Galatians 6:9
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
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(9) And.—Rather, But. There is something of a stress on “well-doing,” which continues the idea of “sowing to the Spirit” in the verse before: “But in well-doing, &c.”

Be weary.—Rather, let us not be faint-hearted; lose heart.

Galatians 6:9-10. And — Having then such a prospect of felicity before us; let us not be weary — Greek, μη εκκακωμεν, let us not be discouraged, or flag; in well-doing — Or in sowing to the Spirit, whatever labour and fatigue, whatever expense and difficulty, it may be attended with; for in due season — When the harvest is come, or in that proper time which the wisdom and goodness of God hath appointed, and for which it is our duty and interest patiently to wait; we shall reap — Abundant and ample fruit; if we faint not — If we do not suffer our hands to hang down, either through lukewarmness and sloth, or through timidity and fear. As we have, therefore, opportunity — That is, while God continues life to us, and the season of sowing lasts; let us — According to our ability, at whatever time or place, and in whatever manner we can; do good — Of every possible kind, and in every possible degree; unto all men — Neighbours or strangers, good or evil, friends or enemies; but especially unto them who are of the household of faith — Who, being united to us in the bonds of Christian faith and love, are on that account of the family of God, and our brethren and sisters in Christ; and therefore have a peculiar claim to our regard. Observe, reader, the opportunity here spoken of for doing good, generally speaking, is our life-time; but there are also many particular opportunities frequently occurring from time to time. Let us remember Satan is quickened in doing hurt by the shortness of the time; (Revelation 12:12;) by the same consideration let us be quickened in doing good.

6:6-11 Many excuse themselves from the work of religion, though they may make a show, and profess it. They may impose upon others, yet they deceive themselves if they think to impose upon God, who knows their hearts as well as actions; and as he cannot be deceived, so he will not be mocked. Our present time is seed time; in the other world we shall reap as we sow now. As there are two sorts of sowing, one to the flesh, and the other to the Spirit, so will the reckoning be hereafter. Those who live a carnal, sensual life, must expect no other fruit from such a course than misery and ruin. But those who, under the guidance and influences of the Holy Spirit, live a life of faith in Christ, and abound in Christian graces, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. We are all very apt to tire in duty, particularly in doing good. This we should carefully watch and guard against. Only to perseverance in well-doing is the reward promised. Here is an exhortation to all to do good in their places. We should take care to do good in our life-time, and make this the business of our lives. Especially when fresh occasions offer, and as far as our power reaches.And let us not be weary in welldoing - See the note at 1 Corinthians 15:58. The reference here is particularly to the support of the ministers of religion Galatians 6:6, but the apostle makes the exhortation general. Christians sometimes become weary. There is so much opposition to the best plans for doing good; there is so much to be done; there are so many calls on their time and their charities; and there is often so much ingratitude among those whom they endeavor to benefit, that they become disheartened. Such Paul addresses, and exhorts them not to give over, but to persevere.

For in due season - At the day of judgment. Then we shall receive the full reward of all our self-denials and charities.

We shall reap, if we faint not - If we do not give over, exhausted and disheartened. It is implied here, that unless a man perseveres in doing good to the end of life, he can hope for no reward. He who becomes disheartened, and who gives over his efforts; he that is appalled by obstacles, and that faints on account of the embarrassments thrown in his way; he that pines for ease, and withdraws from the field of benevolence, shows that he has no true attachment to the cause, and that his heart has never been truly in the work of religion. He who becomes a true Christian, becomes such for eternity. He has enlisted, never to withdraw. He becomes pledged to do good and to serve God always. No obstacles are to deter, no embarrassments are to drive him from the field. With the vigor of his youth, and the wisdom and influence of his riper years; with his remaining powers when enfeebled by age; with the last pulsation of life here, and with his immortal energies in a higher world, he is to do good. For that he is to live. In that he is to die; and when he awakes in the resurrection with renovated powers, he is to awake to an everlasting service of doing good, as far as he may have opportunity, in the kingdom of God.

9. (2Th 3:13). And when we do good, let us also persevere in it without fainting.

in due season—in its own proper season, God's own time (1Ti 6:15).

faint not—literally, "be relaxed." Stronger than "be not weary." Weary of well-doing refers to the will; "faint not" to relaxation of the powers [Bengel]. No one should faint, as in an earthly harvest sometimes happens.

Let us not be weary in well doing: we have the same precept, 2 Thessalonians 3:13. As the not executing of judgment speedily imboldens sinners, and encourageth them to go on in courses of sin, so God’s delaying the rewards of the righteous, often proveth a temptation to good men to be weary of well doing. Against this the apostle cautioneth us here, by minding us, that there is a

due season for all things (which is best known to the wise God); and assuring us, that though, as we see not the husbandman presently reaping as soon as he hath sown, but waiting patiently in hope that in a due season he shall reap; so we, though we be not presently rewarded, yet in God’s season shall as certainly reap as he doth. But he also mindeth us, that if we will reap we must not

faint, but go on and persevere in our course of well doing; otherwise we can no more expect to reap, than the husbandman can that hath sown well, but out of impatience, before the time cometh for him to reap, shall go and plough up again all that he hath sown: see Ezekiel 33:13.

And let us not be weary in well doing,.... This may be understood of well doing, or doing good works in general, of every sort; which are such as are done according to the will of God, from a principle of love to him, in faith, and in the name and strength of Christ, and with a view to the glory of God: or else acts of beneficence to Christ's ministers and poor in particular; which are agreeable to the mind of God, and wellpleasing in his sight: and in doing which men should not be weary; nor are they, when their spiritual strength is renewed, and grace is in exercise, though they may meet with many things which tend to discourage and make them weary; such as change in their own circumstances, losses in the world, the multitude of objects, the ungratefulness of some, and unworthiness of others:

for in due time we shall reap; either in this world, sooner or later; in proper time, in God's own time, by enjoying an increase of the fruits of righteousness; for the seed sown shall spring up again; the bread that is cast on the waters will be found after many days; and such as honour the Lord with their substance shall be blessed with plenty of temporal good things, either they or theirs: or else in the other world, or at the end of this; which will be the harvest time, the reaping time, the time of enjoying eternal life:

if we faint not; but continue to the end, persevere constantly in doing acts of beneficence, and patiently wait, as the husbandman does, for the precious fruits of the earth; for there must be a distance of time between sowing and reaping; men must not expect to reap as soon as they sow; and therefore should not be weary of sowing, nor impatient in waiting, though they do not see as yet the appearance of the fruits thereof; for in their season they will be seen and enjoyed.

{7} And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

(7) Against those who are generous at the beginning, but do not continue, because the harvest seems to be deferred a long time, as though the seed time and the harvest were simultaneous.

Galatians 6:9. Encouragement, not to become weary in that which is meant by this second kind of sowing; τὸ καλὸν ποιοῦντες is the same as would be figuratively expressed by εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα σπείροντες. The autem (δέ), which simply marks the transition to this summons, cannot be attached to the exhortation in Galatians 6:6, as appending to it another (Hofmann).

ἐκκακῶμεν] As to this form, and the form ἐγκακ. (Lachmann, Tischendorf), see on 2 Corinthians 4:1. On the “levis paronomasia” (Winer) in καλόν and ἐκκακ., comp. 2 Thessalonians 3:13. He who loses moral courage (ἐκκακεῖ) loses also moral strength (ἐκλύεται).

καιρῷ γὰρ ἰδίῳ] at the time expressly destined for the reaping (Matthew 13:30), by which is meant the time of the παρουσία, which man must await with perseverance in what is good. Comp. 1 Timothy 6:15; Titus 1:3.

μὴ ἐκλυόμενοι] not becoming weary (Matthew 15:32; Mark 8:3; Hebrews 12:3; 1Ma 3:17; Wetstein, I. p. 426; Loesner, p. 336), which is not to be understood of the not becoming fatigued in the reaping,1[258] a contrast being therein discovered either with the toils of the harvest proper (Theodoret, Theophylact, Oecumenius), or with the labour of sowing (Usteri; the two ideas are combined by Chrysostom, Clarius, and others). Either form of the contrast would yield a description of the eternal harvest, which would be feeble, superfluous, and almost trifling, little in harmony with the thoughtful manner of the apostle elsewhere. We may add, that it is not the nature of the harvest (which was obvious of itself from Galatians 6:8), but the time of the harvest, which constitutes the point on which the μὴ ἐκκακ. is grounded; and therefore on καιρῷ ἰδίῳ Calvin aptly remarks, “Spe igitur et patientia suum desiderium sustineant fideles et refrenent.” Hence ΜῊ ἘΚΛΝΌΜ. is rather to be taken as: if we do not become weary in doing good. See Photius in Oecumenius, p. 766 D, and Beza, Calvin, Grotius, Bengel, and nearly all modern expositors. This denotes the present state, by which the future harvest is conditioned. It involves not a clumsy repetition (Usteri), but a reiterated setting forth of the condition, urgently emphasizing its importance, by means of a correlate word which closes the sentence with emphatic earnestness. Comp. Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p. 336. Nor would μὴ ἐκλυθέντες have been more correct (Rückert, Hofmann), but on the contrary: “videndum, quod quoque loco tempus vel ferri possit,” Herm. ad Viger. p. 773. Ewald’s explanation: undeniably, that is, necessarily, is without support from linguistic usage. Hofmann incorrectly makes μὴ ἐκλυόμενοι begin a new sentence; for Paul always places ἌΡΑ ΟὖΝ at the commencement, but here he would have fully preserved the emphasis of μὴ ἐκλ., if instead of ἌΡΑ ΟὖΝ he had written merely ΟὖΝ, or merely ἌΡΑ.

[258] 1 Thus expressing the idea: “Nulla erit satietas vitae aeternae,” Calovius. This is the meaning also of Luther’s translation; “without ceasing” (Vulgate, non deficientes); comp. Estius.

Galatians 6:9. The warnings μὴ ἐγκακῶμεν and μὴ ἐκλυόμενοι carry on figures borrowed from harvest work: the former depicts husbandmen tempted to slacken their exertions by weariness of prolonged labour, the latter reapers overcome by heat and toil.

9. The metaphor which runs through these verses suggests a caution. The husbandman after committing the seed to the ground, ‘waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it … Be ye also patient,’ James 5:7-8. The mention of ‘life everlasting’ might seem to make the time of reaping so distant as to grow dim to the eye of hope. It is difficult to go on sowing in faith and hope, but we must not lose heart, in doing that which is right in the sight of God (comp. 2 Thessalonians 3:13).

It is not easy to express in English the verbal antithesis of the original: ‘in fair doing let us not shew faint heart.’

for in due season] This promise is an encouragement to persevere. The phrase itself occurs 1 Timothy 2:6; 1 Timothy 6:15; Titus 1:3. Though here its chief reference is to the final award, yet God may see fit to grant to His servants in this life a kind of firstfruits or earnest of the great harvest in store for them hereafter. Even now they see in the good which they effect—in the mitigation of evil, moral and physical, the reclamation and conversion of souls to Christ—a proof that their labour is not in vain in the Lord. ‘In due season’ is ‘in God’s own appointed season,’ whether sooner or later.

if we faint not] The same word is used, Matthew 15:32, of the physical exhaustion produced by long abstinence from food. It differs from being ‘weary,’ which here denotes loss of spirit, relaxation of the will, and so discouragement.

Galatians 6:9. Τὸ) When we do good, perseverance ought to be added.—τὸ καλὸν ποιοῦντες, doing good, well-doing) The expression is different in Galatians 6:10, ἐργαζώμεθα τὸ ἀγαθὸν, let us work what is good: comp. in all good things, Galatians 6:6.—ἰδίῳ, at the proper season) after the sowing. We must wait in the meantime. Add the note to 1 Timothy 6:15. Then sowing will be beyond our power.—μὴ ἐκλυόμενοι) Ἐκκακεῖν, to be weary of, is in the will (velle): ἐκλύεσθαι, in the power (posse). μὴ ἐκλύεσθαι, to faint, is something more than ἐκκακεῖν. Both are to be referred to the sowing; for ἐκλύεσθαι arises from an internal relaxation of the powers. So the LXX., ἴσθι μὴ ἐκλυόμενος, be not faint, Proverbs 6:3. Chrysostom therefore interprets it, that no one should be fatigued in it, as in a worldly harvest.

Verse 9. - And let us not be weary in well-doing (τὸ δὲ καλὸν ποιοῦντες μὴ ἐγκακῶμεν [Textus Receptus, ἐκκακῶμεν]); but in doing that which is good, let us not flag. That is, some sow unto their own flesh, some unto the Spirit; let us be of those who do that which is commendable; and not that only; let us do it with an unflagging spirit. Such seems to be the swaying of thought in the sentence; hence the position of the participial phrase before the verb: the participle is not a mere qualification of the verb, as it is in the rendering, "Let us not be weary in well-doing," and as it is in 2 Thessalonians 3:13; but, with an implied exhortation that such should be the case, it supposes that we are of the better class, and founds upon the supposition the exhortation not to flag. "That which is commendable (τὸ καλόν)" recites, not works of beneficence only, but every species of moral excellence, comprising in brief the enumeration given in Philippians 4:8, all of which is included in "sowing unto the Spirit," The verb ἐγκακεῖν occurs in five other places of the New Testament - Luke 18:1; 2 Corinthians 4:1, 16; Ephesians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:13. In every one of these six passages some of the manuscripts present the variant reading of ἐκκακεῖν, which in all is adopted in the Textus Receptus, but is in all replaced with the general consent of recent editors by ἐγκακεῖν. It is, indeed, questioned whether ἐκκακεῖν is ever used by any Greek author. The difference in meaning is material: ἐγκακεῖν is to be bad in doing a thing; while ἐκκακεῖν, would probably mean to be so bad at a course of action as to leave it off altogether. In the first four of the above-cited passages it is tendered in the Authorized Version by "faint;" whilst in 2 Thessalonians 3:13 and here it is rendered "be weary," that is, "flag." In all the notion of flagging appears the most suitable, and in 2 Corinthians 4:1, 16 necessary. In the present passage the course of thought requires us to understand it as not so strong a word as ἐκλύεσθαι. Critics point attention to the play of phrase in connecting the expression, doing that which is commendable or good, with the verb denoting being bad at doing it. So in 2 Thessalonians 3:13, μὴ ἐγκακήσητε καλοποιοῦντες. The epigrammatic combination would seem to have been a favourite one with St. Paul, occurring as it does in two letters written several years apart. Such playfulness is not foreign to his style. The use of the first person plural may be merely cohortative, as above in Galatians 5:24. But it may also he a real self-exhortation as well. In the long, long, weary, arduous conflict which St. Paul was waging throughout his Christian career, the flesh must often have felt weak, and have required the application of this goad. And this tone of personal feeling may, perhaps, be further discerned in the use of the phrase, "in due season;" the blessed reaping of joy may seem to us at times long in coming; but God's time for its coming will be the best time; let us, therefore, be resigned to wait for that. This seems to be the tone of the καιροῖς ἰδίοις, "in its own times," of 1 Timothy 6:15. For in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (καιρῷ γὰρ ἰδίῳ θερίσομεν μὴ ἐκλυόμενοι). for at its own season we shall reap, if we faint not. Καιρὸς ἴδιος is the season assigned to an event in the counsels of God; as in 2 Thessalonians 2:6, ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ καῖρῳ, "in his season," of the revelation of the "man of lawlessness." Καιροῖς ἰδίοις is used in 1 Timothy 6:15 with reference, as here, to the day of judgment; and in 1 Timothy 2:6 and Titus 1:3, of the manifestation of the gospel. In every case the phrase appears to intimate that the season appointed by God, though not what man might have anticipated or wished, was, however, to be acquiesced in as wisest and best (see last note). The reaping is the same as that referred to in the previous two verses. "If we faint not." The verb ἐκλύεσθαι in Matthew 15:32 and Mark 8:2 is to faint physically from exhaustion. In Hebrews 12:3, 5 it is used of succumbing, giving in, morally; not merely feeling weak, but in consequence of weakness giving up all further effort. In this latter sense it occurs in the Septuagint of Joshua 18:3 and in 1 Macc. 9:8. And this last is its meaning here. It expresses more than the flagging of spirit before mentioned; for that would not forfeit the reward of past achievement, unless it led to the actual relinquishment of further endeavour; this last would forfeit it (comp. Revelation 3:11 and 2 John 1:8). Taking it thus, there is no occasion for understanding this phrase, "not fainting," as several of the Greek commentators do, including apparently Chrysostom, as if it meant thus: "We shall reap without any fear of fainting or becoming weary any more;" which surely, as Alford observes, gives a vapid turn to the sentence. Galatians 6:9Be weary (ἐνκακῶμεν)

Lit. faint or lose heart. Comp. 2 Thessalonians 3:13.

In due season (καιρῷ ἰδίῳ)

In the season which is peculiarly the harvest-time of each form of well-doing. See on Galatians 6:5.

Faint (ἐκλυόμενοι)

Only here in Paul. See Matthew 15:32; Mark 8:3; Hebrews 12:3, Hebrews 12:5. Lit. to be loosened or relaxed, like the limbs of the weary.

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