New American Standard Bible
For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;
King James Bible
For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
Darby Bible Translation
For we do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, as to our tribulation which happened to us in Asia, that we were excessively pressed beyond our power, so as to despair even of living.
World English Bible
For we don't desire to have you uninformed, brothers, concerning our affliction which happened to us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, so much that we despaired even of life.
Young's Literal Translation
For we do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, of our tribulation that happened to us in Asia, that we were exceedingly burdened above our power, so that we despaired even of life;
2 Corinthians 1:8 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For we would not have you ignorant - We wish you to be fully informed; see the notes, 1 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Corinthians 12:1. The object of Paul here is, to give a full explanation of the nature of his trials, to which he had referred in 2 Corinthians 1:4. He presumed that the Corinthians would feel a deep interest in him and in his trials; that they would sympathize with him, and would pray that those sufferings, and that this deliverance might be attended with a blessing 2 Corinthians 1:11; and perhaps he wished also to conciliate their kindness toward himself by mentioning more at length the nature of the trials which he had been called to endure on account of the Christian religion, of which they were reaping so material benefits.
Of our trouble which came to us in Asia - The term "Asia" is often used to denote that part of Asia Minor of which Ephesus was the capital; see the note, Acts 2:9. There has been considerable diversity of opinion as to the "troubles" to which Paul here refers. Some have supposed that he refers to the persecutions at Lystra Acts 14:6, Acts 14:19-20, from which he had been recovered as it were by miracle; but as that happened so long before this, it seems improbable that he should here refer to it. There is every mark of freshness and recentness about this event; and Paul evidently referred to some danger from which he had been lately delivered, and which made a deep impression on his mind when he wrote this Epistle. Semler supposes that he refers to the lying in wait of the Jews for him when he was about to go to Macedonia, mentioned in Acts 20:3. Most commentators have supposed that be refers to the disturbances which were made at Ephesus by Demetrius and his friends, mentioned in Acts 19, and by reason of which he was compelled to leave the city.
The only objection to this is, that which is mentioned by Whitby and Macknight, that as Paul did not go into the theater there Acts 19:31, he incurred no such risk of his life as to justify the strong expressions mentioned in 2 Corinthians 1:9-10. They suppose, therefore, that he refers to the danger to which he was exposed in Ephesus on another occasion, when he was compelled to fight there with wild beasts; see 1 Corinthians 15:32. But nearly all these opinions may be reconciled, perhaps, by supposing that he refers to the group of calamities to which he had been exposed in Asia, and from which he had just escaped by going to Macedonia - referring perhaps more particularly to the conflict which he had been compelled to have with the wild beasts there. There was the riot excited by Demetrius Acts 19, in which his life had been endangered, and from which he had just escaped; and there had been the conflict with the wild beasts at Ephesus (see the note, 1 Corinthians 15:32), which perhaps had occurred but just before; and there were the plots of the Jews against him Acts 20:3, from which, also, he had just been delivered. By these trials, his life had been endangered, perhaps, more than once, and he had been called to look death calmly in the face, and to anticipate the probability that he might soon die. Of these trials; of all these trials, he would not have the Corinthians ignorant; but desired that they should be fully apprized of them, that they might sympathize with him, and that through their prayers they might be turned to his benefit.
That we were pressed out of measure - see Acts 19. We were borne down, or weighed down by calamity (ἐβαρηθεμεν ebarēthemen) exceedingly καθ ̓ ὑπερβολὴς kath' huperbolēs, supereminently. The expression denotes excess, eminence, or intensity. It is one of Paul's common and very strong expressions to denote anything that is intensive or great; see Romans 7:13; Galatians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 4:17.
Above strength - Beyond our strength. More than in ourselves we were able to bear.
Insomuch that we despaired even of life - Either expecting to be destroyed by the wild beasts with which he had to contend, or to be destroyed by the people. This was one of the instances undoubtedly, to which he refers in 2 Corinthians 11:23, where he says he had been "in death oft." And this was one of the many cases in which Paul was called on to contemplate death as near. It was doubtless one cause of his fidelity, and of his great success in his work, that he was thus called to regard death as near at hand, and that, to use the somewhat unpoetical, but deeply affecting lines of Baxter, expressing a sentiment which guided all his ministry, and which was one source of his eminent success,
He preach'd as though he ne'er would preach again,
As a dying man to dying men.
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.
"Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia;
About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way.
I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.
1 Corinthians 15:32
If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE.
2 Corinthians 1:9
indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;
2 Corinthians 4:8
we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;
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