I have finished my course,
or race; the race of life set before him, his course of years; his days were extinct, the grave was ready for him, and he for that; his last sands were dropping, and he was just going the way of all flesh; or else he means the course of his ministry, which he desired to finish with joy, and was now finishing; ( Acts 13:25 ) ( 20:24 ) he was now got to the end of his line, to Rome, where he was to be a martyr for Christ, ( Acts 23:11 ) so that he now concluded his work was done, and his warfare accomplished:
I have kept the faith;
by which he means, not so much the grace of faith, that was kept by Christ, the object, author, and finisher of it, and through his effectual grace and powerful intercession; but rather the profession of faith, which he had held fast without wavering; and chiefly the doctrine of faith, which was committed to his trust, which he had kept pure and incorrupt against all opposition; unless his faithfulness and integrity in the ministerial work should be thought rather to be intended; and which sense is favoured by the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, which render it, "I have kept my faith"; or have been faithful to my trust, as a good steward of the mysteries of God; not concealing and keeping back any thing that was profitable, but declaring the whole counsel of God; and now what remained for him was the crown of righteousness; and this he says for the comfort and encouragement and imitation of Timothy and others. The phrase seems to be Jewish; it is said F25 by the Jews, that he that does not keep the feast of unleavened bread, is as he who does not (atwnmyhm ryjn) , "keep the faith of the holy blessed God".