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Sunday, July 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
1 Thessalonians 5

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

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Verse 1

1 Thessalonians 5:1

Paul turns to the subject of The Day of the Lord - the general, final, judgment of all! (the GREAT "Day of the Lord")

Times -- "chronoi"

Seasons -- "kairoi" NASV epochs, (nature of the time -- qualatively, a definite point in time) Mark 13:32

Why no need for Paul to write about this? Because he had already informed them when with them.

Verse 2

1 Thessalonians 5:2

Perfectly -- full well.

The Day of the Lord -- Time of judgment and tributional. cf. Joel 1:15, Joel 2:1, Obadiah 1:15, Zephaniah 1:14, Isaiah 2:12, Isaiah 13:6, Ezekiel 13:5. [ 1 Corinthians 1:7-8 ]

"The Day of the Lord" in the prophets had about three elements involved:

1) It would come suddenly and unexpectedly

2) It would involve a great upheaval to the people (kings and rulers falling, as pictured in the Sun and moon ceasing to shine, and mountains upheaved, etc)

3) It would be a time when God would reveal his wrath and bring judgment upon the nations.

While the "Day of Lord" in some prophetic passages may refer to God’s judgment upon Jerusalem, it here refers to his Second Coming, the day of resurrection. John 5:28-29. (Neither does it refer to the day of one’s death.)

5. RETRIBUTION -- 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

1. Day of the Lord

2. Times and Seasons

Verse 3

1 Thessalonians 5:3

For when -- while

Peace and Safety -- A time when people feel safe and secure in their rebellious and sinful course of life.

Travail -- birth pangs, which come suddenly.

Verse 4

1 Thessalonians 5:4

[There were signs for the AD 70 ’Day of the Lord’ cf. Matt 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.]

Darkness -- a figure of ignorance and un-informed.

Thief -- such as one who gives no warning.

As -- like -- the Thessalonians were informed, they were prepared.

Verse 5

1 Thessalonians 5:5

children of light -- sons, ("Children of Light" a favorite term in the literature of the Dead Sea Scroll sect.) See "son, sons" Acts 4:36.

6. READINESS -- 5:4-11

1. Suddenness -- v.3

2. Soberness -- v.6

3. Sleepiness -- v.7

Encouragement -- v.4-8

Edification -- v. 9-11

Verse 6

1 Thessalonians 5:6

Therefore -- So then

Sleep -- not physical, nor death, but a moral slumber as one unconcerned and not watchful.

Watch -- be alert. [Key work in Waren Wiersbe’s book on 1Thess. etc.]

Verse 7

1 Thessalonians 5:7

They that -- who

In the night -- Evil and wickedness seems to be more prevalent in the night, or with darkness, or among those not alert and watchful.

drunken -- get drunk

Verse 8

1 Thessalonians 5:8

Let us -- since we..

Faith -- Love.. & Hope -- Ephesians 6:14-17 Paul often quickly switched metaphors. He was especially fond of military metaphors.

Verse 9

1 Thessalonians 5:9

Appointed -- designed

to -- for

By -- through

Verse 10

1 Thessalonians 5:10

We wake -- We are awake, or asleep. Here is Paul’s point, that whether as saints alive or those dead, all will participate in that great day and together live with Him forever.

Should -- may

Verse 11

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Wherefore -- therefore, on this account

Comfort -- encourage

Yourselves -- one another

Even as -- ye are also doing

The Resurrection Day (His Second Coming, -- Cf. "Last Day" singular) 1 Thessalonians 4:13 ff to 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 15:23-24 ff; John 14:1-3;

John 5:28; John 11:24; John 6:39; John 6:40; John 6:44;

Verse 12

1 Thessalonians 5:12

NEW PARAGRAPH _ _ _ _ _ _


1. Esteem the Leaders -- v.12-13

2. Encourage others -- v.14

3. Ever follow that which is good -- v.1-19

v. 12 1) Esteem the Leaders -- v.12-13

a) accept; b) appreciate; c) love and d) obey them.

Beseech -- request of

Know -- appreciate,

Which labor -- which diligently labor. Thus here describing the work of elders.

Are over -- have charge. Only elders, or bishops, are ever said to be "over us" or to have the "rule" over us in the Lord. So these are the one who are meant here.

Admonish you -- give you instruction, a part of the work of elders or bishops, shepherd of the flock.

Verse 13

1 Thessalonians 5:13

Esteem -- these are to be honored, appreciated, esteemed, their example followed, their admonishions and warning heeded, and their guidance to be followed.

Yourselves -- one another

Verse 14

1 Thessalonians 5:14

b) Encourage others -- v.14

the unruly; the feebleminded; the weak

Exhort -- urge

Warn -- admonish

Unruly -- [See. 2 Thessalonians 3:6 ] "out of step" Again, one of Paul’s military terms for a soldier who is walking out of rank, or failing to keep step.

Comfort -- feebleminded -- encourage the fainthearted

Support -- help

the weak -- often an indication of those not fully taught, to support them would then be to teach and train them.

Be patient -- Be patient, watch motives, be joyful, cf. 1 Timothy 6:11.

Verse 15

1 Thessalonians 5:15

None render -- no one repays -- (This is not talking about judges who must render out judgment for criminals). It is speaking of individual levels, cf. Romans 12:17-19.

Ever follow -- always seek

Paul’s Point: * Be Benevolent toward all -- Galatians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 9:13.

c) Ever Follow That Which Is Good -- v.15-19

1) Be Happy & positive -- v.16, 26, 28

2) Be Prayerful -- v. 17, 25

3) Be Grateful -- v. 18

4) Be Worshipful -- v.19 - 20; (Reverent toward God’s Word)

5) Be Ready -- abstain from evil (21-22), Read - v.27; Be whole, v.23-26

Verse 16

1 Thessalonians 5:16

Evermore -- always

1) Be Happy --

Verse 17

1 Thessalonians 5:17

2) Be Prayerful --

Verse 18

1 Thessalonians 5:18

3) Be Grateful --

Verse 19

1 Thessalonians 5:19

Quench -- Do not quench. A term used for putting out a fire. The thought is that the child of God should not put out the sacred fire within. Such fire might be quenched with a love for the world, for riches or pleasures of this life. cf. Matthew 13:22. Thus a reference to "spiritual life."

The Spirit -- Question: Is this a reference to man’s own spirit, or to the Spirit of God? Some think this is probably referring to his various miraculous gifts.

4) Be Worshipful -- v. 19-20 (Be reverent towards God’s Word.)

Verse 20

1 Thessalonians 5:20

Prophesyings -- prophetic utterances. Not necessarily a reference to spiritual gifts, but to "teaching". Be like the people of Berea who "searched the Scriptures daily" ... [ If you want a verse that teaches what the sin one commits by missing the Bible study classes, this would be it.]

4) Be Worshipful (continuing) v. 19-20

Verse 21

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Prove -- examine

Verse 22

1 Thessalonians 5:22

All appearances -- every form

5) Be Ready ..

Abstain from evil - v.22

See Romans 1:27 note on GAYS (Homosexuals, Sodomites) and Lesbians In The Bible

Verse 23

1 Thessalonians 5:23

And -- God -- May the God of peace..

wholly -- entirely

Whole spirit -- soul -- body -- Man spoken of in a triune fashion. Spirit-soul-body.

In this case the spirit speaks of the inner man, the soul speaks to his physical life or breath, and the body speaks to his casing or house. [cf Genesis 2:7] Often the term soul, (the physical life of man) is used figurative or metaphorically for the inner man, the spirit. Sometimes it simply refers to people, cf. Acts 2:41.

Paul’s prayer seems to wish that they would live (physically) to see the return of the Lord. This seems have given them the wrong impression that the "Great Day of the Lord" his physical Second Coming, was at hand. The Lord’s coming in judgment upon the Jews and Jerusalem would be in AD 70 because of their rejection of Christ when he came to them. Second Thessalonians seems to have been written to correct a wrong impression that the return of Christ was immediate.

See note on John 16:7 for a note of the "Work of the Trinity" from the ESV Study Bible.

Verse 24

1 Thessalonians 5:24

that -- who

do it -- bring it to pass

Verse 25

1 Thessalonians 5:25

.. . -- . .

Greet -- an affectionate greeting from the apostle.

Verse 26

1 Thessalonians 5:26

Verse 27

1 Thessalonians 5:27

Charge -- adjure

Epistle -- letter , (cf. Revelation 1:3.) 1 Thessalonians 2:13.

Verse 28

1 Thessalonians 5:28

Grace -- favor

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/1-thessalonians-5.html. 2021.
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