2 Corinthians 2:3
(3) And I wrote this same unto you.--Here, again, we have to read between the lines. The pronoun, which does not refer to anything that has been actually said, shows with what definiteness certain passages in his first letter were stamped upon his memory. The question might be asked, "Why had he written so sharply?" And he makes answer to himself that the result had been what he had intended: that his motive in so writing as to give pain had been to avoid giving and receiving pain when he came in person. He wanted his visit to be one of unmixed joy for himself, and if so, it could not fail, looking to their mutual sympathy, to give his disciples joy also.

Verse 3. - And I wrote this same unto you. And I wrote. He meets the tacit objection. If you shrink from causing us pain, why then did you write to us in terms so severe? The "I wrote" may be what is called the epistolary aorist, and will then be equivalent to our "I write:" "What I write to you now has the very object of sparing you a painful visit." If the aorist has its more ordinary sense, it refers to the First, and not to the present Epistle; and this seems the better view, for the "I wrote" in ver. 9 certainly refers to the First Epistle. This same thing; namely, exactly what I have written (whether in this or in the former Epistle). The words, "this very thing," may also, in the original, menu "for this very reason," as in 2 Peter 1:5, and like the εἰς τοῦτο in ver. 9. Unto you. These words should be omitted, with א, A, B, C. When I came. The emphasis lies in these words. He preferred that his letter, rather than his personal visit, should cause pain. In you all. It is true that in the Corinthian Church St. Paul had bitter and unscrupulous opponents, but he will not believe even that they desired his personal unhappiness. At any rate, if there were any such, he will net believe that they exist, since "love believeth all things, hopeth all things" (1 Corinthians 13:7).

2:1-4 The apostle desired to have a cheerful meeting with them; and he had written in confidence of their doing what was to their benefit and his comfort; and that therefore they would be glad to remove every cause of disquiet from him. We should always give pain unwillingly, even when duty requires that it must be given.And I wrote this same unto you,.... Not what he had written in the preceding verse, or in 2 Corinthians 1:23, where he says, that his not coming to them as yet was to spare them; but what he had written to them in his former epistle, concerning the excommunication of the incestuous man, which had so much grieved both him and them; and this the apostle chose rather to order by writing, than in person; hoping to hear of their repentance and amendment, before he came among them:

lest, says he,

when I came, or should come,

I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; some copies and the Complutensian edition read, "sorrow upon sorrow"; and so does the Vulgate Latin version, which seems to be transcribed from Philippians 2:27, that is, he took this method of sending a reproving letter, in order to bring them to a sense and acknowledgment of sin; lest should he come in person, some would have been a grief and trouble to him, having fallen into sin not repented of; who ought to have been matter of rejoicing to him, as being the seals of his apostleship, and his work in the Lord: and this step he was the more encouraged to take, through the confidence he had of them,

having confidence in you all; being fully persuaded of their affection for him, and opinion of him:

that my joy is the joy of you all; that their joy and grief were mutual and common; that what he rejoiced in, they did likewise; and what was displeasing to him was displeasing to them; and therefore upon the first hint given, he took care to remove the occasion of such displeasure, that their mutual comfort might take place; assuring them, and of which they might be assured, that it was no joy to him to grieve them; he could have none when theirs was gone; his ultimate view in writing to them in the manner he had, was not to grieve, but to bring them to repentance and reformation, which issued in the mutual joy of him and them.

2 Corinthians 2:2
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