2 Corinthians 9:3
Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Yet have I sent the brethren . . .—This, then, was his purpose in the new mission. He wanted the performance not to fall short of the promise. They must be found ready, their money collected. (Comp. 1Corinthians 16:2.)

In this behalf.—Perhaps, in this particular, or, in this respect, would be more in harmony with modern English phraseology.

2 Corinthians 9:3-7. Yet have I sent the brethren — Above mentioned before me; lest our boasting of you should be in vain — Lest you should be found unprepared. To make up beforehand — To complete before my arrival; your bounty — Or gift; whereof ye had notice before — Greek, την προκατηγγελμενην, spoken of before, namely, by me to the Macedonians. Or, as some understand the expression, formerly announced to the saints in Judea. That the same might be ready — When I come; as a bounty — Or free gift, willingly bestowed; and not as of covetousness

A thing extorted, or wrung by importunity from covetous persons. But this I say — This I wish you to keep in mind as an important declaration; He who soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly, &c. — A general rule: God will proportion the reward to the work, and the temper whence it proceeds. Every man as he purposeth, &c. — As he finds himself inclined from his own bountiful disposition, and not as being constrained thereto by me or any other; not grudgingly Εκ λυπης, from grief, as if he were sorry to part with his money; or of necessity — Because he is ashamed to refuse. For — In matters of charity; God loveth a cheerful giver — Nor can that be acceptable to him which is given with reluctance and by constraint.

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.Yet have I sent the brethren - The brethren referred to in 2 Corinthians 8:18, 2 Corinthians 8:22-23.

Lest our boasting of you - That you were disposed to contribute, and that you were already prepared, and that the contribution was ready.

Should be in vain - Lest anything should have occurred to prevent the collection. I have sent them that they may facilitate it, and that it may be secure and certain.

In this behalf - In this respect. That is, lest our boasting of you, in regard to your readiness to contribute to relieve the needs of others, should be found to have been ill-grounded.

3. have I sent—we should say, "I send"; whereas the ancients put it in the past, the time which it would be by the time that the letter arrived.

the brethren—(2Co 8:18, 22)—Titus and the two others.

should be in vain in this behalf—"should be proved futile in this particular," however true in general (2Co 7:4). A tacit compliment, softening the sharp monition.

as I said—as I was saying (2Co 9:2).

I did not send the brethren so much to move you to this work, or quicken you to it, for you yourselves purposed it a year ago, and showed a forwardness in it; the motion proceeded from yourselves, and you showed a readiness to it, which gave me occasion to boast of you to the churches of Macedonia; but I thought you might forget it, and I would not have

our boasting in vain on this behalf. And besides, I would have the work done, that your alms might not be to gather when I come, (as he had said, 1 Corinthians 16:2), but might be in a readiness to be taken and carried away; for that is signified here by being

ready, not that readiness of mind of which he had before spoken, and which he had before mentioned as what he had found in them.

Yet have I sent the brethren,.... Titus, and the other two mentioned in the foregoing chapter: one manuscript reads, "we have sent"; and the Ethiopic version, "they have sent", that is, the Macedonians; but the common reading is best. It might be objected, that since the apostle knew the forwardness of their minds, how ready they were a year ago, and had boasted so much of their liberality, that it must be unnecessary to send the brethren to them, to stir them up to this work; which objection is prevented by observing the reason of his sending them:

lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf: or, "in this part", in this particular thing, , "concerning this business", or affair of beneficence to the poor, as the Syriac version renders it. He had boasted of them with respect to other things besides this; but he was chiefly concerned, knowing the frailty and changeableness of human nature, and how possible it was that their forwardness might abate, and they grow cold and indifferent to such service, lest his glorying of them should be in vain in this particular instance; wherefore he sent the brethren to put them on, that as they had begun they would finish:

that as I said ye may be ready, That as he had said to the Macedonians, that they were ready in mind, it might appear to be so; or as he had ordered them in his former epistle, they might be actually ready; have their collection ready made, so that there might be no gathering when he came.

Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 9:3. Connection: Although in regard to the collection I do not need to write to you, and that for the reason stated in 2 Corinthians 9:2, I have yet not been able to omit the sending of the brethren for this purpose, in order that, etc. Paul by this would direct attention not to the general object of this mission, but to the special one of having all things ready before his arrival. See what follows. On μὲνδέ, which may often be translated etsi … tamen, comp. Xen. Anab. ii. 3. 10, and Kühner in loc. The same is more strongly expressed by μὲνὅμως δέ, Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 76, or μὲνμέντοι, Viger. p. 536.

τοὺς ἀδελφούς] Titus and the two others, 2 Corinthians 8:17 ff.

τὸ καύχημα ἡμῶν τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμ.] on account of the following ἐν τῷ μέρει τούτῳ, which first adds the special reference to the general, is not to be understood of the special καυχᾶσθαι described in 2 Corinthians 9:2, but is to be taken generally: in order that that, of which we boast on your behalf (καύχημα is here materies gloriandi, and not equivalent to καύχησις), might not become empty (1 Corinthians 9:15), i.e. might not be found without reality in this point, in the matter of the collection,—if, namely, on our arrival it should be found that your benevolent activity had come to a standstill or become retrograde. See 2 Corinthians 9:4. In the addition ἐν τῷ μέρει τούτῳ (comp. 2 Corinthians 3:10) there lies an “acris cum tacita laude exhortatio” (Estius); for Paul has not a similar anxiety in respect to other sides of the καύχημα (comp. 2 Corinthians 7:4). Billroth considers ἐν τ. μέρει τ. as pointing to 2 Corinthians 9:4, and takes τὸ καύχημα κ.τ.λ. of the special boast in 2 Corinthians 9:2 : “in this respect, namely, inasmuch as, if Macedonians come with me … we … are put to shame.” Involved, because ἵνα καθὼςἦτε lies between; and at variance with the parallel ἐν τῇ ὑποστάσει ταύτῃ of 2 Corinthians 9:4.

ἵνα καθὼς κ.τ.λ.] forms, with the following μήπως κ.τ.λ., a positive parallel to the previous negative ἵνα μὴ τὸ καύχηματούτῳ. Comp. on ἵνα repeated in parallel clauses, Romans 7:13; Galatians 3:14; Galatians 4:5.

2 Corinthians 9:3. ἔπεμψα δὲ τοὺς ἀδ. κ.τ.λ. but (the δέ corresponding to μέν of 2 Corinthians 9:1) I have sent (the epistolary aorist; cf. 2 Corinthians 8:18) the brethren (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:16-22), that our glorying on your behalf may not be made void (cf. esp. 1 Corinthians 9:15) in this respect, i.e., in the matter of actually gathering the money, as distinct from their general readiness to be liberal (2 Corinthians 8:10), in order that, even as I said, sc., to the Macedonians to whom he had repeatedly boasted of Corinthian generosity (2 Corinthians 9:2), ye may be prepared.

3. Yet have I sent] Although instructions to make the collection were needless, it was not needless for me to send the brethren. See note on 2 Corinthians 9:1. For I have sent, the Greek has I sent. But see notes on ch. 2 Corinthians 8:18; 2 Corinthians 8:22, and Introduction.

our boasting] Literally, ‘our ground of boasting,’ but see ch. 2 Corinthians 5:12. It was not that St Paul expected no result from the collection, but feared that it might be one out of all proportion to what his expressions of confidence in the Corinthian Church would have led other Churches to expect.

in this behalf] Rather, in this respect, i.e. in regard to the matter of the collection. He had not hesitated to speak of their other good qualities. See 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; and for the expression see ch. 2 Corinthians 3:10.

2 Corinthians 9:3. Ἔπεμψα, I sent) before me, 2 Corinthians 9:5.—ἐν τῷ μέρει, in this respect [behalf]) He makes a limitation.—καθὼς ἔλεγον, as I was saying, 2 Corinthians 9:2.

Verse 3. - But. Though it is needless to write to you about this collection, I sent the brethren to make sure that all I had said about you might be justified by reality. In this behalf; i.e. about this matter (comp. 2 Corinthians 3:10), or, as we might express it, "in this direction." He seems to have felt more uncertainty about their liberality than about other matters (2 Corinthians 7:4). 2 Corinthians 9:3
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