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Bible Commentaries

International Critical Commentary NT

1 Thessalonians 2

Verses 1-99

(2) The Visit of the Missionaries (2:1-12)

The account of the visit (2:1-12; cf. 1:5, 8a, 9a) takes the form of a self-defence against insinuations made by Jews. With the same subtlety that led them to accuse the missionaries of preaching another king, namely, Jesus (Acts 17:7), the Jews were insinuating that the renegade Paul, like many a pagan itinerant preacher, was self-deluded, sensual, and deceiving, delivering his message in flattering words as a foil to cover selfish greed and requiring honour to be paid him. Paul’s failure to return lent some colour to these assertions, and the converts became anxious. In his defence, Paul, speaking mainly for himself but including his associates, conscious both of the integrity of his motives and of the unselfishness of his love, and aware of the straightforwardness of his religious appeal, reminds his readers that he came not empt-yhanded but with a gospel and a courageous power inspired by God (vv. 1-2). Wherever he goes, he preaches as one with no delusion about the truth, for his gospel is of God; with no consciousness of moral aberration, for God had tested him and commissioned him to preach; with no intention to deceive, for he is responsible to God who knows his motives (vv. 3-4). Furthermore, when he was in Thessalonica, he never used cajoling speech, as the readers know, never used the gospel to exploit his ambitions, and never required honour to be given him, although he had the right to receive it as an apostle of Christ (vv. 5-6). On the contrary, he waived his right, becoming just one of them, not an apostle but a babe, and waived it in love for his dear children. Instead of demanding honour, he worked incessantly to support himself while he preached, in order to save the readers from any expense on his account (vv. 7-9). His sincerity is evident from the pious, righteous, and blameless conduct which they saw in him (v. 10). Not as a flatterer but as a father, he urged them one and all, by encouragement and by solemn appeal, to behave as those who are called of God into his kingdom and glory (vv. 11-12).


The disposition of 2:1-12 is clearly marked by γά (vv. 1, 3, 5-6) and�

γά resumes and explains 1:5 (Bengel) by way of 1:9 where περὶ ἡμῶ is put significantly at the beginning. On αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἴδατ, see 1:5; and on the construction οἴδατε τὴ … ὅτ cf. 1 Corinthians 3:20. The article (τή) is repeated as in 1:8 (ἡ πρός κτλ). The perfect γέγονε with which the aorists (1:5, 2:5, 7, 10) are to be contrasted denotes completed action; the facts of the visit are all in, and the readers may estimate it at its full value. ἡμῶ shows that Paul includes Silas and Timothy with him in the defence.

2.�Acts 16:22 ff.). He recalls the fact now (καθὼς οἴδατ; cf. 1:5) for apologetic reasons (see above on v. 1).

The aorist participles are of antecedent action and probably concessive. προπάσχει (only here in Gk. Bib.) is one of the compounds with προ which Paul is fond of using (3:4, Galatians 3:1) even when there is no classic or Lxx precedent (e. g. Galatians 3:8, Galatians 3:17, Galatians 1:2, 2 Corinthians 8:6, 2 Corinthians 8:10, 2 Corinthians 8:9:5). ὑβρίζει, which Ruther translates “to treat illegally,” occurs only here in Paul and rarely in Lxx—παρρησιάζεσθα (here and Ephesians 6:20 in Paul; frequent in Acts) denotes here, as λαλῆσα shows, not “to speak boldly” (παρρησίᾳ λαλεῖ) but “to be bold,” “to take courage” (cf. Sir. 6:11), fiduciam sumpsimus (Calv.). The aorist may be inceptive, “we became bold.” According to Radermacher (Neutestamentliche Grammatik, 1911, 151), this ἐπαρρησιασάμεθ is only a more resonant and artificial expression for ἐτολμήσαμε (cf. Philippians 1:14) which an Attic author would have rather used, since ἐπαρρησιασάμεθα λαλῆσα is ultimately a tautology. Paul does not elsewhere use πρό with λαλεῖ, but this directive preposition instead of a dative is natural after verbs of saying (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:11, 2 Corinthians 13:7, Philippians 4:6).

ἐν τῷ θεῷ ἡμῶ The missionaries are “in God” (see on ἐν θεῷ 1:1) because God is in them (ὑπʼ ἐκείνου ἐνδυναμούμενο Theophylact; cf. Philippians 4:13). Characteristic of our epistles (3:9, II 1:11, 12; 1 Corinthians 6:11) and of Revelation (4:11, 5:10, 7:3 ff. 12:10, 19:1 ff.) is ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶ The ἡμῶ here (cf. τὰς καρδίας ἡμῶ v. 4) seems to refer primarily to the God whom Paul and his two associates preach (hence ἡμῶ, not μο Romans 1:8, 1 Corinthians 1:4 (ACD) 2 Corinthians 12:21, Philippians 1:3, Philippians 4:19, Philemon 1:4), but does not exclude the further reference to the converts and other believers who feel themselves in common touch with the Christian God, our God Father (1:3, 3:11, 13, Galatians 1:4, Philippians 4:20). There may be in ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶ a latent contrast with pagan idols and deities (1:9).

Both κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶ (Mark 12:29, Acts 2:39, Revelation 19:6) and ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶ (Hebrews 12:29, Luke 1:78, Jude 1:4, 2 Peter 1:1) are frequent in Lxx (e. g. Deuteronomy 11:22, Ps. 43:20, Psalms 97:3, Isaiah 40:3, Jeremiah 16:19, Jeremiah 49:4 Sap. 15:1 Baruch (passim); cf. πατὴρ ἡμῶ Tob. 13:4) and express Israel’s sense of devotion to her God, often in opposition tacit or expressed to the gods of other nations (cf. 1 Reg. 5:7 Δαγὼν θεὸς ἡμῶ; also Acts 19:37 ἡ θεὸς ἡμῶ). For ἐν τῷ θεῷ μο, cf. 2 Reg. 32:30 = Ps. 17:30.

ἑν πολλῷ�Hebrews 12:1 Sap. 10:12) may indicate, is uncertain.

Most comm. find here as in Philippians 1:30 a reference to outward troubles, whether persecutions (Ephr.), danger, or untoward circumstances of all sorts (e. g. De W., Lün., Ell., Lft., Mill., Born). Since, however,�Colossians 2:1 refers to anxiety (cf. also�1 Corinthians 9:25, Colossians 1:29, Colossians 4:12 and συναγωνίζεσθα Romans 15:30), it is not impossible that inward struggle is meant (so Fritzsche apud Lillie and Dob.). In later Gk.�1 Corinthians 2:3, apparently understands�

3-4. The self-defence is continued with direct reference to the insinuation that the missionaries were of a kind with the wandering sophists, impostors, and propagandists of religious cults. First negatively (as v. 1) it is said: “Indeed (γά as v. 1) our appeal never comes from delusion, nor from impurity, nor is it ever calculated to deceive.” Then positively �1 Corinthians 14:1, 1 Corinthians 14:39; Romans 12:8).


ἐστί is to be supplied in view of λαλοῦμε (V. 4). The habitual principle (Bengel) is intended. As the Thess. could have no direct knowledge of Paul’s custom elsewhere, he does not in vv. 3-4 appeal to them in confirmation (contrast vv. 5 ff).

ἐκ πλάνη. Our religious appeal does not come “from delusion,” for our gospel is of God. πλάν, as δόλῳ shows, is not “deceit” (active) but “error” (passive), the state of πλανᾶσθα “delusion” (Lillie). “Homo qui errat cannot but be undecided; nor is it possible for him to use boldness without consummate impudence and folly” (Cocceius, quoted by Lillie). οὐδὲ ἐξ�Matthew 23:27) regularly appears directly with πορνεί or in contexts intimating sexual aberration. Hence here, as 4:7, Romans 6:19, the reference is not to impurity in general, not to covetousness, but to sensuality (Lft.). The traducers of Paul, aware both of the spiritual excitement (5:19 ff.) attending the meeting of Christian men and women and of the pagan emotional cults in which morality was often detached from religion, had subtly insinuated that the missionaries were no better morally than other itinerant impostors. That such propagandists would be repudiated by the official representatives of the cult would aid rather than injure a comparison intended to be as odious as possible.


“St. Paul was at this very time living in the midst of the worship of Aphrodite at Corinth and had but lately witnessed that of the Cabiri at Thessalonica” (Lft.). The exact nature of this latter cult, the syncretistic form which it assumed, and the ritual which it used are uncertain, but Lightfoot’s phrase, “the foul orgies of the Cabiric worship,” may not be too strong. The maligners of Paul may have had some features of this cult in mind when they charged him with�

οὐδὲ ἐν δόλῳ. “Nor is it with craft, with any purpose to deceive,” for they are ever engaged in pleasing not men but God. Over against the ἐ of origin, ἐ denotes the atmosphere of the appeal. It is not clothed with deception or deceit, that is, with any deliberate intention to deceive (Ell.). This charge may have suggested itself to the critics in view of the devices of sophists and the tricks of jugglers and sorcerers (cf. Chrys.) by which they sought to win the attention and the money of the crowd (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:16).

The reading οὐδε before ἐν δόλῳ is well attested, but the οὔτ of KL after an οὐδε has a parallel in Galatians 1:12 (BEKL); cf. Bl 77:10. Note in 1 Mac. ἐν δόλῳ (1:30), μετά δόλο (7:10), and δόλῳ (13:17).


4. With�

On the correlation καθὼ … οὓτω 2 Corinthians 1:5, 2 Corinthians 8:6, 2 Corinthians 10:7, etc.; on οὐχὡ …�Colossians 3:22.—Like Apelles (Romans 16:10), they are δόκιμοι ἐν Χριστῷ their λαλεῖ is ἐν τῷ θεῷ not ἐν δόλῳ—ἀρέσκοντε (Galatians 1:10) indicates action going on; on the Pauline�Romans 8:8; 1 Corinthians 7:32), cf. Numbers 23:27, Psalms 68:32; on�Galatians 1:10; on�Colossians 3:22 = Ephesians 6:6), cf. Psalms 52:6.—On ου (Galatians 4:8, Philippians 3:3) with participle instead of μη (v. 15), see BMT 485.—δοκιμάζει=“prove,” “test” (of metals Sir. 2:6, 34:25), as in Romans 1:28, Sir. 39:34; on the perfect “approve after test,” cf. Sir. 42:8, 2 Malachi 4:3.

τῷ δοκιμάζοντι τὰς καπδίας ἡμῶ. As the motive is in question, Paul refers to God as one who sounds the depths of the hearts, the inner life (Mark 7:21). ἡμῶ refers to Paul and his associates (contrast ὑμῶ 3:13, II 2:17, 3:5).

In Psalms and Jeremiah, δοκιμάζει of God’s testing is frequent (cf. also Sap. 3:6); e. g. Jeremiah 12:3 καί σύ, κύριε, γινώσκεις με, δεδοκίμακας τὴν καρδίαν μου ἐναντίον σο; cf. also Psalms 16:3, and with the possessive omitted, Jeremiah 11:20, Jeremiah 17:10.


5. γά parallel to γά in vv. 1, 3, resumes γά (v. 3) and further explains that what is true in general (vv. 3-4) of the principles of the missionaries, about which the readers could not know directly (hence no appeal to their knowledge in vv. 3-4), is also true of their behaviour in Thessalonica of which the readers are directly aware (hence the καθὼς οἴδατ as in VV. 1-2). As in vv. 1, 3, the γά clause is negative; and again as in v. 3, there are three separate charges denied, each one being phrased differently: not ἐνλόγῳ κολακία, not προφάσει πλεονεξία, and not ζητοῦντες δόξα. The points are similar to but not identical with those made in v. 3: ἐν λόγῳ κολακία corresponds, indeed, rather closely to ἐν δόλῳ, but προφάσει πλεονεξία is less specific than ἐξ�

On οὔτ (vv. 5-6), cf. Romans 8:38 ff. 1 Corinthians 6:9 ff.; on οὔτε γά … οὔτ …�Galatians 6:15.—ποτε = “ever” is common in Paul and Lxx—ἐγενήθημε governs first a dative with ἐ (λόγῳ), then a dative without ἐ (προφάσε), and finally a participle (ζητοῦντε). Since γίνεσθα = ἔρχεσθα (1:4), we may render: “Indeed we never came before you with cajoling address (ἐ as in 1:4), nor using (dative of means) a pretext inspired by greed, nor demanding honour,” etc. (participle of manner). —The ἐ before προφάσε which Tisch, Zim, Weiss retain, is probably to be omitted as conformation to the first ἐ (Bאc WH., Dob.).


ἐν λόγῳ κολακία. “With cajoling address.” λόγο is here (as 1:5) “speech,” as λαλῆσαι, παράκλησι and λαλοῦμε (vv. 2-4) demonstrate (Lün.). κολακί is either “flattery,” the subordination of one’s self to another for one’s own advantage; or, as ἐν δόλῳ intimates, “cajolery,” a word that carries with it the additional notion of deception. The genitive describes the character of the speech. The hearers could tell whether Paul’s address was straightforward or not; hence καθὼς οἴδατ.

ἐν λόγοις ἐκολάκευέ με καὶ μετὰ δόλου διὰ ῥημάτων ἐπαίνε (Test. xii, Joshua 4:1). In classic usage (cf. Schmidt, Syn. 1879, III, 438 ff.), αἰκάλλει (not in Gk. Bib.) indicates flattery in the sense of complimentary remarks designed to please; θωπεύει (not in Gk. Bib.) means any kind of subordination by which one gets one’s own way with another; while κολακεύει (1 Esd. 4:31, Job 19:17 Sap. 14:17) hints at guile, a flattery calculated to deceive; cf. Aristophanes, Eq. 46. ff. ᾔκαλλʼ ἐθώπευʼ ἐκολάκευʼ ἐξηπάτα. κολακί is only here in Gk. Bib. Ell. notes Theophrastus (Char. 2) and Aristotle (Nic. Etk. 4:12 ad fin.): “he who aims at getting benefit for money and what comes through money is a κόλα”

προφάσει πλεονεξία. The “cloke of covetousness” is literally “pretext of greediness.” The point is that Paul did not use his message as a foil to cover selfish purposes (cf. ἐπικάλυμμ 1 Peter 2:16). As the appeal to God (θεὸς μάρτυ) indicates, the motive is in question (cf. Chrys.). The genitive is subjective, “a pretext which greediness (Lft.) uses or inspires.” πρόφασι here is not excuse but specious excuse (cf. Philippians 1:18, Psalms 140:4, Hosea 10:4). πλεονεξί is more general than φιλαργυρί and denotes the self-seeking, greedy, covetous character of the πλεονέκτη

The context here does not allow a more specific meaning of πλεονεξί In the Lxx (Judges 5:19 (A) Ps. 118:36, Habakkuk 2:9, etc.), advantage in respect of money is sometimes intended, cupidity. In 4:6 below, it is joined with�Ephesians 5:5; but see Hammond on Romans 1:29 and Abbott in ICC on Ephesians 5:5). Lft. (Colossians 3:5) translates: “‘greediness,’ an entire disregard for the rights of others.”—On θεὸς μάρτυ (sc. ἐστί as Romans 1:9), cf. not only Paul (Philippians 1:8, 2 Corinthians 1:23) but Jewish usage (e. g. Genesis 31:44; Gen_1 Reg. 20:23. 42 Sap. 1:6 and especially Test. xii, Leviticus 19:3).


6. οὔτε ζητοῦντες κτλ. “Nor did we ever come (v. 5) requiring honour,” etc. The participle of manner, in apposition to the subject of ἐγενήθημε (v. 5), introduces the third disclaimer, which, like the other two (v. 5) may reflect the language of the traducers (Zimmer). Paul denies not that he received honour from men, not that he had no right to receive it, but that he sought, that is, required honour from men either in Thessalonica or elsewhere.

δυνάμενοι ἐν βάρει κτλ. “Although we were ever (sc. ποτε from v. 5) able to be in a position of weight (i. e. honour) as Christ’s apostles.” This concessive clause, subordinated to ζητοῦντες δόξα, qualifies the fact, “we never came requiring honour,” by asserting the principle (cf. II 3:9) that the authority to demand honour inheres in their place of preponderance as Christ’s apostles.

δόξ = “honour,” as in classic usage. There is no evidence that it is equivalent to honor in the later sense of honorarium. On the rare ζητεῖν ἐ, cf. Genesis 43:8, Nahum 3:11, Ezekiel 22:30; and for the rarer ζητεῖν�Galatians 6:2, 2 Corinthians 4:17, Sir. 13:2) but also “importance” (as in later Gk.; cf. Soph. Lex sub voc. and βαρύ 2 Corinthians 10:10), it is possible to take ἐν βάρει εἶνα (a unique phrase in Gk. Bib.) as equivalent to ἐν τιμῇ εἶνα (Chrys.), in pondere esse (Calv.), the ἐ indicating the position in which they were able to stand and from which, if necessary, they were able to exercise authority; “to take a preponderant place” (Ruther). On the other hand, ἐν βάρει εἷνα may = βαρὺς εἷνα “to be burdensome.” In a letter to the present editor under date of March 15, 1910, Dr. Milligan writes that he “is inclined to think the more literal idea of ‘burden,’ ‘trouble’ was certainly uppermost in the Apostle’s thought and that the derived sense of ‘gravitas,’ ‘honor” was not prominent, if it existed at all.” He calls attention to P Oxy. 1062:14 (ii, a.d.) εἰ δὲ τοῦτό σοι βάρος φέρε; and to BGU, 159:5 (a.d. 210) οὐ δυνάμενος ὑποστῆναι τὸ βάρος τῆς λειτουργία Assuming the translation “to be burdensome,” expositors find a reference either (1) to the matter of a stipend (cf. v. 9, II 3:8, 2 Corinthians 12:16 and especially 2 Corinthians 11:92 Corinthians 11:3. Paul uses�Romans 16:7), Apollos (1 Corinthians 4:9), Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25). See further 2 Corinthians 8:23, 2 Corinthians 11:13, Acts 14:14 and McGiffert, Apostolic Age, 648. The word�

7.�Galatians 4:1, Galatians 4:3, 1 Corinthians 13:11, Romans 2:20, etc.), with its implication of the unripe and undeveloped, far from being meaningless (Schmidt) is a capital antithesis of�

Not only is νήπιο admirably adapted to the context, it is also the better attested reading (אBDCGF, Vulg, Boh, Ephr., Ambst, Orig. ad Matthew 19:14) as Tisch admits; and is accepted by WH., Zim, Baljon, Lft., Find., Wohl. Indeed WH. will not allow an alternative reading (cf. App.2 128). On the other hand, Weiss is equally insistent on ἤπιο as alone worthy of attention (AEKLP, Pesh Arm; Tisch, Ell. Schmiedel, Born, Dob., Moff.). While on purely transcriptional grounds ἤπιο may be accounted for by haplography or νήπιο by dittography, internal evidence favours νήπιο—Six of the ten cases of νήπιο in N. T. (including Ephesians 4:14, Hebrews 5:13) are found in Paul; ἤπιο is found in the Gk. Bib. only 2 Timothy 2:24. The objection (urged by Ell., Schmiedel, Born, and others) that νήπιο “mars the metaphor” in the succeeding comparison (whose point, however, is not gentleness but unselfish love) is met by Lft. who observes that “rhetorical rules were as nothing compared with the object which he had in view.” ἐν μέσῳ with gen. occurs only here in Paul; it is frequent elsewhere in Gk. Bib.

7-8. ὡς ἐὰν τροφό … οὕτως κτλ “As a nurse cherishes her own children so we yearning after you were glad to share not only the gospel of God but our very selves as well, because you had become dear to us.” The change from νήπιο to τροφό is due to a natural association of ideas. The point of the new metaphor is love, the love of a mother-nurse for her own children. Not only did the missionaries waive their right to demand honour, they waived it in motherly affection for their dear children (cf. 1:5 διʼ ὑμᾶ). No punctuation is necessary before οὕτω (cf. v. 4 and Mark 4:26).

The construction is similar to Mark 4:26 (AC) οὕτως … ὡς ἐὰν βάλῃ On the difference between ὡς ἐά = ὡς ἅ (אA) with subjunctive indicating the contingency of the act and ὠ with the indicative, note with Viteau (I, 242) 2 Corinthians 8:12 καθὸ ἐὰν ἔχῃ … χαθὸ οὐκ ἔχει. τροφό here as elsewhere in Gk. Bib. (Genesis 35:8, Isaiah 49:23, Isaiah 49:4 Reg. 11:2 = 2 Chronicles 22:11) is feminine. θάλπει = “to warm” is used of the mother-bird (Deuteronomy 22:6, Job 39:14) and of Abishag (3 Reg. 1:2, 4; cf. θερμαίνει 1:2 ff); here and Ephesians 5:29, the secondary sense “to cherish” is appropriate (see Ell. on Ephesians 5:29). Neither τροφό nor θάλπει suggests that the τέκν are θηλάζοντ; hence it is unnecessary to press the metaphor in the clause with οὕτω as some do (e. g. Lün.). Grot. compares Numbers 11:22 λάβε αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν κόλπον σο (Moses) ὡσεὶ ἄραι τιθηνὸ (nurshing-father as Isaiah 49:23) τὸν θηλάζοντ, a passage, which, according to Zimmer, may have been in Paul’s mind.—If ἑαυτῆ is emphatic, as in classic usage, the nurse is also the mother; if it is = αὐτῆ (Bloomfield apud Lillie; cf. Moult I, 87 ff.), the nurse may or may not be the mother. Zimmer, accepting ἑαυτῆ as emphatic (cf. v. 11), but finding difficulty with the idea of a mother-nurse in service, takes ἐαυτῆ metaphorically, understanding that the professional nurse treats the children of her mistress as if they were “her own”; cf. Chrys.: “Are they (the nurses) not more kindly disposed to them (προσηνεῖ) than mothers?”—ἑαυτου in Paul, when used with the article and substantive, has regularly, as in classic Gk., the attributive position (2:8, 12, 4:4, II 3:12); the exceptions are Galatians 6:4, Galatians 6:8, 1 Corinthians 11:5 (B) 2 Corinthians 3:13 (אD), where the position is predicate.

8. ὀμειρόμενοι ὑμῶν κτλ “yearning after you” (Lillie; cf. ἐπιποθοῦντε 3:6). With the affection of a mother-nurse, they were eager to share not only what they had but what they were (Schmidt), because, as is frankly said, the converts had become dear to them, τέκνα�1 Corinthians 4:14, Ephesians 5:1).

ὀμείρεσθα (the breathing is uncertain) is found also in Job 3:21 (Lxx) and Psalms 62:2 (Sym.). In meaning, it is similar to ἐπιποθεῖ and ἱμείρεσθα (see Wetstein, ad loc.); but the derivation is unknown (cf. WH. App. 151, 159; WS 16:6; Bl 6:4). Thackeray (Gram. O. T. Greek, I, 97, note 5), following Moult, thinks the ο “comes from a derelict preposition ω There is therefore no connection between ὁ and ἱμείρεσθα”—The usual reading εὐδοκοῦμε (B has ηὐδοκοῦμε; so WH., Weiss) is not here a present (2 Corinthians 5:8) but an imperfect, as ἐγενήθημε (v. 7) and ἐγενήθητ (v. 8) demand (cf. Zim). εὐδοχεῖ is common in later Gk. (cf. Kennedy, Sources, 131). In Lxx θέλει is sometimes a variant of εὐδοκεῖ (Judges 11:17, Judges 11:19:10, Judges 11:25), sometimes a parallel (Psalms 50:18) to it. In papyri, εὐδοκεῖ is often used of consent to an agreement (P Oxy. 261:17 97:24; cf. Mill. ad loc.). In Paul, εὐδοκεῖ is frequent with infin. (3:1, Galatians 1:15, etc.), but rare with ἐ (1 Corinthians 10:5, 2 Corinthians 12:10; Lxx frequently) or with dative alone (II 2:12; cf. Sir. 18:31 A); the construction with accus., with ἐπι and dat. or accus., or with εἰ does not appear in Paul.—The construction μεταδιδόναι τί τιν is found also in Romans 1:11, Tob. 7:18 (B); the accusative is of the part shared; hence μεταδοῦναι ψυχά is not a zeugma for δοῦναι ψυχὰς ὐπὲρ ὐμῶν. ψυχαι (2 Corinthians 12:15) is plural, for Paul and his associates are in mind. ψυχη like καρδί (v. 4) is the inner self. On ἑαυτῶ for ἡμῶν αὐτῶ, cf. WS 22:10; on οὐ μόνο …�

διότ (2:18, 4:6) is regularly “because” in Gk. Bib.; in 2 Mac. 7:37, it may mean “that” (Mill.); cf. WS 5:7 d. After�Romans 1:7) not a dative; but cf. Sir. 15:13 καί οὐχ ἔστιν�


9. μνημονεύετε γάρ κτλ. “you remember of course brothers (v. 1).” The γά resumes�

μνημονεύετ is indicative as οἴδατ (vv. 1, 5, 11) suggests. The accus. with μνημονεύει occurs only here in Paul; Lxx has both gen. and accus. (cf. v. l. in Tob. 4:19). The phrase κόπος καί μόχθο is Pauline (II 3:8, 2 Corinthians 11:27); cf. also Jeremiah 20:18 Test. xii, Jude 1:18:4. In fact in Paul μόχθο always appears with κόπο (cf. Hermas, Sim. V, 6:2). Beza, with Lillie’s approval, makes labeur, peine, travail the equivalents respectively of πόνος, κόπο and μόχθο Grot. (cf. Lft. and Trench, Syn. 102) considers κόπο passive, in ferendo and μόχθο active, in gerendo. Lft. translates: “toil and moil.”

νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας κτλ Without connecting particle (EKL insert γά), the ceaselessness of the labour and the purpose of it as a “labour of love” are indicated. They worked not through the whole night and day (accus.) but during the night and day (gen.). The purpose of this incessant labour (πρὸς τὸ μη II 3:8, 2 Corinthians 3:13) was to avoid putting upon the converts individually or collectively a financial burden. ἐργαζόμενο marks the circumstances attending the preaching. As in Corinth (1 Corinthians 4:12, 1 Corinthians 9:6) where there were not many wise, mighty, or noble, so in Thessalonica (II 3:8 ff.) where the converts were mainly working people, Paul finds it necessary to work with his hands (4:11, 1 Corinthians 4:12, Ephesians 4:28) for wages.

The phrase νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρα occurs in Paul elsewhere only 3:10 and II 3:8; cf. 1 Timothy 5:5, 2 Timothy 1:3, Mark 5:5, Judith 11:17. In the Lxx the usual order is ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτό (e. g. Joshua 1:8, Joshua 1:3 Reg. 8:59, etc.; cf. Luke 18:7, Acts 9:24, Revelation 4:8, etc.). ἐπιβαρεῖ a late word, appears in Gk. Bib. elsewhere only in Paul (II 3:8, 2 Corinthians 2:5) and is “nearly but not quite equivalent in meaning to καταβαρεῖ” (Ell.), which is found in Gk. Bib. only 2 Corinthians 12:16 and Mark 14:10 (cf. καταβαρύνει 2 Reg. 13:25, etc.). With κηρύσσειν Paul uses ἐ (Galatians 2:2, 2 Corinthians 1:19, Colossians 1:23), εί (here, as Grot. notes, for dative), or the dative (1 Corinthians 9:27 and א here)—all permissible Attic constructions (Bl 39:4). The phrase κηρύσσειν τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεου recurs in Mark 1:14; cf. Galatians 2:2, Colossians 1:23, Mark 13:10, Mark 14:9.

10. ὑμεῖς μάρτυρες κτλ. As vv. 7-9 referred to the charge of ζητοῦντες δόξα (v. 6), so this verse refers probably to the charge of πλεονεξί (v. 5), and vv. 11-12 to that of κολακί The�1 Corinthians 16:10, Tob. 7:11) is evidence that they were not using the gospel as a foil to cover greedy ambition (v. 5). As witnesses of their behaviour, they invoke first, since the actual conduct not the motive is mainly in mind, the believers, and then to strengthen the appeal, God himself.


A man is ὅσιο who is in general devoted to God’s service; a man is δίκαιο who comes up to a specific standard of righteousness; and a man is ἄμεμπτο who in the light of a given norm is without reproach. All three designations are common in the Lxx and denote the attitude both to God and to men, the first two being positive, the third negative.

ὡ = “how” as in Philippians 1:8. ὅσιο (not in Paul and rare in N. T.) is common in Lxx (especially Ps. Prov. Sap. Ps. Sol.); ὁσιοῦ (not in N. T.) occurs in Sap. 6:10, Ps. 17:26, Psalms 17:2 Reg. 22:20; ὁσιότη (Ephesians 4:24, Luke 1:75) is found in Sap. and elsewhere in Lxx; ὀσίως in Gk. Bib. elsewhere only Sap. 6:10, 3 Reg. 8:61, is frequent in 1 Clem.; cf. also P Par. 63 (Deiss. BS 211) πρός οὓς ὁσίως καί δικαίως πολιτευσάμενο—ὅσιο and δίκαιο are frequently parallel (Proverbs 17:26; cf. Sap. 9:3, Luke 1:75 I Clem. 48:4). For ὅσιο and ἄμεμπτος cf. Sap. 10:15. δικαίω is more frequent than ὁσίω in Gk. Bib., but�Esther 3:13 (13:4); cf. I Clem. 44:3-63:3. The adjective ἄμεμπτο (3:13, Philippians 2:15, Philippians 3:6, Luke 1:6, Hebrews 8:7) is frequent in Job, sometimes (e. g. 1:1, 9:20, etc.) with δίκαιο—The addition of τοῖς πιστεύουσι to ὑμῖ is designed, if at all, not to contrast Paul’s attitude to the non-Christians with his attitude to the Christians (so some older comm.), or his attitude to the converts as converts with that to the converts as pagans (Hofmann, Dob.), but simply to meet the charge that his attitude to the believers was influenced by selfish motives.

11-12. καθάπερ οἴδατε κτλ. Not as a κόλαξ (v. 5 κολακία but as a πατή (1 Corinthians 4:15, Philippians 2:22), they urged the converts individually (ἕνα ἕκαστον ὑμῶ; cf. II 1:3, Ephesians 4:7, Colossians 4:6), each according to his specific need, as the added παραμυφούμενο and μαρτυρόμενο intimate. The faint-hearted, they encouraged (5:14 παραμυθεῖσθε τοὺς ὀλιγοψύχου); to the idlers (5:14), they gave a solemn protest. παρακαλεῖ is general, παραμυθεῖσθα and μαρτύρεσθα specific. Hence εἰς το is to be construed only with παρακαλοῦντε (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:4; also δέομα below 3:10 and ἐρωτά II 2:2). “We were urging both by encouragement and by solemn protest, that you walk,” etc.

καθάπε (3:6, 12, 4:5), found frequently in Paul and in Exodus, is equivalent to the less Attic καθώ—ὡ as in v. 10 = πῶ (GF).—παρακαλεῖ, a favourite word in Paul and susceptible of various translations, here means “urge,” “exhort.”—παραμυθεῖσθαι a rare word in Gk. Bib. (5:14, John 11:19, John 11:31, John 11:2 Mac. 15:9), means here and 5:14 not “comfort” but “encourage.” On παρακαλεῖ and παραμυθεῖσθα, cf. 1 Corinthians 14:3, Philippians 2:1, Philippians 2:2 Mac. 15:8-9. μαρτύρεσθα (Galatians 5:3, Ephesians 4:17, Acts 20:26, Acts 26:22, Judith 7:28, 1 Mac. 2:56 א) is stronger than παρακαλεῖ and means either “to call to witness” or “to protest solemnly”; in later Gk. (cf. Mill. ad loc. and 1 Mac. 2:56), it approximates μαρτυρεῖ (hence DG have here μαρτυρούμενο).—The participial construction (παρακαλοῦντε for παρεκαλοῦμε) is quite admissible (cf. 2 Corinthians 7:5 and Bl 79:10). Some comm. repeat ἐγενήθημε (v. 10), attaching the participle loosely; others supply a verb like ἐνουθετοῦμε (Lft.).—The ὑμᾶ (which א omits) after παρακαλοῦντε resumes ἕνα ἕκαστον ὑμῶ

περιπατεῖν�Galatians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Corinthians 6:10, 1 Corinthians 6:15:50; cf. Ephesians 5:5), and the consummation of salvation (II 1:5, 1 Corinthians 15:24). Foretastes of this sway of God (Romans 14:17 ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ cf. 1 Corinthians 4:20, Colossians 4:11) or of Christ (Colossians 1:13) are already enjoyed by believers in virtue of the indwelling power of Christ or the Spirit. δόξ is parallel with βασιλεί and suggests not only the radiant splendour of God or of Christ (II 2:14) but also the majesty of their perfection (cf. Psalms 96:6, Romans 3:23).

περιπατεῖν�Colossians 1:10 (κυρίο), is common in the Pergamon inscriptions (Deiss. NBS 75 f.), and appears also in the Magnesian inscriptions (Mill. ad loc.); cf. πολιτεύεσθαι�Colossians 1:10, Ephesians 4:1, περιπατῆσα—τοῦ καλοῦντο (5:24, Galatians 5:8, Romans 9:11) is timeless like τὸν ῥυόμενο (1:10). Paul prefers the present to the aorist participle (Galatians 1:6. Galatians 1:15 and א A here) of καλεῖ On εἰ after καλεῖν cf. II 2:14, 1 Corinthians 1:9, Colossians 3:15.—On βασιλεία θεου, cf. Sap. 10:10, 2 Chronicles 13:8 Ps. Sol. 17:4; on Christ’s kingdom, cf. Colossians 1:13, Ephesians 5:5, 2 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 4:18, John 18:36. ἑαυτου does not of necessity indicate a contrast with Satan’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13, Mark 3:23 ff.). On the meaning of δόξ see Gray, HDB II, 183 ff.; Kennedy, Last Things, 299 ff.; Gunkel, Die Wirkungen des heiligen Geistes, 108 ff.; and SH on Romans 3:23.


(3) Welcome in Persecutions; the Jews (2:13-16)

After the defence of his visit (2:1-12), Paul turns again (cf. 1:6, 9) to the welcome received. Repeating in v. 13 the thanksgiving of 1:2 ff., he points out that just as he is conscious of preaching God’s gospel (vv. 1-4) so the readers welcomed his word as God’s word. That it is not a human word, as the Jews alleged, but a divine word, operating in the hearts of believers, is demonstrated by the fact that the readers welcomed it in spite of persecutions (v. 14 resuming 1:6 ff.), persecutions at the hands of Gentiles similar to those which the Jewish Christians in Judæa experienced at the hands of Jews. Then remembering the constant opposition of the Jews to himself in Thessalonica, Berœa, and Corinth, and their defamation of his character since he left Thessalonica, and the fact that though the Gentiles are the official persecutors yet the Jews are the prompting spirits, Paul, in a prophetic outburst (cf. Philippians 3:1 ff.), adds, neglecting negative instances, that the Jews have always opposed the true messengers of God, killing the prophets and the Lord Jesus, and persecuting Paul; and prophesies that this their constant defiance is bound to result, in accordance with the purpose of God, in the filling up of their sins always, and in judgment at the day of wrath. Indeed, to his prophetic vision, that day has come at last.


13And for this reason, we too as well as you thank God continually, namely, because when you had received from us the word which you heard, God’s word, you welcomed it, not as a word of men but as it really is, as a word of God which also is operative in you who believe. 14For you, brothers, became imitators of the assemblies of God in Judæa, those, namely, that are in Christ Jesus, in that you underwent the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, as they themselves at the hands of the Jews—15the men who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and persecuted us; who please not God and are against all mankind 16in that they hinder us from talking to the Gentiles with a view to their salvation,—in order that they might fill up the purposed measure of their sins always; but the wrath has come upon them at last.

13. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡμεῖς κτλ. “And for this reason we too as well as you give thanks.” διὰ τοῦτ refers, as the resumptive ὅτ shows, not to the entire contents of vv. 1-12 but to the salient principle enounced in vv. 1-4, namely, that the gospel is not human, as the Jews alleged, but divine. The και in καὶ ἡμεῖ indicates a reciprocal relation between writers and readers. As the Thessalonians, in their letter to Paul, thanked God that they welcomed the gospel as a word from God, so now do the missionaries reciprocate that thanksgiving.

διὰ τοῦτ like διο is frequent in Paul, but καὶ διὰ τοῦτ (Mark 6:14 = Matthew 14:2; Luke 14:20, Hebrews 9:15, John 5:16; Barn. 8:7 Ign. Mag. 9:2 Hermas, Sim. VII, 2, IX, 19:1 (καὶ διὰ τοῦτο και as here)) occurs elsewhere in Paul only II 2:11; hence D here and II 2:11 omits και It is probable that in Paul this consecutive and subordinating διὰ τοῦτ has always some reference to the preceding even when the primary reference, often general, is supplemented by a secondary, often specific, reference introduced by ὅτ as here and often in Jn. (cf. Genesis 11:9, Genesis 21:31, etc.; Diogn. 2:6 Hermas Vis. III, 6:1), by ἵν (2 Corinthians 13:10, Philemon 1:15), or by some other construction (II 2:11, 1 Corinthians 11:10, Hebrews 9:15). On διὰ τοῦτο και cf. 3:5, Romans 13:6, Luke 11:49, Matthew 24:44, John 12:18; on ὅτ = “because,” Romans 1:8.—και before ἡμεῖ, if it retains its classic force, is to be construed closely with ἡμεῖ Its precise significance here is somewhat uncertain. In a similar passage (Colossians 1:9), Lft. observes that “και denotes the response of the apostle’s personal feeling to the favourable character of the news” (so here Mill.). Wohl. thinks that, Paul tacitly refutes the insinuation that he is not thankful to God. More plausible here (as in Colossians 1:9, Ephesians 1:15) is the conjecture of Rendel Harris (op. cit.; cf. Bacon, Introd. 73 and McGiffert, EB 5038) that και presupposes a letter from the Thess. to Paul (cf. 4:9, 13, 5:1) in which they thanked God as Paul now thanks him. Dob. however, following the lead of Lietzmann (ad Romans 3:7), feels that και is not to be joined closely with ἡμεῖ, but serves to emphasise the εὐχαριστοῦμε with reference to εὐχαριστοῦμε in 1:2. In support of this usage, Dob. refers to καὶ λαλοῦμε in 1 Corinthians 2:13, which goes back to the λαλοῦμε in 2:6.


παραλαβόντε … ἐδέξασθ. The distinction between the external reception (παραλαμβάνει) and the welcome (δέχεσθα) given to the word, a welcome involving a favourable estimate of its worth, was early recognised (cf. Ephr.). That the diostinction is purposed, that Paul is tacitly answering the insinuation of the Jews that the word preached was not of divine but of human origin (vv. 1-4) is suggested by the striking position of τοῦ θεου (which leads P to put παρʼ ἡμῶ before λόγον�

λόγον�Hebrews 4:2 ὁ λόγος τῆς�Romans 11:27 (Lxx), with verbs implying (II 3:8) or stating the idea of receiving (e. g. παραλαμβάνει 4:1, II 3:6, Galatians 1:12; δέχεσθχ Philippians 4:18; κομίζεσθα Ephesians 6:8), it is more natural to take παρʼ ἡμῶ with παραλαμβάνει than with�1 Corinthians 15:1, Galatians 1:9.

οὐ λόγον�Galatians 4:14), but that they welcomed the word as a word of God (cf. Ephr.). ὃς καὶ ἐνεργεῖτα Since λόγο receives the emphasis, ὅ refers not to θεου but to λόγο The και indicates not only that the word is heard �Romans 1:16) operating constantly (pres. tense) in (Colossians 1:29) the hearts of believers. The word is living, for the power of God is in the believers (1:1 ἐν θεῷ) as it is in the missionaries (2:2 ἐν τῷ θεῷ ἡμῶ).

Eighteen of the twenty-one cases of ἐνεργεῖ in the N. T. occur in Paul. In the active, it is used of superhuman operations, usually divine but once (Ephesians 2:2) demonic. ἐνεργεῖσθα (II 2:7, 2 Corinthians 4:12, Colossians 1:29, Ephesians 3:20; cf. Romans 7:5, 2 Corinthians 1:6, Galatians 5:6) may be passive “to remind us that the operation is not self-originated” (Robinson, Ephesians, 247) or middle, without such a reminder (Mayor on James 5:16). It happens that ὑπο is never expressed. “In actual meaning ἐνεργεῖ and ἐνεργεῖσθα come nearly to the same thing” (Robinson, l.c.). Grot. remarks: ἐνεργεῖσθα sono Passivum sensu activum. See further Robinson (op. cit. 241-247).—The Old Latins and some comm. (Ephr., Th. Mops., Piscator, Bengel, Auberlen refer ὅ to θεό, an interpretation which is contextually improbable and which is precluded if ἐνεργεῖτα is passive.

14. ὑμεῖς γὰρ μιμηται … ὅτι ἐπάθετ. “For you became imitators, brothers, of the Christian congregations in Judæa in that you suffered.” γά connects the points of welcome and steadfastness under persecution, and at the same time illustrates and confirms the reality of the indwelling word of God. The ὑπομονὴ ἐν θλίψε of 1:6 is obviously resumed; but the persons imitated are not the missionaries and the Lord Jesus, but the Jewish Christians in Palestine, the analogy between them and the Thessalonians being that the former suffered (ἐπάθετ) at the hands of the Jews as the latter at the hands of the Gentiles. The reason for referring to the persecutions in Judæa is unknown. It may be that the older churches are selected as pertinent examples of steadfastness to the younger communities; or that, and with greater probability (cf. Calv.), the Jews in Thessalonica had insinuated that Christianity was a false religion, inasmuch as the Jews, the holy people of God, were constrained to oppose it. If the latter surmise be correct, the force of Paul’s allusion is that the Jews persecute the Christians because they always persecute the true followers of the divine will, and that it is the Jews who incite the Gentiles to harass the believers. ἐπάθετ may refer to a single event in the remoter (Galatians 1:13, 1 Corinthians 15:9) or nearer (Dob.) past, or to a series of persecutions, considered collectively (BMT 39c). In the latter case, the reference would include not only the case of Jason (Acts 17:9), but the persecutions which continued since Paul’s departure (3:3), the Jews being the real cause of Gentile oppression in Thessalonica, as they were the actual persecutors in Judæa. The defence of his failure to return (2:17-3:13), which follows immediately after the prophetic outburst against the Jews, confirms the probability that the Jews are at the bottom of Gentile persecutions in Thessalonica after Paul’s departure, as well as during his visit, and makes unnecessary the rejection of vv. 15-16 (Schmiedel) or of vv. 14-16 (Holtzmann, Einl 214) as interpolation. τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν τοῦ θεου This phrase, mainly Pauline (II 1:4, 1 Corinthians 11:16), might of itself denote Jewish assemblies or congregations; hence the distinctively Pauline ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησου (see on ἐν θεῷ 1:1) is added here, as in Galatians 1:22, to specify the communities as Christian.

ἐκκλησί, the Greek term for the assembly of citizens (cf. Deiss. Light, 112 ff.), is used by Lxx regularly for קהל and rarely for עדה; συναγωγη on the other hand usually renders the latter, and rarely the former. The terms are virtually synonymous in Jewish usage; cf. ἐκκλησία κυρίο (Deuteronomy 23:1 ff. Micah 2:5, Nehemiah 13:1 (א AB θεου) 1 Chronicles 28:8); συναγωγὴ κυρίο (Numbers 16:3, Numbers 20:4); also Proverbs 5:14: ἐν μέσῳ ἐκκλησίας καί συναγωγῆ (see Toy, ad loc. in ICC) and I Mac. 3:13 ἄθροισμα καί ἐκκλησίαν πιστῶ How early the Christians began to restrict συναγωγη to the Jewish and ἐκκλησί to the Christian assembly is uncertain (cf. James 2:2 and Zahn, Introd. I, 94 f.). The plural αἱ ἐκκλησίαι τοῦ Χριστου occurs once in N. T. (Romans 16:16), but the singular ἡ ἐκκλησία τοῦ Χριστου (αὐτου) does not appear, except Matthew 16:18 (μο), before Ignatius (Trall. init. and 1:2). On τῶν οὔσων ἐ, cf. 1 Corinthians 1:2, 2 Corinthians 1:1.


τὰ αὐτά κτλ. “In that you suffered from your own fellowcitizens the same as they did from the Jews.” The point of imitation, introduced by ὅτ, is obviously not the fact of παθεῖ but the steadfast endurance manifested under persecution. The comparison τὰ αὐτὰ και … καθὼς και is intended to express not identity but similarity. συμφυλέτα are Gentiles as Ἰουδαίω shows.

After τὰ αὐτα (Romans 2:1, 2 Corinthians 1:6, Philippians 3:1, Ephesians 6:9) we have not the expected α (2 Corinthians 1:6) but the looser καθώ Ell. cites Plato, Phaed. 86 A: τῷ αὐτῷ λόγῳ ὥσπερ συ; cf. also Sap. 18:11 ὁμοίᾳ δὲ δίκῃ δοῦλος ἅμα δεσπότη κολασθείς, καὶ δημότης βασιλεῖ τὰ αὐτὰ πάσχω—For the correlative και in καί ὑμεῖ … καὶ αὐτοι, cf. Romans 1:13 and Bl 78:1.—αὐτοι is constructio ad sensum for αὐται; cf. Galatians 1:23 ἐκκλησία …�Jer_33, Mark 5:26, Matthew 17:12—D omits καὶ ὑμεῖ

Like φυλέτη, a classic word not found in Gk. Bib., συμφυλέτη, only here in Gk. Bib., means either “tribesman” or “countryman” (cf. Hesychius: ὁμόεθνο); it is similar to συνπολίτη (Ephesians 2:19). The tendency in later Gk. to prefix prepositions without adding to the original force was condemned, as Ell. remarks, by the second-century grammarian Herodianus: πολίτης δημότης φυλέτης ἅνευ τῆς σύ Paul, however, is fond of such compounds with σύ even when they do not appear in the Lxx (e.g. Philippians 2:2, Philippians 2:3:10. Philippians 2:17, 2 Corinthians 6:15, Galatians 1:14, etc.).—ἴδιο, common in Gk. Bib., may in later Gk. mean either proprius (Vulg) or vester.

The term Ἰουδαῖο (see Zahn, Introd. II, 306 ff.) is not of itself disparaging. It is frequently employed by Jews as a self-designation (Romans 2:17, Jeremiah 39:12, 45:19, etc.). Paul, however, while he speaks of himself as of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew and an Israelite (Romans 11:1, 2 Corinthians 11:22, Philippians 3:5), rarely if ever employs Ἰουδαῖο as a self-designation (Galatians 2:15), but uses it of the Jew who finds in Christ the fulfilment of the law (Romans 2:28), of the Jew contrasted with the Greek (so regularly as here), and of Judaism in contrast with Christianity (1 Corinthians 10:32, Galatians 1:13 f.), no disparagement being intended by the word itself.

15-16. The past experiences in Thessalonica and Berœa (Acts 17:1-15), the insinuations alluded to in vv. 1-12, and the present troubles in Corinth (3:7; cf. Acts 18:5 ff.) explain sufficiently this prophetic denunciation of the Jews (cf. Philippians 3:1 ff.). The counts are set forth in a series of five participles in close apposition with τῶν Ἰουδαίω. Of these, the first two �

The denunciation is unqualified; no hope for their future is expressed. The letters of Paul reveal not a machine but a man; his moods vary; now he is repressed (II 3:2 οὐ γὰρ πάντων ἡ πίστι), again he is outspokenly severe (Philippians 3:1 ff.), and still again he is grieved, but affectionate and hopeful (Romans 9:1 ff. Romans 9:11:25).

καὶ τὸν κύριον καὶ τοὺς προφήτα. “Both the Lord and the prophets.” και … και correlates the substantives. The “prophets” are not Christian but Hebrew (Romans 1:2, Romans 3:21, Romans 11:3). By separating τὸν κύριο from Ἰησοῦ, Paul succeeds in emphasising that the Lord of glory whom the Jews crucified (1 Corinthians 2:8) is none other than the historical Jesus, their kinsman according to the flesh (Romans 9:5).

That the first two και are correlative is the view of Ell., Lft., Dob. et al. and is confirmed by 1 Corinthians 10:32. Flatt, De W. Lillie, Auberlen, Lün. Schmiedel, et al., interpret the first και to mean “also.” Erasmus and Schmidt translate “not only the Lord and the prophets but also us.”—Some comm. take τοὺς προφήτα with ἐκδιωξάντω Since, however,�Romans 11:3 = 3 Reg. 19:10 (τοὺς προφήτας σου�Luke 13:34 = Matthew 23:37).—For τῶν και with participle, we might have had οἳ και with finite verb (Romans 8:34, Romans 16:7). On�Acts 3:15; also σταυροῦ (Acts 2:36, Acts 2:4:10, 1 Corinthians 2:8) and�Acts 2:23, etc.). On ὁ κύριος Ἰησοῦς cf. 4:2, II 1:7, 2:8, 1 Corinthians 16:23, 2 Corinthians 4:14, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Ephesians 1:15, Philemon 1:5. According to Tert. (adv. Marc. 5:15), Marcion prefixed ἰδίου to προφήτα (so KL, et al.), thus making the reference to the Hebrew prophets unmistakable.


καὶ ἡμᾶς ἐκδιωξάντω. “And persecuted us.” It is uncertain whether ἐκδιώκει here means “persecute” or “banish”; it is likewise uncertain whether the aorist indicates a single act of ἐκδιώκει or a series of acts taken collectively. The word would recall to the readers the harassing experiences of Paul and his associates (ἡμᾶ) in Thessalonica and perhaps also in Berœa.

Ell. emphasises the semi-local meaning of ἐ, and renders “drive out”; he sees a specific allusion to Acts 17:10. But ἐκδιώκει may be equivalent to διώκει, as the use of these words and of καταδιώκει in Lxx suggests (cf. Kennedy, Sources, 37).

καὶ θεῷ μὴ�Acts 17:6 ff.), the λαλεῖν τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ (v. 2) εἰς περιποίησιν σωτηρία (5:9).

On Tacitus and the Jews, cf. Th. Reinach, Textes Relatifs au Judaïsme, 1895, 295 ff. ἐναντίο is rarely used of persons in the Gk. Bib. (cf. Numbers 1:53 (AF) 2:2 and 1 Esd. 8:51 πρὸς τοὺς ἐναντίους ἡμῖ). On�Romans 12:17 f. 1 Corinthians 15:19, 2 Corinthians 3:2, Philippians 4:5, etc.; κωλύει, 1 Corinthians 14:39; λαλεῖν ἵν, 1 Corinthians 14:19; ἵνα σωθῶσι, 1 Corinthians 10:33.—σώζει and σωτηρί (5:8-9, II 2:13) are Jewish terms borrowed by the early Christians to designate the blessings of the age to come under the rule of God the Father. To Paul this salvation is future, though near at hand (cf. Romans 13:11); but there are foretastes of the future glory in the present experience of those who possess the Spirit (Romans 8:23), and thus belong to the class “the saved” (1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 2:15; contrast II 2:10 οἱ�Romans 5:9) or the like is mentioned (see on 1:10).


εἰς τὸ�

The metaphor underlying�Genesis 15:16, Daniel 8:23, Daniel 8:2 Mac. 6:14). A definite measure of sins is being filled up continually by each act of sin, in accordance with the divine decree. The aorist infin. is future in reference to the participles in the preceding context, but the tense of the infin. itself indicates neither action in progress nor action completed; it is indefinite like a substantive. The infinitive rather than the noun (cf. 2 Mac. 6:14 πρὸς ἐκπλήρωσιν ἁμαρτιῶ) is chosen in reference to πάντοτ, the point of the adverb being the continual filling up. This πάντοτε�

ἔφθασεν δὲ ἐπʼ αὐτούς κτλ. “But the wrath has come upon them at last.” ἡ ὀργη (that is, as DG, Vulg explain, ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεου; see 1:10) is not so much the purposed or merited wrath (cf. Sap. 19:4) as the well-known principle of the wrath of God which is revealed (Romans 1:18) in the ends of the ages (1 Corinthians 10:11) in which Paul lives, and which is shortly to be expressed in the day of wrath (Romans 2:5). In view of the eschatological bearing of ἡ ὀργη, the reference in ἔφθασε ( = ἦλθε), not withstanding ἡ ὀργή ἡ ἐρχομέν (1:10), cannot be to a series of punishments in the past (cf. the catena of Corderius on John 3:36 in Orig. (Berlin ed.) IV, 526: τὰς ἐπελθούσας ἐπʼ αὐτοὺς θεηλάτους τιμωρία); nor to a specific event in the past, whether the loss of Jewish independence, or the famine (Acts 11:28), or the banishment from Rome (Acts 18:2; cf. Schmidt, 86-90); nor quite to the destruction of Jerusalem, even if Paul shared the view that the day of judgment was to be-simultaneous with the destruction of Jerusalem; but must be simply to the day of judgment which is near at hand. ἔφθασε is accordingly proleptic. Instead of speaking of that day as coming upon the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6), he speaks of it as at last arrived. Such a proleptic use of the aorist is natural in a prophetic passage and has its analogy in the Lxx (Dob. notes Hosea 9:2 f. Hosea 9:10:5).

In the N. T. φθάνει occurs, apart from Matthew 12:28 = Luke 11:20, only in Paul, and is always equivalent to ἔρχεσθα except in I 4:15 where it is synonymous with προφθάνει (Matthew 17:25). In the Lxx it means regularly “to come”; occasionally “to anticipate” (Sap. 6:13, 16:28; cf. 4:7, Sir. 30:25). Elsewhere in Paul, φθάνει is construed with εἰ (Romans 9:31, Philippians 3:16; cf. Dan. (Th.) 4:17, 19, 6:24, 12:12) and�2 Corinthians 10:14). For ἐπι, cf. Matthew 12:28 = Luke 11:20; Judges 20:34.Judges 20:42; Judges 20:42, Ecclesiastes 8:14 (ἐπι and πρό) Dan. (Th.) 4:21, 25; for ἕω, cf. 2 Chronicles 28:9 Dan. (Th.) 4:8, 7:13, 8:7.—For the use of the English perfect in translating the Greek aorist, cf. BMT 46.


εἰς τέλο. “At last.” That the temporal meaning of εἰς τέλο is here intended and that too not in the sense of “continually,” “forever,” but, as ἔφθασε demands, “at last” is evident from the parallelism of the clauses:

ἀναπληρῶσα αὐτῶ τὰς ἁμαρτία πάντοτ

ἔφθασε ἐπʼ αὐτοὺ ἡ ὀργη εἰς τέλο




For εἰς τέλο = postremo, cf. Stephanus, Thes. col. 9224. In the Lxx εἰς τέλο (apart from εἰς τὸ τέλο of many Psalms and of Joshua 3:16 F) is used both intensively “utterly,” “completely,” and temporally “forever” (Psalms 48:10; cf. εἰς τὸν αἰῶν as a variant reading (Psalms 9:19) or as a parallel (Psalms 76:7, Psalms 102:9) of εἰς τέλο); but the translation “at last” is in no single case beyond question. In Genesis 46:4 = Amos 9:8, εἰς τέλο represents the so-called Hebrew infin. abs. (cf. Thackeray, Gram. O. T. Greek, I, 47, note 1). In Luke 18:5 “forever” = “continually” is equally possible with “finally.” The difficulties in rendering εἰς τέλο may be observed in any attempted translation of 2 Clem. 19:3 Ign. Eph. 14:2 Romans 1:1, Romans 10:1. In our passage, however, πάντοτ demands the temporal sense and that, too, because of ἔφθασε, “at last.”—When εἰς τέλο is taken intensively, ἔγθασε is joined both with ἐπι and εἰ, and ὀρῆ is tacitly supplied after τέλο (cf. Job 23:7, Ezekiel 36:10); or αὐτῶ is supplied after εἰς τέλο “to make an end of them” (De W.); or η is supplied before εἰς τέλο (the article could easily be omitted; cf. 2 Corinthians 7:7, 2 Corinthians 9:13), “the wrath which is extreme”; or πάντοτ is taken loosely for πάντως, παντελῶ (Dob.). For a conspectus of opinions, see either Lillie or Poole.—The reading of B Vulg f is to be observed: ἐφθ. δὲ ἡ ὀργὴ ἐπʼ αὐτοὺς εἰς τέλο With this order, we may translate either “the wrath has come upon them at last” or “the wrath which was against them has come to its height” (cf. 2 Mac. 6:15 πρὸς τέλος τῶν ἁμαρτιῶ and 6:14 πρὸς ἐκπλήρωσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶ; also Sap. 12:27 τὸ τέρμα τῆς καταδίκης ἐπʼ αὐτοὺς ἐπῆλθε; and 2 Mac. 7:38). In the latter translation, φθάνει is construed with εἰ as in Romans 9:31, Philippians 3:16. The order of B is, however, probably not original; it inverts for emphasis as in 5:9 ἔθετο ὁ θεὸς ἡμᾶ (Zim); furthermore the parallelism with v. 16 f. is broken. The reading ἔφθακε (BD) makes explicit the prophetic sense of ἔφθασε; there is a similar variant in 1 Mac. 10:23, Song of Solomon 2:12.—If the literal sense of ἔφθασε is insisted upon, and if of the many possible references to the past the destruction of Jerusalem is singled out, then either the entire letter is spurious (Baur, Paulus,2 II, 97) or the clause ἔφθασε … τέλο is an interpolation inserted after 70 a.d. (cf. Schmiedel, ad loc. and Moff. Introd 73). In view of the naturalness of a proleptic aorist in a prophetic passage, the hypothesis of interpolation is unnecessary (cf. Dob. and Clemen, Paulus, I, 114).

Relation of v. 16c to Test. xii, Leviticus 6:11. That notwithstanding the textual variations there is a literary relation between our clause and Leviticus 6:11, is generally admitted. But that Leviticus 6:11, is original to Levi is still debated. Charles in his editions of the Test. xii (1908), following Grabe (Spicileg. 1700,2 I, 138), holds that 6:11 is an integral part of the original text of Levi and that Paul quotes it. The text which Charles prints (ἔφθασεν δὲ αὐτοὺς ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰς τέλο) is supported by c h (om. αὐτού) i and a e f (except that these three read not τοῦ θεου but κυρίο, and is apparently to be translated: “but the wrath of God has forestalled them completely.” In his English version Charles has: “but the wrath of God came upon them to the uttermost,” a translation that seems to presuppose the text of b d g and the first Slavonic recension (d omits δε and prefixes διὰ τοῦτ; b S1 invert the order to read: ἔφθασεν δὲ ἡ ὀργὴ κυρίου ἐπʼ αὐτοὺς εἰς τέλο)—In favour of the view that Leviticus 6:11 in some form is original to Levi, it is urged (1) that this passage, unlike 4:4 ad fin. (where both Charles and Burkitt admit a Christian interpolation, although some form of�Leviticus 6:11 from memory.—In favour of the view that Leviticus 6:11 is a Christian interpolation from Paul, it is urged (1) that the striking parallelism of members already observed between our clause and v. 16b points to the originality of v. 16c with Paul; (2) that the textual variations in Levi reflect those in Paul; for example, (a) ἡ ὀργη, which is used absolutely by Paul in a technical sense, does not appear in Test. xii, while ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεου is found both in Leviticus 6:11 and Reuben 4:4; to be sure in Paul DEGF, Vulg add τοῦ θεου, but not א BAPKL (CH are wanting); (b) in b, S1 of Leviticus 6:11, the order of words is that of B f Vulg of Paul; (c) six of the nine Gk. Mss. of Levi (c h i a e f) omit the ἐπʼ, a reading similar to that of the catena of Corderius already noted: ἔφθασεν δὲ αὐτοὺς ἡ ὀργὴ εἰς τέλο; and (d) above all, the first Armenian recension omits Leviticus 6:11 altogether. (That εἰς τέλο is used absolutely in Test. xii elsewhere only in the poorly attested Leviticus 5:6 is not significant, in the light of the frequent use of εἰς τέλο in the Lxx). According to this theory, Leviticus 6:11, instead of being the original which Paul quotes, is an interpolation from Paul (the various Greek forms of the interpolation being influenced largely by the variants in Paul), and is thus an early witness to the presence in Paul of v. 16c(Dob.).

The question may be considered as still unsettled. Conybeare (RTP 1908, 375) seems to agree with Charles; Burkitt (JTS 1908, 138) and Plummer (Matthew, 1909, xlvi) dissent; as does also Dob. (48), who, however, prefers (115) to leave it, in the present state of investigation, “ganz unsicher.” Lock (HDB IV, 746a) surmises that the “use of the phrase in the Test. xii Patr. perhaps shows that it was a half-stereotyped rabbinical formula for declaring God’s judgment,” but does not adduce any rabbinical parallels. Rönsch (ZWT 1875, 278 ff.), according to Dob., finds the origin of both Leviticus 6:11, and our verse in a divergent conception of Genesis 35:4 f. (cf. also Jub. 30:26). Burkitt (op. cit.) regards the text of Levi as “a Christian interpolation or at any rate as having been modified in language by the translator or by an editor who was familiar with 1 Thess.”


(4) The Intended Visit (2:17-20)

These verses are to be joined closely to the succeeding sections of the epistolary thanksgiving, viz., the sending of Timothy (3:1-5), his return with a report on the whole favourable, though there were some deficiencies in their faith (3:6-10), and the prayer that the apostles might be able to come back to Thessalonica (3:11-13). The emphasis upon the fact that they wanted to return, that Satan was the only power to hinder them, that Timothy, the trusted companion, is sent to take their place, and that they are praying God and Christ to direct their way to them, intimates rather strongly that 2:17-3:13, with its warm expressions of personal affection, is an apology for Paul’s failure to return (cf. especially Calv.), prompted by the fact that the Jews (vv. 15-16) had insinuated that he did not return because he did not want to return, did not care for his converts, an assertion which had made an impression on the warm-hearted and sensitive Thessalonians, in that it seemed to lend some colour to the criticism of Paul’s conduct during his visit.

Although 2:17-3:10 is a unit, we subdivide for convenience as follows: The Intended Visit (2:17-20); The Sending of Timothy (3:1-5); and Timothy’s Return and Report (3:6-10).

To allay their doubts, the readers are reminded (vv. 17-20) that the apostles from the very moment that they had been bereaved of them were excessively anxious to see them, that Paul especially, the centre of the Jew’s attack, had wished, and that too repeatedly, to see their faces again. Indeed, nothing less than Satan could have deterred them. Far from not caring for them, the missionaries insist, in language broken with emotion, on their eagerness to return, for is it not, they ask, above all, the Thessalonians who are the object of their glory and joy both now and in that day when the converts, having finished their race, will receive the victor’s chaplet.

17Now we, brothers, when we had been bereaved of you for a short time only, out of sight but not out of mind, were excessively anxious to see your faces with great desire, 18for we did wish to come to you—certainly I Paul did, and that too repeatedly—and yet Satan stopped us. 19For who is our hope or joy or chaplet to boast in—or is it not you too—in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? 20In-deed it is really you who are our glory and our joy.

17. ἡμεῖς δε While δε introduces a new point in the letter, the apology for his absence, it is also adversative, introducing a contrast not with ὑμεῖ (v. 14) but with the Jews (vv. 15-16; so Lün.). Over against the insinuation that Paul did not wish to return, that his absence meant out of mind as well as out of sight, he assures the distressed readers, with an affectionate address �

The phrase πρὸς καιρὸν ὥρα only here in Gk. Bib. appears to combine the classic πρὸς καιρό (1 Corinthians 7:5, Luke 8:13; Proverbs 5:3 Sap. 4:4) and the later πρὸς ὥρα (2 Corinthians 7:8, Galatians 2:5, Philemon 1:15, John 5:35); it is perhaps a Latinism in the κοινη; cf. momento horae.


προσώπῳ οὐ καρδίᾳ. “In face not in heart”; physically but not in interest; “out of sight not out of mind” (Ruther). The phrase is interjected in view of the assertion of the Jews that Paul’s absence is intentional not enforced.

We have not τῷ σώματι οὐκ ἐν πνεύμετ (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:3), not τῆ σαρκὶ οὐ τῷ πνεύματ (cf. Colossians 2:5), but, as in 2 Corinthians 5:12, προσώπῳ οὐ καρδίᾳ On the idea, cf. 1 Reg. 16:7: ἄνθρωπος ὄψεται εἰς πρόσωπον ὁ δὲ φεὸς εἰς καρδίαν


περισσοτέρως ἐσπουδάσαμεν κτλ. No sooner had we been separated than we became “anxious out of measure to see your face with passionate desire” (Ruther). The verb receives two parallel modifiers, περισσοτέρω, in the elative sense of “excessively,” and ἐν πολλῇ ἐπιθυμίᾳ The repetition of a similar idea and the resumption of ἐσπουδάσαμε in ἠθελήσαμε (v. 18) serve to indicate not tautology, and not simply intensity of affection, but a tacit defence of Paul against the slanders of the Jews.

Since in later Gk. the comparative tends to usurp the function of the superlative, while the superlative tends to become an emphatic positive (Bl 11:3; Moult I, 78, 236), it is probable that περισσοτέρω is here not comparative but elative as in 2 Corinthians 7:13 (περισσοτέρως μᾶλλο) and 7:15 (where Bachmann (in Zahn’s Komm.) notes a similar use in BGU, 38010). περισσῶ does not occur in Paul; περισσοτέρω is found chiefly in Paul (cf. 2 Cor.).—Interpreters who hold strictly to the comparative force of περισσοτέρω explain the meaning variously (see Lillie, ad loc.). (1) “The more fervently did we endeavour, as knowing the perils that beset you” (Fromond, Hofmann, Schmidt, Schmiedel); (2) the love of the apostles “instead of being lessened by absence was rather the more inflamed thereby” (Calvin, Lillie, Lft.); (3) “the repeated frustration of his attempts to get back to Thessalonica, far from deterring Paul from his intention, have rather still more stirred up his longing and increased his exertion to visit the believers in Thessalonica” (Born; cf. Find. Wohl., Mill.).—Other expositors, taking περισσοτέρω as elative, find the reference in the confidence of Paul that the separation being external cannot in God’s purpose be for long, a fact that prompts the eagerness to overcome the separation (cf. Dob. who refers to Philippians 1:14, Philippians 1:25).—σπουδάζει (Galatians 2:10, Ephesians 4:3) is always in the N. T. and occasionally in the Lxx (Judith 13:1, 12, Isaiah 21:3) construed with the infinitive. τὸ πρόσωπον ὑμῶν ἰδεῖ (3:10; cf. Colossians 2:1, Colossians 2:1 Mac. 7:30) = ὑμᾶς ἰδεῖ (3:6; Romans 1:11, 1 Corinthians 16:7, etc.), as in P. Par. 47 (Witk., 64).—ἐπιθυμί is used here and Philippians 1:23 in a good sense. On πολλῇ see on 1:5. The phrase ἐν πολλῇ ἐπιθυμίᾳ is not the cognate dative (Luke 22:15, Galatians 5:1?), though this dative is common in Lxx and occasional in classic Gk. (cf. Conybeare and Stock, Septuagint, 60-61). Note the various expressions of desire: σπουδάζειν, ἐπιθυμία, θέλειν, εὐδοκεῖ (3:1) and ἐπιποθεῖ (3:6).

18. διότι ἠθελήσαμεν κτλ “For we did wish to come to you.” ἐσπουδάσαμε becomes ἠθελήσαμε and τὸ πρόσωπον ἰδεῖ becomes ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶ; the parallel expressions are virtually synonymous. The repetition is purposed, for he is defending himself and his associates; hence also he adds, “and Satan stopped us.” Inasmuch, however, as the Jews had singled out Paul as the chief offender, he interjects ἐγὼ μὲν Παῦλος, καὶ ἅπαξ καὶ δί In the light of ἅπαξ καὶ δί (Deuteronomy 9:13, Deuteronomy 9:1 Reg. 17:39, Nehemiah 13:20, Nehemiah 13:1 Mac. 3:30), the first και may be ascensive, and the interjected phrase as a whole be translated: “Certainly I Paul did (ἠθέλησα ἐλθεῖ) wish to come, and that too repeatedly.”

διότ here as v. 8 is not “wherefore” (διο; so DcEKL) but “because”; a comma suffices after ἐπιθυμίᾳ. θέλει (cf. 4:13, II 3:10, 1 Corinthians 16:7) occurs in Paul about twelve times as often as βούλεσθα In Paul it is difficult to distinguish between them, though θέλει seems to pass into “wish,” while βούλεσθα remains in the realm of “deliberate plan.” Had Paul here intended to emphasise distinct deliberation, be would probably have used βούλεσθα as in 2 Corinthians 1:15. The actual resolve following σπουδάζει and θέλει comes first in ηὐδοκήσαμε (3:1).—μέ occurs in every letter of Paul except II and Phile.; in about one-third of the instances it is solitarium.—Apart from the superscriptions and the�1 Corinthians 16:21, Colossians 4:18; cf. Philemon 1:19), Παῦλο appears in every letter of Paul except Rom. and Phil.—For ἐγὼ μέ, cf. 1 Corinthians 5:3; for ἐγὼ Παῦλο, 2 Corinthians 10:1, Galatians 5:2, Ephesians 3:1, Colossians 1:23, Philemon 1:19.

The meaning of καὶ ἅπαξ καὶ δί, a collocation found in Gk. Bib. only here, Philippians 4:16 and Nehemiah 13:20 (אc. a; the correct reading is ἅπαξ καὶ δί), is uncertain. Usually the four words are taken together to mean an indefinite succession of occurrences, “often,” “repeatedly” (e. g. Grot., Pelt, Lft,; Wohl., Dob.), or else, definitely (cf. Herod. II, 121, III, 148, cited by Wetstein on Philippians 4:16 and Plato, Phaed. 63 E init.: καὶ δὶς καὶ τρί= “both twice and thrice”), “both once and twice, that is, twice” (Mill.). Zahn, indeed (Introd. I, 204 f.; cf. Find.), conjectures that Paul attempted to return first when in Berœa and a second time when waiting in Athens for Silvanus and Timothy. In the Lxx, however, we have simply ἅπαξ καὶ δί which in Deuteronomy 9:13, Deuteronomy 9:1 Reg. 17:39 and Nehemiah 13:20 invites the translation “often,” “repeatedly,” and which in 1 Mac. 3:30 (ὡς ἅπαξ καὶ δί) appears to mean καθὼς�Judges 16:20, Judges 16:20:30, Judges 16:31) which seems to mean καθὼς�Judges 16:20 A) or κατὰ τὸ εἰωθό (Numbers 24:1). If the phrase in our passage is not καὶ ἅπαξ καὶ δί but ἅπαξ καὶ δί, then the first και is ascensive: “and (και) what is more, repeatedly (ἅπαξ καὶ δί)”; and light is thrown on Philippians 4:16: ὅτι καὶ ἐν θεσσαλονίκῃ καὶ ἅπαξ καὶ δὶς εἰς τὴν χρείαν μοι ἐπέμψατ, which is to be rendered not, “for even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my need,” but, taking και … και correlatively (cf. Ewald, ad loc., in Zahn’s Komm.), “for both (when I was) in Thessalonica and (και) repeatedly (ἅπαξ καὶ δί) (when I was in other places) you sent to my need.” The point of Philippians 4:16 is thus not that the Philippians sent help frequently to Paul in Thessalonica but simply sent help to him there (probably on their own initiative) and frequently elsewhere.


καὶ ἐνέκοψεν ἡμᾶς ὁ Σατανᾶ. “We were anxious to see you, we did wish to come to you, and yet Satan stopped us” (ἡμᾶ, that is, Paul and his two associates). The contest gives an adversative turn to the copula (Vulg sed). What particular obstacle Satan put in the way of their return, Paul does not tell us. Satan, however, did not thwart all of them permanently; they are able to send one of their number, Timothy, from Athens; and they are confident that God and Christ, to whom they pray (3:11) will direct their way to Thessalonica.

The reference to the work of Satan has been variously interpreted. (1) The illness of Paul is thought of as in 2 Corinthians 12:7 (so Simon, Die Psychologie des Apostels Paulus, 1897, 63). But as Everling remarks (Die paulinische Angelologie und Dämonologie,1888, 74), the theory of illness does not fit Silvanus and Timothy. (2) Satan prevented them from returning inorder to destroy the spiritual life of the converts and thus rob Paul of his joy in their chaplet of victory at the Parousia (so Kabisch, Die Eschatologie des Paulus, 1893, 27 f.) But as Dibelius (Die Geisterwelt im Glauben des Paulus, 1909, 56) observes, the chaplet of victory will be theirs if they continue steadfast under persecution; and furthermore, to make the victory sure, Paul himself need not return to Thessalonica (cf. 3:11-13). (3) Satan inspired the Politarchs to compel Jason and his friends to give bonds for the continued absence of Paul (so Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, 240; McGiffert, Apostolic Age, 249; Find. and others). This explanation, however, “renders it difficult to see why the Thessalonians did not understand at once how Paul could not return” (Moff.), and takes the force out of the insinuations of the Jews. (4) Hence it is safer to leave the reference indefinite as Paul does (Everling, Dibelius, Mill.), or at most to think of “the exigencies of his mission at the time being” (Moff.).

ἐνκόπτει occurs in Gk. Bib. elsewhere only Galatians 5:3, Acts 24:4; ἐνκόπτεσθα only Romans 15:22, 1 Peter 3:1. GF here and some minuscules in Galatians 5:7 read�1 Chronicles 21:1 is rendered in Lxx by (ο) διάβολο except Job 2:3 (A) which like Sir. 21:27 has ὁ Σατανᾶ For Σατά, cf. 3 Reg. 11:14, 23. In Paul, ὁ Σατανᾶ (II 2:9; always with article except 2 Corinthians 12:7) is ὁ πειράζω (3:5), ὁ πονηρό (II 3:3), ὁ θεὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτο (2 Corinthians 4:4), ὁ ἄρχων τῆς ἐξουσίας, τοῦ�Ephesians 2:2). On demonology in general, cf. Bousset, Relig.2 381 ff. and J. Weiss. in PRE IV, 408 ff.; in Paul, the works of Everling and Dibelius noted above.


19-20. τίς γὰρ ἡμῶν κτλ In reply to the insinuation that he does not return because he does not care for his converts, Paul insists, with a compliment to their excellence, that he wanted to come to them because they are really his glory and his joy. As he thinks of them now and as he looks forward to the day when Jesus is to come, when the Christian race in over, and the Thessalonians receive the triumphant wreath, he sees in them his hope and joy, and in their victory his ground of boasting. His words are broken with emotion: “For (γά introducing the motive of the ardent desire to return) who is our hope and joy and chaplet of boasting?” The answer is given in v. 20; but Paul anticipates by an interjected affirmative question: “Or is it not you as well as (και) my other converts ?” The και before ὑμεῖ is significant (cf. Chrys.): “Can you imagine that the Jews are right in asserting that we do not care for you as well as for our other converts?” This said, he finishes the original question with the emphasis more on hope than on joy: “before our Lord Jesus when he comes?” And finally he repeats the answer implied in ἢ οὐχὶ καὶ ὑμεῖ, but without και, in v. 20: “Indeed (γά = certe, as Calvin notes) it is really (ἐστ) you who are our glory and our joy.”

τί = “who” (Romans 8:35); on τίς γά, cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 2:7, 1 Corinthians 2:2:16 = Romans 11:34. As the hope is present, ἐστ is to be supplied; ἡμῶ goes with the three nominatives. η is usually disjunctive but sometimes the equivalent of a copula (Bl 7711); it appears in all the Pauline letters; cf. ἢ οὐκ οἴδατ (Romans 11:2, 1 Corinthians 6:2 ff.) or ἐπιγινώσκετ (2 Corinthians 13:5); א here omits ἤ. οὐχι is used frequently by Paul, chiefly in interrogative sentences (cf. Romans 3:29).—στέφανο (Philippians 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:8, 1 Corinthians 9:25) is here not the royal crown (2 Reg. 12:30, 1 Chronicles 20:2: Zechariah 6:11, Zechariah 6:14, Psalms 20:3; see Mayor on James 1:12 and Swete on Mark 15:17, Revelation 2:10) but the victor’s wreath or chaplet; Deiss, (Light., 312) notes a second-century a.d. inscription in the theatre at Ephesus: ἠγωνίσατο�Ezekiel 16:12, Ezekiel 23:42, Proverbs 16:31), τρυφῆ (Proverbs 4:9), κάλλου (Isaiah 62:3), δόξη (Jeremiah 13:18) and�

ἔμπροσθεν κτλ. Paul’s hope for his converts will be realised when they come “before our Lord Jesus,” that is, ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ βήματος τοῦ Χριστου (2 Corinthians 5:10; cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 3:13 and contrast 3:9), as ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ αὐτου explains. When Jesus comes, arrives, is present, they will receive not ὀργη (as the Jews of v. 16) but σωτηρί (5:9).

παρουσί is used untechnically in 1 Corinthians 16:17, 2 Corinthians 7:6-7, 2 Corinthians 10:10, Philippians 1:26, Philippians 2:12 (cf. Nehemiah 2:6, Judith 10:18, 2 Mac. 8:12, 5:21, 3 Malachi 3:17). Whether the technical use (2:19, 3:13, 4:15, 5:23, II 2:1, 8, 1 Corinthians 15:23; cf. below II 2:9 of ὁ ἄνομο) is a creation of the early church (Mill. 145 ff.; Dibelius) or is taken over from an earlier period (Dob.) is uncertain. (Test. xii, Jud. xxii. 3 ἕως τῆς παρουσίας θεοῦ τῆς δικαιοσύνη is omitted by the Armenian; cf. Charles). Deiss. (Light, 372 ff.) notes that in the Eastern world παρουσί is almost technical for the arrival or visit of a king (cf. also Matthew 21:5, Zechariah 9:9, Malachi 3:1) and that while the earthly king expected on his arrival to receive a στέφανος παρουσία, Christ gives a στέφανο to believers ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ αὐτου—ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ (3:11, 13, II 1:8, Romans 16:20, 1 Corinthians 5:4, 2 Corinthians 1:14) is less frequent in Paul than ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰ. (1:3, 5:9, 23, 28, II 2:1, 14, 16, 3:18, Romans 5:1, Romans 5:11, Romans 5:15:6, 30, 1 Corinthians 2:2, 1 Corinthians 2:7 ff, 1 Corinthians 2:15:57, 2 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 8:9, Galatians 6:14, Galatians 6:18, Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 1:17, Ephesians 1:5:20, Ephesians 1:6:24, Colossians 1:3); hence GF add here Χριστου


ὑμεῖς γάρ ἐστε κτλ. “Indeed it is really you who are the objects of our honour and our joy.” ἐστ is significantly expressed, not to contrast the present with the future (Flatt; see Lillie, ad loc.) or with the past, but to contrast the reality of Paul’s affection for his converts with the falsity of the insinuations of the Jews. χαρα is repeated from v. 19. δόξ is new, and may mean “glory” or “honour.” In the latter case, the point may be that he does not demand honour from them (v. 6) but does them honour.









Weiss B. Weiss in TU. XIV, 3 (1896).

Lft Lightfoot.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek (ed. H. B. Swete, 1887-94).

Ruther W. G. Rutherford, St. Paul’s Epistles to the Thess. and Corinthians. A New Translation (1908).

Calv Calvin.

A A (e a p r). Cod. Alexandrinus, saec. v, now in the British Museum. Edited by Woide in 1786. Facsimile by E. M. Thompson, 1879. Contains I and II complete.

C C (e a p r). Cod. Ephraemi Rescriptus, saec. v, now in the National Library at Paris. The N. T. fragments were edited by Tischendorf in 1843. Contains I 1:2 ευχαριστουμεν—2:8 εγενηθητε.

D D (p). Cod. Claromontanus, saec. vi, Graeco-Latin, now in the National library at Paris. Edited by Tischendorf in 1852. Contains I and II complete.

Vulg Vulgate.

Ephr Ephraem Syrus.

De W De Wette.

Lün Lünemann.

Ell Ellicott.

Mill George Milligan.

Born Bornemann.

Lillie John Lillie, Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians, Translated from the Greek, with Notes (1856).

Dob Ernst von Dobschütz,

Soph. E. A. Sophocles, Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods (revised by J. H. Thayer, 1887, 1900).

Chrys Chrysostom.

K K (a p). Cod. Mosquensis, saec. ix, now at Moscow. Collated by Matthaei, 1782. Contains I and II complete.

L L (a p). Cod. Angelicus, saec. ix, now in the Angelican Library at Rome. Collated among others by Tischendorf (1843) and Tregelles (1845). Contains I and II complete.

B B (e a p r). Cod. Vaticanus, saec. iv, now in the Vatican Library. Photographic reproduction by Cozza-Luzi, Rome, 1889, and by the Milan firm of Hoepli, 1904. Contains I and II complete.

E E Cod. Sangermanensis, saec. ix, now at St. Petersburg. A copy of D.

Bl F. Blass, Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch (1896, 19022).

BMT E. D. Burton, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in N. T. Greek (18983).

Tisch Tischendorf.

Zim F. Zimmer, Der Text der Thessalonicherbriefe (1893).

אԠא (e a p r). Cod. Sinaiticus, saec. iv, now at St. Petersburg. Edited by Tischendorf, its discoverer, in 1862. Photographic reproduction by H. and K. Lake, Oxford, 1911. Contains I and II complete.

WH The New Testament in the Original Greek (1881; I, Text, II, Introduction and Appendix).

ICC International Critical Commentary.

P P (a p r). Cod. Porphyrianus, saec. ix, now at St. Petersburg. Edited by Tischendorf (1865). Contains I and II except I 3:5 μηκετι—ημεις οι 4:17.

G G (p). Cod. Boernerianus, saec. ix, now in the Royal Library at Dresden. “It is closely related to F, according to some the archetype of F” (Souter). Edited by Matthaei, 1791. Im Lichtdruck nachgebildet, Leipzig (Hiersemann), 1909. Contains I and II complete.

Grot Hugo de Groot (Grotius).

Find G. G. Findlay.

Wohl Wohlenberg.

Moff James Moffatt.

F F (p). Cod. Augiensis, saec. ix, Graeco-Latin, now in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. An exact transcript by Scrivener, 1859. Contains I and II complete.

Boh Coptic version in the Bohairic dialect.

Ambst Ambrosiaster.

Pesh Syriac Vulgate.

Arm Armenian version.

Viteau J. Viteau, Etude sur le Grec du N. T. (I, 1893, II, 1896).

Moult James Hope Moulton, A Grammar of N. T. Greek, I (1906).

WS P. W. Schmiedel, 8th ed. of Winer’s Grammatik (1894 ff.).

Deiss. A. Deissmann, Bibelstudien (1895).

Deiss. A. Deissmann, Neue Bibelstudien (1897).

HDB Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible (1898-1904).

Kennedy, H. A. A. Kennedy, St. Paul’s Conceptions of the Last Things (1904).

SH Comm. on Romans in ICC. by W. Sanday an A. C. Headlam.

EB The Encyclopædia Biblica (London, 1899-1903; ed. J. S. Black and T. K. Cheyne).

Th. Mops Theodore of Mopsuestia, in epistolas Pauli commentarii (ed. H. B. Swete, 1880-82).

Einl Einleitung in das N. T.

Deiss. A. Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East (1910) = Licht vom Osten (19093).

f f Latin of the bilingual F

e e Latin of the bilingual E

d d Latin of the bilingual D

g g Latin of the bilingual G

H H (p). Cod. Saec. vi. Most of the forty-one leaves now known are in the National Library at Paris; the remainder are at Athos, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, and Turin. The fragments at Kiev contain 2 Corinthians 4:2-7, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 (μνημονευετε … εστιν αληθως) and 4:4-11 (εαντον σκενος … φιλοτιμισθαι); cf. H. Omont, Notice sur un très ancien manuscrit, etc. 1889.


RTP Review of Theology and Philosophy.

JTS The Journal of Theological Studies.

ZWT Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftliche Theologie.

Witk St. Witkowski, Epistulæ Privatæ Græcæ (1906).

PRE Real-Encyclopädie für protest. Theologie u. Kirche (3d ed. Hauck, 1896-1909).



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Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 2". International Critical Commentary NT. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/1-thessalonians-2.html. 1896-1924.