EPISTLE OF S. PAUL, THE APOSTLE,
The main subject and design of this epistle is much the same as the former; in it the apostle again instructs and admonishes Timothy in what belonged to his office, and also warns him to shun the conversation of those who had erred from the truth, describing at the same time their character. He tells him of his approaching death, and desires him to come speedily to him. It appears from this circumstance, that he wrote this second epistle in the time of his last imprisonment at Rome, and not long before his martyrdom. See Euseb. S. Jerom, and others cited by Tillemont, and by P. Mauduit, (Diss. xi.) where this historical fact is discussed at large. Ch. Wi.
Ver. 3. Whom I serve from my forefathers with a pure conscience. That is, have always served and worshipped the one true God, as my forefathers had done, which was true, even when he persecuted the Christians; though this he did not with a pure conscience, but with a false mistaken zeal; and his ignorance could not excuse him, after he might have known Christ. Wi.
Ver. 5. Thy grandmother, Lois. The principal intention S. Paul seems to have had in writing this second epistle to Timothy, was, to comfort him under the many hardships under which he laboured for the faith of Christ. To this end he endeavours first to strengthen his faith, by calling to his mind the example given him in his grandmother, as also in his mother, Eunice. Some likewise think S. Paul is here exhorting Timothy to a desire of martyrdom, in the perfect discharge of his ministry, by his own example; as the same writers think it most probable that he was confined in prison at Rome, or at Laodicea, at the time he wrote this epistle. Dionysius Carthus.
--- Certain† that in thee also. Wi.
[†] V. 5. Certus sum, pepeismai, persuasum habeo.
Ver. 6. That thou stir up† the grace of God. In the Greek is a metaphor for fire that is blown up again.
--- Which is in thee by the imposition of my hands, when thou wast ordained bishop. Wi.
--- The grace, which S. Paul here exhorts Timothy to stir up in him, was the grace he had received by imposition of hands, either in his confirmation, or at receiving the sacrament of orders, being a bishop. This verse seems to shew that the imposition of hands is used in these two sacraments, as the essential matter of the sacraments, being the instrumental cause of the grace therein conferred. Dion. Carthus.
[†] V. 6. Ut resuscites, anazwpurein, quasi sopitum ignem excitare.
Ver. 7. Of fear.† Of a cowardly fear, and want of courage.
--- Of sobriety.†† Though the Protestants here translate of a sound mind, yet they translate the same Greek word by sobriety in divers other places, as Acts xxvi. 25. 1 Tim. ii. 9 and 15. and c. iii. 2. Tit. i. 8. &c. Wi.
[†] V. 7. Timoris, deiliaV, timiditatis, it is not fobou.
[††] Ibid. Et sobrietatis, kai swfronismou.
Ver. 8. Labour with† the gospel. That is, labour with me in preaching, &c. Or by the Greek, be partner with me in suffering. Wi.
[†] V. 8. Collabora, sugkakopaqhson. Mala ferto mecum.
Ver. 10. By the illumination of our Saviour. That is, by the bright coming and appearing of our Saviour. Ch.
Ver. 12. I am certain that he (God) is able to keep that which I have committed to him† against that day. That is, to the day of judgment. S. Paul here means that which he had committed, or as it were deposited in the hands of God; to wit, the treasure of an eternal reward, due in some measure to S. Paul for his apostolical labours. This treasure, promised to those that live well, the apostle hopes he has placed and deposited in the hands of God, who will reward him, and repay him at the last day. This is the common interpretation. Wi.
[†] V. 12. Depositum meum, paraqhkhn mou. S. Chrys. (log. b. p. 336) says it may be either what S. Paul committed to the trust of God, or what God committed to him: h o QeoV autw parakateqeto, h hn autoV tw qew.
Ver. 14. Keep the good (doctrine) deposited or committed† in trust to thee. This is different, though the word be the same, from what he spoke of, v. 12. There he mentioned what he had committed and deposited in the hands of God; here he speaks of what God hath committed, and deposited in the hands of Timothy, after it was delivered to him by S. Paul and the other preachers of the gospel: that is, he speaks of the care Timothy must take to preserve the same sound doctrine, and to teach it to others. See 1 Tim. vi. 20. Wi.
[†] V. 14. Bonum depositum custodi; thn kalhn parakataqhkhn fulaxon.
Ver. 15. All they who are in Asia, are turned away from me. That is, all who are of Asia, or all the Asiatics now at Rome, where I am prisoner, have withdrawn themselves from me, now when I am in danger; but he excepts Onesiphorus, who sought him out, assisted and relieved him in his wants. Wi.
--- Phigellus, &c. These two, whom S. Paul says were the chief of those in Asia Minor, who had departed from the faith, had become his followers by deceit, in order to become acquainted with the mysteries of religion, taught by him, intending to make use of them, as affording them matter for calumniating him. Dion. Carthus.
Ver. 16. Onesiphorus. This person, also an inhabitant of Asia, seems to have supplied S. Paul with necessaries, as well at Rome during his confinement, as at Ephesus. Timothy being with S. Paul at the latter place, knew better the charities of Onesiphorus there than at Rome, at which place he was not eye witness of them. Dion. Carthus.