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Verse 9. And this I pray. We pray for those whom we love, and whose welfare we seek. We desire theft happiness; and there is no way more appropriate of expressing that desire than of going to God, and seeking it at his hand. Paul proceeds to enumerate the blessings which he sought for them; and it is worthy of observation that he did not ask riches, or worldly prosperity, but that his supplications were confined to spiritual blessings, and he sought these as the most desirable of all favours.

That your love may abound, etc. Love to God; love to one another; love to absent Christians; love to the world. This is an appropriate subject of prayer. We cannot wish and pray for a better thing for our Christian friends, than that they may abound in love. Nothing will promote their welfare like this; and we had better pray for this, than that they may obtain abundant riches, and share the honours and pleasures of the world.

In knowledge. The idea is, that he wished them to have intelligent affection. It should not be mere blind affection, but that intelligent love which is based on an enlarged view of Divine things—on a just apprehension of the claims of God.

And in all judgment. Marg., sense. See Barnes "Heb 5:14".

The word here means, the power of discerning; and the meaning is, that he wished that their love should be exercised with proper discrimination. It should be in proportion to the relative value of objects; and the meaning of the whole is, that he wished their religion to be intelligent and discriminating; to be based on knowledge, and a proper sense of the relative value of objects, as well as to be the tender affection of the heart.

{b} "yet more" 1 Th 3:12; 2 Pe 3:18

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