2 Corinthians 9:9
(As it is written, He has dispersed abroad; he has given to the poor: his righteousness remains for ever.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad.—The words are quoted from the LXX. version of Psalm 112:9. At first it might almost seem as if they were quoted in a different sense from the original, and applied, not to the giver of alms, but to God as the giver of all good, dispersing His bounty and showing His righteousness. There are, however, sufficient grounds for taking them in their true meaning here also. “The good man gives to the poor,” the Psalmist had said; “but he is not impoverished by his gifts. His righteousness” (the word is used as it perhaps is in the better text in Matthew 6:1—but see Note there—in the sense of alms-giving) “continues still and for ever.” He can, i.e., go on giving from a constantly replenished store. That this is the meaning is shown by 2Corinthians 9:3 of the Psalm: “Wealth and riches shall be in his house, and his righteousness endureth for ever:” the latter clause corresponding to the former, according to the laws of parallelism in Hebrew poetry.

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.As it is written - Psalm 112:9. The idea is, "in this way will the saying in the Scriptures be verified, or the promise confirmed." The psalmist is describing the character of the righteous man. One of his characteristics, he says, is, that he has scattered abroad, he has given liberally to the poor. On such a man a blessing is pronounced Psalm 112:1; and one of the blessings will be that he shall be prospered. Some difficulty has been felt by commentators to see how the quotation here made sustains the position of Paul that the liberal man would be blessed of God, and would receive an increase according to his liberality. In order to this, they have supposed (see Doddridge, Bloomfield, and Clarke) that the word "righteousness" means the same as almsgiving, or that "he would always have something to bestow." But I would suggest that perhaps Paul quoted this, as quotations are frequently made in the Scriptures, where a passage was familiar. He quotes only a part of the passage, meaning that the whole passage confirms the point under consideration. Thus, the whole passage in the psalm is, "He hath dispersed; he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth forever; his horn shall be exalted with honor;" that is, he shall be abundantly blessed with prosperity and with the favor of God. Thus, the entire promise sustains the position of Paul, that the liberal man would be abundantly blessed. The phrase "he hath dispersed" Ἐσκόρπισεν Eskorpisen, may refer either to the act of sowing, as a man scatters seed on the earth; or there may be an allusion to the oriental custom of scattering money among an assembled company of paupers; compare Proverbs 11:24.

His righteousness - His deeds of beneficence.

Remaineth - In its fruits and consequences; that is, either in its effects on others, or on himself. It may mean that the sums so distributed will remain with him forever inasmuch as he will be supplied with all that is needful to enable him to do good to others. This interpretation accords with the connection.

9. As it is written—realizing the highly blessed character portrayed in Ps 112:9.

He—the "good man" (Ps 112:5).

dispersed—as seed sown with full and open hand, without anxious thought in what direction each grain may fall. It is implied also that he has always what he may disperse [Bengel]. So in Ps 112:9.

the poor—The Greek word is found here only in New Testament, "one in straitened circumstances, who earns his bread by labor." The word usually employed means "one so poor as to live by begging."

his righteousness—Here "beneficence": the evidence of his being righteous before God and man. Compare De 24:13; Mt 6:1, "alms"; Greek, "righteousness."

remaineth—unexhausted and unfailing.

As in the former verse the apostle had asserted God’s sufficiency to repay them what they should lend him. So he here asserteth God’s readiness and willingness. This he confirmeth from a promise taken out of Psalm 112:9, where also is further added, his horn shall be exalted with honour. Concerning the merciful man, it is true that Solomon saith, Proverbs 11:24: There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth. The psalmist saith: His righteousness endureth for ever: by which term some understand his bounty or liberality: I had rather understand by it here his obedience to the command of God ht his free distribution to the poor; this remaineth in God’s book of remembrance for ever, God will not forget this labour of love, Hebrews 6:10. The friends which he maketh with his mammon of righteousness, shall receive him into everlasting habitations, Luke 16:9. A man’s riches cannot remain for ever, but his righteousness, in the distribution of them according to the command of God, that shall remain for ever. As it is written,.... In Psalm 112:9 where it is said of the good and righteous man,

he hath dispersed "his riches", his substance, as the Chaldee paraphrase adds by way of explanation; not in a profuse extravagant manner, but with wisdom and prudence, and yet largely and liberally, according to his ability. Just as the sower scatters his seed here, and there, and in every place, with an open and wide hand, to the good man distributes to all in necessity, and makes them all partakers of his bounty; he gives not only to one, but to many, and not to all without distinction he meets with, whether necessitous or not:

he hath given to the poor. This explains the former phrase, and points out the persons, the objects of the good man's bounty and compassion:

his righteousness remaineth for ever. This is not to be understood of his justifying righteousness, as if that consisted of, and was established upon his works of bounty and charity to the poor; nor of his fame among men on account of his liberality; nor of any reward in another world; but of his beneficence itself, it being common with the Jews to call alms "righteousness": See Gill on Matthew 6:1 and the sense is, that what such a man bestows in charity on the poor shall not be lost, but shall be like the seed cast into the earth, shall spring up again, and bring forth fruit with increase, according to what follows.

(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for {h} ever.

(h) Is everlasting: now David speaks of a man that fears God, and loves his neighbour, who will always be able

(he says) to give to others.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 9:9 connects itself with περισσ. εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθ. This περισσεύειν is to exhibit the fulfilment of the Scripture saying in your case: He scattered, He gave to the poor;[289] His righteousness remains for e2Co 9:The quotation is Psalm 112:9 (exactly after the LXX.), where the subject is ἀνὴρ ὁ φοβούμενος τὸν κύριον.

ἐσκόρπισεν] figurative description of the beneficent man, who μετὰ δαψιλείας ἔδωκε, Chrysostom. Comp. Symmachus, Proverbs 11:24. Bengel well says: “Verbum generosum: spargere, plena manu, sine anxia cogitatione, quorsum singula grana cadant.” But that Paul (not the original) had in his view the image of strewing seed, is already probable from 2 Corinthians 9:6, and is confirmed by 2 Corinthians 9:10 (in opposition to Hofmann). Regarding the use in late Greek of the originally Ionic word, see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 218.

ἡ δικαιοσύνη] is not, with Chrysostom, Theophylact, Calvin, Grotius, Estius, Bengel, Rosenmüller, Vater, Emmerling, and others, to be taken as beneficence (Zachariae and Flatt have even: recompense), which it never means, not even in Matthew 6:1; but it always means righteousness, which, however, may, according to the context, as here (comp. Tob 14:11), be that which expresses itself by doing good. So also צְדָקָה which on this account is often translated by ἐλεημοσύνη in the LXX. (see Gesen. Thes. III. p. 1151; Buxt. Lex. Talm. p. 1890). The Christian moral righteousness is beneficent through the love which comes from faith. Comp. Romans 12:9; Romans 10:13-15; Galatians 5:6.

μένει εἰς τ. αἰῶνα] is, according to Paul, to be taken quite in the full sense of the words: remains for ever (comp. Diod. i. 56; Lucian, Philops. 17), never ceases, either before the Parousia, when his δικαιοσύνη continues to develope its vital activity, as in general, so specially through beneficent love, or after the Parousia, when, in itself incapable of being lost, it has its eternal subsistence in love that cannot be lost (1 Corinthians 13:8; 1 Corinthians 13:13). Explanations, such as of a perpetua laus apud homines and gloriosa merces apud Deum (Estius, comp. Chrysostom, Grotius, Emmerling, and others), or that it applies merely to the earthly lifetime of the beneficent one (Beza), are at variance with the words, which affirm the ΜΈΝΕΙΝ of the ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣΎΝΗ itself; and in the N. T. ΜΈΝΕΙΝ ΕἸς ΤῸΝ ΑἸῶΝΑ is always to be taken in the definite sense of eternal abiding. See John 8:35; John 12:34; Hebrews 7:24; 1 Peter 1:25; 1 John 2:17. Comp. μένειν εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνοιν, John 6:27. Hence de Wette also takes it too indefinitely: “that the beneficence itself, or the means for it, has enduring subsistence.” Chrysostom and Theodoret have, moreover, inverting the matter, found the beneficence here, which Chrysostom compares to a fire consuming sins, to be the cause of the justification. It is its consequence and effect, Galatians 5:6; Galatians 5:22, Colossians 3:12 ff., al., as is the Christian righteousness of life itself, Romans 6; Romans 8:4 ff.

[289] Regarding the notion of πένης, which does not occur elsewhere in the N. T. (ὁ ἐκ πόνου καὶ ἐνεργείας τὸ ζῆν ἔχων, Etym. M.), and its distinction from πτωχός, which among the Greeks expresses the notion of mendicant poverty, see Arist. Plut. 552 f.; Stallb. ad Plat. Apol. p. 23 C. Regarding αὖος, egenus, esuriens, see Jacobs, ad Anthol. IX. p. 431, XII. p. 465.2 Corinthians 9:9-10 are parenthetical, containing an illustrative quotation and its application.9. as it is written] In Psalm 112:9.

the poor] The word here is the usual one in Classical Greek. See notes on ch. 2 Corinthians 8:9.

his righteousness remaineth for ever] As this passage is simply quoted from the O. T., it seems unfair to build any theological argument upon it, especially as on points like these the Hebrew language has by no means the precision of the Greek. It probably means no more than this; that a good and charitable deed remains such for evermore. The parenthesis, which in the A. V. includes 2 Corinthians 9:10, ought to include this verse only.2 Corinthians 9:9. Ἐσκόρπισεν, He hath dispersed) a generous word; to disperse [scatter] with full hand, without anxious thought, in what direction every grain may fall. There is also a metonymy,[56] hath dispersed [scattered], i.e., he always has, what he may disperse [scatter]. Indeed in Psalm 112:9 it is a part of the promise.—ἡ δικαιοσύνη αὐτοῦ, his righteousness) righteousness, i.e., beneficence; see the next verse. The latter is marked in its strict sense. Righteousness is something more.—μένει, remains) unexhausted, uneffaced, unfailing.

[56] Here the substitution of the consequent for the antecedent.—ED.Verse 9. - As it is written. The quotation is from the LXX. in Psalm 112:9. He hath dispersed abroad. He has been a large and generous giver. The poor. The word here used is penes, which does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. It means moderato and honourable poverty, whereas in classical Greek ptocheia implies disreputable pauperism and mendicancy (comp. 2 Corinthians 8:9). His righteousness. Meaning here his good deeds. The word is often rendered "pity" by the LXX. (eleemosune, from which word comes our "alms"), and this word occurs as a synonymous reading in Matthew 6:1. Remaineth forever. Because -

"Good deeds never die.
They with the sun and moon renew their light,
Forever blessing him that looks on them."
He hath dispersed abroad (ἐσκόρπισεν)

As in sowing, 2 Corinthians 9:6. Psalm 112:9. Almost literally after the Hebrew and Septuagint.

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