|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:1-9 The good examples of other Christians and churches should rouse us. It is good to lay up in store for good uses. Those who are rich in this world, should be rich in good works, 1Ti 6:17,18. The diligent hand will not make rich, without the Divine blessing, Pr 10:4,22. And what more proper to stir us up to charity to the people and children of God, than to look at all we have as his gift? Works of mercy are real fruits of true love to God, and are therefore proper services on his own day. Ministers are doing their proper business, when putting forward, or helping works of charity. The heart of a Christian minister must be towards the people among whom he has laboured long, and with success. All our purposes must be made with submission to the Divine providence, Jas 4:15. Adversaries and opposition do not break the spirits of faithful and successful ministers, but warm their zeal, and inspire them with fresh courage. A faithful minister is more discouraged by the hardness of his hearers' hearts, and the backslidings of professors, than by the enemies' attempts.
Verse 3. - Whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send. It is difficult to see why the translators rendered the clause thus, unless they disliked to face the certainty that the apostle must have written many letters which are no longer extant. The true rendering is, Whomsoever ye approve, these I will send with letters. The letters would be letters of introduction or commendation (Acts 18:27; Romans 16:1; 2 Corinthians 3:1) to the apostles at Jerusalem. Your liberality; literally, your grace or favour; i.e. the token of your voluntary affection.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when I come,.... To Corinth, as he intended very quickly:
whomsoever you shall approve by your letters; that is, such persons as this church should approve, and choose, and fix upon as proper persons to go with their collection; which approbation and choice they would signify by letters to the church, and principal men of it in Jerusalem, giving them a character as men of probity and faithfulness:
them will I send. The Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions join the phrase, "by letters", to this clause; according to which reading the sense is, such as the church should choose for this service, the apostle would send with letters of commendation from him, to the elders and church at Jerusalem, recommending them as brethren in the Lord, and to be had in respect, and treated in a Christian manner by them; to which their being messengers from such a church, and having letters from so great an apostle; besides, the business they should come about would entitle them to, which was
to bring your liberality, or "grace",
unto Jerusalem; meaning the money collected for the poor saints there; which he calls grace, because it was owing to the goodness of God, that they were in a capacity to contribute to others, and to the grace of God that they had a heart to do it; and because it was in a free and gracious manner, and in the exercise of grace, of faith in Christ, and love to the saints, that they did it, and with a view to the glory of the grace of God, of which this was a fruit and evidence.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. approve by your letters—rather translate, "Whomsoever ye shall approve, them will I send with letters": namely, letters to several persons at Jerusalem, which would be their credentials. There could be no need of letters from them before Paul's coming, if the persons recommended were not to be sent off before it. Literally, "by letters"; an abbreviated expression for "I will send, recommending them by letters" [Grotius]. If English Version be retained, the sense will be, "When I come, I will send those whom by your letters, then to be given them, ye shall approve." But the antithesis (opposition or contrast) to Paul himself (1Co 16:4) favors Grotius' view. So "by" means with (Ro 2:27); and the Greek for "by" is translated, with (2Co 2:4).
liberality—literally, gracious or free gift (2Co 8:4).
1 Corinthians 16:3 Parallel Commentaries
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