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Thursday, July 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 8

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

Do you to wit ; cause you to know.

The grace of God ; here the grace of God as manifested in the liberality of the Macedonian churches.

Verse 2

The abundance of their joy ; their spiritual joy in Christ. This abounded unto the riches of their liberality by prompting them to give a richly liberal gift.

Their deep poverty ; this abounded unto the riches of their liberality by making their gift a richer expression of faith and love. Though persecuted and poor, they had contributed largely for the benefit of others. Compare what the Saviour says of the poor widow’s gift in Mark 12:43-44 ; Luke 21:3-4 .

Verse 3

Of themselves ; without being entreated.

Verse 4

Praying us with much entreaty-ministering to the saints ; according to another and a more literal rendering, Asking of us with much entreaty the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints; that is, asking of us the privilege of making the gift, and thus sharing in ministering to the saints. It is the poor saints in Jerusalem that are referred to. Romans 15:26 ; 1 Corinthians 16:3 .

Verse 5

Not as we hoped ; they went beyond our hopes.

Unto us ; to be directed by us, according to the will of God. A disposition to give one’s self to the Lord, and to use what he bestows according to his will, is the fruit of divine grace; it is also a source of great joy, and leads to liberal contributions for the good of others.

Verse 6

Insomuch ; on account of their great liberality.

As he had begun ; to make a collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem.

Verse 7

In this grace ; that of liberally contributing of their substance, to supply the wants of the needy.

Verse 8

Not by commandment ; he did not command as to the amount of their contribution; but from the example of others, and to show their love to God and men, he endeavors to persuade them to be liberal.

The forwardness of others ; the Macedonian Christians. 2 Corinthians 8:1 .

Verse 9

He was rich ; in all the glories of the Godhead in heaven.

He became poor ; by leaving the glory he had with the Father before the creation, being born of a virgin in a stable, and cradled in a manger; living in poverty, and dying in agony on the cross, the just for the unjust.

Ye-might be rich ; in the perfect and eternal holiness and bliss of heaven. Information and kind persuasions are more efficacious than authority in leading men to do good. Example has great influence, and the most powerful means of all is the example of Jesus Christ. Would we lead men to do the greatest good, we must direct their minds to him, and by his love strive to induce them to imitate his example.

Verse 10

Herein ; as to their contribution.

Begun before ; begun before the Macedonian churches. As they had made a movement the preceding year before the Macedonian churches began, it was highly desirable that they should have their contribution completed. Compare what he says on this point in chap 2 Corinthians 9:2-4 .

Verse 12

Not according to that he hath not ; a man is not required to do beyond his ability, or give what he has not.

Verse 14

A supply for your want ; should you be destitute, and they have means to relieve you.

That there may be equality ; to such an extent that all shall have a supply.

Verse 15

It is written ; Exodus 16:18 . See note on this passage. The point urged by the apostle is, that now, as in the distribution of the ancient manna, every one should have his just supply. Those who have, whether they regard their own good or that of others, should cheerfully impart to those who have not. Blessings are not given to men that they should hoard them, or consume them upon their lusts, but that they should use them for the glory of God and the good of men.

Verse 16

The same earnest care ; to complete this collection at Corinth for Christians in Judea.

Verse 17

The exhortation ; to visit Corinth, in verse 2 Corinthians 8:6 .

Verse 19

This grace-administered by us ; the gift or contribution which the apostle had obtained, and was to convey to Jerusalem. Churches have a right to choose not only their ministers, but also the persons who shall receive and distribute their contributions: and those who are intrusted with charitable funds should not only be faithful in their application of them, but should show that they are so; and thus avoid the appearance, and as far as practicable, the suspicion of evil, that their influence for good may not be impaired by augmented.

Verse 20

That no man should blame us ; charge us with any improper use of the money.

In this abundance ; in respect to this abundant contribution.

Verse 21

Not only ; being really honest in the sight of God, but also appearing to be so in view of men.

Verse 22

I have ; or, he hath.

Verse 23

Of Titus ; about Titus, who he is, or why he is thus employed.

Or our brethren ; if inquiries were made about them, the answer might be given which Paul suggested.

The glory of Christ ; persons in whom Christ manifests his glory. This he does by his glorious work in their own souls, which makes itself visible in their whole life and spirit, Matthew 5:16 ; and by his glorious work, through their instrumentality, upon the souls of others.

Verse 24

The proof of your love ; by furnishing them with a liberal contribution.

Our boasting ; our commendation of your liberality.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 8". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/2-corinthians-8.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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