2 Corinthians 2:9
For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
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(9) For to this end also did I write . . .—The tense of the Greek verb, which may be what is known as the Epistolary aorist, used by the writer of the time at which he writes, would not be decisive as to what is referred to, and the words may mean: “I write to you thus to see whether you are as obedient now as you were before—in one line of action as in the other.” If he refers to the First Epistle, it is to intimate that he gave the directions in 1Corinthians 5:3-7, not only for the removal of a scandal and the reformation of the offender who had caused it, but as a test of their obedience. On the whole, the former interpretation seems preferable. It scarcely seems like St. Paul to make the punishment a trial of obedience. There is a characteristic subtle delicacy of thought in his suggesting that, having shown obedience in punishing they should show it also in forgiving.

2:5-11 The apostle desires them to receive the person who had done wrong, again into their communion; for he was aware of his fault, and much afflicted under his punishment. Even sorrow for sin should not unfit for other duties, and drive to despair. Not only was there danger last Satan should get advantage, by tempting the penitent to hard thoughts of God and religion, and so drive him to despair; but against the churches and the ministers of Christ, by bringing an evil report upon Christians as unforgiving; thus making divisions, and hindering the success of the ministry. In this, as in other things, wisdom is to be used, that the ministry may not be blamed for indulging sin on the one hand, or for too great severity towards sinners on the other hand. Satan has many plans to deceive, and knows how to make a bad use of our mistakes.For to this end also did I write - The apostle did not say that this was the only purpose of his writing, to induce them to excommunicate the offender. He does not say that he wished in an arbitrary manner to test their willingness to obey him, or to induce them to do a thing in itself wrong, in order to try their obedience. But the meaning is this: This was the main reason why he wrote to them, rather than to come personally among them. The thing ought to have been done; the offender ought to be punished; and Paul says that he adopted the method of writing to them rather than of coming among them in person, in order to give them an opportunity to show whether they were disposed to be obedient. And the sense is, "You may now forgive him. He has not only been sufficiently punished, and he has not only evinced suitable penitence, but also another object which I had in view has been accomplished. I desired to see whether you were, as a church, disposed to be obedient. That object, also, has been accomplished. And now, since everything aimed at in the case of discipline has been secured, you may forgive him, and should, without hesitation, again receive him to the bosom of the church." 9. For—Additional reason why they should restore the offender, namely, as a "proof" of their obedience "in all things"; now in love, as previously in punishing (2Co 2:6), at the apostle's desire. Besides his other reasons for deferring his visit, he had the further view, though, perhaps, unperceived by them, of making an experiment of their fidelity. This accounts for his deferring to give, in his Epistle, the reason for his change of plan (resolved on before writing it). This full discovery of his motive comes naturally from him now, in the second Epistle, after he had seen the success of his measures, but would not have been a seasonable communication before. All this accords with reality, and is as remote as possible from imposture [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ]. The interchange of feeling is marked (2Co 2:4), "I wrote … that ye might know the love," &c.: here, "I did write, that I might know the proof of you." As for other ends, so for this also I wrote my former Epistle to you, and I now write this Second Epistle to you also, that I might have an experiment of you, what regard you would show to that apostolical authority wherewith God hath invested me.

For to this end also did I write,.... Or "I have written", both in this and in his former epistle to them, and in both with this view,

that I might know the proof of you; that he might try, prove, and know them:

whether ye be obedient in all things; he wrote unto them in his former epistle, to put away that wicked man from them; which he did not do, merely to reproach the man, and fix a brand of infamy on him; nor merely to grieve and afflict their minds; nor only to show his own power and authority, which he as an apostle had received from Christ, but to make trial of their obedience; and he had had a proof of it in their rejection of him; and now he writes unto them, that since this man was truly humbled for his sin, and had repentance unto life not to be repented of, that they would as cheerfully receive him, and restore him to his place; that as the apostle had a proof of their obedience in the one, he might also have in the other, and so in all things: hence it appears, that though it belongs to the whole church, and that only, to reject or receive members, yet as ministers of the Gospel are set over the churches, to govern, guide, direct, and go before in matters of discipline; so whatever they propose, according to the rule of God's word, ought to be carefully attended to and obeyed.

For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
2 Corinthians 2:9. 2 Corinthians 2:9-10 are not to be placed in a parenthesis, nor 2 Corinthians 2:9 alone (Flatt); but the discourse proceeds without interruption. 2 Corinthians 2:9, namely, begins to furnish grounds for the κυρῶσαι εἰς αὐτὸν ἀγάπην, and, first of all, from the aim of the former Epistle, which aim (in reference to the relation to the incestuous person in the case of most of them at least) was attained, so that now nothing on this point stood in the way of the κυρῶσαι κ.τ.λ. “Correcta enim eorum segnitie nihil jam obstabat, quominus hominem prostratum et jacentem sua mansuetudine erigerent,” Calvi.

εἰς τοῦτο] points to the following ἵνα κ.τ.λ., comp. 2 Corinthians 2:1. It is: for this end in order that, et.

καὶ ἔγραψα is not to be translated as if it stood: καὶ γὰρ εἰς τοῦτο ἔγραψα (Flatt, following the older commentators), but as, rightly, in the Vulgate: “ideo enim et scripsi.” The καί, however, cannot be intended to mark the agreement with the present admonition (Hofmann), because Paul does not quote what he had written; but it opposes the written to the oral communication (comp. 2 Corinthians 7:12), and rests on the conception: I have not confined myself merely to oral directions (through your returning delegates), but—what should bind you all the more to observance

I have also written. This ἔγραψα, however, does not apply to the present Epistle (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Erasmus, Menochius, Wolf, Bengel, Heumann, Schulz, Morus, Olshausen, and others), but, as the whole context shows (comp. 2 Corinthians 2:3-4), to our first Epistle.[143]

τὴν δοκιμὴν ὑμ.] your tried quality (2 Corinthians 8:2, 2 Corinthians 9:13, 2 Corinthians 13:3; Romans 5:4; Php 2:22),—i.e. here, according to the following epexegesis, εἰ εἰς πάντα ὑπήκ. ἐστε: your assured submissiveness to me. The aim here stated of the first Epistle was, among its several aims (comp. 2 Corinthians 2:3-4), the very one, which presented itself here from the point of view of the connectio.

εἰς πάντα] in reference to everything, in every respect, therefore also in regard to my punitive measure against the incestuous man. Comp. phrases such as εἰς πάντα πρῶτον εἶναι (Plato, Charm. p. 158 A), and the like; εἰς πάντα is here emphatic.

[143] On the supposition of a lost intermediate Epistle, this must have been the one meant; see Ewald. Comp. on ver. 3, 2 Corinthians 7:12.

2 Corinthians 2:9. εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ κ.τ.λ.: for to this end also did I write, viz., that I might know the proof of you, whether ye were obedient in all things; i.e., his object in writing the former letter (1 Cor.) was not only the reformation of the offender, but the testing of the Corinthians’ acceptance of his apostolic authority (cf. 2 Corinthians 7:12). For the constr. εἰς τοῦτο γάρἵναcf. Romans 14:9. It is hard to decide between the readings εἰ, “whether,” or , “whereby” (see crit. note); but the general sense is the same in both cases. A comparison of this verse with 2 Corinthians 7:12 has led some critics to doubt whether chaps. 2 and 7 really refer at all to the offender of 1 Corinthians 5:1; for the expressed object of St. Paul’s communication was to prove the loyalty of the Corinthians to himself. And thus it is supposed that the individual in view is some bitter personal opponent of St. Paul (see Tertullian, de Pudic. xiii. f.). But 2 Corinthians 2:5-9 seem quite consecutive, and we find it more natural to interpret 2 Corinthians 2:5 in reference to 1 Corinthians 5:1 ff; 1 Corinthians 7:12 seems clearly to distinguish ὁ ἀδικηθείς from St. Paul himself (see Introd., p. 15).

9. For to this end also did I write] St Paul here gives a third reason for writing the first Epistle. Not only was he anxious for the restoration of the offender, for a visit to Corinth which should have nothing of a painful character about it, but he wished to test the readiness of the Corinthians to submit to his authority (cf. ch. 2 Corinthians 7:15, 2 Corinthians 10:6), a point on which (1 Corinthians 9, 2 Corinthians 10-12) at that moment there was considerable doubt. See also note on 2 Corinthians 2:6. Some commentators, however, contend that the word ἔγραψα, though an aorist, is, as what is called the Epistolary aorist, to be translated “I write” (as in 1 John 2:14), and that it refers to the present letter, and that the test of obedience St Paul desired was the display of forgiveness. But this seems hardly consistent with 1 Corinthians 5:2. See also Php 2:12, and 2 Corinthians 2:3 of this chapter.

the proof] That which has been tested and has borne the test. The word is variously translated in our version. In Romans 5:4 it is translated experience, in ch. 2 Corinthians 8:2 of this Epistle, trial, in 2 Corinthians 9:13, experiment, in 2 Corinthians 13:3 and in Php 2:22, proof.

2 Corinthians 2:9. Καὶ ἔγραψα) not only I write, but I also did write.—τὴν δοκιμὴν, the proof) whether you are genuine, loving, obedient sons.[12]—εἰς πάντα, in all things) in reproof [2 Corinthians 2:6], and in love.

[12] See Titus 1:4.

Verse 9. - For to this end also did I write. This is another reason which he gives for the severe tone of his First Epistle. It was written

(1) to avoid the necessity for a painful visit (ver. 3);

(2) to show his special love for them (ver. 4); and

(3) to test their obedience. The proof of you. Your proved faithfulness (2 Corinthians 8:2; 2 Corinthians 9:13; 2 Corinthians 13:3; Romans 5:4); your capacity to stand a test. 2 Corinthians 2:9The proof of you (τὴν δοκιμὴν ὑμῶν)

See on Romans 5:4. Your tried quality. See on 1 Peter 1:7. Compare Philippians 2:22.

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