|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:9,10 Servants must know and do their duty to their earthly masters, with a reference to their heavenly one. In serving an earthly master according to Christ's will, He is served; such shall be rewarded by him. Not giving disrespectful or provoking language; but to take a check or reproof with silence, not making confident or bold replies. When conscious of a fault, to excuse or justify it, doubles it. Never putting to their own use that which is their master's, nor wasting the goods they are trusted with. Showing all good fidelity to improve a master's goods, and promote his thriving. If ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? Lu 16:12. True religion is an honour to the professors of it; and they should adorn it in all things.
Verse 10. - Purloining (νοσφιζομένους); literally, separating for their own use what does not belong to them. So Acts 5:2, 3, "to keep back part." It is used in the same sense by the LXX. Joshua 7:1 of Achan, and 2 Macc. 4:32 of Menelaus, and occasionally in classical Greek (Xenophon, Polybius, etc.). Showing (ἐνδεικνυμένους). It occurs eleven times in the New Testament, viz. twice in Hebrews, and nine times in St. Paul's acknowledged Epistles. All good fidelity. All fidelity means fidelity in everything where fidelity is required in a faithful servant - care of his master's property, conscientious labor, keeping of time, acting behind his master's back the same as before his face. The singular addition ἀγαθήν, coming after ἐνδεικνυμένους, must mean, as Bengel says, "in all good things." The duty of fidelity does not extend to crime or wrong-doing. The word "good" is like the addition in the oath of canonical obedience, "in all honest things," and is a necessary limitation to the preceding "all" (see Titus 3:1, and note). The doctrine (τὴν διδασκαλίον) as in ver. 1 (where see note). In Titus 1:9 (where see note) ἡ διδαχή is used in the same way. This use of διδασκαλία is confirmed by the reading of the R.T., which inserts a second τήν before τοῦ σωτῆρος. Adorn the doctrine. The sentiment is the same as that in 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 4:11. Christians are exhorted to give glory to God, and support and honor to the gospel of God's grace, by their good works and holy lives. God our Savior (see 1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:10; and above, Titus 1:3, note). In all things (ἐν πᾶσιν); as 1 Peter 4:11.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Not purloining..... Or stealing, embezzling their master's substance, taking away, and making use of what is their property, keeping back part of money or goods committed to their trust: the word is used in the case of Ananias and Sapphira. Acts 5:2,
but showing all good fidelity; approving themselves to be faithful servants in everything they are intrusted with:
that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things; Christ is our alone Saviour, and he is truly and properly God, and so fit and able to be a Saviour; and the Gospel is his doctrine, not only what he himself preached, when on earth, but it is a doctrine concerning him; concerning his deity, and the dignity of his person, and concerning his office as Mediator, and the great salvation by him; and which are so many reasons why it should be adorned by a suitable life and conversation; for this is what becomes the Gospel of Christ, throws a beauty upon it, and is ornamental to it; and in this way the doctrine of Christ may be, and ought to be, adorned by servants, as well as others: to adorn the Gospel, is first to believe and receive it, then to profess it, and hold fast that profession, and walk worthy of it. Two of Stephens's copies read, "in", or "among all men".
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. Not purloining—Greek, "Not appropriating" what does not belong to one. It means "keeping back" dishonestly or deceitfully (Ac 5:2, 3).
showing—manifesting in acts.
good—really good; not so in mere appearance (Eph 6:5, 6; Col 3:22-24). "The heathen do not judge of the Christian's doctrines from the doctrine, but from his actions and life" [Chrysostom]. Men will write, fight, and even die for their religion; but how few live for it! Translate, "That they may adorn the doctrine of our Saviour God," that is, God the Father, the originating author of salvation (compare Note, see on 1Ti 1:1). God deigns to have His Gospel-doctrine adorned even by slaves, who are regarded by the world as no better than beasts of burden. "Though the service be rendered to an earthly master, the honor redounds to God, as the servant's goodwill flows from the fear of God" [Theophylact]. Even slaves, low as is their status, should not think the influence of their example a matter of no consequence to religion: how much more those in a high position. His love in being "our Saviour" is the strongest ground for our adorning His doctrine by our lives. This is the force of "For" in Tit 2:11.
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