3-5. Whom I serve from my forefathers. Like Timothy
he had been taught by his parents to fear and serve the Lord. Even
before he became a Christian, he verily thought he served God. See
Acts 23:1; 24:14,
and Rom. 11:23, 24, 28.
4. Greatly desiring to see thee. There is something pathetic in
this language. The lonely prisoner calls to him the tears of Timothy at
their last parting, and feels a yearning desire to see and counsel him
face to face once more.
5. When I call to remembrance. As he looked back he saw Timothy
from his youth up a believer. His grandmother and mother had been
converted before him, and he had followed them into the kingdom. See
6-7. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance. From the earnestness
with which he stirs up Timothy in both Epistles, it seems likely that
he did not possess the rugged, restless energy of Paul.
Stir up the gift of God. The supernatural gift which he received
by the imposition of the apostolic hands. The gift of office was
conferred by ordination at the hands of the presbytery; the gift of
miraculous powers, by the imposition of the hands of an apostle.
7. God hath not given us the spirit of fear. When the gifts of
the Spirit were bestowed at the laying on of my hands, not a spirit of
cowardice, but of
power, miraculous power, and of
love, and of a
sound mind, of divine wisdom, was imparted. 
8-12. Be not . . . ashamed. Since "the spirit of fear"
was not imparted, there must be boldness to testify for the Lord.
Of me, his prisoner. Though a prisoner, he was a prisoner for
righteousness' sake. It may be that this was a gentle rebuke; that
Timothy had failed in boldness.
Be thou partaker. Ready to share with me whatever may befall.
According to the power of God. Suffer afflictions, bearing them,
sustained by the power of God.
9. Who hath saved us. God's power hath saved us and all
Not according to our works. He called us according to his
purpose to call men before the world began. He purposed to call the
Gentiles--a race rebellious. See notes on Romans,
10. But is now made manifest. His purpose, formed before the
world began, was revealed when Christ appeared.
Who abolished death. Took away from death his power, and will
finally destroy him
(1 Cor. 15:26).
Brought life and immortality to light. Revealed them in the
12. For which cause I also suffer. Because he was appointed an
"apostle and teacher of the Gentiles." See
Acts 22:21, and Eph. 3:1.
That which I have committed unto him. His whole interests, his
life, body, soul and spirit. He leaves all in God's hands with perfect
13, 14. Hold fast the form of sound words. Hold and teach sound
doctrine, the pure faith, the gospel as Paul taught it to him,
preaching it in faith and love.
14. That good thing which was committed unto thee. The sound faith
just alluded to. Don't let it be perverted. Keep it by the help of the
Holy Spirit. This charge is given in view of the conduct of some from
the province of Asia, where Timothy was then dwelling, referred to in
15-18. This thou knowest. The language seems to mean that there
had been a large 
defection in Asia already. Some think that Paul refers to professors of
Christ from the province of Asia, then in Rome, who had all deserted
Phygellus and Hermogenes. Nothing more than this reference is
known of them.
16. Onesiphorus. How different with this faithful disciple, from
the rest of the Asiatics! In spite of Paul's chain, and danger, he
often visited and cheered him. Paul was chained to a soldier.
17. He sought me. Not only was not ashamed, but sought him at
great pains and found him.
18. In that day. The day when he shall be called to meet the
He ministered to me at Ephesus. He then belonged to Ephesus, had
ministered to Paul there, and shown his faithfulness again at Rome.
The language seems to imply that these kind deeds were past. Perhaps
Onesiphorus had started back home.