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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - 2 THESSALONIANS 3

    2 Thessalonians 2 - 1 Timothy 1 - VINCENT'S STUDY - HELP - FACEBOOK - GR FORUMS - GODRULES ON YOUTUBE    




    3:1 {Finally} (to loipon). Accusative of general reference. Cf. loipon #1Th 4:1. {Pray} (proseucesqe). Present middle, keep on praying. Note peri as in #1Th 5:25. {That the word of the Lord may run and be glorified} (hina ho logos tou kuriou trecei kai doxazetai). Usual construction of hina after proseucomai, sub-final use, content and purpose combined. Note present subjunctive with both verbs rather than aorist, may keep on running and being glorified, two verbs joined together nowhere else in the N.T. Paul probably derived this metaphor from the stadium as in #1Co 9:24ff.; Ga 2:2; Ro 9:16; Php 2:16; 2Ti 4:7. Lightfoot translates "may have a triumphant career." On the word of the Lord see on ¯1Th 1:8. Paul recognizes the close relation between himself and the readers. He needs their prayers and sympathy and he rejoices in their reception of the word of the Lord already, {even as also it is with you} (kaqws kai pros humas). "As it does in your case" (Frame).

    3:2 {And that we may be delivered} (kai hina rusqwmen). A second and more personal petition (Milligan). First aorist passive subjunctive of ruomai, old verb to rescue. Note change in tense from present to aorist (effective aorist). {From unreasonable and evil men} (apo twn atopwn kai ponerwn anqrwpwn). Ablative case with apo. Originally in the old Greek atopos (a privative and topos) is out of place, odd, unbecoming, perverse, outrageous, both of things and persons. poneros is from ponew, to work (ponos), looking on labor as an annoyance, bad, evil. Paul had a plague of such men in Corinth as he had in Thessalonica. {For all have not faith} (ou gar pantwn he pistis). Copula estin not expressed. pantwn is predicate possessive genitive, faith (article with abstract substantive) does not belong to all. Hence their evil conduct.

    3:3 {But the Lord is faithful} (pistos de estin ho kurios). {But faithful is the Lord} (correct rendition), with a play (paronomasia) on pistis by pistos as in #Ro 3:3 we have a word-play on apistew and apistia. The Lord can be counted on, however perverse men may be. {From the evil one} (apo tou ponerou). Apparently a reminiscence of the Lord's Prayer in #Mt 6:13 rusai hemas apo tou ponerou. But here as there it is not certain whether tou ponerou is neuter (evil) like to poneron in #Ro 12:9 or masculine (the evil one). But we have ho poneros (the evil one) in #1Jo 5:18 and tou ponerou is clearly masculine in #Eph 6:16. If masculine here, as is probable, is it "the Evil One" (Ellicott) or merely the evil man like those mentioned in verse #2? Perhaps Paul has in mind the representative of Satan, the man of sin, pictured in #2:1-12, by the phrase here without trying to be too definite.

    3:4 {And we have confidence} (pepoiqomen). Second perfect indicative of peiqw, to persuade, intransitive in this tense, we are in a state of trust. {In the Lord touching you} (en kuriwi ef' humas). Note the two prepositions, en in the sphere of the Lord (#1Th 4:1) as the _ground_ of Paul's confident trust, eph' (epi) with the accusative (towards you) where the dative could have been used (cf. #2Co 2:3). {Ye both do and will do} ([kai] poieite kai poiesete). Compliment and also appeal, present and future tenses of poiew. {The things which we command} (ha paraggellomen). Note of apostolic authority here, not advice or urging, but command.

    3:5 {Direct} (kateuqunai). First aorist active optative of wish for the future as in #2:17; 1Th 5:23 from kateuqunw, old verb, as in #1Th 3:11 (there {way}, here {hearts}) and #Lu 1:79 of {feet} (podas). Perfective use of kata. Bold figure for making smooth and direct road. The Lord here is the Lord Jesus. {Into the love of God} (eis ten agapen tou qeou). Either subjective or objective genitive makes sense and Lightfoot pleads for both, "not only as an objective attribute of deity, but as a ruling principle in our hearts," holding that it is "seldom possible to separate the one from the other." Most scholars take it here as subjective, the characteristic of God. {Into the patience of Christ} (eis ten hupomnen tou cristou). There is the same ambiguity here, though the subjective idea, the patience shown by Christ, is the one usually accepted rather than "the patient waiting for Christ" (objective genitive).

    3:6 {Now we command you} (paraggellomen de humin). Paul puts into practice the confidence expressed on their obedience to his commands in verse #4. {In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ} (en onomati tou kuriou iesou cristou). {Name} (onoma) here for authority of Jesus Christ with which compare {through the Lord Jesus} (dia tou kuriou iesou) in #1Th 4:2. For a full discussion of the phrase see the monograph of W. Heitmuller, _Im Namen Jesu_. Paul wishes his readers to realize the responsibility on them for their obedience to his command. {That ye withdraw yourselves} (stellesqai humas). Present middle (direct) infinitive of stellw, old verb to place, arrange, make compact or shorten as sails, to move oneself from or to withdraw oneself from (with apo and the ablative). In #2Co 8:20 the middle voice (stellomenoi) means taking care. {From every brother that walketh disorderly} (apo pantos adelfou ataktws peripatountos). He calls him "brother" still. The adverb ataktws is common in Plato and is here and verse #11 alone in the N.T., though the adjective ataktos, equally common in Plato we had in #1Th 5:14 which see. Military term, out of ranks. {And not after the tradition} (kai me kata ten paradosin). See on ¯2:15 for paradosin. {Which they received of us} (hen parelabosan par hemwn). Westcott and Hort put this form of the verb (second aorist indicative third person plural of paralambanw, the -osan form instead of -on, with slight support from the papyri, but in the LXX and the Boeotian dialect, Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 335f.) in the margin with parelabete (ye received) in the text. There are five different readings of the verb here, the others being parelabon, parelabe, elabosan.

    3:7 {How ye ought to imitate us} (pws dei mimeisqai hemas). Literally, how it is necessary to imitate us. The infinitive mimeisqai is the old verb mimeomai from mimos (actor, mimic), but in N.T. only here (and verse #9), #Heb 13:7; 3Jo 1:11. It is a daring thing to say, but Paul knew that he had to set the new Christians in the midst of Jews and Gentiles a model for their imitation (#Php 3:17). {For we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you} (hoti ouk etaktesamen en humin). First aorist active indicative of old verb ataktew, to be out of ranks of soldiers. Specific denial on Paul's part in contrast to verse #6,17.

    3:8 {For nought} (dwrean). Adverbial accusative, as a gift, gift-wise (dwrea, gift, from didwmi). Same claim made to the Corinthians (#2Co 11:7), old word, in LXX, and papyri. He lodged with Jason, but did not receive his meals _gratis_, for he paid for them. Apparently he received no invitations to meals. Paul had to make his financial independence clear to avoid false charges which were made in spite of all his efforts. To eat bread is merely a Hebraism for eat (verse #10). See #1Th 2:9 for labor and travail, and night and day (nuktos kai hemeras, genitive of time, by night and by day). See #1Th 2:9 for rest of the verse in precisely the same words.

    3:9 {Not because we have not the right} (ouc hoti ouk ecomen exousian). Paul is sensitive on his {right} to receive adequate support (#1Th 2:6; 1 Co 9:4 where he uses the same word exousian in the long defence of this {right}, #1Co 9:1-27). So he here puts in this limitation to avoid misapprehension. He did allow churches to help him where he would not be misunderstood (#2Co 11:7-11; Php 4:45f.). Paul uses ouch hoti elsewhere to avoid misunderstanding (#2Co 1:24; 3:5; Php 4:17). {But to make ourselves an ensample unto you} (all' hina heautous tupon dwmen humin). Literally, {but that we might give ourselves a type to you}. Purpose with hina and second aorist active subjunctive of didwmi. On tupon see on ¯1Th 1:7.

    3:10 { this } (touto). What he proceeds to give. {If any will not work, neither let him eat} (hoti ei tis ou qelei ergazesqai mede esqietw). Recitative hoti here not to be translated, like our modern quotation marks. Apparently a Jewish proverb based on #Ge 3:19. Wetstein quotes several parallels. Moffatt gives this from Carlyle's _Chartism_: "He that will not work according to his faculty, let him perish according to his necessity." Deissmann (_Light from the Ancient East_, p. 314) sees Paul borrowing a piece of workshop morality. It was needed, as is plain. this is a condition of the first class (note negative ou) with the negative imperative in the conclusion.

    3:11 {For we hear} (akouomen gar). Fresh news from Thessalonica evidently. For the present tense compare #1Co 11:18. The accusative and the participle is a regular idiom for indirect discourse with this verb (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 1040-2). Three picturesque present participles, the first a general description, peripatountas ataktws, the other two specifying with a vivid word-play, {that work not at all, but are busy-bodies} (meden ergazomenous alla periergazomenous). Literally, {doing nothing but doing around}. Ellicott suggests, {doing no business but being busy bodies}. "The first persecution at Thessalonica had been fostered by a number of fanatical loungers (#Ac 17:5)" (Moffatt). These theological dead-beats were too pious to work, but perfectly willing to eat at the hands of their neighbors while they piddled and frittered away the time in idleness.

    3:12 {We command and exhort} (paraggellomen kai parakaloumen). Paul asserts his authority as an apostle and pleads as a man and minister. {That with quietness they work, and eat their own bread} (hina meta hˆsuchias ergazomenoi ton heaut"n arton esqiwsin). Substance of the command and exhortation by hina and the present subjunctive esqiwsin. Literally, {that working with quietness they keep on eating their own bread}. The precise opposite of their conduct in verse #11.

    3:13 {But ye, brethren, be not weary in well-doing} (humeis de, adelfoi, me enkakesete kalopoiountes). Emphatic position of humeis in contrast to these piddlers. me and the aorist subjunctive is a prohibition against beginning an act (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 851-4). It is a late verb and means to behave badly in, to be cowardly, to lose courage, to flag, to faint, (en, kakos) and outside of #Lu 18:1 in the N.T. is only in Paul's Epistles (#2Th 3:13; 2Co 4:1,16; Ga 6:9; Eph 3:13). It occurs in Polybius. The late verb kalopoiew, to do the fair (kalos) or honorable thing occurs nowhere else in the N.T., but is in the LXX and a late papyrus. Paul uses to kalon poiein in #2Co 13:7; Ga 6:9; Ro 7:21 with the same idea. He has agaqopoiew, to do good, in #1Ti 6:18.

    3:14 {And if any one obeyeth not our word by this epistle} (ei de tis ouc hupakouei twi logwi hemwn dia tes epistoles). Paul sums up the issue bluntly with this ultimatum. Condition of the first class, with negative ou, assuming it to be true. {Note that man} (touton semeiousqe). Late verb semeiow, from semeion, sign, mark, token. Put a tag on that man. Here only in N.T. "The verb is regularly used for the signature to a receipt or formal notice in the papyri and the ostraca of the Imperial period" (Moulton & Milligan's _Vocabulary_). How this is to be done (by letter or in public meeting) Paul does not say. {That ye have no company with him} (me sunanamignusqai autwi). The MSS. are divided between the present middle infinitive as above in a command like #Ro 12:15; Php 3:16 or the present middle imperative sunanamignusqe (-ai and -e often being pronounced alike in the _Koin‚_). The infinitive can also be explained as an indirect command. this double compound verb is late, in LXX and Plutarch, in N.T. only here and #1Co 5:9,11. autwi is in associative instrumental case. {To the end that he may be ashamed} (hina entrapei). Purpose clause with hina. Second aorist passive subjunctive of entrepw, to turn on, middle to turn on oneself or to put to shame, passive to be made ashamed. The idea is to have one's thoughts turned in on oneself.

    3:15 {Not as an enemy} (me hws ecqron). this is always the problem in such ostracism as discipline, however necessary it is at times. Few things in our churches are more difficult of wise execution than the discipline of erring members. The word ecqros is an adjective, hateful, from ecqos, hate. It can be passive, {hated}, as in #Ro 11:28, but is usually active {hostile}, enemy, foe.

    3:16 {The Lord of peace himself} (autos ho kurios tes eirenes). See #1Th 5:23 for {the God of peace himself}. {Give you peace} (doie humin ten eirenen). Second aorist active optative (_Koin‚_) of didwmi, not dwei (subjunctive). So also #Ro 15:5; 2Ti 1:16,18. The Lord Jesus whose characteristic is peace, can alone give real peace to the heart and to the world. (#Joh 14:27).

    3:17 {Of me Paul with mine own hand} (tei emei ceiri paulou). Instrumental case ceiri. Note genitive paulou in apposition with possessive idea in the possessive pronoun emei. Paul had dictated the letter, but now wrote the salutation in his hand. {The token in every epistle} (semeion en pasei epistolei). Mark (verse #14) and proof of the genuineness of each epistle, Paul's signature. Already there were spurious forgeries (#2Th 2:2). Thus each church was enabled to know that Paul wrote the letter. If only the autograph copy could be found!

    3:18 Salutation just like that in #1Th 5:28 with the addition of pantwn (all).

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