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2 Corinthians 9

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Verses 1-99

9:1. Here again (see on 7:1) the division between the chapters is not well placed. As the γάρ shows, 9:1 is closely connected with what precedes. The Apostle continues to make arrangements respecting the collection. He has assumed all along that what has been begun will not be allowed to drop, and he has suggested reasons for a liberal contribution. He now begs them, whether they give much or little, to have all in readiness before he himself arrives.

As in the case of 6:14-7:1, we have again to consider the hypothesis that a fragment of another letter has somehow or other been inserted here. It is urged that 9:1 does not explain 8:24, and therefore the γάρ cannot refer to 8:24, and that in 9. we have repetitions of things which have been already said in viii. Repetitions in letters are common enough, especially when the writer is very much in earnest and has to feel his way with caution. “The tautological urgency of the appeal does not show a plurality of epistles, but a lack of certainty as to the result” (Reuss). The γάρ, as we shall see, is very intelligible. Indeed, if the division between the chapters had not been so misplaced, no one would have proposed to separate 9:1-5 from 8:16-24. Schmiedel divides the paragraphs between 8:23 and 24, giving 24 to what follows.* Hypotheses of stray leaves from other documents being imbedded in N.T. writings are to be received with much scepticism, unless they are supported by strong external evidence, as in the case of John 7:53. Some critics suggest that it is ch. 8. that has been interpolated. But there is no evidence in any MS., or version, or series of quotations, that ii Corinthians ever existed without 8. or without 9. Cyprian quotes from both, and commentators, both Greek and Latin, comment on both without betraying doubt about the genuineness of either. It will be found that 9. helps us to understand 8. See Massie, pp. 60, 61.

1. Περὶ μὲν γὰρ τῆς διακονίας εἰς τοὺς ἁγίους. The μέν anticipates δέ in v. 3; the γάρ looks back to the conclusion of 8. Cf. 1 Corinthians 11:5, 1 Corinthians 12:8. ‘I have commended the envoys to you rather than commanded you to give (8:8), for, with regard to the ministration to the saints, in the first place (μέν) it is superfluous for me to be writing (pres. not aor.) to you.’ The similar statements in 1 Thessalonians 4:9 and 5:1 should be compared; also 4:13. For διακονία εἰς τ̔ ἁγ see on 8:4. In neither place does the εἰς limit the ministration to the transmission of the money. C, Arm. omit γάρ as unintelligible.

περισσόν μοί ἐστιν. Ex abundanti est mihi scribere vobis (Vulg.); better, supervacaneum est. We often do this; especially in cases in which we are deeply interested. We begin, ‘I need not say’; and immediately we do say, perhaps at some length: σοφῶς δὲ τοῦτο ποιεῖ, ὥστε μᾶλλον αὐτοὺς ἐπισπάσασθαι (Chrys.). On the art. with γράφειν see Blass, § 71. 2, and comp. 7:11; Philippians 2:6, Philippians 4:10.

2. οἶδα γὰρ τὴν προθυμίαν ὑμῶν. He has stated that he knows that they thought of doing something and began to do something in the previous year, and he assumes that they are still anxious to do something; solet enim se meliorem praebere ille, de quo bene sentitur ab alio (Herveius). But we are not to suppose that St Paul deliberately gave the Corinthians praise which he knew that they did not deserve, in order to induce them to be liberal; still less that this is a right thing to do.

ἥν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν καυχῶμαι Μακέδοσιν. ‘Of which I am continually glorying on your behalf to the Macedonians.’ He is staying in Macedonia, and habitually praises the Corinthians to them. As Theodoret remarks, Διὰ μὲν Κορινθίων τοὺς Μακεδόνας, δὶα δὲ Μακεδόνων τοὺς Κορινθίους, ἐπὶ τὴν�Romans 5:11, Romans 5:15:17; 1 Corinthians 1:31; etc.), but also when it is in men (here, 7:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; Philippians 2:16). The Apostle also glories in his own infirmities and afflictions (12:9; Romans 5:3). Here he seems to have some misgivings as to whether he may not have praised the Corinthians to the Macedonians somewhat too warmly. The report which Titus brought from Corinth had delighted him so greatly, that his glorying about the collection may have been somewhat in excess of the facts.

Ἁχαῒα παρεσκεύασται�

τὸ ὑμῶν ζῆλος. Again we have the Pauline arrangement of ὑμῶν between art. and noun; cf. 1:6, 7:7, 15, 8:13, 14, etc. In N.T., as in LXX and in class. Grk., ζῆλος is usually masc., but here and Philippians 3:6 the neut. form is well attested. It is found also in Ign. Tral. 4. Clem. Rom. Cor. 3-6 uses both masc. and neut. indifferently. Here the meaning is uncertain, but ‘your zeal’ is more probable than ‘emulation of you,’ guae ex vobis est aemulatio (Aug.).

ἠρέθισε. ‘Stimulated.’ In Colossians 3:21, the only other place in N.T. in which the verb occurs, it is used in a bad sense, ‘provoke,’ ‘irritate.’ In LXX and in class. Grk. the latter sense prevails. ‘Provoke’ has both meanings, but commonly the bad one. Aldis Wright (Bible Word Book, p. 482) gives examples of the good meaning.

τό (א B 17) rather than ό (C D F G K L P). ὑμῶν (א B C P f Vulg. Copt. Arm.) rather than ἐξ ὑμῶν (D E F G K L, d e Goth.).

3. ἔπεμψα δὲ τοὺς�

ἵνα καθὼς ἔλεγον παρ. ἦτε. ‘That, just as I repeatedly said (to the Macedonians) you may be prepared.’ The second ἴνα is co-ordinate with the first; cf. Galatians 3:14.

4. ἐὰν ἔλθωσιν σὺν ἐμοὶ Μακεσόνες. The brethren who go with Titus may or may not have been Macedonians. Their finding the collection not yet complete does not matter so much. But it will look very badly, when St Paul comes to fetch the money, if Macedonians come with him and find that very little has been collected. There is nothing here to show that the situation is different from that in viii, —that there St Paul is not coming to Corinth very soon, and that here he is coming very soon.

ἀπαρασκευάστους. A late and rare form, here only in N.T. The usual form is�

καταισχυνθῶμεν ἡμεῖς. He puts his own shame first; but of course the disgrace would be theirs rather than his. He asks them to spare him, which is a better plea than appealing to their own interests, which are just touched parenthetically. Multa confusio est, si pro te qui te diligit erubescat (Pseudo-Primasius). ‘We, to say nothing of you, should be put to shame’ (7:14; Romans 10:11). See Index IV.

ἐν τῇ ὑποστάσει ταύτῃ. The word has a very varied history, but only one or two points need be noted here. From meaning ‘standing ground’ or ‘foundation’ it comes to mean ‘ground of hope or confidence’ (Ruth 1:12; Ezekiel 19:5), and hence ‘hope’ or ‘confidence.’ In LXX it represents fifteen different Hebrew words. In Hebrews 3:14 (see Westcott) it means the resolute confidence which resists all attack. Here it means the Apostle’s confidence in the character of his converts. They must not make people think that he has been too sure of them. Cf. 11:17; Hebrews 11:1. In this verse St Paul makes it quite clear that he means to visit Corinth again.

λέγωμεν (א B C 2 L P, f Vulg. Syrr. Copt.) rather than λέγω (C * D F G, d e g), After ταύτῃ, א c Dc E K L P, Syrr. Arm. Goth. add τῆς καυχήσεως from 11:17. א * B C D * G 17, 67 * *, Latt. Copt. omit.

5. προέλθωσιν … προκαταρτίσωσι τὴν προεπηγγελμένην εὐλογίαν. ‘To go to you before me and get into order before I come the bounty which was promised before (Romans 1:2).’ In this way, or by having ‘in advance’ in all three places, the repetition, which is no doubt deliberate, may be preserved in English. See on 13:2. It is not quite clear that the participle means promised long before’ by the Corinthians. It might mean ‘announced long before’ by St Paul. With�

εὐλογίαν. From being used of good words it comes to mean good deeds; from men blessing God and one another and God blessing men it comes to mean a concrete blessing or benefit, whether bestowed by men or by God (Judges 1:15; Ezekiel 34:26). Here it means a benefit bestowed by men on men. What the Corinthians give will be a blessing to the Jerusalem poor (Genesis 33:11; Joshua 15:19). He is not hinting that liberal giving will bring a blessing to them in this life or will be rewarded in the next; he is thinking of the good done to the recipients. In Romans 16:18 εὐλογία has the rare sense of ‘flattering speech.’ It is remarkable that St Paul, who uses so many words in connexion with this benevolence to poor Christians, κοινωνία, διακονία, χάρις, ἁδρότης, λειτουργία and εὐλογία, nowhere speaks of it as φιλανθρωπία: that word he uses of God’s love to man (Titus 3:4). Luke has it of man’s love to man (Acts 28:2).*

ὡς εὐλογίαν καὶ μὴ ὡς πλεονεξίαν. Here RV. makes a change for the worse. ‘As a matter of bounty, not of covetousness’ (AV), is better than ‘not of extortion’ (RV). In the next verse φειδομένως as well as ἐπʼ εὐλογίαις applies to the Corinthians, and φειδομένως is parallel to ὡς πλεονεξίαν as ἐπʼ εὐλογίαις is to ὡς εὐλογίαν. ‘Not of extortion’ makes πλεονεξία apply to the Apostle and his three envoys; ‘that this might be ready, because you are so willing to give, and not because we force you to do so.’ The meaning rather is ‘that this may be ready as a generous gift and not as a grudging contribution.’ Πλεονεξία is “The disposition which is ever ready to sacrifice one’s neighbour to oneself in all things” (Lightfoot on Romans 1:29). It has therefore a much wider sweep than φιλαργυρία (Trench, Syn. § 24), and in the case of giving it means keeping for one’s own use what one ought to bestow on others. That is the meaning here.† But Chrysostom and Beza (ut extortum aliquid) take it as RV.

εἰς ὑμᾶς (א C K L) rather than πρὸς ὑμᾶς (B D F G).προεπηγγελμένην (א B C D F G P) rather than προκατηγγελμένην (K L). The καί before μὴ ὡς is probably original; but א* F G, Latt. omit. D E gave καί although d e omit.

9:6-15. Give Liberally and Cheerfully, for Your Own Sakes and for the Sake of the Whole Church.

6 Now remember this sure law; He who sows sparingly, sparingly shall also reap, and he who sows on principles of bounty, on principles of bounty shall also reap. 7 Let each man give just what he has resolved in his mind to give, neither impulsively, because he takes no thought, nor regretfully, because he thinks that he cannot avoid giving. It is one who gives joyously that God loves and blesses. 8 Do not regard this as an impossible standard. God can and will help you to attain to it. He can shower earthly blessings in abundance upon you; and so, when you find that on all occasions you have all sufficiency in all things, you will have abundant means for accomplishing all kinds of good work. 9 This is exactly what stands written about the charitable man in Scripture;

He scattered, he gave to the needy,

His good deeds shall never be forgotten.

God not only can do this; He certainly will do it. 10 He who so bountifully supplies seed for man to sow, and thus gives bread for him to eat, will certainly supply and multiply benefits for you to sow, and will make the harvest which springs from your good deeds to be a full one; 11 you will be enriched on every side, so that all kinds of liberality will be open to you; and this liberality of yours, which I hope to administer, will be sure to make the recipients very thankful to God. 12 For the ministration of this truly religious service of yours does a great deal more than increase the supply of the wants of our fellow-Christians; it does that, but it also, through the chorus of thanksgivings which it occasions, produces something more for God. 13 This charitable ministration of yours is a proof of your Christian character, and it gives those who profit by it two grounds of thankfulness to God; viz. the genuine loyalty with which you confess your adherence to the Gospel of Christ, and the consequent liberality of your contribution to themselves, which is a benefit to the whole Church. 14 They themselves, moreover, will respond by offering prayers on your behalf, longing for closer union with you, on account of the overflowing grace of God which has been manifestly poured upon you. 15 Thanks be to God for effecting such brotherly love between Jew and Gentile in the Church, a precious boon of which it is impossible to state the worth.

The paragraph is a closely united whole and is closely connected with what precedes. Having begged the Corinthians not to spoil his praise of them by exhibiting unreadiness now, but to give without further delay, he puts before them three motives for giving liberally and joyfully. 1. Giving in a right spirit is a sowing which is sure of a harvest. Dare non est amittere sed seminare (Herveius). 2. God is able and willing to bestow the right spirit and the worldly wealth with which to exhibit it. 3. What they give will not only be a relief to the recipients, but it will fill them with gratitude to God and with affection for the donors. In a few details the exact meaning is not always clear, and in several places the grammatical construction is rugged or even broken. These blemishes are due to the deep feeling with which the Apostle advocates a cause which he has greatly at heart to those who have not been very enthusiastic about it, and who quite recently have been ill-disposed to himself. We must also remember that he is dictating, and in so doing may lose the thread of the construction.

6. Τοῦτο δέ. The δέ is merely transitional; ‘Now’ rather than ‘But.’ With τοῦτο we may supply a verb which is sometimes expressed, such as, λέγω, λέγομεν, φημί, or ἴστε, νοεῖτε, λογίζεσθε,�1 Thessalonians 4:15; Galatians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 7:29, 1 Corinthians 7:15:50; Philippians 2:5; 2 Timothy 2:7; etc. But τοῦτο or ἐκεῖνο without a verb is freq. in class. Grk. Blass, § 81:2; Winer, p. 746. The emphatic τοῦτο calls attention to what follows; it is a well-established and important law. Lachmann takes the τοῦτο on to ἕκαστος, ‘Now let each man do this’ or ‘give this,’ making ὁ σπείρων … θερίσει a parenthesis, which is an awkward and improbable construction.

ὁ σπείρων φειδομένως, φειδομένως καὶ θερίσει. The chiasmus is effective; ‘He who sows sparingly, sparingly will also reap.’ St Paul is fond of chiasmus; 2:16, 4:3, 6:8, 10:11, 12, 13:3; 1 Corinthians 3:17, 1 Corinthians 4:10, 1 Corinthians 8:13, 1 Corinthians 13:2. Comp. ‘One man spends, yet still increases; another withholds what is proper, but it tends only to want’ (Proverbs 11:24). Ut sementem feceris, ita metes (Cic. De Orat. ii. 65). Nowhere else in N.T. or LXX does the rare adv. φειδομένως occur, but cf. δώρων δὲ ὁ φειδόμενος (Proverbs 21:14). The harvest at which the return for the sowing will be repeated is the end of the world (Matthew 13:39), and the return, good or bad, is bestowed by Christ (5:10; Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:25).

ἐπʼ εὐλογίαις. ‘On principles of blessing,’ or ‘On conditions,’ or ‘For purposes of blessing.’ Cf. τὴν ἐκ Θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει (Philippians 3:9), and ὁ Θεὸς ἔκτισεν τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐπʼ�

The Apostle has already shown (8:12) that generosity does not depend upon the amount given, but upon the mind and means of the giver; and we need not wonder that he here puts before his converts the prospect of a rich reward hereafter as a motive for being generous. Low motives, if not immoral, are admissible, esp. in dealing with those to whom high motives do not always appeal. Our Lord makes use of them (Matthew 6:4, Matthew 6:6:18; Luke 14:14), as does St Paul elsewhere (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

Instead of ἐπʼ εὐλογίαις, ἐπʼ εὐλογίαις, D has ἐν εὐλογίᾳ, ἐξ εὐλογίας, G has ἐν εὐλογίᾳ, ἐπʼ εὐλογίᾳ, Cyprian in benedictions, de benedictione. But it is clear from φειδομένως, φειδομένως that א B C etc. are right in having ἐπί in both places, and the plur. would be more likely to be changed to the sing. than vice versa.

7. ἕκαστος καθὼς προῄρηται τῇ καρδίᾳ. ‘Each man just as he has determined in his heart.’ As in Romans 5:18, the ellipse of the verb makes the sentence more forcible. Each must make up his mind seriously as to what he ought to give, and then give joyously. There must be neither thoughtless nor unwilling giving. Students of Aristotle’s Ethics are familiar with προαιρεῖσθαι of deliberate choosing, as also with αὐτάρκεια (v. 8); both words are freq. there, but occur nowhere else in N.T. Even if ἐπιχορηγῶν (v. 10) be allowed some weight, the use of such words is not very strong evidence that St Paul had acquaintance with Aristotelian philosophy. From philosophic schools these expressions had passed into the common language of the day, as Darwin’s language has done among ourselves. Cf. The sluggard’s hands ‘deliberately refuse to do anything,’ οὐ γὰρ προαιροῦνται αἱ χεῖρες αὐτοῦ ποιεῖν τι (Proverbs 21:25); also πρὶν ἢ γνῶναι αὐτὸν ἢ προελέσθαι πονηπά (Isaiah 7:15); and with τῇ καρδίᾳ cf. ὁ υἱός μου προείλατο τῇ ψυχῇ τὴν θυγατέρα ὑμῶν (Genesis 34:8).

ἐκ λύπης ἢ ἐξ�Deuteronomy 15:10, where see Driver).

ἱλαρὸν γὰρ δότην�Proverbs 22:8, ἄνδρα ἱλαρὸν καὶ δότην εὐλογεῖ ὁ Θεός. St Paul is quoting from memory. He would not deliberately have changed εὐλογεῖ to�

προῄρηται (א B C P 67 **) rather than προαιρεῖται (D E K L).

8. δυνατεῖ δὲ ὁ Θεός. ‘Now God is able’; that is indisputable. To give joyfully when one has little to spare may seem difficult, but with God all things are possible. He ‘is able to make every grace abound unto you.’ He can give the desire to be generous and the means of being generous. It is specially the latter that is meant here. Datur nobis, et habemus, non ut habeamus, sed ut bene faciamus. Omnia in hac vita, etiam praemia, sunt semina fidelibus, in messem futuram (Beng.). The man with a bountiful heart finds that God supplies him with something to bestow; ὁ Θεὸς ὄψεται ἑαυτῷ πρόβατον εἰς ὁλοκάρπωσιν (Genesis 22:8). As in 4:15 περισσεύω is transitive; here it must be, and there it probably is.

ἐν παντὶ πάντοτε πᾶσαν αὐτάρκειαν. ‘Always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to all good works’; lit. ‘to every good work,’ or ‘every kind of good work.’ But, as in v. 5, 6:3, 7:4, 8:22, it is worth while to keep the repetition and alliteration as far as possible. In Plato (Menex. 347 A) we have μηδεὶς μηδένα μηδαμοῦ�1 Timothy 6:6 (cf. Philippians 4:11) the meaning is, not ‘sufficiency,’ but ‘contentment.’

δυνατεῖ (א B C* D* F G) rather than δυνατός (C2 D2 and 3 E K L P). Here, as in Romans 14:4, the more usual word has been substituted for a rare one. In 13:3, the only other passage in N.T., δυνατεῖ is undisputed. Both in N.T. and LXX δυνατός is very freq. ; in LXX δυνατέω does not occur.

9. καθὼς γέγραπται. ‘Even as it stands written.’ There is exact correspondence between what has just been stated and what is said of the charitable man, ‘the man who fears the Lord,’ in Scripture. It is possible to carry on ὁ Θεός from v. 8 as the subject in the quotation, and it is not fatal to this view that in Psalms 112:3, Psalms 112:9, the good man, and not God, is the subject. Quotations are often made, and with the more effect, with a complete change of application. Moreover, in Psalms 111:3, ‘His righteousness standeth fast for ever’ is said of God, and LXX is the same in both places. Nevertheless, the context here is in favour of understanding the quotation as a description of the benevolent man.

ἐσκόρπισεν, ἔδωκεν τοῖς πένησιν. ‘He scattered, he gave to the needy.’ ‘Scattering’ is the opposite of ‘sowing sparingly’; it is, as Bengel says, verbum generosum, implying giving with a full hand. But he is less happy in adding sine anxia cogitatione quorsum singula grana cadant. The really charitable man takes anxious care that his benevolence is not made mischievous by being misapplied; he gives, not to anyone who will receive, but to the needy. Herveius is better; dedit non indiscrete omnibus, sed cum ratione solis pauperibus. Per hoc removetur vitium avaritiae contrarium, id est prodigalitatis. In N.T. (Matthew 12:30 = Luke 11:23; John 10:12, John 16:32), as in LXX, σκορπίζω commonly means ‘disperse, put to flight.’

Nowhere else in N.T. does πένης occur, and therefore it is all the more necessary to distinguish it in translation from πτωχός, which is freq. in the Gospels, but is used by St Paul rarely, and only in this group of Epistles (Romans 15:26; Galatians 2:10, Galatians 4:9). Both words are found in conjunction, several times in Ezekiel, and more often in the Psalms, where the familiar ‘poor and needy’ is frequent. Yet no English Version makes any distinction here; nor does the Vulgate, which has no fixed rendering where the two words are found together. It varies between egenus et pauper and pauper et inops, and once has mendicus et pauper. See Index IV. Of the two words πτωχός (πτώσσω, ‘I crouch’) is the stronger, ‘abjectly poor.’ Trench, Syn. § xxxvi.; Hatch, Bibl. Grk. p. 73. With the general sense comp. Proverbs 11:25. The righteous man does not keep for selfish use what was meant for the benefit of many.

ἡ δικαιοσύνη αὐτοῦ μένει εἰς τόν αἰῶνα. ‘His righteousness abideth for ever.’ Both subject and predicate of this simple sentence are ambiguous. Ἡ δικαιοσύνη may mean either ‘righteousness’ in the wider sense; or ‘almsgiving’ as a form of righteousness, and according to Jewish notions a very important form; or ‘prosperity’ as a reward for righteousness, ‘blessing,’ which seems to be its meaning in Psalms 112:9; cf. Ezekiel 28:20; Isaiah 58:8. ‘Righteousness leads to prosperity, and prosperity promotes almsgiving,’ is perhaps the sequence in thought. In Matthew 6:1 the original reading δικαιοσύνη was changed by some copyists to ἐλεημοσύνη, because they supposed that δικαιοσύνη was used there in the narrower sense. Cf. Deuteronomy 24:13. Μένει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα is also ambiguous, for it may refer to the life to come or be limited to this life, and the ‘abiding’ or ‘standing fast’ may be literal or may refer to perpetual remembrance by man or God. In LXX of both Psalms the expression is εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος. It is unlikely that St Paul omits τοῦ αἰῶνος in order to limit the meaning to this life, for εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα may include the life to come (John 8:51, John 8:11:26, John 8:12:34; etc.). He himself commonly uses the plur. εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, sometimes adding τῶν αἰώνων (Galatians 1:5; Philippians 4:20; etc.) and sometimes not (Romans 1:25, Romans 1:9:5; etc.).

Among possible meanings for the whole statement these merit consideration; (1) the righteous acts of the good man continue as long as he lives, for God always supplies him with the means; (2) the prosperity which rewards his righteousness continues as long as he lives; (3) his goodness will always be remembered among men; (4) his goodness will always be remembered and rewarded by God both here and hereafter; (5) the effects of his goodness will live for ever, influencing generation after generation. Wickedness will be destroyed, but righteousness can never perish. Of these five the two last are best, and of these two the last is perhaps not sufficiently obvious; the fourth is simpler and is a principle often insisted on in Scripture.

G K, f g add τοῦ αἰῶνος from LXX.

10. ὁ δὲ ἐπιχορηγῶν σπέρμα τῷ σπείροντι κ.τ.λ. He is continuing the argument that, in the long run, bounty is not ruinous to those who practise it. He has shown that God can reward it, and he now points out that we may believe that He will do so. He again resorts to Scripture, Isaiah 55:10 and Hosea 10:12.

καὶ ἄρτον εἰς βρῶσιν. The clause is amphibolous, but no doubt should be taken with what precedes (RV), not with what follows (AV); ‘Now He that bountifully supplieth seed to the sower and bread for eating, will supply and multiply what you sow.’ It seems to be right to make a distinction between ἐπιχορηγέω and χορηγέω, although in late Greek compound words are often no stronger in meaning than simple ones (Bigg on 2 Peter 1:5). Cf. Galatians 3:5; Colossians 2:19, in both of which passages χορηγέω means ‘supply bountifully,’ and ἐπιχορηγία has a similar force Ephesians 4:16 and Philippians 1:19 (Lightfoot on Galatians 3:5). Χορηγέω, freq. in LXX, is found in N.T. here and 1 Peter 4:11 only. The word passed through three stages; (1) ‘lead the chorus’; (2) ‘supply the chorus’ for a drama, a λειτουργία which cost the persons who undertook it a large outlay; (3) ‘supply anything plentifully,’ as here. Even the simple verb suggests generous behaviour. Aristotle several times uses κεχορηγημένος In the sense of ‘well furnished,’ ‘well fitted out’ (Esther 1:0. viii. 15, x. 15, x. vii. 4; etc.).

Rather more important than the change from ἐπιχορηγῶν to χορηγήσει is the change from σπέρμα to σπόρον, for the former is seed in the literal sense, whereas σπόρος is here used of the gifts which must be scattered generously, and which God will supply and augment. The possessions of the Corinthians are given by God, and He augments them with a view to their being employed benevolently.

Both external (see below) and internal evidence can show that the three verbs are futures indicative and not optatives. A wish does not suit the context.

St Paul does not seem to make much, if any, difference between καύχησις (1:12, 7:4, 14, 8:24, 11:10, 17) and καύχημα (1:14, 5:12, 9:3), and in late Greek the difference between -σις and -μα in verbal substantives is not very distinct. But in the case of βρῶσις and πόσις (1 Corinthians 8:4; Romans 14:17; Colossians 2:16) as compared with βρῶμα and πόμα (1 Corinthians 3:2, 1 Corinthians 3:6:13, 1 Corinthians 3:10:3, 1 Corinthians 3:4; Romans 14:15) he appears to observe the usual difference, the former being ‘eating’ and ‘drinking,’ the latter ‘food’ and ‘drink.’ Here βρῶσις is ‘eating’ rather than ‘food’; panem ad manducandum (Vulg.) rather than panem ad escam (Beza). But elsewhere Vulg. has esca or cibus for βρῶσις as well as for βρῶμα.

αὐξήσει τὰ γενήματα τῆς δικαιοσύνης ὑμῶν. From LXX of Hosea 10:12; ‘will make the fruits of your righteousness to grow.’ Neither LXX nor Heb. give exactly the thought which St Paul has here, yet either might suggest the thought. His chief borrowing is the expression γενήματα δικαιοσύνης. The Heb. gives, ‘Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap the fruit of love; break up your fallow ground; since there is (still) time to seek Jehovah, till He come and rain righteousness upon you,’ or possibly ‘to the end that the fruit of righteousness may come to you’ (see Harper, ad loc.). If we may take the first two commands as meaning ‘Sow for yourselves righteousness and ye shall reap in proportion to your love,’ and conclude ‘to the end that the fruit of righteousness may come to you,’ we come close to what St Paul inculcates here. LXX is very different; ‘Sow for yourselves unto righteousness; reap unto fruit of life; light for yourselves unto light of knowledge; seek the Lord until the produce of righteousness comes for you.’

Here, as in 1 Corinthians 3:6, 1 Corinthians 3:7; αὐξάνω is transitive ; so always in LXX. Cf. 10:15; Colossians 1:6, Colossians 1:10; 1 Peter 2:2. In N.T. it is often intransitive (Ephesians 2:21, Ephesians 2:4:15; Matthew 6:28; etc.). The change is thought to begin with Aristotle. Many verbs, mostly connected with motion, make this transition. Winer, p. 314; Blass, § 24. Γένημα is freq. in LXX of vegetable produce; cf. Matthew 26:29 and parallels. Here of the rewards of liberality.

σπέρμα (א C D2 and 3 E K L P) rather than σπόρον (B D* F G), by assimilation to what follows. χορηγήσαι … πληθυνεῖ … αὐξήσει (א* B C D * P, Latt. Copt.) rather than χορηγήσαι…πληθύναι … αὐξήσαι (אc Dc F G K L), γενήματα (א B C D F G K L P), rather than γεννήματα. Papyri. confirm the spelling with one v, and the derivation from γίνομαι, as coexisting with the double v, and the derivation from γεννάω. Deissmann, Bib. St. pp. 109, 184. Cf. Mark 14:25; Matthew 26:29; Luke 22:18. In Matthew 3:7, Matthew 12:34, Matthew 23:33, and Luke 3:7, γέννημα is right. Blass, § 3. 10.

11. ἐν παντὶ πλουτιζόμενοι. ‘Ye being enriched in everything. The constr. is uncertain, but the meaning is clear. It is awk-ward to make vv. 9:10 a parenthesis and connect πλουτιζόμενοι with ἔχόντες περισσεύητε In v. 8, for in v. 10 a new argument begins. Yet WH. follow Bengel in adopting this arrangement. It is less violent to connect πλουτιζόμενοι with the preceding ὑμῶν : the transition from gen. to nom. would be easily made in dictating. Cf. δοξάζοντες (v. 13), εἰδότες (1:7), θλιβόμενοι (7:5), στελλόμενοι (8:20). Winer, p. 716 Blass, § 79. 10.

εἰς πᾶσαν ἁπλότητα, ἥτις κατεργάζεταει κ.τ.λ. ‘Unto every kind of liberality (see on 8:2), which is such as to (8:10) work out (7:10, 11) through us thanksgiving to God.’ It is difficult here to give ἁπλότης the meaning of ‘simplicity,’ ‘singleness of mind,’ which some prefer; Biederkeit, Herzenseinfalt, Einfalt. Here, as in 8:2. Vulg. has simplicitas, Beza benignitas. ‘Being enriched unto singleness of heart’ is a strange expression, and it does not make it less strange to explain ‘singleness of heart’ as ‘the absence of selfish motives.’ The meaning is that the Corinthians will be endowed with a generosity which will enable the Apostle to excite gratitude in those who profit by it. With διʼ ἡμῶν comp. τῇ διακονουμένῃ ὑφʼ ἡμῶν (8:19, 20).* It does not make much matter whether we take τῷ Θεῷ with εὐχαριστίαν or κατεργάζεται : the former is simpler. Datives are normal after such words as εὐχαριστία, εὐχή, προσευχή, χάρις. Here B reads Θεοῦ. There is no break in the paragraph here, as if v. 12 was the beginning of a new point; the verse merely explains what has just been stated, that charitable work promotes devout feeling towards God. There should be no full stop at end of v. 11.

12. ὅτι ἡ διακονία τῆς λειτουργίας ταύτης. ‘Because the ministration of this public service not only helps to fill up the wants of the saints, but it also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God.’ ‘The ministration of this public service’ means ‘the ministering which you render to others by undertaking a work of general benevolence.’ The genitive is epexegetic. When Barnabas and Saul take relief from Antioch to Jerusalem in the famine-year, it is called διακονία (Acts 11:29, Acts 12:25). Λειτουργια is used here in a sense closely akin to its classical meaning of the ‘aids’ which wealthy citizens had to render to the public in financing choruses for dramas (see on v. 10), fitting out triremes, training gymnasts, etc. These publica munera were enforced by law, but St Paul uses the word of voluntary service. The Jews gave the term a religious meaning,* ‘the public ministrations of priests (Hebrews 8:6, Hebrews 8:9:21; Luke 1:23; and often in Num. and Chron.) and of Levites’ (Exodus 38:19) [38:21]; cf. 1 Chronicles 16:4, 1 Chronicles 16:37. “The words λειτουργός, -εῖν, -ία, are used in the Apostolic writings of services rendered to God and to man, and that in the widest relations of social life” (Westcott, Hebrews, p. 231). See on Romans 15:27, where the verb is used of this very contribution; also Lightfoot on Philippians 2:17, Philippians 2:30. The διακονία here is not the administration of the fund by St Paul (that is a subordinate detail), but the service of the Corinthians in raising the fund. What Athenian citizens who had the means were made to do, Gentile Christians will be glad to do, in order to render service to society and to God. Christians, a little later, gave these words a special religious meaning in connexion with the Eucharist, while retaining the Jewish usage respecting public worship of any kind. It is doubtful whether here any idea of ‘sacrifice’ ought to be included. See on v. 10.

προσαναπληροῦσα. ‘Filling up in addition,’ ‘helping to fill’; cf. 11:9. The Corinthians were not the only contributors.

τῷ Θεῷ. As in v. 11, this comes at the end with special force. There it seems to belong to εὐχαριστίαν rather than to κατεργάζεται; and that is in favour of taking it with εὐχαριστιῶν here; but there is no certainty in either case. It may belong to εὐχ in either case or in neither. If taken with the verb, it is a dat. comm. ‘for God,’ and in that sense St Paul would perhaps rather have said εἰς τὴν δόξαν τοῦ Θεοῦ (4:15); see also 1 Corinthians 10:31, Romans 15:7. To take τῷ Θεῷ with εὐχαριστίαν does not destroy the antithesis between προσαναπληροῦσα and περισσευοῦσα, nor that between τῶν ἁγίων and τῷ Θεῷ. B has τῷ Χριστῷ hhere for τῷ Θεῷ. Πολλῶν may be ‘of many people,’ but ‘many thanksgivings’ is simpler, per multas gratiarum actiones (Vulg.).

13. διὰ τῆς δοκιμῆς τῆς διακονίας ταύτης δοξάζοντες τὸν θεόν. We again have an anacoluthon with a nom. participle; see above on πλουτζόμενοι (v. 11), with which, however, δοξάζοντες cannot be connected, for πλουτιζόμενοι refers to the Corinthians and δοξάζοτες to the Christians at Jerusalem, who are the people that offer the many thanksgivings in v. 12. The anacoluthon is simple enough in any case, but it is rather more simple if πολλῶν εὐχαριστίων means ‘thanksgivings of many people’ rather than ‘many thanksgivings.’ In any case this verse explains why Palestine Christians give thanks to God; ‘seeing that through the proof (see on 2:9) of this ministration of yours they glorify God.’ The relief of want is one good point in benevolence, but only one; the glory of God is another; and it is greatly to the glory of God to change the spirits of others from despondency to joyous thankfulness to Him. Affliction tested the reality of the Macedonians’ Christianity (8:2), benevolence will be a proof in the case of the Corinthians.

ἐπὶ τῇ ὑποταγῇ … καὶ ἁπλάτητι τῆς κοινωνίας. In the fulness of his feeling the Apostle gives a compressed fulness of expression, the general meaning of which is certain, but the exact construction of which cannot in all particulars be disentangled with certainty. He has just stated what would be the occasion of the saints’ thankfulness. He now states two reasons for it, Corinthian loyalty to the Gospel, and Corinthian generosity to themselves. They had been suspicious of Corinthian loyalty; many Jewish Christians had feared that converts from heathenism were turning Christian liberty into pagan licentiousness. The brethren in Jerusalem would now see that Gentile converts were as good Christians as Jewish converts; and generosity was generosity from whatever quarter it came. It does not make much difference whether we take εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιό with τῇ ὑποταγῇ or τῆς ὁμολογίας, and both Vulg. (in oboedientia eonfessionis vestrae in evangelium Christi) and RV. (‘the obedience of your confession unto the Gospel of Christ’) leave it open. Beza (de vestra testata submissions in evangelium Christ) and AV (‘your professed subjection unto the Gospel of Christ’) decide for τῇ ὑποταγῇ. The other is better; cf. τὴν εἰς τὸν χριστὸν τοῦ θεοῦ ὁμολογίαν (Just. M. Try. 17. 266 D). ‘Confession’ needs some further definition here. Later it was used of the confession made at baptism; see Suicer s.v. and�

We have a similar doubt as to whether εἰς αὐτοὺς καὶ εἰς πάντας should be taken with τῆς κοινωνίας or ἁπλόητι, and here again connexion with the nearer noun is better (AV, RV); ‘and for the sincere kindness (v. 11, 8:2) of your contribution (8:4) unto them and unto all.’ Cf. κοινωνίαν τινα ποιήσασθαι εἰς τοὺς πτωχούς (Rom . 15:26), and ἐπὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον (Philippians 1:5), where the meaning is ‘your co-operation in aid of the Gospel.’ See also Romans 15:26-31, and Hastings, DB. art. ‘Communion.’ Whether καὶ εἱς πάντας be a sudden afterthought or not, it points out to the Corinthians that a benefit conferred on the brethren at Jerusalem is a benefit to the whole body of Christians (1 Corinthians 12:26).

14. καὶ αὐτῶν δεήσει ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐπιποθούντων ὑμᾶς. ‘While they themselves also, with supplication on your behalf, long after you.’ There is little doubt that we have here a gen. absol. (cf. 4. 18) stating the response which the Palestinian Christians will make to the generosity of their Corinthian brethren. The possibility of making δεήσει depend on ἐπί in v. 13 is a parenthesis), or on δοξάζοντες, or on περισσεύουσα (in which case the whole of v. 13. is a parenthesis), is not worth considering; the word implies “special petition for the supply of wants,” and is often used of intercession. See Lightfoot on Philippians 4:6; Trench, Syn. § li. The dat. here is not instrumental, not ‘by’ but ‘with’ the intercession accompanies their longing. The αὐτῶν is emphatic by position. B E have ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν. For δέησις see Index IV.

διὰ τὴν ὑπερβάλλουσαν χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐφʼ ὑμῖν. Note the change of constr. from διά cum gen. in v. 13; also the change of meaning in χάρις from χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ to χάρις τῷ θεωσͅ. The clause explains the reason of the longing; ‘on account’ of the exceeding grace of God upon you.’ In 8:1 it was the grace of God which enabled the Macedonian Christians to be so generous; the Palestinians will see that a similar grace is operating strongly at Corinth. The Apostle is very generous in his praise of both parties, of the Corinthians for their great generosity, and of the Jewish Christians for their gratitude to God, not merely for the relief given to them, but also for the genuineness of the Christianity found in the donors. The praise, esp. of the Corinthians, may seem to be somewhat extravagant; but St Paul is not praising what has taken place, but what he hopes and believes will take place.* It is a glorious picture which he has before his eyes. Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians abandoning their mutual distrust and dislike, which sometimes ended in bitter hostility, and drawing close together in mutual appreciation and love.

15. Χάρις τῷ θεῷ. This glorious picture causes him to burst out into an expression of deep thankfulness to God. He sees in it an earnest of that unity of Christendom for which he has laboured so perseveringly; ‘neither Jew nor Greek,’ but ‘all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Colossians 3:11.) The Jewish Christians thank God for the goodness of their Gentile brethren, and to this thanksgiving the Apostle utters a deep Amen in the brief but profound doxology contained in this verse. It is based on hope rather than on fact, and on the more remote rather than on the immediate and obvious results of his pleading. His intense thankfulness is not so much for the relief of the sufferings of the Jewish Christians in Palestine, as for the effect on Christendom of their being relieved by Gentile Christians in Europe. “It will disarm suspicion; it will be a practical proof of the reality and power of the Gospel, it will strengthen the sense of brotherhood, it will turn distant strangers into earnest, eager friends, who pray for their benefactors and long for a sight of their face” (McFadyen, 2 Corinthians, p. 375). We may compare the interjected thanksgiving 1 Corinthians 15:57, and the similar expressions of praise Galatians 1:5; Romans 9:5, Romans 9:11:33; 1 Timothy 1:17.

τῇ�Romans 11:33) depths of the abysses and the unutterable statutes �1 Peter 1:8) of joy in Christ, and�Romans 8:26) of the groanings of the Spirit in intercession. All three words are rare. It is rash to say that so strong a word could not be used by St Paul of anything less than God’s supreme gift in sending His Son for man’s redemption. A thanksgiving for that has only a very far-fetched connexion with the context. On the other hand, the thought of the complete realization of his highest hopes for the unity of Christendom as the natural fruit of mutual goodwill between Gentile and Jewish Christians is quite sufficient to account for this outburst of fervour. Chrysostom remarks; “If God’s gift is indescribable, what madness it must be to raise curious questions about His Being. When what He bestows is ineffable, what must He be Himself.” Of the two explanations as to what the gift was for which St Paul was so intensely thankful, Chrysostom inclines to the less probable, that it was the gift of His Son for man’s salvation.

δωρεᾷ. Here, as elsewhere in N.T., the word is used of a Divine boon (Romans 5:15, Romans 5:17; Ephesians 3:7, Ephesians 3:4:7; Hebrews 6:4; etc.); the more freq. δῶρον is used of offerings to God (Matthew 5:23, Matthew 5:24, Matthew 5:15:5, Matthew 5:23:18, Matthew 5:19; etc.) and gifts to men (Revelation 11:10).

א3 C2 D2 and 3 E K L P, Syrr. Copt. Arm. insert δέ after χάρις א * B C * D * F G 17, Latt. Goth. omit. Connecting particles are often inserted by scribes and translators for smoothness, and the δέ is probably not genuine. If we omit it, the sentence is an exclamation of thankfulness, closing the subject; and thus we have an intelligible conclusion to ch. 9. But if the δέ is genuine, the sentence looks as if it were unfinished, and the want of connexion between 9:15 and 10:1 becomes glaring. This would be a point in favour of the theory that 1-9. is a letter of which the original conclusion has been lost, and which has been joined to another letter of which the original beginning has been lost. Kennedy, Hermathena, XII. xxix., 1903, p. 365.

Here the second main division of the Epistle ends. The whole of it (8., 9.) is taken up with the subject of the collection for the poor at Jerusalem. On the interesting question whether the remaining four chapters are part of the same letter, or belonged originally to the severe letter which the Apostle wrote after 1 Corinthians and before 2 Cor. 1-9., see the Introduction, § IV. 5, and the note on 7:8. Here it may suffice to quote the words of two recent commentators, both of whom think that the latter hypothesis is hardly necessary.

“The most cursory reader cannot fail to perceive an abrupt difference in tone, as he passes from ch. 8 f. to ch. 10. The former chapters were complimentary and affectionate; this and the following chapters are heated, polemical, and in part ironical. There, the Corinthians were his beloved ‘brethren,’ of whom he was proud, and of whose generosity he was not afraid to boast; here, there are enemies in the camp—enemies who have been challenging his authority, and detracting from his credit, and who will therefore have to be summarily dealt with. They will have to be convinced, by its impact on themselves, that Paul’s authority is a very real thing, and that he is just as capable of exercising it before their eyes as he is by means of correspondence’ (McFadyen, p. 376).

The other commentator allows that there is an “abrupt change of tone and subject at 10:1, where there is no manifest connexion with what goes before, and after a peaceable discussion of the fruits to be expected from the collection, we are suddenly plunged in a piece of vehement polemical writing against adversaries, the quarrel with whom has already been adjusted in the earlier chapters” (Menzies, p. xxxv).

It is very difficult to see how 8. and 9. “prepare for the polemic against the Judaistic opponents” in 10-13. Is asking for money a good preparation for an incisive attack?

* Halmel insists that the omission of ταύτης and addition of εἰς τοὺς αγίους in 9:1 (as in 8:4) proves that in ix. I we begin a different and independent appeal. The inference is not strong: εἰς τοὐς ἁγἰους takes the place of ταύτης.

C C (Fifth century). Codex Ephraemi, a Palimpsest; now at Paris, very defective. Of 2 Corinthians all from 10:8 onwards is wanting.

אԠא (Fourth century). Codex Sinaiticus; now at Petrograd, the only uncial MS. containing the whole N.T.

B B (Fourth century). Codex Vaticanus.

17 17. (Evan. 33, Acts 13:0. Ninth century). Now at paris. “The queen of the cursives” and the best for the Pauline Epistles; more than any other it preserves Pre-Syrian readings and agrees with B D L.

D D (Sixth century). Codex Claromontanus; now at Paris. A Graeco-Latin MS. The Latin (d) is akin to the Old Latin. Many subsequent hands (sixth to ninth centuries) have corrected the MS.

F F (Late ninth century). Codex Augiensis (from Reichenau); now at Trinity College, Cambridge.

G G (Late ninth century). Codex Boernerianus; at Dresden. Interlined with the Latin (in minluscules). The Greek text is almost the same as that of F, but the Latin (g) shows Old Latin elements.

K K (Ninth century). Codex Mosquensis; now at Moscow.

L L (Ninth century). Codex Angelicus; now in the Angelica Library at Rome.

P P (Ninth century). Codex Porfirianus Chiovensis, formerly possessed by Bishop Porfiri of Kiev, and now at Petrograd.

f d The Latin companion of F

E E (Ninth century). At Petrograd. A copy of D, and unimportant

d d The Latin companion of D

e d The Latin companion of E

* Possibly only the two colleagues are meant. Titus was going of his own initiative (8:17). Without 8:16-24, these verses (3-5) would be rather obscure.

* information respecting the commentator is to be found in the volume on the First Epistle, pp. lxvi f.

g d The Latin companion of G

67 67. (Eleventh century). At Vienna. Has valuable marginal readings (67 * *) akin to B and M; these readings must have been copied from an ancient MS., but not from the Codex Ruber itself.

* Deissmann (Bib. St. p. 144) proposes to read λογίαν here in instead ofεὐλογίαν There is no authority for it.

† Wie eine Segensgabe nicht wie eine Habsuchisgabe (Schmiedel).

* Ἀρέσκει δʼ αὐτοῖς καὶ λιτῶς βιοῦν, καθάπερ Διογένης, ὃς ἔφασκε θεῶν μὲν ἴδιον εἶναι μηδενὸς δεῖσθαι, τῶν δὲ θεοῖς ὁμοίων τὸ ὀλίγων χρῄζειν (Diog. Laert. vi. 105).

* Some understand δἰ ἡμῶν as meaning, ‘through us weak mortals’; but it probably means no more than ‘through us who have to administer the bounty.’

* This use, however, was not prculiar to the Jews. Papyri of 165-160 b.c. show that it was common in Egypt, esp. of the services in the Serapeum (Deissmann, Bib. st. p. 140).

* There is evidence that it did take place. Forty years later Clement of Rome, in addressing the Corinthians (2:1), praises them as ἥδιον διδόντες ἢ λαμβάνοντες, which he would hardly have done had the historic collection been a failure at Corinth.

Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9". International Critical Commentary NT. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/2-corinthians-9.html. 1896-1924.
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