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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

2 Corinthians Chapter 11

2 Corinthians 11:1

co2 11:1

I wish ye would bear - So does he pave the way for what might otherwise have given offence. With my folly - Of commending myself; which to many may appear folly; and really would be so, were it not on this occasion absolutely necessary.

2 Corinthians 11:2

co2 11:2

For - The cause of his seeming folly is expressed in this and the following verse; the cause why they should bear with him, Co2 11:4.

2 Corinthians 11:3

co2 11:3

But I fear - Love is full of these fears. Lest as the serpent - A most apposite comparison. Deceived Eve - Simple, ignorant of evil. By his subtilty - Which is in the highest degree dangerous to such a disposition. So your minds - We might therefore be tempted, even if there were no sin in us. Might be corrupted - Losing their virginal purity. From the simplicity that is in Christ - That simplicity which is lovingly intent on him alone, seeking no other person or thing.

2 Corinthians 11:4

co2 11:4

If indeed - Any could show you another Saviour, a more powerful Spirit, a better gospel. Ye might well bear with him - But this is impossible.

2 Corinthians 11:6

co2 11:6

If I am unskilful in speech - If I speak in a plain, unadorned way, like an unlearned person. So the Greek word properly signifies.

2 Corinthians 11:7

co2 11:7

Have I committed an offence - Will any turn this into an objection? In humbling myself - To work at my trade. That ye might be exalted - To be children of God.

2 Corinthians 11:8

co2 11:8

I spoiled other churches - I, as it were, took the spoils of them: it is a military term. Taking wages (or pay, another military word) of them - When I came to you at first. And when I was present with you, and wanted - My work not quite supplying my necessities. I was chargeable to no man - Of Corinth.

2 Corinthians 11:9

co2 11:9

For - I choose to receive help from the poor Macedonians, rather than the rich Corinthians! Were the poor in all ages more generous than the rich?

2 Corinthians 11:10

co2 11:10

This my boasting shall not be stopped - For I will receive nothing from you.

2 Corinthians 11:11

co2 11:11

Do I refuse to receive anything of you, because I love you not? God knoweth that is not the case.

2 Corinthians 11:12

co2 11:12

Who desire any occasion - To censure me. That wherein they boast, they may be found even as we - They boasted of being "burdensome to no man." But it was a vain boast in them, though not in the apostle.

2 Corinthians 11:14

co2 11:14

Satan himself is transformed - Uses to transform himself; to put on the fairest appearances.

2 Corinthians 11:15

co2 11:15

Therefore it is no great, no strange, thing; whose end, notwithstanding all their disguises, shall be according to their works.

2 Corinthians 11:16

co2 11:16

I say again - He premises a new apology to this new commendation of himself. Let no man think me a fool - Let none think I do this without the utmost necessity. But if any do think me foolish herein, yet bear with my folly.

2 Corinthians 11:17

co2 11:17

I speak not after the Lord - Not by an express command from him; though still under the direction of his Spirit. But as it were foolishly - In such a manner as many may think foolish.

2 Corinthians 11:18

co2 11:18

After the flesh - That is, in external things.

2 Corinthians 11:19

co2 11:19

Being wise - A beautiful irony.

2 Corinthians 11:20

co2 11:20

For ye suffer - Not only the folly, but the gross abuses, of those false apostles. If a man enslave you - Lord it over you in the most arbitrary manner. If he devour you - By his exorbitant demands; not - withstanding his boast of not being burdensome. If he take from you - By open violence. If he exalt himself - By the most unbounded self - commendation. If he smite you on the face - (A very possible case,) under pretence of divine zeal.

2 Corinthians 11:21

co2 11:21

I speak with regard to reproach, as though we had been weak - I say, "Bear with me," even on supposition that the weakness be real which they reproach me with.

2 Corinthians 11:22

co2 11:22

Are they Hebrews, Israelites, the seed of Abraham - These were the heads on which they boasted.

2 Corinthians 11:23

co2 11:23

I am more so than they. In deaths often - Surrounding me in the most dreadful forms.

2 Corinthians 11:24

co2 11:24

Five times I received from the Jews forty stripes save one - Which was the utmost that the law allowed. With the Romans he sometimes pleaded his privilege as a Roman; but from the Jews he suffered all things.

2 Corinthians 11:25

co2 11:25

Thrice I have been shipwrecked - Before his voyage to Rome. In the deep - Probably floating on some part of the vessel.

2 Corinthians 11:27

co2 11:27

In cold and nakedness - Having no place where to lay my head; no convenient raiment to cover me; yet appearing before noble - men, governors, kings; and not being ashamed.

2 Corinthians 11:28

co2 11:28

Beside the things which are from without - Which I suffer on the account of others; namely, the care of all the churches - A more modest expression than if he had said, the care of the whole church. All - Even those I have not seen in the flesh. St. Peter himself could not have said this in so strong a sense.

2 Corinthians 11:29

co2 11:29

Who - So he had not only the care of the churches, but of every person therein. Is weak, and I am not weak - By sympathy, as well as by condescension. Who is offended - Hindered in, or turned out of, the good way. And I burn not - Being pained as though I had fire in my bosom.

2 Corinthians 11:30

co2 11:30

I will glory of the things that concern my infirmities - Of what shows my weakness, rather than my strength.

2 Corinthians 11:32

co2 11:32

The governor under Aretas - King of Arabia and Syria of which Damascus was a chief city, willing to oblige the Jews, kept the city - Setting guards at all the gates day and night.

2 Corinthians 11:33

co2 11:33

Through a window - Of an house which stood on the city wall.

Next: 2 Corinthians Chapter 12