The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Father Callans’ Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9:1-5

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 9, 2017

THE COLLECTION OUGHT TO BE MADE PROMPTLY

A Summary of 2 Corinthians 9:1-5~After commending the delegates who are to make the collection at Corinth, St. Paul urges that what the faithful have to give should be collected soon. He himself, perhaps accompanied by some Macedonians, will visit them shortly, and if the alms are gathered before that event, they will not be made
ashamed by the presence of their generous neighbors; the reputation they have will be sustained.

2 Cor 9:1. For concerning the ministry, that is done towards the saints, it is superfluous for me to write unto you.

The Apostle has just been speaking of the collectors who are going to Corinth, and now he turns to the collection itself. But it is superfluous to commend that, as he will show in the following verse.

The ministry, i.e., the alms for the poor in Jerusalem.

2 Cor 9:2. For I know your forward mind : for which I boast of you to the Macedonians. That Achaia also is ready from the year past, and your emulation hath provoked very many.

There should be only a comma after Macedonians.

Also (Vulg., et) should be omitted. The sense is: I know your eagerness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, that Achaia has been prepared, etc.

Is ready, i.e., has been prepared {iraptaKtvaa-TaC), i.e., was begun.

From the year past. See on 2 Cor 8:10.

Your emulation hath provoked, etc., i.e., “your zeal has stimulated very many” (the reading of B K C P); or the emulation created by you has provoked very many (the reading of D F G K L).

2 Cor 9:3. Now I have sent the brethren, that the thing which we boast of concerning you, be not made void in this behalf, that (as I have said) you may be ready:

I have sent, is the epistolary aorist, as in 2 Cor 8:17, 18, 22. The Apostle is sending Titus and his two companions so that the praise he has bestowed on the charity of the Corinthians may not be disproved by facts in regard to the collection, but that they may be in readiness to give. Parentheses here and in the Vulgate are needless.

2 Cor 8:4. Lest, when the Macedonians shall come with me, and find you unprepared, we (not to say ye) should be ashamed in this matter.

The reason is assigned why the collection ought to be completed promptly.

Lest, when, etc. Better, “Lest if (any) Macedonians,” etc. (ἐὰν ἔλθωσι = ean elthosin).

We . . . should be ashamed, at seeing the facts contrary to the praise we have given your charity.

In this matter. Rather, “In regard to this confidence,” i.e., the confidence the Apostle has reposed in the Corinthians.

2 Cor 8:5. Therefore I thought it necessary to desire the brethren that they would go to you before, and prepare this blessing before promised, to be ready, so as a blessing, not as covetousness.

Would go to you before, i.e., that the three delegates would go to Corinth in advance of St. Paul.

This blessing, i.e., the collection for the Palestinians. The collection is here called a “blessing” (εὐλογίαν = eulogian), because contributed willingly (St. Chrys.).

As a blessing, not as, etc., i.e., as a generous, willing gift, and not as an extortion (πλεονεξίαν = pleonexian). The Apostle wishes the collection to be a free and liberal gift of the Corinthians, and not an extortion of the collectors.

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