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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

2 Timothy 2



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Verse 1

Be strengthened (ενδυναμουendunamou). Present passive imperative of ενδυναμοωendunamoō See already 1 Timothy 1:12; Romans 4:20; Philemon 4:13; Ephesians 6:10. “Keep on being empowered,” “keep in touch with the power.”

In the grace that is in Christ Jesus (εν τηι χαριτι τηι εν Χριστωι Ιησουen tēi chariti tēi en Christōi Iēsou). Where the power is located. Christ is the dynamo for power only when and while we keep in touch with him.

Verse 2

From me (παρ εμουpar' emou). As in 2 Timothy 1:13. Paul was Timothy‘s chief teacher of Christ.

Among many witnesses (δια πολλων μαρτυρωνdia pollōn marturōn). Plutarch has διαdia in this sense and Field (Ot. Norv.) suggests that it is a legal phrase “supported by many witnesses.” Not mere spectators, but testifiers. See Paul‘s use of διαdia 1 Thessalonians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 2:4; Romans 2:27; Romans 14:20. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 gives many witnesses of the resurrection of Christ.

Commit thou (παρατουparathou). Second aorist middle imperative of παρατιτημιparatithēmi (1 Timothy 1:18) to deposit, same metaphor as παρατηκηparathēkē in 2 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:14. “Deposit thou.”

Faithful (πιστοιςpistois). “Trustworthy,” “reliable,” as in 1 Timothy 1:12 of Paul himself.

Able (ικανοιhikanoi). Capable, qualified, as in 1 Corinthians 15:9; 2 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 3:5.

Others also (και ετερουςkai heterous). Not necessarily “different,” but “others in addition.” This is the way to pass on the torch of the light of the knowledge of God in Christ. Paul taught Timothy who will teach others who will teach still others, an endless chain of teacher-training and gospel propaganda.

Verse 3

Suffer hardship with me (συνκακοπατησονsunkakopathēson). See note on 2 Timothy 1:8 for this verb. The old preacher challenges the young one to share hardship with him for Christ.

As a good soldier (ος καλος στρατιωτηςhos kalos stratiōtēs). Paul does not hesitate to use this military metaphor (this word only here for a servant of Christ) with which he is so familiar. He had already used the metaphor in 1 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 10:3.; 1 Timothy 1:18. In Philemon 2:25 he called Epaphroditus “my fellow-soldier” (συνστρατιωτην μουsunstratiōtēn mou) as he did Archippus in Philemon 1:2.

Verse 4

No soldier on service (ουδεις στρατευομενοςoudeis strateuomenos). “No one serving as a soldier.” See note on 1 Corinthians 9:7 for this old verb and 2 Corinthians 10:3; 1 Timothy 1:18 for the metaphorical use.

Entangleth himself (εμπλεκεταιempleketai). Old compound, to inweave (see Matthew 27:29 for πλεκωplekō), in N.T. only here and 2 Peter 2:20. Present middle (direct) indicative.

In the affairs (ταις πραγματειαιςtais pragmateiais). Old word (from πραγματευομαιpragmateuomai Luke 19:13), business, occupation, only here in N.T.

Of this life (του βιουtou biou). No “this” in the Greek, “of life” (course of life as in 1 Timothy 2:2, not existence ζωηzōē).

Him who enrolled him as a soldier (τωι στρατολογησαντιtōi stratologēsanti). Dative case after αρεσηιaresēi (first aorist active subjunctive of αρεσκωareskō to please, 1 Thessalonians 2:4, purpose clause with ιναhina) of the articular first aorist active participle of στρατολογεωstratologeō literary Koiné{[28928]}š word (στρατολογοςstratologos from στρατοςstratos and λεγωlegō), only here in N.T.

Verse 5

If also a man contend in the games (εαν δε και ατληι τιςean de kai athlēi tis). Condition of third class with present (linear) active subjunctive of ατλεωathleō old and common verb (from ατλοςathlos a contest), only this verse in N.T., but συνατλεωsunathleō in Philemon 1:27. Note sharp distinction between ατληιathlēi (present subjunctive, engage in a contest in general) and ατλησηιathlēsēi (first aorist active subjunctive, engage in a particular contest). Not “except he have contended,” but simply “unless he contend” (in any given case) “lawfully” (νομιμωςnomimōs). Old adverb, agreeably to the law, in N.T. only here and 1 Timothy 1:8.

Is not crowned (ου στεπανουταιou stephanoutai). Present passive indicative of στεπανοωstephanoō old verb (from στεπανοςstephanos crown), in N.T. only here and Hebrews 2:7, Hebrews 2:9. One apodosis for two protases. The victor in the athletic contests was crowned with a garland.

Verse 6

The husbandman that laboureth (τον κοπιωντα γεωργονton kopiōnta geōrgon). “The toiling tiller of the soil” (γεωργονgeōrgon from γηgē and εργωergō worker of the earth). See γεωργιονgeōrgion (field) in 1 Corinthians 3:9 and also 1 Corinthians 9:7.

First (πρωτονprōton). As is natural and right.

To partake (μεταλαμβανεινmetalambanein). Old word as in Acts 2:46 to share in. Paul elsewhere uses μετεχωmetechō as in 1 Corinthians 9:12.

Verse 7

Consider (νοειnoei). Present active imperative of νοεωnoeō old verb, to put your mind (νουςnous) on. See Ephesians 3:4 and like command in 1 Corinthians 10:15.

Understanding (συνεσινsunesin). “Comprehension” (from συνιημιsuniēmi to send together, to grasp). See note on Colossians 1:9; note on Colossians 2:2. This is a blessed promise that calls for application.

Verse 8

Risen from the dead (εγηγερμενον εκ νεκρωνegēgermenon ek nekrōn). Perfect passive participle of εγειρωegeirō still risen as the perfect tense shows in 1 Corinthians 15:4, 1 Corinthians 15:12-20. Predicate accusative. “Remember Jesus Christ as risen from the dead.” This is the cardinal fact about Christ that proves his claim to be the Messiah, the Son of God. Christ is central for Paul here as in Philemon 2:5-11.

Of the seed of David (εκ σπερματος Δαυειδek spermatos Daueid). The humanity of Christ as in Romans 1:3; Philemon 2:7.

According to my gospel (κατα το ευαγγελιον μουkata to euaggelion mou). Paul‘s very phrase in Romans 2:16; Romans 16:25. Not a written gospel, but my message. See also 1 Corinthians 15:1; 2 Corinthians 11:7; Galatians 1:11; Galatians 2:2; 1 Timothy 1:11.

Verse 9

Wherein (εν ωιen hōi). In my gospel.

I suffer hardship (κακοπατωkakopathō). “I suffer evil.” Old compound (κακον πασχωkakonμεχρι δεσμωνpaschō), elsewhere in N.T., 2 Timothy 4:5; James 5:13.

Unto bonds (ως κακουργοςmechri desmōn). “Up to bonds.” A common experience with Paul (2 Corinthians 11:23; Philemon 1:7, Philemon 1:13, Philemon 1:14; Colossians 4:18).

As a malefactor (κακον εργωhōs kakourgos), old compound (ου δεδεταιkakonδεωergō doer of evil), in N.T. only here and Luke 23:32. (of the robbers). One of the charges made against Paul.

Is not bound (ou dedetai). Perfect passive indicative of deō to bind. Old verb. See note on 1 Corinthians 7:27, 1 Corinthians 7:39; Romans 7:2. I am bound with a chain, but no fetters are on the word of God (Pauline phrase; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 14:36; 2 Corinthians 2:17; Philemon 1:14; Titus 2:5).

Verse 10

For the elect‘s sake (δια τους εκλεκτουςdia tous eklektous). “Because of the elect.” God‘s elect (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; Titus 1:1) for whom Paul suffered so much (2 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 12:15; Philemon 2:17; Ephesians 3:1, Ephesians 3:13).

That they also may obtain (ινα και αυτοι τυχωσινhina kai autoi tuchōsin). Purpose clause with second aorist (effective) active subjunctive of τυγχανωtugchanō with genitive. “They as well as I,” Paul means.

The salvation (της σωτηριαςtēs sōtērias). The final salvation “with eternal glory” (μετα δοχης αιωνιουmeta doxēs aiōniou). This phrase only here and 1 Peter 5:10, but in 2 Corinthians 4:17 we have “eternal weight of glory.”

Verse 11

Faithful is the saying (πιστος ο λογοςpistos ho logos). The saying which follows here though it can refer to the preceding as in 1 Timothy 4:9. See note on 1 Timothy 1:15. It is possible that from here to the end of 2 Timothy 2:13 we have the fragment of an early hymn. There are four conditions in these verses (2 Timothy 2:11), all of the first class, assumed to be true. Parallels to the ideas here expressed are found in 2 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Corinthians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 7:3; Romans 6:3-8; Colossians 3:1-4. Note the compounds with συνsun (συναπετανομενsunapethanomen we died with, from συναποτνεσκοsunapothnesko as in 2 Corinthians 7:3; συνζησομενsunzēsomen we shall live with, from συνζαωsunzaō as in 2 Corinthians 7:3; συμβασιλευσομενsumbasileusomen we shall reign with, from συμβασιλευωsumbasileuō as in 1 Corinthians 4:8). For υπομενομενhupomenomen (we endure) see note on 1 Corinthians 13:7 and for απιστουμενapistoumen (we are faithless) see note on Romans 3:3. The verb αρνεομαιarneomai to deny (αρνησομεταarnēsometha we shall deny, αρνησεταιarnēsetai he will deny, αρνησασταιarnēsasthai deny, first aorist middle infinitive) is an old word, common in the Gospels in the sayings of Jesus (Matthew 10:33; Luke 12:9), used of Peter (Mark 14:70), and is common in the Pastorals (1 Timothy 5:8; Titus 2:12; 2 Timothy 3:5). Here in 2 Timothy 2:13 it has the notion of proving false to oneself, a thing that Christ “cannot” (ου δυναταιou dunatai) do.

Verse 14

That they strive not about words (μη λογομαχεινmē logomachein). Word apparently coined by Paul from λογομαχιαlogomachia (1 Timothy 6:4 which see), a back formation in that case. A mere war of words displeases Paul. (Titus 3:9).

Useful (χρησιμονchrēsimon). Late and rare word from χραομαιchraomai here only in N.T.

To the subverting (επι καταστροπηιepi katastrophēi). Old word (from καταστρεπωkatastrephō to turn down or over), here only in N.T. (except 2 Peter 2:6 in some MSS., not in Westcott and Hort).” Because of the overthrow” (result επιepi not aim), useless for this reason. Such war of words merely upsets the hearers.

Verse 15

Give diligence (σπουδασονspoudason). First aorist active imperative of σπουδαζωspoudazō old word, as in 1 Thessalonians 2:17; Galatians 2:10.

To present (παραστησαιparastēsai). First aorist active infinitive of παριστημιparistēmi as in Colossians 1:22, Colossians 1:28.

Approved unto God (δοκιμον τωι τεωιdokimon tōi theōi). Dative case τεωιtheōi with δοκιμονdokimon predicate accusative, old adjective (from δεχομαιdechomai), for which see note on 1 Corinthians 11:19; 2 Corinthians 10:18.

A workman (εργατηνergatēn). See 2 Corinthians 11:3; Philemon 3:2.

That needeth not to be ashamed (ανεπαισχυντονanepaischunton). Late double compound verbal adjective (αa privative, επαισχυνωepaischunō), in Josephus and here alone.

Handling aright (ορτοτομουνταorthotomounta). Present active participle of ορτοτομεωorthotomeō late and rare compound (ορτοτομοςorthotomos), cutting straight, ορτοςorthos and τεμνωtemnō), here only in N.T. It occurs in Proverbs 3:6; Proverbs 11:5 for making straight paths (οδουςhodous) with which compare Hebrews 12:13 and “the Way” in Acts 9:2. Theodoret explains it to mean ploughing a straight furrow. Parry argues that the metaphor is the stone mason cutting the stones straight since τεμνωtemnō and ορτοςorthos are so used. Since Paul was a tent-maker and knew how to cut straight the rough camel-hair cloth, why not let that be the metaphor? Certainly plenty of exegesis is crooked enough (crazy-quilt patterns) to call for careful cutting to set it straight.

Verse 16

Shun (περιιστασοperiistaso). See note on Titus 3:9.

Babblings (κενοπωνιαςkenophōnias). See note on 1 Timothy 6:20.

Will proceed (προκοπσουσινprokopsousin). Future active of προκοπτωprokoptō “will cut forward.” See note on Galatians 1:14; Romans 13:12.

Further in ungodliness (επι πλειον ασεβειαςepi pleion asebeias). “To more of ungodliness.” See note on Romans 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:2.

Verse 17

Will eat (νομην εχειnomēn hexei). “Will have (future active of εχωechō) pasturage or increase” (νομηnomē old word from νεμωnemō to pasture, in N.T. only here and John 10:9).

As doth gangrene (ως γαγγραιναhōs gaggraina). Late word (medical writers and Plutarch), only here in N.T. From γραωgraō or γραινωgrainō to gnaw, to eat, an eating, spreading disease. Hymenaeus is probably the one mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20. Nothing is known of Philetus.

Verse 18

Men who (οιτινεςhoitines). “The very ones who.”

Have erred (ηστοχησανēstochēsan). “Missed the mark.” First aorist active indicative of αστοχεωastocheō for which see note on 1 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 6:21.

That the resurrection is past already (αναστασιν ηδη γεγονεναιanastasin ēdē gegonenai). Second perfect active infinitive of γινομαιginomai in indirect assertion after λεγοντεςlegontes (saying) with the accusative of general reference (αναστασινanastasin).

Overthrow (ανατρεπουσινanatrepousin). See note on Titus 1:11.

Verse 19

Howbeit (μεντοιmentoi). Strong adversative, “however.”

Firm (στερεοςstereos). Old adjective, solid, compact, in N.T. only here, 1 Peter 5:9; Hebrews 5:12, Hebrews 5:14. See στερεωμαstereōma in Colossians 2:5. For τεμελιοςthemelios see note on 1 Corinthians 3:11; Romans 15:20; 1 Timothy 6:19. Cf. εδραιωμαhedraiōma in 1 Timothy 3:15.

Seal (σπραγιςsphragis). See 1 Corinthians 9:2; Romans 4:11.

Knoweth (εγνωegnō). Timeless aorist active indicative of γινωσκωginōskō Quotation from Numbers 16:5.

Let every one depart (αποστητω παςapostētō pās). Paraphrase of Numbers 16:27; Isaiah 26:13; Isaiah 52:11; Jeremiah 20:9. Second aorist active imperative of απιστημιaphistēmi (intransitive use), “Let every one stand off from.” Probably another echo of the rebellion of Korah.

Verse 20

In a great house (εν μεγαληι οικιαιen megalēi oikiāi). Metaphor of a palace. He doubtless has the Kingdom of God in mind, but he works out the metaphor of a great house of the rich and mighty.

Vessels (σκευηskeuē). Old word σκευοςskeuos See note on Romans 9:21 for the same double use as here.

Of gold (χρυσαchrusā). Old contracted adjective χρυσεοςchruseos only here by Paul.

Of silver (αργυραargurā). Old contracted adjective αργυρεοςargureos in N.T. here, Acts 19:24; Revelation 9:20.

Of wood (χυλιναxulina). Old adjective, in N.T. only here and Revelation 9:20.

Of earth (οστρακιναostrakina). Late adjective, from οστρακονostrakon baked clay, in lxx, in N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 4:7.

Verse 21

If a man purge himself (εαν τις εκκαταρηιean tis ekkatharēi). Paul drops the metaphor of the house and takes up the individual as one of the “vessels.” Condition of third class with first aorist active subjunctive of εκκαταιρωekkathairō old verb, to cleanse out, in lxx, in N.T. only here and 1 Corinthians 5:7.

From these (απο τουτωνapo toutōn). From the vessels for dishonour of 2 Timothy 2:20.

Sanctified (ηγιασμενονhēgiasmenon). Perfect passive participle of αγιαζωhagiazō for which verb see note on 1 Corinthians 6:11.

Meet for the master‘s use (ευχρηστον τωι δεσποτωιeuchrēston tōi despotōi). Dative case δεσποτηιdespotēi (for which word see note on 1 Timothy 6:1) with ευχρηστονeuchrēston neuter singular like ηγιασμενονhēgiasmenon agreeing with σκευοςskeuos Old verbal adjective (ευeu and χραομαιchraomai to use well), useful or usable for the master. In N.T. only here and 2 Timothy 4:11. See αχρηστονachrēston in Philemon 1:11.

Prepared (ητοιμασμενονhētoimasmenon). Perfect passive participle of ετοιμαζωhetoimazō in a state of readiness, old and common word, elsewhere by Paul only 1 Corinthians 2:9 (lxx).

Verse 22

Youthful (νεωτερικαςneōterikas). Literary Koiné{[28928]}š word (Polybius, Josephus), only here in N.T. There are lusts peculiar to flaming youth.

Flee (πευγεpheuge). Present active imperative of πευγωpheugō old and common verb. In this sense see note on 1 Corinthians 6:18.

Follow after (διωκεdiōke). Present active imperative of διωκωdiōkō as if in a chase for which sense see note on 1 Thessalonians 5:15. Steady pursuit of these virtues like those in Galatians 5:22.

Call on the Lord (επικαλουμενον τον κυριονepikaloumenon ton kurion). See note on 1 Corinthians 1:2; Romans 10:12-14.

Verse 23

Ignorant (απαιδευτουςapaideutous). Old verbal, here only in N.T. (αa privative and παιδευωpaideuō). Untrained, uneducated, “speculations of a half-educated mind” (Parry).

Refuse (παραιτουparaitou). See note on 1 Timothy 4:7.

They gender strifes (γεννωσιν μαχαςgennōsin machas). Present active indicative of old and common verb γενναωgennaō (Romans 9:11). “They beget battles.” See note on 2 Timothy 2:14.

Verse 24

Must not strive (ου δει μαχεσταιou dei machesthai). Rather, “it is not necessary for him to fight” (in such verbal quibbles). The negative ουou goes with δειdei not with the infinitive μαχεσταιmachesthai

Gentle (ηπιονēpion). Old word (from εποςepos speech), affable, mild, in N.T. only here (and 1 Thessalonians 2:7 in some MSS.; W. H. have νηπιοςnēpios).

Teachable (διδακτικονdidaktikon). See note on 1 Timothy 3:2.

Forbearing (ανεχικακονanexikakon). Late compound (from future of ανεχωanechō ανεχωanexō and κακονkakon putting up with evil). Here only in N.T.

Verse 25

Correcting (παιδευονταpaideuonta). See Titus 2:12. “Schooling” (Parry).

Oppose themselves (αντιδιατιτεμενουςantidiatithemenous). Present middle (direct) participle of αντιδιατιτημιantidiatithēmi late double compound (Diodorus, Philo) to place oneself in opposition, here only in N.T.

If peradventure God may give (μη ποτε δωιη ο τεοςmē pote dōiē ho theos). Here Westcott and Hort read the late form of the second aorist active optative of διδωμιdidōmi for the usual δοιηdoiē as they do in 2 Timothy 1:18. But there it is a wish for the future and so regular, while here the optative with μη ποτεmē pote in a sort of indirect question is used with a primary tense δειdei (present) and parallel with an undoubted subjunctive ανανηπσωσινananēpsōsin while in Luke 3:15 μη ποτε ειεmē pote eie is with a secondary tense. Examples of such an optative do occur in the papyri (Robertson, Grammar, p. 989) so that we cannot go as far as Moulton does and say that we “must” read the subjunctive δωηιdōēi here (Prolegomena, pp. 55, 193).

Repentance (μετανοιανmetanoian). “Change of mind” (2 Corinthians 7:10; Romans 2:4).

Unto the knowledge of the truth (εις επιγνωσιν αλητειαςeis epignōsin alētheias). Paul‘s word “full knowledge” (1 Corinthians 1:9).

Verse 26

They may recover themselves (ανανηπσωσινananēpsōsin). First aorist active subjunctive of ανανηπωananēphō late and rare word, to be sober again, only here in N.T., though νηπωnēphō is in 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

Out of the snare of the devil (εκ της του διαβολου παγιδοςek tēs tou diabolou pagidos). They have been caught while mentally intoxicated in the devil‘s snare (1 Timothy 3:7). See note on Romans 11:9 for παγιςpagis

Taken captive (εζωγρημενοιezōgrēmenoi). Perfect passive participle of ζωγρεωzōgreō old verb, to take alive (ζωοσ αγρεωzōosυπ αυτου εις το εκεινου τελημαagreō), in N.T. only here and Luke 5:10 (of Peter). “Taken captive alive.”

By him unto his will (αυτουhup' autou eis to ekeinou thelēma). This difficult phrase is understood variously. One way is to take both εκεινουautou and αυτουekeinou to refer to the devil. Another way is to take both of them to refer to God. Another way is to take εκεινουautou of the devil and ekeinou of God. This is probably best, “taken captive by the devil” “that they may come back to soberness to do the will of God.” There are difficulties in either view.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 2:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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