2 Corinthians 11:32 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 11:32, NIV: In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me.

2 Corinthians 11:32, ESV: At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me,

2 Corinthians 11:32, KJV: In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

2 Corinthians 11:32, NASB: In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me,

2 Corinthians 11:32, NLT: When I was in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas kept guards at the city gates to catch me.

2 Corinthians 11:32, CSB: In Damascus, a ruler under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to arrest me.

What does 2 Corinthians 11:32 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has said in the previous verses that he would boast only in his weaknesses. He was not claiming to be powerful or impressive, as the false apostles in Corinth likely did. Even his use of the term "boasting," in this passage, is meant as a sideways criticism of the self-promoting false teachers. Paul is showing that he was weak, that he suffered and faced great danger, in order to give glory to Christ for what He accomplished through Paul. His success as an evangelist was not based in being invincible, lucky, or charismatic.

This verse gives another example of Paul's personal weakness from the very beginning of his Christian life (Acts 9:8–25). Aretas, a king in the city of Damascus, apparently agreed with the local Jewish religious leaders. He felt Paul's proclamation in the synagogue that Jesus was the Son of God was worthy of death. The king posted guards at the entrance to the city to catch Paul leaving town. Paul concludes the story in the following verse, but his point is that powerful men are not hunted by kings.