2 Corinthians 8:3

3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,

Read 2 Corinthians 8:3 Using Other Translations

For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,
For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.

What does 2 Corinthians 8:3 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
2 Corinthians 8:3

For to [their] power, I bear record
They gave according to their ability, to the utmost of it, which is the most that can be desired, or be given; for no man can give more than he has, nor is he required to do more than he is able:

yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
not that they did or could do beyond their power; but they were "willing" beyond their power; their hearts were larger than their purses; they would gladly have done more than they had ability to do; and to this the apostle bears testimony to give it credit, which otherwise might have been called in question: and it is to be observed, that these churches communicated in this cheerful manner and large way, considering their circumstances, to the utmost of their ability, "of themselves"; unasked, not having been put upon, pressed, and urged to such a service; for persons to give when they are asked, especially when they do it readily, at once, without demurring upon it, and with cheerfulness, is much; but to give unasked discovers a very generous and beneficent disposition: this is reckoned by the Jews as one of the excellencies in giving of alms {u},

``when a man gives into the hands of another (lavyv Mdwq) , "before he asks"; and the next degree to this is, when he gives to him after he asks; and the next to this, who gives less than is proper, but with a cheerful countenance.''


FOOTNOTES:

F21 Maimon. Hileh. Mattanot Anayim, c. 10. sect. 11, 12, 13.
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