Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


2 Corinthians 11:26

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

In journeyings often - He means the particular journeys which he took to different places, for the purpose of propagating the Gospel.

In perils of waters - Exposed to great dangers in crossing rivers; for of rivers the original, ποταμων, must be understood.

Of robbers - Judea itself, and perhaps every other country, was grievously infested by banditti of this kind; and no doubt the apostle in his frequent peregrinations was often attacked, but, being poor and having nothing to lose, he passed unhurt, though not without great danger.

In perils by mine own countrymen - The Jews had the most rooted antipathy to him, because they considered him an apostate from the true faith, and also the means of perverting many others. There are several instances of this in the Acts; and a remarkable conspiracy against his life is related, Acts 23:12, etc.

In perils by the heathen - In the heathen provinces whither he went to preach the Gospel. Several instances of these perils occur also in the Acts.

In perils in the city - The different seditions raised against him; particularly in Jerusalem, to which Ephesus and Damascus may be added.

Perils in the wilderness - Uninhabited countries through which he was obliged to pass in order to reach from city to city. In such places it is easy to imagine many dangers from banditti, wild beasts, cold, starvation, etc.

Perils in the sea - The different voyages he took in narrow seas, such as the Mediterranean, about dangerous coasts, and without compass.

False brethren - Persons who joined themselves to the Church, pretending faith in Christ, but intending to act as spies, hoping to get some matter of accusation against him. He no doubt suffered much also from apostates.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

In journeyings often - Of course subject to the fatigue, toil, and danger which such a mode of life involves.

In perils of waters - In danger of losing my life at sea, or by floods, or by crossing streams.

Of robbers - Many of the countries, especially Arabia, through which he traveled, were then infested, as they are now, with robbers. It is not impossible or improbable that he was often attacked and his life endangered. It is still unsafe to travel in many of the places through which he traveled.

By mine own countrymen - The Jews. They often scourged him; laid wait for him and were ready to put him to death. They had deep enmity against him as an apostate, and he was in constant danger of being put to death by them.

By the pagan - By those who had not the true religion. Several instances of his danger from this quarter are mentioned in the Acts.

In the city - In cities, as in Derbe. Lystra, Philippi, Jerusalem, Ephesus, etc.

In the wilderness - In the desert, where he would be exposed to ambushes, or to wild beasts, or to hunger and want. Instances of this are not recorded in the Acts, but no one can doubt that they occurred, The idea here is, that he had met with constant danger wherever he was, whether in the busy haunts of people or in the solitude and loneliness of the desert.

In the sea - see 2 Corinthians 11:25.

Among false brethren - This was the crowning danger and trial to Paul, as it is to all others. A man can better bear danger by land and water, among robbers and in deserts, than he can bear to have his confidence abused, and to be subjected to the action and the arts of spies upon his conduct. Who these were he has not informed us. He mentions it as the chief trial to which he had been exposed, that he had met those who pretended to be his friends, and who yet had sought every possible opportunity to expose and destroy him. Perhaps he has here a delicate reference to the danger which he apprehended from the false brethren in the church at Corinth.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The apostle gives an account of his labours and sufferings; not out of pride or vain-glory, but to the honour of God, who enabled him to do and suffer so much for the cause of Christ; and shows wherein he excelled the false apostles, who tried to lessen his character and usefulness. It astonishes us to reflect on this account of his dangers, hardships, and sufferings, and to observe his patience, perseverance, diligence, cheerfulness, and usefulness, in the midst of all these trials. See what little reason we have to love the pomp and plenty of this world, when this blessed apostle felt so much hardship in it. Our utmost diligence and services appear unworthy of notice when compared with his, and our difficulties and trials scarcely can be perceived. It may well lead us to inquire whether or not we really are followers of Christ. Here we may study patience, courage, and firm trust in God. Here we may learn to think less of ourselves; and we should ever strictly keep to truth, as in God's presence; and should refer all to his glory, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore.
Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 363.3

His labors were more abundant than any of the disciples, his stripes above measure. He was beaten with rods, stoned, shipwrecked, in deaths oft. He was in peril by land and sea, in the city and in the wilderness, from robbers and from his own countrymen. He prosecuted his mission under continual infirmities, in painfulness, in weariness, in watchings often, in cold, in nakedness.... When he answered the bloodthirsty Nero, no man stood with him.... OHC 363.3

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 347.2

The faithful ambassador of Christ is not ashamed of the banner of truth. He does not cease from proclaiming the truth, however unpopular it may be. In all places, in season, out of season, he heralds the glad tidings of salvation. Missionaries for God are called to face dangers, endure privations, and suffer reproach for the truth's sake, yet amid dangers, hardships, and reproach they are still to hold the banner aloft. RC 347.2

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 296-7

Paul's labors in Ephesus were concluded. His ministry there had been a season of incessant labor, of many trials, and of deep anguish. He had taught the people in public and from house to house, with many tears instructing and warning them. Continually he had been opposed by the Jews, who lost no opportunity to stir up the popular feeling against him. AA 296.1

And while thus battling against opposition, pushing forward with untiring zeal the gospel work, and guarding the interests of a church yet young in the faith, Paul was bearing upon his soul a heavy burden for all the churches. AA 296.2

News of apostasy in some of the churches of his planting caused him deep sorrow. He feared that his efforts in their behalf might prove to be in vain. Many a sleepless night was spent in prayer and earnest thought as he learned of the methods employed to counteract his work. As he had opportunity and as their condition demanded, he wrote to the churches, giving reproof, counsel, admonition, and encouragement. In these letters the apostle does not dwell on his own trials, yet there are occasional glimpses of his labors and sufferings in the cause of Christ. Stripes and imprisonment, cold and hunger and thirst, perils by land and by sea, in the city and in the wilderness, from his own countrymen, from the heathen, and from false brethren—all this he endured for the sake of the gospel. He was “defamed,” “reviled,” made “the offscouring of all things,“ “perplexed,” “persecuted,” “troubled on every side,” “in jeopardy every hour,” “alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake.” AA 296.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 575

In all ages God's appointed witnesses have exposed themselves to reproach and persecution for the truth's sake. Joseph was maligned and persecuted because he preserved his virtue and integrity. David, the chosen messenger of God, was hunted like a beast of prey by his enemies. Daniel was cast into a den of lions because he was true to his allegiance to heaven. Job was deprived of his worldly possessions, and so afflicted in body that he was abhorred by his relatives and friends; yet he maintained his integrity. Jeremiah could not be deterred from speaking the words that God had given him to speak; and his testimony so enraged the king and princes that he was cast into a loathsome pit. Stephen was stoned because he preached Christ and Him crucified. Paul was imprisoned, beaten with rods, stoned, and finally put to death because he was a faithful messenger for God to the Gentiles. And John was banished to the Isle of Patmos “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” AA 575.1

These examples of human steadfastness bear witness to the faithfulness of God's promises—of His abiding presence and sustaining grace. They testify to the power of faith to withstand the powers of the world. It is the work of faith to rest in God in the darkest hour, to feel, however sorely tried and tempest-tossed, that our Father is at the helm. The eye of faith alone can look beyond the things of time to estimate aright the worth of the eternal riches. AA 575.2

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