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4. Paul's Charge to Timothy

1I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; 4and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables. 5But be thou sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry. 6For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure is come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: 8henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing. 9Give diligence to come shortly unto me: 10for Demas forsook me, having loved this present world, and went to Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee; for he is useful to me for ministering. 12But Tychicus I sent to Ephesus. 13The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, bring when thou comest, and the books, especially the parchments. 14Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord will render to him according to his works: 15of whom do thou also beware; for he greatly withstood our words. 16At my first defence no one took my part, but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their account. 17But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me; that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18The Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will save me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 19Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the house of Onesiphorus. 20Erastus remained at Corinth: but Trophimus I left at Miletus sick. 21Give diligence to come before winter. Eubulus saluteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren. 22The Lord be with thy spirit. Grace be with you.

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9. (2Ti 4:21; 2Ti 1:4, 8.) Timothy is asked to come to be a comfort to Paul, and also to be strengthened by Paul, for carrying on the Gospel work after Paul's decease.

10. Demas—once a "fellow laborer" of Paul, along with Mark and Luke (Col 4:14; Phm 24). His motive for forsaking Paul seems to have been love of worldly ease, safety, and comforts at home, and disinclination to brave danger with Paul (Mt 13:20, 21, 22). Chrysostom implies that Thessalonica was his home.

Galatia—One oldest manuscript supports the reading "Gaul." But most oldest manuscripts, &c., "Galatia."

Titus—He must have therefore left Crete after "setting in order" the affairs of the churches there (Tit 1:5).

Dalmatia—part of the Roman province of Illyricum on the coast of the Adriatic. Paul had written to him (Tit 3:12) to come to him in the winter to Nicopolis (in Epirus), intending in the spring to preach the Gospel in the adjoining province of Dalmatia. Titus seems to have gone thither to carry out the apostle's intention, the execution of which was interrupted by his arrest. Whether he went of his own accord, as is likely, or was sent by Paul, which the expression "is departed" hardly accords with, cannot be positively decided. Paul here speaks only of his personal attendants having forsaken him; he had still friends among the Roman Christians who visited him (2Ti 4:21), though they had been afraid to stand by him at his trial (2Ti 4:16).

11. TakeGreek, "take up" on thy journey (Ac 20:13, 14). John Mark was probably in, or near, Colosse, as in the Epistle to the Colossians (Col 4:10), written two years before this, he is mentioned as about to visit them. Timothy was now absent from Ephesus and somewhere in the interior of Asia Minor; hence he would be sure to fall in with Mark on his journey.

he is profitable to me for the ministry—Mark had been under a cloud for having forsaken Paul at a critical moment in his missionary tour with Barnabas (Ac 15:37-40; 13:5, 13). Timothy had subsequently occupied the same post in relation to Paul as Mark once held. Hence Paul, appropriately here, wipes out the past censure by high praise of Mark and guards against Timothy's making self-complacent comparisons between himself and Mark, as though he were superior to the latter (compare Phm 24). Demas apostatizes. Mark returns to the right way, and is no longer unprofitable, but is profitable for the Gospel ministry (Phm 11).

12. AndGreek, "But." Thou art to come to me, but Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus to supply thy place (if thou so willest it) in presiding over the Church there in thy absence (compare Tit 3:12). It is possible Tychicus was the bearer of this Epistle, though the omission of "to thee" is rather against this view.

13. cloak … I left—probably obliged to leave it in a hurried departure from Troas.

Carpus—a faithful friend to have been entrusted with so precious deposits. The mention of his "cloak," so far from being unworthy of inspiration, is one of those graphic touches which sheds a flood of light on the last scene of Paul's life, on the confines of two worlds; in this wanting a cloak to cover him from the winter cold, in that covered with the righteousness of saints, "clothed upon with his house from heaven" [Gaussen]. So the inner vesture and outer garment of Jesus, Paul's master, are suggestive of most instructive thought (Joh 19:2).

books—He was anxious respecting these that he might transmit them to the faithful, so that they might have the teaching of his writings when he should be gone.

especially the parchments—containing perhaps some of his inspired Epistles themselves.

14. Alexander the coppersmith—or "smith" in general. Perhaps the same as the Alexander (see on 1Ti 1:20) at Ephesus. Excommunicated then he subsequently was restored, and now vented his personal malice because of his excommunication in accusing Paul before the Roman judges, whether of incendiarism or of introducing a new religion. See my Introduction. He may have been the Alexander put forward by the Jews in the tumult at Ephesus (Ac 19:33, 34).

reward—The oldest manuscripts read, "shall reward," or "requite him." Personal revenge certainly did not influence the apostle (2Ti 4:16, end).

15. our words—the arguments of us Christians for our common faith. Believers have a common cause.