2 Corinthians 1:8-11

2 Corinthians 1:8-11
A Women’s Lectionary – Proper 19


We do not wantA you to be ignorant,B brothersC and sisters,

Notes on verse 8a

A “want” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
B “be ignorant” = agnoeo. From a (not) + noieo (to perceive, think, understand); {from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect); from noos (mind); probably from the base as ginosko (to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn; gaining knowledge through personal experience)}. This is unaware not to know. Sometimes it is willful ignorance, but other times it is simply not knowing.
C “brothers” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.

of the afflictionD we experiencedE in Asia,F

Notes on verse 8b

D “affliction” = thlipsis. From thlibo (to press in on and make narrow, rub together, constrict; figuratively to oppress or afflict). This is pressure that hems us in – used often of internal pressure that makes us feel like we have no other options and are confined or restricted. So, this is persecution, affliction, trouble, distress, and anguish. There is a different word, stenoxoria, that refers to external pressure that we feel from what’s going on.
E “experienced” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
F “Asia” = Asia. Perhaps from Hittite assuwa (22 allied ancient states in Anatolia) OR Aegean asis (muddy, silty) OR Semitic root asu (rising or light; Asia as land to the east). This is Asia, the Roman province, which consisted of western Asia Minor. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_continent_name_etymologies

for we were so utterly,G unbearablyH crushedI that we despairedJ of lifeK itself. 

Notes on verse 8c

G “utterly” = huperbole. 8x in NT. From huperballo (to surpass, exceed, or excel; properly, to throw beyond or run beyond; transcending, eminent, or surpassing); {from huper (over, above, beyond) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, rush, drop)}. This is excess, surpassing, exceedingly. Properly, it means to throw past so it can also mean abundance or preeminence. It is where the word “hyperbole” comes from.
H “unbearably” = huper + dunamis. Dunamis is from dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.
I “crushed” = bareo. 6x in NT. From barus (heavy, burdensome; figuratively, violent, oppressive; that which presses down on someone so that they cannot move freely); from the same as baros (weight, burden in a literal or figurative sense; authority). This is heavy, press, weigh down, or burden.
J “despaired” = exaporeo. 2x in NT – both in 2 Corinthians. From ek (from, from out of) + aporeo (perplexed, in doubt; mentally at a loss); {from a (not, without) + poros (way, resource)}. This is to despair, be at a loss, have no way out.
K “life” = zao. This is to live literally or figuratively. It is used for life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.

Indeed, we felt that we had receivedL the sentenceM of deathN

Notes on verse 9a

L “received” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.
M “sentence” = apokrima. 1x in NT. From apokrinomai (to reply or respond, to draw one’s own conclusions, to speak when one is expected to); {from apo (from, away from) + krino (to judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue; judging whether in court or in a private setting; properly, mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty; can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging)}. This is answer, judicial sentence.
N “death” = thanatos. From thnesko (to die, be dead). This is death, whether literal or spiritual. It can also refer to something that is fatal.

so that we would relyO not on ourselves but on God,P who raisesQ the dead.R 

Notes on verse 9b

O “rely” = peitho. This is to have confidence, to urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust. It is the root from which the Greek word for faith is drawn (pistis).
P “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
Q “raises” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.
R “dead” = nekros. Perhaps from nekus (corpse). This is dead or lifeless, mortal, corpse. It can also be used figuratively for powerless or ineffective. It is where the word “necrotic” comes from.

10 He who rescuedS us from soT deadlyU a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hopeV that he will rescue us again, 

Notes on verse 10

S “rescued” = rhuomai. 18x in NT– including from the Lord’s prayer “deliver us from evil”. Related to eruo (to draw or drag) OR related to rheo (to flow, overflow). This is to rescue or set free. It is to deliver from danger, to snatch up.
T “so” = telikoutos. 4x in NT. From ho (the) + helikos (of what size, how much; properly, full grown, an adult); {from helix (mature, adult, of the same age)} + houtos (this, they, that, third person pronoun); {probably from ho (the) + autos (he, she, self, they, same)}. This is so large, important, vast, great, old. It can refer to potential or magnitude.
U “deadly” = thanatos. Same as “death” in v9. See note N above.
V “set…hope” = elpizo. From elpis (expectation, hope, trust, confidence, faith; expectation whether abstract or concrete); from elpo (to anticipate, welcome, expect; usually to anticipate positively); from elpomai (to anticipate, expect). This is to expect, trust, hope for, or to wait in an active way.

11 as you also join in helpingW us by your prayers,X so that manyY

Notes on verse 11a

W “join in helping” = sunupourgeo. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + hupourgeo (to serve, assist) OR from sun (with, together with) + hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + ergon (word, task, action, employment); {from ergo (to work, accomplish) or from erdo (to do)}. This is to help together, assist.
X “prayers” = deesis. 18x in NT. From deomai (having an urgent need because one is missing or needing something so it is an earnest appeal or pressing request); from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is a request coming from a deep personal need or want. So, it is supplication or prayer.
Y “many” = polus + prosopon. Polus is much, often, plenteous – a large number or a great extent. Prosopon is from pros (at, towards, with) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (become, seem, appear)}. This is the face, surface, or front. It can imply presence more generally.

may give thanksZ on our behalf for the blessingAA granted us through the prayers of many.BB

Notes on verse 11b

Z “give thanks” = eucharisteo. Related to “blessing” in v11. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + charis (see note AA below)}. This is giving thanks, being thankful. It is a recognition that God’s grace is good and actively showing gratitude. It can also be used for saying grace before eating. This is where “eucharist” comes from.
AA “blessing” = charisma. 17x in NT. From charizomai (to show favor, kindness, or grace, to pardon, forgive); from charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); from chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is grace, undeserved favor, a free gift, or a spiritual gift. It is the working of grace, some spiritual gift or religious qualification. It could be some kind of miraculous endowment.
BB “many” = polus. Same as “many” in v11. See note Y above.

Image credit: “Monk” by Ruizangalada, 2014.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply