EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers(22) Are they Hebrews?—This, then, was one of their boasts. They were Jews of Palestine, speaking Aramaic, reading the Law and Prophets in the original. He, they asserted, or implied, was a Hellenistic Jew (his birth at Tarsus naturally suggesting that thought), content to use the Greek version of the LXX., over which many of the more exclusive Hebrews mourned on an annual fast-day as a national degradation. St. Paul’s answer is, that he too was a Hebrew; or, as he puts it in Philippians 3:5, “a Hebrew born of Hebrews.” What he means is obviously that his parents were Jews of Palestine, and that the accident of his birth in Tarsus had not annulled his claim to that nationality. As a matter of fact it made him able to unite things that were commonly looked on as incompatible, and to beboth a Hebrew and a Hellenist.
Are they Israelites? . . .—The words imply another insinuation. They whispered doubts whether he had any right to call himself an Israelite at all. Had he a drop of Abraham’s blood flowing in his veins? Might he not, after all, be but the grandson of a proselyte, upon whom there rested the stigma which, according to a Jewish proverb, was not effaced till the twenty-fourth generation? Did not this account for his heathen sympathies? Strange as the thought may seem to us, the calumny survived, and the later Ebionites asserted (Epiphanius, Hær. xxx. 16) that he was a Gentile by birth, who had only accepted circumcision that he might marry the high priest’s daughter. The kind of climax which the verse presents points not only to three claims to honour on their part, for in that case the first would include both the second and the third, and the climax would have little meaning, but to successive denials that he possessed any of the three. Jerome, strangely enough (Cat. Vir. Illust. c. 5), asserts that St. Paul was a Galilean, born at Gischala; but this, though it may possibly point to a tradition as to the home of his parents, can hardly be allowed to outweigh his own positive statement (Acts 22:3).
Benson Commentary2 Corinthians 11:22. Are they Hebrews? — Descended from Heber, (see Genesis 11:14,) and speaking the Hebrew language, though with some variation; so am I — Paul indeed was a native of Tarsus in Cilicia, but his father and mother were Hebrews, Php 3:5. And having been sent to Jerusalem when young, he was instructed by Gamaliel, a noted Jewish doctor, Acts 22:3. So that in Jerusalem he perfected himself both in the language and religion of his nation, on all which accounts he was truly a Hebrew descended of Hebrews. Are they Israelites? — Descended from Jacob, who, in preference to his brother Esau, was chosen to be the root of the visible church of God in that early age, and was called Israel for the reason mentioned Genesis 32:28. This appellation, therefore, signified that the persons to whom it was given were members of God’s visible church by their descent from Jacob, and consequently were distinguished from proselytes who were members by circumcision, and not by descent. Are they the seed of Abraham? — Inasmuch as Abraham, being constituted a father of many nations, had two kinds of seed; the one by natural descent, called his seed by the law; the other by faith, called that which is of the faith of Abraham, see Romans 4:13; Romans 4:16. Macknight thinks, that by the seed of Abraham, the apostle intended here his seed by faith, or his spiritual seed; because if he had meant his natural seed, this question would have been the same with the preceding: a tautology, he thinks, not to be imputed to the apostle.
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary11:22-33 The apostle gives an account of his labours and sufferings; not out of pride or vain-glory, but to the honour of God, who enabled him to do and suffer so much for the cause of Christ; and shows wherein he excelled the false apostles, who tried to lessen his character and usefulness. It astonishes us to reflect on this account of his dangers, hardships, and sufferings, and to observe his patience, perseverance, diligence, cheerfulness, and usefulness, in the midst of all these trials. See what little reason we have to love the pomp and plenty of this world, when this blessed apostle felt so much hardship in it. Our utmost diligence and services appear unworthy of notice when compared with his, and our difficulties and trials scarcely can be perceived. It may well lead us to inquire whether or not we really are followers of Christ. Here we may study patience, courage, and firm trust in God. Here we may learn to think less of ourselves; and we should ever strictly keep to truth, as in God's presence; and should refer all to his glory, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore.
Barnes' Notes on the BibleAre they Hebrews? - This proves that the persons who had made the difficulty in Corinth were those who were of Hebrew extraction though it may be that they had been born in Greece and had been educated in the Grecian philosophy and art of rhetoric. It is also clear that they prided themselves on being Jews - on having a connection with the people and land from whence the religion which the Corinthian church now professed had emanated. Indications are apparent everywhere in the New Testament of the superiority which the Jewish converts to Christianity claimed over those converted from among the pagan. Their boast would probably be that they were the descendants of the patriarchs; that the land of the prophets was theirs; that they spake the language in which the oracles of God were given; that the true religion had proceeded from them, etc.
So am I-- I have as high claims as any of them to distinction on this head. Paul had all their advantages of birth. He was an Israelite; of rite honored tribe of Benjamin; a Pharisee, circumcised at the usual time Philippians 3:5, and educated in the best manner at the feet of one of their most eminent teachers; Acts 22:3.
Are they Israelites? - Another name, signifying substantially the same thing. The only difference is, that the word "Hebrew" signified properly one who was from beyond (צברי ‛Ibriy from צבר 'aabar, to pass, to pass over - hence, applied to Abraham, because he had come from a foreign land; and the word denoted properly a foreigner - a man from the land or country beyond, צבר 'aabar the Euphrates. The name Israelite denoted properly one descended from Israel or Jacob, and the difference between them was, that the name Israelite, being a patronymic derived from one of the founders of their nation, was in use among themselves; the name Hebrew was applied by the Canaanite to them as having come from beyond the river, and was the current name among foreign tribes and nations. See Gesenius' Lexicon on the word צברי ‛Ibriy Hebrew. Paul in the passage before us means to say that he had as good a claim to the honor of being a native born descendant of Israel as could be urged by any of them.
Are they the seed of Abraham? - Do they boast that they are descended from Abraham? This with all the Jews was regarded as a distinguished honor (see Matthew 3:9; John 8:39), and no doubt the false teachers in Corinth boasted of it as eminently qualifying them to engage in the work of the ministry.
So am I-- Paul had the same qualification. He was a Jew also by birth. He was of the tribe of Benjamin; Philippians 3:5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary22. Hebrews … Israelites … the seed of Abraham—A climax. "Hebrews," referring to the language and nationality; "Israelites," to the theocracy and descent from Israel, the "prince who prevailed with God" (Ro 9:4); "the seed of Abraham," to the claim to a share in the Messiah (Ro 11:1; 9:7). Compare Php 3:5, "An Hebrew of the Hebrews," not an Hellenist or Greek-speaking Jew, but a Hebrew in tongue, and sprung from Hebrews.
Matthew Poole's CommentaryAre they Hebrews? so am I:this would incline us to think, that some, at least, of those corrupt teachers, upon whom the apostle hath so much reflected, were Jews; who had endeavoured to corrupt the Gentile churches with their traditions, and imposing on them the ceremonial rites of the Jewish church. Others think otherwise, and that the words import no more than this; Do they glory in the antiquity of their stock and parentage, as descending from Abraham? I have as much upon that account to glory in as they; for although I was born, not in Judea, but in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, Acts 22:3, yet I was a Jew, an Hebrew of the Hebrews, Philippians 3:5.
Are they Israelites?Will they derive from Jacob, to whom God gave the name of Israel, from whence all his posterity were called Israelites?
So am I, ( saith he), I can derive from Jacob as well as they.
Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I:will they glory in this, that they are the seed of Abraham?(this was a great boast of the Jews, as we learn from Matthew 3:9, and John 8:1-59); saith the apostle, I have on that account as much to glory in as they. Some here inquire: What difference there is in these three things? For to be a Hebrew, and an Israelite, and of the seed of Abraham, seem all to signify the same thing. Nor indeed have we any need to assign any difference, it seemeth to be but the same thing amplified in three phrases. But others distinguish more subtlely, and think the first may signify a glorying in the ancientness of their pedigree, or in their ability to speak in the Hebrew tongue; the second, may refer to the nation of which they were; the third, to the promise made to Abraham and his seed.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire BibleAre they Hebrews? so am I,.... The nation of the Jews were called Hebrews, not from Abraham, as some have (w) thought, through ignorance of the Hebrew language, which will by no means admit of such a derivation and etymology of the name; wherefore the Jewish writers never make mention of this opinion as among any of them; had they took their name from Abram or Abraham, they would rather have been called Abramires or Abrahamites, and not Hebrews; besides, Abraham himself is called an Hebrew, Genesis 14:13Genesis 40:15. The more commonly received opinion with the (b) Jews is, and which is most likely, that they are so called from Heber, the father of Peleg, in whose days the confusion of languages was made, and what is now called the Hebrew language being the first and original one, was retained in him and in his family; hence Shem is said to be the father of all the children of Heber, Genesis 10:21that is, the Hebrews, as the same people are called the children of Israel from Israel, and the children of Judah from Judah, and sometimes they go by the name of Heber, as in Numbers 24:24when as the Assyrians are called Ashur, from whom they have their name, so the Hebrews are called Heber, from whom they take their denomination: and it should be observed, that this is not only a national but a religious name, and those people were called so, because they were of the faith as well as the descendants of Heber; so Shem was the father of others, but in a peculiar manner the father of the children of Heber, because the religion he professed was continued with them; and so Abraham is particularly called the Hebrew, not only because he descended from Heber, but was of the same, religion; and so his posterity, not in the line of Ishmael, but of Isaac, are so called; and not as descending from Isaac in the line of Esau, but of Jacob; and hence it was not lawful for the Egyptians to eat bread with the Hebrews, not because they were of another nation, but because of another religion, Genesis 43:32. It seems that these false apostles were Jews, since it is not denied by the apostle, but granted; they were some such like false brethren as those who came from Judea to Antioch, and disturbed the church there, Acts 15:1and whereas they boasted of their being Hebrews, the descendants of the ancient patriarch Heber in the line of Abraham; the apostle was able to match them in this, and asserts himself to be an Hebrew too, which he could do with the strictest truth, for he was an Hebrew of the Hebrews, he was an Hebrew by father and mother's side:
are they Israelites? so am I. The Jews were called Israelites from Israel, a name which was given to Jacob their ancestor, upon his wrestling with an angel, and prevailing over him; and was accounted an honourable one, or title of honour; for the people of Israel were they whom God chose for a peculiar people to himself above all others, brought them out of Egypt, fed them in the wilderness, and led them through it, and settled them in the land of Canaan, and bestowed upon them special and peculiar privileges; see Romans 9:4. The Jews are very extravagant in the praise of Israelites; they not only make them the favourites of God, beloved of him, because called children, and had the law given them (c), and extol them above all mankind; See Gill on Romans 3:9 but they even make them equal to the ministering angels, and say they are pure from sin as they, especially on the day of atonement (d), yea, more excellent than they (e): in this also the apostle could answer them, for he was of the stock of Israel, and of the tribe of Benjamin, a son of Jacob, or Israel; and was an Israelite indeed, as Nathanael, for all are not Israel that are of Israel:
are they the seed of Abraham? so am I: of this the Jews mightily boasted; see John 8:33 they reckon themselves, even the poorest among them, as the nobles and princes of the earth (f); and even other people have been fond of being reckoned of the stock of Abraham, as particularly the Lacedemonians,
"Areus king of the Lacedemonians to Onias the high priest, greeting: It is found in writing, that the Lacedemonians and Jews are brethren, and that they are of the stock of Abraham:'' (1 Maccabees 12:20,21)
The Jews make a merciful disposition to men to be a sign and evidence of being of the seed of Abraham (g); but in a spiritual sense, an interest in Christ, and faith in him, denominate men to be truly Abraham's seed, and heirs of the promise: this is to be understood here in a natural sense, and of being of Abraham's seed in the line of Jacob, for otherwise the Ishmaelites and Idumeans were of the seed of Abraham; but they were his seed in that line in which the promised seed, the Messiah, was to come; though this was of no avail, without having the same faith Abraham had, and believing truly in Christ, as his spiritual seed do, whether they be Jews or Gentiles; however, the apostle was equal to them in this respect; he was of the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, and above them in another, in that he was of Abraham's spiritual seed by faith in Christ Jesus.
(w) Artapanus apud Euseb. praepar. l. 9. c. 18. p. 420. Ambrosius sive Hilarius in Philippians 3.5. & alii. (x) Hicronymus in Ezek. c. 7. fol. 183. B. Theodoret. in Gen. Qu. 60. (y) Erpeuius. (z) Ar. Montan. Canaan, c. 9. Vid. Sigonium de Repub. Heb. l. 1. c. 1. p. 16. (a) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 42. fol. 37. 3. Vid. Jarchium in Gen. x. 21. & xiv. 13. & Aben Ezram in Exodus 21.2.((b) Joseph. Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4. Targ. Jon. in Gen. x. 21. Sepher Cosri, par. 1. sect. 49. fol. 24. 2. R. Nehemiah in Bereshit Rabba, ut supra, Aben Ezra in Gen. x. 21. & xxxix. 14. & in Exod. i. 16. Kimchi in rad. (c) Pirke Abot, c. 3. sect. 14. (d) Pirke Eliezer, c. 48. (e) lb. c. 47. (f) Misn. Bava Kama, c. 8. sect. 6. (g) T. Bab. Betza, fol. 32. 2.
Geneva Study BibleAre they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
Suffering For Christ
II Corinthians 11:22–33
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The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small uninhabited island. He cried out to God to save him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a rough hut and put his few possessions in it. But one … More
Some of Paul’s religious assailants in Corinth were no doubt Jews. They hurled the charge at Paul that he was no true Hebrew. They said he had apostatized from the faith and that he could not possibly be a faithful minister of God. With this in mind, Paul proceeds to describe his own experiences and consecration to God.
First he insists that he is indeed an Israelite and a genuine minister (vv. 22-23). Then he launches into a description of his personal experiences as an apostle. To re-establish his credibility and authority he lists the trials he had endured in his service for Christ (vv. 24-25). As examples of dedication and privilege his list include dangers, pain, and pressures from all sides (v. 26-28). He is sympathetic with every struggling Christian as he emphasizes his achievements and weakness (vv. 29-31). Paul ended this narration of his sufferings by telling of his humiliating experience at Damascus, where he was smuggled out of the city in a basket and let down over the wall (vv. 32-33).
While it is true that any traveler could have suffered these things, Paul endured them because of his love for Christ and for the Christians. We cannot help but admire the courage and devotion of the Apostle Paul. Each trial left its mark on his life, and yet he just kept moving on, serving the Lord. If the Lord places you in a position of leadership and authority, remember Paul’s kind of empathy and concern for people.
The trials and hurts I experience will build character in my life, demonstrate my faith in the Lord and prepare me to further serve Him.
II Corinthians 11:22-33 (English Standard Version)
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2 Corinthians 11:22-33
22 Do they brag of being Hebrews, Israelites, the pure race of Abraham? I'm their match.
23 Are they servants of Christ? I can go them one better. (I can't believe I'm saying these things. It's crazy to talk this way! But I started, and I'm going to finish.)
24 I've been flogged five times with the Jews' thirty-nine lashes,
25 beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I've been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day.
26 In hard traveling year in and year out, I've had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I've been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers.
27 I've known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather.
28 And that's not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches.
29 When someone gets to the end of his rope, I feel the desperation in my bones. When someone is duped into sin, an angry fire burns in my gut.
30 If I have to "brag" about myself, I'll brag about the humiliations that make me like Jesus.
31 The eternal and blessed God and Father of our Master Jesus knows I'm not lying.
32 Remember the time I was in Damascus and the governor of King Aretas posted guards at the city gates to arrest me?
33 I crawled through a window in the wall, was let down in a basket, and had to run for my life.
2 Corinthians 11:22–33
22 Are they Hebrews? aSo am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they bservants of Christ? cI am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, dfar more imprisonments, ewith countless beatings, and foften near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the gforty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was hbeaten with rods. iOnce I was stoned. Three times I jwas shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, kdanger from my own people, ldanger from Gentiles, mdanger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 nin toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, oin hunger and thirst, often without food,2 in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for pall the churches. 29 qWho is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
30 rIf I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 sThe God and Father of the Lord Jesus, the who is blessed forever, uknows that I am not lying. 32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas vwas guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 wbut I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.
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11 33 22 corinthians 2
2 Corinthians 11:22-33
22Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
23Are 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.
24Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26In 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;
27In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
29Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
30If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
31The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
32In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:
33And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
2 Corinthians 11:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]
2 Corinthians 11:22, NIV: "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham's descendants? So am I."
2 Corinthians 11:22, ESV: "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I."
2 Corinthians 11:22, KJV: "Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I."
2 Corinthians 11:22, NASB: "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I."
2 Corinthians 11:22, NLT: "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I."
2 Corinthians 11:22, CSB: "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the descendants of Abraham? So am I."
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Henry Arakelyan, a third-year student from MIMO, came to practice. It's amazing what miracles nature can sometimes do. We often met Arakelyan's dad at the TV center - a fat, disgusting Armenian, the vice-president of the bank that finances our TV company.