Titus 2:2
That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
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(2) That the aged men.—Not presbyters, or elders, in an official sense, but simply the “old men” in the congregations.

Be sober.—In a more extended sense than the bare literal meaning of the word would give. Let the elder men be “thoughtful,” in contrast with the thoughtlessness of careless youth.

Grave.—And quietly earnest, in contrast with all passion and undue excitability.

Temperate.—Discreet, or self-restrained, would be a better rendering for the Greek word.

Sound in faith, in charity, in patience.—Here Paul the aged sums up for the aged men of Crete in these three words, so well known by all his devoted hearers then, by all the devout students of his theology in subsequent ages, the great principles out of which the true saint life springs—faith, love, patience. In the famous Pauline trilogy of virtues, in this place, “patience” takes the place of hope, because this brave patience, this enduring fortitude, especially becomes the old man waiting for death. In respect to these “three” they must be healthy, sound. The faith must not be adulterated with superstitions—the love must be chivalrous, not sentimental. It must be no partisan feeling, but a tender affection, broad and inclusive, as was St. Paul’s and his Master Christ’s. The patience must be no mere tame acquiescence in what seems to be the inevitable, but must be brave, enduring, suffering—if suffering comes—for the Lord’s sake with a smile on the lips. “Not without reason,” writes Calvin, “does St. Paul include in these three the sum of Christian perfections.” It is with “faith” that we worship God—no prayer, no work of piety, can be severed from “faith.” “Love” spreads its wings over all our duties to our neighbour; and “patience” must ever go hand in hand with both “faith” and “love.” Without “patience” could faith” hardly endure; and the affronts and unkindnesses of the world would, without this high virtue of patience, soon deaden and even destroy “love.”

2:1-8 Old disciples of Christ must behave in every thing agreeably to the Christian doctrine. That the aged men be sober; not thinking that the decays of nature will justify any excess; but seeking comfort from nearer communion with God, not from any undue indulgence. Faith works by, and must be seen in love, of God for himself, and of men for God's sake. Aged persons are apt to be peevish and fretful; therefore need to be on their guard. Though there is not express Scripture for every word, or look, yet there are general rules, according to which all must be ordered. Young women must be sober and discreet; for many expose themselves to fatal temptations by what at first might be only want of discretion. The reason is added, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Failures in duties greatly reproach Christianity. Young men are apt to be eager and thoughtless, therefore must be earnestly called upon to be sober-minded: there are more young people ruined by pride than by any other sin. Every godly man's endeavour must be to stop the mouths of adversaries. Let thine own conscience answer for thine uprightness. What a glory is it for a Christian, when that mouth which would fain open itself against him, cannot find any evil in him to speak of!That the aged men - All aged men - for there is no reason to suppose that the apostle refers particularly to those who were in office, or who were technically elders, or Presbyters. If he had, he would have used the common word - πρεσβύτερος presbuteros - "presbyter" (see Matthew 15:2; Matthew 16:21; Matthew 21:23; Matthew 26:3, Matthew 26:47, Matthew 26:57, Matthew 26:59; 1 Timothy 5:1, 1 Timothy 5:17, 1 Timothy 5:19; Titus 1:5; James 5:14; 1 Peter 5:1), instead of the unusual word - πρεσβύτης presbutēs - an old or aged man - a word which occurs nowhere else in the New Testament except in Luke 1:18, "For I am an old man," and Plm 1:9, "being such an one as Paul the aged." It is in no instance applied to an office. Besides, the instructions which Titus was to give to such men was not that which especially pertained to elders as officers in the church, but to all old men. The idea is, that he was to adapt his instructions to the special character of different classes of his hearers. The aged needed special instructions, and so did the young.

Be sober - Margin, "vigilant." See the word explained in the notes at 1 Timothy 3:2, where it is rendered vigilant. In 1 Timothy 3:11, the same word is rendered sober. -

Grave - Serious; see the notes at 1 Timothy 3:8; compare the notes at Philippians 4:8, where the same word is rendered hottest.

Temperate - σώφρονας sōphronas. Rather, prudent, or sober-minded. See it explained in the notes, 1 Timothy 3:2, where it is rendered "sober." Also Titus 1:8.

Sound in faith - 1 Timothy 1:10 note; Titus 1:13 note.

In charity - In love; Notes, 1 Corinthians 13. The meaning is, that an old man should evince love for all, especially for those who are good. He should have overcome, at his time of life, all the fiery, impetuous, envious, wrathful passions of his early years, and his mind should be subdued into sweet benevolence to all mankind.

In patience - In the infirmities of old age - in the trials resulting from the loss of the friends of their early years - in their loneliness in the world, they should show that the effect of all God's dealings with them has been to produce patience. The aged should submit to the trials of their advanced years, also, with resignation - for they will soon be over. A few more sighs, and they will sigh no more; a little longer bearing up under their infirmities, and they will renew their youth before the throne of God.

2. sober—Translated "vigilant," as sober men alone can be (1Ti 3:2). But "sober" here answers to "not given to wine," Tit 2:3; Tit 1:7.

grave—"dignified"; behaving with reverent propriety.

temperate—"self-restrained"; "discreet" [Alford], (Tit 1:8; 1Ti 2:9).

faith … charity [love] … patience—combined in 1Ti 6:11. "Faith, hope, charity" (1Co 13:13). "Patience," Greek, "enduring perseverance," is the attendant on, and is supported by, "hope" (1Co 13:7; 1Th 1:3). It is the grace which especially becomes old men, being the fruit of ripened experience derived from trials overcome (Ro 5:3).

That the aged men be sober: by the word presbutav seems here to be signified elders in age; he would have Timothy preach that these should be nhfalioi, sober, both as to body and mind: we met with the word before, 1 Timothy 3:2,11.

Grave; of a modest, composed behaviour, not light and airy.

Temperate; that is, able to govern their passions and inclinations.

Sound in faith; we have met with the phrase before, Titus 1:13; see the notes; neither rotten through error, nor sick through fluctuation or scepticism.

In charity, that is, love.

In patience; a patient bearing of evils.

That the aged men be sober,.... Or "vigilant", and watchful over themselves, their conduct and conversation, lest being evil, it should be drawn into an example by younger persons: this is to be understood not of men in office, of presbyters or elders; for their characters are described in the preceding chapter; but of men in years, of ancient men, that are professors of religion, and members of churches: who should also be

grave; in their behaviour, speech, and dress; levity of conversation, frothy language, and airy dress, are very unbecoming aged persons: and who ought to be

temperate; in eating and drinking, especially the latter, to which old age is most addicted, and care should be taken that they be not over charged with it, and that day overtake them unawares, since they are upon the brink and borders of eternity: the word is rendered "discreet" in Titus 2:5 and sober in 1 Timothy 3:2 and both are characters suitable to men in years.

Sound in faith, in charity, in patience; though they may be unhealthful in their bodies, and become decrepit through age, they should be sound in their minds; in the doctrine of faith, lest they should lead others into error; and their faith in Christ should appear to be right and genuine; and their love to God, to Christ, and to his people, should be real and sincere, and be taken off from the things of the world, of time and sense; an affection for which is an evil that frequently cleaves to old age: and patience should have its perfect work; not only to bear the infirmities of body, brought on by age; but whatsoever sufferings they may be called unto for the sake of Christ and his Gospel, in their last day; and to run out the race that is set before them.

{2} That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

(2) What are the principal virtues for old and young, both men and women: and how they ought to be stirred up to do them continually.

Titus 2:2. The members of the family are distinguished according to age and sex. First, we have πρεσβύτας, which is not equivalent to πρεσβυτέρους, the official name, but denotes age simply: senes aetate; Philemon 1:9; Luke 1:18.

νηφαλίους εἶναι] The accusative does not depend on a word understood such as παρακάλει, but is an object accusative to the verb preceding λάλει ἃ πρέπει: “viz. that the old men be νηφάλιοι.”

νηφαλίους] see 1 Timothy 3:2.

σεμνούς] see 1 Timothy 2:2.

σώφρονας] Titus 1:8; 1 Timothy 3:2.

ὑγιαίνοντας τῇ πίστει, τῇ ἀγάπῃ, τῇ ὑπομονῇ] On the use of the dative here, for which in Titus 1:13 there stands the preposition ἐν, see Winer, p. 204 [E. T. p. 272]; it is to be explained as equivalent to “in respect of, in regard to.”

To πίστις and ἀγάπη, the cardinal virtues of the Christian life, ὑπομονή (quasi utriusque condimentum, Calvin) is added, the stedfastness which no sufferings can shake. All three conceptions are found together also in 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (ἡ ὑπομονὴ τῆς ἐλπίδος); ὑπομ. and πίστις in 2 Thessalonians 1:4; ἀγ. καὶ ὑπομ., 2 Thessalonians 3:5; comp. also 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:10.

Titus 2:2. The heads of moral instruction which begin here are more unmistakably intended for the laity than are the similar passages in Tim. That it should devolve on the apostle’s legate to give popular moral instruction is perhaps another indication of the less-developed state of the Church in Crete than in Ephesus and its neighbourhood.

πρεσβύτας: senes; sc. παρακάλει (Titus 2:6).

νηφαλίους: sober, sobrii; temperate (R.V.) in respect of their use of strong drink. Chrys. explains it to be vigilant, as does the Syriac, and A.V. m.; but the homely warning seems more appropriate. See note on 1 Timothy 3:2.

σεμνούς: see note on 1 Timothy 3:8.

σώφρονας: see notes on 1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:2. For ὑγιαίνειν followed by dat. see Titus 1:13. πίστις, ἀγάπη, ὑπομονή are constantly grouped together (See on 1 Timothy 6:11); and this suggests that πίστις here is subjective, not objective, as in the similar phrase Titus 1:13. See note on 1 Timothy 1:10.

2. the aged men] Better, aged men; here of the ordinary life of the older men, as the comparative is used in 1 Timothy 5:1 ‘rebuke not an elder’; not ‘elders’ or ‘presbyters.’ St Paul is himself four or five years older than when he wrote to Philemon ‘being such an one as Paul the aged’ (Titus 2:9).

sober, grave, temperate] Render sober, grave, pure, in preference to R.V. ‘temperate, grave, sober-minded,’ which are too nearly allied in modern significance; R.V. has the restricted modern sense of ‘temperate’ here (of use in drink), when in Titus 1:8 it has been used in the large and proper sense. Bp Wordsworth for ‘grave’ suggests ‘reverend,’ ‘worshipful.’ ‘Sober’ in regard to ‘strong drink,’ see note on the word 1 Timothy 3:2; ‘grave’ in all ‘propriety of demeanour,’ see note on the corresponding substantive 1 Timothy 3:4; ‘pure’ in respect of ‘unclean thought and desire,’ see notes on the word 1 Timothy 3:2; below Titus 2:4.

sound in faith, in charity, in patience] The articles seem intentionally prominent, sound in their faith, their love, their patience; ‘these are recognised essentials of Christian character, but be careful that you have the real wholesome graces, without anything spurious or diseased.’ The article is used throughout the emphatic enumeration of these and other Christian virtues, 2 Peter 1:5-7, where R.V. translates with italics ‘in your temperance patience, &c. There ‘faith’ is the first and ‘love’ the last. The ‘patience’ is especially seen in tribulation, cf. Romans 12:12.

Titus 2:2. Πρεσβύτας, aged men) Supply exhort from Titus 2:6.—νηφαλίους, watchful) in feeling.—σεμνούς, grave) in actions.—σώφρονας, sober) in their mode of living.—τῇ ὑπομονῇ, in patience) A virtue chiefly becoming old men.

Verse 2. - Aged for the aged, A.V.; temperate for sober, A.V.; sober-minded for temperate, A.V.; love for charity, A.V. Temperate (νηφάλιος); as 1 Timothy 3:2, (where see note). Grave (σεμνούς); as 1 Timothy 3:8, 11 (see too 1 Timothy 2:2; 1 Timothy 3:4). Sober-minded (σώφρονας); as Titus 1:8, note. Sound (ὑγιαίνοντας); see ver. 1, note, and Titus 1:13, where, as here, the word is applied to persons, as it is in its literal sense in 3 John 1:2. Faith... love... patience. We have the same triad in 1 Timothy 6:11. In 1 Corinthians 13:13 we find "faith, hope, love." In 1 Thessalonians 1:3 the apostle joins "work of faith, labor of love," and "patience of hope," which last phrase seems almost to identify patience and hope (cutup. too Romans 8:25; Romans 15:4). We must not miss the important warning, not only to have some kind of faith, love, and patience, but to be healthy and vigorous in our faith, love, and patience. There is a puny faith, a sickly love. and a misdirected patience. Titus 2:2Aged men (πρεσβύτας)

Only here, Luke 1:18; Plm 1:9. To be understood of natural age, not of ecclesiastical position. Note that 1 Timothy 3, in treating of church officers, deals only with Bishops and Deacons. Nothing is said of Presbyters until chapter verse, where Timothy's relations to individual members of the church are prescribed. These church members are classified in this and the following verses as old men, old women, younger men, servants. In lxx πρεσβύτης is occasionally interchanged with πρεσβευτής ambassador. See 2 Chronicles 32:31; 1 Macc. 13:21; 14:21, 22; 2 Macc. 11:34.

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