VINCENT'S WORD STUDIES
2 CORINTHIANS 2
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Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT
Again. Referring to a former unrecorded visit.
Who then is he, etc. The thought underlying the passage, i. 24-ii. 1-3, is that the apostle's own joy is bound up with the spiritual prosperity of the Church. Compare Philip. iv. 1. As the helper of their joy he would receive joy through their faith and obedience. So long as their moral condition compelled him to come, bringing rebuke and pain, they could not be a source of joy to him. If I must needs make you sorry with merited rebuke, who can give me joy save you who are thus made sorry?
Not to me. Not that Paul did not grieve over the offender; but he desires to emphasize the fact that the injury caused by the sin was not to him personally, but to the Church.
But in part, that I may not overcharge you all (alla apo merouv ina mh epibarw pantav umav). For overcharge, Rev., press too heavily, in order to bring out more distinctly the idea of the verb, laying a burden (barov) upon. Overcharge, however, is not incorrect, though possibly ambiguous in the light of the various uses of charge. Charge is from the Latin carrus a wagon. Compare the low Latin carricare to load a wagon, and carica a freight-ship. Hence charge is a load; compare the interchange of charge and load applied to the contents of a gun. So cargo, and caricature, which is an exaggerated or overloaded drawing. Hence expense, cost, commission, accusation, all implying a burden, either of pecuniary or of other responsibility, or of guilt. In part does not refer to Paul, as if he had said, "You have not grieved me alone and principally, but in part, since my sorrow is shared by the Church." With in part is to be construed, parenthetically, that I press not too heavily, that is, on the offender: the whole clause being intended to mitigate the charge against the offender of having wounded the whole Church. Thus you all depends upon he hath caused sorrow, not upon that I press not too heavily upon. Render, as Rev., He hath caused sorrow, not to me, but in part (that I press not too heavily) to you all.
Overmuch sorrow (th perissotera luph). Rev. gives the force of the article, his sorrow. Overmuch, excessive, through the refusal of pardon.
Are ignorant - devices (agnooumen - nohmata). A paronomasia (see on Rom. i. 29-31). As nearly as possible, "not know his knowing plots."
Troas. The full name of the city was Alexandria Troas. It was founded by Antigonos, one of the successors of Alexander the Great, and originally called by him Antigonia Troas. It was finished by Lysimachus, another of Alexander's generals, and called by him Alexandria Troas. It stood upon the seashore, about four miles from ancient Troy, and six miles south of the entrance to the Hellespont. It was, for many centuries, the key of the traffic between Europe and Asia, having an artificial port consisting of two basins. Its ruins, with their immense arches and great columns of granite, indicate a city of much splendor. The Romans had a peculiar interest in it, connected with the tradition of their own origin from Troy; and the jus Italicum was accorded it by Augustus, by which its territory enjoyed the same immunity from taxation which attached to land in Italy. Both Julius Caesar and Constantine conceived the design of making it a capital. The ruins enclose a circuit of several miles, and include a vast gymnasium, a stadium, a theatre, and an aqueduct The Turks call it "Old Constantinople." The harbor is now blocked up.
A door. See on 1 Cor. xvi. 9.
Taking my leave (apotaxamenov). The verb means, primarily, to set apart or separate; hence to separate one's self, withdraw, and so to take leave of. The A.V. gives this sense in every case, except Mark vi. 46, where it wrongly renders sent away. See Luke ix. 61; Acts xviii. 18, 21. Ignatins, ajpotaxamenov tw biw having bid farewell to the life, that is, this lower life (Epistle to Philadelphia, 11.).
The savor of His knowledge. According to the Greek usage, savor and knowledge are in apposition, so that the knowledge of Christ is symbolized as an odor communicating its nature and efficacy through the apostle's work, "permeating the world as a cloud of frankincense" (Stanley). For a similar usage see on ch. i. 22. The idea of the Roman triumph is still preserved in this figure. On these occasions the temples were all thrown open, garlands of flowers decorated every shrine and image, and incense smoked on every altar, so that the victor was greeted with a cloud of perfume. Compare Aeschylus on the festivities at the return of Agamemnon from Troy:
"The altars blaze with gifts; And here and there, heaven high the torch uplifts Flame, - medicated with persuasions mild, With foul admixture unbeguiled - Of holy unguent, from the clotted chrism Brought from the palace, safe in its abysm." "Agamemnon," 91-96, Browning's Translation.
Of death (ek qanatou). Rev., better, giving the force of the preposition, proceeding from, wafted from death. The figure is carried out with reference to the different effects of the Gospel, as preached by the apostles, upon different persons. The divine fragrance itself may have, to Christ's enemies, the effect of a deadly odor. The figure was common in rabbinical writings. Thus: "Whoever bestows labor on the law for the sake of the law itself, it becomes to him a savor of life; and whoever does not bestow labor on the law for the law's sake, it becomes a savor of death." "Even as the bee brings sweetness to its own master, but stings others, so also are the words of the law; a saving odor to the Israelites, but a deadly odor to the Gentiles." These are specimens of a great many.
Some find here an allusion to a revolting feature of the Roman triumph. Just as the procession was ascending the Capitoline Hill, some of the captive chiefs were taken into the adjoining prison and put to death. "Thus the sweet odors which to the victor - a Marius or a Julius Caesar - and to the spectators were a symbol of glory and success and happiness, were to the wretched victims - a Jugurtha or a Vercingetorix - an odor of death" (Farrar). 141 Sufficient (ikanov). See on Rom. xv. 23.
From kaphlov a huckster or pedler; also a tavernkeeper. The kaphloi formed a distinct class among the Greek dealers, distinguished from the ejuporoi merchants or wholesale dealers. So Plato: "Is not retailer (kaphlouv) the term which is applied to those who sit in the market-place buying and selling, while those who wander from one city to another are called merchants?" ("Republic," 371; compare "Statesman," 260) The term included dealers in victuals and all sorts of wares, but was especially applied to retailers of wine, with whom adulteration and short measure were matters of course. Galen speaks of wine-dealers kaphleuontev touv oinouv playing tricks with their wines; mixing the new, harsh wines, so as to make them pass for old. These not only sold their wares in the market, but had kaphleia wine-shops all over the town, where it was not thought respectable to take refreshments. The whole trade was greatly despised. In Thebes no one who had sold in the market within the last ten years was allowed to take part in the government. So Plato, speaking of the evils of luxury and poverty: "What remedy can a city of sense find against this disease? In the first place, they must have as few retail traders as possible" ("Laws," 919. The whole passage is well worth reading). The moral application of the term was familiar in classical Greek. Lucian says: "The philosophers deal out their instructions like hucksters." Plato: "Those who carry about the wares of knowledge, and make the round of the cities, and sell or retail them to any customer who is in want of them, praise them all alike; though I should not wonder if many of them were really ignorant of their effect upon the soul; and their customers equally ignorant, unless he who buys of them happens to be a physician of the soul" ("Protagoras," 313). Paul here uses the term of those who trade in the word of God, adulterating it for the purpose of gain or popularity. Compare 1 Tim. vi. 5, Rev. In the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" occurs the word cristemporov a Christ-monger (ch. xii. 5).