2 Corinthians 8:17
For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went to you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) For indeed he accepted the exhortation . . .—The words have a two-fold purpose:—(1) To show that Titus was authorised by the Apostle, and acting at his request; (2) that he was so eager to go that he did not even need to be requested. The tense, “he went,” is what is known as the epistolary aorist. Titus was to start, probably, as the bearer of this letter.

8:16-24 The apostle commends the brethren sent to collect their charity, that it might be known who they were, and how safely they might be trusted. It is the duty of all Christians to act prudently; to hinder, as far as we can, all unjust suspicions. It is needful, in the first place, to act uprightly in the sight of God, but things honest in the sight of men should also be attended to. A clear character, as well as a pure conscience, is requisite for usefulness. They brought glory to Christ as instruments, and had obtained honour from Christ to be counted faithful, and employed in his service. The good opinion others have of us, should be an argument with us to do well.For indeed he accepted the exhortation - He cheerfully complied with the exhortation which I gave him, to wit, to visit you, and excite you to this good work.

But being more forward - More disposed to do this than I had supposed. The idea here is, that he was very ready to engage in this; he was more ready to engage in it than Paul was to exhort him to it; he anticipated his request; he had already resolved to engage in it.

Of his own accord he went ... - He went voluntarily and without urging. The ground of Paul's thankfulness here seems to have been this, He apprehended probably some difficulty in obtaining the collection there, He was acquainted with the distracted state of the church, and feared that Titus might have some reluctance to engage in the service. He was therefore very agreeably surprised when he learned that Titus was willing to make another journey to Corinth and to endeavor to complete the collection.

17. being more forward—more earnest than to need such exhortation.

he went—Greek, "went forth." We should say, he is going forth; but the ancients put the past tense in letter writing, as the things will have been past by the time that the correspondent, receives the letter. "Of his own accord," that is, it is true he has been exhorted by me to go, but he shows that he has anticipated my desires, and already, "of his own accord," has desired to go.

See Poole on "2 Corinthians 8:16" For indeed, he accepted the exhortation,.... The Macedonians besought the apostle with much entreaty to give unto him, 2 Corinthians 8:4 or which being moved by their example, they gave unto him, namely, that he would go and finish what he had already begun; and accordingly he did not refuse, but readily accepted the exhortation: yea, not only so,

but being more forward; than was known or could have been expected; which shows that this was put into his heart by God, before it was moved unto him; so that if he had never been asked, or exhorted hereunto, he would have gone of himself:

of his own accord he went unto you; so great is his care of you; so great his love unto you so willing was he to come again and pay another visit: and especially on this account, where he had before been treated with so much respect and kindness. Titus having been at Corinth already, and being well known there, the apostle forbears saying anything more in his commendation.

For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 8:17. Proof of this σπουδή of Titus.

For the summons indeed he received; but, seeing that he was more zealous, of his own accord he set out to you. Paul has not expressed himself incorrectly, seeing that he can only have had in his mind a climax (Rückert); nor has he used μὲνδέ in the sense of the climactic οὐ μόνονἀλλά (Billroth, also Flatt); but the concessive clause τὴν μὲν παράκλ. ἐδέξ. expresses the delicate modesty and subordination of Titus, according to which he would not have it appear that he set out on the journey αὐθαίρετος; the second clause, on the other hand, sets forth the actual state of the case. The summons (2 Corinthians 8:6) indeed he received; he did not say as it were: there is no need of thy summons, I go of my own impulse; but in the actual state of the case he was too zealous to have needed a summons, and set out to you of his own self-determination.

ἐξῆλθε] The praeterite does not denote what was resolved on (Billroth), but is that of the epistolary style (comp. συνεπέμψ., 2 Corinthians 8:18; 2 Corinthians 8:22; Xen. Anab. i. 9. 25), used to represent the point of time at which the letter is read by those receiving it. Comp. Acts 15:27; Acts 23:30, also on Galatians 6:11.2 Corinthians 8:17. ὅτι τὴν μὲν παράκλ. κ.τ.λ.: for not only did he accept (the epistolary aorist) our exhortation, sc., of 2 Corinthians 8:6, but (and this is the proof of his σπουδή) being himself very earnest (we are not to press the comparative σπουδαιότερος; cf. Acts 17:22), it was of his own accord that he went forth (epist. aor.) unto you, sc., from Macedonia, bearing this letter. ὑπάρχων is used (as at Romans 4:19, 1 Corinthians 11:7, chap. 2 Corinthians 12:16, Galatians 1:14, Php 2:6) instead of ὤν, as expressing not merely the fact that Titus was σπουδαιότερος, but that this was his habitual condition; “being, as he is,” would convey the sense.17. For indeed he accepted the exhortation] The Greek implies that Titus did indeed receive an exhortation from St Paul, but that he did more than he had been asked to do. For exhortation compare entreaty, 2 Corinthians 8:4, and see note on ch. 2 Corinthians 1:3.

but being more forward] Literally, ‘more diligent,’ i.e. than I had desired him to be. See note on earnest care above.2 Corinthians 8:17. Παράκλησιν, the exhortation) that which is given at 2 Corinthians 8:6, namely, that he should go to you.—σπουδαιότερος, more forward) more active than to require exhortation, 2 Corinthians 8:22.Verse 17. - The exhortation. My request that he would undertake this task. Being more forward. Because he was more earnestly zealous than I had ever ventured to hope, he went spontaneously. (On the word authairetos, see ver. 3.)
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