10:1-6 While others thought meanly, and spake scornfully of the apostle, he had low thoughts, and spake humbly of himself. We should be aware of our own infirmities, and think humbly of ourselves, even when men reproach us. The work of the ministry is a spiritual warfare with spiritual enemies, and for spiritual purposes. Outward force is not the method of the gospel, but strong persuasions, by the power of truth and the meekness of wisdom. Conscience is accountable to God only; and people must be persuaded to God and their duty, not driven by force. Thus the weapons of our warfare are very powerful; the evidence of truth is convincing. What opposition is made against the gospel, by the powers of sin and Satan in the hearts of men! But observe the conquest the word of God gains. The appointed means, however feeble they appear to some, will be mighty through God. And the preaching of the cross, by men of faith and prayer, has always been fatal to idolatry, impiety, and wickedness.
2Co 10:1-18. He Vindicates His Apostolic Authority against Those Who Depreciated Him for His Personal Appearance. He Will Make His Power Felt When He Comes. He Boasts Not, as They, Beyond His Measure.
1. I Paul myself—no longer "we," "us," "our" (2Co 9:11): I who am represented by depreciators as "base," I, the same Paul, of my own accord "beseech you"; or rather "entreat," "exhort" you for your sake. As "I beseech you" (a distinct Greek verb, 2Co 10:2) for my sake.
by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—He mentions these graces of Christ especially (Ps 18:35; Mt 11:29), as on account of his imitation of them in particular he was despised [Grotius]. He entreats them by these, in order to show that though he must have recourse to more severe measures, he is naturally inclined to gentle ones after Christ's example [Menochius]. "Meekness" is more in the mind internally; "gentleness" in the external behavior, and in relation to others; for instance, the condescending yieldingness of a superior to an inferior, the former not insisting on his strict rights [Trench]. Bengel explains it, "By the meekness and gentleness derived by me from Christ," not from my own nature: he objects to understanding it of Christ's meekness and gentleness, since nowhere else is "gentleness" attributed to Him. But though the exact Greek word is not applied to Him, the idea expressed by it is (compare Isa 40:11; Mt 12:19, 20).
in presence—in personal appearance when present with you.
base—Greek, "lowly"; timid, humbly diffident: opposed to "bold." "Am" stands here by ironical concession for "am reputed to be" (compare 2Co 10:10).