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15 Which in his own season, the blessed (1 Tim. i. 11. note 2.) and only Potentate, 1 will shew, 2 EVEN the King of kings, and Lord of lords : 3
15 Which appearing in his own season, the season which he himself hath fixed, the blessed and only Potentate in the universe will shew, even the King of kings, and Lord of lords; the King and Lord who rules with irresistible power all other kings and lords.
16 Who alone hath immortality,' AND dwelleth in light inaccessible, (see 2 Pet. i. 17. note 1.) whom no man hath seen, 2 nor can see, to whom BE honour and might everlast-everlasting. And to shew that this ing. Amen. is the truth concerning the nature of God, I say Amen.'
16 Who alone hath life without either beginning or ending, and dwelleth in light inaccessible to mortals, which therefore no man hath seen or can see in this mortal body; To whom be ascribed honour and might
17 Charge the rich in the present world1 not to be elated in mind, 2 nor to trust in uncertain riches,3
17 Though riches often prove a great snare to the possessors, they may be retained innocently: Therefore, charge the rich in the present
2. Whorn no man bath seen, nor can see. In the commentary I have explained this, of men's not being able in the present life to look on the light in which God dwells. Yet I am not certain whether the apostle does not mean, that although in the life to come men shall see that light, they shall not see God. God is absolutely invisible, and will always remain so. If this is the apostle's meaning, the seeing of God, promised to the pure in heart, must mean no more but their seeing the light in which God dwells, which may as properly be called the seeing of God, as our seeing the bodies of our acquaintance in which their souls reside, is called the seeing of them. From this text, some of the ancient fathers inferred, that the Divine person who appeared to the patriarchs, and to the Israelites in the wilderness, was not the Father, but the Son. Yet that notion is confuted by Augustine, De Trinit. Lib. ii. c. 18.
3. And might, Kgår. This word signifies the might necessary to the governing of the world, rather than the act of governing.
Ver. 17.—1. The rich in the present world. By adding the words, in the present world, the apostle lessens the value of riches. We can enjoy them only in the present world. We can carry no part of them out into the other world. And though we could, they would have no influence to make us happy there -Besides, as the apostle observes in the following clause, our possession of them is uncertain; and without the blessing of God, they will give us little satisfaction even here.
2. Not to be elated in mind. The word, inλopgove, signifies to have an
riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy ;
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good
και επι πλουτου αδηλοτητι, αλλ' εν τῷ Θεῷ τῷ ζωντι, τῷ παρέχοντι ἡμιν πλουσίως παντα εις απολαυσιν
18 Αγαθοεργείν, πλουτειν εν έργοις καλοίς, ευμεταδο
works, ready to distribute, τους ειναι, κοινωνικούς
willing to communicate;
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good * foundation against the time
to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
20 Ο Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings,
19 Αποθησαυριζοντας ἑαυ τους θεμελιον καλον εις το μελλον, ἵνα επιλάβωνται της αιωνιου ζωης.
20 Ω Τιμόθεε, την παρακαταθηκην φυλαξον, εκτρε πομενος τας βεβήλους κενο
high opinion of one's self, in comparison of others, and to have no regard to their happiness. To this bad temper of mind the rich are often led, by the court which their inferiors pay to them on account of their riches. The ministers of religion, therefore, ought frequently to caution the rich to be. ware of being elated with pride.
3. Nor to trust in uncertain riches. Those who place their happiness in the enjoyment of sensual pleasures, naturally trust to their riches for their happiness, because by their money they can procure every pleasure of that kind; and so they lose all sense of their dependence on God and his providence, for their happiness, Prov. x. 15. xviii. 11. To check this impiety, the apostle ordered Timothy to charge the rich to employ themselves constantly in working good, and to be rich in praise worthy works; a kind of riches more honourable, and more satisfactory to the possessors, than all the gold and silver in the universe.
4. But in God who liveth. God alone, who liveth always, can continue the rich in the possession of their riches, and in their capacity of enjoying them. Besides it is God alone who can bestow on the rich the happiness of the life to come; which is the only valuable and abiding happiness, a happiness which no riches whatever can purchase. Here the apostle insinuates, that dead idols cannot bestow on any one the happiness either of the present, or of the future life.
Ver. 18.1. Το work good, to be rich in lovely works, &c. This charge, which Timothy was ordered to give to the rich at Ephesus, shews that the community of goods among the disciples mentioned in the history of the Acts, was confined to Judea; and that even there it lasted only for a short time.
world, to beware of pride, and of seeking their happiness from riches, the possession of which is so uncertain. But to trust in God, who ever liveth to make them happy, and who supplieth to us plentifully all things really necessary for enjoyment.
18 And instead of employing their riches merely in gratifying their senses, rather to use them in doing good works, and to be rich in those lovely works, whereby the happiness of society is promoted: To be ready to distribute a part of their riches to the poor, communicative of their time and pains for advancing the interests of truth and virtue in the world.
19 Providing for themselves, not money, which can be of no use to them in the other world, but what is infinitely better, a good foundation to stand on in the day of judgment, that they may lay hold on the prize of eternal life.
20 O Timothy, preserve the doctrine, committed in trust to thee, avoiding the impious, noisy, senseless talking of the Judaizers, and the oppositions to the
Ver. 19.-1. Providing for themselves a good foundation. AmonoaupiovτES EDUTOS. Because treasuring up a foundation is an unusual manner of speaking, Le Clerc proposes, instead of Jɛusov, to read nuμeniov, a treasure. But as no reading ought to be introduced into the scriptures on conjecture, I think the Greek words may be translated, providing for themselves: a sense which noaupes, evidently hath, Rom. ii. 5. Treasurest up to thyself, that is, providest for thyself wrath, against the day of wrath.-Benson thinks μLov, here hath the signification of qua, a deposite; and that the apostle alludes to Tobit iv. 9. LXX.
Ver. 20.-1. Guard the thing committed in trust to thee. That this is the proper translation of tnv rapaxarádnunv, see 2 Tim. i. 12. note 2. The thing committed in trust to Timothy, which the apostle was so anxious that he should guard, and deliver to faithful men, able to teach it to others, 2 Tim. ii. 2. was, the true account of our Lord's character as the Son of God, his
descent from Abraham and David, his birth of a virgin, his doctrine, miracles, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, and his return to the earth to raise the dead and judge the world. Now as these things, at the time the apostle wrote this epistle, were all faithfully recorded in the writings of the evangelists, and were foretold in the writings of Moses and the prophets, these inspired writings were without doubt a principal part of the deposite committed to Timothy, to be kept by him and delivered to faithful men able to teach others. Farther, as the apostle in his sermons and conversations had explained to Timothy many passages both of the ancient scriptures and of his own writings, these interpretations were to be kept by him and followed, in all his discourses and exhortations to the Ephesians and others. This injunction to Timothy, is an injunction to the ministers of the gospel in every age, to keep the writings of Moses and the prophets, and of the evangelists and apostles uncorrupted, as containing the whole of the gospel doctrine and implies that nothing is to be added to them nor taken from them, by any human authority whatever. Councils, therefore, whether general or particular, have no power to establish any new article of faith. The only thing such assemblies, however numerous or respectable, can do, is to express their opinion that such and such articles of faith are contained in the scriptures. And if they should happen to err, the inspired writings being preserved pure and entire, the errors of councils, as well as of individuals, are to be corrected by these infallible standards.
2. Avoiding prophane vain babblings. The word nevoqavas, signifies, the emptiness of words; the noisy empty talking of the false teachers.-The Vulgate version has here vocum novitates; the novelties of words; the copy from which that version was made, reading, perhaps, xavopards; as some MSS. do at present.
3. And oppositions of knowledge. In the enumeration of the different kinds of inspiration, bestowed on the first preachers of the gospel, 1 Cor. xii. 8. we find the word of knowledge mentioned; by which is meant, that kind of inspiration which gave to the apostles and superior Christian prophets, the knowledge of the true meaning of the Jewish scriptures. This inspiration the false teachers pretending to possess, dignified their misinterpretations of the ancient scriptures, with the name of knowledge, that is inspired knowledge for so the word knowledge signifies, 1 Cor. xiv. 6.—And, as by these interpretations, they endeavoured to establish the efficacy of the Levitical atonements, together with the perpetual and universal obligation of the rites of the law of Moses, the apostle very properly termed these interpretations, oppositions of knowledge, because they were framed to establish doctrines contrary to and subversive of the gospel.-Withal, to destroy their credit, he affirmed that the knowledge, from which they proceeded, was falsely called, inspired knowledge. The Judaizers, who gave these interpretations, were not inspired with the knowledge of the true meaning of the scriptures, but falsely pretended to that gift.
Ver. 21.-1. Grace be with thee. This epistle being chiefly designed for Timothy's own use, no salutations were sent to any of the brethren at Ephesus.