2 Corinthians 8:1
Moreover, brothers, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
VIII.

(1) Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit . . .—Better, we declare, or make known to you. There is no adequate reason for retaining a phrase which is now obsolete. The topic on which the Epistle now touches, and which is carried on through this and the following chapter, was one very dear to the Apostle’s heart. (See Note on 1Corinthians 16:1.) When he wrote before he had simply given directions as to what the Corinthians were to do. Now he has something to tell them. The churches of Macedonia—Philippi, we must believe, prominent among them—had been true to their old generosity (2Corinthians 11:8-9; Philippians 4:15), and were now showing it, not, as before, in personal kindness to their teacher, but in the truer way of acting as he wished them to act; and he sees in this a means of stirring up his friends at Corinth to an honourable emulation. There is something intensely characteristic in the way in which he opens his statement. He traces the generosity of the Macedonians to its true source. He is going to tell the Corinthians of the “grace of God” that has enabled them to do so much.

2 Corinthians

GIVING AND ASKING

2 Corinthians 8:1-12.

A collection from Gentile churches for their poor brethren in Jerusalem occupied much of Paul’s time and efforts before his last visit to that city. Many events, which have filled the world with noise and been written at length in histories, were less significant than that first outcome of the unifying spirit of common faith. It was a making visible of the grand thought, ‘Ye are all one in Christ Jesus.’ Practical help, prompted by a deep-lying sense of unity which overleaped gulfs of separation in race, language, and social conditions, was a unique novelty. It was the first pulsation of that spirit of Christian liberality which has steadily grown in force and sweep ever since. Foolish people gibe at some of its manifestations. Wiser ones regard its existence as not the least of the marks of the divine origin of Christianity.

This passage is a striking example of the inimitable delicacy of the Apostle. His words are full of what we should call tact, if it were not manifestly the spontaneous utterance of right feeling. They are a perfect model of the true way to appeal for money, and set forth also the true spirit in which such appeals should be made.

In verses 1 to 5, Paul seeks to stimulate the liberality of the Corinthians by recounting that of the Macedonian churches. His sketch draws in outline the picture of what all Christian money-giving should be. We note first the designation of the Macedonian Christians’ beneficence as ‘a grace’ given by God to them. It is twice called so {vers. 1, 4}, and the same name is applied in regard to the Corinthians’ giving {vers. 6, 7}. That is the right way to look at money contributions. The opportunity to give them, and the inclination to do so, are God’s gifts. How many of us think that calls for service or money are troublesome obligations, to be got out of as easily as possible! A true Christian will be thankful, as for a love token from God, for every occasion of giving to Him. It would be a sharp test for many of us to ask ourselves whether we can say, ‘To me . . . is this grace given,’ that I should part with my money for Christ’s sake.

Note, further, the lovely picture of these Macedonian givers. They were plunged in sorrows and troubles, but these did not dry their fountains of sympathy. Nothing is apt to be more selfish than grief; and if we have tears to spare for others, when they are flowing bitterly for ourselves, we have graduated well in Christ’s school. Paul calls the Macedonians’ troubles ‘proof of their affliction,’ meaning that it constituted a proof of their Christian character; that is, by the manner in which it was borne; and in it they had still ‘abundance of joy,’ for the paradox of the Christian life is that it admits of the co-existence of grief and gladness.

Again, Christian giving gives from scanty stores. ‘Deep poverty’ is no excuse for not giving, and will be no hindrance to a willing heart. ‘I cannot afford it’ is sometimes a genuine valid reason, but oftener an insincere plea. Why are subscriptions for religious purposes the first expenditure to be reduced in bad times?

Further, Christian giving gives up to the very edge of ability, and sometimes goes beyond the limits of so-called prudence. In all regions ‘power to its last particle is duty,’ and unless power is strained it is not fully exercised. It is in trying to do what we cannot do that we do best what we can do. He who keeps well within the limits of his supposed ability will probably not do half as much as he could. While there is a limit behind which generosity even for Christ may become dishonesty or disregard of other equally sacred claims, there is little danger of modern Christians transgressing that limit, and they need the stimulus to do a little more than they think they can do, rather than to listen to cold-blooded prudence.

Further, Christian giving does not wait to be asked, but takes the opportunity to give as itself ‘grace’ and presses its benefactions. It is an unwonted experience for a collector of subscriptions to be besought to take them ‘with much entreaty,’ but it would not be so anomalous if Christian people understood their privileges.

Further, Christian giving begins with the surrender of self to Christ, from which necessarily follows the glad offering of wealth. These Macedonians did more than Paul had hoped, and the explanation of the unexpected largeness of their contributions was their yielding of themselves to Jesus. That is the deepest source of all true liberality. If a man feels that he does not own himself, much less will he feel that his goods are his own. A slave’s owner possesses the slave’s bit of garden ground, his hut, and its furniture. If I belong to Christ, to whom does my money belong? But the consciousness that my goods are not mine, but Christ’s, is not to remain a mere sentiment. It can receive practical embodiment by my giving them to Christ’s representatives. The way for the Macedonians to show that they regarded their goods as Christ’s, was to give them to Paul for Christ’s poor saints. Jesus has His representatives still, and it is useless for people to talk or sing about belonging to Him, unless they verify their words by deeds.

Verse 6 tells the Corinthians that the success of the collection in Macedonia had induced Paul to send Titus to Corinth to promote it there. He had previously visited it on the same errand {2 Corinthians 12:14}, and now is coming to complete ‘this grace.’ The rest of the passage is Paul’s appeal to the Corinthians for their help in the matter, and certainly never was such an appeal made in a more dignified, noble, and lofty tone. He has been dilating on the liberality of others, and thereby sanctioning the stimulating of Christian liberality, in the same way as other graces may legitimately be stimulated, by example. That is delicate ground to tread on, and needs caution if it is not to degenerate into an appeal to rivalry, as it too often does, but in itself is perfectly legitimate and wholesome. But, passing from that incitement, Paul rests his plea on deeper grounds.

First, Christian liberality is essential to the completeness of Christian character. Paul’s praise in verse 7 is not mere flattery, nor meant to put the Corinthians into good humour. He will have enough to say hereafter about scandals and faults, but now he gives them credit for all the good he knew to be in them. Faith comes first, as always. It is the root of every Christian excellence. Then follow two graces, eminently characteristic of a Greek church, and apt to run to seed in it,--utterance and knowledge. Then two more, both of a more emotional character,--earnestness and love, especially to Paul as Christ’s servant. But all these fair attributes lacked completeness without the crowning grace of liberality. It is the crowning grace, because it is the practical manifestation of the highest excellences. It is the result of sympathy, of unselfishness, of contact with Christ, of drinking in of His spirit, Love is best. Utterance and knowledge and earnestness are poor beside it. This grace is like the diamond which clasps a necklace of jewels.

Christian giving does not need to be commanded. ‘I speak not by way of commandment.’ That is poor virtue which only obeys a precept. Gifts given because it is duty to give them are not really gifts, but taxes. They leave no sweet savour on the hand that bestows, and bring none to that which receives. ‘I call you not servants, but friends.’ The region in which Christian liberality moves is high above the realm of law and its correlative, obligation.

Further, Christian liberality springs spontaneously from conscious possession of Christ’s riches. We cannot here enter on the mysteries of Christ’s emptying Himself of His riches of glory. We can but touch the stupendous fact, remembering that the place whereon we stand is holy ground. Who can measure the nature and depth of that self-denuding of the glory which He had with the Father before the world was? But, thank God, we do not need to measure it, in order to feel the solemn, blessed force of the appeal which it makes to us. Adoring wonder and gratitude, unfaltering trust and absolute self-surrender to a love so self-sacrificing, must ever follow the belief of that mystery of Divine mercy, the incarnation and sacrifice of the eternal Son.

But Paul would have us remember that the same mighty act of stooping love, which is the foundation of all our hope, is to be the pattern for all our conduct. Even in His divinest and most mysterious act, Christ is our example. A dewdrop is rounded by the same laws which shape the planetary spheres or the sun himself; and Christians but half trust Christ if they do not imitate Him. What selfishness in enjoyment of our ‘own things’ could live in us if we duly brought ourselves under the influence of that example? How miserably poor and vulgar the appeals by which money is sometimes drawn from grudging owners and tight-buttoned pockets, sound beside that heart-searching and heart-moving one, ‘Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ!’

Further, Christian liberality will not go off in good intentions and benevolent sentiments. The Corinthians were ready with their ‘willing’ on Titus’s previous visit. Now Paul desires them to put their good feelings into concrete shape. There is plenty of benevolence that never gets to be beneficence. The advice here has a very wide application: ‘As there was the readiness to will, so there may be the completion also.’ We all know where the road leads that is paved with good intentions.

Further, Christian liberality is accepted and rewarded according to willingness, if that is carried into act according to ability. While the mere wish to help is not enough, it is the vital element in the act which flows from it; and there may be more of it in the widow’s mite than in the rich man’s large donation--or there may be less. The conditions of acceptable offerings are twofold--first, readiness, glad willingness to give, as opposed to closed hearts or grudging bestowals; and, second, that willingness embodied in the largest gift possible. The absence of either vitiates all. The presence of both gives trifles a place in God’s storehouse of precious things. A father is glad when his child brings him some utterly valueless present, not because he must, but because he loves; and many a parent has such laid away in sacred repositories. God knows how to take gifts from His children, not less well than we who are evil know how to do it.

But the gracious saying of our passage has a solemn side; for if only gifts ‘according as a man hath’ are accepted, what becomes of the many which fall far short of our ability, and are really given, not because we have the willing mind, but because we could not get out of the unwelcome necessity to part with a miserably inadequate percentage of our possessions. Is God likely to be satisfied with the small dividends which we offer as composition for our great debt? 2 Corinthians 8:1-2. Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit Γνωριζομεν, we make known to you; the grace of God — The great degree of grace conferred by God; on the churches of Macedonia — Namely, of Philippi, Thessalonica, Beræa, and other places in this province; which grace has induced them to exert themselves in a most liberal and generous contribution for the relief of the poor saints in Judea. It appears that the directions which the apostle, in his former letter, gave to the Corinthians concerning the collection to be made for the saints in Judea, had not been fully complied with. At the persuasion of Titus, indeed, they had begun that collection; but they had not finished it when he left Corinth, owing perhaps to the opposition made by the faction, or to the disturbances which the faction had raised in that church. Wherefore, to stir up the sincere among the Corinthians, to finish what they had so well begun, the apostle in this chapter sets before them the example of the Macedonian churches; who, notwithstanding their great poverty, had contributed beyond their ability, being inclined to that good work by an extraordinary measure of divine grace conferred upon them. How that in a great trial of affliction — Amidst great sufferings, which they met with from their persecuting enemies, always ready to harass and plunder them. See Acts 16:10, &c.; Acts 17:5, &c.; 1 Thessalonians 2:14. The abundance of their joy — Arising from the doctrines and promises of the gospel, and from the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit; and their deep poverty — That is, amidst their deep poverty; abounded unto — Or hath overflowed in; the riches of their liberality — So that, indigent as they are, they have done far beyond what could have been reasonably expected for the relief of their yet poorer brethren. By mentioning the poverty of the Macedonian Christians as the circumstance which enhanced their liberality, the apostle, in a very delicate manner, intimated to the Corinthians, who were an opulent people, (1 Corinthians 4:8,) that it was their duty to equal, if not exceed, the Macedonians, in the greatness of their gift. From 1 Thessalonians 2:14, it appears that the Christians in Thessalonica had been spoiled of their goods. So also it is probable the Beræans had been, Acts 17:13. In places of lesser note the disciples may have been few in number, and not opulent.8:1-6 The grace of God must be owned as the root and fountain of all the good in us, or done by us, at any time. It is great grace and favour from God, if we are made useful to others, and forward to any good work. He commends the charity of the Macedonians. So far from needing that Paul should urge them, they prayed him to receive the gift. Whatever we use or lay out for God, it is only giving him what is his own. All we give for charitable uses, will not be accepted of God, nor turn to our advantage, unless we first give ourselves to the Lord. By ascribing all really good works to the grace of God, we not only give the glory to him whose due it is, but also show men where their strength is. Abundant spiritual joy enlarges men's hearts in the work and labour of love. How different this from the conduct of those who will not join in any good work, unless urged into it!Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit - We make known to you; we inform you. The phrase "we do you to wit," is used in Tyndale's translation, and means "we cause you to know." The purpose for which Paul informed them of the liberality of the churches of Macedonia was to excite them to similar liberality.

Of the grace of God ... - The favor which God had shown them in exciting a spirit of liberality, and in enabling them to contribute to the fund for supplying the needs of the poor saints at Jerusalem. The word "grace" (χάρις charis) is sometimes used in the sense of gift, and the phrase "gift of God" some have supposed may mean very great gift, where the words "of God" may be designed to mark anything very eminent or excellent, as in the phrase "cedars of God," "mountains of God," denoting very great cedars, very great mountains. Some critics (as Macknight, Bloomfield, Locke, and others) have supposed that this means that the churches of Macedonia had been able to contribute largely to the aid of the saints of Judea. But the more obvious and correct interpretation, as I apprehend, is that which is implied in the common version, that the phrase "grace of God," means that God had bestowed on them grace to give according to their ability in this cause. According to this it is implied:

(1) That a disposition to contribute to the cause of benevolence is to be traced to God. He is its author. He excites it. It is not a plant of native growth in the human heart, but a large and liberal spirit of benevolence is one of the effects of his grace, and is to be traced to him.

(2) it is a favor bestowed on a church when God excites in it a spirit of benevolence. It is one of the evidences of his love. And indeed there cannot be a higher proof of the favor of God than when by his grace he inclines and enables us to contribute largely to meliorate the condition, and to alleviate the needs of our fellowmen. Perhaps the apostle here meant delicately to hint this. He did not therefore say coldly that the churches of Macedonia had contributed to this object, but he speaks of it as a favor shown to them by God that they were able to do it. And he meant, probably, gently to intimate to the Corinthians that it would be an evidence that they were enjoying the favor of God if they should contribute in like manner.

The churches of Macedonia - Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea. For an account of Macedonia, see the Acts 16:9 note; Romans 15:26 note. Of these churches, that at Philippi seems to have been most distinguished for liberality Philippians 4:10, Philippians 4:15-16, Philippians 4:18, though it is probable that other churches contributed according to their ability, as they are commended (compare 2 Corinthians 9:2) without distinction.

CHAPTER 8

2Co 8:1-24. The Collection for the Saints; the Readiness of the Macedonians a Pattern to the Corinthians; Christ the Highest Pattern; Each Is to Give Willingly after His Ability; Titus and Two Others Are the Agents Accredited to Complete the Collection.

1. we do you to wit—we make known to you.

the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia—Their liberality was not of themselves naturally, but of God's grace bestowed on them, and enabling them to be the instrument of God's "grace" to others (2Co 8:6, 19). The importance given in this Epistle to the collection, arose as well from Paul's engagement (Ga 2:10), as also chiefly from his hope to conciliate the Judaizing Christians at Jerusalem to himself and the Gentile believers, by such an act of love on the part of the latter towards their Jewish brethren.2 Corinthians 8:1-5 Paul extolleth the liberal contributions of the Macedonian

churches for the relief of the brethren in Judea,

2 Corinthians 8:6-8 and recommendeth the like charity to the Corinthians,

as well beseeming their other graces,

2 Corinthians 8:9 enforced by Christ’s example,

2 Corinthians 8:10-12 consistent with the alacrity they had already expressed

therein,

2 Corinthians 8:13-15 and a precedent which might in time be of use to themselves.

2 Corinthians 8:16-24 He letteth them know the willingness of Titus to come

and further this good work among them; and commendeth

him to their love, together with the brethren, men of

special worth, who were sent with him on the same errand.

The apostle in this chapter proceedeth to a new argument, viz. the pressing of this church to acts of charity. This is that which he here calleth

the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia, putting the cause for the effect. Bounty or liberality to the poor saints and members of Christ, as such, floweth from that habit of love by which men are taught of God to love one another; for though men, from a natural goodness, or habits of moral virtue, may relieve men as men, compassionating persons in misery; yet none, from any such principle, do good to any members of the household of faith, as such; such rather feel from them the effects of their hatred, in taking what is their own from them.

Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God,.... The apostle having said everything that was proper to conciliate the minds and affections of the Corinthians to him, and the matter in difference being adjusted to the satisfaction of all parties concerned; he proposes what he had wisely postponed till all was over, the making a collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem; which he enforces by the example of the Macedonian churches, the churches at Philippi, Thessalonica, &c. He addresses them in a kind and tender manner, under the endearing appellation of "brethren", being so in a spiritual relation; and takes the liberty to inform them of the goodness of God to some of their sister churches; "we do you to wit", or "we make known unto you". The phrase "to wit" is an old English one, and almost obsolete, and signifies to acquaint with, inform of, make known, or give knowledge of anything. The thing informed of here, "is the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia"; by which is meant, not any of the blessings of grace common to all the saints, such as regeneration, justification, adoption, forgiveness of sin, and the like; but beneficence, liberality, or a liberal disposition to do good to others, called "the grace of God"; because it sprung from thence, as all good works do when performed aright; they were assisted in it by the grace of God; and it was the love and favour of God in Christ, which was the engaging motive, the leading view, which drew them on to it. This was

bestowed upon them, not merited, it was grace and free grace; God may give persons ever so much of this world's goods, yet if he does not give them a spirit of generosity, a liberal disposition, they will make no use of it for the good of others: and this was bestowed

on the churches of Macedonia; not on a few leading men among them, but upon all the members of these churches in general; and not upon one church, but upon many; a spirit of liberality was in general diffused among them, and this is proposed for imitation. Examples have great influence, and the examples of many the greater; too many follow a multitude to do evil; here the example of many, even of many churches, is proposed in order to be followed to do good, to exercise acts of beneficence and goodness, in a free generous way to saints in distress; which as it is here called, "the grace of God", so in some following verses, "the gift, the same grace, and this grace", 2 Corinthians 8:4 agreeably to the Hebrew word which signifies "grace" and "free bounty"; and is used for doing good, or for beneficence, which the Jews call "a performance of kind and bountiful actions": which are done freely, and for which a person expects no return from the person to whom he does them: and this they distinguish from "alms", after this manner (t);

"an alms (they say) is exercised towards the living, beneficence towards the living and the dead; alms is used to the poor, beneficence both to the rich and poor; alms is performed by a man's substance, beneficence both by body and substance.''

(t) T. Hieros. Peah, fol. 15. 3.

Moreover, {1} brethren, we do you to wit of the {a} grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;

(1) The sixth part of this epistle containing different exhortations to stir up the Corinthians to liberality, with which the poverty of the church of Jerusalem might be helped at an appropriate time. And first of all he sets before them the example of the churches of Macedonia, which otherwise were brought by great misery to extreme poverty, so that the Corinthians should follow them.

(a) The benefit that God bestowed upon the Corinthians.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 8:1. The δέ is the mere μεταβατικόν, leading over to a new topic in the Epistle. Comp. 1 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 12:1; 1 Corinthians 15:1.

τὴν χάριν τ. θεοῦ τὴν δεδομ. κ.τ.λ.] the grace of God, which is given in the churches of Macedonia, i.e. how graciously God has wrought in the churches of Macedonia, inasmuch as He (see 2 Corinthians 8:2) called forth in them so great liberality. Comp. 2 Corinthians 9:14. The expression rests on the idea, that such excellent dispositions and resolves are produced and nourished, not by independent spontaneity, but by the grace of God working on us (operationes gratiae). Comp. Php 2:13. Paul, therefore, does not think of the grace of God as shown to himself (Origen, Erasmus, who paraphrases it: “quemadmodum adfuerit mihi Deus in ecclesiis Maced.;” comp. Zachariae, Emmerling, Billroth, Wieseler, Chronol. p. 357 ff.; also Rückert, yet with hesitation),—in which case he could not but have added ἐμοί or ἡμῖν, in order to make himself understood,—but, on the contrary, as granted to the liberal churches, working in them the communicative zeal of love, so that the construction with ἐν is quite as in 2 Corinthians 8:16; 2 Corinthians 1:22.

2 Corinthians 8:1-6. The beneficence of the Macedonians has been shown beyond all expectation; hence we have exhorted Titus to complete among you the work already begun.2 Corinthians 8:1-7. THE LIBERALITY OF THE MACEDONIAN CHURCHES—AN EXAMPLE TO CORINTH.1. we do you to wit] The translation is Tyndale’s. Wiclif translates literally, we make known to you. Cranmer, I certifye you (cf. Calvin, certiores vos facio). The word wit is derived from the Anglo-Saxon witan, the German wissen, Shakespeare’s wis, to know, and do is here used in the sense of make. Cf. 1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 Corinthians 15:1, and Galatians 1:11, where the same Greek word is used.

the grace of God] i.e. the favour He had shewed them in thus making them partakers of His Spirit.

bestowed on] Rather, in. (Given in, Tyndale. So Wyclif and the Rhemish Version.) St Paul would imply that though given by God, it is manifested in their conduct.

the churches of Macedonia] The Thessalonians and the Philippians, and probably the Beroeans. It is observable that a holy emulation is a spirit quite consistent with the principles of the Gospel. Though we are not to seek the praise of men, we may not despise their example. “I wish you to know, how much good God has wrought in them.” Estius.2 Corinthians 8:1. Γνωρίζομεν, we make known) This exhortation is inserted in this passage, which is extremely well suited to the purpose, and, after the preceding very sweet declaration of mutual love, with which it is connected by the mention of Titus; it is also set before them according to the order of Paul’s journey, that the epistle may afterwards terminate in a graver admonition. Moreover the exhortation itself, even to the Corinthians, in respect to whom the apostle might have used the authority of a father, is even most especially liberal and evangelical.—τὴν χάριν, the grace) When anything is well done, there is grace to those, who do it, and also grace to those, to whom it is done. This word here is of frequent occurrence, 2 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 8:6-7; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Corinthians 8:19; ch. 2 Corinthians 9:8; 2 Corinthians 9:14.Verse 1. - We do you to wit; rather, we make known to you. The phrase is like the modern "I wish to inform you." In this and the next chapter St. Paul, having fully spoken of the joy which had been caused to him by their reception of his first letter, and having said as much as he then intended to say in answer to the charges insinuated against him, proceeds to give directions about the collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem. He had already spoken of it (1 Corinthians 16:1-4), but feared that they were behindhand, and now sends Titus to stimulate their zeal. The style throughout is brief and allusive, because he had already, in various ways, brought this matter fully before them. Throughout this section he shows in a remarkable degree the tact, courtesy, high sense of honour, and practical wisdom which were among his many gifts. The "but" with which the chapter begins in the original is St. Paul's ordinary formula of transition, as in 1 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Corinthians 12:1; 1 Corinthians 13:1, etc. (For the phrase, "we inform you," see 1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 Corinthians 15:1.) It is one of numberless incidental proofs of the genuineness of this group of Epistles - the Epistles of the second great missionary journey - that the same words, phrases, and thoughts constantly recur in them. The grace of God (see next note). Bestowed on the Churches of Macedonia; rather, which is being bestowed in the Churches. St. Paul wants to tell the Corinthians how extremely liberal the Macedonians have been, since it was his custom to stir up one Church by the example of another (2 Corinthians 9:2); but he begins by speaking of their generosity as a proof of the grace which they are receiving from the Holy Spirit. The Churches of Macedonia. The only Macedonian Churches of which we have any details in the New Testament are those of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Beroea. They seem to have been peculiarly dear to St. Paul, who was attracted by their cheerfulness in affliction and their generosity in the midst of want. We do you to wit (γνωρίζομεν)

An obsolete, though correct rendering. Do is used in the sense of cause or make, as Chaucer:

"She that doth me all this woe endure."

To wit is to know: Anglo-Saxon, witan; German, wissen; English, wit. So "Legend of King Arthur:" "Now go thou and do me to wit (make me to know) what betokeneth that noise in the field." Rev., we make known.

Trial of affliction (δοκιμῇ θλίψεως)

Rev., better, proof. See on experience, Romans 5:4. In much affliction, which tried and proved their christian character, their joy and liberality abounded.

Deep (κατὰ βάθους)

An adverbial expression: their poverty which went down to the depths.

Liberality (ἁπλότητος)

Or singleness. See on simplicity, Romans 12:8. It is better to throw the verse into two parallel clauses, instead of making abundance of joy and deep poverty the joint subject of abounded. Render: How that in much proof of affliction was the abundance of their joy, and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches, etc.

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