2 Corinthians 11:17

That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.

That which I speak,.... Meaning in vindication and commendation of himself, on this subject of glorying; or, as here expressed,

in this confidence of boasting; for which he thought he had good ground and foundation to go upon, and therefore might express himself with the greatest assurance, see 2 Corinthians 9:4 this he declares he spoke not as from the Lord, but of himself:

I speak it not after the Lord; or "Christ", as some copies read; or "our Lord", as the Syriac version; his sense is, that he did not then speak as an apostle, or one sent by Christ; he put off this character for the present, and took that of a fool upon him, that he might speak the more freely to the Corinthians, and the more severely against the false apostles; he did not pretend to any express command from Christ for so doing, or that he acted in imitation of him, who was meek and lowly; or that what he said came from the Spirit of the Lord; or, indeed, that it was agreeably to his own Spirit, and the principles of grace formed in him; but was obliged to it, through the boasts of the false apostles; which though it was not criminal and unlawful, but necessary, right, and proper, considering the reasons of it, the end for which, and the intention and view with which it was done; yet viewing the form and manner of this boasting, without attending to the circumstances of it, it had the appearance of folly: wherefore the apostle says, he spoke not as according to the commandment, or example of his Lord; or according to the Spirit of the Lord, or his own Spirit, as renewed by his grace:

but as it were foolishly; he does not say that what he said was foolishness, but it looked like it, and would be deemed so by such who were strangers to the true springs of it.