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6 (O1, 67.) These have 6. These brethren and strangers, borne testimony to thy have borné an honourable testimony to (ayann) love in the presence thy benevolence in the presence of the of the church ;' whom church here, whom if thou help forward if thou help forward on on their second journey, by entertaintheir journey? in a man- ing them and supplying them with ner worthy of God, thou neceffaries, in a manner worthy of wilt do well.
God, who reckons what is done to his distressed fervants as done to himself,
thou wilt do well. 7 Because for his 7. Because, for making the name of name's fake they went Christ as the Son of God known
forth' receiving nothing among the Gentiles, they went forth, from the Gentiles. ? and received nothing on the score of
maintenance from the Gentiles to whom they preached, that their preaching might be the more ac
ceptable. 8 We, therefore, ought 8 17e therefore, who do not underto entertain' such, that take expensive journies for the sake we may be joint labourers of preaching the gospel, ought to en. in the truth.
tertain in our houses those who do so, that in this manner we may be joint labourers with them in spreading the gospel.
persons in want, there was no reason for their not receiving assistance, from the Gentiles, whether converted or unconverted.
2. Receiving nothing from the Gentiles. It is not clear whether the apostle meant the converted, or the unconverted Gentiles, or both. I am of opinion that he meant both; because if the brethren and the ftrangers were preachers, they may have prudently resolved to re
ve neither entertainment nor money from the Gentiles, left it might have marred the fuccess of their preaching among them, when they found the reception of the gospel attended with expence. . This at least was the consideration which determined the apostle Paul to preach the gospel gratis.—The commentators who think these brethren and ftrangers were simply poor Christians who had been driven from their homes by their persecutors, suppose that they received nothing from the unconverted Gentiles, left it might have given them occafion to say that there was no charity among the Christians.
Ver. 8. We therefore ought to entertain such. Sée Luke xv, 27. Galat. iv. 5. where A Tonapbavev, fignifies, simply to receive, which, in the language of the New Testament, means to lodge and entertain a person in one's houfe ; to keep company with him, as one whom we esteem. Wherefore the apostle's sentiment in this precept is, that
. I wrote untothe church; 9 Εγραψα τη εκκλησια but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence
αλλ' ο φιλοπρωτευων αυτών among them, receiveth us Διοτρεφης εκ επιδεχεται η
μας" 10 Wherefore, if I come, IO Δια τετο, εαν ελθω, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating
τα εργα againft us with malicious ποιει, λογους πονηροις φλυwords; and not content apwv seceso xau un aprotherewith, neither doth he parQ ETI 18TCS, himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them
τος επιδεχεται τις αδελφες, ; that would, and caíteth them τες μελομενες κωλυει, , out of the church.
και εκ της εκκλησιας εκβαλλει. .
such of the brethren as had not devoted themselves to the preaching of the gospel, but followed their ordinary occupations at home, were bound to contribute according to their ability toward the maintenance of those who went about preaching the gospel. And to render his exhortation the more acceptable to them, he included himself in the exhortation : We ought to entertain such. - Benson thinks Caius was a Jewish Christian, and that the apostle's exhortation was directed particularly to Jewish believers, who if they contributed towards the fupport of those who preached the gospel to the Gentiles, would thereby Thew their earnest defire of the conversion of the Gentiles.
Ver. 9.-1. I would have written to the church. Eygefa tn ExxAngią. Six or seven MSS. read here sygefa ay, which is followed by the Vulgate ; fcripfilem. The second Syriac likewife and the Coptic versions follow that reading, which I suppose is genuine ; because if the common reading is retained, the particle av must be supplied ; as is plain from what follows, where the apostle, in apology for not writing to the church, adds, But Diotrephes, who loveth to rule them, doth not receive us ; doth not acknowledge me as an apostle. - The letters which the apostles wrote to the churches were all sent to the bishops and el. ders in these churches, to be by them read to the people in their public affemblies. See Eff ii. page 73. If Diotrephes was a bishop elder of the church to which John would have written, he might sufpect that that imperious arrogant man would have suppressed his let. ter: consequently to have written to a church of which he had usurped the fole government, would have answered no good purpose. The translation of this clause in our English Bible represents the apostle as saying that he had written a letter, which is now loft. This to fome may appear a difficulty. But the translation I have given, which is supported by several MSS. and by the Vulgate version, obviates that difficulty.
or KS, 3
9 (Eypafa, supply av) I 9 I would have written the same would have written' to exhortation to the church, of which the church; but Dio- thou art a member: But Diotrephes trephes, ' who loveth to who loveth to rule them according to rule them, doth not receive his own humour, doth nct acknow
ledge my authority as an apostle of
Chrift, 10 For this cause, when 10 For this cause, when I come I I come, I will bring his will bring his deeds to his remembrance ; deeds toremembrance' which I will punish him for his deeds ; he practiseth, pratiug a- which he practiseth, prating against me gainst us with malicious with calumnious speeches, as if I were words, and not content no apostie, but had afsu ned that oftherewith, he doth not fice. And not content therewith, he himself receive the bre- doth not himself few kindness to the thren, and forbiddeth brethren in their journey to the Genthem who would, and tiles, and forbiddeth them who are discasteth Them out of the posed to entertain them; and cafleth church. 2
them out of the church, when they do so contrary to his orders.
2. But Dintrephes who loveth to rule them, namely, ivho are members of his church. From Diotrephes's loving to rule the church of which Caius was a member, many have supposed him to have been the bishop of that church. Beides, they think if he had been a private person only, he could not have hindered any letter which the apostle might have written to that church from being read in it, and from having its due effect. --See the preface to this epiitle, Sect. 3 paragr. 3. from the end.
3. Doth not receive us. On this circumstance Benson founds his opinion that Diotrephes was a bigotted Judaizing teacher. For he thinks the persons who denied John's authority as an apostle, were the Judaizers only, and not the Gentile teachers.
Ver. 10.-1. I will bring his deeds to remembrance which he praaiseth. "I woulinow properly signifies to bring another to the remembrance of a thing; and it is so translated Jude, ver. 5.-In thus speaking, the writer of this epistle shewed himielf to be Diotrephes's superior. It is therefore highly probable that the writer of the third epistle of John, was not the person called by the ancients John the presbyter, but John the apoile. - Heuman and Lardner are of opinion, that the apostle only meant that he would put Diotrephes in mind of his evil deeds, and endeavour to persuade him to repent of them by mild ad. monitions. But there is no occasion to give a mild sense to the apostle's words. For allowing that John threatened to punish Diotrephes for his infolence in prating against him with malicious words, and for his uncharitableness in refusing to entertain and assist the brethren and the strangers, his threatening did not proceed from re
I Beloved, follow not
II A YoutinTE, Pen Meijer that which is evil, but that which is good. He that
το κακον, αλλα το αγαθον, doth good is of God, but και αγαθοποιων, εκ Θεα he that dath evil hath not εςιν ο δε κακοποιων, εχ εωfeen God.
ρακε τον Θεον· 12 Demetrius hath good
12 Δημητριω μεμαρτυ: report of all men, and of the
; truth itfelf; yea, and
ρηται υπο σαντων, και υπ' alfi bear record; and ye αυτης της αληθειας και ηknow that our record is
μαρτυρεμεν, και δατε ότι η μαρτυρια ημων
αληθης εςι. . 13 I had many things to
13 Πολλα ειχαν γραφειν, write, but I will not with
, ink and pen write unto
αλλ' και θελω δια μελανζ. thee :
και καλαμε σοι γραψαι.
sentment, but from zeal for the interests of religion, in which he is to be commended ; because as Whitby remarks on this verse, s Private " offences against ourselves must be forgiven, and forgotten; but “ when the offence is an impediment to the faith, and very pre“ judicial to the church, it is to be opposed, and publicly re.
2. He doth not himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them who would, and casteth them out, &c. Because Caius, who shewed great kindness to the brethren and the strangers, doth not seem to have been cast out of the church by. Diotrephes, Heuman contends that the persons who were cast out of the church, were not those who shew. ed kindnefs to the brethren and to the strangers, but the brethren and ftrangers themselves, whom he obliged to leave the church, by denying them relief himself, and by hindering others from relieving them. In support of this interpretation, it is but fair to obferve that the relative pronoun often expresseth, not the near, but the remote antecedent, Eff
. iv. 63. Yet I doubt that Heuman's interpretation doth not give the true meaning of the passage.-Some Commentators, by Diotrephes's casting the perfons fpoken of, out of the church, understand his excommunicating them; a sense of the phrase which is suitable to Diotrephes's insolent and arrogant difpofition, and agreeable to the suppofition that the perfons whom he cast out of the church, were those who relieved the brethren and the strangers.
Ver. 11.-1. Beloved, do not thou imitate what is evil, but what is good. Having reprobated the temper and behaviour of Diotrephes, the apostle naturally cautioned Caius againft the pernicious influence of his bad example ; and cxhorted him to imitate another member of
1 Beloved, do not I Beloved, do not thou imitate what thou imitate what is evil, is evil in the behaviour of Dios but what is good.' He trephes, but imitate rather what is wko doth good is of God: good in the behaviour of Demetrius, but he who doth evil hath knowing that he who doth good works not seen God.
is begotten of God : But he who behaveth uncharitably to the servants of Christ in their straits, hath no right
knowledge of God, 1 John iii. 10. 12 Testimony is borne 12 Praise is bestowed on Demetrius to Demetrius by all men,' by all who know him, on accouht of and by the truth itself. his benevolence, his meekness, and And we also bear testimony, his humility; and by ihe gospel itself, and ye know that our his temper and conduct being contestimony is true.
formable to its precepts. And I also praise him highly. And ye know that
my praise is always well founded. 13 I have many things 13 I have many things to write con . to write.' But í do not cerning the affairs of your church, incline to write THEM to and concerning Diotrephes. But I thee with pen and ink. . do not incline to write them to thee with
pen and ink, left my letter should fall into hands who might make an im. proper use of it.
his own church named Demetrius, who in character and conduct was the direct reverse of Diotrephes, and therefore was highly praised by all good men, and among the rest by the apottle himself
2. He who doth good is of God. Ex 18 ©£8 EFL. Is begotten of God. For so this phrase signifies : John iii. 10. See 1 John iii. 12,
Ver. 12.-1. Teslimony is borne to Demetrius by all men. By bearing testimony to a person, the Jews meant the praising of him for his good qualities and actions. Thus it is said of Jesus, Luke iv. 22. All bare him witness, that is, praised him. In like manner Paul speaking of David faith, Acts xii. 22. To whom God bare witness saying, I have found David, &c. - See what is said concerning Demetrius, Pref. Sect. 3. last paragr.
2. And ye know that our winess is true. This expression is twice used by John in his gospel, chap. xix. 35. xxi. 24. which is a clear internal evidence that this epistle was written, not by John the presby, ter, but by John the apostle.
Ver. 13. I have many things to write, &c. John said the same to the elect lady and her children, 2 Ep. ver. 12. See the note on that verse.