2 Corinthians 11:20

For you permit it, if a man brings you into bondage, if a man devours you, if a man takes of you, if a man exalts himself, if a man smites you on the face.
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AD 400
Paul is referring to certain Jews who were maltreating them because they were uncircumcised. They were claiming high rank for themselves and humiliating everyone else. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
For ye suffer if a man bring you into bondage. This is aimed at the insatiable arrogance, avarice, and tyranny of the false apostles. You suffer false apostles, who imperiously treat you as slaves, who devour you by extorting from you your goods, who are exalted by their self-praise, who smite you in the face, not with the palms of their hands, but with insults. Hence he adds: "I speak as concerning reproach." These words, therefore, contain a sharp rebuke. These men squander your money, take away your freedom and honour, load you with taunts, as though you were slaves; but1have borne myself humbly, have lived at my own expense, have wished to put upon you the easy yoke of Christ. Yet you prefer them to me, as though, when compared with these, your imperious lords, nay, tyrants, I was not sufficiently well-born, or powerful, or eloquent. S. Bernard (de Consid. lib. i. c3) says: "When you may be free there is no virtue in the patience which lets you become a slave. Do not conceal the sl...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
St. Paul still continues to speak ironically, that they will permit him to praise himself in his own justification, since they have permitted these false teachers to reduce them to bondage under the law, to devour their substance, and to behave haughtily to them, striking them on the face (Calmet)

John Chrysostom

AD 407
How then did you say, that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we? 2 Corinthians 11:12 Do you see that he shows that they did take of them, and not simply take, but even in excess: for the term devour plainly shows this, If a man bring you into bondage. 'You have given away both your money,' he says, 'and your persons, and your freedom. For this is more than taking of you; to be masters not only of your money, but of yourselves also.' And he makes this plain even before, where he says, If others partake of this right over you, do not we much more? 1 Corinthians 9:12 Then he adds what is more severe, saying, If a man exalt himself. 'For neither is your slavery of a moderate sort, nor are your masters gentle, but burdensome and odious.' If a man smite you on the face. Do you see again a further stretch of tyranny? He said this, not meaning that they were stricken on the face, but that they spat upon and dishonored them;

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
Is he not even then "smiting some one's face"

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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