2TIMOTHY 1:15 COMMENTARY
|2 Timothy 1:15 You are aware (2SRAI) of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away (2PPAI) from me, among whom are (3SPAI) Phygelus and Hermogenes (NASB: Lockman)|
Amplified: You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
NLT: As you know, all the Christians who came here from the province of Asia have deserted me; even Phygelus and Hermogenes are gone. (New Living Translation - Tyndale House)
Phillips: You will know, I expect, that all those who were in Asia have turned against me, Phygelus and Hermogenes among them. (New Testament in Modern English)
Wuest: You know this, that there turned away from me all those in Asia, of whom there are Phygellus and Hermogenes. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: thou hast known this, that they did turn from me -- all those in Asia, of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes;
|YOU ARE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT: Oidas (2SRAI) touto hoti :
You are aware (1492) (oida) speaks of absolute, positive, beyond a doubt knowledge and the perfect tense indicates that Timothy had somehow become aware of this forsaking of Paul and was in a settled state of understanding. Having dealt with Timothy's responsibility to "kindle afresh the gift of God" and not to shrink back from or be ashamed of fulfilling his God-given role of retaining the standard and guarding the treasure, Paul now reinforces these exhortations with the vivid contrast between an unfaithful (ashamed) soldier & a faithful (unashamed) soldier. Paul reminds Timothy of these men with whom he was familiar that he might keep their negative example clearly in mind, as a constant "negative incentive" not to act like them.
Hiebert notes that
ALL WHO ARE IN ASIA TURNED AWAY FROM ME: apestraphesan (3PAPI) me pantes hoi en te Asia : (Torrey's Topic "Apostates")
All (pas) means "everyone" but here is used as hyperbole or sweeping generalization because Timothy for one had not deserted Paul, nor had Onesiphorus (from Asia) as shown in the following verses and neither had Tychicus (2Ti 4:12). And yet this still has to be one of the saddest verses in the NT.
Asia (cf "all who lived in Asia" Acts 19:10, 19:27 19:31 Acts 16:6; 20:16; 1Co 16:19) is not the continent of Asia but in the context of the NT times refers to the Roman province of western Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) of which Ephesus was the most prominent city (cf. 1Ti 1:3).
Vincent has a more detailed explanation of "Asia" writing that
Turned away (654) (apostrepho [word study] from apo = away from, a marker of dissociation, implying a rupture from a former association and indicates separation, departure, cessation, reversal + strepho = turn quite around, twist, reverse, turn oneself about) means literally to turn back or away
Apostrepho - 9x in 9v - Matt 5:42; 26:52; Luke 23:14; Acts 3:26; Rom 11:26; 2 Tim 1:15; 4:4; Titus 1:14; Heb 12:25. NAS = incites...to rebellion(1), put...back(1), remove(1), turn away(4), turned away (1), turning (1).
The picture is to turn away from someone or something by rejecting (turn away by not accepting, receiving, or considering) or repudiating. (refusing to have anything to do with and implies a casting off or disowning as untrue or unworthy of acceptance).
Turned away is aorist tense, indicating a past completed action and pointing to a particular circumstance or incident. Although apostrepho can refer to "doctrinal defection" (Titus 1:14-note), the present context does not necessarily indicate that has occurred. But it does indicate that "all who are in Asia" deserted Paul ("turned away from me" not necessarily "from the faith") in his hour of great need. When they should have shown him friendship, they essentially ignored him disowning any association with him. By what or whom were they caused to desert Paul? Fear of man or of Rome (especially fear of guilt by association)? Maybe both.
One named Demas left because he "loved this present world" (if we love His appearing we will have a difficult time loving the world - 2Ti 4:8 -note) more than the eternal glorious world to come (2Ti 4:10-note) Have you ever been forsaken by anyone in your hour of greatest need? I have been forsaken by one who I would pray with, both of us on our faces on the floor and yet when the time came for him to stand by me, he turned away. It devastated me and almost led to my withdrawal from active service to my Lord. If this has happened to you, dearly beloved, then you too can commiserate and empathize with the great grief and pain Paul must have felt in the dungeon when he received this word about those in Asia. "Super saints" have emotions too and are not immune to their circumstances, and this includes your pastor. Are you bearing one another's burdens? Are you praying for him? Are you an Aaron or a Hur who bore up Moses arms while Joshua fought the Amalekites?
When Jesus declared "the difficult" truth about salvation in John 6, the apostle records the sad result that "...many of His disciples (clearly not regenerate disciples) withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore." (John 6:66) It is also interesting to note the similarity of the end of Paul's life and the last hours of Christ's life (cf Mt 26:56).
The question for each of us as His disciple who are called to suffer hardship (evil) with Him is this:
AMONG WHOM ARE PHYGELUS AND HERMOGENES: estin (3SPAI) Phugelos kai Hermogenes:
Guy King comments that these two
These two are named specifically and must have represented a special disappointment to Paul. The fact that they are named specifically and without other distinguishing information suggest that they were also well known by Timothy.
What a contrast - selfish motives of these men versus the selfless motives of Onesiphorus. Two unwilling to die to self. One giving no thought to self. It is interesting that Onesiphorus' name means "help bringer", "bringing advantage", "profit bearer" or "profit bringing"! He was certainly a "profitable" friend to Paul, living up up to his name. His godly actions proved "profitable for all things," holding "promise for the present life ("mercy to the house of Onesiphorus") & also for the life to come. ("on that day" v18)" (1Ti 4:8-note)
Barnes adds that
Barclay draws a sobering application from this section noting that
2TIMOTHY 1:16 COMMENTARY
Amplified: The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chains; (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
Phillips: But may the Lord have mercy on the household of Onesiphorus. Many times did that man put fresh heart into me, and he was not in the least ashamed of my being a prisoner in chains. (Phillips: Touchstone)
NLT: May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in prison.
Wuest: The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my handcuff, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: may the Lord give kindness to the house of Onesiphorus, because many times he did refresh me, and of my chain was not ashamed,
THE LORD GRANT MERCY TO THE HOUSE OF ONESIPHORUS: doe (3SAAO) eleos o kurios to Onesiphorou oiko : (Lord - 2Ti 1:18. Ne 5:19, 13:14, 22, 31 Ps 18:25, 37:26. Mt 5:7, 10:41, 42, 25:35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40. 2Co 9:12, 13, 14. He 6:10, 10:34) (House. Metonymy of the Subject where “house” equates with his "family" - Ge 7:1. 2Ti 4:19. Ru 4:12. 2Sa 7:25, 26, 27, 28, 29. Ac 16:15)
EXAMPLE OF ONE WHO
The house of Onesiphorus - Not the literal physical house of course but the household. Paul first prays for the family of Onesiphorus.
Grant (1325) (didomi) means a granting based on a decision of the will of the Giver and not on any merit of the recipient, especially in regard to what is being granted here - mercy. This verse is a wonderful illustration of the truth "Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy." (Mt 5:7-note).
The optative mood in the NT usually indicates a prayer in this case a request for mercy (see discussion on "mercy" below). Note well that here we see Paul in dire straits himself and yet he is taking time to intercede for the needs of others (cf Acts 20:35)
Mercy (1656) (eleos) is the outward manifestation of pity and assumes need on the part of those who are recipients of the mercy and sufficient resources to meet the need on the part of those who show it.
The idea of mercy is to show kindness or concern for someone in serious need or to give help to the wretched, to relieve the miserable. Here the essential thought is that mercy gives attention to those in misery.
Wuest writes that eleos is "God’s “kindness and goodwill toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them” (Vincent). Grace meets man’s need in respect to his guilt and lost condition; mercy, with reference to his suffering as a result of that sin. (Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
Larry Richards - Originally (eleos) expressed only the emotion that was aroused by contact with a person who was suffering. By NT times, however, the concept incorporated compassionate response. A person who felt for and with a sufferer would be moved to help. This concept of mercy--as a concern for the afflicted that prompts giving help--is prominent in both the Gospels and the Epistles. (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
Vincent commenting on Luke 1:50 (see verses at end of this verse note) writes that eleos "emphasizes the misery with which grace deals; hence, peculiarly the sense of human wretchedness coupled with the impulse to relieve it, which issues in gracious ministry. Bengel remarks, “Grace takes away the fault, mercy the misery.”
Mercy for past sins; grace for future work, trial, and resistance to temptation. (Ed: see more below on distinction between mercy and grace)
The pre-Christian definitions of the word eleos include the element of grief experienced on account of the unworthy suffering of another. So Aristotle. The Latin misericordia (miser “wretched,” cor “the heart”) carries the same idea. So Cicero defines it, the sorrow arising from the wretchedness of another suffering wrongfully. Strictly speaking, the word as applied to God, cannot include either of these elements, since grief cannot be ascribed to Him, and suffering is the legitimate result of sin. The sentiment in God assumes the character of pitying love. Mercy is kindness and good-will toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them. (Vincent, M. R. Word Studies in the New Testament) (Bolding added)
In Classical Greek "eleos was used as a technical term for the end of the speech for the defence, in which the accused tried to awaken the compassion of the judges." (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)
Trench adds that "Aristotle defined eleos this way: "Let mercy [eleos] be a certain grief for an apparently destructive and painful evil toward one who experienced what was undeserved in respect to what he himself or one of his family might expect to suffer." (Trench's Synonyms of the New Testament)
Broadus writes that mercy "includes also the idea of compassion, and implies a desire to remove the evils which excite compassion. It thus denotes not only mercy to the guilty, but pity for the suffering, and help to the needy." (Broadus, J. Sermon on the Mount).
A debtor to mercy alone,
Of covenant mercy I sing;
Nor fear, with thy righteousness on,
My person and offering to bring;
The terrors of law and of God
With me can have nothing to do;
My Saviour's obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions from view.
Vincent comments on another Greek word for mercy "oiktirmos (Ed: “pity, compassion for the ills of others”), from oiktos, pity or mercy, the feeling which expresses itself in the exclamation "Oh!" on seeing another's misery. The distinction between this and eleos, according to which oiktirmos signifies the feeling, and eleos the manifestation, cannot be strictly held, since the manifestation is often expressed by oiktirmos. See Sept., Psalm 24:6; 102:4; 118:77." (Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament) (Bolding added)
Eleos- 27x in 26v in the NAS - See uses below.
One needs to distinguish between grace and mercy. Grace or Charis is God’s free gift for the forgiveness to guilty sinners whereas His mercy is the gift He gives to alleviate the consequences of our sins. Charis or grace emphasizes the free, unmerited aspect of salvation whereas mercy is in a sense the application of grace. Grace is shown to the undeserving, while mercy is compassion to the miserable. Grace is God’s solution to man’s sin. Mercy is God’s solution to man’s misery. Thus grace is especially associated with men in their sins, while mercy is usually associated with men in their misery. Grace covers the sin, while mercy removes the pain. Grace forgives, while mercy restores. Grace gives us what we don’t deserve while mercy withholds what we do deserve.
Grace is getting what we do not deserve.
In the distinction between grace and mercy, Trench adds that "While charis (grace) has reference to the sins of men, and is that glorious attribute of God which these sins call out and display, His free gift in their forgiveness, eleos (mercy) has special and immediate regard to the misery which is the consequence of these sins, being the tender sense of this misery displaying itself in the effort, which only the continued perverseness of man can hinder or defeat, to assuage and entirely remove it.… In the divine Mind, and in the order of our salvation, as conceived therein, the mercy precedes the grace: God so loved the world with a pitying love (herein was the mercy), that He gave His only begotten Son (herein is the grace), that the world through Him might be saved. But in the order of the manifestation of God’s purposes in salvation, the grace must go before, and make way for the mercy. (Trench, R. C. Synonyms of the New Testament. Hendrickson Publishers. 2000)
Eleos is often used in the Septuagint (LXX) for the Hebrew word hesed which refers to God's covenant faithful love.
Mercy includes at least three elements - recognizing the need, motivation to meet the need and taking action to meet the specific need...
Mercy says "I have the feeling of sorrow over another person's "sad" situation and I make the volitional choice to seek to do something about their need." This is mercy in action, preeminently portrayed by our Mercy Filled (Merciful) God Who sees the sad state of lost sinners, feels compassion for them (Eph 2:1-3) and acts to grant them His mercy.
Mercy is more than a feeling, but not less than that. Mercy begins with simple recognition that someone is hurting around you. But mere seeing or feeling isn’t mercy. Mercy moves from feeling to action. It is active compassion for those in need or distress.
Depth of mercy! Can there be
The Blue Letter Bible has this helpful note - Mercy is when that which is deserved is withheld to the benefit of the object of the mercy. God has demonstrated this attribute in abundance with respect to mankind. We from nearly the beginning of our existence have deserved nothing but wrath; having sinned and fallen short of eternal life in glory, we can do nothing to commend ourselves to or defend ourselves before God. But thankfully, God has been so amazing in His mercy. Over and against merely having the mercy to allow us to live out our miserable lives without destroying us instantly, God has chosen us to greatness and glory by the hand of His Son. The believer finds himself in Christ and enjoys full well the fruits of God's mercy.
Tasker - The merciful are those who are conscious that they are themselves the unworthy recipients of God’s mercy, and that but for the grace of God they would be not only sinners, but condemned sinners."
William Barclay noted the Hebrew word (hesed) for "merciful" has the idea of
Leon Morris observes
Nothing proves that we have been forgiven (received God's mercy) better than our own readiness to forgive (dispense God's mercy)!
Hiebert defines mercy as “the self-moved, spontaneous loving kindness of God which causes Him to deal in compassion and tender affection with the miserable and distressed.”
Related Resources on Mercy
Spurgeon charges us to meditate on mercy "The mercy of God." Psalm 52:8
House (3624) (oikos) literally means a place of dwelling (a home) but in the present context is used metaphorically for the household or family (cf similar use 1Ti 3:4, 5)
Dwight Edwards - In the midst of Paul's darkest hours, one light still shines brightly. That light belongs to Onesiphorus for he truly was a "brother born for adversity." In spite of personal danger and repeated sacrifice, Onesiphorus made his way to Rome and there refreshed the heart and soul of his beloved friend, Paul. Onesiphorus is an outstanding example of genuine love and true friendship. We find at least three Christ-like characteristics exemplified in his life: unconcerned for self ("he often refreshed me"), undaunted by sacrifice ("when he was in Rome he eagerly searched for me") and unceasing in expression ("you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus") Truly Onesiphorus is an outstanding example of all that Paul has been exhorting Timothy to do...Onesiphorus has been eternally etched upon the pages of Scripture for his selfless, sacrificial service. Truly it is only by losing our life for the sake of Christ that we guarantee its worth to be saved beyond the grave.
Eleos - 27x in 26v - NAS translates compassion(2), mercy(25).
Eleos - 229x in the Septuagint (often translates the Hebrew word hesed/chesed/heced) - Gen 19:19; 24:12, 14, 44, 49; 39:21; 40:14; Ex 20:6; 34:7; Num 11:15; 14:19; Deut 5:10; 7:9, 12; 13:17; Josh 2:12, 14; 11:20; Jdg 1:24; 6:17; 8:35; 21:22; Ruth 1:8; 2:20; 3:10; 1 Sam 15:6; 20:8, 14f; 2 Sam 2:5f; 3:8; 7:15; 9:1, 3, 7; 10:2; 15:20; 16:17; 22:51; 1 Kgs 2:7; 3:6; 8:23; 20:31; 1 Chr 16:34, 41; 17:13; 19:2; 2 Chr 1:8; 5:13; 6:14, 42; 7:3, 6; 20:21; 24:22; 32:32; Ezra 3:11; 7:28; 9:9; Neh 1:5; 9:32; 13:14, 22; Job 6:14; 10:12; 37:13; Ps 5:7; 6:4; 13:5; 17:7; 18:50; 21:7; 23:6; 25:6f, 10; 26:3; 31:7, 16, 21; 32:10; 33:5, 18, 22; 36:5, 7, 10; 40:10f; 42:8; 48:9; 51:1; 52:8; 57:3, 10; 59:10, 16f; 61:7; 62:11; 63:3; 66:20; 69:13, 16; 77:8; 84:11; 85:7, 10; 86:13; 88:11; 89:1f, 14, 24, 28, 33, 49; 90:14; 92:2; 94:18; 98:3; 100:5; 101:1; 103:4, 11, 17; 105:45; 106:7, 45, 48; 107:8, 15, 21, 31, 43; 108:4; 109:16, 21, 26; 115:1; 117:2; 118:2ff, 29; 119:41, 64, 76, 88, 124, 149, 159; 130:7; 135:21; 136:2ff; 138:2, 8; 141:5; 143:8, 12; 144:2; 147:11; Prov 3:16; 14:22; Isa 16:5; 45:8; 47:6; 54:7f, 10; 56:1; 60:10; 63:7, 15; 64:4; Jer 2:2; 9:24; 16:13; 32:18; 33:11; 36:7; 37:20; 38:26; 42:2, 12; Lam 3:32; Ezek 18:19, 21; Dan 1:9; 9:3f, 9, 18, 20; Hos 2:19; 4:1; 6:4, 6; 12:6; Jonah 2:8; Mic 6:8; 7:18, 20; Hab 3:2; Zech 7:9;
Eleos is used 91 times in the psalms most often for the Hebrew word for Lovingkindness (02617) hesed/chesed/heced an important OT word (246x in 239v) which is defined as not merely an attitude or an emotion but an emotion that leads to an activity beneficial to the recipient. Hesed differs somewhat from the NT meaning of eleos in that hesed is a beneficent action performed, in the context of a deep and enduring commitment between two persons or parties (it is closely associated with the concept of Covenant - see Greek word diatheke), by one who is able to render assistance to the needy party who in the circumstances is unable to help him or herself.
Some representative uses of eleos in the Septuagint...
FOR HE OFTEN REFRESHED ME: hoti pollakis me anepsuxen (3SAAI):(1Cor 16:18; Philemon 1:7 1:20)
For he often refreshed me - Don't overlook the little word often (pollakis) which means many times, again and again, time after time. It conveys a vivid picture of the ministry of Onesiphorus to Paul.
Young's literal accurately conveys the sense of the original Greek word order as "many times he did refresh me", thus placing emphasis on the "many times". Clearly Onesiphorus did not stealthily sneak in to see Paul and leave never to see him again, but he seems to have come back time after time.
Refreshed (404) (anapsucho from ana = again ~repetition + psucho = breathe, cool, wax cold) literally means to cool again, to make cool or refresh, or to experience cooling so as to recover from the effects of overheating and so to revive by fresh air. In a transitive sense it means to give someone "breathing space" and thus to refresh them, revive them or cheer them up. In the intransitive sense it means to experience relief, reviving or refreshing.
Anapsucho is used only here in the NT in a metaphorical sense to describe relief provided to Paul from the distress associated with being in prison and being forsaken by "all who are in Asia". It is as if the air conditioner was turned on in the dank dungeon when Onesiphorus came into the cell.
The related combination verb (sunanapauomai) is used by Paul in Romans 15 in which he ask the saints at Rome to pray for him...
Do you have that kind of effect on your brethren? Or do they begin to feel suffocated by your presence?
Phillips paraphrases it
Amplified renders it...
Onesiphorus' visits into the squalid conditions of the dungeon was like a "cool breeze" reviving Paul's spirit and soul.
Don't we all thank God for sending those saints who are like “a breath of fresh air” in our time of trial?
The Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the OT (Septuagint) uses the related word anapsucho to describe the "refreshing" that came over Saul whenever David would play his harp
In Exodus 23 anapsucho is used to describe the "refreshment" that was to be enjoyed on the Sabbath (rest) day...
Paul used another verb anapauo with a similar meaning to anapsucho, writing to the church at Corinth Paul said...
Onesiphorus reminds one of the proverb which says that...
Be A Friend - I received an e-mail asking if I would spend some time with an ailing pastor. The writer said, "Even pastors need to be ministered to."
She is right. Everybody needs the encouragement of a friend. Even the courageous and deeply spiritual apostle Paul drew on the support of friends as he languished in a dungeon awaiting execution. This is evident from his desire that the Lord extend special mercy to the family of a friend named Onesiphorus (2 Ti 1:16).
This man had gone to great lengths to find Paul, who was imprisoned in Rome. His visits to the apostle were a great encouragement. Paul expressed his gratitude for Onesiphorus, and he wrote, "The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day" (v.18). Since all believers will receive mercy when they stand before Christ, I believe Paul meant that God will give special recognition to those who have shown special kindness to His servants.
Many people are looking for a little encouragement from a Christian friend. A pleasant greeting, a verse from the Bible, or a simple prayer can do wonders. Onesiphorus was a special friend because he showed special kindness. Let's follow his example. —Herbert Vander Lugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Our world around us surges--duties vie
Oliver Greene writes that...
A Faithful Friend - After one of my relatives had a stroke, she needed help to get around and could no longer remember recent events. One day, my wife Ginny suggested that we take her out to dinner. I wondered if we should, because afterward she wouldn't even remember what we had done. Ginny responded, "While we are with her she will know we love her." How true!
All of us need to know we are loved. I recall the answer I received when I asked a 90-year-old shut-in how his grandchildren were doing. He said, "I don't know. I never see them."
The apostle Paul was locked in a damp Roman dungeon, awaiting execution. He couldn't help but feel hurt that many former friends had deserted him. How grateful he was for the friendship of Onesiphorus!
This man left his family and an active ministry in Ephesus to befriend Paul. When he arrived in Rome, he searched diligently to find where Paul was imprisoned (2Timothy 1:17). And he courageously visited the apostle again and again. Paul said of Onesiphorus, "He often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain" (v.16).
Remember, "A friend loves at all times," especially in adversity (Proverbs 17:17). Like Onesiphorus, let's commit ourselves to being faithful to our friends. —Herbert Vander Lugt
AND WAS NOT ASHAMED OF MY CHAINS: kai ten halusin mou ouk epaiscunth (3SAPI): (Acts 28:20; Eph 6:20-note in both these XRef's "chain" is singular)
Not (ouk) is the strongest Greek negative and expresses direct and full negation, independently and absolutely. The point is that Onesiphorus was absolutely not ashamed!
Ashamed (1870) (epaischunomai [word study] from epi = upon or used to intensify the meaning of the following word + aischunomai from aischos = disfigurement & then disgrace) means to experience a painful feeling or sense of loss of status because of some particular event or activity. It describes one's consciousness of guilt or of exposure or the fear of embarrassment that one's expectations may prove false. Epaischunomai is associated with being afraid, feeling shame which prevents one from doing something, a reluctance to say or do something because of fear of humiliation, experiencing a lack of courage to stand up for something or feeling shame because of what has been done.
This great soul Onesiphorus manifested not a single one of the characteristics of shame! This man's example illustrates and exemplifies Paul's exhortation in 2 Timothy 1:8 to...
It is interesting that the Greek word for ashamed is used only 9 times in the NT but three of those uses are in this first chapter! This observation is worth pondering.
Onesiphorus was NOT reluctant to seek and succor Paul in his distress for fear of shame or suffering. He was bold as only a man controlled by a spirit of power and love and discipline (2Ti 1:7-note) could be. Furthermore, he was unashamed of the gospel (Ro 1:16-note) for which Paul was in prison (2Ti 1:8-note).
Onesiphorus lived his life in the light (and in the power of the Light of the world) of eternity for he knew Whom he had believed and had entrusted himself to Him (cf 2Co 4:18, He 11:27-note)
Chains (254) (halusis) is "chain" singular not plural which some commentators take as evidence that he was chained to a Roman guard. Halusis is a series of interconnected (usually metallic) links intended to bind the hands or feet. Paul was handcuffed to a Roman soldier twenty-four hours a day.
Jowett has an interesting thought on Paul's "chains" writing that
Towner adds that
|The 27 NT uses of eleos...
When all thy mercies, O my God,
2TIMOTHY 1:17 COMMENTARY
Amp: but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me, and found me— (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
NJB: On the contrary, as soon as he reached Rome, he searched hard for me and found me (NJB)
Phillips: Indeed, when he was in Rome he went to a great deal of trouble to find me (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: but when he was in Rome he sought me out with more than ordinary diligence and found me. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: but being in Rome, very diligently he sought me, and found
BUT WHEN HE WAS IN ROME HE EAGERLY SEARCHED FOR ME AND FOUND ME: alla genomenos (AMPMSN) en Rome spoudaios ezetesen (3SAAI) me kai heuren (3SAAI):
MacDonald - When Onesiphorus arrived in Rome, he had at least three choices. First, he could have avoided any contact with the Christians. Secondly, he could have met with the believers secretly. Finally, he could boldly expose himself to danger by visiting Paul in prison. This would bring him into direct contact with the Roman authorities. To his everlasting credit, he chose the last policy.
Eagerly (4709) (spoudaios - see in depth study of the related verb form spoudazo) pertains to being quick in doing something with focus on the importance of what is done. What a word picture providing us a glimpse into the character of Onesiphorus who searched for Paul earnestly, diligently, promptly, zealously or as Phillips phrases it - "he went to a great deal of trouble to find me".
Zeal is like fire; in the chimney it is one of the best servants, but out of the chimney it is one of the worst masters. -- Thomas Brooks
Searched (2212) (zeteo) means to try to learn location of something, often by movement from place to place in the process of searching and includes the idea of attempting to learn something by careful investigation. Again we see that Onesiphorus' search for Paul was not an afterthought but his primary objective. The fact that he had to search for Paul eagerly strongly supports that this episode Paul describes here is a different imprisonment than that in Acts 28 in which
The clear implication is that in this imprisonment Paul was difficult to find.
"Found" (heurisko) means to come upon something or learn the location of something or someone after a purposeful search.
The NT makes several allusions to ministering to the needs of those suffering imprisonment for the cause of Christ: "I was in prison & you came to Me" Mt 25:36; "you showed sympathy to the prisoners" Heb 10:34;
2TIMOTHY 1:18 COMMENTARY
Amplified: the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day—and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
Phillips: may the Lord grant he finds his mercy in that day! - and you well know in how many ways he helped me at Ephesus as well. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: The Lord grant to him to find mercy in the presence of and from the Lord in that day. And in how many things he served me in Ephesus, you know by experience better [than I]. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: may the Lord give to him to find kindness from the Lord in that day; and how many things in Ephesus he did minister thou dost very well know.
THE LORD GRANT TO HIM TO FIND MERCY FROM THE LORD ON THAT DAY: doe (3SAAO) auto o kurios heurein (AAN) eleos para kuriou en ekeine te hemera:
The Lord grant - This phrase introduces another intercessory prayer.
It is interesting that some commentaries state that Onesiphorus was obviously dead (a "fact" that would be difficult to prove from the NT verses) and then go one step further and use this verse (v16) to justify the unscriptural practice of praying for the dead.
Rosscup - Some decide that mention of the household and not Onesiphorus in v. 16 infers that the man had died (so many Roman Catholic writers, and Protestants such as G. Fee and T. Lea). On the other hand, many regard this as arbitrary, and consider it more natural that Paul simply prays for the entire household, then turns a special focus on the leading individual (so H. Kent, H. Moule, E. K. Simpson, J. R. W. Stott, W. Hendriksen, J. MacArthur). It seems more convincing to view Paul as thinking that Onesiphorus is still in the present life. First, separate mention of the household and the man can be not due to his death but the distance between them at the time. Paul still is in Rome and they in far away Ephesus (2Ti 4:19). Second, it is quite natural to wish blessing on the household too, for they evidently supported expressions which Onesiphorus on their behalf extended to Paul. After referring to the household, the apostle explains (Gr. gar, “for”) the household’s participation by adducing what “he” did to refresh Paul and to show that “he” was not ashamed of the prisoner’s chains. This does not suggest his death, but his devotion in delivering that in which the entire household shared. Third, the wish-prayer need no more assume death than the prayer for the opposite dealing (judgment) when God some day repays the evil Alexander suggests that Alexander had already died (2Ti 4:14). And have those died for whom Paul prayerfully seeks God’s mercy after they forsook him (2Ti 4:16)? Fourth, prayer wishes for the Lord’s blessing are frequent for those yet alive, as in the many prayers at the beginnings and the ends of epistles (cf. also 2Th 3:16). This is as the brief prayer burdens of Jesus, “Father, forgive them” (Lk. 23:34), and Stephen, “Lay not this sin to their charge” (Acts 7:60) are for those yet alive. (An Exposition on Prayer)
Spurgeon - This good man is here immortalized. When he risked his life to find out and succour a poor despised prisoner, he little knew that he would live for ever on the page of the church's history. His cup of cold water given to an apostle has received an apostle's reward. Are there any yet alive like Paul to whom we might minister in love after the manner of Onesiphorus?
Stripp'd of my earthly friends,
Mercy (1656) (eleos) is the outward manifestation of pity. Mercy refers to the outward manifestation of pity and assumes need on the part of those who receive it and sufficient resources to meet the need on the part of those who show it.
Eleos assumes need on the part of him who receives it and resources adequate ("God being rich in mercy" - see note Ephesians 2:4) to meet need on part of Him (God) Who bestows it. The idea is to show kindness or concern for someone in serious need or to give help to the wretched, to relieve the miserable. Here the essential thought is that mercy gives attention to those in misery.
Rosscup explains mercy in this context first asking "What does Paul mean by the mercy? It is for those of the household, and for Onesiphorus, that their eternal destiny will be in blessing. Salvation in Paul’s conception is by grace (Titus 2:13), of mercy even in his own case (1Ti 1:13), and not by works (Titus 3:5). Good works express the presence of true life from God, grace authentically active in the life (Titus 2:13ff; 3:5 cp. with Titus 3:1, 8, 14). Good fruit reflects the inner possession of eternal life, a gift, and being set apart to God in reality that will lead on to the final goal, eternal life in its final, greater fullness (Ro 6:22). The good works in 2Ti 1:16, 18 reflect the spiritual reality of output in believers. To pray for future mercy for true believers is to ask that God grant what His own Word often declares is His will. This is the ultimate fruition of His certain promise. It is to pray in cooperation with His mind. The mercy also, more particularly, can be the specific role of reward God will give as equitable in the case of each believer (1 Cor. 3:8, 14–15; 2 Cor. 5:10; Eph. 6:8). In the final realm of general facets of blessedness that all the saved enjoy (Rev. 21:1—22:5), God does plan degrees of differentiated reward that fit each believer’s varying case, as Jesus illustrates in servants having roles with distinctive differences, in unity (Lk. 19:12–27). Paul appears to have the same essential idea in gradations of special reward (1Cor. 3:8). (An Exposition on Prayer)
As Matthew Henry aptly observes "the best Christians will want mercy in that day" and so "the best thing we can seek, either for ourselves or our friends, is that the Lord will grant to them that they may find mercy of the Lord in that day, when they must pass out of time into eternity, and exchange this world for the other, and appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2Cor 5:10, Ro 14:10, 1Cor 3:10-15): the Lord then grant unto all of us that we may find mercy of the Lord in that day". As the psalmist reminds us all "If Thou, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou may be feared." (Ps 130:3, Ps 130:4)
In the context of that day (found here and in 2Ti 1:12, 4:8) is an allusion to the day in which our Lord Jesus Christ sits as Righteous Judge of the deeds of His saints (2Cor 5:10, Ro 14:10, etc). It was a frequent wish on the part of the apostles that their converts might receive "receive a full reward" at the Bema Seat of Christ and that they might "not lose what (the apostles had) accomplished" (2 John 8, cf 1Co 3:14; 4:5).
If the love of God sets us to work,
Work for the Lord.
AND YOU KNOW VERY WELL WHAT SERVICES HE RENDERED AT EPHESUS: kai hosa en Epheso diekonesen (3SAAI), beltion su ginoskeis (2SPAI): (Lu 8:3; Heb 6:10)
Wuest nicely picks up this meaning "And in how many things he served me in Ephesus, you know by experience better [than I]."
Services...rendered (1247) (diakoneo - derivation uncertain - cp diakonis = in the dust laboring or running through the dust or possibly diako = to run on errands; see also study of related noun - diakonia) means to minister by way of rendering service in any form or to take care of by rendering humble service.
Diakoneo gives us our English words diaconate (an official body of deacons) and deacon.
The root word diakonos refers to one who serves as a waiter upon tables performing menial duties (see below Matt 8:15; 20:28; 27:55; Mark 1:31; 10:45; 15:41; Luke 4:39; 10:40; 12:37; 17:8; 22:26, 27; John 12:2). Diakoneo conveys the basic idea of personal service, and depending on the context can mean specifically to serve, to wait on, to see after or to care for someone's needs by performing a service (conveying the sense that help is provided to the one being served - see Mt 4:11, 25:44, Mark 1:13).
Note that some NT uses convey the sense of distributing alms (charitable donations of money or food to relief the poor) (see Ro 15:25; money referred to as "grace" or charis in 2 Cor. 8:19, 20). In this sense diakoneo refer to someone simply administrating a task, such as the collection.
The group of words related to diakoneo (diakonia, diakonos) word group differs the other Greek word group, douleuo (doulos) which also means to serve, in that the former word group connotes “service” on behalf of someone while the latter speaks of “service” as a slave under or subordinate to someone (as a bondservant or bondslave to the “lord” or “master”). As Richards says...
John Calvin said that...
TDNT writes that...
Richards writes that...
Bridges rightly observes that...
A good picture of the meaning of diakoneo is depicted by Peter's mother-in-law who was healed by Jesus
Were it not for Paul’s letter, we would never know that Onesiphorus had served Paul and the church. But the Lord knew and will reward him and He will reward you for your faithful service “on that day”
See Torrey's Topic Reward of Saints
Diakoneo is used 38 times (see below) in the NT in the NASB (5x Mt; 4x Mk; 7x Lu; 2x Jn; 2x Acts; 1x Ro; 3x 2Co; 2x 1Ti; 1x 2Ti; 1x Phile; 1x Heb; 3x 1Pe) and is translated as: administered, 1; administration, 1; cared, 1; contributing...support, 1; do...the serving, 1; employ...in serving, 1; minister, 3; ministered, 2; ministering, 3; servant, 1; serve, 4; serve as deacons, 1; served, 2; served as deacons, 1; serves, 5; services...rendered, 1; serving, 4; take care, 1; wait, 1; waited, 3. There are surprisingly no uses in the Septuagint (LXX).
Augustine said that...
Here are the 38 uses of diakoneo in the NT which (along with select uses of the noun diakonia) reveal how we can serve others and what "ministry" involves -- caring for those in prison (Mt 25:44), serving tables (i.e., meeting physical needs) (Acts 6:2), teaching the Word of God (the noun diakonia in Acts 6:4), giving money to meet others' needs (2 Co 8:20), and all the service offered by Christians to others to build them up in faith (the noun diakonia in Ephesians 4:12 "or the equipping of the saints for the work of service" ). Although Paul and other apostles are called ministers, and although there was the office of deacon in the early church, there is a sense in which every believer is a minister and is to use his or her gifts to serve others as exemplified by the summation of spiritual gifts in 1 Peter 4:10, and 4:11.
There are several synonyms used in the NT to describe service or ministry.