SUMMARY.--The Collections for the Saints. The First Day of the Week. His Work at Ephesus. Timothy Commended to Them. Various Friendly Admonitions. Closing Salutations.
1-4. Concerning the collection for the saints. The collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem is referred to more than once in Acts. It was first called for when "a great dearth" came upon the land (Acts 11:28-30). The church at Jerusalem had been impoverished by the great liberality in its first years, and by the persecutions which followed. See also Acts 24:17. References to this collection are found in Rom. 15:26; 2 Cor. 8:1, 2; 2 Cor. 9:1, 2. To the churches of Galatia. The directions to the churches of Galatia on this subject have not been preserved. Such hints as this and the reference to a lost letter to the church of Corinth (5:9), show that all that Paul wrote has not come down to us. 2. Upon the first day of the week. This shows that the first day of the week was set apart and regarded by the church. Acts 20:7, shows that the church assembled to break bread on that day. Let every one of you lay by him in store. The usual view is that every one was directed to set aside something on the Lord's day and keep it until Paul came. This view is sanctioned by the translations and most of the commentators. Macknight renders: "On the first day of the week, let each one of you lay somewhat by itself, putting it into the treasury." I believe Macknight is right; for (1) there were to be no collections when Paul came. That implies that the money was to be placed in the treasury. Otherwise, it would have to be collected. (2) Thesaurizoon, rendered in the Common Version "in store," is a present participle, meaning literally, "putting into the thesaurus," or "treasury." (3) All church history testifies that the early church took up weekly collections on the first day of the week. See Pliny's Letter to the Emperor Trajan. (4) We know, from Acts 21:7, and from all early church history, that the church met on the first day of the week. It only remains to add that par' heauto, rendered by the translators "by him," is rendered with equal correctness, "by itself." Its form is that of the neuter reflexive pronoun. As God hath prospered him. Each week every one is to give according to his ability. 3. Whomsoever ye shall approve. The church should select its own messengers, giving them letters as credentials. He lets the Corinthians choose the bearers of their own bounty. 4. If it be meet that I go. He did not then know whether he would go or not. In the outcome he did go (Acts 19:21; 20:3)
5-9. I will come unto you, etc. He outlines his plans. He probably wrote in the spring. He intends to visit the churches in Macedonia, and then, perhaps, winter at Corinth. This he did, spending three months (Acts 20:2, 3). 6. That ye may set me forward on my journey. Give him aid, and perhaps company in going elsewhere. 7. For I will not now see you by the way. He will not sail direct across the Ægean Sea to Corinth, and go from thence to Macedonia. He would have to hurry away from Corinth too soon, unless he went to Macedonia first. 8. I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. He was then writing before Pentecost, which came in the latter part of the spring. 9. For a great and effectual door is opened. His ministry in Ephesus was very successful. See Acts, chapter 19. There are many adversaries. Demetrius and his fellow-craftsmen had probably begun their agitation.
10-12. Now if Timothy come, etc. We learn (Acts 19:22) that Timothy and Erastus had been sent to Macedonia, and Timothy (1 Cor. 4:17) was instructed to stop at Corinth on the way. Paul asks that he be kindly received. 11. Let no man despise him. He was a young man. See 1 Tim. 4:12. I expect him with the brethren. That he came with them, as expected, is seen from 2 Cor. 1:1. 12. As touching our brother Apollos. Apollos was then at Ephesus when Paul wrote. I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren. Possibly with Timothy and Erastus. See note on verse 10. For some reason Apollos was averse to visiting Corinth at that time.
13, 14. Watch ye. Be on the watch; a matter very needful in as gay and corrupt a city as Corinth. 14. Let all . . . be done in love. Compare chapter 13. This would prevent the divisions which he had rebuked in chapters 1-4.
15-20. I beseech you, brethren (ye know the house of Stephanas). Paul had baptized the household of Stephanas. See 1 Cor. 1:16. They were his first converts at Corinth. 16. That ye submit yourselves to such. In view of the fact that they were devoted to the ministry. 17. I am glad of the coming of Stephanas. Stephanas is named in 1 Cor. 1:16 and above in verse 15. The other two are not named elsewhere. These three doubtless brought to Paul the letter referred to in 7:1, and probably carried back the present letter. 19. The churches of Asia salute you. Of the Roman province of Asia, of which Ephesus was the capital. Seven of the churches of "Asia" are named in the Book of Revelation. Aquila and Priscilla salute you. We first meet this excellent pair at Corinth (Acts 18:2); afterwards they had gone to Ephesus (Acts 18:26). With the church in their house. The early church had no church buildings, and would be compelled to meet often in private houses. The house of Aquila and Priscilla was such a place of meeting. See note on Romans 16:23. 20. Greet ye one another with a holy kiss. See note on Romans 16:16.
21-24. The salutation of me, Paul, with mine own hand. Paul's letters were written by an amanuensis (Rom. 16:22), but he always added a salutation in his own hand as a proof of genuineness (2 Thess. 3:17). 2 Thess. 2:2, implies that spurious letters were circulated. 22. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema. That is, accursed. Maranatha. This means, "Our Lord cometh." It is likely that he means, "If any church member love not, etc." He is not speaking of the outside world.