2 Corinthians 12
2 Corinthians 12:1
It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. For I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 12:2
I know a man in Messiah, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I dont know, or whether out of the body, I dont know; God knows), such a one caught up into the third heaven.
2 Corinthians 12:3
I know such a man (whether in the body, or outside of the body, I dont know; God knows),
2 Corinthians 12:4
how he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
The Talmud says,
“The (subject of) the work of creation (may not be expounded) in the presence of two, nor (the work of) the chariot in the presence of one, unless he is a sage and understands of his own knowledge.”
Chagigah 11b, Soncino Press Edition
Tractate Chagigah continues,
“Our Rabbis taught: Four men entered Paradise, namely, Ben Azzai and Ben Zoma, Aher, and R. Akiba. . .Ben Azzai cast a look and died. Ben Zoma looked and became demented. Aher mutilated the shoots. R. Akiba departed unhurt.”
Chagigah 14b, Soncino Press Edition, edited
The BeShT says,
“On Rosh HaShanah of the year 5507, I made an oath and elevated my soul in the manner known to you. I saw wondrous things in my vision, the likes of which I had never witnessed since the day my mind first began to awaken. the things that I saw and learned when I ascended there would be impossible to communicate, even if I could speak to you in person….I went up from level to level until I entered the Palace of Moshiach, where Moshiach studies with the sages and the righteous, as well as with the Seven Shepherds. . . I asked Moshiach, “When will you come Master?” And he replied, “By this you shall know: It will be a time when your teachings become publicized and revealed to the world, and your wellsprings have overflowed to the outside…”
Baal Shem Tov, Keser Shem Tov, translated by R’ Yehoshua Starrett, pgs. 4,6
2 Corinthians 12:5
On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in my weaknesses.
2 Corinthians 12:6
For if I would desire to boast, I will not be foolish; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, so that no man may think more of me than that which he sees in me, or hears from me.
2 Corinthians 12:7
By reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted excessively, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, that I should not be exalted excessively.
2 Corinthians 12:8
Concerning this thing, I begged the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Messiah may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:10
Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Messiahs sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 Corinthians 12:11
I have become foolish in boasting. You compelled me, for I ought to have been commended by you, for in nothing was I inferior to the very best emissaries, though I am nothing.
2 Corinthians 12:12
Truly the signs of an emissary were worked among you in all patience, in signs and wonders and mighty works.
2 Corinthians 12:13
For what is there in which you were made inferior to the rest of the assemblies, unless it is that I myself was not a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong.
2 Corinthians 12:14
Behold, this is the third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I seek not your possessions, but you. For the children ought not to save up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
2 Corinthians 12:15
I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more abundantly, am I loved the less?
2 Corinthians 12:16
But be it so, I did not myself burden you. But, being crafty, I caught you with deception.
2 Corinthians 12:17
Did I take advantage of you by anyone of them whom I have sent to you?
2 Corinthians 12:18
I exhorted Titus, and I sent the brother with him. Did Titus take any advantage of you? Didnt we walk in the same spirit? Didnt we walk in the same steps?
2 Corinthians 12:19
Again, do you think that we are excusing ourselves to you? In the sight of God we speak in Messiah. But all things, beloved, are for your edifying.
2 Corinthians 12:20
For I am afraid that by any means, when I come, I might find you not the way I want to, and that I might be found by you as you dont desire; that by any means there would be strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, whisperings, proud thoughts, riots;
2 Corinthians 12:21
that again when I come my God would humble me before you, and I would mourn for many of those who have sinned before now, and not repented of the uncleanness and sexual immorality and lustfulness which they committed.