Thursday, December 9, 2010

Interesting tidbit - 6 (2 Timothy 4:17)

Q:  What do you think the lion refers to in 2 Timothy 4:17, the devil, the Roman government, or an actual lion?

At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion's mouth (2 Tim 4:16-17).

A:  While the Romans fed people to the lions, Paul's singular use of "lion" here seems to refer to Nero himself.

Lions are considered the king of the beasts, and in Scripture kings are associated with lions (Prov 20:2; 28:15; Ezek 32:2).  Judah was called "a lion's whelp" (Gen 49:9-10), and Israel's kings sprang from this tribe, including her King of kings, "the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5).

In addition, the Greek word for "defense" in 2 Tim 4:16 (apologia) is translated "defense" and "answer" when Paul was answering charges levied by rulers (Acts 22:1; 25:16).

And so in 2 Timothy 4, Paul is speaking of his "answer" (apologia) before the Roman ruler Nero, from whom the Lord delivered him, as he says, "that by me the proclamation might be fully accomplished."   Though Paul was about to "answer" again before Nero, with a very different outcome, God spared him at his first answer so that he could finish his course (2 Tim 4:7) and the epistles that fulfilled the Word of God (Col 1:25).

No comments:

Post a Comment