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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
1 Thessalonians 3



Verse 1

When we could no longer forbear (μηκετι στεγοντεςmēketi stegontes). ΣτεγωStegō is old verb to cover from στεγηstegē roof (Mark 2:4), to cover with silence, to conceal, to keep off, to endure as here and 1 Corinthians 9:12; 1 Corinthians 13:7. In the papyri in this sense (Moulton and Milligan‘s Vocabulary). ΜηκετιMēketi usual negative with participle in the Koiné{[28928]}š rather than ουκετιouketi

We thought it good (ηυδοκησαμενēudokēsamen). Either literary plural as in 1 Thessalonians 2:18 or Paul and Silas as more likely. If so, both Timothy and Silas came to Athens (Acts 17:15.), but Timothy was sent (we sent, επεμπσαμενepempsamen 1 Thessalonians 3:2) right back to Thessalonica and later Paul sent Silas on to Beroea or Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 2:5, I sent, επεμπσαepempsa). Then both Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia to Corinth (Acts 18:5).

Alone (μονοιmonoi). Including Silas.

Verse 2

God‘s minister (diakonon tou theou). See note on Matthew 20:26 for this interesting word, here in general sense not technical sense of deacon. Some MSS. have fellow-worker (sunergon). Already apostle in 1 Thessalonians 2:7 and now brother, minister (and possibly fellow-worker).

Verse 3

That no man be moved (το μηδενα σαινεσταιto mēdena sainesthai). Epexegetical articular infinitive in accusative case of general reference. ΣαινωSainō is old word to wag the tail, to flatter, beguile and this sense suits here (only N.T. example). The sense of “moved” or troubled or disheartened is from σιαινεσταιsiainesthai the reading of F G and found in the papyri.

We are appointed (κειμεταkeimetha). Present middle, used here as passive of τιτημιtithēmi We Christians are set hereunto (εις τουτοeis touto) to be beguiled by tribulations. We must resist.

Verse 4

We told you beforehand (προελεγομεν υμινproelegomen humin). Imperfect active, we used to tell you beforehand. Old verb, rare in N.T. (only in Paul).

That we are to suffer persecution (οτι μελλομεν τλιβεσταιhoti mellomen thlibesthai). ΜελλωMellō and present passive infinitive. Not mere prediction, but God‘s appointed will as it turned out in Thessalonica.

Verse 5

That I might know (εις το γνωναιeis to gnōnai). Paul‘s common idiom (1 Thessalonians 3:2), εις τοeis to and the infinitive of purpose (second aorist ingressive active of γινωσκωginōskō come to know).

Lest by any means the tempter had tempted you (μη πως επειρασεν υμας ο πειραζωνmē pōs epeirasen humās ho peirazōn). Findlay takes this as a question with negative answer, but most likely negative final clause with μη πωςmē pōs about a past action with aorist indicative according to the classic idiom as in Galatians 2:2 (μη πωσεδραμονmē pōṡ̇edramon) and Galatians 4:11 after verb of fearing (Robertson, Grammar, p. 988). It is a fear that the thing may turn out to be so about the past.

Should be (γενηταιgenētai). Here the usual construction appears (aorist subjunctive with μη πωςmē pōs) about the future.

Verse 6

Even now (αρτιarti). Just now, Timothy having come (ελτοντος Τιμοτεουelthontos Timotheou genitive absolute). Why Silas is not named is not clear, unless he had come from Beroea or elsewhere in Macedonia.

Glad tidings of (ευαγγελισαμενουeuaggelisamenou). First aorist middle participle of the verb for evangelizing (gospelizing).

Good remembrance (μνειανmneian). Same word used by Paul 1 Thessalonians 1:2.

Longing to see us (επιποτουντες ημας ιδεινepipothountes hēmās idein). Old and strong verb, επιepi̇ directive, to long after. Mutual longing that pleased Paul (“we also you”).

Verse 7

Over you (επ υμινEphesians' humin). ΕπιEpi with the locative, the basis on which the “comfort” rests.

In (επιepi). Locative case again with επιepi

Distress (αναγκηιanagkēi).

Physical necessity, common sense in late Greek, choking (αγχω ανγορagchōτλιπσισ τλιβωangor), and crushing trouble (thlipsisthlibō).

Verse 8

If ye stand fast (εαν υμεις στηκετεean humeis stēkete). Condition of first class, εανean and present active indicative (correct text, not στηκητεstēkēte subj.) of στηκωstēkō late form from perfect εστηκαhestēka of ιστημιhistēmi to place.

Verse 9

Render again unto God (τωι τεωι ανταποδουναιtōi theōi antapodounai). Second aorist active infinitive of double compound verb ανταποδιδωμιanṫapodidōmi to give back (αποapo) in return for (αντιanti). Old verb rare in N.T., but again in 2 Thessalonians 1:6.

For you (περι υμωνperi humōn). Around (concerning) you, while in 1 Thessalonians 3:2 υπερhuper (over is used for “concerning your faith.”

For (επιepi). Basis again as cause or ground for the joy.

Wherewith we joy (ηι χαιρομενhēi chairomen). Probably cognate accusative ηνhēn with χαιρομενchairomen attracted to locative χαραιcharāi (Matthew 2:10).

Verse 10

Exceedingly (υπερεκπερισσουhuperekperissou). Double compound adverb, only in 1 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:13 (some MSS. ως̇ōs). Like piling Ossa on Pelion, περισσωςperissōs abundantly, εκ περισσουek perissou out of bounds, υπερεκπερισσουhuperekperissou more than out of bounds (overflowing all bounds).

And perfect (και καταρτισαιkai katartisai). First aorist active articular infinitive of purpose (εις το ιδεινκαιeis to ideiṅ̇kai) of καταρτιζωkatartizō to mend nets (Matthew 4:21) or men (Galatians 6:1) repair. Chiefly late.

That which is lacking in (τα υστερηματαta husterēmata). The shortcomings, the lacks or left-overs (Colossians 1:24). From υστερεωhustereō (υστερονhusteron), to be late.

Verse 11

Our God and Father himself (αυτος ο τεος και πατηρ ημωνautos ho theos kai patēr hēmōn). Note one article with both substantives for one person.

And our Lord Jesus (και ο Κυριος ημων Ιησουςkai ho Kurios hēmōn Iēsous). Separate article here with ΙησουςIēsous In Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1 only one article (not two) treating “our God and Saviour Jesus Christ” as one just like “our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” in 2 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 2:20; 2 Peter 3:18.

Direct our way (κατευτυναι την οδον ημωνkateuthunai tēn hodon hēmōn). First aorist optative (acute accent on penult, not circumflex first aorist active infinitive) of κατευτυνωkateuthunō old verb to make straight path. Singular verb also, though both God and Christ mentioned as subject (unity in the Godhead). Apart from μη γενοιτοmē genoito (may it not come to pass) the optative in a wish of the third person is found in N.T. only in 1 Thessalonians 3:11, 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:5, 2 Thessalonians 3:16; Romans 15:5, Romans 15:13.

Verse 12

The Lord (ο Κυριοςho Kurios). The Lord Jesus. Paul prays to Christ.

Make you to increase (υμας πλεονασαιhumas pleonasai). First aorist active optative (wish for future) of πλεοναζωpleonazō late verb from πλεονpleon (more), to superabound.

And abound (περισσευσαιperisseusai). First aorist active optative (wish for future) of περισσευωperisseuō from περισσοςperissos old verb, to be over (common in N.T.). It is hard to see much difference between the two verbs.

Verse 13

To the end he may stablish (εις το στηριχαιeis to stērixai). Another example of ειςeis and the articular infinitive of purpose. Same idiom in 1 Thessalonians 3:2. From στηριζωstērizō from στηριγχstērigx a support.

Unblameable (αμεμπτουςamemptous). Old compound adjective (αa privative and verbal of μεμπομαιmemphomai to blame). Rare in N.T. Predicate position here. Second coming of Christ again.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 3:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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Sunday, December 15th, 2019
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