2 Corinthians 9:5

5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the 1gift[a] you have promised, so that it may be ready 2as a willing gift, 3not as an exaction.[b]

2 Corinthians 9:5 Meaning and Commentary

2 Corinthians 9:5

Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren,
&c.] Titus, and the other two, on whom he did not lay his commands, or apostolical injunctions, according to the authority and dignity of his office; only exhorted or besought them, and which was judged by him very needful and proper at this time:

that they would go before hand unto you;
before him, and the Macedonian brethren that might probably come with him:

and make up before hand your bounty;
or blessing; for any present sent, or delivered, by one person to another, as a token of their friendship, favour, and good will, whether in a necessitous case or not, was by the Jews called (hkrb) , "a blessing"; see ( Genesis 33:11 ) ( 1 Samuel 25:27 ) and especially what is contributed for the relief of the poor may be so called, because it is not only a part of the bounty of Providence, and blessings of life, with which men are favoured; but is also one way of blessing God for the mercies he has blessed them with, and likewise of blessing, or doing good to fellow creatures and Christians. Moreover, because for this the poor bless their benefactors; and it is a blessing itself to do good to others. Now the apostle judged it expedient to send the brethren before hand to complete and finish this good work begun.

says he,

ye had notice before:
in his former epistle, ( 1 Corinthians 16:1 1 Corinthians 16:2 ) or which was promised before by them; or had been spoken of so much before by him to other churches:

that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty,
or blessing,

not as of covetousness;
that is, that the collection being ready made, largely and liberally, it might appear to be a free generous action, and show what a noble bountiful disposition they were of; and not performed as covetous men usually do what they do, sparingly, tenaciously, keeping their money as long as they can, being loath to part with it.

2 Corinthians 9:5 In-Context

3 But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be.
4 Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated--to say nothing of you--for being so confident.
5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction.
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Genesis 33:11; Judges 1:15; 1 Samuel 25:27
  • 2. [Philippians 4:17]
  • 3. [2 Corinthians 12:17, 18]

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Greek blessing; twice in this verse
  • [b]. Or a gift expecting something in return; Greek greed
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.