Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 9

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

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Verse 1

For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:

For - connected with 2 Corinthians 8:24. 'Show love to the messengers of the churches; for, as concerns the ministration for the saints, it is superfluous to write to you, who are so forward already.

Write - emphatic. All that I need to do is to send brethren to receive your charity (2 Corinthians 9:3).

Verse 2

For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.

Ready a year ago - to send off the money, owing to the apostle's exhortation (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

Your zeal. So 'Aleph (') B C. But Delta G f g, Vulgate, 'the zeal on your part,' propagated from you [ ex (G1537) humoon (G5216)] to others.

Provoked - i:e., stimulated.

Very many, [ tous (G3588) pleionas (G4119)] - 'the greater number,' namely, of the Macedonians. He stimulated the Macedonians by the example of the Corinthians, and (2 Corinthians 8:1-24) the Corinthians by that of the Macedonians.

Verse 3

Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:

Have I sent. We should say, 'I send;' the ancients put it in the past, as it would be by the time that the letter arrived.

The brethren (2 Corinthians 8:18; 2 Corinthians 8:22) - Titus and the two others.

Should be in vain in this behalf - `should be proved futile in this particular,' however true in general (2 Corinthians 7:4). A tacit compliment, softening the monition.

As I said - as I was saying (2 Corinthians 9:2).

Verse 4

Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.

If they of Macedonia - Greek, 'if Macedonians.'

Unprepared - with your collection: see 2 Corinthians 9:2, "ready" [ pareskeuastai (G3903)], 'prepared.'

We (that we say not, ye) - ye would feel more ashamed for yourselves than we (who boasted of you) would for you.

Confident boasting. So C. But 'Aleph (') B G g, Vulgate, read 'confidence'-namely, in your liberality: no 'boasting.'

Verse 5

Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

That they would go before. Translate, 'that they should,' etc.

Whereof ye had notice before, [ proepeengelmeneen (G4279)]. But 'Aleph (') B C Delta, Vulgate, 'promised before;' 'long vouched for by me to the Macedonians' (2 Corinthians 9:2) (Bengel). 'Your promised bounty' (Ellicott, etc.) [ eulogia (G2129)] - literally, blessing: it blesses both the receiver and the giver (Acts 20:35). Verbal blessing anciently used to accompany a gift.

Not as of covetousness - read [ proepeengelmeneen (G4279)] which it would be if you gave niggardly.

Verse 6

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

I say - supply the ellipsis, 'But this (is to be borne in mind)' [touto de isteon].

Bountifully - literally, 'with,' or 'in blessings' [ ep' (G1909) eulogiais (G2129)]: the word implies a beneficent spirit in the giver (2 Corinthians 9:7, end), and the plural, the abundance of the gifts. 'The reaping shall correspond to the proportion and spirit of the sowing' (Bengel). Compare Ezekiel 34:26.

Verse 7

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

According as he purposeth in his heart - the consent of the free choice [proairesis] must accompany the gift. Opposed to "of necessity;" as "grudgingly" is to "a cheerful giver" (Proverbs 22:9; Proverbs 11:25; Isaiah 32:8).

Verse 8

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

All grace - even in external goods, while ye bestow on others.

That - `in order that.' God's gifts are bestowed on us, not that we may have them to ourselves, but may the more 'abound in good works' to others.

Sufficiency - so as not to need help of others, having from God "bread for your food" (2 Corinthians 9:10).

In all things - Greek, 'in everything.'

Every good work - of charity, which will be "your seed sown" (2 Corinthians 9:10).

Verse 9

(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

(As it is written - realizing the highly blessed character, Psalms 112:5; Psalms 112:9.

He - the "good man."

Dispersed - as seed sown with full and open hand, without anxious thought where each grain may fall. It is implied also that he has always what he may disperse.

The poor. The Greek [ penees (G3993)] is here only found in the New Testament, 'one in straitened circumstances, who earns his bread by labour.' The usual word [ptochos] means 'one so poor as to live by circumstances, who earns his bread by labour.' The usual word [ptochos] means 'one so poor as to live by begging.'

His righteousness - here 'beneficence:' the evidence of being righteous before God and man. Compare Deuteronomy 24:13; Matthew 6:1, "alms;" Greek, 'righteousness.' Alms are the poor man's rightful due in God's sight.

Remaineth - unfailing.

Verse 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;)

Translate as Isaiah 55:10, 'He that supplieth [ epichoreegoon (G2023)] seed to the sower and bread for food'-literally, 'bread for eating' [ broosin (G1035)]; cf. spiritually, John 4:34.

Minister (and supply) and increase. Optative, 'may He minister,' etc. So, C G. Rather, future, as 'Aleph (') B Delta f g, Vulgate, 'Shall supply, and multiply, and increase:' implying certain hope.

Your seed - your means for liberality.

The fruits of your righteousness - your acts of charity and the heavenly rewards (Matthew 10:42). Righteousness shall be itself the reward, even as it is the thing rewarded (Hosea 10:12; Matthew 5:6; Matthew 6:33; Galatians 6:7).

Verse 11

Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

Compare 2 Corinthians 9:8.

Bountifulness, [ haploteeta (G572)] - 'singleminded liberality' (2 Corinthians 8:2, note); 'simplicity' (Romans 12:8).

Causeth through us - literally, 'worketh through us,' as the distributors.

Thanksgiving - on the part of the recipients.

Verse 12

For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

Greek, 'the ministration [ diakonia (G1248): the application to the recipients] of this public service [ leitourgias (G3009), on your part] is not only still further supplying [ prosanapleerousa (G4322)] the wants of the saints (besides the supplies from other quarters), but is abounding also (namely, in respect to relieving the necessities of others), through (i:e., in calling forth on the part of the relieved) many thanksgivings to God' (Menochius): cf. "unto them, and unto all men" (2 Corinthians 9:13). "Thanksgiving," in 2 Corinthians 9:11, is singular, referring to that of the Jerusalem saints; "thanksgivings," plural (2 Corinthians 9:12), include those of the "many" others relieved. Otherwise, referring to the Jerusalem saints alone, the ministration not only fills up the measure of their wants, but abounds to God's glory in the thanksgivings it calls forth. God's glory is to be the ultimate aim of every good work! Therefore, Paul himself breaks forth into praise (2 Corinthians 9:15).

Verse 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;

By - through.

Experiment. Translate, 'the experience.' Or, 'the experimental proof [ tees (G3588) dokimees (G1382)] of your Christian character afforded by "this ministration."

They - the recipients.

For your professed subjection, [ tee (G3588) hupotagee (G5292) tees (G3588) homologias (G3671)] - 'for the subjection of your profession;' i:e., your subjection in accordance with your profession, in relation to the Gospel precepts, evinced in acts as well as in profession.

Your liberal distribution - Greek, 'the liberality of your contribution to them,' etc.

Verse 14

And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. Translate, 'Themselves also with prayer for you, longing after you on account of the exceeding grace of God (resting) upon you.'

Verse 15

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

His unspeakable gift - the gift of His own Son, which includes all other gifts (2 Corinthians 8:9; Romans 8:32). If we have received "His unspeakable gift," what great thing is it, if we give a few perishing gifts for His sake? It is this Gift which (the apostle already sees) ensures the completion of the Corinthians' gifts.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.