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Introduction. CLEMENT ad Corinthios 1. 47:1 Thessalonians, 6.27; Re-accords with his ministry being near its close ich. 1, 25; velation. 1. 3. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that cf. Philemon, 2). However,"fulol" may me&D, as in hear." Thus, they and the gospels were put on a level 2 Timothy. 4. 6, "make full proof of thy ministry.” with the Old Testament, which was similarly read “Give all diligence to follow it out fully: a monition (Deuteronomy, 31. 11). The Holy Spirit inspired St. perhaps needed by Archippus. in the Lord - The Paul to write, besides those extant, other epistles element in which every work of the Christian, and which He saw pecessary for that day, and for particular especially the Christian minister, is to be done (v. 7: churches; and which were not so for the church of all | 1 Corinthians, 7. 39; Philippians, 4.8). 18. St. Panl's ages and places. It is possible that as the epistle to autograph salutation (so I Corinthians, 16. 21; 2 Thesthe Colossians was to be read for the edification of salonians, 3. 17), attesting that the preceding letter, other churches besides that of Colosse; so the epistle though written by an amanuensis, is from himself. to the Ephesians was to be read in various churches Remember my bonds-Already in this chapter he had besides Ephesus, and that Laodices was the last of mentioned his "bonds” (v. 3), and again v. 10, an insuch churches before Colosse, whence he might desig- centive why they should love and pray (v. 3) for him; Date the epistle to the Ephesians here as "the epistle and still more, that they should, in reverential obedi. from Laodicea." But it is equally possible that the ence to his monitions in this epistle, shrink from the epistle meant was one to the Laodiceans themselves. false teaching berein stigmatized, remembering what 17. say to Archippus-the Colossians (not merely the a conflict (ch. 2. 1) he had in their behalf amidst his clergy, but the laymen) are directed, "Speak ve to bonds. “When we read of his chains, we should not Archippus." This proves that Scripture belongs to forget that they moved over the paper as he wrote; his the laity as well as the clergy; and that laymen may (right) hand was chained to the lleft hand of the soldier profitably admonish the clergy in particular cases when who kept him." (ALFORD.) Grace be with you-Greek, they do so in meekness, BENGEL suggests, that Archip- "THE grace" which every Christian enjoys in some pus was perhaps prevented from going to the church degree, and which flows from God in Christ by the assembly by weak health or age The word "fulfil," Holy Ghost (Titus, 3. 16; Hebrews, 13. 25).
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE
THE AUTHENTICITY of this epistle is attested by Irenæus, adversus Hereses, 5. 6. 1. quoting cb. 5. 23: Clement 1 of Alexandria, Pædagogu, 1. 88, quoting ch. 27; Tertullian de Resurrectione carnuis, sec. 94, quoting ch. 5. 2; Caius in Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, 6. 20; Origen, contra Celsus, 3.
The OBJECT OF THE EPISTLE.--Thessalonica was at this time capital of the Roman second district of Macedonia (Livy, 45, 29). It lay on the Bay of Therme, and has always been, and still is, under its modern Dame Saloniki, a place of considerable commerce. After his imprisonment and scourging at Philippi, St. Paul (ch. 2 9) passed on to This salonica ; and in company with Silas (Acts, 17, 1-9) and Timotheus (Aots, 16. 3; 17. 14, cf, with ch. 2. 1; 3. 1-6; 9 Thes salonians, 1. 1) founded the church there. The Jews, as a body, rejected the gospel when preached for tarce eu ce Site Sabbaths (Acts, 17. 9); but some few "believed and consorted with Paul and Silns, and of the devout (ie, proselytes to Judaism) Greeks a great raultitude, and of the chief women not a few." The believers received the word joyfully, notwith. standing trials and persecutions (ch. 1. 6; 2. 13) from their own countrymen and from the Jews (ch. 2. 14-16). His stay at Thessalonica was doubtless not limited to the three weeks in whicb were the three Sabbaths, specified in Aots, 17. 2: for his labouring there with his hands for his support (ch, 9 9; 9 Thessalonians, 8. 8), his receiving supplies there more than once from Philippi (Philippians, 4. 16), bis making many converts from the Gentiles (ch. 1. 9; and as two oldest MSS. read, Acts, 17. 4, "of the devout and of the Greeks a great multitude," Acts, 17. 4), and his appointing ministers, all imply a longer residence. Probably as at Pisidian Antioch (Acts, 13. 46), at Corinth (Acts, 18. 6, 7), and at Ephesus (Acts. 13. 8, 9), having preached the gospel to the Jews, when they rejected it, he turned to the Gentiles. He probably thenceforth held the Christian meetings in the house of Jason (Aets, 17. 5), perhaps " the kinsman" of Paul mentioned in Romans 16. 91. His great subject of teaching to them seems to have been the coming and kingdom of Christ, as we may infer from ch. 1. 10; 2. 12, 19; 3. 18; 4 13-18; 5.1.11, 23, 24; and that they should walk worthy of it (ob. 2 12; 4. 1). And it is an un designed coincidence between the two epistles and Acta, 17. 5-9, that the very charge which the assailants of Jason's hots brought against him and other brethren was, “These do contrary to the decrees of Cesar, saying that there is another king one Jesus." As in the case of the Lord Jesus Himself (John, 18 33-37; 19. 19; cf. Matthew, 26. 64), they perverted the does tripe of the coming kingdom of Christ into a ground for the charge of treason agninst Cesar. The result was, Paul and Silas were obliged to flee under the cover of night to Berea: Timothy had probably preceded him (Acts, 17, 10, 14). But the church had been planted, and ministers appointed; nay, more, they virtually became missionaries themselves, for which they possessed facilities in the extensive commerce of their city, and both by word and example were extending the gospel in Mace donia. Achaia, and elsewhere (ch. 1 7. 8). From Berea also, Paul, after having planted a Scripture-loving church, a obliged to flee by the Thessalonian Jews who followed him thither. Timothy (who seems to have come to Berea separate'y from Paul and Silas, cf. Acts, 17. 10, with 14) and Silas remained there still, when Paul proceeded by sea to Athens. While there he more than once longed to visit the Thessalonians again, and see personally their spiritual state, and perfect that which was lacking in their faith" (ch, 3. 10); but “Satan (probably using the Thessalonian Jews as his instruments, John. 18. 37) hindered him (ch. 2 18; of. Acts, 17. 13). He therefore sent Timotheus, who seems to have followed him to Athese from Berea (A. 17. 15). immediately on his arrival to Thessalonica (ch. 2. 1): glad as he would have been of Timothy's heip in the midst of the cavils of Athenian opponents, he felt he must forego that help for the sake of the Thessalonian church Silas does not seem to have come to Panl at Athens at all, though Paul had desired bim and Timothy to "come to him with all speed” (Acts, 17. 15); but seems with Timothy (who from Thessalonica called for him at Berea) to have joined Paul at Corinth first; ct. Acts, 18. 1, 5, "When Silas and Timothy were come from Macedonia." The epistle makes no mention of Silas at Athens, as it does of Timothy (ch. 2. 1).
Salutation. Timothy's account of the Thessalonian church was highly favourable. They abounded in faith and charity, and recipro eated his desire to see them (ch. 3. 6-10). Still, as nothing human on earth is perfect, there were some defects. Some had too exclusively dwelt on the doctrine of Christ's coming kingdom, so as to neglect the sober-minded discharge of present duties (ch. 11, 12). Some who had lost relatives by death, needed comfort and instruction in their doubts as to whether tbey who died before Christ's coming would have a share with those found alive in His kingdom then to be revealed. More over, also, there had been committed among them sins against chastity and sobriety (ch. 5. 6-7), as also agninst charity (cb. 4. 3-10; 6. 13, 15). There were, too, symptoms in some of want of respectful love and subordination to their ministers; others treated slightingly the manifestations of the Spirit in those possessing His gifts (ch. 5. 19). To give spiritual admonition on these subjects, and at the same time commend what deserved commendation, and to testify his love to them, was the object of the epistle.
The PLACE OF WRITING IT was doubtless Corinth, where Timothy with Silas rejoined bim (Acts, 18. 5) soon after he arrived there (cf. ch. 2 17) in the autumn of 58 A.D.
The TIME OF WRITING was evidently immediately after having received from Timothy the tidings of their state Ich. 3. 6) in the winter of 39 A.D., or early in 53. For it was written not long after the conversion of the Thessalonians (ch. 1. 8, 9), whde St. Paul could speak of himself as only taken from them for a short season (ch. 2. 17). Thus this epistle was Ardt in date of all Sh Paul's extant epistles. The epistle is written in the joint names of Paul, Silas, and Timothy, the three founders of the Thessalonian church. The plural first person “we," is used every where, except in ch.2 18; 3.5; 5.9. "We" is the true reading, ch. 4. 13. The English Version, “1." in ch. 4. 9; 5.1, 23, is not supported by the original (Bdmunda.)
The STYLE is calm and equable, in accordance with the subject matter, which deals only with Christian daties in general, taking for granted the great doctrinal truths wbich were not as yet disputed. There was no deadly error as yet to call forth his more vehement bursts of feeling and impassioned argument. The earlier epistles, as we should expect, are moral and practical. It was not until Judaistic and legalizing errors arose at a later period, that he wrote those epistles lag., Romans and Galatians) which unfold the cardinal doctrines of grace and justification by faith. Still later, the epistles from his Roman prison confirm the same truths. And last of all, the Pastoral Epistles are suited to the more developed coclesiastical constitution of the church, and give directions as to bishops and deacons, and correct abuses and errors of later growth,
The prevalence of the Gentile element in this church is shown by the fact that these two epistles are among the very few of St. Paul's writings, in which no quotation occurs from the Old Testament.
the epistles of Paul, except the three pastoral ones, Ver. 1-10. ADDRESS: SALUTATION: HIS PRAYERFUL which bave "grace, mercy, and peace." Some of the THANKSGIVING FOR THEIR FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE. oldest MSS. support, others omit the clause following. THEIR FIRST RECEPTION OF THE GOSPEL, AND THEIR "from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.“ GOOD INFLUENCE ON ALL AROUND. 1. Paul-He It may have crept in from 1 Corinthians, 1.3; 2 Codoes not add "an apostle," &c., because in their case, rinthians, 1. 2. 2. (Romans, 1.9; 2 Timothy, 1. 3.) The as in that of the Philippians (Note, Philippians, 1. structure of the sentences in this and the following 1), his apostolic authority needed not any substantia- verses, each successive sentence repeating with greater tion. He writes familiarly as to faithful friends, not fulness the preceding, characteristically marks Paul's but that his apostleship was recognised among them abounding love and thankfulness in respect to his con
ch. 2. 6). On the other hand, in writing to the Galatians, verts, as if he were seeking by words heaped on words among whom some had called in question his apostle-to convey some idea of his exuberant feelings towards ship, he strongly asserts it in the superscription. An them. We-1, Silvanus, and Timotheus. Romans. undesised propriety in the epistles, evincing genuine- 1. 9, supports ALFORD in translating, “Making menness. Silvanus-a "chief man among the brethren" tion of you in our prayers without ceasing" (v. 3). (Acts, 15. 22), and a "prophet" (v. 32), and one of the Thus,"without ceasing," in the seeond clause, answers deputies who carried the decree of the Jerusalem in parallelism to "always," in the first. 3. work of faith council to Autioch. His age and position cause him the working reality of your faith: its alacrity in reto be placed before "Timothy," then a youth (Acts, ceiving the truth, and in evincing itself by its fruits. 16. 1; 1 Timothy, 4. 12). Silvanus (the Gentile expanded Not an otiose assent; but a realizing, working faith; form of “Silas") is called in 1 Peter, 6. 12, "a faithful not "in word oniy," but in one continuous chain of brother" (cf. 2 Corinthians, 1. 19). They both aided in "work" (singular, not plural, works), v. 6-10; James, planting the Thessalonian church, and are therefore 2. 22. So "the work of faith" in 2 Thessalonians, 1. 11, included in the address. This, the first of St. Paul's implies its perfected development (cf. James, 1. 4). epistles, as being written before various evils crept | The other governing substantives similarly mark into the churches, is without the censures found in respectively the characteristic manifestation of the other epistles. So realizing was their Christian faith, grace which follows each in the genitive. Faith, love, that they were able hourly to look for the Lord Jesus. I and hope are the three great Christian graces (ch. 6. 8; anto the church-Not merely as in the epistles to Ro- | 1 Corinthians, 13. 13). labour of love-The Greek implies mans, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, "to the toil, or troublesome labour, which we are stimulated saints," or "the faithful at Thessalonica." Though as by love to bear (ch. 2. 9; Revelation, 2.2). For instances yet they do not seem to have had the final church- of self-denying labours of love, see Acts, 20. 36; Romans, organization under permanent "bishops" and deacons, / 16.12. Not here ministerial labours. Those who shun which appears in the later epistles (Note, Philippians, trouble for others, love little (cf. Hebrews, 6. 10). 1. 1: 1 and 2 Timothy). Yet be designates them by the l patience-translate, "endurance of hope:" the perseverbonourable term "church," implying their status as / ing endurance of trials which flows from "hope." Ronot merely isolated believers, but a corporate body mans, 15, 4, shows that "patience" also nourishes with spiritual rulers (ch. 5. 12; 2 Corinthians, 1. 1; / "hope." hope in our Lord Jesus-lit., "hope of our Galatians. 1. 2). in--Implying vital union. God the Lord Jesus," viz., of His coming (v. 10): 8 hope that Pather-This marks that they were no longer heathen. I looked forward beyond all present things for the mathe Lord Jesus-This marks that they were not Jews, | nifestation of Christ. in the sight of God-Your "faith, but Christians. Grace be unto you, and peace-that ye hope, and love" were not merely such as would pass may bave in God that favour and peace which men for genuine before men, but" in the sight of God, the withhold (ANSELA.) This is the salutation in all Searcher of hearts. (GOMARUS.) Things are realiy
The Powerful Efect
of the Gospel on them. what they are before God. BENGEL takes this clause -no longer directed to idols. 80 that we need not to with "remembering." Whenever we pray we remem- speak any thing-to them in praise of your faith; " for ber before God your faith, hope, and love. But its (v. 9) they themselves" (the people in Macedonia, separation from "remembering" in the order, and its Achaia, and in every place) know it already. 9. Strictly connexion with "your...faith," &c., make me to prefer there should follow, “For they themselves show of the former view. and - The Greek implies," in the sight | you," &c.; but, instead, he substitutes that which was of Him who is (at once) God and our Father," 4. Know the instrumental cause of the Thessalonians' convering-Forasmuch as we know. your election of God- sion and faith, “For they themselves show of us what The Greck is, rather, “beloved by God?" so Romans, manner of entering in we had unto you;' cf. v. 6, which 1. 7: 2 Thessalonians, 2. 13. “Your election" means corresponds to this former clause, as t, 6 corresponds to that God has elected you as individual believers to the latter clause, “And how ye turned from idols to eternal life (Romans, 11. 6. 7; Colossians, 3. 12; 2 Thes. serve the living...God," &c. Instead of our having "to salonians, 2. 13). 5. our gospel-riz., the gospel which speak any thing to them in Macedonia and Achaia! we preached. came-Greek," was made," viz., by God, in your praise (1.8), "they themselves have the start of its Author and Sender. God's having made our preach- us in speaking of you, and announce concerning so ing among you to be attended with such a power," is the Greek of 'show of' means) us, what manner of how the proof that you are "elect of God" (v.4). in power- effectual an) entrance we had unto you" (v. 6; ch. 2.1). in the efficacy of the Holy Spirit clothing us with power the living and true God-as opposed to the dead and (see end of verse ; Acts, 1. 8; 4. 33; 6. 5, 8) in preaching false gods from which they had "turned. In the the gospel, and making it in you the power of God | English Version reading, Acts, 17. 4, “or the detout unto salvation (Romans, 1. 16). As "power" pro Greeks a great multitude," no mention is made, as duces faith; so "the Holy Ghost," love'; and “much bere, of the conversion of idolatrous Gentiles at Thesassurance" (Colossians, 2.2, full persuasion), hope (He- salonica; but the reading of some of the oldest MSS. brews, 6. 11), resting on faith (Hebrews, 10. 22). So and Vulgate, singularly coincides with the statement faith, love, and hope (v. 3). as ye know-Answering to here: “or the devout AND of Greeks (viz., idolaters) & faith love, and hope (v. 3). as you canr character great multitude: 50 the “knowing." i.e., as we know (v. 4) your character great multitude" so in . 17. "the devont persons."
. as the elect of God, SO YE know ours as preachers. for i.e., Gentile proselytes to Judaism, form
Indaiam. form a separate
& separate your sake-The purpose herein indicated is not so class. PALEY and LACAMAXX, by distinct lines of much that of the apostles, as that of God, "You know argument, support the "AND." 10. This verse dis what God enabled us to be ... how mighty in preaching tinguishes them from the Jeros, as v. 9, from the idolathe word .. for your sakes... thereby proving that de trous Gentiles. To wait for the Lord's coming is a sure had chosen (v.4) you for His own." (ALFORD.) I think, characteristic of a true believer, and was prominent from ch. 2. 10-12, that, in "what manner of men we amidst the graces of the Thessalonians 1 Corinthians, were among you," besides the power in preaching, 1, 7, 8). His coming is seldom called His return John, there is included also Paul's and his fellow-mission. 14. 3) : because the two advents are regarded as dif aries' whole conduct which confirmed their preaching: ferent phases of the same coming : and the second and in this sense, the "for your sake" will mean "incoming shall have features altogether new connected order to win you." This, though not the sole, yet would with it, so that it will not be a mere repetition of the be a strong, motive to holy circumspection, viz., so as first, or a mere coming back again. his Son...raised from to win those without (Colossians, 4.5; cf. 1 Corinthians, the dead -the grand proof of His Divine Sonship Ro 9. 19-23). 6. And ye-Answering to "For our gospel," mans, 1.4). delivered-rather as Greek, "Who deliver •. 6. followers-Greek, "imitators." The Thessalonians eth us." Christ hath once for all redeemed us: He is in their turn became "ensamples" (v.7) for others to our Deliverer ALWAYS. wrath to come -(ch, 3. 9; imitate, of the Lord-who was the apostle of the Father, Colossians, 3. 6.) and taught the word, which He brought from heaven,
CHAPTER II. under adversities. (BENGEL) This was the point in Ver. 1-20. His MANNER OF Pe.EACHING, ASD which they imitated Him and His apostles, jourul wit-THEIRS OF RECEIVING, THE GOSPEL: Ars DESIRE TO ness for the word in much offliction : the second proof | UAVE REVISITED THEM FRUSTRATED BY SATAX, 1. of their election of God (v.4); v. 5 is the first (see Note, Por-confirming ch. 1. 9. He discusses the manner of v. 5). received the word in mach afriction-ch, 2. 14; his fellow-missionaries' preaching among them ich. 1. 3. 2-5: Acts, 17. 5-10.) joy of-i.e.,u rought wy "the Holy and former part of u. 9) from v. 1 to 12; and the ThesGhost." The oil of gladness" wherewith the Son of salonians' reception of the word (cf. ch. 1. & 7, and God was "anointed above His fellows" (Psalm 45. 7), latter part of v. 9) from v. 13 to 16. yourselves-Not only is the same oil with which He, by the Spirit, anoints do strangers report it, but you know it to be true His fellows too (Isaiah, 61, 1, 3; Romans, 14. 17; 1 John, (ALFORD] "yourselves." Bot in vain-Greek,“ pot 2, 20, 27). 7. ensam ples-So some of the oldest MSS. vain;" i.e., it was full of "power" (ch, 1. 5). The Greek read. Othery, "ensample" (singular), the whole church for "was," expresses rather "hath been and is." im being regarded as one. The Macedonian church of plying the permanent and continuing character of his Philippi was the only one in Europe converted before preaching. 2. even after that we had suffered before the Thessalonians. Therefore he means their past at Philippi (Acts, 16.): a circumstance which would conduct is an ensample to all believers now; of whom have deterred mere natural, unspiritual men from he specifles those "in Macedonia," because he had further preaching. shamefully entreated -ignomini. been there since the conversion of the Thessalonians, ously scourged (Acts, 16, 22, 23). bold-Acts, 4. 9: and had left Silvanus and Timotheus there; and those | Ephesians, 6. 20.) in our God-The ground of our boldin "Achaia," because he was now at Corinth in Achaia. ness in speaking was the realizing of God as "OUR 8. from you sounded...the word of the Lord-Not that they | God." with much contention-i.e., lit., as of competitors actually became missionaries, but they, by the report in a contest: striving earnestness (Colossians, 1. 29: 2. 11. which spread abroad of their "faith" (cf. Romans, 1. 8). But here out ward conflict with persecutors, rather and by Christian merchants of Thessalonica who tra- | than inward and mental, was what the missionaries velled in various directions, bearing " the word of the had to endure (Acts, 17. 5, 6; Philippians, 1.30), 3. Pe Lord" with them, were virtually missionaries, recom- -The ground of his "boldness" (0.2), his freedom from mending the gospel to all within the reach of their I all "deceit, uncleanness, and guile;" guile, before God influence by word and by example (v.7). In “sounded," deceit (Greek, "imposture"), towards men (cf. 9 0 the image is that of a trumpet filling with its clear-rinthians, 1. 12; 2, 17; Ephesians, 4. 14); uncleanness, in sounding echo all the surrounding places. to God-ward relation to one's self impure motives of carnal self
Paul's Manner of
Preaching the Gospel. gratification in gain, . 6, or lust; such as actuated false closely attached to another. willing - The Greek is teachers of the Gentiles (Philippians, 1. 16; 2 Peter, stronger. " We were well content:" "we would gladly 2. 10, 14; Jude, 8.; Revelation, 2. 14, 16). So Simon have imparted," &c.." even our own lives (so the Greek Magus and Cerinthus taught. (ESTIUS.]) exhortation for "souls" ought to be translated); as we showed in -The Greek means "consolation" as well as "exhorta- | the sufferings we endured in giving you the gospel tion." The same gospel which exhorts comforts. Its (Acts, 17.). As a nursing mother is ready to impart first lesson to each is that of peace in believing amidst not only her milk to them, but her life for them, so we outward and inward sorrows. It comforts them that not only imparted gladly the spiritual milk of the mourn (cf. v. 11 Isaiah, 61, 2, 3; 2 Corinthians, 1.3, 4). word to you, but risked our own lives for your spiriof-springing from-haring its source in-deceit, &c. tual nourishment, imitating Him who laid down His 4. as-according as: even as. allowed - Greek, "We life for His friends, the greatest proof of love (John, have been approved on trial," "deemed fit." This 15. 13). ye were-Greek, "ye were become," as having word corresponds to "God which trieth our hearts" become our spiritual children. dear-Greek, "dearly below. This approval as to sincerity depends solely on beloved." 9. labour and travail - The Greek for" labour" the grace and mercy of God (Acts, 9. 16; 1 Corinthians. means hardship in bearing; that for "travail," hard7. 25; 2 Corinthians, 3. 6; 1 Timothy, 1. 11, 12). not as ship in doing: the former, toil with the utmost solicipleasing - not as persons who seek to please men: tude: the latter, the being wearied with fatigue. (GROcharacteristic of false teachers (Galatians, 1. 10). 5. TIUS.) ZANCHIUS refers the former to spiritual (see ch. used we flattering words-lit,“ become (i.e., have we been 3. 5), the latter to manual, labour. I would translate, found) in the use of) language of flattery:"the resource "weariness (so the Greek is translated, 2 Corinthians, of those who try to "please men." as ye kaow-"Ye Ju. 27) and travail" (hard labour, toil). for-Omitted in know as to whether I flattered you; as to "covetous- the oldest MSS. night and day-The Jews reckoned ness," God, the Judge of the heart, alone can be "my the day from sunset to sunset, so that night is put bewitness." cloak of - i.e., any specious guise under fore day (cf. Acts, 20. 31). Their labours with their which I might cloke " covetousness." 6. Lit.,"Nor of hands for & scanty livelihood had to be engaged in men (bave we been found, o. 5) seeking glory." The not only by day, but by night also, in the intervals * of here represents a different Greek word from "of" between spiritual labours. labouring - Greek, “workin the clause " of you...of others." ALFORD makes the | ing." viz., at tent-making (Acts, 18. 3). because we would former (Greek ez) express the abstract ground of the not be chargeable-Greek, "with a view to not burdenglory; the latter (apo) the concrete object from which it ing any of you" (2 Corinthians, 11. 9, 10). preached unto was to come. The former means originating from : 1 you-Greek, "unto and among you." Though but the latter means "on the part of." Many teach hereti- / "three Sabbaths" are mentioned Acts, 17. 2, these cal novelties, though not for gain, yet for "glory." refer merely to the time of his preaching to the Jews Paul and his associates were free even from this l in the synagogue. When rejected by them as a body. motive (GROTIUS) (John, 5. 44). we might have been | after having converted a few Jews, he turned to the burdensome-i.e., by claiming maintenance (v. 9; 2 Co-Gentiles; of these (whom he preached to in a place disrinthians, 11. 9; 12. 16; 2 Thessalonians, 3. 8). As, how-tinct from the synagogue) " a great multitude believed" ever, "glory precedes, as well as "covetousness," the (Acts, 17. 4, where the oldest MSS, read," of the devout reference cannot be restricted to the latter, though (proselytes) AND Greeks a great multitude"); then after I think it is not excluded. Translate, “When we he bad, by labours continned among the Gentiles for might have borne heavily upon you," by pressing you some time, gathered in many converts, the Jews, prowith the weight of sel-glorifying authority, and with voked by his success, assaulted Jason's house, and
burden of our sustenance. Thus the antithesis is drove him away. His receiving "once and again" supappropriate in the words following," But we were gentle | plies from Philippi, implies & longer stay at Thes(the opposite of pressing weightily) among you" (v. 7). | salonica than three weeks (Philippians, 4. 16). 10. Ye On weight being connected with authority, cf. Note, are witnesses-as to our outward conduct. God-as to 2 Corinthians, 10. 10. "His letters are weighty" (1 Co-l our inner motives. houils-towards God. justly-torinthians, 4. 21). ALFORD's translation which excludes wards men, woblameabiy - in relation to ourselves. reference to his right of claiming maintenance (* when behaved ourselves-Greek, "were made to be," viz., by we might have stood on our dignity"), seems to me | God. among you that believe-rather, "before (i.e., in disproved by o. 9, which uses the same Greek word un- the eyes of) you that believe" whatever we may have equivocally for "chargeable." Twice he received sup- seemed in the eyes of the unbelieving. As v. 9 referg plies from Philippi whilst at Thessalonica (Philippians, to their outward occnpation in the world : so v. 10, 4. 16). as the apostles-1.6., as being apostles. 7. wel to their character among believers. 11, every one of were-Greek, "we were made" by God's grace. gentle you-in private (Acts, 20. 20), as well as publicly. The -Greek, “mild in bearing with the faults of others minister, if he would be useful, must not deal merely [TITTMANN): one, too, who is gentle (though firm) in / in generalities, but must individualize and particularreproving the erroneous opinions of others (2 Timothy, ize. as a father-with mild gravity. The Greek is, 2. 24). Some of the oldest MSS. read, "we became “His own children." exhorted and comforted-Exhor. little children" (cf. Matthew, 18. 3, 4). Others support tation leads one to do a thing willingly ; consolation, the English Version reading, which forms a better to do it joyfully (BENGEL) (ch. 5. 14). Even in the antithesis to v. 6, 7, and barinonizes better with what foriner teru, "exhortation," the Greek includes the follows; for he would hardly, in the same sentence, I additional idea of comforting and advocating one's compare himself both to the " infants" or "little chil- | cause: "encouragingly exhorted." Appropriate in this dren, and to "a nurse," or rather, "suckling mother." case, as the Thessalonians were in sorrow, both Gentleness is the fitting characteristic of a nurse. among through persecutions, and also tbrough deaths of you-Greek, “in the midst of you," i.e.. in our inter- | friends (ch. 4. 13). charged-"conjured solemnly." lit., course with you being as one of yourselves. nurse-a “testifying;" appealing solemnly to you before God. sucking mother. ber-Greek, "her own children" (cf. | 12. worthy of God - "worthy of the Lord" (Colossians,
. 11). So Galatians, 4. 19. 8. So-to be joined to "we) 1. 10); "worthily of the saints" (Romans, 16. 2, Greek); were willing:" " As a nurse cherisheth, &c., so we were "...of the gospel” (Philippians. 1. 27); "...of the cocawilling," &c. (ALFORD.) But BENGEL, * $0," i.e., sce- tion wherewith ye are called " (Ephesians, 4. 1). Ining that we have such affection for you. being atfec-l consistency would cause God's name to be "blasphemed tiouately desirous--The oldest reading in the Greek among the Gentiles" (Romans, 2. 24). The Greele article implies, lit., to connect one's self with another : to be lis einpbatical, "Worthy of THE God who is calling
How the Thessalonians
Received the Gospel. you." hath called-So one of the oldest MSS. and pleasers of God," as certainly as, by the universal voice Vuloate. Other oldest MSS., “Who calleth us." his of the world, which even themselves can not conkingdom-to be set up at the Lord's coming. glory- tradict, they are declared to be perversely "contrary that ye may share His glory (John, 17. 22; Colossians, to all men." JOSEPHUS, Apion, 2. 14, represents one 3. 4). 13. Por this cause--Seeing ye have had such calling them "Atheists and Misanthropes, the dullest teachers (v. 10, 11, 12) (BENGEL), "we also (as well as of barbarians;" and TACITUS, Histories, 6. 6, "Tbey
all that believe' in Macedonia and Achaia) thank have a hostile hatred of all other men." However, the God without ceasing (always ... in our prayers,' ch, contrariety to all men here meant is, in that they " for1. 2), that when ye received the word of God which ye bid us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be heard from us (lit., 'God's word of bearing from us,' saved" (v. 16). 16. Forbidding-Greek, "Hindering us Romans, 10. 16, 17). ye accepted it not as the word of from speaking," &c. to fill up their sins alway-Tendmen, but, even as it is truly, the word of God." ALFORD ing thus "to the filling up the full measure of, omits the "as" of English Version. But the "as" is Genesis, 16. 16; Daniel, 8. 23; Matthew, 23. 32) their required by the clause, “even as it is truly." "Yeac sins at all times." i.e., norc as at all former times. cepted it, not (as) the word of mens (which it might Their hindrance of the gospel-preaching to the Genhave been supposed to be), but (as) the word of God, tiles was the last measure added to their continually even as it really is." The Greek for the first "received." accumulating iniquity, which made them fully ripe implies simply the hearing of it; the Greek of the second for vengeance. for-Greek, “but." " But," they shail is " accepted," or "welcomed" it. The proper object proceed no further for (2 Timothy. 3. 8) "the" Divine of faith, it hence appears, is the word of God, at first "wrath has (so the Greek) come upon (overtaken unoral, then for security against error, written (John, expectedly; the past tense expressing the speedy cer20. 30. 31; Romans, 15. 4; Galatians, 4. 30). Also, that tainty of the Divinely destined stroke) them to the faith is the work of divine prace, is implied by St. uttermost." not merely partial wrath, but wrath to its Paul's thanksgiving. effectually worketh also in you full extent,"even to the finishing stroke." (EDMUNDS.) that believe -"Also," besides your accepting it with The past tense implies that the fullest visitation of your hearts, it evidences itself in your lives. It shows wrath was already begun. Already, in A.D. , a its energy in its practical effects on you; for instance, tumult had occurred at the Passover in Jerusalem. working in you patient endurance in trial (v. 14; cf. when about 30.000 (according to some) were slain: Galatians. 3.6: 6. 6). 14. foilowers-Greek, "imitators. & foretaste of the whole vengeance which speedily Divine working is most of all seen and felt in affic followed (Luke, 19. 43, 44; 21. 24). 17. But we-Retion. in Judea-The churches of Judea were naturally sumed from v. 13: in contrast to the Jews, . 15, 16. the patterns to other churches, as having been the first taken-rather as Greek, "severed (violently, Acts 17. founded, and that on the very scene of Christ's own 7-10) from you," as parents berest of their children. ministry. Reference to them is specially appropriate so "I will not leave you comfortless," Greek, "or here, as the Thessalonians, with Paul and Silas, had pbanized" (John, 14. 18). for a short time-lit.. "for experienced from Jews in their city persecutions (Acts, the space of an hour." "When we had been severed 17. 6-9) similar to those which "the churches in Judea" from you but a very short time (perhaps alluding to experienced from Jews in that country. in Christ Jesus the suddenness of his unexpected departure), we the -not merely " in God;" for the synagogues of the Jews more abundantly the shorter was our separation, for (one of which the Thessalonians were familiar with the desire of meeting again is the more vivid, the more Acts, 17, 1) were also in God. But the Christian recent has been the parting) endeavoured, &c, fef. churches alone were not only in God, as the Jews in 2 Timothy, 1.4). He does not hereby, as many explain. contrast to the Thessalonian idolaters were, but also anticipate a short separation from them, which would in Christ, which the Jews were not. of your own be a false anticipation; for he did not soon revisit countrymen-including primarily the Jews settled at them. The Greek past participle also forbids their Thessalonica, from whom the persecution originated, view. 18. Wherefore-The oldest MSS. read. "Be and also the Gentiles there, instigated by the Jews : cause," or "inasmuch as." We would-Greek, "$€ thus, "fellow-countrymen” (the Greek term, according wished to come;" we intended to come, even I Paal to Herodian, implies, not the enduring relation of-My fellow-missionaries as well as myself wished to fellow-citizenship, but sameness of country for the come; I can answer for myself that I intended more time being), including naturalized Jews and native than once. His slightly distinguishing himself bere Thessalonians, stand in contrast to the pure "Jews from his fellow-missionaries, whom throughout this in Judea (Matthew, 10. 36). It is an undesigned co- epistle he associates with himself in the plural, accorda incidence, that Paul at this time was suffering perse with the fact, that Silvanus and Timothy stayed at cutions of the Jews at Corinth, whence he writes (Acts, Berea, when Paul went on to Athens ; where subse18. 5, 6, 12): naturally his letter would the more vividly quently Timothy joined him, and was thence sent de dwell on Jewish bitterness against Christians, even as Paul alone to Thessalonica (ch.3. 1). Satan hindered as they-Hebrews, 10. 32-34.) There was a likeness in re- -On a different occasion "the Holy Ghost, the Spirit spect to the nation from which both suffered, viz., of Jesus" (80 the oldest MSS, read), Acts, 16. 6. 7, forJews, and those their own countrymen: in the cause for bad or hindered them in a missionary design; here it wbich, and in the evils which, they suffered, and also is Satan, acting perhaps by wicked men, some of whom in the stedfast manner in which they suffered them. had already driven him out of Thessalonica (Acts Such sameness of fruits, afflictions, and experimental | 17. 13, 14; cf. John, 13. 27), or else by some more characteristics of believers, in all places and at all direct "messenger of Satana thorn in the flesh *** times, are & subsidiary evidence of the truth of the (2 Corinthians, 12. 7; cf. 11. 14). In any event, the Holy gospel. 15. the Lord Jesus-rather as Greek. “Jesus Ghost and the Providence of God overruled Satan's THE LORD." This enhances the glaring enormity of opposition to further His own purpose. We cannot their sin, that in killing Jesus they killed the LORD in each case, define whence hinderances in good under (cf. Acts, 3. 14, 16). their own-Omitted in the oldest takings arise: Paul in this case, by inspiration, was enMSS. prophets-(Matthew, 21. 33-41; 23. 31-37; Luke, abled to say, the hindrance was from Satan. GROTITS 13. 33.) persecuted us-rather as Greels (see Margin), I thinks Satan's mode of hindering Paul's journes to "By persecution drove us out" (Luke, 11. 49). please Thessalonica was by instigating the Stoic and Epicenot God-i.e., they do not make it their aim to please rean philosophers to cavil, which entailed on Paul the God. He implies that with all their boast of being necessity of replying, and so detained him: but he God's peculiar people, they all the while are "no seems to bave left Athens leisurely (Acts, 17. 33. 3: