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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 4

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

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Verse 1

2 Timothy 4:1

Solemn Charge to Timothy , v. 2 to preach the word. To carry on with Paul’s work.

That is, the Lord Jesus; for he is to be the judge of men; Mat. 25:31-46; 2 Corinthians 5:10. The word “quick” means “living” (See the Acts 10:42 note; Ephesians 2:1 note); and the idea is, that he would be alike the judge of all who were alive when he should come, and of all who had died; see the notes on 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (Barnes)

1 Corinthians 15:51

At his appearing and his kingdom. This final judgment is placed at the time when Christ shall appear in his kingdom of glory. See Matthew 25:31. See Matthew 16:28.

His appearing and his kingdom are not added as witnesses, but for the purpose of reminding Timothy of both.

Verse 2

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word. Proclaim the Word, as a herald of Christ. This is implied in the Greek. Nothing else must be preached.

The word to herald a message has implications: 1) the herald did not originate the message. He could not change it and had to herald it fully. 2) The message carried the implication that it was important, from the king, and thus the message and messenger were to be received respectfully. 3) there was the (implication or ) expectation that the message would be obeyed and followed.

The excellence of the Scriptures has just been mentioned (2 Timothy 3:16-17). These equip the preacher for his work.

See Acts 20:27 for Paul’s practice.

Be instant = to take one’s stand, to stand by, to be at hand. The word was also used in a military sense; i.e., "to stay at one’s post,’ but here it means ’to be at one’s task’ and indicates that the Christian minister must always be on duty.

Season = well-timed, suitable, conveniently;

Out of season = not well-timed; i.e., when it is inconvenient. (LKGNT).

Reprove - Ελεγξον· Confute error and false teacher. Censure as for a fault.

Rebuke - Επιτιμησον· Reprove cuttingly and severely those who will not abandon their sins. See on 1 Timothy 5:20

Rebuke - "To reprove sharply, to reprimand with authority." Rebuke offenders; Titus 2:15; see the use of the word in Matthew 8:26; Matthew 12:16, (rendered “charged”); Matthew 16:22; Matthew 17:18; Matthew 19:13; Matthew 20:31; Luke 4:35, Luke 4:39; Luke 17:13; Luke 18:15; Judges 1:9. In the New Testament the word is used to express a judgment of what is wrong or contrary to one’s will, and hence, to admonish or reprove. (Barnes)

Exhort - Παρακαλεσον· Encourage and comfort the weak. "To urge by earnest appeal or argument," by persuasion.

With all long-suffering - Patience; In reference to each and all of these cases.

And doctrine - Give teaching suited to each.

FALSE TEACHERS - 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, 2 Timothy 4:2-4, 1 Timothy 4:1-3, Matthew 24:24, Acts 20:28-30, Galatians 1:7-9, Deuteronomy 18:21-22.

To Support false teachers is Sinful- 2 John 1:10-11.

Verse 3

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time = The for here in in vs. 6 cites two reasons for Paul’s urgent charge. Two reasons why Timothy needed to preach, therefore the time would not be far away.

When they will not endure sound doctrine - Greek, “healthful doctrine;” i. e., doctrine contributing to the health of the soul, or to salvation.

But after their own lusts - The seat of the problem. They will seek such kind of preaching as will accord with their carnal desires;

The word rendered “heap” - ἐπισωρεύω episōreuō - only here in the New Testament. It means “to heap up upon, to accumulate;” and here “to multiply.

The word rendered “itching” - κνήθω knēthō - only here in the New Testament. It means “to rub, to scratch;” and then “to tickle,” and here to feel an “itching” for something pleasing or gratifying. The image is derived from the desire which we have when there is an itching sensation, to have it rubbed or scratched.

Verse 4

2 Timothy 4:4

And from the truth their ears will be turned away, and unto myths shall their ears be turned. [WG]

The people would turn aside to myths, fables. See 1 Timothy 1:4.

Verse 5

2 Timothy 4:5

Watch = (sober-minded) to be in a vigilant, wakeful considerate frame of mind taking good heed to what is proceeding around and pursuing its course with calm and stead aim (Fairbairn).

Endure afflictions - suffer evil, hardship.

Evangelists = one who proclaims the good news. One who is proclaimed of divine oracles, or who preached the gospel, the good news from God. The NT does not make the distinction between this word and "preacher."

Ministry = service

Full proof = to carry full, to make full, to accomplish, to fulfill; proclaim the word fully in 2 Timothy 4:17.

Verse 6

2 Timothy 4:6

Offered = to offer, to pour out as a drink offering. In the Jewish sacrifices, the drink offering was the final crowing ceremony involved in the offering of the sacrifice, it was to bring a good odor, smell, to the sacrifice, Philippians 2:17.

Departure = lifting up, departure. The word is used as an euphemism for death and evokes the picture of a ship loosing the moor ropes, or a soldier or traveler loosing the ropes of his tent, thus striking camp (Kelly).

2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21; Philippians 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 4:14

At hand = present, to be at hand.

Verse 7

2 Timothy 4:7

In the Greek the construction doesn’t emphasis the "I".

The good fight I have fought, the course I have finished, the faith I have kept. [Not an emphatic "I" in this statement.]

Finished = perf act. ind. of telew to finish, to complete, to arrive at the goal.

The course = a race course, to Paul, the race of life is meant.

Kept = the expression indicates "to remain faith or true." To guard, and protect.

The faith = all are objective, the faith is the body of teaching delivered to him by Christ to preach to the Gentiles.

Verse 8

2 Timothy 4:8

Henceforth = finally (next in order)

Laid = to be laid away. The word appeared not only in an athletic context, but was also used of an award made to loyal subjects for services rendered by oriental rulers.

Paul’s certainly is not based on his merit, but rather on the certainly of his faith and hope.

Shall give = Idea of something (a treasure) laid up (reserved) in store, and is now given out.

Crown of righteousness = 1) crown which marks the wearer as righteous before God; 2) or the due reward of righteousness. Here both.

His appearing = Is it is first advent, or his second advent which is meant? "at that day" would point to his Second Coming.

Why would Christians love Christ’s appearing in judgment? 1) The Lord’s glory would now be apparent to all; 2) the reward of the righteous; 3) the revelation of God’s wrath against all evil.

Verse 9

2 Timothy 4:9

Diligence = (same word as in 2 Timothy 2:15) to make hast, to be zealous or eager, to give diligence, to do one’s best.

Shortly - ταχεως shortly, 5030 ADV - (Revelation 1:1)

Verse 10

2 Timothy 4:10

Demas = Colossians 4:14; Philemon 1:24 Idle to speculate on what Demas did in Thessalonica, or why he chose Thessalonica. Only his departure seems to be mentioned unfavorably.

Forsaken = to abandon, to sert, to leave one in lurch, to forsake.

Present = the "now" world.

Departed = to travel, to remove,

Crescens to Galatia ... RV margin "Gaul" (France)

Titus to Dalmatia ... A Roman district on eastern shore of the Adriatic, (a part of the Roman province of Illyricum) Albania.

Verse 11

2 Timothy 4:11

Only Luke ... He was Paul’s faithful traveling friend, co-worker, and physician (cf. Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11). He was with Paul during many of his preaching stops in Acts. This is confirmed by the “we” statements in Acts (cf. Acts 16:11, Acts 16:16; Acts 20:6-7, Acts 20:13; Acts 21:1, Acts 21:5; Acts 21:7; Acts 21:10; Acts 21:12; Acts 21:15; Acts 21:17; Acts 21:25; Acts 27:1; Acts 27:18; Acts 27:26-27). Luke may have been the “man of Macedonia” in Acts 16:9. - Utley

Take Mark -- bring, "pick up" ( Acts 13:13 )

Profitable = useful, serviceable

Verse 12

2 Timothy 4:12

Tychicus sent -- Epistolary aorist, "I am sending", most scholars believe he was the bearer of this letter to Timothy.

Tychicus -- tik´i-kus (Τύχικος, Túchikos, lit. “chance”): Mentioned 5 times in the New Testament (Acts 20:4; Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12); an Asiatic Christian, a friend and companion of the apostle Paul.

Acts 20:4, Acts 21:29 an Asian co-worker apparently of Ephesus. Tychicus and Trophimus were of the eight friends who accompanied Paul at the end of the 3rd missionary journey.[ see 1 Corinthians 16:3-4; 2 Corinthians 8:19-20 ] 2 Timothy 4:20

Verse 13

2 Timothy 4:13

Cloak = A large sleeveless outer garment made of a single piece of heavy material with a hole in the middle through which the head was passed. It was used for protection against cold and rain, particularly in traveling. It may be that Paul felt the need of it because winter was at hand and his dungeon was old (Kelly).

The books = biblia,

Parchment = pergamena. The word denotes a piece of skin or vellum prepared for writing purposes.

Paul may have been referring to OT scriptures, or other written documents, or materials on which he could write to others.

See the ISBE for good info on cloak, books and "parchments" and the fact that he was probably arrested at Troas and hurried off to Rome so fast he didn’t have time to collect his personal possessions.

Verse 14

2 Timothy 4:14

Alexander = Acts 19:33; a man whom the Jews put forward. 1 Timothy 1:20 a false teacher at Ephesus. This one in 2 Timothy 4:14 seems to have been one Timothy knew there at Ephesus, and is warned to be on the watch for him. [ other Alexanders Acts 4:6; Mark 15:21]

Coppersmith = . Old word, only here in N.T., for metal-worker (copper, iron, gold, etc.). Possibly the one in 1 Timothy 1:20, but or the one in Acts 19:33. who was put forth by the Jews, but could have been the one prosecuting the case against Paul, could have been a friend or associate of Demetris and in that same business Acts 19:24-25. [Jews prosecuted the first case against Paul, see Acts 23:35; Acts 24:1; ] But it is understood that the case this time against Paul was prosecuted by Asian enemies.]

The word does not mean that he worked only in copper. The term came also to be used of workers in any kind of metal (EGT).

Much evil = apparently at his trial, or first hearing.

Verse 15

2 Timothy 4:15

Beware = to guard one’s self, to be on one’s guard.

Greatly = greatly, violently

Withstood = to stand against, to oppose

Verse 16

2 Timothy 4:16

Answer = "first hearing" legal defense

Was this Paul’s arraignment, or first hearing (preliminary trial) before a lower court of in which the City Prefect, Urbi (Conybeare) heard the case before it went went to Nero?

Stood with = to be alongside of, to stand by, to support. The verb is technical for a witness or advocate standing forward in court on a prisoner’s behalf (Kelly).

Forsook = to leave behind, desert

Be laid to their charge = to reckon,to place to one’s account. (To be put on one’s bill of charge.)

Verse 17

2 Timothy 4:17

Stood with ... to stand by one’s side

Strengthened me (enedunamōsen me). “Poured power into me.” See note on Philippians 4:13.

Preaching = It seems that Paul again took advantage of the occasion (his hearing) to preach the gospel, see Acts 24 before Felix, Acts 24 & 25 before Festus and King Agrippa.

The judges (perhaps even Nero) heard the gospel preached by the apostle Paul himself.

I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion = (1 Thessalonians 1:10). A proverb, but not certain what the application is whether to Nero or to Satan (1 Thessalonians 2:18) or to the lion in the arena where Paul could not be sent because a Roman citizen.

Verse 18

2 Timothy 4:18

Paul’s ultimate confidence and faith in the Lord’s deliverance, not from death, but through it.

Evil = evil, active evil.

Preserve = to save, to rescue

Verse 19

2 Timothy 4:19

Salute = greet

Prisca and Aquila = Romans 16:3, Paul’s dear friends now back at Ephesus.

Household of Onesiphorus = 2 Timothy 1:17 Whether he was still living or not we don’t know, or even if he were a Christians, but we suspect he was. (see notes on 2 Timothy 1:15-18)

Verse 20

2 Timothy 4:20

Erastus -- another common name, Acts 19:22, Romans 16:23, but also associated with Corinth.

Sick = to be weak, to be sick

Trophimus: Acts 20:4, Acts 21:29 an Asian co-worker apparently of Ephesus. One of eight friends who accompanied Paul at the end of the 3rd missionary journey.[ see 1 Corinthians 16:3-4; 2 Corinthians 8:19-20 ] He was the innocent cause of the riot in the Jewish Temple that almost cost Paul his life.

Even at this late date he was still a traveling companion to Paul.

Miletum: Acts 20:15, Acts 20:17, Miletus, not far from the city of Ephesus, just south of it.

Sick: Philippians 2:26, Philippians 2:27

Verse 21

2 Timothy 4:21

Do diligence = aor. act. imp. eager, make every effort, [same word and form as study in 2 Timothy 2:15 ]

Winter = winter [a storm of hard rain (2), winter (4)]

Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia ... nothing else known of these people. Claudia is identified in another writing as the mother of Linus, who perhaps was a bishop or an elder of the church in Rome.

Verse 22

2 Timothy 4:22

Paul’s prayer for Timothy.

How much we would like to know!! Did Timothy get there in time to see Paul? What happened to the books and parchments? Did the fall to Timothy? etc.

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 4". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/2-timothy-4.html. 2021.
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