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1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
Ver. 1. Paul, an apostle, &c. ] The preface of this Epistle seems to be an abridgment of that of the Epistle to the Romans. See Trapp on " Rom 1:1 "
Which is in Christ Jesus ] All out of Christ are living carcases, walking sepulchres of themselves.
2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ver. 2. Grace, mercy, and peace ] See Trapp on " 1Ti 1:2 "
3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
Ver. 3. Whom I serve from my forefathers ] Those twelve tribes, that served God instantly, day and night, Acts 26:7 . That was a desperate resolution of the heathen orator (Cicero, de Nat. Deor. p. iii.), Me ex ea opinione, quam a maioribus accepi de cultu Deorum immortalium, nullius unquam oratio, aut docti, aut indocti movebit. I will never stir an inch from the religion of my forefathers, for any man’s persuasion. Paul forsook his Phariseeism and forefathers to serve God, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had done with a pure conscience.
4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
Ver. 4. Being mindful of thy tears ] Timothy was a man of many tears, so was David, Paul, Luther, Bradford, of whom it is said, that he did seldom eat but be bedewed his trencher with tears, and that few days passed him without plenty of tears shed before he went to bed:- Αγαθοι δ αριδακρυες ανδρες .
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
Ver. 5. In thy grandmother Lois, and mother ] A sweet happiness to any child to have a good mother and grandmother. For these have great opportunity of dropping good things into their little Lemuels, as being much about them. The mothers of the kings of Judah are constantly mentioned; and as they were good or evil, so were their children. Partus sequitur ventrem, The birth follows the belly. The grandmothers also, as they often love their nephews better than their own immediate children (for love descendeth), so if they be religious ( expertus loquor ) they have a strong influence upon them, and are a means of much good unto them, as was Naomi, no doubt, to Obed, Ruth 4:16 , though she were but his grandmother-in-law.
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
Ver. 6. Stir up the gift ] Blow up thy smaller spark into a flame. Grace in us is like a dull seacoal fire, saith one, which if not now and then blown and stirred up, though there be no lack of fuel, yet will of itself at length die and go out. The word αναζωπυρειν , here used by the apostle, is Plato’s word. The apostle seems to have been well read in Plato’s writings. Though I grant the word is also found in the Greek text, Genesis 45:27 , and the apostle here might very well allude to the fire of the altar that came from heaven, and was day and night kept in by the priests. See the canon for that fire, Leviticus 6:12-13 , Hezekiah’s confession, 2 Chronicles 29:6-7 , the good heusewife’s candle, Proverbs 31:18 , the wise virgins’ lamps,Matthew 25:8; Matthew 25:8 , our Saviour’s charge,Luke 12:35; Luke 12:35 , and do accordingly.
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Ver. 7. The spirit of fear ] δειλειας , called elsewhere the spirit of bondage, δουλειας , Romans 8:15 . The law will convince the judgment; but it is the gospel that convinceth the lust and the affection.
Of power and of a sound mind ] These two fitly stand together. Sin unrepented of, lies rotting at the heart, and by rotting weakeneth it, as a rotten rag hath no strength.
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
Ver. 8. Afflictions of the gospel ] Affliction is Evangelii genius, a type of the gospel, saith Calvin; hence it is called "the word of Christ’s patience," Revelation 2:2 ; Rev 2:19
According to the power of God ] For unless he supports us by his power, we shall never bear up in affliction.
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Ver. 9. With a holy calling ] All that follows (to those words in the end of 2 Timothy 1:10 ; "through the gospel") comes in by a parenthesis, and is so to be read.
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
Ver. 10. By the appearing ] By his coming in the flesh; of which also the Psalmist speaketh, Psalms 96:13 .
Brought life and immortality to light ] As he drew light out of darkness at the creation. And as he then made light on the first day of the week, so on the same day he abolished death, &c., by his resurrection from the dead; by virtue also whereof
" Et sensus scoplis, et silvis addidit aures;
Et Diti lachrymas, et Morti denique vitam.
De Orpheo Manilius.
11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
Ver. 11. A teacher of the Gentiles ] His writings therefore should be the more highly prized and studied by us Gentiles, as being properly ours; like as Psalms 127:1 , was a song made (specially) for Solomon.
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Ver. 12. I know whom I have trusted ] Here was not a faint hope, or a conjectural confidence, but a plerophory of faith. The reason whereof is rendered by a Father, Quia in charitate nimia adoptavit me, quia verax in promissione, et potens in exhibitione, Because God, who of his free grace hath adopted me, is both able and faithful to fulfil his promises. (Bernard.) That was a notable speech of Luther (apud Jo. Manlium), Ipse viderit ubi anima men mansura sit, qui pro ea sic sollicitus fuit, ut vitam pro ea posuerit. Let him that died for my soul, see to the salvation of it.
That which I have committed ] A child that hath any precious thing given him cannot better secure it than by putting it into his father’s hands to keep; so neither can we better provide for our souls’ safety than by committing them to God. Tutiores autem vivimus, si totum Deo damus, non autem nos illi ex parte et nobis ex parte committimus: We shall be sure to be safest, if we commit ourselves wholly to God, and seek not to part stakes with him therein. (Aug. de Bono Persev. cap. 6.) The ship that is part in the water and part in the mud is soon beaten in pieces.
13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Ver. 13. Hold fast the form ] The catechistical principles, that method, system, short sum of divinity, that St Paul had compiled for Timothy’s use; called here not only a form, τυπος υποτυπωσις , asRomans 6:17; Romans 6:17 , but a short form or brief method, such as hath both perspicuity and brevity, a platform, draught, or delineation, according to which Timothy was to steer, as by a compass.
Of wholesome words ] That have a property in them, and wherein there is nothing froward or perverse, Proverbs 8:8 , nothing that may hurt or hinder thy soul’s health; such as were the writings of Rabbis and philosophers, wherein (to say the best of them)
" Sunt bona mista malis, sunt mala mista bonis; "
together with the gold, silver, and ivory of some sound truths, they have store of apes and peacocks, toys and trifles; yea, some snakes and serpents, that may destroy the precious soul.
In faith and love ] The sum of all sound doctrine and Christian duty.
14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
Ver. 14. The good thing that was, &c. ] Thy crown of recompence, Revelation 3:11 . Or thy converts, thy crown of rejoicing, 1 Thessalonians 2:19 . Or the purity of thy doctrine, 1 Timothy 6:20 . The gospel is Christ’s depositum with us, committed to our keeping; as our souls are our depositum with him, committed to his. (Theophyl.) Let us therefore strive together for this faith of the gospel, Philippians 1:27 , resolving either to live with it or die for it. Let us earnestly contend for this faith "once (only) delivered," Jude
3. Once for all; another edition of it is never to be expected. "Hold fast the faithful word," as with both hands, Titus 1:9 . O pray, pray, saith a Dutch divine, upon his deathbed, pontifex enim Romanus, et Concilium Tridentinum mira moliuntur, for the pope and his complices are doing their utmost to bereave us of our present enjoyments. And are there not still such factors for the devil, such pioneers hard at work among us? Let us carefully countermine them.
15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
Ver. 15. All they which are in Asia ] All the ministers there. These stars fell from heaven, Revelation 6:13 , as fast as the fig tree makes abort, with any never so light and gentle a wind. (Plin.)
Phygellus and Hermogenes ] Famous only for their recidivation a and apostasy. Hermogenes look after Hermogenes the retrograde rhetorician; who at 22 years of age was an excellent orator, but by 24, mente lapsus est, forgot all his skill, and became a very dunce, nulla evidente causa, for no apparent reason, saith mine author (C. Rhodigin).
a Relapse into sin, error, crime, etc.; backsliding, apostasy. (Very common in 17th c.) ŒD
16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
Ver. 16. He oft refreshed me ] Gr. ανεψυξε , poured cold water upon me, as that angel did upon the racked limbs of Theodorus the martyr, mentioned by Socrates and Ruffinus in the days of Julian the Apostate.
17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me .
Ver. 17. He sought me out very diligently ] σπουδαιοτερον , with vehement desire and intention of affection, not as a coward seeks after his enemy, whom he hopes he shall never find, but as Saul sought David, or as the wise men the babe of Bethlehem, &c.
18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
Ver. 18. The Lord ] That is, God the Father "grant he may find mercy of the Lord," that is, of God the Son, as "Jehovah from Jehovah," Genesis 19:24 .
That he may find ] For his care in finding out me, 2 Timothy 1:17 .
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25