2 Timothy 2:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Timothy 2:6, NIV: "The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops."

2 Timothy 2:6, ESV: "It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops."

2 Timothy 2:6, KJV: "The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits."

2 Timothy 2:6, NASB: "The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops."

2 Timothy 2:6, NLT: "And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor."

2 Timothy 2:6, CSB: "The hardworking farmer ought to be the first to get a share of the crops."

What does 2 Timothy 2:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has discussed his own life (2 Timothy 2:1–2), a soldier (2 Timothy 2:3–4), and an athlete (2 Timothy 2:5). He now shifts to "the hard-working farmer." Interestingly, Paul qualifies this category by presenting a particular type of farmer, one who is hard-working. Not every person who worked on a farm in Timothy's day was devoted to it. Yet those who were devoted had a right to expect compensation for their efforts.

The stereotype of the hard-working farmer exists for a reason, and this has been a common analogy from ancient times until today. A hard-working farmer is known for rising early in the morning, attending to a variety of important issues throughout the day, and sometimes even tending to problems in the evening. The saying, "A farmer's work is never done," has become popular for this very reason. A hard-working farmer always seems to be either at work, or thinking about what work is next.

At the same time, despite the farmer's efforts, he is dependent on God to produce the harvest: "See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains" (James 5:7). Likewise, the Christian is called to work hard, to suffer when necessary, yet depend on God for the results.