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Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

2 Timothy 4

Verses 1-8

1 8 .] Earnest exhortation to Timotheus to fulfil his office; in the near prospect of defection from the truth, and of the Apostle’s own departure from life . I adjure thee (ref.) before God, and Christ Jesus, who is about to judge living and dead ( λέγει τοὺς ἤδη ἀπελθόντας καὶ τοὺς τότε καταλειφθησομένους ζῶντας , Thl.: so also Thdrt., and Chrys., alt. 2: not as Chrys., alt. 1, ἁμαρτωλοὺς λέγει καὶ δικαίους ), and by (i.e. ‘and I call to witness,’ as in Deuteronomy 4:26 , διαμαρτύρομαι ὑμῖν τόν τε οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν , the construction being changed from that in the first clause. This is better than with Huther, to take the accusatives as merely acc. jurandi, as in 1 Corinthians 15:31 ; James 5:12 . With κατά , it would be, ‘at His, &c.:’ cf. Matthew 27:15 ; Acts 13:27 ; Heb 3:8 ) his appearing (reff.) and his kingdom (these two, τ . ἐπιφ . αὐτοῦ κ . τ . βασ . αὐτοῦ , are not to be taken as a hendiadys, as Bengel, ‘ ἐπιφάνεια est revelatio et exortus regni’ but each has its place in the adjuration: His coming , at which we shall stand before Him; His kingdom , in which we hope to reign with Him),

Verse 2

2 .] proclaim (notice the sudden and unconnected aorists. Ellic. well observes after Schoemann, Isæus, p. 235, that the use of the imper. aor. seems often due, both in the N. T. and in classical authors, to the “lubitus aut affectus loquentis”) the word (of God. The construction after διαμ . is carried on in 1Ti 5:21 with ἵνα : in our ch. 2Ti 2:14 with infinitives: here with simple imperatives, which is more abrupt and forcible), press on ( ἐπίστηθι is generally referred to the last clause ‘be diligent in preaching:’ μετ ʼ ἐπιμονῆς κ . ἐπιστασίας λάλησον , as Thl.: and Thdrt., οὐχ ἁπλῶς καὶ ὡς ἔτυχεν αὐτὸν κηρύττειν παρεγγυᾷ , ἀλλὰ πάντα καιρὸν ἐπιτήδειον πρὸς τοῦτο νομίζειν . De W. doubts this meaning being justified, and would rather keep the verb to its simpler meaning ‘accede (ad cœtus Christianos),’ as Bretsch. and so Huther. But there seems no need to confine the sense so narrowly. The quotations in De W. himself justify the meaning of ‘press on,’ ‘be urgent,’ generally: not perhaps in preaching only, but in the whole work of the ministry. Cf. Demosth. p. 1187. 6, ἐπειδὴἐφειστήκει δ ʼ αὐτῷ Καλλίστρατος καὶ Ἰφικράτηςοὕτω δὲ διέθεσαν ὑμᾶς κατηγοροῦντες αὐτοῦ , ‘pressed upon him,’ ‘urgebant eum:’ id. p. 70. 16, διὰ ταῦτ ʼ ἐγρήγορεν ἐφέστηκεν , …) in season, out of season ( μὴ καιρὸν ἔχε ὡρισμένον , ἀεὶ σοὶ καιρὸς ἔστω · μὴ ἐν εἰρήνῃ , μὴ ἐν ἀδείᾳ , μηδὲ ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ καθήμενος μόνον · κἂν ἐν τοῖς κινδύνοις , κἂν ἐν δεσμωτηρίῳ ᾖς , κἂν ἅλυσιν περικείμενος , κἂν μέλλῃς ἐξιέναι ἐπὶ θάνατον , καὶ παρ ʼ αὐτὸν τὸν καιρὸν ἔλεγξον , μὴ ὑποσταλῇς ἐπιτιμῆσαι · τότε γὰρ καὶἐπιτίμησις ἔχει καιρόν , ὅτανἔλεγχος προχωρήσῃ , ὅταν ἀποδειχθῇ τὸ ἔργον , Chrys. I cannot forbear also transcribing a very beautiful passage cited by Suicer i. 146 from the same father, Hom. xxx. vol. v. p. 221: ἂν δ ʼ ἄρα τοῖς αὐτοῖς ἐπιμένωσι καὶ μετὰ τὴν παραίνεσιν , οὐδὲ οὕτως ἡμεῖς ἀποστησόμεθα τῆς πρὸς αὐτοὺς συμβουλῆς . καὶ γὰρ καὶ κρῆναι , κἂν μηδεὶς ὑδρεύηται , ῥέουσι · καὶ οἱ ποταμοί , κἂν μηδεὶς πίνῃ , τρέχουσι . δεῖ τοίνυν καὶ τὸν λέγοντα , κἂν μηδεὶς προσέχῃ , τὰ παρ ʼ ἑαυτοῦ πάντα πληροῦν · καὶ γὰρ νόμος ἡμῖν , τοῖς τὴν τοῦ λόγου διακονίαν ἐγκεχειρισμένοις , παρὰ τοῦ φιλανθρώπου κεῖται θεοῦ , μηδέποτε τὰ παρ ʼ ἑαυτοῦ ἐλλιμπάνειν , μηδὲ σιγᾷν , κἂν ἀκούτις , κἂν παρατρέχῃ . This latter passage gives the more correct reference, not so much to his opportunities, as the former, but to theirs (as Ellic. quotes from Aug. on Psalms 128:0 , vol. iv. p. 1689, “sonet verbum Dei volentibus opportune, nolentibus importune”). Bengel, from Pricæus, gives examples of similar expressions: “Nicetas Choniates, παιδαγωγῷ ἐμβριθεῖ ἐοικώς , εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως ἐπέπληττεν . Julian: ἐπορεύετο ἐπὶ τὰς τῶν φίλων οἰκίας ἄκλητος κεκλημένος . Virgilii: ‘ digna indigna pati,’ Terentii: ‘cum milite isto præsens absens ut sies.’ ” So fanda nefanda, plus minus, nolens volens , &c.), convict, rebuke (reff.), exhort, in (not ‘ with ;’ it is not the accompaniment of the actions, but the element, the temper in which they are to be performed) all (possible) long-suffering and teaching (not subjective, ‘ perseverance in teaching ,’ as Conyb.; but ‘ teaching ’ itself: it (objective) is to be the element in which these acts take place, as well as μακροθυμία (subjective). The junction is harsh, but not therefore to be avoided. Of course, hendiadys (= ἐν πάσμακροθυμίᾳ διδαχῆς , Grot., Rosenm.) is out of the question. On διδαχή and διδασκαλία , see Ellicott’s note).

Verses 3-4

3, 4 .] Reason why all these will be wanted . For there shall be a time when they (men, i.e. professing Christians, as the context shews) will not endure (not bear as being offensive to them: reff.) the healthy doctrine (reff.: viz. of the Gospel), but according to (after the course of) their own desires (instead of, in subjection to God’s providence) will to themselves (emphatic) heap up (one upon another: τὸ ἀδιάκριτον πλῆθος ἐδήλωσε , Chrys. There is no meaning of ‘heap upon themselves,’ ‘to their own cost,’ as Luth., ‘ werden sie ihnen selbst Lehrer aufladen :’so Heydenr. also) teachers, having itching ears ( ζητοῦντές τι ἀκοῦσαι καθ ʼ ἡδονήν , Hesych.: ‘sermones quærunt vitia sua titillantes,’ Grot. This in fact amounts to the same as Chryrs.’s, τῆς ἡδονῆς χάριν λέγοντας καὶ τέρποντας τὴν ἀκοὴν ἐπιζητοῦντες , though De W. draws a distinction between them. Plut. de superst, p. 167 b (Wetst.), μουσικὴν φησὶνΠλάτωνἀνθρώποις οὐ τρυφῆς ἕνεκα καὶ κνήσεως ὤτων δοθῆναι : see more examples in Wetst.), and shall avert their ears from the truth, and be turned aside (ref. and note) to fables (the art. seems to imply that they would be at least like the fables already believed: see 1 Timothy 1:4 , and cf. Ellic. here).

Verse 5

5 .] But (as contrasted with the description preceding) do thou (emphatic) be sober (it is difficult to give the full meaning of νῆφε in a version. The reference is especially to the clearness and wakefulness of attention and observance which attends on sobriety, as distinguished from the lack of these qualities in intoxication. ‘Keep thy coolness and presence of mind, that thou be not entrapped into forgetfulness, but discern and use every opportunity of speaking and acting for the truth,’ Mack: cf. also Ellic.) in all things, suffer hardship (reff.), do the work of an Evangelist (reff.: here probably in a wider sense, including all that belongs to a preacher and teacher of the Gospel), fill up the measure of (fill up, in every point; leaving nothing undone in. Beza’s rendering, ‘ministerii tui plenam fidem facito, i.e. veris argumentis comproba te germanum esse Dei ministrum,’ so Calv. ‘ministerium tuum probatum redde,’ is justified by usage (reff.), but hardly in accordance with 2 Timothy 4:17 ; see there) thy ministry .

Verse 5

5 .] But (as contrasted with the description preceding) do thou (emphatic) be sober (it is difficult to give the full meaning of νῆφε in a version. The reference is especially to the clearness and wakefulness of attention and observance which attends on sobriety, as distinguished from the lack of these qualities in intoxication. ‘Keep thy coolness and presence of mind, that thou be not entrapped into forgetfulness, but discern and use every opportunity of speaking and acting for the truth,’ Mack: cf. also Ellic.) in all things, suffer hardship (reff.), do the work of an Evangelist (reff.: here probably in a wider sense, including all that belongs to a preacher and teacher of the Gospel), fill up the measure of (fill up, in every point; leaving nothing undone in. Beza’s rendering, ‘ministerii tui plenam fidem facito, i.e. veris argumentis comproba te germanum esse Dei ministrum,’ so Calv. ‘ministerium tuum probatum redde,’ is justified by usage (reff.), but hardly in accordance with 2 Timothy 4:17 ; see there) thy ministry .

Verse 6

6 .] For the connexion, see above. For I am already being offered (as a drink-offering: i.e. the process is begun, which shall shed my blood. ‘ Ready to be offered ’ (E. V., Conyb., so also Matthies, Est., al.) misses the force of the present. Grot. would render it ‘jam nunc aspergor vino, id est, præparor ad mortem:’ but such a meaning for σπένδομαι does not seem to be justified: see ref. Phil. That σπένδομαι is there followed by ἐπὶ τῇ θυσίᾳ κ . τ . λ ., and here stands absolutely, is surely no reason why this usage should not be as significant and as correct as that; against De W.), and the time of my departure ( ἀνάλυσις (ref.) is merely this, and not dissolutio , as Vulg., Matthies, nor as Elsner (so also Wolf) imagines, is there any allusion to guests breaking up ( ἀναλύοντες ) from a banquet and making libations ( σπένδοντες ): ‘allusisse Apostolum ad σπονδάς crediderim ἀναλυόντων e convivio, sensumque esse, sese ex hac vita molestiisque exsatiatum abiturum, libato non vino sed sanguine suo.’ He quotes from Athenæus i. 13, ἔσπενδον ἀπὸ τῶν δείπνων ἀναλύοντες . But against this we have only to oppose that most sound and useful rule, that an allusion of this kind must never be imagined unless where necessitated by the context: and certainly here there is no trace of the idea of a banquet having been in the mind of the Apostle, various as are the images introduced) is at hand (not, is present, ‘ ist vorhanden ,’ Luth.: which would be ἐνέστηκεν , see 2Th 2:2 note):

Verse 7

7 .] I have striven the good strife (it is hardly correct to confine ἀγών to the sense of ‘fight:’ that it may be , but its reference is much wider, to any contest , see note on ref. 1 Tim.: and here probably to that which is specified in the next clause: see especially Heb 12:1 ), I have finished my race (see reff.: the image belongs peculiarly to St. Paul. In Philippians 3:12 ff. he follows it out in detail. See also 1 Corinthians 9:24 ff.: Hebrews 12:1-2 . Wetst. quotes Virg. Æn. iv. 653, “Vixi, et quem dederat cursum fortuna, peregi”), I have kept the faith (not, as Heydenr., ‘ my plight to observe the laws of the race :’ but as Bengel rightly observes, “res bis per metaphoram expressa nunc tertio loco exprimitur proprie.” The constant use of ἡ πίστις in these Epistles in the objective technical sense, must rule the expression here. This same consideration will preclude the meaning ‘ have kept my faith,’ ‘my fidelity ,’ as Raphel, Kypke, al.):

Verse 8

8 .] henceforth (perhaps this adverb expresses λοιπόν better than any other. It appears to be used in later Greek, from Polybius downwards, in this sense of ‘proinde,’ ‘itaque:’ cf. Polyb. ii. 68. 9; iv. 32. 5; x. 45. 2) there is laid up (reff.) for me the (not ‘ a ,’ as E. V.) crown (reff., and cf. Php 3:14 ) of righteousness (i.e. the bestowal of which is conditional on the substantiation and recognition of righteousness q. d. ‘a crown among the righteous:’ τὸν τοῖς δικαίοις ηὐτρεπισμένον λέγει , Thdrt.: and so De W. after Chrys., δικαιοσύνην ἐνταῦθα πάλιν τὴν καθόλου φησὶν ἀρετήν . This is better than with Huther, al., to take the gen. as one appositionis , as in James 1:12 , ὁ στ . τῆς ζωῆς : and 1 Peter 5:4 , ὁ τῆς δόξης στ .: both these, ζωή and δόξα , may well constitute the crown, but it is not easy to say how δικαιοσύνη can. Thdrt.’s alternative, τὸν δικαίᾳ ψήφῳ δωρούμενον (so Heydenr., Matth., al.), is equally objectionable. There is, as Calv. has shewn, no sort of inconsistency here with the doctrines of grace: “neque enim gratuita justificatio quæ nobis per fidem confertur, cum operum remuneratione pugnat quin potius rite conveniunt ista duo, gratis justificari hominem Christi beneficio, et tamen operum mercedem coram Deo relaturum. Nam simulatque nos in gratiam recipit Deus, opera quoque nostra grata habet, ut præmio quoque (licet indebito) dignetur.” See further on this point Estius’s note, and Conc. Trident. Canones, Sess. vi. c. 16, where the remarkable expression is quoted from the Epist. of Pope Cælestinus I. 12, “Dei tanta est erga omnes homines bonitas, ut eorum velit esse merita, quæ sunt ipsius dona”), which the Lord (Christ: cf. ἐπιφάν . αὐτοῦ below) shall award (more than ‘give:’ see reff., and Matthew 6:4 ; Matthew 6:6 , &c., Matthew 16:27 ; the idea of requital should be expressed. Compare however Ellicott’s note) me in that day (reff.), the righteous (subj., ‘ just ;’ but the word ‘righteous’ should be kept as answering to ‘righteousness’ above) judge (see Acts 10:42 . In this assertion of just judgment, there is nothing, as De W. imagines, to controvert the doctrines of grace: see above); and (but) not only to me (better than ‘not to me only,’ E. V., &c. ( οὐδὲ ἐμοὶ μόνῳ ), which though true, does not correctly represent the sense), but also to all who have loved (who shall then be found to have loved and still to be loving, see Winer, edn. 6, § 40. 4 a: loved , i.e. (reff.) looked forward with earnest joy to) His appearing ( 2Ti 4:1 ).

Verse 9

9 ff.] Do thine endeavour (so also Tit 3:12 ) to come to me quickly (this desire that Timotheus should come to him, appears in ch. 2 Timothy 1:4 ; 2 Timothy 1:8 ; its reason is now specified): for (I am almost alone) Demas (mentioned Col 4:14 with Luke, as saluting the Colossians, and Philemon 1:24 , also with Luke (and others), as one of the Apostle’s συνεργοί ) deserted me, loving ( ἀγαπήσας (used perhaps in contrast to 2Ti 4:8 above) is contemporary with ἐγκατέλιπεν through love of :’ so Ellic. also, who has hardly represented me rightly, when he quotes me as holding the temporal sense of the participle) this present World ( τῆς ἀνέσεως ἐρασθείς , τοῦ ἀκινδύνου καὶ τοῦ ἀσφαλοῦς , μᾶλλον εἵλετο οἲκοι τρυφᾷν , ἢ μετ ʼ ἐμοῦ ταλαιπωρεῖσθαι καὶ συνδιαφέρειν μοι τοὺς παρόντας κινδύνους , Chrys.), and went to Thessalonica (‘his birthplace,’says De W.: cf. οἴκοι , Chrys., above: but how ascertained? He may have gone there for the sake of traffic, which idea the ἀγαπήσας τὸν νῦν αἰῶνα would seem to support), Crescens (not named elsewhere. He is said traditionally to have preached the Gospel in Galatia (Constt. apost. vii. 46, p. 1056), and, more recently (in Sophronius), to have founded the church at Vienne in Gaul : this latter interpretation of Γαλατίαν ( τὰς Γαλλίας οὕτως ἐκάλεσεν , see var. readd.) Thdrt. also adopts. All this traditional fabric is probably raised by conjecture on this passage. Winer, Realw.) to Galatia (see Prolegg. to Gal. § ii. 1), Titus (Prolegg. to Titus, § i.) to Dalmatia (part of the Roman province of Illyricum (Suet. Aug. 21. Tib. 9), on the coast of the Adriatic (Plin. iii. 22. Strabo, vii. p. 315), south of Liburnia (Plin. iii. 26), Winer, Realw. See the art. Dalmatia in Dr. Smith’s Dict. of Geography. Thdrt. says, referring to ἀγαπήσας τὸν νῦν αἰῶνα , οὗτοι (Crescens and Titus) τῆς κατηγορίας ἐκείνης ἐλεύθεροι · ὑπ αὐτοῦ γὰρ ἀπεστάλησαν τοῦ κηρύγματος ἕνεκα . But this hardly agrees with ἐπορεύθη , which must be understood with both names: see also the contrast in 2 Timothy 4:12 . They had certainly left the Apostle of their own accord: why, does not appear): Luke (see Prolegg. to Luke’s Gospel, § i.) is alone with me (De W.’s question, ‘where then was Aristarchus (2 Chronicles 4:10; 2 Chronicles 4:102 Chronicles 4:10 . Phm 1:24 )?’ is one which we have no means of answering: but we may venture this remark: a forger, such as De W. supposes the writer of this Epistle to be, would have taken good care to account for him). Mark (Colossians 4:10 , note: Philemon 1:24 . John Mark, Act 15:38 ) take up (on thy way: so ἀναλαμβάνειν implies in the two first reff., and probably also here) and bring with thee: for he is to me useful for the ministry (for help to me in my apostolic labours: not, as Conyb., ‘ his services are profitable to me ,’ adding in a note below, “ διακονίαν , not, ‘ the ministry,’ as E. V.:” no such conclusion can be drawn from the omission of the art. after a preposition, and least of all in these Epistles. Cf. θέμενος εἰς διακονίαν , ref. 1 Tim. Grot. suggests, ‘forte ob Latini sermonis consuetudinem’): but (apparently a slight contrast is intended to those above, who ἐπορεύθησαν of their own accord) Tychicus (see Eph 6:21 note) I sent to Ephesus (on the various attempts to give an account of this journey, and its bearing on the question, whether Timotheus was at Ephesus at this time, see Prolegg. to this Epistle, § i. 5).

Verses 9-22

9 22 .] Request to come to Rome. Notices of his own state and that of others: greetings .

Verse 13

13 .] The cloak ( φελόνης is said to be a corrupted form of φαινόλης , lat. pænula , a thick outer cloak: but as early as Chrys., there has been a doubt whether this is the meaning here. He says, φελόνην ἐνταῦθα τὸ ἱμάτιον λέγει , τινὲς δέ φασι τὸ γλωσσόκομον (bag or case, Joh 13:29 ) ἔνθα τὰ βιβλία ἔκειτο : and so Syr. and all.: but it is against this idea, as indeed Bengel remarks, that the books should be afterwards mentioned . It would be unnatural, in case a bag of books had been left behind, to ask a friend to bring the bag, also the books , and especially the parchments : ‘the bag of books and parchments which I left’ would be its most obvious designation. A long discussion of the meanings of φελόνης , and of the question whether it is rightly supposed to be a corruption from φαινόλης , may be found in Wolf ad loc.: see also Ellic. The Jews also had the word פליון for a cloak) which I left (behind me: οἱ δι ʼ ἀσθένειαν ἀπολειφθέντες , Xen. Mem. iv. 1. 32: for what reason, is not clear: but in St. Paul’s life of perils, it may well be conceived that he may have been obliged to leave such things behind, against his intention) in Troas (respecting his having been at Troas lately, see Prolegg. to Past. Epp. § ii. 16, 30, 31) with (‘chez’) Karpus when thou art coming (setting out to come) bring, and the books (i.e. papyrus rolls: on these, and on μεμβράνας , see Dict. of Antiquities, art. Liber. τί δὲ αὐτῷ βιβλίων ἔδει μέλλοντι ἀποδημεῖν πρὸς τὸν θεόν ; καὶ μάλιστα ἔδει , ὥστε αὐτὰ τοῖς πιστοῖς παραθέσθαι , καὶ ἀντὶ τῆς αὐτοῦ διδασκαλίας ἔχειν αὐτά . Chrys. This may have been so: but there is nothing inconsistent with his near prospect of death, in a desire to have his cloak and books during the approaching winter), especially the parchments (which as more costly, probably contained the more valuable writings: perhaps the sacred books themselves. On a possible allusion to these books, &c., which the Apostle had with him in his imprisonment at Cæsarea, see note, Act 26:24 ).

Verse 14

14 .] Alexander the smith (Eustathius, on Hom. Od. γ . p. 139 (Wetst.), says, χαλκεὺς δὲπρὸ βραχέων χρυσόχοος , κατὰ ὄνομα γενικὸν ἀπὸ πρώτου φανέντος μετάλλου . διὸ καὶἭφαιστος χαλκεὺς ἐλέγετο , καὶ χαλκεύειν τὸ οἱανοῦν ἐλατὴν ὕλην σφύρᾳ παίειν . Similarly the Etymol. (ib.), ἀπὸ γὰρ τοῦ πρώτου φανέντος μετάλλου πάντας τοὺς δημιουργοὺς ἐκάλουν οὕτως οἱ παλαιοί . See ref. Gen., and 2 Chronicles 24:12 . Perhaps the same with the Alexander of 1 Timothy 1:20 , where see note. There is nothing here said, inconsistent with his being an Ephesian resident. It has been indeed supposed that he was at Rome, and that the following caution refers to Timotheus’s approaching visit: but the aor. ἐνεδείξατο seems to suit better the other hypothesis. It must ever remain uncertain, whether the Alexander whom we find put forward by the Jews in the Ephesian tumult, Acts 19:33-34 , is this same person: nothing in that narrative is against it. The title ὁ χαλκεύς may be intended to mark another Alexander: but it may also be a mere cursory designation of the same person) did to me much evil (such, as in E. V., is the nearest representation in our language of the phrase κακὰ ἐνδείξασθαι . Cf. Genesis 50:15 , μή ποτε μνησικακήσἡμῖν Ἰωσὴφ καὶ ἀνταπόδομα ἀνταποδῷ ἡμῖν πάντα τὰ κακὰἐνεδειξάμεθα εἰς αὐτόν and 2 Timothy 4:17 , ἄφες αὐτοῖςὅτι πονηρά σοι ἐνεδείξαντο . In both these places ἐνδείξασθαι represents the Hebrew verb גָּמֹל , ‘affecit:’ similarly the Song of the Three Children, 2 Timothy 4:19 , ἐντραπείησαν πάντες οἱ ἐνδεικνύμενοι τοῖς δούλοις σου κακά : and 2Ma 13:9 , τοῖς δὲ φρονήμασινβασιλεὺς βεβαρβαρωμένος ἤρχετο , τὰ χείριστα τῶν ἐπὶ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ γεγονότων ἐνδειξόμενος τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις . This usage is easily explained. From the primary sense of the middle verb ‘ to manifest ,’ applied to a subjective quality (reff. Tit., Heb., and εὔνοιαν , Aristoph. Plut. 785, γνώμην , Herod. viii. 141: al. in Lexx.), we have idiomatically the same sense applied to objective facts in Hellenistic Greek: Palm and Rost give from Plutarch, ἐνδείξασθαι φιλανθρωπίας , a phrase intermediate between the two usages. Then in rendering ἐνδείξασθαί τινι κακά , it is for us to enquire, whether we shall be best expressing the mind of the original by changing the subjective ἐνδείξασθαι into an objective verb, or by changing the objective subst. κακά to a subjective quality ( κακίαν ): and the answer to this is clear. The κακά were facts which we must not disguise. The ἐνδείξασθαι , not the κακά , is used in an improper and secondary meaning; and therefore in rendering the phrase in a language which admits of no such idiom, it is the verb which must be made objective to suit the substantive, not vice versâ. Conyb.’s rendering, ‘ charged me with much evil ,’ as also his alternative, ‘ manifested many evil things (?) against me ,’ would, it seems to me, require the active verb): the Lord shall requite him according to his works (the optative of the rec. makes no real difficulty it is not personal revenge, but zeal for the cause of the Gospel which the wish would express, cf. 2Ti 4:16 below, where his own personal feelings were concerned): whom do thou also beware of (see above, on Alexander); for he exceedingly withstood our (better than ‘my,’ seeing that μοι occurs in the same sentence, and immediately follows. The plural may be used because the λόγοι were such as were common to all Christians arguments for, or declarations of, our common faith) words .

Verse 16

16 .] In my first defence (open self-defence, before a court of justice, see reff. For a discussion of this whole matter, see the Prolegg. and Ellic.’s note. I will only remark here, that any other defence than one made at Rome , in the latter years of the Apostle’s life, is out of the question) no one came forward with me (“verbum συμπαραγίνεσθαι indicat patronos et amicos, qui alios, ad causam dicendam vocatos, nunc præsentia sua, nunc etiam oratione (not in the time of Cicero, who clearly distinguishes, De Orat. ii. 74, between the orator or patronus , and the advocati : speaking of the former he says, ‘orat reus, urgent advocati ut invehamur, ut maledicamus, &c.’ But in Tacit. Annal. xi. 6, the orators are called advocati ) adjuvare solebant. Id Cicero, cap. 29, pro Sulla, adesse supplici , et cap. 14, pro Milone, simpliciter adesse dicit. Græci dicunt nunc παραγίνεσθαι , nunc παρεῖναι , nunc συμπαρεῖναι .” Wolf. So Demosth., κατὰ Νεαίρας , 1369. 17, συμπαραγενόμενος αὐτῷ δοκιμαζομένῳ ), but all men deserted me: may it not be laid to their charge (by God: reff. τὴν πατρικὴν περὶ αὐτῶν ἔδειξεν εὐσπλαγχνίαν . οὐ κακοηθείας ἦν , ἀλλὰ δειλίαςὑποχώρησις , Thdrt.): but the Lord (Jesus) stood by me, and strengthened (‘ put strength in :’ a word especially used of and by our Apostle, reff.) me, that by my means the proclamation (of the Gospel) might be delivered in full measure (see on 2Ti 4:5 ) and all the Gentiles might hear (one is tempted, with Thdrt., al., to interpret this of his preservation for further missionary journeys (Thdrt. thinks this defence happened during his journey to Spain): but the spirit of the whole context seems to forbid this, and to compel us to confine this πληροφορία to the effect of the single occasion referred to, his acquittal before the ‘corona populi,’ in whose presence the trials took place: so Bengel “una sæpe occasio maximi est momenti: gentes quarum Roma caput.” And so Huther and Wiesinger, and in the main, De W.): and I was delivered from the mouth of the lion (the Fathers mostly understood this of Nero : so Chrys. Thdrt., Thl., Œc., Euseb., &c.: see Suicer, ii. p. 233. And Esth. (add.) 14:13, E. V., is quoted, “where Esther says concerning Artaxerxes, Put a word into my mouth ἐνώπιον τοῦ λέοντος .” Whitby: or, seeing that according to the chronology adopted by some, he was not in Rome at the time (see Prolegomena to Past. Epp. § ii. 33), of his locum tenens, Helius Cæsareanus : so Pearson, Annales Paulini, p. 24, or of the Jewish accuser , as Wieseler, Chron. 2. p. 476. But these are hardly probable: nor again is it, that the Apostle was literally in danger of being thrown to wild beasts, and established his right as a Roman citizen to be exempted from that punishment (Bengel’s objection to this, ‘ex ore leonum diceret, si proprie bestias innueret,’ is of no force: as the popular cry ‘Christianos ad leonem’ shews: see also ref. Psalm, of which doubtless the words were a reminiscence): nor again is the idea (Calv., Ellic., al.), that the expression is figurative for great danger, the jaws of death , or the like: for the Apostle did not fear death, but looked forward to it as the end of his course, and certainly would not have spoken of it under this image. The context seems to me to demand another and very different interpretation. None stood with him all forsook him: but the Lord stood by him and strengthened him: for what? that he might witness a good confession , and that the κήρυγμα might be expanded to the utmost. The result of this strengthening was, that he was delivered ἐκ στόματος λέοντος : he was strengthened, witnessed a good confession, in spite of desertion and discouragement . Then let us pass on to his confidence for the future, the expression of which is bound on to this sentence by ῥύσεται , indicating the identity of God’s deliverance, and παντός indicating the generalization of the danger of which this was a particular case . And how is the danger generally described? as πᾶν ἔργον πονηρόν : and it is implied that the falling into such danger would preclude him from enduring to Christ’s heavenly kingdom. It was then an ἔργον πονηρόν from which he was on this occasion delivered. What ἔργον πονηρόν ? The falling into the power of the tempter ; the giving way, in his own weakness and the desertion of all, and betraying the Gospel for which he was sent as a witness. The lion then is the devil ; ὁ ἀντίδικος ἡμῶν διάβολος ὡς λέων ὠρυόμενος περιπατεῖ ζητῶν τίνα καταπίῃ , 1Pe 5:8 ).

Verse 18

18 .] The Lord (Jesus) shall deliver me from every evil work (see above: from every danger of faint-heartedness, and apostasy: so, even without adopting the above meaning of ἐκ στόματος λέοντος , Chrys., καὶ γὰρ καὶ τοῦτο τὸ δυνηθῆναι μέχρις αἵματος ἀντικαταστῆναι πρὸς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν , καὶ μὴ ἐνδοῦναι , ἑτέρου λέοντός ἐστι ῥύσασθαι , τοῦ διαβόλου . So also Grot., De W., al. The meaning adopted by Huther, Wiesinger, al., that the ἔργα πονηρά are the works of his adversaries plotting against him, is totally beside the purpose: he had no such confidence ( 2Ti 4:6 ), nor would his conservation to Christ’s heavenly kingdom depend in the least upon such deliverance. Besides which, the correspondence of this declaration of confidence to the concluding petition of the Lord’s Prayer cannot surely be fortuitous, and then πονηροῦ , here joined to ἔργου as neuter, must be subjective, evil resulting from our falling into temptation, not evil happening to us from without. It is hardly necessary to observe, that πονηροῦ here cannot be gen. masc., ‘of the evil one,’ as Pelagius and Mosheim, in De W.), and shall preserve me safe ( σώσει in its not uncommon, pregnant sense of ‘bring safe:’ cf. σώζειν πόλινδε , Il. ε . 224; ἐς οἴκους , Soph. Philoct. 311; ἐς τὴν Ἑλλάδα , Xen. An. vi. 4. 8:6. 23, al. freq.) unto his kingdom in heaven (though it may be conceded to De W. that this expression is not otherwise found in St. Paul, it is one to which his existing expressions easily lead on: e.g. Philippians 1:23 , compared with Php 3:20 ): to whom be the glory unto the ages of ages, Amen (it is again objected, that in St. Paul we never find doxologies ascribing glory to Christ , but always to God. This however is not strictly true: cf. Romans 9:6 . And even if it were, the whole train of thought here leading naturally on to the ascription of such doxology, why should it not occur for the first and only time? It would seem to be an axiom with some critics, that a writer can never use an expression once only. If the expression be entirely out of keeping with his usual thoughts and diction, this may be a sound inference: but this is certainly not the case in the present instance. Besides, the petition of the Lord’s Prayer having been transferred to our Lord as its fulfiller (cf. Joh 14:13-14 ), the doxology, which seems to have come into liturgical use almost as soon as the prayer itself (sea Mat 6:13 var. readd.), would naturally suggest a corresponding doxology here).

Verses 19-21

19 21 .] Salutations and notices . Salute Prisca and Aquila (see notes, Acts 18:2 ; Rom 16:3 ) and the house of Onesiphorus (himself probably deceased. See on ch. 2Ti 1:16 ). Erastus (Acts 19:22 , an Erastus was sent forward into Macedonia by the Apostle from Ephesus, and Romans 16:23 , an Erastus sends greeting, who is described as the οἰκονόμος τῆς πόλεως (Corinth). This latter would seem to be the person here mentioned) abode in Corinth (on the inferences to be drawn from this, see Prolegg to Past. Epp. § ii. 30 f.), but Trophimus (he accompanied the Apostle from Greece into Asia, Acts 20:4 . He was an Ephesian, id. 21:29, and was with the Apostle in Jerusalem on his last visit there) I left (not ‘ they (the Asian brethren who came to Rome) left ,’ as Hug) in Miletus (see again this discussed in Prolegg. to this Epistle, § i. 5. Various conjectures have been made to escape the difficulty here presented: ἐν Μελίτῃ (Baronius, Beza, Grot., Est., &c.) a Miletus in Crete (Michaelis, Schrader)) sick. Endeavour to come before winter (when the voyage would be impossible, and so the visit thrown over to another year. See also on 2Ti 4:13 ). Eubulus (otherwise unknown) greets thee, and Pudens (see excursus at the end of the Prolegg. to this Epistle on Pudens and Claudia), and Linus (Iren. iii. 3. 3, p. 176, οἱ ἀπόστολοιΛίνῳ τὴν τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς (at Rome) λειτουργίαν ἐνεχείρισαν . τούτου τοῦ Λίνου Παῦλος ἐν ταῖς πρὸς Τιμόθεον ἐπιστολαῖς μέμνηται . So also Euseb. H. E. iii. 4), and Claudia (see excursus as before), and all the brethren .

Verse 22

22 .] CONCLUDING BLESSING. The Lord [ Jesus Christ ] be with thy spirit (reff.): (the) grace (of God) be with you (the members of the church where Timotheus was: see Prolegg.).

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Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hac/2-timothy-4.html. 1863-1878.