Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 9

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New TestamentRobertson's Word Pictures

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Verse 1

Superfluous (περισσον). All the same he does write. "The writing" (το γραφειν) ought to be superfluous.

Verse 2

I glory (καυχωμα). Present middle indicative. I still am glorying, in spite of the poor performance of the Corinthians.

Hath been prepared (παρεσκευαστα). Perfect passive indicative of παρασκευαζω, to make ready, "stands prepared."

Stirred up (ηρεθισε). First aorist active indicative of ερεθιζω (from ερεθω, to excite), to excite in a good sense here, in a bad sense in Colossians 3:21, the only N.T. examples.

Very many of them (τους πλειονας). The more, the majority.

Verse 3

I sent (επεμψα). Not literary plural with this epistolary aorist as in 2 Corinthians 9:18; 2 Corinthians 9:22.

That ye may be prepared (ινα παρεσκευασμενο ητε). Perfect passive subjunctive in the final clause, "that ye may really be prepared," "as I said" (καθως ελεγον) and not just say that ye are prepared. Paul's very syntax tells against them.

Verse 4

If there come with me any of Macedonia and find you unprepared (εαν ελθωσιν συν εμο Μακεδονες κα ευρωσιν υμας απαρασκευαστους). Condition of third class (undetermined, but stated as a lively possibility) with εαν and the second aorist active subjunctive (ελθωσιν, ευρωσιν), a bold and daring challenge. Απαρασκευαστος is a late and rare verbal adjective from παρασκευαζω with α privative, only here in the N.T.

Lest by any means we should be put to shame (μη πως καταισχυνθωμεν ημεις). Negative purpose with first aorist passive subjunctive of καταισχυνω (see on 2 Corinthians 7:14) in the literary plural.

That we say not, ye (ινα μη λεγωμεν υμεις). A delicate syntactical turn for what he really has in mind. He does wish that they become ashamed of not paying their pledges.

Confidence (υποστασε). This word, common from Aristotle on, comes from υφιστημ, to place under. It always has the notion of substratum or foundation as here; 2 Corinthians 11:17; Hebrews 1:3. The papyri give numerous examples (Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary) of the word for "property" in various aspects. So in Hebrews 11:1 "faith is the title-deed of things hoped for." In the LXX it represents fifteen different Hebrew words.

Verse 5

I thought (εγησαμην). Epistolary aorist again. See Philippians 2:25 for the expression here.

Go before (προελθωσιν). Second aorist active of προερχομα. Go to you before I come.

Make up beforehand (προκαταρτισωσ). Late and rare double compound verb προκαταρτιζω (in Hippocrates). Only here in N.T. See καταρτιζω in 1 Corinthians 1:10.

Your afore-promised bounty (την προεπηγγελμενην ευλογιαν υμων). "Blessing" (ευλογια) literally, but applied to good deeds also as well as good words (Genesis 33:11). Note third use of "pro" before. He literally rubs it in that the pledge was overdue.

That the same might be ready (ταυτην ετοιμην εινα). Here the infinitive alone (εινα) is used to express purpose without ωστε or εις το or προς το with the accusative of general reference (ταυτην). The feminine form ετοιμην is regular (1 Peter 1:5) though ετοιμος also occurs with the feminine like the masculine (Matthew 25:10).

And not of extortion (κα μη ως πλεονεξιαν). "And not as covetousness." Some offerings exhibit covetousness on the part of the giver by their very niggardliness.

Verse 6

Sparingly (φειδομενως). Late and rare adverb made from the present middle participle φειδομενος from φειδομα, to spare. It occurs in Plutarch (Alex. 25).

Verse 7

He hath purposed (προηιρητα). Perfect middle indicative of προαιρεομα, to choose beforehand, old verb, here only in N.T. Permanent purpose also.

Not grudgingly (μη εκ λυπης). The use of μη rather than ου shows that the imperative ποιειτω (do) or διδοτω (give) is to be supplied. Not give as out of sorrow.

Or of necessity (η εξ αναγκης). As if it were like pulling eye-teeth.

For God loveth a cheerful giver (ιλαρον γαρ δοτην αγαπα ο θεος). Our word "hilarious" comes from ιλαρον which is from ιλαος (propitious), an old and common adjective, only here in N.T.

Verse 8

Is able (δυνατε). Late verb, not found except here; 2 Corinthians 13:3; Romans 14:4. So far a Pauline word made from δυνατος, able.

All sufficiency (πασαν αυταρκειαν). Old word from αυταρκης (Philippians 4:11), common word, in N.T. only here and 1 Timothy 6:6). The use of this word shows Paul's acquaintance with Stoicism. Paul takes this word of Greek philosophy and applies it to the Christian view of life as independent of circumstances. But he does not accept the view of the Cynics in the avoidance of society. Note threefold use of "all" here (εν παντι, παντοτε, πασαν, in everything, always, all sufficiency).

Verse 9

As it is written (καθως γεγραπτα). Psalms 92:3; Psalms 92:9. Picture of the beneficent man.

He hath scattered abroad (εσκορπισεν). First aorist active indicative of σκορπιζω, to scatter, Koine verb for σκεδαννυμ of the Attic. Probably akin to σκορπιος (scorpion) from root σκαρπ, to cut asunder. See on Matthew 12:30. It is like sowing seed.

To the poor (τοις πενησιν). Old word from πεναμα, to work for one's living. Latin penuria and Greek πειναω, to be hungry, are kin to it. Only N.T. instance and to be distinguished from πτωχος, beggar, abjectly poor.

Verse 10

Supplieth (επιχορηγων). Late Koine compound verb from επ and χορηγεω, just below (1 Peter 4:11). Χορηγος is old word for leader of a chorus (χοροσ, ηγεομα) or chorus-leader. The verb means to furnish a chorus at one's own expense, then to supply in general. N.T. examples of επιχορηγεω are 2 Corinthians 9:10; Galatians 3:15; Colossians 2:19; 2 Peter 1:5.

Shall multiply (πληθυνε). Future active indicative of πληθυνω, old verb from πληθυς, fulness. Cf. Acts 6:1.

Fruits (γενηματα). Correct reading (from γινομα, to become) and not γεννηματα (from γενναω, to beget). This spelling is supported by LXX where Thackeray shows that γενηματα in LXX refers to vegetables and γεννηματα to animals. The papyri support this distinction (Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary).

Verse 11

Enriched (πλουτιζομενο). Present passive participle of πλουτιζω for which see on 1 Corinthians 1:5; 2 Corinthians 6:10 only other N.T. examples.

Liberality (απλοτητα). See on 2 Corinthians 8:2. Anacoluthon with nominative participle too far from περισσευητε for agreement. More like the independent use of the participle.

Verse 12

Service (λειτουργιας). Old word from λεως (people, λαος), λειτος like δημοσιος, public, and εργον, work. So public service either in worship to God (Luke 1:23) or benefaction to others (2 Corinthians 9:12; Philippians 2:30). Our word liturgy is this word.

Filleth up (εστιν προσαναπληρουσα). Present active periphrastic indicative of double compound verb προσαναπληροω, Koine word, here and 2 Corinthians 11:9 only in N.T., to fill up by adding to. The Corinthians simply added to the total from others.

Unto God (τω θεω). Dative case and with a certain suddenness as at close of verse 2 Corinthians 9:11, really a parenthesis between in the somewhat tangled sentence.

Verse 13

Seeing that they glorify God (δοξαζοντες τον θεον). Anacoluthon again. The nominative participle used independently like πλουτιζομενο in verse 2 Corinthians 9:11.

Obedience (υποταγη). Late and rare word from υποτασσω, to subject, middle to obey. Only in Paul in N.T.

Of your confession (της ομολογιας υμων). Old word from ομολογεω (ομολογοσ, ομου, λεγω), to say together. It is either to profess (Latin profiteor, to declare openly) or to confess (Latin confiteor, to declare fully, to say the same thing as another). Both confess and profess are used to translate the verb and each idea is present in the substantive. Only the context can decide. Actions speak louder than words. The brethren in Jerusalem will know by this collection that Gentiles make as good Christians as Jews.

For the liberality of your contribution (απλοτητ της κοινωνιας). This is the point that matters just now. Paul drives it home. On this use of κοινωνια see on 2 Corinthians 8:4.

Verse 14

While they themselves long after you (αυτων επιποθουντων). Genitive absolute of present active participle of επιποθεω (2 Corinthians 5:2).

In you (εφ' υμιν). Upon you.

Verse 15

Thanks be to God (χαρις τω θεω). Third time (verses 2 Corinthians 9:11; 2 Corinthians 9:12; 2 Corinthians 9:15).

For his unspeakable gift (επ τη ανεκδιηγητω αυτου δωρεα). One of Paul's gems flashed out after the somewhat tangled sentence (verses 2 Corinthians 9:10-14) like a gleam of light that clears the air. Words fail Paul to describe the gift of Christ to and for us. He may have coined this word as it is not found elsewhere except in ecclesiastical writers save as a variant (B L) for αδιηγητον in Aristeas 99 (θαυμασμον ανεκδιηγητον, "wonder beyond description," Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary). See similar word in Romans 11:33 (ανεξιχνιαστα, unsearchable) and Ephesians 3:8.

Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.