Acts 9:35.) The case of the offender had come in as a parenthesis in 2Corinthians 2:5-8. He returns to the train of thought which it had interrupted, and continues his narrative of what had passed after he had written the First Epistle. (On Troas, see Notes on Acts 16:8.) A Church had probably been founded in that city by St. Luke, but St. Paul’s first visit to it had been limited to a few days, and there are no traces of his preaching there. Now he comes “for the gospel’s sake.” That there was a flourishing Christian community some months later, we find from Acts 20:6.

A door was opened unto me.—Opportunities for mission-work, as we should call them, are thus described in 1Corinthians 16:9. There is something of the nature of a coincidence in his using it of two different churches, Ephesus and Troas, within a comparatively short interval.

2 Corinthians 2:12-13. Furthermore — That ye may know my great concern for you; when I came to Troas — After the riot excited by Demetrius. He seems to refer to that passage from Asia to Macedonia, of which a short account is given Acts 20:1-2. To preach Christ’s gospel — And found things there so situated; that a door was opened unto me — That is, there was free liberty to speak, and many were willing to hear: yet I had no rest in my spirit — From an earnest desire to know the state of your affairs, and how my letter had been received: because I found not Titus my brother — In his return; whom I had sent to you to bring me the information concerning you which I wished for. Therefore, taking my leave of them — Of the church at Troas. The expression here used, αποταξαμενος αυτοις, is literally, having given them commands. But because persons, who are about to leave their friends for some time, give their commands to them, the phrase is used for taking leave of, or bidding farewell to, one’s friends. I went from thence into Macedonia — Where being much nearer to Corinth, I might more easily be informed concerning you; and where I had the happiness soon of meeting him, and of receiving such an account of you as has given me much pleasure; and in consequence of which I write to you in this comfortable manner. Here the apostle interrupts the thread of his discourse, interposing an admirable digression concerning what he had done and suffered elsewhere, the profit of which he, by this means, derived to the Corinthians also; and this is a prelude to his apology against false apostles. He resumes the subject, however, chap. 2 Corinthians 7:2.

2:12-17 A believer's triumphs are all in Christ. To him be the praise and glory of all, while the success of the gospel is a good reason for a Christian's joy and rejoicing. In ancient triumphs, abundance of perfumes and sweet odours were used; so the name and salvation of Jesus, as ointment poured out, was a sweet savour diffused in every place. Unto some, the gospel is a savour of death unto death. They reject it to their ruin. Unto others, the gospel is a savour of life unto life: as it quickened them at first when they were dead in trespasses and sins, so it makes them more lively, and will end in eternal life. Observe the awful impressions this matter made upon the apostle, and should also make upon us. The work is great, and of ourselves we have no strength at all; all our sufficiency is of God. But what we do in religion, unless it is done in sincerity, as in the sight of God, is not of God, does not come from him, and will not reach to him. May we carefully watch ourselves in this matter; and seek the testimony of our consciences, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, that as of sincerity, so speak we in Christ and of Christ.Furthermore - But (δὲ de). This particle is properly adversative; but frequently denotes transition, and serves to introduce something else, whether opposite to what precedes, or simply continuative or explanatory. Here, it is designed to continue or explain the statement before made of his deep affection for the church, and his interest in its affairs. He therefore tells them that when he came to Troas, and was favored there with great success, and was engaged in a manner most likely of all others to interest his feelings and to give him joy, yet he was deeply distressed because he had not heard, as he expected, from them; but so deep was his anxiety that he left Troas and went into Macedonia.

When I came to Troas - This was a city of Phrygia, or Mysia, on the Hellespont, between Troy on the north, and Assos on the south; see note on Acts 16:8. It was on the regular route from Ephesus to Macedonia. Paul took that route because on his journey to Macedonia he had resolved, for the reasons above stated, not to go to Corinth.

To preach Christ's gospel - Greek. "For (εἰς eis) the gospel of Christ;" that is, on account of his gospel; or to promote it. Why he selected Troas, or the region of the Troad (note, Acts 16:8), as the field of his labors, he does not say. It is probable that he was waiting there to hear from Corinth by Titus, and while there he resolved not to be idle, but to make known as much as possible the gospel.

And a door was opened unto me - see the note, 1 Corinthians 16:9. There was an opportunity of doing good, and the people were disposed to hear the gospel. This was a work in which Paul delighted to engage, and in which he usually found his highest comfort. It was of all things the most adapted to promote his happiness.

12. Paul expected to meet Titus at Troas, to receive the tidings as to the effect of his first Epistle on the Corinthian Church; but, disappointed in his expectation there, he passed on to Macedonia, where he met him at last (2Co 7:5, 6, 7) The history (Acts) does not record his passing through Troas, in going from Ephesus to Macedonia; but it does in coming from that country (Ac 20:6); also, that he had disciples there (Ac 20:7), which accords with the Epistle (2Co 2:12, "a door was opened unto me of the Lord"). An undesigned coincidence marking genuineness [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ]. Doubtless Paul had fixed a time with Titus to meet him at Troas; and had desired him, if detained so as not to be able to be at Troas at that time, to proceed at once to Macedonia to Philippi, the next station on his own journey. Hence, though a wide door of Christian usefulness opened to him at Troas, his eagerness to hear from Titus the tidings from Corinth, led him not to stay longer there when the time fixed was past, but he hastened on to Macedonia to meet him there [Birks].

to preach—literally, "for the Gospel." He had been at Troas before, but the vision of a man from Macedonia inviting him to come over, prevented his remaining there (Ac 16:8-12). On his return to Asia, after the longer visit mentioned here, he stayed seven days (Ac 20:6).

and—that is, though Paul would, under ordinary circumstances, have gladly stayed in Troas.

door … opened … of the Lord—Greek, "in the Lord," that is, in His work, and by His gracious Providence.

This Troas was either the city, or the whole country, called Troy or Ilium, or the lesser Phrygia. We read of Paul’s going thither by sea from Philippi, Acts 20:6, and of his having been there, 2 Timothy 4:13. He tells us, that the business why he went thither, was to preach the gospel; for it was not the apostles’ business to stay, as fixed ministers, in any one place, but to carry the gospel up and down the world to several places; which they did by virtue of their general commission to go, preach, and baptize all nations; though sometimes they had a more special call and commission, as Paul had to go into Macedonia. The

door opened, either signifieth the free liberty he had there to preach, or the great success which God gave him in his work; which he elsewhere calleth an effectual door.

Furthermore, when I came to Troas,.... The apostle proceeds, in this latter part of the chapter, to take notice of and remove the charge of ostentation and insincerity in preaching the Gospel, and hints at other reasons of his not coming to Corinth; particularly that he took a journey to Troas, expecting to meet with Titus there, who was to give him an account of the affairs of the church at Corinth, which he was desirous of knowing before he went thither; but missing of Titus, is uneasy, and goes for Macedonia; though he was first detained awhile at Troas, having a good opportunity of preaching the Gospel there, with a prospect of success. Troas was a city of the lesser Asia near the Hellespont, formerly called Troy; of Paul's being at this place more than once, see 2 Timothy 4:13, and of this place See Gill on Acts 16:8, and of the church there; see Gill on Acts 20:7. Hither he came,

to preach Christ's Gospel; that Gospel, of which Christ is both the author and subject; and is no other than the good news and glad tidings of peace, pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation, by a crucified Jesus; this was his work and business; his heart was in it, he took delight in this service, and it was what he pursued in every place wherever he came; and in this place he had much encouragement; for he adds,

and a door was opened unto me of the Lord; such an one as was opened to him at Ephesus, 1 Corinthians 16:9; he had a good opportunity of preaching the Gospel to many souls, many were inclined to attend his ministry, from whence he conceived great hopes of doing good; a door of utterance was given to him to preach the Gospel boldly and freely, and a door of entrance for the Gospel to pass into their hearts: all which was not of men, "but of the Lord"; who has the key of David, who opens and no man shuts, shuts and no man opens.

{2} Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,

(2) He returns to the confirmation of his apostleship, and brings forth both the testimonies of his labours, and also of God's blessing.

2 Corinthians 2:12-13. Since Paul, by mentioning the mood in which he had written his former Epistle (2 Corinthians 2:4), was led on to discuss the case of the conscious sinner and the pardon to be bestowed on him (2 Corinthians 2:5-11), he has only now to carry on the historical thread which he had begun in 2 Corinthians 2:4-5.[147] There he had said with what great grief he wrote our first Epistle. Now, he tells how, even after his departure from Ephesus, this disquieting anxiety about his readers did not leave him, but urged him on from Troas to Macedonia without halting. This he introduces by ΔΈ, which after the end of the section, 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, joins on again to 2 Corinthians 2:4 (Hartung, Partik. I. p. 173; Fritzsche, Diss. II. p. 21). Billroth attempts to connect it with what immediately precedes: “His designs are not unknown to us; all the more I had no rest.” Against this may be urged, not that ἀλλά must have stood instead of ΔΈ, as Rückert thinks (see Hartung, l.c. I. p. 171 f.; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 95); but rather that between the emphatically prefixed οὐ γὰρ αὐτοῦ, 2 Corinthians 2:11, and ἘΛΘῺΝ ΔΈ, no logical relation of contrast exist.

ΕἸς ΤῊΝ ΤΡΩΆΔΑ] from Ephesus on the journey which was to take him through Macedonia to Corinth. 1 Corinthians 16:5-9.

] Aim of the ἘΛΘ. ΕἸς Τ. ΤΡΩΆΔΑ: for the sake of the gospel of Christi.e. in order to proclaim this message of salvation (hence τοῦ Χ. is genitivus objecti, see generally on Mark 1:1). He might, indeed, have come to Troas without wishing to preach, perhaps only as a traveller passing through it. All the more groundless is the involved connection of the εἰς τ. εὐαγγ. with the far remote ἌΝΕΣΙΝ (Hofmann).

] when also (i.e. although, see Bornem. ad Xen. Symp. iv. 13; Kühner, ad Mem. ii. 3. 19) a favourable opportunity for apostolic work was given to me. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 16:9.

ἐν κυρίῳ] That is the sphere in which a door was opened to him: in Christ, in so far as the work opened up to him was not out of Christ (one outside of Christianity), but Christ was the element of it: ἐν κυρ. gives the specific quality of Christian to what is said by θύρ. μ. ἀν.

ἔσχηκα] The perfect vividly realizes the past event, as often in the Greek orators. Comp. 2 Corinthians 1:9, 2 Corinthians 7:5; Romans 5:2. See Bernhardy, p. 379.

τῷ πνεύματί μου] Dativus commodi. Paul has not put τῇ ψυχῇ μου, because here (it is different at 2 Corinthians 7:5) he wishes to express that his very higher life-activity, which has its psychological ground and centre in the ΠΝΕῦΜΑ as the organ of the moral self-consciousness (comp. on Luke 1:46 f.), was occupied by anxious care as to the state of the Corinthians, so that he felt himself thereby, for the present, incapable of pursuing other official interests, or of turning his thoughts away from Corinthian concerns. Comp. 2 Corinthians 7:13; 1 Corinthians 16:18.

] on account of not finding, because I did not find. Comp. Xenophon, Cyr. iv. 5. 9; often in Greek. See Winer, p. 308 [E. T. 344].

Τίτον] whom he had sent to Corinth, and whose return he impatiently expected, in order to receive from him news of the effect of the former Epistl.

ΤῸΝ ἈΔΕΛΦ. ΜΟΥ] By ΜΟΥ the closer relation of fellowship in office is suggested for ἀδελφ.

αὐτοῖς] the Christians in Troas. As to ἈΠΟΤΑΞ. see on Mark 6:46.

] from Troa.

ΕἸς ΜΑΚΕΔ.] Titus was therefore instructed by Paul to travel from Corinth back to Troas through Macedonia, and to meet with him again either there or here.

[147] Laurent regards vv. 12 and 13 as a marginal remark made by the apostle at 2 Corinthians 1:16, and wrongly inserted here.


12. Furthermore, when I came to Troas] Another proof is now given of the Apostle’s sincere desire for the well-being of his converts, his distress at the non-arrival of Titus at the time expected. In spite of the opportunity afforded him of preaching the gospel at Troas, his anxiety would not suffer him to rest, but he hurried on to Macedonia, where at length he found Titus, and heard from him the tidings for which he had scarcely dared to hope.

to Troas] Rather, to the Troad, the angle of territory to the south of the Hellespont on which Troy was situated. See Acts 16:8; Acts 16:11; Acts 20:5; 2 Timothy 4:13. “Still, it must have been at the city that the Apostle stayed. It had been built” (upon the ruins of the ancient city, as Dr Schliemann’s discoveries seem to prove) “by Antigonus (Alexander’s lieutenant) under the name of Antigonia Troas, was afterwards called by Lysimachus, another of Alexander’s generals, Alexandria Troas, and was at this time a Roman ‘colonia Juris Italici’ and regarded with great favour by the Roman emperors, as the representative of the ancient Troy, of which it has been supposed to occupy the site.”—Stanley. It must be remembered that the Romans, as Virgil’s Aeneid testifies, were under the belief that they were the descendants of the ancient Trojans. See Acts 16:8; Acts 20:5-6 also Conybeare and Howson’s St Paul, and Smith’s Dictionary of Geography.

to preach Christ’s gospel] Literally, unto, i.e. for the furtherance of the good tidings of Christ. The word gospel, as is well known, is derived from the Anglo-Saxon god, good, and spell, history or narrative. Some have supposed it to have been God’s spell or history, but the former derivation accords best with the Greek. Spell is now used only to signify the naming the letters of which a word is composed, or of a magical incantation. But both these are derived from the same Anglo-Saxon root.

and a door was opened unto me of the Lord] Door, in New Testament phraseology, is equivalent to opportunity. See 1 Corinthians 16:9; Revelation 3:8. St Paul had come to Troas with the special purpose of preaching the Gospel, and not merely as a traveller. Unusual opportunities offered themselves, but his anxiety about the condition of the Corinthian Church caused him to forego them all. Calvin and Estius discuss the propriety of St Paul’s leaving unused the opportunity offered to him at Troas. But he soon (Acts 20:6) returned thither, and he evidently had good reason to believe the state of things at Corinth to be the more urgent of the two. It was of more importance to keep those who were called by the name of Christ from disgracing Him, than to bring fresh souls to the knowledge of Him.

2 Corinthians 2:12. Καὶ) even although [Engl. Ver., and]. Paul would have willingly abode at Troas.—θύρας, a door) Nevertheless Paul did not sin, in departing, inasmuch as it remained free to him to do so.—ἄνεσιν, rest) His spirit first began to feel the want of it, then the flesh, 2 Corinthians 7:5. He was desirous of knowing how the Corinthians had received his former epistle.—τῷ πνεύματι, in spirit) He perceived from this, that it was not imperatively necessary to avail himself of that door.—Τίτον, Titus) who was about to come from you.

Verses 12-17. - Outburst of thanksgiving for the news brought by Titus.' Verse 12. - Furthermore, when I came to Troas. "Furthermore" is too strong for the "but" of the original. There is an apparently abrupt transition, but the apostle is only resuming the narrative which he broke off at ver. 4 in order that he might finish the topic of the painful circumstance in which his First Epistle had originated. To Troas. Not "the Troas." St. Paul had to do with the city, not with the district. The city (now Eski Stamboul), of which the name had been changed from Antigonia Troas to Alexandria Troas, was at this time a flourishing colony (Colonia Juris Italici), highly favoured by the Romans as representing ancient Troy, and therefore as being the mythological cradle of their race. He visited it on his being driven from Ephesus after the tumult, a little earlier than he would naturally have left it. He had visited Troas in his second missionary journey (Acts 16:8-11), but had left it in consequence of the vision which called him to Macedonia. He now stopped there on his journey through Macedonia to Corinth, which he had announced in 1 Corinthians 16:5. And a door was opened unto me of the Lord; literally, and a door had been opened to me in the Lord; i.e. and I found there a marked opportunity (1 Corinthians 16:9) for work in Christ. Some commentators, in that spirit of superfluous disquisition and idle letter-worship which is the bane of exegesis, here venture to discuss whether St. Paul was justified in neglecting this opportunity or not. Such discussions are only originated by not observing characteristic modes of expression. St. Paul merely means" circumstances would otherwise have been very favourable for my preaching of Christ; but I was in such a state of miserable anxiety that I lacked the strength to avail myself of them." He was no more responsible for this state of mind, which belonged to his natural temperament, than he would have been responsible for a serious illness. To say that he ought to have had strength of mind enough to get the mastery over his feelings is only to say that Paul ought not to have been Paul. The neglect to use the opportunity was a "hindrance" which might in one sense be assigned to God, and in another to Satan. Moreover, that the opportunity was not wholly lost appears from the fact that St. Paul found a flourishing Christian community at Troas when he visit, d it on his return from this very journey (Acts 20:6, 7), and that he stayed there at least once again, shortly before his martyrdom (2 Timothy 4:13). Indeed, it was probably at Troas that his final arrest took place (see my 'Life of St. Paul,' 2:569, 576). Of the Lord; rather, in the Lord; i.e. in the sphere of Christian work. 2 Corinthians 2:12I came to Troas

Bengel remarks: "The whole epistle is an itinerary." The fact is another illustration of the strong personal feeling which marks the letter. "The very stages of his journey are impressed upon it; the troubles at Ephesus, the repose at Troas, the anxiety and consolation of Macedonia, the prospect of moving to Corinth."


The full name of the city was Alexandria Troas. It was founded by Antigonos, one of the successors of Alexander the Great, and originally called by him Antigonia Troas. It was finished by Lysimachus, another of Alexander's generals, and called by him Alexandria Troas. It stood upon the seashore, about four miles from ancient Troy, and six miles south of the entrance to the Hellespont. It was, for many centuries, the key of the traffic between Europe and Asia, having an artificial port consisting of two basins. Its ruins, with their immense arches and great columns of granite, indicate a city of much splendor. The Romans had a peculiar interest in it, connected with the tradition of their own origin from Troy; and the jus Italicum was accorded it by Augustus, by which its territory enjoyed the same immunity from taxation which attached to land in Italy. Both Julius Caesar and Constantine conceived the design of making it a capital. The ruins enclose a circuit of several miles, and include a vast gymnasium, a stadium, a theatre, and an aqueduct. The Turks call it "Old Constantinople." The harbor is now blocked up.

A door

See on 1 Corinthians 16:9.

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