Friday, February 12, 2010

2 Timothy 4:19-22

V19-22 – 19Greet Priscilla [or Prisca] and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers. 22The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

Paul’s conclusion is typical; he issues personal greetings and a benediction of grace. Apparently from v19, Priscialla and Aquila, who were good friends and partners of Paul throughout his ministry, were back in Ephesus at this time. They had originally remained in Ephesus when Paul was itinerant and then moved to Rome. Onesiphorus was mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:16 for his compassion toward Paul, and Paul, having already asked for mercy toward his household, wants to greet them one last time. He mentions Erastus (Acts 19:22; Romans 16:23), and Trophimus, who was from Ephesus. (Acts 20:4; 21:29; possibly 2 Corinthians 8:19-22). Miletus was a coastal port south of Ephesus.

In v21, Paul urges Timothy to “get here before winter.” Paul needed his cloak (v13), and if Timothy waited too long, it would be impossible for him to sail from Ephesus to Rome due to the weather. Also, if he delayed too long, he may miss the opportunity to say goodbye to Paul, whose death was certainly imminent. Paul names several people, likely from Rome, who sent greetings to Timothy. Linus is worth mentioning, since, according to Catholic tradition, he succeeded Peter as Bishop of Rome, head elder there, or more formally, Pope. Finally, the “your” in v22 is singular, referring to Timothy, but the “you” in v22 is plural, revealing possibly that even this letter, so personal in nature, was intended for more eyes and ears than solely those of Paul’s protégé.

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