2 Corinthians 11:20
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face.

King James Bible
For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.

Darby Bible Translation
For ye bear if any one bring you into bondage, if any one devour you, if any one get your money, if any one exalt himself, if any one beat you on the face.

World English Bible
For you bear with a man, if he brings you into bondage, if he devours you, if he takes you captive, if he exalts himself, if he strikes you on the face.

Young's Literal Translation
for ye bear, if any one is bringing you under bondage, if any one doth devour, if any one doth take away, if any one doth exalt himself, if any one on the face doth smite you;

2 Corinthians 11:20 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For ye suffer ... - You bear patiently with people who impose on you in every way, and who are constantly defrauding you, though you profess to be so wise, and you may bear with me a little, though I have no such intention. Seriously, if you bear with boasters who intend to delude and deceive you in various ways, you may bear with one who comes to you with no such intention, but with an honest purpose to do good.

If a man bring you into bondage - (καταδουλοῖ katadouloi). If a man, or if anyone (εἴ τις ei tis) "make a slave of you," or reduce you to servitude. The idea is, doubtless, that the false teachers set up a lordship over their consciences; destroyed their freedom of opinion; and made them subservient to their will. They really took away their Christian freedom as much as if they had been slaves. In what way this was done is unknown. It may be that they imposed on them rites and forms, commanded expensive and inconvenient ceremonies, and required arduous services merely at their own will. A false religion always makes slaves. It is only true Christianity that leaves perfect freedom. All pagans are slaves to their priests; all fanatics are slaves to some fanatical leader; all those who embrace error are slaves to those who claim to be their guides. The papist everywhere is the slave of the priest, and the despotism there is as great as in any region of servitude whatever.

If a man devour you - This is exceedingly sarcastic. The idea is, "Though you are so wise, yet you in fact tolerate people who impose on you - no matter though they eat you up, or consume all that you have. By their exorbitant demands they would consume all you have - or, as we would say, eat you out of house and home." All this they took patiently; and freely gave all that they demanded. False teachers are always rapacious. They seek the property, not the souls of those to whom they minister. Not satisfied with a maintenance, they aim to obtain all, and their plans are formed to secure as much as possible of those to whom they minister.

If a man take of you - If he take and seize upon your possessions. If he comes and takes what he pleases and bears it away as his own.

If a man exalt himself - If he set himself up as a ruler and claim submission. No matter how arrogant his claims, yet you are ready to bear with him. You might then bear with me in the very moderate demands which I make on your obedience and confidence.

If a man smite you on the face - The word rendered here as "smite" (δέρω derō) means properly "to skin, to flay"; but in the New Testament it means "to beat, to scourge" - especially so as "to take off the skin"; Matthew 21:35; Mark 12:3, Mark 12:5. The idea here is, if anyone treats you with contumely and scorn - since there can be no higher expression of it than to strike a man on the face; Matthew 26:67. It is not to be supposed that this occurred literally among the Corinthians; but the idea is, that the false teachers really treated them with as little respect as if they smote them on the face. In what way this was done is unknown; but probably it was by their domineering manners, and the little respect which they showed for the opinions and feelings of the Corinthian Christians. Paul says that as they bore this very patiently, they might allow him to make some remarks about himself in self-commendation.

2 Corinthians 11:20 Parallel Commentaries

Letter ii (A. D. 1126) to the Monk Adam
To the Monk Adam [3] 1. If you remain yet in that spirit of charity which I either knew or believed to be with you formerly, you would certainly feel the condemnation with which charity must regard the scandal which you have given to the weak. For charity would not offend charity, nor scorn when it feels itself offended. For it cannot deny itself, nor be divided against itself. Its function is rather to draw together things divided; and it is far from dividing those that are joined. Now, if that
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Of this Weakness of His, He Saith in Another Place...
13. Of this weakness of his, he saith in another place, "We made ourselves small among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children." [2510] For in that passage the context indicates this: "For neither at any time," saith he, "used we flattering words, as ye know, nor an occasion of covetousness; God is witness: nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others when we might have been burdensome to you as the Apostles of Christ: but we made ourselves small among you, even as a nurse cherisheth
St. Augustine—Of the Work of Monks.

That the Ruler Should be a Near Neighbour to Every one in Compassion, and Exalted Above all in Contemplation.
The ruler should be a near neighbour to every one in sympathy, and exalted above all in contemplation, so that through the bowels of loving-kindness he may transfer the infirmities of others to himself, and by loftiness of speculation transcend even himself in his aspiration after the invisible; lest either in seeking high things he despise the weak things of his neighbours, or in suiting himself to the weak things of his neighbours he relinquish his aspiration after high things. For hence it is
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Laboring under Difficulties
While Paul was careful to set before his converts the plain teaching of Scripture regarding the proper support of the work of God, and while he claimed for himself as a minister of the gospel the "power to forbear working" (1 Corinthians 9:6) at secular employment as a means of self-support, yet at various times during his ministry in the great centers of civilization he wrought at a handicraft for his own maintenance. Among the Jews physical toil was not thought strange or degrading. Through Moses
Ellen Gould White—The Acts of the Apostles

Cross References
Mark 12:40
who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation."

1 Corinthians 4:11
To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless;

2 Corinthians 1:24
Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm.

2 Corinthians 10:5
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

2 Corinthians 11:3
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:16
But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself; nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I took you in by deceit.

Galatians 2:4
But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.

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