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the faith, and pierced νηθησαν ασο της πιςεως, και themselves through with εαυτους περιεπειραν οδυναις many sorrows.

πολλαις. 11 But thou, O man of 11 Συ δε, ω ανθρωπε του God, fee these things : Θεου, ταυτα φευγε διωκε δε and follow after righteous- δικαιοσυνην, ευσεβειαν, πισιν, ness, godliness, faith, love,

αγαπην, υπομονην, πραοτηpatience, meekness.

12 Fight the good fight 12 Αγωνιζου τον καλον of faith, lay hold on eter- αγωνα της πιςεως, επιλαβου nal life, whereunto thou της αιωνιου ζωης, εις ην και art also called, and hast εκληθης, και ομολογησας την professed a good profes

καλην ομολογιαν sion before

many
wit-

πολλων μαρτυρων ,

τα.

ενωσιον

nesses.

ing colours, by moralists and poets even among the heathens. But none of them have drawn the picture with such skill and effect, as the apostle hath done in this and the preceding verse, where he hath set forth in the strongest colouring and with the fewest words, the deformity of the passion, and the evils which it produceth, both in the body and in the mind of those who indulge it.

2. Have wholly erred from the faith. The teachers, of whom the apostle speaks, having no end in view but to make themselves rich, taught their disciples doctrines, by which they encouraged them in all manner of wickedness. Of this sort of teachers were Hymeneus and Philetus, who by affirming that the resurrection was already past, 2 Tim. ji. 17, 18. denied a future state, and thereby set their disciples free from every restraint. For, if there are neither future rewards nor punishments, men may indulge themselves without scruple in all kinds of sensual gratifications and wicked practices, which are not forbidden by human laws.

3. And pierced themselves all around. The critics observe that the original word aeglemelgav properly signifies, have stabbed themselves as it were from head to foot and all around, so as to be wholly covered with wounds.

Ver- 11.-1. O man of God. The ancient prophets had this appellation given them, to shew that their function was a service which God had appointed to them. For the same reason the ministers of the gospel are called, men of God, 2 Tim. iii. 17. That the man of God may be perfect and thoroughly furnished. Wherefore, by calling Timothy in this passage a man of God, the apostle suggested to him the strongest incitement to flee covetousness. He was engaged in a work assigned him by God, far more noble than the pursuit of riches, and a work with which the immoderate pursuit of riches was incompatible. His business was to teach mankind the know

eagerly desiring, huve be seen in the false teachers, some of wholly erred from the whom eagerly desiring money, have faith, and pierced them- wholly corrupted the doctrine of the selves all around with gospel, and have pierced themselves many sorrows.

all around with many sorrows, occasioned by the stings of conscience,

and the fears of punishment. 11 (4) Therefore do 11 Therefore do thou, O servant of thou, O man of God, 1 flee God, flee these things; and pursue these things; and pursue justice in all thy dealings, piety righteousness, piety, faith, towards God, the firmest faith in the love, patience, meekness. gospel, love to the souls of men, pa

tience in afflictions, and meekness un

der provocations. 12 Combat the good 12 Since these virtues are not in. combat' of faith: Lay hold consistent with courage, combat the on eternal life, to which good combat of faith, by boldly mainalso thou wast called ; and taining the true doctrine of Christ, confess the good confession 2 against infidels and false teachers; in the presence of many and as a conqueror in this combat, witnesses.

Lay hold on eternal life, the prize to the attainment of which thou wast called ; and in particular, confess the good confession, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, in the presence of all mankind.

3

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ledge of God and of eternal life, and to persuade them to lay hold on etemal life, by avoiding covetousness, and pursuing righteousness, piety, faith, &c. and to be himself a pattern of all these virtues. Doddridge's reflection on this passage is worthy of a place here. “ Happy” says he “would it be for “ the church of Christ, if these important articles of practical religion were “ more inculcated, and less of the zeal of its teachers spent in discussing “ vain questions, and intricate strifes about words, wbich have been produc“ tive of so much envy, contention, obloquy, and suspicion.”

Ver. 12.-1. Combat the good combat. The phrase Agoorier Toy xenon agwyd, being general, may be understood of any of the olympic combats. But the apostle seems to have had the combat either of boxing or wrestling in his eye, rather than that of the race. Because wrestling and boxing requiring greater exertions of courage than the race, and being attended with more danger, were fitter images of the combat of faith, which was to be carried on, by confessing the good confession in the presence of many witnesses, often with the hazard of the combatants' life.

13 I give thee charge 13 Παραγγελλω σοι ενωπιον in the sight of God, who

του Θεου του ζωοποιουντος quickeneth all things, and

τα παντα, και Χριςου Ιησου before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate wit

του μαρτυρήσαντος εσι Πονnessed a good confession. τιου Πιλατου την καλην όμο

λογιαν, , 14 That thou keep this 14 τηρησαι σε την εντοcommandment without λην ασσιλον, ανεσιληστον, spot, unrebukeable, until

μέχρι της

της επιφανειας του the appearing of our Lord Κυριου ημων Ιησου Χριςου Jesus Christ :

2. Confess the good confession. Prorognous, being the second person of the first aorist of the indicative, it is put here for the imperative ; as is evident from the preceding clauses which are all in the imperative mood. This our translators have overlooked.—The translation I have given of this clause, shews what the good combat of faith was, which Timothy was to carry on; it consisted in confessing, before all mankind the principle article of the gos. pel, namely, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and judge of the world.

3. In the presence of many witnesses. The witnesses before whom Timothy was to maintain the good combat of faith, by confessing the good confession, were not any particular assembly, like the general assembly of all Greece met to behold the olympic combats, to which the apostle here alludes. But they were the whole human race ; nay, the holy angels also, who, in the next verse, are represented as witnesses of his behaviour in this combat.

Ver. 13.-1. I charge thee in the presence of God. The earnestness and solemnity, with which the apostle addressed Timothy on this occasion, did not proceed from any suspicion of his fidelity as a minister, but from his own deep sense of the truths which Timothy was to confess and maintain. Hence the ministers of the gospel may learn, that these truths ought to be often and earnestly insisted on by them in their public discourses.'

2. Who witnessed (801) under Pontius Pilate. Though the preposition smi with the genitive sometimes signifies before, it is more elegantly used to signify under, as denoting time. Thus, Acts xi. 28. Which came to pass, (ET! Klaudio Kulougo) in the days of Claudius Cæsar.-The good confession which Christ witnessed, and which is bere referred to, was made in presence of Caiaphas and the Jewish council, (see note 3.) and often in the hearing of his own disciples, and of the people: And the report of it was the occasion of his being apprehended, tried, and put to death. All these things happened under the procuratorship of Pontius Pilate. However, as the confession which he so often made, was adhered to by him in the presence of Pontius Pilate, when he acknowledged himself the King of the Jews, John xviii. 33. 37. that is, acknowledged that he was Messiah the prince, and suffered death; rather than conceal or retract that confession, the common translation

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13 I charge thee in the 13 I charge thee in the presence of presence of God, who God, who raiseth all from the dead to maketh all alive, and of reward every one according to his Christ Jesus, who wit- works, and who, if thou lose thy life nessed under ? Pontius Pi. in the good combat, will give thee late the goods confession, eternal life; and in the presence of

Christ Jesus, who witnessed under
Pontius Pilate the good confession,

and sealed it with his blood. 14 that thou keep (onu, 14 that thou obey this command71.) this commandment ment of confessing the good confeswithout spot, unblameable,1 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

race.

is not wrong. Estius thinks the word uagtugnouvrOʻ, 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 uagtugnante, in that sense here.

3. The good confession was made by our Lord, most explicitly before Caiaphas and the Jewish council, when being asked, whether he was Cbrist the Son of the Blessed, he acknowledged that he was. And added, ye

shall see the Son of man sitting on the right band of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven, Mark xiv. 61, 62. This the apostlé 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 preserve 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 ex. citing faithful ministers to exert themselves strenuously in the good combat of faith.

2. Till the appearing of our Lord Fesus Christ. From this Grotius infers that Paul thought the appearing of Christ was to happen soon, and that

15 Which in his times

15 Ην καιρους ιδιους δειξει he shall shew, τυλο is the o μακαριος και μονος δυναblessed and only Poten

σης,

ο βασιλευς των βασιtate, the King of kings, λευοντων, και

και Κυριος των and Lord of lords ;

κυριευοντων 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

ουδεις ανθρωπων, approach unto; whom no

ουδε ιδειν δυναται ω τιμη man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour και κρατος αιωνιον. Αμην. 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

nor

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 and only duvæsns 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, have derived it from him, and are absolutely subject to him.-The eastern princes affect. ed 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. ap.fupta JeG, the incorruptible or immutable Got: And 1 Tim. i. 17. ap fagow, incorruptible, unperishable.

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