For I wrote you out of great sorrow and deep distress [with mental torture and anxiety] of heart, [yes, and] with many tears, not to cause you pain but in order to make you realize the overflowing love that I continue increasingly to have for you.
When I wrote to you before [v. 3], I was very ·troubled [distressed] and ·unhappy [anguished] in my heart, and I wrote with many tears. I did not write to make you ·sad [sorrowful], but to let you know how much I love you.
And I made up my mind that I would not pay you another painful visit. For what point is there in my depressing the very people who can give me such joy? The real purpose of my previous letter was in fact to save myself from being saddened by those whom I might reasonably expect to bring me joy. I have such confidence in you that my joy depends on all of you! I wrote to you in deep distress and out of a most unhappy heart (I don’t mind telling you I shed tears over that letter), not, believe me, to cause you pain but to show you how deep is my care for your welfare.
Oh, how I hated to write that letter! It almost broke my heart, and I tell you honestly that I cried over it. I didn’t want to hurt you, but I had to show you how very much I loved you and cared about what was happening to you.
That was my reason for writing a letter instead of coming—so I wouldn’t have to spend a miserable time disappointing the very friends I had looked forward to cheering me up. I was convinced at the time I wrote it that what was best for me was also best for you. As it turned out, there was pain enough just in writing that letter, more tears than ink on the parchment. But I didn’t write it to cause pain; I wrote it so you would know how much I care—oh, more than care—love you!
For out of much tzoros and of lev (heart) distress I wrote the iggeret to you with many tears [Ac 20:31], not that you should have agmat nefesh, but that you may have da’as of the ahavah in Hashem which I have more abundantly for all of you.
My last letter to you was covered with tears, composed with great difficulty, and frankly, a broken heart. It wasn’t my intention to depress you or cause you pain; rather, I had hoped you would see it for what it was—a demonstration of the overwhelming love I have for all of you.
When I wrote to you, I was in great trouble and my heart was very heavy. I cried with many tears. I did not want you to be sad, but I just wanted to let you know that I love you very much who made me sad. It was not only me that he made sad. It was every one of you, in a way. I say `in a way' because I do not want to be too strong in what I say.