Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your gift, of which you had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of gift, and not as an extortion.
All Commentaries on 2 Corinthians 9:5 Go To 2 Corinthians 9
Again, he resumed the subject in a different manner: and that he may not seem to be saying these things without object, he asserts that the sole reason for this journey was, that they might not be put to shame. Do you see how his words, It is superfluous for me to write, were the beginning of advising? You see, at least, how many things he discourses concerning this ministering. And along with this, one may further remark that, (lest he should seem to contradict himself as having said, It is superfluous, yet discoursing at length about it,) he passed on unto discourse of quickness and largeness and forwardness [in contributing,] by this means securing that point also. For these three things he requires. And indeed he moved these three main points even at the first, for when he says, In much proof of affliction the abundance of their joy, and their deep poverty, abounded unto the riches of their liberality, he says nothing else than that they contributed both much and gladly and quickly; and that not only did not giving much pain them, but not even being in trials, which is more grievous than giving. And the words, they gave themselves to us; these also show both their forwardness and the greatness of their faith. And here too again he treats of those heads. For since these are opposed to [each other,] munificence and forwardness, and one that has given much is often sorrowful, while another, that he may not be sorry, gives less; observe how he takes care for each, and with the wisdom which belongs to him. For he did not say, 'it is better to give a little and of free choice, than much of necessity;' because he wished them to contribute both much and of free choice; but how says he? that they might make up beforehand this your bounty, that the same might be ready as a matter of bounty , and not extortion. He begins first with that which is pleasantest and lighter; namely, the 'not of necessity,' for, it is bounty he says. Observe how in the form of his exhortation he represents at once the fruit as springing up, and the givers as filled with blessing. And by the term employed he won them over, for no one gives a blessing with pain. Yet neither was he content with this; but added, not as of extortion. 'Think not,' he says, 'that we take it as extortioners, but that we may be the cause of a blessing unto you.' For extortion belongs to the unwilling, so that whoso gives alms unwillingly gives of extortion. Then from this he passed on again unto that, the giving munificently.