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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

1 Thessalonians 2

Verses 1-12

1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 . Paul’ s Defence of his Missionary Work.— Paul had been charged by his opponents with being a wandering sophist making money out of his followers. He rebuts the charge and incidentally gives us a picture of the ideal missionary.

1 Thessalonians 2:2 . at Philippi: the reference is to the scourging and imprisonment described in Acts 16:22-40.

1 Thessalonians 2:3. “ Our preaching was not the result of mental delusion, nor of an impure character, nor was it with intent to deceive.” Each phrase refers to a charge which had been brought against Paul.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 . pleasing men: Paul’ s object was not that of the professional sophist, to captivate his audience with a display of rhetoric.

1 Thessalonians 2:7 . gentle: the addition of a single letter to the Greek word meaning “ gentle” makes it mean “ babes” (cf. mg.) . If “ gentle” is right (and the context seems to support it) the verse gives us a beautiful picture of Paul as the gentle apostle caring for his converts “ as a nursing mother cherisheth her children.”

1 Thessalonians 2:9 . working day and night: Paul replies to the charge of covetousness by stating that he earned his livelihood ( cf. Acts 18:3 *, 1 Corinthians 4:12, Ephesians 4:28, p. 768 ).

1 Thessalonians 2:11 . father: a variation of the metaphor used in 7 , where Paul describes himself as a nursing mother.

Verses 13-20

1 Thessalonians 2:13-20 . Paul and the Thessalonian Church.— The next two paragraphs describe ( a) the effect of Paul’ s preaching at Thessalonica, ( b) his anxiety with regard to the fate of the Church under stress of persecution.

1 Thessalonians 2:14 . Judæ a: i.e. Palestine. We have no details regarding the persecution of the Palestinian Churches apart from the account of the recurring attacks made upon the Church at Jerusalem.

1 Thessalonians 2:16 . the wrath is come upon them: this seems to have been a stock phrase, and was probably borrowed by Paul from “ The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs” (Levi 6:11 ). We need not assume, as some scholars do, a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem.

1 Thessalonians 2:17 . endeavoured, etc.: Paul’ s heart was evidently set upon returning to Thessalonica, which he meant to make the base of his missionary campaign in Greece.

1 Thessalonians 2:18 . Satan hindered us: the particular kind of obstacle is uncertain. It may have been ( a) illness or ( b) the continued opposition of the civic authorities, but whatever it was Paul has no hesitation in ascribing it to Satan.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 2". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.