2 Timothy 4:20
Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) Erastus abode at Corinth.—Better rendered, remained at Corinth. An Erastus is mentioned in Romans 16:23, the “chamberlain” of Corinth, one of the Christian congregation of that city. This man was probably identical with him.

Another “Eastus” appears among those who ministered to St. Paul at Ephesus (Acts 19:22). Him St. Paul sent on missionary work into Macedonia. There were, therefore, among St. Paul’s friends two men of this name: the one a resident official personage at Corinth; the other one of that band who journeyed hither and thither for the propagation of the faith.

But Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.—Trophimus, a Gentile Christian, who was with St. Paul on his third missionary journey, and whom the Apostle was accused of taking into the Temple at Jerusalem. It was this accusation on the part of the Jews which led to St. Paul’s arrest which preceded his first long imprisonment. The event here alluded to must have taken place some time after the Apostle’s release from the first imprisonment, A.D. 63, and, probably, in the course of his last journey, shortly before his second arrest and imprisonment at Rome, about A.D. 66.

Miletus (not “Miletum”), a seaport of Caria, about thirty miles from Ephesus, once a city of great renown, whence, it is said, eighty colonies had proceeded; but in the days of St. Paul its glories were already on the wane. It is now famous only for its vast ruined theatre. (See Acts 20:15.)

It has been suggested that this mention of Trophimus was intended to clear him of any neglect. “Erastus,” wrote the Apostle, “remained at Corinth; but Trophimus’ reason for not coming to Rome was his sickness.”

4:19-22 We need no more to make us happy, than to have the Lord Jesus Christ with our spirits; for in him all spiritual blessings are summed up. It is the best prayer we can offer for our friends, that the Lord Jesus Christ may be with their spirits, to sanctify and save them, and at last to receive them to himself. Many who believed as Paul, are now before the throne, giving glory to their Lord: may we be followers of them.Erastus - see the notes on Romans 16:23.

Abode at Corinth - This was his home, where he filled an important office; see the notes at Romans 16:23. It would seem that when Paul went to Rome, there was some expectation that he would accompany him, but that reasons had occurred for his remaining in Corinth. His doing so is referred to without blame.

But Trophimus - see Acts 20:4. He was a native of Asia Minor.

Have I left at Miletum sick - Probably he designed to accompany him to Rome, as he had been often with him in his journeys. On the situation of Miletus, or Miletum, see the notes on Acts 20:15.

20. In order to depict his desertion, he informs Timothy that Erastus, one of his usual companions (Ac 19:22, possibly the same Erastus as in Ro 16:23, though how he could leave his official duties for missionary journeys is not clear), stayed behind at Corinth, his native place, or usual residence, of which city he was "chamberlain," or city steward and treasurer (Ro 16:23); and Trophimus he left behind at Miletus sick. (On his former history, see on [2513]Ac 20:4; Ac 21:29). This verse is irreconcilable with the imprisonment from which he writes being the first: for he did not pass by Corinth or Miletus on his way to Rome when about to be imprisoned for the first time. As Miletus was near Ephesus, there is a presumption that Timothy was not at Ephesus when Paul wrote, or he would not need to inform Timothy of Trophimus lying sick in his immediate neighborhood. However, Trophimus may not have been still at Miletus at the time when Paul wrote, though he had left him there on his way to Rome. Prisca and Aquila were most likely to be at Ephesus (2Ti 4:19), and he desires Timothy to salute them: so also Onesiphorus' household (2Ti 1:18). Paul had not the power of healing at will (Ac 19:12), but as the Lord allowed him. Erastus abode at Corinth; of this Erastus see Romans 16:23. He was the chamberlain of Corith, so he abode there. Paul sent him into Macedonia, Acts 19:22.

But Tropimus have I left at Miletus sick; Trophimus was an Ephesian, Acts 21:29, one of Paul’s companions, Acts 20:4; he was left at Miletum, a city in Asia, not far from Ephesus.

Erastus abode at Corinth,.... He was chamberlain of that city, Romans 16:23 who being sent along with Timothy into Macedonia, Acts 19:22 very probably went from thence into Achaia, to Corinth, his native place, where he stayed.

But Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. Trophimus was an Asian, of the city of Ephesus, the same that is spoken of in Acts 20:4. Some say he suffered martyrdom the same day the Apostle Paul did; but others say, that after that time he was bishop of Arles in France. This man went with the apostle into Asia, and from thence to Jerusalem, and came along with him in his voyage to Rome, but falling sick by the way, was left at Miletum. Some, instead of Miletum, would read Melita, that being the island Paul, and the ship's company, escaped to, when they were shipwrecked, Acts 28:1 here it is supposed Trophimus was left sick. Others have observed, that there was a city called Miletus in the island of Crete, under which Paul sailed, Acts 27:7, see footnote (j), and is the place intended; but there is no need to suppose either of these; no doubt Miletum, near to Ephesus, is meant; and as the apostle sailed by the coast of Asia, Acts 27:7, on which shore Miletum was, there is no difficulty in supposing him put ashore there. The Alexandrian copy reads "Melotus".

(j) Plin. l. 4. c. 12.

Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Timothy 4:20. Ἒραστος ἔμεινεν ἐν Κορίνθῳ] While on his third journey, the apostle sent forward a certain. Erastus from Ephesus to Macedonia along with Timothy (Acts 19:22). It can hardly be doubted that it is the same man who is mentioned here. It is more uncertain if the one alluded to in Romans 16:23 is also the same (as Otto thinks); still it does favour the identity that the latter dwelt in Corinth as ὁ οἰκόνομος τῆς πόλεως, and that the Erastus here mentioned remained in Corinth. Meyer, however (see on Romans 16:23), and Wiesinger think it improbable. Hofmann holds that the Erastus mentioned in Acts 19:22, and the city chamberlain in Romans 16:23, are two different men, and that the one mentioned here is identical with the latter.

ἔμεινε] i.e. “he remained in Corinth, viz. when I left it;” the tense favours this view. Paul notices the fact because he thought that Timothy believed that Erastus had left Corinth with the apostle. Hug explains it: “Erastus, whom I expected in Rome, remained behind in Corinth;” but this would suit better with the perfect. Besides, there is nothing to indicate such an expectation.

Τρόφιμον δὲ ἀπέλιπον ἐν Μιλήτῳ ἀσθενοῦντα] Trophimus, an Asiatic, accompanied Paul on his third journey, and went before him from Greece to Troas (Acts 20:4). His presence in Jerusalem was the occasion of the tumult against Paul (Acts 21:29).

From this passage it would appear that Trophimus had wished to accompany the apostle on his journey, but had been left behind at Miletus sick. The apostle cannot have been in Miletus with Trophimus before the first imprisonment in Rome; hence the expositors who deny that Paul was twice imprisoned in Rome, and admit the genuineness of the epistle, are driven to great straits in interpreting this passage. Thus Hug, Hemsen, and Kling hold ἀπέλιπον to be the third person plural. Wieseler does not give the proper force to ἀπέλιπον, which—as de Wette rightly remarks—presupposes that they had been previously together in Miletus. Regarding the views of Wieseler and Otto, comp. Introduction, § 3, pp. 19, 20. It is altogether arbitrary to read ἐν Μελίτῃ, or to suppose that Miletus in Crete is meant.

The reason for speaking about Erastus and Trophimus appears in 2 Timothy 4:21; comp. 2 Timothy 4:9-10. He did not mention them in 2 Timothy 4:10, because “there he was speaking only of those who had already been with him in Rome and had left him” (Wiesinger). Hofmann thinks that Paul mentions them in reply to a question from Timothy regarding the two who might serve as witnesses for his defence; but this is mere conjecture, for which no good grounds can be given.[74]

[74] Hofmann regards them as suitable witnesses for the defence, assuming that the charge against the apostle rested on this, that his preaching of the gospel was contrary to the constitution of the state. Erastus was present in Corinth on the occasion mentioned in Acts 18:12, and Trophimus when Paul was made a prisoner at Jerusalem. Both might therefore testify that Paul was not to blame for these tumults.

2 Timothy 4:20. Ἔραστος ἔμεινεν: The name Erastus is too common to make probable the identification of this companion of St. Paul’s and the οἰκονόμος, treasurer, of Corinth, who joins in the apostle’s salutation in Romans 16:23. It is not antecedently likely that a city official could travel about as a missionary. On the other hand, it is probable that this Erastus is the same as the companion of Timothy mentioned in Acts 19:22. It is to be observed that St. Paul here resumes from 2 Timothy 4:12 his explanation of the absence from Rome of members of his company whose presence with their master at this crisis would have been natural. It is possible that Erastus and Trophimus were with St. Paul when he was arrested the second time, and that they remained in his company as far as Miletus and Corinth respectively.

Τρόφιμον: See Acts 20:4; Acts 21:29, and the art. in Hastings’ D. B.

ἀσθενοῦντα: Paley’s remark is never out of date, “Forgery, upon such an occasion, would not have spared a miracle” (Horae Paul. Philippians 2). Chrys. notes, “The apostles could not do everything, or they did not dispense miraculous gifts upon all occasions, lest more should be ascribed to them than was right”.

20. Erastus abode] ‘Stayed at his post’; the verb suggests certainly that he had been commissioned by St Paul for some duty which he courageously fulfilled; if therefore it is unlikely that the Erastus who was chamberlain or treasurer (Oeconomus) of Corinth could be a fellow minister with Timothy to Macedonia (Acts 19:22), it is equally unlikely that he could have been set on duty at Corinth, as is implied here. In which case we may identify the Erastus of Acts 19:22 with the Erastus here, and regard the ‘chamberlain’ as a different person. See sketch of last journeys of St Paul and his companions in the Introduction, p. 43.

Trophimus] An Ephesian and Gentile, who was with St Paul at Troas on the third missionary journey (Acts 20:4) and accompanied him to Jerusalem, causing a disturbance there because he was a Gentile (Acts 21:29). The only natural way of placing this event is at some visit to Miletus after the close of the Acts, see Introduction, p. 43. Miletum must be a misprint of A.V. as there is no authority anywhere for a neuter form.

2 Timothy 4:20. ἜραστοςΤρόφιμον, ErastusTrophimus) The reason why these do not send salutations, is by implication indicated.—ἔμεινεν, remained) while I was prosecuting my journey. The second imprisonment of Paul was not long; for he wrote these things a short time after his journey, a little before his death.—ἐν Κορίνθῳ, at Corinth) his native country, Romans 16:23.—[19]ἐν Μιλήτῳ, at Miletus) Miletus was near Ephesus. Whether Timothy knew of the sickness of Trophimus or was ignorant of it, still Paul might have mentioned it. And perhaps Trophimus accompanied Timothy afterwards to Rome. The Scholiast on this passage in Pricæus says: “Trophimus, Aristarchus, and Pudens, after they had suffered severely with the apostle in the persecutions, were at last beheaded along with him.”

[19] Ἀπέλιπον, I left) Therefore Paul had returned from Asia to Rome not very long before.—V. g.

Verse 20. - I left for have I left, A.V.; Miletus for Miletum, A.V. Erastus abode at Corinth. We learn from Romans 16:3 that Erastus was the chamberlain of Corinth, which accounts for his abiding there, he was one of St. Paul's companions in his missionary journey, and we learn from Acts 19:22 that he was sent by St. Paul with Timothy into Macedonia just before the great riot at Ephesus. The mention of him here clearly indicates that St. Paul had gone from Troas, where he left his cloke, to Corinth on his way to Rome. Trophimus is first mentioned in Acts 20:4, where we learn that he was an Asiatic, and more definitely in Acts 21:29, that he was an Ephesian. He had travelled with St. Paul's party from Macedonia to Troas, and thence to Miletus and Jerusalem, where we lose sight of him till we find him again in this passage journeying towards Rome with St. Paul and others, but stopped at Miletus by sickness. Miletus, not Miletum, is the correct form. 2 Timothy 4:20Erastus

In Acts 19:22, sent by Paul with Timothy to Macedonia from Ephesus. Romans 16:23, the city-treasurer who sends salutations. He cannot be certainly identified with the one mentioned here. The writer merely selects names of well-known companions of Paul.

Trophimus

See Acts 22:4; Acts 21:9.

Sick (ἀσθενοῦντα)

By Paul mostly in a moral sense, as weak in the faith, Romans 4:19; the law was weak, Romans 8:3; the weak brother, 1 Corinthians 8:11. Of bodily sickness, Philippians 2:26, Philippians 2:27.

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