on 1-timothy 1 :20
Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander - Who had the faith but thrust it away; who had a good conscience through believing, but made shipwreck of it. Hence we find that all this was not only possible, but did actually take place, though some have endeavored to maintain the contrary; who, confounding eternity with a state of probation, have supposed that if a man once enter into the grace of God in this life, he must necessarily continue in it to all eternity. Thousands of texts and thousands of facts refute this doctrine.
Delivered unto Satan - For the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. See what is noted on 1 Corinthians 5:5; what this sort of punishment was no man now living knows. There is nothing of the kind referred to in the Jewish writings. It seems to have been something done by mere apostolical authority, under the direction of the Spirit of God.
Hymeneus, it appears, denied the resurrection, see 2 Timothy 2:17, 2 Timothy 2:18; but whether this Alexander be the same with Alexander the coppersmith, 2 Timothy 4:14, or the Alexander, Acts 19:33, cannot be determined. Probably, he was the same with the coppersmith. Whether they were brought back to the acknowledgment of the truth does not appear. From what is said in the second epistle the case seems extremely doubtful. Let him who most assuredly standeth, take heed lest he fall.
He that is self-confident is already half fallen. He who professes to believe that God will absolutely keep him from falling finally, and neglects watching unto prayer, is not in a safer state. He who lives by the moment, walks in the light, and maintains his communion with God, is in no danger of apostasy.
on 1-timothy 1 :20
Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander - Hymeneus is nowhere else mentioned in the New Testament, except in 2 Timothy 2:17, where he is mentioned in connection with Philetus as a very dangerous man. An Alexander is mentioned in Acts 19:33, which some have supposed to be the same as the one referred to here. It is not certain, however, that the same person is intended; see the notes on that verse. In 2 Timothy 4:14, Alexander the coppersmith is mentioned as one who had done the apostle "much evil," and there can be little doubt that he is the same person who is referred to here. One of the doctrines which Hymeneus held was, that the "resurrection was past already" 2 Timothy 2:18; but what doctrine Alexander held is unknown, It is not improbable, as he is mentioned here in connection with Hymeneus, that he maintained the same opinion, and in addition to that he appears to have been guilty of some personal injury to the apostle. Both also were guilty of blasphemy.
Whom I have delivered unto Satan - On the meaning of this expression, see the notes on 1 Corinthians 5:5.
That they may learn not to blaspheme - It cannot be supposed that Satan would undertake to teach them not to blaspheme, or that Paul put them under him as an instructor on that subject. The instructions of Satan tend rather to teach his followers to blaspheme, and none in his school fail to be apt scholars. The meaning here is, that Paul excommunicated them, and not improbably brought upon them, by giving them over to Satan, some physical maladies, that they might be reformed; compare notes on 1 Corinthians 5:5. It is not entirely clear what is meant by blaspheme in this place; compare notes on 1 Timothy 1:13. It cannot be supposed that they were open and bold blasphemers, for such could not have maintained a place in the church, but rather that they held doctrines which the apostle regarded as amounting to blasphemy; that is, doctrines which were in fact a reproach on the divine character. There are many doctrines held by people which are in fact a reflection on the divine character, and which amount to the same thing as blasphemy. A blasphemer openly expresses views of the divine character which are a reproach to God; an errorist expresses the same thing in another way - by teaching as true about God that which represents him in a false light, and, to suppose which, in fact, is a reproach. The spirit with which this is done in the two cases may be different; the thing itself may be the same. Let us be careful that we hold no views about God which are reproachful to him, and which, though we do not express it in words, may lead us to blaspheme him in our hearts.
on 1-timothy 1 :20
1:20 Whom - Though absent. I have delivered to Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme - That by what they suffer they may be in some measure restrained, if they will not repent.