The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible1 Corinthians 16:2
Upon the first day of the week…
In an ancient copy of
Beza's, and in some others, it is added, "the Lord's day". Upon some
one first day of the week, or more, if there was a necessity for it,
until the collection was finished; though the Syriac and Arabic
versions render it, "every first day": but this is not the apostle's
intention, that a collection should be made every first day, but
only on some one day, or as long as it was necessary: for at the
close of the verse he gives this reason for it, "that there be no
gatherings when I come": whereas, if this collection was to have
been every first day, and to have been always continued, it must
have been when he was present, as well as when absent; but this was
only designed for a certain time, and on a certain account: the
reason of his fixing upon the first day of the week was, because on
this day the disciples of Christ, and the primitive churches, met
together for divine worship, to hear the word, and observe the
ordinances of Christ; see (John 20:19,26) (Acts 20:7) and was a very fit
reason for such a work, when their hearts were warmed with the
presence of God and Christ, with the grace of the Spirit, and the
doctrines of the Gospel, and their affections were knit to one
another, and to all the saints: and so we find from the accounts of
Justin Martyr F23, and of Tertullian F24, that it was usual for the
primitive churches in the age following that of the apostles, after
the worship of God was over, to collect money for widows and
orphans, and for saints in distress, such as were banished into
distant parts, or condemned to the mines; and this practice was very
agreeable to the customs of the apostle's countrymen, the Jews, from
whence he might take this, who used to collect for, and distribute
to the poor on their sabbath F25.
``The alms dish was every day, but the alms chest from
evening of the sabbath to the evening of the sabbath,''
It was collected and distributed then, as their commentators say
Let everyone of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.
The persons who are to contribute are everyone, of every sex, age,
state, and condition, male and female, young and old, servants and
masters, the meaner as well as the richer sort; the poor widow threw
in her mite into the treasury as well as the rich men: the act of
communication or distribution is signified by laying by him in
store; for this is not to be understood of separating a part of his
substance from the rest, and laying it up (htybb) , "in his own house",
as the Syriac version renders it, or the putting it in his pocket in
order to give it; though both these acts may be necessary, as
preparatory to the work: but it intends the very act itself: for
communicating to the poor is laying up in store a good foundation
for the time to come; it is a laying up treasure in heaven, and
riches there, which will never corrupt: the manner in which this is
to be done, and the measure of it, "as God hath prospered him";
according to the success he has in his worldly business, and the
increase of his worldly substance, and which is the way to have it
enlarged. The Jews have a saying F1,
``if a man observes his provisions to be straitened, let him
do alms of them, how much more if they are large.''
The Vulgate Latin version renders, it, "laying up what pleases him
well"; and the Arabic version, "what through liberality he pleases,
and shall be convenient for him"; for this ought to be a freewill
offering, as a matter of bounty and generosity, and not of
covetousness, or of force and necessity, but as a man, of himself
has purposed in his own heart, and which he does with cheerfulness
That there be no gatherings when I come;
who had other work, and
greater service to do among them; besides, he was desirous of having
this collection over and ready when he came, that he might directly
send it away to Jerusalem, knowing the pressing necessities of the
F23 Apolog. 2. p. 98, 99.
F24 Apolog. c. 39.
F25 T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 8. 2. Maimon, Hilch. Mattanot Anayim, c.
9. sect. 6.
F26 Maimon. R. Samson & Bartenora in Misn. Peah, c. 8. sect. 7.
F1 T. Bab. Gittim, fol. 7. 1.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 16:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=1co&chapter=016&verse=002>. 1999.