|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:10-12 Timothy came to do the work of the Lord. Therefore to vex his spirit, would be to grieve the Holy Spirit; to despise him, would be to despise Him that sent him. Those who work the work of the Lord, should be treated with tenderness and respect. Faithful ministers will not be jealous of each other. It becomes the ministers of the gospel to show concern for each other's reputation and usefulness.
Verse 10. - Now if Timotheus come. St. Paul bad already sent on Timothy (2 Corinthians 4:17), with Erastus (Acts 19:22), to go to Corinth by way of Macedonia, and prepare for his visit. But possibly he had countermanded these directions when he postponed his own visit. In the uncertainties of ancient travelling, be could not be certain whether his counter order would reach Timothy or not. It appears to have done so, for nothing is said of any visit of Timothy to Corinth, and St. Paul sent Titus. Without fear. Timothy must at this time have been very young (1 Timothy 4:12). As a mere substitute for St. Paul's personal visit, he would be unacceptable. In every allusion to him we find traces of a somewhat timid and sensitive disposition (1 Timothy 5:21-23; 2 Timothy 1:6-8, etc.). He may well, therefore, have shrunk from the thought of meeting the haughty sophisters and disputatious partisans of Corinth. As I also do. "As a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel" (Philippians 2:22). St. Paul felt for Timothy a deeper personal tenderness than for any of his other friends, and the companionship of this gentle and devoted youth was one of the chief comforts of his missionary labour.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now if Timotheus come,.... The apostle had sent him already, as appears from 1 Corinthians 4:17 and he was now gone from him; but whether he might not be prevented by unforeseen incidents in his journey, he could not say; and therefore speaks cautiously of his coming; from whence it is evident, that this epistle was not sent by Timothy, as the subscription to it suggests.
See that he may be with you without fear; should he come to them, the apostle desires they would take care of him, that he might be safe and secure from enemies of every sort, of which there were many at Corinth; who, as they were of a malignant disposition to him, would use a disciple of his ill: and these were not only, or so much, infidels and profane sinners, but false teachers, and the factions under them, and especially they of the circumcision.
For he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do; which is a reason why they should be careful of him, that nobody molest him, and put him into fear; since though he was not in so high an office as the apostle, yet he was called to the same work of the ministry, was engaged in the same service of Christ, and was zealous in promoting the same common cause, interest, and kingdom of the Redeemer, and faithfully preached the same Gospel as the apostle did; and therefore would doubtless meet with the same enemies, and be in the same danger.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. Now—rather, "But." Therefore Timothy was not the bearer of the Epistle; for it would not then be said, "IF Timothy come." He must therefore have been sent by Paul from Ephesus before this Epistle was written, to accord with 1Co 4:17-19; and yet the passage here implies that Paul did not expect him to arrive at Corinth till after the letter was received. He tells them how to treat him "if" he should arrive. Ac 19:21, 22 clears up the difficulty: Timothy, when sent from Ephesus, where this Epistle was written, did not proceed direct to Corinth, but went first to Macedonia; thus though sent before the letter, he might not reach Corinth till after it was received in that city. The undesigned coincidence between the Epistle and the history, and the clearing up of the meaning of the former (which does not mention the journey to Macedonia at all) by the latter, is a sure mark of genuineness [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ]. It is not certain that Timothy actually reached Corinth; for in Ac 19:22 only Macedonia is mentioned; but it does not follow that though Macedonia was the immediate object of his mission, Corinth was not the ultimate object. The "IF Timothy come," implies uncertainty. 2Co 1:1 represents him with Paul in Macedonia; and 2Co 12:18, speaking of Titus and others sent to Corinth, does not mention Timothy, which it would have probably done, had one so closely connected with the apostle as Timothy was, stayed as his delegate at Corinth. The mission of Titus then took place, when it became uncertain whether Timothy could go forward from Macedonia to Corinth, Paul being anxious for immediate tidings of the state of the Corinthian Church. Alford argues that if so, Paul's adversaries would have charged him with fickleness in this case also (2Co 1:17), as in the case of his own change of purpose. But Titus was sent directly to Corinth, so as to arrive there before Timothy could by the route through Macedonia. Titus' presence would thus make amends for the disappointment as to the intended visit of Timothy and would disarm adversaries of a charge in this respect (2Co 7:6, 7).
without fear—Referring perhaps to a nervous timidity in Timothy's character (1Ti 3:15; 5:22, 24). His youth would add to this feeling, as well as his country, Lystra, likely to be despised in refined Corinth.
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