That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)That they do good, that they be rich in good works.—These words—coming directly after the statement that the good and pleasant things of this world, which are possessed in so large a share by the “rich,” are, after all, the gifts of God, who means them for our enjoyment—these words seem to point to the highest enjoyment procurable by these “rich”—the luxury of doing good, of helping others to be happy the only enjoyment that never fails, never disappoints.
Ready to distribute, willing to communicate.—In distinguishing between these words, which are nearly synonymous, the first points rather to the hand which generously gives, and the second to the heart which lovingly sympathises.
The first obeys willingly the Master’s charge—“Give to him that asketh;” the second follows that loving command which bids His own to rejoice with those that rejoice, and to mourn with those that mourn.Galatians 6:10 note; Hebrews 13:10 note.
That they be rich in good works - "That their good works may be as abundant as their riches."
Ready to distribute - To divide with others; compare Acts 4:34. The meaning is, that they should be liberal, or bountiful.
Willing to communicate - Margin, or "sociable." The translation in the text is a more correct rendering of the Greek. The idea is, that they should be willing to share their blessings with others, so as to make others comfortable; see the notes on Hebrews 13:16; compare the argument of Paul in 2 Corinthians 8:13-15, and the notes on that passage.
rich in good works—so "rich in faith," which produces good works (Jas 2:5). Contrasted with "rich in this world," 1Ti 6:17. Literally, it is "rich in honorable (right) works." Greek, "kalois," "ergois," are works good or right in themselves: "agathois," good to another.
ready to distribute—free givers [Alford]; the heart not cleaving to possessions, but ready to impart to others.
willing to communicate—ready contributors [Alford]: liberal in admitting others to share our goods in common with ourselves (Ga 6:6; Heb 13:16).That they do good; that is, to others, as they have opportunity.
That they be rich in good works; be plentiful in alms-deeds, or more generally in all good works of piety or charity.
Ready to distribute; that they be not backward to distribute that of which God hath made them stewards, to those that want.
Willing to communicate; but give freely and without grudging, according to their Master’s order, as becometh those who are but stewards as to the riches which they have.
That they be rich in good works; or abound in the performance of them, as Dorcas is said to be full of good works and alms deeds; and to reckon that their true riches lie more in the exercise of grace, and in the fruits of it, doing good works, than in their worldly enjoyments. The phrase seems to be Rabbinical. Frequent mention is made of , "rich in the law", and , "rich in the commandments" (t); and it is said (u), no man is poor but he that is without the law, and good works, for the riches of a man are the law, and good works.
Ready to distribute; unasked; and when they are asked, do not turn away, and put off, but give at once, and without grief, and with cheerfulness; want no arguments to press them to it, nor use any against it.
Willing to communicate; of their good things to the necessities of the poor, making them common to them, and them partakers of them. Some render the word "sociable", in opposition to that moroseness, stillness, and those haughty and forbidding airs, with which rich men are apt to treat the poor, when they should be affable and courteous to them, and admit them to a free conversation with them.That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1 Timothy 6:18. The negative ideas of the previous verse are followed by four positive, joined two and two.
ἀγαθοεργεῖν, πλουτεῖν ἐν ἔργοις καλοῖς] These ideas are synonymous, the second, however, being stronger than the first. It is not probable that we are to think only of the practice of benevolence; that is brought out in the next two expressions. On ἀγαθοεργεῖν, comp. Acts 14:17, where, however, the Rec. has ἀγαθοπιῶν; the word ἀγαθοποιεῖν in Numbers 10:32, LXX.; 1Ma 11:33.
πλουτεῖν ἐν ἐργ. ἀγ. hints at τοῖς πλουσίοις ἐν τ. νῦν αἰῶνι (Wiesinger).
εὐμεταδότους εἶναι, κοινωνικούς] The two expressions occur only here in the N. T.: μεταδίδωμι is, however, used specially of giving to the poor in Luke 3:11; Romans 12:8; Ephesians 4:28. Some expositors wrongly find in κοινωνικούς an express contrast to ὑψηλοφρονεῖν; Chrysostom: = ὁμιλητικοί, προσηνεῖς. It stands here like κοινωνεῖν, Galatians 6:6; κοινωνία (joined with εὐποιΐα), Hebrews 13:16.1 Timothy 6:18. ἀγαθοεργεῖν: corrects any possible misunderstanding of εἰς ἀπόλαυσιν. πλουτεῖν ἐν ἔργοις καλοῖς: see note on 1 Timothy 3:1. Cf. εἰς θεὸν πλουτῶν, Luke 12:21.
εὐμεταδότους: facile tribuere (Vulg.), ready to impart (cf. the use of μεταδίδωμι in Luke 3:11; Romans 1:11; Romans 12:8; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Thessalonians 2:8).
κοινωνικούς: This does not mean sociable (A.V. m.), ready to sympathise (R.V. m.), as Chrys., and Thdrt. explain it, but ταῖς χρείαις τῶν ἁγίων κοινωνοῦντες. Romans 12:13 (cf. Galatians 6:6; Php 4:15). A good illustration of the general sentiment is Hebrews 13:16, τῆς δὲ εὐποιΐας καὶ κοινωνίας μὴ ἐπιλανθάνεσθε. Von Soden notes that the thought in εὐμεταδ. is of the needs of others, in κοινων. of the imparting of one’s own.18. that they do good] Another of the many compound words; used however (according to the right reading) of God in providence, Acts 14:17, ‘in that He did good;’ stronger than the ordinary word (e.g. Luke 6:9), and taken up in the next clause; render that they work at doing good.
rich in good works] The riches are jewels of God’s giving, and can be best seen and best enjoyed ‘in a setting of fair works.’ The two adjectives for ‘good’ here have a distinction, but not that given by Alford; the first according to a probable derivation signifying what is ‘kind and good’ in its inner character in a man’s conduct towards others, the second what is ‘fair and gracious’ in outer expression and bearing. The two together came to be used at Athens as one phrase to denote ‘a gentleman.’ And so such a use of wealth marks ‘the Christian gentleman.’ For the second word is the one used Matthew 5:16, ‘let your light shine … that they may see your good works,’ and 1 Peter 2:12, ‘your good works which they behold. Compare Bp. Westcott’s definition, Hebrews 10:24 ‘works which by their generous and attractive character win the natural admiration of men,’ and his synonym Hebrews 6:5, ‘tasted the goodness—the beauty—of the Word of God.’ See notes on Titus 1:16; Titus 2:7; Titus 3:8.
ready to distribute, willing to communicate] Again two peculiar compound adjectives. Cranmer’s version followed in the Offertory Sentences of the Prayer-Book has ‘ready to give and glad to distribute,’ giving also the same rendering to the second of our two words in the text from Hebrews 13:16, ‘to do good and to distribute forget not,’ where A.V. and R.V. ‘to do good and to communicate.’ Possibly ‘communicate’ in such a connexion would have been misunderstood. The corresponding noun is rendered ‘distribution’ by A.V. in 2 Corinthians 9:13, by R.V. ‘contribution.’ The ‘sympathy’ suggested by the margin here of R.V. is certainly implied in the word, which may be said to sum up, in itself, the unity, generosity, and practical piety of the Church, as it worked out, under St Paul (see esp. 2 Corinthians 8:9), that problem of ‘rich and poor together’ which the earliest impulses of ‘the faith’ had solved for the moment only by the short rule of Acts 2:44-45, ‘all that believed were together and had all things common,’—the same word from which our ‘willing to communicate’ comes. The root principle remains the same (2 Corinthians 8:13-15), and this our word conveys, though the practice was not workable for long of selling all into a common stock. G. Herbert seems to express both of the present adjectives in
‘Joyn hands with God to make a man to live,
Give to all something; to a good poore man,
Till thou change names, and be where he began.’
The Church Porch.
The Christian wealth of England is still far below such a principle; else why the ‘weariness and painfulness’ known to so many of our clergy in begging appeals for ‘good works’ of piety and charity?1 Timothy 6:18. Ἀγαθοεργεῖν) to aim to do good. To be rich in good works follows as the consequence of this diligence: ἀγαθὸν and καλὸν differ; ἀγαθὸς involves at the sametime the idea of (divine) blessedness (comp. Mark 10:18, note): καλὸς includes in its notion, beauty.—εὐμεταδότους, [“ready to distribute”] liberal) in imparting, viz. individually.—κοινωνικοὺς, willing to communicate) by lending, by contributing for the common good, viz. along with many. In ordinary cases i.e. where the grace of God does not change them], the rich are chiefly delighted with a division [i.e. individual monopoly, as opposed to communicating] in proceedings, plans, and properties, and are imperious and insolent.Verse 18. - That they be ready for ready, A.V. Do good (ἀγαθοεργεῖν; here only, for the more common ἀγαθοποιεῖν). That they be rich in good works (1 Timothy 5:10, note); not merely in the perishing riches of this present world - the same sentiment as Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:33 and 21. Ready to distribute (εὐμεταδότους); here only in the New Testament, and rarely in later classical Greek. The opposite, "dose-handed," is δυσμετάδοτος The verb μεταδίδωμι means "to give to others a share or portion of what one has" (Luke 3:11; Romans 1:11; Romans 12:8; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Thessalonians 2:8). Willing to communicate (κοινωνίκους); here only in the New Testament, but found in classical Greek in a slightly different sense. "Communicative" is the exact equivalent, though in this wider use it is obsolete. We have the same precept in Hebrews 13:16, "To do good and to communicate forget not." (For κοινωνεῖν in the sense of "giving," see Romans 12:13; Galatians 6:6; Philippians 4:15; and for κοινωνία in the same sense, see Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 9:13; Hebrews 13:16.)
In this uncontracted form, N.T.o. olxx, oClass. Comp. Acts 14:17. The usual word is ἀγαθοποιεῖν, see Mark 3:4; Luke 6:9, Luke 6:33, Luke 6:35; 1 Peter 2:15. oP. who has ἐργάζεσθαι τὸ ἀγαθὸν to work that which is good, Romans 2:10; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 4:28.
Good works (ἔργοις καλοῖς)
Ready to distribute (εὐμεταδότους)
Willing to communicate (κοινωνικούς)
N.T.o. olxx. See on fellowship, Acts 2:42, and comp. κοινωνεῖν to partake, 1 Timothy 5:22, and κοινός common, Titus 1:14. Stronger than the preceding word, as implying a personal share in the pleasure imparted by the gift.
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