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    CHAPTER 16


    1. collection for the saints--at Jerusalem (Ro 15:26) and in Judea (Ac 11:29, 30; 24:17; compare 2Co 8:4; 9:1, 12). He says "saints" rather than "the poor," to remind the Corinthians that in giving, it is to the Lord's people, their own brethren in the faith. Towards the close of the national existence of the Jews, Judea and Jerusalem were harassed with various troubles, which in part affected the Jewish Christians. The community of goods which existed among them for a time gave temporary relief but tended ultimately to impoverish all by paralyzing individual exertion (Ac 2:44), and hence was soon discontinued. A beautiful fruit of grace it was, that he who had by persecutions robbed many of their all (Ac 26:10), should become the foremost in exertions for their relief.
    - as I have given--rather, "gave order," namely, during my journey through Galatia, that mentioned in Ac 18:23. The churches of Galatia and Phrygia were the last which Paul visited before writing this Epistle. He was now at Ephesus, and came thither immediately from visiting them (Ac 18:23; 19:1). That he had not been silent in Galatia on contributions for the poor, appears from the hint let fall in his Epistle to that church (Ga 2:10): an undesigned coincidence and mark of genuineness [PALEY, Horæ Paulinæ]. He proposes the Galatians as an example to the Corinthians, the Corinthians to the Macedonians, the Corinthians and Macedonians to the Romans (Ro 15:26, 27; 2Co 9:2). There is great force in example.

    2. first day of . . . week--already kept sacred by Christians as the day of the Lord's resurrection, the beginning day both of the physical and of the new spiritual creations: it gradually superseded the Jewish sabbath on the seventh day (Ps 118:22-24; Joh 20:19, 26; Ac 20:7; Re 1:10). So the beginning of the year was changed from autumn to spring when Israel was brought out of Egypt. Three annual feasts, all typical of Christian truths, were directed to be kept on the first day of the week: the feast of the wave offering of the first sheaf, answering to the Lord's resurrection; Pentecost, or the feast of weeks, typical of the fruits of the resurrection in the Christian Church (Le 23:11, 15, 16, 36); the feast of tabernacles at harvest, typical of the ingathering of the full number of the elect from one end of heaven to the other. Easter was directed to be kept as a holy sabbath (Ex 12:16). The Christian Sabbath commemorates the respective works of the Three Persons of the Triune God--creation, redemption (the resurrection), and sanctification (on Pentecost the Holy Ghost being poured out). Jesus came to fulfil the Spirit of the Law, not to cancel it, or to lower its standard. The primary object of the sabbath is holiness, not merely rest: "Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day." Compare Ge 2:3, "God blessed and sanctified it, because . . . in it He had rested," &c. The word "Remember" implies that it was in existence before the giving of the law from Sinai, and refers to its institution in Paradise (compare Ex 16:22, 23, 26, 30). "Six days shalt thou labor": the spirit of the command is fulfilled whether the six days' labor be on the last six days or on the first. A perpetual sabbath would doubtless be the highest Christian ideal; but living in a world of business where the Christian ideal is not yet realized, if a law of definite times was necessary in Paradise, it is still more so now.
    - every one of yon--even those in limited circumstances.
    - lay by him--though there be not a weekly public collection, each is privately to set apart a definite proportion of his weekly income for the Lord's cause and charity.
    - in store--abundantly: the earnest of a better store laid up for the giver (1Ti 6:19).
    - as God hath prospered him--literally, "whatsoever he may be prospered in," or "may by prosperity have acquired" [ALFORD], (Mt 25:15-29; 2Co 8:12).
    - that there be no gatherings when I come--that they may not then have to be made, when your and my time ought to be employed m more directly spiritual things. When men give once for all, not so much is given. But when each lays by something every Lord's day, more is collected than one would have given at once [BENGEL].

    3. approve by your letters--rather translate, "Whomsoever ye shall approve, them will I send with letters": namely, letters to several persons at Jerusalem, which would be their credentials. There could be no need of letters from them before Paul's coming, if the persons recommended were not to be sent off before it. Literally, "by letters"; an abbreviated expression for "I will send, recommending them by letters" [GROTIUS]. If English Version be retained, the sense will be, "When I come, I will send those whom by your letters, then to be given them, ye shall approve." But the antithesis (opposition or contrast) to Paul himself (1Co 16:4) favors GROTIUS' view. So "by" means with (Ro 2:27); and the Greek for "by" is translated, with (2Co 2:4).
    - liberality--literally, gracious or free gift (2Co 8:4).

    4. meet--"worth while." If your collections be large enough to be worth an apostle's journey (a stimulus to their liberality), I will accompany them myself instead of giving them letters credential (1Co 16:3; compare Ac 20:1-4).
    - with me--to guard against all possible suspicion of evil (2Co 8:4, 19-21).

    5-7. His first intention had been (2Co 1:15, 16) to pass through them (Corinth) to Macedonia, and again return to them from Macedonia, and so to Judea; this he had announced in the lost epistle (1Co 5:9); now having laid aside this intention (for which he was charged with levity, 2Co 1:17, &c., whereas it was through lenity, 2Co 1:23; 2:1), he announces his second plan of "not seeing them now by the way," but "passing through Macedonia" first on his way to them, and then "tarrying a while," and even "abiding and wintering with them."
    - for I do pass--as much as to say, "This is what I at last resolve upon" (not as the erroneous subscription of the Epistle represents it, as if he was THEN at Philippi, on his way through Macedonia); implying that there had been some previous communication upon the subject of the journey, and also that there had been some indecisiveness in the apostle's plan [PALEY]. In accordance with his second plan, we find him in Macedonia when Second Corinthians was written (2Co 2:13; 8:1; 9:2, 4), and on his way to Corinth (2Co 12:14; 13:1; compare Ac 20:1, 2). "Pass through" is opposed to "abide" (1Co 16:6). He was not yet in Macedonia (as 1Co 16:8 shows), but at Ephesus; but he was thinking of passing through it (not abiding as he purposed to do at Corinth).

    6. He did "abide and even winter" for the three WINTER months in Greece (Corinth), Ac 20:3, 6; from which passage it seems that Paul probably left Corinth about a month before the "days of unleavened bread" or the Passover (so as to allow time to touch at Thessalonica and Berea, from which cities two of his companions were; as we read he did at Philippi); so that thus the three months at Corinth would be December, January, and February [BIRKS, Horæ Apostolicæ].
    - ye--emphatical in the Greek.
    - whithersoever I go--He purposed to go to Judea (2Co 1:16) from Corinth, but his plans were not positively fixed as yet (see on 1Co 16:4; compare Ac 19:21).

    7. I will not see you now by the way--literally, "I do not wish to see you this time in passing"; that is, to pay you now what would have to be a merely passing visit as I did in the second visit (2Co 12:14). In contrast to "a while," that is, some time, as the Greek might better be translated.
    - but--The oldest manuscripts read "for."

    8. at Ephesus--whence Paul writes this Epistle. Compare 1Co 16:19, "Asia," wherein Ephesus was.
    - until Pentecost--He seems to have stayed as he here purposes: for just when the tumult which drove him away broke out, he was already intending to leave Ephesus (Ac 19:21, 22). Combined with 1Co 5:7, 8, this verse fixes the date of this Epistle to a few weeks before Pentecost, and very soon after the Passover.

    9. door-- (2Co 2:12). An opening for the extension of the Gospel. Wise men are on the watch for, and avail themselves of, opportunities. So "door of hope," Ho 2:15. "Door of faith," Ac 14:27. "An open door," Re 3:8. "A door of utterance," Col 4:3. "Great," that is, extensive. "Effectual," that is, requiring great labors [ESTIUS]; or opportune for effecting great results [BEZA].
    - many adversaries--who would block up the way and prevent us from entering the open door. Not here false teachers, but open adversaries: both Jews and heathen. After Paul, by his now long-continued labors at Ephesus, had produced effects which threatened the interests of those whose gains were derived from idolatry, "many adversaries" arose (Ac 19:9-23). Where great good is, there evil is sure to start up as its antagonist.

    10. Now--rather, "But." Therefore Timothy was not the bearer of the Epistle; for it would not then be said, "IF Timothy come." He must therefore have been sent by Paul from Ephesus before this Epistle was written, to accord with 1Co 4:17-19; and yet the passage here implies that Paul did not expect him to arrive at Corinth till after the letter was received. He tells them how to treat him "if" he should arrive. Ac 19:21, 22 clears up the difficulty: Timothy, when sent from Ephesus, where this Epistle was written, did not proceed direct to Corinth, but went first to Macedonia; thus though sent before the letter, he might not reach Corinth till after it was received in that city. The undesigned coincidence between the Epistle and the history, and the clearing up of the meaning of the former (which does not mention the journey to Macedonia at all) by the latter, is a sure mark of genuineness [PALEY, Horæ Paulinæ]. It is not certain that Timothy actually reached Corinth; for in Ac 19:22 only Macedonia is mentioned; but it does not follow that though Macedonia was the immediate object of his mission, Corinth was not the ultimate object. The "IF Timothy come," implies uncertainty. 2Co 1:1 represents him with Paul in Macedonia; and 2Co 12:18, speaking of Titus and others sent to Corinth, does not mention Timothy, which it would have probably done, had one so closely connected with the apostle as Timothy was, stayed as his delegate at Corinth. The mission of Titus then took place, when it became uncertain whether Timothy could go forward from Macedonia to Corinth, Paul being anxious for immediate tidings of the state of the Corinthian Church. ALFORD argues that if so, Paul's adversaries would have charged him with fickleness in this case also (2Co 1:17), as in the case of his own change of purpose. But Titus was sent directly to Corinth, so as to arrive there before Timothy could by the route through Macedonia. Titus' presence would thus make amends for the disappointment as to the intended visit of Timothy and would disarm adversaries of a charge in this respect (2Co 7:6, 7).
    - without fear--Referring perhaps to a nervous timidity in Timothy's character (1Ti 3:15; 5:22, 24). His youth would add to this feeling, as well as his country, Lystra, likely to be despised in refined Corinth.

    11. despise--This charge is not given concerning any other of the many messengers whom Paul sent. 1Ti 4:12 accounts for it (compare Ps 119:141). He was a young man, younger probably than those usually employed in the Christian missions; whence Paul apprehending lest he should, on that account, be exposed to contempt, cautions him, "Let no man despise thy youth" [PALEY, Horæ Paulinæ].
    - conduct--set him on his way with every mark of respect, and with whatever he needs (Tit 3:13).
    - in peace-- (Ac 15:33; Heb 11:31). "Peace" is the salutation of kindness and respect in the East; and so it stands for every blessing. Perhaps here there is too a contrast between "peace" and the "contentions" prevalent at Corinth (1Co 1:11).
    - I look for him--He and Titus were appointed to meet Paul in Troas, whither the apostle purposed proceeding from Ephesus (2Co 2:12, 13). Paul thus claims their respect for Timothy as one whom he felt so necessary to himself as "look for" to him [THEOPHYLACT].
    - with the brethren--Others besides Erastus accompanied Timothy to Macedonia


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