D. By His Compelled Boasting
1. Of His Status, Labor, and Afflictions
16 Again I say, Let no one think me to be afoolish; but if otherwise, accept me even as if I were foolish, that I also may bboast a little.
17 What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord but as if in afoolishness, in this 1bconfidence of boasting.
18 Since many aboast according to the bflesh, I also will cboast.
19 For you abear gladly with bfools because you yourselves are 1wise.
20 For you bear it if anyone aenslaves you, if anyone bdevours you, if anyone 1takes you, if anyone clifts himself up, if anyone beats you in the face.
21 1By way of self-disparagement I say this, 2Supposedly we ourselves were aweak. But in whatever anyone else is daring, I speak in bfoolishness, I also am cdaring.
22 1aHebrews are they? I also. 1bIsraelites are they? I also. The 1cseed of Abraham are they? I also.
23 aMinisters of Christ are they? I speak as being 1bbeside myself, I more so! In clabors more abundantly, in dimprisonments more abundantly, in estripes 2excessively, in fdeaths often.
24 Under the hands of the Jews five times I received aforty stripes less one;
25 Three times I was beaten with 1rods, once I was astoned, 2three times I was bshipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep;
26 In journeys often, in dangers of 1rivers, in dangers of 2robbers, in dangers from my arace, in dangers from the Gentiles, in dangers in the bcity, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers in the sea, in dangers among 3cfalse brothers;
27 In alabor and hardship; in 1watchings often; in 2bhunger and thirst; in 2cfastings often; in 3cold and 4dnakedness --
28 Apart from the things which have 1not been mentioned, there is this: the crowd of cares pressing upon me daily, the 2anxious concern for aall the churches.
29 Who is aweak, and I am not weak? Who is bstumbled, and 1I myself do not 2burn?
30 If I must aboast, I will boast of the 1things of my bweakness.
31 The aGod and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is bblessed forever, cknows that I am dnot lying.
32 In aDamascus, the 1governor under Aretas the king bguarded the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me;
33 And in a basket I was alowered through a window, through the wall, and escaped his hands.
2. Of the Lord's Vision and Revelation to Him
1 To aboast is 1necessary, though indeed not bexpedient; yet I will 2come to 3cvisions and drevelations of the Lord.
2 I know a 1man ain Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body I do not know, or outside the body I do not know; God bknows) such a one was 2caught away 3to the 4third heaven.
3 1And I know such a man (whether in the body or 2outside the body, I do not know; God knows),
4 That he was caught away into 1Paradise and heard unspeakable words, which it is anot allowed for a man to speak.
5 On behalf of such a one I will aboast, but on behalf of myself I will not bboast, except in my cweaknesses.
6 For if I desire to aboast, I will not be foolish, for I will bspeak the truth; but I refrain lest anyone account of me something above what he csees me to be or dhears from me.
7 And because of the 1transcendence of the revelations, in order that I might not be exceedingly alifted up, there was given to me a 2bthorn in the flesh, a messenger of cSatan, that he might 3buffet me, in order that I might not be exceedingly lifted up.
8 Concerning this I entreated the Lord athree times that it might depart from me.
9 And He has said to me, My 1agrace is sufficient for you, for My 2bpower is perfected in cweakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather boast in my weaknesses that the dpower of Christ might 3etabernacle over me.
10 Therefore I am 1well pleased in aweaknesses, in 2insults, in 3bnecessities, in cpersecutions and 4ddistresses, on behalf of Christ; for when I am 5eweak, then I am 5powerful.
3. Of the Signs of His Apostleship
11 I have become afoolish; you yourselves have compelled me. For it is I who should have been bcommended by you; for in nothing am I inferior to the 1csuper-apostles, even though I am dnothing.
12 Indeed the 1signs of an aapostle were wrought among you in all bendurance by 2csigns and 3wonders and 4works of power.
13 For what is there in which you were 1treated in a manner inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself was not a aburden to you? 2Graciously forgive me this 2injustice!
14 Behold, this athird time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden; for I do bnot seek what is yours but you. For the cchildren ought not to store up for the parents, but the dparents for the children.
15 But I, I will most gladly 1spend and 2abe utterly spent on behalf of your souls. If I blove you more abundantly, am I loved less?
16 But 1let it be so! I did anot burden you; but, as some of you say, being 2crafty, I took you by guile.
17 Did I take aadvantage of you through anyone whom I have sent bto you?
18 I entreated aTitus and sent with him the bbrother. Titus did not take advantage of you, did he? Did we not walk in the same 1cspirit? In the same dsteps?