« PreviousContinue »
11 Knowing that such a 11 Knowing that such a teacher is person is perverted, 1 and utterly depraved: and in teaching sinneth, being self con- false doctrine from worldly motives, demned.?
sinneth, being self-condemned. 12 When I shall send 12 When I shall send either ArteArtemas to thee, or Ty- mas to thee or Tychicus, to supply chicus,? Make haste to thy place in Crete, leave the come to me at Nicopolis, churches there to his management, for I have determined to and as speedily as possible come to me winter there.
at Nicopolis, for there I have deter
mined to winter. 13 Diligently help for- 13 Diligently supply Zenas the
on their journey lawyer and Apollos (See Acts xviii. Zenas the lawyer, 1 and 24.-28.) with whatever is necessary Apollos, that nothing may for their journey, that in coming to be wanting to them. me, nothing, which they need, may
be wanting to them. 14 And let ours also 14 And, that the expense neceslearn to practise honest sary to such offices may be defraytrades, for necessary uses, ed, Let our disciples in Crete also that they may not be un- learn to follow honest trades for supfruitful.
plying what is necessary to themselves, and that they may not be un
fruitful in good offices to others. 2. Come to me at Nicopolis. There were cities of this name in Macedonia on the confines of Thrace, and in Epirus, and Pontus. The one in Epirus, was built opposite to Actium, and named Nicopolis, or the city of victory, in memory of the victory which Augustus obtained over Anthony and Cleopatra. L'Enfant is of opinion that this is the Nicopolis of which the apostle speaks: And that while he wintered there, he visited his disci. ples in Illyricum, Rom. xv. 19. Other commentators think the apostle meant Nicopolis in Macedonia, situated near mount Hæmus on the confines of Thrace. But without settling that point, I observe that the apostle's determination to winter in Nicopolis, wherever it was, shews that he was at liberty when he wrote this epistle ; consequently that it was written in the interval between his first and second imprisonments.
Ver. 13.-1. Zends the lawyer, and Apollos. Zenas is mentioned in this passage only. He is called Noulxov, the lawyer, which Jerome interprets, Legis Doctorem, a teacher of the law, because he had formerly been of that profession among the Jews. Benson also is of the same opinion : and quotes Matt. xxii. 35. where one of that profession is called voulkes. But others think Zenas was a Roman lawyer.-It would seem that Zenas and Apollos were to pass through Crete, either in their way to the apostle, or to some place wlither he had sent them. He therefore desired Titus to help them
15 All that are with me 15 Ασσαζονται σε δι μετ' salute thee. Greet them εμου παντες.
Ασσασαι τους that love us in the faith.
φιλουντας μας εν πιςει. Grace δε with you all. Η χαρις μετα παντων υμων. Amen.
forward on their journey, by supplying them with such necessaries as they were in want of, that they might not be retarded.
Ver. 15.-1. Salute them who love us in faith. By this description of the persons in Crete to be saluted in his name, the apostle expressly excluded the Judaizing teachers, on whom he put that mark of disrespect, to make them sensible how much he disapproved of their conduct.
15 All who are with me 15 All my fellow-labourers who salute thee. Salute them are with me in Colosse, wish thee who love us in the faith.? health. Present my good wishes to Grace be with all of you.? them in Crete, who shew their love Amen.
to me by maintaining the true faith of Christ. The favour and blessing of God be with all of you. Amen.
2. Grace be with all of you. By the expression all of you, the apostle intimated that this epistle was intended, not for Titus alone, but for the churches in Crete ; the members of which were to be taught the things in this letter, and to be exhorted and even reproved, agreeably to the directions contained in it.
ST. PAUL'S EPISTLE TO PHILEMON.
The History of Philemon. PHILEMON
HILEMON, to whom this epistle was written, was no stranger to the apostle Paul. For in the first and second verses, the apostle addressed all the members of Philemon's family, as well acquainted with them. And ver. 19, he insinuates that Philemon himself was his convert. Nay, ver. 17, Philemon's respect for the apostle is mentioned. He was an inhabitant of Colosse, as appears from the epistle to the Colossians, chap. iv. 9. where Onesimus, Philemon's slave, is called one of them. And ver. 17. the brethren of Colosse are desired to say to Archippus (the person mentioned Philem. ver. 2.) Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received.-Besides, the ancients believed that Philemon was an inhabitant of Colosse. So Theodoret says expressly in his commentary on this epistle; and tells us that his house was still remaining in Colosse in his time; that is, in the beginning of the fifth century. And Jerome also in his commentary on this epistle, says Philemon was of Colosse : And Theophylact calls him a Phrygian, Oper. tom. 2. p. 861.For an account of Colosse, see Pref. to Colossians.
Philemon seems to have been a person of great worth as a man, and of some note as a citizen in his own country; for his family was so numerous, that it made a church by itself; or at least a considerable part of the church at Colosse, ver. 2. He was likewise so opulent, that he was able by the communication of his faith, that is by his beneficence, to refresh the bowels of the saints, ver. 6, 7.-According to Grotius, Philemon was an elder of Ephesus. But Beausobre speaks of him as one of the pastors of Colosse ; in which he is followed by Doddridge. From the apostle's employing Philemon to provide him a lodging in Colosse, Michaelis conjectures that he was one of the deacons there. These authors were led to think Philemon a minister of the gospel, because in the inscription of this letter, the apostle calls him his fellow-labourer. But that appellation is of ambiguous signification ; being given, not only to those who preached the gospel, but to such pious persons also, whether men, or women, as assisted the apostles in any manner, while they were employed in preaching. See Rom. xvi. 8. 3 John, ver. 8.
The ancients differed as much as the moderns in their opinion concerning Philemon's station in the church. Some of them reckoned him a bishop. But others, fancying that Apphia was his wife, contended that he had no ecclesiastical character whatever; for they began very early to esteem celibacy in ecclesiastical persons. In particular, Hilary the deacon saith expressly, that he was one of the laity. Theodoret, Oecumenius, and Theophylact seem also to have been of the same opinion. See Whitby's preface to this epistle.
Of the Occasion on which the Epistle to Philemon was written.
Onesimus, a slave, on some disgust, having run away from his master Philemon, came to Rome; and falling into want, as is supposed, he applied to the apostle, of whose imprisonment he had heard, and with whose benevolent disposition he was well acquainted, having, as it seems, formerly seen him in his master's house. Or, the fame of the apostle's preaching and miracles, having drawn Onesimus to hear some of the many discourses which he delivered in his own hired house in Rome, these made such an impression on him, that he became a sincere convert to the Christian faith : For the apostle calls him, ver. 9. his son, whom he had begotten in his bonds. After his conversion, Onesimus abode with the apostle, and served him with the greatest assiduity and affection. But being sensible of his fault in running away from his master, he wished to repair that injury, by returning to him. At the same time being afraid, that on his return, his master would inflict on him the punishment, which