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Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament Commentary for Schools and Colleges

2 Timothy 4

Verses 1-99

Ch. 4. Apostolic Succession and Fellowship

1 8 . The last appeal. The same warning. The old example

The three main thoughts (see 3:1) recur, but with added intensity, in this last brief appeal , and warning , and example . Similarly in 1 Timothy 6:20 observe the ‘aculeus in fine.’ ‘Play the man thyself; beware the lives and tongues of error; see how the old warrior dies.’

1 . I charge thee therefore ] Read I charge thee , omitting the pronoun and conjunction. The stress is on the verb itself, more marked and solemn because placed quite abruptly; almost therefore, ‘I adjure thee.’ For the meaning and use, see on 2:14.

and the Lord Jesus Christ ] The best mss. have and Christ Jesus , see note on 1 Timothy 1:1 .

who shall judge ] The thought of ‘Christ the Judge,’ which was the subject of St Paul’s earliest letters to the Thessalonians fifteen years before, recurs now in this last warning word. So too the word ‘appearing,’ epiphany , which is a characteristic of the ‘Pastorals’: see note on 1 Timothy 6:14 .

at his appearing ] The better authorities read ‘and’ for ‘at’; ‘his appearing’ is to be taken therefore as the accusative of the object appealed to in the solemn adjuration; as the same verb is used LXX. Deuteronomy 4:26 , ‘I call heaven and earth to witness against you’; the first construction being equivalent in sense to ‘I call God to witness, and Christ Jesus,’ the second is added as if it had been so, ‘and I call to witness His appearing.’ So the uncompounded verb is constantly used with the accusative. Cf. Mark 5:7 .

and his kingdom ] ‘His coming , at which we shall stand before Him, His kingdom in which we shall hope to reign with Him.’ Alford.

2 . preach the word ] The unconnected aorist is emphatic; so is the aorist , to indicate the ‘verb thought’ standing out with prominence; ‘I adjure thee, remember preaching, persisting, reproving, rebuking, rousing, to it, in God’s name!’ If the tenses had been present, the stress would have been different; ‘Go on with each, keep on at it, form the habit of it.’

be instant ] The other uses of the word in N.T. are either in the sense (of person) ‘coming and standing by’ or (of time) ‘being present,’ cf. Acts 17:5 ; as below ver. 6. Here the sense is the classical one of giving attention,’ ‘applying oneself to a thing. Compare Dem. De Cor ., 305. 7, ‘what means and resources our country possessed when I entered on the administration, what when I applied myself to it I collected for her.’

in season, out of season ] An oxymoron, not to be pressed literally any more than the familiar nolens volens , but implying, as we should say, ‘ constant application.’ Vulg. ‘opportune,’ ‘importune.’

reprove ] The same word as in 3:16, ‘reproof’; less strong than the following ‘rebuke,’ which St Paul has nowhere else; it is frequent in the Gospels, and occurs Jude 1:9 .

exhort ] Or here perhaps ‘rouse’; see note on 1 Timothy 5:1 . The order of the verbs in some mss. is ‘reprove, rouse, rebuke’; so Vulg. ‘argue obsecra increpa in omni patientia et doctrina,’ which the English Prayer-Book follows in the last prayer for the consecration of a Bishop ‘that he may be earnest to reprove, beseech and rebuke with all patience and doctrine.’

longsuffering ] See 1 Timothy 1:16 ; 2 Timothy 3:10 .

doctrine ] Rather teaching ; this word only occurs in Titus 1:9 besides, of the Pastoral Epistles, though it is used by all the Evangelists and by St Paul four times in his other Epistles. The distinction, drawn Titus 1:9 , holds equally here between this word and the word translated ‘doctrine’ in ver. 3.

3 . sound doctrine ] The sound doctrine as in 1 Timothy 1:10 , where see note.

but after their own lusts ] Vulg. ‘ad sua desideria,’ in opposition to the healthful doctrine. Compare the same phrase in the singular, James 1:14 , ‘Each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed.’ R.V. still retains ‘lusts’; this word in the age of the A.V. had also the wider sense of ‘strong desire’ not being restricted as now to one passion only. ‘Lust’ in Psalms 92:10 , Pr. Bk., is ‘desire’ in A.V. and R.V. But the word here denotes a corrupt will leading both to corrupt doctrine and corrupt life. See note on 3:6. Trench, N.T. Syn . § 87, quotes Cicero’s definition of the word here rendered ‘lust’; ‘immoderata appetitio opinati magni boni rationi non obtemperans,’ Tusc. Quæst . iii. 11. It is sometimes ‘concupiscence’ Romans 7:8 ; very rarely in a good sense ‘desire,’ Philippians 1:23 .

shall they heap to themselves ] A compound form of the verb used in ch. 3:6 for ‘laden.’

having itching ears ] An ambiguous rendering in A.V.; but the original is clear, the nominative case shewing that it is the pupils not the teachers who have the itching ears. R.V. corrects this by transposing the clause to the commencement of the sentence; but this gives up the close proximity of the two words for ‘ears’; because they have itching ears should be the rendering. The participle is middle, lit. ‘scratching themselves,’ as Arist. H. A . ix. 1, 18. Out of a prurient longing for novelty and excitement, ‘instead of receiving those Teachers who are authorized by Christ to instruct them and have a regular call and mission from Him to execute their sacred office, and preach by the Rule of Faith, they will stray away from their Pastors and from their own proper Fold and will raise up for themselves a confused heap of Teachers.’ Wordsworth.

4 . shall turn away their ears ] Better will . The word for ‘ears’ here and above is literally ‘the hearing’; it is used in classical Greek for ‘ear’ when there is reference to the act of hearing, not merely as a member of the body. See Alford on Hebrews 5:11 , who quotes Philo i. 474, ‘they have ears but no hearings in them.’ Hence the exact propriety of our word in the plural, Mark 7:35 , and the significance of Bengel’s comment, ‘non unus in aure meatus.’

shall be turned unto ] The verb is 2nd fut. passive, but middle in sense, ‘will turn themselves aside.’ So with R.V. will turn aside . The aor. pass. from which this future is formed has occurred 1 Timothy 1:6 , 1 Timothy 5:15 , the pres. part. 6:20, the last with an accusative of the object turned from. Cf. Winer, Gr ., § 38. 2, b; § 38. 4.

unto fables ] The article has the same force as above, 2:22, 23, ‘these fables’ which are now being invented and circulated. Cf. Titus 1:14 .

5 . But watch thou ] Exactly and fully, but thou, be thou watchful and sober , combining A.V. and R.V., and emphasising the pronoun. The proper force of the verb is certainly ‘sobriety’ literal and then metaphorical. See note on the adjective, 1 Timothy 3:2 . The metaphorical sobriety is in effect ‘watchfulness,’ though not from ‘wakefulness’ so much as from ‘wariness,’ cool-headedness. Hence the proverb, ‘the tongue of the drunkard, but the heart of the sober.’ The present tense is plainly most suitable to this state of calm sober consideration in everything; while the aorists which follow as suitably express the going to and taking up ‘hardship,’ ‘preaching,’ ‘ministry,’ just as in ver. 1.

the work of an evangelist ] Not here that of any separate class, but that which belonged to Apostles and the humblest Evangelists proper, equally. See the Prayer in the Form of Consecration of Bishops (Eng. Pr.-Bk.), ‘that he may evermore be ready to spread abroad thy gospel, the glad tidings of reconciliation with thee.’

make full proof ] Or fulfil , i.e. fully perform, the same meaning of the word as is most probably to be assigned to Luke 1:1 , ‘those matters which have been fulfilled among us.’ Vulg. ‘ministerium tuum imple.’

6 8 . ‘I have appealed to you by the warning of the evil times and teachers that will be: I appeal to you now by the example of the good times and the good teacher that have been. Let my mantle fall on you, my days are numbered.’

6 . For I am now ready to be offered ] The present tense is still more vivid, and so the personal pronoun for as to me I am already being offered ; and the Greek word means ‘am being poured out as a drink-offering.’ St Paul recalls the thought and very phrase of his letter to Philippi in the first captivity; what was then a possibility is now a certainty; Philippians 2:17 , ‘If I am required to pour out my life-blood as a libation over the sacrificial offering of your faith, I rejoice myself and I congratulate you all therein.’ See Bp Lightfoot, who quotes the similar metaphor recorded of St Paul’s great heathen contemporary Seneca when on the point of death, ‘respergens proximos servorum addita voce, libare se liquorem illum Jovi liberatori .’ Tac. Ann . xv. 64.

my departure ]. Another thought and phrase from the same time and letter, Philippians 1:23 , ‘I am hemmed in on both sides, my own desire tending towards this, to depart and to be with Christ.’ The metaphor of verb there and noun here is of a journey either by land or sea loosing tent-cords, or weighing anchor, for starting up to depart ; this latter part of the meaning belongs to the preposition. So in Luke 12:36 , ‘he will return from the wedding’ ought to be rendered ‘he will depart.’ The servants look out eagerly not merely at the moment of his return being due, but from the moment of his departure from the feast being due. Clement of Rome connects this word, used for ‘death,’ with ‘journey,’ used for life. ‘Blessed are the elders who have taken the journey before us, in that they had their departure in mature and fruitful age’ ( ad Cor . c. 44). The corresponding words for arrival at the end of a stage in the journey are the same verb and noun compounded with the preposition ‘down’ instead of ‘up’: for verb see Genesis 19:2 , where Lot asks the angels to ‘tarry all night,’ and Luke 9:12 , ‘ lodge and get victuals,’ 19:7, ‘He is gone in to lodge with a man that is a sinner’; for noun Luke 2:7 , ‘no room for them in the inn ,’ 22:11, ‘where is the guest-chamber ?’ The original meaning of the word would be ‘to loose the beasts of burden for settling down to rest .’ Our word here has become an English word, analysis , from the cognate sense of ‘breaking up’ or analysing the component parts, e.g . of a sentence.

is at hand ] Rather with R.V. is come , lit. ‘stands by’ me, cf. Acts 23:11 , ‘the Lord stood by him and said.’ It is altogether a word of St Luke’s, being used eighteen times by him; by St Paul above, 4:2, and 1 Thessalonians 5:3 , and nowhere else in N.T.

7 . a good fight ] the good fight , see 1 Timothy 6:12 , where the metaphor is discussed; the second clause here, ‘I have finished the course,’ certainly suggests that the foot-race is to be the chief thought in the ‘games contest,’ ‘the fair race ’tis run; the course ’tis finished; the faith ’tis kept’ may represent the perfect tense used: ‘per effectus suos durat,’ Poppo. The aspirations of Acts 20:24 , Philippians 3:12 , have now been realised; the Christian athlete is all but ‘emeritus.’ ‘He stands almost alone under the shadow of an impending death; but it is the last effort of a defeated and desperate cause: the victory is already gained.… With the assured conviction that the object of his life was fully accomplished, he might well utter these words on which seventeen centuries have now set their indisputable seal.’ Stanley, Apostolic Age , pp. 169 170.

the faith ] In the same objective sense as so often throughout these Epistles, the sacred deposit of historic truth and teaching, cf. 1 Timothy 6:20 , 1 Timothy 6:21 , &c.

8 . henceforth ] Or, ‘it remains only that’ as in Matthew 26:45 , in the Garden of Gethsemane ‘it remains only for you to sleep on,’ ‘there is nothing else to be done.’ St Paul commonly uses the word (with and without the article) to introduce the closing words of exhortation in his Epistles, 2 Corinthians 13:11 ; Ephesians 6:10 ; Philippians 3:1 , and again after a digression 4:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:1 . It seems unnecessary to have recourse to the sense in which Polybius uses the word, ‘accordingly,’ ‘proinde,’ ‘itaque.’ In construction it is a neuter adjective used adverbially.

there is laid up ] Cf. Luke 19:20 , ‘laid up in a napkin,’ Colossians 1:5 ‘the hope which is stored up for you in the heavens.’

a crown of righteousness ] The crown ; the genitive ‘righteousness’ is similar to the genitives of the particular contests in which the crown was won; e.g . Pind. Nem . v. 9, ‘Pytheas, broad-shouldered son of Lampo, won the crown of the double-contest (wrestling and boxing) at the Nemean games.’ ‘Righteousness’ then is the ‘race’ of the Christian life. So in 1 Timothy 6:11 ; 2 Timothy 2:22 , ‘follow after righteousness,’ and in ch. 3:16, ‘the discipline which is in righteousness,’ the word is instead of a volume. The genitives in James 1:12 , ‘the crown of life,’ 1 Peter 5:4 , ‘a crown of glory,’ are similar to the genitives of the particular material of which the crown was made; e.g . Pind. Nehemiah 6:18; Nehemiah 6:18 , ‘He too was victor at Olympia and first won himself the crown of olive for the Æacidæ from Alpheus.’ The crown at the Pythian games was of laurel leaves, at the Nemean of parsley, at the Isthmian of ivy.

shall give ] Award ; the word has occurred 1 Timothy 5:4 , where see note. This and the well-known passages Luke 19:8 , ‘I restore fourfold,’ 20:25, ‘ Render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s,’ Romans 13:7 , ‘ Render to all their dues,’ shew the force of the compound verb here ‘give the due award.’

‘A pound of that same merchant’s flesh is thine;

The court awards it and the law doth give it.’

The same word is used by Christ of the judgment, ‘then shall he reward (R.V. render) every man according to his works’ Matthew 16:27 .

unto all … that love his appearing ] The perfect part.; the sense is fully given by who have their love set on , as R.V. well renders the similar perfect, 1 Timothy 4:10 , ‘we have our hope set on the living God.’ For the special force of this higher word agapân for ‘to love’ see Trench, N. T. Syn . § 12 ‘a word born within the bosom of revealed religion,’ and Westcott, John 21:15 , ‘St Peter lays claim only to the feeling of natural love of which he could be sure; he does not venture to say that he has attained to that higher love which was to be the spring of the Christian life.’

his appearing ] As in ver. 1, of the second coming; to which all the six occurrences of the substantive in N.T. refer. The verb in Luke 1:79 and Titus 2:11 , Titus 3:4 refers to the first Epiphany.

9 18 . The scattering of friends. Entreaty for Timothy’s presence. Assurance of the Lord’s present help

The connexion is: ‘Do your best to come to me to come with all speed to come before the winter stops you lest it be too late. But for Luke, I am all alone. One by one they of Asia have left me. Yet I am not alone. I can still do all things through Him that enables me.’

9 . Do thy diligence ] The same verb as in Titus 3:12 and below ver. 21. ‘Make an earnest effort,’ ‘do thy best.’ Compare the use in Galatians 2:10 , ‘this was my own heartfelt desire.’

shortly ] Further defined ver. 21.

10 . Demas ] Very likely a shortened form of Demetrius; two persons of the name occur in N.T., Acts 19:24 , the silversmith of Ephesus, and, 3 John 1:12 , the bearer possibly of that letter, one to whose character all bore testimony, which St John himself ratified. The Demetrius or Demas here seems to occupy a middle place; a Christian believer and follower, who however had lost ‘his first love,’ and forsook the Apostle in his hour of trial, to attend to the business of the world. He had been with him in the first imprisonment, Colossians 4:14 .

hath forsaken ] Forsook , so in ver. 16. The same strong compound verb and tense occur Matthew 27:46 , where the rendering ‘why hast thou forsaken me?’ is more correct, because the aorist is used there of what is just happening, cf. Philippians 2:28 , Galatians 6:11 .

having loved ] ‘Because he loved’; this verb is chosen in half-conscious irony of contrast to ver. 8 and the love set on the future appearing of the Lord.

this present world ] Lit. ‘age’; cf. note on 1 Timothy 6:17 . The other world, the world of eternity, is under the Eternal God the King of the ages, 1 Timothy 1:17 . Cf. Luke 20:35 , Luke 18:30 . ‘The Apostles speak of themselves and their generation as living on the frontier of two æons, the Gospel transferring them across the border. The distinction of time between the two becomes lost in the moral and spiritual conception.’ Bp Lightfoot on Galatians 1:4 .

unto Thessalonica ] Why, is not known, except so far as this place suggests either home or business.

Crescens to Galatia ] Before the Christian era and for two centuries afterwards the form Galatia (Galatæ) is almost universally used by Greek writers to the exclusion of Gallia (Galli), when they do not employ Celtice (Celtæ), whether speaking of the people of Gaul properly so called, or of the Asiatic colony. And ‘Galatia’ here was traditionally interpreted of European Gaul. It is thus explained by Eusebius H. E . iii. 4 ‘Of the other followers of St Paul, Crescens is recorded as having been sent to Gallia,’ and by others. It is so taken also by those mss. which read Gallian for Galatian , for the former reading may be regarded as a gloss. The Churches of Vienne and Mayence both claimed Crescens as their founder. Weight is also to be attributed to this tradition in favour of western Gaul because it is not the prima facie view. From the language of Clement ad Cor . c. 5. ‘having taught righteousness through the whole world and having come to the boundary of the west’ it appears that St Paul’s intention to visit Spain (Romans 15:24 ) was fulfilled, and it is not improbable that this western journey included a visit to Gaul, which would make a visit of Crescens to it afterwards as natural as the visit of Titus to Dalmatia, with which it is linked. The above, representing substantially the view of Bp Lightfoot ( Galatians , pp. 2, 31, Clement , p. 50) is further illustrated in Introduction, pp. 42, 44.

Titus unto Dalmatia ] Dalmatia was part of the Roman province of Illyricum on the east coast of the Adriatic, now Herzegovina or Bosnia . Its capital was Salona (now Spalatro ) to which place the Emperor Diocletian retired. St Paul had preached in the neighbourhood ‘round about unto Illyricum,’ possibly near Dyrrachium, now Durazzo , the scene of the great contest between Cæsar and Pompeius, and the port from Macedonia into Italy. The mission of Titus would naturally connect itself with some such labours, which still formed a part of the ‘care of all the churches,’ see Introduction,’ Life of Titus.’

11 . Only Luke ] Lucas is a contraction of Lucanus, which occurs frequently in inscriptions, and may indicate the position of a libertus or freedman: many such, we know, were the house physicians, the profession, as such, being in very little esteem. See Plaut. Menæchm . v. 3 5, and cf. Bekker’s Gallus , p. 207. St Luke is distinguished from ‘they of the circumcision,’ Colossians 4:14 , and so cannot be identified with Lucius St Paul’s ‘kinsman,’ Romans 16:21 . He first appears as a companion of St Paul, Acts 16:1 , at a time very nearly that of an attack of the Apostle’s constitutional malady or ‘thorn in the flesh,’ Galatians 4:13 ; and the words in Colossians 4:14 ‘the beloved physician’ seem to breathe a feeling of personal gratitude and obligation. St Luke travelled with the Apostle on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:1 ) and also, two years later from Jerusalem to Rome (Acts 27:2 ). The absence of his name from the greetings in Philippians may be due to his having then left Rome for a time; but he was again with him before the close of the two years, Colossians 4:14 , Philemon 1:24 ; and is now at his side ‘alone’ in his last hours. See Introd. p. 44. After St Paul’s death, according to Epiphanius cont. Hær . Leviticus 11:0 , St Luke ‘preaches first in Dalmatia and Gallia; in Italy and Macedonia, but first in Gallia; as Paul himself says of some of his companions in his epistles “Crescens in Gallia,” for we are not to read “in Galatia” as some mistakenly think, but “in Gallia.” ’ Bithynia and Achaia are named as the place of his martyrdom somewhere between a.d. 75 and a.d. 100.

For a striking comparison drawn between St Luke and Demas see Keble’s Poem on St Luke’s Day ( Christian Year ):

‘Two converts, watching by his side,

Alike his love and greetings share;

Luke the beloved, the sick soul’s guide,

And Demas, named in faltering prayer.

Pass a few years look in once more

The Saint is in his bonds again;

Save that his hopes more boldly soar,

He and his lot unchanged remain.

But only Luke is with him now!

Alas! that even the martyr’s cell,

Heaven’s very gate, should scope allow

For the false world’s seducing spell.’

Take Mark ] A.V. varies between ‘Mark’ and ‘Marcus’ in the different passages where the name occurs. R.V. rightly throughout ‘Mark’ (Lightfoot, N. T. Rev ., p. 157). ‘Marcus’ was the Latin surname for John (Johanan, the Grace of God) the son of Mary, who lived at Jerusalem, apparently with good means (Acts 12:12 ), and ‘cousin’ of Barnabas of Cyprus (Colossians 4:10 ). He and his mother must have been well known to St Peter, who went to her house straight from the prison; and the phrase ‘Mark my son’ 1 Peter 5:13 makes it probable that he was converted by that Apostle. Compare a similar phrase in 1 Timothy 1:2 , 1 Timothy 1:18 . He was ‘minister’ to Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey through Cyprus, but left them at Perga (Acts 13:5 , Acts 13:13 ), possibly to escape the dangers of Asia Minor; and for this reason St Paul declined to have his help on the second journey (Acts 15:38 ) though at the cost of breaking with St Barnabas, who took St Mark again to Cyprus. A reconciliation must have taken place before we next hear of him, as he is reckoned by St Paul in the first imprisonment at Rome as one of his ‘fellow labourers unto the kingdom’ who have been ‘a comfort’ unto him, Colossians 4:10 . After this he seems to have joined St Peter at ‘Babylon’ (1 Peter 5:13 ) whence he must have returned to Asia Minor, so that Timothy could now ‘take him up.’ After St Paul’s death he is said to have laboured in Egypt and to have died by martyrdom. His Gospel must have been written between a.d. 63 and a.d. 70; according to Irenæus, after the deaths of St Peter and St Paul; according to Jerome, ‘Peter relating and Mark writing.’ See Maclear’s Introduction to St Mark’s Gospel, pp. 14, 15, &c. As especially in keeping (by undesigned coincidence) with what we have seen above of St Mark’s own fall and restoration and his slow advance to settled power as a ‘fellow labourer unto the kingdom’ and ‘profitable to the ministry,’ we should observe (if it has not been noticed in this connexion before) what significance the two parables and the one miracle have which are recorded only by St Mark. They are the healing of the deaf and dumb man at Decapolis, with the five stages in his gradual cure (7:31), the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida, with the four successive stages (8:22), and the parable of the seed growing secretly and slowly, ‘ first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear ’ (4:26). Among the many lessons learnt from Christ, through St Peter, this laid hold of St Mark; it fitted his need, gave him good hope and heart that he could indeed ‘rise on stepping-stones of his dead self’ to a new and higher life; and what he thus found so true in his own case he could not but put on record, to be a ‘profitable ministry’ through the Holy Spirit to very many ‘feeble-hearts,’ who like him have become ‘great-hearts’ and ‘lion-hearts’ for Christ.

‘Companion of the Saints! ’twas thine

To taste that drop of peace divine,

When the great soldier of thy Lord

Call’d thee to take his last farewell,

Teaching the Church with joy to tell

The story of your love restored.’

The Christian Year , ‘St Mark’s Day.’

profitable … for the ministry ] Lit. serviceable for ministering . Observe the emphatic position of the verb ‘for he is,’ almost implying ‘whatever he once may have been’: primarily this ministering would be to himself, as Erastus and Timothy are designated ‘ministers unto him,’ Acts 19:22 .

12 . Tychicus ] The accent of the word shews it to be formed from the noun for ‘chance’; as with us a common surname is Chance.

Tychicus, a native of proconsular Asia (Acts 20:4 ), went with St Paul on the third missionary journey to Jerusalem, perhaps as a delegate from his own Church; was with him towards the close of the first imprisonment at Rome (Colossians 4:7 ); after the release was again with him on the way to Nicopolis (Titus 3:12 ); and now just before his death is sent to Ephesus. From St Paul’s reference to him in Colossians 4:7 as his ‘beloved brother and faithful minister’ we see the naturalness of his going on with the Apostle and St Luke to Rome.

have I sent ] Rightly, if we take the tense (as is most probable) to be the epistolary aorist. Instances of this in St Paul are 2 Corinthians 8:18 , 2 Corinthians 8:22 , 2 Corinthians 8:9 :3, Galatians 6:11 , Ephesians 6:22 , Colossians 4:8 , Philippians 2:25 , Philippians 2:28 , Philemon 1:11 . St Paul then is sending Tychicus with this letter to take Timothy’s place at Ephesus; he had therefore finally decided to send Artemas, not Tychicus, to Crete when he wanted to have Titus with him, Titus 3:12 . See Introduction, pp. 43, 44.

13 . The cloke ] Vulg. ‘penulam.’ The oldest use of the word is traced back beyond the Latins nearly to the time of Alexander the Great, in a fragment of a Doric poet, Rhinthon (Julius Pollux Onomast . vii. 60). Hence the Latin must have adopted it from the Greek, not vice versa . The Roman paenula was a travelling cloak, long, and thick, and sleeveless, made generally of wool, sometimes of leather. Cf. Mart. xiv. 145 paenula gausapina , xiv. 13 paenula scortea . Dr Farrar suggests that ‘perhaps St Paul had woven it himself of that cilicium , the black goats’ hair of his native province, which it was his trade to make into tents. Doubtless the cloke was an old companion. It may have been wetted many a time with the water-torrents of Pamphylia, and whitened with the dust of the long roads, and stained with the brine of shipwreck. Now, shivering in some gloomy cell under the Palace, or it may be on the rocky floor of the Tullianum, with the wintry nights coming on, he bethinks him of the old cloke and asks Timothy to bring it with him.’ He quotes also the letter of Tyndale, the translator of the English Bible, from his prison in the damp cells of the Vilvoorde: ‘I entreat your Lordship, and that by the Lord Jesus, that, if I must remain here for the winter, you would beg the Commissary to be so kind as to send me, from the things of mine which he has, a warmer cap … I feel the cold painfully in my head.… Also a warmer cloke, for the one I have is very thin.… He has a woollen shirt of mine, if he will send it. But most of all … my Hebrew Bible, Grammar and Vocabulary, that I may spend my time in that pursuit. William Tyndale.’ There is some foundation for the interpretation ‘a book-case’ or ‘portfolio,’ which the Syriac versions support: none for the meaning ‘a chasuble,’ the passages of Tertullian and Chrysostom, quoted in favour, being really conclusive for the meaning ‘travelling cloak.’ There is no certain case of the use of the term in this technical sense before the time of Germanus, patriarch of Constantinople in the 8th century. See Dr Sinker’s Article, Dict. Christ. Antiq .

at Troas ] We do not know when this was; Farrar suggests that ‘he left them behind, with Carpus, to take care of them, in his hasty arrest at Troas.’ But see Introduction, p. 43.

and the books ] The papyrus books; ‘perhaps poems of Aratus, a Cilician like himself, or pamphlets of Philo or the Wisdom of Solomon.’ See Bp Bull, Sermon x. p. 242.

the parchments ] Writings on vellum; membrana , the Latin word, of which the Greek is a transcript, is properly a feminine adjective with which cutis is supplied, ‘the skin covering the limbs (membra).’ Hence membrana Pergamena was the thin sheep or calf skin sheet invented by Eumenes of Pergamus; of which membrana supplies the Greek word, and Pergamena has been corrupted into ‘parchment.’ Our ‘vellum’ is said to be from the French vélin, calf-skin. Bp Bull, Sermon x. p. 245, takes these ‘parchments’ (after Estius) to be St Paul’s adversaria or commonplace books ‘wherein he had noted what he thought might be of use to him out of the many books he had read.’ Farrar suggests ‘a document to prove his rights as a Roman citizen’ or ‘any precious rolls of Isaiah or the Psalms or the lesser Prophets.’

14, 15 . Dr Farrar’s suggestion for the link of connexion is possible, that St Paul’s second arrest took place at Troas, and that such an one as Alexander the coppersmith could easily have procured his arrest, and when suddenly seized by the lictors at Troas he could have had no time to take away his possessions. On 1 Timothy 1:20 we have seen that there is no particular reason to identify this Alexander with the one mentioned there. Rather the addition of ‘coppersmith’ as a distinguishing title suggests the opposite. ‘The smith’ would be perhaps more certainly correct; the word being quite as commonly used for ‘blacksmith.’

14 . did me much evil ] The Greek word has a technical meaning, ‘impeached,’ ‘indicted,’ and so it is sometimes rendered here ‘laid many grievous things to my charge’; but it is in the simpler sense, ‘ shewed me much mischief,’ that the verb is used nine times by St Paul. Cf. 1 Timothy 1:16 , Titus 2:10 , Titus 3:2 .

the Lord reward him ] The aorist optative has less weight of ms. authority than the future indic, will render , which tense of the same verb has occurred ver. 8.

15 . hath greatly withstood ] The aorist should be read for the perfect, he withstood . There is apparently an antithesis intended between Alexander’s ‘works’ of mischief and the Apostle’s ‘words.’ It does not seem to be false teaching that is referred to therefore, but (we may conjecture) evil action , by stirring up opposition to St Paul’s preaching from Ephesus perhaps to Troas, scheming to bring him into trouble, finally rousing the Roman authority, which since the Roman fire no longer regarded Christianity as a religio licita , so as to bring about his arrest. There might be thus a special point in the warning given to Timothy, lest Alexander should be on his track as he set out for Rome.

16 18 . ‘Then came my first trial at Rome; Alexander was as nothing compared to “the lion”; I was alone, yet “not alone”; the Lord delivered me; and He will deliver me, even through and out of death Safe home, safe home, in port.’

16 . At my first answer ] This should not be referred to any preliminary trial at Ephesus or elsewhere, but to the ‘prima actio’ of the main case at Rome before Nero or his representative; ‘if the matter was one of difficulty the hearing might be adjourned as often as was necessary: such respite was called ampliatio .’ See Dict. Ant. judex .

stood with me ] The simpler compound is the better supported by mss., took my part , was my ‘advocatus.’ Under the emperors this word signified a person who in any way assisted in the conduct of a cause, our ‘solicitor,’ and was sometimes equivalent to ‘orator’ or ‘patronus,’ who made the speech for the client, our ‘counsel’ or ‘barrister.’ See Dict. Ant. advocatus . The verb here is generally in N. T. without any case following, in the sense of ‘to come,’ and is especially used by St Luke, occurring twenty-nine times in the Gospel and the Acts, against nine times elsewhere in N.T. The meaning of ‘support,’ with the dative, is quite classical. Cf. Æsch. Eum . 309.

all … forsook me ] As in ver. 10.

laid to their charge ] More exactly to their account , lit. ‘reckoned to them.’ So the line of Martial, which has been adopted as a motto for sundials and clocks, ‘horae pereunt et imputantur,’ ‘are put to our account.’

17 . the Lord stood with me ] Again took my part .

strengthened me ] ‘Infused strength into me.’ Cf. 1 Timothy 1:12 ; Philippians 4:13 .

the preaching might be fully known ] Lit. ‘ the message preached,’ as in Titus 1:3 . The neuter form of the noun requires this. Cf. 1 Corinthians 1:21 ‘through the foolishness of the preaching,’ where R.V. has only altered ‘preaching’ into ‘the preaching.’ Accordingly A.V. may stand here. ‘Fully known’ is the same word as in ver. 5, ‘fully performed’; indeed thus was made the proclamation of the name of Christ ‘before the Gentiles and kings’ (Acts 9:15 ) in the world’s capital, before its highest magistrates, on a supreme trial of life and death.

out of the mouth of the lion ] R.V. rightly lion . The phrase comes from Psalms 22:21 and therefore has no defined limit of reference such as ‘the lion of the amphitheatre,’ or ‘Nero,’ or ‘Satan,’ though, it is true, the popular cry against the Christians later was ‘Christianos ad leonem,’ Tertull. Apol . c. 40; and the phrase used of the death of Tiberius earlier was ‘the lion is dead,’ Jos. Ant . xviii. 6. 10; and Satan going about to frighten the saint out of his ‘good confession’ is called ‘a roaring lion, 1 Peter 5:8 . ‘The lion’s mouth’ is each and all of these; the evil within and the evil without, ‘all adversities which may happen to the body, and all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul’ (Collect 2nd S. in Lent).

18 . And the Lord shall deliver ] The ‘and’ is omitted in the better mss. The Apostle for the last time ‘goes off abruptly’ at the word ‘deliver,’ and breaks into a final song of ‘faith, hope and love.’ The preposition after the verb is changed to suit the noun it goes with.

every evil work ] Substantially the same in reference as above, ‘the mouth of the lion’; ‘Fightings and fears within, without.’ It has been thought that the Apostle had the Lord’s Prayer in his mind, giving faith’s application of the clause ‘deliver us from the evil’; and if so it is interesting to observe his interpretation, not ‘from the evil one,’ masculine , but ‘from the evil,’ neuter . The phrase ‘his heavenly kingdom’ which does not occur elsewhere, and the ascription of the ‘glory,’ may also be a reminiscence of the doxology; which must in that case have been already in use, as an addition to the prayer. And this is what we should expect from its occurrence in Matthew 6:13 in so large a proportion of mss. and versions; see Carr in loco .

preserve me unto ] lit. save me into , ‘bring me safe unto.’ Cf. 2:25. The same construction is found in classical writers. Cf. Soph. Philoct . 311.

19 22 . Last words of salutation, entreaty, benediction

He takes up the thought of vv . 9 12, weaving in with it the new thought of his last greetings.

19 . Salute Prisca and Aquila ] Prisca, or Priscilla, and her husband Aquila of Pontus had been driven from Rome with the Jews by the edict of the Emperor Claudius (Acts 18:2 ); they were staying at Corinth with St Paul ‘because they were of the same trade’ (ver. 3); they accompanied him 18 months later to Ephesus (ver. 18) where they ‘further instructed Apollos’ (ver. 24); were still there when St Paul wrote his first letter to Corinth (1 Corinthians 16:19 ); afterwards were again at Rome ‘cessante edicti saevitia,’ perhaps on business; their house became a place of assembly for the Christians, and they endangered their lives for St Paul (Romans 16:3 ). Now they seem settled at Ephesus. Dr Howson quotes Priscilla as the example of what the married woman may do for the general service of the Church, in conjunction with home duties, as Phœbe is the type of the unmarried servant of the Church or deaconess; and cites Archdeacon Evans as to her usefulness to Timothy at Ephesus. ‘In his dealings with the female part of his flock which in that time and country required peculiar delicacy and discretion, the counsel of the experienced Priscilla would be invaluable. Where for instance could he obtain more prudent and faithful advice than hers in the selection of widows to be placed upon the eleemosynary list of the church and of deaconesses for the ministry?’ Dict. Bib. Priscilla .

the household of Onesiphorus ] See 1:16 18 and notes.

20 . Erastus abode ] ‘Stayed at his post’; the verb suggests certainly that he had been commissioned by St Paul for some duty which he courageously fulfilled; if therefore it is unlikely that the Erastus who was chamberlain or treasurer (Oeconomus) of Corinth could be a fellow minister with Timothy to Macedonia (Acts 19:22 ), it is equally unlikely that he could have been set on duty at Corinth, as is implied here. In which case we may identify the Erastus of Acts 19:22 with the Erastus here, and regard the ‘chamberlain’ as a different person. See sketch of last journeys of St Paul and his companions in the Introduction, p. 43.

Trophimus ] An Ephesian and Gentile, who was with St Paul at Troas on the third missionary journey (Acts 20:4 ) and accompanied him to Jerusalem, causing a disturbance there because he was a Gentile (Acts 21:29 ). The only natural way of placing this event is at some visit to Miletus after the close of the Acts, see Introduction, p. 43. Miletum must be a misprint of A.V. as there is no authority anywhere for a neuter form.

21 . before winter ] ‘ The motive (rather a motive ) of the letter is the desire for Timothy’s presence, Haste! Come! 4:9 “ Haste to come quickly,” 4:21 “ Haste to come before winter,” 4:13 “when thou comest,” 1:4 “ Yearning to see thee,” 4:5 “my death is near at hand.” ’ Farrar, Message of the Books , p. 397.

Eubulus ] Of him nothing is known.

Pudens … and Claudia ] The identity of these two members of the Church at Rome with the Pudens and Claudia of Martial is discussed in Appendix, H.

Linus ] According to general testimony bishop of Rome. Cf. Iren. iii. 3, § 3 ‘Peter and Paul, when they founded and built up the church of Rome, committed the office of its episcopate to Linus.’ Cf. also Euseb. H. E . iii. 2 ‘of the church of the Romans after the martyrdom of Paul and Peter the first to be appointed to the office of bishop was Linus, of whom Paul makes mention at the end of his letter to Timothy.’ Eusebius also gives the length of his episcopate as twelve years a.d. 68 80.

22 . The closing benediction is peculiar being twofold, first ‘with thy spirit’ and then ‘with you,’ i.e. ‘thee and thine.’

The Lord Jesus Christ ] The ms. authority is in favour of ‘The Lord’ alone. Observe how often this one brief name of his Saviour and Master has fallen from his pen in these closing paragraphs, taking the place of the full special title Christ Jesus (see 1 Timothy 1:1 ) used through the Pastorals; five times in the last fifteen verses, vv . 8, 14, 17, 18, 22, is the ‘Master’s’ presence and aid claimed and acknowledged by one whose highest title of honour as an Apostle had been ‘the Lord’s servant,’ ‘the Master’s bond-slave.’ We are reminded of pious George Herbert, who at his induction to his sacred charge at Bemerton made his resolve and prayer that his humble and charitable life might so win upon others as to bring glory, he said, ‘to my Jesus whom I have this day taken to be my Master and Governor; and I am so proud of this service that I will always observe and obey and do His will; and always call Him Jesus my Master, and I will always contemn my birth, or any title or dignity that can be conferred upon me, when I shall compare them with my title of being a priest and serving at the altar of Jesus my Master’; and who could in his last hours of suffering answer his wife’s anxious enquiry with the reassuring certainties of that Master’s presence; ‘he had passed a conflict with his last enemy and had overcome him by the merits of his Master Jesus.’ Walton, Life of George Herbert .

The subscription has no sufficient authority; see note on subscription to 1st Epistle, p. 152. But its statements are in this case more nearly correct. See, as to Timothy’s charge at Ephesus, Introduction, p. 66. For St Paul’s appearances before Nero see note above, ch. 4:16; and Introduction, p. 44.

The oldest ms. authority gives for subscription only second epistle to timothy.

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"Commentary on 2 Timothy 4". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cgt/2-timothy-4.html. 1896.