Him would Paul have to go forth with him (touton ēthelēsen ho Paulos sun autōi exelthein). This one (note emphatic position) Paul wanted (first aorist active indicative of thelō with temporal augment as if from ethelō the old form). Here was a gifted young man who was both Jew and Greek.
He took and circumcised him (labōn perietemen auton). Any one could perform this rite. Paul had stoutly resisted circumcision in the case of Titus, a pure Greek (Gal 2:3, Gal 2:5), because the whole principle of Gentile liberty was at stake. But Timothy was both Jew and Greek and would continually give offence to the Jews with no advantage to the cause of Gentile freedom. So here for the sake of expediency, “because of the Jews” (dia tous Ioudaious), Paul voluntarily removed this stumbling-block to the ministry of Timothy. Otherwise Timothy could not have been allowed to preach ln the synagogues. Idem non esto4 semper idem. But Timothy’s case was not the case of Titus. Here it was a question of efficient service, not an essential of salvation. Hovey notes that Timothy was circumcised because of Jewish unbelievers, not because of Jewish believers.
Was a Greek (Hellēn hupērchen). Imperfect active in indirect assertion where ordinarily the present huparchei would be retained, possibly indicating that his father was no longer living.