|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:6-15 Money bestowed in charity, may to the carnal mind seem thrown away, but when given from proper principles, it is seed sown, from which a valuable increase may be expected. It should be given carefully. Works of charity, like other good works, should be done with thought and design. Due thought, as to our circumstances, and those we are about to relieve, will direct our gifts for charitable uses. Help should be given freely, be it more or less; not grudgingly, but cheerfully. While some scatter, and yet increase; others withhold more than is meet, and it tends to poverty. If we had more faith and love, we should waste less on ourselves, and sow more in hope of a plentiful increase. Can a man lose by doing that with which God is pleased? He is able to make all grace abound towards us, and to abound in us; to give a large increase of spiritual and of temporal good things. He can make us to have enough in all things; and to be content with what we have. God gives not only enough for ourselves, but that also wherewith we may supply the wants of others, and this should be as seed to be sown. We must show the reality of our subjection to the gospel, by works of charity. This will be for the credit of our profession, and to the praise and glory of God. Let us endeavour to copy the example of Christ, being unwearied in doing good, and deeming it more blessed to give than to receive. Blessed be God for the unspeakable gift of his grace, whereby he enables and inclines some of his people to bestow upon others, and others to be grateful for it; and blessed be his glorious name to all eternity, for Jesus Christ, that inestimable gift of his love, through whom this and every other good thing, pertaining to life and godliness, are freely given unto us, beyond all expression, measure, or bounds.
Verse 7. - In his heart. The heart must not only go with but anticipate the hand. Grudgingly; literally, from grief (Exodus 25:2; Romans 12:8). A cheerful giver. The phrase is from the addition to Proverbs 22:8, which is found in the LXX.; except that "loveth" is substituted for "blesseth." Compare "He that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness" (Romans 12:8). The rabbis said that cheerful kindness, even if nothing was given, was better than a morose gift.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart,.... Which is not to be understood of the quantity, or any set sum he has fixed upon in his mind to give; but of the quality or nature of giving; or of the manner in which he is to give:
so let him give; of his own will and free choice, from his very heart; not as directed and forced by others, but according to his own counsel and determination:
not grudgingly; or not of grief; with pain and uneasiness of mind, grieving at parting with what is given, reflecting on the persons that move him to it, or on the objects moved for. The Jews (g) reckon this the lowest degree of all in giving alms; "when a man gives to anyone" "with grief", to which the apostle seems to refer: who adds,
or of necessity; of force, by coaction, being obliged to it by the influence, example, or commands of superiors; or through the powerful motives, or prevailing entreaties of others; for without these, men, according to their abilities, should give of themselves freely and liberally:
for God loveth a cheerful giver; or one that gives , "with a cheerful countenance", as the Jews (h) say; or as elsewhere (i), "with a cheerful heart": their rule is this,
"he that doth the commandment, i.e. alms, let him do it , "with a cheerful heart".''
Who looks pleasantly on the person or persons that move him to it, or on the object to whom he gives; who parts with his money willingly, and takes delight in doing good to others; such givers God loves: not that their cheerful beneficence is the cause of his special peculiar love to them in his own heart, which arises from nothing in man, or done by him; but the meaning is, that God does well to such persons; shows his love to them; he lets them know how kindly he takes such acts of theirs, by prospering and succeeding them in their worldly affairs. In the Septuagint in Proverbs 22:8 are these words, "God blesses a cheerful man, and a giver", which the apostle refers to.
(g) Maimon. Mattanot Anayim, c. 10. sect. 14. (h) Maimon. Mattanot Anayim, c. 10. sect. 13. (i) Vajikra Rabba, fol. 174. 1. Parash. 34.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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 cheerful giver" (Pr 22:9; 11:25; Isa 32:8).
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