Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 8 (2 Corinthians 1:8)

Our trouble which came to us in Asia - To what part of his history the apostle refers we know not: some think it is to the Jews lying in wait to kill him, Acts 20:3 ; others, to the insurrection raised against him by Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen, Acts 19:23 ; others, to his fighting with beasts at Ephesus, 1 Corinthians 15:32 , which they understand literally; and others think that there is a reference here to some persecution which is not recorded in any part of the apostle's history.

We were pressed out of measure, above strength - The original is exceedingly emphatic: καθ ' ὑπερβολην εβαρηθημεν ὑπερ δυναμιν· we were weighed down beyond what is credible, even beyond what any natural strength could support. There is no part of St. Paul's history known to us which can justify these strong expressions, except his being stoned at Lystra; which if not what is here intended, the facts to which he refers are not on record. As Lystra was properly in Asia, unless he mean Asia Minor, and his stoning at Lystra did most evidently destroy his life, so that his being raised was an effect of the miraculous power of God; he might be supposed to refer to this. See the notes on Acts 14:19 , etc. But it is very likely that the reference is to some terrible persecution which he had endured some short time before his writing this epistle; and with the outlines of which the Corinthians had been acquainted.

- Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible