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2 Corinthians Chapter 12

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Viewing the Standard King James Version. Switch to the 1611 KJV 2 Corinthians Chapter 12 or view a 2 Corinthians 12 parallel comparison.

1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)

4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.

6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.

12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.

14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

16 But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.

17 Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?

18 I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?

19 Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.

20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:

21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.


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2 Corinthians Chapter 12 Bible commentary...

The apostle's revelations. (1-6) Which were improved to his spiritual advantage. (7-10) The signs of an apostle were in him, His purpose of making them a visit; but he expresses his fear lest he should have to be severe with some. (11-21)1-6 There can be no doubt the apostle speaks of himself. Whether heavenly things were brought down to him, while his body was in a trance, as in the case of ancient prophets; or whether his soul was dislodged from the body for a time, and taken up into heaven, or whether he was taken up, body and soul together, he knew not. We are not capable, nor is it fit we should yet know, the particulars of that glorious place and state. He did not attempt to publish to the world what he had heard there, but he set forth the doctrine of Christ. On that foundation the church is built, and on that we must build our faith and hope. And while this teaches us to enlarge our expectations of the glory that shall be revealed, it should render us contented with the usual methods of learning the truth and will of God.

7-10 The apostle gives an account of the method God took to keep him humble, and to prevent his being lifted up above measure, on account of the visions and revelations he had. We are not told what this thorn in the flesh was, whether some great trouble, or some great temptation. But God often brings this good out of evil, that the reproaches of our enemies help to hide pride from us. If God loves us, he will keep us from being exalted above measure; and spiritual burdens are ordered to cure spiritual pride. This thorn in the flesh is said to be a messenger of Satan which he sent for evil; but God designed it, and overruled it for good. Prayer is a salve for every sore, a remedy for every malady; and when we are afflicted with thorns in the flesh, we should give ourselves to prayer. If an answer be not given to the first prayer, nor to the second, we are to continue praying. Troubles are sent to teach us to pray; and are continued, to teach us to continue instant in prayer. Though God accepts the prayer of faith, yet he does not always give what is asked for: as he sometimes grants in wrath, so he sometimes denies in love. When God does not take away our troubles and temptations, yet, if he gives grace enough for us, we have no reason to complain. Grace signifies the good-will of God towards us, and that is enough to enlighten and enliven us, sufficient to strengthen and comfort in all afflictions and distresses. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Thus his grace is manifested and magnified. When we are weak in ourselves, then we are strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; when we feel that we are weak in ourselves, then we go to Christ, receive strength from him, and enjoy most the supplies of Divine strength and grace.

11-21 We owe it to good men, to stand up in the defence of their reputation; and we are under special obligations to those from whom we have received benefit, especially spiritual benefit, to own them as instruments in God's hand of good to us. Here is an account of the apostle's behaviour and kind intentions; in which see the character of a faithful minister of the gospel. This was his great aim and design, to do good. Here are noticed several sins commonly found among professors of religion. Falls and misdeeds are humbling to a minister; and God sometimes takes this way to humble those who might be tempted to be lifted up. These vast verses show to what excesses the false teachers had drawn aside their deluded followers. How grievous it is that such evils should be found among professors of the gospel! Yet thus it is, and has been too often, and it was so even in the days of the apostles.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.


Recent Comments for 2 Corinthians Chapter 12...


Sarah's 2 Corinthians Chapter 12 comment about verse 9 on 12/15/2014, 4:37am...

The Lord is so good. I ove this verse. He saves us from our wretchedness and by His grace takes what is weak and sinful and makes it stringer and in many cases becomes the very thing that most shows His grweatness in our lives. I know that for me the very thing I needed the most forgiveness and grace from is the thing He is uskng to show Himself in me. Thank you Lord for always working in me.


John's 2 Corinthians Chapter 12 comment on 11/08/2014, 7:47am...

Clear insights on two vital truths....Paul had tremendous faith yet God chose not to heal his thorn in the flesh....God does not always heal no matter how much Christians feel enough faith leads to automatic healing... 2 Paul gives here a clear revelation of his vision of heaven...the "man I knew " is obviously himself....his vision is in exact description of "eye has not seen nor ear heard the things that God has prepared for them that love Him "...most people 's out of body experiences of them running around heaven is sheer nonsense unless they also admit an impossible ability to describe in words what heaven is like just like Paul experience by God 's grace!!!!!


Insight 777's 2 Corinthians Chapter 12 comment on 10/25/2014, 6:22am...

Paul is talking about visions and revelations that people have. He tells of an experience that a man told Paul about 14 years earlier. Paul makes the point that the man was glorifing himself while claiming these new revelations that are not backed by any other apostles teachings. He could not tell if this man was in the body, of christ, or not meaning he was not sure these were accurate words of God and stated only God knows. Paul passed along the information but did not glorify himself while telling people about it because he had his doubts if it was true or not. Verse 6, Paul did not want to be a fool if the story the man told was false. This was an incredible claim the man had made above the measure of the abundance of revelations that Paul knew were true. It did not fit to the teachings of Jesus. Verse 12 shows that followers of Jesus had been shown signs and Paul was aware of that. So he did glorify the man by putting his claim in scripture and telling people about it. He did not want to be the judge if this new information was right or wrong lest he be judged infirm in the truth. Since Paul had his doubts so do I. The lesson Paul is teaching is listen and accept visions people say they have only if the new revelations fit the whole body of the teachings of Jesus, the true words of God. People that want to glorify themselves instead of God are probably not telling the truth.


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Test Your Knowledge of 2 Corinthians Chapter 12

1.  What did the Paul hear when he was caught up into paradise?

A rushing mighty wind
Unspeakable words
A host of singing angels


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