Boasting (chapter 1)

Paul said that he boasted about the Thessalonians among the various church communities, because of their steadfast faith despite persecutions and suffering.  The righteous God has intended to make them worthy of the kingdom of God by suffering.  Do you see suffering as a chance to praise God?

Boasting (2 Cor. 12:5)

“On behalf of this man

I will boast,

But on my own behalf,

I will not boast,

Except of my weaknesses.”

ὑπὲρ τοῦ τοιούτου καυχήσομαι, ὑπὲρ δὲ ἐμαυτοῦ οὐ καυχήσομαι εἰ μὴ ἐν ταῖς ἀσθενείαις.

Paul said that on behalf of this man (ὑπὲρ τοῦ τοιούτου), he would boast (καυχήσομαι), but on my own behalf (ὑπὲρ δὲ ἐμαυτοῦ), I will not boast (οὐ καυχήσομαι), except of my weaknesses (εἰ μὴ ἐν ταῖς ἀσθενείαις).  Only the Pauline letters used this word καυχήσομαι, that means to boast, glory, or exult proudly.  Paul continued to use the third person singular instead of the first person singular to speak about his vision and revelations with God.  Paul was not going to boast about anything except his own weaknesses.  He would boast about himself only in the third person singular not in the first person.  He was not going to reveal the contents of his spiritual revelatory experiences.  Would you reveal a spiritual message that God sent to you?

Boasting (2 Cor. 10:8)

“Even if I boast

A little too much

About our authority,

Which the Lord gave

For building you up

And not for destroying you,

I will not be ashamed of it.”

ἐάν τε γὰρ περισσότερόν τι καυχήσωμαι περὶ τῆς ἐξουσίας ἡμῶν, ἧς ἔδωκεν ὁ Κύριος εἰς οἰκοδομὴν καὶ οὐκ εἰς καθαίρεσιν ὑμῶν, οὐκ αἰσχυνθήσομαι,

Paul said that even if I boast a little too much (ἐάν τε γὰρ περισσότερόν τι καυχήσωμαι) about our authority (περὶ τῆς ἐξουσίας ἡμῶν), which the Lord gave me (ἧς ἔδωκεν ὁ Κύριος) for building you up (εἰς οἰκοδομὴν) and not for destroying you (καὶ οὐκ εἰς καθαίρεσιν ὑμῶν), I will not be ashamed of it (οὐκ αἰσχυνθήσομαι).  Only the Pauline letters used this word καυχήσωμαι, that means to boast or exult proudly.  Only this Corinthian letter used this word καθαίρεσιν, that means a pulling down, razing, or destroying.  Normally, Paul does not boast about himself but rather the Corinthians.  However, here Paul was not ashamed to boast about his own authority.  Someone must have been complaining about him.  He got his authority from the Lord Jesus.  He was trying to build up the Corinthian Christian group.  He was not trying to destroy it like some unnamed others.  Do you help to build a community up or are you trying to tear it down?

Boasting (2 Cor. 5:12)

“We are not commending ourselves

To you again,

But giving you

An opportunity

To boast about us,

So that you may be able

To answer

Those who boast

In outward appearance,

And not in the heart.”

οὐ πάλιν ἑαυτοὺς συνιστάνομεν ὑμῖν, ἀλλὰ ἀφορμὴν διδόντες ὑμῖν καυχήματος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, ἵνα ἔχητε πρὸς τοὺς ἐν προσώπῳ καυχωμένους καὶ μὴ ἐν καρδίᾳ.

Paul said we are not commending ourselves to you again (οὐ πάλιν ἑαυτοὺς συνιστάνομεν ὑμῖν), but giving you an opportunity (ἀλλὰ ἀφορμὴν διδόντες ὑμῖν) to boast about us (καυχήματος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν), so that you may be able to answer (ἵνα ἔχητε πρὸς τοὺς) those who boast (καυχωμένους) in outward appearance (τοὺς ἐν προσώπῳ), and not in the heart (καὶ μὴ ἐν καρδίᾳ).  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀφορμὴν, that means a starting point, an occasion, or an opportunity, and the word καυχήματος, that means a boast or boasting, as well as the word καυχωμένους, that means to boast or glorify proudly.  Paul seems to be criticizing some people in Corinth.  He did not want to commend himself.  However, he was willing to let the Christian Corinthians boast about him.  He reminded them that it should be a boast from the heart not an artificial public-relations boast in appearance only.  They had to mean it if they were going to praise him.  He did not want lip service.  Do you give empty praise to some people?

The future defeat of the king of Assyria (Isa 10:12-10:12)

“When Yahweh

Has finished

All his work

On Mount Zion,

In Jerusalem,

He will punish

The arrogant boasting

Of the king of Assyria

With his haughty pride.”

Isaiah proclaims that Yahweh would punish the king of Assyria for his arrogant prideful boasting. However, Yahweh still had some work to do at Mount Zion in Jerusalem. When he finished that, he would take care of things.

Boasting (Sir 10:26-10:27)

“Do not make a display

Of your wisdom

When you do your work.

Do not boast

When you are in want.

Better is the worker

Who has goods in plenty

Than the boaster

Who lacks bread.”

You should not display your wisdom when you are working. You should not boast when you have nothing to boast about. You should be a worker who has plenty rather than a boaster who has nothing to eat.

Words exchanged between the kings of Israel and Judah (2 Chr 25:17-25:19)

“Then King Amaziah of Judah took counsel and sent to King Joash son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, of Israel, saying. ‘Come! Let us look one another in the face.’ King Joash of Israel sent word to King Amaziah of Judah. ‘A thorn bush on Lebanon sent to a cedar on Lebanon, saying. ‘Give your daughter to my son for a wife.’ However, a wild animal of Lebanon passed by and trampled down the thorn bush. You say. ‘See! I have defeated Edom.’ Your heart has lifted you up in boastfulness. But now stay at home! Why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you and Judah with you?’”

This is similar to 2 Kings, chapter 14, almost word for word at times.  King Amaziah of Judah wanted to see who was better between him and King Joash of Israel. He wanted to have them look in the face at each other. However, King Joash said that this would be like comparing a thorn bush to a Lebanon cedar tree. Wild animals would trample the thorn bust. He told King Amaziah to stay home and bask in the glory of his defeat of the Edomites. He told him not to provoke trouble between Israel and Judah. They were taunting each other. King Joash had been the name of King Amaziah’s father, but the two King Joashs were not related. One was in Judah and the other in Israel.