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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
1 Thessalonians 2

 

 

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Verse 1

1 Thessalonians 2:1. γὰρ, for) This refers to ch. 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6; for what was there laid down as the proposition, is now taken up again to be discussed, and that, too, regarding Paul and his companions, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12; regarding the Thessalonians, 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16.— οὐ κενὴ, not vain) but full of power.


Verse 2

1 Thessalonians 2:2. προπαθόντες, having suffered before) that which might have deterred others from preaching.


Verse 3

1 Thessalonians 2:3. γὰρ, for) for occurs again, 1 Thessalonians 2:5. There is a double reason assigned (ÆtioIogia), α, in the thesis, concerning their (his and his companions’) regular and constant practice; β, in the hypothesis, how they behaved (proceeded) among the Thessalonians, 1 Thessalonians 2:5 and the following verses; comp. with 2 Corinthians 1:12, concerning his general and special mode of proceeding towards others.— παράκλησις, exhortation) The whole preaching of the Gospel is so called, seasoned as it is with the sweetness of sufferings; see 1 Thessalonians 2:2, with which comp. 2 Corinthians 1:3, et seqq. παράκλησις, Zuspruch, has an extensive meaning; when he rouses the slothful, it is exhortation ( παράκλησις): when he applies balm to sorrow, it is comfort or consolation ( παραμύθιον); comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:11, note.— οὐκοὐδὲοὔτε, not—nor—nor) He disavows evil intentions, in relation to God, himself, and others. The antithesis to this is similarly universal, in the following verse, which should be compared with 1 Thessalonians 2:10 [where see the note on the similar threefold relation].— οὐκ ἐκ πλάνης, not from [of] deceit) namely, is; comp. we speak, in the present, 1 Thessalonians 2:4.— οὐδὲ ἐξ ἀκαθαρσίας, nor from [of] uncleanness) This uncleanness is when the fruit of the flesh is sought after: comp. Philippians 1:16. The fruit of the flesh is somewhat subtile: Eigenheit, self-seeking (seeking one’s own honour or gain), peculiarity.(4) Concerning its antithesis, purity, see Acts 15:9.


Verse 4

1 Thessalonians 2:4. δεδοκιμάσμεθα, we have been proved [approved]) Refer to this word, δοκιμάζοντι, who proveth and trieth, which presently occurs.— ἀρέσκοντες) careful to please.


Verse 5

1 Thessalonians 2:5. ἐν λόγῳ κολακείας, in flattering words) The antithesis is in 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8; even as a cloke of covetousness has its antithesis in 1 Thessalonians 2:9; and the word glory, 1 Thessalonians 2:6, has its antithesis in 1 Thessalonians 2:10.— κολακείας, of flattery) which they chiefly use who are anxious to please men.— καθὼς οἴδατεθεὸς μάρτυς, even as ye know—God is witness) These two clauses [neither—ye know; nor—witness] correspond to each other, just as the double confirmation of the third member of the sentence [nor of men sought we glory], which is placed in the next verse, follows in the same 1 Thessalonians 2:10. He appeals to men, as the witnesses of a matter generally known; to God, as the witness of a matter which is concealed in the heart; to men and God, as the witnesses of a matter in part generally known, and partly concealed.— προφάσει) with the specious pretext (cloke), under which we might cover avarice.


Verse 6

1 Thessalonians 2:6. ἀπʼ ἄλλων, from others) those, to wit, who would have admired us, if we had treated you more haughtily.— δυνάμενοι) when we might have, although we might have.— ἐν βάρει εἶναι, [Engl. Vers. been burdensome] been in honour and authority) כבד βάρος, weight, dignity, authority; the splendour which the majesty of the Lord communicates to His ambassador. δόξα, glory, in the preceding verse, is nearly akin to it; comp. βάρος δόξης, 2 Corinthians 4:17. Brightness produces a weighty or powerful effect (gravis) on the sight, as a weight upon the sense of touch, and a loud sound on the hearing; and hence such things are said to be borne or not to be borne,(5), Hebrews 12:20. The conjugate, ἐπιβαρῆσαι, presently occurs, 1 Thessalonians 2:9. Both ideas, weight [authority], and a burden, must be included. But the apostles refrained from both.


Verse 7

1 Thessalonians 2:7. ἤπιοι, gentle) A very sweet word, which is wont to be applied chiefly to parents and physicians. It is opposed to flattery [1 Thessalonians 2:5]: for he is called ἤπιος, who has true gentleness.— ἐν μέσῳ ὑμῶν, in the midst of you) like a hen surrounded by her chickens. They did not act as if from the chair (ex cathedrâ, from the authoritative chair), which is said to belong to Peter, and which calls the style of its court apostolical.— τροφὸς) a mother, and at the same time a nurse. Weigh well the expression, her own. The spiritual are analogous to the natural affections, 1 Thessalonians 2:11; 1 Timothy 5:1-2.


Verse 8

1 Thessalonians 2:8. οὕτως, ἱμειρόμενοι ὑμῶν, εὐδοκοῦμεν) and seeing that it was so, i.e. inasmuch as we felt the strongest affection for you, we were ready, etc. The text has been at once suited for (pronunciationem) correct delivery, whilst in the marks of punctuation a more careful stopping of the sentence is equivalent to a note. The same word, ἱμείρονται, is found in Job 3:21. εὐδοκοῦμεν, even without the augment, may still be the imperfect tense: in the whole(6) of Paul’s statement all the facts proceed in the preterite, which the versions here also retain.— ψυχὰς, souls) Our soul desired as it were to enter into your soul.

Tota is the reading of Ed. 2, quarto, A.D. 1752, and is doubtless the true reading.—ED.


Verse 10

1 Thessalonians 2:10.(7) ὡς ὁσίως καὶ δικαίως καὶ ἀμέμπτως, how holily and justly and unblameably) Those who seek no glory from men attain to this character, that they conduct themselves holily in divine things, justly towards men, unblameably in respect of themselves.— τοῖς πιστεύουσιν, among [in the eyes of, towards] you that believe) although we might not appear to others to be so.


Verse 11

1 Thessalonians 2:11. ὡς ἕνα ἕκαστον, how every one) They do not act in this way who seek [their own] glory, 1 Thessalonians 2:6.— ὡς πατὴρ, as a father) Mild gravity is the characteristic of fathers.— παρακαλοῦντες, exhorting) This depends on ἐγενήθημεν, we became (behaved), 1 Thessalonians 2:10. παράκλησις, exhortation, rouses one to do something willingly; παραμύθιον, consolation, to do it joyfully; τὸ μαρτυρεῖσθαι, earnest entreaty, testifying [charging], to do it with awe.


Verse 12

1 Thessalonians 2:12. βασιλείαν καὶ δόξαν, His kingdom and glory) A magnificent combination.


Verse 13

1 Thessalonians 2:13. διὰ τοῦτο, for this cause) i.e. because you have had such teachers.— εὐχαριστοῦμεν, we give thanks) The naked and categorical sentence would be, You have received [the word of God]. Affection has rendered the language modal(8) by adding thanksgiving.— παραλαβόντες) παραλαμβάνω signifies simply receiving; δέχομαι, includes also in the signification, pleasure and inclination in receiving.(9)οὐ λόγον ἀνθρώπων, not the word of man) This is an explanation of what he just now said, “the word of God.” Ye have received it, namely, not the word of men, etc.— ὅς, who) viz. God,(10) who thereby shows [viz. by its effectual working in you] that the word is truly the word of God, ch. 1 Thessalonians 4:8-9; Acts 14:3.— ἐνεργεῖται, works effectually) Galatians 3:5. [It, for instance, worketh in you patient endurance, 1 Thessalonians 2:14.—V. g.]


Verse 14

1 Thessalonians 2:14. γὰρ, for) Divine working is most of all seen and felt in affliction.— ἐν τῇ ἰονδαίᾳ, in Judea) The Jewish churches were distinguished examples to all the others.— τὰ αὐτὰ, the same things) So, αὐτὸν, the same [conflict], Philippians 1:30. The sameness of the fruit, the sameness of the afflictions, the sameness of the experimental proofs and characteristics of believers, in all places and at all times, afford an excellent criterion of the truth of the Gospel.— ἰδίων, your own) Matthew 10:36; Luke 13:33, at the end.— συμφυλετῶν, fellow-countrymen) [liter. “persons of the same tribe.”] These were Thessalonians, Jews and Gentiles. Acts 17:5.


Verse 15

1 Thessalonians 2:15. ἀποκτεινάντων, who have killed) This is indeed the sin of the whole people, their greatest sin, and one not yet acknowledged.— προφήτας, the prophets) This word is construed with who have killed. That former guilt of theirs [in killing the prophets] woke up in all its strength then especially, when they slew the Lord Himself.— ἡμᾶς, us) the apostles.— ἐκδιωξάντων, who have cast out by persecution) Luke 11:49, note.— μὴ ἀρεσκόντων) not seeking to please.— ἐναντίων, and are adverse [contrary]) The Jews regarded the Gentiles with aversion, and were unwilling at that time that the word should be preached to them.


Verse 16

1 Thessalonians 2:16. λαλῆσαι, to speak) Less is said than he wishes to be understood by ταπείνωσις.— εἰς τὸ ἀναπληρῶσαι, that they may fill up) Obstinacy against receiving the word above all fills up the measure of sins.— αὐτῶν, their) the sins of the Jews.— πάντοτε) as always, so now also.— εἰς τέλος, [tending] to the end) A sad closing catastrophe [Engl. Vers. to the uttermost]. The same phrase occurs at Luke 18:5. Under Herod Agrippa the Jewish state had begun again to flourish, but after his death, Acts 12:23, the Roman procurators returned. Cumanus and Felix, and their successors, more and more harassed the Jews. This epistle was written in the year of our Lord 48, and about that time a tumult arose at Jerusalem during the feast of the passover, and an immense multitude were slain: some say, more than thirty thousand. The wrath of God closely pursued these miserable men, and εἰς τέλος, [at the last] at length, destroyed their city and temple.


Verse 17

1 Thessalonians 2:17. ἀδελφοὶ, brethren) He begins a new division of the epistle.— ἀπορφανισθέντες, having been bereft of you) as parents, in the absence of their children.— πρὸς καιρὸν ὥρας, [lit. for the space of an hour] for a brief space) καιρὸς means time indefinitely; ὥρα, a definite period, Exodus 13:10, למועדה; LXX., κατὰ καιροὺς ὡρῶν.— ἰδεῖν, to see) 2 Timothy 1:4.


Verse 18

1 Thessalonians 2:18. ἅπαξ καὶ δὶς) So the LXX. Nehemiah 13:20.— σατανᾶς, Satan) Paul wisely considered that there lurked beneath this the first cause of evil—a cause, of which we should have had no suspicion otherwise, when reading the history in Acts 17:13-14. Satan acted by means of wicked men.


Verse 19

1 Thessalonians 2:19. τίς γὰρ) So, τίς γὰρ, LXX., 1 Samuel 11:12.— ἐλπίς, κ. τ. λ.) our hope, etc.: comp. the end of this verse. It is great praise.— στέφανος καυχήσεως, a crown of [rejoicing] glorying) So LXX., Proverbs 16:31.— καὶ ὑμεῖς, even ye) He does not exclude others: he chiefly reckons these among the number.— ἐν, in) Regarding this particle, comp. ch. 1 Thessalonians 3:13; Romans 2:16, note [In the day expresses something more than against the day]. So far is hope extended! [So far does his hope reach! even to the day of Christ.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 2:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-thessalonians-2.html. 1897.

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Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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