7 and not by his coming only, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, while he told us of your longing, your mourning, and your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced still more.
*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.
And not by his coming only. Lest the Corinthians should object in these terms -- "What is it to us if Titus has cheered you by his coming? No doubt, as you loved him, you would feel delighted to see him;" he declares, that the occasion of his joy was, that Titus had, on returning from them, communicated the most joyful intelligence. Accordingly he declares, that it was not so much the presence of one individual, as the prosperous condition of the Corinthians, that had cheered him. Your desire Mark, what joyful tidings were communicated to Paul respecting the Corinthians. Their desire originated in the circumstance, that they held Paul's doctrine in high estimation. Their tears were a token of respect; because, being affected with his reproof, they mourned over their sins. Their zeal was an evidence of good will. From these three things he inferred that they were penitent. This afforded him full satisfaction, because he had no other intention or anxiety, than the consulting of their welfare. So that I rejoiced the more -- that is, "So that all my griefs and distresses gave way to joy." Hence we see, not merely with what fervor of mind he desired the public good of the Church, but also how mild and gentle a disposition he possessed, as being one that could suddenly bury in oblivion offenses of so serious a nature. At the same time, this may rather be taken in another way, so as to be viewed in connection with what follows, and I am not sure but that this meaning would correspond better with Paul's intention. As, however, it is a matter of no great moment, I pass over it slightly.
And not by his coming only - Not merely by the fact that be was restored to me, and that my anxieties in regard to him were now dissipated. It is evident that Paul, not having met with Titus as he had expected, at Troas, had felt much anxiety on his account, perhaps apprehending that he was sick, or that he had died.
But by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you - Titus was satisfied and delighted with his interview with you. He had been kindly treated, and he had seen all the effect produced by the letter which he had desired. He had, therefore, been much comforted by his visit to Corinth, and this was a source of additional joy to Paul. He rejoiced at what he had witnessed among you, and he imparted the same joy to me also. The joy of one friend will diffuse itself through the heart of another. Joy is diffusive, and one Christian cannot well be happy without making others happy also.
When he told us of your earnest desire - Either to rectify what was amiss (Doddridge, Clarke); or to see me - Macknight, Rosenmuller, Bloomfied. It seems to me that the connection requires us to understand it of their desire, their anxiety to comply with his commands. and to reform the abuses which existed in the church, and which had given him so much pain.
Your mourning - Produced by the Epistle. Your deep repentance over the sins which had prevailed in the church.
Your fervent mind toward me - Greek, 'Your zeal for me.' It denotes that they evinced great ardor of attachment to him, and an earnest desire to comply with his wishes.
So that I rejoiced the more - I not only rejoiced at his coming, but I rejoiced the more at what he told me of you. Under any circumstances the coming of Titus would have been an occasion of joy; but it was especially so from the account which he gave me of you.
He told us your earnest desire - To see me, and correct what was amiss among yourselves.
Your mourning - Because you had sinned.
Your fervent mind - The zeal you felt to testify your affectionate regard for me.
And not by his coming only,.... It was not barely by his coming, that he and his fellow ministers were so much comforted:
but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you. The church at Corinth received Titus with all respect and reverence; treated him in the most kind and tender manner; satisfied him in the affair of the incestuous person; greatly refreshed his spirits with an account of their faith in Christ, experience of the grace of God, and their regard and close attachment to the honour of religion, and the interest of the Redeemer; many comfortable opportunities had he with them, in preaching among them, and conversing with them; and the account of this added to the apostle's consolation; for the joys and comforts of one believer yield a considerable pleasure, and are matter of joy and comfort, to another:
when he told us your earnest desire; that is, of seeing the apostle, of satisfying him in the thing he had complained of, and of reformation in their conduct, and the discipline of Christ's house for the future:
your mourning; for the evil that had been committed among them; the dishonour it had brought upon the doctrine and ways of Christ; their remissness, carelessness, and neglect in discharging their duty; and the grief and sorrow occasioned hereby to the apostle:
your fervent mind toward me; in vindicating him, his character, doctrine, and conduct, against the false apostles, and others:
so that I rejoiced the more: his joy on this narrative of things abundantly exceeded his troubles and afflictions, which surrounded him on every side, and overcame and extinguished that sorrow, which had possessed him on their account; and greatly added to the joy he felt by the coming of Titus, and the consolation that he had met with at Corinth.
when he told us--Greek, "telling us." We shared in the comfort which Titus felt in recording your desire (2-Corinthians 7:13). He rejoiced in telling the news; we in hearing them [ALFORD].
earnest desire--Greek, "longing desire," namely, to see me [GROTIUS]; or, in general, towards me, to please me.
mourning--over your own remissness in not having immediately punished the sin (1-Corinthians 5:1, &c.) which called forth my rebuke.
fervent mind--Greek, "zeal" (compare 2-Corinthians 7:11; John 2:17).
toward me--Greek, "for me"; for my sake. They in Paul's behalf showed the zeal against the sin which Paul would have shown had he been present.
rejoiced the more--more than before, at the mere coming of Titus.
Your earnest desire - To rectify what had been amiss. Your grief - For what had offended God, and troubled me.
*More commentary available at chapter level.