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Paul's Anxiety about, and
Timothy's Report of them. 18. 1). The Greele for "hindered" is lit., "to cut a l amidst his calamities, be allured by the flattering trench between ope's self and an advancing foe, to pre- | hope of a more pleasant life to abandon his duty." So vent his progress ;" so Satan opposing the progress of ELSNER and BENGEL, "cajolled out of his faith." In the missionaries. 19. For-Giving the reason for his l afictions, relatives and opponents combine with the
arnest desire to see them. Are not even ye in the ease-loving heart itself in flatteries, which it needs presence of...Christ- Christ is omitted in the oldest strong faith to overcome. yourselves know-we always MSS. Are not even ye (viz., among others; the "even" candidly told you so (v. 4; Acts, 14. 22). None but a or" also," implies that not they alone will be his crown) / religion from God would have held out such & trying our hope, joy, and crown of rejoicing before Jesus, prospect to those who should embrace it, and yet sucwhen He shall come (2 Corinthians, 1. 14: Philippians. ceed in winning converts. We-Christians. appointed 2. 16: 4. 1)? The "hope" here meant is his hope (in & thereunto-by God's counsel (ch. 6. 9). 4. that we should lower sense), that these his converts might be found in suffer - Greek," that we are about we are sure) to Christ at His advent (ch. 3. 13). Paul's chief "hope" suffer" according to the appointment of God (0.3). even was JESUS CHRIST (1 Timothy, 1. 1). 20. Emphatical a3--"even (exactly) as it both came to pass, and yo repetition with increased force. Who but ye and our know:" ye know both that it came to pass, and that we other converts are our hope, &c., hereafter, at Christ's foretold it (cf. John, 13. 19). The correspondence of coming? For it is ve who ARE now our glory and joy. I the event to the prediction powerfully confirms faith. CHAPTER III.
"Forewarned, forearmed." (EDMUNDS.) The repetiVer. 1-13. PROOF OF HIS DESIRE AFTER THEM IN tion of "ye know," so frequently, is designed as an arguHIS HAVING SEXT TIMOTRY: His JOY AT THE TID-ment, that being iorewa ned of coming affliction, they LOS BROUGHT BACK CONCERNING TUEIR FAITE AND should be less readily "moved" by it. 5. For this cause CHARITY: PRAYERS FOR THEM. 1. Wnerefore-be- |- Because I know of your "tribulation" having cause of our earnest love to you (ch, 2. 17-20). for bear actually begun (v. 4. when I-Greek, "when I also (as -"endure the suspense, The Greek is lit. applied to well as Timothy, who, Paul delicately implies, was & watertight vessel. When we could no longer contain equally anxious respecting them, cf. "we," . 1), could ourselves in our yearning desire for you. left at no longer contain myselt" (endure the suspense). I Athens alone-See my Introduction. This implies that sent-Paul was the actual sender; hence the "I" here: he sent Timothy from Athens, whither the latter had Paul, Silas, and Timothy himself bad agreed on the followed him. However, the "we" favours ALFORD's mission already, before Paul went to Athens: hence the view that the determination to send Timothy was "we.", 1 (Note). to know-to learn the state of your formed during the hasty consultation of Paul, Silas, | faith, whether it stood the trial (Colossians, 4. 8). lest and Timothy, previous to his departure from Berea, ...have teinpted...and...be-The indicative is used in the and that then he with them "resolved" to be left former sentence, the subjunctive in the latter. Transalone" at Athens, when he should arrive there: Timothy late therefore, " To know...whether haply the tempter and Silas not accompanying him, but remaining at have tempted you (the indicative implying that he supBerea. Thus the “1." 0. 5. will express that the act | posed such was the case), and lest (in that case) our of sending Timothy, when he arrived at Athens, was labour may prove to be in vain" (cf. Galatians, 4. 11). Paul's, whilst the determination that Panl should be Our labourin preaching would in that case be vain, so left alone at Athens, was that of the brethren as well far as ye are concerned, but not as concerns us so far as himself, at Berea, whence he uses, o. 1, "we." The as we have sincerely laboured (Isaiah, 49. 4; 1 Corinnon-mention of Silas at Athens implies, that he did | tbians, 3. 8). 6. Join "now" with “come:" "But not follow Paul to Athens as was at first intended; Timotheus having just now come from you unto us." but Timothy did. Thus the history, Acts. 17. 14, 15, ac IIALFORD.) Thus it appears (cf. Acts, 18. 5) Paul is cords with the epistle. The word "left behind" (Greek) writing from Corinth. your faith and charity-(ch. 1. 3; implies, that Timothy had been with him at Athens. cf. 2 Thessalonians, 1.3,whence it seems their faith subIt was an act of self-denial for their sakes that Paul sequently increased still more.) Faith was the solid deprived himself of the presence of Timothy at Athens, foundation; charity the cement which held together which would have been so cheering to him in the the superstructure of their practice on that foundamidst of philosophic cavillers; but from love to the tion. In that charity was included their "good kindly) Thessalonians, be is well content to be lost all alone" remembrance" of their teachers, desiring greatly in the great city. 2. minister of God, and our fellow-Greek, "having & yearning desire for." we also- The labourer - Some oldest MSS. read, "fellow-workman desires of loving friends for one another's presence are with God;" others, " minister of God." The former is reciprocal. 7. over you-in respect to you. in-in the probably genuine, as copyists probably altered it to midst of: notwithstanding "all our distress (Greek, the latter to avoid the bold phrase, which, however, is 'necessity') and affliction," viz., external trials at sanctioned by 1 Corinthians, 3. 9; 2 Corinthians, 6. 1. | Corinth, whence Paul writes (cf. v. 6, with Acts, 18. 6-10). English Version reading is not well supported, and is 8. now-as the case is; seeing ye stand fast. we liveplainly compounded out of the two other readings. we flourish. It revires us in our affliction to hear of Panl calls Timothy "our brother" here; but in 1 C0- your stedfastness (Psalm 22. 26; 3 John, 3, 4). if-Imrinthians, 4. 17, "my son." He speaks thus highly of plying that the vivid joy which the missionaries "now" one so lately ordained, both to impress the Thessalo-feel, will continue if the Thessalonians continue stednians with a high respect for the delegate sent to them, fast. They still needed exhortation, v. 10; therefore and to encourage Timothy, who seems to have been he subjoins the conditional clause, “if ye," &c. (Philipof a timid character (1 Timothy, 4, 12; 5. 23). “Gospel pians. 4. 1). 9. what-chat sufficient thanks ? reuder ministers do the work of God with Him, for Him, and ...again-in return for His goodness (Psalm 116. 12). for under Him." (EvMUNDS.) establish - Greek, "con- | you-"concerning you." for all the joy-on account of firm." In 2 Thessalonians, 3. 3, God is said to "stab- all the joy. It was "comfort," v. 7, now it is more, lisb:" He is the true stablisher: ministers are His | viz., joy. for your sakes-on your account. before our - instruments." concerning - Greek, "in behalf of." | God-It is a joy which will bear God's searching eye: a Le.for the furtherance of your faith. The Greek for joy as in the presence of God, not self-seeking, but dis* comfort” includes also the idea "exhort." The interested, sincere, and spiritual (cf. ch. 2. 20; John, Thessalonians in tbeir trials needed both (0.3; cf. Acts, 15. 11). 10. Night and day-Note, ch. 2. 9.) Night is 14, 22). 3. moved"shaken," "disturbed." The Greek the season for the saints' holiest meditations and is lit, said of dogs wagging the tail in fawning on one. prayers (2 Timothy. 1. 3), praying-connected with. Therefore TITTMAXX explains it, That no man should, / "we joy. We joy whilst we pray; or eige as ALFORD,
Christians are to Abound
in Holiness more and more. What thanks can we render to God whilst we pray? I sters dealing with Christian people. (EDMUNDS.) as The Greek implies & beseeching request. exceedingly- ye..received-when we were with you (ch. 2. 13). how lit., "more than exceeding abundantly" (cf. Ephesians, -Greck, the "how," i.e., the manner. walk and... please 3. 20). that which is lacking-Even the Thessalonians God-ie., "and so please God," viz, by your walk; in had points in which they needed improvement. contrast to the Jews who please not God" (ch. 2. 15). (BENGEL.) (Luke, 17. 6.) Their doctrinal views as to The oldest MSS. add a clause here,' even as also ye do the nearness of Christ's coming, and as to the state of walk" (cf.ch. 4. 10: 5. 11). These words, which he was those who had fallen asleep. and their practice in some able to say of them with truth, conciliate a favourable points needed correction (ch, 4. 1-9). Paul's method hearing for the precepts which foliow. Also the exwas to begin by commending what was praiseworthy, pression, "abound more and more," implies that there and then to correct what was amiss: & good pattern to had gone before a recognition of their already in some all admonishers of others. 11. Translate, "May God measure talking so. 2. by the Lord Jesus-by His Himself, eren our Father (there being but one article authority and direction, not by our own. He uses the in the Greek, requires this translation, 'He who is at strong term "commandments," in writing to this once God and our Father's direct." &c. The "Himself' church not long founded, knowing that they would stands in contrast with "we" (ch. 2. 18): roe desired to take it in a right spirit, and feeling it desirable that come, but could not through Satan's hindrance; but they should understand he spake with Divine auif God Himself direct our way (as we pray), none can thority. He seldom uses the term in writing subsehipder Him (2 Thessalonians, 2. 16. 17). It is a remark. | quently, when his authority was established, to other able proof of the unity of the Father and Son, that in churches. 1 Corinthians, 7. 10; 11. 17; and 1 Timothy, the Greek here, and in 2 Thessalonians, 2. 16, 17, the 1. 5 (v. 18, where the subject accounts for the strong verb is singular, implying that the subject, the Fatber expression) are the exceptions. "The Lordmarks flis and Son, are but one in essential Being, not in mere paramount authority, requiring implicit obedience. 3. unity of will. Almost all the cbapters in both epistles For-Enforcing the assertion that his "commandments" to the Thessalonians are sealed, each with its own were " by the authority of the Lord Jesus' . 2). prayer (ch. 5. 23; 2 Thessalonians, 1. 11; 2. 16; 3. &, 16). Since "this is the will of God," let it be your will also. (BENGEL.) St. Paul does not think the prosperous fornication-not regarded as a sin at all among the issue of a journey an unfit subject for prayer Romans, heathen, and so needing the more to be denounced 1. 10; 15. 32). (EDMUNDS.) His prayer, though the (Acta, 15. 20). 4. know-by moral self-control how to answer was deferred, in about five years afterwards possess his vessel-rather as Greek, "how to acquire was fulfilled in his return to Macedonia. 12. The iget for himself) his own vessel," i.e., that each should "you" in the Greek is emphatically pat first: " But" have his own wife so as to avoid fornication . $; (So the Greek for "and" ) what concerns “ YOU," | 1 Corinthians, 7. 2). The emphatical position of his whether we come or not. "may the Lord make yon to own" in the Greek, and the use of * vessel * for vi increase and abound in love," &c. The Greek for "in- in 1 Peter, 3. 7, and in common Jewish phraseolog. crease" has a more positive force: that for "abound" and the correct translation "acquire," all justify this a more comparative force, “Make you full (supplying rendering in sanctification--(Romans, 6. 19; 1 Corin*that which is lacking." . 10) and even abound." | thians, 6. 16, 18.) Thus, "his own" stands in opposi* The Lord" may here be the Holy Spirit: so the Three tion to dishonouring his brother by lusting after his persons of the Trinity will be appealed to (cf. v. 13), wife (c. 6). honour-(Hebrew as in 2 Thessalonians, 3. 5. So the Holy Ghost is * dishonour their own bodies" (Romans, 1. 24). 5. is called "the Lord" (2 Corinthians, 3. 17). "Love" is the the lust-Greek, "passion;" which implies that sucha fruit of the Spirit (Galatians, 6. 22), and His office is a one is unconsciously the passive slave of lust. which "to stablish in holiness" (0, 13; 1 Peter, 1. 2. 13. your know not God-and so know no better. Ignorance of hearts-which are naturally the spring and seat of un- | true religion is the parent of unchastity (Ephesians. holiness. before God, even our Father-rather," before 4. 18, 19). A people's morals are like the objects of Him who is at once God and our Father." Before not their worship (Deuteronomy, 7. 26; Psalm 115, 8: Ro merely men, but Him who will not be deceived by mans, 1. 23, 24). 6. go beyond-transgress the bound. the mere show of holiness, i.e., may your holiness be of rectitude in respect to his brother. defraud such as will stand His searching scrutiny. coming overreach" (ALFORD): "take advantage of." (ED Greek, "presence," or "arrival." with all his saints MUNDS.) in any matter-rather as Greek, " in the matincluding both the holy angels and the holy elect of ter" a decorous expression for the matter now in men (ch. 4. 14; Daniel, 7. 10; Zechariah, 14. 5; Matthew, question: the conjugal honour of his neighbour as a 26. 31; 2 Thessalonians, 1. 7). The saints are “ His" husband, v. 4; . 7 also confirms this view: the word (Acts, 9. 13). We must have "holiness" if we are to | "brother" enhances the enormity of the crime. It is be numbered with His holy ones or "saints." On your brother whom you wrong (cf. Proverbs, 6. 27-33. "unblameable," cf. Revelation, 14. 6. This verse (cf. the Lord the coming Judge (2 Thessalonians, 1. 7. 89.
. 12) shows that "love" is the spring of true "holi- avenger--the Righter. of all such-Greek, "concerning ness" (Matthew, 6. 44-48; Romans, 13. 10; Colossians, all these things;" in all such cases of wrongs against a 3. 14). God is He who really "stablishes;" Timothy peighbour's conjugal honour. testified - Greek, "OFand other ministers are but instruments (v. 2) in stantly testified." (ALFORD.) 7. unto-Greek, "for * stablishing."
the purpose of." urto-rather as Greek, "in" marking CHAPTER IV.
that "holiness" is the element in which our calling Ver. 1-18. EXHORTATIONS TO CHASTITY: BROTHER has place: in a sphere of holiness. Saint is another LY LOVE: QUIET INDUSTRY: ABSTINENCE FROM name for Christian. 8. despiseth-Greek, "setteth at UNDUE SORROW FOR DEPARTED FRIENDS, FOR AT nought" such engagements imposed on him in his call CHRIST'S COMING ALL HIS SAINTS SHALL BE GLORI- ing, v. 7; in relation to his "brother," e. 6. He who FIED. 1. Parthermore-Greek, "As to what remains." doth so, "sets at nought not man (as for instance hits Generally used towards the close of his epistles brother) but God" (Psalm 51. 4). Or, as the Greek verb (Ephesians, 6. 10: Philippians. 4. 8). then - with & (Luke, 10. 16; John, 12. 48) is used of despising or reieco view to the love and holiness (ch. 3. 12, 13) which we ing God's minister, it may mean bere, “He who de have just prayed for in your behalf, we now give you spiseth" or "rejecteth" these our ministerial precepts exhortation. beseech-"ask" as if it were a personal who hath also given unto us-So some oldest MSS. read, favour. by-rather as Greek, " IN the Lord Jesus :" in but most oldest MSS. read. “Who (without also
ristian mini-giveth (present) unto you" (not "us"). bis Spirit-Cruck
Those A sleep in Jesus
shal Return with Him. "His own Spirit, the Holy one) :" thus emphatically | saints at Christ's coming is hereby implied. that ye marking "holiness" (v. 71 as the end for which the sorrow not, even as others-Greek,"the rest. all the rest Holy (one) is being given. “Unto you" in the Greek, I of the world besides Christians. Not all natural implies that the Spirit is being given unto, into (put into mourning for dead friends is forbidden; for the Lord your hearts), and among you (cf. ch. 2. 9; Ephesians, | Jesus and Paul sinlessly gave way to it (John, 11. 31, 4. 30). Giveth implies that sanctification is not merely | 33, 35: Philippians, 2. 27). But sorrow as though there a work once for all accomplished in the past, but a / were "no hope," which indeed the heathen had not present progressive work. So the Church of England | (Ephesians, 2. 12): the Christian hope here meant is that Catechism."sanctifieth (present) all the elect people ofl of the resurrection. Cf. Psalm 16. 9, 11; 17. 16; 73. 24; God." "His own" implies that as He gives you that | Proverbs, 14. 32, show that the Old Testament Church, which is essentially identical with Himself, He expects tbough not having the hope so bright (Isaiah, 38. 18, 19, you should become like Himself (1 Peter, 1. 16; 2 Peter, 1 yet had this hope. Contrast Catullus, 6. 4. “When 1. 41. 9. brotherly love - referring here to acts of once our brief day has set, we must sleep one everlastbrotherly kindness in relieving distressed brethren. | ing night." The sepulchral inscriptions of heathen Some oldest MSS. support English Version reading."YE Thessalonica express the hopeless view taken as to have;" others, and those the weightiest, read, “We those once dead: as Æschylus writes, “Or one once have." We need not write, as ve yourselves are taught, I dead there is no resurrection." Whatever glimpses and that by God; viz., in the heart by the Holy Spirit some heatben philosophers had of the existence of the (John, 6. 45; Hebrews, 8. 11; 1 John, 2. 20, 27). to love- soul after death, they had none whatever of the body Greek, "with a view to," or "to the end of your loving (Acts, 17. 18, 20, 32). 14. For if-Confirmation of his one another." Divine teachings have their confluence statement, v. 13, that the removal of ignorance as to in love. (BENGEL) 10. And indeed-Greek," For even," the sleeping believers would remove undue grief re11. study to be quiet-Greek. "make it your ambition specting them. See v. 13, "bope." Hence it appears to be quiet, and to do your own business." In direct our hope rests on onr faith ("if we believe"). "As contrast to the world's ambition, which is," to make a surely as we all believe that Christ died and rose again great stir," and "to be busybodies" (2 Thessalonians, I (the very doctrine specified as taught at Thessalonica, 3. 11, 12). work with your own hands-The Thessalo-| Acts, 17. 3). so also will God bring those laid to sleep nian converts were, it thus seems, chiefly of the work by Jesus with Alim" (Jesus. So the order and balance ing classes. Their expectation of the immediate com- of the members of the Greek sentence require us to ing of Christ led some enthusiasts among them to translate). Believers are laid in sleep by Jesus, and so neglect their daily work, and be dependent on the will be brought back from sleep with Jesus in His bounty of others. See end of v. 12. The expectation train when He comes. The disembodied souls are not was right in so far as that the Church should be always here spoken of; the reference is to the sleeping bodies. looking for Him ; but they were wrong in making it | The facts of Christ's experience are repeated in the bea ground for neglecting their daily work. The evil, | liever's. He died and then rose; so believers shall die as it subsequently became worse, is more strongly and then rise with him. But in His case death is the reproved (2 Thessalonians, 3. 6-12). 12. honestly-In | term used, 1 Corinthians, 15. 3, 6, &c.; in their's, sleep: the Old English sense, “becomingly;" as becomes your because His death has taken for them the sting from Christian profession; not bringing discredit on it in the death. The same hand that shall raise them is that eyes of the outer world, as if Christianity led to sloth which laid them to sleep. "Laid to sleep by Jesus." and poverty (Romans, 13. 13; 1 Peter, 2. 12). them... answers to “dead in Christ" (v. 16). 15. by the word of without - outside the Christian Church Mark, 4, 11). | the Lord-Greek,"in," i.e., in virtue of a direct revelabave lack of nothing-not have to beg from others for tion from the Lord to me. So i Kings, 20. 35. This the supply of your wants (cf. Ephesians, 4. 28). So far is the "mystery." & truth once hidden, now revealed, from needing to beg from others, we ought to work which Paul shows (1 Corinthians, 15, 61, 62). prevent and get the means of supplying the need of others. -i.e., anticipate. So far were the early Christians from Freedom from pecuniary embarrassment is to be regarding their departed brethren as anticipating desired by the Christian on account of the liberty which them in entering giory, that they needed to be assured it bestows, 13. The leading topic of Paul's preaching at that those who remain to the coming of the Lord Thessalonica having been the coming kingdom (Acts, "will not anticipate them that are asleep." The "we" 17. 7), some perverted it into a cause for fear in respect means whicherer of us are alive and remain unto the to friends lately deceased, as if these would be ex. coming of the Lord. The Spirit designed that becluded from the glory which those found alive alone lievers in each successive age should live in continued should share. This error St. Paul here corrects (cf. expectation of the Lord's coming. not knowing but ch. 5. 10). I would not-All the oldest MSS. and ver that they should be among those found alive at His sions have" we would not." My fellow-labourers (Silas coming (Matthew, 24. 42). It is a sad fall from this aad Timothy) and myself, desire that ye should not blessed hope, that death is looked for by most men, be ignorant. them which are asleep-The oldest MSS rather than the coming of our Lord. Each successive read (present), "them which are sleeping:" the same as generation in its time and place represents the genera"the dead in Christo (v. 16), to whose bodies (Daniel, I tion which shall actually survive till His coming (Mat12. 2, not their souls; Ecclesiastes, 12. 7; 2 Corinthians, thew, 25. 13; Romans, 13. 11; 1 Corinthians, 16. 61: 5. 8) death is a calm and holy sleep, from which the | James, 5. 9; 1 Peter, 4. 5, 6). The Spirit subsequently resurrection shall awake them to glory. The word revealed by Paul that which is not inconsistent with ** cemetery" means a sleeping place. Observe, the the expectation here taught of the Lord's coming at glory and chief hope of the Church are not to be re- any time, viz., that His coming would not be until alized at death, but at the Lord's coming ; one is not there should be a "falling away first" (2 Thessalonians. to anticipate the other, but all are to be glorified to- | 2, 2, 3): but as symptoms of this soon appeared, none gether at Christ's coming (Colossians, 3, 4; Hebrews. could say but that still this precursory event might be 11. 40). Death affects the mere individual; but the com- realized, and so the Lord come in His day. Each sucing of Jesus the whole Church; at death our souls cessive revelation fills in the details of the general are invisibly and individually with the Lord : at l outline first given. So Paul subsequently, whilst still Christ's coming the whole Church, with all its mem- looking mainly for the Lord's coming to clothe bim bers, in body and soul, shall be visibly and collectively with his body from heaven, looks for going to be with with Him. As this is offered as a consolation to Christ in the meanwhile (2 Corinthians, 6. 1-10; Philip. mourning relatives, the mutual recognition of the pians, 1, 6, 23; 3, 20, 21; 4.6). EDMUNDS well says, The
Joint Glory of the Living and
1 THESSALONIANS, V, Raised Saints at Christ's Coming. *Weis an affectionate identifying of ourselves with Daniel, 7. 12: Acts, 1. 7). Time denotes quantity ; onr fellows of all ages, as members of the same body, season, quality. Seasons are parts of times. ye have under the same Head, Christ Jesus. So Hosea, 12. 4, no need-those who watch do not need to be told rohen “God spake ith us in Bethel," i.e., with Israel. "We the hour will come, for they are always ready. BENdid rejoice." 1.c., Israel at the Red sea (Psalm 66. 6). GEL.] 2. as a thief in the night-The apostles in this Though neither Hosea, nor David, were alive at the image follow the parable of their Lord, expressing how times referred to, yet each identifies himself with the Lord's coming shall take men by surprise Matthose that were present. 16. himself-in all the Majesty thew, 94. 43; 2 Peter, 3. 10). "The night is wherever of His presence in person, not by deputy. descend there is quiet unconcern.BENOEL.) “At midnight" even as Ale ascended (Acts. 1. 11). with-Greek, "in," (perhaps figurative: to some parts of the earth it will implying one concomitant circumstance attending His be literal night), Matthew, 25. 6. The thief not only appearing. shout-Greek, "signal-shout." " war-shout." gives no notice of his approach, but takes all precauJesus is represented as a victorious King, giving the tions to prevent the household knowing of it. So the word of command to the hosts of heaven in His train Lord Revelation, 16. 16). Sigs will precede the comfor the last onslaught, at His final triumph over sin, ing, to confirm the patient hope of the watchful bedeath, and Satan (Revelation, 19. 11-21). the voice of liever ; but the coming itself shall be sudden at last ... archangel - distinct from the "signal - shout." (Matthew, 24, 32-36; Luke, 21. 25-32, 35). cometh Michael is perhaps meant (Jude, 9; Revelation, 12. 7), present: expressing its speedy and awful certainty. 3. to whom especially is committed the guardianship of they-the men of the world. Verses 5, 6; ch. 4. 13, the people of God (Daniel, 10. 13). tramp of God-the "others," all the rest of the world save Christians. trumpet blast which usually accompanies God's mani. Peace-(Judges, 18. 7, 9, 27, 28; Jeremiah, 6. 14; Ezekiel, festation in glory (Exodus, 19. 16; Psalm 47. 5); here 13. 10.) then-at that very moment when they least exthe last of the three accompaniments of His appear-pect it. Cf. the case of Belshnzzar, Daniel, 5. 1-5, 6, ing: as the trumpet was used to convene God's people 9, 26-28; Herod, Acte, 12. 21-23. sudden" unawares to their solemn convocations (Numbers, 10. 2, 10; 31. 6). (Luke, 21. 34). as travail-"As the labour pang" comes so here to summon God's elect together, preparatory in an instant on the wonian when otherwise engaged to their glorification with Christ (Psalm 50. 1-6; Mat- (Psalm 48. O; Isaiah, 13. 8). shall not escape-Greek, thew, 24. 31:1 Corinthians, 16. 52). shall rise first-1"shall not at all escape." Another awful feature of previously to the living being “caught up. The their ruin: there shall be then no possibility of shun*first here has no reference to the first resurrection, ning it however they desire it (Amos, 9. 2, 3; Revelaas contrasted with that of "the rest of the dead." tion, 6. 15, 16). 4. not in darkness--not in darkness of That reference occurs elsewhere (Matthew, 13. 41, 42, 60; understanding fi.e., spiritual ignorance) or of the moral John, 5. 29: 1 Corinthians, 16. 23, 24; Revelation, 20. nature fi.e., a state of sin), Ephesians, 4. 18. that5, 6), it simply stands in opposition to "then," u. 17. Greek, " in order that." with God results are all purFIRST," the dead in Christ" shall rise, TEEN the living posed. that day-Greek, "THE day :" the day of the shall be caught up. The Lord's people alone are Lord (Hebrew, 10. 25," the day"), in contrast to "darkspoken of here. 17, we which are alive...shall be caught Dess." overtake-unexpectedly (cf. John, 12, 35). as a up-after having been "changed in a moment" (1 Co-thiet-The two oldest MSS. read," as the daylight rinthians, 15. 51, 52). Again he says, “we," recom- overtakes) thieves" (Job, 24. 17). Old MSS. and Vulgate mending thus the expression to Christians of all ages, read as English Version 5. The oldest MSS. read, each generation bequeathing to the succeeding one a "For ye are all," &c. Ye have no reason for fear. continually increasing obligation to look for the com-or for being taken by surprise, by the coming of the ing of the Lord. (EDMUNDS.) together with them-all day of the Lord: "For ye are all sons (so the Greek of together: the raised dead, and changed living, forming light and sons of day:" & Hebrew idiom, implying that one joint body. in the clouds-Greek, "in clouds." as sons resemble their fathers, so you are in character The same honour is conferred on them as on their light intellectually and morally illuminated in a Lord. As He was taken in a cloud at His ascension spiritual point of view), Luke, 16. 8; John, 12. 36. ure (Acts, 1. 9), so at his return with clouds (Revelation, not of-i.e., belong not to night nor darkness. The 1. 7), they shall be caught up in clouds. The clouds change of person from "ye'to "we," implies this: Ye are His and their triumphal chariot Psalm 104. 3: are sons of light because ye are Christians; and 26, Daniel, 7. 13). ELLICOTT explains the Greek, "robed Christians, are not of night nor darkness. 6. othersround by upbearing clouds" (Aids to faith). in the air | Greek, “the rest of the world: the unconverted (ch. 4. -ratber." into the air;" caught up into the region just 13). "Sleep" here is worldly apathy to spiritual things above the earth, where the meeting (cf. Matthew, 25. (Romans, 13. 11; Ephesians, 5. 14); in , 7, ordinary 1, 6) shall take place between them ascending, and sleep; in v. 10, death, watch-for Christ's coming. li... their Lord descending towards the earth. Not that "be wakeful." The same Greek occurs 1 Corinthians, the sir is to be the place of their lasting abode with 15. 34; 2 Timothy, 2. 26. be sober-refraining from Him, and so shall we ever be with the Lord-Do more carnal indulgence, mental or sensual (1 Peter, 6. 8). 7. parting, no more going out (Revelation, 3. 12). His This verse is to be taken in the literal sense, Night is point being established, that the dead in Christ shall the time when sleepers sleep, and drinking men are be on terms of equal advantage with those found alive drunk. To sleep by day would imply great indolence: at Christ's coming, he leaves undefined here the to be drunken by day, great shamelessness. Now, in other events foretold elsewhere (as not being necessary a spiritual sense, "we Christians profess to be day to his discussion), Christ's reign on earth with His people, not night people; therefore our work ought to saints (1 Corinthians, 6. 2, 3), the final judgment and be day work, not night work; our conduct such as will glorification of His saints in the new heaven and bear the eye of day, and such has no need of the veil earth. 18. comfort one another-in your mourning for of night" (EDMUNDS) (v. 8). 8. Faith, hope, and love. the dend (v. 13).
are the three pre-eminent graces (ch. 1. 3; 1 CorinCHAPTER V.
thians, 13. 13). We must not only be awake and Ver. 1-28. THE SUDDENNESS OF CHRIST'S COMING ) sober, but also armed: not only watchfal, but als A MOTIVE FOR WATCHFULNESS: VARIOUS PRECEPTS: guarded. The armour here is only defensive : in PRAYER FOR THEIR BEING FOUND BLAMELESS, BODY, Ephesians, 6. 13-17, also offensive. Here, therefore. SOUL AND SPIRIT, AT CHRIST'S COMING: CONCLUSION. the reference is to the Christian means of being 1. times - the general and indefinite term for chro I guarded against being surprised by the day of the Lord nological periods, seasons - the opportune times as a thief in the night. The helmet and breastplate
Comfort and Edification from
1 THESSALONIANS, V.
the Prospect of Final Saltation. defend the two vital parts, the head and the heart re should be a sufficient motive to claim your reverential spectively. "With head and heart right, the whole love. At the same time, the word "work," teaches man is right." (EDMUNDS.) The head needs to be ministers that, whilst claiming the reverence due to kept from error, the heart from sin. For " the breast their office, it is not a sidecure, but a "work." of. plate of righteousness," Ephesians, 6. 14, we have here "labour" (even to weariness: so the Greek), v. 12, be "the breastplate of faith and love;" for the righteous- at peace among yourselves-The "and" is not in the ness which is imputed to man for justification, is original. Let there not only be peace between mini**faith working by love" (Romans, 4.3, 22-24; Gala-sters and their flocks, but also no party rivalries among tians, 6. 6). Faith, as the motive within, and love, ex- yourselves, one contending in behalf of some one hibited in outward acts, constitute the perfection of favourite minister, another in behalf of another righteousness. In Ephesians, 6. 17, the helmet is (Mark, 9. 50; 1 Corinthians, 1. 12; 4. 6). 14. brethren * salvation;" here, "the hope of salvation." In one |--This exhortation to "warn (Greek, 'admonish,' as in Aspect "salvation" is a present possession (John, 3.36; 10. 12) the unruly (those 'disorderly persons, 2 Thesá. 24; 1 John, 5. 13); in another, it is a matter of hope salonians, 3, 6, 11, who would not work, and yet ex. (Romans, 8. 24, 25). Our Head primarily wore the pected to be maintained, lit., said of soldiers who will
breastplate of righteousness" and "helmet of salva- | not remain in their ranks, cf, ch. 4. 11; also those intion," that we might, by union with Him, receive both. subordinate as to church discipline, in relation to those 9. For-Assigning the ground of our "hope" (v. 8). I 'over' the church, v. 12), comfort the feeble-minded" appointed us - translate, "set" (Acts, 13. 47), in His (the faint-hearted, who are ready to sink "without everlasting purpose of love (ch. 3. 3; 2 Timothy, 1. 9). hope" in afflictions, ch. 4. 13, and temptations!, &c., Contrast Romans, 9. 22; Jude, 4. toi.c., unto wrath. applies to all clergy and laity alike, though primarily to obtain-Greek," to the acquisition of salvation:" said, the duty of the clergy (who are meant in v. 12). support according to BENGEL, of one saved out of a general -lit., lay fast hold on so as to support. the weakwreck, when all things else bave been lost : so of the spiritually. St. Paul practised what he preached elect saved out of the multitude of the lost (2 Thes- / (1 Corinthians, 9. 22). be patient toward all men-There is salonians, 2. 13, 14). The fact of God's "appointment" | no believer who needs not the exercise of patience of His grace "through Jesus Christ" (Ephesians, 1. 6), " toward" him; there is none to whom a believer ought takes away the notion of our being able to "acquire" not to show it; many show it more to strangers than salvation of ourselves. Christ "acquired (so the Greek to their own families, more to the great than to the for purchased') the church and its salvation) with His humble; but we ought to show it "toward all men." own blood" (Acts, 20. 28): each member is said to be (BENGEL.) Cf. " the long-suffering of our Lord" (2 Coappointed by God to the "acquiring of salvation." In rinthians, 10. 1; 2 Peter, 3. 15). 15. (Romans, 12. 17; the primary sense, God does the work; in the | 1 Peter, 3. 9.) unto any man--whether unto a Christian, secondary sense, man does it. 10. died for us-Greek, or a heathen, however great the provocation. follow * in our behalf." whether we wake or sleep-whether -As a matter of earnest pursuit. 16, 17. In order to we be found at Christ's coming awake, i.e., alive, or "rejoice evermore," we must "pray without ceasing." asleep, i.e., in our graves. together--all of us together: He who is wont to thank God for all things as hapthe living not preceding the dead in their glorification pening for the best, will have continuous joy. * with Him" at His coming (ch. 4. 13). 11. comfort (THEOPHYLACT.) Ephesians, 6.18; Philippians, 1.4, 6, yourselves-Greek, "one another." Here he reverts to “Rejoice in the Lord...by prayer and supplication with the same consolatory strain as in ch. 4. 18. one another thanksgiving;" Romans, 14. 17, "in the Holy Ghost;"
rather as Greek, " Edify (ye) the one the other:"Romans, 12. 12, "in hope;" Acts, 6. 41,"in being * Bdify," lit., "build up." viz., in faith, hope, and love, | counted worthy to suffer shame for Christ's name;" by discoursing together on such edifying topics as the James, 1, 2, in falling "into dirers temptations." The Lord's coming, and the glory of the saints (Malachi, | Greek is, "Pray without intermission:" without allow3. 16). 12, beseech - "Exhort" is the expression in / ing prayerless gaps to intervene between the times of o. 14; bere, “we beseech you," as if it were a personal prayer. 18. In every thing-even what seems adverse : favour (Paul making the cause of the Thessalonian for nothing is really so (cf. Romans, 8. 28; Ephesians. presbyters, as it were, his own). know-to have a 5. 20). See Christ's example (Matthew, 16. 36; 26. 27; regard and respect for. Recognise their office, and Luke, 10. 21; John, 11. 41). this-That ye should "retreat them accordingly (cf. 1 Corinthians, 16, 18) with joice evermore, pray without ceasing, (and) in every reverence and with liberality in supplying their needs I thing give thanks." "is the will of God in Christ u Timothy, 6. 17). The Thessalonian church having | Jesus (as the Mediator and Revealer of that will, been newly planted, the ministers were necessarily observed by those who are in Christ by faith, cf. novices (1 Timothy, 3. 6), which may have been in part Philippians, 3. 14) concerning you." God's will is the the cause of the people treating them with less re- believer's law. LACHMANN rightly reads commas at spect. Paul's practice seems to have been to ordain the end of the three precepts (v. 10, 17, 18), making elders in every church soon after its establishment “this" refer to all three. 19. Quench not-The Spirit
Acts. 14. 23). them which labour...are over...admonish being a holy fire: "where the Spirit is, He burns" von-Not three classes of ministers, but one, as there | (BENGEL.) (Matthew, 3. 11; Acts, 2, 3; 7. 61). Do not is bot one article common to the three in the Greek. throw cold water on those who, under extraordinary * Labour" expresses their laborious life: "are over inspiration of the Spirit, stand up to speak with yon.their pre-eminence as presidents or superinten. tongues, or reveal mysteries, or pray in the congregadents (* bishops," i.e., overseers, Philippians, 1. 1. tion. The enthusiastic exhibitions of some perhaps * them that have rule over you," lit., leaders, Hebrews, as to the nearness of Christ's coming, exaggerating 12. 1: pastors," lit., shepherds, Ephesians, 4. 11): "ad- | Paul's statement, 9 Thessalonians, 2. 2. By spirit), led monish you," one of their leading functions: the Greek | others (probably the presiding ministers, who had not is put in mind," implying not arbitrary authority, I always been treated with due respect by enthusiastic hot gentle, though faithful, admonition (2 Timothy, 2. | novices, v. 12), from dread of enthusiasm, to discourage 14. 24, 25; 1 Peter, 6. 3). in the Lord-Their presidency the free utterances of those really inspired, in the over you is in divine things; not in worldly affairs, but church assembly. On the other hand, the caution in things appertaining to the Lord. 13. very highly-1 (v. 21) was needed, not to receive "all" pretended reGreck, "exceeding abundantly." for their work's sake- velations as divine, without "proving them. 20. prothe high nature of their work alone, the furtherance phesyings-whether exercised in inspired teaching, or our salvation and of the kingdom of Christ, I in predicting the future. "Despised" by some se