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Bible Commentaries

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

2 Timothy 4



2 Timothy 4:1 . διαμαρτύρομαι ] The words οὖν ἐγώ following this in the Rec. were omitted from the text by Griesb., on the authority of A C D* E F G L א 17, al., Syr. Erp. Copt. etc.

The same is the case with the words τοῦ κυρίου , against which there is the testimony of A C D* F G א 31, 37, al.

For κρίνειν the aorist κρῖναι is found in F G, several cursives, Theodoret, and Theoph.; this construction does occur sometimes in the N. T. (also in classic Greek), but there is not sufficient authority for it here.

κατὰ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν ] For κατά (Rec. after D*** E K L, etc.), καί is the reading of A C D* F G א 17, al., Copt. Vulg. ms. It. Harl. etc. This reading, as it implies a change of construction in the verb, and even then makes the connection difficult, is of a kind which would easily give occasion for correction; the easiest correction was into κατά . Chrysostom in his commentary reads: ἐν τῇ ἐπιφανείᾳ . Lachm. Buttm. Tisch. rightly adopted καί , which is approved also by Matthies, de Wette, Wiesinger, and van Oosterzee. Reiche, on the other hand, because of the difficulty of the reading καί , regards the Rec. as the original reading, while he connects κατά with μέλλοντας κρίνειν as a preposition of time. 2 Timothy 4:2 . Tisch. 7 reads ἐπιτίμησον , παρακάλεσον , with the majority of the authorities; whereas Tisch. 8 reads παρακάλεσον , ἐπιτίμησον . The placing of ἐπιτίμησον first may be a correction, because this word is related in meaning to the previous ἔλεγξον . 2 Timothy 4:3 . τὰς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας ] adopted by Griesb. in place of τὰς ἐπιθυμίας τὰς ἰδίας , on the authority of A C D E F G א 3, 37, al., Arm. Vulg. etc. 2 Timothy 4:6 . Instead of τῆς ἐμῆς ἀναλύσεως , which is the Rec. supported by D E K L, al. (Tisch. 7), it is more correct, with Lachm. Buttm. and Tisch. 8, to read τῆς ἀναλύσεώς μου , on the authority of A C F G א , al. 2 Timothy 4:7 . For τὸν ἀγῶνα τὸν καλόν (Tisch. 7), Lachm. Buttm. Tisch. 8, on the authority of A C F G א , al., adopted τὸν καλὸν ἀγῶνα , which is certainly in harmony with the usage of the Pastoral Epistles, but for that very reason may be a correction. 2 Timothy 4:10 . For the Rec. ἐγκατέλιπεν (D* K א , etc.), Tisch. 7 adopted the imperfect ἐγκατέλειπεν , on the authority of A C D** and *** E F G L, etc.; Tisch. 8 retained the Rec., which is supported by D* K א , etc.

In C א , several cursives, and Fathers, Γαλίαν is found instead of the Rec. Γαλατίαν ; Epiph. Haer. 57, dis. says: οὐ γὰρ ἐν Γαλατίᾳ , ὡς τίνες πλανηθέντες νομίζουσιν , ἀλλὰ ἐν τῇ Γαλίᾳ ; of this reading Reiche says: est utique notatu digna; … me cum Bengelio in hanc lectionem inclinare sentio. But the MSS. almost all support the Rec.; and it cannot be inferred from the name Κρήακης (Crescens) that this man was sent more probably to Gaul, where Latin was in use, than to Galatia, where Greek was spoken (Reiche); it is too rash, therefore, to regard this as the original reading. Tisch. 8, however, adopted it, whereas Tisch. 7 does not even mention it; Hofmann thinks it the correct reading. 2 Timothy 4:11 . For ἄγε , Lachm. Buttm. and Tisch. 7 read the form ἄγαγε , which, however, does not seem to have sufficient testimony in A 31, 58, etc.; Tisch. 8 retained the Rec., with the support of almost all authorities. 2 Timothy 4:13 . For φελόνην are found also the forms φαιλώνην , φαιλόνην , φελώνην ; but φελόνην is best supported. While Tisch. 7 adopted the imperfect ἀπέλειπον , on the authority of A C F G, etc., Tisch. 8 read the aorist ἀπέλεπον (Rec.), on the authority of D E K א , al.; so, too, Lachm. and Buttm. 2 Timothy 4:14 . ἀποδώσει ] This is rightly read by Scholz, Lachm. Buttm. Tisch. 8, on the authority of A C D* gr. E F G א 6, 17, al., Copt. Arm. etc., Chrys. Theodoret, instead of ἀποδώῃ , which has the support of D*** E** K L, etc., Tisch. 7, Reiche. 2 Timothy 4:15 . ἀνθέστηχε ] Lachm. Buttm. Tisch. 8 rightly read ἀντέστη , on the authority of A C D* F G א , al.; Tisch. 7 read ἀνθέστηχεν , on the authority of D*** E K L, etc. 2 Timothy 4:16 . συμπαρεγένετο ] Following A C F G א 17, al., Lachm. Buttm. Tisch. 8 adopted the simple παρεγένετο ; no doubt the compound συμπαραγ . (Tisch. 7) occurs seldom in the N. T., being found elsewhere only in Luke 23:48 ; but it seems nevertheless to be a correction made on account of μοι . Here, too, the readings vary between the imperfect ἐγκατέλεπον (Rec.) and the aorist ἐγκατέλιπον ; Tisch. 7 has the former, Tisch. 8 the latter; comp. 2Ti 4:10 ; 2 Timothy 4:13 . 2 Timothy 4:17 . Instead of the singular ἀκούσῃ , Lachm. Buttm. and Tisch. rightly read the plural ἀχούσωσι , supported by A C D E F G א 17, 39, al. 2 Timothy 4:18 . Καί at the beginning of the verse was rightly omitted by Lachm. Buttm. and Tisch., on the authority of A C D* א 31, al., versions, Fathers; it was inserted to connect this verse with the preceding one. 2 Timothy 4:20 . Μιλήτῳ ] For this A has Μηλωτῷ , and Arab. Μελίτῃ . 2 Timothy 4:22 . For the Rec. ὁ κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός (C D E K L), Lachm. and Buttm. have ὁ κύριος Ἰησοῦς (A 31), Tisch. only ὁ κύριος (F G 17, etc.). Lachmann’s reading should perhaps have the preference, as it is the one most open to correction.

ἀμήν was omitted by Griesb. as a later addition.

Verses 1-2

2 Timothy 4:1-2 . Exhortation to faithful performance of official duty, enforced by the introductory formula: διαμαρτύρομαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ κ . τ . λ .] comp. 2 Timothy 2:14 ; 1 Timothy 5:21 .

τοῦ μέλλοντος κρίνειν ζ . κ . νεκρ .] Theophylact rightly expounds it: ζῶντας καὶ νεκροὺς λέγει τοὺς ἤδη ἀπελθόντας , καὶ τοὺς τότε καταλειφθησομένους ζῶντας ; comp. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 . Christ is called judge of the dead and the living, also in Acts 10:42 ; 1 Peter 4:5 ; it is quite wrong to suppose that the spiritually dead and living are meant. The allusion to the last judgment gives special strength to the exhortation.

καὶ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ ] Most expositors adopt κατά , the usual reading, as the correct one, and then take it as a preposition of time (Matthew 27:15 ; Acts 13:27 ; Hebrews 3:8 ), belonging to κρίνειν . With the correct reading, τὴν ἐπιφ κ . τ . λ . depends on διαμαρτύρομαι as the accusative of the oath (so, too, van Oosterzee and Plitt). It is, however, to be noted that in the N. T. διαμαρτύρεσθαι does not mean “swear” by itself, but only in connection with ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ (only in the Pastoral Epistles), and therefore only in this connection does it, like other verbs of swearing, govern the accusative, as Hofmann rightly remarks. Hence it follows that καί does not connect ἐπιφάνειαν with the previous ἐνώπιον , but belongs to the following καί : “both … and” (Hofmann). De Wette, appealing to Deuteronomy 4:26 , incorrectly expounds it: “I call his appearance, etc., to witness;” present things may be summoned as witnesses, but not future events like the ἐπιφάνεια of Christ.

The Vulg. has: per adventum, without καί : probably a translation of κατά , which is taken as κατά with the genitive, Matthew 26:63 .

ἐπιφάνεια , see 1 Timothy 6:14 .

καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ ] Several expositors join the two expressions as an hendiadys (Bengel: ἐπιφάνεια est revelatio et exhortus regni) = τὴν ἐπιφ . τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ ; but the αὐτοῦ with ἐπιφ . is against this. The two things are considered separately (Wiesinger: “the repetition of αὐτοῦ is rhetorical; each element is intended to be taken independently, and considered in its full significance”); the βασιλεία αὐτοῦ is the regnum gloriae which begins with the return of Christ.

The reason for adding these words lies in the κρίνειν ζ . κ . ν .; Paul says he has Christ’s second coming and kingdom in his thoughts, that he may give greater importance to his exhortation. 2 Timothy 4:2 . κήρυξον τὸν λόγον ] In 1 Timothy 5:21 , διαμ . is followed by ἵνα with the conjunctive; but here we have the simple imperative, which makes the appeal all the more urgent (Wiesinger).

τὸν λόγον , sc. τοῦ Θεοῦ ] This more precise definition is wanting here, because the emphasis lies chiefly on the verb, Paul indicating to Timothy the work to be done.

ἐπίστηθι εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως ] Most expositors join these words closely with κήρυξον in sense. Heydenreich: ἐπίστηθι , sc. τῷ κηρύσσειν . Theodoret: οὐχ ἁπλῶς καὶ ὡς ἔτυχεν αὐτὸν κηρύττειν παρεγγυᾷ , ἀλλὰ πάντα καιρὸν ἐπιτήδειον πρὸς τοῦτο νομίζειν . Vulg.: “insta;” Luther: “persist;” so also van Oosterzee; similarly Wiesinger, who, in harmony with ἐπίμενε αὐτοῖς , 1 Timothy 4:16 , expounds it: “keep one’s attention or activity directed to a thing.” But this is not the usual meaning of the verb; it means rather “ step towards or draw near ” (Hofmann is less precise: “approach, appear”), comp. Luke 2:8 ; Luke 2:38 , and other passages. The word is defined more precisely by κήρυξον τὸν λόγον : draw near with the preaching of the word. Who are the persons to whom Timothy is to draw near, may easily be supplied from the context, viz. to those to whom he has to preach the word. It is incorrect to think only of the whole church (Bretschneider: accede ad coetus christianos, so also de Wette), or only of the individual members (so before in this commentary). Plitt is correct: “draw near (to men), viz. with the word.”

εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως [56] ] Chrysostom: ΜῊ ΚΑΙΡῸΝ ἜΧΕ ὩΡΙΣΜΈΝΟΝ , ἈΕῚ ΣΟῚ ΚΑΙΡῸς ἚΣΤΩ . The further definition given by Chrysostom: ΚἊΝ ἘΝ ΤΟῖς ΚΙΝΔΎΝΟΙς , ΚἊΝ ἘΝ ΔΕΣΜΩΤΗΡΊῼ ᾞς Κ . Τ . Λ . , or by Theodoret: ΚΑῚ ἘΝ ΔΕΣΜΩΤΗΡΊῼ , ΚΑΊ ΠΛΟΊῼ ΚΑῚ ΠΑΡΑΚΕΙΜΈΝΗς ΤΡΑΠΈΖΗς , and others similar by other expositors, are wrong, since we ought to think here not so much of the circumstances in which Timothy (or more generally the preacher of the word) may be, but of the circumstances of the hearers: “whether the time seems to thee seasonable or unseasonable for it” (de Wette, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee). Hofmann is wrong: “whether he comes seasonably or not to those whom he approaches with the word;” for there was no need to tell Timothy that the preacher was not bound to inquire into his hearers’ opinion and act accordingly. For the truth, the occasion is always seasonable. He who desires to wait until the occasion seem completely favourable for his work, will never find it. This is particularly true of the exercise of the evangelic office.

Note, finally, Beza’s remark: nempe quod ad carnis prudentiam pertinet; nam alioqui requiritur sanctae prudentiae spiritus, captans occasiones ad aedificationem opportunas.

ἜΛΕΓΞΟΝ ] should be restricted neither to heresies nor to moral transgressions; it includes blame of everything blameworthy.

ἘΠΙΤΊΜΗΣΟΝ ] stronger than ἜΛΕΓΞΟΝ : “blame with decided manifestation of dislike;” often in the Gospels, also in Jude 1:9 .

ΠΑΡΑΚΆΛΕΣΟΝ ] Blame and exhortation should be joined in order to cause edification; blame by itself embitters, exhortation by itself is ineffectual.

ἘΝ ΠΆΣῌ ΜΑΚΡΟΘΥΜΊᾼ ΚΑῚ ΔΙΔΑΧῇ ] An appendix to ΠΑΡΑΚΆΛΕΣΟΝ , or, according to the reading of Tisch. 8, ἘΠΙΤΊΜΗΣΟΝ , with which, however, it seems less appropriate. On ΜΑΚΡΟΘΥΜΊΑ , comp. 2 Timothy 3:10 .

ΔΙΔΑΧῇ ] The exhortation is to be of a kind that will instruct; the purpose, as Heydenreich aptly remarks, is not to produce momentary emotion and violent tumult of feeling. ΔΙΔΑΧΉ is instruction, and is not equivalent to studium alios vera docendi. It is wrong, too, to make it an hendiadys, as if it were ἘΝ ΠΆΣῌ ΔΙΔΑΧῆς ΜΑΚΡΟΘΥΜΊᾼ .

Note the connection of this verse with 2 Timothy 3:16 . The preacher of the divine word has not to perform the work of teaching, of reproving, etc., without placing himself under the teaching, the reproof, etc., of the divine word.

[56] Similar collocations without any particle of union or separation are not found in the N. T., but occur in Greek and Latin classics; see Bengel on this passage. Nicetas Choniates: παιδαγωγῷ ἐμβριθεῖ ἐοικὼς , εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως ἐπέπληττεν . Julian: ἐπορεύετο ἐπὶ τὰς τῶν φίλων οἰκίκς ἄκλητος κεκλημένος . Virgil: digna indigna pati.

Verses 3-4

2 Timothy 4:3-4 . Ground of the previous exhortation, ἔσται γὰρ καιρὸς , ὅτε ] see 2 Timothy 2:16-17 , 2 Timothy 3:1 ff.

The ἔσται shows that he is speaking not of the present (Heinrichs), but of the future; comp. 2 Timothy 3:1 ; 1 Timothy 4:1 .

τῆς ὑγιαινούσης διδασκαλίας ] see 1 Timothy 1:10 .

οὐκ ἀνέξονται ] comp. Act 18:14 ; 2 Corinthians 11:4 . De Wette: “find intolerable, because not consistent with their desires.”

ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὰς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας ] “according to wilful, selfish lusts;” the accent is on ἰδίας a contrast to obedience under the divine will.

ἑαυτοῖς ἐπισωρεύσουσι διδασκάλους ] ἐπισωρεύειν ( ἅπ . λεγ ., the simple form in 2 Timothy 3:6 ), “heap up, procure in abundance.” Heydenreich’s conjecture is groundless, that the word here has the suggestion of: they will set him up for a burden to themselves (Luther: “burden themselves”) for their own hurt; on the other hand, Chrysostom is right: τὸ ἀδιάκριτον πλῆθος διὰ τοῦ · ἐπισωρεύσουσι , ἐδήλωσε . We cannot but see that the word here is meant to indicate the contemptible part of their conduct. The ἐπι does not compel us to follow Hofmann in his exposition: “in addition to those who represent sound doctrine;” what follows rather shows that they turn away from all such.

The reason is given in the words: κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοήν . Κνήθω ( ἅπ . λεγ .), tickle, cause to itch; κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοήν , “be tickled in the ear,” i.e. feel a tickling in the ear ( τὴν ἀκοήν being the accusative of more precise definition). This tickling is usually taken to mean a pleasant sensation; [57] so Hesychius: ζητοῦντες τὶ ἀκοῦσαι καθʼ ἡδονήν , and almost all expositors. But this view, before adopted in this commentary, is opposed by the fact that ζητοῦντες is purely imported. The present participle cannot mean: “that they wish to feel a tickling in the ear, but only that they do feel it.” Hofmann is therefore right in explaining this tickling of the ear to mean the desire of hearing something different from what they had heard before; “because they feel a tickling in the ear, they procure for themselves teachers after their own lusts.” 2 Timothy 4:4 . καὶ ἀπὸ μὲν τῆς ἀλ κ . τ . λ .] τῆς ἀληθείας = τῆς ὑγ . διδασκαλίας .

ἐπὶ δὲ τοὺς μύθους ] see 1 Timothy 1:4 .

ἐκτραπήσονται ] see 1 Timothy 1:6 .

[57] Plutarch ( De Superst. p. 167): μονσικὴν ἀνθρώποις οὐ τρυφῆς ἕνεκα καὶ κνήσεως ὠτῶν δοθῆναι .

Verse 5

2 Timothy 4:5 . A general exhortation summing up the particulars already mentioned.

σὺ δέ ] see 2 Timothy 3:10 .

νῆφε ἐν πᾶσι ] νήφειν , synonymous with γρηγορεῖν , 1 Thessalonians 5:6 , and σωφρονεῖν , 1 Peter 4:7 , opposite of “be intoxicated;” it denotes the clear prudence in thought and action which it is all the more necessary for Timothy to show, because there is impending what the apostle in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 has described.

ἐν πᾶσι ] “in all parts.”

κακοπάθησον ] see 2 Timothy 1:8 , 2 Timothy 2:3 .

ἔργον ποίησον εὐαγγελιστοῦ ] According to Ephesians 4:11 , there were special evangelists, who were distinct both from the apostles and from the pastors and teachers. Theodoret characterizes them in the well-known words: πριΐοντες ἐκήρυττον . They did not belong to a particular church like the ποιμένες , but travelled about like the apostles, preaching the Gospel to the Jews or heathen. They could lay no claim to authority in their office, since, as Otto rightly remarks (comp. too, Hofmann, Schriftbew . II. 2, pp. 272 f.), they laboured not in consequence of an office committed to them, but by means of a χάρισμα imparted to them, as did also the προφῆται . It is incorrect to identify them with the assistant apostles. Philip was an evangelist (Acts 21:8 ), but not an assistant apostle. Timothy, Titus, and others were assistant apostles, and as such , evangelists only in the same sense in which the apostles themselves were evangelists; standing in closer relation to the apostles, they were their συνέργοι in all official duties, and all they did belonged to their διακονία (so, too, Plitt). [58] As the εὐαγγελίζεσθαι was Timothy’s chief vocation (as with the Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 1:17 ), the apostle exhorts him: ἜΡΓΟΝ ΠΟΊΗΣΟΝ ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΙΣΤΟῦ , adding the further exhortation: ΤῊΝ ΔΙΑΚΟΝΊΑΝ ΣΟΥ ΠΛΗΡΟΦΌΡΗΣΟΝ . This latter is not to be taken as a mere repetition of the preceding one, or as “only laying emphasis on the same thought by the use of ΠΛΗΡΟΦΌΡΗΣΟΝ ” (Wiesinger), since, as the whole of the first epistle testifies, his ΔΙΑΚΟΝΊΑ included more than the ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΊΖΕΣΘΑΙ (which Hofmann wrongly denies [59] ).

ΠΛΗΡΟΦΟΡΕῖΝ ] synonymous here with ΠΛΗΡΟῦΝ , which is even the reading of some MSS. Luther rightly: “execute;” see Colossians 4:17 ; Acts 12:25 . Though ΠΛΗΡΟΦΟΡΕῖΝ in this sense is ἍΠ . ΛΕΓ ., still it is well employed “to indicate the full measure of activity, in which not the least point may fail” (van Oosterzee). Beza’s exposition is too ingenious: ministerii tui plenam fidem facito, i.e. veris argumentis comproba te germanum esse dei ministrum.

[58] Wiesinger is wrong in thinking that Timothy’s office was only that of an evangelist, and therefore quite the same as Philip had, and that his labours beyond that in Ephesus did not belong to his διακονία . It is certain that his labours were done on the special commission of Paul; but it is incorrect to suppose that Paul commissioned him to do anything beyond his office. Otto’s remark on the relation of the evangelists to the assistant apostles agrees in substance with what has been said above, only it might be more than doubtful that their preaching, as he thinks, was confined to an account of Christ’s words and works , that they were therefore only “heralds of the gospel history .” Otto rightly says that the assistant apostles “represented the apostle in the entire range of his work.”

[59] Hofmann, without reason, supposes that at the time when Paul wrote this epistle, and even before, Timothy was no longer an assistant to Paul in the apostleship. There is no hint of this anywhere; on the contrary, the contents of the second epistle are decidedly against the supposition.

Verse 6

2 Timothy 4:6 . Paul points to his approaching death in order to strengthen his exhortation to Timothy to fulfil his duties faithfully. As he himself cannot any longer contend against the increasing disorder, Timothy must be all the more careful to prove himself faithful.

ἐγὼ γὰρ ἤδη σπένδομαι ] ἐγώ is emphatic by position, being in contrast with σύ , 2 Timothy 4:5 .

ἤδη ] not “soon,” but “already;” it denotes present time; his sufferings form already the beginning of the σπένδεσθαι .

σπένδομαι Wahl wrongly takes the verb here in the middle voice: sanguinem meum libo, i. e. vires et vitam impendo. But it is impossible thus to supply the object; the verb is passive. It does not, however, stand for κατασπένδομαι : “I am besprinkled,” i.e. I am consecrated for the sacrificial death (Heydenreich and others); the proper meaning is to be retained: “ I am made a libation, poured out as drink-offering ” (de Wette, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Hofmann). The meaning is, dropping the figure, already is my blood shed; comp. Philippians 2:17 . De Wette maintains that the form of expression is incorrect without ἐπὶ τῇ θυσίᾳ κ . τ . λ .; but why, it is difficult to see. Heinrichs wrongly lets the idea of sacrifice drop out of the word, and explains it quite generally as effundere, i.e. viribus defici, “my end is already near, it is all over with me.” Luther translates it inexactly, but rightly enough in meaning: “I am already offered.”

Paul does not use θύομαι , but σπένδομαι , not because he means to declare that he is fully and completely offered for God’s cause (Oecumenius: τῆς μὲν θυσίας μέρος τὶ μόνον Θεῷ εἰς θυμίαμα ἀφιεροῦτο · ἡ δὲ σπονδὴ ἅπασα αὐτῷ ἀφιέρωται ), but because the shedding of blood is analogous to the pouring out of the drink-offering; and as the libation formed the conclusion of the sacrifice, the apostle’s martyrdom closed his apostolic service, which to him was the same as a service of sacrifice (Romans 10:16 ; Philippians 2:17 ).

The idea contained in the figurative expression that his death was near, is again expressed by Paul in the next words: καὶκαιρὸς τῆς ἀναλύσεώς μου ἐφέστηκε ] The verb ἀναλύειν means “unloose what was tied,” so that ἀνάλυσις might be equivalent to “unloosing,” dissolutio (Vulgate, Matthies); but it is more correct to return to the usage by which in nautical language ἀναλύειν with or without ἄγκυραν means “weigh anchor, depart,” or even of an army, “strike tents, set out on the march.” Hence ἀνάλυσις is equivalent to “departure, setting out,” and ought to be explained as the departure from this life; see Philippians 1:23 . [60] Elsner and Wolf think that there is here a special reference to rising from table, and that the word is used in very close connection with σπένδομαι : moris olim erat, ut, qui de conviviis discederent, diis libarent; discedentes autem dicebantur ἀναλύοντες et libantes (Wolf), and that Paul means to say: se ex hac vita molestiisque exsatiatum abiturum, libato non vino, sed sanguine suo (Eisner). But, on the one hand, the allusion to σπένδομαι is not to heathen, but to Jewish ritual; and, on the other hand, there is no hint of the figure of a feast. Not less arbitrary is Beza’s explanation, that ἀνάλυσις refers specially to the departure from battle.

ἐφέστηκε ] “is near at hand;” Luther incorrectly: “is ready.”

[60] Otto objects, that in Philippians 1:23 ἀναλῦσαι does not of itself mean the departure from the flesh, but only when connected with the co-ordinate σὺν Χριστῷ εἶναι . But his objection is made still less forcible by the fact that this meaning of the word is clearly indicated, not only by the preceding σπένδομαι , but also by vv. 7, 8.


According to the exposition which has been given here, and which, in substance, is generally accepted, this passage decidedly contradicts the hypothesis that Paul wrote this epistle at the beginning of the imprisonment mentioned by Luke. Otto, therefore, to favour this hypothesis, finds himself compelled to give σπένδομαι another signification. This he tries to obtain from a searching consideration of the passage in Philippians 2:17 . He tries to prove that the apostle in that passage could only have used σπένδομαι in the sense of “devotion to his missionary labours.” His proof is based on the assertion apparently to the point, but in reality erroneous that when the particles εἰ καί are joined together, “the καί resumes the statement made under εἰ the conditional particle, at the same time marking it as an actual fact .” This assertion is apparently to the point, since εἰ καί is used often where an actual fact is under discussion; and in this way, e.g. , the passage at 2 Corinthians 4:16 may be explained: “if our outward man is destroyed, and it is actually being destroyed , then,” etc. But the assertion is erroneous, because εἰ καί is also used in passages where no actual fact is under discussion. This, e.g. , is the case in the passage 1 Corinthians 7:21 , where, clearly, the explanation cannot be given: “if thou canst become free and thou canst indeed become free .” Otto has quite overlooked the fact that εἰ καί with the indicative cannot be different from the simple εἰ with the indicative, and this does not declare the fact to be actual, but only supposes it to be actual, whether actual or not; the fact may be actual, but it may quite as well not be actual, comp. 1 Corinthians 15:12-13 , where both cases stand close to one another. Hence it is not the case that σπένδεσθαι must denote something which, as the apostle said it of himself, did actually take place; it cannot therefore be understood to mean the apostle’s martyrdom, because, according to Philippians 1:25 , he was expecting to be freed from imprisonment, but must mean simply the cessation of his missionary labours.

As for the evidence by which Otto seeks to obtain this meaning for σπένδεσθαι , it must be held erroneous, since there is no justification whatever for the assertions on which it rests viz. (1) that by the ἐγώ contained in σπένδομαι (standing here in opposition to σύ ) the apostle meant his “apostolic labours;” and (2) that in Acts 23:11 , by the word of the Lord “Rome was appointed to the apostle as the goal of his apostolic calling, beyond which he was not to preach the gospel.” Though it may be said that “the apostle’s ego lived and wrought only in one thing, and that, to preach the gospel to the heathen,” it by no means follows that when he is speaking of himself , he does not mean himself , his person, but his apostolic calling. And though, according to Philippians 1:25-26 , the apostle expects to continue his labours after the Roman imprisonment, it is a pure fiction to suppose that these labours were to be episcopal rather than apostolic. [61]

As a result of this interpretation of σπένδομαι , Otto cannot understand ἀνάλυσις to mean the departure from this life; it is quite consistent for him, therefore, to say: “ ἀνάλυσις can only be the discessus, abitus from the place in which Paul then was, this place being the τέρμα of his apostolic career.” This exposition presupposes an erroneous view of Acts 23:11 , and its unsuitability becomes all the clearer when Otto continues: “when the messenger has come to his destination, and executed his commission, he must return to him by whom he was sent; Paul was sent by Christ, to Christ he must return; this is what the apostle says: the time of my return home is near, for I am at the goal, and have discharged my commission.” And then Otto still thinks that the apostle might with this cherish the expectation of being able to labour among the Philippians for a longer period , since ἐφέστηκεν does not mean “is near,” but simply “is impending” (!). Finally, there is nowhere the slightest trace that the apostle thought at any time before his death of ceasing to be the apostle of the Lord.

[61] Weiss ( Stud. u. Krit. 1861, p. 588) rightly says: “If it be said to the apostle that he is to testify also in Rome, there is not the slightest hint that he is to advance with his preaching only so far as Rome .”

Verse 7

2 Timothy 4:7 . In the prospect of his approaching end, Paul expresses the consciousness of having been faithful in the career appointed to him, and the hope of the heavenly reward.

There is no ground whatever for de Wette’s assertion, that this expression is opposed to Christian humility.

τὸν καλὸν ἀγῶνα ἠγώνισμαι ] Luther inaccurately: “I have fought a good fight.” The definite article must not be overlooked; see 1 Timothy 6:12 . The perfect ἠγώνισμαι shows that the apostle now stood at the end of the fight to which he was called as the apostle of the Lord, [62] and that he had fought through it faithfully.

Baur, quite arbitrarily, is of opinion that Philippians 1:30 was here made use of; as little was the passage at Philippians 3:12 ff. used (de Wette).

τὸν δρόμον τετέληκα ] The same thought is expressed by the more definite figure of a race . The point chiefly brought out is that the apostle, after continuing it without stopping, now stands at the goal. Compare with this passage Acts 20:24 ; the same figure is used also in 1 Corinthians 9:24 , and is indicated in Philippians 3:12 ff.

τὴν πίστιν τετήρηκα ] “ I have kept the faith ,” viz. against all inducements to deny it. Heydenreich wrongly takes this expression also as a figurative one, and expounds πίστις to mean fidelity in observing the laws of battle and rules of the race; comp. against this, 1 Timothy 6:12 .

τὸν καλὸν ἀγῶνα τῆς πίστεως ] Bengel: res bis per metaphoram expressa nunc tertio loco exprimitur proprie.

[62] Hofmann wrongly maintains that the apostle is not speaking here of his labours in the calling of an apostle, but generally of his Christian calling. The context clearly points to the former.

Verse 8

2 Timothy 4:8 . Λοιπόν ] Wahl interprets it by ἤδη (jam, already), but this meaning is very doubtful. Other expositors take it to be equivalent to τὸ λοιπόν : “for the future;” Heydenreich: “one day, after course and fight are finished.” But the present ἀπόκειται is against this; it cannot be “future in sense” (Hofmann), for the signification of the word forbids it. Beza’s interpretation suits the context best: “in reliquum;” and with this de Wette and Wiesinger agree. At the end of his life-course, when he has faithfully played out his part, there remains nothing more for the apostle than to receive the reward which is already prepared for him.

ἀπόκειταί μοι ] comp. Colossians 1:5 (see my Commentary, p. 57).

τῆς δικαιοσύνης στέφανος ] Continuation of the figure from 2 Timothy 4:7 .

στέφανος is used for the prize of victory in 1 Corinthians 9:25 . The genitive τῆς δικαιοσύνης , like τῆς ζωῆς in James 1:12 , Revelation 2:10 , and τῆς δόξης in 1 Peter 5:4 , may be taken most naturally as the genitivus appositionis, and δικαιοσύνη as the perfect state, granted at the judgment to the believer by the sentence that justifies him (so, too, van Oosterzee). Δικαιοσύνη does not denote the act of justifying so much as the state of justification.

Two other interpretations are found in Heinrichs: στεφ . δικαιοσ ., i.e. corona, vel quae δικαίως dabitur ei, qui ea dignus est, a δικαίῳ κριτῇ (“the crown of just recompense,” Heydenreich, Matthies, and others; but δικαιοσύνη never means recompense), vel quae mihi ob δικαιοσύνην debetur. This last interpretation is found in Chrysostom: δικαιοσύνην ἐνταῦθα τὴν καθόλου φησὶν ἀρετήν ; also in de Wette, Wiesinger, Plitt. It is indeed possible, but improbable, because in that case we would not be told of what the crown of victory consists. Besides, the analogy of the passages quoted is against this interpretation. [63]

It is manifestly quite out of place to understand ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣΎΝΗ here, as Calovius and Mosheim do, of the imputed righteousness of Christ.

ὋΝ ἈΠΟΔΏΣΕΙ (often used to denote the divine recompense on the day of judgment, Matthew 16:27 ; Romans 2:6 ) ΜΟΙ ΚΎΡΙΟς ( i.e. Christ) ἐν ἐκείντῇ ἡμέρᾳ , ὁ δίκαιος κριτής (see 2 Timothy 4:1 ), in apposition to ΚΎΡΙΟς . There is nothing strange in laying stress on the righteousness of the judge, since that forms the main element in the divine judgment. God’s χάρις does not take away His ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣΎΝΗ , and the gospel does not deny, but confirms, the truth that for the believer the judgment will take place ΚΑΤᾺ ΤᾺ ἜΡΓΑ ΑὐΤΟῦ , or ΚΑΤᾺ ΤῊΝ ΠΡᾶΞΙΝ ΑὐΤΟῦ . To this truth Paul often directs attention, not only for exhortation, but also for comfort; see 2 Thessalonians 1:5 . [64]

While Paul expresses for himself the hope of the reward of victory, he knows that he is not claiming something special for himself alone. Hence he adds: Οὐ ΜΌΝΟΝ ΔῈ ἘΜΟΊ ( sc . ἀποδώσει κ . τ . λ .), ἈΛΛᾺ ΚΑῚ ΠᾶΣΙ ΤΟῖς ἨΓΑΠΗΚΌΣΙ ] the perfect in the sense of the present: “who have fixed their love on,” i.e. “who love” (comp. Winer, p. 256 [E. T. p. 341]). But if we proceed from the standpoint of ἀποδώσει , the perfect may also be understood to mean: “to those who in this mortal life have longed for the appearing of the Lord” (Hofmann).

ΤῊΝ ἘΠΙΦΆΝΕΙΑΝ ΑὐΤΟῦ ] is not to be understood of the first appearance of the Lord in the flesh, 2 Timothy 1:10 , but, according to the context, and in harmony with 2 Timothy 4:1 , of the second coming. The verb ἨΓΑΠΗΚΌΣΙ is not opposed to this, for it is used elsewhere to denote the desire for something future; see 1 Peter 3:10 . Matthies: “to all who in love for Him wait longingly for His second coming.”

[63] Hofmann disputes the interpretation given above, because “Life, glory is a blessing, whereas righteousness is a condition which is rewarded;” but righteousness, taken as it is taken here, is a blessing. On the other hand, Hofmann disputes Wiesinger’s interpretation, at the same time giving one of his own which is far from clear: “he who obtains the στέφανος adjudged to him, is thereby acknowledged to be a righteous man.”

[64] De Wette is wrong in his assertion, that this passage is incompatible with Paul’s view of grace, and that from a subjective standpoint God’s righteousness can only be feared if we are rightly humble and have knowledge of self. If it is not denied that in the Pauline passages, Rom 2:5 ff., 2 Thessalonians 1:5 , a reward is expected from God’s righteousness, we cannot see why Paul could not possibly have claimed it for himself. Was the consciousness of his fidelity in the service of the Lord, which, moreover, he expresses elsewhere, altogether incompatible with his utterance of humility in Philippians 3:12 ? The contrast of objective and subjective point of view to which contrast de Wette makes appeal does not exist for the Christian consciousness.

Verse 9

2 Timothy 4:9 . From this verse to the end we have detached commissions and items of news. “This forms the second chief section of the epistle. The apostle, with his usual habit of keeping the more personal matter for the end, places it after the exhortations given to Timothy about his office” (Wiesinger).

σπούδασον ἐλθεῖν πρὸς με ταχέως ] Here the apostle’s wish that Timothy should come to him, hinted already in 2Ti 1:3 ; 2 Timothy 1:8 , is distinctly expressed. Even if it were the proximate cause of his writing, it is arbitrary to regard this as the chief purpose of the epistle, as de Wette does. [65]

The apostle wished him to come, because those who had assisted him hitherto had left him.

[65] Hofmann’s remark is purely hypothetical, that σπούδασον κ . τ . λ . is not an invitation, but refers to Timothy’s willingness to come, which he had expressed to Paul in a letter.

Verse 10

2 Timothy 4:10 . Δημᾶς γάρ με ἐγκατέλιπεν ] ἐγκαταλείπειν is equivalent to “leave in the lurch.” It is wrong to interpret this either of a departure from the place merely, or of an entire apostasy from the gospel. Demas is mentioned also in Colossians 4:14 and Philemon 1:24 as a σύνεργος of the apostle.

ἀγαπήσας τὸν νῦν αἰῶνα ] The reason why Demas had left him; ἀγαπήσας , not “having fixed his love on” (Matthies), but “because he loved.”

τὸν νῦν αἰῶνα ] the present world, as opposed to the future, i.e. the earthly, visible blessings of life. In the desire for these things, Demas had left the apostle and gone to Thessalonica, καὶ ἐπορεύθη εἰς Θεσσαλονίκην , perhaps “for the sake of trade,” as some conjecture, or because it was his native place. Chrysostom: τῆς ἀνέσεως ἐρασθεὶς , τοῦ ἀκινδύνου καὶ τοῦ ἀσφαλοῦς , μᾶλλον εἵλετο οἴκοι τρυφᾷν , ἢ μετʼ ἐμοῦ ταλαιπωρεῖσθαι καὶ συνδιαφέρειν μοι τοὺς παρόντας κινδύνους .

Κρήσκης εἰς Γαλατίαν , sc. ἐπορεύθη ; but without ἀγαπήσας τὸν νῦν αἰῶνα . Crescens is mentioned only here. Nothing further is known of him, nor do we know why he had set out for Galatia, and Titus for Dalmatia. The verb ἐπορεύθη is against the suggestion of Matthies, that they had been sent thither by Paul. [66]

[66] Hofmann, taking Γαλίαν to be the original reading, supposes that Crescens and Titus had left the apostle in order to work for the gospel in places to which Paul himself had not come.

Verse 11

2 Timothy 4:11 . Λουκᾶς ἐστὶ μόνος μετʼ ἐμοῦ ] There is no reason for doubting that this Luke was the apostle’s well-known assistant. He accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey from Troas, Acts 16:10 , then on his third journey, Acts 20:5 to Acts 21:18 . He was with Paul both in his imprisonment at Caesarea and in the first imprisonment at Rome, Acts 27:0 ; Colossians 4:14 ; Philemon 1:24 .

Μάρκον ἀναλαβὼν ἄγαγε (or common reading: ἄγε ) μετὰ σεαυτοῦ ] Mark, too, is the young apostle with whom we are acquainted from the Book of Acts. According to Colossians 4:10 , Philemon 1:13 , he was likewise with Paul in his first Roman imprisonment; ἀναλαβών , see Acts 20:14 . It is not known where Mark was at this time. The reason why Paul wished to have him is given in the words: ἔστι γάρ μοι εὔχρηστος εἰς διακονίαν ] εὔχρηστος , 2 Timothy 2:21 . Διακονία here is to be understood of the apostolic office [67] (according to Wiesinger: “of Mark’s personal services, but certainly in the apostle’s vocation”).

[67] What Otto (pp. 257 ff.) on this passage adduces regarding the relation of Mark to Paul are groundless suppositions. It is a purely arbitrary assumption that Mark, after abstaining for some time from work among the heathen, had again offered his services to Paul through Timothy. And it is equally an assumption to say, that from the words εὔχρηστος κ . τ . λ . it would appear that Mark could not have hitherto given Paul his services, because in that case Paul would not have “censured him regarding his usefulness for the ministry” (!).

Verse 12

2 Timothy 4:12 . Τύχικον δὲ ἀπέστειλα εἰς Ἔφεσον ] Tychicus was in Greece with Paul on the third missionary journey, and preceded him to Troas, Acts 20:4-5 . According to Colossians 4:7 and Ephesians 6:21 , Paul sent him from Rome to Asia Minor. Otto thinks that this was the occasion mentioned here, and tries to prove it particularly by an interpretation of the passages quoted from the Epistles to the Colossians and the Ephesians. There are, however, well-founded objections to his theory. The facts are such, the two occasions on which he was sent can obviously not be identical.

εἰς Ἔφεσον ] Paul here mentions Ephesus as the place to which he had sent Tychicus; but we cannot infer from this, as Theodoret and de Wette infer, that Timothy had not at that time lived in Ephesus.

The reason why he was sent is not given. Possibly it was to convey this epistle (Wieseler); but not probably, for in such a case Paul would have certainly written πρὸς σέ (Titus 3:12 ; Wiesinger).

Verse 13

2 Timothy 4:13 . Timothy is commissioned to bring with him certain belongings. The first named is τὸν φελόνην . On the various spellings of this word, see the Greek lexicons. Regarding the meaning, Chrysostom said: φελόνην ἐνταῦθα τὸ ἱμάτιον λέγει · τινὲς δέ φασι τὸ γλωσσόκομον , ἔνθα τὰ βιβλία ἔκειτο ; and the most recent expositors are still at variance. Matthies takes it in the second meaning: “ cloakbag , covering for books,” because it is improbable that Paul should have left his travelling cloak behind him. De Wette adopts the first meaning, for the reason given by Bengel: theca non seorsum a libris appellaretur. This is the more probable view; there is little force in the objection, that we cannot see what use Paul would have for the mantle when he was expecting death so soon.

ὃν ἀπέλιπον ἐν Τρωάδι παρὰ Κάρπῳ ] From this it is clear that Paul had been in Troas before he came to Rome, but the time is not stated. In any case, it is very improbable (see Introd. p. 25) that this sojourn was the one mentioned in Acts 20:6 . He did not, however, touch at Troas on his voyage from Caesarea to Rome.

Carpus is mentioned only here.

καὶ τὰ βιβλία , μάλιστα τὰς μεμβράνας ] Since Paul says nothing further about them, it is idle conjecture to define more precisely the contents of the books written on papyrus, and of the more valuable rolls of parchment.

Verses 14-15

2 Timothy 4:14-15 . Warning against a certain Alexander. Ἀλέξανδροςχαλκεύς ] see on 1 Timothy 1:20 .

πολλά μοι κακὰ ἐνεδείξατο ] The words point to a personal injury which he had inflicted on the apostle. This must, however, be added to an attitude of opposition to his words, as is shown in the words: λίαν γὰρ ἀντέστη τοῖς ἡμετέροις λόγοις ] It is doubtful where this was done, and where Alexander was at the time of the composition of this epistle. Further, the warning: ὃν καὶ σὺ φυλάσσου , may refer both “to Timothy’s presence in Ephesus and to his future stay in Rome” (de Wette). Wiesinger conjectures that this Alexander, a native of Ephesus, had come from there to Rome to give testimony against the apostle (at his πρώτη ἀπολογία , 2 Timothy 4:16 ), and had afterwards returned to Ephesus. [68] This conjecture obtains some probability from the fact that in the very next verse Paul speaks of the ἀπολογία ; but this fact cannot be regarded as making the matter certain. The words preceding this warning, if we read ἀποδώσει αὐτῷκύριος κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ , present no difficulty. Even with the reading ἀποδώῃ they cannot form a reason for reproaching the apostle with a desire for vengeance; Christian love does not extinguish the feeling of justice; besides, the apostle does not speak the words because of the personal injury, but because of Alexander’s hostility to the truth. Justin ( quaest. 125, ad Orthod. ) says of these words: πρέπουσα ἀνδρὶ ἀποστόλῳ μὴ ἐκδικοῦντι ἑαυτὸν , ἀλλὰ διδόντι τόπον τῇ ὀργῇ ; comp. Romans 12:19 ; 1 Peter 2:23 .

[68] Hofmann supposes that this Alexander was the same as the one mentioned in Acts 19., and that he had given testimony against the apostle in Ephesus. The opinion is manifestly too far-fetched, that Luke would not have mentioned him in the Acts, if the Roman Theophilus, for whom in the first place he wrote the Acts, “had not known Alexander from some other source, in the manner in which we make acquaintance with him in the passage before us.”

Verses 16-17

2 Timothy 4:16-17 . Information regarding the apostle’s present condition, ἐν τῇ πρώτμου ἀπολογίᾳ ] ἀπολογία : the public appearance before the court; comp. Philippians 1:7 . Ἐν τῇ πρώτῃ shows that there was a second appearance in order to bring the case to an end. On the time when the first trial took place, see the Introduction, where, too, there is a discussion of Otto’s hypothesis, that it means the proceedings before Festus, as recounted in Acts 25:6-12 .

οὐδείς μοι παρεγἐνετο ] “no one stood on my side, was present with me,” viz. as patronus [69] (defender). It is the negative expression of the thought which in the next words is given positively: ἀλλὰ πάντες με ἐγκατέλιπον . As to the reason why they had left the apostle, Theodoret says rightly: οὐ κακοηθείας ἧν , ἀλλὰ δειλίαςὑποχώρησις .

However much this want of evangelic spirit may have pained the apostle, he says no word in anger: μὴ αὐτοῖς λογισθείη : “may it not be reckoned to them, but pardoned.” 2 Timothy 4:17 . ὁ δὲ κύριός μοι παρέστη ] said in sharp antithesis to the previous thought. The presence of the Lord manifested itself to the apostle in the courage which he had to testify freely and openly regarding Him; hence καὶ ἐνεδυνάμωσέ με ] Chrysostom: παῤῥησίαν ἐχαρίσατο ; comp. 1 Timothy 1:12 ; Philippians 4:13 . According to Otto, this expression means simply that the Lord “maintained the apostle’s cause against his accusers,” which is clearly an unjustifiable paraphrase of the word, as the apostle is speaking not of his cause , but of himself . Even if ἐνεδυνάμωσε be used in a forensic sense, its signification cannot be altered; it applies to the strengthening which enabled the apostle so to speak as to ward off sentence against him. The purpose of this strengthening was: ἵνα διʼ ἐμοῦ τὸ κήρυγμα πληροφορηθῇ ] According to the meaning suitable to the word πληροφορεῖν in Romans 4:21 ; Romans 14:5 , Beza translates: “ut per me praeconio evangelii fides fieret.” Heydenreich, too, thinks that πληροφ . refers to the confirmation of the gospel or testimony to it, either through the proofs delivered by Paul or through the joy he exhibited. But it is safer to take πληροφ . in the same sense here as in 2 Timothy 4:5 , some of the MSS. even reading πληρωθῇ for πληροφορηθῇ . It is, however, inaccurate to take the expression in the sense of: “that I might be enabled to preach the gospel” (de Wette). In this interpretation full force is not given to πληροφορεῖν . These words must be taken in very close connection with καὶ ἀκούσπάντα τὰ ἔθνη , and referred to the apostle’s being called to preach the gospel to the heathen. The κήρυγμα , sc. τοῦ εὐαγγελίου , was fulfilled by Paul, inasmuch as it was done openly before all people (Wieseler, Wiesinger) in the metropolis of the world (was delivered before the corona populi, before the court). Hofmann, regarding this interpretation of the apostle’s words as forced, understands ἵνα κ . τ . λ . in this way: “If courage and strength had failed the apostle before the heathen tribunal of the metropolis of the world … his confident belief that the heathen world was called to become the church of Christ would have been shattered.” But the words διʼ ἐμοῦπληροφορηθῇ distinctly say that the preaching had been carried out by the apostle himself, and not simply that the preaching to be done by others would not be hindered by him, i.e. by his conduct.

The ἵνα was fulfilled by the apostle’s speech in the πρώτη ἀπολογία . Otto, on the contrary, asserts that the first ἀπολογία and the preaching in Rome took place at different times, and that ἵνα refers to what was to be done afterwards in Rome by the apostle. This is wrong, since in that case ἵνα ought not to stand before , hut after ἐῤῥύσθην .

καὶ ἐῤῥύσθην ἐκ στόματος λέοντος ] second proof of the help and presence of the Lord.

στόμα λέοντος has been very variously explained. The expression is not to be taken literally (Mosheim), but figuratively, and is to be referred to the punishment of being thrown to the lions.

Chrysostom and many after him take Nero to be the λέων ; Pearson again takes Helius Ceasareanus, since Nero at the time had departed for Greece. Wahl thinks λέων a metaphor for tyrannus crudelis, while Wolf explains it to be omnis illa hostium caterva, quorum conatus in prima apologia tunc facta eluserit. [70] All these interpretations are inappropriate. In the first place, the metaphor is not in ΛΈΩΝ alone, but in ΣΤΌΜΑ ΛΈΟΝΤΟς (so, too, van Oosterzee, Hofmann); and, secondly, this expression can hardly be referred simply to the danger that threatened the apostle from men, but also to the danger prepared for him by the might of Satan, which was opposed to Christ. Hence the interpretation “ deadly danger ” (so de Wette, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee) is not sufficient. [71] Paul escaped from the danger impending over him, unhurt in body and soul (see on 2 Timothy 3:11 ), escaped as a conqueror in the eyes of the Lord, and hence he says: ἘῤῬΊΣΘΗΝ ἘΚ ΣΤΌΜΑΤΟς ΛΈΟΝΤΟς .

[69] Wolf: verb. συμπαραγίνεσθαι indicat patronos et amicos, qui alios, ad causam dicendam vocatos, nunc praesentia sua, nunc etiam oratione adjuvare solebant. Graeci dicunt nunc παραγίνεσθαι , nunc παρεῖναι , nunc συμπαρεῖναι . See further, in Rein, Röm . Privatrecht , p. 425; Schömann, Attisch. Recht , p. 708.

[70] Otto adopts an explanation to suit his opinion that this ἀπολογία took place in Caesarea before Festus: “Judaism was the lion that panted for the apostle’s blood,” and from it the apostle was delivered when he appealed to the emperor, and Festus received the appeal.

[71] Hofmann: “His danger was a greater one, to lose … before the tribunal his courage in confessing Christ. That he had escaped it, he owes thanks to God’s help.”

Verse 18

2 Timothy 4:18 . In the assured confidence of faith, the apostle adds to ἐῤῥύσθην the word of hope: ῥύσεταί μεκύριος ἀπὸ πάντος ἔργου πονηροῦ , for he knows that the Lord even if it be through death (2 Timothy 4:6 ) will bring him into His kingdom. ἔργον πονηρόν is not equivalent to evil, as Luther translates it and Matthies explains it: “from every evil circumstance.” Taken in this sense, the thought would be quite irreconcilable with the apostle’s conviction in 2 Timothy 4:6 . Besides, in the N. T. πονηρόν never refers to merely external affliction; it denotes rather what is morally evil. Still it cannot here mean the evil work which the apostle might do (Chrysostom: πᾶν ἁμάρτημα ; Grotius: liberabit me, ne quid agam Christiano, ne quid Apostolo indignum; de Wette: “from all evil work which I might do through want of stedfastness, through apostasy, and the like;” so, too, Beza, Heydenreich, and others). It must be interpreted of the wicked works of the enemies of the divine word; only with this view is the verb ῥύσεται appropriate, especially when combined with σώσει (Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Hofmann). The apostle was still exposed to the attacks of the evil one, but he expresses the hope that the Lord would save him from them, so that they would do him no harm. Not, indeed, that he would not suffer the martyrdom he expected, but that through this he would come into the heavenly kingdom of the Lord, where there was prepared for him στέφανος τῆς δικαιοσύνης (2 Timothy 4:8 ).

καὶ σώσει εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν αὑτοῦ τὴν ἐπουράνιον ] σώσει εἰς is a pregnant construction: he will save me and bring me into = σώζων ἄξει μὲ εἰς (Heydenreich).

The expression ἡ βασιλείαἐπουράνιος does not occur elsewhere in the N. T.; but the idea is thoroughly apostolic and Pauline. For though Paul often calls Christ’s kingdom a future one, Christ is also present to him as βασιλεὺς ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις , whose βασιλεία , therefore, is also a present one. [72] The context points to this meaning here. In Philippians 1:23 , Paul expresses the longing to come to Christ through death ; here he expresses the hope that the Lord would remove him into His kingdom ἐκ παντὸς ἔργου πονηροῦ .

As a suitable and natural utterance of awakened feeling, there follows a doxology which in this place cannot surprise us, though commonly his doxologies refer to God and not to Christ specially. [73]

[72] There is nothing to indicate that the apostle is here alluding to the heavenly kingdom of the Lord, “in contrast with the earthly dominion of the present ” (Hofmann).

[73] In Romans 16:27 ; Romans 9:5 , Hebrews 13:21 , the reference is at the very least doubtful.

Verse 19

2 Timothy 4:19 . Paul sends greetings to Prisca and Aquila.

Paul had become acquainted with them in Corinth (Acts 18:2 ), from which they accompanied him to Syria (2 Timothy 4:18 ). When Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans they were in Rome (Romans 16:13 ), but they were in Corinth at the time of his writing the First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:19 ).

καὶ τὸν Ὀνησιφόρου οἶκον , see on 2 Timothy 1:16 .

Verse 20

2 Timothy 4:20 . Ἒραστος ἔμεινεν ἐν Κορίνθῳ ] While on his third journey, the apostle sent forward a certain. Erastus from Ephesus to Macedonia along with Timothy (Acts 19:22 ). It can hardly be doubted that it is the same man who is mentioned here. It is more uncertain if the one alluded to in Romans 16:23 is also the same (as Otto thinks); still it does favour the identity that the latter dwelt in Corinth as ὁ οἰκόνομος τῆς πόλεως , and that the Erastus here mentioned remained in Corinth . Meyer, however (see on Romans 16:23 ), and Wiesinger think it improbable. Hofmann holds that the Erastus mentioned in Acts 19:22 , and the city chamberlain in Romans 16:23 , are two different men, and that the one mentioned here is identical with the latter.

ἔμεινε ] i.e. “he remained in Corinth, viz. when I left it;” the tense favours this view. Paul notices the fact because he thought that Timothy believed that Erastus had left Corinth with the apostle. Hug explains it: “Erastus, whom I expected in Rome, remained behind in Corinth;” but this would suit better with the perfect. Besides, there is nothing to indicate such an expectation.

Τρόφιμον δὲ ἀπέλιπον ἐν Μιλήτῳ ἀσθενοῦντα ] Trophimus, an Asiatic, accompanied Paul on his third journey, and went before him from Greece to Troas (Acts 20:4 ). His presence in Jerusalem was the occasion of the tumult against Paul (Acts 21:29 ).

From this passage it would appear that Trophimus had wished to accompany the apostle on his journey, but had been left behind at Miletus sick. The apostle cannot have been in Miletus with Trophimus before the first imprisonment in Rome; hence the expositors who deny that Paul was twice imprisoned in Rome, and admit the genuineness of the epistle, are driven to great straits in interpreting this passage. Thus Hug, Hemsen, and Kling hold ἀπέλιπον to be the third person plural. Wieseler does not give the proper force to ἀπέλιπον , which as de Wette rightly remarks presupposes that they had been previously together in Miletus. Regarding the views of Wieseler and Otto, comp. Introduction, § 3, pp. 19, 20. It is altogether arbitrary to read ἐν Μελίτῃ , or to suppose that Miletus in Crete is meant.

The reason for speaking about Erastus and Trophimus appears in 2 Timothy 4:21 ; comp. 2 Timothy 4:9-10 . He did not mention them in 2 Timothy 4:10 , because “there he was speaking only of those who had already been with him in Rome and had left him” (Wiesinger). Hofmann thinks that Paul mentions them in reply to a question from Timothy regarding the two who might serve as witnesses for his defence; but this is mere conjecture, for which no good grounds can be given. [74]

[74] Hofmann regards them as suitable witnesses for the defence, assuming that the charge against the apostle rested on this, that his preaching of the gospel was contrary to the constitution of the state. Erastus was present in Corinth on the occasion mentioned in Acts 18:12 , and Trophimus when Paul was made a prisoner at Jerusalem. Both might therefore testify that Paul was not to blame for these tumults.

Verse 21

2 Timothy 4:21 . Σπούδασον πρὸ χειμῶνος ἐλθεῖν ] see 2 Timothy 4:9 , ταχέως . Even if πρὸ χειμῶνος is to be connected with ταχέως , it does not follow that the epistle was written just before winter; comp. Introd. § 3. Χειμών may indeed mean the “ winter-storm ” (Wieseler), but it is more natural here to understand it of the season of the year (Wiesinger). Timothy is to come to the apostle before winter, that the winter might not prevent him from coming soon.

Finally, Paul sent greetings from Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia, who are mentioned only here, and from all the Christians in Rome. These are named specially, not as the apostle’s σύνεργοι , but probably because they were personally acquainted with Timothy. Linus is probably the one whom the Fathers name as the first bishop of Rome.

Verse 22

2 Timothy 4:22 . Benediction. This is peculiar in its nature. Only at the end of the First Epistle to the Corinthians do we find, as here, a double benediction, and there it runs differently. For ὁ κύριος … and ἡ χάρις … the form elsewhere is always ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου .

μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματός σου ] comp. Galatians 6:18 ; Philemon 1:25 .

χάρις μεθʼ ὑμῶν ] comp. 1 Timothy 6:21 .

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Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 4". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. 1832.