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2 Timothy Chapter Four


I. Content of the Chapter


The Ambitions God’s Workers should Have

I. Preach the word (v.1-4).

II. Endure afflictions (v.5).

III. Be willing to be poured out (v.6-7).

IV. Love the appearing of the Lord (v.8).

V. Be forsaken by men (v.9-13).

VI. But have the presence of the Lord (v.14-17).

VII. To Him be glory (v.18-22).


II. Verse by Verse commentary


2Tim. 4:1 “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:

   YLT: “I do fully testify, then, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is about to judge living and dead at his manifestation and his reign --”

   Meaning of Words: “kingdom”: the realm of dominion; “charge”: instruct solemnly and seriously (the emphatic tone).

   Literal Meaning: Itherefore before God” similar phrases were mentioned six times in the first and second books of Timothy (1Tim. 2:3; 5:4, 21; 6:13; 2Tim. 2:14; 4:1) and they have the following meanings: 1) it shows that one has the responsibility before God; 2) it is serious and solemn and it is not the causal talk; 3) speaking according to the authority given by God; 4) teaching according to the revelation and light given by God.

“And the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead” “judge” refers to the judgment of the last days when the Lord comes for the second time. “Judge the living” indicates that when the Lord comes, He shall gather all the people who are still alive on the earth before Him to execute the judgment (Matt. 25:31-46). “Judge…the dead” indicates that all the dead who had not partaken in the first resurrection (Rev. 20:5) shall stand before the throne and be judged according to their works (Rev. 20:12-13). “Jesus Christ” is the Lord appointed by God to judge the living and the dead (Acts. 10:42; 17:31; Rom. 2:16).

“Charging you at His appearing and His kingdom” “His appearing” refers to the appearing when He comes for the second time and He shall execute the judgment at that time (Matt. 16:27). “His kingdom” indicates that He shall reign with overcomers when the heavenly kingdom is fully realized (Rev. 20:4, 6).

  This sentence shows that Paul encouraged Timothy by the Lord’s appearing and His kingdom to stand firm for the truth, and be loyal to his ministry so that he could receive reward and reign with the Lord when the Lord comes for the second time (See v.8; 2:12).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The authority that a preacher speaks does not lie in his knowledge, eloquence and position but depends on whether he speaks before God.

2) Christians should always live before God and be able to give an account for his words and deeds to God confidently.

3) The more preachers know God and Christ, the more spiritually powerful they speak.

4) Watchman Nee said in his psalm that, “I’m daily gazing at the light out of His judgment seat, that all my living and works may stand before the test of fire”.

5) The kingdom of heaven is not the salvation that the Lord gives believers but the reward. We should run the race before us in the warning and hope of the kingdom.

6) The only thing which could comfort, encourage and attract a faithful servant of the Lord is the glorious “appearing” of the Lord whom he loves all his life.


2Tim. 4:2 “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

   YLT: “preach the word; be earnest in season, out of season, convict, rebuke, exhort, in all long-suffering and teaching,”

   Meaning of Words: “ready”: emergent, urgent, always ready, stand by; “exhort”: comfort, advice.

   Literal Meaning: this verse shows the connotation of “charging” (See v.1):

  1) The content: “preach the word” is the imperative verb; “preach” refers to preaching the gospel and teaching the sound word of God (See v.3).

  2) The time: “in season and out of season” “in season” refers to good opportunities; “out of season” refers to bad opportunities; this sentence shows that preaching the word should not be restrained by time.

  3) The attitude: “be ready” is the second imperative verb in this sentence. “Ready” refers to putting his whole in and trying his best to do.

  4) The means: “with all longsuffering and teaching” “all longsuffering” refers to all patience, i.e. “endurance” (See 2Cor. 6:6; 12:12); “teaching” refers to teaching various kinds of truths from different kinds of angles.

  5) The way: “convince, rebuke, exhort” “convince” implies correcting errors; “rebuke” refers to awakening; “exhort” refers to the positive guidance. The above-mentioned three words are the imperative verbs.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Christians should be ready to preach the gospel to men and bear witness for the Lord.

2) The longer the time passes, the father men depart from the truth (See v.3) and therefore we should preach the word in season, otherwise it will be out of season forever.

3) We should neither preach the gospel and bear witness to the Lord seasonally nor be off and on by the influence of environment. We should know that the holy words of the Lord are “the words of eternal life” (See John. 6:68) which themselves are not restrained by time. And therefore each day is our opportunity to preach the word before the Lord comes again to conclude this age.

4) Regardless of the number of those who listen to the word and the good or bad of the place of meeting and zeal and idleness of those who join the meeting, we should be ready to preach the word and never be perfunctory.

5) For the coming judgment and the reward of the kingdom (See v.1), we shall be condemned unfaithful and unable to partake in the kingdom if we are not ready to preach the word.

6) The work of preaching may be not effective immediately and therefore we should be with all longsuffering.

7) We should never “meet changes with constancy” in the work of preaching and we should give various kinds of teachings with different kinds of expressions at all times for the degree and need of the targets.


2Tim. 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

   YLT: “for there shall be a season when the sound teaching they will not suffer, but according to their own desires to themselves they shall heap up teachers -- itching in the hearing,”

   Meaning of Words: “not endure”: not tolerate, not suffer, not contain; “sound”: blameless, healthy, wholesome; “heap up”: pile up, amass, the unnecessary accumulation.

   Literal Meaning: For the time will come” “for” refers to the reason for charging (See v.1). “The time” refers to the time when perilous times come (See 3:1).

“When they will not endure sound doctrine” “not endure” refers to disliking from their hearts. “Sound doctrine” refers to the healthy doctrine (See 1Tim. 6:3).

“But according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers” “have itching ears” indicates that they like listening to the words which sound comfortable and pleasant.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Men are unwilling to give their eras to what they should listen to and like listening to what they should not give their ears to. So is the world and the carnal Christians.

2) There is one lust in men’s nature that men like listening to new things (Acts. 17:21) regardless of whether the words conform to the truth. And therefore the heretical teachers could have loopholes to exploit.

3) The reason why heresies are well received by men is that they pander to men’s lusts. Some new reasons are made up so that men will feel no qualm to persist in their old ways after men have heard them.

4) It is true that preachers should not keep back anything because men do not endure sound doctrine. However, they should try their best to improve the skills in preaching so that the truth could be sent into the ears of listeners.


2Tim. 4:4 “and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

   YLT: “and indeed, from the truth the hearing they shall turn away, and to the fables they shall be turned aside.”

   Literal Meaning: and they will turn their ears away from the truth” “turn their ears away” refers to refusing to hear.

“And be turned aside to fables” “be turned aside” refers to getting off track rapidly; “fables” refers to the groundless words.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Men turn their ears away from the truth first and then will be turned aside to fables. And therefore the best way to guard against heresies is to be fully filled by the sound words of God.

2) The world has been destroyed to a certain degree that the more groundless the stories are (even the fantastic myths), the more men like giving their ears to them.


2Tim. 4:5 “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

   YLT: “And thou -- watch in all things; suffer evil; do the work of one proclaiming good news; of thy ministration make full assurance,”

   Meaning of Words: “be watchful”: be sober, be on alert, be discreet; “an evangelist”: declaring the glad tidings; “fulfill”: accomplish.

   Literal Meaning: But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions” this sentence shows what preachers should know in the negative aspects: 1) “be watchful in all things”, i.e. being vigilant everywhere and being alert against the attacks of enemies; 2) “endure afflictions” it means that no matter how carefully men are on guard, they still suffer persecution and tribulation unavoidably and therefore they have to endure them.

“Do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” this sentence shows what preachers should know in the positive aspects: 1) “do the work of an evangelist”, i.e. being ready to preach the word in season and out of season (See v.2); 2) “fulfill your ministry”, i.e. trying one’s best to obtain the greatest effect.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Though men will not endure sound doctrine (See v.3) and turn their ears away from the truth, we should still do the work of an evangelist because it is our ministries.

2) It is the problem of others if they reject the truth. It is our problem if we do not fulfill our ministries and the Lord shall ask us.

3) To the faithful and wise preachers, it is not accounted to fulfill their ministries to preach the word of God outside of their suffering for the Lord but to obtain the achievements of preaching in their enduring afflictions.


2Tim. 4:6 “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.

   YLT: “for I am already being poured out, and the time of my release hath arrived;”

   Meaning of Words: “departure”: setting sail,     striking camp, release, casting off the boat; “at hand”: falling in suddenly, coming unexpectedly.

   Literal Meaning: For I am already being poured out as a drink offering” here it used the ceremony of the sacrifice the drink-offering in the Old Testament (Num. 15:1-10) as a metaphor for Paul’s devoting his life to God. The Roman citizens did not have the punishment of crucifixion but had the decollation. He predicted that he was going to die soon and pour his fresh blood.

“And the time of my departure is at hand” “departure” refers to the death in the flesh (See Pill. 1:21-22). “Is at hand” shows that he had predicted that he would be martyred for the Lord.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) To those who do not have Christ, death is the greatest disaster and therefore men are afraid of death and reject the death. However, to those who know Christ, it is far better to depart and to be with Christ (Pill. 1:23).

2) The world is reduced to being servants of Satan through fear of death (Heb. 2:15) and Christians are willing to lay down their own necks for the sake of preaching because they are not afraid of death (Rom. 16:4).


2Tim. 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

   YLT: “the good strife I have striven, the course I have finished, the faith I have kept,”

   Literal Meaning: I have fought the good fight” “the good fight” in the original refers to all kinds of sports competitions and here it specially refers to fighting the spiritual fight of faith (1Tim. 6:12); “have fought” in the original means that “I have suffered the good pain”.

I have finished the race” “the race” refers to the race that lies before every believer (Heb. 12:1).

I have kept the faith” “the faith” refers to the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude. 3).

“Have fought, have finished and have kept” the three verbs are the perfect tense, showing that at that time, Paul was convinced that he had finished what the Lord had entrusted him

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Every normal Christian has triple duties to do: a) partaking in the spiritual conflicts; 2) finishing the heavenly race; 3) keeping the faith.

2) All the labor, pain and tribulation that we suffer for the Lord are good and valuable.

3) Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Heb. 12:1).

4) It is easy to hear the faith and it is difficult to keep the faith. If we want to keep the faith, we have to know that the “faith” is the most precious gift.


2Tim. 4:8 “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing

   YLT: “henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of the righteousness that the Lord -- the Righteous Judge -- shall give to me in that day, and not only to me, but also to all those loving his manifestation.”

   The Background: “crown” in the ancient Olympic sports meet, overcomers would gain the head-ring woven by the laurel’ leaves and it was called the crown.

   Literal Meaning: Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” “the crown of righteousness” is a metaphor for God’s acceptance and satisfaction.

“Which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day” “righteous” indicates that the rewards and punishment are just: not only the failures will be punished but also the overcomers will be rewarded. “That Day” refers to the Day when men are judged before the judgment seat of Christ.

“And not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” “all who have loved His appearing” refers to those who feel that they have the assurance of overcoming like Paul and therefore they love the Lord to come as soon as possible.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Loving the appearing of the Lord and loving the Lord Himself are inseparable. If we indeed love the Lord, we shall love His appearing.

2) Let our hearts to rise from the ground to meet the Lord and be with Him first. Those who love the Lord all live in the second coming of the Lord and their hearts are not bound by anything or anyone on earth.

3) Though we cannot receive the great commission and be used greatly by the Lord like Paul, if we “love” the Lord’s “appearing” wholeheartedly, regard the Lord’s final perfect manifestation as a mark and walk in it all the time, we shall receive the Lord’s “crown of righteousness” like Paul.


2Tim. 4:9 “Be diligent to come to me quickly;

   YLT: “Be diligent to come unto me quickly,”

   Literal Meaning: “be diligent” means that the time is short and one has to put into practice without any delay.


2Tim. 4:10 “for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica--Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.

   YLT: “for Demas forsook me, having loved the present age, and went on to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia,”

   Literal Meaning: for Demashaving loved this present world” the name of “Demas” was mentioned three times in the epistles of Paul (this time is included) (Col. 4:14; Philem. 24). However, Paul never praised him and it shows that probably his intention and attitude to serve the Lord were not good from the beginning. “Love” and “love” in v.8 are the same word in the original. “This present world” is opposite to “the coming kingdom”, showing that he only minded the present reality and ignored the reward in future.

“Has forsaken me, and has departed for Thessalonica” “has forsaken me” indicates that he departed from Paul without his permission. However, it does not mean that Demas departed from the truth. “Thessalonica” was within the borders of Macedonia and was close to Philippi.

Crescens for Galatia” the name of “Crescens” was only mentioned here in the New Testament. Probably he was one of Paul’s fellow-workers and was sent by Paul to Galatia. “Galatia” was a small province in Asia Minor.

Titus for Dalmatia” “Titus” was the recipient of the Epistle of Titus. He was Paul’s fellow-worker whom was regarded highly by him and he represented Paul to go to Dalmatia. “Dalmatia” was in the northwest of Macedonia. It was a small province of Illyricum and it was relative to Italy across the Adriatic Sea.


2Tim. 4:11 “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.

   YLT: “Lukas only is with me; Markus having taken, bring with thyself, for he is profitable to me for ministration;”

   Literal Meaning: Only Luke is with me” “Luke” was the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. He was a physician. Paul kept Luke with him probably because he needed his care concerning his healthy condition.

Get Mark and bring him with you” “Mark” was the author of the Gospel of Mark and he was also named John. He departed from the group privately and returned to Jerusalem during Paul’s first journey (Acts. 13:13) and later Paul and Barnabas had contention for it and separated from each other (Acts. 15:37-39). After some years, Mark, under the teaching of Barnabas and Peter, had repented of the previous error at that time and worked with Paul again. And he was regarded highly by Paul.

“For he is useful to me for ministry” “is useful” refers to being helpful. He was able to share the work of preaching.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We could lean many spiritual lessons from the case between Paul and Mark. We should never condemn one side invariably and exalt the other side.

2) In the New Testament, the one who has the brightest spiritual light should be Paul and the one who has the best character should be Barnabas. Such two fellow-workers separate from each other for Mark, showing that it is unavoidable for men to have different opinions in the church, however, we should not hate each other for disagreement.

3) Though Paul and Barnabas did work together later, they still respected each other (See 1Cor. 9:6; Col. 4:10). Mark served the Lord with Barnabas and became a faithful and useful preacher later. It proves that Barnabas did not have the dispute because of selfishness at that time.

4) Mark was given a lesson by Paul who refused to work with him for the moment because his temporary failure. Both sides did not turn to be completely isolated from each other all their lives. It shows that believers may separate for different opinions, however, they are still concerned about each other in the Lord.

5) Mark was born in a rich family and was pampered since childhood. He could not suffer the labor of going out to serve the Lord and departed from the group halfway. But later he was trained to be a useful vessel. It shows that we could not make the final decision according to one’s temporary performance and we should never regard anyone as one who is unable to be trained.

6) Paul did not keep the record and used men according to their abilities. Regardless of whether one was his student, he greatly used him who was helpful to the work of the Lord. He was a good example of a masterbuilder.


2Tim. 4:12 “And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.

   YLT: “and Tychicus I sent to Ephesus;”

   Literal Meaning: when Paul wrote this epistle, Timothy was probably in Ephesus. And therefore he sent Tychicus to bring this epistle to Timothy and let him stay at Ephesus temporarily to replace the work of Timothy so that Timothy could go to Rome to meet Paul immediately (See v.9).


2Tim. 4:13 “Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come--and the books, especially the parchments.

   YLT: “the cloak that I left in Troas with Carpus, coming, bring thou and the books -- especially the parchments.”

   Meaning of Words: Carpus”: fruit.

   Literal Meaning: Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come” the Chinese translation of “Carpus” seems to refer to the name of a man. However, some Bible exegetes held that it could also be translated into “the cloak that I left in Troas with Carpus”. Usually “cloak” refers to the round cape which has no sleeves. It falls to the floor and there is only a small hole in its center for the head to pass through. Men could wear it around their shoulders to defend against the cold. And “Carpus” is the thing like the handwarmer and it is added to the cloak to wrap the two wrists for warm.

“And the books, especially the parchments” “the books” refers to the books made by bulrushes. Probably they were various kinds of reference books. “The parchments” refers to the documents that were more valuable and were transcribed in the sheepskin. Probably they were the scriptures of the Old Testament.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The “cloak” is for the need of the “body”; the “books” are for the need of the “soul”; the “parchments” are for the need of the “spirit”. Christians should give consideration to various kinds of needs of the spirit, the soul and the body. We should keep the balance and be thoughtful.

2) Some preachers advocate that men do not need to read any books except the Bible. Those who have said so indeed forget that: a) The spiritual giant like Paul still read books before his death. Are we more spiritual than him? b) Preachers themselves have read many books which help them to have a little foundation. How could we kick away the ladder? c) Reading the spiritual books and listening to the word are the different approaches to the same purpose. If we could “listen to” the word, why cannot we “read” the books?

3) We never graduate in reaching the Bible and books. Christians should live and learn until we meet the countenance of the Lord.


2Tim. 4:14 “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.

   YLT: “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil; may the Lord repay to him according to his works,”

   Literal Meaning: Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm.” The name of “Alexander” was also mentioned in other two places in the New Testament (Acts. 19:33; 1Tim. 1:20). However, no document could prove that the three places refer to the same person. “The coppersmith” may be related to the business of making shrines and statues for false gods at that time. “Did me much harm” probably refers to falsely incriminating Paul by rigging events or evidence when he was tried in court.

May the Lord repay him according to his works” It means that Paul was powerless to other’s unreasonable persecution and he only handed him over to the hand of the righteous Lord. However, it does not mean that Paul cursed him or hoped the Lord to punish him.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When facing the persecution of wicked ones, if the politics and the law cannot protect us, Christians have to hand them over to the hand of the gracious Lord peacefully. He is the supreme ruler of the universe and we should let Him decide for us.

2) Every one shall be “rendered” according to what he has done in this life, whether good or bad (Ps. 62:12; Prov. 24:12; Rom. 12:19).


2Tim. 4:15 “You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.

   YLT: “of whom also do thou beware, for greatly hath he stood against our words;”

   Meaning of Words: “greatly”: very, extremely, highly.

   Literal Meaning: You also must beware of him” from this we could know that Timothy’s way to Rome was perilous. Since Alexander had falsely incriminated Paul by rigging events or evidence, he could do the same to Timothy.

“For he has greatly resisted our words” this sentence has two interpretations: 1) retorting Paul’s explanation in court; 2) preaching the heresies and resisting the truth (See 3:8).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) It is said by a common saying that, “one should not do harm to others, but should always guard against the harm others might do to him”. The Lord also teaches us to beware of false prophets (Matt. 7:15) and beware of men (Matt. 10:17).

2) Working for the Lord is as sheep in the midst of wolves and therefore we should be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Matt. 10:16).


2Tim. 4:16 “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.

   YLT: “in my first defence no one stood with me, but all forsook me, (may it not be reckoned to them!)”

   Literal Meaning: At my first defense” It does not refer to the defense during Paul’s being put into the Roman prison for the first time. It refers to the defense that Paul made in the hearing when the court session was opened for the first time, after he was imprisoned for the second time.

“No one stood with me, but all forsook me” At that time many Christians hid themselves because they were afraid of being involved by the case and did not come forward to speak in defense of Paul (See 1:15). “But all forsook me” does not indicate that they all rejected the faith but that they dare not bear witness for him because they were afraid of stirring up trouble.

May it not be charged against them” It is similar to the words that the Lord and Stephen said at the point of death (Luke. 23:34; Acts. 7:60), showing that he fully received the arrangement of God’s hands and did not have regret and hatred toward men.


2Tim. 4:17 “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

   YLT: “and the Lord stood by me, and did strengthen me, that through me the preaching might be fully assured, and all the nations might hear, and I was freed out of the mouth of a lion,”

   Literal Meaning: But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me” It shows that the Lord’s presence is his source of strength.

“So that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear.” It indicates that his receiving the trail in Roman court contrarily gave him a chance to preach the gospel so that the unbelieving officials and jailors could hear the gospel (See Pill. 1:12-13).

Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion” “the mouth of the lion” is a metaphor and it refers to the extreme danger because it is illegal to throw Roman citizens to the lion for their crimes. Here the single word “the lion” probably refers to Satan.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) God will never disregard us when we suffer tribulation------no matter how tough the circumstances are and how bad the conditions are, God will still give us strength.

2) God has not promised skies always blue and flowers strewn pathways. However He has promised grace for us to keep unshakable. His presence and grace are enough for us to overcome hardship and tribulation.


2Tim. 4:18 “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

   YLT: “and the Lord shall free me from every evil work, and shall save [me] -- to his heavenly kingdom; to whom [is] the glory to the ages of the ages! Amen.”

   Meaning of Words: “Amen”: verily, trustworthy.

   Literal Meaning: And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work” “every evil work” includes:1) every evil work that a man may suffer when he lives in the flesh in the world; 2) every evil work that the wicked one (Matt. 6:13) adds to believers.

“And preserve me for His heavenly kingdom.” “His heavenly kingdom” refers to receiving the reward of the kingdom.

To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” There is a definite article before “glory” in the original, indicating that the glory is of God and it is God’s glory. It is the glory that God manifests Himself. “Forever and ever” means generation by generation and keeping on recurring ceaselessly.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When living in the world, unavoidably we may suffer every evil work which comes from the wicked one the devil. And therefore we should, according to what the Lord has taught us in person, pray to the Lord to ask Him to “deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:13). And we should also have the faith like Paul that we trust that “the Lord will deliver me (us) from every evil work”.

2) To all those who glorify God, we should glorify Him forever and ever. Many people only glorify God temporarily in their walkings and they turn to glorify themselves quickly.


2Tim. 4:19 “Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.

   YLT: “Salute Prisca and Aquilas, and Onesiphorus' household;”

   Literal Meaning: Greet Prisca and Aquila” wherever they arrived the husband and wife opened their house to take fellow-workers in (Acts. 18:1-3) for the gathering of the church (Rom. 16:3-5). At that time obviously they had moved to Ephesus again.

  In the Bible the name of the wife Prisca was placed before Aquila the husband. Probably she was spiritually stronger or played greater role in the work of the Lord (some people surmised that Aquila spent more time in making tents and doing business and he support his wife in preaching by what he had gained).

“And the household of Onesiphorus” “Onesiphorus had close relation with Paul and Paul remembered his household very much with gratitude (See 1:16-18).


2Tim. 4:20 “Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.

   YLT: “Erastus did remain in Corinth, and Trophimus I left in Miletus infirm;”

   Literal Meaning: Erastus stayed in Corinth” “Erastus” formerly was the chamberlain of the city of Corinth (Rom. 16:24) and later preached with Paul in the journeys and was sent by him (See Acts. 19:22). Probably he has been kept in Corinth.

“But Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick” “Trophimus” was also a fellow-worker of Paul in the preaching journeys. Before Paul was arrested, when he was on the way to Ephesus to meet Timothy, he was sick in Miletus which was close to Ephesus and Paul was forced to leave him in Miletus. According to the records here, Paul was probably arrested in Miletus and was escorted to Rome and therefore he hadn’t meet Timothy.


2Tim. 4:21 “Do your utmost to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren.

   YLT: “be diligent to come before winter. Salute thee doth Eubulus, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.”

   Literal Meaning: Do your utmost to come before winter.” “Do your utmost” it is the second urgency (See v.9). “Winter” it is inconvenient to travel for the climate.

“Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren” these brothers probably dare stand with Paul at that time and they were estimable.


2Tim. 4:22 “The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

   YLT: “The Lord Jesus Christ [is] with thy spirit; the grace [is] with you! Amen.”

   Literal Meaning: The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” “Your spirit” shows that in such perilous opportunity, Paul was greatly concerned with the condition in the “spirit” of Timothy (See 1:7).

Grace be with you. Amen.” “You” refers to all believers in Ephesus.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We should ask the Lord to strengthen our spirit in person so that we could stand firm for Him and fight the good fight of faith.

2) In the life of Christians, we need God’s grace at all times.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


Preaching the Word

I. Because God and Christ are gazing at us (v.1).

II. Because the word of God must be spread out (v.2).

III. Because the time when men depart from the truth will come (v.3-4).

IV. Because only when we fulfill our ministries shall we do the work of an evangelist (v.5).


The Main Points of Preaching (v.2)

I. Being ready in season and out of season;

II. With all longsuffering;

III. With teaching;

IV. Convincing, rebuking and exhorting.


Men’s Reactions to the True and False Truth

I. Men do not endure sound doctrine (v.3a).

II. Because men have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers (v.3b).

III. Men will turn their ears away from the truth (v.4a).

IV. Men are turned aside to fables (v.4b).


Paul Charged Timothy to Bring Four Things

I. “Getting Mark and bring him” (v.11)-------helping the work of preaching.

II. “Bringing the cloak that…” (v.13a)------helping the body to defend against the cold.

III. “And the books” (v.13b)------helping the mind to grow.

IV. “Especially the parchments” (v.13c)------helping the spirit to make progress.


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Sharon Ren