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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - 2TIMOTHY 4
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    CHAPTER 4

    2Ti 4:1-22. SOLEMN CHARGE TO TIMOTHY TO DO HIS DUTY ZEALOUSLY, FOR TIMES OF APOSTASY ARE AT HAND, AND THE APOSTLE IS NEAR HIS TRIUMPHANT END: REQUESTS HIM TO COME AND BRING MARK WITH HIM TO ROME, AS LUKE ALONE IS WITH HIM, THE OTHERS HAVING GONE: ALSO HIS CLOAK AND PARCHMENTS: WARNS HIM AGAINST ALEXANDER: TELLS WHAT BEFELL HIM AT HIS FIRST DEFENSE: GREETINGS: BENEDICTION.

    1. charge--Greek, "adjure."
    - therefore--omitted in the oldest manuscripts.
    - the Lord Jesus Christ--The oldest manuscripts read simply, "Christ Jesus."
    - shall judge--His commission from God is mentioned, Ac 10:42; his resolution to do so, 1Pe 4:5; the execution of his commission, here.
    - at his appearing--The oldest manuscripts read, "and" for "at"; then translate, "(I charge thee before God . . . ) and by His appearing."
    - and his kingdom--to be set at His appearing, when we hope to reign with Him. His kingdom is real now, but not visible. It shall then be both real and visible (Lu 22:18, 30; Re 1:7; 11:15; 19:6). Now he reigns in the midst of His enemies expecting till they shall be overthrown (Ps 110:2; Heb 10:13). Then He shall reign with His adversaries prostrate.

    2. Preach--literally, "proclaim as a herald." The term for the discourses in the synagogue was daraschoth; the corresponding Greek term (implying dialectial style, dialogue, and discussion, Ac 17:2, 18; 18:4, 19) is applied in Acts to discourses in the Christian Church. JUSTIN MARTYR [Apology, 2], describes the order of public worship, "On Sunday all meet and the writings of the apostles and prophets are read; then the president delivers a discourse; after this all stand up and pray; then there is offered bread and wine and water; the president likewise prays and gives thanks, and the people solemnly assent, saying, Amen." The bishops and presbyters had the right and duty to preach, but they sometimes called on deacons, and even laymen, to preach. EUSEBIUS [Ecclesiastical History, 6.19]; in this the Church imitated the synagogue (Lu 4:17-22; Ac 13:15, 16).
    - be instant--that is, urgent, earnest, in the whole work of the ministry.
    - in season, out of season--that is, at all seasons; whether they regard your speaking as seasonable or unseasonable. "Just as the fountains, though none may draw from them, still flow on; and the rivers, though none drink of them, still run; so must we do all on our part in speaking, though none give heed to us" [CHRYSOSTOM, Homily, 30, vol. 5., p. 221]. I think with CHRYSOSTOM, there is included also the idea of times whether seasonable or unseasonable to Timothy himself; not merely when convenient, but when inconvenient to thee, night as well as day (Ac 20:31), in danger as well as in safety, in prison and when doomed to death as well as when at large, not only in church, but everywhere and on all occasions, whenever and wherever the Lord's work requires it.
    - reprove--"convict," "confute."
    - with, &c.--Greek, "IN (the element in which the exhortation ought to have place) all long-suffering (2Ti 2:24, 25; 3:10) and teaching"; compare 2Ti 2:24, "apt to teach." The Greek for "doctrine" here is didache, but in 2Ti 3:16, didascalia. "Didascalia" is what one receives; "didache" is what is communicated [TITTMANN].

    3. they--professing Christians.
    - sound doctrine--Greek, "the sound (see on 1Ti 1:10) doctrine (didascalias)" or "teaching," namely, of the Gospel. Presently follows the concrete, "teachers."
    - after their own lusts--Instead of regarding the will of God they dislike being interrupted in their lusts by true teachers.
    - heap--one on another: an indiscriminate mass of false teachers. Variety delights itching ears. "He who despises sound teaching, leaves sound teachers; they seek instructors like themselves" [BENGEL]. It is the corruption of the people in the first instance, that creates priestcraft (Ex 32:1).
    - to themselves--such as will suit their depraved tastes; populus vult decipi, et decipiatur--"the people wish to be deceived, so let them be deceived." "Like priest, like people" (1Ki 12:31; Ho 4:9).
    - itching--like to hear teachers who give them mere pleasure (Ac 17:19-21), and do not offend by truths grating to their ears. They, as it were, tickle with pleasure the levity of the multitude [CICERO], who come as to a theater to hear what will delight their ears, not to learn [SENECA, Epistles, 10.8] what will do them good. "Itch in the ear is as bad in any other part of the body, and perhaps worse" [SOUTH].

    4. The ear brooks not what is opposed to the man's lusts.
    - turned--Greek, "turned aside" (1Ti 1:6). It is a righteous retribution, that when men turn away from the truth, they should be turned to fables (Jer 2:19).
    - fables-- (1Ti 1:4).

    5. I am no longer here to withstand these things; be thou a worthy successor of me, no longer depending on me for counsel, but thine own master, and swimming without the corks [CALVIN]; follow my steps, inherit their result, and the honor of their end [ALFORD].
    - watch thou--literally, "with the wakefulness of one sober."
    - in all things--on all occasions and under all circumstances (Tit 2:7).
    - endure affliction--suffer hardships [ALFORD].
    - evangelist--a missionary bishop preacher, and teacher.
    - make full proof of--fulfil in all its requirements, leaving nothing undone (Ac 12:25; Ro 15:19; Col 4:17).

    6. Greek, "For I am already being offered"; literally, as a libation; appropriate to the shedding of his blood. Every sacrifice began with an initiatory libation on the victim's head (compare Note, see on Php 2:17). A motive to stimulate Timothy to faithfulness--the departure and final blessedness of Paul; it is the end that crowns the work [BENGEL]. As the time of his departure was indicated to Peter, so to Paul (2Pe 1:14).
    - my departure--literally, "loosing anchor" (see on Php 1:23). Dissolution.

    7. "I have striven the good strife"; the Greek is not restricted to a fight, but includes any competitive contest, for example, that of the racecourse (1Ti 6:12 [ALFORD]; 1Co 9:24, &c.; Heb 12:1, 2).
    - kept the faith--the Christian faith committed to me as a believer and an apostle (compare 2Ti 1:14; Re 2:10; 3:10).

    8. a crown--rather as Greek, "the crown." The "henceforth" marks the decisive moment; he looks to his state in a threefold aspect: (1) The past "I have fought"; (2) The immediate present; "there is laid up for me." (3) The future "the Lord will give in that day" [BENGEL].
    - crown--a crown, or garland, used to be bestowed at the Greek national games on the successful competitor in wrestling, running, &c. (compare 1Pe 5:4; Re 2:10).
    - of righteousness--The reward is in recognition of righteousness wrought in Paul by God's Spirit; the crown is prepared for the righteous; but it is a crown which consists in righteousness. Righteousness will be its own reward (Re 22:11). Compare Ex 39:30. A man is justified gratuitously by the merits of Christ through faith; and when he is so justified God accepts his works and honors them with a reward which is not their due, but is given of grace. "So great is God's goodness to men that He wills that their works should be merits, though they are merely His own gifts" [POPE CELESTINE I., Epistles, 12].
    - give--Greek, "shall award" in righteous requital as "Judge" (Ac 17:31; 2Co 5:10; 2Th 1:6, 7).
    - in that day--not until His appearing (2Ti 1:12). The partakers of the first resurrection may receive a crown also at the last day, and obtain in that general assembly of all men, a new award of praise. The favorable sentence passed on the "brethren" of the Judge, who sit with Him on His throne, is in Mt 25:40, taken for granted as already awarded, when that affecting those who benefited them is being passed [BENGEL]. The former, the elect Church who reign with Christ in the millennium, are fewer than the latter. The righteous heavenly Judge stands in contrast to the unrighteous earthly judges who condemned Paul.
    - me--individual appropriation. Greek, "not only to me."
    - them that love--Greek, "have loved, and do love"; habitual love and desire for Christ's appearing, which presupposes faith (compare Heb 9:28). Compare the sad contrast, 2Ti 4:10, "having loved this present world."

    9. (2Ti 4:21; 2Ti 1:4, 8.) Timothy is asked to come to be a comfort to Paul, and also to be strengthened by Paul, for carrying on the Gospel work after Paul's decease.

    10. Demas--once a "fellow laborer" of Paul, along with Mark and Luke (Col 4:14; Phm 24). His motive for forsaking Paul seems to have been love of worldly ease, safety, and comforts at home, and disinclination to brave danger with Paul (Mt 13:20, 21, 22). CHRYSOSTOM implies that Thessalonica was his home.
    - Galatia--One oldest manuscript supports the reading "Gaul." But most oldest manuscripts, &c., "Galatia."
    - Titus--He must have therefore left Crete after "setting in order" the affairs of the churches there (Tit 1:5).
    - Dalmatia--part of the Roman province of Illyricum on the coast of the Adriatic. Paul had written to him (Tit 3:12) to come to him in the winter to Nicopolis (in Epirus), intending in the spring to preach the Gospel in the adjoining province of Dalmatia. Titus seems to have gone thither to carry out the apostle's intention, the execution of which was interrupted by his arrest. Whether he went of his own accord, as is likely, or was sent by Paul, which the expression "is departed" hardly accords with, cannot be positively decided. Paul here speaks only of his personal attendants having forsaken him; he had still friends among the Roman Christians who visited him (2Ti 4:21), though they had been afraid to stand by him at his trial (2Ti 4:16).

    11. Take--Greek, "take up" on thy journey (Ac 20:13, 14). John Mark was probably in, or near, Colosse, as in the Epistle to the Colossians (Col 4:10), written two years before this, he is mentioned as about to visit them. Timothy was now absent from Ephesus and somewhere in the interior of Asia Minor; hence he would be sure to fall in with Mark on his journey.
    - he is profitable to me for the ministry--Mark had been under a cloud for having forsaken Paul at a critical moment in his missionary tour with Barnabas (Ac 15:37-40; 13:5, 13). Timothy had subsequently occupied the same post in relation to Paul as Mark once held. Hence Paul, appropriately here, wipes out the past censure by high praise of Mark and guards against Timothy's making self-complacent comparisons between himself and Mark, as though he were superior to the latter (compare Phm 24). Demas apostatizes. Mark returns to the right way, and is no longer unprofitable, but is profitable for the Gospel ministry (Phm 11).

    12. And--Greek, "But." Thou art to come to me, but Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus to supply thy place (if thou so willest it) in presiding over the GOTO NEXT CHAPTER - D. J-F-B INDEX & SEARCH

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