1 Timothy 1:18
This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;
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(18) This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy.—The nature of the charge which he committed to Timothy must be gathered from the solemn words and thoughts of the foregoing passage—1Timothy 1:15-16. The sum of it was that men should put their whole trust in Him who came into the world to save sinners, and who alone was able to lead them into everlasting life. There is something very solemn in St. Paul’s pressing home this charge to Timothy, and invoking the memory of the prophecies which went before on him. The charge was the last precious heritage, the priceless treasure which the old master, feeling that for him the end was not far distant, would leave to his favourite disciple—his own dear son in the faith. Anxious above measure for the loved group of Asian churches, of which Ephesus was the centre, foreseeing that the present perils and dangers from within and without would rapidly close round the congregations, and placing his greatest earthly hope on the steadfastness and knowledge of his own dear disciple whom he had left there as a shepherd to the sheep, he charges his son Timothy, by the memory of those strange prophetic utterances which, years before, had been made over him (Acts 17:1-2) in Lystra or Derbe, and which, perhaps, had first induced him to choose the young son of Eunice as his friend and companion, to hold fast the blessed doctrine which taught men to put their whole trust in Jesus Christ.

According to the prophecies which went before on thee.—These prophetic utterances seem to have been not unfrequent in the days of the Apostles, and were among the precious gifts which enriched and encouraged the Church of the first days. We read of them at Jerusalem (Acts 11:27-28), at Antioch (Acts 13:1-2), at Corinth (1 Corinthians 14), at Cæsarea (Acts 21:8-10).

In the case of Timothy they appear to have been farseeing glances into the life and the work and the teaching of the future Christian leader; here the last named—the doctrine and teaching—is especially referred to. The prophecies in question were uttered, no doubt, over him at his ordination, and, possibly, some of them at his baptism.

That thou by them mightest war a good warfare.—Better rendered, that thou in them, &c. St. Paul committed the sacred charge to Timothy concerning the faith in full confidence that, in accordance with those well-remembered glorious predictions which had been made foretelling his future zeal and success in the promulgation of the gospel, that in these—accoutred in these as his spiritual protection and armour—Timothy would wage his warfare against sin and evil.

St. Paul’s words in this verse may be thus paraphrased: I give this charge to you, son Timothy, in accordance with those well-remembered predictions respecting your future steadfastness in doctrine and in life. I remind you now of them, Do not disappoint these grand hopes—these prophecies of your future—but bear them ever in your mind. Equip yourself in them as your spiritual armour, and so armed, fight your Master’s fight against sin and evil—eine gute Ritterschaft, according to Luther.

The war imagery here used St. Paul employs again and again: the good warfare. (Comp. 1Timothy 6:12.) To the old, tried Apostle a Christian’s life is a warfare in the truest sense of the word: to every believer it is a weary, painful campaign. In the case of the professed teachers a sleepless vigilance was especially demanded.

1 Timothy 1:18-20. This charge — To the Judaizers not to teach differently, or this office of the ministry; I commit unto thee — That thou mayest deliver it to the church; according to — Or, being encouraged by; the prophecies which went before on thee — He refers to some special revelations concerning Timothy, that he should be taken into the ministry, and be eminently useful therein; probably these were uttered when he was first received as an evangelist, (see 1 Timothy 4:14,) and that by many persons, 1 Timothy 6:12. That being assured by them that thy calling is from God, and that his grace and blessing will accompany thee, thou mightest war a good warfare — Mightest execute thy office with courage, resolution, and persevering diligence, notwithstanding all opposition and discouragements whatever. Holding fast a true and lively faith — In the gospel and its divine Author; and a good conscience — That is, walking uprightly before God and man, according to the directions of an enlightened and renewed mind; which — Namely, a good conscience; someΑπωσαμενοι, having thrust away, or rejected. “It departs unwillingly,” says Bengelius, “it always says; ‘Do not hurt me;’ and they who retain this, do not easily make shipwreck of their faith.” Indeed, none can make shipwreck of faith who never had faith. The persons here spoken of, therefore, were once true believers; yet they fell, not only foully, but finally. For ships once wrecked cannot be afterward saved. “In this metaphorical passage the apostle insinuates that a good conscience is the pilot, who must guide us in our voyage through the stormy sea of this life into the harbour of heaven.” Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander — Two of the corrupt teachers at Ephesus, whom Timothy was left to oppose; whom I have delivered unto Satan — See on 1 Corinthians 5:5; that they may learn not to blaspheme — That by what they suffer they may be, in some measure, restrained from speaking evil of the truths of God. The apostles delivered obstinate offenders to Satan, not only for their own reformation, but to strike terror on others. If the offender, in consequence of this punishment, was afflicted with some bodily disease, it probably was removed on his repentance, or after a time. And even though it continued, some of the offenders may have been so obstinate in their wicked courses, that they did not amend. This seems to have been the case with the two persons here named; “for notwithstanding the apostle, after his departure, punished them by delivering them to Satan, they persevered in spreading their erroneous doctrines, 2 Timothy 2:17; 2 Timothy 4:14. At what time the apostle delivered these persons to Satan does not appear; but from his informing Timothy of it as a thing he did not know, it may be conjectured that the apostle did it after he left Ephesus, and was come into Macedonia, probably immediately before he wrote this epistle. And as it was done without the knowledge or concurrence of the church at Ephesus, it was not the censure called excommunication, but an exercise of miraculous power, which was peculiar to him as an apostle.” — Macknight.

1:18-20 The ministry is a warfare against sin and Satan; carried on under the Lord Jesus, who is the Captain of our salvation. The good hopes others have had of us, should stir us up to duty. And let us be upright in our conduct in all things. The design of the highest censures in the primitive church, was, to prevent further sin, and to reclaim the sinner. May all who are tempted to put away a good conscience, and to abuse the gospel, remember that this is the way to make shipwreck of faith also.This charge - This command or injunction. It does not refer to any "charge," or "cure," which he had as bishop or minister, as the word is sometimes used now, but to the commands or injunctions which he was delivering to him. The command particularly referred to is that in 1 Timothy 1:8.

According to the prophecies which went before on thee - The general meaning of this is plain. It is, that Paul was committing to him an important trust, and one that required great wisdom and fidelity; and that in doing it he was acting in conformity with the hopes which had been cherished respecting Timothy, and with certain expressed anticipations about his influence in the church. From early life the hope had been entertained that he would be a man to whom important trusts might be committed; and it had been predicted that he would be distinguished as a friend of religion. These hopes seem to have been cherished in consequence of the careful training in religion which he had had 2 Timothy 2:1; 2 Timothy 3:15, and probably from the early indications of seriousness, prudence, and piety, which he manifested. It was natural to entertain such hopes, and it seems, from this place, that such hopes had even assumed the form of predictions.

It is not absolutely necessary to suppose that these predictions referred to by the word prophecies were inspired, for the word may be used in a popular sense, as it is often now. We speak now familiarly of predicting or foretelling the future usefulness of a serious, prudent, studious, and pious youth. We argue from what he is, to what he will be, and we do not deem it unsafe or improper to hazard the prediction that, if he lives, he will be a man to whom important interests may be entrusted. As there were, however. prophets in the Christian church (Acts 11:27 note; 1 Corinthians 14 notes), and as it is possible that in some cases they were inspired to foretell future events, it cannot be regarded as improper to suppose that some of them had foretold the future usefulness of this religiously educated youth. Whatever may be meant by the expression, this general observation may be made, that when a young man enters on the active duties of life, and when great interests are entrusted to him, it is not improper to remind him of the hopes which had been cherished of him; of the anticipations which had been formed of his future usefulness; and of the expressions which have been used by the pious and the discerning respecting his future character. This is a kind of reminiscence which will rather increase his sense of responsibility than flatter his vanity; and it may be made a means of exciting him to diligence and fidelity. A virtuous young man will not willingly disappoint the long-cherished hopes of his friends. He will be likely to be made more diligent by the remembrance of all their fond anticipations of his future success.

That thou by them - By those prophecies. That is, that being stimulated and excited by those predictions and hopes, you might be led to fidelity and usefulness.

Mightest war a good warfare - The Christian life is often compared to a warfare or struggle for victory (compare Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 4:4), and the services of the Christian ministry especially are likened to those of a soldier; 2 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Timothy 4:7. The meaning here is, that he should contend with earnestness as a Christian and a minister in that holy service in which he was engaged, and endeavor to secure the victory. He "wars a good warfare" who is engaged in a righteous cause; who is faithful to his commander and to his post; who is unslumbering in observing the motions of the enemy, and fearless in courage in meeting them; who never forsakes his standard, and who continues thus faithful until the period of his enlistment has expired, or until death. Such a soldier the Christian minister should be.

18. He resumes the subject begun at 1Ti 1:3. The conclusion (apodosis) to the foregoing, "as I besought thee … charge" (1Ti 1:3), is here given, if not formally, at least substantially.

This charge—namely, "that thou in them (so the Greek) mightest war," that is, fulfil thy high calling, not only as a Christian, but as a minister officially, one function of which is, to "charge some that they teach no other doctrine" (1Ti 1:3).

I commit—as a sacred deposit (1Ti 6:20; 2Ti 2:2) to be laid before thy hearers.

according to—in pursuance of; in consonance with.

the prophecies which went before on thee—the intimations given by prophets respecting thee at thy ordination, 1Ti 4:14 (as, probably, by Silas, a companion of Paul, and "a prophet," Ac 15:32). Such prophetical intimation, as well as the good report given of Timothy by the brethren (Ac 16:2), may have induced Paul to take him as his companion. Compare similar prophecies as to others: Ac 13:1-3, in connection with laying on of hands; Ac 11:28; 21:10, 11; compare 1Co 12:10; 14:1; Eph 4:11. In Ac 20:28, it is expressly said that "the Holy Ghost had made them (the Ephesian presbyters) overseers." Clement of Rome [Epistle to the Corinthians], states it was the custom of the apostles "to make trial by the Spirit," that is, by the "power of discerning," in order to determine who were to be overseers and deacons in the several churches planted. So Clement of Alexandria says as to the churches near Ephesus, that the overseers were marked out for ordination by a revelation of the Holy Ghost to St. John.

by them—Greek, "in them"; arrayed as it were in them; armed with them.

warfare—not the mere "fight" (1Ti 6:12; 2Ti 4:7), but the whole campaign; the military service. Translate as Greek, not "a," but "the good warfare."

This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy: the term son, here applied to Timothy, whom he elsewhere calls his brother, is not a term of natural relation, but of spiritual relation, and of affectionate friendship and endearment. By the charge mentioned he probably means that before mentioned, 1 Timothy 1:3,4, to charge the false teachers to teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables, & c.

According to the prophecies which went before on thee: these prophecies were either the judgments of good men before concerning him, or (which possibly is more probable) some Divine revelations Paul, or some believers, had received concerning this young man.

That thou by them mightest war a good warfare; that thou, having heard of them, or remembering them, (though thou meetest with opposition as a minister and as a Christian, yet) mightest not be discouraged, but preach and hold the faith, against all opposers. So the apostle expoundeth himself.

This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy,.... After a digression the apostle had made concerning himself, his conversion, and call to the ministry, he returns to his former subject, and original design, and renews the charge he gave to Timothy; and which was not only an order to charge others to teach no other doctrine than that of the Gospel; but includes the charge of preaching it himself, and intends the glorious Gospel of the blessed God committed to his trust, and the whole form of sound words he had heard of him, and which he had charged him to keep pure and incorrupt: and this was done,

according to the prophecies which went before on thee; by which are meant, not the prophecies of the Old Testament, though of these Timothy had a considerable share of knowledge from a child, and was hereby greatly qualified to have such a charge committed to him; but then these were not prophecies concerning him, but the Messiah, his person, office, kingdom, and grace: nor are any particular revelations made unto the Apostle Paul concerning Timothy intended, of which there is no account; the revelations and visions he had, related not to men, and their characters, but to doctrines; rather the testimonies of the brethren at Lystra and Iconium, and the good reports they made of him to the apostle, which promised and foreboded future usefulness, are designed; though it seems best of all to understand these prophecies of such as were delivered out by the prophets in the church, for such there were in those times; who, when Timothy was a child, or a youth, foretold that he would have great gifts bestowed upon him, and would be a very useful, diligent, laborious, and successful preacher of the Gospel; and therefore the apostle mentions these to stimulate him the more to the discharge of his work, that he might answer the prophecies concerning him: for he adds,

that thou by them mightest war a good warfare: that is, that in consideration of the charge committed to him, and the prophecies that went before of him, might be the more industrious to fulfil his ministry, is signified by a warfare, in allusion to the service of the Levites, which is so called, Numbers 8:24 with zeal and courage, faithfulness and integrity: for not that warfare is intended, which is common to all believers; who being enlisted as volunteers under Christ, the Captain of their salvation, and having on the whole armour of God, fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil; and are more than conquerors through him that has loved them: but that warfare, which is peculiar to the ministers of the word; whose business it is more especially to fight the good fight of faith, and as good soldiers of Christ, to endure hardness for the sake of him, and his Gospel; and who, besides the other enemies, have to do with false teachers; and their warfare lies in publishing and defending the Gospel of Christ, and in contending for it, and in the weakening of Satan's kingdom, and enlarging the kingdom of Christ; and for which the weapons of their warfare are peculiarly made, and are eminently succeeded; and when they are used to such good purposes, by the ministers of the Gospel, they war a good warfare.

{15} This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by {l} them mightest war a good warfare;

(15) The conclusion of both the former fatherly admonitions, that is, that Timothy striving bravely against all stops, being called to the ministry according to many prophecies which went before of him, should both maintain the doctrine which he had received, and keep also a good conscience.

(l) By the help of them.

1 Timothy 1:18. Paul again addresses himself to Timothy direct.

ταύτην τὴν παραγγελίαν] cannot be referred back to ἵνα παραγγείλῃς in 1 Timothy 1:3 (Otto), because there he was speaking of a παραγγελία which Timothy was to receive, here he is speaking of a παραγγελία to which Timothy was to give heed. Nor can it be referred to καθὼς παρεκάλεσά σε (Plitt), since that denotes only a special commission, to which there is here no allusion. Some have therefore joined ταύτην immediately with the following ἵνα, and taken ἵνα as introducing the object (so Chrysostom and Theophylact, Matthies, de Wette, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee; also in this commentary; comp. Winer, pp. 314 f. [E. T. p. 422]). This construction, however, is opposed by the order of the words; after the verb and the parenthesis κατὰ τὰς κ.τ.λ., we no longer expect an expansion of the thought contained in ταύτην τ. παρ.[73] The only course remaining is to agree with Hofmann in referring ταύτ. τ. παραγγ. back to τῆς παραγγελίας in 1 Timothy 1:5; not, however, agreeing with him in interpreting the word here, “the Christian teaching,” but taking it in the same sense in both places.

παρατίθεμαί σοι] comp. 2 Timothy 2:2. The verb is here explained by most expositors, against usage, as equivalent to “lay to heart” (Luther: “order,” in the sense of “recommend to”). Otto, and following him Hofmann, took it in the sense of “give something into one’s charge” which meaning is possible, but not imperative. In itself the word means “bring something before one,” and is defined more precisely by its context, i.e. the purpose of bringing before is not contained in the word itself. Παρατίθεσθαι παραγγελίαν may therefore quite well mean: propose a command to one, viz. that he may act in accordance with it.[74]

ΤΈΚΝΟΝ ΤΙΜ.] see 1 Timothy 1:1.

ΚΑΤᾺ ΤᾺς ΠΡΟΑΓΟΎΣΑς ἘΠῚ ΣῈ ΠΡΟΦΗΤΕΊΑς] Before giving the command itself, Paul inserts these words to add force to his exhortation; for they are not (as some expositors, Oecumenius, Heumann, Flatt, wish) to be placed after ἽΝΑ in sense, but to be joined with ΠΑΡΑΤΊΘΕΜΑΙ.

, “in conformity with” not “justified and occasioned by.”

προαγούσας stands here quite absolutely, with the same meaning as in Hebrews 7:18 : ἈΘΈΤΗΣΙςΓΊΝΕΤΑΙ ΠΡΟΑΓΟΎΣΗς ἘΝΤΟΛῆς, “the law that preceded;”[75] the ΠΡΟΑΓ. ΠΡΟΦΗΤ. are accordingly “the promises that preceded.” Matthies is wrong in explaining προάγουσα in connection with ἘΠῚ ΣΈ, as equivalent to “leading towards thee,” i.e. “pointing or aiming towards thee.” This meaning προάγειν never has; as a transitive verb it certainly means: “lead forward to any one;” but this is manifestly a different idea from that which Matthies ascribes to it. Otto explains it: “the prophecies that guide to thee,” making appeal to Xenophon, Memorab. iv. 1, in which passage Kühner paraphrases προάγειν by viam monstrare. In this case we should have to understand it: those among the prophecies that showed others the way leading to Timothy, a statement clearly without meaning. It is, however, altogether arbitrary when Otto defines the prophecies more precisely as those that led to Timothy’s ordination, or occasioned it.

ἐπὶ σέ] is not to be connected with ΠΡΟΑΓΟΎΣΑς, but with ΠΡΟΦΗΤΕΊΑς, as Luther rightly translates it: “according to the former prophecies regarding thee;” or de Wette: “in accordance with the preceding prophecies on thee” (so, too, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Plitt, Hofmann). On the other hand, the translation: “vaticinia olim de te praenuntiata” (Heydenreich), is inaccurate. ΑἹ ἘΠῚ ΣῈ ΠΡΟΦ. are: the prophecies (expressed) over thee (the peculiar meaning of ἘΠΊ as descending to something should not be overlooked); while ΠΡΟΑΓ. describes these as preceding Timothy’s apostleship.[76]

ΠΡΟΦΗΤΕΊΑς] Chrysostom: ΤῸ Τῆς ΔΙΔΑΣΚΑΛΊΑς ΚΑῚ ἹΕΡΩΣΎΝΗς ἈΞΊΩΜΑ, ΜΈΓΑ ὌΝ, Τῆς ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ ΔΕῖΤΑΙ ΨΉΦΟΥΔΙᾺ ΤῸ ΠΑΛΑΙῸΝ ἈΠῸ Τῆς ΠΡΟΦΗΤΕΊΑς ΓΊΝΟΝΤΑΙ ΟἹ ἹΕΡΕῖς, ΤΟΥΤΈΣΤΙ ἈΠΌ ΠΝΕΎΜΑΤΟς ἉΓΊΟΥ. ΟὝΤΩς Ὁ ΤΙΜ. ᾙΡΈΘΗ. This is wrong, simply because Timothy’s office was not a priestly one. It is quite arbitrary to translate ΠΡΟΦΗΤΕῖΑΙ by: “doctrines, exhortations,” or “hopes,” or “good testimonies” (Heinrichs: “by means of the good hope and expectation which every one cherished regarding thee”). ΠΡΟΦΗΤΕῖΑΙ here, as always, are utterances proceeding from the Holy Spirit, whatever be their contents or their occasion; here it is most natural to think of prophecies made when the ἘΠΊΘΕΣΙς ΤῶΝ ΧΕΙΡῶΝ ΤΟῦ ΠΡΕΣΒΥΤΕΡΊΟΥ (chap. 1 Timothy 4:14) was imparted to Timothy and made regarding his worthy discharge of the office (Wiesinger).[77]

ἽΝΑ ΣΤΡΑΤΕΎῌ ἘΝ ΑὐΤΑῖς ΤῊΝ ΚΑΛῊΝ ΣΤΡΑΤΕΊΑΝ] Purpose of the ΠΑΡΑΤΊΘΕΜΑΊ ΣΟΙ. ΣΤΡΑΤΕΊΑ (elsewhere only in 2 Corinthians 10:4) is frequently translated inaccurately by “fight;” Luther is more correct: “that thou mayest exercise in it a good knighthood.” Στρατεία denotes the entire warfare; the only thing wrong in Luther’s translation is the indefinite article. Though the Christian calling is not seldom described as a warfare, yet here the word is used specially of Timothy’s office, in which he had to contend against the ἙΤΕΡΟΔΙΔΑΣΚΑΛΟῦΝΤΕς (1 Timothy 1:3 ff.).[78] De Wette inaccurately explains it: “that thou conduct thyself worthily and bravely in the discharge of thy evangelic duty;” as if the words were: ἽΝΑ ΚΑΛῶς ΣΤΡΑΤ. ΤῊΝ ΣΤΡΑΤΕΊΑΝ. The chief accent rests on ἘΝ ΑὐΤΑῖς, not on ΚΑΛΉΝ; the ΣΤΡΑΤΕΊΑ assigned to Timothy is in itself ΚΑΛΉ, quite apart from his behaviour in it.

ἘΝ ΑὐΤΑῖς] According to Matthies, Winer (p. 362 [E. T. p. 484]), Wiesinger, Otto, and others, Paul conceives the ΠΡΟΦΗΤΕῖΑΙ, as an armour round Timothy: “as though equipped with them;” it might, however, be more natural to translate: “within them,” i.e. in their limits, not exceeding them. The interpretation: in accordance with them (van Oosterzee, Hofmann: “the prophecies are to be regarded as a rule of conduct”), is against the usage of the N. T.

[73] Hofmann wrongly maintains that this construction is impossible in point of language and in point of fact: “in point of language, because παρατίθεσθαι does not mean lay to heart, but propose, and a command is not proposed (why not?); in point of fact, because what he calls τὰς προαγούσας ἐπί σε cannot furnish any standard for the apostle’s injunction to Timothy to discharge his office well” (why not?).

[74] In Matthew 13:24; Matthew 13:31, it is joined with παραβολήν; it is used of setting forth a doctrine in Acts 17:3; it is chiefly used of setting forth food, as in the N. T. Mark 8:7; Luke 9:16; Luke 10:8; Luke 11:6; it has the sense of “committing to the care of” in Luke 12:48.

[75] Comp. Lünemann and Delitzsch on the passage. Otto is wrong in asserting that προάγειν is never used of priority of time. While it occurs more frequently in the sense of “precede some one,” it has in other passages of the N. T. (e.g. Matthew 26:32; Mark 6:45) the meaning practically of “go before some one in any direction whatever,” the notion of space manifestly passing into that of time. In the passage in Hebrews, Otto thinks that προάγουσα ought to mean: “driving forward from one election of high priest to another” (!).

[76] In taking the words thus: αἱ ἐπὶ σὲ προφητεῖαι, there is not, as Otto maintains, a change of order not occurring in Greek; comp. 2 Corinthians 8:2 : ἡ κατὰ βάθους πτωχεία αὐτῶν. It is also wrong to say that the prepositional clause must flow from the substantive, and that περί, therefore, should stand here for ἐπί. In the passage quoted, κατά manifestly does not flow from the idea of the substantive πτωχεία.

[77] According to Hofmann, they were prophecies “which had promised to Paul that Timothy would be a true servant of the gospel, and had confirmed him in his choice when he assumed Timothy as his colleague in the apostleship.”

[78] Manifestly Paul here returns to vv. 3 ff., and so far gives reason for saying that here “we have not in form but in substance” the apodosis which was wanting before (Wiesinger).

1 Timothy 1:18-20. The charge that I am giving you now is in harmony with what you heard from the prophets at your ordination. It only emphasises the fundamental moral relations of man to things unseen and seen. The rejection of these principles of natural religion naturally issues in a perversion of revealed religion, such as caused the excommunication of Hymenaeus and Alexander.

18–20. Faithful Ministry. Timothy is further reminded of the fall of some false Teachers

18. This charge] From note on 1 Timothy 1:5 we shall see no difficulty in the reference of the words here. St Paul has put ‘the charge’ of which he is full in two different ways in 3–11 and 12–17; he puts it now in another in 18–20. The pronoun ‘this’ should refer according to its proper usage to something already set forth rather than to something new; and so we may paraphrase, ‘This is my charge to teach the old simple truths, with a heart and life that retain still the old penitent gratitude and devotion; I trust to you this life and work, as a precious jewel; so precious that to guard and keep it you must be never off duty, always Christ’s faithful soldier and servant.’

Song of Solomon Timothy] As in 1 Timothy 1:2, my child Timothy.

the prophecies which went before on thee] “The allusion is to prophecies uttered, as is supposed, at or before his ordination, given then for the purpose of encouraging the Church to make, and Timothy to accept the appointment, in view perhaps of his extreme youth, and possibly also slender frame: prophecies of the arduous nature of the work and of Divine aid in it.” Fairbairn. They were utterances at Lystra by Silas (cf. Acts 15:32) and others of the ‘prophets’ of the N.T., spoken under the influence of the Holy Spirit, as in St Paul’s own case at Antioch, Acts 13:2; ‘forth-tellings’ of the Divine Will, to which St Paul refers partly as warranting him in his appointment of so young a man to so important a charge, partly as encouraging Timothy himself to brave effort. Cf. 1 Timothy 4:14; and Introduction, pp. 16, 58. The marginal rendering of R.V. ‘which led the way to thee,’ i.e. “the premonitions of the Holy Spirit which pointed to thee” modifies, as Bp Ellicott, unnecessarily the simple meaning both of noun and verb.

a good warfare] Rather render the whole clause that in them thou mayest war the good warfare; in them as his heavenly armour—to ward off scorn from without and doubt from within.

Compare the well-known hymn, translating St Paul’s previous call to arms in his letter to the same parts, Ephesians 6.

Stand then in His great might

With all His strength endued,

And take to arm you for the fight

The panoply of God.

1 Timothy 1:18. Παρατίθεμαί σοι, I commit to thee) to lay before thy hearers, 1 Timothy 1:3. [Its sum is indicated in 1 Timothy 1:5.—V. g.]—προαγούσας, that went before) When hands were laid on Timothy, the spirit of prophecy showed that many things of great importance were about to be entrusted to Timothy, ch. 1 Timothy 4:14.—προφητείας) Divine predictions (Acts 11:27), given forth regarding thee by many witnesses, ch. 1 Timothy 6:12.—στρατεύῃ, mightest war) A comparison taken from military concerns. In the following verse the comparison is from naval concerns.—αὐταῖς) προφητείαις, viz. the predictions.—τὴν καλὴν στρατείαν) that good warfare.

Verse 18. - My child for son, A.V.; by them thou mayest for thou by them mightest, A.V.; the good for a good, A.V. This charge. The apostle now picks up the thread which he had dropped at ver. 4, and solemnly commits to Timothy the episcopal care of the Ephesian Church, for which he had bid him stop at Ephesus. Omitting the long digression in vers. 5-17, the sense runs clearly thus: "As I besought thee to tarry at Ephesus in order that thou mightest charge some not to teach a different doctrine, so now do I place this charge in thy hands, according to the prophecies which pointed to thee, that thou mayest war the good warfare according to the tenor of them." He thus adds that he entrusted this charge to Timothy, not mero motu, but according to direct indications of the Holy Ghost, through the prophets of the Church, which pointed out Timothy as the person who was to war that good warfare. The words, ἵνα στρατεύῃ ἐν αὐταῖς τὴν καλὴν στρατείαν, might possibly depend upon τὰς προαγούσας ἐπί σε, meaning that those prophecies had this end in pointing to Timothy, viz. that he might war the good warfare, that he might be placed in the difficult post of στρατηγός, and the ἐν αὐταῖς follows rather more naturally in this case. But it is, perhaps, better to take them as dependent upon παρατίθεμαι. By them (ἐν αὐταῖς). Here ἐν may be either the causae efficiens, indicating that by the influence of these prophecies Timothy would war the good warfare, or be equivalent to κατὰ, "according to" (see Schleusner's 'Lexicon'). 1 Timothy 1:18This charge (ταύτην τὴν παραγγελίαν)

See on 1 Timothy 1:5. It refers to what follows, that thou might'st war, etc.

I commit (παρατίθεμαι)

The verb in the active voice means to place beside. In the middle, to deposit or intrust. Only once in Paul, 1 Corinthians 10:27. Comp. 1 Peter 4:19.

According to the prophecies which went before on thee (κατὰ τὰς προαγούσας ἐπὶ σὲ προφητείας)

Const, according to with I:commit: which went before is to be taken absolutely, and not with on thee: const. prophecies with on these. On thee means concerning thee. The sense of the whole passage is: "I commit this charge unto thee in accordance with prophetic intimations which I formerly received concerning thee." Prophecy is ranked among the foremost of the special spiritual endowments enumerated by Paul. See Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 13:2, 1 Corinthians 13:8; 1 Corinthians 14:6, 1 Corinthians 14:22. In 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11, prophets come next after apostles in the list of those whom God has appointed in the church. In Ephesians 2:20, believers, Jew and Gentile, are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. According to 1 Timothy 4:14, prophecy has previously designated Timothy as the recipient of a special spiritual gift; and the prophecies in our passage are the single expressions or detailed contents of the prophecy mentioned there. Προαγεῖν to go before is not used by Paul. In the Pastorals and Hebrews it appears only as an intransitive verb, and so in the only instance in Luke, Luke 18:39. In Acts always transitive, to bring forth. See Acts 12:6; Acts 16:30; Acts 17:5; Acts 25:26.

That by them (ἵνα ἐν αὐταῖς)

Ἵνα that denoting the purport of the charge. By them (ἐν), lit. in them; in their sphere, or, possibly, in the power of these.

Thou mightiest war a good warfare (στρατεύῃ - τὴν καλὴν στρατείαν)

More correctly, the good warfare. Στρατεία war-fare once by Paul, 2 Corinthians 10:4. Not flight (μάχην), but covering all the particulars of a soldier's service.

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