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ported by all the powers in the world, civil and religious, by Jews and Gentiles.
12. * What idea the apostle really had of the phrase spiritual wickedness in high, or, as it ought to have been rendered, in heavenly places, it is not easy to say. By heavenly places, he could not mean what is generally called heaven, the enemies of Christians not being there. I am therefore rather inclined to think that the apostle by this phrase meant to intimate, that much of the opposition to Christianity arose from the principles of Judaism, or what were generally thought to be such, their system having come from heaven, though it had been greatly perverted and misunderstood. This he might well oppose to mere Heathen darkness, and by darkness the apostle generally meant Heathenism.
Mr. Wakefield renders, “ against the wickedness of spiritual men in a heavenly dispensation," that is, against Jewish governors.
13.9 [Armour of God.] That is, divine armour, which God has provided for us in the gospel.
14–17. Here the apostle enumerates the principles of the gospel, and expresses them in a great variety of phrases, using as many terms as there were pieces of armour in those times. But we are not to expect an exact correspondence between those several terms and the use of the several pieces of armour ;8 though by the help of a good imagination, such a correspondence may be made out. Truth, or integrity, the apostle makes to correspond to the girdle or belt with which a soldier's garment was girded tight about him. Righteousness, or universal virtue, is the Christian's breast-plate. For shoes they were to have the gospel of peace, meaning, perhaps, a peaceable spirit. Faith, or the firm belief of the promises of the gospel, is our shield ; || and the hope of salvation, which must be in fact
• “ Not only against flesh and blood, but also against,” &c. Pilkinglon, p. 112. " Against wicked spirits under heaven.” Bowyer. See Le Clerc ; Lardner, I. P. 453.
† “ Who have a dispensation of religion from heaven, as well as against Heathen magistrates, under the darkness of superstition and idolatry.” Wakefield's Note. See Impr. Vers. 1 « “Απαντα κατεργασαμενοι.
This verb frequently signifies to dispatch a foe, totally to vanquish and subdue an adversary. So it should be translated in this place." Harwood, II. p. 49, Note; ibid. N. T. See Impr. Vers.
See Isaiah xi. 5; lix. 17; Le Clerc. li [To quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.] This alludes to the custom of throwing fire into besieged places, by means of arrows and other missile weapons. (P.) « Dr. Goodwin (Child of Light, p. 101) and many others suppose that the apostle here refers to an ancient custom, still prevailing among the Indians, and
the same thing, is our helmet, and the word of God our sword. But, without any figure of speech, the great principles and motives of the gospel will, when properly attended to, be sufficient to guard us against all temptation ; and it is owing to the want either of a firm belief of them, or inattention to them, that we ever fall into vice.
18. The phrase, in the spirit, generally means under the miraculous influence of the spirit of God, which was frequent in the age of the apostles ; and it may be inferred from the epistles of Paul, that Christians were sometimes under this influence in public prayer and singing hymns. In some places the apostle seems to make an obscure allusion to this supernatural effect, when he means nothing more than the general principles of the gospel, which was confirmed by them. In this, however, and in some other places, it is possible that the phrase in the spirit, may signify nothing more than great fervour of mind.
19.* Earnest intercession for others is particularly recommended in the Scriptures, and there is the same reason for praying for it as for praying for ourselves; because the interests of others ought to be as dear to us as our own. As to the efficacy of prayer in general with God, to whom it is addressed, we must remain at a loss. It is enough for us that it is prescribed by God, who would not do it without sufficient reason. It is certainly well adapted to our present infant state, and has the happiest effect upon our minds. But whatever connexion there be between our prayers and the blessings we pray for, or something equivalent, though seemingly the reverse of our prayers, we may be assured, that at this day there is nothing supernatural in it. We pray for our daily bread, and we thank God for it; but it is never given us except through the medium of our own labour, and the same, no doubt, is the case with the blessings of a spiritual nature. This is certain, that a sense of our dependence upon God for all blessings, temporal and spiritual, cannot be too deeply impressed upon the mind; and this can only be done by meditation
By mystery, I must repeat, we are not in the Scriptures to understand any thing that is above our comprehension, other barbarous nations, to dip their arrows in the blood or gall of asps and vipers, or other poisonous preparations, which fire the blood of those who are wounded with them. It is also certain that some arrows were discharged with so great a velocity, that they fired in their passage." Doddridge. Utterance.
“ This may perhaps refer to some impediment in bis speech." Doddridge.
but only important truth that could not have been known without revelation, though perfectly intelligible when revealed.
20. It is a fine idea under which the apostle here exhibits himself. He was a prisoner and in bonds, but notwithstanding this, he considered himself as an ambassador, and from a power superior to any on earth.*
21. Tychicus was a companion of Paul when he sent for the elders of Ephesus to Miletus, [Acts xx. 17,] on his "last journey to Jerusalem.
23. Here, as upon all other occasions, God, or the Father, is spoken of as one Being, and Jesus Christ, or the Lord, as another. The difference is that of God and man, which certainly ought not to be confounded.
It is most probable that this second epistle to Timothy was written not long after Paul's arrival at Rome, I and in the Spring or beginning of Summer, as in it he presses him to come to him before Winter; and in the other epistles of Paul from Rome, as those to the Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon, Timothy appears to have been with Paul, his name being joined to that of Paul in his salutations from that place.
The station of Timothy was in general at Ephesus, and it is probable, that on Paul's last journey to Jerusalem, he was left there, and that he was one of those who are said to have sorrowed so much at the words of Paul to the elders of that church, when he said that they should see his face
The design of this epistle, besides pressing Timothy to come to him, was to encourage him to persevere in preaching the gospel, notwithstanding the opposition which it met with, the corruptions that would be introduced into it, and the degeneracy of many who bore the Christian name. In this epistle there are evident allusions to the doctrine of the Gnostics, as there were in the first epistle to Timothy.
• “ As the persons of Embassadors were always sacred, the apostle seems to refer to the outrage that was done to his divine Master in this violation of his liberty.” Doddridge.
+ Ver. 24. In sincerity. “ Uncorruptibility; not adulterating the gospel with false doctrines, as the Judaizers did.” Impr. Vers.
I See Lardner, VI. pp. 938, 363 ; Doddridge's Introd, V. p. 504; Michaelis's Introd. Lect. (Sect. cxliv.), pp. 310-312. VOL. XIV.
It is probable, therefore, they were numerous at Ephesus as well as at Corinth.
Chap. I. 1, 2. These two verses inay be thus paraphrased : I Paul, particularly appointed by God to be an apostle of his Son Jesus Christ, the great object of whose gospel is the revelation of a future life, direct this epistle to thee, Timothy, whom I consider as my own son, being converted by me to the faith of Christ. May God grant thee all the blessings of the gospel.*
4. In this perhaps he alludes to his tears, and those of the other elders of the church at Ephesus, when Paul took that affectionate leave of them, of which we have an account in Acts.
5. It appears that Timothy's mother and grandmother were converted to Christianity, as well as himself, and perhaps before himself, as from a child he had been taught the holy Scriptures, though they might have been Jewish proselytes, or of those Heathens who, in that age, like Cornelius, had the highest regard for the religion of the Jews, and were secretly worshippers of the one true God, though they were not properly proselytes to Judaism. This appears to have been the case with many in that age ; so that the religion of the Jews was not without its use with respect to the rest of the world; and the Jews being dispersed in all the provinces of the Roman empire, was a circumstance highly favourable to this great and excellent purpose, and likewise to the propagation of Christianity afterwards,
6.t Paul, being an apostle, had, by laying his hands on Timothy, and praying for him, imparted to him those gifts of the spirit which were peculiar to that age ; but it is probable that it depended in a great measure upon men themselves, whether they were more or less distinguished by them; the Divine Being imparting them more freely to those who were most zealous and active in the Christian
On ver. 3.
" When Paul was an unconverted Jew, did he, or did his ancestors, worship and serve a Trinity in Unity." Wakefield's Enquiry, p. 230.
From my forefathers. S. Paul ajoute cela, pour faire voir que les Juifs le traitoient injustement d'apostat, puis qu'il adoroit toujours le même Dieu." Le Clerc.
+ Stir up. Ayafwiupely." Il y a proprement rallumer le feu.'” Le Clerc. See Doddridge.
“ • Rekindle it into life, blow it again into a flame;' as that most elegant and expressive Greek word signifies." Harwood, !. p. 302. “ Timothy, who was a valetudinarian, seems to have been greatly dejected on account of St. Paul's troubles and imprisonment; and this epistle appears to have been written to inspirit him. Compare vers. 4 and 8." İbid. N. T. Gr.
cause. Indeed, our Saviour intimated thus much when he admonished his apostles, [Matt. xvii. 21,] that the power of casting out some kinds of demons was only to be obtained by prayer and fasting ; humility and devotion making them the proper subjects of such gifts.
7. In order to excite Timothy to zeal and activity in the Christian cause, he reminds him that a true Christian is distinguished by his intrepidity, by his universal benevolence, and also by his prudence.* With this temper of mind a true Christian has nothing to fear.
It is evident from the whole conduct of our Saviour and of the apostles, that they were no wild enthusiasts, but continued through life, and some of them lived to a considerable age, in the full possession of their right mind. That thousands of persons in that early age, when the facts on which Christianity was founded were recent, and therefore easy to be investigated, should do the same, suffering all hardships for their profession of the gospel, many of them dying for it, and even by torture, rather than renounce the faith of the gospel, and especially that this should be the case with so many Jews, whose prejudices, as we see by those of them who were not converted, were so strong, is such an argument for the truth of Christianity as can never be shaken. That Christianity should establish itself in the world in these circumstances, without such miracles as are related in the New Testament, would be a much greater miracle than any of them, and a miracle of longer continuance than we suppose to have taken place.
8. That is, be not ashamed of the gospel, notwithstanding the circumstances of distress to which I, who preach it, am reduced, but be thou ready to partake with me in these sufferings for the sake of the gospel, the truth of which is evidenced by the power of God.
He holds out to him no prospects of advantage in this life ; on the contrary, he was ready to lay down his own life in the Christian cause, and hoped that his beloved Timothy would be as ready to do the same.
Has this the air of an imposture ? 9.f The blessings of the gospel, or the hope of eternal life revealed in it, must be the free gift of God to his off.
See Crellius, (B. i. Sect. iii. Ch. viii.) p. 211; Le Clerc. For numerous passages of the 0. and N. T., in which “the word spirit is applied to the temper and, affections of the human mind,” see Farmer on Demon. (Ch. i. Sect. x.), p. 104, Note.
† “ According to his purpose before all ages, and the grace given us in Christ Jesus.” Whitby in Duddridge. “ Perhaps · Who hath saved us with a holy calling, (ver. 10,) through the gospel;' the intermediate words in a parenthesis. Bowyer.