2 Corinthians 11:22-29

22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.

23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.

24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.

25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;

26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—

28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.

29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?

Paul had already included a similar passage in this letter — 2 Corinthians 6:3-10. My notes on that passage contain addition information on some of the trials Paul listed here.

In verses 21-29, [Paul] challenges these false teachers to prove their fidelity to the gospel and to suffering humanity, by a similar or a superior record of devotion, of affliction and of national privilege.

So real was his love for all his converts (vs. 28-29) that he consciously felt their weakness, and burned with shame or indignation when anyone was injured or caused to sin. — Williams, page 907.


In defending his apostleship, Paul does not recall his great accomplishments, but his sufferings for Christ. … This was better proof of the quality of his ministry. … To the Galatians, who had also been induced to question his call of God as an apostle, he threw the certificate of his apostleship down on the table, as it were (Galatians 1:11-16) and, closing the epistle, says: “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks (lit., the brand) of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 6:17).

Thus, the apostle did not wish to boast, but when forced to do so he had at least boasted of the right things.

Were these Judaizers Hebrews, Israelites, of the seed of Abraham? So was he. but in suffering for Christ he was more—much more. Speaking as the “fool” they thought him to be, he lists sufferings they had not even begun to endure. …

How did the lives of the self-important Judaizers compare with this? We have already had this answered for us in vs. 19-21 where he unquestionably refers to these men, who had already taken so much from them. — Stam, pages 216-217.

From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one (v.24) — The Law stated that a man could not be whipped more than 40 times (Deuteronomy 25:2-3). The Jews limited the number to 39 in case they accidentally miscounted and broke the law.

Three times I was beaten with rods (v.25) — Acts 16:22-23; 21:32

Once I was stoned (v.25) — Acts 14:5, 19

Three times I was shipwrecked (v.25) — Acts 27:41-44

In journeys often (v.26) — The Acts records four visits of Paul to Jerusalem after his conversion: 1) Acts 9:23-30. This seems to be the same visit as that mentioned in Galatians 1:18-19. The apostles of Acts 9:27 were Peter and James, the Lord’s brother. 2) Acts 11:30. Paul may have been in Jerusalem during the events of Acts 12:1-24. See verse 25. 3) Acts 15:1-30; Galatians 2:2-10. and 4) Acts 21:17-23:35.

In addition, Paul took three long journeys to start churches around Asia and Europe.

In perils of my own countrymen (v.26) — Acts 9:23-24; 17:5

My deep concern for all the churches (v.28) — for example: Acts 15:36; 20:17-21; 2 Corinthians 7:12; 12:20; Galatians 4:11; 1 Thessalonians 3:10

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