And we have sent with him our brother
This is a third person sent about this business. The apostle, in this, conformed to the customs of his nation; at least if he did not purposely do it, it agrees with the Jewish canons, which require three persons for the distribution of alms.
``The alms dish, (they say F24) is by three; nor do they appoint (hvlvm twxp Nyonrp) "overseers" of it "less than three".''
Again, they say F25,
``the poor's chest is collected by two, (hvlvb tqlxtmw) "but distributed by three"; it is collected by two, because they do not appoint governors over a congregation less than two, and it is distributed by three, even as pecuniary judgments; but the alms dish is collected by three, and distributed by three; for the collection and distribution are alike:''who this brother was, sent by the apostle with Titus and the other person, is as uncertain as the former. Some think it was Luke, others Apollos, others Timothy, others Sosthenes, others Epaenetus, others Silas, others Zenas the lawyer; a brother he was, and a very considerable character is given of him:
whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things;
he was a very diligent and industrious man, and so fit for this service; he had been tried and proved, and was found to be so, not only once or twice, but oftentimes; and that not in a few instances, but in many; and in nothing did he ever show more diligence than in this matter:
but now much more diligent;
than ever he had been in anything before:
upon the great confidence which I have in you;
what doubled and increased this brother's diligence, and made him so eager for, and forward to this work, was, his observing the great confidence the apostle expressed of the very great readiness and liberality of the Corinthians; and which tacitly carries in it an argument exciting them thereunto: or this last clause may be read, "which he hath in you"; and so regards the confidence this brother had in them, which made him so ready to engage with, and join the other messengers.
F24 T. Hieros. Peah, fol. 21. 1.
F25 Misn. Peah, c. 8. sect. 7. & Jarchi, Maimonides & Bartenora, in ib. T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 8. 2. Maimon. Mattanot Anayim, c. 9. sect. 5.