2 Timothy 3:8-12
8. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
8. Quemadmodum autem Iannes et Iambres restiterunt Mosi, ita et hi resistunt veritati, homines corrupti mente, reprobi circa fidem.
9. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
9. Sed non proficient amplius; amentia enim eorum manifesta erit omnibus, sicut et illorum fuit.
10. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long -- suffering, charity, patience,
10. Tu autem assectatus es meam doctrinam institutionem, propositum, fidem, tolerantiam, dilectionem, patientiam,
11. Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
11. Persequutiones, afflictiones, quae mihi acciderunt Antiochae, Iconii, Lystris, quas, inquam, persequutiones sustinuerim; sed ex omnibus me Dominus
12. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
12. Et omnes, qui piè volunt in Christo Iesu, perseuutionem patientur.
"Often did they fight against me from my youth, now let Israel say. The wicked ploughed upon my back, they made long their furrows." (Psalm 129:1,3)
Paul reminds us, that we need not wonder if adversaries rise up against Christ to oppose his gospel, since Moses likewise had those who contended with him; for these examples drawn from a remote antiquity yield us strong consolation.
It is generally believed; that the two who are mentioned, "Jannes and Jambres," were magicians put forward by Pharaoh. But from what source Paul learned their names is doubtful, except that it is probable, that many things relating to those histories were handed down, the memory of which God never permitted to perish. It is also possible that in Paul's time there were commentaries on the prophets that gave more fully those narratives which Moses touches very briefly. However that may be, it is not at random that he calls them by their names. The reason why there were two of them may be conjectured to have been this, that, because the Lord had raised up for his people two leaders, Moses and Aaron, Pharaoh determined to place against them the like number of magicians.
Both admonitions are therefore necessary. That godly teachers may not despair, as if it were in vain for them to make war against error, they must be instructed about the prosperous success which the Lord will give to his doctrine. But that they may not think, on the other hand, that they are discharged from future service, after one or two battles, they must be reminded that there will always be new occasion for fighting. But on this second point we shall speak afterwards; at present, let it suffice us, that he holds out to Timothy the sure hope of a successful issue, that he may be time more encouraged to fight, And he confirms this by the example which he had quoted; for, as the truth of God prevailed against the tricks of the magicians, so he promises that the doctrine of the gospel shall be victorious against every kind of errors that may be invented.
By this general statement, therefore, Paul classes himself with the children of God, and, at the same time, exhorts all the children of God to prepare for enduring persecutions; for, if this condition is laid down for "all who wish to live a godly life in Christ," they who wish to be exempt from persecutions must necessarily renounce Christ. In vain shall we endeavor to detach Christ from his cross; for it may be said to be natural that the world should hate Christ even in his members. Now hatred is attended by cruelty, and hence arise persecutions, In short, let us know that we are Christians on this condition, that we shall be liable to many tribulations and various contests.
But it is asked, Must all men be martyrs? for it is evident that there have been many godly persons who have never suffered banishment, or imprisonment, or flight, or any kind of persecution. I reply, it is not always in one way that Satan persecutes the servants of Christ. But yet it is absolutely unavoidable that all of them shall have the world for their enemy in some form or other, that their faith may be tried and their steadfastness proved; for Satan, who is the continual enemy of Christ, will never suffer any one to be at peace during his whole life; and there will always be wicked men that are thorns in our sides. Moreover, as soon as zeal for God is manifested by a believer, it kindles the rage of all ungodly men; and, although they have not a drawn sword, yet they vomit out their venom, either by murmuring, or by slander, or by raising a disturbance, or by other methods. Accordingly, although they are not exposed to the same assaults, and do not engage in the same battles, yet they have a warfare in common, and shall never be wholly at peace and exempt from persecutions.
1 Thus we see, that the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of Paul, holds out two reasons to fortify us. When we see that Satan opposes, and that the truth of God is not received by all, but that there are bad men who labor to pervert everything, and who slander and falsify the truth, here are consolations provided for us. In the first place, that our Lord treats us in the same manner as he has treated the Church in all ages, that those who lived before us were not better situated in this respect; for God tried them by sending false pastors, or rather by giving free scope to Satan for sending them. Let us know what has happened since the law was published. Here is Moses, who was before the other prophets. Yet already the war was begun, and that evil has never ceased. If we must now endure the like, let us bear it with patience; for it is not reasonable to expect that our condition shall be better or easier than that of Moses, and of others who followed him. That is one argument. The second is that the result shall be prosperous and successful. Although we dislike fighting, and though it appears as if the truth of God were about to perish utterly, let us wait till God come forth in defense of it, for he will cause wicked men to be completely disgraced. After they have triumphed, God will, undoubtedly, discover their baseness, and we shall see how God takes care to support his cause, though that may not be evident for a time." -- Fr. Ser.
2 "Having spoken of time troubles which were to befall the Church, and having exhorted Timothy to be firm, so as not to shrink from them, the Apostle adds, that now, for a long time, he must have been prepared for all this, because he had been taught in a good school. 'Thou hast known intimately,' like one who had followed him step by step; for such is the import of the word which Paul uses: "Thou hast known well the course which I have pursued.'" -- -- Fr. Ser.
3 "Et tous ceux aussi qui veulent vivre en la crainte de Dieu." "And all those also who wish to live in the fear of God."
4 "Que rien ne luy est advenu que tous fideles ne doyvent aussi attendre." "That nothing has happened to him which all believers must not also look for."