2 Timothy 2:7 Commentary

 

 

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2 Timothy 2:7 Commentary
Commentary Updated October 13, 2014

2Timothy 2:7  Consider (2SPAM)  what I say (1SPAI) , for the Lord (Master) will give (3SFAI) you understanding in everything. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: noei (2SPAM) ho lego; (1SPAI) dosei (3SFAI) gar soi o kurios sunesin en pasin. 
Amplified:  Think over these things I am saying [understand them and grasp their application], for the Lord will grant you full insight and understanding in everything. 
 (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
NLT:  Think about what I am saying. The Lord will give you understanding in all these things. (
NLT - Tyndale House)
NIV: Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.  (
NIV - IBS)
NJB: Think over what I have said, and the Lord will give you full understanding.
Phillips: Consider these three illustrations of mine and the Lord will help you to understand all that I mean. (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Weymouth: Mark well what I am saying: the Lord will give you discernment in everything.
Wuest: Be grasping the meaning of that which I am saying, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things  (
Eerdmans
Young's Literal: be considering what things I say, for the Lord give to thee understanding in all things.

REFERENCES ON 2 TIMOTHY
Resources Updated October 13, 2014

Henry Alford
Henry Alford
Don Anderson
Paul Apple
William Barclay
Albert Barnes
Brian Bell
Johann Bengel
Johann Bengel
Joseph Benson
J H Bernard
Bible.org
Biblical Illustrator
Bridgeway Commentary
John Calvin
Cambridge Bible
Cambridge Greek
Century Bible
Vincent Cheung
Adam Clarke
George Clarke
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Thomas Constable
F C Cook
Henry Cowles
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
Ron Daniel
John Darby
Bob Deffinbaugh
Edward Dennett
Edward Dennett
Edward Dennett
Edward Dennett
John Dummelow
Dan Duncan
J Ligon Duncan
J Ligon Duncan
J Ligon Duncan
J Ligon Duncan
Justin Edward
Easy English
Charles Ellicott
Explore the Bible
Expositor's Bible
Expositor's Dictionary
Expositor's Greek
Patrick Fairbairn
Don Fortner
Arno Gaebelein
Gospel Coalition
L M Grant
James Gray
Grace Gems
Grace Gems
John Gill
Joe Guglielmo
David Guzik
H Harvey
H Harvey
Robert Hawker
Doug Heck
Matthew Henry
F B Hole
David Holwick
David Holwick
Homiletics
A E Humphreys
ICC NT Commentary
H A Ironside
Jamieson, F& B
William Kelly
Guy King
Guy King
Guy King
Guy King
Guy King
Guy King
Paul Kretzmann
Lange Commentary
Walter Lock
Logos Sermons
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
Alexander Maclaren
Alexander Maclaren
Alexander Maclaren
Alexander Maclaren
Henry Mahan
J Vernon McGee
Heinrich Meyer
Miscellaneous (Multiple)
Monergism
Robert Morgan
Henry Morris
Robert Neighbour
Phil Newton
Phil Newton
Phil Newton
Phil Newton
Phil Newton
Phil Newton
Net Bible Notes
James Nisbet
J. J. Van Oosterzee
Joseph Parker
Pastor Life
Arthur Peake
Peter Pett
John Piper
Alfred Plummer
Alfred Plummer
Alfred Plummer
Alfred Plummer
Matthew Poole
Ray Pritchard
Ray Pritchard
Preacher's Homiletical
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Pulpit Commentary
A T Robertson
Don Robinson
Don Robinson
Don Robinson
Don Robinson
Don Robinson
Don Robinson
Dave Roper
Rob Salvato
Rob Salvato
Rob Salvato
Rob Salvato
Rob Salvato
Rob Salvato
Rob Salvato
Rob Salvato
Johnny Sanders
Phillip Schaff
Sermon Bible
Sermons, Multiple
Chuck Smith
Charles Simeon
Charles Simeon
Charles Simeon
Charles Simeon
Charles Simeon
Charles Simeon
Charles Simeon
Chuck Smith
Chuck Smith
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
Ray Stedman
Ray Stedman
Ray Stedman
John Stevenson
John Stevenson
Joseph Sutcliffe
Ron Teed
Ron Teed
Ron Teed
Ron Teed
Ron Teed
Ron Teed
Ron Teed
Ron Teed
Ron Teed
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Third Millennium
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John Trapp
Treasury of Scripture
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Marvin Vincent
John Wesley
Daniel Whedon
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Today in the Word
Our Daily Bread
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2 Timothy 2 The New Testament for English Readers
2 Timothy 2 The Greek Testament
2 Timothy 2:1-7 Q & A Format
2 Timothy Passing the Torch of Leadership
2 Timothy 2 Commentary

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-13; 2 Timothy 2:14-26
2 Timothy 2 Gnomon of the New Testament
2 Timothy 2 The Critical English Testament
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Resources that Reference 2 Timothy 2:3-4
2 Timothy 2 Multiple Illustrations, Notes, etc
2 Timothy Commentary 2
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary  
2 Timothy 2:1 Strong in Grace

2 Timothy 2:2 Handing Off the Truth
2 Timothy 2:3-7 Embracing Hardship for Gospel
2 Timothy 2:8-13 Endurance
2 Timothy 2:14-19 How To Use The Bible
2 Timothy 2:14-19 Using the Word Properly

2 Timothy 2:20-22 The Person God Uses

2 Timothy 2:23-26 The Gentle Art of Correction
2 Timothy Expository Notes
2 Timothy 2 Commentary - Speaker's Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-7 A Good Soldier Of Jesus

2 Timothy 2 Multiple Sermons
2 Timothy 2:1-10 Sermon Notes; 2 Timothy 2:11-19
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy: Perseverance in Difficult Days
2 Timothy 2:1-7 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:8-13 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:14-19 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:20-26 Commentary

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-7 Be Strong in Grace M3U or Mp3
2 Timothy 2:1-9 Strong Grace, Hard Work, Good Memories

2 Timothy 2:10-13 The Results of the Resurrection

2 Timothy 2:14-21 Avoid Tiresome Nitpickers (Dr. Derek Thomas)

2 Timothy 2:22-26 Flee and Pursue
2 Timothy 2 Commentary

2 Timothy: How we should Encourage each other to do God's Work
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Teaching Notes
2 Timothy 2 Commentary (Alfred Plummer)
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:7 The Questions of a Young Preacher
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Resources most Mp3's
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:3 Good Soldiers of Christ
2 Timothy 2:3 Christian Soldiers - multiple
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-13, 2 Ti 2:3-4; 2 Ti 2:14-19; 2 Ti 2:14-26
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:18-19 Commentary

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-26 Man of God: How Does He Minister?

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 1:15 – 2:7: Who Will Pass It On?

2 Timothy 2:1-7: The Disciplined Christian Life
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary  (Or Unabridged Version)
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-7 Some Things Every Christian Should Understand

2 Timothy 2:8-10 The Gospel Gold Mine

2 Timothy 2:11-13 Something to Sing About

2 Timothy 2:14-19 Three Words

2 Timothy 2:20-21 The Vessels of the House

2 Timothy 2:22-26 Meet Three Groups

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Sermons and Illustrations
2 Timothy 2:1-2: Elements of a Strong Spiritual Life 1
2 Timothy 2 Portrait of a Leader

2 Timothy 2 Paul's Portrait of a Leader
2 Timothy 2:3-7: Elements of a Strong Spiritual Life 2

2 Timothy 2:8-9: Motives for Sacrificial Ministry-Part 1

2 Timothy 2:10-14: Motives for Sacrificial Ministry Part 2 
2 Timothy 2:14-19: The Danger of False Teaching

2 Timothy 2:14-19: Avoid Spiritual Counterfeiters (see dropdown)
2 Timothy 2:14-26 Characteristics of a Useful Vessel
2 Timothy 2:20-22 An Honorable Vessel 1
2 Timothy 2:23-26 An Honorable Vessel 2

2 Timothy Sermons on chapters 1-4
2 Timothy 2:4 The True Aim of Life - Pleasing Christ

2 Timothy 2:13 A Faithful God
2 Timothy 2:19 The Foundation and the Seal
2 Timothy 2:20, 21 The Great House and its Vessels

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary  Mp3's
2 Timothy 2 Commentary

2 Timothy 2 Sermons and Commentaries
2 Timothy 2 Mp3's
2 Timothy 2:1-7 Keeping the Faith Series: "Fatherly Advice"
2 Timothy 2 Defender's Study Bible Notes
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-7 Becoming Strong in Christ's Grace 
2 Timothy 2:3-7 Becoming Strong in Christ’s Grace 
2 Timothy 2:8-9 Remember Jesus Christ 
2 Timothy 2:10-13 Why Endurance Matters 
2 Timothy 2:14-19 Developing Steadiness in the Faith 
2 Timothy 2:20–26 Useful to the Master 

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy Sermons - 30 sermons
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:7 Think Deeply and Clearly …
2 Timothy 2:1,2 Preservation and Transmission of the Faith
2 Timothy 2:3-7 The Christian's Life as Military Service, etc
2 Timothy 2:8-10 The Power of a Belief in the Resurrection and Incarnation
2 Timothy 2:13-18 Need of a Solemn Charge Against a Controversial Spirit

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-13: How Will You Be Remembered?
2 Timothy 2:14-16: The Life God Blesses
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Exposition
2 Timothy 2 Homiletics and Homilies
2 Timothy 2: Greek Word Studies
2 Timothy 2:1-4 Being A Good Soldier Of Jesus Christ

2 Timothy 2:2 What God Wants Me to Be

2 Timothy 2:3-4 The Lord's Army

2 Timothy 2:3-4 We Need More Soldiers

2 Timothy 2:19-24 Folks To Avoid While In Church
2 Timothy 2:19-26 Things To Avoid While In Church

2 Timothy 2:1-13 Call To Endurance
2 Timothy 2:1-2 Be Strong In The Grace That Is In Christ Jesus

2 Timothy 2:1-7 Soldiers, Athletes & Farmers

2 Timothy 2:3-4 A Good Soldier Of Jesus Christ

2 Timothy 2:8-10 Resurrection Life

2 Timothy 2:11-13 A Faithful Father

2 Timothy 2:14-26 Rightly Dividing The Word Of Truth

2 Timothy 2:19-21 A Great House

2 Timothy 2:22-26 Pursuing The Right Things
2 Timothy - A Life to Live - 76 pages

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Sermons; 2 Timothy 2:1 Sermons-click arrow to advance

2 Timothy 2:1-13 Sermon Notes
2 Timothy 2:1 Strength in the Grace of Christ.
2 Timothy 2:7 Consideration enforced.
2 Timothy 2:10 Paul’s Love to the Elect exemplified.
2 Timothy 2:11–14 The Equity of God’s Procedure.
2 Timothy 2:19  The Stability of the Covenant.
2 Timothy 2:20,21.Saints, Vessels of Honour
2 Timothy 2:25, 26. The great Ends of the Ministry,

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-13 Sermon Notes
2 Timothy 2 Exposition
2 Timothy 2:3 A Good Soldier of Jesus Christ
2 Timothy 2:8: Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ

2 Timothy 2:9 Not Bound Yet
2 Timothy 2:9 The Word of God Unbound - Study Notes

2 Timothy 2:12: Suffering and Reigning with Jesus
2 Timothy 2:15: Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
2 Timothy 2:13 Eternal Faithfulness Unaffected by Human Unbelief

2 Timothy 2:15 Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
2 Timothy 2:19 The Foundation and its Seal; A Sermon for the Times

2 Timothy 2:20,21 The Great House and the Vessels in It

2 Timothy 2:3-13: Soldiers, Athletes and Farmers
2 Timothy 2:14-19: Avoiding Congregational Gangrene
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Sermon - Endurance - In For the Long Haul
2 Timothy 2:14-26 Worthy Workers
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-7 Be Strong
2 Timothy 2:8-10 Don't Ever Forget
2 Timothy 2:10 Suffering for those Not Saved
2 Timothy 2:10-11 Intermission for the Holy Spirit
2 Timothy 2:12 Endurance
2 Timothy 2:12 Do Not Just Taste Salvation
2 Timothy 2:14-19 Be A Good Worker
2 Timothy 2:20-22 Keep Yourself Pure
2 Timothy 2:23-26 Drawing Others to Salvation

2 Timothy 2 Sermons and Notes (Multiple)
2 Timothy 2:1-26 Exhortation and Encouragement of Timothy -

2 Timothy 2:1-13 Faithfulness For the Sake of the Elect -

2 Timothy 2:1-2 Reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others -

2 Timothy 2:3-7 Soldier . . . athlete . . . farmer -

2 Timothy 2:8 Raised from the dead -

2 Timothy 2:9-10 Suffering . . . chained like a criminal -

2 Timothy 2:10 For the sake of the elect -

2 Timothy 2:11-13 Here is a trustworthy saying -

2 Timothy 2:14-26 Faithfulness in the Face of False Teachers -

2 Timothy 2:14 Quarreling about words -

2 Timothy 2:15-19 Present yourself to God as one approved -

2 Timothy 2:20 Large house . . . noble . . . ignoble -

2 Timothy 2:21 If a man cleanses himself -

2 Timothy 2:22-24 Pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace -

2 Timothy 2:25-26 In the hope that God will grant them repentance
2 Timothy 2 Devotionals

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary (including reciprocal passages)
2 Timothy Commentary
2 Timothy 2: Greek Word Studies
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy Download Lesson 1
2 Timothy 2:13 Dropouts
2 Timothy 2:3 Is Faith An Escape?
Click discussion

CONSIDER WHAT I SAY: noei (2SPAM) ho lego (1SPAI): (Dt 4:39; 32:29; Ps 64:9; Pr 24:32; Isa 1:3; 5:12; Lk 9:44; Php 4:8; 1Ti 4:15; Heb 3:1; 7:4; 12:3; 13:7)

Be grasping the meaning of that which I am saying (Wuest)

Reflect on what I am saying (NIV)

Think over these three illustrations (TLB)

Think over these things I am saying [understand them and grasp their application] (Amp)

Consider (3539) (noeo from nous = mind, the seat of moral reflection) has the basic meaning of direct one's mind to something and thus means more than just take a glance at. It means to perceive with the mind, to apprehend, to ponder (= weigh in one's mind, think especially quietly, soberly and deeply). It means to consider well, to reflect on with insight, or to think over a matter carefully. The idea is to grasp or comprehend something on the basis of careful thought.

Consider (Grasp the meaning) means to put one's mind, to fix one's mind upon, to think about carefully, to give careful examination with a view to discerning and arriving at a judgment or conclusion. The idea is to ponder or  examine attentively or deliberately.

Note Paul's use of noeo in the first letter to Timothy - "Wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions." (1Tim 1:7)

The NIV translates it reflect which suggests unhurried consideration of something recalled to the mind, and gives one the picture of meditating on these truths. Note well the order -- We are to do our part and can be assured the Lord will do His part (last part of this verse) and give you insight.

Moulton and Milligan - The phrase "noon [noeo] and phronon" (Ed: loosely translated "I am keeping watch over my mind") is common in wills of both the Ptolemaic and the Roman periods...the testator thus certifying himself as “being sane and in his right mind”.

Noieo is present tense (calling for continuous action, make it your lifestyle), active voice (subject carries out the action by choice of their will - you have to do this - a volitional choice - God won't force you) and imperative mood which indicates this is a command and not merely advice or a suggestion! It is imperative that Timothy keep considering carefully, pondering and mulling over all that Paul had just said. By way of application, it is imperative that all believers seriously consider what Paul has written in verses 1-6 - We need to make this our continual practice or our lifestyle. Continually considering God's truth is another way of describing meditating on God's Word, a practice that always bears fruit...

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. (Joshua 1:8-note)

Psalm 1:1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. 3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. (See notes Psalm 1:1 1:2; 1:3)

Spurgeon - Some people like to read so many chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather my soul soak in half a dozen verses all day than I would, as it were, rinse my hand in several chapters

Wuest writes that noeo "means “to perceive with the reflective intelligence.” It is distinguished from the mere physical act of seeing. It is the perception of the mind consequent upon seeing. In the New Testament it is never used of mere physical sight. (Wuest's Word Studies)

Vincent adds that noeo "signifies to perceive with the nous or reflective intelligence. In Classical Greek of seeing with the eyes, sometimes with ophthalmois expressed; but as early as Homer it is distinguished from the mere physical act of vision, as perception of the mind consequent upon seeing. Thus the phrase "and seeing him he perceived" (Il. xi. 599). In NT never of the mere physical act. Here is meant the inward perception and apprehension of the visible (Ed note: i.e., what transpires in the mind after one sees what he sees). (Greek Word Studies)

Vine writes that "the verb noeo means to exercise the mind by way of discernment, enabling us to enter into the circumstances of what is mentioned. (Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

TDNT writes that noeo means "“to direct one's mind to.” At first it is used in the broad sense “to perceive,” but later it means only “to perceive mentally” and then “to think,” “to understand,” “to intend,” and “to know” as a function of the mind (nous). In the LXX the organ of noein is often the heart (kardia), but the sphere of noein is always mental. In the NT the verb has such senses as “to note,” “to grasp,” “to recognize,” “to understand,” and “to imagine.” (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W.  Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)

Paul is commanding Timothy to not just look at what he had written but perceive (derived from Latin percipere = seize entirely in turn from per- = thoroughly + capere = to grasp) what I have said by reflecting on it and giving it consideration so that you will gain insight (insight provided by God Himself Who will give understanding).

Since several thought had been compressed into three metaphors without any lengthy exposition furnished Timothy is told to put his mind on that which Paul has just said. Reading it is not enough! Ponder it. Chew on it. Digest it. And be assured that when you do, the Lord Himself will make this mental activity fruitful ("will give you understanding").

Noeo - 14 times in the NT - Matt 15:17; 16:9, 11; 24:15; Mark 7:18; 8:17; 13:14; John 12:40; Rom 1:20; Eph 3:4, 20; 1 Tim 1:7; 2 Tim 2:7; Heb 11:3. NAS translation =: consider, 1; perceive, 1; see, 1; think, 1; understand, 9; understood, 1.

Matthew 15:17 "Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?

Matthew 16:9 "Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up?

Matthew 16:11 "How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

Matthew 24:15 "Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

Mark 7:18 And He said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him;

Mark 8:17 And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart?

Mark 13:14 "But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

John 12:40 "He has blinded their eyes, and He hardened their heart; lest they see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and be converted, and I heal them."

Romans 1:20 (note) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Ephesians 3:4 (note) And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

Ephesians 3:20 (note) Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, (Comment: In this use the idea is to form an idea about something, think, imagine)

1 Timothy 1:7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.

2 Timothy 2:7 (note) Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Hebrews 11:3 (note) By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

Noeo - 31 times in the Septuagint, LXX, (1Sa 4:20; 2 Sam 12:19; 20:15; Job 33:3, 23; Pr 1:2-3, 6; 8:5; 16:23; 19:25; 20:24; 23:1; 28:5; 29:19; 30:18; Isa 32:6; 44:18; 47:7; Jer 2:10; 10:21; 20:11; 23:20). Note the concentration of uses in Proverbs.

It is interesting that the first three NT uses of noieo were by Jesus questioning His disciples ability to understand what He was saying. For example He said

"How is it that you do not understand (noieo) that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Then they understood (suniemi = put the pieces together as used in last part of this verse) that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees." (Mt 16:11, 12)

Jesus' rhetorical questions were meant to rebuke the disciples for not perceiving the true significance of the miracle. But beloved, are we not so often like them, slow to understand the things of the supernatural Word, the things unseen, the things eternal (2Cor 4:18-note)!

 

D A Carson makes an excellent point regarding the relationship between understanding spiritual truths and faith writing that "The miracles Jesus performs, unlike the signs the Pharisees demand, do not compel faith; but those with faith will perceive their significance.”

So just as Jesus used "leaven of bread" to illustrate the effects of the "teaching" of the Pharisees, so too Paul used three well known professions to give Timothy insight into how he should fight the good fight.

Barnes commenting on consider says that "The sense is “Think of the condition of the soldier, and the principles on which he is enlisted; think of the aspirant for the crown in the Grecian games; think of the farmer, patiently toiling in the prospect of the distant harvest; and then go to your work with a similar spirit.” These things are worth attention." As the Lord gives you insight and helps you understand the illustrations, apply them to your ministry situation.

Say (lego) is in the present tense meaning “what I am saying”. In context Paul is referring to the six previous verses, particularly the three illustrations that have been given.

Wuest quotes Expositor's - ‘Grasp the meaning’ of these three similes...If you have not sufficient wisdom to follow my argument, ‘ask of God who giveth to all men liberally’ (Jas 1:15).” Paul had used the illustration of a soldier. Timothy was to live a rugged, strenuous Christian life in which hardships as the result of serving the Lord Jesus were an expected thing. He used the simile of a Greek athlete. Timothy should live a life of rigid separation, not merely with respect to evil things, but also with regard to things which, good in themselves, would unfit him for the highest type of Christian service. Paul now uses the metaphor of a tiller of the soil. Timothy is reminded that the Christian worker who labors with wearisome effort in the Lord’s service, has the right to derive his financial support from it, so that he might be able to give all of his time and strength to his work. (Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament)

John Piper has a chapter entitled "Brothers, Let us Query the Text" which relates to seriously, intentionally, diligently considering what God's Word says

IF THE BIBLE is coherent, then understanding the Bible means grasping how things fit together. Becoming a Biblical theologian, which every pastor should be, means seeing more and more pieces fit together into a glorious mosaic of the divine design (Ed: As an interesting aside, putting together the pieces is the essence of the meaning of the Greek word for understanding = sunesis). And doing exegesis (Ed: derived from Greek word meaning "to guide", "to bring out" or "to lead out" and so means to arrive at an explanation or critical analysis and interpretation of a Biblical text) means querying the text about how its many propositions cohere in the author’s mind, and through that, in God’s mind. If we are going to feed our people (Ed: cp Jesus' charge Jn 21:15KJV Jn 21:16KJV Jn21:17KJV), we must ever advance in our grasp of Biblical truth. We must be like Jonathan Edwards who resolved in his college days, and kept the resolution all his life,

Resolved: To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

Growing, advancing, increasing—that is the goal. And to advance we must be troubled by Biblical affirmations....

“People only truly think when they are confronted with a problem,” said John Dewey. “Without some kind of dilemma to stimulate thought, behavior becomes habitual rather than thoughtful.”

He was right. And that is why we will never think hard about Biblical truth until we are troubled by our faltering efforts to grasp its complexity. We must form the habit of being systematically disturbed by things that at first glance don’t make sense. Or to put it a different way, we must relentlessly query the text. One of the greatest honors I received while teaching Biblical studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, was when the teaching assistants in the Bible department gave me a T-shirt which had the initials of Jonathan Edwards on the front and on the back the words: “Asking questions is the key to understanding.”

FOR THE LORD WILL GIVE YOU UNDERSTANDING IN EVERYTHING: dosei (3SFAI) gar soi ho kurios sunesin en pasin: (Ge 41:38; 39 Ex 36:1; 2 Nu 27:16;17 1Ch 22:12; 29:19; 2Ch 1:8, 9, 10, 11, 12; Ps 119:73;125,144,143:8,9; Pr 2:3, 4; 2:5,6 Is 28:26; Da 1:17; Lk 21:15; 24:45; Jn 14:26; 16:13; Acts 7:10; 1Cor 12:8; Eph 1:17; 18 Col 1:9; Jas 1:5; 3:15; 3:17 1Jn 5:20)

Other translations - the Lord will give you insight into all this (NIV), and may the Lord help you to understand how they apply to you (TLB), Think over these things I am saying [understand them and grasp their application], for the Lord will grant you full insight and understanding in everything (Amp), Put your mind on what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all matters.

For - This is a strategic term of explanation and explains why we should make it our habitual practice to consider what God says in His Word. We are to be motivated by His promise to give us understanding.

Marshall - The gar (for) clause implies that the thinking will be fruitful because the Lord will give understanding (sunesis). That understanding is a divine gift is frequently stated (1Kgs 3:9; Da 2:21; Col 1:9; Jas 1:5).  (A critical and exegetical commentary on the Pastoral Epistles)

Eugene Minor asks "What relationship is indicated by gar (for) ‘because’? It indicates the grounds for the preceding exhortation [Gordon Fee, J N D Kelly, Lenski, Huther, Hendricksen]: consider what I say because the Lord will enable you to understand it. This implies a condition [Ralph Earle - Expositor's Bible Commentary, Expositor's Greek, Thomas Guthrie]: ‘consider what I say, because if you do, the Lord will enable you to understand’."

For the Lord will give you understanding (cp Lk 24:45, Ps 119:130-note) - Observe that this divine promise of understanding is based on the condition that one ponders (in contrast to "speed reading" the Word -- you are not doing yourself any "favors" by reading through the Bible in a year unless you are making time to humbly let that rich Word course through and transform you! Ro 12:2-note, Eph 4:23-note) the truths in 2Ti 2:2, 3, 4, 5, 6. And remember that 2Ti 2:1-note explains how (continually strengthened [being enabled] by the transforming grace in Christ Jesus, made manifest and effective now by His Spirit Who indwells every believer forever!) one can even be enabled to function as a God glorifying, Christ exalting, Spirit led teacher, soldier, athlete or farmer (all metaphorically speaking except for "teacher").

In other words, Paul is giving Timothy (and us) somewhat of a "conditional promise" - Timothy is to consider (man's responsibility, albeit even this is enabled by the Spirit - see Phil 2:13-note where He gives us the "desire" or "want to"!) and the Lord will graciously give us understanding (God's part). This truth flies in the face of the common false teaching of "let go and let God".

Ralph Earle - Paul winds up this section by saying, “Reflect on what I am saying.” If Timothy does this, he will understand what it is all about. (Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Kistemaker agrees writing that "Mere reading is not enough. What has been written must be pondered. What has been spoken must be digested (cf. Mt. 11:29; 13:51; 15:17; 16:9, 11; 1 Cor. 10:15; and especially Rev. 10:9, 10). Timothy need not fear that such mental activity will be fruitless. Has not the Lord given his definite promise? See Luke 19:26; John 14:26; 16:13. Surely in all matters with respect to which Timothy is in need of understanding (sunesis, comprehension, insight), it will be given to him if (Ed: The "if" speaks of the prerequisite condition that) he will but apply himself. Let Timothy then compare a scripture with scripture. Let him pray for wisdom (James 1:5). Let him reflect on his own past experience and the experience of other children of God. Let him listen to what these others have to say. By such means as these the Holy Spirit will give him all the guidance he will need in the performance of his task. He will be able to apply to himself and his office the rich meaning of the threefold figure (2Ti 2:3-6), and he will derive from it the comfort which it affords. (Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles, Baker Book House)

Lenski - For all spiritual things our thinking abilities, however keen and sharp, are not sufficient. The Lord must control, guide, enlighten our “understanding.” He is ever willing to give us “understanding” if we only let him give it, recognize his gift, and prize it. The Lord so gives by means of the very Word itself and never apart from that Word which is a lamp and a light, the source of all true enlightenment. “Search the Scriptures,” and the Lord will give thee understanding; it does not come to one through the air. Ora et labora. The Lord, however, uses also his gracious providence in manifold ways. Experience helps to make many a passage clear. Teachers and fellow workers are placed into our path to help us. The Lord lets us find the book we need for this or for that purpose. He quickens our faculties, our memory. Sometimes we must wait, but δώσει (will give) stands: “he will give.” (The interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians, to the Thessalonians, to Timothy, to Titus and to Philemon)

Phillip Schaff paraphrases it ‘Make the effort to reflect, for if thou do, the Lord will give thee the discernment which thou needest.’

In other words, even Christ followers would not be able to understand the supernatural Word without the Spirit's supernatural enablement, His dunamis, His enabling power! The Spirit of Truth (Jn 14:17, 15:26, 16:13) takes the Word of Truth (2Ti 2:15-note; James 1:18-note, 2Cor 6:7, Ps 119:43-note, Col 1:5-note where "Word of Truth" is synonymous with "The Gospel"! We are not just saved in the past by the Gospel, but are saved/sanctified daily by that same Gospel and in the same manner, by faith, renouncing self-effort, self-reliance and resting/relying on God's Word and His Spirit to enable us to obey that Word) and daily (if we go to His Word daily [Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4] - you do don't you?) opens our "minds to understand (suniemi) the Scriptures" just as Jesus did for His first disciples (Lk 24:45)..

but just as it is written, "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM." (Ed: Yes, this could be applied to our glorious future, our Blessed Hope, but it also applies to our blessed now...) For to us God revealed (apokalupto = the Holy Spirit "takes the lid" off of the supernatural Word so that we might see the Truth therein! Hallelujah!) them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit Who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God (Ed: Especially His Word of grace" Acts 20:32), which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. (1Cor 2:9-13).

John Piper commenting on 2Ti 2:7 observes that "So many people swerve off the road to one side of this verse or the other. Some stress, “Think over what I say.” They emphasize the indispensable role of reason and thinking. And they often minimize the decisive supernatural role of God in making the mind able to see and embrace the truth. Others stress the second half of the verse: “for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” They emphasize the futility of reason without God’s illumining work. But Paul will not be divided that way. And this book (Thinking. Loving. Doing) is a plea to you that you not force that division either. We hope you will embrace both human thinking and divine illumination. For Paul, it was not either-or but both-and. “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” And notice the little word “for.” (Ed: for = a term of explanation) This means that the promise of God to give us understanding is the ground of our thinking, not the substitute for it. Paul does not say, “God gives you understanding, so don’t waste your time thinking over what I say.” Nor does he say, “Think hard over what I say because it all depends on you, and God does not illumine the mind.” No. He emphatically makes God’s gift of illumination the ground of our effort to understand. There is no reason to believe that a person who thinks without prayerful trust in God’s gift of understanding will get it. And there is no reason to believe that a person who waits for God’s gift of understanding without thinking about his Word will get it either. Both-and. Not either-or." (Thinking. Loving. Doing - John Piper and David Mathis)

MacDonald - But there is more in these three illustrations of Christian service than appears on the surface. Timothy is exhorted to consider them and to meditate on them. As he does so, Paul prays (Ed: MacDonald's interpretation is based on the KJV rendering but most modern version see it as result of Timothy pondering rather than of Paul praying) that the Lord will give him understanding in all things. He will realize that the Christian ministry resembles warfare, athletics, and farming. Each of these occupations has its own responsibilities, and each brings its own reward. (Believer's Bible Commentary)

Fee - Thus everything is from the Lord, both the strengthening to stand in his grace (2Ti 2:1) and the ability to understand the need to share in suffering. (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus - Understanding the Bible Commentary Series)

John Calvin - We taught in vain, if the Lord does not open our understandings (and) the commandments would be given in vain, if He did not impart strength to perform.

Understanding (4907) (sunesis [word study] from sun = together + hiemi = send)  literally describes a sending together as of two rivers converging into union as one tributary. As an intellectual faculty sunesis describes the putting together of the pieces so to speak so that there is comprehension and perception. It is the ability to understand facts and concepts, especially to see the mutual relationships between the various "parts" to the "whole".

A T Robertson comments on understanding writing that it means “Comprehension” (from suniemi = to send together, to grasp). Col 1:9-note; Col 2:2-note. This is a blessed promise that calls for application. (2 Timothy 2)

Sunesis also describes the ability to assess any situation and decide what practical course of action is necessary within it. If Timothy would reflect on Paul's teachings in the previous verses, Christ would assemble the truths together for him and deepen the meaning.

D Edmond Hiebert comments that "It is not that Timothy cannot grasp the meaning of the figures (of speech), but there is so much involved in them that he must be applying his mind to them to apprehend their full application. And Timothy need not fear that the mental activity demanded will be ineffectual. He is given the assurance that "the Lord shall give thee understanding in all things." (The reading in the King James Version, making it a prayer, is based on a reading less well attested.) He need not depend upon his own imperfect, erring mental faculties; for the needed enlightenment he is directed to the Lord. (Quoting Moule) "Timothy was referred for insight and exposition not to the Church, not to the Apostle, or to the Apostles, but to the divine Master Himself, present, attentive, cognizant of Timothy's individual difficulties and mental needs (Moule). The apprehension of spiritual truth is not primarily a matter of mental acumen but of spiritual teachableness. (2 Timothy by D. Edmond Hiebert).

MacArthur applies Paul's command to all believers "Think over and carefully ponder what Paul has said. Look at your life and ask yourself if you are a faithful, trustworthy, spiritually mature believer? Are you devoting yourself to guarding and teaching God’s Word? Do you deny yourself and count your life as nothing in order to faithfully serve the Lord? Do you put some distance between yourself and the routine business of the world? Do you continually prepare yourself to serve your Master? Do you understand self-denial and self-sacrifice? Are you willing to pay the price that He demands?” “If you can answer yes to those questions,” we are promised, the Lord will give you understanding in everything. You will be led with wisdom and insight through the challenges to victory. (MacArthur, J. 2 Timothy. Chicago: Moody Press)

 


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