In his former epistle the apostle had signified his intentions of coming to Corinth, as he passed through Macedonia (1 Cor. 16:5), but, being providentially hindered for some time, he writes this second epistle to them about a year after the former; and there seem to be these two urgent occasions:—1. The case of the incestuous person, who lay under censure, required that with all speed he should be restored and received again into communion. This therefore he gives directions about (2 Cor. 2:1-17), and afterwards (2 Cor. 7:1-16) he declares the satisfaction he had upon the intelligence he received of their good behaviour in that affair. 2. There was a contribution now making for the poor saints at Jerusalem, in which he exhorts the Corinthians to join, 2 Cor. 8:1-9:15.
There are divers other things very observable in this epistle; for example, I. The account the apostle gives of his labours and success in preaching the gospel in several places, 2 Cor. 2:1-17. II. The comparison he makes between the Old and New Testament dispensation, 2 Cor. 3:1-18. III. The manifold sufferings that he and his fellow-labourers met with, and the motives and encouragements for their diligence and patience, 2 Cor. 4:1-5:21. IV. The caution he gives the Corinthians against mingling with unbelievers, 2 Cor. 6:1-18. V. The way and manner in which he justifies himself and his apostleship from the opprobrious insinuations and accusations of false teachers, who endeavoured to ruin his reputation at Corinth, 2 Cor. 10:1-12:21; and throughout the whole epistle.