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2 Timothy 2:4

    2 Timothy 2:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    No soldier on service entangleth himself in the affairs of this life; that he may please him who enrolled him as a soldier.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    A fighting man, when he is with the army, keeps himself free from the business of this life so that he may be pleasing to him who has taken him into his army.

    Webster's Revision

    No soldier on service entangleth himself in the affairs of this life; that he may please him who enrolled him as a soldier.

    World English Bible

    No soldier on duty entangles himself in the affairs of life, that he may please him who enrolled him as a soldier.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    No soldier on service entangleth himself in the affairs of this life; that he may please him who enrolled him as a soldier.

    Clarke's Commentary on 2 Timothy 2:4

    No man that warreth entangleth, etc. - It is well remarked by Grotius, on this passage, that the legionary soldiers among the Romans were not permitted to engage in husbandry, merchandise, mechanical employments, or any thing that might be inconsistent with their calling. Many canons, at different times, have been made to prevent ecclesiastics from intermeddling with secular employments. The who will preach the Gospel thoroughly, and wishes to give full proof of his ministry, had need to have no other work. He should be wholly in this thing, that his profiting may appear unto all. There are many who sin against this direction. They love the world, and labor for it, and are regardless of the souls committed to their charge. But what are they, either in number or guilt, compared to the immense herd of men professing to be Christian ministers, who neither read nor study, and consequently never improve? These are too conscientious to meddle with secular affairs, and yet have no scruple of conscience to while away time, be among the chief in needless self-indulgence, and, by their burdensome and monotonous ministry, become an incumbrance to the Church! Do you inquire: In what sect or party are these to be found? I:answer: In All. Idle drones: -

    Fruges consumere nati,

    "Born to consume the produce of the soil,"

    disgrace every department in the Christian Church. They cannot teach because they will not learn.

    Barnes' Notes on 2 Timothy 2:4

    No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life - Having alluded to the soldier, and stated one thing in which the Christian minister is to resemble him, another point of resemblance is suggested to the mind of the apostle. Neither the minister nor the soldier is to be encumbered with the affairs of this life, and the one should not be more than the other. This is always a condition in becoming a soldier. He gives up his own business during the time for which he is enlisted, and devotes himself to the service of his country. The farmer leaves his plow, and the mechanic his shop, and the merchant his store, and the student his books, and the lawyer his brief; and neither of them expect to pursue these things while engaged in the service of their country. It would be wholly impracticable to carry on the plans of a campaign, if each one of these classes should undertake to prosecute his private business. See this fully illustrated from the Rules of War among the Romans, by Grotius, "in loc." Roman soldiers were not allowed to marry, or to engage in any husbandry or trade; and they were forbidden to act as tutors to any person, or curators to any man's estate, or proctors in the cause of other men. The general principle was, that they were excluded from those relations, agencies, and engagements, which it was thought would divert their minds from that which was to be the sole object of pursuit. So with the ministers of the gospel. It is equally improper for them to "entangle" themselves with the business of a farm or plantation; with plans of speculation and gain, and with any purpose of worldly aggrandizement. The minister of the gospel accomplishes the design of his appointment only when he can say in sincerity, that he "is not entangled with the affairs of this life;" compare the notes at 1 Corinthians 9:25-27.

    That he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier - That is, him who has enlisted him, or in whose employ he is. His great object is to approve himself to him. It is not to pursue his own plans, or to have his own will, or to accumulate property or fame for himself. His will is absorbed in the will of his commander, and his purpose is accomplished if he meet with his approbation. Nowhere else is it so true that the will of one becomes lost in that of another, as in the case of the soldier. In an army it is contemplated that there shall be but one mind, one heart, one purpose - that of the commander; and that the whole army shall be as obedient to that as the members of the human body are to the one will that controls all. The application of this is obvious. The grand purpose of the minister of the gospel is to please Christ. He is to pursue no separate plans, and to have no separate will, of his own; and it is contemplated that the whole "Corps" of Christian ministers and members of the churches shall be as entirely subordinate to the will of Christ, as an army is to the orders of its chief.

    Wesley's Notes on 2 Timothy 2:4

    2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself - Any more than is unavoidable. In the affairs of this life - With worldly business or cares. That - Minding war only, he may please his captain. In this and the next verse there is a plain allusion to the Roman law of arms, and to that of the Grecian games. According to the former, no soldier was to engage in any civil employment; according to the latter, none could be crowned as conqueror, who did not keep strictly to the rules of the game.