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2 Timothy 4:14 – BibleTools.info

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2 Timothy 4:14

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Alexander the coppersmith - We are not to understand this of any tradesman, but of some rabbin; for it was not unusual for the Jews to apply the name of some trade as an epithet to their rabbins and literary men. He is, in all probability, the very same mentioned Acts 19:33; (note); and it is not unlikely that he may have been the same whom the apostle was obliged to excommunicate, 1 Timothy 1:20.

The Lord reward him - Αποδῳη αυτῳ ὁ Κυριος· But instead of αποδῳη, which has here the power of a solemn imprecation, αποδωσει, he will reward, is the reading of the very best MSS., several of the versions, and some of the chief Greek fathers. This makes the sentence declaratory: The Lord Will reward him according to his works. This reading is most like the spirit and temper of this heavenly man. See 2 Timothy 4:16.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Alexander the coppersmith - Or, rather, “the brazier” - ὁ χαλκεύς ho chalkeusThe word is used, however, to denote a worker in any kind of metals. This is probably the same person who is mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20, and perhaps the same as the one mentioned in Acts 19:33; see the notes on 1 Timothy 1:20.

Did me much evil - In what way this was done, is not mentioned. If this is the same person who is referred to in 1 Timothy 1:20, it is probable that it was not evil to Paul personally, so much as embarrassment to the cause of religion which he advocated; compare 2 Timothy 2:17-18.

The Lord reward him according to his works; - compare the notes at 1 Timothy 1:20. This need not be regarded as an expression of private feeling; still less should it be understood as expressing a desire of revenge. It is the language of one who wished that God would treat him exactly as he ought to be treated, and might be in accordance with the highest benevolence of any heart. It is the aim of every just government that every one should be treated exactly as he deserves; and every good citizen should desire and pray that exact justice may be done to all. It is the business of a police officer to ferret out the guilty, to bring them to trial, to secure a just sentence; and any police officer might “pray,” with the utmost propriety, that God would assist him in his endeavors, and enable him to perform his duty. This might be done with no malevolent feeling toward any human being, but with the purest love of country, and the most earnest desire for the welfare of all.

if such a police officer, or if a judge, or a juryman, were heard thus to pray, who would dare to accuse him of having a vindictive spirit, or a malevolent heart? And why should Paul be so charged, when his prayer amounts to no more than this? For it remains yet to be proved that he refers to any private wrong which Alexander had done him, or that he was actuated by any other desire than that the sacred interests of truth should be guarded, and equal justice done to all. Why is it wrong to desire or to pray that universal justice may be done, and that every man may be treated as, under all the circumstances of the case, he ought to be treated? On the subject of the “Imprecations in the Scriptures,” the reader may consult an article in the Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. 1, pp. 97-110. It should be added here, that some manuscripts, instead of ἀποδῴη apodōē“may the Lord reward,” read it in the future - ἀποδώσει , “will reward.” See Wetstein. The future is also found in the Vulgate, Coptic, and in Augustine, Theodoret, and Chrysostom. Augustine says (on the Sermon on the Mount), “He does not say, may he reward (reddat); but, he will reward (reddet), which is a verb of prophecy, not of imprecation. The authority, however, is not sufficient to justify a change in the present reading. These variations have doubtless arisen from a belief that the common reading expresses a sentiment inconsistent with the true spirit of a Christian, and a desire to find a better. But there is no reason for “desiring” a change in the text.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
There is as much danger from false brethren, as from open enemies. It is dangerous having to do with those who would be enemies to such a man as Paul. The Christians at Rome were forward to meet him, Ac 28, but when there seemed to be a danger of suffering with him, then all forsook him. God might justly be angry with them, but he prays God to forgive them. The apostle was delivered out of the mouth of the lion, that is, of Nero, or some of his judges. If the Lord stands by us, he will strengthen us in difficulties and dangers, and his presence will more than supply every one's absence.
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 294

The tumult in the theater was continually increasing. “Some ... cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.” The fact that Paul and some of his companions were of Hebrew extraction made the Jews anxious to show plainly that they were not sympathizers with him and his work. They therefore brought forward one of their own number to set the matter before the people. The speaker chosen was Alexander, one of the craftsmen, a coppersmith, to whom Paul afterward referred as having done him much evil. 2 Timothy 4:14. Alexander was a man of considerable ability, and he bent all his energies to direct the wrath of the people exclusively against Paul and his companions. But the crowd, seeing that Alexander was a Jew, thrust him aside, and “all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” AA 294.1

At last, from sheer exhaustion, they ceased, and there was a momentary silence. Then the recorder of the city arrested the attention of the crowd, and by virtue of his office obtained a hearing. He met the people on their own ground and showed that there was no cause for the present tumult. He appealed to their reason. “Ye men of Ephesus,” he said, “what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshiper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter? Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly. For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another. But if ye inquire anything concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse. And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.” AA 294.2

In his speech Demetrius had said, “This our craft is in danger.” These words reveal the real cause of the tumult at Ephesus, and also the cause of much of the persecution which followed the apostles in their work. Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen saw that by the teaching and spread of the gospel the business of image making was endangered. The income of pagan priests and artisans was at stake, and for this reason they aroused against Paul the most bitter opposition. AA 295.1

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