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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY - Chapter 6 - Verse 9

Verse 9. But they that will be rich. Further to enforce the duty of contentment, the apostle refers to some of the evils which necessarily attend a desire to be rich. Those evils have been so great and uniform in all ages, and are so necessary accompaniments of that desire, that, even amidst many inconveniences which may attend the opposite condition, we should be contented with our lot. Indeed, if we could see all, it would only be necessary to see the evils which the desire of wealth produces in the world, to make us contented with a most lowly condition of life. Perhaps nothing more would be necessary to make a poor man satisfied with his lot, and grateful for it, than to be acquainted with the perplexities and cares of a rich man. There is more emphasis to be placed on the word will, here, in the phrase "will be rich," than might be supposed from our translation. It is not the sign of the future tense, but implies an actual purpose or design to become rich— oi boulomenoi. The reference is to those in whom this becomes the object of earnest desire, and who lay their plans for it.

Fall into temptation. That is, they are tempted to do wicked things in order to accomplish their purposes. It is extremely difficult to cherish the desire to be rich, as the leading purpose of the soul, and to be all honest man.

And a snare. Birds are taken in a snare, and wild beasts were formerly. See Barnes "Job 18:8, See Barnes "Job 18:9".

The net was sprung suddenly upon them, and they could not escape. The idea here is, that they who have this desire, become so entangled, that they cannot easily escape. They become involved in the meshes of worldliness and sin; their movements are so lettered by cares, and inordinate desires, and by artificial wants, that they are no longer freemen. They become so involved in these things, that they cannot well break away from them if they would. Comp. Pr 28:20.

And into many foolish and hurtful lusts. Desires, such as the love of wealth creates. They are foolish—as being not such as an intelligent and immortal being should pursue; and they are hurtful—as being injurious to morals, to health, and to the soul. Among those desires, are the fondness for display; for a magnificent dwelling, a train of menials, and a splendid equipage; for sumptuous living, feasting, the social glass, company, and riotous dissipation.

Which drown men in destruction and perdition. The word which is here rendered, drown buyizw means, to sink in the deep, or, to cause to sink; and the meaning here is, that they become submerged as a ship that sinks. The idea of drowning is not properly that of the apostle, but the image is that of a wreck, where a ship and all that is in it, go down together. The destruction is complete. There is a total ruin of happiness, of virtue, of reputation, and of the soul. The ruling desire to be rich leads on a train of follies which ruins everything here, and hereafter. How many of the human family have thus been destroyed!

{a} "will be rich" Pr 28:20 {*} "lusts" "been seduced"

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