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The Lectures on First and Second Thessalonians here pub- 
lished were designed by their lamented author for the press ; 
and they will be found to display in full measure his eminent 
qualities as an expositor. There is the same extensive and 
minute scholarship ; the same originality of research and 
independence of judgment ; the same penetration and saga- 
city in tracing the course of argument ; and the same un- 
failing sympathy with the deepest thoughts and lessons of 
inspiration. Independently of his own understood purpose, 
these rare excellencies would have required the issue of what 
is likely to be his final contribution to exegetical literature. 
Nor is it without interest that a career of exposition, devoted 
to so many of Paul's epistles, returns upon itself to end with 
the first that bear his name. 

The author's manuscript, which presents every mark of 
being complete, has been most carefully transcribed ; and the 
(piotations and references have been verified. Special thanks 
are due to the Rev. William Young, M.A., of Parkhead Church, 
Glasgow, who has kindly discharged the duties of editorship, 
ami striven in every way to carry the work through the press, 
in as accurate a state as possible; and cordial acknowledgments 

viii PREFACE. 

are also made to the Rev. Professor Dickson, of the University 

of Glasgow, who has subjected the proof sheets to a final 

It is not doubted that this commentary will be welcomed by 

all lovers of sacred learning, and will tend to foster that exact 
study of the original Scriptures, the impulse given to which is 
perhaps the greatest of its author's many services to the church 
of Christ. 



While it is certain that Dr. Eadie regarded the following work 
as ready for the press, it is much to be regretted that he did 
not live to give it those final touches which would have 
rendered it still more perfect and complete. It will be 
observed that there is no separate Introduction to the Second 
Epistle, though this will be found to some extent provided for 
in the Introduction to the First. In the manuscript, too, there 
are some indications that Dr. Eadie contemplated adding other 
two Essays to that on the " Man of Sin," — one on the " Re- 
surrection," and the other on the " Second Advent." With 
these exceptions, and that noted on page 9(3, the manuscript 
seems in every respect complete, and carefully arranged for 
publication. It is hoped that the work, though a posthumous 
one, will be found to have been well worth publishing; and 
that the state in which it is issued from the press will not do 
dishonour to so great and so dear a name. 

i) LIoslba Drive, 
(Jctoln r, tSi i . 


I. — The City of Thessalonica. 

Thessalonica (Qe&a-aXoviKrj) was formerly called Therm a 
(Qep/uij or Qepfxa), and the gulf on which it stood was named 
Thermaicus Sinus, on account of the hot salt springs which 
abounded in the vicinity. Two earlier legendary names have 
been handed down, Emathia and Halia, x The origin of 
the present name has been variously accounted for. According 
to Strabo, 2 Therma was rebuilt by Cassander, who added to 
it the population of three small towns near it, and called it 
Thessalonica, after his wife, a daughter of Philip. Stephen 
of Byzantium records, that Philip himself bestowed the new 
appellation in honour of a victory gained by him over the 
Thessalonians; 3 while in the Etymologicum Magnum* it is said 
that Philip gave the name in honour of his daughter whose 
mother had died in childbirth. Xerxes, according to Hero- 
dotus, paused at Therma, while his fleet cruised in the gulf, 
and his army lay at a short distance ; and the town is men- 
tioned by this early name twice at least in Greek history. 5 
But the more ancient names have long passed out of view, 

1 Zonaras Hist, xii, 26 ; Steph. Byz., sub voce. 

2 Strabo, viii, p. 330. 

3 GfTTdXoi/S viKi'icra.9. 

4 to iraiSiov 'idwKs. Ni/qj Tpltyziv khI ikoXmti Q£crcra\oviKi)v, ii yaf) h>'iti)i> too 
ttulOiov Nt^acriTToXis E(CSkA.tjto. 

5 Herodotus, vii, 128 ; Thucydides, i, 61 ; yEschines de Falsa Leg. 



while Thessalonica still survives in the corrupt forms ZaAow/07, 
Saloniki. The city came first into eminence during the Mace- 
donian period ; and the new name, from whatever cause, may 
have been imposed by Philip, his own name being found in the 
neighbouring Philippi. 

Thessalonica, rebuilt about B.C. 315, is first mentioned 
by Polybius and Livy as a great naval station. 1 When 
Macedonia was divided into four parts under Paulus 
iEmilius by the edicts of Amphipolis, it was made the 
capital of the second, or that part which lay between 
the Axius and the Strymon ; and when, eighteen years 
afterwards, those four divisions were formed into one province, 
it became in course of time the metropolis. 2 At the period of 
the first Roman civil war it was occupied by the party of 
Pompey (Dion Cass., xli., 20), but during the second it sided 
with Antony and Octavius, and was on that account made 
an urbs libera (Appian, B.C., iv, 118). As a seaport on the 
inner bend or basin of the Thermaic Gulf, 3 and about half- 
way between the Hellespont and the Adriatic, Thessalonica 
grew into great importance. It shared largely in the commerce 
of the iEgean and the Levant, and in the inland traffic of the 
countiy, for behind it lay the great pass that led away to the 
Macedonian uplands, and it was closely connected with the 
large plain watered by the Axius. It was filled, according to 
Strabo, with a greater population than any other town in the 
region. Lucian makes a similar statement. 4 Theodoret also 
styles it 7ro\vav6pocnro$. 5 Thessalonica has passed through many 
vicissitudes, but it is still the second city in European Turkey. 
With its history after apostolic times we have no immediate 
concern. It may, however, be noted that in the third century 
it was made a Roman colony, and it was the great bulwark of 
the empire during the Gothic inroads and the six Sclavonian 
wars. Theodosius executed by barbarian troops a terrible 

1 Polyb., xxxiii, 4, 4 ; Livy, xxxix, 27, xliv, 10. 

2 Strabo, who calls it Qto-a-aXovLKtia, says of it, v vvv fxtckirrTa t&v a\\wv 
tuavopii (vii, 7, 4). 

3 Medio flexu litoris (Thermaici Sinus). Pliny, iv, 10. Strabo speaks of an 
isthmus sis toi/ QepfjLctiov oinuwv /iu^oi/. Geog. viii, 1-3. 

4 IIoAtujs tusv tv MaxtSovin -r~;s ntyi<jTi)<s Gt<Tcra\oviKiis. Asinus Aureus, 46. 

5 Hist. Eccles., v, 17. 


massacre of thousands of its citizens as a punishment for the 
assassination of one of his genei^als ; and for this atrocity he 
was obliged to do public penance at Milan under Ambrose, 
who, with a sublime and faithful audacity, refused the master 
of the world admission into the great Church ; and only after 
eight months suspension, and a full confession in presence of 
the congregation, was he readmitted into church-fellowship on 
Christmas, 390 A.D. Thessalonica was three times taken — by 
the Saracens in 904, by Tancred and the Normans in 1185, and 
by the Turks under Amurath II, in 1430. Numerous and im- 
posing monuments of its earlier greatness are still to be found 
in it. The old Roman road forms at the present day the main 
thoroughfare, and two of its arches may yet be seen. Frag- 
ments of columns abound, the sculptures and inscriptions of 
many of which indicate their varying ages, and the purposes 
of their original erection. The reader will find information on 
all points in Tafel (Histor. Thessalon.). 

II.— The Apostle's Visit and the Introduction 
of the Gospel. 

In the course of his second missionary journey the Apostle, 
along with Silas, and probably Timothy also, crossed over to 
Europe. " Loosing from Troas," touching at Samothrace, land- 
ing at Neapolis, he passed up to Philippi, where, as he says in 
this epistle, he had suffered and was shamefully entreated. In 
a Roman colony the majesty of the law was violated in his 
person; for, though he was a Roman citizen, he had been beaten 
with the lictor's rods — a punishment forbidden by the Porcian 
and Valerian statutes ; and though he had not been convicted 
or even tried, the flagellation had been public, which was held 
to be an aggravation of the offence, and he had been also cast 
into prison. The terrified duumvirs, knowing at length what 
a crime they had committed, and what terrible vengeance 
would be inflicted on them, besought Paul and Silas to depart 
that the matter might be hushed up as speedily as possible. 
The apostle and his colleague having taken farewell of Lydia, 
at once left Philippi, as it presented no immediate prospect of 
usefulness. He travelled south and west, alone; the Egnatian 


road, thirty-three miles to Amphipolis, on the Strymonic gulf, 
but did not stay there, advanced thirty miles farther to 
Apollonia, and did not halt there either, but journeyed onwards 
other thirty-seven miles, and arrived at Thessalonica. This 
Macedonian capital had special attractions for him, as it had a 
large heathen and Jewish population, and could become a centre 
of missionary operations, as it was the chief station on the 
Egnatian road which connected Rome with the regions to the 
north of the iEorean. Cicero, who, when an exile, had found 
refuge in it, and had often tarried in it on his way to and from 
his Cilician province, describes it as po&ita in gremio Romawi 
imperii. The Jews in it and its neighbourhood were so 
numerous as to have a synagogue ; for the correct reading of 
Acts is, " where was the synagogue of the Jews" (Acts xvii, 1). 
Fully a third of the population is supposed to be Jewish at the 
present moment; the Jewish quarter being in the south-eastern 
section of the town. Allusions to the Thessalonian Jews as 
being numerous, and as forming an important section of the 
people, occur in several authors. 

True to his heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel, the 
apostle commenced to labour in the synagogue. Though his 
special function was the apostolate for the Gentiles, he never 
forgot his own people, but, as his manner was, " went in unto 
them," and for three consecutive Sabbath days "preached to 
them." He and they had common ground "when he reasoned 
with them out of the Scriptures," the divine authority of which 
they acknowledged equally with himself. His reasonings were 
of course based on the Old Testament and had for their theme 
its central doctrine — the Messiah to come. His argument took 
two shapes — he "was opening," that is, he unfolded their sense, 
and "alleging," that is, he propounded or advanced the truth 
which the exposition had disclosed. The question at issue was 
— what is the idea of the Messiah as portrayed in the Old 
Testament, and has it been realized ? Show from the law and 
the prophets what He was to be and then tell what Jesus was, 
depict what He was to do and then picture what Jesus did, and 
thus it could be proved how minutely the living poison cor- 
responded to the prophetic ideal. Now there was one point of 
transcendent moment in their national prophecies which the 


Jewish people sadly misconceived — the suffering and death of 
the promised Messiah. The cross was a stumbling-block to 
them. They could not imagine that one who had been publicly 
executed could be the Messiah. So foreign was such a possi- 
bility to all their imaginations and hopes that they could not 
entertain it ; and so certain were they that they were right, that 
they refused to examine it. The bare statement was to them 
its own refutation. The inspired preacher therefore took the 
right course and showed them that the promised Messiah 
was depicted specially and characteristically as a suffering 
Messiah — "opening and alleging that Christ must needs have 
suffered and risen again from the dead." So that if any one 
professing to be the Christ did not encounter agony and death, 
he must be an impostor ; for only one who had died and risen 
again fits into prophetic fore-announcement and has a right to 
be regarded as Israel's hope and God's anointed servant. The 
burden of the apostle's teaching therefore was that in order to 
fulfil the Scriptures, the Christ must needs have suffered and 
have risen again from the dead ; it being a plain consequence 
that one who had met with no suffering and hostility, but had 
been caressed on his triumphal car as he rode from victory to 
victory, could not be the Christ, for he did not embody in him- 
self these old inspired predictions. The Christ promised was 
not only to teach many things but to endure many things, was 
to die while he conquered and rise from his tomb to universal 
empire. A grave lay between Him and His throne ; for His 
kingdom was to be won by His blood. In short, the leading 
distinction of the Messiah to come was suffering and death. 
The first gospel in Eden dimly alluded to it. The typical dis- 
pensation had long foreshadowed it in the blood of its victims ; 
the paschal lamb had pointed to the Lamb of God which 
taketh away the sin of the world — " Even Christ our passover 
sacrificed for us." Isaiah had described it with graphic minute- 
ness; and in such a light the apostle accepted the fifty-third 
chapter of his oracles — " He was wounded for our transgres- 
sions and bruised for our iniquities" — "The Lord laid on Him 
the iniquity of us all "— " He is brought as a lamb to the 
slaughter " — " Cut off out of the land of the living " — " For the 
transgressions of my people was he stricken " — " It pleased the 


Lord to bruise Him" — "His soul was made an offering for sin" — 
" He hath poured out His soul unto death " — " He bare the sin 
of many." The Psalmist had pictured Him as the great obla- 
tion for man in man's nature — "a body hast Thou prepared Me." 
Daniel had portrayed Messiah the Prince, not as clothed iu 
purple, but as one who " shall be cut off." The prophetic de- 
lineations of His concpiest and kingdom presuppose his resur- 
rection — " He rose again the third day according to the scrip- 
tures." His reward was a "portion with the great and the 
dividing of the spoil with the strong." The second psalm de- 
picts a conspiracy of the heathen and the people, Gentile and 
Jew, kings and princes, Herod and Pontius Pilate, against Jesus 
at His condemnation and death ; and yet his enemies are over- 
thrown, and He is installed as King upon God's holy Hill of 
Zion. In being put to a death of shame and agony He 
"abolished death," and the words were heard, "The Lord said 
unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine 
enemies thy footstool." By such a chain of passages could the 
apostle out of the Scriptures open and allege that the Messiah 
to come was signally fore-pictured as a Messiah to suffer and 
die and rise again from the dead. An unsuffering Christ such 
as the nation dreamed of — warlike as David and glorious as 
Solomon — could not be the promised Christ, for He wanted one 
grand and prominent feature of similitude. Having shown that 
the Messiah delineated in the Old Testament was to be noted 
and known for His sufferings, the apostle then argued, " that 
this one is the Christ — Jesus whom I preach unto you," or " that 
Jesus whom I preach unto you is this Christ." This Jesus having 
suffered and risen again has fulfilled the necessary conditions of 
prophecy. The life and career of Jesus are in perfect harmony 
with those prophecies which went before concerning Him. 
The circumstances of that death had been foretold, and they 
were quite peculiar. It was not to be the national mode of 
execution by stoning, but by crucifixion — hanging on a tree, a 
mode unauthorized by the law of Moses ; for suspension from a 
stake was only a posthumous degradation inflicted on some 
criminals who had been already stoned to death. It was to be 
preceded by treachery and an illegal condemnation — suborned 
witnesses not even agreeing in their testimony. Despised and 


rejected was He to be — "Not this man but Barabbas." Prepara- 
tory to His execution He was to be stripped of His clothes 
— "They part my raiment among them and cast lots upon my ves- 
ture," and so it was, as the evangelist tells us. He was to die and 
yet "not a bone of Him to be broken;" to be numbered with 
transgressors and yet to lie in a rich man's tomb. Not only was 
He to suffer openly at the hands of men, but there was to be an 
inner mysterious element in His agony — " He hath put Him to 
grief" — and so His mysterious complaint on the Cross was, 
" My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" The conclu- 
sion to which the apostle in this way strove to bring them was 
that this Jesus is the Christ, surrounded by so great a cloud of 
witnesses; for His sufferings, in their character and purpose, in 
themselves and their adjuncts, were in close harmony with old 
prediction ; the law and the prophets fulfilled in the agony of 
His Cross and humiliation of His sepulchre: the record of 
His last hours being simply prophecy read as history — Matthew 
relating what David had sung, and the difference between 
Isaiah and Luke being that between poetry and prose, between 
the portrait and the original. The nature and purpose of that 
death must have been also illustrated, as at Corinth (1 Cor. 
xv, 3). Thus, in the first epistle, it is assumed that they knew 
that He had died and gone down to the tomb, and thus 
delivered them from the wrath to come (1-10). The creed of 
believers, as he writes to the Thessalonians, is, " We believe 
that Jesus died and rose again." This death was not only an 
expiation, but a conquest of death and the obtainment of 
eternal life — " Them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with 
Him" — " Who died for us that, whether we wake or sleep, we 
should live together with Him" (ver. 10). These doctrines imply, 
of course, some statement of the nature of that sin and bondage 
from which the Christ came to free His people, and of that free 
forgiveness bestowed through faith on all believers. 

As may be learned from the political charge brought against 
the apostle, he had also preached in Thessalonica the kingly 
power and prerogative of the Risen One — " another king, one 
Jesus" — that He has sole and supreme authority over men; 
that His laws are to be obeyed at all hazards ; that loyalty to 
Him is to be in uniform ascendency; and that His claims on 


our suit and service are before those of every other master 
whatever be his human rank or position. For those who are 
ransomed by His blood consecrate to Him their lives. To Him 
all power is given in heaven and in earth, to Him who is Lord 
of all, crowned with glory and honour. To Him every knee 
shall bow, and every tongue confess. His church is His king- 
dom, and He is its one Sovereign Head. His people are " called 
to His kingdom and glory" as their blessed and ultimate 

When we pass from the brief records in the Acts to the 
Epistles, we may infer from many expressions in those epistles 
that another doctrine, which occupied some prominence in his 
preaching, was the second Advent. 

The Thessalonians on being converted, not only as we are 
told, turned from idols, but waited for " His Son from heaven." 
On delivering a solemn charge connected with the Advent, 
he adjures "by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." In 
reference to some allied supplementary topics, he says, " Re- 
member ye not that, while I was yet with you, I told you these 
things." The second Advent was the grand epoch to which the 
preacher ever pointed, and which he described as ever approach- 
ing. They had been taught to wait for His Son, the Saviour 
from heaven (1-10). They had been called to His kingdom 
and glory (ii, 12). His converts were " His crown and joy in 
the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming" (ii, 19). 
His prayer was and had been that they should be " perfect at 
the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints" (iii, 13). 
The connection of the dead believers with the second coming 
had been misunderstood by some, implying that the apostle 
had also touched upon it. " The Lord Himself shall descend 
from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and 
the trump of God." The period when the dead shall be raised, 
the living changed, and the church completed in numbers and 
in holiness, to be for ever with the Lord, yea, to live together 
with Him, is the grand hope and the true soul of all felicity 
(ver. 10). The suddenness of the second coming had also been 
dwelt upon — " Yourselves know perfectly that the day of the 
Lord cometh as a thief in the night;" and his final prayer is, 
" that their spirit and soul and body may be preserved blame- 


less unto the coining of our Lord Jesus Christ." The recurrence 
of this thought so often in the first epistle, and the more full 
development of it in the second, are but an echo of his preach- 
ing on this momentous topic. Nay, so earnestly did he dwell 
upon it, that its supposed nearness seems to have induced not 
a few to forsake their ordinary habits of industry and threatened 
to break up their social life. There is earnest warning against 
the wrong impressions produced by his preaching on this point 
in the first epistle, by unwarranted oral and written repetitions 
of what was supposed to be his doctrine, as told in the second 
epistle — " That ye be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, 
neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that 
the day of Christ is at hand," or rather " is arrived." 

Such, as may be gathered from Acts and from the two 
epistles, were some of the doctrines preached by Paul at 
Thessalonica, and they were all closely connected. The Messiah 
predicted was to be a suffering Messiah, and such He was, but 
His sufferings terminated in His decease, for He rose a^ain and 
He ascended to the Throne, " because He became obedient unto 
death." He reigns because He died, and from His throne He 
comes again to gather all His subjects, waking or sleeping, to 
Himself that they may live with Him for ever in blessed 

It is also evident from the tenor of the epistle that the 
apostle had very specially enjoined morality — abstinence from 
such sexual impurities as must have been too common in a mari- 
time and commercial city like Thessalonica — " Ye know what 
commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus" (iv, 2). 
"Abstain from every sort of evil." Brother-love had also 
been inculcated by him — " As touching brotherly love ye 
need not that I write unto you" (iv, 9). From whatever 
cause, there was, owing to the Apostle's visit, a perceptible ten- 
dency on the part of some, to leave honest industry and gad 
about in listless indolence, and the Apostle had studiously 
reprimanded it — "That ye study to be quiet, and to do your own 
business, and to work with your own hands as we commanded 
you." See Commentary under iv, 11, 12. More fully is this 
injunction given in the second epistle, iii, 6-13, as in verse 10 — 
" For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, 


that if any would not work, neither should he eat." He had 
also exhorted them to " walk worthy of God who had called 

And the style in which he had preached, and the general 
tenor of his conduct are apparent also from the two epistles. 
In the first half of the second chapter, the purity, simplicity, 
fidelity, and power of his preaching, and his own earnest, 
loving-, and unselfish nature are specially declared by him to 
have been visible to all around him (ii, 10). Nay, he wrought 
with his own hands, because he would not be chargeable 
to them; and he was doing the same at Corinth, where he 
composed these letters (ii, 9). He wrought night and day — 
toiling by night, that he might have some leisure by day. 
The handicraft which he practised was probably the weaving 
of haircloth for tents. It is impossible for us to realize the 
apostle as a tradesman, dressed in a humble garb, and handling 
the implement of his calling, plying a shuttle or needle for 
daily bread — undistinguished in appearance from the operatives 
round about him, either at their work or at their meals. He 
who preached the unsearchable riches of Christ holds out his 
hands to accept the humble wages which his industry had 
earned. He who felt that in his highest function it was a 
small thing to be judged of man's judgment, must submit to 
have his work inspected and approved before he is paid fur it. 
The world's greatest benefactor, next to its Saviour, might be 
found in a workshop — found there on deliberate purpose, a 
mechanic at Thessalonica, an orator at Athens. It must have 
been a very hard thing for him with so many interruptions to 
earn a scanty livelihood. He confesses it ; but tells that his 
friends in Philippi had not forgotten him, and he joyfully 
records of them, " No church communicated with me concerning 
giving and receiving, but ye only, for even in Thessalonica ye 
sent once and again unto my necessity" (Phil, iv, 16). In fact, 
his whole demeanour in Thessalonica is laid bare by himself 
in earnest and continuous appeals to all who knew him. Thus: 
" Ye know what manner of men we were among you, for your 
sakes " (i, 5) ; " Yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in 
unto you, that it was not in vain : for even after that we had 
suffered before, and been shamefully entreated, as ye know, at 


Philippi" (ii, 1, 2, 3); " Ye remember, brethren, our labour and 
travail" (ii, 9); "Neither at any time used we nattering words, 
as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness" (ii, 5); "Ye know how 
we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you " 
(ii, 11); "Ye are witnesses . . . how holily and justly and un- 
blameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe" (ii,10) ; 
" We told you before that we should suffer tribulation " (iii, 4) ; 
"As ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and please 
God" (iv, 1) ; "Ye know what commandments we gave you by 
the Lord Jesus" (iv, 2) ; "To work with your hands as we com- 
manded you" (iv, 11); "Yourselves know how ye ought to 
follow us : for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you " 
(2 Thess. iii, 7). If he wrought with his hands for six days, 
what an outflow of feeling on the seventh as he reasoned out of 
the Scriptures — opened and alleged, or spoke of the life of 
Christ within him, or the constraining love that lay upon him. 
His nature with all its softness and sympathies poured itself out 
at Thessalonica. He describes himself exhorting as a father, and 
he was gentle among them as a mother nursing her own child ; 
nay, he adds in the fulness of his heart, being " affectionately 
desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, 
not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye 
became dear unto us." Yet while this affectionate fervour char- 
acterized the apostle, and all this yearning for the spiritual 
good of his converts filled his bosom, he was maintaining a 
heavy conflict. He had come from Philippi, where he had 
been scourged ; and though he had borne it patiently, he must 
have felt it to be an unspeakable ignominy. The treatment 
was scandalous : irpoiraQovTes kui vftpio-Qevres (ii, 2). But his 
courage did not desert him, he was bold to speak the 
gospel iv 7toX\m aycovi—in allusion to the dangers by which 
he was still surrounded. He refers to the Jews and their 
fanatical opposition to Christ and His followers. He must 
have foreseen the ominous gathering of the clouds which pre- 
ceded the outbreak. Yet his heart never failed him, nor was 
his spirit soured by ingratitude and hostility. Though he had 
come to Thessalonica after persecution and subjection to 
personal outrage, he remained in it at his work though 
danger was thickening around him, and though he left the 


city when the storm burst, yet on his arrival at Beroea, he 
lost no time in beginning his work, but went at once into the 
synagogue of the Jews. But his Jewish antagonists from 
Thessalonica, disappointed of their prey, followed him, and as 
their exasperation appears to have deepened into ferocity, he 
was obliged to depart, his journey leading him to Athens 
by sea. 

The results of the apostle's preaching in Thessalonica were 
varied. Not a few were converted, and the unbelieving Jews 
were enraged. The historian says, "some of the Jews," that is 
only a small number, "believed and consorted with Paul and 
Silas," or rather were allotted or granted by divine favour to Paul 
and Silas — for such is the meaning of the verb it poo-eic\r}pu>Qri<jav 
(Winer, Harless, Meyer) ; " of the devout Greeks, a great multi- 
tude" — that is to say, of persons who were proselytes — persons 
who had forsaken polytheistic heathenism, and attached them- 
selves to monotheistic Judaism. The insufficiently attested 
reading /ecu 'Yj\\i)vwv would distinguish two parties — pro- 
selytes and heathen Greeks. "And of the chief women" — 
apparently also proselytes — " not a few "• — ladies of high social 
rank, who from their position as proselytes, or anxious in- 
quirers, were neither clouded with pagan darkness nor fettered 
with Jewish prejudices. This was the fruit of three Sab- 
baths' labours in the synagogue among Jews and proselytes of 
both sexes. But the apostle speaks of the Thessalonian church 
generally as turning " from idols to serve the living and true 
God" — an assertion which could be made of neither of the 
parties referred to. It is remarkable that in neither of the 
epistles does he quote the Scriptures of the Old Testament. 
The main purpose of the historian in the Acts is simply to 
record the offer of the gospel to the Jews, and how many of 
them rejected it and persecuted the preacher. He is silent as 
to any work of the apostle among the Gentile population, 
which, however, as appears from the epistle, was successful to 
a very great extent. In fact, the majority of the Thessalonian 
church appear to have been converted heathens. The apostle 
may either have laboured among them on other days than 
the Sabbath, when he went to the synagogue ; or he may have 
for a brief period continued in the city and preached, after the 


synagogue had been shut to him. Still his residence at 
Thessalonica cannot be well extended beyond six or eight 
weeks, and such is the view of Wieseler. His evangelistic 
labours were abruptly terminated. The unbelieving Jews, 
jealous of the influence of those wonderful strangers, and 
unable to cope with them in argument — afraid too that the 
synagogue might be more and more deserted — associated them- 
selves with " certain lewd fellows of the baser sort." These 
lewd fellows are called ayopatoi or market or Forum-loungers — 
a profligate rabble found in these Greek towns, and having a 
defined and well-known character, called dregs and mire by one 
old author, lying and perjured by another, like the lazzaroni 
of Naples to whom they have been compared. With these 
strange allies forward to any mischief, the Jews raised a mob, 
and set all the city on an uproar; assaulted the house of Jason, 
with whom the apostle lived, and who may have been a 
kinsman (Rom. xvi, 21), or may have wrought at the same 
occupation. The purpose of the assault was to bring Paul and 
Silas out to the people — eh tov Stj/mov, the people in its corporate 
capacity — Thessalonica being a free city, with rulers who in 
the Forum tried causes in the presence of the people. Dis- 
appointed in not finding Paul and Silas, and resolved to 
accomplish their purpose in another way, they dragged Jason 
and certain brethren, who probably were at the moment in his 
house, before the rulers — e-rrl tou? iroXirupx^- These rulers are 
called crrpaTriyo'i at Philippi, it being a Roman colony; but here, 
in an urbs libera they were called ' politarchs;' and the title is 
still seen graven on one of the arches of the city along with 
the names of seven who held the office — three of them having 
the same names as those of Paul's Macedonian companions, 
Sopater, Gaius, Secundus. The charge laid against them was 
that " the men who have turned the world upside down have 
come hither also," with the same purpose of revolution — that, in 
short, they were rebels guilty of treason, having broken the 
Julian laws, disowning the authority of the Emperor, and 
setting up another king, one Jesus. No doubt this was a 
misconception of the apostle's doctrine, perhaps a wilful 
perversion of it: for we cannot acquiesce in Davidson's supposi- 
tion, that the apostle preached a doctrine " which involved 


sensuous ideas respecting the nature of Christ's kingdom, which 
was to be in some sort an earthly one." 1 A clear distinct 
accusation of this nature could not have been treated with 
such lenience, nor is there an} r utterance of the apostle which 
can justify such an insinuation. 

But the mob cared nothing about a religious question, and 
could not have been bribed to raise any disturbance about a 
Jewish dogma. A political accusation was therefore forged. 
The Jews, regarding their Messiah as a temporal sovereign, 
transferred their conceptions to the Christian doctrine of 
Christ's spiritual kingship, and charged the apostle with so 
holding and proclaiming it. Under a similar charge was He 
prosecuted Himself; the tablet on His cross bore the indict- 
ment, " Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." On hearing such 
a charge involving such consequences, the people and the 
politarchs were alarmed — the Jews having been at that time 
banished from Rome by the Emperor Claudius as political 
disturbers ; 2 and not entering into any judicial examination in 
the meantime, they took security of Jason and the others, and 
let them go. The licavov or bail taken from Jason could 
scarcely be that the apostle should appear; for he was sent 
away from the city that very night, and the money pledged in 
that case would be forfeited, for faith had not been kept. The 
pledge may have been, not that Jason should refuse Paul and 
Silas admission into his house, but that they should at once 
leave the city — Jason and his party being held bound for the 
preservation of the peace. Fines may have been exacted 
afterwards, for the Thessalonians had suffered like the churches 
in Judrea — and one feature of that suffering was "the spoiling 
of their goods." There was imminent danger of another and 
fiercer outbreak, and all hope of safety and usefulness being- 
extinguished, the brethren immediately on the evening of the 
same day sent away Paul and Silas b}>" night into Bercea, a 
town on the eastern slope of the Olympian range, and five miles 

1 Davidson's Introduction, vol. I., p. 26, 1S68. 

2 Suetonius. Judajos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantes Roma expulit, 
Tib. Claud., xxv. See Lauge on this. Wieseler and others identify this 
expulsion with the decree De Mathemnticis Italia pellendis mentioned by 
Tacitus, Annal. ii, 32. 


south-west of Thessalonica. The apostles, however, had a 
strong hope of returning after the popular fury had subsided. 
The phrase "by night" in verse 10 implies a suspicion of 
danger and ambush ; for Jewish hostility was sly as well as 
vindictive, as wily in its methods as unscrupulous in its ends. 
Thus ended the apostle's brief visit to Thessalonica, but it has 
borne memorable fruit. The city in subsequent centuries was 
greatly instrumental in converting savage hordes of Sclavonians 
and Bulgarians; and, in times of warring heresies, it was called 
the ' orthodox city.' The legends of Demetrius — a martyr of 
the fourth century, and the patron saint of the city — have, how- 
ever, superseded the fame of the apostle. The learned 
Eustathius was archbishop in 1185; and Theodore Gaza, who 
came to Italy after the fall of Constantinople, and contributed 
to the revival of letters in western Europe, belonged to 

III. — Genuineness of the Epistle. 

The Church has been unanimous in holding the Pauline 
authorship up till a very recent period, and the objections of 
some German critics scarcely disturb the harmony. In the 
patristic writings little use is made of this epistle, and the 
reason is evident, for it is not distinctly doctrinal ; it does not 
expose serious error ; it does not vindicate either the apostle's 
office or defend the gospel which he proclaimed. It contains, 
save on one point, none of those profound arguments which are 
to be met with in the other epistles. It is a quiet and earnest 
letter written to encourage a people recently converted by the 
apostle, and exposed to such trial and persecution as might 
endanger their firmness and constancy. There is, therefore, 
little in it that could serve any of the polemical or practical 
ends which the early church writers had in view. The 
allusions in the Apostolic Fathers are few and faint. Some of 
the words and phrases, however, sound like an echo of several 
clauses in this epistle — though Lardner and Kirchhofer lay too 
much stress on them. Thus, in the Epistle of the Roman 
Clement to the Corinthians, " We ought in all things to 
give thanks unto Him," compared Avith 1 Thess. v, 18, 


there being some resemblance ; but the second quotation 
usually given is quite indistinct, " let our whole body, 
therefore, be saved in Christ Jesus," compared with 1 
Thess. v, 23. The quotations from the so-called Ignatian 
Epistles are as unsatisfactory. " Devote yourselves to un- 
ceasing prayers " — " Pray also for other men without ceasing," 
compared with 1 Thess. v, 17 ; but the distinctive epithet 
aSiaXeliTTog — o>? is wanting in the Syriac version of these 
epistles. The language of Polycarp is more decided as a 
reminiscence from this epistle — " making intercessions without 
ceasing for all," compared with v, 17 ; " abstaining from all 
iniquity," compared with v, 22. 

But the allusions in succeeding writers are definite and con- 
clusive. Irenaeus prefaces the quotation of v, 23, " and for 
this reason, the apostle explaining himself, has set forth the 
perfect and spiritual man of salvation, speaking thus in the 
First Epistle to the Thessalonians." Tertullian quotes i, 9-10 
with the remark, " haec tempora cum Thessalonicensibus disce; u 
and, in quoting v, 1-2, says, " on that account the majesty of the 
Holy Spirit . . . suggests de temporibus autem et tem- 
porum spatiis, fratres, non est necessitas scribendi vobis, ipsi 
enim certissime scitis, quod dies Domini quasi fur nocte ita 
adveniet, quum dicent Pax, et tuta sunt omnia ; tunc illis 
repentinus insistet interitus " (1 Thess. v, 1-3). Clement of 
Alexandria writes, "This the blessed Paul plainly signified, 
sa}ang," the citation being ii, 8. Such allusions occur often in 
Origen, as when quoting ii, 14, "and Paul, in the First Epistle 
to the Thessalonians, says these things." Similar allusions occur 
in his treatise against Celsus. Eusebius placed the epistle 
among the 6fj.oKoyoviJ.eva. It is found in the Syriac Peshito 
version, in the old Latin version, and is named in the Mura- 
torian fragment ad Thessalonicenses sexta. It was admitted 
into Marcion's canon as the fifth of the ten Pauline Epistles. 

Against the genuineness of the epistle, Baur and Schrader 
threw out suspicions in 1835-3G. Baur's first attack was 
in his Die Pastoral-briefe ; but in his Paulus, 1845, he 
has formally argued the point, and ten years after he gave 
additional reasons in the Theolog. Jahrb., p. ii, 1855. His 
theory, however, has met nothing but opposition, even 


Hilgenfeld deserts him in defence of this epistle. Baur has 
been replied to by Koch, Grimm, Lange, Bleek, Reuss, 
Liinemann, Hofmann. It is needless to reply to an argu- 
ment which has made no converts, and which Jowett and 
Davidson have so successfully exposed. A few sentences 
may suffice. 

Baur's first objection, that the epistle is unimportant and 
devoid of doctrinal discussion, is easily mot by affirming 
that the apostle did not discuss doctrines, save when they 
were challenged or misunderstood ; and that, even in this 
epistle, there is one doctrine which occupies a prominent 
place, because the state of the Thessalonian Church required 
a full statement of it. The contents of the apostle's letters 
were suggested and moulded by the circumstances of the 
churches which he addressed, for they were not abstract 
or didactic treatises, but living communications made with 
immediate reference to wants, trials, errors, dangers, or in- 
quiries, in the churches to which he writes. Though the 
apostle wrote for all times, he always wrote to meet some 
present exigency. Profound dogma, chains of lofty reasoning 
and illustrations of first principles, are not found in this epistle, 
for they were uncalled for ; but it is full of those encouragements 
to the believers which they needed, since, as they were recent 
converts, their courage was sorely tried. It abounds also in 
practical counsels for Christians living in a heathen society so 
full of temptations; for it required no common caution, decision, 
fortitude, and self-denial, to walk worthy of God who had called 
them. Why should such an epistle be reckoned un-Pauline ? 
It is surely Pauline wisdom and love to write to a church 
founded by himself in terms suited to its histoiy and condition. 
That his epistles vary as the state of the churches differed is 
one great proof of his authorship ; and that this epistle falls, in 
fulness and grandeur of material, behind those of the Romans, 
Corinthians, and Galatians, is no proof whatever that it did not 
come from his pen. Nor is the fact that the epistle contains 
so many historical appeals and reminiscences any objection to 
its Pauline authorship, since any one writing iu the apostle's 
name might find such materials in the Acts of the Apostles. 
The reply is, that in the epistles there are allusions not found in 


Acts, sucli as Timothy's coming to the apostle at Athens (see 
under iii, 2), and his labouring with his own hands for his 
support. Nor would any forger venture to characterize the 
Thessalonian Church as chiefly heathen, when the narrative in 
Acts might lead us to infer that the members were principally 
Jews and proselytes. The epistle, therefore, in its historical 
element is no mere expansion of the narrative in Acts. The 
apostle had recently been at Thessalonica, and the whole 
circumstances of his sojourn being fresh in his remembrance, he 
touches on several of them to show that they were cheering 
memories, and to assure them of the affectionate interest which 
he had still in them — ever in the hope not only that this 
relationship would not be disturbed, but also that their earlier 
spirituality and fruitfulness, their joy and patience — all the 
blessed results of their conversion, might remain with them. 
He appeals to their own knowledge of what they had been in 
heart and life when he was among them ; and this is no aimless 
thing, for it is a virtual charge not to let their first impressions 
fade, but to continue steadfast, and to preserve what the 
prophet calls " the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine 
espousals" (Jer. ii, 2). Baur objects, too, that Paul, in 
chap, ii, holds up Jewish believers as a pattern, which he never 
elsewhere does. But the reader may compare Gal. i, 22-24. 
Nor is the reference to the Jews (ii, 14-16) so decidedly out 
of the apostle's style and manner as to wrest the authorship of 
the epistle from him. The apostle does certainly stigmatize 
the Jews with uncommon severity; but he is as unsparing 
against the Judaists in passages where Baur at once recog- 
nizes his hand. The description of the Jews is true, as the 
apostle had already felt at the Pisidian Antioch, at Iconium, 
at Lystra, Thessalonica, and Bercea. The apostle saw his own 
people ripening for judgment, and predicted it. In the clause 
" wrath has come upon them," opy/j does not, as Jowett 
supposes, mean judicial blindness, but divine punishment ; and 
the declaration is no narrative of a past event. See on the 
places. In the Epistle to the Romans they are viewed under 
another aspect, that of pride and unbelief, and there is expressed 
a strong desire for their salvation. Another phrase at which 
Baur stumbles, "to speak to the Gentiles that they might be 


saved," has virtual parallels in Acts xiv, 1 ; xvi, 6-32 ; xviii, 
8-9 ; 2 Cor. xi, 7. 

The language employed to describe the Thessalonian Church, 
according to Baur, presupposes a longer time to have elapsed 
since its formation than the history warrants. How could 
they so soon be patterns to believers in Macedonia and Achaia, 
the report of their conversion being carried everywhere ? How 
could the apostle say, after so short an interval, that he longed 
to visit them, &c. ? We will not reply that the difficulty is 
lessened by assuming that the Second Epistle is really the 
First, and that thus we may elongate the interval. But 
there is nothing very startling in the language i, 7, 8, as 
Thessalonica was a great centre of maritime and commercial 
enterprise. Strangers visiting it from all parts of the country, 
would, on their return, spread the report of that great novelty 
which had taken place in the city, the wondrous revolution in 
belief and character which so many citizens had undergone at 
the bidding of two Hebrew strangers. Some six months might 
suffice for this circulation of news. The apostle longed to see 
them, for he had been forced to leave them abruptly, when the 
Christian community had not been fully consolidated. Baur 
wonders at members of the church becoming restless and 
indolent at so early a period ; but the very earliness of the 
period makes it all the more likely as the result of a mighty 
change of creed and opinion, which seems to have bewildered 
them ; not having had any long period of instruction, they had 
misunderstood the doctrine of the Second Advent. The para- 
graph on the relation to the Second Advent of those who died 
before it, on the resurrection of the dead, the change of the 
living, and the rapture of the saints, is surely not un-Pauline as 
Baur contends, but is in harmony with 1 Cor. xv, 52. Nor 
does the anxiety to which the apostle responds imply that a 
first generation of believers must have fallen asleep. On the 
other hand, though only one believer had died, or though none 
had died at all, each had the certainty of coming death ; and it 
was therefore a natural question among a people who had 
enjoyed only a brief period of instruction, which on some 
points could be only fragmentary and partial, and which, being 
so foreign to all previous thoughts and associations, might not 


be fully comprehended without repeated illustration and argu- 
ment. Further, if there are passages in this epistle like some 
in the other epistle, why should the resemblance be called 
imitation ? and if a phrase without parallel occurs, why should 
it be styled nn-Panline ? This hypercriticism of Baur is cpuite 
unsatisfactory, as it may be thought to serve either point, 
for or against any document. Unstudied resemblances are 
usual proofs of unity of authorship, and diction without 
parallel is usually regarded as a token of originality. More- 
over, a forger writing after Paul's time would have called him 
by his official title of Apostle — and how could such make the 
dead apostle write, " we who are alive and remain unto the 
coming of the Lord " ? Nor would any one, getting his only 
materials from the Acts, have ventured to say that Timothy 
was sent from Athens to Thessalonica, the statement of the 
Acts being, that Timothy and Silas having been left behind at 
Bercea, joined the apostle at Corinth. The two statements are 
not in conflict, but a forger would not have placed them in 
even apparent contradiction. See under iii, 1. 

The reference to church officers 1 in v, 12 is objected to by 
Schrader, because, according to 1 Tim. iii, G, no novices were to 
be invested with office, whereas all ordained to pastoral work 
in Thessalonica must have been in that category. There could 
not, his conclnsion is, have been elders in that church when 
this epistle is ordinarily supposed to have been written. The 
objection may be met in various ways. It is not necessary to 
apply a general injunction given by Paul toward the end of 
his life, and when churches had been organized for years, to a 
special case occurring at a time so much earlier. The injunc- 
tion in the Epistle to Timothy may have been based on expe- 
rience. It was given to a fellow-labourer connected with a 
church long established, and where many matured believers 
could easily be found. In Crete all must have been novices, 
and no such counsel is given to Titus. The apostle did not 
himself alwa}^s act on it (Acts xiv, 23). The neophyte in 
general was one not trained, one as yet devoid of practical 
adaptation to the work, on account of the recency of his 
conversion. But in Thessalonica there had been decided and 

1 Office-hearers. Davidson, page 440. 


speedy spiritual advancement, nay, Jason may have been a 
believer of a date prior to the apostle's arrival. If the apostle 
set them apart himself, he must have had confidence in their 
general character ; and if they were appointed after his depar- 
ture, and before the writing of this letter, then the term novice 
would scarcely apply to his first converts. A church could not 
be permanently organized without an ordination of eldei's to 
preserve the order essential to edification. And the elders are 
named by no special title — as presbyters, overseers, or deacons 
— but by the general appellation of presidents. 

IV. — Time, Place, and Occasion of the Epistle. 

After the abrupt departure of the apostle from Thessalonica, 
he went to Bercea, and there leaving Silas and Timothy, he pro- 
ceeded to Athens, his conductors being enjoined to send Timothy 
and Silas to him with all speed. After a brief period, he arrived 
at Corinth where he remained for a considerable time. Timothy 
rejoined him at Athens, but Silas seems to have sojourned 
some time longer at Bercea or elsewhere in the Macedonian pro- 
vince, for the absence of Timothy left the apostle " alone " at 
Athens. All the three were at Corinth when this epistle was 
written, their names being in the opening salutation. After the 
apostle had left Thessalonica, he yearned after his converts 
— his stay with them being so brief, and their external condi- 
tion, their exposure to outrage, being so trying. The apostle 
made also two attempts to visit them in person ; Satan, how- 
ever, prevented him as he writes to them. But at Athens he 
could no longer forbear, and from that city, though he was to be 
left in solitude — Silas, if there, going perhaps on some other 
unrecorded mission — he despatched Timothy to visit the Thes- 
salonians, to stablish and comfort them concerning their faith, 
and to present such truths and hopes as should animate them 
in the trying circumstances (iii, 1-5). Timothy accomplished 
his mission and came back to the apostle, now at Corinth (Acts 
xviii, 5), with a report which gladdened him (iii, 6) ; and the 
reception of such a report was the immediate occasion of 
the epistle. Some indeed, as Hug and Hemsen, suppose that 
Timothy was sent by Paul from Beroea to visit the Thessalonians ; 


but the supposition is distinctly opposed to the precise state- 
ment in iii, 1, 2, which speaks only of the mission of Timothy 
from Athens. This view is held by Theodoret, Hemming, Bul- 
linger, and Aretius; and a modification of it is held by Calovius 
and Bottger, viz., that the epistle was written at Athens during 
a flying visit of the apostle, while his headquarters were at 
Corinth. The epistle was written during the earlier period ol 
the apostle's residence in Corinth, probably A.D. 52, perhaps 53, 
so that it is the earliest of the extant Pauline epistles. Others, 
however, contend for a later date, but on very insufficient 
grounds. Wurm supposes a later visit to Athens, from the 
notion that 1 Thess. iii, 1, 2, 6, is opposed to Acts xvii, 15; xviii, 
5 : the argument being that, according to the epistle, Timothy 
and Silas were with Paul at Athens, while, according to Acts, 
they joined him at Corinth. But there is perfect harmony in 
the statements. In ii, 18 the apostle limits the plural to 
himself, and the following plurals must have a parallel limita- 
tion. Kochler places the epistle in date near the fall of Jeru- 
salem from a misunderstanding of ii, 16 ; and Winston assigns 
it to A.D. 67, or a little before the apostle's death, because it is 
seldom referred to in the "Apostolic Constitutions," and the 
persecutions referred to in the second chapter were such as hap- 
pened under Nero. See Benson's reply. Schrader dates it at the 
period indicated in Acts xx, 2, but many allusions in the epistle 
would be totally inapplicable to such an hypothesis. The argu- 
ment of Schrader, Bottger, and others is that i, 8, implies 
itinerant evangelistic labours on the part of the apostle in 
regions beyond Macedonia and Achaia. But the real meaning 
of the verse simply is, not that that missionary work had been 
extended, but that the reports of the success of the gospel in 
Thessalonica had travelled through the provinces and beyond 
them. Other arguments against the common view are inci- 
dentally referred to in our remarks on the genuineness of the 

Grotius, and after him Baur, Ewald, Benson, and Davidson, 
invert the common order of the two epistles and assume 
the shorter one as the earlier — Grotius regarding the Man 
of Sin as the Emperor Caligula who attempted to have his 
statue erected in the temple, and, supposing that air upxn? (- 


Thess. ii, 13) refers to Jewish Christians who had come from 
Palestine, Jason being one of them, holds that to this party 
the epistle was written altero anno Cajani principatus. The 
theory chronologically and otherwise is wholly baseless. The 
arguments for a later date of the first epistle are taken from i, 8, 
as to the report of their conversion being circulated everywhere ; 
from the injunction to submit to their church presidents, v, 12; 
and from their doubts about the connection of departed breth- 
ren with the Second Advent. These arguments adduced by 
Ewald and Davidson have been already referred to. It is 
alleged, however, that the so-called first epistle is to some extent 
a correction or fuller explanation of what had already been 
written in the so-called second one. The doctrine of the Ad- 
vent had been misunderstood, and it is cleared up in i Thess. 
iv, 13. But the hypothesis is unnatural ; for the result of the 
misapprehensions referred to might be indeed tremor, indolence, 
and dissatisfaction with present things ; but there is nothing 
that can suggest the second point which the apostle takes up 
— the sorrow over the holy dead. Nothing is said in the so- 
called second epistle which could have given rise to such anxiety 
as the apostle describes and relieves. 

Nor is there any real argument in the phrase — " The saluta- 
tion of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every 
epistle, so I write." For the words do not assert that in the 
first epistle written by him he adopted a mark of authentica- 
tion which was to characterize all his epistles ; but the refer- 
ence is to epistles circulated in his name (2 Thess. ii, 2), and 
his purpose is to guard against such fabrications. The allusion 
to such forgeries does not prove that he had not written a first 
epistle himself — it rather presupposes it, and that some one had 
imitated it. Ewald's admission that the second epistle had 
been preceded by an earlier one which is now lost is a needless 
conjecture. It is quite forced to take 2 Thess. i, 4, or iii, 2, as 
referring to what happened in Beroea — from which Ewald con- 
jectures that he wrote the epistle. 

In a word, the two epistles, regarded in the order usually 
assigned them, naturally fit in to one another. The second 
epistle is supplementary to the first, and the first sprang 
naturallv out of the circumstances. It contains the fresh 


memories of his sojourn in Thessalonica; appeals to their own 
knowledge and experienee; exhorts them to be steadfast under 
persecution, which, breaking out during his stay, had not yet 
subsided; comforts them under bereavement; and enforces many 
practical counsels. At the time of writing the second epistle 
the circumstances were different. His doctrine had been mis- 
understood as affirming the near approach of the Advent ; nay, 
teaching had been given and letters published in his name 
which he had not authorized. In 2 Thess. ii, 15, there is an 
allusion to the previous letter. The exhortations to industry 
in the first epistle are general: " We beseech you ;" but in the 
second the charge is more precise : " We command you." The 
germs of the evil may have been discerned by him during his 
personal ministry among them, but the mischief had ripened, 
and beinu - absent during its growth, he writes, " We hear that 
there are among you some that walk disorderly." That evil 
warned against in the first epistle, and borne with too, was no 
longer to be tolerated ; they were to withdraw themselves from 
the disorderh', and in no way to countenance them. In the 
first epistle his whole counsels presuppose that they may be 
accepted, but in the second he is afraid that direct disobedience 
may be manifested (iii, 14). The ordinary opinion as to the 
order of the two epistles has highest probability in its favour ; 
the other may be plausible on some points, but rests on 
assumption and conjecture. 

V. — Contexts of the Epistle. 

The contents of the epistle are simple, but full of interest. 
The details of his preaching and mode of life are given honestly 
and with the perfect assurance that the Thessalonians would 
sanction all his statements, and that every appeal would at once 
meet an affirmative response. The first part of the epistle is 
chiefly historical in outline. He touches on his entrance to 
them, and his success among them, their conversion, and its 
wonderful results. Then he reminds them how pure, humble, 
affectionate, and self-denying he had been among them as a 
preacher of Christianity, and what persecutions in consequence 
of their faith they had endured. He mentions also his own 


anxiety about them, his yearnings after them, and his repeated 
fruitless attempts to pay them a second visit. The mission of 
Timothy in his room, and the good report with which he had 
returned, increased his desire to see them, tilled him with 
thankfulness for their steadfastness, and invited him to prayer 
for them. Next he warns them against impurity — a promi- 
nent sin of heathenism ; and exhorts them to brotherly kind- 
ness and modesty. Now, he opens up the doctrine of the 
Second Advent : the certainty of the resurrection of the dead 
and its priority to the change which shall pass over the living, 
the period, however, being uncertain, and therefore laying- 
believers under solemn obligation to watchfulness and prepara- 
tion. The epistle concludes with detached counsels on social 
duties connected with ehurch membership, and with an earnest 
prayer for them, and a desire to have an interest in their 
prayers. It closes with the benediction. 

\'i. — Works ox the Epistles. 

The authors whose comments on the epistles are quoted or 
referred to are principally the following : — 

The Greek Fathers — Chrysostom, Theodore t, Joannes Dama- 
seenus, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Theodore of Mopsuestia. 

The Latin Writers — Jerome, Augustine. Pelagius, Ambrosi- 
aster, Tertullian, Hilary, Primasius. 

The Postills of Nicolas de Lyra belong to the fourteenth 

Coming down to the period of the Reformatio u, we have the 
names of Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Beza, with those 
of their followers, Hunnius, Camerarius, Hemming, Bullinger, 
Hyperius, Zanchius, Victorinus, Marloratus, Bugenhagen. 

Partly of the same period, and partly later, we have — 

Among the Catholics — Estius, Vatablus, a-Lapide, Justiniani, 

Among the Protestants of the Continent — Piscator, Cocceius, 
Crocius, Aretius, Clericus, Fromond, Cajetan, Grotius, Wet- 
stein, Tarnovius, Er. Schmidiiis, Calixtus, Calovius, Bengel, 
Wolf, Schottgen, Van Til, Musculus, Vorstius, Jaspis, Heumann, 


Baumgarten, Koppe, Bolten, Rosenmiiller, Michaelis, Balduin, 
Storr, Bouman, Reiche. 

The following are the names of English expositors — Jewell* 
Cameron, Sclater, Hammond, Chandler, Whitby, Pierce, Ben- 
son, Macknight, Doddridge, Barnes. 

The following collectors of annotations may also be named — 
Eisner, Kypke, Krebs, Loesner, Heinsius, Bos, Raphelius. 

The following may be more specially noted — 

Turretin (1739); Krause (1790); Tychsen (1823); Flatt 
(1829); Pelt (1830); Hemsen (1830); Schrader (183G); Hug 
(1817) ; Usteri (1833) ; Schott (1834) ; Bloomfield, New 
Testament, vol. II, 4th ed. (1841); Olshausen (1844); de 
Wette (1845); Baumgarten-Crusius (1848); Koch (1849); Peile 
(1849); Conybeare and Howson (1850); Hilgenfeld (1852); 
Jowett (1855); Ewald (1857); Bisping (1857); Wieseler (1859); 
Wordsworth's New Testament, p. Ill (1859) ; Webster and 
Wilkinson's JS r eiu Testament (1861); Hofmann (1862); Alford's 
Neiv Testament, vol. Ill, 4th ed. (1865); Ellicott, 3rd ed. (1866); 
Riggenbach, Langes Bibehverk (1867); Limemann (Meyer) 
1867; Lilly (1867). 


The Grammars referred to are those of — A. Buttmann, 
P. Buttmann, Matthiae, Kuhner, Winer, Stuart, Green, Jelf, 
Madvig, Scheuerlein, Kruger, Schmalfeld, Schirlitz, Donald- 
son, Rost, Alt. In addition to these may be named Plartung's 
Lehre von den Partikeln der griechischen Sprache, 2 vols., 
Erlangen, 1832; and Bernhardy's WissenschaftlicJce Syntax 
der griechischen Sprache, Berlin, 1829. 

The Lexicons referred to are those of — Hesychius, Suidas, 
Suicer, Passow (Rost and Palm), Robinson, Pape, Wilke, Wahl, 
Bretschneider, and Liddell and Scott. 






(Ter. 1.) IlauXo? ica) SiXouayo? kcu 'Yifj.u0eo? — " Paul, and Sil- 
vanus, and Timotheus." 

Silvanus, so named by the apostle here and elsewhere 
(2 Thess. i, 1 ; 2 Cor. i, 19) ; and also by Peter (1 Pet. v, 12) ; is 
called uniformly 2/Xa? Silas, in the Acts, as in xv, 22, 27, 34-, 
40. He is first mentioned in connection with the church in 
Jerusalem and the decrees of the convention, as " a chief man 
among the nation" (xv, 22), and as being "a prophet" (xv, 32). 
He became connected with Paul after he parted from Barnabas 
at Antioch, and he left that city along with him on his second 
missionary journey. Being the older man, of higher position as a 
prophet, and as somewhat earlier associated with the apostle, he 
is placed before Timothy, both by Luke and by Paul (Acts xvii, 
14, 15; xviii, 5; 2 Thess. i, 1 ; 2 Cor. i, 19,. That Timothy 
requested his name to be last, on account of his humility, is the 
suggestion of Chrysostom. Silas was probably his original or 
Aramaic name, and Silvanus its Hellenistic or Roman form. 
The possession of a double name was common — one of them 
sometimes Hellenic, or Roman, and sometimes only a con- 
traction : Saul, Paul ; Apollos, Apollo ; Alexas, Alexander ; 
Ktesis, Ktesias ; Nymphas, Nymphodorus. For Timothy, see 
under Col. i, 1. These two names are naturally associated by 
the writer of this epistle with his own, not in any way to 
authenticate the letter (Piscator. Pelt\ or as if one of them had 


written it at the apostle's dictation (Olshausen), but because 
they had laboured along with him in Thessalonica, and had 
co-operated in the founding of the church. He does not 
appropriate all the honours, as he had not monopolized the 
labours. Neither in this, nor in the Second Epistle to the 
Thessalonians, nor in that to the Philippians, does he name 
himself "apostle," or "servant," probably because no one in 
these churches had called his official prerogative in question. 
He had been so recently among them that he needed not to 
assume his distinctive title. This supposition is far more 
natural than that of Chrysostom and his followers — viz., that 
the official term is omitted because the Thessalonians had been 
recently instructed (Siu to veoKarrix>')Tov<; etvai roug avSpas), and 
had not yet had experience of him. As unlikely is the notion 
of Cajetan and Pelt — in which Zwingli and Estius, so far asunder 
in so many things— agree that he withheld his title from regard 
to Silas we supra eum se extollere videretur (Estius). But he 
specifies his apostleship in 1 Cor. i, 1, and in 2 Cor. i, 1, though 
he names Sosthenes with himself in the first case and Timothy 
in the second, as also in Col. i, 1. On this subject, and on the 
various ways in which Paul names himself in the epistolary 
addresses, see under Ephes. i, 1, and Philip, i, 1. The epistle 
is addressed — 

777 €KK\}]ar[a rwv QearcraXopiKecou, " to the church of the Thes- 
salonians," — see Introduction. It may be noted that only in 
this epistle and in the second addressed to the same church 
does the apostle use this form of designation — the church of 
the population; in other places he writes to the church in the 
city, as 1 Cor. i, 2; 2 Cor. i, 1; Ephes. i, 1; Col. i, 2; Philip, i, 1; 
Rom. i, 7, and somewhat differently in Gal. i, 2, Galatia being 
a province. Compare the addresses prefixed to the letters to 
the seven churches in the Apocalypse. Why the apostle so 
varied, it is impossible to say. It could scarcely be that he 
writes " of the Thessalonians " and not " in Thessalonica," 
because he had laboured only for a brief period among them, 
and a church could scarcely be said to be planted among them 
(Wordsworth). But that a church existed among them the 
phrase certainly implies ; and a church of the Thessalonians 
is surely a church in Thessalonica. In this early letter, the 


apostle had not settled down into the use of such introductory 
formulae as afterwards characterized his style. 

The €KK\t]<ria of the earlier epistles is changed in the later 
ones of the Roman imprisonment into the epithet denotive of 
character and consecration — to?? ayloi? — found in the address 
to the communities in Ephesus, Colosse, and Philippi. In the 
private letter to Philemon eKKXycria occurs, "the church in 
the house." But there is no ground for Jowett's conjecture 
that, as he does not here prefix his official title, probably 
the term apostle was not allowed to him with the same special 
meaning as to the twelve at Jerusalem, nor does his subse- 
quent departure from the use of e/c/cX?/cr/a arise from the fact 
that he more and more invested the church on earth with 
the attributes of the church in heaven. Why then employ it 
in one of his last epistles— that to Philemon ? That church 
is described as — 

ev Bew 7ra.Tp\ tcai Js^vpup Iqcrov Xp/cxTa> — "in God the Father 
and the Lord Jesus Christ." The full meaning is not 
belief in God (Vatablus), nor is it simply connection with 
Him (Storr, Flatt, Pelt), nor is it existence through Him 
(Grotius), nor subjection to Him (Macknight), nor does ei' 
mean per Deum pcrductiis ad Jinem, but it is in union 
with the Father and Christ as the root and ground of their 
spiritual life and progress. It is not faith objectively which is 
adduced to characterize them, but this inner fellowship with 
Father and Son — " I in them and Thou in me — that they all 
may be one in us." "Mark," says Chrysostom, " ev applied to 
both Father and Son," as a common vinculum. The phrase is 
a kind of tertiary predicate (Donaldson, §§ 489, 490) specifying 
an additional element of spiritual condition. Chrysostom's 
remark is not without some force that the phrase specially marks 
out this €KK\t]<Tia — there being in the city ttoWol e/c/cX>/cr/at icai 
'lovSal'icai kou 'EAA>/w/ca/. The first part of the clause "in 
God the Father," according to De Wette and Limemann, distin- 
guishes them from heathen, and the second " in our Lord Jesus 
Christ" from Jewish assemblies. But the distinction cannot 
be strictly maintained, for the phrase " in God the Father" is 
in the apostle's view as truly and distinctively Christian as the 
other " in our Lord Jesus Christ." Jowett robs the phrase of 


all true significance by generalizing it, as when be says "that 
the actions, feelings, and words of men are in God and Christ," 
but that this "mode of expression is no longer in use among 
us." But it is not men generally, it is only believing men, 
whom the apostle describes as being in union with God and 
Christ; and the phrase as conveying a truth of primary signi- 
ficance and of conscious and blessed experience has not fallen 
into desuetude. There is no need to fill up the construction by 
supplying t\j, as Chrysostom ry ev 0ew, or with others 77} ooa-j] 
(Winer, § 20, 2). As needless is the supplement proposed by 
Schott, xaipeiv \iyova-iv, for the full apostolic benediction imme- 
diately follows. Worse is the attempt of Koppe to unite the 
phrase with the x a P'? KCil ^pwn of the next part of the verse — 
X f ipis vfuv Koi elpijvii, " grace and peace." For the salutation see 
Gal. i, 3 ; Eph. i, 2. 

The concluding words, (Wo Qeov 7raTpos yftocv teal Kvp'ov 'lijarov 
^LpiG-Tov, are believed not to be genuine. They have certainly 
good authority as A D K L N, but they are omitted in B F, in 
the Vulgate, and Syriac, and several of the Greek and Latin 
fathers, as by Chrysostom in his commentary, and in the Latin 
of Origen. The omission of the familiar words is striking and 
not easily accounted for, if they are genuine. Bouman and 
Reiche vindicate the genuineness very much on account of the 
similar wording of the previous clause ; but possibly on that 
very account the usual formula was supplied by copyists from 
the other epistles. 

(Ver. 2.) ^jv-^apL<TTOv p-ci 1 tw Oe(p iravroTe irepi iravTwv v/jlwv, 
pvelav vfj.wv iroiovpLevoi e7n tmv irpocrevx^v fip.(£>v — ''We give 
thanks to God always concerning you all, making mention 
of you in our prayers." 

The second vp.a>v has good authority, though ABN omit 
it, for many MSS., versions, minusculi, and fathers are 
in its favour. The vp.a>v before pvelav might induce the 
omission of vp.wv after it ; similar variations occur in the 
text of Ephes. i, 10. The apostle begins in a spirit of 
devout thankfulness, so gladsome had been the good tidings 
brought to him from Thessalonica. The causes of his 
thankfulness he gradually unfolds : their election and the 
proofs and fruits of it ; their hearty reception of the gospel, and 


its signal success among them, so visible in its living power ; 
their exemplary stability in the midst of persecution ; and the 
profound impression made and diffused far and near by their 
conversion. In praising God for them, there is praise conferred 
upon themselves. As these manifestations dwell in his mind, 
he gives thanks, the grounds of them being joj^ously enumerated 
in sentences which, as Jowett says, "grow under his hand." 
'EuxapivTov/u.ei' occurs, as in Col. i, 3 ; Philip, i, 3 ; Phile. 4, 
and in the close parallels of Ephes. i, 10 ; 2 Tim. i, 3, and some- 
what differently 2 Thess. i, 3; ii, 13; compare also Rev. i, 3. 
It is not natural in such a context to narrow the plural verb to 
the apostle himself, as is done by Pelt, Koch, and Jowett. The 
plural does sometimes mean himself only, as in ii, 18, where 
there is a corrective clause: probably this idea suggested the 
singular TroiovpLeros in C 1 , and the faciens in the Claromontane 
Latin. But the mention in the address of Silas and Timothy, 
who had been recently and personally interested in the 
Thessalonian Church, makes it very natural that they should 
be included with the apostle in the thanksgiving and the state- 
ment ; 2 Cor. i, 19, warrants it. If in the address in 
Philippians, Philemon, and Corinthians, other persons besides 
the apostle are mentioned, and yet he says evxapivTw, we may 
infer that if after such names he says evxapiaroii/uei', they are 
purposely included. The occurrence of the plural KapSias (ii, 4) 
and i/ru^ay(ii, 8) corroborates our opinion. The Greek fathers do 
not formally pronounce on the point, though they speak of the 
apostle as giving thanks, he being the primary thanksgiver — a 
natural mode of reference in their interpretation, which, how- 
ever, may not exclude the others mentioned in the first verse. 
YjvxapicrTeh' belonging specially to the later Greek (Lobeck 
ad Phrynich, p. 18), occurs often in Polybius and after his 
time ; but is also found in Demosthenes (Pro Corona, 257, p. 
1(54, vol. I, Opera ed. Schaefer). The classic phrase was x ( 'tp 11 ' 
elSevai ; oovvai x ( 'tp iv ^ s t° g ia -tify> ar >d the. apostle has x'ip n ' *X W 
in 1 Tim. i, 12; 2 Tim. i, 3; Phile. 4, according to one read- 
ing. The object of thanksgiving is He to whom all thanks are 
due for all spiritual change— for all spiritual grace. As the 
other epistles show (Col. i, 3 ; 2 Thess. i, 3; 2 Tim. i, 3), by 
tv»> Bew God the Father is referred to, since He is the living 

< ■ 


and unwearied benefactor, "the Father of mercies and the God 
of all comfort." After mentioning Father and Son as sources 
of blessing in the opening benediction of his epistles, the apostle 
often and immediately turns himself to the Father with a 
special thanksgiving (2 Cor. i, 2-3 ; Ephes. i, 2-3 ; Col. i, 2-3). 
In Rom. i, 7-8 ; 1 Cor. i, 4 ; Philip, i, 3 ; 2 Thess. i, 3 ; 2 
Tim. i, 3, the Father is simply named Geo'?, as in this phrase ; 
and in some of the verses where Father is not used, the apostle 
adds the equivalent p.ov — " my God," indicating that tender and 
confiding relation which the apostle instinctively felt in looking 
up to God, " whose I am, and whom I serve." 

The thanksgiving was offered " concerning you all." Instead 
of 7rep}, vwep is found in similar phrases, as in Rom. i, 8 ; Ephes. 
vi, 19 ; 1 Tim. ii, 1. See under Ephes. vi, 19, and Gal. i, 4. It 
is difficult to point out any substantial difference of sense 
between the two particles. See Ellicott on Philemon 7. To 
give thanks "about you" is apparently a wider or more com- 
prehensive phrase than to give thanks " for you," and it is here 
so far emphatic from the position of iravroyv, " all of you," the 
entire community, the fulness of the members deepening the 
thanksgiving which was at the same time iravTOTe, " always," 
continuous thanksgiving, there being no intrusion of per- 
plexities about them. This adverb is not, with Koppe, to be 
diluted into iroWaKig, nor is the phrase to be explained away 
as if it only meant non acta sed affectu. From its position 
here the adverb is not connected with the verb, but is bound 
up with the participle, as in Philip, i, 4, Col. i, 3, the first con- 
nection being impossible, inasmuch as fxvelav -TroteirrOai Trepirivo? 
is not a Pauline formula. The parallel participial clause, 
fxvelav v/xav iroiovixevoi eir\ tosv irpocrevxcov tj/ulcov, " making men- 
tion of you in our prayers," is not a limiting assertion as in the 
alternative opinion of Jowett, and that of Baumgarten-Crusius, 
and Bisping, as if in effect the meaning were, " We give thanks 
so often as we make mention." But the sentence is modal, and 
describes not when, but how, the thanksgiving was offered ; and 
that was by bearing them on his heart, and up before God in 
his earnest prayers (Rom. i, 9; Ephes. i, 16; Phile. 4). The 
phrase fxvelav Tro'ieicrOai does not signify to remember (Jowett, 
Koch, Ellicott), but to make mention of: "making mention of 


you in our prayers we alwa}^ give thanks for you all." Such 
mention was made eirl tcov irporrevx^v i)/ulwv, on occasion of my 
prayers. 'EttI roov Senrvoov (Diodorus Sic, iv, 3). ForexJsee 
under Ephes. i, 10. 

(Ver. 3.) aSiaXeiTTTw? p.viip.ovevovTe<; — "without ceasing remem- 
bering." Not a few connect the participle with the preceding 
clause, as if it referred to ceaseless mention of them in his prayers 
(Balduin, Benson, Bengel, Ewald, Hofmann, Alford). Alford 
refers in proof to Rom. i, 9 ; but his admission that there the 
order is slightly different destroys the validity of the reference. 
That connection, too, would enfeeble the previous verse, by 
throwing in a statement at the end of it which yet really 
underlies it; but, taken with the present verse, it emphatically 
resumes and carries on the thought. The continuous and un- 
exceptional thanksgiving found its utterance in his prayers, 
and was sustained in its fervour and continuity by unceasing 
remembrance. The participle may not be properly causal, or, 
as Ellicott says, " it may define the temporal concomitants," 
yet these temporal concomitants imply a reason ; for, as he 
admits, the thanksgiving owed its persistence to the necessary 
continuance of the pvi)pi]. The clause is thus an explanatory 
aspect of the previous one, showing how natural this making 
mention of them was ; for, as he had unfading memory of them, 
he could not but make mention of them, so that his thanks- 
giving for them was unbroken. The adverb is used only by 
Paul, and in reference to religious exercise (ii, 13; v, 17; 
Rom. i, 9). The participle is sometimes followed by an accu- 
sative (Matt, xvi, 9 ; Madvig, § 58) ; and sometimes by on, and 
other particles. It sometimes means commemorantes (Liine- 
mann, after Beza and Cocceius) ; but here it signifies as in the 
Vulgate memores. The following genitive implies this latter 
sense, and, with the exception of Hebrews xi, 22, it is the 
uniform signification of the verb in the New Testament, as 
Gal. ii, 10 ; Col. iv, 18 ; Heb. xi, 13. Winer, § 30, 10 c. 

v/jlwv tov epyov t>7? 7rl<TTe(i)?, koi tou kottou t>j<? ayu7r>/9, kul Ttj? 
uiropov?^ Trj? eA.7r/cJo9 tou ~Kvpiov fjpcov 'L/crou Xpicrrov — "your 
work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope." The 
genitive vpwv is taken by some objectively, " remembering you," 
and eveica is supplied to the following genitives by GEcumenius, 


Vatablus, Calvin, Zuingli, Hunnius, &c, but such a construction 
is clumsy and unwarranted. Winer, § 22, 7, 1. For the geni- 
tive pronoun, placed emphatically, is governed by all the 
three following nouns — epyov, kowov, v7ro/ut.ovrj? — each of them 
emphatic and in turn governing another genitive. For the 
order, see v, 8 ; Col. i, 4. 

"Work of faith" is a work springing out of faith (Koch, 
Schott, Jowett), or, rather, belonging to faith, and therefore 
characterizing it — your faith's work. It is not in contrast with 
Ao'yo?, as if signifying reality, fidei Veritas; nor is it active, cures 
thatigen Glaubens; epyov is not pleonastic (Koppe and Rosen- 
rauller) ; nor can the phrase be twisted to mean " faith wrought 
by God" (Calvin, Calovius, and Wolf); nor is it epexegetical, 
your work — to wit, that you believe (Hofmann) ; nor can the 
sense assigned by Chrysostom and his followers be sustained, 
which limits it too much to the endurance of suffering — el 
Trirrrevei? iravra iracrxe. Compare under Gal. v, 6. Their living- 
faith was clothed upon with work ; it was not a belief dead, 
barren, and alone. No principle of action is so powerful as 
genuine faith, and these believing Thessalonians were noted as 
active workers. 

kou tov K07rov rijs a.ya.7rtjs, theforce of vfiMv being still recog- 
nized, "your love's labour," the relation expressed by the 
genitive being, as in the previous clause, labour which belongs 
to your love and characterizes it. KoVo? is earnest and toilsome 
service, into which the whole heart is thrown, travail of soul, 
often self-denial and exhaustion. 'Ayrt7r>; is not specially love 
towards Christ, as if the following words " our Lord Jesus 
Christ" belonged to it (a-Lapide) ; nor is it love to God or to 
God and our neighbours, but love to fellow-Christians, as in 
Col. i, 4, which is shown, not simply in overlooking errors and 
weaknesses (Theodoret), or in doing the work of a Christian 
pastor and teacher (De Wette), for such a meaning limits the 
reference in ttolvtcov vjulwv, which includes the entire community; 
nor does kottos expend itself merely in tending the sick or in 
caring for strangers, which is only one sphere of its operation 
(Acts xx, 35). The noun koto? comprises all the labour which 
belongs to Christian love. This love, the image of Christ's, is 
no ordinary attachment, resting on the slender basis of mere 


professional fellowship, but is embodied in travail, and busies 
itself in kindnesses of all shapes, in the doing of which it 
spares no pains and grudges no sacrifice (2 Thess. i, 3). 

The third element of their character ever remembered by 
the apostle was — 

KOU TW V7ropOl'ij<i T>/? eAxi^O? TOV lvvplOV t'jfXWV IrjCTOU \pi<TTUV 

— "and your patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." The 
genitive eX-n-lSog, not that of origin (Schott, De Wette), indicates 
the same relation as the previous parallel one, "your hope's 
patience," and cannot signify the cause Sia. rr/v eXx/da (OEcu- 
menius). v-wopovi] is not, bearing up under evil, or the resigned 
endurance of it ; but is perseverance or constancy, trials and 
sufferings being implied (Rom. ii, 4; xv, 4; Heb. xii, 1). 
Cicero well says, jjerseverantia est in rations bene considerata 
stabilis et perpetua permansio (Koch). 

The following personal genitives, tov Kvpiov rj/m.wu 'bjcrov Xpi- 
(ttov, do not belong to the previous clauses, or to "faith and love," 
as a-Lapide, Wordsworth, Olshausen, and Hofmann suppose, but 
under varying aspects, their special connection is with eXx/co? 
as its complement, the Lord Jesus Christ being its object (Philip. 
iii, 2, and i, 10). The hope of our Lord Jesus Christ is ever 
connected in this epistle with His second Advent, the hope of 
which He is the living centre and object, and which is realized 
when He comes again according to His promise. Their hope 
was no evanescent emotion, gleaming up fitfully and soon 
fading out again. It was calm and steady amidst trials and 
persecutions ; it had, as virop-ovi] implies, a robust and noble 
persistence, in spite of what Theodoret calls to. -k pocnrlirTovTa 
a-KuOpco-d. The concluding phrase — 

ep.Tr poaQev tov Qeov kou Trarpos yj/mcop — " before God and our 
Father," is used by the apostle in this epistle only. 

(1) Vatablus, without any plausibility, joins the phrase to 
the words the Lord Jesus Christ, qui nunc vultui Dei et 
jiutris nostrl apparet. (2) Some connect it with the pre- 
vious clauses, as if it qualified them. Thus Theodoret, eTroVr//? 
oe toutcou <{»]<t\i> ecrriv 6 tow oXojv Geo?, and so Theophylact, 
and CEcumenius in an alternative explanation, with a-Lapide, 
Baumgarten-Crusius, Turretin, Wordsworth, and Jowett; while 
Doddridge apparently confines the connection to the last clause, 


"the hope of -our Lord Jesus Christ in the view of our God and 
Father." But in such a case, a connective article would have 
been necessary to give the phrase the power of an adjective, 
asserting the genuineness of these Christian graces. The 
exegesis, besides, is awkward and unnatural. (3) The phrase 
rather belongs to /u.i>r]jui.oveuovT£?, showing where the remembrance 
of these graces was experienced, " in the presence of God and 
our Father," in solemn prayer and in earnest thanksgiving. 
Compare Rom. iii, 20; xii, 17; 2 Cor. viii, 21, where evuiriov is 
used. The phrase occurs often in the Septuagint, representing 
the Hebrew ^b (Frankel, Vorstiulien zu cler Sept., p. 159). 
For the formula Geo? icai irar^p see under Ephes. i, 37; Gal. i, 4. 
These three graces are placed together by the apostle in natural 
order and development — faith, the spring of all spiritual ex- 
cellence ; love, allied to it and vitalized by it, for it worketh by 
love ; and hope, based on that faith which is the substance of 
things hoped for, and stretching onward to the " glorious ap- 
pearing " of Jesus Christ. Faith respects especially one's own 
salvation ; love glows for the spiritual well-being of others ; 
while the future, containing so much in reserve for us, is firmly 
grasped and realized by hope. When the apostle values these 
three graces, he sets them in a different order. Thus, in 1 Cor. 
xiii, 13, "Now abideth faith, hope, love, these three, but the 
greatest of them is love." Compare v, 8 ; Heb. v, 10-12 ; Col. 
i, 4, 5. Faith is child-like, hope is saint-like, but love is God- 

(\ er. 4.) ei8oTe$, aSe\<pol >]ya7r)]/UL€voi vtto Oeov, ty\v e/cAoy>/r 
ufxwv — " knowing (as we do), brethren beloved by God, your 
election," as in the margin of the English version. To apply 
this participle to the Thessalonians themselves mars the 
harmony of thought, the thanksgiving being founded on 
what the apostle knew of them, not on what they knew 
of themselves. Some, however, take the participle as a kind 
of nominative absolute, resolved into o'lSuTe yap (Erasmus), 
or elSore? eo-re (Theodoret, Homberg, and Baumgarten-Cru- 
sius). Grotius regards it as the beginning of a new sentence 
stretching down to eyev)']OijTe in verse ; Pelt attaches it to 
juvelav iroioviJ.evoi, which is a needless narrowing of the 


E/'JoVep, like fxvtHJioveuovTes, belongs to the first and leading verb 
evxapto-Tov/uLei', which is followed by three participles, the first 
defining the occasion on which the thanksgiving was offered, 
" making mention of you in our prayers," the second specifying 
its manner and the immediate prompting motive, " remember- 
ing your work of faith," and the third giving the ultimate 
grounds, " inasmuch as we know your election." The participle 
Uas a causal signification distinctly expressed in the Syriac. 
The translation of the Authorized Version — "your election of 
God," which is found also in Theophylact and CEcumenius, in 
Justiniani and Zanchius — is against the order of the Greek, and 
supposes an ellipse of the substantive verb (2 Thess. ii, 13; 
Rom. i, 7). The connection then of viro Qeou is not, knowing of 
God your election, nor your election of God, but beloved of God ; 
not, however, as Estius is inclined to suppose, coutinet ea pars, 
dilecti a Deo, causam scquentis, electionem vestram. They were 
not only dear to the apostle and his colleagues, but he styles 
them in the highest sense, beloved by God, the objects of divine 
complacency, in silent contrast to the hatred and malignity of 
their persecutors. Compare 2 Chron. xx, 7 ; Ps. lx, 0, repeated in 
Ps. cviii, 6. 'E/cXoy?/ is not election simply to external privilege 
(Whitby), but out of the world into eternal life by an eternal 
purpose, eh croor^piav, and is not to be identified with that /cXj/o-t? 
el$ 7repi7roui<Tiv So^g (2 Thess. ii, 13-14), in which it realizes 
itself, or with regeneration (Pelt). God is 6 kuXoov in the present, 
but He is also 6 eKXegafxevos always in the past. The grounds 
of his knowledge of their election are given by the apostle in 
the next paragraph, and they are historical in nature — his own 
experience of their changed character brightened by so many 
Christian graces. He did not profess to know the Eternal Will 
and Purpose in itself, or from having the pages of the Book of 
Life thrown open to him ; but he came to a knowledge of it from 
its results so visibly brought out in them. See under Ephes. i, 
4-11 ; Rom. viii, 29 ; 2 Thess. ii, 13 ; 2 Tim. i, 9 ; ii, 10. The next 
verse assigns the grounds on which the assertion begun with 
eiSores rested. 

(ver. o.) art to evuyyeXiov >)fxwv oik eyevt'jOi] els v/u.a$ ev \6yca 
/uloi'ov, — " because our gospel came not unto you in word only." 
For elf vjuas we have BKLX and some of the Greek fathers ; for 


7rpo? ufxixs we have A C- D ¥, and also some of the Greek fathers. 
The words are so like in meaning that little stress can be laid 
on their quotation, so that the authorities being so nearly 
balanced, the reading is doubtful. There could not be any 
great temptation to change 717)09 into els; though, as the context 
depicts not the mere arrival of the gospel to them, but the cir- 
cumstances in which it came among them, eiV might be changed 
into -n-pos or the words might appear so close in meaning that 
careless copyists might unconsciously exchange them. Some 
give on its demonstrative meaning " that," or to wit, class 
namlich. Ewald has wie, and some editors, as Lachmann and 
Tischendorf, prefix a comma, to show the expository connection 
and the grammatical dependence on eiSores. Thus Bengel, 
Schott, and Hofmann regard the following clauses as simply ex- 
planatory of the etcXoyi'}, as pointing out its feature or wherein it 
consisted. But these verses do not describe election in any view, 
and are not in any real sense doctrinal, though they might apply 
to effectual calling. They refer to past historical facts, to certain 
elements of their history which assured the apostle of their 
election. His object is not to show what it was, but to adduce 
the grounds on which he and his colleagues were self-persuaded 
of it. The conjunction is therefore rightly rendered quia in 
the Vulgate and Claromoutane, and in the Syriac by ? v^O 
(Winer, § 53, 8). 

The objective Bti thus inti'oduces recognized facts in proof of 
the previous statement (De Wette, Koch, Luneniann, &c). And 
he knew it on two grounds — first, a subjective ground, from the 
memory of his own consciousness in preaching ; his own recol- 
lections of divine assistance poured in upon him as he pro- 
claimed the truth — a token to him that he was not labouring in 
vain. Secondly, an objective ground, their immediate and cor- 
dial reception of the truth, " and ye became followers of us and 
of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction and in 
joy of the Holy Ghost." 

The first ground is that " our gospel came not unto you in 
word only." " Our gospel " is the gospel which we preach and 
are known to preach, the genitive being vaguely that of posses- 
sion or of instrumental origin. They had it, and by them it was 
published. The passive form eyev/jOrjv, originally Doric, occurs 


often in this epistle in its middle sense, eytvero. Its passive 
form has never the mere sense of elvai (Lobeck ad Phrynich., 
p. 108 ; Kiihner ; Winer, § 13). It is therefore rightly rendered 
"came." It means that something has been brought about or 
has come to be " by divine grace," as Liinemann gives it. The 
word may not express this idea of itself, but it is really im- 
plied. If we adopt the reading etV vfias, the meaning is simply 
ad vos as in the Vulgate, the Claromontane having apud, which 
is liker 7rpo9 and not unlike irapa with a dative. Fritzsche in 
Marc, vi, 3, p. 201-202 ; 1 Cor. ii, 3; 2 John, 12. 

The gospel came not " in word only," ev denoting sphere, 
and not simply that the gospel was aanere word. The gospel 
was in the word, as ov /ulovov implies, but it did not remain in 
it; it burst beyond it. Language was the vehicle of communi- 
cation, but the message passed beyond the mere vehicle. It 
would have been a lifeless thing if it had been only ev \6yw as 
a kernel in an unopened husk ; but vitality and power were in 
the truth so spoken — 

«XXa kui ev Suva/xei /cca ev llvevjuaTi ayuo, kui ev ir\y]po(j)opia 
7roX\fi — "but also in power and in the Holy Ghost, and 
in much assurance." 'Ev points again to the medium or 
manner in which the preaching was carried out. Now 
first these terms are subjective, or they characterize the 
emotions of the preachers, not those of the hearers (Koppe, 
Pelt), or of speakers and hearers both (Vorstius and 
Schott). How the hearers felt and acted under their 
preacher is told in the next verse ; but this verse refers to the 
apostle's own remembrance of his preaching, what it was in his 
own consciousness, or when he was engaged in it, appealing in 
the next clause to themselves for the truth of his assertion — " As 
ye yourselves know what kind of persons we proved to be for 
your sakes." In short, the verse tells how the gospel came, or 
the manner of its advent, and not the results produced by it. 
It came ev Swd/uei, " in power," on the part of the preachers. 
iluva/uus does not mean here miraculous energy — as is supposed 
by the Greek fathers, followed by a-Lapide, Grotius, and Tur- 
retin. The plural is usually employed when such is the 
reference; but here, standing in contrast to ev Ao'yw, it denotes 
the mighty eloquence and the overwhelming force with which 


they preached (1 Cor. ii, 5), and not the external impression 
made by accompanying - miracles. There had been an unusual 
outburst of mental and spiritual energy in the preaching; they 
had been carried beyond themselves; they argued, insisted, and 
urged. The second koi is not epexegetical, but in the phrase 
Kai ev Ilvev/maTi aylu> it has an ascensive force, and the second 
clause says something fuller and higher than the first. They 
preached in the Holy Ghost; no wonder that such power was 
possessed by them and showed itself in their mighty utterances. 
The power was inwrought by the Holy Spirit, and could from 
its nature be ascribed only to Him. When Jowett explains the 
phrase as the inspiration of the speaker wrought by the hearer; 
the statement may not be a denial of the personality of the 
Divine Agent, but it reduces the result to that of ordinary human 
oratory in which no divine element is involved. It is slovenly 
and inaccurate to take the clauses as a hendiadys, h owapei 
Uvev/uaTos aylov, as Calvin, Piscator, and Conybeare. On the 
want of the article with Ilyetyxa, see under Ephes. i, 17. The 
third conjunct characteristic of the preaching was — 

ko.\ ev 7r\tjpo(pop[a 7roW}] — "and in much assurance." The 
repetition of /ecu and of ev gives a separate and distinct 
prominence to each of the three clauses in succession. 
IT\}]po(popla, " assured persuasion," is a noun found only in 
the New Testament and the ecclesiastical writers (Suicer, 
sub voce; Rom. iv, 21; xiv, 5; Col. ii, 2; Heb. vi, 11 ; x, 22). 
It does not mean certainty of the truth and of its divine 
original produced in the Thessalonians (Musculus, Mncknight, 
Benson), nor fulness of spiritual gifts and instruction (a-Lapide, 
Turretin), nor fulfilment of the apostolical office, id plene a/pud 
eos officio satisfecisse non dubitaretur (Estius). But the mean- 
ing is that they preached at once in the full persuasion of the 
truth of the gospel, and that, in presenting it at the moment, they 
were doing the Master's will. This inborn assurance, combined 
with the Spirit's inworking and the powerful utterance vouch- 
safed to them, were to them a token that there were in their 
audiences those whom they could soon recognize as God's elect, 
and these characteristics of their early labours in Thessalonica, 
showing that they were divinely owned and strengthened, are 
now adduced as one ground of their knowledge that those ad- 


dressed in the epistle are the elect. Olshausen puts it somewhat 
dogmatically and sternly : " Paul means to show how from the 
way in which the Spirit operated in him at a certain place, he 
drew a conclusion as to the disposition of the persons there — 
where it manifested itself powerfully, there, he argued, there must 
be elect. Thus the Spirit suffered him not to travel through 
Bithyuia because there were no elect there." But there were 
Christians in that province very soon afterwards (1 Pet. i, 1), 
and what then of their election ? Was it a divine act subse- 
quent to the interdict laid on the apostle as told in Acts xvi, 7 ? 

And for the truth of what he had been writing he now ap- 
peals to themselves — - 

Ka9oo$ o'iSaTe 0T01 eyevr'/Oij/uev ev v/niv Si v/nas — " even as ye 
know what manner of men we were found to be among you 
for your sakes." The rendering of the Authorized Version 
"we were" does not give the full sense. Conybeare's trans- 
lation is not correct, " behaved myself," nor yet is that of the 
Vulgate, quales fuerimus. The appeal is to themselves — to 
their own knowledge ; it corresponded (kuOco?) with the 
apostle's statement in the previous part of the verse. It 
witnessed that the gospel was preached to them " in power, 
and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance ;" and these 
elements of character and labour proved what manner of men 
the apostle and his colleagues were really found to be. The 
first part of the verse describes the preaching, what it was, and 
this clause describes the preachers, what they were. As no one 
who had heard such preaching would forget it, every one 
would be eager to verify the apostle's statement from his own 

The oTol eyevi'iOrjixev therefore includes alone what we have 
just said, and to give it a reference to disinterestedness and 
self-support by manual labour, is going wholly astray from the 
text ; and an appeal, as by Estius, Macknight, and Pelt, to ii, 7-9, 
is at this point wholly irrelevant. As remote from the 
apostle's immediate purpose is any allusion to dangers and 
persecutions — kivovvous ou? inrep avrcov inre<TT>icruv (Theodoret). 
'Ej/ v/juv is simply " among you," in your society ; and 
Si v/mas points to the final purpose of the whole procedure, 
which was prompted and fashioned from a regard to their 


eternal interests — kuSws o'lSure, the appeal is honest, and he felt 
that they would respond to it. It is no self-eulogy born 
of conceit — no flattering self-drawn picture — "ye yourselves 

This, then, is the first or subjective portion of the grounds 
on which Paul and his colleagues knew the election of the 
Thessalonian believers. " Our transcendent energy, earnestness, 
and confidence — all inwrought by the Divine Spirit, and felt 
and manifested in our preaching — were proof to us that God 
was by us doing His work among you and marking you out 
to us as His own chosen ones." 

To begin a new sentence, as Koppe does, with KaOtos o'lSare, 
and to give it this meaning, qualem me vidistis qnum apud 
vos essem tales etiam apud vos nunc estis, breaks the 
coherence, gives a past sense to o'lSare, and a wrong meaning 
to eyeii'ftiiiJLev, and would need ourwg vjuei? to be expressed in the 
next verse. 

Now follows the objective ground of his knowledge of their' 

(Ver.,6.) kui v/ueis /ow/x;;tcu fj/nwv eyei/jOr/Te kgu tov lvvpiov — "and 
ye on your part came to be followers of us and of the Lord." 
The connection is still unbroken, and hangs virtually on on be- 
ginning the fifth verse and signifying "for " or " because." ' Y/ueis 
is emphatic and in contrast to rj/ioov in the previous verse — our 
gospel on the one side — your reception of it on the other. The 
verb eyevi]6r]Te has the same sense as in the previous verse — 
not ye were, but ye came to be (1 Cor. iv, 16 ; Ephes. v, 1). The 
additional idea durch die Leitung Gottes of Liinemann is a theo- 
logical inference, for it does not lie in the words. The apostle 
brings out the result without touching the process, by his pre- 
ference of this compound formula to the simpler verb fxifxelaOai. 
The first kou is copulative, and the second is rather climactic, 
not exactly corrective, as Bullinger, who says that we ought to 
be followers of the apostles, eatenus quatenus Mi Christi 
imitatores sunt. 

Their imitation of the apostle and his colleagues was, in its 
spirit and results, an imitation of Christ; for it was imitation 
of the apostles in their connection with Christ, in His truth 
and His life C\ Cor. iv, 16: xi. 1 ; Philip, iii, 17). Koppe destroys 


the cogency of the argument altogether, by holding that the 
points of imitation on the part of the Thessalonians were the 
power, the Holy Ghost, and the great confidence mentioned in 
the previous verse, as characterizing the preaching of Paul, 
Silas, and Timothy. But the point of imitation is plainly not 
the mere reception of the word, as that could not apply to 
Xoyop, but the spirit and circumstances in which they 
received it — " in much affliction with joy of the Holy Ghost," 
as is now stated. 

Se^d/uevoi tov \oyov, ev 6\i\fsei 7roXX)j /uera x a P'^ T^peo/muTO? 
ay'ov. The participle seems to denote inner conscious 
acceptance (ii, I3),amplexi estis (Calvin), excipientes (Vulgate); 
and it is in the same tense or point of time with the verb — 
implying simultaneous action — ye became followers at the 
moment when, or in that, ye received the word. '0 \0y09 
is the gospel as preached (Luke viii, 13; Acts xvii, 11; 
Gal. vi, 6) : tov Kvpiov being added in verse 8. Other genitives 
are used in Ephes. i, 13 ; 2 Cor. ii, 17. The affliction in which 
they received it was great, as may be learned from Acts xvii, 
5, 9, compared with ii, 14, and from iii, 2, 3. These afflictions 
seem to have continued after the violent outburst at the first 
preaching of the apostle. The Master had foretold tribulation 
to his followers, and the apostle had echoed the prediction 
during his residence in Thessalonica. The 6\l\fsis is therefore 
not that of the apostles, ■praecones graviter affligebantur, but 
that of the Thessalonians themselves. Compare iii, 7. They 
received the word, however, not only in affliction, but juera 
Xapas Ilvev/ixaTo? uyiov, " with joy of the Holy Ghost," the 
genitive being that of origin, and as Ellicott calls it " origin- 
ating agent" (Scheuerlein, § 17, 1). The phrase does not mean 
merely spiritual joy (Jowett), but joy inwrought by the Holy 
Spirit, and is therefore connected with the present conscious 
possession of spiritual blessings and hopes (Rom. xiv, 17 ; Gal. 
v, 22). See under Philip, iii, 1. This joy is no unnatural 
emotion, as if in stoical apathy they did not feel their suffer- 
ings, or pray that they should cease ; but it is a grace of the 
Divine Spirit which exists independently of them, though it 
may be increased by means of them (Acts v, 41) ; the joy of 
livino- in Christ and of loving- Him, — all that gladness of 


position and prospects which faith in the gospel brings, and 
which in Christ and his apostle coexisted with the endurance 
of great sufferings. The Lord "for the joy that was set before 
Him endured the cross, despising the shame," and His early- 
servants passed through a similar experience of outer sufferings 
and inner gladness, so that they who, in receiving and holding 
the truth, are yet supported under affliction by the joy of the 
Holy Ghost, are followers both of the apostles and of the 
Divine Master. Now the circumstances of the Thessalonians 
in receiving the word which are so briefly described, were so 
striking and so Christlike, that they were typical — 

(Ver. 7.) axrre yeveuQai iifias Tinrovg — "so that ye became an en- 
sample." The reading is doubtful, the plural tvttovs being found 
in A C F K L X and many fathers; but the singular in B D 17, 67, 
in the Latin vei'sions (Vulgate and Claromontane), as also in the 
Syriac and Coptic. The Syriac has ]2&P>. D 3 and49have 

TU7TO?, conjectured by Mill to be a neuter form like tt\outo$. It 
is more likely that tvttov should be changed into tuttovs on 
account of the v/mas, than that the reverse should take place. 
The singular is accepted by Lachmann and Tischendorf, and is, 
moreover, grammatically correct, the believers being taken as a 
collective unity, als ein Einheit-begriff (Bernhardy, p. 58). 
Chrysostom in his exposition uses, in consecutive clauses, both 
the plural and singular form (Winer, § 27 ; Kiihner, § 407). 

They became an ensample. There is a binary process — first, 
they followed their preachers as a living pattern or example, 
/uu/ui]tcu, and then they became in turn an example, rv-rrog, a 
pattern for the imitation of other churches ; from being fxifxrjral, 
they became Tinrog. 

iruaiv tois Trio-rev over iv ev Tfl Mce/ceoW/a icai ev t\i Kyjiia— " to 
all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia," the second iv hav- 
ing preponderant authority. The present participle with the 
article is used substantively, all idea of time being excluded. 
Compare Ephes. iv, 28 ; Matt, iv, 3 ; Gal. i, 23. Winer, § 45, 7. 
In his exposition Chrysostom virtually changes the tenses of 
the participle — ye became an ensample toF? >/$>; TziuTevovm, " ye 
so shone that ye became instructors of them who received the 
gospel before you." Chrysostom is followed by GEcumenius 
and Theophylact, who has iria-reixjacri two?, and among many 


others by Pelt and Schott. But the Philippian Church was 
the only earlier church in Eastern Europe, as the apostle did 
not tarry at Amphipolis or Apollonia, and the language is 
scarcely applicable to it. Macedonia and Achaia, as two Roman 
provinces, are equivalent to northern and southern Greece, the 
entire territory. The Grecian churches could look upon the 
Thessalonians as a typical or representative community, whose 
example was worthy of universal imitation. But Theodoret's 
addition that the apostolic encomium is the more expressive, 
because the nations referred to were great and wise, ew\ cro</>/« 
Otw/ua^o/mevoi^, is simply not in the text. The apostle now gives 
the foundation for the previous eulogistic statement. 

(Ver. 8.) acp' u/iAcov yap e^i'i^Tai o Xoyo? tov Ivvpiov — "for from 
you has sounded forth the word of the Lord." We cannot give 
v/jlwv here a wider reference than the previous vju.a$, so that Baum- 
garten-Crnsius is wrong in including the Philippians under it. 
The natural sense of ac/>' u/jlcov is the local one, from }'ou as the 
point of departure (1 Cor. xiv, 30). It cannot well mean v<f> 
vfxSiv, by you, as the preachers of it (Riickert), nor SI vfimv, by 
your means as having saved our lives (Storr), nor are the two 
meanings to be combined as by Schott and Bloomfield. The 
"word of the Lord" is very plainly the gospel, as in the 6th 
verse, and not, as De Wette makes it, the fame of their recep- 
tion of the gospel. Compare 2 Thess. iii, 1 ; and often and 
naturally in the Acts, as viii, 25 ; xiii, 48 ; xv, 35, 36 ; xvi, 32 ; 
xix, 10, 20. A word having the Lord for its origin, its centre, 
and its end ; His life in its purity and sympathy ; His death 
in its atoning fulness — told in man's language. 

The verb eg/jxirai (has been sounded out uxrirep crd\7nyyog 
Xa/uarpou qx°v (Tt 1 < >> Chrysostom) occurs only here in the New 
Testament, but it is found in the Septuagint (Joel iii, 14; 
Sirach xl, 13). The meaning is, that their conversion and its 
circumstances were so noted, that they carried the gospel 
through the province as if by the ringing peal of a trumpet. 
The rumour of what had happened at Thessalonica sped its 
way through Greece, and carried with it the gospel — sounded 
abroad loudly, fully, distinctly, the blessed message. 

ov fxovov ev tii Ma/ce<W/a icai Aya'/'a — "not only in Macedonia 
and Achaia." Before 'Ax«t'«, w t\i is inserted by C DFRL N, 30 


MSS., with the Vulgate and Claromontane Latin and the Syriac, 
and it is admitted by Lachmann, while A B and the majority of 
MSS. and some of the fathers omit it. It may have been re- 
peated from the previous verse, as if again to mark Achaia as 
a distinct province, but the authority of MSS. in its favour 
is great. Limemann asserts that ev t>/ is necessary, and must 
therefore be genuine ; but, as Ellicott replies, the want of the 
ev T}i is not only permissible, but grammatically exact, as 
Macedonia and Achaia are here regarded as a whole, and put 
in antithesis to all the rest of the world (Winer, § 19, 4). 
Between grammatical nicety on the one hand, and diplomatic 
authority on the other, the point cannot well be decided. The 
difference of reading involves a difference of meaning, ov 
fxovov .... aXka being used, ubi posterior notio ut major 
vel gravior vel latior in prioris notionis locum substituitur 
quidem sed prior lion plane tollitur : Kuhner ad Xenoph. 
Memor. ii, 6, 2, p. 159. See examples in Stallbaum's Plato, 
vol. I, 210; Phoedo, 107 b; and in ninth excursus of Bremi 
ad Isocr., p. 212. 

uWa ev Travel tottw t] 7r/crTt? v/nwv r) 7rpo? tov Qeov e£e\i'i\v6ev 
— "but in every place your faith which is toward God has gone 
forth." The kou of the Received Text has no proper authority. 
The structure of these words is somewhat difficult. Were the 
sentence thus — " From you has sounded out the word of the 
Lord ; " and were it to end thus, " not only in Macedonia and 
Achaia, but also in every place," it would appear natural and 
complete. But ev iravTi tottu), so far from concluding the clause, 
is connected with a new subject and predicate, " in every place 
your faith which is toward God has gone out." Some propose 
a transposition of ov fxovov, ov fxovov e£/ix>iTai. Not only has the 
word of the Lord been sounded out in Macedonia and Achaia, 
but in every place your faith also has gone out. Such is the 
violent proposal ofBeza, Piscator, Zanchius, Grotius, Rosen- 
muller, Storr, Schrader, Koppe, Schqtt, and others. It cannot 
be entertained for a moment, for it is tantamount to rewriting 
the verse. 

Others, as Olshausen and De Wette, hold that the two sub- 
jects and their predicates are equivalent in meaning — the word 
of the Lord, the report of your faith in the Lord has sounded 


out, very much the same as, your faith God ward, has gone out 
(Olshausen). Lunemann proposes to put a colon after Kvpiou, 
and begin a clause with 01} /ulovov, the sentence then being thus — 
"for from you has sounded out the word of the Lord." But 
this punctuation gives the clause a feeble and spiritless aspect, 
which is at the same time contradicted by the sonorous e£iJx>iTai, 
while aWa ev iravri tottu> stands in direct antithesis to oil /ulovov 
ev 77/ M-, and is, apparentl}", the natural and necessary comple- 
ment of the sentence. It is probable that the apostle has 
mixed two constructions. In writing the sentence, the thought 
of a stronger climax came into his mind, and he puts a whole 
sentence in antithesis to ov fxovov ev 77/ Ma/cecW/a Ka\ 'kxal'a, in- 
stead of, as first intended, a merely local phrase, such as ev iravri 
roircp, or, as he has said in Rom. i, 3, ev o\w tw k6<t/jlw. The 
apostle, when he got to ev iravri roircp, completing the compari- 
son, felt that perhaps an explanatory statement was needed, and 
solosing sight of ov novov, he at once and without breaking the 
connection goes out into the additional statement, and, the first 
nominative also passing out of view, he inserts another and 
more directly personal one — i) ir'nrns v/jlwv j) irpo? tov Oeov. The 
phrase is made distinct by the repetition of the article- — irpos 
being used also in Phile. 5 (Winer, § 50, 2). The 717)09 for 
the more common ei? implies, perhaps, the change of creed and 
worship referred to in the next verse, before which their faith 
toward idols had vanished (Lunemann, Hofmann). For the 
verb used for the spread of a rumour, compare Matt, ix, 2G ; 
Mark i, 28. Observe, says Chrysostom, how he speaks of it as 
of a living thing, irep\ efA\fsvx ov - The P^ rase «/ iravri tottm is a 
popular hyberbole, ev and not eh implying that the rumour was 
still in every place (Winer, § 50, 4 a). Chrysostom, however 
warns, " let no one regard these words as hyberbolical, for 
Macedonians were not inferior in fame to the Romans " (John 
xii, 19; Rom. i, 8; Col. i, 6-23). Compare the use made of 
Ps. xix in Rom. x, 17, 12. The report of their conversion to 
Christianity had spread beyond Greece — was known and talked 
of everywhere. The words do not convey any impression that 
Paul in his travels beyond Macedonia and Achaia had met the 
report, and it is only conjecture to inquire how the report 
obtained such wide and speedy currency. Christian merchants 



might have carried it (De Wette, Zanchius, Grotius). Corinth, 
in which he was writing, was a great trading city, with a per- 
petual influx of strangers. Thessalonica was a centre of busi- 
ness, and the heathen merchants coming from it might repeat 
what would appear to them an unaccountable phenomenon. 
Wieseler supposes that Aquila and Priscilla had arrived at 
Corinth from Rome, and may have mentioned that the report 
was known in the metropolis itself. It is not necessary on 
this account, with Schrader and Baumgarten, to assign a longer 
existence to the Thessalonian church, as a few months might 
suffice to justify the apostle's statement. 

The result was — 

('oa-re /mi] xpelav e'xetv i'l/mas \a\etv rt — " so that we have no need 
to speak anything " that is, on this point, or of your faith ; not, 
" anything of moment " (Koch), or " of the gospel " (Michaelis). 
r Hyua?. standing after eyeiv on highest authority, was put before 
the verb, perhaps for the sake of emphatic contrast with the 
following avToi. What had happened in Thessalonica was so 
notorious everywhere, that any further description of it might 
well be spared, the reason being — 

(Ver. 9.) Auto* yap ire pi tj/uwv airayyeXkovaiv oiroiav earoSov 
ecrxofJ-ef 71-/009 vfia$ — " For they (on their part) report concern- 
ing us what manner of entrance we had among you." The 
Received Text has exo/uep with no authority. By avro) are 
understood the people alluded to in the previous verse, those 
not in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place, and the 
construction is according to sense (Winer, § 22, 3 ; Matt, iv, 
23; 2 Cor. ii, 12-13). We have no need to speak; they 
do it for us — the two pronouns in emphatic contrast. The 
persons comprised in irep] })/ulwv are Paul and his colleagues, 
not Paul and the Thessalonians (Bisping), and the emphatic 
position is in contrast to 7r/)o? v/aa?, while their change of 
worship as the result of this entrance is told in the next clause. 
EiVooo? is not access to their heart, but simply and historically 
ingress (ii, 1 ; Acts xiii, 24 ; Heb. x, 19 ; 2 Peter i, 11. Rost and 
Palm sub voce). The kind of entrance, not facilis (Pelt), is ex- 
plained in verse 5 by the apostle — his proclamation of the 
divine message in power and in the Holy Ghost and in much 
assurance — the external perils and persecutions not being ex- 


eluded, though they are not put into prominence, as by Chry- 
sostom, GEcumenius, and Theophylact. This clause then con- 
tains in brief what the general report was about the apostle and 
his fellow-labourers — that they had come and preached so 
mightily and obtained such a welcome, or perhaps in phrase 
nearer what might be the form of the report in the mouth of a 
wondering heathen — "The other day three Jewish strangers 
came to Thessalonica, two of whom bore the scars of a terrible 
scourging they had got north at Philippi ; they began to hold 
public meetings, and, so far from being opposed, they were 
tolerated, and the astounding doctrines which they taught with 
a superhuman earnestness made a deep and wide sensation 
through the city, which cannot be accounted for and which is 
not subsiding." The next clause tells what the universal report 
was about the Thessalonians themselves. They themselves are 
talking about us and they themselves are at the same time 
talking about you — ■ 

7ra>9 €7T€crTpe^raTe irph<; tov Oeov a.7ro tcov ctSwXow — " how ye 
turned from idols to God." IK>? introduces an objective sentence, 
and though it may not involve et'/co'Xw? (Chiysostom), or mit 
welclter Freudigkeit (Liinemann), still all notion of manner is not 
to be excluded — mode as characterizing the fact. They could not 
report the fact without some detail of the circumstances, 7rw? to 
some extent corresponding to the modal adjective oirolav of the 
previous clause. The notion of return is not necessarily in- 
volved in the compound verb, e7rto-Tpe(f>eiv, for oirlrrw and elg to, 
o-la-co are used with it. Compare Acts xiv, 15 ; xv, 19 ; Matt, 
xxiv, 18 ; Mark xiii, 1G : Luke xvii, 31 ; and see under Gal. iv, 
9. Cut idolatry being apostasy from God, turning from idols 
may be regarded as a return to God. The idea of return to God 
in conversion, or from apostasy, is familiar to every reader, of 
the Old Testament, and it underlies the epithets " living and 
true" applied to God, that these idols are dead and false 
(Heb. ii, 19). Idols are also called vanities (Deut. xxxii, 21 ; 
Ps. xxxi, 6; cvi, 28; cxv, 4; Jer. viii, 19; Acts xiv, 15; 
1 Cor. viii, 4). See under Gal. iv, 8. 

SovXeveiv Gew fcvrt k<u aXyOivw — "to serve the living and 
true God." On the absence of the article see Winer, § 19, 1. 
Tho infinitive is that of purpose, and needs neither the com- 


plemcnt of eiy to nor of lorrre (Winer, § 44, 1, and as in 
Ephes. i, 4; Col. i, 22). The Divine Being is called $S>v in 
contrast with these dead inanities. He is Life and the 
source and substance of all life. He is also aXtjOivos, true 
or real ; not aXrjdi]?, verax, but aXyjOivo;, verus — this latter 
terra becoming in old English very, as in the phrase of the 
Nicene creed, " very God of very God " (Oeov aXrjOivov e/c Qeov 
aXtjOivov); or in Wycliffe's translation of John xv, 1, "I am 
the verri vine." 'A\>70»/? characterizes God ethically (John iii, 
83 ; Rom. iii, 4) as He is true to Himself and all His promises, 
a\fsevS}i$ (Titus i, 2) ; but aXfjOivo? characterizes His essence — He 
is what He professes to be (John i, 9 ; xvii, 3). See the epithet 
with the same sense and a different reference, John vi, 32 ; 
Heb. viii, 2 ; ix, 24; Sept., Isaiah lxv, 16. Trench, Synon.,§8. 
The clause by itself might describe a departure from heathenism 
ending simply in proserytism — the change of a heathen from 
polytheism to monotheism. But in this case it was more, it 
was specifically a Christian conversion. 

(Ver. 10.) kul avafj-eveivTOV vlov uvtov e/c toov ovpavoov — "and to 
wait for His Son from heaven," or " from the heavens," as the 
phrase is sometimes rendered in the English plural, but most fre- 
quently in the singular. The verb ava/ueveiv occurs only here in 
the New Testament : u-Tre/coYxea-Out is used in 1 Cor. i, 7 ; Philip, 
iii, 20 ; and TrepijjLeveiv is similarly found in Acts i, 4. The ava 
cannot give the additional sense of with joy (Flatt). Winer says 
it does not mean rediturum exspectare (Bengel), nor avide ex- 
spectare. Natura sua habet admixtam . . . patientiae etfiduciae 
notionera. (De verborum cum praepositionibus cornpositorum 
usu. Particula, iii). On the name " Son," see under Ephes. i, 
3. The somewhat elliptical phrase, "to wait for His Son from 
heaven," implies that He is in heaven and that He is coming 
from it. He, in the fulness of humanity, has gone up to plead, 
to reign, to sympathize, to prepare a place, and He will 
return, according to promise, to complete His work, to raise 
His people, to invest them with spiritual bodies, and to 
confer on them the crown and totality of redemption. This 
distinctive Christian grace of hope is based on faith. There 
must be faith in Him as Saviour ere there can be the 
quiet and patient expectation of His advent. Compare Matt. 


xvi, 27; xxvi, 04; Luke ix, 20 ; Acts i, 11 ; Rom. i, 7 ; 1 Cor. 
xi, 2g-. 

ov ij-yeipev e/c rwv vefcpccv — "whom He raised from the dead." 
The insertion of tow rests on preponderant authority both of MSS. 
and fathers, BDFL N — its omission being due probably to 
the common form of the phrase without the article. The theo- 
logy of Paul is, that the Father raised the Son from the dead, 
and this resurrection has an evidential connection with the 
Sonship and the completion of His earthly work (Rom. i, 4). 
See under Gal. i, 1. There could have been no faith, had He 
still been one of the venpo'i, but He comes as a living man, who 
has triumphed over death, and He is now 6 £cov (Rev. i, 18). The 
apostle emphatically names Him — 

'Iijo-ouy tov pvo/uLevov >//jici9 airo t>/9 6py>]s r^? epyo/J-ev^ — " Jesus 
who delivered us from the coming wrath." The first participle 
is present, and is not on the one hand to be rendered as aorist 
(Vulgate qui eripuit — Grotius, Pelt, the English version : 
Tyndale, Granmer, and the Genevan preserving the present) 
nor is it on the other hand to receive a future sense, as 
in the Claromontane Latin, qui eripiet, res certo futura 
(Schott ; Bernhardy, p. 371). Christ redeemed us once, says 
Bengel, but He is always delivering us. " Jesus who is de- 
livering us " gives the full force of the present tense, and by 
this work therefore He may be characterized. The combina- 
tion of the article and participle may point Him out as our De- 
liverer. So Liinemann, Alford, Ellicott, Koch, and Conybeare ; 
Winer, § 45, 7. Our deliverance was achieved by that act of self- 
sacrifice which placed Him among the dead, and He the risen 
Redeemer is ever applying its gifts and power. The present 
participle epxo^epi]? maintains its proper meaning — that wrath 
is coming, certainly coming, at the period of the judgment. 
But from it Christ delivers us, now, through faith in Him ; and 
as the Deliverer is coming again from heaven believers wait for 
Him, that He may raise their bodies from the dead and confer 
upon them full and final blessedness. It is plain from this state- 
ment that these truths had occupied a prominent place in the 
Apostle's preaching at Thessalonica. He had preached Christ 
the Deliverer, a divine person, " the Son of God " who had given 
Himself for them and cone down to the dead, but who had been 


raised again — Christ who was now the Governor (Philip, iii, 20), 
and who was to be the Judo-e and Rewarder at His coming. 
These primary and prominent doctrines had been proclaimed 
to them " in power, in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance," 
and their acceptance of them produced an immediate and cor- 
respondent revolution in their worship and life. Compare 
1 Cor. xv, 34. See Introduction. 


(Ver. 1.) Avrol yup o'iSaTe, aSeXcpo), Ttjv eicrooov ijjmaiv Ttjv 
7T/oo? vjuag, oti ou kcvi) ylyovev — "For ye yourselves know, 
brethren, our entrance to you that it was not vain." 

The yap is certainly something more than a mere particle of 
transition — audi as Krause, ja as Flatt and Pelt, " yea " as 
Conybeare, "nay" as Peile, or simply "and" as in the Syriac 
version, while others do not translate it at all. The connection 
is not so difficult as these exceptional senses given to yap would 
lead us to suppose. Bengel, Flatt, and Schott connect this verse 
with i, 5, G ; the intermediate verses being taken as forming a 
species of parenthesis. But such a connection is pointless and 
obscure. Grotius joins it to the 10th verse, and with this mean- 
ing, merito Mam spem vitae aetemae retinetis ; vera enirn su nt 
quae vobis annuntiavimus. But the following verses are not 
doctrinal, they are merely historical in nature. They contain 
no direct pi*oof of the statement put forward by Grotius. The 
phrase " ye yourselves " is in contrast to those beyond them — 
to the avToi in i, 9, who told of the entrance of the apostle to 
them. This paragraph is thus connected with i, 9 : " not only 
strangers in the province told about our entrance in to you ; 
not only are such statements about your conversion current 
everywhere; but you yourselves know what our entering in to 
you was. We appeal not to such reports in universal circulation ; 
we appeal now to yourselves, to your own personal know- 
ledge." The paragraph down to the end of the twelfth verse is 
a detailed and confirmatory explanation of what is said in the 
first half of i, 9 — " the kind of entrance in to you which w r e 
had," o-rro'iav e'icroSoi> eaxofxev; and verses 13, 14, 15, 1G, of this 

Ver. 1.] first epistle to the thessalonians. .55 

chapter in a similar way take up at length the second half of 
i, 9 — their instantaneous reception of the gospel, 7r«? e-jrea-Tpl- 
\JsuTe xpo? tou Qeou uiro tmv eiSooXwv, and the mighty change 
resulting from it which still endured in spite of persecution 
and suffering. The yap thus introduces an explanatory vindi- 
cation (Hartung, p. 463). The form of the sentence is common 
in Greek, in which, especially after 6lSa, there is an anticipation 
of the object — not, ye know that our entrance was not vain ; 
but ye know our entrance — that it was not vain (Kriiger, § 61, 
6, 2; Bernhardy, p. 466; Luke xii, 24; Acts xvi, 3 ; 1 Cor. iii, 5; 
vii, 17; 2 Cor. xii, 7. See under Gal. i. 11.) 

Avto\ expressed is emphatic— a direct appeal to themselves. 
" Brethren," a name of endearment. The epithet neiv} has been 
variously taken; some give it an ethical sense — fxaraia 
(CEcumenius), mendax (Grotius), tioti inanis, sed plena virtutis 
(Bengel, Schott), vani honoris studio (Rosenmuller), non otiose 
(Koppe). The apostle does not say e/? Kevov, as in iii, 5; and 
the reference in the following verse is not to the fruit of his 
labours — for this idea does not come in till verse 13 — but to the 
character of them. The following aX\a is in contrast to 
ov Kevh and introduces an explanation : his entrance was not 
vain ; it was, as already described, preceded by suffering, but it 
was characterized by boldness of utterance, irappija-la, by absence 
of deceit, of uncleanness, and of guile ; by fidelity, by gentle- 
ness, and disinterested self-denying love, by continuous and 
affectionate industry ; all these features of his ministry explain 
ov Kevi'i. Chrysostom says, ov kcv>] tovt€ctti, otl ovk avOpwirivii 
ovSe n tvxovctu. Kev>/ refers then to the character of the en- 
trance, not to the fruits; to its fulness of power and purpose and 
reality (Ellicott). This entering in was not empty or unsub- 
stantial, but was marked by a living reality, by power, con- 
fidence, and spiritual manifestation. And that character 
remained (ylyovev) Some, however, combine both ideas, the 
nature of the entrance with the results (a-Lapide, Pelt, Schott, 
De Wette, and Benson); but the second reference is against the 
context. Some of the Greek fathers suppose a special allusion 
to persecution and dangers ; but these come into view first in 
the next verse, and are referred to also in i, 9, of which this is 
an expansion. 


(Ver. 2.) 'AXXu 7rpo7ra66vTe<? kui vftpioSevTes, KaOm o'tSare, 
ev ^iX'nnroi?, e7rapp>](Tia<TUjULe6a ev Tip Qeip i'j/ulwv XaXijuai 
7r/>o9 u//as' to evayyiXiov tov Oeov ev 7roXX« ayoavi — "But 
after having suffered before and been injuriously treated, 
as ye know, at Philippi, we were confident in our God 
to speak unto you the gospel of God in much conflict." 
The ica\ of the Received Text after aXka is a gloss with- 
out any authority. 'AXXa is opposed to Kevrj (1 Cor. xv, 10) ; 
it was not vain ; on the other hand its reality was 
manifested as follows. The participles might be taken 
as concessive if the kui had been genuine as Pelt sup- 
poses, "though we having suffered before" (LiAnemann); 
but the simple temporal sense is more in harmony with the 
historical statement which follows. The reference is to the 
sufferings already endured, and described in Acts xvi. The 
participle TrpoiruOovTe*? occurs only here in the New Testament, 
but is found in Herodotus, vii, 11; Thucydides, iii, 67; 
Plato, Rep., ii, 376. The apostle adds koli v/3pia6evTeg, "and 
injuriously treated," the treatment expressed by the verb being 
insolent and wanton outrage such as the scourging to which, 
though a Roman citizen, he had been subjected, a punishment 
forbidden by the Porcian and Valerian laws (Matt, xxii, 6 ; 
Luke xviii, 32 ; Acts, xiv, 5 ; Trench, § 29). 

If the first compound verb might have a medial sense like 
the simple one (Xenoph., Mernor., ii, 2, 5), the second verb in 
the clause effectually forbids it. 

Kat9ct>? o'lSaTe is repeated — they knew it well, as they had 
seen him immediately after the flagellation, and may have done 
on him such a work of kindness as did the jailer. The verb 
e-Kappr]maaaixSa means literally "we were bold of speech," as 
its composition indicates (De Wette, Ellicott). But the word 
signifies also to be confident (Job xxvii, 10; Ephes. iii, 12; vi, 
20; 1 Tim. iii, 13; 1 John ii, 28; iii, 21). 

The following XaX^crat would be somewhat tautological if we 
give €7rappr]<ria(rdiue6a its original meaning, though that mean- 
ing may be admitted after all. That -wapp^a-ia was in our God, 
He being the sphere in which it existed, eVl being used in 
Acts, xiv, 13, to denote the ground (Ellicott) ; t]p.Q>v indicates 
close relationship — God of our choice, our service, whose 


graces sustain, whose spirit cheers, whose presence is our 
reward. The infinitive \a\fj<rai may be either explanatory 
(Koch, Ellicott; Winer, § 44-, 1); or it may be taken as the 
simple infinitive of object after the previous verb (Liinemann, 
Hofmaim). The meaning, however, is not to be dwindled into 
fxeTa 7rappr](Tias eXaXou/uev. 

The genitive QeoO is not that of object, but of origin — the 
gospel which is from God (Ellicott, Koch). It adds weight to 
the statement, and vindicates alike the irX^po^opla of i, 5 and 
the 7rapp>]criu. of this verse. He proclaimed the good news of 
God's grace, no earthborn scheme, no human speculation or 
conjecture as to the probabilities of the divine purpose in 
itself or its results. 

He spoke this gospel ev 7toXXm dywvi as referring chiefly, if 
not solely, to outward circumstances, and not to inner care and 
sorrow (Fritzsche). The former is the view of the Greek 
fathers, and the subsequent verses confirm it. Compare Philip, 
i, 30 ; Col. i, 29. Some, as Schott, combine both ideas — our 
entrance was not vain, and our history shows it. After we had 
suffered indignity and cruelty for preaching the gospel at 
Philippi, we still had confidence to preach the same gospel to 
you in the midst of conflict. It was instigated by unbelieving 
Jews, "who took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser 
sort and gathered a great company and set all the city in an 
uproar." Such confident persistence in spite of past sufferings, 
and in the midst of present perils among you, proves that our 
entrance was not vain, but full of honest, hearty, and unfear- 
ing energy. The conflict must have lasted some time, and its 
culmination is told in Acts xvii, 9. 

(Ver. 3.) 'H yap 7rapuKX>]<TLs }]/ulu>v oi'/c e/c Tr\ai>t]$ — "For our 
exhortation was not of error." Tap explains and confirms. It 
does not knit the verse to the mere phrase, gospel of God (Flatt), 
nor simply to €7rapprjcria(rup.e9a (Olshausen, De Wette, Koch), 
nor yet to XaXTjcrai (Liinemann), but to the whole clause. 
We were bold to speak the gospel to you in much conflict, 
for our teaching has not its source in error; and larnv, not 
?iv, is to be supplied on this negative side of the state- 
ment, as is evident from XaXov/uev in verse 4 on its positive 
side. He is not telling simply what he did, but what his 


habit was. His preaching was characterized by none of 
those qualities, and therefore he was not backward or cow- 
ardly in it. He was so assured of the truth of the gospel 
and of the integrity of his own motives, that he proclaimed 
it everywhere and at all hazards. Ilapa/cA?/o-t? is in effect 
what the Greek fathers render it — teaching, SiSaxv ', hut 
specially it is rather persuasive than didactic instruction, 
hortatory rather than expository preaching. It does not 
mean here consolatio (Zuingli), nor is it docendi ratio, but 
rather what Bengel calls totum praeconium ecangelicum, 
jtussionum dulcedine tinctum. It is the earnest practical 
preaching of the apostle bringing every motive to bear upon 
his audience, plying them with every argument, and working 
on them by every kind of appeal, in order to win them over 
to the gospel and to faith in Him who delivers from the wrath 
to come. 

IlXdvf] is probably not imposture (Erasmus, Calvin, Turre- 
tin), for the following ev SoXtp has that meaning; nor seda- 
cendi stadium (Grotius), Verfilhrungs-lust (Baumgarten- 
Crusius). Lunemann renders it Irrwahn, " delusion," and so 
De Wette and Koch. We are not in error ourselves, neither 
self-duped, nor the dupes of others. TLXavrj, as Lunemann re- 
marks, is opposed to aXyOeia either subjectively (1 John iv, 
(j) or objectively (Rom. i, 25). Compare Matt, xxvii, G; Ephes. 
iv, 14 (Ellicott.) 

ovSe . eg aicaOapo-ias " nor of uncleanness," the genitive of 
origin, and the word is used in its widest sense — excluding 
impurity of all kinds in motive, relation, and act. Whatever 
could be deemed impurity in a public teacher — selfishness, 
lust of gain, insincerity, or craft of purpose — all is expressly 
denied or repudiated. The apostle may allude to charges 
which his enemies may have been in the habit of preferring 
against him, as in 2 Cor. xi, 8, where he rebuts a charge 
of pecuniary interest; and perhaps the same inference may 
be gathered from the counsels given to deacons (1 Tim. iii, 8) 
and bishops (Titus i, 7). 

ovoe ev SoXcp — "nor in guile," the preposition marking the 
sphere in which the exhortation is denied to have taken place. 
Oi/oe has high diplomatic authority (A B C D F ti), though 


ouTe occurs in the Greek fathers, and is preferred by Teschen- 
dorf in his 7th edition. Compare 2 Cor. ii, 17; iv, 2; xii, 1(3. 

" We were not self-deceived or imposed upon ; our exhor- 
tation was not of error, but of truth ; it was not of impurity, 
but of disinterested and holy motive ; nor was it carried on 
in or by means of guile, but in simplicity and godly sincerity. 
Truth and truthfulness, light and purity, openness and in- 
tegrity characterized us." 

(Ver. 4.) 'AAAa /ca0a>? SeSoKifxacrfxeOa viro rov Geou Tiiarrev- 
Qr\vui to evayyeXiov, ovtcos XaXovpev — " But according as we 
have been approved of God to be put in trust with the gospel 
even so we speak." 

The KaQia? and ovtw correspond — "according as "..."even 
so," the speaking being quite in harmony with the divine 
approval and the consequent trust. KaOw? is therefore not 
causal quoniam (Flatt), nor "seeing that" (Conybeare), nor 
"inasmuch" (Peile). The verb SoKifiafav is to test as metal 
by lire (1 Cor. iii, 13; Ephes. v, 10; 1 Tim. iii, 10); then 
to distinguish or select after testing (Philip, i, 10) ; and then to 
approve what has been so tested (Rom. xiv, 22 ; 1 Cor. xvi, 
3). The second and third meanings insensibly blend, so that 
the rendering "have been thought fit" represents the general 
meaning (agiouu, 2 Thess. i, 11), and it does not much differ 
from kKXeyeo-Oai. Any idea of innate fitness in the men them- 
selves must be discarded. Theophylact puts Chrysostom's 
notion into briefer phrase — "He would not have chosen us 
if he had known us to be unworthy." Nor is the idea of 
CEcumenius more tenable "that God foresaw their fidelity 
to Himself, and so chose them " — f/fia$ p.r]Sev 7rpo? ou^av XaXeiv 
avOpuirwv piXXourag (1 Tim. i, 12). Better is an explana- 
tory clause of Theodoret — avri rov e-ireiStj eoo^ev aura) kui 
eOuKi/xacre iricrTedcrai tjfj.iv. 

The phrase iria-revdrivai to evayyeXiov is the leading- 
thought, that for which the SoKifxacria prepares (Winer, § 44, 1). 
For the idiom by which the passive verb retains the accusa- 
tive of the thing, see Winer, § 32, 5. Compare 1 Cor. ix, 17; 
Gal. ii. 7; 1 Tim. i, 11; Titus i, 3. 

Our work as preachers is in unison with the divine 
approval and choice of us. Ovrws XaXov/uev, " so we speak, 


our speaking has been and is still thus characterized, now 
at Corinth, then in Thessalonica. And the proposition is 
still further explained — 

ovx w? a.v6pu)7rois aptcTKOires, aWu Qew rw Sokijulu^ovti tu? 
Kupo'as jJ/Aftjj/ — " not as pleasing men, but God which trieth 
our hearts." 

'Q? does not look back to ovtws, but characterizes the 
action or the actors engaged in it as persons who are not 
pleasing men. The present participle has its widest sense. 
Laying ourselves out, presenting as our work and aim not to 
please men. See under Gal. i. 10; Stallbaum, Protag., p. 56; 
Scheuerlein, p. 313. 

Their life's labour did not lie in pleasing men: they were 
too faithful to their trust, too noble in purpose to be men- 
pleasers. They had none of that mixed motive, astute self- 
adaptation and versatility of address, discovered in men-pleas- 
ing. Their aim in preaching was to please God, to gain his 
approval by cordially and unfeignedly doing His work be- 
cause it was His work and they bore His commission (2 Cor. 
v, 9). They wrought so as to please Him in this special 
aspect — 

aAXa Oew tw Sokijuu^opti ra? KapSias i]/uwv — "but God that 
proveth our hearts." The tm before Gew in the Received Text 
has good authority; but BCD 1 ^ omit it, and it may have 
been inserted, as it often occurs before a noun when so 
followed by an article and adjective or participle. The par- 
ticiple making a kind of paronomasia, has its literal meaning, 
and })p.wv is not to be generalized (Pelt and Koch), as in 
some general statements (Ps. vii, 10 ; Rom. viii, 27), but it 
has the same reference as the leading nominative >)p.els — Paul, 
Silas, and Timotheus — as is also indicated by the plural KapSia?. 
It is in vain to appear other than we are in motive or work 
before Him who tests not only outer actions, but knows and 
tries the heart (Acts i, 24 ; xv, 8 ; Rom. viii, 27.) There 
is in the clause a tacit appeal to God for the truth of what is 
uttered, as there is a direct and formal appeal in, the end of 
the following verse. 

(Ver. 5.) QuTe yap irore ev Xo'yo) KoXaKeia? eyeio'iOij/ucv, KuQag 
o'lSure — "For neither at anytime used we speech of flattery, as 


ye know," that is, in pleasing men. This is a further assertion, 
probably expounding what is meant by ovSe ev SoXm. The 
verb, as already said, means to come to be, to turn out to be, 
and here, as followed by ev, " found to be in " or " to take part 
in " or " to have our being in " (Hofmann) ; or it denotes 
characterizing habit, in aliqua re versari. Jelf, § 622. Com- 
pare Herod, ii, 82, ol ev ttoojo-ci yevojuevoi ; Plato, Pluieilo, p. 
59 a, ev (JjiXocrofp'a elvat ; 2 Cor. iii, 7, 8. See Kypke in loc. 
As Ellicott remarks, " When the Greek fathers render the 
phrase by the simple verb eKoXaKevcra.uev, they do not express 
this full idiom, and fail to mark the entrance into and exis- 
tence in the given thing or condition." 

Ao'yo? KoXaK€ia<? is speech of flattery — the genitive not being 
that of origin (Schott), but that of quality or contents (2 Cor. 
vi, 7). Heinsius, Hammond, and Pelt wrongly take Aoyo? in the 
sense of crimen or imputation; for the opinion of others does 
not come into the vindication. Nor do the two words stand for 
the simple ev /coXa/cela, as Pelt takes them, resting on the like- 
ness of use in Aoyo? to w. KoAcwce/a occurs only here. It is 
described by Theophrastus, Char. 2, and the KoXa£ is charac- 
terized in Aristotle, JS/icom. Eth., iv, 12. The appeal suddenly 
interjected is made directly again to themselves, KaOm o'lSare; 
and their knowledge was so complete and continuous as to 
cover the declaration — iroTe, at any time. 

ovre ev irpofyavei irXeoveglas — " nor in a cloke of covetousness " 
(eyev)}6t]fxev). The Vulgate and Claromontane render wrongly 
in occasione avaritiae. It is not species (Wolf), nor accusatio 
(Heinsius, Ewald, and Hammond), nor is it used for the simple 
7rXeovegia, as Koppe, Ptosenmiiller, Loesner, nor Scheinwerh 
(Hofmann). Up6(pa<Ti? is pretext — that which is put forward 
to mask the real feeling, motive, or act — as the act of the 
sailors who wished to escape from the ship under the pretext 
of preparing to let go an anchor (Acts xxvii, 30). See under 
Philip, i, 18. 

HXeove^la?, genitive of object, is that to conceal which the 
TrpofiaTi? is intended — praetextu specioso quo tegeremus 
avaritiam (Bengel), neque usi sitnvus praetextlbus ad velan- 
dam avaritiam (Grotius). This is more natural than to 
take 7rXeove£la? as containing the motive of the irpotpcuri^ 


(Beza, Schott, Olshausen). UXeovegla is avarice or covetous- 
ness, the desire to have more and yet more (Trench). 

Geo? fxdprvi — " God is onr witness." They knew the char- 
acter of the apostle's preaching-, and could bear witness to it, 
hut God too was witness (Rom. i, 9; Philip, i, 8). The remark 
of the Greek fathers is just in one aspect. In what features 
of his work they could judge, he appeals to their own know- 
ledge ; in what la3^ beyond their inspection, he appeals to 
God. He used not speech of flattery — of that they could 
judge; he put forward no pretext to veil a TrXeovegla, which 
might be hidden from them in his heart, and he makes appeal 
to God. 

(Ver. 6.) Outc fyjTOvvres eg dvQpunrow So^av, outc dd> u/ulow outc 
dir dXXow — "neither seeking of men glory, neither of you, 
nor of others " — still a negative description of his ministerial 
work, repeating more fully and pointedly what he had said in 
verse 4, ,: not as pleasing men." Glory from men, the apostle 
did not covet; he knew it in its fickle worthlessness. 

Zr/TOWTes depends still on eyev^Orjfiei/. The emphasis lies on 
di'0pco7ro)v — the sense being, not as Chrysostom explains, " not 
that they did not obtain glory, that were to reproach them, 
but that they did not seek it." CEcumenius puts it more 
correctly — "they sought not glory of men ; but the glory that 
is from God they both sought and received." The difference if 
any between eV and diro has been explained variously. The 
notion of Ellicott after Koch is scarcely probable, that the two 
prepositions are synonymous — especially when we regard the 
apostle's distinctive use of them even in an accumulated form. 
The examples given by Winer, § 50, 2, will not bear out such 
an exegesis here ; nor can the common distinction be adopted, 
as by Schott and Olshausen, that e'/c marks the primary source 
and diro the secondary or intermediate, for the clause describes 
a uniformity of source, with this difference, that the first 
general relation is separated in the next clause, into two 
special ones. See under Gal. i, 1 ; Winer, § 50, 6. But as 
Lunemann suggests, after Bouman, Soga eg dvOpunroov universe 
est dvB punrlvrj quae humamam originem habet, ex hominibus 
exsistit ; S6£a ddj' vp.coi> quae singulatim a vobis, vestro ab ore 
manat ac prqficiscitur. Alford thus expresses it, "eV belongs 


more to the abstract ground of the Soga, diro to the concrete 
object from which it was in each case to accrue." 'E/c, we may 
say, is used with the more general, diro with the more special- 
ized soui'ces. They were not seeking glory from men in any 
aspect, neither from you when we were with you, nor from any 
others among whom we happen to be labouring. Human 
glory is never, and in no sphere of our work, an object of 
ambition. And this — 

Svvapevoi iv (Sapei eivai, w; uLpicrTov aTrorrToXoi — " when we 
might have been of weight as Christ's apostles." The participle 
is concessive and subordinate to fyrovvres. It is not natural to 
begin a new sentence with this clause, supplying %/iev, as Flatt; 
or making the clause a protasis to eyevr'fitjpev in the following- 
verse, as Calvin and Koppe; or connecting it, as Hofmann, with 
verse 8 ; or, with Schottgen and Griesbach, marking it as a 

Two very different interpretations have been given of iv 
ftdpei eivai. The first which has been suggested by irKeove^'ia is 
adopted by the Vulgate, oneri esse, and by our English version, 
" when we might have been burdensome to you," in the matter 
of our temporal support — that is, we might have demanded 
carnal things in return for spiritual things, but we did not, 
for we earned our sustenance by our manual labour. So 
Wj^cliffe, " whanne we mygten haue bene in charge." A good 
deal may be said on behalf of this view, which is supported by 
Theodoret, Estius, Beza, Grotius, Turretin, Koppe, Flatt, 
Ewald, Hofmann, Webster and Wilkinson, and virtually 
Jowett. Similar phraseology is used by the apostle of minis- 
terial support, eTTifiapfjcrai in verse 9, and in 2 Thess. iii, 8 ; 
Karafiapeiv, 2 Cor. xii, 16. Similarly too the simple verb 
/3apei<r6ai occurs in 1 Tim. v, 16, in reference to the support of 
widows by the church, and we have dfiaprj epavrov €T)'ip)]cra in 
2 Cor. xi, 9. But the exegesis cannot befullysustained. (1) For 
why, had such been the meaning, did not the apostle use the 
actual verb which he had employed in verse 9, instead of this 
idiomatic phrase ? (2) If the clause be a disclaimer of 7r\eovegla, 
it contains an admission that the gratification of it was possible, 
under the plea of ministerial support — a degradation of office 
which the apostle would certainly not suppose for himself and 


his colleagues. (3) The apostle has passed from a disclaimer of 
7r\eoveg!a to a new and different subject, the non-reception of 
human honour — "neither of men sought we glory, neither of 
you nor of others." (t) This clause of the verse must, from the 
participial connection Swd/xevoi, he in immediate harmony with 
the preceding one, and is meant to tell how in some way 
human honour might have been secured— that is, we do not 
seek honour, though we might have stood upon our dignity 
as Christ's apostles — the English margin having also " used 
authority." (5) fidpo? has the sense of dignity or authority. 
The Claromontane Latin has in gravitate. In Diodorus 
Siculus, iv, 61, occurs the phrase Sid to (3dpog rtj? ttoXco)? ; 
xvi, 8, tw S' 'OXvvOloov (3upeiav ttoXiv. . . . Siu. to (3apo$ 
teal to d^lcofxa TrJ9 7ro'Aew9 ; in Poly bi us, iv, 32, 7, 7rpo? to j3dpog 
to tw AaKeSai/ULonoov ; xxx, 15, 1, kcli to ftapo? t^? twv 
'Kpye'iwv 7ro'Xew? — Suidas sub voce. Compare the phrase in 
2 Cor. iv, 17, — fidpo? &6£r}$, opposed to eXa^pov t^? OX'i^eccxs. 
Such in general seems to be the meaning of the term here. 
The apostles did not seek glory from men, "from you or from 
others," though they could have been of weight — could have 
pressed their claims and official importance, or demanded 
honourable recognition as Christ's apostles. (6) The contrast 
of the following verses supports this view — we could have been 
iv [id pet, but were not; on the contrary, so far from being 
ev fidpei we were gentle among you ; so far from our insisting 
on the honour due to the apostolic office, we were Yjttioi 
among you. This is the view of Chrysostom, Ambrosiaster, 
Calvin, Hunnius, Pelt, Schott, Olshausen, De Wette, Koch, 
Bisping, Liinemann, Baumgarten-Crusius. Chrysostom ex- 
plains, " not seeking honour nor boasting ourselves, nor 
requiring attendance of guards. And yet, even if we had 
done this, we had done nothing out of character; for if persons 
sent by mere earthly kings are in honour, much more might 
we be." CEcumenius and Theophylact give both interpreta- 
tions. Piscator, Heinsius, and Hammond understand the 
phrases of church censures, severitas ajjostolica : se quum seve- 
ritatem exercere apostolicam posset lenem fuisse. Compare 1 
Cor. iv, 21. But the notion is not vindicated in any way by 
the context. 


The last clause to? HpicrTov utt6<ttoXoi does not mean as 
other apostles (Grotius, Pelt), but as Christ's apostles, there 
being stress on Xpicrrou, genitive of possession, and cnroaroXoi 
is not to be confined to Paul, for the term includes his col- 
leagues. See under Ephes. i, 1 ; iv, 2 ; and for the plural 
(i7ro(TTo\oi, Gal. i, 17. 

(\ er. 7.) aXX eyevi'iQiiiJ.ev >/x*ot eu jnecrtp v/jlwv — "but we were 
(were found to be) gentle in the midst of you." The readings 
')]-kiol and v7)7rioi are nearly balanced in regard to authority — 
the last having perhaps the higher, B C 1 D 1 F tf, the Latin and 
Coptic versions, and several of the fathers — 'ijitiol having 
A C 2 D 3 K L N :5 , and the majority of manuscripts. But the v may 
have come from the last letter of the previous word. Nj/7t*o? 
also is the more familiar term, and may for either reason 
have been inserted ; but its use here destroys the figure — we 
were first as " children," then " as a nurse." The negative 
description is continued down to aXXa, which introduces a 
strong contrast to the entire preceding verse, and not merely 
to the previous clause (Heinsius, Turretin), and begins the 
positive account of their deportment. The term ^-n-iog, " mild," 
occurs only twice in the New Testament — here and in 2 Tim. 
ii, 24, connected probably with eira, elirelv. It occurs in 
classic writers with some frecmency, and is applied in a variety 
of ways to persons and things. Thus it is opposed to ru 
juuXicTTa Qv/xw Yjoa'yue^oi/ in Pausanias, (Eliac., ii, IS, 2, p. 434, 
vol. II, ed. Schubart) ; applied to a God >/7notrraTo? Oetov 
(Euripides, Bacchae, 861) ; to a father (Odyssey, ii, 47) ; to a 
ruler and father (Herodian, iv, 1); to Cyrus, in contrast to 
Cambyses (Herodotus, iii, 89), tj7ritoraTos 6 ev Xoyoi? irpaoraroq 
K<xi jjcruxos ; we have also >/7ria fyapixuKa (Iliad, iv, 218). Ety- 
mologicum May., sub voce; Tittmann, Synon., p. 140, &c. 
So far from seeking human glory, so far from insisting on 
official standing and prerogative, and exacting recognition 
and service, we were "gentle in the midst of you"; " we were 
each of us as one of yourselves;" and so G^cumenius adds, 
ovk Ti]i> uvoorepco Xafiovres tcl£iv. Our deportment was mild, 
quiet, unassuming, and affectionate. 

a>i eav Tpotjibs OaX-mj ra. eavTtjs tIkvu — " as a nurse cherishes 
her own children." The fuller eav has the authority of B C D 



F N 3 . 'Qg is a particle of comparison, tartquam si; and the 
verb, akin to 6d\\co, OtjXvs, denotes fostering warmth as 
applied to a bird (Deut. xxii, 6 ; Job xxxix, 14 ; Ephes. v, 29 ; 
Josephus, viii, 14, 3). Tpo<po$, occurring only here in the 
New Testament, is a suckling mother or nurse, and is used 
in a figure, as here, often by Philo — of which several examples 
are given in Loesner's Observat., p. 337 ; Gen. xxxv, 8. The 
nursing mother warms and fosters her own offspring, eavrtis — 
the offspring which she recognizes as her own, and loves and 
cherishes with all that maternal fondness and tenderness 
which has passed into a proverb (Is. xlix, 15.) The particle 
eav with the present subjunctive betokens something which 
may have already taken place, or usually should have taken 
place, or something still continued (Winer, § 42, 3, b, ft. See 
Peile's note). 

(Ver.8.) Oi/to)? 6fxeipoiJ.evoiviJ.wii, euSoKodfxev — "so yearning after 
you, we were willing to impart to you." The outm? corresponds 
to the clause beginning with 009, which is at once illustratively 
connected with what goes before, and also stands as protasis to 
this verse — "we were gentle among you as a nurse — so .... we." 
The participle is read in the common text lp.eipop.evoi, but our 
text is supported by ABCDFKLN, 30 cursives, and several 
of the fathers, and though the word is not found in the usual 
lexicons, it occurs in old glossaries, in Job iii, 21 (Codd. A B), in 
Ps. lxii, 1 (Symmachus), but the MSS. vary- as to the spelling. 
Hesychius explains it opeipovrai, eiriOvpovcriv. Photius in his 
lexicon gives it as compounded of 6pov })pp6crQai (p. 331, ed. 
Porson). Theophylact supposes it to be 6pov e'ipeiv. It is, how- 
ever, against this conjecture that the verb governs the genitive. 
MeipecrOai occurs in Nicander, Ther., 402. If this be the original 
form the prefix is added for euphony or strength, as Svpea-Oai and 
oSvpea-Oai ; or if it be, according to Post and Palm, for the sake 
of the metre, then is a different form found in the 
later stage of the language (Winer, § 16). Fritzsche supposes 
that the t and the o were used as suited the writer's taste. 
F^vSoKovpev is not present (Grotius, Pelt), but is in the imper- 
fect — cupide volebamus (Vulgate) — the imperfect, like the 
aorist in the New Testament, without the augment, though 
some codices have it (Winer, § 12, 3). The verb has in it the 


idea of willing purpose, not bare resolve, but generous desire, 
spontaneous and hearty impulse. See under Ephes. i, 5. 

/j.€Taoovvai v/miv ou /ulovov to evayyeXiov tou Qeov aWa. /ecu Tag 
eavTow ^vxag — " to impart not only the gospel of God but also 
our own souls." There is a species of zeugma in the clause, as 
/meTuSovvai does not strictly agree with the last words (Kuhner, 
§ 853). This verb, like verbs of participation, is often followed 
by a genitive and with the dative of person, but here by an 
accusative and dative, as the last clause does not admit of a 
partitive notion — we were willing not only to share the gospel 
with } T ou, but to give you our own souls or lives — kavT&v with 
the first person (Winer, § 22, 5). They proved this by their 
cheerful and undaunted endurance of danger and toil : they 
carried their lives in their hands and would have given them 
up, when they so lovingly persisted in preaching the gospel to 

Sioti ayain]To\ rj/xiv eyem')0t]Te — "because ye became dear to 
us," " because ye grew to be dearly beloved to us," the. verb 
retaining its usual meaning, as in i, 5. The reading yeyevrjarQe 
has little authority. They had listened to and accepted the 
good tidings immediately and intelligently and decidedly, and 
became followers of us and of the Lord, were not swayed off by 
persecution, but so steadfastly adhered to their profession, that 
they were everywhere spoken of. Becoming so dear to Paul 
and his colleagues, these devoted men cherished them like a 
'nurse fostering her own children, did not lord it over them, but 
were gentle, affectionate, and self-imparting ; and not only with 
enthusiastic fondness had they preached to them the blessed 
gospel, but they would have willingly died a martyr's death 
for them, had such a proof of heroic attachment been necessary. 
Bengel's notion is foreign to the meaning, ani/ma nostra 
cupiebat quasi immeare in animam vestram. 

(Yer. 9.) /uLini/uLOveueTe yap,ade\<po\, tov koitov ijp.dov kgutov P-ox~ 
Qov — "for ye remember, brethren, our toil and travail." The apostle 
appeals again to themselves — to their recollection of his ardent 
and self-sacrificing labours, The connection indicated by yap 
has been looked at in various ways. Liinemann and Alford 
connect the clause directly with the previous one, " because ye 
became so clear to us," but this connection is limited to a mere 


angle of the thought. Nor is it better to select an earlier clause, 
Swd/JLevoi ep fidpei eivai, or eyevi'/Oy/uLev ?/7rioi, for in either the 
reason alleged would be irrelevant. The chief thought of the 
previous verse is — " we were willing to impart to you our own 
souls," ui'ged by the subordinate thought, "for ye grew to be dear 
to us," and the present verse brings proof of it — a proof, that is, of 
actual hard labour, willingly undergone, and accompanied at 
the same time with peril. They gave up their lives to daily 
and nightly drudgery, which wholly absorbed all their physical 
powers, and they would have given their lives in the highest 
sense, if there had been a necessity for the sacrifice. The verb 
/uLvtl/uLovevere followed by a genitive in i, 3, is here followed by 
an accusative, the meaning, perhaps, being — ye bear in mind, 
or ye keep in remembrance (Matt, xvi, 9 ; Rev. xviii, 5). 
KoVo? and [jloxOos, used together in 2 Thess. iii, 8, and in 2 Cor. 
xi, 27, do not essentially differ in sense. Grotius, however, 
distinguishes them thus — ■ kottov in fevendo, ix'oyQov hi agendo. 
Ellicott says that the first word marks the toil on the side of 
the suffering it involves, and the latter on the side of the 
magnitude of the obstacles it has to overcome. Beza affirms 
that " the second term means something more severe than the 
first." But it is better, perhaps, to say that the repetition is 
meant to intensify the meaning, for /jloxOos occurs in the New 
Testament only in connection with ko7tos — the phrase being a 
terse and familiar idiom. Comp. Sept., Num. xxxiii, 11 ; Wisdom 
x, 10. It will therefore denote toil even to weariness, labour 
even to utter exhaustion, comprising alike the work which he 
did as our apostle and the fatigue endured by the effort to 
support himself by manual industry. It is wrong, however, 
in Balduin to make a distinction between the terms by under- 
standing the first de spirituali labore, and the second dc 
manuario labore scenopegiae. The apostle adds — 

vvktos kcu tj/mepa? epyat,op.evoi, 7T/oo? to jxt\ eirifiapr\(Tal Tiva 
viJLU>v, eKripv^afxev et? vp.a.9 to evayyeXiov tou Qeou — "night and 
day working, in order not to burden any one of you, we 
preached unto you the gospel of God." 

Tup in the common text, after wkto?, is rightly rejected as 
a correction. The genitives are emphatically placed, and the 
apostle always places wkto? first (Acts xx, 31 ; 1 Thess. iii, 10; 


2 Tim. i, 3 ; 1 Tim. v, 5). Night may stand first, as the Jews 
reckoned from sunset to sunset — the evening preceding the 
morning, as we speak yet of a fortnight; or the order may 
depend on some suggestion of the apostle's own mind, the 
most striking part of the expression being put first, the 
period of common rest becoming to him one of heavy toil. 
The order is reversed in Luke xviii, 7 ; Acts ix, 24 ; and five 
times in the Apocalypse, for Hebrew rfrfe\ np'v (Jer. viii, 23 ; xvi, 
13; xxxiii, 25). It may be remarked that Luke places vvkto. 
first when he uses the accusative, but i)p.epa? first when he 
uses the genitive. The temporal genitive is explained by 
Donaldson (§451) as "out of," "within the limit of;" and 
examples of this and of other formulas, with varying order, 
may be seen in Lobeck's Paralvp., p. 62. The participle epya- 
£o/uevoi here refers to manual labour (Acts xviii, 3 ; 1 Cor. ix, 6 ; 
2 Thess. iii, 10; Xenoph., Mem., i, 2, 57). In 1 Cor. iv, 12, rah 
iSlais x e P (T ' LV i s added. Compare Ephes. iv, 28. This continuous 
physical toil was carried on irpbs — with this end in view (Winer, 
§ 44, 6). The verb eirifiaptiv is used only tropically in the New 
Testament (2 Cor. ii, 5; 2 Thess. iii, 8). See Appian, B. C, 4, 15. 
That we might not overburden any of you, by claiming tem- 
poral support from you, we supported ourselves by unremitting 
labour. Et? u/xa? is neither among you nor in vobis (Vulgate), 
but unto you. E/9 implies the direction of the preaching (Mark 
xiii, 10 ; Luke xxiv, 47 ; 1 Peter i, 25), the epya^op-evoi being 
parallel in time to the eKrjpu^ajuev — all the while they were 
preaching they were winning wages by daily and nightly toil. 
It is beyond proof in Balduin, Pelagius, and Aretius to make 
vvkto? the period of working, and ij/mepa? that of preaching. 
For we have no means of making such a distinction, as probably 
teaching and working might alternate at shorter intervals, as 
opportunity offered or necessity required. No anxious inquirers 
would be put off during the clay because the apostle was at 
work, and the work laid aside for such a purpose would be 
resumed during the watches of the night ; or disciples like 
Nicodemus might visit him during the night, and the toil so 
interrupted would be taken up during the day. Why the 
apostle gave up his claim for pastoral maintenance, and lived 
and wrought in this independent spirit in Thessalonica, we do 


not know; but the probability is, that he was anxious that he 
might not be misinterpreted or the purity of his motives 
challenged, and that he might not be likened to a selfish and 
grasping sophist to whom hire was everything, and therefore 
he would take nothing in compensation, but toiled to support 
himself, that the gospel without hindrance, and in an unselfish 
and disinterested form, might win its way among the Gentiles. 
Chrysostom supposes that the Thessalonians were poor, and 
that the apostle compassionated their poverty. We read, how- 
ever, of " honourable women not a few" among the converts, 
and the abstinence of the apostle from support is to be ascribed 
to a higher motive (Jowett; Philip, iv, 15). 

The apostle abruptly, and without any connecting particle, 
now solemnly summarizes what ho had previously said in 
detached clauses about the behaviour of himself and his col- 
leagues at Thessalonica. 

(Ver. 10.) ' Y/xeis pciprvpe? Ka\ 6 Geo? — "Ye are witnesses and 
God is witness." Much they could judge of, and on such 
points he appeals to them ; much they could not judge of, 
and on such points lying beyond their cognizance he appeals to 
God. He submits himself unconditionally to their judgment and 
to that of God, and has no doubts of the decision which would 
be given by them and ratified by Him who trieth the heart. 

to? o<TMt)<? Kai $ikouu)$ kui ap.ep.7rToci? toi$ 7ri(TTevovcru> eyew'/- 
6}]/u.ei' — " how holily, and righteously, and unblameably we be- 
haved ourselves in the judgment of you who believe." The 
apostle does not employ adjectives, for he is not bringing out the 
elements of his own personal character, but is describing his 
deportment or dealing toward believers (Luke i, 75 ; Ephes. 
iv, 24; Titus i, 8 ; Jcsephus, Antiq., vi, 5, 5). 

The accumulation of epithets intensifies the meaning. The 
three words are not to be taken as adjectives (Schott), but the}^ 
are a species of secondary predicates (Donaldson, § 436 ; Winer, 
§ 54, 2). The epithets are to be distinguished at the same 
time, though not perhaps with decided discrimination of 
meaning. The first two adverbs assert with a positive aspect, 
and the third puts forward a negative statement. The first 
epithet, ocruo?, is defined in Plato, 7rep* Se 6eou? ocria (Gorg , 
57, A. B.), and so in Polybius, t« tt/?o? tov<? dv0p(D7rov? SUata 

Yer. io,j fiest epistle to the thessalonians. 71 

ku} tu wpo? Oeou? oaria (Hist., xxiii, 10 ; Rost and Palm sub voce). 
It stands thirty times in the Septuagint for the Hebrew Ton, and 
dyios stands a hundred times for v^H, and the two are never 
exchanged. Perhaps this meaning may not be thoroughly 
sustained in the New Testament ; yet compare 1 Tim. ii, 8 ; 
Heb. vii, 26, where purity in its divine aspects is referred to. 
The second term, StKalcog, " righteously," means in all conscien- 
tiousness and integrity, with special reference to man. The 
apostle has called God as well as themselves to witness, and 
the ordinary classic reference of otn'w? may therefore be ad- 
mitted (Tittmann's Syrion., p. 25), while Sikuiw? has a deeper 
range of meaning than the classical quotations intimate, and 
does not merely characterize elements of human relationship 
(Trench). Holiness in the New Testament is not restricted to 
divine relation, but enters into the second table of the law; and 
righteousness, though occupied with the duties of the second 
table, has its root and life in piety. The third epithet, 
a/n€fj.7rTco?, is " blamelessly " — if holily and righteously, then 
blamelessly. It is too restricted in Olshausen to make this 
adverb the negative iteration of the positive Sikuico?, and too 
vague in Flacius to refer it to other graces, as castitas, sohrietas. 
It is a rhetorical weakness in Turretin and Bengel to restrict 
this third epithet to the apostle and his colleagues — the first 
having allusion to God, the second to the people, and the third 
to themselves. ' is not specially connected with upep- 
7rTcos, as CEcumenius — toi? yap airla-Toi^ ovk a/xe/xTrro? — nor is 
it probably the dative of interest (Ellicott), nor is the sense 
"toward you" (De Wette). CEcumenius and Theophylact make 
it the dative of opinion (Bernhardy, p. 337) ; and so Koch, 
Lunemann and Alford : Hofmann finds a contrast in the par- 
ticiple to the time when they first believed ; the Vulgate has 
qui cfcJ'tdistis. 

The apostle's appeal was to the believing Thessalonians, to 
them, and to God ; and it was on account of their being be- 
lievers in God that he so confidently summoned them to witness 
on his behalf. The toi<? ina-Tevova-iv is not pointless, as Jowett 
supposes ; it forms, in fact, the very point of the appeal. 
Whatever impressions unbelievers formed of us, you who be- 
lieve concur in our description of our holy, righteous, and 


blameless conduct. When they wrought at a secular occupa- 
tion, fellow- workmen might form varying estimates of their 
character; but those who had profited through their preaching- 
were better qualified to understand and judge them, and that 
because they believed. " How could we act otherwise to be- 
lievers ? " ov yap apepirroi irdcriv co(p6>]pev. Still closer and 
more individualizing appeal — 

(Ver. 11.) KaOdirep olSare, "even as ye know." KaOdo? is 
the term commonly employed ; kuOo. occurs only once (Matt. 
xxvii, 10) ; in the word before us it is strengthened by 7rep, 
and is perhaps employed because KaOoo? immediately follows. 

They had conducted themselves holily, righteously, and un- 
blameably, and all this in accordance with the universal and 
the individual experience of the Thessalonian believers : — 

<09 eva eKacrTOv vpm 1 , to? iraTijp TeKva eavrov, 7rapaKa\ovi>Tes vp.a$ 
kou 7rapap.v60viJ.ev01 — " how every one of you, as a father his own 
children, we were exhorting you and encouraging you." There 
are two accusatives — first, eva ckucttov, and then vp.u$ — both 
governed by the participles ; " every one of you " placed em- 
phatically, "each one of you," individualized, and "you" collec- 
tively or in the mass, not a mere pleonasm. Ei? eKaarrog is 
found in Plato, So})h., 223 D ; Protag., 332 c ; Luke iv, 40 ; xvi, 
5 ; Acts ii, 3, 6 ; 1 Cor. xii, 18 ; Ephes. v, 7, corresponding to 
the Latin unus quisque, ita at nemo excliidatur (Pelt). The 
two participles may either be a broken construction — modal 
clauses — with a finite verb omitted ; " ye know how we did so 
— exhorting you " (D(e Wette, Ellicott). Thig is a common 
form of idiomatic construction with the apostle. The simpler 
way, however, is to supply eyevijOvpev, which has been already 
employed (Liinemann, Alford, Hofmann). Other resolutions of 
the difficulty have been proposed. Beza, Grotius, and Flatt 
propose rjpev, which is not in the context. Schrader, Ewald, 
and Riggenbach make KaOdrrep o'lSare a parenthesis, and con- 
nect the participles with eyevijOtjpev in ver. 10, an awkward 
connection. Others, perplexed with the double accusative eva 
eicao-Tov, vpa$, propose to connect vpag alone with the participles, 
and supply a finite verb to eva eKaa-rov. Thus, Vatablus, Er. 
Schmid, Ostermann propose riyairijuapev. Whitby and others 
propose that, or e6d\\p-ap.ev from ver. 7. Pelt introduces owe 


acp/lKa/uev; and Schott prefers a verb in which is notio curandi 
aive tractandi sive educandi. 

The three participles are closely connected in sense and in 
relation with the following ei$ — 

irapaKaXovvTe? vpa$ kui TrapapvOoupevoi ku\ papTvpopevoi — 
" exhorting you and encouraging and adjuring you." The Re- 
ceived Text has papTupovpevoi, with D X F, and most manuscripts, 
but the other reading has in its favour B D 3 K L N. A omits 
teal fxaprupojueuoi altogether. The first is the more general, 
appealing to you by every argument and motive ; the second 
is suggested by the peril and persecutions around them, on 
account of which they needed to be animated and consoled 
(v, 14; John xi, 19, 31; Philip, ii, 1; Plato, Leg., ii, 6GG ; the 
Syriac has ^onnV") _»ooi v » V-h) ; and the third is of special 
strength, laying charge on them as if in presence of witnesses, 
solemnly adjuring them to walk worthy of God (Gal. v, 3 ; 
Ephes. iv, 17 ; Polybius xiii, 8, 6 ; Thucydides, vi, 30 ; viii, 53 ; 
Raphel. in loc.) As the three participles are connected with 
el$ to TrepnraTeiv as the purpose, it is wrong to give any of them 
a special supplement, such as Chrysostom and Theophylact 
give to the first, irpos to <pepeiv iravTa, or such as G^cumenius and 
De Wette give to the second, to meet trials bravely, Treipa<rp.ol<; 
(1 Cor. xiv, 3). This work of the apostle was directed to every 
one of them, to each individual by himself and for himself, and 
also to the mass of believers ; so that Chrysostom exclaims, 
(3a(3ai ev touovtco Tr\)'/6ei pijSeva TrapaXnrelv, pi] piicpov yu^f 
p.eyav, p.)] ttXovctlov pi] TrevijTa. 

And the whole of this comprehensive and yet individualizing 
pastoral work has as its model a father toward his children. 
It was earnest and faithful, the yearning importunity of a 
father's heart, and the fresh, familiar loving counsels breathed 
from a father's lips. Compare verse 7 ; "Q? re 7rarrjp u> -waiSl 
Odyss., i, 308. 

(Ver. 12.) /ecu paprvpopevoi eig to TrepnraTeiv vpus u^tcof tou 
Qeou tov kuXovvtos vpas eis Tr\v eavTod /3ao-i\eiav kul So£av 
— " and testifying that ye should walk worthily of God, who 
is calling you into His own kingdom and glory." The present 
TrepnraTeiv has preponderant authority over the common 
reading of the aorist TrepnraTija-ai, and the KaXecravTo? of the 


Received Text has only in its favour A N and eight manu- 
scripts, the Vulgate (qui vocavit), and some of the fathers. 

E/V to with the infinitive denotes the purpose of all their 
exhorting, encouraging, and attesting (Winer, § 44, 6), and does 
not indicate merely direction or subject (Lunemann, Bisping; 
1 Cor. ix, 12; 2 Cor. iv, 4). 

The adverb a£lo)$ is similarly used with the genitive (Rom. 
xvi, 2; Ephes. \v, 1; Philip, i, 27; Col. i, 10; 3 John 6; 
Demosth., OlyntJi., i, 5, 2; Thucyd., iii, 39, 5). For the divine 
KXrjcri?, see under Gal. i, 6. The present participle indi- 
cates the call as ever present, while it is reaching to the 
future. The call is ever ascribed to God, whatever be the 
instrumentality ; el? points to that into which they are being 
called (Matt, xviii, 9; xix, 17; John iii, 5), "His own kingdom 
and glory," the article rrjv being common to both nouns, though 
omitted before the second one, on account of the pronoun eav- 
toO (Winer, § 19, 4). The Syriac reads oi^oklo giLq2^&&. 
His kingdom and glory is not His glorious kingdom, fiao-iXela 
evSogog (Koppe, Olshausen). BacriXela rod Qeov is the king- 
dom which God sets up in His grace and which is founded in 
the merit and mediation of His Son, into which believers 
enter now by a second birth, and which reaches its full and 
final development at the Second Advent. His glory is His 
own perfection and happiness which He confers upon His 
people, His own image reimpressed on the hearts of those who 
have been made meet for beholding Him and enjoying fellow- 
ship with Him (Rom. v, 2 ; viii, 13; 2 Cor. iii, 7. See under 
Ephes. v, 5; Col. i, 13). Baa-tAe/a rod Qeou is not the kingdom 
in its earthly aspect, glory being its heavenly form (Baum- 
garten-Crusius). To walk worthily of God, who is calling us 
to His kingdom and glory, is to have one's whole course of life 
preserved in harmony with God's gracious work upon the soul, 
and with the high and hallowed destiny with which that work 
is lovingly connected, and into which it is ever ripening. And 
such being the propriety and necessity of this " worthy" walk, 
the apostle and his fellow-labourers laid themselves out in 
exhorting, encouraging, and conjuring the Thessalonian be- 
lievers — all of them as a body, each of them by himself — to 
maintain it (1 Peter v, 10). 


(Ver. 13.) Kcu cua tovto — "and on this account" the kcu is 
omitted in D F K L and in the Latin fathers; but is found in 
A B, in the Syriac and Coptic Versions, and it is inserted by 
Teschendorf and Lachinann. The authority fur kcu is thus 
good, but it may have been added for the sake of connec- 

kcu fiiuiei? ev^apiUTOv/Jiev T<a Qew a.Sia\ei7rTa)<; — " and for this 
cause we also thank God without ceasing." See under i, 2, 3. 
The reference in Sta tovto has been debated. (1) Jowett refers 
it to the verses both before and after — an admitted tautology. 
(2) Pelt and Bloomfield connect it thus, quoniam tarn felici 
successu apud vos evangelium praedicavimus — another form 
of tautology: we preached with great success, and we thank 
God because ye received our preaching. (3) Schott and De 
Wette join the clause to «? to ireptiraTeiv, and as connected 
with the result; the former putting it thus, quum haec opera 
in animis vestris ad vitam divina, invitatione dignam impel- 
lendis minime frustra fuerit collocata. . . . ego vicissim cum 
sociis Deo gratias ago assiduas. But this connection also is 
not free from tautology, even though Schott places koa fnueig 
in direct contrast to v/uag of the previous verse; and then ei? 
to 7repnraTeiv is the purpose, not result of the exhortation for 
which thanks might be rendered. The latter connects the 
word with the purpose, that purpose being one of high moment; 
but of that momentousness, as Liinemann remarks, the context 
says nothing. (4) Another view is adopted by Auberlen, Balduin, 
Zanchius, Olshausen, Bisping, and Alford. They join Sia. tovto 
to the immediately preceding clause — who hath called you to 
His kingdom and glory ; as God is thus calling you, we 
thank God that ye understood and followed the divine call. 
But not only, as Ellicott objects, is Sta tovto thus joined to a 
mere appended clause, an objection by no means insuperable, 
but the chief statements of the previous verse are in this way 
overlooked. These statements as to the apostle's zeal and 
assiduity occupy a special prominence, so much so that appeal 
is made both to God and to themselves for the truth of them. 
(5) Ellicott and others connect Sia tovto with the previous 
verses, the reference being to the zeal and earnestness with 
which the apostle and his colleagues laboured, and the thanks- 


giving being that in a similar spirit they had received the 
gospel so proclaimed to them. 

The apostle says kui quel?. Some, as Koch and De Wette, 
join the kui to the previous Sia tovto — " for this cause also," as 
in the Authorized Version. But such a connection is uncom- 
mon, though Liinemann's objection to it, that such a sense 
would require oia kou tovto, cannot be borne out — the insertion 
of kcu between the preposition and the noun being very uncom- 
mon (Hartung, vol. I, 143). But if the kou naturally belongs 
to ij/ueis, who are the persons referred to by it ? Some, as 
Luneinann, give this sense, we also, i.e., we and all true Chris- 
tians, which is too vague; while Alford brings in, all who 
believe in Macedonia and Achaia, "we and they give thanks"; 
but the reference is both too special and too remote, Auberlen 
carrying the reference back to verse 1, and Ewald apparently 
to the commencement of the epistle. So that we regard the 
jj/aeh as simply in contrast to the v/uas of the previous verses — 
we too, as well as you, thank God for these spiritual blessings, 
we too thank him ; non solum vos propter hanc vocationem 
debetis ageregratias, sed etiam nos (Zanchius, Balduin, Ellicott), 
kou insinuating a slight contrast in the connection. See under 
Philip, i, 3; Col. i, 12. 

oti 7rapa\a/3oPTe? Xoyov aKOijs irap >///(* tov Qeov, eSegacrOe 
ov Xoyov av6pdo7rot)v — " that having received from us the word of 
preaching — itself of God — ye accepted not the word of men." 
"Otc introduces the contents and reason of the thanksgiving. 
The participle irapahafiovTe? is temporal, describing the act 
which was necessarily connected with iSegacrOe, and prior to 
it, or all but coincident in time with it. The two verbs are 
not synonymous (Baumgarten-Crusius), as the Vulgate in its 
repetition of accipere would imply, or as the English Version, 
which renders both words by the same term, " receive." The 
verbs have been thus distinguished — the first as being more ob- 
jective in its nature, and the second more subjective ; the first 
describing the reception of the truth as external matter of fact, 
and the second the inner acceptance of it as matter of faith. 
Bengel distinguishes thus, 7rapa\a/xj3uvu> dicit simplicem ac- 
ceptionem, Sixop.ou connotat prolubium in accipiendo. See 
under Gal. i, 9, 12. Compare Luke viii, 13; Acts viii, 14; xi, 1; 


xvii, 11; 1 Cor. ii, 14 ; xi, 23 : xiii, 1; 2 Cor. viii, 17; Col. ii, 6 ; 
Raphelius in loc. ; Thucyd., i, 95. In the first act described 
they received it as a divine message orally conveyed to them. 

\6you aKorj? irap' fj/uLcov. Aoyo? is the doctrine or the gospel, 
and aKorjs is used in the passive sense which it has so often in the 
New Testament (John xii, 38; Rom. x, 16 ; Heb. iv, 2. See 
under Gal. iii, 2). 

'A/coJ/f may virtually be the genitive of apposition (Ellicott), 
or it may be the characterizing genitive, the word distinguished 
as being heard, not read, nor the result of mental discovery. 
It was preached, and they on listening received it. 

The notion of Theophylact adopted by Pelt is overstrained : 
the word of hearing is Ky'ipuy/ma co? Sia tou aicovcrQrivai iricrTevo- 
juevov — verbum quod audiendo creditur. 

'Ako// may mean actively, the hearing; or passively, that 
which is heard. 'A/co>/ Tri<TTea><; may mean the hearing or recep- 
tion of that doctrine of which faith is a distinctive principle ; 
or, in a passive sense, that which is heard of faith, that report 
or message which holds out faith as its prominent and charac- 
teristic element. This passive sense is perhaps uniform in 
the Septuagint. 

The connection of wap' rj/uMi/ has been variously taken, as the 
phrase may be joined either immediately to olko?^ (Schott, 
Olshausen, Lunemann, Hofmann, Bisping, Pelt), or to the parti- 
ciple 7rapuAa/3oVT69 (Turretin, De Wette, Koch, Baumgarten- 
Crusius, Auberlen, Ellicott). The first construction is admis- 
sible, as in John i, 41, and as (Lunemann) substantives and 
adjectives retain the force of the verbs from which they are 
derived. It is no objection to the second connection that irap' 
t)[Awv is separated by some words — the accusative of object — 
from the participle ; for it is a form of syntax by no means 
uncommon, and such a sense would not necessitate the order 
7rapa\a(36vT€? trap rjp.cov \6yov. Such is the connection indicated 
by the Vulgate acc&pistis a nobis, and so the Syriac 

Nor in this case is aKOtj? superfluous, as is alleged by Lune- 
mann ; for not only does it characterize the mode of convey- 
ance as an oral communication, 7r«pa denoting the more im- 
mediate source, but it forms a contrast to the following tov 


Qeou — from us the word of hearing, but that word in its 
ultimate origin from God — we preaching it, you hearing it, but 
God the giver of it. Compare iv, 1 ; Gal. i, 12 ; 2 Thess. iii, 6. 

This Xoyo? aKOtj? is at the same time rou Qeou, " of God," the 
genitive of origin, as the contrast in the following dv6pu>7ru)v 
plainly indicates. It is not the genitive of possession, nor of 
object (Vatablus, Hunnius, Balduin, Grotius). Gal. ii, 9 ; 2 Peter 
iii, 1 ; Heb. vi, 1. The too Qeou, appended abnormally and on 
purpose, qualifies the preceding clause, \6yov aKorjs Trap i'hjlwv, its 
human source near and immediate to them, as contrasted with 
its true divine origin. Chandler needlessly supplies 7rep\ before 
tov Qeou. 

eSe^acrOe ov \6yov avQ pwirodv , dXX' (icaOoo? ecrTiv aX/yOco?) \oyov 
Qeov — "ye accepted not the word of men, but, as it is in truth, 
the word of God." The difference between this verb and the 
previous participle has been already referred to, it being the 
inner reception by faith which is now being described. The 
genitive dvQpwTrwv is again that of origin. The English version 
inserts a supplemental " as," and Pelt says ante \6yov vero quasi 
w? supplendum esse, res ipsa docet. But the res ipsa teaches 
the opposite. Were the apostle's thankfulness based not only 
on the fact that the Thessalonians had accepted the message, 
not from man but from God, but also on their estimate or 
appreciation of this difference, and their consequent mode of 
acceptance, then " as " might be more naturally interpolated. 
But it is superfluous, for the apostle simply states the fact of 
their acceptance, saying nothing about its manner (Kiihner, 
§ 560). The parenthetical clause also states the apostle's 
opinion — they accepted not the words of men, but the word of 
God, which it really is, d\r]6w$ (Matt, xiv, 33; John i, 48). As 
a message spoken to them and heard by them, it was a word 
from men ; but when they accepted it, they accepted it in its 
divine character, the word of God. Men were but the instru- 
ments, God was the primary author and origin. To accept a 
human word is ordinary credence; to accept a divine word is 
saving faith, accompanied in them that believe with joy in the 
Hol} r Ghost. The first part of the process, the hearing and 
comprehension of the message, may exist without the second ; 
but the second, the belief, ever implies the first (Rom. xi, 14). 


09 ku\ evepyelrai ev vij.Iv to?? TriarTevovaiv — " which worketh 
also in you who believe." The Vulgate (by its verbum Dei 
qui), a-Lapide, Bengel, Koppe, Auberlen, take Qeov as the 
antecedent. Peile apparently understands by Xoyo? the Son 
of God (John i, 1). Whitby, with the same antecedent, thinks 
the reference is to the primitive gifts or x a P^ <T l uiaTa > called 
evepyi'ipara (1 Cor. xii, 6, 10), a far-fetched and groundless 
explanation. But the reference to \6yo? is decidedly to be 
preferred. (1) For the "word" is the special theme, and their 
acceptance of it the special ground of the apostle's continuous 
thanksgiving. (2) Geo'9 is never used in the New Testament 
with evepyelaOui, but uniformly with the active (1 Cor. xii, 6 ; 
Gal. ii, 3 ; iii, 5 ; Ephes. i, 2 ; Philip, ii, 13). (3) Keu points 
to the same conclusion — the word of God which also, in ac- 
cordance with, or because of, its divine origin, worketh in you. 
So the Claromontane Latin (quod opevatur), and the Syriac 
(_b01) Theophylact, CEcumenius, and very many expositors. 

'Ytvepye'iTai is not to be taken as passive (Estius, Hammond, 
Schott, Bloomfield), but as a kind of dynamic middle, evolving 
energy out of itself (Kruger, § 52, 8), and is usually spoken of 
things (Winer, § 38, 6). The ascensive koi does not belong to 
the relative (De Wette, Koch), but to the verb (Klotz, Devarius, 
vol. II, p. 6Qj6). That working is experienced — 

ev iriuTevovariv — " in you who believe." The Latin 
versions erroneously have the past tense, qui credidistis. The 
meaning is not temporal, ex quo tempore religionem suscejristis 
(Koppe), for that would require the past tense ; nor is it causal, 
quum susceperitis (Pelt) ; nor is it propterea quodfidem habetis, 
for, as Ellicott remarks, that would necessitate the omission of 
the article (Donaldson, § 492). Faith was the present char- 
acteristic of those to whom the apostle wrote, and only in them 
did this working manifest itself, and not in those who heard 
merely, or gave but an outer credence to the word in its 
human medium and aspect. The word shows its power through 
the believing acceptance of it as an enlightening, elevating, 
guiding, sanctifying, comforting, and formative principle 
(2 Tim. iii, 15). 

(Ver. 11.) 'Ypel? yu-p pipr^rai eyevi'jQqre, udeXcpol, twv €kk\t]- 
(Tim> tov Qeov tccv ovanov ev t>/ 'lovSaia ev HpicrTM '[>]<rov 


— " For ye became followers, brethren, of the churches of God 
which are in Judaea, in Christ Jesus." 

Tup gives a proof and illustration of the preceding clause, 
" which worketh in you that believe," vpei? corresponding to 
the previous ujuliv. The divine word made its power to be 
felt in their believing hearts ; for through it they imitated the 
Judaean churches in patience and constancy under persecution. 
Other references are remote and pointless. Olshausen supposes 
the allusion to be to their faith, i.e., ye are believers because 
ye imitated the churches in Judaea ; but their faith is viewed 
not in itself but in connection with the evepyeia of the divine 
word. Flatt, again, groundlessly refers the yap to eoegao-Oe — 
that ye received it willingly, is proved by your adherence to 
it in spite of suffering. So GEcumenius. But the proof of the 
evepyeia lay in this, that they had become followers — imitators 
— not in intention, but in fact. As the Judaean churches felt 
and acted, so they felt and acted. See under i, G. 

The pointed meaning of the noun is diluted, however, in 
Pelt's explanation, p. i p. r } t a \ hie non tam ii sunt, qui spontr 
imitantur, quam jiotius quibus simile quid contingit. The 
phrase twv ovcroov describes the churches as existing at that 
moment in Judaea. See under Gal. i, 22 ; and under 1 Thess. 
i, 1. They were in Judaea as their locality, the sphere of their 
outer existence, but they were in Christ Jesus as their sphere 
of inner life and spiritual blessing ; in Him, in union with 
Him, and in fellowship with Him, the source of their vitality 
and strength. See under Gal. i, 22. The churches in Judaea 
which had been so oppressed and persecuted had set an example 
of patience and faith which the Thessalonian Church had fol- 
lowed, as they received the word " in much affliction, with joy 
of the Holy Ghost." The apostle proceeds to explain the simil- 
arity of position — 

oti to. uvto. eiraBeTe /cat vpeis vtto twv iSiwv <rvp(fivKeTwv, 
/caOco? koa avTo\ vtto roov 'lovSaiwv — " for ye also suffered the 
same things of your own countrymen, even as they also did 
from the Jews." 

Tatrra is a form of reading which is without authority, and 
some few codices of no great value have airo for v-wo in both 
clauses where it occurs : vtto being found after neuter verbs 


used as passives and indicating the efficient cause. Compare 
iraOeiv uiro (Matt. xvi. 21). Winer, § 47 ; Ellendt, Lex. Soph., 
sub voce, II, p. 880. The phrase ret avrd is emphatic in posi- 
tion, "the same things" in suffering warranting the use of 


2vjUL(f)v\eTr]s (contribidis, Vulgate) is defined by Hesychius 
as 6/ui.oe6i>i}9. Herod ian remarks that the word <pv\erris, like 
some others, was used avev rrjs arvv, since they indicated a con- 
tinuous relation, while other terms, like av/jLiroTri^, are used 
with it, as indicating a temporary connection. See the note 
in Phrynichus, ed. Lobeck, 471. The compound word is 
found only here in the New Testament, though it occurs in 
Isocrates (263 a), where, however, some codices read the simple 
noun (p. 540, vol. Ill, Orat. Attici, ed. Dobson). It belongs to 
the decaying stage of the language, which was marked by a 
frequent use of compounds, as Thiersch says, id commune lin- 
gua/rum a prisco vigore degenerantium, ut verba cum praepo- 
sitionibus composita invedescant loco verborum simplicium 
(De Pent,, p. 83). Their own fellow-countrymen are plainly 
not Jews (a-Lapide, Hammond), nor Jews and Gentiles (Calvin, 
Piscator, Bengel), but heathens, for they are here placed in direct 
contrast to the Jews ; and as the Thessalonian Church was 
made up chiefly of heathen (i, 0), and as the emphatic term 
iSlwu implies, " their own fellow-countrymen " must refer to 
them (Matt, ix, 1 ; John i, 11). The statement is verified in 
Acts xvii, 5-9. 

KaOwg Kai avrol vtto rwu 'lovoa'ioov — " even as they also from 
the Jews." The phrase /caOoo? kuI avrol forms an imperfect 
apodosis ; ra avra a or airep, as Alford remarks, would have 
been grammatically more exact. Compare Philip, i, 30. But 
the inaccuracy is not uncommon, a comparative adverbial 
sentence standing for an adjectival one : tov uvtov Tpbirov, 
cocnrep...ovTO) kui (Demosth., Phil., p. 34, vol. I, ed. Schaefer) ; e<\- 
to (jlvto o-xw*", wo-irep (Xenoph., Anab., i, 10, 10; Plato, Phaedo, 
p. SG a; Kuhner, § 830, 2 ; Lobeck ad Phrynich., p. 426). In 
kcu avrol there is a reciprocal reference to the previous kcu 
v[xei$ (Ephes. v, 23), the double kcu giving it prominence. Auto] 
is not Paul and his colleagues (Erasmus, Musculus, Er. Schmid), 
which would altogether destroy the point of the comparison; but 



avro\ is construed according to sense, the antecedent being twv 
€KK\t}<riu>v ev Trj 'lovSala, the believers in Palestine (Winer, 
§ 22, 3). See especially Gal. i, 22, 23. That the Judaean 
churches suffered no little persecution from their fanatical 
unbelieving brethren, is plain from several sections of the Acts. 
The apostle Paul at an earlier period of his life had himself a 
prominent hand in it. They who stoned Stephen " laid down 
their clothes at a young man's feet whose name was Saul." 
" Saul yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the 
disciples of the Lord." " Saul made havock of the church, and 
entering into every house, and haling men and women, he 
committed them to prison." " I have heard by many of this 
man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem," 
was the reply of Ananias. He himself says, " Many of the 
saints did I shut up in prison, and when they were put to 
death I gave my voice against them." " I punished them oft 
in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme, being 
exceedingly mad against them." Saul was but a prominent 
and resolute associate or leader of the persecuting Jews, not 
doing the work of ferocity and blood single-handed, but having 
hosts of coadjutors and sympathizers in the Sanhedrim and 
among the popular masses. Many must have felt as he felt, 
though they might not have his daring and enthusiasm, and 
their malignant hostility did not cease with his conversion. 
The martyrdom of Stephen led to a more general onslaught, 
which scattered abroad the disciples. Herod slew James and 
imprisoned Peter, because he saw it " pleased the Jews." The 
apostle himself was in danger from the Jewish mob; and fort} r 
of them banded together, and bound themselves under a curse 
to kill him, as a representative of Christian zeal and enterprise. 
Compare Acts viii, ix, xi, xii, &c. These indications of feeling 
prove the profound enmity which the Jews cherished toward 
believers in Christ among them. Paul was only an intensified 
type of them, and their conduct toward him indicates their 
hatred of all who, though in humbler position and in a nar- 
rower sphere, held his doctrines and stood by them. In Thes- 
salonica the unbelieving leaders took to them that excitable 
and profligate rabble which in such towns lounge about the 
market place, and with these worthless allies easily creat- 


ing <a tumult, assaulted the house of Jason, with whom the 
apostle was living, hoping to find Paul and Silas, and bring 
them before the people in their corporate capacity («9 tov 
Sij/nov). Disappointed in not getting the apostles into their 
grasp, they dragged Jason before the rulers, kiri tov? ttoXi- 
Tctpxns — Thessalonica being a free city, and not a Roman 
colonjr governed by a-rpaTijyoi The charge against the 
strangers was that they had broken the Julian laws and dis- 
owned the authority of the emperor, saying that there is 
another king, one Jesus. Jason was admitted to bail, security 
for the peace being taken from him. Perhaps he was bound 
over not to accommodate the apostles any longer. A fine may 
have been exacted too— something amounting to spoiling of 
gools — and this was one way of resemblance to the churches 
of Judaea, who endured similar wrong (Heb. x, 32-34). The 
first outbreak at Thessalonica did not exhaust the heathen 
animosity, and wrongs of various kinds must have been inflicted 
on the Christian brotherhood. What had happened to the 
Judaean churches had happened to them, as the apostle so fully 

The reason why the apostle here breaks out so strongly 
upon the Jews lies in the context. As he thought of the 
churches in Judaea and their native persecutors, this com- 
plaint was wrung from him. Olshausen's remark is far- 
fetched, that the apostle " in this diatribe wished to draw 
the attention of the Thessalonians to the intrigues of those 
men with whom the Judaizing Christians stood quite on 
a level, as if it were to be foreseen that they would not 
leave this church undisturbed either." But Judaizing is no 
way referred to in the context ; the enemies are unbelieving 
Jews, and it would be premature to censure the Jews on 
account of the possibility of a future form of hostility. Calvin's 
remark, which is virtually accepted by Auberlen, though he 
points out some blunders in it, is ingenious, but quite foreign to 
the course of thought. " The apostle," he says, " introduces 
this topic because this difficulty might occur — if this be the true 
religion, why do the Jews, who are the sacred people of God, 
oppose it with such inveterate hostility ? To remove the 
stumbling block he asserts first, that they had this in common 


with the Judaean churches ; and, secondly, that the Jews are 
determined enemies of God and of all sound doctrine." The 
statement does not solve the difficulty which he proposes, 
it only reasserts the fact contained in it. Hofmann's sug- 
gestion is similar in its remoteness from the context — that the 
object of the apostle was to free the Thessalonians from the 
error that the gospel was a mere Jewish thing; for their 
heathen neighbours might suppose that their conversion was 
but falling into the net of Jewish error. But the Jews " which 
believed not " were the instigators of the first outbreak at 
Thessalonica, and they were from their position the persecutors 
of the Judaean churches — the earliest in origin and the earliest 
in suffering. At the moment of his writing, too, the apostle in 
Corinth was in intense conflict with the Jewish population 
" who opposed themselves and blasphemed," so that he was 
obliged to say to them, " your blood be on your own heads ! I 
am clean : from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles." At 
this period the Jews in Corinth, whose number may have been 
increased because of their banishment from Rome, made insur- 
rection with one accord against Paul and brought him to Gal- 
lio's judgment-seat. One need not wonder that the apostle, 
so circumstanced at the moment of his writing, and remembering 
what had happened at Thessalonica, opened his mind on the 
subject. His own position and recollections, their experience 
and his own, naturally led him to portray some unlovely 
elements of Jewish character. 

(Ver. 15.) tcov k<x) tov Kvpiov airoKTeivavTWv 'Iqcrovv kui tov? 
7rpo0)/Ta?, kui }]/ut.a? eKSiwgdpTLov — "who killed both the Lord 
Jesus (or, Jesus the Lord) and the prophets, and drave out us :" 
marginal rendering, "chased us out." 

The IS'lovs of the Received Text before 7rpo<pi']Ta? has not 
great authority, and was probably suggested by ISlwv in the 
previous verse. Tertullian affirms that it wasMarcion who 
interpolated it into the text: licet " suos" adjectio sit haeretici 
(Adver. Mar., v, 15, p. 318-19, vol. II, Op., ed. Oehler). De 
Wette suggests that it may have been dropped on account of 
the repetition (Reiche). The Km is not to be joined to the 
participle — who both killed the Lord Jesus and also persecuted 
us — qui ut et Dominum occideru nt . . . ita et nos (Erasmus, 


Vatablus). Nor is /ecu ascensive, ipstimDominum,a,s in the Claro- 
montane, for such a climactic beginning enfeebles the remainder. 
Lunemann, De Wette, and Auberlen assign it to twv, tvelche 
(inch, who also, impelled by the same spirit, or, who besides 
persecuting the Judaean churches, killed — a meaning not very- 
different from the first given. This connection is not required, 
and the position of /ecu . . . /ecu indicates a different arrange- 
ment. The one /ecu is correlative to the other in the enuncia- 
tion, " who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets," both 
objects being presented in one simultaneous predication (Winer, 
§ 53, 4; Donaldson's Cratylus, § 189, 195). Still, tov Kvpioi>, 
emphatic from its position, and separated from the human 
name 'Iri<rovv, points out the notoriety or heinousness of the 
deed, which is described by the aorist as an act in the indefi- 
nite past. Jesus the Lord, as Alford suggests, is the proper 

ku). tovs 7r pofa'/ras — or, adopting IStovs, "their own pro- 
phets." Chrysostom brings out this emphasis — whose books 
even they carry about, 3>v /ecu tu revyj] 7repi^)epovcri. De 
Wette and Koch join 7rpo<f>rJTas to eicSuio^avTcov, but without 
reason. The majority of expositors naturally connect it with 
the previous a-woKTeivavrwv. De Wette's objection that all the 
prophets were not killed is met by a similar statement that all 
the prophets were not persecuted. The phrase is used in a 
popular sense. The Jewish nation, by an act of its high court 
in which the people acquiesced, put to death the Son of God, 
but it was only the culmination of many previous similar acts, 
as is portrayed in the parable, Matt, xxi, 34, 39. Compare 
Jer ii, 30; Matt. v. 12; xxiii, 31-37; Luke xiii, 33, 34; Acts 
vii, 51, 52. Chrysostom brings forward the second state- 
ment to destroy the excuse of ignorance on the part of the 
Jews, for they could not but know their own prophets, and 
yet they put to death those messengers who came to them in 
God's name. The apostle adds — 

Kai was eKSicogavTwv — "and drave us out," The e/c is not 
without force in the verb (Koppe and De Wette), and it does 
not so much strengthen the meaning (Lunemann) as retain a 
sublocal signification (Luke xi, 49 ; and in the Sept., Deut. vi, 
19 ; 1 Chron. viii, 13; xii, 15; Ps. cxix, 157; Dan. iv, 22, 29, 


30 ; Joel ii, 20 ; — Tliucyd., i, 24). The j/yua?, as found in the con- 
text, is naturally Paul, Silas, and Timothy — the //^ei? through- 
out the previous verses. To restrict the reference to Paul 
(with Calvin) is wrong; and to stretch it so as to include all the 
apostles (with Liinemann and Ellicott, Pelt and Schott) is true 
in fact, but not warranted by the immediate narrative before 
us. Does the apostle mean " drave us out " of Palestine or out 
of Jewish society ? or is it not simply out of the city in which 
dwelt those whom he was addressing and who were aware of 
his expulsion ? (Acts xvii, 5.) 

icou Bew fx>] apeo-KovTcov — " and please not God," not non 
placwerant, as the Claromontane — for, though the preceding 
participles are aorists referring to past acts, this is present 
marking out a continued condition (Winer, § 45, 1). Nor is the 
sense placere non quaerentium(Ber\gel and others),or Oott nicht 
zu Gef alien leben (Hofmanu). See under Gal. i, 10. Liinemann 
makes it a meiosis for deoo-rvyeis. The subjective /urj is not 
to be unduly pressed, as it is the usual combination with par- 
ticiples in the New Testament, and the shade of subjectivity 
is to be found in the aspect under which facts are presented by 
the writer and regarded by the reader (Winer, § 55, 5 ; Her- 
mann ad Viger, No. 207, p. ii, p. 640, Londini, 1824 ; Gayler, 
p. 274). What they did to the Son of God, to the prophets, 
and to the apostles representing Jesus, was of such a nature 
that it brought them into this position — they were not pleas- 
ing Him, and therefore a terrible penalty was to fall upon them. 
Still further they are characterized as — 

/ecu Traariv avBpunrois evavrloov — " and are contrary to all men." 
It is natural at first sight to find in this clause a description of 
the sullen and anti-social elements of character ascribed to the 
Jewish race. Such is the view of Grotius, Turretin, Olshausen, 
De Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, Koch, Jowett, &c. They were 
regarded as haughty and heartless bigots, who looked down 
with insolence and scorn on all other nations. The Gentiles 
repaid their hatred with indignant and contemptuous disdain. 
Hainan in his day when he wished to destroy the Jews 
impeached them as a "strange people, whose laws are diverse 
from all people " (Esther iii, 8). Tacitus writes, " Moyses quo 
sibi in posterv/m gentem Jirmaret, novos ritus contmviosque 


ceteris mortalibus indidit, . . . Profana illic omnia quae 
apud nos sacra; cetera instituta sinistra foeda, pravitate 
valuere . . . apud ipsos fides obstinata, sed adversus omnes 
alios hostile odium (Hist., v, 4, 5). Diodorus Siculus records, 
. . . kul vo/uu/ua 7ravTe\w$ e£>]\\ay/ui.eva . . . Mowcreco? vo/uoOeTi'r 
(Tuvtos tu /uicraiS panra koi irupavop.a e'0>] toi? lovSaiois (Ex- 
cerpta Photii, xxxiv, 1). Josephus Cont. Apion, ii, 11. The 
sneer of Horace is 

. . Memini bene, sed meliore 
Tempore dicam ; hodie tricesima sabbata : vin' tu 
Curtis Judaeis oppedere? Nvlla mild, inquam, 
Religio est (Lib. i, Sat. ix, 70). 

Juvenal's account is — 

Quidam sortiti metuentem sabbata patrem, 
Nil praeter nubes, et coeli numen adorant *, 
Nee distare putant humana came suillam (Sat xiv. 96). 

He complains too, 

Nunc sacrifontis nemus, et delubra locantur 

Judaeis, quorum cophinus, foenumque supellex (Sat. iii, 12). 

Martial deals out scornful vituperation (iv, 4 ; vii, 30, 35, 82 ; 
Statius, Silvae, i, 14, 72). But the isolation enjoined on the 
Jew by the Mosaic institutes, his fierce hostility to other na- 
tions, intensified by disasters, persecution, and gross idolatries, 
cannot be the reference of the apostle. For, first, much of this 
spirit of particularism originated in and was cherished by their 
monotheism and by their observance of their national statutes; 
and this opposedness to all men, in so far as it did not deepen 
into morose malignity, the apostle could not condemn. See the 
tract Aboda Sara in the Talmud (Milrnan, II, p. 460). 
Secondly, the apostle observed " the customs " and great feasts 
himself, and, as a consistent though enlightened Jew, he was 
in this state of separation from polytheism, with its impurities, 
and from the characteristic elements of heathen society. 
Thirdly, the clause is to be taken in a more pointed and speci- 
fic sense, for it is explained by the following assertion or rather 
identified with it, kuiXvovtwv rj/u-a? tois eOvemv \a\rjcrui. No 
additional fact is brought out by it, as no ku) connects the two 
clauses as it does the previous ones; so that the anarthrous 


K(t)\vovTO)v explains the ivavrlwv. They are contrary to all men 
in that they are hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles 
(Donaldson, § 492). This obstruction of the apostle in preach- 
ing to other races was on the part of the Jews a special mani- 
festation of contrariness to all men — the result of a selfish and 
haughty exclusiveness. Such is the view of the Greek fathers. 
Thus Chrysostom, " if we ought to speak to the world and 
they forbid us, they are the common enemies of the world." 

(Ver. 16.) kcoXvovtwv f}[J.a$ to?? eOverrtv XaXijrrai 'iva arcodaxriv — 
" hindering," or " in that they are hindering us to speak to the 
Gentiles, that they may be saved." 

Pelt, De Wette, Schott, and Koch find in the verb what does 
not belong to it — the idea of endeavour, conatus. They were 
not simply striving to hinder, but, as the participle expresses 
it, they were outwardly hindering so far as they were able, 
though they could not stop it altogether. The pronoun has 
the same reference as in the previous verses. Tot"? eOvecriv, the 
same in meaning with " all men " of the previous verse, or non- 
Jewish men, has the stress, as it was not preaching, but 
preaching to the heathen— preaching under this special aspect 
and to this special class, which they prevented. Compare 
Acts xi, 3; xiii, 45; xvii, 5; xviii, 6; xxii, 22; xxvi, 21. See 
the Martyrdom of Polycarp, xii, xiii, xiv. 

The Xa\r}<rai Iva crcoOcoanv forms one combined idea, the last 
words giving virtually an objective case to \a\>j<Tai, and 
defining it as speaking the gospel; salvation being the end, the 
gospel must be the means. To give XaXtjcrai the meaning of 
docere (Koppe, Flatt) is as wrong as it is needless to supply 
tov \6yov. The conjunction Iva is telic, but the end merges 
so far into result or object. See under Ephes. i, 17. Not 
instruction nor social betterment, but salvation was the object 
of the apostle's labours and preaching; and the speaking which 
does not effect this falls short of its true and mighty purpose. 

ei$ to ava.Tr\i]pie(rai <xvt(ov ra? dp.apTia? 7rdvTore — " to fill up 
their sins at all times." Ei? to (see verse 12). The clause, con- 
nected closely with the whole accusation, and not merely with 
kooXvovtow (Hofmann), denotes the final purpose or object. Not 
that they had this purpose in definite view and strove to 
realize it: tout€(tti '/jSetcrav oti d^aprdi'ovcri tea) })p.dpTavov (CEcu- 


inenius). The purpose of God accomplished itself in their con- 
tinuous perversity. They acted freely and from selfish motive 
when with wicked hands they crucified the Son of God, and 
yet they were unconsciously carrying out the divine purpose : 
" Him being delivered up by the determinate counsel and fore- 
knowledge of God, with wicked hands they put to death." 
Acting from conscious impulse and wicked resolve, they were 
unconscious actors in the great drama. Their sin was filling, 
but was not filled up (avairXiipioo-ou being more than the simple 
verb) till that awful period when they slew Jesus, and in the 
same spirit drove out His servants (Matt, xxiii, 32). Compare 
Gen. xv, 16 ; 2 Mace, vi, 14. It is best to preserve the tem- 
poral sense of iravroTe, which, as the last word of the clause, 
has a special moment on it, and not to give it the meaning of 
iravTeXw? (Olshausen, Bretschneider) ; 2 Cor. ix, 8. At all 
times in their history, ex) tcov Trpo<fniTwv, when they killed 
God's messengers to them, they were filling up their sin, though 
it was far from reaching its fulness; but vvv eir\ tov XpicrTov 
kui ecf> rj/txeov — in Christ's time and ours, by putting Him to 
death and chasing out His apostles, the measure of their iniquity 
was at length filled up. 

e<pda<rev Se eir clvtov? r\ opyt] ei$ re'Xo? — " but the wrath is 
come on them to the utmost." 

The reading e^Oarrev has preponderant authority over e^OaKev, 
a probable emendation of the more idiomatic aorist ; and tov 
Oeov added to opyi'i in D F, the Latin versions and fathers, and 
the Gothic version, saves the true sense, but the reading is 
unsupported by diplomatic authority. Ae points to the con- 
trast between their past disobedience to God and hostility to 
man's highest interest, on the one hand (avcnrXiipwcrai TravTore); 
and their certain and awful punishment on the other. It is not 
enim (Vulgate followed by Luther and Beza), but autem, as in 
the Claromontane. By i) 6py>], the wrath is characterized in 
its prominence and terribleness, either as merited or predes- 
tined and foretold (Cbrysostom). The noun does not mean 
punishment (Lapide, Schott, De Wette, Ewald), but wrath, 
the opposite of x^P'f- I n <j>Qdveiv the idea of anticipation is 
not to be thought of, for it has this meaning in later Greek 
only when followed by an accusative of person, as in iv, 15. 


It signifies " to come to," " to reach to," with els ti (Rom. ix, 
31 ; Philip, iii, 16), or eirl tivo. (Matt, xii, 28; Luke xi, 20), or 
axpi tivos (2 Cor. x, 14). The construction with els occurs in 
Dan. ii, 17, 18; with e-n-l in Dan. iv, 21; Xenophon, Cyr., 
v, 4, 9. The meaning of the verb therefore is not poena divina 
Judaeos vel citius quam exspectaverint, vel omnino praeter 
opinionem eorum super ueniente, for the verb is not praevenit, 
as the Claroinontane, Beza, Schott, Pelt. See Fritzsche ad 
Morn, ix, 31. The aorist is idiomatic and cannot stand for the 
present (Grotius, Pelt), nor yet is it used as a prophetic term 
(Koppe), nor does it mark of itself the certainty of the event. 
It has its proper sense, which cannot be wholly transferred 
into English. The apostle places himself close by the divine 
purpose which Preappointed that wrath in the indefinite past, 
and he uses the aorist, identifying that divine purpose with its 
fulfilment. The wrath reached them at the past period when 
they had filled up their sins ; the aorist does not say that it is 
over, for its most awful manifestations were still to come. Ei? 
reXos does not mean penitus, ganz und gar (Koch, Hofmann), 
as if it were TeXecos ; nor is it postremo (Wahl), or tandem 
(Bengel). In this sense it occurs by itself in Herodotus, i, 30 ; 
yEschylus, Prom., 665. Nor is the meaning, to the end of the 
Jews, i.e., to their final destruction (De Wette, Ewald, Peile) in 
contrast to Jer. iv, 27 ; v, 10. In that case avrwv would 
need to be supplied, and De Wette's quotation of eco? els 
reXos, from 2 Chron. xxxi, 1, is not to the point. Nor does the 
phrase qualify ?/ opyi), wrath which shall continue to its end, or 
to the end of the world. Thus the Greek fathers G^cumenius 
and Theophylact explain els reXos as a\pi TeXovs, an inadmis- 
sible explanation. This defining connection would require the 
repetition of the article before els ri\os. Grotius, Flatt, 
Olshausen, refer to the full magnitude of the divine chastise- 
ment — the wrath will work on to its full manifestation. The 
phrase els reXos is connected with the verb and by its usual 
construction ; it had reached its end and would exhaust itself 
in palpable infliction. The coming miseries of the Jewish 
people are plainly alluded to in this verse : the destruction of 
their capital and their dispersion ; the slaughter of myriads 
and the subjection of many others to servitude, blood, bonds; 


and long and weary exile. Because the iniquity ot the 
Amorites was not full in Abraham's time, four hundred years 
passed away before the promise was realized; but when it 
grew and ripened into fulness, they were dispossessed. So now 
by the time that the iniquities of the Jews had culminated 
to their fulness, the anger of God reached them to its end 
or utmost. 

(Ver. 17.) 'Hyxei? Se, aSe\(j)Oi, dTrop^avirrOevTes u<p v/ulwv 717509 
Kuipov topas, Trpoa-unrip ov KapSla — "But we, brethren, being be- 
reaved in separation from you for the space of an hour, in face not 
in heart." The three verses 14, 15, 16, are a species of digression, 
though the first of them naturally springs out of verse 13. One 
illustration of the efficacy of the word in them was given by 
their patient endurance of sufferings inflicted on them, specially 
by the Jews, against whom, when so referred to, the apostle is 
at once led to bring these awful charges. Ae now resumes the 
>]p.els of verse 15 under a somewhat different aspect, and the 
apostle places himself at the same time in contrast with the 
Jewish persecutors. " We, on the other hand" (Klotz, Devarius, 
vol. II, p. 353 ; Winer, § 53, 7, b). 

'A8e\(f)oi, his usual term of affectionate address. According 
to De Wette, Koch, Hofmann, })/uei? is in contrast to the 
u/ueis of verse 14, but this connection is rendered exceedingly 
doubtful by the structure and course of thought in the verses. 
Nor is there any ground for the idea of Calvin, followed by 
Hunnius, Piscator, Vorstius, and Benson, and more recently 
acquiesced in by Pelt, Hofmann, and Auberlen, that the verse 
is an apology for the apostle's absence, lest they should think 
that he had deserted them while so momentous a crisis de- 
manded his presence. " It is not the part of a father to desert 
his children in the midst of such distresses." But the apostle 
was forced to leave Thessalonica, as the city and church well 
knew, and needed not therefore to offer any explanation of his 
involuntary absence (Acts xvii, 9, 19). He had said that he 
thanked God unceasingly for their willing reception of the 
divine word, and he now expresses his profound interest in 
them and his yearning once more to visit them. Those feel- 
ings he would have uttered immediately after the record of his 
thanksgiving, but his mind was taken off in an allusion to the 


Jews, their great sins for ages, and their accumulated penalty. 
He keenly felt his enforced separation from them, though he 
does not need to make any excuse for it. This state of heart 
is described by a very expressive participle, a7rop(ftavicr6evTe?, 
desolati (Vulgate). 'Qp(pai>6$ is defined by Hesychius 6 yovecov 
ej-Tepfifxevos ical t£kvwv. Thus it is properly a child bereaved of 
its parents, a word often occurring ; reversely, it is also followed 
by a genitive of parents bereaved of their children — 6p(f>apbs 
7ruiS6? (Euripides, Hecuba, 150); optpavol yeueag (Pindar, Olum., 
ix, 92). It is employed in the sense of "bereaved," in reference 
to relationship still more remote — 6p(f>ai>os eralpcov (Plato, Leg., 
v, 130, D) ; and then in a sense more tropical, tw </>* Ararat 
KT)]p.aT(t)v 6p<pavov (Plato, Phciedo, p. 239, e) ; 6p<fiuvoi i>/3/o«o? 
(Pindar, lsthm., 4, 14) ; 6p<pavos e7ncrrypt^ (Plato, Alcib., ii, p. 
147). The verb is similarly employed with its ordinary natural 
sense, to make, or to be made an orphan ; or, more generally, to 
bereave, as yXwa-aav op^avi^ei (Pindar, Pyth., 504) ; £coa?, virvov 
(Antholog., 7, 483, 2). The bereavement of some one or some 
thing, the being reft from one, clings to the passive verb 
through all its modes of use, with the pain and loss consequent 
on a forced or violent separation. The compound verb of the 
text is found in the Choephorae of iEsclrylus, 249, Tov? S' 
a.7rcop(paui(rp.€vov? p^ctti? 7ne£tt ~\i/ulo? — " on them (the brood of 
the parent eagle killed in the folds and coils of a terrible 
serpent) bereaved is hungry famine pressing." The a<p' in 
composition with the verb, followed also by airo before the 
pronoun vpwv, expresses strongly the idea of separation (Winer, 
§ 47). The idea of local severance as the source or concomitant 
of bereavement is thus expressed by the participle, implying 
his deej) attachment to them and his strong desire to be among 
them again. It is not in good taste to press the figure, and 
aSe\<j)ol also forbids it. Thus (Ecumenius, 'Op^avol KaTaXei- 
^Ofcj'Tc? a<j> vp-cov, and the Syriac tGOilo £oAj, Chrysostom 
explains, " as children after an untimely bereavement are in 
great regret for their parents, so really do we feel." But this 
reverses the meaning and application of the words. This 
orphaning separation had been 7rpo? xuipov copag — " for the 
season of an hour" only, when that strong desire filled his 
heart. The temporal participle expresses a time before that of 


the verb. When wo had been bereaved and separated only for 
a briefest period, we were the more abundantly longing to see 
you again. LTpo? Kaiphv wpas belongs to the participle, and 
expresses a very brief space of time, more vividly and dis- 
tinctly thau Trpo<? Kaiphv or 7,7)09 lopuv, of which phrases it is 
made up. Compare 2 Cor. vii, 8 ; Gal. ii, 5 ; Luke viii, 13. 
Horae momentum occurs in Latin (Horace, Sat. I, i, 7, 8 ; Pliny, 
Hist. Nat., vii, 52). LLoo? means " motion " toward a point of 
time which is before the subject (Donaldson's New Cratylus, 
§ 177), as in the phrase 7rpo9 ecnrepav (Luke xxiv, 29; Bernhardy, 
p. 564). It has been usually explained as denoting the time 
during which anything lasts (Luke viii, 13 ; Heb. xii, 11 ; James 
iv, 11). It does not mean subito et quasi horae momcnto 
ereptus (Turretin, Balduin). Nor is the meaning that the time 
of separation would be very short, and that still he hoped soon 
to return (Flatt, De Wette, Koch), for the use of the past parti- 
ciple and its connection with the following past verb disallow 
it. The general sense then is that the separation was imme- 
diately followed by an intense desire of reunion. The sever- 
ance was, however, irpocrwTrM ou icapSta, " in face, not in heart," 
the dative of relation to — neither instrumental nor modal — 
limiting the separation to this special point or element 
(Donaldson, §458; Winer, § 31, 6; 2 Cor. i, 12; Gal. i, 22; 
Col. ii, 5). While the severance was only in person, his heart 
was ever knitted to them in indissoluble bonds. And he 
adds — 

7repicrcroTepoo<? ecr7rov8a.1rap.ev to irpocrocnrov vfxoov iSetv ev ttoW?} 
eiridvpia — " we were the more abundantly zealous to see your 
face with great desire." The comparative TrepicrcroTepco?, a form 
veiy rare in classic Greek, occasions some difficulty. It can 
scarcely be a species of strong positive ; nor, more abundantly 
than usual, that is, very abundantly (Turretin, Pelt, Conybearo, 
Olshausen). But this comparative seems always to retain its 
proper signification in the apostle's usage (Winer, § 35, 4). 
Fromond and Hofmann interpolate this idea, which is not in the 
context, that he longed to see them the more, on account of the 
danger to which, as new converts, they were exposed. • Nor is 
the notion of Calvin to be fully accepted, that it was the sepa- 
ration which intensified his regret ; nor the similar one of Winer, 


that the bereavement made his re ore t stronger than it would 
have been, but for the Christian affection by which they were 
united (§ 35, 4). Two other interpretations are at opposite 
poles; that on the one hand of the Greek fathers, that his long- 
ing for them was more than was to be expected from persons 
so recently separated, >j w$ eiKo? >jv rou? 7rpo? iopav airoket- 
(f>6evras. But regrets and longings are all the keener soon after 
the separation. On the other hand the view of Lunemann, 
adopted by Afford, is that the regrets were the more bitter just 
on account of the very recency of the bereavement, the com- 
parative referring to 717)09 icaiphv wpa? ; or, as Schott had given 
it, ea ipsa de causa, quod temporis intervallo haud ita longo 
ab amicis Thessal. sejunctus fuerat. This statement would 
imply that the apostle was conscious that mere lapse of 
time would diminish his love for his converts and his interest 
in them. But the apostle would surely not base the greater 
abundance of his zeal either on the more or fewer weeks of the 
interval. The reference then seems to be to ov icapSia — to the 
fact that the separation was one only of person, not of heart ; 
and on account of this unbroken affection, the desire to see 
them again was the more ardent. Lunemann objects that if 
the separation had been in heart there would have been no 
(TirovSd^eiv at all. Granted; but that does not hinder the apostle 
from saying that his unbroken oneness of heart with them, in 
spite of his personal absence, made him all the more desirous to 
revisit them ; had there been less of love, there would have 
been proportionately less endeavour to be present again with 
them. So Musculus, Zanchius, De Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, 
Koch, Ellicott. But as aTrop^avicrOevTes is also closely con- 
nected with KapSia, the violent mode of the severance might 
mingle itself with his thoughts and help to intensify the desire 
again to see those from whom he had been so rudely torn 
away. The ea-TrovSacrap.ev implies that he had put forth actual 
effort to return to them — had taken measures to bring it about. 
The more abundant endeavour was — 

to Trpoa-osTTov v/jlwv ISeiv — " to see your face," not simply your- 
selves (Schott), but yourselves in person "face to face " (iii, 10 ; 
Col. ii, 1). Compare 2 John 12; 3 John 14. 

The last clause ev 7roW?] €7ri0v/nla, "with much desire," points 


to the sphere in which the action of the verb showed itself. 
In no listless spirit did he make the endeavour to reach them; 
the desire to return to them was little less than a passion. 
The noun is generally used in a bad sense, sometimes with a 
qualifying epithet or genitive attached to it, and is usually 
translated lust or concupiscence. It bears a good sense here, 
as in Luke xxii, 15 ; Philip, i, 23 ; Sept., Ps. cii, 5 ; Prov. 

(Ver. 18.) Aioti i)Be\i)<raiJ.ev eXOetv irpo? Vfias, eyco /jlgv IlavXo?, 
K(Ci aira£ kcu Stg — " Wherefore we wished to come to you — even 
I, Paul — both once and twice." The St 6 of the Eeceived Text, 
which is also read by some of the Greek fathers, has insufficient 
authority, Stori being found in ABD'F tf. " Wherefore," that 
is, because we so longed to see your face, rideXijaa^v being 
parallel to €a-7rouSdara/ui.ev. It has been remarked that the 
apostle does not use i}fiov\i)Q)iiJ.€v, as the latter would indicate 
merely disposition (Tittmann, Synon., p. 124). It is, however, to 
be borne in mind, as Ellicott cautions, that OeXw is used by the 
apostle far more frequently than (3ovXoiuai, in the proportion, 
indeed, of seven to one, the latter occurring oftenest in the 
Acts of the Apostles. The apostle singles out himself, the fxev 
solitariwm giving prominence to eyco by the sudden severance 
of himself from the others (Hartung, vol. II, p. 413; A. Butt- 
niann, p. 313). On the word itself, see Donaldson's Cratylus, 
§ 154. The contrast is not so strong as Chrysostom makes it. 
Grotius, laying stress on. the contrast of the suppressed Se, joins 
eyco fxev UavXo? to the next clause kcu aira^ kcu St?, I, Paul, 
once and again ; and brings out this sense, that Paul made the 
effort to revisit them more than once, Silas and Timothy only 
once. So Cocceius, Rosenmiiller, Conybeare, Hofmann, and 
the text of Lachmann and Tischendorf. But the eyco fxev 
IIca'Ao? is parenthetic, and for a moment distinguishes the 
apostle from his colleagues, we — I, Paul — a special reference 
to himself, alone in the midst of his trials and labours. The 
period so referred to may have been that after his hasty de- 
parture from Beroea by himself, Timothy and Silas remaining 
behind him, and while he was for some time in Athens 
alone waiting for them to rejoin him. The phrase kcu dVaf 
kcu St? is precise, and means, on two several occasions, 


literally "both once and a second time," koi...koi giving this 
distinct enumeration, and the clause is not to he taken in 
a general way, as if it meant only several times (Turretin, 
Koppe, Pelt), which would require the omission of the first icai. 
"A.Tra.% K<x\ Sis occurs in Nehem. xiii, 20; 1 Mace, iii, 30; Philip, 
iv, 1G (Raphel. in loc) ; Herodotus ii, 121, 37; iii, 148. The 
opposite phrase is found in Plato, Clitoph., 410 B ; oi'x aira^ 
ovSe Sis. Twice, then, did the apostle make an earnest effort to 
revisit Thessalonica — 

Kal evtKO^ev rjfxas 6 Xara vas— "and Satan hindered us." Keel 
must not be identified in meaning with Se, as is done by Benson, 
Schott, Olshausen, De Wette, Koch. It simply states the result, 
the clauses being placed in simple contiguity, while the context 
exhibits that result as in contrast to the intention (Winer, 
§ 53, 3 b; Philip, iv, 12). 1 

(Ver. 19.) Tis yap tjaoov e\7ris t] X a P a '1 crTe(f>ai>os Kau^'ja-euii ; 
5; ovxji tcai v/meis ep-irpoa-dev tov livpiov >]p.coi> L/crof ev ry uvtov 
irapovaricy, — "For what is our hope or joy or crown of rejoicing ? 
or is it not also you in the presence of our Lord Jesus at his 
coming ? " 

Xpi<TTou after 'L/o-ol-, on the slender authorit}^ of F L and 
some of the Greek fathers, is to be rejected, the omission of the 
word being supported by A B D K N, <fcc. The connection is with 
the previous verse, and not with verse 17 ; and it gives, in the 
form of a question, the reason {yap) of his desire once and 
again to see them — viz., because they stood in such a relation 
to him and his spiritual honour and happiness. They were 
his "hope," not that he expected a future reward for their 
conversion (Estius, Fromoncl, Hofmann), or pardon for his 
earlier life, and the injury he had done to the church as Saul 
the persecutor; for, as Liinemann remarks, the emphasis is not 
on tjpojv, but on eA7n?, and the other predicates. His hope was 
that he and they, in spite of trials and difficulties, would be 
kept by divine power, so as to meet before the Master, and 
enjoy His acceptance and welcome. Not only eX-m'? but x«/>"> 
"joy" in them as the trophies of his toil and warfare, not only 
X«/oa, but higher still, o-t^mvos Kavxweco?. The phrase is very 

1 A blank page in Dr. Eadie's manuscript here would probably have 
been tilled with an exposition of the words " Satan hindered us." 


expressive ; it is a chaplet of triumph worn by the victor, the 
genitive not being that of apposition (Koch), but either of 
material, or, rather, of what Winer calls remote internal rela- 
tion (§ 30, 2 (3). The Hebrew phrase is rq«Bn rnt?j?, " crown of 
glory" (Sept., Ezek. xvi, 12; xxiii, 42; also Prov. xvi, 31, 
referring to the "hoary head"; Philip, iv, 1). Compare 
2 Tim. iv, 8; Rev. ii, 10. As the victor boasts of his crown, 
the apostle might rejoice in the salvation of his converts 
through God's grace and Iry his preaching. 

The epithets are natural, and are found in Greek and Latin 
writers — rw 7roX\tiv eX-rlSa TXiKoreXtjv {Antholog., vol. I, p. 225, 
Lips. 1794) ; sjies reliqua nostra (Cicero, Ep. Fam,, xiv, 4) ; C. 
Marium, spem subsidiumque patriae {Pro Sextio, 17, 58); 
vitae milti pariter dulcedo et gloria (Macrob., Somn. Scip.,1, 
1); Scvpionem, spem omnem salutemque nostroim (Livy, Hist., 
xxviii, 39) ; a-re^avov evK\ela<s /J.eyav (Soph., Ajax, 460); and the 
same phrase occurs in Eurip., Supp., 325. Lobeck in his note 
refers to similar not identical phrases from other authors. 

5; ovy) kcu$ — "or is it not also you?" The particle 
i] is sometimes treated in the English version as if it were a 
mere particle of interrogation, as in Matt, xxiv, 23; Rom. 
iii, 29; v, 1, 3; but it retains its real disjunctive sense as 
referring to a previous interrogation, not nonne (Erasmus, 
Schott), but an non. It introduces the second member of a 
double question (Klotz, Devarius, vol. I, 101 ; Winer, § 57, 1 ; 
Hand, Tursell. on the particle an, vol. I, p. 349). While some 
erroneously take >/ as a mere mark of interrogation, Pelt regards 
3/ oi>xi as meaning nisi. The kcu. with its ascensive force is 
" also," not " even," as in our version, reference being to his 
other converts, who were also at the same time his hope and 
joy — ku\ v/uieis /meru tcov aXXw, as Chrysostom explains it, and 
CEcumenius after him. The Vulgate and the Peshito omit kui; 
the Claromontane has ctiam. 

efiirpouOev tov Kvpiov ij/awv Iqcrov kv T77 clvtov irapovcria — 
" in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming." ~KpicrTov of 
the Received Text has little authority, and is rightly rejected. 
Some propose a close connection with the previous clause, as in 
the English version, "are not even ye in the presence of our 
Lord Jesus Christ." Thus Olshausen says that this expresses a 



doubt which is plainly put an end to in the last verse, and his 
meaning is, or " do not ye also (as I myself and all the rest of 
the faithful) appear before Christ at His second coming " (Bis- 
ping)? But such an exegesis mars the full sense of the double 
question. It is also partial to connect the clause immediately 
with the first part of the verse, " for what is our hope and joy 
and crown of boasting in the presence of the Lord Jesus?" 
For the clause belongs to both questions, and characterizes 
place and time. "What is our hope, joy, and crown of gloria- 
tion? or are not ye also in the presence of the Lord Jesus?" and 
the period is — at His coming. The two clauses are not very 
different in meaning : irapovcria is presence, or a being present 
(iEschylus, Persae, 167; Sophocles, Electva, 1232; 2 Cor. x, 
10; Philip, i, 26; ii, 12). Appearance often implies advent or 
arrival as preceding or producing it, so that advent is a 
frequent meaning (1 Cor. xvi, 17; 2 Cor. vii, 6, 7 ; 2 Mace, xv, 
21; Diodor. Sic, i, 29). The term is often, as here, employed 
to denote the appearance or coming of Christ, which are iden- 
tical, as in Matt, xxiv ; 1 Cor. xv, 23; 2 Pet. iii, 4; 1 John ii, 
28, fcc. Instances in Abdiel's Essays, p. 166. 

In presence of His glorified humanity, seated on His throne, 
the work of redemption being finished on earth, the human 
species no longer, at least in present organization, living on 
it, but having completed its cycle of existence, specially and 
formally are believers accepted by Him. His coming — per- 
sonal, public, and glorious — is the great hope of the church, 
which it ever cherishes as the epoch when it shall be full 
in numbers and perfect in felicity. The apostle's hope was 
that when he and they stood in the Master's presence, they 
would not be " ashamed at His coming," and he anticipated 
a "joy and crown of rejoicing" in their final salvation, in their 
rescue from temptation and suffering and death, and in their 
spiritual change which had ripened into glory — a change of 
which he by God's blessing had been the human instrument 
(2 Cor. i, 14 ; Philip, ii, 16). 

(Ver 20.) 'Y/ytei? yap ecrre t) So£a i'i/how k<u i) X a P a — "For ye 
are our glory and joy." Liinemann and many others take yup, 
not as causal, but confirmatory, belcraftigend — yes, or indeed, 
ye are our glory and joy — the ye element of the word, according 


to Ellicott, having the predominance. Winer, § 53, 8; Hartung, 
vol. T, p. 473. But yap may have its usual meaning. If* the 
apostle virtually repeats what he had just said, the repetition 
must have something special, either additional or intensive, 
about it. " What is our hope and joy and crown of boasting ? 
Are not ye also in the presence of the Lord Jesus ? Certainly, 
at that future period, for ye are now in every sense our glory 
and joy" — ujueis co-re being emphatic from position, kcu vuv ecrre 
Kui rore ecrea-Oe (Theophylact). Hartung, vol. I, 473. The sense 
is not different whichever of these meanings of yap be adopted. 
At the same time the temporal distinction of Flatt and Hof- 
mann cannot be sustained — that verse 19 refers to the future, 
and verse 20, in contrast, to the present time. Such a distinc- 
tion is not marked out by the words. The 19th verse is not 
expressed in the future, there being no verb written, and, 
though the reference is virtually to the future, the apostle 
views it under a present aspect, and presents it as the source of 
his ardent desire to revisit his converts. Chrysostom says, in 
reference to these epithets as applied to the Thessalonian 
believers, " These words are those of women inflamed with 
tenderness and talking to their little children. . . . The 
name of crown is not sufficient to express the splendour, but 
he has added ' of boasting.' Of what fiery warmth is this ! 
. . . For reflect how great a thing it is that an entire 
church should be present planted and rooted by Paul. Who 
would not rejoice in such a multitude of children, and in the 
goodness of those children ?" The book Siphra records — Gloria 
est disdpulo, si praecepta magistri sui observed ; gloria est 
fiUis Aaronis, quod praecepta Mosis observarunt (Schottgen, 
Home, vol. I, p. 824). 

The practical improvement of two very old commentators 
may be quoted — " Certainly the gaining of souls to God's 
kingdome is no small pillar to support our hope of salvation, 
and a pledge to us of our glory, so runnes the promise they 
that turne others to righteousnesse shall shine as starres, 
Uan. xii, 3, Prov. xi, 30 " (Sclater's Exposition of ' Thessalonian s, 
London, 1627). Bishop Jewel's reflection is — "This ought to 
be the case of all such which are ministers, that they should 
seek above all things to bring the people to such perfection of 


understanding, and to such godliness of life, that they may 
rejoice in their behalf, and so cheerfully wait for the coming of 
our Lord Jesus Christ" (Exposition^of Thessalonicms, 1583). 


(Ver. 1.) Aio /mrjKen o-reyovTe? — "Wherefore being no longer 
able to bear/' Aio, "for which reason," refers back naturally, 
not to the last clauses expressive of the apostle's hopeful and 
joyous interest in his converts (Liinemann, Hofmann), but to 
his intense desire to visit them and the failure of a double 
effort; the connection being, "because I could not come to you, 
Satan having hindered me, and because I was still filled with 
profound anxiety to hear about you, as I could not see you, 
I resolved to send Timothy to cheer and encourage you." The 
" we," as formerly limited in ii, 18, means apparently here the 
apostle only. The verb ureyeip is defined by Hesychius 
as fiao-rd^eiv ; inroiJ.eveiv. Its original meaning (connected 
with crrey)]) is to cover, so as to keep out or off, as in Thuc} T - 
dides, iv, 37. See Poppo's note, vol. Ill, part iii, p. 121. 
The verb is used in 1 Cor. ix, 12; xiii, 7, in both cases with 
iravTa. It does not mean, as sometimes in the classics, 
occultantes (Wolf, Baumgarten, and Robinson), nor that he was 
no longer able to cover up his yearnings in silence ; but the 
sense is, when I was no longer able to control my longing for 
you without doing something to gratify it (Polyb., iii, 53, 2). 
See Kypke in loc. The use of the subjective fifteen implies 
the writer's own feeling- being in such a state that I could not 
master my desire to see you. Winer, § 55, 5. See under ii, 15. 

evOOKijaafiev KaTa\ei(p6yjvai ev' A.0)'/vai$ /ulovoi — "we thought it 
good to be left behind at Athens alone." The verb belongs to 
the later Greek, the spelling being ev or rjv. Sturrz, p. 1G8. The 
idea of pleasing is not in the verb, though it signifies "it was 
our pleasure," but only that of libera voluntas, a resolution 
freely come to, not prompta inclinatio (Calvin), and the aorist 
is not to be taken as an^ imperfect (Grotius, Pelt), the latter of 
whom speaks confidently, res ipsa docet. Not a few refer the 
plural to Paul and Silas ; but the limitation in ii, 18, governs 


this plural and the following eTre/uLxfsa/ixep ; the singular occurring 
again more precisely in verse •">. There is stress from its position 
on jtxouoi, not simply, alone in Athens, in urbe videlicet a Deo 
alienissimd,but perhaps also the feeling of solitude was deepened 
from his intense craving for human sympathy and fellowship. 
The statement is supposed to clash with Acts xvii, 14, 15. Jowett 
accuses the writer of the Acts of ignorance that only Silas was 
left behind, and Schrader supposes two visits to Athens. One 
theory is, that the apostle sent Timothy away prior to his own 
arrival in Athens— that is, as Alford expresses it, " the apostle 
seems to have determined during the hasty consultation 
previous to his departure from Beroea to be left alone at 
Athens, which was the destination fixed for him by his 
brethren, and to send Timothy back to Thessalonica to ascer- 
tain the state of their faith" (Prolegom.). Such is also the view 
of Wieseler (Chronol. des Apod. Zeitalt., p. 249), and of Koppe, 
Hug, and Hemsen. But the natural view is that Timothy was 
despatched to Thessalonica from Athens. (1) For this verse 
plainly implies that Paul in Athens had Timothy with him, 
and, sending him off from Athens to Thessalonica, became 
himself "alone," Silas being probably absent somewhere else. 
The order of thought and the verbs KaTaXeKpOrji'at, e7re/x\/ra/xei/, 
lead without doubt to such a conclusion ; the two verbs indi- 
cate a mission personally enjoined by the apostle himself, and 
that Timothy was with him in Athens. (2) When Paul left 
Beroea he went away alone, but left commandment for Silas 
and Timothy to rejoin him, and he waited for them at Athens. 
Is there, then, any improbability in the supposition that 
Timothy obeyed the order with all speed, and that on his 
arrival at Athens the apostle deprived himself of his company 
and sent him off at once to Thessalonica ? (3) The apostle, 
before the return of Timothy and Silas from Macedonia, 
had gone to Corinth, where his colleagues at length joined 
him, so that he writes in the beginning of the letter from 
the same cit}% " Paul and Siivanus and Timotheus." (4) 
The apostle could not say that it was his pleasure to be 
left alone at Athens, if he had been always alone during his 
sojourn in that city and no other had been in his company. 
The phrase, therefore, implies the arrival and presence of 

102 COMMENTARY ON ST. PAUL'S [Chap. 111. 

Timothy prior to his departure to Thessalonica. There is 
really nothing in the narrative of the Acts, which omits this 
mission of Timothy altogether, to contradict this view, which 
is held by Schott, Koch, De Wette, Luuemann, and Ellicott. 

(Ver. 2.) Kcu eire p\frap.ev Ti/uoOeov tov aSeXcpov i]pwv kui 
crwepyov rod Qeov — " and sent Timothy our brother and fellow- 
worker with God." There is a confusing variety of readings, 
showing that the copyists stumbled at some word or phrase. 
Though crwepyov rod Qeov, which has been conjectured by 
Luuemann and Alford as furnishing the occasion, is a Pauline 
phrase (1 Cor. iii, 9), yet perhaps the application of the phrase 
to one not an apostle might originate some difficulty. So B 
omits tov Qeov, and D 3 E K L supplant it by fowv, " our fellow- 
labourer," with the Syriac and Chrysostom ; tov Qeov is placed 
after tov Siukovov, which supersedes crwepyov iu An and 67~ ; 
the Vulgate has et ministrum Dei, and so the Coptic ; F has 
diuKovov koi crwepyov tov Qeov ; the Received Text having 
Siukovov tov Qeov kui crwepyov f/pwv, which is vindicated by 
Bouman and Reiche. Amidst all this variety it is hard to come 
to a decided conclusion. 

The text as we have given it is found in DU7, in the Claro- 
montane, Sangerm., and Ambrosiaster, fratrem nostrum et 
adjutorem Dei. It may be said that Siukovov is an emendation 
for crwepyov more humbly fitting to tov Qeov, and if this be 
admitted, then the reading of Lachmann, Teschendorf, and 
many modern editors may be safely preferred. The phrase 
crwepyov tov Qeov does not mean, one who wrought as a fellow 
with the apostle, while both belonged to God, as Flatt, Hey- 
denreich, and Olshausen contend on 1 Cor. iii, 9; but is a fellow- 
worker with God, as aw distinctly belongs to the following 
genitive, He being the chief and primal worker himself. Bern- 
hardy, p. 171. Compare Rom. xvi, 3, 9, 21 ; Philip, ii, 25 ; iv, 
3, in all of which cases crw is connected with the associated 
genitive (2 Cor. i, 24 ; Demosth., G8, 27 ; 884, 2). It has been 
supposed by some that the apostle so eulogized Timothy to 
make the Thessalonians aware of the sacrifice which he made 
in sending such a colleague to them, and in deciding to remain 
in Athens alone (Theophylact, Musculus). Such a purpose is 
not in the context, nor can it be safely ascribed to the large- 


hearted apostle. As little ean Chrysostom's idea be adopted, 
that the object of the apostle in so eulogizing his representative 
was to show them the honour which in this way he put upon 
them, lest they should be tempted to depreciate him (Hofmann). 
It is probable that the apostle wrote simply in the fulness of 
his heart, Timothy being specially dear to him, and specially 
useful in promoting the great work. Compare Philip, ii, 19- 
'2o. See under Col. i, 1 ; v, 7. Timothy was a brother beloved 
in many ways — the child of a pious ancestry on the female 
side ; a convert of the apostle ; an active, sympathizing, and 
indefatigable colleague — " working the work of the Lord, as I 
also do " ; a fellow-worker with God himself, for the sphere 
was — 

ev tw evayyeXlta rod Xpia-Tov — "in the gospel of Christ" — God's 
great sphere of operation among men. Timothy preached it, 
and God rendered it efficacious (Rom. i, 9; 2 Cor. x, 14; Philip, 
iv, 3). And Timothy was sent for this purpose — 

ei$ to (TTtjptgai v/uu? Kut irapaKuXecrui uwep t>}s 7n<XTeco? 
v/jlwv — " to establish you, and to exhort you on behalf of your 

The Received Text has upas after TrapuKaXeo-ui, but it is 
rejected on greatly preponderant authority ; and u-w'ep in the 
last clause is to be preferred to -jrep\, being found in A B D 1 F 
K N\ The meaning, then, is not that Paul through Timothy 
(a-Lapide, Grotius), but that Timothy himself should confirm 
them. The infinitive with tig to, as in ii, 16, points out the 
special purpose of the mission, and o-Tripl^ai is often similarly 
employed (Rom. i, 11 ; xvi, 25 ; James v, 8 ; 1 Peter v, 10). The 
next infinitive, 7rapaKaXe(rai, is plainly not to comfort, for an 
objective sentence dependent on it begins the next verse 
(Acts xiv, 22 ; xv, 32 ; 2 Thess. ii, 17), but to exhort, the ex- 
hortation being on behalf of, or in furtherance of, the faith ; 
whereas irep\ would refer rather to the object or theme of the 
exhortation, which is distinctly put in the following verse. 
Winer, § 47, I. The afflictions which made this confirmation 
necessary are not those of the apostle only, as CEcumenius, 
Theophylact, Estius, Fromond, Macknight; but the whole con- 
text points to the persecution which had fallen out at Thessa- 
lonica, and in which the apostle had participated. 


The next words are so closely connected with this verse that 
there should be no division of verses. 

( V er. 3.) to fxrjSeva <Taive<r6a.i ev rai? 6Xi\fsecriu t«utcU9 — 
' that no one be disquieted in these afflictions." 

The common text has tw for the first word, which is not 
admissible (Winer, § 44, 5), and in its place F G have ha. The 
text as given has highest uncial authority. Compare, however, 
2 Cor. ii, 12; Koch in loc. The verb cralveiv from o-e/co, used 
only here in the New Testament, means physically to move 
backwards and forwards, or hither and thither, as a dog does 
his tail — ^Elian, Hist. Var., xiii,-42; Homer, Odyss., xvi, 4; 
Aristoph., Eq., 1031. It then signifies to fawn upon to 
flatter (iEschylus, Choeph., 191) ; and in this sense some take it 
here (Eisner, Koch, Riickert). Thus Hesychius defines aaluei 
by KoXaiceuei. Faber Stap. has adulationi cederet. Beza gives 
adblandiri. Bengel says the verb is applied ei$ tou$ vttouXovs 
/ecu Ko\aKiKov$. See also Tittmann's Synon., p. 189; Suidassu6 
voce; and Wetstein in loc. But the sense is not congruous, for 
such blandishment is not the result or accompaniment of per- 
secution, which induces terror, and shakes men's constancy. 
Such is apparently the meaning. 

The verb in later Greek signifies, to be moved in mind, to 
be disturbed; or, as Chrysostom explains it, OopvfieicrOai /ecu 
TapuTTeaOui' tovto yap ecrri aalvea-Qui. Diogenes Laertius, 
viii, 41; Sophocles, Antig., 1214. Hesychius gives as synonyms 
KiveiorOai, aaXeuecrOai. The meaning of deluded or infatuated 
given by Hofmann has no support. The connection has been 
regarded in various ways. 

1. Schott, Koch, and Bisping take to /uuiSeva cru'ivea-Qai as 
an accusative absolute, quod attinet ad, or, as Cocceius, ad 
vos conjirmandum hoc verbo. The construction is admissible, 
but very rare. Bernhardy, 132; Kriiger, § 50, 6,8. Liinemann 
objects that Schott's appeal to Philip, iv, 10, cannot be sustained 
in proof, because the phrase on which the stress is laid, to virep 
ep-ou tppovelv, is the usual object accusative to the transitively 
employed verb aveOdXeTe. But another interpretation of that 
verse is as probable. See under Philip, iv, 10. 

2. Liinemann and Alford take the clause as dependent on 
els, in opposition to the entire sentence preceding, and as 


repeating in a negative and sharper form the same thought — 
to stablish you and exhort you on behalf of your faith — that 
is, that no one of you be shaken by these afflictions. But, as 
Ellicott remarks, " the regimen is remote, and the course of 
thought is broken." Lunemann's suggestion that rourtcrri 
might have been written for to, and Alford's, which is almost 
equivalent to it, are more than doubtful, and are at variance 
with the asserted connection — els hi the previous verse — for 
an explanatory thought is interpolated. 

3. The better exegesis is that which makes to p.i]Seva 
aruiveaOai an objective sentence, dependent on irapaKaXea-ai, 
and explaining the theme of exhortation. Winer, § 44, 5. The 
meaning, then, is to stablish you and to exhort you on behalf of 
your faith — the exhortation being that no one be shaken. So 
De Wette, Reiche, Hofmann, Ellicott, and Riggenbach ; A. 
Buttmann, p. 226. The objection, that in this case irapuKaXecrui 
would govern only an accusative of the thing, is not formidable. 
See 1 Tim. vi, 2, though Lunemann gives another explanation ; 
Luke iii, 18, and Mark v, 22, which, however, contains an 
accusative of person. But, as has been stated, such infinitives 
have not the same immediate dependence on the "verb that 
substantives have. On such usage see Matthiae, § 543, 2, 3, 
and his numerous examples. The proposal of Matthaei to insert 
a second «s before to p.i]Seva is a desperate solution. Compare 
Rom. iv, 11. The sense is not materially different under any 
of these principal forms of exegesis. To stablish you and 
exhort you on behalf of your faith — that is, to the end that 
ye be not moved — is not very different from saying, to stablish 
you and exhort you on behalf of your faith — the theme of the 
exhortation being that ye be not shaken — 

ev tuc? 6\l\fse(Tiv TauTais — "in these afflictions." 'Ey is not 
purely temporal (Lunemann), nor is it strictly instrumental, 
but it points out the condition in which they were placed ; 
these afflictions so surrounded them that they were in them 
(Winer, 48, a) ; "these afflictions" being certainly not those 
special to the apostle, but common to him and to the Thessa- 
lonians. See under previous verse. 

avroi yap o'ldure oti ef? tovto Kei/meOa — "for yourselves know 
that we are appointed thereunto." Tup introduces the reason 

106 COMMENTARY ON ST. PAUL'S [Chap 111. 

for which they should not be troubled in these afflictions, and 
that reason, generally, is their knowledge that their subjection 
to them was the divine will. The verb icei/mai is passively used, 
pusiti svAnus (Vulgate). Luke ii, 34 ; Philip, i, 17. TWto refers 
to 0\i\J/earLv, and not to the injunction, not to be shaken or 
perturbed. The plural verb does not refer to Paul alone 
(CEcumenius, Estius), but immediately to Paul and the Thessa- 
lonians, representing at the same time all believers. Those 
afflictions are not accidental on the one hand, and we do not 
court them or merit them on the other hand, but our position 
brings them on us, and God by his grace has set us in that 
position. Why then be shaken by them, for we cannot avoid 
them, and when with you we forewarned you of them (Matt, 
x, 22 ; John xv, 20)— 

(Ver. 4.) Kcu yap, ore 777)09 i/yua? rjp.€i>, irpoeXeyopev on 
plWopev OXlfieo-Oai — " For verily when we were with you, we 
told (or, were telling) you before that we were to be afflicted." 

Yup assigns the reason for the avro) yap oiSare — /cut laying 
moment upon it : for ye know because we told you before 
when we were with you. Winer, § 53, 8. In the phrase 
7T/309 upas, the original notion of direction disappears after 
verbs implying rest, and the sense is not different from irapa 
with the dative or the Latin apud. Fritzsche on Mark i, 18. 

The phrase peXXopeu OXtfiearQai is no mere dilution of the 
simple future, but repeats the idea on the divine side of «s 
tqvto Ke'peOa — that these sufferings are a portion of God's 
allotment which we cannot escape, as they are the characteristic 
and inevitable lot of believers. MeXXopev expresses the cer- 
tainty, and implies the soonness of the sufferings. 

Ka6u>s icat eyeVcro k<u o'ldare — " as also it came to pass and ye 
know." It turned out as the apostle had foretold — the pre- 
diction had been verified, and in their history or from their 
experience they knew it. The words from avrol yap u'lSare to 
the end of this verse are very unnecessarily marked by Griesbach 
and Kuapp in a parenthesis. 

(Ver. 5.) Ata tovto Kayoo p^iteri (Trzywv — "For this cause when 
I too could no longer forbear." " For this cause," that is, 
because those predicted sufferings had really broken out among 
thcm,and they had had actual experience of them. In the relative 


Kayos the km, belonging simply to the pronoun, may refer either 
to Timothy, " I as well as he," or to the vfiets of the previous 
verse, " I as well as you," that is, "I longing to see you and 
you longing to see me " (Schott, Olshausen), or to those who 
were along with him, as in ii, 13. It is difficult to say which 
of these references was in the apostle's mind. The first is 
natural, the second is rather an anticipation of the latter part 
of v. G, and the third has a historical vindication in Acts xvii, 
1 5, that there were brethren with him for a period at Athens. 

The phrase iu>]K€ti areyoov, "no longer forbearing," is explained 
under the first verse. 

€7re/uL\fsa e<? to yvusvai tijv ttlcttiv v/jlwv — "I sent Timothy to 
know your faith." Eiy to yvS>vcu, the infinitive of purpose, 
specifies the design of eVe^n/rct, and the meaning plainly is not, 
that Timothy the sent one, but that Paul the sender, might 
know — the subject being the same in both verbs. The theme 
of information was t>jv ttIutiv v/jlwv, "your faith," what its 
aspects and stability were, and if it had passed through the 
ordeal in safety. The apostle's anxiety was — 

ya)/7rw9 eTretpaaei' v/ulus o weipa^v kul «? nevov yevjjrai o /cotto? 
r[[jL$>v — " lest perchance the tempter have tempted you, and our 
labour might prove or turn out to be in vain." lsh)iru)$ depends 
naturally on yvwvui, and not on ewefx^a, and introduces an 
indirect question, as Lunemann states. Not a few connect it 
with the idea of fearing ((pofiov/uLevos), fearing lest the tempter, 
*.V:c. Beza, Pelt, Turretin. The aorist indicative eirelpuuev 
specifies the tempting as having actually taken place, while the 
subjunctive yevrfrai represents the results of the temptation as 
conditional or doubtful, it being a possible thing that the 
apostle's labours should, as the result of the temptation, turn 
out to be fruitless. As the apprehension might be verified, or 
might prove groundless, the apostle's anxiety was to ascertain 
the actual state of things, or whether the temptation which 
was intended to shake them had done so. Winer, § .56, 2; Gayler, 
p. 323. Winer justly objects to the harsh view of Fritzsche in 
taking /x>/7rco? in the first clause as an forte — an forte Satanas 
vos tentasset — and in the second clause as ne forte — ne forte 
labores mei irriti essent — making it in the first clause an 
interrogative particle, and in the second an expression of fear 


or apprehension. See also Ellicott ; Matthiae, § 519, 7. The 
verb eire'ipaa-ev, as the following clause shows, does not mean 
" may have succeeded in tempting you," the cause for the 
effect (Macknight),or, mitErfolg versucht (Baumgarten-Crasius). 
The tempter's purpose was obvious, and the apostle was only 
in doubt as to the result. The agent of the temptation 
is named in harmony with his work, as expressed by the verb 
eirelpacrev 6 ireipdfav (Matt, iv, 3 ; 1 Cor. vii, 5). All notion of 
time is excluded from the present participle used as a sub- 
stantive. Winer, § 45, 7 ; Bernhardy, p. 31G. For eh icevbv 
yev)]rui, see the similar phrase under Gal. ii, 2. 

(Ver. G.)"ApT* Se eXvovros TipoOeov 7rpo? tjp.a$a(f> vp.£>v — "But 
Timothy having just now come' unto us from you." The 
adverb of time is most naturally connected with the participle 
eXOovros, which in itself implies time, and not with a verb so 
remote as 'Tra.peKkriBrip.ev of the following verse, which has its 
ground prefixed to it in Sia rouro. Liinemann's arguments for 
the last connection are of little weight. Not only did the 
return of Timothy bring comfort and that comfort prompt the 
writing of the epistle, but he wishes specially to connect the 
two things. Timothy had been sent away — his good tidings 
on his return cleared up perplexities, and that at once. The 
apostle reverts to his position in the mission of Timothy, and 
virtually affirms by the cipri eXOovros that no sooner had he 
come back than all doubts were cleared up, and at once his 
relieved and rejoicing heart gave utterance to its emotions in 
the epistle. The adverb apri, though originally different from 
vvv, often in the later Greek represents present time. See under 
Gal. i, 9. 

hull evdyyeXi<Tap.tvou T>]V ttmttiv kui tijv aya.irtiv vpwv — 
"and having brought good news to us of your faith and love." 
The participle is used in its original meaning — ayadbv fjydro 
(Chrysostoin), and has its common construction, dative of 
person and accusative of thing (Luke i, 19; Lobeck ad 
Phrynich., 26GrS). The subjects of the good news, tt'ktti^ and 
<xyaitr\, are both specified by the articles. For their meaning, &c, 
see under Ephes. i, 15. Their faith had remained firm in spite 
of trial and suffering. Chrysostom explains by using fiefiaieocriv, 
and Theodoret tw ci'cre/3fc/a? to fiefiaiov. Their love was 


evincing itself — had not waxed cold because of abounding 
iniquity — i) Se ayainj t>]v irpaKTiKijv dpeT>]v. Their condition 
delighted him, as it proved the continued existence of unshaken 
faith and active love among them, and he was no less rejoiced 
with a third element of their character, their unfacled remem- 
brance of himself — rpla reOeiKcv dgcepao-ra (Theodoret). For 
he adds — 

Kai oti e\€Te pveiav yjpoov dya9>]v iravrore — " and that ye 
have good remembrance of us always." For pvela see under i, 2 ; 
its meaning differs according as the verb by which it is fol- 
lowed is TTOieia-Oa, or e'xeiv. Udvrore belongs more naturally to 
the clause before it than to the participle after it (Koch and 
Hofmann). i, 2 ; 1 Cor. i, 4; xv, 58 ; Gal. iv, 18 ; Ephes. v, 20 ; 
2 Thess. i, 3. Not only was the remembrance good, but it was 
continuous, the result being that they were — 

eirnroQovvres, t/pd? toeiv KaQ aire p kui qfieig vpds — "longing to 
see us as we also (ISeiu €7rnro6ovpev) to see you." The simple verb 
■n-oOeo) does not occur in the New Testament, and e7n in the com- 
pound is not intensive, greatly desiring, but retains its primary 
directive meaning. '"ETrnroOeiv n, as Fritzsche says, idem valet 
quod iroOov e'xeiv eiri ti (ad Rom., i, 11 ; Sept., Ps. xli, 1). For 
icat see Klotz, Devar ins, vol. II, G33 ; Winer, § 53, 5. They 
longed to see the apostle just as the apostle longed to see them. 
The longing was therefore mutual, for there was earnest attach- 
ment on both sides. 

(Ver. 7.) Aid tovto TrapeKXyOtjpev, dde\<po} — " On this account 
were we comforted, brethren." Aid tovto compacts into one 
argument the three preceding statements — their unshaken faith, 
their fervent love, and their continuous desire to see the apos- 
tle. The verb in the perfect tense is found in A and 3, 23, 57; 
and such a reading may have arisen from connecting dpTi with 
it, as Koch does, though the aorist forms one of Lunemann's 
reasons against joining the adverb to cXOovtos. The aorist 
simple expresses the past fact that Timothy's return brought 
comfort, and that this comfort still existed is implied in the 
context — 

e<j> vp.IV €7Tl 7T(l<Tt] T\] dvW/Ktf KUl 6Xllfs€l }]pWV SlU T>]? VflCOV 

7nVreft>? — comforted " over you in all our necessity and afflic- 
tion through your faith." The first e-rr] has virtually its literal 


sense of "on" — you being the foundation on which the com- 
fort rested (Winer, § 48, c). Alford, after Luuemann and Pelt, 
renders the preposition " with reference to } 7 ou," but this is 
somewhat inexact. It is far wrong on the part of Koppe and 
Pelt to regard hf vfA.iv as superfluous (jyraprw vcdundat), 
because of the following Sid t>i? v/uloov iri<rTew<?. For the first 
phrase points out the persons on whom the apostle's comfort 
rested (2 Cor. vii, 7), and the second points out that element of 
their condition by the instrumentality of which his comfort 
was realized ; yourselves were the basis, your faith the medium 
of our comfort. The second e7rl does not distinctly differ in 
meaning from the first — "over all our necessity and tribulation" 
— comfort was so thrown over it that it ceased to vex us and 
fill us with sorrow. Such is the semi-local image, the preposition, 
as Ellicott says, " marking that with which the comfort stands 
in immediate contact and connection ;" you afford the comfort, 
and that exists over or in connection with our necessity and 
distress, so that these do not fill us with despondency. Some 
make e-n-] causal, others temporal. Alford suggests " in spite 
of" as the translation, and that is indeed the ultimate sense. 
To find the image it is best to adhere to the primary sense of 
superposition. Donaldson,, § 172. Compare 2 Cor. 
vi, 4. The Received Text reads 6\l\[sei tcai avdyioj, but only on 
the authority of K L and some of the Greek fathers. It is not 
easy to say what this affliction and necessity were, but the 
probability is that they were external in nature. The notion 
of Koch and De Wette that they were internal anxiety about 
the Thessalonians cannot be entertained, for in that case the 
report of Timothy would have removed them, but the expres- 
sion implies that they continued still, though countervailing 
comfort was enjoyed. It is needless to distinguish the substan- 
tives nicely, as when Bouman regards the first as generic and 
the second as specific. 

'AvdyKij is the unavoidable (Wunder; Sophocles, Trackiii., 
823) as the result of constraint or circumstances (1 Cor. vii, 37; 
ix, 17 ; Matt, xviii, 7), and the distress therefrom arising (Luke 
xxi, 23 ; 2 Cor. vi, 4; Xenoph., Memor., iii, 1 2, 2). Q\[\fst?, allied 
to r pi (3co, tribulatio, is pressure (2 Cor. ii, 4; Matt, xiii, 21). 
Compare Rom. ii, 9, 0Arv//7? kcu o-rei'o v«yo/a ; 2 Cor. vi, 4, 0\l\^ii 


kui avdyK}]. It is probably wrong to restrict avayKy to disease, 
or scantiness of means, or hardness of manual labour (Scliott), 
though these may not be excluded. The apostle may refer to 
his entire condition at Corinth, in the midst of peril and perse- 
cution from the Jews, "who opposed themselves and blas- 
phemed." The words of the Lord in a vision, " no man shall 
set on thee to hurt thee," implies that attempts against him 
had been made, and these culminated at length in the insurrec- 
tion against him when he was dragged before Gallic Sur- 
rounding circumstances seemed so dark and forbidding that the 
apostle began to despond and was tempted to form the purpose 
of leaving Corinth, or at least of moderating his labours so that 
the enmity against him might die down. But the divine voice 
met him with the words quoted, and Christ's words are ever 
fitted to the condition of him to whom they are spoken. " Be 
not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace, . . . for I 
have much people in this city." Compare 1 Cor. ii, 3. The 
comfort came— 

Sia Tjfr vfuov 7r!(TTecos — "through your faith," the faith of 
whose stability Timothy had brought so favourable a report. 
Grotius would very tastelessly place the phrase before €7r] iraarfl, 
&C, and Hofmann would join it^with the following clause on wv 
fofxev, with this meaning — weil ever Glaube es ist dadurch wir 
jetzt leben — a connection which Liinemann correctly calls so 
monstrous as to need no contradiction. Thus the apostle has 
in the verse e<p\eTrt, Sta, bringing out, as his manner is, vary- 
ing but closely connected aspects of relation. See also under 
verse f). The result is — 

(Ver. 8.) on vvv ^(jo/uev, eav v/uei? cm'/K^Te [crrj/zcere] ev l\vpi<e — 
"for now we live if ye stand fast in the Lord." The spelling of 
the verb in the last clause is doubtful. The received text, with 
I ) N l , and some minuscules, have crn'iKtjTe. Ellicott quotes B, 
but wrongly, for though Mai's reprint so spells it, Alford asserts 
e codiee that it reads a-Ti'jKere, and his reason is confirmed by 
Tischendorf's edition ex ipso codiee. The solecistic a-r/iKere is 
found in A B F H L N 3 , and has therefore good authority. 
Scrivener's remark as to the permutation of vowels in the best 
MSS. is met by Alford's assertion from personal inspection that, 
with certain specified exceptions, it is not so in the Vatican 


Codex, in any ordinary occurrences of long and short vowels. 
"On gives the reason of the statement which has jnst preceded. 
The language is strong. Necessity and distress had brought a 
species of death over the apostle, but he came out of it as soon 
as he heard of their firmness in the faith. Zw/xev is not to be 
explained away by the phrase dum vivimus vivamus (Pelt), 
nor is it to be exaggerated into eternal life, faqv tijv imeWovcrav 
(Chrysostom). The adverb is probably not used with a purely 
temporal meaning — he had been as one having the sentence of 
death in himself, but now in their life he lives ( Jowett, Marlor- 
atus). The particle has rather somewhat of a logical sense — 
referring to and implying the fulfilment of the condition intro- 
duced by eav. Hartung gives as an example of the transfer of 
this time-particle auf Umstande and Bcdingung — /u^rpoKrovog 
vvv (pev^ofxai, t60' ayvos lav (Euripides, Elect., 979). Kuhner, 
§ 690. 

The next clause is conditional eav orr>//cere. If the subjunc- 
tive form be adopted, the meaning is that he did not know 
after all whether they would stand fast; and he states the 
matter hypothetical^ — assumes the possibility; whereas, if the 
indicative a-r/jKere be adopted, the apostle assumes as a fact 
that the}^ would stand fast. Donaldson, § 502 ; Klotz, Devarius, 
ii, 455. See under Gal. i, 8, 9; Winer, § 41. The verb (m'lKeiv 
is used in Mark xi, 25 in the literal sense of to stand ; and 
tropically in Rom. xiv, 4; Gal. v, 1 ; Philip, iv, 1 ; and it 
derives its specialty of sense from the context, " stand fast." 
'Ey Kvp/o) describes the element of their stability, in union 
with the Lord and in fellowship with Him. The apostle had 
been in hard and heavy circumstances, which weighed him down 
to death. Opposition, unbelief, peril, disappointment, physical 
labour, and debility so preyed upon him that he felt as one 
enveloped in the shadow of death ; but Timothy's news from 
Thessalonica so revived him, so lifted him out of the gloom, 
that he lived again ; his soul was so joyful over the stability 
of his converts, that he triumphed at once over surrounding- 
dangers and persecutions. And that conditional sentence was 
a warning to them for the future ; the continuance of that life 
depended on their continuous stability. 

(Ver. 9.) Ttva yap ev^apiarTiav Svva/ueBa tw Qe<p avTairo- 


Souvai irtpi vfi£>v €7rl — "for what thanksgiving can we render 
God for yon in return for." Some MSS.— D 1 F N 1 — insert Kyp/w. 
Tap, not a mere particle of transition (Pelt), confirms what 
has been said, and brings out one special manifestation of the 
power and fulness of the &>]. Tlva, interrogative, implies what 
sufficient thanks; or, as Theophylact quaintly paraphrases, Sto 
Kai avTco o<pei\ovTe$ evyapicTTelv, ov\ evpirrKopev tijv agiav ev^a- 
pifTTiav. The apostle had given thanks for their conversion, 
had given thanks for the manner in which they had received 
the word ; and now he knows not what amount of thanks to 
give for their stability under persecution and suffering. 

The double compound avrairoSovvai is properly to give in 
return (avr'i), uiro, as Ellicott says, hinting at the debt pre- 
viously incurred. Winer's explanation is, "ubi dando te ex- 
solvis debito, debitum enim est oneris instar nobis impositi 
quo leva/mur rum solvimus" (Be Verb. Praep. Gomp. in N. T. 
Usu, iv, p. 12). The verb is used in the sense of penal retribu- 
tion (2 Thess. i, 6 ; Rom. xii, 19). It occurs also with a good 
sense (Luke xiv, 14; Rom. xi, 35; Ecclus. iii, 31. Compare Ps. 
cxvi, 12). It has likewise a neutral sense, to 6/uloiov uvTairooi- 
Sovre? (Herod, i, IS; Plato, Parmenides, 128, a), and is 
followed both by dyaOd and kuku in 1 Sam. xxiv, IS. This 
gift of life in the midst of death, and this fulness of joy were 
of God ; and therefore to Him thanks of no common depth and 
fervour are due in return. 

irep\ vp.Mv is "about you" (for you), you being the objects for 
whom thanks are given ; and the following words state the 
ground — 

€7r\ wacnj tij X a P a i'l X a/ '/ 0O ' uej/ ^' 'W*? epurpocrOev tov Qeoo 
}'jpm> — " for all the joy which we joy on your account in the 
presence of our God." 'Ex/, " over," " on," gives the "ethical 
basis." Winer, § 48, c. See under verse 7. That basis is 
irua-a }) x«P«> " a ^ the joy," the joy regarded in its whole 
extent — iraa-ij being extensive, not intensive save by inference 
(Pelt, Schott), in ihrcr Summe and Totalitat. Winer, § IS, 
4. The attraction y for rjv x'^P ^ 1 '* found also in Matt, 
ii, 10, gives the sentence a kind of periodic compactness. 
Winer, § 24, 1. The use of the correlative noun extends the 
meaning of the verb. Winer, § 32, 2; Bernhardt, p. 10G ; 



Lobeck, Pavalipom,, p. 501. Many examples are found in 
the Septuagint, New Testament, and classics. Jelf, §§ 548-9. 
The apostle has written -wept vfxwv, " concerning you " ; and to 
be more specific he adds Si vp.a<g, the first connected with the 
return of thanks, and the second with ^atpo/ueu, on your 
account (John iii, 29). Compare Fritzsche in Marc, 205. It 
is his usage to distinguish varying but connected relations by 
varying prepositions; and he fondly dwells on the different 
sides of the connection of the Thessalonians with his thanks- 
giving and his joy. The concluding words eparpoa-Qcv rod Qeou 
q/Atov, used only in this epistle, are not synonymous with e7n 
tu>v Trpoaevx^v ))pu>v, as if he meant that the emotion of joy 
ever brought him into the divine presence (Webster and 
Wilkinson); nor are they to be joined with what succeeds 
(Ewald, Hofmann, and the Peshito); nor is the connection with 
X^pa (Koppo, Pelt), but with ^a/po^tei^, we joy in the presence 
of God ; our gladness is pure and unselfish ; it bears God's 
inspection, and has His approval. The reference is not to God 
as the author of that joy, avro$ ical ravr^ rjfuv t>]$ x a P'^ 
clitios (CEcumenius). 

(Ver. ^-0.) pvkto? kcli ij/uepag vTrepeKire purer ov Seop-evot «? to 
ioeiv vfxwv to Trpocromrov — " night and day praying very abund- 
antly, in order to see your face." The participle Se6p.evoi is not 
absolute " we pray " (a-Lapide, Baumgarten-Crusius), but is 
closely connected with the preceding verb — what thanks can 
we return for the joy which you give us in our separation, 
praying as we do night and day to see your face ? The inten- 
sity of the prayer to revisit them and perfect their faith was in 
proportion to the thanksgiving for the gladness which in the 
interval Timothy's report had produced. Schott, De Wette, 
Koch, and Riggenbach take oeop.evoi in apposition with x'dp ' 
p.ev, which is only a subordinate thought in the verse. Luther 
and Von Gerlach regard the verse as an answer to the question 
in verse 9 ; but the connection is artificial, and might require 
a finite verb instead of the participle. The double compound 
v7repeK7repi(r(rov, "more than abundantly," expresses the fulness 
of the apostle's emotion. Compare 1 Thess. v, 13; Ephes. iii, 
20 ; Sept., Dan. iii, 23. See under Ephes. iii, 20. It belongs to 
osopei'oi, and not by a trajection to iSeiv (Clericus). Night and 


day is an idiom not to be so measured as if night were specially 
referred to for its solitude and silence as the most fitting season 
for prayer (Fromond); but " night and day praying more than 
abundantly " is the utterance of profoundest love and longing. 
The purpose or object of the prayer is then given — 

els to tSeiv v/jluiv to irpocrw-KOv — " in order to see your face," 
ut videamus (Vulgate), the prayer being heard, that end would 
be obtained See under ii, 12, 10, 17. Not only to see them 
but in seeing them — 

kcli KarapTicrai tu ixTTepi'ifiaTa Ttj? 7ricrTeo)$ vp.u>v — " and to 
supply the lackings of your faith ; " et complearnus ea quae de- 
sunt (Vulgate), et suppleamus quae desunt (Claromontane) ; 
tu eWetTroi'Tu 7r\}]pcocrai (Theodoret). The verb Karapri^w 
signifies to refit or readjust literally (Matt, iv, 21 ; Mark i, 10 
— Wetstein in loc. ; and Polybius, i, 1, 24) ; then, ethically, to 
restore (Gal. vi, 1 ; Herodotus, v, 10G) ; then to fill up, to sup- 
ply, or to finish thoroughly ; the meaning of the simple ciprio? 
being distinctly preserved, and Kara being intensive in force 
(Eisner in 1 Cor. i, 10). Philip, ii, 30 ; Col. i, 24. 

Their faith was not perfect, it was lacking in some elements. 
It needed to grow in compass, to embrace yet more elements 
of doctrine, and have a firmer and more harmonious hold of 
truths already taught, such as the Second Advent. Their faith 
was also lacking in power; it had not led them to a universal 
obedience, or given them strength to surmount all heathen 
propensities and impurities, as is implied in the following 
chapter. Nor had its influence descended to every-day life in 
its secular aspects, enforcing honest industry and ennobling it. 
The visit which he so longed to make would have been im- 
proved for this purpose — to give them careful and earnest 
teaching and guidance on all points in which their faith needed 
invio-oration or enlargement. Confirmation was a work which 
the apostle loved, it was so necessary and so beneficial. Thus 
he longed to visit the church in Rome, that he might impart 
to its members " some spiritual gift," to the end that they might 
be established (Rom. i, 10, 11). 

In a similar spirit he writes to the church of Corinth, 
" I was minded to come to you before that ye might have a 
second benefit" (2 Cor. i, 15). Calvin's practical reflection is, 


— Hinc etiam patet qiiam necessavia nobis sit doctrinal 
assiduitas: neqwc enim in hoc tantu/m ordinati sunt doctores, 
nt una die vel mense homines adduccmt ad fidem Christi, sed 
ui l fid em incltoatam perficiant. 

(Ver. 11.) Atrro? Se o Geo? kcu irar^p fj/ULOov kcu 6 Kv/oto? ypm' 
'hj<rou? KarevQuvai tyjv 6S6v rjpSiv 7rpo? vp.a$ — " Now may God 
Himself and our Father and our Lord Jesus direct our way 
unto you." The Received Text has Xpio-ro? after 'I^crou? on 
the authority of D 3 F K L, the Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and 
Gothic versions, and several fathers; but the word is omitted in 
A B D 2 hi (I) 1 omitting 'I>/0-oi?? also), and in the Claromontane 
Latin, the insertion being probably a conformation to the more 
common and familiar formula. 

By Se he passes to another aspect of the same subject, and 
avTO?, emphatic in position, is not in contrast with the persons 
characterized as Seo/uevot (De Wette, Koch, Bisping), but it 
means God himself — He and none other — for He alone can 
fulfil such a prayer. The apostle had proposed to visit them 
once and again, and Satan had hindered him ; but if God 
Himself would be pleased to direct the way to them, no hind 
ranee would be permitted. 'H/awi/ may belong to Geo? kcu 
irarhp (Hofmann, Riggenbach), or simply to -irari'ip. That 
ij/uidov is connected with irariip is probable, Geo? being absolute 
and irarhp relative, the relation being indicated by the pronoun, 
and 7to:t>//3 is often followed by a genitive (Rom. i, 7 ; 1 Cor. i, 3 ; 
2 Cor. i, 2, airo Qeov irarpos >)p.u>v). God our Father — believers 
have a community of Fatherhood in Him, as they are His 
children, bearing His image, enjoying His guardianship, and 
being prepared for His house of many mansions. The words 
kcu Kt'/oto? r)p.wv 'hjcrovg are in direct apposition with 6 Geo? kci) 
irarhp, and form with it the nominative to narevdvvat. For 
the meaning and use of the names see under Ephes. i, 2. The 
verb KUTevOvvai is the aorist optative, not the infinitive, as such 
usage, though found in epic and other poets, and also in prose 
authors, is not found in the New Testament. Winer, § 43, 5 ; 
Jelf, § 671. It means literally to make straight so that one 
may pass, then to guide or direct — irpos — the preposition 
indicating the direction. 

It is plain that o Geo? Kat ttht^p and o Ki'yoto? ijpwv L/croi"? are 


parallel in thought, both being related to the emphatic uvtos, 
and both being nominative to the singular verb KaTevdvvai. 

To the mind of the apostle, therefore, God the Father and 
the Lord Jesus were so one that the same prayer is presented 
to both without distinction — there being, as the singular 
implies, equality of power and oneness of operation, or what 
Lunemann calls unity of will. But equality of power and 
unity of will imply a higher unity — even unity of essence ; 
for only to one possessed of divinity can the worship of 
prayer be presented. It is superficial in Koch to say that the 
apostle here " regards Christ as the Wisdom and Power of 
God," for the language is directly personal in nature — the 
Lord Jesus is addressed as God, and the thing prayed for is to 
be done by Him and God as one divine and indivisible work — 
Karevduvai. See under Ephes. i, 2. The Lord Jesus, though 
man, as the name Jesus indicates, is also Lord — at the right 
hand of the Father — and Governor of the universe ; but this 
government is proof of His possession of supreme divinity, as 
it necessitates the possession of omnipotence and omniscience, 
attributes with which no creature can possibly be endowed. 
Who but God can roll on the mighty and mysterious wheels 
of a universal providence without halting or confusion ? — who 
but He can know all hearts in their complex variety of motive 
and purpose, so as to be their Judge \ Athanasius presses the 
argument derived from the singular form of the verb. After 
quoting the verse, he says, ttjv kvor^ra rov -arpos kui tov viov 
e<f>vXa£ev. uv yap eiwe KarevOvvoiev a>? 7r«pa Svo Swop-ivr}^, 
irapa tovtov tcai tovtov, SnrXrjs \apiTO<s, fiXXa k a T e V 6 v v a I 
(Oratio, iii, 11, contra Arianos, p. 340; Opera, vol. II, Migne). 

(Ver. 12.) 'Y^a? 6e 6 K.vpio$ 7r\eovacrat. kui irepicra-evcrai "777 
(i"/a7T)] et? aWi/Xovs kui e<? 7rm'Tac KaOmrep kui tjfieis €ig 
v/uLct? — " You may the Lord cause to enlarge and abound in 
love to one another and to all, even as we also to you." For 
Ku/oto? A reads Beo?; o Ki/yoto? 'L/croi/9 is found in D 1 F, and 
the Claromontanc Latin ; but there is no nominative in the 
Syriac, nor in the Vulgate in the Codex Amiatinus. The 
omission is approved by Mill, Griesbach, Eichhorn. 

By Se he passes to another thought suggested by the previous 
prayer — " but you may He enlarge " ; whether this prayer be 


heard or not as to guidance in our way to you, or whether 
we are privileged to revisit you or not, you may He enlarge 
with or without our instrumentality. May He grant this 
petition on your behalf. He had spoken in verse 10 of defects 
in their faith, and this prayer implies that their love was also 
in need of enlargement. The two verbs here used in a 
transitive sense are in the optative in continuation of the 
construction of the previous verse. Bretschneider wrongly 
takes thein to be infinitives, and would supply Swt] 
(Lex. sub voce 7r\eova£a)). Compare Sept., Num. xxvi, 54 ; Ps. 
lxx, 21 ; 2 Cor. iv, 15; ix, 8; Ephes. i, 8. Both verbs, similar 
in meaning, seem to refer to ev dyuinj. CEcumenius weakens 
the sense by giving the first a reference to number, ™ 
dpiOjULw. Fromond similarly refers the one to extensio, and the 
other to intensio. Olshausen takes the one as cause and the 
other as effect, but the distinction is not warranted. If one is 
enlarged in any Christian grace, he abounds in it, enlargement 
and abundance being varying aspects of the same blessing. 
His prayer had been that defects in their faith might be filled 
up (verse 10), and now it is specially that their love may be 
augmented — first, to one another, in the same believing com- 
munity, and then to all men — not to all Christians {opoTria- 
tov?) of the places beyond Thessalonica (Theodoret). See under 
Gal. vi, 10. Men made in the image of God are to be loved 
as God has loved them. Our love to men, as children of a 
common Father, should be a likeness of His (j)i\av9poo7rla 
(Titus iii, 4), man-love, having its wider circle of objects 
in mankind, irrespective of creed or character ; while Christian 
love — (f)i\aSe\(pia, brother-love — has its immediate objects of 
attachment in the Church. Love is the fulfilment of the law. 
See under Gal. v, 14, and Philip, i, 9-10. In the last clause 
the two verbs must "be supplied — Kadairep kui })pei? eU v/uag 
ev aycnr}] irXcova^opev kcu Trepicrcrevopev — not repeating the 
optative which would necessitate qp.a$. This filling up changes 
the verbs from a transitive to an intransitive sense — a change 
from an unusual to the more common signification. Such 
verbs are usually sujoplied from the context (Kuhner, § 852), 
and such a supplement, although it appears clumsy, is in 
natural harmony with the context. Other methods are weak 


or artificial, as e'xoju.ei>, or ttoXXP/i/ dyux>/y e'xopeu (Pelt, Schottj, 
affecti sumus (Calvin), or simply ea-fxev (Grotius). Theoph}dact 
explains, "ye have us as the measure and example of love," 
p.erpov tea) irapaSeiyp.a. The prayer is directed to the Lord — 6 
Kvpio?. The name may refer either to the Father or the Son 
(Alford). That it refers to the latter in this place is extremely 
probable. For (1) it is the common usage of the New Testa- 
ment in Paul's Epistles. (2) The reader will naturally take 
the Kupios of this verse to be the Kvpios of the previous verse 
(3) The Kvpio?oi' this verse is also naturally the same with the 
\\vplov of the following verse. (4) In the paragraph the Father 
is twice called 6 Oeo? ical Trar.'ip >)p.m'. The very distinctness 
of this appellation would lead one to suppose that Kvpios by 
itself docs not refer to the Father, but to Jesus, who is twice 
mentioned by the same epithet in connection with Him. Basil, 
in his Treatise de Spiritu Sando, cap. xxi, affirms that Kupios 
means in this place the Holy Spirit, referring in proof to '2 
Cor. iii, 17, with which it has no analogy (Opera, vol. II, p. 01, 

The last purpose of this prayer is next given — 
(Ver. 13.) eig to (TTijpi^aL vp.oov ra? tcapSius ap-tpurTOv^ ev 
ayuoarui'u ep.7rpo<r0ev rod Qeov kcu 7rarpo? i)p.u>v — "in order to con- 
firm your hearts unblamable in holiness before God and our 
Father." E<V to is not for the more simple ku\ (Kiihner), but 
with the following infinitive indicates purpose — the purpose 
of the prayer that they might grow and abound in love. Love 
tends to confirm — for it is the bond of perfectness. When the 
heart is filled with this love to brethren and to mankind, it 
becomes established ; it rises beyond the sphere of doubts and 
oscillations, for it is fulfilling the law, and growing in that 
holiness which such love sustains and develops (Matt, v, 44-48). 
The author of this spiritual confirmation, which has its root in 
enlarging love, is Kvptog to whom the prayer is addressed, not 
Geo? ; the subject of the verb is not ayuir^v (G^cumenius), and 
certainly not fifxaq the apostles (a-Lapide). Chrysostom takes 
itwiice that he says, " not you, but your hearts — for out of the 
heart proceed evil thoughts." The adjective ap.ep.7TTovs is used 
proleptically, " so that you may be blameless." The property 
expressed by the adjective does not exist in the substantive till 


after the action of the accompanying verb is completed. Jell", § 
4.39, 2; Winer, § 66, 3 ; 1 Cor. i, 8 ; Philip, iii, 21 ; J ude 24. The 
usage is not uncommon in classical writers, both in prose and 
poetry. Lobeck, Soph., Ajax, p. 230, 3rd ed., Berlin, 1866 ; Soph., 
(Ed. Col., 1084, Wunder's note ; Matthne, § 446, 2, where numerous 
examples are given. The adverb a/xe/^TO)? is found in B L. 
The prayer then is that He may confirm them so as to be 
unblamable, not vaguely, but ev ayiwcrvpfl — the more correct 
spelling, ayioaruvy being found in B 1 D F (Rom. i, 4 ; 2 Cor. 
vii, 1). The noun denotes neither the process (ayiacr/ nor 
the quality («ytor>/9), but the condition (Lobeck ad Phrynich, 
p. 350), or the sphere in which blamelessness was to evince 
its power as the result of the divine confirmation. It is a 
holy disposition or state in which the soul is freed from all 
disturbing and opposing elements of evil, possessing a purity 
which is the image of God's, and every element of which will 
stand His inspection and meet His approval, for it is 
c/uTrpocrOev tov Oeov kui 7rarpo9 iip-wv, " before God and our 
Father." See under i, 3 ; iii, 9. The phrase brings out the 
genuineness of the holiness and the final acceptance of him 
who possesses it, and in whom this prayer is fulfilled. On the 
relation of rj/mcov to the two preceding nouns, see under Gal. i, 4. 
The phrase is not to be connected solely with the word ayiaxrvvu 
(Koppe, Pelt), nor solely with afxep-Trrov? (De Wette, Koch), but 
with the entire verse. 

ev Tfl Trapovma tov iivpiov tj/u-wv hjcrov p.era ttuvtcjov tcov ayuov 
uvtov — " at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints." 
Xpia-rou, occurring after 'Itjaov in the Received Text, has in its 
favour F L, the Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Gothic versions. 
But A B 1) K M, and 20 mss. omit it, as also the Claromontane 
and some of the fathers ; and it is therefore rightly rejected 
by Lachmann and Tischendorf. For the first part of the clause 
see under ii, 19. 

The main question is, who are included under the oi dyioi, 
with whom or in whose company the Lord comes ? (1) Some 
restrict them to the saints or earlier believers, sanctified and 
perfected (iv, 14 ; 1 Cor. vi, 4). So Flatt, Olshausen, Hofmann. 
The word is often employed in this narrower sense. See under 
Ephes. i, 1. (2) Others understand by the term the holy angels. 


That these are to accompany Christ is evident from many pas- 
sages (Matt. xvi, 27 ; xxv, 31 ; Mark viii, 38 ; Luke ix, 26 ; 
2 Thess. i, 7). So Musculus, Benson, De Wette, Olshauseu, Mac- 
knight, Bisping, and Liinemann. But ol uyioi never by itself 
alone in the New Testament signifies angels ; and the word 
here cannot denote them exclusively, for it is continually or 
uniformly applied to human believers. (3) Some take the 
noun as signifying both hoty men and holy angels, " with all 
His holy ones." In favour of this supposition there are several 
arguments : (a) For, as a fact, saints will be there (iv, 14), and 
angels too, as is fully told in the passage already quoted. (6) If 
the apostle had wished to exclude the angels to whom he makes 
special reference in the second epistle, he would have employed 
some umnistakeable epithet. But he uses a term that may 
comprehend both, according to the usage of the Hebrew and 
Septuagint (Dent, xxxiii, 2, 3 ; Ps. lxxxix, 7) ; o'HR, and ol 
ayioi, without any addition, denote angels in Dan. iv, 10; vii, 
13 ; Zech, xiv, 5. Compare Heb. xii, 22, 23. (c) The addition 
Travraov gives some weight to this opinion. (4) Angels as 
well as saints are called His ; for the avrov refers to Him 
and not to Qeov (Liinemann) : Matt, xiii, 41 ; xvi, 27 ; xxv, 31; 
2 Thess. i, 7. So Bengel, Baumgarten-Crusius, Riggenbach, 
Alford, and Ellicott. True, indeed, some raise an objection 
from -ku.vtu>v. Musculus objects that Jesus does not come with 
all His saints ; or, in the words of Conybeare, " our Lord will 
not come with all His people, since some of His people will be 
on earth." But ttuitcou embraces the angels too; and iv, 14, 
tells us that both the dead who are raised and the living who 
are changed will together meet the Lord in the air. Angels, 
the unfallen ones so near God and so like Him, and saints 
redeemed and perfected, and made equal to the angels, \uay- 
yekoi, are with Him when He comes — those who owe to Him 
existence and glory, and those who owe to Him restoration 
and blessedness. Flatt proposed to join the clause d/uL€jU7TTov? 
. . . with jueTa iravTwv ..." that he may stablish you blameless 
in holiness, along with all His saints at the coming of the Lord 
Jesus" ; as Peile paraphrases, that "you may take part in"; or as 
Conybeare translates, " and so may He keep your hearts stead- 
fast and unblameable in holiness and present you before our 


God and Father with all His people at His appearing." So 
also Musculus and Flatt, Aretius, Estius. Hofmann adopted 
this connection in his Sckriftbeweis, II, 2, 1st ed. ; but in the 
second edition and in his //. Schr, JS r . T. he has abandoned it. 
The connection is unnatural, and of course restricts ol dyioi 
to the saints. 

The word 'A/aj/j/, found at the end of the chapter in some 
codices and versions, is apparently an addition from some 
church lectionary, the lesson for the day ending at the place ; 
or it may be a liturgical response. 


The apostle commences now the practical part of the Epistle. 
He introduces exhortations to personal and sexnal purity and 
to industry, in order that the believers should present a salutary 
and an impressive contrast to the heathen round about them. 

(Ver. 1.) Aonrov ovv, dSe\(j)oi, epioTwp.ev vpug kgu Trapa- 
KnXov/jLev ev Kvpiw 'hjcrov — "Finally, therefore, brethren, we be- 
seech you and exhort in the Lord Jesus." The to before 
\onrbv in the Received Text has no uncial authority save B 2 ; 
on the other hand, the ovv is omitted by B 1 , a few manuscripts, 
the Syriac and Coptic versions, with Chrysostom and Theo- 
phylact, but it is certainly to be retained. Koiirov, de caetero, 
Vulgate, denotes that what follows is not only additional to 
what has been said (furthermore, Ellicott), but is at the 
same time the concluding portion of the epistle (2 Cor. xiii, 1 1 ; 
Philip, iv, 8; Ephes. vi, 10; 2 Thess. iii, 1). It does not signify 
ilberhaupt (Baumgarten-Crusius). Chrysostom lays undue 
stress upon it when he paraphrases it, ae\ pev ku\ eh to ; and Theodoret errs too in writing to Xonrbv uvti 
tov diroxpuovToos vpiv t>jv )]perepav TrapuKKijcnv. See under 
Philip, iii, 1. The alternative explanation of CKcumenius 
gives the sense, though not the exact meaning — to el$ Ttapalvecriv 
eXOelv. The ovv introduces a conclusion based on the statement 
of the previous verse. As the apostle had prayed for them that 
they might be so confirmed as to be found spiritually perfect at 


Christ's coming, on this account he sought and exhorted them 
to live in harmony with the divine will, or so as to please 
God. They should strive that their life might be in unison 
with his prayer. It restricts the sense unnecessarily to refer' 
ovv simply to the second coming (Calixtus) ; and it takes away 
from the point to give it a vaguer and remoter allusion to the 
report carried by Timothy to the apostle (Musculus). The 
first of the two verbs, epooTuv, is used by classical writers only 
in the sense of asking a question. Here, however, as also in 
v, 12 ; 2 Thess. ii, 1 ; Philip, iv, 3, it means to entreat. The 
Hebrew %& f though often rendered in the Septuagint by alrelv, 
as when followed by nan or na applied to a person (1 Sam. 
viii, 10; Ps. ii, 8), is sometimes also rendered by epwrdw. In 
the New Testament the verb has both a classical and a Hellen- 
istic sense. Compare Matt, xvi, 13, " He asked them, saying," 
(iipurra) ; John i, 19, Iva epcoTijcrtocriv, on the .one hand; and on 
the other, in addition to the texts already quoted, Matt, xv, 
23; Luke xiv, 18, 19; John xii, 21. With the second sense 
it is followed by Trepi or vir'ep, and sometimes by the con- 
junctions Iva and oVco?. This verb, according to Lunemann, 
is the entreaty of a friend; while the second, TrapaKoXovpev, 
is more official in its nature — the charge enjoined by an apostle. 
The exhortation is ev Kvpiw 'lycrou, in the Lord Jesus ; not by 
Him (Siu, per), as a formula of adjuration (Beza, Estius, Grotius, 
Pelt, Schott), but in Him, in fellowship with Him — He being 
not the source only, but also the element of our exhor- 
tation ; in Him it is formed, in Him it is tendered — in 
Him lies its vitality and power. What the charge was is 
now told — 

'Iva kuOws —upeXafieTe Trap s'jpcov to 7t&>? oVi v/xas 7repnra- 
reh' kuI apicriceiv Qew — " that as ye received from us how 
ye ought to walk and please God." "Iva is omitted in the 
Received Text, and is not found in AD 3 K L a, and in some 
of the Greek fathers ; but it is found in B D 1 F, in both Latin 
versions, and in the Syriac Peshito. The repetition of Iva in 
the next clause has probably originated the omission. See 
Reiche on the verse. If the Iva be genuine, it blends the 
purpose of the charge with its contents. See under Ephes. i, 
17: and for the verb, see under ii. 13; Gal. i, 12; the refer- 


ence being to the personal teaching of the apostle during his 
brief sojourn among them. The verb refers simply to oral 
instruction, and not, as the Greek fathers, to example also. 
What they received is specified under one aspect by to tos, 
the how; and thus the entire clause has given to it a substan- 
tival character. Winer, § 18, 3. Rom. iv, 13 ; viii, 20 ; Gal. v, 
14 ; Philip, iv, 10. For 7repnruTeh>, see under Ephes. ii, 2. 
Kal has a common consecutive force — how ye ought to walk, 
and by this walking as its medium to please God. The pleas- 
ing is the result of the walking. To walk so as to please God 
is to act according to His will, to live the life of His Son on 
the earth ; and, though one may come far short of the divine 
ideal, yet the perfect and paramount desire so to live will 
enjoy the divine acceptance. The charge is not that they 
should begin so to walk, for he adds — 

Kadws Kai 7repi7rur€ire — "as ye also are walking." The 
clause, though omitted in the Received Text and also in 
D 3 K L, the Syriac version, and the Greek fathers, is found in 
A B D 1 F M, the Vulgate, and some other versions, and has 
therefore high authority, besides being a naturally interjected 
thought in unison with the following 7re piarcreu^re. They had 
been already so walking, and in such walking they are exhorted 
to abound — 

iva 7repiarcr€U)]Te paWov — " in order that ye would abound 
still more." Ka0<W kcu implies for its supplement a ovtco? in 
this clause, iv rw ovtw? irepnrareiv (Col. ii, G). The second or 
repeated iva comes in naturally, after so long an intervening 
clause. This use of paWov characterizes the apostle's style 
(iv, 10; 2 Cor. vii, 13; Philip, i, 23), but it does not mean that 
they were to go beyond the divine commandments (Chrysos- 
tom). They had been walking so as to please God ; and the 
charge is that they would still grow in this conformity to the 
precepts delivered by the apostle. It is not a bare command 
so to walk, but a recognition at the same time of their begun 
sanctification, combined with an earnest injunction to con- 
tinue and make rapid progress in this holy and blessed 

(Ver. 2.) 0\Sare yap rivas irapayyekias eScoKapev Sia tov 
Kvpiov 'hjcrov — "For ye know what commandments Ave gave 


you by the Lord Jesus." Yap gives the ground of the exhor- 
tation, introducing an appeal to their present knowledge — 
they had not forgotten what they had received — they know it 
— 7rape\a(3eTe of the previous verse corresponding to eScoKap.ei> of this verse. Compare Gal. iv, 13; 1 Cor. xv, 1. The 
plural irapayyehlai is not " preaching of the gospel," but 
means precepts (Acts v, 28 ; xvi, 24 ; 1 Tim. i, o, 18; Polybius, 
vi, 27). These ethical commands were based on the gospel, 
and are in harmony with its spirit, true obedience being- 
prompted by those motives which it alone supplies. The 
stress is on Tivas, to which the specific tovto in the next 
clause corresponds. The preposition Sta in the last clause is 
not to be confounded with ev (Pelt), but means through the 
Lord Jesus, as the living medium through whom the apostle 
was enabled to deliver them, the precepts being in origin not 
his own, but Christ's. Bernhardy, p. 236 ; Winer, § 47, 1. 
Before Sid Grotius needlessly inserts the participle -irapaXapfia- 
vopeva? ; find Sid has not so loose a signification as Schott gives 
it, auxilio sea benefido Ghristi, as if it referred to the revela- 
tions connected with the apostleship, Si cnroKaXvifseoo? Xpicrrov. 
Nor is the immediate purpose of the words that which Olshausen 
gives, to maintain his investment as an apostle with full 
powers to issue moral commandments ; for its object is rather 
to turn attention to the momentous character and obligation 
of the precepts so enjoined. 

(Ver. 3.) Tovto yap ccttiv deXqpa tov 0eoi~, 6 ay lacr/Ao? v/Jxav 
— " For this is God's will — your sanctification."' Tdp intro- 
duces an illustrative reason ; and tovto, emphatic in position, 
is not the predicate (De Wette), but the subject, and refers 
back to rlvas, it being specially included among them ; for 
this, about to be uttered, is the will of God — to wit, your 
sanctification. The omission of the article before OiXtj/ua has 
been accounted for in various ways ; either because what 
follows as a special injunction does not exhaust the whole 
will of God (Liinemann), or because after verbs substantive 
and nuncupative it is frequently omitted (Ellicott). Nam 
pronomen ubi pro subiecto habendum est, substantivum aut&m 
praed/icati locum obtinet, articulus omittitur (Stallbaum, 
Plato, Apolog., p. 57). What comes Sta. tov Kvplov is in true 


and ultimate source and authority the will of God. ' Aytao-yuo?, 
in apposition to rovro, preserves, according to its derivation, 
its active force (see under iii, 13) ; and v/ulwv is the genitive of 
object — the sanctification of you. Estius, Koppe, Usteri, 
Olshausen, and Hofmann take it wrongly, with a passive 
meaning, as equivalent to ayiaxrvvi], which, however, does not 
mean (roo^pocrvvi], as (Ecumenius and Theophylact give it. 
But " the termination pog is generally found with a class of 
nouns which represent the action of the verb proceeding from 
the subject; and may be expressed by the infinitive active used 
as a noun" (Donaldson, Cratylus,% 253). On account of the 
to /ul}] before inrepftaivetv of ver. C, taken as parallel to tovto, 
some give ayiacrp.6? the more limited meaning, which that 
verse would suggest, of purity from sexual sin ; " this is the 
will of God " airexea-Qai . . . eiSevat eKauTOV . . . to pi] virep- 
fimveiv. So Turretin, Pelt, Schott, Olshausen, Lunemann. 
But there is another and better method of explanation. (1) 
The explanatory infinitive cnrexitrOai, without the article, de- 
fines negatively the ayiacrpo?, or, at least, a portion of it 
requiring immediate enforcement. (2) Then clStvai, also with- 
out the article, gives a positive explanation in continuance 
of the negative statement. (3) But in to virepfiaiveiv, the 
article brings it into a line with 6 ayiacrpo?, and as a dis- 
tinct exemplification suggested by the second clause of ver. 4. 

a.'rrexeo'Oai vp.a<s airo t>7? 7ropveia$ — " that ye abstain from 
fornication." The infinitive is explanatory of the more general 
ayiacrpos. Winer, § 44, 1. Your sanctification is God's will ; 
and His will for you under this aspect, and in your present 
position in Thessalonica, is that you abstain from fornication, 
which the heathen around you scarcely reckon a sin, and to 
which previous habits, beliefs, and surrounding temptations 
may be ever tempting you. The preposition airo is repeated 
after the compound verb with which it is incorporated, as in 
v. 22, though it is sometimes omitted, as in 1 Tim. iv, 3. In 
Acts xv, 20 the preposition is inserted, and in v, 29 it is 
omitted, with the same construction and references. There is 
therefore no substantial difference of meaning, though with 
a7ro, according to Tittmann (De Synon., I, p. 225), the separa- 
tion looks more ad rem. Uopvela may be taken in a wide 


sense ; and, indeed, some manuscripts and fathers read 7ra'en/? 
t»7?- The Syriac and some of the fathers give iraui^ for the 
article. In every sense and aspect the sin referred to is to be 
abstained from, and all the more as it was reckoned among 
things indifferent, and was commonly practised (Terence, 
Adelphi, i, 2, 21). In Horace, Sat., I, 2, 33, occurs a sententia 
dice Catonis in praise of 7ropvela. Cicero says of any one who 
speaks as the apostle has done here, est Me quidem valde 
sever us ; and that the sin is not only not abhorrent ab hujus 
seculi licentia, verum etiam a majorum consuetudine, atque 
concessis — quando enim hoc non factum est ? quando repre- 
hensv/m? quando non permissuml (Orat. pro M. Gaelio, 48, 
p. 285, vol. II, pars ii, Opera, ed. Orellius.) Consult Grotius 
on Acts xv, 20; Becker's Charicles, p. 241. 

(Ver. 4.) eioevai eaacrTOv v/urn* to eaurov crKeuos KTaaOai ei 
ayiaa-jUM tcai ti/j.}] — " that every one of you know how to get 
himself his own vessel in sanctification and honour" — another 
explanatory infinitival clause, without the article, and parallel 
to arrex^crOai (Philip, iv, 12). There has been no little debate 
on the meaning of cr/ceyo?. One may dismiss at once the more 
special meanings assigned to it, as membrum virile — the view 
of Er. Schmidt and others, mentioned in Wolf. The word, 
certainly, has such a sense in iElian (Hid. Animal, xvii, 11, 
p. 379, vol. I, ed. Jacobs), but not in the New Testament. A 
great many expositors give o-fcevos the sense of body — one's 
own body, and as many take it in the sense of wife — one's own 
wife. Thus Theodoret says, rives to eavrov encevos ryv o/u6£vya 
ijpfxi'ivevarav, eyo? Se pojuic^u) to eKa<TT0i> <rco/ua ovtco? uvtov kc- 
K-\>]K€i>ai. Theodoret had been preceded in his view by Chiy- 
sostom, and it is held by (Ecumenius, Theophylact, Tertullian, 
Ambrosiaster, Pelagius, Calvin, Musculus, Zanchius, Hunnius, 
Drusius, Piscator, a-Lapide, Beza, Grotius, Hammond, Tur- 
retin, Bengel, Flatt, Schrader, Pelt, Olshausen, Baumgarten- 
Crusius, Macknight, and Wordsworth. Primasius explains 
mum corpus castum servando sanctificet et honor et, vel certc 
taut am propter Jilios uccorem cognoscat. But there are several 
objections to this view. (1) It is questioned if cr/ceuo?, of or 
by itself, can ever mean the body. It is, indeed, employed in 
this sense, but usually the metaphor has some distinct ad- 


junct, or is explained in being used. Thus in 2 Cor. iv, 7, the 
epithet oorpa/aWs is added — the body being called an "earthen 
vessel." So in the other passages commonly quoted as to 
a-Keuos tou irvev/j-uroq (Barnabas, Ep., vii, 4; xi, 1(5; xxi, p. 13, 
24, 42, ed. Hefele) ; ayyelov is used of the body in its in- 
strumental connection with the soul in Philo (De Migration?. 
Abraham, p. 418, &c). See Loesner. Cicero says too, "corpus 
qv. Idem quasi vas est aid aliquod. animi receptaculum" (Tuscul. 
Disput., i, 22) ; corpus, quod vas quasi constitit ejus (Lucre- 
tius, iii, 441). But in these cases the figurative meaning is 
brought out by an epithet, or by the contextual phraseology. 
Nor can any proof be taken from the uses of the Hebrew £?, 
which has so many various significations, and which does not 
simply signify body, even in the phrase " the vessels of the 
young men are holy " (1 Sam. xxi, 5). The tropical uses of 
o-Kevo? in Acts ix, 15 ; Rom. ix, 22, 23 ; 2 Tim. ii, 21, have no 
relation to the clause before us. It cannot be proved, then, 
that a-Kevos ever means by itself the body, and the instances 
adduced by Vorstius are not to the point (De Hebr. N. Test., 
pp. 24, 25, 1705). (2) Nor can to eaurov o-Kevo? Kraadai mean 
to possess his own body, for KTacrOai means to acquire, not to 
possess. That each one of you should acquire his own body, 
yields no tolerable meaning. Some of the Greek fathers, how- 
ever, attempt to evade this by the paraphrase, foeis avro 
KTw/meOa orav fxevy naOapov, " we acquire it when it remains 
pure " (Chrysostom). " Sin takes possession " (ktutcu), Theo- 
plvylact says, " of the body when it is tainted by sin, but 
when it is purified we make it our own" (///xef? avro KTw/ueOa). 
But this is only repeating the verb without explaining it, and 
this verbal sense is rendered impossible by the negative clause 
fxrj ev iraOei, which implies another party or person. The same 
objection applies to the " sole admissible " explanation of 
Olshausen, who makes the verb signify dominion over the 
body — " to guide and master his body as a true instrument of 
the soul." Wordsworth also eludes the lexical difficulty, by 
rendering the verb to acquire and hold, quoting the Pharisee's 
boast (Luke xviii, 12), "I give tithes," iravra ocra KTU>/xai, but 
the verb has in the quotation its proper meaning, "I get" or 
" acquire," i.e., " of all my increase." So Matt, x, 9, where the 


verb is vaguely rendered " provide," but wrongly " possess " in 
Luke xxi, 19; "purchased," in Acts i, 18; viii, 20; in the last 
instances the version is coloured by the context ; the word is 
rightly rendered " obtained " in Acts xxii, 28. (3) Nor can 
eauTov tit into that interpretation, as from its position the stress 
is on it. It cannot stand as the equivalent of a mere possess- 
ive pronoun; nor can it in any way denote the individuality, 
die Tchheit, by which the \Jsvx>'i is distinguished from the 
a-Kevo?. It simply denotes his own in special possession. 
Neither noun, verb, nor pronoun can thus sustain the interpre- 
tation which we have been considering. 2«reuo? does not, with- 
out any adjunct or defining genitive, signify body ; nor does 
Krdojuai denote to possess; nor does euvrov mark any distinc- 
tion. The other interpretation gives ovcet/o? the meaning of 
wife, a meaning which the substantive may have, while the 
true sense of the verb and pronoun is also preserved. Theo- 
dore of Mopsuestia has given this sense, o-Keuos ri]v iS'iav 
eKacTTov yajU€T>]v ouo/ud^ei {Opera, p. 14>5, ed. Fritzsche). 
Augustine explains the noun by uxor (Serm. 278, Opera, vol. 
V, p. 1G54, Gaume) ; and again, qui suum vas possidet, id est, 
eonjugem suam {Opera, vol. X, p. 613; Cont. Julian., xxxix, 
p. 1125, Gaume). And in favour of this view it may be noted 
that (a) The noun, as in Hebrew usage, may mean a wife. 
Thus the examples from Schottgen : In convivio illius impii 
regis Ahasuerus aliqui dicebant; Mulieres Medicae sunt 
r pulchriores : alii vero ; Persicae sunt pulchriores. Dixit ad 
eos Ahasuerus ; vas meum, quo ego utor « vnnm »w» • f ?2 } neque 
Medicum, neque Persicum est, sed Chaldaicum. An vultis 
illam rid-/ re? Illi responderunt : Volumus. Quicunque 
enim semen suum immittit k-ieo k^i nnc3, In vas nonbonum 
tile semen suum deturpat {Horae Hebr., p. 827). Compare 
I, p. iii, 7. (2) The verb Kraa-dai is often used in this connec- 
tion — ktu<tQui yvvaiKd. Thus 6 KToofievos yvvaiKu evap^eTui 
KT>'i(reu)! (Ecclus. xxxvi, 29) ; Ti]v yvvalica MaaXwi/ KeKTi][xat e/xavrip 
(Ruth iv, 10) ; ravrrjv /a'/cr^at, Socrates speaking of Xantippe 
(Xenoph., Symp., ii, 10, p. 9, ed. Bornemann). (3) The pronoun 
euurou preserves its proper significance and emphasis — his own 
— her who specially is his own, as his wife. (4) The context 
points very distinctly in this direction. There is the decided 



prohibition or negative aspect, to abstain from fornication, and 
there is now the positive and permitted aspect — the divinely 
appointed remedy against that sin. Com p. 1 Cor. vii, 1, 2. See 
Ellicott. This view has been maintained by Thomas Aquinas, 
Zwingli, Estius, Balduin, Wetstein, Schottgen, Koppe, Schott, 
De Wette, Koch, Bisping, Ewald, Hofmanu, Riggenbach, 
Liinemann, &c. De Wette would take the tropical a-Kevos 
more directly, and understands it vom Wcrhzeuge zur 
Bcfi'ledhjiing des Geschlechtstriebes, an interpretation which 
would include both sexes, as the woman has power over the 
man (1 Cor. vii, 4). Besides, in warning against iropvela, the 
man is usually addressed, but the woman is implied ; and so 
here the counsel to the husband is mutatis wiutandAs for the 
wife (1 Cor. vi, 15-18). This virtual comprehension of both 
sexes gets rid of the objection of Calvin and Olshausen to the 
view which we adopt, to wit, that the exhortation to purity 
would not apply to unmarried men or widowers, and not at all 
to women (1 Cor. vii, 2-9). The last phrase, ey dyiao-juM kcu ti/u?], 
" in sanctification and honour," is connected with KTaaQai as 
its sphere or ethical element, the active sense of the first noun 
being so far shaded by its connection with the abstract ti/luj. 
The Thessalonian believers were to abstain from all forms of 
illicit sexual intercourse, and were in one way to preserve them- 
selves from it, by each not simply getting a wife, but getting to 
himself his own wife according to God's ordinance in purity 
and honour (Heb. xiii, 4; Gen. i, 28; ii, 24). The objection to 
this view that it degrades woman under the appellation of a-Keuo? 
is met by quoting the words of Peter, co? acrQevea-repM (riceuei tu> 
ywaiKeiM (1 Peter iii, 7), and bearing in mind that it is only 
in one special aspect of relation that the epithet is given. 

(Ver. 5.) fxr] ev irdOei €7ri6vfxlag — "not in lustfulness of desire." 
The second noun e-jnQvfxia is the general term, and is sometimes 
used in a good sense in the New Testament and Septuagint, 
but it has often epithets and genitives attached to it which 
show its evil nature. See under Col. iii, 5 and Gal. v, 24. It 
is rather the irdQos than the e-rnQu^la which is here condemned. 
The word occurs twice besides in the New Testament (Col. 
iii, 5; Rom. i, 26). Cicero says, "quae Gfraeoi iraOn vocant, nobis 
'perturbationes appellari magis placet quam morbos" (Tusc. 


Disput,, iv, 5). It is according to Zeno rj aXoyo? /ecu irapu <\>v<nv 
yjsvxw kii>>](tis, ?/ op/j.}] Tr\eova^ov<ja. Diogerwes Laertius, Zeno, 63, 
p. 160, vol. II, Opera, eel. Huebner). UdOo? is ever wrong 
and sinful passion, and when eindvpia is mastered by it, when 
mere sensual gratification is the one pervading accompaniment, 
then the prohibition of the apostle is set at nought, and mar- 
riage in motive and sphere is brought down to the level of 
TTopvela, for it is contracted Sia rtjv pl^iv poi»]v airXws (Theo- 
dor. Mops., p. 145, ed. Fritzsche). 

KaOcnrep kui t<1 e6vi] T.a P-rj etSoTa tov Qeov — " even as the 
Gentiles also that know not God." The particle kou, omitted in 
the Authorized Version, occurs often in such comparisons, and 
compares the class implied in previous words with the heathen. 
Klotz, Devarins, II, 635; Harking, I, 126. Compare ii, 13; 
iii, 6-12. According to Fritzsche the article is prefixed to t'Ov)], 
uhl de paganis in wnivermm loquitur (ad Bom., ii, 1-1). The 
subjective negative prj is employed, as the Gentile ignorance of 
God is asserted from the writer's own point of view, and as the 
preceding clauses are "oblique and infinitival." Winer, § 55, 5. 
Their ignorance is not regarded as a simple fact, but as a fact 
which forms a portion of the argument ; they sink into such 
vices from their ignorance. Gayler, p. 275, &c. The Gentiles 
know not God, and what else can be expected than that they 
should fall into the sin denounced, and what greater inconsis- 
tency can be predicated of believers than that they are 
governed by these inordinate passions which characterize 
the Gentiles because they are ignorant of God. See under 
Gal. iv, 8. 

(Ver. 6.) to p.}] virepfiiuveLv kui irXeoveKreiv ev tw Trpu.ypa.Ti 
top aSe\(pov avrou — " that no one go beyond and overreach his 
brother in the matter." The previous parallel infinitive — 
elSevai — is anarthrous, but the article gives this clause a kind 
of substantival force, and shows that it is not co-ordinate with 
eiSevcu, but with 6 ayiaa-po? of verse 3 ; the verse being there- 
fore really the second parallel to that clause, and Tiva, suggested 
by the following avrov, and not eKucrTov, being supplied to the 
infinitive. The two infinitives from the structure of the clause 
both govern a8e\<f)6v. The first verb vTrepfialvew occurs only 
here, and literally signifies, to pass over or beyond, such as 


walls or mountains (2 Sam. xxii, 30 ; Xenoph., A nub., vii, 3, 43) ; 
then with two ethical significations, to pass by, that is, to leave 
unnoticed (Herod, iii, 89 ; Isasus, p. 38, G) ; and to go beyond, 
that is, to surpass (Plato, Timceus, 24 d). With an intransi- 
tive sense (as in Iliad, ix, 497; Euripides, Alcest, 1077), the verb 
might mean to transgress ; but with an accusative, it may sig- 
nify to set one at nought by trespassing on his right. The 
second verb irXeoveKreh, as its composition denotes, with an 
accusative of person means to take advantage of any one for 
the sake of gain, or more generally, to defraud (2 Cor. vii, 2 ; 
xii, 17, 18) ; or what Meyer on the place characterizes als Act 
der eigentUchen Habsucht is involved in the verb. 'A^eA^o? 
is not a neighbour (Schott, Koch), but specifically a Christian 
brother. The context shows that in ev tm irpuyixari there is a 
definite allusion, and the phrase cannot mean " in any matter," 
as to) cannot be taken for run. Ilpayfxa is something involved 
in the previous verses, for it cannot be changed as by Wolf and 
De Wette into tchV irpuyixaa-i, " matters of business " (im 
Geschdfte). The fourth and fifth verses naturally lead to a defi- 
nite interpretation of this verse as following up the previous 
injunctions and presenting another example of what 6 aytacr/xos 
includes. Not a few interpreters take the clause in a general 
sense as a prohibition of covetousness and selfish gi'asping, 
among whom are Zwingli, Calvin, Zanchius, Hunnius, Baldwin, 
Are tins, Grotius, Koppe, Flatt, De Wette, Koch, Bourn an, 
Bisping, Ewald, Hofmann, Riggenbach, Liinemann, &c. 
On the other hand that it is a definite warning against impurity 
or breach of marriage law is held by the Greek fathers, by 
Jerome, Zegerus, a-Lapide, Estius, Wetstein, Kypke, Michaelis, 
Bengel, Baumgarten, Pelt, Schott, Olshausen, Ellicott, Alford, 
Jowett. This is the true interpretation. (1) Because the 
reason why virepfialveiv is disallowed is that God called 
us — not eir\ uKaOapj-ln, which is in verse 7 put in con- 
trast with ayia&ij.w. The meaning of the term in such a 
connection cannot well be doubted. (2) The structure of the 
paragraph points to this interpretation. First, -wopvela is for- 
bidden, and then, secondly, its special remedy is pointed out, 
with appended directions for the spirit and manner in which 
a wife should be taken, and then, thirdly, and naturally, warn- 


ing against any violation of marriage law is delivered, and 
followed up by the awful menace of divine indignation. (3) Tw 
-n-pdy/uari cannot mean business generally, ;'/ irpayp-areia, " in 
chaffering" (Wycliffe), or in emendo et vendendo (Piscator), 
but " in the matter" ; and that matter is to eavrou <TKeuo$ 
KTuo-Oai, and the verse therefore implies impurity and 
adultery. The phrase refers to incestuous sin in 2 Cor. 
vii, 11. It is not correct in translation, though it is true in 
result, to explain it iv t>j fillet (Theophylact), or to say 
with Estius, -wpay/xa verecunde dixit Apostolus pro concubitu. 
(4?) It is no objection to affirm that the two verbs irapa- 
fialveiv Kai 7r\eoveKT€?v should have their simple commercial 
signification, for the context demands a modified ethical sense 
and application. One may set at nought and defraud his 
brother more deeply and basely in matrimonial than in mer- 
cantile life. UXeoveKTelv does not indeed in itself contain the 
idea of unchastity, any more than the clause in the tenth 
commandment (Exod. xx, 17), " Thou shalt not covet thy 
neighbour's wife ; " yet Theodoret says, irXeove^lav t>V p.oiyeiav 
eKaXecre, which only gives the desire a different object from 
money. Hopvela and irXeove^ia occur together in Rom. i, 29 ; 
1 Cor. v, 10 ; vi, 9, 10; Ephes. v, 3, 5 ; Col. iii, 5. Compare 
Wisdom xiv, 12, 2G. The apostle's residence in Corinth at 
the moment may have laid upon him the necessity of the injunc- 
tion. Compare 1 Cor. v, 9 ; vi, 9-10; 2 Cor. xii, 21. Of such 
impurities Burns has said — 

" They harden a' within." 

(5) Nor does the occurrence of the phrase irep\ iravrwv 
tovtooi', adduced by Koch, Lunemann, and De Wette, present 
any real objection, as if it implied that more sins than one are 
reprimanded, whereas in our exegesis only one is thought of. 
But both iropvela and poiye'ia are included; and, as Alford 
observes, it is not ravra -wavra which the apostle uses, and the 
phrase only generalizes from the sin mentioned to a wider 
range. (G) One might perhaps hint, too, that in cases of 
grasping and over-reaching, human law sternly interferes ; but 
in the cases specified, law was in those days inoperative, and 
God Himself, as we are told, assumes the vindication. Chrysos- 


torn thus illustrates — "He has well said to p>j virepfiaiveiv. 
For to each man God has assigned a wife, and has set bounds 
to nature, that there may be intercourse with one only ; there- 
fore, intercourse with another is transgression and robbery, and 
the takiDg of more than belongs to one — 7r\ecu'ef/a — or rather 
it is more cruel than any robbery, for we grieve not so much 
when our wealth is carried off, as when marriage is invaded. 
Dost thou call him thy brother and defraudest him, and that 
in things which are forbidden ? Here he speaks concerning 
adultery, but above also concerning all fornication." The 
earnest and plain-speaking peroration of the Golden-mouth 
which follows, discloses a sad state of society, and the strong 
terms are, alas, not inapplicable to the present day. The difficulty 
of the interpretation has arisen from the fact that on this 
subject the apostle, as Joannes Damascenus says, €v<pi'jp.(jo$ Se 
crcpoSpu kui e7riKeiia\<j)s ti]v poiyeiav wpop-acre. The injunc- 
tions are enforced by the solemn thought — 

Siori eicSiKOs TLvpio? irep\ iravrwv tovtwv — " because that the 
Lord is the avenger concerning all these things." j 'Ek&/cc>9, 
used only here and in Rom. xiii, 4, has passed away from its 
original meaning of " without law," to signify one who main- 
tains law, one who avenges (Wisdom xii, 12; Ecclus. xxx, C). 
The verb e/ccW<o may be followed by a simple accusative, or 
by TLva, to avenge one upon another — by riva a-wo tlvos, or by 
tlvi, to make retribution to him, or by irepl with a noun as here, 
€K§iKi'jcrw 7rep) rod e'Ovov? pov (1 Mace, xiii, 6). Suicer sub voce. 
The last words — " all those things " — toutoov not being mascu- 
line, as the Authorized Version supposes, but not the earlier 
English ones — have a wide range of reference to all the sins 
warned against in the previous verses. The caution against 
these sins has a similar basis or initiatory enforcement in 
Gal. v, 21 ; Ephes. v, 5, 6 ; Col. iii, (5. Liineinann adduces from 
Homer's Batrachom., the phrase e^ef #eo? skSlkov oppu. 

Kauws kui Trpoenrap.ev vp.iv kcu StepaprvpapeOa — "as also we 
told you before, and did solemnly testify." The spelling 
Trpoenropev is found in A K L and some of the fathers, the 
other spelling in B D F N. The comparative kcu is connected 
with KaOoos as in verse 5 — see under it. Upo means before the 
avenging takes place, and the reference is to the apostle's 


words, spoken when he was among them. See under Gal. 
v, 21. The last compound verb witnesses to his thorough and 
continuous testifying on such points, so essential to Christian 
life and progress. 

( v er. 7). Ov yap eKaXearev >]/ 6 Oeo? eiri aKaOapaia, u\\ ev 
ayiaafiM — "for God called us not for uncleanness, but in sancti- 
fication." By yap the reason is assigned for the statement just 
made, that the Lord is avenger of all such things. For the act 
ascribed to God in calling, see under Gal. i, 6, and compare ii, 
12. 'Ett/ denotes purpose, as in Gal. v, 13; Ephes. ii, 10 
(Winer, § 48, c; Kruger, § 68, 41), and ev marks the spiritual 
element in which they were called. Nor is there any brevilo- 
quence — um zu sein in, ut essemns. ^7rl,Jinem, ev, indolent rei 
magis exprimit (Bengel). 'A/ca0«yo<x/a is the sexual impurity 
pointed out and condemned, and ayiacrfxos with its active 
sense is not only the opposite (iii, 13), but embraces all that 
growth in spiritual purity, which prepares believers for that 
kingdom to which God has called them. 

(Ver. 8.) TOiyapovv 6 aOeTccv ovk av0pco7rov aOeTe'i, aAAu tov 
Qeov — " wherefore, then, the despiser despises not man but God." 
The first compound particle syllogistically introduces a strong 
influence, knitting together as premises what has been already 
stated from verse 3, and basing a solemn conclusion upon it 
(Heb. xii, 1; Xenoph., Anab., I, 9, 18; Klotz, Devar., 
vol. II, p. 738 ; Hoogeveen, p. 502). '0 aOercciv loses the idea of 
time, and becomes a virtual substantive (Gal. i, 23 ; Winer, § 
45, 7). The verb uOerw, first found in Polybius, has sometimes 
the strong sense of to cast aside, or violate, to annul, or make 
void (Mark vii, 9; and see under Gal. ii, 21), but it often 
denotes to despise or reject (Mark vi, 26; Luke vii, 30; x, 16 — 
four times). There is no expressed object to the participle, and 
it is all the more significant without it. It is needless and 
enfeebling, therefore, to propose any supplement. The apostle 
fixes attention on the act and the actor — the despised and 
the despiser. Various supplements have been proposed- — istam 
legem (Koppe, Schott), t>V K\>jcriv (Pelt), e^e (Flatt), hoBG (Vul- 
gate and Beza). The real objective is of course the precepts 
already given— not repeated, particularized, or summed up. but 
so present to the mind of the reader that he can be at no loss 


about them, while the emphasis is put on the person 
and on the act which is shown to involve a heinous sin 
and an awful peril. The phrase ovk avOpunrov aWa tov 
Qeov presents a direct and absolute antithesis, and is not to be 
softened into "not so much man as God" (Estius), or " not only 
man but also God" (Macknight, Flatt). Winer, § 55,8. As 
ai>9pto7ro? has no article, the meaning is general and may 
include as well the apostle himself, who has given the 
solemn charge (Pelagius, Beza, Schott), and the brother tov 
7rXeoveKT>]0ii'Ta (CEcumenius, Pelt). Hofmann takes the refer- 
ence to be, the misused woman. The article before Qeov may 
not be translated, but it has a specializing power — almost as 
Ellicott says, ipsum Deum. Whatever may be the refer- 
ence in avQpwwo?, the apostle fixes down the sin as one against 
God, who has forbidden sexual impurities, and who has 
ordained the marriage relation, so that whoever lawlessly 
indulges in the one, or wilfully invades the other, throws off 
the authority of God — of God — 

tov kou Sovtu to Hveu/ua avTOv to dyiov eig — " who also 
gave his holy Spirit unto you." There are several various read- 
ings. ABU 3 , the Claromontane Latin, the Peshito, and the 
Gothic version, with several of the Greek Fathers, omit kou; but 
it is found in D 1 F G K L ^, the Philoxenian Syriac, the Vulgate, 
and others of the fathers, and may therefore be retained, 
though Lachmann omits it and Alford brackets it. The similar 
appearance of tov to Sovtu may have led some copyist to omit it, 
and its insertion could not well be accounted for. Then 
BDF^ 1 read SiSovra, but Sovtol is read in A K LN 3 , most mss., 
very many versions, and some fathers. It is difficult to decide, 
only SiSovtu may be a correction in order to represent the gift 
as a present one. The Received Text has ;/yua?, but on the 
slender authority of A, some mss., the Vulgate, &c. ; but vjua$ 
is found in BDFKLN and not a few of the fathers. The 
change to fnuas may have been made under the impression that 
av9pco7rov meant the apostle, while this clause, taken to assert 
his inspiration, thus aggravates the sin of despising him. The 
kou introduces a new idea — God who called us in sanctification 
and also, that we might fully reach it, gave unto us His Holy 
Spirit. Bengel well says novum hie additur momentum. The 


sin is shown in its heinousness as the despisal of God, who to 
enable us to reach this ayiacrpos in which he called us, has in 
addition conferred upon us His Holy Spirit. He then who 
indulges in the sins forbidden and falls into aicaOaparia, — as he 
frustrates the end of the divine call, and has nothing of its 
spiritual element — despises not man but God, who to elevate 
men above that impurity and to provide for their sanctification, 
gave them the Holy Spirit to do His work in securing the final 
perfection of His people. This divine gift is named solemnly 
and emphatically to ILvevpa to dyiov, the third person of the 
Ever-blessed Trinity; to LTi/eu/xa, the life of believers; to ayiov, 
not only in essence but because His gracious function is to 
implant and sustain holiness — uvtov, His, proceeding from 
Him, carrying out His blessed purpose in those who believe. 
And He is a gift (Sovto) conferred on true believers, as really 
as the Son is a gift, for we are utterly unworthy ; and a gift 
through Christ applying what He has provided in His incarna- 
tion and death. See under Ephes. i, 13. The concluding- 
words el$ v/j.a$ are not equivalent to vp.iv (Koppe, Pelt), but in 
vos, the idea of direction being implied, not of Raumlichlceit 
(Liinemann). ii, 9 ; Gal. iv, G. In this paragraph we have the 
Lord Jesus, God who calls, and the Spirit who is given — Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost — a triune interest in those who have 
accepted salvation. Compare Luke xi, 13 ; John iii, 34 ; Acts 
v, 32 ; viii, 18 ; xv, 8 ; Rom. v, 5 ; 2 Cor. i, 22. 

(Ver. 0.) Uepl Se t>}$ <pi\a.Se\<fna$ ov \peiav eyere ypcupeiv — "Now concerning brother-love ye have no need that I 
write to } r ou." By Se the apostle passes to other topics some- 
what in contrast to the previous statement about certain sins — 
to the inculcation of brotherly love and of honest industry in 
their secular calling. The </>{Aa6V\</>/a is the love of a brother, 
that is, a fellow-believer or Christian brother. The last part of 
the compound word is the object of the love and does not 
characterize its name — brotherly, not because I feel that I am 
his brother, but because I know that he is my brother — 
(ptXapyuplu, ^CKavQpunr'ia, ipCkavSpia. 

The next clause creates some difficulties. The ordinary 
construction is according to Liinemann inadmissible, because 
this use of the active infinitive is confined to cases in which 

138 COMMENTARY ON ST. PA l'1/S [Chap. IT. 

no special personal reference is attached to the verb; but 
here vp.?v belongs to ypd<f>etv, and he affirms that either 
epe would be used, or the passive ypdfacrOai as in verse 1. 
Bournan and Reiche have no objections to rjpa<s or riva (Heb. 
v, 11). It is true that the instances usually adduced as analo- 
gous are not strictly so, as from Soph., (Edip. Col., 37, e^e*? yap 
X^pov ovx ayvov 7rareiv, or from Thucydides, i, 38, yv .... 
6 OefiicrTOKXrjs . . . agios Ouvpdtrai, or Euripid., Med., 318, as in 
these cases there is no personal word connected like with 
the verbs. Liinemann therefore adopts the reading 't^opev 
which is found in D 1 F N 4 (B having eixopev), in the Latin and 
Philoxenian Syriac versions, and in Chrysostom, Theophylact, 
and some of the later fathers. But the common reading has 
good authority, AD 3 KL^ X , the Peshito, Theodoret, Damas- 
cenus, &c. It is probable that eyo/Aej/ came in on account of 
the grammatical difficulty in the same way as many codices 
have ypd(pe(x6ai as in chap, v, 1. The construction is harsh and 
irregular, perhaps a colloquialism, the infinitive having virtually 
a passive sense — ye have no need that one should write to 
you, or ye have no need of one's writing to you. Winer, § 44, 
8, 1 ; Kiihner, § G40, a, 3; A. Buttmann, p. 223. The first clause 
ov xP e ' Lav ex eTe * s a rhetorical touch, delicately hinting a gentle 
reproof, /caret Trapd\ei\]siv Se tijp irapaivecnv TiOijtri (Theophylact). 
Compare 2 Cor. ix, 1 ; Phile. 19 ; chap. v. 1. The figure prae- 
teritio, assumed by some here, implies that something is 
omitted that might have been said in order to induce a more 
ready compliance — or as Chrysostom says, Nw Se tw eiirelv, 
ou XP e ' ia €< TTl p-el^ov eiroirjcrev ij ei ei7rei>. They did not need 
to be written to on brother-love, for they knew its nature 
and obligation (verse 10); but their practice was not cpaite so 
full as their knowledge. Compare the spirit and wording of 
the first verse of the chapter. There is no contrast like that 
assumed by Estius and Benson ; they needed specially to be 
taught purest chastity as in the previous verses, but there was 
less occasion to say much about what follows — - 

uvtoi yap vpecg OcoSlSuktol eare ei$ to ayu7rav uAA?/- 
\ou$ — " for you yourselves are taught of God to love 
another." Tap gives the reason why there was no need 
for him to write to them, for they themselves are taught, 


and that by God — the stress lying on ctvrql vfxeh, 
coupled with SiSuktoi. They who were taught had no need 
of farther teaching; but 6eo in the compound term, which has 
been coined for the occasion, cannot be so subordinate as Ellicott 
seems to regard it. The contrast is not indeed — when God 
teaches, the apostle may be silent — wo Gott lehrt, kavn ich 
schweigen (Olshausen) ; but the fact that the teaching is of 
God, a fact too which is expressed by a significant compound 
employed only here, surely gives emphasis to the entire clause, 
is a weighty addition to the statement— not only taught, but 
taught of God — though there is no formal contrast to any other 
teaching, irapa avOpco-rrou p.a6eiv (Chrysostom). In avroi does 
not lie the idea of vos ipsi or of sponte (Schott) which is con- 
tradicted by OeoSlSuKToi (John vi, 45 ; Isaiah liv, 13; Barnabas, 
Ep'tst., § 21, p. 44, Pair. Apost., Opera, ed. Dressel; Schottgen, 
Hot. Heb., p. 829). The allusion is not to the precept as uttered 
by Jesus in John xiii, 34 (Pelagius, Schott, Baumgarten-Cru- 
sius), nor to the divine compassion manifested towards us, and 
of which we should be imitators (Ambrosiaster, Pelt). The 
last clause with eh to ayairav expresses under the purpose 
the contents also of the teaching (iii, 10). The compound 
verbal noun is not to be taken absolutely in the sense of 
deoirvtva-Toi, and this clause regarded as describing the result. 
This mutual love, the tendency and purpose of the divine 
teaching, was an earnest actual affection, manifesting itself in 
such forms and spheres as the state and wants of the churches 
around them opened up for them. Docti estis noil modo intel- 
lectiv, ut sciatis, seel etiam affect u, ut facialis (Estius). To be 
God-taught is to have divine teaching as a divine power and 
life. Brother-love has a special prominence, (1) for it is a 
testing fruit of regeneration (1 John iii, 14 ; iv, 8) ; (2) its visible 
existence is a condition of the world's conversion (John xvii, 
21); (3) a token also of true discipleship (John xiii, 35); (4) wdiile 
it is obedience to Christ's new commandment, and enforced by 
his own example (John xiii, 34 ; xv, 17 ; Eph. v, 2) ; and is 
essential to the spiritual growth of the church (Ephes. iv, 1G). 

(Ver. 10.) kul yap iroielTe avTO eh wavTa? tov$ aSe\<pov<} ev oXy 
rfi MuKeSovln — " for ye also are doing it toward all the 
brethren which are in Macedonia." The second tovs is omitted 


in A D 1 F, but retained on preponderant authority. Our ver- 
sion renders wrongly "and indeed," for yap introduces one- 
ground of the previous statement " } r e are taught of God," 
and that ground is, not only were they taught it, but they 
were also doing it, kcu being thus taken along with the verb. 
Hartung, vol. I., p. 137. De Wette takes this yap as co-ordi- 
nate with the previous one, and as furnishing an additional 
argument that on the duty of brother-love they needed 
no one to Avrite to them. But the yap of this verse is best 
taken with the immediately preceding clause introduced by the 
first yap. He needed not to write to them (yap) for they had 
been taught of God. By avro is meant to ayairav aXhi)\ovs, and 
els marks the direction of the love toward all the fellow- 
believers, not only in their own city, but also in the whole 
province, including Philippi and Beroea, along with other places 
to which the gospel had been carried. It is added — 

7rapaKa\ou/u.ev Se, aSe\(j>oi, ire pia rreveiv paWov — " But we 
exhort you, brethren, to abound still more." The apostle incul- 
cates an increase of this love which, according to the previous 
verse, they already possessed, Se implying a slight contrast 
between the fact and the exhortation. Their love was not per- 
fect, but was capable of increased intensity, guided by a grow- 
ing Christian intelligence and experience. The infinitive present 
denotes the permanence of the act. Winer, § 44, 7. What the 
manifestations of this brother-love were we do not know, only 
from the use of the verb -woieiTe we may infer that their love 
had embodied itself in some acts of substantial Christian benefi- 
cence — perhaps of hospitality, liberal relief of the poor, or kind 
refuge afforded to such as might be the victims of persecution. 
Calvin finds an argument — a major e ad minus ; if their love 
spread through the whole of Macedonia, he infers that it is not 
to be doubted that they loved one another — quln ipsi mutuo 
inter se anient. We know that afterwards the apostle bears 
high testimony to their grace of liberality in the Macedonian 
province (2 Cor. viii, 1, 2). They are warned still further — 

(Ver. 11.) kol <pi~\oTi/ui.elcr6ai tja-vx^iv — " and to make it your 
aim to be quiet." It is unnatural in the extreme on the part of 
Ewald and others to connect this infinitive with the previous 
irepKTcreveiv\ov — such a connection would be without example 


(see Liinemann's note on Evvakl), and it is as wrong too in 
Liinemann to assert that there is no connection whatever. 
The juxtaposition of the counsels will not he thought so start- 
ling, eingedenk tier raschen Uebergange, if we remember the 
apostle's rapid transitions in the practical parts of his other 
epistles. But there is plainly a connection with 7rapaKa\ov/uLev; 
though the themes of exhortation are not very similar, yet 
some inner relations must have been present to the apostle's 
mind. Olshausen's proposed connection is artificial and incor- 
rect. He supposes that all the exhortations are specially con- 
nected with love — first brother-love, and then love to those 
beyond the church — the latter being dwelt upon in this and 
the following verse ; but surely these injunctions to quietness, 
industry, and seemliness, can scarcely be summed up under the 
head of love (Col. iv, 5, 6). 

Theodoret puts the connection in another light — " The one 
counsel is not," he says, " contrary to the other, for it happened 
that some indeed supported the needy generously ; but others, 
on account of the munificence of these persons, neglected 
to work — crw£(3atve yap tov$ p.ev (piXon/uoos -xppiiyelv Tolf 
Scop-tvois Ti]v ^peiav, tov$ Se Sia ti']v tovtoov (piXoTifJuav up-eXelu 
T>J? epyacrlas. That is, the brother-love was abused, and the 
abuse was restlessness and idleness, which, as it had a bad effect 
on onlookers, was rebuked by the apostle, both in itself, and on 
account of its deleterious results. There were of the chief 
women not a few who believed, and they might be imposed 
upon by these idlers (Acts xvii, 4). This is also the view of 
Estius, Benson, Flatt, Koch, De Wette, Alford, and Ellicott, and 
it is at least probable, when other elements are taken into 
account. One objection of Liinemann, that in such a case two 
distinct parties must be addressed by the apostle, whereas 
there is no trace of such division in the paragraph, is of no 
great moment, for often the apostle puts into general terms as 
if speaking to the whole church what is really applicable 
to one section of it. His other objection, that in this 
case the stress would only fall on epya^eo-Qai raff x € P <T * 11 ' v/uloov 
is denied, for the opposite of >}cn<Ya'^W and Trpdatjeiv to. '!Sia is as 
plainly condemned as idleness and is the parent of it. It is 
probable that mistaken notions about the immediate coming of 


the Saviour may have unsettled many minds and led them to 
live in this indolent dependence on their richer brethren, in the 
expectation of a new state of society, all old things having 
passed away. At all events the phrase " that ye may have 
need of nothing " or " of no man " implies that they had been 
dependent on some around them, and that dependence arising 
from their own indolence, they could surmount it by steady 
honest industry. Some such law of association must have 
suggested the connection of these precepts to the apostle's 
mind. Some take the first infinitive <pi\oTi/txeia-9ai by itself as 
an independent infinitive, as in the alternative explanation of 
Theophylact, Calvin, and Hemming. Calvin says, that he 
recommends a sacred emulation, that they may strive among 
themselves in mutual emulation, or at least he enjoins that 
each one should strive to conquer himself, adding atque hoc 
posterius magis amplector. But the connection and meaning- 
are alike unsatisfactory, especially as kul stands before the 
second verb. The verb literally means, to make it a point of 
honour, to be fired with ambition, to strive eagerly after or to 
endeavour earnestly after (Rost and Falm, sub voce). The word 
occurs in Rom. xv, 20, rendered " have I strived," that is, rather 
making it a point of honour not to build on any other man's 
foundation. In 2 Cor. v, 9, it is translated " we labour," rather 
too neutral a rendering. Though the idea of rijui] never wholly 
fades away in the verb, it can scarcely bear Koppe's translation, 
honovem et laudem restrain in co ponite utvitam agatis tran- 
qiiillam et laboriosam. Examples may be seen in Wetstein 
on Rom. xv, 20, and Kypke, vol II, p. 189. Nor is Wetstein's 
explanation more satisfactory— eleganter dictum : Ambite et 
expetite non honores et magistratus quod pleri que solent. The 
connected infinitive qcrvxafcv has its opposite in the 
Treptepyd^ecrOui of 2 Thes. iii, 11, and in the 7ro\v7rpay/uLO(rvv}] 
which was a marked element of Athenian character (Plato, 
Gorg., 526 c). The unrest or uneasiness here referred to cannot 
be political, as Zwingli, perhaps naturally from his own circum- 
stances, supposes, nor can there be any allusions to seditious 
tumults (Koppe and Schott). Bengel's pithy clause is <pi\orifxla 
politica erubescit ycrvxu^eiv. Their unsettledness of spirits 
was probably produced by their erroneous belief as to the 


speed}- advent of the Saviour. The present state seems to 
have been contemned and its obligations set at nought, through 
that feverish enthusiasm which their false expectations had 
excited within them. They were also in deep uneasiness about 
the share which departed friends and relatives would have in 
the blessing and. glory of the second advent. They are there- 
fore charged to study sedateness and composure. 

koi Trpda-a-eiv tu 'iSia — " and to do your own business." 
According to Phrynichus the usage of ol Tra\aio\ as opposed to 
ol iro\\o\ was tu. epuurov irpaTTw or toc 'iSia epavrov irpaTTto 
(Phiynichus, ed. Lobeck. p. 441). They were to mind their own 
affairs, eneracring in that business which devolved unon them as 
theirs, the life that now' is having its own claims as well as the 
life to come. Still farther and more specifically — 

kgu epyd^e&Qai tu1$ x € P (TIV vpw kciOco? v/nu> Trap}]yyei\apev — 
" and to work with your hands as we enjoined you." The iSiau 
of the Received Text, though it is found in AD 3 KL K 1 and 
many mss., is probably a correction to suit the previous to. 
'tSta, and is omitted in B D l F N 3 , and probably all the versions 
and the Latin fathers, the Greek fathers being divided. The 
infinitives are all in the present, denoting continuous action. 
According to Pelt, Schott, and Hofmann, the phrase means 
qucvvis indiistria, any kind of industry ; but the words are to 
be taken in their plain literal significance, and no doubt the 
majority of the Thessalonian Church belonged to the working- 
classes. They were not to cease manual labour, and by their 
idleness mulct the generosity of others ; but they were to be as 
assiduous at their daily toil as they may have been before the 
Gospel came to the city. At his visit to Thessalonica the 
apostle had noticed the germs of the same evil, and warned 
against them, kuOco? vplv -Trap^yyelXapev, " as we commanded 
you." The reference is to the period of his personal labours 
among them. Their minds were getting unhinged by the novel 
and momentous truths laid open to them, of some of which 
they were forming a wrong conception. The clause underlies 
all these previous charges. The forewarning was suggested by 
tendencies which began to crop out during his sojourn. Minds 
intoxicated by new expectations, became unsettled and specu- 
lative, industry was forsaken or despised, and habits of gadding 


about in listless laboriousness began to show themselves. The 
purpose of all this instruction being — 

(Ver. 12.) "ivu 7repi7raT>]T€ evar^/moi'cog 7rpu? TOvse^oo — " in order 
that ye may walk becomingly toward them that are without." 
The verb is often used for the general tenor of one's life. See 
under verse 1. The adverb ev<rx>]povcos is "honourably," or "in a 
becoming manner," " decently," according to the original mean- 
ing of the term (Rom. xiii, 13; 1 Cor. vii, 35; xiv, 40), the 
" honestly " of the English version having now changed its 
meaning. The opposite seems to be araKTovg, verse 14, and 
utuktw? in 2 Thes. iii, 6. The want of seemliness here referred 
to is plainly what is characterized in these clauses that enjoin 
them to study quietness and do their own business. As Theo- 
phylact says, evrpeirei to. o-wpaTiKU epya avaipovvTas /ecu povov 
to irvevpaTiKov fyiTovvras, or, as (Ecumenius briefly puts it, pi; 
acrx'llJ-ovriTe eiraiTovvTes. LT/oo? signifies direction in reference 
to or towards, not coram (Schott, Koch). Those without ol e£(o 
are those without the Christian community — the non-Christian 
population around them (1 Cor. v, 12, 13; Col. iv, 5); and in 
1 Tim. iii, 7, the phrase is ol e£w6ei>. The term had been used 
among Rabbinical writers, Q'xwvn (Schottgen's Hor. Heb., p. 5G0- 
599). The want of this decent behaviour towards unbelievers 
induced disparaging views of the gospel, created prejudice 
against it, and hindered its reception. Not only is our relation 
towards those within to be consulted, but our relation toward 
those without is also to be studied, lest by any inconsistency 
they should be repelled. 

ku\ pt]Set/o? XP eiuv eX } l T€ — " an( ^ that J e ^ iave nee ^ °f no one " 
or of " nothing." This clause is connected with the previous 
charge to work with their hands, for they would thus earn the 
supply of their wants, and stand in need of assistance from 
nobody. The Authorized Version reads in its text "of nothing," 
but in the margin " of no man." The neuter is adopted by 
many. Liinemann's argument, repeated by Alford, goes for 
little, " to stand in need of no man is for man an impossibility," 
for it may as truly be said in reply, " to stand in need of 
nothing is equally for man an impossibility." A general saying- 
is rightly limited by its context. The dependency of those 
that do not work on their fellow-men is the underlying 


thought, and therefore fitjSevos is better taken in the mascu- 
line as by many commentators, and the Syriac reads *aJ) \^> 
the allusion perhaps being general, not to Christians specialty 
or to non-Christians, though if there be specialty in the refer- 
ence, dependence for support on Christian brethren may be the 
special idea. Chrysostom says, "he had not said that ye may 
not be shamed by begging, but he insinuated it ; if our own 
people are stumbled how much more those who are without, 
when they see a man in good health and able to support him- 
self begging and asking help of others"; "wherefore," he adds, 
" they call us xP^^^P-^opov? — Christmongers "; or as Theodoret, 
" it is disgrace to live in idleness and not acquire things 
necessary from labour — d\\a -rrpoo-aiTov [31 ov ulpecrOai kui toov 
aXKwv 7r poo- eiv (jiiXoTi/uiai'." This dependence of one class 
upon another and wealthier class might soon have introduced 
the unnatural distinction of patron and client into the earl\ T 
Christian church. •« — 

(\ er. 13.) Oi' Ot\op.ev Se vp.a$ ayvoeiv, <we\<poi, irepi tccv 
Koip.cop.hcou — " Now we would not have you to be ignorant, 
brethren, concerning them that are sleeping." The singular 
OeXoa of the Received Text has no authority, and it also reads 
KeKoipLtjpeiwv in the perfect, with DFKL, the majority of the 
minuscules, and the Greek fathers, as Chrysostom, not only on 
this verse, but in many quotations in various parts of his works. 
The present is read in A B N, in some MSS., and is found occasion- 
ally in some of the Greek writers, as in the MSS. of Origen and 
Chrysostom. The reading of the common text has been 
accepted by Tischendorf in his seventh edition, though he had 
given it up in his second. For the present there is uncial 
authority high in value (there is a hiatus in C), and the word 
is unusual, the past tense being with one exception invariably 
employed, as in the following verses, 14 and 15, and in Matt, 
xxvii, 52 ; Acts vii, 60; xiii, 36; 1 Cor. vii, 30; xv, 6 and 20 ; 
Sept., Isaiah xliii, 17. The present being the rarer form there 
would be some temptation to alter it into the more common 
one, though it may be asked, why should the apostle use the 
unwonted tense only in this place and, under a different aspect, 
in 1 Cor. xi, 30 ? There was no such temptation, as Reiche 
alleges, to change the perfect into the present, in defiance of so 



many examples of aorists and perfects. In the phrase ov 
■ OiXcmev, &c, the apostle as usual introduces some new and 
special information (Rom. i, 13; xi, 25; 1 Cor. x, 1; xii, 1; 
2 Cor. i, 8). By the transitional Se he passes to another but 
not wholly disconnected theme. Some ignorance on the subject 
which he is going to discuss had apparently a share in produc- 
ing that state of feeling, that indolence and restlessness which 
he has condemned in the previous verses. The knowledge 
which he is about to impart is given not only as consolator}', 
but as a corrective element. The apostle must have taught the 
doctrine of the resurrection during his abode in Thessalonica, 
but some features of it may have been misapprehended, 
and the special points now to be adduced may not have 
been brought into prominent illustration. These points on 
which he offers enlightenment are not the general state or 
destiny of the departed, but specially the connection of departed 
believers with the Second Advent. 

He wishes them to be enlightened 7rep] row koi/ul(o/ul€vci)v, "con- 
cerning those who are sleeping." The expression is a common 
and natural one. See the passages quoted on the occurrence of 
the participle and also John xi, 11 ; 2 Peter iii, 4; 6 irovna-Beh 
MvpriXos eKoi/mdOi] (Sophocles, Electra, 509) ; ireo-oiv KOi/uujo-aro 
XaXiceov virvov (Homer, II., xi, 211); lepov virvov Koip-arai Qvt'jcrKeiv 
/uLi]\eye roi/s ayaOoi'? (Callimachus, Fragm,, x, p. 56, Opera, ed. 
Bloomfield). The verb often represents the Hebrew 3 ?~' in the 
Septuagint (1 Kings ii, 10; xi, 43; Isaiah xliii, 17; 2 Mace, xii, 
45). Compare also Job iii, 13; Psalm xiii, 3; xvii, 15. The dead 
here are plainly the Christian dead, not the dead generally, 
as the context so distinctly shows, especially 14 and 16. 
The apostle refers to their fellow-believers in Thessalonica 
who had died, and concerning whom they were in great sorrow 
and perplexity. But this sorrow and perplexity did not arise 
from any doubts about their ultimate resurrection. That 
primary article of faith the apostle must have fully proved and 
expounded to them. There seems to have been no scepticism 
about the fact of a resurrection as at Corinth, and no mistake 
as to the nature of it as by Hymemeus and Philetus (2 Tim. 
17, 18). But the point which disturbed them was the connec- 
tion of dead believers with the coming kingdom. What they 


seem to have feared was that those who fell asleep before 
that period might by their death be excluded in some way 
from the glories expected at the Second Advent, deemed 
by not a few to be so near at hand. Not their decease 
in itself, bat their decease in the time of it, or before 
that epoch, troubled the survivors. The apostle therefore 
shows that their death is no loss, that they forego no advan- 
tage, that they rise first, and are in no way forestalled 
by those who shall be alive at the Saviour's second coming. 
The Greek fathers fall so far aside from the context that they 
refer the passage to the resurrection generally. Chrysostom, 
however, briefly points to the proper theme. " He glances at 
some further mystery. What then is this ? We who are alive 
and remain shall not prevent them that are asleep." But his 
peroration is direct appeal to those suffering under bereavement, 
pressing on them the hopes and comfort of a glorious resurrec- 
tion. It is wrong then to fasten any dogma on this simple and 
touching figure of sleep, either with De Wette, Dahne, Weizel, 
and others, to infer the sleep of the soul, or with Zwingli and 
Calvin to find in it an argument against that theory. The 
term is one in popular use applying to the person what is really 
true only of a portion of him. In this spirit allusions to the 
dead occur in the Old Testament as if all that formed humanity 
had been committed to the tomb (Ps. vi, 5 ; xxx, 9 ; lxxxviii, 
10 ; Is. xxxviii, 18 ; Eccles. ix, 4, 6, 10). Sleep implies 
continued existence, rest, and awakening. The sleeper does not 
cease to be, though he sinks into a kind of unconsciousness ; 
he is often thoughtful and active in dreams, but in this 
state of insensibility he enjoys repose, and then he wakens up 
to fresh activity. Dormientes eos appellat Scripturw veracis- 
sima consuetude, ut cum dormientes audimus, evigilaturos 
minime despevemus (Augustine, Serm. 172). The very name, 
" them that are asleep," as Chrysostom says, suggests consola- 
tion, evOeoo? a.7ro irpooLfiuov ti]v 7rapaK\)]<rii' KaTa(3aX\6fxevo?. 
Still there is no support in the apostle's writings for the hypo- 
thesis of soul-sleep or \fsvxoTravwxia- Compare 2 Cor. v, 1, 8 ; 
Philip, i, 21-23 ; Matt, xxii, 23, 33. 

\va fxi] Xv7rr]a-0e kuOws icai 01 \onro\ 01 juj) e\ovTe<} e\7rloa — 
" that ye sorrow not even as the rest who have no hope." 


AD-FL read \u7raV0e, not a common construction ; but our 
text is based on the reading of BD 3 EK tt, and lias therefore at 
least high probability, "ha prefaces the purpose of the informa- 
tion to be imparted. Sorrow is forbidden, plainly, absolutely- 
Many suppose that a certain measure or amount of sorrow only 
is forbidden, or that Christian sorrow should not be so 
immoderate as that of the hopeless heathen. So Theodoret, 
ov 7ravTe\o)s Kco\vei ti]v Au7r;/j', aXXu r*]V a/meTpiav e/c/3u'AAct. 
Calvin, too, Non autem prorsus lugere vetat, sed moclerationem 
requirit in luctu : also Hemming, Zanchius, Piscator, a-Lapide, 
Pelt, Koch, Bisping, Hofmann, Puggenbach. But the inter- 
pretation goes beyond the apostle's word, and kuOw? is a particle 
not of measure or degree but of comparison. Christian sur- 
vivors are not to sorrow. Sorrow under bereavement belongs 
to those who have no hope of resurrection and life. The death 
of a believer only translates him from sin and struggle, from 
disease and death, from mixed society and imperfect work, to 
purity, life, unwearied activity, and joyous fellowship with 
Christ. The apostle saj's virtually, believers are not to feel as 
unbelievers concerning the departed — the former are not to 
grieve, for they have no reason to grieve ; the latter cannot 
help it, for they have no hope — KaOoog koi oi Xonro), even as 
also the rest, to wit \vttovvtcu. For kuOcos see under Ephes. i, 4. 
Kcu appears in one of the members, and has its proper significa- 
tion. Hartung, vol. I, p. 12G; Klotz, Devar., II, p. G35. "The 
others" are the unbelieving heathen or perhaps Jews also, round 
about them, and they are characterized as a class " who have 
not hope," or are described as such here by the apostle. For 
this use of the subjective /*?/, see Winer, § 55, 5. The sorrow 
which the apostle forbids is not our grief over our loss and 
separation caused by death, for that is instinctive and " Jesus 
wept," but sorrow about the state and prospects of the de- 
parted, a sorrow which was especially felt in the Thessalonian 
church, and produced by the fear that those who died before 
the second coming of Christ would be denied participation in 
its blessedness and triumph. Sorrow for ourselves bereaved 
is different from sorrow about the dark fate of those who are 
gone, very different from dismay and that utter desolation of 
heart that fell upon the heathen when friends and relations 


passed away, and sank, as they thought, into unbroken dark- 
ness and non-existence (Lucian de Luctu, vii, 211). Why this 
grief should not exist, the apostle proceeds to argue, for they 
who sleep have not ceased to be, and they will appear with 

(Ver. 14.) Ei yup TncrTeJo/zei' on Yrjaov^ aiceuavev kui ui'£<tt)] 
— "For if we believe that Jesus died and arose again." By yap 
the substantiating statement is introduced, and el is, as often, 
syllogistic or hypothetic, introducing the premiss of a condi- 
tional syllogism, and is not to be rendered " because " or 
" seeing that," but " if," implying at the same time the absolute 
certaint}^ of the fact which is brought forward. The apostle 
naturally employs 'Irjcrovs, the special human name of the 
Saviour, so identified with men as their head and representa- 
tive, that His resurrection secures as it precedes theirs. He 
characterizes the death of Jesus by the common verb u-wtdavev. 
Theodoret supposes without any ground that the apostle in the 
phrase had his eye on Doketic views, but adds more truly that 
" while he calls Christ's death by the proper term, he names the 
death of believers a sleep" — h no ovopan Yruxaywywi'," consoling 
them by the very name." The death and resurrection of Christ 
are primary objects of belief, the one event being the comple- 
ment of the other, the resurrection proving that the purpose of 
the death had been accomplished, that the self-oblation had 
been accepted, that salvation had been provided in fulness and 
freeness, and that mortality had been conquered. The two 
events are often connected in the New Testament (Rom. vi). 
To die and to rise again specially characterize Jesus and also 
his people. He died and rose again. They die, and they cer- 
tainly shall rise again from their connection with Him — the 
organic union of the members with the Head. 

ovtlos Kai 6 Geo? rovg KOijurjOevTa? Sia tov 'l)]aruv agei aw 
avrw — " even so also those who are laid to sleep by Jesus will 
God bring with Him." The apodosis is defective, and it might 
run if written fully, ko.\ iriaTevopev on ovroo?, " we believe also 
that those laid to sleep by Jesus will be raised," or, kou tthtt€V€lv 
Sei on. If we believe the one proposition we must believe the 
other which is involved in it. But (1) O1/TC09 is certainly not 
pleonastic, as the mere sign of the apodosis (Schott, Olshausen), 


but maintains its full signification, " in like manner," pointing 
out the similarity of our condition and destiny to that of our 
blessed prototype, while koi strengthens the comparison or 
correspondence. Klotz, Devar., vol. II, p. G35, G3G. There 
is generic sameness — death and resurrection to Him, also 
in like manner death and resurrection to us. But there 
is specific difference. The result is similar, though some- 
what differently arrived at. It is not simply God shall 
raise us as He raised Him, but more complexly, God shall 
bring them with Him. (2) Nor is oi/tco? to be referred only 
to avea-Tij, as if the meaning were in cinem solchen Zwstande 
d. It. auferweckt, wiederbelebt, that is, having been raised, 
God will bring them with Him (Flatt). For ovtcos refers 
to both verbs of the preceding clause and brings them into 
comparison with this clause. (3) It is wrong in Koch and 
Hofmann to give ovrcog the meaning of "under this condition," 
turn vero, or "if we believe," nobis credent lb as, then or in that 
case God will bring them with Him. The cases quoted are not 
in point. Our faith in the resurrection is different from the 
fact and power of it, and the second clause under this third 
view would be not a consequence deduced from, but a mere 
confirmation of, the previous statement. Besides it is not of the 
resurrection of the y/fxeis who are believing, but of the resurrec- 
tion of deceased believers, Koi/mtjOevra?, that the apostle is 
speaking. It is true that a blessed resurrection for us is con- 
nected with our faith, but the apostle is referring to a different 
class — to those already dead, and to our belief and hope with 
regard to them. 

The meaning and connection of the phrase Sia rod 'hjcrov 
have been much disputed. The preposition Siu cannot signify 
" in," as in the Authorized Version, and in an alternative 
explanation of Jowett; ol vetcpol ev Xpicrro) in verse lGth is a 
very different phrase, and so is ol Kot/ntjOivre? ev Xpia-rcp (1 Cor. 
xv, 18), and ol ev Ku/o/w airodinja-Kovret; (Rev. xiv. 13). The 
preposition must have its true meaning when used with the 
genitive, " through " or "by means of" — per in Vulgate and 
Tertullian — and does not represent, as some suppose, the 
Hebrew ?. 

I. Many join the phrase with agei — " will through Jesus 


bring- tliem with Him"; Pelt, Schott, Olshausen, De Wette, 
Liinemann, Kocli, Conybeare, and many others, adopt this view. 
But there are objections to this exegesis. (1) The order of the 
words is apparently against it, as in such a case one would 
expect Sta. too 'L/crot) to be placed before KoifivjQhnra^ for the 
sake of emphasis. The present nnemphatic position of the 
words throws them back on the participle. (2) The verb aget 
would have two accompaniments — Sia. and eu, Sia rou 'ly'o-ov 
and <tvv avTio — referring to 'lyo-ov, a connection not impossible, 
but very improbable. (3) The sentence with this interpretation 
is hard and forceless, with a virtual repetition. It is, therefore, 
not necessary to connect the phrase with a£ei, which has more 
force when taken by itself, unencumbered with any of the 
previous words. 

II. Many connect the phrase with the participle KoijuijOevra?. 
>Such is one opinion of Chrysostom, Theoplrylact, (Ecumenius ; 
and it is held by Ambrosiaster, Calvin, Hemming, Estius, 
Balduin, a-Lapide, Beza, Grotius, Bengel, Koppe, Jowett, Hil- 
genfeld, Riggenbach, Ellicott, Alford. The aorist is used from 
the standpoint of the resurrection — all that have gone to sleep 
prior to that period. Now (1) it is not necessary to give Sia, 
the sense of eu, as Liinemann objects ; nor is it needful to take 
it as referring to the condition or circumstance in or out of 
which anything is done, as Koch, who quotes in support Rom. 
iv, 11 ; 2 Cor. ii, 4 ; iii, 4; 1 John v, 6. Winer, § 47 i. (2) It 
is forced and unnatural to give the strong sense that " laid to 
sleep by Jesus " means, put to death by Jesus — He being the 
cause of their death, the reference being to the martyrs. Such 
is the view of Salmeron, Hammond, Joseph Mede, and Thiersch. 
The view is untenable. The participle is too gentle a term to 
express a violent death. It is used indeed of the first martyr, but 
it could not be employed to designate the act of his murderers; 
besides, the context involves no reference to persecutions or 
to martyrdom under them, and is not in any way intended to 
comfort either those who are sorrowing over martyred friends, 
or who may expect to be put to death for their Christianity ; 
and, lastly, the reference of the apostle is to all the sainted 
dead, and not merely to a section or minority of them, such as 
the martyrs, or to the First Resurrection of the book of the 


Revelation. (3) Nor is it necessary, in the third place, to give the 
phrase Sin rou 'L;cro?/ any theological meaning as Chrysostom, 
who explains as an alternative 3y rovro Xeycou on Tfl irla-rei tou 
'lijcrou KotfXijOevTa^, and similarly GEcumenius and Theophylact, 
and the scholiast in Matthrei. Subsequently Chrysostom vir- 
tually quotes the clause, giving it this connection. Ambrosiaster 
writes, per Jesum, i.e., mbspefidei hujus; and Calvin, dormire 
per Christum, est retinere in morte conjunctionem quam 
habemus cum Christo. Webster and Wilkinson say the idea 
conveyed undoubtedly is, that " by Him they died in peace," 
" those who through Jesus entered into rest." A simpler mean- 
ing is more natural. 

The phrase Sia. tou 'Ljcrov is to be taken as closely con- 
nected with Koiat]6epra?, "laid to sleep by Jesus," the stress 
being on Sia, which is so often used of the mediatorial instru- 
mentality of Christ (Rom. ii, 10 ; v, 1 ; 2 Cor. i, 5; Gal. i, 1 ; 
Ephes. i, 5 ; Philip, i, 11 ; Titus iii, G). The words will bear 
this interpretation, though, as Ellicott says, the examples 
adduced by Alford are scarcely in analogy (Rom. i, 8 ; v, 1 ; 
v, 11), since in these instances an active verb is employed. 
Lihiemann objects that the extent of the idea expressed by 
Koi/m.t]Oevrag here is to be taken from the relation which the 
apodosis in this clause bears to the previous one. The objec- 
tion is not strong, for 'L/o-ot^ in the first member stands in 
direct contrast to Koi^jOei'TUf Sia tou hjrrou in the second 
member, the noun being repeated, and the article being inserted. 
Jesus dead and raised is the prime subject of the first clause as 
an article of belief, and those laid to sleep by Jesus and 
awakened are the distinctive and correspondent subject of the 
second clause. They are called in the opening verse of the 
section simply koi/ulco/ui.€voi, but now the connection of that sleep 
with Jesus is more specially indicated, as through Him it is a 
sleep, and through his victory over death those in their graves 
are only lying in their beds, and are laid there in the sure and 
certain hope of a blessed awakening. The comfort and expec- 
tation implied in the clause, and the tender and beautiful con- 
ception of death which it conveys as a time of repose with the 
prospect of resuscitation, are all owing to Jesus, and to Him be- 
cause He died and rose again. Those who are laid so to sleep — 


o 6eo? aga (tvv ax/rep — " God will bring with Him," that is, 
" with Jesus," not avr/2, secum, as some would read it. The 
apostle does not use eyepei, as he wishes to say more than that 
He will raise them, for he associates their resurrection with the 
Second Advent, the point on which there had been perplexity 
and doubt among the Thessalonian believers. The words avv 
uvtw are not for ob? avrov (Zachariae, Koppe) — " God will raise 
them as He raised Him " (Turnbull), but " with Him." The 
pregnant clause implies that they are raised already, as told in 
the end of verse 1G, and are then brought with Him. The 
verb is not used of bringing from the dead, though a compound 
is used of Christ (Heb. xiii, 20) ; yet the sense is not exactly, 
brought to glory in heaven, as many take it, but rather, brought 
in Christ's train at His appearance and coming (Schrader). 
The reference is not so precise as Hofmann gives it — God will 
not bring Jesus aoain into the world without His brethren 
who sleep coming with Him. The statement is true, but the 
apostle, as Liinemann observes, is not teaching about Christ's 
coming and its mode, but only of the departed and their coming 
again with Christ. The signification, therefore, is not what is 
often given — will bring their souls from heaven that they may 
be reunited to their bodies ; for to their souls there is no 
allusion, nor could their souls as such be said to be laid to 
sleep by Jesus. The Resurrection, as this clause asserts, is the 
work of God (Acts xxvi, 8; 1 Cor. vi, 14- ; 2 Cor. i, 9 ; Heb. xi, 
19) ; but the same word is often assigned to the Mediator 
(John v, 21, 29 ; vi, 40 ; xi, 25 ; 1 Cor. xv, 22 ; Philip, iii, 21 ; 
in another form 2 Cor. iv, 14). The doctrine of the Resurrec- 
tion occupies a prominent place in the New Testament. 

(Ver. 15.) Tovto yap vfiiv Xeyo/mev iv Xoyto Kvplou — " For this 
we say unto you in the word of the Lord." Tap. refers to the 
previous verse and to the statement, " them laid to sleep by 
Jesus God will bring with Him." Though they die before the 
Advent they are certainly to share in its glories, and are in no 
way to be anticipated by those who may happen to be alive at 
that momentous period, this being what so perplexed the 
church in Thessalonica, so that Koppe, Flatt, and Koch are in 
error when they refer yap to verse 13, and regard this verse as 
giving an additional reason why believers should not sorrow, 


taking verses 14 and 15 as parallel in tlie argument. But this 
verse is plainly an advance on the previous one, and not col- 
lateral with it. As to the destiny of the departed, there is 
first a negative statement, they " who are alive shall not 
prevent them who are asleep," and then follows a positive 
statement, " the dead in Christ shall rise first," &c. The 
previous verse affirms only that God shall bring them with 
Christ, and this verse and the one after it show how and in 
what order. Tovto, emphatically placed, refers to the next 
statement introduced by on. What follows is of special 
moment, being matter of direct revelation ev \6yu> Kupiou — 
Kvpios being the Saviour. The phrase occurs in 1 Kings xx, 35, 
n'yr -a-ja, rendered in the Septuagint ev \6yw Kvplou, "in the word 
of the Lord" in the Authorized Version, and compare Esther i, 
12 ; 1 Kings xiii, 2 ; Hosea i, 2. The preposition may bear its 
usual meaning, "in the sphere of" (Winer, § 48 a), that is, the 
following declaration is a repetition of what the Lord had 
revealed, and has all its truth from this correspondence. " In 
the word of the Lord" is, therefore, " in it" as to contents, 
and virtually and iuferentially "by it" as to authority. 
None of the nouns has the article. 'Ey is not directly "by," 
as in the Authorized Version — that is, by divine commis- 
sion, nor is it secundum, as Flatt and Pelt, under reference 
to Rom. i, 10. What the apostle is about to utter was 
specially revealed to him, and in that revelation his utter- 
ance had its contents and authority, the reception of it con- 
veying the commission and the crualification to tell it. It 
came iic Oelas axo/caA^ao? as Theodoret says, or as Theophy- 
lact, irapa rod Xpicrrou p.aBwv. The formula of the old prophets 
was " thus saith the Lord," and the apostle uses kcit eirirayi'iv 
(1 Cor. vii, 6), and ev a-KOKoKv^ei (1 Cor. xiv, G). There has 
been no little speculation as to the oracle referred to. (1) Many 
refer it to some portion of the New Testament which records 
Christ's eschatological sayings. Thus Pelagius, Musculus, 
Schott, and Pelt refer it to the twenty-fourth chapter of 
Matthew. Evvald unites Luke xiv, 14. Hofmann points to 
the special promise of Christ in Matt, xvi, 27, 28, and John vi, 
44. Zwingli, as also Luthardt, selects Matt, xxv, the parable 
of the wise and foolish virgins, on account of the phrase eij 


cnrdvTrjariv, which occurs in the first verse of that chapter, and 
also here in verse 17. But the apostle nowhere quotes our 
present gospels, and those places have not the fulness and 
speciality of revelation which are found in this paragraph, and 
they say nothing out of which one might conjecture the 
relations of the dead and the living to the Second Advent. (2) 
Others again imagine that the apostle refers to some sayings of 
Christ, preserved by tradition, or perhaps spoken, according to 
v. Zezschwitz, during the forty clays between the resurrection 
and ascension. Calvin and Koch hold this view — the first 
saying generally that the utterance is taken from Christ's 
discourses, and the latter, that it is taken from some collection 
of his sayings. Theophylact compares the utterance to that 
(wcnrep KaKeivo) given in Acts xx, 35. But this supposition is 
quite precarious, though many sayings of our Lord must have 
been preserved that are not found in the canonical gospels. 
Compare Acts xx, 35 ; 1 Cor. vii, 10. The opinion, if not 
baseless, is at least beyond all proof. No saying has been pre- 
served to us that could, by the widest construction, form the 
basis of this declaration. (3) It follows, then, that we accept 
the clause in its simple significance, as asserting an immediate 
revelation from Christ to the apostle on this point. Such is the 
view of the majority of expositors. It is needless to inquire 
when, where, or how the revelation was vouchsafed to him, and it 
is erroneous in Jowett to affirm that Paul nowhere speaks of an} T 
special truths or doctrines as imparted to himself, for he had 
many direct revelations, though he does not always unfold the 
special subject of them — as about his special mission field 
(Acts xxii, 18-21) ; as to the position of believing Gentiles 
(Ephes. iii, 3) ; as to the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. xi, 23); and as to 
the reality, proofs, and results of Christ's resurrection (1 Cor. 
xv, 3 ; 2 Cor. xii, 1). See also under Gal. i, 12, and especially 
i, 16. On this point before us, of which no man can know 
anything of himself, and on which mere hypothesis would be 
alike audacious and vain, the apostle enjoyed an immediate 
revelation which he proceeds to unfold. This is, however, 
denied by Usteri, and the revelation is described as subjectivity, 
this especially being said to rest auf dem aUgemeinen Glauben 
and der Fortbildung der Tradition vcrbnnden mit einer 


lebendigen combinatorischen Imagination (p. 341). The reve- 
lation is — 

on >)fJLeis ol fovTeg ol TrepiXenro/meroi e<? t?jv 7rapovcriav too 
Kvpiov — "that we the living, the remaining over unto the com- 
ing of the Lord." The participle 7repi\ei7r6fAei>oi occurs only 
here and in verse 17 in the New Testament — the inclusive pre- 
position signifying "around" and then "over," the idea being 
that of overplus — and means "remaining over" or "behind." It 
is an epithet applied to the water left over after a sacrifice, to 
■jrepikenrofxevov vSoop (2 Mace, i, 31). Orthryades is called tov 
■7repi\€i(j)9evra, the only surviving one of the three hundred 
Spartans. Herodot., i, 82; Herodian, II, 1, 10; Plato, De Legi- 
bus, III, 677 E, p. 295, Opera, vol. X, ed. Stallbaum. These 
words naturally suggest the idea that the apostle by his use of 
>)p.el<i expected to be among them — among those who should 
not die before the Second Advent. Many modern commen- 
tators adopt this view ; while as many, regarding such a notion 
as derogatory to the apostle and his inspiration, strive by vari- 
ous expedients to get rid of it. That an inspired man should 
be guilty of so gross a blunder as to believe and affirm that he 
should live on to the Second Advent would be extraordinary, 
and yet more extraordinary when he is professedly speaking 
from a special divine revelation. But many of the arguments 
against the view we have stated as the apparent one are utterly 
void. (1) (Ecumenius, after Methodius, adopts the opinion that 
the two participles refer to the souls of the departed as being 
immortal, ^unvras Tct9 \frJ\a?, KoifxijOevra Se ra crcop-ara \eyei — 
the statement being that those souls shall not precede their 
bodies into the presence of the Lord, but shall resume them 
ere they ascend to meet the Lord. But the class indicated by 
the two participles is plainly opposed to the other class who 
are laid to sleep before " that day." The term fcvrag moreover 
describes living men and not their mere souls. (2) By some 
the participial clause is taken hypothetically, " provided that 
we live, provided that we survive." Thus Turretin si modo ex 
eorum numero simus ; Cornelius, a-Lapide, nos qui vivimus, 
inanity i.e., quicunque vivent, sire ex nobis sive e poster is nos- 
tris, quorum personam hie induo et subeo. But in that case, 
as Liinemann states, the two articles must be omitted, and the 


statement of the apostle is direct and unconditional in its 
words. (3) Nor can these present participles admit of a future 
signification, after some supposed Hebrew usage (Flatt, Pelt), 
for they are both present and ideally describe some men as a 
class alive and surviving at the Second Coming, in opposition 
to another class who have fallen asleep, the apostle putting 
himself among the former number — )}p.eis. (4) Nor can ^/xeig 
ol £wvres mean them who live and remain behind (J. P. Lange), 
that is, we, so far as we in the meantime represent those who 
shall then be alive. This sense is forced and ungrammatical. 
(5) In the opinion of Calvin the apostle in using foeis makes 
himself one of the number who will live until the last day, and 
in doing so meant to impress on the Thessalonian church the 
duty of waiting for the Advent, and to hold all believers in 
suspense about it, adding what appears to convey a charge of 
simulation against the apostle, " granting that he knew by a 
special revelation that Christ would come at a somewhat later 
time, it was nevertheless necessary that this doctrine should be 
delivered to the church in common," which really means that 
the apostle did not consciously speak truth when he put him- 
self among the ij/xei?. The earlier and indeed the commoner view 
has been that the apostle uses i)p.eis by a figure of speech, that 
he speaks communicative, adopts what is called enallage per- 
soncv, avaKolvoocris. The sense then is, those of us Christians 
who at the Advent shall be in life. This is the view of Chry- 
sostom and his followers, with Erasmus, Zanchius, Hunnius, 
Balduin, Bengel, Flatt, &c. Thus Chrysostom writes, to Se 
jy/xetV, ov irepL eavrou <fj))criv' ov yap St] e/aeWev avros P-e)(pi T>}i 
wacrTacrews p.eveiv, aXXu tov; it arrow; \eyei. A modification of 
this view may be held. When the apostle says, we the living 
and remaining behind, he means himself and includes those 
addressed by him. Did he then affirm that he and they with- 
out exception would survive till the second coming, or that he 
and they so surviving would without exception be caught up 
to meet the Lord in the air, every one of them being a genuine 
believer ? Certainly not. It seems best therefore Wsuppose 
that as Paul distinguishes the two classes, the living and the 
dead, he naturally puts himself among those to whom at the i 
moment he belonged, and who as the living and surviving are 


contrasted with those who had fallen asleep or died. /For there 
will be a like distinction when the Saviour comes ; and to 
describe the one class the apostle employs the present time and 
says, "we who are alive and remain." If the Advent were to 
take place just now, the classification would be literally correct. 
To the mind of the apostle the second coming was ever present, 
and under this aspect he puts himself and his contemporaries 
in the one category without actually intending to affirm that they 
should not taste of death till the Redeemer should appear. The 
clause is thus a vivid way of characterizing all the living as 
represented by himself and the Thessalonians to whom he writes, 
while the deceased Thessalonian believers represent all who 
have died before His appearance and coming. Alford says, 
" Doubtless he expected himself to be alive together with the 
majority of those to whom he was writing at the Lord's com- 
ing." Must not the declaration on which this inference is based 
be a portion of the Xoyo? Kvplov, " this we say by the word of 
the Lord, that we living and remaining over"? Dean Alford, 
however, quite neutralizes his argument when he says, " at the 
same time, it must be borne in mind that this inclusion of 
himself and his hearers among the £toi/re? and -7repi\enr6p.evoi 
does not in any way enter into the fact revealed and here 
announced, which is respecting that class of persons only as 
they are and must be, one portion of the faithful, at the Lord's 
coming, not respecting the question who shall or who shall not 
be among them in that day." This is in other words the con- 
clusion we have come to, and the exegesis does not compel us 
on the Dean's own showing to hold the strict belief that Paul 
expected himself and his contemporaries to survive the Second 
Coming. The apostle's use of " I " and " we " for argument's 
sake may be seen in Rom. iii, 7 ; 1 Cor. iv, 6 ; xiv, 14.y^fhere 
ia no dLLilicti or independent prrW' fhnt the npWle really 
K expected to live till the Second Advent; nay, he says (1 Cor. 
vi, 14), " God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise 
up us by His own power;" and again (2 Cor. iv, 13), "knowing 
that he which raised up the Lord Jpsnw sWjj_mi^ pp nsalgojjy 
Jesus, and shall present us with yojx ^/^ThQ declaration (1 Cor. 
-" x v", ' fl l'J,' " WU sTta TTnoTall sleep, but we shall all be changed," 
can be satisfactorily explained without supposing that the 


apostle expresses his belief that he would not die, and the para- 
graph adduced by Alford (2 Cor. v, 1-10), if this belief be 
supposed to underlie it, contradicts itself; for how could the 
man who believed that he was not to die and who longed to be 
clothed upon without mortal change, declare in almost the same 
breath that he was willing rather to be absent from the body 
and to be present with the Lord. These Corinthian epistles 
were written not more than four or five }^ears after those sent 
to Thessalonica. Towards the end of his life indeed the apostle 
says very decidedly, "to die is gain," and that he "had a desire 
to depart and to be with Christ " — not a word of any hope that 
Christ was coming in his lifetime, and that therefore he should 
not die ; or should be still among living men when the Master 
returned. This longing for the day of the Lord might work 
itself into a belief that it was near, and this was the common 
impression, for its period had not been revealed, and it was 
ardently hoped for. But the apostle in the midst of such 
fervent expectations, warns this church a few months after 
writing the clause before us, that the belief " that the day of 
Christ is at hand " is a serious delusion, for prior to it there 
must be the development of the mystery of iniquity. He might 
regard the Advent as possible in his lifetime, but never 
apparently as certain. He never distinctly teaches that it 
would either be or not be before his death. He was not so 
presumptuous as to fix a date for an event known to the 
Father only, and not revealed to angels or even to the Son 
Himself. If he taught its nearness, he assigned it to no year ; 
if he taught its certainty as a fact, he also dwelt on the 
uncertainty of its time. In a word he never expresses sur- 
prise that the day had not come so soon as he had anticipated, 
never utters a word of disappointment that it seemed more 
than ever at a great and indefinite distance. For irapovma 
see ii, 19 ; and the phrase «? rrjv -wapovarlav belongs, by the 
arrangement of the sentence, to TrepiXenrofxevoi, and not to the 
following verb (pOao-oo/JLev. 

ov fx?j (pOdo-wfxev rovi Koi/uDjOevra? — " shall in no wise antici- 
pate them that are laid to sleep " — "prevent " in the old English 
sense, and according to its Latin derivation, meaning " go 
before." You may go before one to help or to hinder him ; the 


latter being so common an in our poor fallen nature, 
the word has now sunk into the second sense exclusively. 
The verb (pOaveiv — sometimes followed by els ri, the object, 
sometimes by ex/ tivu, the person, and sometimes by the par- 
ticiple of another verb — here governs the simple accusative. 
Jelf, § 094. For ov p.//, as a strengthened negative, see 
Winer, § 56, 3, where he remarks that Hermann's rule, given 
under (Edip. Col., 853, as to the difference of those negatives 
with the future and the aorist, must not be pressed in the 
interpretation of the New Testament, as the mss. vary so 
much in so many passages, and the subjunctive is the pre- 
dominant usage. The two negatives occur often similarly in 
the Septuagint. Gayler, p. 441. Strengthened negatives, like 
compound verbs, characterize the later Greek. The idiom is 
supposed by many to be elliptical, and thus to be resolved, 
" there is no fear that," or as Alford, " there is no reason to fear 
that." See also Ellendt, Lex. Soph., II, p. 409, sub voce ov. The 
meaning is, that they who are found alive when the Saviour 
comes shall have no priority in any sense over those who have 
died — shall not, because they survive and need not to die, start 
sooner into the Master's presence, or come into participation of 
His glory and honour earlier than those who have gone down 
to the bed of rest. The living shall in no privilege or blessing 
forestall the dead, and the dead lose nothing by their earlier 
decease. The Thessalonian believers need not sorrow over the 
deceased as if they had in any degree fallen short of the prize, 
or were in any way to come behind the others who shall be 
alive, and remaining over at the Second Advent. So far from 
being anticipated by this class, the dead anticipate them — 
" the dead in Christ shall rise first," or before the living are 
changed (1 Cor. xv). It is a strange thought that some shall 
outlive all history, and see the end of all kingdoms, of all 
scientific development, and of all human affairs ; shall see the 
world at its last moment, and humanity in its final phase, as it 
ceas es as a species to exist upon earth. 

(Ver. 10.) oti avTO? 6 Kvpios . . . KarafiricreTai air ovpuvov 
— "because the Lord himself . . . shall descend from heaven." 
"On might be taken as parallel to the previous, on, and as intro- 
ducing another portion of the \6yog Kvplov, and as dependent 


on Xeyo/uev (Koch, Hofmann). But it develops the order and 
the proof more distinctly to take it as the ancient versions do, 
quoniam in the Vulgate, quia in the Claromontane Latin. 
The Syriac has ?^£°, and some of the Greek fathers 
interpret by yap — kcu yap cu'to? (Theophylact), avros yap 
7T/3WTO? (Theodoret). 

The phrase avros 6 Kvpio? is not "He the Lord," as De 
Wette and Hofmann, which is, as Alford says, to the last degree 
flat and meaningless. Nor is the reference expressly to His 
holy person, to His glorified body, for the purpose of excluding 
any meaning of mere operation or influence, as Olshausen and 
Bisping, after Estius and Fromond. This interpretation does 
not brine out the whole truth. The sense is also fuller than 
Alford gives it, " the words being," he says, " used for 
solemnity's sake, and to show that it will not be a mere 
gathering unto Him, but He himself shall descend." For the 
meaning is that Himself and none other, Himself in person 
and glory will descend — not Himself as the principal person, 
and as in contrast to believers (Lunemann) — not Himself as 
the first of all the host of heaven to come down — but Himself 
in proper person. The work is delegated to no substitute, but 
Himself, the same Jesus who ascended into heaven, will return 
from it, Kara^i'io-era: air ovpavov. He went up in person, and 
in person He descends (Mark xvi, 19; Acts i, 10, 11; ii, 33; 
Ephes. i, 20 ; iv, 8, 10). 'E/c is usually employed in the con- 
nection, save here and in Luke ix, 54. Compare Sept., Dan. 
iv, 10. He shall descend — 

ev KeXeva-p-aTi — "with a signal shout," the Latin versions having 
in jussu. The noun KcXeva-p-a, which occurs only here in the 
New Testament, is the word of command, or any sounded 
signal. It is used of the shout of a huntsman to his dogs 
(Xenoph., Veil., vi, 20) ; of the shout of a chariot-driver to his 
steeds, a7rA>//cT09, KeXevp-ari p.6vov . . . })vioxe~iTai (Ptuedrus, p. 253 
d) ; of the cry of the captain to the rowers, by which they kept 
stroke, €7ratcrav aX/mt^ ... e/c Ke\eucr/ui.aTo? (iEschylus, Persae, 
403); e/c KeXeuarfxaTog (Euripides, Ipkig. in Taur., 1405 ; Silius 
Italicus, vi, 3G0 ; Ovid, Mctam., iii, 10) ; of the word of 
military command, a0' eVo? neXevarp-aros . . . iopp.)](Tav (Thucy- 
dides, ii, 92). It is also used of the shout of a man with a 



stentorian voice, (pcoveoov /meyia-rov, who hailed another across 
the Ister, and that other heard tw 7t/)cot<o KeXevarfxari, and 
brought up all the ships (Herod., iv, 14) ; of the flight of the 
locusts (Prov. xxx, 27); and Philo, in a phrase not unlike that 
before us, uses it of divine command — God can easily gather 
together all men from the ends of the earth into one place, 
evt KeXeva/mari (De Praem., § 19). On the spelling KeXev/xa, 
K€Ke\ev/uLai, and the similar variety in other words, Lobeck has 
a long note (Ajax, 704, p. 268, 3rd ed.). See also a long note 
of Bloomfield's (Persae, 403). The prevailing sense then is 
a battle-shout, or a signal sounded to a fleet or army. It is 
wrong in Hunnius and Bisping to identify the KeXevcr/ma with 
the trump of God, as if the meaning were horribilis fragor 
inclarescentium tonitruum. The three prepositions ev — ev 
— ev, point to three distinct circumstances accompanying the 
Descent. The preposition has its usual sense — something in 
which an event takes place — a concomitant circumstance ; and 
it may therefore be rendered " with." The idea may be that 
in the KeXevarjua, or surrounded by it, the Descent takes place. 
That KeXevarfxa is a mighty shout of warning and command, but 
who can tell what it is as it heralds and accompanies the 
Second Advent ? It is not the shout of the army, as is some- 
times supposed, but the shout of the general to his army ; 
therefore it cannot mean, as Macknight says, "the loud acclama- 
tion which the ivhole angelic hosts ivill utter to express their 
joy at the Advent of Christ to raise the dead and judge the 
ivorld." But it may be the thunder-shout which ushers in the 
Great Day, perhaps sounded by the archangel through the 
trump of God, and may be addressed to the dyioi who are to 
accompany Him, and as if to summon them to the royal pro- 
gress. See under iii, 13; 2 Thess. i, 7. Theodoret and 
QEcumenius refer the KeXevcr/ua to Christ, " He will bid the 
archangel sound," and so after them Grotius and Olshausen. 
But the clauses with ev refer to concomitants of Christ's 
Descent, and therefore not naturally to Himself, and the KeXevo-jua 
may be explained by the following clauses — 

ev (pwvfi apxayyeXou — "with the voice of an archangel." 
'ApxuyyeXo? occurs in the New Testament only here 
and in Jude 9. Like similar terms as d 1 oY.<T ) o//cAfyo?, 


apxiTeXwvtfi, ap\nrotiJ.t)ii, apxiepeiiv, upxivvvayooyo?, «PX 1 ~ 
tcktcou, it means not chief angel, but chief of the 
angels — a head or leader, as is implied in the phrase 
" Michael and his angels." The word occurs only in the 
singular, and with the definite article, in Jude 9. According to 
the apostle there are various ranks of angels (see under 
Ephes. i, 21) ; Jesus when he comes is surrounded by troops of 
them (Matt, xxv, 31), and an archangel may be leader of the 
(TTpanaf ovpavlov (Luke ii, 13). Who this archangel is it is 
vain to inquire. Michael is the only one mentioned in the 
New Testament, but in Dan. x, 13, he is called cnton inx 
D'jfcinn, " one of the chief princes," as if apparently there were 
others of similar rank ; though some signal eminence still 
attaches to him, as he is styled Vnan -itrn (Dan. xii, 1). They 
are sometimes said to be seven, " the seven lamps " burning 
before the throne ; and sometimes ten ; and in the Jewish 
writings four are especially named, corresponding to the 
" thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers," in Ephes. i, 21. 
The names also of these serving angels have thus been given : 
Michael and his company stand on the right hand of the 
throne, and Gabriel similarly on the left, Uriel in front, and 
Raphael behind, the Shechinah being in the centre (Tobit 
xv, 15 ; Book of Enoch). With these speculations we have no 
special concern. One archangel is here singled out — one of 
those most glorious beings, the eldest of the creation, godlike 
in splendour and attributes. To say that he is Michael may 
have probability, but no sure foundation (Hunnius, Estius, 
Ewald, Bisping). Nor can the term mean the Lord Jesus 
himself (Ambrosiaster, Olshausen), for such a notion would 
destroy the symmetry of the verse, and give to the Saviour 
first a distinctive, and then a unique and unfamiliar title ; for 
Olshausen admits that nowhere else is Christ called archangel. 
Olshausen refers the KeXevcrpa to Him, and holds that to mention 
a creature next in order would be startling, but the neXeucrpa is 
not necessarily to be referred to Christ (Bishop Horsley), "it 
belongs rather to the archangel." Honertius and Alphenius, in 
Wolf's Curae, think that the Holy Ghost is meant b}' the 
archangel. It is hard to say how such a notion could 
originate, though the idea sprang apparently from an attempt to 


find the Trinity in the verse — the Father in the last word, 
the Son being the Lord Himself, and the Holy Spirit under the 
name of the archangel, ^odvi) is ascribed to the archangel — a 
voice no doubt like himself, " powerful and full of majesty," the 
form, perhaps, which the KtXeucriua assumes. This mighty voice 
heralds and accompanies the descending Lord, reaching 
through the universe, and summoning all its ranks into His 
presence, and to adoration — startling those who are alive and 
remain, and piercing even " the dull cold ear of death" (Theo- 
doret, Schott). 

ku] ev (TuXinyyi Qeou — " and with the trumpet of God." 
The genitive Qeou is not the so-called Hebrew superla- 
tive (Nordheimer). Winer, § 36, 3 b. The phrase, therefore, 
does not mean a large or a far-sounding trumpet, excelling 
vastly the trumpet of men (a-Lapide, Benson). Bengel has 
''tuba Dei adeoque magna," and Storr, "tuba longe lateqiie 
sonans." Nor is the meaning a trumpet blown at God's com- 
mand, as Balduin, Pelt, Schott, Olshausen. These things ma}' 
be true, but they are inferential only ; the genitive is simpl}- 
that of possession — the trumpet which is God's, and being His 
may possess the qualities which those expositors assign to it. 
The trumpet is His, as being employed in His heavenly service. 
The many allusions to the trumpet in the Hebrew poetry, as a 
signal and warning blast, afford no illustration. Compare, 
however, Isaiah xxvii, 13 ; Zech. ix, 14 ; Rev. viii, 2. But the 
trumpet used at the Jewish festivals comes somewhat nearer, 
since by divine command it blew various signals of assembly 
under the theocratic government, and might be an earthly 
image of what is super-celestial, "a pattern of things in the 
heaven." Compare Numbers x, 2 ; xxxi, 6 ; 1 Chron. xvi. 42 ; 
Ps. lxxxi, 3 ; Joel, ii, 1. But the trumpet is often associated 
with Old Testament Theophanies. In Psalm xlvii, 5, the 
trumpet is associated with a divine ascension — the reverse in 
idea of this place. The descent on Sinai was accompanied 
by such peals — thunder, lightnings, a thick cloud on the 
mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud — nay, 
the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder 
and louder (Exod. xix, 1G, 19; Heb. xii, 19). As Milton 
has it — 


" The Son gave signal high 
To the bright minister that watch'd ; he blew 
His trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps 
When God descended ; and perhaps once more 
To souud at general doom." 

The distinct announcement is made in the New Testament — 
" He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and 
they shall gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of 
heaven to the other" (Matt, xxi v, 31) — a passage which has a close 
connection with the verse before us, for the trumpet-blast is 
associated with the second Advent — " The son of man coming in 
the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." More dis- 
tinctly still the apostle says, " We shall not all sleep, but we 
shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, 
at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound." What the 
trumpet-peal accomplishes we know not. It gathers apparently 
the elect together — it may raise the dead, and give universal 
warning that the Lord is come. 

Tuba mirum s[)argens sonum 
Per sepulcra regidnum, 
Coget onines ante thronum. 

The voice of the archangel may be uttered by the trumpet. 
Chrysostom gives a choice of three suppositions as to the 
theme of utterance, "it is either as in the parable, 'The Bride- 
groom cometh,' or, ' Let the dead arise,' or, ' Make all ready, 
for the Judge is at hand.'" The phrase, " the last trump " (1 Cor. 
xv, 52), is supposed by the same author to imply previous 
trumpets, at the last of which the Judge descends, while 
others identify it with the seventh trumpet of the Apocalypse ; 
but these notions, the second especially, are exceedingly pre- 
carious — the phrase, "the last trump," being apparently a 
popular one, and meaning the trumpet in connection with the 
End. The power of God can at once raise the dead, but un- 
doubtedly, for the best of reasons, He has chosen to employ the 
instrumentality dimly disclosed in this verse. It would on the 
one hand be presumptuous to speak dogmatically upon it, or 
to refine upon it, and spiritualize it as a mere image — as is done 
to some extent by Olshausen. On the other hand, in some of 


the Jewish books, the trumpet and its seven blasts are dwelt 
upon with puerile exaggeration, as may be seen in Eisenmenger 
Entd. J ad., vol. II, pp. 929, 930. " The trumpet is a thousand 
ells long, according to the ells of God ; at each peal a certain 
result follows ; at the first peal the world is awaked, and at the 
others, the various parts of the human body are collected and 
re organ ised," &c, kc. 

What the passage may show is, that as the trumpet blast 
was supposed in Jewish theology to herald or accompany God 
to legislation or judgment — as it did in the awful manifestation 
at Mount Sinai — so the doctrine of the apostle, though a new 
disclosure on this point, was in unison with the traditionary 
Jewish faith. 

kul ol v€Kpo\ eV y^piurw ava<rT^(TovTaL 7rpwTov — " and the 
dead in Christ shall rise first." Some manuscripts and fathers 
read 7rpwroi, the Latin versions having pri/m/i, an evident emen- 
dation, prompted by the idea of a first resurrection. The text 
has superabundant authority, the connecting kui is consecutive 
" and so," introducing the result of the Advent or Descent 
from heaven as just described — though it would be pre- 
carious to connect the clause solely with ev cru\Triyyi 

'Ei/ Xpi<TT(} is by Krause, Pelt, Schott, and Peile, wrongly 
connected with the verb, " shall rise in Christ." Winer adopted 
this connection in his earlier, but abandoned it in his later 
editions (§ 20, 2 a, ed. 6th), his objection being that the dis- 
tinction is superflous, there being no allusion to non-believers. 
Schott and Pelt render " mortui primum resurgent per 
Christum," i.e. Sia ~Kpto-Tou, deriving in this way the idea of a 
first and then that of a general resurrection. Schott adds, 
"pro mortuis omnibus in vitam rcvocandis, parte pro toto 
posita, cultores Christ i resuscitandi commemorari poterant" 
quoting in proof 1 Cor. xv, 23. But the idea of a second 
resurrection is nowhere found in the context. The dead are 
opposed to the living — the resurrection of the Christian dead 
is in contrast to the change and rapture of Christian survivors, 
and to the first, therefore, the distinctive ev Xpio-rw is naturally 
added. The question is not by what means the dead shall 
rise, but what is the relation which they shall bear to the 


Redeemer at his advent. He has said that the dead shall 
not take precedence of the living, and this order which had 
been asserted negatively in the previous verse, is asserted 
positively in this clause. The Vulgate has et mortui, qui in 
Christo sunt, resurgent pri/mi, and the Syriac has ]Zuio 
LOrOaL .qLdqqj ] »> i »V)0 ). The connection of iv Xpicrr^ 
with the verb would therefore leave the character of 
the veKpoi undefined, and by putting the stress on ev 
XpuTTw would introduce confusion into the sentence, as 
if it were meant that the dead, all the dead, would rise 
through Christ, an idea quite foreign to the context, 
and the apostle's immediate object. 'Ei/ XpiaT<2 has the 
common meaning — in union with Christ; that union is not 
dissolved by death ; they were in Christ — the source of their 
spiritual life when in the body, in Him when they died, and 
they are in Him still ; yea, so in Him that His resurrection 
secures theirs. He cannot rise without raising all included in 
Him, and livingly and organically united to Him as the 
members to the Head. 

HpCorov has its distinct and momentous position in the 
clause, for it solves the perplexity which was felt in the Thes- 
salonian church. Not only shall the dead share in the glories 
of the Advent, but they shall share first; its first result is their 
resurrection. They lose no privilege by dying before the Advent, 
they even win this priority over those who shall then be alive. 
Upwroi* corresponds to eireiTu, the dead rise first, and then the 
living are with them caught up. Upwrou has no reference to the 
resurrection of unbelievers ; it is simply first, or before the rap- 
ture of the living and surviving saints. The apostle thus refers to 
the two great results of the Advent — first, the resurrection of the 
dead saints ; and, secondly, the assumption of the living saints. 
To identify the resurrection asserted in this verse with the " first 
resurrection " of Rev. xx, 6, is quite unwarranted. The view is 
held by the Greek expositors with Pelagius, Ambrosiaster, 
Estius, Turretin, and Olshausen. For, 1st, if the TrpCcTt] 
avdo-Taais, the prophetic picture in the Apocalypse, be a literal 
resurrection, it is confined to the martyrs ; 2nd, the first resur- 
rection is that of "souls" — said to live, not to be reclothed — and 
it is in contrast to the "second death," which is explained to be 


" the lake of fire." Are the martyrs only to escape the second 
death ? Is not that death, the death of a soul severed for aye 
from God, the source of life ? Of a general resurrection there 
is here no mention, as there is no allusion to the resurrection 
of unbelievers; their destiny is here undisclosed and is left 
under awful shadow. Three reasons are adduced in (Ecume- 
nius for the omission, but only one of them is of any weight, 
viz., that any allusion to the fate of unbelievers was foreign to 
his immediate purpose of enlightening and consoling the 
Thessalonian church. Mackuight is verbose and tenacious in 
expounding his theory that the wicked shall be raised with 
their present bodies, and that as, after the righteous ascend, 
the earth is to be burned, they will, in all probability, remain 
on it to be consumed in the oreneral conflagration. But this 
passage is totally silent as to such a fate, and it cannot be 
found in it even by implication. Nor does any other Scripture 
give any countenance to the conjecture. On the other hand 
Karsten (die letzten Dinge) supposes, with as little proof, that the 
wicked are raised in order to be disembodied. 

The apostle does not say where the souls of the dead are. 
The thief went to Paradise, not to Heaven. Hades represents 
generally the world of spirits, both good and bad, and Hades 
ceases to exist at the last day. They themselves — that is, 
their bodies — shall be raised, personality being attributed to 
them though one portion is wrapt in unconsciousness. 

(Ver. 1/.) ' E7retra tj/meh oi £un>Tes oi irepiXeLirop-tvoi d/xa (tvv 
avTOis ap7ray>](TO,ae0a ev ve(fie\(u<z el$ diravT^mv tov Kvpiou et? 
depa — " Then we who are alive and remain over shall be caught 
up at the same time along with them in clouds to meet the Lord 
in the air." Some MSS. as D X F read el? v-wavrncriv rw Xptarr(}, 
and the Latin versions similarly have obviam Christo, and so 
Tertullian and Jerome. The adverb eireira (eir e'ira) "then," not 
only introduces the second result of the Lord's descent, that the 
living shall be caught up, but also implies that the last event is 
closely connected with the former. Erfurdt on Antig., 607, 
remarks ubi qyuwm praecedat tu it para, necessario ea temporis 
pars intelligi debet, quae rd irpwra proxiine sequitur — i. e., 
6 evearrcos (vol. I, p. 139, 3rd ed.). It is almost equivalent to ko\ 
roVe. Heindorf, Plato de Rejmblica, p. 336 C. The two events 


are consecutive, the one follows close upon the other. For foeis 
ol £wvtc$, &c, see under verse 15. "A/xct may mean simul, at the 
same time, or all in one company. But as <tvv uutoiV follows, the 
temporal meaning of d/ua is to be preferred, and it also implies 
that the one event, though behind the other in time, is in close 
proximity to it. Klotz, Deiuvhis, vol. II, p. 95. 2w avroh 
comprehends those who have been raised — we who are 
alive and remain shall be caught up at the same time 
with them who are raised, and shall form one company. 
The resurrection precedes, and though the dead are prior 
in resurrection, the living are not posterior to them in this 
rapture, but both simultaneously are lifted up in one band to 
meet the Lord. In dp-way^rroixSa is the idea of sudden and 
irresistible seizure by a power beyond us. For the form of the 
verb, see Buttmann,§141. 'Ey ve<fie\ai9 is connected with the verb, 
and seems to characterize either manner or instrument " in the 
clouds," enveloped by them and borne up by them. Lunemann 
and De Wette render "on the clouds," aufWolken — mitten auf 
ihnen thronend. The phrase does not mean " into the clouds," 
as if ev were ei$ (Beza and Hammond), nor does it, as if it were 
i'e<-/>o?, signify in clusters or a great multitude (Koppe, Rosen- 
miiller, Macknight). Clouds are often associated with the 
divine presence — " He maketh the clouds his chariot " (Psalm 
civ, 3); "the clouds are the dust of his feet" (Nahum i, 3); 
Jesus went away in a " cloud " ; "a cloud received Him out of 
their sight" (Acts i, 9); and in the clouds he returns, cttI tcov 
ve<j>e\wv (Matt, xxiv, 30 ; xxvi, 64); ev ve<pe\ai$ (Mark xiii, 26) ; 
/ueru ro)v vefaXwv (Rev. i, 7). The rapture of the living in 
some way corresponds in majesty to Him and His coming, or, 
as Theodoret says, t'Seige to /xeyeOo? t^s tlij.?^. The purpose of 
the seizure is — 

elg aizavT)]<riv too Kuplou — " to meet the Lord." The phrase 
comes from the Septuagint, where it usually represents the 
Hebrew nx^h, as often in Judges and in the historical 
hooks, also in Jer. xli, 6 ; li, 31 ; and is followed by a genitive 
and occasionally by a dative. Polybius, v, 26, 5 ; Winer, 
§31,3. The word belongs to the later Greek. Matt, xxv, 1,6; 
Acts xxviii, 15. The Lord is descending to the earth, they 
are caught up on His progress to meet Him, and thus God 


" brings them with Him " (verse 14). Theophylact, after Chry- 
sostom, likens the meeting to a king's entrance into a city — all 
its aristocracy coining out to meet him. The meeting is one 
of welcome and praise. He is coming in fulfilment of His 
promise and to crown His work. 

He last words, els depa, are connected with the verb 
a p7r ay qcr 6 fxeO a, in ae'ra, and cannot mean through the air 
(Flatt), nor, as is the opinion of the same author, can di'/p denote 
heaven. The air is not to be regarded as the heaven of 
believers, as virtually Pelt, Usteri, and others. The New 
Testament affords no basis for this dream, nor does this place 
say more than that the dead who are raised and the living 
along with them meet the Redeemer, not in heaven as he 
leaves it, nor on earth if He come down to it, but between 
heaven and earth in the air, which, in our imagination, is 
the pathway up to glory (Augustine, De Civ'd. Dei, xx, 20, 2). 
It is not said, on the one hand, that they will descend 
with him to earth, nor, on the other hand, that He will return 
with them to heaven. What shall follow after His saints meet 
Him the apostle does not declare ; he affirms nothing of the 
judgment or the admission to final blessedness. He pauses at 
the point when he had shown how groundless was the per- 
plexity of the Thessalonian believers concerning the position 
and destiny of the dead at the second Advent. But he adds in 
a word as the grand conclusion — 

not ovtoos irdvTOTe <rvv Kv/otw ecrojueOa — " and so we shall ever 
be with the Lord." " And thus," not, under these circumstances, 
but as the consequence of being caught away to meet Him 
into the air. We meet and never more part from him. 
Thucydides, i, 14. The subject of the verb is the sainted dead 
and the .sainted living — who simultaneously are snatched up to 
meet the Lord. Hvv (not nerd) implies close fellowship, and 
-n-dvTOTe expresses its endless duration without limit of time — 
not simply to " the end," when the mediatorial government 
shall pass into that of God in simplicity and immediateness. 
The fellowship of the saved with the Saviour is this unending 
spring of blessedness. It is plainly implied in these words that 
those who survive till the second Advent do not die. Some 
have doubted this, because death is so often asserted to be the 


sure and common destiny of mankind. Disturbed by a various 
reading of 1 Cor. xv, 51, some took £covre$ in a spiritual sense, 
" those who are spiritually alive." Jerome gives Origen's view- 
thus : no8 qui vivimus quorum corpus mortuum est 
propter peccatum ; spiritus a litem vivit propter jiistltlam. 
Jerome reports another opinion : vivi appellant wr, qui 
iiumquam peccato mortal sunt, qui autem peccaverunt, 
et in eo quod peccaverunt, mortui sunt, . . . mortal 
appellantur, quia peccaverunt; in Chrlsto autem mortui, 
quia plena ad Deum mente conversi sunt (Eplst. 119, 
vol. I, p. 811, ed. Vallarsii). That these living survivors 
should in some way die, has been held by many. Augustine 
says: nee Mi per immortalltcm vlvljicabuntur, nisi, qiuim- 
libet paululum, tamen ante moriantur ; ac per hoc eta resur- 
rectione non erunt allenl, quam dormltlo praecedlt, quamvis 
brei'lssima, non tamen nulla {Be Civitate Del, xx, 20, vol. 
VII, p. 963, Opera, Gaume, Paris, 1838). A similar view was 
held by Ambrosiaster, Aquinas, and Anselm, the death taking 
place according to Augustine, Anselm, and a-Lapide In aere et 
raptu ; according to others in terra, qui locus est morlentium. 
See a-Lapide in loc. Ambrosiaster says: in Ipso enlm 
raptu mors provenlet et quasi per soporem, ui ' egressa anima 
in momento reddatur (Opera Omnia, vol. II, p. 450). The 
same hypothesis occurs in the exegesis given by (Ecumenius, 
which states that the living are spirits and the dead are bodies. 
But the apostle in 1 Cor. gives us a glimpse of the truth — " we 
shall not all die, but we shall all be changed." A sudden and 
mysterious change passes over the living — the change of their 
animal body into a spiritual body ; this is supposed to have 
taken place at the point where the apostle says, " We who are 
alive and remain shall be caught up." The exposition of 
a-Lapide ends by showing from the rapture of the saints, quick 
and dead, how the valley of Jehoshaphat, the scene of judgment, 
will be able to hold all — omnes homines qui umquamfuerunt, 
sunt, aid erunt. 

(Ver. 18.) cocrre irapaKaXeire a.\\t]\ou? ev roc? \6yoi$ 
tovtois — " wherefore comfort one another with these words." 
"Qare, consequently, or, so then, Itaque — the verse being an in- 
ferential exhortation. Winer, § 41, 5. The verb corresponds to 


the purpose of the paragraph indicated in verse 13, "iva /mrj 
Xv7rijcr6e — in order that ye should not sorrow; and such being the 
blessed hope as now revealed, the injunction is, comfort one 
another — not each one laying up the hope in his own heart for 
his own individual comfort, but pressing it on others in all 
its blessed adaptation and fulness. By the use of ev the 
Trapa/cA^en? is conceived of as residing in ''these words." It is 
not a Hebraism, as Grotius supposed, for it is often found in 
classical writers, the dative, as Wunder says, being used for the 
Latin ablative of instrument, signifying that the power of 
doing something is contained in that thing to whose name the 
preposition is prefixed, as is conversely the case with ek and 
d-wo (Sophocles, Philoct., 60). 'Ey here thus indicates the instru- 
mental adjunct. Donaldson, § 476 a ; Matthiae, § 396, 2, 2. 
See Raphe!, in loc. There is stress on toutois, as in 1 Tim. 4, 6 
— "these words," from verses 15, 16, 17. Aoyoi is words, "not 
things here or anywhere " (Alford), nor arguments (Pelt), nor 
argumentis et vationibus (Aretius), nor \6yot tj;? -wio-Tews 
(Olshausen). These words, spoken by immediate divine reve- 
lation and authority, contain the elements of genuine and 
lasting consolation. The dead are not lost, and they forego no 
privilege by dying before the Advent; the living obtain no advan- 
tage over them, for these words tell that the dead rise first, and 
that the living being suddenly changed, both are simultaneously 
snatched up to meet the descending Lord, to whose merit and 
mediation all those hopes and glories are owing, and with Him 
shall they be for ever. The inference given by Theodoret 
is foreign to the context — ravra to'lvvv eiSore? (pepere yevvalw? 
rod irapovTO? aicovog to. <TKu0pcc7ra, though the hope here un- 
folded will not only bear up Christians under bereavement, but 
under every form and kind of evil which may fall upon 



The question of the disciples was a natural one, " Tell us 
when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of Thy 
coming." Such curiosity must have been evinced in Thessa- 
lonica, excited by the apostle's preaching on the duty of 
waiting for His Son from heaven. And he seems to have given 
them the Lord's words, " of that day and hour knoweth no 
man." This statement had been distinctly made, so that they 
knew it perfectly. At least the suddenness of the Advent had 
been impressed on them. The Lord had said " in such an hour 
as ye think not the Son of Man cometh," using also a figure 
here briefly repeated, " know this, that if the goodman of the 
house had known in what watch the thief would come, he 
would have watched" (Matt, xxiv, 43). There is no need 
therefore to conjecture with Olshausen that the Thessalonians 
had sent a special question as to the period of the Advent to 
Paul, and prayed for his solution of the mystery. In such a 
case the language of the first verse would have borne some 
trace of being a response. The apostle has told them what had 
been revealed to him by immediate revelation, and he has 
exhorted them to apply to their own comfort such words of 
wonder, hope, and assurance. And now he passes by Se to a 
different but collateral subject. 

(Ver. 1.) Uep\ Se rwv xpovoov Koi twv Kcupaiv, aSe\<po) — " But ot 
the times and the seasons, brethren." The nouns are thus dis- 
tinguished by Ammonius, the first as defining 7roo-oV>;?, quantity, 
and the second ttoioti^, quality; or, the first means simple or inde- 
finite duration, while the second carries with it limitation and 
character, and thus comes to denote epoch, season, or opportunity 
— involving the notion of transitoriness. Tittmann, Be Syiwn., 
I, p. 39 ; Trench, II, p. 27. Kcupo? is probably allied to Ketpco 
as tempu8 to re/uvui, a special period cut out of time, for time 
comprehends all seasons, or as Bengel says, Y/>oVaw partes 
Kfupoi Hence the phrase xP^vov Kaipbv (Sophocles, Electro, 
1292). Xpovo? may stand generally for Kaipo?, but not the 
reverse (Luke i, 20; Acts iii, 20, 21 ; Gal. iv, 10). The Latin 
tongue, as Augustine acknowledged, has no special term to 


represent Katpo?, as opportanitas has in it the idea of fitting- 
ness or favourableness, whereas Kaip6$ may bear the opposite 
meaning. The Vulgate renders here de temporibus autem et 
momentis as in Acts i, 7; ilber Zeit und Stunde (Lunemann). 
The same Greek terms are used in Acts i, 7 ; Wisdom, vii, 18 ; 
viii, 8; and in the singular in Eecles. iii, 1 ; r'umepa. and copa, 
general and special, occur in Matt, xxiv, 3G; Mark xiii, 32. The 
plural is employed here in reference to the number of times and 
seasons, not to their absolute length, though it does imply some 
extent of duration. The object is the Second Advent, the 
period of which may comprise a variety of times and seasons 
preparing for it, characterizing, and fixing it. 

ou xP eluv e'x eTe vi x ~ lv ypufevOai — " ye have no need that it or 
anything be written to you." See under iv, 9. This version is 
more in accordance with the Greek idiom than the common 
ones, " that I write unto you," or " to be written unto," as it 
preserves the force of the dative and the infinitive passive. The 
ground of the statement has been variously given. (1) The 
Greek fathers suppose that the apostle regarded information on 
the point as superfluous and unprofitable, oo? irepirTov, kui 
w? aarvp.<j>opov (Chrysostom). (2) Others imagine the reason 
to be, that no one can know these things. Fromond, Koch, 
Pelt, Estius, Baumgarten-Crusius. (3) Bengel assigns a moral 
reason — qui vigilant, his non opus est dici, quando futura sit 
hora, nam semper parati sunt. (4) The true and simple reason 
probably is that the apostle had already instructed them 
during his sojourn among them, and as he had taught them 
orally, he did not need to write now to them. For he 
affirms in the following verse that they know with perfect 
accuracy, not indeed the times and seasons, but they knew this 
— that the Second Advent would take men by surprise. They 
had been taught not its period, that being undisclosed, but its 

(Ver 2.) avrol yap a/cp</3a>? o'lSare — " for ye yourselves know 
perfectly." This verse assigns the reason (yap) why they had no 
need to be written to on the times and seasons — they themselves 
had correct information ; the emphatic avrol in contrast with 
the writer himself as in iv, 9. The adverb dicpi/3a)? occurs only 
once more in Paul's epistles, and is rendered " circumspectly " 


(Ephes. v, 15). It is rendered " diligently " in Matt, ii, 8, and in 
Acts xviii, 25, "perfect," (Luke i, 3), "having had perfect under- 
standing"; the comparative adjective is used in Acts xviii, 2G; 
xxiii, 15, 20, and the superlative in Acts xxvi, 5. Their know- 
ledge of what he is going to state was not dim, uncertain, or 
fluctuating, but precise, clear, and accurate. 

on tj/Liepa l\.vp:ou to? /cAe7rr>/? ev vvkti, ovtu>$ ep^crut — 
" that the day of the Lord as a thief cometh in the night, 
so it cometh." The article which the Received Text places 
before t)p.'epa is omitted in BDF N, but is found in AKL and 
many mss. and fathers. It may have been omitted, as % stands 
so close to ?)juepa succeeding it, but its insertion may have been 
owing to grammatical precision. It is not needed, for the sense 
is not affected by the omission, " the day of the Lord " being a 
definite and unique expression. Compare Philip, i, G, 10; ii, 16; 
2 Peter iii, 10. Winer, § 19, 1, 2 b. The phrase in the usage of 
the Old Testament, n i~\ ai', is used in the prophets to denote 
the appearance of Jehovah's direct and glorious self-manifesta- 
tion in his awful rectitude and power (Is. ii, 12 ; Ezek. xiii, 5 ; 
Joel i, 15; ii, 11; iii, 14; Zeph. i, 14; Mai. iv, 5). Here the 
Lord is Jesus Christ, who returns on this day, specially His as 
fixed by Him — His, as showing His glory and crowning His 
mediatorial work, as declared in the previous paragraph. On 
Kvpios, see Ephes. i, 2. The day of the Lord is the period of the 
Second Coming, as may be seen by comparing Luke xvii, 30 ; 
1 Cor. i, 8; v, 5; 2 Cor. i, 14; Philip, i, G, 10; ii, 16; 2 Thess. 
ii, 2. (1) The phrase, as it is suggested by the 14th, 15th, 16th 
verses of the previous chapter, cannot refer to the destruction of 
Jerusalem as Schottgen, Hammond, Harduin. See Whitby's 
reply to Hammond in loc. (2) Nor, for the same reason, can it 
refer to each man's death, or to this and to the end of all things 
(Zwingli, Bloomfield, and Riggenbach). Chrysostom writes oi>x 
rj Koivh fxovov dXka ku'i >] eKacrrov ISia," for the one resembles the 
other." That may be the self-application for each one, since 
death to him is the day of the Lord, but it is not the true 
meaning and reference of the clause under review — 

co? /cAe7TT>79 ev vvkti . . . epx^Tai — " <is a thief in 
the night cometh." The day cometh not simply in the 
night, but in the night as a thief. Winer, § 20, 4 note. 


It is not simply nocturnal, but sudden and unexpected. 
The figure is common in Scripture (Matt, xxiv, 43 ; Luke 
xii, 39; 2 Peter iii, 10; Rev. iii, 3; xvi, 15). The allusion 
is first found in Job xxiv, 14 ; Jer. xlix, 0. The house is 
unguarded, deep sleep has fallen on its unprepared inmates, and 
in such a night the thief comes and makes sudden and effectual 
entrance to " kill and to steal and to destroy." It is added 
emphatically ourw? epxerai, so it cometh, the manner of the 
Advent being brought into formal prominence, o>? being 
resumed in ovrco?, not as Bengel puts it, uti dicetur versa 
sequente. The present is not for the future (Koppe, Flatt, 
Pelt), nor does it express the suddenness of the event (Bengel, 
Koch), but its absolute certainty. Bernhardy, p. 371; Winer, 
§ 40, 2. Though the Advent be future, the present gives it an 
abiding characteristic. There is no need of saying with 
Riggenbach, das Bild des Diebes scheint unedel zu sein ; 
or with Schott, si quid parum decor i Jtuic cojnparationi 
inesse videatur perpendamas necesse est, minime personam 
Christ I redituri cum fare adventante, sed rein ipsam cum Juris 
adventu conferri. Such a distinction serves no purpose. The 
figure in its suggestiveness is easily understood. He comes as 
the thief comes without warning, in such an hour as men think 
not, and when they are not looking for him. Theodoret says, 
to ai<pi>lSiov tj/? SecnroTiKijg irapovata^ aire'iKaa-e AcXe7TT>/. The 
suddenness of the event is therefore the idea specially sug- 
gested by the image, so far as dead saints and the surviving 
ones are concerned. The terribleness of the event which 
Schott, Hofmann, and Alford find in the figure is brought out 
only in the following verse, and as regards unprepared unbe- 
lievers, as has been remarked. There is no doubt that this 
verse and others having a similar figui'e originated in the earl}' 
church the opinion that the Lord would come in the night, 
and especially on Easter Eve, as He came when the first pass- 
over was held in Egypt, and solemn vigils were kept in 
expectation of the event. Lunemann. Bingham, vol. VII, p. 23(>. 
The language employed by the apostle has a strong resemblance 
to that of our Lord in Matt, xxiv, 43 ; xxv, G; and he ascribes 
to his readers a perfect knowledge of the statement. Most 
probably the information was acquired through the apostle's 


own personal teaching when he was with them. There is no 
proof of Ewald's supposition that he had left with them a 
written document, Urhunde, a so-called gospel referred to in 
the previous words Aoyo? Kvplov (iv, 15). Nor is there any 
foundation for Wordsworth's hypothesis that they might have 
had a written gospel, " either Matthew or Luke, probably the 
latter." The apostle had in his preaching at Thessalonica 
dwelt on the suddenness of the Second Advent ; the ignorance 
of its period imposing constant preparedness and watchfulness. 
And they knew this correctly. What they knew was that 
they did not know the time, but only the solemn suddenness, 
of the Lord's coming (Luke xii, 39). 

(Ver. 8.) oral' Xeyoocriv Etp'/w/ koi a<r<pa\eia — " when they 
may be saying peace and safety." The Received Text inserts 
yap after orav with K L, many mss., the Vulgate (enim) ; Se in 
place of yap is found in BD N 3 , in the Philoxenian Syriac, and 
in Eusebius, Chrysostom, and Theodoret ; orav stands alone, 
A F N, in four mss., the Claromontane Latin, the Peshito, the 
Gothic, and in many of the Latin fathers. There was ever a 
strong temptation to supply connecting particles, so that very 
probably <5e is to be rejected as well as yap. The two particles 
are often exchanged in codices, as Rom. iv, 15 ; xi, 13 ; xv, 8 • 
Gal. i, 11 ; iv, 25 ; v, 17. The description is all the more vivid 
from its apparent abruptness and the want of any copula. In 
cases parallel to this, the Authorized Version often uses the 
present, as in Matt, vi, 2, 5, 6, 10 ; x, 19, 23 ; though here it 
employs the future. The persons implied are not merely, as 
Hammond supposes, the Jews who persecuted those who 
received the faith with all bitterness, and all " temporizing- 
Christians who complied and joined along with them — Jews 
and Gnostics, who were the cockle among the wheat in every 
Christian plantation." Chrysostom also partly holds the same 
view, " those who warred upon them," ol 7roAepowre? avrovs. 
The reference, as the context shows, is to unbelieving men 
who are wholly unprepared for the sudden crisis — 

E<p>/j/>/ Kai aa-cpaXeia — " peace and safety," that is, are on all 
sides, perhaps a reminiscence of Ezek. xiii, 10, 10, " saying 
peace and there was no peace." The first term may be inner 
quiet and the second outer tranquillity, nothing within or 



without disturbing or menacing their ominous repose, which is 
so fallacious and so soon to be sternly and suddenly broken and 
destroyed. The unheralded storm dashes on them in a moment, 
as if from a clear and unclouded sky, or, in the apostle's 
figure — ■ 

rore a!(pi'lSiog avroig ecplcrrarai oAeOpo? — " then suddenly 
on them does come destruction." The adjective ai<j>v!Sto?, 
" unforeseen," from its position emphatic — a species of predicate 
of manner — is more, as Ellicott says, than a mere epithet, and 
may be rendered by an adverbial phrase, repentinus eis super- 
veniet interitus (Vulgate), the Syriac having i»OQQJ jl^AiLo 
Kiihner, § 685 ; Winer, § 54, 2 ; Ellendt's note, Arrian, vol. I, 
p. 174 ; Thucydides, vi, 49 ; viii, 28. The same happens often 
in Latin — as subitus irrupit (Tacitus, Hist., iii, 47); Kritz, Sal- 
lust, note on the phrase aspera fcedaque evenerant, i, p. 125, 
compared with do., ii, p. 174. The present verb e^la-rarai is 
to come upon by surprise (Luke xxi, 34 ; Acts iv, 1 ; xvii, 5) ; 
to al<pviSiov kcu aTrpocrSoK^TOv (Thucydides, II, 61). It has here 
the simple dative, eiri being used in the passage just quoted 
from Luke xxi, 34. "OXeOpos (oXXvpi) means death in the 
Homeric poems, and then destruction in a general sense (1 Cor. 
v, 5), ruin inflicted as a divine penalty or as the result of sinful 
courses (2 Thess. i, 9 ; 1 Tim. vi, 9 ; Sept., Pro. xxi, 7 ; Obadiah 
13). This state of false peace is suddenly broken, and they a,re 
destroyed in their dream of security. 

locrirep »} wSiv T)j ev yacrrpi poverty /ecu ov pa] ac(J)vyo)(Tiv — "as 
travail upon her with child, and they shall in no wise escape." 
The form wSlv instead of odSIs, like ukt'lv, belongs to the later 
Greek. Winer, § 9, 2, note 1 ; Buttmann, § 41, 3. The phrase ev 
yacrrpi exovcrt] is the usual formula denoting pregnancy (Matt, i, 
1 8, 23 ; xxiv, 19 ; Mark xiii, 17; Luke xxi, 23 ; Rev. xii, 2). The 
phrase in Iliad, vi, 58 is yaarrepi <pepeiv, and ev yacrrpi (pepeiv 
occurs in Plato, De Legg. vii, 792 e. This comparison is found 
often in the Old Testament (Ps. xlviii, 6 ; Is. xiii, 8 ; xxi, 3 ; 
Jer. vi, 24 ; Hosea xiii, 13 ; Micah iv, 9, 10). The point of 
comparison is the suddenness and uncertainty of the birth- 
pang. The throe of agony comes in a moment upon the woman, 
no matter where she is or in what she is engaged. Other points 
of analogy have been sought for, but they unnecessarily strain 


the figure. (1) Rieger and Calvin suggest that, as the woman 
carries in herself the cause of her anguish, so these unbelieving 
men bear their sin, the source of their suffering, within 
them. (2) Pelt mars the unity of the figure by laying 
undue stress on the inevitableness of the travail. (3) Chrysos- 
tom combines in his illustration the severity as well as the 
suddenness of the spasm. Theodore t's words are " she knows 
that she is pregnant, but docs not know the time of her travail, 
so we know that the Lord of all will come, but we have not 
indeed learned the time of His Advent." (Ecumenius adds, 
" that indeed she has signs of birth, but she knows not its hour 
or day." (4) De Wette, approved by Koch and Lunemann, in 
the same spirit, thus puts it — " that the figure assumes the day 
to be near, as such a woman, though she does not know the day 
and hour, has yet knowledge of the period." The idea so far 
contradicts the context which represents the unbelieving world 
as wholly taken by surprise ; and, besides, it is not the preg- 
nancy nor the birth, but the proverbially sudden pang which 
seizes such a woman, that the apostle puts into prominence. 
(5) Olshausen brings out another idea foreign to the figure in 
its present use, that a higher life is to be produced in humanity 
by the will of God, through the ordinance of these pangs; and 
Bisping thus enlarges, " the end of all things is the time of the 
birth- woe, which is followed by the new birth of humanity im 
grossen Gauge, and of all nature (Rom. viii, 22)." But it is not 
the result or product of the birth which is here presented, it is 
the sudden rush of destruction upon those who are lulled in a 
false and carnal security. Or it is the unexpectedness of the 
Advent to all who are not prepared for it and looking for it ; 
that is the apostle's statement in itself, and as pointed by 
the double figure. The Lord himself delivered and illustrated 
the same awful truth — as it was in the days of Noah, when 
the flood, swift and undreamed of, came on a busy and self- 
indulging world ; as it was in the days of Lot when Sodom 
was absorbed in social merriment and prosperity, and when in 
a moment it rained fire and brimstone from heaven upon it, so 
shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. Compare Is. xxx, 
13 ; Matt, xxiv, 36, 30; Luke xvii, 20-30. 

ku\ ov firj €K(j>vywa-iv — " and they shall in no wise escape." 


There is no accusative expressed, and it narrows the sense to 
supply one, so that the verb is to be taken in its fullest signifi- 
cance (Heb. ii, 3 ; xii, 25 ; Ecclus. xvi, 13). A direct accusative 
is, however, sometimes added (Rom. ii, 3 ; 2 Mace, vii, 35 ; vi, 
2G). Whatever is threatened, whatever they merit, they shall 
not escape, but shall meet with the opposite of peace and safety. 
For the double negative ov p.7'1, see under iv, 15. Compare Ps. 
lxxiii, 18, 19. 

(Ver. 4.) 'Yp-ei^ Se, dSe\<po}, ovk ecrre ev cncorei — "But ye, 
brethren, are not in darkness." Their character is placed in 
contrast, Se, with that of those whose doom is told in the pre- 
vious verse. 'Ecrre is not imperative, but indicative. (1) The 
imperative would have required /uuj (Schmalfeld, p. 143). (2) 
Besides, Christians are in profession and character, not in dark- 
ness. (3) As Koch remarks, the imperative ecrre does not occur 
in the New Testament. The clause is simply an assertion, 
and ev a-Korei appears to have been suggested by the previous 
ev vukti. The ctkotos is not simply ignorance (Theodoret and 
others), but spiritual darkness or depravit}- — darkness of soul 
as well as of intellect — without the saving enlightenment of 
the truth — the state of unthinking and unbelieving men, who 
though on the verge of ruin are in self-delusion, saying " peace 
and safety " (Rom. xiii, 12). See under Ephes. v, 6. The apostle 
uses the abstract ev a-Korei — in it as their enveloping element. 
(Greek fathers). See under Col. i, 13. 

'Iva ?) foepa vfAas co? /cAcVtjj? Ka.Ta\df3>] — " that the day should 
overtake you as a thief." The order >; foepa vjuu? is supported 
by BKLN, nearly all mss., and by the Greek fathers Epi- 
phanius, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Damascenus ; while the order 
vfxus i] foepa is found in A D F, both Latin versions, and many 
Latin fathers, and is adopted by Lachmann, Tischendorf in 
his first edition, and Ellicott. The authority is not very 
decided either way, and it may be said on the one hand that 
vfias was emphasized purposely by putting it first, or, 
on the other hand, that it was put after foe pa according 
to the simpler order which is preferred by Tischendorf in 
his 2nd and 7th editions, and by Alford. The reading 
K-AeVra?, received by Lachmann, and found in A B and 
the Coptic version, is favoured by Grotius, De Wette, and 


Ewald, but cannot be sustained, for though it be the more 
difficult reading, it wants the authority of manuscripts, ver- 
sions, and fathers, "ha is not to be rendered ecbatically as 
iorrre (Pelt, Schott, Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, Bisping, 
Jowett), but with its usual telic signification so far modified 
that result is combined with purpose (Winer, § 53, 6), or pur- 
pose is viewed as embodied in result. Liinemann states the 
connection thus, " the penalty which falls on the unbelieving 
and God-estranged, may that not fall upon you." Hofmann 
regards it differently — " the being in darkness would be indis- 
pensable in order to such a surprise." The sense then is, ye are 
not in darkness, for this blessed purpose, that the day may not 
overtake you as a thief. The purpose of your enlightenment is 
that the day may not surprise you, as it must and will those 
who are still in darkness. The verb KaraKafiy has from Kurd an 
intensified meaning, that of eager or sudden seizure, and 
not necessarily that des feindlichen Ergreifens (Koch). A 
similar sense modified by the context is found in Mark ix, 18 ; 
John viii, 3, 4; xii, 35 ; Philip, iii, 12. The phrase r) yifxepahas 
been taken by many as synonymous with ;; i]pkpa Kvplov. 
Hence F adds eKelvrj, the two Latin versions have ilia, and 
the Syriac reads psOQj ooi. But the reference is wrong, as 
the following verses show in the phrases, "children of 
the day," " not of darkness," " let us who are of the day." 
The noun >']/u.epa is now used as in contrast with ct/co'to?, and is 
the period of light, that light which, breaking in upon the soul, 
so benignly fills it that it is no longer ev a-Korei, and which 
shineth more and more unto the perfect day — the day of the 
Lord. The day — the period of light, the day-spring from on 
high — should not surprise them like a thief stealing suddenly 
upon them, for they were not in darkness, they were already 
children of light, familiar with it, and prepared for the fuller 
light of "that day." If the reading K\e7rrashe adopted,the mean- 
ing would be — The day bursting upon the thief surprises him 
in his nocturnal prowling, or seizes him unawares when not 
suspecting the dawn to be at hand ; but ye are not in that 
predicament, ye are not like thieves " who ply their work 
in the night" (De Wette) The inference or lesson is given 
by Ambrose, nobis cn'nn nun scire proderat ; ut dum certa 


futuri judicii momenta nescimus, semper tanquam in excubiis 
constituti, et in quadam virtutis specula collocati peccandi 
consuetudinem declinemus ; ne nos inter vitia dies Domini 
deprehendat; non enim prodest scire, sed metuere quodfuturum 
est (De Fide, v, 14, Paris, 1845). 

(Ver. 5.) Travres yap vueis viol (pcoros e<rre /ecu vio\ t)[xepa$ — "for 
all ye are sons of the light and of the day." There is over- 
whelming evidence in uncials, versions, and fathers for the 
insertion of yap, which the Received Text omits. Ye are not in 
darkness, " for ye are all sons of light." The Hebraic form 
*vmri ?,?, viol <J)goto$, denotes genetic relationship, light in the 
aspect of a parent to his children. Winer, § 34, 3 6 2. The usage 
with the genitive of an abstract noun is common in Hebrew — the 
light is their origin and life. Many examples may be seen in 
Glassii Philologia Sacra, vol. I, p. 95, ed. Dathe. All the six 
sections of examples are not so distinguishable in meaning or 
reference as Glassius makes them. Compare Luke xvi, 8 ; John 
xii, 36 ; Matt, viii, 12 ; xiii, 38 ; Acts iv, 36 ; Ephes. vi, 8. See 
under Ephes. ii, 2, 3. There are phrases remotely similar in 
classic Greek, but none of them has the genitive of an abstract 
noun; and even with regard to them Bloomfield remarks, notan- 
dum, hoc genus loquendi apud sopmistas et scriptores neotericos 
maxime in gratia fuisse (Peraxe, 408; Goettling, Hesiod, Theog., 
240, p. 26). The relation expressed being derivative, the sense is 
not that of the Greek expositors, ol to. 0o>to? 7rpdrrovTe?, or 
ol to. SiKcua K(u ire^idTKTjxkva TrpaTTOVTes (CEcumenius), though 
such is the result. The " light " and " the day " are so far 
synonymous, as the day is the period of the light, which puts 
an end to the darkness. Divine enlightenment fills the 
believer — the light is his life, the birth and growth of his 
spiritual existence. 

ovk ea-p-ev vvktos ovSe cr/coroy? — " we are not of the night nor 
of darkness." 'Ecr-re, found in a few codices, is a conformation to 
the previous clauses. It is wrong in Estius, Pelt, and Schott to 
supply viol ; the genitive by itself rather denotes the sphere to 
which one belongs. Acts ix, 2 ; xxiii, 6 ; 1 Cor. vi, 19 ; Heb. x, 
39 ; Winer, § 30, 5 ; Ast Lex. Platon., sub voce ei/xi ; Bernhardy, 
p. 165. We believers in general belong not to the night nor 
to darkness ; night being the period of darkness, it is not our 


sphere of origin or action. The night has passed away ; the 
darkness is gone ; and we are light in the Lord. The apostle 
passes from the meaning of t)p.epa, as the point of time when 
the Lord comes again, to its more common meaning of day- 
time as the period of light in contrast with night-time and 
darkness, these being taken at the same time as symbols of 
spiritual states. Being now sons of the day, we live in its 
light, which is only brightened by the clay of the Lord when 
it comes, for it brings fuller and endless radiance. In Rom. xiii, 
11, 12, 13, the apostle makes a similar transition from the use of 
day, as meaning the Advent, to its natural or spiritual significa- 
tion. The startling reverse of the picture is given in Amos v, 
18, 19, 20. 

(Ver. 6.) " Kpa ovv p.i] fca.6ev8cop.ev ws /ecu ol Xonroi — " So then 
let us not sleep even as the rest." After go?, tcdi is wanting in 
A B N 1 and in the Vulgate (Codex Amiatinus); but it is found in 
DFKL N 3 , in the Vulgate, Peshito, and several of the fathers. 
It is found in similar clauses, 1 Cor. ix, 5 ; Ephes. ii, 3 ; 1 Thess. 
v, 13. The authorities for the omission are about as valid as 
those for the insertion. 

" is inferential, such being the case, and ovv is collective 
and argumentative ; then, therefore, as things are, let us in 
consequence of our being so. Klotz, Devarius, ii, pp. 181-717 ; 
Donaldson, Cratylus, § 192. As we are sons of the day, and 
are not sons of the night, let us, I and you, not sleep — sleep 
and night go together, but sleep and day are incompatible. 
Sleep is the image of spiritual lethargy and indifference, with- 
out earnestness or activity. " The others " are the unbelieving 
world around them, that cared for none of these things, wrapped 
in a profound slumber, never awakened to the reality of the 
soul's condition and prospects, and the spiritual consciousness 
so wholly sunk into torpor and death as to be unsusceptible of 
saving impressions. See under Ephes. v, 14. Compare Matt, 
xiii, 13, 14, 15. 

aWa yp>jyopwp.ev /ecu vij(j>wp.ev — " but let us watch and be 
sober." The clause is the direct positive contrast to the 
previous negative one. The verb yp^yopkoo, used as a present, 
is from the perfect of the verb eyeipco, eypijyopa. Buttmann, 
vol. II, pp. 114, 115; Phrynichus, ed. Lobeck, p. 118. For 


the use of the subjunctive, see Winer, 41, 4. Wakefulness is 
enjoined by the apostle, on himself, and all his fellow-believers. 
The verb v)'i( may be from v>) + e<j> = eb, Sanscrit wp, water, 
der nocht nicht getrunken hat, connected with ebrius and x/wb. 
(Benfey, Wurzellcx., vol. II, p. 75). Thomas Magister says u/i<pec 
Ti? brav /xea;/? e/cTO? »} . . . yprjyopel otuv €kto? vttvov ?}. Let 
us who are not in the world's great dormitory not only be 
wakeful and ever on the alert, but also wary in our vigilance, 
serene and circumspect in thought and act, neither dreaming 
on the one hand, nor suddenly thrown off our guard on the 
other hand, unbeguiled by "dreams and fantasies," oveiparwv 
kuI <pavracrla$ (Chrysostom) ; as the same father remarks, "for 
even by day if one watches, but is not sober, he will fall into 
numberless dangers"— coarre yp>/yo/))/cre«9 €7riTa<ri? i) vrfyjris ecrTiv. 
Mark xiii, 35, 36, 37- This is probably not strictly correct, 
for the two verbs are taken as being nearly synonymous, 
as Huther on 1 Peter v, 8 ; but the second is rather the result 
of the first, and cannot exist without it. There may be a 
watchfulness devoid of that self-discipline which is implied 
in sobriety. Then follows the confirmatory illustration — 

(Ver. 7.) ol yap Ka6euSovT€$ vvktos KaQevSovaiv, na\ ol 
pedvo-Ko/JLevoi vvktos p.eBuovcriv — " for they that sleep sleep in 
the night, and they that be drunken are drunken in the night." 
The last half of the verse is rendered in the Claromontane Latin 
et qui inebriantur nocte ebrii sunt. So Bengel says, /meOua-KOfxai 
notat actum; p.e6vw statmn vel habitum. Macknight makes 
the same distinction, " the first verb signifies the act of getting 
drunk, and the second the state." Similarly, Erasmus, Beza, 
and Piscator. But the distinction does not seem to be tenable, 
at least it serves no purpose to make it here. Compare John 
ii, 10; Ephes. v, 18 ; Rev. xvii, 2. Both verbs represent the 
same Hebrew word in the Septuagint, ~av — the first, how- 
ever, in its Piel form -ac-'. The second Greek term is 
often used figuratively with ai/ua in the Septuagint, and 
also in the New Testament, as Rev. xvii, 0. As the verb 
is repeated in the first half of the verse, the variation need 
not be insisted on in the second half. The Vulgate has 
et qui ebrii sunt, nocte ebrii sunt — the stress of the sentence 
lying on the repeated vvktos- By many the verse has been 


taken in a figurative or spiritual sense. Thus Chrysostom, 
" the drunkenness of which he here speaks is not that from 
wine only, but that also which comes from all sins. For wealth 
and the lust of possession is a drunkenness of the soul, and so 
is carnal lust (acofxdrwv ejowy), and every sin you can name is a 
drunkenness of the soul." Then he says, " Sin is a sleep, 
because in the first place the vicious man is inactive with 
regard to virtue, and again because he sees everything^ a vision, 
he views nothing in its true light, but is full of dreams — 6 TrXouro? 
ovap, i) Soga, iravra to. Toiavra" The illustration is repeated 
by CEcumenius and Theophylact, and is virtually adopted by 
Baumgarten-Crusius, Koch, Hofmann, &c. Baumgarten-Crusius 
thus gives it, " Defect in spiritual life and immorality, belong to 
the lightless condition, therefore not to you"; or as Hofmann, 
"with those who sleep and get drunk it is night." Pelagius 
explains, qui dormicrunt obliti sunt sui; curae quoque in- 
cbriant mentem. Augustine is still more decided, noctem 
dicens iniquitatem, hi qua Mi obdormiunt cupiendo ista 
terr&na, &c, {Enarrat. inPs. 131, vol. IV, p.2102,O^crc/, Gaume). 
But it is better to take the words in their natural sense, the 
meaning being that in ordinary experience night is the common 
time for sleep and for drunkenness. The repetition of the verbs, 
as subject and predicate, shows, as Lunemann remarks, that vuk- 
tos is only a designation of time. The verse is thus a familiar 
illustration of the use and abuse of night. Admonct indecoi'wm 
atque toirpe esse dormirc medio die aid inebriari (Calvin). 
Peter's disclaimer was, " these men are not drunk, seeing it is 
but the third hour of the day" (Acts ii, 15) ; and in his second 
epistle he brands some persons as guilty of an uncommon and 
aggravated sin, "that shall perish in their own corruption," 
viz., " that count it pleasure to riot in the daytime " (ii, 13). 
8leep and drunkenness belong to the night season, it is the 
natural time for the one, and it is for many reasons taken 
advantage of for the other. Believers, on the other hand, are 
to be wakeful and sober, are not to be like the rest, ol \onrol, 
who are of the night in every sense, it being their element and 
sphere. What is true of sleepers and drunkards literally is 
true in a higher and more awful sense of those who want 
spiritual illumination. See under Gal. v, 20. 


(Ver. S.) Sjfxeis Se i)/u.epa? cWe? vityoo/uev — " but let us as being 
of the day be sober." By the emphatic q/xeis he identifies 
himself with his readers, and by Se he passes to contrasted 
conduct. The participle has a quasi-causal, or what Schmal- 
feld calls a temporal-causal force (p. 207), "inasmuch as we are 
of the day," an argument to be sober and to arm ourselves. See 
under verses 5 and G. The Peshito inserts JLl£>, " sons," and 
some expositors, as Estius, Whitby, Schott, &c, needlessly do 
the same, and mar the idiom. See under verse 5. It would 
seem that $ /jfxepa and rj/jiepa are kept distinct in the para- 
graph, the first being the definite day of the Lord, and the 
second the present period of illumination and activity. This 
sobriety, in which the mental powers are preserved in strict 
discipline, is necessary, and yet it is not enough to be never off 
our guard, there must also be the assumption of armour — aWa 
Se'i Kul Ka9o7r\c£e<r6cu (Chrysostom). 

evSvcra/uevoi Ocopaica 7ri<TTeoos /ecu aya7n/? /ecu irepiKe(pa\aiav 
kX-rriSa acoryplas — " having put on the breast-plate of faith and 
love, and for an helmet the hope of salvation." Not merely 
induti (Vulgate). The past participle describes the action as 
just preceding the state inculcated by the verb, or contem- 
poraneous with it. Winer, § 45, 2. He has said in verse 6, "let 
us watch and be sober " ; and now, assuming that believers are 
watchful, he repeats, " let us be sober." Sobriety is self- 
restraint, self-discipline, indispensable to our getting the benefit 
of the armour which we are to assume. An armed man not 
watchful, an armed man undisciplined, will soon be seized and 
vanquished. The figure of a Christian soldier is common with 
the apostle (2 Cor. x, 4 ; Ephes. vi, 11 ; 1 Tim. vi, 11 ; Sept., Is. 
lix, 17). Perhaps the idea of watching suggested that of being 
armed for defence, the underlying thought being that we must 
not be so subdued, and so kept in spiritual captivity, that the 
day of the Lord should surprise us. Resistance against evils, 
which are apt to overpower and fetter us so as to throw us 
into unpreparedness for the Advent of the Master, is the soul 
of the figure — the being armed not for aggression but for 

The three genitives, 7rlcrTeoo$, aydirr)^, o-coryplas, are without 
the article, as being well known and unique terms, and by 


correlation they cause the governing substantives, 6u>paica, 
irepiKec^oXaiav, also to want the article, and that in cases 
" where the governing noun might seem to require the definite 
form." Winer, § 19, 1 ; Middleton, Greek Article, p. 48, ed. 
Rose. For the use of the verb euSveiv, compare Herod., vii, 
218 ; Xenoph. Cyrop., vi, 4, 2; Wisdom, v, 17; Ephes. vi, 11 ; 
Rom. xiii, 12. 

In the phrase OdopctKu wlo-recDs koi ayair^, the genitives are 
those of apposition. Winer, § 59, 8. Faith and love are the 
defence of the person. The breast-plate or coat of mail covers 
the heart, the helmet or military cap defends the head. Il/o-rt? 
is a Owpag, for it is a faith which realizes one's position, its 
dangers and its means of safety ; which grasps the truth, and 
is filled with its living power ; steady in its dependence on the 
Master, and in its conscious union with Him ; heroic from His 
example, and self-sustained by His presence. 'AyaVj/, which 
with 7t[(tti9 forms the KapSicxpvXag, is a love which lives in 
self-consecration ; which does all duty, and bears all trial from 
paramount affection to Him ; being knitted to Him, and, 
through Him, to all that bears His image. These in their 
combination form an armour of mail tempered so that no 
weapon can pierce it; a harness through whose joints no arrow 
can find an unsuspected entrance (1 John v, 4, 5). 

"And for an helmet the hope of salvation." The genitive 
crwrj/yo/a? may be taken as that of object, not the basis on which 
hope rests, but the object which it embraces, or what it desires 
and expects. See under i, 3. Hoor^pla, used in the abstract, 
has its most comprehensive meaning, of deliverance from sin 
and death, from all the penal and polluting effects of the fall — 
a deliverance incipiently and partially enjoyed now, and to be 
fully and finally possessed at the Second Advent. The hope of 
such salvation covers the head in the day of battle, preserves 
from despondency, nerves to face danger, and braces up under 
fatigue and difficulty by fixing the gaze on the glorious issue 
which is no uncertainty, as is told in the following verse. " It 
is not possible that one fortified by such armour as this should 
ever fall" (Chrysostom), or as Theodoret pithily puts it, yeveaOa) 
<Se rji&lv tcpavo<s appayes i) Tt}S e7rtiyye\p.evt]s <rcoT>ipia? eATrt?. 

What keeps believers sober, vigilant, armed, and thus pre- 


pared, is the possession of the three primary graces, faith, love, 
and hope, arranged as in i, 3. See under it. When these are 
in lively exercise, the soul is ever wary and watchful, ever 
prepared for the Master's coming, nay, longing for it — faith 
believing it, love embracing it, hope ardently anticipating it — 
and then the day will not overtake us unawares or as a 

Between this and the somewhat corresponding passage in 
Ephes. vi, 13, &c, there are some points of difference. First, 
in the Epistle to the Ephesians, there is a fuller description of 
the defensive armour — the girdle, the sandal, and the shield, 
omitted here, are there mentioned. Secondly, there is also 
mention in that epistle of an aggressive weapon — the sword. 
And, thirdly, there is some variation in the explanatory terms — 
there it is the breast-plate of righteousness, but here the breast- 
plate of faith and love, the distinction between them being that of 
process and result ; there it is the helmet of salvation, but here 
the hope of salvation ; and the shield, not enumerated here, is 
there called the shield of faith. Heart and head being such 
vital organs are selected as needing special and fitting defence, 
the shield as well as the breast-plate being said to be faith ; 
the idea of self-defence is common to both. " Salvation " is 
also exchanged for the "hope of salvation," the difference 
being that between salvation, partial now but consciously 
enjoyed, and the prospect of a perfect salvation in heaven, so 
that the various figures are not to be pressed too closely, as in 
Chandler's paraphrase or Gurnall's Christian Armour. For 
the meaning of the military terms see under Ephes. vi, 14, 17. 

(Ver. 9.) uti ovk eOero rjixas 6 Geo? ety opyi'jv — " because God 
did not appoint us to wrath." Alford calls this verse epexe- 
getical of eXirlSa o-cortiplas, but it rather assigns the ground of 
that expression — the basis of the "hope" — given first in a nega- 
tive and then in a positive form. It is not a new motive for 
watchfulness (Musculus), nor yet generally a motive to assume 
the armour mentioned, as the Greek fathers, (Ecumenius and 
Theophylact. Nor is on to be rendered " that " as if it intro- 
duced the contents or object of the hope (Hofmann). Rom. viii. 
20, 21, is not in analogy, for there eV eX-rlSi has no object 
genitive attached to it as here. In this use of the verb riBivai, 


that with an accusative of person followed by ei<? pointing out 
the object, tivo. el$ ti, there is a species of Hebraism, — at least 
the Hebrew verbs mfc, jtb> or jtu are used similarly with \ m Thus 
in Sept., Ps. lxvi, 9; Is. xlii, 15; Jer. ix, 11; xiii, 1C; Ezek. 
xiv, 8 ; John xv, 16 ; Acts xiii, 47 (reScuca <re eiV 0w?); 1 Tim. 
i, 12 (Ot/ueuog eis SiaKOviav) ; 1 Peter ii, 8 («? b kui ered^uav). 
See under iii, 3. God did not appoint us to wrath, to be the 
victims of it, or to suffer under it, though we had sinned 
against him and were by nature children of wrath. The rjp.u<? 
are those who believe, and therefore escape the awful penalty. 
The indefinite aorist refers to a past period, though not perhaps 
to the eternal decree, but to its embodiment in time or its 
temporal manifestation. See under i, 10. We are destined not 
to punishment, to " death " or " destruction " (2 Cor. vii, 10 ; 
Philip, i, 19), nor to mere escape but to positive blessing. In 
sending the gospel and giving us His Spirit, God did not set 
us out for wrath. 'Oyoy>/ is divine wrath against sin, the con- 
verse of eXeo?. The one implies the other, love to the sinner, 
opyi'i to his sin. 

aAX' «9 7repi7roit]<Tiv cra)Ti]pia? Siu tov Ki/piou ij/uwv Ir/crov 
Xptrrrou — " but to the obtaining of salvation through our Lord 
Jesus Christ." For the various meanings which 7repi7roit]crt? 
and its verb may bear or which have been assigned to them, see 
at length under Ephes. i, 14. The verb denotes to acquire for 
oneself (Gen. xxxvi, 6 ; Prov. vii, 4 ; Is. xliii, 21 ; Acts xx, 28 ; 
also in the classics, Thucyd., iii. 102 ; Xenoph., Cyrop., iv, 410 ; 
Herod., i, 110; vii, 52). In the Definitions ascribed to Plato, 
the words occur, cram/p/a, 7repnrott]<Ti$ a/3Xa/3>/?. The meaning of 
conservatio is sometimes attached to the word, as in 2 Chron. xiv, 
13, where it represents the Hebrew TP9; in Heb. x, 39, "to the 
saving of the soul" ; but it is needless here to give this meaning 
and make the following genitive that of apposition. Acquisition 
therefore is the probable meaning of the noun, as in 2 Thess. ii,14, 
"Whereunto he called you by our gospel els Trepnrouja-iv Sogtjs" • 
Heb. x, 39. Hesychius defines it by 7r\eouaa-ju6?, Krtjcri?. In 
Ephes. i, 14; 1 Peter ii, 9, the word represents the Hebrew 
n^D : , and the noun is collective in sense (Exod. xix, 5 ; Deut. 
vii, 6 ; xiv, 2 ; Matt, iii, 17). The Latin versions rightly and 
simply have in acquisitioncm salutis. See under previous 


verse. God's appointment was that we should obtain salvation, 
deliverance from the opyy, with final acceptance and perfection. 
The Greek fathers do not give any definite assistance as to the 
precise shade of meaning. Generally, Chrysostom and CEcume- 
nius give the result, " that he might save us." Theodoret has 
'Iva acbTrjplag a{ft&><r# kcii oiKetovg airo<pi'}vri, and Theophylact 
merely exchanges the noun for the verb and adds kcu crwcnj — 
God did appoint us to obtain salvation, and this being so, that 
salvation comes not as an immediate gift, but — 

Slu tou Kvpiov t][xwv''h}<Tov Xputtou — "through our Lord Jesus 
Christ. The clause is not to be connected with eOero (Estius), 
but with the words immediately before it, to obtain salvation. 
Nor does it refer to the securing of salvation (Hofmann), for 
the participation of it is the present thought. Nor does it 
mean, through his doctrine (Grotius), nor through faith in Him 
(Liinemann), but through Himself — through His mediation, 
and, as the next verse shows, especially through His atoning 
death. This is the uniform doctrine of Scripture. Salvation 
having God for its source, has Christ for its medium. Only 
through Christ is God known and accessible to us, and only 
through Him are spiritual blessings conferred upon us by God. 
See under Ephes. i, 7, and for the meaning of those proper 
names see under Ephes. i, 2, and under Gal. ii, 1 6. " Through 
our Lord Jesus Christ " — 

(Ver. 10.) rod airoQavovTO? virep r][xu>i> — " who died for us." 
inrep has preponderant authority, irepl being found in B N 1 , 17, 
a similar difference of reading occurring in other places. The 
clause points out the process by which salvation is obtained, 
through His death — not His teaching or example, but His death. 
Not that the clause is properly causal, as the participle in that 
case would have wanted the article. Donaldson, § 492. It 
simply describes the death of Christ in immediate connection 
with our obtainment of salvation, and as showing its precious- 
ness and certainty. 

Iva e'cre yprjyopwpev erre KaOevSoo/uev ap.a aw avrco ^crcopev — 
" in order that whether we wake or sleep, we should together 
live with Him." "Iva points out the great purpose of His 
atoning death. The compound e'/re follows generally the con- 
struction of the simple el, and it may be connected with a 


subjunctive. Nor may such a connection be called unclassical, 
though it is not the ordinary usage, at least among Attic prose 
writers, paucis admodum locis. Klotz, Devarius, ii, 501. The 
usage is admitted by Thomas Magister, ov p.era inroraKriKov Se, 
ir\t]v art twv avdviroTOLKTOdv olov el \d/3cojuai (p. 2G7). In Plato 
occurs the phrase elre -n? apprjv ehe rig 6>}\v$ y {De Legihis, 
xii, 9 D, p. 958). See the first note of Stallbaum on the 
point, vol. X, p. 399; that of Wex, Antig., vol. II, p. 187; and 
that of Poppo (Thucydides, i, 139) ; Hermann De Parti- 
cula av. Though the optative in such a case be commonly 
employed, the subjunctive in the secondary clause may, as 
Winer suggests, be the result of conformity to the subjunctive in 
the principal clause (§ 41, 2 c, note 2). The purpose of Christ's 
death is our life, and that life is independent of the states 
implied in yp^yopcopev and KaOevSoi/xev ; we may be in the one 
condition, or we may be in the other, it matters not, we shall 
together live with him, for on the certainty and reality of this 
life waking or sleeping has no influence. 

But what is the meaning of the alternative clauses, " whether 
we may sleep, whether we may wake"? (1) The opinion of 
Musculus, Aretius, Whitby, and Fell, which is, whether He 
comes during the day when we are awake, or during the 
night when we are asleep, cannot be entertained. This explan- 
ation is wholly meaningless and unsatisfactory, and is also out 
of harmony with the solemn statement, and it does not relieve 
us from the difficulty of a change of meaning in the verbs. (2) 
Nor can the verbs be taken in an ethical sense, as in the 
previous paragraph, verses 6-8. For the declaration is that 
they who being in darkness are asleep, shall be overtaken by 
the day of the Lord as a thief in the night. To be asleep in 
this spiritual sense is to be in death, and such a state is wholly 
incompatible with the possession or prospect of the life 
described in ha £r'icrcop.ev. (3) The opinion proposed but 
not adopted by Alford is sufficiently refuted by himself. 
His statement is, " To preserve the unity of metaphor we 
may interpret in this sense, that our God died for us, that 
whether we watch, are of the number of the watchful, that is, 
already Christians ; or sleep, are of the number of the sleeping, 
that is, unconverted — we should live." Thus it would be 


" who died that all men might be saved," " who came not to 
call the righteous only, but sinners to repentance." There is 
to this interpretation the great objection that it confounds the 
ol Xonroi with the tj/uag, who are definitely spoken of as set by 
God, not to wrath, but els irepnro'irjcriv o-ooriipia?. And the ex- 
pression would be a rough and somewhat misleading statement 
of the general purpose of Christ's death; but its special purpose 
toward himself and his fellow-believers is the aspect of it 
present to the apostle's own mind. (4) The words are to be 
taken in their figurative sense, the first as descriptive of plty- 
sical life, and the second of physical death. The meaning of 
the first verb is changed from its ethical sense, and the second 
is equivalent to Koi/xaa-dai in chap. iv. Compare Matt, ix, 24; 
Sept., Ps. lxxxviii, 6 ; Dan. xii, 2. Chrysostom says, aXX' erepov 
eKei tov v7rvov (f)i]cr\ koI eTepov evravQa. The first verb will thus 
correspond with " we who are alive and remain," and the second 
with those " who are fallen asleep." The verb ypvyopeh, how- 
ever, is nowhere found in the sense of to live, and it gets such 
a meaning here only from its immediate contrast with KaOevSew, 
and the employment and meaning of both are shaped by the 
following fyjcrco/mei'. Besides, the two verbs do not simply 
signify living and dying in themselves, but the first expresses 
life in its spiritual attitude of watchfulness and preparedness 
for the Lord's coming, and the second describes that condition 
or form which death has assumed through the mediation and 
atonement of the Lord Jesus (iv, 14). Compare Matt, xxiv, 42; 
xxv, 13 ; Rev. iii, 2, 3 ; Titus ii, 13. 

There is, as has been said by De Wette, a want of per- 
spicuity in this necessary change of sense, but the signification 
is apparent. Von Gerlach's observation, that the sleep of death 
is itself a portion of the curse of the sleep of sin, however true, 
does not explain the change of meaning in the two verbs, and 
would introduce a confusing reference. The final cause of 
Christ's death is wholly uninfluenced by these two states, 
living or dying ; they who survive have no advantage over 
those who sleep, they who sleep are waked up to a higher 

ajuia <rvi> avrw ^'/crcopev — " we should together live with Him." 
The connection of d/xa has been variously given. (1) Hofmann 


and Riggenbach take the whole clause as one thought, "together 
with Him," that is, in closest union with Him. Such is pro- 
bably the purport of the Authorized Version, and the other 
earlier English ones. But it does not need d/xa to express this 
idea. (2) Bengel takes djua in a sort of temporal sense — simul,ut 
Jit adventus. Tot urn institutum est, irepi tcov xP^ vu>v — but ^is 
idea neither suits the train of thought nor the connection. (3) 
The adverb d/u.a is suggested by the two states described in the 
previous clause. They who die before the Advent are severed 
from them who survive till that period, but both parties in 
spite of this separation shall be in company as a band of con- 
temporaries living with Christ (iv, 17). "A//a is together, that 
is, "in one society" (Rom. iii, 12). It refers immediately to 
the connection of believers with one another, and not to their 
union with Christ, which is expressed by arvv avrw. That we 
should live is the great purpose of His death, and the life is 
plainly an existence above and beyond the life that ends in 
sleep. The waking and sleeping have immediate reference to 
the Second Coming, and the life purposed (W) for us is in con- 
nection with the same period. The entire paragraph points to 
this grand destiny, it underlies all the teaching from verse 13 
of the previous chapter; the dead rise and the living are changed 
when the Lord descends, and both together shall be for ever 
with the Lord. So that the notion of Moller and Hofmann, 
that the living with Christ is that which is enjoyed now — the 
living being united to Him, and the dead being asleep in Him 
— though true in itself, falls short of the full meaning of the 
declaration before us. The starting-point was the relation of 
the dead and the living to Christ's Second Coming, ignorance 
or misconception of that relation having filled the Thessalonian 
church with sorrow over departed friends and kindred, and the 
paragraph now closes with an annunciation of the comforting- 
truth that the dead and the living, though severed in the 
meantime, are so comprised in the final purpose of our Lord's 
atoning death that both of them at His return are united, live 
as one company, and in fellowship with Him. As the result of 
His death for them the}' - live, life in every form and in every 
sphere of their nature being secured for them by the surrender 
of His life for them; they shall together live for ever with Him 



— in His presence, and in communion with Him. Of that life, 
so blessed and unending, His presence is the primal element 
and the " chiefest joy" (Rom. xiv, 8, ; 2 Cor. v, 9). Z)}<ro)ju.ev 
is a more definite and expressive term than the ea-o/ixeOu of 
iv, 17; John xiv, 19; Col. iii, 3, 4. 

(Ver. 11.) A/o 7rapaKa\eiTe aXX>/Xou? — "wherefore comfort 
one another." This verse is the inference from the foregoing- 
section — Sio. ovv = quod quum ita sit, Si6 = quamobrem,ut etiam 
hoc aptius ducts res conjungat Klotz, Devarius, II, p. 173. 
See under Gal. iv, 31. The Claromontanc Latin has exhorta- 
mini, the margin of the English version has " exhort," and this 
rendering is allowed by Turretin, Pelt, De Wette, Peile, Koch, 
Conybeare, Hofmann, kc. It is a favourite word of the apostle, 
and its precise meaning in any place can only be gathered from 
the context. As the exhortation in this place has comfort for 
its theme, the verb is better taken, as in iv, 18, as meaning 
" comfort," and the entire preceding context necessitates or at 
least suggests such a meaning. Even the edification com- 
manded in the following clause requires this meaning of comfort, 
as Pelt supposes, ut ejus sit effectus. Baumgarten, Rosen- 
muller, and Schott would combine both meanings. Theodoret 
explains by xfyvxaytoyelre. The hortatory part begins in verse 
6, passing, as Liinemann remarks, into the consolatory, and the 
10th and 11th verses are parallel to iv, 17, 18. The discussion 
of these momentous themes was brought on by the perplexity 
and sorrow of the Thessalonian church : they were not to 
grieve over departed fellow-believers, and the grounds of com- 
fort are then distinctly set before them. The first portion of 
the paragraph ends with "wherefore comfort one another;" 
while the second portion, prolonging the illustration on some 
points in a more ethical form, leads to the same result, followed 
up by a similar practical inference, " wherefore comfort one 
another." There is need of comfort under bereavement, but all 
true comfort lies in these utterances of the apostle, and they 
were to ply one another with them. In a word, this wonderful 
paragraph starts with the monition " that ye sorrow not," and, 
after opening up the grounds of consolation in the death, re- 
surrection, and final return of Jesus — securing the union of His 
people with Him as Saviour, representative, and pledge, and 


their communion with one another — it ends with the charge, 
«' comfort one another." This is the only place where the 
authorized version renders aXXj/Xoi;?, " yourselves together," 
Luke xxiii, 12, and xxiv, 14, being somewhat similar; the 
usual translation is " one another," or " among themselves " or 
" yourselves," &c. 

kcu oiKoSofjieiTe eh tov eva, KaOws kol 7roielre — " and edify one 
another, even as also ye are doing." The figure in the verb is 
common with the apostle. See under Ephes. ii, 20, where the 
figure of vaog Qeou is developed at length. Compare 1 Cor. iii, 
9, 10; viii, 1 ; x, 23 ; 2 Cor. vi, 16. The phrase eh tov eva, 
" the one the other," is not without parallel in later classical 
writers, as Lucian, Dionysius Halicar., Plutarch, Arrian, and 
also in Theocritus, Idyll, xxii, 05. Examples may be found in 
Kypke, vol. II, p. 339. Compare Plato, Be Leg., eh Trpo? eva (I, 
p. 020 c), and see the remarks of Winer, § 20, 2 b. The phrase 
is in meaning equivalent to u\\)'i\ov<? — ol tca6' eva (Ephes. v, 33). 
But this natural sense is too simple for many. The words will 
not bear the meaning assigned by Faber, ad unurn usque, to a 
man — no one omitted, em evos ; nor that given by Whitby, 
" edify yourselves into one body," eh ev ; and still less that pro- 
posed by Ruckert — so as to show, the one the other, that it is 
Christ as the foundation on whom the building should be 
reared, e-n-l rco evi ; such an idiom would be without example 
(Romerh., vol. II, p. 240). All these proposals conjecture «V 
for eh. 

And they did not need to begin obedience to this injunc- 
tion as to mutual comforting ; they were doing it ; it had 
already been their practice, and the counsel virtually implies 
praise for previous work, and encouragement to proceed with 
yet profounder mutual sympathy. For KaOcos see under Ephes. 
i, 4; /caOco? /cat as in 1 Cor. xiii, 12 ; xiv, 34. Klotz, Devarius, 
II, 035 ; Winer, § 53, 8. In several earlier verses of the 
epistle, as in iv, 1, 10, the apostle has a similar allusion to the 
Thessalonian church as having commenced to do what he is 
enjoining upon them. The church had set itself in earnest to do 
the Master's will, and the apostle urges not only a continuous, 
but a still fuller compliance. Calvin's remark is 8ed lie v'tdc- 
atuv coram negligentia/m 'perstHngere sinful dicit eos spcmte 


facere quod prcedpit. Verum quae nostra est ad bonum seg- 
nities, qui optime omnium sunt animati, stimulis tamen 
semper indigent, 

The apostle has been enjoining the duty of mutual com- 
forting and edification, and he turns now to one special 
form in which his counsel could be obeyed. The connec- 
tion proposed by Chrysostom is peculiar, " rulers stir up 
opposition, so do physicians, and parents, and so does the 
presbyter ; he who is rebuked is sure to become an enemy." 
But this connection is far-fetched and is probably a reflection 
from the commentator's own times and experience. For he 
suffered for his fidelity and died a virtual martyr. This other 
proposed connection has apparently a similar origin, to wit, the 
desire of the laity on the smallest encouragement to become 
teachers. " And lest they should imagine that he had 
raised them to the rank of teachers by bidding them edify one 
another, he has subjoined this — all but saying, I give leave even 
to you to edify one another, for it is impossible for a teacher to 
say everything." Similarly CEcumenius and Theophylact. Such 
a connection presupposes a state of things which, in any extreme 
form at least, could scarcely have existed at that early period in 
the Thessalonian community. There is no clear trace of any such 
difference as Olshausen supposes, between the church and its 
rulers ; and verse 27 does not distinctly imply it. Hofmann's 
remark is also beyond the context — " forget not in your activity 
what you owe to the office-bearers." All we can say is that if 
there were any untoward tendencies to neglect the duties now 
to be enjoined, the injunction would be read with a special 
point and significance. The apostle, naturally and without any 
polemical motive, turns from mutual edification to those whose 
special function it was to instruct the church. 

(Ver. 12.) 'Epwrco/xej/ Se vjixas, aSeXcfjo) — " Now we beseech 
you, brethren." Ae marks the transition to another theme. On 
the verb, see under iv, 1. This brief preface shows the special 
earnestness with which he utters the counsel now to be given. 
On obedience to it depended, in no small measure, the peace 
and the spiritual prosperity of the church. 

eioevui Tovg KwrnoouTag ev v/jliv kui Trpo'itTTa/ULti'OV? v/ulow ev Ivvptco 
icat vovderovvras vfxas — "to know them that are labouring among 


you, and are presiding over you in the Lord, and arc admon- 
ishing you." As the absence of the article in the two last 
participles shows, the same class of persons is described in the 
three clauses, and they are characterized by their functions, 
or, as the use of the participle shows, by their actual exercise 
of those functions. More generally, they are described as 
" labouring among you." In the verb Koinaoo (kottos, 
kotttw) lies the notion of severe toil, exhausting labour. It 
is applied again and again to ministerial industry (Rom. xvi, 
12; 1 Cor. xv, 10 ; Gal. iv, 11 ; 1 Tim v, 17). The Christian 
ministry rightly discharged is no sinecure, it is the highest and 
hardest of human enterprises; the reward is proportionate. 
It is sometimes followed by «? defining its object, as in Philip, 
ii, 1G ; Col. i, 29 ; or its final purpose, 1 Tim. iv, 10 ; Rom. xvi, 
12. 'Ej/ is sometimes used to mark its sphere or its spirit, but 
here it seems to have a local reference, inter vos (Vulgate) ; 
not as Pelt (in vobis), in your hearts ; nor as Hofmann, " on 
you," as its objects, ut ipsi veri fcerent Christiani. The clause 
being somewhat vague in reference is defined by the following 
one — 

Koi 7rpoi(TTu/ui.ei'0u? vfxwv ev Ki//)/w — "and are presiding over 
you " (1 Tim. v, 17). These presidents are the class designated 
generally as they who are labouring among you. The labours 
here recognized are not those of hearty zeal and fatiguing toil 
on the part of any in the church who might spontaneously 
undertake them, but are specially those of the presbyters. Two 
functions are assigned to them, labour and presidence ; they 
wrought among them, and they were over them ; laboured in 
virtue of being presidents ; their presidency was therefore no 
idle or neutral oversight, no mere position of preferment and 
honour. The church could not exist in order and usefulness 
without some species of government, law being essential to 
liberty, superintendence and control being indispensable to 
harmony and development. The phrase iv Ivvpuo, not juvante 
Domino (Schott), marks the sphere of presidency — in Him, in 
union with Him, in harmony with His authority and pur- 
poses, not " lording it over God's heritage," but in an adminis- 
tration "distinct from, and not subordinate to, civil government." 
The explanation given by Chrysostom, and more distinctly 


put by Thoodoret, is wholly wrong — to oe 7rpoicr-a/jLevovs v/ulwv 
eu l\vpi(p avTi vTrepev^o/mevov? v/uloov, &zc. Examples from 
Josephus of the participle governing the genitive may be found 
in Krebs, p. 346. Justin Martyr describes the work of the 
president in his day. 

kui vovderovvras — " and admonish you." The verb sig- 
nifies to put in mind, to correct by word — a word of encourage- 
ment, or a word of remonstrance (vovderiKol \6yoi, Xenoph.,ilfem., 
i, 2, 21), though it does also signify correction by deed (pdfiSov 
vovderrjo-i?, Plato,De Leg., 700 c). See under Ephes. vi, 4; Trench, 
Synon., § 32. This admonition is another element or sphere of 
the labour referred to in the first clause. It implies teaching, 
but means particularly, practical counsel, suggestion, and 
warning ; earnest, pastoral instruction ; unwearied, tender, and 
watchful guidance in the midst of trial, struggle, and tempta- 
tion (Ephes. iv, 11). In this way the apostle describes the 
presbyters of the Thessalonian church as labouring, their labour 
being superintendence and admonition, not two distinct offices 
held by different individuals, but combined apparently in one — 
"warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, in 
order to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus " (Col. i, 28). 
And these they are charged first to know, eiSevai. The verb 
seems to mean, to know emphatically, like j?i;, almost equiva- 
lent to recognize (Furst, Heb. Lex., sub voce) ; other senses 
have been assigned which usage will not warrant. They were 
to know their office-bearers, that is, not simply how it was 
with them, or what they had in them, but in themselves, in 
their position and duties — in effect, so to understand their value, 
as to esteem them highly in love. Compare 1 Cor. xvi, 18, 
where €7riyinc<7Kw is used (eTriyivwo-Kere ovv tovs toiovtovs) ; and 
for somewhat similar Hebrew usage compare Ps. cxliv, 3 ; Prov. 
xxvii, 23 ; Nahum. i, 7. 

(Ver. 13.) km )')y€(<r0ai uitovs virepeKTrepicrao^ ev uyuTrij Sia to 
epyov avrwv — "and to esteem them very highly in love for their 
work's sake." As De Wette, Liinemann, and Ellicott have re- 
marked, the sense of the clause depends on the connection of kv 
ayair\]. If it be kept in what seems its natural position, the 
meaning will be, " regard them very highly, and that in love," 
love being the element in which this superabundant esteem is 


to embody itself. So Theodore t, Estius, Grotius, De Wetto, 
Koch. Or ev ayax>; may be joined more closely to the verb, as 
the Vulgate, hoheatis illos abundantius in charitate, " esteem 
them in love very highly." So several Greek fathers, Beza, 
Pelt, Schott, Olshausen, Hofmann, Riggenbach. Neither con- 
nection is free from difficulty, for, in the first mode, the neutral 
verb which means to reckon or hold must signify emphatically 
to regard with esteem, and would require, therefore, some sup- 
plement as 7repl -TrXeiovo?, Theodoret changing it in explanation 
into 7r\eiovos avrovs dgiovre rifxrjs') and, in the second mode, a 
supplement is also indispensable, which GEcumenius inserts 
thus, ijyeio-Qcu avrovs agtovg rov ayairaaOai; Chrysostom simply 
saying, fx>] awXcos ayairare aXX InrepeKirepKraov uxravei 7ralSes 
irarepas. There is, however, no strict example of such a 
construction. Some quote rl rovro ijyi'jario ev Kplcrei (Job 
xxxv, 2), and the phrase ev roiavry opyii elxev occurs 
(Thucydides, ii, 18), but neither of these instances is analo- 
gous. The sense, however, seems to be what the second mode 

The reading of the Received Text, vwep eKirepi<jo~ov, has 
good authority, as it is found in AD 3 KLX; the ending 
ws has in its favour B D 1 F ; the tcs might have been 
changed into ou as being the more common form. The 
compound adverb, which is quite in the apostle's style, is 
to be taken with ev dyu7r)j. See under iii, 10. (Ecumenius 
remarks 7roXX// Se r) eirlraa-is rod uxep /cat rod e k. The 
presidents were to be held in love very abundantly " for their 
work's sake " ; that work was so momentous in itself — the 
care of souls — and it was to be performed so thoroughly, 
that it could be characterized as toilsome labour (Heb. 
xiii, 17). They who felt the spiritual benefit of such work, 
such presidence, and such practical counsels, belonged to a 
church so blessed in its pastorate that they were surely under 
no common obligation to cherish deep regard and love for the 
presbyters, to whom such affectional esteem must have been 
very welcome as a recognition of their ardour and self-denial, 
and a proof that their efforts had not been in vain. Indifference 
and indolence on the part of church rulers preclude, therefore, 
all claim to this affection. To claim or extort it in virtue of 


the ofHce is to miss or forfeit it — it must be won by the ear- 
nest discharge of duty. 

eip>]vevcre iv eavrots — " be at peace among yourselves." The 
English version and the Syriac Peshito, with codex n\ supply 
an unauthorized "and." This verb, with the exception of 
Mark ix, 50, is found only in the Pauline writings. Though 
there is no connecting particle, the clause is not so wholly dis- 
connected from the previous part of the verse as Liinemann 
supposes. Next to knowing and loving those who were over 
them in the Lord was the duty of preserving internal peace, 
and the injunction prepares the way for the more detailed and 
special inculcations of the following verses. The reflexive eauroh 
is used for the reciprocal a\\ij\oi$ (Col. iii, 13 ; Ephes. iv, 32 ; 
1 Peter iv, 8). The permutation, as Kuhner remarks, has no 
other cause quam ut varietur oratio. Gr. Gr., vol. II, § G28 ; 
Winer, § 22, 5. Xen. Mem., ii, 6, 20, (frdovovvres eavrots 
pacrovariv aAA^Aot;?. A different reading, ev avroh, is found 
in D 1 F N and some minuscules, in the Syriac, Vulgate, and 
some of the Greek fathers ; but eavrois is warranted by 
A B D 3 K L, in ipsis being employed in the Claromontane 
Latin. The other reading is not therefore to be adopted, though 
Theophylact says ypdcperat koi ev avroi?. It was probably felt 
that the very short injunction appeared awkwardly between 
the larger entreaties immediately before and after it in verses 
11, 13, and 14. Nor could even that reading bear the inter- 
pretation of the Syriac ^OQiV).\ Ql^A*}, or of the Vulgate, 
pacem habete cam eis, that is, " be at peace with the presi- 
sidents." So also Theophylact and Luther, Calvin, Zuingli, 
Balduin, a-Lapide, Fromond, and others, guided by the 
Latin version. Chrysostom, like the Peshito, apparently 
connects the clauses, " for their work's sake be at peace 
with them." Theodoret puts it, kou p.>] avriXlyeiv rots 
Trap avrwv Xeyo/xc^ot?. But to sustain such a meaning 
avroov would be requisite (Rom. xii, 18) ; and the injunction of 
peace in regard to the presbyters would not be suitable, for 
submission would be enjoined, as in Heb. xiii, 17. Zuingli 
proposes another rendering, " in or through them ye have 
peace" ; but even allowing the reading avrols, this version 
would require a different order of the words. Peace was a 


blessing essential to growth and usefulness; the want of it 
destroyed edification ; jealousies, alienations, turmoil lead to 
ultimate extinction (1 Cor. vii, 15 ; xiv, 33 ; Gal. v, 15 ; Ephes. 
iv, 31 ; 2 Thess. iii, 10; 2 Tim. ii, 22 ; James iii, 14, 10). 

(Ver. 14.) TrapaKaXovjueu Se vjuag, aSeX^ol — "Now we exhort 
you, brethren ;" Se being transitional. This address is to the 
brethren, believers in general. The apostle has alluded to 
those who held office and wrought and counselled ; but his 
mind is not wholly occupied by them, or their official preroga- 
tive. The church itself must act as well as its officers; the 
presbyters do not so represent the church, or are not so identi- 
fied with it, as to preclude congregational industry and 
co-operation. Duty lies on them which they cannot devolve 
on their rulers. From the time of Chrysostom, however, who 
says without any argument 717)09 tovs apxovras SiaXeyerai, this 
charge has been taken as addressed to the office-bearers. The 
Greek fathers have been followed in this interpretation by 
Estius and Fromond in the Catholic church, and by Benson, 
Bloomfield, Macknight, Conybeare, and Peile. But the words 
are addressed to the a8e\<f>ol, parallel to the aSe\(poi in verse 12, 
or generally to the members of the church. Conybeare lays a 
wrong emphasis on t^xa?, " but you, brethren (that is, rulers) I 
exhort." The order of the words will not bear that exegesis, 
and the repetition of vovQerelre, and the charge in verse 27, will 
not sustain it. The allusion to the rulers comes to an end 
when a new clause intervenes — be at peace among yourselves, 
you, the people — and the address in this verse has the same 
continuous congregational reference. Nor is the verse to be 
regarded as taking up what had been said in verse 11, which 
is the fitting inferential conclusion (Sio) to the previous sec- 
tion. The first injunction is — 

vovQerelre rovs aruKrovg — "admonish the unruly." For 
the verb see verse 12 and under Ephes. vi, 4. 'AraVro? is 
found only here in the New Testament, but the adverb and 
verb occur in the second epistle — the adverb (2 Thess. iii, 
0, 11), and the verb (2 Thess. iii, 7). It means out of rank; 
a soldier in rank is rerayfxevog; uraKroi are ov ra^Qevreg, 
inordinati (Xenoph., Mem., Ill, 1, 7; Plato, Be Leg., vii, 
800 c). See Sturz, Lex. Xenoph., nub voce, vol. I, p. 455. 


The term naturally came to denote men lawless in life or disor- 
derly (Plutarch, Be Puer. Educ., 7). See Ast's Lex. Platon., sub 
voce, vol. I, p. 298. The translation of the Peshito is too vague, 
and so is the explanation of Chrysostom and his followers, 
who class under the epithet all who do contrary to the will of 
God — as the drunken, the riotous, the covetous, ku\ Travres ol 
a/uLaprdvovTes. But it is plain that the apostle does not include 
all sinners under the epithet, which is intended to specify a 
certain class. From the use of the word in the second epistle, 
" the disorderly " appear to be those whose minds and habits 
had become unhinged from their misapprehension of the near- 
ness of the Lord's coming; those who were ne^lectim; the 
duties of common life, and had ceased to maintain themselves 
by such honest labour as characterized the apostle himself 
when he sojourned among them. See under iv, 11, 12; 2 
Thess. iii, 6, 12. 

irapaiJ.vde'iaOe tovs 6\iyo\fsvxov? — " comfort the feeble- 
minded." For the verb see under ii, 11. The compound 
adjective occurs only here in the New Testament, though 
it is found in the Septuagint, Is. liv, G; lvii, 15; Prov. 
xviii, 14 ; in Artemidorus, iii, 5, Sia to 6\iyo\Jsuxoi>- The 
verb occurs also in Isocrates (p. 392 b). Who the feeble- 
minded are has been disputed. One can scarcely apply 
the epithet to those who from a sense of sin despaired of 
divine mercy, or, with Theodoret and Theophylact, to those 
who had not courage to endure trial or persecution, the 
latter, after Chrysostom, comparing them to the seed that fell 
on the rocky ground. The reference, considering the strain 
of the previous context, is to the class who were inclined to 
" sorrow as those who had no hope," who had not grasped the 
great truth of the safety of the dead as propounded by the 
apostle — so Theodoret in one of his explanations — and they are 
distinguished from the weak generally in the following clause. 
Hofmann's objection that theirs was a case of error and not of 
faint-heartedness, nicht Kleinmuth sondem Irrtkum, is of no 
weight, as Riggenbach remarks, for the error led to feeble- 
mindedness. They, then, who were faint-hearted and could 
not realize the hope of immortality and resurrection at the 
Master's return, so as to be filled with the sure and certain 


prospect, were to be comforted — not to be chidden as dull, or 
rebuked as sceptical, but to be encouraged. 

uvre-^eaOe twv dcrOei'cov — "support the weak" — sustinete in- 
Jlrmos (Claromontane). The verb is used only in the mid- 
dle in the New Testament (Luke x, 9; Acts iv, 9; v, 15; 
1 Cor. xi, 30 ; Sept., Prov. iv, G ; Is. lvi, 2, 4, G). From 
signifying " to hold against " literally, or " stand firm 
against," it came to signify " to hold on by " or " to keep 
close to," and thus " to care for, to assist." Thus the Greek 
fathers generally understand it (1 Cor. xi, 30). The weak are 
not the physically infirm, but the weak in faith or in other 
Christian graces, roh daOepouvrag irepl rrjv -k'kttiv (Theophylact). 
Rom. xiv, 1; xv, 1 ; 1 Cor. viii, 7, 11, 12. Pelagius explains 
by sustinete uuper eredentes, qui nondum sunt confirmati. 
Those whose faith had not risen to that ascendency which 
governs and inspires the whole nature, or whose knowledge had 
not acquired clearness and symmetry, who had not come to the 
riches of the full assurance of understanding, or a perfect and 
unshaken confidence and hope, were to be helped and not 
frowned upon; were not to be neglected, but cherished with 
assiduous and kind painstaking — 

/muKpoOvmeiTe -trpbs iravTas — " be long-suffering towards all." 
The verb is opposed to o^vOv/ueiv, and denotes that mild and 
patient temper which does not easily take offence, which is not 
excited to immediate anger by hasty words or deeds, which 
does not fly into a rage when one's zeal is thwarted or his 
motives disparaged, but bears and forbears in the midst of pro- 
vocation. And this spirit was to be exercised 7rpo? 7rarra?. 
The reference is limited to the three classes specified in the 
verse — the unruly, the faint-hearted, and the weak — by Chry- 
sostoni and Theophylact, Koppe, De Wette, Hofmann, and 
Jowett. But it is better to take it as unrestricted — all men and 
not all fellow-believers. Long-suffering towards all with whom 
one is brought into contact in the church and out of it is 
enjoined. See under Ephes. iv, 2. 

(Ver. 15.) )opare /x»/ -n? kclkov avri koikovtivi uttoow — "see that 
no one render evil for evil to any one." The optative form dirocxn 
is found in some codices ; airooo'u] is read in D 1 , but there is no 
ground for accepting it. BXexeti'//)/ is commoner in the New 


Testament than the formula commencing this verse, which is 
found, however, in Matt, xviii, 10 ; Mark i, 44, and also among 
classical writers. Gayler, p. 316, 17; Phrynichus, ed. Lobeck, 
p. 345. 'A.7roS(ti is explained at length by Winer, De Verborum 
cum Praepositionibus Compositovum in N. T. Usu, part IV, 
which treats of verbs compounded with airo. The original 
reference is to what one possesses, kcckov, and out of which he 
gives, in return for what he got, kukov. The exhortation is 
general, and with an individualizing application to the church 
and to every member of it without exception. The cautionary 
form of the charge shows that it was needed, that they were 
living in the midst of inducements to cherish retaliation. De 
Wette argues that because the apostle does not write rt? v/jlwv, 
he implies that revenge could not be imputed to believers, and 
enjoins that the better among them were to labour to prevent 
its outbreak in others. But the apostle is writing to the 
church, v/xwv being implied, and what power could they have 
to restrain vengeful words and acts in the case of others 
around them ? The recency of their conversion made it 
possible, if not probable, that, on the part of many, the habits 
of heathen times had not been wholly surmounted. Compare 
Matt, v, 30, &c. ; Rom. xii, 17 ; 1 Pet. iii, 9. All retaliation 
is forbidden, and the prohibition is peculiar to Christianity 
(Koch). See under Ephes. iv, 2G, 27. It is needless to say 
with Schrader that the prohibition refers to the heathen 
from whom believers had so much to endure, though they 
are also included. The negative is followed by the positive 
inculcation — 

uXXa iruvrore to ayuOov Sito/cere — " but always follow after 
what is good." The precise meaning of ayaOov has been dis- 
puted. Liinemann and Riggenbach take it to mean morally 
good, sittlich Gute ; Koppe, Flatt, Schott, and Olshausen 
regard it as the beneficial or the useful; Hofmann and 
Moller, " what is good for one " ; Beza, Piscator, Pelt, and 
Baumgarten-Crusius view it as special beneficence. As it 
is opposed to kukov, evil embodied in word or act, it will 
naturally mean the opposite, or good embodied in word or 
act, and this comprises all the other opinions, for it is what is 
morally good according to the divine law, and must from its 


nature tend to his good who receives it. See under Gal. vi, 10; 
Ephes. iv, 28. And this good was not to be studied accidentally 
or periodically, they were not to be surprised into it, nor yet 
driven away from it by provocation — iravrore SicoKere, pursue it 
always, neither intermittently nor languidly — they were to 
set their soul upon it. This verb is often followed by an 
abstract noun (Rom. ix, 30, 31 ; xii, 13 ; xiv, 19 ; 1 Cor. xiv, 1 ; 
Heb. xii, 11; Sept., Ps. xxxiii, 15; Pro v. xxi, 21). It is similarly 
used in Plato, and sometimes with the contrast ovre Sicokciv 
ovre <pevyeiv (Gorg., 507 b). The next clause is read in the 
Received Text — 

kcu et's uW/fkovs teal eis 7rdvra?. Kcu, however, is doubt- 
ful. In its favour are BKL N 4 , very many mss. the Philoxe- 
nian Syriac, the Amiatine codex of the Vulgate, and the Greek 
fathers. Tischendorf inserts it in his second and seventh 
editions. But it is not found in A D F i< 1 , many mss., nor in the 
Peshito, the Claroinontane Latin, the Coptic and Gothic ver- 
sions. The evidence is thus rather against it, and it may have 
been inserted for the sake of fulness, or for the balancing of the 
two parts of the clause, On the other hand it might be left 
out as unnecessary. The continuous pursuit of good was to 
have for its objects not only the members of the church, or 
a select circle of fellow-believers, but all men around them — 
even, as Theophylact says, kcu ety dirlaTovq. Their Christian 
beneficence was to be continuous in its exercise and universal 
in its range. See under Gal. vi, 10. Compare Matt, v, 44 ; 
Rom. xii, 17, 10. 

(Ver. 16.) Hdvrore ya'ip e Te — "Rejoice always." This clause 
is not detached from the previous exhortations, though they 
have relatively others in view, and this is absolute or personal. 
It means far more than salutation, lebt imrner wohl (Bolten), or 
semper bene valete (Koppe). Joy springs from the possession 
of present good. It is the natural result of escape, of conscious 
safety, of deliverance from so great evil and peril — and by such 
a process as His self-gift — into a condition so blessed as to give 
the hope of living for ever with Him, implying assimilation to 
His image, and an intense delight in His presence, and in 
fellowship with Him. This joy is virtually connected with 
faith (Philip, i, 25), it " is in the Lord " as its sphere (i, 0), and 


'•'in the Holy Ghost," by whose special influence it is created 
and diffused ; joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Pet. i, 8). 
And they were to rejoice " always," their joy was not to be 
spasmodic and intermittent, but continuous as the source of it 
is unchanging - , and even in days of trial and suffering though it 
may be clouded, it is not to be extinguished, as it should be 
independent of external incumbrances, and as " all things work 
together for good to them that love God " (Rom. v, 2, 5 ; James 
i, 2). See under Philip, i, -i ; iv, 4. The close connection, 
proposed by Chrysostom, between this verse and those pre- 
ceding it is, " when we possess such a soul that we avenge 
ourselves on no one, whence, tell me, will the sting of grief 
be able to enter into us ? " But this is too precise, though it 
may be true, that had we a spirit so elevated, so disinterested, 
and so Christ-like, we should rejoice evermore. The exhor- 
tation appears to be general, and is proposed to those who 
from their history, position, and experience, might have man}- 
causes of sorrow, or might find it difficult to cherish perpetual 

(Ver. 17.) dSia\ei7TTco? tt poa-evxecrOe — " pray without ceasing" 
(Ephes. vi, 18; Col. iv, 2; i, 3; ii, 13). This injunction is not 
to be obeyed as to its external form, for on bended knees one 
cannot always be. The apostle himself travelled and preached 
as well as prayed ; but the journey and the sermon had their 
birth, strength, and success in prayer. Did one only bear 
in mind that God is benefactor, ever giving, and ever to be 
inquired of to give more, that we are always receiving and 
therefore ought to be always asking, the precept would not 
seem so strange as it does to some ; for what attitude is 
more becoming, in our condition of close and constant depend- 
ence on God, than to be ever looking up and expecting an 
answer — the supply of our wants to-day only edging our appe- 
tite and intensifying all our yearnings for still larger supplies 
for the morrow. It is not right therefore to say that this 
command can be fulfilled only in idea — it is a real and a 
blessed privilege to pray always ; there is no place where 
one may not pray ; no time when one may not pray ; no 
blessing which one may not solicit ; no human being for 
whom intercession may not be offered; no step should be 


taken without asking divine counsel, and no enterprise 
engaged in without invocation of the divine blessing. Theo- 
doret refers to the time of taking a meal and making a 
journey as special periods for prayer. This injunction, " pray 
without ceasing," the apostle did not think it necessary to 
explain any more than the declaration " praying night and 
day that we might see your face " (iii, 10) ; nor did he seek to 
show the congruity of both with the other and apparently 
contradictory expression, " labouring night and day, because we 
would not be chargeable unto any of you " (ii, 0). Prayerful- 
ness therefore should always characterize us, that spirit of 
devotion which ever realizes the nearness of God and our 
relation to Him, the heart filled with unspoken adoration, 
and with those profound and struggling aspirations which 
the apostle calls unutterable groanings. Prayer in its ful- 
ness comprises all this complex variety of emotions. So 
great are our wants and so weak is our faith, that the old 
words are still true, "hitherto ye have asked nothing." The 
precept is not fulfilled b}^ observing set hours of prayer, 
nor does obedience to it necessitate monastic seclusion 
(Augustine, iv, 427). Chrysostom's connection is, that prayer 
is the way or means of enabling one to rejoice evermore, 
or as Theophylact adds, 6 yap eOicrOei? o/uli\€?v tw Qeoi will 
always possess ground of joy. 

(Ver. 18.) ev -iravri ev^apia-Teire — " in every thing give 
thanks." See under i, 2. The precept is universal in sphere, 
as the two before it are continuous in time (Philip, iv, 6). 
The phrase ei' iravri cannot mean at every time but in " every 
thing." See 2 Cor. ix, 8, where iravrore is associated with it. 
See under Ephes. v, 20; Col. iii, 22, 23. As there is no ex- 
ception, adverse things are not excluded. In the dungeon at 
Philippi Paul and Silas sang praises unto God, and it is good 
to be afflicted. There is nothing on this side of eternal pun- 
ishment that ought not to fill us with thankfulness. Thanks 
especially for mercies — for privileged existence ; for continued 
means of grace ; for the growth of divine life in the soul ; 
for what blesses us now; for what is promised to bless us 
through eternity, as well as for all that disciplines us for it — 
for all this should humble and hearty thanks be given. 


tovto yap 6e\)]/na Qeov ev XptcrTfo 'Itjcrov «? Vfias — " for this is 
God's will in Christ Jesus toward you." The minor variation 
of reading need not be noticed, eariv being found in D 1 E 1 F G. 
The singular tovto seems to refer to the previous clause only, and 
not also to the other clauses before it. Grotius and Schott 
take in the clauses commanding prayer and thanksgiving, and 
the precept enjoining joy is also comprised in the reference by 
a-Lapide, Moller in De Wette, Jowett, and, with hesitation, 
Alford. The apostle can scarcely have regarded all these pre- 
cepts as being so much in unity, that he might characterize 
them by tovto. This OeXtj/txa is not the decretum divinum, 
special or unique, as Schott supposes, though it may imply it, 
— such a reference would have required the use of the article — 
but it is God's will in its nearer form given or expressed for us. 
The absence of the article may, as Ellicott suggests (iv, 3), 
point out that thanksgiving is only one of many portions of 
the divine will. The phrase ev Xpio-Tw 'Iqaov represents the 
sphere in which this divine will exhibits itself. Theophylact 
and G^cumenius in their explanations exchange ev for Sia, as 
if it denoted means or medium, Sia, tw tou 'Ir/a-ov Xpio-Tov 
crvvepyla?. Eig v/uus is " towards you," and not, as the Vulgate, 
in vobis. 

(Ver. 19.) To LTVei^a fir) ufiivvvTe — " Quench not the Spirit." 
The verb often occurs, and means literally " to put out a fire or 
a light" (Matt, xii, 20; xxv, 8; Ephes. vi, 1G; Heb. xi, 34; 
Sept., Is. xlii, 3 ; Lev. vi, 12 ; Job xxi, 17). Its tropical sense 
is evident, tt)v ayainiv (Song of Solomon viii, 7) ; tjjv xdpav 
(Joseph., B. Jud., vi, 1, 4) ; Ovfxov (^Elian., Hist. Var., vi. 1; Plato, 
De Leg., 888 a) ; to efMpvTov Trvevfia (Galen, De Theriac, i, 17) ; 
cnroo-fttjvai to irvevfxa (Plut., De Defect. Orac, p. 419 b). The 
word is also applied to the wind, and there are similar phrases 
in the Latin classics. Wetstein in loc. The irvev/jia is viewed 
as a flame, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with 
fire " (Matt, iii, 11). Compare Acts ii, 3 ; xviii, 25 ; and in 2 Tim. 
i, 6, ava&irvpelv is the opposite of afievvvTe. To Hvevp.a is the 
Spirit of God, and this meaning is not to be diluted in any way. 
This Divine Being dwells in the hearts of believers; their 
bodies are His shrine. He is the Enlightener, Purifier, Inter- 
cessor, Comforter, Sealer, the Earnest, the First Fruits. The 


figure in the verb is striking, and did the verse form part of a 
series of ordinary practical counsels, it might mean that the 
Spirit within us as Quickener and Sanctifier was not to be 
thwarted by unthankfulness (Calvin), or, as the Greek fathers, 
by an unholy life, by sprinkling water upon it or not supplying 
oil (Chrysostom). The joy, the prayer, and the thanksgiving- 
enjoined in the previous verses are the fruit of the Spirit, and 
He Himself, the Divine Producer and Sustainer, is now referred 
to in person. The verse would thus be nearly parallel to Ephes. 
iv, 30. But the following context suggests a more special 
signification. The apostle seems to refer to the Spirit in His 
extraordinary manifestations, so frequent in the church at that 
early period, and one of them he specifies in the following 
verse. Some of these are described in 1 Cor. xii — " word of 
wisdom," " word of knowledge," " faith," " gifts of healing," 
" working of miracles," " prophecy," " discernment of spirits," 
" divers kinds of tongues," " interpretation of tongues," " diver- 
sities of gifts, but the same spirit," " these all wrought by 
one and the selfsame spirit/' " dividing to every man seve- 
rally as he will." Those gifts of the Spirit appearing in the 
church were not to be rudely repelled, for they were "given 
to profit withal." We do not know the state of the Thessa- 
lonian church, so that it is perhaps too much to say with 
Olshausen, on the one hand, that the apostle had no presenti- 
ment that the Thessalonians were in danger of becoming a prey 
to fanaticism, though this was the case later, as is seen in the 
second epistle, and too much to deny on the other hand, with 
Hofmann, that there was any disinclination to spiritual utter- 
ances. The counsel is general, but may imply that there was 
a tendency to repress such spiritual utterances, from a rigid 
love of order and dread of irregular and infectious enthusiasm, 
for all these gifts were liable to abuse. From the abuse they 
were not to argue against the use, or forbid the genuine because 
of the spurious manifestation. 

(Vei\ 20.) Upo(p}]Tei(ig /uli] e^ovOeveire — " despise not prophc- 
syings." The verb, literally " to set at nought," is found in 
various parts of the New Testament; the other form, egovSevovr, 
being found in Mark ix, 12, ovQev being also a later form of 
ovSev (Lobeck, Phrynichus, p. 182). For an account of the rank 



and office of the 7r/3o0»/r>/? in the New Testament, see under 
Ephus. ii, 20, and iv, 11. The prophet was next in honour and 
position to the apostles ; he was a teacher directly inspired by 
the Holy Ghost, uttering, suddenly and consciously, and with 
strange power, revelations which had not of necessity in them 
any disclosure of the future. The prophet's impulse was under 
his own control, and his teaching was to "edification, exhortation, 
-and comfort." His special function was toward them which 
believe — it was not to win converts, but to promote spiritual 
progress, though not specially or exclusively, for there belonged 
to him the awful power of laying bare men's hearts and character 
by flashing a sudden light upon them; and a plain man (ISuirrijs), 
or an unbelieving man (airia-Toi), who felt his nature so read 
would be so struck that, " falling down on his face, he will 
worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth " (1 Cor. 
xii, 14). Prophecy, therefore, in the primitive church, served a 
vital and momentous purpose. Compare Acts xi, 27 ; xiii, 1 ; 
xv, 32 ; xix, 6 ; Rom. xii, G. Teaching, as distinct from prophe- 
sying, was more human and equable in its character " as the 
reflective development of thought," was not so original, and 
might not produce those instantaneous and alarming results. 
These prophesyings they were not to despise, but were ever to 
welcome them as divine manifestations. The apostle gives 
direction to the prophets themselves in 1 Cor. xiv, 2G-33. A 
proneness to set prophesyings and all such uncommon charis- 
mata at nought might originate in the church, because either 
impostors might make pretensions to the gift and lead the 
simple astray by their false lights, or because fanatics might 
become their own dupes, and give out for supernatural utterances 
their own wretched delusions. But there is no ground for 
supposing that in Thessalonica prophecy was depreciated in 
comparison with the more dazzling gift of tongues, as was the 
case at Corinth (1 Cor. xiv, 1, 5). We find Paul disobeying 
prophecy, and the earnest dissuasives based upon it (Acts xxi, 
4,14). " 

(Ver. 21.) -Trdi'Ta Se SoKifxa^ere — " but prove all things." 
The particle Se is omitted in the Textus Receptus, and is not 
found in A N 1 and many mss., nor in the Peshito or Coptic 
versions, nor in many quotations in the fathers. But it is 


found in BDFKL S* in both Latin versions, in the Philoxe- 
nian Syriac, in the Gothic version, and in several patristic 
citations. The genuineness is thus amply supported. Some of 
the fathers might omit it pro libertate citandi, and it might 
fall out from being next to So in the following word, or be left 
out from a desire to make the verse a terse and disconnected 
maxim. The reading SoKi/uLa^ovTe? has no real authority, nor has 
Kal in connection with the next clause. The verb means, to 
put to the test, to try whether a thing should be accepted, 
" the proved becoming the approved." See 1 Cor. iii, 13. The 
injunction, begun by oe after a negative clause, stands in anti- 
thesis to the previous command, and Travra is thus restricted 
b}^ the context. The clause by itself is an excellent maxim of 
general significance and application, but the sense is fairly 
limited to the subject in hand. "Do not put down the pro- 
phesyings, but subject them to the proof — ru? ovrcag irpo(p}j- 
rela<i — this being said lest they should think that he had opened 
the {Btjiua to all" (Chrysostom). What the test to be applied is 
we are not here informed. In 1 Cor. xiv, 29, 30, 31, one rule is 
given, prescribing the order and succession of the utterances to 
prevent confusion. There was also a gift in the early church 
— the discernment of spirits, SiaKpicreis 7rvevp.drcou (1 Cor. xii, 
10 ; xiv, 29). Ellicott, after Neander, would apply this injunc- 
tion specially to the class so gifted, but the text does not 
directly warrant such a limitation. The church so admonished 
would, however, fulfil the command in and through a xupiv/xa, 
if any of her members possessed it ; if not, they must apply 
their own spiritual discernment, which in those days of spiritual 
enlightenment and fulness might be endowed with sufficient 
keenness of insight for the purpose. Compare the injunction 
in 1 John iv, 1, SoKCfxd^ere ra irvevp-ara — a general injunction, 
accompanied by a simple and decisive test, the confession of 
Christ come in the flesh being proof of possessing the Spirit 
of God, while the denial of this primary truth characterized 

to koXov /caTexere — "hold fast the good." For the adjective, 
which is not here in result different from uyaOov in v, 15, see 
under Gal. vi, 9. Donaldson's Cratylus, § 334. For the verb, 
compare Luke viii, 15 ; 1 Cor. xi, 2 ; xv, 2 ; Heb. iii, 0. Though 


there be no connecting particle, the clause seems to be naturally 
joined to the one before it. The meaning will then be, " hold 
fast that element or species of prophesying to which the epithet 
ku\6v is applicable." It is not a general or disconnected maxim, 
though the clause is asyndetic, as if it meant, keep the good 
you at present possess (Hofmann). On the other hand, Flatt 
takes it as referring: as much to the following clause as to the 
preceding one. While it does refer especially to the clause, 
" prove all things," and is its natural consequent, the testing- 
being satisfactory, it may be regarded as transitional to the 
more general injunction coming after it, ko\6v suggesting its 
antithesis irovrjpov] and Karexere, "hold by," being opposed to 
airexecrde, " hold away." 

(Ver. 22.) diro xai/TO? elSovs irovtipov d-7rex e(T ^ e — " abstain 
from every kind of evil " (Rom. xii, 9). EtSo? is originally 
what presents itself to the eye — figure, or form — often used in 
Homer of a human appearance ; also in Luke iii, 22, a-oojuariKw 
e'iSei ; Luke ix, 29, to etSo? rod Trpoa-wirov ; John v, 37, outc 
elSo? avrov ecopa/care ; 2 Cor. v, 7, " we walk by faith," ov Sia 
elSovg, " not by appearance," the objects of faith being unseen ; 
Xenoph., Cyrop., i, 2, 1, eISo$ /j.ev kuWig-to?. In these cases 
appearance is equivalent to form, and does not mean mere 
semblance without reality. The Authorized Version reads, " all 
appearance of evil," that is, avoid even what bears the aspect 
of evil, though it may not be really evil, externa species quae mali 
suspicionem concitare possit (Wolf). This notion is found in 
some of the older English versions — in Wycliffe, in the Rheims, 
and in Cranmer; Tyndale having, "all suspicious things," and 
the Vulgate, ab omni mala specie. It is also adopted by 
Luther, Calvin, Piscator, Grotins, Michaelis, Wordsworth, and 
Webster and Wilkinson. But, as has been said, the antithesis 
is not between what is really good and what is evil only in 
appearance — schein — a meaning also which elSos cannot bear. 
But the noun may signify sort, kind, or species — species under 
the genus — and the specie of the Vulgate is by many so under- 
stood : thus, e?(5o? Kcil yeVo? (Plato, Epin., 990 e). This is the 
view of the majority of modern interpreters. See Wetstein in 
loc. The Greek fathers seem to have entertained the same 
view, as Chrysostom explains the clause after quoting it, fir] 


tovtov )j eKeli'ou «AA' awo ttclvto?. This exegesis assumes that 
7rov>ipov is a substantive ; but Bengel, Pelt, Schott, and Lasch 
take it as an adjective, von jeder Boxen Art; ah omni specie 
mala (Vulgate), and the Syriac has )m » n as . ^i> ^1d. Bengel, 
Middleton, Tittmann, and Schott contend that if irov^pov were 
a substantive, it would have the article prefixed to it. But, 
first, the article would be necessary if irovt\pov referred to some 
distinct element of the iravra in the previous verse ; and, 
secondly, the article is not necessary to abstract adjectives 
when the totality of what is specified is not intended, but only 
a part (Kuhner, § 48G) ; kuku kcu cuV^/xt eirpa^ev : TpiTov . . . 
clSos uyaOov (Plato, Rep., II, 357 c). Heb. v, 14. Chrysos- 
tom, in one of his Homilies, has ovSiv eo-riv kukiu? etSos oirep 
ar6\p.j]Tov. Then, thirdly, if irov^pov were an adjective, the 
antithesis to to kuXov would be greatly weakened ; and, lastly, 
an adjective would scarcely agree with eloos as signifying kind 
or species. From every kind or form of evil were they to 
abstain in thought and deed ; from whatever would prompt 
them to retaliate, chill their joy, hinder their prayers, inter- 
rupt or limit their thanksgivings, or lead them to frown on 
spiritual utterances ; from everything " in doctrine or in 
conduct " (Theodoret) which might bring them spiritual injury 
in their individual or ecclesiastical capacity. 

The commentators have remarked that some of the fathers 
use a peculiar quotation which has been thought to throw 
some light on these clauses. The phrase is ylvecrOe Sokijuoi 
Tpaire^lraL, "become 3^0 approved money-changers." The 
clause is connected immediately with this verse, and quoted as 
if it formed a portion of this epistle by Clement of Alexandria, 
Basil the Great, Ambrose, and Athanasius ; the citation of the 
Alexandrian Cyril and that of the apostolical constitutions are 
somewhat different, and do not directly connect themselves 
with the verses before us. Various sources have been assigned 
to it by those who have employed it. Clement of Alexandria 
assigns it generally to Scripture, rj ypafyi] ; Cyril of Alexandria 
ascribes it to Paul, and after quoting it adds verses 21 and 
22 of this chapter. Similarly, and without quoting these verses 
so fully, Origen, Jerome, and Epiphanius ascribe it to Christ. 
Usher thought that it was taken from the Apocryphal Gospel 


according to the Hebrews. The probability is that it is one of 
Christ's unwritten utterances, many of which must have been 
preserved and handed down in the early church. Compare 
1 Cor. vii, 10 ; Acts xx, 35. But the connection of this prjpa 
<iypa(j>ov with the verses under discussion, though somewhat 
striking in the patristic writings, is in reality very slender. It 
is but the echo of Soki/uloi in SoKipd^ere, with some slight re- 
semblance of thought which might be imaged in the work of 
a nummular ius. Hansel, however, imagining that the apostle 
had the utterance before his mind, has wrought out the idea to 
its full extent, in the belief that it throws a new light upon 
verses 21 and 22. His paraphrase is, "The good money keep; 
with every sort of bad money have nothing to do ; act as expe- 
rienced money-changers ; all the money presented to you as 
good, test." The illustration is artificial and far-fetched, though 
it is adopted by Baumgarten-Crusius, and allowed by 
Neander. But if such were the usage, the wording must 
have been different, as Liinemann. Besides, elSos cannot of 
itself mean money — elSo$ vopia-paros — nor would the verb 
a7re'xecr#e be at all applicable, for the turn of thought would be, 
not keep away from it, but put it away from you. The quota- 
tions from the fathers referred to in this paragraph may be 
found in Suicer's Thesaurus, sub voce rpa-Tre^irw ; and a list of 
the supposed unwritten utterances of Christ may be seen in 
Fabricius, Codex Apocr. Novi Testamenti, pp. 321-335, with a 
long note on the one in question. 

(Yer. 23.) Avtos <5e o Geo? T>j? etprjvijs ayiacrai vpas 
oXoreXei? — " Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify 
you wholly." Ae is transitional to another theme — not 
in full contrast to what has been stated, but rather 
complementary. They are enjoined to abstain from vengeful 
acts, and to cherish beneficent feelings ; to act towards 
those among them as their condition and character sug- 
gested and required ; to be continuous in spiritual gladness, 
in prayer and thanksgiving; not to repress spiritual manifesta- 
tions, but to apply a spiritual discernment to them ; to appro- 
priate what was good in them, and to abstain from every 
species of evil. These are so many detached elements of sanc- 
tification, which are pressed upon them, and which only 


through divine grace they could possess or exhibit, and through 
frailty often only in an imperfect degree. His heart's desire 
for them is now summed up in this concluding and comprehen- 
sive prayer. It can scarcely be said to be in contrast with 
them and the efforts which they might be able to make, as 
De Wette, Ellicott, Alford, Liinemann — for though in form, 
indeed, prayer is in contrast with precept, yet this is rather a 
prayer to God to strengthen them for all those duties which 
had been set before them, by developing their perfect sanctifi- 
cation. They are bidden to do those duties, and God himself is 
implored to sanctify them. Ae implies that the subject, though 
connected, is different from what precedes; they are enjoined 
to do, but He is implored to give. Auto? is emphatic — Himself 
and none other; and indeed none other than He can be so 
appealed to, or can answer such an appeal. Winer, § 24, 5. 
The genitive eipi'ivrj? points to Him as its continuous giver or 
producer, and thus characterizes Him, die domlnirenden 
Eigenschaften (Scheuerlein, p. 115). Peace is that inner tran- 
quillity resulting from divine acceptance and growing assimila- 
tion to the divine image, which is inwrought by God,and sustained 
by His Spirit. See under Ephes. i, 2; Col. iii, 15; and especially 
under Philip, iv, 7. It is out of the question to refer the noun 
to the distant cognate verb in the 13th verse. ' Aytdaat, not 
used by the classics, occurs often in the Septuagint and New 
Testament, and means to make ciyios ; hence believers are 
called oi I'lyiao-fxevoi (Acts xx, 32; xxvi, 18; 1 Cor. i, 2; Jude 1). 
See under Ephes. i, 1. 

The adjective oAoreXe*? occurs only here in the New 
Testament, though it is sometimes found in later Greek 
writers ; and the adverb occurs in the version of Aquila 
(Dent. xiii. 17). It signifies, complete in reference to amount, 
that in which nothing is wanting essential to aim or end. 
Thus the Vulgate, per omnia, or as OEcumenius explains it, 
tovtccttl oXoug Si' oXtov. The emphatic order of the words is 
thus preserved, and the pronoun and adjective kept in natural 
concord. Others, however, take oXoreXeis in an ethical sense, 
and as the accusative of result — sanctify you so that you 
become entire or perfect. So the Claromontane Latin, ad 
perfectionem ; Jerome gives us the alternative, per omnia vel 


in omnibus sive plenos et perfectos; and this last view is 
adopted by Ambrosiaster, Erasmus, Estius, Koppe, Pelt. But 
the other interpretation is preferable, as being the simpler, and 
as it keeps distinct the meaning of the two compound 
adjectives — 

kcli o\6ic\i]pov vpwv to 7rvev/ULU kul i) \tsvx>] K(u TO (r^P-U- 
afiifiTTToos . . . Ti]p)j6eii] — " and entire may your spirit and 
soul and body be preserved blameless." B}- Ka) he passes on 
to the particulars, annexing to the more general prayer the 
specific petition. Winer, § 53, 3. The adjective oXoKXypog is, 
whole in all its parts, explained in James i, 4, as kv pqSevl 
Xenropevoi, " wanting in nothing," and this is the only other 
place of the New Testament in which the word occurs. The 
cognate noun, 6\oK\tjpiai> — "his perfect soundness " — is applied 
in Acts iii, 10, to the state of the lame man after being- 
healed, and the adjective describes the unchipped or unbroken 
stones of which an altar might be built, in Deut. xxvii, 6. 
In Ezek. xv, 5, it represents the Hebrew dw, and similarly 
in 1 Mace, iv, 47, XlOovs oXo/cXj/poi/? /caret top vopov ; applied 
also to a full week in Lev. xxiii, 15 ; and in Deut. xvi, 6, 
in the Alexandrian Recension. Is. i, 6 ; Wisdom xv, o. 
Josephus employs it to denote the physical symmetry of the 
priests (Antiq., iii, 2, 2) ; and Philo uses it both of priests and 
victims {Be Vict, 2; De Of., 1). Plato, Leg., vi, 759 c; 
Stallbaum's Note, vol. X, § 2, p. 140 ; Phacdrus, p. 250 c ; 
Ast., Lex. Platon., sub voce; Trench, 8ynon., § 22; Wetstein,m 
loc. The adjective standing here as a secondary predicate 
belongs to all the substantives, irvevp-a, V^X'?' o-wp-a, though 
agreeing in gender with the nearest one, to which the Autho- 
rized Version wrongly confines it. Winer, § 59, 5. It describes 
a sanctification in which no element of God's purpose is 
unrealized, or of a believer's perfection is absent or defective, 
and that in every part of our nature. The verb Tijpcco is used 
of divine guardianship (John xvii, 11, 12, 15; Rev. iii, 10; Jude 
21). The preservation of spirit, soul, and body, is characterized 
as up.ep7rTW, the adverb qualifying the verb. Compare ii, 10 ; 
iii, 13. The preservation is embodied in this holiness which 
shall incur no censure, as being perfect in nature (oAoreXe??), 
and complete in extent (6\oK\ypoi>) ; and the period is — 


ev t) l i irapoutTia tov Ivupiov ij/uuov 'hjcou \pi<TTOu, "in the 
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ," — uot " unto," as in the 
Authorized Version. This prayer for the preservation of our 
whole nature will be found answered at the Second Advent 
(1 John ii, 28). See iii, 13. The clause is closely connected with 
aiuLe/joTTM?. And the apostle rested his confidence on God's 
unchanging truthfulness, for he at once adds— 

(Ver. 24.) ILctto? 6 koXwv vp.u<z o? kcu iroi^rrei — " Faithful is 
he that calleth you who also will perforin or do it." ILcrro? is 
emphatic in position, and the participle designates God as the 
Caller, the idea of time being dropped. Winer, § 45, 7. It is 
not to be taken for the aorist, and the reference is to God, as in 
the Pauline theology. See under Gal. i, 6 ; v, 8. The faithful- 
ness of God is unchallenged, carrying out every purpose which 
He has formed, and fulfilling every promise which He has 
made (1 Cor. i, 9 ; x, 13 ; 2 Cor. i, 18 ; 2 Thess. iii, 3 ; 2 Tim. ii, 
13; Heb. x, 23; Is. xlix, 7). Calling is God's initial work, leading 
to justification and final glorification (Rom. viii, 30). Whatever 
pledge that calling implies — and it implies perfection — He will 
fulfil; as He calls so also (kcu) will He perform. There needs 
no formal accusative to -Kou'icrei, as is supplied in some codices; 
neither iravra ravra (Olshausen), nor was ich wiinsehe (De 
Wette), nor yet exactly e^' w eKuXecrev, though that be the 
result. The verb is used alone in relative sentences (Thucy- 
dides, v, 70, and Poppo's note). Koch refers to Schoemann, 
ad Isaeum, p. 372. Pie will do what is involved in the call, 
and comprehended in the prayer; not merely, to ap.ep.TTTw; 
vjuas Tt]p)]0t]vai (Lunemann), but also what is included in the 
previous part of the prayer, ayiacrai i'/x«? oAoTeAef?. Baum- 
garten-Crusius takes occasion to remark, Der Klang soldier 
Stellen ist prddestinativisch ; and then proceeds to reply to 
his own observations, that he may remove from his readers 
such an impression. Three injunctions follow. First — 

(Ver. 25.)'Ac)eA(/>o<, ir poarevx^o-Qe irep) t)pwv — " Brethren, pray 
for us." The same request is made in other epistles (Rom. xv, 
30; Ephes. vi, 19; Col. iv, 3; 2 Thess. iii, 1; Heb. xiii, 18. 
Compare 2 Cor. i, 11). The verb is sometimes followed by 
virlp, and for the distinction, if any, between the two preposi- 
tions, see under Ephes. vi, 19. For their use in another con- 


nection, see under Gal. i, 4. The Greek commentators call 
attention to the request as a proof of the apostle's humility. 
That Timothy and Silvanus are included is quite likely as they 
are comprised in the opening salutation. Prayer for them on 
the part of the church would prove its living interest in 
them, and a sympathy with their labours and trials, and would 
doubtless comprehend earnest petition for divine blessing on 
them in person, and in all the arduous evangelical toil in 
which they were engaged. A second injunction is — 

(Ver. 20.) 'A<x7racraa"(9e tous aSeXcpovg 7rdvras ev <jn\t'ifiaTi 
ay/<» — " Salute all the brethren with a holy kiss." Had the 
injunction been " Salute one another," as in some other places, 
it might have been regarded as addressed to the church. But 
it is given to one class, and they are charged to salute all the 
brethren — the class on whom the obligation devolved being 
probably those who were over them in the Lord. The pres- 
byters were to salute all the brethren, probably in the apostle's 
name — "being absent he greets them through others" — o>? 
orav \eyw/j.ev (frlXtjcrov uvtov uvt e/m.ov (Chrysostom). The 
verse plainly implies that those who received the epistle 
were to salute all the others. Hofmann, approved by Riggen- 
bach, wrongly holds, on the other hand, that as verse 25 is ad- 
dressed to all the Thessalonians, this verse also has the same 
application, the meaning being — " Deliver my salutation in 
connection with the holy kiss to all the brethren ; and this the 
Thessalonians did collectively, when on hearing these words 
they kissed one another." But the simple terms will not 
warrant such a deduction. 

The greeting was to assume a special form — ev (piXi'ifxari, ep 
being instrument; the kiss conveyed the salutation. It is called 
holy, aylw, as being the token and symbol of Christian affection, 
and not the form of mere civility or worldly courtesy. The 
same epithet is employed in Rom. xvi, 16; 1 Cor. xvi, 20 ; 
2 Cor. xiii, 12, where also aXXyXov? is employed. In 1 Peter v, 
14, the phrase is ev (piX/i/nari ay('nrt^. The apostle sometimes 
reverses the position of the noun and adjective, as in some of 
these passages — the difference being, according to Fritzsche, 
as between osculum Christianum, and Christianum osculwm 
(Ad. Rom., vol. Ill, 310). Theodoret from the epithet dyiov 


infers that the kiss was not to be a SoXepov (plXy/ma like 
that of Judas. As may be seen from many passages in the 
Old Testament, not only near relations of both sexes kissed 
one another, as parents and children and members of the same 
household, but also persons unrelated, in token of friendship 
or under the guise of it. Among the Greeks and Romans the 
custom prevailed ; and, among Persians and Arabs, the mode 
of kissing part of the person and dress was indicative of rank. 
The Christian kiss here enjoined was continued in the early 
church — both in the East and West. It was apparently observed 
at first without distinction of sex, as the verse before us would 
seem to imply. The Apostolical Constitutions say—" Then," 
that is, at the end of the service, " let the men give the men, 
and the women the women, the Lord's kiss, but let no one do it 
in deceit, as Judas betrayed the Lord with a kiss " (Lib. ii, 57). 
Again, at the end of a form of prayer for the faithful, " let the 
deacons say to all, Salute ye one another with a holy kiss " (Lib. 
viii, 11). In the Eastern churches the men and women sat on 
opposite sides of the building. Justin the martyr records, that 
after the administration of baptism and the prayers accompany- 
ing it, " we salute one another with a holy kiss " (Apol., i, 65). 
Thus Tertullian argues that a Christian woman should not marry 
a heathen, as he would be unwilling to allow her to go to the 
prisons to embrace the martyr in his chains, or at other times 
to give the kiss of peace to a brother. The kiss was also given 
to persons newly baptized, as is mentioned both by Cyprian 
and Augustine (Cyprian, Ep. 59 ; Bingham, iv, 49). Tertullian 
says, Jejunantes habita oratione cum fratribus subtrahunt 
osculum ixicis,quod est signaculum orationis (Be Oratione, xviii, 
vol. I, p. 5G9, Opera, ed. (Ehler). The kiss was given before 
the distribution of the elements at the Eucharist, and it was 
also given to the bishop and to the presbyter on their conse- 
cration (Bingham, Antiquities, ii, 11, £ 10; ii, 19, § 17; iv, 
6, § 15). It was called eiprjvtj, pax, and oscidum pads — hence 
the phrase dare pacem, rhv apyvtjv SlSocrOai; and Clement of 
Alexandria gives it the epithet pv<ttikov, as in contrast to the 
shamelessness of those who do nothing but make the churches 
resound with kissing, not having love within. " We dispense 
the affections of the soul by a chaste and closed mouth " 


(Pcedag., iii, 11, vol. I, p. 329). Athenagoras warns against the 
abuse of the custom — " the Logos has said, If any one kiss a 
second time because it has given him pleasure, he sins" (Legat, 
32). See a chapter on the subject in Augusti, Handbuch der 
Christ. Archaeol., vol. II, p. 718. The custom is still found in 
the Coptic church, and in the Greek Church at Easter, though in 
the eai'ly church it was omitted on Good Friday in reference to 
the kiss of Judas. It fell into disuse in the Latin church about 
the thirteenth century, and a relic or picture called osculatorium 
was handed round the conoreo'ation that each one might kiss 
it. Du Cange, sub voce Osculum. Palmer's Origines Litarg., II, 
p. 102. 

(Ver. 27.) 'EvopKtyo ufias tov iivptov, avayvw<r9riva.i tijv eiruj- 
ToXrju iracri toi$ aSe\<po?s — " I adjure you by the Lord that 
this epistle be read to all the brethren." D 3 FKL.H have the 
simple verb opicifa — the compound being found in A B D 1 E, 
17. The Received Text inserts ayloi? before a8e\(pols, 
with A K L N 3 , many versions, and some fathers. But the 
epithet is omitted in BDF N 1 , and the Claromontane Latin. 
The evidence from the MSS. is strongly against the word, 
though the versions are in its favour. Lachmann refuses it, 
but Tischendorf has admitted it in his seventh edition ; Ellicott 
and Biggenbach bracket it, but Liinemann and Alford reject 
it. The word is at all events suspicious. The verb with its two 
accusatives— that of the persons adjured, and that of Him by 
whom adjuration is made — involves an argument for the 
Lord's divinity (Mark v, 7; Acts xix, 13). Grotius, Pelt, and 
Olshausen needlessly understand v)\ before Kupiov. On the verb 
as condemned by the Atticists, see Phrynichus, ed. Lobeck, 
p. 300. 

The verb avayivaxricw in the active is often followed by the 
thing or author read, and occasionally by on ; in the passive 
it has here the dative after it — not of those by whom, but of 
those to whom the epistle was to be read (Luke iv, 16; Acts xv, 
11 ; 2 Cor. iii, 15 ; Col. iv, 16). The infinitive aorist in sentences 
of command may not refer to a single act (Alford), but it may 
imply that the thing is to be done instantly, for the use is more 
general in such sentences, though the present would have 
implied that the action was in course of performance, and the 


future that it would take place at some indefinite period to 
come. According to Stallbaum the action is represented as 
unconditioned by time (Euthyd., p. 140), or it may command 
the simple performance of the action (Lobeck, Phrynichus, 
p. 7-51; Schmalfeld, p. 346). "All the brethren" implies a 
public assembly of the brotherhood in Thessalonica, not in 
the whole of Macedonia (Bengel, Flatt), in the same way as the 
Old Testament was read in the synagogue. The command, 
then, is simply that the epistle be openly read to the assembled 
church, but not for the purpose of recognizing it as a genuine 
letter of the apostle (Michaelis). The letters forged in his name 
belong to a later period. (There was often a recitatio of a 
newly composed work prior to its publication. Tacitus, Dialog. 
De Oratore, 9, p. 358, vol. IV, Opera, ed. Ruperti.) But why this 
strong adjuration to do a work so natural and so necessary as 
to read to the church an epistle sent to them by their founder ? 
The adjuration is not meant to secure that the epistle should 
not be undervalued as the substitute for the apostle's own 
personal presence, so earnestly longed for (Hofmann). Nor is 
it any proof of a later origin, or of a time when an epistle was 
reckoned a sacred composition, treated with a special 
solemnity, and frequently read. The aorist does not imply 
such a frequency, and there is nothing abnormal in the request 
that a letter designed for a Christian community should be 
read by all of them, iracriv having the stress upon it. 
Jowett's two surmises are alike groundless — either that the 
apostle doubted the good faith of the rulers, or was not com- 
pletely master of his own words. The one has no sure basis, 
and the other is derogatory to the writer, and unsubstantiated 
by any critical analysis of his style, or by any true estimate of his 
modes of expression — words being with him the faithful vehicle 
of thought and emotion. Nor can we say with Theodoret, that 
there was a likelihood (eko?) that those who got the epistle 
might keep it back from some members of the church, there 
being no hint that the presbyters were so alienated from the 
church that they might be tempted to such a course (Olshausen). 
Still the language is strong, and is not found anywhere else. 
All that we are warranted to say is that the apostle felt that 
the contents of the letter were so important, so suited to the 


spiritual wants of the people, that he was very anxious that 
every member of the church should hear it read, and therefore 
puts them under solemn oath to secure this result. For the 
letter touched on their first reception of the gospel and its 
blessed fruits ; on the trials which they had encountered, and 
his own earnest desire and frustrated efforts to revisit them ; 
on his disinterestedness when he laboured among them, and the 
joy which he had in their progress ; on the fulness of comfort 
set apart for those distracted by sorrow and anxiety about the 
relation of the dead to the Second Advent — that solace edged 
with a word of warning to those whose minds had become 
unsettled, and who, by their indolence, were bringing discredit 
on the new religion. The entire epistle — so simple, and some- 
what historical — was the immediate and natural disclosure of his 
heart toward them. Perhaps in the prospect of writing letters 
to other churches, he enjoined the reading of this first one 
written by him. They might not know how they were to deal 
with it, or when, how far, or to whom, to make known its con- 
tents. He, therefore, solves all such difficulties, and at once 
adjures them to read it publicly to the assembled church. 
Quod Paulas cum adjuratione jubet, id Roma sub anathemate 
prohibet (Bengel). The inferential structure raised on this 
verse by Wordsworth is conjecture without great plausibility, 
so far, at least, as the Thessalonian church is concerned, how- 
ever it might be in subsequent centuries. 

(Ver. 28.) f H x a P l $ TOV Kvpiov fj/u.m> Irjcrov jZ.pi<TTov jueO' 
vfiwv — "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." 
For these names see under Ephes. i, 2. The grace of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, in its fulness, he implored upon them — of 
Him who in love took upon Him their nature and became 
Jesus — of Him the Anointed One, the Christ, who is now at 
the right hand of the Father, as Lord of all. That grace adapts 
itself to every want, to every variety and element of spiritual 
condition. See under Ephes. i, 2. 

In the epistles are found varying forms of the concluding 
salutation. Those most resembling the one before us are Rom. 
xvi, 24 — "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all ;" 
2 Thess. iii, 18 — "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with 
you all ;" 1 Cor. xvi, 23 — " The grace of the Lord Jesus be with 


you." There are shorter forms — Col. iv, 18 ; 2 Tim. iv, 22 — 
" Grace be with you ;" Titus iii, 13 — " Grace be with you all ; " 
1 Tim. vi, 21 — "Grace be with thee ;" and there are also longer 
ones — Gal. vi, 18 — "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with 
your spirit, brethren;" Philip, iv, 23, and Phile. 25 — "The 
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit ; " and the 
full benediction is (2 Cor. xiii, 14) — "The grace of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the 
Holy Ghost be with you all;" and in Ephes. vi, 24, it is — 
" Grace be with all those that love our Lord Jesus Christ in 

The 'A/ui'/v of the Received Text, though supported by 
A D 23 K L $, and some fathers, is scarcely to be accepted — it 
is not found in B D 1 F, and the Latin versions. Lachmann 
and Tischendorf omit it, as it may have been an ecclesiastical 
addition or response. 

The subscription, with its many variations, has no authority, 
being added by some copyist of an unknown date. 






(Ver. 1.) IlauAos" kcu ^.iXovai'O'i Kat TijuoOeo? t>] eV/cA>/o-/a 
OccTcraXoi'iKecou ev Qeo> iraTpi })[xm> kui YLvpiw Itjarov X/j/rrrw — 
" Paul and Silvanus and Timotheus to the Church of the 
Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." 
The address is the same as in the First Epistle, with the 
addition of tj/utov after -n-arpi See under i, 1, for some of its 
peculiarities. There are some minor variations and corrections 
in the reading which need not be recounted. 

(Ver. 2.) X"/° i? l V^ Kai &PW } ] otto Geo? irarpos ij/uan' Kat 
Kvplou lijcrov Xpia-rov — " grace to you and peace from God 
our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." The rnxwv after 
7raTpo9 is doubtful, though it has in its favour A F K L N, the 
Vulgate, both the Syriac versions, and the Coptic version, with 
Chrysostom, Theodoret, &c. It is omitted in BD, in the 
Claromontane Latin, and in Theojihylact. The external 
authority is great, and probably prevails over the conjecture 
that ))/ul(ou may have been inserted for the sake of conformity 
to the opening salutations in many other epistles (Rom. i, 7 ; 
1 Cor. i, 3 ; 2 Cor. i, 2 ; Ephes. i, 2 ; Philip, i, 2 ; Col. i, 2 ; 
Phile. 3). There is little probability that the pronoun was 
omitted in this verse on account of its occurrence in the first 
verse. Tischendoi-f omits it, Lachmann brackets it, Griesbach 
prefixes his mark of omissio minus probabilis. Harpos is 
used absolutely in Gal. i, 3, and in the pastoral epistles, 1 Tim. 


i, 2 ; 2 Tim. i, 2 ; Titus i, 4- ; but in the two first citations there 
is a various reading, not, however, of preponderant value. For 
the sense of the terms see under Ephes. i, 2 ; Gal. i, 1, 3. 

The apostle, as is his wont, now thanks God for them — for 
their spiritual progress, and for their patience under persecution 
and afflictions, those afflictions being tokens of God's righteous 
judgment, which will reward them and punish their enemies ; 
and the period of retribution is the personal revelation of the 
Lord Jesus from heaven in glory at the final day. 

(Ver. 3.) YiV)(api<TT€iv o^e/Ao/xey too Gew irdvTOTe irepi vp.u>v, 
dSe\<j>oi — " We are bound to give thanks to God always for 
you, brethren." See under 1 Thess. i, 3; Ellicott on Col. i, 12. 
Not only does he give thanks, but he feels a profound and 
irrepressible obligation to give thanks. Not that he was ever 
reluctant or forgetful to bless God ; not that his thanksgiving 
needed a special impulse to express itself ; but that in this case 
there sprang up, from all the circumstances, a sense of duty so 
profound that the thanksgiving is not simply a becoming form 
at the opening of the epistle, but a devout act which, from the 
healthy condition of the Thessalonian Church and his intense 
paternal interest in it, had become to him a holy necessity. 
And he adds — 

icadois a£tov €<ttii>, oti inrepav^avei >/ 7tiitti<; v/jlwv, k<u 
7r\eovd£ei i] uyairi] evov eKWTTuu 7ravTon> vfxwv ei<; aWyXov? — 
" as it is meet, because your faith groweth exceedingly, and 
the love of every one of you all to each other aboundeth." By 
not a few the clause KaOm d^iov earw is taken as a paren- 
thetical insertion — uti par est (Beza) — and ore is joined to 
<HJje[\oju.6i>, " we are bound to give thanks (as is meet and 
right) — bound to give thanks, that your faith," &c. Others, 
who hold the same connection, regarding such a sense as flat 
and pointless, infuse other thoughts, as in one of Theophy- 
lact's explanations, \va p.t]Se ewi Tfl ev\api<TTia avTtj eirai- 
pwfxeOa, cos £ei'ov ri o-vveia-ayayovres ; he adds, in one place, 
that }) agio, evxapicrria is to be shown by words and by 
deeds. CEcumenius writes, 5/ to yueya'Aco? e^uKova-Tiov, as if 
the clause meant the greatness of the thanksgiving, great 
thanks for great mercies. So Bengel too, 6b rei magni- 
tiidinem, Schott explains the phrase as showing modum 


eximium, quo animus grains declarari debeat. Hofmann 
says, " with the acknowledgment of personal obligation he 
joins a recognition of the circumstances of the case." So 
Erasmus, Fromond, Pelt, and others — De Wette being in 

But (1) if oti be joined to o</>e/Aoyuei', the intervening clause, 
kuOws a^iov eo-Tiv, is superfluous. (2) The insertion of aSeX^oi 
breaks the connection,and, making the clause independent, severs 
6<f>e[\ojtjL€v from on, &C. (3) As Limemann remarks against 
Schott's exegesis, kuOws does not signify measure or degree, as 
is implied in modani eximium. (4) The clause KaOcos a£i6v 
ccrriv does not gather the stress upon it, but only carries 
forward the thought to the distinct and enumerated grounds of 
thankfulness, and therefore the clause connected with the first 
words of the verse is specially linked to what follows. We are 
bound to give thanks as is most due, because your faith groweth 
exceedingly — the brief assertion of the meetness of the thanks- 
giving leading so naturally to the production of the reasons for 
it. Nor is there in the clause any pleonasm (Schott), or that 
tautology which Jowett imagines — "tautology which with the 
apostle is often emphasis, a£ioy expressing a higher degree of 
the same notion than o^e/Xo^ei'." Such an exegesis, however, 
does not create tautology—" it is not merely an obligation, but 
a noble and worthy thing," is his own paraphrase. The tw r o 
thoughts are quite distinct — duty in itself and in the character 
of the deed comprised in it. Nor is the connection so poor and 
unnatural as Jowett asserts, for in o^e/Ao/xey the duty is repre- 
sented in its subjective aspect, as obligation felt by the apostle 
and his colleagues, our " bounden duty," and KaOcos a£iov 
ecrriv introduces its objective basis — the spiritual experience 
and progress of the Thessalonian Church. The clause, there- 
fore, is followed by otl — quoniam in both Latin versions — 
because your faith groweth exceedingly. Winer, § 53, 8. 

Though verbs compounded with- vir'ep are favourites with the 
apostle, the verb inrepavgdvei occurs only here. Fritzsche, Rom., 
vol. I., p. 351, who, besides Rom. v, 20 — the verse commented on 
— refers to Rom. vii, 37; 2 Cor. vii, 4; xi, 5; Philip, ii, 9 ; 1 Tim. 
i, 14. The simple verb is used transitively in other places, but 
intransitively, as here, in Acts vi, 7. Their faith w r as growing 


exceedingly ; expanding out of its original germ, as a tree from 
its seed ; increasing in the intensity of its confidence, and of its 
regulating and ennobling power ; and opening up so as to 
embrace a wider cycle of truths. It would not have been a 
living faith if it had not grown. And as it had increased so 
much (Inrep) — not merely bej^ond expectation (Riggenbach), 
but beyond measure — the apostle felt bound to give thanks to 
God. Olshausen finds in the verb an indulgent reference to 
too great an eagerness of belief or credulousness by which they 
afterwards brought reproof upon themselves. So also Baum- 
garten-Crusius. But surely the apostle could not make such a 
faith the ground of thanks to God, nor can v-wep have in it 
what is really a satirical allusion. 

Not only their faith in its growth, but their love also in 
its enlargement, formed the ground of the apostle's thanks- 
giving. That love is specified in no vague terms, but is 
individualized — not simply your love of the church as a 
mass, but the love of each one of you all toward one an- 
other — the whole body of believers in Thessalonica. It is a 
freak of Hofmann to take iravrwv v/uloov as in apposition 
with evos eicacrTOv. The love, ;/ ayuiri] eh «\A>/Aou9, is 
brother-love — not man-love, or love of all (Pelt), but the love 
of fellow-Christians — there being no reference to those without 
the church, as in 1 Thess. iii, 12, or to any supposed antipathy 
to the heathen unbelievers (Schrader). While virepav^avei 
characterizes their faith in its growth, irkeovd^ei characterizes 
their love in its extension, or, not only in its increasing 
fervour, but specially in the enlargement of its sphere ; 
every one loving, every one conscious of being beloved — 
universal reciprocal affection — "equal," as Chrysostom says, 
" on the part of all." Chrysostom notices the distinction 
in the use of the two verbs, but the figure employed by him 
fails to explain it. See under 1 Thess. iii, 12 ; Ephes. i, 15. 
There might be, as Olshausen remarks, some differences in the 
church, as the third chapter indicates; but they were so merged 
in universal attachment that the eulogy of the apostle was 
warranted. Faith, hope, love, and patience already charac- 
terized them, as is said in 1 Thess. i, 3 ; iii, G ; iv, 9 ; the 
apostle had prayed for an increasing abundance of love among 


them, and in this clause he thanks God virtually that his 
prayer had been heard. 

For the signal spiritual progress of the Thessalonian Church 
the apostle felt bound not only to thank God, the source of all 
good, but he always had peculiar pleasure in Thessalonica, and 
he gave it an honourable and prominent place in his addresses 
and ministry among the other churches — 

(Ver. 4.) lo(tt€ fjixas auTOvs ev vfxh eytcavxuo'Bai ev tuis 
extcXqcriais rod Oeou — "so that we ourselves glory in you in the 
churches of God," "make a boast of you" (Coverdale). There 
are some various readings — B tt, and a few minuscules read 
avrovs iifAas, and this order is preferred by Alford. These are 
two old and high authorities. C is here deficient. The 
Received Text has kuuxuctOul after D K L, and many 
of the fathers, F having Kauxtjcraa-Oai ; but A B tf have 
eyKuv^acrOai, the more unusual form, which is therefore to be 
preferred. It is found in the Sept., Ps. li, 3 ; Ps. cvi, 47. The 
first pronouns are emphatic — we ourselves, not we of our own 
accord (Hofmann), but we as well as others, who know you, 
and honour, appreciate, and praise you for }^our spiritual pros- 
perity ; we ourselves who prayed and laboured for you, and 
have a tender and abiding interest in you, as being the instru- 
ments by which God has brought you into this happy 
condition. The insertion of kcu is not needed for this 
meaning — 1 Thess. iv, 9, where, however, it is aurol 
ujuLel? with a slight change of emphasis. But (1) it is to 
be questioned if the clause can sustain the contrast in Ellicott's 
paraphrase — " ourselves, as well as others, who might call atten- 
tion to your Christian progress more naturally and appropriately 
than those who felt it, humanly speaking, due to their own 
exertions, but who, in the present case, could not forbear." 
Such an expression of feeling is in no way opposed to what the 
apostle says in 1 Cor. i, 31 ; iii, 21. The apostle felt himself so 
wholly an instrument in the Master's hand that he never 
scrupled to mention his services — ever ascribing humbly and 
gratefully to Him the strength to do them, and any success 
which might attend them (1 Thess. i, S, 9 ; ii, 11), 20). (2) The 
contrast is not that presented by Jowett — " so that it is not 
only you who boast of yourselves, but we ourselves who boast 


of you." Similarly Chrysostom — " if we give thanks and glory 
to God for you among men, much more ought you to do so for 
your own good deeds." "We ourselves" is not in opposition to 
you — "your self-gloriation " is in no sense hinted at — but is in 
opposition to others who also glory in you. Surely this refer- 
ence of the apostle to the exultant feelings of himself and his 
colleagues is so natural in the circumstances that the language 
has no " semblance of a false emphasis, or of awkwardness of 
expression." (3) Nor is the contrast that indicated by Schott and 
Pelt, de se potissimum Apostolo intelligi valt, >)/ixus avrov? 
being equivalent to e/mavrov — for verse 3 refers to himself and 
his companions. Such a contrast would be abrupt and un- 
natural, and it is disproved by the close logical connection of 
the verses. The boasting is ev vjuliv, " in you," you being its 
object and sphere. Winer, 48; Bernhardy, p. 210. Comp. 
Exod. xiv, 4 ; Isaiah xlix, 3. The churches of God in which 
this boasting had taken place must be those which the apostle 
visited and addressed — those in Corinth and its neighbourhood, 
the Achaian capital being his headquarters. The inference of 
Chrysostom that patience is shown by much time, and not in 
two or three days, must not be unduly pressed as settling in 
any way the date of the epistle. Still further — 

inrep r^? v7ro/uov>}s v/uloov kui 7ncrreco9 ev iracnv tois 6tooyju.oh' 
vfxwv kui ruig OXixjyeaip eu? avtxeoSe — " for your patience and 
faith in all your persecutions and the afflictions which 
ye endure." 'Yirip points out the elements of spiritual 
character, over or on account of which he boasted. Ben- 
gel's connection of the preposition with evxapivTeiv is too 
remote and unnatural. The Hendiadys supposed by Pelt 
and others is not to be thought of, vwoiuoi'ijs tijs iri(TTeic<s— 
— terns viroixlvovcra, or t>j$ vtto/uloi'ijs ev 7ri<TTei. The noun 
v-o/j.oi'1], "bearing up under," means quiet and steadfast 
endurance — not the bearing of evil in apathy or stoical unrc- 
sistance, but in a spirit of serene firmness, and of earnest 
expectation that God would vouchsafe final deliverance. 
IT/o-t/p has its common signification, confidence in God and 
Christ, as in the previous verse ; and there is no necessity for 
Liinemann to give it the sense of " Treue" or for Bengel to 
explain it as ftdelem constantiam confessionis. Similar!}' 


Olshausen. Though the omission of the article before 7r/o-Tew? 
])l;ices it and inro/uovr) under one conception, the signification of 
" fidelity " is not warranted. Their patience and their faith are 
closely allied. That their faith had been growing is his general 
statement, and he thanks God for it ; and here he again 
mentions the same faith in a more special aspect and connection. 
Suffering for Christ they still believed on Him — persecution did 
not uproot their faith or even bring it into suspense. They 
were enduring, and in spite of this endurance believing, when 
the apostle gloried in them (Rev. xiii, 10). Their endurance 
tested their faith, and showed its stability, and their faith was 
the inner element of that patience which was one of its fruits. 
In the next phrase,as the repetition of the article before 6\t\lse(riv 
shows, iruaip belongs to Siooy/uoh v/j-wv, and 6\i\Jseoriv is 
specialized by ah arexeo-Qe which takes up again the vjumv. 
The term otuy^io? appears to be the more special and 
0\t\Uis the more general — the first being that injury done to 
the person, property, or character of believers by the powerful 
and unscrupulous opponents of the gospel ; and the other, those 
evils that came upon them on account of their faith, many of 
them connected with persecution — hardship, poverty, disease, 
loss of friendship, rupture of family ties, the pressure of other 
trials— all on account of their Christian professsion, maintained 
so boldly and patiently in a city so hostile and powerful 
as Thessalonica. And these are still endured by them— 

uh avexecrOe — " which ye are enduring " at the moment or at 
the time when the epistle was written. There had been earlier 
persecutions, as during the apostle's own brief sojourn; and 
these are alluded to in 1 Thess. i, G ; ii, 14, by the aorist, as 
having passed away. But they appear to have been renewed, 
and the church was suffering from some fresh outbreak when 
the apostle was writing this epistle. Fritzsche maintains that 
ah avexcvOe i' s a regular poetical construction, as the verb may 
govern the dative, as in Euripides, Androm., 981. He assigns to 
it a passive meaning sustinendo premi. But while the verb in 
the classics governs the accusative of person, in the New 
Testament it uniformly governs the genitive both of person and 
thing — the former as in Matt, xvii, 17 ; Mark ix, 19 ; Luke ix, 
41 ; Acts xviii, 14; ± Cor, xi, 1, 19; Ephes. iv, 2; Col. iii, 


13 ; 2 Tim. iv, 3, and the latter in Heb. xiii, 22 ; in other pas- 
sages it is used indefinitely, so that very probably ah is here 
an attraction, not for «?, as Schott, Olshausen, De Wette, and 
Hofmann, but for m> — the ease regularly governed by the verb. 
A. Buttmann, p. 14-0. 

Timothy had been sent to them for the purpose of comfort- 
ing them concerning their faith, that no man should be moved 
by those afflictions, and the clauses before us assert the success 
of that mission. The apostle's heart poured itself out in 
thanksgiving to God, and he had gloried in the Thessalonian 
church and held it up as a model to other Christian communi- 
ties. But there were ethical lessons in those afflictions, and 
these the apostle proceeds to unfold and apply. 

(Ver. 5.) ci'Seiy/uu tJ/? Sikuius Kpicrecos tov Qeou — " which is a 
token of the righteous judgment of God." In a similar 
connection (Philip, i, 28) rjris ccttiv is expressed, and similarly 
6 tl early may be supplied here. Compare Bom. viii, 3. The 
clause is not to be resolved into els evSeiy/ua, as is read in Cod. 
73, and explained by Theophylact, supported by Koppe, Flatt, 
and Olshausen, the Vulgate having also in exemplum. The 
noun occurs only here, but the other verbal, evSeigis, is found in 
Rom. iii, 25 ; Philip, i, 28. The apposition is nominatival. 
Winer, § 59, 9. The reference or connection has been vari- 
ously taken ; what is declared to be the evSeiy/ma ? (1) Some 
take it to be the Thessalonians themselves — the v/meis in- 
volved in dvexeffOe (Erasmus, Camerarius, Estius). Such a 
connection is simple indeed, but it would have required the 
participle optcs to be expressed ; nor does it yield a sense at all 
in harmony with the context. Estius finds in it an argument 
for adhuc htenda poena temporalis. (2) Some take the refer- 
ence to be to -rraa-iv Siooy/tAois, &c, as Calvin, Bullinger, Aretius, 
Pelt, Schrader, Ewald, Bisping. But the afflictions themselves, 
apart from their nature and source, and apart from the 
character and spirit of those who endure them, cannot be the 
evSeiy/nu. (3) The connection is better taken with the entire 
clause, not themselves simply, or their afflictions, but themselves 
so conditioned — "your patience and faith in all your persecu- 
tions, and the sufferings which you are enduring." The 
patience and faith manifested by you in severe suffering — 


not the suffering, but the noble spirit in which it had 
been borne, forms the evSeiyfia. The phrase ij'Sucala Kpicri? rod 
Seou presents in itself an undoubted and universal truth — 
God judges, and He "judges righteous judgment." But in its 
present connection the phrase presents difficulty. There are 
two extremes of opinion. Olshausen, on the one hand, followed 
by Riggenbach, restricts the judgment to the present time, 
while Ellicott, on the other hand, confines it to the future judg- 
ment. The use of the articles proves nothing on either point. 
That it is not wholly present judgment the entire coming con- 
text shows — on from the following verse where the revelation 
of Christ from heaven with angels and in fire is brought 
into view, and, by the very terms, into immediate relation 
with the verse before us — "the righteous judgment of God," 
"seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribu- 
lation," on the one hand, and " rest with us," on the other. Nor 
is the reference wholly to the future tribunal, for the just 
judgment begins now, not simply by the effect of such suffer- 
ing in purifying and perfecting them — the judgment is for 
condemnation to enemies and unbelievers — but because the 
patient sufferings of believers demonstrate that there is now 
righteous judgment on the part of God ; the grace that so 
sustains them is from Him ; He as Judge accepts and ap- 
proves them by the bestowal of such gifts of patience and 
faith ; and this experience is a further token or presage that a 
period of fuller manifestation is coming when the persecutors shall 
receive condign retribution, and their victims shall be brought 
into perfect and eternal repose. Their condition, and that of their 
persecutors, both here and hereafter, were in contrast; but there 
is a mutual reversal in the world to come — the future compen- 
sating the present (Luke xvi, 25). Suffering here, especially the 
suffering of the good at the hand of wicked oppressors, implies 
under God's righteous government a future state of balancing 
and compensation, of reward and penalty, equitably adminis- 
tered. Compare De Wette, Liinemann, Hofmann. 

et? to KaT(i£ieoQ)jvai u/ut-dg T*js (3a<Ti\eia$ tov Geoii — -" that ye 
may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God." The connec- 
tion of this clause has also been variously taken. (1) Some 
would connect it with af? dvix^crOe, as Estius, Bengel, Hofmann, 


Bisping. "The suffering makes them worthy of the kingdom" 
— to pati ftic it dignos regno (Bengel) ; Estius advancing 
farther and saying, against the heretics, that eternal life 
is not so to be ascribed to the grace of God — ut non 
etiam dignitati et meritis kominum a gratia Bel profectis 
retribuatuv. But though this connection may not neces- 
sarily include the Popish doctrine of merit, while it would 
bring out the purpose of the suffering, yet as Liineniann 
remarks, it reduces to a parenthesis the momentous clause, 
"which is a token of the righteous judgment of God" — a 
clause from which spring the thoughts which, taken up in 
verse G, lead to the startling disclosures of the following verses. 
(2) Nor does it belong to the whole sentence, evSeiy/um rijs Si/talus 
Kplcrecas tov Qeov, " a token of the righteous judgment of God, 
which has this end in view, that ye may be accounted," &c. 
(Schott). For the token itself is not directly connected with 
the end or result, but belongs especially to the Kpicris, while 
eiy to introduces the purpose. (3) The connection is directly 
with ti/9 Siicaias Kpifrew? — the aim or result of the righteous 
judgment (Liineniann, Ellicott, Ewald, Alford). Winer, § 44, (i. 
Result is expressed in 2 Cor. viii, 6, and De Wette queries if it 
may not mean the substance or contents of the judicial decision. 
Surely it is refinement to debate in such a case whether eiV 
to refer to result or purpose, as the result is simply the embodied 
purpose, and the purpose by appointed and fitting means works 
out the result. The purpose or result of the k plan? was that such 
sufferers in patient heroism for Christ should be accounted 
worthy of his kingdom. For the infinitive compare Luke xx, 
35 ; xxi, 36 ; Acts v, 41. Joseph., Antlq. xv, 38. It is by the 
righteous judgment of God that they are counted worthy, or 
declared to be meet for the divine inheritance (Lillie). The 
righteous sentence of God, efficient even now in the creation 
and sustenance of faith and patience in the midst of suffering, 
shall at the appointed time relieve and accept the sufferers, and 
translate them into God's eternal kingdom. For the kingdom, 
see under 1 Thess. ii, 12. 

inrep >/9 koi 7racr^eTe — " on behalf of which ye are suffering." 
The preposition Wep means "on behalf of," as in Acts v, 41 ; ix, 
16 ; Rom. i, 5; xv, 8 ; 2 Cor. xii, 10; xiii, 8. Winer, § 47, 6. 


The Kai points out the connection, as in Rom, viii, 17 — Alford 
making it equivalent to "ye accordingly" — Ellicott saying, " it 
has a species of consecutive force, and supplied a renewed hint 
of the connection between the suffering and the being counted 
worthy." Suffering gave them no claim on the kingdom, but 
it separates the two classes, and by God's grace inworks or 
develops those elements of character which enable and induce 
believers to suffer for the kingdom, and prepare them for the 
ultimate enjoyment of it. 

'• The path of suffering, and that path alone, 
Leads to the land wheie sorrow is unknown." 

John xvi, 33 ; Acts xiv, 22; Rom. viii, 17. 

(Ver. G.) e'nrep SiKaiov irapu 0ew avTairodovvai toi<? 0Xl(3ovcrti' 
i^uas 6Xi\Jsii' — " if so be that it is a righteous thing with God to 
render back to those who afflict }*ou affliction." In eiirep there 
is no doubt implied — the argument is stated hypothetically for 
the sake of confirmation. Compare Rom. viii, 0, 17. Kiirep 
signijicat proprie, si omnino, quod nostro sermone dicas — 
wenn iiherhaupt ; ubi vim ac rationein condicionis magis vis 
efferre — ivenn anders. Klotz, Devarius, vol. II, p. .528. 
Hartung. I, p. 343. Hermann's note under Gal. iii, 4. Thus 
Chrysostom interprets to E'tVep evravOa uvt\ tov, exe*, Ketrai, 
oirep €7r\ Tm> <T(j>68pa op.o\oyovpevoov Kai )]p.ei9 TiOe/uev teat 

IWaVTtppUTOH' . . . TlU>l<Tl TO € I 7T € p TOVTO, (0? €7Tl T(0}' 

('>\ao\oy)]/uei'toi'. So Theodoret — ovk et! aiMfrifioXlas . ■ . aW 
e-rrl fiefiaiwcreo*? — according to a familiar idiom. In the phrase 
~apu Oeio, there is a quasi-local reference to the divine tribunal 
and judgment (Rom. ii, 13 ; 1 Cor. iii, 10 ; Gal. iii, 11 ; 1 Peter ii, 
3; Herod, iii, 160). Winer, § 48, d; Rost and Palm,s?t6 voce irapu. 
The term SUaiou takes up the Sikuiu Kpicri? of the previous 
verse — the characteristic element of justice in the divine 
judgment being the foundation of the argument, which is pre- 
sented under a human aspect and analogy, " if such a course 
with men much more so with God" (Chrysostom). In order 
to substantiate his statement the apostle appeals virtually to 
our innate sense of justice, which by analogy declares that it is 
a right thing with God, and the hearer cannot but respond, aAXu 
p.)ji' SiK-aioi'. For the verb see under 1 Thess. iii, 0. What is 


just or righteous is the divine retaliation, " affliction to those 
who afflict you," like sin like penalty. " with what measure ye 
mete " (Ps. xviii, 47 ; lvii, 6 ; Rom. ii, 5). See under Col. 
iii, 24, 25. By this jus talionis, the penalty in kind is not only 
entailed by the sin, but also fashioned by it as a reproduction 
of itself. Totally wrong is the remark of Pelt, that the phrase 
makes mention non de essentiali Dei justitia, sed de gratia 
potius ; and that of Hunnius — justitia Dei, quemadmodum 
ilia in Christo est misericordia erga nos affectu tincta atque 
temperata. But there is another aspect — divine rectitude is 
not one-sided — 

(Ver. 7.) Kal v/xlv toi? OXiBo/mevotg aveariv /meO fj/ULcbv — " and 
to you who are afflicted rest with us." The participle is 
passive, not middle, as in Bengel's explanation, qui pvessuram 
toleratis. The noun avea-i$ is used in the classics in contrast to 
ewiraa-19 — tightening and slackening rwv x°P^ v (Plato, Rejx, I, 
p. 349 e) ; Ttjs 7roXtTe/«9 (Plutarch, Lycurg., 29 ; Vitae, vol. I, 
p. 94, ed. Bekker). It signifies also relief, as from labour 
(Joseph., Antiq., iii, 10,6); from immediate execution (2 Chron. 
xxiii, 15) ; from close confinement (Acts xxiv, 23) ; from 
moral obligation, and in contrast to 6Xi\Jsi$ (2 Cor. viii, 13); and 
then generally it denotes rest — Hesychius defining it by 
uvd-Travcri?. In 2 Cor. ii, 13 ; vii, 5, it is in contrast again with 
OXixfsis. It is rest from all that persecution which they 
were suffering from the fury of unbelieving Jews and 
heathens — rest jxeff ww — with us, Paul, Silvanus, and 
Timothy, for we have suffered from persecution, and hope for 
rest (1 Thess. ii, 2). Turretin and De Wette err in giving the 
] thrase a wider reference to all believers, for all of them are not 
exposed to such sufferings. Bengel similarly errs in rendering 
nobiscum, i.e., cum Sanctis Israelitis, and after him Macknight, 
and virtually Ewald. This aW<9 is the immediate aspect of 
heaven to the suffering, rest to the weary and worn-out, release 
from all the disquiet, pain, and sorrow of the earth, stillness 
after turmoil, the quiet haven after the tempest. This view of 
heaven was specially natural and welcome to them, who were 
suffering for its sake, for it was a complete reversal of their 
present condition (Luke xvi, 25 ; Acts iii, 19 ; Heb. iv, 
3, 11 ; Rev. xiv, 13). " Kvea-iv is governed by the double 

Ver. :.j second epistle to the thessalonians. 230 

avTcnroSovvai, for which see under 1 Thess. iii, 0. The period 
of introduction to the " rest " is — 

ev Tjj <i7roKa\v'ylsei rod K.vplov 'L;<TOt? air ovpavov — " in or at 
the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven." The 
clause specifies the time when the judicial retribution implied 
in avTcnrooovvai is to take place, the period of the Second 
Advent. Hupovcrla is the word commonly employed (see under 
1 Thess. ii, 19 ; iii, 13), but u7ro/caAi/i/y-<? is a more vivid term, 
pointing to the visible, personal, and gracious manifestation 
of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. i, 7). Compare Luke xvii, 
30 ; Rev. ii, 5. 'Fi7rufidveia is also employed, as in ii, 8 ; 1 Tim. 
vi, 14; 2 Tim. iv, 1, 8 ; Titus ii, 13. This term seems to imply 
previous or present concealment (the heavens have received 
TTim), in contrast with His immediate and magnificent appear- 
ance "in His own glory," and "in the glory of His Father, 
and of the holy angels " (Matt, xvi, 27 ; xxv, 31 ; Luke ix, 26). 
The words air ovpavou indicate the locality whence he comes. 
He is now in heaven, at the right hand of God, pleading, 
reigning, and preparing a place for His people; and the 
economy of redemption being completed, in itself and in the 
number of its recipients, He descends to raise the dead, and 
usher all His own perfected ones in the fulness of their 
humanity into everlasting blessedness. See under 1 Thess. 
iv, 10, 17. That personal revelation is now characterized as 
being — 

per dyyiXwv owdpeoos avrov — " with the angels of his power." 
The preposition means " in company with," the angels being 
His attendants or retinue. The genitive Svvdpiecos is that of 
possession ; the power is not theirs but His. They are the 
servants of his power, manifesting and fulfilling it. Winer, § 34, 
3 b. The Advent is accompanied by the voice of the arch- 
angel when the dead are raised, and angels are referred to in a 
similar connection, as gathering together the elect, and as 
" gathering out of this kingdom all things that offend, and 
them which do iniquity " (Matt, xiii, 41 ; xxiv, 31). " All the 
holy angels " are with Him when " He shall come in glory, and 
shall sit on the throne of His glory " (Matt, xxv, 31). The 
work performed by Him at the Second Advent is momentous 
and mighty — resurrection and final victory over death ; judg- 


ment, and the ultimate separation of believers and the wicked ; 
and the angels of His might, as its heralds and ministers, are 
specially connected with Him and His glorious appearance. 
(I) While the margin of the Authorized Version presents the 
right translation, the version itself, " His mighty angels " is in 
no way to be justified, though it may be an inference. The 
mistranslation is an old one. Theophylact explains, Swdjueu)? 
yap ayyeXoi, tovt€<tti Svvaroi, and the alternative explanation 
of CEcumenius is similar. It has been followed by Piscator, 
Benson, Flatt, Tyndale, and in the Genevan version. But avrov 
is to be construed with Swap-em, not with ayyiXwv, the 
sense being " not the angels of might," as if the genitive 
might have an adjectival meaning, but the angels of His might, 
He being the central figure. (2) Another and as erroneous 
translation has been given in the Syriac, . .mr>n|1v>» |1 . 1, ^OL, 

— r ' y 

with the power of His angels, that is, with the host of them ; 
and the view has been followed by Drusius, Michaelis, Koppe, 
and Hofmann who for this purpose attaches avrov to the 
following Sidoi'rog — Swa/uus being taken as representing the 
Hebrew N3>\ But, first, duvapis has never this meaning in the 
New Testament, and Hofmann's reference to Luke x, 19 ; xxi, 
26 ; Matt, xxiv, 29, will not sustain him ; second, the order of 
the words with this sense would require to be pera. Svvapeoo? 
ayyeXaw avrov. The next clause is read in the Textus 
Receptus — 

(Ver. 8.) ev irvp\ (pXoyog, after AKLN, with nearly all mss., 
Theophylact, Ambrosiaster, Ghrysostom, Theodoret, and Dama- 
scenes. It is also preferred by Keiche, Tischendorf, and Alford. 
The other reading, ev <pXoy] Trvpos, is found in BI) F, and both 
Latin versions, the Peshito and Gothic versions, and in CEcu- 
menius, Tertullian, and others of the fathers, and is adopted by 
Lachmann and Ellicott. No assistance can be got from the 
similar clauses in Exod. iii, 2, or Acts vii, 30, for in each there 
is also a difference of reading. Both readings are well sus- 
tained by diplomatic authority, though the last has the appear- 
ance, in spite of its apparently higher evidence, of being a cor- 
rection as to sense, flame of fire being more natural than fire of 
flame. The Hebrew in Exod. iii, 2, reads Kw-na^i, in a flame of 
fire ; followed by A of the Seventy, ev (fXoyi irvpcU ; which B of 


the same version reads cv irvp\ </>AoyoV Compare in the 
Septuagint Ps. xxix, 7 ; Is. xxix, 6 ; Joel ii, 5 ; Dan. vii, 9 : also 
Sirach xlv, 10 ; Heb. i, 7; Rev. xix, 12. The former is appar- 
ently the more usual form. The clause specifies another element 
or accompaniment of the diroKoXv^-iq. He is revealed in, or 
enveloped in, a fire of flame — no dulled or veiled glow, but a 
radiance, bright, pure, and flashing; a fire burning with 
intensest brilliance. That was a familiar symbol of the divine 
presence and glory — the cloud that guided Israel being as the 
veil by day of the inner brightness, which shone out in the 
night as fire. Compare Gen. xv, 17 ; Exod. iii, 2 ; xiii, 21, 22 ; 
xix, 18; Ps. xcvii, 3, 4; Is. xxx, 30; and the other passages 
already quoted. What characterizes the Theophanies of the 
Old Testament characterizes the Advent of the Son in our 
nature — similar majesty of manifestation betokening the God- 
head of the Redeemer, Jehovah-Jesus (1 Cor. iii, 13). 

It serves no good object to attempt any minute detail of the 
meaning and purpose of the phenomenon, either as Zachariae and 
Koppe, to refer it to thunder and lightning, or to say that the 
fire is meant to consume the world of unbelievers, as Zuingli, 
Aretius, a-Lapide, Fromond, for the context does not assert 
any such purpose, though the punctuation of the English 
version would seem to imply it. Some connect this clause 
with the following one, SiSovto? €kS!k7](tip, "in flaming fire 
awarding vengeance." So Estius, a-Lapide, Macknight, 
Hofmann, Hilgenfeld, regard the previous words as instrumen- 
tally connected with the judgment to which, according to 
Hilo-enfeld, the flamingf fire belono-s. Hofmann's exegesis is 
strained and unnatural ; he connects avrou with SiSoyro?, 
referring the pronoun to God, and begins the sentence with ev t# 
(X7roKa\v\p-ei. But. as Lunemann remarks, in that case avrov 
would require to be left out, and the genitive Siodvros changed 
into SiSovri, with the article prefixed. Theodoret regards the 
fire as rrjs Ti/muipias to eISo$, and similarly Theophylact in the 
first of his explanations. Jowett needlessly combines both 
references, expressing at once the manner of Christ's appear- 
ance, and the instrument by which he executes vengeance 
on His enemies. It is best to keep the clause iv 7rvp\ 
(p\oy6i by itself, and as parallel to it, /ulct dyyeXoov Suvd/dcwg 



avTov, and to regard the words as descriptive of the awfulness 
and sublimity of the airoKa\v^n<s, the glory in harmony with 
the work ; while SiSovtos, connected with 'Iqo-ov, tells the pur- 
pose of the Advent by asserting the fact — 

Sl86vTO$ eKSlK7]tTlV TO?? fXt] €lS6(TlV QeOV KUl T019 fXl] V7TaKOVOVCTlP 

tu> evayyeXlu) tou Kvplov >)/ulcov 'Irj<rov — " awarding vengeance to 
those who know not God and to those who obey not the 
gospel of our Lord Jesus." The Received Text has XpicrTov 
after 'hjcroii, with AFK, the Latin, Peshito, and Gothic versions, 
and some of the fathers, but it is omitted in BDKL, 25 
mss., in the Philoxenian Syriac, in the Coptic, and many of 
the fathers, and is probably to be rejected as a conformation 
to common usage. The first and awful phrase, SiSovto? 
et{SiKt]cnv, occurs only here in the New Testament, but in 
Ezek. xxv, 14, we have the words kcu Swcroo eKSiKija-iv fxov e-w] 
t*jp 'ISovfAaiav, and cnroSovvai is employed with the substantive 
in Num. xxxi, 3, representing the Hebrew nVp-mojM nrb. This 
vengeance is and must be just, as it is His sentence, who is the 
righteous Judge, and who has also been the loving Saviour ; 
the Lamb of God, by whose gentleness the apostle adjures 
the Corinthian church. As man and mediator, Jesus is Judge; 
all judgment is committed to the Son ; He awards merited 
penalty " to them that know not God " ; and by the subjective 
ixr) the apostle records this as his own opinion of them. Winer, 
§ 55, 5. Whatever their own flattering impressions on the 
point, he asserts their ignorance — an ignorance that might have 
been enlightened in Thessalonica. The clause characterizes the 
heathen. See under 1 Thess. i, 9, and iv, 5 ; Gal. iv, 8; Ephes. 
ii, 12. Compare Jer. x, 25 ; Rom. i, 28. Ignorance of God 
prevents all confidence in Him, and all intelligent service to 
Him. The contrast is stated in John xvii, 3, 25. The class 
referred to did not know God, and in their wilful ignorance 
persecuted His servants. 

The second clause, by the repetition of rolg, indicates another 
distinct class. Winer, § 19, 5. Matt, xxvii, 3 ; Luke xxii, 4. 
Schott, De Wette, Riggenbach, Turretin, Pelt, and Hofmann 
suppose it to include all who reject the Gospel, whether as 
Jews or not. In the second clause the words Kup/ou 
t)/j.wv hjo-ov are solemnly written, as in distinction from 


Qeov of the previous clause. Schrader understands the first 
clause of heathen, and the second clause of Christians, or as 
Aretius puts it, pestes in sinu ecclesiae latitantes — plainly 
against the context. In Hofmann's view the first clause 
describes heathen, and the second Jews and heathen, but 
the two clauses are distinctive delineations. The basis of 
safety is to obey .the Gospel of our Lord Jesus — so to listen, 
understand, and believe, that the heart is induced and enabled to 
obey, accepting' its invitation, believing its doctrines, trusting 
its promises, and obeying its precepts. That Gospel is no 
vague thing, it has a living personal source — our Lord Jesus, 
who as Jesus brought the good news of divine mercy to the 
world, and as Lord is sending his Spirit to give His truth a 
deep and vital lodgment in men's hearts. This clause will 
thus characterize the Jews. They had knowledge of God, but 
would not accept the Gospel, spurned it from them, and in 
their fanatical rejection of it persecuted Christ's servants who 
proclaimed it (Rom. x, 3, 16, 21). See under 1 Thess. ii, 14, 15, 
16. Both classes, though differing in spiritual condition, 
united in afflicting the Thessalonian believers, and the pro- 
phetic words are verified to them, roig dXlfiovcriv vfias 
0\[\lsiv. Ignorance of God and disobedience to the Gospel 
urged them to molest and harass the Thessalonian believers, a 
course of conduct which not only insures the penalty, but 
moulds its nature, as a retribution in kind. 

(Ver. 9.) oWives SiK)]v tktovctiv, oXeOpov altoviov utto 
irpoatoirov tov ls^vpiov kui airo Ttj? So£>]$ tyjs icryyos 
avTov — " who shall suffer punishment, everlasting destruction 
away from the presence of the Lord, and away from the glory 
of His power." The qualitative and generic pronoun o'lrtve? 
characterizes the persons referred to as being of a class just 
s]H'ciried. This relative may sometimes bear a causal sense, 
saepissime rationi reddendae inservit, according to Hermann 
(Praef. ad Soph. (Edvp., Tyr. } p.xiii). Such a sense, advocated 
by Liinemann and Alford, is not formally needed here. The 
two parties referred to are men who as a class have been 
already characterized. The phrase SiKtjv tictovo-iv, " shall pay 
the penalty," occurs only in this place. Compare Jude 7. But 
its meaning is clear, as it is often employed in classical writers, 


the verb being sometimes followed by the accusative of that for 
which penalty is borne, or atonement is made — cjiovov {Iliad, 
xxi, 134), vj3piv (Odyss., xxiv, 350); and often as here it is fol- 
lowed by SiKtjv — Tiarovcrd y agiav SUrjv (Soph., Electra, 298). A 
long list of instances is given by Wetstein from the tragedians, 
and from Plato, Thucydides, Lucian, vElian, Arrian, Plutarch. 
The noun is also used with SiSovai, when the meaning is, 
punishment awarded or legal penalty. The sinners referred to 
not only feel the inner ruin wrought by ignorance and dis- 
obedience—for all sin punishes as it degrades, and hardens, and 
widens the distance from God — but a positive penalty is laid on 
them, Slier]. And that SiKt] is declared to be oXeOpov aidoviov, 
" everlasting destruction." The reading 6Xe6piov has but very 
slender support. "OXeOpo? (oXXv/mi) means death in the 
Homeric poems, and then destruction in a general sense ; ruin 
as the result of a sinful course, or inflicted as a divine penalty. 
For the word see under 1 Thess. v, 3. The words are awful ; 
and the next clause deepens the awe — 

a.7ro 7rpocroo7rov roy Ivvplov — " from the face of the Lord." 

(1) The simplest and most natural meaning of u-k'o is local, in 
separation from the face of the Lord, the source of joy (Rom. 
ix, 3; 2 Cor. xi, 3 ; Gal. v, 4). So Schott, Liinemann, Lisping, 
Riggenbach. His face or countenance throws its benign radi- 
ance over his saints, who in their nearness worship Him, and 
are ever in fellowship with Him. His personal presence is the 
life and joy of heaven, and to see His face is supreme blessed- 
ness, so that to be severed from it is gloom and death, and in 
that sad severance (diro) is the penalty to be endured (Ps. xi, 7; 
xvi, 11; xvii, 15; Matt, v, 8; xviii, 10; Heb. xii, 14; 
Rev. xxii, 4). Compare Septuagint, KpinrrecrOe . . . airo 
7rpocroo7rov tov <po(3ou Huplov kuI airo t^? Sog>]s ti]<i icrx^og 
avrov (Is. ii, 10), the clauses being repeated in verses 19 and 21 
of the same chapter. The language of the verse before us has 
apparently its origin in this portion of Isaiah. See also Jer.iv, 26. 

(2) But the earliest interpretation of airo takes it in a tem- 
poral sense, the eternal destruction takes place " at " or "after" 
the manifestation of His presence. So the Greek fathers ; 
(Ecumenius explaining it by d/ua ; Chrysostom more fully, 
apuel irapayevecrdai p.ovov . . . kcu iravTes ev KoXacrei, repeated 


virtually by Theophylact. This interpretation is adopted by 
Erasmus, Vatablus, Fromond, Webster and Wilkinson. But, 
first, airo is specially connected with oXeOpov, and seems to 
explain its awful nature in a local sense ; secondly, the term 
irpocrwirov has this species of local meaning attached to it, 
and thus differs from 7rapoucrla or cnrOKakwjsis ; thirdly, the 
phrases adduced, in which airo has a temporal meaning, describe 
an act, event, or period, which forms an epoch (Rom. i, 20 ; 
Philip, i, 5). (3) A third interpretation takes airo as causal, 
an idea virtually involved in the interpretation of the Greek 
fathers. His presence will be the means of their punishment. 
His mere look brings the penalty. So Bengel, Pelt, De Wette, 
Ewald, Baumgarten-Crusius, and Hofmann who compares 
Jer. iv, 29, where, however, this meaning is not necessary. 
But this signification, to sustain itself, virtually inserts some 
epithet before it poa-wirov, zornigen or Jinsteren, angry or dark '■> 
and as airo in this sense is used to denote a personal source, 
such a meaning would be more plausible if only airo tov 
JLvplov had been written, and for this the phrase, as we have it, 
is merely a circumscriptio according to Pelt. Winer, § 47. 
Besides, it would with this sense be a mere repetition of the 
previous statement, " awarding vengeance." De Wette lays 
stress on the following lax^os, a s if it threw back into this 
clause the idea of power yjut forth, and so far suggested or 
corroborated the causal signification of airo. But tcr^o? belongs 
to So£)]s as its source, and that So£a is repeated in the verb of 
the next verse, evSo£ao-Q?ivai. — 

kui airo tJ/s" <5o^/? tJ/? Icrx^og avrou, " and from the glory 
of His power." The preposition has the same local sense, 
the glory being that glory which springs from His power, 
and which may be conceived of as a visible splendour, 
gathered up like the old Shechinah into one spot. The 
phrase is therefore not to be diluted either into icrxvs evSo£o$ 
or So£a icrx v pu> " mighty glory " (Jowett). The glory is so 
connected with His might that, as it is originated by it, it 
characterizes and envelops it — all its outgoings are ever 
encircled with glory. That power manifests its glory in the 
perfection and happiness of His saints, who have been rescued 
and blessed by Him, and lifted at length beyond death to 


supreme and immortal felicity. This glory so won by His 
power is reflected upon Him from His glorified ones, as the next 
verse intimates, and from such living splendour surrounding- 
Christ's and Christ are the unbelieving for ever exiled. 

(Ver. 10.) OTO.V eXOi) evSo£a<r6fjvai ev to?? ayloi? avrou — " when 
He shall have come to be glorified in His saints." The clause 
defines the period when the judgment or penalty of the previous 
verse is to be inflicted. "Qrav is used with the aorist subjunc- 
tive in reference to the future occurrence of an event or action 
objectively possible, when there is no certainty as to the period 
of such occurrence. Winer, § 42, 5 ; more fully, Schmalfeld, 
§ 121. The coming though future in itself is conceived of as 
having taken place prior to these contrasted results. The in- 
finitive kvSogaaOfjvai is that of purpose, and the compound verb 
is used only, in the New Testament, in this verse and in verse 
12 ; but it is found in the Septuagint, Exod. xiv, 4 ; Is. xlv, 
2o ; xlix, 3. The dyioi are plainly human saints, not angels, 
as Schrader and Macknight ; and angels are already mentioned. 
See under 1 Thess. iii, 13, where a more comprehensive mean- 
ing may be assigned to the term. 'Ev is not to be taken for 
Sia, as Chrysostom and his followers, and after them Pelt, 
Bengel, and Schott ; nor does it signify among (Michaelis), but, 
with its usual force, it points out the element in which this 
glorification takes place. He is glorified in them — in their 
persons, in the saving power which pardoned and changed 
them, in their spiritual maturity, in all the prior steps and 
processes by which it has been reached, in His own image 
indelibly enstamped upon them, in their perfect and unchang- 
ing blessedness, in their full and final glorification — in all these 
elements of their history and destiny Christ's glory is reflected, 
He himself is glorified (Ephes. i, G, 12). His love and His aton- 
ing death, His spirit and His intercession, have wrought out 
His own hallowed purpose in them, and in them as the fruit 
of His mediation He is glorified. Not only to be glorified, 

Koi OavjaaarOtjvai ev iracriv to?? iria-reucrairiv — " and to be 
admired in all them that believed." The Received Text has 
the present iria-Tevova-iv, but on no uncial authority, and indeed 
no authority worth mentioning. The aorist refers back to the 


earthly period when they possessed faith in Jesus Christ, a period 
past when looked at from "that day." The adjective ira<yiv, 
not prefixed to ayioiq, enhances the value of faith — in every one 
without exception who has faith in Christ— the element wanting 
in those who suffer the righteous penalty. Bengel, from the use of 
the same term, and without any ground, distinguished the ay lots 
from the iria-Tevcracriv, as if iracriv gave the latter epithet a wider 
signification than the former, " saints being those of the cir- 
cumcision, believers they of the Gentiles." The Lord Jesus is 
to be not only praised, but wondered at — wonder being excited 
by what is great and unwonted, or when the result far 
transcends the instrumentality, or turns out beyond expec- 
tation, or, when actually realized and beheld, surpasses every 
conception. The results of faith are so marvellous — a gift so 
great as forgiveness, a change so thorough and benign as from 
death to life, the continuous sustenance of that life amidst 
many defects and struggles, preparation for glory, and welcome 
entrance into it — these results so rich, lasting, and godlike, 
wrought out for believers by Jesus, surely so single Him out 
and exalt Him that He is to be wondered at. When believers 
appear on that day so pure, lovely, and Christlike ; when their 
present glory is contrasted with their first condition on earth — so 
guilty, so frail, so defiled, and so helpless; when they call to mind 
by what a work they have been saved — His cross and passion ; 
and by what a simple instrumentality — a child's trust in the 
Son of God ; then He who has done such great things for them 
will command their admiration and homage. It creates 
wonder at Him that He purposed to save us at all in our low 
and lost estate ; greater wonder still that His purpose involved 
His becoming the Infant of Days, the Man of Sorrows, and the 
victim of sacrificial agony; and greatest wonder of all that 
believers in Him are not only raised to their original status, 
but elevated to a loftier honour, bearing the image of the 
Second Adam, and admitted into the heavenly inheritance. It 
is a mere surmise of Theophylact, that this admiration is to 
happen in the presence of rous oiKTpovg. The ground is now 
given — 

oti eiri(7T€v0j] to /xapTvpiov rj/Awv e(j) v/ — " because our 
testimony unto you was believed." The verb eTnarevB)} with 


the stress upon it takes up the participle Tricrrevcracriv, and 
places the Thessalonian believers among the number. Christ 
is to be admired in them that believe, and you believed our 
testimony, and therefore possess this joyous anticipation. That 
testimony was directed to them, e<f> {/[/.us, and the absence of 
the article gives to the clause unity of conception, connecting ecj> 
u/ulus immediately with fxaprvpiov. Winer, § 30, 2 ; § 49, I. 
" Our testimony " is the testimony borne by us, fj/uoov being 
the genitive of efficient or proximate origin, and that testi- 
mony in itself was the divine message of the Gospel, which 
they are said in the First Epistle to have " received in much 
affliction with joy of the Holy Ghost." The apostle and his 
colleagues brought and delivered the testimony. The Thessa- 
lonians heard and believed, remained firm in the midst of trials 
and persecutions, and are commended by the apostle for their 
patience and faith ; their spiritual growth and their afflictions 
being a token of the righteous judgment of God, when the 
solemn scenes now described shall take place ; and they take 
place — 

ev t[j >]/u.epa eKe'ivy — " in that day," the previous clause being 
parenthetical. This clause is thus to be joined to Oavjuao-Oijvai, 
defining the period, and put last to gather up the whole from 
otuv eXO}] into a solemnity of emphasis. " That day " must 
have been the theme of his earlier lessons to them, and the 
manner of this allusion shows their familiarity with it. Cal- 
vin's note is that the day is so named to check impatience — 
ne ultra modam festinent. Some, however, propose for the 
clause a different connection. Bengel takes the connection 
back to eXOy, and Webster and Wilkinson to SIkjju tl<tov<tlv. 
The Syriac Peshito version reads tfi^As; tZojcnch -SdOiZZj 
f,LDQj ocno, "for our testimony concerning you will be believed 
in that day." So Damascenus, Estius, a-Lapide, Grotius, Storr, 
Flatt, L'aumgarten-Crusius. They join ev t# 'ifxepa eKelvij either 
with fxaprvpiov or eiria-TevOip This construction either necessi- 
tates ecf vp.a$ to be translated "about you"; or the aorist kiri- 
(TrevQr) to be translated as a future or a future perfect (Grotius 
and Ptosenmiiller) with a new meaning, " will be made good or 
substantiated" ; or kv 77/ fjp.epq, "about that day," as Luther, "our 
testimony to you about that day ye believed" (a-Lapide); 


a vobis respidentibus ad ilium diem creditum fuerit (Estius) ; 
or, as others, " our testimony about you will then be substanti- 
ated," or " our testimony to you shall be believed even by the 
wicked in that day." Grotius, "Quod de salute vestra prcedixi- 
nivus, id illo tempore eventu firmatum erit, ut Jidem negare 
nemo amplius possit." Storr, Opusc, vol. II, p. 10G. Some- 
what similarly Ewald, Doss beglaubigt war unser Zeugniss an 
euch, &c. 

(Ver. 11.) E'<9 o i:a\ TrpoTev^oiJ.eOa iravroTe irepi v/uoov — "In 
reference to which we also pray always concerning you." The 
phrase el? o is not to be rendered " wherefore," as in the 
Authorized Version, as if it were oV 8 ; quapropter being the 
rendering also of Grotius, Pelt, Baumgarten-Crusius ; itaque 
being given by Koppe. Nor is it equivalent to virlp 8 (De 
Wette). But the clause has the original meaning of direction — 
to or towards which, viz., the realization of the glorification of 
Christ in saints and believers. Winer, § 49 a. Liinemann's 
objection to the rendering "with a view to which," that it 
would make the consummation predicted dependent on the 
apostle's prayers, is not formidable. For the Thessalonians are 
regarded as believers, and therefore as belonging to that happy 
company ; and certainly the divine purpose never renders 
unnecessary the prayers and aspirations of faith. Nay, by 
them, and in perfect consistency with divine immutability and 
human responsibility, it realizes itself. The same objection 
might be taken against the following %a, referring to or intro- 
ducing the subject or purpose of the prayer. Kou, " we also," 
that is, according to Ellicott, " not only longing and hoping, we 
avail ourselves also of the definite accents of prayer." The 
result being so glorious, with a view to it as portrayed by 
him, the apostle also prayed for preparatory grace to all the 
members of the Thessalonian Church. Afford suggests that to 
support Liinemann's view, that the prayer was added to the 
fact of the evSogacrd>jvai, the words should have stood kui v/meis 
-Trpoa-evxop-eOa. For rrepi after this verb, see under Ephes. vi, 18. 
The prayer was continuous, iravTOTe, as there was need of 
continuous grace. And its object was — 

Iva vp.u$ a^uhat} rt]i firX?)creco? 6 Geo? tj/mcov — -" that our God may 
count you worthy of your calling/' vfias having the stress upon 


it. The els o at the beginning of the verse is so far different from 
?va that the former refers back to what had just been written — 
the glorification of Christ in His saints; and the latter points for- 
ward to blessings needed by the Thessalonians in the prospect 
of it, and to qualify them for it. In Iva the purpose and theme of 
the prayer are blended, as sometimes. See under Ephes. i, 17. 
The verb a^iouv means to count or reckon worthy, followed 
here by the accusative of person and genitive of object, though 
sometimes by the accusative and the infinitive (Luke vii, 7); in 
the passive by the simple genitive (1 Tim. v, 17; Heb. iii. 3 
x, 29 ; Sept., Gen. xxxi, 28) ; and by the infinitive (Xen., Mem., 
i, 4, 10). Compare Joseph., iii, 8, 10. Luther, Grotius, Flatt, 
Bengel, Olshausen, and Ewald give the verb the meaning of 
"to make worthy" — a meaning which, as the passages cited 
show, does not belong to it. See Liddell and Scott, sub voce. 
There is some difficulty about k\/]<t€oos. If /cXi/crt? be the initial 
divine act alone, then as it was past, how could the apostle 
pray that God would count them worthy of it ? This difficulty 
has induced Olshausen to attach to the verb the unsupported 
sense of "to make worthy." Liinemann takes K\rj<ri$ in a 
passive sense— the blessing to which one is called — the 
heavenly blessedness of the children of God. Ellicott and 
Alford view it as descriptive of the Christian life which springs 
from effectual calling. See under Ephes. iv, 1 ; Philip, iii, 14. 
Hofmann gives it somewhat differently — " that He may count 
you worthy of a calling which brings to completion what 
began with our testimony and your faith therein." Allied to 
this is another view proposed by Riggenbach, that, as is illus- 
trated by the parable of the supper, this call may be the last, 
decisive, energetic call — the Sevre (Matt, xxv, 34). But 
Scripture usage does not warrant this supposition. There is, 
however, little reason to give KXtjai? other than its usual mean- 
ing. See under Gal. i, 6; v, 13; Philip, iii, 14. Compare Rom. 
viii, 30; ix, 11, 24; xi, 29; 1 Cor. i, 9, 24; 1 Tim. vi, 12. The 
call was divine — it had summoned them from death unto life ; 
and the apostle's prayer is, that God in that day would deem 
them worthy of it — would judge that their entire life had been 
in harmony with it (1 Thess. v, 24). Compare the use of the 
adjective (Matt, iii, 8 ; Luke iii, 8 ; Acts xxvi, 20) and of the 


adverb (1 Thess. ii, 12). To secure such a result, or that this 
d^iovv may be realized, it is added — 

Kai 7r\>ipco<T>] TTOLaav evSoKiuv dya6co(Tuvi]g kou epyov 7ri<JTeu><i ev 
Svvdpet — " and may fulfil every good pleasure of goodness and 
the work of faith in power." 

I. The Authorized Version renders " the good pleasure of His 
goodness," along with CEcumenius, Zuingli, Calvin, Estius, 
Justiniani, Beza, Bengel, Pelt, Bisping, &c. But to this exegesis 
— which by itself might be true, as the noun evSoKia is used 
in reference to God in Ephes. i, 5, 9 ; Philip, ii, 13 — there are 
various objections in the verse itself. (1) Such a sense 
would necessitate irua-av tijv evSoKtav. (2) The following phrase 
epyov 7r[(TTews, also without any pronoun, must refer to those on 
whose behalf the prayer is offered, so that by parity of thought 
the first clause must have a similar reference, and evSoKiav 
uyaOctxruvt]? belong to the Thessalonians also. (3) The noun 
uyuQuKTvvri is never used of God by the apostle. It occurs in 
three other places — " ye also are full of goodness" (Rom. xv, 14) ; 
in the catalogue of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. v, 22) ; and 
similarly in Ephes. v, 9 — " the fruit of the Spirit is in all 
goodness." See 2 Chron. xxiv, 16. 

II. Some are disposed to combine a divine and human 
reference. Grotius has, omnem bonitatem sibi gratam ; 
Olshausen, " God fills you with all the goodness which is well 
pleasing to Him " ; Theophylact, kou ovtoos i]re w9 fiouXerai 6 
Bed? pySevo? vp.1v XelirovTos. But evSoKia is closely connected 
in relation with dyaOcoa-uvij?, and cannot have that Godward 
signification. Jowett says, without any good foundation, 
that the apostle uses mixed modes of thought, and has not 
distinguished between the Word of God as the cause, and as 
the effect. Strangely does Thomas Aquinas understand it, de 
sola humqncB voluntatis mutatione, the decree of God, on the 
other hand, being immutable. The clause is rendered by 
Fritzsche, ut expleat omnem dulcedinem honestatis (Ad. Rom., 
x, 1). Tyndale translates, " every delectation of goodness." 
The meaning may be, all or every delight in goodness — com- 
prising every purpose or impulse toward it, and complacency in 
it (Rom. x, 1 ; Philip, i, 15). For the spelling of dyaOcoaruvt] with 
o instead of w, see Buttmann, § 119, 10 c, and Thomas Magister, 


p. 391, ed. Ritschl). ' Ayadwa-vv}] is not, well-doing or bene- 
ficence (Schott, Chandler), but moral goodness. See under 
Gal. v, 22. 'Aya6a)(Tuv7]$ does not seem to be in apposition — a 
good pleasure consisting in goodness — but is rather the genitive 
of object, that on which their good pleasure specially turned, 
so that it delighted to expend itself on it. And not this or 
that, but " every " (iracrav) good pleasure having this earnest 
propension and aim. 

Kai kpyov Trio-Tew? ev Suvapei — " and the work of faith with 
power." The words epyov 7ri<TTea)$ are not in apposition. See 
1 Thess. i, 3. The concluding phrase ev Swdpei belongs to 
7rX//pco(TJ/, indicating the element inwhich it shall realize itself, 
or the manner in which it is prayed that it may be brought 
about. The clause has thus really an adverbial force (Col. 
i, 29). 

(Ver. 12.) o7r(o? evSo^aaOtj to ovopa tov iivplov >jpwv 'lyo-ov ev 
vp.iv Kai vpeh ev avrw — " in order that the name of our Lord 
Jesus may be glorified in you, and ye in Him " or " it." The 
jVpia-Tou of the Received Text rests on the rather slender 
authority of A F, the Vulgate, both Syriac versions, and 
Chrysostom, but it is wanting in BDKLN, the Claromontane 
Latin, the majority of mss., (Ecumenius, and Damascenus. 
"Q7rto9 indicates the final purpose, and does not differ materi- 
ally from %a in meaning, though it does in construction (Klotz, 
Devarius, II, p. 629). "Ovopa is certainly not a periphrasis for 
Kvpio? (Turretin, Koppe). The " name " is not Himself, but 
Himself as made known to men in those elements of character, 
relation, and glory which ovopa contains and implies — the 
name which he has made for Himself. See under Phil, ii, 10. 
That name wins for itself a new lustre in the salvation of the 
Thessalonian believers, ev vp.?v — as He is glorified in all His 
saints in that day (verse 10). And the glorification is reciprocal — 
Krai vp.eU ev cu'tm. The pronoun may refer to ovopa (Liinemann 
and Hofmann), but though in that case the reciprocity would 
be more formally balanced, the meaning is not so expressive, 
as our glorification in His name is not so significant as glorifi- 
cation in His person. The familiar but expressive phrase ev 
avroi is that union with Him, which so identifies His people 
with Himself that the}^ are glorified in Him, are " partakers 


of His glory." His, the glory of Saviour ; theirs, the glory of 
being saved in Him, and of being; with Him for ever (I Thesp. 
iv, 17). 

kcxtu Tt]v X a P 11 ' TOU t/eoy )]/utov kcu ls.vptov Itjctou 
Hpicrrov — " according to the grace of our God and the Lord 
Jesus Christ." Kara passes, as Winer remarks, §49, "from the 
idea of norm into that of result," or the signification " in con- 
sequence of" naturally springs out of "according to," or 
is blended with it. For x^P 1 ?' see un der Ephes. ii, 8. 
Though there is no rod before ~Kvpiov, it would be wrong to 
identify it immediately with Oeov, as is done by Hofmann, 
Riggenbach, and others, for Kt/p/o? had become as a proper 
name, and therefore may want the article when it is joined to 
a preposition, or is used in the genitive, or precedes 'L70-0U? 
Xpia-To'9 (Winer, § 19, 1). See especially Middleton's remarks 
on the non-applicability of Granville Sharpe's rule to this 
clause, p. 379, «fcc. See also under Ephes. v, 5. But it is plainly 
implied that this grace has a unity of origin, both in God and 
Christ ; it is a possession common to both, and equally charac- 
terizing both. The final aim indicated by oiruxs recognizes 
both equally as answering the prayer which includes such a 
purpose kuto. t>]v x^P lv - Such oneness of attribute and gift 
implies the divinity of the Saviour, and His oneness of essence 
with the Father. Nor is such theology at all un-Pauline, 
though Hilgenfeld adduces it as a proof of the spuriousness of 
the epistle. It is found in the common benedictions at the 
beginning of many of the epistles. See under Gal. i, 1, 3. 


The apostle now passes to one special purpose of the epistle — 
to check and correct those erroneous and premature anticipa- 
tions of the Second Coming which had become prevalent in 
Thessalonica, and were doing damage, and producing an 
unsettledness of mind which led to various irregularities. The 
apostle therefore tenders to them reassuring prophetic instruc- 
tion — 


(Ver. 1.) 'JLpooTcoiuLev Se (',««?, aSeXcpo'i, V7rep Trj? Trapovcriwi 
tov Ivvpiov >)p.ooi' It]<tov Xpi(TTOU /coil /jfxcov e7n<xwaycoyi;9 ex' 
avTov — " Now we beseech you, brethren, in regard to the 
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our oratherino- together 
unto Him." By Se the apostle passes to his main point — the 
slight contrast being a transition from his request for them to 
his request of them. For the verb see under 1 Thess. iv, 1. 
The epithet aSe\<pol — the expression of his attachment — is 
meant to gain their affectionate attention, while with the verb 
it implies the momentous nature of the following charge. 

The Authorized Version takes inrep as a formula of adjura- 
tion, "We beseech you by the coming of our Lord Jesus," and 
so the Vulgate (per adventum), Pelagius, Erasmus, Calvin, 
Beza, Fromond; by the solemnity or certainty of it, by the 
interest you have in it, or the fervent expectation which you 
cherish about it. The preposition, like Trpog, may be so used, 
as in Homer — 

Xicr(TeO' vvrep tokcwv yovi'ov/ievo 1 ; avSpa eKacrrov. 

(II., xv, 660, 665; xxii, 338.) 

km /xlv vrrep Trarpus kui pijrepos tp'KOfioio, 
Ac'crcreo Kal tckcos (II., xxiv, 466). 

Xi(T(rop virep Oveajv Kal Soll/jlovos (Odyes., xv, 261). 

But this construction never occurs in the New Testament, 
and it would be strange, as Liinemann remarks, that the 
apostle should adjure them by the very thing which he was 
about to open up to them. The preposition v-rrep is to be 
taken as not very different from irepl. Liinemann gives it the 
sense of "in behalf of," "in the interest of" — so virtually 
Wordsworth, Ellicott, and Jowett — the Second Coming being- 
misunderstood, he was about to do it justice. But this is 
regarded by some as rather a refinement, though v-wip does 
impty interest in the person or thing referred to (Acts v, 41 ; 
Rom. ix, 27; 2 Cor. viii, 23; xii, 5, 8; Philip, i, 7; iv, 10). 
Chrysostom explains it by irepl — in reference to that event 
in which we have so profound an interest, and which on account 
of this very interest you so sadly misunderstood, we entreat 
you. For 7rapovcrla see under 1 Thess. iii, 13. It is the second 


personal and glorious Coming of our Lord at the end of the 
present dispensation, and for its double purpose, see under 
G — 10 of previous chapter. The apostle during his visit had 
told them of the Advent, and the twin features of their con- 
verted state were, turning from idols and waiting for His Son 
from heaven. The double compound eVtcrwayeoy)/ occurs only 
here, and in Heb. x, 25, with a very different reference. Liine- 
mann suggests that eiri must mean " up to," but though that is 
really the case (1 Thess. iv, 17), the preposition does not express 
it, e7r/ merely " marking the point to be reached " — eh airav- 
ti]ctiv tov Kvptov. See Mark v, 21. The fumwv is objective, the 
gathering together of us — us at present in life — not us, the 
living and the dead raised up as contemporaries, but us 
spoken of in the previous epistle as living and surviving till the 
Second Coming. The living are at that epoch to be caught up, 
and the result is, their "gathering together unto Him." The Ttj? 
is not repeated before e-muvvaywyris; the two events are joined 
in unity, the one bringing with it the other as a synchronous 
result. No notice is taken here of the resurrection — though 
when Christ comes down, the dead in Him rise — for the appeal is 
to the present generation of believers who regarded the Advent 
as on them, and their gathering together without suffering 
death as about to take place. Their own death is not implied, 
and the death of friends, which had grieved them, precedes 
this wondrous assemblage. The aim or purpose of his request 
is next stated, and it contains also the theme. 

(Ver. 2.) eh to fir) raveo)? araXeuQtjvai v/ua? airo tov voo$ /xi'iSe 
OpoelarOai — " that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, 
nor yet be troubled." For eh to see 1 Thess. ii, 12 ; iii, 10. 
The verb a-aXevOrjuai, from cra'Ao?, agitation, tossing of the sea 
(Luke xxi, 25 ; Sept., Jonah i, 15), and of an earthquake 
(Is. xxiv, 20), denotes besides its physical sense (Matt, xi, 7 ; 
Acts iv, 31), to be mentally agitated or disturbed (Acts 
ii, 25 ; xvii, 13 ; Heb. xii, 2G, 27, &c). The adverb T ax£w has 
been variously taken — so soon after my exhortations to you 
either orally or in the First Epistle (Piscator and Olshausen), or 
so soon after my departure, or even perhaps so soon after they 
heard any doctrine of the kind (De Wette, Lunemann). But 
the adverb may refer to manner rather than time, " soon and 


with small reason " (Alford). It implies certainly a mental 
disturbance, quickly, easily, and unthinkingly brought about, 
and, on this solemn subject, they are specialty warned against it. 
The phrase airo rod vobs is rendered adverbially by the Author- 
ized Version, " in mind," and as the Syriac .on».l*V^3 ; better 
in Wycliffe, " from your witte," and in Tyndale, " from your 
mind," the Rhemish version having "from your sense," "a 
vestro sensu" (Vulgate). But vdv? is not sensus verborum 
Paidi (Wolf), nor your earlier and more correct view, sen- 
tentia (a-Lapide, Grotius), deserentes id quod tenetis (Fro- 
mond). Rom. vii, 23, 25 ; xiv, 5. Nou? is to be taken in 
its general sense, as mind or reason, your sober or right mind 
— "from your common sense" (1 Cor. xiv, 14; Philip, iv, 7). 
The construction is pregnant, shaken so as to be driven out 
of your mind, ita concuti animo, id dimovearis sea ahdu- 
caris cnro (Schott). Rom. vi, 7 ; vii, 2 ; ix, 3 ; 2 Tim. ii, 26. 
Winer, § Q6, 2. The language implies that something like a 
panic had taken place, or that they were in imminent danger 
of falling into one. In the clause, /mySe Opoeia-Oai is climactic, 
" nor yet be troubled or terrified " ; the verb is more significant 
than that of the previous clause, as terror rises above disturb- 
ance, and is occasioned by it. The disjunctive fjajSe has high 
authority over fi^re, a reading suggested by its triple occurrence 
in the next clauses. It has a slight ascensive force. See under 
1 Thess. ii, 3. 

fxi'jre Sia. wveutxaTOS mure Sia \oyov /Uj/re Si eincrTo\>^ ai? 
Si rj/uLoov — "neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as by 
us." The clause is divided into three co-ordinate and connected 
negations (Matt, v, 34, 35 ; Luke ix, 3 ; Acts xxiii, 8, 12, 21 ; 
1 Tim. i, 7; James v, 12). Winer, § 55, 6; Wex, Antig., ii, 
156, &c. ; Klotz, Devarius, II, p. 715 ; Hermann, Opuscwla., vol. 
Ill, p. 151, &c. Wire Sia TrveufxaTo?, " neither by spirit," some 
oracle or saying embodying or professing, but falsely, to embody 
spiritual wisdom and foresight on the doctrine, or rather the 
period of the Second Advent. Theophylact explains it by Sia 
7rpo(p)]Te!as. The phrase cannot mean signa quasi per Spiri- 
tual facta, nor the prophecies of the Old Testament falsely 
understood (Krause), " nor delusive spiritual apparitions " 
(Schrader). Some take irvevfj-a as the abstract for the concrete 


TrvevjuariKog (Chrysostom, Koppe, Storr). Compare 1 John iv, 1. 
This meaning would yield (mite a good sense — the man who 
framed the false oracle under assumed spiritual influence, for 
some human agency is implied ; but it is out of harmony 
with the words that follow, \6y6v and e7r*<xToX>/?, which 
cannot be taken as abstract, but are definite terms. There 
had been some one in the Church at Thessalonica that, under 
assumed spiritual influence, uttered the false and alarming- 

fju'jTe Sia \6you, " nor by word." Ao'yo? has been 
understood in different ways. (1) Some take it in the 
sense of calculation, as if the reference were to some 
wrong computation based on the prophecies and " times " 
of Daniel, and bringing out the result that the day of the Lord 
was immediately imminent (Michaelis, Tychsen). Such a 
meaning is groundless and artificial to the last degree, and 
Xo'yo? by itself could not convey such a sense. (2) Some 
regard it as a word of Christ, some falsified saying of His on 
the last day, resting on the prophecies of Matt, xxiv, Mark xiii, 
and Luke xxi (Baumgarten-Crusius, Noesselt). But such a 
ref rence would have required from the apostle some more 
definite expression. (3) Macknight would give it the sense of 
verbal message, as if sent from the apostle to the Thessalonians; 
and Grotius similarly renders it rumores de nobis, to this effect, 
that Ave are now speaking otherwise than we had done formerly. 
Both conjectures need no refutation. (4) Others put Xoyou 
in contrast with 7rvev/j.aTo?, and regard it as a teaching 
(8iSax>'i)> which did not deliver itself in prophetic rapture, but 
perhaps rather took its proofs from Scripture. Chrysostom 
explains by 7ri6av6\oyia, Theophylact by 8iSaa-ica\ia$ £007/ <pm»j 
yivo/uevris, and the view generally is held by Zuingli, Calvin, 
Ewald, Hofmann, and Riggenbach. But the natural contrast 
is not between Xoyo? and Trvev/nd, but between Xoyo? and the 
following e-Trto-ToX?/, what is spoken being contrasted with what 
is written. The same contrast is repeated in verse 15. . A6yo? 
is therefore an oral utterance ascribed to the apostle, and here 
falsely ascribed to him, as o>? 67 fjfjuav implies. For Siu 
\6yov is not to be taken as an independent statement, or as 
connected simply with Si e7rtcrTo\rJT, but the meaning is that 


both utterances and letters of a fictitious character were 
ascribed to the apostle. 

The last phrase, fxrfre Si eTTLUToXris, has been strangely 
supposed by not a few to refer to the first epistle and to some 
misinterpretation of it — so Jerome, Kern, Hilgenfeld, Ham- 
mond, Krause, Paley, Reuss, Bleek, and Webster and Wilkinson 
— his former letter, but comprehended under the general signi- 
fication "any communication by letter"; hence the omission 
of the article. But a reference to his former epistle would 
have necessitated the article or some phrase equally definite, 
and the epistle would not as here have been disowned. Com- 
pare 1 Cor. v, 9-11 ; 2 Cor. vii, 8. The last words, co? Si })fxwv, 
have been connected in various ways. Some join them to all the 
preceding words, as Erasmus, Reiche, Noesselt, Jowett, Web- 
ster and Wilkinson. Not to repeat that Ao'yo? and ema-ToX)) 
are connected closely in verse 15, and are taken so here, it may 
be replied that co? Si rjfxwv cannot apply to itvev/xa, as it could 
not be feigned for him in his absence; the TrvevfAa must have 
been in the midst of themselves — the immediate witnesses of 
its manifestations. It could in no way be said to be by our 
agency, Si t]/ulccv, as are the "word" and "letter" supposed to 
have the apostle for their medium. The particle <o?, as = as 
so represented — implies the fictitious nature of the assumption. 
Ellicott, Fritszche, Winer, Vulgate (tamquam per 7ios); Syriac, 

tjQI ,'ZCL^ ^^05 wi^!>- 

This warning apparently implies that forgery was early 
at work, and that during the few months elapsing from the 
date of the first epistle a fictitious utterance and a letter had 
been circulated in the apostle's name, teaching what the 
apostle intimates in the last clause of the verse. Nothing 
farther do we know of them. Jowett says that the apostle 
refers only to the possibility of such a speech or epistle being 
used against him, but the language describes an actual occur- 
rence. The 15th verse of this chapter places the genuine word 
and letter in contrast with the spurious, and the 17th verse of 
the third chapter describes a guard against a forged epistle, by 
showing the token of a true one — " the salutation of me, Paul, 
with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle. So 
I write." It is needless to wonder why any men at that early 


time could be so audacious as to attach to any forgery, written 
or oral, the apostle's name and authority, for we know nothing 
of the motive and almost nothing of the contents save in the 
one point. Nor can we now say why the apostle treated the 
matter so leniently, Iry averring that the deception was inno- 
cent in motive, or that the letter was anonymous. The apostle 
could not prevent sayings being put in his name — he could 
only deny or disclaim them ; but he took precautions against 
the repetition of such literary forgery. 

w? oti eve&Tt]Kev i) ijpepa tov lvvplov — "as that the day of the 
Lord is come." For Ivuplov the Received Text has Xpta-Tov, 
with D 3 K, most mss., and the Gothic ; but Kvplov is read in 
A B D 1 F L iV, both Latin and both Syriac versions, with the 
Greek and Latin fathers. The o>? introduces the statement not 
as actual, but as so represented, its falsehood being implied. 
The " day of the Lord " is the day of the Second Advent — His, 
as He appears as Judge, His last and loftiest function — His, as 
on it He crowns His work, and His church becomes complete 
in happiness and in numbers — His, as then He is glorified in 
His saints and wondered at in all them who believe. On that 
day He rises into a pre-eminence hitherto unwitnessed. 

The true meaning of the verb evea-Tt^ev is not " is at hand," 
but " is come," or " is present." The rendering of the English 
version, "at hand," has been adopted by many — Calvin, 
Jowett, &c. Thus Hammond, "were instantly a-coming;" 
Benson, "just at hand, and will happen shortly;" Bloomfield, 
Conybeare, Webster, and Wilkinson, "near or close at hand;" 
Wordsworth, " instantaneously imminent." (1) Now the verb 
is used in six other places of the New Testament, and in all of 
them it bears the sense of "present." Rom. viii, 38, ovre 
eve(TTu>Ta out€ peWovra, "neither things present nor things to 
come;" 1 Cor. iii, 22, e'lre evearr^ra e'/re p.e\\ovTa, "whether 
things present or things to come;" 1 Cor. vii, 2(3, Sia tw 
evea-Twcrav avuyK^v, " on account of the present distress ; " Gal. 
i, 4, etc tov aiwvos tov evecrTWTO? irov^pov, " out of this present 
world, an evil one ; " 2 Tim. iii, 1, evvTijo-ovrai icaipoi xaXeirol, 
"grievous times shall be present," i.e., the grievous times are 
not to follow the last days, but to be included in them ; Heb. 
ix, 9, 7rapa/3o\t] et? tov Kaipov tov €ve<TT>]KOTa, "a figure for the 


time now present," spoken of the Jewish economy. In all 
these cases, except 2 Tim. iii, 1, for which there is some 
apology, the Authorized Version renders by "present"; and 
there was no reason, therefore, to deviate from the true sense 
in the verse before us. The translation "is come," "has 
arrived," is fully justified by the uniform meaning of the 
verb in the New Testament, and is the rendering also, save in 
two cases, in the Authorized Version. (2) To show that our 
translators were swayed by other than philological reasons, it 
may be remarked that the rendering " is at hand " occurs 
in twenty other places in the New Testament, and in none 
of these, of course, does that rendering represent the Greek 
verb before us. It rightly stands for ;/yy«re nine times, ten 
times for eyyu?, and once for eipecrrrjicev (2 Tim. iv, 6), where 
Luther renders ist vorhanden. (3) The Septuagint usage is 
similar to that of the New Testament. In Dan. vii, 5, eh pepo? 
ev ea-Tadt], the simple verb has a different meaning, where it 
represents the nn'pn, stare facta, constitute est. But we have 
in the Apocrypha, 1 Esdras v, 46, ivcrTavTO? Se tov e/3S6fxov 
/uLtjvos, " the seventh month being come," not " being at hand," 
as in the Authorized Version; ix, 6, Tpsp-ovTes Sia top evecrTcoTa 
Xeip-wva, "trembling on account of the present foul weather;" 
1 Mace, xii, 44, iroXipiOv /mi] evecxT^KOTO? fj/juv, " there being at 
present no war between us;" 2 Mace, iii, 17, to kuto. KapSlav 
eveo-To? a\yo?, "the sorrow at present in his heart," oi', as in the 
Authorized Version, " what sorrow he had now in his heart ; 
vi, 9, Tr\v eveo-Twcrav TaXanrcopiav, "the present misery;" xii, 3, 
u)<? fj.t]Seiuuas eve<TTuxriis 7rpo? avTov? Sucrp-evelag, "as if there had been 
no ill-will at present between them;" 3 Mace, i, 16, t[i evea-Twcnj 
avdyKy. The same meaning is found in the Hellenistic writers. 
Joseph., Antiq., xvi, 6, 2, ov povov ev tw evecrTWTi Kaipw, "not 
only in the present time," but also in the past time ; Philo, De 
Plantat. Noe, os ei? tov 7rape\>]\v0oTa /ecu eveaTWTa Kai 
peWovTa, "it is of the nature of time to be divided into the past 
and the present and the future" {Opera, vol. Ill, p. 136, ed. 
Pfeiffer). (4) Nor does the classical usage differ. Xenoph., 
Hellen., ii, 1, 6, irep\ rw evecrTtjKOTcov irpaypaTWv, " concerning 
the present state of affairs;" Polybius, i, 60, tov evea-TWTa icaipov; 
do., 7-5, eis tov evccrTioTa 7ro\epov; xvm, 38, kcxtii tov evearTOSTa 


fJaaiXea, "against the present king." Examples from yEschines 
and Demosthenes, as applied to Kuipos, -n-oXepog, are given by 
Host and Palm. There may be some cases where it may bear 
the sense of, impending, as good as come, ideally present; but 
the prevailing temporal meaning is what we have given. Nay, 
Hesychius defines evecrrwra by irupovra. Xpovos euecrr^KW? is 
the grammatical name of the present tense, and peroxh evea-ruxra 
is the present participle. Sextus Empiricus divides time into 
tov 7rapipx i ll UL ^ l ' ou Kai T0V evecTTWTa nai tov /meWovTa. iheodore 
defines the term by irupuiv. Not simply "at hand," but "is 
present" or "has begun," is the coiTect translation, even taking 
the classical usage which Webster and Wilkinson assume, 
though they wrongly render it " imminent." (5) How could 
the doctrine that the day of the Lord is at hand be treated by 
the apostle as an error ? That the day of the Lord is at hand 
is the uniform teaching of the New Testament (Matt, xxiv; 
Rom. xiii, 12; Philip, iv, 5; Heb. x, 25, 37; James v, 8; 1 Peter 
iv, 7; 1 John ii, IS; Rev. xxii, 20). Could the apostle disclaim 
the teaching of such a doctrine as that " the day of the Lord is 
at hand," or warn the Church against it as an error and a 
species of deception ? The rendering " at hand " cannot there- 
fore here be the correct translation of evecrTrjKev. (6) Were 
the doctrine against which the apostle warns, and which he so 
solemnly disowns, only that the day of the Lord was at hand, 
how could such a doctrine throw the Church into panic and 
confusion — how could they be driven from their sense and 
alarmed, as he calls it ? For they were familiar with it ; they 
were waiting for His Son from heaven, and His Coming is again 
and again referred to in the first epistle. The imminence of 
the Advent was no new theme to them, and they could not be 
so startled by it. Nay, such was their spiritual condition and 
temperament, that such a doctrine, if disclosed for the first time 
to them, would have filled their spirits with unutterable glad- 
ness. They were waiting for His Son from heaven; they were 
meanwhile characterized by works of faith, labours of love, and 
patience of hope ; the word had wrought effectually in them ; 
their faith had grown exceedingly, and their mutual love 
abounded; they were children of the light; they were the 
apostle's joy, hope, and crown of rejoicing in the presence of 


our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming. His prayer for them 
was, that "God would establish their hearts unblameable before 
Him at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His 
saints," and that " their whole spirit, soul, and body might be 
preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 
He " comes to be glorified in His saints," and He comes sud- 
denly,*" as a thief in the night;" and how, in such a spiritual 
state, could they be filled with consternation at the thought 
that the period was near when all their own anticipations and 
all these prayers for them should be fully realized. As the 
nearness of the Advent was no new doctrine, it could not have 
so alarmed them; and as their character was such as to lead 
them to love His appearance and to lift up their heads as their 
redemption drew nigh, it could not have so excited and con- 
founded them, nor could the apostle have branded such a doc- 
trine as false, or have ascribed it to some spurious spiritual 
manifestation or to some utterance or some letter forged and 
circulated in his name. Thus, both philologically and doctrin- 
ally, the rendering " is at hand " cannot be sustained. 

Lastly, the translation we give seems to be the oldest one. 
The Syriac has «£o? Global Oil *.*^Lq 2*qS )aiy "Lo the day 
of our Lord is come." At all events the same Syriac term, 
which is but the Syriac form of the Chaldee hod, stands 
for ?j\6ov in Acts viii, 36; for eireo-nia-civ, Acts x, 17, "were 
arrived and standing at the gate;" for KaTi)vTi}<Tev, Acts xviii, 19, 
" he came to Ephesus, &c." The meaning in these places is 
"is come " or "arrived." Compare Daniel vii, 13, 22. Chry- 
sostom identifies the error here condemned with that of those 
who said that the resurrection is already past, adding that 
believers, henceforth hoping for nothing great and splendid, 
might faint under their sufferings. Theodore of Mopsuestia 
understands this to be the error condemned w? av eyyvBev 
TrapovTO? eKelvov tov Kaipov {Catena in Thessal., p. 386, ed. 
Cramer). CEcumenius puts it thus — " the apostle does not 
say when the resurrection shall be, oti Se ov vvv effteo-rrjKev 
diroSeiKwari " ; and more distinctly in his preface, w? '/jS?i 
t>]? 7rapouTia? evcrTacrtfi — f/Srj irapeivai avn'jp ', and in the 
same preface, Theodoret is emoted as asserting that some 
seducers eXeyov irapuvai Xolttov tjjv irapovcriav tou I^vpiov; 


Pelagius, ne quis vos seducat ullo modo, dicentes : hie 
Christ Ltb; ecce illic ; and Ambrosiaster has de adventu quasi 
imminentis Domini. But it may be asked — how could 
these early believers persuade themselves that the day of 
the Lord was come— how could they hold that the Lord 
had descended — that the trumpet had been heard — that 
the dead had been raised and the living caught up ? It will 
scarcely do to conjecture, with Lillie, that they might imagine 
that "the day had come in some different way from that in 
which they had been taught to look for it, or else, that this 
great crisis had actually transpired, and in that precise shape, 
while they were not aware of it." They must in such a case 
have thought that they had forfeited their share in the glory 
of the kingdom. We cannot imagine the possibility of such 
delusion, and the hallucinations which Lillie brings in proof are 
not at all to the point. The first instance adduced by him is 
that of a party in the church of Corinth who said that "there 
is no resurrection." But this denial is a very different error 
from saying that it had already taken place without their par- 
ticipation in the result, or their witnessing its glories and 
mysteries. The other instance, that of those who said that the 
resurrection is past, was based on a false spiritualistic philosophy, 
which identified resurrection with the revivification of the soul ; 
surely a veiy different error from the imagination that the 
resurrection of the dead in the physical sense had already 
taken place. It was scarcely possible that the error had pro- 
ceeded so far as to impugn the reality and universality of the 
resurrection. The apostle had said that "the day of the Lord 
cometh as a thief in the night," suddenly and without warning, 
but could they persuade themselves that the sudden destruction 
then threatened had fallen on their enemies, and that none of 
them had escaped? The phrase employed, rj/mepa tov K.vpiov may 
not be identical with the actual irapova-la tov Ivvpiov, but may 
denote its period and comprehend the events which are its 
antecedents and concomitants. Not the irapovaia itself, but its 
period had come. The day of the Lord, the epoch of the Second 
Advent had now dawned upon them, and the persecutions now 
falling on them were tokens of its presence. Thej^ regarded the 
day of grace as apparently at an end, so that in fancy they 


were in the period of judgment, which was to witness the disso- 
lution of society and the introduction of a new state of things. 
This error was taught as if on the apostle's authority — his 
teaching or letter — and it may have been the more readily 
adopted from his own words, which seemed to imply that he 
himself was to be alive at the Advent ; or the error may have 
been given out not as a retractation, but as a farther expansion 
of his oral teaching and his doctrine as given in the first 

(Ver. 3.) M>7 -n? v/ulcis e£a7ra,T)'i<T>i Kara prjSeva Tp'oirov — "Let 
no one deceive you in any wa} 7 ." The anxiety of the apostle 
on the point leads him to a virtual repetition of the warning. 
The doctrine that the day of the Lord had set in was a decep- 
tion; whatever might be the motives of those who taught 
it, it was a perilous error and they were to guard against being 
its dupes. The Ik in the compound verb has an intensive force, 
the verb meaning "to deceive out and out." The phrase Kara 
fj.}]Siva rpoirov does not allude merely to the three ways 
specified in the preceding verse, as if it meant by any of 
these means (CEcumenius, Theophylact, Bengel, Baumgarten- 
Crusius), but is absolute and inclusive, "in no way," by no 
method of deception whatever its form or character. 

otl eav /ut.)] eXOij i) aTro&Taa-'ia irpMTov — " because the day will 
not set in unless there come the apostacy first." The ellipse is 
easily supplied — otiovk€V€(tti]K€v i) rtfi&pa rod Ku/ r j/ou(Liinemann), 
or, as Ellicott, t) ijfxepa ovk eva-r^arerai, or, as Theophylact, ov 
yevi'jcrtTui >) irapovuia tou KuptW The clause involving the use 
of a finite verb is omitted ; the mind of the writer is fixed 
specially on the event which must intervene, the mental nega- 
tion implied in the two previous verses, namely, "the day of the 
Lord has not taken place," involving the consequent unex- 
pressed negation, " nor will it take place unless." Winer, § 64, 7 ; 
Hermann, Vigerus, II. p. 694. On av with the subjunctive, see 
Donaldson, § 583 /3. There are two proposed constructions 
which are hard and unnatural. Storr and Flatt propose to get 
rid of the ellipse by giving eav juli'i a sense analogous to the 
Hebrew lb n^ ganz gewiss, certissime (Numbers xiv, 28 ; Ezek. 
xvii, 19 ; Heb. iv. 3, 5) ; but in those places the phrase has the 
form of an oath. Knatchbull's connection is as unsatisfactory, 


for lie places a comma after on, joins it to e 'fa7rciT?/07/, and sup- 
plies eveo-TtjKev, " let no man deceive you that the day of the 
Lord is come, if it shall not come before the apostacy, ne qivis 
sed/ucat vos ullo modo quod instet dies Domini si non venerit 
prius a/postasia. 

' A.iroa-ra(Ti(i is a more recent form for the older airo- 
crTaa-tf. Lobeck, Phrynichus, p. 528. The word is found in 
Acts xxi, 21 — a charge against Paul that he taught defection 
from Moses ; in Sept., 2 Chron. xxix, 19 — the idolatrous defection 
of Ahaz; in Jer. ii, 19, with a similar sense — iruiSevo-ei <re i) 
air out aula rrou ; and in 1 Mace, ii, 15, in reference to enforced 
idolatry — ol KdTavayicd^ovTGS t>]v uiro<TTa<rlav. The verb is used 
in 1 Tim. iv, 1, followed by tJJs Trlcrrewg, and in Heb. iii, 12, 
with airo Qeov. This usage shows that by the term spiritual 
defection is meant, and such a meaning is in harmony with the 
context, for its connection is with the Man of Sin and the 
Mystery of Iniquity. It is therefore wrong for this double 
reason — 

I. To refer it to any political dissatisfaction or revolt either 
(1) to that of the Jews from the Romans — singularis et nota-- 
bills ilia rebcllio (Schottgen, vol. I, p. 840; and so Clericus, 
Noesselt, Rosenmiiller, and partly Usteri, Paulin. Lehrbegr., p. 
349); or (2) to the mutiny against, and the assassination of Galba, 
Otho, and Vitellius, prior to the consolidation of the empire by 
the gens Flavia (Wetstein), or (3) to any mingled religious and 
political defection (Aretius, Vorstius, Kern) ; or (4) to the 
breaking up of the Roman Empire, as a-Lapide. " Quis, nisi 
Romanus status, cujus abscessio in decern reges dispersa Anti- 
el/ ristum super d/vbcet?" (TertullianDe Resurr. Carnis, vi, p. 499, 
vol. II, Opera, ed. Oehler) ; discessio . . . ut omnes gentes 
quae Romano imperio subjacent, recedant (Jerome, ad Alga- 
siam, p. 887, vol. I, Opera, ed. Vallarsi). 

II. Equally wrong is the notion of Hammond that the word 
describes " a notable discernible apostatizing of Christians to 
that abominable impiety of the Gnostics," quoting 1 Tim. iv, 1. 
But no Gnostic aberration expresses the full meaning of the 
term, nor dues it harmonize with the contents of the prophecy. 
Hammond, however, understands by the Advent, the infliction 
of divine judgment on the Jews. 


III. Nor can airocrraa-la be taken as the abstract for the 
concrete, meaning Antichrist himself, as Chrysostom, and the 
Greek fathers, with Augustine. Thus Theophylact, air oar aa- la 
Tovrecrn 6 AvrixpHTTog ; Augustine, dieingue judicii non esse 
ventururn, nisi ille prior venerit, quem refugam vocal (De 
Givitate Dei, lib. vol. VII, p. 958, Opera, Gaume, Paris). 
But such a personification confuses the order of the prophecy ; 
the apostacy precedes, and prepares for the revelation of the 
Man of Sin. " The falling away," therefore, is not the result of 
the appearance of the Man of Sin, but the antecedent ; not as 
Pelt, secessionem cujus ille evil auctor ct signifer. Thus 
airoa-racrla, so signalized by the article /;, is something distinct, 
something so far familiar to them, and on which they had 
enjoyed previous instruction. See verse 5. It is a spiritual 
falling away, the opposite of that growth in Christian excel- 
lence which the apostle commends in them — faith fled, love 
dead, hope collapsed, and the truth forsaken ; all spiritual 
graces and energies fallen out of recognition and existence ; 
God ignored, Christ forgotten, and the Spirit grieved and gone. 
Such a defection is so sad and fatal that it opens the way 
for the daring and defiant revelation of the Man of Sin. He 
seizes the opportunity when all is asleep and fearless because 
faithless, to found his kingdom, diffuse his falsehood, and 
fortify his impious pretensions. This man would not be 
suffered to show himself, would not be permitted to gather 
strength and hardihood in a healthful and vigilant condition of 
the church (Luke xxi, 8). The elements of that apostacy seem 
to be gathered up at length, and to culminate in a single per- 
sonality, as its last appalling embodiment. The Kai of the fol- 
lowing clause has something of a consecutive force — marking 
its clause as the result of the previous one. 

Kac a7roica\v<p6i] 6 avOpcoiros T>js a/uapTiag, 6 vio? T?]$ airoo- 
Xe/u? — " and there be revealed the Man of Sin, the Son of 
Perdition." For a/uaprla?,<s is read in B n and several of 
the fathers, but the text has good authority. The phrase has 
resemblance to jit* fry. (Isaiah lv, 7). The genitive t-v? 
afxapTias is that of predominating quality, die dominirenden 
Eigenschaften (Scheuerlein, § 16, 3). He is the Man of Sin, 
whose inner element and outer characteristic is sin and nothing 


but sin ; who has his being, plans, and activity in sin and in 
nothing else ; who, as the living embodiment of it, is known 
and recognized as the man of sin. The following verse shows 
that he fully verifies his awful and significant name — a name 
in terrific antagonism to the Holy and Loving One, and His holy 
and benignant government, the purpose of which is to put 
down sin and deliver sinners. The aTroKaXv^d?] suggests a 
contrast with the same word in i, 7, " the Lord Jesus shall be 
revealed from heaven" — a sudden and distinct personal mani- 
festation is implied (Turretin, Pelt). There are to be secret 
preparations, causes in hidden operation, prior to the final 
embodiment and outburst. The man of sin is also — 

6 wo? t>7? cnrcoXelas — " the Son of Perdition." A similar 
phrase renvoi a7rcoXe/a? occurs in Isaiah lvii, 4. The man of sin 
stands to perdition as child to parent (John xvii, 12 ; Ephes. ii, 
2). Sonship indicates in Hebrew idiom a variety of relations, 
even among inanimate things. The son of perdition is he on 
whom perdition falls as his due and his heritage, who is so 
indissolubly related to it, and so bound up with it, that he 
cannot escape it. Being the Man of Sin, he must be in God's 
righteous government the Son of Perdition. Such sin entails 
and measures out its own retribution. 

'A-rrooXeia is the perdition which he himself is to suffer, not 
that which he brings on others (Pelt), nor are the two ideas in 
combination, as Theodoret, CEcumenius, Bengel, Heydenreich, 
and Schott suppose. Thus CEcumenius, Sia to cnroWveiv ttoWov? 
kou avrov (nroWveadai. The one intransitive meaning is most 
in harmony with the idiom. The person so described is a man 
— av6pw7ros — a single man, and not a series or succession of men, 
not the personification of evil influences, or the head of any 
human organization. This man, made of sin, and the represen- 
tative impersonation of it, is the counter-Christ, " he who 
opposes ; " both are individual men, both come to view r , or are 
"revealed" in immediate personal manifestation, both are sig- 
nalized in character, the one by righteousness, the other by sin. 
The one has life and glory as his destiny, but the other ruin and 
perdition. At the same time the idea of a Satanic incarnation 
is not to be admitted, as Pelagius curtly puts it, diabolus 
scilicet. " Is it then Satan ?" asks Chrysostom. " By no means, 


but some man that admits his full inworking iu him, iracrav 
Sexojuevos (rod 'Zuravd) ryv evepyttav" and more fully in Theo- 
doret. It is an inspiration, rather than an incarnation, as 
verse 9 also implies. 

(Ver. 4.) o avTiKeifxevos Kai V7re puipop.ei>o<? ctti iravTa Xeyop-evov 
Qeov I] a-e^uG-juia — " he who opposes and exalts himself above 
every one called God, or an object of worship." These parti- 
ciples, connected with cnroKa\v<p6f], carry forward the descrip- 
tion begun by the nouns of the previous clauses and add 
several dark features to it. '0 uvriKelfxevo?, the opposing one, 
or one who opposes = the opposer. His characterizing work 
or function, or that which gives him distinctive notoriety is, 
that he opposes; there is 'no object mentioned, and Christ is 
to be understood, as may be inferred from verse 8, for the Lord 
is at His coming to consume and destroy him. The opposing 
is not directed against mankind (Michaelis, Baumgarten), there 
being no idea of this kind in the context, nor generally against 
God and Christ (De Wette, Riggenbach), but specially and 
pointedly against Christ, corde, lingua, stilo, factis, per se, per 
suos (Bengal). This gives him a character not unlike that of 6 
uvtlSizos, Sid(3o\o?, )B»ri (1 Peter v, 8 ; Rev. xii, 10). Compare 
Job i, G; Zech. iii, 1. Filled with the devil's spirit, he is 
noted as the devil's workman, withstanding, counteracting all 
that Christ is planning and doing — his heart so set upon it that 
his uniform attitude toward it is that of a daring and defiant 
antagonist. Satan entered into the heart of Judas, the son of 
perdition, and he takes possession of the Man of Sin, inspiring 
him with power, intensifying his malignity, feeding his pride 
and profanity till he is tempted to self-deification, which is now 
described. As the verb avriKeifxai is always followed by a dative 
in the New Testament, and as no object is here expressed, the 
participle may be regarded as absolute, as being virtually a 
substantive, and there is no need therefore of a zeugmatic 
construction, as is supposed by Benson, Koppe, Flatt, 
Pelt, Hofmann, and Riggenbach — the clause beginning 
with eir\ belonging only to inrepaipoiuevo?. The omission of 
the article before the second participle does not unite both 
participles under one construction, but only shows that both 
refer to the same person. Winer, § 19, 4. 


Km virepaip6tj.evo<i eir\ irdvTa Xeyo/uevov Oeov — " and exalting 
himself above every one called God. The compound verb 
occurs only in 2 Cor. xii, 7, v-n-ep being a favourite preposition 
with the apostle. The modifying participle Xeyo/mevov does not 
mean every so-called God (Peile), as that would exclude the 
one true God, " nor every one that entitled himself a God " 
(Wakefield), but it is used to prevent the conclusion that the 
God and gods are placed in the same category; "every God" 
would be a profane and erroneous expression, impossible for 
«i Christian believer, who acknowledges one God only. One 
is rightly called God, others are falsely so-called, Xeyo/uevoi 
Geo/ (1 Cor. viii, 5). Compare Ephes. ii, 11. The phrase then 
means the true God and every other one bearing the name — the 
false gods of heathenism. The preposition eiri, supra in the 
Vulgate, means "upon," (i over," or "above" " motion with a 
view to superposition " (Donaldson, Gr. Gr., § 483 c), motion 
followed by rest on or over. It is used sometimes with a 
hostile reference (Matt, x, 21 ; 2 Cor. x, 2) ; such a reference 
being here reflected from the previous participle (Winer, § 49 I). 
The clause bears a strong resemblance to Daniel xi, 30 — " and 
the king shall do according to his will, and he shall exalt him- 
self and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak 
marvellous things against the God of gods." This description 
portrays a heathen and polytheistic king, and the phrases eVt 
TrdvTa 6e6v . . eirl irdvras Oeovg in verse 37 are quite ana- 
logous. The Man of Sin exalts himself above and against 
eveiy one called God. He puts himself into a position higher 
than that of any God, refuses to worship anything divine, as 
if he himself possessed a higher divinity. 

I] crefiaar/uLa — "or an object of adoration," out quod colitur, 
Syriac " worshipful." Hefiacr/uLa occurs in Acts xvii, 23, " objects 
of divine reverence," and with the same meaning in Wisdom 
xiv, 20 ; xv, 17 ; Bel and the Dragon, 27. Jlepl tu Beta 
a-ePao-fiara. Dionys. Halicar., Antiq., I, 30, v, 1. It cannot 
here at all refer to the Roman Emperor called Se/Sacrros, and 
denote the majesty and power of Caesar which the Man of Sin 
subjects to himself and defames. Whatever bears a divine 
name or claims divine worship, he will put beneath himself in 
a spirit of overbearing an 1 self-glorifying hostility, and of 


blasphemous insolence, as if to himself alone divine homage 
were due. He that lifts himself above everything divine in 
person or homage puts himself in its room as divine. The 
inference is that this 'AvrlOeo? thrusts God out of His place, 
usurps it, and arrogantly and impiously claims the worship 
due to Him. The apostle adds in proof — 

were avrov ei? rov v'Jlov rov Qeov Kauicrai, d'troSeucvvvra eavrov 
on ear iv Geo? — "so that he sitteth down in the temple of God, 
showing himself that he is God." The Received Text has tog 
Qeov, with D 3 FKL, the Syriac, Chrysostom, and Theodoret; 
but the words are omitted in ABD 1 ^ both Latin versions and 
the Coptic, with very many of the Greek and Latin fathers. 
They are to be rejected therefore, and they are a species of 
gloss. The result is introduced by oxrre. In this unparalleled 
and audacious wickedness, the antagonist and exalter of Himself 
above every one divine in title enters into the shrine of God 
and there sits down a self-made God. The connection has been 
taken by Conybeare thus, so as to seat himself in the temple, 
(avrov for avrov) and as if KaQ'iarai were transitive (Grotius, 
Koppe, Pelt); but KaOlcrai is usually intransitive in the New 
Testament, so that avrov is the subject, and has the stress 
upon it. KaOluai . . . el? is a pregnant construction — goes 
into and sits down (Matt, ii, 23; xiii, 2). Arrian, Ellendt, note, 
vol. I, p. 247; Schaefer, do.; Demosth., vol. I, p. 194; Winer, § 
50, 4. The aorist describes the act — he sits down, and it is 
implied that the sitting lasts after the act. By veto? (valco) 
is meant the temple proper, as distinct from lepov, the cluster of 
sacred buildings around it (Herodotus, i, 181-183); and the 
distinction is observed in Josephus, Philo, the Septuagint, and 
New Testament. Trench, Synon., I, § 3. Into the temple proper 
does this proud opposer thrust himself — as if he were its divine 
inhabitant with his throne in the Holy of Holies. But what is 
this vao? ? (1) The term may be used figuratively for the 
Church (1 Cor. iii, 17; 1 Cor. vi, 19; Ephes. ii, 21, 22). So the 
Greek fathers, Theodoret, CEcumenius, and Theophylact, after 
Chrysostom who says — "for he will not introduce idolatry, but 
will be a kind of opponent to God, and he will abolish all the 
gods and will order them to worship him instead of God, and 
he will be seated in the temple of God — ov rov iv 'lepoaoXv/uoi? 


fxovov aWa /cat a? tu? iravTa\ou e/c/cA?/cna?. ' Theodoret says 
that by the temple is to be understood the churches in which he 
will snatcli the primacy — irpoeSpelav. Similarly Theophylact — 
" not specially in the temple at Jerusalem, aWa els ra? eiackycTiaq 
a-rrXooq, icai iravTa vaov Qelov" and to the same effect OEcumenius. 
The same view is held by many commentators, among whom 
are Musculus, Hunnius, Estius, Aretius, Benson, Wolf, Heyden- 
reich, Pelt, Olshausen, Bisping, Hilgenfeld. The opinion is 
so far sanctioned by the usage of Scripture. But the places 
quoted in support of it are not wholly analogous ; the spiritual 
temple is in them said to be built up of individual believers 
as living stones ; they are affirmed to be a temple, and the 
appeal is to them in this character. The phrase is an im- 
mediate and impressive symbol of their purity and consecration 
and of their being the dwelling-place of God, "an habitation 
of God through the Spirit." In those ethical passages, de- 
scribing spiritual privilege, blessing, and destiny, the meaning 
lies on the surface, and is so clear that it cannot be for a 
moment mistaken, for the metaphor carries its own explanation, 
and believers are asserted to form the temple. See Howe's 
Living Temple ; see also Essay on the Man of Sin. 

But the case is somewhat different in a picture like 
this where, without any explanation, the profane and daring 
usurper, as the acme of his antagonism, is said to take his seat 
in the temple of God. (1) There is no allusion in the context 
to believers as being God's temple, but in the text quoted 
believers are directly asserted to constitute it. (2) The sitting 
in the temple does not harmonize so fully with the notion of an 
ideal or spiritual structure. The citations adduced by Alford 
are scarcely in point, as 1 Cor. vi, -i, where, ev rfj eKKXija-ia 
occurring, the meaning is evident, and the clause signifies, 
set them as judges for a definite purpose; Matt, xxiii, 2, 
where sitting in Moses' chair is without ambiguity; and the 
image is as evident in Rev. xx, 4. The places where Jc.^us 
is said to sit on the right hand of God are not in analogy; his 
royal seat is the symbol of highest exaltation and of universal 
dominion. (3) If the temple of God be the church, what is 
meant by the Man of Sin entering and seating himself in it, 
what is the position which he thus occupies, what is his 


locality? for he is no ideal usurper, no personified evil influence, 
but a man with human conditions. (4) Could those for whom 
the epistle was written easily understand by the phrase the 
Church of Christ ; or would not their first and most natural 
conclusion be that the Man of Sin was to intrude into some 
actual edifice, set apart to God as His shrine, like that at Jeru- 
salem, and appropriate it. (o) The next clause, " Showing 
that He is God," leads to the same conclusion — he that sits in 
(rod's temple takes God's place and prerogative, for the temple 
is His dwelling — a conclusion which could not have the same 
force and evident connection with the premises, if the temple 
were the church so symbolized, for the usurpation would in 
that be more directed against Christ, the Head of the Church, 
or the Holy Spirit who fills it. (6) Were the Church to 
permit such intrusion, and such impious self-assumed exaltation 
on the part of the Man of Sin above all divine persons and 
worship, it would cease to merit the appellation of the temple 
of God, and also on account of the previous apostacy which 
made such self-deification possible. (7) The entire prophecy 
is distinct and personal, of prosaic and plain directness in its 
description of a man possessing a certain character, bringing on 
himself a certain destiny, and as he is at length to be consumed 
by the Lord at His Second Advent; may it not therefore be 
said that it would be out of harmony with this literal style of 
prediction, if in the midst of it should occur an unfamiliar 
image as the name of a place which is the scene of a usurpation 
without parallel ? (8) This is also the earliest interpretation. 
Irenseus says expressly, " Besides he has also pointed out, 
which in many ways I have shown, that the temple in Jerusa- 
lem was made by the direction of the true God. For the 
apostle himself, speaking in his own person, distinctly calls it 
the temple of God ... in which temple the adversary shall 
sit, trying to show himself off as Christ, " tentans semetipsum 
Christum ostendere . . . transferet regnum in earn, et in 
templo Dei sedet, seducens eos qui adorant earn, quasi ipse sit 
Christ us (Contra Haeres., v, 25, 2, 4, pp. 784, 786), et sedebit in 
templo Hierosolymis (do., v, p. 803, vol. I, Opera, ed. Stieren). 
Cyril of Jerusalem, who had a natural interest in the matter of 
prior possession, asks, iroiov apa vaov the ruined temple of the 


Jews? ju>] y'evoiTo' yap tovtov ev w ecr/uev, adding that the temple 
is that built by Solomon, which Antichrist shall rebuild, 6 too 
^LoXojuwvo? vaov KaTa<TKeva<rdevTa p.lX\cov oikoSojulcTu (Gatech., 
xv, 7, p. 212, ed. Miller). Jerome refers to the same opinion, 
though he does not adopt it, et in templo Bel, vel Hicrosolymis, 
ut qiiidam putant (ad Algas., Lit. 121, p. 888, vol. I, Opera, 
ed. Vallarsi). Gregoiy of Nazianzus held a like opinion, $atr\v 
otl o vao? o ev lepocroXvjuioi? oLKOOop.)]9i']<reTai vcrTepov, cos tov 

A.VTl\pL(TTOV 7Tl(TT€v9)](rop.€l>6v V7TO 'IovSa.(0)V ^\.pi<TTOV (vol. I, 

Orat, 47, p. 724 d, Opera, ed. Paris, 1630). All these argu- 
ments are not very strong, but may somewhat incline the 
balance in favour of this opinion, though certainly the difficulty 
of interpretation is increased, if the old temple of Jerusalem be 
regarded as the scene. Yet such is the view of Grotius, 
Clericus, Schottgen, Whitby, Kern, De Wette, Ltinemann, 
Wieseler, Dollinger. See Essay. 

airoSciKvvvTa eavrov otl €ctt\v Geo? — " showing himself off 
that he is God." The compound verb means, according to 
Winer, speetandum aliquid proponere, and its participle is 
more than, trying to show himself, ireipuop.evov a-rroSeacvvvai 
(Chrysostom) ; he is actually doing so, though he cannot 
succeed. He is showing himself that he is God, as he sits in 
the temple ; this his claim to be regarded as God is a present, 
characteristic, continuous self-exhibition as God. Geo? is not a 
god, or a possessor of divinity, one among many, but God. 
The expressed ecrrlv emphasizes the assertion. How this self- 
deification is done, or how this wretched assumption aud 
exhibition of divinity is held up, we know not. The impious 
pretence is not kept up by false miracles, as many contend, 
such as the Greek fathers, Hej'denreich, Schott, Glshausen, De 
Wette, Riggenbach, for these lying wonders are not introduced 
till verse 7, and they belong more to his mission as a seducer 
than to this culmination of blasphemy — usurping God's place 
and prerogatives, and giving out that he is God. This is the 
crowning act of impiety — not putting his statue in the temple, 
but sitting in state in it himself; not multiplying false gods, 
or setting up many idols, but himself claiming godhead, either 
as a rival, or to the exclusion of the one true God. For a creature, 
for a man, to venture upon this divine treason, and, from pride 


and insolent ambition and antipathy, to take God's seat and 
claim His honour, is surely the most awful consummation of 
wickedness and blasphemy that can be imagined, and he who 
rises to the height of such flagrant, "damnable" enormity, is 
truly named the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition. One can 
scarcely imagine the possibility of such God-defying and God- 
personating rebellion, and we must surely wonder why it is 
tolerated at all, not why vengeance is flashed upon it in God's 
time at the Second Advent. 

(Ver. 5.) Ov /]aoveveTe brt €Ti cov irpos v/aug ravra eXeyov 
vfxh — " Eemember ye not that when I was yet with you I was 
telling you these things ? " For 777)09 vfxa$ see under 1 Thess. 
iii, 4. TavTa refers to the contents of the two previous verses 
— the things just touched on by him, and more fully communi- 
cated during his very brief residence at Thessalonica. The 
imperfect implies more than a solitary communication — " I 
used to tell you." Winer, § xl, 3 b. He had been in the habit 
of giving them such lessons and disclosures, no doubt for some 
good purpose. His eschatology was no idle or purposeless 
speculation ; it ever had influence on present duty, patience, 
and hope. The commencing interrogation, " Do ye not re- 
member ? " has in it tacita objargatio. If they had only 
remembered his definite and repeated lessons, they could not 
have been so perplexed and seduced as to imagine that the 
day of the Lord had set in ; for they would have sustained 
themselves by the thought that defection must precede it, and 
the terrible development of the Man of Sin. 

(Ver. 6.) Kc« vvv to Kare^ov o'lSaTe, el? to a.7rOKoXv(pr]paL avrov 
cv to) kavrov Kuipcp — "And now what hinders ye know, in order 
that he may be revealed in his own time." They knew what 
this restraining power or influence was — knew it from his 
previous personal teaching, and therefore he does not here 
repeat the information. We have not the same knowledge, 
and so must be contented to conjecture his meaning. Because 
they knew it so well, we know it so imperfectly. The particle 
vvv has been variously taken. (1) It has been taken as a par- 
ticle of time, qualifying Karexov— what now hinders. So 
Heydenreich, Schrader, Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, Bis- 
ping, Wieseler. But in that case the order would require to 


be to vvv kutcxov, the emphatic adverb having its natural 
position between the article and the participle. The places 
adduced to exemplify such a l^perbaton as these expositors 
assume are not parallel instances, as verse 7 ; Rom. xii, 3 ; 
1 Cor. vii, 17. The use of upri and of '/jS>] with 6 Kar'ex^v, 
in verse 7, does not favour this view. For as er« refers to his 
sojourn, and qualifies a>v s upri after 6 Kar'ex^v, as Liinemann 
says, has not the stress upon it, but the participle has, and 
therefore upri is not connected with vvv as the repetition of 
its meaning ; while f/S)], again, is in contrast with the phrase 
"in his own time." Some connect it with o'lSare, and as 
in contrast to eri — while he was yet with them he told them 
of those things already mentioned, and now after his writing 
they knew, or when they recalled his instructions they knew 
(Riggenbach). They knew either what hindered — the previous, 
or intermediate and necessary happening of the apostacy (Ben- 
gel, Storr, and Flatt) ; or, under another aspect suggested by 
Kern and Hilgenfeld, "ye now know Avhat preventeth the 
coming of Christ — namely, the prior manifestation of this self- 
deifying Man of Sin." But as these topics imply additional 
knowledge, the words would be vvv 6e kcu o'lSare. 

(2) The particle vvv may be taken with its logical significa- 
tion as an advance to a new thought. See under 1 Thess. iii, 
8. Compare Acts vii, 34 ; x, 5 ; xii, 11 ; 1 Cor. xiv, 6. "And 
now, those things being so," or passing away from the question 
and implied rebuke of the previous verse to another point — 
"ye now know what withholds;" so De Wette, Liinemann, 
Ewald, Alford, Ellicott ; not " and thus " (Koppe), nor igitur 
(Flatt, Pelt). Schott takes vvv in the sense of etiam nunc, com- 
pertwm habetis, non Mo tantum tempore, quo vos de his omni- 
bus coram edocui, cognovistis, quid adhuc ilium cohibeat. But 
the idea expressed by /caTc'xov is a new idea, and not contained 
in the ravra, and the words as Liinemann argues, would require 
to be to ovv Karex ov o'lSare ko.\ vvv, " }*e knew it then ; ye know 
it also now." The participle denotes what restrains or hinders 
or 70 kwKvov (Chrysostom). Luke iv, 42; Rom. i, IS; Sept., 
Gen. xxiv, 56 ; Xenoph., Mem. ii, G, 9. 

There are two important questions. What is the restraining 
power, and from what does it restrain \ The former will be 


considered in the appended Essay, and various answers have 
been given to the latter. (1) The meaning cannot be what 
hinders me from speaking more fully to you on Antichrist — to 
wit, the fear of incurring the wrath of Nero : such is the absurd 
view of Heinsius, which is contradicted by verses 7 and 8. (2) 
Nor is it the Second Advent which is so hindered (Noack), for 
avTov does not refer to Christ, as /cuTt'x«^ in verse 7 distinctly 
shows ; and therefore the true reference is to avBpunros tJJ? 
afxaprlas, the main theme of the present section, the 
(nroKa\v(p6tivai of this verse being identical with the airoKaKiKpd}] 
of verse 3 and the airoKaXv^Q^creTai of verse 8, and tcarexov is in 
contrast with "revealed in his time"; the restraining power holds 
him back from being revealed — from any premature manifesta- 
tion. The following ei$ to introduces not the result (Flatt), but 
the design of this restraining power, in order that he may be 
revealed ev tw eavrou tcaipcZ, " in his own time " — not before it, 
but in it (Matt, xx, 18 ; Luke i, 20 ; 1 Tim. vi, 15). A set time 
is appointed by God for the manifestation of the Man of Sin — 
a time neither to be antedated nor postponed, and the restrain- 
ing power which prevents his immediate appearance is also in 
God's hand. It is a mistranslation of els to to make it donee 
or usque clum, for it is not equivalent to eoog in the next verse. 
The revelation of the Man of Sin is so prearranged that it was 
not impending, and does not come by chance or at any self- 
selected epoch. Christ came in the fulness of the time, and his 
great, dark, and last counter-worker and caricature comes also 
in his own time. 

(Ver. 7.) To yap p.vaTi'/piov i'/Si] evepyeiTai Ttj? (wo/miag — " For 
the mystery already is working of lawlessness." Tap intro- 
duces confirmative explanation, as p.vuT)'jpiov is opposed to 
a7roKo\v(p6ijvai, what is hidden to what is manifest. "Ho 1 ;/ is in 
contrast with «V to enroKa\v<j>6rjvai, present as contrasted with 
future, and evepyetrai is in antithesis with rb Karexou, working 
and yet retarded from open outbreak. For /uLvarTi'/pioi/ see under 
Ephes. i, 9 ; v, 32. It is not something incomprehensible, but 
here something veiled and hidden, and apparently as yet un- 
known to the church, yet working its way toward the awful 
consummation. 'IZvepyeirai, middle, has an active sense as 
usually in the New Testament; not "is being wrought," or efficax 


redditur, but " worketh " (Estins, Calovius, Noesselt, Storr, 
Schott). See under Gal. ii, 8. 'Avo/uta — rendered " iniquity,'' 
Matt, xiii, 41; " unrighteousness," 2 Cor. vi, 14; "transgression 
of the law," 1 John iii, 4 — is lawlessness, the reference being to 
the law of God (1 John iii, 4, ;/ up.apTiu ecrr'iv fj dvop.'ia). This 
avo/uLia is utter and wanton disrespect for divine law ; not only 
the wilful non-recognition of it, but perhaps the virtual super- 
seding of it by some godless self-constituted and usurping 
authority. Trench, Synon., ii, § 16. In — 

to /uvcrruptov tjJ? avofiias, the genitive does not seem to be 
that of opposition (Lunemann, De Wette, Alford) ; nor is the 
meaning von derselben und fur dieselbe gemacht ; nor is it the 
hidden plans of wickedness (Kern, Baumgarten-Crusius) ; nor 
does it signify the agent or source, t/}? dvopias iray^v (Theodoret)- 
The genitive is that of the characterizing principle, die domin- 
irenden Eigensclwften (Scheuerlein, p. 115), or that of contents. 
This mystery is characterized specially by uvopla as its 
leading and distinctive principle, or it is so filled with it as to 
take its character from it. Nor does the phrase mean, evil 
working under pretext of good (Flatt). But the moment lies 
on jULucrr/ipiou from its position, and by its emphatic separation 
from its genitive by the adverb and verb. Nor can the refer- 
ence of the phrase be to a person, as Simon Magus (Grotius), 
as if the mystery was in apposition with the Lawless one. Thus 
Clirysostom, " He speaks here of Nero as if he w T ere the type of 
Antichrist, for he too wished to be thought a God." The 
opinion of Olshausen is similar. Christ, according to him, is 
called the mystery of godliness in 1 Tim. iii, 16, and that too 
because in Him God Himself appeared in the flesh; so His coun- 
terpart is here called the mystery of lawlessness, because in him 
the devil was manifest in the flesh, 6 SidfioXos e<pavepw9i] ev 
aapKi. But the Man of Sin is, according to verse 9, not an incar- 
nation of the devil (of which Scripture knows nothing), but an 
inspiration of the devil — not didbolus, sed diaboli praecipuum 
organum, and the mystery is not a person, but a process. 
Nor can the meaning proposed by Krebs, then by Hofmann 
and Heydenreich, be sustained, " a confounding and incon- 
ceivable extreme of wickedness " — Joseph., De Bello Jud., i, 
24, 1, being quoted in proof. But this signification is not in 


harmony with the context, which places the mystery in virtual 
antithesis with the revelation. To ~MvcrWipiov rqs dvo/ila? is 
allied to the a-Koarracria, not as identical with it, but as con-' 
nected with it, both being preparatory to the public manifesta- 
tion of this self-made God. The mystery of lawlessness was I 
working at the moment, but its nature was undetected and its 
huge development unguessed at. That wickedness existed 
already in germ, but the germs were of continuous and un- 
suspected activity and growth ; there were principles of incipi- 
ent lawlessness at work, which would gather into them kindred 
elements, and combine and ripen at length into that terrible 
personal manifestation — the Man of Sin. 

This mystery was to work up to a certain point, until the 
power that bore back the Man of Sin should be removed. 

fxovov 6 KaTi\u>v apTl eW e/c /uecrou yixnyrai — "only till he who 
now restraineth be taken out of the way." Many have thought 
that this verse required in some way to be supplemented. 
(1) Some supply e<m — only there is one who restraineth 
(Knatchbull, Benson, and Baumgarten) ; but a word of such 
importance and as something more than a mere copula, could 
scarcely be omitted, and there is no necessity for the supplement, 
which mars the compact brevity of the clause. (2) Numerous 
expositors supply a verb to the participle, tantum ut qui tenet 
nunc teneat, donee de medio fiat (Vulgate), "only he who 
letteth will let until he be taken out of the way." Instead of 
teneat some supply tenebit or obstablt, some Karexei, some 
KaOe£ei, and others Karex^ro. Various are the objects which 
the verb so supplied is imagined to govern — qui tenet 
nunc fidem catholicam teneat earn firmiter (De Lyra), and 
similarly Zegerus and Estius, while Vatablus gives it as 
solus liodie Christi aclventum detinens, et remorans, donee 
per ipsius Christi adventum tollatur; rhv upxw — crui im- 
perium tenet — is the filling up of Bos, and avopiav of Schott. 
But the masculine cannot have a different meaning from the 
neuter participle in the previous verse, and the withhold- 
ing plainly refers to the manifestation of the Man of Sin. 
Others transpose ecog and put it before 6 Karexcov apri, till only 
he who still withholds it, shall be taken out of the way (Rosen- 
muller, Heydenreich, Schott) ; but such a version does not 


correspond with '//Si]. Olshausen and Pelt regard the clause as 
a fusion of several propositions into one, but such a supposition 
is quite unwarranted. ~M6vov is not to be taken with the first 
clause, either with puo-ri'ipiov, as Jowett — "the hidden mystery- 
is already at work, but only as a hidden mystery"; or with 
evepyeirai, as "Wordsworth — "worketh inwardly only, to be 
hereafter revealed outwardly." But \xovov belonging to eW 
states the temporal limitation of evepye'irai, and commences a 
protasis, the apodosis being in the following verse, icai rore, &c. 
The moment is on 6 Karexov, placed therefore before ew? as 
in Gal. ii, 10, povov row irro^x^v ^va pvtjpovevoipev, and apri is 
closely connected with it — not actually at the present time, but 
present time in the conception of the writer. The mystery 
works already and will work in preparation for the Lawless one, 
till the restraining power which bars back his open revelation 
of himself be removed. The century or year implied in eco? is 
not given. The last words eic pecrov yev^rai, are not necessarily 
to be understood of a violent removal (Olshausen, Baumgarten- 
Crusius); the fact is given without any assertion of the man- 
ner (1 Cor. v, 2; Col. ii, 14). The opposite phrase ev peanp elvai 
means to be in the way, to be a hindrance, so that etc pecrov 
ylyvecrOai means to be taken out of the way, to cease to 
be a hindrance. Plutarch, Timol, p. 238 ; Herodot., viii, 22 ; 
Xenoph., Cyrop., v, 2, 26 ; Sept., Is. lvii, 2. The nominative 
to yev>irai is 6 Karexov without doubt, and therefore Zuingli, 
after Augustine, is wrong in referring it to the Man of Sin — 
his interpretation being, " only he who holds any element of 
truth now should hold it fast till Antichrist is taken away." 
Similarly Calvin, who says that the apostle makes both 
statements in reference to one person, Antichrist being thus 
the person to be taken out of the way, adding et participiv/m 
" obtincns" resolvi debet in futibvum tempus. This exegesis 
recmires a different meaning to be given to the masculine 
participle from the neuter one, and connects this verse with 
verse 5. The neuter Karexov of the previous verse is ex- 
changed for the masculine Karex m> > ^ ie restraining power being- 
no w regarded as in an embodied form or individuality. 

(Ver. 8.) Kcu Tore air o Ka\v(pO//creT a i 6 uvopo$ — "And then 
shall be revealed the Lawless one," avopla like Karexov being 


now viewed as a living personality. The emphasis is on the 
phrase kcu tots, "and then," when the power or person with- 
holding shall have been removed out of the way, taking up the 
point of time indicated by /jlovov ea>$ and echoing ev rip Katpco. 
A.-n-OKa\v(f)di'](TeTO.i looks back to to /uLvtrrypiov evepyeiTai — no 
longer a veiled working, but an open undisguised personal 
manifestation — repeating the airoKaXvcpOrjvai of verse 6, and the 
u7roKa\v<pO}] of verse 3, and 6 avop.o$ takes up T/79 avopuas, 
viewed now as a living personality. There is no doubt that 
6 avo/jLo? is the same with airro? in verse 6, and with the 
6 av6pw7ros rriv ajuaprlag of verse 3. The opposite opinion of 
Grotius is utterly baseless. The terms avo/ula, uvopoq point 
out so far what the form of wickedness is which the Man 
of Sin will assume — lawlessness, as described in verse 4 — not 
heathenism, nor polytheism, but the audacious and profligate 
setting aside of all rule, the casting off of all divine 
supremacy, and the establishment of an autonomy, his 
arrogant and godless self-will being the only law. What has 
been so long working as a mystery and growing in lawless 
energy, and which in the interval has been kept back by a 
stronger hand from open manifestation, shall at length assume 
a personal shape, and appear as a "man" verifying his title 
as the Lawless one ; not an outlaw or one beyond law, but 
one above law, subject to no rule save his own as the highest 
power — God disowned and His legislation superseded, not by 
atheism, or by dull negative anarchy, but by wild and virulent 
antitheism, enthroned in blasphemous and God-defying outrage. 
As Christ glorified all divine law in His obedience unto death 
and was the righteous one, the servant of Jehovah, so this 
counterpart — not a pseudo-Christ, but truly an Antichrist — 
flings all divine law off and away, and stands out as the 
Lawless one and as a God-personating usurper. The apostle 
adds in haste and to comfort the believers — 

ov 6 Kupio? T^croL'? aveXei tw TrvevpaTi Tov crrojuarog 
avrou kcu Karapyijo-ei Tfl eTrKfxxvelcL Ttjs Ttapovaias avrov — 
" whom the Lord Jesus shall consume with the breath of His 
mouth, and shall destroy with the appearance of His coming." 
The Received Text omits 'hjcrous with B D 3 K L, many mss., 
and some of the fathers, but 6 Kupto? 'L/o-oy? has the authority 


of A D 1 F L' 2 N, both Latin and both Syriac versions, the Coptic, 
and very many of the fathers, both Greek and Latin. For dveXet 
the Received Text has avaXaxrei, with D 3 K L, and some of 
the fathers ; dveXei is found in A B and some of the fathers. 
This form has authority from the fact that a somewhat similar 
reading dvdXoi occurs in M 1 , and dveXoi in D 1 F N 3 . The 
reading of D 1 is, however, doubtful, and dveXe7 may be a con- 
formation to Isaiah xi, 4. These twin clauses have the 
ring of the old Hebrew prophetic parallellism, and are, 
perhaps, an echo of Isaiah xi, 4 ; kui Trardgei yrjv tm Xoyw 
tou (TTop.aTOs auTOU, kui ei> irvevfxari Sia xeiXewv dveXei 
ucre/3ij. The apostle has not finished his account of the Lawless 
one, but he hastens, ere he adds some dark features to the 
picture, to assure his readers of his final and certain des- 
truction. If he verify his name as " The Man of Sin," he shall 
also verify his name as " The Son of Perdition." If dveXei be 
adopted, the verb avaiplw signifies often to put away, 
or to put out of the way — spoken of death, or a public 
execution, &c.,- — in many places both of the gospels and Acts. 
Compare also Heb. x, 9 ; Polyb., xxxii, 1, 3 ; Xenoph., 
Cyrop., i, 1, 1. See on a similar form Phrynichus, ed. Lobeck, 
p. 183. If hvaXwa-ei be adopted, it means in the classics " to use 
up," as money, in a bad sense, and the verb dvaXio-Koo is also 
used of persons in the New Testament (Luke ix, 54; Gal. v, 
15), representing in the Sept. the Hebrew bsx, " to eat up," "to 
devour " (Jer. 1, 7), and it describes the result of fire four 
times in Ezekiel and twice in Joel. It also stands for rta in 
Gen. xli, 30, and Is. xxxii, 10. IIveu/uLu is used with its 
original signification of breath (Is. xi, 4; Rev. xi, 11, &c.) 
Compare Gen. vi, 17 ; vii, 22. The figure is a very expressive 
one. His mere breath as he comes the second time will con- 
sume his terrible antagonist. Compare Ps. xxxiii, (J ; Wisdom 
xi, 20, 21. It is needless to take off from the impressive force 
and simple majesty of the figure by any rude and prosaic 
analysis. But (1) Theodoret and Theodore of Mopsuestia refer 
the term to a cry or word uttered ; the first has (pQeygerai 
fxovov, and the second /uovov eVi/Soj/a-a?, followed by the quaint 
explanation that we employ breath in articulate speech {Opera, 
ed. Fritzsche, p. 148). (2) Vatablus and a-Lapide take it as 


meaning the condemnatory sentence of* a judge, jussu suo, 
verbo suo, sua sententia — a tame explanation. Similarly Calvin 
explains Trpev/xa by verbum, aud Pelagius more vaguely, ccelesti 
imperio, vel solo. (3) Atlianasius understands by Trvevp.d the 
divine or Holy Spirit (Epist. ad Scrap., 1, G, p. 547, Opera, 
vol. II, Migne) ; and the same view is given in the alter- 
native explanation of Theophylact. But the phrase carries 
on the face of it its plain and natural sense, and implies the 
ease and perhaps the suddenness of the annihilation of the 
Lawless one. The verb Karapyelv, often used by the apostle, is 
" to put down," " to do away with," " to destroy " (Rom. vi, 6 ; 
1 Cor. vi, 13 ; xv, 24 ; 2 Cor. iii, 7). The meaning is not to 
make inoperative, as Calovius, Olshausen, and Riggenbach, 
referring to Rev. xix, 15-19, which describes the fate of the 
beast and the false prophet. Uapovcrla. is here, as everywhere 
in this connection, the Second Personal Advent, and the places 
are so numerous that they need not be quoted. See under 

1 Thess. ii, 19. 

'E7n</>aVeia is simply appearance, and it is usually in the 
Authorized Version rendered "appearing," as 1 Tim. vi, 14; 

2 Tim. i, 10 ; iv, 1, 8 ; Titus ii, 13 ; but here the Authorized 
Version, after the Genevan and the Bishops', gives "bright- 
ness," Tyndale, however, having " appearance," and the Latin- 
ized Rheims, " manifestation of His Advent," the Vulgate, 
illustrations, but the Claromontane, aspectu. The idea of 
brightness or glory does not belong to the term — rtj? 
Sot;}]? is added in Titus ii, 13; an immense number of 
expositors, however, unwarrantably attach such an idea to the 
word in this place. The appearance must be glorious, but the 
apostle does not say so, and the expression is all the more 
significant that he does not say so. The term is applied to the 
First Coming (2 Tim. i, 10), " made manifest by the appearing 
of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death;" and 
it is, as applied to the Second Advent, followed by some title 
of the Saviour (1 Tim. vi, 14), " until the appearing of our 
Lord Jesus Christ" (Titus ii, 13); once it is connected with 
/3acrtXe/av (2 Tim. iv, 1), " who shall judge the quick and 
the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom " ; once it 
stands by itself (2 Tim. vi, 8); eirKpam^ is applied to foe- 


pav l\.vplov (Acts ii, 20). The noun is used in the classics 
of the appearance of a deity to aid a worshipper (Diodor. 
Sic, i, 17 ; Athenseus, xii, 542). Compare 2 Mace, iii, 24; the 
so-called second epistle of Clement 12; Suicer, Thes., sub 
voce; and Wetstcin, in loc. Olshausen's distinction serves 
no good purpose — that the first is the subjective, and the 
second the objective aspect ; the meaning is that His 
coming has only to make itself visible, when the result 
described by KUTapyetv shall take place. The first gleam of 
His presence shall destroy His antagonist. " Let God arise," 
sang the Psalmist in a similar spirit, " and let His enemies be 
scattered." The bringing to nought of the Man of Sin, there- 
fore, does not happen till the Second Advent. The phrase on 
that account does not mean the entrance of Christ's word into 
the heart (Zuingli). Chrysostom says, " it is enough for Him 
to be present, and all these things are destroyed. He will 
put a stop to the deceit by only appearing." The two clauses 
are not different things, though the one may precede the other, 
but the words mean that the coming shows itself as a visible 
reality. The first clause also is clearly connected with this 
one as its preceding feature. The breath is not His word and 
spirit operating in hominum anhnis (Hunnius) invisibly in 
time, nor is wind or storm as heralding Him to be thought of, 
but it is the breath issuing from His mouth, as He is coming 
nearer and nearer to destroy this blasphemous assumer of 
divine prerogative. 

(Ver. 0.) ov ecTTiv i) 7rapoucrla kut evepyeiav tou "EaTava — 
" whose coming is after the working of Satan." The relative 
takes up b ccVo/xo?, after his awful, irresistible, and sudden doom 
is told by anticipation. By the use of irapova-'ia the apostle 
brings the Man of Sin into immediate connection and contrast 
with the personal Jesus, though at different points of time. 
Tlapovcrla belongs to each — to Christ at His last coming; to Anti- 
christ at an earlier period of his human manifestation, but at 
an epoch future to the composition of the epistle. 'EcttJv, 
the ethical present, asserts the certainty of the coming event 
(Lunemann), " either as unchangeably determined, or about to 
take place by some unalterable arrangement." Winer, § 40, 2. 
For 7rapovcria, see under last verse, and 1 Thess. ii ; 19. Or 


eo-Tiv may be used doctrinal]} 7 , describing, as Alford says, " the 
essential attribute" (1 Cor. xv, 35). KaT« is best taken with 
its usual signification, " according to," not " in consequence of," 
in Folge (De Wette). It serves no good purpose to take kut 
evepyeiav tov Harava as an independent clause, 6 dvofios appear- 
ing as a working or energy of Satan. It is better to connect 
the clause with ea-Tiv — ev. The one view is, that the coming is 
after the energy of Satan, and the second that it is a coming in 
false wonders, /car' evepyeiav tov 1,arava, pointing to the source 
of the power so put forth. The Syriac, indeed, has cnA>Z£o 
U&ed? •-•en ]2QJ r aik2 ocrb •,-•».. The entire coming of the 
Man of Sin is full of Satan's power, and is displaying itself in 
these false miracles. Just as in Christ the fulness of the Godhead 
dwelt bodily, so without there being an incarnation, without 
there being a personal union, Satan's fulness dwells in the Man 
of Sin, dowering him with superhuman craft and might, and 
finding a fitting agent and organ in him. This irapova-la of the 
lawless one is a Satanic counterpart, or infernal mimicry of 
Christ's -irapovarla, as the following context also shows. Being- 
according to the inworking of Satan, its sphere is — 

ev Trucri] Svvd.ju.ei /ecu anj/aeiois kcu repacriv \JscvSovs — " in all 
powers and signs and prodigies of lying." Udo-y singular, used 
with the first noun, yet agrees with all three of them, and with 
its extensive signification denotes "all kinds of" (Winer, § 59, 
5 b; Matt, iv, 23; Eph. i, 21), and ev denotes the sphere 
(Winer, § 48, 3). The genitive \fsevoovs is probably that of the 
characterizing qualities. But Lunemann and De Wette take it 
as the genitive of purpose — der Genitivus des Gesichtspunhtes 
— " wonders whose aim is lying." Winer, § 30, 2 6. And so 
Chrysostom explains alternatively eig \jsevSos ayoven. But the 
characterization of these miracles would seem to be a more im- 
mediate necessity than a statement of their purpose ; and if 
they were false themselves, they could not but lead to falsehood, 
and they must have had their origin in it. In fact, Alford 
brings together the three possible meanings of source, character, 
and result — all have falsehood for their basis, essence, and aim ; 
and so also Riggenbach, Theodoret, Calovius, Turretin, Ols- 
hausen take the word in a somewhat similar way. Theodoret's 
illustration is, they show gold which is not gold, XP V(T0V °^ K 


dXrjOatg ovto. xp v <tov. Chrysostom, GKcumenius and Theophylact 
mention both interpretations of the genitive — character and 
result — but do not decide. Hofmann finds the epithet specially 
verified in the antagonism of these miracles to the truth. The 
nouns Suvd/u.ei$, cn/yuem, repara, are words of similar meaning, 
and the three are found in a somewhat different order in Acts ii, 
22, and in Heb. ii, 4— "God also bearing them witness both 
with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles." These 
phenomena are works of power, signs or tokens of divine 
interposition, and also prodigies or rare and startling mani- 
festations. ^}]/txecou is the highest term applied to a true 
miracle, and it often occurs in the gospel of John. The words 
are allied in signification, and the phrase may set them over 
against the true miracles of the Son of God, " a man approved 
of God among you by miracles, and wonders, and signs." Com- 
pare Matt, xxiv, 24; Rev. xiii, 14. There is no proof whatever 
that these are miracles in the proper sense of the term ; real 
miracles misleading into the belief that they are done by divine 
power (Augustine). Riggenbach calls them "monstrosities with- 
out any saving object, but not, therefore, mere juggleries." But 
can any one but God work a miracle ? See Farmer on the one 
side and Trench on the other. No doubt the wonders referred to- 
are to be startling and portentous, the last exhibition of Satan's 
craft and power through the Lawless one, the last concentration 
of all hellish energy and cunning ; and men may be led to 
regard them as proofs and indications of divine power on the 
part of him who sits in the temple of God, dispossessing God 
of His seat ; showing himself in this way among others, that he 
is God. Falsehood is Satan's essence and element, and it is 
embodied in this, his last and chosen human organ, the Man 
of Sin, not only the usurper of God's prerogative, but also the 
malignant arch-deceiver. 

(Ver. 10.) Kal ev irda-i] airdrfl aSiKia? — "and in all deceit 
of unrighteousness." The Received Text has t>/? before 
aSiKias, with DKL N 3 , and some of the fathers, but the omission 
has the higher authority of A B F N 1 , &:c. The conjunction 
introduces a fuller statement, which gathers up into itself the 
previous particulars. Winer, § 53, 3. What was said of 
\Jrev8ovs may be said of this genitive. The deceit is charac- 


terized by unrighteousness, or it leads to it (Estius, Aretius, 
Grotius, De Wette) ; its utterly iniquitous nature may be 
specially dwelt on. The Lawless one is wholly iniquitous and 
deceitful; he lives in guile, and that guile is ever hostile to 
righteousness. He does his work by seduction and lying, both 
in the false wonders and also in every possible form of wicked 
imposture. There is thus a terrible accumulation of epithets 
throughout the paragraph — a man of sin, a counter-God, mystery 
of iniquity, lawless one, working of Satan, false miracles, and 
every sort of iniquitous deceit. No wonder that perdition and 
thorough destruction are associated with them. But this deceit 
of unrighteousness does not prevail over every class; it has 
efficacy only — 

tch? a7roX\vjuLevois — "for those that are perishing." The 
Received Text has kv before to?s with D 3 K L S 3 . but the pre- 
position is wanting in A B D 1 F W 1 , in the Latin and Coptic 
versions, and in several of the Greek and Latin fathers. The 
phrase is therefore in what is called dativus incommodi. The 
Authorized Version, by its punctuation, connects the words 
exclusively with the previous clause, " deceivableness of un- 
righteousness in them that perish," and so Heydenreich, Flatt, 
Hofmann, Baumgarten-Crusius. The reference is better taken 
to the whole previous verse, the entire false and Satanic 
diplomacy there characterized. But the connection cannot be 
that indicated by Schott, fraudibus imjj'ris, quae patrantur 
inter homines miseros, nor that given by Benson, " by their 
fraudulent practices the Man of Sin and his adherents will 
greatly prevail. But among whom ? Among men, but men of 
corrupt minds." The tois a7roX\vjuLepoi? are those who are 
perishing, and the reason of their perishing state follows. 
Turretin gives the meaning as qui exitlo digni sunt adeoque 
certissime sunt perituri; Grotius, apud cos, qui evangelio 
credere noluerunt, ac propterea perituri sunt. The present 
tense characterizes their future perdition as already decided 
(Liinemann), as those who are perishing at the time in con- 
templation (Ellicott). 1 Cor. i, 18; 2 Cor. ii, 15; iv, 3. 
Theodoret describes them as those who, though the Lawless 
one had not come, had deprived themselves of salvation. The 
sentence that consigns them to perdition is God's sentence, as 


we are told in i, 6, 9; but they bring their sentence on them- 
selves, as the apostle goes on very distinctly to affirm — 

dv6' tov ri]v uydirrjv Ttjs a\)i6eia<? ovk eSe^avTo eig to <ro)6tjvai 
avTOvg — " because they did not receive the love of the truth 
that they might be saved." The significant phrase, avQ' 
wv is "in return," "in requital for" (Luke i, 20; xix, 44; „ 
Acts xii, 23 ; Sept., Lev. xxiv, 20 ; 1 Kings xi, 11 ; Joel iii, 5 ; 
Xenoph., Anab., i, 3, 4 ; v, 5, 14 ; Winer, § 47 a ; Haphelius and 
Wetstein'm Luc, i, 20). In the phrase aya-m/v r>/9 aXtjOela?, the 
genitive is naturally that of object — the love that has the truth 
for its object. The meaning, therefore, is not charitatem veram 
(Anselm), nor does the love of the truth here mean Christ, as 
the Greek fathers supposed, He being the love of the truth 
because He truly and really loved us. The truth is especially 
Christian truth, in which all truth culminates; the truth by the 
love and reception of which men are saved. But to receive the 
love of the truth is more than to receive the truth (Kern, 
Jowett). To want the love of the truth is to be wholly 
indifferent to its claims, and to be wholly unsusceptible of its 
beauty, power, and adaptation. The truth might be received 
in some faint and fragmentary form — held so lightly, and 
understood so superficially, that no true love for it might co- 
exist ; and where this love for it is absent, the mind is open to 
assaults and hesitations, and is self-prepared for falling a 
victim to such astute frauds as are so artfully practised by the 
Lawless one. EiV to, the infinitive of purpose, in order to 
their being saved. The love of the truth had salvation for its 
object, but that they disregarded. In their indifference to the 
means they rejected the end; or rather being careless about the 
end, they neglected the means. 

(Ver. 11.) /ecu Slu tovto Tre/A-irei avTOts o Geo? evtpyeiap ir\av>}$, 
ei$ to TricrTevcrat civtou? tw ifseuSet — " and on this account God 
is sending them an inworking error that they should believe a 
lie." The Received Text reads -7re/u\Jsci with D 3 K L N 4 and 
very many versions, with several of the fathers, but the 
present has in its favour A B D 1 F N 1 ; besides, the change would 
be naturally suggested by the occurrence of the clause in a 
prophecy. Kai has virtually a consecutive force — " and so," 
for this reason, that is, because they received not the love of 


the truth. '~Rvepyeta TrXdvtjs is not a "strong delusion," for the 
phrase refers not to the passive result, but to the active cause, 
Kal 7r\ai'}'/crat icrxuoucrav (CEcumenius). Nor is it irkavrjv 
evepyov, but evlpyeia is an activity which deepens and circulates 
the Tr\dv)] — on this last word see under 1 Thess. ii, 3. The 
genitive may again be that of the point of view, or of charac- 
terization — the in working is marked by error, and is moulded 
by it, 7r\dv>]? corresponding to the \Isau8oui of verse 9. 
Ei? to points out the final purpose, and not the mere result, 
mit dem Erfolje (Baumgarten-Crusius), or, " so as they will 
believe a lie" (Maeknight); non meram sequelam, sed consilium 
indicat (Schott). Hofmann's connection Avith eiV to is gewalt- 
sam, strained, as Llinemann calls it. To> \fsev8ei is " the lie," 
not falsehood in the abstract, or falsehood generally, but the 
falsehood just detailed, and involved in the phrases, the coming 
of the Lawless one, working of Satan — the liar, power and signs 
and wonders of falsehood, deceit of iniquity — all this complex 
array and network of imposture which belongs to the open 
manifestation of the Man of Sin, and by which they are 
entangled and taken. " The lie " is opposed to the truth the 
love of which they did not receive, and the want of which 
left their minds an easy prey to this machinery of deception. 
They believe the pretensions of this wretched mimic and 
dethroner of God ; his false wonders they take as genuine 
miracles; they believe the lie. This unparalleled hallucination 
indicates a mysterious state of mind and of society — anti- 
christian, antitheistic, credulous, with a fatal facility of being- 
imposed upon by hellish mastery and subtlety; and the apostle 
expressly says — 

irkfxiret avroig 6 Geo*,- — "God is sending them this in working 
of error to the end that they may believe the lie." The present 
is used probably as a species of doctrinal present, connecting 
itself continuously or contemporaneously with the process 
which the apostle is describing. Liineinann, Ellicott, and 
others regard it as a direct present, the mystery of iniquity 
being even now at work. True; but the decided development 
of the mystery is laid in that far future, to which belongs God's 
action of sending the in working of error. This infliction 
directly ascribed to God is glossed over by not a few commen- 


tators, as the Greek fathers, and many after them, as if the 
verb " He is sending" only meant "He permits to be sent." 
As a specimen, (Ecumenius explains, To ire/xyfrei, yu?) ovrca 
Se£y, (o? toO Qeov ire jjlttovto?, aXXa tv)v airo tov Qeov 
cruyx^pwiv, ovtco? e6o$ KaXeiv ra> UavXcp. Joannes Damas- 
cenus writes, To Se a7ro<7Te\ec avroig o Geo?, trvyx^pwei 
a.7ro<TTa\rivai, quoting as analogous Rom. i, 26. Schott 
explains, haud raro, quae Deum sapienter permittere dicamus, 
ejusmodi formulis enuntiari, quae Deum hanc perversitatem 
summam immittentem . . . describant. The Eastern church 
had less profound views of divine relations and acts than the 
Western church. The wilful and persistent rejection of the 
truth God punishes with judicial blindness, so that the power 
of discernment is blunted, and error comes to be accepted as 
truth — nay, the perversity becomes sometimes so morbid that 
men bring on them the woe pronounced against such as "call 
evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light 
for darkness ; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter " 
(Is. v, 20). Sin often receives its chastisement in a deeper 
load of sin ; is punished by the sinner's sinking into worse 
enormities. Indifference to the truth gets its divine recompense 
in its facile seduction into gross and grosser errors. It indeed, 
by its own spiritual callousness, lays itself open to such awful 
retribution ; but this punitive infliction is in itself God's own 
act, according to His own fixed procedure as Moral Governor. 
The Scripture ever recognizes His immediate agency in such 
penal visitations, whatever instrumentality may be employed. 
Compare 1 Kings xxii, 20; 2 Sam. xxiv, 1; Job. xii, 10 ; Is. 
lxvi, 3, 4 ; Ezek. xiv, 9. 

(Ver. 12.) \va Kpidoxriv airavTe? ol fxtj irio-revo-avTes r>j 
aXtjOela, ciAX' evSoKijo-avre? (ev) rfj aStKia — " in order that they 
all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had 
pleasure in unrighteousness." The readings diravre? and 
7rdvT€s are pretty nearly balanced, the former having in its 
favour AFX, and the latter B D E L, mss., and many of the 
fathers. The authorities for and against eV are pretty nearly 
balanced — it is bracketed by Lachmann, and rejected by 
Tischendorf in his first edition. The preposition may have 
been omitted to balance the clauses, as in B D F K", but it is 



found in A D 3 K L N 1 , and the construction with the simple 
dative does not occur in the New Testament, though the accus- 
ative of the object is found. The first clause (u>a) develops, 
not the result (Koppe, Pelt, Schott), but the final purpose, a 
purpose more remote than that expressed by eh to of the 
previous clause, though connected with it as a step in the fatal 
progress, and connected too with Trefxirei, indicating a more 
distant divine act, which leads eh to iriarevcrai. The simple verb 
KpiOoocriv does not of itself here or elsewhere express the idea 
of condemned, " damned," but the context plainly implies it. 
The sin is heinous, and the judgment is according to truth. 
The aorist, 7rio-Tev<ravT€s, glances back at the period which has 
passed before the judgment, and the object of this denied 
belief is 777 aXqOeia, the love of which they had not received, 
and faith in which, therefore, they did not possess — their faith 
being given in judicial infatuation to the lie. This clause 
expresses negatively what the clause beginning with eh to 
affirms, and the next clause expresses positively what the 
clause commencing with uvQ' &v puts into a negative form. 
For evSoKeco see i, 11. To have delight in unrighteousness, 
in what is opposed to the divine character and law, must from 
its nature foster unbelief, and suffocate all love of the truth. 
There is thus a moral reason for want of faith in the truth, 
and that is delight in unrighteousness, which is wholly incom- 
patible with it. 

The apostle now thanks God for their election, and their 
realization of it, exhorts them to adhere to sound teaching, and 
asks for them divine comfort and confirmation. 

(Ver. 13.) ' H/u.ei<? Se 6<pei\o/u.ev ev^apicrTeiv tm Qeu> nravTore irepi 
{^wv — " But we are bound to give thanks to God always for 
you." By Se he passes to another and different subject. They 
are judged who believe not the truth, but for you we are bound 
to give thanks. By tjfxeh he does not mean himself alone 
(Jowett, Conybeare), but includes his colleagues Silvanus and 
Timothy. For the form of the phrase, &c, see under i, 3. 
We not only do it; we cannot help doing it. It is an 
obligation to which we gladly bow. Riggenbach approves 
of Hofmann's connection — that over against the antichristian 
deception which God will send, and which has already begun 


we, the preachers of the gospel, give thanks for what He is 
now doing by us to save you from the coming judgment. 
Such a connection is rather laboured. 

uSeX^o] riya.TrtiiJ.evoL vtto Kvplov — " brethren beloved by the 
Lord." See under 1 Thess. 1, 4. There it is Qeov, here Kvplov, 
meaning Christ, the prevailing reference in the epistles and 
especially here ; for though love in this aspect is usually ascribed 
to the Father, yet as tw Gey precedes and 6 Geo? follows, 
Kvplov must have a different personal allusion. Rom. viii, 37 ; 
Gal. ii, 20; Ephes. v, 2, 25. See under Ephes. 1, 2. The 
ground or theme of thanksgiving is now 'given — 

on elXaro 6 Geo? cnr' apxy? eiV crtOTypiav — " that God 
chose you from the beginning unto salvation." The Received 
Text reads e'lXero, with K and many mss., but the Alex- 
andrian form, elXaro, has the overwhelming authority of 
A B D F L N. Compare 1 Thess. 1, 4. "On, "to wit, 
that," is expository in nature, and introduces the matter 
of the thanksgiving. Donaldson, Gr. Gr., § 5, 84 ; Winer, § 53, 
!). Only in this place does the apostle use alpeiaOai of the 
divine election, eKXeyerrOcu being employed by him in 1 Cor. 
i, 27, 28. ; Ephes. i, 4. But the word is employed in the 
Septuagint in the compound verb, Deut. vii, 6,7 ; x, 15, and 
the simple verb, xxvi, 18. Compare Philip, i, 22 ; Heb. xi. 25. 
See under Ephes. i, 4. The purpose, the divine choice, was et? 
ara)T>ipiav, "unto salvation," as if in contrast to that awful 
Kpiaris, which falls on those who believe not the truth. See 
under 1 Thess. v, 9. The epoch of the divine choice is — 

aV dpx^y " f rom tne beginning." 

(1) There is a reading uTrupxvv, supported by B F, a very 
few mss, the Vulgate which has pri/mitias, and Joannes Dama- 
scenus who reads in his commentary wcnrep uirapxw- The 
reading is also found in Cyril, Ambrosiaster, and Pelagius, 
and is accepted by Lachmann, Jowett, and Riggenbach ; 
but the common reading has in its favour AD KLN, the 
Claromontane Latin which has ab initio, and similarly many 
Greek and Latin fathers. Lunemann alleges that the assertion 
would not be historically true, as the Thessalonians were not 
the first believers in Macedonia, and that, therefore, the word 
cannot be used as in Rom. xvi, 5, " firstfruits of Asia " ; 1 Cor. 


xvi, 15, " The house of Stephanas, firstfruits of Achaia." But 
Riggenbach and Hofmann find only this vague idea — " first- 
fruits in comparison with the rest of the world " — the mass of 
the profane. To this there are two objections — first, where 
James (i, 18) uses the term with such a reference he qualifies 
it by ri9 ; and second, in the two places referred to, " first- 
fruits of Asia," " firstfruits of Achaia," the reference is to an 
individual and to a household. Rev. xiv, 4 explains itself — 
" being firstfruits to God and the Lamb." But apart from such 
reasonings the reading is on good grounds to be rejected. (2) 
Some give air a/>xw a relative or a temporal signification, " from 
the beginning " of the gospel among you. Thus Zuingli — ab 
initio praedicationis ; similarly Vorstius, Krause, Michaelis. 
Such a sense would have required some notifying addition, as 
in Philip, iv, 15, "in the beginning of the gospel," and the con- 
nection of the phrase with 6 Oeo? elXaro is wholly different 
from its use and position in Luke i, 2, and in 1 John ii, 7, 24. 
Schrader opines from this alleged signification that the writer 
of the epistle supposes that a long time had elapsed since the 
gospel was first preached in Thessalonica, and could not, there- 
fore, be the apostle Paul. (3) The phrase is to be taken in an 
absolute, though in a popular sense, from eternity. Compare 1 
John i, 1 ; ii, 13, and also John i, 1 ; Isaiah xliii, 13 — Kvpios 6 
Geo? en air apxw- The phrase, with this meaning, is unique 
in the apostle's writings, his modes of expression being 7rpo 
toov alwvoov, 1 Cor. ii, 7 ; irpo /cara/3oXi/? koct/uou, Eph. 1, 4 ; airo 
twv aicovcov, Eph. iii, 9 ; similarly, Col. i, 26 ; irpo YjOoV&w aiwvicov, 
2 Tim. i. 9. The choice of God is, from its nature, an eternal 
choice, though His call takes pla,ce in time, and through the 
preaching of the gospel. This divine and ultimate aspect and" 
origin of human salvation the apostle rejoices to contemplate, 
as, rising above all human instrumentalities, weakness, and 
failures, it carries all back to His blessed sovereignty and His 
gracious self-formed purpose, and gives Him all the glory. 

ep ayiaarp-w irvevfxarog — " in sanctification of the Spirit." Two 
erroneous views of this clause have been given ; first, that of 
De YVettc that ev, directly connected with eiXaro, is virtually 
«?, chosen to sanctification, the nearest object of the divine elec- 
tion. But eV bears its common signification, and to give it the 


sense of eh would obscure el? aooniplav. Nov can ev here mean 
sub conditions, (Pelt). Secondly, some understand by wvevfia 
the human spirit — as Koppe and Schott. The absence of the 
article does not necessitate such a meaning, as its omission 
may be accounted for by what Middleton calls the principle of 
correlation, i.e., where the noun governing is indefinite, the 
governed becomes anarthrous (Greek Article, p. 30, and the 
modifying explanation in the note.) The connection of the 
clause has been variously understood. (1) Some connect it 
immediately with o-coT^piav, as Schott, Baumgarten-Crusius, 
Hofmann, Biggenbach. The meaning then is, salvation by 
means of sanctification, &c, ev being regarded as instrumental, 
as in Theophylact's explanation, eawuev v/ ayidua? oiu rov 
7rvev/uLa.T0?, and Chrysostom says expressly that ev is used for 
Sid — 'ISoit to, ev, irdXiv Sia ecrnv. (2) It is better to connect the 
last clauses of the verse with e^Xaro et? o-coriipiav, and then ev 
may be taken in its more ordinary signification, pointing to the 
sphere in which the choice to salvation realized itself. Liinc- 
mann takes ev as instrumental, pointing to the means by which 
this election works its gracious end. Hofmann and Eiggen- 
bach object to the connection of ev with eiXaro, simply because 
the election cannot be conditioned by any subjective process, 
and they object equally to its connection — e'iXaro eh crcoTijplav, 
because it is not the election but the being saved that is brought 
about by sanctification — -Hofmann adding das Wcihlen heines 
Mittels bedarf, the choice needed no means. The objection is 
one-sided, for election to salvation does not realize itself im- 
mediately ; the chariot of fire does not come down and snatch 
away one after another to glory. The election of God, though 
it be independent or unconditioned, works through a certain 
process, or in a certain element it attains its end. Two com- 
bined elements are specified here — first, in sanctification of 
the Spirit, the genitive being that of efficient cause. Winer, § 
30, 1 ; Scheuerlein, § 17. The meaning of the phrase is not 
ayiaarjuibs -Trvev/aariKo? (Pelt). This sanctification is inwrought 
by the Spirit in the elect and to prepare them for this crwTijpia, 
which involves not only the pardon of their sins, but also that 
spiritual change of nature which makes them meet for the in- 
heritance of the saints in light. The second element is — 

294 COMMENTARY ON ST. PAUL'S [Chap. 11. 

kuI iri<TT€i u\i]6eius — " and faith in the truth," the genitive 
being that of object. Winer, §30, 1 ; Philip, i, 27. The 
phrase does not mean itlcjtiv a\i]0iv>)v (Pelt), nor irlcrreoos 
d\i]0ov? (Chrysostom). Compare 1 Peter i, 12. The 
truth is Christian truth (John xiv, ; xviii, 37), there 
being an implied contrast to the previous irnrrevcrai tw 
\UevSei. There are thus two aspects or sides of the element in 
which the divine choice realizes itself — the divine or objective 
aspect, sanctitlcation by the Spirit ; and the human or subjective 
aspect, believing reception of the truth. The two things are 
closely associated. Chrysostom asks, Sta ri ov irporepov etwe 
Tnv ttlo-tiv, uXku tov ayiaa-p-ov ; and his answer is, " because 
even after sanctitlcation we have need of much faith that we 
may not be shaken. Seest thou how he shows that nothing is 
of themselves, but the whole of God ? " It is hard to say what 
stress is to be laid on the order of the clauses as indicating- 
order or temporal connection in the blessings. Olshausen says, 
" it seems that belief in the truth of the gospel must precede 
sanctitlcation by the Holy Spirit, as the cause precedes the 
effect. The interpreters pass over this difficulty, which is not 
a slight one." His solution is, " that by faith the apostle means 
faith perfected in insight, and not the quite general faith which 
is given with the very first elements." But there cannot be 
faith without the Spirit's work, nor can the Spirit's work be 
without faith in such a case. The Spirit brings home the truth 
to the heart, and the heart under His blessing consciously 
and cordially accepts it — Himself the agent, and His truth the 
organ of our sanctifi cation. This work of the Spirit done in 
them, this faith possessed by them, and the destiny to which 
these lead are comprehended in the divine choice as really 
as the vjulus are included in it. 

(Ver. 14.) ti? 6 eKaXccrev vpa$ Sia tov evayye\iou ))p.wv — 
" whereunto He called you by our gospel." ¥ $, the Vulgate, and 
Philoxenian Syriac insert km after el 9 o, and for vpu?, ABI) 1 
read fipas with the Claromontane Latin, &c. It might be said, 
indeed, that is a correction to correspond with the v/ma? 
of the previous verse, but ))pa$ wants uncial authority. What 
is the antecedent to el? o, which cannot mean " deshalb " ? 
(Olshausen.) Some propose the last clauses of the previous 


verse, " sanctiiication of the Spirit, and belief of the truth "• — 
the final end of salvation to which these belong being the 
obtainment of glory (Froniond, Schott, De Wette, Hofmann). 
The reference, however, is better taken, not merely to the 
sphere, but to salvation along with its means. Aretius, indeed, 
theologically confines the reference to 7na-n?, but then it might 
have been &g iju — plenius explicat causam organicam. (2) 
Pelt explains, ad electionem atque animum quo eaclem digni 
Qvadimus, an explanation away from the point ; for the election 
was a divine eternal act. (3) The reference then is to the 
eomplex statement of the previous verse, and not to any of its 
separate parts, "to which," that is, "to being saved in sanctifi- 
cation of the Spirit and belief of the truth." God who chose 
them to this also called them to it. The election takes effect 
in and through the call. So Theophylact. 

oia tou euayyeXiou ))pwp — "by our gospel." See under 1 
Thess. i, 5. The divine call evinced itself through the preach- 
ing of the gospel by the apostle and his colleagues, and ukoi'i 
precedes -kI(ttis as the historic condition (Rom. x, 17). And 
the end is — 

«? 7repi7roL>]rrtv 8o£r]S tov lvvpiov tjpwv 'Irjcrov Xpt(7TOu — -"unto 
the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." The 
elause is in apposition with el? o and its antecedents, and is 
perhaps not a mere exact specification of el? crcoTijp'ai', or a 
giving of the final aspect and consummation of o-cor^p/a. For 
7repnrolt](Ti? see under 1 Thess. v, 9, and more fully under 
Ephes. i, 14. The genitive in the proper names is that of pos- 
session, not of origin (Pelt). John xvii, 4; Rom. viii, 17. 
Those who are saved obtain a share in that glory which the 
Lord Jesus possesses — the sense given by the body of expositors. 
Other interpretations have been proposed, but without any 
basis. (1) Some take TrepiiroiqcrLs in a passive sense, and give 
So£>]$ the sense of an adjective or epithet, in order to be a 
glorious possession of the Lord Jesus Christ, sum herrlich&n 
Eigenthum (Luther, so also Menochius, Harduin, and Estius — 
alius sensits, haudquaquam impvobandus, ut ejus essent 
glonosa jiossessio). But this exegesis is against the distinct 
use and meaning of 7repnroi)i<ri$ in the first epistle, and it would 
assign the glory fully as much to Christ as to the Thessalonian 


believers ; whereas it is their condition specially winch the 
apostle describes, and puts as the basis of the counsel which 
follows. (2) Others, giving irepnroli^cnq an active sense, 
connect it with Geo? as the nominative to eicdXecrcv, and 
give it this peculiar signification, ^Va S6£av irepiiroii'icri} rto vlw 
avTov, " that He might obtain glory for His Son." So CEcu- 
menius, and virtually Chrysostom, Theophylact, Vatablus, 
a-Lapide, and the Syriac version. Calvin, as one explanation, 
{qui sensus melius convenit), vel quod eos Christus acquisierit 
in suam gloriam. Ambrosiaster — acquiruntur ad augmen- 
tum gloriae corporis Christi. But this sense would certainly 
require the dative to Kvpicp ; and the apostle has expressed one 
aspect of that idea otherwise, and very distinctly, in i, 10. The 
ultimate destiny to which the divine choice leads them by the 
sure steps detailed is participation in Christ's glory — the saved 
in the Saviour's glory — rich, ennobling, and eternal, the divine 
plan and purpose stretching from eternity {air upx^?), and 
leading onward to irepnroliiviv So£)]s tov Ivvplov fj/uicov in a 
coming eternity. Compare Rom. viii, 30. 

(Ver. 15.) "kpa ovv, aSe\<poi, crn'iKere — " accordingly, then, 
brethren, stand firm." "Apa illative, and ovv collective. See 
1 Thess. v, 6; Gal. vi, 10. The counsel is thus based on the 
previous statement. Such being the divine eternal interest in 
you; such your condition, believing and sanctified; such the 
reality and the end of your divine call — glory with Christ, 
" stand firm ; " a-WiKere being in contrast to a-uXevO^vai of the 
second verse. See under 1 Thess. iii, 8; Gal. vi, 1; Philip, i, 
27. Firmness, in the midst of agitations, defections, and un- 
sound novelties, is enjoined. 

Ka\ Kpareire ra? 7rapaS6crei$ a? eSiSax@t]T e — "and hold fast 
the instructions which ye were taught" (1 Cor. xi, 2). 
llapdSocris is employed in the gospels to signify traditional 
doctrines and usages (Matt, xv, 2; Mark vii, 8). See under 
Gal. i, 14* ; Col. ii, 8. It signifies here apostolical doctrines 
taught or delivered orally as in iii, 6 ; Joseph., Antiq., x, 4, 1 ; 
Polybius, xi, 8, 2. More distinctly it is added — 

a$ eSiSdxO>]re — " which ye were taught." The passive 
governs the accusative of object, the active governing both 
tli at and the accusative of person. Winer, § 32, 5. The 


TrapdSoo-ig is not at all something handed down, but some- 
thing handed over to these Thessalonians — 

eire Siu Xoyou eiTe Si e7n<xToA>7? i)p.(jdv — " whether by word or 
by our epistle." 'EiVe . . . eire — whether . . . whether, whether 
. . . or, specifying and yet connecting the two ways by which 
the action of the verb is usually clone, oral and written 
communication (1 Cor. xii, 2G ; xiii, 8). The phrase, our 
epistle, in connection with the aorist, refers to the first epistle, 
and not also to the one under hand or to epistolary com- 
munication generally (Riggenbach). It has been noticed that 
the apostle does not say here, as in ii, 2, e-mo-ToXijs <W &' 
fjfiwv. The inferential remark of Chrysostom is away from the 
true meaning altogether ; " therefore let us think the tradi- 
tions of the church also worthy of credit" (Damascenus in 

(Ver. 16.) Auto? §6 6 I\.vp'os i)p.'2v L/rroy? 'KpicrTo? tcai o 
Oeo? 6 irarhp fjfJioov — " But may our Lord Jesus Christ and God 
our Father." There are minor differences in the order of the 
names and the insertion of the definite article. The Received 
Text has kou instead of 6 before 7rar//p, with A D 3 K L, the 
Vulgate and Claromontane Latin versions, and several of the 
fathers, but the 6 is found in B D 1 F N 1 , and in the Peshito ; and 
it is difficult to say which on the whole is the better supported 
reading — perhaps the latter. The Se indicates a transitional 
contrast, hearty prayer for them in contrast with earnest 
counsel tendered to them. See under 1 Thess. iii, 11 ; v, 23. 
Auto? in itself and in its position has a solemn emphasis on it 
— Himself standing out in His own grace and majesty from us 
— fjiJLow — the last word. Again, a prayer after an admonition, 
tovto yap €(ttlv ovtcos /3or]6eiv, " I indeed have spoken thus ; 
but the whole is of God, to strengthen, to confirm" (Chrysostom). 
The order is peculiar, though it occurs in the benediction 
(2 Cor. xiii, 14). The Lord Jesus Christ is placed first, con- 
trary to the apostle's habit in so many places. This order may 
have been adopted, not simply " because Christ is mediator 
between men and God " (Lunemann), for in that case the order 
might have been God, Christ, you — the order of spiritual 
bestowment, God through Christ, or God and Christ, the 
ultimate Source and the Medium. If, as Alford says, a climax 


is intended, is there an anti-climax in the reverse order ? But 
perhaps the preference arose thus — Christ and the Father are 
so one that a singular verb is employed in this benediction, 
which is really a prayer to both divine persons as equally 
givers, and the Son is named first as being so recently referred 
to in the words, the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ — the ulti- 
mate and indescribable inheritance of believers. Naturally in 
offering this prayer the apostle first mentions Him for whose 
glory they are set apart, as he asks comfort and strength to 
guard them on their way to that glory, and to prepare them 
for it. For 6 Geo9 6 irarhp rjfxcov see Gal. i, 4. God the 
Father is the ultimate source of all spiritual blessing. Both, 
as the one object of prayer, are to the apostle divine, for 
Divinity alone is the living object of adoration. The Greek 
fathers naturally refer to this order of naming the divine 
persons — Theodoret especially as against Arius and Eunomius 
— the argument being, that the honour of the Son is not less 
than that of the Father though He is usually mentioned 
second, as in the Baptismal service — the order of the names not 
involving difference of dignity. 

6 aya7n']<Ta$ )]/mag nai Sous — "who loved us and gave us.'' The 
aorist does not mean qui nos a/mat et quovis tempore amavlt, but 
refers to a past act, and is no doubt the love manifested in the 
mission of the only begotten Son (John iii, 1G; 1 John iv, 10; 
Fphes. ii, 4). It seems probable that 6 Qeb? o iraT^p is specially 
characterized by the participle, for aydiri] is usually ascribed 
to Him (Riggenbach, Lunemann). Others incline to include 
Jesus also, and to this the singular participle can be no objec- 
tion, for a singular verb follows, and as Alford remarks, the 
apostle could not have written ayaTn'ia-avreq — the unity of 
Father and Son being so distinctly recognized. It is impossible 
to decide, and it would be profane to be dogmatic on the point, 
yet we rather incline to the single reference to the Father, 
whose spontaneous, gracious, sovereign, and intense love is the 
source of all spiritual blessing. It is, however, quite capricious 
in Baumgarten-Crusius to refer the first participle to Christ, 
and the second, Sous, to the Father. 

icat Sou? 7rapaK\}]<Tiv aimnav /cat e\7rlSa ayuOiju ev xupLTi — 
" and gave us everlasting consolation and good hope in grace." 


This second aorist is in historical reference or similar parallel 
to the first — loved us, and in that act of love gave us, when the 
gift of His love came into the world and died. UapaKXycri? 
is here consolation, as in Luke ii, 25 ; vi, 24 ; xvi, 25 ; 2 Cor. i, 
3; Heb. vi, IS. The feminine form aloovlav occurs only here 
and in Heb. ix, 12. The phrase does not of itself mean or 
characterize eternal blessedness (Chrysostom, Estius, Grotius, 
Fromond). For the consolation is enjoyed in the present, and 
it is everlasting as compared with any comfort which time or 
the world can present and which from its nature is transitory 
and imperfect, for it suffices for all time and for eternity. 
There are evils, trials, changes, and struggles around believers 
— "without fightings, within fears"; so many temptations to 
harass them; so much indwelling sin to oppress them; so much, 
in short, to create sorrow and lassitude, that they have press- 
ing need of comfort. Such comfort they have in the conscious 
enjoyment of their Father's love, and in the conviction that 
what they suffer is for their good, that what is laid on them is 
less than they deserve, and that grace is given them to bear it 
so that " where afflictions abound, consolations much more 
abound." This is true of all time, and such assurances and 
enjojanents last for ever. Along with this also — 

ical e\7riSa ayaQt]v — " and good hope." That hope regards 
the future, and is good not only in its basis, but in its cheering 
power, and in the blessed object which it contemplates 
(Titus ii, 13; Col. i, 5; Heb. vii, 19; 1 Peter i, 3, 4). The 
last words, iv \apiri, are best connected with the participle 
Sou?, ev marking the element in which the double gift of 
consolation and hope takes place. Some connect the phrase 
with both participles, as Estius, Limemann, De Wette ; for the 
grace is alwa}-s included in the first participle, and, as has 
been remarked, when applied to God in Christ it usually stands 
absolute (Alford). Rom. viii, 37; Gal. ii, 20; Ephes. v, 2. 
Others would connect the words with eXirlSa, a hope resting 
on grace, but some fuller expression would be required to 
sustain this sense. The gift of God in its combined aspect of 
consolation and hope takes effect in His grace, that grace being 
opposed to necessity on His part, and to any merit on ours. 
The prayer is that our Lord Jesus Christ and God— 


(Ver. 17.) TrapaKaXea-cu v/uwv ret? KapSias — "comfort your 
hearts." The verb irapaKaXea-ai is singular, and in the aorist 
optative. The two nominatives, " our Lord Jesus Christ 
Himself and God our Father," are both so much regarded by 
the apostle in his prayer as one that a singular is employed. 
If the prayer to both express unity of operation, that unity 
implies oneness of essence, and both so appealed to in prayer 
are regarded by the apostle as of equal divinity. See under 
1 Thess. iii, 11. They had been troubled about the Second 
Advent, and the apostle prays that they may be com- 
forted, with no self-created consolation, and by no human 
sympathizer, but by our Lord Jesus Christ and God our 
Father, who knows all hearts, and has all access to them. 
The apostle had written to comfort them, but he implores 
comfort from a higher source. 

kol arrtjpi^ai ev iravTi epyw kcu Xoycp ayaOw — "and stablish 
you in every good work and word." The Received Text has 
v/tias after the verb, with D 3 K L, but it is omitted in 
A B D 1 F N, both Latin and both Syriac versions, and man y 
Greek and Latin fathers. The Received Text reads also Aoyw 
kcu epyw, with F K, but the reverse order has in its favour 
A B D L N. For an accusative to a-rtjpl^ai, singular like the 
previous optatives, some would supply /ca/x5/a?, and others 
more rightly, from the previous vp.wv. The apostle prays 
for strength to them, ev pointing out the element in which that 
strength was to evince itself. It does not mean "for," els 
(Grotius), nor can it signify "by means of," Sia, as Chrysos- 
tom renders it, followed by Theophylact and Bengel. The 
sense in that case would be, " may God strengthen you by 
His work and word"; but with such a meaning iravri 
and ayaOw are both superfluous and inapplicable. Nor can 
Xoyo? in this position mean doctrine, ra 6p6a 86yp.ara 
(CEcumenius, Theophylact); sana doctrina (Calvin). Work and 
word so placed have a meaning easily understood — in every 
good work and word, in all you do and say, may He strengthen 
you (Rom. xvi, 25, and Fritzsche in loc). Spiritual stability 
so conferred in answer to such a prayer would ward off that 
risk of cru\evd>jvai spoken of in the second verse. 



(Vor. 1.) To Xonrov irpocrevxecrde, aSe\<poi 3 7rep\ rj/xcov — "Finally 
pray, brethren, for us." For to Xoitcov, as to what remains 
to be written, or what I have yet to say, see under 1 Thess. 
iv, 1 ; and compare under Gal. vi, 17. For irepi }]p.wv, see 
under Ephes. vi, 19. 

He had been offering prayer for them, and now he asks 
them to offer prayer for himself and his colleagues. The 
prayer which he directed them to present for him was not 
for any personal end, but for himself and colleagues in connec- 
tion with their necessary labours, and the end which such toil 
and self-denial had in view. These are two collateral aspects, 
each introduced by Iva, which in such a connection contains 
the purport of the prayer with its purpose. The first is more 
general and impersonal — 

'Iva 6 Xoyo? rov ~Kupiou Tptxil kou So^a^rat KaOco? kol 7rpo? — "that the word of the Lord may run and be glorified 
even as it is also with you." By o Xoyo? is meant the gospel, 
1 Thess. i, 8; ii, 13 — the genitive being that of subject. The 
first verb Tpexil expresses free and unimpeded diffusion, that it 
may speed its way everywhere without hindrance, all barriers 
of every kind being removed. Comp. Ps. cxlvii, 15; 2 Tim. ii, 9. 
Mere rapid spread is not enough, but the prayer comprehends 
"that it may be glorified," that is in its cordial reception 
everywhere among Jews and Gentiles, when the Saviour whom 
it reveals is savingly embraced; when its divine power is 
felt unto salvation, and all its ennobling influences are seen 
to mould the character into spiritual symmetry. When it thus 
realizes its great purpose, its glory as a divine message is 
manifested, Rom. xi, 13. The verb is not middle as Pelt 
supposes, laudem sibi paret, for that is not the usage of the 
New Testament, nor is that meaning at all sustained by 
the following 7rpo?, which simply denotes locality. The glori- 
fication of the gospel has no allusion to any miracles wrought 
in its attestation. Ka&w koi 777)09 — "even as it also 
is with you " — connected closely with the second verb, though 
Hoffman connects with both. But it is the glorifying of 


the word in its saving virtue that the apostle brings up; its 
diffusion was momentous to him only as a means to this 
end. For 717)09, see 1 Thes. iii, 4. It had been glorified "among 
them," not specially in them or by them, but among them 
it had been accepted ; and in their turning from idols and 
waiting for His Son from heaven, in their faith's work, their 
love's labour, and their hope's patience (1 Thess. i, 3), in the 
growth of all Christian graces in the midst of peril and perse- 
cution, the word of the Lord had been glorified also with them 
as in other cities. Prayer for the success of the gospel was 
prayer for us — irep\ tJ/ulwv ; he and his colleagues were so identi- 
fied with the enterprise. 

(Ver. 2.) ko.1 'iva pvaOayxev utto twv utottcov kui Trovijpcov 
dvOpwTTwv — "and that we may be delivered from perverse 
and wicked men." This portion of the prayer is closely 
connected with the first — that the gospel may have free course 
and be glorified, and that we may be at liberty unhampered 
by ungodly adversaries to take our part in the great work of 
preaching and diffusing it. The present verbs of the former 
verse seem to denote a continuous theme and purpose, but the 
aorist in this clause may denote an act of deliverance from 
a danger really impending, Iva again combining the subject 
and the design of the prayer. 

The epithet utottos is peculiar, meaning literally placeless, or 
not in the right place, or what is out of the way ; applied 
to rjSovt'i (Euripides, Iph. Tam:, 842) ; to opvig (Aristoph., Aves, 
27G); to opinion, SovXoi ovres twv utottwi 1 , slaves always to 
novelties or paradoxes (Thucyd., iii, 30). As applied to persons, 
it means one who says or does what is inappropriate or out 
of place, ineptus, absurdus (Cicero De Oratore, ii, 4) ; and so 
often in Plato, eg utottov kcu wfiovs (Leg., i, 646 b), tov 
Qaujuaarrov re ku\ utottov, (Ep. vii, 333 C ; Ast., Lex. Platon, 
sab voce). But the word passes into a darker signification — 
what is unnatural or disgusting — a person who is wrongful or 
wicked. Thus ovSev utottov, Luke xxiii, 41 ; Acts xxviii, 6. 
The anomalous easily passed into the unlawful, our utotto? rjv 
uv oure /uloixos ovSe els (Athenreus, vii, 279 C, p. 18, vol. Ill, ed. 
Sch weigh.); and so p.rjSev utottov, nihil damni (Joseph., Antiq.,v\, 
14; 2 Mace, xiv, 23, &a ; Kypke in Acta, xxviii, 6). Suidas 


explains aroTrlas, as descriptive of water, by naic'ias, and renders 
it by such epithets as gevov, kukov, poxOtjpov (sub voce). 
Philo explains in reference to the divine summons to Adam, 
Where art thou ? that the proper answer to the question would 
be "nowhere." tottov yap ovSlva e'xei r\ tov <pav\ov \^fX'/> ( p 
e7r</3)/o-eTat . . . irap ' o /ecu utotto? Xeyerai eivai 6 </>ai/Ao? 
(xtottov Se icrri kolkov SvuOerop (Allegor., iii, p. 271, 
vol. I, ed. Mangey). Hesychius defines the term by irovrjpo?, 
(uo-xpo?. See Loesner in loc. It represents in the Septua- 
gint the Hebrew ps, iniquity, falsehood, (Job xi, 11; xxxvi, 
21; Prov. xxx, 20) ; also tqt&, vanity, (Job xxxv, 13); the Hiphil 
of j;»n is expressed by aroira iroi^creiv, (Job xxxiv, 12), "surely 
God will not do wickedly." Compare Job xxvii, G, ov yap 
uuvoiSa ep.avTO) aroira Trpd^as. The Vulgate here renders by 
import unis, the Claromontane by iniqwis, and the English 
version in the margin by absurd. Macknight renders brutish, 
that is, according to the etymology, " men who have, or deserve 
to have, no place in society." Erasmus — qui nulli loco con- 
venientes quales sunt haeretici. Estius — forsan et ad etymon 
vombuli allusit — loco nusquam consistebant. Doddridge- — 
those " whom no topics can work on." Different opinions have 
been held as to who these perverse and wicked men were. The 
answer will depend on the sense assigned to the next clause — 

ov yap iravrwv t] 7ti(ttis — "for the faith does not belong 
to all." This use of the possessive genitive is common — Acts 
i, 7; 1 Cor. iii, 21 ; 1 Cor. vi, 19. Winer, § 30, 5. Jlavrwv is not 
to be softened into 6\lywv (Pelt). HI cm? is most naturally 
the Christian faith, the want of which led such men to thwart 
and persecute the apostle. It cannot signify probity, as 
Schoettgeu, Bullino-er, Krause, Flatt, as if the meaning were — 
there are few good men whom we can safely trust. Nor can 
it mean true faith, as Schott, Jowett. Jowett bases on this 
misinterpretation the notion that the persons referred to were 
false brethren, apparent friends, secret enemies ; so partly 
Calvin, Zuingli, and Flatt. The clause is meant to show 
why perverse ami wicked men were so hostile to him, and 
the cause that he asked the Thessalonians to pray for his 
deliverance from them. It is pressing the words to give them 
this meaning — all men have not the capacity of faith — " have no 


receptivity for it," (Alford); fidei 11011 sunt omnes capaces, 
(Crellius); similarly Pelt, De Wette, Lunemann. But the 
apostle does not allude to this point at all ; his simple assertion 
refers to the fact that all men have not faith, and not to the moral 
or spiritual grounds of its absence. So that it is wrong to base 
on the clause any doctrine about divine sovereignty, or the 
withholding of divine grace, as is done by some. The men so 
referred to are described generally, and Chrysostom and 
Theophylact are wrong in confining the reference to heretics 
as Hymenaeus and Philetus. Such a class would have been 
named with a more specific designation. Those opponents were 
probably Jews ; Jews in Corinth who opposed themselves 
and blasphemed, who in their malignity broke out in insur- 
rection with one accord against Paul and brought him to 
the judgment seat of Gallio (Acts xviii, 12). 

(Ver. 8.) Ukttos Se ecrrcv 6 l^vpio?, b? crTijp'^ei vjuos — " but 
faithful is the Lord who shall establish you." Codices A D 1 F, 
with the Latin versions, read Geo? for Ki'pto?, doubtless an 
alteration to the more common phrase, as found in 1 Cor. 
i, 9; xi, 13; 2 Cor. i, 18. But Kvpio? has preponderant 
authority in BD 3 KL ft, the Syriac versions, &c. By KJ/ko? 
is naturally meant the Lord Jesus, and not the Father, as 
Schrader, Schott, Olshausen, Hilgenfeld. See under ii, 13 ; 
1 Thess. iii, 11, 13. The Lord is the object of that faith which 
all men have not. Men are faithless, but (Si) He is faithful. 
The paronomasia is suggestive. Winer, § 68, 2. Faithful is 
He, and He so faithful will confirm you, in answer to the 
prayer offered for them in ii, 17 — a prayer suggested by the 
spiritual perplexities occasioned by the errors which he has 
been exposing. 

kcu <pv\d£ei axo rov Trovtjpov — " and will preserve you from 
the evil one." The reference in 7rovi]pov is difficult, though 
certainly it is not a kind of collective substitute for the Trovripm> 
avOpunroov of the previous verse. Compare Koppe, Rosenmuller, 
Flatt. The word, however, may be either masculine or neuter, 
either the evil one, or evil in the abstract (Rom. xii, 9 ; 1 Thess. 
v, 22). Lunemann contends for the latter, because the clause 
is but a negative resumption of a-rrjpi^ai ev iravri epycp kw. 
Xoyw aya6(7\ But (1) the resumption is not very distinct, and 


it is at best but fragmentary, for it is broken by the formal to 
Xonrov, and by the use of <pv\d£ei, introducing a new idea — 
preservation from evil — scarcely the full negative form of being- 
confirmed in every good word and work. The epithet, similarly 
used in other parts of Scripture, seems to have a personal 
reference (Matt, xiii, 19 ; Ephes. vi, 1G ; 1 John iii, 12). Com- 
pare Matt, v, 37 ; vi, 13; 1 John v, IS (if not a quotation). (2) 
The clause seems to be an echo of the clause in the Lord's 
prayer, and in that petition the masculine is preferable. (3) 
Satan is specially referred to in the previous chapter in con- 
nection with that awful development described — the personal 
counterpart of God. (4) The acceptance of the neuter form 
would be a kind of anti-climax — stablish you in every good 
work and word ; stablish } t ou and keep you from evil — a 
bare and unemphatic conclusion, implied also in the previous 
positive prayers. But it is impossible to decide the ques- 
tion — 

(Ver. 4.) Heiro'iQapev 8e ev Kvpuo ecp'vpa? — "but we have confi- 
dence in the Lord as regards you." Ae introduces an additional 
thought somewhat in contrast to what has been just expressed. 
Not only is our reliance on the Lord who is faithful, but we 
have also confidence towards you in the Lord. The ev and the 
€(i) are thus distinguished, the first with Kvplw, marking the 
inner element or sphere in which this trust is felt, for "the Lord 
is faithful," and e(p' pointing out the objects of it, towards 
and on you, the personal direction. Winer, § 49 I; Gal. v, 10 ; 
Philip, ii, 24 ; Rom. xiv, 14. This relation is often expressed 
by the dative in classical writers. 2 Cor. i, 9. No trust could 
be satisfactory to him but one eu Kvpiw, especially when it 
concerned the future obedience of believers, His grace being 
so requisite to bring about the desired result. The confidence 
referred to the following — 

oti ii irapayyeWopev Kai iroieiTe teat. 7roo')creTe — " that 
the things which we command ye are both doing and will do." 
There are several various readings. The Received Text has vp.iv 
after irapciyyeWopev with A D 3 F K L, but it is omitted in 
B D 1 tf, two mss., the Vulgate, and some of the fathers. It is 
probably a correction from the 6th verse. A D 1 ^ x omit kai 
before Troierre, and so does the Peshito ; but perhaps it should 



be retained. There are other and not probable readings in 
BFG, B and F having km eirouja-aTe, while F omits km 
7ron'j(reT6, the longer reading being preferred by Lachmann. 
"Ort introduces the matter of the apostle's confidence. The 
verb is not in the past tense, quce praecepimus, but signifies 
what we are now enjoining, a transition to the commands in 
the following verses. What we command you is the protasis, 
not what we command and ye do (Erasmus), but the sense is, 
what we command — that ye both do and will do. The thoughts 
are linked together. They are prayed for that they may be 
stablished in every good work and word; they are established 
and kept from the evil one by the faithful Lord ; and the 
apostle's confidence, resting on the same Lord, is that they, so 
confirmed and preserved, are obeying and will obey his man- 
dates, which rest on Christ's authority, and are observed only 
through His imparted grace. He thus takes it for granted that 
the}^ will act up to his anticipations, and the confidence so ex- 
pressed implies a charge that they will do so. The two verbs kgu 
7roieiTe tcai Tronjaere are placed in simultaneous or co-ordinate 
connection. Winer, § 53, 4. The verb TrapayyiWoo is almost 
peculiar to these Thessalonian epistles, being found besides 
only once in 1 Tim. vi, 13, and twice in first Corinthians (1 
Cor. vii, 10 ; xi, 17). 

(Ver. 5.) 'O Selvupioq KarrevdvvM vpwv tu? Kapoias — "but may 
the Lord direct your hearts." By Se this prayer is somewhat 
in contrast to the previous assertion — " we have confidence 
toward you that ye are doing, but over and above may He 
direct your hearts." For the verb see under 1 Thess. iii, 11 — 
" We need," says Theodoret, " both good purpose and co- 
operation from above." The heart, " the reservoir of the entire 
life power," is the centre of the spiritual nature also, with its 
impulses, energies, resolves, and cognitions. Delitzsch, Bib. 
Psych., iv, 12. That heart is capricious and wayward, and 
needs to have the way pointed out to it, and to be kept in that 
way by Him who alone knows it. Kvpios here is undoubtedly 
again the Saviour, as in the other previous verses, and not God 
(Hilgenfeld), nor the Holy Spirit, as the Greek fathers, Basil, 
Theodoret, Theophylact, CEcumenius. Basil's argument is, e'/re 
yap Trepl tov Qeoii kui UaTpo? o Xoyo? ttuvtuis uv eiptjTO, 6 Se 


vpio? v/uu? KaTevuvvai e<9 ty\v cuvtou uyanrt^v, eiTe Trcpi tov 

I LOU, TTpO(T€K€lTO UV €1$ Tl]V €UVTOV V7rO/U.OV}'jV {De Sp^Tltll 

Sancto, xxi, pp. 60, 61, Opera, torn. Ill, Gaume, Paris). The 
argument of the Greek fathers who follow Basil is similar — 
the Lord cannot be Christ, for He is asked to direct them into 
the patience of Christ, as if He were a different person. But 
this is not the usage of the New Testament, and Xpto-roil is 
repeated as being at the end of the verse, and as being in con- 
trast with the intervening Qeov. The direction of the heart is 
His work, who is Saviour and Lord, who by His grace and His 
Spirit guides and blesses His people. Self-led hearts are 
usually misled hearts. He prays that their hearts be 
directed — 

ei$ Tr\v ayaiT7]V tov Qeov kui «? t>]v v7rop.ovi]V tov 
XpirrTov — " into the love of God and into the patience of 
Christ." The Received Text omits ti)v before v7rop.oi't]p, but all 
MSS. have it. The words tj aya-jn] tov Oeov may mean by them- 
selves either God's love to us, or our love to God. To take the 
genitive as that of object is more in harmony with the context, 
love to God, to ayaTTijirai olvtov (Theophylact). So De Wette, 
Liinemann, &c. The other signification would not be at all 
suitable. The phrase is to be taken, therefore, not as meaning 
love enjoined by God (Clericus) nor infused by God (Pelt), nor 
is the sense, to imitate the love which God has shown to man- 
kind (Macknight), nor can it be the love which God has to us, 
and has especially manifested in the work of redemption 
(Riggenbach, Olshausen). The love of God is the source of all 
true spiritual power, and the grand motive to all acceptable 
obedience. The entire decalogue is summed up into love. 
God, robed in perfection, is altogether lovely, and every one 
knowing Him and trusting Him will love Him and study to 
please Him. Yet the wayward heart needs to be directed by a 
higher power into this love — 

Kai eo? Ttjv v7ro/j.oi>}]i> tov XptiTToy — ■" and into the patience of 
Christ." For the noun see under 1 Thess. i, 3. The clause is 
somewhat difficult. 

I. Very many understand it as the Authorized Version — 
" patient waiting for Christ." So Chrysostom in one of his 
interpretations, CEcumenius, Ambrosi aster, Erasmus, Vatablus, 


a-Lapide, Calvin, Benson, Hofmann. (1) But inrojuow'} never 
bears such a meaning. It is found thirty-four times, and has 
always the sense of patience, patient endurance. (2) The 
word used to signify, to wait for Christ, is another compound, 
avafxeveiv, and its substantive might have been expected 
here if such were the meaning. (3) Hofmann's examples 
will not sustain him. In Jeremiah xiv, 8, God is called 
vTroiJi.ov)] 'Lxpco/A, a different form of expression altogether. The 
genitive is, therefore, not of object, nor does the similarity of 
the two clauses require it. 

II. It is regarded by some as signifying patience on 
account of Christ — patientia propter Christum praestita 
fBengel) ; or as De Wette — steadfastness in the cause of 
Christ. Such a meaning would require more than the simple 

III. Nor is the genitive that of source or author — the 
patience which Christ bestows (Grotius, Pelt). 

IV. The phrase means " the patience of Christ " — such 
patience as characterized Christ — the genitive being generally 
that of possession, or as Chrysostom distinctly puts it in 
one of his explanations — "iva V7rofj.evooij.ev w$ eiceivos inre/j-eivev. 
Compare 2 Cor. i, 5. Patience under suffering characterized 
Christ — perfect subordination to the divine will — and such 
steadfastness and unmurmuring acquiescence should mark all 
who are Christ's. The Thessalonian believers were subjected to 
persecution, and they needed this patient endurance, and there- 
fore the apostle implores Christ to lead them into this grace, 
which distinguished Himself with prominent fulness — no suffer- 
ing like His in depth and severity, and no patience like His in 
its serene and self-supporting power. The apostle in the first 
epistle had given several warnings and premonitions about 
social disorders creeping into the church from the impression 
that the day of the Lord was on them (1 Thess. iv, 11, 12). 
But the restlessness and irregularities had been growing, and 
the wrong impression had been deepened by forged revelations, 
utterances, and letters. Idleness and habits of gossip and 
aimless gadding about had been perilously increasing. The 
jeopardy was imminent, the credit of Christianity was at stake, 
and the apostle is the more earnest and severe in his dissuasives 


and rebukes. The church itself in its centre was sound, but 
there were attached to it those busybodies whom the apostle 
marks as he exhorts the better portion to withdraw from 
fellowship with them. 

(Ver. 0.) IIapayyJXXop.ev Se, dSeXcpol, ev ovopari tou 
Kvpiov (t]/uwi>) 'hjcrod Xpio-Tou — " Now we command you, 
brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ." The 
Received Text has y/maiv after AD 3 FKLN and the Vulgate, 
but the pronoun is wanting in B D 1 E 1 , and in the Claromontane 
and Sangerm. Latin. It has good authoiity, but it may be an 
interpolation from common usage. By irapa.yyeXhoiJ.ev Se the 
apostle resumes the a irapayyeXXopev of verse 4, and puts it as 
a distinct and special injunction, in the confidence that the body 
of the people were obeying, and would obey them, the aSeXrpol 
being not the office-bearers (Olshausen), but the believing com- 
munity. The charge is given solemnly — in the name of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, under His commission, by His authority — a. yap 
eyco Xeyco etccivos Xeyei (Theophylact). 1 Cor. v, 4. The charge 
is — 

(TTeWeirOai vpag airo 7ravTO<? aSeX(f)Ov utuktco? ire pnruTOvvTO? 
— " that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother walking 
disorderly." The verb is the object infinitive, the duty con- 
tained in irapayyeXXopev. HreXXco is properly to set or place, 
as an army ; and figuratively, to fit out, to prepare, and then to 
send or despatch — the common signification. Examples of those 
meanings need not be given. As a nautical term it denotes to 
send in sail, itrrla (Iliad, i, 433; Od.,'\\\, 11), and thence to 
draw in or to repress (Joseph., Antiq., v, 8, 3), or to restrain 
from, airo (Philo De tipec. Leg.) Polybius thus employs it, 
e/c (rvvtjOelas Karaglworiv arreXXerrdai (viii, 22, 4). In the middle 
voice the reflexive meaning is se subtrahere. The idea of fear 
is sometimes implied, to shrink away for fear (Mai. ii, 5). 
Hesychius says a-reXXerai, (pofielrai. No idea of tremor can 
find place here. Theodoret explains it to (rreXXecrOat avrl 
rod xwpifcaQai ; and the Vulgate, at subtrahatisvos; the Syriac, 
^iAi-2) <oA^6aij. See 2 Cor. viii, 20; Heb. x, 38; and 
under Gal. ii, 12. See the notes of Loesner, Kypke, Eisner. 
For ara/cTco? see under 1 Thess. v, 14. The adverb is ex- 
plained in the context — working not at ail, busybodies — in 


flagrant contrast to the example of industry and indepen- 
dence set by the apostle himself during his stay in Thessa- 

Kdl /aij kcitu tt]V -TrapuSocriv i)v TrapeXafiocrav irap i)p.wv — 
" and not according to the instruction which they received 
from us." There are difficulties about the reading of the verb. 
The Received Text has 7rapiAafie, which has almost no autho- 
rity, and is probably a grammatical correction of the plural 
-jrupeXdfieTe, adopted by Lachmann after B F, the Philoxenian 
Syriac, and some of the fathers — a reading suggested by the 
syntactic difficulty ; 7rapi\a(3ov has D 3 K L N 3 , with several of 
the Greek fathers ; and Trapekafioarav is found in A N 1 ; 
ehdfiovav being found in D 1 . The two last are different forms 
of the third person plural. The form in ocrav is unusual, and 
may have been corrected, but it is found in the Sept., Exod. 
xv, 27; xvi, 21; xviii, 26; Josh, v, 11; and among the Byzantine 
writers. Winer, § 13, 2// Phavorinus, sub voce 'tj^Qouav, p. 228, 
ed. Dindorf; Lobeck, Phrynichus, p. 319. The third person 
plural has the highest authority of MSS. and versions, though 
the peculiar form cannot be satisfactorily decided. Only, the 
less common Alexandrian form would be more likely to 
be altered than to be inserted. The plural is a construction 
as to sense, ttuvtos having a collective force. Jelf, § 378 a. For 
7rapdSocrig see under ii, 15. It signifies instruction, given by 
the apostle either orally or in writing (1 Thess. iv, 11, 12), 
both being implied, as we learn from the following verse. 
Hapdoocris is here not instruction by example, as the Greek 
fathers and Hofmann, for that would be an anticipation of 
what follows, but the instruction given so distinctly, irap 
rj/uLwv, was illustrated and fortified by example, as is afterwards 
shown. From every one walking in this lawless way — indolent, 
fanatical, and self-duped — they were to separate themselves. 
Nothing like excommunication is spoken of — they were to 
avoid all intercourse with these disorderly neighbours. They 
are not bidden to thrust them out of church fellowship, but 
they were to avoid all fellowship with them, and to show in 
this way their decided disapproval of their inconsistencies 
which were bringing dishonour on the faith. 

( Ver. 7.) avroi yap oioare 77-609 Set pip-eicrOai > — " for ye 


yourselves know how ye ought to follow us." Tup, confirmatory 
and illustrative of the wisdom and necessity of the previous 
injunction — "yourselves know it," we need not tell you now. 
For juu/uelo-Qai see under 1 Thess. i, 6. Yourselves know how ye 
ought to live, in imitation of us. Our life lays you under 
obligation to copy it. On this point the reference is not the 
general imitation of Christian graces, but this special aspect of 
the apostle's conduct. 

on ovk riraKTwaixev ev — " for we behaved not disorderly 
among } 7 ou." "On is causal, or "secondary causal," as Ellicott 
expresses it, meaning not so much because, as seeing that — 
an argument and an example. 'Ara/cTetV, a verb occurring 
only here, is the same in meaning as oltuktoos 7repnraTelv. The 
adjective occurs only in 1 Thess. v, 11, and the adverb in 
verses and 11. See under 1 Thess. v, 14; Kypke, in loc. 
The disorder is specified immediately. Hofmann artificially 
takes on with o'lSare — ye know how ye ought to follow us, 
and, as a parallel clause, ye know that we were not disor- 
derly, bringing verse 9 under the same vinculum. The apostle 
appeals to his own conduct and to their estimate of it. He 
asserts about it what lie felt assured they would unanimously 
affirm — 

(Ver. 8.) ovSe Scopeuv uprov k(puyop.ev 7rapa tivo? — " neither 
did we eat bread for nought from any one." "Aprov (puyeiv, in 
imitation of onS. h^ ) means to take food, bread being the staff 
of life (Gen. xliii, 25 ; 2 Sam. ix, 7 ; Prov. xxiii, 6 ; Mark vi, 
36) — eaOleiv in ver. 10. Acopetiv, emphatic in position, is 
like pLcucpdv, an adverbial accusative; gratis, Vulgate. See 
under Gal. ii, 21. Uapu tivos is a familiar idiom — "off any 
one " — that is, at any one's expense. This food was not a gift 
from any body ; he earned it for himself. In the highest 
sense his sustenance would not have been owpeuv, "for the 
labourer is worthy of his meat " (1 Cor. ix) ; but his meaning 
is that he set an example of honest industry, and maintained 
himself by manual toil. 

uXX' ev Koircp Ka\ p.6)(Bw vvktu k<u ))p.epav epya^o/mevoi — 
" but in toil and travel, day and night working." The 
genitive reading puktos kcu ))p.epu? has B F K in its favour. 
It may, hosvevor, be an assimilation to 1 Thess. ii, 9; iii, 10. 


There is no need to regard the participle as irregularly 
used for the finite verb, or to supply q/mev. Winer, 4-3, 8. 
The words may be understood in two ways: (1) 'Epya^o/mevoi, 
as a modal participle, may belong to aprou e(j)dyo/u.ev, as in 
contrast to Swpedv — but we ate bread, working night and 
day, not owpedv (Alford, Riggenbach, Liinemann). (2) Or ev 
K07r(p Kal mo'x% may be the positive complement, in opposition 
to Soopeuv, of apTOv ecfidyonxev, and vvktu ku\ >)p.epav epyu£o- 
/xevoi, an explanatory parallel; that is, we did not eat bread 
for nought, but we ate it in toil and labour, as we wrought 
night and day (De Wette, Winer, Conybeare, Lillie, Ellicott, 
Hofmann). The emphatic position, Ellicott remarks, requires 
the sharper antithesis. There is in either way a full antithesis. 
We did not eat bread (Soopedv) at any one's expense ; on the 
contrary (dXXa), we ate it in toil and travel, working day 
and night. Aoopedv is denied by the severity of the toil, 
and denied also by its continuity ; it was heavy and uninter- 
mitted. For the two pairs of nouns see under 1 Thess. ii, 9 ; 
iii, 10. 

Mo'x^o? in the New Testament occurs only in connection 
with /co7To? — a terse and familiar idiom — toil to weariness, 
labour to utter exhaustion. 

7T/30? to p.*] e7rif3apr]<Tai Tiva v/ucov — " that we might not be 
burdensome to any of you." See under 1 Thess. ii, 9, where 
the same words occur with the very same inference. 

(Ver. 9.) The next clause is a qualifying limitation — ovx ori 
ovk exo/meis egovcrlav — " not that we have not power." The 
clause is a restriction of the previous utterance to prevent mis- 
understanding. 2 Cor. i, 24; iii, 5 ; Philip, iii, 12; iv, 11, 17 ; 
and examples in Hartung, II, p. 153. The sense is— we did this, 
not because we have not power tou p.r] epyd^eaOai (1 Cor. ix, 6), 
or rod Soopeav (payelv dprov ; the apostle reserved his right of 
ministerial support, though he might occasionally waive it, as 
in this instance. See the long argument in 1 Cor. ix. What 
he did in Thessalonica and what he was doing at Corinth was 
not to be regarded as any surrender of his claim. His purpose 
was — 

aXX' iVct euuTOvs tvttov Sw/txev vp.iv etg to p-i/meicruai t) — 
"but in order that we should give ourselves as an example 


to you that ye should imitate us ;" that is, but foregoing our 
right we wrought and earned our bread, to set you an example. 
The pronoun envrovs, originally belonging to the third person, 
is used here for i)pds avrovs'. Winer, § 22, 5 ; Bernhardy, p. 
272 ; Rom. viii, 23 ; and for the second person, John xii, 8 ; 
Philip, ii, 12. The purpose, rvirov Swpev, is prefaced by the telic 
'li'a, and its farther connected object, els to, was that you should 
imitate us. He abstained from his right in order that he 
might set an example, and he set that example in order that it 
might be followed. A practical purpose, one of immediate 
moment and utility, was ever before him in all his actions. 
There needed an example of honest, unashamed industry in 
that church, some members of which were prone to idleness, 
and the apostle in self-denying care set it, working to utter 
weariness, and toiling at hours when other people rested, " day 
and night." He was in no way ashamed of his handicraft 
labour, or of the special form of it to which he had been 

(Ver. 10.) Kou yap otc i)pev irpos vpa? tqvto 7rapi]yyeWopep 
vp.iv — " for also when we were with you, this we charged you." 
Tup is apparently co-ordinate with yap in verse 7 — " a second 
confirmation of the wisdom and pertinence of the preceding- 
warning" (Ellicott). He takes koi simply as connective, serving 
to connect the two verses. Lunemann and Alford give koi an 
ascensive force, referring it to the following rovro, as bringing 
out an additional element in the reminiscence. Winer, § 53, 8. 
Hofmann thus understands it — for even when we were with 
you, already at that time we commanded you. This is virtu- 
ally the view of Theodoret — ovoev kuivov vjuliv ypd(J)opei> — but 
what from the beginning we taught you. But koi is not 
related to the record of the sojourn which underlies the previous 
verses ; it rather belongs to tovto TrupayyeWopev—wc 
laboured and earned our bread, foregoing our just claim ; 
that was our example, and this also was our familiar com- 
mand — we were commanding you, the verb being in the 

For 7rpog upas, see under 1 Thess. iii, 4. Touro refers to what 
follows — 

on el t<? ov OeXei epya^ecrOai pipe ecrOteTCO — " that it any one 


will not work, neither let him eat." For the use of el ov, as 
distinct from el pi'i, except in the New Testament — the negative 
coalescing with e't to express a single idea — see Winer, 55, 2 c; 
Gayler, p. 1)9, &c. The phrase is an oratorical enthymeme 
warranting its converse ; but every one does eat, therefore let 
every one labour. 1 Cor. xi, 6. There is an allusion to 
Gen. iii, 19 — "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread 
till thou return unto the ground." The form of the saying is 
proverbial as the expression of a universal law. If one can 
work and will not, or if he cannot dig, and is ashamed to beg, 
then he must starve or steal. Of course there are exceptions, 
when there is physical inability or work cannot be had — 
nolle vitium est (Bengel) — but as a general principle, eating 
presupposes working according to divine arrangement, and 
strength to earn food and health to enjoy it are comprised in the 
petition, " Give us this day our daily bread." The idlers re- 
ferred to had no right to "sorn " on their friends or burden the 
funds of the church. There does not appear to have been 
such a common table, such a fraternal community of goods as 
Ewald supposes. Similar sentiments are found in Jewish 

(Ver. 11.) 'A/couOyuev yap —iva<$ irepLiraTOvvTas ev vpiv utuktco? 
■ — "For we hear of some walking among you disorderly." Tap 
assigns the reason for the repetition of the irapayyeXla, and 
does not, as in Hofmann's view, refer to the whole section, 
verses 6-10. The participle marks or asserts the state as now 
in existence, and so far differs from the infinitive. Winer, 
§ 45, 4 ; Scheuerlein, § 45, 5 ; Kiihner, §§ 657-664. Only a 
small portion of the church is thus characterized, rivas ; and 
for the adverb see under verse 6, and under 1 Thess. v, 14. 
What the disorderliness consisted in is now stated — 

fXtjSeu epya^o/ueuovg aXXa, 7r e piepya^o ovs — " doing no busi- 
ness, but being busybodies." The verb irepiepyd^opai occurs 
only here. It signified originally to work round a thing, or 
with great pains. Thus it was said of Theon the painter, kui 
7r\eov ovSev 7repie!pyacrTai toi OeWt. 2EA.. Var. Hist., ii, 44, 
and the note of Perizonius on the verb. The accusation of 
Diogenes against Socrates was ire pieipydcrOai yap ical tw oIkiSiw 
(Do., iv, 12). Then it signifies to overdo — to be a busybody. 


Ey toi<? 7repicr(Toi? tmv epyoov aou /nl] irepiepya^ov (Sirach, iii, 
23.) "EcoKpart]? aditcel koi irepiepya^erai £>]tow tu re viro y/79 
k<u to. eirovpdvia (Plato, Apol., 19, B). Uep'epyo? is similarly 
employed in 1 Tim. v, 13. Compare Titus i, 10. Hesychius 
gives it quaintly, ttol^tov eiroujcra — factum feci. Theophylact 
explains it as idleness, carried away to useless things, curiously 
inquiring into other people's lives, and thence falling els 
KUTaXaXia?, upyoXoylas, eurpa7reXla?, Theocloret says the 
characteristics of the idle are aSoXecrxia icai (pXvaplu ko.1 j) 
av6vr}To$ 7ro\v7rpayp.otTuv}]. It is difficult to imitate in a trans- 
lation the paronomasia. Demosthenes has eg wv epydfa kuI 
irepiepyu^j {Philip., iv, p. 9G, vol. I, Opera, ed. Schaefer) ; and 
Quintilian has non agere sed satagere (Instituh, vi, 3, 54, 
p. 257, vol. I, Opera, ed. Gernhard). The phrase has been 
variously translated — nihil facientes, sed curiose agentes 
(Erasmus); nihil operantes, sed circumoper antes (Estius) ; 
nihil operis agentes, sed curiose satagentes (Calvin); thand 
nut und thund zevil — " they do nothing and' do too much " — 
(Zuingli in his old German); ne travaillant point, mais se 
travaillamt pour rien (French version) ; nicht arbeit treibend 
sondern sich herumtreibend ; " working nothing, but over- 
working " (Webster and Wilkinson) ; " doing nothing, but 
overdoing" (Robinson). The lines of Phsedrus come to mind — 

" Trepide concursans, occupata in otio, 
Gratis anhelaas, multa agendo nihil agens" 

PhsedriiSj II, 5. See under 1 Thess. iii, 11, 12. 

(Ver. 12.) Tois Se toiovtois 7rapayyeXXoju.ev icai irapaKa- 
Xov/xev ev Kup/w 'hjcrou Xpicrrcp — " Now them who are such 
we charge and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ." The 
Received Text has Sid tov Ivvpiov i]p.u)v 'Iijcruv X/no-Toi/, on the 
authority of D 3 K L N 3 , many mss., and the Greek fathers; but 
our text is supported by the higher authority of ABD 1 F H l , 
with the Latin versions and fathers, the Received Text being 
probably a correction to the more usual formula. The phrase 
rots toiovtois takes in the whole class who have been so 
characterized (Kriiger, § 50, 4, G) ; de toto genere coram, qui 
tides sunt usurpatur (Kulmer in Xen. Mem., i, 5, 2). The 
dative belongs specially to the first verb, as the second verb 


governs the accusative — avrov? — understood. Both verbs " we 
command and exhort " the one streno-thenino- the other — 
authority and earnestness combined — are connected with "in 
the Lord Jesus Christ," as the sphere in which they realize 
themselves. The matter was of no small moment to the 
welfare of the church and the progress of the gospel, and 
therefore the charge is given in this solemn and authoritative 
form. See under 1 Thess. iv, 1. The purpose and matter of 
the charge was — 

\va /ul€tu >)(TV)(ia9 epya^op-evoi top eavrcou apTOv korOUocriv — "that 
working with quietness they eat their own bread." They were 
to work and no longer to go " loafino- " about — intermeddling 
disturbers — doing everything but what they ought to do; but 
they were to give themselves to their proper occupation, and 
that with quietness, pera denoting the accompaniment of 
their industry. Winer, § 47 h. The phrase stands opposed to 
araKTco? . . . irepiepoya^pevoi. Their life and conduct were 
to be in contrast to what they had been. So far from idling 
they were to work ; so far from overworking themselves in 
laborious trifling, they were to toil with quietness — with a 
tranquil mind and without any unnecessary bustle. And 
working in this way they were to eat — 

tov eavroov uprov — " their own bread " — special moment on 
kavrcov — what is theirs as having quietly and honestly earned 
it, according to the repeated injunction and after the example 
of the apostle who did not eat any man's bread for nought, but 
wrought with labour and travail night and day, that he might 
not be chargeable to any of them. 

(Ver. 13.) 'Y/xeiV oe, aSe\<f>oi, pr\ ewca/o/<x>;Te /caXo7roioui/Te? — 
'' But ye, brethren, be not dispirited in well-doing." The 
Received Text has e/c/c, but ere is found in ABD ] R For the 
forms and the meaning of the verb, see under Gal. vi, 9. For 
the use and meaning of the participle, see under verse 11. 

Ye, brethren, on the other hand (Se), who have maintained 
the true course, unaffected by these examples of pernicious and 
fanatical idleness; "brethren," the sound portion of the church, 
who obeyed the precept and followed the example of the 

The Greek fathers give to KaXoiroiovvTes a restricted meaning 


suggested by the context. Chrysostom says, " withdraw your- 
selves from them and reprove them, do not, however, suffer 
them to perish with hunger ;" the well-doing being confined in 
that case to almsgiving or beneficence. He is followed by 
Theophylact, (Ecumenius, and Theodoret who says expressly 
/j.)] vna'jarri t>]v v/uerepav (J)i\oTi/u.ia.v i) €K€ii>a)v /moxO}]p'a. . This 
view has also been adopted by Calvin, Estius, Flatt, Pelt, Do 
Wette, Ewald, Bisping,Bloomfield,and,to some extent, Olshau sen. 
Tlie meaning in that case might be that, while they had seen 
examples of kindness abused on the part of the slothful, their 
hearts were not to be shut against cases deserving of pity and 
support; they were to make a distinction between the lazy 
poor and the really poor. This is Koppe's view virtually, 
which implies greatly more than the apostle has expressed. 
But this interpretation restricts unnecessarily the meaning 
of the participle. The compound verb, which occurs only here, 
is a later term for to koXov -iroieiv. In Lev. v, 4 (Codex A), we 
have Ka\5)<s iroirjuai as opposed to KaKoiroielv, (Lobeck, Phryn., 
p. 200). The meaning is to do well, so handeln wie es gut und 
recht ist — the contrast in ku\o being to the loose and dis- 
honourable lives of the persons reprobated in the previous 
verses. Liinemann's restriction is too narrow and negative, 
persist in not allowing yourselves to be tainted by their evil 
example. It is better to take the word in its wide or general 
sense, and as explained also by the context. They were not to 
weary in acting fairly and honourably on all occasions, in doing 
all that was right and good in all spheres of life and duty, more 
especially in whatever these previous warnings and charges 
implied, and there was the more need of their consistent 
perseverance, as others had deflected from the honest and 
blameless course. 

(Ver. 14.) Et <5e t«9 ovx inraicovei tic Xoyw ijfxwu Siu Tij$ 
€7ri<TTo\>i?, tovtov a-iifiaouaOe — " But if any man obey not our 
word by the epistle, that man mark." The connection of Siu Ttj? 
e7r<crToX^9 has been disputed, whether it should be joined to 
what [irecedes or to what comes after it. 

I. The phrase has been connected with the verb a-^/uietova-Oe 
in two ways. First, rj eiria-ToXi) has been taken to mean this 
Second Epistle, and the meaning assigned is — " by means of this 


epistle mark him;" that is, as Pelt says, eum hac epistola freti 
severics tractate et a consortia- vestro secludite ; or as Bengel, 
notate, notd censoria; hanc epistolam, ejus admonendi causa, 
adhibentes, eique inculcantes vt, aUorwm judicio perspecto, se 
demittat But this interpretation gives the verb a meaning 
which cannot be sustained. 

II. Secondly, with the same verbal connection, some regard 
f] e-m<TTo\r) as a letter to be sent by the Thessalonians to the 
apostle, the sense then being, mark such an one by means 
of a letter sent to me about him. This has been a common 
interpretation, held by Luther, Calvin, Musculus, Hemming, 
Balduin, Grotius, Zachariae, Koppe. Winer allows its possibility 
(§18, 9, 3), and it is found in the margin of the Authorized 
Version, " signify that man by an epistle." " Yf eny man obey 
not our sayinges, send us word of him by a letter." — Tyndale 
followed by Cranmer and Genevan. "If any obey not our word, 
note him by an epistle." — Rheims. "If any man obey not our 
doctrine, signifie him by an epistle." — Bishops' '. But there are 
strong objections to such an interpretation. (1) In the phrase 
8ia rrjs €7riarro\yJ9 the article cannot specify a letter still to 
be written, nor is there any probability in the explanation 
of Winer, "in the letter which you have then to write and 
which I then hope to receive from 3 7 ou." Neither can it mean 
your answer to this letter, for it is not implied in the context. 
The article t?v? would denote either this or an earlier one, were 
there any allusion to it in the previous verses. (2) The phrase 
Siu tJ/9 6ti<jto\?i$ would with this interpretation have from its 
position an unaccountable emphasis upon it. (3) The present 
order of the words is against this view, and the expected order 
would be tovtov Sia t^? e7ri<TTo\ij? arijimeiovcrOe. (-i) Nor does 
the middle crtjfxeiovcrde agree well with the notion of a letter 
sent by them to the apostle, it would rather be "mark out 
for us," i)/juv. (o) It can scarcely be supposed, that after what 
he has said on the subject in verse 6, the apostle should ask or 
expect any communication on the subject of those persons, the 
treatment of whom he has thus described and enjoined. There 
is nothing leading us to suppose that the churches could not 
note such an one without consulting the apostle. Such a 
correspondence must have been precarious from Paul's frequent 


change of residence, and as Riggenbach says, " what a paralysis 
of all self-dependence would it have involved ! " And therefore 
the other interpretation is to be preferred which connects Sia. Ttj? 
e7riaroA^? with the immediately preceding word, tw Ao'yw 
il/j-odv, our word or deliverance conveyed to you by this letter ; 
the Xoyo? supposed to be disobeyed being found in verse 12, and 
}) eiricTToX^, meaning the letter under hand, as in Rom. xvi, 22- 
Col. iv, 16; 1 Thess. v, 27. Compare 1 Cor. v, 9. Chrysostom's 
comment implies this construction; CEcumenius has tw Sia rfjs 
€7ri<TTo\t]$ airoa-TaXevTi. The view has been held by Estius, 
Piscator, Ar-etius, a-Lapide, Beza, Fromond, Hammond, Schott, 
Olshausen, De Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, Bisping, Ewald, 
Hofmann, Riggenbach, Ellicott, and Alford. A. Buttmann, 
p. 80. It is no objection to this construction that tw is not 
repeated after ^/uoov — tw Aoyco rjjuow tw Sia. — for tw Xdyw tj/jlcov 
Sia t»7? e7rt(TToXi/? i s one idea — a written injunction. Winer, 
§ 20, 2 ; Fritzsche's note ad Rom. iii, 25. The Syriac reads — 
if any one hearken not to these our words in the epistle, 
IZ^Joj ; and the Vulgate follows the Greek order, verbo nostro 

O ^\ 71* 

per epistolani. If any one obey not our word or utterance 
conveyed by this letter which I am now writing, note such 
an one. 

tovtov <rt]jueiov(r6e tcai //.;/ crvvavafxiyvea-Qe avTu>, or, p.r\ crvvava- 
p-iyvva-Oai avTw. — The Received Text inserts koi, as in the first 
reading, on the authority of D 1 F K L, the Vulgate and Syriac 
versions, with Basil, Ambrosiaster, and Augustine ; but kou is 
omitted in ABD 3 N17, the Claromont. and Sangerm. Latin, 
the Gothic version, with Chrysostom. The infinitive, again, 
is read in ABD 1 it, in the Claromont. and Sangerm. Latin, 
the Gothic versions, with Chrysostom. Ellicott, however, 
remarks that the reading of the last syllable cannot well be 
decided by the reading of MSS., as there is a constant inter- 
change of e and at by itacism. Perhaps the infinitive is, from 
the omission of the km, the older reading — compare 1 Cor. v, 9, 
which yet may have suggested the infinitive here. The 
meaning is the same whichever reading may be adopted. Tov- 
tov — that man, held up and emphasized. The verb cnjiueiovcrOe 
occurs only here in the New Testament. It denotes in the 
active to put a mark on, or to distinguish by means of a 


art]/ueiov, verbs in oc» having this factitive meaning. It is used 
in the passive of a road marked in its distances by milestones 
(Polyb., iii, 398), also of letters, crea-ijpeiwfxeva? Tfl tov 7rarpo? 
(T(f>payhu (Dion Halicar., iv, 57). In the middle it denotes to 
mark for oneself (Polybius, xxii, 11, 12; compare Sept., Ps. iv, 
b"). Thomas Magister, quoting Aristophanes, says that anro- 
a-rjfxalvea-Oai is the proper term (p. 337, 7th ed., Ritschl). 
The middle has its dynamic force (Kriiger, § 52, 8, 4). They 
were to put a cnjpeiov on such an one — to note him that they 
might avoid him. The double compound infinitive is a charac- 
teristic of the later Greek. 1 Cor. v, 9, 11 ; compare Sept., 
Hosea vii, 8 (Codex A). It occurs in Athen;eus, oi Tepyivoi 
aiwavafj.LyvviJ.evoi toIs kutu Ttjv 7ro\iv (vi, 68, p. 481, Opera, vol. 
II, ed. Schweigh. ; Plutarch, Philopmm., 21). They were to 
have no fraternal intercourse with such an one — much the 
same advice as that given already in v. C. How much is im- 
plied in this withdrawal from intercourse it is impossible to 
say. The object is — 

Iva evrpa7rf] — " that he may be shamed." The verb is pas- 
sive, not middle, as Pelt takes it, intus convert), ad se ipsum 
quasi redire; so Grotius. 1 Cor. iv, 14; Titus ii, 8. The 
middle with the accusative occurs in Luke xviii, 2, and the 
noun in 1 Cor. vi, 5 ; xv, 34. This shame, produced by the 
withdrawal of his brethren from fellowship with him, was 
meant to induce thought, contrition, and reform. 

(Ver. 15.) kou p.}] tag exOpov r/ytia-de — "and regard him not 
as an enemy." Kai is not for aXXa (Jowett, De Wette), but is 
simply connective — joining a command, not opposed to the 
previous one, but in harmony with it, and showing the spirit 
in which it is to be carried out. For to? see under ii, 2; it 
qualifies exOpov. He is not to be regarded in the light of an 
enemy. Compare cocnrep with the same verb in Job xix, 11 ; 
xxxiii, 10, representing ?3c-n; Col. iii, 23. He was not, as 
an enemy, to be repelled and battled with. He had indeed 
become inconsistent; a false impression about the Second 
Advent had led him sadly astray; he was neglecting imme- 
diate secular duty, and had fallen into perilous habits of 
indolent dissipation of time ; but he was still to be counted a 
brother, as lie had not forsaken the faith, or cut himself off 


from communion by notorious immorality, or by a relapse into 
heathen creed and profligacy. 

aXXu vovderelre 005 aSe\<j)ov — "but admonish him as a 
brother," the one w; corresponding to the other. ^SovOereiv, to 
correct by word and then deed. See under 1 Thess. v, 12. 
Theophylact says, vovOereiv irpoa-ira^ev, ovk oveiS'^eiv; still as 
a brother, though an erring one, was he to be kindly dealt 
with; undue severity was to be avoided, the purpose being 
not to frown him away, but to win him back. 

(Ver. 16.) Ai'to? Se 6 Is^upio? t>7? etp/jvr]? Sco>] vpiv Ttjv eipi'/v>]v 
Sin irai'To? ev iravri Tpoirw — " Now may the Lord of peace 
Himself give you peace by all means, evermore and in every 
way." The reading rpowo) is well supported, having in its 
favour A 2 BD 3 KL N, almost all mss., with the Syriac and 
Coptic versions, Theodoret and Damascenus. On the other 
hand tottw is found in A 1 D 1 F, two mss., in the Vulgate and 
Claromontane Latin versions, in the Gothic version, and in 
Chrysostom. The unusual phrase ev ttuvtl Tpo7rcp is thus 
well authenticated ; the other, ev iravri tottw, was somewhat 
familiar, being found in 1 Cor. i, 2 ; 2 Cor. ii, 14 ; 1 Tim. ii, 8. 
As Bouman remarks, the reference to time in Sia 7ravTos 
would naturally suggest to the copyist a reference to place — 
ev iravri tottw. By Si he passes to a prayer, as in contrast to 
the previous injunction, as in 1 Thess. v, 23, the olvtos being- 
emphatic. See also under ii, 16. By 6 Ivvpio? Christ is to 
be understood, and we have 6 Oeo? similarly, Rom. xv, 33 ; 
xvi, 20; 2 Cor. xiii, 11; Philip, iv. 9; Heb. xiii, 20. For 
the relation expressed by the genitive, see under 1 Thess. 
v, 23 — God of peace, characterized by peace, and especially 
the giver of it. The Greek fathers unnecessarily and un- 
warrantably restrict this peace to concord — to peace among 
themselves, and their view is followed by Estius, Calo- 
vius, Pelt — Schott including both outer and inner peace — 
and Calvin, " the bridling of the refractory." But there is 
nothing in the epistle to imply that the peace had been 
broken, or that alienation and disunion were afflicting the 
Thcssalonian church. The peace — rys eipijvi]?, t>;v eipi'jv>]v— is 
peace in its widest and profoundest sense, the peace of God 
that passes all understanding, blessed confidence, conscious 



acceptance, joyous anticipation; and that Sia iravrog, "always," 
without intermission, not periodically (Matt, xviii, 10; Acts 
ii, 25; Rom. xi, 10); "and in every way," ev ttuvt). rpoirw — 
in every possible form and mode in which God can give it and 
you accept it — for time, for eternity, for earth, for heaven. 
The stress is on, "on you," that you may realize this peace, 
and be kept from all spiritual disturbance — all disquietude such 
as that felt by those who imagined that the day of Christ was 
at hand. This wish or prayer is, as Lunemann remarks, the 
apostolic way of saying valete or eppooo-Oe — as the classic writers 
employ salntem or ev -wpJiTTeiv. 

o Kvpiog /uera irdvroov vpcov — "the Lord be with you all." A 
brief but all-inclusive benediction, invoking the presence of 
Christ to be with them in its benign and cheering influences, 
in its guiding and sustaining power. With you all — iravruov, not 
pleonastic (Jowett), but comprehensive ; the brother walking 
disorderly and to be admonished, if he be not contumacious, 
is not excluded. 

(Ver. 17.) '0 d<T7ra<rp.og tij ejuLy X ei P l Ilai/Xou, 6 ecrri arijfieiov ev 
iraarj e7ri<jTo\i)' ovroog ypdcfxio — "The salutation by the hand of 
me, Paul, which is a token in every epistle: so I write." The 
Authorized Version renders the first clause in three ways — " the 
salutation of me, Paul, with mine own hand," (1 Cor. xvi, 21) ; 
"the salutation by the hand of me, Paul," (Col.iv, 18); and here 
" the salutation of Paul, with mine own hand." ILavXov is a 
species of appositional genitive with Jelf, § 467. The neuter 
o is not in attraction with <rrjp.eiov (Winer, § 24, 3), instead of og, 
the antecedent being aa-Ka<rp.6g, but refers to the fact of the 
previous clause — which circumstance, which salutation in mine 
own hand is a token or mark of authorship or genuineness 
in every epistle. Up till this verse the epistle had been 
dictated by the apostle and written by an amanuensis. But 
verses 17, 18 are autographic, and are meant to authenticate 
the letter as his own composition, and to show in contrast that 
it was not cog Si fjfAwv, ii, 2. His own handwriting was the 
voucher, cr^pelov. It is apparently wrong to suppose that the 
apostle wrote only the last verse. Chrysostom says a<nra<Tp.ov 
KaKel rr\v e.vyr\v, an opinion repeated by Theophylact — Theo- 
doret saying more explicitly a<T7ra<Tp.ov efcdXeve ti)v ev tw Te\ei 


Keijxivriv evXoylav, and the view is adopted by Estius, Piscator, 
a-Lapide, Beza, Bengel, Bauv, Hofmann, and Riggenbacli. But 
the mere benediction in itself can scarcely be called a salu- 
tation while the salutation implies and is naturally followed 
by the benediction. The words which express the salutation 
and its character are in his own hand, and he naturally 
writes also the brief benediction which follows the saluting 
words. And this autographic a-yjixetov was to be ev 7raa-fi 
eTTHTToXf], " in every epistle." Theophylact in his first ex- 
planation, Tfl 'icrco? 7T€iJ.(j)di]<T0fX€vi} 717)0? vjua?, and Lunemann, 
restrict the reference too much when they suppose the 
meaning to be, in every epistle which he might purpose to 
send to the Thessalonian church. For we find at least that 
he adopted the practice in writing to other churches ; though, 
in consequence of the letter forged in his name and circulated 
in Thessalonica (ii, 2), he began this mode of authentication in 
writing to the church in that city. Lunemann objects that the 
authentication is not found in all the epistles written after this 
date, and that therefore the phrase must be taken in a relative, 
not in an absolute sense. It is found, however, in all that 
seem to require it. It does not occur in first Thessalonians, for 
circumstances had not then arisen to necessitate it; but it is 
found in Colossians, and the first epistle to the Corinthians. 
The circumstances in which the other epistles were sent 
might make such authentication superfluous. In the epistle 
to the Romans, the last three or four verses were probably 
autographic ; the epistle to the Galatians was, contrary to 
his visual custom, written wholly with his own hand ; the second 
epistle to the Corinthians was sent by Titus, and the greeting 
and benediction may have been autographic ; the epistle to the 
Ephesians was sent b}^ Tychicus, who himself could vouch for it, 
but the apostle may have written the last verse ; that to the 
Philippians was carried by Epaphroditus, though the apostle 
again, probably without saying it, added the last verse ; the 
epistle to Philemon was apparently a holograph ; so in all likeli- 
hood were those sent to individuals, as Timothy and Titus. It 
was, not, however, what the apostle wrote, but his hand- 
writing that proved the genuineness of the letter, and his 
handwriting being so different from that of the copyist, he did 


not always need formally to call attention to it. Grotius 
wrongly infers from this verse that this epistle was the first 
sent to Thessalonica. See Introduction. The words ovrw? 
ypacpoo are to be taken in the simplest signification, " so I 
write," " witness my hand," referring to the manner and form 
of letters in which verses 17, 18 were written. See his own 
account of it, -rrrjXiKu ypappara, under Gal. vi, 11. The clause 
refers, therefore, simply to the manner — not tuvtu but only 
ovtco?, this is my handwriting — so that it is wrong to suppose 
that the apostle added anything as a specimen, such as his 
name or signature ; certum quendam nexum literarurn, quo 
nomen suwm scribebat (Grotius) ; or, as a-Lapide describes it — 
sicut jam multi signum manus ut vocant, per certos gyros, 
quos non facile sit imitari ; or some ingenious monogram — 
nomen Pauli monogrammate aliquo expression ab ipso 
fuisse, conjunctis scilicet apte Uteris II and A, posteriori hoc 
elemento pernio altius evecto, ut A simul referrct ; and for 
this opinion Zeltner adduces seven reasons, one example being 
that the Emperor Charles employed such a signature. But, as 
Wolf argues, the apostle refers to no occult or inimitable 
signature, and though the custom referred to may have been 
common among the later rabbis, it cannot be ascribed certainly 
to the apostolic age. The conjecture is too artificial, the 
apostle often naming himself in the simplest manner possible, 
as 2 Cor. x, 1 ; Gal. v, 2 ; Ephes. iii, 3 ; Col. i, 23 ; 1 Thess. 
ii, 18; Philemon 19. Bengel's notion is similar — Paulum 
singulari et inimitabili pictura et ductu literarurn ex- 
pressisse illud, gratia, &c, verse 18. The view of CEcumenius 
is liable to the same objection — that the apostle wrote down 
some words, olov to a<T7ra£oiuat. // to ' JLppaxrQe, 5/ tl 
toiovtov. To say with Lunemann that the apostle's use of the 
phrase for the first time would imply that his handwriting 
was unknown to the Thessalonians, is an inference balanced 
by the conjecture that he may have written the salutation 
of the first epistle without calling attention to it — 

(Ver. 18.) r\ x a P l< > T0 ^ Kvpiov ij/uoov 'Itjcrov XpicrTOV p-era 
Travroov vpoov — " the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you 
all." The concluding benediction is the same as that of the 
first epistle (see under 1 Thess. v, 28), with the exception of 


ttclvtoov here — not a word of course, but showing that those 
were not excluded who had incurred his rebuke. His full heart 
includes in his parting blessing the entire church without ex- 
ception, and the epistle, like the first one, would be " read unto 
all the holy brethren." The ' kfxi'jv is usually bracketed or 
omitted. Though it is found in A D F K L N ! , it is most 
probably a liturgical conclusion. The subscription airo 
'A&rjvobv, with its variation, is certainly to be rejected. 

IIP02 9E22AA0NIKEI2, B. 




2 Thess. ii, 3-10. 

The various points in this paragraph are : that prior to the 
Advent, which had been regarded us come, there are to be the 
apostacy and the revelation of the Man of Sin; that he opposes 
God, and exalts himself above God and every object of worship; 
that he seats himself in God's temple, exhibiting himself as 
God ; that the Mystery of Iniquity had already begun to work, 
but was retarded by some mightier influence, on the removal 
of which the Lawless one should be revealed ; that his power 
and craft should be Satanic in character and result ; and that 
he shall be destroyed by the Lord at His second and personal 
coming at the end of the present dispensation. 

(1) The first question is, Is this utterance a prophecy in the 
true sense of the term? (2) If it is a prophecy, has it been 
already fulfilled, or has there been any person or any system 
vei^dng the description given? (3) But if history presents no 
one so audacious as to displace God, usurp His seat, and 
arrogate His worship, does the oracle remain to be fulfilled, 
and may we or can we form any conjecture about the time and 
region of its fulfilment, its ominous antecedents, its develop- 
ment, and its dark and malignant consolidation ? 


Is it a Prophecy? 

(1) Some deny it to be a prophecy. Tychsen thought 
that the passage was a quotation, clause by clause, from a 


letter which the Thessalonians had sent to the apostle, a 
hypothesis that has not even ingenuity to recommend it. 
(2) Others, admitting its prophetic form and features, so 
idealize it that it ceases to be in any true sense a prediction. 
According to this view it presents a vivid lesson, the minuter 
features of which are not meant to be separately considered, 
for they contribute only to the general impression — are a kind 
of sombre drapery, or a dark background to the portrait. The 
apostle simply gives a vivid view of his own forebodings, many 
of them created by his own personal history, so that the futurity 
does not stretch beyond his own horizon. Thus Schnecken- 
burger regards the paragraph as merely the personification of 
evil, the climax of antagonism to the Gospel, a general defec- 

I tion prior to its great triumphs — the 6 ko.tIx wv being the 
imperial power of Rome, and the /u.v<rWipiov, Jewish sorcery 
penetrating into heathendom, as in the case of Elymas. Koppe 
says, that the apostle has only bodied forth the general pro- 
phetic creed of the Jews, which they gathered from the pro- 
phecies of Daniel — an awful outbreak of ungodliness after the 
apostle's own time, he himself in his apostolical energy and 
earnestness being the restraining power (6 Kare^y), taken 
away at his death. The view advocated by Pelt is somewhat 

I similar, that the "Adversary" is the consummation of spiritual 
evil, which in Pohtificiorum Romanorum operibus ac serie 
luculentissime sese prodiit; that the mystery already working- 
was the tendency to fall back to the Jewish legalism, false 

u ytwt? and angelolatry ; that the restraining power is the 
will of God, holding back the kingdom of Satan ; that the 
instrumentality is the imperii Romani vis; and that the 
coming of the Lord is but regni divini victoria, thus denying 
personality to the Man of Sin and also the Second Advent. Storr 
holds a like opinion — that the verses forebode the outbreak of 
a virulent and powerful opposition to God and all religion at 
some future and unknown period, and that by to kut^ov is 
meant copia hominum verissimo amove inflammatorum in 
Christianam religionem. This last opinion as to the meaning 
of to KaTexov is virtually held by Heydenreich, Schott, and 
Grimm; and, as the apostle, himself one of this band of devoted 
believers, thought that he should survive until the Second 


Coming, the taking the restraining power out of the way 
cannot be his death, but only his imprisonment. Jowett's view 
is not very different — that the language about the apostacy was 
suggested to the apostle by what he saw around him among 
his own converts — " grievous wolves " entering into the church 
at Ephesus, the " turning away of all them of Asia." But it is 
enough to say that all this happened at a posterior time. 
Jowett adds, that four elements enter into the conception of 
the Man of Sin. (1) "The traditional imagery of the elder 
prophets " — But the prophecy is bare and plain in language. 

(2) " The style of the apostle and his age " — A mere assumption. 

(3) " The impression of recent historical events which supply 
the form" — A vague and unsupported statement. (4) "The state 
of the world and of the church, and the consciousness that, 
where good is, evil must ever be in aggravated proportions, 
which supply the matterof the prophecy" — An hypothesis which 
really means that the prophecy is only an assertion that what 
is and has been will be in all time coming. Out of such hints 
Jowett could construct a prophecy equally with the apostle, 
for such a prophecy is only a moody reflection thrown into the 
style of an ancient Hebrew oracle without its imagery. Such 
a theory also takes away all prophetic authority from the 
passage, which becomes only a reflex of the apostle's own 
experience stated in general terms — the individual and sectional 
pictured as the universal, his own little sphere in its trials and 
struggles assuming the aspect of world-wide history and doom. 
That is to say, the verses are a gloomy meditation on present 
scenes, not any unveiling of things to come — a morbid subjectiv- 
ity so intensified that it personates its thoughts, and throws its 
difficulties and discouragements into a dramatic form. But 
surely this is to deny the inspiration of the apostle, and it 
takes all reality out of his pictorial words, leaving behind but 
a weak delusive residuum, which only projects into the future 
an image of the present and the past. Accepting the prophetic 
form, however, we feel bound to believe in the underlying- 
truth. The apostle opens up the time far off, and we receive 
the disclosure of subsequent crises as the proof of a divine gift, 
and a fulfilment of the Saviour's promise. Prophecy is to Him 
as history, the future and the past being undivided and uncon- 


trasted in His divine existence and duration. The paragraph 
is given to us as an avowed prediction, whatever be its true 
meaning and interpretation ; and we are not to explain it away 
as a mere portraiture of present combinations and antagonisms, 
seen and measured in the light of the apostle's own life and 
trials — nay, exaggerated in the working of his earnest and 
mighty spirit. De Wette and Liinemann propound a similar 
hypothesis. They, however, do not hold the opinion that the 
paragraph is a vague and abstract picture, but rightly inter- 
pret " the Man of Sin " of a person, though with this sound 
exegesis they deny the objective reality and divine authority 
of the prediction. De Wette says, "Whoever finds more than a 
subjective outlook into the future of the church from his own 
historical position falls into error. Such foreknowledge is 
beyond human reach, and the apostle paid a tribute to human 
weakness, der mcnschlichen Schivachheit einenZoll, since he 
wished to know too much beforehand, as is apparent from 
1 Thess. iv, 17 ; 1 Cor. xv, 51 ; Rom. xi, 25. The personifica- 
tion of Antichrist is a misinterpretation of the prophecies of 
Daniel, phantastische Auslegung, mingled with some specula- 
tion of his own in connection with the dogma of the Divine 
Wisdom and Logos." He adds, "An incarnation of God in Christ 
we believe ; but an incarnation of Satan, such as the apostle 
accidentally points out, is not to be thought of, for the honour 
of humanity." These assertions of the impossibility of prophecy 
in general, and the falseness of this one in the matter of it, 
betoken a philosophical unbelief, which would, if carried to 
its ultimate sweep, root out the basis of all divine revelation. 
De Wette goes so far, indeed, as to assert that the limitation 
of human knowledge by time and space, durch Zeit und Raum, 
to which Jesus Christ Himself was subject, makes prophecy as 
containing objective truth an impossibility to the apostle and 
to every man. Nay, he advances and affirms that the predic- 
tion is in itself untrue, for this antagonism to God, connected 
with Satan's imposture, is a contradiction to the reflective 
understanding as well as to the pious feeling — ebenso sehr dem 
denkenden Verstande als dem frommen Gefuhle. Liinemann 
ascribes the prophetic form to the apostle's Jewish education, 
and to the current Judischen Apokalyptik, based on the 


picture of Antiochus, and of Gog and Magog, in the prophecies 
of Daniel and Ezekiel. What the apostle wished to paint of 
the future was impossible. " The exact conclusion about the 
course of events and their historical foretokens was a knowledge 
not granted to him or to any man, even though he be filled 
with the spirit of Christ " — the proof adduced being Matt, xxiv, 
35 ; Mark xiii, 32 ; Acts i, 7- The events of this prophecy, 
however, were so near in his supposition, that he hoped to 
outlive them, for he believed that he was to survive till the 
Second Coming. " The prophecy was not fulfilled in the apos- 
tolic age, and it is capricious to look for its fulfilment in a 
remote future." These declarations not only eliminate from 
prophecy all that really gives it value, but also, undermining 
its possibility, remove it entirely from the Word of God, 
spiritual influence being too feeble to produce it ; while they 
brand it either as daring conjecture, or as a romantic and for- 
bidden attempt to uncover what God has so surely veiled 
from mortal vision. Such opinions are at once to be rejected, 
and there is no common ground between us and those who 
hold them. Our creed is that expressed by the apostle, "No 
prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation, for 
prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy 
men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost " 
(2 Peter i, 20, 21). 


If the paragraph be a Prophecy, has it been 
Fulfilled ? 

Many maintain that it has long since come to pass, and they 
understand by the irapovo-ia of verse 8, the coming of Christ at 
the destruction of Jerusalem. These " praeterist " interpreta- 
tions are very discordant. Some of them being political in 
nature fall far short of the full sense of the prophecy. One 
class of such expounders associates the fulfilment with the 
Roman emperors, another with the Jewish people and their 
leaders, and a third with some ecclesiastical system. 

First Class. — Associating fulfilment with Roman Emperors. 

1. The theory of Grotius is that Caligula was the Anti- 


cltrist, inasmuch as he ordered prayers to be universally 
presented to him, and wished a colossal statue of himself 
to be erected in the temple at Jerusalem — an attempt which 
Herod Agrippa I. succeeded in putting aside — the 6 Karex^v 
being the proconsul Vitellius who strongly opposed the project, 
and the 6 avop.os of verse 8 being Simon Magus, who is con- 
sumed by the ministry of the apostle Peter. But (1) this last 
distinction is certainly wrong — " the Adversary " and the 
" Lawless one " are the same person, and the ministry of 
Peter cannot be called the coming of Christ, rj irapovu'ia tov 
Kvpiov. (2) After Vitellius was " taken out of the way," the 
project was not carried out, and this is opposed to the spirit 
and words of the oracle, which affirms that after he that letteth 
has been taken out of the way, then the " Lawless one " shall 
be revealed. The reply of Grotius in reference to the erection 
of the idol-statue, that before God the will is as the deed, serves 
no purpose in this exegesis. (3) There is an extraordinary 
anachronism in the interpretation, for Caligula had been more 
than ten years dead before this epistle was written. 

2. Wetstein finds Antichrist in Titus, because, after the 
temple had been burnt down, his army brought their standards 
into it, and setting them over against the eastern gate, offered 
sacrifice to them, and proclaimed Titus avroKparoop (Joseph., 
Bell. Jud., vi, 6, 1). The restraining power is in that case Nero, 

I who must die before Titus can reign, the " falling away " 
referring to the struggle of Galba, Oth o, and Vitellius, and their 
deaths, which opened the way for the ascendency of the 
Flavian House. But the character of Titus will not suit the 
epithet " man of sin," nor Nero that of the restraining one, and 
the homage done by his victorious troops to their military 
ensigns was not in any sense homage to himself as affecting 

3. Dollinger is more precise, for he holds that the youthful 
Nero is Antichrist, and the stupid Claudius still reigning his 6 

\ Karex^v, rendering the participle " who is now in possession." 
The reasons are, that Nero was addicted to magical arts, and 
that he commenced that war in Judaea which led to the dese- 
cration of the temple, the previous "falling away" being the 
wretched imposture of the Gnostic heresy. But there is a 


want of reality about these hypotheses and all similar political 
speculations, and they do not fit in to the bold and awful lan- 
guage of the paragraph. 

4. Kern, Bauer, and Hilgenfeld, who maintain that the expec- 
tation expressed by the apostle in this paragraph has long ago 
found its refutation in history, imagine that the Antichrist is 
Nero, who was long supposed to be about to return to earth, 6 
KctTexow i Q that case being Vespasian possessing the throne — 
the " falling away " being the profligacy of the Jews, and the 
mystery of iniquity, the Gnostic heresy. 

Mariana found Antichrist in Nero, Bossuet in Diocletian 
and in Julian, and Maurice discovers him in the Emperor 
Vitellius. Noack finds the man of sin and the restraining 
power alike in Simon Magus and his Treiben. Some saw 
Antichrist in the first Napoleon, as Faber, who found him 
typified in the wilful king of Daniel. When he was shut up 
in St. Helena, some thought that the Atlantic was the sea 
out of which the beast was to emerge. 1 

5. Some similar vague opinions may be noted. Victorinus 
conjectures the man of sin to be a revivified hero or chieftain; 
Lactantius, that he will be a Syrian sovereign, sprung from an 
evil spirit; Cyril, that he will be a dragon, who by his sor- 
cery will raise himself to the mastery of the Roman Empire. 
Theophylact portrays him as a man who will carry Satan 
along with him. Andreas believes that he will be a kin^- 
inspired by Satan, who will reconsolidate the old empire of 
Rome and reign in Jerusalem. Aretius asserts that he will 
be a king of the Romans, who will reign over the Saracens at 
Bagdad. The schoolmen, such as Albert and Hugo, have a 
view not unlike : Aquinas saying more definitely, that he will 
be born at Babylon, be initiated into Magianism, and that his 
life and works will be a caricature of those of Christ. There 
is a IAbellus de Antiehristo, once ascribed to Augustine, to 
Alcuin, and to Rabanus Maurus, and printed in their works, 
but now believed to be written by Adso (a.d. 950), Abbas 
Monasterii Dervensis (Montier-en-Der), in which he says that 
the devil will descend on the mother of Antichrist, as did the 

1 Frere's Combined View of the Pro/Jtecies, p. 468 ; Hoblyu On the Num- 
bers of Daniel, p. 142. 

:);){i THE MAN OF SIN. 

Divine Spirit on the Virgin, et tutam earn replebit, et totam 
eamcircumdabit, totamque tenebit, et totam interius exteriusque 
possidebit earn, at diabolo per hominem cooperante concipiat, 
et quod nat/uum fuerit totam sit iniquum, totam malum, totum 
perditum. He is to be born at Babylon, and brought up at 
Chorazin and Bethsaida. A king of the Franks is to reunite 
the empire, and after a faithful reign he shall retire to 
Jerusalem, and there lay down his royal power — sceptrum et 
eoronam swam deponet. Then Antichrist will assume the 
supremacy and saying to the Jews, " I am Christ," will slay 
all his adversaries, Enoch and Elijah among them, rebuild 
Solomon's temple, and take his seat in it, feigning that he 
is the Son of Almighty God, and doing many false wonders, 
&c. Augustine, Opera., p. 1649, vol. VI, Gaume, Paris; 
Alcuini Opera, vol. II, 1291, Migne. 

Second Class. — Others, again, who understand by the 
"Coming" the destruction of Jerusalem, find the Man of Sin in 
some element or aspect of the Jewish people prior to that 
terrible catastrophe. Thus — 

1. Whitby regards the entire nation as Antichrist, and as 
the Man of Sin, quoting Josephus who records, " It is im- 
possible to recount severally the particulars of their wicked- 
ness, nor was there any generation since the memory of man 
more fruitful in iniquity." That nation is also well called the 
Adversary of Christ, as the gospels and epistles abundantly 
show. They, by their Sanhedrim, sat in the temple of God — 
enacting laws, and elevating tradition above the divine 
statues, and led away into sedition by jugglers and impostors. 
The 6 Kansxcov is the Emperor Claudius, who made two edicts 
1 in favour of the Jews, and whose mild government kept back 
the final national outbreak, and he was at length taken out of 
the way. The phrase e'/c /xeaou yiveaOai imports death, often a 
violent death,and Claudius, according to Suetonius, was poisoned. 
But this scheme is devoid of all probability The apostacy, 
he says, is the revolt of the Jews from the Roman Empire, or 
from the faith. The first notion ascribes an unlikely mean- 
ing to airouraa-la, and how could the Jews revolt from a 
faith which they never embraced 1 Nor did the Sanhedrim, a 
body so strictly monotheistic in creed, ever sit in the temple 


and assume itself, or any member of it, to be God either in 
prerogative or in name. 

2. Schottgen on the other hand supposes that by the Man 
of Sin is meant the Pharisees, the Rabbis, and the doctors of the 
law, who not only sinned themselves, but caused others to 
sin, nay, committed the sin against the Holy Ghost in ascrib- 
ing Christ's miracles to connivance with Beelzebub. The chief 
priests sit in the temple of God and so far fulfil the prophecy, 
the falling off being their rebellion against the authority of 
Rome, and the restraining power being perhaps (fortasse) the 
prayers of the Christians which warded off the catastrophe till 
they left the city and retired to Pella in safety. Somewhat 
similarly Le Clerc takes the Man of Sin to be the rebellious 
Jews with their leader Simon, the son of Gioras, whose atroci- 
ties are related by Josephus. The mystery of iniquity is their 
insurrectionary turbulence under pretence of national inde- 
pendence and zealous attachment to the law of Moses, and the 
restraining power is the Emperor and the political leaders who 
sought to dissuade them from the rebellion, rex Agrippa el 
pontiflces plurimi. 

3. Nosselt and Krause understand by Antichrist the Jewish 
zealots, and by the restraining power the Emperor Claudius. 

4. Harduin holds that the falling away is the defection 01 
the Jews into paganism, that the Man of Sin is the High Priest 
Ananias — his o Karexwv being his predecessor, whose removal 
by death was necessary to his elevation. From the beginning 
of his high-priesthood he was a prophet of lies, and he was 
destroyed at the capture of Jerusalem by Titus. 

5. Baumgarten thinks that the prophecy was suggested 
by the apostle's own experience in Eui'ope, and his interpre- 
tation of it in the light of old prophecy; the Jewish population 
being so malignantly hostile to him, and the Gentiles being 
brought into wicked league with them. This union of Israel 
with the secular power had led to the crucifixion of the Son of 
God, and had given to that atrocity the aspect of legality and 
zeal for God, and such a union will consummate the final 
development of evil, "those who have the care of the sanctuary 
having a part in it." The apostacy of the Jews from Him who 
was the promised Messiah, their king and head, had aire 



shown itself in Thessalonica, but the restraining power was 
still at work, that power being the imperial authority ; for 
when the apostle affirmed in Philippi that he was a Roman 
citizen, he was dismissed in peace. This power "withheld the 
outbreak of extreme corruption" and the apostle could not look 
for the Man of Sin anywhere but within the limits of the 
secular power, "for it is to the empires of this world that all 
the visions and prophecies of Daniel refer." 

6. Hammond, differing from these political and Jewish hypo- 
theses, argues that the Man of Sin is Simon Magus, who, as 
the head of the Gnostics, professed himself the "supreme Father 
of all, who had created the God of the Jews " ; the "falling 
away" being a lapse into Gnosticism ; 6 Kare^v being 6 
vojulo?; to Karexov being the union still subsisting between 
Christians and Jews so long as those Christians conformed to 
the Jewish law, but which soon came to an end, when Gnos- 
ticism was revealed in its true colours, as a system of deadly 
antipathy to the gospel ; and the mystery of iniquity being " the 
wicked lives of these unbelieving persecutors." Simon " did 
miracles by the help of devils, and was taken for a god — nay, 
was owned in Samaria for a god, and had a statue erected to 
him on the banks of the Tiber with the inscription Simoni 
sancto Deo." The eighth verse is explained by him thus — that 
as the chariot and fiery horses of Simon, with which this 
magician undertook a voyage in the air, were blown away by 
Peter's mouth and vanished at the name of Christ, and so the 
impostor fell down and brake his legs, and soon ended his 
miserable and shameful days by suicide — the "breath of his 
mouth " is thus the power of the Gospel in the mouths of Peter 
and Paul, and the "brightness of his coming" the vengeance 
that befell the Jews by the Poman armies, at which time the 
Gnostics that sided with them were destroyed also. 

7. Wieseler regards the Man of Sin as no abstract idea 
keine collectiv Person, but an actual individual in whom the 
power of sin should be embodied, in whom the apostacy should 
culminate — the godless self-deifying ruler of a worldly empire — 
that Christ who was expected to come in Paul's own day is to 
be his immediate destroyer ; the restraining power being the 
pious in Jerusalem viewed collectively, or if an individual 


is meant, then lie is James the Just, who was named the 
bulwark of the people. Jerusalem fell, James was slain, but 
Antichrist did not make his appearance. What then comes of 
the truth of this oracle ? 

To all these opinions there are insuperable objections, and 
each of them is beset with special difficulties. None of them 
realizes to the full or exhausts the prophetic delineation, but 
each comes greatly short of it. Some features of it may appear 
in them, but not in complete combination. None of them forms 
a portrait of which the prediction might be taken as a faithful 
description. Neither Caligula, nor Nero, nor any emperor, nor 
Simon Magus realizes the epithet — the Man of Sin, the Adver- 
sary, the Lawless one displacing God in His own Temple and 
claiming the homage due to Him, and beeaiilino; the world 
" with lying wonders and all deceivableness of unrighteousness." 
The ferocity and sensuality of those emperors and the imposture 
of Simon — whatever in short stood out in characterizing pro- 
minence in their lives — could not be described as in these clauses. 
The resemblance is very faint and fragmentary and the inter- 
pretation is only guess-work. The other conjectures as to the 
Jews, their Rabbis, their zealots, their priests or political leaders, 
are as improbable, for the Man of Sin is an individual and not 
a company or succession of wild or wicked men. Lastly, the 
irapovo-'ia cannot be the destruction of the Jewish capital, for, as 
the general usage of the New Testament indicates, and as these 
Epistles unmistakeably prove, the term denotes the second and 
personal coming of the Lord Jesus. 

Third Class. — Looking into a more remote future, a third 
and larger party of interpreters identify the Man of Sin with 
some ecclesiastical system. Some even look to the Moham- 
medan imposture — its name-father being the Man of Sin ; "the 
falling away," the defection of so many in the Oriental and 
Greek Churches from Christian truth ; and the Roman Empire 
being the restraining power. Pope Innocent III stirred anew 
the zeal of the Crusaders by pronouncing Mohammed to be 
the Man of Sin. That the apostacy was to precede the reve- 
lation of the Man of Sin is so far true in this case, yet 
Mohammed was the means of increasing and extending the 
defection. Nor did he ever put forward any claim to be Godj 


nor did he sit in the temple of God, for the phrase means 
something more than the conversion of churches into mosques; 
and certainly he never professed to work miracles and signs — 
nay, he expressly disavowed the possession of such a power. 
So much probabilit} T , however, was attached to this opinion 
that some have imagined a double Antichrist — an Eastern one 
in Mohammed and the Turkish power, and a Western one in 
the Pope and his spiritual despotism. So Melancthon, Bucer, 
Piscator, Musculus, and Vorstius. Bishop Bale says that 
Antichrist in Europe is the Pope, but Mohammed in Africa ; 
and Montague, a chaplain under the Stuart dynasty, pleaded 
that the characteristics of the prophecy belong rather to the 
Turk than the Pope (Newton, p. 4G7. Compare also Fell's 
Annotations). But the notion is baseless as an interpretation 
of this passage. 

The prevailing Protestant interpretation has been that the 
Man of Sin is Popery, gathered up into the person of the 
Pope ; or the Papal hierarchy, the head of which is the 
occupant of the Papal chair, — the falling away being a defec- 
tion from inspired truth to human tradition ; the " restrain- 
ing power" being the old Roman Empire, out of the ruins of 
which the Papacy rose. There is no little verisimilitude in 
this opinion, and it arose before the period of the Reformation 
and among men belonging to the Church of Rome. Gregory T, 
toward the end of the sixth century, had foreshadowed the 
opinion in asserting theoretically that any one possessing the 
kind and amount of power, which the Pope claimed soon after 
his time, would be the forerunner of Antichrist. His words 
are, Ego autem fidenter dico quia quisquis se universalem 
sacerdotem vocat, vel vocari desiderat, in elatione sua Anti- 
christum prcecurrit, quia, superbiendo se caiteris prceponit. 1 
He calls the title of Universal Priest erroris nomen, stnltum 
ac superbum vocabulum, perversum, nefandam, scelestum 
vocabulwm, nomen blasphemiae; and in one of his letters he 
asks, Sed in hac ejus superbia quid aliud nisi propinqua jam 
Antichristi esse tempora designatur; 2 and these were his 
utterances when John, Bishop of Constantinople, first assumed 

1 Ep. XXXIII, lib. vii, p. 891, Opera, vol. Ill, Migne. 

2 Ep. XXI, lib. v, p. 749. 


the title of Universal Bishop. Arnulphus, Bishop of Orleans 
about a.d. 991, spoke in the Synod of R-heims against Pope 
John XV, summing up by saying that if he had not charity and 
was puffed up with knowledge, he was Antichrist. 1 Joachim, of 
the twelfth century, in his Commentary on the Apocalypse, 
describes the second Beast as ruled by some great prelate who 
will be like Simon Magus, and as it were Universalis Pontifex 
• — the very Antichrist of whom the apostle speaks. In the 
famous interview with King Richard on his way to Palestine, 
Joachim is said to have maintained that Antichrist was shortly 
to come, was born already in Rome, and was soon to be raised 
to the apostolic see. But the Franciscans, in self-defence, may 
have interpolated Joachim's works. At the end of the same 
century Amalric, professor of logic and divinity, more than 
hinted that the Pope was Antichrist; and the idea pleased two 
classes especially — those who abhorred the lax morality of the 
Papal court, like the Franciscans; and those political Imperial- 
ists who were battling against the Papacy and its pretensions : 
men, on the one hand, like Peter John of Olivi, Ubertinus, 
and Grostete who, on being excommunicated, appealed from 
the court of the Pope to the tribunal of Christ ; and on the 
other, like Eberhard, who accuses Hildebrand of laying the 
foundation of Antichrist's kingdom 170 years before his 
time ; and identifies him with the little horn of Daniel. 2 
So also Petrus de Vineis, chancellor to Frederick II, and 
his defender against the Pope ; Marsilius of Padua, a famous 
jurist; Roger Bacon, &c. Some of these men were writing 
under strong natural feeling against the Pope as a personal 
antagonist, and therefore they denounced him in bitter terms 
intended to wound and humble him ; so that their denuncia- 
tions of him were not suggested by sober and careful inter- 
pretation of this prophecy, and they would have shrunk from 
applying to him all its terms. 

If such license of language was taken occasionally by persons 
within the pale of the Romish Church, it is not to be wondered 
at that those who were in separation from it came to hold 
similar views, such as the Waldensians, the Hussites, and the 
followers of Wycliffe. The Waldensian document belonging to 
1 Zauchius, 483. - Ibid, p. 489. 


the thirteenth century — Treatise of Antichrist — identifies the 
Man of Sin with Antichrist, Babylon, the fourth Beast, the 
harlot; hut La Nobla Leyczon, "the noble lesson," of over 470 
lines written in the Provencal dialect in the latter part of the 
twelfth century, speaks more doubtfully. " The people are to 
be well advised when Antichrist conies that we give no 
credence to his doings or his sayings. But according to 
Scripture there are many Antichrists, for all who are contrary 
to Christ are Antichrist." Those documents are of great 
antiquity, though Leger has certainly exaggerated the early 
origin of the Waldenses ; and the date referred to in the poem 
is doubtful, as the point of commencement cannot be exactly 
ascertained. 1 Men like Lord Cobham and like Walter Brute, 
who suffered under Papal tyranny, naturally felt that the Pope 
as a spiritual despot must be the Antichrist. The Reformers 
as a body held the same view — Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, 
Zuingli, Bucer, Beza, Bullinger, &c; Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, 
Jewell, Hooper, Hooker, &c. It is embodied in the articles of 
the Smalcald Confession. King James put forth the same 
view in his Apologia pro Juram. Fidel.; and for this publica- 
tion he is complimented by our translators in their dedication, 
" that it hath given such a blow unto that Man of Sin as will 
not be healed." Hosts of English divines and commentators 
have given the same interpretation, such as Bishop Andrews, 
Sanderson, Napier of Merchiston, Mecle, Bishop Newton, Faber, 
&c. Many find the Papacy in the first or second Apocalyptic 
Beast; and some identify the system with both Beasts, as 
Pareus, Vitringa, Croly, Elliott. This view represents also the 
popular belief, at least in Scotland, and it is often brought 
forward in times of anti-Papal agitation. The points of 
similarity between the Pope or Popery and the description of 
this paragraph have been elaborated by Bishop Jewel in his 
Exposition, and the commentary of Bishop Wordsworth puts 
them in a more precise and definite form. The same identifi- 
cation may be found in Bishop Newton, in Faber's Sacred 
Calendar of Prophecy, and in many current and popular 

The points of identification are the following : — Many of the 
1 Gieseler, III, 418 ; Elliott, II, 686 ; Mosheim, 428 ; Hallam, I, 28. 


Roman Pontiffs were men of sin, characterized by debauchery, 
sensuality, cruelt}^ and bloody ambition. Popish writers 
describe the vileness of many Popes in the blackest terms. 
About the tenth century, from John VIII to Leo IX fifty 
Popes are said, by Genebrard, to be apostatici pot I lis quam 
apostolid. Baronius shrinks not from depicting those of the 
tenth century as being guilty of robbery, assassination, simony, 
dissipation, tyranny, sacrilege, perjury, and all kinds of wicked- 
ness. Two courtesans, mother and daughter, dispensed the 
Papal patronage of the period. During the pontificate of John 
XII, women were afraid of going to St. Peter's tomb, lest they 
should be violated by Peter's successor. Cardinal Bellarmine 
admits that he was nearly the most wicked of the Popes. 
Boniface VII is declared by Cardinal Baronius to have been a 
thief, a miscreant, and a murderer. John XXIII was found 
guilty by the Council of Constance of forty species of vices, 
including incest and unnatural lust. Sixtus IV established 
brothels in Rome, and was the " Vicar General of God and 
Venus." Alexander VI was a monster of depravity. His 
vices and crimes were so base that they are unfit for descrip- 
tion, and he was poisoned with a cup which he had treacher- 
ously prepared for others. It is needless to extend the list. 
There have been, certainly, many exceptions — many good men 
in the Papal chair ; but so many have been notorious for sins 
and profligacies that they are held by many to give the Papal 
succession the aspect and character of " The Man of Sin." 

Then, on the same hypothesis, the "falling away," airocrrauia, ( 
is the declension from the pure and primitive faith of the early 
centuries, and no system of apostacy can be compared with 
Popery in long continuity of time and wide extent of place. 
Among the elements of such apostacy may be reckoned false 
doctrine, idolatry, or worship of images, and the gradual assump- 
tion of a universal pontificate in the person of St. Peter's suc- 
cessor. The Second Council of Nice, in a.d. 787, authorized 
many previous errors and practices which had been growing 
for centuries. 

The "mystery of iniquity" is so called from its early and secret 
working : what at first was harmless grew by degrees into sin 
and degradation. Jewel instances celibacy, single communion, 


the power of the keys, purgatory, pre-eminence of the Romish 
Bishop — all which things came in gradually and with no evil 
purpose, acquired strength without being observed, and at 
length obtained an extreme form, a virulent predominance. 

Bishop Wordsworth says, " It may be asked how could this 
power be said to be at work in St. Paul's age," and his reply is 
" St. Paul was inspired by the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost 
can see what man cannot see ;" and he adds, " no wonder we 
should not be able to discern it." But the germs were to some 
extent visible even then to human sight. The quick eye of the 
apostle discerned them, as may be learned from various indica- 
tions in his epistles. 

This word, in its Latin form mysterium,wa,s formally inscribed 
in letters of gold on the front of the Pope's tiara, and is said to 
have been removed by Pope Julius II, who reigned from a.d. 
1503 to 1513. 1 But such an ostentatious use of the word differs 
from the meaning of the clause. From the word mystery the 
Popish expositor Estius has an argument against the identifi- 
cation of the Man of Sin with the Pope. The mystery of 
iniquity was already working in secret attempts to oppress 
the church in the apostle's own times. Si enim uti conten- 
clunt Romanus Pontifex Antici hristus est, extitit autem Anti- 
christ us Apostolorum tempore, nee alius tunc Romanus Pon- 
tifexfuit, nisi beatus Petrus, igitur Retrus erat Antichrist us. 

Again, the description of the fourth verse is said to be realized 
in Popery. The Man of Sin is the opposer, 6 avriKeifxevo?, in 
nearly every sense. Christ is the Rock, and the Pope says "I am 
the Rock," "a rival foundation." The Pope exalts himself above 
all gods, such as Elohim or civil rulers, for every Pope on being 
crowned with the tiara is saluted as Pater Principum et Regum, 
Rector orbis. 2 On his coins the legend runs, omnes reges servient 
ei. It is his prerogative to cancel an oath of allegiance; and he 
declares that oaths of allegiance to persons excommunicated are 
void, for the kingly power is subject to the pontifical and 
is bound to obey it. Bulls for these purposes have often been 
issued, as by Hildebrand against the Emperor Henry IV, by 
Gregory IX and Innocent IV against the Emperor Frederick 

i Newtou, 642 : Wordsworth's Letters, p. 41. 

2 The full form is iu Wordsworth's Letters, p. 317. 


II, by Paul III against Henry VIII of England, by Pius V 
against Queen Elizabeth — a sentence repeated by Gregory XIII 
and Sixtus V. 

Then as to the session in the Temple of God, showing 
himself as God, the Pope on his election and proclamation 
is carried into St. Peter's and seated on the high altar, where 
he is saluted by the kneeling cardinals — oscido pedis, manus, 
ct oris. The Church calls this ceremony the adoration — the 
princes of the Roman church kiss " the profane feet which 
trample on the altar of the Most High." The medals of 
Martin V have the legend Quem crecoit, adorcint. 

Next, the restraining power is with this interpretation said 
to be the old Roman Empire — Romanus status, as Tertullian 
calls it, who also says, " that Christians had special need to 
pray for the empire, since on its removal some terrible violence 
would come/' 1 That is to say, when the Roman Empire was 
dismembered, the Man of Sin would grow in daringness — for 
he was curbed and kept down by the civil power, which 
brooked no rival and tolerated no upstart. Paul had spoken of 
this when he was with the Thessalonians, and therefore he does 
not repeat it in writing, and for another reason too, as Jerome 
alleges, "if St. Paul had written openly, and boldly said that the 
Man of Sin would not come until the Roman Empire was 
destroyed, a just cause of persecution would then appear to have 
been afforded against the church in her infancy." 2 Chrysostom 
(in loc.) repeats the same assertion, and also Augustine. 3 So that 
the reserve of the apostle is taken as a proof that he must 
have meant the imperial power. It is true that when the court 
and government were transferred to Constantinople, Rome was 
left as a prey to the ecclesiastical power. Odoacer in A.D. 47G 
deposed and exiled Romulus Augustulus, and with his removal 
the Roman Empire in the West came to an end. De Maistre 
says, "a secret hand chased the emperors from the Eternal City 
to give it to the head of the Eternal Church." In A.D. 755, the 
Pope obtained the exarchate of Ravenna, and in 77-i got 
possession of the kingdom of the Lombards, and having at 

1 Apologia, xxxii, p. 236, vol. I, Opera, ed. CEhler. 

2 Epist. ad Algasiam, lib. 121, p. 8S8, vol. I, Opera, ed. Vallar. 

3 De Civitate Dei, lib. xx, cap. 19, p. 958, vol. VII. Opera, Gaume. 


length accepted the territory of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, and 
Lombards, he formally assumed the triregno? the triple tiara, 
the super-imperial crown — extra ecclesiam — the symbol of his 
political prerogative as opposed to the mitre, the symbol of his 
ecclesiastical dignity intra ecclesiam. 

The " miracles and signs and lying wonders " which the 
Lawless one is to perform find, it is averred, a fulfilment in the 
Church of Rome, where miracles of various kinds are recorded 
in every century, such as those wrought at the tomb of the 
Abbe' Paris and at many other tombs, as told in the Roman 
Breviary: the annual liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius 
at Naples ; the wonders done by sacred images moving, speak- 
ing, weeping, bleeding ; supernatural visitations from the 
Virgin and the saints; and great prodigies done by holy relics. 

Now, many of these resemblances are very striking, and 
Popery is a system in many of its features quite opposed to the 
spirit and the letter of the inspired volume — a dark system of 
spiritual slavery, the iron of which enters into the soul. The 
Inquisition on the one side was balanced by indulgences on 
the other side. Its cruelties have been ferocious in their out- 
breaks : Te Dewm was sung in the church of St. Louis in Rome 
for the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, and a medal with the 
words Pietas excitavit justitiam was struck in commemoration 
of it. Its arrogance is blasphemous; its sacerdotal prerogatives 
in confession, absolution, and transubstantiation are quite 
superhuman in pretension. The devotion it inculcates to the 
Papal chair, as by the creed of Pius IV and the Bull in Ccena 
Domini, is inconsistent with personal freedom and civil liberty. 
It claims toleration, but yields none save under necessity. Its 
people are, in the mass of them, as firm believers in legend and 
tradition as in the Word of God. Popery is a s} 7 stem of baleful 
intervention between heaven and earth : the priest stands 
between the sinner and God, auricular confession between him 
and the footstool of mercy, penance between him and godly 
sorrow, the mass between him and the righteousness of Christ, 
indulgences between him and a self-denying and earnest life, 
tradition between him and holy Scripture, and purgatory 
between him and the heavenly world. 

1 Elliott, vol. II, p. 901. 


This identification of the Pope with the Man of Sin was 
not very popular in the days of the Stuarts. Mede, the 
famous writer on prophecy, says in one of his letters that 
" some of his opinions would have made another man a Dean, 
Prebend, or something else ere this, but the point of the Pope's 
being Antichrist as a dead fly marred the savour of that 

It is scarcely to be wondered at that some Popish writers 
retaliated on Protestant commentators and polemics. Estius 
says that Protestants, prhno auctore Luthero, have formed 
an apostacy from the true faith and worship, and paved the 
way for Antichrist — ut hodie insigniter facit Jacobus rex 
Angliae. 1 Compare a-Lapide and Fromond. Archbishop Bram- 
hall brings the matter nearer home, for at the conclusion of his 
"Fair Warning of Scottish Discipline," a tract which is a plea 
for the lowest Erastianism, he says, "it were worth the enquiry 
whether the marks of Antichrist do not agree as eminently to 
the General Assembly of Scotland as either to the Pope or to 
the Turk." 2 The king of France, with the advice of his 
council, forbad that any one should call the Pope Antichrist ; 
and Grotius, at the time Swedish ambassador in Paris, com- 
posed a treatise on Antichrist, minimizing the difference 
between Protestantism and Popery in the vain hope of effecting 
some reconciliation. 3 Baxter attacked the " Grotian theory," 
accused Grotius of a design to reconcile Papists and Protestants 
in a Cassandrian Popery, and, believing that the scheme had 
been regarded with favour in England, among others attacked 
Bramhall. Bramhall in his reply shrank from avowing his 
belief that the Pope is Antichrist, and makes so many distinc- 
tions and limitations as to show that he did not heartily 
concur in the views of the Reformers. 4 

For very different reasons from any of the preceding ones, 
the Polish Socinians regarded the Pope as Antichrist, since he 
was the main supporter of Trinitarian doctrine ; and Schlich- 
ting explains the clause, " a strong delusion that they should 

1 Estius, p. 79. 

2 Works, p. 287, vol. Ill, Oxford, 1844. 

3 See Bochart's reply, Examen Libellide Antichn'sto, Opera, vol. I, p. 1044. 

4 BranihaU's Works, vol. Ill, p. 500. 


believe a lie," by saying, "they refused to believe that the man 
Jesus is a God made by the one God; therefore let them 
believe that He is the one very God himself" (in loc). 

But while the resemblance is so close between the Papacy 
and this prophetic description, the Papacy does not by any 
means exhaust it. The oracle harmonizes with it on many 
points, but goes greatly beyond it. Popery embodies no small 
portion of it, but does not comprehend all of it. The Man of 
Sin has not yet appeared. No one so daring, so defiant, so 
Antichristic, so successful in imposture, has yet appeared 
among men or in the Popish community. The arguments 
against identification are — 

1. The phrases and epithets, " the Man of Sin," the " Son 
of Perdition," the " Lawless One," naturally represent a single 
individual, not a polity or system. Had the apostle wished to 
portray a system, he could have used an abstract term like 
;} a-woo-rao-la. The terse personal language forepictures one 
man, one human being, as really as the phrase " son of perdi- 
tion" described from the Lord's lips the fate of Judas the 
traitor. In 1 Tim. iv, 1, when the apostle portrays a coming- 
defection, he uses the plural number — " some shall depart from 
the faith," &c; and in 2 Tim. iii, 2 the plural is again employed 
— "men shall be lovers of themselves," &c, Jannes and Jambres 
being a specimen of them. The "falling away" consists of 
those who have fallen away — the apostacy, of apostates ; but 
the apostacy as a fact or as a system is not to be identified 
with the "Man of Sin," for it precedes him and is the condition 
of his appearance. He is then one human being, and is not to 
be identified with a complicated system such as Popery. On 
the other hand, the Apocalyptic Beast plainly represents a 
polity, and the second Beast seems to correspond to the little 
horn of the fourth Beast of Daniel. 

2. Nor can these individualistic phrases mean a succession 
of men, series et successio hominum, or the line of nearly 
three hundred Popes. The instances adduced by Bishop 
Newton in favour of that view will not sustain him. 1 Thus he 
argues, "a king is often used for a succession of kings, as in Dan. 
vii, viii " ; but in these chapters there are no parallel instances. 

1 Dissertations on the Prophecies, p. 440, 16th edition (Londou, 1832). 


In the seventh chapter it is said distinctly, " the four beasts 
are four kings," in explanation of the symbols ; and in the 
eighth chapter " the kings of Media and Persia" are spoken of 
in the plural number ; " a king of fierce countenance " is 
foretold, but he is evidently one individual. The declaration 
" the rousdi £oat is the kino- of Greece, and the great horn that 
is between his eyes is the first king," implies by the terms a 
succession of individuals. Bishop Newton refers again to the 
phrase, Heb. ix, 7, "into the second went the high priest alone 
once every year," a clause he expounds as " denoting the series 
and order of high priests." But the high priest means in this 
sentence the one for the time being, and a definition of hereditary 
sacerdotal function in this way is wholly different in terms from 
a prediction delivered in the singular number. Other instances 
adduced in proof have nothing analogous in them, for they are 
symbols with their interpretation. Bishop Newton adds, "No 
commentator ever conceived the whore of Bab}don to be meant 
of a single woman, and why then should the ' Man of Sin ' be 
taken for a single man?" But the statement involves a 
strange confusion of ideas about the sign and the thing signi- 
fied. The woman, as an hieroglyph, is most certainly a single 
woman, but she may symbolize a variety of malign and 
seductive influences, for she is " that great city which reigneth 
over the kings of the earth." On the other hand, in the 
paragraph before us, there is no imagery or symbolism — all is 
as plain and prosaic as if it were a mere historical statement 
of fact. The arguments of Elliott for a plural sense are similar, 
and their refutation is of equal facility. He says that 
"o KaTex<x>v in the masculine singular is used synonymously with 
to Karexov in the neuter, as of a power — referring to the then 
existing line, succession, or government of the Roman em- 
perors." He adds as to this example, " It at once annihilates 
all the arguments of those who would contend on the around 
of this phraseology for a personal individual Antichrist." 1 
But as we deny the meaning which he assigns to the two 
participles, his whole argument falls to the ground. His other 
proofs are like those of Bishop Newton, such as the reference 
to the high priest (Lev. xxi, 10), "the high priest among his 
1 TInrce Apocxdypticce, p. 833. 


brethren shall not rend his clothes," where the official designa- 
tion means each high priest for the time, in order to define his 
office. So with regard to the Jewish king (Deut. xvii, 15): the 
king, an official epithet, warrants its application to each one 
who holds the office and who is to be guided by the law. But 
when a phrase portrays a man by his character, it only 
includes himself, unless a class is specified or an assertion is 
made bringing others under the same category. Nothing of the 
kind occurs in the verses under consideration. A succession 
of priests and kings is contemplated in these verses quoted, and 
is therefore naturally presupposed, but there is no such idea 
asserted or implied in this passage. The words are therefore 
to be taken in their simple and current significance, as if they 
formed part of a nai'rative. One individual is distinctly 
pointed out under the awful epithets. There is no hint that 
one is to be taken as a symbol of many. Thrice the emphatic 
singular is employed. The 6 /caTe'vow becomes to kcat€~xov — 
a significant change ; but it is 6 avdpunros Trj? afxaprtag, 6 vlos 
rfc cnrooXeias, 6 avrtKei/mevos, direct and individual unity ; and 
then, after an inserted appeal to previous conversations, a 
return to him is luade by the singular avrov = 6 uvo/xo?, and 
the relatives ov . ■ ' . . ov — plain immediate matter of 
fact, a single personality without figure or disguise or anything 
to suggest a plurality or succession. 

3. And this natural interpretation of the phrases is the 
earliest one. The first fathers took the Man of Sin to be a 
single person, and since they regarded the prophecy as unful- 
filled in their day, they did not attempt to interpret its 
language by bringing it into harmony with any supposed 
accomplishment. Thus Irenseus describes him as diabolicam 
apostasiam in se recajpitulans ; . . . se autem extollens 
unum idolum. . . . habens in semstijiso reliquorum 
idolorum varium errorem. 1 Justin Martyr uses the words 
o 7% onToo-rao-ias avOpunro?, his quotations, references, and 
explanations being all in the singular number. 2 Origen in his 
references to the prophecy also emplo}^ the singular, and 
understands one individual opposed kclto. Sid/uerpov to the 

1 Advers. Hceres., lib. v, c. 25, p. 783, vol. T, Opera, eel. Stieren. 
- Dial, cum Tryph., c. 110, p. 364, vol. II, Opera, ed. Otto. 


Christ, vlbv tou 7rov7]pov Saipovo? teal Harava /cut SiaftoXov. 1 
Hippolytus affirms that Antichrist is to be born in Dan, as the 
Christ was in Judah, calling him the son of the devil, . . . 
that tyrant and shameless one and enemy of God. 2 In a para- 
graph the genuineness of which has been doubted, he says, "that 
deceiver seeks to make himself like to the Son of God," with 
numerous other allusions. Tertullian holds the same view;" 
and Chrysostom, in loc, more expressly writes ai/0pa>7ro? ti? 
Tracrav avTod (Earava) Sc^o^po? r^v evepyctav. Cyril of Jeru- 
salem does not differ, 4 nor Augustine, who styles him adver- 
sarius ejus Antichristus, though he indicates the other view. 
Lactantius describes Antichrist as one person — hie est autem, 
qui appellator Antichristus; orietur ex Syria, malo spiritu 
genitus. 5 Jerome's own view is precise — qui adversatur 
Christo et ideo vocatur Antichristus. , 6 

That the Man of Sin was to be one human being — one man 
so terribly signalized in character, energy, and perdition — was 
the first and prevailing interpretation, for it was suggested by 
the terse simplicity and the unambiguous singular unity of the 
terms. The long line of Popes is therefore not intended by the 
phrases under discussion. Nay, so many schisms have raged 
among Popes and in the Popedom, that they could scarcely be 
represented by a unity. Baronius himself admits twenty-six 
schisms, and others make thirty. The claim of Liberius to the 
Papal chair was denied by the fathers, and Athanasius called 
him a monster. Silverius was in A.D. 536 elected by simony, 
and Julius II pronounced the election void. Stephen flung 
the corpse of his predecessor into the Tiber, and his rescission 
of the dead man's acts was reversed by his own successor 
John X. Sergius III called a council and nullified the acts of 
John. Sylvester, John, and Benedict fought fiercely in the 
eleventh century against one another for the tiara, but agreed 
at length to divide the revenues. To expel this " three-headed 

1 Contra Celsum, p. 307, ed. Spencer. 

2 De Christo et Antichristo, xv., Opera, ed. De Lagarde, pp. 7, 8. 

3 De Resurrect., xxiv, p. 497, vol. LI, Opera, ed. (Elder. 

4 Cateches. xv, 7, p. 212, Opera, ed. Miller. 

5 Divin. Institut., lib. vii, c. 17-19. 

6 Epist. ad Algas., already quoted. 


monster," Gratian bought the Papacy and became Gregory VI. 
In the twelfth century happened the great schism, which 
lasted seventy years, one Pope reigning in Avignon and 
another in Rome, Urban and Clement dividing Christendom, 
and thundering anathemas at one another. The succession 
was uncertain, and none could tell who was rightful pontiff. 
At a later period Eugenius and the Council of Florence excom- 
municated Felix, and the Council of Basle and the latter 
heartily reciprocated the anathema. There are various theories 
on the nature of the Papal supremacy and infallibility, and on 
many tenets of its theology. Pope Gelasius in the fifth century 
condemned communion in one kind ; his successors strictly 
command it. Gregory the Great branded the title of Universal 
Bishop as impious ; his successors glory in it. Pope Vigilius 
fell into the heresy of Eutychianism, Pope Liberius into that 
of Arianism. Pope Houorius was condemned as a Monothelite 
by Pope Leo II. The infallibility meant to secure unity has 
often showed itself in suicidal weakness. Pope Sixtus in 
1589 completed an authorized edition of the Latin Vulgate, 
which had been begun by Pope Pius IV, continued by Pope 
Pius V, and announced by a bull of date 1st March, 1589; 
and the preface threatens from the chair every one with 
excommunication who shall dare to alter the text in the 
smallest way. But in spite of this fence, the book was found 
to be full of blunders. The successor of Pope Sixtus V 
(Gregory XIV) was so sensible of this, and so little afraid of 
the Papal thunder, that he made preparations for a new 
edition, which was finished by Pope Clement VIII three years 
afterwards in 1592, and it was similarly defended with threats 
of highest curses on every one who should presume in any way 
to change it. Cardinal Bellarmine, to save the Papal infalli- 
bility, laid the blame on the printer, and this poor and un- 
worthy defence — an awkward attempt to escape from a 
dilemma — is said to have secured the cardinal's canonization. 
Baldwin the Jesuit went so far as to affirm that the edition of 
Sixtus was never published ! Thus the two literary infallibili- 
ties clashed, and in the contradiction throw one another into 
mutual destruction. 

4. Nor is the description of the 4th verse exhausted in its 


application to the Pope as the head of the Papal hierarchy, 
" who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called 
God or that is worshipped ;" that is, every one called God, and 
every object of divine homage, for o-efiao-iua is not used in 
Scripture of objects of human veneration, such as rulers and 
magistrates. Two features very strongly marked are given — 
opposition to every God, true or false, and self-elevation above 
every God, true or false. Now, there is no little idolatry in the 
Romish Church ; but these words are not a charge of idolatry f 
but of utter antagonism to God. The Pope holds the three 
creeds and owns himself to be a worshipper and servant of God. 
He professes to identify himself with God's cause, and he offers 
adoration to Father, Son, and Spirit. He blesses the people, 
not in his own name, but in the blessed triune name. So far 
from being the antagonist of God avowedly, as is the Man of 
Sin, he claims to be only a humble vassal in spiritual fellowship 
with the Divine Master, and his hymnal prayer for grace to do 
God's work is Veni Creator Spiritus. So far from exalting 
himself above God, he proclaims himself " servant of servants 
to the Most High," and craves from God divine cn-ace and 
direction. In all he does — even in the burning of heretics, in 
oro-anizins; crusades against unbelievers, in crooked and un- 
scrupulous diplomacy, in tampering with oaths and civil allegi- 
ance, in acts of ferocious cruelty and wildest ambition, or in 
doing ungodly and wicked deeds at which most men shudder 
— he ever acknowledges the divine authority and avows sub- 
mission to the divine guidance. Nor can it be properly said 
that the Roman Pontiff " opposes and exalts himself above every 
object of worship," for his sin lies quite in an opposite direction. 
He is not opposed to the a-e^darfxara, for he is ever multiplying 
them ; nor does he exalt himself above them, for after he has 
made them they are objects of veneration to him really as much 
as to any of his vassals. He puts himself under them, and 
exalts them over himself, for he does them homage along with 
the poorest of his flock. By virtue of a commission as Christ's 
first minister, as he alleges, he ordains o-e/3uV/xara, but at once 
he prostrates himself beneath them as their inferior, and in no 
way opposes or lifts his head above them. So that the clause 
does not distinctly and formally characterize either him or the 



Papal system ; for it describes a frightful antithcism — open, 
fanatical, malignant, and haughty antagonism to God, and 
every object of divine worship — "he opposes, and exalts himself." 
5. Nor does the next clause verify itself fully in the Pope- 
dom : " So that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself 
that he is God." There is no question that the Pope arrogates 
central dominion and does many things with so high a hand 
that he resembles this description and almost fixes it upon him- 
self. One very close approach to this verification takes place at 
his installation, when he is carried into St. Peter's and seated by 
the cardinals on the high altar as his throne. This, considering 
the Romish belief about the altar and the uses to which it is 
applied, is an act of daring profanation, making a footstool of 
that on which in Popish conviction is done the most awful 
work of the priest on earth, and on which is offered the most 
solemn religious service. This is Bishop Wordsworth's great 
proof and position. But (1) can St. Peter's at Borne be 
called, or has it any claim to be called, the Temple of God ; or 
can the designation be given to the earlier church of the 
Lateran, which is the Pope's church as Bishop of Rome, and 
loftily called Ecdesiarvm urbis et orbis Mater et Caput? 
(2) If the temple of God means the Christian church, how can 
he be said in literal palpability to go and take his seat in that 
temple, so wholly an ideal structure ? (3) When we reflect on 
the myriads of Protestants in all parts of the earth, we cannot 
hold that the centre and capital of Christ's church in the world 
is the city of Rome, and though Rome be truly the centre and 
capital of Papalism, yet we should refuse to call the Popish 
church by the solemn and exclusive title of the temple of God. 
Though the seating of the Pope on the high altar might even 
on Popish premises be branded as an act of consummate im- 
piety, it does not come up to the charge, " showing himself 
that he is God." The Pope's seat on the high altar is pro- 
fessedly the symbol of his being the one vicar and representa- 
tive of the Lord Jesus on earth. But no Pope ever did show 
himself that he was God. No one has ever been guilty of such 
gross self-deification. Blasphemous titles may be given him ; 
he has not assumed them. The adoration paid to him on the 
high altar is gross in itself, and may be a kind of idolatry ; but 


it professes to be only the adoration of Christ's presence and 
power in him. The claim of infallibility on the part of the 
Pope looks like a shadow of divine omniscience and immuta- 
bility, and his theocratic government exalts him to a divine 
altitude as its anointed head. It is a power like to God's 
which he assumes over the consciences of men and the destinies 
of nations, as if he were sovereign and unchallenged disposer ; 
or when he has claimed the impious prerogative of authentica- 
ting the books of Scripture to invest them with canonical 
authority, 1 as Pope Gregory VII said, " Not a single book of 
scripture shall be held canonical without the Pope's authority." 
But in all these things he does not show himself that he is God, 
for the formal acknowledgement of God prefaces all his decrees 
and sanctifies, as his adherents call it, all his deeds, even the 
worst of them. In his loftiest and most daring claims he shows 
himself only as God's viceroy. Hildebrand, in building up and 
compacting this marvellous complication of spiritual tyranny, 
believed himself to be only God's chosen instrument for the 
work. The Council of Trent gives the Pope simply the supreme 
power in the universal church, though Cardillus said to the 
Council " the Pope holds as a mortal god the place of Christ on 
earth." " The Pope," says the gloss on the canon law, " is not 
a man." Bernard said, " None except God is like the Pope." 
Turrecrema and Barclay tell us Doctorculi volunt adulando 
eos quasi aequiparare Deo. The canon law declares that he 
occupies "the place not of a mere man, but of God ;" he is called 
" our Lord God ;" some affirming that the Pope and the Lord 
form the same tribunal. " The Pope is above right, and can 
change the substantial nature of things ;" can, according to 
Bellarmine, change duty into sin, and sin into duty. 2 Some 

1 Another Pope, Sixtus V, in 1590, authorized a Latin Bible as an 
authentic infallible standard, in the place of the Hebrew and Greek 
original ; and in this Latin Bible several books are called canonical which 
were never regarded as such by the Christian Church for fifteen hundred 
years ! and in 1592 behold another development ! Clement VIII comes 
forth with another Latin Bible to supersede the infallible Bible of his pre- 
decessor, and differing from it in several thousand places ! Wordsworth, 
pp. 108, 109. 

- For the authorities, see Edgar's Variation* of Paprn/, p. 129, London. 


of these epithets and assertions, as Dominus Dens, Foster 
Papa, given and made by canons, divines, and councils 
had no small authority surrounding them, but for the most 
part they were the extravagance of adulation, and were 
generally met by some opposition. 1 Those wild and wanton 
blasphemies, while they come amazingly close to the words of 
this verse, do not satisfy them. No Pope has ever arrogated 
those names to himself, nor would his arrogation of them have 
been tolerated. No Pope has ever really deified himself and 
ventured to supersede God in His own temple. What he has 
said, or done, or assumed, does almost by inference imply it ; 
but cannot be fully identified with it. No Pope has so acted 
out antitheism as to thrust aside God formally and put him- 
self in His place ; but the Man of Sin is openly and avowedly 
to take God's seat within His own house, and so to displace its 
divine occupant as to be not God's rival merely but God's sub- 
stitute, " showing himself that he is God." 

6. The prediction of false miracles in verse 9 suits the 
Papacy, which abounds with them — not only in transubstan- 
tiation, but in a great variety of shapes. 2 Some of the 
miracles have been already referred to. A curious illustra- 
tion is given by Athanasius. Among other reasons why 
the Son said of the time of the last days ovSe 6 vtbs o'tSe, one 
was that he might confute future impostors, angelic or human, 
who might pretend to know it. If Antichrist will say, I am 
Christ, pretend to a supernatural knowledge of the last times, 
and work in confirmation miraculous signs, let him be con- 
fronted with this utterance, that is, If the true Christ did not 
know it, how shall a false Christ reach the possession of such 
knowledge ? 3 

The wonder of transubstantiation has been told in frightful 
words. "He that created me," says one cardinal, "if it be lawful 
to say it, gave me power to create Himself." "Her ladyship 
once conceived the Son of God, while the priest daily calls into 
existence the same Son in a corporeal form." 4 

i Jewel's Works, vol. II, p. 195. 

2 Jewel, VII, 187. 

3 III Orat. contra Arianos, p. 426, vol. II, Migne. 

4 Edgar's Variations of Pope?y, p. 384. 


But as we have said, the prophecy under consideration 
portrays a single human being, not a system or polity. In a 
word, Popery is characterized by many bad features, in direct 
opposition to the letter and spirit of Scripture ; the primacy 
of the Bishop of Rome rests on no true foundation ; many of 
the earlier Decretals are spurious; the so-called Donation by 
Constantine of Italy and Rome and the provinces of the West 
to Sylvester, in a.d. 32-t, was a downright forgery, yet, as 
Gibbon says, by it the Popes "were invested with the purple 
and prerogatives of the Caesars." But idolatry, superstition, 
will-worship, injustice, lust of power, lordship over men's 
consciences, and utter disregard of equity in pursuit of its 
ends, though they so sadly and sinfully characterize the Papal 
system everywhere, are not found in this prophetic sketch. 
Nor is there any allusion to images, worship of saints and 
angels, faith in relics, or the intense and absorbing adora- 
tion of the virgin ; to the invention of purgatory, the sale of 
indulgences, priestly absolution, the power assumed over the 
world of spirits — symbolized in his badge of the two cross- 
keys, the one that of purgatory, the other that of heaven. The 
apostle portrays the apostacy, out of which springs a man 
in whom evil holds a defiant supremacy ; who shall rage with 
hellish hostility against God, and trample on every object of 
worship ; who takes his seat in God's temple and claims for 
himself as God all adoration ; the Lawless one who seduces the 
world by prodigies and lying wonders and all deceivableness of 
unrighteousness, for he is all but an incarnation of Satan — the 
Man of Sin, and therefore also the Son of Perdition. No one 
has yet appeared in whom all these elements are concentrated ; 
but Popery, as certainly a signal and continued defection from 
the true faith, and as embodying many of these features, seems 
to typify him ; or it may be the apostacy preceding and pre- 
paring for his advent. 

Whatever truth may be in the statements of Tertullian, 
Lactantius, Jerome and others, that there was among the 
churches a secret understanding about the speedy doom of 
the Roman Empire, this esoteric knowledge was soon thrown 
into open circulation — as in the Sibylline verses. Tertullian 
and Lactantius refer to these oracles and quote them. They 


are of different ages, but many of them belong to the period 
of the Antonines, and the so-called second book of Esdras is 
written in a similar spirit. Bishop Jewel quotes the Sibyl 
for the identification of Antichrist with the Pope — " Sibylla 
saith that this king shall be 7ro\i6icpavo?, that is, that he shall 
have a white head, and be called by a name much like to 
Pontus," — a prophecy according to the Bishop fulfilled in the 
white mitre of silver worn by the Pope, while in Latin he is 
named Pont if ex. The reference is to the lines — 

"K(T(TiT am£ TroXtoKpavos e^wu 7reAas ovvop.a ttovtov. 

But the epithet means silver-helmed, the allusion being to a 
warrior and not to a priest ; and the name resembling the sea is 
Hadrian, as the context plainly shows, and the reference in the 
name is to the Hadriatic sea. The terrible enemy and de- 
stroyer who occupies such prominence in the Sibylline verses 
is Nero returned to life. The vaticination says — 

iv, orav y kiraviXdrj 

'FjK TrepaTOJV ycu'v^s o cfavya? fx^TpoKTOvo'i e\9wv. 1 

The return of the revivified Nero from the East as Antichrist 
haunted men's minds for a very long period, and by writers of 
the period it is often alluded to. Not a few supposed him to be 
Antichrist, as is told by Augustine, though he stigmatizes it as 
tanta prcvsumptio in his De Civitate Dei (lib. xx, c. xix); and it 
is alluded to by Cbrysostom, Jerome, Cyril, and Tertullian, and 
in the history of Sulpicius Severus (ii. 28). This belief of Nero's 
return began in his lifetime, as the promise of some mathematici 
or astrologers, and many in Rome and the provinces firmly 
believed it after the tyrant's death. Compare Suetonius, Nero, 
40 ; Tacitus, ii. 8 ; Dio Chrysostom, xxi. Orat. de Pulchr., p. 314, 
vol. I, Opera, ed. Emperius. 

The Man of Sin is to appear immediately before the Second 
Advent. He is to be in the world when Christ comes, and the 
" appearance of His coming " destroys him. His manifestation 

1 142, also 144, Oracula Sib>/lli)ia, ed. Friedlieb. The lines preceding 
and following the first we have quoted are a spirited description of the 
downfall of the Roman power, and of the helplessness of its wealth and its 
nods to save it. 


as an individual is therefore confined to a single lifetime, so that 
again in this view he cannot be identified with Popery, which 
has endured for ages. It is no objection to say that the 
apostle does not profess to fix the time of the Second Advent ; 
he simply says that the apostacy and the Man of Sin precede 
it. The apostacy may require centuries for its development, 
the mystery of lawlessness may work through ages, but the 
Advent finds the Man of Sin in existence, and acting out his 
predicted character, and him at once it consumes, and then 
he realizes his name as the Son of Perdition. In the opinion 
of the fathers, as Barnabas and Irenaeus, his reign is to be 

The Jewish tradition about Antichrist needs not be gone into 
at length, but it regarded Antichrist as an individual whose 
advent is preceded by twelve signs — such as a grievous oppres- 
sion of the Jews on the part of the Romans for nine months. 
When the Messiah Een- Joseph, named Nehemiah, will appear 
and defeat the persecuting despot, then shall come the Anti- 
christ, called by the Jews Armillus, who is to be born of a 
marble statue in one of the churches in Rome. To the Romans 
he will give himself out as their Messiah, and they will accept 
him as God for king. Subduing the world and proving from 
Scripture that he is God, Nehemiah, with a guard of thirty 
thousand soldiers, shall herald him with the proclamation, I am 
the Lord thy God ; thou shaft have none other gods but me. 
But Armillus will deny that any such statement is found in the 
law, and will order the Jews to act as the other nations and 
adore him as their god. This challenge produces a great battle, 
in which the Messiah Ben-Joseph is slain, and terrible afflic- 
tion shall fall on the Jews for forty-five days. But Michael 
shall blow three peals of his trumpet ; at the first peal shall 
come the true Messiah, Ben David, with the prophet Elijah, 
and all Jews in the world will joyfully flock to Jerusalem. 
Armillus, who has an army of Idumeans, that is Christians, shall 
besiege Jerusalem, and he himself and his army shall perish. 
The name Armillus is taken from the last clause of Isaiah xi, 4. 
The Hebrew reads, y~n rvo; vnsc; nn?i, "and with the breath of his 
lips will he slay the wicked ;" but the Chaldee version has 
Kjpsn DhVnriN jvdd, "shall slay the wicked Armillus " (Eisenmenger's 


EntdeJct. Juden., ii, 705 ; Buxtorf, Synagoga Judaica, p. 717). 
The legend has also spread among Mahometans. Their Anti- 
christ, Messiah Ben David as he is named by the Jews, shall 
come and devastate the world with the exception of Mecca and 
Medina. But Jesus shall descend on the white tower at the 
east of Damascus and destroy him. Pocock, Porta Mosis, p. 
221, 222. 

Lastly, I enter not into the question whether the Babylon of 
the Apocalypse be Papal or Pagan Rome. Lacuuza, a Spanish 
Jesuit under the name of Ben Ezra, identifies Babylon with the 
existing Church of Rome, and argues for a future personal 
infidel Antichrist, in whose affairs the infidel Spanish clergy 
will take a prominent part. * But granting it to be Papal 
Rome, it seems to present many features of contrast to Anti- 
christ, or the Man of Sin, especially if the typical Antichrist of 
the book of Daniel be combined in the delineation. Babylon 
is a feminine, shameless, and seductive influence throned on the 
seven hills; has seven kings, and then ten kings, which at length 
hate her, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn 
her with fire. Then she is lamented by all her royal accom- 
plices standing afar off and saying, " Alas, alas, that great city, 
that mighty city." Babylon contains to the close some genuine 
believers, who are exhorted to come out of her. On the other 
hand, the Man of Sin is a masculine and individual power, 
warlike and truculent, springs out of a great apostacy, and is 
put down with none to lament his fall, and all his followers are 
involved in perdition, his locality being apparently in Jerusalem 
and certainly not in Rome. Nay, after Babylon is destroyed, 
as is told in the 18th chapter of the Apocalypse, there remains 
an antichristian power, which is overthrown, as is told in the 
19th chapter of the same book. The striking features of this 
antithesis certainly forbid any identification of these two wicked 
forms of antagonism to God and His Son Jesus Christ. But 
there is in the last confederacy, destroyed after Babylon is over- 
thrown, a person constantly described in the singular form as 
the false prophet (Rev. xvi, 13; xix, 20). He is allied to the 
second beast, and is its minister, and he works miracles and 
deceives men, as does the Man of Sin. The false prophet is thus 
1 Coming of the Messiah, translated by the late Edward Irving. 


different from the second beast, which may represent the Papal 
system ; it revives all the old tyranny, deals in miracles and 
idolatry, refuses civil rights — as to buy and sell — to all who 
refuse to wear its symbols or will not bow to its supremacy, and 
it persecutes to the death all who arc opposed to its system. 
What is ascribed to the second beast is also ascribed to the 
false prophet as its minister and guardian, so that if this false 
prophet be the Man of Sin, the inference is that he, though un- 
believing and atheistical, will take advantage of the Papal 
tyranny or some similar spiritual system to revivify it into 
some darker shape and convert it into the means of his own 
aggrandisement. Such a revival, in a form of political and 
spiritual intolerance combined with a special irreligious defec- 
tion and the shaking of all social order, may be the falling away 
which the Man of Sin lays hold of as the step to his terrible 
antitheistic pre-eminence, uniting " superstition and unbelief 
in a combined attack on liberty and religion, the embodiment 
of Satanic as distinct from brutal wickedness." Having attained 
his throne of blasphemy, his power shall be fatal to the apos- 
tacy, out of which he sprung ; yet we find commentators on the 
Apocalypse discovering Antichrist in it in various ways and 
identifying him with the Papal power. Thus the angel clothed 
with a cloud, a rainbow on his head and his face as the sun, is 
said to be Jesus, who is counterfeited by Pope Leo X, his name 
being recognized in the phrase "as when a lion roareth." 1 

Gualterus thought the wild boar of the forest, in Psalm lxxx, 
a type of the Pope, and at once selected Bocca di Porco (hog's 
snout), the name of Pope Sergius II. Antichrist, a name so 
accursed, proved a good weapon to use in a controversy, and so 
the rival Popes branded each other as Antichrist, and St. 
Bernard hurls the same terms against the Anti-Pope Anacletus. 
The little horn had eyes as a man, and it symbolizes the Pope ; 
the eyes, being the organ of vision, refer to the overseer or 
bishop — oculus pastoralis — and by necessity of inference to 
the Pope — speculator super omnia. 2 

A special question still is — what is meant by this power that 
holds back and delays the appearance of the Man of Sin ? It 

1 Elliot, Home Apocalypticae, p. 388. 

2 Elliot, p. 900. 


must be something mighty and beneficent, for it checks and 
retards a great and malignant evil. The old fathers believed it 
to be the Roman Empire and Emperor, but these have passed 
away, and the Man of Sin has not come. Some thought of the 
German Empire restored by Charlemagne, but Napoleon dis- 
solved it in 1806, and neither yet has the Man of Sin come. 

Were the "Man of Sin" the Popedom, it might be said that 
the civil power has been always restraining it, and the two 
have been often in deadly conflict, not only in mediaeval but 
in more recent times. The gross pretensions of the Papal 
power have been generally repressed by statesmen, who were 
alarmed at its stealthy encroachments and its wary and watch- 
ful ambition. This withholding power is connected by Ewald 
with the expected return of Elijah, who, when he comes, will 
confront the Antichrist, till he be removed again to heaven. 
Such^an opinion is a peculiar dream, which there is nothing in 
the passage to suggest. Hofmann regards the restraining 
i power as supernatural, and it may therefore be expressed in 
either a masculine or a neuter form, 6 kutIx^v, to Karexov. Its 
type is the good angel who withstood the evil genius that 
sought to infuse sinister purposes into the heart of the king of 
Persia. The same author, looking back to the prophecies of 
Daniel, believes in the actual return of Antiochus, the inveterate 
persecutor of the covenant people, who on his personal remani- 
festation shall, as more thoroughly demonized by the long 
interval, begin his ancient work in deadlier energy — shall, in 
fact, eclipse his former self in godlessness and ferocity. Such a 
revivification is not suggested by this prophecy. 

This restraining power, in fine, may be, as Afford ex- 
presses it, " the fabric of human polity and those who rule 
that polity, by which the great upbursting of godlessness is 
kept down and hindered." Similarly Ellicott. Whatever 
thwarts personal ambition or suppresses atheistic impulses 
"rowine; to a head, whatever counteracts the growth of that 
mystery which dethrones God and enslaves man, be it civil 
rule or evangelical influence, may be the withholding power, 
given first in the abstract — r< Karexov — then to be embodied 
in some eminent individual — 6 kutIx^v ; he will be removed, 
and then, the dam having burst, evil will deluge the earth — 


that evil finding its living centre and impersonation in the 
Lawless one, who gathers in to himself all power, secular 
and sacred, and fulfils his course by this wanton self-created 

Already, in the apostle's day was this proud impiety of 
apotheosis beginning to prevail, this mystery of insane super- 
stition was unfolding itself. The term Augustus itself implied 
divineness, and the step toward deification was easy. The 
Emperor Augustus had allowed a temple to be dedicated to 
him in Pergamus, and the imperial god and his deified 
capital shared a joint worship. The statue of the Ctesar had 
ever a special sacredness attached to it. The living Caligula 
was worshipped on the Capitoline hill, and Domitian styled 
himself "Lord and God." Trajan, according to Pliny, made 
a god of Nerva, his predecessor, from a sincere conviction of his 
divinity. Antinous, a debased favourite of Hadrian, was 
similarly exalted, and the fane of Isis at Rome celebrated him 
on one of its tablets "as the temple associate of the Egyptian 
gods." During the Roman occupation, a temple was built at 
Colchester to the divine Emperor Claudius. The living when 
deified assumed the name of some deity, but the dead on 
receiving the honour were simply admitted into the Pantheon. 
The custom spread through the empire, and was not confined 
to Rome and the imperial dynasty. An approach to this folly 
is found in the Acts of the Apostles, when the people shouted 
aloud at Herod's oration, "It is the voice of a god and not of a 
man" (xii, 22). The boldest part of this daring and self- 
glorifying profanity is adopted by the "Man of Sin" — he makes 
himself a god, and enters not into any Pantheon as the rival or 
colleague of other divinities, but into God's own Temple and 
seats himself as God without equal or superior. At any 
common epoch no one would venture on this blasphemous 
vanity — it would find no response, and the profane and rash 
impertinence would be speedily blasted and shivered to atoms — 
"Men would clap their hands at him and hiss him from his 
place." The character of his period may therefore be inferred 
from his successful adventure, as he is borne on the tide of the 
time to the highest pinnacle, even to the earthly throne of God 
— an altitude to which common ambition never looked up, and 


from which ordinary insolence would shrink back in dismay 
and terror. He shall be, as usually happens, the creature of 
his age, realizing its godlessness, and giving it palpability in 
himself — his colossal genius towering above all his contempo- 
raries by means of their encouragement and hero-worship — 
for they see themselves reflected and glorified in him, as he 
grasps, with sublime audacity, the divine prerogative, and 
wields it as a native and unchallenged right. 

Had not France, as a nation, become so audacious and 
atheistic, had not society been so altered, wrecked, and thrown 
into anarchy, Paris would never have witnessed the spectacle 
of a prostitute throned on the high altar of Notre Dame, 
saluted and worshipped under the title of the "Goddess of 
Reason." The act was the fruit and crown of the national 
insanity, and had one of the revolutionary leaders proclaimed 
himself the " god of reason," and maintained and exercised his 
godship, he would have been, in some respects, a type and 
illustration of the Man of Sin. That God had become man is 
the old belief, that man has become God is the new phantasm ; 
that Eire Supreme being, accordkjg/to positivism, humanity 
or the collective life of all human beings, the Infinite being- 
ignored. When men take home to them the old falsehood, 
" ye are gods," they are only opening a way for one of them- 
selves, of greater courage and dexterity, to assert " I am God." 
Humanity in the last times finding its divinity within itself, 
shall at length bow down to its apotheosis in the Man of Sin 
as its collective image and representative. Wearied of a God 
of love who gives it everything, and to whom all thanks are 
ever due, it sets up this god of power, and its worship of 
humanity enthi-oned in him, so near itself and so like itself, 
is but a new form of self-adulation. Throwing off all 
faith in the Saviour, it places a wretched confidence in a 
self-deifying usurper, whose tyranny is equalled only by his 
blasphemy. Flinging all former beliefs to the winds, losing- 
all confidence in God's truth, and superseding it by some 
new revelation of self-evolved speculations — gratifying to a 
proud, daring, and pantheistic intellect — it becomes the vic- 
tim of delusion and a lie, for it has not received the love of the 
truth. The Man of Sin will be but the living reflection of the 


godless apostacies and impieties of his period, the power of 
the god of this world inspiring and stimulating him. What 
Satan could be, were he permitted to assume humanity, that 
will his organ be — showing pre-eminence, not in immorality, 
or brutishness, or any inordinate lusts and orgies, but lifted 
above all in pride and insolence, and flinging out his contemp- 
tuous challenge to all power in heaven, and all authority and 
law on earth. And his kingdom shall be confirmed with all 
miracles, and signs, and wonders, and with all deceivableness 
of unrighteousness, so that it can accumulate evidences, to 
doubt which may be branded as unreasonable and unnatural 

Antichrist has been often described as made up in the stylo 
of the expositor's own age. Some of the early fathers — be- 
lievers in magic and occult power's — portraj^ed him as Simon 
Magus, endowed with vaster craft and energy. Mediaeval 
schoolmen regarded him as the boldest and subtlest of dis- 
putants, able to confound, b} r his scholastic shrewdness, every 
opponent. Men of monastic seclusion thought of him as 
awing the world by his austerities. Malvenda pictures him as 
possessed of rare and victorious eloquence, so cunning and 
overpowering that he will succeed in proving, beyond a doubt, 
that the Lord Jesus was an impostor. Maitland seems to 
ascribe to him, not the knowledge and employment of science, 
but imagination and pantheistic eloquence. It is difficult to 
conjecture that subversal of the divine administration and 
erasure of the divine existence in idea and purpose — that 
union of reckless disbelief on the one hand and of credulous- 
ness on the other — which the possibility of the ascendency 
of the Man of Sin presupposes. It may be that his transcen- 
dent intellect shall not only take advantage of all circum- 
stances propitious to his lawless audacity, but that he shall 
cunningly arrange and combine human passions, policy, and 
events, to further his enterprise ; or that he shall, by force of 
will, originality of conception, and sublimity of godless daring- 
ness, at once create the crisis which' lifts him to his awful 
pinnacle. Bede imagines that he shall spread abroad a report 
— " Lo, Christ is here ! " " Lo, he is there ! " — that men may be 
accustomed to the expectation of a new Christ, and that then 


he shall openly and impiously assume the blessed name. It is 
the last struggle of sin and Satan, inspired and envenomed by 
a thousand memories of defeat, the concentrated malice and 
rage of centuries, intensified into frenzied and furious anti- 
theism. It is the devil's final effort, so wisely and warily 
conducted, so long and cunningly prepared for by the apos- 
tacy, as to augur success ; and it may be that ordinary de- 
fences and strategy would be unequal to the contest. There 
has ever been opposition to God in the world, sometimes rising 
into virulent eminence — as in Balaam and Antiochus, and 
in many blasphemers and persecutors ; this, however, is its last 
and loftiest culmination. But Satan's ministers, and his vice- 
devil organ encounter an irresistible doom — he is consumed by 
the breath of Christ's mouth. The prospect is a dark one, but 
it is the apostle's picture. This terrible monstrosity may be 
connected with the apocalyptic conspiracy of Gog and Magog 
— a great and appalling reaction after the revival, or so-called 
millenium, has passed away (Rev. xx, 7, 8, &c). The Lord 
himself puts the startling question, " When the Son of Man 
cometh, shall he find faith on the earth ?" (Luke xviii, 8). 
This opinion is in the core of it similar to that of Olshausen, 
Ellicott, Alford, Riggenbach, Lacunza, Lillie, Lange, 1 though 
the last takes a limited and secular view, tinged perhaps witli 
the political combinations and prospects of the European con- 
tinent, when he writes of Antichristianism, that while Ultra- 
montane absolutists see' it in the consummation of Radicalism, 
and Radical literati look on Jesuitism as the incarnation of 
this evil principle, his supposition is that these extremes may 
be reconciled, and " the last form of Antichristianism may 
proceed from a coalition between completed absolutism and 
completed Radicalism." We should be disposed to say that 
such a coalition — destroying all rule, trampling on all right, and 
breaking all social bonds — would prepare that anarchy, in the 
midst of which, and taking advantage of it, the daring power 
of the Man of Sin shall climb to this solitary eminence, stand 
out as the supplanter of God, and crown himself as the per- 
sonal concentration, or the organ and representative, of all 
secular and spiritual despotism. 

1 Article, " Antichrist " in Herzog, Real. Encydopddie, Gotha, 1863. 


What the temple of God is, in which the Man of Sin is to 
take his seat, it is difficult to say. The vaos, as we have seen, 
may be an image, and may mean the church of Christ. But 
the sense is not supported by analogy, for, as we have also 
seen, in all the places in which the word is used in a symbolic 
sense, the clause explains the metaphor, or contains the asser- 
tion that believers form the temple — " Know ye not that ye are 
the temple of God," — "which temple ye are" (1 Cor. iii, 16, 17; 
vi, 19). Compare Ephes. ii, 20, 21, 22. The somewhat similar 
phrase, "temple of my God," in Rev. iii, 12, does not refer to 
the church of Christ on earth, but to the heavenly edifice. 
Besides, what idea would the first readers of that epistle asso- 
ciate with the " temple of God" when there was only one struc- 
ture bearing the name of it, and it was in the city of Jerusalem ? 
Shall that temple be rebuilt, or shall some central sanctuary of 
the latter day, the metropolitan church of the world, bear the 
hallowed appellation ; or shall it be some place of honour 
hitherto unreached by any one, which the Man of Sin shall 
stealthily climb to, and in which, throwing off his disguise, 
he shall begin by word and deed to act out his predicted 
career ? The realistic view seems most in harmony with the 
meaning of the terms, which suppose some locality in which 
this profane parade of himself as God shall take place (Elliott, 
p. 835). 

To conclude, I question if the term Antichrist, so commonly 
given to the Man of Sin, be properly applied to him. True, 
indeed, as the Man of Sin does a work so opposite to Christ's 
in relation both to God and man, in its nature and purpose — 
dishonouring the Father and enveloping the world in awful 
peril — he may be called Antichrist. The meaning of the word 
may be disputed, as avrl may signify either " instead of " or 
" against." Thus dvTi{3a<Ti\eu$, "a viceroy"; dvOinraros, a "pro- 
consul " : but avTi<j)i\ocro<f)eu>, "to hold opposite tenets"; 
avrenreiv, "to speak against"; dvriOecris, "opposition"; dvrt- 
\oyla, " contradiction " ; avriTay/uia, " the opposite army " ; 
aVraycowcm/9, an " opponent." Thus we have the term " anti- 
pope," and this seems to be the common meaning of avrl in 
composition. With the former meaning it would not differ 
much from ^sevdoxpivTO?, as in Matt, xxiv, 24, a pretender or a 


vice-Christ, whom, according to Jerome, the Jews will accept 
as the true Messiah, and, as in the words of Irenaeus, tentans 
semetipsum Christum ostendere, one giving himself out to be 
the Christ. But the word means, opposed to Christ. Irenaeus 
seems to have combined both views, for the previous clause is 
in quo adversarius sedebit. 1 Musculus says that Antichrist 
means Christ's vicar, and this the Pope pretends to be ; but 
a-Lapide replies that, on that theory, Peter and Paul and all 
the apostles were antichrists, for they acted as vicars of Christ. 
The word is used only by John, and that no less than five 
times ; three times, 1 John ii, 18, 22 ; iv, 3 ; 2 Ep. 7. The 
apostle also explains the meaning of the term, which is 
peculiar to him. In iv, 3, he writes, "and every spirit that con- 
fesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God, 
and this is the spirit of antichrist." In the 2nd epistle, verse 7, 
" many deceivers are entered into the world who confess not 
that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh." This is a "deceiver 
and an antichrist." (1) The stress in those definitions lies in 
the words " in the flesh," not in the denial of the Messiahship 
or of His coming (for such an error would comprehend all the 
Jews), but in the denial of the true humanity, of His coming in 
the flesh. (2) The persons to whom the name is given had once 
been in visible fellowship with the church "among us, but not 
of us" — a statement that could not be made of unbelieving Jews. 
(3) The language also implies that these persons still made a 
Christian profession, and under its guise they are deceivers, 
for it is not want of faith altogether or infidelity, but a defec- 
tive faith, or the denial of a primary and distinctive truth, that 
characterizes them. They were 7roX\oi irXavoi, each of them 
was 6 \Jseu<TT>i? an( i o 7r\dvo$, beguiling men, and teaching 
fatal heresy under the guise of Christian discipleship. (4) In 
ii, 22, the apostle says, " he is antichrist that denieth the 
Father and the Son," the sense probably being that the denial 
of the Son necessarily involves denial of the Father, since 
Father and Son are correlative terms, and the Father without 
the Son is not the true God — " whosoever denieth the Son 
the same hath not the Father." (5) The word is also used in the 
plural — ii, 18, " even now there are many antichrists," 7ro\\o} 
1 A elvers. Haeres., v. 25 ; a-Lapide ; Maitland, p. 385. 


avrixpurroi, many persons holding and propagating those views 
whicb are so radically antichristian in nature and result. (6) 
The Antichrist is therefore in John no special individual 

marked out, for there were many deceivers. There is no hint 
that these numerous antichrists are precursors of the Antichrist, 
identifying him with " the Man of Sin," as De Wette, Liicke, 
and Dusterdieek. (7) These antichrists of John's epistles were 
already in the world doing their work, and that work was 
deception, but the Man of Sin is to appear at a future period. 
(8) The form of error promulgated by these men seems to have 
been incipient Gnosticism, obscuring the true doctrine of the 
incarnation and of the person of Christ. The error was soon to 
ripen into Doketism, and the theory of iEons and Emanations, 
as held by Cerinthus, and many heresiarchs after him. It 
impugned Christ's real humanity, made him a mere phantom, 
and thus destroyed the reality of His sympathy and His 
teaching; and as He was not a partaker of their flesh and 
blood, He had no kinship with men, and could in no way 
represent them in atonement or example. This system of 
error and enmity is wholly different from that portrayed in 
2 Thess., and it has been only by importing descriptions from 
Daniel and the Apocalypse that any identification has been 
attempted. The antichrist or antichrists were " deceivers," 
" liars," apostates from the church, busy and malignant in their 
zeal at the moment, not forepictured to come at some future 
epoch. They were in existence "even now," so that as all 
vital error is antichristian, and leads to yet lower depths, they 
were preparing the way for the apostacy. With all its anti- 
christian elements, Popery has never held the false doctrine 
defined in John's epistles, but has ever protested against it, 
and its error lies in the opposite direction, for it abounds in 
realistic symbols of Christ, and fabricates representations of the 
babe and the manger, the cross and the nails, the five wounds 
and the sepulchre. The fathers indeed as a body identified the 
predicted ]\Ian of Sin with Antichrist, and usually so named 
him. But, in the first place, as we have seen, the definitions 
of Antichrist in John, both of his error and his time, ami the 
use of the plural antichrists, -ttoXXo'i, fairly preclude such an 
identification ; secondly, it is not warranted by this prediction. 


Christ is not mentioned in this description till His Second 
Coming is referred to. The antagonism of the Man of Sin is 
directly, specially, and immediately against God ; he opposeth 
and exalte th himself above every one called God ; takes his 
seat in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. He 
is thus not a false Christ, but a false God ; and he is charac- 
terized not by infidelity, but by atheism, or rather scornful 
antitheism — a counter-God rather than a counter-Christ. Of 
course, it is implied that a denial of Christ must have preceded 
as an intermediate step in the blasphemous process of self- 
deification, but the spirit and letter of the entire paragraph 
portray not unbelief in Christ, but fierce and 'ultimate hostility 
to God — not a yp-evSoxP^ro^, but a \lsevS69eos. 


dyadov, 204. 

dyaduxrvvrj, 252. 

aydirr], 36, 187, 230, 307. 

ayiacryios, 12G. 

aytot, 120, 246. 

ayLOHrvin), 120. 

dywi't, 57. 

d8iaAei7TTa>s, 206. 

dOerew, 135. 

ulcJu'iSlos, 1 78. 

cu'om'os, 298. 

dxaOapcTLa., 135. 

d/covy, 77. 

UKpl.filOS, 174. 

dA?/#ivos, 53. 
dyza, 192. 

U/lifJLTTTOS, 71, 120. 

draytrwcr/va), 220. 
di'dy/oy, 110. 
drcupew, 281. 
di'a/xei'eii', 52. 
drdcrracri?, 167. 
dvaTrXi/piocrat, 89. 
aveo-ts, 238. 
dv€\£0-#e, 233. 
drruTroSorrrei, 113. 

dl'T/.K€t/i€l'05, 268. 

a^tioc, 74. 

u7rdi'T;/(Tii', 169. 
drra^ xal Sis, 96. 
d—oSecKi'vfXi, 273. 

aTTOKaAl'TTTOJ, 266. 

diroKaX.v\pei (er), 230. 
aTrop(f)avi£o), 92. 
a7rocrTacrta, 265. 
d7ralAeta, 267. 
a/j/rd^oj, 169. 
a/m, 108. 
dp^dyyeAos, 162. 
ucr6?enys, 203. 
d<x<£aAei'a, 178. 
dra/cros, 201. 
draKTeoj, 311. 
dro^-os, 302. 

fSdpos, 63, 64. 

/SacriAei'a (tou 8eoi5), 74, 235. 

f3ovXop.aL and #eAw, 95. 

ydp, 54, 57, 98. 
ypyyopeo), 183, 190. 

Oe^o/xai, 45, 76. 
Si'/oyr TtVeiv, 243. 
<$i(i>y/xos, 233. 
SoKi/JLa^eiv, 59, 211. 



So'Aos, 58. 
S%, 74, 245. 
Svyafifs, 41, 240. 

etSei/cu, 198. 
elSos, 212. 
dprjvr), 177, 321. 
eKSuo^cris, 242. 
ekSikos, 134. 

e/v8ltoKW, 85. 
€KI<\l]<Tia, 30, 31. 

e/<Aoy>y, 39. 
IAtti's, 37, 96, 299. 

epirpocrdtv, 37. 
ev&eiypa, 234. 
ei'8o£a(r6rjvaL, 246. 

iv€iTT1]K£V, 259. 

ei'epyeirai, 79, 276. 
evopKifa, 220. 
eirtOvpia, 95, 130. 
eirnroQew, 109. 

67rtO"Tp€</>OJ, 51. 

e7n.cri>!'uya>y7y. 255. 

£7TL(fidv€La, 282. 

£^a7raracD, 261. 

e£ov0ei'ea), 209. 
€^oj.(oi), 144. 
epojTaw, 123. 
ei'<5oKea) 100. 
et'.5o/<ta, 251. 
CVS^jAOl'dOS, 144. 

(w/xer, 112. 
£cov, 52. 

1)' ov^i, 97. 
1'jmoi, 65. 

0d\—o>. 66. 

6avpa(r6?p'ai, 217. 
OeoolduKTOL, 139. 
Opozicrdai, 256. 

0Atyis, 233. 

#wp«£, 187. 

Ka^erSw, 184. 
Kaipos, 92, 173. 
KaAov, 211. 
KaAo7rotea), 317. 
KaAwi/ (6), 217. 
Karapyeiw, 282. 
KarapTL^w, 115. 
Karei'#iVai, 117, 306. 
KaTe^'OF, 274. 
Ket/xat, 106. 
KeXevo-pa, 161. 

KCV7J, 55. 

;<Ae7TT?/?, 176. 
KOipcopevoL, 146, 147. 

KoXuKtLOL, 61. 
K077taW, 196. 

koVos, 36, 68, 312. 

KTUOyUCU, 128. 

Aoyw (ev) Krptoi', 154. 
AotTrov (to), 122. 
Xi'TTijcrOe. 147. 

puKpodvpeu}, 203. 
paprvpopai, 73. 
pe0vcrKop.aL } 185. 
yueAAw, 106. 
peraFovvai, 67. 
po'x^os, 68, 312. 

pv<TTi'jpiOV, 276. 

i aos, 270. 
vrjcf>(i>, 183. 
I'oi'^eretu, 198, 321. 
rovs, 256. 


WKTOS ku.l wuepas, 68, 311. 

vvv, 274. 

oiTLves, 243. 
(Uetfpos, 169. 
oAtyoi/'t^os, 202, 

0/\okA^/305, 216. 

oAoTeAvys, 215. 

o/iei'po/iai, 66. 
opyi), 89, 189. 

irdOos, 130. 

7rapayye\\(D, 306. 
TrapdSocri^, 296, 310. 
TrapaKaXeoi, 73, 103, 191. 
7rapa/vAryfrt?, 58, 299. 
TTapaXap.,Suvo), 76. 
Trapu/JLvOew, 73. 
TrupovcrLa, 98, 255, 283. 
7rappncria, 58. 
7retpa("a»i', 108. 
—epLepyu^opiLL, 314. 
TTepLK€(J>a\aia, 187. 
TrepcXenrop.ei'Ot, 156. 
~epi— 01770-45, 189, 295. 
Treptcrcrei'w, 118. 
TrepicrcroTepws, 93. 
Trior is, 232. 
TrAurv/, 58, 
7rAeova£w, 118, 230. 
TrAeoi'eKTeu', 133. 
jrAeoveA'a, 61. 
7rA/y/_)o</iop.'a, 42. 
irpayfia, 132. 

—pOiCTTUjUfOi, \'.'~. 

Trpo<f>a.cris } 61. 

pvofievov, 53. 

crali'eaOai, 104. 
(raXei'd'Tji'ai, 255. 
a-fikvvvjxi., 208. 
cre/^atr/xa, 269. 
cn]pe?oi', 235. 
crvy/y.eioa), 319. 
o-Kevos, 128. 
oreyeiv, 100. 
ir rp.'ju'Xir-ijS, 81. 
crrre/>yos, 102. 

ridi]jit, 189. 
roiyapovi', 135. 
tottos, 46. 
rpe^oj, 301. 
Tpo<f)6s, 66. 

vf3pi(r6evTes, 56. 

'—(pUA'gdtXI, 229. 

vweppa lvci r, 131. 

i—ep€K—ep«rcro?', 114. 

v-op.oir h 37, 232, 308. 

<j>ddveiv, 89, 160. 
(jjiXaSeXtfiia, 137. 
(jnX-ij/i'i., 2 L8. 
(/uAoTipeitTpai, 141. 

X apa, 45, 96, 113. 
XpoVos, 173. 


Page 33, line 31, for "Phrynich," read "Phrynich.," 

Page 86, line 22, for "Viger," read "Viger.," 

Page 145, line 25, for "MSS.," read "mss." 

Page 1-18, line 23, for XrirovvTai, read \vn-uuvTat. 

Page 167, line 35, for TrpwTi], read Troon-)/. 

Page 168, line 30, for inravTi)<?w, read v*rcavTi)cnv. 

Page 216, line 39, for oXonXvpuu, read b\.6i<\i]pov. 

Page 312, line 32, for (paysiv, read <payfw. 

Page 233, line 17, for 0A.ii//ts, read 6Xi\ln<:. 

Page 316, line 17, for iripupoya^ntvoi, read Trepupya^n/itvoi.