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2 Corinthians 4:8 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [we are] pressed on every side, yet not straitened; perplexed, yet not unto despair;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [we are] afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— every way afflicted, but not straitened; seeing no apparent issue, but our way not entirely shut up;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— On every side, pressed hard, but not hemmed in, without a way, but not without a by-way,
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— on every side being in tribulation, but not straitened; perplexed, but not in despair;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— In all things we suffer tribulation: but are not distressed. We are straitened: but are not destitute.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Wee are troubled on euery side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despaire,
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— But in every thing we are afflicted, yet not strangled; we are beaten, yet not condemned;
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And in every thing we are oppressed, but not suffocated; we are corrected, but not condemned;

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[We are] troubled 2346
{2346} Prime
θλίβω
thlibo
{thlee'-bo}
Akin to the base of G5147; to crowd (literally or figuratively).
z5746
<5746> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 360
on 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
every side, 3956
{3956} Prime
πᾶς
pas
{pas}
Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.
yet 235
{0235} Prime
ἀλλά
alla
{al-lah'}
Neuter plural of G0243; properly other things, that is, (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations).
not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
distressed; 4729
{4729} Prime
στενοχωρέω
stenochoreo
{sten-okh-o-reh'-o}
From the same as G4730; to hem in closely, that is, (figuratively) cramp.
z5746
<5746> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 360
[we are] perplexed, 639
{0639} Prime
ἀπορέω
aporeo
{ap-or-eh'-o}
From a compound of G0001 (as a negative particle) and the base of G4198; to have no way out, that is, be at a loss (mentally).
z5734
<5734> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle (See G5785)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 111
but 235
{0235} Prime
ἀλλά
alla
{al-lah'}
Neuter plural of G0243; properly other things, that is, (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations).
not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
in despair; 1820
{1820} Prime
ἐξαπορέομαι
exaporeomai
{ex-ap-or-eh'-om-ahee}
Middle voice from G1537 and G0639; to be utterly at a loss, that is, despond.
z5740
<5740> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle or Passive Deponent (See G5790)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 544
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Corinthians 4:8

_ _ Greek, “BEING hard pressed, yet not inextricably straitened; reduced to inextricable straits” (nominative to “we have,” 2 Corinthians 4:7).

_ _ on every sideGreek, “in every respect” (compare 2 Corinthians 4:10, “always”; 2 Corinthians 7:5). This verse expresses inward distresses; 2 Corinthians 4:9, outward distresses (2 Corinthians 7:5). “Without were fightings; within were fears.” The first clause in each member of the series of contrasted participles, implies the earthiness of the vessels; the second clause, the excellency of the power.

_ _ perplexed, but not in despairGreek,not utterly perplexed.” As perplexity refers to the future, so “troubled” or “hard pressed” refers to the present.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Corinthians 4:8-18

_ _ In these verses the apostle gives an account of their courage and patience under all their sufferings, where observe,

_ _ I. How their sufferings, and patience under them, are declared, 2 Corinthians 4:8-12. The apostles were great sufferers; therein they followed their Master: Christ had told them that in the world they should have tribulation, and so they had; yet they met with wonderful support, great relief, and many allays of their sorrows. “We are,” says the apostle, “troubled on every side, afflicted many ways, and we meet with almost all sorts of troubles; yet not distressed, 2 Corinthians 4:8. We are not hedged in nor cooped up, because we can see help in God, and help from God, and have liberty of access to God.” Again, “We are perplexed, often uncertain, and in doubt what will become of us, and not always without anxiety in our minds on this account; yet not in despair (2 Corinthians 4:8), even in our greatest perplexities, knowing that God is able to support us, and to deliver us, and in him we always place our trust and hope.” Again, “We are persecuted by men, pursued with hatred and violence from place to place, as men not worthy to live; yet not forsaken of God,” 2 Corinthians 4:9. Good men may be sometimes forsaken of their friends, as well as persecuted by their enemies; but God will never leave them nor forsake them. Again, “We are sometimes dejected, or cast down; the enemy may in a great measure prevail, and our spirits begin to fail us; there may be fears within, as well as fightings without; yet we are not destroyed,2 Corinthians 4:9. Still they were preserved, and kept their heads above water. Note, Whatever condition the children of God may be in, in this world, they have a “but not” to comfort themselves with; their case sometimes is bad, yea very bad, but not so bad as it might be. The apostle speaks of their sufferings as constant, and as a counterpart of the sufferings of Christ, 2 Corinthians 4:10. The sufferings of Christ were, after a sort, re-acted in the sufferings of Christians; thus did they bear about the dying of the Lord Jesus in their body, setting before the world the great example of a suffering Christ, that the life of Jesus might also be made manifest, that is, that people might see the power of Christ's resurrection, and the efficacy of grace in and from the living Jesus, manifested in and towards them, who did yet live, though they were always delivered to death (2 Corinthians 4:11), and though death worked in them (2 Corinthians 4:12), they being exposed to death, and ready to be swallowed up by death continually. So great were the sufferings of the apostles that, in comparison with them, other Christians were, even at this time, in prosperous circumstances: Death worketh in us; but life in you, 2 Corinthians 4:12.

_ _ II. What it was that kept them from sinking and fainting under their sufferings, 2 Corinthians 4:13-18. Whatever the burdens and troubles of good men may be, they have cause enough not to faint.

_ _ 1. Faith kept them from fainting: We have the same spirit of faith (2 Corinthians 4:13), that faith which is of the operation of the Spirit; the same faith by which the saints of old did and suffered such great things. Note, The grace of faith is a sovereign cordial, and an effectual antidote against fainting-fits in troublous times. The spirit of faith will go far to bear up the spirit of a man under his infirmities; and as the apostle had David's example to imitate, who said (Psalms 116:10), I have believed, and therefore have I spoken, so he leaves us his example to imitate: We also believe, says he, and therefore speak. Note, As we receive help and encouragement from the good words and examples of others, so we should be careful to give a good example to others.

_ _ 2. Hope of the resurrection kept them from sinking, 2 Corinthians 4:14. They knew that Christ was raised, and that his resurrection was an earnest and assurance of theirs. This he had treated of largely in his former epistle to these Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 15:1. And therefore their hope was firm, being well grounded, that he who raised up Christ the head will also raise up all his members. Note, The hope of the resurrection will encourage us in a suffering day, and set us above the fear of death; for what reason has a good Christian to fear death, that dies in hope of a joyful resurrection?

_ _ 3. The consideration of the glory of God and the benefit of the church, by means of their sufferings, kept them from fainting, 2 Corinthians 4:15. Their sufferings were for the church's advantage (2 Corinthians 1:6), and thus did redound to God's glory. For, when the church is edified, then God is glorified; and we may well afford to bear sufferings patiently and cheerfully when we see others are the better for them — if they are instructed and edified, if they are confirmed and comforted. Note, The sufferings of Christ's ministers, as well as their preaching and conversation, are intended for the good of the church and the glory of God.

_ _ 4. The thoughts of the advantage their souls would reap by the sufferings of their bodies kept them from fainting: Though our outward man perish, our inward man is renewed day by day, 2 Corinthians 4:16. Here note, (1.) We have every one of us an outward and an inward man, a body and a soul. (2.) If the outward man perish, there is no remedy, it must and will be so, it was made to perish. (3.) It is our happiness if the decays of the outward man do contribute to the renewing of the inward man, if afflictions outwardly are gain to us inwardly, if when the body is sick, and weak, and perishing, the soul is vigorous and prosperous. The best of men have need of further renewing of the inward man, even day by day. Where the good work is begun there is more work to be done, for carrying it forward. And as in wicked men things grow every day worse and worse, so in godly men they grow better and better.

_ _ 5. The prospect of eternal life and happiness kept them from fainting, and was a mighty support and comfort. As to this observe, (1.) The apostle and his fellow-sufferers saw their afflictions working towards heaven, and that they would end at last (2 Corinthians 4:17), whereupon they weighed things aright in the balance of the sanctuary; they did as it were put the heavenly glory in one scale and their earthly sufferings in the other; and, pondering things in their thoughts, they found afflictions to be light, and the glory of heaven to be a far more exceeding weight. That which sense was ready to pronounce heavy and long, grievous and tedious, faith perceived to be light and short, and but for a moment. On the other hand, the worth and weight of the crown of glory, as they are exceedingly great in themselves, so they are esteemed to be by the believing soul — far exceeding all his expressions and thoughts; and it will be a special support in our sufferings when we can perceive them appointed as the way and preparing us for the enjoyment of the future glory. (2.) Their faith enabled them to make this right judgment of things: We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, 2 Corinthians 4:18. It is by faith that we see God, who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27), and by this we look to an unseen heaven and hell, and faith is the evidence of things not seen. Note, [1.] There are unseen things, as well as things that are seen. [2.] There is this vast difference between them: unseen things are eternal, seen things but temporal, or temporary only. [3.] By faith we not only discern these things, and the great difference between them, but by this also we take our aim at unseen things, and chiefly regard them, and make it our end and scope, not to escape present evils, and obtain present good, both of which are temporal and transitory, but to escape future evil and obtain future good things, which though unseen, are real, and certain, and eternal; and faith is the substance of things hoped for, as well as the evidence of things not seen, Hebrews 11:1.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Corinthians 4:8

We are troubled, &c. — The four articles in this verse respect inward, the four in the next outward, afflictions. In each clause the former part shows the "earthen vessels;" the latter, "the excellence of the power." Not crushed — Not swallowed up in care and anxiety. Perplexed — What course to take, but never despairing of his power and love to carry us through.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
troubled:

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: ... Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver [us];
2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all [things] approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
2 Corinthians 7:5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without [were] fightings, within [were] fears.
2 Corinthians 11:23-30 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I [am] more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. ... If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.

yet:

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day. ... For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;
2 Corinthians 12:10 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.
1 Samuel 28:15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
1 Samuel 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
Psalms 56:2-3 Mine enemies would daily swallow [me] up: for [they be] many that fight against me, O thou most High. ... What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD [is] a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
Romans 5:3-5 And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; ... And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Romans 8:35-37 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; ... But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
1 Peter 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: ... That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 4:12-14 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: ... If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

not in despair:
or, not altogether without help, or means,
1 Samuel 31:4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
Job 2:9-10 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. ... But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Psalms 37:33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].
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1S 28:15; 30:6; 31:4. Jb 2:9. Ps 37:33; 56:2. Pv 14:26; 18:10. Jn 14:18. Ro 5:3; 8:35. 1Co 10:13. 2Co 1:8; 4:16; 6:4; 7:5; 11:23; 12:10. Jm 1:2. 1P 1:6; 4:12.

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