2 Timothy 1:20
Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
1. “Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander…”
a. Hymenaeus [Unger’s Bible Dictionary] “Pertaining to Hymen, the god of marriage, a person in Ephesus twice named in the Epistles of Timothy, who along with Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20) and Philetus (2 Timothy 2:18) had departed from the truth in faith and practice. The chief doctrinal error of these persons consisted in maintaining that “the resurrection was past already” 2 Timothy 2:18. The precise meaning of this expression is by no means clearly ascertained; the most general and perhaps best founded opinion is, that they understood the resurrection in a figurative sense of the great change produced by the gospel dispensation. Thus he stands as on of the earliest of the Gnostics.”
b. Alexander[Unger’s Bible Dictionary] In 1 Timothy 1:20: A coppersmith, who with Hymenaeus and others apostatized. It is not certain, but not at all improbable, that he is the same person as the one mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:14, who seems to have opposed and hindered Paul.
2. “…whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.”
a. a. deliver [3860 * paradidomi; para-to the side of; didomi-to give]. [Zodhiates: To deliver over or up to the power of someone…for trial or condemnation, Mark 15:1; to soldiers, Matthew 18:34; of persons, Delivered over to suffer something, Romans 1:24, 26, 28;] [Thayer: The phrase seems to have originated from the Jewish formulas of excommunication because a person banished from the theocratic assembly was regarded as deprived of the protection of God and delivered up to the power of the devil.]
b. This phrase is used only one other time by Paul, in 1 Corinthians.
1). 1 Corinthians 5:5To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
c. Dake: “The purpose of delivering him to Satan was to destroy the flesh. This required members to withdraw all fellowship and spiritual influence from him, and to quit praying for him, so as to permit Satan to afflict his body thus perhaps bringing him to repentance, that his spirit might be saved in the end…This destruction did not kill the man. What ever it was, it was capable of bringing him to repentance.”
d. Unger’s Bible Dictionary: “The formula of delivering or handing over to Satan, admits of difference of interpretation. Some interpret it as being merely a symbol of excommunication, which involves “exclusion from all Christian fellowship and consequently banishment to the society from which the offender had publicly severed himself” (Dr. David Brown). This “handing over to Satan was an apostolic act, a supernatural infliction of bodily infirmity, or disease, or death, as a penalty for grievious sin. It is scarcely doubtful that St. Paul delivered Hymenaeus and Alexander to Satan, in order that Satan might have power to afflict their bodies, with a view to their spiritual amelioration” (Dr. Alfred Plummer).
e. Though this was an apostolic act, I believe it can be a local congregational act as well, and even an act between two or three believers in a local church.. What must be in mind is that this action was taken with repentance as the goal.
f. Steps of Excommunication from Jesus.
1). Matthew 18:15-17 “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
1). Jesus said that whatever decision is come to in a righteous manner will be backed up by God.
a). Matthew 18:18-20 “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”
3. “…that they may learn not to blaspheme.”
a. Vincent: “…may be taught by punishment or disciplined.”