Ready to distribute, willing to communicate.--In distinguishing between these words, which are nearly synonymous, the first points rather to the hand which generously gives, and the second to the heart which lovingly sympathises.
The first obeys willingly the Master's charge--"Give to him that asketh;" the second follows that loving command which bids His own to rejoice with those that rejoice, and to mourn with those that mourn.
That they be rich in good works; or abound in the performance of them, as Dorcas is said to be full of good works and alms deeds; and to reckon that their true riches lie more in the exercise of grace, and in the fruits of it, doing good works, than in their worldly enjoyments. The phrase seems to be Rabbinical. Frequent mention is made of , "rich in the law", and , "rich in the commandments" (t); and it is said (u), no man is poor but he that is without the law, and good works, for the riches of a man are the law, and good works.
Ready to distribute; unasked; and when they are asked, do not turn away, and put off, but give at once, and without grief, and with cheerfulness; want no arguments to press them to it, nor use any against it.
Willing to communicate; of their good things to the necessities of the poor, making them common to them, and them partakers of them. Some render the word "sociable", in opposition to that moroseness, stillness, and those haughty and forbidding airs, with which rich men are apt to treat the poor, when they should be affable and courteous to them, and admit them to a free conversation with them.
(t) Zohar in Numb. fol. 91. 3. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 34. fol. 173. 4. & Tzeror Hammaor, fol. 15. 2.((u) Raya Mehimna in Exod. fol 48. 3. Vid. T. Bab. Megilia, fol. 11. 1.