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Thursday, July 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 2

Bengel's Gnomon of the New TestamentBengel's Gnomon

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Verse 1

2 Timothy 2:1 . Σὺ , thou ) The exhortation is intensified; 2 Timothy 2:3 , ch. 2 Timothy 3:10 , note [in antithesis to the previously mentioned backsliders, ch. 2Ti 1:15 ]. τέκνου μου , my son ) An argument why Timothy should imitate Paul, viz. from his spiritual relationship. ἐνδυναμοῦ ) 2 Timothy 1:7 , be strong , and show thyself to be so. [ This is treated of in 2 Timothy 2:3-13 . V. g.] ἐν τῇ χάριτι , in the grace ) Common grace incites and strengthens us even for extraordinary duties. It is an incentive and stimulus.

Verse 2

2 Timothy 2:2 . Διὰ , by ) before , 1 Timothy 6:12 . παράθου , commit ) before thou comest thence to me. πιστοῖς , to faithful men ) This is to be the distinguishing grace to be sought for in those to whom thou committest this trust or deposit. [ This is treated of in 2 Timothy 2:14-21 . V. g.] ἔσονται , shall be ) after thy departure.

Verse 3

2 Timothy 2:3 . Σὺ οὖν , thou then ) An Anaphora; [2] comp. 2 Timothy 2:1 . Timothy is here, 2 Timothy 2:3 , called to higher duties; comp. 2 Timothy 2:2 .

[2] Frequent repetition of the same word in beginnings. Append. ED.

Verse 4

2 Timothy 2:4 . οὐδεὶς , no man ) The word abstain (abstinence) is recommended in this verse: sustain [3] (endurance) is added to the recommendation in the next. στρατευόμενος , warring ) Do with all thy might what thou art doing. πραγματείαις , with the affairs [matters of business] of this life ) in which merchants and workmen are involved. ἀρέσῃ , may please ) being entirely devoted to the duties of a soldier.

[3] It is here in the sense of withstand. It was thought right to use it to give the reader an idea of the antithesis in the original. TR.

Verse 7

2 Timothy 2:7 . Νόει ) attend to, consider , what I say: σύνεσις , understanding , is of the divine gift; νοεῖν , to consider , is the part of a well-minded man. Paul says this, if you compare 2Ti 2:6 with 2 Timothy 2:5 . If the husbandman (Timothy) hath (or shall have ) laboured, then first he ought (he is entitled) to partake of the fruits (in which the resurrection of Christ abounds, 2 Timothy 2:8 ; 2Ti 2:11-12 ); but if this were the whole meaning of Paul, he would have said, τὸν μεταληψόμενον δεῖ κοπιᾷν . Therefore from this seventh verse we may gather that a thought rather different is involved in this expression, which amounts to this: Paul trained the mind of Timothy, 2 Timothy 1:6 ; therefore fruits are chiefly due to him from Timothy. In this view, Paul does not openly require, as is necessary in addressing dull men, but by amphibology and enigma, that Timothy should ingenuously acknowledge and perform the duty; and this he does by three comparisons taken from the employment of the soldier, the wrestler, the husbandman. δῴη γὰρ σοι , for may the Lord give to thee ) The meaning is, He will give; there is thus a connection between consider and for; but affection adds the modus or ἧθος [see Append. on “Modalis Sermo.” Here the imperative mood expresses the feeling ]. ὁ Κύριος , the Lord ) Christ. ἐν πᾶσι , in all things ) He had already given him understanding in many things: this being taken for granted, Paul says, May He give it in all things .

Verse 8

2 Timothy 2:8 . Μνημόνευε ) remember , so that thou mayest follow. Paul, as usual, quickens (gives life to) his own example by the example of Christ. ἐγηγερμένον ἐκ νεκρῶν ) An abbreviated expression, i.e. Who died and was raised from the dead; so we [if we are to share His resurrection, must share His death], 2 Timothy 2:11 . Κατὰ , according to , depends on these words. ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυὶδ , of the seed of David ) He wishes Timothy to attend to this one genealogy [as opposed to the other ‘genealogies,’ 1Ti 1:4 ], which serves as a proof that Jesus is the Christ.

Verse 9

2 Timothy 2:9 . Ἐν ᾧ , in which ) viz. in the Gospel. κακοπαθῶ , I suffer [ trouble ]) κακοῦργος , an evil-doer , is the conjugate. The evil of suffering [is my portion], as if the evil of doing had preceded it [on my part]. δεσμῶν , bonds ) Οὐ δέδεται , is not bound , is the conjugate. ὡς κακοῦργος , as an evil-doer ) attended with danger of life and with disgrace. οὐ δέδεται ) is not bound, i.e. makes progress without hindrance.

Verse 10

2 Timothy 2:10 . Διὰ τοῦτο , for this cause ) because the Gospel runs forward, while I am bound. σωτηρίας μετὰ δόξης , salvation with glory ) There is an exquisite propriety in the words: σωτηρία , salvation , viz. the deliverance from evil, is the privilege of those receiving faith: δόξα , glory , viz. the abundance of good things, is the privilege of those reaching the goal, Acts 2:47 ; Romans 8:24 ; Romans 8:21 : [comp. Psalms 84:12 .]

Verse 11

2 Timothy 2:11 . Συναπεθάνομεν ) The σὺν occurs thrice in the compound verbs here: viz. with Christ: συναπεθάνομεν , in the sense of the preterite, having respect to them that hope for life.

Verse 12

2 Timothy 2:12 . Ὑπομένομεν , we endure ) The present and something more significant, and reaching further than to die; therefore also there is a further rewrard than life , viz. the kingdom . εἰ ἀρνούμεθα , if we deny ) with the mouth. If we do not believe , viz. with the heart, follows in the next verse. The denial is put first, for it extinguishes the faith which had previously existed. κᾀκεῖνος , He also ) Christ.

Verse 13

2 Timothy 2:13 . Πιστὸς μένει , remains faithful ) This expression, by comparing with it, He will deny , most sweetly affects beyond his expectation the faithful (believing) reader, [4] who is not to be denied: He remains faithful to Himself, viz. towards [in relation to] us, who are unlike Him. [ It is therefore our own fault, if we fall away . V. g.] Thus the subsequent axiom corresponds to it, He cannot deny , etc. So in Deuteronomy 7:9-10 , He is praised as the faithful God , ὁ Θεὸς ὁ πιστὸς , who both rewards the godly and takes vengeance on them that hate Him. οὐ δύναται , He cannot ) This impossibility is worthy of our praise: Jeremiah 44:22 .

[4] Comforts him by the implied promise coming in unexpectedly in the midst of threats. ED.

Verse 14

2 Timothy 2:14 . Ταῦτα ) of these things , which thou hast heard of me, 2 Timothy 2:2 . ὑπομίμνησκε , put in remembrance ) them, over whom thou presidest; Titus 3:1 . ἐνώπιον τοῦ Κυρίου , before the Lord ) Comp. 1 Timothy 5:21 , note [referring to the last judgment, but including also the present time]. μὴ λογομαχεῖν ) Logomachy here does not mean a battle about words , but a battle which is engaged in by words , 2 Timothy 2:23-24 , about the most important matters , 2 Timothy 2:17-18 . Comp. Acts 18:15 . χρήσιμον , useful ) viz. ὄν [“which tends to nothing useful to no profit” [5] ]. The accusative absolute, as in Luke 24:47 . ΕὔΧΡΗΣΤΟΝ , admirably useful [“ meet for the Master’s use ”], 2 Timothy 2:21 , corresponds to it. ἐπὶ , tending to , or resulting in ) They are not only not profitable, but they are also injurious and subvert. Ἐπὶ expresses the consequence, as in 1 Thessalonians 4:7 , ΟὐΚ ἘΠῚ ἈΚΑΘΑΡΣΊᾼ , not to uncleanness. Subversion is opposed to edification .

[5] Or, perhaps, Bengel construes it rather, “Which is useful for nothing,” χρήσιμον εἰς οὐδέν . ED.

Verse 15

2 Timothy 2:15 . Σπούδασον , be diligent [ study ]) A word suited to the character of the whole epistle. σεαυτὸν , thyself ) An antithesis to the work [ 2Ti 2:21 ], of which workman is the conjugate. δόκιμον ) approved unto God; not reprobate unto every good work , Titus 1:16 , but having his work perfect , James 1:4 . Hesychius: δόκιμον , χρήσιμον , τέλειον . ἐργάτην ἀνεπαίσχυντον , a workman not ashamed ) to whom thy own conscience can occasion no shame. The Scholiast quoted by Pricæus explains ἀνεπαίσχυντον by παῤῥησιαζόμενον ; comp. Philippians 1:20 . Ὀρθοτομοῦντα follows, viz. one who will extend the word of truth among all others . ὀρθοτομοῦντα ) Here many are of opinion that the idea of cutting is implied; but the Vulgate translates it, “recte tractantem,” rightly treating or handling: an excellent rendering; comp. LXX, Proverbs 3:6 ; Proverbs 11:5 , ὀρθοτομεῖν ὁδοὺς , the same as in Latin, secare viam , “ to travel a road ,” to make one’s way . [6] Nor do κενοτομία , κερτομία , mean cutting in the literal sense ( κεαρ , the heart is cut , metaphorically, by κερτομίαν ), nor καινοτομέω , ῥυμοτομέω ἰθύτομος οἷμος . The literal meaning and force of the ὀρθὸς is rather to be retained in ὀρθοτομοῦντα : for in the passages quoted [where ὀρθοτομεῖν is in the LXX.] we find the Hebrew word יַשֵׁר , and this form of the verb might have been expressed by the same Greek verb in 2 Chronicles 32:30 , concerning a water-course, and Psalms 119:128 , concerning the Divine word itself. Therefore the meaning of Paul is, that Timothy may prepare a right course (may make ready a straight way) for the word of truth, and may himself walk straight forward according to this line, turning neither to the right nor to the left hand, teaching no other doctrine , 1 Timothy 1:3 ; and in this view the antithesis of the word, will go forward , [7] which presently occurs, 2 Timothy 2:16 , is more clearly perceived. τὸν λόγον τῆς ἀληθείας , the word of truth ) The antithesis occurs presently after, κενοφωνίας , of which the first part of the compound, signifying empty , is opposed to truth ( ἀληθείας ); the last part, involving vehemence of voice, is opposed to the temperate word ( τὸν λόγον ).

[6] In which the idea of cutting does not enter; so τέμνειν ὁδόν . ED.

[7] Προκόψουσιν , Engl. Vers., “will increase.” The metaphor is from pioneers clearing the way before an army, by cutting down all obstacles; πρὸ and κόπτω ; hence, to make progress , to advance . ED.

Verse 16

2 Timothy 2:16 . Τὰς δὲ ) So 2 Timothy 2:21-22 , by Anaphora [The frequent repetition of words at beginnings. Append.]. Therefore profane vain babblings , which maintain great errors, differ from questions ( 1Ti 6:4 ) about things not worth a straw; the former are pernicious, the latter useless (unprofitable), Titus 3:9 . περιΐστασο ) The same word, ibid.: in which περὶ elegantly means the same thing, as in περιγίνομαι ; but περιγίνομαι [I am over and above, I overcome, I get the better of another] denotes the act of separating and overcoming; περιΐσταμαι , the state. Timothy had never entangled himself; therefore Paul exhorts him to continued stedfastness: remain thou separate . ἐπὶ πλεῖον ἀσεβείας ) to a greater degree of ungodliness . So ἐπὶ πλεῖον κακιας προβαίνειν , to advance more in vice . Diodorus Siculus quoted by Pricæus. προκόψουσι , they shall go forward ) namely, those who give utterance to such vain babblings . To this subject (‘those’) we also are to refer the word their , 2 Timothy 2:17 . There is in it a Mimesis, [8] as afterwards in the phrase ΝΟΜῊΝ ἝΞΕΙ , will have pasture, will eat . These men think they are going forward in sacred things. The future is used in its strict sense; for it is a prediction, as in will have pasture (will eat) in the next verse; comp. 2 Timothy 3:1 .

[8] An allusion to the language which those seducers used. They no doubt flattered themselves they were going forward ( προκόπτειν ), and had spiritual pasturage or eating ( νομὴν ἕξει ). To this Paul replies by allusion, using the words in a bad sense. ED.

Verse 17

2 Timothy 2:17 . Ὑμέναιος , Hymenœus ) who continued pertinacious; comp. 1 Timothy 1:20 . καὶ Φίλητος , and Philetus ) who assented to Hymenæus.

Verse 18

2 Timothy 2:18 . Τὴν ἀνάστασιν , the resurrection ) Perhaps these Ephesians had laid hold of a pretext taken from Paul’s own Epistle to the Ephesians, Ephesians 2:6 . Clemens Al. says, that the defamers of marriage interpreted the resurrection [wherein “they neither marry nor are given in marriage”], Luke 20:35 , concerning this life. [ So the hope of eternal life was taken away . V. g.] ἀνατρέπουσι , subvert ) The figure is derived from a foundation, a house; see the following verses.

Verse 19

2 Timothy 2:19 . Ὁ μέντοι στερεὸς [‘nevertheless,’ Engl. Vers.], indeed sure ) The antithesis is, they subvert , 2 Timothy 2:18 : add by all means the note on 1 Timothy 3:15 . Indeed ( μέντοι ) has its Apodosis in the δὲ , but , 2 Timothy 2:20 . θεμέλιος τοῦ Θεοῦ , the foundation of God ) Hebr. עיקר , foundation, that is, the subject which is the point at issue (the matter in question); for example, in a contract [the subject-matter, which is the foundation on which the contract rests], as Sam. Petitus observes, Var. Lect. c. 10. The foundation of God, on which they who are His depend, so that they cannot be overthrown, is the immoveable faithfulness of God. ἕστηκεν , hath stood and stands) It is said to stand, for to remain unmoved as a sentence, a decree, is said to stand [to be fixed]. The word desist, presently occurring, corresponds to it [ Ἀποστήτω and ἕστηκεν are conjugates]. Paul expresses the meaning of הקים to be firm, sure. σφραγῖδα , the seal) Sentences in former times were wont to be engraven on seals. ταύτην , this) to which the whole remaining part of this verse is to be referred. ἔγνω Κύριος , the Lord knows) ἐπέσκεπται καὶ ἑπέγνω ὁ Θεὸς τοὺς ὄντας αὐτοῦ , καὶ τοὺς ἁγίους προσηγάγετο πρὸς ἑαυτόν , God has looked upon and knows them that are His, and draws His saints near to Him, Numbers 16:5 . He knows His own in love, nor ceases to know them, but always preserves them as His; and that fact יו ̇ דַע He will make known, ibid. καὶ , and) Observe, says Petitus, according to Paul, that some words were written on both sides on the round surface of the seal; for on the one face of the seal these words are read, the Lord knows, etc., but on the other, let him desist, etc. ἀποστήτω ἀπὸ ἀδικίας , let him desist from iniquity) Ibid., 2 Timothy 2:26 : ἀποσχισθητε ἀπὸ τῶν σκηνῶν τῶν ἀνθρώπων τῶν σκληρῶν τούτων , be separated from the tents of these wicked men. Paul uses the abstract, iniquity, for the concrete; comp. 2 Timothy 2:21 (note), if a man by purging himself shall go forth from these; and at the same time he has regard to that passage of Isaiah 52:11 , ΑΠΟΣΤΗΤΕ , etc., “DEPART YE, DEPART YE, touch no UNCLEAN THING ( ΑΚΑΘΑΡΤΟΥ ); be ye clean that bear the VESSELS ( ΣΚΕΥΗ ) of the Lord.” The Imperative, let him desist, pronounced in the name of God, implies power to depart; and also implies the blessedness of those who depart. πᾶς ὁ ὀνομάζων ) every one that names the name of Christ, as his Lord: comp. Acts 19:13 , note. That is done by preaching, Jeremiah 20:9 , and by celebrating His name, Psalms 20:7 . τὸ ὄνομα , the name) Concerning the name of the Lord, concerning the Lord knowing none save His own, concerning unrighteousness, comp. Matthew 7:22-23 .

Verse 20

2 Timothy 2:20 . Μεγάλῃ , great ) Such is the Church. χρυσᾶ καὶ ἁργυρᾶ , of gold and of silver ) of precious materials, hard, able to endure fire. ξὑλινα καὶ ὀστράκινα , of wood and earth ) of viler materials, fragile, and fearing the fire. καὶ ἃ μὲν ἃ δὲ ) and the former indeed , viz. those of gold, to honour; but the latter , viz. those of wood, to quite a different purpose. Even the gold vessel may be applied to dishonourable purposes; that of wood, to such as are honourable; but that does not easily happen in a well regulated household. Members of the Church inferior in point of gifts and degrees of faith and sanctification are not vessels for dishonour, nor ought any one ἐκκαθαίρειν , to purge himself from these.

Verse 21

2 Timothy 2:21 . Ἐὰν οὖν τις , if a man therefore ) for example, Timothy. ἐκκαθάρῃ ἑαυτὸν ἀπὸ τούτων ) by purging himself, shall go forth from the number of these vessels , to dishonour. The active voice with the reciprocal pronoun indicates the utmost freedom of power on the part of believers. ἡγιασμένον , sanctified ) The peculiar property of God, and entirely devoted to Him. καὶ , and ) εἰς τιμήν ἡτοιμασμένον , for honour prepared , forms four clauses; of which the first is explained by the second, the third by the fourth. Therefore and connects these two pairs. Comp. 2 Timothy 3:17 , ἄρτιος ἐξηρτισμένος . τῷ δεσπότῃ , truly-serviceable to the Master ) viz. God, whose house Paul in his epistles to Timothy calls the church. πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν , every good work ) ch. 2 Timothy 3:17 ; Titus 1:16 .

Verse 22

2 Timothy 2:22 . Νεωτερικὰς , youthful ) in which young men indulge; 1 John 2:16 , note; and which are hurtful to the purity of heart , spoken of presently in this ver. and 2 Timothy 2:21 . Paul had formerly warned Timothy against old wives ’ fables and against the drinking of water , 1 Timothy 4:7 ; 1 Timothy 5:23 : now he warns him against the other extreme, youthful lusts . δικαιοσύνην , righteousness ) This is put in the first place, in opposition to iniquity , 2 Timothy 2:19 . μετὰ , with ) Construed with peace . [9] Zeal for party, where that party is holy, is holy zeal; Romans 12:9 ; 3 John 1:11 . τῶν ἐπικαλουμένων , them that call upon ) Comp. note on 2 Timothy 2:19 ( Every one that nameth , etc.), Acts 9:14 . τὸν Κύριον , the Lord ) Christ. καθαρᾶς , pure ) 2 Timothy 2:21 , ἐκκαθάρῃ . Lusts are hostile to this purity; its attendants are righteousness, faith, love, peace.

[9] “Peace with them who call on the Lord.” Not as Engl. Vers., putting a comma after peace; i.e . “Along with them who call, etc., follow peace.” ED.

Verse 23

2 Timothy 2:23 . Μωρὰς καὶ ἀπαιδεύτους , foolish and unlearned ) For thou oughtest παιδεύειν , to instruct , 2 Timothy 2:25 , and to be wise, 2 Timothy 3:15 ; comp. foolish , Titus 3:9 . μάχας , strifes ) Ibidem.

Verse 24

2 Timothy 2:24 . Οὐ δεῖ μάχεσθαι , ought not to strive ) ought not to be a bitter controversialist. ἤπιον , διδακτικὸν · ἀνεξίκακον , παιδεὑοντα , mild, apt to teach: patient, instructing ) A Chiasmus. In respect of all , the servant of the Lord ought to be mild , so he will be apt to teach: in respect of adversaries, he should be patient , so he will be able to instruct . [10] He ought neither to attack, nor resist: he ought to be mild , lest he should be the occasion of evils: and patient , so that he may endure evils. διδακτικὸν , teaching ) i.e. apt to teach . This implies not only solidity and ease in teaching, but even especially patience and assiduity. For we must ἀντέχεσπαι , hold fast , Titus 1:9 , note, and that too with gentleness, James 3 :(17), and perseverance, Acts 20:31 , in all long-suffering and doctrine , below, ch. 2 Timothy 4:2 . ἀνεξίκακον ) enduring evils. There is sometimes need of zeal, always of gentleness.

[10] Διδάσκω implies teaching, imparting knowledge . Παιδεύω implies training, disciplining, tutoring . ED.

Verse 25

2 Timothy 2:25 . Μήποτε ) μὴ interrogative: with this expectation, if at any time , etc. δῷ αὐτοῖς ό Θεὸς , God may give to them ) For it does not belong to human power. A motive for patience. [ He who attempts to use violence, so much the less accomplishes aught: nor, yet, should he give way to sluggishness . V. g.] μετάνοιαν , repentance ) This is antecedent to knowledge or acknowledgment . εἰς , to or for ) So εἰς in the following verse.

Verse 26

2 Timothy 2:26 . Καὶ ) and so. ἀνανήψωσιν ) This depends on if at any time: if they may awake , and shake off sleep. ἐκ τῆς παγίδος , from the snare ) There are here two evils, captivity and sleep; and there are two good things, awaking and deliverance. An abbreviated expression. ἐζωγρημένοι ) Luke 5:10 ; taken captive willingly. ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ , by him [11] ) by the servant of the Lord. Where God goes before, 2 Timothy 2:25 , the work of His servant ( 2Ti 2:24 ) is successful. God rouses: His servant draws them out of the snare. εἰς τὸ ) Construed with, if at any time they may awake . Ἐκ marks the terminus from which they set out, εἰς that to which they are to go. The former terminus is, oppose themselves , 2 Timothy 2:25 , and the snare of the devil , 2 Timothy 2:26 : the latter is the acknowledgment of the truth and the will of God . ἐκείνου , of Him [12] ) God . θέλημα , will ) which is entirely free, and gives freedom; 1 Peter 4:2 . The opposite is, from the snare . Paul himself was awakened to conversion, so that he might “know the will of God;” Acts 22:14 .

[11] Not, by the devil , as in the Engl. Vers. They are taken so as to be saved alive , as ἐζωγρημένοι literally means. So our Lord uses the same word, and of the same thing, to Peter, Luke 5:10 . ED.

[12] Ἐκείνου being evidently distinct from αὐτοῦ ; the latter referring to the servant of God , the former to God . Not as Engl. Vers., both referring to the devil. ED.

Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 2". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jab/2-timothy-2.html. 1897.
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