2 Corinthians 11:26-33
2 Cor 11:26 (KJB)
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
Perils - Dangers or hazards
Journeyings - All the trips to different countries he took to preach the Gospel, (Rom 15:19 KJV) Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Waters - This would refer to roads which were flooded out because of the heavy seasonal rains. This would make travel very hard for someone who was walking because of mud.
Robbers - In the hill country there were always thieves who were ready to pounce on the weary travelers.
Countrymen - Paul was also in peril because of the Jews. Wherever he went they had tried to compromise his gospel and get rid of him.
Heathen - Men like Demetrius and Alexander the Coppersmith were always causing trouble for Paul. (2 Tim 4:14 KJV) Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: (Acts 19:24 KJV) For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;
In the City - Paul was stoned at Philippi and in the middle of a tumult at Ephesus and Thessalonica. (Acts 17:6 KJV) And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
In the Wilderness - Paul spent much time in the wilderness between cities. There would have been times that Paul was cold at night because of traveling in Winter and hot in the day when traveling in Summer.
In the sea - Paul spent time in the seas with not only shipwrecks but also on ships going to different parts of the Mediterranean where sudden storms could come up and cause problems.
Among false Brethren - There were those who pretended to be Christians but in fact they were really Judaizers trying to bring Paul’s converts back under the law.
2 Cor 11:27 (KJB)
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Weariness - Labors and troubles
Painfulness - Hardship or exertion
Watchings - Sleeplessness
Paul continues on with his record of sufferings for the cause of Christ. He suffered much labor weariness because he was always doing something for the cause of Christ and he definitely suffered from exertion of the body because many times he would over expend himself. Many times he was sleepless and without food and water which amounted to a fast, not of a religious nature, but one that may have been self-imposed so there would be no interruption in the ministry. He never had much clothing with him because if you did not travel light in those days, you were very much hindered plus Paul did not posses much of this world‘s goods and that was probably the reason he suffered from being scantily clothed, even in winter. His main concern was to get the Gospel of Christ out to wherever God sent him and he was not overly concerned with the world’s goods.
2 Cor 11:28 (KJB)
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
There were many things that the Apostle Paul had faced which he did not bother to list. He concerned himself with the things that had daily priority. Those things would have been dealing with the brethren, prayer time, also giving counsel to those who came to him. He also concerned himself with the care of all the churches which he helped to plant. Those churches and their problems could have kept ten people busy never mind just one.
2 Cor 11:29 (KJB)
Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
Weak - Sick, unhealthy, or in need
Offended - To put a stumbling block or cause to fall
Paul had identified with those who have become spiritually weak and those who were physically weak as a result from much ministry. He wanted them to know that if anyone was feeling very weak, that he too, was also weak in the flesh. He also asks is there anyone who is offended or has stumbled because of sin? He then states that he burns hot against the sin which has so easily ensnared a person. The false teachers in Corinth had helped to try and shipwreck the faith of some of the brethren and this would cause a snare in their life. The Greek word for “offended “ is “skandalon” and we get our word “scandal” from it. Those caught in a scandal are normally brought down into disgrace.
2 Cor 11:30 (KJB)
If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
Glory - Boast
Infirmities - Weakness
With Paul continuing to face down his critics at Corinth, he states here that he is only going to boast of the things which concern his weaknesses. This way he would be highlighting the fact that he totally leans on the Lord for strength and in this way God gets the glory instead of Paul. The false teachers were always boasting about themselves and in their boasting they would always bring glory to themselves and this Paul was careful not to do, showing the difference between his dependence on the Lord and the false teachers depending upon themselves.
2 Cor 11:31 (KJB)
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
The false teachers at Corinth had made claims that Paul was doing very little in the ministry compared to them. He had just given a long list of the suffering he did for the true ministry of Christ and to make sure that his readers understand that he is not fabricating his sufferings, he calls God as a witness to the fact that he did suffer all these things for the cause of Christ. Paul also inserts a praise to God within his statement. (Deu 6:13 KJV) Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Paul was following the command found in Deuteronomy 6:13 that a truth allowed a person to swear by the name of God that what was being stated was true. This is what Paul did when he invoked the name of God as his witness for his ministry and his suffering.
2 Cor 11:32 (KJB)
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:
According to Josephus, The Aretas in view here was Aretas IV Philopatris who was the father in law of Herod Antipas. Herod Antipas had married a daughter of Aretas, but afterwards discarded her in favor of Herodias. This led to a war with Aretas in which Antipas was defeated. The Governor under him who was probably like a mayor of Damascus is unknown to us but no doubt Paul had riled up the Jews who were in Damascus and these Jews probably went to the Governor and made a deal with him to try and apprehend Paul she could be done away with. (Acts 9:24 KJV) But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
2 Cor 11:33 (KJB)
And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
(Acts 9:25 KJV) Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. The situation was similar to when Rahab had let down the two spies out of the window. The house that Paul was in was built on the wall of the city so when they let him down, he would have been on the outside of the city and would have escaped the notice of those soldiers who were watching the gates. It is escapes like this that Paul gave God the glory for and realized that he could never boast of himself but of God who cared for him.