Paul tells Timothy to pray for kings in order that he may lead a quite and peaceable life and men may return to the truth. The example pointed at by the numbers is that of Israel crying to Yahvah about pharaoh and the way they were delivered in answer to their prayers.

1 Timothy 2:1-7

FA 1Therefore, I beg you 1st of all, to offer to god 1|4 petitions, 2|4 and prayers, 3|4 and supplications, 4|4 and thanksgiving, for the sake of all the children of men, 2for the sake of kings and princes, that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all fear of god and purity. 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of god our lifegiver, 4he who desires all the children of men will have life, and will return to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is 1 god, and 1 mediator between god and the children of men, the son of man Joshua the anointed, 6who gave himself a ransom for all, a testimony which came in due time. 7For that testimony, I was appointed a preacher and an apostle; I tell the truth and I do not lie; and I became the teacher of the peoples in a true belief. 1 Timothy 2:1-7 (1 Timothy 2:1-7 BRB)


1+1 = 2 = Exodus


The story of Exodus is the story of a people who knew god, but were oppressed as captives in foreign land. They cried out to Yahvah in prayer and he delivered them from pharaoh by a series of tremendous plagues. Here's a description of the way the king treated them:

8There rose up a new king over Mizraim who did not know Joseph H Acts 7:18 9and he said to his people, The people of the children of Israel are more numerous and stronger than we. 10Come let us deal wisely with them before they multiply, lest when we chance to be at war they will be added to our enemies and fight against us and drive us out of the land. 11Therefore they appointed over them cruel taskmasters to oppress them. In their oppression they built cities, houses of storage to pharaoh, Pithom and Rameses. 12The more they oppressed them the more they multiplied and became strong and they were distressed from before the children of Israel. Exodus 1:11-1213The Mizraim oppressed the children of Israel in hardship. 14They made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and in bricks and in all manner of work of the field. All their service in which they made them serve was in hardship. Exodus 1:13-14 (Exodus 1:8-14 BRB)

And here's the prayer they prayed:

23It came to pass after many days that the king of Mizraim died and the children of Israel groaned from hard oppression and prayed and their cry came up to god from the oppression. 24God heard their groaning and god remembered his contract with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. FE 25God looked on the children of Israel and god knew. Exodus 2:23-25 (Exodus 2:23-25 BRB)

This is the backdrop for understanding what Paul is telling Timothy. He's *NOT* saying pray for kings because they are good guys and have a really tough job and need our prayers for wisdom and such. Note the reason you must pray for kings, so that you can lead a quite and peaceable life and help men find truth. Kings are those who oppress the people of god, spread lies and propaganda and generally get in the way of guys working for Jesus. They are like pharaoh, not like Jesus.

Jesus, as the mediator of the contract between god and men, sets up and deposes kings as he wills, and can oust any king he wants if the populace turns to him in prayer. He did it in Egypt when he plagued the land and he has done it many other times.

Paul also speaks about the way he was appointed as a preacher. Occasionally there are people, like Moses or like Paul, who are called to speak to the king directly, but the rest speak to Jesus about the king and let him work rather than take matters into their own hands.