|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:14-18 There is as much danger from false brethren, as from open enemies. It is dangerous having to do with those who would be enemies to such a man as Paul. The Christians at Rome were forward to meet him, Ac 28, but when there seemed to be a danger of suffering with him, then all forsook him. God might justly be angry with them, but he prays God to forgive them. The apostle was delivered out of the mouth of the lion, that is, of Nero, or some of his judges. If the Lord stands by us, he will strengthen us in difficulties and dangers, and his presence will more than supply every one's absence.
Verse 14. - Will render to him for reward him, A.V. and T.R. Alexander; apparently an Ephesian, as appears by the words, "of whom be thou ware also." It seems probable, though it is necessarily uncertain, that this Alexander is the same person as that mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20 as "a blasphemer," which agrees exactly with what is here said of him, "he greatly withstood our words" (comp. Acts 13:45, "contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed"). He may or may not be the same as the Alexander named in Acts 19:33. Supposing the Alexander of 1 Timothy 1:20 and this place to be the same, the points of resemblance with the Alexander of Acts 19:33 are that both resided at Ephesus, that both seem to have been Christians (see note on 1 Timothy 1:20), and both probably Jews, inasmuch as 1 Timothy 1 relates entirely to Jewish heresies (vers. 4, 7, 8), and Acts 19:33 expressly states that he was a Jew. The coppersmith (ὁ χαλκεὺς; only here in the New Testament); properly, a coppersmith, but used generally of any smith - silversmith, or goldsmith, or blacksmith. Did me much evil (πολλά μοι κακὰ ἐνδείξατο). This is a purely Hellenistic idiom, and is found in the LXX. of Genesis 50:15, 17; Song of the Three Children, 19; 2 Macc. 13:9. In classical Greek the verb ἐνδείκυυμαι, in the middle voice, "to display," can only be followed by a subjective quality, as "good will," "virtue," "long suffering," an "opinion," and the like (see Alford, in loc.). And so it is used in 1 Timothy 1:16; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:2. The question naturally arises - When and where did Alexander thus injure St. Paul? - at Ephesus or at Rome? Bengel suggests Rome, and with great probability. Perhaps he did him evil by stirring up the Jews at Rome against the apostle at the time of "his first defence;" or by giving adverse testimony before the Roman tribunal, possibly accusing him of being seditious, and bringing up the riot at Ephesus as a proof of it; or in some other way, of which the memory has perished. Will render. The R.T. has the future, ἀποδώσει for the optative ἀποδώη, "a late and incorrect form for ἀποδοίη (Ellicott, in loc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil,.... This seems to be the same person that was at Ephesus in the tumult, when the apostle was there, Acts 20:33 and whom he afterwards delivered to Satan, along with Hymenaeus, for blasphemy, 1 Timothy 1:20. It was very likely he had lately been at Rome, though now returned to Ephesus, and had done great injury to the apostle's character, and had reproached and reviled him as a man of bad principles and practices; his business is mentioned, to distinguish him from any other of that name, and to show the insolence of the man, that though he was an illiterate person, and in such a mean station of life, yet took upon him to resist the apostle and his doctrine.
The Lord reward him according to his works; which may be considered either as an imprecation upon him, as knowing him to be a wicked blasphemer, and a reprobate person; and which arose, not from private resentment, and on account of the private injury he had done to him; but from a pure zeal for the glory of God, and the honour of his name, without mingling his own spirit and passions with it: or as a prophecy, or declaration of what would be; and so the Alexandrian copy, and the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions, read, "the Lord will render to him", &c.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. Alexander the coppersmith—or "smith" in general. Perhaps the same as the Alexander (see on 1Ti 1:20) at Ephesus. Excommunicated then he subsequently was restored, and now vented his personal malice because of his excommunication in accusing Paul before the Roman judges, whether of incendiarism or of introducing a new religion. See my Introduction. He may have been the Alexander put forward by the Jews in the tumult at Ephesus (Ac 19:33, 34).
reward—The oldest manuscripts read, "shall reward," or "requite him." Personal revenge certainly did not influence the apostle (2Ti 4:16, end).
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