2 Corinthians 9:1
For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
IX.

(1) For as touching . . .—The division of chapters in the English version, unfortunately, gives the impression of the introduction of a new subject. In reality there is no new topic, and all flows on with unbroken continuity. This is part of the appeal to their self-respect begun in 2Corinthians 8:23-24. “You will pardon,” he practically says, “my words of counsel as to the necessity of prompt action; as to the general duty of that ministration to the saints you have shown that you need no instruction.”

2 Corinthians 9:1-2. As touching the ministering to the saints — Contributing to their relief, see on Romans 15:26; it is superfluous for me to write — More largely and particularly. For I know — Rather, have known, in former instances, and have now again learned from Titus; the forwardness of your mind — Your readiness to assist in this good work; for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia — To the Christians in that province, with whom he then was; that Achaia — Whereof Corinth was the chief city; was ready — Was prepared; a year ago — Or since the last year, as απο περυσι properly signifies. “So the apostle thought when he boasted of the Corinthians to the Macedonians. For in his former letter, which was written in the end of the preceding year, he had exhorted them to make the collection, and had given it in charge to Titus, who carried that letter, to encourage them in the work. Besides, the Corinthians having expressed the greatest respect for the apostle in the letter which they sent to him, and the messengers, who brought him that letter, having assured him of their disposition to obey him in every thing, he did not doubt of their having complied with his request. And therefore, when he went into Macedonia the following spring, after pentecost, he told the Macedonian churches that Achaia was prepared since the end of the last year, firmly believing that it was so.” — Macknight.9:1-5 When we would have others do good, we must act toward them prudently and tenderly, and give them time. Christians should consider what is for the credit of their profession, and endeavour to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. The duty of ministering to the saints is so plain, that there would seem no need to exhort Christians to it; yet self-love contends so powerfully against the love of Christ, that it is often necessary to stir up their minds by way of remembrance.For as touching the ministering to the saints - In regard to the collection that was to be taken up for the aid of the poor Christians in Judea; see the notes on Romans 15:26; 1 Corinthians 16:1; 2 Corinthians 8.

It is superfluous ... - It is needless to urge that matter on you, because I know that you acknowledge the obligation to do it, and have already purposed it.

For me to write to you - That is, to write more, or to write largely on the subject. It is unnecessary for me to urge arguments why it should be done; and all that is proper is to offer some suggestions in regard to the manner in which it shall be accomplished.

CHAPTER 9

2Co 9:1-15. Reasons for His Sending Titus. The Greater Their Bountifulness, the More Shall Be the Return of Blessing to Them, and Thanksgiving to God.

1. For—connected with 2Co 8:16: "Show love to the messengers of the churches; for as concerns the ministration for the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you who are so forward already."

write—emphatical: It is superfluous to "write," for you will have witnesses present [Bengel].2 Corinthians 9:1-5 Paul showeth the reason why, though he knew the

forwardness of the Corinthians, he had sent the

brethren before hand to make up their collections

against his coming.

2 Corinthians 9:6-11 He stirreth them up to give bountifully and

cheerfully, as a likely means to increase their store,

2 Corinthians 9:12-15 and as productive of many thanksgivings unto God.

I should think the particle gar, here translated for, had been better translated but, as in 1 Peter 4:15, and 2 Peter 1:9, our translators do render it. So these words contain an elegant revocation of himself from the argument he had dwelt upon in the whole former chapter, and the sense amounts to this: But to what purpose do I multiply words to you, to persuade you to minister to the saints in distress? As to you, it is superfluous. By this art letting them know, that he had no doubt, but a confident expectation, concerning them; the suggesting of which hath also the force of another argument, that they might not deceive the apostle’s good opinion and confidence of them.

For as touching the ministering to the saints,.... It looks at first sight as if the apostle was entering upon a new subject, though by what follows it appears to be the same; for by "ministering to the saints", he does not mean the ministry of the Gospel to them; nor that mutual assistance members of churches are to give each other; but either the fellowship of ministering to the saints, which the churches had entreated him, and his fellow ministers, to take upon them, namely, to take the charge of their collections, and distribute them to the poor saints at Jerusalem; or rather these collections themselves, and their liberality in them: with respect to which he says,

it is superfluous for me to write to you; that is, he thought it unnecessary to say any more upon that head, because he had used so many arguments already to engage them in it, in the foregoing chapter; and because he had sent three brethren to them, who well understood the nature of this service, and were very capable of speaking to it, and of enforcing the reasonings already used; and more especially he judged it needless to dwell on this subject, for the reasons following.

For {1} as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:

(1) He wisely answers the suspicion which the Corinthians might conceive, as though the apostle in urging them so carefully was doubting of their good will. Therefore he witnesses that he does it not to teach them that they ought to help the saints, seeing that he had become surety for them to the Macedonians. But only to stir those up who were labouring by themselves, to the end that all things might both be in a better readiness, and also be more plentiful.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 9:1. Since the γάρ connects the verse with what precedes, not only does the opinion of Semler, that chap. 9 contains a separate Epistle, fall to the ground, but also the hypothesis, that Paul writes as if he were beginning a new topic,—on the basis of which, e.g. Emmerling (comp. Neander) thinks that between the composition of chap. 8 and that of chap. 9 a considerable time had elapsed. Against this may be urged also the fact that in new sections he does not begin with περὶ μέν, but with περὶ δέ (1 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 12:1; 1 Corinthians 16:1). Estius is right in saying that the apostle specifies with γάρ the reason why he, in what goes before (2 Corinthians 8:24), had exhorted them not to collecting, but to affectionate receiving of the brethren. Comp. Fritzsche, Dissert. II. p 21: “Laute excipite fratres, id moneo (2 Corinthians 8:24); nam praeter rem ad liberalitatem denuo quidem provocarem ad eam jam propensos homines,” 2 Corinthians 9:2. So also Schott, Isag. p. 240; Billroth, Rückert, Olshausen, Osiander; but there is no indication of a contrast with the Gentile-Christian churches (as if the ἅγιοι were the ἐκκλησία κατʼ ἐξοχήν), although Hofmann imports i.

μέν] To this the δέ in 2 Corinthians 9:3 corresponds. See on that passage. The counter-remark of de Wette (who, with Osiander and Neander, takes the μέν as solitarium), that δέ in 2 Corinthians 9:3 makes a contrast with 2 Corinthians 9:2, does not hold good, since the contrast is quite as suitable to 2 Corinthians 9:1 (though having respect to what is said in 2 Corinthians 9:2). Even in classic writers (often in Thucyd.) the clauses corresponding to each other with μέν and δέ are found separated by intervening clauses. See Kühner, II. p. 428.

τῆς διακονίας τῆς εἰς τ. ἁγ.] as in 2 Corinthians 8:4. Beza is incorrect (see 2 Corinthians 9:2) in saying that the bringing over only is meant. The word itself corresponds to the idea of Christian fellowship in love, in which the mutual activity of love is a constant debitum ministerium (Romans 13:8; Hebrews 6:10; 1 Peter 4:10), after the example of Christ (Matthew 20:28; Luke 22:26 f.). Comp. Galatians 5:13.

περισσὸν μοί ἐστι] i.e. I do not need writing, namely, to effect my objec.

τὸ γράφειν] with article, because the writing is regarded as actual subject.

REMARK.

Certainly Paul has written of the collection both in chap. 8 and again in what follows; and he meant it so, otherwise he would have ended the section with chap. 8 But he delicately makes a rhetorical turn, so that, in order to spare the readers’ sense of honour, he seems not to take up the subject again, but to speak only of the sending of the brethren; and he annexes to that what he intends still to insert regarding the matter itself. Σοφῶς δὲ τοῦτο ποιεῖ, ὥστε, μᾶλλον αὐτοὺς ἐπισπάσασθαι, Theophylact and Chrysostom. Probably, when he wrote 2 Corinthians 8:24, he meant to close the section with it, but—perhaps after reading over chap. 8 again—was induced to add something, which he did in this polite fashion (τῇ τοιαύτῃ τῶν λόγων μεθόδῳ Theodoret). Hofmann’s idea—that recommendation of the collection itself was superfluous, but that there had been delay in carrying it out, etc.—is quite in accordance certainly with 2 Corinthians 9:1-5, but from 2 Corinthians 9:5 to the end of the chapter there again follow instructions and promises, which belong essentially to the recommendation of the collection itself.2 Corinthians 9:1-5. HE IS CONFIDENT OF THEIR READINESS TO GIVE; BUT TITUS AND HIS COMPANIONS HAVE BEEN SENT ON, THAT THE COLLECTION MAY BE READY WHEN HE ARRIVES AT CORINTH.Ch. 2 Corinthians 9:1. For] i.e. I am not writing to you about the ministry to the saints, for that is unnecessary. I am writing about your reception of the brethren, and your being ready when they come. See 2 Corinthians 9:3.

the ministering] Literally, the ministry. See note on ch. 2 Corinthians 3:3. Anything which conveyed God’s good gifts from one member of the Church to another, was in the Apostle’s eyes a ministry, a diaconate, for the words rendered minister, ministry, are in Greek διάκονος, διακονία. See also note on 2 Corinthians 9:12 and on ch. 2 Corinthians 8:4.

it is superfluous for me to write to you] “Observe the tender wisdom of this proceeding. The charity which finds us unprepared is a call as hateful as that of any creditor whom it is hard to pay. St Paul knew this well; therefore he gave timely notice.” Robertson. It was unnecessary to write to them about the collection itself. It was not unnecessary to remind them as a matter of Christian prudence that they must not allow themselves to be taken unawares, lest the amount of their bounty should hardly correspond to what men had a reason to expect Cf. 1 Corinthians 16:2. Calvin, however, thinks that the Apostle wavered between confidence and anxiety. He knew their readiness, but he feared the instability of human nature.2 Corinthians 9:1. Τὸ γράφειν, to write) For you will have witnesses present with you, and I know, that you are ready without writing letters to you.Verse 1. - For. This word shows that he is continuing the same subject, and therefore excludes the supposition that this chapter is a separate letter or fragment. No doubt, however, the express mention of the collection after he has been practically writing about it through the whole of the last chapter looks as if he had been interrupted, or had left off dictating at the end of the last verse. Such breaks must often and necessarily have occurred in the dictation of the Epistles, and doubtless help to account for some of their phenomena. Perhaps, on reperusing the last paragraphs before resuming the subject he observed that, after all, he had not directly mentioned the contribution, and therefore explains that he thought it superfluous to do so. To the saints. The poor Christians of Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8:4). Superfluous. Because the subject had been already fully brought to their notice by himself and by Titus.
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