2 Timothy 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.
12. And--Greek, "But." Thou art to come to me, but Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus to supply thy place (if thou so willest it) in presiding over the Church there in thy absence (compare Titus 3:12 ). It is possible Tychicus was the bearer of this Epistle, though the omission of "to thee" is rather against this view.
13. cloak . . . I left--probably obliged to leave it in a hurried departure from Troas.
Carpus--a faithful friend to have been entrusted with so precious deposits. The mention of his "cloak," so far from being unworthy of inspiration, is one of those graphic touches which sheds a flood of light on the last scene of Paul's life, on the confines of two worlds; in this wanting a cloak to cover him from the winter cold, in that covered with the righteousness of saints, "clothed upon with his house from heaven" [GAUSSEN]. So the inner vesture and outer garment of Jesus, Paul's master, are suggestive of most instructive thought ( John 19:2 ).
books--He was anxious respecting these that he might transmit them to the faithful, so that they might have the teaching of his writings when he should be gone.
especially the parchments--containing perhaps some of his inspired Epistles themselves.
14. Alexander the coppersmith--or "smith" in general. Perhaps the same as the Alexander Excommunicated then he subsequently was restored, and now vented his personal malice because of his excommunication in accusing Paul before the Roman judges, whether of incendiarism or of introducing a new He may have been the Alexander put forward by the Jews in the tumult at Ephesus ( Acts 19:33 Acts 19:34 ).
reward--The oldest manuscripts read, "shall reward," or "requite him." Personal revenge certainly did not influence the apostle ( 2 Timothy 4:16 , end).
15. our words--the arguments of us Christians for our common faith. Believers have a common cause.
16. At my first answer--that is, "defense" in court, at my first public examination. Timothy knew nothing of this, it is plain, till Paul now informs him. But during his former imprisonment at Rome, Timothy was with him ( Philippians 1:1 Philippians 1:7 ). This must have been, therefore, a second imprisonment. He must have been set free before the persecution in A.D. 64, when the Christians were accused of causing the conflagration in Rome; for, had he been a prisoner then, he certainly would not have been spared. The tradition [EUSEBIUS, Ecclesiastical History, 2.251] that he was finally beheaded, accords with his not having been put to death in the persecution, A.D. 64, when burning to death was the mode by which the Christians were executed, but subsequently to it. His "first" trial in his second imprisonment seems to have been on the charge of complicity in the conflagration; his absence from Rome may have been the ground of his acquittal on that charge; his final condemnation was probably on the charge of introducing a new and unlawful religion into Rome.
stood with me--Greek, "came forward with me" [ALFORD] as a friend and advocate.
may it not be laid to their charge--The position of "their," in the Greek, is emphatic. "May it not be laid to THEIR charge," for they were intimidated; their drawing back from me was not from bad disposition so much as from fear; it is sure to be laid to the charge of those who intimidated them. Still Paul, like Stephen, would doubtless have offered the same prayer for his persecutors themselves ( Acts 7:60 ).
17. the Lord--the more because men deserted me.
stood with me--stronger than "came forward with me" (Greek, 2 Timothy 4:16 ).
strengthened--Greek, "put strength in me."
by me--"through me"; through my means. One single occasion is often of the greatest moment.
the preaching--"the Gospel proclamation."
might be fully known--might be fully made
that all the Gentiles--present at my trial, "might hear" the Gospel proclaimed then. Rome was the capital of the Gentile world, so that a proclamation of the truth to the Romans was likely to go forth to the rest of the Gentile world.
I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion--namely, Satan, the roaring, devouring lion ( Luke 22:31 , 1 Peter 5:8 ). I was prevented falling into his snare ( 2 Timothy 2:26 , Psalms 22:21 , 2 Peter 2:9 ); 2 Timothy 4:18 agrees with this interpretation, "The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work," namely, both from evil and the evil one, as the Greek of the Lord's Prayer expresses it. It was not deliverance from Nero (who was called the lion) which he rejoiced in, for he did not fear death ( 2 Timothy 4:6-8 ), but deliverance from the temptation, through fear, to deny His Lord: so ALFORD.
18. And the Lord shall, &c.--Hope draws its conclusions from the past to the future [BENGEL].
will preserve me--literally, "will save" ( Psalms 22:21 ), "will bring me safe to." Jesus is the Lord and the Deliverer ( Philippians 3:20 , 1 Thessalonians 1:10 ): He saves from evil; He gives good things.
heavenly kingdom--Greek, "His kingdom which is a heavenly one."
to whom, &c.--Greek, "to whom be the glory unto the ages of ages." The very hope produces a doxology: how much greater will be the doxology which the actual enjoyment shall produce! [BENGEL].
19. Prisca and Aquila--( Acts 18:2 Acts 18:3 , Romans 16:3 Romans 16:4 , 1 Corinthians 16:19 , written from Ephesus, where therefore Aquila and Priscilla must then have been).
household of Onesiphorus--If he were dead at the time, the "household" would not have been called "the household of Onesiphorus." He was probably absent
20. In order to depict his desertion, he informs Timothy that Erastus, one of his usual companions ( Acts 19:22 , possibly the same Erastus as in Romans 16:23 , though how he could leave his official duties for missionary journeys is not clear), stayed behind at Corinth, his native place, or usual residence, of which city he was "chamberlain," or city steward and treasurer ( Romans 16:23 ); and Trophimus he left behind at Miletus sick. (On his former history, Acts 21:29 ). This verse is irreconcilable with the imprisonment from which he writes being the first: for he did not pass by Corinth or Miletus on his way to Rome when about to be imprisoned for the first time. As Miletus was near Ephesus, there is a presumption that Timothy was not at Ephesus when Paul wrote, or he would not need to inform Timothy of Trophimus lying sick in his immediate neighborhood. However, Trophimus may not have been still at Miletus at the time when Paul wrote, though he had left him there on his way to Rome. Prisca and Aquila were most likely to be at Ephesus ( 2 Timothy 4:19 ), and he desires Timothy to salute them: so also Onesiphorus' household ( 2 Timothy 1:18 ). Paul had not the power of healing at will ( Acts 19:12 ), but as the Lord allowed him.
21. before winter--when a voyage, according to ancient usages of navigation, would be out of the question: also, Paul would need his "cloak" against the winter ( 2 Timothy 4:13 ).
Pudens . . . Claudia--afterwards husband and wife (according to MARTIAL [Epigrams, 4.13; 11.54]), he a Roman knight, she a Briton, surnamed Rufina. TACITUS [On Agriculture, 14], mentions that territories in southeast Britain were given to a British king; Cogidunus, in reward for his fidelity to Rome, A.D. 52, while Claudius was emperor. In 1772 a marble was dug up at Chichester, mentioning Cogidunus with the surname Claudius, added from his patron, the emperor's name; and Pudens in connection with Cogidunus, doubtless his father-in-law. His daughter would be Claudia, who seems to have been sent to Rome for education, as a pledge of the father's fidelity. Here she was under the protection of Pomponia, wife of Aulus Plautius, conqueror of Britain. Pomponia was accused of foreign superstitions, A.D. 57 [TACITUS, Annals, 3.32], probably Christianity. She probably was the instrument of converting Claudia, who took the name Rufina from her, that being a cognomen of the Pomponian gens (compare Romans 16:13 , Rufus, a Christian). Pudens in MARTIAL and in the Chichester inscription, appears as a pagan; but perhaps he or his friends concealed his Christianity through fear. Tradition represents Timothy, a son of Pudens, as taking part in converting the Britons.
Linus--put third; therefore not at this time yet, as he was afterwards, bishop. His name being here inserted between Pudens and Claudia, implies the two were not yet married. "Eubulus" is identified by some with Aristobulus, who, with his converts, is said to have been among the first evangelists of Britain. Paul himself, says CLEMENT, "visited the farthest west [perhaps Britain, certainly Spain], and was martyred under the rulers at Rome," who were Nero's vicegerents in his absence from the city.
22. Grace be with you--plural in oldest manuscripts, "with YOU," that is, thee and the members of the Ephesian and neighboring churches.