As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
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The saints, with their hope in the world to come, have more than those who appear to be rich in this world. But both will be made equal, because those who give of their wealth to help the saints now will be helped by them at some future time, when they are in need. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.
As it is written. Exodus 16:18. Paul applies what is said of the gathering and eating of manna, to show that God wishes men to strive after equality in communion of goods.
He that had gathered much. He that gathered much had no more than he that gathered little, and vice vers. The passage quoted from Exodus declares that by a continuous miracle God rained down manna for forty years in the wilderness on so many hundreds of thousands of Jews, in such a way that the greedy who gathered much, and the idle who gathered little, both found, when they returned home and measured what they had got, that they had but an homer full, or enough for a day"s food for each. If they collected either more or less, God or an angel subtracted from it or added to it invisibly, to bring all to an equality. Song of Solomon , then, an homer was the measure for men, women, and children, and it contained as much only as a man would ordinarily eat in a day (Nyssen, de Vita Moysis, Chrysostom, Anselm, Vatablus, ...
He that had much The words were spoken of those who gathered the manna. (Exodus xvi. 18.) Every one was there ordered to gather such a particular measure, called a gomer, and they who for fear of wanting, gathered more, found they had no more than the measure they were ordered to take, and they, who as it happened, took less, still found they had their measure of a gomer. By this example, St. Paul exhorts them to contribute to the relief of their brethren, with confidence in God's providence, and without fear of wanting themselves. (Witham)
Now this happened in the case of the manna. For both they that gathered more, and they that gathered less, were found to have the same quantity, God in this way punishing insatiableness. And this he said at once both to alarm them by what then happened, and to persuade them never to desire to have more nor to grieve at having less. And this one may see happening now in things of this life not in the manna only. For if we all fill but one belly, and live the same length of time, and clothe one body; neither will the rich gain anything by his abundance nor the poor lose anything by his poverty.
3. Why then do you tremble at poverty? And why do you pursue after wealth? 'I fear,' says one, 'lest I be compelled to go to other men's doors and to beg from my neighbor.' And I constantly hear also many praying to this effect, and saying, 'Allow me not at any time to stand in need of men.' And I laugh exceedingly when I hear these prayers, for this fear is even childish. For every day and in ...
This happened in the case of the manna, when those who gathered more and those who gathered less were found to have the same quantity. God did this in order to punish greed, and Paul recalls it both to alarm them by what happened then and to persuade them never to desire more than they already have or to be anxious because they have less.