New American Standard Bible
Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I? Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, so that with me there will be yes, yes and no, no at the same time?
King James Bible
When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?
Darby Bible Translation
Having therefore this purpose, did I then use lightness? Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to flesh, that there should be with me yea yea, and nay nay?
World English Bible
When I therefore was thus determined, did I show fickleness? Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be the "Yes, yes" and the "No, no?"
Young's Literal Translation
This, therefore, counselling, did I then use the lightness; or the things that I counsel, according to the flesh do I counsel, that it may be with me Yes, yes, and No, no?
2 Corinthians 1:17 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
When I therefore was thus minded - When I formed this purpose; when I willed this, and expressed this intention.
Did I use lightness? - The word ἐλαφρια elaphria (from ἐλαφρός elaphros) means properly lightness in weight. Here it is used in reference to the mind; and in a sense similar to our word levity, as denoting lightness of temper or conduct; inconstancy, changeableness, or fickleness. This charge had been probably made that he had made the promise without any due consideration, or without any real purpose of performing, it; or that he had made it in a trifling and thoughtless manner. By the interrogative form here, he sharply denies that it was a purpose formed in a light and trifling manner.
Do I purpose according to the flesh - In such a manner, as may suit my own convenience and carnal interest. Do I form plans adapted only to promote my own ease and gratification, and to be abandoned when they are attended with inconvenience? The phrase "according to the flesh" here seems to mean "in such a way as to promote my own ease and gratification; in a manner such as the people of the world form; such as would be formed under the influence of earthly passions and desires, and to be forsaken when those plans would interfere with such gratifications." Paul denies in a positive manner that he formed such plans; and they should have known enough of his manner of life to be assured that that was not the nature of the schemes which he had devised? Probably no man ever lived who formed his plans of life less for the gratification of the flesh than Paul.
That with me there should be yea, yea, and nay, nay? - There has been a great variety in the interpretation of this passage; see Bloomfield, Critical Digest in loco. The meaning seems to be, "that there should be such inconstancy and uncertainty in my counsels and actions, that no one could depend on me, or know what they had to expect from me." Bloomfield supposes that the phrase is a proverbial one, and denotes a headstrong, self-willed spirit which will either do things, or not do them as pleases, without giving any reasons. He supposes that the repetition of the words "yea and nay" is designed to denote positiveness of assertion - such positiveness as is commonly shown by such persons, as in the phrases, "what I have written I have written," "what I have done I have done." It seems more probable, however, that the phrase is designed to denote the ready compliance which an inconstant and unsettled man is accustomed to make with the wishes of others; his expressing a ready assent to what they propose; falling in with their views; readily making promises; and instantly, through some whim, or caprice, or wish of others, saying "yea, nay," to the same thing; that is, changing his mind, and altering his purpose without any good reason, or in accordance with any fixed principle or settled rule of action. Paul says that this was not his character. He did not affirm a thing at one time and deny it at another; he did not promise to do a thing one moment and refuse to do it the next.
LibraryAnointed and Stablished
'Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God.'--2 COR. i. 21. The connection in which these words occur is a remarkable illustration of the Apostle's habit of looking at the most trivial things in the light of the highest truths. He had been obliged, as the context informs us, to abandon an intended visit to Corinth. The miserable crew of antagonists, who yelped at his heels all his life, seized this change of purpose as the occasion for a double-barrelled charge. …
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)
Concerning the Power of the Civil Magistrate in Matters Purely Religious, and Pertaining to the Conscience.
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.
2 Corinthians 10:2
I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh.
2 Corinthians 10:3
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,
2 Corinthians 11:18
Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also.
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