on 2-timothy 3 :8
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses - This refers to the history of the Egyptian magicians, given in Exodus 7 (see on Exodus 7:11 (note) and Exodus 7:12 (note)), and particularly the concluding observations at the end of that chapter, (note) where several things are said concerning these two men.
Men of corrupt minds - It appears as if the apostle were referring still to some Judaizing teachers who were perverting the Church with their doctrines, and loudly calling in question the authority and doctrine of the apostle.
Reprobate concerning the faith - Αδοκιμοι· Undiscerning or untried; they are base metal, unstamped; and should not pass current, because not standard. This metaphor is frequent in the sacred writings.
on 2-timothy 3 :8
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses - The names of these two men are not elsewhere mentioned in the Bible. They are supposed to have been two of the magicians who resisted Moses (Exodus 7:11, et al.), and who opposed their miracles to those of Moses and Aaron. It is not certain where the apostle obtained their names; but they are frequently mentioned by the Hebrew writers, and also by other writers; so that there can be no reasonable doubt that their names were correctly handed down by tradition. Nothing is more probable than that the names of the more distinguished magicians who attempted to imitate the miracles of Moses, would be preserved by tradition; and though they are not mentioned by Moses himself, and the Jews have told many ridiculous stories respecting them, yet this should not lead us to doubt the truth of the tradition respecting their names. A full collection of the Jewish statements in regard to them may be found in Wetstein, in loc.
They are also mentioned by Pliny, Nat. Hist. 30:7; and by Numenius, the philosopher, as quoted by Eusebius, 9:8, and Origen, against Celsus, p. 199. See Wetstein. By the rabbinical writers, they are sometimes mentioned as Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses in Egypt, and sometimes as the sons of Balaam. The more common account is, that they were the princes of the Egyptian magicians. One of the Jewish rabbins represents them as having been convinced by the miracles of Moses, and as having become converts to the Hebrew religion. There is no reason to doubt that these were in fact the leading men who opposed Moses in Egypt, by attempting to work counter-miracles. The point of the remark of the apostle here, is, that they resisted Moses by attempting to imitate his miracles, thus neutralizing the evidence that he was sent from God. In like manner, the persons here referred to, opposed the progress of the gospel by setting up a similar claim to that of the apostles; by pretending to have as much authority as they had; and by thus neutralizing the claims of the true religion, and leading off weak-minded persons from the truth. This is often the most dangerous kind of opposition that is made to religion.
Men of corrupt minds; - compare the notes at 1 Timothy 6:5.
Reprobate concerning the faith - So far as the Christian faith is concerned. On the word rendered "reprobate," see the Romans 1:28 note; 1 Corinthians 9:27 note, rendered "cast-away;" 2 Corinthians 13:5 note. The margin here is, "of no judgment." The meaning is, that in respect to the Christian faith, or the doctrines of religion, their views could not be approved, and they were not to be regarded as true teachers of religion.
on 2-timothy 3 :8
3:8 Several ancient writers speak of Jannes and Jambres, as the chief of the Egyptian magicians. Men of corrupt minds - Impure notions and wicked inclinations. Void of judgment - Quite ignorant, as well as careless, of true, spiritual religion.