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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

1 Thessalonians 4

Verse 1

In this chapter the apostle begins to remind them of their obligation of always striving to increase in virtue. Though he praises them through the whole epistle, he still thinks it necessary to warn them not to be surprised in uncleanness. He repeats what he had taught them before; first, that there is vengeance awaiting the workers of evil; and secondly, that the favour of God is the reward of those who deal with the brethren in simplicity, and preserve themselves from the defilements of the Gentiles. (St. Ambrose, Comment., on this place)

Verse 4

His vessel. That is, his own body. See 1 Kings xxi. 5. (Witham)

Verse 6

That no man overreach, nor deceive his brother in business.[1] The Protestant and Mr. N. even in their translations, add, in any matter, because some expound it of frauds and circumventions in any kind of business. But this addition of any, should be left out, seeing the best interpreters expound it of a prohibition of adultery, and the injury thereby done to another, and of sins of that kind only, which is confirmed by what follows and what goes before. See St. Jerome in chap. iv. ad Ephes. tom. 4. p. 369.; St. John Chrysostom serm. 3 on this place. Here, says he, he speaks of adultery, as before of fornication, &c. See Theodoret, Theophylactus, Estius, Menochius, A. Lapide, &c. (Witham)



Ne quis supergrediatur, neque circumveniat in negotio fratrem, Greek: en to pragmati. See St. Jerome: diligenter observa, quia ad castitatem nos provocans, et volens uxoribus tantum esse contentos, dixerit, ne quis supergrediatur, &c. St. John Chrysostom, (Greek: log. e. p. 186.) Greek: entautha peri moicheias phesin, anotero de peri porneias pases.

Verse 11

And that you want nothing of any man’s.[2] This is the sense by the Greek, nor does the Latin here signify to desire, but to want them that are without; i.e. infidels out of the pale of the Church. (Witham) --- In regard of brotherly love, he advises them to remain quiet, at peace with every one, troubling nobody, nor interfering with the concerns of others, but each one minding his own work. It had been reported to the apostle that there were some at Thessalonica who made religion a pretest for idleness. It is to reprove such persons as these, that we are given to understand in this place that religion will never excuse the neglect of relative duties, either to our neighbours or to ourselves. It is the duty of all to labour, in order to prevent the evils of poverty; for involuntary poverty is a great snare, and a dangerous temptation against salvation. It exposes to ignorance, and forgetfulness of God. Happy are the poor in spirit, but miserable they who are involuntarily so: miserable, not for the wants, the humiliations, or inconveniences of their state, but for the irregularities and disorders of conduct to which they are exposed. It is therefore wise of man to pray, Give me not riches or poverty, but give me only what is sufficient, &c. (Calmet)



Nullius aliquid desideretis, Greek: medenos chreian echete. i.e. nullius opus habeatis.

Verse 15

With commandment.[3] God’s command will in a moment raise and bring all to judgment. --- And the dead, who are in Christ, in the grace of Christ, shall rise first, not as to time, but in dignity. (Witham) --- Shall rise first. Not in order of time, for all shall rise in the twinkling of an eye, but first in order of dignity. St. John Chrysostom, however, thinks that the elect rise before the reprobate, to go before the Lord; whereas the latter shall come behind him, only to appear before the tribunal of justice. (St. John Chrysostom)



In jussu, Greek: en keleusmati, from Greek: keleo, in celeusmate, in voce simul clamantium.


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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.