EXHORTATIONS AS TO
OPPOSITION TO THE
GIVEN TO THE
1. servants--to be taken as predicated thus, "Let as many as are
under the yoke (as) slaves"
The exhortation is natural as there was a danger of Christian slaves
inwardly feeling above their heathen masters.
their own masters--The phrase "their own," is an argument for
submissiveness; it is not strangers, but their own masters whom
they are required to respect.
all honour--all possible and fitting honor; not
merely outward subjection, but that inward honor from which will
flow spontaneously right outward conduct (see on
that the name of God--by which Christians are called.
blasphemed--Heathen masters would say, What kind of a God must be
the God of the Christians, when such are the fruits of His worship
Tit 2:5, 10)?
2. And--rather, "But." The opposition is between those Christian
slaves under the yoke of heathen, and
those that have believing masters (he does not use the phrase
"under the yoke" in the latter case, for service under believers is not
a yoke). Connect the following words thus, "Let them
(the slaves) not, because they
(the masters) are brethren
(and so equals, masters and slaves alike being Christians),
despise them (the masters)."
but rather, &c.--"but all the more (so much the more: with the
greater good will) do them service because they (the masters) are
faithful (that is, believers) and beloved who receive (in the mutual
interchange of relative duties between master and servant; so
the Greek) the benefit" (English Version violates
Greek grammar). This latter clause is parallel to, "because
they are brethren"; which proves that "they" refers to the
masters, not the servants, as TITTMANN takes it, explaining the verb in the common
"who sedulously labor for their (masters') benefit." The very
term "benefit" delicately implies service done with the right
motive, Christian "good will"
If the common sense of the Greek verb be urged, the sense must
be, "Because they (the masters) are faithful and beloved who are
sedulously intent on the benefiting" of their servants. But PORPHYRY [On Abstinence, 1.46] justifies the sense
of the Greek verb given above, which also better accords with
the context; for otherwise, the article "the," will have nothing
in the preceding words to explain it, whereas in my explanation above
"the benefit" will be that of the slaves' service.
These things teach--
3. teach otherwise--than I desire thee to "teach"
The Greek indicative implies, he puts not a merely supposed
case, but one actually existing,
"Every one who teaches otherwise," that is, who teaches
consent not--Greek, "accede not to."
opposed to the false teachers' words, unsound through profitless
science and immorality.
words of our Lord Jesus Christ--Paul's inspired words are not merely
his own, but are also Christ's words.
4. He is proud--literally, "wrapt in smoke"; filled with the fumes
while "knowing nothing," namely, of the doctrine which is according to
though arrogating pre-eminent knowledge
doting about--literally, "sick about"; the opposite of
Truth is not the center about which his investigations
move, but mere word-strifes.
strifes of words--rather than about realities
These stand with them instead of "godliness" and "wholesome words"
evil surmisings--as to those who are of a different party from
5. Perverse disputings--useless disputings. The oldest manuscripts
read, "lasting contests" [WIESINGER]; "incessant collisions"
"Strifes of words" had already been mentioned so that he would not be
likely to repeat the same idea (as in the English Version reading)
corrupt minds--Greek, "of men corrupted (depraved) in mind." The
inmost source of the evil is in the perverted mind
destitute of the truth--
They had had the truth, but through want of moral integrity and of love
of the truth, they were misled by a pretended deeper gnosis (knowledge)
and higher ascetical holiness, of which they made a trade [WIESINGER].
supposing, &c.--The Greek requires, "supposing (regarding the
matter in this point of view) that piety
(so translated for 'godliness')
is a means of gain (that is, a way of advancing one's worldly interests:
a different Greek form, poriswa, expresses
the thing gained, gain)"; not "that gain is godliness," as
from such withdraw thyself--omitted in the oldest manuscripts.
The connection with
favors the omission of these words, which interrupt the connection.
6. But--Though they err in this, there is a sense in which
"piety is" not merely gain, but "great means of gain": not the
gaining which they pursue, and which makes men to be
discontented with their present possessions, and to use religion
as "a cloak of covetousness"
and means of earthly gain, but the present and eternal
gain which piety, whose accompaniment is contentment,
secures to the soul. WIESINGER remarks that Paul
observed in Timothy a tendency to indolence and shrinking from the
conflict, whence he felt
that Timothy needed cautioning against such temptation; compare also
the second Epistle. Not merely contentment is great gain (a
sentiment of the heathen CICERO [Paradox
6], "the greatest and surest riches"), but "piety with contentment";
for piety not only feels no need of what it has not, but also has that
which exalts it above what it has not [WIESINGER].
The Greek for contentment is translated "sufficiency"
But the adjective
"content"; literally, "having a sufficiency in one's self"
independent of others. "The Lord always supplies His people with what
is necessary for them. True happiness lies in piety, but this
sufficiency [supplied by God, with which moreover His people are
content] is thrown into the scale as a kind of overweight"
Isa 33:6, 16;
7. For--confirming the reasonableness of "contentment."
and it is certain--Vulgate and other old versions support this
reading. The oldest manuscripts, however, omit "and it is certain"; then
the translation will be, "We brought nothing into the world (to teach us
to remember) that neither can we carry anything out"
Therefore, we should have no gain-seeking anxiety, the breeder of
8. And--Greek, "But." In contrast to the greedy gain-seekers
having--so long as we have food. (The Greek expresses
"food sufficient in each case for our continually recurring wants"
[ALFORD]). It is implied that we, as believers,
shall have this
raiment--Greek, "covering"; according to some including a
roof to cover us, that is, a dwelling, as well as clothing.
let us be therewith content--literally, "we shall be sufficiently
provided"; "we shall be sufficed" [ALFORD].
9. will be rich--have more than "food and raiment."
Greek, "wish to be rich"; not merely are willing,
but are resolved, and earnestly desire to have riches at any
(Pr 28:20, 22).
This wishing (not the riches themselves) is fatal to
Rich men are not told to cast away their riches, but not to "trust" in
them, and to "do good" with them
(1Ti 6:17, 18;
fall into temptation--not merely "are exposed to temptation," but
actually "fall into" it. The falling into it is what we are to
pray against, "Lead us not into temptation"
such a one is already in a sinful state, even before any overt act of
sin. The Greek for "temptation" and "gain" contains a play on
snare--a further step downwards
He falls into "the snare of the devil."
hurtful--to those who fall into the snare. Compare
"deceitful lusts" which deceive to one's deadly hurt.
lusts--With the one evil lust ("wish to be rich") many others
join themselves: the one is the "root of all evils"
which--Greek, "whatever (lusts)."
drown--an awful descending climax from "fall into"; this is the last
step in the terrible descent
destruction . . . perdition--destruction in general (temporal or
eternal), and perdition in particular, namely, that of body and soul
10. the love of money--not the money itself, but the love of
it--the wishing to be rich
--"is a root (ELLICOTT and MIDDLETON: not as English Version, 'the
root') of all evils." (So the Greek plural). The
wealthiest may be rich not in a bad sense; the poorest may covet to be
Love of money is not the sole root of evils, but it is a leading
"root of bitterness"
for "it destroys faith, the root of all that is good"
[BENGEL]; its offshoots are "temptation, a snare,
lusts, destruction, perdition."
coveted after--lusted after.
erred from--literally, "have been made to err from the faith"
(1Ti 1:19; 4:1).
with . . . sorrows--"pains": "thorns" of the parable
which choke the word of "faith." "The prosperity of fools destroys
BENGEL and WIESINGER make
them the gnawings of conscience, producing remorse for wealth badly
acquired; the harbingers of the future "perdition"
11. But thou--in contrast to the "some"
man of God--who hast God as thy true riches
Applying primarily to Timothy as a minister (compare
just as the term was used of Moses
Elijah, and Elisha; but, as the exhortation is as to duties
incumbent also on all Christians, the term applies secondarily
to him (so
as a Christian man born of God
no longer a man of the world raised above earthly things;
therefore, God's property, not his own, bought with a price, and so
having parted with all right in himself: Christ's work is to be
his great work: he is to be Christ's living representative.
flee these things--namely, "the love of money" with its evil results
(1Ti 6:9, 10).
follow after righteousness--
godliness--"piety." Righteousness is more in relation