Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
DIRECTION AS TO
1. therefore--taking up again the general subject of the Epistle in
"What I have therefore to say to thee by way of a charge
(1Ti 1:3, 18),
that, first of all . . . be made--ALFORD takes it, "I exhort first of all to make."
"First of all," doubtless, is to be connected with "I exhort"; what I
begin with (for special reasons), is . . . As the
destruction of Jerusalem drew near, the Jews (including those at
Ephesus) were seized with the dream of freedom from every yoke; and so
virtually "'blasphemed" (compare
God's name by "speaking evil of dignities"
Hence Paul, in opposition, gives prominence to the injunction that
prayer be made for all men, especially for magistrates
[OLSHAUSEN]. Some professing Christians looked
down on all not Christians, as doomed to perdition; but Paul says
all men are to be prayed for, as Christ died for all
supplications--a term implying the suppliant's sense of need, and of his own insufficiency.
intercessions--properly the coming near to God with childlike
confidence, generally in behalf of another. The accumulation of
terms implies prayer in its every form and aspect, according to all the
relations implied in it.
2. For kings--an effectual confutation of the adversaries who accused
the Christians of disaffection to the ruling powers
all . . . in authority--literally, "in eminence"; in stations of
eminence. The "quiet" of Christians was often more dependent on
subordinate rulers, than on the supreme king; hence, "all . . . in
authority" are to be prayed for.
that we may lead--that we may be blessed with such good government
as to lead . . . ; or rather, as Greek, "to pass" or "spend."
The prayers of Christians for the government bring down from heaven
peace and order in a state.
quiet--not troubled from without.
peaceable--"tranquil"; not troubled from within
[OLSHAUSEN]. "He is peaceable (Greek) who makes no
disturbance; he is quiet (Greek) who is himself free from
in all godliness--"in all (possible . . . requisite)
piety" [ALFORD]. A distinct Greek word,
(Tit 2:2, 7),
"decorum," or propriety of conduct. As "piety" is in relation to
God, "gravity" is propriety of behavior among men. In the Old
Testament the Jews were commanded to pray for their heathen rulers
The Jews, by Augustus' order, offered a lamb daily for the Roman
emperor, till near the destruction of Jerusalem. The Jewish Zealots,
instigated by Eleazar, caused this custom to cease
[JOSEPHUS, Wars of the Jews, 2.17], whence
the war originated, according to JOSEPHUS.
3. this--praying for all men.
in the sight of God--not merely before men, as if it were their
favor that we sought
our Saviour--a title appropriate to the matter in hand. He who is
"our Saviour" is willing that all should be saved
therefore we should meet the will of God in behalf of others, by
praying for the salvation of all men. More would be converted if we
would pray more. He has actually saved us who believe, being
"our Saviour." He is willing that all should be saved, even
those who do not as yet believe, if they will believe (compare
4. "Imitate God." Since He wishes that all should be saved, do you
also wish it; and if you wish it, pray for it. For prayer is the
instrument of effecting such things
[CHRYSOSTOM]. Paul does not say, "He
wishes to save all"; for then he would have saved all in matter
of fact; but "will have all men to be saved," implies the possibility of
man's accepting it (through God's prevenient grace) or rejecting it
(through man's own perversity). Our prayers ought to include all, as God's grace included all.
to come--They are not forced.
unto the knowledge--Greek, "the full knowledge" or
"recognition" (See on
the truth--the saving truth as it is in, and by, Jesus
(Joh 17:3, 17).
5. For there is one God--God's unity in essence and
purpose is a proof of His comprehending all His human children alike
(created in His image) in His offer of grace (compare the same argument
from His unity,
therefore all are to be prayed for.
is proved from
from 1Ti 2:4.
The one God is common to all
The one Mediator is mediator between God and all men potentially
Eph 4:5, 6;
Heb 8:6; 9:15; 12:24).
They who have not this one God by one Mediator, have none: literally, a
"go-between." The Greek order is not "and one mediator,"
but "one mediator also between . . . While God will
have all men to be saved by knowing God and the Mediator, there is a
legitimate, holy order in the exercise of that will wherewith men ought
to receive it. All mankind constitute, as it were, ONE
MAN before God [BENGEL].
the man--rather "man," absolutely and genetically: not a mere
individual man: the Second Head of humanity, representing and
embodying in Himself the whole human race and nature. There is no
"the" in the Greek. This epithet is thus the strongest corroboration
of his argument, namely, that Christ's mediation affects the whole race,
since there is but the one Mediator, designed as the Representative Man
for all men alike (compare
His being "man" was necessary to His being a Mediator, sympathizing
with us through experimental knowledge of our nature
Heb 2:14; 4:15).
Even in nature, almost all blessings are conveyed to us from God, not
immediately, but through the mediation of various agents. The effectual
intercession of Moses for Israel
and De 9:1-29);
of Abraham for Abimelech
of Job for his friends
the mediation being PRESCRIBED by God while
declaring His purposes of forgiveness: all prefigure the grand
mediation for all by the one Mediator. On the other hand,
asserts that He was also God.
6. gave himself--
Not only the Father gave Him for us
but the Son gave Himself
ransom--properly of a captive slave. Man was the captive slave
of Satan, sold under sin. He was unable to ransom himself, because
absolute obedience is due to God, and therefore no act of ours can
satisfy for the least offense.
allowed one sold captive to be redeemed by one of his brethren. The Son
of God, therefore, became man in order that, being made like unto us in
all things, sin only excepted, as our elder brother He should redeem us
1Pe 1:18, 19).
The Greek implies not merely ransom, but a
substituted or equivalent ransom: the Greek
preposition, "anti," implying reciprocity and vicarious
for all--Greek, "in behalf of all": not merely for a
privileged few; compare
the argument for praying in behalf of all is given here.
to be testified--Greek, "the testimony (that which was to be
in its own due times," or seasons, that is, in the times
appointed by God for its being testified of
The oneness of the Mediator, involving the universality of redemption
(which faith, however, alone appropriates), was the great subject of
Christian testimony [ALFORD]
(1Co 1:6; 2:1;
7. Whereunto--For the giving of which testimony.
I am ordained--literally, "I was set": the same Greek, as
"putting me," &c.
(1Co 1:21; 9:27; 15:11;
He recurs to himself, as in
in himself a living pattern or announcement of the
Gospel, so here "a herald and teacher of (it to) the Gentiles"
The universality of his commission is an appropriate assertion here,
where he is arguing to prove that prayers are to be made "for
I speak the truth . . . and lie not--a strong asseveration of his
universal commission, characteristic of the ardor of the apostle,
exposed to frequent conflict
in faith and verity--rather, "in the faith and the
truth." The sphere in which his ministry was appointed to be exercised
was the faith and the truth
the Gospel truth, the subject matter of the faith
8. I will--The active wish, or desire, is meant.
that men--rather as Greek, "that the men," as
distinguished from "the women," to whom he has something different to
say from what he said to the men
1Co 11:14, 15; 14:34, 35).
The emphasis, however, is not on this, but on the precept of
praying, resumed from
everywhere--Greek, "in every place," namely, of public
"In every place . . . from the rising of the sun even
unto the going down of the same . . . incense shall be
offered unto My name"; and Jesus' words,
Joh 4:21, 23.
lifting up holy hands--The early Christians turned up their palms
towards heaven, as those craving help do. So also Solomon
The Jews washed their hands before prayer
Paul figuratively (compare
uses language alluding to this custom here: so
Isa 1:15, 16.
The Greek for "holy" means hands which have committed no
impiety, and observed every sacred duty. This (or at least
the contrite desire to be so) is a needful qualification for effectual
(Ps 24:3, 4).
without wrath--putting it away
(Mt 5:23, 24; 6:15).
doubting--rather, "disputing," as the Greek is translated in
Such things hinder prayer
BENGEL supports English Version (compare an
9, 10. The context requires that we understand these directions as
to women, in relation to their deportment in public worship, though
the rules will hold good on other occasions also.
in modest apparel--"in seemly guise"
[ELLICOTT]. The adjective means properly.
orderly, decorous, becoming; the noun in secular writings means
conduct, bearing. But here "apparel." Women are apt to love fine
dress; and at Ephesus the riches of some
would lead them to dress luxuriously. The Greek in
is a more general term meaning "deportment."
shamefacedness--TRENCH spells this word
according to its true derivation, "shamefastness" (that which is made
fast by an honorable shame); as "steadfastness" (compare
1Ti 2:11, 12).
[ALFORD]. Habitual inner self-government
[TRENCH]. I prefer
ELLICOTT'S translation, "sober-mindedness": the
well-balanced state of mind arising from habitual self-restraint.
braided hair--literally, "plaits," that is, plaited hair: probably
with the "gold and pearls" intertwined
Such gaud is characteristic of the spiritual harlot
10. professing--Greek, "promising": engaging to follow.
with good works--The Greek preposition is not the same as in
"by means of," or "through good works." Their adorning is to be
effected by means of good works: not that they are to be clothed
in, or with, them
Works, not words in public, is their province
(1Ti 2:8, 11, 12;
Works are often mentioned in the Pastoral Epistles in order to
oppose the loose living, combined with the loose doctrine, of the false
teachers. The discharge of everyday duties is honored with the
designation, "good works."
11. learn--not "teach"
She should not even put questions in the public assembly
with all subjection--not "usurping authority"
She might teach, but not in public
Paul probably wrote this Epistle from Corinth, where the precept
was in force.
12. usurp authority--"to lord it over the man"
[ALFORD], literally, "to be an autocrat."
13. For--reason of the precept; the original order of creation.
Adam . . . first--before Eve, who was created
(1Co 11:8, 9).
14. Adam was not deceived--as Eve was deceived by the
serpent; but was persuaded by his wife.
"hearkened unto . . . voice of . . . wife." But in
Eve says, "The serpent beguiled me." Being more easily deceived,
she more easily deceives [BENGEL],
Last in being, she was first in sin--indeed, she alone was
deceived. The subtle serpent knew that she was "the weaker
He therefore tempted her, not Adam. She yielded to the temptations of
sense and the deceits of Satan; he, to conjugal love.
Hence, in the order of God's judicial sentence, the serpent, the prime
offender, stands first; the woman, who was deceived, next; and the man,
persuaded by his wife, last
(Ge 3:14-19). In
Adam is represented as the first transgressor; but there no reference
is made to Eve, and Adam is regarded as the head of the sinning race.
Hence, as here,
woman's "subjection" is represented as the consequence of her being
being deceived--The oldest manuscripts read the compound
Greek verb for the simple, "Having been seduced by
deceit": implying how completely Satan succeeded in
was in the transgression--Greek, "came to be in the
transgression": became involved in the existing state of transgression,
literally, "the going beyond a command"; breach of a positive precept
15. be saved in childbearing--Greek, "in (literally,
'through') (her, literally, 'the') child-bearing."
Through, or by, is often so used to express not the
means of her salvation, but the circumstances
AMIDST which it has place. Thus
"He . . . shall be saved: yet so as by (literally,
'through,' that is, amidst) fire": in spite of the fiery ordeal
which he has necessarily to pass through, he shall be saved. So
here, "In spite of the trial of childbearing which she passes
through (as her portion of the curse,
'in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children'), she shall be
saved." Moreover, I think it is implied indirectly that the very
curse will be turned into a condition favorable to her salvation, by
her faithfully performing her part in doing and suffering what God has
assigned to her, namely, child-bearing and home duties,
her sphere, as distinguished from public teaching, which is not
hers, but man's
(1Ti 2:11, 12).
In this home sphere, not ordinarily in one of active duty for advancing
the kingdom of God, which contradicts the position assigned to her by
God, she will be saved on the same terms as all others, namely, by
living faith. Some think that there is a reference to the Incarnation
"through THE child-bearing" (Greek), the
bearing of the child Jesus. Doubtless this is the ground of women's
child-bearing in general becoming to them a blessing, instead of
a curse; just as in the original prophecy
(Ge 3:15, 16)
the promise of "the Seed of the woman" (the Saviour) stands in closest
connection with the woman's being doomed to "sorrow" in "bringing forth
children," her very child-bearing, though in sorrow,
being the function assigned to her by God whereby the Saviour was born.
This may be an ulterior reference of the Holy Spirit in this verse; but
the primary reference required by the context is the one above given.
"She shall be saved ([though] with childbearing)," that is, though
suffering her part of the primeval curse in childbearing; just as a man
shall be saved, though having to bear his part, namely, the sweat of
if they, &c.--"if the women (plural, taken out of 'the woman,'
which is put for the whole sex) continue," or more literally,
"shall (be found at the judgment to) have continued."
faith and charity--the essential way to salvation
Faith is in relation to God. Charity, to our fellow man.
Sobriety, to one's self.
sobriety--"sober-mindedness" (see on
as contrasted with the unseemly forwardness reproved in
Mental receptivity and activity in family life were recognized in
Christianity as the destiny of woman. One reason alleged here by Paul,
is the greater danger of self-deception in the weaker sex, and the
spread of errors arising from it, especially in a class of addresses in
which sober reflectiveness is least in exercise
[NEANDER]. The case
was doubtless in private, not in public.