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Barnes' New Testament Notes
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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY - Chapter 2 - Verse 1

 

I Timothy Chapter 2

 

ANALYSIS OF THE CHAPTER,

THIS chapter is occupied mainly in directions about the mode of conducting public worship. Timothy had been left at Ephesus to complete the plans which the apostle had commenced in reference to the church there, but from completing which he had been un- expectedly prevented, (see the Intro.;) and it was important to state the views which he entertained on this subject to Timothy. It was important also that general directions on these subjects should be given, which would be useful to the church at large. The directions in this chapter relate to the following subjects:—

I. Public prayer, 1 Ti 2:1-8.

(1.) It was to be offered for all classes of men, without distinction of rank, sect, party, country, or name; especially for all that were in authority, 1 Ti 2:1,2. The reasons for this were,

(a) That God desired all men to be saved, and it was acceptable to him that prayer should be offered for all, 1 Ti 2:3,4.

(b) There is but one God over all the human race, and all are alike his children, 1 Ti 2:5.

(c) There is one and the same Mediator between God and all men, 1 Ti 2:5.

(d) The same atonement has been made for all, 1 Ti 2:6,7.

(2.) The way in which prayer should be offered. It should be with holy hands, and without the intermingling of any bad passion, 1 Ti 2:8.

II. The duties of women, 1 Ti 2:9-15.

(1.) Modesty in their demeanour and apparel, 1 Ti 2:9.

(2.) Good works—the chief ornament of women professing piety, 1 Ti 2:10.

(3.) The duty of learning from others with a gentle and quiet spirit, 1 Ti 2:11.

(4.) The duty of a proper subordination and submission to man, 1 Ti 2:12.

(5.) The reasons for this subordination and submission are then stated. They are,

(a) That Adam was first formed, 1 Ti 2:13.

(b) That the woman had been deceived, and should be willing to occupy a subordinate place, as she was first in the transgression and was the means of leading him into sin, 1 Ti 2:14.

(6.) Yet, as if to make a kind remark in favour of woman—to show that he did not intend to teach that she was degraded and abandoned of God—the apostle says that she would be under the Divine protection, and that in the special sorrow and peril which had been brought upon her for her transgression, God would sustain her if she continued in faith, and evinced the spirit of a Christian in her life, 1 Ti 2:15.

Verse 1. I exhort, therefore. Marg., desire. The word exhort, however, better expresses the sense of the original. The exhortation here is not addressed particularly to Timothy, but relates to all who were called to lead in public prayer, 1 Ti 2:8. This exhortation, it may be observed, is inconsistent with the supposition that a liturgy was then in use, or with the supposition that there ever would be a liturgy—since, in that case, the objects to be prayed for would be prescribed. How singular would it be now for an episcopal bishop to "exhort" his presbyters to pray "for the President of the United States and for all who are in authority." When the prayer is prescribed, do they not do this as a matter of course?

First of all. That is, as the first duty to be enjoined; the thing that is to be regarded with primary concern. Comp. Lu 12:1; 2 Pe 1:20. It does not mean that this was to be the first thing in public worship in the order of time, but that it was to be regarded as a duty of primary importance. The duty of praying for the salvation of the whole world was not to be regarded as a subordinate and secondary thing.

Supplications. It is not entirely easy to mark the difference in the meaning of the words used here, and it is not essential. They all relate to prayer, and refer only to the different parts of prayer, or to distinct classes of thought and desire which come before the mind in pleading for others. On the difference between the words supplications and prayers, See Barnes "Heb 5:7".

 

Intercessions. The noun used occurs only in this place and in 1 Ti 4:5, of this epistle. The verb, however (entugcanw) occurs in Ac 25:24; Ro 8:27,34; 11:2; Heb 7:25.

See the meaning explained in the See Barnes "Ro 8:26"; See Barnes "Heb 7:25".

There is one great Intercessor between God and man, who pleads for our salvation on the ground of what he himself has done, but we are permitted to intercede for others, not on the ground of any merit which they or we possess, but on the ground of the merit of the great Advocate and Intercessor. It is an inestimable privilege to be permitted to plead for the salvation of our fellow-men.

Giving of thanks. That is, in behalf of others. We ought to give thanks for the mercy of God to ourselves; it is right and proper also that we should give thanks for the goodness of God to others. We should render praise that there is a way of salvation provided; that no one is excluded from the offer of mercy; and that God is using so many means to call lost sinners to himself.

For all men. Prayers should be made for all men—for all need the grace and mercy of God; thanks should be rendered for all, for all may be saved. Does not this direction imply that Christ died for all mankind? How could we give thanks in their behalf if there were no mercy for them, and no way had been provided by which they could be saved? It may be observed here, that the direction to pray and to give thanks for all men, showed the large and catholic nature of Christianity. It was opposed entirely to the narrow and bigoted feelings of the Jews, who regarded the whole Gentile world as excluded from covenant mercies, and as having no offer of life. Christianity threw down all these barriers, and all men are on a level; and since Christ has died for all, there is ample ground for thanksgiving and praise in behalf of the whole human race.

{1} "exhort" "desire"

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