Super I ad Timotheum
Commentary on I Timothy
10:4 In manu Dei potestas terrae, et execrabilis omnis iniquitas gentium, et utilem rectorem suscitabit in tempore super illam.
10:4 The power of the earth is in the hand of God, and all iniquity of nations is execrable, and in his time he will raise up a profitable ruler over it.
1. Haec verba materiae huius epistolae conveniunt. Prius enim instruxit Ecclesiam in his, quae ad eius unitatem pertinent, hic instruit ipsos rectores Ecclesiae, qui sunt quasi principalia membra eius. Circa quod videnda est ista instructio et utilitas.
1. These words suit the subject matter of this epistle. For in the preceding epistles he instructed the Church in matters pertaining to its unity; now he instructs the Church’s rulers, who are, as it were, its chief members. In regard to rulers it is necessary to see how they are established and what purpose they serve.
Instructio est in Deo, quia in manu Dei, et cetera. Et hoc tripliciter, quia ab ipso exoritur. Rom. XIII, 1: non est potestas nisi a Deo. Item quod secundum Deum debet regulari. Prov. VIII, 15: per me reges regnant, et conditores legum iusta decernunt. Item quia secundum Dei dispositionem, eorum potestas fundatur. Dan. II, 21: et ipse mutat tempora et aetates, transfert regna atque constituit.
They are established in God, because the power of the earth is in the hand of God; and this in three ways: first, because it has its source in God: there is no power but from God (Rom 13:1); second, because it must be regulated according to God: by me kings reign, and lawgivers decree just things (Prov 8:15); third, because this power is set up according to God’s plan: he changes times and ages; takes away kingdoms and establishes them (Dan 2:21).
Item utilitas eorum ostenditur, quia est ad cohibendam nequitiam hominum, quia execrabilis omnis iniquitas gentium. Iusto non est lex posita. Rectores legis tripliciter debent se habere ad mala. Primo ut ea corde odio habeant. II Mach. III, 1: animo odio habentes mala, et cetera. Secundo ut prohibeant ea ne fiant. Prov. XX, 8: rex qui sedet in solio iudicii dissipat omne malum. Tertio ut facta puniant. Rom. XIII, 4: minister enim Dei est, vindex in iram eius qui male agit.
The purpose it serves is also shown, because it is directed to restraining human wickedness, because all iniquity of nations is execrable: the law is not made for the just man (1 Tim 1:9). Rulers should behave three ways in the face of evil: first, they should sincerely hate it: his soul had a hatred of evil (2 Macc 3:1); second, they should forbid it: the king who sits on the throne of judgment, scatters away all evil with his look (Prov 20:8); third, they should punish evil deeds: he is God’s minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him who does evil (Rom 13:4).
Quarto videnda est utilitas, ibi utilem rectorem, et cetera. Et ad tria est utilis rector, quae notantur Eccli. XLIX, 17: Ioseph princeps fratrum, ut gentem sustentet per potentiam. Is. XIX, 4: et rex fortis dominabitur eorum, et cetera. Rector fratrum, dirigendo per sapientiam. Is. XXXII, 8: princeps ea quae sunt digna principe cogitabit, et cetera. Eccli. X, 24: in medio fratrum rector illorum. Stabilimentum populi, ut cohibeat ab iniustis per iustitiam, Ps. XVII, 27: tu populum humilem salvum facies, et oculos superborum humiliabis, et cetera.
Then we are notified about its use when he says, he will raise up a profitable ruler. For a ruler is profitable for three things, which are indicated in Sirach: Joseph, the prince of his brethren (Sir 49:17). He should support the brethren by his power: and a strong king shall rule over them (Isa 19:4); the ruler of his brethren: he directs them by his wisdom: but the prince will devise such things as are worthy of a prince, and he shall stand above the rulers (Isa 32:8); in the midst of the brethren their chief is honorable (Sir 10:24); the stay of the people: he should restrain the unjust with justice: for you will save the humble people: but wilt bring down the eyes of the proud (Ps 17:28).
2. Et sic patet materia harum epistolarum, quia est ad instructionem rectorum populi fidelis, in quo quidam praeferuntur in spiritualibus, sicut praelati Ecclesiarum, quos primo instruit; quidam vero in temporalibus, quos secundo monet; et hoc in epistola ad Philemonem.
2. Thus the subject matter of these epistles is clear, because it is directed to the building up of those who shall rule the faithful: among these some rule in spiritual matters, as the prelates of the Church. These he instructs first. Some rule in temporal matters. These are the second ones to be instructed: and this in the epistle to Philemon.
Circa primum tres sunt epistolae, secundum tria quae competunt praelato, quorum primum est ut gubernet populum; secundum, ut pro populo subdito patiatur; tertium, ut malos coerceat.
Three epistles are directed to the first group to correspond to the three things competent to prelates: the first of these is that they govern the people; second, that they suffer for the people; third, that they restrain the wicked.
Primum in prima ad Timotheum; secundum in secunda, ubi agit de martyrio; tertium in epistola ad Titum, ubi agit ac docet quomodo vitet haereticos, ut etiam patet in argumentis epistolarum.
The first group is instructed in the first epistle to Timothy; the second in the second epistle to Timothy, where he treats of martyrdom; the third in the epistle to Titus, in which he teaches how to avoid heretics.
1:1 Paulus Apostolus Jesu Christi secundum imperium Dei Salvatoris nostri, et Christi Jesu spei nostrae, [n. 3]
1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the commandment of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our hope: [n. 3]
1:2 Timotheo dilecto filio in fide. Gratia, misericordia, et pax a Deo Patre, et Christo Jesu Domino nostro. [n. 5]
1:2 To Timothy, his beloved son in faith. Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord. [n. 5]
3. Dividitur haec epistola in salutationem et epistolarem narrationem, ibi sicut rogavi.
3. This epistle is divided into greeting and the message, at as I desired you.
Circa primum tria facit, quia
In the greeting he does three things:
primo ponitur persona salutans,
First, he mentions the person who sends the greeting;
secundo persona salutata;
second, the persons greeted;
tertio bona optata.
third, the good he wishes him.
4. Describit autem personam salutantem, primo ex nomine Paulus, quod convenit auctoritati propter duo. In apostolatu enim duo sunt, scilicet altitudo potestatis, ad quam exaltantur humiles. I Reg. XV, 17: cum esses parvulus in oculis tuis, caput in tribubus Israel factus es. Et Paulus dicitur modicus. Item claritas sapientiae, et hanc Dominus praebet parvulis. Matth. XI, 25: revelasti ea parvulis, et cetera.
4. The person who sends the greeting is described, first of all, by his name, Paul, a name which is suited to one in authority for two reasons. For there are two things present in apostleship, namely, lofty power, to which the humble are raised: when you were a little one in your own eyes, were you not made the head of the tribes of Israel? (1 Sam 15:17); and Paul means ‘small.’ Second, the brightness of wisdom which the Lord offers to the humble: you have revealed these things to little ones (Matt 11:25).
Secundo ex auctoritate, quia apostolus, id est, missus. Io. XX, 21: sicut misit me Pater. I Cor. IX, 2: signaculum apostolatus mei vos estis in Domino.
Second, he is described by his authority, because he is an apostle, i.e., sent: as the Father has sent me, I also send you (John 20:21); you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord (1 Cor 9:2).
Tertio ex origine huius auctoritatis, unde dicit Iesu Christi secundum imperium Dei, et cetera. Act. XIII, 2: segregate mihi Barnabam et Saulum in opus ad quod assumpsi eos. I Reg. XIII, 14: quaesivit sibi Dominus virum iuxta cor suum, et cetera. Ex quo patet quod praelati ex necessitate praecepti tenentur ad ea quae sunt proprii officii. I Cor. c. IX, 16: vae mihi enim est, si non evangelizavero. Et Christi Iesu spei nostrae, qui est spes nostra, ut ad eum veniamus. Phil. I, 23: desiderium habens dissolvi, et esse cum Christo, et cetera. Vel spei nostrae, quia per ipsum speramus adipisci bona aeterna. I Petr. I, 3: regeneravit nos in spem vivam, et cetera. Rom. XV, 4: per consolationem Scripturarum spem habeamus.
Third, from the origin of this authority; hence he says, of Jesus Christ, according to the commandment of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our hope: separate to me Saul and Barnabas for the work whereunto I have taken them (Acts 13:2); the Lord has sought him a man according to his own heart: and him has the Lord commanded to be prince over his people (1 Sam 13:14). From this it is clear that prelates are obliged, by a necessity of precept, to those things proper to their office: woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel (1 Cor 9:16). And Christ Jesus our hope, because he is our hope of coming to him: having a desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ (Phil 1:23). Or, our hope, because through him we hope to obtain eternal gifts: he has regenerated us into a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Pet 1:3); that through the comfort of the scripture we might have hope (Rom 15:4).
5. Personam salutatam describit tripliciter. Primo ex nomine, cum dicit Timotheo, de quo Act. XVI. Item ex affectione, dicens dilecto. Phil. II, 20: neminem habeo tam unanimem, et cetera. Item ex filiatione, dicens filio in fide, scilicet a se converso. I Cor. c. IV, 17: misi ad vos Timotheum filium meum charissimum, et fidelem in Domino, et cetera.
5. He describes the person greeted from three viewpoints: first, from his name, when he says, to Timothy: there was a certain disciple there named Timothy (Acts 16:1); second from his love, when he says, his beloved: for I have no man so of the same mind who with sincere affection is solicitous for you (Phil 2:20); third, from his sonship, when he says, son in faith, i.e., converted by him: I have sent to you Timothy, who is my dearest son and faithful in the Lord (1 Cor 4:17).
6. Tunc autem primo ponit bona optata, et deinde ostendit a quo sunt.
6. Then he mentions the good things he wishes, and shows their origin.
Sciendum est autem quod in aliis epistolis duo ponuntur, hic tria, quia praelati pluribus indigent. Et ideo dicit gratia et misericordia, primo sibi, et deinde aliis. Et sumitur hic misericordia pro remissione peccatorum, quia haec est ex Dei misericordia: gratia vero pro munere gratiarum, quo indigent praelati. Vel gratia, sicut in aliis, pro gratia iustificante, sed misericordia pro munere divino in spiritualibus charismatibus exaltante. Sap. IV, 15: gratia Dei et misericordia in sanctos eius, et respectus in electos illius. Et pax, scilicet tecum, et per te aliis. Ps. LXXI, 3: suscipiant montes pacem.
Here it should be noted that in the other epistles two things are mentioned, but here three are mentioned, because prelates need more. Hence he says, grace and mercy, first to him, and then to the others. Mercy is taken here for the remission of sins, because this comes from God’s mercy; but grace for the public display of graces which prelates need. Or grace for sanctifying grace; but mercy for the divine gift of being raised to spiritual charisms: the grace of God and his mercy is with the saints, and he has respect to his chosen (Wis 4:15). And peace with you and through you to others: let the mountains receive peace (Ps 71:3).
Sed unde? A Deo, ut dent populo. Iac. c. I, 17: omne datum optimum, et omne donum perfectum desursum est, descendens a Patre luminum. Et Christo Iesu Domino nostro, scilicet per quem maxima nobis et pretiosa promissa donavit, II Petr. I, 2.
But from whom? From God, to be given to the people: every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (Jas 1:17). And from Christ Jesus our Lord: by whom he has given us most great and precious promises (2 Pet 1:4).
End of the commandment
1:3 Sicut rogavi te ut remaneres Ephesi cum irem in Macedoniam, ut denuntiares quibusdam ne aliter docerent, [n. 7]
1:3 As I desired you to remain at Ephesus when I went into Macedonia, that you might charge some not to teach otherwise: [n. 7]
1:4 neque intenderent fabulis, et genealogiis interminatis: quae quaestiones praestant magis quam aedificationem Dei, quae est in fide. [n. 10]
1:4 Not to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which furnish questions rather than the edification of God, which is in faith. [n. 10]
1:5 Finis autem praecepti est caritas de corde puro, et conscientia bona, et fide non ficta. [n. 11]
1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and an unfeigned faith. [n. 11]
7. Hic incipit epistolaris narratio. Et est haec epistola quasi pastoralis regula, quam Apostolus tradit Timotheo, instruens de omnibus, quae spectant ad regimen praelatorum, et eo ordine quo debet esse intentio.
7. Here begins the message of this epistle, which is a sort of pastoral guide composed by the Apostle for Timothy, instructing him in all matters pertaining to the exercise of his prelacy, and teaching the order in which he should arrange his desires:
Primo ergo instruit eum de spiritualibus ministrandis,
first, therefore, he instructs him on the management of spiritual affairs;