1 Corinthians 16:4
And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
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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.And if it be meet ... - If it be judged desirable and best. If my presence can further the object; or will satisfy you better; or will be deemed necessary to guide and aid those who may be sent, I will be willing to go also. For some appropriate and valuable remarks in regard to the apostle Paul's management of pecuniary matters, so as not to excite suspicion, and to preserve a blameless reputation, see Paley's Horae Paulinae, chapter iv. No. 1, 3. Note. 4. meet—"worth while." If your collections be large enough to be worth an apostle's journey (a stimulus to their liberality), I will accompany them myself instead of giving them letters credential (1Co 16:3; compare Ac 20:1-4).

with me—to guard against all possible suspicion of evil (2Co 8:4, 19-21).

To encourage them to the more free and liberal contribution, he promiseth them himself to go along with those that carried it, if it were thought meet. Whether Paul, according to this promise, did go to Corinth, some question, because of what we read, 2 Corinthians 1:15,16. But others think, that he speaketh there of another journey, which he intended thither; and that he did go in a fulfilling of this promise, because we read, Acts 20:1-38, that he went into Greece, and spent there a considerable time; during which it is very probable that he did not omit to visit the church of Corinth.

And if it be meet that I go also,.... If it should be convenient for me to go, or it should be thought proper and expedient that I should go; or, as the Syriac version renders it, "if this work should be worthy that I should go"; and the Arabic version, "if the thing should be worthy to go with me"; that is, their beneficence; if so large a collection should be made, that it will be worthy of an apostle to go along with it, hereby artfully pressing them to a good collection:

they shall go with me; that is, those brethren whom the church shall approve and send; for he would not go alone, nor propose it, to remove all suspicion of converting any money to his own use.

{2} And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

(2) The rest of the epistle is spent in writing of familiar matters, yet so that all things are referred to his purposed mark, that is to say, to the glory of God, and the edifying of the Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 16:4. In case, however, of it (what is being spoken of, i.e. the result of the collection) being worthy that I too should journey (to Jerusalem),[105] then they shall journey with me. The genitive τοῦ πορεύεσθαι depends upon ἄξιον. Comp. Fritzsche, ad Matth. p. 845; Winer, p. 304 [E. T. 408].

Paul makes his own journeying thither dependent upon the issue of the collection, not, of course, for the sake of safety in its conveyance, nor yet because, in the event of a considerable sum being realized, he desired to be independent in connection with the application of it, but—which alone results from ἄξιον without arbitrariness—because a scanty sum would have been disproportionate to an extraordinary mission. Consideration for the decorum attaching to the apostolic rank underlies his procedure, not the prudential motive: “in order, on this opportunity, to fulfil his purpose of going to Jerusalem (Acts 19:21), and to prepare for himself there a good reception” (de Wette), or in order by this journey to heal the breach between the Jewish and Gentile Christians (Baur). Bengel says well: “Justa aestimatio sui non est superbia.” At the same time, he will not undertake this charge alone; see 2 Corinthians 8:20.

[105] It is clear from κᾀμὲ πορ. that he will not make the journey at any rate. (Hofmann), but that he makes it dependent on the above-named circumstance whether he also shall journey thither. What a strange state of things, too, would be the result, if he were resolved to journey at any rate, but the messengers, in the event of the collection proving a small one, were to make the journey not in his company, but alone! Paul assuredly did not contemplate anything so paltry.

4. they shall go with me] Under no circumstances would St Paul take charge of the money himself. It was, moreover, fitting that members of the Corinthian Church should have the pleasure, as well as the credit, of presenting their bounty in person to those who were to be the recipients of it. Cf. 2 Corinthians 8:19-20.

1 Corinthians 16:4. Ἄξιον, worthy) meet, if it shall be worth while for me to carry it myself. He invites them to be liberal.—κᾀμὲ, that even I) a just estimate of one’s self is not pride, 2 Corinthians 1:19. Paul mentions himself in the first place.—σὺν ἐμοὶ, with me) so that all suspicion may be obviated, 2 Corinthians 8:20-21.

Verse 4. - If it be meet that I go also. Unless the collection were a substantial proof of the generosity of the Gentile Churches, it would be hardly worth while (ἄξιον) for St. Paul to go too. With me. St. Paul would not take this money himself. His "religious" enemies were many, bitter, and unscrupulous, and he would give them no possibility of a handle against him. He makes such arrangements as should place him above suspicion (2 Corinthians 8:20). It turned out that the subscription was an adequate one, and St. Paul accompanied the Corinthian delegates (Romans 15:25; Acts 20:4). The thought that they might visit Jerusalem and see some of the twelve would act as an incentive to the Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 16:4Meet for me to go (ἄξιον τοῦ κἀμὲ πορεύεσθαι)

Lit., if it be worthy of my going, i.e., if the gift be sufficiently large to warrant an apostolic journey to Jerusalem. This is better than if it be becoming.

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