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He craveth their prayers for himself, 3 testifieth what confidence he hath in them, 5 maketh request to God in their behalf, 6 giveth them divers precepts, especially to shun idleness, and ill company, 16 and last of all concludeth with prayer and salutation.
1. Finally [the word used by one who is rapidly proceeding to the end of what he has to say], brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified [a delicate reference here to the Psalter], even as it is with you:
2. And that we may be delivered from [the] unreasonable [Gr. absurd] and wicked men: for all men have not faith [for it is not all that have faith].
3. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil [guard you from the Evil One].
4. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
5. And [but may] the Lord direct your hearts, [another instance of prayer to Christ] into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ [or "the patience of Christ."]
6. Now we command you, brethren [omit "brethren." This passage is important as bearing upon Apostolical authority] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves [means "to abstain from habitual conversation with," "to keep at a distance from" "to treat with studied distance and coldness"] from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
7. For yourselves know how [it is better to teach by one's life than by one's sermons] ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you:
8. Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought [gratis, i.e. from a low, material point of view. Assuredly, the missionary or pastor does not get his bread without giving return, even when he pays no money for it. Cf. St. Luke 10:7 ; St. Mat 10:10 ]; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
9. Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
10. For even when we were with you, this [the A.V. well marks the emphatic position of the pronoun this in the original] we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat [a favourite proverb in the Jewish schools].
11. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies [busy only with what is not their own business].
12. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ [Chrysostom notes the softening tone of the Apostle here], that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread [ their own is very emphatic, not other people's].
13. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing [Bishop Ellicott well translates "lose not heart in well doing."]
14. And if any man obey not our word by this Epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
15. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
16. Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace [Now he, the Lord of the Peace, give you his peace, a reference to the peace which Christ promised (St. Joh 14:27 ). Again a prayer to Christ] always by all means. The Lord be with you all. [The old liturgical form, Latin and Greek, which took the place of Num 6:24 in the old rite. It most probably refers to the great promise ("I am with you alway," St. Mat 28:20 ), and implies, "may that promise be fulfilled!"]
17. The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every Epistle: so I write [suggests a security against the possibility of forgery].
18. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. [With some slight variations in form, the "Grace" closes all the Pauline Epistles (and that to the Hebrews), and is peculiar to them. "Such a preacher of Divine Grace was Paul!" (Estius).] Amen.
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Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 3". Parker's The People's Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany