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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 2

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New TestamentRobertson's Word Pictures

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Verse 1

Be strengthened (ενδυναμου). Present passive imperative of ενδυναμοω. See already 1 Timothy 1:12; Romans 4:20; Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 6:10. "Keep on being empowered," "keep in touch with the power."

In the grace that is in Christ Jesus (εν τη χαριτ τη εν Χριστω Ιησου). Where the power is located. Christ is the dynamo for power only when and while we keep in touch with him.

Verse 2

From me (παρ' εμου). As in 2 Timothy 1:13. Paul was Timothy's chief teacher of Christ.

Among many witnesses (δια πολλων μαρτυρων). Plutarch has δια in this sense and Field (Ot. Norv.) suggests that it is a legal phrase "supported by many witnesses." Not mere spectators, but testifiers. See Paul's use of δια 1 Thessalonians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 2:4; Romans 2:27; Romans 14:20. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 gives many witnesses of the resurrection of Christ.

Commit thou (παραθου). Second aorist middle imperative of παρατιθημ (1 Timothy 1:18) to deposit, same metaphor as παραθηκη in 2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:14. "Deposit thou."

Faithful (πιστοις). "Trustworthy," "reliable," as in 1 Timothy 1:12 of Paul himself.

Able (ικανο). Capable, qualified, as in 1 Corinthians 15:9; 2 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 3:5.

Others also (κα ετερους). Not necessarily "different," but "others in addition." This is the way to pass on the torch of the light of the knowledge of God in Christ. Paul taught Timothy who will teach others who will teach still others, an endless chain of teacher-training and gospel propaganda.

Verse 3

Suffer hardship with me (συνκακοπαθησον). See 2 Timothy 1:8 for this verb. The old preacher challenges the young one to share hardship with him for Christ.

As a good soldier (ος καλος στρατιωτης). Paul does not hesitate to use this military metaphor (this word only here for a servant of Christ) with which he is so familiar. He had already used the metaphor in 1 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 10:3; 1 Timothy 1:18. In Philippians 2:25 he called Epaphroditus "my fellow-soldier" (συνστρατιωτην μου) as he did Archippus in Philemon 1:2.

Verse 4

No soldier on service (ουδεις στρατευομενος). "No one serving as a soldier." See 1 Corinthians 9:7 for this old verb and 2 Corinthians 10:3; 1 Timothy 1:18 for the metaphorical use.

Entangleth himself (εμπλεκετα). Old compound, to inweave (see Matthew 27:29 for πλεκω), in N.T. only here and 2 Peter 2:20. Present middle (direct) indicative.

In the affairs (ταις πραγματειαις). Old word (from πραγματευομα, Luke 19:13), business, occupation, only here in N.T.

Of this life (του βιου). No "this" in the Greek, "of life" (course of life as in 1 Timothy 2:2, not existence ζωη).

Him who enrolled him as a soldier (τω στρατολογησαντ). Dative case after αρεση (first aorist active subjunctive of αρεσκω, to please, 1 Thessalonians 2:4, purpose clause with ινα) of the articular first aorist active participle of στρατολογεω, literary Koine word (στρατολογος, from στρατος and λεγω), only here in N.T.

Verse 5

If also a man contend in the games (εαν δε κα αθλη τις). Condition of third class with present (linear) active subjunctive of αθλεω, old and common verb (from αθλος, a contest), only this verse in N.T., but συναθλεω in Philippians 1:27. Note sharp distinction between αθλη (present subjunctive, engage in a contest in general) and αθληση (first aorist active subjunctive, engage in a particular contest). Not "except he have contended," but simply "unless he contend" (in any given case) "lawfully" (νομιμως). Old adverb, agreeably to the law, in N.T. only here and 1 Timothy 1:8.

Is not crowned (ου στεφανουτα). Present passive indicative of στεφανοω, old verb (from στεφανος, crown), in N.T. only here and Hebrews 2:7; Hebrews 2:9. One apodosis for two protases. The victor in the athletic contests was crowned with a garland.

Verse 6

The husbandman that laboureth (τον κοπιωντα γεωργον). "The toiling tiller of the soil" (γεωργον, from γη and εργω, worker of the earth). See γεωργιον (field) in 1 Corinthians 3:9 and also 1 Corinthians 9:7.

First (πρωτον). As is natural and right.

To partake (μεταλαμβανειν). Old word as in Acts 2:46 to share in. Paul elsewhere uses μετεχω as in 1 Corinthians 9:12.

Verse 7

Consider (νοε). Present active imperative of νοεω, old verb, to put your mind (νους) on. See Ephesians 3:4 and like command in 1 Corinthians 10:15.

Understanding (συνεσιν). "Comprehension" (from συνιημ, to send together, to grasp). See Colossians 1:9; Colossians 2:2. This is a blessed promise that calls for application.

Verse 8

Risen from the dead (εγηγερμενον εκ νεκρων). Perfect passive participle of εγειρω, still risen as the perfect tense shows in 1 Corinthians 15:4; 1 Corinthians 15:12-20. Predicate accusative. "Remember Jesus Christ as risen from the dead." This is the cardinal fact about Christ that proves his claim to be the Messiah, the Son of God. Christ is central for Paul here as in Philippians 2:5-11.

Of the seed of David (εκ σπερματος Δαυειδ). The humanity of Christ as in Romans 1:3; Philippians 2:7.

According to my gospel (κατα το ευαγγελιον μου). Paul's very phrase in Romans 2:16; Romans 16:25. Not a written gospel, but my message. See also 1 Corinthians 15:1; 2 Corinthians 11:7; Galatians 1:11; Galatians 2:2; 1 Timothy 1:11.

Verse 9

Wherein (εν ω). In my gospel.

I suffer hardship (κακοπαθω). "I suffer evil." Old compound (κακον, πασχω), elsewhere in N.T., 2 Timothy 4:5; James 5:13.

Unto bonds (μεχρ δεσμων). "Up to bonds." A common experience with Paul (2 Corinthians 11:23; Philippians 1:7; Philippians 1:13; Philippians 1:14; Colossians 4:18).

As a malefactor (ως κακουργος), old compound (κακον, εργω, doer of evil), in N.T. only here and Luke 23:32 (of the robbers). One of the charges made against Paul.

Is not bound (ου δεδετα). Perfect passive indicative of δεω, to bind. Old verb. See 1 Corinthians 7:27; 1 Corinthians 7:39; Romans 7:2. I am bound with a chain, but no fetters are on the word of God (Pauline phrase; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 14:36; 2 Corinthians 2:17; Philippians 1:14; Titus 2:5).

Verse 10

For the elect's sake (δια τους εκλεκτους). "Because of the elect." God's elect (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; Titus 1:1) for whom Paul suffered so much (Colossians 1:6; Colossians 12:15; Philippians 2:17; Ephesians 3:1; Ephesians 3:13).

That they also may obtain (ινα κα αυτο τυχωσιν). Purpose clause with second aorist (effective) active subjunctive of τυγχανω with genitive. "They as well as I," Paul means.

The salvation (της σωτηριας). The final salvation "with eternal glory" (μετα δοξης αιωνιου). This phrase only here and 1 Peter 5:10, but in 2 Corinthians 4:17 we have "eternal weight of glory."

Verse 11

Faithful is the saying (πιστος ο λογος). The saying which follows here though it can refer to the preceding as in 1 Timothy 4:9. See 1 Timothy 1:15. It is possible that from here to the end of 2 Timothy 2:13 we have the fragment of an early hymn. There are four conditions in these verses (2 Timothy 2:11-13), all of the first class, assumed to be true. Parallels to the ideas here expressed are found in 2 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Corinthians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 7:3; Romans 6:3-8; Colossians 3:1-4. Note the compounds with συν (συναπεθανομεν,

we died with , from συναποθνεσκο as in 2 Corinthians 7:3; συνζησομεν,

we shall live with , from συνζαω as in 2 Corinthians 7:3; συμβασιλευσομεν,

we shall reign with , from συμβασιλευω as in 1 Corinthians 4:8). For υπομενομεν (we endure) see 1 Corinthians 13:7 and for απιστουμεν (we are faithless) see Romans 3:3. The verb αρνεομα, to deny (αρνησομεθα, we shall deny, αρνησετα, he will deny, αρνησασθα, deny, first aorist middle infinitive) is an old word, common in the Gospels in the sayings of Jesus (Matthew 10:33; Luke 12:9), used of Peter (Mark 14:70), and is common in the Pastorals (1 Timothy 5:8; Titus 2:12; 2 Timothy 3:5). Here in verse 2 Timothy 2:13 it has the notion of proving false to oneself, a thing that Christ "cannot" (ου δυνατα) do.

Verse 14

That they strive not about words (μη λογομαχειν). Word apparently coined by Paul from λογομαχια (1 Timothy 6:4 which see), a back formation in that case. A mere war of words displeases Paul. (Titus 3:9).

Useful (χρησιμον). Late and rare word from χραομα, here only in N.T.

To the subverting (επ καταστροφη). Old word (from καταστρεφω, to turn down or over), here only in N.T. (except 2 Peter 2:6 in some MSS., not in Westcott and Hort)." Because of the overthrow" (result επ, not aim), useless for this reason. Such war of words merely upsets the hearers.

Verse 15

Give diligence (σπουδασον). First aorist active imperative of σπουδαζω, old word, as in 1 Thessalonians 2:17; Galatians 2:10.

To present (παραστησα). First aorist active infinitive of παριστημ as in Colossians 1:22; Colossians 1:28.

Approved unto God (δοκιμον τω θεω). Dative case θεω with δοκιμον, predicate accusative, old adjective (from δεχομα), for which see 1 Corinthians 11:19; 2 Corinthians 10:18.

A workman (εργατην). See 2 Corinthians 11:3; Philippians 3:2.

That needeth not to be ashamed (ανεπαισχυντον). Late double compound verbal adjective (α privative, επαισχυνω), in Josephus and here alone.

Handling aright (ορθοτομουντα). Present active participle of ορθοτομεω, late and rare compound (ορθοτομος), cutting straight, ορθος and τεμνω), here only in N.T. It occurs in Proverbs 3:6; Proverbs 11:5 for making straight paths (οδους) with which compare Hebrews 12:13 and "the Way" in Acts 9:2. Theodoret explains it to mean ploughing a straight furrow. Parry argues that the metaphor is the stone mason cutting the stones straight since τεμνω and ορθος are so used. Since Paul was a tent-maker and knew how to cut straight the rough camel-hair cloth, why not let that be the metaphor? Certainly plenty of exegesis is crooked enough (crazy-quilt patterns) to call for careful cutting to set it straight.

Verse 16

Shun (περιιστασο). See Titus 3:9.

Babblings (κενοφωνιας). See 1 Timothy 6:20.

Will proceed (προκοψουσιν). Future active of προκοπτω, "will cut forward." See Galatians 1:14; Romans 13:12.

Further in ungodliness (επ πλειον ασεβειας). "To more of ungodliness." See Romans 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:2.

Verse 17

Will eat (νομην εξε). "Will have (future active of εχω) pasturage or increase" (νομη, old word from νεμω, to pasture, in N.T. only here and John 10:9).

As doth gangrene (ως γαγγραινα). Late word (medical writers and Plutarch), only here in N.T. From γραω or γραινω, to gnaw, to eat, an eating, spreading disease. Hymenaeus is probably the one mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20. Nothing is known of Philetus.

Verse 18

Men who (οιτινες). "The very ones who."

Have erred (ηστοχησαν). "Missed the mark." First aorist active indicative of αστοχεω, for which see 1 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 6:21.

That the resurrection is past already (αναστασιν ηδη γεγονενα). Second perfect active infinitive of γινομα in indirect assertion after λεγοντες (saying) with the accusative of general reference (αναστασιν).

Overthrow (ανατρεπουσιν). See Titus 1:11.

Verse 19

Howbeit (μεντο). Strong adversative, "however."

Firm (στερεος). Old adjective, solid, compact, in N.T. only here, 1 Peter 5:9; Hebrews 5:12; Hebrews 5:14. See στερεωμα in Colossians 2:5. For θεμελιος see 1 Corinthians 3:11; Romans 15:20; 1 Timothy 6:19. Cf. εδραιωμα in 1 Timothy 3:15.

Seal (σφραγις). See 1 Corinthians 9:2; Romans 4:11.

Knoweth (εγνω). Timeless aorist active indicative of γινωσκω. Quotation from Numbers 16:5.

Let every one depart (αποστητω πας). Paraphrase of Numbers 16:27; Isaiah 26:13; Isaiah 52:11; Jeremiah 20:9. Second aorist active imperative of αφιστημ (intransitive use), "Let every one stand off from." Probably another echo of the rebellion of Korah.

Verse 20

In a great house (εν μεγαλη οικια). Metaphor of a palace. He doubtless has the Kingdom of God in mind, but he works out the metaphor of a great house of the rich and mighty.

Vessels (σκευη). Old word σκευος. See Romans 9:21 for the same double use as here.

Of gold (χρυσα). Old contracted adjective χρυσεος, only here by Paul.

Of silver (αργυρα). Old contracted adjective αργυρεος, in N.T. here, Acts 19:24; Revelation 9:20.

Of wood (ξυλινα). Old adjective, in N.T. only here and Revelation 9:20.

Of earth (οστρακινα). Late adjective, from οστρακον, baked clay, in LXX, in N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 4:7.

Verse 21

If a man purge himself (εαν τις εκκαθαρη). Paul drops the metaphor of the house and takes up the individual as one of the "vessels." Condition of third class with first aorist active subjunctive of εκκαθαιρω, old verb, to cleanse out, in LXX, in N.T. only here and 1 Corinthians 5:7.

From these (απο τουτων). From the vessels for dishonour of verse 2 Timothy 2:20.

Sanctified (ηγιασμενον). Perfect passive participle of αγιαζω, for which verb see 1 Corinthians 6:11.

Meet for the master's use (ευχρηστον τω δεσποτω). Dative case δεσποτη (for which word see 1 Timothy 6:1) with ευχρηστον, neuter singular like ηγιασμενον agreeing with σκευος. Old verbal adjective (ευ and χραομα, to use well), useful or usable for the master. In N.T. only here and 2 Timothy 4:11. See αχρηστον in 2 Timothy 2:11.

Prepared (ητοιμασμενον). Perfect passive participle of ετοιμαζω, in a state of readiness, old and common word, elsewhere by Paul only 1 Corinthians 2:9 (LXX).

Verse 22

Youthful (νεωτερικας). Literary Koine word (Polybius, Josephus), only here in N.T. There are lusts peculiar to flaming youth.

Flee (φευγε). Present active imperative of φευγω, old and common verb. In this sense see 1 Corinthians 6:18.

Follow after (διωκε). Present active imperative of διωκω as if in a chase for which sense see 1 Thessalonians 5:15. Steady pursuit of these virtues like those in Galatians 5:22.

Call on the Lord (επικαλουμενον τον κυριον). See 1 Corinthians 1:2; Romans 10:12-14.

Verse 23

Ignorant (απαιδευτους). Old verbal, here only in N.T. (α privative and παιδευω). Untrained, uneducated, "speculations of a half-educated mind" (Parry).

Refuse (παραιτου). See 1 Timothy 4:7.

They gender strifes (γεννωσιν μαχας). Present active indicative of old and common verb γενναω (Romans 9:11). "They beget battles." See 2 Timothy 2:14.

Verse 24

Must not strive (ου δε μαχεσθα). Rather, "it is not necessary for him to fight" (in such verbal quibbles). The negative ου goes with δε, not with the infinitive μαχεσθα.

Gentle (ηπιον). Old word (from επος, speech), affable, mild, in N.T. only here (and 1 Thessalonians 2:7 in some MSS.; W. H. have νηπιος).

Teachable (διδακτικον). See 1 Timothy 3:2.

Forbearing (ανεξικακον). Late compound (from future of ανεχω, ανεξω, and κακον, putting up with evil). Here only in N.T.

Verse 25

Correcting (παιδευοντα). See Titus 2:12. "Schooling" (Parry).

Oppose themselves (αντιδιατιθεμενους). Present middle (direct) participle of αντιδιατιθημ, late double compound (Diodorus, Philo) to place oneself in opposition, here only in N.T.

If peradventure God may give (μη ποτε δωιη ο θεος). Here Westcott and Hort read the late form of the second aorist active optative of διδωμ for the usual δοιη as they do in 2 Timothy 1:18. But there it is a wish for the future and so regular, while here the optative with μη ποτε in a sort of indirect question is used with a primary tense δε (present) and parallel with an undoubted subjunctive ανανηψωσιν, while in Luke 3:15 μη ποτε ειε is with a secondary tense. Examples of such an optative do occur in the papyri (Robertson, Grammar, p. 989) so that we cannot go as far as Moulton does and say that we "must" read the subjunctive δωη here (Prolegomena, pp. 55, 193).

Repentance (μετανοιαν). "Change of mind" (2 Corinthians 7:10; Romans 2:4).

Unto the knowledge of the truth (εις επιγνωσιν αληθειας). Paul's word "full knowledge" (Colossians 1:9).

Verse 26

They may recover themselves (ανανηψωσιν). First aorist active subjunctive of ανανηφω, late and rare word, to be sober again, only here in N.T., though νηφω is in 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

Out of the snare of the devil (εκ της του διαβολου παγιδος). They have been caught while mentally intoxicated in the devil's snare (1 Timothy 3:7). See Romans 11:9 for παγις.

Taken captive (εζωγρημενο). Perfect passive participle of ζωγρεω, old verb, to take alive (ζωοσ, αγρεω), in N.T. only here and Luke 5:10 (of Peter). "Taken captive alive."

By him unto his will (υπ' αυτου εις το εκεινου θελημα). This difficult phrase is understood variously. One way is to take both αυτου and εκεινου, to refer to the devil. Another way is to take both of them to refer to God. Another way is to take αυτου of the devil and εκεινου, of God. This is probably best, "taken captive by the devil" "that they may come back to soberness to do the will of God." There are difficulties in either view.

Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 2". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/2-timothy-2.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.
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