1 Timothy 6:7
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.—(Comp. Job 1:21.) Every earthly possession is only meant for this life—for the period between the hour of birth and the hour of death; we entered this world with nothing, we shall leave the world again with nothing. If we could take anything with us when death parts soul and body there would at once be an end to the “contentment” (of 1Timothy 6:6), for the future then would in some way be dependent on the present. This sentence is quoted by Polycarp, in his letter to the Philippians, written early in the second century. Such a reference shows that this Epistle was known and treasured in the Christian Church even at that early date.

6:6-10 Those that make a trade of Christianity to serve their turn for this world, will be disappointed; but those who mind it as their calling, will find it has the promise of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come. He that is godly, is sure to be happy in another world; and if contented with his condition in this world, he has enough; and all truly godly people are content. When brought into the greatest straits, we cannot be poorer than when we came into this world; a shroud, a coffin, and a grave, are all that the richest man in the world can have from all his wealth. If nature should be content with a little, grace should be content with less. The necessaries of life bound a true Christian's desires, and with these he will endeavour to be content. We see here the evil of covetousness. It is not said, they that are rich, but they will be rich; who place their happiness in wealth, and are eager and determined in the pursuit. Those that are such, give to Satan the opportunity of tempting them, leading them to use dishonest means, and other bad practices, to add to their gains. Also, leading into so many employments, and such a hurry of business, as leave no time or inclination for spiritual religion; leading to connexions that draw into sin and folly. What sins will not men be drawn into by the love of money! People may have money, and yet not love it; but if they love it, this will push them on to all evil. Every sort of wickedness and vice, in one way or another, grows from the love of money. We cannot look around without perceiving many proofs of this, especially in a day of outward prosperity, great expenses, and loose profession.For we brought nothing into this world ... - A sentiment very similar to this occurs in Job 1:21 - and it would seem probable that the apostle had that passage in his eye; see the notes on that passage. Numerous expressions of this kind occur in the classic writers; see Wetstein, in loc., and Pricaeus, in loc. in the Critici Sacri. Of the truth of what is here said, there can be nothing more obvious. It is apparent to all. We bring no property with us into the world - no clothing, no jewels, no gold - and it is equally clear that we can take nothing with us when we leave the earth. Our coming into the world introduces no additional property to that which the race before possessed, and our going from the world removes none that we may have helped the race to accumulate. This is said by the apostle as an obvious reason why we should be contented if our actual needs are supplied - for this is really all that we need, and all that the world is toiling for.

We can carry nothing out - compare Psalm 49:17. "For when he - the rich man - dieth, he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him."

7. For—confirming the reasonableness of "contentment."

and it is certain—Vulgate and other old versions support this reading. The oldest manuscripts, however, omit "and it is certain"; then the translation will be, "We brought nothing into the world (to teach us to remember) that neither can we carry anything out" (Job 1:21; Ec 5:15). Therefore, we should have no gain-seeking anxiety, the breeder of discontent (Mt 6:25).

This agreeth with Job 1:21, and with experience, and is a potent argument against immoderate desires of having much of this world’s goods, or using extravagant actions to obtain them; for when we have got all we can, we have got but a viaticum, something to serve us in our journey, which we must leave when we die, and whether to a wise man or a fool none knoweth, Ecclesiastes 2:19. For we brought nothing into this world,.... Which is a reason both clearly showing that godliness is great gain, since those who have it brought nothing into the world with them but sin, and yet are now in such happy circumstances as before described; and that godly persons should be content with what they have, even of worldly things, seeing they are so much more than they had when they came into the world, into which they came naked; and which should be a quieting consideration under the most stripping providences; see Job 1:21

and it is certain we can carry nothing out: as men come into the world, so will they go out of it; nor will they need their worldly substance after death, any more than they did before they were born; and what they now have, and use not, will then be lost to them, whatever gain it may be to others: wherefore it becomes them cheerfully to use what they have, and be content therewith; see Ecclesiastes 5:15. The Jews have a saying like this (o), that

"as a man comes (into the world), "simply" or "nakedly", so he goes out in like manner.''

(o) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 42. fol. 36. 3.

{7} For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

(7) He mocks the folly of those who do so greedily hunger after frail things, who can in no way be satisfied, and yet nonetheless cannot enjoy their excess.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Timothy 6:7 begins the confirmation of the principle that godliness with contentment is a great πορισμός. The apostle here places two clauses together, each of which contains a well-known and undoubted truth: “We brought nothing into the world,” and “We can take nothing out of it.” (The same two thoughts are found elsewhere in collocation; so Job 1:21; Ecclesiastes 5:14; also in the profane writers, e.g. Seneca, Ep. 102: non licet plus efferre, quam intuleris. For the second thought, comp. Job 27:19; Psalm 49:12.) The question is only, in what relation do they stand to one another? According to the common view, the first thought serves to confirm the second: “As we brought nothing in, it is manifest that we will take nothing out.” Against this, Hofmann maintains that the second thought is in no way a consequence of the first. He therefore takes δῆλον ὅτι as an adverbial: “clearly,” standing at the end of the sentence, but belonging to both clauses; and he explains: “Clearly we have brought nothing in, and can also take nothing out.” He is certainly right that the first does not strictly prove the second; but then the apostle did not intend that it should; he simply placed the two sentences together, the second corresponding to the first in such a way as to be confirmed by it in popular opinion. Hence it is not right to connect—contrary to the order of the words

δῆλον ὅτι with the first sentence. As to the lack of δῆλον before ὅτι (see the critical remarks), de Wette observes: “that in popular logic the consequence is often quoted with ὅτι as the reason, e.g. Homer, Il. xvi. 35, Od. xxii. 36.” This, however, is not to the point here; in the two passages quoted, ὅτι, simply denotes the logical ground of knowledge.1 Timothy 6:7. The reasoning of this clause depends on the evident truth that since a man comes naked into this world (Job 1:21), and when he leaves it can “take nothing for his labour, which he may carry away in his hand” (Ecclesiastes 5:15; Psalm 49:17), nothing the world can give is any addition to the man himself. He is a complete man, though naked (Matthew 6:25; Luke 12:15; Seneca, Ep. Mor. lii. 25, “Non licet plus efferre quam intuleris”).

Field is right in supposing that if δῆλον, as read in the Received Text, is spurious, yet “there is an ellipsis of δῆλον, or that ὅτι is for δῆλον ὅτι. L. Bos adduces but one example of this ellipsis, 1 John 3:20 : ὅτι ἐὰν καταγινώσκῃ ἡμῶν ἡ καρδία, ὅτι μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ θεὸς τῆς καρδίας ἡμῶν; in which, if an ellipsis of δῆλον before the second ὅτι. were admissible, it would seem to offer an easy explanation of that difficult text.” Field adds two examples from St. Chrysostom. Hort’s conjecture that “ὅτι is no more than an accidental repetition of the last two letters of κόσμον, ΟΝ being read as ΟΤΙ” is almost certainly right.7. we brought nothing into this world] A further reason for contentment is drawn; ‘the nakedness of our birth and death.’ Exactly, into the world.

and it is certain] Editors are divided as to the authority for this word here: the Revisers and Westcott and Hort omit. Inclining to this view with Codex Sinaiticus, and on the ground that proclivi praestat ardua lectio, we have to render the connecting particle that remains ‘because;’ but need not adopt Alford’s strained explanation ‘we were appointed by God to come naked into the world, to teach us to remember that we must go naked out of it,’ which mars the simple sequence of thought (we should look rather to the looser usage of such particles already beginning to prevail): ‘because’ may be referred back to the contentment, and so introduce a parallel not a subordinate clause to ‘we brought,’ because too we cannot carry anything out. The verse is linked at the commencement of the Prayer-Book Burial Service with Job 1:21, ‘The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord,’ and so illustrates further the ‘godly content’ of the previous verse.1 Timothy 6:7. Οὐδὲν, nothing) A man, when he is born, consists of soul and body: all other things are to him foreign and external.—εἰσηνέγκαμεν, we have brought in) Supply, and yet we have obtained life (including a livelihood); see Matthew 6:25.—δῆλον ὅτι) to wit [Engl. Vers. and it is certain that]; a form of declaring.—οὐδὲ ἐξενεγκεῖν, nor carry out) Why then do we heap up much wealth? The only object to be aimed at is that we may have πόρον, an unembarrassed journey, till we reach our true country.Verse 7. - The for this, A.V.; for neither can we for and it is certain we can, A.V. and T.R.; anything for nothing, A.V. For neither, etc. The omission of δῆλον in the R.T., though justified by many of the best manuscripts, makes it difficult to construe the sentence, unless, with Buttman, we consider ὅτι as elliptical for δῆλον ὅτι, The R.V. "for neither" seems to imply that the truth, "neither can we carry anything out," is a consequence of the previous truth that "we brought nothing into the world." which is not true. The two truths are parallel, and the sentence would be perfectly clear without either δῆλον or ὅτι. And it is certain we can carry, etc.

Omit and and certain. Rend. ὅτι because. The statement is: We brought nothing into the world because we can carry nothing out. The fact that we brought nothing into the world is shown by the impossibility of our taking with us anything out of it; since if anything belonging to us in our premundane state had been brought by us into the world, it would not be separated from us at our departure from the world. Comp. Job 1:21; Ecclesiastes 5:15; Psalm 49:17.

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