Wherefore I put thee in remembrance
Because of the great affection the apostle had for Timothy, and because of that confidence he had of him, that unfeigned faith dwelt in him, as well as because this had had a place in his relations before him; he therefore acts the part of a kind monitor to him, and, upon these considerations, doubts not of succeeding in his following admonition:
that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee;
by "the gift" is meant his ministerial gift; for what qualifies men for the ministry, is not anything natural in them, nor acquired by them, but what is given unto them, and that of God: and this was "in" him; it continued with him; it was not lost by him, nor taken from him, as gifts may be, when they are not used; and yet it seems as if there was some decline, some backwardness and indifference as to the exercise of it: he might be too remiss, negligent, and forgetful of it; wherefore the apostle puts him in mind to "stir" it up: there is in the word used a metaphor taken from coals of fire covered with ashes, as if almost extinct, and need to be blown up into a flame, and a very apt one it is; since the gifts of the Spirit, especially his extraordinary ones, such as ministers in those times had, are compared to fire: see ( Matthew 3:11 ) ( Acts 2:3 ) and these may be reinflamed or increased, when they seem on the decline, by reading, meditation, prayer, and the frequent exercise of them. Agreeably to this the Arabic version renders it, "that thou kindle the fire of the gift of God which is in thee"; and the rather the apostle took this freedom with Timothy, not only because of his superior age and office, but because this gift was through his means;
by the putting on of my hands;
though not alone, but with the rest of the presbytery; (See Gill on 1 Timothy 4:14).