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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 2

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

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Verse 1

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

Therefore - resuming the general subject (2 Timothy 2:1). 'What I have therefore to say by way of a charge (1 Timothy 1:3; 1 Timothy 1:18), is,' etc.

That, first of all ... be made. "First of all," connect with "I exhort." What I begin with as of primary importance is, etc. As the destruction of Jerusalem drew near, the Jews (including those at Ephesus) dreamed of freedom from every yoke; so virtually "blasphemed" (cf. 1 Timothy 1:20; 1 Timothy 1:20) God's name by 'speaking evil of dignities (1 Timothy 6:1; 2 Peter 2:10; Jude 1:8). Hence, Paul gives prominence to prayer for all men, especially for magistrates and kings (Titus 3:1-3) (Olshausen). Some looked down on all not Christians as doomed to perdition; but Paul says all men are to be prayed for, as Christ died for all (1 Timothy 1:4-6).

Supplications, [ deeeseis (G1162)] - implying sense of need, and the suppliant's own insufficiency.

Prayers, [ proseuchas (G4335)] - implying devotion.

Intercessions, [ enteuxeis (G1783)] - the coming near to God with child-like confidence, seeking an audience in person, generally in behalf of another. The accumulation of terms implies prayer in its every form, according to all relations.

Thanks - always to accompany prayer (Philippians 4:6).

Verse 2

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

For kings - a confutation of the adversaries who accused Christians of disaffection to the ruling powers (Acts 17:7; Romans 13:1-7).

All that are in authority, [ toon (G3588) en (G1722) huperochee (G5247)] - 'in eminence.' The "quiet" of Christians often more depended on subordinate rulers than on the supreme king.

That we may lead - that we may be blessed with such good government as to 'pass' [ diagoomen (G1236)], etc. The prayers of Christians for the government bring down peace to themselves.

Quiet, [ eeremon (G2263)] - not troubled from without.

Peaceable, [ heesuchion (G2272)] - 'tranquil:' not troubled from within (Olshausen). 'He is peaceable [ heesuchios (G2272), from heemai, I sit] who makes no disturbance; he is quiet [ eeremos (G2263)] who is himself free from disturbance' (Tittmann).

In all - "in all (possible) godliness;" literally, well-directed reverence or worship [ eusebeia (G2150): but theosebeia (G2317)]; 1 Timothy 2:10, "godliness."

Honesty, [ semnoteeti (G4587)] - "gravity" (Titus 2:2; Titus 2:7), 'decorum' of conduct. As "godliness" relates to God, "gravity" is in relation to men. In the Old Testament the Jews were commanded to pray for their pagan rulers (Ezra 6:10; Jeremiah 29:7). The Jews, by Augustus' order, offered a lamb daily for the Roman emperor until near the destruction of Jerusalem. The Zealots, instigated by Eleazar, renounced this custom (Josephus, Jewish Wars, 2: 17), whence the war originated.

Verse 3

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

This - praying for all men.

Acceptable in the sight of God - not merely before men, as if we sought mainly their favour (2 Corinthians 8:21).

Our Saviour - a title appropriate to the subject. "Our Saviour God."

Verse 4

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Who - seeing He is willing that all should be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; Romans 5:18): we should meet the will of God in behalf of others, by praying for the salvation of all. More would be converted if we prayed more. Our Saviour actually saved us who believe. 'He is willing that all should be saved by believing, even those who do not yet believe (cf. 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:11). Why multitudes are lost is, they will not come to Him for life (John 5:40) [ ou (G3756) thelete (G2309) elthein (G2064), 'ye are not willing to come']. Paul does not say, 'He wishes to save all,' for then He would have saved all in fact; but "will have all men to saved" implies the possibility of man's accepting (through God's prevenient grace) or rejecting it (through man's own perversity). Our prayers ought to include all, as God's grace included all.

And - for that purpose.

To come. They are not forced.

Unto the knowledge, [ epignoosin (G1922)] - 'the full knowledge' (note, 1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Corinthians 13:12; Philippians 1:9).

The truth - the saving truth in and by Jesus (John 17:3; John 17:17).

Verse 5

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

For there is one God. God's unity in essence and purpose proves His comprehending all His human children (created in His image) in His offer of grace (cf. the same argument from His unity, Romans 3:30; Galatians 3:20); therefore all are to be prayed for. 'The universality of the dispensation is proved by the unity of the Dispenser' (Ellicott). 1 Timothy 2:4 is proved from 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Timothy 2:1 from 1 Timothy 2:4. The One God is common to all (Isaiah 45:22; Acts 17:26). The one Mediator is Mediator between God and an all potentially (Romans 3:29; Ephesians 4:5-6; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 12:24). They who have not this one God by the one Mediator have none: literally, a go-between. The Greek order is 'one mediator also between,' etc. While God will have all men to be saved by knowing God and the Mediator, there is a legitimate order in the exercise of that will wherewith men must receive it. All mankind constitute ONE MAN before God (Bengel).

The (not in the Greek) man - rather, "man," generically: not a mere individual man: the Second Head of humanity as Mediator, representing in Himself the whole human race and nature (cf. Romans 5:15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 2:14). His being "man" was necessary to His being a Mediator, sympathizing with us through experimental knowledge of our nature (Isaiah 50:4; Hebrews 2:14; Hebrews 4:15). Even in nature, blessings are conveyed to us from God through the mediation of various agents. The effectual intercession of Moses for Israel (Numbers 14:1-45; Deuteronomy 9:1); Abraham for Abimelech (Genesis 20:7); Job for his friends (Job 42:10), the mediation being PRESCRIBED by God while declaring His purpose of forgiveness-all prefigure the grand mediation for all by the One Mediator. On the other hand, 1 Timothy 3:16 asserts that He was also God.

Verse 6

Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Gave himself (Titus 2:14). Not only the Father gave Him for us (John 3:16), but the Son gave Himself (Phil Gave himself (Titus 2:14). Not only the Father gave Him for us (John 3:16), but the Son gave Himself (Philippians 2:5-8).

Ransom - properly of a captive. Man was the slave of Satan, sold under sin. He was unable to ransom himself, because absolute obedience is due to God; therefore no act of ours can satisfy for the least offence. Leviticus 25:48 allowed one sold captive to be redeemed by one of his brethren. The Son of God therefore became man in order that, as our older brother, He should redeem us (Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19). [ Antilutron (G487) implies not merely ransom, but a substituted or equivalent ransom: the 'anti' implying vicarious substitution.]

For [ huper (G5228 ): in behalf of] all - not merely for a privileged few. Compare 1 Timothy 2:1, the argument for praying in behalf of all.

To be testified, [ to (G3588) marturion (G3142)] - 'the testimony (which was to be testified of, 1 John 5:8-11) in its own due times;' the seasons [ kairois (G2540) idiois (G2398)] appointed by God for its being testified of (1 Timothy 6:15; Titus 1:3) - namely, from the outpouring of the Spirit on the apostles to Christ's second advent. The oneness of the Mediator, involving the universality of redemption (which faith, however, alone appropriates), was the great subject of Christian testimony (Alford) (Luke 24:47-48; 1 Corinthians 1:6; 1 Corinthians 2:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:10).

Verse 7

Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

Whereunto - For the giving of which testimony.

I am ordained, [ etetheen (G5087)] - 'I was set:' same Greek as "putting me," etc. (1 Timothy 1:12.)

Preacher, [ keerux (G2783)] - 'herald' (1 Corinthians 1:21; 1 Corinthians 9:27; 1 Corinthians 15:11; 2 Timothy 1:11; Titus 1:3). As in 1 Timothy 1:16 he proposes himself a living pattern of the, Gospel, so here 'a herald of (it to) the Gentiles' (Galatians 2:9; Ephesians 3:1-12; Colossians 1:23). The universality of his commission is appropriate here, where he would prove that prayers are to be made "for all men" (1 Timothy 2:1).

(I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not) - a strong asseveration of his universal commission, exposed as he was to frequent conflict (Romans 11:1; 2 Corinthians 11:31).

In faith and verity. The sphere of his ministry was the faith, and (1 Timothy 2:4) the Gospel truth the subject matter of the faith (Wiesinger). Ellicott, 'Paul's subjective faith, which opens out the objective doctrinal truth (John 8:31-32).'

Verse 8

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

I will, [ Boulomai (G1014)] - I desire, active wish: not mere willingness [ etheloo (G2309)].

That men - Greek, 'that the men,' as distinguished from 'the women,' to whom he has something different to say (1 Timothy 2:9-12; 1 Corinthians 11:4-5; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35). The emphasis is on the precept of praying, resumed from 1 Timothy 2:1.

Everywhere - Greek, 'in every place;' namely, of public prayer. Fulfilling Malachi 1:11; Matthew 18:20; John 4:21; John 4:23.

Lifting up holy hands. The early Christians turned up their palms toward heaven, as craving help. 'An oblation to God of the instruments of our necessities' (Ellicott). So also Solomon (1 Kings 8:22; Psalms 141:2). The Jews washed their hands before prayer (Psalms 26:6). Paul (cf. Job 17:9; James 4:8) alludes to this: so Isaiah 1:15-16. [ Hosious (G3741)] "Holy" means not profane, untainted with impiety; observing every sacred duty. The contrite desire to be so is a needful qualification for effectual prayer (Psalms 24:3-4).

Without wrath, [ chooris (G5565)] - putting it away (Matthew 5:23-24; Matthew 6:15).

Doubting, [ dialogismou (G1261)] - translated, Philippians 2:14, 'disputing.' But elsewhere it means doubting; reasonings as to whether prayer shall obtain an answer. However, the verb means dispute (Mark 9:33-34). Such things hinder prayer (Romans 14:1; 1 Peter 3:7: cf. an instance of doubting vitiating prayer, 2 Kings 7:2; Matthew 14:31; Mark 11:22-24; James 1:6; James 1:9-10. The context implies that these directions as to women refer to their deportment in public worship, though holding good on other occasions also.

Verse 9

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

In modest apparel - `in seemly guise' (Ellicott). [ Kosmioo (G2887), 'orderly,' 'decorous'; katastolee (G2689), 'deportment' outwardly; 'bearing,' including, but not restricted to, apparel.] Women love fine dress: at Ephesus riches (1 Timothy 6:17) led some to dress luxuriously. [ Katasteema (G2688) (Titus 2:3), "behaviour," refers to demeanour.]

Shamefacedness. Trench spells this 'shamefastness' (that which is made fast by an honourable shame), as 'stedfastness' (cf. 1 Timothy 2:11-12).

Sobriety, [ soofrosunees (G4997)] - 'discretion,' 'sobermindedness:' the well-balanced state arising from habitual self-restraint (Ellicott). With - Greek, in.

Broidered hair - literally, plaits: probably with the 'gold and pearls' intertwined (1 Peter 3:3). Such gaudiness characterizes the spiritual harlot (Revelation 17:4).

Verse 10

But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

Professing, [ epangellomenais (G1861)] - promising; engaging to follow.

With [ dia (G1223 ): through] good works. Their adorning is to be effected by means of good works: not that they are to be clothed in, or with (1 Timothy 2:9) them (Ephesians 2:10). Works, not words in public, is their province (1 Timothy 2:8; 1 Timothy 2:11-12; 1 Peter 3:1). Works are often mentioned in the pastoral letters, to oppose the loose living, combined with loose doctrine, of the false teachers. Everyday duties are honoured with the designation "good works."

Verse 11

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

Learn - not "teach" (1 Timothy 2:12). She should not even put questions in the public assembly (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).

With all subjection - not 'usurping authority' (1 Timothy 2:12). She might teach, but not in public (Acts 18:26). Paul probably wrote this from Corinth, where the precept was in force. A canon of the Council of Carthage

(A.D. 398 AD) renewed this prohibition. Women might privately teach those of their own sex.

Verse 12

But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

Usurp authority, [ authentein (G831)] - 'to exercise dominion;' literally, 'to be an autocrat:' primarily in public ministrations.

Verse 13

For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

For - Reason of the precept: the original order of creation.

Adam was first - before Eve, who was created for him (1 Corinthians 11:8-9).

Formed, [ eplasthee (G4111)] - from pre-created matter [Hebrew, yaastsaar (H3335)].

Verse 14

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Adam was not deceived - directly, as Eve was by the serpent, but was persuaded by his wife (Genesis 3:17): indirectly deceived. Contrast Genesis 3:13. Eve says, "The serpent beguiled me." Being easily deceived, she easily deceives (2 Corinthians 11:3). Last in being, she was first in sin. The subtle serpent knew she was "the weaker vessel." He therefore tempted her. She yielded to the temptations of sense and the deceits of Satan; he, to conjugal love. Hence, in the order of God's sentence, the serpent, the prime offender, stands first; the woman, who was deceived, next; the man, persuaded by his wife, last (Genesis 3:14-19). In Romans 5:12 Adam is represented as the first transgressor; but there Adam (including Eve) is regarded as head of the sinning race. In Genesis 3:16 woman's "subjection" (1 Timothy 2:11) is represented as the consequence of her "being deceived." So

C. But 'Aleph (') A Delta G read the compound [ exapateetheisa (G1818) for the simple apateetheisa], 'having been completely deceived.' Satan succeeded in deceiving her.

Was in the transgression, [ en (G1722) parabasei (G3847) gegonen (G1096)] - 'came to be (became involved) in transgression;' literally, 'going beyond' the positive precept (Romans 4:15).

Verse 15

Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

Be saved in child-bearing, [ dia (G1223) tees (G3588) teknogonias (G5042)] - 'in (literally, through) her (literally, the) child-bearing.' Through expresses not the means of her salvation, but the circumstances AMIDST which it has place. Thus 1 Corinthians 3:15, "he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (literally, through) fire:" in spite of the fiery ordeal which he has to pass through. So here, 'In spite of the child-bearing which she passes through (as her portion of the curse, Genesis 3:16), she shall be saved.' Moreover, it is implied that the very curse will be a condition favourable to her salvation, by her faithfully performing her part in doing and suffering what God has assigned to her-namely, child-bearing and home duties, her sphere, as distinguished from public teaching, not her's, but man's (1 Timothy 2:11-12). In this home sphere, not ordinarily in public service for the kingdom of God, she will be saved on the same terms as all others-namely, by living faith. Ellicott, 'through THE child-bearing' (Greek), the bearing of the child Jesus. Doubtless this is the ground of women's child-bearing becoming to them a blessing instead of a curse; as in the original prophecy (Genesis 3:15-16) the promise of "the seed of the woman" (the Saviour), about to bruise the serpent's head, stands in closest connection with the woman's doom to "sorrow" in 'bringing forth children.' Her child-bearing, though in sorrow, being the function of her sex whereby the Saviour was born, shall be the mean of her salvation. This may be an ulterior reference of the Holy Spirit; but the primary one seems, 'She shall be saved ([though] with child-bearing)' - i:e., though suffering her part of the primeval curse in child-bearing; just as a man shall be saved, though having to bear his part-namely, the sweat of the brow.

If they - `if the women (taken out of "the woman," 1 Timothy 2:14; put for the whole sex) continue' [meinosin]; literally, shall (be found at the judgment to) have continued.

Faith and charity - the essential way to salvation (1 Timothy 1:5). Faith, in relation to God; charity, to our fellow-man; sobriety, to one's self.

Holiness - the normal state of believing (Romans 6:22; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4).

Sobriety - `sobermindedhess' (note, 1 Timothy 2:9, contrasted with the unseemly forwardness reproved, 1 Timothy 2:11). Mental receptivity, and activity in family life, are the destiny of woman. One reason alleged here is the greater danger of self-deception in the weaker sex, and the errors arising from it, especially in addresses in which sober reflectiveness is least in exercise. The case, Acts 21:9, was doubtless in private, not in public.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/1-timothy-2.html. 1871-8.
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