Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 9

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New TestamentMeyer's Commentary

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2 Corinthians 9:2 . ἐξ ὑμῶν ] B C א , min. Ambrosiast. Pelag. and several vss. have only ὑμῶν . So also Lachm. and Rück. But ἐξ was not understood and was found superfluous. Why should it be added? 2 Corinthians 9:4 . After ταύτῃ Elz. has τῆς καυχήσεως , in opposition to B C D* F G א * min. and several vss. and Fathers. An addition by way of gloss from 2 Corinthians 11:17 . 2 Corinthians 9:5 . The readings πρὸς ὑμᾶς and προεπηγγελμένην (Lachm. Rück.; Tisch. has adopted only the latter) have preponderant, and the latter through the accession of C א decisive, attestation; προεπηγγ . is also to be preferred on this account, that προκατηγγ . might very easily arise through alliteration after the previous προκαταρτισ . Reiche has unsatisfactorily defended the Recepta εἰς (which crept in easily from 2 Corinthians 8:6 ) and προκατηγγ . 2 Corinthians 9:7 . προαιρεῖται ] Lachm. Rück. read προῄρηται , following B C F G א 31, Chrys. ms. Cypr. Aug. Pel. and several vss. But the sense: prout destinavit, presented itself to the not further reflecting copyists as so natural, that with the similarity of the two forms the present might drop out far more easily than come in. 2 Corinthians 9:8 . δυνατός ] Lach. and Rück. read δυνατεῖ . It has, indeed, the attestation of B C* D* F G (?) א ; but if δυνατεῖ were the original reading, the gloss would not have been δυνατός simply, but δυνατός ἐστι , as in Romans 14:4 , or δύναται . 2 Corinthians 9:10 . σπέρμα ] B D* F G 80, have σπόρον . So Lachm. and Rück. Occasioned by the thought of the σπόρον followin.

χορηγήσει … πληθυνεῖ … αὐξήσει ] Elz. has χορηγήσαι … πληθύναι … αὐξήσαι , in opposition to B C E* F G א , min. Syr. Arr. Copt. Aeth. Arm. Vulg. It. Cyr. Cypr. Ambrosiast. Aug. The future was wrongly taken in the sense of wish, and accordingly, aided perhaps by the recollection of such passages as 1 Thessalonians 3:11-12 , 2 Thessalonians 2:17 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:5 , was changed into the optative. [285] So also in Romans 16:20 , instead of συντρίψει , συντρίψαι crept into A, vss. and Fathers. 2 Corinthians 9:15 . δέ after χάρις is, with Lachm. and Tisch., to be deleted on preponderating evidence.

[285] For that these forms are not infinitives , is abundantly shown in Fritzsche, Diss . II. p. 82 ff.


By a delicate turn in 2 Corinthians 9:1-2 , Paul begins once more from the work of collection, and impresses on his readers: (1) that they should make ready the bounty soon , before his arrival, 2 Corinthians 9:3-5 ; further, (2) that they should give amply , 2 Corinthians 9:5-6 ; and (3) that they should give with all willingness , 2 Corinthians 9:7 ; whereupon (4) he points them to the blessing of God, 2 Corinthians 9:8-11 , and, finally, brings into prominence the religious consequence of the thanksgivings towards God , which their beneficence will call forth, 2 Corinthians 9:12-14 . An utterance of thanks to God forms the conclusion, 2 Corinthians 9:15 .

Verse 1

2 Corinthians 9:1 . Since the γάρ connects the verse with what precedes, not only does the opinion of Semler, that chap. 9 contains a separate Epistle, fall to the ground, but also the hypothesis, that Paul writes as if he were beginning a new topic, on the basis of which, e.g. Emmerling (comp. Neander) thinks that between the composition of chap. 8 and that of chap. 9 a considerable time had elapsed. Against this may be urged also the fact that in new sections he does not begin with περὶ μέν , but with περὶ δέ (1 Corinthians 7:1 ; 1 Corinthians 8:1 ; 1 Corinthians 12:1 ; 1 Corinthians 16:1 ). Estius is right in saying that the apostle specifies with γάρ the reason why he, in what goes before (2 Corinthians 8:24 ), had exhorted them not to collecting, but to affectionate receiving of the brethren. Comp. Fritzsche, Dissert. II. p 21: “ Laute excipite fratres, id moneo (2 Corinthians 8:24 ); nam praeter rem ad liberalitatem denuo quidem provocarem ad eam jam propensos homines ,” 2 Corinthians 9:2 . So also Schott, Isag . p. 240; Billroth, Rückert, Olshausen, Osiander; but there is no indication of a contrast with the Gentile-Christian churches (as if the ἅγιοι were the ἐκκλησία κατʼ ἐξοχήν ), although Hofmann imports i.

μέν ] To this the δέ in 2 Corinthians 9:3 corresponds. See on that passage. The counter-remark of de Wette (who, with Osiander and Neander, takes the μέν as solitarium ), that δέ in 2 Corinthians 9:3 makes a contrast with 2 Corinthians 9:2 , does not hold good, since the contrast is quite as suitable to 2 Corinthians 9:1 (though having respect to what is said in 2 Corinthians 9:2 ). Even in classic writers (often in Thucyd.) the clauses corresponding to each other with μέν and δέ are found separated by intervening clauses. See Kühner, II. p. 428.

τῆς διακονίας τῆς εἰς τ . ἁγ .] as in 2 Corinthians 8:4 . Beza is incorrect (see 2 Corinthians 9:2 ) in saying that the bringing over only is meant. The word itself corresponds to the idea of Christian fellowship in love, in which the mutual activity of love is a constant debitum ministerium (Romans 13:8 ; Hebrews 6:10 ; 1 Peter 4:10 ), after the example of Christ (Matthew 20:28 ; Luke 22:26 f.). Comp. Galatians 5:13 .

περισσὸν μοί ἐστι ] i.e. I do not need writing , namely, to effect my objec.

τὸ γράφειν ] with article, because the writing is regarded as actual subject.


Certainly Paul has written of the collection both in chap. 8 and again in what follows; and he meant it so, otherwise he would have ended the section with chap. 8 But he delicately makes a rhetorical turn, so that, in order to spare the readers’ sense of honour, he seems not to take up the subject again, but to speak only of the sending of the brethren ; and he annexes to that what he intends still to insert regarding the matter itself . Σοφῶς δὲ τοῦτο ποιεῖ , ὥστε , μᾶλλον αὐτοὺς ἐπισπάσασθαι , Theophylact and Chrysostom. Probably, when he wrote 2 Corinthians 8:24 , he meant to close the section with it, but perhaps after reading over chap. 8 again was induced to add something, which he did in this polite fashion ( τῇ τοιαύτῃ τῶν λόγων μεθόδῳ Theodoret). Hofmann’s idea that recommendation of the collection itself was superfluous, but that there had been delay in carrying it out , etc. is quite in accordance certainly with 2 Corinthians 9:1-5 , but from 2 Corinthians 9:5 to the end of the chapter there again follow instructions and promises, which belong essentially to the recommendation of the collection itself.

Verse 2

2 Corinthians 9:2 . Τὴν προθυμ . ὑμῶν ] Rückert infers from the whole contents of the two chapters that the inclination is only assumed as still existing, and no longer existed in reality ; but his inference is unjust, and at variance with the apostle’s character. Already, ἀπὸ πέρυσι (2 Corinthians 8:10 ) have the readers begun to collect, and the work of love, in fact, needed only the carrying out, which Paul intends by chap. 8 and 9 to procur.

ἣν ὑπὲρ ὑμ . καυχ . Μακεδ .] of which I make my boast in your favour (in your recommendation) to the Macedonians ; for the Corinthians were made by Paul to favour the collection. On καυχάομαι , with the accusative of the object, comp. 2 Corinthians 7:14 , 2Co 10:8 , 2 Corinthians 11:30 ; LXX. Proverbs 27:1 ; Lucian, Ocyp . 120; Athen. xiv. p. 627 C. On the present Bengel rightly remarks: “Adhuc erat P. in Macedonia.”

ὅτι Ἀχαΐα παρεσκ . ἀπὸ πέρυσι ] so ran the καυχῶμαι : that Achaia has been in readiness (to give pecuniary aid to promote it) since the previous year. Paul says Ἀχαΐα , not ὑμεῖς (comp. 2 Corinthians 9:3 ), because he repeats words actually used by him. These concerned not only Corinth, but the whole Province , in which, however, the Corinthian was the central church. Comp. on 2 Corinthians 1:1 .

καὶ ὁ ἐξ ὑμῶν ζῆλος [286] Κ . Τ . Λ . ] is, by way of attraction, an expression of the thought: your zeal wrought forth from you as stimulating to them . Comp. from the N. T. Matthew 24:17 ; Luke 11:13 . See on Matt. l.c. , and Hermann, ad Viger. p. 893; Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. i. 1. 5.

ΤΟῪς ΠΛΕΊΝΑς ] the majority of the Macedonians, so that only the minority remained uninfluenced.

[286] The form τὸ ζῆλος is found here in B א (Lachm. ed. min.); it has much stronger attestation in Philippians 3:6 . Running counter to the usage of the whole N. T., it must be considered as an error of the copyists, though it really occurs in Clem. Cor. i. 4 (thrice) and 6, and Ignatius, Trall. 4 (Dressel), and hence was doubtless known to the copyists.


Paul might with perfect truth stimulate (1) the Macedonians by the zeal of the Corinthians, because the latter had begun the work earlier than the former, and were already ἀπὸ πέρυσι in readiness; and then (2) the Corinthians, again, by the example of the Macedonians (2 Corinthians 8:1 ff.), since the latter, after having followed the Corinthians in the prosecution of the work, had shown such extraordinary activity as in turn to serve the Corinthians a model and a stimulus to further beneficence. Is it not possible that in the very same affair first A should be held up as a model to B, and then, according to the measure of the success, conversely B to A? Hence Theodoret and many (comp. also Chrysostom) have rightly remarked on the wisdom in the apostle’s conduct; whereas Rückert declares this conduct of his to be unwise (of its morality he prefers to be silent), unjustly taking it for granted that his καυχᾶσθαι regarding the Corinthians was untrue . See 2 Corinthians 7:14 . De Wette also thinks that the apostle is not free from human error here.

That in αὐθαίρετοι , at 2 Corinthians 8:3 , there is no contradiction with 2 Corinthians 9:2 , see on 2 Corinthians 8:3 .

Verse 3

2 Corinthians 9:3 . Connection: Although in regard to the collection I do not need to write to you, and that for the reason stated in 2 Corinthians 9:2 , I have yet not been able to omit the sending of the brethren for this purpose, in order that, etc. Paul by this would direct attention not to the general object of this mission, but to the special one of having all things ready before his arrival . See what follows. On μὲν … δέ , which may often be translated etsi … tamen , comp. Xen. Anab . ii. 3. 10, and Kühner in loc . The same is more strongly expressed by μὲν … ὅμως δέ , Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 76, or μὲν … μέντοι , Viger. p. 536.

τοὺς ἀδελφούς ] Titus and the two others, 2 Corinthians 8:17 ff.

τὸ καύχημα ἡμῶν τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμ .] on account of the following ἐν τῷ μέρει τούτῳ , which first adds the special reference to the general, is not to be understood of the special καυχᾶσθαι described in 2 Corinthians 9:2 , but is to be taken generally: in order that that, of which we boast on your behalf ( καύχημα is here materies gloriandi , and not equivalent to καύχησις ), might not become empty (1 Corinthians 9:15 ), i.e. might not be found without reality in this point , in the matter of the collection, if, namely, on our arrival it should be found that your benevolent activity had come to a standstill or become retrograde. See 2 Corinthians 9:4 . In the addition ἐν τῷ μέρει τούτῳ (comp. 2 Corinthians 3:10 ) there lies an “ acris cum tacita laude exhortatio ” (Estius); for Paul has not a similar anxiety in respect to other sides of the καύχημα (comp. 2 Corinthians 7:4 ). Billroth considers ἐν τ . μέρει τ . as pointing to 2 Corinthians 9:4 , and takes τὸ καύχημα κ . τ . λ . of the special boast in 2 Corinthians 9:2 : “ in this respect, namely, inasmuch as, if Macedonians come with me … we … are put to shame .” Involved, because ἵνα καθὼς … ἦτε lies between; and at variance with the parallel ἐν τῇ ὑποστάσει ταύτῃ of 2 Corinthians 9:4 .

ἵνα καθὼς κ . τ . λ .] forms, with the following μήπως κ . τ . λ ., a positive parallel to the previous negative ἵνα μὴ τὸ καύχημα … τούτῳ . Comp. on ἵνα repeated in parallel clauses, Romans 7:13 ; Galatians 3:14 ; Galatians 4:5 .

Verse 4

2 Corinthians 9:4 . Lest perhaps , etc.; this is to be guarded against by the παρεσκευασμένοι ἦτε .

ἐὰν ἔλθωσι κ . τ . λ .] if there shall have come , etc., namely, as giving escort after the fashion of the ancient church. See Acts 17:14-15 , al. ; 2 Corinthians 1:16 ; 1 Corinthians 16:6 ; Romans 15:24 .

Μακεδόνες ] Macedonians without the articl.

ἀπαρασκευάστους ] not in readiness (often in Xen., as Anab. i. 5. 9); ἀπαράσκευος is more frequent, and the two words are often interchanged in the MSS.; see Bornemann, ad Xen. Anab. 1:1. 6. Here it is equivalent to: so that you are not ready to hand over the money; the expression is purposely chosen in reference to 2 Corinthians 9:2 .

ἡμεῖς ] see 2 Corinthians 9:3 . But because this being put to shame in the case supposed would have involved the Corinthians as its originators, Paul with tender delicacy (not serene pleasantry, as Olshausen thinks), moving the sense of honour of the readers, adds parenthetically: ἵνα μὴ λέγωμεν ὑμεῖς .

ἐν τῇ ὑποστάσει ταύτῃ ] in respect of this confidence , according to which we have maintained that you were in readiness. Comp. 2 Corinthians 11:17 ; Hebrews 3:14 ; Hebrews 11:1 ; LXX. Psalms 39:7 ; Ezekiel 19:5 ; Ruth 1:12 ; and passages in Wetstein; Suicer, Thes . II. p. 1398. So Calvin, Beza, Erasmus Schmid, Calovius, Wolf, Bengel, Rosenmüller, and others, including de Wette, Osiander, Hofmann. But others take it as quite equivalent to ἐν τῷ μέρει τούτῳ , 2 Corinthians 9:3 : in hac materia, in hoc argumento (gloriationis). Comp. Vulgate: in hac substantia . So Chrysostom, Theophylact, Erasmus, Castalio, Estius, Kypke, Munthe, and others, including Schrader, Rückert, Olshausen, Ewald. Linguistically correct, no doubt (Polyb. iv. 2.1; Casaubon, ad Polyb. i. 5. 3, p. 111; Diodorus, i. 3; comp. also Hebrews 1:3 , and Bleek, Heb. Br . II. 1, p. 61 f.), but here a point quite unnecessary to be mentioned. And why should we depart from the meaning: confidence , when this is certain in the usage of the N. T., and here, as at 2 Corinthians 11:17 , is strikingly appropriate? The insertion of ἵνα μὴ λ . ὑμεῖς forms no objection (this in opposition to Rückert), since certainly the putting to shame of the apostle in regard to his confidence would have been laid to the blame of the Corinthians, because they would have frustrated this confidence; hence there is not even ground for referring that insertion merely to καταισχ . exclusive of ἐν τ . ὑποστ . τ . (Hofmann). Lastly, the explanation of Grotius: in hoc fundamento meae jactationis , has likewise, doubtless, some support in linguistic usage (Diodor. i. 66, xiii. 82, al. ; LXX. Psalms 69:2 ; Jeremiah 23:22 , al. ), but falls to the ground, because τῆς καυχ . is not genuine.

Verse 5

2 Corinthians 9:5 . Οὖν ] in pursuance of what was said in 2 Corinthians 9:4 .

ἵνα ] comp. 2 Corinthians 8:6 .

προέλθ .] namely, before my arrival and that of the Macedonians possibly accompanying me. The thrice-repeated προ - is not used by accident, but adds point to the instigation to have everything ready before the apostle’s arriva.

προκατατίσ .] adjusted beforehand, put into complete order beforehand , Hippocr. p. 24, 10. 18.

τὴν προεπηγγελμένην εὐλογίαν ὑμῶν ] your blessing promised beforehand (by me). See 2 Corinthians 9:2-4 . On προεπ ., comp. Romans 1:2 . Erasmus, Estius, Rückert, and some others at variance with the context, take it: the blessing formerly promised by you .

εὐλογία is a characteristically conciliatory ( καὶ τῇ προσηγορίᾳ αὐτοὺς ἐπεσπάσατο , Chrysostom) designation of the collection , inasmuch as it is for the receivers a practical blessing proceeding from the givers ( i.e. πληθυσμὸς ἀγαθῶν ἐξ ἑκουσιότητος διδόμενος , Phavor.). Comp. on εὐλογία in the sense of good deed, LXX. Genesis 33:11 ; Judges 1:5 ; Ezekiel 34:26 ; Sir 39:22 ; Wis 15:19 ; Ephesians 1:3 .

ταύτην ἑτοίμην εἶναι οὕτως ὡς κ . τ . λ .] the intended consequence of προκαταρτ . τ . προεπ . εὐλ . ὑμῶν , so that the infinitive in the sense of ὥστε (Kühner, II. p. 565, ad Xen. Mem. ii. 5. 3) and ταύτην , which attaches itself more emphatically to what has to come than to what goes before (Hofmann), are used anaphorically (Bernhardy, p. 283): that this may be in readiness thus like blessing and not like covetousness , in such manner that it may have the quality of blessing, not of covetousness; in other words, that it may be liberal , which is the character of εὐλογία , and not sparing , as covetousness shows itself in giving. Πλεονεξία does not mean here or anywhere else parsimony (Flatt, Rückert, de Wette, and many others); but Paul conceives of the sparing giver as covetous , in so far as such a man desires himself to have that which he contributes, in order to increase his own , and therefore gives but very scantily . Following Chrysostom (comp. Erasmus, Paraphr. , and Beza), Billroth refers πλεονεξία to Paul and his colleagues: “Your gift is to be a free, and not an extorted, one.” Against this may be urged as well the analogy of ὡς εὐλογίαν , as also 2 Corinthians 9:6 , where the meaning of ὡς πλεονεξ . is represented by φειδομένως ; hence also we must not, with Rückert and others, combine the ideas of willingly and unwillingly (which are not mentioned till 2 Corinthians 9:7 ) with those of giving liberally and sparingly .

On οὕτως after its adjective, see Stallb. ad Plat. Rep. p. 500 A.

Verse 6

2 Corinthians 9:6 . Allusion to the Messianic recompense. Chrysostom aptly remarks: καὶ σπόρον τὸ πρᾶγμα ἐκάλεσεν , ἵνα εὐθέως πρὸς τὴν ἀντίδοσιν ἴδῃς καὶ τὸν ἀμητὸν ἐννοήσας μάθῃς ὅτι πλείονα λαμβάνεις ἢ δίδως .

The δέ is continuative , not restrictive, as Billroth thinks (“but so much know”), since the subsequent ἐπʼ εὐλογίαις proves that in 2 Corinthians 9:6 exactly the same two kinds of giving are expressed as in 2 Corinthians 9:5 .

τοῦτο δέ ] after Chrysostom and the Vulgate, is explained by the expositors supplying a λέγω or ἰστέον . But with what warrant from the context? Beza already made the admission: “quamvis haec ellipsis Graeco sermoni sit inusitata.” Comp. Galatians 3:17 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:17 ; 1 Corinthians 7:29 , al. , where Paul adds the verb of saying. Even the comparison of Philippians 3:14 , where, in fact, to the ἓν δέ its verb is brought from the context, does not settle the question of the asyndetic τοῦτο (in opposition to Hofmann). Τοῦτο might be regarded as the object of σπείρων ; but in that case there would result for τοῦτο an inappropriate emphasis ( this kind of seed), seeing that a σπεῖρειν was not mentioned before, and the figure here comes in as new. Hence τοῦτο may be regarded as accusative absolute (see on 2 Corinthians 6:13 ), taking up again with special weight what was just said, in order to attach to it something further: Now as concerns this , namely, this ὡς εὐλογίαν , κ . μὴ ὡς πλεονεξίαν , it is the case that , etc. Lachmann placed ὁ σπείρων … ἐπʼ εὐλογ . κ . θερίσει in a parenthesis. This would require us to supply faciat after ἕκαστος , or even the more definite det (from δότην in 2 Corinthians 9:7 ). But it would be unsuitable to assign to the important thought of 2 Corinthians 9:6 merely the place of a parenthetic ide.

φειδομένως ] in a sparing way (Plut. Al . 25), so that he scatters only parsimoniously, narrowly, and scantily. But in φειδομένως κ . θερίσει the one who spares and holds back is the giver of the harvest, i.e. apart from figure: Christ the bestower of the Messianic salvation , who gives to the man in question only the corresponding lesser degree of blessedness. Comp. 2 Corinthians 5:10 ; Romans 14:10 ; Galatians 6:7 .

ἐπʼ εὐλογίαις ] denotes the relation occurring in the case (Matthiae, p. 1370 f.; Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p. 315): with blessings , which, namely, he, when sowing, imparts , and in turn receives when reaping, i.e. according to the context, richly . Comp. 2 Corinthians 9:5 . In the reaping Christ is likewise the distributor of blessings, bestowing on him, who has blissfully sowed, the appropriate great reward in Messianic blessedness. On the whole figure, comp. Proverbs 11:24 ; Proverbs 22:8 ; Psalms 112:9 ; Galatians 6:8-9 . The plural strengthens the idea of richness, denoting its manifold kinds and shapes, etc. (Maetzner, ad Lycurg . p. 144 f.). The juxtaposition also serves as strengthening: ἐπʼ εὐλογ ., ἐπʼ εὐλογ . Comp. on 1 Corinthians 6:4 . The fact that the measure of well-doing is conditioned by one’s own means , is guarded already at 2 Corinthians 8:12 . Comp. in general, Matthew 25:20 ff. See Calovius on this passage, in opposition to the misuse of it by Roman Catholics as regards the merit of good works the moral measure of which, however, will, according to the divine saving decree, have as its consequence merely different degrees of the blessedness won for believers through Christ. The very nature of good works, which subjectively are the fruits of faith and objectively the fruits of the divine preparation of grace (Ephesians 2:10 ), excludes the idea of merit. [287]

[287] Comp. Weiss, bibl. Theol . p. 378 f.

Verse 7

2 Corinthians 9:7 . But Paul does not desire them to give richly against their will ; hence the new exhortation: Let every one give freely and willingly!

ἕκαστος καθὼς κ . τ . λ .] as each one purposes it to himself in his heart , namely, let him give , a supplement, which readily flows from the previous ὁ σπείρων ; comp. the subsequent δότην . Let him give according to cordial, free, self-determination . On τῇ καρδ ., comp. τῇ ψυχῇ , Genesis 34:8 . The present is used, because the προαιρεῖσθαι is conceived as only now emerging after the foregoing teaching. [288] In προαιρέομαι (only here in the N. T., but often in the sense of resolving in Greek writers; comp. 2Ma 6:9 ; 3Ma 2:30 ; 3Ma 6:10 ; 4Ma 9:1 ), προ has the notion of the preference , which we give to that on which we resolve, because the simple αἰρεῖσθαι has the sense of sibi eligere , where it likewise expresses a resolve or purpose (Xen. vii. 6. 37; Ages . iii. 4; Soph. Ajax , 443; Isocrates, Panath . 185). Hence μᾶλλον also, though in itself superfluous, may be added to προαιρεῖσθαι (Xen. Mem . ii. 1. 2, iii. 5. 16, iv. 2. 9).

ἐκ λύπης ἢ ἐξ ἀνάγκης ] The opposite of καθὼς προαιρ . τ . καρδ .: out of sadness , namely, at having to lose something by the giving, or out of necessity , because one thinks himself forced by circumstances and cannot do otherwise (comp. Philemon 1:14 ). Ἐκ denotes the subjective state, out of which the action proceeds. To the ἐκ λύπης stands contrasted ἐξ εὐμενῶν στέρνων , Soph. Oed. C. 488; and to the ἐξ ἀνάγκης , the ἐκ θυμοῦ φιλέων , Hom. Il . ix. 486.

ἱλαρὸν γὰρ κ . τ . λ .] Motive for complying with this precept. The emphasis is on ἱλαρόν , whereby the opposite, as the giving ἐκ λύπης and ἐξ ἀνάγκης , is excluded from the love of God. Comp. Romans 12:8 . The saying is from LXX. Proverbs 22:8 , according to the reading: ἀγαπᾶ instead of εὐλογεῖ . It is wanting in our present Hebrew text. Comp. also Sir 14:16 , and the Rabbinical passages in Wetstein; Senec. de benef . ii. 1. 2 : “in beneficio jucundissimo est tribuentis voluntas.” Instead of δότης , δοτήρ or δωτήρ only is found in classical authors; in Hes. Op . 353, δώτης also. See in general, Lobeck, Paralip . p. 428.

[288] The θέλειν , not yet taking definite shape, already existed ἀπὸ πέρυσι ; but the definite determination how much each desires to give, is conceived by Paul as occurring now, after the readers have read ver. 6.

Verse 8

2 Corinthians 9:8 . The δέ is continuative; δυνατός , however, is with, emphasis prefixed, for the course of thought is: God has the power , and (2 Corinthians 9:10 ) He will also do it. The discourse sets out from possibility , and passes over to reality .

πᾶσαν χάριν ] every showing of kindness . This refers to earthly blessing , by which we have the means for beneficence; see the sentence of aim, that follows. Chrysostom correctly says: ἐμπλῆσαι ὑμᾶς τοσούτων ὡς δύνασθαι περιττεύειν ἐν τῇ φιλοτιμίᾳ ταύτῃ . Theodoret and Wolf, at variance with the context, hold that it applies to spiritual blessings; Flatt and Osiander, to blessings of both kinds .

περισσεῦσαι ] transitive: efficere ut largissime redundet in vos . See on 2 Corinthians 4:15 .

ἐν παντὶ πάντοτε πᾶσαν ] in all points at all times all , an energetic accumulation. Comp. on Ephesians 5:20 ; Philippians 1:3-4 .

πᾶσαν αὐτάρκειαν ἔχοντες ] having every , that is, all possible self-sufficing ; for this is the subjective condition , without which we cannot, with all blessing of God, have abundance εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν . Hence Paul brings out so emphatically this necessary subjective requirement for attaining the purpose, which God connects with his objective blessing: in order that you, as being in every case always quite self-contented , etc. Αὐτάρκεια is not the sufficienter habere in the sense of external position, in which no help from others is needed (as it is taken usually; also by Emmerling, Flatt, Rückert, Osiander), but rather (comp. Hofmann also) the subjective frame of mind, in which we feel ourselves so contented with what we ourselves have that we desire nothing from others, the inward self-sufficing , to which stands opposed the προσδεὲς ἄλλων (Plato, Tim . p. 33 D) and ἐπιθυμεῖν τῶν ἀλλοτρίων . Comp. 1 Timothy 6:6 ; Philippians 4:11 , and the passages in Wetstein. It is a moral quality (for which reason Paul could say so earnestly ἐν παντὶ πάντ . πᾶσ ., without saying too much), may subsist amidst very different external circumstances, and is not dependent on these, which, indeed, in its very nature, as τελειότης κτήσεως ἀγαθῶν (Plato, Def . p. 412 B), it cannot be. Comp. Dem. 450. 14; Polyb. vi. 48. 7 : πρὸς πᾶσαν περίστασιν αὐτάρκης .

περισσεύητε εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν ] that you may have abundance (comp. ἐν παντὶ πλουτιζόμενοι , 2 Corinthians 9:11 ) for every good work (work of beneficence; comp. Acts 9:36 , and see Knapp, Opusc ., Exodus 1:0 , p. 486 ff.). If Rückert had not taken αὐτάρκεια in an objective sense at variance with the notion, he would not have refined so much on περισσ ., which he understands as referring to the growth of the Corinthians themselves: “in order that you, having at all times full sufficiency … may become ever more diligent unto every good work .” De Wette also refines on the word, taking the participial clause of that, which in spite of the περισσεῦσαι takes place in the same: “ inasmuch as you have withal for yourselves quite enough ,” which would present a very external and selfish consideration to the reader, and that withal expressed of set purpose so strongly!

Verse 9

2 Corinthians 9:9 connects itself with περισσ . εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθ . This περισσεύειν is to exhibit the fulfilment of the Scripture saying in your case: He scattered, He gave to the poor ; [289] His righteousness remains for e2Co 9: The quotation is Psalms 112:9 (exactly after the LXX.), where the subject is ἀνὴρ ὁ φοβούμενος τὸν κύριον .

ἐσκόρπισεν ] figurative description of the beneficent man, who μετὰ δαψιλείας ἔδωκε , Chrysostom. Comp. Symmachus, Proverbs 11:24 . Bengel well says: “Verbum generosum: spargere , plena manu, sine anxia cogitatione, quorsum singula grana cadant.” But that Paul (not the original) had in his view the image of strewing seed , is already probable from 2 Corinthians 9:6 , and is confirmed by 2 Corinthians 9:10 (in opposition to Hofmann). Regarding the use in late Greek of the originally Ionic word, see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 218.

ἡ δικαιοσύνη ] is not, with Chrysostom, Theophylact, Calvin, Grotius, Estius, Bengel, Rosenmüller, Vater, Emmerling, and others, to be taken as beneficence (Zachariae and Flatt have even: recompense ), which it never means, not even in Matthew 6:1 ; but it always means righteousness , which, however, may, according to the context, as here (comp. Tob 14:11 ), be that which expresses itself by doing good . So also צְדָקָה which on this account is often translated by ἐλεημοσύνη in the LXX. (see Gesen. Thes . III. p. 1151; Buxt. Lex. Talm . p. 1890). The Christian moral righteousness is beneficent through the love which comes from faith. Comp. Romans 12:9 ; Romans 10:13-15 ; Galatians 5:6 .

μένει εἰς τ . αἰῶνα ] is, according to Paul, to be taken quite in the full sense of the words: remains for ever (comp. Diod. i. 56; Lucian, Philops . 17), never ceases, either before the Parousia, when his δικαιοσύνη continues to develope its vital activity, as in general, so specially through beneficent love, or after the Parousia, when, in itself incapable of being lost, it has its eternal subsistence in love that cannot be lost (1 Corinthians 13:8 ; 1 Corinthians 13:13 ). Explanations, such as of a perpetua laus apud homines and gloriosa merces apud Deum (Estius, comp. Chrysostom, Grotius, Emmerling, and others), or that it applies merely to the earthly lifetime of the beneficent one (Beza), are at variance with the words, which affirm the ΜΈΝΕΙΝ of the ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣΎΝΗ itself; and in the N. T. ΜΈΝΕΙΝ ΕἸς ΤῸΝ ΑἸῶΝΑ is always to be taken in the definite sense of eternal abiding. See John 8:35 ; John 12:34 ; Hebrews 7:24 ; 1 Peter 1:25 ; 1 John 2:17 . Comp. μένειν εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνοιν , John 6:27 . Hence de Wette also takes it too indefinitely: “that the beneficence itself, or the means for it, has enduring subsistence .” Chrysostom and Theodoret have, moreover, inverting the matter, found the beneficence here, which Chrysostom compares to a fire consuming sins, to be the cause of the justification. It is its consequence and effect , Galatians 5:6 ; Galatians 5:22 , Colossians 3:12 ff., al. , as is the Christian righteousness of life itself, Romans 6:0 ; Romans 8:4 ff.

[289] Regarding the notion of πένης , which does not occur elsewhere in the N. T. ( ὁ ἐκ πόνου καὶ ἐνεργείας τὸ ζῆν ἔχων , Etym. M .), and its distinction from πτωχός , which among the Greeks expresses the notion of mendicant poverty, see Arist. Plut . 552 f.; Stallb. ad Plat. Apol . p. 23 C. Regarding αὖος , egenus, esuriens , see Jacobs, ad Anthol . IX. p. 431, XII. p. 465.

Verse 10

2 Corinthians 9:10 . The progress of the discourse is this: able is God, etc., 2 Corinthians 9:8 ; but He who gives seed, etc., will also do it . The description of God introduced by δέ contains the ground of this promise, which rests on a syllogism a minori ad majus .

Who supplies, seed to the sower and bread for eating , is a reminiscence of Isaiah 55:10 , which is very suitable to the figure prominent in the context (2 Corinthians 9:6 ; 2 Corinthians 9:9 ). On βρῶσις , actus edendi , differing from βρῶμα , cibus , see on Romans 14:17 ; 1 Corinthians 8:4 ; Colossians 2:16 .

Chrysostom, Castalio, Beza, and others, including Hofmann, rightly connect χορηγήσει with what follows. Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Estius, Elzevir, and others, including Ewald and Neander, think that καὶ ἄρτον εἰς βρῶσιν χορηγ . should go together. This would be at variance with Isaiah 55:10 , and would destroy the symmetrical relation of the two parts of the vers.

χορηγήσει [290] κ . πληθυνεῖ τὸν σπόρον ὑμῶν ] i.e. dropping the figure: will give and increase the means, with which you distribute benefits . What is given away benevolently by the readers, is the seed which they scatter ( ὁ σπόρος αὐτῶν ); hence Rückert’s idea is arbitrary and unnecessary, that here two clauses, χορηγήσει ὑμῖν σπόρον and πληθυνεῖ τὸν σπόρον ὑμῶν , are blended into one. Rückert also inappropriately thinks that Paul is not speaking at all of the present, but wholly of the future , of the blessed consequences of their beneficence now asked, and that ὁ σπόρος , therefore, does not denote what they were now to give away, but what God will further bestow on them . At variance with the entire course of the passage (see on 2 Corinthians 9:8 ff.); and the very διʼ ἡμῶν in 2 Corinthians 9:11 ought to have prevented the excluding of the present time. Paul intends by χορηγήσει … ὑμῶν the means for the present work of collection, and only with καὶ αὐξήσει does he promise the blessing thence arising for the future. This κ . αὐξ . τὰ γεννημάτα τῆς δικ . ὑμ . corresponds to the preceding καὶ ἄρτον εἰς βρῶσιν : and will make the fruits of your righteousness grow (see on 2 Corinthians 9:9 ), i.e. and will cause that the blessing, which proceeds from your δικαιοσύνη ( what blessing that is, see 2 Corinthians 9:11 ) may become always larger. Paul abides by the figure. Just as God causes ἄρτον εἰς βρῶσιν to grow from the natural seed, so from the σπόρος , which the beneficent scatters through his gifts of love, He likewise causes fruits (blessings) to grow; but because this σπόρος had been sown by the beneficent man in virtue of his Christian righteousness , the fruits produced are the γεννήματα τῆς δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ , just as the bread-fruits, which the husbandman obtains from his σπόρος , are the γεννήματα of his diligence. Hence Theodoret rightly remarks: σπόρον μέντοι πάλιν τὴν εὐποΐαν ἐκάλεσε · γεννήματα δὲ δικαιοσύνης τὴν ἐκ ταύτης βλαστάσασαν ὠφέλειαν .

γέννημα , in the sense of vegetable fruit , according to late Greek; not to be written γένημα . Comp. on Matthew 26:29 . On the figurative expression γεννήμ . τ . δικαιοσ ., comp. Hosea 10:12 .

[290] ἐπιχορηγ . and χορηγ . are distinguished simply like the German darreichen and reichen, dargeben and geben [ give forth and give ].

Verse 11

2 Corinthians 9:11 . The manner in which they will experience in themselves the αὐξήσει τὰ γεννήματα τ . δικαιοσύνης ὑμῶν just promised.

The participle is neither to be supplemented by ἐστέ or ἔσεσθε (Grotius, Rosenmüller, Flatt), nor to be attached to 2 Corinthians 9:8 , so that 2 Corinthians 9:9-10 would be a parenthesis (Valla, Cornelius a Lapide, Knatchbull, Homberg, Wolf, Bengel, Schulz), which is forbidden by the portion of the discourse beginning afresh at 2 Corinthians 9:10 ; but it is anacoluthic , namely, in such a way that it is attached to the mentally supplied logical subject of what is promised in 2 Corinthians 9:10 ( ὑμεῖς ), and indeed of this whole promise, not merely of the portion of it contained in πληθυνεῖ τ . σπόρον ὑμῶν (Hofmann): inasmuch as you become enriched . Comp. on 2 Corinthians 1:7 . The becoming rich in everything is, according to the connection (see 2 Corinthians 9:10 ), an earthly enrichment, not, however, in and for itself, but with the telic ethical reference: εἰς πᾶσαν ἁπλότητα , whereby Rückert’s objection disappears, that it would be unsuitable for the apostle to promise to his readers riches. Rückert understands it of a spiritual enrichment (2 Corinthians 8:7 ), and therefore attaches πλουτιζ . only to τῆς δικαιοσύνης ὑμῶν . This is as arbitrary as Hofmann’s interpretation of an internal enrichment, which makes the sowing abundant , so that they with small means are able to give more liberally than otherwise with large, if their growth on all sides in the Christian life ultimately issues in an increase of entire simplicity and self-devotion . Without arbitrary restriction and separation, ἐν παντὶ πλουτ . εἰς πᾶσ . ἁπλ . can only be a modal definition of the whole promise χορηγήσει on to δικαιοσ . ὑμῶν .

εἰς πᾶσαν ἁπλότ .] ἁπλότης does not mean even here (comp. on 2 Corinthians 8:2 ) bountifulness , but singleness, simplicity of heart ; and εἰς expresses not the consequence of ἐν π . πλουτιζ ., but the aim: for every simplicity, i.e. in order to bring it into exercise, to give it satisfaction (through the corresponding exercise of beneficence). The emphasis rests, as formerly on ἐν παντί , so here on πᾶσαν , whereby attention is directed to the present work of collection and every one that might be set on foot in future by Paul ( ἥτις κατεργ . διʼ ἡμῶν κ . τ . λ .).

ἥτις κατεργάζεται κ . τ . λ .] quippe quae , etc. With this the discourse makes the transition to set forth the religious side of this blessing of the collecting work, 2 Corinthians 9:12 ff.

διʼ ἡμῶν ] through our means , in so far as the work of the ἁπλότης , the collection, διακονεῖται ὑφʼ ἡμῶν , 2 Corinthians 8:19-20 , and the apostle, for himself and his companions, feels so much that is elevating in this service of love, that he cannot let pass unmentioned.

The thanksgivers are the receivers of the gifts of the ἑπλότης . The paraphrase of Grotius: “quae causa est, cur nos gratias Deo agamus ,” is incorrect (on account of διά , and of 2 Corinthians 9:12-13 ).

τῷ θεῷ ] might belong to κατεργάζεται , but is better, because in uniformity with 2 Corinthians 9:12 , joined to εὐχαριστίαν as an appropriating dative (Bernhardy, p. 88), which is quite warranted in keeping with the construction εὐχαριστεῖν τινι (comp. Stallb. ad Plat. Euthyphr . p. 13 D, Apol. S. p. 30 A).

Verse 12

2 Corinthians 9:12 . Confirmation of what was just said ἥτις κατεργάζεται κ . τ . λ . by the particular circumstances of the present collection. [291]

ἡ διακονία τῆς λειτουργ . ταύτης ] i.e. the service, which you render by this λειτουργία . And the work of collection is called λειτουργία , in so far as it was to be regarded, according to its destined consecration to God, as a priestly bringing of offering (going to the benefit of the receivers). Comp. on Philippians 2:17 ; Philippians 2:25 ; Romans 13:6 ; Romans 15:16 . Most others take ἡ διακονία of the service of the apostle , who took charge of the collection ( τὴν λειτουργίαν ταύτην ). But this is at variance with 2 Corinthians 9:13 , where τῆς διακονίας ταύτης is manifestly equivalent to τῆς διακονίας τῆς λειτ . ταύτ ., and must be understood of the service rendered by the contributors . Hence the activity of those conveying it is not even to be understood as included here (Hofmann).

οὐ μόνον κ . τ . λ .] The emphasis lies on προσαναπληρ . and περισσ ., in which case the expression with ἐστι denotes how the διακονία is as regards its efficacy , not simply what it effects (this would be the simple present of the verb). The service, etc., has not only the supplementing quality, in that it makes up for what the saints lack, but also an abounding , exceedingly blissful quality, in that it calls forth many thanksgivings towards God. Others, like Piscator and Flatt, connect περισσεύουσα τῷ θεῷ : “it contributes much to glorify God;” comp. Hofmann: “it makes for God a rich produce.” Against linguistic usage, since περισσεύει μοί τι means: I have abundance or superfluity in something (Thuc. ii. 65. 9; Dion. Hal. iii. 11; Tob 4:16 ; John 6:13 ; Luke 9:17 ; comp. Luke 12:15 ; Mark 12:44 ). There must have been used εἰς θεόν or εἰς τὴν δόξαν τοῦ θεοῦ (Romans 5:15 ; 2 Corinthians 4:15 ).

On προσαναπληρόω , to fill by adding to , comp. 2 Corinthians 11:9 ; Plat. Men. p. 84 D; Diod. v. 71; Athen. 14, p. 654 D; Wis 19:4 .

[291] Nowhere has Paul expressed with so deep fervour and so much fulness as here the blissful influence, which his collecting among the Greeks for the Jews was to have on the quickening of the religious fellowship between them.

Verse 13

2 Corinthians 9:13 is not to be placed in a parenthesis; see on 2 Corinthians 9:14 . The participle is again anacoluthic (comp. on 2 Corinthians 9:11 ). As if he had said before: by the fact that many give thanks to God , Paul now continues: inasmuch as they, induced by the tried character of this service, praise God on account of the submission , etc. [292] Hofmann considers 2 Corinthians 9:13 as co-ordinated with 2 Corinthians 9:11 , so that the ΔΟΞΆΖΟΝΤΕς Τ . Θ would be the subjects themselves performing the service, who by this service prove themselves to be Christians. If so, (1) we should have to leap over 2 Corinthians 9:12 as a merely relative appendage of 2 Corinthians 9:11 , and to eliminate it from the continuity of the chain of thought; but it does not lend itself to be so dealt with either in virtue of the position assigned to it by ὍΤΙ , or in virtue of the important contents of its two clauses; (2) we should have to shut our eyes to the fact, that ΔΟΞΆΖΟΝΤΕς Τ . Θ is obviously correlative to the previous ΔΙᾺ ΠΟΛΛ . ΕὐΧΑΡΙΣΤΙῶΝ Τῷ ΘΕῷ ; finally, we should have to make the participial clause afterwards begin, in a very involved fashion, with ἘΠῚ Τῇ ὙΠΟΤΑΓῇ Κ . Τ . Λ . , in spite of the fact that this ἘΠΊ could not but at once present itself to, and obtrude itself upon, every reader, as the specification of the ground of the ΔΟΞΆΖΟΝΤΕς Τ . ΘΕΌΝ (comp. 2 Corinthians 9:15 ; Luke 2:20 ; Acts 4:21 ; Sir 3:2 ).

The ΔΟΚΙΜῊ Τῆς ΔΙΑΚΟΝ . Τ . is the indoles spectata (see on 2 Corinthians 8:2 ) of this work of giving, according to which it has shown itself such as might have been expected in keeping with the Christian standard (especially of love). So Theophylact: διὰ τῆς δοκίμου ταύτης καὶ μεμαρτυρημένης ἐπὶ φιλανθρωπίᾳ διακονίας . Others take the relation of the genitive as: the attestedness, in which this bounty has exhibited you . So Calvin (“erat enim specimen idoneum probandae Corinthiorum caritatis, quod erga fratres procul remotos tam liberales erant”), Estius, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Rückert, Olshausen, de Wette, Ewald, Osiander; comp. also Hofman, who takes τῆς διακονίας as epexegetical genitive. But it is only in what follows that the ground of the praise is introduced as subsisting in the Corinthians , and that by a different preposition ( ἐπί ), and, besides, it is most natural to understand Τῆς ΔΙΑΚΟΝΊΑς Τ . of that which is attested , so that the attested character of the collecting work appears as the occasion ( διά , see Winer, p. 357 [E. T. 476]; Bernhardy, p. 235) of God’s being praised on account of the obedience of the Corinthians, etc. Observe, withal, how the actual occasion which primarily brings about the δοξάζειν τ . θ … ( ΔΙΆ ), and the deeper ground of this δοξάζειν ( ἘΠΊ ), are distinguished. We may add that Rückert arbitrarily finds here an evidence that Paul in the collection had it as his aim to break down the repugnance of the Jewish-Christians towards the Gentile-Christians by this proof of the latter’s love. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 16:1 . The work of collection may have furthered this reconciliation, but this was not its aim .

ἐπὶ τῇ ὑποταγῇ … πάντας ] contains two reasons for their praising God. The first refers to the gospel of Christ (concerning Christ, 2 Corinthians 2:12 ): on account of the compliance with your confession (because you are so obedient in fact to your Christian confession of faith), they praise God in reference to the gospel of Christ , which, in fact, produces such compliance of its confessors. The second reason refers to the persons, namely, to them, the receivers themselves, and all Christians in general: and on account of the simplicity of the fellowship (because you held the Christian fellowship in such a sincere and pure manner) they praise God in reference to themselves and to all , as those whom this ἁπλότης τ . κοινωνίας goes to benefit. Paul rightly adds Κ . ΕἸς ΠΆΝΤΑς ; for by the beneficence towards the Jews the Corinthians showed, in point of fact, that they excluded no Christians from the sincere fellowship of love. The expositors connect εἰς το εὐαγγ . τ . Χ . either with Τῆς ὉΜΟΛΟΓ . ὙΜῶΝ , so that ὉΜΟΛΟΓ . ΕἸς is said, like ΠΊΣΤΙς ΕἸς (Erasmus Schmid, Wolf, Flatt, Rückert, Ewald, Osiander, and others, including Billroth), or with Τῇ ὙΠΟΤΑΓῇ (Chrysostom, Erasmus, Calvin, Beza, Grotius, and many others), and then ΕἸς ΑὐΤΟῪς Κ . ΕἸς ΠΆΝΤΑς with Τῆς ΚΟΙΝΩΝΊΑς . [293] But this view would require the connecting link of the article both before εἰς τὸ εὐαγγ . and also before ΕἸς ΑὐΤΟΎς , since neither ὙΠΟΤΆΣΣΕΣΘΑΙ nor ὉΜΟΛΟΓΕῖΝ nor ΚΟΙΝΩΝΕῖΝ is construed with ΕἸς , the last not even in Philippians 1:5 (in opposition to de Wette). The suggestion to which Hofmann has recourse, that the twice used ΕἸς expresses the direction in which both the ὑποταγὴ τῆς ὁμολογίας and the ἉΠΛΌΤΗς Τῆς ΚΟΙΝΩΝΊΑς take place, has against it the non-insertion of the connecting article, which only may be rightly omitted when ΕἸς in both cases belongs to the verb ( ΔΟΞΆΖΟΝΤΕς Τ . Θ . ). [294] Rückert’s appeal to the inexactness of the language in this chapter is unfounded and the more to be rejected, that no fault can be found with the meaning by no means tame (Osiander), but rich in significant reference which arises from the strictly grammatical construction. Observe especially the quite Pauline way of exhausting, by different prepositions, the different characteristic aspects of the subject-matter (here the ΔΟΞΆΖΕΙΝ ΤῸΝ ΘΕΌΝ ), which he does according to the categories of the occasion ( ΔΙΆ ), the ground ( ἘΠΊ ), and the point of reference ( ΕἸς : with a view to). Comp. 2 Corinthians 1:11 , Romans 3:25 , and many other passages.

On ὉΜΟΛΟΓΊΑ , [295] confession , comp. 1 Timothy 6:12-13 ; Hebrews 3:1 ; Hebrews 4:14 ; Hebrews 10:23 ; Hebrews 3:0 Esr. 2 Corinthians 9:8 ; not so in the Greek writers. The explanation consensus (Erasmus: “quod intelligant vos tanto consensu obedire monitis evangelicis,” comp. Castalio, Vatablus, and Calvin) accords, no doubt, with the classical usage, but is at once set aside by the fact that the passage must have run: ἐπὶ τῇ ὁμολογίᾳ τῆς ὑποταγῆς .

[292] Luther and Beza connect διὰ τῆς δοκιμῆς τῆς διακονίας ταύτης with ver. 12, for which Beza adduces the reason that otherwise δοξάζοντες is connected with διά and ἐπί without copula , a reason quite untenable, considering the diversity of the relations expressed by the two prepositions! And how very much the symmetry of the passage would be disturbed! As ver. 11 closed with εὐχαρ . τῷ θεῷ , so also the confirmatory clause closes with εὐχαρ . τῷ θεῷ , and the more precise explanation begins with the following διὰ τῆς δοκ . κ . τ . λ .

[293] Rückert and most others interpret: “on account of the sincerity of your fellowship with them and with all;” but Billroth and Neander: “on account of the liberality of communication to them and to all,” which, however, is quite wrong, for ἁπλότης does not mean liberality, and of the communication (which, besides, is never the meaning of κοινωνία at least in the N. T.; see on Romans 15:26 ; Romans 12:13 , Galatians 6:6 ) it could not be said that it had taken place to all .

[294] This, indeed, is quite impossible according to Hofmann’s mistaken construing of ἐπὶ τῇ ὑποταγή κ . τ . λ . as dependent on the participial clause καὶ αὐτῶν … ἐπιποθούντων .

[295] Many elder commentators quite arbitrarily took τῆς ὁμολογίας for τῇ ὁμολογουμένῃ . So Beza: “de vestra testata subjectione in evang.” But Erasmus Schmid d Wolf: “ob subjectionem vestram, contestatam in evang.” (so that εἰς τὸ εὐαγγ . is held to belong to τῆς ὁμολογ .).

Verse 14

2 Corinthians 9:14 . Καὶ αὐτῶν δεήσει ὑπὲρ ὑμ .] does not go with περισσεύουσα 2 Corinthians 9:12 , so that 2 Corinthians 9:13 would be a parenthesis (Beza, Estius, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Olshausen, de Wette), because in that case Paul would have written very enigmatically, and must at least have continued with διά instead of with the dative. Nor yet does it go with δοξάζοντες , in which case the dative is either made to depend on ἐπί (Luther, Castalio, Bengel), or is taken instrumentally (Emmerling, Billroth, Osiander, Neander; Rückert does not decide), for in the former case there would result an idea strange and destitute of all analogy from the N. T. (Bengel wrongly appeals to 2 Timothy 1:3 ); in the latter, καί would be superfluous, and the prefixing of the αὐτῶν would remain entirely unregarded. We must rather take καὶ αὐτῶν … ἐπιποθούντων together as genitive absolute (comp. the punctuation in Lachmann and Teschendorf, also Ewald and Hofmann), and καὶ αὐτοί means they too , by which is meant to be indicated the fact that, and the mode in which, on their side also the ἁπλότης τῆς κοινωνίας , which the Corinthians have shown, is returned. Thus: while they too with prayer for you long after you . The emergence of the genitive absolute without difference of the subject is a phenomenon also frequent in classical authors. See Poppo, ad Thucyd . I. p. 119 f.; Richter, de anacol . § 16; Matthiae, p. 1306; Bornemann, ad Acts 13:6 .

δεήσει is not instrumental, but an accompanying accessory definition of the mode: with prayer, amid prayer for you. [296] Comp. Bernhardy, p. 100 f.

Regarding ἐπιποθεῖν , see on 2 Corinthians 5:2 . It is the longing of pious, grateful love for personal fellowship with the brethren far distant. It is a sheer fancy that it means maximo amore complecti (Beza and many others, even Billroth).

διὰ τὴν ὑπερβάλλουσαν κ . τ . λ .] reason of this pious longing: because the grace of God is abundant towards you . How far this was shown in the present instance, see 2 Corinthians 9:13 . Chrysostom well says: ἐπιποθοῦσι γὰρ τοῦτο οὐ διὰ τὰ χρήματα , ἀλλʼ ὥστε θεαταὶ γενέσθαι τῆς δεδομένης ὑμῖν χάριτος . Even in this Δ . Τ . ὙΠΕΡΒΆΛΛ . ΧΆΡΙΝ , Hofmann finds the contrast between the Israelitic Christians and the Gentile Christians, who before had lived beyond the pale of the church of God, and without God in the world. If Paul had meant this relation, he would have expressed it (comp. Ephesians 2:12 ).

ἐφʼ ὑμῖν belongs to ὙΠΕΡΒΆΛΛ . Comp. Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. iv. 2. 18. ἐπί denotes the object, to which the activity has passed o2Co 9:Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 290 [E. T. 337].

[296] It is the Christian intercession of thankfulness for the benefactors, for whom the praying heart yearns. Hofmann goes beyond the text when he imports into this prayer the definite contents: that God would keep the Achaean Christians till the time, when Jesus shall bring together the scattered children of God with those of the Holy Land and people . Matthew 24:31 treats of the Parousia, and is not at all relevant here.

Verse 15

2 Corinthians 9:15 . At the close we have an exclamation of gratitude springing out of deep piety (comp. Romans 9:5 ; Rom 11:33 ff.; 1 Corinthians 15:57 ; Galatians 1:5 ; 1 Timothy 1:17 ), without any special purpose (such as to awaken humility, Beza; comp. Chrysostom), but issuing out of the fuller craving of the heart, without being intended (as Hofmann holds) to impress the duty of willingly contributing gifts which are so small in comparison.

The δωρεά is consequence and evidence of the χάρις , 2 Corinthians 9:14 . Comp. Romans 5:15 ; Romans 5:17 .

ἐπὶ τῇ ἀνεκδιηγ . αὐτοῦ δωρεᾷ ] on account of his undescribable gift . What is meant by this is indicated to the Christian consciousness by ἀνεκδιηγ . (comp. Romans 11:33 ; Ephesians 3:18 f.), namely, the whole wonderful and inexpressibly blissful work of redemption . It is for this , and not simply for the grace imparted to the Gentiles (Hofmann), that Paul gives thanks, because it is the gracious foundation of such fellowship in love, and of its blissful working . Others [297] understand it of the previously discussed happy result of the work of collection (Calvin, Estius, Bengel, Billroth, Rückert, Osiander; comp. Ewald, who takes χάρις κ . τ . λ . as the quoted closing words of the prayer of gratitude on the part of the church at Jerusalem itself); but in that case ἈΝΕΚΔΙΉΓΗΤΟς appears to be much too strong an epithet, whereas it is quite suitable to the highest of all God’s gifts, the δωρεὰ κατʼ ἐξοχήν . Comp. Romans 5:15 ; Hebrews 6:4 .

On ἈΝΕΚΔΙΗΓΉΤῼ , comp. Arrian, Anab. p 310: τὴν ἀνεκδιήγητον τόλμαν .

[297] To these belongs Grotius also, who in his acute way remarks: “Paulus in gratiarum actionem se illis in Judaea fratribus adjungit, et quasi Amen illis accinit.” Chrysostom and Theophylact quote both explanations, but incline more to that which we have adopted.

Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. 1832.