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Thursday, May 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 2

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Verses 1-15


1 Timothy 2:1

First of all, that for that, first of all, A.V.; thanksgivings for and giving of thanks. A.V. I exhort therefore. The insertion of the connecting particle "therefore" marks that this arrangement of Church prayers is a part—as the following words, first of all, mark that it is the first part—of that charge or administration which was now committed to Timothy. Supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings (see the Prayer for the Church Militant). The question naturally arises whether the first words here used—δεήσις προσευχάς, and ἐντεύξεις—have any distinctive meaning, or are merely accumulated, like synonyms m legal documents, or various phrases in rhetorical addresses, to ensure completeness and to add force. It is against the notion of any distinctive meaning attaching to them that no such distinction can be supported by actual use. In Philippians 4:6 two of the words (προσευχή and δέησις) are used in conjunction as here with εὐχαριστία, with no apparent difference, both being the way of making known their requests to God (so also Ephesians 6:18 and 1 Timothy 5:5). Again, in the ancient Liturgies, the words δεέσθαι and προσεύχεσθαι are constantly used of the same praying. It may, however, perhaps be said that every δέησις is a προσευχή, though every προσευχή is not a δέησις. The δέησις is a "petition"—a distinct asking something of God, which a προσευχή need not necessarily be. It may be merely an act of adoration, of confession, of recital of God's mercies, and so on. So as regards ἐντεύξεις, here rendered "intercessions." There is nothing in the etymology/ or in the use of this word, which only occurs elsewhere in the New Testament in 1 Timothy 4:5, to limit the meaning of it to "intercession." Nor has it this meaning in the passage where it occurs in the Liturgy of St. Clement, near the close, where God is addressed as ̔Ο καὶ τῶν σιωπώντων ἐπιστάμενος τὰς ἐντεύξεις, "Who understandest the petitions even of those who are silent." In 2 Macc. 4:8 and Diod. Sic., 16:55 it seems to mean "a request preferred in a personal interview," which is an extension of its common meaning in classical Greek of "access," "an interview," "social intercourse," or the like. But when we turn to the use of the verb ἐντυγχάνω in the New Testament, we seem to get the idea of "intercession." Ἐντυγχάνειν is to go to someone to ask him to take action against or in favor of some third party (see Acts 25:24; Romans 11:2; Romans 8:27, Romans 8:28, Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25); and so Chrysostom (quoted in Steph., 'Thesaur.') explains ἐντυχία to be the action of one who applies to God to avenge him of those who have done him wrong. So that perhaps "intercessions" is, on the whole, the best rendering here, though an imperfect one; and would comprise the prayers for the emperor, for the Church, for the sick, travelers, slaves, captives, etc., for the bishops, clergy, and laity, etc., and such prayers as "Turn away from us every plot (ἐπιβουλήν) of wicked men".

1 Timothy 2:2

And all for and for all, A.V.; high place for authority, A.V.; tranquil and quiet for quiet and peaceable, A.V.; gravity for honesty, A.V. For kings, etc. The early Liturgies closely followed these directions. "Every day, both in the evening and the morning, we offer prayers for the whole world, for kings, and for all in authority" (Chrysost., in loc.). So in the Liturgy of St. Mark: "Preserve our king in peace, in virtue, and righteousness.... Subdue his enemies under him... incline him to peace towards us and towards thy Holy Name, that in the serenity of his reign we too may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all piety and honesty [or, 'gravity']." In the Liturgy of St. Clement: "Let us pray for kings and those in authority, that they may be peaceably inclined toward us, and that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all piety and honesty [or, 'gravity']." In the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom: "Let us pray for our most religious and God-protected emperors, and all their palace and court." "We offer this our reasonable service on behalf of our most faithful and Christian (φιλοχρίστων) emperors, and all their palace and court." And in the Liturgy of St. Basil: "Remember, Lord, our most religious and faithful kings... that in their serenity we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. Remember, O Lord, all rulers and all in authority, and all our brethren in the palace, and the whole court." In high place (ἐν ὑπεροχῇ); elsewhere only in 1 Corinthians 2:1, where it is rendered "excellency." But in Romans 13:1 we have ἐξουσίαις ὑπερεχούσαις "the higher powers;" and in 1 Peter 2:13, τῷ βασιλεῖ ὡς ὑπερέχοντι, "the king as supreme." In 2 Macc. 3:11 the phrase, ἀνδρὸς ἐν ὑπεροχῇ κειμένου, occurs; and in Polybius, οἱ ἐν ὑπεροχῇ ὔντες It is often used in Polybius for "authority" or "power." That we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. The prayer for the rulers is recommended (as was explained in the above extracts from the Liturgies) in order to obtain for Christians a tranquil life, undisturbed by persecution and molestation, in spite of their peculiar way of life. Their wish was to be allowed to live in the faith and obedience of the gospel, "in godliness and gravity," without being interfered with by the heathen magistrates. The clause in the Prayer for the Church Militant which corresponds to this is "that under her we may be godly and quietly governed." Tranquil (ἤρεμος); found only here in the New Testament. The derivatives, ἠρέμιος ἠρεμέω, etc., are common in the LXX. They all apply to a still, undisturbed, life. Quiet (ἡσύχιος); found only here and l Peter 3:4 in the New Testament, and in the LXX. in Isaiah 66:2. But the noun ἡσυχία and the verb ἡσυχάζειν are common. Godliness (εὐσεβεία). One of the words almost peculiar to the pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 3:16; 1Ti 4:7, 1 Timothy 4:8; 1 Timothy 6:3,1 Timothy 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:6,1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:5; Titus 1:1); but elsewhere only in Acts 3:12; 2Pe 1:3, 2 Peter 1:6, 2Pe 1:7; 2 Peter 3:11. Cornelius was αυησεβής, and so was one of the soldiers who waited upon him (Acts 10:2, Acts 10:7). Ananias was ἀνὴρ εὐσεβής (Acts 22:12, T.R.). The adverb εὐσεβῶς is also peculiar to the pastoral Epistles (2Timothy fit. 12; Titus 2:12). Gravity (σεμνοτής): so rendered also in the A.V. of 1 Timothy 3:4 and Titus 2:7—the only other places in the New Testament where it is found. So also the adjective σεμνός (1 Timothy 3:8, 1 Timothy 3:11; Titus 2:2). Elsewhere in the New Testament only in Philippians 4:8, where it is rendered" honest" in the A.V., and "honorable" in the R.V. In classical Greek σεμνός is properly spoken of the gods, "august," "venerable," and, when applied to persons, indicates a similar quality. Here σεμνοτής is the respectable, venerable, and dignified sobriety of a truly godly man.

1 Timothy 2:3

This for for this, A.V. and T.R. Acceptable (ἀπόδεκτον); only here and 1 Timothy 5:4 in the New Testament, and in one doubtful passage in Aquila's version of Song of Solomon 1:13. Found in Plutarch. The verb ἀποδέχομαι, to receive gladly, is frequently used by St. Luke (Luke 8:10; Acts 2:41, where see note; etc.). God our Savior (see 1 Timothy 1:1 and Luke 1:47; Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10, Titus 2:13 (perhaps); Titus 3:4; 2 Peter 1:1 (perhaps); Jude 1:25, by which it appears that the phrase is confined to the pastoral among St. Paul's Epistles). In the Old Testament the phrase occurs frequently (see 2 Samuel 22:3; Psalms 106:21; Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 45:21, etc.).

1 Timothy 2:4

Willeth that all men should be saved for will have all men to be saved, A.V.; come to for to come unto, A.V. All men, etc.; to show that it is in accordance with God's will to pray for "all men" (1 Timothy 2:1).

1 Timothy 2:5

One .. also for and one, A.V.; himself man, for the man, A.V. For there is one God, etc. The connection of ideas indicated by γὰρ seems to be this: Pray to God for all men, Jews and Gentiles, barbarians, Scythians, bond and free. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of the one God, who is the God of all the nations of the earth. And God wills that all should come to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, because Jesus Christ is the One Mediator between God and all men, by whom alone men can come to the Father, and who gave himself a ransom for all. One Mediator. The term μεσίτης is only applied to our Savior in the New Testament here and in Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15 : Hebrews 12:24. In the only other passage where St. Paul uses it (Galatians 3:19, Galatians 3:20) it is applied to Moses the media-tar of the Old Testament. In the LXX. it only occurs in Job 9:33. Himself man. Surely an infelicitous and unnecessary change from the A.V. Even supposing that the exact construction of the sentence requires "Christ Jesus" to be taken as the subject and "man" as the predicate, the English way of expressing that sense is to say, "the man Christ Jesus." But it is very far from certain that ἄνθρωπος, standing as it does in opposition to Θεός, is not the subject, and must not therefore be rendered "the man." The man. The human nature of our Lord is here insisted upon, to show how fit he is to mediate for man, as his Godhead fits him to mediate with God.

1 Timothy 2:6

The testimony to be borne in its own times for to be testified in due time, A.V. Τὸ μαρτύριον καιροῖς ἰδιοις. This phrase is somewhat obscure, and is differently explained. But the most literal rendering and the best sense seems to be: " The testimony, at its proper time, to which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle," meaning that the mediation and redemption of Jesus Christ was the subject-matter of that testimony which he Paul was appointed to bear at the proper time. Τὸ μαρτύριον εἰς ὃ must be taken together, without any intervening stop. This accounts for the article τό. The exactly parallel place is Titus 1:1, Titus 1:2, as a close comparison of the two passages will show. A further proof of the identity of thought in the two passage's is the recurrence in both of the phrase, ἐπιγνωσις ἀληθείας. A ransom (ἀντίλυτρον); here only in the New Testament, but it is used perhaps by Symmachus in Psalms 48:9 (49., A.V.), where the LXX, have Γὴν τιμὴν τῆς λυτρώσεως τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ, following the reading רקַיְ, instead of רקַיֵ as in the Hebrew text. "What means a ransom? They were about to perish, but in their stead he gave his Son, and sent us as heralds to proclaim the cross" (Chrysostom). The equivalent word in the Gospels is ἀντάλλαγμα. Ἀντίλυτρον does ,at seem to differ materially in me, ulna from λύτρον, the common classical word for "ransom" (i.e. redemption money), and used by our Lord of his own life given as a ransom for many. It is the price given as an equivalent for setting free the prisoner, or sparing the forfeited life; λυτρόω (Luke 24:21, etc.), λύτρωσις (Luke 1:68, etc.), λυτρωτής (Acts 7:35), ἀπολύτρωσις (Luke 21:28; Romans 3:24, and passim), have all the sense of "redeem," "redemption," and the like. In its own times. The notion of a time specially appointed for Christ's coming into the world is frequently dwelt upon in Scripture; e.g. Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:10; Hebrews 1:2 (camp. Acts 17:30, Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 6:2). (See the same phrase, 1 Timothy 6:15.)

1 Timothy 2:7

Was appointed for am ordained, A.V.; truth for truth in Christ, A.V. and T.R.; I lie for and lie, A.V.; truth for verity, A.V. I was appointed, etc. It is quite in St. Paul's manner thus to refer to his own apostolic mission (see Romans 1:5; Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 1 Corinthians 1:1, 1Co 1:17; 1 Corinthians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Galatians 1:1, etc.; Ephesians 3:2, Ephesians 3:8; and many other places). A preacher (κήρυξ; as in 2 Timothy 1:11). So Mark 16:15, "Preach the gospel" is Κηρύξατε τὸ εὐαγγέλιον; and in Mark 16:20, "They... preached everywhere" is 'Εκήρυξαν πανταχοῦ; and 2 Timothy 4:2, "Preach the word" is Κήρυξον τὸν λόγον; and generally it is the word rendered "preach." It combines the idea of authority in the preacher who is the authorized herald (Romans 10:15), and publicity for his message (Matthew 10:27; Luke 12:3). I speak the truth, etc. The reason for this strong asseveration of his office as the apostle of the Gentiles is not at first sight apparent. But it was probably made in view of the antagonism of the Judaizing teachers referred to in 1 Timothy 1:3, 1 Timothy 1:19, 1 Timothy 1:20 (comp. Romans 11:13; Romans 15:15, Romans 15:16).

1 Timothy 2:8

Desire for will, A.V.; the men for men, A.V.; in every place for everywhere, A.V.; disputing for doubting, A.V. I desire, etc. He takes up the subject again which he had opened in 1 Timothy 2:1, but had somewhat digressed from in 1 Timothy 2:4-7, and gives further directions as to the persons who are to make the prayers spoken of in 1 Timothy 2:1, viz. men (τοὺς ἄνδρας), not women, as it follows more at large in 1 Timothy 2:9-15. The stress is clearly upon "men" (or, "the men"—it makes no difference); and there is no force in Alford's remark that in that case it would have been τοὺς ἄνδρας προσεύχεσθαι. The prayers had been already ordered in 1 Timothy 2:1; the additional detail, that they were to be offered by men, is now added. In every place; not, as Chrysostom thinks, in contrast to the Jewish worship, which was confined to the temple at Jerusalem, but merely meaning wherever a Christian congregation is assembled. Lifting up holy hands. Alford quotes Clem. Ram. 'To the Corinthians,' Ephesians 1:1-23. Ephesians 1:1 Timothy 29: Προσέλθωμεν .. ἐν ὁσιότητι ψυχῆς ἁγνὰς καὶ ἀμιάντους χεῖρας αἴρουντες πρὸς αὐτόν (camp. Psalms 26:6; Psalms 28:2; Psa 43:1-5 :20; Psalms 63:4; 2 Chronicles 6:12, 2 Chronicles 6:13). Without wrath. It appears from several passages in Chrysostom that the habit of praying angry prayers was not unknown in his day. "Do you pray against your brother? But your prayer is not against him, but against yourself. You provoke God by uttering those impious words, 'Show him the same;' 'So do to him;' 'Smite him;' 'Recompense him;' and much more to the same effect" ('Hom.' 6.). In 'Hom.' 8. his comment on this passage is: "Without bearing malice.... Let no one approach each God in enmity, or in an unsalable temper." And disputing (διαλογισμοῦ). The exact meaning of διαλογισμός is perhaps best seen in Luke 5:21, Luke 5:22, where both the verb and the substantive are used. The διαλογισμοὶ are carillings, questionings proceeding from a captious, unbelieving spirit. They are διαλογισμοὶ πονηροὶ (Matthew 15:19). The word is always used in a bad sense in the New Testament. Forms of prayer were not yet established in the Church, but these cautious show the need of them.

1 Timothy 2:9

In like manner for in like manner also, A.V. and T.R.; braided for broided, A.V.; and gold for or gold, A.V.; raiment for array, A.V. The apostle here passes on to the duties of women as members of the congregation, and he places first modesty of demeanor and dress, the contrary to these being likely to prove a hurt and a hindrance to their fellow-worshippers. Adorn themselves in modest apparel. This is obviously the true construction, κοσμεῖν depending upon βούλομαι. There is a little doubt as to the exact meaning of καταστολή here, the only place where it occurs in the New Testament. Alford argues strongly in favor of the meaning "apparel." But it may also mean "steadiness" or "quietness" of demeanor; and then the phrase will be exactly parallel to 1 Peter 3:5, "The incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit." And the meaning will be, "Let Christian women adorn themselves with a decent and well-ordered quietness of demeanor, in strict accordance with [or, 'together with'] shame-fastness and sobriety [μετά, 'in strict accord with,' or 'together with'] not with braided hair," etc. A woman's true ornament is not the finery which sire gets from the milliner, but the chaste discretion which she has from the Spirit of God. Modest (κόσμιος); only found in the New Testament here and in 1 Timothy 3:2, where it is rendered" of good behavior" in the A.V., and "modest" in the margin, "orderly" in the R.V. It is common in classical Greek in the sense of "welt-ordered," "welt-behaved." Shamefastness (αἰδώς, bashfulness). So the edition of 1611; "shamefacedness" in the later editions is a corruption. Archbishop Trench compares "stead fast," "soothfast," "root fast," "master-fast," "footfast," "bedfast," with their substantives ('Synonyms of New Test.,' § 20.). Sobriety (σωφροσύνη, as in 1 Timothy 3:15, q.v.); soundness, health, purity, and integrity of mind. Ἁπὸ τοῦ σώας τὰς φρένας ἔχειν (Chrysostom, 'Ap. Trench.'). Braided hair (πλέγμασιν); found only here in the New Testament, but used in Aquila and Theodotion, instead of the πλεκείς or πλακείς of the LXX., in Isaiah 28:5, for הרָיפִץְ, a "diadem," or "twined garland." In classical Greek πλέγματα are anything twined, tendrils of the vine, wickerwork, chaplets, etc. The corresponding word in 1 Peter 3:3 is ἐμπλοκὴ τριχῶν, "plaiting the hair." Costly raiment (ἱματισμῷ πολυτελεῖ). For ἱματισμὸς, comp. Luke 7:25; Luke 9:23; Acts 20:33; Psalms 45:10, LXX.; etc., which show tinct the word is used κατ ἐξοχήν of any splendid garment (Schleusuer). Πολυτελής, costly. St. Peter manifestly had this passage before him from the marked verbal coincidences, as well as close similarity of thought (ἐμπλοκή χρύσιον κόσμος ἱμάτιον, πολυτελής ἀγαθοποιοῦσαι (compared with δι ἔργων ἀγαθῶν), ἡσυχία ὑποταγή, (compared with ὑποτασσόμεναι), ἁγαίαι γυναῖκες κ.τ.λ. (compared with ἐπαγγελλόμεναις θεοσέβειαν). (See reference to St. Paul's Epistles in 2 Peter 3:15.)

1 Timothy 2:10

Through for with, A.V. (The change from "with" to "through" is quite unnecessary, though more strictly accurate. "With" does equally well for ἐν and διά, the one applied to the ornaments and dress in or with which the woman adorns herself, the other to the good works by which she is adorned.) Professing godliness. In all ether passages in the New Testament where it occurs, ἐπαγγέλλεσθαι means "to promise," except in 1 Timothy 6:21, where, as here, it means "to profess," as it frequently does in classical Greek: Επαγγέλλεσθαι ἀρετήν σοφίαν, etc. Θεοσεβεία only occurs here in the New Testament; but it is used in the LXX. in Job 28:28; Genesis 20:11; also in Xenophon. In John 9:31 we have Θεοσεβής, "a worshipper of God." Through good works. Compare the description of Dorcas (Acts 9:36, Acts 9:39). Ἔργα ἀγαθά mean especially acts of charity.

1 Timothy 2:11

A for the, A.V.; quietness for silence, A.V. Quietness is not so good a rendering as "silence," because the quietness here meant is silence, as appears clearly by the parallel direction in 1 Corinthians 14:34. So Acts 22:2, παρέσχον ἡσουχίαν is properly rend red in the A.V., "They kept silence." And ἡσύχασαν (Luke 14:4 and Acts 11:18) is read, red, both in the A.V. and the R.V., "They held their peace." With all subjection (ἐν πάσῃ ὑποταγῇ); as 1 Timothy 3:4. The words occur also in 2 Corinthians 9:13; Galatians 2:5. But the verb ὑποτάσσομαι is very common in the sense of "being subject." It is used of the subjection of the wife to her husband (1 Corinthians 14:34; Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1).

1 Timothy 2:12

Permit for suffer, A.V.; have dominion for usurp authority, A.V.; a for the, A.V.; quietness for silence, A.V. Permit. Why "permit" is better than "suffer" it is difficult to see. Ἐπιτρέπειν is rendered "suffer" in the R.V. in Matthew 8:21; Matthew 19:8; Mark 10:4; Luke 9:59, etc. Quietness (see preceding note). The true type of the womanly attitude is that of Mary, who "sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his Word" (Luke 10:39).

1 Timothy 2:13

Was formed (ἐπλάσθη). The word used in the LXX. in Genesis 2:7, Ἔπλασεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον κ.τ.λ., "The Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground;" and in Genesis 2:19 of the beasts of the field; whence the word πρωτόπλαστος (Wis. 7:1; 10:1), "first made;" "first formed," A.V. So in Romans 9:20 man is called τὸ πλάσμα, "the thing made;" and God is ὁ Πλάσας, "he that made it." "Plaster," "plastic," "protoplasm," are, of course, from the same root. (For the argument, see the very similar one in 1 Corinthians 11:8, 1 Corinthians 11:9.)

1 Timothy 2:14

Beguiled (twice) for deceived, A.V.; hath fallen into for was in the, A.V. Beguiled (ἠπατήθη). The same word as is used in Genesis 3:13, "The serpent beguiled me;" ἠπάτησέ με, LXX.. Hath fallen into transgression. Fell (not hath fallen) is the right tense to use here in English, though the Greek perfect, it is true, contains the further idea of continuance in the fall, as in 1 Corinthians 9:22; 1Co 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 2:1; 2 Peter 2:20. So also Matthew 1:22; Matthew 19:8; Matthew 21:4; Matthew 25:6; Mark 5:33; John 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:19; and elsewhere, γέγονε is best rendered by the past (not the perfect) tense. It has frequently the notion of transition into a certain condition (see Romans 6:5; Romans 7:13; 1 Corinthians 9:22; 1Co 13:11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Corinthians 12:11; Galatians 4:16, etc.). Bishop Ellicott gives the passages in which γίγνομαι is followed, as here, by ἐν (Luke 22:44; Acts 22:17; 2 Corinthians 3:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:5), "denoting entrance into, and continuance in, any given state." As regards the apostle's statement, Adam was not beguiled, we must understand it as based merely upon the text in Genesis to which he refers, in which Eve (not Adam) says, ̔Ο ὄφις ἠπάτησε με, "The serpent beguiled me." Just as in Galatians 3:16 he reasons from σπέρματι being in the singular number, and as the writer to the Hebrews 7:3 reasons from the silence of Genesis 14:1-24. regarding the parentage of Melchizedek. Huther (in loc.) says that this mode of reasoning is peculiar to allegorical interpretation.

1 Timothy 2:15

But for notwithstanding, A.V.; through the child-bearing for in child-bearing, A.V.; love for charity, A.V.; sanctification for holiness, A.V. She shall be saved; i.e. the woman generically. The transition from the personal Eve to the generic woman is further marked by the transition from the singular to the plural, "if they continue," etc. The natural and simple explanation of the passage is that the special temporal punishment pronounced against the woman, immediately after her sin, "In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children" (Genesis 3:16)—(to which St. Paul here evidently alludes)—and endured by all women ever since, was a set-off, so to speak, to the special guilt of Eve in yielding to the guile of the serpent; so that now the woman might attain salvation as well as the man (although she was not suffered to teach)if she continued in faith and charity. The child-bearing (τῆς τεκνογονίας); here only; but the verb τεκνογονέω, which occurs in 1 Timothy 5:14, is found (though very rarely) in classical Greek. The equivalent, both in the LXX. and in classical Greek, is τεκνοποιέω. The reference to the birth of Christ—the Seed of the woman—which some commentators Hammond, Peile, Wordsworth, Ellicott, etc.; not Bengel, Alford. or the German school generally) see here, is rather strained, and anyhow cannot be proved without an inspired interpreter. The stress which is laid by some of the above on the use of the definite article here has no justification (see e.g. 2 Peter 1:5-7, where even the R.V. does not think of translating "the virtue," "the knowledge," "the temperance," etc.). Nor is the meaning of διά, which Alford and others press, "through," i.e. "in spite of," like διὰ πυρός in 1 Corinthians 3:15, at all probable from the context. Sanctification (ἀγιασμός; Romans 6:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, etc.). Sobriety (σωφροσύνη); as in 1 Corinthians 3:9. It only occurs besides in Acts 26:25.


1 Timothy 2:1-15.Public worship.

The whole chapter is given up to directions concerning the public worship of the Church. We may notice the following particulars.

I. THE SUBJECTS OF PUBLIC PRAYER. When the Church meets together in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, it meets as pre-eminently the friend of the human race. As the Church of him who is the world's Savior and Redeemer, it must manifest the same spirit of universal love which animated him. It is not as being haters of the human race (as their enemies falsely said), but as being true lovers of their kind, that Christians banded themselves together and refused all fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. This love, then, was especially to be shown in their united prayers. When they came together, though perhaps their enemies were thirsting for their blood, they were to offer up their united prayers for all men. Specially, with a view to the peace and order of society, should they pray for kings and governors and all in authority, that by God's blessing upon their government the course of this world might be so peaceably ordered that his Church might serve him joyfully in all godly quietness. And if we consider how much human happiness depends upon good government on the part of the rulers, and upon quiet obedience to the laws on the part of the people, we shall see how much need there is for such prayers. In our own days the restless spirit that is abroad, the impatience of all control, and the general weakening of rule and authority all over the world, increases the need both of wisdom and strength in rulers, and consequently for the strengthening of their hands by the prayers and intercessions of the people of God.

II. THE PERSONS WHO ARE TO PRAY IN THE CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLIES. These are limited to the men. The prayers and the teaching in the congregation are to be conducted by men only. The difference of sex, and the different social and religious functions of each sex, are really of Divine appointment. As St. Paul says to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:9), "the woman was made for the man, and not the man for the woman;" and all the subsequent relations of the man and woman, in the family, in the state, and in the Church, are naturally evolved from their primeval state as ordered by God. It is obvious, too, that there must be harmony in these various relations, and that the principle which rules in one department of life must rule in the others also. Anyhow, it is distinctly laid down, on the apostolic authority of St. Paul, that in the Church assemblies the functions of public prayer, and public teaching and preaching, are confined to men. The wide field of more private female ministrations is still open to godly women, and seems to be amply justified by the existence of prophetesses in the primitive Church, and by such examples as that of Priscilla (Acts 18:26). As regards the character of the men who lead the prayers of the congregation, three qualifications are named: holiness, quietness of spirit, simplicity in the petitions. The hands that are lifted up to God in prayer must be clean hands, unstained by blood, untainted by bribes or dishonest gains, unpolluted by any evil deeds. The prayers that are offered must come from hearts where no malice or ill will dwells, no resentment for wrongs received or injuries endured; and from minds where the spirit of controversy is dumb, and no caviling is to be found. Sincerity and godly simplicity, with an honest faith in the faithfulness of God, are essential to acceptable prayer.

III. The third feature in the public assemblies of the saints on which St. Paul insists is THE MODEST DRESS AND DEMEANOUR OF THE CONGREGATION. This applies especially to the women, but it is true of the men also. Christians come to church to worship the glorious God, to humble themselves before his holy presence, and to hear his Word, not for display, not to attract notice, not for vain-glory or worldly vanity. It is, therefore, quite out of place for either men or women to make a parade of finery in church. The ornaments best suited for persons professing godliness at all times, but especially when they approach the throne of God, are those of a pure heart and a meek spirit, and an abundance of good works. It is the hidden man of the heart which needs adorning for its access to the court of heaven.


1 Timothy 2:1.—The regulation of public worship.

The apostle gives Timothy a series of injunctions respecting the assemblies for public worship, which sprang naturally out of the solemn charge he had given him in the previous chapter.

I. THE PARAMOUNT DUTY OF PUBLIC PRAYER. "I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, supplications, thanksgivings, be made for all men."

1. The leading place given to prayer in this series of instructions respecting the administration of the Church, proves its pre-eminent importance. It is the breath of vital godliness.

(1) God promises to hear public prayer (2 Chronicles 7:14-16);

(2) Christ sanctifies it by his presence (Matthew 18:20);

(3) the saints delight in it (Psalms 42:4);

(4) they are to be exhorted to the exercise of it (Hebrews 10:25);

(5) it is not to be conducted in an unknown tongue (1 Corinthians 14:14-16).

2. The variety of terms in which it is here described implies the diversity of circumstances in which God's people are placed.

(1) "Petitions." This term expresses the sense of insufficiency and need, and may be a special form of a particular prayer.

(2) "Prayers." This is prayer in general, as representing the spirit of devotion.

(3) "Supplications." This signifies a closer dealing with God, a more childlike confidence in prayer.

(4) "Thanksgivings." This suggests that element which ought never to be absent from our supplications—gratitude for past mercies.

II. FOR WHOM ARE WE TO PRAY? "For all men."

1. It would not be acceptable prayer if we were to pray only for ourselves. It is not Christ-like to look down with a sense of superiority upon the mass of men as sunk in perdition.

2. We are bound to love all men, and therefore to pray for their welfare. Much of our happiness depends upon our identifying ourselves lovingly with others.


1. Such persons pre-eminently need our prayers.

(1) They wield great power for good or evil;

(2) they are exposed to many dangers;

(3) they are liable to greater temptations than other men.

2. God has power to influence their public action.

(1) The hearts of kings are in his hands;

(2) he sets them up and he removes them (Daniel 2:21);

(3) he can establish their throne in righteousness and justice (Proverbs 16:12).

3. Kings can do much to promote the well-being of the Church of God. "That we may pass a quiet and tranquil life in all godliness and gravity." We should pray for kings, because they can promote our outward peace and our inward tranquility, by restraining the bad and encouraging the good. Kings can thus protect us in the exercise of our religion and in the practice of godliness. Wicked kings can expose the godly to cruel risks, and expose their gravity to unseemly perils.

4. The duty of praying for kings is not affected by the consideration that they are pagans, or oppressors, or persecutors.

(1) Christians will pray the more earnestly for them that God will change their hearts. All the kings were pagans in the days of the apostle, and many of them persecutors.

(2) It was specially necessary to enjoin prayer for kings upon Christian communities, consisting largely of Jews who had an intense longing to throw off the Roman yoke. It is a curious fact that it was the cessation of prayer by the Jews on behalf of the Roman emperor that led to the final war four years after this injunction was given by the apostle. It may have been owing to his injunction that the Christians were not involved in the disasters of that fatal rebellion.—T.C.

1 Timothy 2:3, 1 Timothy 2:4.The beneficial and acceptable nature of such catholic prayer.

"For this is good and acceptable before God our Savior."


1. Because it springs from a good motive, a loving interest in our fellow-mere.

2. Because it is directed to a good end, the promotion of their highest welfare.

3. Because it is a divinely commanded duty.

II. SUCH PRAYER IS ACCEPTABLE BEFORE GOD OUR SAVIOR. It meets God's highest approval because it is in accordance with his own gracious designs toward the sons of men.

III. REASON OR GROUND FOR THIS UNIVERSALITY OF OUR PUBLIC PRAYERS. It is good and acceptable "before God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth." He wills that all men should be saved, therefore we should pray for all men. Our prayers will thus be in conformity with his wilt.

1. Consider the nature of the salvation here described.

(1) It is not mere salvation from intellectual error, for it is that which is involved in "the full knowledge of the truth."

(2) It is not mere salvability, as if he made the salvation of all men possible.

(3) It is not salvation merely offered for man's acceptance, but salvation actually obtained and enjoyed. The immediate end is "the knowledge of the truth," the ultimate end salvation in its completeness.

2. Consider the relation of the Divine will to this salvation. "Who will have all men to be saved."

(1) There is nothing in the language to justify the theory of Universalists that all men will ultimately be saved.

(a) The apostle uses the term θέλει, not the stronger term βουλέται, which implies will with a purpose or intent.

(b) If he had used the term σῶζαι, he must have saved all; but the word is σωθῆναι, implying his will that they should be brought, through the knowledge of the truth, to salvation.

(c) If we are to interpret the will of God by his providence, we must understand it in consistency with the fact that the large majority of mankind have never heard of salvation and have no knowledge of it.

(d) It must be remembered that many must have failed to reach this salvation before Christ died at all.

(2) The language of universality is consistent with other language of Scripture.

(a) Christ says, "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32); "All men shall see the salvation of the Lord" (Luke 3:6). The Messiah "shall pour out his Spirit upon all flesh" (Joel 2:28). Christ "died for all," and he may therefore be truly called Salvator hominum. He died for all to arrest the immediate execution of the sentence of the Law upon man for sin; to obtain for him unnumbered blessings in this life, that he might secure a proper foundation for the offer of salvation through his blood.

(b) But the design of God in the death of Christ had not the same relation to all. He is "the Savior of all, but especially of them that believe." He is the Savior of his people, of his Church, of the elect.

(c) The language of universality used in the passage was suggested by way of contrast to the restrictiveness of Gnostic teaching, which led the apostle to say to the Colossians that his aim was "to present every man perfect in Christ" (Colossians 1:28); perhaps, likewise, the restrictiveness of a narrow Judaism, for he emphasizes in the context his mission as "a teacher of the Gentiles." There is deep mystery in God's counsels. But he here sets forth his good will to man, and charges it on the conscience of believers to pray that all without exception should be brought to the knowledge of the truth.—T.C.

1 Timothy 2:5-7.Reasons for this universality of prayer in the relation of all went to God and Christ.

"For there is one God, one Mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus." The salvation of men cannot, therefore, be to us a matter of selfish indifference.

I. THE RELATION OF ALL MEN TO GOD. The unity of God is consistent with all differences of dispensation. "There is one providence belonging to the one God." The apostle tells the Romans that, "as God is one," he is the God of the Gentiles as well as the Jews (Romans 3:30). There is, indeed, "one God and Father of all" (Ephesians 4:4, Ephesians 4:5). The apostle also says, "The mediator" (Moses) "is not of one"—one seed, i.e. including Jew and Gentile, for Moses had nothing, to do with the Gentile—but God is one, in relation to Jew and Gentile (Galatians 3:20). In these passages the apostle sets forth the universality of the gospel offer. But in the text he infers the universality of the Divine good will from the provisions made for man's salvation.

II. THE RELATION OF ALL MEN TO THE MEDIATOR. "One Mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus."

1. There is but one Mediator. The Gnostic mediation of angels is, therefore, excluded (Colossians 2:15, Colossians 2:18). Likewise the mediation of saints and angels, as held by the Church of Rome. This idea is dishonoring to the only Mediator. There is no Scripture for the distinction made between a mediator of redemption (Christ) and mediators of intercession (saints and angels).

2. The Mediator was man as well as God.

(1) He was truly man, in opposition to the Docetic notion that he did not possess a real human nature.

(2) He was God as well as man in his Mediatorship, in opposition to the Roman Catholic theory that he only mediated in his human nature. The design of this error is to make way for human mediators. It is said to be absurd to conceive of Christ as God mediating between sinners and himself.

(a) We answer that the Divine nature operated in Christ's priestly work as well as the human, for "he through the eternal Spirit" (his own Spirit) "offered himself to God" (Hebrews 9:14).

(b) If he did not mediate in his Divine nature as well as his human nature, he could not have been in any sense Mediator of the Old Testament saints, because their redemption was completed before he came in the flesh. The human nature is naturally emphasized because of the work of suffering and death which is here ascribed to him.

3. The passage does not imply that Christ was not God. He is elsewhere frequently called God and true God, but here there is a necessary reference to the catholic doctrine of a subordination of office.

4. The reference to the mediatorship brings up the idea of a covenant between God and man. Christ is the Head of humanity, the new Man, the Lord from heaven, able to restore the lost relationship between God and man.

5. The mediatory agency is wrought through Christ's sufferings and death. "Who gave himself a Ransom for all."

(1) This proves that all the blessings of redemption come from the death of Christ, not merely from his incarnation.

(2) He voluntarily gave himself as the Victim, yet he is "God's unspeakable Gift."

(3) His death was strictly substitutionary. The words of the apostle resemble those of our Lord himself—"he gave himself a Ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). He was thus the Substitute contemplated by the apostle as the Messiah who had obtained from the Father the heritage of all families and nations of the earth, not Jews alone, but Gentiles.

III. THE TRUE PURPOSE OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE. "The testimony to be borne in its own times."

1. Thus the death of Christ is the great message to be carried to all the world. It is not his birth, or his example, or his truth, but, above all, what is the completion of them all—his death on Calvary.

2. It is to be preached in all times till the second coming of the Lord.

3. The apostle's own relation to this testimony. "Whereunto I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I speak the truth, I lie not); a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth." Thus the universality of the remedial scheme is represented by the very mission of the apostle himself. He was "a herald" to proclaim the glad tidings here; "an apostle"—let men say what they will, he is an apostle, therefore the surpassing importance of his message—and "a teacher of the Gentiles"—to mark the world-embracing character of his gospel—"in filth and truth," to signalize respectively the subjective and the objective elements in which his apostleship was to find its appropriate sphere.—T.C.

1 Timothy 2:8.—The conduct of public prayer by men.

The apostle now proceeds to indicate the persons by whom public prayer is to be conducted, and the spirit which is to govern this part of public worship.

I. PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLIES IS TO BE CONDUCTED BY MEN. "I wish then that prayer be made in every place by men."

1. It is for men to manage and direct the public services of the Church; it is for women to take a more quiet though not less real place in worship. As woman had been emancipated by the gospel—for there were no longer "male and female" in Christ—and as she had taken such a prominent place in ministering to Christ, the apostles, and the saints, there may have been a disposition on the part of female converts to assert themselves actively in the public life of the Church at Ephesus and elsewhere. The apostle expresses not a mere wish or desire, but, what is equivalent to a solemn command, that the men alone should be responsible for the conduct of the public services. The injunction does not affect the right or duty of women to conduct prayer in private life or in meetings of their own sex.

2. Prayer is to be made in every place. This rule is to obtain in all public assemblies of the saints, wherever held. There is, perhaps, a recollection of our Lord's words that there is to be no restriction of prayer to one holy place (John 4:21).

II. THE SPIRIT AND MANNER IN WHICH PUBLIC PRAYER IS TO BE CONDUCTED. "Lifting up holy hands without wrath or disputing."

1. The posture must be reverent. It was customary for the Jews to pray with uplifted hands. It was likewise the general attitude adopted by the early Christians. It was the attitude significant

(1) of the elevation of the heart to God;

(2) of the expectation of an answer from heaven.

2. The uplifted hands must be holy. They must be hands unstained by vice. "Cleanse your hands, purify your hearts" (James 4:8). The hands must be free from any sin that would render prayer unacceptable to God. "Wash you, make you clean" (Isaiah 1:16).

3. Prayer should be free from all passionate feeling. "Without wrath and disputing." Perhaps arising from religious altercation or debate. Prayer belongs to the peaceful heart. Faith and love are its two sustaining principles, and exclude the idea of passion against our fellow-men.—T.C.

1 Timothy 2:9, 1 Timothy 2:10.—The attire and deportment of women in the Christian assemblies.

The apostle continues his directions in relation to public prayer. "Likewise," he says, in effect, "let women when they pray be modestly adorned."

I. THEIR APPAREL AND DEPORTMENT. "Likewise also that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefastness and sobriety; not with braided hair, and gold, and pearls, and costly raiment."

1. The injunction refers specially to the dress of women in the Christian assemblies, which ought not to be showy or conspicuous, calculated either to swell the heart of the wearer with pride, or to attract the eyes of others in forgetfulness of the solemnity of public worship.

2. While adornment is expressly allowed, according to age and station, to the exclusion of anything slovenly, there must be nothing in the attire or deportment inconsistent with modesty, self-restraint, or Christian simplicity. There must be no excessive care bestowed upon the adjustment of the hair, and no adornment with gold, or pearls, or costly array inconsistent with the attire previously recommended. Plaiting the hair may be the most convenient way of arranging it, and wearing ornaments is no more sinful in itself than wearing apparel. The injunction is that women should not seek such adornments as would either endanger piety or draw away their affections from higher things.

II. THE TRUE ADORNMENT OF WOMEN. "But (which becometh women professing godliness) through good works."

1. Religion is external as well as internal. There is the form which must be clothed with the power of godliness; religion must not be secret, but manifest to the world. Therefore women must profess the Christian name, and take part in the worship of the Church.

2. There must be a harmony between the profession of godliness and those deeds of mercy and piety which, Dorcas-like, show the true disciple of Jesus.

3. The highest distinction of women does not spring from dress or decoration, but from the luster that is thrown round their character by works of goodness. They will thus "adorn the doctrine of God our Savior" (Titus 2:10).—T.C.

1 Timothy 2:11-15.—The proper sphere and behavior of women.

The apostle is still thinking of the public services of the Church.

I. THE WOMAN IS FORBIDDEN TO TEACH OR PREACH IN THE CHURCH. "Let a woman learn in silence in all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to lord it over the man, but to be in silence." This injunction has a threefold relation—first to herself, then to her husband, then to the Church.

1. She is to learn in silence. This duty concerns herself. She is to be a learner, not a teacher. She is to give all devout attention to the public instruction, so as to learn more and more of Christ and his gospel. And if what she heard was either difficult or doubtful, she was to ask her husband at home (1 Corinthians 14:34); and, in case of his inability to meet her difficulties, she could resort privately to the authorized teachers of the Church. This learning attitude was to be "in all subjection" both to her husband and to the rulers of the Church. Yet it did not imply that she was to accept false teaching, or forego her just right to prove all things and reject what was unsound.

2. She is not to lord it over the man. As teaching or preaching is the act of those in authority, her assumption of this function would imply a lordship over her husband. Husband and wife are "heirs together of the grace of life," but the gospel has not exalted woman to a position of authority over her husband.

3. She is not to teach in the Church.

(1) This injunction of the apostle does not forbid her teaching privately, either her children, as Timothy was taught by his mother, or her servants, or the younger women (Titus 2:4), or even her husband privately on fit occasions, or even strangers, as Priscilla taught Apollos (Acts 18:26).

(2) It forbids her teaching in public.

(a) It is suggestive that the words usually translated in the New Testament "to preach" (κηρύσσω εὐαγγελίζω, καταγγέλλω) are not used in connection with this prohibition, as if women were merely forbidden to preach, but still allowed to teach. The word used here is "to teach" (διδάσκω), and the word used in 1 Corinthians 14:1-40. (λαλέω)—"to talk, chatter, babble"—is even more comprehensive. These words all include preaching as the greater includes the less; therefore preaching is also forbidden to women.

(b) Prophesying was forbidden to women as well as teaching. This was a supernatural gift enjoyed both by men and women in the primitive Church, but is not enjoyed now by either men or women. It is never in the New Testament used for preaching, or for mere speaking in meeting. But were there not women who prophesied in the Corinthian Church? (1 Corinthians 11:4, 1 Corinthians 11:5.)

(α) The gift of prophecy being connected with the gift of tongues, and both being now obsolete, the title of women to the exercise of such a gift in this age utterly fails.

(β) The apostle, in his discussion concerning prophecy and the gift of tongues, forbids women to speak at all in the Churches (1 Corinthians 14:1-40.). It was in the very midst of his injunctions respecting the use of supernatural gifts that he says, "As in all Churches of the saints, let your women keep silence in the Churches, for it is not; permitted to them to speak... for it is a shame for women to speak in the Churches." Prophesying as well as preaching is forbidden to women.

(γ) Much unnecessary difficulty has been caused by the passage respecting "a woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered" (1 Corinthians 11:5). The apostle seems for the time to allow the practice, while he condemns the manner of its performance; but afterwards he forbids the practice itself. In the earlier passage he rebukes merely the indecency of an existing custom, and then in the later he forbids the custom itself. Calvin says, "By condemning the one he does not commend the other." You cannot regard as of equal authority a practice and a command, both explicit and repeated, which destroys the practice.

(δ) "But these directions were given to Greek Churches, and cannot apply to the women of our day." We answer that they apply to all Churches; for the apostle says, "As in all Churches of the saints, let your women keep silence in the Churches." The reasons given for the prohibition prove that it has nothing to do with usages, or customs, or times, or races.

II. THE REASON OR GROUND OF THE APOSTLE'S PROHIBITION. It is to be found in the original law of the relation of woman to man.

1. Man's headship in creation. "For Adam was first formed, then Eve." Man's priority of creation is the first reason, but it is to be taken together with the statement in 1 Corinthians 11:8, 1 Corinthians 11:9, "For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man; for also the man was not made for the sake of the woman, but the woman for the sake of the man." Besides, as "the Head of every man is Christ, the head of the woman is the man" (1 Corinthians 11:3). "The husband is the head of the wife" (Ephesians 5:23). The woman, therefore, stands under law to her husband, and therefore any attempt on her part to assume the part of head or guide is to overturn the primal order of creation.

2. Woman's priority in transgression. "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being altogether deceived fell into transgression." They both sinned; but Adam was not deceived, for he fully understood the sin he was committing when he yielded to the persuasiveness of his wife.

(1) This reference implies the truly historical character of the narrative in Genesis. It is no myth or legend. The fall of man is an historic fact of the greatest importance, for it grounds the doctrine of original sin, without which human nature, says Pascal, is an inexplicable riddle.

(2) The deception was practiced upon Eve, not upon Adam, for she confessed that the serpent beguiled her.

(3) This facility of deception on her part seems to suggest to the apostle her inferiority to man in strength of intellect, and the consequent wrongness of allowing to woman an intellectual supremacy over man.

III. THE BLESSING UPON WOMAN STANDING WITHIN HER TRUE SPHERE. "But she shall be saved through the child-bearing, if they abide in faith and love and holiness with sobriety."

1. It is here implied if, at woman is to find her right sphere in the relations of motherhood. The change of number implies that Eve is here to be regarded as the representative of her sex. Her sphere is in the home life; her destiny lies in the faithful discharge of its duties. Eve was to be the mother of all living; it was to be through the seed thus given her that the curse was to be lifted off the world, and the head of the serpent bruised. There is an evident allusion in "the child-bearing" to the Incarnation, but it points likewise to the collective seed associated with Christ.

2. It implies that women are not saved, as Roman Catholics contend, by mere childbearing, so that a woman dying in her travail is necessarily saved, for the apostle links with it certain spiritual qualifications as necessary to salvation.

(1) Faith—implicitly resting in the Divine promise and upon the Divine Redeemer, "as the seed of the woman;"

(2) love, as the inspiration of all her wifely and motherly duties;

(3) holiness, as implying purity of life, circumspectness of walk, and devotedness to God;

(4) with sobriety, as marking the self-effacing, self-restraining, self-governing spirit which she is to carry into all the conditions of her life as a Christian mother. T.C.


1 Timothy 2:2.—"A quiet life."

Nothing in the gospel was revolutionary. Its aim was not to upset thrones, but to purify all the centers of power; not to make assault at once on polygamy and slavery, but to undermine them by the Christian spirit and sacrifice. Prayer is here made for kings and all in authority. Rulership there must be. Anarchy is misery. Fields must be ploughed; grain must be stored; homes must be protected; or else weakness becomes the prey of strength. The purpose, then, of God, in ordination of law and government, is that we may enjoy a quiet life. To some a quiet life is the least desirable thing; but it is the life of nature, and it is the most blessed life. How quietly the flowers blow, the stars shine, the dew descends, the birds wing their flight, the light falls!

1. "A quiet life;" for if there be disorder, all life is at a standstill. Even great artists like Gerome, during the last French Revolution, had to bury their pictures, for the time, beneath the earth.

2. "Quiet;" for, think of' the forces around us. We need good government to preserve us from the violent, the lewd, and the criminal. The sea of human passion is always ready to break its barriers; the volcano would soon burst through the crust.

3. "Quiet;" for, this is the great enjoyment of life. Our happiest hours have been quiet ones—at home; by the river or the sea; in the valleys and in the forests; and in the Church of God. "That we may lead," which implies continuance.; life without trepidation; absence of the disorders which check industry, prudence, and. enterprise.—W.M.S.

1 Timothy 2:2.—"A peaceable life."

Christ said, "Peace I leave with you," and he intended this to be the element in which nations and families and individuals should live. Through faith in him, we have peace with God, peace with our brother, and peace in ourselves. The world delights in noise and tumult; fills its forums with fierce discussions and debates; hangs the pictures of Wouvermans, with their fierce battle-fields, on its walls. Some people are said to delight in strife—to be what is called "law-thirsty;" and in quiet villages, even, you meet with antagonisms that are fierce and frequent.

1. "Peaceable; "for the gospel is to overcome evil with good. To triumph, not by carnal weapons, but those that are mighty through God, and which have the secret majesty of their power in the cross.

2. "Peaceable;" for passion retest be governed by conscience and Christ. Unquestionably the microscope shows us insects at war in the globule of water; and the beasts of the forest meet in deadliest conflict. But man is to triumph over himself; reason is to be lord over passion, and Christ is to be Lord over all.

3. "Peaceable; "for a home without this is misery. Where jarring and disputation are, there the atmosphere is destructive of all holy, happy life.

4. "Peaceable; "for this is the end of law. Forms of government are not all in all. Greece and Rome alike fell under the same form of government under which they rose.

5. "Peaceable; "for the Prince of Peace is to reign. He came to fulfill the angels' song, "Peace on earth, and good will to man;" and one day, by his cross, he will draw all hearts unto himself—W.M.S.

1 Timothy 2:2.Moral loveliness.

"In all godliness and honesty." It may be said that "godliness" includes "honesty;" but we must not be the slaves of pedantry in words; it is good sometimes to emphasize.

I. GODLINESS IS ESSENTIAL TO THE ORDER OF THE STATE. Rousseau remarks, "A country cannot well subsist without liberty, nor liberty without virtue." Peaceable lives must be godly lives. The safety of a nation is not "lions chained," but "lions turned to lambs." Modern sociology thinks it can do without godliness. It has invented some philosophy of morals of its own; some ideal of utility called "the greatest good of the greatest number." Philosophers may understand it, but common people cannot. So much depends on what is meant by "the greatest good." For if you exclude the soul, the greatest good is only a secular paradise, and that is death to all the heroism which can deny itself earthly pleasure for the sake of high spiritual ends. By "godliness "we understand God-likeness in men. Some talk of seraphic holiness; we prefer the old word "godliness." Let a seraph be a seraph; we want to be men. It is not wise for children to sing, "I want to be an angel;" they should want to be good children. We want godliness; purity like God's; pity like God's; fidelity like God's; holiness like God's. "Be ye holy, for I am holy."

II. HONESTY IS ESSENTIAL TO THE TRUE CHRISTIAN LIFE. No fine ideas of spirituality that set at naught common morality must find honor amongst us. While our hearts are in heaven, our feet are upon the earth.

1. We must be honest to our convictions; act out what we think; dare to be true to ourselves.

2. We must be honest in word; dealing in good coin; not pretending to be what we are not. Better honest silver than counterfeit gold.

3. We are to be honest in deed. Whether we build, or buy, or sell, whether we paint with the artist, or mingle in the marts of commerce, we are to see to it that the stamp of honesty is on all we do. For all this we are to pray; for there is a great sky over us all, and a great Father in heaven, and a great Savior in whose Name we may pray. So life will be peaceful and holy; based upon the granite rock, but bathed in the delicate haze of the firmament of heaven; solidity clothed with beauty; and he to whom we pray heareth us always.—W.M.S.

1 Timothy 2:6.—The self-giving of Christ.

"Who gave himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time." We are indebted to the slavery of St. Paul's time for the use of the word "ransom." So literature, in its words, enshrines history. We cannot make a perfect theory of the Atonement. Many have tried. Some have taken the idea of slavery; some have taken the idea of debt. There has been the "commercial" theory, and the "legal" theory; but no theory is complete that does not contain all the ideas. The idea of "ransom" has had its false theory; for in the seventh century some theologians said, "It was a price paid to the devil." That we are the slaves of sin, and that Christ ransoms us, is the great doctrine of the gospel.

I. CHRIST GAVE HIMSELF. The humanity of that age gave others. What is the great study of the dying Roman age? Selfishness. The patricians, wrapped up in togas, saw, in the Colosseum, the gladiators fall to amuse them. The great generals brought home as slaves—physicians, musicians, and workmen, and used them as good investments. Rome bore away the native art of Greece to decorate its own homes. Not only the humanity of that age, but the humanity of every age without Christ tends to self-ism. The philosophy of the cross is the only social philosophy. It does not take. It leaves men to the personal use of their gifts and possessions; but it says, "Give yourself—your purest ideals, your best impulses, your noblest powers, for the good of others."

II. THE CAESARS OF THAT AGE HAD NO TRUE POWER. They held men by the throat, and not by the heart; and they were lifted to Caesarship by the Praetorian guards. They rose and fell by the sword; and the dagger or the Tiber saw the last of them. The words were a satire on the Savior, "saying that he also himself is Christ, a King"—an unconscious prophecy, and yet how true! His kingdom came without observation; it was an empire within the heart; it was not in word, but in power; it was not with observation, but it silently grew like the mustard seed. Its foundation was in this, "He gave himself"—his exquisite sensibilities, his sacred energies, his unwearied endurance, his contact with shame and scorn; and then, on the cross, he died, "the Just for the unjust, to bring us to God."—W.M.S.

1 Timothy 2:9.Modest adornment.

"That women adorn themselves in modest apparel." The gospel never permits asceticism. As God is the God of beauty, and nature is clothed with garments (like the high priest of old) of glory and beauty, so here we have the true idea carried out in religion. Women are "to adorn themselves." God's most beautiful work in creation, the human frame, is to be fitly appareled; for, to this day, art knows no higher subject than the human face and form. But—

I. MODESTY IS TO BE THE SPIRIT OF ALL ADORNMENT, because the nature of the being adorned is a sacred nature. Woman is the true guardian of virtue. Her manner, her temper, her spirit,—all these constitute the best defense of virtue.

II. DRESS IS THE SYMBOL OF CHARACTER. If there is absence of shame-heartedness, there will be absence of shame-facedness. The womanhood of that age had sunk very low. By turns woman had been the toy or slave of man. The gospel uplifted her; for we are all equal in the sight of God. There was neither male nor female there; and she must help the great ideal, and by modest apparel show the innate modesty of her thought and feeling. For, say what we like, dress acts upon the mind and character. Dress like a clown, and you will feel like a clown. Modest apparel need not be shorn of taste and refinement and true beauty. It is no dishonor to a woman that she likes dress. It is not Christian to destroy that taste; but that which becometh women professing godliness is modest though beautiful apparel.—W.M.S.

Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S; Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2". The Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tpc/1-timothy-2.html. 1897.
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