CONTRAST IN THE
1. also--Greek, "but."
last days--preceding Christ's second coming
"The latter times,"
refer to a period not so remote as "the last days," namely, the
long days of papal and Greek anti-Christianity.
perilous--literally, "difficult times," in which it is
difficult to know what is to be done: "grievous times."
shall come--Greek, "shall be imminent"; "shall come
2. men--in the professing Church. Compare the catalogue,
&c., where much the same sins are attributed to heathen men; it shall
be a relapse into virtual heathendom, with all its beast-like
propensities, whence the symbol of it is "a beast"
(Re 13:1, 11, 12,
&c.; 17:3, 8, 11).
covetous--Translate, "money-loving," a distinct Greek
word from that for "covetous" (see on
The cognate Greek substantive
is so translated, "the love of money is a (Greek, not
'the') root of all evil."
[ALFORD]; boasting of having what they have not.
proud--overweening: literally, showing themselves
above their fellows.
blasphemous--rather, "evil-speakers," revilers.
disobedient to parents--The character of the times is even to be
gathered especially from the manners of the young
unthankful--The obligation to gratitude is next to that of
obedience to parents.
inobservant of the offices of piety.
3. truce-breakers--rather as the Greek is translated in
incontinent, fierce--at once both soft and hard: incontinently
indulging themselves, and inhuman to others.
despisers, &c.--"no lovers of good"
[ALFORD]; the opposite of "a lover of good"
4. heady--precipitate in action and in passion.
high-minded--literally, "puffed up" with pride, as with smoke
lovers of pleasure . . . God--Love of pleasure
destroys the love and sense of God.
5. form--outward semblance.
denying--rather as Greek, "having denied," that
the power--the living, regenerating, sanctifying influence of
turn away--implying that some of such characters, forerunners of
the last days, were already in the Church.
6. of this sort--Greek, "of these," such as were described
laden with sins--
applying to the "silly women" whose consciences are burdened with sins,
and so are a ready prey to the false teachers who promise ease of
conscience if they will follow them. A bad conscience leads easily to
shipwreck of faith
divers lusts--not only animal lusts, but passion for change in
doctrine and manner of teaching; the running after fashionable men and
fashionable tenets, drawing them in the most opposite directions
7. Ever learning--some new point, for mere curiosity, to the
disparagement of what they seemed to know before.
the knowledge--Greek, "the perfect knowledge"; the
only safeguard against further novelties. Gnosticism laid hold
especially of the female sex [ESTIUS, 1.13.3]: so
8. Now--Greek, "But"; it is no wonder there should be now
such opponents to the truth, for their prototypes existed in ancient
Jannes . . . Jambres--traditional names of the
Egyptian magicians who resisted Moses
(Ex 7:11, 22),
derived from "the unwritten teaching of the Jews"
[THEODORET]. In a point so immaterial as the
names, where Scripture had not recorded them, Paul takes the names
which general opinion had assigned the magicians.
EUSEBIUS [Preparation of the Gospel],
quotes from NUMENIUS, "Jannes and Jambres were
sacred scribes (a lower order of priests in Egypt) skilled in
magic." HILLER interprets "Jannes" from the
Abyssinian language a trickster, and "Jambres" a juggler"
resist--"withstand," as before. They did so by trying to rival
Moses' miracles. So the false teachers shall exhibit lying wonders in
the last days
Re 13:14, 15).
reprobate--incapable of testing the truth
[BENGEL]. ALFORD takes
passively, "not abiding the test"; rejected on being tested
9. they shall proceed no further--Though for a time
"they shall advance or proceed (English Version,
'increase') unto more ungodliness," yet there is a final limit
beyond which they shall not be able to "proceed further"
Re 11:7, 11).
They themselves shall "wax worse and worse"
but they shall at last be for ever prevented from seducing others.
"Often malice proceeds deeper down, when it cannot extend itself"
their folly--literally, "dementation": wise though they
shall be manifest--Greek, "shall be brought forth from
concealment into open day" [BENGEL],
as theirs . . . was--as that of those magicians was,
when not only could they no longer try to rival Moses in sending boils,
but the boils fell upon themselves: so as to the lice
(Ex 8:18; 9:11).
10. fully known--literally, "fully followed up" and traced;
namely, with a view to following me as thy pattern, so far as I follow
Christ; the same Greek as in
"having had perfect understanding of all things." His pious
mother Eunice and grandmother Lois would recommend him to study
fully Paul's Christian course as a pattern. He had not been yet the
companion of Paul at the time of the apostle's persecutions in Antioch,
Iconium, and Lystra
(Ac 13:50; 14:5, 19),
but is first mentioned as such
However, he was "a disciple" already, when introduced to us in
and as Paul calls him "my own son in the faith," he must have been
converted by the apostle previously; perhaps in the visit to those
parts three years before. Hence arose Timothy's knowledge of Paul's
persecutions, which were the common talk of the churches in those
regions about the time of his conversion. The incidental
allusion to them here forms an undesigned coincidence between
the history and the Epistle, indicating genuineness [PALEY, Horæ Paulinæ]. A forger of
Epistles from the Acts would never allude to Timothy's knowledge
of persecutions, when that knowledge is not expressly mentioned in the
history, but is only arrived at by indirect inference; also the
omission of Derbe here, in the Epistle, is in minute accordance
with the fact that in Derbe no persecution is mentioned in the
history, though Derbe and Lystra are commonly mentioned
together. The reason why he mentions his persecutions before Timothy
became his companion, and not those subsequent, was because Timothy was
familiar with the latter as an eye-witness and Paul needed not to
remind him of them, but the former Timothy had traced up by
seeking the information from others, especially as the date and scene
of them was the date and scene of his own conversion.
manner of life--"conduct," "behavior."
purpose--The Greek is elsewhere usually used of
God's "purpose." But here, as in
of Paul's determined "purpose of heart in cleaving unto the Lord." My
set aim, or resolution, in my apostolic function, and in
every action is, not my selfish gain, but the glory of God in Christ.
long-suffering--towards my adversaries, and the false teachers;
towards brethren in bearing their infirmities; towards the unconverted,
and the lapsed when penitent
charity--love to all men.
patience--"endurance"; patient continuance in well-doing
which--Greek, "such as."
in Antioch--of Pisidia
(Ac 13:14, 50, 51).
(Ac 14:6, 19).
out of . . . all . . . Lord delivered me--
An encouragement to Timothy not to fear persecutions.
12. Yea, and--an additional consideration for Timothy: if he
wishes to live godly in Christ, he must make up his mind to
that will, &c.--Greek, "all whose will is to
live," &c. So far should persecution be from being a stumbling-block to
Timothy, he should consider it a mark of the pious. So the same
Greek is used of the same thing,
Lu 14:28, 33,
"intending (Greek, 'wishing') to build a tower
. . . counteth the cost."
live godly in Christ--
There is no godliness (Greek, "piously") or piety out of
Christ. The world easily puts up with the mask of a religion which
depends on itself, but the piety which derives its vigor directly from
Christ is as odious to modern Christians as it was to the ancient Jews
shall suffer persecution--and will not decline it
BISHOP PEARSON proves the
divine origination of Christianity from its success being inexplicable
on the supposition of its being of human origin. The nature of its
doctrine was no way likely to command success: (1) it condemns all
other religions, some established for ages; (2) it enjoins precepts
ungrateful to flesh and blood, the mortifying of the flesh, the love of
enemies, and the bearing of the cross; (3) it enforces these seemingly
unreasonable precepts by promises seemingly incredible; not good things
such as afford complacency to our senses, but such as cannot be
obtained till after this life, and presuppose what then seemed
impossible, the resurrection; (4) it predicts to its followers what
would seem sure to keep most of the world from embracing it,
13. Reason why persecutions must be expected, and these becoming
worse and worse as the end approaches. The breach between light and
darkness, so far from being healed, shall be widened
evil men--in contrast to the "godly"
seducers--literally, "conjurers." Magical arts prevailed at
and had been renounced by many Ephesians on embracing Christianity: but
now when Paul was writing to Ephesus, symptoms of a return to
conjuring tricks appeared: an undesigned coincidence
Probably sorcery will characterize the final apostasy
(Re 13:15; 18:23; 22:15).
wax worse--literally, "advance in the direction of worse"
Not contradictory to that verse: there the diffusion of the evil
was spoken of; here its intensity [ALFORD].
deceiving, and being deceived--He who has once begun to deceive
others, is the less easily able to recover himself from error, and the
more easily embraces in turn the errors of others
14. But . . . thou--Whatever they may do. Resuming the
thread begun at
learned--from me and thy mother and grandmother
(2Ti 1:5; 2:2).
assured of--from Scripture
of whom--plural, not singular, in the oldest manuscripts, "from
what teachers." Not only from me, but from Lois and Eunice.
15. from a child--literally, "from an infant." The tender age of
the first dawn of reason is that wherein the most lasting impressions
of faith may be made.
holy scriptures--The Old Testament taught by his Jewish
mother. An undesigned coincidence with
able--in themselves: though through men's own fault they often do
not in fact make men savingly alive.
wise unto salvation--that is, wise unto the attainment of
salvation. Contrast "folly"
Wise also in extending it to others.
through faith--as the instrument of this wisdom. Each
knows divine things only as far as his own experience in
himself extends. He who has not faith, has not %%