« PreviousContinue »
13 I charge thee in the 13 I charge thee in the presence of presence of God,
God, who raiseth all from the dead to make:h all alive, and of reward every one according to his Christ Jesus, who wit- works, and who, if thou lose thy life nessed under 2 Pontius Pic in the good combat, will give thee late the good 3 confession, eternal life; and in the presence of
Christ Jesus, who witnessed under
and sealed it with his blood. 14 that thou keep (Tav, 14 that thou obey this command71.) this commandment ment of confessing the good confeswithout spot, unblameable, sion, without spot in respect of the till the appearing of our commandment itself, and unblameLord Jesus Christ. able in respect of thy performance
thereof, which will contribute to preserve the good confession in the world, till the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ himself, to raise the dead, and judge the whole human
is not wrong. Estius thinks the word pagtugnoarrt, witnessed, implies that Christ sealed the good confession with his blood. But though this be the sense which the fathers affixed to the title martyr, or confessor, it is not certain that the apostle used the word uagtugnoarta, in that sense here.
3. The good confession was made by our Lord, most explicitly before Caiaphas and the Jewish council, when being asked, wbether be was Cbrist the Son of the Blessed, he acknowledged that he was. And added,
sball see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of beaven, Mark xiv. 61, 62. This the apostle called, the good confession, because all our hopes of salvation are built upon the truth of it.
Ver. 14.–1. That thou keep this commandment without spot, unblameable, till the appearing, &c. In ver. 12. the apostle had ordered Timothy to confess the good confession ; In ver. 13. he declared what the good confession is ; Here he ordered him, and in him all succeeding ministers, to preserre that confession without spot ; that is, to confess the whole doctrine concerning Christ, and particularly concerning his coming to judgment, in its genuine purity, till Christ himself should appear at the last day in person, to put the matter beyond all doubt. The coming of Christ to judgment, was often to be asserted by Timothy, because of all considerations it is the most powerful for terrifying, not only false teachers, but infidels also, and for exciting faithful ministers to exert themselves strenuously in the good combat of faith.
2. Till the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. From this Grotius infers that Paul thought the appearing of Christ was to happen soon, and that κυριευοντων
15 Which in his times 15 Ην καιρους ιδιους δειξει he shall shew, τυho is the o μακαριος και μονος
δυναblessed and only Poten.
της, ο βασιλευς των βασιtate, the King of kings, λευοντων, και Κυριος των and Lord of lords ;
16 Who only hath im- 16 Ο μονος εχων αθαναmortality, dwelling in the σιαν, φως oικων απροσιτον, light which no man can oν ειδεν ουδεις ανθρωπων, approach unto; whom no
ουδε ιδειν δυναται τιμη inan hath seen, nor can
Αμην. see: to whom be honour και κρατος αιωνιον. and power everlasting. Amen.
17 Charge them that 17 Τοις πλουσιοις εν τω are rich in this world that
νυν αιωνι, παραγγελλε μη they be not high-minded, υψηλοφρονειν, μηδε ηλικε
trust in uncertain
Timothy might live till Christ appeared. But that Paul entertained no such thought, hath been clearly proved, pref. to 2 Thess. sect. 3. Wherefore the meaning of the apostle's exhortation is, that Timothy, by keeping the commandment concerning the good confession without spot, was to hand it down pure to his successors in the ministry, and thereby to contribute his part in preserving it in the world, till Christ's second coming.
Ver. 15.-1. The blessed andl only δυνασης potentate. This title was given to kings and great men, on account of their power. But the apostle appropriates it to God, by calling him the only potentate, and thereby insinuates that all other potentates derive their power from him, and hold it at his pleasure.
2. Will shew. In calling the appearing of Christ at the end of the world, his being shewed by the Father, the apostle hath followed Christ himself, who referred all his actions to the Father.
3. King of kings, aud Lord of lords. These titles the apostle gave to God, because all who have dominion, whether in heaven or on earth, bave derived it from him, and are absolutely subject to him.---The eastern princes affected these titles ; but very improperly, being weak mortal men. The true King of kings and Lord of lords hath immortality in himself, and is infinitely powerful. See the following note.
Ver. 16.–1. Who alone bath immortality. By the attributes mentioned in this verse, God is distinguished from all created natures whatever. He alone hath life without beginning and ending. If any other being hath life without end, it is by his gift. And as life without beginning and ending implies immutability, God only is immutable as well as immortal. Hence he is called, Rom. i. 23. apfagra fo@, the incorruptible or immutable God: And 1 Tim. i. 17. cofugto, incorruptible, unperishable:
15 Which in his own 15 Which appearing in his own season, the blessed (1 Tim. season, the season which he himself i. 11. note 2.) and only hath fixed, the blessed and only PoPotentate, will shew, ? tentate in the universe will shew, even the King of kings, even the King of kings, and Lord of and Lord of lords : 3 lords ; the King and Lord who rules
with irresistible power all other
kings and lords. 16 Who alone hath im- 16 Who alone hath life without mortality,' AND dwelleth either beginning or ending, and dwell. in light inaccessible, (see 2 eth in light inaccessible to mortals, Pet. i. 17. note 1.) whom which therefore no man hath seen or no man hath seen, 2 nor can see in this mortal body; To can see, to whom be ho- whom be ascribed honour and might nour and might 3 everlast- everlasting. And to shew that this ing. Amen.
is the truth concerning the nature
of God, I say Amen. 17 Charge the rich in 17 Though riches often prove a the present world' not 10 great snare to the possessors, they be elated in mind, 2 nor to may be retained innocently: Theretrust in uncertain riches,3 fore, charge the rich in the present
2. Wbom no man bath seen, nor can see. In the commentary I have explained this, of men's not being able in the present life to look on the light in which God dwells. Yet I am not certain whether the apostle does not mean, that although in the life to come men shall see that light, they shall not see God. God is absolutely invisible, and will always remain so. if this is the apostle's meaning, the seeing of God, promised to the pure in heart, must mean no more but their seeing the light in which God dwells, which may as properly be called the seeing of God, as our seeing the bodies of our acquaintance in which their souls reside, is called the seeing of them. From this text, some of the ancient fathers inferred, that the Divine person who appeared to the patriarchs, and to the Israelites in the wilderness, was not the Father, but the Son. Yet that notion is confuted by Augustine, De Trinit. Lib. i. c. 18.
3. And might, K9270. This word signifies the might necessary to the governing of the world, rather than the act of governing.
Ver. 17.-1. The rich in the present world. By adding the words, in the present world, the apostle lessens the value of riches. We can enjoy them only in the present world. We can carry no part of them out into the other world. And though we could, they would have no influence to make us happy there _Besides, as the apostle observes in the following clause, our possession of them is uncertain ; and without the blessing of God, they will give us little satisfaction even here. 2. Not to be elated in mind. The word, utanoogovelv, signifies to have an VOL. IV.
riches, but in the living ναι εσι πλουτου αδηλοτητι, God, who giveth us rich- αλλ' εν τω Θεώ τω ζωντι, ly all things to enjoy ;
των παρεχοντι ημιν πλουσιως
παντα εις απολαυσιν 18 That they do good, 18 Αγαθοεργειν, πλουτειν that they be rich in good εν εργους καλους, ευμεταδοworks, ready to distribute, τους ειναι, κοινωνικους " willing to communicate ;
19 Laying up in store 19 Αποθησαυριζοντας εαυfor themselves a good τοις θεμελιον καλον εις το foundation against the time μελλον, ίνα επιλαβωνται της to come, that they may lay
αιωνιου ζωης. hold on eternal life.
20 Ο Timothy, keep 20 Ω Τιμοθεε, την παραthat which is committed καταθηκην φυλαξον, εκτρεto thy trust, avoiding pro
σομενος τας βεβηλους κενοfane and vain babblings,
high opinion of one's self, in comparison of others, and to have no regard to their happiness. To this bad temper of mind the rich are often led, by the court which their inferiors pay to them on account of their riches. The ministers of religion, therefore, ought frequently to caution the rich to beware of being elated with pride.
3. Nor to trust in uncertain riches. Those who place their happiness in the enjoyment of sensual pleasures, naturally trust to their riches for their happiness, because by their money they can procure every pleasure of that kind ; and so they lose all sense of their dependence on God and his providence, for their happiness, Prov. x. 15. xviii. 11. To check this impiety, the apostle ordered Timothy to charge the rich to employ themselves constantly in working good, and to be rich in praise worthy works; a kind of riches more honourable, and more satisfactory to the possessors, than all the gold and silver in the universe.
4. But in God who liveth. God alone, who liveth always, can continue the rich in the possession of their riches, and in their capacity of enjoying them. Besides it is God alone who can bestow on the rich the happiness of the life to come ; which is the only valuable and abiding happiness, a happiness which no riches whatever can purchase. Here the apostle insinu ates, that dead idols cannot bestow on any one the happiness either of the present, or of the future life.
Ver. 18.-1. To work good, to be rich in lovely works, &c. This charge, which Timothy was ordered to give to the rich at Ephesus, shews that the community of goods among the disciples mentioned in the history of the Acts, was confined to Judea ; and that even there it lasted only for a short time.
but in God who liveth, 4 world, to beware of pride, and of seekAND who supplieth 10 us ing their happiness from riches, the richly, all things for en- possession of which is so uncertain. joyment :
But to trust in God, who ever liveth to make them happy, and who sufplieth to us plentifully all things really
necessary for enjoyment. 18 (Αγαθοεργειν) Το 18 And instead of employing their work good ;, to be rich riches merely in gratifying their (eprous xadors, see 1 Tim.
senses, rather to use them in doing iii. 1. note 3.) in lovely good works, and to be rich in those loveworks,' (euretado785) ready ly works, whereby the happiness of to distribute, (xovwix8) society is promoted: To be ready to communicative,
distribute a part of their riches to the poor, communicative of their time and pains for advancing the interests
of truth and virtue in the world. 19 Providing for them- 19 Providing for themselves, not selves a good foundation' money, which can be of no use to for hereafter, that they them in the other world, but what is may lay hold on eternal infinitely better, a good foundation to life.
stand on in the day of judgment, that they may lay hold on the prize of eter
nal life. 20 O Timothy, guard 20 0 Timothy, preserve the doctrine the thing committed in trust committed in trust to thee, avoiding the To Thee, avoiding pro- impious, noisy, senseless talking of the phane vain babblings, Judaizers, and the oppositions to the
Ver. 19.-1. Providing for themselves a good foundation. Ano Inoaupas ortis SAUTOIS. Because treasuring up a foundation is an unusual manner of speak, ing, Le Clerc proposes, instead of Jeueksov, to read xelpencov, a treasure. But as no reading ought to be introduced into the scriptures on conjecture, I think the Greek words may be translated, providing for themselves : a sense which Inoauptls, evidently hath, Rom. ii. 5. Treasurest up to thyself, that is, providest for thyself wrath, against the day of wrath.-Benson thinks Sousalov, here hath the signification of Isud, a deposite ; and that the apostle, alludes to Tobit iv. 9. LXX.
Ver. 20.-1. Guard the thing committed'in trust to thee. That this is the proper translation of thy for pexo To. Inxwv, see 2 Tim. i. 12, note 2. The thing committed in trust to Timothy, which the apostle was so anxious that he should guard, and deliver to faithful men, able to teach it to others, 2 Tim. ii. 2. was, the true account of our Lord's character as the Son of God, his