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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
2 Corinthians 9



Verse 1

Superfluous (περισσονperisson). All the same he does write. “The writing” (το γραπεινto graphein) ought to be superfluous.

Verse 2

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

Hath been prepared (παρεσκευασταιpareskeuastai). Perfect passive indicative of παρασκευαζωparaskeuazō to make ready, “stands prepared.”

Stirred up (ηρετισεērethise). First aorist active indicative of ερετιζωerethizō (from ερετωerethō 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 πλειοναςtous pleionas). The more, the majority.

Verse 3

I sent (επεμπσαepempsa). Not literary plural with this epistolary aorist as in 18,22.

That ye may be prepared (ινα παρεσκευασμενοι ητεhina pareskeuasmenoi ēte). Perfect passive subjunctive in the final clause, “that ye may really be prepared,” “as I said” (κατως ελεγονkathōs elegon) 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 ελτωσιν συν εμοι Μακεδονες και ευρωσιν υμας απαρασκευαστουςean elthōsin sun emoi Makedones kai heurōsin humas aparaskeuastous). Condition of third class (undetermined, but stated as a lively possibility) with εανean and the second aorist active subjunctive (ελτωσιν ευρωσινelthōsinΑπαρασκευαστοςheurōsin), a bold and daring challenge. παρασκευαζωAparaskeuastos is a late and rare verbal adjective from αparaskeuazō with μη πως καταισχυντωμεν ημειςa privative, only here in the N.T.

Lest by any means we should be put to shame (καταισχυνωmē pōs kataischunthōmen hēmeis). Negative purpose with first aorist passive subjunctive of ινα μη λεγωμεν υμειςkataischunō (see note on 2 Corinthians 7:14) in the literary plural.

That we say not, ye (υποστασειhina mē legōmen humeis). A delicate syntactical turn for what he really has in mind. He does wish that they become ashamed of not paying their pledges.

Confidence (υπιστημιhupostasei). This word, common from Aristotle on, comes from huphistēmi 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 (εγησαμηνhegēsamēn). Epistolary aorist again. See note on Philemon 2:25 for the expression here.

Go before (προελτωσινproelthōsin). Second aorist active of προερχομαιproerchomai Go to you before I come.

Make up beforehand (προκαταρτισωσιprokatartisōsi). Late and rare double compound verb προκαταρτιζωprokatartizō (in Hippocrates). Only here in N.T. See καταρτιζωkatartizō in 1 Corinthians 1:10.

Your afore-promised bounty (την προεπηγγελμενην ευλογιαν υμωνtēn proepēggelmenēn eulogian humōn). “Blessing” (ευλογιαeulogia) 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 ειναιtautēn hetoimēn einai). Here the infinitive alone (ειναιeinai) is used to express purpose without ωστεhōste or εις τοeis to or προς τοpros to with the accusative of general reference (ταυτηνtautēn). The feminine form ετοιμηνhetoimēn is regular (1 Peter 1:5) though ετοιμοςhetoimos also occurs with the feminine like the masculine (Matthew 25:10).

And not of extortion (και μη ως πλεονεχιανkai mē hōs pleonexian). “And not as covetousness.” Some offerings exhibit covetousness on the part of the giver by their very niggardliness.

Verse 6

Sparingly (πειδομενωςpheidomenōs). Late and rare adverb made from the present middle participle πειδομενοςpheidomenos from πειδομαιpheidomai to spare. It occurs in Plutarch (Alex. 25).

Verse 7

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

Not grudgingly (μη εκ λυπηςmē ek lupēs). The use of μηmē rather than ουou shows that the imperative ποιειτωpoieitō (do) or διδοτωdidotō (give) is to be supplied. Not give as out of sorrow.

Or of necessity (η εχ αναγκηςē ex anagkēs). As if it were like pulling eye-teeth.

For God loveth a cheerful giver (ιλαρον γαρ δοτην αγαπαι ο τεοςhilaron gar dotēn agapāi ho theos). Our word “hilarious” comes from ιλαρονhilaron which is from ιλαοςhilaos (propitious), an old and common adjective, only here in N.T.

Verse 8

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

All sufficiency (πασαν αυταρκειανpāsan autarkeian). Old word from αυταρκηςautarkēs (Philemon 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 πασανen pantipantotepāsan in everything, always, all sufficiency).

Verse 9

As it is written (κατως γεγραπταιkathōs gegraptai). Psalm 92:3, Psalm 92:9. Picture of the beneficent man.

He hath scattered abroad (εσκορπισενeskorpisen). First aorist active indicative of σκορπιζωskorpizō to scatter, Koiné{[28928]}š verb for σκεδαννυμιskedannumi of the Attic. Probably akin to σκορπιοςskorpios (scorpion) from root σκαρπskarp to cut asunder. See note on Matthew 12:30. It is like sowing seed.

To the poor (tois penēsin). Old word from penamai to work for one‘s living. Latin penuria and Greek τοις πενησινpeinaō to be hungry, are kin to it. Only N.T. instance and to be distinguished from πεναμαιptōchos beggar, abjectly poor.

Verse 10

Supplieth (επιχορηγωνepichorēgōn). Late Koiné{[28928]}š compound verb from επιepi and χορηγεωchorēgeō just below (1 Peter 4:11). ΧορηγοςChorēgos is old word for leader of a chorus (χοροσ ηγεομαιchorosεπιχορηγεωhēgeomai) or chorus-leader. The verb means to furnish a chorus at one‘s own expense, then to supply in general. N.T. examples of πλητυνειepichorēgeō are 2 Corinthians 9:10; Galatians 3:15; Colossians 2:19; 2 Peter 1:5.

Shall multiply (πλητυνωplēthunei). Future active indicative of πλητυςplēthunō old verb from γενηματαplēthus fulness. Cf. Acts 6:1.

Fruits (γινομαιgenēmata). Correct reading (from γεννηματαginomai to become) and not γενναωgennēmata (from γενηματαgennaō to beget). This spelling is supported by lxx where Thackeray shows that γεννηματαgenēmata in lxx refers to vegetables and gennēmata to animals. The papyri support this distinction (Moulton and Milligan‘s Vocabulary).

Verse 11

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

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

Verse 12

Service (λειτουργιαςleitourgias). Old word from λεωςleōs (people, λαοςlaos), λειτοςleitos like δημοσιοςdēmosios public, and εργονergon work. So public service either in worship to God (Luke 1:23) or benefaction to others (2 Corinthians 9:12; Philemon 2:30). Our word liturgy is this word.

Filleth up (εστιν προσαναπληρουσαestin prosanaplērousa). Present active periphrastic indicative of double compound verb προσαναπληροωprosanaplēroō Koiné{[28928]}š 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 (τωι τεωιtōi theōi). Dative case and with a certain suddenness as at close of 2 Corinthians 11:11, really a parenthesis between in the somewhat tangled sentence.

Verse 13

Seeing that they glorify God (δοχαζοντες τον τεονdoxazontes ton theon). Anacoluthon again. The nominative participle used independently like πλουτιζομενοιploutizomenoi in 2 Corinthians 9:11.

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

Of your confession (της ομολογιας υμωνtēs homologias humōn). Old word from ομολογεωhomologeō (ομολογοσ ομου λεγωhomologosαπλοτητι της κοινωνιαςhomouκοινωνιαlegō), 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 (haplotēti tēs Koinéōnias). This is the point that matters just now. Paul drives it home. On this use of Koinéōnia see 2 Corinthians 8:4.

Verse 14

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

In you (επ υμινEphesians' humin). Upon you.

Verse 15

Thanks be to God (χαρις τωι τεωιcharis tōi theōi). Third time (2 Corinthians 9:11, 2 Corinthians 9:12, 2 Corinthians 9:15).

For his unspeakable gift (επι τηι ανεκδιηγητωι αυτου δωρεαιepi tēi anekdiēgētōi autou dōreāi). One of Paul‘s gems flashed out after the somewhat tangled sentence (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 αδιηγητονadiēgēton in Aristeas 99 (ταυμασμον ανεκδιηγητονthaumasmon anekdiēgēton “wonder beyond description,” Moulton and Milligan‘s Vocabulary). See similar word in Romans 11:33 (ανεχιχνιασταanexichniasta unsearchable) and Ephesians 3:8.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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