on 2-timothy 2 :26
And that they may recover themselves - The construction of this verse is extremely difficult, though the sense given by our translation is plain enough. I shall set down the original, and the principal English translations: -
Και ανανηψωσιν εκ της του διαβολου παγιδος, εζωγρημενοι ὑπ' αυτου εις εκεινου θελημα.
And thei rise agein fro snaaris of the debyl, of whome thei ben holde captyffis at his wille. - Wiclif. First translation into English, 1378.
And to turne agayne from the snare of devell, which are holden in prison of him at his will. - Coverdale. First printed English Bible, 1535.
That they may come to themselves agayne out of the snare of the devyll, which are now taken of him at hys will. - Edward VIth's Bible, by Becke, 1549.
And they may recover their senses to perform his will, after being rescued alive by the servant of the Lord out of the snare of the devil. - Wakefield; who refers αυτου, him, to the servant of the Lord, 2 Timothy 2:24.
And being caught alive by him out of the snare of the devil, they may awake to do his will. - Macknight; who remarks that αυτου, the relative, means the servant of the Lord; and εκεινου, the demonstrative, refers to God, mentioned 2 Timothy 2:15.
I leave these different translations with the reader.
I Have referred, in the preceding notes, to inscriptions which appear on the buildings and coins of the Asiatics; such inscriptions are, in general, very curious, and carry with them a considerable show of piety to God, in the acknowledgment of his providence and mercy. I shall quote one merely as a curiosity, without supposing it to be immediately applicable to the illustration of the text.
There is extant a gold circular coin of the Great Mogul Shah Jehan, struck at Delhi, A. H. 1062, a.d. 1651, five inches and a half in diameter; on each side of this coin is a square, the angles of which touch the periphery; within this square, and in the segments, there are the following inscriptions: -
1. Within the square, on one side,
The bright star of religion, Mohammed (a second Sahib Kiran) Shah Jehan, the victorious emperor.
2. In the segment on the upper side of the square,
The impression upon this coin of 200 mohurs, was struck through the favor of God.
on 2-timothy 2 :26
And that they may recover themselves - Margin, "awake." The word which is rendered "recover" in the text, and "awake" in the margin - ἀνανήψωσιν ananēpsōsin - occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly means, to become sober again, as from inebriation; to awake from a deep sleep, and then, to come to a right mind, as one does who is aroused from a state of inebriety, or from sleep. The representation in this part of the verse implies that, while under the influence of error, they were like a man intoxicated, or like one in deep slumber. From this state they were to be roused as one is from sleep, or as a man is recovered from the stupor and dullness of intoxication.
Out of the snare of the devil - The snare which the devil has spread for them, and in which they have become entangled. There is a little confusion of metaphor here, since, in the first part of the verse, they are represented as asleep, or intoxicated; and, here, as taken in a snare. Yet the general idea is clear. In one part of the verse, the influence of error is represented as producing sleep, or stupor; in the other, as being taken in a snare, or net; and, in both, the idea is, that an effort was to be made that they might be rescued from this perilous condition.
Who are taken captive by him at his will - Margin, "alive." The Greek word means, properly, to take alive; and then, to take captive, to win over Luke 5:10; and then, to ensnare, or seduce. Here it means that they had been ensnared by the arts of Satan "unto (εἰς eis) his will;" that is, they were so influenced by him, that they complied with his will. Another interpretation of this passage should be mentioned here, by which it is proposed to avoid the incongruousness of the metaphor of "awaking" one from a "snare." It is adopted by Doddridge, and is suggested also by Burder, as quoted by Rosenmuller, "A. u. n. Morgenland." According to this, the reference is to an artifice of fowlers, to scatter seeds impregnated with some intoxicating drugs, intended to lay birds asleep, that they may draw the snare over them more securely. There can be no doubt that such arts were practiced, and it is possible that Paul may have alluded to it. Whatever is the allusion, the general idea is clear. It is an affecting representation of those who have fallen into error. They are in a deep slumber. They are as if under the fatal influence of some stupefying potion. They are like birds taken alive in this state, and at the mercy of the fowler. They will remain in this condition, unless they shall be roused by the mercy of God; and it is the business of the ministers of religion to carry to them that gospel call, which God is accustomed to bless in showing them their danger. That message should be continually sounded in the ears of the sinner, with the prayer and the hope that God will make it the means of arousing him to seek his salvation.
on 2-timothy 2 :26
2:26 Who - At present are not only captives, but asleep; utterly insensible of their captivity.