|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:16-24 The apostle commends the brethren sent to collect their charity, that it might be known who they were, and how safely they might be trusted. It is the duty of all Christians to act prudently; to hinder, as far as we can, all unjust suspicions. It is needful, in the first place, to act uprightly in the sight of God, but things honest in the sight of men should also be attended to. A clear character, as well as a pure conscience, is requisite for usefulness. They brought glory to Christ as instruments, and had obtained honour from Christ to be counted faithful, and employed in his service. The good opinion others have of us, should be an argument with us to do well.
Verse 22. - Our brother. It is impossible to conjecture with any certainty who was the brother thus warmly eulogized. Clement, Epaenetus, Apollos, Luke, Zenas, Sosthenes, Trophimus, and Tychicus have all been suggested. Stanley conjectures that the two who accompanied Titus were the Ephesians Tychicus and Trophimus (Acts 20:4; Acts 21:9; 2 Timothy 4:12; Ephesians 6:21; Titus 3:12; Colossians 4:7).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And we have sent with him our brother,.... This is a third person sent about this business. The apostle, in this, conformed to the customs of his nation; at least if he did not purposely do it, it agrees with the Jewish canons, which require three persons for the distribution of alms.
"The alms dish, (they say (x)) is by three; nor do they appoint "overseers" of it "less than three".''
Again, they say (y),
"the poor's chest is collected by two, "but distributed by three"; it is collected by two, because they do not appoint governors over a congregation less than two, and it is distributed by three, even as pecuniary judgments; but the alms dish is collected by three, and distributed by three; for the collection and distribution are alike:''
who this brother was, sent by the apostle with Titus and the other person, is as uncertain as the former. Some think it was Luke, others Apollos, others Timothy, others Sosthenes, others Epaenetus, others Silas, others Zenas the lawyer; a brother he was, and a very considerable character is given of him:
whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things; he was a very diligent and industrious man, and so fit for this service; he had been tried and proved, and was found to be so, not only once or twice, but oftentimes; and that not in a few instances, but in many; and in nothing did he ever show more diligence than in this matter:
but now much more diligent; than ever he had been in anything before:
upon the great confidence which I have in you; what doubled and increased this brother's diligence, and made him so eager for, and forward to this work, was, his observing the great confidence the apostle expressed of the very great readiness and liberality of the Corinthians; and which tacitly carries in it an argument exciting them thereunto: or this last clause may be read, "which he hath in you"; and so regards the confidence this brother had in them, which made him so ready to engage with, and join the other messengers.
(x) T. Hieros. Peah, fol. 21. 1.((y) Misn. Peah, c. 8. sect. 7. & Jarchi, Maimonides & Bartenora, in ib. T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 8. 2. Maimon. Mattanot Anayim, c. 9. sect. 5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. This second brother, Birks supposes to be Trophimus: for a Macedonian is not meant (2Co 9:4) probably the same as was sent before with Titus (2Co 12:18); and therefore sent from Ephesus, and probably an Ephesian: all this is true of Trophimus.
oftentimes … in many things—Join and translate as in the Greek, "many times in many things."
upon the great confidence which I have in you—"through the great confidence WHICH HE HAS towards you" [Alford]. Bengel better supports English Version, "We have sent … through the confidence WHICH WE FEEL in regard to your liberality."
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