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Monday, July 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
2 Thessalonians 1

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

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Verse 1

2Th 1:1-2. These verses are the same in thought as the opening verse of the first epistle to the Thessalonians. See that place concerning Sil-vanus and Timotheus.

Verse 3

2Th 1:3. In the preceding epistle Paul expressed thanks for the good report of the brethren in Thessalonica. He repeats it in this place, and adds the word bound, meaning lie is urged toward his attitude by the great truths connected with the work of that congregation. lt is meet denotes that it is propel• because the good influence of their work made them deserving of such consideration. Faith groweth means they were increasing their good works as a result of their faith. (See 1Th 1:3.) This growth included their charity (love) for each other, v hick is the meaning of the word aboundeth.

Verse 4

2Th 1:4. We ourselves glory in you is not said in the sense of vanity or puffed-up boasting. It means that Paul spoke very commendably of their good work, when he had any contact with other churches. Churches of God is the same as "churches of Christ" (Rom 16:16), because God and Christ are one in spirit and purpose. Patience and faith are very logically coupled together, for a Chrisitan's Patience will be no greater than his faith. These brethren were put to a special test of these qualities by their enemies among the Jews (Act 17:1-9). Persecutions and tribulations are virtually the same, the former having special reference to the disagreeable treatment of the body, the latter to its effect on the mind by way of worrisome concern.

Verse 5

2Th 1:5. It is God's judgment that the faithful servants shall prove their faith by enduring persecutions (2Ti 3:12), such an experience being a proof that they are true disciples. Knowing that such persons will actually endure their trials, He has rebarded such a truth as rendering them worthy of the test. (See Act 5:41; Jas 1:2 Jas 1:4; 1Pe 4:12-14.) This is why Paul refers to the matter as a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God. The Lord knows how much the true disciples can withstand, hence He will not suffer them to be tried beyond that (1Co 10:13); and when they come out of their trials as victors over evil, it proves the righteousness of His judgment.

Verse 6

2Th 1:6. God will suffer evil men to persecute His children in this world, knowing they will withstand the test and thus prove their worthiness to be counted as heirs of the kingdom. But these evil doers will get their just dues after a while, and such a dealing with them is declared to be a righteous thing. Recompense means to repay or "deal out"; tribulation denotes trouble or punishment. The verse means that God will deal out punishment to the ones who have been troubling His children.

Verse 7

2Th 1:7. The word rest is a noun (not a verb), and it is the object of the verb "recompense" in the preceding verse. The two verses contain a sentence that has two objects. God is the actor or subject; recompense is the verb or predicate; tribulation and rest are the objects. Since these objects are opposite in kind, it follows that they will not be recompensed to the same people. The preceding verse says the tribulation will be recompensed to the troublers of God's children; this verse says the rest will be recompensed to the ones who are troubled by these evil workers. With us means that faithful Christians will join wth the apostles in enjoying this rest--the rest that "remaineth to the people of God" (Heb 4:9). The time when all this is to take place will be when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his angels.

Verse 8

2Th 1:8. In flaming fire. The first word is from the Greek EN, and Thayer's general definition is, "in, on, at, with, by, among." In the King James Version it has been rendered through 37 times, by 142, with 139. In Luk 21:27; Act 1:9-11; Rev 1:7 it is shown that Jesus will actually be accompanied with clouds when he comes, yet there is no teaching that clouds will be used as instruments for the punishment of the unrighteous. On the other hand, there is plenty of scripture that teaches us that fire will be the element used in their punishment. (See Mat 3:12 Mat 25:41; Mar 9:43-48; 2Pe 3:7; Rev 20:15 Rev 21:8.) From this information the conclusion is that when Jesus comes he will be prepared to administer the fire upon the unsaved. All fire will burn, but a flame is more active and penetrating, so the phrase j laming fire is used to indicate the intensity of punishment that is to be inflicted upon the wicked. Vengeance is not used in the sense of spitework or the "get-even" spirit as men often do, but it is from an original that means legal and judicial punishment on one who has shown disrespect for some law. Know nut God means those who refuse to recognize Him, and that attitude is manifested by their refusal to obey the Gospel of Christ who is the Son of God.

Verse 9

2Th 1:9. The preceding verse names the element the Lord will use in punishing the disobedient. This verse shows the nature or extent of that punishment, that it will be everlasting. The unrighteous will first be sentenced to this fate, which is one meaning of the word for punished. It is the same Greek word translated "Judgment" in Act 25:15, where Festus says he was asked to have judgment (meaning a sentence) against Paul. So our verse means Jesus will pronounce the sentence when he comes, and the verdict will begin to be served on that day. The punishment to which the unsaved will be sentenced is described next. Destruction is from OLETHROS, which Thayer defines, "ruin, destruction, death," and he explains it to mean, "the loss of a life of blessedness after death, future misery." The word does not mean total annihilation as certain false teachers claim. The wicked will not cease to be, but their right to happiness will be totally destroyed. Hence they will be driven from the presence of God, and the separation will be everlasting.

Verse 10

2Th 1:10. The nature and extent of the punishment to be pronounced against the unsaved are set forth in the preceding two verses, and the occasion when such a sentence will be announced is stated in this verse, namely, when Jesus comes again. Glorified in his saints. Other believers are mentioned in addition to these saints, hence these are the "ten thousand of his saints" mentioned in Jud 1:14. Their presence with Him at that time will be a glory to him, in the same sense that a person of great dignity is honored upon his entry into a place, by a vast escort of other persons of high rank. This distinction is indicated further by what is said of others who are called believers who will admire Jesus when he comes. It is made definite by the words among you, in direct connection with the fact of the testimony of the apostles having been delivered to them, and believed by them. Another conclusion is justified by these several verses, namely, that the sentencing of the wicked, and the resurrection and ascension of the righteous (1Th 4:16-17) will occur at the same time, although the entire story is not told in any one place.

Verse 11

2Th 1:11. In Eph 4:1 Paul exhorts brethren to walk worthy of their calling, and in this verse he expresses the same thought in a differ-ent wording. He prays that God would count or consider the Thessalonians worthy, which would require that they live as they should, since God will not favor any unworthy persons. God is perfectly good, and will not take pleasure in the disciples unless they fulfill the conditions on which such grace is promised. Those conditions must be a work of faith, and that means according to the Gospel, since it is the power that directs men and women into salvation (Rom 1:16).

Verse 12

2Th 1:12. When Christians prove their faith by their works, they will thereby glorify the Lord. By the same token the glory of the Lord will be given upon them, for both Lord and servant are to work together (1Co 3:9). This entire workmanship is according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 1". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/2-thessalonians-1.html. 1952.
 
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