Now he that ministereth seed to the sower, and bread
For so the words ought to be pointed and read, as is clear from ( Isaiah 55:10 ) to which they refer; and are a "periphrasis" of God, who so blesses the seed that is cast into the earth, that it brings forth such an increase, as that there is a sufficiency of bread for food to the eater for the present year, and a sufficiency of seed to sow with again the next year; and that God, that does this every year, is able "to minister to", or supply your present necessities;
and to multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of
though some consider these as a wish or prayer of the apostle's, that God would do all this for them. Some copies, and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, read all in the future tense, "he will minister" to you, or "supply" you, "and will multiply your seed sown",
and will increase the fruits of your
and so contain a promise of a divine blessing, encouraging to liberality with cheerfulness, by strengthening their faith in the providence of God; who as he multiplies, not the seed expended in the family, or sold at market, or as in the barn, or laid up for a better price, but the seed sown in the field, so he will multiply the substance of men; not what they lay out on themselves and families, or lay up in their coffers, but what they give away, or bestow on Christ's poor: and all effects which follow acts of liberality, and which are here designed by "fruits of righteousness", such as a good name among men, blessing, praise, thanksgiving, and prosperity in things temporal and spiritual, these God will abundantly increase; some of which are mentioned in the following verses. So alms with the Jews is not only called (hqdu) , "righteousness", but "seed sown". Thus Jarchi interprets ( Psalms 37:26 ) "and his seed is blessed", he that (erwz) , "sows" righteousness or alms, its end shall be for a blessing, or in the end he shall be blessed; and the phrase, "rain righteousness", in ( Hosea 10:12 ) is by the Septuagint rendered, (gennhmata dikaiosunhv) , "fruits of righteousness", the same as here, from whence it seems to be taken.