1 Timothy 1:17

17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:17 Meaning and Commentary

1 Timothy 1:17

Now unto the King eternal
This doxology, or ascription of glory to God, on account of the grace bestowed upon the apostle, may be considered, either as referring to all the three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, who are the one and only God; and to whom all the attributes of wisdom, power, eternity, immortality, or incorruptibleness, and invisibility, belong; and who are jointly concerned in the grace bestowed upon any of the sons of men. Or else to God the Father, in agreement with a parallel place in ( Romans 16:27 ) who is the only true God, in opposition to nominal and fictitious deities, though not to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit; and to whom the several epithets here used may be unquestionably given: he has shown his wisdom in the works of creation, providence, and grace; he is the everlasting King, or the King of ages, or of worlds; he is Maker of the worlds, and the Governor of them throughout all ages and generations; he only has immortality, and is the incorruptible God, and who is invisible, whose shape has never been seen, nor his voice heard: or else this may be thought to belong to Jesus Christ, since it is to him the apostle gives thanks for putting him into the ministry; and from him he obtained mercy, and received abundant grace; and he it was who came into the world to save sinners, and who showed forth all longsuffering in him, see ( 1 Timothy 1:12-16 ) , upon which the apostle breaks out into this attribution of glory and honour, and which agrees with ( Jude 1:25 ) . And everything here said is applicable to him; he is the eternal King, whose is the kingdom of nature, providence, and grace; his throne is for ever and ever, and of his kingdom and government there is no end; he is the "King of ages", as the phrase may be rendered, and so his kingdom is called (Mymlwe lk twklm) , "the kingdom of all ages", ( Psalms 145:13 ) and which endures throughout all generations; and this distinguishes him from all other kings. Scarce any king ever reigned an age, but Christ has reigned, and will reign throughout all ages. No regard is here had, as some have thought, to the Aeones of the Gnostics and Valentinians; but rather the apostle adopts a phrase into his doxology, frequently used by the Jews in their prayers, many of which begin after this manner;

``blessed art thou, O Lord our God, (Mlweh Klm) "the king of the age, or world"''

and (Mymlweh lk Nwbr) , "Lord of all ages, or worlds" F16. Other attributes and epithets follow, as

or "incorruptible". Christ is the living God, and the living Redeemer; and though he died as man, he will die no more, but ever lives to make intercession for his people, and to reign over them, and protect them: who also may be said to be "invisible", who was so in his divine nature, till manifest in the flesh; and now in his human nature he is taken out of the sight of men, and is not to be beheld with bodily eyes by men on earth: and he is

the only wise God;
he is "the only God", so the Alexandrian copy, the Syriac and Vulgate Latin versions, read; not to the exclusion of the Father or Spirit, but in opposition to all false deities, or those who are not by nature God: and he is the only wise God; who is wisdom itself, and of himself; and is the fountain of wisdom, both natural and spiritual, unto others; wherefore to him be

honour and glory for ever and ever, Amen.
Christ is crowned with honour and glory, and he is worthy of it; and it becomes all men to honour the Son, as they do the Father: he is the brightness of his glory, and equal to him; and the glory of deity, of all the divine perfections, and works, and also worship, should be given him; as well as the glory of salvation, and of all the grace the sons of men partake of; and that not only now, but to all eternity.


F16 Seder Tephillot, fol. 2. 2. & 3. 2. & 37. 1, 2. Ed. Basil. fol. 2. 1, 2. & 3. 1. & 4. 1. & 5. 2. & passim, Ed. Amsterdam.

1 Timothy 1:17 In-Context

15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;
19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
The King James Version is in the public domain.