Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO TIMOTHY Commentary by A. R. Faussett
Place of Writing.—Paul, in the interval between his first and second imprisonment, after having written First Timothy from Macedonia or Corinth [Birks] (if we are to adopt the opinion that First Timothy was written after his first imprisonment), returned to Ephesus, as he intended, by way of Troas, where he left the books, &c. (mentioned in 2Ti 4:13), with Carpus. From Ephesus he went to Crete for a short visit and returned, and then wrote to Titus. Next he went by Miletus to Corinth (2Ti 4:20), and thence to Nicopolis (Tit 3:12), whence he proceeded to Rome. From his prison there he wrote the Second Epistle to Timothy, shortly before his martyrdom. It is not certain where Timothy was at this time. Some of the internal evidences favor the view of his having been then at Ephesus; thus the salutation of Priscilla and Aquila, who generally resided there (2Ti 4:19); also that of the household of Onesiphorus, who is stated in 2Ti 1:16-18 to have ministered to Paul at Ephesus, a circumstance implying his residence there. Also, the Hymenæus of 2Ti 2:17 seems to be the same as the Hymenæus at Ephesus (1Ti 1:20); and probably "Alexander the coppersmith" (2Ti 4:14) is the same as the Alexander joined with Hymenæus (1Ti 1:20), and possibly the same as the Alexander put forward by the Jews to clear themselves, not to befriend Paul, at the riot in Ephesus (Ac 19:33, 34). The difficulty is, on this supposition, how to account for 2Ti 4:12, 20: if Timothy was at Ephesus, why did he need to be told that Paul had sent Tychicus to Ephesus? or that Paul had left Trophimus, himself an Ephesian (Ac 21:29), sick at Miletus, which was only thirty miles from Ephesus? However, see on 2Ti 4:12; 2Ti 4:20. Troas lay on the road to Rome from either Ephesus or Pontus, so that 2Ti 4:13 will accord with the theory of either Ephesus or any other place in the northwest of Asia Minor, being Timothy's place of sojourn at the time. Probably, he had the general superintendence of the Pauline churches in Asia Minor, in accordance with his mission combining the office of evangelist, or itinerant missionary, with that of presiding overseer. Ephesus was probably his headquarters.
Time of Writing.—(1) Paul's first imprisonment, described in Ac 28:17-31, was much milder than that in which he was when writing Second Timothy. In the former, he had liberty to lodge in his own hired house, and to receive all comers, guarded only by a single soldier; in the latter, he was so closely confined that Onesiphorus with difficulty found him; he was chained, his friends had forsaken him, and he had narrowly escaped sentence of execution from the Roman emperor. Medieval legends represent the Mamertine prison, or Tullianum, as the scene of his incarceration with Peter. But this is irreconcilable with the fact of Onesiphorus, Linus, Pudens, &c., having access to him. He was probably under military custody, as in his former imprisonment, though of a severer kind (2Ti 1:16-18; 2:9; 4:6-8, 16, 17). (2) The visit to Troas (2Ti 4:13) can hardly have been that mentioned in Ac 20:5-7, the last before his first imprisonment; for, if it were, the interval between that visit and the first imprisonment would be seven or eight years, a period most unlikely for him to have allowed to pass without sending for his cloak and parchments, when they might have been of service to him in the interim. (3) Paul's leaving Trophimus sick at Miletus (2Ti 4:20), could not have been on the occasion mentioned in Ac 20:15; for, subsequent to that, Trophimus was with Paul in Jerusalem (Ac 21:29). (4) The words (2Ti 4:20), "Erastus abode at Corinth," imply that Paul had shortly before been at Corinth, where he left Erastus. But before his first imprisonment, Paul had not been at Corinth for several years; and in the interval Timothy had been with him, so that Timothy did not need at a later period to be told about that visit (Ac 20:2, 4). For all these reasons the imprisonment, during which he wrote Second Timothy, is shown to be his second imprisonment. Moreover, Heb 13:23, 24, represents the writer (who was probably Paul) as in Italy, and at liberty. So Clement of Rome [First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1.5], the disciple of Paul, explicitly states, "In the east and west, Paul as a preacher instructed the whole world (that is, the Roman empire) in righteousness, and having gone to the extremity of the west, and having borne witness before the rulers (of Rome), he so was removed from the world." This plainly implies that he fulfilled his design (Ro 15:24-28) of a missionary journey into Spain. The canon of the New Testament, compiled about A.D. 170 (called Muratori's Canon), also mentions "the journey of Paul from Rome to Spain." See Routh [Sacred Fragments, vol. 4, p. 1-12].
His martyrdom is universally said to have occurred in Nero's reign [Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 2.22; Jerome, On Illustrious Men]. Five years thus seem to have elapsed between the first imprisonment, A.D. 63 (Ac 28:17-31), and his martyrdom, June A.D. 68, the last year of Nero's reign. He was probably arrested by the magistrates in Nicopolis (Tit 3:12) in Epirus, in the winter, on a double charge, first, of being one of the Christians who had conspired, it was alleged by Nero's partisans, to set fire to Rome, A.D. 64; secondly, of introducing a novel and unlawful religion. His friends all left him, except Luke: Demas from "love of this present world": the others from various causes (2Ti 4:10, 11). On the first charge he seems to have been acquitted. His liberation from his first imprisonment took place in A.D. 63, the year before the great fire at Rome, which Nero made the pretext for his persecution of the Christians. Every cruelty was heaped on them; some were crucified; some were arrayed in the skins of wild beasts and hunted to death by dogs; some were wrapped in pitch-robes and set on fire by night to illuminate the circus of the Vatican and gardens of Nero, while that monster mixed among the spectators in the garb of a charioteer. But now (A.D. 67 or 68) some years had elapsed since the first excitement which followed the fire. Hence, Paul, being a Roman citizen, was treated in his trial with a greater respect for the forms of the law, and hence was acquitted (2Ti 4:17) on the first charge of having instigated the Christians to their supposed acts of incendiarism before his last departure from Rome. Alexander the coppersmith seems to have been a witness against him (2Ti 4:14). Had he been condemned on the first charge, he would probably have been burnt alive, as the preceding martyrs were, for arson. His judge was the city Præfect. Clement of Rome specifies that his trial was (not before the emperor, but) "before the rulers." No advocate ventured to plead his cause, no patron appeared for him, such as under ordinary circumstances might have aided him; for instance, one of the powerful Æmilian house, under which his family possibly enjoyed clientship (2Ti 4:16, 17), whence he may have taken his name Paul. The place of trial was, probably, one of the great basilicas in the Forum, two of which were called the Pauline Basilicas, from L. Æmilius Paulus, who had built one and restored the other. He was remanded for the second stage of his trial. He did not expect this to come on until the following "winter" (2Ti 4:21), whereas it took place about midsummer; if in Nero's reign, not later than June. In the interim Luke was his only constant companion; but one friend from Asia, Onesiphorus, had diligently sought him and visited him in prison, undeterred by the danger. Linus, too, the future bishop of Rome, Pudens, the son of a senator, and Claudia, his bride, perhaps the daughter of a British king (see on 2Ti 4:21), were among his visitors; and Tychicus, before he was sent by Paul to Ephesus (2Ti 4:12; perhaps bearing with him this Epistle).
Object of the epistle.—He was anxious to see his disciple Timothy, before his death, and that Timothy should bring Mark with him (2Ti 1:4; 4:9, 11, 21). But feeling how uncertain it was whether Timothy should arrive in time, he felt it necessary, also, to give him by letter a last warning as to the heresies, the germs of which were then being scattered in the Churches. Hence he writes a series of exhortations to faithfulness, and zeal for sound doctrine, and patience amidst trials: a charge which Timothy seems to have needed, if we are to judge from the apostle's earnestness in urging him to boldness in Christ's cause, as though Paul thought he saw in him some signs of constitutional timidity (2Ti 2:2-8; 4:1-5; 1Ti 5:22, 23).
Paul's Death.—Dioysius, bishop of Corinth (quoted in Eusebius [Ecclesiastical History, 2.25]) about A.D. 170, is the earliest authority for the tradition that Peter suffered martyrdom at Rome "about the same time" as Paul, after having labored for some time there. He calls Peter and Paul "the founders of the Corinthian and Roman Churches." The Roman presbyter, Caius (about A.D. 200), mentions the tradition that Peter suffered martyrdom in the Vatican. But (1) Peter's work was among the Jews (Ga 2:9), whereas Rome was a Gentile Church (Ro 1:13. Moreover, (2) the First Epistle of Peter (1Pe 1:1; 5:13) represents him as laboring in Babylon in Mesopotamia. (3) The silence concerning Peter of Paul's Epistles written in Rome, negatives the tradition of his having founded, or labored long at Rome; though it is possible he may have endured martyrdom there. His martyrdom, certainly, was not, as Jerome says, "on the same day" with that of Paul, else Paul would have mentioned Peter's being at Rome in 2Ti 4:11. The legend says that Peter, through fear, was fleeing from Rome at early dawn by the Appian Way, when he met our Lord, and falling at His feet, asked, Lord, whither goest thou? to which the Lord replied, I go again to be crucified. The disciple returned penitent and ashamed, and was martyred. The Church of Domine quo vadis, on the Appian Way, commemorates the supposed fact. Paul, according to Caius (quoted in Eusebius [Ecclesiastical History, 2.25]), suffered martyrdom on the Ostian Way. So also Jerome, who gives the date, the fourteenth year of Nero. It was common to send prisoners, whose death might attract too much notice at Rome, to some distance from the city, under a military escort, for execution; hence the soldier's sword, not the executioner's axe, was the instrument of his decapitation [Orosius, The Seven Books of History against the Pagans, 7.7]. Paul appears, from Php 1:12-30, to have had his partisans even in the palace, and certainly must have exercised such an influence as would excite sympathy in his behalf, to avoid which the execution was ordered outside the city. Compare Tacitus [Histories, 4.11]. The Basilica of St. Paul, first built by Constantine, now stands outside Rome on the road to Ostia: before the Reformation it was under the protection of the kings of England, and the emblem of the order of the Garter is still to be seen among its decorations. The traditional spot of the martyrdom is the Tre Fontane, not far from the Basilica [Conybeare and Howson].
2Ti 1:1-18. Address: Thankful Expression of Love and Desire to See Him: Remembrance of His Faith and That of His Mother and Grandmother. Exhortation to Stir Up the Gift of God in Him, and Not Shrink from Affliction, Enforced by the Consideration of the Freeness of God's Grace in Our Gospel Calling, and by the Apostle's Example. The Defection of Many: The Steadfastness of Onesiphorus.
1. This Epistle is the last testament and swan-like death song of Paul [Bengel].
according to the promise of life … in Christ—Paul's apostleship is in order to carry into effect this promise. Compare "according to the faith … in hope of eternal life … promise," &c. (Tit 1:1, 2). This "promise of life in Christ" (compare 2Ti 1:10; 2Ti 2:8) was needed to nerve Timothy to fortitude amidst trials, and to boldness in undertaking the journey to Rome, which would be attended with much risk (2Ti 1:8).
To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
2. my dearly beloved son—In 1Ti 1:2, and Tit 1:4, written at an earlier period than this Epistle, the expression used is in the Greek, "my genuine son." Alford sees in the change of expression an intimation of an altered tone as to Timothy, more of mere love, and less of confidence, as though Paul saw m him a want of firmness, whence arose the need of his stirring up afresh the faith and grace in Him (2Ti 1:6). But this seems to me not justified by the Greek word agapetos, which implies the attachment of reasoning and choice, on the ground of merit in the one "beloved," not of merely instinctive love. See Trench [Greek Synonyms of the New Testament].
I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
3. I thank—Greek, "I feel gratitude to God."
whom I serve from my forefathers—whom I serve (Ro 1:9) as did my forefathers. He does not mean to put on the same footing the Jewish and Christian service of God; but simply to assert his own conscientious service of God as he had received it from his progenitors (not Abraham, Isaac, &c., whom he calls "the fathers," not "progenitors" as the Greek is here; Ro 9:5). The memory of those who had gone before to whom he is about to be gathered, is now, on the eve of death, pleasant to him; hence also, he calls to mind the faith of the mother and grandmother of Timothy; as he walks in the faith of his forefathers (Ac 23:1; 24:14; 26:6, 7; 28:20), so Timothy should persevere firmly in the faith of his parent and grandparent. Not only Paul, but the Jews who reject Christ, forsake the faith of their forefathers, who looked for Christ; when they accept Him, the hearts of the children shall only be returning to the faith of their forefathers (Mal 4:6; Lu 1:17; Ro 11:23, 24, 28). Probably Paul had, in his recent defense, dwelt on this topic, namely, that he was, in being a Christian, only following his hereditary faith.
that … I have remembrance of thee—"how unceasing I make my mention concerning thee" (compare Phm 4). The cause of Paul's feeling thankful is, not that he remembers Timothy unceasingly in his prayers, but for what Timothy is in faith (2Ti 1:5) and graces; compare Ro 1:8, 9, from which supply the elliptical sentence thus, "I thank God (for thee, for God is my witness) whom I serve … that (or how) without ceasing I have remembrance (or make mention) of thee," &c.
night and day—(See on 1Ti 5:5).
Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
4. desiring—Greek, "with yearning as for one much missed."
mindful of thy tears—not only at our parting (Ac 20:37), but also often when under pious feelings.
that I may be filled with joy—to be joined with "desiring to see thee" (Ro 1:11, 12; 15:32).
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
5. When I call to remembrance—This increased his "desire to see" Timothy. The oldest manuscripts read, "When I called to remembrance"; implying that some recent incident (perhaps the contrasted cowardice of the hypocrite Demas, who forsook him) had reminded him of the sincerity of Timothy's faith.
faith that is in thee—Alford translates, "that was in thee." He remembers Timothy's faith in the past as a fact; its present existence in him is only matter of his confident persuasion or hope.
which—Greek, "such as."
dwelt—"made its dwelling" or abode (Joh 14:23). The past tense implies they were now dead.
first—before it dwelt in thee. She was the furthest back of the progenitors of Timothy whom Paul knew.
mother Eunice—a believing Jewess; but his father was a Greek, that is, a heathen (Ac 16:1). The faith of the one parent sanctified the child (2Ti 3:15; 1Co 7:14). She was probably converted at Paul's first visit to Lystra (Ac 14:6). It is an undesigned coincidence, and so a mark of truth, that in Ac 16:1 the belief of the mother alone is mentioned, just as here praise is bestowed on the faith of the mother, while no notice is taken of the father [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ].
and—Greek, "but," that is, notwithstanding appearances [Alford].
persuaded that—it dwells, or it shall dwell "in thee also." The mention of the faith of his mother and grandmother is designed as an incentive to stir up his faith.
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
6. Wherefore—Greek, "For which cause," namely, because thou hast inherited, didst once possess, and I trust ("am persuaded") still dost possess, such unfeigned faith [Alford].
stir up—literally, "rekindle," "revive the spark of"; the opposite of "quench" or "extinguish" (1Th 5:19). Paul does not doubt the existence of real faith in Timothy, but he desires it to be put into active exercise. Timothy seems to have become somewhat remiss from being so long without Paul (2Ti 2:22).
gift of God—the spiritual grace received for his ministerial office, either at his original ordination, or at his consecration to the particular office of superintending the Ephesian Church (see on 1Ti 4:14), imparting fearlessness, power, love, and a sound mind (2Ti 1:7).
by the putting on of my hands—In 1Ti 4:14, it is "with [not by] the laying on of the hands of the presbytery." The apostle was chief in the ordination, and to him "BY" is applied. The presbytery were his assistants; so "with," implying merely accompaniment, is said of them. Paul was the instrument in Timothy's ordination and reception of the grace then conferred; the presbyters were the concurrent participants in the act of ordination; so the Greek, "dia" and "meta." So in ordinations by a bishop in our days, he does the principal act; they join in laying on hands with him.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
7. For, &c.—implying that Timothy needed the exhortation "to stir up the gift of God in him," being constitutionally "timid": "For God did not give us (so the Greek, namely, at our ordination or consecration) the spirit of fear." The spirit which He gave us, was not the spirit of timidity (literally, "cowardice," which is weakness), but of "power" (exhibited in a fearless "testimony" for Christ, 2Ti 1:8). "Power is the invariable accompaniment of the gift of the Holy Ghost. Lu 24:49; Ac 1:8; compare Ac 6:6, "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost," with 2Ti 1:8, "full of faith and power." Fear is the result of "the spirit of bondage" (Ro 8:15). Fear within exaggerates the causes of fear without. "The spirit of power" is the spirit of man dwelt in by the Spirit of God imparting power; this power "casteth out fear" from ourselves, and stimulates us to try to cast it out of others (1Jo 4:18).
love—which moves the believer while "speaking the truth" with power, when giving his testimony for Christ (2Ti 1:8), at the same time to do so "in love" (Eph 4:15).
a sound mind—The Greek, is rather, "the bringing of men to a sound mind" [Wahl]. Bengel supports English Version, "a sound mind," or "sober-mindedness"; a duty to which a young man like Timothy especially needed to be exhorted (2Ti 2:22; 1Ti 4:12; Tit 2:4, 6). So Paul urges him, in 2Ti 2:4, to give up worldly entanglements, which as thorns (Lu 8:14) choke the word. These three gifts are preferable to any miraculous powers whatever.
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
8. therefore—seeing that God hath given us such a spirit, not that of fear.
Be not thou … ashamed—I agree with Ellicott, in opposition to Alford, that the Greek subjunctive here, with the negative, implies action completed at one time, not continued action, which the present imperative would express; thus implying that Timothy had not decidedly yet evinced such feeling of shame; though I think, Paul, amidst the desertion of others who once promised fair, and from being aware of Timothy's constitutional timidity (see on 2Ti 1:7), felt it necessary to stir him up and guard him against the possibility of unchristian dereliction of duty as to bold confession of Christ. Shame (2Ti 1:8) is the companion of fear (2Ti 1:7); if fear be overcome, false shame flees [Bengel]. Paul himself (2Ti 1:12), and Onesiphorus (2Ti 1:16), were instances of fearless profession removing false shame. He presents in contrast sad instances of fear and shame (2Ti 1:15).
of the testimony of our Lord—of the testimony which thou art bound to give in the cause of our Lord; he says "our," to connect Timothy and himself together in the testimony which both should give for their common Lord. The testimony which Christ gave before Pilate (1Ti 6:12, 13), is an incentive to the believer that he should, after His Lord's example, witness a good testimony or confession.
nor of me his prisoner—The cause of God's servants is the cause of God Himself (Eph 4:1). Timothy might easily be tempted to be ashamed of one in prison, especially as not only worldly shame, but great risk, attended any recognition of Paul the prisoner.
be thou partaker—with me.
of the gospel—rather, as Greek, "for the Gospel," that is, suffered for the Gospel (2Ti 2:3-5; Phm 13).
according to the power of God—exhibited in having saved and called us (2Ti 1:9). God who has done the greater act of power (that is, saved us), will surely do the less (carry us safe through afflictions borne for the Gospel). "Think not that thou hast to bear these afflictions by thine own power; nay, it is by the power of God. It was a greater exercise of power than His making the heaven, His persuading the world to embrace salvation" [Chrysostom].
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
9. Who … called us—namely, God the Father (Ga 1:6). The having "saved us" in His eternal purpose of "grace, given us in Christ before the world began," precedes his actual "calling" of us in due time with a call made effective to us by the Holy Spirit; therefore, "saved us" comes before "called us" (Ro 8:28-30).
holy calling—the actual call to a life of holiness. Heb 3:1, "heavenly calling" [Tittmann, Greek Synonyms of the New Testament]; whereas we were sinners and enemies (Eph 1:18; 4:1). The call comes wholly from God and claims us wholly for God. "Holy" implies the separation of believers from the rest of the world unto God.
not according to—not having regard to our works in His election and calling of grace (Ro 9:11; Eph 2:8, 9).
his own purpose—The origination of salvation was of His own purpose, flowing from His own goodness, not for works of ours coming first, but wholly because of His own gratuitous, electing love [Theodoret and Calvin].
grace … given us—in His everlasting purpose, regarded as the same as when actually accomplished in due time.
in Christ—believers being regarded by God as IN Him, with whom the Father makes the covenant of salvation (Eph 1:4; 3:11).
before the world began—Greek, "before the times (periods) of ages"; the enduring ages of which no end is contemplated (1Co 2:7; Eph 3:11).
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
10. But … now … manifest—in contrast to its concealment heretofore in the eternal purpose of God "before the world began" (2Ti 1:9; Col 1:16; Tit 1:2, 3).
appearing—the visible manifestation in the flesh.
abolished death—Greek, "taken away the power from death" [Tittmann]. The Greek article before "death" implies that Christ abolished death, not only in some particular instance, but in its very essence, being, and idea, as well as in all its aspects and consequences (Joh 11:26; Ro 8:2, 38; 1Co 15:26, 55; Heb 2:14). The carrying out of the abolition of death into full effect is to be at the resurrection (Re 20:14). The death of the body meanwhile is but temporary, and is made no account of by Christ and the apostles.
brought … to light—making visible by the Gospel what was before hidden in God's purpose.
life—of the Spirit, acting first on the soul here, about to act on the body also at the resurrection.
immortality—Greek, "incorruptibility" of the new life, not merely of the risen body [Alford], (Ro 8:11).
through—by means of the Gospel, which brings to light the life and immortality purposed by God from eternity, but manifested now first to man by Christ, who in His own resurrection has given the pledge of His people's final triumph over death through Him. Before the Gospel revelation from God, man, by the light of nature, under the most favorable circumstances, had but a glimmering idea of the possibility of a future being of the soul, but not the faintest idea of the resurrection of the body (Ac 17:18, 32). If Christ were not "the life," the dead could never live; if He were not the resurrection, they could never rise; had He not the keys of hell and death (Re 1:18), we could never break through the bars of death or gates of hell [Bishop Pearson].
Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
11. Whereunto—For the publication of which Gospel.
I am appointed—Greek, "I was appointed."
teacher of the Gentiles—(1Ti 2:7). He brings forward his own example in this verse and 2Ti 1:12, as a pattern for Timothy, as a public "preacher," an "apostle," or missionary from place to place, and a "teacher" in private instructing His flock with patient perseverance.
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
12. For the which cause—For the Gospel cause of which I was appointed a preacher (2Ti 1:10, 11).
I also suffer—besides my active work as a missionary. Ellicott translates, "I suffer even these things"; the sufferings attendant on my being a prisoner (2Ti 1:8, 15).
I am not ashamed—neither be thou (2Ti 1:8).
for—Confidence as to the future drives away shame [Bengel].
I know—though the world knows Him not (Joh 10:14; 17:25).
whom—I know what a faithful, promise-keeping God He is (2Ti 2:13). It is not, I know how I have believed, but, I know WHOM I have believed; a feeble faith may clasp a strong Saviour.
believed—rather, "trusted"; carrying out the metaphor of a depositor depositing his pledge with one whom he trusts.
am persuaded—(Ro 8:38).
he is able—in spite of so many foes around me.
that which I have committed unto him—Greek, "my deposit"; the body, soul, and spirit, which I have deposited in God's safe keeping (1Th 5:23; 1Pe 4:19). So Christ Himself in dying (Lu 23:46). "God deposits with us His word; we deposit with God our spirit" [Grotius]. There is one deposit (His revelation) committed by God to us, which we ought to keep (2Ti 1:13, 14) and transmit to others (2Ti 2:2); there is another committed by God to us, which we should commit to His keeping, namely, ourselves and our heavenly portion.
that day—the day of His appearing (2Ti 1:18; 2Ti 4:8).
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
13. Hold fast the form—rather as Greek, "Have (that is, keep) a pattern of sound (Greek, 'healthy') words which thou hast heard from me, in faith and love." "Keep" suits the reference to a deposit in the context. The secondary position of the verb in the Greek forbids our taking it so strongly as English Version, "Hold fast." The Greek for "form" is translated "pattern" in 1Ti 1:16, the only other passage where it occurs. Have such a pattern drawn from my sound words, in opposition to the unsound doctrines so current at Ephesus, vividly impressed (Wahl translates it "delineation"; the verb implies "to make a lively and lasting impress") on thy mind.
in faith and love—the element IN which my sound words had place, and in which thou art to have the vivid impression of them as thy inwardly delineated pattern, moulding conformably thy outward profession. So nearly Bengel explains, 1Ti 3:9.
That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
14. Translate as Greek, "That goodly deposit keep through the Holy Ghost," namely, "the sound words which I have committed to thee" (2Ti 1:13; 2Ti 2:2).
in us—in all believers, not merely in you and me. The indwelling Spirit enables us to keep from the robbers of the soul the deposit of His word committed to us by God.
This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
15. all they which are in Asia—Proconsular Asia; "all who are there now, when they were in Rome (not 'be' or 'are,' but) turned from me" then; were "ashamed of my chain," in contrast to Onesiphorus; did not stand with me but forsook me (2Ti 4:16). It is possible that the occasion of their turning from him was at his apprehension in Nicopolis, whither they had escorted him on his way to Rome, but from which they turned back to Asia. A hint to Timothy, now in Asia, not to be like them, but to imitate rather Onesiphorus, and to come to him (2Ti 4:21).
Phygellus and Hermogenes—specified perhaps, as being persons from whom such pusillanimous conduct could least be expected; or, as being well known to Timothy, and spoken of before in conversations between him and Paul, when the latter was in Asia Minor.
The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
16. The Lord give mercy—even as Onesiphorus had abounded in works of mercy.
the house of Onesiphorus—He himself was then absent from Ephesus, which accounts for the form of expression (2Ti 4:19). His household would hardly retain his name after the master was dead, as Bengel supposes him to have been. Nowhere has Paul prayers for the dead, which is fatal to the theory, favored by Alford also, that he was dead. God blesses not only the righteous man himself, but all his household.
my chain—Paul in the second, as in his first imprisonment, was bound by a chain to the soldier who guarded him.
But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
17. found me—in the crowded metropolis. So in turn "may he find mercy of the Lord in that day" when the whole universe shall be assembled.
The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
18. grant unto him—as well as "unto his house" (2Ti 1:16).
the Lord—who rewards a kindness done to His disciples as if done to Himself (Mt 25:45).
of—from the Lord; "the Lord" is emphatically put instead of "from Himself," for solemnity and emphasis (2Th 3:5).
in how many things—"how many acts of ministry he rendered."
unto me—omitted in the oldest manuscripts, so that the "ministered" may include services rendered to others as well as to Paul.
very well—rather as Greek, "Thou knowest better" (than I can tell thee, seeing that thou art more of a regular resident at Ephesus).