2 Timothy 4:15
Of whom be you ware also; for he has greatly withstood our words.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) Of whom be thou ware also.—This Alexander was evidently then at Ephesus. That he had been at Rome, and had given evidence against St. Paul, and had argued against the defence of the Apostle, is probable. “Our words” some understand as especially referring to St. Paul’s defence before the imperial tribunal. If we identify him with the Alexander of Acts 19:33-34, then he was a Jew, one of those bitter, life-long antagonists of the Gentile Apostle who crossed his path at every step, and not improbably brought about, in the end, his death. It is an interesting suggestion which refers the connection between St. Paul and Alexander back to those days when Saul and Alexander were both reckoned as belonging to the strictest Pharisee party, determined foes to the “Nazarenes.” Saul—if we adopt this supposition—became the Apostle St. Paul of the Gentiles; Alexander remained a fanatic Jew—hence the enmity.

4:14-18 There is as much danger from false brethren, as from open enemies. It is dangerous having to do with those who would be enemies to such a man as Paul. The Christians at Rome were forward to meet him, Ac 28, but when there seemed to be a danger of suffering with him, then all forsook him. God might justly be angry with them, but he prays God to forgive them. The apostle was delivered out of the mouth of the lion, that is, of Nero, or some of his judges. If the Lord stands by us, he will strengthen us in difficulties and dangers, and his presence will more than supply every one's absence.Of whom be thou ware also - It would seem from this that Alexander was still a public teacher, and that his discourses were plausible and artful. The best and the wisest of men need to be on their guard against the efforts of the advocates of error.

For he hath greatly withstood our words - Margin, "preachings." The Greek is, "words;" but the reference is doubtless to the public teachings of Paul. This verse makes it clear that it was no private wrong that Paul referred to, but the injury which he was doing to the cause of truth as a professed public teacher.

15. our words—the arguments of us Christians for our common faith. Believers have a common cause. No notes from Poole on this verse. Of whom be thou ware also,.... For he was now at Ephesus; and since he was such a malicious, ill natured, and troublesome person, as well as a blasphemer, an heretic, and had been delivered up to Satan, it was very advisable to shun his company, and have no conversation with him, and be upon the guard against him, that he might have no opportunity of doing hurt to him, or to the church at Ephesus:

for he hath greatly withstood our words: or doctrines; the truths of the Gospel preached by Paul and Timothy, which he opposed himself to, and resisted with all his might, and endeavoured to confute and overthrow; and wherein he was deficient in argument, he made up with railing and blasphemy; and this was the true reason of the apostle's imprecations on him, and why he would have Timothy beware of him, and avoid him, and not the personal injury he had done him.

Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Timothy 4:15. φυλάσσου: For this sense of φυλάσσω with a direct object, see reff. We infer that Alexander was in Timothy’s vicinity.

ἡμετέροις λόγοις: The λόγοι were expressions of doctrine common to all Christians with St. Paul; hence ἡμετέροις.15. hath greatly withstood] The aorist should be read for the perfect, he withstood. There is apparently an antithesis intended between Alexander’s ‘works’ of mischief and the Apostle’s ‘words.’ It does not seem to be false teaching that is referred to therefore, but (we may conjecture) evil action, by stirring up opposition to St Paul’s preaching from Ephesus perhaps to Troas, scheming to bring him into trouble, finally rousing the Roman authority, which since the Roman fire no longer regarded Christianity as a religio licita, so as to bring about his arrest. There might be thus a special point in the warning given to Timothy, lest Alexander should be on his track as he set out for Rome.Verse 15. - Withstood for hath withstood, A.V. Of whom be thou ware (ο{ν φυλάσσου). This is the proper construction in classical Greek, the accusative of the person or thing, after φυλάσσομαι. But it is only found in Acts 21:25. In Luke 12:15 the equally correct phrase, Φυλάσσεσθε ἀπὸ τῆς πλεονεξιας, is used. The inference from this caution to Timothy is that Alexander had left Rome and returned to his native Ephesus. The Jews were always on the move. He greatly withstood our words (ἀντέστη). For an exactly similar use, see Acts 13:8, where Elymas "withstood" Paul and Barnabas; and 2 Timothy 3:8, where Jannes and Jambres "withstood" Moses. In this case we may be sure that Paul, in pleading for his life, did not omit to preach the gospel to his Gentile audience. Alexander tried to refute his words, not without effect. The apostle says "our words" (not "my words"), perhaps to associate with himself those other Christians who were with him. It certainly cannot mean "yours and mine," as Timothy was not with him when the "words" were spoken. Greatly withstood (λίαν ἀντέστη)

Comp. 2 Timothy 3:8, and Galatians 2:11. This may refer to the occurrences at Ephesus (Acts 19:33), or to Alexander's attitude during Paul's trial. The former is more probable. Λίαν greatly, not in Paul, except in the compound ὑπερλίαν, 2 Corinthians 11:5; 2 Corinthians 12:11. Only here in Pastorals. Mostly in Synoptic Gospels.

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