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 4

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: 2proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. 5As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.


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2Ti 4:1-22. Solemn Charge to Timothy to Do His Duty Zealously, for Times of Apostasy Are at Hand, and the Apostle Is near His Triumphant End: Requests Him to Come and Bring Mark with Him to Rome, as Luke Alone Is with Him, the Others Having Gone: Also His Cloak and Parchments: Warns Him against Alexander: Tells What Befell Him at His First Defense: Greetings: Benediction.

1. chargeGreek, "adjure."

therefore—omitted in the oldest manuscripts.

the Lord Jesus Christ—The oldest manuscripts read simply, "Christ Jesus."

shall judge—His commission from God is mentioned, Ac 10:42; his resolution to do so, 1Pe 4:5; the execution of his commission, here.

at his appearing—The oldest manuscripts read, "and" for "at"; then translate, "(I charge thee before God … ) and by His appearing."

and his kingdom—to be set at His appearing, when we hope to reign with Him. His kingdom is real now, but not visible. It shall then be both real and visible (Lu 22:18, 30; Re 1:7; 11:15; 19:6). Now he reigns in the midst of His enemies expecting till they shall be overthrown (Ps 110:2; Heb 10:13). Then He shall reign with His adversaries prostrate.

2. Preach—literally, "proclaim as a herald." The term for the discourses in the synagogue was daraschoth; the corresponding Greek term (implying dialectial style, dialogue, and discussion, Ac 17:2, 18; 18:4, 19) is applied in Acts to discourses in the Christian Church. Justin Martyr [Apology, 2], describes the order of public worship, "On Sunday all meet and the writings of the apostles and prophets are read; then the president delivers a discourse; after this all stand up and pray; then there is offered bread and wine and water; the president likewise prays and gives thanks, and the people solemnly assent, saying, Amen." The bishops and presbyters had the right and duty to preach, but they sometimes called on deacons, and even laymen, to preach. Eusebius [Ecclesiastical History, 6.19]; in this the Church imitated the synagogue (Lu 4:17-22; Ac 13:15, 16).

be instant—that is, urgent, earnest, in the whole work of the ministry.

in season, out of season—that is, at all seasons; whether they regard your speaking as seasonable or unseasonable. "Just as the fountains, though none may draw from them, still flow on; and the rivers, though none drink of them, still run; so must we do all on our part in speaking, though none give heed to us" [Chrysostom, Homily, 30, vol. 5., p. 221]. I think with Chrysostom, there is included also the idea of times whether seasonable or unseasonable to Timothy himself; not merely when convenient, but when inconvenient to thee, night as well as day (Ac 20:31), in danger as well as in safety, in prison and when doomed to death as well as when at large, not only in church, but everywhere and on all occasions, whenever and wherever the Lord's work requires it.

reprove—"convict," "confute."

with, &c.—Greek, "IN (the element in which the exhortation ought to have place) all long-suffering (2Ti 2:24, 25; 3:10) and teaching"; compare 2Ti 2:24, "apt to teach." The Greek for "doctrine" here is didache, but in 2Ti 3:16, didascalia. "Didascalia" is what one receives; "didache" is what is communicated [Tittmann].

3. they—professing Christians.

sound doctrineGreek, "the sound (see on 1Ti 1:10) doctrine (didascalias)" or "teaching," namely, of the Gospel. Presently follows the concrete, "teachers."

after their own lusts—Instead of regarding the will of God they dislike being interrupted in their lusts by true teachers.

heap—one on another: an indiscriminate mass of false teachers. Variety delights itching ears. "He who despises sound teaching, leaves sound teachers; they seek instructors like themselves" [Bengel]. It is the corruption of the people in the first instance, that creates priestcraft (Ex 32:1).

to themselves—such as will suit their depraved tastes; populus vult decipi, et decipiatur—"the people wish to be deceived, so let them be deceived." "Like priest, like people" (1Ki 12:31; Ho 4:9).

itching—like to hear teachers who give them mere pleasure (Ac 17:19-21), and do not offend by truths grating to their ears. They, as it were, tickle with pleasure the levity of the multitude [Cicero], who come as to a theater to hear what will delight their ears, not to learn [Seneca, Epistles, 10.8] what will do them good. "Itch in the ear is as bad in any other part of the body, and perhaps worse" [South].

4. The ear brooks not what is opposed to the man's lusts.

turnedGreek, "turned aside" (1Ti 1:6). It is a righteous retribution, that when men turn away from the truth, they should be turned to fables (Jer 2:19).

fables—(1Ti 1:4).

5. I am no longer here to withstand these things; be thou a worthy successor of me, no longer depending on me for counsel, but thine own master, and swimming without the corks [Calvin]; follow my steps, inherit their result, and the honor of their end [Alford].

watch thou—literally, "with the wakefulness of one sober."

in all things—on all occasions and under all circumstances (Tit 2:7).

endure affliction—suffer hardships [Alford].

evangelist—a missionary bishop preacher, and teacher.

make full proof of—fulfil in all its requirements, leaving nothing undone (Ac 12:25; Ro 15:19; Col 4:17).




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