1 Timothy 6:11 KJV;

11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

Who is the man of God? Is he Timothy?

  • The epistle is addressed to Timothy (1 Tim 1:2) but by saying 'O man of God' Paul widens the application to anyone (and anyone in coming generations) who is in that same position of authority and ministry. I think no more needs to be said about this so this is a comment, not a full answer. Though someone else might want to enlarge upon the subject beyond the stated question, perhaps.
    – Nigel J
    May 27, 2022 at 13:12
  • Paul addressed Timothy with a familiar phrase (“man of God”) designated for prophets in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 9:6; 1 Kings 12:22, and 13:1).
    – Dave
    May 27, 2022 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


Grammatically, "The man of God" in 1 Tim 6:11 is definitely Timothy. However, we should never lose sight of the fact that Paul's instruction to the young Timothy has been used for centuries to assist in the training of young evangelists of the Gospel and so could be understood more generally.

"Man of God" is also used by Paul in 2 Tim 3:17 to designate the more general person who preaches the Word of God.

"Man of God" is used in the OT to designate a prophet or preacher of God's word, see Josh 14:6, 1 Kings 13:4, 6, 26, 20:28, 2 Kings 4:25, 42, 8:4, 6:10, 23:16, 17, 2 Chron 8:14, 25:9, 30:16, Jer 35:4, Ezra 3:2, etc.

Ellicott offers this comment on 1 Tim 6:11 -

After the very solemn, the intensely earnest warning against covetousness—that fatal love of gain and gold which seems to have been the mainspring of the life of those false teachers who were engaged in marring the noble work St. Paul had done for his Master at Ephesus—after these weighty words, the fact of St. Paul turning to Timothy, and, with the grand old covenant title Timothy knew so well, personally addressing his loved friend with “But thou, O man of God, flee these things,” leads us irresistibly to the conclusion that the old Apostle was dreading for his young and comparatively untried disciple the corrupting danger of the wealth of the city in which he held so great a charge; so he warns Timothy, and, through Timothy, God’s servants of all grades and powers in different ages, of the soul-destroying dangers of covetousness—“Flee these things.” A glance at Timothy’s present life will show how possible it was, even for a loved pupil of St. Paul—even for one of whom he once wrote, “I have no man likeminded;” and, again, “Ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel” (Philippians 2:20-22)—to need so grave a reminder.

Matthew Poole is similar:

O man of God; that is, O thou minister of God, whose service is not the service of the world. It is a compellation borrowed from the Old Testament, where we find it often applied to such whose work was to reveal the Divine will, 2 Kings 1:9 4:40,42. By giving Timothy this compellation, he mindeth him how much he was concerned to contemn the world.

  • @agarza - thanks for fixing my typos again.
    – Dottard
    May 28, 2022 at 20:59

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