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1Co 16:1-24. DIRECTIONS AS TO THE COLLECTION FOR THE JUDEAN CHRISTIANS: PAUL'S FUTURE PLANS: HE COMMENDS TO THEM TIMOTHY, APOLLOS, &C. SALUTATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS.
1. collection for the saints--at Jerusalem
and in Judea
(Ac 11:29, 30; 24:17;
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
and hence was soon discontinued. A beautiful fruit of grace it was,
that he who had by persecutions robbed many of their all
should become the foremost in exertions for their relief.
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and of the new spiritual creations: it gradually superseded the Jewish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
Joh 20:19, 26;
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
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."
"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.
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
favors GROTIUS' view. So "by" means with
and the Greek for "by" is translated, with
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
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
now having laid aside this intention (for which he was charged with
&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."
6. He did "abide and even winter" for the three
WINTER months in Greece
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].
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
In contrast to "a while," that is, some time, as the
Greek might better be translated.
8. at Ephesus--whence Paul writes this Epistle. Compare
"Asia," wherein Ephesus was.
An opening for the extension of the Gospel. Wise men are on the
watch for, and avail themselves of, opportunities. So
"door of hope,"
"Door of faith,"
"An open door,"
"A door of utterance,"
"Great," that is, extensive. "Effectual," that is, requiring great
labors [ESTIUS]; or opportune for effecting
great results [BEZA].
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
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
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
represents him with Paul in Macedonia; and
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
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).
11. despise--This charge is not given concerning any other of the many
messengers whom Paul sent.
accounts for it (compare
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