1 Corinthians 16:10
Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.
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(10) Now if Timotheus come . . .—Timothy and Erastus had been sent (see 1Corinthians 4:17) by St. Paul to remind the Corinthians of his former teaching, and to rebuke and check those evils of which rumours had reached the ears of the Apostle. As, however, they would travel through Macedonia, delaying en route at the various churches to prepare them for the visit which St. Paul, according to his then intention, purposed paying them after he had been to Corinth, they possibly might not reach Corinth until after this Epistle, which would be carried thither by a more direct route. The Apostle was evidently anxious to know how Timothy would be received by the Corinthians. He was young in years. He was young also in the faith. He had probably a constitutionally weak and timid nature (see 1Timothy 3:15; 2Timothy 1:4), and he was of course officially very subordinate to St. Paul. In a Church, therefore, some of whose members had gone so far as to question, if not actually to repudiate the authority even of the Apostle himself, and to depreciate him as compared with the elder Apostles, there was considerable danger for one like Timothy. By reminding the Corinthians of the work in which Timothy is engaged, and of its identity with his own work, the Apostle anticipates and protests against any insult being offered to Timothy, because of what a great English statesman once called, in reference to himself, “the atrocious crime of being a young man.”

1 Corinthians 16:10-12. Now if — In the mean time; Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear — Of any one’s despising him for his youth. Encourage him in his labours; for he worketh the work of the Lord — The true ground of reverence and love to pastors: those who do so, none ought to despise or discourage; but conduct him forth — Bring him forward on his journey; in peace — And do all that you can to make it commodious and agreeable to him; that he may come unto me — At Ephesus, as soon as possible; for I look for him with the brethren — Namely, Erastus, who had been sent with Timothy to Corinth, (Acts 19:22,) and Titus, who carried this letter, and another brother, whose name is not mentioned; (see 2 Corinthians 12:17-18;) perhaps also some of the Corinthian brethren, whom the apostle had desired Titus to bring with him to Ephesus, having need of their assistance. As touching Apollos — For whom many of you have so high a regard; I greatly desired him to come to you with Timothy and the other brethren — Having an entire confidence in his friendship, prudence, and fidelity, and hoping that his presence among you might have been particularly useful at this crisis; but his will was not to come at this time — Perhaps lest his coming should increase the divisions among them; but he will come when he shall have convenient time — Jerome says, Apollos actually went to Corinth, after the disturbances had ceased. But whether in this, Jerome delivered his own opinion only, or some ancient tradition, is uncertain.

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.Now if Timotheus come - Paul had sent Timothy to them (see the note at 1 Corinthians 4:17-18), but as he had many churches to visit, it was not absolutely certain that he would go to Corinth.

May be with you without fear - Let him be received kindly and affectionately. Timothy was then a young man; Acts 16:1-3; 1 Timothy 4:12. There might be some danger that he might feel himself embarrassed among the rich, the frivilous, and the great. Paul, therefore, asks them to encourage him, to receive him kindly, and not to embarrass him. Perhaps, also, there may be some reference to the false teachers whom Timothy might be called on to oppose. They were powerful, and they might endeavor to intimidate and alarm him. Paul, therefore, asks the church to sustain him in his efforts to defend the truth.

For he worketh the work of the Lord - He is engaged in the service of the Lord; and he is worthy of your confidence, and worthy to be sustained by you.

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.

He had told them, 1 Corinthians 4:17, that he had sent Timothy unto them, whom he there calleth his beloved son, and faithful in the Lord. Here he bespeaketh his welcome and security. It is probable he had it in commission from Paul to visit divers other churches in his journey to them, and therefore he speaketh of his coming as uncertain, but chargeth them, that if he did come, they would take care of him, that he might not be exposed to danger or trouble from any party amongst them.

For he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do; for (saith he) he is a minister of the gospel, and engaged in the same work of the Lord that I am.

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.

Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you {e} without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.

(e) Without any just occasion of fear.

1 Corinthians 16:10-11. Recommendation of Timothy (1 Corinthians 4:17) to be well received and escorted back. He is not the bearer of our Epistle (Bleek), but journeyed through Macedonia (Acts 19:22), and must arrive in Corinth later than the Epistl.

ἐὰν δὲ ἔλθῃ] if, indeed, he shall have come. Rückert holds that ὅταν would have been more correct. Either one or other was correct, just according to the conception of the writer. He conceives of the arrival of Timothy as conditioned by the circumstances, and therefore places it under the hypothetical, not under the temporal (ὅταν), point of vie.

ἵνα κ.τ.λ.] design of the βλέπετε: be careful, in order that he, etc. Paul might also have written negatively: βλέπετε, μὴ ἐν φόβῳ (1 Corinthians 2:3), or ἵνα μὴ ἐ. φ. (2 John 1:8), etc. The positive expression, however, demands more; his going out and in among the readers is to be free from fear. Comp. on γίνεσθαι with the adverb of the mode of the going out and in, Herod. i. 8, ix. 109; Plut. Alex. 69, Demetr. 11, Mor. p. 127 A; also Plato, Prot. 325 B; Tob 7:9; Tob 7:11; 1Ma 8:29. They are so to conduct themselves towards him that he shall not be intimidated among them. This peculiar ἀφόβως, as well as the reason assigned which follows τὸ γὰρ ἔργον κ.τ.λ., and the conclusion again drawn from it: μή τις οὖν αὐτ. ἐξουθενήσῃ, make it probable that Paul has in view not the ill-will of his own opponents, which his friend might encounter. (Osiander, Neander), with which the τὸ γὰρὡς καὶ ἐγώ does not well agree, but the youth of Timothy (1 Timothy 4:12), on account of which, in a church to some extent of a high-minded tendency, he might easily be not held in full respect, slighted and intimidated. So already Chrysostom and the majority of interpreters. The conjecture that Timothy was of a timid nature (de Wette) is without a trace of historical support, and is superfluous. Regarding τὸ ἔργ. τοῦ κυρ., see on 1 Corinthians 15:58.

ἐν εἰρήνῃ] is not to be explained from the formula: πορεύεσθαι ἐν εἰρήνῃ (so Calvin: “salvum ab omni noxa,” comp. Beza, Flatt, Maier), since, on the contrary, the context would lead us to think, in accordance with ἀφόβως and μή τις ἐξουθ., of a peaceful escort, a προπέμπειν in peace and concord, χωρὶς μάχης κ. φιλονεικίας (Chrysostom, Theophylact). Flatt and Hofmann refer ἐν εἰρ. to what follows (that he may come to me safely and without danger). But the subsequent reason assigned contains nothing referable to ἐν εἰρήνῃ, which must have been the case, had it been so emphatically put first. Besides, the escort to be given was not for protection, but in testimony of love and reverenc.

ἵνα ἔλθῃ πρός με] There is implied, namely, in προπέμψατε κ.τ.λ., with its aim as here defined: “in order that he may come (back) to me,” the admonition not to detain him too long in Corinth—for Paul is expecting hi.

μετὰ τῶν ἀδελφῶν] Several others, therefore, besides Erastus (Acts 19:22), had journeyed with Timothy.[107]

[107] To refer it to ἐκδέχ.: I with the brethren who are here (Bengel and de Wette undecidedly, older interpreters in Calovius, and again Hofmann), has the analogy of ver. 12 against it. It was usual that several should be sent together on such missions.

1 Corinthians 16:10-11. ἐὰν (not ὅταν) δὲ ἔλθῃ Τιμόθεος: “But if Timothy come”—his coming is not certain. He and Erastus have been before this sent to Macedonia (Acts 19:21 f.) in advance of P., with instructions to go forward to Cor[2647] (1 Corinthians 4:17 above); he might be expected to arrive about the same time as this letter. But local circumstances, or even the report of the unfriendly attitude of the Cor[2648] (Ed[2649]), might detain him in Mac. He is found in Mac. with P. when some months later 2 Cor. is written: there is no explicit ref[2650] in that Ep. to Timothy’s presence at Cor[2651] in the interval; but Titus’ visit and report are largely in evidence. Ed[2652] says, “In point of fact he (Tim.) did not come “(cf. Lt[2653], Journal of Sac. and Cl[2654] Philology, ii., 198 ff.; also El[2655]). But this assertion is too positive. In 1 Corinthians 4:17 above P. announced Tim.’s coming definitely and laid stress upon it. Tim. shares in the Address of 2 Cor., and the fact that he is associated by the Ap. with himself in the significant “we” of 1 Corinthians 7:2 ff. (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:5-11) points to his being involved in some way in the “grief” which P. had suffered from Cor[2656] subsequently to the writing of 1 Cor. Very possibly Timothy was the ἀδικηθεὶς of 2 Corinthians 7:12, in whose person, seeking as he did to carry out the directions of 1 Corinthians 4:17, Paul had been insulted by some prominent Cor[2657] Christian (ὁ ἀδικήσας).—If this actually happened, the apprehensions expressed here about the treatment Tim. might receive, proved only too well-founded: “see (to it) that without fear he may be with you” (or hold converse with you: γένηται πρὸς ὑμᾶς, see 1 Corinthians 2:3, and parls.) … “let no one then set him at naught”. These words point to Timothy’s diffidence, as well as to his comparative youth: see 1 Timothy 4:12, and the vein of exhortation in 2 Timothy 2:1-13 and 2 Timothy 3:10 to 2 Timothy 4:18. Tim. was P.’s complement, as Melanchthon was Luther’s—gentle, affectionate, studious, but not of robust or masculine character. The temper of the Cor[2658] Church would be peculiarly trying and discouraging to him. Paul hopes that regard for him will have some restraining effect upon the Cor[2659]—τὸ γὰρ ἔργον Κυρίου (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:58) κ.τ.λ. identifies Timothy in the strongest way with P. himself: cf. 1 Corinthians 4:17, Php 2:20; similarly respecting Titus, in 2 Corinthians 8:23. For ἐξουθενέω, see parls.—“But send him forward in peace”—for if Tim. attempts the task indicated in 1 Corinthians 4:17, a rupture is very possible, such as, we gather from 2 Corinthians 2, 7, actually ensued.—From the following words, “that he may come to me, for I am awaiting him,” it appears that P. expects Tim’s return before he leaves Eph.: cf., for the vb[2660], 1 Corinthians 11:33.—It is doubtful whether μετὰ τῶν ἀδελφῶν qualifies the subject—“I with the brethren”—those of 1 Corinthians 16:12-18, the Cor[2661] brethren now in Eph. and interested in Tim’s success at Cor[2662], who are delaying their return until he brings his report (so Hf[2663], Gd[2664]); or the object—“I await him with (= and) the brethren,” i.e. those, including possibly Erastus, whom P. expects to arrive at Eph. from Cor[2665] along with Tim. (so most interpreters). The relevancy of the words on the latter construction is not obvious. On the former view, “the brethren” of 1 Corinthians 16:11-12 are the same, being the deputies who had brought over the Cor[2666] Church Letter to P., and who are now awaiting Tim’s return before they themselves return home. This hints an additional reason why the Cor[2667] should with all speed send Timothy back to Paul “in peace”.

[2647] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[2648] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[2649] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.

[2650] reference.

[2651] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[2652] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.

[2653] J. B. Lightfoot’s (posthumous) Notes on Epp. of St. Paul (1895).

[2654] classical.

[2655] C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.

[2656] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[2657] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[2658] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[2659] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[2660] verb

[2661] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[2662] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[2663] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[2664] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

[2665] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[2666] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[2667] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

10. Now if Timotheus come] See note on 1 Corinthians 4:17. The question whether Timothy arrived at Corinth before the Apostle, or whether he was detained in Macedonia until St Paul came thither, is one which admits of no certain decision. Dean Alford thinks Timothy arrived there first, and supports his view by the considerations, (1) that his mission is announced in terms too precise to be lightly given up, and (2) that its abandonment would have exposed the Apostle to an additional charge of inconsistency of which we never hear. But, on the other hand, it is remarkable that while we hear a good deal in the second Epistle of Titus’ mission and the report he brought back (ch. 2 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Corinthians 7:6; 2 Corinthians 7:13, 2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 8:16-18, 2 Corinthians 12:18), there is not a word said about Timothy’s arrival at Corinth, or of his return to St Paul, although (ch. 1 Corinthians 1:1) he was with St Paul when that Epistle was written.

see that he may be with you without fear] Paley and the late Professor Blunt have remarked on the remarkable agreement of this passage with what we elsewhere learn of the character of Timothy. For (1) he was young (1 Timothy 4:12), and (2) he seems to have been deficient in courage (1 Timothy 5:21-23, 2 Timothy 1:6-8; 2 Timothy 2:1; 2 Timothy 2:3; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 4:1-2). If this be the case, there would be special need for this injunction, in the condition in which the Corinthian Church then was. And Timothy must then have been very young indeed. After ten years had passed away, the Apostle could still say, ‘Let no man despise thy youth.

1 Corinthians 16:10. Δἑ, now) An antithesis between Paul himself and his substitute, Timothy.[158]—ἀφύβως, without fear) This will be the case, if no man shall have despised him. If some despised Paul, how much more readily would they depise the youthful native of Lystra.—Κυρίου, of the Lord) Christ.—ἐρλάζεται, worketh) It is right that this work should be performed without fear. This constitutes the foundation of true respect to the ministers of the gospel.

[158] Τιμόθεος, Timothy) was the bearer of this epistle.—V. g.

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. 1 Corinthians 16:10
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