1 Timothy 2


Prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving, must be made for all

men; because God wills that all should be saved, 1-4.

There is but one God and one Mediator, 5-7.

How men should pray, 8.

How women should adorn themselves, 9, 10.

They are not suffered to teach, nor to nor to usurp authority

over men, 11-14.

How they may expect to be saved in child-bearing, 15.


Verse 1. I exhort-that, first of all] Prayer for the pardon

of sin, and for obtaining necessary supplies of grace, and

continual protection from God, with gratitude and thanksgiving

for mercies already received, are duties which our sinful and

dependent state renders absolutely necessary; and which should be

chief in our view, and first of all performed. It is difficult

to know the precise difference between the four words used here

by the apostle. They are sometimes distinguished thus:-

Supplications] δεησεις. Prayers for averting evils of every


Prayers] προσευχας. Prayers for obtaining the good things,

spiritual and temporal, which ourselves need.

Intercessions] εντευξεις. Prayers in behalf of others.

Giving of thanks] ευχαριστιας. Praises to God, as the parent

of all good, for all the blessings which we and others have

received. It is probable that the apostle gives directions here

for public worship; and that the words may be thus paraphrased:

"Now, I exhort first of all that, in the public assemblies,

deprecations of evils, and supplications for such good things as

are necessary, and intercessions for their conversion, and

thanksgiving for mercies, be offered in behalf of all men-for

heathens as well as for Christians, and for enemies as well as

for friends." See Macknight.

Verse 2. For kings] As it is a positive maxim of Christianity

to pray for all secular governors, so it has ever been the

practice of Christians. When St. Cyprian defended himself before

the Roman proconsul, he said: Hunc (Deum) deprecamur-pro nobis et

pro omnibus hominibus; et pro incolumitate ipsorum Imperatorum.

"We pray to God, not only for ourselves, but for all mankind, and

particularly for the emperors."

Tertullian, in his Apology, is more particular: Oramus pro

omnibus Imperatoribus, vitam illis prolixam, imperium securum,

domum tutam, exercitus fortes, senatum fidelem, populum probum,

orbem quietum, et quaecunque hominis et Caesaris vota sunt.

Apol., cap. 30. "We pray for all the emperors, that God may

grant them long life, a secure government, a prosperous family,

vigorous troops, a faithful senate, an obedient people; that the

whole world may be in peace; and that God may grant, both to

Caesar and to every man, the accomplishment of their just


So Origen: ευχομεθατουςβασιλειςκαιαπχονταςμετατης


Cont. Cels., lib. viii. "We pray for kings and rulers, that with

their royal authority they may be found possessing a wise and

prudent mind." Indeed they prayed even for those by whom they

were persecuted. If the state be not in safety, the individual

cannot be secure; self-preservation, therefore, should lead men to

pray for the government under which they live. Rebellions and

insurrections seldom terminate even in political good; and even

where the government is radically bad, revolutions themselves are

most precarious and hazardous. They who wish such commotions

would not be quiet under the most mild and benevolent government.

That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life] We thus pray for

the government that the public peace may be preserved. Good

rulers have power to do much good; we pray that their authority

may be ever preserved and well directed. Bad rulers have power

to do much evil; we pray that they may be prevented from thus

using their power. So that, whether the rulers be good or bad,

prayer for them is the positive duty of all Christians; and the

answer to their prayers, in either ease, will be the means of

their being enabled to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all

godliness and honesty.

Verse 3. This is good and acceptable] Prayer for all legally

constituted authorities is good in itself, because useful to

ourselves and to the public at large, and it is acceptable in the

sight of God our Saviour; and this is its highest sanction and

its highest character: it is good; it is well pleasing to God.

Verse 4. Who will have all men to be saved] Because he wills

the salvation of all men; therefore, he wills that all men should

be prayed for. In the face of such a declaration, how can any

Christian soul suppose that God ever unconditionally and

eternally reprobated any man? Those who can believe so, one

would suppose, can have little acquaintance either with the

nature of GOD, or the bowels of Christ.

And to come unto the knowledge of the truth] The truth-the

Gospel of Christ, should be proclaimed to them; and it is the

duty of all who know it, to diffuse it far and wide, and when it

is made known, then it is the duty of those who hear it to

acknowledge and receive it. This is the proper import of the

original word, that they may come, ειςεπιγνωσιναληθειας, to the

acknowledgment of the truth-that they may receive it as the

truth, and make it the rule of their faith, the model and

director of their life and actions.

Verse 5. There is one God] Who is the maker, governor, and

preserver of all men, of every condition, and of every nation,

and equally wills the salvation of all.

And one mediator] The word μεσιτης, mediator, signifies,

literally, a middle person, one whose office it is to reconcile

two parties at enmity; and hence Suidas explains it by

ειρηνοποιος, a peace-maker. God was offended with the crimes of

men; to restore them to his peace, Jesus Christ was incarnated;

and being God and man, both God and men met in and were

reconciled by him. But this reconciliation required a sacrifice

on the part of the peace-maker or mediator; hence what follows.

Verse 6. Who gave himself a ransom] The word λυτρον

signifies a ransom paid for the redemption of a captive; and

αντιλυτρον, the word used here, and applied to the death of

Christ, signifies that ransom which consists in the exchange of

one person for another, or the redemption of life by life;

or, as Schleusner has expressed it in his translation of these

words, Qui morte sua omnes liberavit a vitiositatis vi et poenis,

a servitute quassi et miseria peccatorum. "He who by his death

has redeemed all from the power and punishment of vice, from the

slavery and misery of sinners." As God is the God and father of

all, (for there is but one God, 1Ti 2:5,) and Jesus Christ the

mediator of all, so he gave himself a ransom for all; i.e., for

all that God made, consequently for every human soul; unless we

could suppose that there are human souls of which God is not the

Creator; for the argument of the apostle is plainly this: 1.

There is one God; 2. This God is the Creator of all; 3. He has

made a revelation of his kindness to all; 4. He will have all men

to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth; and 5. He

has provided a mediator for all, who has given himself a ransom

for all. As surely as God has created all men, so surely has

Jesus Christ died for all men. This is a truth which the nature

and revelation of God unequivocally proclaim.

To be testified in due time.] The original words, τομαρτυριον

καιροιςιδιοις, are not very clear, and have been understood

variously. The most authentic copies of the printed Vulgate have

simply, Testimonium temporibus suis; which CALMET translates:

Rendant ainsi temoignage au tems marqu�; "Thus rendering

testimony at the appointed time." Dr. MACKNIGHT thus: Of which

the testimony is in its proper season. WAKEFIELD thus: "That

testimony reserved to its proper time" ROSENMULLEN: Haec est

doctrina, temporibus suis reservata. "This is the doctrine which

is reserved for its own times;" that is, adds he, quoe suo

tempore in omni terrarum orbe tradetur, "the doctrine which in

its own time shall be delivered to all the inhabitants of the

earth." Here he translates μαρτυριον, doctrine; and contends

that this, not testimony, is its meaning, not only in this

passage, but in 1Co 1:6; 2:1, &c. Instead of μαρτυριον,

testimony, one MS., Cod. Kk., vi. 4, in the public library,

Cambridge, has, μυστηριον, mystery; but this is not acknowledged

by any other MS., nor by any version. In D*FG the whole clause is

read thus: ουτομαρτυριονκαιροιςιδιοιςεδοθη. The testimony

of which was given in its own times. This is nearly the reading

which was adopted in the first printed copies of the Vulgate. One

of them now before me reads the passage thus: Cujus testimonium

temporibus suis confirmatum est. "The testimony of which is

confirmed in its own times." This reading was adopted by Pope

Sixtus V., in the famous edition published by him; but was

corrected to the reading above, by Pope Clement VIII. And this

was rendered literally by our first translator: Whos witnessinge

is confermyd in his timis. This appears to be the apostle's

meaning: Christ gave himself a ransom for all. This, in the

times which seemed best to the Divine wisdom, was to be testified

to every nation, and people, and tongue. The apostles had begun

this testimony; and, in the course of the Divine economy, it has

ever since been gradually promulgated; and at present runs with a

more rapid course than ever.

Verse 7. I am ordained a preacher] I am set apart, ετεθην,

appointed. The word does not imply any imposition of hands by

either bishop or presbytery, as is vulgarly supposed.

I speak the truth in Christ] As I have received my commission

from him, so I testify his truth. I did not run before I was

sent; and I speak nothing but what I have received.

A teacher of the Gentiles] Being specially commissioned to

preach the Gospel, not to the Jews, but to the nations of the


In faith and verity.] Faithfully and truly; preaching the

TRUTH, the whole TRUTH, and nothing but the TRUTH; and this

fervently, affectionately, and perseveringly.

Instead of ενπιστει, in faith, the Cod. Alexand. has εν

πνευματι, in spirit. "A teacher of the Gentiles in spirit and


Verse 8. I will therefore] Seeing the apostle had his

authority from Christ, and spoke nothing but what he received

from him, his βουλομαι, I will, is equal to I command.

That men pray] That is, for the blessings promised in this

testimony of God. For, although God has provided them, yet he

will not give them to such as will not pray.

See Clarke on 1Ti 2:1,

the subject of which is here resumed.

Everywhere] εςπαντιτοπω. In every place. That they should

always have a praying heart, and this will ever find a praying

place. This may refer to a Jewish superstition. They thought,

at first, that no prayer could be acceptable that was not offered

at the temple at Jerusalem; afterward this was extended to the

Holy Land; but, when they became dispersed among the nations,

they built oratories or places of prayer, principally by rivers

and by the seaside; and in these they were obliged to allow that

public prayer might be legally offered, but nowhere else. In

opposition to this, the apostle, by the authority of Christ,

commands men to pray everywhere; that all places belong to God's

dominions; and, as he fills every place, in every place he may be

worshipped and glorified. As to ejaculatory prayer, they allowed

that this might be performed standing, sitting, leaning, lying,

walking by the way, and during their labour. Beracoth, fol.

xi. 1. And yet in some other places they teach differently. See


Lifting up holy hands] It was a common custom, not only among

the Jews, but also among the heathens, to lift up or spread

out their arms and hands in prayer. It is properly the action

of entreaty and request; and seems to be an effort to embrace the

assistance requested. But the apostle probably alludes to the

Jewish custom of laying their hands on the head of the animal

which they brought for a sin-offering, confessing their sins, and

then giving up the life of the animal as an expiation for the sins

thus confessed. And this very notion is conveyed in the original

term επαιροντας, from αιρω to lift up, and επι, upon or

over. This shows us how Christians should pray. They should

come to the altar; set God before their eyes; humble themselves

for their sins; bring as a sacrifice the Lamb of God; lay their

hands on this sacrifice; and by faith offer it to God in their

souls' behalf, expecting salvation through his meritorious death


Without wrath] Having no vindictive feeling against any

person; harbouring no unforgiving spirit, while they are

imploring pardon for their own offences.

The holy hands refer to the Jewish custom of washing their

hands before prayer; this was done to signify that they had put

away all sin, and purposed to live a holy life.

And doubting.] διαλογισμου or διαλογισμων, as in many MSS.,

reasonings, dialogues. Such as are often felt by distressed

penitents and timid believers; faith, hope, and unbelief

appearing to hold a disputation and controversy in their own

bosoms, in the issue of which unbelief ordinarily triumphs. The

apostle therefore wills them to come, implicitly relying on the

promises of God, and the sacrifice and mediation of Jesus Christ.

Verse 9. In like manner also] That is, he wills or commands

what follows, as he had commanded what went before.

That women adorn themselves] καιταςγοναικαςεςκαταστολη

κοαμιω. The apostle seems to refer here to different parts of

the Grecian and Roman dress. The στολη, stola, seems to have

been originally very simple. It was a long piece of cloth,

doubled in the middle, and sewed up on both sides, leaving room

only for the arms; at the top, a piece was cut out, or a slit

made, through which the head passed. It hung down to the feet,

both before and behind, and was girded with the zona round the

body, just under the breasts. It was sometimes made with,

sometimes without, sleeves; and, that it might sit the better, it

was gathered on each shoulder with a band or buckle. Some of the

Greek women wore them open on each side, from the bottom up above

the knee, so as to discover a part of the thigh. These were

termed φαινομηριδες, showers (discoverers) of the thigh; but it

was, in general, only young girls or immodest women who wore them


The καταστολη seems to have been the same as the pallium or

mantle, which, being made nearly in the form of the stola, hung

down to the waist, both in back and front, was gathered on the

shoulder with a band or buckle, had a hole or slit at top for the

head to pass through, and hung loosely over the stola, without

being confined by the zona or girdle. Representations of these

dresses may be seen in LENS' Costume des Peuples de l'Antiquit�,

fig. 11, 12, 13, and 16. A more modest and becoming dress than

the Grecian was never invented; it was, in a great measure,

revived in England about the year 1805, and in it, simplicity,

decency, and elegance were united; but it soon gave place to

another mode, in which frippery and nonsense once more prevailed.

It was too rational to last long; and too much like religious

simplicity to be suffered in a land of shadows, and a world of

painted outsides.

With shamefacedness and sobriety] The stola, catastola,

girdle, &c., though simple in themselves, were often highly

ornamented both with gold and precious stones; and, both among

the Grecian and Roman women, the hair was often crisped and

curled in the most variegated and complex manner. To this the

apostle alludes when he says: μηενπλεγμασινηχρυσωη

μαργαριταιςηιματισμωπολυτελει. Not with plaited hair, or

gold, or pearls, or costly raiment. The costly raiment might

refer to the materials out of which the raiment was made, and to

the workmanship; the gold and pearls, to the ornaments on

the raiment.

With shame-facedness or modesty, μετααιδους. This would lead

them to avoid every thing unbecoming or meretricious in the mode

or fashion of their dress.

With sobriety, μετασωφροσυνης. Moderation would lead them to

avoid all unnecessary expense. They might follow the custom or

costume of the country as to the dress itself, for nothing was

ever more becoming than the Grecian stola, catastola, and zona;

but they must not imitate the extravagance of those who, through

impurity or littleness of mind, decked themselves merely to

attract the eye of admiration, or set in lying action the tongue

of flattery. Woman has been invidiously defined: An animal fond

of dress. How long will they permit themselves to be thus


Those beautiful lines of Homer, in which he speaks of the

death of Euphorbus, who was slain by Menelaus, show how anciently

the Grecians plaited and adorned their hair:-





II. xvii., ver. 49.

Wide through the neck appears the ghastly wound;

Prone sinks the warrior, and his arms rebound.

The shining circlets of his golden hair,

Which e'en the Graces might be proud to wear,

Instarr'd with gems and gold bestrew the shore,

With dust dishonour'd, and deform'd with gore.


Or thus, more literally:-

Sounding he fell; loud rang his batter'd arms.

His locks, which e'en the Graces might have own'd,

Blood sullied, and his ringlets wound about

With twine of gold and silver, swept the dust.


The extravagance to which the Grecian and Asiatic women went

in their ornaments might well be a reason for the apostle's


Kypke, however, denies that any particular article of dress is

intended here, and says that καταστολη is to be understood as

coming from καταστελλω, to restrain, repress; and he refers it to

that government of the mind, or moderation which women should

exercise over their dress and demeanour in general, and every

thing that may fall under the observation of the senses. All

this, undoubtedly, the apostle had in view.

When either women or men spend much time, cost, and attention

on decorating their persons, it affords a painful proof that

within there is little excellence, and that they are endeavoring

to supply the want of mind and moral good by the feeble and silly

aids of dress and ornament. Were religion out of the question,

common sense would say in all these things: Be decent; but be

moderate and modest.

Verse 10. But (which becometh, &c.] That is: Good works are

the only ornaments with which women professing Christianity

should seek to be adorned. The Jewish matrons were accustomed to

cry to the bride: "There is no need of paint, no need of

antimony, no need of braided hair; she herself is most

beautiful." The eastern women use a preparation of antimony,

which they apply both to the eyes and eyelids, and by which the

eye itself acquires a wonderful lustre.

Verse 11. Let the woman learn in silence] This is generally

supposed to be a prohibition of women's preaching. I have

already said what I judge necessary on this subject in the notes

on "1Co 11:5", &c., and 1Co 14:34, 35; to which places I beg leave

to refer the reader.

Verse 12. Nor to usurp authority] A woman should attempt

nothing, either in public or private, that belongs to man as his

peculiar function. This was prohibited by the Roman laws: In

multis juris nostri articulis deterior est conditio foeminarum

quam masculorun,; l. 9, PAP. LIB. 31, QUAEST. Foeminoe ab

omnibus officiis civilibus vel publicis remotae sunt; et ideo nec

judicis esse possunt, nec magistratum gerere, nec postulare, nec

pro alio invenire, nec procuratores existere; l. 2, de Reg.

Juris. ULP. LIB. i. AD SAB.-Vid. POTH. Pand. Justin., vol. i.

p. 13.

"In our laws the condition of women is, in many respects, worse

than that of men. Women are precluded from all public offices;

therefore they cannot be judges, nor execute the function of

magistrates; they cannot sue, plead, nor act in any case, as

proxies. They were under many other disabilities, which may be

seen in different places of the Pandects.

But to be in silence.] It was lawful for men in public

assemblies to ask questions, or even interrupt the speaker when

there was any matter in his speech which they did not understand;

but this liberty was not granted to women.

See the note on 1Co 14:34, 35.

Verse 13. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.] And by this

very act God designed that he should have the pre-eminence. God

fitted man, by the robust construction of his body, to live a

public life, to contend with difficulties, and to be capable of

great exertions. The structure of woman's body plainly proves

that she was never designed for those exertions required in

public life. In this the chief part of the natural inferiority

of woman is to be sought.

Verse 14. Adam was not deceived] It does not appear that

Satan attempted the man; the woman said: The serpent beguiled me,

and I did eat. Adam received the fruit from the hand of his

wife; he knew he was transgressing, he was not deceived; however,

she led the way, and in consequence of this she was subjected to

the domination of her husband: Thy desire shall be to thy

husband, and he shall rule over thee; Ge 3:16. There is a Greek

verse, but it is not English law, that speaks a language nearly

similar to that above:-


For nature suffers not a woman's rule.

God has not only rendered her unfit for it, but he has subjected

her, expressly, to the government of the man.

Verse 15. She shalt be saved in child-bearing] σωθησεταιδε

διατηςτεκνογονιας. She shall be saved through

child-bearing-she shall be saved by means, or through the

instrumentality, of child-bearing or of bringing forth a child.

Amidst the different opinions given of the meaning of this very

singular text, that of Dr. Macknight appears to me the most

probable, which I shall give in his paraphrase and note.

"However, though Eve was first in the transgression, and

brought death on herself, her husband, and all her posterity, the

female sex shall be saved (equally with the male) through

child-bearing-through bringing forth the Saviour, if they live in

faith, and love, and chastity, with that sobriety which I have

been recommending.

"The word σωθησεται, saved, in this verse refers to ηγυνη,

the woman, in the foregoing verse, which is certainly EVE. But

the apostle did not mean to say that she alone was to be saved

through child-bearing, but that all her posterity, whether male

or female, are to be saved through the child-bearing of a woman;

as is evident from his adding, If they live in faith and love and

holiness, with sobriety. For safety in child-bearing does not

depend on that condition at all; since many pious women die in

child-bearing, while others of a contrary character are

preserved. The salvation of the human race, through

child-bearing, was intimated in the sentence passed on the

serpent, Ge 3:15:

I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed

and her seed. It shall bruise thy head. Accordingly, the Saviour

being conceived in the womb of his mother by the power of the Holy

Ghost, he is truly the seed of the woman who was to bruise the

head of the serpent; and a woman, by bringing him forth, has been

the occasion of our salvation." This is the most consistent

sense, for in the way in which it is commonly understood it does

not apply. There are innumerable instances of women dying in

child-bed who have lived in faith and charity and holiness, with

sobriety; and equally numerous instances of worthless women,

slaves to different kinds of vices, who have not only been saved

in child-bearing, but have passed through their travail with

comparatively little pain; hence that is not the sense in which we

should understand the apostle. Yet it must be a matter of great

consolation and support, to all pious women labouring of child, to

consider that, by the holy virgin's child-bearing, salvation is

provided for them and the whole human race; and that, whether they

die or live, though their own child-bearing can contribute nothing

to their salvation, yet he who was born of a woman has purchased

them and the whole human race by his blood.

If they continue] εανμεινωσιν is rightly translated, if they

live; for so it signifies in other passages, particularly

Php 1:25.

The change in the number of the verb from the singular to the

plural, which is introduced here, was designed by the apostle

to show that he does not speak of Eve; nor of any particular

woman, but of the whole sex. See Macknight.

Without faith it is impossible to please God, or to be saved;

and without love it will be impossible to obey. FAITH and LOVE

are essentially necessary to holiness and sobriety; and unless

both men and women live in these, they cannot, scripturally,

expect to dwell with God for ever. Some foolish women have

supposed, from this verse, that the very act of bringing forth

children shall entitle them to salvation; and that all who die in

childbed infallibly go to glory! Nothing can be more unfounded

than this; faith, love, holiness, and sobriety, are as

absolutely requisite for the salvation of every daughter of Eve,

as they are for the salvation of every son of Adam. Pain and

suffering neither purify nor make atonement. On the mercy of

God, in Christ, dispensing remission of sins and holiness, both

men and women may confidently rely for salvation; but on nothing

else. Let her that readeth understand.

On the subject of dress I will conclude in the words of a late

writer: "What harm does it do to adorn ourselves with gold, or

pearls, or costly array, suppose we can afford it? The first

harm it does is, it engenders pride; and, where it is already,

increases it. Nothing is more natural than to think ourselves

better because we are dressed in better clothes. One of the old

heathens was so well apprised of this, that when he had a spite

to a poor man, and had a mind to turn his head; he made him a

present of a suit of fine clothes.

Eutrapelus cuicunque nocere volebat,

Vestimenta dabat pretiosa.

He could not then but imagine himself to be as much better, as

he was finer, than his neighbour; inferring the superior value of

his person from the value of his clothes."-Rev. J. Wesley's


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