|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:1-5 People will turn away from the truth, they will grow weary of the plain gospel of Christ, they will be greedy of fables, and take pleasure in them. People do so when they will not endure that preaching which is searching, plain, and to the purpose. Those who love souls must be ever watchful, must venture and bear all the painful effects of their faithfulness, and take all opportunities of making known the pure gospel.
Verse 4. - Will turn for they shall turn, A.V.; turn aside for shall be turned, A.V. Will turn away, etc. The sober, sound doctrine of the Word of God, teaching self-discipline, humility, and purity of heart and life, will not assuage their itching ears, and therefore they will turn away from it, and go after more congenial fables - those taught by the heretics. Turn aside (ἐκτραπήσοναι); as 1 Timothy 1:6, note. Fables (μύθους); see 1 Timothy 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:7; Titus 1:14; 2 Peter 1:16 (on the Jewish origin of these fables, see Bishop Ellicott's note on 1 Timothy 1:4).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth,.... The solid truths of the Gospel, not being able to bear the hearing of them:
and shall be turned unto fables; things idle, trifling, useless, and, unprofitable; and which are no better than old wives' fables; some respect may be had either to Jewish fables, or to the miraculous mythologies of the Gentiles, or of the Gnostics, and others: but in general, it includes everything that is vain, empty, and senseless; and this is to be considered as a just judgment upon them; that since they like not to retain the knowledge of the truth, but turn away their ears from it, God gives them up to a reprobate mind, a mind void of sense and judgment, to attend to things idle and fabulous.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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).
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