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The Collection for Christians at Jerusalem

 9

Now it is not necessary for me to write you about the ministry to the saints, 2for I know your eagerness, which is the subject of my boasting about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you may not prove to have been empty in this case, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be; 4otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—in this undertaking. 5So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you, and arrange in advance for this bountiful gift that you have promised, so that it may be ready as a voluntary gift and not as an extortion.

6 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. 9As it is written,

“He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;

his righteousness endures forever.”

10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; 12for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. 13Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, 14while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. 15Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

 


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2Co 9:1-15. Reasons for His Sending Titus. The Greater Their Bountifulness, the More Shall Be the Return of Blessing to Them, and Thanksgiving to God.

1. For—connected with 2Co 8:16: "Show love to the messengers of the churches; for as concerns the ministration for the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you who are so forward already."

write—emphatical: It is superfluous to "write," for you will have witnesses present [Bengel].

2. ready a year ago—to send off the money, owing to the apostle's former exhortation (1Co 16:1, 2).

your zealGreek, "the zeal from you," that is, on your part; propagated from you to others.

provoked—that is, stimulated.

very manyGreek, "the greater number," namely, of the Macedonians.

3. have I sent—we should say, "I send"; whereas the ancients put it in the past, the time which it would be by the time that the letter arrived.

the brethren—(2Co 8:18, 22)—Titus and the two others.

should be in vain in this behalf—"should be proved futile in this particular," however true in general (2Co 7:4). A tacit compliment, softening the sharp monition.

as I said—as I was saying (2Co 9:2).

4. if they of Macedonia—rather as Greek, "if Macedonians."

unprepared—with your collection; see 2Co 9:2, "ready," Greek, "prepared."

we, not to say yeYe would naturally feel more ashamed for yourselves, than we (who boasted of you) would for you.

confident boasting—The oldest manuscripts read simply "confidence," namely, in your liberality.

5. that they would go before—Translate, "that they should," &c.

whereof ye had notice before—rather, "promised before"; "long announced by me to the Macedonians" (2Co 9:2) [Bengel]. "Your promised bounty" [Ellicott and others].

not as of covetousness—Translate, "not as matter of covetousness," which it would be, if you gave niggardly.

6. I sayEllicott and others supply the ellipsis thus: "But remember this."

bountifully—literally, "with," or "in blessings." The word itself implies a beneficent spirit in the giver (compare 2Co 9:7, end), and the plural implies the abundance and liberality of the gifts. "The reaping shall correspond to the proportions and spirit of the sowing" [Bengel]. Compare Eze 34:26, "Showers of blessing."

7. according as he purposeth in his heart—Let the full consent of the free will go with the gift [Alford]. Opposed to "of necessity," as "grudgingly" is opposed to "a cheerful giver" (Pr 22:9; 11:25; Isa 32:8).

8. all grace—even in external goods, and even while ye bestow on others [Bengel].

that—"in order that." God's gifts are bestowed on us, not that we may have them to ourselves, but that we may the more "abound in good works" to others.

sufficiency—so as not to need the help of others, having yourselves from God "bread for your food" (2Co 9:10).

in all thingsGreek, "in everything."

every good work—of charity to others, which will be "your seed sown" (2Co 9:10).

9. As it is written—realizing the highly blessed character portrayed in Ps 112:9.

He—the "good man" (Ps 112:5).

dispersed—as seed sown with full and open hand, without anxious thought in what direction each grain may fall. It is implied also that he has always what he may disperse [Bengel]. So in Ps 112:9.

the poor—The Greek word is found here only in New Testament, "one in straitened circumstances, who earns his bread by labor." The word usually employed means "one so poor as to live by begging."

his righteousness—Here "beneficence": the evidence of his being righteous before God and man. Compare De 24:13; Mt 6:1, "alms"; Greek, "righteousness."

remaineth—unexhausted and unfailing.

10. Translate, as in Isa 55:10, "He that ministereth (supplieth) seed to the sower and bread for food" (literally, "bread for eating").

minister—rather future, as the oldest manuscripts, "Shall minister (supply) and multiply."

your seed—your means for liberality.

the fruits of your righteousness—the heavenly rewards for your Christian charity (Mt 10:42). Righteousness shall be itself the reward, even as it is the thing rewarded (Ho 10:12; Mt 5:6; 6:33).

11. Compare 2Co 9:8.

bountifulnessGreek, "single-minded liberality." Translated "simplicity," Ro 12:8.

causeth through us—literally, "worketh through us"; that is, through our instrumentality as the distributors.

thanksgiving—on the part of the recipients.

12. Greek, "The ministration of this public service (on your part) is not only still further supplying the wants of the saints (besides the supplies from other quarters), but is abounding also (namely, in respect to relieving the necessities of others in poverty) through many thanksgivings to God."

13. by—through occasion of.

experiment—Translate, "the experience" [Ellicott and others]. Or, "the experimental proof" of your Christian character, afforded by "this ministration."

they—the recipients.

for your professed subjectionGreek, "for the subjection of your profession"; that is, your subjection in accordance with your profession, in relation to the Gospel. Ye yield yourselves in willing subjection to the Gospel precepts, evinced in acts, as well as in profession.

your liberal distributionGreek, "the liberality of your contribution in relation to them," &c.

14. Translate, "Themselves also with prayer for you, longing after you on account of the exceeding grace of God (resting) upon you." English Version is, however, good sense: They glorify God (2Co 9:13) by the experimental proof, &c., "and by their prayer for you." But the Greek favors the former.

15. his unspeakable gift—the gift of His own Son, which includes all other inferior gifts (2Co 8:9; Ro 8:32). If we have received from God "His unspeakable gift," what great thing is it, if we give a few perishing gifts for His sake?




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