2 Corinthians 4:8
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;

King James Bible
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Darby Bible Translation
every way afflicted, but not straitened; seeing no apparent issue, but our way not entirely shut up;

World English Bible
We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair;

Young's Literal Translation
on every side being in tribulation, but not straitened; perplexed, but not in despair;

2 Corinthians 4:8 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

We are troubled - We the apostles. Paul here refers to some of the trials to which he and his fellow laborers were subjected in making known the gospel. The "design" for which he does it seems to be to show them:

(1) What they endured in preaching the truth;

(2) To show the sustaining power of that gospel in the midst of afflictions; and,

(3) To conciliate their favor, or to remind them that they had endured these things on their account, 2 Corinthians 4:12-15.

Perhaps one leading design was to recover the affections of those of the Corinthians whose heart had been alienated from him, by showing them how much he had endured on their account. For this purpose he freely opens his heart to them, and tenderly represents the many and grievous pressures and hardships to which love to souls, and theirs among the rest, had exposed him - Doddridge. The whole passage is one of the most pathetic and beautiful to be found in the New Testament. The word rendered "troubled" (θλιβόμενοι thlibomenoi, from θλίβω thlibō) may have reference to wrestling, or to the contests in the Grecian games. It properly means, to press, to press together; then to press as in a crowd where there is a throng Mark 3:9; then to compress together Matthew 7:14; and then to oppress, or compress with evils, to distress, to afflict, 2 Thessalonians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 1:6. Here it may mean, that he was encompassed with trials, or placed in the midst of them so that they pressed upon him as persons do in a crowd, or, possibly, as a man was close pressed by an adversary in the games. He refers to the fact that he was called to endure a great number of trials and afflictions. Some of those trials he refers to in 2 Corinthians 7:5. "When we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears."

On every side - In every respect. In every way. We are subjected to all kinds of trim and affliction.

Yet not distressed - This by no means expresses the force of the original; nor is it possible perhaps to express it in a translation. Tyndale renders it, "yet we are not without our shift." The Greek word used here (στενοχωρούμενοι stenochōroumenoi) has a relation to the word which is rendered "troubled." It properly means "to crowd into a narrow place; to straiten as to room; to be so straitened as not to be able to turn oneself." And the idea is, that though he was close pressed by persecutions and trials, yet he was not so hemmed in that he had no way to turn himself; his trials did not wholly prevent motion and action. He was not so closely pressed as a man would be who was so straitened that he could not move his body, or stir hand or foot. He had still resources; he was permitted to move; the energy of his piety, and the vigor of his soul could not be entirely cramped and impeded by the trials which encompassed him. The Syriac renders it: "In all things we are pressed, but are not suffocated." The idea is, he was not wholly discouraged, and disheartened, and overcome. He had resources in his piety which enabled him to bear up under these trials, and still to engage in the work of preaching the gospel.

We are perplexed - (ἀπορούμενοι aporoumenoi). This word (from ἄπορος aporos, "without resource," which is derived from α a, the alpha privative ("not"), and πόρος poros, way, or exit) means to be without resource; to know not what to do; to hesitate; to be in doubt and anxiety, as a traveler is, who is ignorant of the way, or who has not the means of prosecuting his journey. It means here, that they were often brought into circumstances of great embarrassment, where they hardly knew what to do, or what course to take. They were surrounded by foes; they were in want; they were in circumstances which they had not anticipated, and which greatly perplexed them.

But not in despair - In the margin, "not altogether without help or means." Tyndale renders this: "We are in poverty, but not utterly without somewhat." In the word used here, (ἐξαπορούμενοι exaporoumenoi) the preposition is intensive or emphatic, and means "utterly, quite." The word means to be utterly without resource; to despair altogether; and the idea of Paul here is, that they were not left "entirely" without resource. Their needs were provided for; their embarrassments were removed; their grounds of perplexity were taken away; and unexpected strength and resources were imparted to them. When they did not know what to do; when all resources seemed to fail them, in some unexpected manner they would be relieved and saved from absolute despair. How often does this occur in the lives of all Christians! And how certain is it, that in all such cases God will interpose by his grace, and aid his people, and save them from absolute despair.

2 Corinthians 4:8 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Heart of the Gospel
Let me give you a parable. In the days of Nero there was great shortness of food in the city of Rome, although there was abundance of corn to be purchased at Alexandria. A certain man who owned a vessel went down to the sea coast, and there he noticed many hungry people straining their eyes toward the sea, watching for the vessels that were to come from Egypt with corn. When these vessels came to the shore, one by one, the poor people wrung their hands in bitter disappointment, for on board the galleys
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886

Conclusion.
NEBICULA est; transibit,"--"It is a little cloud; it will pass away." This was said first, I believe, by Athanasius, of Julian the Apostate who, after a short reign of intense hostility to Christianity, perished with his work, "leaving no wreck behind."[97]97 The same may be applied to all the recent attempts to undermine the faith of humanity in the person of its divine Lord and Saviour. The clouds, great and small, pass away; the sun continues to shine: darkness has its hour; the light is eternal.
Philip Schaff—The Person of Christ

The Patience of Man, which is Right and Laudable and Worthy of the Name...
2. The patience of man, which is right and laudable and worthy of the name of virtue, is understood to be that by which we tolerate evil things with an even mind, that we may not with a mind uneven desert good things, through which we may arrive at better. Wherefore the impatient, while they will not suffer ills, effect not a deliverance from ills, but only the suffering of heavier ills. Whereas the patient who choose rather by not committing to bear, than by not bearing to commit, evil, both make
St. Augustine—On Patience

Edwards -- Spiritual Light
Jonathan Edwards, the New England divine and metaphysician, was born at East Windsor, Connecticut, in 1703. He was graduated early from Yale College, where he had given much attention to philosophy, became tutor of his college, and at nineteen began to preach. His voice and manner did not lend themselves readily to pulpit oratory, but his clear, logical, and intense presentation of the truth produced a profound and permanent effect upon his hearers. He wrote what were considered the most important
Grenville Kleiser—The world's great sermons, Volume 3

Cross References
Psalm 129:2
"Many times they have persecuted me from my youth up; Yet they have not prevailed against me.

Isaiah 40:31
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Habakkuk 3:17
Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls,

Romans 8:35
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

2 Corinthians 1:8
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;

2 Corinthians 6:4
but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses,

2 Corinthians 6:12
You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections.

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