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Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary
1 Timothy 2

 

 

Verses 1-15

1–15.] General regulations respecting public intercessory prayers for all men (1 Timothy 2:1-4): from which he digresses into a proof of the universality of the gospel (1 Timothy 2:4-7)—then returns to the part to be taken by the male sex in public prayer (1 Timothy 2:8): which leads him to treat of the proper place and subjection of women (1 Timothy 2:9-15). I exhort then (‘ οὖν is without any logical connexion,’ says De W. Certainly,—with what immediately precedes; but the account to be given of it is, that it takes up the general subject of the Epistle, q. d., ‘what I have then to say to thee by way of command and regulation, is this:’ see 2 Timothy 2:1. “The particle οὖν has its proper collective force (‘ad ea, quæ antea posita sunt, lectorem revocat.’ Klotz.): ‘continuation and retrospect,’ Donaldson, Gr. § 604.” Ellic.), first of all (to be joined with παρακαλῶ, not, as Chr. ( τί δʼ ἐστὶ τὸ πρῶτον πάντων; τουτέστιν, ἐν τῇ λατρεία τῇ καθημερινῇ), Thl., Calv., Est., Bengel, Conyb., E. V., and Luther, with ποιεῖσθαι, in which case, besides other objections, the verb would certainly have followed all the substantives, and probably would have taken πρῶτον πάντων with it. It is, in order and importance, his first exhortation) to make (cf. ref. Phil. It has been usual to take ποιεῖσθαι passive: and most Commentators pass over the word without remark. In such a case, the appeal must be to our sense of the propriety of the middle or passive meaning, according to the arrangement of the words, and spirit of the sentence. And thus I think we shall decide for the middle. In the prominent position of ποιεῖσθαι, if it were passive, and consequently objective in meaning, ‘that prayer, &c. be made,’ it can hardly be passed over without an emphasis, which here it manifestly cannot have. If on the other hand it is middle, it is subjective, belonging to the person or persons who are implied in παρακαλῶ: and thus serves only as a word of passage to the more important substantives which follow. And in this way the Greek fathers themselves took it: e.g. Chrys.— πῶς ὑπὲρ παντὸς τοῦ κόσμου, καὶ βασιλέων, κ. τ. λ. ποιούμεθα τὴν δέησιν) supplications, prayers, intercessions (the two former words, δεήσεις and προσευχαί, are perhaps best distinguished as in Ephesians 6:18, by taking προσευχή for prayer in general, δέησις for supplication or petition, the special content of any particular prayer. See Ellicott’s note cited there, and cf. ref. Phil.

ἐντεύξεις, judging from the cognate verbs ἐντυγχάνω, and ὑπερεντυγχάνω (reff. Rom.), should be marked with a reference to ‘request concerning others,’ i.e. intercessory prayer. (Ellic. denies this primary reference, supporting his view by ch. 1 Timothy 4:5, where, he says, such a meaning would be inappropriate. But is not the meaning in that very place most appropriate? It is not there intercession for a person: but it is by ἔντευξις, prayer on its behalf and over it, that πᾶν κτίσμα is hallowed. The meaning in Polybius, copiously illustrated by Raphel, an interview or appointed meeting, compellatio aliqua de re, would in the N. T., where the word and its cognates are always used in reference to prayer, for persons or things, necessarily shade off into that of pleading or intercession.) Very various and minute distinctions between the three have been imagined:—e.g. Theodoret:— δέησις μέν ἐστιν ὑπὲρ ἀπαλλαγῆς τινῶν λυπηρῶν ἱκετεία προσφερομένη· προσευχὴ δέ, αἴτησις ἀγαθῶν· ἔντευξις δέ, κατηγορία τῶν ἀδικούντων:—Origen, περὶ εὐχῆς, § 14 (not 44, as in Wetst. and Huther), vol. i. p. 220,— ἡγοῦμαι τοίνυν, δέησιν μὲν εἶναι τὴν ἐλλείποντός τινι μεθʼ ἱκετείας περὶ τοῦ ἐκείνου τυχεῖν ἀναπεμπομένην εὐχήν· τὴν δὲ προσευχήν, τὴν μετὰ δοξολογίας περὶ μειζόνων μεγαλοφυέστερον ἀναπεμπομένην ὑπό του· ἔντευξιν δέ, τὴν ὑπὸ παῤῥησίαν τινὰ πλείονα ἔχοντος περί τινων ἀξίωσιν πρὸς θεόν· κ. τ. λ. The most extraordinary of all is Aug.’s view, that the four words refer to the liturgical form of administration of the Holy Communion— δεήσεις being “precationes … quas facimus in celebratione sacramentorum antequam illud quod est in Domini mensa incipiat benedici:—orationes ( προσευχαί), cum benedicitur et sanctificatur: … interpellations vel … postulationes ( ἐντεύξεις), fiunt cum populus benedicitur: … quibus peractis, et participate tanto sacramento, εὐχαριστία, gratiarum actio, cuncta concludit.” Ep. cxlix. (lix.) 16, vol. ii. p. 636 f.), thanksgivings, for all men (this gives the intercessory character to all that have preceded. On the wideness of Christian benevolence here inculcated, see the argument below, and Titus 3:2); for (i.e. ‘especially for’—this one particular class being mentioned and no other) kings (see Titus 3:1; Romans 13:1 ff.; 1 Peter 2:13. It was especially important that the Christians should include earthly powers in their formal public prayers, both on account of the object to be gained by such prayer (see next clause), and as an effectual answer to those adversaries who accused them of rebellious tendencies. Jos. (B. J. ii. 10. 4) gives the Jews’ answer to Petronius, ἰουδαῖοι περὶ μὲν καίσαρος καὶ τοῦ δήμου τῶν ῥωμαίων δὶς τῆς ἡμέρας θύειν ἔφασαν, and afterwards (ib. 17. 2), he ascribes the origin of the war to their refusing, at the instigation of Eleazar, to continue the sacrifices offered on behalf of their Gentile rulers. See Wetst., who gives other examples: and compare the ancient liturgies—e.g. the bidding prayers, Bingham, book xv. 1. 2: the consecration prayer, ib. 3.1, and on the general practice, ib. 3. 14. ‘Kings’ must be taken generally, as it is indeed generalized in the following words: not understood to mean ‘Cæsar and his assessors in the supreme power,’ as Baur, who deduces thence an argument that the Epistle was written under the Antonines, when such an association was usual) and all that are in eminence (not absolutely in authority, though the context, no less than common sense, shews that it would be so. Cf. Polyb. v. 41. 3,— τοῖς ἐν ὑπεροχαῖς οὖσι περὶ τὴν αὐλήν. He, as well as Josephus (e.g. Antt. vi. 4. 3), uses ὑπεροχαί absolutely for authorities: see Schweigh. Lex. Polyb. Thdrt. gives a curious reason for the addition of these words: μάλα σοφῶς τὸ κοινὸν τῶν ἀνθρώπων προστέθεικεν, ἵνα μή τις κολακείαν νομίσῃ τὴν ὑπὲρ τῶν βασιλέων εὐχήν. The succeeding clause furnishes reason enough: the security of Christians would often be more dependent on inferior officers than even on kings themselves), that (aim of the prayer—not, as Heydenreich and Matthies,—subjective, that by such prayer Christian men’s minds may be tranquillized and disposed to obey,—but objective, that we may obtain the blessing mentioned, by God’s influencing the hearts of our rulers: or as Chrys., that we may be in security by their being preserved in safety) we may pass (more than ‘lead’ ( ἄγειν): it includes the whole of the period spoken of:—thus Aristoph. Vesp. 1006 (see also Eccles. 240), ὥσθʼ ἡδέως διάγειν σε τὸν λοιπὸν χρόνον,—Soph. Œd. Col. 1615, τὸ λοιπὸν ἤδη τὸν βίον διάξετον: see numerous other examples in Wetst.) a quiet (the adjective ἤρεμος is a late word, formed on the classical adverb ἠρέμα, the proper adjective of which is ἠρεμαῖος, used by Plato, Rep. p. 307 a, Legg. 734 a &c. Cf. Palm and Rost’s Lex. sub voce) and tranquil life ( ἐκείνων γὰρ πρυτανευόντων εἰρήνην, μεταλαγχάνομεν καὶ ὑμεῖς τῆς γαλήνης, καὶ ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ τῆς εὐσεβείας ἐκπληροῦμεν τοὺς νόμους, Thdrt. On the distinction between ἤρεμος, tranquil from trouble without, and ἡσύχιος, from trouble within, see Ellicott’s note) in all (‘possible,’ ‘requisite’) piety (I prefer this rendering to ‘godliness,’ as more literal, and because I would reserve that word as the proper one for θεοσέβεια: see 1 Timothy 2:10 below. εὐσέβεια is one of the terms peculiar in this meaning to the pastoral Epistles, the second Epistle of Peter (reff.), and Peter’s speech in Acts 3:12. See Prolegg., and note on Acts 3:12) and gravity (so Conyb.: and it seems best to express the meaning. For as Chrys.,— εἰ γὰρ μὴ ἐσώζοντο, μηδὲ εὐδοκίμουν ἐν τοῖς πολέμοις, ἀνάγκη καὶ τὰ ἡμέτερα ἐν ταραχαῖς εἶναι καὶ θορύβοις. ἢ γὰρ καὶ αὐτοὺς ἡμᾶς στρατεύεσθαι ἔδει, κατακοπέντων ἐκείνων· ἢ φεύγειν πανταχοῦ καὶ πλανᾶσθαι: and thus the gravity and decorum of the Christian life would be broken up).


Verse 3-4

3, 4.] For this (viz. ποιεῖσθαι δεήσεις κ. τ. λ. ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀνθρώπων, &c. 1 Timothy 2:1; what has followed since being merely the continuation of this) is good and acceptable (both adjectives are to be taken with ἐνώπιον, &c., not as De W. and Ellic. ‘ καλόν, good in and of itself:’ compare ref. 2 Cor., καλὰ οὐ μόνον ἐνώπιον κυρίου, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐνώπιον ἀνθρώπων. I still hold, against Ellicott, to this connexion, shrinking from the crude and ill-balanced form of the sentence which the other would bring in.

ἀποδεκτόν, peculiar (cf. ἀποδοχή, ch. 1 Timothy 1:15) to these Epistles. See 2 Corinthians 6:2) in the sight of our Saviour (a title manifestly chosen as belonging to the matter in hand, cf. next verse. On it, see ch. 1 Timothy 1:1) God who (i.e. seeing that He) willeth all men to be saved (see ch. 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:11. πάντας ἀνθρώπους is repeated from 1 Timothy 2:1. Chrys.’s comment is very noble: μιμοῦ τὸν θεόν. εἰ πάντας ἀνθρώπους θέλει σωθῆναι, εἰκότως ὑπὲρ ἁπάντων δεῖ εὔχεσθαι. εἰ πάντας αὐτὸς ἤθελε σωθῆναι, θέλε καὶ σύ. εἰ δὲ θέλεις, εὔχου. τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐστὶ τὸ εὔχεσθαι. Huther rightly remarks, that Mosheim’s view, “nisi pax in orbe terrarum vigeat, fieri nullo modo posse ut voluntati divinæ quæ omnium hominum salutem cupit, satisfiat,” destroys the true context and train of thought: see more below. Wiesinger remarks σωθῆναι,—not σῶσαι, as in Titus 3:5, as adapted to the mediatorial effect of prayer, not direct divine agency: but we may go yet further, and say that by θέλει πάντας ἀνθρ. σωθῆναι is expressed human acceptance of offered salvation, on which even God’s predestination is contingent. θέλει σῶσαι πάντας could not have been said: if so, He would have saved all, in matter of fact. See the remarks, and references to English and other divines, in Ellicott’s note. Calvin most unworthily shuffles out of the decisive testimony borne by this passage to universal redemption. “Apostolus simpliciter intelligit nullum mundi vel populum vel ordinem salute excludi; quia omnibus sine exceptione evangelium proponi Deus velit.… De hominum generibus, non singulis personis sermo est; nihil enim aliud intendit, quam principes et extraneos populos in hoc numero includere.” As if kings and all in eminence were not in each case individual men), and to come to (the) certain knowledge (on ἐπίγνωσις, fuller and more assured than γνῶσις, see 1 Corinthians 13:12; Colossians 1:11; Colossians 2:2) of (the) truth (the expression is a favourite one in these Epistles, see reff. This realization of the truth is in fact identical with σωτηρία, not only (Huther) as that σωτηρία is a rescue from life in untruth, but in its deepest and widest sense of salvation, here and hereafter: cf. John 17:3, αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ αἰώνιος ζωή, ἵνα γινώσκωσίν σε τὸν μόνον ἀληθινὸν θεόν … and ib. John 17:17, ἁγίασον αὐτοὺς ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ).


Verse 5

5.] For (further grounding of the acceptableness of prayer for all men,—in the UNITY of God. But this verse is joined by the γάρ directly to the preceding, not to 1 Timothy 2:1. Chrys. gives it rightly— δεικνὺς ὅτι σωθῆναι θέλει πάντας) there is ONE God (He is ONE in essence and one in purpose—not of different minds to different nations or individuals, but of one mind towards all. Similarly Romans 3:30, and, which is important for the understanding of that difficult passage, Galatians 3:20. The double reference, to the unity in essence and unity of purpose, for which I have contended there, is plain and unmistakeable here), ONE Mediator (see reff. It occurs, besides the places in the Gal., only in the Epistle to the Heb., Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 12:24. There is no necessity that the idea should, as De W. and Schleierm., be connected with that of a mutual covenant, and so be here far-fetched as regards the context (borrowed from the places in the Heb., according to De W.): the word is used as standing alone, and representing the fact of Christ Jesus being the only go-between, in whatever sense) also (the εἷς prefixed to the καί for emphasis) of (between) God and men (if one only goes between, then that One must be for all), (the) man Christ Jesus (why ἄνθρωπος? Thdrt. answers, ἄνθρωπον δὲ τὸν χριστὸν ὠνόμασεν, ἐπειδὴ μεσίτην ἐκάλεσεν· ἐνανθρωπήσας γὰρ ἑμεσίτευσεν: and so most Commentators. But it is not here the Apostle’s object, to set forth the nature of Christ’s mediation as regards its being brought about;—only as regards its unity and universality for mankind. And for this latter reason he calls him here by this name MAN,—that He gathered up all our human nature into Himself, becoming its second Head. So that the ἄνθρωπος in fact carries with it the very strongest proof of that which he is maintaining. Notice it is not ἄνθρωπος, though we are obliged inaccurately thus to express it: in personality, our Lord was not a man, but in nature He was man. It might be rendered, “Christ Jesus, Himself man.”

I should object, as against Ellicott, to introduce at all the indefinite article: not individual but generic humanity is predicated: and “a man” unavoidably conveys the idea of human individuality. It is singularly unfortunate that Ellic. should have referred to Augustine, Serm. xxvi. as cited by Wordsw., in corroboration of the rendering “a man:” the Latin homo being of course as incapable of deciding this as the Greek ἄνθρωπος, and “a man” being only Bp. Wordsworth’s translation of it. Nay, the whole tenor of the passage of Augustine (ed. Migne, vol. v. p. 174) precludes such a rendering. The stupidity of such writers as Baur and the Socinians, who regard such an expression as against the deity of Christ, is beyond all power of mine to characterize. In the face of εἷς θεός, εἷς μεσίτης θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων, to maintain gravely such a position, shews utter blindness from party bias even to the plainest thoughts expressed in the plainest words), who gave himself (reff., especially Tit.) a ransom ( ἀντί-, as in ἀντιμισθία, Romans 1:27; 2 Corinthians 6:13; ἀντάλλαγμα, Matthew 16:26, expresses more distinctly the reciprocity which is already implied in the simple word in each case. That the main fact alluded to here is the death of Christ, we know: but it is not brought into prominence, being included in, and superseded by the far greater and more comprehensive fact, that He gave HIMSELF, in all that He undertook for our redemption: see Philippians 2:5-8) on behalf of all (not of a portion of mankind, but of all men; the point of 1 Timothy 2:1, ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀνθρώπων),—the testimony (‘that which was (to be) testified:’ so St. John frequently uses μαρτυρία, 1 John 5:9-11; “an accusative in apposition with the preceding sentence.” Ellicott. This oneness of the Mediator, involving in itself the universality of Redemption, was the great subject of Christian testimony: see below) in its own seasons (reff.; in the times which God had appointed for it. On the temporal dative, see Ellicott’s note), for (towards) which (the μαρτύριον) I was placed as a herald (pastoral Epistles and 2 Pet. only: but see 1 Corinthians 1:21; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 9:27; 1 Corinthians 15:14) and apostle (the proclaiming this universality of the Gospel was the one object towards which my appointment as an apostle and preacher was directed. Those who hold the spuriousness of our Epistle regard this returning to himself and his own case on the part of the writer as an evidence of his being one who was acting the part of Paul. So Schleierm. and De W. They have so far truth on their side, that we must recognize here a characteristic increase of the frequency of these personal vindications on the part of the Apostle, as we so often have occasion to remark during these Epistles:—the disposition of one who had been long opposed and worried by adversaries to recur continually to his own claims, the assertion of which had now become with him almost, so to speak, a matter of stock-phrases. Still, the propriety of the assertion here is evident: it is only in the manner of it that the above habit is discernible. See more on this in the Prolegomena. The same phrase occurs verbatim in ref. 2 Tim.),—I speak the truth, I lie not—(in spite of all that Huther and Wiesinger say of the evident appropriateness of this solemn asseveration here, I own I am unable to regard it as any more than a strong and interesting proof of the growth of a habit in the Apostle’s mind, which we already trace in 2 Corinthians 11:31, Romans 9:1, till he came to use the phrase with less force and relevance than he had once done. Nothing can be more natural than that one whose life was spent in strong conflict and assertion of his Apostleship, should repeat the fervour of his usual asseveration, even when the occasion of that fervour had passed away. Nor can I consent to abandon such a view because it is designated “questionable and precarious” by Ellic., who is too apt in cases of difficulty, to evade the real conflict of decision by strong terms of this kind)—a teacher of the Gentiles (it was especially in this latter fact that the ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀνθρώπων found its justification. The historical proof of his constitution as a teacher of the Gentiles is to be found in Acts 9:15; Acts 22:21; Acts 26:17; but especially in Galatians 2:9) in (the) faith and (the) truth (do these words refer subjectively to his own conduct in teaching the Gentiles, or objectively to that in which he was to instruct them? The former view is taken by Thdrt. and most Commentators: μετὰ τῆς προσηκούσης πίστεως καὶ ἀληθείας τοῦτο πᾶσι προσφέρω: the latter by Heydenreich, al. Huther (also Ellic.) takes the words as signifying the sphere in which he was appointed to fulfil his office of διδ. ἐθνῶν,— πίστις being faith, the subjective relation, and ἀλήθεια the truth, the objective good which is appropriated by faith: Wiesinger, as meaning that he is, in the right faith and in the truth, the διδ. ἔθν. Bengel regards them merely as another asseveration belonging to the assertion that he is διδ. ἔθν.,—‘in faith and truth I say it.’ This latter at once discommends itself, from its exceeding flatness: though Chrys. also seems to have held it— ἐν πίστει πάλιν· ἀλλὰ μὴ νομίσῃς ἐπειδὴ ἐν πίστει ἤκουσας, ὅτι ἀπάτη τὸ πρᾶγμά ἐστι. καὶ γὰρ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ φησίν. εἰ δὲ ἀλήθεια, οὐκ ἔστι ψεῦδος. In judging between these, we must take into account the usage of ἀλήθεια above, 1 Timothy 2:4, in a very similar reference, when it was to be matter of teaching to all men. There it undoubtedly is, though anarthrous, the truth of God. I would therefore take it similarly here, as Wiesinger,—the sphere in which both his teaching and their learning was to be employed—the truth of the Gospel. Then, if so, it is surely harsh to make ἐν πίστει subjective, especially as the ἐν is not repeated before ἀληθείᾳ. It too will most properly be objective,—and likewise regard that in which, as an element or sphere, he was to teach and they to learn: the faith. This ἐν π. κ. ἀλ. will be, not the object of διδάσκαλ., but the sphere or element in which he is the διδάσκαλος).


Verse 8

8.] See summary at beginning of chapter. I will then (“in βούλομαι the active wish is implied: it is no mere willingness or acquiescence,” Ellic. On the distinction between βούλομαι and θέλω, see Donaldson, Cratyl. § 463, p. 650 f. ed. 2: and Ellic. on ch. 1 Timothy 5:14) that the men (the E. V. by omitting the article, has entirely obscured this passage for its English readers, not one in a hundred of whom ever dream of a distinction of the sexes being here intended. But again the position of τοὺς ἄνδρας forbids us from supposing that such distinction was the Apostle’s main object in this verse. Had it been so, we should have read τοὺς ἄνδρας προσεύχεσθαι. As it now stands, the stress is on προσεύχεσθαι, and τοὺς ἄνδρας is taken for granted. Thus the main subject of 1 Timothy 2:1 is carried on, the duty of PRATER, in general—not (as Schleierm. objects) one portion merely of it, the allotting it to its proper offerers) pray in every place (these words ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ regard the general duty of praying, not the particular detail implied in τοὺς ἄνδρας: still less are we to join τοὺς ἄνδρας ( τοὺς) ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ. It is a local command respecting prayer, answering to the temporal command ἀδιαλείπτως προσεύχεσθε, 1 Thessalonians 5:17. It is far-fetched and irrelevant to the context to find in the words, as Chr., Thdrt., al., Pel., Erasm., Calv., Beza, Grot., al., the Christian’s freedom from prescription of place for prayer— πρὸς τὴν νομικὴν διαγόρευσιν τέθεικεν· οὐ γὰρ (vulgo ὃς γὰρ) τοῖς ἱεροσολύμοις περιέγραψε τὴν λατρείαν, Thdrt.: and Chrys., ὅπερ τοῖς ἰουδαίοις θέμις οὐκ ἦν), lifting up holy hands (see LXX, ref. Ps.: also Ps. 27:2, 43:20; Clem. Rom. Ephesians 1 to Corinthians, ch. 29, p. 269: προσέλθωμεν αὐτῷ ἐν ὁσιότητι ψυχῆς, ἁγνὰς καὶ ἀμιάντους χεῖρας αἴροντες πρὸς αὐτόν. These two passages, as Huther observes, testify to the practice in the Christian church.

The form ὁσίους with a feminine is unusual: but we must not, as Winer suggests (edn. 6, § 11. 1), join it to ἐπαίροντας. His own instances, στρατιὰ οὐράνιος, Luke 2:13,— ἶριςὅμοιος, Revelation 4:3, furnish some precedent: and the fact that the ending - ιος is common to all three establishes an analogy. “Those hands are holy, which have not surrendered themselves as instruments of evil desire: the contrary are βέβηλοι χεῖρες, 2 Maccabees 5:16; compare, for the expression, Job 17:9, Psalms 23:4, and in the N. T., especially James 4:8, καθαρίσατε χεῖρας καὶ ἁγνίσατε καρδίας.” Huther. See classical passages in Wetst.) without (separate from, “putting away,” as Conyb.) wrath and disputation (i.e. in tranquillity and mutual peace, so literally, sine disceptatione, as vulg., see note on ref. Phil. Ellic.’s objection, that we should thus import from the context a meaning unconfirmed by good lexical authority, is fully met by the unquestionable usage of the verb διαλογίζω in the N. T. for to dispute. At the same time, seeing that the matter treated of is prayer, where disputing hardly seems in place, perhaps doubting is the better sense; which, after all, is a disputation within one’s self).


Verse 9

9.] So also ( ὡσαύτως, by the parallel passage, Titus 2:3, seems to be little more than a copula, not necessarily to refer to the matter which has been last under treatment) I will that women (without the article, the reference to τοὺς ἄνδρας above is not so pointed: i.e. we need not imagine that the reference is necessarily to the same matter of detail, but may regard the verse (see below) as pointing to the general duties and behaviour of women, as not belonging to the category of οἱ προσευχόμενοι ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ) adorn themselves (there is no need, as Chrys. and most Commentators, to supply προσεύχεσθαι to complete the sense: indeed if I have apprehended the passage rightly, it would be altogether irrelevant. The ὡσαύτως serving merely as a copula (see above) the προσεύχεσθαι belonging solely and emphatically to τοὺς ἄνδρας,—the question, ‘what then are women to do?’ is answered by insisting on modesty of appearance and the ornament of good works, as contrasted (1 Timothy 2:12) with the man’s part. The public assemblies are doubtless, in 1 Timothy 2:12, still before the Apostle’s mind, but in a very slight degree. It is the general duties of women, rather than any single point in reference to their conduct in public worship, to which he is calling attention: though the subject of public worship led to his thus speaking, and has not altogether disappeared from his thoughts. According to this view, the construction proceeds direct with the infinitive κοσμεῖν, without any supposition of an anacoluthon, as there must be on the other hypothesis) in orderly (ref.) apparel (cf. Titus 2:3, note: “in seemly guise,” Ellic. καταστολή, originally ‘arrangement,’ ‘putting in order,’ followed in its usage that of its verb καταστέλλω. We have in Eur. Bacch. 891, αὐτὸν ( τὸν πλόκαμον) πάλιν καταστελοῦμεν,—‘we will re-arrange the dishevelled lock:’ then Aristoph. Thesm. 256, ἴθι νῦν κατάστειλόν με τὰ περὶ τὼ σκέληclothe, dress me. Thus in Plut. Pericl. 5, we read of Anaxagoras, that his καταστολὴ περιβολῆς, ‘arrangement of dress,’ was πρὸς οὐδὲν ἐκταραττομένη πάθος ἐν τῷ λέγειν. Then in Jos. B. J. ii. 8. 4, of the Essenes, that their καταστολὴ καὶ σχῆμα σώματος was ὅμοιον τοῖς μετὰ φόβου παιδαγωγουμένοις παισίν, which he proceeds to explain by saying οὔτε δὲ ἐσθῆτας, οὔτε ὑποδήματα ἀμείβουσι, πρὶν ἢ διαῤῥαγῆναι, κ. τ. λ. So that we must take it as meaning ‘the apparel,’ the whole investiture of the person. This he proceeds presently to break up into detail, forbidding πλέγματα, χρυσόν, μαργαρίτας, ἱματισμὸν πολυτελῆ, all which are parts of the καταστολή. This view of the meaning of the word requires ἐν καταστολῇ κοσμίῳ to belong to κοσμεῖν, and then to be taken up by the ἐν following, an arrangement, as it seems to me, also required by the natural construction of the sentence itself) with shamefastness (not, as modern reprints of the E. V., ‘shamefacedness,’ which is a mere unmeaning corruption by the printers of a very expressive and beautiful word: see Trench, N. T. Synonyms, § xx.) and self-restraint (I adopt Conybeare’s word as, though not wholly satisfactory, bringing out the leading idea of σωφροσύνη better than any other. Its fault is, that it is a word too indicative of effort, as if the unchaste desires were continually breaking bounds, and as continually held in check: whereas in the σώφρων, the safe-and-sound-minded, no such continual struggle has place, but the better nature is established in its rule. Trench (ubi supra) has dealt with the two words, setting aside the insufficient distinction of Xenophon, Cyr. viii. 1. 31,—where he says of Cyrus, διῄρει δὲ αἰδῶ καὶ σωφροσύνην τῇδε, ὡς τοὺς μὲν αἰδουμένους τὰ ἐν τῷ φανερῷ αἰσχρὰ φεύγοντας, τοὺς δὲ σώφρονας καὶ τὰ ἐν τῷ ἀφανεῖ. “If,” Trench concludes, “ αἰδώς is the ‘shamefastness,’ or tendency which shrinks from overpassing the limits of womanly reserve and modesty, as well as from the dishonour which would justly attach thereto, σωφροσύνη is that habitual inner self-government, with its constant rein on all the passions and desires, which would hinder the temptation to this from arising, or at all events from arising in such strength as should overbear the checks and hindrances which αἰδώς opposed to it.” Ellic. gives for it, “sober-mindedness,” and explains it, “the well-balanced state of mind, arising from habitual self-restraint.” See his notes, here, and in his translation), not in plaits (of hair: cf. 1 Peter 3:3, ἐμπλοκὴ τριχῶν, and see Ellicott’s note) and gold ( καὶ περιθέσεως χρυσίων, 1 Pet. l. c., perhaps, from the καί, the gold is supposed to be twined among, or worn with, the plaited hair. See Revelation 17:4), or pearls, or costly raiment (= ἐνδύσεως ἱματίων, 1 Pet. l. c.),—but, which is becoming for women professing ( ἐπαγγέλλεσθαι is ordinarily in N. T. ‘to promise,’ see reff. But the meaning ‘to profess,’ ‘præ se ferre,’ is found in the classics, e.g. Xen. Mem. i. 2. 7, ἐθαύμαζε δέ, εἴ τις ἀρετὴν ἐπαγγελλόμενος ἀργύριον πράττοιτο: cf. Palm and Rost’s Lex., and the numerous examples in Wetst.) godliness ( θεοσέβεια is found in Xen. An. ii. 6. 26, and Plato, Epinomis, pp. 985 d, 989 e. The adjective θεοσεβής is common enough),—by means of good works (not ἐν again, because the adornment lies in a different sphere and cannot be so expressed. The adorning which results from good works is brought about by ( διὰ) their practice, not displayed by appearing to be invested with them ( ἐν). Huther’s construction, after Thdrt., Œc, Luth., Calv., and Mack and Matthies,— ἐπαγγελλ. θεοσέβειαν διʼ ἔργων ἀγαθῶν,—is on all grounds objectionable:—1) the understanding as ἐν τούτῳ ὅ or καθʼ , which of itself might pass, introduces great harshness into the sentence:—2) the junction of ἐπαγγελλομέναις διʼ is worse than that of κοσμεῖν διʼ, to which he objects:—3) the arrangement of the words is against it, which would thus rather be γυναιξὶν διʼ ἔργων ἀγαθῶν θεοσέβειαν ἐπαγγελλομέναις:—4) he does not see that his objection, that the adornment of women has been already specified by ἐν καταστολῇ κ. τ. λ., and therefore need not be again specified by διʼ ἔργων ἀγ., applies just as much to his own rendering, taking for καθʼ or ἐν τούτῳ ὅ).


Verse 11

11.] Let a woman learn (in the congregation, and every where: see below) in silence in all (possible) subjection (the thought of the public assemblies has evidently given rise to this precept (see 1 Corinthians 14:34); but he carries it further than can be applied to them in the next verse): but (the contrast is to a suppressed hypothesis of a claim to do that which is forbidden: cf. a similar δέ, 1 Corinthians 11:16) to a woman I permit not to teach (in the church (primarily), or, as the context shews, any where else), nor to lord it over ( αὐθέντης μηδέποτε χρήσῃ ἐπὶ τοῦ δεσπότου, ὡς οἱ περὶ τὰ δικαστήρια ῥήτορες, ἀλλʼ ἐπὶ τοῦ αὐτόχειρος φονέως, Phryn. But Euripides thus uses it, Suppl. 442: καὶ μὴν ὅπου γε δῆμος αὐθέντης χθονός, ὑποῦσιν ἀστοῖς ἥδεται νεανίαις. The fact is that the word itself is originally a ‘vox media,’ signifying merely ‘one who with his own hand’ … and the context fills up the rest, αὐθέντης φόνου, or the like. And in course of time, the meaning of ‘autocrat’ prevailing, the word itself and its derivatives henceforth took this course, and αὐθεντέω, - ία, - ημα, all of later growth, bore this reference only. Later still we have αὐθεντικός, from first authority (‘id enim αὐθεντικῶς, nuntiabatur,’ Cic. ad Att. x. 9). It seems quite a mistake to suppose that αὐθέντης arrived at its meaning of a despot by passing through that of a murderer) the man, but (supply (“ βούλομαι, not κελεύω, which St. Paul does not use.” Ellic.) ‘I command her:’ the construction in 1 Corinthians 14:34, is the same) to be in silence.


Verse 13

13.] Reason of this precept, in the original order of creation. For Adam was first (not of all men, which is not here under consideration, and would stultify the subsequent clause:—but first in comparison with Eve) made (see ref. Gen., from which the word ἐπλάσθη seems to be taken: cf. 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, and indeed that whole passage, which throws light on this), then Eve.


Verse 14

14.] Second reason—as the woman was last in being, so she was first in sin—indeed the only victim of the Tempter’s deceit. And Adam was not deceived (not to be weakened, as Thdrt. τὸ οὐκ ἠπατήθη, ἀντὶ τοῦ, οὐ πρῶτος, εἴρηκεν: nor, as Matthies, must we supply ὑπὸ τοῦ ὄφεως: nor, with De W., Wiesinger, al., must we press the fact that the woman only was misled by the senses. Bengel and Huther seem to me (but cf. Ellicott) to have apprehended the right reference: ‘serpens mulierem decepit, mulier virum non decepit, sed ei persuasit.’ As Huther observes, the ἠπάτησεν, in the original narrative, is used of the woman only. We read of no communication between the serpent and the man. The “subtlest beast of all the field” knew his course better: she listened to the lower solicitation of sense and expediency: he to the higher one of conjugal love): but the woman (not now Eve, but generic, as the next clause shews: for Eve could not be the subject to σωθήσεται) having been seduced BY DECEIT (stronger than ἀπατηθεῖσα, as exoro than oro: implying the full success of the ἀπάτη) has become involved (the thought is—the present state of transgression in which the woman (and the man too: but that is not treated here) by sin is constituted, arose (which was not so in the man) from her originally having been seduced by deceit) in transgression (here as always, breach of a positive command: cf. Romans 4:15).


Verse 15

15.] But (contrast to this her great and original defect) she (general) shall be saved through (brought safely through, but in the higher, which is with St. Paul the only sense of σώζω, see below) her child-bearing (in order to understand the fulness of the meaning of σωθήσεται here, we must bear in mind the history itself, to which is the constant allusion. The curse on the woman for her παράβασις was, ἐν λύπαις τέξῃ τέκνα (Genesis 3:16). Her τεκνογονία is that in which the curse finds its operation. What then is here promised her? Not only exemption from that curse in its worst and heaviest effects: not merely that she shall safely bear children: but the Apostle uses the word σωθήσεται purposely for its higher meaning, and the construction of the sentence is precisely as ref. 1 Cor.— αὐτὸς δὲ σωθήσεται, οὕτως δὲ ὡς διὰ πυρός. Just as that man should be saved through, as passing through, fire which is his trial, his hindrance in his way, in spite of which he escapes,—so she shall be saved, through, as passing through, her child-bearing, which is her trial, her curse, her (not means of salvation, but) hindrance in the way of it.

The other renderings which have been given seem to me both irrelevant and ungrammatical. Chrys., Thl., al., for instance, would press τεκνογονία to mean the Christian education of children: Heinrichs, strangely enough, holds that her τεκνογ. is the punishment of her sin, and that being undergone, she shall be saved διὰ τῆς τ., i.e. by having paid it. Conyb. gives it ‘women will be saved by the bearing of children,’ i.e., as he explains it in his note, “are to be kept in the path of safety (?) by the performance of the peculiar functions which God has assigned to their sex.” Some, in their anxiety to give διὰ the instrumental meaning, would understand διὰ τῆς τεκνογ, ‘by means of the Child-bearing,’ i.e. ‘the Incarnation:’ a rendering which needs no refutation. I see that Ellicott maintains this latter interpretation: still I find no reason to qualify what I have above written. 1 Corinthians 3:15 seems to me so complete a key of Pauline usage of σώζεσθαι διὰ, that I cannot abandon the path opened by it, till far stronger reason has been shewn than he here alleges. In his second edition he has not in any way strengthened his argument, nor has he taken any notice of the Pauline usage which I allege. After all, it is mainly a question of exegetical tact: and I own I am surprised that any scholar can believe it possible that St. Paul can have expressed the Incarnation by the bare word ἡ τεκνογονία. He himself in this same Epistle, 1 Timothy 5:14, uses the cognate verb, of the ordinary bearing of children: and these are the only places where the compound occurs in the N. T.), if they (generic plural as before singular) have remained (shall be found in that day to have remained—a further proof of the higher meaning of σωθήσεται) in faith and love and holiness (see reff., where the word is used in the same reference, of holy chastity) with self-restraint (see above on 1 Timothy 2:9).

 


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Bibliography Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-timothy-2.html. 1863-1878.

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Saturday, August 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19
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