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Bible Commentaries

George Milligan - Paul's Epistle to the Thessalonians
1 Thessalonians 2

 

 

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Verse 1

1, 2. ‘Why speak however of the report of others, seeing that we can confidently appeal to your own experience as to the effective character of our ministry. For even though we were subjected to shameful contumely, as you well know, at Philippi, nevertheless we boldly declared to you the Gospel of God. Not that this boldness was our own. It came to us from God, and so upheld us in the midst of the opposition we encountered.’

1. αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἴδατε κτλ.] An appeal again to the Thessalonians’ own experience (cf. 1:5), as distinguished from the report of others ( αὐτοί emph.), and strengthened in the present instance by the repetition of the significant ἀδελφοί (cf. 1:4); while the resumptive γάρ refers back to 1:9a, and in meaning is almost = ‘however.’

οὐ κενὴ γέγονεν] ‘hath not been found vain’—the reference being to the essential content of the Apostles’ preaching rather than to its results. (Chrys.: οὐκ ἀνθρωπίνη, οὐδὲ τυχοῦσα; Beng.: ‘non inanis, sed plena virtutis.’) That however an enduring result was secured is proved by the perf. γέγονεν. For κενός in this sense cf. 1 Corinthians 15:10 and see Trench Syn. § 49., and for the form of the sentence by which οἴδατε claims in anticipation the subj. of γέγονεν for its object see WM. p. 781.


Verse 2

2. ἀλλὰ προπαθόντες κτλ.] See Acts 16:19 ff., Philippians 1:30. προπαθόντες (class., ἅπ. λεγ. N.T.) finds its full explanation in the second participle which is almost = ὥστε καὶ ὑβρισθῆναι: cf. Dem. c. Conon. ad init. ὑβρισθείς, ἄνδρες δικασταί, καὶ παθὼν ὑπὸ κόνωνος (cited by Wetstein). More than the bodily suffering it was the personal indignity that had been offered to him as a Roman citizen (cf. Cic. in Verr. 5:66 ‘scelus verberare [civem Romahum]’) that had awakened a sense of contumely in St Paul’s mind. For a similar use of ὑβρίζειν cf. Matthew 22:6, Luke 18:32, Acts 14:5, 2 Maccabees 14:42, 3 Maccabees 6:9. The somewhat awkward repetition of καθὼς οἴδατε after οἴδατε (v. 1) brings out strongly the writers’ desire to carry their readers along with them (Intr. p. 44).

ἐπαρρησιασάμεθα ἐν τῷ θεῷ κτλ.] In itself ἐπαρρησιασάμεθα may refer generally to the Apostles’ whole attitude, but as the verb is always used elsewhere in the N.T. (Acts 7, Ephesians 1) of the bold proclamation of the Gospel it is better to give it the full meaning ‘became bold of speech’ (aor. of inception, Kühner3 § 386. 5), the nature of this boldness being further brought out by the explanatory inf. λαλῆσαι (1:8 note), while the added clause ἐν τ. θεῷ ἡμ. points to its true source. Oecum.: διὰ τὸν ἐνδυναμοῦντα θεὸν τοῦτο ποιῆσαι τεθαρρήκαμεν.

The expression ‘our God’ is rare in the Pauline Epp., occurring elsewhere only in 3:9, 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, 1 Corinthians 6:11 : it is common in the Apocalypse.

ἐν πολλῷ ἀγῶνι] ‘in much conflict’—the reference, as the context shows, being to the external dangers to which the Apostles had been subjected (O.L. in multo certamine) rather than to any internal fears on their part (Vg. in multa sollicitudine, cf. Colossians 2:1): cf. Philippians 1:30 τὸν αὐτὸν ἀγῶνα ἔχοντες οἷον εἴδετε ἐν ἐμοί, 1 Timothy 6:12 ἀγωνίζου τὸν καλὸν ἀγῶνα τῆς πίστεως. The metaphor, as in the case of the allied ἀθλεῖν, ἄθλησις (2 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 10:32), is derived from the athletic ground: cf. Epict. Diss. 4:4. 30 where life is compared to an Olympic festival in which God has given us the opportunity of showing of what stuff we are made— ἐλθὲ ἤδη ἐπὶ τὸν ἀγῶνα, δεῖξον ἡμῖν τί ἔμαθες, πῶς ἤθλησας.


Verse 3

3–7a. ‘We said that we were bold in God, and that it was the Gospel of God we preached, and we said rightly, for our whole appeal to you is not rooted in error, neither has it any connexion with licentious and delusive practices (as was the case with some of your old religious teachers). On the contrary, as those who have been approved by the all-seeing God Himself we were entrusted with His Gospel. It is this indeed which makes us independent of all merely human considerations. And consequently we did not at any time play the part of flatterers, as you well know, nor, and here we call God Himself to witness, did we under any fair outward pretext conceal an inward spirit of covetousness. On the contrary worldly glory either at your hands or at the hands of others was so little in our thoughts, that we did not even demand the support and honour to which as Apostles of Christ we were entitled.’

3. παράκλησις] Vg. Ambrstr. exhortatio, Tert. aduocatio. Though closely allied with διδαχή (Chrys.) or διδασκαλία (Thdt.), παράκλησις is not to be identified with either, but implies something more in the nature of an appeal (Euth. Zig.: διδασκαλία, πρὸς τὸ πιστεῦσαι προτροπή), having for its object the direct benefit of those addressed, and which may be either hortatory or consolatory according to circumstances: cf. the almost technical use of λόγος παρακλήσεως in Acts 13:15. In the present instance παράκλησις is what Bengel finely calls ‘totum praeconium evangelicum, passionum dulcedine tinctum.’

A characteristic use of the word in ordinary life is cited by Wohlenberg from Polyb. 3:109. 6 f., where with reference to the address of Aemilius Paulus to the soldiers before the battle of Cannae it is said that for the hired soldier τῆς παρακλήσεως τρόπος is necessary, but that for those who fight for life and country no such exhortation is required— ὑπομνήσεως μόνον, παρακλήσεως δʼ οὐ, προσδεῖ. For the corresponding verb παρακαλεῖν see the note on v. 11.

οὐκ ἐκ πλάνης] ‘does not arise out of error,’ πλάνης, as ἐκ (not ἐν) proves, being used, as apparently always in the N.T., in the pass. sense of ‘error’ rather than in the act. sense of ‘deceit.’ In contrast with false teachers who are not only ‘deceivers’ but ‘deceived’ ( πλανῶντες κ. πλανώμενοι, 2 Timothy 3:13) the Apostles know whom they have believed (2 Timothy 1:12), and are confident in ‘the word of the truth of the gospel’ (Colossians 1:5) which they have been called upon to declare (cf. Ephesians 4:14 f., and see also 1 John 4:6).

οὐδὲ ἐξ ἀκαθαρσίας] ‘nor out of uncleanness’—the reference being not to ‘covetousness,’ a meaning of ἀκαθαρσία for which no sufficient warrant can be produced, nor even to ‘impure motives,’ but to actual ‘impurity,’ ‘sensuality’ (cf. 4:7, Romans 6:19), the ‘disclaimer, startling as it may seem,’ being not ‘unneeded amidst the impurities consecrated by the religions of the day’ (Lft.): see further Intr. p. 46.

οὐδὲ ἐν δόλῳ] a new and distinct negative clause ( οὐδέ, Buttmann p. 366), the ἐν, as distinguished from the preceding ἐκ (bis) of the originating cause, drawing attention rather to the general habit or method of the Apostles, working. Unlike the ἐργάται δόλιοι with whom at the time they were confronted (2 Corinthians 11:13, cf. 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 4:2), and with whose ‘guile’ they were sometimes charged (2 Corinthians 12:16), they had never used unworthy means for ensnaring ( δόλος from same root as δέλεαρ a bait, Curtius Gr. Etym. § 271) their converts. Thdt.: οὔτε μὴν δόλῳ χρώμενοι συνεργῷ εἰς ὄλεθρον ὑμᾶς θηρεύομεν. For the absence of δόλος as a mark of Christ Himself see 1 Peter 2:22 (Isaiah 53:9): cf. also John 1:47.


Verse 4

4. ἀλλὰ καθὼς δεδοκιμάσμεθα κτλ.] ‘but according as we have been approved by God.’ δοκιμάζω means originally ‘put to the test’ (cf. v. 4b, 1 Corinthians 3:13), but in the N.T. generally conveys the added thought that the test has been successfully surmounted (Romans 1:28; Romans 2:18; Romans 14:22), in accordance with the technical use of the word to describe the passing as fit for election to a public office, e.g. Plato Legg. 6:765 c, d οὓς ἂν καὶ ψῆφος τῶν δοκιμαζόντων δοκιμάση· ἐὰν δέ τις ἀποδοκιμασθῇ κτλ., and from the inscriptions such a passage as C.I.A. 3:23, 3:30 ff. νόμος ἐραν[ ις] τῶν· [ μη] δενὶ [ ξ] έστω ( ε) ἰσι[ έν] αι [ εἰς] τὴν σεμνοτά[ τ] ην σύνοδον τῶν ἐρανιστῶν π[ρὶ] ν ἂν δοκιμασθῇ: cf. Magn. 113, 9 ff. ἀνὴρ δεδοκιμασμένος τοῖς θείοις κριτηρίοις τῶν σεβαστῶν ἐπί τε τῇ τέχνῃ κτλ. In the LXX. the idea of approval is as a rule wanting, but cf. 2 Maccabees 4:3 διά τινος τῶν ὑπὸ τοῦ σίμωνος δεδοκιμασμένων, ‘through one of Simon’s tried (or trusted) followers.’

In the present passage the verb is ahnost = ἀξιοῦν (2 Thessalonians 1:11), though we must beware of finding hero any suggestion of innate fitness on the Apostles’ part (Chrys.: εἰ μὴ εἶδε παντὸς ἀπηλλαγμένους βιωτικοῦ, οὐκ ἂν ἡμᾶς εἵλετο). The whole point is that their preaching is to be referred entirely to God as its source, in contrast with the sources previously disowned: they had been, and still were, ‘entrusted’ with it (‘nicht befunden … sondern genommen’ Hofmann).

πιστευθῆναι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον] For this use of πιστεύομαι cf. Romans 3:2, Galatians 2:7, 1 Timothy 1:11, Titus 1:3, and for the construction see WM. p. 287. πιστεύομαι c. gen. as sometimes in late Gk. (e.g. Polyb. 6:56. 13 πιστευθεὶς ταλάντου) does not occur in the N.T.

οὕτως] not the antecedent to the following ὡς, but = ‘in the same manner,’ ‘in accordance therewith’ with reference to the Divine commission just spoken of; cf. Matthew 5:16, Ephesians 5:28.

οὐχ ὡς ἀνθρώποις ἀρέσκοντες] not a mere restatement of the preceding clause in another light according to a favourite Pauline practice (cf. Colossians 1:5 b, 1:6), but an independent clause describing the manner of the Apostles’ preaching in contrast with the charge of ἐν δόλῳ, and rendered more emphatic by the substitution of οὐ for the more regular μή with the participle. On this construction for the statement of a definite fact see Moulton Prolegg. p. 231 f., where it is fully illustrated from the papyri, e.g. P.Oxy. 726, 10 f. (2./a.d.) οὐ δυνάμενος διʼ [ ς] θένειαν πλεῦσαι, ‘since he is unable through sickness to make the voyage.’ For the general thought cf. Psalms 52. (53.) 6, Pss. Song of Solomon 4:8 ἀνακαλύψαι θεὸς τὰ ἔργα ἀνθρώπων ἀνθρωπαρέσκων. In no case must ἀρέσκοντες be weakened into ‘seeking to please.’ The statement is absolute, and the verb here betrays something of the idea of actual service in the interests of others (cf. Romans 15:1; Romans 15:3, 1 Corinthians 10:33), which we find associated with it in late Gk. Thus in monumental inscriptions the words ἀρέσαντες τῇ πόλει, τῇ πατρίδι &c., are used to describe those who have proved themselves of use to the commonwealth as in O.G.I.S. 646, 12 (Palmyra, 3./a.d.) ἀρέσαντα τῇ τε αὐτῇ βουλῇ καὶ τῷ δήμῳ.

ἀλλὰ θεῷ τῷ δοκιμάζοντι κτλ.] δοκιμάζοντι chosen here with reference to the preceding δεδοκιμάσμεθα (for a similar word-play cf. Jeremiah 6:30) shows a tendency to relapse into its original meaning of ‘prove,’ ‘try’ (Beza Deo exploranti, Est. ‘vtpote cordium nostrorum inspectorem et exploratorem’): cf. Jeremiah 11:20 κύριε κρίνων δίκαια, δοκιμάζων νεφροὺς καὶ καρδίας.

καρδία, according to Bibl. usage, is the focus of the personal life, the centre of all, intellectual as well as emotional, that goes to make up the moral character, and is thus equivalent to the inner, hidden man known to God alone, cf. 1 Regn. 16:7, Acts 1:24, Romans 8:27, Revelation 2:23, and see art. ‘Heart’ in Hastings’ D.B. The use of the plur. here and of ψυχάς (v. 8) cannot be explained by the attraction of the plur. verb, but shows that throughout St Paul is thinking of his fellow-preachers at Thessalonica as well as of himself (Intr. p. 34 f.).


Verse 5

5. οὔτε ... ἐν λόγῳ κολακίας ἐγενήθημεν] ‘For neither at any time did we fall into the use of speech of flattery’— λόγῳ being clearly the preachers’ own ‘discourse’ or ‘teaching’ at Thessalonica, and not the ‘report’ of others regarding it.

κολακία (for form, WH.2 Notes p. 160) ἅπ. κεγ. N.T., though common in class, writers, carries with it the idea of the tortuous methods by which one man seeks to gain influence over another, generally for selfish ends. Thus Aristotle defines the κόλαξ: δʼ ὅπως ὠφέλειά τις αὑτῷ γίγνηται εἰς χρήματα καὶ ὅσα διὰ χρημάτων, κόλαξ (Eth. Nic. 4:12. 4:9): cf. Theophr. Charact. 2 τὴν δὲ κολακείαν ὑπολάβοι ἄν τις ὁμιλίαν αἰσχρὰν εἶναι, συμφέρουσαν δὲ τῷ κολακεύοντι. How easily such a charge might be brought against the Apostles is evident from what we know of the conduct of the heathen rhetoricians of the day, cf. Dion Cass. Hist. Rom. 71:35, Dion Chrys. Orat. 32, p. 403.

For a new work περὶ κολακείας by Philodemus the Epicurean (50 b.c.) see Rhein. Museum 56. p. 623.

For γίνεσθαι ἐν (versari in) meaning entrance into and continuance in a given state or condition cf. Romans 16:7, 1 Corinthians 2:3, 2 Corinthians 3:7, Philippians 2:7, 1 Timothy 2:14, Sus. 8 ἐγένοντο ἐν ἐπιθυμίᾳ αὐτῆς.

προφάσει πλεονεξίας] i.e. ‘the cloak of which covetousness avails itself.’ Had covetousness been the preachers’ motive it would have hidden itself under some outward pretext (cf. Hor Epist. I Thessalonians 16:45 ‘introrsum turpem, speciosum pelle decora’). Beng.: ‘praetextu specioso, quo tegeremus avaritiam.’

πρόφασις (wrongly rendered occasio Vg., Clarom., Calv., Est.) is the ostensible reason for which a thing is done, and generally points to a false reason as opposed to the true, cf. εἴτε προφάσει εἴτε ἀληθείᾳ, Philippians 1:18, and the class, parallels there adduced by Wetstein, and see also P.Oxy. 237. 6:31, 7:11, 7:13, 7:16 (2./a.d.); while πλεονεξία, though often associated by St Paul with sins of the flesh (Ephesians 4:19; Ephesians 5:3, cf. 1 Corinthians 5:9 ff; 1 Corinthians 6:9 f., and see also Musonius p. 90 (ed. Hense) θεὸς ... ἀήττητος μὲν ἡδονῆς, ἀήττητος δὲ πλεονεξίας), is in itself simply ‘covetousness,’ being distinguished from φιλαργυρία ‘avarice’ as the wider and more active sin: see Lft.’s note on Colossians 3:5 where it is explained as ‘entire disregard for the rights of others.’

θεὸς μάρτυς] Cf. v. 10, also Romans 1:9, 2 Corinthians 1:23, Philippians 1:8. Chrys.: ὅπερ ἦν δῆλον, αὐτοὺς καλεῖ μάρτυρας ... ὅπερ δὲ ἄδηλον ἦν ... θεὸν καλεῖ μάρτυρα. Dr Dods aptly compares Cromwell’s declaration to his first Parliament: ‘That I lie not in matter of fact, is known to very many; but whether I tell a lie in my heart, as labouring to represent to you what was not upon my heart, I say, the Lord be judge.’


Verse 6

6. οὔτε ζητοῦντες κτλ.] Upon the repudiation of covetousness follows naturally the repudiation of worldly ambition (cf. Acts 20:19, 2 Corinthians 4:5, Ephesians 4:2). Calv.: ‘duo enim sunt isti fontes, ex quibus manat totius ministerii corruptio.’ For ζητεῖν in the sense of selfish seeking cf. Romans 10:3, 1 Corinthians 10:24; 1 Corinthians 10:33; 1 Corinthians 13:5, 2 Corinthians 12:14, Philippians 2:21, and for δόξα in its original sense of ‘good opinion’ see note on v. 12. In Hellenistic Gk. ἐξ and ἀπό are frequently used interchangeably (WM. p. 512, Moulton Prolegg. p. 237, Meisterhans p. 212): in accordance however with the earlier distinction between them ἐξ may here point to the ultimate source, and ἀπό rather to the more immediate agents (Ambrstr. ex hominibus … a uobis).

It should be noted that what the Apostles disclaim is the desire of popularity. Th. Mops.: ‘cautissime enim posuit non quaerentes; hoc est, “non auspicantes hoc,” nec hanc habentes actus nostri intentionem.’


Verse 7

7a. δυνάμενοι ἐν βάρει εἶναι] ‘when we might have been burdensome’ (Wycl. whanne we … myten haue be in charge)—a concessive part. clause subordinate to the preceding ζητοῦντες. Most modern editors follow the A.V. in regarding this clause as part of v. 6.

βάρος is here understood (1) in its simple meaning of ‘weight,’ ‘burden’ (Vg. oneri esse), with reference to the Apostles’ right of maintenance, cf. v. 9, and see further 2 Thessalonians 3:8, 1 Corinthians 9:11, 2 Corinthians 11:7 ff., Galatians 6:6, also Jos. Antt. 1. 250 (16:2) οὐδὲ γὰρ ἔσεσθαι βαρὺς ... δαπάναις ἰδίαις χρησάμενος; or (2) in its derived sense of ‘authority,’ ‘dignity’ (Clarom. in gravitate [honore] esse), pointing to the honour they might have expected to receive at the Thessalonians’ hands, cf. 2 Corinthians 4:17 βάρος δόξης, Polyb. 4:32. 7 πρὸς τὸ βάρος τὸ λακεδαιμονίων, Diod. Sic. 4:61 διὰ τὸ βάρος τῆς πόλεως. The two meanings are however compatible, and it is probable that St Paul plays here on the double sense of the phrase: cf. the Latin proverb ‘Hones propter onus.’

ὡς χριστοῦ ἀπόστολοι] χριστοῦ poss. gen., placed emphatically first to show whose Apostles they were, and why therefore they were entitled to claim honour (cf. Add. Note D). For the title ἀπόστολοι here including Silvanus and Timothy almost in the sense of our missionaries cf. Acts 14:4; Acts 14:14, Romans 16:7, 2 Corinthians 8:23; 2 Corinthians 11:13, Philippians 2:25, Revelation 2:2, Didache 11:3 f.; and for the wider use of the word generally see Lft. Gal.10 p. 92 ff., Harnack Die Lehre der zwölf Apostel p. 93 ff., Hort Ecclesia p. 22 ff.

In class. Gk. ἀπόστολος generally denotes ‘a fleet,’ ‘an expedition’ (cf. Dittenberger Sylloge2 153, an Attic inscription 4./b.c., and see Archiv 3. p. 221), but it occurs in Herodotus in the sense of ‘messenger,’ ‘envoy’ (1:21, cf. 5:38), and is found with the same meaning in 3 Regn. 14:6 A ἐγὼ εἶμι ἀπόστολος πρός σε σκληρός (cf. Sm., Isaiah 18:2). See also the interesting fragment in P.Par. p. 411 f. (2./b.c.), where, if we can accept the editor’s restoration of the missing letters, we read of a public official who had sent to a delinquent a messenger ( ἀπόστολον) bearing the orders he had disregarded—[ ἐπες] ταλκότων ἡμῶν πρός σε τὸν ἀπ[ όστολον]. Upon the existence of ‘apostles’ among the Jews see Harnack Miss. u. Ausbr. p. 237 ff. (Engl. Tr. 1. p. 409 ff.), and cf. Krauss Die jüdischen Apostel in J.Q.R. 1905, p. 370 ff.

7b–12. A positive counterpart to the previously-mentioned hostile charges.

7b, 8. ‘Nay, we went further, for to establish a sure bond of sympathy with you we showed ourselves ready to act the part of children in your midst. Or we may put it in this way—we yearned over you with the same tender affection that a nursing-mother displays towards her children. With such deep affection indeed did we long after you that we shared with you not only the Gospel of God, but also our very lives—so dear had you proved yourselves to us.’

7b. ἀλλὰ ἐγενήθημεν νήπιοι κτλ.] The reading here is doubtful. If νήπιοι ( א*BC*D*G minusc. aliq.) be adopted, the whole clause is the avowal on the writers’ part of their becoming as children to children, speaking what St Augustine describes as ‘decurtata et mutilata verba’ (de catech, rud. 15), baby-language to those who were still babes in the faith: cf. Origen on Matthew 15:17 ἀπόστολος ἐγένετο νήπιος καὶ παραπλήσιος τροφῷ θαλπούσῃ τὸ ἑαυτῆς παιδίον καὶ λαλούσῃ λόγους ὡς παιδίον διὰ τὸ παιδίον. On the other hand, if the well-attested πιοι ( אcACbDcKLP 17 &c.) be preferred, the Apostolic ‘gentleness’ is placed in striking contrast with the slanders that had been insinuated against them (vv. 5, 6): cf. 2 Timothy 2:24 where πιος εἶναι is mentioned as a mark of the true pastor. This agreement with the context leads most modern editors and commentators to favour πιοι, especially as the reading νήπιοι can be easily explained as due to dittography of the final ν of ἐγενήθημεν. WH.2 (Notes p. 128), on the other hand, point out that ‘the second ν might be inserted or omitted with equal facility,’ and that ‘the change from the bold image to the tame and facile adjective is characteristic of the difference between St Paul and the Syrian revisors.’

ἐν μέσῳ ὑμῶν] i.e. ‘as one of yourselves,’ ‘without any undue assumption of authority.’ Beng.: ‘non age-bant, quasi ex cathedra.’ Cf. our Lord’s own words: ἐγὼ δὲ ἐν μέσῳ ὑμῶν εἰμὶ ὡς διακονῶν (Luke 22:27).

ὡς ἐὰν τροφὸς θάλπῃ κτλ.] ‘as if a nurse were cherishing her own children’: cf. Galatians 4:19. By a sadden change of metaphor by no means uncommon in the Pauline writings (cf. 5:2, 5:4, 2 Corinthians 3:13 ff.) the attitude of the Apostles is now described as that of a ‘nurse,’ or rather a ‘nursing-mother’ towards her children. Th. Mops.: ‘“nutricem” nero hoe in loco matrem dixit quae filios sues nutrit’: cf. Aug. Serm. 23:3. Too much stress however in this connexion must not be laid on ἑαυτῆς which in late Gk. has lost much of its emphatic force: cf. the common legal formula in the papyri by which a woman appears μετὰ κυρίου τοῦ ἑαυτῆς ἀνδρός, e.g. P.Grenf. 1:18, 1:4 f. (2./b.c.).

τροφός, ἅπ. λεγ. N.T., occurs in the LXX., Genesis 35:8; Genesis 35:4 Regn. 11:2, 2 Chronicles 22:11, Isaiah 49:23 as the translation of מֵינֶקֶת cf. also B.G.U. 297, 12 ff. (1./a.d.) where a nurse acknowledges that she had received τὰ τροφεῖα καὶ τὰ ἔλαια καὶ τὸν ἱματισμὸν καὶ τἄλλα ὅσα καθήκει δίδοσθαι τροφῷ τοῦ τῆς γαλακτοτροφίας διετοῦς χρόνου καὶ τιθηνήσεως μηνῶν ἕξ κτλ. For τροφός = μήτηρ see Kaibel Epigrammata Graeca (1878) 247, 7 (1./2. a.d.).

The poetic θάλπω, elsewhere in N.T. only Ephesians 5:29 ( ἐκτρέφει κ. θάλπει), means properly ‘to warm,’ and thence, like the Lat. fovere, comes to signify ‘cherish,’ ‘foster’: cf. Deuteronomy 22:6 καὶ μήτηρ θάλπῃ ἐπὶ τῶν νοσσῶν, and for its metaphorical use see O.G.I.S. 194, 6 (1./B.C.) τὴν πόλιν ἔθαλψε.

It may be added that, while the sense seems to favour the use of ἐάν as the ordinary conditional particle, it is possible that we have here an instance of the late use of ἐάν for ἔν (WM. p. 390), ὡς ἐάν then implying ‘a standing contingency, —“as it may be (may be seen) at any time”’ (Findlay). For early instances of this use of ἐάν from the κοινή cf. P. Petr. 3:43 (2), 3:4 (3./b.c.) ὅσωι ἐὰν πλεῖον εὕρηι, P.Grenf. 1:18, 1:27 (2./b.c.) ἐξ οὗ ἐὰν αἱρῆται, and see further Moulton Prolegg. pp. 43, 234, Mayser p. 152 f.


Verse 8

8. οὕτως ὀμειρόμενοι ὑμῶν] ‘even so being eagerly desirous of you’ (Vg. ita desiderantes vos, Beza ira cupidi vestri). ὀμείρομαι (for breathing, WH.2 Notes p. 151) is not found elsewhere in the Bibl. writings except in Job 3:21 (cf. Sm. Psalms 62. (63.) 2). The common derivation from ὁμοῦ and εἴρειν (hence Thpht. = προσδεδεμένοι, Oecum. = ἀντεχόμενοι ὑμῶν) is philologically impossible, and Dr J. H. Moulton suggests rather the smer ‘to remember’ (Skt. smirti ‘memory,’ smarâmi ‘I remember,’ Lat. memor) with a prepositional element, and compares as parallel formations δύρομαι and ὀδύρομαι, κέλλω and ὀκέλλω, - μόργνυμι, - κεανός (ptc. of - κεῖμαι ‘to lie around’). Wohlenberg conjectures that it may here be used ‘as a term of endearment’ (‘edles Kosewort’) derived from the language of the nursery: cf. note on νήπιοι (v. 7). For the construction with the gen. in the case of verbs of ‘longing’ see Kühner3 § 416, 4 b.

ηὐδοκοῦμεν] The absence of ἄν with ηὐδοκοῦμεν (for augment, WH.2 Notes p. 169, WSchm. p. 101) points to a result actually reached, while the verb itself which is only found in late Gk. (in LXX. frequently for רָצָה) draws attention to the hearty goodwill attending the writer’s attitude ‘were well-pleased’ (Vg. cupide volebamus). Cf. the use of εὐδοκεῖν in 1 Corinthians 1:21; 1 Corinthians 10:5, Galatians 1:15, with reference to God, and in Romans 15:26 f., 2 Corinthians 5:8; 2 Corinthians 12:10 with reference to man; see also the note on εὐδοκία, 2 Thessalonians 1:11, and for a full discussion of both words Fritzsche Röm. 2. p. 369 ff. An interesting ex. of εὐδοκεῖν is afforded by P.Lond. 1. 3, 6 ff. (2./b.c.) ηὐδόκησάς με τῆς τιμ[ ῆς τ] οῦ ἡμίσους τοῦ [ τρί] του λογείας τῶν κειμένων νεκρῶν, apparently = ‘thou hast granted me the honour of the half of the offerings collected for the dead (mummies).’ In legal documents the verb is frequent in the sense of ‘give consent,’ e.g. in the marriage-contract P.Oxy. 496, 8 (2./a.d.) where the husband is not allowed to dispose of certain property χωρὶς εὐδοκούσης τῆς γαμουμένης, ‘without the consent of the bride’: see further Gradenwitz Einführung 1. p. 160 ff.

τὰς ἑαυτῶν ψυχάς] ‘our very lives,’ ‘our very selves’— ψυχάς (for plur. cf. v. 4 note) according to its ordinary Bibl. usage laying stress on what belonged essentially to the writers’ personality (Beng.: ‘anima nostra cupiebat quasi immeare in animam vestram’): cf. Mark 8:35, 2 Corinthians 12:15, Sir. 35:23 (32:27) ἐν παντὶ ἔργῳ πίστευε τῇ ψυχῇ σου, and for a full discussion of ψυχή in the LXX. see Hatch Essays p. 101 ff.

For the reflexive ἑαυτῶν referring to the 1st pers. plur. cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:9 (note), Romans 8:23, 2 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 3:5 &c. (WM. p. 187, WSchm. p. 204); and see P.Par. 47, 26 (2./b.c.) αὑτοὺς δεδώκαμεν, P.Tebt. 47, 30 f. (2./b.c.) ἵνʼ ἡμεῖς μὲν κομισώμεθα τὰ ἑαυτῶν (Mayser, p. 303).

διότι ἀγαπητοί κτλ.] Out of the Apostles’ intercourse with the Thessalonians a relationship of love ( ἀγαπ. used by St Paul of his converts in all groups of his Epp.) had been developed once for all (aor. ἐγενήθητε) which had led to the consequent ηὐδοκοῦμεν κτλ.

διότι (propterea qued) has apparently always a causal force in the N.T. (Wilke ntl. Rhet. p. 251), though in the LXX. and late Gk. generally it is also frequently found in a sense differing little from ὅτι ‘that’: cf. 2 Maccabees 7:37 ἐξομολογήσασθαι διότι μόνος αὐτὸς θεός ἐστιν, B.G.U. 1011. 2:15 ff. (2./b.c.) διότι γὰρ πολ[ λὰ] ληρώι[ δη] καὶ ψευδῆ προσαγ[ γ[ έλ[ λε] ται κατανοεῖς καὶ αὐτός, and for similar evidence from the Attic inscriptions, where διότι never = ‘because,’ see Meisterhans, p. 252 f. On the other hand in P.Tebt. 24, 34 (2./b.c.) καὶ διότι must have its full causal force. In mod. Gk. the word is used instead of γάρ, a meaning which Fritzsche (Röm. 1. p. 57) finds even in such passages as Acts 18:10, Romans 1:19 (cf. Blass p. 274); see also 1 Peter 3:10 where γάρ is used to introduce a quotation from the O.T. instead of διότι which is preferred in 1:16, 1:24, 2:6. Jebb (in Vincent and Dickson Mod. Gk.2 App. p. 338) cites the passage before us along with Galatians 2:16 to illustrate the ease of the colloquial transition.


Verse 9

9. ‘That this is no idle vaunt you yourselves very well know, for you cannot have forgotten our self-sacrificing labours amongst you, how, even while working night and day for our own maintenance so as not unduly to burden you, we preached to you the Gospel of God.’

9. μνημονεύετε γάρ κτλ.] For μνημονεύω c. acc. see 1:3 note, and for ἀδελφοί see 1:4 note.

κόπος (1:3 note) and μόχθος are found together again in 2 Thessalonians 3:8, 2 Corinthians 11:27, the former pointing to the ‘weariness’ or ‘fatigue’ resulting from continual labour, the latter rather to the ‘hardship’ or ‘struggle’ involved in it. The similarity in sound between the words is well brought out in the rendering ‘toil and moil’ (Lft.).

νυκτ. κ. ἡμ. ἐργαζόμενοι] An explanatory clause which gains in force through the absence of any connecting particle. For the fact cf. Acts 18:3, and for the picture here presented of St Paul’s missionary activity see Intr. p. 45.

It may be noted that νυκτὸς κ. ἡμέρας (gen. of time) is the regular order of the words in St Paul (3:10, 2 Thessalonians 3:8, 1 Timothy 5:5, 2 Timothy 1:3). In the Apocalypse on the other hand we find always ἡμέρας κ. νυκτός (4:8, 7:15 &c.), and so in St Luke (18:7, Acts 9:24). When however St Luke adopts the acc., the order is changed νύκτα κ. ἡμέραν (2:37, Acts 20:31; Acts 26:7).

πρὸς τὸ μὴ ἐπιβαρῆσαι κτλ.] ‘in order that we might not burden any of you’: cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:7 ff. for an additional reason for these self-denying labours.

The late Gk. ἐπιβαρεῖν is used only figuratively in the N.T. (2 Thessalonians 3:8, 2 Corinthians 2:5) and is nearly = καταβαρεῖν (2 Corinthians 12:16; 2 Corinthians cf.2 Regn. 13:25), though the preposition in ἐπιβαρεῖν is mainly directive (onus imponere), in καταβαρεῖν rather perfective ‘to weigh a man to the ground.’ For its use in the inscriptions cf. Magn. 113, 15 f. where a certain physician Tyrannus is said to have behaved ὡς μηδένα ὑφʼ αὑτοῦ παρὰ τὴν ἀξίαν τοῦ καθʼ ἑαυτὸν μεγέθους ἐπιβεβαρῆσθαι, and for the simple verb βαρεῖν (2 Esdras 15. (5.) 15, 1 Timothy 5:16) in the same sense, cf. I.G.S.I. 830, 15 (Puteoli 2/a.d.) ἵνα μὴ τὴν πόλιν βαρῶμεν. In the late P.Oxy. 126, 8 (6./a.d.) one Stephanous undertakes to ‘burden herself’ ( βαρέσαι τὸ ἐμὸν ὄνομα) with certain imposts hitherto paid by her father.

On πρὸς τό with inf. signifying not mere result but subjective purpose see WM. p. 414, Moulton Prolegg. p. 218 ff.


Verse 10

10–12. ‘We are not afraid indeed to appeal alike in your sight and in the sight of God to the whole character of our relations with you. All believers will be ready to testify how these were marked throughout by holiness and righteousness, and how careful we were to give no offence in anything. Indeed, as you very well know, we acted the part of a father to each one of you, as we exhorted, and encouraged, and solemnly charged, according to your several requirements, in order that you might respond to your privileges, and your whole lives be worthy of the God who is calling you to share in His kingdom and glory.’

10. ὑμεῖς μάρτυρες κτλ.] The two former appeals to the witness of men (v. 1) and of God (v. 5) are now united in confirmation of the whole character of the Apostolic ministry.

ὡς ὁσίως κτλ.] In accordance with the distinction found in Plato (Gorg. 507 b) and other Gk. writers, it has been common to describe ὁσίως as indicating duty towards God, and δικαίως duty towards men. But the distinction, which even in class. Gk. is sometimes lost sight of, must not be pressed in the N.T., where all righteousness is recognized as one, ‘growing out of a single root, and obedient to a single law’ (Trench Syn. p. 307). Accordingly ὁσίως and δικαίως are best regarded as descriptive of the Apostles’ attitude towards both God and man from its positive side, that attitude being viewed first from a religious ( ὁσίως) and then from a moral ( δικαίως) standpoint, while the following ἀμέμπτως from the negative side emphasizes their general blamelessness in these same two respects.

As regards the individual expressions, ὁσίως is found only here in the N.T., while ἀμέμπτως occurs again in 5:23 (cf. 3:13 WH. marg.). Both ἄμεμπτος and - ως are common in the inscriptions and papyri, e.g. O.G.I.S. 485, 14 ἁγνῶς καὶ ἀμέμπτως. For the combination ὁσίως κ. δικαίως see further Apol. Arist. 15. sub fine, also P.Par. 63. 8:13 f. (2./b.c.) where a letter-writer makes a claim for himself as having ὁσίως καὶ ... δικαίως [πολι] τευσάμενος before the gods, and for ἀμέμπτως κ. ὁσίως cf. Clem. R. Cor. 44:4.

On ὡς see Blass p. 230, and for the use of the adverbs instead of the corresponding adjectives, as bringing out more fully the mode and manner of ἐγενήθημεν (Ambrstr. facti sumus), cf. 1 Corinthians 16:10 ἵνα ἀφόβως γένηται πρὸς ὑμᾶς.

ὑμῖν τ. πιστεύουσιν] Cf. 1:7. The clause is not ‘pointless’ (Jowett), but is to be closely connected with ἐγενήθημεν (cf. Romans 7:3), as marking the impression the missionaries made upon their Thessalonian converts, whatever might be the judgment of others. Thdt.: οὐ γὰρ εἶπεν, ἄμεμπτοι πᾶσιν ὤφθημεν, ἀλλʼ ὑμῖν τοῖ͂ πιστεύουσι.


Verse 11

11. καθάπερ οἴδατε] The expressive καθάπερ (‘die schärfste aller Gleichheitspartikeln’ Meisterhans p. 257) is found in the N.T. only in the first two groups of the Pauline Epp. (16 times) and in Hebrews 4:2 : cf. P.Hib. 49, 6 f. (3./b.c.) καθάπερ ἔγραψα and the common legal formula καθάπερ ἐγ δίκης ‘as if in accordance with a legal decision’ (e.g. P.Amh. 46, 13 (2./b.c.)). In the Decrees τὰ μὲν ἄλλα καθάπερ δεῖνα ‘was the usual introduction to an amendment proposed in the Ecclesia to a probouleuma’ (Roberts-Gardner p. 18): e.g. C.I.G. 84, 6 f. κέφαλος εἶπε· τὰ μὲν ἄλλα καθάπερ τῇ βουλεῖ· ἀναγράψαι δὲ. ...

ὡς ἕνα κτλ.] The construction is irregular but, if this is not to be taken as an instance of the Hellenistic use of the part. for the ind. (cf. Moulton Prolegg. p. 222 f.), we may either resume ἐγενήθημεν (v. 10) after ὡς, leaving both ἕνα ἕκ. and ὑμᾶς to be governed by the following participles, or still better supply such a finite verb as ἐνουθετοῦμεν which the writer lost sight of owing to the extended participial clause.

ἕνα ἕκαστον (Vg. unumquemque), an intensified form of ἕκαστον, marks the individual character of the Apostles’ ministry. Chrys.: βαβαί, ἐν τοσούτῳ πλήθει μηδένα παραλιπεῖν, μὴ μικρόν, μὴ μέγαν, μὴ πλούσιον, μὴ πένητα.

ὡς πατήρ κτλ.] an appropriate change from the figure of the nursing-mother (v. 7) in view of the thought of instruction which is now prominent. Pelag.: ‘parvulos nutrix fovet: proficientes vero jam pater instituit.’


Verse 12

12. παρακαλοῦντες ὑμᾶς κτλ.] ‘exhorting you and encouraging and testifying’—a clause which, contrary to the usual verse-division; is included by WH. in v. 12. παρακαλεῖν, like παράκλησις (v. 3 note), is a favourite word with St Paul, occurring no less than ten times in these Epp. with the double meaning of ‘exhort’ and ‘comfort.’ The former idea is prominent here, while the succeeding παραμυθούμενοι (elsewhere in N.T. only in 5:14, John 11:19; John 11:31, cf. 2 Maccabees 15:9) is addressed to the feelings rather than to the will. For a similar combination of the corresponding nouns see 1 Corinthians 14:3, Philippians 2:1.

΄αρτύρεσθαι, properly ‘summon to witness,’ and then absolutely ‘asseverate,’ ‘protest,’ from which it is an easy transition to the meaning ‘conjure,’ ‘solemnly charge’ which suits best the present passage and Ephesians 4:17 : see Herr on 1 Peter 1:11 who cites in support of this rendering Plut. 2:19 b (of Homer) ἐν δὲ τῷ προδιαβάλλειν μόνον οὐ μαρτύρεται καὶ διαγορεύει μήτε χρῆσθαι κτλ. ‘solemnly warns not to use’—a charge as in the presence of God. An interesting parallel is also afforded by P.Oxy. 471, 64 f. (2./a.d.) μαρτύρονται κύριε τὴν σὴν τύχην, where however the editors translate ‘they bear evidence,’ as if it were the commoner μαρτυροῦσι. According to Lft. (ad loc., cf. note on Galatians 5:3) μαρτύρομαι has never this latter sense in the N.T. any more than in class. Gk., but that the two words were sometimes confused in late Gk. is proved by such a passage as P.Amh. 141, 17 f. (4./a.d.) τοσοῦτο μαρτυραμένη [ κ] αὶ ἀξιοῦσα τῆς παρὰ σοῦ ἐκδικείας τυχεῖν, where we can only translate ‘bearing witness to the facts and praying to obtain satisfaction by you.’

εἰς τὸ περιπατεῖν κτλ.] On εἰς τό with the inf. expressing here not so much the purpose as the content of the foregoing charge see Moulton Prolegg. p. 218 ff., where the varying shades of meaning attached to this phrase in the Pauline writings are fully discussed.

περιπατεῖν with reference to general moral conduct occurs thirty-two times in the Pauline Epp., and twelve times in the writings of St John (Gosp.2, Epp.10). St Luke prefers πορεύεσθαι (Gosp.2 Acts 2) for this purpose, as do St Peter and St Jude. The metaphor though not unknown in class. Gk. (cf. Xen. Cyr. 2:2. 24 πονηρία διὰ τῶν παραύτικα ἡδονῶν πορευομένη, and the essentially similar metaph. use of ἀναστρέφεσθαι, ἀναστροφή) is Hebraistic in origin: cf. the early designation of Christianity as ὁδός (Acts 9:2 &c.) in keeping with the common metaphorical use of the word in the LXX.

For the use of the pres. inf. περιπατεῖν (v.l. - τῖσαι, DcKL) see Blass p. 195 n1. For περιπατεῖν ἀξίως cf. Ephesians 4:1, and for ἀξίως with gen. of a person cf. Romans 16:2, Colossians 1:10, 3 John 1:6. The exact phrase ἀξίως τοῦ θεοῦ is found in the Pergamene inscription 248, 7 ff. (2./b.c.) where Athenaios, a priest of Dionysios and Sabazius, is extolled as συ[ ν] τετελεκότος τὰ ἱερὰ ... εὐσεβῶς [ μ] ὲγ καὶ ἀξίως τοῦ θεοῦ (see Deissmann BS. p. 248).

Thieme (p. 21) cites similar exx. from the Magnesian inscriptions, e.g. 33, 30 ἀξίως [ τ] [ ς] θ[ ε] ᾶς (Gonnos in Thessaly 3./b.c.), 85, 10 f. ἀξίως τῆς τε ἀρτέμιδος ... καὶ [ τοῦ] δήμου (Tralles); but rightly draws attention to the difference of spirit underlying the appeal of the Christian Apostle to his converts to walk worthily of the Gospel, and the praise which a Greek commune bestows on the ambassadors of another state for acting ἀξίως τῆς θεᾶς καὶ τοῦ δήμου.

τοῦ καλοῦντος] ‘who is calling,’ the verb being used in its technical sense of ‘call to the kingdom’ with the further idea, as throughout the Pauline Epp., that the calling as God’s act has been effectual (Romans 8:30, 1 Corinthians 1:9). The use of the pres. part. instead of the more common nor. ( καλέσαντος, WH. mg.) in this connexion (cf. 4:7, Galatians 1:6; Galatians 1:15; Galatians 5:13, but not v. 8) may be due to the fact that the whole phrase is practically = ‘our caller’ (cf. 1:10, and see Romans 9:11 where ἐκ τοῦ καλοῦντος is contrasted with ἐξ ἔργων), but is perhaps sufficiently explained by the eschatological reference of the present passage. Believers are continually being called to an inheritance on which they have not yet fully entered, but of which they are assured (cf. 5:24).

On the different uses of καλέω see SH. p. 241 f.

εἰς τ. ἑαυτοῦ βασιλείαν κτλ.] Though there are undoubted instances in the Pauline Epp. of βασιλεία as the present kingdom of God’s grace (Romans 14:17, 1 Corinthians 4:20, Colossians 1:13), its reference in the main is to the future (2 Thessalonians 1:5, 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:50, Galatians 5:21, 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:18), and that this is the case here is shown by its inclusion with the eschatological δόξα under one art. The two expressions must not however be united as if = ‘His own kingdom of glory,’ or even ‘His own kingdom culminating in His glory,’ but point rather to two manifestations of God’s power, the first of His rule, the second of His glory. On ἑαυτοῦ which seems here to retain its full emphasis see note on v. 7, and on St Paul’s teaching regarding the ‘kingdom’ at Thessalonica see Intr. p. 27.

δύξα, in class. Gk. = ‘opinion,’ ‘good opinion’ (cf. v. 6), through the influence of the LXX. where it is commonly used to translate Heb. כָּבוֹד ‘honour,’ ‘glory,’ came to be applied in the N.T. to the full manifestation of God’s glory (‘Gloria, divinitas conspicua’—Beng. on Acts 7:2), or more specially to that glory as revealed to men in the Divine majesty and goodness (e.g. Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 1:12; Ephesians 1:17; Ephesians 3:16, Colossians 1:11 with Lft.’s note). From this it was a natural transition to the future bliss or glory that awaits God’s people, the ethical conception being still always predominant: cf. Romans 5:2 ἐπ ʼ ἐλπίδι τ. δόξης τ. θεοῦ, 8:18 πρὸς τ. μέλλουσαν δόξαν ἀποκαλυφθῆναι εἰς ἡμᾶς. This sense of the word can also be illustrated from post-canonical literature by such passages as Apoc. Bar. 15:8 ‘For this world is to them a trouble and a weariness with much labour; and that accordingly which is to come, a crown with great glory’; 48:49 ‘And I will recount their blessedness and not be silent in celebrating their glory, which is reserved for them’; and especially 4 Ezra 7:42 where the state of the blessed is described as ‘neque nitorem neque claritatem neque lucem’ but only ‘splendorem claritatis altissimi’ [perhaps = ἀπαύγασμα δόξης ὑψίστου, SH. p. 85].

For the Bibl. history of the word δόξα see further Kennedy Last Things p. 299 ff., and for the possibility that δόξα may originally have had a ‘realistic’ meaning in the ordinary Gk. of the day though no actual instance of this use has yet been found, see Deissmann Hellenisierung p. 165 f., where its use as a name for women and ships (F. Bechtel, Die attischen Frauennamen (1902) p. 132) is cited as a partial parallel.

In the passage before us the whole phrase τ. καλοῦντος κτλ. shows affinity with the ‘invitation’ in the Parable of the Supper, Matthew 22:1 ff., Luke 14:16 ff.: cf. Dalman Worte p. 97 (Engl. Tr. p. 118 f.) where similar exx. are adduced from Jewish literature.


Verse 13

13, 14. ‘Seeing then that we on our part have bestowed so much labour and affection upon you, we are the more unceasingly thankful that you yourselves have not come short in the act of receiving. Nay rather when the “word of hearing” was delivered to you, it became something more than the “word of hearing.” We might be its bearers, but God was its author. And in welcoming it as you did, it proved itself no mere human message, but a Divine power in all believing hearts. How true this is your own lives testified in that, after the example of the Christian Churches of Judæa, you underwent the same sufferings at the hands of your fellow-countrymen that they did at the hands of the unbelieving Jews.’

13. καὶʼ ἡμεῖς] ‘we on our part’— καί denoting the response of the Apostles to the favourable character of the news they had received: cf. 3:5, Colossians 1:9 (with Lft.’s note). For a different view according to which καί really belongs to the verb see Lietzmann on Romans 3:7 (in Handb. z. N.T. 3:1 (1906)).

ὅτι παραλαβόντες κτλ.] ὅτι not so much causal (2 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:13), as introducing the subject-matter of the εὐχαριστία, namely that the Thessa. lonians had not only outwardly received ( παραλαβόντες) the Apostolic message, but had inwardly welcomed ( ἐδέξασθε) it, and that too not as the word of men, but as the word of God. For a similar use of παραλαμβάνω in the Pauline Epp. cf. 4:1, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, Galatians 1:9; Galatians 1:12, 1 Corinthians 15:1; 1 Corinthians 15:3, Philippians 4:9, Colossians 2:6, and for δέχομαι of willing, hearty reception cf. 1:6, 2 Thessalonians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 2:14, 2 Corinthians 8:17, Galatians 4:14. In the present passage the Vg. makes no attempt to mark the difference of the verbs (accepissetis … accepistis), but Clarom. has percepissetis … excepistis, and Ambrstr. accepissetis … suscepistis.

λόγον ἀκοῆς] ἀκοῆς may be understood in the active sense of ‘a hearing’ (cf. Galatians 3:2, where it is contrasted with ἔργων) in keeping with the part here assigned to the Thessalonians themselves, but it is better taken in its (ordinary) passive sense of ‘a message’ spoken and heard (Vg. verbum auditûs): cf. Romans 10:16 (LXX. Isaiah 53:1), Hebrews 4:2.

παρʼ ἡμῶν] to be connected with παραλαβόντες, notwithstanding the interjected λόγ. ἀκοῆς, as indicating the immediate source of the message delivered and received, while the emphatic τοῦ θεοῦ is added to point to its real source lest the Apostles should seem to be making undue claims (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:13).

οὐ λόγον ἀνθρώπων κτλ.] To understand ὡς before λόγ. ἀνθρ. (as A.V., R.V.) is unnecessary, and fails to bring out as clearly as the absolute rendering the real character of the message here referred to. For ( ) λόγος ( τοῦ) θεοῦ with reference to the preaching of the Gospel cf. 2 Timothy 2:9, Revelation 1:9, and for the whole clause cf. Apol. Arist. 16. οὐ γὰρ ἀνθρώπων ῥήματα λαλοῦσιν [ οἱ χριστιανοί], ἀλλὰ τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ.

ὃς καὶ ἐνεργεῖται] ‘which also is set in operation’ (Clarom., Ambrstr. quod operatur)— ἐνεργεῖται being best understood in the pass. sense in which it is frequently found in late Gk. (e.g. Polyb. 1:13. 5, 9:12. 3), and which brings out more clearly than the midd., which is generally found here, the Divine agency that is at work. For this energizing power of God’s word cf. Hebrews 4:12, James 1:21, 1 Peter 1:23, Isaiah 55:11; and for a valuable note on the use of ἐνεργεῖν and its cognates in the N.T. see Robinson Eph. p. 241 ff.

ἐν ὑμῖν τ. πιστεύουσιν] a clause added to emphasize that, powerful though the word of God is, it can only operate where a believing attitude exists and continues: cf. v. 10, and for the thought see Matthew 13:23; Matthew 13:58, Hebrews 4:2.


Verse 14

14. ὑμεῖς γάρ κτλ.] A practical confirmation of the ἐνέργεια just spoken of. The Thessalonians in their turn ( ὑμεῖς emph.) had shown themselves not idle hearers, but active ‘imitators’ of the Churches of God in Judaea, which are apparently specially mentioned here simply because they were the earliest Christian communities, and had throughout their history been exposed to severe hostility.

For the added clause ἐν χρ. ἰης. cf. 1:1 note, and for similar appeals to the lessons of past sufferings cf. 1 Corinthians 15:32, Galatians 3:4, Hebrews 10:32 ff.

ὑπὸ τ. ἰδίων συμφυλετῶν] According to derivation συμφυλέτης ( ἅπ. λεγ. N.T.) means literally ‘one belonging to the same tribe’ (Vg. contribulibus), but is evidently used here in a local rather than a racial sense (Ambrstr. conciuibus), and need not therefore exclude all reference to those Jews by whom, as we know from Acts 17:5; Acts 17:13, the persecutions at Thessalonica were first instigated. If so, this would seem to be one of the instances where a certain weakened force must be allowed to ἰδίων (cf. ἑαυτῆς, v. 7) in accordance with a not infrequent tendency in Hellenistic Gk., e.g. Job 7:10 οὐδʼ οὐ μὴ ἐπιστρέψῃ εἰς τὸν ἴδιον οἶκον: cf. Matthew 22:5, 1 Corinthians 7:2, and the memorial inscription found at Thessalonica πολλωνία νεικῶνι τῷ ἰδίῳ ἀνδρὶ μνήμης χάριν (Heuzey p. 282). See further Deissmann BS. p. 123 f., Mayser p. 308, and on the danger of pushing this ‘exhausted’ ἴδιος too far Moulton Prolegg. p. 87 ff.

For the thoroughly class, use of ὑπό with an intrans. verb to point to the author cf. such a passage from the κοινή as P.Amh. 78, 4 f. (2./a.d.) βίαν πάσχων ἑκάστοτε ὑπὸ ἑκύσεως.

καθὼς καὶ αὐτοί κτλ.] αὐτοί, i.e. the persons included in the collective ἐκκλησιῶν. For the imperfect antecedent cf. WM. p. 181, and for the repetition of καί in order to strengthen the comparison with the immediately preceding καὶ ὑμεῖς cf. Romans 1:13, Colossians 3:13. ἰουδαία is here used in its larger sense of all Palestine including Galilee, cf. Luke 4:44, Acts 10:37, Jos. Antt. 1. 160 (7. 2) εἰς τὴν τότε μὲν χαναναίαν λεγομένην νῦν δὲ ἰουδαίαν, μετῴκησε. Of the precise nature of the sufferings of the Judæan churches after St Paul began his missionary labours we have no record in Acts, but they would doubtless consist in excommunication and social outlawry, as well as in actual legal persecution (cf. Ramsay C.R.E. p. 349). In any case the mere mention of ‘the Jews’ is sufficient to recall to the Apostle what he himself had suffered at the hands of his fellow-countrymen, and accordingly he ‘goes off’ at the word into a fierce attack upon them.


Verse 15

15, 16. This attack is so different from St Paul’s general attitude to his fellow-countrymen (e.g. Romans 10:1 ff.) that the whole passage has been pronounced an interpolation but without any sufficient warrant (Intr. p. 76). The sharp judgment expressed is due rather to the Apostle’s keen sense of the manner in which the Jews had opposed God’s will, both in thwarting his own missionary work, and afterwards in seeking to shake the faith of his Thessalonian converts. It is however deserving of notice that this is the only passage in the Pauline writings in which the designation ‘the Jews’ is used in direct contrast to Christian believers in the sense which St John afterwards made so familiar in his Gospel (1:19, 2:18 &c.). For a somewhat similar digression cf. Philippians 3:2 ff., and for the light in which the Jews are here regarded see Stephen’s charge Acts 7:51 ff.

15, 16. ‘Did we speak of the Jews as persecutors? Why, are they not the men at whose door lies the guilt of the death of Jesus, and who in the past drove out the prophets, even as they are now driving out us? The least that can be said of them is that they do not please God, while their well-known hostility to all mankind is shown in the present instance by their deliberately standing in the way of the Gentiles’ salvation. But in so doing they are only “filling up the measure of their iniquity” with the result that “the Wrath of God” which they have so fully deserved has reached its final stage.’

15. τῶν καὶ τὸν κύριον κτλ.] The words are skilfully arranged so as to lay emphasis on both κύριον and ἰησοῦν: it was ‘the Lord’ whom the Jews slew, ‘even Jesus’: cf. Acts 2:36 and see Add. Note D. For the guilt of the crucifixion as lying at the door of the Jewish people cf. such passages as Luke 24:20, John 19:11, Acts 2:23, and Gosp. Pet. 7, and for the general thought see our Lord’s own parable Mark 12:1 ff., which may have suggested his language here to the Apostle. If this latter connexion can be established, it is natural to follow the usual order and place τ. προφήτας also under the government of ἀποκτεινάντων. On the other hand, to avoid the slight anticlimax that is thereby occasioned by the prophets following the Lord Jesus, various modern editors prefer to connect τ. προφήτας with ἡμᾶς under the direct government of ἐκδιωξάντων, an arrangement which has the further advantage of combining closely the prophets and the Apostles as the Divine messengers in the past and the present: cf. Matthew 5:12 οὕτως γὰρ ἐδίωξαν τ. προφήτας τ. πρὸ ὑμῶν, and see also Matthew 23:31, Luke 11:47.

The reading ἰδίους, which is found in certain mss. (DbcKL) before προφήτας, is due not to any doctrinal bias (Tert. adv. Marc. 5:15 ‘licet suos adjectio sit haeretici’), but to a desire for precision of statement: cf. 4:11, Ephesians 4:28.

καὶ ἡμᾶς ἐκδιωξάντων] ‘and drove us out’ (Beng.: ‘qui persequendo ejecerunt’). For the fact cf. Ac. 17:5 ff., 17:13 ff., and for the force of ἐκδιώκειν ( ἅπ. λεγ. N.T.: v.l. Luke 11:49) cf. such passages in the LXX. as Deuteronomy 6:19 ἐκδιῶξαι πάντας ποὺς ἐχθρούς σου πρὸ προσώπου σου, Joel 2:20 καὶ τὸν ἀπὸ βορρᾶ ἐκδιώξω ἀφʼ ὑμῶν: see also Thuc. 1:24 δῆμος αὐτῶν ἐξεδίωξε τοὺς δυνατούς, οἱ δὲ ἀπελθόντες κτλ., Dem. Or. 32, p. 883 ἐκδιωκόμενος [scil. e navi] ῥίπτει ἑαυτὸν εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν.

καὶ θεῷ μὴ ἀρεσκόντων] a notable instance of meiosis, cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:7. For the expression which is a favourite one in the Pauline writings cf. v. 4, 4:1, Romans 8:8, 2 Corinthians 5:9, Colossians 1:10.

καὶ πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις ἐναντίων] the only passage in the N.T. where ἐναντίος is used of persons. The words naturally recall the ‘hostile odium’ (Tac. Hist. 5:5) towards all men with which the Jews have often been charged: cf. Diod. Sic. 34, 1 τοὺς ἰουδαίους μόνους ἁπάντων ἐθνῶν ἀκοινωνήτους εἶναι, Philostr. Apoll. 5:33, Jos. c. Apion. 11. 121 (10), and the collection of passages in T. Reinach’s Textes … relatifs au Judaïsme (1895) under the heading ‘Misoxénie’ in the Index. The reference here however, as the following clause shows, is more limited.


Verse 16

16. κωλυόντων ἡμᾶς κτλ.] ‘in that they forbid us to speak to the Gentiles in order that they may be saved.’ The emphasis lies on τ. ἔθνεσιν: it was to the Gentiles (Wycl. hethen men) that the had for its object their salvation. Chrys.: εἰ γὰρ τῇ οἰκουμένῃ δεῖ λαλῆσαι, οὗτοι δὲ κωλύουσι, κοινοὶ τῆς οἰκουμένης εἰσὶν ἐχθροί. For the fact cf. Acts 13:45; Acts 13:50; Acts 17:5; Acts 17:13; Acts 21:27 ff. &c., and for a similar instance of ἵνα with its full telic force cf. 1 Corinthians 10:33.

On the history of the word ἔθνος, which is here used in its strict LXX. sense of all outside the covenant-people ( הַגּוֹיִם), see Kennedy Sources p. 98, Nägeli p. 46, and cf. Hicks in C.R. 1. p. 42 f. where it is shown that ἔθνος first gained significance as a political term after Alexander and his successors began to found cities as outposts of trade and civilization. Then ‘Hellenic life found its normal type in the πόλις, and barbarians who lived κατὰ κώμας or in some less organized form were ἔθνη.’

The attitude of the stricter Pharisaism towards other nations is well brought out in such a passage as 4 Ezra 6:55 f.: ‘Haec autem omnia dixi coram te, domine, quoniam dixisti quia propter nos creasti primogenitum saeculum. Residuas antem gentes ab Adam natas dixisti eas nihil esse et quoniam saliuae adsimilatae sunt et sicut stillicidium de uaso similasti habundantiam eorum.’

There are however occasional traces of a more liberal view, e.g. Pss. Sol. 17:38, ‘He [the Messiah] shall have mercy upon all the nations that come before him in fear’; Apoc. Baruch 1:4 ‘I will scatter this people among the Gentiles that they may do good to the Gentiles’ (i.e. apparently by making proselytes of them, Charles ad loc.).

εἰς τὸ ἀναπληρῶσαι κτλ.] ‘in order to fill up the measure of their sins at all times’ (Vg. ut impleant peccata sua semper). There is no need to depart here from the ordinary sense of εἰς τό with the inf. to denote purpose (cf. v. 12 note), the reference being ‘grammatically’ to the Jews, but ‘theologically’ to the eternal purpose of God ‘which unfolded itself in this wilful and at last judicial blindness on the part of His chosen people’ (Ellic.): cf. Romans 1:24, and for other exx. of εἰς τό introducing a purpose contemplated not by the doer but by God cf. Romans 1:20; Romans 4:11. In acting as they were doing the present Jews were but carrying forward to its completion the work which their fathers had begun (Beng.: ‘ut semper, its nunc quoque’), and which had now brought down upon them God’s judicial wrath: cf. Genesis 15:16 οὔπω γὰρ ἀναπεπλήρωνται αἱ ἁμαρτίαι τῶν ἀμορραίων ἕως τοῦ νῦν, and especially our Lord’s own words recorded in Matthew 23:31 f. ὅτι υἱοί ἐστε τῶν φονευσάντων τοὺς προφήτας. καὶ ὑμεῖς πληρώσατε τὸ μέτρον τῶν πατέρων ὑμῶν. The plur. αἱ ἁμαρτίαι laying stress not on specific acts of sin, but on sin in the aggregate, is found in all groups of St Paul’s Epp.; cf. Westcott Eph. p. 165 f. where the different Pauline words for ‘sin’ are classified, and for a non-Christian use of the word see P.Leip. 119, 3 (3./a.d.) τῶν ἁμαρτιῶ[ ν] τὰς πονηρίας συνεχῶ[ σἀ] νορθουμένων. For the unemphatic αὐτῶν cf. WM. p. 193.

ἔφθασεν δέ κτλ.] ‘Tristis exitus’ (Beng.). The wrath which in 1:10 was represented as ‘coming’ is now thought of as actually ‘arrived,’ thereby marking an ‘end’ in the history of God’s dealings with the Jewish people. For this meaning of φθάνειν, which in late Gk. (perhaps in accordance with its original meaning, cf. Thuc. 3:49 and see Geldart Mod. Gk. p. 206) has entirely lost the sense of anticipation, cf. Romans 9:31, 2 Corinthians 10:14, Philippians 3:16, and such passages from the papyri as P.Oxy. 237. 6:30 f. (2./a.d.) καὶ ὅτι φθάνει τὸ πρᾶγμα ἀκρειβῶς [ ἐξ] ητασμένον ‘and the fact that a searching enquiry into the affair had already been held,’ P.Fior. 9, 9 f. (3./a.d.) φθάσαντός μου πρὸς τοῖς μναιμίοις ( μνημείοις) ‘when I had arrived near the tombs.’ There is no need to treat the aor. as prophetic, resembling the Heb. perf. of prediction (Findlay): in accordance rather with one of its earliest usages it denotes what has just happened, and is thus best rendered in English by the perf. ‘is (or has) come,’ cf. Moulton Prolegg. p. 135, and for the survival of this ancient aor. in mod. Gk. ( ἔφθασα = ‘here I am’) see p. 247. WH. read ἔφθακεν in the margin.

On ὀργή see the note on 1:10, and for the wrath coming upon ( ἐπί) the Jews from above cf. Romans 1:18 ἀποκαλύπτεται γὰρ ὀργὴ θεοῦ ἀπ ʼ οὐρανοῦ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν ἀσέβειαν. The phrase φθάνειν ἐπί is found elsewhere in the N.T. only Matthew 12:28, Luke 11:20 : it occurs six times in the LXX. (Hawkins Hor. Syn. p. 51).

εἰς τέλος] an adv. phrase = ‘finally,’ ‘to an end’ (Vg. in finem, Weizsäcker zum Ende), in accordance with the regular N.T. usage (e.g. Matthew 10:22, Luke 18:5, John 13:1) supported by many passages in the LXX., e.g. Job 14:20; Job 20:7, Pss. 9:7, 48. (49.) 10 where it represents the Heb. לָנֶצַח. Some translators however prefer the intensive meaning ‘to the uttermost,’ ‘completely’ (Hofm. ganz und gar, Weiss im höchsten Grade), relying on such passages as 2 Chronicles 12:12 (for לְכָלָה), 31:1 (for עַד־לְכַלֵּה); cf. also Pss. Song of Solomon 1:1 with Ryle and James’s note. In either case the sense remains much the same, namely, that in the case of the Jews the Divine ὀργί (πάλαι ὀφειλομένη κ. προωρισμένη κ. προφητευομένη, Chrys.) had now reached a final and complete end in contrast with the partial judgments which had hitherto been threatened (cf. Jeremiah 4:27 συντέλειαν δὲ οὐ μὴ ποιήσω).

In what exactly this ‘end’ consisted is not so easy to determine, but in no case have we here any direct reference to the Fall of Jerusalem as Baur and other impugners of the Epistle’s authenticity have tried to show (Intr. p. 74). The whole conception is ethical, the Apostles finding in the determined blindness of the Jewish people with its attendant moral evils an infallible proof that the nation’s day of grace was now over, cf. Romans 11:7 ff.

For an almost literal verbal parallel to the whole clause cf. Test. xii patr. Levi 6:11 ἔφθασε δὲ αὐτοὺς ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰς τέλος, whence St Paul may have derived it, if it is not to be regarded as ‘a half-stereotyped Rabbinical formula’ (Lock, Hastings’ D.B. 4. p. 746).


Verse 17

17, 18. ‘But as for ourselves, Brothers, when we had been bereaved of you for a short season, albeit the separation was in bodily presence, not in heart, we were exceedingly desirous to see you again face to face, and all the more so because of the hindrances we encountered. For when we had resolved to revisit you—so far indeed as I Paul was concerned this resolution was actually come to on two separate occasions—it was only to find that Satan had effectually blocked our path.’

17. ἀπορφανισθέντες] The metaphor underlying ἀπορφανισθέντες ( ἅπ. λεγ.. N.T., elsewhere Aesch. Choeph. 241, Philo) can hardly be pressed in view of the latitude with which ὀρφανός is often used (e.g. Pind: Isthm. 7. 15 . ἑταίρων), though the closeness of the ties between the Apostles and their converts (cf. 2:7, 2:11) makes the special meaning very appropriate here. Th. Mops.: ‘desolati a uobis ad instar orphanorum’; Oecum.: ἄνω μὲν εἶπεν, ὅτι, ὡς πατὴρ τέκνα, καὶ ὡς τροφός· ἐνταῦθα δέ, ἀπορφανισθέντες.

πρὸς καιρὸν ὥρας] ‘for a space of an hour’ (Vg. ad tempus horae, Beza ad temporis momentum), the combination laying stress on the shortness of the period referred to (cf. ‘horae momento’ Hor. Sat. 1 Thessalonians 1:7 f., Plin. N. H. 7:52). For the simple πρὸς καιρόν cf. Luke 8:13, 1 Corinthians 7:5, and for πρὸς ὥραν cf. 2 Corinthians 7:8, Galatians 2:5, and for πρός c. acc. to denote the time during which anything lasts cf. πρὸς ὀλίγον (1 Timothy 4:8), πρὸς τὸ παρόν (Hebrews 12:11), and such a passage from the papyri as C.P.R. 32, 9 f. (3./a.d.) πρὸς μόνον τὸ ἐνεστὸς β´ ἔτος μισθώσασθαι.

προσώπῳ οὐ καρδίᾳ] ‘a local dative ethically used’ (Ellic. on Galatians 1:22): cf. WM. p. 270. The same contrast is found in 2 Corinthians 5:12 : for the thought cf. 1 Corinthians 5:3, Colossians 2:5. Grotius cites by way of illustration the line descriptive of lovers, ‘Illum absens absentem auditque videtque.’

περισσοτέρως ἐσπουδάσαμεν] ‘were more exceedingly anxious’—a sense of eagerness being present in the verb ἐσπουδάσαμεν, which we do not usually associate with our Engl. ‘endeavoured’ (A.V., R.V.). Tindale, followed by Cranmer and the Genevan versions, has ‘enforsed.’ For σπουδάζειν, which in the N.T. is regularly constructed with inf. (in 2 Peter 1:15 acc. and inf.), cf. Galatians 2:10, Ephesians 4:3, 2 Timothy 2:15, Hebrews 4:11, 2 Peter 1:10; 2 Peter 3:14.

The comparative περισσοτέρως (for form, WSchm. p. 98) is apparently never used in the Pauline writings without a comparison, either stated or implied, being present to the writer’s mind (cf. WM. p. 304 f.). In the present instance this is best found not in the preceding ἀπορφ. (‘separation, so far from weakening our desire to see you, has only increased it’ Lft.), nor in what the Apostles had learned regarding the persecutions to which the Thessalonians had been exposed (P. Schmidt, Schmiedel), but in the hindrances which, according to the next verse, had been thrown in the way of their return, and which, instead of chilling their ardour, had rather increased it (Bornemann, Wohlenberg).

ἐν πολλῇ ἐπιθυμίᾳ] ‘with great desire’—one of the few instances in the N.T. in which ἐπιθυμία is used in a good sense, cf. Luke 22:15, Philippians 1:23, Revelation 18:14.


Verse 18

18. διότι ἠθελήσαμεν] ‘because we had resolved’—with the idea of active decision or purpose which as a rule distinguishes θέλω in the N.T. from the more passive βούλομαι ‘desire,’ ‘wish.’ It is right however to add that by many scholars this distinction is reversed (see the elaborate note in Grimm-Thayer s.v. θέλω), while Blass (p. 54) regards the two words as practically synonymous in the N.T., though his contention that βούλομαι is ‘literary’ as compared with the more ‘popular’ (so mod. Greek) θέλω cannot be maintained in view of the frequent occurrences of the former in the non-literary papyri. For the form θέλω which always stands in the N.T. for the Attic ἐθέλω, and which is always augmented in -, see WSchm. p. 54. διότι (v. 8 note) is better separated only by a colon from the preceding clause.

ἐγὼ μὲν παῦλος] For a similar emphatic introduction of the personal name cf. 2 Corinthians 10:1, Galatians 5:2, Ephesians 3:1, Colossians 1:23, Philem. 19. For μέν solitarium see Blass p. 267.

κ. ἅπαξ κ. δίς] ‘both once and twice’ i.e, ‘twice’ as in Philippians 4:16; cf. Plato Phaedo 63 d καὶ δὶς καὶ τρίς. Where the first καί is wanting as in Deuteronomy 9:13, 2 Esdr. 23. (13.) 20, 1 Maccabees 3:30, the meaning may be more general ‘once and again,’ ‘repeatedly.’

καὶ ἐνέκοψεν κτλ.] On καί here as not adversative (Hermann Vig. p. 521) but ‘copulative and contrasting’ see Ellic. on Philippians 4:12 (cf. WM. p. 544 n.1).

ἐνκόπτω ‘cut into’ used originally of breaking up a road to render it impassable, came to mean ‘hinder’ generally (Hesych.: ἐμποδίζω, διακωλύω); cf. Acts 24:4, Romans 15:22, Galatians 5:7, 1 Peter 3:7, and see P.Alex. 4, 1 f. (3./b.c.) ἡμῖν ἐνκόπτεις καλά. The exact nature of the hindrance is here left undefined, but in accordance with the profound Bibl. view it is referred in the last instance to Satan, as the personal force in whom all evil centres; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 2 Corinthians 12:7. In the LXX. σατάν is found in the general sense of ‘adversary’ in 3 Regn. 11:14 without the art., and in Sirach 21:27 (30) with the art.: in the N.T. the name whether with or without the art., always denotes the Adversary κατʼ ἐξοχήν. Elsewhere in this Ep. Satan is described as πειράζων (3:5). For the development of the Jewish belief in ‘Satan’ see Enc. Bibl. s.v., and cf. Bousset Die Religion des Judentums2 (1906) p. 382 ff.


Verse 19

19. ‘Nor is this longing on our part to be wondered at. If any deserve to be called our hope or joy or crown of holy boasting at the time when our Lord Himself appears, it is surely you. Yes indeed! you are our glory and our joy.’

19. τίς γὰρ ἡμῶν ἐλπίς κτλ.] The warmth of the Apostles’ feelings towards their converts now finds expression in one of the few rhetorical passages in the Ep. (Intr. p. 57): cf. Philippians 4:1. With ἡμῶν ἐλπίς cf. Liv. 28:39 ‘Scipionem … spem omnem salutemque nostrum’ (cited by Wetstein).

The phrase στέφ. καυχήσεως ( ἀγαλλιάσεως A, Tert. exultationis) is borrowed from the LXX. (cf. Proverbs 16:31, Ezekiel 16:12; Ezekiel 23:42, where it translates the Heb. עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת, and in accordance with the general Bibl. use of στέφανος is to be understood of the ‘wreath’ or ‘garland of victory’ which their converts would prove to the Apostles at the Lord’s appearing: cf. for the thought 2 Corinthians 1:14, Philippians 2:16. The distinction between στέφανος ‘crown of victory’ (‘Kranz’) and διάδημα ‘crown of royalty’ (‘Krone’) must not however be pressed too far (as Trench Syn. § 23.), for στέφανος is not infrequently used in the latter sense, see Mayor’s note on James 1:12, and add the use of στέφανος to denote the ‘crown-tax’ for the present made to the king on his accession or some other important occasion (cf. 1 Maccabees 10:29, and see Wilcken Ostraka 1. p. 295 ff.). In this latter connexion an instructive parallel to the passage before us is afforded by P.Petr. 2:39(e), 2:18 (3./b.c.) where if we adopt Wilcken’s emendation (ut s. p. 275) and read ἄλλου (scil. στεφάνου) παρουσίας, the reference is to an additional ‘crown’ given at the king’s παρουσία or visit (cf. Add. Note F). For παράληψις τοῦ στεφάνου to denote entering on the priestly office see B.C.H. 11. p. 375, and for the general use of the term to denote a ‘reward’ for services performed see P.Cairo 5, 5 (2./b.c.) where a certain Peteuris offers a στέφανον χαλκοῦ ( τάλαντα) πέντε to the man who secures his freedom; cf. P.Grenf. 1. 41, 3 (2./b.c.), P.Par. 42, 12 (2./b.c.), and see Archiv 2. p. 579.

The figure may also be illustrated from Jewish sources by Pirqe Aboth 4:9, ‘R. Çadoq said, Make them [thy disciples] not a crown, to glory in them’ (Taylor, Sayings of the Jewish Fathers2, p. 68).

η οὐχὶ καὶ ὑμεῖς] a rhetorical parenthesis interjected into the main sentence to draw special attention to the position of the Thessalonians. Chrys.: οὐ γὰρ εἶπεν, ὑμεῖς, ἀλλά, “ καὶ ὑμεῖς”, μετὰ τῶν ἄλλων.

For the unusual use of the disjunctive particle (wanting in א*) see Blass p. 266.

ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ κυρίου κτλ.] The first definite reference to the Parousia of the Lord Jesus which plays so large a part in these Epp., cf. 3:13, 4:15, 5:23, 2 Thessalonians 2:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Intr. p. 69.

For the meaning of παρουσία see Add. Note F, and for ἐν not merely ‘at the time of,’ but ‘involved in,’ ‘as the result of,’ cf. 1 Corinthians 15:23 (with Alford’s note).


Verse 20

20. ὑμεῖς γάρ ἐστε κτλ.] γάρ here introduces a confirmatory reply ‘Truly,’ ‘Yes indeed’ (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:10; Blass p. 274 f.), while the art. before δόξα marks out the Thessalonians in the language of fond exaggeration as ‘the’ glory of the Apostles (WSchm. p. 161). In accordance with its general meaning (v. 12 note) and the context (v. 19), the main reference in δόξα must be eschatological, so that the pres. ἐστέ is to be taken as practically = ‘you are now and therefore will be.’

On the depth of affection displayed in the whole passage Theodoret remarks: ἐπειδὴ μητρὶ ἑαυτὸν ἀπείκασε τιθηνουμένη τὰ βρέφη, τὰ αὐτῆς φθέγγεται ῥήματα. οὐταὶ γὰρ τὰ κομιδῆ νέα παιδία καὶ ἐλπίδα, καὶ χαράν, καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα προσαγορεύειν εἰώθασι.

 


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Bibliography Information
Milligan, George. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 2:4". "George Milligan - Paul's Epistle to the Thessalonians". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gmt/1-thessalonians-2.html.

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