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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 4

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Verses 1-99

4:1-8. Final appeal based on the coming judgment and the writer’s approaching death. You have followed me loyally thus far: I charge you to follow me further, and to remain true to the truth until the end.

As in the sight of God and of Christ Jesus who shall come to judge us all whether living or dead, as you would be ready to welcome His Appearing, as you would hope to share His Kingdom, I charge you, preach the message of the Gospel, stand up to your task boldly, in season and out of season, whether you are welcome or unwelcome, refute false teaching, rebuke wrong-doers, pass censure on those who refuse to obey, encourage those who do, never failing in patience, using every method of teaching. For a time will come when men will not tolerate the sound teaching, nay, led, each by his own caprice, they will pile teacher upon teacher, and burden upon burden on their own backs; with ears always itching for some novelty, they will refuse to listen to the simple truth, they will turn aside to listen to all those empty legends. But do you keep calm, keep self-restrained in all things, be ready to face suffering: your work is to preach good tidings, preach them fully; your task is a task of ministry, perform it to the full. For I shall have to leave you to yourself: my life-blood is on the point of being poured out as a libation to God: the moment is close at hand when I must strike my tent and be gone. Yes: I have fought my fight, and it was the right fight: I have come to the end of the course; I have kept faith with my Master. So henceforth there is stored up safely for me the crown of a righteous life: the Lord will award it to me on that great day: yes, but not only to me, but also to all who have set their hearts on His appearing. We shall be together with Him whom we love.

Note.—(i) This paragraph completes the appeal of 1:8, 2:8-13, and prepares the way for the request of 9. For the main thought of it, cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12, 2 Corinthians 5:1-11

(ii) In vv.6-8 there seems to be a conscious reminiscence of Philippians 1:23, Philippians 1:2:17, Philippians 1:3:13, Philippians 1:14. If St. Paul is the writer, he may be deliberately recalling to Timothy’s mind the words of that Epistle, of which Timothy was probably the amanuensis. “What I dictated to you then—that I was willing to depart and to have my life-blood poured out—is now come to the test. I am face to face with it now.”

(iii) From Chrysostom onwards commentators have wondered whether St. Paul can be cleared of the charge of self-praise in this passage. It is true that St. Paul is always over self-conscious (cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:3-8, 2 Corinthians 11:16-33); the break in his life by conversion, and the constant opposition which he had to face, made him such; but with St. Paul there is always Χριστός behind the ἐγώ (Galatians 2:20), always the thought of the grace which enables him who can do nothing by himself to do all things in its strength (1 Corinthians 15:10, Philippians 4:13, 1 Timothy 1:12); and to one who so recognizes the power which enables him to be what he is, there is a true self-confidence, a legitimate self-praise; especially when, as here, the purpose is to give confidence to a younger man to follow. May it not even be that St. Paul, who was constantly “bearing about the dying of Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:10), may have been thinking of His Master’s confidence that His work was completely done, and that He could confidently commit His spirit into His Father’s hands? (Luke 23:46, John 17:4, John 19:30).

1. διαμαρτύρομαι κ.τ.λ.] For a similar appeal to the thought of the judgment, cf. I 5:21, 6:13-16; and for the construction with an accusative, τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν: cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:27, Mark 5:7 ὁρκίζω σε τὸν θεόν.

κρίνειν ζ. καὶ ν.] perhaps already a fixed formula in a baptismal creed, cf. Acts 10:42, Acts 10:1 P 4:5; here perhaps with the personal thought, “you alive and me dead,” or “both of us, whether alive or dead.”

ἐπιφάνειαν] cf. I 6:14, Titus 2:13 note; τὴν βασλείαν, cf. 18 and 2 Thessalonians 1:5 εἰς τὸ καταξιωθῆναι ὑμᾶς τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ θεοῦ. The kingdom which we may hope to share, 2:12.

2. τὸν λόγον] absolutely, cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:6, Galatians 6:6; cf. supr. 2:9 τοῦ θεοῦ, 15 τῆς�

ἐπίστηθι] “insta.” Vulg. stand forward, stand up to your hearers; cf. Jeremiah 46:14 = 26:14 LXX, ἐπίστηθι καὶ ἑτοίμασον.

εὐκαίρως�] semi-proverbial, “at all times”: both whether or no the moment seems fit to your hearers, “welcome or not welcome”; cf. 3, 3:1 καιροὶ χαλεποί, Acts 24:25 καιρὸν δὲ μεταλαβὼν μετακαλέσομαί σε: and “whether or no it is convenient to you” (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:12 ὅταν εὐκαιρήσῃ, Acts 17:21), “in otio vel negotio,” “on duty or off duty,” “in the pulpit or out of it,” “take or make your opportunity.” So Paul himself had preached ἐν δεσμωτηρίῳ καὶ ἐν πλοίῳ καὶ παρακειμένης τραπέζης (Thdt.); cf. Sen. Ep. 121, “Et virtutes exhortabor et vitia converberabo; licet aliquis nimium immoderatumque in hac parte me judicet, non desistam” (Wetstein).

ἔλεγξον (cf. 3:16) ἐπιτίμησον (cf. 2 Corinthians 2:6) παρακάλεσον (ibid. 8). St. Paul’s treatment of the offender at Corinth is a good illustration of this combination, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, 2 Corinthians 2:5-11.

3. τῆς ὑγ. διδασκ.] I 1:10 note, Titus 1:9, Titus 1:2:1; ἐπισωρωύσουσι, 3:6, suggests a confused crowd of teachers, each teaching different things, so becoming a burden too heavy for the mind to bear.

κνηθόμενοι] “being pleased, having their ears tickled by each new teacher” (τερπόμενοι, Thdt.): cf. Clem. Alex. Strom. i. c. 3, of the Sophists as teachers, κνήθοντες καὶ γαργαλίζοντες τὰς�de Saltat. ii. 266, τὸ ὅμοιον πεπονθὼς τοῖς τὰ ὦτα πτερῷ κνωμένοις (Harrison, P.E., p. 165); or “having itching ears, and desiring to get the itching checked”; “prurientes, ” Vulg.; cf. Acts 17:21 εἰς οὐδὲν ἕτερον εὐκαίρουν ἥ λέγειν τι ἢ�

4. τοὺ μύθου] I 1:4, 4:7, Titus 1:14. The article is half contemptuous—those many myths on the knowledge of which they pride themselves (cf. τῆς φιλοσοφίας, Colossians 2:8), profane and old womanish as they are!

ἐκτραπήσονται] perhaps passive, “will be turned by their teachers,” but more probably middle: cf. I 1:6, 5:15.

5. νῆφε] The word is probably suggested by the self-control of the athlete in training (7); cf. νῆφε ὡς Θεοῦ�ad Polyc. 2; here it implies free from excitement about novelties, self-controlled, vigilant. “Opposed to the morbid habit of mind which craves for fables rather than the naked truth” (Hort on 1 P 1:13), cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8, and Marcus Aurelius’ description of his father’s qualities, νῆφον ἐν πᾶσι καὶ βέβαιον καὶ μηδαμοῦ�Comm. I. § 16. κακοπάθησον, cf. 1:8, 2:3.

ἔργον (cf. 2:15, I 3:1) εὐαγγελιστοῦ. Perhaps a special title; cf. Acts 21:8, Ephesians 4:11: “one who has to spread the knowledge of the gospel, a missionary”; but the thought of a missionary is not specially appropriate to Timothy, τὴν διακονίαν that follows is not official, and this phrase rather sums up the whole teaching of the Epistle than adds a new command. Hence the stress is on εὐαγγέλιον do the work of one who has a Gospel, not myths and genealogies, to teach, who lays stress on “Jesus Christ risen from the dead” (2:8), and on the whole of my Gospel; Cf. 1:8, 10, 2:8, I 1:11. The command follows κακοπάθησον, for which cf. 1:8 note, and Mark 8:35.

τὴν διακονίαν] thy task of service to the Church and its work, cf. 11, I 1:12.

πληροφόρησον] “imple,” Vulg., fulfil, carry it out to the end; cf. 17, Luke 1:1.

6. σπένδομαι] “delibor,” Vulg.; “libor,” Cypr.; cf. Philippians 2:17; ubi v. Lightfoot, and cf. Ign. Rom. c. 2, πλέον μοι μὴ παράσχησθε τοῦ σπονδισθῆναι Θεῷ, ὡς ἔτι θυσιαστήριον ἕτοιμόν ἐστιν. The metaphor rests on the Jewish belief in the sacrificial value of a martyr’s death; cf. Charles on Revelation 6:8. In the similar metaphor as used by Seneca and Thrasea, Tac. Ann. xv. 64 (“libare se liquorem illum Jovi liberatori”), xvi. 35, the comparison seems to be between death and the close of a feast at which a libation was poured to Ζεὺς σωτήρ. Hence there the active is used; here σπένδομαι is probably passive. His whole life has been a sacrifice: now the libation is ready to be poured upon it.

ἀναλύσεως] cf. Philippians 1:23; Clem. Rom. 1:44. Philo, in Flaccum, 21, p. 544 M, τὴν ἐκ τοῦ βίου τελευταίαν�Epigr. Gr. 340. 7, ἐς θεοὺς�I.G.S. 17942 καὶ πῶς μοι βεβίωται καὶ πῶς�Nägeli, p. 34). The metaphor is either from a sailor loosing from his moorings or a soldier striking his tent: the next words (τὸν�

7. The stress is mainly on the perfect tenses: “my fight is over, my task ended.” Cf. Verg. Æn. 4. 653-55,

“Vixi et quem cursum dederat fortuna pereli,

Et nunc magna mei sub terras ibit imago,”

but secondarily on his own achievement, “I chose the right contest, I have kept on running, I have kept faith.” There is here a true pride in true achievement, in the power given by Christ. Cf. John 17:4, 1 Corinthians 15:10: stressed here in order to encourage Timothy. οὐ μεγαληγορῶν�

τὸν�] cf. I 4:10, 6:12. The metaphor may be from the arena; cf. Philo, Leg. Alleg. ii. 26, p. 86 M, of the fight of the soul against pleasure, κάλλιστον�Syll. 21410 Ἀθηναῖοι καὶ Λακεδαιμόνιοι . . . πολλοὺς καὶ καλοὺς�M.M. s.v.).

τὸν δρόμον τετέλεκα] cf. Acts 20:24, 1 Corinthians 9:24, Philippians 3:14. The metaphor is expanded in full details in Clem. Alex. Quis dives salvetur, c. 3. Christ has gone before as the πρόδρομος, Hebrews 6:20.

τὴν πίστιν τετήρηκα] perhaps, “I have carefully guarded the faith,” cf. I 6:14, Ephesians 4:5; or “I have kept faith with my master,” “I have been true to my promises”: cf. Joseph. B.J. vi. § 345, καταφυγοῦσι πίστεις ἐτήρησα: Polyb. l0. 37, τὴν πρὸς Ῥωμαίους τηρεῖν πίστιν (with other instances in Wetstein and Dibelius).

8. ἀπόκειται] is stored away safely; cf. Colossians 1:5 and OGIS.. 383:189 οἷς�s.v.

τῆς δικαιοσύνης] the crown which belongs to, which is won by righteousness; perhaps also the crown which consists in perfect eternal righteousness; cf. Job 33:26Revelation 2:10, Revelation 2:1 P 5:4, James 1:12, all probably based upon some unwritten saying of the Lord (cf. Resch, Agrapha, p. 252). Cf. Wisd 4:2, of virtue, ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι στεφανηφοροῦσα πομπεύει, τὸν τῶν�

ἀποδώσει] corresponding to�Romans 2:6 ὃς�Hebrews 12:11 πᾶσα παιδεία . . . καρπὸν εἰρηνικὸν τοῖς διʼ αὐτῆς γεγυμνασμένοις�ad Polyc. 6, τὰ δεπόσιτα ὑμῶν τὰ ἔργα ὑμῶν. ἵνα τὰ ἄκκεπτα ὑμῶν ἄξια κομίσησθε: 2 John 1:8.

οὐ μόνον δὲ ἐμοί] added not only to encourage Timothy, but perhaps also to emphasize the blessing in store. We shall be with many others there; cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 σὺν αὐτοῖς . . . σὺν κυρίῳ.

ὁ δίκαιος κριτής] cf. Romans 2:5, Romans 2:6. Here perhaps with intentional contrast to the unjust tribunal at Rome, I 6:15 note and 1 P 2:23.

τοῖς ἠγαπηκόσι] cf. James 1:12 ὃν ἐπηγγείλατο τοῖς�1 Timothy 6:17 ἠλπικέναι. For this aspect of the Christian life, cf. Titus 2:13, 1 Corinthians 1:7, and 4 Esdr 7:98—

“They shall rejoice with boldness,

be confident without confusion,

be glad without fear:

for they are hastening to behold the face of him

whom in life they served and from whom they are

destined to receive their reward in glory” (Box).

It is suggestive, but scarcely suitable to the context, to combine with this the thought of love for the first Appearing, or love for the many manifestations of Christ to the believer’s heart (Chrys.).

9-18. Appeal to Timothy to join him quickly, and assurance of God’s protection.

Paraphrase. Make every effort to come speedily; I am very lonely; Demas deserted me; his heart was set not on the appearing of the Lord, but on what this present world can offer, and he went off to Thessalonica; Crescens is gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke is with me, but he is single-handed. Pick up Mark on your journey and bring him with yourself, for he is most useful—always ready for any service. As for Tychicus, I am sending him to Ephesus. The cloak which I left behind in the Troad with Carpus, bring with you when you come, also my papers, but above all I want the rolls. Alexander, the worker in bronze, showed me much ill-will and did me much harm: I leave him to the Lord’s judgment, who will give every man his due reward. But I advise you, too, to be on your guard against him, for he bitterly opposed all that we said. At the first hearing of my case no one appeared to support me; nay, every one deserted me: may it not be laid to their charge. But the Lord stood by my side, and inspired me with strength, that by my mouth the proclamation of the Gospel might be fully made, and all the Gentiles might hear it. Aye, and I was delivered from the very jaws of the lion. The Lord will deliver me again from every harmful deed, and will carry me safe into His Kingdom, that Kingdom of His in the heavens. To Him be all glory, age after age. Amen.

This paragraph is partly an appeal to Timothy, partly an encouragement to him by the stress laid on the Lord’s protection of the writer (17, 18). In the latter part the language is perhaps coloured by that of the Lord’s Prayer (cf. Chase, The Lord’s Prayer in the Early Church, Texts and Studies, i. 3, pp. 119-22); and throughout there is much similarity with that of the 22nd Psalm:

Cf. Psalms 22:1 ἐγκατέλιπες, with 10 and 16.

Cf. Psalms 22:5 ἐρύσω, 9 ῥυσάσθω 21 ῥῦσαι, with 17, 18.

Cf. Psalms 22:12 οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ βοηθῶν, with 16.

Cf. Psalms 22:14, Psalms 22:22 σῶσόν με ἐκ στόματος λέοντος, with 17.

Cf. Psalms 22:17 πονηρευομένων, with 18.

Cf. Psalms 22:6, Psalms 22:22 ἐσώθησαν. σῶσον, with 18.

Cf. Psalms 22:24 δοξάσατε αὐτόν, with 18.

Cf. Psalms 22:28 πᾶσαι αἱ πατριαὶ τῶν ἐθνῶν, with 17.

Cf. Psalms 22:29 τοῦ κυρίου ἡ βασιλεία, with 18.

Had St. Paul, like his Master, been saying this Psalm in the hour of desertion?

For the interpretation on the assumption that these verses incorporate earlier notes from St. Paul to Timothy, cf. Introduction, p. xxxii.

10. Δημᾶς (probably a shortened form of Demetrius; it appears also as a woman’s name, Pap. Oxyr. iii. 506), Colossians 4:14 (ubi v. Lightfoot, who suggests that he was a native of Thessalonica), Philemon 1:24. In the Acta Pauli et Theclœ, Song of Solomon 1:4, Song of Solomon 1:12, Song of Solomon 1:14, Song of Solomon 1:16, he appears as a jealous and treacherous companion of St. Paul; in Epiphan. Hœr. Lev_6, as an apostate. If he could be identified with the Demetrius of 3 John 1:12 the opposite was the case, and he, like Mark, returned to true loyalty (cf. J. Th. St., April 1904, pp. 362-66, 527, 528).

ἀγαπήσας] perhaps with intentional contrast to ἠγαπηκόσι 8, and so τὸν νῦν αἰῶνα to τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν. The suggestion is that his courage failed; cf. Polyc. ad Phil. 9, of Paul and other martyrs, οὐ γὰρ τὸν νῦν ἠγάπησαν αἰῶνα�

Κρήσκης (a Latin name; cf. Tac. Hist. i. 76 of a freedman of Nero, Ann. xv. 11 of a centurion), not mentioned elsewhere in N.T. By later tradition bishop of Chalcedon in Gaul (Chronicon Pasch. 2121), and founder of the Churches of Vienne and Mayence (Acta Sanctorum, June 27; Menologion, May 30).

Γαλατίαν] i.e. either Galatia, as always in St. Paul, or possibly Gaul; so א C, Γαλλίαν, cf. Introd., p. xxxvii; cf. Monum. Ancyr. vi. 20, xvi. 1, ἐξ Ἱσπανίας καὶ Γαλατίας καὶ παρὰ Δαλματῶν, and this was the current Greek name for Gaul in the 1st and 2nd centuries a.d. There is a similar ambiguity in 1 Mac 8:2. Theod.-Mops. interprets it of Gaul, τὰς νῦν καλουμένας Γαλλίας· οὕτως γὰρ αὐτὰς πάντες ἐκάλουν οἱ παλαιοί, and he appeals to Josephus’ history of the Jews (? de Bell. Jud. ii. 16, v. Swete’s note). Theodoret is even stronger—Τὰς Γαλλίας οὕτως ἐκάλεσεν· οὕτω γὰρ ἐκαλοῦντο πάλαι· οὕτω δὲ καὶ νῦν αὐτὰς ὀνομάζουσιν οἱ τῆς ἔξω παιδείας μετειληχότες. For the usage: v. Lightfoot, Galatians, Php_3 note and 31; Encycl. B., s.v. ii. 1616. If this interpretation is right, it is an indication of St. Paul’s interest in Churches west of Rome, and would support the theory that he went to Spain (Zahn, Einl., p. 415).

Δαλματίαν (or possibly Δελματίαν, Deissmann, B.S., p. 182), the southern part of Illyricum, cf. Romans 15:19.

μόνος] perhaps suggesting Luke’s feeling of loneliness and need of some helpers. It has been inferred from this that Luke was the amanuensis who wrote this letter.

11. Μάρκον] Acts 12:25, Acts 15:37, Colossians 4:10, Philemon 1:24; for the details of his life, cf. Swete, St. Mark, Introd. i.

ἀναλαβών] Acts 20:13, Acts 20:14. εὔχρηστος, cf. 2:21, Philemon 1:11. εἰς διακονίαν, either for personal service in prison, or for missions to the city, or for help in worship. Mark had proved his capacity as ὑπηρέτης, Acts 13:5; as συνεργὸς εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν, Colossians 4:11; as a comforter in trouble (ibid.); and, like Onesimus, though once ἄχρηστος, had become εὔχρηστος again.

12. Τυχικόν] of Asia (Acts 20:4) the companion of the first imprisonment, sent with Ephesians and Colossians, Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7, and by later tradition bishop of Colophonia or of Chalcedon (Menologion, Dec. 9). This statement would have come more naturally after 10: perhaps the writer had forgotten it for a moment and now adds it, cf. 1 Corinthians 1:16; or it may imply that Tychicus is being sent to take Timothy’s place at Ephesus, cf. Titus 3:12.

13. φαιλόνην (Latin pœnula, but it is uncertain which language borrowed from the other): either (1) a warm cloak for travelling or winter wear (cf. 21), such as was used by the lower classes at this time, though the use of it was allowed to senators by Alexander Severus; cf. Ælius Lampridius, “pænulis intra urbem frigoris causa ut senes uterentur permisit, cum id vestimenti genus semper itinerarium aut pluviæ fuisset” (Wetstein). It is found either in this form or in the diminutive φαινόλιον in the Papyri (Pap. Oxyr. vi. 933 sq. and other instances in Dibelius). The form φαινόλιον was used later for the chasuble in the Greek Church, but there is nothing in the context here to suggest such an allusion. Farrar compares the story of Tyndale in prison writing to beg for a woollen shirt and his Hebrew Bible, Grammar, and Dictionary; cf. Pap. Oxyr. xii. 1583, Γενοῦ παρὰ Ἰσίδωρον χάριν τοῦ [φαιν] όλου καὶ�Expositor, April 1918: or (2) a woollen wrap for carrying books safely: Chrysostom suggests this as an alternative, and it is adopted by Birt, Das Antike Buchwesen, p. 65; Milligan, N.T. Documents, p. 20; Latham, The Risen Master, p. 463 note. The context suggests this, though the use is not found elsewhere except in comments on the verse and in the Lexica which may draw inferences from it; cf. Dict. Christ. Antiq. s.v.

τὰ βιβλία] papyrus letters, possibly copies of his own correspondence.

μεμβράνας] probably rolls of the O.T. (so Thd. Thdt. Milligan, u.s.; Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient MSS, p. 94); or possibly official copies of the Lord’s words or early narratives of His life; cf. 1 Mac 12:9 παράκλησιν ἐχοντες τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια (Thom. Aquin.).

14. Nothing is known of this event or of Alexander, but cf. I 1:20. The context would suggest that it happened either at Troas, to which his mind has just gone back, or at Rome at the same time as 16.

ἐνεδείξατο] cf. Genesis 50:15 πάντα τὰ κακὰ ἃ ἐνεδειξάμεθα αὐτῷ, Dan 3:44, Daniel 3:2 Mac 13:9.

ἀποδώσει] perhaps with conscious contrast to 8: cf. Proverbs 24:12, Ps 62:13 σὺ�Romans 2:6, Romans 12:19, and contrast 1 K 2:8, 9. For the reading, v. Introd., p xxxviii.

15. τοῖς ἡμετέροις λόγοις] possibly “our arguments” with reference to some part of the trial at Rome; or more likely “our words,” “our preaching”: this opposition might be an element in the βλασφημεῖν of I 1:20. This suits better ἡμετέροις (not ἐμοῖς), cf. Titus 3:14; and for the plural, cf. 1:13, I 4:6, 6:3.

16. τῇ πρώτῃ�.] either (a) the first process of the present trial: assuming that he had appeared before the court and the case had been adjourned. For a vivid picture of the scene, cf. H. C. G. Moule, pp. 168 ff.; or (b) the first trial at Rome at the end of the imprisonment of Acts 28:30; so Euseb. H.E. ii. 22, 3; Zahn, Einl. § 33; Wohlenberg; and this suits better the purpose in 17 and the sense of entire deliverance.

παρεγένετο] as advocate or friend to bear testimony for him. πάντες, cf. 1:15, all who at Rome might have come forward to support his case.

μὴ αὐτοῖς λογισθείη] cf. Luke 23:34, Acts 7:60 (either of which scenes may be before St. Paul’s mind as he writes these words), 1 Corinthians 13:5 ἡ�

17. ἐνεδυνάμωσε] cf. I 1:12 note; ἵνα . . . ἔθνη, that the Lord’s prophecy might be fulfilled (εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη δεῖ πρῶτον κηρυχθῆναι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, Mark 13:10), and my task completed (Acts 9:15). The time of the fulfilment will depend on the interpretation of 16. It will be either (a) that all the Gentiles who were present at Rome at the time of the present trial might hear his proclamation of the Gospel in his defence; or more probably (b) that after my acquittal at my first trial I might complete my task and all the Gentiles—west of Rome as well as east, cf. Romans 15:20—might hear. This would support the belief that he went to Spain.

ἐκ στόματος λέοντος] a proverb for extreme danger, probably consciously borrowed from Psa_22 (cf. Psalms 7:2, Psalms 35:17, Ecclus 51:3, Esth 14:13 (LXX), Pss.-Sol 13:3 θηρία ἐπεδράμοσαν αὐτοῖς πονηρά· ἐν τοῖς ὀδοῦσιν αὐτῶν ἐτίλλοσαν σάρκας αὐτῶν, καὶ ἐν ταῖς μύλαις ἔθλων ὀστᾶ αὐτῶν· καὶ ἐκ τούτων ἁπάντων ἐρρύσατο ἡμᾶς κύριος): hence there is no need to attempt to identify the lion—whether with Nero (so Chrys., cf. Proverbs 19:12 βασιλέως�Ant. xviii. 6. 10, τέθνηκεν ὁ λέων of Tiberius) or with Satan (1 P 5:8).

18. ῥύσεται] in the future as He had done in the past, 3:11.�πονηροῦ, not “from any wrong-doing, any failure of courage” (as in Deuteronomy 23:9, Job 1:8, Test. XII. Patr., Daniel 6:8;�but “from any harmful attack,” “from anything that may harm me,” whether coming from πονηροὶ ἄνθρωποι, 3:13, or from ὁ πονηρός. The phrase is perhaps based on the Lord’s Prayer, ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς�Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, p. 142.

τὴν ἐπουράνιον] “regnum Neroniano melius” (Bengel); but the contrast is rather with the present kingdom on earth, Colossians 1:13 “that kingdom whose real seat is in the heavens,” cf. 1. ᾧ ἡ δόξα, so 4 Mac 18:24; cf. Charles, Revelation, 1:6.

19. Πρίσκαν καὶ Ἀκύλαν] Acts 18:2, Acts 18:18, Romans 16:3, 1 Corinthians 16:19: very probably freed members of the gens Acilia at Rome; v. S.-H. on Romans 16:3.

τὸν Ὀνησιφ. οἶκον] cf. 1:16-18.

20. Ἔραστος] probably the same as in Romans 16:23, and perhaps also as in Acts 19:22.

Τρόφιμον] Acts 20:4, Acts 21:29. These facts would naturally have been mentioned in 10 or 13: they are perhaps added here to explain why no greeting is sent to or by them.

21. πρὸ χειμῶνος] as quickly as possible: before winter sets in which will make travelling dangerous for you, and when I shall specially need your presence—and (perhaps) the warm cloak.

These are members of the Roman Church, not companions of St. Paul, cf. 10, 11, and probably not of sufficient standing in the city to have appeared in court in support of him (cf. 16). Linus is probably the bishop of Rome (Iren. Hœr. iii. 3). Of Eubulus nothing is known. For an examination of the untrustworthy legends which have grown up round the names of Pudens and Claudia, cf. Lightfoot, Clement of Rome, i. pp. 76-79; Edmundson, The Church in Rome, note C.

22. Probably an autograph blessing, cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:17; and indeed the whole paragraph, 9-22, so full of human personal feeling, may well have been written with his own hand.

μεθʼ ὑμῶν] so I 6:21, Titus 3:15; v. Introd., p. xxxiii. Thdt., who read μεθʼ ἡμῶν, ends his comment with the prayer, “And may it be our lot, too, to gain that grace through the intercessions of him who wrote and him who received this letter; and may we see them in their everlasting habitations, not from afar, as the rich man saw Lazarus, but dwelling side by side with them and enrolled under their leadership.”

Nägeli Das Wortschatz des Apostel’s Paulus, von T. Nägeli, 1905.

M.M. The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, by J. H. Moulton and G. Milligan, 1914-

OGIS. Orientis Grœci Inscriptiones Selectœ, ed. W. Dittenberger, 1903-1905.

Pap. Oxyr. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, ed. Grenfell and Hunt, vols. i.-xv., London, 1898-

J. Th. St. The Journal of Theological Studies, London, 1910-

Zahn, Einleitung in das Neue Testament, von Theodor Zahn, 1897-1899.

S.-H. The Epistle to the Romans, by Sanday and Headlam, in the I.C.C.

Lock, W. (1924). A critical and exegetical commentary on the Pastoral epistles (I & II Timothy and Titus) (111). Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.

Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 4". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/2-timothy-4.html. 1896-1924.
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