2 Corinthians 9:10-15
10. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower, both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;
10. Pro qui suppeditat semen seminanti, is et panem in cibum supeditet, et multiplicet sementem vestram, et augeat proventus iustitiae vestrae.
11. Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
11. Ut in omnibus locupletemini in omnem simplicitatem, quae per vos producit gratiarum actionem Deo.
12. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
12. Nam ministerium huius functionis 1 non solum supplet ea quae desunt sanctis: verum etiam exuberat in hoc, quod per multos agantur gratiae Deo:
13. (Whiles by the experiment of this ministration, they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;)
13. Quod per probationem ministrii huius glorificant Deum super obedientia consensus vestri in Evangelium Christi: et de simplicatate communicationis in ipsos, et in omnes:
14. And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
14. Et precatione eorum pro vobis: qui desiderant vos propter eminentem Dei gratiam in vobis.
15. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
15. Gratia autem Deo super inenarrabili suo munere.
God fed thee with manna -- food which thy fathers knew not: lest perhaps when thou hast come into the land which he shall give thee, thou shouldst say, My hand and my strength have gotten, me this wealth; for it is the Lord that giveth power to get wealth, etc.
Bread for food. He mentions a two-fold fruit of the blessing of God upon us -- first, that we have sufficiency for ourselves for the support of life; and, secondly, that we have something to lay up for relieving the necessities of others. For as we are not born for ourselves merely, 4 so a Christian man ought neither to live to himself, nor lay out what he has, merely for his own use.
Under the terms seed, and fruits of righteousness, he refers to alms. The fruits of righteousness he indirectly contrasts with those returns that the greater number lay up in cellars, barns, and keeping-places, that they may, every one of them, cram in whatever they can gather, nay, scrape together, so as to enrich themselves. By the former term he expresses the means of doing good; by the latter the work itself, or office of love; 5 for righteousness is taken here, by synecdoche, to mean beneficence. "May God not only supply you with what may be sufficient for every one's private use, but also to such an extent, that the fountain of your liberality, ever flowing forth, may never be exhausted!" If, however, it is one department of righteousness -- as assuredly it is not the least 6 -- to relieve the necessities of neighbors, those must be unrighteous who neglect this department of duty.
casting all our care upon God, (1 Peter 5:7,)
we cheerfully lay out what belongs to us for whatever purposes lie directs. He teaches us 7 that these are the true riches of believers, when, relying upon the providence of God for the sufficiency of their support, they are not by distrust kept back from doing good. Nor is it without good reason, that he dignifies with the title of affluence the satisfying abundance of a mind that is simple, and contented with its moderate share; for nothing is more famished and starved than the distrustful, who are tormented with an anxious desire of having.
By the term administration, he means what he had undertaken at the request of the Churches. Now what we render functionem (service), is in the Greek
13. By the experiment of that administration. The term experiment here, as in a variety of other places, means proof or trial 11 For it was a sufficient token for bringing the love of the Corinthians to the test, -- that they were so liberal to brethren that were at a great distance from them. Paul, however, extends it farther -- to their concurrent obedience in the gospel. 12 For by such proofs we truly manifest, that we are obedient to the doctrine of the gospel. Now their concurrence appears from this -- that alms are conferred with the common consent of all.
14. And their prayer. He omits no advantage which may be of any use for stirring up the Corinthians. 13 In the first place, he has made mention of the comfort that believers would experience; secondly, the thanksgiving, by means of which God was to be glorified. Nay more, he has said that this would be a confession, which would manifest to all their unanimous concurrence in faith, and in pious obedience. He now adds the reward that the Corinthians would receive from the saints -- good-will springing from gratitude, 14 and earnest prayers. "They will have," says he, "the means of requiting you in return; for they will regard you with the love with which they ought, and they will be careful to commend you to God in their prayers." At length, as though he had obtained his desire, he prepares himself 15 to celebrate the praises of God, by which he was desirous to testify the confidence felt by him, as though the matter were already accomplished.
1 "De ceste oblation;" -- "Of this offering."
3 "The Vatican MS. reads with the futures --
4 Our Author has here very probably in his eye a celebrated passage in Horace -- "Nos numerus sumus, et fruges consumere nati;" -- "We do but add to the numbers of mankind, and seem born only to consume the fruits of the earth." (Hot. Ep. 1:2, 27.) -- Ed.
5 "L'assistance laquelle on fait par charite;" "The assistance which one gives in love."
6 "Comme a la verite s'en est vne des prineipales;" -- "As in truth it is one of the chief'."
7 "Or yci il nous remonstre et donne a entendre;" -- "Now here he shows us and gives us to understand."
8 The term
9 "Les charges estans distribuees, en vne ville entre les citoyens d'icelle;" "Offices being distributed in a town among the citizens of it."
10 "Ainsi en l'Eglise la communication consiste en ce que chacun s'acquitte enuers ses prochains de ce qu'il leur doit en charite;" -- "So in the Church, imparting to others consists in every one's discharging to his neighbours, what he owes them, in love."
11 "Tesmoignage, enseignement, ou experience;" -- "Proof, voucher, or trial."
12 "Leur obeissance qu'ils rendoyent tons d'vn accord a l'euangile;" -- "Their obedience which they rendered, all with one accord, to the gospel."
13 "qui puisse seruir a esmouuoir et encourager les Corinthtens." -- "That may serve to stir up and encourage the Corinthians."
14 "Procedante de la recognoissance du benefice qu'ils auoyent receu des Corinthtens;" -- "Proceeding from an acknowledgment of the kindness that they had received from the Corinthians."
15 "D'vne grande affection;" -- "With treat ardour."