2 Corinthians 7:7
And not by his coming only, but by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) And not by his coming only.—There was joy, doubtless, in seeing his true son in the faith (Titus 1:1) once again, but the great comfort was found in the news which he brought with him. On the part of the majority, at least, of those who had been present when the Epistle was read, there had been all the feelings which he most desired to rouse—longing to see him as he longed to see them (see Romans 1:11; Philippians 1:8; 1Thessalonians 3:6; 2Timothy 1:4, for the meaning of the word), their “mourning” (uttered lamentation) for having grieved him; their zeal (not “towards” him, but) on his behalf and for him, as against those who slandered him. All these were elements of comfort, and his sorrow was turned into a yet greater joy than had been caused by the mere arrival of Titus.

7:5-11 There were fightings without, or continual contentions with, and opposition from Jews and Gentiles; and there were fears within, and great concern for such as had embraced the Christian faith. But God comforts those who are cast down. We should look above and beyond all means and instruments, to God, as the author of all the consolation and good we enjoy. Sorrow according to the will of God, tending to the glory of God, and wrought by the Spirit of God, renders the heart humble, contrite, submissive, disposed to mortify every sin, and to walk in newness of life. And this repentance is connected with saving faith in Christ, and an interest in his atonement. There is a great difference between this sorrow of a godly sort, and the sorrow of the world. The happy fruits of true repentance are mentioned. Where the heart is changed, the life and actions will be changed. It wrought indignation at sin, at themselves, at the tempter and his instruments. It wrought a fear of watchfulness, and a cautious fear of sin. It wrought desire to be reconciled with God. It wrought zeal for duty, and against sin. It wrought revenge against sin and their own folly, by endeavours to make satisfaction for injuries done thereby. Deep humility before God, hatred of all sin, with faith in Christ, a new heart and a new life, make repentance unto salvation. May the Lord bestow it on every one of us.And not by his coming only - Not merely by the fact that be was restored to me, and that my anxieties in regard to him were now dissipated. It is evident that Paul, not having met with Titus as he had expected, at Troas, had felt much anxiety on his account, perhaps apprehending that he was sick, or that he had died.

But by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you - Titus was satisfied and delighted with his interview with you. He had been kindly treated, and he had seen all the effect produced by the letter which he had desired. He had, therefore, been much comforted by his visit to Corinth, and this was a source of additional joy to Paul. He rejoiced at what he had witnessed among you, and he imparted the same joy to me also. The joy of one friend will diffuse itself through the heart of another. Joy is diffusive, and one Christian cannot well be happy without making others happy also.

When he told us of your earnest desire - Either to rectify what was amiss (Doddridge, Clarke); or to see me - Macknight, Rosenmuller, Bloomfied. It seems to me that the connection requires us to understand it of their desire, their anxiety to comply with his commands. and to reform the abuses which existed in the church, and which had given him so much pain.

Your mourning - Produced by the Epistle. Your deep repentance over the sins which had prevailed in the church.

Your fervent mind toward me - Greek, 'Your zeal for me.' It denotes that they evinced great ardor of attachment to him, and an earnest desire to comply with his wishes.

So that I rejoiced the more - I not only rejoiced at his coming, but I rejoiced the more at what he told me of you. Under any circumstances the coming of Titus would have been an occasion of joy; but it was especially so from the account which he gave me of you.

7. when he told us—Greek, "telling us." We shared in the comfort which Titus felt in recording your desire (2Co 7:13). He rejoiced in telling the news; we in hearing them [Alford].

earnest desire—Greek, "longing desire," namely, to see me [Grotius]; or, in general, towards me, to please me.

mourning—over your own remissness in not having immediately punished the sin (1Co 5:1, &c.) which called forth my rebuke.

fervent mind—Greek, "zeal" (compare 2Co 7:11; Joh 2:17).

toward me—Greek, "for me"; for my sake. They in Paul's behalf showed the zeal against the sin which Paul would have shown had he been present.

rejoiced the more—more than before, at the mere coming of Titus.

And not by big coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you: I was glad to see Titus, but that was the least of that consolation which he brought me. You had before much comforted and rejoiced him, and he being come to me, made me a partaker of his consolation, upon his beholding or being a witness to

your earnest desire, to give me satisfaction in the things about which I wrote to you;

your mourning, either for those scandals amongst you, of which I have given you notice; or for my afflicted state and condition; or for the offence you had given me, which caused me to write that sharp letter to you.

Your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more: your earnest desire to give me satisfaction, and yield obedience to my admonitions, or to maintain and defend my honour and reputation against such as had impeached and wounded it; these things much augmented my rejoicing in and over you. Nothing so much rejoiceth the heart of a conscientious, faithful minister of Christ, as to see his people’s obedience to the doctrine of the gospel, which he is an instrument to communicate to them. And not by his coming only,.... It was not barely by his coming, that he and his fellow ministers were so much comforted:

but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you. The church at Corinth received Titus with all respect and reverence; treated him in the most kind and tender manner; satisfied him in the affair of the incestuous person; greatly refreshed his spirits with an account of their faith in Christ, experience of the grace of God, and their regard and close attachment to the honour of religion, and the interest of the Redeemer; many comfortable opportunities had he with them, in preaching among them, and conversing with them; and the account of this added to the apostle's consolation; for the joys and comforts of one believer yield a considerable pleasure, and are matter of joy and comfort, to another:

when he told us your earnest desire; that is, of seeing the apostle, of satisfying him in the thing he had complained of, and of reformation in their conduct, and the discipline of Christ's house for the future:

your mourning; for the evil that had been committed among them; the dishonour it had brought upon the doctrine and ways of Christ; their remissness, carelessness, and neglect in discharging their duty; and the grief and sorrow occasioned hereby to the apostle:

your fervent mind toward me; in vindicating him, his character, doctrine, and conduct, against the false apostles, and others:

so that I rejoiced the more: his joy on this narrative of things abundantly exceeded his troubles and afflictions, which surrounded him on every side, and overcame and extinguished that sorrow, which had possessed him on their account; and greatly added to the joy he felt by the coming of Titus, and the consolation that he had met with at Corinth.

And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 7:7. οὐ μόνον δὲ κ.τ.λ.: and not by his coming only, but also (see reff. for constr.) by the comfort wherewith he was comforted in respect of you (cf. 1 Thessalonians 3:7 for constr.), i.e., “I was comforted, not only by his coming, but by the good news which he brought”; while he told us your longing, sc., to see me, your mourning, sc., at the rebuke which I sent you, your zeal on my behalf. ζῆλος may either mean “zeal,” in a good sense, as here (see reff.), or “jealousy,” in a bad sense (see reff. 2 Corinthians 12:20).—ὥστε με μᾶλλον χαρῆναι: so that I rejoiced yet more, sc., than at the mere coming of Titus with his news (cf. 2 Corinthians 7:13).7. and not by his coming only, but by the consolation] See ch. 2 Corinthians 2:14, which is explained by this passage. It was not the mere presence of Titus, but the tidings he brought, which so rejoiced the Apostle.

fervent mind] Literally, zeal (loue, Wiclif). Our translation is due to Tyndale, who seems to have borne in mind the derivation of the word from a verb signifying to boil up. Meyer translates it ‘your warm interest in me,’ and explains by ‘to appease me, to obey me and the like.’ The word has also an evil sense in Scripture—jealousy, as in 1 Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 5:20; and ch. 2 Corinthians 12:20. There is an instance of an intermediate sense in ch. 2 Corinthians 11:2. It seems to signify any warm or strong feeling with regard to a person, whether for good or for evil.2 Corinthians 7:7. Ἀναγγέλλων) bringing back word to us who were waiting for him. This is the meaning of the compound verb. The nominative [in its construction] depends on παρεκλήθη, he was comforted: the sense also refers to the words, ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ, by his coming.—τὴν ὑμῶν ἐπιπόθησιν, your earnest desire) towards me.—τὸν ὑμῶν ὀδυρμὸν, your mourning) concerning yourselves, because you had not immediately punished the sin.—τὸν ὑμῶν ζῆλον, your zeal [fervent mind]) for saving the soul [spirit] of the sinner. These three expressions occur again, 2 Corinthians 7:11. A syntheton[37] is added to each of them: but here he deals with them more moderately, and for the sake of euphemism [end.] puts earnest desire in the first place, and uses the expression mourning, not indignation.—ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ, for my sake [not as Engl. toward me]) Because the Corinthians showed a “fervent mind,” Paul was relieved from the exercise of that fervour.—ὥστε με μᾶλλον, so that I rather [“the more”]) An imperceptible transition. I had not so much consolation, as joy: joy is rather to be desired than consolation, 2 Corinthians 7:13 [μᾶλλον ἐχάρημεν].

[37] See the Append. The combination of two words which are frequently or emphatically joined together.Verse 7. - And not by his coming only. The mere fact of Titus's arrival cheered St. Paul, because Titus seems to have been of a strong and cheery temperament. St. Paul, partly because of his infirmities, was peculiarly dependent on the support of human sympathy (1 Thessalonians 3:1-8; Philippians 2:20; 2 Timothy 4:4; Acts 17:15; Acts 28:15). It was not, however, the mere arrival of Titus which cheered him, but still more the good news which he brought, and which partially lightened his anxieties. In all probability this letter was written almost immediately after the arrival of Titus, and while the joy caused by his presence was still glowing in the apostle's heart. It is characteristic of the seclusion of an austere life that St. Jerome supposes the cause of the apostle's distress to have been that Titus was his interpreter, and that in his absence he could not preach! Your earnest desire. Your yearning to see me once more. Mourning; rather, lamentation (see 2 Corinthians 2:12). They were aroused to lament their past "inflation" (1 Corinthians 5:2) and remissness. Your fervent mind toward me. This rendering well expresses the kindling affection implied by the word zelos. So that I rejoiced the more. More than he had even anticipated could be possible; or, as the next verse may imply, all the more because of his past anguish (2 Corinthians 2:4). Comfort

The manner in which Paul, so to speak, fondles this word, is most beautiful. Compare 2 Corinthians 1:4-6.

Mourning (ὀδυρμόν)

Only here and Matthew 2:18. It implies a verbal expression of grief. Cebes, a disciple of Socrates, in his Pinax represents Λύπη Lupe, Sorrow, as a woman, with her head bowed upon her breast; Ὁδύνη Odune, consuming Grief, follows, tearing her hair. By her side is Ὁδυρμός Odurmos, Lamentation, a revolting, emaciated figure, whose sister is Ἁθυμία Athumia, Despondency.

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