John Calvin Complete Commentary - 1 Timothy 4:13 - 4:13

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - 1 Timothy 4:13 - 4:13


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13Attend to reading He knew Timothy’ diligence, and yet he recommends to him diligent reading of the Scriptures. How shall pastors teach others if they be not eager to learn? And if so great a man is advised to study to make progress from day to day, how much more do we need such an advice? Woe then to the slothfulness of those who do not peruse the oracles of the Holy Spirit by day and night, (79) in order to learn from them how to discharge their office!

Till I come This reference to the time gives additional weight to the exhortation; for, while Paul hoped that he would come soon, yet he was unwilling, meanwhile, that Timothy should remain unemployed even for a short time; how much more ought we to look forward diligently to our whole life!

To exhortation, to doctrine Lest it should be thought that careless reading was enough, he, at the same time, shews that it must be explained with a view to usefulness when he enjoins him to give earnest attention “ doctrine and exhortation;” as if he enjoined him to learn in order to communicate to others. It is proper, also, to attend to this order, that he places reading before doctrine and exhortation; forundoubtedly, the Scripture is the fountain of all wisdom, from which pastors must draw all that they place before their flock.



(79) Our author may have had in his eye the advice of the poet: —

“Vos exemplaria Graeca

Nocturna versate manu, versate diurna.”

“ the Grecian models night and day.”

It has always been a prominent feature in the character of a good man, that “ delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” — (Psa_1:2.) How much more may we reasonably expect that the servant of Christ, who speaks to the people in the name of his Master, and whose office it is to “ them that which is written in the Scripture of truth,” (Dan_10:21,) shall devoutly and laboriously read the oracles of God! — Ed.