2 Corinthians 7:9
Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
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(9) That ye sorrowed to repentance.—Here the true word for “repentance” is used in all the fulness of its meaning. (See Notes on Matthew 3:2; Matthew 3:8.) There is nothing in the Greek corresponding to the variation “ye sorrowed” and “were made sorry,” the same word being used in both clauses.

After a godly manner.—The English is but a feeble equivalent for the Greek. Literally, according to Godi.e. (as may be seen by comparing the sense of the same or like phrases in Romans 8:27; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 2:8), after His will and purpose. “God allowed you,” he tells them, “to be grieved in order that you might sustain no loss, as you might have done had we held our peace.”

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.Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry ... - I have no pleasure in giving pain to anyone, or in witnessing the distress of any. When people are brought to repentance under the preaching of the gospel, the ministers of the gospel do not find pleasure in their grief as such. They are not desirous of making people unhappy by calling them to repentance, and they have no pleasure in the deep distress of mind which is often produced by their preaching, in itself considered. It is only because such sorrow is an indication of their return to God, and will be followed by happiness and by the fruits of good living, that they find any pleasure in it, or that they seek to produce it.

But that ye sorrowed to repentance - It was not mere grief; it was not sorrow producing melancholy, gloom, or despair; it was not sorrow which led you to be angry at him who had reproved you for your errors - as is sometimes the case with the sorrow that is produced by reproof; but it was sorrow that led to a change and reformation. It was sorrow that was followed by a putting away of the evil for the existence of which there had been occasion to reprove you. The word rendered here as "repentance" (μετάνοιαν metanoian) is a different word from that which, in 2 Corinthians 7:8, is rendered "I did repent," and indicates a different state of mind. It properly means a change of mind or purpose; compare Hebrews 12:7. It denotes a change for the better; a change of mind that is durable and productive in its consequences; a change which amounts to a permanent reformation; see Campbell's Diss. ut supra. The sense here is, that it produced a change, a reformation. It was such sorrow for their sin as to lead them to reform and to put away the evils which had existed among them. It was this fact, and not that they had been made sorry, that led Paul to rejoice.

After a godly manner - Margin, "according to God;" see the note on the next verse.

That ye might receive damage by us in nothing - The Greek word rendered "receive damage" (ζημιωθῆτε zēmiōthēte) means properly to bring loss upon anyone; to receive loss or detriment; see the note on 1 Corinthians 3:15; compare Philippians 3:8. The sense here seems to be, "So that on the whole no real injury was done you in any respect by me. You were indeed put to pain and grief by my reproof. You sorrowed. But it has done you no injury on the whole. It has been a benefit to you. If you had not reformed, if you had been pained without putting away the sins for which the reproof was administered, if it had been mere grief without any proper fruit, you might have said that you would have suffered a loss of happiness, or you might have given me occasion to inflict severer discipline. But now you are gainers in happiness by all the sorrow which I have caused." Sinners are gainers in happiness in the end by all the pain of repentance produced by the preaching of the gospel. No man suffers loss by being told of his faults if he repents; and people are under the highest obligations to those faithful ministers and other friends who tell them of their errors, and who are the means of bringing them to true repentance.

9. Now I rejoice—Whereas "I did repent" or regret having made you sorry by my letter, I rejoice NOW, not that ye were caused sorrow, but that your sorrow resulted in your repentance.

ye sorrowed—rather, as before, "ye were made sorry."

after a godly manner—literally, "according to God," that is, your sorrow having regard to God, and rendering your mind conformable to God (Ro 14:22; 1Pe 4:6).

that—Translate in Greek order, "to the end that (compare 2Co 11:9) ye might in nothing receive damage from us," which ye would have received, had your sorrow been other than that "after a godly manner" (2Co 7:10).

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: the apostle takes all advantages to insinuate himself into the good opinion and affections of the members of this famous church, and to obviate any misrepresentations of him to them from those false teachers that were crept in amongst them. Lest they should take some advantage from his saying, that he repented not that he had made them sorry, he here openeth himself, and tells them, he did not rejoice in their sorrow, but in the blessed product and effect of it; which was their reformation of those abuses and errors which he had reproved them for, the effect of which reproof was this their sorrow for a little season. And that they

were made sorry after a godly manner; they did but sow in tears, they reaped in joy; they had a wet seed time, but a fair harvest. They sorrowed with a sorrow according to God; the cause of their sorrow was their sin, the root of it a love to God, the manner of it such as was agreeable to the will of God.

That ye might receive damage by us in nothing; the wise God so governing things hy his providence, that nothing which the apostle spake or wrote should prove detrimental, but rather advantageous; to this church which he so loved.

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry,.... Their grief and sorrow, as a natural passion, was no matter or cause of joy to him; nor was this what he sought after, being what he could take no real pleasure in; for so far as that was a pain to them, it was a pain to him:

but that ye sorrowed to repentance; their sorrow issued in true evangelical repentance, and this was the ground of his rejoicing; for as there is joy in heaven among the angels, at the repentance of a sinner, so there is joy in the church below, among the saints and ministers of the Gospel, when either sinners are brought in, or backsliders returned by repentance:

for ye were made sorry after a godly sort; what gave him so much joy and satisfaction was, that their sorrow was of the right sort; it was a godly sorrow, they sorrowed after; or according to God, according to the will of God, and for sin, as it was committed against him; it was a sorrow that God wrought in them:

that ye might receive damage by us in nothing; what added to his pleasure was, that his writing to them, and the effect it produced, had not been in the least detrimental to them; things had worked so kindly, and this sorrow had wrought in such a manner, that they were not hurt in their souls, but profited; nor in their church state, they had not lost one member by it; nay, the offender himself, which was the occasion of all this trouble, was recovered and restored by these means.

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to {f} repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

(f) In that this sorrow did you much good in leading you to amend your obscene behaviour and sins.

2 Corinthians 7:9. Νῦν χαίρω] see on 2 Corinthians 7:8. To take the νῦν not in a temporal, but in a causal sense (proinde, jam vero, with Emmerling and Billroth), is quite at variance with the context, because the thought is implied in the previous clause: I no longer regret i.

οὐχ ὅτι ἐλυπ.] not regarding the sadness caused to you in itself.

κατὰ θεόν] according to God, i.e. in a way in keeping with the divine will. See on Romans 8:27. Bengel aptly remarks: “Secundum hic significat sensum animi Deum spectantis et sequentis.” Not: by God’s operation, which (in opposition to Hofmann) Paul never expresses by κατά (nor yet is it so even in 1 Peter 4:6); with the Greeks, however, κατὰ θεόν means according to divine disposal.

ἵνα ἐν μηδενὶ ζημιωθ. ἐξ ἡμῶν] not: ita ut, etc. (so Rückert), but the divinely-ordained aim of the previous ἐλυπήθητε κατὰ θεόν: in order that ye in no point (comp. 2 Corinthians 6:3; Php 1:28; Jam 1:4), in no sort of way (not even in the way of severe, saddening reproof), should have hurt (injury as to the Messianic salvation) from us, from whom, in fact, only the furtherance of your true welfare ought to proceed. See 2 Corinthians 7:10. According to Osiander, ἐν μηδενί means: in no part of the Christian life (neither in the joyfulness of faith nor in purity of morals). At variance with the context: for to the matters negatived by ἐν μηδενί must belong the λύπη itself caused by him, which, had it not occurred κατὰ θεόν, would have injured the σωτηρία of the readers (2 Corinthians 7:10).

The clause of purpose is to be connected with the ἐλυπ. γ. κατὰ θεόν immediately preceding, which is no parenthetic remark, but is the regulative thought controlling what follows (in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11); wherefore ἵνα κ.τ.λ. is not, with Hofmann, to be attached to ἐλυπ. εἰς μετάνοιαν.

2 Corinthians 7:9. νῦν χαίρω κ.τ.λ.: now, sc., now that Titus is come, and I have learnt the effect of my letter, I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance (of which there was no sign when he wrote; see 1 Corinthians 5:2), for ye were made sorry according to the will of God, sc., in God’s way as contrasted with man’s way (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:32 and see reff.), so that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing, i.e., the sorrow caused by my rebuke was divinely ordered for your good, so that my severity did not hurt but rather benefited you. The word μετάνοια occurs curiously seldom in St. Paul (see reff.), perhaps because it indicates the very first step in the religious life, that “change of mind” as to God which precedes even the renunciation of sin (see esp. for this use reff., Acts and Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17, Acts 2:38, etc.), and this first step his correspondents had already taken, or his letters to them would not have been written.

9. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry] Another instance of the tender consideration of St Paul (see note on 2 Corinthians 7:3). He will not run the risk of being supposed, even for a moment, to have taken pleasure in others’ pain.

repentance] It cannot be too strongly insisted upon that the Greek word translated repentance (penaunce, Wiclif and the Rhemish Version) contains neither the idea of sorrow nor of penitential discipline. The word means change of mind or purpose. Sorrow may or may not accompany it. In most cases, as in this, it will do so. But the essence of Gospel repentance is not the sorrow it produces, but the change it works. The word translated repent in 2 Corinthians 7:8 is a different word, and has precisely the meaning usually in our days attached to the word repentance. It, or its cognate verb, only occurs here and in Matthew 21:29; Matthew 21:32; Matthew 27:3, and Hebrews 7:21. It is a misfortune that the A. V. has employed the same word to express two very different ideas.

after a godly manner] The original is stronger, according to God, i.e. in such a manner as He had commanded or would approve. Cf. Romans 8:27.

receive damage] The word signifies to suffer injury or loss. See Matthew 16:26, where it is translated lose; Luke 9:25, where it is translated cast away. See also 1 Corinthians 3:15. Wiclif renders here suffer pairement; Tyndale, ye were hurte; the Rhemish, well, suffer detriment.

2 Corinthians 7:9. Νῦν χαίρω, I now rejoice) The now forms an epitasis;[38] not only do I not repent, that you had brief sorrow, but I even rejoice, because it has proved salutary to you.—εἰς μετάνοιαν, unto repentance) Unto here determines the kind of sorrow.—κατὰ Θεὸν, [after a godly manner] according to God) according to here signifies the feeling of the mind, having regard to and following God. There is no sorrow with God; but the sorrow of penitents renders the mind conformable to God; comp. κατὰ, according to, Romans 14:22; Colossians 2:8; 1 Peter 4:6. So in Philostr. in Heroicis, p. 665, κατὰ θεὸν ἥκω, I am come here under divine auspices.—ἐν μηδενὶ, in nothing) This is consonant with that feeling, under which the apostle also speaks, 2 Corinthians 11:9, ἐν πάντι, in everything.—ζημιωθη̄τε, ye might suffer loss or damage) All sorrow which is not according to God, is damaging, and deadly, 2 Corinthians 7:10.

[38] i.e. He had already said, I rejoiced, in 2 Corinthians 7:7 : and here in 2 Corinthians 7:9, now, added to the same word I rejoice, augments its force. See Append.—ED.

Verse 9. - Not that ye were made sorry. They might have drawn this mistaken conclusion from his remark that he "rejoiced" when he heard of their "lamentation" (ver. 7). After a godly sort; literally, according to God; i.e. in a way which he would approve (Romans 8:27). In nothing. Not even when we rebuked you, and caused you pain. 2 Corinthians 7:9Repentance (μετάνοιαν)

See on the kindred verb repent, Matthew 3:2, and compare note on Matthew 21:29. Repentance is different from regret of 2 Corinthians 7:8, indicating a moral change, as is shown by the next clause.

Ye might receive damage (ζημιωθῆτε)

Rev., might suffer loss. See on Matthew 16:26; see on Luke 9:25. This somewhat obscure sentence means that the salutary moral results of the apostle's letter compensated for the sorrow which it caused. The epistle which won them to repentance was no damage to them.

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