2nd Timothy Chapter 4



THIS chapter comprises the following subjects:

1. A solemn charge to Timothy, to be faithful in preaching the gospel, and in the of the ministry, 2 Ti 4:1-5. The particular reason given for this charge was, that the time was approaching when men would not endure sound doctrine, but would turn away from the truth. Hence, Timothy is exhorted to be faithful in his work, and to be prepared to endure the trials which, in such circumstances, a faithful minister must be expected to meet.

2. A statement of Paul that his own work was nearly done, and that the hour of his departure drew near, 2 Ti 4:6-8. This statement, also, seems to be made in order to excite Timothy to increased fidelity in the ministry. His teacher, guide, father, and friend, was about to be withdrawn, and the great work of preaching was to be committed to other hands. Hence, in view of his own departure, Paul exhorts Timothy to fidelity when he himself should be removed.

3. An exhortation to Timothy to come to him as soon as practicable, 2 Ti 4:9-15. Paul was then in bonds, and was expecting soon to die. He was alone. For various reasons, those who had been with him had left him, and he needed some companion and friend. He therefore exhorts Timothy to come to him as soon as possible.

4. Paul refers now to his first trial before the emperor, and to the fact that then no one stood by him, 2 Ti 4:16-19. The reason of his referring to this seems to be, to induce Timothy to come to him in view of his anticipated second trial. The Lord, he says, then stood by him, and he had confidence that he would continue to do it; yet who is there that does not feel it desirable to have some dear earthly friend to be with him when he dies?

5. The epistle is closed, in the usual manner, with various salutations, and with the benediction, 2 Ti 4:19-22.

Verse 1. I charge thee therefore before God. See Barnes "1 Ti 5:21".


Who shall judge the quick and the dead. That is, the Lord Jesus; for he is to be the Judge of men, Mt 25:31-46; 2 Co 5:10. The word quick means living, See Barnes "Ac 10:42"; See Barnes "Eph 2:1"; and the idea is, that he would be alike the Judge of all who were alive when he should come, and of all who had died. See Barnes "1 Th 4:16, See Barnes "1 Th 4:17".

In view of the fact that all, whether preachers or hearers, must give up their account to the final Judge, Paul charges Timothy to be faithful; and what is there which will more conduce to fidelity in the discharge of duty, than the thought that we must soon give up a solemn account of the manner in which we have performed it?

At his appearing. That is, the judgment shall then take place. This must refer to a judgment yet to take place, for the Lord Jesus has not yet "appeared" the second time to men; and, if this be so, then there is to be a resurrection of the dead. On the meaning of the word rendered appearing, See Barnes "2 Th 2:8".

It is there rendered brightness. Comp. 1 Ti 6:14; 2 Ti 1:10; Tit 2:13.


And his kingdom. Or, at the setting up of his kingdom. The idea of his reigning, or setting up his kingdom, is not unfrequently associated with the idea of his coming. See Mt 16:28. The meaning is, that, at his second advent, the extent and majesty of his kingdom will be fully displayed. It will be seen that he has control over the elements, over the graves of the dead, and over all the living. It will be seen that the earth and the heavens are under his sway, and that all things there acknowledge him as their sovereign Lord. In order to meet the full force of the language used by Paul here, it is not necessary to suppose that he will set up a visible kingdom on the earth, but only that there will be an illustrious display of himself as a king, and of the extent and majesty of the empire over which he presides. Comp. See Barnes "Ro 14:11"; See Barnes "Php 2:10".


{a} "charge" 1 Ti 5:21; 6:13 {b} "judge" Re 20:12,13

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