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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY - Chapter 2 - Verse 9

Verse 9. Wherein I suffer trouble as an evil-doer. As if I were a violator of the laws. That is, I am treated as if I were a criminal.

Even unto bonds. As if I were one of the worst kind of malefactors, See Barnes "Eph 6:20".

During the apostle's first imprisonment at Rome, he was permitted to "dwell in his own hired house," though guarded by a soldier, and probably chained to him. See Barnes "Ac 28:16,30".

What was his condition in his second imprisonment, during which this epistle was written, we have no means of knowing with certainty. It is probable, however, that he was subjected to much more rigid treatment than he had been in the first instance. The tradition is, that he and Peter were together in the Mamertine prison at Rome; and the place is still shown in which it is said that they were confined. The Mamertine prisons are of great antiquity. According to Livy, they were constructed by Ancus Marrtius, and enlarged by Servius Tullius. The lower prison is supposed to have been once a quarry, and to have been at one time occupied as a granary. These prisons are on the descent of the Capitoline Mount, towards the Forum. They consist of two apartments, one over the other, built with large, uncemented stones. There is no entrance to either, except by a small aperture in the roof, and by a small hole in the upper floor, leading to the cell below, without any staircase to either. The upper prison is twenty-seven feet long, by twenty wide; the lower one is elliptical, and measures twenty feet by ten. In the lower one is a small spring, which is said at Rome to have arisen at the command of Peter, to enable him to baptize his keepers, Processus and Martianus, with forty-seven companions, whom he converted. No certain reliance can be placed on any part of this tradition, though in itself there is no improbability in supposing that these prisons may have been used for confining Christians, and the apostle Paul among others. Dr. Burton says, that a more horrible place for the confinement of a human being can scarcely be conceived.

But the word of God is not bound. This is one of Paul's happy turns of thought. Comp. Ac 26:29. The meaning is plain. The gospel was prospered. That could not be lettered hand imprisoned. It circulated with freedom, even when he who was appointed to preach it was in chains. See Php 1:13,14. As this was the great matter, his own imprisonment was of comparatively little consequence. What may befall us is of secondary importance. The grand thing is, the triumph of truth on the earth; and well may we bear privations and sorrows, if the gospel moves on in triumph.

{d} "unto bonds" Eph 6:20

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