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Monday, June 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
2 Thessalonians 3

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

Practical Service (Prayers Desired)

1) "Finally, brethren, pray for us" (to loipo proseuehesthe, adelphoi) "for the rest, pray ye, brethren," or "pray for us, brethren", or (peri hemon) “pray concerning us” our cares and our needs; 2 Corinthians 1:11 teaches that one may help another through prayer; Ephesians 6:18.

2) "That the Word of God may have free course" (hina ho logos tou kuriou treche) "in order that the Word of the Lord may run (freely), or unobstructed", that the hearers might be enabled by the Spirit to comprehend or grasp the message; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; Proverbs 1:22-23.

3) "And be glorified" (kai doksazetai) "and may be glorified"; as they yielded souls and bodies in service to Jesus Christ and His cause, 1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 1:24; Acts 11:18.

4) "Even as it is with you" (kathos kai pros humas) “as it is even with you all", 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Verse 2

1) "And that we may be delivered" (kai hina hrusthomen) "and in order that we may be delivered"; God responds to prayers of the righteous, even to deliver His servants from wicked men and wretched circumstances. He did Peter, Acts 12:5-12; 2 Timothy 4:18.

2) "From unreasonable and wicked men" (apo ton atopon kai poneron anthropon) "From perverse and wicked men"; (1) as Joseph was from his brethren and Potiphar’s wife, Genesis 37:29; Genesis 50:20-21; (2) as Moses and Israel were from Pharaoh, Exodus 12:51; Exodus 14:30; (3) and as Daniel and the three Hebrew children were from Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 3:6.

3) "For all men have not faith" (ou gar panton he pistis) For not all men (have) the faith," or "the faith (is) not of all men"; the idea is that not all who claim it, have or hold the faith, the body of truth, as revealed in the Word. Seducers, false prophets, leeches, and religious vampires are on every hand, Matthew 7:15; Matthew 7:21-23; Mr 7-1-9; Acts 20:28-30. Hymenaus and Alexander put aside and made shipwreck concerning it, 1 Timothy 1:19-20; and Philetus joined them in overthrowing the faith of some, reeking confusion by saying the resurrection was past, 2 Timothy 2:17-18.

Verse 3

1) "But the Lord is faithful" (pistos de estin ho kurios) "But faithful is the Lord". ; His yeas and yea and nays are nay. There is no instability with or changeableness in Him. He is not dashed to and fro by environment, or circumstances, or limited in foresight, knowledge, or power; James 1:17; Hebrews 13:8; Malachi 3:6; Romans 11:29.

2) "Who shall stablish you" (hos steriksei humos) "Who will confirm you all"; strengthen or enable in every labor; 2 Peter 1:12; Philippians 1:6 reads: "He will perform it", “the good work begun in you", until the day of Jesus Christ.

3) "And keep you from evil" (kai phulaksei apo tou ponerou) "and will guard you from the wicked one"; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 John 4:4 reads: "Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the World"; 1 John 4:13; John 10:27-29; 1 John 5:18.

Verse 4

1) "And we have confidence" (pepoithamen de) "and we are persuaded"; are convinced--with a fixed faith, based on their profession, faith, labors, testimony and love, 1 Thessalonians 1:3-10.

2) "In the Lord touching you" (en kuriou eph’ humas) “In the Lord regarding you all"; Both the Missionaries were in the Lord and they had testamentary and circumstantial evidence that the Thessalonian brethren were in the Lord, in both the sense of being saved and serving faithfully.

3) "That ye both do and will do" (hoti kai poiete kai poiesete) "that you all both do and will (hereafter) do"; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12. Paul had confidence that these brethren would serve God (not as men-pleasers, when he was, present only but also when he was away;) Philippians 2:12-16; Ephesians 6:6-8.

4) "The things which we command you" (ha parangellomen) "what things we charge or enjoin you;” in keeping on in the Master’s work, Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:11-27. The term translated "command" does not carry the authority of a "lawgiver", but of an earnest entreaty, or plea of a brother who would come alongside, to share the doing of the things enjoined, 1 Corinthians 3:9; John 4:36-38.

Verse 5

1) "And the Lord direct your hearts" (ho de kurios kateuthunai humon tas kardias) "and may the Lord direct your hearts", your affections, your cares, your concerns; When directed of the Lord they are holy and good, Matthew 6:9; Hebrews 13:20-21. True Bible prayers are always God directed.

2) "Into the love of God" (eis ten agapen tou theou) "Into the Love of God", the high, holy affections of God; John 3:16; His love is three-fold (1) For the lost, (2) for the saved, (3) for His Son; so should that of every Christian be, John 13:34-35.

3) "And into the patient waiting for Christ" (kai eis ten hupomonen tou Christou) "and into the patience of Christ", awaiting patiently the fulfillment of His faithful pledge "I will come again", John 14:3; Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 10:36-37; Titus 2:11-15.

Verse 6

1) "Now we command you, brethren" (parangellomen de humin, adelphoi) "now we charge you all brethren", This is an exhortation of direct address, as brother appeals to brother, on common matters of Divine interest, 1 Corinthians 3:9; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2.

2) "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (en onomati tou kuriou lesou Christou) "In (the) name of the Lord Jesus Christ", or as authorized, or taught by the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul preached and exhorted in "the doctrines of Christ", Galatians 1:11-12; Colossians 3:17; 2 John 1:9.

3) "That ye withdraw yourselves" (stellesthai humas) that you all (are to) draw back yourselves" "separate yourselves from the company of", especially in the sense of Church fellowship, not to seem to sanction sin, 1 Corinthians 5:9-11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.

4) "From every brother that walketh disorderly" (apo pontos adelphou ataktos peripatountos) "from every brother walking idly", wobbly, in a morally unstable way, Philippians 3:17-18; Romans 16:17-18.

5) "And not after the tradition" (kai me kata ten paraclosin) "and not according to the tradition", manner of Christian walk, pattern of conduct, or behavior; which Paul had set before them, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12.

6) "Which he received of us" (hen parelabete par’ humon) "which he had or received from us", Ephesians 4:11; Ephesians 5:15-18; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:12; 1 John 2:6.

Verse 7

1) "For yourselves know" (autoi gar oidate) "For ye (yourselves) perceive", know or comprehend; they had learned the way of Christ, by example of Paul’s life, as well as by his words; Matthew 5:15-16.

2) "How ye ought to follow us" (pos dei mimeisthai hemas) "How it becomes or behooves (you all) to imitate us", in life’s behavior pattern, in following Christ daily, Luke 9:23; 1 Corinthians 11:1 reads: "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."

3) "For we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you" (hoti ouk etaktesamen en humin) "because we were not idle among you all"; or loitering, gossiping, backbiting, evil-speaking, or doing things in conflict with the doctrines of Christ. Like Jesus, Paul did not try to get people out of the "slums", but to get the "slum" out of the people, in living a separated, clean, moral life, of love and helpfulness, while even laboring manually among them, for the gospel’s sake; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12.

Verse 8

1) "Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought;" (oude dorean arton ephagomen para tinos) "Nor ate bread as a gift from anyone"; without paying them for it by labor, service, or money, 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Acts 20:34-35.

2) "But wrought with labor and travail night and day" (all’ en kopo kai mochtho nuktos kai hemeras) "but by labor and struggle, by night and by day"; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10. Paul became "all things (kind of things) to all men, that he might by all means win some", 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; 1 Corinthians 4:11-15.

3) "That we might not be chargeable to any of you" (ergazomenoi pros to me epibaresai tina humon) “working not to burden anyone of you"; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:11-15; Acts 18:3.

Verse 9

1) "Not because we have not power" (ouch hoti ouk echomen eksousian) "not that we have or hold not authority", administrative right to insist upon material and financial support for full time services, rendered in Spiritual matters, Matthew 10:10; 1 Corinthians 9:12-13; 1 Timothy 5:18; 2 Corinthians 11:9.

2) "But to make ourselves an ensample" (all ’ hina heautous tupon domen) "But in order that we might give ourselves (as) an example", of one feeding the sheep, not merely fleecing the sheep. Paul desired always to show that he loved the sheep, more. than the fleece, as indicated in the above given passages.

3) "Unto you to follow us" (humin eis to mineisthai hemas) “unto you all to imitate us", as we set an example of unselfish love and industry, to win the lost, and help the weak, that "by all means we might win some". This should be the attitude toward which every child of God should unselfishly strive, 1 Corinthians 9:22-23; Romans 15:1-3.

Verse 10

1) "For even when we were with you" (kai gar hote hemen pros humas) "For even when we were with you all", in face to face company, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:11-15. Paul’s labors and instructions were performed in a devout and discreet manner, always designed to help and to lift men.

2) "This we commanded you" (touto pareggellomen humin) "This we charged you", "entreated or exhorted you" by love, not by mandate or edict, as a Lord over God’s heritage, 1 Peter 5:3; Matthew 20:25-28.

3) "That if any would not work" (hoti ei tis ou thelei ergazesthai) "That if anyone wills not to work", does not will, or is too lazy to work; he breaks God’s law of livelihood, obligation of every man, to earn his livelihood by labor and toil, Genesis 3:19; 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12.

4) "Neither should he eat". (mede esthieto) "neither let him eat", of your labors, 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.

Verse 11

1) "For we hear that there are some" (akouomen gar tinas) "For we hear (of) some"; Paul had been told by word of mouth, or by letter, that some of the members of the Church in Thessalonica had fostered the first persecution, as fanatical loungers, Acts 17:5.

2) "Which walk among you disorderly", (peripatountas en humin ataktos) "who walk idly among you", disorderly, not busy, but as busybodies, meddlers with affairs of others, sticking noses in other people’s business. Proverbs 20:3; Proverbs 26:17; Proverbs 26:20-22.

3) "Working not at all" (meden ergazomenos) “not even working at all"; in violation of laws of creation, and Divine order, for a well directed family, social, and religious life, Genesis 3:10; Ephesians 4:28.

4) "But are busybodies" (alla periergazomenos) "but are meanders, or busybodies", meddlers in affairs of others, against the will and Word of the Lord, for indolence is the parent of mischief, 1 Timothy 5:13; 1 Peter 4:15.

Verse 12

1) "Now them that are such" (tois de toioutois) "and to such", addressing such behavior, idle, strife inciters, using idle-hands as tools of Satan: (a) contributors to persecution, (b) over and erroneously incited regarding the advent of the Day of the Lord, and (c) foregoing labor to provide for their own needs, 1 Timothy 5:8.

2) "We command and exhort" (parangellomen kai parakaloumen) "we charge and exhort, call alongside to chide and guide", to entreat out of love for truth and the best for men.

3) "By our Lord Jesus Christ" (en kuriou lesou Christo) "In (the) Lord Jesus Christ"; within the sphere of His nature, example, and instructions, Colossians 3:17; Matthew 21:28.

4) "That with quietness they work" (hina meta esuchias ergazomenoi) "in order that they may be working willingly, of their own accord, with quietness", without complaint, at an honest trade, as Paul had done, 1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Corinthians 12:14.

5) "And eat their own bread" (ton heauton arton esthiosin) "and may eat the bread of themselves (earned)", not that of other people; Christians must be taught not to be "moochers", 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 1 Peter 4:15; Paul could preach labors of love and sacrifice, because he practiced it, 1 Corinthians 4:12.

Verse 13

1) "But ye, brethren" (humeis de adelphoi) "But as for you all, brethren”; who have not become idlers and busybodies, those remaining in the ranks of the industrious.

2) "Be not weary" (me egkakesete) "do not lose heart", or courage, or become weary, Galatians 6:9; Hebrews 12:1-3. The weary, those who faint, fall by the wayside, do not "finish the work" the Lord has for them to do, may lose their reward, and be saved only, "as if by fire", 2 John 1:8; 1 Corinthians 3:15; 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

3) "In well doing" (kalopiountes) "while continually doing good, or going on doing good", abounding, going on in the work of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 15:58; Hebrews 10:36; James 5:7-8; Revelation 2:10. Let it be the oft renewed pledge of each child of God to persevere in obedient service, that he may hear a "well done good and faithful servant", commendation from His Lord at the hour of the judgment of rewards, 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; Matthew 25:21; Matthew 25:23.


Dr. Adam Clarke said that "the old proverb about having too many irons in the fire was an abominable old lie. Have all in it--shovel, tongs, and poker." Wesley said, "I am always in haste, but never in a hurry: leisure and I have long taken leave of each other."


Verse 14

1) "And if any man obey not our word" (ei de tis ouch hupakouei to logo hemon) "And if anyone obeys not our word", or gives not attention to our word, as if this were his final instructions from the Lord, regarding issues he had confronted in writing this letter, 2 Thessalonians 2:15.

2) "By this epistle" (dia tes epistoles) "through, or by media of, this epistle or letter", 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3.

3) "Note that man" (touton semeiousthe) "mark this (sort of) man"; the kind of person who walked disorderly, refusing to work, circulating false rumors of Paul’s preaching, misrepresenting the second advent of Christ, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10.

4) "And have no company with him" (me sunanamignusthai auto) "and stand not around in company with him", in church fellowship, in any manner that might seem to give sanction or approval to his way of idleness, and general disobedience to the Lord, 1 Corinthians 5:9; 1 Corinthians 5:11.

5) "That he may be ashamed" (hina entrape) "In order that he may be put or brought to shame", and turn from his evil ways, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; 1 Timothy 6:3-11.

Verse 15

1) "Yet count him not as an enemy" (kai me hos echthron egeisthe) "and yet deem him not as an enemy"; as one who opposes truth intentionally, but ignorantly, that requires discipline. Even the law required a show of mercy to one who had done so wrong as to be beaten with forty stripes. He was thereafter addressed as a brother, not a sinner. Deuteronomy 25:3; Leviticus 19:17-18.

2) "But admonish him as a brother" (alla noutheteite hos adelphon) "but remind, chide, or admonish (him) as a brother", who is weak or thoughtless. After a brother has suffered exclusion from a church fellowship, or received a reprimand, he should be treated as a brother, without giving any appearance of sanction for the wrong for which he was excluded, Galatians 6:1-2; Romans 15:1-4.

Verse 16


1) "Now the Lord of peace himself" (autos de ho kurios tes eirenes)"and the Lord of peace himself". This begins Paul’s concluding benediction upon the Thessalonian brethren, in the name of the Lord of peace, Colossians 3:17.

2) "Give you peace always" (doe humin ten eirene) may he give to you the (this) peace", a fruit of the spirit, so needed in the midst of trials, afflictions, and persecutions, Numbers 6:26; Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:7; Hebrews 13:20; John 14:27.

3) "By all means" (dia pantos en panti tropo) "through always (and) in ever way"; See as in 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

4) "The Lord be with you all" (ho kurios meta panton humon) "The Lord (be) with all of you all"; including all, excluding none; not even the "brother walking disorderly", who even more than others needs the peace, presence, and help of the Lord.

Verse 17

1) "The salutation of Paul with mine own hand" (ho aspasmos toe eme cheiri Paulou) "The greeting (is) by my hand, of Paul".

2) "Which is the token in every epistle:" (ho estin semeion en pase epistole) "which is a sign, a mark, a (certification) in every epistle"; to avoid forgery, as alluded to in 2 Thessalonians 2:2.

3) "So I write" (houtos grapho) "thus I write", or this I certify as my writing, epistle or letter, giving credence of authenticity and quality of inspired writings for canonicity, 1 Corinthians 16:21; Colossians 4:18.

Verse 18

1) "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ" (he charis tou kuriou hemon lesou Christou) "may the grace of the Lord or master of us, Jesus Christ"; See also this form of final salutation Romans 16:24. As our Lord prayed for His church in the Gethsemane prayer, for then and the future, so did Paul, John 17:1-21.

2) "Be with you all. Amen." (meta panton humon) "(be) with all of you all", Amen, or "so mote it be", so may it ever be. This final benediction is much in the spirit of the Aaronic or priestly benediction, Numbers 6:24-26.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/2-thessalonians-3.html. 1985.
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