LOVE, AND FOR
THEM, AND FOR
1. in God our Father--still more endearing than the address,
"in God THE Father."
2. from God our Father--So some oldest manuscripts read. Others omit
3. We are bound--Greek, "We owe it as a debt"
They had prayed for the Thessalonians
that they might "increase and abound in love"; their prayer having been
heard, it is a small but a bounden return for them to make, to thank
God for it. Thus, Paul and his fellow missionaries practice what they
their thanksgiving was for the Thessalonians' faith, love, and
patience"; here, for their exceeding growth in faith, and
for their charity abounding. "We are bound" expresses the duty
of thanksgiving from its subjective side as an inward conviction. "As
it is meet," from the objective: side as something answering to
the state of circumstances [ALFORD]. Observe the
exact correspondence of the prayer
"The Lord make you to abound in love") and the answer, "The love of
every one of you all toward each other aboundeth" (compare
4. glory in you--make our boast of you, literally, "in your case."
"Ourselves" implies that not merely did they hear others speaking of the
Thessalonians' faith, but they, the missionaries themselves, boasted
of it. Compare
wherein the apostle said, their faith was so well known in various
places, that he and his fellow missionaries had no need to speak of it;
but here he says, so abounding is their love, combined with faith and
patience, that he and his fellow missionaries themselves, make
it a matter of glorying in the various churches elsewhere (he was now
at Corinth in Achaia, and boasted there of the faith of the Macedonian
2Co 10:15-17; 8:1,
at the same time giving the glory to the Lord), not only looking
forward to glorying thereat at Christ's coming
but doing so even now.
"patience of hope." Here hope is tacitly implied as the
ground of their patience;
2Th 1:5, 7
state the object of their hope, namely, the kingdom for which they
tribulations--literally, "pressures." The Jews were the instigators
of the populace and of the magistrates against Christians
(Ac 17:6, 8).
which ye endure--Greek, "are (now) enduring."
5. Which--Your enduring these tribulations is a "token of the
righteous judgment of God," manifested in your being enabled to endure
them, and in your adversaries thereby filling up the measure of their
guilt. The judgment is even now begun, but its consummation will be at
the Lord's coming. David
were perplexed at the wicked prospering and the godly suffering. But
Paul, by the light of the New Testament, makes this fact a matter of
consolation. It is a proof (so the Greek) of the future
judgment, which will set to rights the anomalies of the present state,
by rewarding the now suffering saint, and by punishing the persecutor.
And even now "the Judge of all the earth does right"
for the godly are in themselves sinful and need chastisement to amend
them. What they suffer unjustly at the hands of cruel men they suffer
justly at the hands of God; and they have their evil things here that
they may escape condemnation with the world and have their good things
that ye may be counted worthy--expressing the purpose of God's
"righteous judgment" as regards you.
for which--Greek, "in behalf of which ye are also
Ac 5:41; 9:16;
"Worthy" implies that, though men are justified by faith, they shall be
judged "according to their works"
1Pe 1:6, 7;
The "also" implies the connection between the suffering for the
kingdom and being counted worthy of it. Compare
Ro 8:17, 18.
6. seeing it is a righteous thing--This justifies the assertion above
of there being a "righteous judgment"
namely, "seeing that it is (literally, 'if at least,' 'if at
all events it is') a righteous thing with (that is, in the
estimation of) God" (which, as we all feel, it certainly is). Our own
innate feeling of what is just, in this confirms what is revealed.
recompense--requite in kind, namely, tribulation
to them that trouble you (affliction to those that
afflict you); and to you who are troubled, rest from
7. rest--governed by "to recompense"
The Greek is literally, "relaxation"; loosening of the
tension which had preceded; relaxing of the strings of
endurance now so tightly drawn. The Greek word for "rest,"
is distinct, namely, cessation from labor. Also,
"A keeping of sabbath."
with us--namely, Paul, Silas, and Timothy, the writers, who are
troubled like yourselves.
when--at the time when . . . ; not sooner, not later.
with his mighty angels--rather as the Greek, "with the angels of
His might," or "power," that is, the angels who are the ministers by
whom He makes His might to be recognized
(Mt 13:41, 52).
It is not their might, but His might, which is the prominent
8. In flaming fire--Greek, "In flame of fire"; or, as
other oldest manuscripts read, "in fire of flame." This flame
of fire accompanied His manifestation in the bush
also His giving of the law at Sinai
Also it shall accompany His revelation at His advent
(Da 7:9, 10),
symbolizing His own bright glory and His consuming vengeance against
(Heb 10:27; 12:29;
2Pe 3:7, 10).
taking--literally, "giving" them, as their portion, "vengeance."
know not God--the Gentiles primarily
not of course those involuntarily not knowing God, but those
wilfully not knowing Him, as Pharaoh, who might have known God
if he would, but who boasted "I know not the Lord"
and as the heathen persecutors who might have known God by the
preaching of those whom they persecuted. Secondarily, all who "profess
to know God but in works deny Him"
obey not the gospel--primarily the unbelieving Jews
(Ro 10:3, 16);
secondarily, all who obey not the truth
Christ--omitted by some of the oldest manuscripts, and retained by
9. Who--Greek, "persons who," &c.
destruction from the presence of the Lord--driven far
from His presence [ALFORD]. The sentence
emanating from Him in person, sitting as Judge
[BENGEL], and driving them far from Him
Re 6:16; 12:14;
Isa 2:10, 19).
"The presence of the Lord" is the source whence the sentence goes
forth; "the glory of His power" is the instrument whereby the sentence
is carried into execution [EDMUNDS]. But ALFORD better interprets the latter clause (see
driven "from the manifestation of His power in the glorification of
His saints." Cast out from the presence of the Lord is the
idea at the root of eternal death, the law of evil left to its
unrestricted working, without one counteracting influence of the
presence of God, who is the source of all light and holiness
10. "When He shall have come."
glorified in his saints--as the element and mirror
IN which His glory shall shine brightly
admired in all them that believe--Greek, "them that
believed." Once they believed, now they see: they
had taken His word on trust. Now His word is made good and they need
faith no longer. With wonder all celestial intelligences
shall see and admire the Redeemer on account of the excellencies
which He has wrought in them.
because, &c.--Supply for the sense, among whom (namely, those who
shall be found to have believed) you, too, shall be; "because our
testimony unto (so the Greek for 'among') you was believed"
(and was not rejected as by those "who obey not the Gospel,"
The early preaching of the Gospel was not abstract discussions, but a
testimony to facts and truths experimentally known
Faith is defined by
PEARSON as "an assent unto truths, credible upon
the testimony of God, delivered unto us by the apostles and prophets"
(originally delivering their testimony orally, but now in their
writings). "Glorified in His saints" reminds us that holiness is
glory in the bud; glory is holiness
11. Wherefore--Greek, "With a view to which," namely, His
glorification in you as His saints.
also--We not only anticipate the coming glorification of our Lord
in His saints, but we also pray concerning (so the Greek)
our God--whom we serve.
count you worthy--The prominent position of the "You" in the
Greek makes it the emphatic word of the sentence. May you
be found among the saints whom God shall count worthy of their calling
There is no dignity in us independent of God's calling of us
The calling here is not merely the first actual call, but the
whole of God's electing act, originating in His "purpose of grace given
us in Christ before the world began," and having its consummation in
the good pleasure of, &c.--on the part of God [BENGEL].
faith--on your part. ALFORD refers the
former clause, "good pleasure of his goodness," also to man,
arguing that the Greek for "goodness" is never applied to God,
and translates, "All [that is, every possible] right purpose of
goodness." WAHL, "All sweetness of
goodness," that is, impart in full to you all the refreshing delights
of goodness. I think that, as in the previous and parallel clause,
"calling" refers to GOD'S purpose; and as the
Greek for "good pleasure" mostly is used of God, we ought
to translate, "fulfil (His) every gracious purpose of goodness
(on your part)," that is, fully perfect in you all goodness
according to His gracious purpose. Thus, "the grace of our God,"
corresponds to God's "good pleasure" here, which confirms the
English Version, just as "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ" is
parallel to "work of faith," as Christ especially is the object of
faith. "The work of faith"; Greek, (no article; supply from the
previous clause all) work of faith"; faith manifested by
work, which is its perfected development
compare Note, see on
Working reality of faith.
with power--Greek, "in power," that is, "powerfully
fulfil in you"
12. the name of our Lord Jesus--Our Lord Jesus
in His manifested personality as the God-man.