Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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2 TIMOTHY - Chapter 4

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2 Timothy 4

Supplemental Commentary:

II.  FIDELITY TO HIS OFFICE  2, 14 -- 4, 8 (continued)

4, 1-5:  Preach Sound Doctrine.  Solemn in tone, the exhortation supposes that Timothy was overtimid in exercising his office.    3.  A new allusion to the prophecies concerning aftertimes.  See 3, 1 and 1 Tim. 4, 1.  All these disorders had already begun to appear.

4, 6-8:  Reward.  The Apostle sees that death is near.  In the long leisure of his imprisonment, separated from his most faithful disciples, very much restricted in his relations with the Roman church, and then under surveillance, he takes occasion to reflect on his career as a whole.  It has been long, with many trials.  But he has done his duty and the work entrusted to him.  He awaits from the just Judge the crown that he has earned by the faithful service of more than thirty years.    8.  His crown is the sing and reward of justice.  Then for Timothy's comfort he adds that the same crown awaits all those that love the manifestation of the Lord.

Conclusion  4, 9-22

4, 9-15:  Paul's Loneliness.  Timothy seems to be fully acquainted with St. Paul's situation.  He knows in particular the persons who had accompanied Paul to Rome.  This is explained if Paul departed from Ephesus.    9.  St. Paul finds himself deserted.  Luke only is with him of his personal company.  See 20.  He has sent Tychicus to Ephesus, to replace Timothy, who will soon be free, and Paul invites him to come to him.    10-12.  St. Paul's expression appears to indicate that all these persons had followed him to Rome.  In Col. 4, 14, Demas was mentioned in a very detached fashion.  Crescens is otherwise unknown, but his departure does not seem to be a defection; nor does that of Titus.  Mark and Tychicus are known from Col. Eph., Titus.    13.  Some think that the cloak is rather a wrapper or container for books, but the meaning is far from being certainly established.  It may well be a heavy winter cloak that Paul desires.    14.  This Alexander, the coppersmith was evidently known to Timothy.  He is certainly an Ephesian and may be the Alexander mentioned in 1 Tim. 1, 20.  Had he followed St. Paul to Rome as an accuser?  Or had he simply been involved in the events that led up to Paul's imprisonment, and did that occur at Ephesus?  The first supposition is more probable in the context.  In any event, at the time of writing Alexander is back in Ephesus, since Timothy is warned against him.

4, 16-18:  His Trial.    16 f.  It appears quite doubtful that the allusion is to his first Roman imprisonment and the final defense that gave him his liberty.  We have here rather a reference to a recent incident in his late trial.  Even though none who should have supported him did so, yet he was successful at least provisionally in his first appearance.  It had been for him further an occasion to preach the gospel to his judges and those assisting, as he emphatically states in 17.  Impressed as he was by the Roman majesty, he considered as the consummation of his career as a preacher this privilege of bearing witness to the gospel before a tribunal seated in the capital of the world, before a cosmopolitan crowd, such as would be found in imperial Rome.  The lion's mouth is the danger from which he escaped.    18.  The end of the verse explains the deliverance he expects, namely, death.

4, 19-22:  Greetings.  Erastus, mentioned in Rom. 16, 23, is a city treasurer of Corinth.  Trophimus was an Ephesian of pagan origin (Acts 21, 29).    21.  These are members of the Roman church known to Timothy from his stay at Rome during Paul's first imprisonment.  Linus, according to St. Irenaeus, is St. Peter's successor.


Confraternity Bible:

Preach Sound Doctrine  1 I charge thee, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead by his coming and by his kingdom, 2 preach the word, be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, entreat, rebuke with all patience and teaching.  3 For there will come a time when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but having itching ears, will heap up to themselves teachers according to their own lusts, 4 and they will turn away their hearing from the truth and turn aside rather to fables.  5 But do thou be watchful in all things, bear with tribulation patiently, work as a preacher of the gospel, fulfill thy ministry.

Reward  6 As for me, I am already being poured out in sacrifice, and the time of my deliverance is at hand.  7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.  8 For the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just Judge, will give me in that day; yet not to me only, but also to those who love his coming.

Paul's Loneliness  9 Make haste to come to me shortly; for Demas has deserted me, loving this world, and has gone to Thessalonica, 10 Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.  11 Luke only is with me.  Take Mark and bring him with thee, for he is useful to me for the ministry.  12 But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.  13 When thou comest, bring with thee the cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments.  14 Alexander, the coppersmith, has done me much harm; the Lord will render to him according to his deeds.  15 Do thou also avoid him for he has vehemently opposed our words.

His Trial  16 At my first defense no one came to my support, but all forsook me; may it not be laid to their charge.  17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, that through me the preaching of the gospel might be completed, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered from the lion's mouth.  18 The Lord will deliver me from every work of evil, and will preserve me for his heavenly kingdom; to whom be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.

Greetings  19 Greet Prisca and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus.  20 Erastus stayed at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus.  21 Hasten to come before winter.  Eubulus, Pudens, Linus and Claudia and all the brethren greet thee.  22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit.  Grace be with you.  Amen.