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1. I charge thee therefore - This is deduced from the whole preceding chapter. At his appearing and his kingdom - That is, at his appearing in the kingdom of glory.
2. Be instant - Insist on, urge these things in season, out of season - That is, continually, at all times and places. It might be translated, with and without opportunity - Not only when a fair occasion is given: even when there is none, one must be made.
3. For they will heap up teachers - Therefore thou hast need of "all longsuffering." According to their own desires - Smooth as they can wish. Having itching ears - Fond of novelty and variety, which the number of new teachers, as well as their empty, soft, or philosophical discourses, pleased. Such teachers, and such hearers, seldom are much concerned with what is strict or to the purpose. Heap to themselves - Not enduring sound doctrine, they will reject the sound preachers, and gather together all that suit their own taste. Probably they send out one another as teachers, and so are never at a loss for numbers.
5. Watch - An earnest, constant, persevering exercise. The scripture watching, or waiting, implies steadfast faith, patient hope, labouring love, unceasing prayer; yea, the mighty exertion of all the affections of the soul that a man is capable of. In all things - Whatever you are doing, yet in that, and in all things, watch. Do the work of an evangelist - Which was next to that of an apostle.
6. The time of my departure is at hand - So undoubtedly God had shown him. I am ready to be offered up - Literally, to be poured out, as the wine and oil were on the ancient sacrifices.
8. The crown of that righteousness - Which God has imputed to me and wrought in me. Will render to all - This increases the joy of Paul, and encourages Timotheus. Many of these St. Paul himself had gained. That have loved his appearing - Which only a real Christian can do. I say a real Christian, to comply with the mode of the times: else they would not understand, although the word Christian necessarily implies whatsoever is holy, as God is holy. Strictly speaking, to join real or sincere to a word of so complete an import, is grievously to debase its noble signification, and is like adding long to eternity or wide to immensity.
9. Come to me - Both that he might comfort him, and be strengthened by him. Timotheus himself is said to have suffered at Ephesus.
10. Demas - Once my fellowlabourer, Phil. i, 24. Hath forsaken me. Crescens, probably a preacher also, is gone, with my consent, to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia, having now left Crete. These either went with him to Rome, or visited him there.
11. Only Luke - Of my fellowlabourers, is with me - But God is with me; and it is enough. Take Mark - Who, though he once "departed from the work," is now again profitable to me.
13. The cloak - Either the toga, which belonged to him as a Roman citizen, or an upper garment, which might be needful as winter came on. Which I left at Troas with Carpus - Who was probably his host there. Especially the parchments - The books written on parchment.
14. The Lord will reward him - This he spoke prophetically.
16. All - My friends and companions. Forsook me - And do we expect to find such as will not forsake us? My first defense - Before the savage emperor Nero.
17. The preaching - The gospel which we preach.
18. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work - Which is far more than delivering me from death. Yea, and, over and above, preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom - Far better than that of Nero.
20. When I came on, Erastus abode at Corinth - Being chamberlain of the city, Rom. xvi, 23. But Trophimus I have left sick - Not having power (as neither had any of the apostles) to work miracles when he pleased, but only when God pleased.
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