What does 2 Timothy 2:6 mean?
ESV: It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.
NIV: The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.
NASB: The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.
CSB: The hardworking farmer ought to be the first to get a share of the crops.
NLT: And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor.
KJV: The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
NKJV: The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Second Timothy 2:1–13 presents a series of examples Paul wants Timothy to consider. Among these are soldiers, athletes, farmers, Jesus Christ, and Paul himself. Rather than give extensive details, Paul encourages Timothy to consider how each of these applies to his own life. The context for all of this is ''suffering,'' meaning the hardships endured for the sake of Christ. Those who endure do so by the power of God, not their own efforts.
Chapter Summary:
Paul gives Timothy a clear mandate to defend the truth. This includes both upholding the gospel accurately, and presenting that defense in a gentle and loving way. While truth is important, Paul also notes that there are some issues which are only distractions. He considers these "babble," and arguments over them a form of spiritual disease. Like gangrene, this bickering only spreads and spreads until it becomes catastrophic. The ultimate goal of our evangelism is not to "win" an argument, but to rescue lost people.
Chapter Context:
In chapter 1, Paul gave Timothy encouragement by reminding him of his heritage and spiritual power. Here, in chapter 2, Paul expands on these commands. Rather than giving minute details, Paul presents a series of examples and tells Timothy to consider them carefully. Paul's instructions here set the stage for the warnings coming up in the next chapter. Timothy—and all believers—need to be prepared and right-minded, because the world is going to become spiritually darker and darker.
Book Summary:
Second Timothy is the last New Testament letter written by Paul. Paul writes these words while awaiting execution by Rome. At this time, around AD 67, Timothy was leading the church in Ephesus. Paul writes to Timothy in order to encourage him. Paul is facing the worst of all hardships: his own impending death. So, he encourages Timothy to stand strong in his faith, with a reliance on the written Word of God. This letter echoes many of the themes Paul uses in his other letters.
Accessed 5/18/2024 7:09:48 PM
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