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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY - Chapter 1 - Verse 20

Verse 20. Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander. Hymeneus is nowhere else mentioned in the New Testament, except in 2 Ti 2:17, where he is mentioned in connection with Philetus as a very dangerous man. An Alexander is mentioned in Ac 19:33, which some have supposed to be the same as the one referred to here. It is not certain, however, that the same person is intended. See Barnes "Ac 19:33".

In 2 Ti 4:14, Alexander the coppersmith is mentioned as one who had done the apostle "much evil," and there can be little doubt that he is the same person who is referred to here. One of the doctrines which Hymeneus held was that the "resurrection was past already," 2 Ti 2:18; but what doctrine Alexander held is unknown. It is not improbable, as he is mentioned here in connection with Hymeneus, that he maintained the same opinion; and, in addition to that, he appears to have been guilty of some personal injury to the apostle. Both also were guilty of blasphemy.

Whom I have delivered unto Satan. On the meaning of this expression, See Barnes "1 Co 5:5".

 

That they may learn not to blaspheme. It cannot be supposed that Satan would undertake to teach them not to blaspheme, or that Paul put them under him as an instructor on that subject. The instructions of Satan tend rather to teach his followers to blaspheme, and none in his school fail to be apt scholars. The meaning here is, that Paul excommunicated them, and not improbably brought upon them, by giving them over to Satan, some physical maladies, that they might be reformed. Comp. See Barnes "1 Co 5:5".

It is not entirely clear what is meant by blaspheme in this place. Comp. See Barnes "1 Ti 1:13"

It cannot be supposed that they were open and bold blasphemers, for such could not have maintained a place in the church, but rather that they held doctrines which the apostle regarded as amounting to blasphemy; that is, doctrines which were in fact a reproach on the Divine character. There are many doctrines held by men which are in fact a reflection on the Divine character, and which amount to the same thing as blasphemy. A blasphemer openly expresses views of the Divine character which are a reproach to God; an errorist expresses the same thing in another way—by teaching as true about God that which represents him in a false light, and to suppose which, in fact, is a reproach. The spirit with which this is done in the two cases may be different; the thing itself may be the same. Let us be careful that we hold no views about God which are reproachful to him, and which, though we do not express it in words, may lead us to blaspheme him in our hearts.

{c} "delivered unto Satan" 1 Co 5:5

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