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1st Corinthians CHAPTER 16

The doctrinal part of this epistle was closed at the end of the 15th chapter. See the Introduction. Before closing the epistle, Paul adverts to some subjects of a miscellaneous nature, and particularly to the subject of a collection for the poor and persecuted Christians in Judea, on which his heart was much set, and to which he several times adverts in his epistles. See Barnes "1 Co 16:1".

This subject he had suggested to them when he was with them, and they had expressed, some time before, the utmost readiness to make the collection, and Paul had commended their readiness when he was urging the same subject in Macedonia. See 2 Co 9. It is evident, however, that for some cause, perhaps owing to the divisions and contentions in the church, this collection had not yet been made. Paul, therefore, calls their attention to it, and urges them to make it, and to forward it either by him alone, or with others, whom they might designate, to Judea, 1 Co 16:1-4. In connexion with this, he expresses his intention of coming to Corinth, and perhaps of passing the winter with them. He was then in Ephesus. He was expecting to go to Macedonia, probably on the business of the collection. He purposed not to visit them on his way to Macedonia, but on his return. He had formerly intended to pass through Corinth on his way to Macedonia, and had perhaps, given them such an intimation of his purpose, 2 Co 1:16,17. But from some cause, See Barnes "2 Co 1:15, also 2 Co 1:16-23 he tells the Christians that he had abandoned the purpose of seeing them on the way to Macedonia, though he still intended to go to Macedonia, trod would see them on his return, 1 Co 16:5-7. At that time there was a state of things in Ephesus which required his presence. His labours were greatly blessed; and, as a consequence which often attends the successful preaching of the gospel, there was much opposition. He had resolved, therefore, to remain in Ephesus until Pentecost, 1 Co 16:8,9. In the mean time, to show them his deep interest in them, he informed them that Timothy was coming among them, for whom he asked a kind and cordial reception, and assured them that he had endeavoured to persuade Apollos to visit them, but was not able, 1 Co 16:10-12. Paul then urges them to watch, and be firm, and live in love, 1 Co 16:13,14;) and then besought them to show particular attention to the family of Stephanas, the first fruits of Achaia, 1 Co 16:15,16;) and expresses his gratitude that Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus had come to him at Ephesus, 1 Co 16:17,18. They were probably the persons by whom the Corinthians had sent their letter, 1 Co 7:1, and by whom Paul sent this epistle. He then closes the whole epistle with Christian salutations; with an expression of regard in his own handwriting; with a solemn charge to love the Lord Jesus Christ, as the great thing to be done, and with the assurance that, if not done, it would expose the soul to a dreadful curse when the Lord should come; with an invocation of the grace of the Lord Jesus to be with them; and with a tender expression of his own love to them all, 1 Co 16:19-24.

Verse 1. Now concerning the collection for the saints.The use of the article here shows that he had mentioned it to them before, and that it was a subject which they would readily understand. It was not new to them, but it was needful only to give some instructions in regard to the manner in which it should be done, and not in regard to the occasion for the collection, or the duty of making it, Accordingly, all his instructions relate simply to the manner in which the collection should be made. The word rendered collection (logiav) does not occur anywhere else in the New Testament, and is not found in the classic writers. It is from legw, to collect, and, undoubtedly, here refers to a contribution, or collection of money for a charitable purpose. The word saints (agiouv) here refers, doubtless, to Christians; to the persecuted Christians in Judea. There were many there; and they were generally poor, and exposed to various trials. In regard to the meaning of this word, and the circumstances and occasion of this collection, See Barnes "Ro 15:25, See Barnes "Ro 15:26".


As I have given order. dietaxa. As I have directed, enjoined, commanded, arranged. It does not mean that he had assumed the authority to tax them, or that he had commanded them to make a collection, but that he had left directions as to the best manner and time in which it should be done. The collection was voluntary and cheerful in all the churches, Ro 15:26,27; 2 Co 9:2; and Paul did not assume authority to impose it on them as a tax. Nor was it necessary. Self-denial and liberality were among the distinguishing virtues of the early Christians; and to be a Christian then implied that a man would freely impart of his property to aid the poor and the needy. The order related solely to the manner of making the collection; and as Paul had suggested one mode to the churches in Galatia, he recommended the same now to the Corinthians.

To the churches of Galatia. Galatia was a province in Asia Minor. On its situation, See Barnes "Ac 16:6".

There were evidently several churches planted in that region. See Ga 1:2. At what time he gave this order to the churches is not mentioned; though it was doubltless on occasion of a visit to the churches there. See Ac 16:6.

{a} "as I have given order" Ga 2:10 {*} "order" "appointed"

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