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Bible Commentaries

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Titus 2


Titus 2:1-8 Directions given to Titus both for his doctrine and life.

Titus 2:9,Titus 2:10 The duty of servants.

Titus 2:11-15 The gospel teacheth all men to renounce wickedness, and to lead sober, righteous, and godly lives.

Verse 1

That is, preach those things which agree with that doctrine which is sound, and which tendeth to make others sound in the faith, and in a holy life. Be not thou led by the example of those triflers in preaching, but let the subjects of thy discourse be what may tend to edifying; nor is there any more effectual way to stop the mouths of those fablers. Dagon will fall down before the ark of God.

Verse 2

That the aged men be sober: by the word πρεσβυτας seems here to be signified elders in age; he would have Timothy preach that these should be νηφαλιοι, sober, both as to body and mind: we met with the word before, 1 Timothy 3:2,1 Timothy 3:11.

Grave; of a modest, composed behaviour, not light and airy.

Temperate; that is, able to govern their passions and inclinations.

Sound in faith; we have met with the phrase before, Titus 1:13; see the notes; neither rotten through error, nor sick through fluctuation or scepticism.

In charity, that is, love.

In patience; a patient bearing of evils.

Verse 3

The aged women likewise; that is, do thou also teach the women that in age exceed others.

That they be in behaviour as becometh holiness; en katasthmati ieroprepeiv to be in their habit becoming holiness. The word is of a very large signification, it signifies state, gesture, and habit; we have well translated it by as general a word,

behaviour; it signifies clothes, converse, one’s whole carriage.

Not false accusers; not devils. That name is given to the devil, because he is

the accuser of the brethren, and he was a liar from the beginning; it is applied to any persons that charge others falsely.

Not given to much wine: Greek, not serving much wine; for those that frequent the tap too much, are ordinarily enslaved to it.

Teachers of good things; privately instructing others in what is good, both by their discourse and example.

Verse 4

That they may teach the young women to be sober: young women, especially conversing amongst heathens, are prone to be light and airy, and over frolicsome, following the heat of their youthful temper, and forming their converse after the manner of others; which is a behaviour, though it may suit their youth, yet if they be Christians it will not suit their profession, which calls to them for more gravity: speak to them that are aged to mind them to be sober.

To love their husbands, to love their children: it being natural for young women to love their husbands and children, these precepts seem not so much to concern the things, as the manner of it, to love them as they ought to love them.

Verse 5

To be discreet; swfronav the word signifies temperate, and imports an ability to govern all our affections and passions. Discretion is but one piece of the fruit.

Chaste; the word signifieth pure as well as chaste, and chastity only as it is a species of purity.

Keepers at home; house-wives, not spending their time in gadding abroad, but in looking to the affairs of their own families.

Obedient to their own husbands: the same is required of wives, Ephesians 5:22, and is due from them to their husbands, as being their head.

That the word of God be not blasphemed: as for the discharge of their duty towards God, so for the credit and reputation of the gospel, that for their carriage contrary to the rules of nature and morality, as well as of religion, the gospel may not be evil spoken of, as if from that they had learned their ill and indecent behaviour.

Verse 6

The word signifieth to be temperate, sober, wise, discreet, to govern their passions; an exhortation more specially necessary for young men, whose natural heat inclineth them to passion and rashness.

Verse 7

In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: he is an ill teacher of others who teacheth them not by his own example, as well as by his doctrine; for that physician proves ordinarily little valued in his prescriptions to his patients, whom they know to be in the same danger, and sick of the same disease, and yet refuseth himself to use what he prescribeth others: the patients will surely say to him:

Physician, heal thyself. The apostle therefore requires of Titus that he should be himself a pattern of holiness; and those ministers who are not so, vainly persuade others to be such. People (let ministers say what they will) will believe little danger to be in those courses in which their leader himself walks.

In doctrine showing uncorruptness; preaching not rotten, but sound doctrine; and doing it with authority, and

gravity, and

sincerity; the word is αφθαρσιαν, incorruptibility. It is not read in many copies, nor translated by many interpreters; and is much of the same sense with αδιαφθοριαν, which is the first word, by our translation interpreted uncorruptness.

Verse 8

Sound speech, that cannot be condemned: Paul (as yet) seemeth to be directing Titus as a minister, and the rest of the ministers in Crete, how to behave themselves in the ministry, for the last word being plural, you, signifieth either the ministry, or else is put for thee; he would have Titus not only preach sound doctrine, not corrupt, and do it gravely, but also preach profitable doctrine, tending to make the souls of others sound and healthy; unless perhaps by λογον be here meant his style and phrase, which he would have such as none could justly condemn. What was said of Caesar’s wife, that she ought not only to be chaste, but so to behave herself as not to be suspected otherwise, is applicable to ministers; their doctrine, and phrase used in their ministry, ought not only to be sound and grave, but such as none should judge or censure for other.

That he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed; that the adversaries of the truth may be ashamed of their aspersing them or it.

Having no evil thing to say of you; and may have no evil thing to charge them with.

Verse 9

Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters; the apostle directeth as to servants of all sorts, whether bond or free, otherwise than that by covenant they have obliged themselves to men, he willeth they should be obedient to the commands of those who were their legal masters, neither thinking themselves free from them by their Christianity, if their masters were pagans, nor that they had a greater liberty to be saucy with them, or less obedient to them, because they were Christians, and upon that account brethren, 1 Timothy 6:2.

And to please them well in all things; that is, in civil things, wherein alone they were servants.

Not answering again; not saucily replying when they were reproved, nor contradicting the commands of their masters.

Verse 10

Not purloining; nosfizomenouv the word signifieth taking something away from others to our own use, and it signifies properly the taking not the whole, but a part of a thing; it is used to signify the sin of Ananias and Sapphira, who kept back part of what they sold their estate for, Acts 5:2,Acts 5:3.

But showing all good fidelity; honesty, and truth, and diligence.

That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things; that they may not be a scandal or reproach to the gospel to which they make a profession, but may be an ornament to it in all things, as remembering that it is the doctrine of God our great Preserver, and of Jesus Christ our blessed Saviour.

Verse 11

The gospel of our Lord Jesus, which containeth the glad tidings of salvation, is not now hidden, and obscurely delivered, as in the times of the Old Testament; but is risen up as the sun, or some bright star, directing all men their duties in their several stations, that is, all sorts of men amongst whom it cometh.

Verse 12

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness; all atheism or false religion, living without regard to any Divine Being, or according to our own erroneous and superstitious conceits and opinions of him.

And worldly lusts; and such inclinations, and unlawful desires, and lustings after secular things, as are commonly found in men of the world.

We should live soberly; we should live, with respect to ourselves, in a just government of our affections and passions.

Righteously; and with respect to others, giving to every one their due.

And godly; and with respect to God, piously discharging the duties and paying the homage we owe unto him.

In this present world; so long as we live in this world, where we have temptations to the contrary.

Verse 13

Looking for that blessed hope; the object or end of our hope, the salvation of our souls, Galatians 5:5; Colossians 1:5.

And the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; and in order thereunto, looking for the coming of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, to the last judgment. The same person is here meant by the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

1. It is he whom God hath appointed to be the judge of the quick and dead.

2. ’επιφανεια, by us translated appearing, is attributed only to the Second Person in the Blessed Trinity, 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,2 Timothy 4:8. From this text the Divine nature of Christ is irrefragably concluded; he is not only called God, but μεγας θεος, the great God, which cannot be understood of a made God.

Verse 14

Who gave himself for us; which great God and Saviour Jesus Christ was not only sent and given by the Father, John 3:16, but freely gave up himself to be incarnate, and to die for us, υπερημων, in our stead to die.

That he might redeem us from all iniquity; that by that price he might purchase salvation for us, delivering us both from the guilt and power of sin, who were slaves and captives to our lusts.

And that he might purify unto himself λαον περιουσιον, we translate it a peculiar people; some translate it, an egregious, famous, principal people; others say it signifieth something got by our own labour and industry, and laid up for our own use; others say it signifieth something we have set our hearts and affections upon, in a special, peculiar manner.

Zealous of good works; studious to do, and warmly pursuing, all such works as are acceptable to God, and profitable to ourselves and others.

Verse 15

These things speak, and exhort; whatsoever I have in this Episple said unto thee, I have therefore spoke, that thou mightest speak to the same sense to others, and persuade them to the practice of them.

And rebuke with all authority; when thou hast occasion to reprove any for their errors, do not do it imperiously, but with meekness; nor yet slightly and cursorily, but showing all gravity and authority.

Let no man despise thee; and do not so demean thyself, as to give any persons occasion to despise thee.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Titus 2". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.