2 Timothy 4:9
Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
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(9) Do thy diligence to come shortly.—Such a request as this would—had we no other arguments—tell us that no forger ever wrote this Epistle. Who would ever have dreamed of putting into the letter such a request as this, after those solemn expressions of the last few verses, in which the Apostle spoke of himself as even then tasting the bitterness of death? He had been writing as though the martyr’s death was so imminent that the preparations were already being made for it. This request to Timothy to come to him, after he had written such thoughts down, is at first sight strange, and one certainly which no forger would have appended to the writing. But though the forger would never have thought of such a summons, St. Paul might. He still lived, and the thought of life and the hope of life even in that brave Christ-loving heart still burned; after all, the martyrdom which seemed so close at hand might be delayed. Days, months, might drag on their slow, weary length, and still find the old man languishing and solitary in his chains in that dreary prison. He longed to see some of his faithful companions once more, and for the last time to bid them with his own mouth to be faithful and brave. So, as it were, hoping against hope, he dictates on the last pages of the letter, “Do thy diligence,” or better, “earnestly endeavour to come shortly to me.” His loving wish to see Timothy again appears from the words of 2Timothy 1:4 : “greatly desiring to see thee;” and again from 2Timothy 4:21. “Do thy diligence to come before winter.” And some have seen in the expression, “being mindful of thy tears,” in 2Timothy 1:4 (to which we have given, however, a different interpretation), a reciprocal anxiety on the part of Timothy to see and speak again with his old master. But St. Paul, though he begged him to hasten his journey as much as possible, and still, though all seemed so dark around him, hoped to see him again, framed the charge of the last letter in such a way that Timothy, if when he reached Rome, should find that all was over, might know what were his master’s last wishes and directions. On the natural human longing for sympathy in the supreme hour, compare our blessed Lord’s words to Peter, James, and John (Matthew 26:38): “My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me.

2 Timothy 4:9-11. Do thy diligence — Endeavour by all means; to come shortly unto me — The apostle, now about to leave the world, wished to enjoy Timothy’s company and conversation for a little while, both that that evangelist might comfort him, and might be comforted and strengthened by him, so that he might suffer death courageously when called to do so. Accordingly, it is said by some, that he actually suffered martyrdom at Ephesus. For, &c. — As if he had said, I have the more need of thy company and assistance, because I have been deserted by some who ought to have acted in a very different manner: Demas — Once my fellow- labourer, (Philemon 1:24,) hath forsaken me — By calling the departure of Demas to Thessalonica a forsaking him, the apostle intimates that he departed without his permission. Having loved this present world — And gone where his secular views invited him. Crescens — Probably a preacher also, is gone with my consent to Galatia. Titus to Dalmatia — Having now left Crete. These either went with him to Rome, or visited him there. Only Luke — Of my fellow-labourers; is with me — For, from 2 Timothy 4:21, where the salutations of some of the Roman brethren by name are mentioned, it appears that the apostle had many friends still in Rome, members of the church there, with whom he was allowed to have some intercourse, but his chief support was, that God was with him. Of the character of Luke, see on Colossians 4:14, and the preface to his gospel, Take Mark and bring him — Who, though he once departed from the work, is now profitable to me for the ministry — Mark, mentioned in this passage, is by some thought to be a different person from the writer of the gospel which bears his name.

4:9-13 The love of this world, is often the cause of turning back from the truths and ways of Jesus Christ. Paul was guided by Divine inspiration, yet he would have his books. As long as we live, we must still learn. The apostles did not neglect human means, in seeking the necessaries of life, or their own instruction. Let us thank the Divine goodness in having given us so many writings of wise and pious men in all ages; and let us seek that by reading them our profiting may appear to all.Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me - As soon as possible. Timothy had been Paul's traveling companion, and was his intimate friend. The apostle was now nearly forsaken, and was about to pass through severe trials. It is not certainly known for what purpose he wished him to come to him, but perhaps he desired to give him some parting counsels; perhaps he wished him to be near him when he died. It is evident from this that he did not regard him as the prelatical "bishop of the church of the Ephesians," or consider that he was so confined to that place in his labors, that he was not also to go to other places if he was called in the providence of God. It is probable that Timothy would obey such a summons, and there is no reason to believe that he ever returned to Ephseus. 9. (2Ti 4:21; 2Ti 1:4, 8.) Timothy is asked to come to be a comfort to Paul, and also to be strengthened by Paul, for carrying on the Gospel work after Paul's decease. To Rome, where Paul was at this time a prisoner. It appears from Philippians 2:19, that Timothy did go to Paul at Rome, according to this desire of his, and was with him while a prisoner there.

Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me. From Ephesus, where Timothy was, to Rome, where the apostle was; and this request did not arise purely from a desire of seeing Timothy, as in 2 Timothy 1:4 but rather because he had some things to say to him, relating to the care of the churches and the good of the interest of Christ, which he chose not to write with ink and paper; and he desires the rather that he would use diligence, and hasten his coming to him; partly because winter was coming on, when travelling would not be so safe and comfortable, 2 Timothy 4:21 and partly because the time of his death was at hand, 2 Timothy 4:7 and also because he was almost alone. {5} Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:

(5) The last part of the epistle, setting forth grievous complaints against certain ones, and examples of singular godliness in every place, and of a mind never wearied.

2 Timothy 4:9. From this verse to the end we have detached commissions and items of news. “This forms the second chief section of the epistle. The apostle, with his usual habit of keeping the more personal matter for the end, places it after the exhortations given to Timothy about his office” (Wiesinger).

σπούδασον ἐλθεῖν πρὸς με ταχέως] Here the apostle’s wish that Timothy should come to him, hinted already in 2 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:8, is distinctly expressed. Even if it were the proximate cause of his writing, it is arbitrary to regard this as the chief purpose of the epistle, as de Wette does.[65]

The apostle wished him to come, because those who had assisted him hitherto had left him.

[65] Hofmann’s remark is purely hypothetical, that σπούδασον κ.τ.λ. is not an invitation, but refers to Timothy’s willingness to come, which he had expressed to Paul in a letter.

2 Timothy 4:9-12. Come to me as speedily as you can. I am almost alone. Some of my company have forsaken me; others I have despatched on business. Bring Mark with you. I have use for him.

9. Do thy diligence] The same verb as in Titus 3:12 and below 2 Timothy 4:21. ‘Make an earnest effort,’ ‘do thy best.’ Compare the use in Galatians 2:10, ‘this was my own heartfelt desire.’

shortly] Further defined 2 Timothy 4:21.

9–18. The scattering of friends. Entreaty for Timothy’s presence. Assurance of the Lord’s present help

The connexion is: ‘Do your best to come to me—to come with all speed—to come before the winter stops you—lest it be too late. But for Luke, I am all alone. One by one they of Asia have left me. Yet I am not alone. I can still do all things through Him that enables me.’

2 Timothy 4:9. Σπούδασον, do thy diligence) This word is repeated, 2 Timothy 4:21.—ἐλθεῖν πρός με, to come to me) That which Paul handled hitherto somewhat covertly, he at length, in the epilogue of the epistle, states openly, 2 Timothy 4:21. Timothy was both about to be a comfort to Paul the martyr, and about to be strengthened by him, and afterwards was about to carry on the work of the Gospel, perhaps, for some little time at Rome. He is reported to have become a martyr at Ephesus.

Verse 9. - Do thy diligence (σπούδασον); see ch. 2:15, note. St. Paul's affectionate longing for Timothy's company in present danger and desertion is very touching. (For the chronological bearing of this passage, see Introduction.) 2 Timothy 4:9Do thy diligence (σπούδασον)

Earnestly endeavor. See on 2 Timothy 2:15, and comp. 2 Timothy 1:3. Do diligence and give diligence (2 Peter 1:10) are old English phrases. So Chaucer:

"And night and day dide ever his diligence

Hir for to please."

Manciple's T. 141.

"And ech of hem doth al his diligence

To doon un-to the feste reverence."

Clerke's T. 195

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