2 Corinthians 8:4
Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
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(4) Praying us with much intreaty . . .—The words “that we would receive” are not in the Greek, which literally runs: asking of us the grace (or favour) and fellowship in the ministry of the saints, i.e., asking to be allowed to share in it.

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!Praying us with much entreaty - Earnestly entreating me to receive the contribution and convey it to the poor and afflicted saints in Judea.

And take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints - Greek, "that we would take the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints." They asked of us to take part in the labor of conveying it to Jerusalem. The occasion of this distress which made the collection for the saints of Judea necessary, was probably the famine which was predicted by Agabus, and which occurred in the time of Claudius Caesar; see note on Acts 11:28. Barnabas was associated with Paul in conveying the contribution to Jerusalem; Acts 6:30. Paul was unwilling to do it unless they particularly desired it, and he seems to have insisted that some person should be associated with him; 2 Corinthians 8:20; 1 Corinthians 16:3-4.

4. that we would receive—omitted in the oldest manuscripts. Translate therefore, "Beseeching of us … the grace and fellowship of (that is, to grant them the favor of sharing in) the ministering unto the saints." The Macedonian contributions must have been from Philippi, because Philippi was the only church that contributed to Paul's support (Php 4:10, 15, 16). Bringing what they had freely collected amongst themselves to the apostles, and importuning them to receive it at their hands, and to take upon them the work of distributing it.

Praying us with much entreaty,.... They not only gave freely, being unasked by the apostles; but they sought to them, and earnestly entreated them,

that they would receive the gift; the beneficence, what they had so freely and generously collected: and

the fellowship of the ministering to the saints; what they had communicated for the service of the poor saints at Jerusalem, in which they testified their having and holding fellowship with the churches of Christ; and that they would receive it at their hands, and take it upon them, and carry it to Jerusalem, and distribute to the poor saints there, as should seem to them most proper and convenient; which they accordingly agreed to; see Romans 15:25.

Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the {d} gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

(d) He calls that gift which other men would have called a burden. And this verse is to be explained by 2Co 8:6.

4. intreaty] Monestynge, Wiclif; instaunce, Tyndale. Exhortation, Rhemish. See note on ch. 2 Corinthians 1:3.

that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship] A more literal rendering would be, praying of us the gift and fellowship (perhaps we may take this as a Hebraism, meaning ‘the favour of the fellowship’), i.e. that the Apostle would allow them to take part in the good work. The word here translated gift is the same which is usually translated grace in the N.T. See note on ch. 2 Corinthians 1:12. And the words ‘that we would receive’ are not in the best MSS. and versions.

2 Corinthians 8:4. Δεόμενοι, beseeching [praying]) They had been affectionately admonished by Paul, not to do beyond their power. The Macedonians on the other hand besought [prayed], namely, that their gift might be received.—τὴν χάριν καὶ τὴν κοινωνίαν,[45] grace and fellowship[46]) a Hendiadys.

[45] Rec. Text adds after ἁγίους the words δέξασθαι ἡμᾶς. But BCD(Λ)Gfg Vulg. omit them.—ED.

[46] = their free gift of fellowship to be ministered to.—ED.

Verse 4. - Praying us. The entreaties came from them, not from me. That we would receive. These words are almost certainly an explanatory gloss. The translation then is, "begging us for the grace of participation in this ministration to the saints." They were so willing in the matter that they entreated me, as a favour (χάρις), to allow them to have a share in this contribution, because it was to be given to the saints, that is, the suffering peer in the Church of Jerusalem. This Church suffered from chronic poverty. Even the Jewish population were liable to famines, in one of which they had only been kept alive by the royal munificence of a proselyte, Queen Helena,of Adiabene. The Christians would, of course, suffer even more deeply, because they were drawn from the humblest classes and had fewer friends. This was one of the reasons why, as an act of common humanity, it was incumbent on the Gentile Christians to help them (Acts 11:29; Romans 15:25, 26). St. Paul had already brought the subject to the notice of the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:1-4). 2 Corinthians 8:4Praying us - that we would receive the gift and take upon us the fellowship (δεόμενοι ἡμῶν τὴν χάριν καὶ τὴν κοινωνίαν)

Rev., beseeching us, etc., in regard of this grace and the fellowship in the ministering. The Greek reads simply, praying us for the favor and the fellowship of the ministry. The renderings of both A.V. and Rev. are clumsy. Paul means that they earnestly besought him as a favor that they might have a share in ministering to the poor saints. Χάρις means grace, gift, and favor. Here the last.

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