2 Corinthians 8:22
And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, on the great confidence which I have in you.
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(22) And we have sent with them our brother.—Who this second unnamed brother was is again simply matter of conjecture. Of the names connected with St. Paul at this period, that of Tychicus seems to have the greatest balance of probabilities in its favour. He went up with St. Paul to Jerusalem on this very business (Acts 20:4), and the tone in which the Apostle speaks of him in Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7, exactly agrees with his language here. In 2Timothy 4:12, Titus 3:12, we have further evidence of his being one of the most trusted of the couriers, or “messengers,” of the Apostolic Church. The name of Clement has, however, I think, some claim to consideration. St. Paul refers to him as an active fellow-worker (Philippians 4:3). He was connected with the Philippians. Assuming his identity with Clement of Rome, this gives him a point of contact with the Church of Corinth, to which Clement addressed his Epistle. On the other hand, the distinction drawn in 2Corinthians 9:4 between these brethren and the Macedonians may seem to exclude Clement, as it has been thought to exclude Aristarchus and Sopater and Secundus. The word translated “diligent” (“earnest” in 2Corinthians 8:16) is used by St. Paul only in this passage. It implies what we might almost call the “business-like” side of the Christian type of character, and is therefore employed with special fitness here.

8:16-24 The apostle commends the brethren sent to collect their charity, that it might be known who they were, and how safely they might be trusted. It is the duty of all Christians to act prudently; to hinder, as far as we can, all unjust suspicions. It is needful, in the first place, to act uprightly in the sight of God, but things honest in the sight of men should also be attended to. A clear character, as well as a pure conscience, is requisite for usefulness. They brought glory to Christ as instruments, and had obtained honour from Christ to be counted faithful, and employed in his service. The good opinion others have of us, should be an argument with us to do well.And we have sent with them our brother - Who this was is wholly unknown; and conjecture is useless. Some have supposed that it was Apollos, others Silas, others Timothy. But there are no means of ascertaining who it was; nor is it material. It was some one in whom Paul had entire confidence.

Whom we have oftentimes proved diligent - Of whom we have evidence that he has been faithful. It is evident, therefore, that he had been the companion and fellow-laborer of Paul.

But now much more diligent ... - Who will now prove himself much more diligent than ever before.

Upon the confidence ... - Margin, "he hath." The margin is doubtless the more correct reading here. The idea is, that this brother had great confidence in the Corinthians that they would give liberally, and that he would, therefore, evince special diligence in the business.

22. This second brother, Birks supposes to be Trophimus: for a Macedonian is not meant (2Co 9:4) probably the same as was sent before with Titus (2Co 12:18); and therefore sent from Ephesus, and probably an Ephesian: all this is true of Trophimus.

oftentimes … in many things—Join and translate as in the Greek, "many times in many things."

upon the great confidence which I have in you—"through the great confidence WHICH HE HAS towards you" [Alford]. Bengel better supports English Version, "We have sent … through the confidence WHICH WE FEEL in regard to your liberality."

This brother is uncertainly guessed at, nor is it at all material for us to know whether it were Epenetus, or Apollos, or Sosthenes, or any other; it is sufficient for us to know, that he was a brother, and one of whose diligence and faithfulness the apostle, and the churches where Paul now was, had had experience; and that he was now very ready and forward to be employed in this service, upon the apostle’s recommendation of this church unto him. 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 (x)) is by three; nor do they appoint "overseers" of it "less than three".''

Again, they say (y),

"the poor's chest is collected by two, "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.

(x) T. Hieros. Peah, fol. 21. 1.((y) 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.

And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.
2 Corinthians 8:22. Commendatory mention of the second companio.

αὐτοῖς] with Titus and the brother already spoken o.

τὸν ἀδελφ. ἡμ.] This one, too, we do not know by name. Ἡμῶν does not point to him as in official relation to the apostle and Timothy, but denotes him as a Christian brother (see 2 Corinthians 8:23), so that the ἡμῶν embraces also the readers. Conjecture has lighted (but see previously on 2 Corinthians 8:18) on Epaenetus, Romans 16:5 (Grotius), on Apollos (Thomas, Lyra, and mentioned already in Theodoret), on Luke (Calvin and also Estius, who, however, does not discountenance the conjecture of Zenas, Titus 3:13, and Sosthenes), and even on Timothy (Cajetanus) and others. Wieseler (comp. on 2 Corinthians 8:18) understands it of Tychicus, and to this Hofmann also is inclined. The very plural ἡμῶν should have precluded Rückert from thinking of an actual brother of the apostle; see also on 2 Corinthians 8:18.

ἐν πολλοῖς πολλάκις] goes with ἐδοκ.: in many things many times. See on this collocation, Lobeck, Paral, p. 56.

νυνὶ δὲ πολὺ σπουδαιότερον πεποιθ. κ.τ.λ.] νυνί stands in contrast with the previous ἐδοκιμ. ἐν πολλοῖς πολλάκις: now, however, as much more zealous (than in the earlier cases) through the great confidence which he reposes in you. A high degree of good confidence in you has now increased very much his zeal. Others understand πεποιθήσει κ.τ.λ. of Paul’s confidence, connecting it either with πολὺ σπουδαιότ. (Erasmus, Beza, Piscator, and others) or with συνεπέμψαμεν (Estius, Emmerling: “sperans ut bene a vobis excipiantur”). The latter is an inappropriate departure from the order of the words, depriving πολὺ σπουδαιότερον of the ground assigned for it (and how delicately is its ground assigned by this very πεποιθ. κ.τ.λ.!); and the former must necessarily have been denoted by a personal pronoun added to πεποιθ.2 Corinthians 8:22. συνεπέμψαμεν δὲ αὐτοῖς κ.τ.λ.: and we have sent with them our brother, whom we have many times proved earnest in many things, but now much more earnest because of the great confidence which he has in you (cf. Galatians 5:10, πέποιθα εἰς ὑμᾶς), i.e., which was inspired by the account that Titus brought of their good conduct. It is as impossible to identify this “brother” as him of 2 Corinthians 8:18; like the first named he was an envoy of the contributing Churches (2 Corinthians 8:23), and further (what is not said of the first named) he was on terms of personal intimacy with St. Paul, as appears from this verse. The guess that he was Tychicus is a plausible one (see Acts 20:4, Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7, 2 Timothy 4:12, Titus 3:12), but it is only a guess and is incapable of verification. A few cursives (see on 2 Corinthians 13:13) give the name of Barnabas with those of Titus and Luke in the subscription at the end of the Epistle, and this may represent an early tradition.22. And we have sent with them] Literally, as before, 2 Corinthians 8:18, we sent with them, i.e. with the other two.

our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent] See for this third brother, the note on 2 Corinthians 8:18. Dr Plumptre suggests Clement, as one dear to St Paul and known to the Philippians (Php 4:3).

upon the great confidence which I have in you] The margin, ‘he hath,’ is to be preferred. This brother had no doubt been at Corinth, and was quite certain that the Corinthians, in spite of all shortcomings, would in the end come up to St Paul’s highest anticipations.2 Corinthians 8:22. [51] Αὐτοῖς, with them) with Titus and the brother.—πεποιθήσει, through the confidence) construed with, we have sent along with, here and at 2 Corinthians 8:18 : comp. v. 23.—εἰς ὑμᾶς, which we feel towards [in] you) concerning your liberality.

[51] Ενῶπιον ἀνθρώπων, in the sight of men) Men are depraved, and are therefore suspicious. Hence also it is just, that men of the highest integrity should avert all suspicion.—V. g.Verse 22. - Our brother. It is impossible to conjecture with any certainty who was the brother thus warmly eulogized. Clement, Epaenetus, Apollos, Luke, Zenas, Sosthenes, Trophimus, and Tychicus have all been suggested. Stanley conjectures that the two who accompanied Titus were the Ephesians Tychicus and Trophimus (Acts 20:4; Acts 21:9; 2 Timothy 4:12; Ephesians 6:21; Titus 3:12; Colossians 4:7).
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