Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1. For--connected with
"Show love to the messengers of the churches; for as concerns the
ministration for the saints, it is superfluous for me to write
to you who are so forward already."
write--emphatical: It is superfluous to "write," for you will have
witnesses present [BENGEL].
2. ready a year ago--to send off the money, owing to the apostle's
(1Co 16:1, 2).
your zeal--Greek, "the zeal from you," that is, on your part;
propagated from you to others.
provoked--that is, stimulated.
very many--Greek, "the greater number," namely, of the
3. have I sent--we should say, "I send"; whereas the ancients put it
in the past, the time which it would be by the time that the letter
(2Co 8:18, 22)
--Titus and the two others.
should be in vain in this behalf--"should be proved futile
in this particular," however true in general
A tacit compliment, softening the sharp monition.
as I said--as I was saying
4. if they of Macedonia--rather as Greek, "if Macedonians."
unprepared--with your collection; see
"ready," Greek, "prepared."
we, not to say ye--Ye would naturally feel more ashamed for
yourselves, than we (who boasted of you) would for you.
confident boasting--The oldest manuscripts read simply "confidence,"
namely, in your liberality.
5. that they would go before--Translate, "that they
whereof ye had notice before--rather, "promised before"; "long
announced by me to the Macedonians"
[BENGEL]. "Your promised bounty" [ELLICOTT and others].
not as of covetousness--Translate, "not as matter of
covetousness," which it would be, if you gave niggardly.
6. I say--ELLICOTT and others supply the ellipsis thus: "But
bountifully--literally, "with," or "in blessings." The word
itself implies a beneficent spirit in the giver (compare
end), and the plural implies the abundance and liberality
of the gifts. "The reaping shall correspond to the proportions and
spirit of the sowing" [BENGEL]. Compare
"Showers of blessing."
7. according as he purposeth in his heart--Let the full consent
of the free will go with the gift [ALFORD].
Opposed to "of necessity," as "grudgingly" is opposed to "a
(Pr 22:9; 11:25;
8. all grace--even in external goods, and even while ye bestow on
that--"in order that." God's gifts are bestowed on us, not that we
may have them to ourselves, but that we may the more "abound in good
works" to others.
sufficiency--so as not to need the help of others, having yourselves
from God "bread for your food"
in all things--Greek, "in everything."
every good work--of charity to others, which will be "your seed sown"
9. As it is written--realizing the highly blessed character portrayed
He--the "good man"
dispersed--as seed sown with full and open hand, without anxious
thought in what direction each grain may fall. It is implied also that
he has always what he may disperse
[BENGEL]. So in
the poor--The Greek word is found here only in New Testament,
"one in straitened circumstances, who earns his bread by labor." The
word usually employed means "one so poor as to live by begging."
his righteousness--Here "beneficence": the evidence of his being
righteous before God and man. Compare
"alms"; Greek, "righteousness."
remaineth--unexhausted and unfailing.
10. Translate, as in
"He that ministereth (supplieth) seed to the sower and bread for food"
(literally, "bread for eating").
minister--rather future, as the oldest manuscripts, "Shall minister
(supply) and multiply."
your seed--your means for liberality.
the fruits of your righteousness--the heavenly rewards for your
Righteousness shall be itself the reward, even as it is the thing
Mt 5:6; 6:33).
bountifulness--Greek, "single-minded liberality." Translated
causeth through us--literally, "worketh through us"; that is, through
our instrumentality as the distributors.
thanksgiving--on the part of the recipients.
12. Greek, "The ministration of this public service (on
your part) is not only still further supplying the wants of the
saints (besides the supplies from other quarters), but is abounding also
(namely, in respect to relieving the necessities of others in poverty)
through many thanksgivings to God."
13. by--through occasion of.
experiment--Translate, "the experience"
[ELLICOTT and others]. Or,
"the experimental proof" of your Christian character, afforded by "this
for your professed subjection--Greek, "for the subjection of your
profession"; that is, your subjection in accordance with your
profession, in relation to the Gospel. Ye yield yourselves in willing
subjection to the Gospel precepts, evinced in acts, as well as in
your liberal distribution--Greek, "the liberality of your
contribution in relation to them," &c.
14. Translate, "Themselves also with prayer for you, longing
after you on account of the exceeding grace of God (resting) upon you."
English Version is, however, good sense: They glorify God
by the experimental proof, &c., "and by their prayer for you." But the
Greek favors the former.
15. his unspeakable gift--the gift of His own Son, which includes
all other inferior gifts
If we have received from God "His unspeakable gift," what great thing
is it, if we give a few perishing gifts for His sake?