2 Corinthians 9:12
For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
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(12) For the administration of this service.—The latter word (leitourgia) has, like that for “ministering” in 2Corinthians 9:10, an interesting history. In classical Greek it stands for any public service rendered to the State. In the LXX. version it, and its cognate verb and adjective, are used almost exclusively of the ritual and sacrificial services of the Tabernacle and the Temple, as, e.g., in Numbers 4:25; 1Chronicles 11:13; 1Chronicles 26:30; and in this sense it appears in Luke 1:23; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:21; and with the same shade of meaning, used figuratively, in Philippians 2:17. That meaning survives in the ecclesiastical term “liturgy,” applied, as it was at first, exclusively to the service of the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Here, probably, the thought is implied that a large and liberal gift to Christ’s poor, and for His sake, is the most acceptable of all forms of “service” in the liturgical sense of that word. So understood it implies the same truth as that stated in James 1:27.

Not only supplieth the want of the saints.—Literally, fills up the things that were lacking. The wants of the “saints,” i.e., the disciples of Jerusalem, were, we must remember, very urgent. They had never quite recovered from the pressure of the famine foretold by Agabus (Acts 11:28), and the lavish generosity of the first days of the Church (Acts 2:44-45; Acts 4:32) had naturally exhausted its resources.

But is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God.—More accurately, overflows, by means of many thanksgivings, to God: the latter noun standing in a closer connection with the verb than the English version suggests. Some of the better MSS. give, to Christ.

9:6-15 Money bestowed in charity, may to the carnal mind seem thrown away, but when given from proper principles, it is seed sown, from which a valuable increase may be expected. It should be given carefully. Works of charity, like other good works, should be done with thought and design. Due thought, as to our circumstances, and those we are about to relieve, will direct our gifts for charitable uses. Help should be given freely, be it more or less; not grudgingly, but cheerfully. While some scatter, and yet increase; others withhold more than is meet, and it tends to poverty. If we had more faith and love, we should waste less on ourselves, and sow more in hope of a plentiful increase. Can a man lose by doing that with which God is pleased? He is able to make all grace abound towards us, and to abound in us; to give a large increase of spiritual and of temporal good things. He can make us to have enough in all things; and to be content with what we have. God gives not only enough for ourselves, but that also wherewith we may supply the wants of others, and this should be as seed to be sown. We must show the reality of our subjection to the gospel, by works of charity. This will be for the credit of our profession, and to the praise and glory of God. Let us endeavour to copy the example of Christ, being unwearied in doing good, and deeming it more blessed to give than to receive. Blessed be God for the unspeakable gift of his grace, whereby he enables and inclines some of his people to bestow upon others, and others to be grateful for it; and blessed be his glorious name to all eternity, for Jesus Christ, that inestimable gift of his love, through whom this and every other good thing, pertaining to life and godliness, are freely given unto us, beyond all expression, measure, or bounds.For the administration of this service - The distribution of this proof of your liberality. The word "service" here, says Doddridge, intimates that this was to be regarded not merely as an act of humanity, but religion.

The want of the saints - Of the poor Christians in Judea on whose behalf it was contributed.

But is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God - Will abound unto God in producing thanksgivings. The result will be that it will produce abundant thanksgiving in their hearts to God.

12. Greek, "The ministration of this public service (on your part) is not only still further supplying the wants of the saints (besides the supplies from other quarters), but is abounding also (namely, in respect to relieving the necessities of others in poverty) through many thanksgivings to God." No than ought to live to himself; the two great ends of every Christian’s life ought to be, the glory of God, and the good of others, especially such as belong to the household of faith. This service (saith the apostle) serveth both those ends:

1. It supplieth the neccessities of the saints; and:

2. It causeth thanksgivings to God by many persons, and upon many accounts; which he further openeth in the following verses.

For the administration of this service,.... Not only by the Corinthians, and others, in giving and collecting, but by the apostles in ministering and distributing their contributions to the poor saints, produced these two very good effects: for it

not only supplieth the wants of the saints; makes up their deficiencies, relieves their necessities, and furnishes them with what is comfortable and refreshing to them under their many sorrowful circumstances, which is answering a very valuable end:

but is abundant also by many thanks givings to God; it has over and above this excellency in it, or its excellent use is enhanced, and abundantly appears by this consideration; that many precious souls are sent hereby to the throne of grace to give thanks to God, who put it into the hearts of the apostles to move the churches on their behalf, and who wrought upon them so cheerfully and largely to contribute to their necessities.

{3} For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

(3) Another excellent and double fruit of liberality towards the saints is this, that it gives occasion to praise God, and that our faith also is by it made manifest.

2 Corinthians 9:12. Confirmation of what was just said ἥτις κατεργάζεται κ.τ.λ. by the particular circumstances of the present collection.[291]

ἡ διακονία τῆς λειτουργ. ταύτης] i.e. the service, which you render by this λειτουργία. And the work of collection is called λειτουργία, in so far as it was to be regarded, according to its destined consecration to God, as a priestly bringing of offering (going to the benefit of the receivers). Comp. on Php 2:17; Php 2:25; Romans 13:6; Romans 15:16. Most others take ἡ διακονία of the service of the apostle, who took charge of the collection (τὴν λειτουργίαν ταύτην). But this is at variance with 2 Corinthians 9:13, where τῆς διακονίας ταύτης is manifestly equivalent to τῆς διακονίας τῆς λειτ. ταύτ., and must be understood of the service rendered by the contributors. Hence the activity of those conveying it is not even to be understood as included here (Hofmann).

οὐ μόνον κ.τ.λ.] The emphasis lies on προσαναπληρ. and περισσ., in which case the expression with ἐστι denotes how the διακονία is as regards its efficacy, not simply what it effects (this would be the simple present of the verb). The service, etc., has not only the supplementing quality, in that it makes up for what the saints lack, but also an abounding, exceedingly blissful quality, in that it calls forth many thanksgivings towards God. Others, like Piscator and Flatt, connect περισσεύουσα τῷ θεῷ: “it contributes much to glorify God;” comp. Hofmann: “it makes for God a rich produce.” Against linguistic usage, since περισσεύει μοί τι means: I have abundance or superfluity in something (Thuc. ii. 65. 9; Dion. Hal. iii. 11; Tob 4:16; John 6:13; Luke 9:17; comp. Luke 12:15; Mark 12:44). There must have been used εἰς θεόν or εἰς τὴν δόξαν τοῦ θεοῦ (Romans 5:15; 2 Corinthians 4:15).

On προσαναπληρόω, to fill by adding to, comp. 2 Corinthians 11:9; Plat. Men. p. 84 D; Diod. v. 71; Athen. 14, p. 654 D; Wis 19:4.

[291] Nowhere has Paul expressed with so deep fervour and so much fulness as here the blissful influence, which his collecting among the Greeks for the Jews was to have on the quickening of the religious fellowship between them.


12. For the administration of this service] Literally, For the ministry (see note on 2 Corinthians 9:1) of this public service (the mynysterie of this public office, Wiclif; the office of this ministration, Tyndale). The word translated service means any public work. “The λειτουργοὶ,” says Potter in his Grecian Antiquities, “were persons of considerable estates, who were ordered to perform some public duty or to supply the commonwealth with necessaries at their own expenses.” See also Smith’s Dictionary of Antiquities, Art. Liturgia. Hence comes our word Liturgy, which originally signified any public function, but afterwards became restrained to the Holy Communion only. See, for the word, Luke 1:23; Php 2:17; Php 2:30; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:21. The verb derived from the same source is used of the public services of the Church in Acts 13:2; Hebrews 10:11. In Romans 15:27 it is used in the same sense as here.

is abundant] Rather, exceedeth, or aboundeth. See note on ‘exceeding joyful,’ ch. 2 Corinthians 7:4; also ch. 2 Corinthians 1:11, 2 Corinthians 4:15.

by many thanksgivings] Cf. ch. 2 Corinthians 1:11, 2 Corinthians 4:15.

2 Corinthians 9:12. Ἡ διακονία τῆς λειτουργίας ταύτης) the administration of this service, a becoming appellation. λειτουργία is the function itself, [service to be discharged,] διακονία, the act.—προσαναπληροῦσα, still further supplies [supplies in addition]) a double compound. Their wants were also supplied from other quarters.—πολλῶν, by many) feminine [not “thanksgivings of many.”]

Verse 12. - For the administration of this service. The word "liturgy," here rendered "service," is used in the same connection in Romans 15:27. Generally it means "religious service" (Acts 13:6; Philippians 2:17; Hebrews 10:11). Here it more resembles its classic sense of "a public office discharged for the good of the state," such as undertaking the office of a choragus (see ver. 10). Not only. St. Paul is anxious to emphasize the religious side of the contribution fully as much as its philanthropic object. Is abundant. It overflows as it were in the form of thanksgivings to Galatians 2 Corinthians 9:12Service (λειτουργίας)

Also rendered ministry or ministration (A.V. and Rev.), as Luke 1:23; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:21. See on Luke 1:23. The word is used of this same contribution, Romans 15:7.

Supplieth (ἐστὶν προσαναπληροῦσα)

Lit., fills up by adding to. Only here and 2 Corinthians 11:9. Supplementing what the saints lack. Through many thanksgivings. The need of the poor is filled, like an empty vessel, to the brim, and the supply overflows in the thanksgiving which it calls out. Thus christian beneficence does a double work, in giving relief and in generating thankfulness.

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