2 Corinthians 11:33 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 11:33, NIV: But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.

2 Corinthians 11:33, ESV: but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.

2 Corinthians 11:33, KJV: And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

2 Corinthians 11:33, NASB: and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands.

2 Corinthians 11:33, NLT: I had to be lowered in a basket through a window in the city wall to escape from him.

2 Corinthians 11:33, CSB: So I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped from his hands.

What does 2 Corinthians 11:33 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This completes a story Paul began in the previous verse. He is giving another example of his own weakness. The point of these stories is to prove that Paul's success is based in God's power, not his own. This incident with Damascus' King Aretas (2 Corinthians 11:32) is from immediately after Paul had been converted to faith and sent out by Christ to preach. It set the tone for his entire ministry (Acts 9:1–25).

After being confronted by Christ, Paul's mission changed instantly. He had come to Damascus to hunt down and jail Christians. Soon after becoming a Christian, though, he preached in the Damascus synagogue that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. The Jewish religious leaders couldn't believe what they were hearing and wanted Paul dead. King Aretas agreed with them and posted guards to catch Paul leaving down and kill him.

Paul, then called Saul, learned of the plot, and some of the disciples of Jesus he had been staying with lowered him in a basket through a window to allow him to escape the city at night.

Paul's point is that a person with worldly wealth, prestige, and power would not have needed to sneak away from Damascus to save his life. Paul was powerful only to the extent that Christ was powerful in him. While false teachers bragged about their own skills (2 Corinthians 11:12), Paul was content to point only to Christ as his strength.