HTTP://WWW.STUDYLOVE.ORG
STUDY LOVE
Comments

Henry Alford:  makrothymei is the negative side, chresteuetai the positive, of a loving temper: the former, the withholding of anger; the latter, the exercise of kindness.

William Barclay:  Love is patient. The word which is used in the Greek (makrothymein) in the New Testament always describes patience with people and not patience with circumstances. Chrysostom said that it is the word which is used of the man who is wronged and who has it easily in his power to avenge himself and who yet will not do it. It describes the man who is slow to anger. It is used of God Himself in His relationship with men. In our dealings with men, however refractory and however unkind and hurting they are, we must exercise the same patience as God exercises with us. It is the simple truth that such patience is not the sign of weakness but the sign of strength; it is not defeatism but rather the only way to victory.

Fosdick points out that no one treated Lincoln with more contempt than did Stanton. He called him "a low cunning clown." He nicknamed him "the original gorilla" and said that Du Chaillu was a fool to wander about Africa trying to capture a gorilla when he could have found one so easily at Springfield, Illinois.

Lincoln said nothing. He made Stanton his war minister because Stanton was the best man for the job. He treated Stanton with every courtesy.

The years wore on. The night came when the assassin's bullet murdered Lincoln in the theatre. In the little room to which the President's body was taken, there stood that same Stanton that night, and, looking down on the silent face of Lincoln in all its ruggedness, Stanton said through his tears, "There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen." The patience of love had conquered in the end.

Barnes & Murphy: Verse 4. Charity suffereth long. Paul now proceeds to illustrate the nature of love, or to show how it is exemplified. His illustrations are all drawn from its effect in regulating our conduct towards others, or our intercourse with them. The reason why he made use of this illustration, rather: than its nature as evinced towards God, was, probably, because it was especially necessary for them to understand in what way it should be manifested towards each other. There were contentions and strifes among them; there were of course suspicions, and jealousies, and heart-burnings; there would be unkind judging, the imputation of improper motives, and selfishness; there were envy, and pride, and boasting, all of which were inconsistent with love; and Paul therefore evidently designed to correct these evils, and to produce a different state of things by showing them what would be produced by the exercise of love. The word here used makrothumei denotes longanimity, slowness to anger or passion; long-suffering, patient endurance, forbearance. It is opposed to haste; to passionate expressions and thoughts, and to irritability. It denotes the State of mind which can BEAR LONG when oppressed, provoked, calumniated, and when one seeks to injure us. Comp. 2:4; 9:22; 2 Corinthians 6:6; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:12; 1 Timothy 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:10; 4:2; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:15.

Brian Bell: 

  • 3.5. (4) Love suffers long! (patient)
    • 3.5.1. This is the 1st quality love displays.
    • 3.5.2. The Greek word used always describes patience w/people & not patience w/circumstances.
    • 3.5.3. “It takes a long time before fuming & breaking into flames.”
    • 3.5.4. He is slow to anger. It doesn’t strike back.
    • 3.5.5. When you’ve been wronged, love is patient & silent.
    • 3.5.6. Chrysostom said that it is the word used of the man who is wronged & who has it easily in his power to avenge himself & who yet will not do it. (like David)
    • 3.5.7. Such patience is not the sign of weakness but the sign of strength.
    • 3.5.8. Story – No one treated Abraham Lincoln w/more contempt then did Stanton. Stanton called him “a low cunning clown”, he nicknamed him “the original gorilla”. Lincoln never responded. - When it came time to pick his war minister he picked Stanton because he was the best for the job & he treated him w/ever courtesy. Years later when the assassin’s bullet murdered Lincoln in the theatre, in the little room the body was taken to, there stood Stanton. Looking down on Lincoln’s silent face, he said through his tears, “There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen.” The Patience of love had conquered in the end!

John Albert Bengel:  The twelve praises of love are enumerated by three classes, -7—(if we reckon together one pair at the beginning, and two pairs at the end, as we show in the following notes). The first consists of two members, (1.) it suffers long, is kind: (2.) envies not. We have the same synthesis and antithesis, Galatians 5:22; Galatians 5:20. Long-suffering has respect to evil proceeding from others: kind has respect to the extending of good to others; on the other hand, it does not grieve at another’s good, nor rejoice at another’s calamity. The conjunction is wanting to is kind [Asyndeton].

Joseph Benson:  Love suffereth long — Here the apostle attributes to love the qualities and actions of a person, in order to render his account of that divine grace the more lively and affecting. The love of God, and of our neighbour for God’s sake, is patient toward all men. It suffers all the weakness, ignorance, errors, and infirmities of the children of God; and all the malice and wickedness of the children of the world; and all this not only for a time, but to the end; and in every step toward overcoming evil with good, it is kind.

Jim Bomkamp: 

  • 5.4.1. ‘love is patient’:
    • 5.4.1.1.‘Patience’ is one of the fruits of the Spirit listed by Paul in Gal. 5:22-23.
    • 5.4.1.2.Strong’s Greek Dictionary has the following definition for this word translated ‘patient’:
      • 5.4.1.2.1.To be of a long spirit, not to lose heart
      • 5.4.1.2.2.To persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles
      • 5.4.1.2.3.To be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others
        • 5.4.1.2.3.1.To be mild and slow in avenging
        • 5.4.1.2.3.2.To be longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish”
    • 5.4.1.3.Someone else once defined ‘patience’ as: “to wait without complaint”.
    • 5.4.1.4.In the Old Testament, we see again and again how that the Lord is long suffering and patient with man, year after year giving him chance after chance to repent. One stood up and spoke as it is recorded in the book of Nehemiah, Neh. 9:17-22.
    • 5.4.1.5.We Christians must ask ourselves if we are as patient with people as the Lord is with us? Of course not, but that should be our goal…
      • 5.4.1.5.1.If each of us were to sit down for a few minutes and contemplate how patient the Lord has been with us I think that we would have a totally different perspective towards how we ought to be patient with others.
      • 5.4.1.5.2.We Christians need to act towards others in the same way that our Father in heaven acts toward us.
    • 5.4.1.6.If we Christians stopped and considered the “agape” love that the Lord has for us, we would not find ourselves being impatient with others.

    John Calvin:  4. Love is patient. He now commends love from its effects or fruits, though at the same time these eulogiums are not intended merely for its commendation, but to make the Corinthians understand what are its offices, and what is its nature. The object, however, mainly in view, is to show how necessary it is for preserving the unity of the Church. I have also no doubt that he designed indirectly to reprove the Corinthians, by setting before them a contrast, in which they might recognize, by way of contraries, their own vices.

    The first commendation of love is this — that, by patient endurance of many things, it promotes peace and harmony in the Church.

    Alan Carr:  1. V. 4 Suffereth Long - This word means "patient endurance under provocation." The literal meaning of the word is "long-tempered". This characteristic of love reveals the truth that love does not retaliate!

    (Ill. Stephen is an example of this type of love - Acts 7:54-60. The greatest example is that of the Lord Jesus - Luke 23:34; Isa. 53:7. This kind of love endures all attacks.)

    (Ill. One of Abraham Lincoln's most outspoken political enemies was a man named Edwin J. Stanton. ...)

    Adam Clarke:  Charity suffereth long] makroqumei, Has a long mind; to the end of which neither trials, adversities, persecutions, nor provocations, can reach. The love of God, and of our neighbour for God's sake, is patient towards all men: it suffers all the weakness, ignorance, errors, and infirmities of the children of God; and all the malice and wickedness of the children of this world; and all this, not merely for a time, but long, without end; for it is still a mind or disposition, to the end of which trials, difficulties, &c., can never reach. It also waits God's time of accomplishing his gracious or providential purposes, without murmuring or repining; and bears its own infirmities, as well as those of others, with humble submission to the will of God.

    Stephen J. Cole:  1. Selfless love is patient.

    Ouch! Why did he put that first? This often confronts me with my failure in relating to my family. Patience is an interesting quality in that when I don’t need it, I want it. It’s when things start to irritate or frustrate me that I need patience, but usually at that point I don’t want to be patient!

    The Greek word comes from two words meaning, “long- tempered.” If you’re patient, you’re slow to anger, you endure personal wrongs without retaliating. You bear with others’ imperfections, faults, and differences. You give them time to change, room to make mistakes without coming down hard on them. Do you do that, men, with your wife and children?

    I read a story of a man who had developed this quality to a far greater extent than I. During the late 1500’s, Dr. Thomas Cooper edited a dictionary with the addition of 33,000 words and many other improvements. He had already been collecting materials for eight years when his wife, a rather difficult woman, went into his study one day while he was gone and burned all of his notes under the pretense of fearing that he would kill himself with study. Eight years of work, a pile of ashes! Dr. Cooper came home, saw the destruction, and asked who had done it. His wife told him boldly that she had done it. The patient man heaved a deep sigh and said, “Oh Dinah, Dinah, thou hast given a world of trouble!” Then he quietly sat down to another eight years of hard labor, to replace the notes which she had destroyed. (Paul Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations [Assurance Publishers, #2350.) Next time you think you’ve arrived at being patient, that will give you something to aim for!

    F.C. Cook:  4. Charity suffereth long.] Rather, charity is long-suffering, i.e. slow to take umbrage, slow to resent a slight.

    Henry Drummond:  Patience. This is the normal attitude of love; Love passive, Love waiting to begin; not in a hurry; calm; ready to do its work when the summons comes, but meantime wearing the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. Love suffers long; beareth all things; believeth all things; hopeth all things. For Love understands, and therefore waits.

    Exell & Spence:  4. Suffereth long, and is kind. Passively it endures; actively it does good. It endures evils; it confers blessings.

    Lee Gatiss:  Makrothumei literally refers to having a long nose, and is almost exclusively used to refer to patience in relationships rather than in difficult circumstances. When confronted with personal offense, then, the loving thing to do is to take a deep breath in through the nose - the longer the nose, the longer the pause and the more time to consider a response. Lack of this aspect of a loving character would obviously be conducive to further dissention in Corinth.

    Geneva Notes:  Charity suffereth long, ... Literally, "defers wrath".

    John Gill's Exposition of the Bible:  Charity suffereth long
    The apostle, in this and some following verses, enumerates the several properties and characters of the grace of love; and all along represents it as if it was a person, and no doubt designs one who is possessed of it, and in whose heart it is implanted and reigns; such an one is said to "suffer long", or be "patient", as the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions read; not only under afflictions by the hand of God, which such an one considers as arising from love; but under the reproaches and persecutions of men, for the sake of Christ and his Gospel, and in imitation of him; such a person is slow to anger when abused, not quick of resentment, nor hasty to revenge when affronted; but exercises forbearance, suffers long, and bears much, and is ready to forgive:

    John W. Gregson:  Love is patient ... with people ..., not necessarily with circumstances

    Matthew Henry:  It is long suffering--makrothymei. It can endure evil, injury, and provocation, without being filled with resentment, indignation, or revenge. It makes the mind firm, gives it power over the angry passions, and furnishes it with a persevering patience, that shall rather wait and wish for the reformation of a brother than fly out in resentment of his conduct. It will put up with many slights and neglects from the person it loves, and wait long to see the kindly effects of such patience on him.

    Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown:  suffereth long--under provocations of evil from others. The negative side of love.

    B.W. Johnson:  Love suffereth long. Endures slights and wrongs patiently and long .... It is "slow to anger" (Psalm 103:8). Christ, "when he was reviled, reviled not again" (1 Peter 2:23). "The fruit of the Spirit is long-suffering" (Gal. 5:22). See also Rom. 2:4, and 2 Cor. 6:6.

    S. Lewis Johnson:  First of all, love is longsuffering or love suffers long. The two words in the New Testament which occur frequently that have similar ideas. This is one of them, the word that means to suffer long, longsuffering. It has to do with patience regarding antagonistic persons. What we need with reference to persons who are problems is longsuffering. That’s why the Bible so frequently says that God is longsuffering, because he has to deal with people who are as people antagonistic persons. The other word, which is used in this passage also, is the word that means patience with regard to adverse things; that is, things in our lives. It means to endure. One of these means to suffer long, the other means to endure. Both of them occur here. Now, at the beginning he begins with love suffers long. That is, patience with regard to antagonistic persons.

    J.H. Jowett: 

    Steve Lewis:  Love is patient (macrothumeo) = to be long-suffering, slow to anger, slow to punish. It is the quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate. This shows how a loving person should behave when he or she is on the receiving end of offenses.

    J.J. Lias:  Charity suffereth long, and is kind] The first the passive, the second the active, exercise of love; the one endurance, the other beneficence.

    Heinrich Meyer:  makrothymei] she is long-suffering; in face of provocations controlling her anger, repressing it, giving it up, and maintaining her own proper character. The general frame of mind for this is chresteuetai.

    Mark Heber Miller:  Love is long-suffering

    The Greek MACRO [ = long] -THYMEI [ = desire; feeling] is variously rendered: MOF: patient; RHM: gracious; PHM: slow to lose patience; UBS int: suffers long. The word occurs about two dozen times. God possesses the attribute. (Romans 2:4; 9:22 1 Timothy 1:16) It is a fruit of the spirit. (Galatians 5:22) It is proof of an outstanding minister or servant. (2 Corinthians 6:6; 2 Timothy 3:10) It contributes to unity. (Ephesians 4:2) It is reflected in joy. (Colossians 1:11) A Christian should show it toward everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

    Matthew Poole:  Charity suffereth long: by love or charity he either meaneth a charitable person, a soul possessed of that love, which he had been commending; or if we take the term plainly, to signify the habit itself, the meaning is, it is a habit or power in the soul, enabling and inclining it to do these things: to suffer long, not to be too quick and tetchy with brethren that may offend or displease us; the charitable man will withhold and restrain his wrath, not be rash in the expressions of it, and hasty to revenge.

    Ray Pritchard:  First, love is patient. The King James Version says love “suffereth long.” It is “never tired of waiting.” The Greek word literally means “long-minded.” Love is slow to give in to resentment, despair, or anger. The particular word Paul uses means to have patience with difficult people rather than having patience in difficult circumstances. It describes the person who has been wronged, who has it within his power to get even, but chooses not to use that power.

    Robertson's Word Studies:  {Suffereth long} (makrothumei). Late Koine word (Plutarch) from makros, long, thumos, passion, ardor. Cf. Jas 5:7f.

    Hamilton Smith:  "Love has long patience." The flesh is ever impatient, but love can suffer long and wait God's time. Fleshly endurance is soon exhausted; love does not wear out.

    Richard L. Strauss:  (1) “Love suffers long.” It is long-tempered, slow to anger, slow to take offense, slow to become resentful. True love causes us to bear patiently with our loved ones when they wrong us, offend us, nag us, or criticize us. It is slow to assert itself or to retaliate in self-defense. The one who loves is willing to be a doormat if necessary, to let his loved one walk all over him without retaliation, self-pity, or sarcastic retorts.

    Some will reply, “That’s not love; that’s a one-way street to Ulcerville. I’d have a nervous breakdown if I did that.” On the contrary, that is the way we show our loved ones that we really do love them; when they are convinced of this fact they will begin to respond in like manner, for love produces love. To insist on our rights and to strike back when we are wronged will only prolong the conflict, and it is this prolonged irritation that produces ulcers and breakdowns. We cannot afford not to be doormats if that is what our situation demands. Some will protest, “But you don’t know my husband/wife; he/she will keep on taking advantage of me; walking all over me and enjoying it.” But wait a moment. Are you questioning the inspired Word of the eternal God? “Give and it shall be given unto you.” “Whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” “We love him because he first loved us.” Trust God to do what He says He will do. Keep on expressing His patient love, whatever the consequences, for He promises that ultimately it will bring you genuine love in return.

    R.A. Torrey:  suffereth Proverbs 10:12; 2 Corinthians 6:6; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 1:11; 3:12; 2 Timothy 2:25; 3:10; 2 Timothy 4:2; James 3:17; 1 Peter 4:8.

    Bill Turner:  Love suffers long, love is patient. "Makrothumeo," literally, "long passion."

    Paul uses "makrothumei," the present active indicative of "makrothumeo," to emphasise the continual habit of controlling the mind and passions for a long time. Paul showed this patience in speaking as he did to the unruly Corinthian Christians. "Makrothumeo" occurs in the New Testament in the following places: Rom. 2:4; 9:22; 2 Cor. 6:6; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 4:2; Col. 1:11; 3:12; 1 Tim. 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:10; 4:2; Heb. 6:12; James 5:10; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:15. It speaks of Divine patience, as well as patience with people and with circumstances. It signifies the very opposite of the attitude of the worldling, who looks upon short patience, retaliation, spite and vengeance as virtues. With the Greeks "megalopsuchia" was a virtue; it was the desire for vengeance and the refusal to tolerate and accept any injury. These attitudes should have no place in God's family; God has been very longsuffering with us; let us imitate our longsuffering Lord, and show patience with others.

    John Wesley, Notes:  The love of God, and of our neighbour for God's sake, is patient toward all men. It suffers all the weakness, ignorance, errors, and infirmities of the children of God; all the malice and wickedness of the children of the world: and all this not only for a time, but to the end.

    John Wesley, Sermon 22:  "Charity," or love, (as it were to be wished it had been rendered throughout, being a far plainer and less ambiguous word,) the love of our neighbour as Christ hath loved us, "suffereth long;" is patient toward all men: It suffers all the weakness, ignorance, errors, infirmities, all the frowardness and littleness of faith, of the children of God; all the malice and wickedness of the children of the world. And it suffers all this, not only for a time, for a short season, but to the end; still feeding our enemy when he hungers; if he thirst, still giving him drink; thus continually "heaping coals of fire," of melting love, "upon his head."

    John Wesley, Sermon 139:  “Love suffereth long,” or is longsuffering. If thou love thy neighbour for God’s sake, thou wilt bear long with his infirmities: If he want wisdom, thou wilt pity and not despise him: If he be in error, thou wilt mildly endeavour to recover him, without any sharpness or reproach: If he be overtaken in a fault, thou wilt labour to restore him in the spirit of meekness: And if, haply, that cannot be done soon, thou wilt have patience with him; if God, peradventure, may bring him, at length to the knowledge and love of the truth. In all provocations, either from the weakness or malice of men, thou wilt show thyself a pattern of gentleness and meekness; and, be they ever so often repeated, wilt not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Let no man deceive you with vain words: He who is not thus long-suffering, hath not love.

    Back to Top

  • Back to Study Love Main Index