For when for the time you ought to be teachers…
"The oracles of God" is a very arresting and illustrious name. And yet it accurately indicates the real character of what prophets and apostles teach. Heaven's inspiration was poured upon their minds, and guided, as well as animated, their voices and their pens. What they declare Jehovah speaks. Oh with what reverence, and attention, and faith, and obedience, and grateful praises, should we receive and study the heavenly message! and how seriously and vividly, as both a motive and a check in dealing with the Scriptures, should we realise the thought: these are "the oracles of God"! They are, moreover, "the word of righteousness." The Bible clearly, comprehensively, and authoritatively propounds the principles, and prescribes the rules of piety and virtue; and, in the hands of the Holy Spirit, it is the instrument of producing these great attainments in the heart and character of men. What a noble distinction of "the oracles of God"! and how important faithfully to use them in this practical relation! If the knowledge and attainment of " righteousness" be momentous and valuable things, oh, let us highly esteem, and diligently use, what is here significantly called " the word of righteousness." It is suggested in this passage that there is great inequality among professing Christians to whom "the oracles of God " have come. Some, it is here said, are " babes," and others, men; some, such as can digest " strong meat," others, such as "have need of milk"; some, "unskilful in the word of righteousness," others, "by reason of use having their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." In other words, some are comparatively ignorant, inexperienced, and unsettled in religion, while others are comparatively intelligent, vigorous, and accomplished; and while the latter can understand, and appreciate, and apply the more difficult and abstruse doctrines of revelation, the former are more exclusively dependent, for the sustentation and improvement of their souls, on the simpler elements of religious truth. It is suggested still further, that "the oracles of God" have appliances appropriate for both classes. Revelation, as some one has graphically said, "has fords which a lamb can wade and depths which an elephant can swim."
(A. S. Patterson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
WEB: For although by this time you should be teachers, you again need to have someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God. You have come to need milk, and not solid food.