Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


2 Corinthians 2:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And I wrote this same unto you - This I particularly marked in my first epistle to you; earnestly desiring your reformation, lest, if I came before this had taken place, I must have come with a rod, and have inflicted punishment on the transgressors. See 1 Corinthians 5:1-13.

My joy is the joy of you all - I know that ye wish my comfort as much as I wish yours.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And I wrote this same unto you - The words “this same” ( τοῦτο αὐτὸ (touto auto) refer to what he had written to them in the former Epistle, particularly to what he had written in regard to the incestuous person, requiring them to excommunicate him. Probably the expression also includes the commands in his former Epistle to reform their conduct in general, and to put away the abuses and evil practices which prevailed in the church there.

Lest when I came … - Lest I should be obliged if I came personally to exercise the severity of discipline, and thus to diffuse sorrow throughout the entire church.

I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice - Lest I should have grief in the church. Lest the conduct of the church, and the abuses which prevail in it should give me sorrow. I should be grieved with the existence of these evils; and I should be obliged to resort to measures which would be painful to me, and to the whole church. Paul sought to avoid this by persuading them before he came to exercise the discipline themselves, and to put away the evil practices which prevailed among them.

Having confidence in you all - Having confidence that this is your general character, that whatever adds to my joy, or promotes my happiness, would give joy to you all. Paul had enemies in Corinth; he knew that there were some there whose minds were alienated from him, and who were endeavoring to do him injury. Yet he did not doubt that it was the general character of the church that they wished him well, and would desire to make him happy; that what would tend to promote his happiness would also promote theirs; and therefore, that they would be willing to do anything that would make his visit agreeable to him when he came among them. He was, therefore, persuaded that if he wrote them an affectionate letter, they would listen to his injunctions, that thus all that was painful might be avoided when he came among them.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.