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Eunice

Eunice, from the Greek yoo-nee-kay meaning victorious, or happily conquering, was the daughter of Lois and the mother of Timothy, to whom Paul addressed two of his Epistles (see 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy). Although a Jew, she was married to a Greek, which resulted in their son Timothy raised spiritually as a Jew and culturally as a Greek. Eunice was among the earliest of Christian believers.

The Scriptures Paul's References To Eunice

Although not addressed directly, Eunice was well-known by Paul, and is described in Paul's epistles as a good and faithful woman:

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience, as did my fathers, when I remember you constantly in my prayers. As I remember your tears, I long night and day to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you." (2 Timothy 1:1-5 RSV)

Eunice was married to a Greek man. Their son Timothy was raised with the knowledge of the Jewish religion, but physically as a Greek:

"And he came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews that were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek." (Acts 16:1-3 RSV)

After Timothy received his calling as a servant "by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you" (1 Timothy 4:14 RSV), he left the home of his mother Eunice and journeyed with Paul through Phrygia, Galatia, and Mysia, as well as Troas and Philippi and Berea (Acts 17:1-14). He later joined Paul in Athens, and was sent by him with Silas on a mission to Thessalonica (Acts 17:15, 1 Thessalonians 3:2), and later was with Paul at Corinth (1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:1), and later still at Ephesus (Acts 19:22), where he was sent to Macedonia. He accompanied Paul afterwards to Asia (Acts 20:4) (see Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey)

After Paul was a prisoner at Rome, Timothy joined him (Philippians 1:1), where it seems he may also have been imprisoned (Hebrews 13:23). During Paul's second imprisonment, he wrote to Timothy and asked him to bring his cloak and parchments that had been left at Troas. (2 Timothy 4:13)

According to one tradition, after Paul was killed, Timothy settled mainly in Ephesus, where, after more years of faithful witness, he too was martyred.

Fact Finder: What did Paul tell Timothy about world conditions in "the last days"?
2 Timothy 3:1-17
See also Prophecy


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