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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
2 Thessalonians 3

 

 

Verse 1

1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

Ver. 1. Finally, brethren, &c.] Quod superest, το λοιπον, That which yet remains, brethren. Ministers have never done, but have somewhat more to say ( Redit labor actus in orbem) when they have said their utmost.

Pray for us] As he had done for them, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17. See the like, 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:25. {See Trapp on "1 Thessalonians 5:23"} {See Trapp on "1 Thessalonians 5:24"} Oh, pray (said a dying Dutch divine) that God would preserve the gospel: Pontifex enim Rom. et Concilium Tridentinum mira moliunfur, For the pope and his Trent conventicle are plotting strange businesses.

May have free course] Gr. πρεχη, may run its race, as the sun doth, Psalms 19:4-5. Eusebius saith that the gospel spread at first through the world like a sunbeam. (Hist. ii. 3.)

And be glorified] As it was, Acts 13:48. The word never worketh till it be received with admiration.


Verse 2

2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

Ver. 2. From unreasonable] ατοπων, men compact of mere incongruities, solecising in opinion, speeches, actions.

For all men have not faith] And are therefore unreasonable; nothing is more irrational than irreligion. An unbeliever is no better (but in some respects worse) than a beast; a brutish person skilful to destroy, Ezekiel 21:31.


Verse 3

3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

Ver. 3. But God is faithful] Though men be faithless; and though they be evil, as 2 Thessalonians 3:2, yet he shall keep you from evil, from whatsoever adverse power either of men or devils. Thus the saints may find and fetch comfort from God under whatsoever disasters. They go always under a double guard, the peace of God within them, Philippians 4:7, φρουρησει, and the power of God without them, 1 Peter 1:5, φρουρουμενοι. How then can they possibly miscarry?


Verse 4

4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.

Ver. 4. That ye both do and will do] Qui monet ut facias quod iam facis, ille monendo laudat, &c. Here the apostle, like an orator, entereth their bosoms; and by praising their present obedience, artificially wresteth from them a redoubled diligence; Virtus laudata creseit. Thus being crafty, he catcheth them with guile, as he did those Corinthians, 2 Corinthians 12:16. It must be an elaborate discourse that shall work upon the heart.


Verse 5

5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

Ver. 5. And the Lord direct] Or rectify your crooked hearts and distorted affections, that stand across to all good, till God set them to rights, κατευθυναι. Men’s persuasions are but as a key to a lock that is out of order, unless God cooperate.


Verse 6

6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

Ver. 6. Now we command you] To show how hardly we are divided from evil company, as loth to depart as Lot’s wife out of Sodom, Velut canis famelicus ab uncto corio.

That ye withdraw yourselves] That ye shun them as studiously as the seaman doth a rock or shelf, στελλεσθαι, Nautarum proprium.

From every brother that walketh disorderly] From every profligate professor, and carnal gospeller, that walketh contra gnomonem et Canonem Decalogi, cuique vita est incomposita, et pessime morata (as an interpreter speaketh), contrary to God, and to every good work reprobate.

And not after the tradition] sc. That men should sweat out their living, and earn it before they eat it. Sin brought in sweat, Genesis 3:19. And now, not to sweat, increaseth sin.


Verse 7

7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;

Ver. 7. For yourselves know] You idle addleheads, {a} 2 Thessalonians 3:11. For these he here directs his speech, that by doing nothing, had learned at length to do naughtily. Nihil agendo male agere discimus.

We behaved not ourselves disorderly] Gr. ητακτησαμεν, We brake not our ranks, as unruly soldiers.

{a} Applied contemptuously to one whose intellect seems muddled. ŒD


Verse 8

8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:

Ver. 8. Any man’s bread for nought] But earned it before we eat it. Bread should not be eaten, till it sweat in a man’s hand, or head.


Verse 9

9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

Ver. 9. Not because we have not power] Posse et nolle nobile est. (Chrysost.) {See Trapp on "1 Corinthians 9:4"} {See Trapp on "1 Corinthians 9:5"} {See Trapp on "1 Corinthians 9:6"} {See Trapp on "1 Corinthians 9:7"} {See Trapp on "1 Corinthians 9:8"} {See Trapp on "1 Corinthians 9:9"}

But to make ourselves an example] Those therefore that have enough to live on, must yet be doing something whereby the world may be the better; and not think to come hither merely as rats and mice, only to devour victuals, and to run squeaking up and down. These are ciphers, or rather excrements in human society. By the law of Mahomet, the Great Turk himself is bound to exercise some manual trade or occupation (for none must be idle), as Solyman the Magnificent, that so threatened Vienna, his trade was making of arrow heads; Achmat the Last, horn rings for archers. (Peacham.)


Verse 10

10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

Ver. 10. That if any would not work] In the sweat of thy nose shalt thou eat thy bread, was the old sanction, Genesis 3:19; yea, Paradise, that was man’s storehouse, was also his workhouse. They bury themselves alive, that, as body lice, live on other men’s labours; and it is a sin to help them. Seneca professed, that he had rather be sick in his bed than out of employment.


Verse 11

11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

Ver. 11. Working not at all] But making religion a mask for idleness; whose whole life is to eat, and drink, and sleep, and sport, and sit, and talk and laugh themselves fat. These are an odious sort of Christians; a kind of vagrant people that, having little to do, are set to work by the devil; for idleness is the hour of temptation. Standing pools are full of vermin. Behemoth lieth in the fens, Job 40:21.

But are busybodles] Nihil agentes, sed curiose satagentes: Not working at home, but over working abroad, though to no purpose or profit.


Verse 12

12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

Ver. 12. That with quietness] Being no meddler in other men’s matters, but minding his own. Res tuas age. The pragmatic person is an odious person, and the place where he lives longs for a vomit to spew him out. {See Trapp on "1 Thessalonians 4:11"}


Verse 13

13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

Ver. 13. Be not weary in well doing] No, not to those disorderly (and therefore less worthy) walkers, if in extreme necessity, or if thereby ye may win them from the error of their way. As if any prove refractory and irreformable.

Note that man] σημειουσθε, or, notice him, as infamous; brand him, beware of him; let him see a strangeness in you toward him.

That he may be ashamed] Gr. ινα εντραπη. Ut quaerat ubi se possit prae pudore occultare. (Cameron.) That he may turn into himself, or turn short again upon himself; recognize his disorders, and return to a better course. The repenting prodigal is said to come to himself, Luke 15:17, and those relenting Israelites to bethink themselves, or to bring back to their hearts, 1 Kings 8:47. The Greek here signifies that he may hide his head for shame; Sed illum ego periisse dico, cui periit pudor. (Curtius.) He is past grace that is past shame.


Verse 15

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.

Ver. 15. Yet count him not, &c.] If there be but aliquid Christi, anything of Christ to be discerned in him.

But admonish him as a brother] Conscience is a nice and sullen dame; man a cross, crabbed creature, and will hardly be wrought upon by a stoic sourness, or an imperious boisterousness; but must be gently handled, and fairly admonished. Gentle showers comfort the earth, when dashing storms drown the seed.


Verse 16

16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

Ver. 16. Now the Lord, &c.] He begins, continues, and concludes with fervent prayer. All our sacrifices should be salted with salt, perfumed with this incense of prayer, Colossians 3:17.

The Lord be with you all] Thus he poureth out his affection, by prayer upon prayer for them. A sweet closing up!


Verse 17

17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.

Ver. 17. So I write, The grace, &c.] This is that St Paul would have every, of his Epistles stamped with his own hand, viz. prayer for all his people.


Verse 18

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. <<The second epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens.>>

Ver. 18. So I write, The grace, &c.] This is that St Paul would have every, of his Epistles stamped with his own hand, viz. prayer for all his people.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-thessalonians-3.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 13th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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