SUMMARY.--False Teachers Predicted. Enemies of the Truth Described. Paul's Life Known to Timothy. His Example Commended. The Holy Scriptures.
1-5. In the last days. In the last ages of the world. The expression is often used of the gospel dispensation. Perilous times. Grievous, times of distress. 2. For men shall be. Some of the characteristics of men in that period are given. Such men probably exist in all ages, but at the time referred to by Paul they shall be in the predominance. Lovers of their own selves. Selfish. 3. Truce-breakers. "Implacable," in Revision. Those who will not make or keep peace. 4. Heady. Headstrong. Lovers of pleasures. Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. 5. Having a form of godliness. This implies that the persons described professed to be religious, worshipers of God in outward form. A godless church is described. Denying the power. Rejecting its power. Their lives are not moulded by it. From such turn away. This implies that some of this formal, godless religion had begun to show itself even at that time.
6, 7. This sort are they. Men of this sort are they who form a party by creeping into houses and by their seductive influences lead silly women captive. Not the sensible, pious women, but silly women already laden with sins. Hence, easily led away. 7. Ever learning. Listening with greedy ears to every one that comes along, but never learning anything.
8, 9. As Jannes and Jambres. These were the traditional names of the Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses. See Exod. 7:11. Paul adopts these names in referring to them. As these opposed Moses, so do the false teachers just described oppose the truth. These names are found in a Jewish Targum on Exod. 7:11, and 22:11. Reprobate. Have abandoned the faith. 9. They shall proceed no further. They shall be exposed, and their folly revealed to prevent them from further success. As Jannes and Jambres could not stand before Moses, these men shall fail before the truth.
10-13. Thou didst follow my teaching (Revision). Timothy had known his teaching and manner of life, and followed it. 11. Persecutions . . . at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra. See Acts, chapters 13, 14. These persecutions befell Paul in the part of Asia where Timothy was reared, and hence he would be familiar with all. Out of them all the Lord delivered me. Hence, let Timothy cheerfully suffer, if need be, and trust the Lord. 12. All that will live godly. In that age persecution was inseparable from a devoted Christian life. The same has been true, to a certain extent, in all ages. If the church was less worldly it would be more persecuted. 13. Evil men and seducers. The men who hate the church shall become worse and worse. Seducers. Enchanters, men who lead astray.
14-17. Continue thou. Refusing to heed the evil men, continue in the truth. Knowing of whom thou hast learned them. Of pious parents first, but more especially of Paul. 15. And that from a child. Taught by his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice, he had learned to know the Scriptures from childhood. Holy Scriptures. The Books given by inspiration. The Jewish Scriptures are primarily meant, but a part of the New Testament was already written. Make thee wise. Give thee the wisdom that leads to salvation. If the Old Testament could make him wise, how much more the New! Through faith which is in Christ Jesus. This is essential. Unless the Scriptures lead to Christ, there is no salvation. 16. All Scripture. The Revision is much better. "Every Scripture inspired of God is also profitable," etc. Whether it is, depends on its inspiration. For instance, the Apocrypha is called Scripture, but is not inspired. For doctrine. For teaching. 17. That the man of God. The preacher. See 1 Tim. 6:11; 1 Kings 13:1; 2 Kings 6:6. May be perfect. Fully fitted for his work. The sense is "complete." Thoroughly furnished. Fully equipped. If he is master of the Holy Scriptures, he is so equipped. If this was true when Paul wrote, with only a part of the New Testament written, with what emphasis may it be said now when we have both the Old and New Testaments in full!