1 Timothy 5:21
I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
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(21) I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.—More accurately, as well as more forcibly rendered, “I solemnly charge thee.” “Lord” must be omitted before Jesus Christ, the older authorities not containing the word. The sense of the passage remains the same. Very solemnly is Timothy adjured to carry out the varied duties of his great charge, the government of the Church of Ephesus, impartially—doing nothing hastily, ever watchful of himself. St. Paul has just pressed upon him how needful it was to exercise care in the case of an accused presbyter. He must listen to no charge except several competent witnesses were produced to support the accusation. He now reminds Timothy—the chief presbyter—of the ever present unseen witnesses of his conduct (see Hebrews 12:1). In that awful presence—in sight of the throne of God, with Messiah on the right hand, and the angels, the chosen attendants and ministers of God, gathering round about the throne—would Timothy guide and rule the congregations of Christians in that famous Eastern city.

The Church of Ephesus had been built up and consolidated by the personal presence and influence of St. Paul, resident there some three years; and at the time when St. Paul wrote to Timothy it was second in numbers and in influence to none of the early groups of congregations (except, perhaps, to the Christian communities of Syrian Antioch). Placed by an Apostle as the first head of such a community, intrusted with one of the greatest and most important charges in Christendom, Timothy indeed needed to be watchful. Well might St. Paul remind him of the tremendous witnesses who would be present in his hour of trial.

And the elect angels.—St. Paul had been speaking of the internal organisation of the church on earth, and had been dwelling, first, on rank and order among women, and secondly, among men, especially directing that a special position of honour should be given to the more distinguished and zealous of the presbyteral order. The term “elect” here given to certain of those blessed spirits—in whose sight, as they stood and ministered before the throne of God, Timothy would rule over the charge committed to him—would seem to imply that, as on earth, so in heaven are there degrees in rank and variety in occupation. These holy ones are probably termed “elect” as especially selected by the Eternal as His messengers to the human race, as was Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God. (See Luke 1:19.) St. Paul loves to refer to the ranks and degrees of the host of heaven. (See Romans 8:38; Ephesians 1:21; Colossians 1:16.) But it is possible that these “elect angels” were those blessed spirits who “kept their first estate,” and had not fallen. (See 2Peter 2:4, and Jude 1:6.)

That thou observe these things.—The “things” Timothy was to observe, as ever in the presence of so august a company of witnesses, were the varied points touched upon in the preceding verses, relating to the internal organisation of the church over which he was presiding, especially bearing in mind (for St. Paul again refers to this point) his words which bore upon judgment of presbyters—the men whose lives and conversation were to be an example to the flock.

Without preferring one before another.—More literally, without prejudice. He who presides over a great Christian community must be above all party feeling. That unhappy divisions existed in the churches, even in the lifetime of the Apostles, we have ample evidence, not only in the inspired writings, but also in the fragments we possess of the earliest Christian literature.

Doing nothing by partiality.-Although these reminding words, and those immediately preceding, were written with especial reference to the judicial inquiry Timothy would be constrained to hold in the event of any presbyter being formally accused either of a moral offence or of grave doctrinal error in his teaching, yet they must be understood in a far broader sense. The presiding elder in Ephesus must never forget that he bears rule, not only over one school of Christian thought, but over all men who acknowledged Jesus as Messiah and Redeemer.

1 Timothy 5:21. I charge thee before God, &c. — He refers to the last judgment, in which we shall stand before God, and Christ, and his elect — That is, holy, angels — Who are the witnesses of our conversation. The apostle looks through his own labours, and even through time itself, and seems to stand as one already in eternity; that thou observe these things without preferring, &c. — Προκριματος, prejudging. The word signifies a judgment formed before the matter judged hath been duly examined; doing nothing by partiality — For or against any one; Greek, κατα

προσκλισιν, literally, a leaning to one side, through favour arising from private friendship or affection.

5:17-25 Care must be taken that ministers are maintained. And those who are laborious in this work are worthy of double honour and esteem. It is their just due, as much as the reward of the labourer. The apostle charges Timothy solemnly to guard against partiality. We have great need to watch at all times, that we do not partake of other men's sins. Keep thyself pure, not only from doing the like thyself, but from countenancing it, or any way helping to it in others. The apostle also charges Timothy to take care of his health. As we are not to make our bodies masters, so neither slaves; but to use them so that they may be most helpful to us in the service of God. There are secret, and there are open sins: some men's sins are open before-hand, and going before unto judgment; some they follow after. God will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make known the counsels of all hearts. Looking forward to the judgment-day, let us all attend to our proper offices, whether in higher or lower stations, studying that the name and doctrine of God may never be blasphemed on our account.I charge thee before God - compare Luke 16:28; Acts 2:20. The word rendered "charge" means, properly, to call to witness; then to affirm with solemn attestations; and then to admonish solemnly, to urge upon earnestly. It is a word which implies that the subject is of great importance. Paul gives this charge as in the presence of God, of the Redeemer, and of the elect angels, and wishes to secure that sense of its solemnity which must arise from the presence of such holy witnesses.

And the Lord Jesus Christ - As in the presence of the Lord Jesus; with his eye resting upon you.

And the elect angels - It is not uncommon in the Scriptures to speak as if we were in the presence of holy angels, and of the disembodied spirits of the good; compare notes on Hebrews 12:1. No one can prove that the angels, and that the departed spirits of holy men, are not witnesses of what we do. At all events, it is right to urge on others the performance of duty as if the eye of a departed father, mother, or sister were fixed upon us, and as if we were encompassed by all the holy beings of heaven. Sin, too, should be avoided as if every eye in the universe were upon us. How many things do we do which we would not; how many feelings do we cherish which we would at once banish from our minds, if we felt that the heavens above us were as transparent as glass, and that all the holy beings around the throne were fixing an intense gaze upon us! The word "elect" here seems to imply that there had been some influence used to keep them, and some purpose respecting them, which had not existed in regard to those who had fallen. Saints are called "elect" because they are chosen of God unto salvation (notes on Ephesians 1:4-5), and it would appear that it is a great law extending through the universe, that both those who remain in a state of holiness, and those who are made holy, are the subjects of purpose and choice on the part of God. The fact only is stated; the reasons which led to the choice, alike in regard to angels and human beings, are unknown to us; compare notes on Matthew 11:25.

That thou observe these things - Probably referring to all the things which he had enjoined in the previous parts of the Epistle.

Without preferring one before another - Margin, "prejudice." The meaning is, "without previous judgment" - χωρὶς προκρίματος chōris prokrimatos - without any prejudice on account of rank, wealth, personal friendship, or predilection of any sort. Let there be entire impartiality in all cases. Justice was beautifully represented by the ancients as holding a pair of scales equally balanced. It is as important that there should be entire impartiality in the church as in civil transactions, and though it is not wrong for a minister of the gospel to have his personal friends, yet in the administration of the affairs of the church he should remember that all are brethren, and all, of whatever rank, color, sex, or age, have equal rights.

Partiality - Greek, "inclination," or "proclivity" - that is, without being inclined to favor one party or person more than another. There should be no purpose to find one guilty and another innocent; no inclination of heart toward one which would lead us to resolve to find him innocent; and no aversion from another which would make us resolve to find him guilty.

21. I charge thee—rather as Greek, "I adjure thee"; so it ought to be translated (2Ti 4:1).

before—"in the presence of God."

Lord—omitted in the oldest manuscripts God the Father, and Christ the Son, will testify against thee, if thou disregardest my injunction. He vividly sets before Timothy the last judgment, in which God shall be revealed, and Christ seen face to face with His angels

elect angels—an epithet of reverence. The objects of divine electing love (1Pe 2:6). Not only "elect" (according to the everlasting purpose of God) in contradistinction to the reprobate angels (2Pe 2:4), but also to mark the excellence of the angels in general (as God's chosen ministers, "holy angels," "angels of light"), and so to give more solemnity to their testimony [Calvin] as witnesses to Paul's adjuration. Angels take part by action and sympathy in the affairs of the earth (Lu 15:10; 1Co 4:9).

these things—the injunctions, 1Ti 5:19, 20.

without preferring one before another—rather as Greek, "prejudice"; "judging before" hearing all the facts of a case. There ought to be judgment, but not prejudging. Compare "suddenly," 1Ti 5:22, also 1Ti 5:24.

partiality—in favor of a man, as "prejudice" is bias against a man. Some of the oldest manuscripts read, "in the way of summoning (brethren) before a (heathen) judge." But Vulgate and other good authorities favor the more probable reading in English Version.

I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things: by these things may be understood the whole of what went before, or what followeth. I judge it most proper to refer it to all the precepts foregoing in this Epistle, which evidenceth them to be things which he had received from the Lord, not what he directed without any express notice of the will of God as to them. This is evident by his grave and severe charge to Timothy to observe them, for he chargeth him to observe them as in the presence of God and Christ, and calleth the good angels to be witnesses, both of his faithfidness, in giving him this charge, and of Timothy’s faithfulness or unfaithfulness, according as he should observe or neglect the things given him in charge: he calls the angels elect, unquestionably in opposition to the evil and reprobate angels.

Without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality: he requires the doing of them without respect to any persons, rich or poor, friends or foes; partiality no way becoming a judge in any cause, who ought to hold the balance even, not inclining it any way, but judging things and not persons. Some of the things before mentioned may seem of too minute a consideration for the apostle to lay such a stress upon, or God to give him particular direction in; but the things are not so much to be considered as the end of the precepts, which was the upholding the true honour and reputation of the church, which is a very great thing; and supposing the things given in charge to have any tendency of that nature, they must not be judged small.

I charge thee before God,.... Who sees and knows all things, and is a righteous and most impartial Judge; with whom there is no respect of persons, and in whose place and stead, the judges of the earth, both civil and ecclesiastical, stand; and to whom they are accountable for the judgment they pass on men and things; and in whose house or church Timothy was, whose business he was doing, and which ought to be done, with a view to his glory; wherefore the apostle gives him this solemn charge as in his sight:

and the Lord Jesus Christ: who also is God omniscient; and is Jesus Christ the righteous, the Head of the church, and the Judge of quick and dead; before whose judgment seat all must appear; where there will be no respect of persons, nor any partiality used.

And the elect angels; by whom are meant not some of the angels, the more choice, excellent, and principal among them; as the seven angels in the Apocryha:

"I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One.'' (Tobit 12:15)

among whom Raphael is said to be one. But this is a spurious account, and not to be credited; nor was it an ancient tradition of the Jews, that there were seven principal angels; See Gill on Revelation 1:4. The Chaldee paraphrase on Genesis 11:7 is mistaken by Mr. Mede, where not "seven", but "seventy" angels are spoken of: but here all the good angels are designed, called sometimes the holy angels, and sometimes the angels in heaven; and here, by the Syriac version, "his angels"; either the angels of God, as they are sometimes styled; or the angels of Jesus Christ, being made by him, and being ministers to him, and for him; and also "elect", because chosen to stand in that integrity and holiness, in which they were created; and to enjoy everlasting glory and happiness, while others of the same species were passed by and left to fall from their first estate, and appointed to everlasting wrath and damnation: so that it may be observed that God's election takes place in angels as well as in men; and which flows from the sovereign will and pleasure of God; and was made in Christ, who is their head, and by whom they are confirmed in their happy state; and in which they must be considered in the pure mass, since they never fell; and which may serve to illustrate and confirm the doctrine of election with respect to men. Now before these the apostle charges Timothy; since they are near to the saints, encamp about them, minister unto them, and are concerned for their good; are spectators of their actions, and witnesses of what is done in churches, since they frequently attend the assemblies of the saints, and will descend with Christ, when he comes to judge the world in righteousness: the mention of them in this, charge gives no countenance to the worshipping of angels, since they are not set upon a level with God and Christ; nor is the charge delivered before them as judges, but as witnesses; nor are the words in the form of an oath, but of a charge; the angels are not sworn by, or appealed unto; only in their presence is this solemn charge given; and it may be observed, that even inanimate creatures, the heavens and the earth, are sometimes called upon as witnesses; and besides, it was usual with the Jews to make such kind of obtestations, So Agrippa (i), in his speech to the Jews, exhorting them to fidelity to the Romans, beseeches them by their holy things, , "and the holy angels of God", and their common country, that is, the good of it, that they would remain steadfast. What is the amount of this charge follows,

that thou observe these things; either all that are contained in the epistle, or more particularly the rules prescribed in this chapter; concerning rebuking members of a different age and sex, providing for poor widows, and taking care of the ministers of the Gospel, and chiefly what regards the discipline of the church with respect to the elders of it; as not to admit an accusation against them, unless it is sufficiently evident, and yet not connive at notorious sinners, but rebuke them publicly; and this charge belongs not only to Timothy, but to the whole church, and to all succeeding ministers and churches in all ages. The manner in which these things are to be observed is,

without preferring one before another; or, as the words may be rendered, "without prejudgment"; that is, without prejudging a case, or determining, before hearing, how it shall be; or as the Syriac version renders it, "in nothing let thy mind be prepossessed"; the sense is, that he should attend to any case that should come before him in the church, without prejudice or prepossession, and hearken to what is said on both sides; and judge impartially, and not in haste, but weigh well and consider the evidence that is given, and then determine as the case appears; so the Arabic version renders it, "without haste", or precipitancy; to which agrees the advice of the men of the great congregation, or Ezra's congregation, who were in his time, and succeeded him; , "be slow in judgment" (k), or long at it; that so by strict and close examination, things not known at first may be discovered: and when judgment is passed, it should not be through affection to one party, and disrespect to another; which is called in Scripture a respect of persons, and here a preferring one to another; and which is further explained by adding,

doing nothing by partiality; or by inclining to one side more than to another. A judge should not preponderate to either side, but should hold the balance of justice even, and do nothing to turn the scale one way or another, but as the weight and truth of the evidence direct; and such a rule should be observed in all church affairs.

(i) Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 16. sect. 4. (k) Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 1. Vid. Maimon in ib.

{17} I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

(17) The fourth rule: let sincerity be used without any prejudice or respect of persons in ecclesiastical proceedings (especially against the elders), because God himself is present there, and the Lord Jesus Christ with a multitude of angels.

1 Timothy 5:21. The apostle concludes the section, on the proper conduct towards the presbyters, with a solemn adjuration to observe the precepts given.

διαμαρτύρομαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν ἀγγέλων] In the N. T. the verb διαμαρτύρεσθαι means “testify” (so Acts 8:25; Acts 10:42; Acts 18:5, etc.) and “adjure,” and in the latter sense often serves to strengthen an exhortation (Luke 16:28; Acts 2:40; 1 Thessalonians 4:6; 2 Timothy 2:14, etc.); so, too, here. The addition καὶ τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν ἀγγέλων is explained from the idea that the throne of God is surrounded by angels as His servants. The reference to the last judgment is wrong, as in Bengel (with whom Wiesinger and van Oosterzee agree): repraesentat Timotheo judicium extremum, in quo Deus revelabitur et Christus cum angelis coram conspicietur. Paul is appealing, not to something future, but to something present.

The ἐκλεκτῶν cannot be taken as a genitive dependent on τῶν ἀγγέλων (= “before the angels of the elect, i.e. believers,” so Hofmann); ἐκλεκτῶν, as its position between the article and the substantive shows, is an adjective belonging to ἀγγέλων.[192] It does not distinguish higher angels from lower,[193] nor the good from the bad, nor the guardian angels of Timothy and the Ephesian church (Mosheim) from all others, nor the angels in general from earthly beings; it is to be taken simply as an epitheton ornans. The angels as such are ἐκλεκτοὶ Θεοῦ, whom God has chosen as the objects of His love; comp. 1 Peter 2:4, where ἘΚΛΕΚΤΌς is synonymous with ἜΝΤΙΜΟς. Wiesinger rightly remarks that ἘΚΛΕΚΤΟΊ is to be taken as a general epithet of all angels, like ἍΓΙΟΙ ἈΓΓ., ἌΓΓ. ΦΩΤΌς, and the like. It is added in order to give greater solemnity to the form of adjuration. Comp. with it the form in Josephus, where (Bell. Jud. ii. 16. 14) in Agrippa’s address to the Jews we have: μαρτύρομαι διʼ ἐγὼ μὲν ὑμῶν τὰ ἅγια καὶ τοὺς ἱέρους ἀγγέλους τοῦ Θεοῦ.

ἵνα ταῦτα φυλάξῃς] ταῦτα does not refer to “everything that has been said to Timothy regarding his conduct towards each class” (Hofmann), but to what was said in 1 Timothy 5:17-20 regarding the presbyters. The solemn adjuration is due to the importance which the office of presbyter had for the church. De Wette, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee refer it only to 1 Timothy 5:20; but this is contradicted by the close connection of the verse with what precedes.

ΧΩΡῚς ΠΡΟΚΡΊΜΑΤΟς, ΜΗΔῈΝ Κ.Τ.Λ.] ΠΡΌΚΡΙΜΑ, “prejudice,” in a favourable as well as an unfavourable sense. Several expositors take it here in an unfavourable sense, so that the next words: μηδὲν ποιῶν κατὰ πρόσκλισιν, form a contrast to ΧΩΡῚς ΠΡΟΚΡΊΜΑΤΟς (so in this commentary). But as there is nothing to indicate a contrast, it is better to take the second member as defining the first more precisely: “without prejudice, doing nothing by favour.”

Hofmann translates πρόκριμα by “preference” (so Leo); but Wiesinger has already remarked that this meaning cannot be proved. If ΠΡΌΚΛΗΣΙΝ were to be taken as the original reading, it would have to be explained as Theophylact explains it: ΠΡΟΣΚΑΛΕῖΤΑΊ ΣΕ ΤῸ ἛΝ ΜΈΡΟς ΕἸς ΤῸ ΒΟΗΘΕῖΝ ΑὐΤῷ· ΜῊ ΤΟΊΝΥΝ ΠΟΙΉΣῌς ΚΑΤᾺ ΤῊΝ ἘΚΕΊΝΟΥ ΠΡΌΣΚΛΗΣΙΝ, which nevertheless is still an artificial interpretation.[194]

[192] Cases occur in which the genitive of a substantive is governed by a substantive likewise in the genitive (e.g. 2 Corinthians 4:4); cases, too, in which the dependent genitive precedes the substantive governing it (e.g. Romans 11:13); but none in which the genitive of a substantive—in form adjectival—governed by a substantive in the genitive, stands between it and the article belonging to it.

[193] Baur explains the expression from the gnostic idea of angels who stand in special connection with the Redeemer. Irenaeus, i. 4. 5 : οἱ ἡλιωκότες αὐτοῦ (τοῦ Σωτῆρος) ἄγγελοι; vii. 1 : οἱ περὶ τὸν Σωτῆρα ἄγγελοι; iv. 5 : οἱ ἄγγελοι οἱ μετʼ αὐτοῦ οἱ δορυφόροι.—But apart from other reasons, the expression here used is much too indefinite to be referred to that idea. Van Oosterzee takes ἐκλεκτοί to denote the highest orders of angels, but does not prove that the word is used in such a way.

[194] Reiche is wrong in saying: Huther et Matthies, quin lectionem hanc (πρόσκλησιν) absurdam Lachmanni auctoritate sequantur, parum abesse videntur. The reading πρόσκλισιν is distinctly enough preferred by Matthies, as well as in this commentary, in spite of the weight allowed to the important authorities that testify for the other reading.

1 Timothy 5:21. διαμαρτύρομαι: It is easy to see that St. Paul had not perfect confidence in the moral courage of Timothy. He interjects similar adjurations, 1 Timothy 6:13, 2 Timothy 4:1. In 1 Thessalonians 4:6 we can understand διεμαρτυράμεθα to mean that purity had been the subject of a strong adjuration addressed by the apostle to his converts.

τῶν ἐαλεκτῶν ἀγγέλων: The epithet elect has probably the same force as holy in our common phrase, The holy angels. Compare the remarkable parallel, cited by Otto and Krebs, from Josephus, B. J. ii. 16, 4, μαρτύρομαι δὲ ἐγὼ μὲν ὑμῶν τὰ ἅγια καὶ τοὺς ἱεροὺς ἀγγέλους τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ πατρίδα τὴν κοινήν, and Testament of Levi, xix. 3, μάρτυς ἐστι κύριος, κ. μάρτυρες οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ, κ. μάρτυρες ὑμεῖς. The references to angels in St. Paul’s speeches and letters suggest that he had an unquestioning belief in their beneficent ministrations; though he may not have attached any importance to speculations as to their various grades. We are safe in saying that the elect angels are identical with “the angels which kept their own principality” (Judges 1:6), “that did not sin” (2 Peter 2:4).

Ellicott follows Bp. Bull in giving ἐνώπιον a future reference to the Day of Judgment, when the Lord will be attended by “ten thousands of His holy ones” (Judges 1:14). But this seems an evasion due to modern prejudice. ἐνώπιον implies that the solemnity of the charge or adjuration is heightened by its being uttered in the actual presence of God, Christ, and the angels. Perhaps one may venture to suppose that these are thought of as in three varying degrees of remoteness from human beings, with our present powers of perception. God the Father, though indeed “He is not far from each one of us,” “dwells in light unapproachable”; Christ Jesus, though in one sense He dwells in us and we in Him, is for the most part thought of as having His special presence at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens; but the angels, though spiritual beings, are akin to ourselves, creatures as we are, powers with whom we are in immediate and almost sensible contact, media perhaps through which the influences of the Holy Spirit are communicated to us.

ταῦτα refers to all the preceding disciplinary instructions.

προκρίματος: dislike, praejudicium.

πρόσκλισιν: partiality (nihil faciens in aliam partem declinando, Vulg.).

Clem. Rom., ad Cor. 21, has the phrase κατὰ προσκλίσεις. The reading πρόσκλησιν is almost certainly due to itacism. It could only mean “by invitation, i.e., the invitation or summons of those who seek to draw you over to their side” (Thayer’s Grimm).

21. The solemnity of the adjuration in this verse points to a very definite exercise of the duty imposed, and to expected difficulty in the doing of it, arising perhaps not only from Timothy’s diffidence but from the prominence of the ‘elders’ who are to be ‘rebuked.’ Cf. Acts 20:29 as above. Here again as frequently the ms. authority requires us to read ‘Christ Jesus,’ not ‘the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Cf. note on 1 Timothy 1:1.

the elect angels] If we compare (1) Judges 6, ‘angels which kept not their own principality,’ and (2) Judges 14, ‘The Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones’ coupled with Hebrews 12:22, ‘ye are come unto … ten thousands of angels,’ we may interpret the phrase with Chrysostom of the unfallen angels; and though ‘the angels’ alone would, as Alford objects, be sufficient to designate the good angels, yet the added epithet has its force in an adjuration against rebel speech and self-will. We may see too with Bp Bull a further appositeness in the adjuration, ‘because they in the future judgment shall be present as witnesses with their Lord.’ See further on the general meaning of the word ‘elect’ in N.T. on Titus 1:1, 2 Timothy 2:10.

without preferring one before another] More precisely as margin and R.V., without prejudice; the word, only occurring here, is exactly the Latin prae-iudicium, a prejudging the case unfavourably. The next clause, ‘doing nothing by partiality’ or by preference, expresses the opposite error of deciding for a favourite apart from the evidence; the substantive only occurring here, though the verb is found Acts 5:36, used of the partisans of Theudas, ‘to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves.’ The metaphor is seen clearly in Goldsmith’s description of the country parson:

‘And e’en his failings leaned to Virtue’s side.’—Deserted Village.

1 Timothy 5:21. Ἐνώπιον, before) Paul presents vividly to Timothy the last judgment, in which God will be revealed, and Christ will be seen face to face with His angels; comp. 2 Timothy 4:1. And yet the words, face to face, do not shut out reference to the present time, 1 Timothy 5:4 (ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ); 2 Corinthians 8:21. See ch. 1 Timothy 6:13, etc.—καὶ Κυρίου, and the Lord) The article is not added, though it is immediately added with respect to the angels. Therefore the appellations, God and Lord, refer to one subject [before Him who is at once God and Lord, Jesus Christ];[43] comp., however, 2 Timothy 4:1.[44] The old reading has not Κυρίου.[45]—ἘΚΛΕΚΤῶΝ) An epithet, which sharpens the reverence of Timothy; ἘΚΛΕΚΤῸς, choice, 1 Peter 2:6.—χωρὶς προκρίματος) ΧΩΠῚς ΤΟῦ ΠΡΟΠΕΤῶς ΚΑῚ ΔΊΧΑ ΚΕΚΡΙΜΈΝΗς ΒΟΥΛῆς ΠΡᾶΞΑΊ ΣΕ ΤΊ.[46] Glos. ap. Pricæum.—ΠΡΟΚΡΊΜΑ, prejudice (prejudging), is the failing of him who determines, before the matter fully opens itself out; 1 Timothy 5:22, note. There ought to be judgment, not prejudice (prejudging); 1 Timothy 5:24.—κατὰ πρὁσκλισιν) The glosses by the same writer are, ΚΑΤᾺ ΠΡΌΣΚΛΙΣΙΝ, ΚΑΤᾺ ΧΆΡΙΝ, ΠΡΟΣΠΆΘΕΙΑΝ, Ἢ ἘΤΕΡΟΜΈΡΕΙΑΝ, In short, prejudice through hatred, partiality through favour. [Often a man is hurried headlong by some impulse, and treats this or that person either well or ill accordingly; but we should act considerately, and think, what is suitable to the Divine will.—V. g.]

[43] This is a principle laid down by Bishop Middleton, that where the one article precedes two appellatives, they must refer to one and the same person; a most important canon against Socinians. See Titus 2:13.—ED.

[44] ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ Χοιστοῦ Ἰησοῦ. But Middleton’s canon does not apply there; for Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ are used as proper names, not appellatives. So here, too, if the Κυρίου be not read. Therefore Θεοῦ is God the Father.—ED.

[45] Wherefore it is omitted in the Germ. Vers., which follows the margin of both ED.—E. B.

[46] i.e. Without thy doing aught precipitately and apart from decided deliberation or counsel.

AD(Δ) corrected, Gfg Vulg., Hilar. 328, Lucif. omit Κυρίου. Rec. Text has no good authority for it.—ED.

Verse 21. - In the sight of for before, A.V.; Christ Jesus for the Lord Jesus Christ, A.V. and T.R.; prejudice for preferring one before another, A.V. I charge thee, etc. It has been well remarked that the solemnity of this charge indicates the temptation which there might be to Timothy to shrink front reproving men of weight and influence" rulers" in the congregation, and "elders" both in age and by office, young as he himself was (1 Timothy 4:12). Perhaps he had in view some particular case in the Ephesian Church. Charge (διαμαρτύρομαι; not παραγγέλλω, as 1 Timothy 6:13); rather, I adjure thee. The strict sense of διαμαρτύρομαι is "I call heaven and earth to witness the truth of what I am saying;" and then, by a very slight metonymy, "I declare a thing," or "I ask a thing," "as in the presence of those witnesses who are either named or understood." Here the witnesses are named: God, and Christ Jesus, and the elect angels. In 2 Timothy 2:14 it is "the Lord;" in 2 Timothy 4:1 God and Jesus Christ, as also in 1 Timothy 6:13. In the passages where the word has the force of "testifying" (Luke 16:18; Acts 2:40; Acts 10:42; Acts 18:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:6, etc.), no witnesses are named, but great solemnity and earnestness are implied. The elect angels. This is the only passage where it is predicated of the angels that they are elect. But as there is repeated mention in Holy Scripture of the fallen angels (Matthew 25:41; 1 Corinthians 6:3; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; Revelation 12:7, 9), the obvious interpretation is that St. Paul, in this solemn adjuration, added the epithet to indicate more distinctly the "holy angels," as they are frequently described (Matthew 25:31; Luke 9:26, etc.), or "the angels of God" or "of heaven" (Matthew 22:30; Matthew 24:36; Luke 12:8, 9; John 1:51). Possibly the mention of Satan in ver. 15, or some of the rising Gnostic opinions about angels (Colossians 2:18), may have suggested the epithet. The reason for the unusual addition of "the angels" is more difficult to adduce with certainty. But perhaps 2 Timothy 4:1 gives us the clue, where the apostle shows that in appealing to Jesus Christ he has a special eye to the great and final judgment. Now, in the descriptions of the lust judgment, the angels are constantly spoken of as accompanying our Lord (Matthew 16:27; Matthew 25:31; Mark 8:48; Luke 9:26; Luke 12:8, 9; 2 Thessalonians 1:7, etc.). If St. Paul, therefore, had in his mind the great judgment-day when he thus invoked the names of God and of Christ, he would very naturally also make mention of the elect angels. And so Bishop Bull, quoted in the 'Speaker's Commentary.' Without prejudice (χωρὶς προκρίματος); here only in the New Testament, and not found in the LXX. or classical Greek, though the verb προκρίνω occurs in both. Although the English word "prejudice" seems at first sight an apt rendering of πρόκριμα, it does not really give the sense so accurately as "preference." We commonly mean by "prejudice" a judgment formed prior to examination, which prevents our judging rightly or fairly when we come to the examination, which, however, is not the meaning of the Latin praejudicium. But προκρίνω means rather "to prefer" a person, or thing, to others. And therefore πρόκριμα means "preference," or "partiality," or, as the A.V. has it, "preferring one before another." The two meanings may be thus expressed. "Prejudice," in the English use of the word, is when a person who has to judge a cause upon evidence prejudges it without evidence, and so does not give its proper weight to the evidence. "Prefer-once" is when he gives different measure to different persons, according as He is swayed by partiality, or interest, or favor. St. Paul charges Timothy to measure out exactly equal justice to all persons alike. By partiality (κατὰ πρόσκλισιν). This also is an ἅπαξ λεγόμενον as far as the New Testament is concerned, and is not found in the LXX., but is found, as well as the verb προσκλίνω, in classical Greek. It means literally the "inclination" of the scales to one side or the other, and hence a "bias" of the mind to one party or the other. The balance of justice in the hands of Timothy was to be equal. 1 Timothy 5:21I charge (διαμαρτύρομαι)

In Paul 1 Thessalonians 4:6 only. See on testifying, 1 Thessalonians 2:12. For this sense, adjure, see Luke 16:28; Acts 2:40; 2 Timothy 2:14.

Elect angels (ἐκλεκτῶν ἀγγέλων)

The phrase N.T.o. The triad, God, Christ, the angels, only Luke 9:26. It is not necessary to suppose that a class of angels distinguished from the rest is meant. It may refer to all angels, as special objects of divine complacency. Comp. Tob. 8:15; Acts 10:22; Revelation 14:10.

Observe (φυλάξῃς)

Lit. guard. In the Pauline sense of keeping the law, Romans 2:26; Galatians 6:13.

Without preferring one before another (χερὶς προκρίματος)

A unique expression. Πρόκριμα prejudgment. N.T.o. olxx, oClass. Rend. without prejudice.

By partiality (κατὰ πρόσκλισιν)

N.T.o. olxx. According to its etymology, inclining toward. In later Greek of joining one party in preference to another. In Clement (ad 1 Corinthians 41. xlvii., l.) in the sense of factious preferences.

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