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the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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2 Corinthians 9

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

1) "For as touching," (peri men gar) "For indeed concerning," with reference or relation to - to show that the matter is right and needful at this time, Acts 20:35.

2) "The ministering to the saints " (tes diakonias tes eis tous hagious) "the ministry to the saints," the needy saints at Jerusalem, the collection for them, Acts 11:29; Romans 15:26.

3) "It is superfluous for me to write to you " (perisson moi esten to graphein humin) "it is superfluous for me to write to you all," to you who were really the first church to make a beginning to raise special alms help for the poor brethren of Judea, 2 Corinthians 8:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; Galatians 2:10; Acts 24:17.

Verse 2

1) "For I know the forwardness of your mind " (oida gar ten prothumian humon) "For I know the eagerness of you all," your readiness in anticipating my arguments, 2 Corinthians 7:7; 2 Corinthians 8:19.

2) "For which I boast of you to them of Macedonia (en huper humon kauchomai makedosin) "on behalf of which I boast of my own accord to the Macedonians," of you. This indicates that he was writing this letter from Macedonia, 2 Corinthians 7:14; 2 Corinthians 8:8; 2 Corinthians 8:24.

3) "That Achaia was ready a year ago " (hoti Achaia pareskeusatai apo perusi) "That Achaia had made preparation (for) a year," since a year ago, when ye all were ready to bring your offering, 2 Corinthians 8:10.

4) "And your zeal hath provoked very many," (kai to humin zelos erethisen tous pleionas) "and your zeal stirred up a great many," others who might not have given but for what they believed you would give. For "no man liveth or dieth to himself," because one’s actions motivates others for good or bad, Romans 14:7.

Verse 3

1 ) "Yet have I sent the brethren," (epempsa de tous adelphous) "and I sent the (willing) brethren;" The term rendered "sent" is from a root word meaning to be sent, not by priority of authority, but by persuasion of influence, to urge you to complete what you have purposed.

2) "Lest our boasting of you " (hina me to katichema hemon to huper humon) "in order that our boasting on your behalf;" 2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 8:17-18; 2 Corinthians 8:22.

3) "Should be in vain in this behalf (kenothe ento merei touto) "Should not be empty in this respect," or in vain regarding this matter, to cause both you all and me to be embarrassed, James 1:22; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Matthew 15:9; Mark 7:7; Galatians 2:2; Galatians 4:11 or void in this respect, 1 Corinthians 9:15.

4) "That, as I said," (hina kathos elegon) "in order that, as I said;" 1 Peter 3:15.

5) "Ye may be ready," (pareskeuasmenoi hete) "ye were having been prepared," already, with your work completed, 1 Timothy 6:18; Titus 3:1.

Verse 4

1) "Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me," (me pos ean elthosin sun emoi Makedones) "Lest, incidentally, if some of the Macedonians come with me."

2) "And find you unprepared " (kai heurosin humas aparaskeuastous) "and find you all unprepared," after a year of good intentions and talking, Ecclesiastes 5:4-5; Luke 12:47; 2 Timothy 2:21.

3) "We should be ashamed," (kataischunthomen hemeis) "we should be blushing or ashamed," put to shame or humiliated in misplaced confidence, for we expect generosity and gratitude to be expressed in your giving.

4) ("That we say not ye"), (hina me legomen humeis) "in order that we say not you all," will be blushing or ashamed; Paul wrote delicately as if a failure on the part of the Corinthians would be his fault.

5) "In this same confident boasting " (en te hupostasei taute) "in this confidence," which we have held and do hold in you all; Paul appealed to the highest and noblest ideals in the Corinthians. He appealed to their unselfish feelings of gratitude and generosity, a noble basis of motivation to higher things. For if one have not gratitude and generosity this is still the most effective manner of producing it in believers, Proverbs 25:11.

Verse 5

1) "Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren," (anagkaion oun egesamen parakalesai tous adelphous) "Therefore I considered it necessary to beseech or entreat the brethren," to motivate Titus and the two unnamed brethren who were going before Paul to Corinth, as messengers of the churches, 2 Corinthians 8:22-24.

2) "That they would go before unto you," (hina proelthosin eis humas) "In order that they might go forward to you all;" that in the mouth of two or three witnesses for Christ, every word might be established, Acts 1:8; John 8:16-18; Deuteronomy 17:6; Deuteronomy 19:15; 2 Corinthians 13:1.

3) "And make up beforehand," (kai prokatartisosin) "and arrange (or set in order) beforehand;" by reason of their influence, prayers, and encouragement, Galatians 6:2.

4) "Your bounty," (ten proepengelmene eulogian humon) "The bounty (grace gift) which you all had promised: (not as an extortion), 2 Corinthians 3:9, as "laborers together with God," John 4:36-38.

5) "Whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty," (tauten hetoimen einai houtos hos eulogian) "of which you all had a reminder that the bounty might be ready," with deliberate time to arrange for the gift to be made of good will;" out of love, 1 John 3:17.

6) "And not as of covetousness," (kai me hos pleionezian) "and not as of greediness," or a desire to hold back, with covetousness, 2 Corinthians 9:7; John 7:17; not as Annanias and Sapphira did, Acts 5:1-11. Covetousness reveals itself in reluctant giving, as well as in withholding charity altogether, Ephesians 5:3.

Verse 6


(Liberality Is Blessed Of God)

1) "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly," (touto de ho speiron pheidomenos) "This thing I assert (that) the one sowing sparingly," as an habit pattern; and I am not pressuring you to give, 2 Corinthians 9:1; yet, remember what I wrote, 1 Corinthians 16:1-4. There is loss in giving sparingly to the needy poor, Proverbs 19:17; Proverbs 22:9.

2) "Shall also reap sparingly," (phedomenos kai therisei) "Shall also reap sparingly," as a result of his habit pattern of sparse sowing; Proverbs 11:24-26; The unfaithful in little matters would be also in the much, therefore untrustworthy, Luke 16:10-11.

3) "And he that soweth bountifully," (kai ho speiron ep’ eulogiais) "and the one continually sowing for blessings, bountifully." Luke 6:38. Charity and honesty sown to ones fellowman reaps for one the trust and trusteeship of multiplied increase.

4) "Shall reap also bountifully," (ep’ eulogiais kai therisei) "Shall also reap for blessings," the heaped up bounties of his liberal or bountiful sowing. This extends to the spiritual realm as well as the physical, Ecclesiastes 11:1-2; Ecclesiastes 11:6.

God gives prosperity to those who obey him in word and deed, even in giving to the poor, alms giving, and benevolence, Genesis 24:21; Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:3; Isaiah 48:15; 1 Corinthians 16:2.

Verse 7

1) "Every man according as he purposeth in his ,heart," (hekastos kathos proeretai te kardia) "each one just as he chose in his heart," as he sowed. "So let him give," is not in the best older manuscripts. God does not require one to give above his ability or prosper him for withholding from the poor or the church because he is not wealthy, 2 Corinthians 8:2.

2) "So let him give; not grudgingly," (me ek lupes) "not out of grief (to the flesh)," selfishly or begrudging the gift, covetously, as if being pained to part with the gift, Deuteronomy 15:7-8; Deuteronomy 15:10; Psalms 41:1. Prosperity is pledged to the benevolent.

3) "Or of necessity," (e eks anagkes) "or of necessity;" need or necessity should never be the motive for giving to any work of God. All giving should have Divine love and obedience as its primary motive, John 3:16; John 20:21.

4) "For God loveth a cheerful giver " (hilaron gar doten agapa ho theos) "For God loves an hilarious giver," one who gives with joyful hilarity, not a worldly grudge or in a covetous, selfish, begrudging manner, just to avoid being considered a leech or "tightwad;" Galatians 6:6-9; Freely we have received of his grace and as freely, liberally, we are charged to give to worthy, needy causes that obey and honor our Lord, Exodus 25:2; Exodus 35:5; Proverbs 11:25; Romans 12:8; Matthew 10:8.

Verse 8

1) "And God is able," (dunatei de ho theos) "and God is able," dynamic; 1) able to build up, Acts 20:32; Acts 2) to destroy soul and body, Matthew 10:28; Matthew 3) to do exceeding, Ephesians 3:20; Ephesians 4) to keep, 1 Timothy 1:12; Judges 1:24; Judges 1:5) to help, Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 6) to save to uttermost, Hebrews 7:25.

2) "To make all grace abound toward you;" (pasan charin perisseusai eis humas) "to cause all (kind of) grace to abound toward you all," every gift (temporal and spiritual) to abound toward you, 2 Corinthians 12:9; Luke 6:38. Grace shared multiplies and is returned to the giver, Romans 5:17; Romans 5:20.

3) "That ye always having all sufficiency in all things

(hina en panti pantote pasan autarkeian echontes) "In order that in everything, always having or holding all sufficiency," in every need, to meet every need, of worldly goods and gifts, Philippians 4:19; Proverbs 28:27.

4) "May abound to every good work," (perissuete eis pan ergon agathon) "You all may abound (go on) to every good work," as long as you live. God energizes both the seed sown and the bountiful sower, more and more, from the rising sun of youth to evening Sun of old age. The seed obediently and lovingly and bountifully sown shall surely be bountifully blessed; 1 Peter 4:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

Verse 9

1) "As it is written," (kathos gegraptai) "just as it has been written," giving credence to the old Testament’s validity, trust-worthiness, and accuracy, Psalms 119:160; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

2) "He hath dispersed abroad," (eskopisen) "He scattered;" the nations, people, and food for them, abroad, Psalms 112:9.

3) "He hath given to the poor," (edoken tois penesin) "He gave to the poor;" even under provisions of the law. The poor were given the grain and food of voluntary growth in all fields of Israel every seventh year, by the Lord’s decree, Exodus 23:10-11; Leviticus 19:9-10.

4) "His righteousness remaineth forever," (he dikaiosune autou menei eis ton aiona) "His righteousness remains into the age, eternity," as he provides for the livelihood of all his creatures, through obedience of his creatures to the laws or commands of their Creator, causing "the rain to fall and the sun to shine upon the just and the unjust," and all men "to live and move and have their being in him," Matthew 5:45; Acts 17:28; Acts 17:31.

Verse 10

1) "Now he that provideth seed to the sower " (ho de epichoregon sperma to speironti) "now he who provides seed for the sower;" through his grace-gift of sunshine and rain, Isaiah 55:10-11.

2) "Both minister bread for your food," (kai arton eis brosin choregesei) "will supply or provide both bread for food," for you all - you will not be impoverished by giving to the cause of God, Matthew 6:33.

3) "And multiply your seed sown," (kai plethunei ton sporon humon) "and will multiply your seed that you have sown;" It will return to the sower, after many days, of blessings to others and to God, Ecclesiastes 11:1; Luke 6:38; Galatians 6:6-8.

4) "And increase the fruits of your righteousness," (kai auksesei ta genemata tes dikaiosunes humon) "and he will increase the fruits of your righteousness," of your righteous deeds, done through his gifts to you, James 1:17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:10.

Verse 11

1 ) "Being enriched in everything," (en panti ploutizomenoi) "Being enriched in every (kind of) thing, or every matter, Philippians 4:18-19; 1 Corinthians 4:8.

2) "To all bountifulness," (eis pasan haploteta) "to all liberality;" or in order to all liberality, Matthew 6:31-33. That we may be able to help others, the needy, as surely as have our own needs met.

3) "Which causeth through us," (hetis katergazetai di’ hemon) "Which works out through us," and causes in the hearts of others, because of our gifts, 2 Corinthians 1:11; 2 Corinthians 4:15.

4) "Thanksgiving to God," (eucharistian to theo) "Thanksgiving to or toward God," the author of all good, every good and perfect gift, James 1:17; Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 2:7; 1 Timothy 4:3-4.

Verse 12

1) "For the administration of this service," (hoti he diakonia tes Ieitourgias tautes) "Because the administration of this service," this service of God, this contribution of alms charity, Romans 15:27.

2) "Not only supplieth," (ou monon estin prosanaplerousa) "Is not only making up," filling up, or coming up to the need of the poor saints, Ephesians 4:16.

3) "The want of the saints," (ta husteremata ton hagion) "The things lacking (needs) of the saints," in Jerusalem, 2 Corinthians 8:14. It relieves them of temporal stress.

4) "But is abundant also," (alla kai perisseuousa) "but is also abounding," or causing gratitude to those receiving the help.

5) "By many thanksgivings unto God," (dia pollon eucharistion to theo) "Through many thanksgivings toward God," 2 Corinthians 1:11; 2 Corinthians 4:15. The greatest good that comes from charity is the praise it brings to God.

Verse 13

1) "Whiles by the experiment," (dia tes dokimes) "Through the proof," adequacy, of the offerings they received and sent to those Judean brethren.

2) "Of this ministration," (tes diakonias tautes) "of this ministration;" they proved they were Christians indeed, John 13:34-35; Galatians 6:2.

3) "They glorify God," (doksazontes ton theon) "They are continually glorifying God;" because of the good work of alms and charity they saw in and received from the Corinth brethren, Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12.

4) "For your professed submission," (epi te hupotage tes homologias humon) "on the submission of your confession," In letting their light shine, their influence be seen for good, before others, Matthew 5:15; Acts 1:8.

5) "Unto the gospel of Christ," (eis to euangellion tou Christou) "to the gospel of Christ," with reference to the gospel, good news of Christ, who loved and went about doing good, Acts 10:38.

6) "And for your liberal distribution unto them," (kai haploteti tes koinonias eis autous) "and on the liberality of the (common sharing) fellowship toward them," to meet their every need, as they served God, Matthew 6:33.

7) "And unto all men," (kai eis pantas) "and to or toward all men," who learn of your liberality, Matthew 5:16. It appears that the rich Corinth church had also been liberal to others with free-will gifts, Deuteronomy 12:17; Amos 4:5.

Verse 14

1) "And by their prayer for you," (kai auton deesei huper humon) "and by their prayer on behalf of you all;" the Rich (Corinth) brethren shall be blessed in answer to the prayers of the poor, James 5:16, For their deeds of piety were acknowledged in prayers of thanksgiving for them, Philippians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 4:15.

2) "Which long after you," (epipothounton humas) "who long after you all," in love and admiration of a congregation (church) far away on another continent, that like their Lord loved enough to "go about doing good," giving to others, Acts 10:38; Acts 20:35.

3) "For the exceeding grace of God in you," (dia ten (huperballousan charin tou theou eph’ humin) "on account of the excelling grace of God upon you all," grace that reached across the sea to help the hungry and needy brethren far away; no wonder they were prosperous, Matthew 6:33; Luke 6:38; John 13:34-35; 1 John 3:17.

Verse 15

1) "Thanks be unto God," (charis to theo) "Thanks to God;” Let thanks be or exist (continually) to or toward God," Daniel 6:10; Luke 2:38; Ephesians 5:20; Psalms 92:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

2) "For his unspeakable gift," (epi to anekdiegeto autou dorea) "For the indescribable gift of him," or his indescribable gift, John 3:16; Romans 6:23. The gift of "eternal life," through his Son! Who can describe it? This is a burst of doxology praise, to which Paul was often given upon consideration of salvation and eternity, Romans 11:33; Ephesians 3:20. What fruit faith in Jesus Christ had borne in the lives of true believers who had the light of life in them, and like Paul had obeyed the Lord in letting it shine in the midst of religious and irreligious heathenism, John 8:12; Matthew 5:15-16.


Over the triple doorway of Cathedral of Milan there are three inscriptions spanning the splendid arches. Over one is carved a beautiful wreath of roses, and underneath is the legend,

1) "All that pleases is but for a moment." Over the others is sculptured a cross, and these are the words beneath:

2) "All that troubles is but for a moment." But underneath the great central entrance in the main aisle is the inscription,

3) "That only is important which is eternal."



Eternity is infinite duration; duration discharged from all limits, without beginning, without succession, and without end. The schoolmen phrase it "punctum stans," "and ever-abiding present," We however, can positively conceive of eternity only as duration indefinitely extended from the present moment in two directions, - as to the past, and as to the future. These are improperly expressed as eternity a parte ante, or past; and eternity a parte post, or future.

-A.A. Hodge

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/2-corinthians-9.html. 1985.
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