Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
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It is popularly assumed that Saul of Tarsus changed his name to Paul when he became a follower of Jesus Christ, however; his Jewish name was “Saul” (Hebrew: שאול, Sha’ûl), According to the Book of Acts, Paul was a Roman citizen. [Acts 22:25–29] As such, he also bore the Latin name of “Paul”– in biblical Greek: Παῦλος (Paulos), and in Latin: Paulus [Acts 16:37][22:25–28] It was typical for the Jews of that time to have two names: one Hebrew, the other Latin or Greek. This was also true of Jesus; Jesus is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Yeshua, which means “Salvation”.
See: Proverbs 11 for history on Tiberius Caesar’s death.
Paul is writing from Mamertine Prison 68 AD with no idea the temple would be destroyed only two years later and an Arch would be built alongside the place of his imprisonment celebrating the vanquishing of the Jews.
Preach the Word
II Timothy 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
II Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
II Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
- “A man who creates his own morality creates his own religion.”
II Timothy 4:4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
- Any teaching that is not Truth is Fables.
II Timothy 4:5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
II Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
- Paul is cold, he feels deserted and alone.
- The pouring out of a drink offering is a metaphor for the blood Jesus spilled on the cross. Jesus spoke to this directly in Luke 22:20 when He instituted the New Covenant. He picked up a cup of wine and said, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” Jesus’ sacrifice fulfilled the need of a drink offering, His blood literally pouring out when the soldier pierced His side with a spear (John 19:34). https://www.gotquestions.org/drink-offering.html
II Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
II Timothy 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
- The Crowns of God:
- A Crown of Righteousness: for those who have loved His appearing. There are other crowns mentioned in scripture:
- The Crown of Life is referred to in James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10; for those who persevere under trials, enduring Temptation.
- An Incorruptible Crown: A crown for people who brought their body unto subjection; disciplined their body; – had self-control, I Cor 9:24-27
- The Crown of Glory: A crown for every person who feeds the flock; – the pastors, apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, ministers and every person carrying out the great commission. 1 Pet 5:2 – 4
- Crown of rejoicing: For every believer. 1 Th 2:19
- ‘God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away’ Rev 21:4.
The Abandoned Apostle
II Timothy 4:9 Be diligent to come to me quickly;
- Paul’s letter is not to be taken lightly. Paul needs Timothy to come quickly.
II Timothy 4:10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.
- Loving this present world is to love the pleasures it offers. Scripture calls it “living according to the flesh”.
- Mark 4:18-19 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
II Timothy 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
II Timothy 4:12 And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.
II Timothy 4:13 Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments.
- The cloak (coat) is to warm Paul’s body. The books, parchments, are to warm his soul.
- Paul, who was once wealthy, is now destitute and without resources. Note the hole in the ceiling in which prisoners were lowered.
II Timothy 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith (literally metal worker) did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.
- Paul turned those who had hurt him over to God who is the judge of all.
II Timothy 4:15 You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.
II Timothy 4:16 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.
- Paul has forgiven his friends in the same way Jesus forgave Peter who denied Him three
- Also, evidently, Paul defended himself at more than one hearing. The cultural timing couldn’t be worse. Nero didn’t have time or inclination to worry about a Jew who was also a Roman. Nero had his own problems, although it was Nero who signed Paul’s death warrant.
- On June 8th, 68 AD Nero returned to Rome and spent the evening in the palace. After sleeping, he awoke at about midnight to find the palace guard had left. Dispatching messages to his friends’ palace chambers for them to come, he received no answers. Upon going to their chambers personally, he found them all abandoned. When he called for a gladiator or anyone else adept with a sword to kill him, no one appeared. He cried, “Have I neither friend nor foe?” and ran out as if to throw himself into the Tiber.
Returning, Nero sought a place where he could hide and collect his thoughts. An imperial freedman, Phaon, offered his villa, located 4 mi (6.4 km) outside the city. Traveling in disguise, Nero and four loyal freedmen, Epaphroditos, Phaon, Neophytus, and Sporus, reached the villa, where Nero ordered them to dig a grave for him.
- At this time, a courier arrived with a report that the Senate had declared Nero a public enemy, that it was their intention to execute him by beating him to death, and that armed men had been sent to apprehend him for the act to take place in the Roman Forum. The Senate actually was still reluctant and deliberating on the right course of action, as Nero was the last member of the Julio-Claudian family. Indeed, most of the senators had served the imperial family all their lives and felt a sense of loyalty to the deified bloodline, if not to Nero himself. The men actually had the goal of returning Nero back to the Senate, where the Senate hoped to work out a compromise with the rebelling governors that would preserve Nero’s life, so that at least a future heir to the dynasty could be produced.
Nero, however, did not know this, and at the news brought by the courier, he prepared himself for suicide, pacing up and down muttering Qualis artifex pereo (“What an artist dies in me”). Losing his nerve, he begged one of his companions to set an example by killing himself first. At last, the sound of approaching horsemen drove Nero to face the end. However, he still could not bring himself to take his own life, but instead forced his private secretary, Epaphroditos, to perform the task.
- When one of the horsemen entered and saw that Nero was dying, he attempted to stop the bleeding, but efforts to save Nero’s life were unsuccessful. Nero’s final words were “Too late! This is fidelity!” He died on 9 June 68 AD (According to Timeline AD Paul died 68 AD)
- His infamous reign is usually associated with tyranny, extravagance and debauchery. He is known for using Christians as human torches to light the arena at night.
- At Paul’s hearing none of his friends had his back. He said no one stood with him. It is mindful of Jesus’ hearing. The sheep scattered.
- And yet, Paul’s work lit the world afire and has never been extinguished although the “time of the gentiles” is soon coming to an end. When that happens, God will refocus on the Jews during the seven year tribulation. Those who believed will be taken out of the world, those who have trusted in the blood of Christ to cover their sin. Those who live during the tribulation will have to shed their own blood for their salvation, (except the remnant at the end of the tribulation), moving the author of Hebrew to pen the words “How shall we escape if we neglect such a GREAT SALVATION!”
The Lord Is Faithful
II Timothy 4:17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
- “But” means “the flipside is…” when your friends desert you, Jesus will stand with you. You are mistaken if you think you are forsaken.
- It appeared that Paul might be thrown in the Roman arena with the lions … but he was delivered from that scenario.
II Timothy 4:18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
- Jesus did indeed deliver Paul from every evil work that would put his faith at risk. Yes, Paul was preserved for His heavenly kingdom.
- He wrote in Philippians 1:21-24: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”
Come Before Winter
II Timothy 4:19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
II Timothy 4:20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.
II Timothy 4:21 Do your utmost to come before winter.
- Paul is cold and has no resources for warmth. Prisoners had to provide for themselves which meant relying on friends and family for food and clothing, but (almost!) everyone had deserted Paul.
Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren.
- These are those in whom Paul is still relying on.
II Timothy 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.
- It is believed that either Philippians or 2nd Timothy was Paul’s last book before he died. Portions of 2 Timothy parallel the Epistle to the Philippians near the time of Paul’s death. Paul dies a martyr’s death around the middle of 68 AD.
- Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 275–339) was the first to write explicitly that Paul was beheaded in Rome during the reign of Nero.
- (However; the book of Revelations is the last book of the Bible, the last book to be written, and the last book of the New Testament.)