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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - 1TIMOTHY 6
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    CHAPTER 6

    1Ti 6:1-21. EXHORTATIONS AS TO DISTINCTIONS OF CIVIL RANK; THE DUTY OF SLAVES, IN OPPOSITION TO THE FALSE TEACHINGS OF GAIN-SEEKERS; TIMOTHY'S PURSUIT IS TO BE GODLINESS, WHICH IS AN EVERLASTING POSSESSION: SOLEMN ADJURATION TO DO SO AGAINST CHRIST'S COMING; CHARGE TO BE GIVEN TO THE RICH. CONCLUDING EXHORTATION.

    1. servants--to be taken as predicated thus, "Let as many as are under the yoke (as) slaves" (Tit 2:9). 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 Eph 5:22).
    - 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 (Ro 2:24; 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 sense (Lu 1:54; Ac 20:35), "who sedulously labor for their (masters') benefit." The very term "benefit" delicately implies service done with the right motive, Christian "good will" (Eph 6:7). 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-- (1Ti 4:11; Tit 2:15).

    3. teach otherwise--than I desire thee to "teach" (1Ti 6:2). The Greek indicative implies, he puts not a merely supposed case, but one actually existing, 1Ti 1:3, "Every one who teaches otherwise," that is, who teaches heterodoxy.
    - consent not--Greek, "accede not to."
    - wholesome--"sound" (1Ti 1:10): 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 of self-conceit (1Ti 3:6) while "knowing nothing," namely, of the doctrine which is according to godliness (1Ti 6:3), though arrogating pre-eminent knowledge (1Ti 1:7).
    - doting about--literally, "sick about"; the opposite of "wholesome" (1Ti 6:3). Truth is not the center about which his investigations move, but mere word-strifes.
    - questions--of controversy.
    - strifes of words--rather than about realities (2Ti 2:14). These stand with them instead of "godliness" and "wholesome words" (1Ti 6:3; 1Ti 1:4; Tit 3:9).
    - evil surmisings--as to those who are of a different party from themselves.

    5. Perverse disputings--useless disputings. The oldest manuscripts read, "lasting contests" [WIESINGER]; "incessant collisions" [ALFORD]. "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) again.
    - corrupt minds--Greek, "of men corrupted (depraved) in mind." The inmost source of the evil is in the perverted mind (1Ti 6:4; 2Ti 3:8; Tit 1:15).
    - destitute of the truth-- (Tit 1:14). 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 English Version.
    - from such withdraw thyself--omitted in the oldest manuscripts. The connection with 1Ti 6:6 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" (1Th 2:5) 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 (1Ti 6:11) 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" (2Co 9:8). But the adjective (Php 4:11) "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" [CALVIN] (1Ki 17:1-16; Ps 37:19; Isa 33:6, 16; Jer 37:21).

    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" (Job 1:21; Ec 5:15). Therefore, we should have no gain-seeking anxiety, the breeder of discontent (Mt 6:25).

    8. And--Greek, "But." In contrast to the greedy gain-seekers (1Ti 6:5).
    - 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 (Isa 23:16).
    - 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 cost (Pr 28:20, 22). This wishing (not the riches themselves) is fatal to "contentment" (1Ti 6:6). 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; Ps 62:10).
    - 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" (Jas 1:14); 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 sounds--porasmus, peirasmus.
    - snare--a further step downwards (1Ti 3:7). He falls into "the snare of the devil."
    - foolish--irrational.
    - hurtful--to those who fall into the snare. Compare Eph 4:22, "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" (1Ti 6:10).
    - which--Greek, "whatever (lusts)."
    - drown--an awful descending climax from "fall into"; this is the last step in the terrible descent (Jas 1:15); translated "sink," Lu 5:7.
    - destruction . . . perdition--destruction in general (temporal or eternal), and perdition in particular, namely, that of body and soul in hell.

    10. the love of money--not the money itself, but the love of it--the wishing to be rich (1Ti 6:9) --"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 so (Ps 62:10). Love of money is not the sole root of evils, but it is a leading "root of bitterness" (Heb 12:15), 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).
    - pierced-- (Lu 2:35).
    - with . . . sorrows--"pains": "thorns" of the parable (Mt 13:22) which choke the word of "faith." "The prosperity of fools destroys them" (Pr 1:32). BENGEL and WIESINGER make them the gnawings of conscience, producing remorse for wealth badly acquired; the harbingers of the future "perdition" (1Ti 6:9).

    11. But thou--in contrast to the "some" (1Ti 6:10).
    - man of God--who hast God as thy true riches (Ge 15:1; Ps 16:5; La 3:24). Applying primarily to Timothy as a minister (compare 2Pe 1:21), just as the term was used of Moses (De 33:1), Samuel (1Sa 9:6), Elijah, and Elisha; but, as the exhortation is as to duties incumbent also on all Christians, the term applies secondarily to him (so 2Ti 3:17) as a Christian man born of God (Jas 1:18; 1Jo 5:1), 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-- (2Ti 2:22).
    - godliness--"piety." Righteousness is more in relation

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