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1 Timothy 6:10

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For the love of money is the root of all evil - That is, of all kinds of evil. This is evidently not to be understood as literally true, for there are evils which cannot, be traced to the love of money - the evils growing out of ambition, and intemperance, and debasing lusts, and of the hatred of God and of goodness. The expression here is evidently a popular saying - “all sorts of evils grow out of the love of money.” Similar expressions often occur in the classic writers; see Wetstein, in loc, and numerous examples quoted by Priceaus. Of the truth of this, no one can doubt. No small part of the crimes of the world can be traced to the love of gold. But it deserves to be remarked here, that the apostle does not say that “money is the root of all evil,” or that it is an evil at all. It is the “love” of it which is the source of evil.

Which while some coveted after - That is, some who were professing Christians. The apostle is doubtless referring to persons whose history was known to Timothy, and warning him, and teaching him to warn others, by their example.

They have erred from the faith - Margin, “been seduced.” The Greek is, they have been led astray from; that is, they have been so deceived as to depart from the faith. The notion of deception or delusion is in the word, and the sense is, that, deceived by the promises held out by the prospect of wealth, they have apostatized from the faith. It is not implied of necessity that they were ever real Christians. They have been led off from truth and duty, and from all the hopes and joys which religion would have imparted.

And pierced themselves through with many sorrows - With such sorrows as remorse, and painful reflections on their folly, and the apprehension of future wrath. Too late they see that they have thrown away the hopes of religion for that which is at best unworthy the pursuit of an immortal mind; which leads them on to a life of wickedness; which fails of imparting what it promised when its pursuit is successful, and which, in the great majority of instances, disappoints its votaries in respect to its attainment. The word rendered “pierced themselves through” - περιέπειραν periepeiran- occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, and is a word whose force and emphasis cannot be well expressed in a translation. It is from πείρω peirōand is made more emphatic by the addition of the preposition περι periThe word πείρω peirōmeans, properly, “to pierce through from one end to another,” and is applied to meat that is “pierced through” by the spit when it is to be roasted (Passow); then it means to pierce through and through. The addition of the preposition περι perito the word, conveys the idea of doing this “all round;” of piercing everywhere. It was not a single thrust which was made, but they are gashed all round with penetrating wounds. Such is the effect on those who cast off religion for the sake of gold. None can avoid these consequences who do this. Every man is in the hands of a holy and just God, and sooner or later he must feel the effects of his sin and folly.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Those that make a trade of Christianity to serve their turn for this world, will be disappointed; but those who mind it as their calling, will find it has the promise of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come. He that is godly, is sure to be happy in another world; and if contented with his condition in this world, he has enough; and all truly godly people are content. When brought into the greatest straits, we cannot be poorer than when we came into this world; a shroud, a coffin, and a grave, are all that the richest man in the world can have from all his wealth. If nature should be content with a little, grace should be content with less. The necessaries of life bound a true Christian's desires, and with these he will endeavour to be content. We see here the evil of covetousness. It is not said, they that are rich, but they will be rich; who place their happiness in wealth, and are eager and determined in the pursuit. Those that are such, give to Satan the opportunity of tempting them, leading them to use dishonest means, and other bad practices, to add to their gains. Also, leading into so many employments, and such a hurry of business, as leave no time or inclination for spiritual religion; leading to connexions that draw into sin and folly. What sins will not men be drawn into by the love of money! People may have money, and yet not love it; but if they love it, this will push them on to all evil. Every sort of wickedness and vice, in one way or another, grows from the love of money. We cannot look around without perceiving many proofs of this, especially in a day of outward prosperity, great expenses, and loose profession.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The love of money is the root of all evil - Perhaps it would be better to translate παντων των κακων, of all these evils; i.e. the evils enumerated above; for it cannot be true that the love of money is the root of all evil, it certainly was not the root whence the transgression of Adam sprang, but it is the root whence all the evils mentioned in the preceding verse spring. This text has been often very incautiously quoted; for how often do we hear, "The Scripture says, Money is the root of all evil!" No, the Scripture says no such thing. Money is the root of no evil, nor is it an evil of any kind; but the love of it is the root of all the evils mentioned here.

While some coveted after - Ορεγομενοι· Insatiably desiring.

Have erred from the faith - Απεπλανηθησαν· Have totally erred - have made a most fatal and ruinous departure from the religion of Christ.

And pierced themselves through with many sorrows - The word περιεπειραν signifies to be transfixed in every part; and is an allusion to one of those snares, παγιδα, mentioned 1 Timothy 6:9, where a hole is dug in the earth, and filled full of sharp stakes, and, being slightly covered over with turf, is not perceived; and whatever steps on it falls in, and is pierced through and through with these sharp stakes, the οδυναις πολλαις, the many torments, mentioned by the apostle. See on 1 Timothy 6:9; (note).

Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 121

Parents should exercise the right that God has given them. He entrusted to them the talents He would have them use to His glory. The children were not to become responsible for the talents of the father. While they have sound minds and good judgment, parents should, with prayerful consideration, and with the help of proper counselors who have experience in the truth and a knowledge of the divine will, make disposition of their property. If they have children who are afflicted or are struggling in poverty, and who will make a judicious use of means, they should be considered. But if they have unbelieving children who have abundance of this world, and who are serving the world, they commit a sin against the Master, who has made them His stewards, by placing means in their hands merely because they are their children. God's claims are not to be lightly regarded. 3T 121.1

And it should be distinctly understood that because parents have made their will, this will not prevent them from giving means to the cause of God while they live. This they should do. They should have the satisfaction here, and the reward hereafter, of disposing of their surplus means while they live. They should do their part to advance the cause of God. They should use the means lent them by the Master to carry on the work which needs to be done in His vineyard. 3T 121.2

The love of money lies at the root of nearly all the crimes committed in the world. Fathers who selfishly retain their means to enrich their children, and who do not see the wants of the cause of God and relieve them, make a terrible mistake. The children whom they think to bless with their means are cursed with it. 3T 121.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 237-47

The young should cultivate a spirit of devotion and piety. They cannot glorify God unless they constantly aim to attain unto the fullness of the stature of Christ—perfection in Christ Jesus. Let the Christian graces be and abound in you. Give to your Saviour your best and holiest affections. Render entire obedience to His will. He will accept nothing short of this. Be not moved from your steadfastness by the jeers and scoffs of those whose minds are given to vanity. Follow your Saviour through evil as well as good report; count it all joy, and a sacred honor, to bear the cross of Christ. Jesus loves you. He died for you. Unless you seek to serve Him with your undivided affections, you will fail to perfect holiness in His fear, and you will be compelled to hear at last the fearful word, Depart. 2T 237.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 479

The works of those men who have an insane love for riches show that it is not possible for them to serve two masters, God and mammon. Money is their god. They yield homage to its power. They serve the world to all intents and purposes. Their honor, which is their birthright, is sacrificed for worldly gain. This ruling power controls their minds, and they will violate the law of God to serve personal interests, to increase their earthly treasure. 3T 479.1

Many may profess the religion of Christ who love not and heed not the letter or principles of Christ's teachings. They give the best of their strength to worldly pursuits and bow down to mammon. It is alarming that so many are deceived by Satan and their imaginations excited by their brilliant prospects of worldly gain. They become infatuated with the prospect of perfect happiness if they can gain their object in acquiring honor and wealth in the world. Satan tempts them with the alluring bribe, “All this will I give thee,” all this power, all this wealth, with which you may do a great amount of good. But when the object for which they have labored is gained, they do not have that connection with the self-denying Redeemer which would make them partakers of the divine nature. They hold to their earthly treasures and despise the self-denial and self-sacrifice required for Christ. They have no desire to part with the dear earthly treasures upon which their hearts are set. They have exchanged masters; they have accepted mammon in the place of Christ. Mammon is their god, and mammon they serve. 3T 479.2

Satan has secured to himself the worship of these deceived souls through their love of riches. The change has been so imperceptibly made, and Satan's power is so deceptive, so wily, that they are conformed to the world and perceive not that they have parted with Christ and are no longer His servants except in name. 3T 479.3

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 212

Those who are suffering reverses are represented by the bush that Moses saw in the desert, which, though burning, was not consumed. The angel of the Lord was in the midst of the bush. So in deprivation and affliction the brightness of the presence of the Unseen is with us to comfort and sustain. Often prayer is solicited for those who are suffering from illness or adversity; but our prayers are most needed by the men entrusted with prosperity and influence. MH 212.1

In the valley of humiliation, where men feel their need and depend on God to guide their steps, there is comparative safety. But the men who stand, as it were, on a lofty pinnacle, and who, because of their position, are supposed to possess great wisdom—these are in greatest peril. Unless such men make God their dependence, they will surely fall. MH 212.2

The Bible condemns no man for being rich, if he has acquired his riches honestly. Not money, but the love of money, is the root of all evil. It is God who gives men power to get wealth; and in the hands of him who acts as God's steward, using his means unselfishly, wealth is a blessing, both to its possessor and to the world. But many, absorbed in their interest in worldly treasures, become insensible to the claims of God and the needs of their fellow men. They regard their wealth as a means of glorifying themselves. They add house to house, and land to land; they fill their homes with luxuries, while all about them are human beings in misery and crime, in disease and death. Those who thus give their lives to self-serving are developing in themselves, not the attributes of God, but the attributes of the wicked one. MH 212.3

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