2 Corinthians 9The ministering to the saints; the contribution of which he had been speaking.—It is superfluous; that is, perhaps it is superfluous; I might consider it so.
The forwardness of your mind; our readiness and liberality.—Achaia. Paul often uses the term Achaia, instead of Corinth, in these Epistles, as if he intended to address the Christians of the province, as well as those of the city. Perhaps he designed particularly to include the church in Cenchrea, a seaport near Corinth, which is repeatedly alluded to. (Rom. 16:1, Acts 18:18.)—A year ago. Paul had written to them on this subject in his former Epistle. Some have supposed that there was an interval of about a year between the two communications.—Provoked,—incited, stimulated; that is, to imitation.
The brethren; those referred to in the last chapter. (16-18, 22.)—In this behalf; in this respect.
Confident boasting; the confident assurances which he had given the Macedonians that the churches of Achaia were ready to contribute liberally.
Make up beforehand; have it collected beforehand.—As a matter of bounty, &c.; that is, made in a liberal, not in a covetous spirit.
As he purposeth in his heart; as he himself, of his own accord, desires and intends.—Or of necessity; under any species of compulsion.
This language, descriptive of the character of the benevolent man, is quoted from Ps. 112:9.
He that ministereth seed to the sower; he who is the Fountain and Source of all human supplies.
Of this service; that is, the contribution.—But is abundant also, &c.; that is, it promotes the giving of glory to God by thanksgiving and praise in the manner specified in the following verses.
By the experiment; the experience; that is, by being the objects of it, and enjoying the relief which it affords.
Which long after you; with feelings of affection and gratitude.
We shall not be surprised at the indications of great interest and solicitude, on the part of the apostle, manifest in all that he says in this and in the preceding chapter, in respect to this contribution, when we consider that, in endeavoring to accomplish such a measure, he was carrying out the principles of Christianity into an entirely new and untried field. At the present age of the world, and in Christian lands, we cannot well appreciate the novelty and boldness of such an undertaking as the attempt, at that day, to induce an extended and continued contribution of money, from the middle and lower classes of society, to raise a fund for the relief of sufferers perhaps a thousand miles remote from them, and whom they had never seen; and to combine, too, for this purpose, two distant provinces, having no connection with each other whatever, except the bonds of a spiritual sympathy. These contributions for the distressed Christians at Jerusalem (compare Acts 11:29, 30) were demonstrating the power of Christianity to produce results which the world had never witnessed before, and successful as they were, they became the germ and the beginning of the great principle of organized and combined benevolence, which has since, in every age, been one of the most marked and striking characteristics of Christianity.
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