I Timothy 2



1 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions,

and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” I exhort therefore. The insertion

of the connecting particle “therefore” marks that this arrangement of Church

prayers is a part — as the following words, first of all, mark that it is the

first part — of that charge or administration which was now committed to

Timothy. Supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings (see the

Prayer for the Church Militant). The question naturally arises whether the

first words here used — δεήσιςdeaesispetitions; supplications  -

προσευχάςproseuchasprayers - and ἐντεύξεις - enteuxeis -  pleadings;

interecessions - have any distinctive meaning, or are merely accumulated, like

synonyms m legal documents, or various phrases in rhetorical addresses, to ensure

completeness and to add force. It is against the notion of any distinctive

meaning attaching to them that no such distinction can be supported by

actual use. In Philippians 4:6 two of the words (προσευχή and δέησις) are

used in conjunction as here with εὐχαριστία - eucharistiathanksgiving –

with no apparent difference, both being the way of making known their requests to

God (so also Ephesians 6:18 and ch. 5:5). Again, in the ancient Liturgies, the words

δεέσθαι - deesthaia wanting; a need; then an asking; entreaty, supplication –

 and προσεύχεσθαι -  proseuchesthai - praying to God  - are constantly used of

the same praying. It may, however, perhaps be said that every δέησις is a προσευχή,

though every προσευχή is not a δέησις. The δέησις is a “petition” — a distinct asking

something of God, which a προσευχή need not necessarily be. It may be merely an act

of adoration, of confession, of recital of God’s mercies, and so on. So as regards

ἐντεύξεις here rendered “intercessions.” There is nothing in the

etymology or in the use of this word, which only occurs elsewhere in the

New Testament in ch.4:5, to limit the meaning of it to “intercession.” Nor

has it this meaning in the passage where it occurs in the Liturgy of St.

Clement, near the close, where God is addressed as καὶ τῶν σιωπώντων

ἐπιστάμενος τὰς ἐντεύξεις, - Ho kai ton sioponton epistamenos tas

enteuxeis -  who understandest the petitions even of those who are silent.

In some instances outside the Bible, it means “a request preferred in a personal

interview,” which is an extension of its common meaning in classical Greek of

access,” “an interview,” “social intercourse,” or the like. But when we turn to

the use of the verb ἐντυγχάνω entugchanointercession -  in the New Testament,

we seem  to get the idea of “intercession.” Eντυγχάνειν τινι entugchanein tini -  

is to go to someone to ask him to take action against or in favor of some third

party (see Acts 25:24; Romans 11:2; 8:27-28, 34; Hebrews 7:25); and so

Chrysostom (quoted in Steph.,Thesaur.’) explains ἐντυχίαentuchia - to be the

action of one who applies to God to avenge him of those who have done him wrong.

So that perhaps “intercessions” is, on the whole, the best rendering here,

though an imperfect one; and would comprise the prayers for the emperor, for

the Church, for the sick, travelers, slaves, captives, etc., for the bishops,

clergy, and laity, etc., and such prayers as “Turn away from us every plot

(ἐπιβουλήν - epiboulaenplan; plot ) of wicked men” (Liturgy of St. Mark).

ἐντυχίας primarily denotes “a lighting upon, meeting with” (akin to B); then, “a

conversation”; hence, “a petition,” a meaning frequent in the papyri; it is

a technical term for approaching a king, and so for approaching God in

intercession”; it is rendered “prayer” in 1 Tim. 4:5; in the plural in 2:1

(i.e., seeking the presence and hearing of God on behalf of others).

For the synonymous words, see PRAYER  (Vine’s Expository Dictionary

of New Testament Words)




                        The Regulation of Public Worship (v. 1)


The apostle gives Timothy a series of injunctions respecting the assemblies

for public worship, which sprang naturally out of the solemn charge he had

given him in the previous chapter.



therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, supplications, thanksgivings,

be made for all men.”


Ø      The leading place given to prayer in this series of instructions

respecting the administration of the Church, proves its pre-eminent

importance. It is the breath of vital godliness.


o        God promises to hear public prayer (II Chronicles 7:14-16);

o        Christ sanctifies it by His presence (Matthew 18:20);

o        the saints delight in it (Psalm 42:4);

o        they are to be exhorted to the exercise of it (Hebrews 10:25);

o        it is not to be conducted in an unknown tongue (I Corinthians



Ø      The variety of terms in which it is here described implies the diversity

      of circumstances in which Gods people are placed.


o        “Petitions.” This term expresses the sense of insufficiency and need,

and may be a special form of a particular prayer.

o        “Prayers.” This is prayer in general, as representing the spirit of


o        “Supplications.” This signifies a closer dealing with God, a more

childlike confidence in prayer.

o        “Thanksgivings.” This suggests that element which ought never to be

absent from our supplications — gratitude for past mercies.


·         FOR WHOM ARE WE TO PRAY? “For all men.”


Ø      It would not be acceptable prayer if we were to pray only for ourselves.

It is not Christ-like to look down with a sense of superiority upon the

mass of men as sunk in perdition.


Ø      We are bound to love all men, and therefore to pray for their welfare.

Much of our happiness depends upon our identifying ourselves lovingly

with others.



ALL IN HIGH PLACE. “For kings and for all in high place.”


Ø      Such persons pre-eminently need our prayers.


o       They wield great power for good or evil;

o       they are exposed to many dangers;

o       they are liable to greater temptations than other men.


Ø      God has power to influence their public action.


o       The hearts of kings are in His hands;

o       He sets them up and He removes them (Daniel 2:21);

o       He can establish their throne in righteousness and justice

      (Proverbs 16:12).


Ø      Kings can do much to promote the well-being of the Church of God.

“That we may pass a quiet and tranquil life in all godliness and

gravity.” We should pray for kings, because they can promote our

outward peace and our inward tranquility, by restraining the bad and

encouraging the good. Kings can thus protect us in the exercise of our

religion and in the practice of godliness. Wicked kings can expose the

godly to cruel risks, and expose their gravity to unseemly perils.


Ø      The duty of praying for kings is not affected by the consideration that

they are pagans, or oppressors, or persecutors.


Ø      Christians will pray the more earnestly for them that God will change

their hearts. All the kings were pagans in the days of the apostle, and many

of them persecutors.


Ø      It was specially necessary to enjoin prayer for kings upon Christian

communities, consisting largely of Jews who had an intense longing to

throw off the Roman yoke. It is a curious fact that it was the cessation of

prayer by the Jews on behalf of the Roman emperor that led to the final

war four years after this injunction was given by the apostle. It may have

been owing to his injunction that the Christians were not involved in the

disasters of that fatal rebellion.


2 “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet

and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”  For kings, etc. The early

Liturgies closely followed these directions. “Every day, both in the evening and

the morning, we offer prayers for the whole world, for kings, and for all in authority”

(Chrysost., in lee.). So in the Liturgy of St. Mark: “Preserve our king in peace, in

virtue, and righteousness.... Subdue his enemies under him... incline him to peace

towards us and towards thy Holy Name, that in the serenity of his reign we

too may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all piety and honesty [or,

gravity’].” In the Liturgy of St. Clement: “Let us pray for kings and those

in authority, that they may be peaceably inclined toward us, and that we

may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all piety and honesty [or, ‘gravity’].” In

the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom: “Let us pray for our most religious and

God-protected emperors, and all their palace and court.” “We offer this

our reasonable service on behalf of our most faithful and Christian (φιλοχρίστων

philochriston) emperors, and all their palace and court.” And in the Liturgy of

St. Basil: “Remember, Lord, our most religious and faithful kings... that in their

serenity we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. Remember,

O Lord, all rulers and all in authority, and all our brethren in the palace, and the whole

court.”  In authority – in high place (ἐν ὑπεροχῇ - en huperochaeauthority;

excellency; superiority); elsewhere only in I Corinthians 2:1, where it is rendered

excellency.” But in Romans 13:1 we have ἐξουσίαις ὑπερεχούσαις -

exousiais huperechousais - “the higher powers;” and in I Peter 2:13, τῷ βασιλεῖ

ὡς ὑπερέχοντι, - to basilei hos huperechonti“the king as supreme.”

That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty..

The prayer for the rulers is recommended (as was explained in the above extracts

from the Liturgies) in order to obtain for Christians a tranquil life, undisturbed by

persecution and molestation, in spite of their peculiar way of life. Their

wish was to be allowed to live in the faith and obedience of the gospel, “in

godliness and gravity,” without being interfered with by the heathen

magistrates. The clause in the Prayer for the Church Militant which

corresponds to this is “that under her we may be godly and quietly

governed.”  Tranquil  (ἤρεμος - aeremospeaceable; tranquil); found only here

in the New Testament. The derivatives, ἠρέμιος; ἠρεμέω - aeremios; aeremeo -etc.,

are common in the Septuagint. They all apply to a still, undisturbed, life. Quiet

(ἡσύχιος - haesuchios - quiet); found only here and I Peter 3:4 in the New

Testament, and in the Septuagint in Isaiah 66:2. But the noun ἡσυχία -  haesuchia

quietness - and the verb ἡσυχάζειν -  haesuchazeinquiet - are common.  Godliness

(εὐσεβεία)eusebeia - godliness). One of the words almost peculiar to the pastoral

Epistles (ch.3:16; 4:7-8; 6:3,5, 6,11; II Timothy 3:5; Titus 1:1); but elsewhere only in

Acts 3:12; II Peter 1:3, 6-7; 3:11. Cornelius was αυησεβής - auaesebaes

devout - and so was one of the soldiers who waited upon him (Acts 10:2, 7). Ananias

was ἀνὴρ εὐσεβής - anaer eusebaesdevout man - Acts 22:12. The adverb

εὐσεβῶς - eusebosgodly - is also peculiar to the pastoral Epistles (II Timothy

3:12; Titus 2:12).  Gravity - (σεμνοτήςsemnotaesgravity):  so rendered also

in the Authorized Version of ch.3:4 and Titus 2:7 — the only other places in the

New Testament where it is found. So also the adjective σεμνός semnos

grave  ch. 3:8, 11; Titus 2:2).  Elsewhere in the New Testament only in Philippians

4:8, where it is rendered “honest” in the Authorized Version, and “honorable” in

the Revised Version.   In classical Greek σεμνός is properly spoken of the gods,

august,” “venerable,” and, when applied to persons, indicates a similar quality.

Here σεμνοτής is the respectable, venerable, and dignified sobriety of a truly

godly man.




A Quiet Life (v. 2)


Nothing in the gospel was revolutionary. Its aim was not to upset thrones,

but to purify all the centers of power; not to make assault at once on

polygamy and slavery, but to undermine them by the Christian spirit and

sacrifice. Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said that the sole purpose of

Christianity was to “sanctify the secular.”  Prayer is here made for kings and

all in authority. Rulership there must be. Anarchy is misery. Fields must be ploughed;

grain must be stored; homes must be protected; or else weakness becomes the prey

of strength.  The purpose, then, of God, in ordination of law and government, is that

we may enjoy a quiet life. To some a quiet life is the least desirable thing; but it

is the life of nature, and it is the most blessed life. How quietly the flowers

blow, the stars shine, the dew descends, the birds wing their flight, the light falls!


We need good government to preserve us from the violent, the lewd, and the

criminal. The sea of human passion is always ready to break its barriers; the

volcano would soon burst through the crust.


Quietness is the great enjoyment of life. Our happiest hours have been quiet ones —

at home; by the river or the sea; in the valleys and in the forests; and in the Church

of God.  “That we may lead,” which implies continuance.; life without trepidation;

absence of the disorders which check industry, prudence, and. enterprise



A Peaceable Life (v. 2)


Christ said, “Peace I leave with you” (John 14:27), and He intended this to be the

element in which nations and families and individuals should live. Through

faith in Him, we have peace with God, peace with our brother, and peace in

ourselves. The world delights in noise and tumult; fills its forums with

fierce discussions and debates; hangs the pictures of Wouvermans, with

their fierce battle-fields, on its walls. Some people are said to delight in

strife — to be what is called “law-thirsty;” and in quiet villages, even, you

meet with antagonisms that are fierce and frequent.


  • Peaceable;”for the gospel is to overcome evil with good. To triumph,

not by carnal weapons, but those that are mighty through God, and which

have the secret majesty of their power in the cross.  (Romans 12:21;

II Corinthians 10:4-5)


  • “Peaceable;” for passion must be governed by conscience and Christ.

Unquestionably the microscope shows us insects at war in the globule of

water; and the beasts of the forest meet in deadliest conflict. But man is to

triumph over himself; reason is to be lord over passion, and CHRIST



  • “Peaceable;” for a home without this is misery. Where jarring and

disputation are, there the atmosphere is destructive of all holy, happy life.


  • “Peaceable:” for this is the end of law. Forms of government are not all

in all. Greece and Rome alike fell under the same form of government

under which they rose.  (Democracies are said to last around 200 years

and perhaps that is why we are crumbling – CY – 2013)



 He came to fulfill the angels’ song, “Peace on earth, and good will to man;”

and one day, by His cross, He will draw all hearts unto Himself!



Moral Loveliness (v. 2)


“In all godliness and honesty.”



Rousseau remarks, “A country cannot well subsist without liberty, nor

liberty without virtue.” Peaceable lives must be godly lives. The safety of a

nation is not “lions chained,” but “lions turned to lambs.” Modern

sociology thinks it can do without godliness. It has invented some

philosophy of morals of its own; some ideal of utility called “the greatest

good of the greatest number.” Philosophers may understand it, but

common people cannot. So much depends on what is meant by “the

greatest good.” For if you exclude the soul, the greatest good is only a

SECULAR PARADISE  and that is death to all the heroism which can

deny itself earthly pleasure for the sake of high spiritual ends. By “godliness”

we understand God-likeness in men. Some talk of seraphic holiness; we

prefer the old word “godliness.” Let a seraph be a seraph; we want to be

men. It is not wise for children to sing, “I want to be an angel;” they

should want to be good children. We want godliness; purity like

God’s; pity like God’s; fidelity like God’s; holiness like God’s.

“Be ye holy, for I am holy.”  (Leviticus 11:44-45)



fine ideas of spirituality that set at naught common morality must find

honor amongst us. While our hearts are in heaven, our feet are upon the



Ø      We must be honest to our convictions; act out what we think;

dare to be true to ourselves.


Ø      We must be honest in word; dealing in good coin; not pretending to be

what we are not. Better honest silver than counterfeit gold.


Ø      We are to be honest in deed. Whether we build, or buy, or sell, whether

we paint with the artist, or mingle in the marts of commerce, we are to

see to it that the stamp of honesty is on all we do. For all this we

are to pray; for there is a great sky over us all, and A GREAT


 Name we may pray. So life will be peaceful and holy;

based upon the granite rock, but bathed in the delicate haze of the

firmament of heaven; solidity clothed with beauty; and He to whom

we pray heareth us always.


3 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;”

Acceptable (ἀπόδεκτον)apodekton welcome); only here and ch. 5:4 in the New

Testament, and in one doubtful passage in Aquila’s version of Canticles. 1:13. Found

in Plutarch.  The verb ἀποδέχομαιapodechomai -  to receive gladly, is

frequently used by Luke (Acts 2:41 – the word contains in itself the idea of a kind

reception — a welcome). God our Savior (see ch.1:1 and Luke 1:47; Titus 1:3;

2:10, 13; 3:4; II Peter 1:1; Jude 1:25, by which it appears that  the phrase is confined

to the pastoral among Paul’s Epistles). In the Old Testament the phrase occurs

frequently (see II Samuel 22:3; Psalm 106:21; Isaiah 43:3; 45:21).


4  “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the

knowledge of the truth.”  All men, etc.; to show that it

is in accordance with God’s will to pray for “all men” (v. 1). (For the

doctrinal statement, comp. v. 6; Titus 2:11; II Peter 3:9)




            The Beneficial and Acceptable Nature of Such Universal Prayer

                                                            (vs. 3-4)


“For this is good and acceptable before God our Savior.”




Ø      Because it springs from a good motive, a loving interest in our fellowmen.

Ø      Because it is directed to a good end, the promotion of their highest


Ø      Because it is a divinely commanded duty.



It meets God’s highest approval because it is in accordance with his own

gracious designs toward the sons of men.



PUBLIC PRAYERS. It is good and acceptable “before God our Savior,

who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the

truth.” He wills that all men should be saved, therefore we should pray for

all men. Our prayers will thus be in conformity with His wilt.


Ø      Consider the nature of the salvation here described.


o        It is not mere salvation from intellectual error, for it is that which is

      involved in “the full knowledge of the truth.”

o        It is not mere salvability, as if He made the salvation of all men possible.

o        It is not salvation merely offered for man’s acceptance, but salvation

      actually obtained and enjoyed. The immediate end is “the knowledge

      of the truth,” the ultimate end salvation in its completeness.


Ø      Consider the relation of the Divine will to this salvation. “Who will

have all men to be saved.”


o        There is nothing in the language to justify the theory of Universalists

            that all men will ultimately be saved.


§         The apostle uses the term θέλειtheliis willing, not the

      stronger term βουλέταιbouletai which implies will with

      a purpose or intent.

§         If he had used the term σῶζαιsozai -  He must have

      saved all; but the word is σωθῆναιsothaenaito be

      saved, implying His will that they should be brought, through

      the knowledge of the truth, to salvation.

§         If we are to interpret the will of God by his providence,

      we must understand it in consistency with the fact that the

      large majority of mankind have never heard of salvation

      and have no knowledge of it.


§         It must be remembered that many must have failed to reach this

salvation before Christ died at all.


o        The language of universality is consistent with other language of



§         Christ says, “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto

      me(John 12:32); “All men shall see the salvation of the

      Lord” (Luke 3:6). The Messiah “shall pour out His Spirit

      upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28).  Christ “died for all,” and He

      may therefore be truly called Salvator hominum (Saviour

      of men). He died for all to arrest the immediate execution

      of the sentence of the Law upon man for sin; to obtain for

      him unnumbered blessings in this life, that He might secure

      a proper foundation for the offer of salvation through His



§         But the design of God in the death of Christ had not the same

      relation to all. He is “the Savior of all, but especially of them

      that believe.” (ch. 4:10)  HE IS THE SAVIOUR OF:


ü      of His people,

ü      of His Church,

ü      of the elect.


§         The language of universality used in the passage was suggested

      by way of contrast to the restrictiveness of Gnostic teaching,

      which led the apostle to say to the Colossians that his aim was

      to present every man perfect in Christ” (Colossians 1:27-28);

      perhaps, likewise, the restrictiveness of a narrow Judaism,

      for he emphasizes in the context his mission as “a teacher

of the Gentiles.” There is deep mystery in God’s counsels.

But he here sets forth his good will to man, and charges it

on the conscience of believers to pray that ALL WITHOUT

EXCEPTION should be brought to the knowledge of the



5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the

man Christ Jesus;”  For there is one God, etc. The connection of ideas

indicated by γὰρ – gar – for -  seems to be this: Pray to God for all men,

Jews and Gentiles, barbarians, Scythians, bond and free. For this is good and

acceptable in the sight of the one God, who is the God of all the nations of the

earth. And God wills that all should come to the knowledge of the truth as it is

in Jesus, because Jesus Christ is the One Mediator between God and all men,

BY WHOM ALONE men can come to the Father, and who gave Himself

 a ransom for all. One Mediator. The term μεσίτης mesitaesmediator –

 is only applied to our Savior in the New Testament here and in Hebrews 8:6; 9:15;

 12:24. In the only other passage where Paul uses it (Galatians 3:19-20) it is

applied to Moses the mediator of the Old Testament. In the Septuagint it only

occurs in Job 9:33. The man Christ Jesus.  The human nature of our Lord is

here insisted upon, to show how fit He is to mediate for man, as His Godhead fits

Him to mediate with God.


6 “Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

The testimony to be borne in its own times for to be testified in

due time, Authoriized Version. Τὸ μαρτύριον καιροῖς ἰδιοις - to marturion kairois

idioisthe testimony to eras - This phrase is somewhat obscure, and is

differently explained. But the most literal rendering and the best sense seems

to be: “ The testimony, at its proper time, to which I was appointed a preacher

and an apostle,” meaning that the mediation and redemption of Jesus Christ

was the subject-matter of that testimony which, he, Paul was appointed to bear

at the proper time. Τὸ μαρτύριον εἰς- to marturion... eis ho (of the

next verse) must be taken together, without any intervening stop. This accounts for

the article τό. The exactly parallel place is Titus 1:1-2, as a close comparison of

the two passages will show. A further proof of the identity of thought in the two

passage’s is the recurrence in both of the phrase, ἐπιγνωσις ἀληθείας -

epignosis alaetheiasacknowledging of the truth.  A ransom (ἀντίλυτρον

antilutron - ransom ; here only in the New Testament, but it is used perhaps

by Symmachus in Psalm 48:9 (49., Authorized Version), where the Septuagint, has

τιμὴν τῆς λυτρώσεως τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ - Gaen timaen taes lutrosteos taes psuchaes

autoufor the redemption of their life is costly, no payment is ever enough - following

the reading יְקַר, instead of יֵקַר as in the Hebrew text. What means a ransom? They

were about to perish, BUT IN THEIR STEAD HE GAVE HIS SON, and sent us as

heralds to proclaim the cross” (Chrysostom).  The equivalent word in the

Gospels is ἀντάλλαγμαantallagmaexchange - Matthew 16:26;

Mark 8:87). Ἀντίλυτρον –- antilutronsubstitutionary ransom - does not

seem to differ  materially in meaning from λύτρονlutronransom - the common

classical word (i.e. redemption money), and used by our Lord of His own life given

as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). It is the price given as an

equivalent for setting free the prisoner, or sparing the forfeited life; λυτρόω-

lutroo( Luke 24:21, etc.), λύτρωσιςlutrosis - (Luke 1:68, etc.), λυτρωτής-

lutrotaes(Acts 7:35), ἀπολύτρωσιςapolutrosis(Luke 21:28; Romans

3:24, and passim), have all the sense of “redeem,” “redemption,” and the

like. In due time. The notion of a time specially appointed for Christ’s

coming into the world is frequently dwelt upon in Scripture; e.g.

Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:10; Hebrews 1:2 (camp. Acts 17:30-31;

II Corinthians 6:2). (See the same phrase, ch.6:15.)




The Self-Giving of Christ (v. 6)


“Who gave himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” We are

indebted to the slavery of Paul’s time for the use of the word “ransom.”

So literature, in its words, enshrines history. We cannot make a perfect

theory of the Atonement. Many have tried. Some have taken the idea of

slavery; some have taken the idea of debt. There has been the

commercial” theory, and the “legal” theory; but no theory is complete

that does not contain all the ideas. That we are the slaves of sin, and that

Christ ransoms us, is the great doctrine of the gospel.


  • CHRIST GAVE HIMSELF. The humanity of that age gave others.

What is the great study of the dying Roman age? SELFISHNESS!

 The patricians, wrapped up in togas, saw, in the Colosseum, the

gladiators fall to amuse them. The great generals brought home as

slaves — physicians, musicians, and workmen, and used them as good

investments. Rome bore away the native art of Greece to decorate

its own homes. Not only the humanity of that age, but the HUMANITY

OF EVERY AGE WITHOUT CHRIST  tends to self-ism. The

Teaching of the cross is the only social philosophy. It does

not take. It leaves men to the personal use of their gifts and possessions;

but it says, “Give yourself — your purest ideals, your best impulses,

your noblest powers, for the good of others.”



held men by the throat, and not by the heart; and they were lifted to

Caesarship by the Praetorian guards. They rose and fell by the sword; and

the dagger or the Tiber saw the last of them. The words were a satire on

the Savior, “saying that he also Himself is Christ, a King” — an

unconscious prophecy, and yet how true! His kingdom came without

observation (Luke 17:20); it was an empire within the heart; it was not in

word, but in power; it was not with observation, but it silently grew like

the mustard seed. Its foundation was in this, “HE GAVE HIMSELF!” 

His exquisite sensibilities, His sacred energies, His unwearied endurance,

His contact with shame and scorn; and then, on the cross, He died, “THE

JUST for the unjust, to bring us to God.”  (I Peter 3:18)


7 “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the

truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and

verity.”  I was ordained  (placed;appointed).   It is quite in Paul’s manner

thus to refer to his own apostolic mission (see Romans 1:5; 11:13; 15:16;

I Corinthians 1:1, 17; 3:10; II Corinthians 5:18; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 3:2, 8;

and many other places). A preacher (κήρυξ kaeruxa herald) as in

IITimothy 1:11). So Mark 16:15, “Preach the gospel” is Κηρύξατε τὸ εὐαγγέλιον

kaeruxate to euaggelion and in v. 20, “They... preached everywhere” is

'Eκήρυξαν πανταχοῦ - Ekaeruxan pantachou - and II Timothy 4:2, “Preach the

word” is Κήρυξον τὸν λόγονKaeruxon ton logon -  and generally it is the word

rendered “preach.” It combines the idea of authority in the preacher who is the

authorized herald (Romans 10:15), and publicity for his message (Matthew 10:27;

Luke 12:3). I speak the truth, etc. The reason for this strong asseveration of his

office as the apostle of the Gentiles is not at first sight apparent. But it was probably

made in view of the antagonism of the Judaizing teachers referred to in ch.1:3, 19-20

(compare Romans 11:13; 15:15-16).




                                                            Universalism (vs. 1-7)



      OF OTHERS.


Ø      Broad teaching. “I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications,

prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men.” This is the first

duty which pressed upon the apostle’s mind, as claiming attention. If a

priest is one who acts for others, then there is here required of us priestly

service, which is only in accordance with our being called, in I Peter 2:5,

a holy priesthood. Our priestly service is here regarded as twofold.


o        Prayer for all. For the sake of emphasis and fullness three words are

used to denote prayer, which a Greek would be better able to

distinguish than we can do now.


§         The first word “supplications” seems to mark the

            state of need out of which petitions take their rise.


§         The second word “prayers” seems to mark our

            approaching God with our petitions.


§         The third word “intercessions” seems to mark the

            urgent way in which we are to approach God with

            our petitions.


An intercessory character is given to all three by the accompanying

words. It is right that we should turn our wants into petitions for

ourselves, that we should approach God with these petitions, and

that we should press them with all urgency. But there is a range of

want beyond ourselves which we are here directed to cover by

intercession. We are to turn the wants of others into intercessions for

them; with our intercessory petitions we are to go to the throne of grace,

and we are to press them there with all the urgency of which we are

capable. We are not to be so selfish as to think only of ourselves in

our prayers. The Spirit, even in the way of blessing us, would direct

us away from ourselves to what others need. But for whom are we to

intercede? This is the point to which the teaching of the apostle

specially refers. It is certainly our duty to intercede for our family and

friends. “He that provideth not for his own, and specially for those

of his own house, hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

(ch. 5:8)  And, if we do not take the wants of our own before God,

we are not acting the natural part, which is to be expected of us as

Christians. But there is also a family selfishness, from which, if we

would have the larger blessing, we must be freed in our prayers.

“O God, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, we humbly

beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou wouldest

be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health

unto all nations.” We are not to be prevented from interceding for

others by reason of their ill desert. God has shown us Abraham, that

prince of the elder covenant, using his privilege on behalf of

undeserving Lot, and also on behalf of ungodly Sodom. He has also

shown us His afflicted patriarch Job under direction to pray for the

uncharitable Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad. They were to offer sacrifice;

but God said, “My servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I

accept.”  (Job 42:8)  “We are to pursue the sinner with love; we are to

weave around the impenitent a network of prayer from which he may

find it hard to extricate himself.” We are not to allow obscurity or

distance to separate us from souls. Surely we are entitled to convey

our prayers to the most forgotten soul in this world. Roman Catholic

writers are to be commended for the stress they lay on the ties which

unite us to the great human society in which God has placed us. It is

not their truth, for it is simply the spirit of our being here enjoined to

offer up prayer for all men.  We are to think of ourselves as belonging

to a great world of need, belonging to it more than we do to ourselves;

and we belong to it in this way, that we are bound to pray for it with

all earnestness that the ends of Christ may be advanced in it; thus,

we believe, making our influence felt in circle after circle to its utmost



o        Thanksgiving for all. It is the frequent teaching of the apostle that

thanksgiving is to accompany the presentation of petitions. We are

not to be so much taken up with our wants as to forget our mercies.

While, then, we are to be quick to see the wants of others, we are

also to be quick to see their mercies. And while we turn their wants

into intercessions, we are to turn their mercies into thanksgivings.

But for whom are we to thank God? We are especially to give thanks

for those who are bound up with us in the family unity, if they are

free from calamity, and more so if they are the subjects of saving grace.

There may be those in our homes who cannot thank God for themselves,

and we are to do this for them. But we are to give our thanksgivings a

wider sweep, We are to give thanks for our neighbor, even when he

may bear us a grudge, even when his interests may seem to conflict

with ours. We are to get beyond all that would narrow our

souls, and lay hold upon this, that God sees fit to bless him; and why

should we begrudge the Giver His due of praise? We are to thank God

for those who are sensible of their mercies, and are not remiss

themselves in thanking God. We do not need to be afraid of God

receiving too much gratitude for mercies bestowed. If there are those

who are ungrateful for mercies and do not give God the glory, it is

meet that we, who have a right understanding of things and are

jealous of God’s glory, should see that He is not robbed of His

sacrifice of praise (“the calves of our lips” – Hosea 14:2 – CY –

2019). Our thanksgiving is to extend far beyond our knowledge.

We are to seize the spirit of universality which the apostle here

teaches. “Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy

servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy

goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men.” A requirement

for both parts of this priestly work is, that we take pains to acquaint

ourselves with the men that dwell on the earth, and with what is

taking place among them. A second requirement is that we open our

hearts to their needs and mercies. By intelligence and large-

heartedness, our work shall answer its end, viz. the calling down

of blessing on men.


o        Special teaching. “For kings and all that are in high place; that we

      may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.” We

      are to understand the highest and the subordinate representatives of

      authority in the state. Our duty branches out in the same way as before.


§         Prayer for kings and magistrates. We are to pray for them

      especially in their official capacity, that they may be enabled

      faithfully to discharge the duties of their office, and to glorify

      God therein.


§         Thanksgiving for kings and magistrates. In this land we can

      give unfeigned thanks to God that we enjoy so largely the

      blessings of good government. (One of the many penalties

      from an apostasy from God is “poor leadership”.  CY –

      2019)  The public recognition of kings and magistrates would

      be conducive to their leading a tranquil and quiet life (The

      Old Testament equivalence to “But they shall sit every

      man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall

      make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath

      spoken it.”  (Micah 4:4)


      “And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under

      his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to

      Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.”  (I Kings 4:25)


      *  Read:  Jeremiah 23:5-8

      *  Read:  Zechariah 3:1-10 (compare Isaiah 66:8)

      *  Compare the words of Rabshakeh in Isaiah 36:13-21

      *  Read Psalm 81:8-16


“Our churches don’t need more coffee bars, laser lights,

Cool worship songs, celebrity pastors, and topical sermons on


We need men who will teach the whole Word of God,

who will magnify Jesus above all else,

Who won’t minimize sin, but call people to repent,

And who will make it clear that


And without faith in Him, you will not go to heaven!






      * The first words ("kings - all in authority") point to the state

   not using its power against them.


* The second words ("we may lead a quiet and peaceable life

   in all godliness and honesty")point to their not provoking

   a collision with the state.


By the course enjoined, a right impression would go abroad

regarding them, that they were not decriers of dignities, nor

secret plotters against the existing form of government. It was

good advice which was given to the Jews of the Captivity:

Seek the peace of the city, whither I have caused you to

be carried away captives, and Pray unto the Lord for it:

for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” (Jeremiah 29:7) 

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:  they shall prosper that

love thee.  Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within

thy palaces.  For my brethren and companion sakes, I will

now say, Peace be unto thee."  (Psalm 122:6-8)   So the

good advice of the apostle here saved the Christians (in

the midst of the Roman empire) from many a false step

(and it will for you "upon whom the ends of the world

are come."  (I Corinthians 10:11)  They could follow the

quiet course in all godliness and gravity.


* The first word ("qodliness") points to the habit of the

   Christian’s mind, which is that he has a regard to the

   will of God in all things.


* The second word ("honesty") points to his having a

   regard to the propriety of things, which is “the appropriate

   setting of higher graces and virtues.” Not mere policy,

   but the God-regarding habit, and the sense of propriety,

   kept the Christians in the quiet course.


o        Motive. “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”

The intermediate reference is brought in to illustrate the universality

of our service for others. This service in its universality is

recommended, as having a high excellence in itself. Moreover,

it is peculiarly pleasing to God in His character as Savior, which

is to be further brought out. Even Rousseau is our teacher of

universality. “The good man,” he says, “plans his life with a

reference to the whole, while the wicked man would gladly

order all things with reference to himself. The latter makes

himself the center of all things, the other orders all with

reference to a common Center, even to God.”



willeth that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the

truth.” It would be making feebleness of the words to suppose the

apostle’s idea to be that God is willing that all men should be saved, as it is

plainly dogmatic prejudice that accounts for Calvin’s assertion that the

apostle is thinking, not of individuals, but of classes of men. It is a great

truth, of which we are not to be robbed, that OF EVERY MAN IT

We are to think of His will as in a state of active volition. It was in this state

when, in the depths of eternity, he formed the purpose of our salvation.

(Revelation 13:8)  It is in this state now when, in the pleadings of the exalted

Christ, in the workings of the Spirit, in all the dealings of Providence, He is

seeking to secure the condition of our salvation, viz. our coming to the

knowledge of the truth. We are to understand not mere intellectual

knowledge, but experimental knowledge by our laying hold by faith

upon our Representative, and coming to know in our experience that

there is salvation in Him. This His active volition is directed toward all;

it cannot Be said that He desires the salvation of one more than of another.

He uses means, not towards one here and another there, but towards all

alike coming to the knowledge of the truth, AND FINDING AMPLE
And if it is so with God,

it is made plain as it could not otherwise be, that we are not to narrow down

our petitions and thanksgivings (which are expressive of active volition) to

a little circle of our own, but are to widen them out even toward all men.




Ø      Presided over by the one God. “For there is one God.” The pagan idea

was that there were many gods. There was a god for every nation, a god

for every small community, a god for every household. The god so

attached was supposed to be devoted to the interests of his devotees, in

preference or even in opposition to the interests of all others. What was

that but breaking up the race into factions, and under the most powerful

example? We have a much nobler conception — all men under one God,

and not different men under different gods. As we are all under the

canopy of heaven, so we are all under the same canopy of the Divine

love. “Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also of the Gentiles?

Yes, of the Gentiles also.”  (Romans 3:29)  "And hath made of one

blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and

hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their

habitation.  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel

after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of

us:  For in Him we live, and move, and have our being;"  (Acts



“The great God that loveth all,

Hath made both great and small.”


Ø      That shuts out all clashing of administration. As all are under the same

Divine government, so all are governed on the same impartial, universal

principles, and governed toward the one end of their salvation.


Ø      In the hands of the one Mediator. “One Mediator also between God

and men, Himself man, Christ Jesus.” A mediator is one who acts

between two.  Christ Jesus is here said to be Mediator between God

and man. God, as it were, allows the administration to go out of His

hands, but it does not suffer in doing so; for it passes into the hand,

not of many mediators with many administrations, but into the hands

of ONE MEDIATOR, by which there is preserved the grand equality

and universality of the administration. Christ could mediate on the

Divine side, being God Himself, thus carrying into the administration

the whole mind of Him whom He represented. The remarkable thing

which alone is noted was that, to mediate on the human side,

He became man, being linked not to some men, BUT TO ALL

MEN so that His mediation could be in the interest, not of some,

BUT OF ALL!  It is matter for solemn thought to every man that

Christ is linked to him, and linked to him with a view — according

to the whole spirit of the administration — to his being saved.


·         UNIVERSALITY OF THE RANSOM. “Who gave himself a Ransom

for all.” If the language had been that Christ gave Himself for all, there

would not have been excluded the idea of substitution. But emphasis is

given to this idea by the word which is translated “ransom.” It is literally

loosing-price instead of.” It is implied that we were captives, hopelessly

bound in the consequences of our sins. Not able to do anything for

ourselves, we needed to be indebted to a substitute. The price our

Substitute paid as ransom was Himself, i.e. His life, which, being the life of

Him who was God as well as man, was more than equal to the lives of all

men together. Such is the way — not to be too much literalized — in

which the truth is conveyed here. The stress of the thought is to be laid on

all. Time was when it was considered dangerous to say that Christ died for

all. The apostle does not shrink from it, neither here nor where his

language is that “Christ tasted death for every man.” (Hebrews 2:9)

It adds a deep solemnity to the existence of a man that THIS PRICE HAS
How shall he get rid of the obligation incurred,

unless by doing as the captive does for whose ransom the stipulated money

has been paid? As the captive goes forth into the possession of freedom,

grateful to his redeemer, so let each of us go forth into the possession

of our freedom in Christ, grateful to Him as having REDEEMED


·         UNIVERSALITY OF THE TESTIMONY. “The testimony to be borne

in its own times.” It is generally assumed that the reference is to the

universal proclamation of the gospel. But there is this to be considered,

that what is to be witnessed to is, that Christ Jesus gave Himself a Ransom

for all, i.e. ALL:


Ø      that ever lived,

Ø      that live now, or

Ø      shall ever live.


And this does not seem to be properly witnessed to or borne out merely by

the men of a distant time, or of distant times or ages, all having the knowledge

of the gospel. It is better not to fix down the manner of the testimony, but to

allow the verse to remain in its own universality, to have its due weight as

one of many verses that bear upon the same point. There is suggested —

not more than suggested — some great testimony to THE UNIVERSALITY

OF THE RANSOM!  We cannot tell what the testimony will be, as it is

here, for good reason, not condescended on. It is not borne now, but it is

to be borne — it may be after long ages — yet in its own times.



TESTIMONY. “Whereunto I was appointed a preacher and an apostle

(I speak the truth, I lie not), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

Paul was privileged in his day — before the arrival of the times — to help

forward the demonstration of the universal ransom. For this he was

appointed a preacher, literally a herald, i.e. one that cried aloud in the

Name of Christ and spared not. He was also appointed to the high office of

apostle, with which is connected the double asseveration, “I speak the

truth, I lie not.” We cannot think of it being made thus strong for the sake

of Timothy, but for the sake of some who were to be reached through

Timothy. He was further appointed a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and

truth. In this he overstepped Jewish limits, and was entering as far as he

could into the universality of the gospel. And what he called upon men

everywhere to do was TO BELIEVE, the object of their faith being



Reasons for This Universality of Prayer

             in the Relation of All Men to God and Christ (vs. 5-7)


“For there is one God, one Mediator also between God and men, the man,

 Christ Jesus.” The salvation of men cannot, therefore, be to us a matter of

selfish indifference.


·         THE RELATION OF ALL MEN TO GOD. The unity of God is

consistent with all differences of dispensation. “There is one providence

belonging to the one God.” The apostle tells the Romans that, “as God is

one,” He is the God of the Gentiles as well as the Jews (Romans 3:30).

There is, indeed, “one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:4-5). The

apostle also says, “The mediator” (Moses) “is not of one” — one seed, i.e.

including Jew and Gentile, for Moses had nothing, to do with the Gentile

— but God is one, in relation to Jew and Gentile (Galatians 3:20). In

these passages the apostle sets forth THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE

GOSPEL OFFER!  But in the text he infers the universality of the

Divine good will from the provisions made for man’s salvation.



Mediator also between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus.”


Ø      There is but one Mediator. The Gnostic mediation of angels is,

therefore, excluded (Colossians 2:15, 18). Likewise the mediation

of saints and angels, as held by the Church of Rome. This idea is

dishonoring to THE ONLY MEDIATOR. There is no Scripture for

the distinction made between a mediator of redemption (Christ) and

mediators of intercession (saints and angels).


Ø      The Mediator was man as well as God.


o       He was truly man, in opposition to the Docetic notion

that He did not possess a real human nature.


o       He was God as well as man in His Mediatorship, in

opposition to the Roman Catholic theory that He only

mediated in His human nature. The design of this error

is to make way for human mediators. It is said to be

absurd to conceive of Christ as God mediating between

sinners and Himself.


§         We answer that the Divine nature operated in

Christ’s priestly work as well as the human, for

“He through the eternal Spirit” (His own Spirit)

“offered Himself to God”  (Hebrews 9:14).


§         If He did not mediate in His Divine nature as well

as His human nature, He could not have been in any

sense Mediator of the Old Testament saints,

because their redemption was completed before

He came in the flesh. The human nature is naturally

emphasized because of the work of suffering and

death which is here ascribed to Him.


o       The passage does not imply that Christ was not God. He is

elsewhere frequently called God and true God, but here

there is a necessary reference to the catholic doctrine of a

subordination of office.


o       The reference to the mediatorship brings up the idea of a

covenant between God and man. Christ is the Head of

humanity, the new Man, the Lord from heaven, able to

restore the lost relationship between God and man.


o       The mediatory agency is wrought through Christs sufferings

and death. “Who gave Himself a Ransom for all.”


§         This proves that all the blessings of redemption come

from the death of Christ, not merely from His incarnation.


§         He voluntarily gave Himself as the Victim, yet He is

“God’s unspeakable Gift.”  (II Corinthians 9:15)


§         His death was strictly substitutionary. The words of

the apostle resemble those of our Lord Himself —

“He gave Himself a Ransom for many” (Matthew

20:28). He was thus the Substitute contemplated by

the apostle as the Messiah who had obtained from

the Father the heritage of all families and nations

of the earth, not Jews alone, but Gentiles.



testimony to be borne in its own times.”


Ø      Thus the death of Christ is the great message to be carried to all

the world. It is not His birth, or His example, or His truth, but,

above all, what is the completion of them all — HIS DEATH



Ø      It is to be preached in all times till THE SECOND COMING



Ø      The apostles own relation to this testimony. Whereunto I was

appointed a herald and an apostle (I speak the truth, I lie not);

 a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” Thus the universality

            of THE REMEDIAL SCHEME (planned before the foundation

of the world - see Revelation 13:8) is represented by the very

mission of the apostle himself. He was “a herald” to proclaim the

glad tidings here; “an apostle” — let men say what they will, he

is an apostle, therefore THE SURPASSING IMPORTANCE OF

HIS MESSAGE — and “a teacher of the Gentiles” — to mark the

world-embracing character of his gospel — “in faith and truth,”

to signalize respectively the subjective and the objective elements

in which his apostleship was to find its appropriate sphere


8 “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath

and doubting.”  I will, (I desire) etc. He takes up the subject again which

he had opened in v. 1, but had somewhat digressed from in vs. 4-7, and gives further

directions as to the persons who are to make the prayers spoken of in v. 1, viz. men

(τοὺς ἄνδραςtous andras), not women, as it follows more at large in vs. 9-15.

The stress is clearly upon “men” (or, “the men”). The prayers had been already

ordered in v. 1; the additional detail, that they were to be offered by men, is now

added.  “every where”; not, as Chrysostom thinks, in contrast to the Jewish worship,

which was confined to the temple at Jerusalem, but merely meaning wherever a

Christian congregation is assembled. Lifting up holy hands.  (compare

Psalm 26:6; 28:2; 44:20; 63:4; II Chronicles 6:12-13). Without wrath. It appears

from several passages in Chrysostom that the habit of praying angry prayers was

not unknown in his day. “Do you pray against your brother? But your prayer is not

against him, but against yourself. You provoke God by uttering those impious

words, ‘Show him the same;’ ‘So do to him;’ ‘Smite him;’ ‘Recompense

him;’ and much more to the same effect” (‘Hom.’ 6.). In ‘Hom.’ 8. his

comment on this passage is: “Without bearing malice.... Let no one approach 

God in enmity, or in an unsalable temper.” And doubting (disputing;

διαλογισμοῦ ~ - dialogismoudisputing). The exact meaning of διαλογισμός

is perhaps best seen in Luke 5:21-22, where both the verb and the substantive are

used. The διαλογισμοὶ are cavillings, questionings proceeding from a captious,

unbelieving spirit. They are διαλογισμοὶ πονηροὶ - dialogismoi ponaeroi

evil thoughts; reasonings - (Matthew 15:19).  The word is always used in a bad

sense in the New Testament. Forms of prayer were not yet established in the Church,

but these cautions show the need of them.


9 “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest

apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair,

or gold, or pearls, or costly array;” In like mannerThe apostle here

passes on to the duties of women as members of the congregation, and he places

first modesty of demeanor and dress, the contrary to these being likely to

prove a hurt and a hindrance to their fellow-worshippers. Adorn themselves

 in modest apparel. This is obviously the true construction, κοσμεῖν - kosmein

adorn; decorous  - (from which we get the word cosmetics)  depending upon

βούλομαι  boulomaiI will; I am intending.  There is a little doubt as to

the exact meaning of καταστολή - katastolaeapparel; raiment; clothing –

 here, the only place where it occurs in the New Testament. Alford argues strongly

in favor of the meaning “apparel.” But it may also mean “steadiness” or

“quietness” of demeanor; and then the phrase will be exactly parallel to

I  Peter 3:5, “The incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit.”

And the meaning will be, “Let Christian women adorn themselves with a

decent and well-ordered quietness of demeanor, in strict accordance with

[or, ‘together with’] shame-fastness and sobriety [μετά - meta - ‘in strict

accord with,’ or ‘together with’] not with braided hair,” etc. A woman’s true

ornament is not the finery which she gets from the milliner, but the chaste

discretion which she has from the Spirit of God. Modest (κόσμιος - kosmios); only

found in the New Testament here and in ch.3:2, where it is rendered “of good

behavior” in the Authorized Version, and “modest” in the margin, “orderly” in the

Revised Version. It is common in classical Greek in the sense of “well-ordered,”

“well-behaved.” Shamefacedness (αἰδώςaidos modesty; bashfulness).

Sobriety (σωφροσύνηsophrosunaesobriety; sound judgment)  as in

v. 15, q.v.); soundness, health, purity, and integrity of mind. Braided hair

(πλέγμασινplegmasin - braids); found only here in the New Testament, but

used in Aquila and Theodotion, instead of the πλεκείς or πλακείς  -  plekeis;

plakeisplait; twine; braid - of the Septuagint, in Isaiah 28:5, for צְפִירָה, a

“diadem,” or “twined garland.” In classical Greek πλέγματα are anything

twined, tendrils of the vine, wickerwork, chaplets, etc. The corresponding

word in I Peter 3:3 is ἐμπλοκὴ τριχῶνemplokae trichon -  “plaiting the hair.”

Costly array (raiment) (ἱματισμῷ πολυτελεῖ - himatismo polutelei

costly clothes). For ἱματισμὸς, compare Luke 7:25; 9:29; Acts 20:33;

Psalm 45:10, “dressed in gold of Ophir” - Septuagint; etc., which show that the

word is used κατ ἐξοχήν -  kat exochaen -  of any splendid garment. Πολυτελής,

- polutelaescostly; expensive - (see Mark 14:3; I Peter. 3:4, and frequently in

the Septuagint).  Peter manifestly had this passage before him from the marked verbal

coincidences, as well as close similarity of thought (ἐμπλοκή χρύσιον κόσμος ἱμάτιον

emplokae chrusion kosmos himationbraiding; gold; adorning garments – (v.9)

πολυτελής ἀγαθοποιοῦσαι  polutelaes agathopoiousai  costly; well-doing –

compared with δι ἔργων ἀγαθῶνdi ergon agathon  - by good works – (v. 10),

ἡσυχία ὑποταγή  - haesuchia hupotagaequietness; subjection – v. 11 –

(compared ὑποτασσόμεναι -  hupotassomenaiin subjection – (I Peter 3:5),

ἁγαίαι γυναῖκες etc.hagaiai gunaikesholy women  (Ibid.) - compared with  

ἐπαγγελλόμεναις θεοσέβειανepaggellomenais theosebeianprofessing godliness;

reverence for God (v.10). (See reference to Paul in II Peter 3:15-16.)




                        The Conduct of Public Prayer by Men (v. 8)


The apostle now proceeds to indicate the persons by whom public prayer is

to be conducted, and the spirit which is to govern this part of public




      BY MEN. “I wish then that prayer be made in every place by men.”


Ø      It is for men to manage and direct the public services of the Church; it

is for women to take a more quiet though not less real place in worship. As

woman had been emancipated by the gospel — for there were no longer

male and female” in Christ — and as she had taken such a prominent

place in ministering to Christ, the apostles, and the saints, there may have

been a disposition on the part of female converts to assert themselves

actively in the public life of the Church at Ephesus and elsewhere. The

apostle expresses not a mere wish or desire, but, what is equivalent to a

solemn command, that the men alone should be responsible for the conduct

of the public services. The injunction does not affect the right or duty of

women to conduct prayer in private life or in meetings of their own sex.


Ø      Prayer is to be made in every place. This rule is to obtain in all public

assemblies of the saints, wherever held. There is, perhaps, a recollection of

our Lord’s words that there is to be no restriction of prayer to one holy

place (John 4:21).



BE CONDUCTED. “Lifting up holy hands without wrath or disputing.”


Ø      The posture must be reverent. It was customary for the Jews to pray

with uplifted hands. It was likewise the general attitude adopted by the

early Christians. It was the attitude significant:


o        of the elevation of the heart to God;

o        of the expectation of an answer from heaven.


Ø      The uplifted hands must be holy. They must be hands unstained by vice.

“Cleanse your hands, purify your hearts” (James 4:8). The hands must

be free from any sin that would render prayer unacceptable to God. Wash

you, make you clean” (Isaiah 1:16).


Ø      Prayer should be free from all passionate feeling. “Without wrath and

disputing.” Perhaps arising from religious altercation or debate. Prayer

belongs to the peaceful heart. Faith and love are its two sustaining

                        principles, and exclude the idea of passion against our fellow-men.




Modest Adornment (v. 9)


“That women adorn themselves in modest apparel.” The gospel never

permits asceticism. As God is the God of beauty, and nature is clothed with

garments (like the high priest of old) of glory and beauty, so here we have

the true idea carried out in religion. Women are “to adorn themselves.”

God’s most beautiful work in creation, the human frame, is to be fitly

appareled; for, to this day, art knows no higher subject than the human face

and form. But:



because the nature of the being adorned is a sacred nature. Woman is

the true guardian of virtue. Her manner, her temper, her spirit, — all

these constitute the best defense of virtue.  (I read last night in

a Wild West magazine at the grocery store that one of the two

things that a cowboy of old was afraid was “a woman of virtue!”

I wonder about the common man today??? – CY – 2013)


  • DRESS IS THE SYMBOL OF CHARACTER. If there is absence

of shame-heartedness, there will be absence of shame-facedness.

(“Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?

Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush:

Therefore they shall fall among them that fall:  at the time

that I visit them, they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.”

(Jeremiah 6:15; 8:12).  The womanhood of that age had sunk very

low. By turns woman had been the toy or slave of man. The gospel

uplifted her; for we are all equal in the sight of God. There was neither

male nor female there (Galatians 3:28); and she must help THE

GREAT IDEAL  and by modest apparel show the innate modesty

 of her thought and feeling. For, say what we like, DRESS ACTS



apparel need not be shorn of taste and refinement and true beauty. It is no

dishonor to a woman that she likes dress. It is not Christian to destroy that

taste; but that which becometh women professing godliness is modest

though beautiful apparel.


10 “But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”

Through for with, Authorized Version. (The change from “with” to “through”

is quite unnecessary, though more strictly accurate. “With” does equally

well for ἐν - en and διά - dia, the one applied to the ornaments and dress in or with

which the woman adorns herself, the other to the good works by which she

is adorned).  Professing godliness. In all ether passages in the New

Testament where it occurs, ἐπαγγέλλεσθαι epaggellesthaiprofess –

means “to promise,” except in ch. 6:21, where, as here, it means “to profess,”

as it frequently does in classical Greek.  Qeosebei>a theosebeiagodliness;

reverence for God; only occurs here in the New Testament; but it is used in the

Septuagint in Job 28:28; Genesis 20:11; also in Xenophon. In John 9:31 we have

Θεοσεβήςtheosebaes - “a worshipper of God.” With good works.

Compare the description of Dorcas (Acts 9:36, 39). Ἔργα ἀγαθά -

erga agathagood works - mean especially acts of charity (compare ch. 5:10;

II Corinthians 9:8-9; Colossians 1:11; elsewhere it is used more

generally, like ἔργα καλά - erga kala works ideal -  though this phrase

also sometimes points especially to acts of charity, as in ch.5:10; 6:18;

Titus 3:14; Hebrews 10:24).




The Attire and Deportment of Women

in the Christian Assemblies (vs. 9-10)


The apostle continues his directions in relation to public prayer.

“Likewise,” he says, in effect, “let women when they pray be modestly



  • THEIR APPAREL AND DEPORTMENT. “Likewise also that women

adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefastness and sobriety; not

with braided hair, and gold, and pearls, and costly raiment.”


Ø      The injunction refers specially to the dress of women in the

Christian assemblies, which ought not to be showy or

conspicuous, calculated either to swell the heart of the

wearer with pride, or to attract the eyes of others in

forgetfulness of the SOLEMNITY OF PUBLIC WORSHIP.


Ø      While adornment is expressly allowed, according to age and station,

to the exclusion of anything slovenly, there must be nothing in the

attire or deportment inconsistent with modesty, self-restraint, or

Christian simplicity. There must be no excessive care bestowed

upon the adjustment of the hair, and no adornment with gold,

or pearls, or costly array inconsistent with the attire previously

recommended. Plaiting the hair may be the most convenient way

of arranging it, and wearing ornaments is no more sinful in itself

than wearing apparel. The injunction is that women should not

seek such adornments as would either endanger piety or draw

away their affections from higher things.


  • THE TRUE ADORNMENT OF WOMEN. “But (which becometh

women professing godliness) through good works.”


Ø      Religion is external as well as internal. There is the form which

must be clothed with the power of godliness; religion must not

be secret, but manifest to the world. Therefore women must

profess the Christian name, and take part in the worship of the



Ø      There must be a harmony between the profession of godliness

and those deeds of mercy and piety which, Dorcas-like (Acts 9:36),

show the true disciple of Jesus.


Ø      The highest distinction of women does not spring from dress or

decoration, but from the luster that is thrown round their character

by works of goodness. They will thus “adorn the doctrine of God

our Savior” (Titus 2:10).


11 “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.”  Compare

I Corinthians 14:34. So Acts 22:2, παρέσχον ἡσουχίανpareschon

haesouchian - s properly rendered in the Authorized Version, “They kept silence.”

And ἡσύχασαν haesuchasan(Luke 14:4 and Acts 11:18) is rendered,

both in the Authorized Version. and the Revised Version., “They held their peace.”

With all subjection - ejn pa>sh| uJpotagh~|  - en pasae hupotagae ; as ch. 3:4.

The words occur also in II Corinthians 9:13; Galatians 2:5. But the verb

ὑποτάσσομαιhupotassomai -  very common in the sense of “being subject.”

It is used of the subjection of the wife to her husband (I Corinthians 14:34;

Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:5; I Peter 3:1).


12 “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the

man, but to be in silence.”  Suffer.  Ἐπιτρέπειν epitrepeinI am

permitting - is rendered “suffer” in the Revised Version in Matthew 8:21;

19:8; Mark 10:4; Luke 9:59, etc.  Silence.  The true type of the womanly

attitude is that of Mary, who “sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His Word

(Luke 10:39).


13 “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” Was formed (ἐπλάσθη

eplasthaewas formed; was molded ). The word used in the Septuagint in

Genesis 2:7,  ἜπλασενΘεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον etc.Eplasen Ho Theos ton

anthropon …… -  “The Lord God formed man out of the dust of the

ground;” and in (Ibid. v.19) of the beasts of the field; whence the word

πρωτόπλαστος - protoplastos - “first made;” “first formed,”  (Wisdom of

Solomon 7:1; 10:1 Authorized Version), , (I guess to put it in modern

nomenclature “prototype!”  - CY – 2013)  So in Romans 9:20 man is called

τὸ πλάσμα – to plasma -  “the thing made;” and God is Πλάσας – ho Plasas

“He that made it.” “Plaster,” “plastic,” “protoplasm,” are, of course, from the

same root. (For the argument, see the very similar one in I Corinthians 11:8-9).


14 “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the

transgression.”  Beguiled (twice) for deceived, Authorized Version;

hath fallen into for was in the, Authorized Version. Beguiled (ἠπατήθη

aepataethaedeceived; seduced - . The same word as is used in Genesis 3:13,

“The serpent beguiled me;” ἠπάτησέ με, Septuagint (compare II Corinthians 11:3,

where the verb used is ἐξηπάτησενexaepataesenbeguiled; deluded; out seduced).

Hath fallen into transgression. Fell (not hath fallen) is the right tense to use

here in English, though the Greek perfect, it is true, contains the further idea of

continuance in the fall, as in I Corinthians 9:22; 13:11; I  Thessalonians 2:1;

II Peter 2:20. So also Matthew 1:22; 19:8; 21:4; 25:6; Mark 5:33; John 1:3;

II Corinthians 1:19; and elsewhere, γέγονεgegonehas become in the

transgression -  is best rendered by the past (not the perfect) tense. It

has frequently the notion of transition into a certain condition (see

Romans 6:5; 7:13; I Corinthians 9:22; 13:11; II Corinthians 5:17; 12:11;

Galatians 4:16, etc.). Bishop Ellicott gives the passages in which γίγνομαι

- gignomaifalling; has become -  followed, as here, by ἐν (Luke 22:44; Acts

22:17; II Corinthians 3:7; I Thessalonians 2:5), “denoting entrance into, and

continuance in, any given state.” As regards the apostle’s statement, Adam

 was not beguiled, we must understand it as based merely upon the text in

Genesis to which he refers, in which Eve (not Adam) says, ,ὄφις ἠπάτησε με -

Ho ophis aepataese me - “The serpent beguiled me.” Just as in

Galatians 3:16 he reasons from σπέρματι spermatiseed - being in the

singular number, and as the writer to the Hebrews 7:3 reasons from the silence

of Genesis 14. regarding the parentage of Melchizedek. Huther (in lee.)

says that this mode of reasoning is peculiar to allegorical interpretation.


15 “Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue

in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” She shall be saved; i.e.

 the woman generically. The transition from the personal Eve to the generic

woman is further marked by the transition from the singular to the plural,

“if they continue,” etc. The natural and simple explanation of the passage is

that the special temporal punishment pronounced against the woman, immediately

after her sin, “In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16) —

(to which Paul here evidently alludes) — and endured by all women ever since,

was a set-off, so to speak, to the special guilt of Eve in yielding to the guile of the

serpent; so that now the woman might attain salvation as well as the man

(although she was not suffered to teach) if she continued in faith and

charity. The child-bearing (τῆς τεκνογονίαςtaes teknogonias

child bearing; parenting); here only; but the verb τεκνογονέω -

teknogoneoto be bearing children - which  occurs in ch. 5:14, is found

(though very rarely) in classical Greek. The equivalent, both in the Septuagint

and in classical Greek, is τεκνοποιέωteknopoieochildbirth.

(ἀγιασμός - hagiasmosholiness;  sanctification -Romans 6:19;

I Thessalonians 4:3, etc.).  (σωφροσύνη - sophrosunaesobriety); as in

v. 9. It only occurs besides in Acts 26:25.




The Proper Sphere and Behavior of Women (vs. 11-15)


The apostle is still thinking of the public services of the Church.



CHURCH. “Let a woman learn in silence in all subjection. But I permit not

a woman to teach, nor to lord it over the man, but to be in silence.” This

`injunction has a threefold relation — first to herself, then to her husband,

then to the Church.


Ø      She is to learn in silence. This duty concerns herself. She is to be a

learner, not a teacher. She is to give all devout attention to the public

instruction, so as to learn more and more of Christ and His gospel. And if

what she heard was either difficult or doubtful, she was to ask her

husband at home (I Corinthians 14:34); and, in case of his inability to meet

her difficulties, she could resort privately to the authorized teachers of the

Church. This learning attitude was to be “in all subjection” both to her

husband and to the rulers of the Church. Yet it did not imply that she was

to accept false teaching, or forego her just right to prove all things and

reject what was unsound.


Ø      She is not to lord it over the man. As teaching or preaching is the act

of those in authority, her assumption of this function would imply a

lordship over her husband. Husband and wife are “heirs together of

the grace of life” (I Peter 3:7), but the gospel has not exalted woman

to a position of authority over her husband.


Ø      She is not to teach in the Church.


o       This injunction of the apostle does not forbid her teaching

privately, either her children, as Timothy was taught by his mother,

or her servants, or the younger women (Titus 2:4), or even her

husband privately on fit occasions, or even strangers, as Priscilla

taught Apollos (Acts 18:26).


o       It forbids her teaching in public.


§         It is suggestive that the words usually translated in the New

Testament“to preach” (κηρύσσωkaerusso;

 εὐαγγελίζωeuaggelizo; καταγγέλλω - kataggello)

are not used in connection with this prohibition, as if women

were merely forbidden to preach, but still allowed to teach.

The word used here is “to teach” (διδάσκω - didasko),

and the word used in I Corinthians 14. (λαλέω - laleo) —

“to talk, chatter, babble” — is even more comprehensive.

These words all include preaching as the greater includes the

less; therefore preaching is also forbidden to women.


§         Prophesying was forbidden to women as well as teaching.

This was a supernatural gift enjoyed both by men and

women in the primitive Church, but is not enjoyed now

by either men or women. It is never in the New

Testament used for preaching, or for mere speaking in

meeting. But were there not women who prophesied in

the Corinthian Church? (I Corinthians 11:4-5.)


v     The gift of prophecy being connected with the gift of

tongues, and both being now obsolete, the title of

women to the exercise of such a gift in this age utterly



v     The apostle, in his discussion concerning prophecy and

the gift of tongues, forbids women to speak at all in the

Churches (I Corinthians 14:34-35). It was in the very

midst of his injunctions respecting the use of supernatural

gifts that he says, “As in all Churches of the saints,

 let your women keep silence in the Churches, for

 it is not; permitted to them to speak... for it is a

shame for women to speak in the Churches.”

Prophesying as well as preaching is forbidden to women.


v     Much unnecessary difficulty has been caused by the

passage respecting “a woman praying or prophesying

 with her head uncovered” (I Corinthians 11:5). The

apostle seems for the time to allow the practice,

while he condemns the manner of its performance; but

afterwards he forbids the practice itself. In the earlier

passage he rebukes merely the indecency of an existing

custom, and then in the later he forbids the custom

itself. Calvin says, “By condemning the one he does not

commend the other.” You cannot regard as of equal

authority a practice and a command, both explicit and

repeated, which destroys the practice.


v     “But these directions were given to Greek Churches,

and cannot apply to the women of our day.” We answer

that they apply to all Churches; for the apostle says,

“As in all Churches of the saints, let your women

keep silence in the Churches.” (I Corinthians 11:4)

The reasons given for the prohibition prove that it

has nothing to do with usages, or customs, or times,

or races.



It is to be found in the original law of the relation of woman to man.


Ø      Mans headship in creation.For Adam was first formed, then Eve.”

Man’s priority of creation is the first reason, but it is to be taken together

with the statement in I Corinthians 11:8-9, “For the man is not of the

woman, but the woman of the man; for also the man was not made

for the sake of the woman, but the woman for the sake of the man.”

 Besides, as “the Head of every man is Christ, the head of the

woman is the man” (Ibid. v. 3)). “The husband is the head of the

wife” (Ephesians 5:23). The woman, therefore, stands under law to her

husband, and therefore any attempt on her part to assume the part

of head or guide is to overturn the primal order of creation.

(Paul going so far as to connect it with the evil angel’s attempt to

overthrow God – v.10 – CY - 2013).


Ø      Womans priority in transgression. “And Adam was not deceived,

but the woman being altogether deceived fell into transgression”

(v. 14).  They both sinned; but Adam was not deceived, for he fully

understood the sin he was committing when he yielded to the

persuasiveness of his wife.


o       This reference implies the truly historical character of the narrative

in Genesis. It is no myth or legend. The fall of man is an historic fact

of the greatest importance, for it grounds the doctrine of original sin,

without which human nature, says Pascal, is an inexplicable riddle.


o       The deception was practiced upon Eve, not upon Adam, for she

confessed that the serpent beguiled her.


Ø      This facility of deception on her part seems to suggest to the

apostle her inferiority to man in strength of intellect, and the

consequent wrongness of allowing to woman an intellectual

supremacy over man.



TRUE SPHERE. “But she shall be saved through the child-bearing,

 if they abide in faith and love and holiness with sobriety.” (v. 15)


Ø      It is here implied that woman is to find her right sphere in the

relations of motherhood. (Contrast the National Organization of

Women’s conflict of interest over this statement.  How unmotherly

is “ABORTION ON DEMAND?”  - CY – 2013)  The change of

number implies that Eve is here to be regarded as the representative

of her sex.


o       Her sphere is in the home life;

o       her destiny lies in the faithful discharge of its duties.


Eve was to be the mother of all living; (Genesis 3:20).  it was to be

through the seed thus given her that:


o       the curse was to be lifted off the world, and

o       the head of the serpent bruised.


There is an evident allusion in “the child-bearing” to THE

INCARNATION OF JESUS CHRIST  but it points likewise

to the collective seed associated with Christ.


Ø      It implies that women are not saved, as Roman Catholics contend, by

mere childbearing, so that a woman dying in her travail is necessarily

saved, for the apostle links with it certain spiritual qualifications as

necessary to salvation.


o       Faith implicitly resting in the Divine promise and upon

 the Divine Redeemer, “as the seed of the woman;”

o       Love, as the inspiration of all her wifely and motherly duties;

o       Holiness, as implying purity of life, circumspectness of walk,

and devotedness to God;

o       Sobriety, as marking the self-effacing, self-restraining,

self-governing spirit which she is to carry into all the conditions

of her life as a Christian mother



Public Worship (vs. 1-15)


The whole chapter is given up to directions concerning the public worship

of the Church. We may notice the following particulars.


  • THE SUBJECTS OF PUBLIC PRAYER. When the Church meets

together in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, it meets as


As the Church of Him who is the world’s Savior and Redeemer, it

must manifest the same spirit of universal love which animated Him.

It is not as being haters of the human race (as their enemies falsely said),

but as being true lovers of their kind, that Christians banded themselves

together and refused all fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.

This love, then, was especially to be shown in their united prayers. When

they came together, though perhaps their enemies were thirsting for their

blood, they were to offer up their united prayers for ALL MEN. Specially,

with a view to the peace and order of society, should they pray for kings

and governors and all in authority, that by God’s blessing upon their

government the course of this world might be so peaceably ordered that

His Church might serve Him joyfully in all godly quietness. And if we

consider how much human happiness depends upon good government

on the part of the rulers, and upon quiet obedience to the laws on the part

of the people, we shall see how much need there is for such prayers. In

our own days the restless spirit that is abroad, the impatience of all control,

and the general weakening of rule and authority all over the world,

increases the need both of wisdom and strength in rulers, and consequently

for the strengthening of their hands by the prayers and intercessions of the

people of God.



ASSEMBLIES. These are limited to the men. The prayers and the

teaching in the congregation are to be conducted by men only. The

difference of sex, and the different social and religious functions of

each sex, are really of Divine appointment. As Paul says to the

Corinthians (I Corinthians 11:9), “the woman was made for the man,

and not the man for the woman;” (but not in the sense of Gangster

Rap, which is a great player in the 21st Century in the battle for the

minds and hearts of youth.  It crosses cultural lines and is producing

results , the kind which will bring about the destruction of the

world, and does not play in the solution of problems of the world!

Just one of the many moral evils in society that are much more

threatening to humankind that GLOBAL WARMING – see

Revelation 11:18 - CY – 2013) and all the subsequent relations of the

man and woman, in the family, in the state, and in the Church, are naturally

evolved from their primeval state as ordered by God. It is obvious, too, that

there must be harmony in these various relations, and that the principle

which rules in one department of life must rule in the others also. Anyhow,

it is distinctly laid down, on the apostolic authority of St. Paul, that in the

Church assemblies the functions of public prayer, and public teaching and

 preaching, are confined to men. The wide field of more private female

ministrations is still open to godly women, and seems to be amply justified

by the existence of prophetesses in the primitive

Church, and by such examples as that of Priscilla (Acts 18:26). As regards

the character of the men who lead the prayers of the congregation, three

qualifications are named:


Ø      holiness,

Ø      quietness of spirit, and

Ø      simplicity in the petitions.


The hands that are lifted up to God in prayer must be clean hands, unstained

by blood, untainted by bribes or dishonest gains, unpolluted by any evil

deeds. The prayers that are offered must come from hearts where no

malice or ill will dwells, no resentment for wrongs received or injuries

endured; and from minds where the spirit of controversy is dumb, and

no caviling is to be found. Sincerity and godly simplicity, with an honest

faith in the faithfulness of God, are essential to acceptable prayer.


  • The third feature in the public assemblies of the saints on which St.


CONGREGATION. This applies especially to the women, but it is true of

the men also. Christians come to church to worship the glorious God, to

humble themselves before His holy presence, and to hear His Word, not for

display, not to attract notice, not for vain-glory or worldly vanity. It is,

therefore, quite out of place for either men or women to make a parade of

finery in church. The ornaments best suited for persons professing

godliness at all times, but especially when they approach the throne of

God, are those of a pure heart and a meek spirit, and an abundance of

good works. It is the hidden man of the heart which needs adorning for

 its access to the court of heaven.




            The Sexes in the Christian Assembly (vs. 8-15)


·         THE PART OF THE MEN — TO LEAD IN PRAYER. “I desire

therefore that the men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without

wrath and disputing.” The mind of the apostle, as here expressed, is that in

every place where men and women assemble for Divine worship, the duty

of conducting the public devotions shall devolve upon the men. They, and

not the women, as appears from the following contrast, are to be the mouth

of the congregation in prayer offered to God. This assignment of leading in

prayer to them is mentioned along with the appropriate bodily posture, viz.

the lifting up of the hands (as toward heaven) in the way of invoking the

Divine blessing upon the congregation. With this is connected the inward

qualification — lifting up holy hands, i.e. that do things that accord with

their being engaged in so sacred a service. It is not the place that is to

hallow the hands, but it is the hands that are to be holy, to be in keeping

with the place. The orderliness implied in the men having their proper place

would tend to prevent the use of unholy perturbation of feeling, and the

breaking forth of unseemly disputing, such as would unfit the congregation

for engaging in prayer. “He that prays to God,” says Jeremy Taylor, in

‘The Return of Prayers,’ “with an angry, that is, with a troubled and

discomposed spirit, is like him that retires into a battle to meditate, and sets

up his closet in the out-quarters of an army, and chooses a frontier garrison

to be wise in. Anger is a perfect alienation of the mind from prayer, and

therefore is contrary to that attention which presents our prayers in a right

line to God. For so have I seen a lark rising from its bed of grass, and

soaring upwards, and singing as he rises, and hopes to get to heaven, and

rise above the clouds; but the poor bird was beaten back with the loud

sighings of an eastern wind, and his motion made irregular and

inconsistent, descending more at every breath of the tempest than it could

recover by the libration and frequent weighing of his wings, till the little

creature was forced to sit down and pant, and stay till the storm was over;

and then it made a prosperous flight, and did rise and sing, as if it had

learned music and motion from an angel.”




Ø      To be becomingly dressed. “In like manner, that women adorn

themselves in modest apparel, with shamefastness, and sobriety; not with

braided hair, and gold or pearls or costly raiment; but (which becometh

women professing godliness) through good works.” It is with regard to

dress that the apostle charges the women. They are not forbidden to adorn

themselves. In nature God has a regard to adornment; the flowers are

painted chiefly in the way of appealing to the sense of the beautiful. So the

apostle regards it as particularly appropriate to the women that they are to

adorn themselves; but they are to adorn themselves in modest apparel.

There seems to be a wider reference than modest, and a twofold reference.

It is apparel that is suitable to women as such. This certainly excludes

dress that shocks the womanly feeling of modesty. But it also includes

dress that is tasteful. Apart from what is expensive, good taste may be

displayed in dress, as in the proper blending of colors. There is no religion

in negligence as to dress. A woman should never be above attending to

what is clean and whole and neat in dress; and especially should she attend

to this in appearing in the house of God. It is apparel that is suitable to

women in respect of their circumstances. Age, rank, means, demands of

religion, come in as modifying conditions. A brightness of color that is in

place in youth, is out of place in age. The servant is not to dress as her

mistress. She who dresses upon a small income is not to be as she who

dresses upon a large income.  There is not to be dressing as though this

world were a paradise, and not, as it really is, full of human want. With

outward deportment as to dress, are connected the inward feelings. There is

shamefastness, as the word originally was in the Authorized Version. This

feeling given to the woman should make her shrink from all impropriety in

dress. There is also sobriety, or the feeling that keeps the love for dress

within the bounds of reason and religion. The apostle descends to particulars.

Women are not to adorn themselves with braided hair and gold, or pearls, or

costly raiment. It cannot be meant that these things are absolutely forbidden.

Long hair is an ornament to a woman, and it is natural that it should be braided.

Gold is an excellent substance, and can be wrought into most beautiful forms.

It is God who has given the luster to pearls. Ideas of what is beautiful can be

carried to a great extent in garments, as in the garments prescribed for the

Jewish high priest. It can only be meant that they are to be duly

subordinated by women. They are not to make ends of them, as women of

the world do. They are not to vie with one another in the use of them.

They are not to be used in the way of gratifying personal vanity, or in the

way of ostentation and drawing attention upon them. They are not to be

used as though they were essential, being only on the outside, and an

uncertain possession which cannot be carried beyond the world. They are

only to be sought in connection with, and in due subordination to, inward

virtues. This is the thought to which the apostle carries us forward. There

is that which becomes a woman professing godliness, i.e. professing to be

regulated by the will of God in dress as in all matters. And the will of God

will be considered in connection with the state of the world. It is such a

world that Christ needed to come into it to save it. Moreover, it is such a

world that Christ’s servants need to do much saving work in it. And a true

Christian woman will not set her heart on what is showy or genuinely

beautiful in dress or ornament, but will set her heart on what is more

valuable. She will seek to be adorned with the ornament of a meek and

quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price. (I Peter 3:4)

She will seek to be adorned, as the idea is here, with a kindly, benevolent

disposition, such as finds its medium in good works. She will consider that

the time and money unnecessarily spent upon the braiding of the hair, and

gold, or pearls, or costly raiment, is so much taken from her power of

performing good works. It must be said that the position of a true Christian

woman has its difficulties. Fashion which exercises such a sway is not the

expression of pure Christian sentiments. It is to a large extent the expression

of worldliness, or the striving after externals. The true Christian woman, then,

has it as her task, on the one hand, not to go altogether against fashion so

as to be singular and to call attention to her, which would offend her

feeling of modesty; on the other hand, to attain to simplicity and

inexpensiveness in dress, so as to leave her free for discharging her

Christian function as a doer of good works.


Ø      To be a learner, and not a teacher.Let a woman learn in quietness

with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have

dominion over a man, but to be in quietness.” The woman is to be

receptive with regard to public teachings. She is to be a learner, not

breaking the silence even to the extent of asking a question. For the

language here is partly to be explained by what is said in I Corinthians

14:35, “And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at

home.” The position of the apostle, that a woman is not to be a teacher in

the house of God, is very implicit: “I permit not woman to teach.”

Whatever her qualifications — and some women are better qualified to

teach than some men — the apostolic enactment is against her teaching.

This enactment is grounded in what is natural. It would be reversing the

natural order of superiority for men to sit under a woman as their teacher.

It would also be giving woman a publicity from which every one who is

unsophisticated and retains her native modesty must shrink. Her natural

unfitness set forth in two facts.


o        Eve was created after Adam. “For Adam was first formed, then

      Eve.”  The apostle regards this fact as emblematic of a headship

      originally given to the man, which carries with it his exclusive right

      to be a teacher in the house of God.


o        The woman was first in the transgression.And Adam was not

beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into

transgression.” We are not to understand that, for introducing sin

into the world, she was thrown into a subordination which did not

originally belong to her. But rather the way in which, acting for

herself without regard to her husband, she was worked upon by the

tempter was emblematic of a natural disposition which unfits her

for taking a public position. Promise annexed.  “But she shall be

saved through the child-bearing, if they continue in faith and love

and sanctification with sobriety.” So eminent an interpreter as

Ellicott interprets this of the child-bearing by pre-eminence — woman

giving birth to the Messiah — but without good reason. The apostle has

been excluding woman from activity in Church life in connection with

which there is publicity; here he points to her proper destiny as activity

in family life. There is reference to the form in which the curse fell upon

the woman; in connection with this is there promise of blessing. There

is not excluded from the promise the lower salvation. A mother, laying

hold upon this promise, can hope in her danger to be preserved alive,

with due submission, as is right in the sphere of temporal blessing,

to the disposing of God. There is special reference to the higher

salvation. “She shall be saved,” shall find the path of her highest

well being, “if they” (there is a change to the class of Christian mothers,

or more generally of Christian women, one depending to a certain extent

on all) — “if they continue in faith,” i.e. toward Christ, “and love,”

i.e. especially toward the needy, “and sanctification,” i.e. attention to

the rules of personal purity, with such sobriety as shall keep them to

                              their proper sphere.



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