Matthew Poole's Commentary
The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;2Jo 1:1-4 The apostle testifieth his regard and good wishes
for a certain pious matron and her
children, and his joy in their good behaviour.
2Jo 1:5-9 He exhorteth them to persevere in
Christian love and belief, that they lose not their
2Jo 1:10,11 and to have nothing to do with
those seducers that bring not the true doctrine of
2Jo 1:12,13 He hopeth to see them shortly, and
concludeth with salutations.
The elder; a general name of office, fitly appropriated with eminency here, he being the only apostle, probably, now surviving on earth.
The elect lady; this appears to have been some noted person, whom both her singular piety, and rank in the world, made eminent, and capable of having great influence for the support of the Christian interest, which her general value with all that had
known the truth, ( i.e. the Christians in those parts), shows. The opinion that a church is intended by this appellation, had it greater probability, is of no great importance, and need not here be disputed.
For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.The indwelling of evangelical truth, which is here meant, signifies its deep radication, and powerful transforming efficacy, in the soul, so as to be productive of holiness, as John 17:17; than which nothing can be a greater inducement among Christians of mutual love.
Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.Such salutations see explained where they have formerly occurred.
I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.Some of her sons, it is probably conjectured, he had met with, upon their occasions, at Ephesus, where, it is thought, he now resided, and found them to have a good savour of religion, and to walk according to rule, which was matter of great joy to him.
And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.He inculcates that great precept, of which see 1Jo 2:7,8.
And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.From this particular command he passes to what is more general, requiring in all things a strict and unanimous adherence to the pure and primitive doctrine of the gospel, which would be the best expression of love to God, and the true centre and bond of love to one another, as 1Jo 5:1,3.
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.See 1Jo 2:18,22 4:3.
Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.Such changes of the person, as we here find, are neither unusual, nor, in exhortation, inelegant; but some copies read in the two latter clauses
ye. He presses to constancy in the true, incorrupt Christian profession.
That we receive a full reward; that the expected recompence be not lost in the whole, or in any part, as Galatians 3:3,4.
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.See 1Jo 2:23.
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:Ver. 10,11. Such as bring any contrary doctrine, (as Galatians 1:8), ought not to be harboured or countenanced by any encouraging salutation, lest we involve ourselves in the participation of their guilt, 1 Timothy 5:22.
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.See Poole on "2Jo 1:10"
Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.The latter write is not in the Greek text; but the words bear this sense, that having many things to write, I would not by
paper and ink impart them to you, (the expression being elliptical), but hope to come, &c.
The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.They were, it is probable, with him at Ephesus, and took the occasion by him now writing, to transmit their salutations.
Amen; this concluding Amen imports his sincerity in what he had written.