This author ended with a prayer that the God of peace should be with them. They were to do the good will of God through Jesus Christ. They had listened to his words. Timothy was now free. They were to greet their leaders with a greeting from those people in Italy. May grace be on all of them. Do you pray for peace?
My fellow workers
Send greetings also.”
Μᾶρκος, Ἀρίσταρχος, Δημᾶς, Λουκᾶς, οἱ συνεργοί μου.
Paul said “Mark (Μᾶρκος), Aristarchus (Ἀρίσταρχος), Demas (Δημᾶς), and Luke (Λουκᾶς), my fellow workers (οἱ συνεργοί μου) send greetings also.” Paul then mentioned four other people that were with him in Rome that were sending greetings to Philemon in Colossae. These are the same people mentioned in chapter 4 of Colossians with Epaphras and Onesimus. Colossians, chapter 4:10, “As does Mark (καὶ Μᾶρκος), the cousin of Barnabas (ὁ ἀνεψιὸς Βαρνάβα), concerning whom you have received instructions (περὶ οὗ ἐλάβετε ἐντολάς). If he comes to you (ἐὰν ἔλθῃ πρὸς ὑμᾶς), welcome him (δέξασθε αὐτόν).” Mark was mentioned many times as a traveling companion of Paul in Acts, chapter 12:12, 12:25, 15:37, and 15:39. Mark may have been the author of the Gospel of Mark. Aristarchus was a fellow prisoner with Paul in the letter to the Colossians, chapter 14:10, “Aristarchus (Ἀρίσταρχος), my fellow prisoner (ὁ συναιχμάλωτός μου), greets you (Ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς).” Aristarchus was mentioned in Acts, chapter 19:29, as one of those Macedonians arrested in the Ephesus riot. He was also with Paul in Macedonia, Acts, chapter 20:4, as well as with Paul on the ship traveling to Italy in Acts, 27:2. Thus, he was a close friend of Paul who was in prison with him as a fellow prisoner. Demas was also mentioned in Colossians, chapter 4:14, “and Demas (καὶ Δημᾶς) greet you (ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς).”and 2 Timothy, chapter 4:10. Luke was also mentioned in Colossians, chapter 4:14, as the beloved physician. “Luke (Λουκᾶς), the beloved physician (ὁ ἰατρὸς ὁ ἀγαπητὸς).” Luke was with Paul on the trip to Rome in Acts, chapters 27-28. He was probably the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. He was also explicitly mentioned in 2 Timothy, chapter 4:11. Both Luke and Demas were sending greetings to the followers of Jesus Christ at Colossae. Do you have friends that are always with you?
Who love us
In the faith.
Grace be with
All of you.”
Paul said, “All who are with me (οἱ μετ’ ἐμοῦ πάντες) send greetings to you (Ἀσπάζονταί σε). Greet (ἄσπασαι) those who love us (τοὺς φιλοῦντας ἡμᾶς) in the faith (ἐν πίστει). Grace (Ἡ χάρις) be with all of you (μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν).” Paul concluded this letter to Titus by saying that all who were with him were sending greetings to Titus and all the faithful people of Crete who loved them. He wanted the grace of God and Jesus Christ to be with them. Do you end your letters or emails with a blessing?
Finally, Paul sent greetings to Prisca, Aquila, Onesiphorus, Erastus, and Trophimus. Paul wanted Timothy to come to him in Rome before winter set in. Then a series of people with Paul sent greetings to Timothy. He ended this letter with grace and the phrase “The Lord be with you!” How do you greet people?
And the household
Paul said, “Greet (Ἄσπασαι) Prisca (Πρίσκαν) and Aquila (καὶ Ἀκύλαν), and the household of Onesiphorus (καὶ τὸν Ὀνησιφόρου οἶκον).” Paul then gave his final greetings. Prisca or Priscilla was the wife of Aquila. They were mentioned in Acts, chapter 18, where Paul met them in Corinth. They were Roman tent makers like Paul. They were also in Ephesus as they are here in this letter with Timothy. They were Romans who may have returned to Rome in Romans, chapter 16:3. They were his fellow workers (τοὺς συνεργούς μου) in Christ Jesus (ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ). They must have been a couple with some wealth to travel so much and have big homes to let others stay with them. They were in Ephesus also when Paul was writing to the Corinthians, in 1 Corinthians, chapter 16:19. They apparently were still in Ephesus with Timothy here. Paul had mentioned Onesiphorus earlier in this letter in chapter 1:16. Paul referred to Onesiphorus and his family or household. Both Paul and Timothy may have known Onesiphorus at Ephesus, since a household church may have been in his house. He had been kind to Paul in the past by comforting him. In fact, Onesiphorus was not ashamed of Paul’s chains in prison. Some traditions indicate that he may have been one of the original seventy disciples of Jesus and the later leader or bishop of the church at Corinth, but that is unclear. Do you know some wealthy Christians who help Christian causes?
“Now the betrayer
Had given them
I will kiss
Is the man.
Suddenly came up
Then he kissed him.”
ὁ δὲ παραδιδοὺς αὐτὸν ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς σημεῖον λέγων Ὃν ἂν φιλήσω αὐτός ἐστιν· κρατήσατε αὐτόν.
καὶ εὐθέως προσελθὼν τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἶπεν Χαῖρε, Ῥαββεί, καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν.
This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:44-45. In Luke, chapter 22:47, there is an abbreviated form of only Judas kissing Jesus, while in John, chapter 18, there is no Judas kiss at all. It is interesting to note that John left this out in his otherwise well detailed description. Both Mark and Matthew said that this betrayer of Jesus (ὁ δὲ παραδιδοὺς αὐτὸν), Judas, had given the crowd a sign (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς σημεῖον). Judas had told them that the one that he kissed (λέγων Ὃν ἂν φιλήσω) would be the man to seize or hold (αὐτός ἐστιν· κρατήσατε αὐτόν). Thus, Judas suddenly came up to Jesus (καὶ εὐθέως προσελθὼν τῷ Ἰησοῦ). Then he said “Greetings (εἶπεν Χαῖρε)! Rabbi (Ῥαββεί)!” Then he kissed Jesus (καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν). Notice that both Matthew and Mark used the Jewish title of Rabbi, a term that Matthew did not approve of. The kiss would have been the normal greeting and was certainly used by his followers as indicated in the Pauline letters.
“The Jews in Jerusalem
And those in the land of Judea,
To their Jewish kindred in Egypt,
Greetings and true peace!”
The unknown author of this letter implies that there were Jews in Egypt. Beginning at the time of Alexander the Great, Jews began to live in Egypt in the new city of Alexandria in 332 BCE. Somehow during the 2nd century BCE many more Jews went to Egypt. The son of a high priest, Onias IV apparently built a temple at Leontopolis based on the Jerusalem Temple. The beginnings of Greek letters usually used the word “greetings” as in 1 Maccabees. However, the Jewish letters usually began with “peace” so that both are here in this salutation. Those Jews in Egypt were related to the Jews in Jerusalem and Judea. Notice that there is a distinction between Jerusalem and Judea. This letter may have come after the 2nd letter since it seems to have been written before this letter.
“The contents of the letter of King Antiochus were as follows.
To Simon the high priest and the ethnarch
And to the nation of the Jews,
Whereas certain scoundrels
Have gained control of the kingdom of our fathers,
I intend to lay claim to the kingdom
So that I may restore it as it formerly was.
I have recruited a host of mercenary troops.
I have equipped warships.
I intend to make a landing in the country
So that I may proceed
Against those who have destroyed our country
Against those who have devastated many cities in my kingdom.
Now therefore I confirm to you
All the tax remissions that the kings before me have granted you.
I release you from all the other payments
From which they have released you.
I permit you to mint your own coinage as money for your country.
I grant freedom to Jerusalem and the sanctuary.
All the weapons which you have prepared
All the strongholds which you have built
All the strongholds that you now hold
Shall remain yours.
Every debt you owe to the royal treasury
Any such future debts shall be canceled for you
From henceforth and for all time.
When we gain control of our kingdom,
We will bestow great honor upon you,
Your nation and the temple,
So that your glory will become manifest in all the earth.’”
King Antiochus VII was about to take over for his brother because he was complaining about the scoundrels who had taken over his country, probably King Trypho. He sent his greetings to Simon and the whole Jewish nation. He talked about how he was going to land and take his country back, so that it is clear he is not there yet. However, he granted to Simon and Jews all the tax exemptions that his brother and father had granted them. He went one step further when he said that they could mint their own coins. This was a strong sign of an independent nation. He allowed them to keep all their weapons and strongholds. All future debts would be cancelled. That is unique and seems to be saying take my money, you do not have to pay it back. Once again, there is the hypothetical “when” he gained control then he was going to honor Simon. He wanted the Jewish glory manifested on the whole earth. He was offering a lot before he had anything.