2 Timothy 4:1
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
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(1) I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.—The parchment, or papyrus, in the prison room of St. Paul on which, probably, Luke (2Timothy 4:11), the faithful friend, was writing to the Apostle’s dictation, was nearly filled up. What has still to be said to the chief presbyter of the Church of Ephesus must be brief. But St. Paul would have the last words introduced by a most impressive preface. So before he sums up his directions and exhortations, he appeals to him in these stately and solemn words. The Greek word rendered “I charge (thee),” is more accurately translated by, I solemnly charge (thee), before those divine witnesses, the Eternal Father and the Blessed Son, present with me in this prison of mine in Rome, present equally with you in study-chamber or church in Asia.

Who shall judge the quick and the dead.—These words must have sounded with strange power in the ears of men like Timothy, and must have impressed them with an intense feeling of responsibility. The Apostle in his divine wisdom was charging these teachers of the Church to be faithful and zealous in their work, by the thought, which must be ever present, that they—either alive on the day of the Coming of the Lord, or, if they had tasted death already, raised from the dead incorruptible (comp. 1Thessalonians 4:17)—must stand before the Judge and give an account of their stewardship; on that awful morning must every man and woman render up, before the Judge who knows all and sees all, a strict account of the deeds done in the body. The looking forward to the judgment morning must surely be a spur to any faint-hearted, dispirited servant of the Lord disposed to temporise, or reluctant to face the dangers which threaten a faithful discharge of duties.

At his appearing and his kingdom.—The older authorities here—instead of the preposition “at”—read “and.” The rendering then would be: “I charge thee in the sight of God and Jesus Christ, who will judge quick and dead (I charge thee) by His appearing (epiphany) and by His kingdom,” the construction in Greek being the usual accusative of adjuration, as in Mark 5:7; Acts 19:13. So, too, Deuteronomy 4:26 (LXX.): “I solemnly charge you to-day by heaven and earth.” The passage, by this restoration of the ancient, and, at first sight, more difficult reading, gains, as we shall see, immeasurably in strength and power. “By his appearing,” or by His manifestation or epiphany, refers, of course, to the Lord’s coming a second time to judge the earth in the glory of the Father with His angels. (Matthew 16:27; 1Thessalonians 4:16-17.) “And by His kingdom:” His kingdom, that kingdom is here meant which, in the words of the Nicene Creed, “shall have no end.” This glorious sovereignty of Christ is to succeed what Pearson (Creed, Article VI., p. 529, Chevallier’s edit.) calls “the modificated eternity of His mediatorship,” which will end when all His enemies shall have been subdued, and He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father. The “kingdom” here spoken of is to commence at Christ’s glorious epiphany or manifestation, when “the kingdoms of the world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). Timothy was conjured by the “appearing” of Christ when he would have to stand before Him and be judged; he was conjured, too, by “His kingdom,” in which glorious state Timothy hoped to share, for was it not promised that His own should reign with Him? (2Timothy 2:12.) There seems in this solemn ringing adjuration something which reminds us of “a faithful saying.” The germs at least of one of the ancient creeds are apparent here, where allusion is made to God (the Father) and to Jesus Christ, the judge of quick and dead, to His coming again with glory and then to His kingdom.

2 Timothy


2 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:16-18.

TIMOTHY does not appear to have been a strong man, either in body or mind, if we may judge from the exhortations and tonics which Paul felt it needful to administer in this letter. The young, gentle soul was more overwhelmed by Paul’s trial and impending death than the heroic martyr himself was. Nothing shook that steadfast heart, and from the very grave’s mouth he spoke brave encouragement.

Verses 1-5 are a rousing appeal to Timothy to fulfil his ministry. Embedded in it there is a sad prophecy of coming dark days for the Church, which constitutes, not a reason for despondency or for abandoning the work, but for doing it with all one’s might. But the all-powerful motive for every Christian teacher, whether of old or young, is pressed on Timothy in the solemn thoughts that he works in the sight of God and of Jesus, and that he and those to whom he speaks, and whose blood may be laid to his charge, are to see him when he appears, and to stand at his judgment bar.

The master’s eye makes diligent servants; the tremendous issues for speaker and hearer suspended on the preaching of the gospel, if they were ever burning before our inward vision, would make superfluous all other motives for straining every nerve and using every opportunity and power. How we should preach and teach and live if the great white throne and He who will sit on it were ever shining before us! Would not that sight burn up slothfulness, cowardice, perfunctory discharge of duty, mechanical repetition of scarcely felt words, and all the other selfishnesses and worldlinesses which sap our earnestness in our work.

The special duties enjoined are, first and foremost, the most general one to ‘preach the word,’ which is, indeed, a duty incumbent on all Christians; and then, subordinate to it, and descriptive of how it is to be done, the duty of persevering attention to that great life task - ‘be instant’; that is, be at it, be always at it. But is not ‘in season, out of season’ an unwise and dangerous precept? Do we not do more harm than good by thrusting gospel teaching down people’s throats at unfitting times? No doubt tact and prudence are as needful as zeal, but perhaps they are rather more abundant at present than it, and at a time that looks out of season to a man who does not wish to hear of Christ at any time, or to one who does not wish to speak of Him at any time, may be ‘in season’ for the very reason that it seems out of season. Felix is not an infallible judge of ‘a convenient season.’ It would do no harm if Christian people ‘obtruded’ their religion a little more.

But the general work of ‘preaching the word’ is to be accompanied with special care over the life of believers, which is to be active in three closely connected forms. Timothy is, where needful, to ‘convict’ of sin; for so the word rendered ‘reprove’ means, as applied to the mission of the Comforter in <431608>John 16:8. ‘Rebuke’ naturally follows conviction, and exhortation, or, rather, consolation or encouragement, as naturally follows rebuke. If the faithful teacher has sometimes to use the lancet, he must have the balm and the Bandage at hand. And this triple ministry is to be ‘with all longsuffering’ and ‘teaching.’ Chry-sostom beautifully comments, ‘Not as in anger, not as in hatred, not as insulting over him,... as loving, as sympathising, as more distressed than himself at his grief.’ And we may add, as letting ‘the teaching’ do the convicting and rebuking, not the teacher’s judgment or tongue.

The prospect of dark days coming, which so often saddens the close of a strenuous life for Christ and the Church, shadowed Paul’s spirit, and .added to his burdens. At Ephesus he had spoken forebodings of ‘grievous wolves’ entering in after his death, and now he feels that he will be powerless to check the torrent of corruption, and is eager that, when he is gone, Timothy and others may be wise and brave to cope with the tendencies to turn from the simple truth and to prefer ‘fables.’

The picture which he draws is true to-day. Healthful teaching is distasteful Men’s ears itch, and want to be tickled. The desire of the multitude is to have teachers who will reflect their own opinions and prejudices, who will not go against the grain or rub them the wrong way, who will flatter the mob which itself the people, and will keep ‘conviction’ and ‘rebuke’ well in the background. That is no reason for any Christian teacher’s being cast down, but is a reason for his buckling to his work, and not shunning to declare the whole counsel of God.

The true way to front and conquer these tendencies is by the display of an unmistakable self-sacrifice in the life, by sobriety in all things and willing endurance of hardship where needful, and by redoubled earnestness in proclaiming the gospel, which men need whether they want it or not, and by filling to the full the sphere of our work, and discharging all its obligations.

The final words in verses 16-18 carry on the triumphant strain. There had been some previous stage of Paul’s trial, in his second imprisonment, of which we have no details except those here - when the Roman Christians and all his friends had deserted him, and that he had thus been conformed unto Christ’s sufferings, and tasted the bitterness of friendship failing when needed most. But no trace of bitterness remained in his spirit, and, like his Lord, he prayed for them who had thus deserted him. He was left alone, but the Christ, who had borne his burden alone, died that none of His servants might ever have to know the same dreary solitude, and the absence of other comforters had made the more room, as well as need, for Him.

Paul’s predecessor, Stephen, had seen Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Paul had an even more blessed experience; for Jesus stood by him, there in the Roman court, in which, perhaps, the emperors ate on the tribunal What could terrify him with that Advocate at his side?

But it is beautiful that the Apostle does not first think of his Lord’s presence as ministering to his comfort, but as nerving him to ‘fulfil His message.’ The trial was to him, first, a crowning opportunity of preaching the gospel, and, no doubt, it gave him an audience of such a sort as he had never had. What did it matter even to himself what became of him, if ‘ all the Gentiles,’ and among them, no doubt, senators, generals, statesmen, and possibly Nero, ‘might bear’? Only as a second result of Christ’s help does he add that he was rescued, as from between the very teeth of the lion. The peril was extreme; his position seemed hopeless, the jaws were wide open, and he was held by the sharp fangs, but Christ dragged him out. The true David delivered his lamb out of the lion’s mouth.

The past is the prophecy of the future to those that trust in a changeless Christ, who has all the resources of the universe at command. ‘That which hath been is that which shall be,’ and he who can say ‘he hath delivered from so great a death’ ought to have no hesitation in adding’ in whom I trust that He will yet deliver me.’ That was the use that Paul made of his experience, and so his last words are an utterance of unfaltering faith and a doxology.

There appears to be an interesting echo of the Lord’s Prayer in verse 18. Observe the words ‘deliver,’ ‘from evil,’ ‘kingdom,’ ‘glory.’ Was Paul’s confidence disappointed? No; for surely he was delivered from every evil work, when the sharp sword struck off his head as he knelt outside thewalls of Rome. And Death was Christ’s last messenger, sent to ‘save him unto His heavenly kingdom,’ that there he might, with loftier words than even he could utter on earth, ascribe to Him ‘glory for ever. Amen.’

2 Timothy 4:1-4. Having, in the preceding chapter, explained to Timothy the duties of his office, as an evangelist, the apostle now proceeds solemnly to charge him, in the presence of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to be diligent and faithful in all the duties of the ministry; by preaching the true doctrine, confuting gainsayers, rebuking sinners, and exhorting both the teachers and people under his care to conduct themselves properly in every respect. His words are peculiarly solemn, I charge thee, therefore — This is an inference drawn from the whole preceding chapter; before God and the Lord Jesus Christ — Now and always present with us, observing our whole behaviour; who shall judge the quick and the dead. — Bringing every work into judgment with every secret thing, and rendering unto every man according to his deeds, Romans 2:6; at his appearing and his kingdom — That is, at his coming, when he shall most manifestly exercise his kingly and judicial power in the sight of all intelligent beings. Preach the word — The pure gospel doctrine, in all its branches. Be instant — Importunate, pressing; insist on and urge the great truths and duties of the religion of Jesus; in season, out of season — That is, continually, at all times and places. The Greek, ευκαιρως, ακαιρως, may be rendered, when there is a good opportunity, and when there is no opportunity, or, not only when a fair occasion is given, but even when there is none, one must be made. Reprove — Ελεγξον, convince the consciences of men, and endeavour to reclaim them from their erroneous principles and practices; rebuke — Them, for their impieties and immoralities, without fearing the face of any man; and exhort to zeal and diligence in the pursuit of every grace, and the performance of every duty; with all long-suffering — Though thou mayest not immediately see the desired success; and doctrine — That is, still continue to warn and teach. And the rather seize the present opportunity with all earnestness; for the time will come — And is fast approaching; when they — Even the professors of Christianity; will not endure sound doctrine — Wholesome, salutary, healing doctrine — Doctrine calculated to save them from their errors and sins, and to heal their spiritual disorders. But after their own lusts — According to their own desires; shall they heap to themselves teachers — As smooth as they can wish; having itching ears — Fond of novelty and variety; which disposition the number of new teachers, as well as their empty, soft, or philosophical discourses will please. Such teachers and such hearers seldom are much concerned with what is strict and searching, or calculated to excite them to aspire after a conformity to the Lord Jesus. Not enduring sound doctrine, they will reject the sound preachers, and gather together all that suit their own taste. And — So greatly will their minds be perverted, that they shall turn away their ears from the truth — From the true, genuine doctrine of the gospel; and be turned unto fables — Unto vain, idle stories, and uncertain opinions and traditions. See on 1 Timothy 1:4.

4:1-5 People will turn away from the truth, they will grow weary of the plain gospel of Christ, they will be greedy of fables, and take pleasure in them. People do so when they will not endure that preaching which is searching, plain, and to the purpose. Those who love souls must be ever watchful, must venture and bear all the painful effects of their faithfulness, and take all opportunities of making known the pure gospel.I charge thee therefore before God - See the notes on 1 Timothy 5:21.

Who shall judge the quick and the dead - That is, the Lord Jesus; for he is to be the judge of men; Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Corinthians 5:10. The word "quick" means "living" (See the Acts 10:42 note; Ephesians 2:1 note); and the idea is, that he would be alike the judge of all who were alive when he should come, and of all who had died; see the notes on 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. In view of the fact that all, whether preachers or hearers, must give up their account to the final Judge, Paul charges Timothy to be faithful; and what is there which will more conduce to fidelity in the discharge of duty, than the thought that we must soon give up a solemn account of the manner in which we have performed it?

At his appearing - That is, the judgment shall then take place. This must refer to a judgment yet to take place, for the Lord Jesus has not yet "appeared" the second time to men; and, if this be so, then there is to be a resurrection of the dead. On the meaning of the word rendered "appearing," see the notes on 2 Thessalonians 2:8. It is there rendered "brighteness"; compare 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 2:13.

And his kingdom - Or, at the setting up of his kingdom. The idea of his reigning, or setting up his kingdom, is not unfrequently associated with the idea of his cominG; see Matthew 16:28. The meaning is, that, at his second advent, the extent and majesty of his kingdom will be fully displayed. It will be seen that he has control over the elements, over the graves of the dead, and over all the living. It will be seen that the earth and the heavens are under his sway, and that all things there acknowledge him as their sovereign Lord. In order to meet the full force of the language used by Paul here, it is not necessary to suppose that he will set up a visible kingdom on the earth, but only that there will be an illustrious display of himself as a king, and of the extent and majesty of the empire over which he presides: compare the Romans 14:11 note; Philippians 2:10 note.


2Ti 4:1-22. Solemn Charge to Timothy to Do His Duty Zealously, for Times of Apostasy Are at Hand, and the Apostle Is near His Triumphant End: Requests Him to Come and Bring Mark with Him to Rome, as Luke Alone Is with Him, the Others Having Gone: Also His Cloak and Parchments: Warns Him against Alexander: Tells What Befell Him at His First Defense: Greetings: Benediction.

1. charge—Greek, "adjure."

therefore—omitted in the oldest manuscripts.

the Lord Jesus Christ—The oldest manuscripts read simply, "Christ Jesus."

shall judge—His commission from God is mentioned, Ac 10:42; his resolution to do so, 1Pe 4:5; the execution of his commission, here.

at his appearing—The oldest manuscripts read, "and" for "at"; then translate, "(I charge thee before God … ) and by His appearing."

and his kingdom—to be set at His appearing, when we hope to reign with Him. His kingdom is real now, but not visible. It shall then be both real and visible (Lu 22:18, 30; Re 1:7; 11:15; 19:6). Now he reigns in the midst of His enemies expecting till they shall be overthrown (Ps 110:2; Heb 10:13). Then He shall reign with His adversaries prostrate.2 Timothy 4:1-5 Paul giveth Timothy a solemn charge to do his duty

with all care and diligence,

2 Timothy 4:6-8 certifieth him of his approaching end, and of the

glorious prospect he had in view.

2 Timothy 4:9-13 He desireth him to hasten his coming, and to bring

Mark with him, and certain other things,

2 Timothy 4:14,15 warneth him to beware of Alexander,

2 Timothy 4:16-18 informeth him what had befallen him at his first apology,

2 Timothy 4:19-22 and concludeth with salutations, and a benediction.

I charge thee therefore before God, who seeth and observeth what thou doest, and will one day call thee to account for thy discharge of thy ministry.

And the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead; and before the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom thou hast more reason to regard, not only because he is thy Master, and thou his servant, in a special sense, but because he is to be thy Judge also, for he shall be the Judge, as of those that are dead before his coming, so of those also who shall be alive at his coming, 1 Corinthians 15:52 1 Thessalonians 4:15,17.

At his appearing and his kingdom; when he shall appear the second time, and set up his kingdom of glory, delivering up his mediatory kingdom to this Father. I charge thee, as in the presence of God and this Christ, or as thou hast a regard to God and to this Christ, and fearest the angry face of this Judge, or believest his second coming, or expectest a share in his kingdom of glory: a most severe obtestation, charge, or adjuration. What is that duty which is ushered in in so solemn a manner? It followeth. (See Poole on "2 Timothy 4:2").

I charge thee therefore before God,.... Whose word the Scriptures are, and by whom they are inspired; who had made Timothy an able minister of the New Testament, and to whom he was accountable for his ministry:

and the Lord Jesus Christ; who is equal with God, and bestows ministerial gifts on men, and from whom Timothy had his; whose Gospel he preached; in whose cause he was embarked; and before whom he must appear, to give an account of his ministry, talents, and souls under his care:

who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; it is certain there will be a general judgment; the day is appointed, and Christ is ordained the Judge of all men; all judgment is committed to him, and he is ready to exercise it; for which he is abundantly qualified, being God omniscient and omnipotent; and which he will execute in the most righteous and impartial manner. The persons that will be judged by him are, "the quick and the dead"; by which are meant, not the different parts of men, their souls which are living and immortal, and their bodies which die and will be raised from the dead, though they will be judged in their whole persons; nor the different sorts of men, as good men, who are made alive by the Spirit and grace of God, and evil men, who are dead in trespasses and sins, and die in their sins; though this is a truth that God will judge both the righteous and the wicked: but rather by the "quick", are meant, such as will be found alive at Christ's coming; and by the "dead", such as having been dead, will be raised by him; and in short, the characters include all mentioned; who must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. The time when this will be, is,

at his appearing, and his kingdom; which may be considered as an hendyadis, expressive of one and the same thing; and so the Syriac version renders it, "at the revelation of his kingdom"; or as two things, the one as antecedent and preparatory to the other; the former refers to the appearance of Christ at the last day. He appeared frequently to the Old Testament saints in an human form; and he really appeared in human nature in the fulness of time; and after his resurrection to his apostles and others, and even after his ascension to some; and he appears in a spiritual manner to believers in all ages; but to them that look for him, he will appear a second time in person, in a most glorious manner: for the present he is received up into heaven, where he is as it were hid, and is unseen to corporeal eyes; but in his due time he will be manifested in his own and his Father's glory, and in the glory of his angels; and this appearance will be greatly to the advantage of the saints, who will then appear in glory, and be like him, and see him as he is, and hence they look for it, and love it; and at this time will be the judgment, and then will the kingdom of Christ take place. Christ has a kingdom now, and ever had, which is not of this world, but is of a spiritual nature; and which will be more manifest in that latter day, by the spread of the Gospel, the numerous instances of conversion, and the revival of powerful religion and godliness, which we commonly call the spiritual reign of Christ; but the kingdom here designed, is the personal reign of Christ, for a thousand years: at the beginning of which will be the judgment of the saints, who having the crown of righteousness given them by the Judge, will reign with him as kings and priests; and at the end of this period will be the judgment of the wicked. The charge made before these two divine Persons, God and his Son Jesus Christ, follows.

I {1} charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

(1) The principal and chief of all admonitions, being therefore proposed with a most earnest charge, is this: that the word of God is explained and set forth with a certain holy urgent exhorting, as necessity requires: but in such a way that a good and true ground of the doctrine is laid, and the vehemency is tempered with all holy meekness.

2 Timothy 4:1-2. Exhortation to faithful performance of official duty, enforced by the introductory formula: διαμαρτύρομαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ κ.τ.λ.] comp. 2 Timothy 2:14; 1 Timothy 5:21.

τοῦ μέλλοντος κρίνειν ζ. κ. νεκρ.] Theophylact rightly expounds it: ζῶντας καὶ νεκροὺς λέγει τοὺς ἤδη ἀπελθόντας, καὶ τοὺς τότε καταλειφθησομένους ζῶντας; comp. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. Christ is called judge of the dead and the living, also in Acts 10:42; 1 Peter 4:5; it is quite wrong to suppose that the spiritually dead and living are meant. The allusion to the last judgment gives special strength to the exhortation.

καὶ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ] Most expositors adopt κατά, the usual reading, as the correct one, and then take it as a preposition of time (Matthew 27:15; Acts 13:27; Hebrews 3:8), belonging to κρίνειν. With the correct reading, τὴν ἐπιφ κ.τ.λ. depends on διαμαρτύρομαι as the accusative of the oath (so, too, van Oosterzee and Plitt). It is, however, to be noted that in the N. T. διαμαρτύρεσθαι does not mean “swear” by itself, but only in connection with ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ (only in the Pastoral Epistles), and therefore only in this connection does it, like other verbs of swearing, govern the accusative, as Hofmann rightly remarks. Hence it follows that καί does not connect ἐπιφάνειαν with the previous ἐνώπιον, but belongs to the following καί: “both … and” (Hofmann). De Wette, appealing to Deuteronomy 4:26, incorrectly expounds it: “I call his appearance, etc., to witness;” present things may be summoned as witnesses, but not future events like the ἐπιφάνεια of Christ.

The Vulg. has: per adventum, without καί: probably a translation of κατά, which is taken as κατά with the genitive, Matthew 26:63.

ἐπιφάνεια, see 1 Timothy 6:14.

καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ] Several expositors join the two expressions as an hendiadys (Bengel: ἐπιφάνεια est revelatio et exhortus regni) = τὴν ἐπιφ. τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ; but the αὐτοῦ with ἐπιφ. is against this. The two things are considered separately (Wiesinger: “the repetition of αὐτοῦ is rhetorical; each element is intended to be taken independently, and considered in its full significance”); the βασιλεία αὐτοῦ is the regnum gloriae which begins with the return of Christ.

The reason for adding these words lies in the κρίνειν ζ. κ. ν.; Paul says he has Christ’s second coming and kingdom in his thoughts, that he may give greater importance to his exhortation.—2 Timothy 4:2. κήρυξον τὸν λόγον] In 1 Timothy 5:21, διαμ. is followed by ἵνα with the conjunctive; but here we have the simple imperative, which makes the appeal all the more urgent (Wiesinger).

τὸν λόγον, sc. τοῦ Θεοῦ] This more precise definition is wanting here, because the emphasis lies chiefly on the verb, Paul indicating to Timothy the work to be done.

ἐπίστηθι εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως] Most expositors join these words closely with κήρυξον in sense. Heydenreich: ἐπίστηθι, sc. τῷ κηρύσσειν. Theodoret: οὐχ ἁπλῶς καὶ ὡς ἔτυχεν αὐτὸν κηρύττειν παρεγγυᾷ, ἀλλὰ πάντα καιρὸν ἐπιτήδειον πρὸς τοῦτο νομίζειν. Vulg.: “insta;” Luther: “persist;” so also van Oosterzee; similarly Wiesinger, who, in harmony with ἐπίμενε αὐτοῖς, 1 Timothy 4:16, expounds it: “keep one’s attention or activity directed to a thing.” But this is not the usual meaning of the verb; it means rather “step towards or draw near” (Hofmann is less precise: “approach, appear”), comp. Luke 2:8; Luke 2:38, and other passages. The word is defined more precisely by κήρυξον τὸν λόγον: draw near with the preaching of the word. Who are the persons to whom Timothy is to draw near, may easily be supplied from the context, viz. to those to whom he has to preach the word. It is incorrect to think only of the whole church (Bretschneider: accede ad coetus christianos, so also de Wette), or only of the individual members (so before in this commentary). Plitt is correct: “draw near (to men), viz. with the word.”

εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως[56]] Chrysostom: ΜῊ ΚΑΙΡῸΝ ἜΧΕ ὩΡΙΣΜΈΝΟΝ, ἈΕῚ ΣΟῚ ΚΑΙΡῸς ἚΣΤΩ. The further definition given by Chrysostom: ΚἊΝ ἘΝ ΤΟῖς ΚΙΝΔΎΝΟΙς, ΚἊΝ ἘΝ ΔΕΣΜΩΤΗΡΊῼ ᾞς Κ.Τ.Λ., or by Theodoret: ΚΑῚ ἘΝ ΔΕΣΜΩΤΗΡΊῼ, ΚΑΊ ΠΛΟΊῼ ΚΑῚ ΠΑΡΑΚΕΙΜΈΝΗς ΤΡΑΠΈΖΗς, and others similar by other expositors, are wrong, since we ought to think here not so much of the circumstances in which Timothy (or more generally the preacher of the word) may be, but of the circumstances of the hearers: “whether the time seems to thee seasonable or unseasonable for it” (de Wette, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee). Hofmann is wrong: “whether he comes seasonably or not to those whom he approaches with the word;” for there was no need to tell Timothy that the preacher was not bound to inquire into his hearers’ opinion and act accordingly. For the truth, the occasion is always seasonable. He who desires to wait until the occasion seem completely favourable for his work, will never find it. This is particularly true of the exercise of the evangelic office.

Note, finally, Beza’s remark: nempe quod ad carnis prudentiam pertinet; nam alioqui requiritur sanctae prudentiae spiritus, captans occasiones ad aedificationem opportunas.

ἜΛΕΓΞΟΝ] should be restricted neither to heresies nor to moral transgressions; it includes blame of everything blameworthy.

ἘΠΙΤΊΜΗΣΟΝ] stronger than ἜΛΕΓΞΟΝ: “blame with decided manifestation of dislike;” often in the Gospels, also in Judges 1:9.

ΠΑΡΑΚΆΛΕΣΟΝ] Blame and exhortation should be joined in order to cause edification; blame by itself embitters, exhortation by itself is ineffectual.

ἘΝ ΠΆΣῌ ΜΑΚΡΟΘΥΜΊᾼ ΚΑῚ ΔΙΔΑΧῇ] An appendix to ΠΑΡΑΚΆΛΕΣΟΝ, or, according to the reading of Tisch. 8, ἘΠΙΤΊΜΗΣΟΝ, with which, however, it seems less appropriate. On ΜΑΚΡΟΘΥΜΊΑ, comp. 2 Timothy 3:10.

ΔΙΔΑΧῇ] The exhortation is to be of a kind that will instruct; the purpose, as Heydenreich aptly remarks, is not to produce momentary emotion and violent tumult of feeling. ΔΙΔΑΧΉ is instruction, and is not equivalent to studium alios vera docendi. It is wrong, too, to make it an hendiadys, as if it were ἘΝ ΠΆΣῌ ΔΙΔΑΧῆς ΜΑΚΡΟΘΥΜΊᾼ.

Note the connection of this verse with 2 Timothy 3:16. The preacher of the divine word has not to perform the work of teaching, of reproving, etc., without placing himself under the teaching, the reproof, etc., of the divine word.

[56] Similar collocations without any particle of union or separation are not found in the N. T., but occur in Greek and Latin classics; see Bengel on this passage. Nicetas Choniates: παιδαγωγῷ ἐμβριθεῖ ἐοικὼς, εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως ἐπέπληττεν. Julian: ἐπορεύετο ἐπὶ τὰς τῶν φίλων οἰκίκς ἄκλητος κεκλημένος. Virgil: digna indigna pati.

2 Timothy 4:1-8. I solemnly charge you, in view of the coming judgment, to be zealous in the exercise of your ministry while the opportunity lasts, while people are willing to listen to your admonitions. Soon the craze for novelty will draw men away from sober truth to fantastic figments. Do you stand your ground. Fill the place which my death will leave vacant. My course is run, my crown is awaiting me. “My crown” did I say? Nay, there is a crown for you, too, and for all who live in the loving longing for the coming of their Lord.

1. I charge thee therefore] Read I charge thee, omitting the pronoun and conjunction. The stress is on the verb itself, more marked and solemn because placed quite abruptly; almost therefore, ‘I adjure thee.’ For the meaning and use, see on 2 Timothy 2:14.

and the Lord Jesus Christ] The best mss. have and Christ Jesus, see note on 1 Timothy 1:1.

who shall judge] The thought of ‘Christ the Judge,’ which was the subject of St Paul’s earliest letters to the Thessalonians fifteen years before, recurs now in this last warning word. So too the word ‘appearing,’ epiphany, which is a characteristic of the ‘Pastorals’: see note on 1 Timothy 6:14.

at his appearing] The better authorities read ‘and’ for ‘at’; ‘his appearing’ is to be taken therefore as the accusative of the object appealed to in the solemn adjuration; as the same verb is used LXX. Deuteronomy 4:26, ‘I call heaven and earth to witness against you’; the first construction being equivalent in sense to ‘I call God to witness, and Christ Jesus,’ the second is added as if it had been so, ‘and I call to witness His appearing.’ So the uncompounded verb is constantly used with the accusative. Cf. Mark 5:7.

and his kingdom] ‘His coming, at which we shall stand before Him, His kingdom in which we shall hope to reign with Him.’ Alford.

1–8. The last appeal. The same warning. The old example

The three main thoughts (see 2 Timothy 3:1) recur, but with added intensity, in this last brief appeal, and warning, and example. Similarly in 1 Timothy 6:20 observe the ‘aculeus in fine.’ ‘Play the man thyself; beware the lives and tongues of error; see how the old warrior dies.’

2 Timothy 4:1. Οὖν, therefore) This is deduced from the whole of ch. 3—ἐγὼ, I) whom thou hast known, ch. 2 Timothy 3:14.—ζῶντας καὶ νεκροὺς, the living and the dead) Paul’s death was at hand, while Timothy was to survive.—κατὰ) then when He shall appear; κατὰ refers to time, Hebrews 1:10 [Κατʼ ἀρχάς].—ἐπιφάνειαν) ἐπιφάνεια καὶ βασιλεία is a Hendiadys: ἐπιφάνεια is the revelation and rise of the kingdom, 1 Timothy 6:14-15.

Verse 1. - In the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus for therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, A.V. and T.R.; and by for at, A.V. and T.R. I charge thee (διαμαρτύρομαι); as 2 Timothy 2:14 and 1 Timothy 5:21 (where see note). The words οϋν ἐγώ, wanting in some of the best manuscripts, are "rejected by Griesbach, Tischendorf, Lachmann," and by Huther, Alford, Ellicott, and others. The chapter opens rather abruptly without the connecting "therefore." And by his appearing and his kingdom. The reading of the T.R., κατὰ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν κ.τ.λ.., "at his appearing and kingdom," makes such excellent sense, and is in such perfect accordance with the usual grammar, and with the usual connection of events, that it is difficult not to believe that it is the right reading (see Matthew 27:15, κατὰ ἑορτήν, "at the feast;" κατὰ πᾶν σάββατον, "on every sabbath;" Acts 13:27, κατὰ τὴν ἡμέραν, "in the day;" Hebrews 3:8 for the grammar; and the universal language of Scripture and the Creeds connecting the judgment with the Lord's appearing and kingdom). On the other hand, the reading καὶ is almost impossible to construe. No two commentators scarcely are agreed how to do so. Some take τὴν ἐπιφανείαν καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν as the object governed by διαμαρτύρομαι as in the LXX. of Deuteronomy 4:26, "I call to witness... Christ's epiphany and kingdom," taking διαμαρτύρομαι in two senses or two constructions. Others take them as the accusatives of the things sworn by, "I charge thee before God and Jesus Christ, and by his epiphany and kingdom," as Mark 5:7, τὸν Θεόν, "by God;" Acts 19:13, τὸν Ἰησοῦν, "by Jesus;" 1 Thessalonians 5:27, τὸν Κύριον, "by the Lord." But how awkward such a separation of the thing sworn by from the verb is, and how unnatural it is to couple with καὶ the two ideas, "before God" and "by Christ's epiphany," and how absolutely without example such a swearing by Christ's epiphany and kingdom is, nobody needs to be told. Others, as Huther, try to get over part at least of this awkwardness by taking the two καιs as "both:" "by both his epiphany and his kingdom." Ellicott explains it by saying that as you could not put "the epiphany and the kingdom" in dependence upon ἐνώπιον (as if they were persons like God and Christ), they "naturally pass into the accusative." But surely this is all thoroughly unsatisfactory. The T.R. is perfectly easy and simple. Appearing (ἐπιφανεία); ver. 8; 2 Timothy 1:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 1 Timothy 6:14; Titus 2:13. His kingdom. So in the Nicene Creed: "He shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead: whose kingdom shall have no end" (comp. Matthew 25:31, followed by the judgment). 2 Timothy 4:1I charge (διαμαρτύρομαι)

See on 1 Timothy 5:21.

At his appearing (καὶ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν)

Rend. "and by his appearing," ἐπιφάνειαν thus depending on διαμαρτύρομαι, and the accusative being the ordinary accusative of conjuration, with which by must be supplied. The A.V. follows the reading κατὰ at. For ἐπιφάνεια appearing, see on 1 Timothy 6:14; see on 2 Thessalonians 2:8. For, βασιλεία kingdom, see on Luke 6:20.

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