Thanksgiving to God (2 Cor. 9:12)

“The rendering

Of this ministry

Not only supplies

The needs

Of the saints

But also overflows

With many thanksgivings

To God.”

ὅτι ἡ διακονία τῆς λειτουργίας ταύτης οὐ μόνον ἐστὶν προσαναπληροῦσα τὰ ὑστερήματα τῶν ἁγίων, ἀλλὰ καὶ περισσεύουσα διὰ πολλῶν εὐχαριστιῶν τῷ Θεῷ

Paul said that the rendering of this ministry (ὅτι ἡ διακονία τῆς λειτουργίας ταύτης) not only supplies (οὐ μόνον ἐστὶν προσαναπληροῦσα) the needs of the saints (τὰ ὑστερήματα τῶν ἁγίων) but also overflows (ἀλλὰ καὶ περισσεύουσα) with many thanksgivings (διὰ πολλῶν εὐχαριστιῶν) to God (τῷ Θεῷ).  Only this Corinthian letter used this word προσαναπληροῦσα, that means to fill up by adding to or supply.  Paul indicated that this great act of generosity not only helped the saints in Jerusalem, but also brought other thanksgivings to God.  Obviously, the poor Jewish Christians in Jerusalem would be helped.  However, God would be thanked and praised also.  Finally, on top of that, the Corinthians themselves would be greatly blessed.  Do you believe that givers are blessed?

You will be enriched (2 Cor. 9:11)

“You will be enriched

In every way

For your great generosity.

This will produce

Thanksgiving

To God

Through us.”

ἐν παντὶ πλουτιζόμενοι εἰς πᾶσαν ἁπλότητα, ἥτις κατεργάζεται δι’ ἡμῶν εὐχαριστίαν τῷ Θεῷ.

Paul said that you will be enriched in every way (ἐν παντὶ πλουτιζόμενοι) for your great generosity (εἰς πᾶσαν ἁπλότητα).  This will produce (ἥτις κατεργάζεται) thanksgiving to God (εὐχαριστίαν τῷ Θεῷ) through us (δι’ ἡμῶν).  Only the Pauline letters used this word πλουτιζόμενοι, that means to make rich, cause to abound in, or enrich, and the word ἁπλότητα, that means singleness, simplicity, sincerity, purity, or graciousness, as well as the word κατεργάζεται, that means to work out, effect by labor, achieve, or bring about.  Paul indicated that God would reward them for their great generosity.  God would recognize what they have done through Paul and his fellow workers.  Do you think that God will reward you for your generosity?

Your food supply (2 Cor. 9:10)

“He who supplies seed

To the sower

And bread

For food

Will supply

And multiply

Your seed for sowing

And increase

The harvest

Of your righteousness.”

ὁ δὲ ἐπιχορηγῶν σπέρμα τῷ σπείροντι καὶ ἄρτον εἰς βρῶσιν χορηγήσει καὶ πληθυνεῖ καὶ πληθυνεῖ καὶ αὐξήσει τὰ γενήματα τῆς δικαιοσύνης ὑμῶν·

Paul said that he who supplies seed (ὁ δὲ ἐπιχορηγῶν σπέρμα) to the sower (τῷ σπείροντι) and bread (καὶ ἄρτον) for food (εἰς βρῶσιν) will supply (χορηγήσει) and multiply (καὶ πληθυνεῖ) your seed for sowing (καὶ πληθυνεῖ) and increase (καὶ αὐξήσει) the harvest (τὰ γενήματα) of your righteousness (τῆς δικαιοσύνης ὑμῶν).  Paul continued with his agricultural analogy and the harvest of righteousness by citing Isaiah, chapter 55:10.  “As the rain comes down from heaven, as the snow comes down from heaven, they do not return there until they have watered the earth.  They make it come forth.  They make it sprout.  They give seed to the sower.  They give bread to the eater.”  Second Isaiah emphasized the importance of the word of Yahweh.  Water and snow do not return empty handed to heaven.  Apparently, these biblical writers were aware of osmosis.  The water and the snow helped bring about germination of the sprouts from the ground.  They made the seeds of the sower grow.  They assisted in making bread for humans to eat.  So too, the word of Yahweh will not come back empty either.  His words must accomplish their purpose.  His word will be successful in making things grow.  Paul used these ideas to emphasize that God had given the Corinthians seed and bread so that they had a bountiful harvest.  They were increasing in righteousness.  They had everything in abundance.  Were they willing to share from their God given abundance?

Righteousness forever (2 Cor. 9:9)

“As it is written.

‘He scatters abroad.

He gives to the poor.

His righteousness

Endures forever.’”

καθὼς γέγραπται Ἐσκόρπισεν, ἔδωκεν τοῖς πένησιν, ἡ δικαιοσύνη αὐτοῦ μένει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.

Paul said as it is written (καθὼς γέγραπται).  “He scatters abroad (Ἐσκόρπισεν).  He gives (ἔδωκεν) to the poor (ἔδωκεν τοῖς πένησιν).  His righteousness (ἡ δικαιοσύνη αὐτοῦ) endures forever (μένει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα).”  Paul cited Psalm 112:9 to get his point across.  “They have distributed freely.  They have given to the poor.  Their righteousness endures forever.  Their horn is exalted in honor.”  The righteous are firm and secure in Yahweh so that they are not afraid.  They distribute to the poor so that their righteousness endures forever.  They will have the horn of plenty as their honor just like a plentiful harvest.  By giving to others, their righteousness will last forever.  Paul always contrasted the finite present with the eternal future.  Will your righteousness endure forever?

God’s blessing (2 Cor. 9:8)

“God is able

To provide you

With every blessing

In abundance.

Thus,

You may always have enough

Of everything.

You may share abundantly

In every good work.”

δυνατεῖ δὲ ὁ Θεὸς πᾶσαν χάριν περισσεῦσαι εἰς ὑμᾶς, ἵνα ἐν παντὶ πάντοτε πᾶσαν αὐτάρκειαν ἔχοντες περισσεύητε εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν,

Paul said that God (δὲ ὁ Θεὸς) is able (δυνατεῖ) to provide you (εἰς ὑμᾶς) with every blessing (πᾶσαν χάριν) in abundance (περισσεῦσαι).  Thus, you may always have enough of everything (ἵνα ἐν παντὶ πάντοτε πᾶσαν αὐτάρκειαν).  You may share abundantly (ἔχοντες περισσεύητε) in every good work (εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν).  Only the Pauline letters used this word αὐτάρκειαν, that means self-satisfaction, self-sufficiency, independence, or contentment.  Paul indicated that God was able to provide for the Corinthians with abundant blessings for everything.  Thus, they had enough and did not lack for anything.  Due to their abundance of many things, they were able to share in their good works.  Paul was flattering them and at the same time asking them to give to his collection.  Do you have enough of everything in your life?

God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7)

“Each of you

Must give

As you have made up

Your mind,

Not reluctantly

Or under compulsion.

God loves a cheerful giver.”

ἕκαστος καθὼς προῄρηται τῇ καρδίᾳ, μὴ ἐκ λύπης ἢ ἐξ ἀνάγκης· ἱλαρὸν γὰρ δότην ἀγαπᾷ ὁ Θεός.

Paul said that each of you must give (ἕκαστος καθὼς) as you have made up your mind or your heart (προῄρηται τῇ καρδίᾳ), not reluctantly (μὴ ἐκ λύπης) or under compulsion (ἢ ἐξ ἀνάγκης).  God (ὁ Θεός) loves (ἀγαπᾷ) a cheerful giver (ἱλαρὸν γὰρ δότην).  Only this Corinthian letter used this word προῄρηται, that means to bring forth or forward, or to propose, and the word ἱλαρὸν, that means cheerful, joyous, or not grudging.  Paul wanted to make sure that the Corinthians understood that their gifts should come from their hearts, not reluctantly or under any compulsion.  They were free to give or not to give.  However, Paul clearly preferred the cheerful giver rather than a sour puss giver or a non-giver.  He even added that God loved the cheerful giver.  They should not be attached to their worldly goods.  They should consider almsgiving as part of their life.  Thus, giving should be a good cheerful thing.  Are you a cheerful giver?

Sowing and reaping (2 Cor. 9:6)

“The point is this.

He who sows sparingly

Will also reap sparingly.

The one who sows bountifully

Will also reap bountifully.”

Τοῦτο δέ, ὁ σπείρων φειδομένως δεόμενος καὶ θερίσει, καὶ ὁ σπείρων ἐπ’ εὐλογίαις ἐπ’ εὐλογίαις καὶ θερίσει.

Paul said that the point is this (Τοῦτο δέ).  He who sows (ὁ σπείρων) sparingly (φειδομένως), will also reap (καὶ θερίσει) sparingly (φειδομένως).  The one who sows (καὶ ὁ σπείρων) bountifully (ἐπ’ εὐλογίαις), will also reap (καὶ θερίσει) bountifully (ἐπ’ εὐλογίαις).  Only this Corinthian letter used this word φειδομένως that means sparingly.  Paul once again used an agricultural analogy to make his point about this collection for the Jerusalem Jewish Christians.  Whoever sowed sparingly, would reap sparingly.  Whoever sowed bountifully, would reap bountifully.  Thus, the more that they gave in this collection, the better it would be for them.  It stands to reason that the more seeds that you sow, the bigger the harvest.  Thus, Paul made his point.  Be generous, and get a bigger reward.  Are you generous in your church collections?

A willing gift (2 Cor. 9:5)

“Thus,

I thought it necessary

To urge the brothers

To go on ahead

To you.

They will arrange

In advance

For this bountiful gift

That you have promised.

Thus,

It may be ready

Not as an extortion,

But as a willing gift.”

ἀναγκαῖον οὖν ἡγησάμην παρακαλέσαι τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς ἵνα προέλθωσιν εἰς ὑμᾶς καὶ προκαταρτίσωσιν τὴν προεπηγγελμένην εὐλογίαν ὑμῶν, ταύτην ἑτοίμην εἶναι οὕτως ὡς εὐλογίαν καὶ μὴ ὡς πλεονεξίαν.

Paul said, “I thought it necessary (ἀναγκαῖον οὖν ἡγησάμην) to urge the brothers (παρακαλέσαι τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς) to go on ahead to you (ἵνα προέλθωσιν εἰς ὑμᾶς).  They will arrange in advance (καὶ προκαταρτίσωσιν) for this willing bountiful gift (εὐλογίαν ὑμῶν) that you have promised already (τὴν προεπηγγελμένην).  Thus, it may be ready (ταύτην ἑτοίμην εἶναι οὕτως) not as an extortion (καὶ μὴ ὡς πλεονεξίαν), but as a willing gift (ὡς εὐλογίαν).”  Only this Corinthian letter had this word προκαταρτίσωσιν, that means to make ready beforehand, or complete beforehand.  Only the Pauline letters used this word that means προεπηγγελμένην, to announce before or promised beforehand.  Paul had planned to send his Christian brothers ahead of him to make sure that the promised gift for the Jerusalem Jewish Christians was ready.  These Pauline co-workers would make sure that everything was in place so that when Paul showed up there would be no disagreements.  Thus, the willing generous gift that they had promised would not appear to be an extortion, but a generous free will offering on the part of the Corinthians.  Do you think that church collections are free will offerings or extortions?

Humiliation (2 Cor. 9:4)

“Otherwise,

If some of the Macedonians

Come with me

And find that you are not ready,

We would be humiliated,

To say nothing of you,

For being so confident

In this undertaking.”

μή πως ἐὰν ἔλθωσιν σὺν ἐμοὶ Μακεδόνες καὶ εὕρωσιν ὑμᾶς ἀπαρασκευάστους καταισχυνθῶμεν ἡμεῖς, ἵνα μὴ λέγωμεν ὑμεῖς, ἐν τῇ ὑποστάσει ταύτῃ.

Paul said that otherwise, if some of the Macedonians (Μακεδόνες) come with me (μή πως ἐὰν ἔλθωσιν σὺν ἐμοὶ) and find that you (καὶ εὕρωσιν ὑμᾶς) are not ready or unprepared (ἀπαρασκευάστους), we would be humiliated (καταισχυνθῶμεν ἡμεῖς), to say nothing of you, for being so confident in this undertaking (ἐν τῇ ὑποστάσει ταύτῃ).  Only this Corinthian letter used this word ἀπαρασκευάστους, that means unprepared.  Only the Pauline letters used this word ὑποστάσει, that means confidence or assurance.  Paul noted that if the Macedonians came with him to Corinth, and found them not ready or prepared for the collection, Paul would be humiliated.  This was to say nothing about the confidence that he had placed in the Corinthians.  Paul was putting the pressure on the Corinthians to have a good collection, even with a personal appeal.  Paul did not want to look bad if the Corinthians were not ready for this collection.  Have you ever made someone look bad?

I am not boasting in vain (2 Cor. 9:3)

“But I am sending

The brothers

In order that our boasting

About you

May not prove

To have been in vain

In this case.

Thus,

You should be ready,

As I said you would be.”

ἔπεμψα δὲ τοὺς ἀδελφούς, ἵνα μὴ τὸ καύχημα ἡμῶν τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν κενωθῇ ἐν τῷ μέρει τούτῳ, ἵνα καθὼς ἔλεγον παρεσκευασμένοι ἦτε,

Paul said, “I am sending these Christian brothers (ἔπεμψα δὲ τοὺς ἀδελφούς) in order that our boasting (ἵνα μὴ τὸ καύχημα ἡμῶν) about you (τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν) may not prove to have been in vain in this case (κενωθῇ ἐν τῷ μέρει τούτῳ).  Thus, you should be ready (παρεσκευασμένοι ἦτε), as I said you would be (ἵνα καθὼς ἔλεγον).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word καύχημα, that means to boast, glory, or exult, and the word, and the word κενωθῇ, that means to empty, deprive of content, or make unreal.  Paul continued to egg on the Corinthians.  He was sending his fellow Christian brothers to show how his boasting about them had not been in vain.  They should be ready with a generous collection when Paul’s Christian disciples came to Corinth just as he said that they would be.  Paul had told them to take up weekly collections so that all would be ready when he arrived.  Now he was sending a strong Christian delegation to collect the money.  Have you ever prepared to take up a Christian collection?