2 Corinthians 7:2
Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
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(2) Receive us; we have wronged no man.—Better, Make room for us; we wronged no man: with the same change of tense in the verbs that follow. There is an almost infinite pathos in that entreaty, uttered, we may well believe, as from the very depths of the soul—“Make room for us.” The under-current of thought flows on. He had complained of their being straitened in their affections, had entreated that they would enlarge their hearts towards him, as his heart was enlarged towards them. He has travelled on—his thoughts turning now to the party of license, with whom he had pleaded so earnestly in 1 Corinthians 8-10—to the terribly unutterable contaminations to which they were exposing themselves by their companionship with idolaters. He now, almost, as it were, with sobs, entreats once more: “You can find a place for such as these in your heart. Have you no place for me?” In the words “we wronged no man” we find reference to charges of greed of gain and self-interested motives that had been whispered against him, and to which he refers again in 2Corinthians 8:20; 2Corinthians 12:18. Perhaps, also, he contrasts himself with others, who “did wrong and defrauded” (1Corinthians 6:8).

We have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.—The word for “corrupt” is the same as that translated “defile” in 1Corinthians 3:17, and is used with manifest reference to sensual impurity in 2Peter 2:12; Jude 1:10; Revelation 19:2. The word for “defrauded” is not the same as that in 1Corinthians 6:8, and though meaning literally “to make a gain,” or “seek a gain,” had, with its cognate nouns, acquired a darker shade of meaning. The verb is used in obvious connection with impurity in 1Thessalonians 4:3-6, where see Note. The nouns often appear in closest companionship with those which indicate that form of evil (1Corinthians 5:10-11; Ephesians 5:5; 2Peter 2:14; Romans 1:29; Colossians 3:5). Mere greed of gain is commonly described by another word, which we translate “the love of money” (Luke 16:14; 1Timothy 6:10; 2Timothy 3:2). There seems, then, sufficient reason for connecting this verb also with the same class of sins. It would seem as if the word had colloquially acquired a secondary meaning, and was used of those who sought gain by ministering to the vice of others—who became, as it were, purveyors of impurity. The words, so understood, give us a momentary glimpse into a depth of evil from which we would willingly turn our eyes. But they leave no room for doubt that, in the infinite pruriency of such a city as Corinth, even such things as these had been said of the Apostle in the cynical jests of the paganising party of license. They tolerated such things themselves. They welcomed those who practised them to their friendship (1Corinthians 5:11). They whispered, we may well believe, of private interviews in lonely lodgings, of public gatherings at night of men and women, and of the kiss of peace. They insinuated that, after all, he was even such a one as themselves. So, in like manner, was the fair fame of a disciple of St. Paul’s attacked by Martial, not apparently with malignity, but only in the wantonness of jest. (See Excursus on the Later. Years of St. Paul’s Life, at the end of the Acts of the Apostles.) So like charges were levelled at the reputation of Athanasius (Sozomen. Hist. ii. 25), and of Hooker (Walton’s Life). So, generally, it was the ever-recurring calumny of the heathen against the Christians that their Agapae, or Feasts of Love, were scenes of foulest license. It is obvious that there is much in the popular outcry against confession that partakes more or less of the same character. Against charges of this nature St. Paul utters his indignant denial: “No,” he virtually says; “you find a place in your affections for those who do such things: can you not find a place also for us who are free from them?” The sense which some have given to the word “corrupt,” as referring only to doctrinal corruptions, is manifestly out of the question.

2 Corinthians 7:2-4. Receive us — With that affection which is due to the faithful servants of Christ, and to those who have been instruments in your conversion and edification; for, whatever may have been insinuated by ill- designing persons to the contrary; we have wronged — Or injured; no man — In his person. We have corrupted no man — In his principles. We have defrauded no man — Of his property. In this he intimates, likewise, the good he had done them, but with the utmost modesty, as it were, not looking on it. I speak not this to condemn you — As if I accused you of charging me with any of these crimes, but to vindicate myself from the imputations of the false apostles; for I have said before, &c. — I am so far from thinking so unkindly of you; that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you — That is, I could rejoice to spend all my days with you. Great is my boldness, &c. — As if he had said, As an argument of my love, I deal very freely with you upon all occasions; Great is my glorying of you — Or my boasting concerning you. He could, with confidence, boast of them, after the account which Titus brought him of their obedience and good dispositions. I am filled with comfort — On your account. I am exceeding joyful, &c. — My joy for your obedience overbalances the pain occasioned by my affliction.

7:1-4 The promises of God are strong reasons for us to follow after holiness; we must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit. If we hope in God as our Father, we must seek to be holy as he is holy, and perfect as our Father in heaven. His grace, by the influences of his Spirit, alone can purify, but holiness should be the object of our constant prayers. If the ministers of the gospel are thought contemptible, there is danger lest the gospel itself be despised also; and though ministers must flatter none, yet they must be gentle towards all. Ministers may look for esteem and favour, when they can safely appeal to the people, that they have corrupted no man by false doctrines or flattering speeches; that they have defrauded no man; nor sought to promote their own interests so as to hurt any. It was affection to them made the apostle speak so freely to them, and caused him to glory of them, in all places, and upon all occasions.Receive us - Tyndale renders this: "understand us." The word used here (χωρήσατε chōrēsate) means properly, give space, place, or room; and it means here evidently, make place or room for us in your affections; that is, admit or receive us as your friends. It is an earnest entreaty that they would do what he had exhorted them to do in 2 Corinthians 6:13; see the note on that verse. From that he had digressed in the close of the last chapter. He here returns to the subject and asks an interest in their affections and their love.

We have wronged no man - We have done injustice to no man. This is given as a reason why they should admit him to their full confidence and affection. It is not improbable that he had been charged with injuring the incestuous person by the severe discipline which he had found it necessary to inflict on him; note, 1 Corinthians 5:5. This charge would not improbably be brought against him by the false teachers in Corinth. But Paul here says, that whatever was the severity of the discipline, he was conscious of having done injury to no member of that church. It is possible, however, that he does not here refer to any such charge, but that he says in general that he had done no injury, and that there was no reason why they should not receive him to their entire confidence. It argues great consciousness of integrity when a man who has spent a considerable time, as Paul had, with others, is able to say that he had wronged no man in any way. Paul could not have made this solemn declaration unless he was certain he had lived a very blameless life; compare Acts 20:33.

We have corrupted no man - This means that he had corrupted no man in his morals, either by his precept or his example. The word (φθείρω phtheirō) means in general to bring into a worse state or condition, and is very often applied to morals. The idea is, here, that Paul had not by his precept or example made any man the worse. He had not corrupted his principles or his habits, or led him into sin.

We have defrauded no man - We have taken no man's property by cunning, by trick, or by deception. The word πλεονεκτέω pleonekteō means literally to have more than another, and then to take advantage, to seek unlawful gain, to circumvent, defraud, deceive. The idea is, that Paul had taken advantage of no circumstances to extort money from them, to overreach them, or to cheat them. It is the conviction of a man who was conscious that he had lived honestly, and who could appeal to them all as full proof that his life among them had been blameless.

2. Receive us—with enlarged hearts (2Co 6:13).

we have wronged … corrupter … defrauded no man—(compare 2Co 7:9). This is the ground on which he asks their reception of (making room for) him in their hearts. We wronged none by an undue exercise of apostolic authority; 2Co 7:13 gives an instance in point. We have corrupted none, namely, by beguilements and flatteries, while preaching "another Gospel," as the false teachers did (2Co 11:3, 4). We have defrauded none by "making a gain" of you (2Co 12:17). Modestly he leaves them to supply the positive good which he had done; suffering all things himself that they might be benefited (2Co 7:9, 12; 2Co 12:13).

Receive us; let us have a room in your hearts and esteem, or (more generally) accept us, as you ought to receive and accept the ministers of Christ. As our heart is enlarged towards you, so let your hearts be enlarged towards us; we have done nothing to alienate your hearts from us.

We have wronged no man; we have done no harm to any of you, we have not been like the shepherds that merely take the fleece, and eat the flesh of the flock: Acts 20:33: I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. We have corrupted no man; we have corrupted none by any false doctrine, or by flattering speeches, or by bribes or gifts.

We have defrauded no man; we have cheated or defrauded no man. By which vindication of or apology for himself and his fellow labourers, it is not improbably judged, that the apostle reflecteth upon those false apostles and teachers that were crept into this church, who had wronged him, corrupted them, and been too busy in other ways to pick their pockets. Nothing becometh more a minister of the gospel, than innocency and righteousness; nothing more commends him unto his people: for though they are easily persuaded that an innocent and just man must be a pious man, yet they are difficultly persuaded, (and there is no reason for it), that an unjust or mischievous man can be so. Men are so mad of their lusts, that ofttimes teachers who will favour them in them, though never so unjust and unrighteous in their actings, shall find more favour with them, than the most righteous person that will not spare them as to their Herodias: But he who will entertain the least hopes to bring men off from their lusts and sinful practices, is concerned above all men to be innocent and righteous.

Receive us,.... Into your affections, let us have a place in your hearts, as you have in ours: Gospel ministers ought to be received with love and respect, both into the hearts and houses of the saints; for "he that receiveth you", says Christ, "receiveth me", Matthew 10:40. Their doctrines are to be received in the love of them, and with faith and meekness; and this may be another part of the apostle's meaning here; receive the word and ministry of reconciliation, which we as the ambassadors of Christ bring, and the several exhortations we give in his name, particularly the last mentioned: next follow reasons, or arguments, engaging, them to comply with this request,

we have wronged no man; we have done no man any injury in his person, estate, or name. There is one among you that has done wrong, and another among you that has suffered wrong, 2 Corinthians 7:12 and we have given very faithful advice to the church how to behave in this affair; but, in so doing, we have neither wronged him nor you; and as not in this, so neither in any other case: if I or my fellow apostles have wronged you in anything, it is in not being "burdensome" to you for our maintenance, "forgive me this wrong", 2 Corinthians 12:13 for in no other respect have we done you any: some understand this of any lordly power, or tyrannical domination they had exercised over them, denied by the apostle; we have not behaved in an insolent manner towards you, we have not lorded it over God's heritage, or claimed any dominion over your faith, or required any unreasonable obedience and submission from you:

we have corrupted no man; neither by our doctrines and principles, which are perfectly agreeable to the word of God, make for the good of souls, and tend to the glory of Christ; nor by our example, but have been careful to lead such lives and conversations as are becoming the Gospel of Christ, adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, and are patterns to them that believe; nor have we corrupted by flatteries, or with bribes, any of the leading men among you, in order to gain their good will, and thereby respect and credit among others:

we have defrauded no man, or "coveted no man"; no man's silver, gold, or apparel; we have not sought yours, but you; not to amass wealth to ourselves, but that we might be useful to your souls, for your spiritual good, and serviceable to the glory of Christ; we have not through covetousness made merchandise of you, with feigned words, as the false apostles have done, therefore receive us.

{1} {b} Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.

(1) He returns again from that admonition to his own person, contrasting with them the testimonies both of his faithfulness and also of his continual good will towards them.

(b) Let me have some place among you, that I may teach you.

2 Corinthians 7:2. Having finished his exhortation, 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 2 Corinthians 7:1, he now repeats the same request with which in 2 Corinthians 6:13 he had introduced that exhortation (πλατύνθητε ὑμεῖς), using the corresponding expression χωρήσατε ἡμᾶς: take us, i.e. receive us, give us room in your heart (comp. Mark 2:2; John 2:6; John 21:25; 4Ma 7:6; Herod. iv. 61; Thuc. ii. 17. 3; Eurip. Hipp. 941), and then adds at once (without the medium of a γάρ) in lively emotion the reason why they had no cause whatever to refuse him this request (στενοχωρεῖσθαι ἐν τοῖς σπλάγχνοις, comp. 2 Corinthians 6:12). Chrysostom rightly as to substance explains the figurative χωρήσατε by φιλήσατε and Theophylact: δέξασθε ἡμᾶς πλατέως, καὶ μὴ στενοχωρώμεθα ἐν ὑμῖν. Comp. Theodoret. So also most of the later commentators, though the meaning was often limited in an arbitrary way (comp. Rosenmüller, Stolz, Flatt, and Pelagius), e.g.: give ear to us, and the like. Others take it: understand us rightly (Bengel, Storr, Bretschneider, Rückert, de Wette). Unobjectionable from a linguistic point of view (see Wetstein, ad Matthew 19:11); but in the exhortation of 2 Corinthians 7:1 there was nothing to be misunderstood, just as little as for the readers in the disclosure that follows (to which de Wette refers it); and if Paul, as Rückert thinks, had had it in his mind that the measures of his first Epistle had been judged unfavourably, he could not have expected any reader to gather this from the simple χωρήσατε ἡμᾶς, especially as in what follows the idea of the effects of the first Epistle is quite kept at a distance by οὐδένα ἐπλεονεκτήσαμεν.[255]

οὐδένα ἠδικήσαμεν κ.τ.λ.] This is no doubt aimed at hostile calumniations of the apostle and his companions. Some one must have said: They act wrongly towards the people! they ruin them, they enrich themselves from them! It is impossible to prove that ἐφθείραμεν applies exactly to the corruptela quae fit per falsam doctrinam (Calvin and most, following the Fathers; just as Hofmann also refers it to the inward injuring of the persons themselves, 1 Corinthians 3:17); the way in which the word is associated with ἠδικήσ. and ἐπλεονεκτ. is rather in favour of a reference to the outward position. In how many ways not known to us more precisely may the apostle and his fellow-labourers have been accused of such a ruining of others! How easily might such slanders be based on the strictness of his moral requirements, his sternness in punishing, his zeal for collections, his lodging with members of the church, the readiness to make sacrifices which he demanded, and the like! Probably his prosecution and administration of the collections would be especially blackened by this reproach of πλεονεκτεῖν. Comp. 2 Corinthians 12:17-18. Rückert refers all three words to the contents of the former Epistle: “with what I wrote you, I have done no one wrong,” etc.; so that ἠδικ. would refer to the severe punishment of the incestuous person, ἐφθείρ. to his delivery over to Satan, and ἐπλεονεκτ. to the control which Paul by this discipline seemed desirous to exercise over the transgressor and over the church. But if his readers were to know of this reference to his former Epistle, he must have expressed it (the reader could not guess it). Besides, the word ἐπλεονεκτ. is against this view, for in the N. T. it denotes overreaching for one’s own benefit as an Acts of covetousness properly so called, provided the context (as in 2 Corinthians 2:11, by ὑπὸ τοῦ Σατανᾶ) does not furnish a more general reference. And, moreover, those acts of discipline, to which Paul is supposed to refer, were acts so completely personal on the part of the apostle, that the plural expression in our passage would be quite unsuitabl.

οὐδένα] in the consciousness of innocence is with great emphasis prefixed three times; but we cannot, with Rückert, infer from this that the incestuous person is concealed under it. Comp. πάντες and πάντα, and 1 Corinthians 12:29; 1 Corinthians 13:7; Buttm. neut. Gram. p. 341 [E. T. 398].

[255] This also in opposition to de Wette’s way of completing the thought: “Impute no evil designs to me in writing the first Epistle. For such imputation I have given you no occasion in my apostolic conduct. I have wronged no one,” etc.

2 Corinthians 7:2-16. Regarding the impression made by the former Epistle and its result. A conciliatory outpouring of love and confidence serves as introduction, 2 Corinthians 7:2-4. Then an account how Paul received through Titus the comforting and cheering news of the impression made by his Epistle, 2 Corinthians 7:5-7. True, he had saddened the readers by his Epistle, but he regrets it no longer, but rejoices now on account of the nature and effect of this saddening, 2 Corinthians 7:8-12. Therefore he is calmed, and his joy is still more heightened by the joy of Titus, who has returned so much cheered that Paul saw all his boasts to Titus regarding them justified. He is glad to be of good courage in everything through them, 2 Corinthians 7:13-16.

2 Corinthians 7:2-4. HE CLAIMS THEIR SYMPATHY AGAIN. He now resumes the appeal which is interrupted at 2 Corinthians 6:13 by the parenthetical warning 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 2 Corinthians 7:1.

2–16. Exhortation to set aside all suspicion and to confide in the Apostle’s love and zeal for their spiritual well-being

2. Receive us] Literally, Make room for us (‘capaces estote nostri,’ Erasmus and Calvin. Tyndale and Cranmer, incorrectly, understonde us). The word here used is to be found in the sense of having room for in Mark 2:2; John 2:6; John 21:25. These words have reference to ch. 2 Corinthians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14, where see notes. The connection of what follows with what has just preceded is to be found in the thought which underlies the whole, that St Paul’s only desire is the spiritual advancement of his flock.

we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man] Perhaps these words should be rendered ‘we wronged, corrupted, defrauded no man,’ i.e. during the course of our ministry at Corinth. St Paul here refers to the charges brought against him. He had been accused of wronging the Corinthians by claiming an authority to which he had no right, and which he turned to his own account (see 1 Corinthians 9:1-6; 2 Corinthians 1:12-17; 2 Corinthians 5:12; 2 Corinthians 6:3-4; 2 Corinthians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 10:7-11; 2 Corinthians 11:7; 2 Corinthians 12:14); of corrupting them by preaching false doctrine, 2 Corinthians 2:17, 2 Corinthians 4:2 (unless, with Thomas Aquinas, we interpret it of bad example); of defrauding them, 2 Corinthians 12:17-18, where the word here used is translated ‘make a gain of.’ To this he replies by challenging them to prove their assertions, to name a single instance in which he had done either. Dr Plumptre regards the words ‘corrupted’ and ‘defrauded’ as referring to sensual sin, and illustrates by the revolting charges of immorality brought against the Christians by those who misinterpreted their brotherly and sisterly affection. It is true that the word here translated ‘defrauded’ seems to have a reference to something more than mere greed of gain. See note on 1 Corinthians 5:10-11. Still, the word translated ‘corrupted’ and its derivatives do not appear to have had any such restricted sense in St Paul. See, for instance, 1 Corinthians 3:17, ch. 2 Corinthians 11:3 of this Epistle; and, in a less degree, Ephesians 4:22. And, however common such charges were in the days of Minucius Felix and Tertullian, they are not hinted at elsewhere in Scripture, but rather the contrary. See 1 Peter 4:4; 2 Peter 2:2.

2 Corinthians 7:2. Χωρήσατε ἡμᾶς, receive us) The sum of what is stated in this and in the tenth and following chapter.—ἡμᾶς) us, who love you and rejoice for your sake, receive also with favour our feelings, words, and actions.—οὐδένα ἠδικήσαμεν, οὐδένα ἐφθείραμεν, οὐδένα ἐπλεονεκτήσαμεν) He lays down three things by gradation, the first of which he treats from 2 Corinthians 7:4, by repeating the very word ἀδικεῖν, at 2 Corinthians 7:12; the second from ch. 2 Corinthians 10:1, by repeating the very word φθείρειν, at ch. 2 Corinthians 11:3; the third from ch. 2 Corinthians 12:13, by repeating the very word πλεονεκτεῖν, ib. 2 Corinthians 12:17. I have marked however the beginning of the paragraph at 2 Corinthians 7:11 of the chapter quoted. The point of transition [to the discussion of πλεονεκτεῖν] may be referred to what goes before or to what follows after 2 Corinthians 7:11 [i.e., may be fixed in the context before or after 2 Corinthians 7:11]. The discussion of the clause itself, οὐδένα ἐπλεονεκτήσαμεν begins at 2 Corinthians 7:13. This then is what he means to say: There is no reason, why you should not receive us [favourably: capiatis]: for we have injured no man, by our severity producing an absorbing grief [referring to ch. 2 Corinthians 2:7, “lest such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow”]; nay, we have not even made a man worse by a too haughty mode of acting: nay, we have not even defrauded any man for gain; in everything we have consulted you and your interests: comp. 2 Corinthians 7:9; and that too, without any reward. Whilst he declares, that he had been the occasion of no evil to the Corinthians, he intimates, that he had done them good, but very modestly keeps it as it were out of sight.

Verse 2. - Receive us; rather, open your hearts to us; make room for us (comp. Mark 2:2; John 2:6). It is an appeal to them to get rid of the narrowness of heart, the constricted affections, of which he has complained in 2 Corinthians 6:12. We have wronged... corrupted... defrauded no man. The "no man" in the original is placed first, and this emphatic position, together with its triple repetition, marks St. Paul's insistence on the fact that, whatever his enemies might insinuate, there was no single member of their Church who could complain of injury, moral harm, or unfair treatment from him. Clearly he is again thinking of definite slanders against himself. His sternness to the offender may have been denounced as a wrong; his generous sanction of broad views about clean and unclean meats, idol-offerings, etc., may have been represented as corrupting others by false teaching (2 Corinthians 2:17) or bad example (2 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:6); his urgency about the collection for the saints (2 Corinthians 12:16; Acts 20:33), or his assertion of legitimate authority, may have been specified as greed for power. The verb pleonektein is often used in connection with other verbs, implying sensuality. It is difficult for us even to imagine that St. Paul had ever been charged with gross immorality; but it may have been so, for in a corrupt atmosphere everything is corrupt. Men like Nero and Heliogabalus, being themselves the vilest of men, openly declared their belief that no man was pure, and many in the heathen world may have been inclined to similar suspicions. Of Whitefield, the poet says -

"His sins were such as Sodom never knew,
And calumny stood up to swear all true."
We know too that the Christians were universally charged with Thyestean banquets and promiscuous licentiousness. It is, however, more natural to take pleonektein in its general sense, in which it means "to overreach," "to claim or seize more than one's just rights" (see 2 Corinthians 2:11) In 1 Corinthians 9:1-6 he is defending himself against similar charges, as also in this Epistle (2 Corinthians 5:12; 6:3; 10:7-11; 11; 12., passim). For similar strains of defence, see those of Moses and of Samuel. 2 Corinthians 7:2Receive (χωρήσατε)

From χῶρος place or space. Primarily, to leave a space, make room for. See on containing, John 2:6; see on John 8:37. The meaning here is make room for us. Rev., open your hearts to us, which is felicitous in view of the reference to 2 Corinthians 6:12. It is equivalent to saying enlarge your hearts to take us in, as our heart is enlarged (2 Corinthians 6:11).

Defrauded (ἐπλεονεκτήσαμεν)

Used by Paul only. It adds the idea of wrong for the sake of gain, which is not necessarily implied in either of the other verbs.

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