II Timothy 4
1 “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who
shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom;”
I charge thee (διαμαρτύρομαι – diamarturomai); as ch.2:14 and I Timothy
5:21 (where see note). At His appearing and His kingdom. The reading of the
Textus Receptus, κατὰ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν κ.τ.λ.– kata taen epiphaneian k.t.l. - at
His appearing and kingdom, etc. - makes such excellent sense, and is in such
perfect accordance with the usual grammar, and with the usual connection
of events, that it is difficult not to believe that it is the right reading (see
Matthew 27:15, κατὰ ἑορτήν, – kata heortaen - at the feast; κατὰ πᾶν
σάββατον – kata pan sabbaton - on every sabbath; Acts 13:27, κατὰ τὴν ἡμέραν –
kata taen haemeran - in the day; Hebrews 3:8 for the grammar;
and the universal language of Scripture and the Creeds connecting the judgment
with the Lord’s appearing and kingdom). On the other hand, the reading και – kai -
(and) is almost impossible to construe. No two commentators scarcely are agreed
how to do so. Some take τὴν ἐπιφανείαν καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν – taen
epiphaneian kai taen basileian – the advent of Him and the kingdom of Him –
as the object governed by διαμαρτύρομαι (I call to witness) is in the Septuagint
of Deuteronomy 4:26, “I call to witness… Christ’s epiphany and kingdom,” taking
διαμαρτύρομαι in two senses or two constructions. Others take them as
the accusatives of the things sworn by, “I charge thee before God and Jesus Christ,
and by His epiphany and kingdom,” as Mark 5:7, τὸν Θεόν - ton Theon - by God;
Acts 19:13, τὸν Ἰησοῦν – ton Iaesoun - by Jesus; I Thessalonians 5:27, τὸν Κύριον –
ton Kurion - by the Lord. But how awkward such a separation of the thing sworn by
from the verb is, and how unnatural it is to couple with και – kai – and, the two ideas,
“before God” and “by Christ’s epiphany,” and how absolutely without
example such a swearing by Christ’s epiphany and kingdom is, nobody
needs to be told. Others, as Huther, try to get over part at least of this
awkwardness by taking the two και’s – kai’s as “both:” “by both his epiphany and
his kingdom.” Ellicott explains it by saying that as you could not put “the
epiphany and the kingdom” in dependence upon ἐνώπιον – enopion – before;
in the sight of; (as if they were persons like God and Christ), they “naturally
pass into the accusative.” But surely this is all thoroughly unsatisfactory. The
Textus Receptus is perfectly easy and simple. (ἐπιφανεία – epiphaneia appearing);
v. 8; ch. 1:10; II Thessalonians 2:8; I Timothy 6:14; Titus 2:13. His kingdom. So in
the Nicene Creed: “He shall come again with glory to judge both the quick
and the dead: whose kingdom shall have no end” (compare Matthew 25:31,
followed by the judgment).
2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove,
rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Preach the Word.
(κήρυξον τὸν λόγον - Kaeruxon ton logon – proclaim you or herald
You the word). It is impossible to exaggerate the dignity and importance here
given to preaching by its being made the subject of so solemn and awful an
adjuration as that in v.1 (compare the designation of κῆρυξ – kaerux – preacher –
which Paul gives to himself in I Timothy 2:7; ch. 1:11). Be instant. (ἐπίστηθι –
epistaethi – be you standing by, urgent). The force of the exhortation must be
found, not in the verb itself taken alone, but by coupling εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως –
eukairos akairos – in season; out of season - closely with it. Be
at your work, attend to it always, in and out of season; let nothing stop
you; be always ready, always at hand. Reprove (ἔλεγξον – elexon – rebuke;
expose); see ch.3:16, note (compare Matthew 18:15; Ephesians 5:11; I Timothy
5:20). Generally with the idea of bringing the fault home to the offender. Rebuke
(ἐπιτίμησον - epitimaeson); a stronger word than ἔλεγξον, implying
more of authority and less of argument (Matthew 8:26: 17:18; Luke 19:39;
Jude 1:9, etc.). Exhort (παρακάλεσον – parakalesson – exhort; entreat you).
Sometimes the sense of “exhort,” and sometimes that of “comfort,” predominates
(see I Timothy 2:1; 6:2, etc.). Every way of strengthening and establishing
souls in the fear and love of God is to be tried, and that with all long
suffering and teaching. (For μακροθυμία – makrothumia – longsuffering;
patience - see ch. 3:10, note.) For “teaching” or “doctrine” (διδαχή –
didachae), Paul more frequently uses διδασκαλία – didaskalia – teaching –
in the pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 1:10; 4:6, 13, 16; 5:17; ch. 3:10, 16, etc.);
but there does not seem to be any great difference of meaning. Possibly διδαχή
points more to the act of teaching. The use of it here, coupled with “long suffering,”
directs that the man of God, whether he preaches, reproves, rebukes, or exhorts,
is always to be A PATIENT TEACHER OF GOD’S WORD AND TRUTH!
A Solemn Charge to Timothy to Make Full Proof of His Ministry
The prospect of his approaching death led the apostle to address his young
disciple with deep and earnest feeling.
· THE SOLEMN ADJURATION. “I charge thee in the sight of God, and
of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the quick and the dead, and by His
appearing and His kingdom.” The object of the apostle is to impart to
Timothy a solemn sense of responsibility in the discharge of his ministry.
Ø All preachers must one day give an account of their stewardship. Such
a thought ought to stimulate them to greater faithfulness.
Ø Their responsibility is to God and Jesus Christ, who are Witnesses of
their work, as they have made them good ministers of the New Testament.
Ø Jesus Christ is the Judge of the two classes of living and dead saints,
who in the last day shall appear before His judgment seat. All judgment is
committed to Him, and HE WILL EXERCISE IT RIGHTEOUSLY!
Ø The judgment will take place at “His appearing and His kingdom;” that
is, AT HIS SECOND COMING!
Ø The reward of fidelity is also held out to faithful servants in connection
with the glory of “His kingdom.”
· THE DUTIES OF THE FAITHFUL MINISTER. “Preach the Word;
be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long
suffering and teaching.”
Ø His first and pre-eminent duty is to preach the gospel, because it is the
power of God to salvation. There is no injunction to administer the
sacraments, though that would be included in his duties. There is nothing,
therefore, to justify the higher place which Tractarians assign to the
sacraments beside the Word. It is a significant fact that the success of the
apostles, as recorded in the Acts, is never once attributed to the
sacraments, but always to the Word.
Ø The minister must have an earnest urgency in every part of his work. He
must create opportunities where he cannot find them; he must work at
times both convenient and inconvenient to himself; he must approach the
willing opportunely and the unwilling inopportunely.
Ø He must reprove, or convince, those in error as to doctrine.
Ø He must rebuke the unruly, or immoral in life.
Ø He must “exhort with all long suffering and teaching” — exercising due
patience, and using all the resources of a sanctified understanding, to
encourage men to keep to the ways of good doctrine and holiness.
The Apostolic Injunction (v. 2)
“Preach the Word.” Timothy had not to create a gospel, but to preach one; and
the “Word” is broad and vast enough for any preacher. The cross has for its
circumference all truth, and is to be carried into ALL SPHERES OF LIFE!
· PREACH IT WITH INSTANCY. It is not a mere philosophy to interest
students as an esoteric (intended for or likely to be understood by only a
small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest) study;
nor is it a mere elaborate theological thesis to be proven true. It has to do
with “the present salvation” and the future well being of man. Instancy, for:
Ø The season may be only NOW! Tomorrow preacher or hearer, or both,
MAY BE GONE!
Ø The truth can never be out of season. We need it always — in all
places, in all our duties, temptations, and trials.
· PREACH IT WITH AUTHORITY. That is, with the authority of truth,
not your own ex-cathedra authority. “Meekly;” but not as though your
congregations were patrons to be pleased, or Sanhedrims to try your
opinions. Modestly; but with authority; not, as I said, your own authority,
but the authority of truth, which has its own witness within. So you will
reprove men fearlessly, never hiding them from themselves by cunning
words of flattery. And you will “rebuke” — for evil soon spreads if it be
not exposed and condemned at once — just as Nathan boldly faced David,
and said, “Thou art the man.” (II Samuel 12:7)
· PREACH IT WITH EXHORTATION. The teacher is not to be
merely a scornful satirist of immorality — a sort of Juvenal (a Roman
satirist poet). Nor is he to be a lightning conductor of Divine wrath
(Luke 9:54-56); he is to seek to save men. He has not done his work
when he has revealed the Law of God against evil. He is to remember
that the Christ he preaches is the Son of man who is come, “not to condemn
the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17)
Ø Long suffering is to be the spirit of his method. Remembering that
humanity is frail and fallen, the preacher must be sympathetic, as
himself needing mercy.
Ø Doctrine is to be his remedy. THE GREAT REVELATION OF
A DIVINE SAVIOUR, and THE PROMISED SPIRIT, THE
3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers,
having itching ears; ἡ ὑγιαίνουσα διδασκαλία – hae hugiainousa
didakalia - sound doctrine; sound teaching - is characteristic of the
pastoral Epistles, having arisen, no doubt, from the growth of heresy (see
I Timothy 1:10; 6:3. II Timothy 1:13; Titus 1:9, 13; 2:1, 8). In classical Greek,
ὑγιής – hugiaes is frequently applied to words, sentiments, advice, etc., in the
sense of “sound,” “wise;” and ὑγιαίειν – hugiaiein is also applied
to the mind and character. Applied to the body means good health.
Endure (ἀνέξονται – anexontai – they will be tolerating); usually, as
applied by Paul to persons as the object, as elsewhere in the New Testament
(Matthew 17:17; Acts 18:14; Ephesians 4:2, etc.); but not invariably (see
II Thessalonians 1:4; so too Hebrews 13:22). In classical Greek, ἀνέχεσθαι,
followed by persons or things, usually governs an accusative case, if any, but a
genitive frequently in Plato. Having itching ears (κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοήν –
knaethomenoi taen akoaen); only here in the New Testament. The phrase,
κνησέως ὤτων – knaeseos oton is ascribed by Plutarch to Plato –
“scratching the (itching) ear;” κνᾶσθαι τὰ ῶτα, “to tickle the ears” (Lucian);
ἀποκναίουσιν ἡμῶν τὰ ᾤτα (Philo). The verb κνήθω - knaetho – ( i.q.
κνάω –- knao ) means “to scratch;” “to tickle,” and in the passive “to itch.”
Shall heap to themselves (ἐπισωρεύσουσι – episoreusousi – they shall
be heaping up); a contemptuous word (found only here in the New Testament,
and nowhere in early classical Greek), implying the indiscriminate
multiplication of teachers (compare our use of “exaggerate”). The simple
σωρεύειν – soreuein – ladened; heaped - occurs in ch. 3:6. After their
own lusts. The measure of the number or the quality of their self-chosen
teachers will be their own insatiable and ever-varying fancies and mental
appetites, not the desire to be taught GOD’S TRUTH by teachers SENT
FROM GOD! Compare Jeroboam’s conduct in ordaining a feast “in the month
which he had devised of his own heart” (I Kings 12:33).
4 “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be
turned unto fables.” Shall turn away, etc. The sober, sound doctrine
of the Word of God, teaching self-discipline, humility, and purity of heart and life,
will not assuage their itching ears, and therefore they will turn away from it,
and go after more congenial fables — those taught by THE HERETICS.
Shall be turned. (ἐκτραπήσοναι - ektrapaesonai – shall be being
urned aside; turn aside); as I Timothy 1:6, note. Fables (μύθους – muthous –
myths; fables); see I Timothy 1:4; 4:7; Titus 1:14; II Peter 1:16.
The reason for the APOSTASY - “For the time will come when they will not
endure the sound doctrine.” The gospel doctrine is sound, because it necessitates
a holy life, and holds the gratification of sinful passions to be INCONSISTENT
with the hopes of salvation. This evil men cannot endure, because it is so opposed
to the corruption of human nature, and therefore treat it with neglect, if not with contempt.
The Apostle Paul foresees the growth of evil in the Church, and therefore seeks to
prepare ministers to war against it.
The effect of this MORAL DISGUST with the gospel is to heap to themselves
teachers after their own lusts.. They wanted to hear new things or smooth things,
such as would reflect the caprices of a corrupt nature. They wished to have their
fancies gratified — “after their own lusts.” They wanted indulgent guides, who
would flatter the pride of human nature, and not lay too great a stress upon the
importance of a holy life. However, sound doctrine is necessarily for a
The retribution that awaits such PERVERSION OF JUDGMENT.
“And will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.”
It is a solemn fact in Divine providence, that when men do not like to return to the
knowledge of the truth, God gives them up to a reprobate mind, so that they lose
all relish for sound doctrine. (Romans 1:28) God has designed us to be
religious beings and the heart cannot long remain empty (Luke 11:24-26).
Fables rush in to occupy the place which denies a footing to truth,
(witness the results of the
state – CY – 2013), just as infidelity has a vacuum-creating power, which
superstition immediately rushes in to fill up. WHAT A WASTE OF SOUL —
profitless fables taken in exchange for SOUL SAVING TRUTH!
5 “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an
evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” But watch thou. (νῆφε –
naephe - be you being sober) as I Thessalonians 5:6, 8; I Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8.
The adjective νηφάλιος – naephalion – sober - occurs in I Timothy 3:2 (where see
note), 11; Titus 2:2. Here “Be sober in all things” clearly does not refer to literal
sobriety, which Timothy was in little danger of transgressing (l Timothy 5:23), but
comprehends clearness, calmness, steadiness, and moderation in all things.
Endure afflictions. (κακοπάθησον – kakopathaeson - suffer hardship;
suffer evil); as ch.2:3 (Textus Receptus) and 9. An evangelist (εὐαγγελιστοῦ –
euaggelistou - of evangelist); one whose business it is to preach the gospel,
according to Matthew 11:5. The verb εὐαγγελίζειν – euaggelizein - to preach the
gospel - and αὐαγγέλιον – auaggelion - the gospel. are of very frequent use in
the New Testament. But εὐαγγελιστής – euaggelistaes - an evangelist occurs
elsewhere only in Acts 21:8 and Ephesians 4:11. Full proof of thy ministry.
This is rather a weak rendering of the Greek πληροφόρησον – plaerophoraeson –
fully discharge you; fulfil thy ministry., adopted also in the Revised Version
of Luke 1:1. The verb occurs elsewhere in Romans 4:21; 14:5, and v. 17 of this
chapter. The phrase is metaphorical, but it is uncertain whether the metaphor is
that of a ship borne along by full sails, or of full measure given. If the former is the
metaphor, then the derived meaning, when applied to persons, is that of full
persuasion, entire and implicit faith, which carries men forward in a bold
and unwavering course; or, when applied to things, that of being undoubtedly
believed. But if the metaphor is taken from “bringing full measure;” then the sense
in the passive voice when applied to persons will be “to be fully satisfied,” i.e.
to have full assurance, and, when applied to things, “to be fully believed.”
Applying the last metaphor to the passage before us, the sense will be
“discharge thy ministry to the full.” Let there be no stint of ministerial labor,
but carry it out in its completeness, and to the end.
The Duty of Timothy in Trying Times (v. 5)
· “BUT BE THOU SOBER IN ALL THINGS.”
Ø The presence of false teachers necessitated a wakeful attitude, a
constant presence of mind, a quick discernment of opportunities for
advancing the truth.
Ø There ought to be a consistently sober and watchful care extending
through the whole life of the minister, who has to “give account of
souls.” (Hebrews 13:17)
· “SUFFER HARDSHIP.”
Ø If the minister fears the anger of men, he will not be faithful to God.
Ø There is a reward for brave suffering. (vs. 3-12.)
Ø The example of the apostle’s life was ever before Timothy as a powerful
incentive to endurance. (vs. 10-12.)
· “DO THE WORK OF AN EVANGELIST.”
Ø There was a separate class of officers called evangelists in the apostolic
Church (Ephesians 4:11), whose special business was to break new
ground in the open fields of heathenism or the narrower confines of
Judaism. They preached the gospel, while pastors shepherded the flocks.
But we are not to suppose that pastors did not also “do the work of an
evangelist.” They had saints and sinners under their care in all places.
Ø As Timothy had been lately occupied in organizing the Church life of
devote himself to the direct work of evangelization, as the best antidote to
heresy and impiety.
· “MAKE FULL PROOF OF THY MINISTRY.” This was to be done:
Ø By constant labors.
Ø By unswerving faithfulness to God and man.
Ø By efforts to save sinners and edify saints, which were seen to be
successful. Such a man fulfils his ministry, for he seeks not his own
things, but the things of Christ.
6 “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is
at hand.” For I am now ready to be offered. I am already being offered.
The ἐγώ - ego – I - is emphatic, in contrast with the σύ (you) of v. 5: “Thou, who
hast still life before thee, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, make
full proof of thy ministry. I can do so no longer, for my martyrdom has already
commenced, and my end is close at hand. Thou must take my place in the great
conflict.” Am …..to be offered. (σπένδομαι – spendomai am being poured out,);
as the drink offering, or libation, is poured out. Paul uses the same figure in Philippians
2:17, where he couples it with the sacrifice and service (or offering up) of the faith of
the Philippians by himself as the priest, and looks upon the pouring out of his own life
as the completion of that sacrifice. The libation always formed the conclusion of
the sacrifice, and so the apostle’s martyrdom closed his apostolic service
which had been a continual sacrifice, in which he had been the ministering priest
(Romans 15:16). So that the use of σπένδομαι here exactly agrees with that in
Philippians 2:17. “My sacrificial work,” Paul says, “being now finished and
ended, I am performing the last solemn act, the pouring out of my own life
in martyrdom, to which I shall pass out of the prison where I now am.”
The time of my departure (τῆς ἐμῆς ἀναλύσεως – taes emaes analuseos –
of my dissolution). The word is found nowhere else in the New Testament, but
Paul uses the verb ἀναλῦσαι – analusai - to depart, in Philippians 1:23,
where, the verb being in the active voice, the metaphor clearly is from
weighing anchor, as in common use in classical Greek; hence simply “to
depart.” The classical use of ἀνάλυσις – analusis rather favors the sense,
either of “release” or of “dissolution.” But Paul’s use of ἀναλύω – analuo –
to depart – in Philippians 1:23, and the frequent use of the same verb in the
Septuagint and by Josephus, in the sense of “to depart,” favors the rendering of
ἀνάλυσις by “departure,” as in the Authorized Version and Revised Version.
Is at hand. (ἐφέστηκε – epestaeke ); the same verb as ἐπίστηθι epistaethi –
instant; urgent in v. 2.
Mark the calmness with which the Paul contemplates a violent death.
There is no tremor, or hurry, or impatience in his last days. The language is
singularly composed. He knew that Nero would soon put an end to his life,
for that monster of cruelty and crime was even then striking out wildly
against the Christians. Nothing but an assured hope and a living faith could
maintain the spirit in such trying circumstances.
Life’s Evening Hour (v. 6)
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at
hand.” Paul felt sure that the enemies of the gospel would be successful
in their designs upon his life. Sooner or later he knew that the lions or the
flames, the executioner’s axe or the cruel cross, would complete his earthly
course. But as he had made an “offering” of his life to Christ, so he was
ready in death to be offered up for the Master’s sake.
· THE APOSTOLIC READINESS. Although a prisoner, he had been
permitted to be a preacher in the neighboring camp of Caesar’s palace
first imprisonment at
Praetorian Guard alone could he testify now; and as the soldier to whom he
was chained by the wrist would often be changed, he had the opportunity
speaking to each one in turn the good word of the
imprisonments had been preceded by missionary journeys, in which he had
planted Churches of Christ everywhere — Churches which had become
centers of evangelization and edification. He was “ready;” for his character
had been molded by “great tribulation;” so that his soul was purified by
the grace of God working there the self-conquests of his nature. The
righteous indignation of a strong nature — which we know full well once
in his apostolate would have been aroused at his adversaries — had been
softened into a calm submission to the Divine will, and he was conscious
that God would take care of His own Church in the perilous times which
had come. Moreover, Timothy was there to take up the great work and to
preach the Word. Paul was ready for the “rest;” and the “rest” was ready
· THE APOSTLE’S TIME. “The time of my departure.” All our times
are in God’s hand: “the time to be born and the time to die.” (Ecclesiastes
3:2) This was with Paul no fatalistic creed; he did not forget that there was a
divinely wise will ordering all.
Ø Death was a departure. It was not the habit of Paul to dwell on
death in itself, but rather on its glorious issues to the Christian. The faith
strong in him. The motto —
of life) was the spirit of his creed.
Ø But death was not the departure of the Christ. He was here. By His
Spirit He was still working in the hearts of all who believed. The Christ
in him was the Christ in Timothy too; and Paul well knew that the
triumphant chariot of the Redeemer stops at no man’s grave.
7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
I have fought a good fight; as I Timothy 6:12 (τὸν ἀγῶνα τὸν καλόν –
ton agona ton kalon), meaning that, however honorable the contests
of the games were deemed, the Christian contest was far more honorable
than them all. (Translate more honorable than THE SUPER BOWL;
THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP; THE WORLD SERIES; THE WORLD
CUP, THE FINAL FOUR, THE NATIONAL PLAYOFF IN FOOTBALL,
Etc. – CY – 2013). The word “fight” does not adequately express by ajgw~na
(a contest; conflict or fight) hich embraces all kinds of contests — chariot race,
foot race, wrestling, etc. “I have played out the honorable game” would give
the sense, though inelegantly. My course (τὸν δρόμον – ton dromon – the
course; the running; my career); Acts 13:25; 20:24. The runner in the race
had a definite δρόμος (course) to run, marked out for him. Paul’s life was that
course, and he knew that he had run it out. (So do you and I have a course
marked out for us by a loving Heavenly Father – CY – 2013). I have
kept the faith. Paul here quits metaphor and explains the foregoing figures.
Through his long eventful course, in spite of all difficulties, conflicts, dangers, and
temptations, he had kept the faith of Jesus Christ committed to him,
inviolable, unadulterated, whole, and complete. He had not shrunk from
confessing it when death stared him in the face; he had not corrupted it to
meet the views of Jews or Gentiles; with courage and resolution and
perseverance he had kept it to the end. Oh! let Timothy do the same.
(With God’s help, let YOU AND I DO THE SAME! – CY – 2013)
The good fight ended. Every Christian is a soldier. He has to fight against the
threefold enmity of:
o the world,
o the flesh, and
o the devil.
He overcomes through faith as his sole weapon. (I John 5:4-5).
The race ended. There is a limit to the duration of the fight. Death ends it.
o It is a long race;
o a wearying race;
o yet a glorious race,
because it has a happy ending. Faith has been preserved, a precious deposit
placed in our hands (ch.1:14). Errorists of all sorts are continually striving to
wrest it out of our hands by their specious sophistries. Believers keep it safest
who treasure it in their hearts as well as their minds.
“I have fought a good fight.” Nothing in nature is more beautiful than the
all-glorious sunset; even the storm clouds make it a more magnificent
scene. So it was with Paul. Amid the threatening clouds of persecution
the Saviour’s glory shone all around and about him, and lighted up the dark
firmament of the martyr experiences.
· THE PAST FIGHT. He was a man of war in the best sense, and had
fought a good fight. He had conflicts in himself — “fightings without, and
fears within.” (II Corinthians 7:5) He had opposition from the Jews of the
ancient Church, and from the Judaistic Christians, who were trying to pervert
strife, and though Paul was not an enemy of Caesar, this gave Caesar’s enemies
an opportunity for casting censure on him. He had, too, as we all have,
invisible enemies, so that he did not war only “against flesh and blood.”
The past fight was a lifelong one with him, for he had at first to withstand
even his Christian coadjutors in his determination to proclaim and to
preserve the universality and spirituality of the gospel kingdom; he boldly
and triumphantly withstood even Peter to the face, and so gave to the
Church of all ages the Magna Charta of its Divine freedom.
· THE FINISHED COURSE. He could look back upon the racecourse
now, and he varies his imagery. Now he introduces the idea of the Grecian
games. We can see the eager athlete girding his loins for the race — a race
which taxed all his energies. In heat and cold, amidst enemies and friends,
Paul “pressed toward the mark.” (Philippians 3:14) There is no tone of
finality, however, about his language in the strictest sense. The end was only
a post which he had to pass, not a grave in which he had to sleep. For to him
to live was Christ, and to die was gain. (ibid. ch. 1:21)
8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which
the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to
me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Henceforth (λοιπόν – loipon - furthermore); as Hebrews 10:13. The work
of conflict being over, IT ONLY REMAINS TO RECEIVE THE CROWN!
A crown of righteousness means that crown the possession of which marks
the wearer as righteous before God. The analogous phrases are, “the crown
of glory” (I Peter 5:4) and “the crown of life” (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).
The righteousness, the glory, and the life of the saints are conceived as
displayed in crowns, as the kingly dignity is in the crown of royalty. The
righteous Judge (κριτής – kritaes - Judge). In Acts 10:42 the Lord Jesus
is said to be ordained of God to be Κριτὴς ζώντων καὶ νεκρῶν – Kritaes zonton
kai nekron - the Judge of quick and dead - and in Hebrews 12:23 we read,
Κριτῇ Θεῷ πάντων – Kritae Theo panton - God the Judge of all. But nowhere
else, either in the Old Testament or the New Testament, is this term applied directly
either to God or to Christ. Surely its use here is influenced by the preceding metaphor
of the ἀγών (fight; contest) and the δρόμος (course) and the στέφανος (crown) and
“the righteous Judge” is the impartial βραβεύς – brabeus or judge, who assigned
the prizes at the games to those who had fairly won them. And this is the proper
meaning of κριτής,, “the umpire,” applied, especially at
at the poetic contests). Thucydides contrasts the κριτής and the ἀγωνιστής –
– agonistaes - Aristophanes the kritai > – kritai – judges and the θεαταί -
theatai – spectators - and the word “cr κριταί itic” is derived from this meaning of
κιτής – kitaes – judge and κριτικός - kritikos – discerner. The whole
picture is that of the apostle running his noble race of righteousness to the
very end, and of the LORD HIMSELF assigning to him the well earned
crown of victory IN THE PRESENCE OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
ASSEMBLED FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THAT GREAT DAY!
(So, if the world is a conflict; test; fight, contest, and the trophies will be
passed out at A CEREMONY, with all heaven and earth assembled,
that will show THE CLASSLESSNESS OF A SUPER BOWL HALFTIME
AS AN EXERCISE OF SHAME OR SHOW THE HOLLOWNESS OF AN
AWARD CEREMONY AFTER THE NATIONAL BASKETBALL
ASSOCIATION’S FINALS, OR SHOW THE VANITY OF THE MVP
TROPHY AND THE CORVETTE WON BY THE MVP OF THE
WORLD SERIES, WHAT WILL YOUR ROLE BE?
Ephesians 1:10 tells us that Jesus Christ is in the process of gathering
“together in one all things….which are in heaven and which are
on earth.” My prayer is that after this ceremony, that you will be ushered
into heaven to be with God, His Christ, the Holy Spirit, with all angelic
beings that have been faithful to Him throughout eternity, and finally, with
all God’s people who have had the opportunity of life and have responded
to God’s call to life! THEY WILL COME FROM EVERYWHERE,
“many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” – Matthew
8:11 - and out of “all nations of them which are saved.” - Revelation 21:24 –
If you are in danger of being among those who are “THRUST OUT” –
Luke 13:28 – I recommend highly #5 – How to Be Saved – this web
site – CY – 2013) (What chance do you think an abortionist has on that
day? A person who has done all he or she could to keep an individual,
yea, many individuals, from BEING IN THAT NUMBER! The Bible
says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house
of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them
that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be
saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? - I Peter
4:17-18 – CY - 2013) That love His appearing. That have loved His
appearing. It will be a characteristic of those who will be crowned at
that day that all the time they were fighting the good fight they were
looking forward with hope and desire for their Lord’s appearing
and kingdom. “Thy kingdom come” was their desire and their petition.
They will be able to say at that day, “So, this is our God; we have
waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have
waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation”
True believers do not dread Christ’s appearance in judgment.
They look forward with hope, satisfaction, and joy, to the day of final
account. All who love Him now will love Him at His appearing, when
they shall see him in His glory. (“Beloved, now are we the sons of
God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know
that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall
see Him as He is!” (I John 3:2)
The Last Charge (vs. 1-8)
The words of this chapter have the peculiar interest which attaches to the
last words of one who was prominent above his fellow men, and they have
this striking character, that the apostle, knowing that the time of his
departure was at hand, when the great work of his life must cease as far as
he was concerned, was intensely solicitous that the work should go on
after his death with uninterrupted course and with undiminished force. It is
one of the features of the holy unselfishness of Paul’s character that he
was not anxious for the success of the gospel only as far as that success
was connected with his own labors, and was the fruit of his own apostolic
energy; but that the growth of Christ’s kingdom, and the increase of
Christ’s Church, and the salvation of souls, were things that he intensely
longed for for their own sake, and without the slightest reference to
himself. Accordingly, in the words before us, he throws his whole soul into
the task of urging Timothy to carry on the work of the ministry with a
vigor equal to his own. By the most solemn motives. speaking as in the
immediate presence of the great Judge of the quick and the dead, with the
expectation of the great epiphany in full view, with all the glories of the
mediatorial kingdom spread out before his mind’s eye, he urges him to the
work — the ministerial work; the evangelistic work; the work in which
Paul had spent his strength, and ungrudgingly used his splendid faculties;
the work which is described in three words, “Preach the Word.” For these
words do really comprehend all the details which are added. Go as God’s
herald, and deliver to the people God’s message:
o His message of abounding grace,
o His Word of pardon and forgiveness,
o His Word of love and reconciliation.
Preach the Word which tells:
o of Jesus Christ,
o of death to sin by His death upon the cross,
o of life to God by His resurrection from the dead.
Preach the Word :
o of holy obedience,
o of charity, and purity,
o of patience, gentleness, and peace;
o the Word of like mindedness with Christ,
o of conformity to the will of God; the Word
of truth and righteousness;
o the unerring Word, which is like God, and cannot lie.
Preach the Word :
o as one who knows its worth and its power;
o as one who knows that the issues of life and death
are bound up with it;
o as one who will brook no delay in preaching it.
Preach it with special application to the varying needs of those who hear it.
o Reprove sin by its searching light.
o Rebuke offenders by its sharp two-edged blade.
o Exhort the weak and sluggish by its comforting and
o Exemplify its excellence by the spirit in which you teach it.
And be prepared for hardships and opposition and contradiction in your work.
You may have to stand alone. You may see popular preachers all around you,
leading astray silly souls by hundreds and thousands; tickling their ears with
foolish fancies; ministering to their idle lusts; leading them away from the truth.
But do thou “preach the Word.” Flinch not, shrink not, wince not.
Do the work of an evangelist:
Fill my place; take up my work; witness for Christ as I have witnessed;
suffer for Christ as I have suffered; and then join me in the kingdom
of glory. Such is the tenor of the last apostolic charge. The Lord
grant to his Church an unfailing succession of men to carry out its
directions, and to fulfil it in its spirit and in its letter!
All preachers must one day give an account of their stewardship. Such
a thought ought to stimulate them to greater faithfulness. Their
responsibility is to God and Jesus Christ, who are Witnesses of their work,
as they have made them good ministers of the New Testament.
Solemn Charge to Timothy (vs. 1-8)
· CHARGED TO BE FAITHFUL IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS
Ø Witnessing the charge.
o Christ associated With God. “I charge thee in the sight of God, and of
Jesus Christ.” Unseen by Timothy, they were really present as Witnesses
of the charge now to be laid on him. The first Witness, who is the First
Person of the Godhead, is simply designated God. It is the highest, most
comprehensive, of names. With God is associated the historical Jesus with
the Divine commission. While the apostle is very careful to place himself
and other ministers at a distance from Christ (1 Corinthians 3.), he does not
hesitate to bring Him into the closest association with God. The spirits of
the departed cannot communicate with us; but Jesus, who died thirty-eight
years before the writing of this Epistle, is thought of as present with Paul in
his dungeon, witnessing to the charge in all its particulars that is to be sent
on to Timothy.
o Christ at the time of greatest solemnity for Timothy. “Who shall judge
the quick and the dead.” Timothy is not mentioned; but, as the quick and
the dead are all-inclusive, he was to regard himself as included. The time
was to come when Christ was to return to earth. Before His judgment
seat were to be gathered the quick (suddenly changed) and the dead
(raised from their graves). Timothy (changed or awakened) would have
to take his place along with others, to give an account to the Judge
especially of his official work.
o Christ at the time of greatest joy to His people. “And by His appearing
and His kingdom.” Christ is now concealed from human view, and men
may dispute His being the Son of God, may dispute the fact that He died.
At His appearing, His relation to the Father and to human salvation will
be made clear beyond all possibility of doubt. Christ is now reigning,
but there is not a full acknowledgment of His power. Many never think
of His reigning at all. The time is to come when His kingdom is to be
established as it is not established now — established in the full
acknowledgment of His power — established to know neither modification
nor end. (Isaiah 9:7) On His return to heaven He is to come into a certain
subordination to the Father (I Corinthians 15:27-28), and yet is the order
of things that IS TO LAST THROUGH ETERNITY CALLED HIS
KINGDOM! To His people the time of His appearing, and from which
His kingdom dates, will be full of joy as the time when their Master shall
be publicly honored, and when their own sharing with Him shall stand out
in its full meaning. Timothy must not, by unfaithfulness, take from the joy
of the future disclosure of Christ to him.
Ø Particulars of the charge. These are given in rapid succession, without
connecting words, by which there is gain in force.
o Duty of preaching. “Preach the Word.” The Word, i.e. of God, was
what he was to preach; but the stress is more on the preaching. That was
§ let him preach,
§ let him utter Divine truth;
§ let him utter it loudly as a herald, so that men may hear.
o Season for preaching. “Be instant in season, out of season.” He was to
be ready for every opportunity of preaching. He was to have his stated
season for preaching, so that men might know when they could hear the
Word; but he was also to preach beyond the stated season. His season was
to be every season, i.e. within natural and moral limits. He was to preach,
strength permitting, whenever an opportunity of doing good thereby was
presented to him.
o Parts of preaching. “Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering
§ He was to reprove, i.e. to expose the real nature of sin.
§ He was to rebuke, i.e. to impute blame for sin.
§ He was to exhort, i.e. to use persuasion against continuing
in sin, and toward leading a better life.
He was to execute the three offices of a reprover, rebuker, exhorter, with
all long suffering — not vehemently, but, as with all proper restraint on
himself, so with all proper consideration for others; and with all teaching
— not unintelligently, but with repeated instruction, and not out of his own
thoughts, but out of the Word, led by the Holy Spirit.
· ARGUMENT DRAWN FROM A DISTURBED FUTURE.
Ø The intolerableness of sound doctrine. “For the time will come when
they will not endure the sound doctrine.” The sound or healthful
teaching, according to ch. 3:16, is that which, founded on the facts of
redemption and leads to godliness. Men find it intolerable, because it
binds them down to thoughts and courses which are contrary to “their
Ø The teachers that spring up for those who find sound doctrine
intolerable. “But, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers
after their own lusts.” Their relief is not to get rid of all teachers (which
would be too drastic), but to get teachers after their own lusts. These
teachers are the birth and reflection of their own depraved sentiments.
Those who strive to have their desires regulated by the Word of God are
satisfied with the gospel teachers; those who have their desires
unregulated (i.e. in the state of lusts) are not easily satisfied. “Having
itching ears, they heap to themselves teachers.” They have a constant
uneasy feeling which seeks to be gratified with new teachers, both many
Ø The abandonment of those who have itching ears to myths. “And will
turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.” Their
duty is to turn their ears to the truth, but, as they have itching ears, they
turn aside to listen to fables — not truth, but inventions. When men do
not find the truth agreeable to the ear, they may take:
o the wildest fancies,
o the most childish beliefs.
There were anticipations of these myths of the future with which
Timothy had to do.
· CHARGE RESUMED.
Ø Sobriety. “But be thou sober in all things.” Those who had to do with
myths had not clearness and caution of mind, but were intoxicated with
their own wisdom. Timothy was to avoid their fault. There is a sobriety
which is revelant to the truth. It does not flatter a man, but keeps him to
the humility of fact. It may deeply move him, but does not take away his
clearness and caution. It does not, like many myths of the false teachers,
morbidly excite the imagination, or leave room for morbid gratification,
but acts as a principle of self-restraint. Timothy, in seeking to influence
others, was to exercise all self-restraint in manner and matter of
preaching and in personal dealing.
Ø Hardihood. “Suffer hardship.” This is not the first time that he has been
thus exhorted. In ch. 2:3 there was the added idea of association
with Paul. The exhortation is reintroduced in this comprehensive charge,
again and more impressively to remind him of hardships that he might
expect in his future ministry.
Ø His evangelistic office. “Do the work of an evangelist.” There was need
to remind Timothy of this, inasmuch as for the time he was settled in
preacher, himself. However important the establishing of congregations, he
was not to overlook the importance of circulating the gospel, with a view
to new congregations being formed.
Ø All the parts of his ministry to be attended to. “Fulfil thy ministry.” He
has mentioned one part; in the concluding direction he includes all. His
ministry was partly determined by his talents and circumstances. He was
rightly to proportion between the various parts of his ministry, giving
each the attention to which it was entitled, though one might be attended
with greater hardship than another. He was to fill up the Divine measure
in all, and to the end of his life.
· CONSIDERATION DRAWN FROM THE APOSTLE’S END.
Ø His end approaching. First mode of conceiving of his end. “For I am
already being offered.” The force of the connection is that Timothy was to
be faithful, because Paul was no longer to remain to carry on Christ’s
work. Upon him the mantle of his master was to fall. The language in
which Paul describes his end is Jewish, and sacrificial, in its coloring. The
conclusion of the sacrifice was the libation, or pouring out of the drink
offering of wine around the altar. His service of Christ had been all of the
nature of sacrifice. He “counted not his life dear unto himself.” (Acts 20:24)
He was among those who, for Christ’s sake, were killed all the day long, who
were accounted as sheep for the slaughter. There was now only the concluding
libation, viz. the pouring out of his blood as a martyr around Christ’s altar.
The concluding ceremony was already commenced, in what he was
suffering in his dungeon. It had a painful significance, and a rich
significance too; for it was as the pouring out of strong wine (Numbers
28:7). Second mode of conceiving of his end. “And the time of my
departure is come.” (v. 6) The word translated “departure” has a common
nautical application, viz. to the loosening of the cable that binds the vessel
to land, that it may speed on to its destination. By his martyrdom the
connection between Paul and earth was to be let loose, that he might
speed, as with the quickness of lightning, to the haven where he was
forever to rest. The time of the loosening was all but come; there on the
pier was the man appointed to let slip the fastenings.
Ø Feelings with which he regarded his approaching end.
o Consciousness of faithfulness in view of the past. First mode of
conceiving of his faithfulness. “I have fought the good fight.” The
language is taken from the games. The fight is to be interpreted as the
fight of faith. It is the good fight, being on behalf of Christ, on behalf
of souls. He had the testimony of his conscience that he had “fought
the good fight.” By faithful preaching, by holy example, by fervent
prayers, by patient sufferings, he had sought to advance Christ’s cause,
he had sought to save souls. Now the end of the conflict was come,
little being left but its effects, these effects partly shown in his own
wearied frame. Second mode of conceiving of his faithfulness.
“I have finished the course.” The language is taken specially from
the racecourse. At one point we find him nobly anxious to finish his
course (Acts 20:24). At another point we find him conscious of the
space that lay between him and the goal (Philippians 3.). Here he is
conscious of his standing at the goal. He had finished his course,
not in the sense of having done with it, but in the sense of having done
what properly belonged to it. He had followed on (after the Master),
without stopping, without abating zeal, till he now had come up to the
goal. Third mode of conceiving of his faithfulness. “I have kept the
faith.” He had been specially entrusted with the talent of the universal
faith. It had been his, to let it be known that Christ was the Friend of
man, that as Incarnate God He had made infinite satisfaction for sin,
that he was longing to embrace all in his saving love. Amid all
temptations to lose it, to substitute something else for it, he had kept
it inviolate. He had not allowed the truth to suffer in his hands; nor
must Timothy allow it to suffer in his hands now that more depended
o Full assurance of hope in view of the future.
§ Present laying up. “Henceforth there is laid up for me the
crown of righteousness.” There is the idea of laying up,
as for future use or enjoyment. What was laid up was the
crown of righteousness, i.e. the reward of him who conquers,
and of him who rightfully conquers. In the Christian view
this is he who does the work which is appointed for him by
Christ. From that time forth the crown of righteousness was
laid up for him. To such a height the assurance of the apostle
rose. There was no self-exalting element in his assurance,
as though he had been working in his own strength, or as though
he had the deciding of what, comparatively, his reward was to
be. But that, from his experience of assisting grace m the
doing of his work, he was among those who were to be
crowned, he had no more doubt than he had of his own
§ Future bestowal. “Which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall
give to me at that day.” The Rewarder is the Lord — whose
prerogative is indisputable. He is to reward at that day — the
day of the future by preeminence. He is then to act as the
righteous Judge — whose judgments are all to be founded
on righteousness. From His reserved treasures He is to
bring forth the crown due to faithful service, and place it on his
§ General occasion. “And not only to me, but also to all them
that have loved His appearing.” He expressly excludes the
thought of his being exceptionally crowned. His being crowned
would not prevent others, such as Timothy, from being crowned.
All would be crowned who continued to love Christ’s
appearing. This event is to be affectionately regarded,
because it is the time when His loveliness is to be fully
displayed, when also His love for His people is to be fully
displayed. It is an event which is fitted to purify and elevate
our spiritual life. Let it be the test by which we try our
being included in the number of the faithful.
ü Does it occupy our thoughts?
ü Does it inflame our affections?
The Nearness of the Apostle’s Death,
His Prospects in Connection with It (vs. 6-8)
He urges Timothy to increased zeal on account of his own approaching
· THE IMMINENCE OF HIS DEATH. “For I am already being offered,
and the time of my departure is at hand.”
Ø Mark the calmness with which the apostle contemplates a violent death.
There is no tremor, or hurry, or impatience in his last days. The language is
singularly composed. He knew that Nero would soon put an end to his life,
for that monster of cruelty and crime was even then striking out wildly
against the Christians. Nothing but an assured hope and a living faith
could maintain the spirit in such trying circumstances.
Ø The apostle is not too preoccupied with his own approaching sufferings
to forget the cause for which he is now about to surrender his life. He is
now more urgent than ever in his instructions to Timothy.
· THE HAPPY RETROSPECT OF A USEFUL LIFE. “I have fought
the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”
Ø The good fight ended.
o Every Christian is a soldier.
o He has to fight against the threefold enmity of:
§ the world,
§ the flesh, and
§ the devil.
o He overcomes through faith as his sole weapon (I John 5:4-5).
o There is a limit to the duration of the fight. Death ends it.
Ø The race ended.
o It is a long race;
o a wearying race; yet,
o a glorious race, because it has a happy ending.
Ø The faith preserved.
o It is a precious deposit placed in our hands (ch. 1:14).
o Errorists of all sorts are continually striving to wrest it out of
our hands by their specious sophistries (deceptions).
o Believers keep it safest who treasure it in their hearts as well as
· THE BLESSED PROSPECTS IN STORE FOR HIM. “Henceforth
there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the
righteous Judge, shall give to me at that day: and not only to me, but also
to all them that have loved His appearing.”
Ø The reward. “The crown of righteousness.”
o It was the symbol of excellence and glory.(The following is
a commentary on I Peter 1:4 “that fadeth not away”:
The crown reserved for its blessed inhabitants is an amaranth
wreath (compare ibid. ch. 5:4 - The Greek word there rendered
“that fadeth not away” ἀμαράντινον - amaravtinon –
compossed of amaranth, thus unfading - is not exactly the same
with that so rendered here - ἀμάραντον – amaranton – unfading –
a symbol of perpetuity. Taken literally, the words
used here mean an amaranthine wreath — a wreath of amaranth
flowers; the general meaning remains the same, “unfading.”
Peter is thinking, not of a kingly crown, but of the wreaths
worn on festive occasions or bestowed on conquerors.).
“ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
(ibid,) This is the true reward of the faithful presbyter, not
power or filthy lucre. Literally, it is “the crown of glory,” the
promised glory, the glory of the Lord which He hath promised
to His chosen. “The glory which thou gavest me, I have given
them” (John 17:22). The crown is the glory; the genitive seems
to be one of apposition. The Greek word here (ch. 5:4)
rendered “that fadeth not away”- ἀμαράντινος - amarantinos -
is not exactly the same with that so rendered in ch.1:4 –
ἀμάραντον – amaranton – taken literally, the words used here
mean an amaranthine wreath — a wreath of amaranth flowers;
the general meaning remains the same, “unfading.”
Peter is thinking, not of a kingly crown, but of the wreaths
worn on festive occasions or bestowed on conquerors. They
are to be crowned as with flowers, i.e. with all that is most
beautiful in body and soul. The designation given to
the crown of
beauty is derived from a flower, to which
“Their crowns inwove with amarant and gold;
Immortal amarant, a flower which once
Began to bloom.”
As the lily is symbolic of purity, so the amaranth (being what
we call an “everlasting”) is symbolic of immortality. What is
at last to blossom forth in the faithful servants of Christ is
NEVER TO LOSE ITS FORM OR BRIGHTNESS!
o It was a recognition of the righteousness of the wearer.
o It was not a crown of ambition.
o It was not won by inflicting miseries on the human race.
Ø The certainty and manner of its bestowal.
o It is laid up in reserve securely for its wearers.
o It is conferred
§ as matter of grace, for the Judge “awards” it of grace; and
§ as matter of righteousness, for, as righteous Judge, He will
not allow the works of believers to go unrewarded
Ø The character of those receiving the reward. “Them that have loved His
o Believers do not dread Christ’s appearance in judgment.
o They look forward with hope, satisfaction, and joy, to the day of
o All who love Him now will love Him at His appearing, when they
shall see Him in His glory. (I John 3:2)
The day of reward; the day of judgment.
The Great Reward (v. 8)
“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.” This is the
keynote. Many successful Roman generals and some of the philosophers of
the old world committed suicide in weariness and disgust of life. To live
was boredom, and worse; for all was “vanity and vexation of spirit.”
· THE FUTURE IS PROVIDED FOR. “Henceforth [or, ‘as to the
rest’] there is laid up for me.” Christ will not let any one of His faithful
servants go uncrowned; all receive the prize — only their crown will be the
perfecting of character, as the flower blossoms in its summer beauty.
Heaven is the everlasting summer of the saints; and there “the crown of
righteousness,” which never was fully attained upon earth, will be given to
all those who endure unto the end. Sometimes it is called “the crown of
glory,” sometimes “the crown of righteousness,” and sometimes “the
crown of life;” for the crowns of God are not the tinsel of earth’s
corruptible gold, but crowns of conscience, mind, and character — in one
word, crowns of life.
· THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE WILL BE THERE. He before whom all
hearts are open, He whose judgment is according to knowledge, and who
understands all the unknown and unnoticed conflicts of every earnest soul.
He is the righteous Judge. Human judgment at its best cannot be perfectly
righteous — it may approach to it, but “What man knoweth the things of a
man, save the spirit of man which is in him?” (I Corinthians 2:11) None,
indeed, but himself and God.
“And not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” Some
men dread that appearing. They never have liked thoughts of God, and how
shall they like THE PRESENCE OF GOD? Those who have lived in pleasure,
and said to God, “Depart from us” (Matthew 8:34) may well tremble at His
appearing. But the true Christian, who has walked by faith, loves Christ’s
Ø We long to see equity or righteous judgment triumphant in the
universe. So much judgment seems to miscarry now.
Ø We long to see the Saviour, whom not having seen, we love; for at his
appearing “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
(I John 3:2) Paul was no rhapsodist, but he desired to depart and be
with Christ, which was far better. (Philippians 1:23)
9 “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:” Do thy diligence
(σπούδασον - spoudason – hasten to do a thing; to exert oneself;
Endeavor , give diligence); see ch. 2:15, note. Paul’s affectionate longing
for Timothy’s company in present danger and desertion is very touching.
10 “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and
is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to
from the mention of him in Colossians 4:14 and Philemon.1:24. We learn from
those passages that he was a fellow laborer of the apostle, and it is remarkable
that in them both he is coupled, as here, with Luke and Mark (Colossians 4:10).
Having loved this present world. It would appear from this that Demas had not
the faith or the courage to run the risk of sharing Paul’s imminent
pretence of an urgent call to Thessaloniea; just as Mark (John Mark) left Paul
and Barnabas (Acts 13:13). But there is no ground to believe that he was
an apostate from the faith. The coupling together of Demas and
Aristarchus in Philemon 1:24 suggests that Demas may have been a
Thessalonian, as we know that Aristarchus was (Acts 20:4). Demas is
thought to be a shortened form of Demarchus. If so, we have a slight
additional indication of his being a Thessalonian, as compounds with
archos or arches would seem to have been common in Thessalonica
(compare Aristarchus and πολιτάρχης - politarchaes - rulers of the city;
city magistrates - Acts 17:6, 8). Crescens (Κρήσκης); only mentioned here.
It is a Latin name, like Πούδης - Poudaes - Pudens, in v. 21. There was a
cynic philosopher of this name in the second century, a great enemy of the Christians.
The tradition (‘Apost. Constit.,’ 7:46)
that he preached the gospel in
probably derived from this passage. Titus. The last mention of Titus, not reckoning
the Epistle to Titus, is that in II Corinthians 12:18, from which it appears that Paul
had sent him to
interval was filled up, and where Titus passed the time, we know not. He is
The desertion of Demas was caused, like so many, for “Having loved this
present world.” It may have been love of life or love of ease, or the desire
to get back to old associations at Thessalonica (probably his native place),
or the desire for pleasure or wealth. But it was a fatal passion. THE LOVE
OF THIS PRESENT WORLD IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE TRUE
LIFE for all that is in the world is evil — “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye,
and the pride of life.” (I John 2:16). It is all (because of sin and Satan) in the
present order of things, OPPOSED TO GOD and DESTRUCTIVE TO
MAN! NOTHING BUT CHRIST CAN DELIVER US from the power
of this present evil world
11 “Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he
is profitable to me for the ministry.” Luke; probably a shortened form of
Lucanus. Luke was with Paul
and when he wrote the Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon (Colossians 4:14;
Philemon 1:24), having doubtless composed the Acts of the Apostles during Paul’s
two years’ imprisonment (Acts 28:30). How he spent his time between that
date and the mention of him here as still with Paul, we have no
knowledge. But it looks as if he may have been in close personal
attendance upon him all the time. if he had been permitted to write a
supplement to the Acts, perhaps the repeated “we” would have shown this.
Take Mark. Mark had apparently been recently reconciled to Paul
when he wrote Colossians 4:10, and was with him when he wrote
Philemon 1:24. We know nothing more of him till we learn from this passage
that he was with or near to Timothy, and likely to
accompany him to
in his last visit to Paul. He is mentioned again in I Peter 5:13, as
being with Peter at
seems to imply that Timothy was to pick him up on the way, as the word is
used in Acts 20:13-14; and, though less certainly, in Ibid. ch. 23:31.
He is profitable to me. (εὔχρηστος – euchraestos - He is useful to me,);
as ch. 2:21 (where see note). This testimony to Mark’s ministerial usefulness,
at a time when his faithfulness and courage would be put to a severe test, is very
satisfactory. For the ministry. (εἰς διακονίαν – eis diakonian - For
ministering; into service). It may be doubted whether διακονία here
means “the ministry,” and I Timothy 1:12, or, as in the Revised Version
more generally “for ministering,” i.e. for acting as an assistant to me
in my apostolic labors. The words, “to me,” favor the latter rendering.
The sense would then be the same as that of the verb in Acts 19:22,
where we read that Timothy and Erastus “ministered unto him,” i.e. to
Paul, and that of ὑπηρέτης – hupaeretaes – to their minister; subservient
deputy - applied to Mark in Acts 13:5.
The Apostle’s Loneliness and Need of Assistance and Comfort
The longing for sympathy and help in his hour of trial was natural. “Do thy diligence
to come shortly unto me.” There were several reasons for his desire to see Timothy,
apart from the natural anxiety to see the most attached of his faithful disciples.
· THE APOSTLE HAD BEEN DESERTED BY DEMAS. “Demas hath
Ø This brought great distress to the apostle:
o Because Demas had been a fellow laborer and friend (Colossians
o Because he forsook him at a critical time in his personal history, when
he was already disheartened by the Asiatic deserters and in the near
prospect of death.
o Because there was a special need for such as Demas to stand by the
gospel in the city which was the heart of paganism, and to show
courage and constancy in persecution.
Ø The cause of the desertion was more distressing. “Having loved this
present world.” It may have been love of life or love of ease, or the desire
to get back to old associations at Thessalonica (probably his native place),
or the desire for pleasure or wealth. But it was a fatal passion. The love of
this world is inconsistent with the true life, for all that is in the world is evil
— “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.” (I John
2:16) It is all, in the present order of things, opposed to God and destructive
to man. Nothing but Christ can deliver us from the power of this present
evil world (Galatians 1:4).
· THE APOSTLE WAS NOW ALMOST ALONE. Other fellow
laborers had gone on their errands of usefulness to various quarters — no
his heart’s consent: Crescens to
Adriatic; Tychicus, an old friend, and once before
goes back there by the apostle’s directions. Luke alone of all the ministers
of Christ keeps the aged apostle company; for though such brethren as
Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia now dutifully attend upon him, yet
the apostle is anxious to see Timothy, and begs that Mark may accompany
him, for “he is useful to me for ministering,” both in evangelistic and in
12 “And Tychicus have I sent to
Paul when he wrote the Epistle to the Colossians (Colossians 4:7),
as was also Timothy (Ibid. ch.1:1). The presence of Luke, Timothy,
Tychicus, Mark, with Paul now, as then, is remarkable (see v. 10).
I sent to
ch. 9. sect. 1) says, “It is plain from this that Timothy was not at this
time living at
natural inference at first sight. But Bishop Ellicott suggests the possibility
of Tychicus being the bearer of the First Epistle to Timothy, written not
very long before, and this being merely an allusion to that well known fact.
Another and more probable idea is that he was the bearer of this Epistle,
that the object of his mission, like that of Artemas (Titus 3:12), was to
take Timothy’s place at
that he is thus mentioned in the Epistle in order to commend him to the
reverent regard of the
pros se – unto thee (Titus 3:12) - would have been the more natural
expression after the analogy of Colossians 4:7 and Titus 3:12. But this
objection would be removed if we suppose that the Epistle was sent by
another hand, and that it was very possible that Timothy might have started
13 “The cloke that I left at
with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.” The cloke
(τὸν φελόνην - ton phelonaen – traveling cloke - more properly written
φαινόλην – phainolaen); the Latin paenula, the thick overcoat or cloke.
Only here in the New Testament. Some think it was the bag in which
the books and parchments were packed. The parchments (τὰς μεμβράνας –
tas membranas). This, again, is a Latin word. It occurs only here in the New
Testament. They would probably be for the apostle to write his Epistles on.
Or they may have been valuable manuscripts of some kind. In v. 20 we
learn that Paul had lately been at
he was then going to
return journey from
further be observed that the journey here indicated is the same as that
referred to in I Timothy 1:3, which confirms the inevitable inference
from this chapter that Paul, on his way to
he had come from Crete (Titus 1:5), passed through
The Apostle’s Directions Concerning His Cloke (v. 13)
It has been considered beneath the dignity of inspiration that there should
be such a trivial record. But the criticism is singularly superficial.
APOSTLE’S DIRECTIONS. “The cloke that I
Carpus, bring when thou comest, and the books, especially the
Ø There is no evidence that the cloke was an ecclesiastical vestment; for
there is no evidence of vestments being worn at all in the primitive
Church. It was a thick cloke or mantle which the apostle needed in
view of the approaching winter. His death might be near at hand, but,
as its day was uncertain, it was natural he should provide against
the winter cold.
Ø It was a precious consignment that was left with Carpus, the Christian
o Even an apostle could not do without books for his ministry.
o The parchments were more valuable than the books, containing,
as they did probably, some of his own writings, if not the Holy
· THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE APOSTLE’S DIRECTIONS.
Ø The request concerning his cloke implied that he was a poor man, as
well as exposed to hardship and cold.
Ø It suggests that he was partially deserted by the Roman Christians.
Why could they not give him or lend him a cloke? What had become
of the Roman Christians who met him, so many years before, fifty miles
from the city, and gave him such a hearty welcome?
Ø It proves his personal independence. He will not ask a cloke from any
14 “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him
according to his works:” Alexander; apparently an Ephesian, as appears by
the words, “of whom be thou ware also” (v. 15). It seems probable, though
it is necessarily uncertain, that this Alexander is the same person as that mentioned
in I Timothy 1:20 as “a blasphemer,” which agrees exactly with what is here said
of him, “he greatly withstood our words” (compare Acts 13:45, “contradicted the
things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed”). He may or may not
be the same as the Alexander named in Acts 19:33. Supposing the
Alexander of I Timothy 1:20 and this place to be the same, the points
of resemblance with the Alexander of Acts 19:33 are that both resided
and both probably Jews, inasmuch as I Timothy 1 relates entirely to Jewish
heresies (vs. 4, 7-8), and Acts 19:33 expressly states that he was a Jew.
The coppersmith (ὁ χαλκεὺς - ho chalkeus only here in the New Testament);
properly, a coppersmith, but used generally of any smith — silversmith, or goldsmith,
or blacksmith. Did me much evil (πολλά μοι κακὰ ἐνδείξατο – polla moi kaka
endeixato). This is a purely Hellenistic idiom, and is found in the Septuagint of
Genesis 50:15, 17; Song of the Three Children, 19; II Maccabees 13:9. In classical
Greek the verb ἐνδείκυυμαι – endeikuumai in the middle voice, “to
display,” can only be followed by a subjective quality, as “good will,”
“virtue,” “long suffering,” an “opinion,” and the like. And so it is used in
I Timothy 1:16; Titus 2:10; 3:2. The question naturally arises — When and where
did Alexander thus injure Paul? — at
and with great probability. Perhaps he did him evil
by stirring up the Jews at
against the apostle at the time of “his first defense;” or by giving adverse testimony
before the Roman tribunal, possibly accusing him of being seditious, and bringing up
the riot at
memory has perished. Will render. The Received Text has the future, ἀποδώσει –
apodosei - will render; may be paying - for the optative ἀποδώη – apodoae –
a late and incorrect form for ἀποδοίη – apodoiae –
15 “Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our
words.” Of whom be thou ware. (ὃν φυλάσσου - hon phulassou – whom
be guarding against). This is the proper construction in classical Greek, the
accusative of the person or thing, after φυλάσσομαι – phulassomai – keep
from; to being guarded. But it is only found in Acts 21:25. In Luke 12:15 the
equally correct phrase, Φυλάσσεσθε ἀπὸ τῆς πλεονεξιας – Phulassesthe
apo taes pleonexias – beware of covetousness - is used. The inference from
this caution to Timothy is that Alexander had left
our words (ἀντέστη – antestae – he hath withstood). For an exactly similar use,
see Acts 13:8, where Elymas “withstood” Paul and Barnabas; and ch.3:8, where
Jannes and Jambres “withstood” Moses. In this case we may be sure that
Paul, in pleading for his life, did not omit to preach the gospel to his
Gentile audience. Alexander tried to refute his words, not without effect.
The apostle says “our words” (not “my words”), perhaps to associate with
himself those other Christians who were with him. It certainly cannot mean
“yours and mine,” as Timothy was not with him when the “words” were
The Warning against Alexander the Coppersmith (vs. 14-15)
· THE CHARACTER OF THIS MAN. “Alexander the coppersmith did
me much evil… for he greatly withstood our words.” This implies that he
as in the day when the apostle delivered him and Hymenaeus over to
of his hatred to the apostle, for he may have been an idol maker. He was
insulting and spiteful and obstinate in his gainsaying.
· THE RETRIBUTION THAT WOULD OVERTAKE HIM. “The Lord
will render to him according to his works.”
Ø This is to state a fact in Divine providence, quite irrespective of the
apostle’s wishes or feelings.
Ø Transgressors against the cause of God have to reckon in the last
resort, not with humble apostles, but with God Himself.
Ø WARNING AGAINST HIS WAYS. “Of whom be thou ware also.”
He was a heretic and a blasphemer, and as such had been delivered to
Satan, and was still perversely opposed to the truth. Timothy was
warned to be watchful against his devices. It was no personal injury,
but resistance to the gospel, that dictated this counsel.
16 “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me:
I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” Answer. (ἀπολογίᾳ –
apologia - verbal defense ). “The technical word in classical Greek for a defense
in answer to an accusation;” as Acts 22:1 (where see note for further illustration),
and Philippians 1:7. Stood. παρεγένετο – paregeneto – stood; took my part;
Received Text for συμπαρεγένετο – sumparegeneto – came together -of the
Textus Receptus, which occurs elsewhere in the New Testament only in Luke 23:48,
in a somewhat different sense. The simple παραγίνομαι – paraginomai -
is very common in the New Testament, but nowhere in the technical sense in which
it is used here. In classical Greek both forms are common in the sense of “coming to
aid,” “standing by any one,” “assisting.” Here it represents the Latin assistere or
adesse in its technical sense of “standing by” an accused person as friend or assistant,
to aid and abet them in their defense. Powerful men sometimes brought such a
multitude of assistants as to overawe the magistrate, as Orgetorix the
Helvetian, when summoned to trial, appeared with ten thousand followers,
and so there was no trial. Paul, like his Lord and Master, of whom it is
written, “All his disciples forsook him and fled” (Mark 14:50), had no
one to stand with him in his hour of need.
17 “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by
me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear:
and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” Stood with me (μοὶ παρέστη
- moi parestae – stood by me) as in Acts 27:23; Romans 16:2 (where
see also the use of προστάτις – prostatis – succorer; a helper). Παρίσταμαι –
paristamai means simply to stand by the side of a person — to be present. But,
like παραγίνομαι – paraginomai - it acquires the meaning of standing by for
the purpose of helping. The contrast between the timid faithless friends who failed
him like a deceitful brook (Job 6:15), and the faithfulness of the Lord who was
A VERY PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE, is very striking. (Psalm 46:1).
Strengthened me. (ἐνεδυνάμωσέ με – enedunamosen me – He invigorates
me); see I Timothy 1:12, note, and Acts 6:8. The preaching. (κήρυγμα –
kaerugma – preaching; heralding). Paul means that gospel which he was
commissioned to preach, and which he did preach openly in full court when he
was on his trial (see v. 15, note). Might be fully known. (πληροφορήθη –
plaerophoraethae - might be fully proclaimed); see v.5, note; and compare
Romans 15:19. All the Gentiles might hear (compare Philippians
1:12-14). The brave, unselfish spirit of the apostle thinking more of the
proclamation of the gospel than of his own life, is truly admirable. I was
delivered out of the mouth of the lion. Surely there can be no doubt that,
this is a quotation from Psalm 22:20-21. The verb ἐῥῤύσθην – errusthaen –
I was delivered - comes from the twentieth verse, “Deliver my soul from
the sword,” and the phrase, ἐκ στόματος λέοντος – ek stomatos leontos –
from the lion’s mouth - is found verbatim in v. 21. The apostle means his
deliverance from the executioner’s sword. In the next verse we find both the
words ρύσεται – rhusetai – deliver; rescue - and σώσει – sosei – save -
and the whole tone of the psalm breathes the same spirit as the saying,
“The Lord stood by me.” Dean Alford’s suggestion that the lion
here is Satan, as in I Peter 5:8, and the danger which the apostle
escaped was not death, which he did not fear, but betraying the gospel
under the fear of death, is ingenious, but rather far fetched, though not
impossible. It may possibly have been part of what was in Paul’s mind.
18 “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve
me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Deliver me... save me (see preceding note). The language here is also very like
that of the Lord’s Prayer: Ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ σοῦ γὰρ ἐστιν
ἡ βασιλεία... καὶ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας Ἀμήν – Rhusai haemas apo tou
ponaerou sou gar estin hae basileia....kai doxa eis tous aionas. Amaen.
Deliver us from the evil for thine is the kingdom…and glory for ever. Amen.
(Matthew 6:13). Every evil work. Interpreted by the Lord’s Prayer, and by its
own internal evidence, the meaning clearly is, “The Lord, who stood by me at my
trial, will continue to be my Saviour. He will deliver me from every evil
design of mine enemies, and from all the wiles and assaults of the devil, in
short, from the whole power of evil, and will bring me safe into his own
kingdom of light and righteousness.” There is a strong contrast between
“the evil work” and “His heavenly kingdom.” A triumphant martyrdom is
as true a deliverance as escape from death. Compare our Lord’s promise,
“There shall not an hair of your head perish” (Luke 21:18 compared with
v. 16). Paul’s confidence simply is that the Lord would, in His own good time and
way, transfer him from this present evil world, and from the powers of darkness,
INTO HIS ETERNAL
The Apostle’s Trial before Nero, with Its Memorable Incidents
· HIS DESERTION BY MAN. “At my first defense no one took my part,
but all forsook me; may it not be laid to their account.”
Ø The apostle had to make his defense before the emperor. There is no
record of the nature of the charge. It was probably a charge of sedition or
disobedience to the pagan authorities, which, on account of the close
complication of civil and religious duties in the state, could not be
explained to the satisfaction of a ruler jealous of civil obedience.
support him either by their presence, their sympathy, or their witness in
his favor. Their weakness and timidity must have been a sore trial to the
apostle. Yet he could remember that his Divine Master had been similarly
deserted in His last hours.
Ø The apostle’s prayer for these timorous saints. “May it not be laid to
their account.” This implies:
(1) That they had been guilty of a grave trespass in forsaking the apostle.
(2) That a single sin, unpardoned, would be destructive to the saints.
(3) That the apostle had a deep interest in their welfare.
(a) He would be concerned for the great weakness of their faith, with its
accompanying depression and discomfort;
(b) for the effects of their weakness on the high repute of the gospel;
(c) and he would seek their restoration in the very spirit of his Divine
· IF MAN FORSOOK HIM, HE WAS NOT FORSAKEN BY GOD.
“But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me; that through me the
message might be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear.”
Like his Divine Master, he might say, “Yet I am not alone, because the
Father is with me.” (John 16:32)
Ø The Divine support accorded to him. The secret but gracious presence
of the Lord delivered him from all unworthy fears of man. He would feel,
“If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) He was
strengthened inwardly unto all long suffering with joyfulness; so that he
could make his defense with all clearness and courage, with all presence
of mind, and with all freedom of thought and expression.
Ø The end of this Divine support was that the gospel might be still more
· THE EFFECT OF HIS DEFENCE. “And I was delivered out of the
mouth of the lion.” He had, for a time, escaped condemnation. Nero was
the cruel lion out of whose power the Lord had delivered him.
· THE APOSTLE’S ANTICIPATION OF A STILL HIGHER
DELIVERANCE. “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and
will save me unto His heavenly kingdom.”
Ø This is no declaration that the apostle shall escape death, for he had
already spoken of himself as “already being offered.” (v. 6.)
Ø It is a declaration that he shall be carried beyond the sphere of evil in
every form, and translated securely into the heavenly kingdom. All
the evil influences at work around him would not affect him. There
is not a note of fear in his last days.
· ASCRIPTION OF GLORY TO HIS DIVINE DELIVERER. “To
whom be the glory forever and ever.”
Ø The glory is here ascribed to the Son of God, an express evidence of
Ø There is no time more appropriate for such an ascription of glory as
after deliverance from death and evil. (As in heaven – Revelation
4:8-11 – CY – 2019)
“Salute Prisca and
Romans 16:3; I Corinthians 16:19). A similar variation of names is seen in Drusa and
Drusilla, Livia and Livella, etc. She is named before her husband, as here
in Acts 18:18; Romans 16:3. The mention of them here is in favor
of Timothy being at
where they were wont to sojourn (Acts 18:19, 26). The household (as in
Authorized Version - ch. 1:16) of Onesiphorus (see ch. 1:16, 18, note). This
repetition of the “house of Onesiphorus” is almost conclusive as to the recent
death of Onesiphorus himself.
20 “Erastus abode at
Erastus abode at
of Paul’s companions in his missionary journey, and we learn from
Acts 19:22 that he was sent by Paul with Timothy into
just before the great riot at
indicates that Paul had gone from
where we learn that he was an Asiatic, and more definitely in
Acts 21:29, that he was an Ephesian. He had traveled with Paul’s
where we lose sight of him till we find him again in this passage journeying
21 “Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and
Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.” Do thy diligence
(σπούδασον – spoudason – be diligent; endeavor you); see v. 9 and
ch.2:15, note. Before winter; lest, when winter storms come, it be impossible to
do so. Paul’s longing to have Timothy with him is apparent throughout. Eubulus;
mentioned nowhere else. The name is not uncommon as a Greek name, and appears
also in the patronymic Eubulides, and the female name Eubule. And Pudens,
and Linus, and Claudia. Of these persons Linus is probably the same as is
mentioned by Irenaeus and Eusebius as the first Bishop of Rome. Irenaeus
(3:111, 3) says, “When the apostles, therefore, had founded the Church (of
of whom Paul makes mention in his Epistles to Timothy.” Eusebius (‘Ecc.
Hist.,’ 3:2) says, “Linus was ordained the first Bishop of Rome (πρῶτος
κληροῦται τὴν ἐπισκοπήν) after the martyrdom of Paul and Peter” (see,
too, § 4 of the same book). Some identify him with a certain Llin in Welsh
hagiography, said to be the son of Caractacus. As regards Pudens and
Claudia, nothing is known about them unless the very ingenious and
interesting theory of Archdeacon Williams is true, which is necessarily very
uncertain. According to this theory, Claudia is the foreign lady, a Briton,
whose marriage with Pudens is spoken of by Martial in two epigrams, and
who also bore the cognomen of Rufina. It is supposed that she was the
daughter of the British king Cogidubnus, the ally of the Romans and of the
Roman governor, Aulus Plautius, whose wife Pomponia is said by Tacitus
to have been impeached of the crime of embracing a “foreign superstition,”
which was probably Christianity. Cogidubnus appears by an ancient
inscription now at Goodwood to have taken the name of the Emperor
Claudius, being called Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, which would
naturally lead to his daughter being called Claudia. And if further she was
adopted by the wife of her father’s ally, the name Rufina would be
accounted for, as a distinguished branch of the gens Pomponia bore the
name of Rufus. And Martial’s epigram is addressed to “Rufus,” as one
interested in the marriage. Claudia may either have learned Christianity from
Pomponia, or may have conveyed the knowledge of the gospel to her. On
the other hand, the name of Pudens appears on the Goodwood inscription
as having given, while still a heathen, a site for a
Minerva, which was built “pro salute” of the imperial family under the
authority of King Cogidubnus — curiously connecting him with the British
king. It is probable that Pudens and Claudia were not yet married. Thus it
will be seen that, while this theory is borne out by many coincidences, it
cannot by any means be adopted as certain (see Dean Alford’s excussus in
the ‘Proleg. to 2 Timothy;’ and Conybeare and Howson’s ‘Life of St.
Paul,’ vol. it. p. 501). Lewin
(‘Life and Epist. of
warmly espouses the theory, but hesitates between Caractacus and
Cogidubnus as the father of Claudia. Farrar rejects the whole theory “as an
elaborate rope of sand” (‘Life of St. Paul,’ vol. 2, p. 569). If Linus was the
son, and Claudia the daughter, of Caractacus, they would be brother and
Timothy’s Presence Desired (v. 21)
“Do thy diligence to come before winter.” Traveling would be difficult
then, if not impossible, and perhaps the white snow would be the shroud of
the apostle. Anyway, he has been delivered once for a brief space out of
the mouth of that lion — Nero. But it is not easy to believe that this
ferocious lion, satiated for the time with blood, should seek to devour him
no more. But a Roman prison in winter is a very desolate place, and he
who has been hurried from place to place by his keepers has left even his
warm cloke behind him, and hopes to cover himself with that black goat’shair
skin when winter comes. Bring the cloke, Timothy, and the papyrus
books — old vellum manuscripts, perhaps the roll of Isaiah and the
prophets; let not Timothy forget them, for there are songs of prisoners in
those inspired prophetic rolls. And let Timothy remember that Paul
wants to see his face again.
· HERE IS ABSENCE OF MURMURING. We may and ought to learn
what the gospel can achieve. Here is Paul prevented from preaching, with
arrest laid on all his missionary work. In a dreary Roman dungeon he is
“persecuted, but not forsaken;” “struck down, but not destroyed.”
(II Corinthians 4:9) Yet mark this — he never suffered one murmuring
word to pass his lips.
· HERE IS PRESENCE OF GREETING. He would cheer Timothy, and
sends him various greetings, from the Roman saints, as we may see by their
names — Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren —
send greeting. What sublime self-abnegation there was in Paul!
Forgetful always of himself! How like the Master! In the hour of expected
dissolution he is thinking only of others.
22 “The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.”
The Lord …be with thy spirit, etc. The manuscripts vary. The salutation as it
stands in the Received Text is like the versicles, “The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.” It is a peculiarity of the salutation here that it is double —
one to Timothy personally, μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματός σου - meta tou pneumatos sou –
with the spirit of you - the other to the Church, ἡ χάρις μεθ ὑμῶν – hae charis
meth humon – the grace be with you. I Corinthians 16:24 exhibits another variety.
Grace. (see I Timothy 6:21, note). The Received Text omits the “amen” at the end,
as in I Timothy 6:21. Thus does our last authentic account of this great apostle; these
are, perhaps, the last words of him who wrought a greater change in the condition of
mankind by his speech than any man that ever lived. Honor be to his blessed memory!
changed. This second imprisonment, with its ominous trial, with the
mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her.” (Ruth 1:14) In the words, “Only
Luke is withme,” we see the different stamp both of his faith and of his
friendship. Lukethe physician was as loving as he was loved. With admirable
around that noble spirit, we read still, not in the inferences of Luke’s
modest narratives, but in the testimony of Paul himself, “Only Luke is
with me.” “Ruth clave unto her.” “Whither thou goest, I will go; and where
thee.” (ibid. vs. 16-17) We see, too, how he who had recorded in such graphic
words “allthat Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was
takenup” (Acts 1:1-2), had imbibed the spirit of his Divine Master. He had not
taught othersto know Jesus Christ, without coming to the knowledge of Him
Personal (vs. 9-22)
Requested to come to
me.” His formerly expressed longing to see him (ch.1:4) is now turned
into a formal request to come, and to come shortly, unto him. In the
diligence he was to show in this there is not the idea of pure haste, but
of the utmost haste that was compatible with the interests of Christ at
his journey, but for the carrying on of the work after his departure. But as
soon as these arrangements could be made he was to hasten to him at
Ø Special reason in Paul’s isolation. “For Demas forsook me, having
present world, and went to Thessalonica; Crescens to
the request was the apostle’s approaching martyrdom; but there was an
and special reason in his isolation at
have been the case; for Demas, who had been his trusted assistant, had
been there, and if he had done his duty would still have been with him.
But he forsook him in his hour of distress, which may probably be
associated with his first defense (v. 16). The reason for desertion was
that he loved the present world. We are not to understand world in the
ethical sense in which it is sometimes used; the world as it has become
by the entrance of sin, in opposition to the world as it was intended to be.
Demas loved the good things of the world — absence from the scene of
peril, ease in his own home — in preference to what would have
advantaged him in the future world — bravely standing by Paul and
lovingly ministering to his sufferings. The conduct of Demas was
wicked and cruel, calculated to destroy his influence as a Christian
teacher. We are not warranted in saying that it excluded after penitence
and wrecked his destiny. It has been his earthly destiny to be associated
with a black act done to one of the noblest of men at a time when his
nobility shone forth most clearly. In explanation of his isolation, Paul
without comment the departure of Crescens to
not desertion of Paul, but pressure of Christian work and a mission from
Paul. The only one of Paul’s assistants who was with him was Luke, so
often mentioned in connection with Paul. In connection with the
mention of his name here, it is remarkable that he who was with Paul
his second imprisonment in
history to the period of the first imprisonment there. With the exception
of Luke there were no Christian workers with Paul who could enter
intelligently and sympathetically into his plans and render assistance on
Ø Requested to take Mark, and bring him with him. “Take Mark, and
bring him with thee: for he is useful to me for ministering. But
Tychicus I sent
mention of Mark in Colossians 4:10 and again here is honorable to Paul.
His opinion of him had undergone great change. He had made a firm stand
against him as an unsuitable companion in labor; now he bases his request
presence of the evangelist at
ministering. Tychicus, who is warmly commended in Ephesians 6:21,
had been thus useful; but he had been under the necessity of sending him
much to Paul the prisoner as to Paul in his imprisonment planning for the
future of Christianity. These, then, we are to think of as the three workers
the apostle in
Timothy, Mark, Luke. They were men of like spirit, to whom he could
freely communicate his plans and also the enthusiasm necessary for
carrying them out. All three had the evangelistic faculty. If Timothy
had more of the administrative faculty, marking him out as, more than
the other two, the successor of Paul, they had more of the literary faculty,
marking them out for service to future generations.
Requested to bring belongings of the apostle with him
“The cloke that I left at
and the books, especially the parchments.” The apostle had not lived
to accumulate property; and none would be much the richer by what he
left behind. He possessed a cloke, which some friend may have gifted
to him —
a large warm cloke for winter, when lately
the previous winter, we may suppose — he had not been able to bring
him, but had left it with Carpus. As Timothy would pass
in the spirit of modern monasticism, court suffering; he provides against
the coming winter, even when that winter was to bring his martyrdom.
He also possessed books, which are a necessity for the preacher. He
who has influenced so many by his books was himself influenced
by the books of others. He also possessed parchments, on which he
laid greater stress as his own compositions, containing records and
statements of truth in which he was deeply, interested, as fitted to
keep the current of Christianity clear and pure. Timothy, who in
I Timothy 4:13) is charged to attend to reading, would find in these
books and parchments good pabulum and companionship on
journey from Troas to
Ø His injurious conduct. “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil.”
The fact of his being styled the coppersmith seems to point to his being
distinguished from others of the same name. We would not, therefore,
identify him with the Alexander of the First Epistle, or the Alexander
of the Acts of the Apostles. We may conclude, from the language,
that he bore personal animosity to Paul.
Ø The Righter in heaven. “The Lord will render to him according to his
works.” This is very different from invoking a curse on Alexander. He
found it in his heart to make matters much worse for Paul. The Lord
would judge between them. This would issue in evil to Alexander, unless
his present spiteful works were followed by repentance.
Ø No confidence to be placed in him. “Of whom be thou ware also; for he
greatly withstood our words.” Paul had good reason to be on his guard
against him. We can understand his having a certain connection with
Christianity, which would give him all the more power to injure Paul. But
he had not the spirit of Christianity, when on the occasion, we may
suppose, of the first defense, he made injurious statements against the
great champion of Christianity. If he still professed to be a friend of
Christianity at a distance from
Ø First defense. “At my first defense.” This first defense was in
connection with a second imprisonment, of which there can be no doubt.
The account of Eusebius is that “after defending himself successfully, it is
currently reported that the apostle again went forth to proclaim the gospel,
afterwards came to
Nero.” Some would place an interval of five years between the first and
second imprisonments. We have not the means of knowing the precise
charge against which he had to defend himself on this second occasion.
There is apparently this fact to go upon, that, after the conflagration of
was liable at any moment to be arrested. The supposition is adopted by
some that on this ground he was arrested at Nicopolis, where Titus was to
(Titus 3:12), and taken across the Adriatic to
which does not seem this time to have been long delayed, was yet recent;
for Timothy had not been informed of it. The trial would probably take
place, not before Nero, as on the previous occasion, but before the city
prefect, who, as more the emperor’s creation, was supplanting the regular
judges. The scene of the trial would probably be in one of the basilicas in
the Roman forum, where a large audience could be accommodated. “A
dense ring,” says Pliny, “many circles deep, surrounded the scene of trial.
They crowded close to the judgment seat itself, and even in the upper part
of the basilica both men and women pressed close in the eager desire to
see (which was easy) and to hear (which was difficult).” We may
conclude, from the language here (first defense), and also from his being
still in bonds as a malefactor (ch. 2:9), that the trial resulted neither in
his condemnation nor in his full acquittal. Some imagine that he was
acquitted on a first charge; but that there was a second charge on which
he was yet to be tried. The more probable supposition is that there was a
postponement in consequence of the case not being clear, and that the
apostle was looking forward to a second trial when, on the whole case, be
would have to make a second defense.
Ø Assistance at his trial. “No one took my part, but all forsook me: may it
not he laid to their account. But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened
me; that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and that
all the Gentiles might hear.” He had not the assistance which was usually
enjoyed by the accused on his trial. No stress need be laid on the absence
of a professional advocate; for Paul was well able to defend himself. But
there was no one beside him to give him countenance. There was no one -
which would have rendered great assistance — to come forward and
testify that his relation to the Roman law, in his conduct and teaching,
had been all that Romans could have desired. It was his fortune to be put
in the position in which his Master had been put before him. “All,” he
says, “forsook me.” The resemblance extended not merely to his position,
but to his gentleness of spirit. The Master had said on the cross, “Father,
forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) The
servant echoes this sentiment when he says, “May it not be laid to
their account.” The absence of earthly friends was, however, more
than made up by the presence of A HEAVENLY FRIEND! This was
the Lord Jesus Christ, who stood by him, not merely as his Friend,
but as his Advocate, and strengthened him as such. That is to
say, he supplied him, in matter and spirit, with all that was necessary
for his defene. This was according to the Master’s own promise, “And
when they bring you before the synagogues, and the rulers, and the
authorities, be not anxious how or what ye shall say: for the
Holy Spirit shall teach you in that very hour what ye ought to say.”
(Luke 12:12) We learn that the defense of himself was adroitly turned
into a defense of the gospel. If there was a charge of arson, it would be
open to him to show that the gospel did not encourage crime
or resistance to the powers that be. It would also fall naturally to him
to give a statement of the points on which he laid greatest stress in his
teaching. The assistance he received was of the highest avail; for it
brought his life work to its culmination. He had been proclaiming the
gospel in many places, and in many places the Gentiles had heard.
Now, when his opportunity had come before Roman officials and
before a Roman multitude, as apparently it had not come before,
he could say that, as far as his instrumentality was concerned, his
proclamation had reached its climax, and the last of the Gentiles
Ø His description of the restart of the trial. “And I was delivered out of
the mouth of the lion.” The ancient opinion, that the lion here was Nero,
may be taken as substantially correct. We are not to understand that Paul
had become personally obnoxious to Nero since his acquittal by him.
But it suited Nero, according to the testimony of Tacitus, to avert the
rage of the populace from himself to the Christians. As the result of that
rage, Paul, as the ringleader of the Christians, was apprehended, and
put on his trial. In the state of feeling which prevailed, it would be very
difficult for Paul to get a calm hearing. He was more likely to meet
with fierceness than with justice. The Roman power, of which Nero
was the fit embodiment, was like a lion opening its mouth to devour
him. That he was not instantly devoured was nothing less than a
miracle. The Lord standing by him, he was delivered out of the mouth
of the lion. We must not put more meaning into this than it will bear.
It simply means that he got a respite. Roman fierceness was not then
gratified; the lion did not get him then between its teeth. But Roman
fierceness, consequent on the conflagration, had not died out; the lion
might again open its mouth on him.
Ø Confident hope of future and everlasting deliverance. “The Lord will
deliver me from every evil work, and will save me unto His heavenly
kingdom.” His respite gave him this confidence. It did not make him
self-confident; but, mindful of the source whence his respite had come,
his confidence was in the Lord, that he would deliver him still. It was
not a deliverance from death that he expected, as appears from the second
clause. But it was deliverance from all that would intimidate him or unfit
him for bearing a worthy testimony on the occasion of his second trial. A
wicked attempt might be made to damage Christianity in him, as may
have been made by Alexander on the occasion of the first trial. The
Lord would not allow that attempt to succeed. Christianity would come
forth out of the trial untarnished. The issue, so far as he was concerned,
would be his being placed safely in Christ’s heavenly kingdom. This
would be his receptacle after and through death. For Christ’s kingdom
is already commenced in heaven. The safe placing of Paul in it meant,
on the one side, removal from the sphere of all evil, and, on the other
side, the coming under the highest conditions of happiness in the
enjoyment of Christ — barring what is associated with the completing
of the number of the elect and the reunion of soul and body.
Ø Doxology. “To whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” Doxology
is an accompaniment of the highest spiritual mood. It is offered here to
the Son, as elsewhere to the Father. For it was the Lord’s assistance
that he had enjoyed, and still expected, and into whose kingdom
in heaven he was, by the same assistance, to be safely brought,
it would take THE AGE OF THE AGES to declare all that Christ
had been and was still to be to him.
The distant to whom salutations
are sent. “Salute Prison and
and the house of Onesiphorus.” Prisca and
Paul, who for his life had laid down their own necks. Prisca being
mentioned before her husband would seem to point to her characteristics
being more remarkable. The house of Onesiphorus is saluted, apparently
for the reason that Onesiphorus himself was dead.
notices. “Erastus abode at
and Trophimus, who were associated with
he did not salute, because they were not at the time there, as
far as he knew. His feeling with regard to Timothy himself
was to have his immediate fellowship. Let not winter come
on and prevent his coming; for his martyrdom was imminent.
Ø The near who send their salutations. “Eubulus saluteth thee, and
Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.” The brethren in
as Christian’s by Nero. The members of the Roman Church whose names
are given would be specially interested in Timothy.
· BENEDICTION. “The Lord be with thy spirit. Grace be with you.”
The peculiarity of the benediction is that it is twofold — first to Timothy
separately, and then to Timothy and those with him. What Timothy is to
have separately is the presence of the Lord with his nobler part; what he is
to have along with others is undeserved favor.
Grace is when God gives us good things that we don’t deserve.
Mercy is when He spares us from bad things that we deserve.
Blessings are when He is generous with both.
God is good all the time!
Salutations and Personal Notices (vs. 19-22)
Ø The apostle remembers his absent friends in his solitude, but especially
gave him such hearty cooperation at
Ø He likewise transmits to Timothy the Christian salutations of Eubulus,
Pudens, Linus, and Claudia, Roman saints, of eminence and grace in the
Church, yet who failed to stand by him on his memorable trial.
“Erastus abode at
that city (Romans 16:23), who once showed much kindness to the
and afterwards accompanied Timothy on a journey into
“Trophimus I left at
Christian of Ephesus, whose
presence with the apostle at
uproar (Acts 21:29).
probably, shortly before his present imprisonment.
· FINAL WORDS FOR TIMOTHY. “Do thy diligence to come before
winter.” We see here the tender anxiety of the apostle to see his young
friend before death. If he did not come at once, the severities of the winter
might prevent his journey altogether. “The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy
spirit. Grace be with you.” We have here a double benediction — one
addressed singly to Timothy, the other to Timothy and the Ephesian
Church. The presence of Christ would be his comfort and stay in every
difficulty, and strengthen him for every duty.
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