SUMMARY.--Prayers for Rulers. The Will of God that All Should Be Saved. How Men Must Pray. Concerning the Dress of Women at Worship. Concerning Women Teaching.
1, 2. I exhort, first of all. This chapter contains some directions concerning public worship. Paul probably means that, first in order, prayers should be offered for all men, etc. So says Conybeare and Howson, and many others. Thus should the worship open. Supplications, prayers, intercessions. It is difficult to distinguish between these three words. "Perhaps the idea in 'supplication' is that of want; in 'prayers' that of solemn devotion, and in 'intercessions' that of individual petitions to God."--Plumptree. 2. For kings, and for all that are in authority. For all rulers over us. This duty is not dependent on the righteousness of the rulers. The Roman emperors were intensely wicked. Jews were enjoined to pray for their heathen rulers (Jer. 29:7; Ezra 6:10). That we may lead, etc. The special object of these prayers is that the earthly rulers may be so overruled that Christians shall live and worship in peace. Wars, seditions and persecutions would be injurious to the saints.
3, 4. For this. This custom of praying for rulers. Our prayers should be as comprehensive as the will of God to save. 4. Who will have all men to be saved. The Scriptures uniformly represent it as the divine will that all should come to life. But he does not will to save men irrespective of the conditions of salvation. They must, in order to be saved, come to a knowledge of the truth. In other words, must hear, receive, and obey the gospel.
5-7. For there is one God. One God of all men, not many gods. Hence the One God desires equally the salvation of all his creatures. And one mediator. For all men. The gospel scheme is universal. The man, Christ Jesus. Taking upon himself manhood in order to be the Savior of all men. 6. Who gave himself a ransom for all. Not for an elect nation, like the Jews, or for the elect individuals arbitrarily selected, but for all men. All men have been redeemed by his blood, if they will accept the ransom. To be testified. The testimony, or preaching of this ransom, was to be given at due seasons. 7. Whereunto. To testify of this ransom. I am ordained a preacher. Appointed a herald. See margin of Revision. An apostle. An apostle also, with the authority of an apostle. I speak the truth. The Judaizers denied his apostleship. Hence this special affirmation.
8. I will therefore that men pray everywhere. This refers back to verse 1. Everywhere. In all places of public worship. Lifting up holy hands. This seems to indicate an attitude in prayer. The hands lifted up must be sanctified to holy deeds. Without wrath and doubting. Wrath would unfit for prayer. So would doubt; but the word rendered "doubt," is better rendered "disputing," as in the Revision.
9, 10. In like manner, that women also. When they come to the public worship, let them not spend their thoughts in adorning their bodies, but adorn themselves in modest apparel. In simple attire which not attract attention. With shamefacedness. A shrinking from all that is indelicate. Sobriety. Self-restraint; not yielding to vain impulses. Not with braided hair. The Gentile women were much given to arranging the hair in plaits over the head, with bands of gold. Such vain and idle show at worship is forbidden, as well as the wearing of pearls, or costly array. At the house of God a display is not comely. Compare 1 Peter 3:3. 10. But. There is another adorning which better becomes godly women. Let their lives be adorned by kindly, helpful deeds.
11-15. Let the women learn in silence. In the public worship on the Gentile churches the teaching was confined to the men. For a discussion of the reasons, see notes on 1 Cor. 14:33-36, where the same directions are given. With all subjection. Submission to the authorized teachers of the church. 12. I suffer not a woman to teach. To become an authorized teacher of the church, a work confined to the presbyters. Nor to usurp authority. Authoritative teaching and ruling were united. 13. Some reasons drawn from the story of man in Eden are given for these rules. It will be seen that Paul regards these events as shadowing forth spiritual lessons. Adam was first formed. Man came in order before woman. 14. And Adam was not deceived. It was man who was first created, but woman who first led into the transgression. For these reasons a burden was laid on women which is spoken of in the next verse. 15. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing. Rather, through childbearing. Work was laid upon the fallen man; the pains of childbearing on the fallen woman. The apostle means here, that women will be saved in the line of their duties, and that those duties are domestic rather than public. There surely is no recommendation of the celibacy of monasticism. Possibly, too, another thought still may be alluded to. The first woman was assured that her seed should bruise the serpent's head. It was woman's glory that one of her sex was chosen to be the mother of our Lord. Thus through childbearing the Savior of all men comes into the world. If they continue. Domestic duties will not save unless to these are added the graces of a holy life.