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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 4

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


solemnly urge you. How impressive this message from the aged Paul, as he stands at the edge of the grave. “I have fully instructed you in all that you must do, and you already know the Jewish Scriptures and the things that will make up the Christian Scriptures, in which the Good News is both explained and verified. I solemnly urge you (as in 1 Timothy 5:21) to actively carry out your mission while the opportunity lasts. Stand firm in the Faith! Fill the place which my death will leave vacant. My crown is waiting for me, and there is one for you, too, and for all who wait with love for Him to appear!” Because of. See 1 Thessalonians 5:4; Matthew 25:31.

Verse 2


To preach the message. Timothy is to “shout it from the housetops!” To insist. “Not take NO for an answer!” Whether the time. “Time is so short that you must use each opportunity as it comes along, and not wait for a better one.” To convince. Especially convince false teachers of what is true. Reproach all who sin. Encourage all to live a holy life. Teaching. This tells how: will all patience! Compare Galatians 6:1.

Verse 3


The time will come. It was already there! See note on 1 Timothy 4:1. And will collect. They will run from teacher to teacher until they find one who says what they are itching to hear! [They wanted some one to tell them that they could go on living in sin and still be saved!]

Verse 4


They will. Because they really do not want truth, they will turn to the legends, etc., of the false teachers. See 1 Timothy 1:4; 2 Timothy 3:7 and notes.

Verse 5


But you. “You must neither fail to act nor overreact, You must calmly evaluate these things and put a stop to trouble before it begins.” Endure suffering. “The enemies of the Good News will make you suffer!” Do the work, Christian leadership is based upon service (see notes on John 13:4-5). Preacher = evangelist (see note on Ephesians 4:11). He is to preach the Good News and look after the churches. [There is some overlap between the work of the church leader (elder) and the evangelist (preacher).] Perform. See 2 Timothy 4:17,

Verse 6


As for me. “I have done my best! Now my King is calling me from the field of action. You will no longer have me to depend upon.” To be sacrificed. Paul uses a word which points out his own death as a sacrifice to God. Compare what he says in Philippians 2:17 with Numbers 15:1-10; Numbers 28:4-8. See also notes on Acts 21:10-14. See 2 Corinthians 5:8 for Paul’s thoughts on death.

Verse 7


I have done my best. The TEV translates this correctly. See note on 1 Timothy 6:12. Paul used symbolism from the Games. The full distance. He did not drop out, but went the full distance in the race of Christian life. I have kept the faith. This is Paul’s climax!!! This does not contradict Philippians 3:12-16, The life that he has lived has been “by faith in the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20). False modesty would be ingratitude. With the Lord’s help, he has spent all his Christian life preserving intact THE FAITH!

Verse 8


And now. “All fears of death vanish when I think of the reward which God has for me!” The crown of righteousness. This also is from the Games where the winners received a crown of leaves as the symbol of their victory! The gold fillet worn by the High Priest was called a crown of righteousness. And not only to me. Everyone can have the same hope, if they follow Paul’s example!!!

Verse 9


To come to me. He wants Timothy to be with him during these last days on earth.

Verse 10


Demas. Demas ran out on Paul. Demas had been much help (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 1:24), and he may have been the one who “wrote down” the Letter to the Colossians. He may have been ashamed of Paul’s suffering. Compare 2 Timothy 1:8. Crescens. Paul does not say the Crescens or Titus deserted him. They were sent by Paul. Compare Titus 3:12.

Verse 11


Only Lake. There would be thousands of Christians in Rome at this time. Paul says “only Luke,” meaning that his fellow workers and associates had all left Rome. Compare 2 Timothy 4:21. Get Mark. This is John Mark, and he seems to be at Ephesus just now. See the introduction to Mark’s Gospel. He can help me. Note that Paul has not quit yet!!!

Verse 12


I sent Tychicus. He may have taken this letter to Timothy, and replaced him at Ephesus.

Verse 13


Bring my coat. He will need this warm winter coat in the dungeon. This was a circular cape which would come below the knees, with a hole in the center for the head to go through. Bring the books. We do not know what these books were. We would expect him to have copies of the Old Testament in Greek (the Septuagint) and possibly Hebrew as well. Parchment. This was made from animal skins. Benson thinks these were letters Paul had received from the churches, and copies of his own Letters (and perhaps copies of the writings of other apostles, since Peter had certainly seen some of Paul’s writings, 2 Peter 3:15).

Verse 14


Alexander the metalworker. MacKnight identifies him as the one who was in the riot at Ephesus (Acts 19:33). Did me great harm. If this took place at Ephesus, Timothy would already know about it. MacKnight thinks he must have stirred up the Gentile and Jewish unbelievers in Rome, and perhaps caused Paul’s second imprisonment. The Lord. Paul is willing to place vengeance in the Lord’s hands. Every Christian must do the same!

Verse 15


Be on your guard. Alexander might soon return to Ephesus. Timothy is to be on his guard wherever he meets such as this man.

Verse 16


No one stood by me. Paul must be speaking about his preliminary trial, which would take place when he was brought to Rome after his arrest the second time. He is writing to Timothy before his second and final trial, but he is certain what the verdict will be. This is the last year of the reign of Emperor Nero, and both Paul and Peter will die at Rome.

Verse 17


But the Lord. Here was the source of Paul’s confidence. The Lord was with him!!! So that I was able. MacKnight thinks this means he preached the Good News to Nero himself, or at least one of his representatives. The Expositor’s Greek Testament says: “We annex a territory by the mere act of planting our country’s flag on a small portion of its soil; so in St. Paul’s thought a single proclamation of the gospel might have a spiritual, almost a prophetical, significance, immeasurably greater than could be imagined by one who heard it.” The lion’s month. Chrysostom understands the lion to be Nero himself. Roman citizens were not thrown to the lions. Paul was able to speak before many Gentiles at his first trial, and the word of this would spread throughout the whole Roman Empire, especially to Gentile Christians!

Verse 18


And the Lord. Evidently not from death, but in death. Compare 2 Timothy 4:6. Into his heavenly Kingdom. This sounds a lot like Revelation 11:11-12. See note on Luke 16:31.

Verse 19


To Priscilla and Aquila. Long time friends and co-workers. Some see meaning in the fact that her name is mentioned first. Onesiphorus. See note on 2 Timothy 1:16. SOME THINK THIS FORM IMPLIES THE death of Onesiphorus. MacKnight says: “But Onesiphorus at this time was with the apostle in Rome, 2 Timothy 1:16-17; or if he was gone from Rome, he might not be in Ephesus.”

Verse 20


Erasrus. Probably his home town (Romans 16:23). I left Trophimus. These personal details were better understood by Timothy than by us. This verse proves that this Letter does not belong to the time of Paul’s first imprisonment at Rome, since years had passed since his last visit to Miletus, and the first Roman imprisonment. See Acts 20:4; Acts 21:29.

Verse 21


Come before winter. In was too dangerous to sail during the winter. Compare Acts 27:9-20. The four names mentioned here are all of Roman character. These were all friends who lived at Rome.

Verse 22


The Lord be with your spirit. This is directed to Timothy. It takes on deep meaning when compared with 2 Timothy 1:7-8; 2 Timothy 1:14; 2 Timothy 2:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 3:5. God’s grace be with you all. Paul uses the plural form of “you” to include all who are with Timothy (the whole church), or at least those who stood firmly in the truth. Johnson adds: “Shortly after this Letter was written, within a few months at most, Paul had his second hearing, was sentenced to death by execution, was led out of the city at the Ostian Gate to a place called the Three Fountains, and was there beheaded. At least all early tradition [traditional history], and the Fathers, among them Clement, one of his companions, support this view.

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 4". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/2-timothy-4.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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