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4. Confident boasting (upostasei). Primarily something put under, foundation, ground; so substance (sub, stans, standing under), substantial quality: thence steadiness, confidence. Compare Heb. iii. 14; xi. 1. In the Septuagint the word represents fifteen different Hebrew words.
5. Go before. Notice the thrice repeated before, emphasizing the injunction to have everything ready before Paul's arrival.
Bounty (eulogian). Lit., blessing. In this sense only here in the New Testament. In the Septuagint indifferently of gift or blessing. See Genesis xxxiii. 11; Judg. i. 15; Ezek. xxxiv. 26. In Prov. xi. 25, liberal soul is rendered by Sept., eujlogoumenh blessed.
Whereof ye had notice before (proephggelhmenhn). Rev., better, your afore-promised bounty. The bounty promised by you, or by me on your behalf.
6. Bountifully (ep eulogiaiv). Lit., with blessings. Compare 1 Corinthians ix. 10, "plow in hope (ep elpidi)."
7. Purposeth (proaireitai). Read prohrhtai, perfect tense, hath purposed.
Grudgingly (ek luphv). Lit., out of sorrow.
Cheerful (ilaron). Only here in the New Testament. See on the kindred iJlarothv cheerfulness, note on Rom. xii. 8.
8. Always - all - in everything. Nearly reproducing the play on the word all in the Greek.
Sufficiency (autarkeian). Only here and 1 Tim. vi. 6. The kindred adjective aujtarkhv A.V., content, occurs Philip. iv. 11 (see note). The word properly means self-sufficiency, and is one of those which show Paul's acquaintance with Stoicism, and the influence of its vocabulary upon his own. It expressed the Stoic conception of the wise man as being sufficient in himself, wanting nothing and possessing everything. 152 Here, not in the sense of sufficiency of worldly goods, but of that moral quality, bound up with self-consecration and faith, which renders the new self in Christ independent of external circumstances.
9. He hath dispersed abroad (eskorpisen). As in sowing, ver. 6. Psalm cxii. 9. Almost literally after the Hebrew and Septuagint.
Minister and multiply (corhghsai kai plhqunai). The correct reading is the future, corhghsei kai plhqunei shall supply and multiply. The fruits (ta genhmata). Lit., what has been begotten or born. Used of men, Matt. iii. 7, A.V., generation, Rev., offspring. Elsewhere of fruits, as fruit of the vine, Mark xiv. 25.
Supplieth (estin prosanaplhrousa). Lit., fills up by adding to. Only here and ch. xi. 9. Supplementing what the saints lack.
Through many thanksgivings. The need of the poor is filled, like an empty vessel, to the brim, and the supply overflows in the thanksgiving which it calls out. Thus christian beneficence does a double work, in giving relief and in generating thankfulness.
13. Experiment of this ministration (dokimhv thv diakoniav tauthv). Commentators differ as to the interpretation; the difference hinging on the question whether the trial (experiment) applies to the service itself, or to those who render it: hence either "the proving of you by this ministration," as Rev., or the tried character of this ministration. Dokimh may mean, either the process of proving or the state of being approved, approvedness. The difference is immaterial.
Your professed subjection (upotagh thv omologiav umwn). A vicious hendiadys. Lit., as Rev., the obedience of your confession; that is, the obedience which results from your christian confession. Omologia is once rendered in A.V. confession, 1 Tim. vi. 13; and elsewhere profession. Both renderings occur in 1 Tim. vi. 12, 13. Rev., in every case, confession. A similar variation occurs in the rendering of oJmologew, though in all but five of the twenty-three instances confess is used. Rev. retains profess in Matt. vii. 23; Tit. i. 16, and changes to confess in 1 Timothy vi. 12. In Matt. xiv. 7, promised (A.V. and Rev., see note), and in Heb. xiii. 15, giving thanks; Rev., which make confession.
Etymologically, confession is the literal rendering of oJmologia, which is from oJmon together, legw to say; con together, fateor to say. The fundamental idea is that of saying the same thing as another; while profess (pro forth, fateor to say) is to declare openly. Hence, to profess Christ is to declare Him publicly as our Lord: to confess Christ is to declare agreement with all that He says. When Christ confesses His followers before the world, He makes a declaration in agreement with what is in His heart concerning them. Similarly, when He declares to the wicked "I never knew you" ("then will I profess, oJmologhsw"), a similar agreement between His thought and His declaration is implied. The two ideas run into each other, and the Rev. is right in the few cases in which it retains profess, since confess would be ambiguous. See, for example, Tit. i. 16.
Liberal distribution (aplothti thv koinwniav). Rev., correctly, liberality of your contribution. Koinwnia communion includes the idea of communication of material things, and hence sometimes means that which is communicated. See on Acts ii. 42; so Rom. xv. 26; Heb. xiii. 16. Compare the similar use of koinwnew, Rom. xii. 13, distributing; Philip. iv. 15, communicated.
Unspeakable (anekdihghtw). Lit., not to be told throughout. Only here in the New Testament.