After the Lord

2Corinthians 11:16-20 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little. That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. For you suffer fools gladly, seeing you yourselves are wise. For you 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. 

‘Fool’ [Greek: aphron] senseless; witless; crazed; silly. Translated “fool” (11:16, 19; 12:6, 12:11; Luke 11:40; 12:20; 1Cor. 15:36); “foolish” (Rom. 2:20; 1Pet. 2:15); and “unwise” (Eph. 5:17). His second apology for boasting (11:1).

‘I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.’ Paul answers here that if it were not necessary for him to answer his enemies to vindicate his apostleship, his present glorying would be inconsistent with his profession of humility and of knowing no man after the flesh (5:12-16; 10:7-18; 11:1-33; 12:1-21). Paul did not want the Lord to be accused of being a partner to his boasting.

‘For you suffer fools gladly, seeing you yourselves are wise.’ Paul’s accusation here is that they are so wise to discern him as a fool and that they will gladly tolerate him in his foolishness, for wise men do not fall out with fools.

‘You suffer’ They tolerated others: who assumed control of their souls; who spent their money; who duped and robbed them; who paraded themselves; who lied in their faces and stroked them.

‘Bring … into bondage’ [Greek: katadouloo] to enslave.

‘Devour’ [Greek: katesthio] take away property and destroy, as in Matthew 23:14; Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47; Galatians 5:15 and Revelation 11:5.

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