2 Corinthians 7
Vincent's Word Studies
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Filthiness (μολυσμοῦ)

Rev., defilement. Only here in the New Testament. For the kindred verb μολύνω to defile, see on Revelation 14:4. Compare 1 Corinthians 8:7.

Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
Receive (χωρήσατε)

From χῶρος place or space. Primarily, to leave a space, make room for. See on containing, John 2:6; see on John 8:37. The meaning here is make room for us. Rev., open your hearts to us, which is felicitous in view of the reference to 2 Corinthians 6:12. It is equivalent to saying enlarge your hearts to take us in, as our heart is enlarged (2 Corinthians 6:11).

Defrauded (ἐπλεονεκτήσαμεν)

Used by Paul only. It adds the idea of wrong for the sake of gain, which is not necessarily implied in either of the other verbs.

I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.
Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.
My boldness

Note the change for the first time to the first person singular.


The Greek has the comfort, the article apparently pointing to the special comfort he had received through the coming of Titus (2 Corinthians 7:6).

I am exceeding joyful (ὑπερπερισσεύμαι τῇ χαρᾷ)

Lit., I superabound with the joy. Rev., I overflow with joy. Note the article again, the joy.

For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
Rest (ἄνεσιν)

Rev., relief. See on liberty, Acts 24:23.

Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;

The Rev. improves on the A.V. by putting God in its emphatic place at the end of the clause. "He that comforteth," etc. - "even God."

Those that are cast down (τοὺς ταπεινοὺς)

Rev., the lowly. See on Matthew 11:29. Here the A.V. is more nearly true to the idea, which is that of depression through circumstances, rather than of lowliness of character. The neater rendering would be the downcast.

And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.

The manner in which Paul, so to speak, fondles this word, is most beautiful. Compare 2 Corinthians 1:4-6.

Mourning (ὀδυρμόν)

Only here and Matthew 2:18. It implies a verbal expression of grief. Cebes, a disciple of Socrates, in his Pinax represents Λύπη Lupe, Sorrow, as a woman, with her head bowed upon her breast; Ὁδύνη Odune, consuming Grief, follows, tearing her hair. By her side is Ὁδυρμός Odurmos, Lamentation, a revolting, emaciated figure, whose sister is Ἁθυμία Athumia, Despondency.

For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
Repent (μεταμέλομαι)

See on Matthew 21:29. Rev., regret it.

Though I did repent

Punctuate as Am. Rev., I do not regret it: though (even if) I did regret it (for I see that that epistle made you sorry, though but for a season) I now rejoice.

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
Repentance (μετάνοιαν)

See on the kindred verb repent, Matthew 3:2, and compare note on Matthew 21:29. Repentance is different from regret of 2 Corinthians 7:8, indicating a moral change, as is shown by the next clause.

Ye might receive damage (ζημιωθῆτε)

Rev., might suffer loss. See on Matthew 16:26; see on Luke 9:25. This somewhat obscure sentence means that the salutary moral results of the apostle's letter compensated for the sorrow which it caused. The epistle which won them to repentance was no damage to them.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Sorrow - repentance (λύπη - μετάνοιαν)

Paul's words strike effectively at the popular identification of sorrow with repentance.

Not to be repented of (ἀμεταμέλητον)

Construe with repentance. The Rev., in order to bring out this connection, amplifies the translation: a repentance which bringeth no regret. The oxymoron (see on Romans 1:20; Romans 4:18) is in the A.V. rather than in the Greek. It should be carefully observed that the two words, repentance, not to be repented of, represent different roots and different ideas: repentance (μετάνοιαν) denoting the moral change, and to be repented of denoting the sentiment of misgiving or regret (see on Matthew 21:29), and so answering to λύπη sorrow. The Rev. brings out the distinction by substituting regret for repentance.

Sorrow of the world

Antithesis with the sorrow which is according to God (A.V., godly sorrow). Sorrow which is characteristic of the world; grief for the consequences rather than for the sin as sin.

Worketh (κατεργάζεται)

Brings to pass. Notice that the simple verb ἐργάζετι is used in the previous clause, the distinction from this verb being obliterated by rendering both worketh. The difference is between contributing to a result and achieving it.

For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
Sorrowed (λυπηθῆναι)

Rev., correctly, were made sorry. The verb is in the passive voice, and is so rendered by the A.V. in 2 Corinthians 7:9, but, inconsistently, sorrowed in the next clause.

Carefulness (σπουδήν)

See on diligence, Romans 12:8. Rev., earnest care.

Clearing of yourselves (ἀπολογίαν)

See on 1 Peter 3:15. Exculpation or self-defense from complicity with the incestuous person by their neglect and refusal to humble themselves.

Indignation (ἀγανάκτησιν)

Only here in the New Testament. Compare the kindred verb ἀγανακτέω to be indignant, Matthew 20:24; Mark 10:14, etc.

Revenge (ἐκδίκησιν)

An unfortunate rendering, because of the personal feeling of vindictiveness which attaches to the popular usage. Rev. avenging is little, if any, better. It is rather meting out of justice; doing justice to all parties. See on Luke 18:3; see on Luke 21:22. The word has, however, the sense of requital (see on Romans 12:19; compare 2 Thessalonians 1:8), and carries with it, etymologically, the sense of vindication, as Luke 18:7, Luke 18:8. Bengel remarks that the six results of godly sorrow fall into pairs: clearing and indignation relating to the disgrace of the Church; fear and longing (vehement desire) to the apostle; zeal and avenging to the offender.

Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.
Our care for you (τὴν σπουδὴν ἡμῶν τὴν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν)

The correct text reverses the pronouns and reads your care for us. This difficult passage means that while Paul did desire the punishment and reformation of the offender, and the vindication of the wronged party, his main object was that the fidelity and zeal of the Church toward God should be manifested, as it was (2 Corinthians 7:11). This would appear in the manifestation of their zealous interest for him as God's minister. He states this as if it were his only object. Manifest unto you is rather among you (πρός), as in 2 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 16:7.

Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.
Were comforted in your comfort (παρακεκλήμεθα ἐπὶ τῇ παρακλήσει ὑμῶν)

The best texts place a period after were comforted, transfer the δὲ and (yea) from after ἐπί exceedingly the more to directly after ἐπί in (your comfort), and instead of your read our. The whole, as Rev., therefore we have been comforted. And in our comfort we joyed the more exceedingly, etc.

In our comfort (ἐπί)

In addition to. Stanley, with this comfort before me, I was still more rejoiced, etc.

For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth.
And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.
I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.
I have confidence in you (θαῤῥῶ ἐν ὑμῖν)

Wrong. Rev., correctly, I am of good courage. In you expresses the ground of his encouragement as lying in them.

Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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