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1. Encouragement to Be Faithful

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, 2to Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers in a pure conscience, how unceasing is my remembrance of thee in my supplications, night and day 4longing to see thee, remembering thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 5having been reminded of the unfeigned faith that is in thee; which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and, I am persuaded, in thee also. 6For which cause I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee through the laying on of my hands. 7For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. 8Be not ashamed therefore of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but suffer hardship with the gospel according to the power of God; 9who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal, 10but hath now been manifested by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11whereunto I was appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher. 12For which cause I suffer also these things: yet I am not ashamed; for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13Hold the pattern of sound words which thou hast heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14That good thing which was committed unto thee guard through the Holy Spirit which dwelleth in us. 15This thou knowest, that all that are in Asia turned away from me; of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16The Lord grant mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus: for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; 17but, when he was in Rome, he sought me diligently, and found me 18(the Lord grant unto him to find mercy of the Lord in that day); and in how many things he ministered at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

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13. Hold fast the form—rather as Greek, "Have (that is, keep) a pattern of sound (Greek, 'healthy') words which thou hast heard from me, in faith and love." "Keep" suits the reference to a deposit in the context. The secondary position of the verb in the Greek forbids our taking it so strongly as English Version, "Hold fast." The Greek for "form" is translated "pattern" in 1Ti 1:16, the only other passage where it occurs. Have such a pattern drawn from my sound words, in opposition to the unsound doctrines so current at Ephesus, vividly impressed (Wahl translates it "delineation"; the verb implies "to make a lively and lasting impress") on thy mind.

in faith and love—the element IN which my sound words had place, and in which thou art to have the vivid impression of them as thy inwardly delineated pattern, moulding conformably thy outward profession. So nearly Bengel explains, 1Ti 3:9.

14. Translate as Greek, "That goodly deposit keep through the Holy Ghost," namely, "the sound words which I have committed to thee" (2Ti 1:13; 2Ti 2:2).

in us—in all believers, not merely in you and me. The indwelling Spirit enables us to keep from the robbers of the soul the deposit of His word committed to us by God.

15. all they which are in Asia—Proconsular Asia; "all who are there now, when they were in Rome (not 'be' or 'are,' but) turned from me" then; were "ashamed of my chain," in contrast to Onesiphorus; did not stand with me but forsook me (2Ti 4:16). It is possible that the occasion of their turning from him was at his apprehension in Nicopolis, whither they had escorted him on his way to Rome, but from which they turned back to Asia. A hint to Timothy, now in Asia, not to be like them, but to imitate rather Onesiphorus, and to come to him (2Ti 4:21).

Phygellus and Hermogenes—specified perhaps, as being persons from whom such pusillanimous conduct could least be expected; or, as being well known to Timothy, and spoken of before in conversations between him and Paul, when the latter was in Asia Minor.

16. The Lord give mercy—even as Onesiphorus had abounded in works of mercy.

the house of Onesiphorus—He himself was then absent from Ephesus, which accounts for the form of expression (2Ti 4:19). His household would hardly retain his name after the master was dead, as Bengel supposes him to have been. Nowhere has Paul prayers for the dead, which is fatal to the theory, favored by Alford also, that he was dead. God blesses not only the righteous man himself, but all his household.

my chain—Paul in the second, as in his first imprisonment, was bound by a chain to the soldier who guarded him.

17. found me—in the crowded metropolis. So in turn "may he find mercy of the Lord in that day" when the whole universe shall be assembled.

18. grant unto him—as well as "unto his house" (2Ti 1:16).

the Lord—who rewards a kindness done to His disciples as if done to Himself (Mt 25:45).

offrom the Lord; "the Lord" is emphatically put instead of "from Himself," for solemnity and emphasis (2Th 3:5).

in how many things—"how many acts of ministry he rendered."

unto me—omitted in the oldest manuscripts, so that the "ministered" may include services rendered to others as well as to Paul.

very well—rather as Greek, "Thou knowest better" (than I can tell thee, seeing that thou art more of a regular resident at Ephesus).