2 Corinthians 7:4
Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.
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(4) Great is my boldness of speech.—The context shows that he is not apologising for bold and plain speaking, but uses the word as implying confidence (1Timothy 3:13; Philemon 1:8). He can speak without reticence now, because he is going to express his comfort and joy at what had been reported to him.

I am exceeding joyful.—Literally, I exceedingly abound (or, overflow) in joy. The verb is the same as in Romans 5:20, and answers to the “pressed above measure” which he had used in 2Corinthians 1:8, in speaking of his troubles.

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.Great is my boldness of speech toward you - This verse seems designed to soften the apparent harshness of what he had said 2 Corinthians 6:12, when he intimated that there was a lack of love in them toward him (Bloomfield), as well as to refer to the plainness which he had used all along in his letters to them. He says, therefore, that he speaks freely; he speaks as a friend; he speaks with the utmost openness and frankness; he conceals nothing from them. He speaks freely of their faults, and he speaks freely of his love to them; and he as frankly commends them and praises them. It is the open, undisguised language of a friend, when he throws open his whole soul and conceals nothing.

Great is my glorying of you - I have great occasion to commend and praise you, and I do it freely. He refers here to the fact that he had boasted of their liberality in regard to the proposed collection for the poor saints of Judea 2 Corinthians 9:4; that he had formerly boasted much of them to Titus, and of their readiness to obey his commands 2 Corinthians 7:14; and that now he had had abundant evidence, by what he had heard from Titus (verses 5ff), that they were disposed to yield to his commands, and obey his injunctions. He had probably often had occasion to boast of their favorable regard for him.

I am filled with comfort - That is, by the evidence which I have received of your readiness to obey me.

I am exceeding joyful - I am overjoyed. The word used here occurs nowhere else in the New Testament except in Romans 5:20. It is not found in the classic writers; and is a word which Paul evidently compounded (from ὑπὲρ huper and περισσεύω perisseuō), and means to superabound over, to superabound greatly, or exceedingly. It is a word which would be used only when the heart was full, and when it would be difficult to find words to express its conceptions. Paul's heart was full of joy; and he pours forth his feelings in the most fervid and glowing language. I have joy which cannot be expressed.

In all our tribulation - see the note, 2 Corinthians 1:4.

4. boldness of speech—(compare 2Co 6:11).

glorying of you—Not only do I speak with unreserved openness to you, but I glory (boast) greatly to others in your behalf, in speaking of you.

filled with comfort—at the report of Titus (2Co 7:6, 7, 9, 13; 2Co 1:4).

exceeding joyful—Greek, I overabound with joy (2Co 7:7, 9, 16).

our tribulation—described in 2Co 7:5; also in 2Co 4:7, 8; 6:4, 5.

Great is my boldness of speech toward you; because I so dearly love you, therefore I speak so boldly and freely to you (as men use to speak most freely to those whom they most love).

Great is my glorying of you; I boast of your obedience to others, and therefore would be far from exposing you. And this I do not feignedly, for

I am filled with comfort on your behalf (a further account of this he giveth us afterward).

I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation; yea, (saith he), the report I have received of your carriage and behaviour, upon your receipt of my former Epistle, hath filled me with a joy that balanceth all the affliction and tribulation that I meet with for the gospel. So good news to a faithful minister is the repentance and reformation of any member or members that belong to his flock; whereas the hireling, or false teacher, is not much concerned whether the souls of his people do well or ill. Great is my boldness of speech towards you,.... Or "liberty of speaking", which I use with you; I very freely, and without any disguise, open my mind to you; I faithfully tell you your faults; I am free in my exhortations and counsels to you, as in the case of the incestuous person, and in other instances, which is a sign of true friendship; for had I any suspicion of you, or not cordial affection for you, I should have been more reserved, more upon my guard, and have spoke and wrote with more caution: besides,

great is my glorying, or "boasting of you"; of your faith in Christ, your love to the people of God, respect to the ministers of the Gospel, obedience to us, and very great liberality to the poor saints, of which the apostle frequently boasts in this epistle: now as speaking freely to them when present with them, or in writing to them, so glorying in them, and speaking well of them when absent, clearly showed what an opinion he had of them, and what true hearty respect he had for them:

I am filled with comfort, says he; not only with divine and spiritual consolations from God, but with the news Titus brought of the state of this church, of the good effect the apostle's reproof and advice had both upon them, and the offender among them, and of their tender and affectionate regard to him: this filled him brimful of comfort, yea, adds he,

I am exceeding joyful; I abound, I over abound in joy; such is the joy that possesses my soul, at the tidings brought me, that it superabounds all the sorrow and anguish of spirit, out of which I wrote unto you, occasioned by the unhappy affair among you: yea, it makes me inexpressibly joyful in all our tribulation; which is not small we meet with, wherever we go, in preaching the Gospel of Christ.

Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.
2 Corinthians 7:4. A further, and that a psychological, proof for the οὐ πρ. κατάκρ. λέγω.

παῤῥησία is the internal frame of mind, the good joyous confidence (see on Ephesians 3:12), without which no καύχησις, no self-boasting for the sake of the readers, would outwardly take place (ὑπέρ, as in 2 Corinthians 5:12, 2 Corinthians 8:24). To take it of the libertas loquendi (Pelagius, Beza, Luther, Vatablus, Cornelius a Lapide, and many others, including Schrader and Ewald) is inappropriate, because by the παῤῥησία in this sense there would be no negation of πρὸς κατάκρ. λέγειν. And the taking the καύχησις of inward boasting before God (Osiander), ought to have been precluded by 2 Corinthians 7:14, comp. 2 Corinthians 9:3.

πεπληρ. κ.τ.λ.] The two clauses form a climax, so that πεπλ. is correlative with ὑπερπερ. and παρακλ. with χαρᾃ. In the use of the article with παρακλ. and χαρᾷ Paul already looks to the special comfort and joy, of which he intends to speak further (2 Corinthians 7:7). The dative of the instrument (as at 2Ma 5:5; 2Ma 7:21; 3Ma 4:10) is used with πληρ. in the N. T. also at Romans 1:29, and in classic Greek, though seldom. See Elmsley, ad Soph. Oed. Col. 16; Blomfield, Gloss. Aesch. Agam. 163; Bernhardy, p. 168. Comp. also Jacobs, ad Anthol. XI. p. 209.

ὑπερπερισσεύομαι] I am exceeding richly provided with, Mosch. vi. 13; comp. the passive in Matthew 13:12; Matthew 25:29. The present sets forth the thing as still continuously taking plac.

ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ θλίψει ἡμ.] does not belong to τῇ χαρᾷ, but to the two whole affirmations πεπληρ. τῇ παρακλ. and ὑπερπερισσ. τῇ χαρᾷ; and ἐπί is not, as Grotius thought, post, as in Herod. i. 45: ἐπʼ ἐκείνῃ τῇ συμφορῇ (see, generally, Wurm, ad Dinarch. p. 39 f.), since (comp. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11) the tribulation still continues, but in, at. See Winer, p. 367 [E. T. 490].2 Corinthians 7:4. πολλή μοι παρρησία κ.τ.λ.: great is my boldness of speech towards you (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:11), great is my glorying on your behalf, sc., on account of the good news of their conduct (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 3:2), I am filled with comfort (for the constr. cf. Luke 2:40, Romans 1:29, 2Ma 7:21), sc., with the comfort (note the article) which Titus had brought, I overflow with joy (cf. Php 2:17, Colossians 1:24) in all our affliction (see 2 Corinthians 6:10).4. Great is my boldness of speech toward you] Cf. note on ch. 2 Corinthians 3:12.

great is my glorying of you] See notes on ch. 2 Corinthians 1:14 and ch. 2 Corinthians 5:12. The word here signifies not the ground of rejoicing or boasting, but, as A. V., the act itself. St Paul explains his boldness of speech by the confidence he has that it will not be misplaced. This is another instance of the delicate tact of the Apostle referred to above.

comfort] For this word and tribulation, see notes on ch. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. So also below in 2 Corinthians 7:6-7.

I am exceeding joyful] Literally, I abound overmuch with Joy. The English word exceedingly has lost much of its original force.2 Corinthians 7:4. Παῤῥησία, boldness of speech) 2 Corinthians 7:16, ch. 2 Corinthians 6:11.—ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, in behalf of you) to others, the antithesis is πρὸς ὑμᾶς, to [toward] you.—παρακλήσει, with comfort) concerning which, see 2 Corinthians 7:6-7 : concerning joy, 2 Corinthians 7:7-8; 2 Corinthians 7:16 : concerning both, 2 Corinthians 7:13 : comfort relieves [‘refreshes,’ 2 Corinthians 7:13], joy entirely frees us from, sorrow.—ὑπερπερισσεύομαι, I exceedingly [over and above] abound) above [ὑπὲρ] all adversity.—θλίψει, in [‘tribulation’] affliction) of which, 2 Corinthians 7:5, θλιβόμενοι, [‘troubled’] afflicted. To this belong all those trials which he has mentioned at ch. 2 Corinthians 4:7-8, 2 Corinthians 6:4-5.Verse 4. - Boldness of speech. St. Paul feels that he may address them with perfect frankness and openness (2 Corinthians 3:12). My glorying of you. "My boasting on your account" (2 Corinthians 1:14; 2 Corinthians 5:12; 2 Corinthians 8:14; comp. 1 Corinthians 1:4-7). I am filled with comfort. "I have been filled with the consolation." "Consolation" is the word which occurs so frequently in 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4. I am exceeding joyful. "I superabound in my joy" (2 Corinthians 2:2-14). In all our tribulation. The clause belongs to both the preceding clauses. Joy in the very midst of affliction was an essentially Christian blessing (Philippians 2:17).

"Thou shalt have joy in sadness soon;
The pure calm hope be thine
Which brightens the Eastern moon,
When day's wild lights decline."
(See 2 Corinthians 6:10; Galatians 5:22; Romans 14:17; John 15:11.) My boldness

Note the change for the first time to the first person singular.


The Greek has the comfort, the article apparently pointing to the special comfort he had received through the coming of Titus (2 Corinthians 7:6).

I am exceeding joyful (ὑπερπερισσεύμαι τῇ χαρᾷ)

Lit., I superabound with the joy. Rev., I overflow with joy. Note the article again, the joy.

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