1 Timothy 4:15
Meditate on these things; give yourself wholly to them; that your profiting may appear to all.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) Meditate upon these things.—Better rendered, be diligent in these things. With these words St. Paul closes this division of his solemn directions to his chosen disciple and representative at Ephesus. He must dwell on these things and must be diligent in their practice: he must show himself active and industrious as a public teacher, and must also order his life so as to be an example to his fellow-believers.

Give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.—More accurately rendered, thy advance (or thy progress) may be manifest to all. To these points—his public teaching and his public example—he must give ceaseless attention, that the Christian brotherhood of the Church over which he presided should be enabled constantly to see what progress their chief pastor was making in Christian experience and life. The word we have translated “advance” or “progress” reminds Christian ministers and teachers of St. Paul’s grave words to Timothy—and, through Timothy, to all occupying any position of authority in the congregations—that there must be no standing still, no resting content with knowledge already acquired, no being satisfied with the present spiritual life; there must be a restless striving after the acquirement of new stores of knowledge, ever deeper and more accurate; there must be a ceaseless endeavour to attain to a higher eminence in the spiritual life; and, if the minister or teacher would be successful, the result of these efforts must be manifest to the brethren with whom his lot was cast.

1 Timothy 4:15-16. Meditate on these things — On the instructions I have given thee, or the things mentioned 1 Timothy 4:13. True meditation implies the lively exercise of faith, hope, love, joy, as it were melted down together by the fire of God’s Holy Spirit, and offered up to God in secret. Give thyself wholly to them — On this passage Bengelius writes, He that is wholly in these things, will be little in worldly company, in other studies, in collecting books, shells, coins, wherein many pastors consume a considerable part of their lives. That thy profiting — Thy proficiency in knowledge and wisdom, holiness and usefulness; may appear unto all — To their edification and the honour of the gospel. Take heed unto thyself — To the state of thy own soul, thy growth in grace, the motives of thy actions, and thy whole spirit and conduct; and to thy doctrine — That it be true, important, and adapted to the state and character of thy hearers. Continue in them — In attention to all the preceding advices, and especially in this diligent care respecting both thy life and doctrine. For in doing this — With zeal, constancy, and perseverance; thou shalt both save thyself and those that hear thee — What a powerful argument is here suggested to engage ministers to preach the doctrines of the gospel with truth, zeal, fidelity, and diligence, and to set a proper example before their hearers! By thus faithfully discharging their duty, they will give satisfactory proof of the reality of their faith and love, and the sincerity of their obedience, and, persevering in this way, will save themselves eternally. In the mean time by their sound doctrine, and, edifying example, they will impress their hearers with such a just sense of the truth and excellence of Christianity, as to induce them also to believe and obey the gospel, so that they likewise will be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 4:11-16 Men's youth will not be despised, if they keep from vanities and follies. Those who teach by their doctrine, must teach by their life. Their discourse must be edifying; their conversation must be holy; they must be examples of love to God and all good men, examples of spiritual-mindedness. Ministers must mind these things as their principal work and business. By this means their profiting will appear in all things, as well as to all persons; this is the way to profit in knowledge and grace, and also to profit others. The doctrine of a minister of Christ must be scriptural, clear, evangelical, and practical; well stated, explained, defended, and applied. But these duties leave no leisure for wordly pleasures, trifling visits, or idle conversation, and but little for what is mere amusement, and only ornamental. May every believer be enabled to let his profiting appear unto all men; seeking to experience the power of the gospel in his own soul, and to bring forth its fruits in his life.Meditate upon these things - Upon the train of events by which you have been led into the ministry, and upon the responsibilites and duties of the office. Let your mind be deeply impressed with these things; make them the subject of profound and serious thought.

Give thyself wholly to them - Greek "Be in them" - a phrase similar to that of Horace - "totus in illis." The meaning is plain. He was to devote his life wholly to this work. He was to have no other grand aim of living. His time, attention, talents, were to be absorbed in the proper duties of the work. He was not to make that subordinate and tributary to any other purpose, nor was he to allow any other object to interfere with the appropriate duties of that office. He was not to live for money, fame, or pleasure; not to devote his time to the pursuits of literature or science for their own sakes; not to seek the reputation of an elegant or profound scholar; not to aim to be distinguished merely as an accomplished gentleman, or as a skillful farmer, teacher, or author. Whatever was done in any of these departments, was to be wholly consistent with the direction, ἐν τούτοις ἴσθι en toutois isthi - "be in these things" - be absorbed in the appropriate duties of the ministerial office. It may be remarked here that no man will ever make much of himself, or accomplish much in any profession, who does not make this the rule of his life. He who has one great purpose of life to which he patiently and steadily devotes himself, and to which he makes everything else bend, will uniformly rise to high respectability, if not to eminence. He who does not do this can expect to accomplish nothing.

That thy profiting - Greek Thy going forward; that is, thy advancement, or progress. A minister of the gospel ought to make steady improvement in all that pertains to his office. No man ought to be satisfied with present attainments.

To all - Margin, "in all things." The margin is the more correct rendering, but either of them makes good sense. It should be apparent to all persons who attend on the stated preaching of a minister of the gospel, that he is making steady advances in knowledge, wisdom, and piety, and in all things that pertain to the proper performance of the duties of his office. If a man really makes progress, it will be seen and appreciated by others; if he does not, that will be as well understood by his hearers.

15. Meditate—Greek, "Meditate CAREFULLY upon" (Ps 1:2; 119:15; compare "Isaac," Ge 24:63).

these things—(1Ti 4:12-14). As food would not nourish without digestion, which assimilates the food to the substance of the body, so spiritual food, in order to benefit us, needs to be appropriated by prayerful meditation.

give thyself wholly to—literally, "BE in these things"; let them engross thee wholly; be wholly absorbed in them. Entire self-dedication, as in other pursuits, so especially in religion, is the secret of proficiency. There are changes as to all other studies, fashionable to-day, out of fashion to-morrow; this study alone is never obsolete, and when made the all-engrossing aim sanctifies all other studies. The exercise of the ministry threatens the spirit of the ministry, unless it be sustained within. The minister must be first his own scholar before he can be another's teacher.

profiting—Greek, "progress" towards perfection in the Christian life, and especially towards the fullest realization of the ideal of a Christian minister (1Ti 4:12).

may appear to all—not for thy glory, but for the winning of souls (Mt 5:16).

Meditate upon these things; Meleta, let these things be the business of thy thoughts, and take care of them.

Give thyself wholly to them; be in them, (so it is in the Greek), let them be thy whole work, not thy work by the by, but thy chief and principal business.

That thy profiting may appear to all; that so, as all men’s gifts improve by study and exercise, thine also may so improve, that all men may take notice of the improvement of them. Meditate on these things,.... Not only on those instructions, advices, and exhortations, which the apostle had given him, throughout this chapter, which might be very useful to him, often to think of, and revolve in his mind, and seriously consider and reflect upon; but upon the Scriptures, the reading of which he had recommended to him, and the doctrines contained therein; it becomes every man not only to read, but meditate on the word of God, and much more ministers of the Gospel. The Scriptures should be read with care, and be industriously and laboriously searched into, as men dig in mines for silver or golden ore; and passages in it should be carefully compared together, the more obscure with those that are more plain and easy; and the whole is to be studied with great attention and application:

give thyself wholly to them: to the reading of the Scriptures, meditation upon them, and preaching the doctrines contained in them, clear of all secular affairs, or worldly business and employment. The apostles threw off the branch of deaconship, or ministering to the poor, that they might give themselves up wholly to the ministry of the word, and prayer; and much more should worldly business be cast off, where the circumstances of ministers and churches will admit of it; a Christian soldier, or minister of the Gospel, ought not, if possible, to be entangled with the affairs of this life; he finds enough to do without, in the discharge of his ministerial function; and though the apostles sometimes wrought with their own hands, yet it was not because they had so much leisure from the ministry, or time on their hands, or because they had not a power of forbearing working, but out of necessity, see Acts 20:34, or these words may be rendered,

be thou in these things; let thine heart be in them; for if a minister's heart is not in his work, if he does not take delight in it, it will be a slavery and drudgery to him; spend all the time and strength in them, give thyself continually to them, and be always diligent and laborious in them:

that thy profiting may appear to all; that it may be manifest to all that attend the ministry of the word that there is an increase in gifts, a growing in spiritual knowledge, an improvement of the talents bestowed: or that this profiting or increase might appear in all things; in every branch of the ministry, both in exhortation or consolation, and in doctrine; or that it might be manifest among all; that is, all that hear might receive some profit, might learn, and be comforted and edified; faith might be increased, and the joy of it be furthered; and all under the ministry visibly thrive and flourish.

Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Timothy 4:15. In order that Timothy may rightly lay to heart the exhortations just given, Paul continues: ταῦτα μελέτα, ἐν τούτοις ἴσθι] ταῦτα referendum ad omnia ea, quae a 1 Timothy 4:12, usque ad 1 Timothy 4:14, praeceperat Paulus Timotheo, Leo.

μελετᾷν occurs elsewhere in the N. T. only at Mark 13:11 and Acts 4:25, where it means “think, consider, reflect on something,” equivalent to meditari. The more original meaning, however, is “exercere, carry on something with care;” this is to be maintained here, where it is a matter of putting recommendations into practice. De Wette: “let this be thy care.”

ἐν τούτοις ἴσθι] added to strengthen the preceding words; it is equivalent in meaning to the Latin omnis (totus) in hoc sis (Hor. Ep. i. 1, 11, quid verum atque decens curo … et omnis in hoc sum).

ἵνα σου ἡ προκοπὴ φανερὰ ᾖ πᾶσιν] With προκοπή (only elsewhere in Php 1:12; Php 1:15), “progress,” not “progressiveness” (Hofmann), we may either supply “in filling thy office” (Heydenreich; de Wette: to the perfection of the God-man, 2 Timothy 3:17), or more generally, “in the Christian life.” The purpose of this lay in the fact that Timothy was to be a τύπος τῶν πιστῶν.1 Timothy 4:15. ταῦτα: i.e., reading, exhortation, teaching. μελέτα: practise, exercise thyself in, rather than meditari. So R.V., Be diligent in. (Bengel compares γύμναζε 1 Timothy 4:7.) Cf. Psalm 1:2, ἐν τῷ νόμῳ αὐτοῦ μελετήσει, “In his law will he exercise himself,” P.B.V., quoted by Prof. Scholefield.

ἐν τούτοις ἴσθι: To the parallels cited by Wetstein, ἐν τούτοις ὁ Καῖσαρἦν (Plut. Pomp. p. 656 b), “Omnis in hoc sum” (Horace Epistles, i. 1, 11) and Alford: “Totus in illis” (Horace, Sat. i. 9, 2), we may add ἐν φόβῳ Κυρίου ἴσθι, Proverbs 23:17. Timothy’s progress manifest to all would secure his youth from being despised: cf. Matthew 5:16.

φανερὰ ᾖ: This expression is quite Pauline; see reff.; but St. Paul more frequently has φανερὸς γενέσθαι, 1 Corinthians 3:13; 1 Corinthians 11:19; 1 Corinthians 14:25, Php 1:13.15. Meditate upon these things] Rather, to give in our idiom the emphasis of the pronoun in the two clauses, This life, this work, this gift, be diligent in practising, be wholly given up to them. Both phrases are classical and are illustrated by the well-known line of Horace Sat. i. 9, 2, ‘nescio quid meditans nugarum et totus in illis;’ where meditans refers to the poet’s practisings and literary efforts not to mere ‘pensive meditation.’ So in the compound word Luke 21:14 ‘not to meditate beforehand what to answer.’

thy profiting] Better, with R.V., thy progress, giving to this word its full original force as in ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress.’ The Greek word is a late-formed noun belonging to a classical verb, signifying to advance, as an army would do cutting down trees in the way. Cf. Php 1:12; Php 1:25 and Lightfoot. So Luke 2:52, ‘Jesus increased.’1 Timothy 4:15. Μελέτα, meditate) Μελετᾷν is also applied to the gymnastic exercises; comp. 1 Timothy 4:7, γὐμναζε σεαυτόν. Let this, he says, be thy study. He directed Timothy to continue in the same study when he was further advanced in life, Ephesians 2, ch. 1 Timothy 3:14, etc. Who would not desire to be engrossed with the same study as Ions: as he lives? There are vicissitudes in all other studies; some are the fashion to-day, others will be the custom tomorrow. The one study which is devoted to (bestowed upon) Sacred Scripture never seems to be very conspicuous, but at the same time it alone never becomes obsolete. It has an everlasting kingdom, without tyranny and superstitious fascination, a solid reward, an use which will cause no regret.—ἐν τούτοις ἴσθι, give thyself wholly to them) He who gives himself wholly to them, will be less in worldly boon-companionships (convivialities); he will less engage in the study of other things, in collecting books, shells, coins, in which many pastors, unawares, waste a considerable part of their life.—προκοπὴ, profiting) which is maintained by exercise.Verse 15. - Be diligent in for meditate upon, A.V.; progress for profiting, A.V.; be manifest unto for appear to, A.V. Be diligent, etc. (αῦτα μελέτα). Give all your attention and care and study to these things. It is just the contrary to μὴ ἀμέλει in ver. 14. The verb μελετάω, besides this passage, occurs in its classical sense of "premeditating" or "getting up a speech," in Mark 13:11 (where, however, the reading is doubtful), and again in Acts 4:25, in the sense of "premeditating" certain actions. A kindred use in classical Greek is "to practice" or "exercise" an art, as rhetoric, dancing, shooting with a bow, and the like. It is very common in the LXX., in the sense of "meditating," practicing in the thoughts. Give thyself wholly to them (ἐν τούτοις ἴσθι); literally, be in these things; i.e. be wholly and always occupied with them. The similar phrases in Greek and Latin classics are Ἐν τούτοις ὁ Καῖσαρ ῆν (Plutarch); "Omnis in hoc sum" (Her., 'Ep.,' 1:1. 1); "Nescio quid meditans nugarum, et totus in illis" (Her., 'Sat.,' 1. 9. 2); and in the LXX., Ἐν φόβῳ Κυρίου ἰσθι ο{λην τὴν ἡμέραν (Proverbs 23:17). Thy progress (ἡ προκοπή). Progress, advance, or growth, is the idea of προκοπή. It is used twice in Philippians 1:12, 25. A good example of its use in classical Greek is that in Polyb., 3:4, Αὔξησις καὶ προκοπὴ τὴς Ρωμαίων δυναστείας. The use of the verb προκόπτω for "to advance," "make progress," is still more common (Luke 2:52; Romans 13:12; Galatians L 14; 2 Timothy 2:16; 2 Timothy 3:9, 14). It is used equally of progress in good or evil. Unto all. The R.T. reads πᾶσιν for ἐν πᾶσιν in the T.R., which may be rendered either "to [or, 'among'] all persons" or "in all things." Meditate (μελέτα)

Only here and Acts 4:25 (citation). Often in Class. and lxx. Most translators reject the A.V. meditate, and substitute be diligent in, or practice, or take care for. Meditate, however, is legitimate, although in Class. the word commonly appears in one of the other senses. The connection between the different meanings is apparent. Exercise or practice applied to the mind becomes thinking or meditation. In lxx it represents seven Hebrew equivalents, and signifies to meditate, talk of, murmur, delight one's self in, attend to. Often to meditate, Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; Psalm 2:1; Psalm 37:12; Psalm 72:6; Sir. 6:7. Meditation is a talking within the mind, and issues in speech; hence to speak, as Psalm 35:28; Psalm 37:30; Isaiah 69:3. Similarly, λόγος signifies both reason and discourse. In Lat. meditari, "to reflect," is also "to exercise in," "to practice," as Virgil, Ecclesiastes 1:2. In the Vulg. meditabor is the translation of murmur or mourn in Isaiah 38:14. The Hebrew הָגָהֽ means to murmur, whisper; hence the inner whispering of the heart; hence to think, meditate, consider, as Psalm 63:7; Psalm 78:13.

Give thyself wholly to them (ἐν τούτοις ἴσθι)

Lit. be in these things. The phrase N.T.o. The only parallel in lxx is Proverbs 23:17. The meaning is that he is to throw himself wholly into his ministry. Comp. "totus in illis," Horace, Sat. i. 9, 2.

Profiting (προκοπὴ)

Better, advance or progress. Only here and Philippians 1:12. The verb προκόπτειν in 2 Timothy 2:16; 2 Timothy 3:9, 2 Timothy 3:13. In lxx, see Sir. 51:17; 2 Macc. 8:8. The figure in the word is uncertain, but is supposed to be that of pioneers cutting (κόπτω) a way before (πρὸ) an army, and so furthering its advance. The opposite is ἐγκόπτειν to cut into, throw obstacles in the way, and so hinder. See Galatians 5:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:18; 1 Peter 3:7.

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