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Ecclesiastes 11:2

Ecclesiastes 11:2

Give a portion to seven, and also to eight
Or, a "part" {q}; not the whole of a man's substance, for he must have to support himself and his family; he that does not take care of that is worse than an infidel; a man may bestow all his goods on the poor, and not have charity; though no doubt there was true charity, or love, in the poor widow that threw in all her substance into the treasury, which was an extraordinary case, ( 1 Timothy 5:8 ) ( 1 Corinthians 13:2 ) ( Mark 12:44 ) ; but a man is to give of such things that he has, ordinarily, and not all that he has, ( Luke 11:41 ) ; he is to give according to his ability, and what he can spare from the service of himself and family; and this is to be distributed, and given in parts to the poor, according to their necessities; not all to one, but something to everyone, "to seven, and also to eight": if seven persons apply, give them everyone a part; and, if an eighth person comes, send him not away empty; give to every one that asketh, ( Luke 6:30 ) ; compare with this phrase ( Micah 5:5 ) ; Some think this respects time, so Aben Ezra; that a man should give constantly and continually, should be daily giving, all the seven days of the week, and when the eighth day comes, or the week begins again, go on in the same course. The Targum is,

``put a good part of seed in thy field in Tisri (the seventh month), and do not cease from sowing even in Casleu,''
the eighth month; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth;
what calamities shall come upon it, which may sweep away all a man's substance; it may be destroyed by fire, or washed away by a deluge of water, or plundered by an enemy; or, however, the day of death may quickly come, as it certainly shall, and then it will be no longer in a man's power to do good with what he has. Moreover, the arguments which covetous men use against liberality, the wise man uses for it; they argue that bad times may come, and they may sustain great losses; or have a greater charge upon them, a growing family; or they may live to old age, and want it themselves: be it no, these are reasons why they should give liberally while they can; that when these things they fear shall come upon them, they may be relieved and supplied by others; for those that show mercy shall find mercy; and this is the way to make themselves friends in a time of need, and against it; see ( Luke 16:9 ) .
FOOTNOTES:

F17 (qlx) "partem", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Vatablus, Drusius, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator
Read Ecclesiastes 11:2