2 Corinthians 9:10
Now he that ministers seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Now he that ministereth seed to the sower.—Better, he that giveth bounteously. The Greek verb (epichorêgein) has a somewhat interesting history. Originally it expressed the act of one who undertook to defray the expenses of the chorus of a Greek theatre. As this was an act of somewhat stately generosity, the verb got a wider range, and was applied to any such act, and was so transferred in like manner by the Apostle, probably, as far as we can trace, for the first time, to the divine bounty. It may be noted that it was not so used by the LXX. translators. The word indeed occurs but once in that version, in Ecclesiasticus 25:22 (“if a woman maintain her husband”). In its higher sense it becomes a somewhat favourite word with St. Paul (Galatians 3:5; Colossians 2:19), and is used by St. Peter (2Peter 1:5; 2Peter 1:11) after he had become acquainted with St. Paul’s Epistles, and possibly enriched his vocabulary through them.

The phrase “seed to the sower” occurs, with a different verb, in Isaiah 55:10. In the words that follow, “the fruits of righteousness,” there is an obvious reminiscence of Hosea 10:12, and Amos 6:12. The phrase occurs again in Philippians 1:11. The construction, according to the better MSS., varies somewhat from that of the Authorised version. He that bounteously giveth seed to the sower and bread for food (the beneficence of God thought of, as shown both in seed-time and harvest) shall give bounteously, and multiply your seed, and increase the produce of your righteousness. “Righteousness” is taken, as before, as specially presented under the aspect of alms-giving.

2 Corinthians 9:10-14. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower — By making the earth fruitful; and bread for your food — (So Bengelius reads,) namely, all things needful for your souls and bodies. May he supply and multiply (χορηγησαι και πληθυναι) your seed sown — Your ability to help others; and increase the fruits of your righteousness — The happy effects of your love to God and man: or may he make an ample return for what you have liberally bestowed on the indigent, and abundantly increase and reward your works of mercy and charity. Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness — Plentifully furnished with all things that may enable you to exercise the greatest bounty, 1 Timothy 6:18. Which causeth through us thanksgiving to God — Both from us who distribute, and them who receive your bounty. For the administration of this service — Which we have undertaken, and in which we do as it were officiate for you, in the presentation of this acceptable offering; not only supplieth the wants of the saints — In their present exigency; but is abundant by many thanksgivings — Which it occasions, to the glory of God. The word λειτουργια, rendered service, in the first clause of the verse, intimates that their contributing to the relief of the poor saints in Judea, was to be considered not merely as an act of humanity, but of religion, most pleasing to God, and suitable to the nature of the gospel. See Hebrews 13:16. While by the experiment — Or proof by experience; of this ministration — This generous contribution; they glorify God — Giving him praise; for your professed subjection — This open testimony of your sincere obedience; to the gospel of Christ — Which so strictly enjoins works of charity; for your liberal distribution — Or communication of your goods to them in their present distress; and to all men — In the like circumstances. And by their prayers for you — It also produces many prayers to God for you from the poor saints; who long after you — Have a great affection for you, and are very desirous of your welfare; for the exceeding grace of God in you — Which produces fruits so much for the glory of God, the good of your fellow-creatures, and so highly ornamental to Christianity. The reader will observe, that in this passage, the apostle mentions four different fruits of alms-giving: the relief of the poor, thanksgiving to God from the poor for that relief, the honour done to God by good works, and lastly, the prayers of the poor for their benefactors, proceeding from gratitude and love.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.Now he that ministereth seed to the sower - This is an expression of an earnest wish. In the previous verses he had stated the promises, or had shown what we had a right to expect as a consequence of liberality. He here unites the expression of an earnest desire that they might experience this themselves. The allusion is to the act of sowing seed. The idea is, that when a man scatters seed in his field God provides him with the means of sowing again. He not only gives him a harvest to supply his needs, but he blesses him also in giving him the ability to sow again. Such was the benevolent wish of Paul. He desired not only that God would supply their returning needs, but he desired also that he would give them the ability to do good again; that he would furnish them the means of future benevolence. He acknowledges God as the source of all increase, and wishes that they may experience the results of such increase. Perhaps in this language there is an allusion to Isaiah 4:10; and the idea is, that it is God who furnishes by his providence the seed to the sower. In like manner he will furnish you the means of doing good.

Minister bread for your food - Furnish you with an ample supply for your needs.

Multiply your seed sown - Greatly increase your means of doing good; make the result of all your benefactions so to abound that you may have the means of doing good again, and on a larger scale, as the seed sown in the earth is so increased that the farmer may have the means of sowing more abundantly again.

And increase the fruits of your righteousness - This evidently means, the results and effects of their benevolence. The word "righteousness" here refers to their liberality; and the wish of the apostle is, that the results of their beneficence might greatly abound, that they might have the means of doing extensive good, and that they might be the means of diffusing happiness from afar.

10. Translate, as in Isa 55:10, "He that ministereth (supplieth) seed to the sower and bread for food" (literally, "bread for eating").

minister—rather future, as the oldest manuscripts, "Shall minister (supply) and multiply."

your seed—your means for liberality.

the fruits of your righteousness—the heavenly rewards for your Christian charity (Mt 10:42). Righteousness shall be itself the reward, even as it is the thing rewarded (Ho 10:12; Mt 5:6; 6:33).

The God, whose providence and blessing maketh rich, and who giveth this seed to the sower, supply you with whatsoever you stand in need of for this life, and give you a heart to multiply that spiritual seed, by which the fruits of your righteousness shall be increased. Some Greek copies read these words in the future tense, according to which reading they are a formal promise, both of good things, whereby they might show their charity, and also of a free and large heart, disposing them to that exercise of grace. Our translators render it in the form of a prayer; which yet being the prayer of the apostle, put up in faith, doth virtually contain a promise both of a temporal and a spiritual increase. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower, and bread for your food,.... For so the words ought to be pointed and read, as is clear from Isaiah 55:10 to which they refer; and are a "periphrasis" of God, who so blesses the seed that is cast into the earth, that it brings forth such an increase, as that there is a sufficiency of bread for food to the eater for the present year, and a sufficiency of seed to sow with again the next year; and that God, that does this every year, is able "to minister to", or supply your present necessities;

and to multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; though some consider these as a wish or prayer of the apostle's, that God would do all this for them. Some copies, and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, read all in the future tense, "he will minister" to you, or "supply" you, "and will multiply your seed sown",

and will increase the fruits of your righteousness; and so contain a promise of a divine blessing, encouraging to liberality with cheerfulness, by strengthening their faith in the providence of God; who as he multiplies, not the seed expended in the family, or sold at market, or as in the barn, or laid up for a better price, but the seed sown in the field, so he will multiply the substance of men; not what they lay out on themselves and families, or lay up in their coffers, but what they give away, or bestow on Christ's poor: and all effects which follow acts of liberality, and which are here designed by "fruits of righteousness", such as a good name among men, blessing, praise, thanksgiving, and prosperity in things temporal and spiritual, these God will abundantly increase; some of which are mentioned in the following verses. So alms with the Jews is not only called "righteousness", but "seed sown". Thus Jarchi interprets Psalm 37:26 "and his seed is blessed", he that "sows" righteousness or alms, its end shall be for a blessing, or in the end he shall be blessed; and the phrase, "rain righteousness", in Hosea 10:12 is by the Septuagint rendered, , "fruits of righteousness", the same as here, from whence it seems to be taken.

Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the {i} fruits of your righteousness;)

(i) There is no inheritance as good to the godly as bountifulness is.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 9:10. The progress of the discourse is this: able is God, etc., 2 Corinthians 9:8; but He who gives seed, etc., will also do it. The description of God introduced by δέ contains the ground of this promise, which rests on a syllogism a minori ad majus.

Who supplies, seed to the sower and bread for eating, is a reminiscence of Isaiah 55:10, which is very suitable to the figure prominent in the context (2 Corinthians 9:6; 2 Corinthians 9:9). On βρῶσις, actus edendi, differing from βρῶμα, cibus, see on Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Colossians 2:16.

Chrysostom, Castalio, Beza, and others, including Hofmann, rightly connect χορηγήσει with what follows. Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Estius, Elzevir, and others, including Ewald and Neander, think that καὶ ἄρτον εἰς βρῶσιν χορηγ. should go together. This would be at variance with Isaiah 55:10, and would destroy the symmetrical relation of the two parts of the vers.

χορηγήσει[290] κ. πληθυνεῖ τὸν σπόρον ὑμῶν] i.e. dropping the figure: will give and increase the means, with which you distribute benefits. What is given away benevolently by the readers, is the seed which they scatter (ὁ σπόρος αὐτῶν); hence Rückert’s idea is arbitrary and unnecessary, that here two clauses, χορηγήσει ὑμῖν σπόρον and πληθυνεῖ τὸν σπόρον ὑμῶν, are blended into one. Rückert also inappropriately thinks that Paul is not speaking at all of the present, but wholly of the future, of the blessed consequences of their beneficence now asked, and that ὁ σπόρος, therefore, does not denote what they were now to give away, but what God will further bestow on them. At variance with the entire course of the passage (see on 2 Corinthians 9:8 ff.); and the very διʼ ἡμῶν in 2 Corinthians 9:11 ought to have prevented the excluding of the present time. Paul intends by χορηγήσειὑμῶν the means for the present work of collection, and only with καὶ αὐξήσει does he promise the blessing thence arising for the future. This κ. αὐξ. τὰ γεννημάτα τῆς δικ. ὑμ. corresponds to the preceding καὶ ἄρτον εἰς βρῶσιν: and will make the fruits of your righteousness grow (see on 2 Corinthians 9:9), i.e. and will cause that the blessing, which proceeds from your δικαιοσύνη (what blessing that is, see 2 Corinthians 9:11) may become always larger. Paul abides by the figure. Just as God causes ἄρτον εἰς βρῶσιν to grow from the natural seed, so from the σπόρος, which the beneficent scatters through his gifts of love, He likewise causes fruits (blessings) to grow; but because this σπόρος had been sown by the beneficent man in virtue of his Christian righteousness, the fruits produced are the γεννήματα τῆς δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ, just as the bread-fruits, which the husbandman obtains from his σπόρος, are the γεννήματα of his diligence. Hence Theodoret rightly remarks: σπόρον μέντοι πάλιν τὴν εὐποΐαν ἐκάλεσε· γεννήματα δὲ δικαιοσύνης τὴν ἐκ ταύτης βλαστάσασαν ὠφέλειαν.

γέννημα, in the sense of vegetable fruit, according to late Greek; not to be written γένημα. Comp. on Matthew 26:29. On the figurative expression γεννήμ. τ. δικαιοσ., comp. Hosea 10:12.

[290] ἐπιχορηγ. and χορηγ. are distinguished simply like the German darreichen and reichen, dargeben and geben [give forth and give].2 Corinthians 9:10. ὁ δὲ ἐπιχορηγῶνσπέρμα τῷ σπείροντι κ.τ.λ.: and he that supplieth “seed to the sower and bread for food,” shall supply and multiply your seed, i.e., your means of giving, for sowing (the A. V. not only follows the inferior reading, but conceals the quotation from Isaiah 55:10), and increase (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:6 for the trans, use of f1αὐξάνω) the “fruits” of your “righteousness,” i.e., of your beneficence, as in the preceding verse. The phrase γενήματα δικαιοσύνης in ref. Hosea may be illustrated by τὸ γένημα τῆς ἀμπέλου, “the fruit of the vine” in the Gospels (e.g., Mark 14:25). This verse is the application, as it were, of the quotation in 2 Corinthians 9:9, the connecting link being the word δικαιοσύνη.10. Now he that ministereth] The word used twice in this verse has the original signification of leading a chorus. Hence it came to mean to defray the expenses of a chorus, since when a wealthy man was appointed to any office of importance in his city, it was usual for him to provide festal displays for the citizens. Hence it came to have the general meaning of furnish, provide, as here.

both minister] In the best MSS. these verbs are in the future indicative, i.e. will minister; will multiply; will increase (so Wiclif and Tyndale); not, as the received Greek text, in the optative.

bread for your food] In the Greek these words seem to belong to the former verb, ‘Now he that supplieth seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply,’ &c. The words here are a quotation from the LXX. version of Isaiah 55:10.

increase the fruits of your righteousness] Cf. 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 3:6. The words are taken from the LXX. version of Hosea 10:12. The metaphor is taken from the natural processes of growth just referred to. God supplies the seed of works of mercy; He multiplies it, and good works in plenty are the crop.2 Corinthians 9:10. Ὁ δὲ) God.—ἐπιχορηγῶν, He that supplies, or ministereth) There is [implied an] abundance, inasmuch as seed is given; bread, which is a necessary, is therefore given first. Paul hints, that, in the promise of the seed, which is denoted by the verb he hath dispersed, the promise of bread also is presupposed; but he adds more: for there is in the text a Chiasmus;[57] God, who presents seed to the sower, will supply and multiply your seed: God, who gives bread for food, will increase the fruits [produce] of your righteousness, which feeds the soul. Righteousness is the food of the soul, Matthew 5:6; Matthew 6:31; Matthew 6:33.—ἐπιχορηγεῖν, to supply, or administer, is emphatic; but χορηγεῖν to give or minister, with the addition of πληθύνειν, to multiply, implies more.—Σπόρος, the seed, i.e., resources [worldly means], so far as they are piously laid out: γεννήματα, the fruits, [the offshoots], i.e., the growth of all spiritual improvement and corporeal blessing, springing from that sowing. This mode of pointing has been already noticed in the Apparatus, so that the comma should be placed after βρῶσιν, not after χορηγήσει.—καὶ ἄρτον, and bread) Isaiah 55:10, ἓως ἂν δῶ (ὁ ὑετὸς) σπέρμα τῷ σπείροντι καὶ ἄρτον εἰς βρῶσιν, until the rain give seed to the sower and bread for food.—χορηγήσει, will give) The indicative.[58] The Corinthians will afford scope [opportunity for exercise] to the divine liberality, and it will evince itself towards them.—γεννήματα) so the LXX., γεννήματα δικαιοσύνης, Hosea 10:12.

[57] See Append.

[58] Which is preferred both in the 2d Ed. and in the Germ. Vers. different from what had been the case in the first Ed.—E. B.

BCD(Λ) corrected later, fg Vulg. (but Fuld. MS. has præstavit—multiplicavit) Cypr. have χορηγήσειπληθυνεὶ. G has χορηγήσαιπληθύναι; and so Rec. Text. C has πληθύνῃ.—ED.Verse 10. - He that ministereth. The verb used is epichoregein, to furnish abundantly. At Athens a choragus was one who furnished a chorus, and as this was a leitourgia (or "public service"), involving great expense, and often discharged with extreme munificence, the verb came to imply "provide abundantly." St. Paul may (so to speak) have "picked up the word" at Athens. Seed to the sower (Isaiah 55:10). Both minister. The true reading almost certainly is "will both supply bread for food, and will multiply your seed for sowing, and will increase the fruits of your righteousness" (see Isaiah 55:10, LXX.). The fruits of your righteousness (Hosea 10:12, LXX.). In "righteousness," as in all things else, it is God only who "gives the increase" (1 Corinthians 3:10). Ministereth (ἐπιχορηγῶν)

Rev., supplieth. See on add, 2 Peter 1:5.

Both minister bread, etc.

Construe bread with supplieth, as Rev., supplieth seed to the sow and bread for food.

Minister and multiply (χορηγήσαι καὶ πληθύναι)

The correct reading is the future, χορηγήσει καὶ πληθυνεῖ shall supply and multiply.

The fruits (τὰ γενήματα)

Lit., what has been begotten or born. Used of men, Matthew 3:7, A.V., generation, Rev., offspring. Elsewhere of fruits, as fruit of the vine, Mark 14:25.

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