on 2-corinthians 10 :13
Things without our measure - There is a great deal of difficulty in this and the three following verses, and there is a great diversity among the MSS.; and which is the true reading can scarcely be determined. Our version is perhaps the plainest that can be made of the text. By the measure mentioned here, it seems as if the apostle meant the commission he received from God to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles; a measure or district that extended through all Asia Minor and Greece, down to Achaia, where Corinth was situated, a measure to reach even unto you. But the expressions in these verses are all agonistical, and taken from the stadium or race course in the Olympic and Isthmian games. The μετρον, or measure, was the length of the δρομος, or course; and the κανων, rule or line, 2 Corinthians 10:15, 2 Corinthians 10:16, was probably the same with the γραμμα, or white line, which marked out the boundaries of the stadium; and the verbs reach unto, stretch out, etc., are all references to the exertions made to win the race. As this subject is so frequently alluded to in these epistles, I have thought it of importance to consider it particularly in the different places where it occurs.
on 2-corinthians 10 :13
But we will not boast of things without our measure - Tyndale renders this:" But we will not rejoice above measure." There is great obscurity in the language here, arising from its brevity. But the general idea seems to be plain. Paul says that he had not boldness as they had to boast of things wholly beyond his proper rule and his actual attainments and influence: and, especially, that he was not disposed to enter into other people's labors; or to boast of things that had been done by the mere influence of his name, and beyond the proper limits of his personal exertions. He made no boast of having done anything where he had not been himself on the ground and labored assiduously to secure the object. They, it is not improbable, had boasted of what had been done in Corinth as though it were really their work though it had been done by the apostle himself. Nay more, it is probable that they boasted of what had been done by the mere influence of their name. Occupying a central position, they supposed that their reputation had gone abroad, and that the mere influence of their reputation had had an important effect. Not, so with Paul. He made no boast of anything but what God had enabled him to do by his evangelical labors, and by personal exertions. He entered into no one else's labors and claimed nothing that others had done as his own. He was not bold enough for that.
But according to the measure of the rule ... - Margin, Or, "line." The word rendered "rule" (Greek, κανὼν kanōn, whence our English word canon) means properly a reed, rod, or staff employed to keep anything stiff, erect, asunder (Hom. ii. 8. 103): then a measuring rod or line; then any standard or rule - its usual meaning in the New Testament, as, for example, of life and doctrine, Galatians 6:16; Philippians 3:16 - Robinson's Lexicon. Here it means the limit, boundary line, or sphere of action assigned to anyone. Paul means to say that God had appropriated a certain line or boundary as the proper limit of his sphere of action; that his appropriate sphere extended to them; that in going to them, though they were far distant from the field of his early labors, he had confined himself within the proper limits assigned him by God; and that in boasting of his labors among them he was not boasting of anything which did not properly fall within the sphere of labor assigned to him. The meaning is, that Paul was especially careful not to boast of anything beyond his proper bounds.
Which God hath distributed to us - Which in assigning our respective fields of labor God has assigned unto me and my fellow-laborers. The Greek word rendered here as "distributed" (ἐμερίσεν emerisen) means properly to measure; and the sense is, that God had measured out or apportioned their respective fields of labor; that by his providence he had assigned to each one his proper sphere, and that in the distribution Corinth had fallen to the lot of Paul. In going there he had kept within the proper limits; in boasting of his labors and success there he did not boast of what did not belong to him.
A measure to reach even unto you - The sense is, "the limits assigned me include you, and I may therefore justly boast of what I have done among you as within my proper field of labor." Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles Acts 26:17-18; and the whole country of Greece therefore he regarded as falling within the limits assigned to him. No one therefore could blame him for going there as if he was an intruder; no one assert that he had gone beyond the proper bounds.
on 2-corinthians 10 :13
10:13 But we will not, like them, boastingly extend ourselves beyond our measure, but according to the measure of the province which God hath allotted us - To me, in particular, as the apostle of the gentiles. A measure which reaches even unto you - God allotted to each apostle his province, and the measure or bounds thereof.