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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Thessalonians 5:3

While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.

Adam Clarke Commentary

For when they shall say, Peace and safety - This points out, very particularly, the state of the Jewish people when the Romans came against them; and so fully persuaded were they that God would not deliver the city and temple to their enemies, that they refused every overture that was made to them.

Sudden destruction - In the storming of their city and the burning of their temple, and the massacre of several hundreds of thousands of themselves; the rest being sold for slaves, and the whole of them dispersed over the face of the earth.

As travail upon a woman - This figure is perfectly consistent with what the apostle had said before, viz.: that the times and seasons were not known: though the thing itself was expected, our Lord having predicted it in the most positive manner. So, a woman with child knows that, if she be spared, she will have a bearing time; but the week, the day, the hour, she cannot tell. In a great majority of cases the time is accelerated or retarded much before or beyond the time that the woman expected; so, with respect to the Jews, neither the day, week, month, nor year was known. All that was specifically known was this: their destruction was coming, and it should be sudden, and they should not escape.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For when they shall say, Peace and safety - That is, when the wicked shall say this, for the apostle here refers only to those on whom “sudden destruction” will come; compare Matthew 24:36-42 notes; 2 Peter 3:3-4 notes. It is clear from this:

(1) that when the Lord Jesus shall come the world will not all be converted. There will be some to be “destroyed.” How large this proportion will be, it is impossible now to ascertain. This supposition, however, is not inconsistent with the belief that there will be a general prevalence of the gospel before that period.

(2) the impenitent and wicked world will be sunk in carnal security when he comes. They will regard themselves as safe. They will see no danger. They will give no heed to warning. They will be unprepared for his advent. So it has always been. it seems to be a universal truth in regard to all the visitations of God to wicked people for punishment, that he comes upon them at a time when they are not expecting him, and that they have no faith in the predictions of his advent. So it was in the time of the flood; in the destruction of Sodom Gomorrah, and Jerusalem; in the overthrow of Babylon: so it is when the sinner dies, and so it will be when the Lord Jesus shall return to judge the world. One of the most remarkable facts about the history of man is, that he takes no warning from his Maker; he never changes his plans, or feels any emotion, because his Creator “thunders damnation along his path,” and threatens to destroy him in hell.

Sudden destruction - Destruction that was unforeseen ( αἰφνίδιος aiphnidios) or unexpected. The word here rendered “sudden,” occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, except in Luke 21:34, “Lest that day come upon you unawares.” The word rendered “destruction” - ὄλεθρος olethros- occurs in the New Testament only here and in 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 6:9, in all of which places it is correctly translated destruction. The word destruction is familiar to us. It means, properly, demolition; pulling down; the annihilation of the form of anything, or that form of parts which constitutes it what it is; as the destruction of grass by eating; of a forest by cutting down the trees; of life by murder; of the soul by consigning it to misery. It does not necessarily mean annihilation - for a house or city is not annihilated which is pulled down or burnt; a forest is not annihilated which is cut down; and a man is not annihilated whose character and happiness are destroyed. In regard to the destruction here referred to, we may remark:

(1)it will be after the return of the Lord Jesus to judgment; and hence it is not true that the wicked experience all the punishment which they ever will in the present life;

(2)that it seems fairly implied that the destruction which they will then suffer will not be annihilation, but will be connected with conscious existence; and,

(3)that they will then be cut off from life and hope and salvation.

How can the solemn affirmation that they will be “destroyed suddenly,” be consistent with the belief that all people will be saved? Is it the same thing to be destroyed and to be saved? Does the Lord Jesus, when he speaks of the salvation of his people, say that he comes to destroy them?

As travail upon a woman with child - This expression is sometimes used to denote great consternation, as in Psalm 48:6; Jeremiah 6:24; Micah 4:9-10; great pain, as Isaiah 53:11; Jeremiah 4:31; John 16:21; or the suddenness with which anything occurs; Jeremiah 13:21. It seems here to be used to denote two things; first, that the coming of the Lord to a wicked world will be sudden; and, secondly, that it will be an event of the most distressing and overwhelming nature.

And they shall not escape - That is, the destruction, or punishment. They calculated on impunity, but now the time will have come when none of these refuges will avail them, and no rocks will cover them from the “wrath to come.”


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

1 Thessalonians 5:3

When they shall say, Peace and Safety

The day of days

If Scripture did not warrant the figure in which the future coming of the Lord is compared to the act of a felon breaking into a house at night to plunder, we should not have ventured on it.
The comparison is suggested by the Lord Himself: “Watch, therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. If the good man of the house had known in what hour the thief would come, he would have watched.”

I. The day stated. By the expression, “the day of the Lord,” must be meant a day in some unique sense His day; for all days are really days of the Lord of time.

1. By the day of the Lord is signified that day on which He will take the first place in the thoughts of His responsible creatures.

2. It is the day on which He will bring the vast moral account between Himself and His responsible creatures to an end.

II. The figure employed. What are the ideas suggested by the words, “As a thief in the night”?

1. They are suggestive of fear. The old prophets spoke of the coming day of universal doom as “the great and terrible day of the Lord”; and we cannot but echo their language. But if we will, the Judge may be our Friend and Saviour. It is during the years of time that men decide how they will meet Him.

2. They are suggestive of suddenness. There is the contrast which it will present to many of God’s judgments in the present life. They approach with measured steps. Neither war, nor famine, nor pestilence, come generally like a thief in the night. But not so will be the Second Advent of Christ. A Christian’s first practical anxiety should be expressed in his Master’s words, “Lest coming suddenly He find me sleeping.”

3. They are suggestive of that which cannot be prevented by our own efforts. We cannot prevent the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven: all that we can do is to prepare to meet Him by judging ourselves in self-examination. We may erect in our own heart a tribunal, and bid all our life pass before it; and then we may hear, if we will, the echoes of the voice of Christ, in mercy or condemnation, as that voice will sound to us hereafter from the judgment throne. Thus we may make a business like preparation for death; for death, like judgment, comes as a thief. Death is the ante-chamber of the judgment hall of Christ. To prepare, therefore, for death, is a man’s true and most serious business during his life. “Ye are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief.” (Canon Liddon.)

The sinner’s doom

I. In thy midst of imagined security. When enjoying riches, and contemplating, as the rich fool, their further augmentation; and when, perhaps, trusting in the infinitude of the Divine mercy, and thinking “the day” afar off.

II. Sudden. Without notice: nothing in the course of nature, or the affairs of men, to indicate the catastrophe.

III. Unavoidable: reputation, good works, etc., will be as cobwebs.

IV. Terrible. “Destruction.” (Sir E. Bayley, D. D.)

Delusions

Manton says well, “As the madman at Athens challenged all the ships that came into the harbour for his own, so carnal men claim an interest in heavenly things which are none of theirs. Deceived hearts believe they are running to heaven when they are posting to hell; like rowers in a boat, they look one way, and go contrary.” Religious delusions may be very comfortable while they last, but what will be the misery of their breaking up! To have all your fancied godliness vanish like the mists before the sun will be grievous indeed. In proportion to the confidence inspired will be the despair involved. The poor madman in Bedlam in the olden time placed a straw crown upon his head, and issued orders like a Caesar; it was his madness which made such a farce a comfort to him. In the next world the sinner’s madness will be over, he will be sobered by his despair: what then will he think of his former fancies and fond self-flatteries? What an awaking, from the dreams of bliss to the realities of hell! O my soul, see thou to it that all thy hopes are well grounded! Call not Christ thine, and heaven thine, if they are not so. Do not play the fool with eternal things, but get a sure title to everlasting blessedness. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

False overconfidence

You may have a strong faith in everything else but Christ, and yet perish. There was an architect who had a plan for building a lighthouse on the Eddystone Rock. It quite satisfied his mind, and as he sat by the fire looking at the plan, he was quite sure that no storm that ever came could shake the building. He applied for the contract to build the lighthouse, and he did build it, and a very singular looking place it was. There were a great many flags about it and ornaments, and it looked very promising. Some shook their heads a little, but he was very, very firm, and said he should like to be in it himself in the worst wind that ever blew. He was in it at the time he wanted to be, and he was never heard of again, nor was anything more ever seen of his lighthouse. The whole thing was swept away. He was a man of great faith, only it happened to be founded on mistaken principles. (J. L. Nye.)

False peace

Your peace, sinner, is that terribly prophetic calm which the traveller occasionally perceives upon the higher Alps. Everything is still. The birds suspend their notes, fly low, and cower down with fear. The hum of bees among the flowers is hushed. A horrible stillness rules the hour, as if death had silenced all things by stretching over them his awful sceptre. Perceive ye not what is surely at hand? The tempest is preparing; the lightning will soon cast abroad its flames of fire. Earth will rock with thunder blasts; granite peaks will be dissolved; all nature will tremble beneath the fury of the storm. Yours is that solemn calm today, sinner. Rejoice not in it, for the hurricane of wrath is coming, the whirlwind and the tribulation which shall sweep you away and utterly destroy you. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Secure in sin

“A Swiss traveller,” says the Edinburgh Review, “describes a village situated on the slope of a great mountain, of which the strata shelve in the direction of the place. Huge crags directly overhanging the village, and massy enough to sweep the whole of it into the torrent below, have become separated from the main body of the mountain in the course of ages by great fissures, and now scarce adhere to it. When they give way, the village must perish; it is only a question of time, and the catastrophe may happen any day. For years past engineers have been sent to measure the fissures, and report them constantly increasing. The villagers, for more than one generation, have been aware of their danger; subscriptions have been once or twice opened to enable them to remove; yet they live on in their doomed dwellings, from year to year, fortified against the ultimate certainty and daily probability of destruction by the common sentiment ‘Things may last their time and longer.’” Like the dwellers in this doomed village, the world’s inhabitants have grown careless and secure in sin. The scoffers of the last days are around us, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers have fallen asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” But in saying this, they are too confident. Nothing is permanent that has sin about it, nothing secure that has wrath above it, and flames of fire beneath it. Sin has once deluged the world with water, it shall deluge it again with waves of fire. Sodom and Gomorrah are the types that foreshadow the doom of those that live ungodly in these latter times, and he who can walk this reeling world unmoved by all the tokens of its fiery doom, must either have a rock of refuge where his soul may rest secure, or else must have fallen into a strange carelessness, and a sad forgetfulness of God. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Procrastination leads to sudden destruction

Do any of you remember the loss of the vessel called the Central America? She was in a bad state, had sprung a leak and was going down, and she therefore hoisted a signal of distress. A ship came close to her, the captain of which asked, through the trumpet, “What is amiss?” “We are in bad repair, and are going down: lie by till morning,” was the answer. But the captain on board the rescue ship said, “Let me take your passengers on board now.” “Lie by till morning,” was the message which came back. Once again the captian cried, “You had better let me take your passengers on board now.” “Lie by till morning,” was the reply which sounded through the trumpet. About an hour and a half after, the lights were missing, and though no sound was heard, she and all on board had gone down to the fathomless abyss. Oh, unconverted friends, for God’s sake, do not say, “Lie by till morning.” Today, even today, hear ye the voice of God. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

A deadly peace

The old fable described the vampire bat, in tropical countries, as hovering above its victims, and drinking their life blood, while it soothes them to sleep on by fanning them with its wings all the while. So the devil soothes souls into deadly sleep. (J. W. Hardman.)

Danger near and man unconscious of it

Many years ago there was a terrible murder in one of our rural counties. A desperate man determined to kill the squire of the village. No danger was thought of, no such peril was dreaded. With unclosed shutters the doomed man sat in his house, his family moving in and out, his books, his papers around him in perfect security, as he thought. But meanwhile, creeping behind the shrubs of the lawn, in the gathering twilight, with his loaded gun, crept the armed assailant, till the bringing in of the evening lamp cast its glow through the comfortable chamber within, and enabled a sure and deadly aim to be taken by the murderer outside. Even so does the devil plot our ruin. (J. W. Hardman.)

Unconsciousness of the approach of death

Even when death is not absolutely sudden, how often have I seen persons, who were ill, wholly refuse to believe or realize that their sickness was unto death. Almost till the day of their departure they have talked quite confidently of what they intended to do when they rose from the bed of sickness; have perhaps even seemed to themselves to be much better just before they sank into the long swoon which can only end in the last fluttering sigh. “O God, they have deceived me then; and this is death!” was the startling exclamation of a sinful English king, and with those words he sank back and died. And very commonly for hours, and even days, before death, men and women lie quite unconscious; the pulse still beats, the breath still labours, possibly the tongue still murmurs, as the imagination floats amid the confused reminiscences of the past, and babbles of green fields far away. But no voice of exhortation can reach them then; they can gather no thought into consecutive meaning; they can breathe no prayer unto Him into whose awful presence they are about to enter. (Canon Farrar.)

Men lured to destruction

The other day I was going down the street and I saw a drove of pigs following a man. This excited my curiosity, so that I determined to follow. I did so, and to my great surprise I saw them follow him to the slaughterhouse. I was very anxious to know how this was, and I said to the man, “My friend, how did you manage to induce those pigs to follow you here?” “Oh, did you not see?” said the man; “I had a basket of beans under my arms, and I dropped a few as I came along, and so they followed me.” Yes, and I thought, so it is; the devil has a basket of beans under his arm, and he drops them as he goes along, and what multitudes he induces to follow him to an everlasting slaughter house! Yes, friends, and all your broad and crowded thoroughfares are strewn with the beans of the devil. (Rowland Hill.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 Thessalonians 5:3". The Biblical Illustrator. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

When they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape.

When they are saying ... has the equivalent meaning of "When people are saying."[8] Primarily, it is the non-Christian portion of humanity in view, because the thrust of this warning is that Christians may not find themselves surprised by the Lord's coming. As Moffatt expressed it:

While the Day comes suddenly to Christians and unbelievers alike, only the latter are surprised by it. Christians are on the alert, open-eyed; they do not know when it is to come, but they are alive to any signs of its coming.[9]

Peace and safety ... At the precise moment when humanity feels most secure in their rebellious and sinful course against God, and at a time when all of the devices of government and society may have produced the environment in which man may fancy that the peace, prosperity and safety of the whole world have been secured - precisely then shall the Lord descend from heaven with a mighty shout, the voice of the archangel and the trump of God!

Travail upon a woman with child ... A very apt simile is this; for, as Ward noted, "The sudden pain of labor, even when it is expected (and a woman expects labor just as a Christian expects the [@parousia]), it is sudden when it comes."[10]

[8] J. R. Dummelow, Commentary on the Holy Bible (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1937), p. 979.

[9] James Moffatt, The Expositor's Greek Testament, Vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967), p. 39.

[10] Ronald A. Ward, Commentary on 1,2Thessalonians (Waco, Texas: Word Books, Publisher, 1973), p. 110.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-thessalonians-5.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For when they shall say,.... Or men shall say, that is, wicked and ungodly men, persons in a state of unregeneracy:

peace and safety; when they shall sing a requiem, to themselves, promise themselves much ease and peace for years to come, and imagine their persons and property to be very secure from enemies and oppressors, and shall flatter themselves with much and long temporal happiness:

then sudden destruction cometh upon them; as on the men of the old world in the times of Noah, and on the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Lot; for as these, will be the days of the Son of man, as at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, so at the last day; see Luke 17:26 and as was the destruction of literal Babylon, so of Babylon in a mystical sense, or antichrist and his followers: and which will be

as travail upon a woman with child; whose anguish and pains are very sharp, the cause of which is within herself, and which come suddenly upon her, and are unavoidable; and so the metaphor expresses the sharpness and severity of the destruction of the wicked, thus the calamities on the Jewish nation are expressed by a word which signifies the sorrows, pangs, and birth throes of a woman in travail, Matthew 24:8, and likewise that the cause of it is from themselves, their own sins and transgressions; and also the suddenness of it, which will come upon them in the midst of all their mirth, jollity, and security; and moreover, the inevitableness of it, it will certainly come at the full and appointed time, though that is not known:

and they shall not escape; the righteous judgment of God, the wrath of the Lamb, or falling into his hands; to escape is impossible, rocks, hills, and mountains will not cover and hide them; before the judgment seat of Christ they must stand, and into everlasting punishment must they go.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

they — the men of the world. 1 Thessalonians 5:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 4:13, “others,” all the rest of the world save Christians.

Peace — (Judges 18:7, Judges 18:9, Judges 18:27, Judges 18:28; Jeremiah 6:14; Ezekiel 13:10).

thenat the very moment when they least expect it. Compare the case of Belshazzar, Daniel 5:1-5, Daniel 5:6, Daniel 5:9, Daniel 5:26-28; Herod, Acts 12:21-23.

sudden — “unawares” (Luke 21:34).

as travail — “As the labor pang” comes in an instant on the woman when otherwise engaged (Psalm 48:6; Isaiah 13:8).

shall not escapeGreek, “shall not at all escape.” Another awful feature of their ruin: there shall be then no possibility of shunning it however they desire it (Amos 9:2, Amos 9:3; Revelation 6:15, Revelation 6:16).


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

When they are saying (οταν λεγωσινhotan legōsin). Present active subjunctive picturing these false prophets of peace and safety like Ezekiel 13:10 (Peace, and there is no peace). ΑσπαλειαAsphaleia only in N.T. in Luke 1:4 (which see); Acts 5:23 and here.

Sudden destruction (αιπνιδιος ολετροςaiphnidios olethros). ΟλετροςOlethros old word from ολλυμιollumi to destroy. See also 2 Thessalonians 1:9. ΑιπνιδιοςAiphnidios old adjective akin to απνωaphnō and in N.T. only here and Luke 21:34 where Westcott and Hort spell it επνιδιοςephnidios

Cometh upon them (αυτοις επισταταιautois epistatai). Unaspirated form instead of the usual επισταταιephistatai (present middle indicative) from επιστημιephistēmi perhaps due to confusion with επισταμαιepistamai

As travail upon a woman with child (ωσπερ η ωδιν τηι εν γαστρι εχουσηιhōsper hē ōdin tēi en gastri echousēi). Earlier form ωδιςōdis for birth-pang used also by Jesus (Mark 13:8; Matthew 24:8). Technical phrase for pregnancy, to the one who has it in belly (cf. Matthew 1:18 of Mary).

They shall in no wise escape (ου μη εκπυγωσινou mē ekphugōsin). Strong negative like that in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 ου μηou mē (double negative) and the second aorist active subjunctive.


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
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-thessalonians-5.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

When they shall say

The prediction is thrown into dramatic form.

Cometh upon ( ἐπίσταται )

See Luke 21:34, Luke 21:36. Often in N.T. of a person coming suddenly upon another; as Luke 2:9; Luke 24:4; Acts 4:1; Acts 12:7.

Travail ( ὠδὶν )

Birth-throe. Only here in its literal sense. Elsewhere as a strong figure of sorrow or pain. See Matthew 24:8; Mark 13:8; Acts 2:24. For the figure in O.T. see Isaiah 13:6-8; Isaiah 37:3; Micah 4:9; Hosea 13:3; Jeremiah 13:21.

Shall not escape ( οὐ μὴ ἐκφύγωσιν )

A.V. misses the force of the double negative. They shall in no wise escape.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/1-thessalonians-5.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

When they - The men of the world say.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

3For when they shall say. Here we have an explanation of the similitude, the day of the Lord will be like a thief in the night. Why so? because it will come suddenly to unbelievers, when not looked for, so that it will take them by surprise, as though they were asleep. But whence comes that sleep? Assuredly from deep contempt of God. The prophets frequently reprove the wicked on account of this supine negligence, and assuredly they await in a spirit of carelessness not merely that last judgment, but also such as are of daily occurrence. Though the Lord threatens destruction, (592) they do not hesitate to promise themselves peace and every kind of prosperity. And the reason why they fall into this destructive indolence (593) is, because they do not see those things immediately accomplished, which the Lord declares will take place, for they reckon that to be fabulous that does not immediately present itself before their eyes. For this reason the Lord, in order that he may avenge this carelessness, which is full of obstinacy, comes all on a sudden, and contrary to the expectation of all, precipitates the wicked from the summit of felicity. He sometimes furnishes tokens of this nature of a sudden advent, but that will be the principal one, when Christ will come down to judge the world, as he himself testifies, (Matthew 24:37) comparing that time to the age of Noe, inasmuch as all will give way to excess, as if in the profoundest repose.

As the pains of child-bearing. Here we have a most apt similitude, inasmuch as there is no evil that seizes more suddenly, and that presses more keenly and more violently on the very first attack; besides this, a woman that is with child carries in her womb occasion of grief without feeling it, until she is seized amidst feasting and laughter, or in the midst of sleep.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Ver. 3. For when they shall say] Security is the certain usher of destruction, as in Benhadad’s army, and Pompey’s before the Pharsalian field. Some of them contended for the priesthood, which was Caesar’s office, others disposed of the consulships and offices in Rome, as if all were already their own; Pompey himself being so wretchedly reckless, that he never considered into what place he were best to retire if he lost the day.

Then shall sudden destruction] As philosophers say, that before a snow the weather will be warmish; when the wind lies, the great rain falls; and the air is most quiet when suddenly there will be an earthquake.

As travail upon a woman] 1. Certainly; 2. Suddenly; 3. Irresistibly, inevitably.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

3.] Following out of the comparison ὡς κλ. ἐν νυκτί, into detail.

λέγωσιν, viz. men in general—the children of the world, as opposed to the people of God: cf. ὄλεθρος below. The vivid description dispenses with any copula.

εἰρ. κ. ἀσφ., scil. ἐστιν, see ref. Ezek.

αἰφνίδ. has the emphasis, becoming a kind of predicate.

ἐφίσταται, generally used of any sudden unexpected appearance: see reff., and Acts 4:1.

It is pressing too close the comparison ὥσπερ ἡ ὠδὶν κ. τ. λ., when De W. says that it “assumes the day to be near,—for that such a woman, though she does not know the day and the hour, yet has a definite knowledge of the period:” for it is not the woman, nor her condition, that is the subject of comparison, but the unexpected pang of labour which comes on her.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

1 Thessalonians 5:3. Paul carries on in a vivid manner (therefore asyndetically) the description of the sudden and unexpected nature in which the advent is to break in, whilst he indicates that precisely at the time when man fancies himself in the greatest security, the advent will occur. But with this thought is the wider and more special thought blended, that they who dream of security and serve earthly things will reap the fruit of their carelessness, namely, destruction.

ὅταν λέγωσιν] when they shall say, when it is said. As the subject of the verb, the apostle naturally thinks not on the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Harduin), but, as is evident from the nature of the expression of opinion added, and from the apodosis, unbelievers and merely nominal Christians, the children of this world; comp. Matthew 24:38 ff.; Luke 17:26 ff. For the pious and true Christian never abandons himself to the feeling of security, but is always mindful of his salvation with fear and trembling; comp. Philippians 2:12.

εἰρήνη καὶ ἀσφάλεια] sc. ἐστίν; comp. Ezekiel 13:10.

ἐφίσταται] imminet, or it surprises them.

ἐκφύγωσιν] stands absolutely. Camerarius and others unnecessarily supply τὸν ὄλεθρον. Moreover, de Wette justly remarks, that in the comparison of the pangs of a pregnant woman, the supposition is contained that the advent is close at hand; for although the day and the hour, indeed, is not known to her, yet the period of her bearing is proximately known. Comp. Theodoret: σφόδρα πρόσφορον τὸ παράδειγμα· καὶ γὰρ κύουσα οἶδεν ὅτι φέρει τὸ ἔμβρυον, ἀγνοεῖ δὲ τὸν τῶν ὠδίνων καιρόν· οὕτω καὶ ἡμεῖς, ὅτι μὲν ἐπιφανήσεται τῶν ὅλων κύριος, ἴσμεν, σαφῶς δὲ αὐτὸν τὸν καιρὸν οὐδαμῶς ἐδιδάχθημεν. Oecumenius: καλῶς δὲ τὸ ὑπόδειγμα τέθεικε τῆς ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσης· καὶ γὰρ καὶ αὕτη σημεῖα μὲν ἔχει τοῦ τόκου πολλά, αὐτῆς δὲ τῆς ὥρας τῆς ἡμέρας οὐκ ἔτι.

REMARK.

If ὅταν δέ (see critical remark) is read, we might, with Schott, whom Koch follows, find the following contrast with αὐτοί in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 expressed: ye indeed know certainly that the day of the Lord will infallibly and suddenly arrive; but the day of the Lord, bringing destruction, will surprise the unbelieving and ungodly, who live in carelessness and security. But were such an emphatic opposition of persons the intention of the apostle, he would have attached to the simple verb ὅταν δὲ λέγωσιν a particular personal designation. Besides, αὐτοί, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, already forms a contrast with the person of the writer, 1 Thessalonians 5:1; accordingly, it is improbable that αὑτοί, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, should be so emphatically placed first, in order at the same time to introduce a contrast to third persons who are not mentioned until 1 Thessalonians 5:3. Lastly, it is evident from the context that it is by no means the design of the apostle to explain that the day of the Lord will befall Christians prepared, but unbelievers unprepared; but he purposes to remind them only of the sudden and unexpected entrance of the advent itself.

(3) 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11. Exhortation to be ready and prepared for the coming of the advent, occasioned and also softened by the previous indication of their character as “of the light,” which the readers by reason of their peculiarity as Christians possessed.


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 Thessalonians 5:3. λέγωσιν, they say) all the others (the rest, οἱ λοιποί), who are of darkness, 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 [ch. 1 Thessalonians 4:13].— εἰρήνη καὶ ἀσφάλεια, peace and safety) They will regard it as an established fact, that the world is eternal.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For when they shall say, Peace and safety: by these words the apostle proves that the day of the Lord will come unexpected, by the security that will be then found in the world. They say it in their hearts and practice, if not with their tongues. And he useth two words the better to express the greatness of this security, present peace, and no danger of sliding, as the words import. And as the effect of Christ’s coming will be

destruction to such, which will be salvation to others, Hebrews 9:28; so through their security it will be

sudden destruction, which he describes under the similitude of travail upon a woman with child, which doth for the most part come of a sudden, and is the most exquisite pains in nature, and is often made use of in Scripture to set forth extremity of misery, Isaiah 13:8 Jeremiah 13:21. And these pains come upon her unavoidably; so saith the apostle of these men’s destruction,

and they shall not escape, or in no wise escape, expressed in the Greek by two negatives, which do strongly affirm.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

They; the wicked, who are living in careless security. Compare Matthew 24:37-39.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-thessalonians-5.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

3. ὄταν λέγωσιν Εἰρήνη καὶ ἀσφάλεια. When they are saying, (There is) peace and safety (security). This verse stands in abrupt (asyndetic) explanatory relation to ὅτιἔρχεται (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Once more the prophetic language of the O.T. is drawn upon: see Micah 3:5 f.; Jeremiah 6:14 f., Jeremiah 8:11; Ezekiel 13:10—where the false assurances of lying prophets are denounced. “It seems not unlikely that this sentence,” continuing as it does 1 Thessalonians 5:2 without a break, “is a direct quotation from our Lord’s words” unrecorded elsewhere (Lightfoot): cf. notes above on αὐτοὶοἴδατε and ὡς κλέπτης ἐν νυκτί; also note below on τότε αἰφνίδιος κ.τ.λ. The subject of λέγωσιν is given by the context, viz., the men “of night” and “of darkness.” Εἰρήνη κ.τ.λ. forms an elliptical clause—the utterance of those cherishing a false security. At the very moment when men of the world are wrapped in ease and are assuring each other that all is well, the ruin breaks upon them,—e.g. in the case of the πλούσιος ἄφρων of Luke 12:16 ff. Periods of self-complacent prosperity are pregnant with calamity, and prelude some awful “Day of the Lord.”

τότε αἰφνίδιος αὐτοῖς ἐπίσταται ὄλεθρος: then suddenly over them stands destruction. Tunc repentinus eis superveniet interitus (Vulg.), imminet excidium (Beza)—not seen approaching, but first visible as it presses close upon the doomed transgressors and is on the point of overwhelming them. The words of Jesus reported in Luke 21:34 are distinctly echoed, not in thought only but in phraseology: προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς μή ποτε βαρηθῶσιν αἱ καρδίαι ὑμῶν ἐν κραιπάλῃ καὶ μέθῃ (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:7 below) καὶ μερίμναις βιωτικαῖς, καὶ ἐπιστῇ ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς αἰφνίδιος (in these two places only in N.T.) ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνη ὡς παγίς; cf., besides Matthew 24:38 ff., Luke 17:26 ff. “One out of several special points of coincidence between St Paul’s Epistles and the Third Gospel, where it diverges from the others” (Lightfoot); cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; 1 Corinthians 15:5, 1 Timothy 5:18. Αἰφνίδιος bears emphasis by its place at the beginning, and ὄλεθρος at the end of the sentence; being a secondary adjectival predicate, the former is best rendered by the English adverb. For ὄλεθρος, see note to 2 Thessalonians 1:9.

Ἐπίσταται stands for ἐφίσταται in the best mss. (see Textual Note above). The earlier Greek Codices show considerable variation and uncertainty in regard to the aspirate: “the spiritus asper tended gradually to disappear” (Winer-Schmiedel, Grammatik, p. 38). Here the form of the cognate verb ἐπίσταμαι probably reacted on the middle voice of ἐφίστημι; “aspiration is” almost “universal in the other 14 examples of compounds of ἴστημι with a preposition capable of showing aspiration” (WH). The same double spelling appears in the mss. of Wisdom of Solomon 6:8 [9]; and D makes the opposite confusion, ἐφ- (for ἐπ-)ίστασθε, in Acts 10:28.

ὥσπερ ἡ ὠδὶν τῇ ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσῃ, as the birth-pang (comes on) her that is with child: another O.T. simile (Isaiah 13:6-8; Isaiah 37:3; Hosea 13:13; Micah 4:9 f.; thrice in Jeremiah); used by Jesus, on the happier side of its application, in John 16:21; also in Galatians 4:19. Ἐν γαστρὶ ἔχειν, or φέρειν, is an established Greek locution for pregnancy. There lie in this comparison the three points of inevitable certainty, suddenness, and intense pain. Hence the added clause, καὶ οὐ μὴ ἐκφύγωσιν, and they shall in no wise escape: a further reminiscence of the warning of Luke 21—ἵνα κατισχύσητε ἐκφυγεῖν ταῦτα πάντα (Luke 21:36); for ἐκφεύγειν in similar threatenings, cf. Romans 2:3; Hebrews 2:3; Hebrews 12:25.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 contrast the outlook of the readers, in view of the dread “day”—so certain in itself, so uncertain in its date—with that of the careless world around them.


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"Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1896.

George Milligan - Paul's Epistle to the Thessalonians

3. ὅταν λέγωσιν κτλ.] There is good authority for inserting δέ (WH. mg.) after ὅταν, but on the whole ms. evidence is against it, and the verse must be regarded as standing in close (asyndetic) relation to the preceding clause. The subject is left indefinite, but can only be unbelieving men (Beng.: ‘ceteri, qui sunt tenebrarum’), while the pres. (instead of the aor.) subj. after ὅταν points to coincidence of time in the events spoken of: it is ‘at the very moment when they are saying’ &c., cf. Revelation 18:9, and see Abbott Joh. Gr. p. 385.

εἰρήνη κτλ.] a reminiscence of Ezekiel 13:10 ( λέγοντες εἰρήνη, και οὐκ ἢν εἰρήνη), ἀσφάλεια (Vg. securitas, Clarom. munitio, Ambrstr. firmitas) being added here to draw increased attention to the feeling of security. The latter word is rare in the N.T. occurring elsewhere only twice in Lk. (Go.1 Acts 1): in the papyri it is found as a law-term = ‘bond,’ ‘security,’ e.g. P.Tebt. 27, 73 f. (2./b.c.) ἄνευ τοῦ δοῦναι τὴν ἀσφάλειαν.

τότε αἰφνίδιος κτλ.] Cf. Luke 21:34 προδέχετε δὲ ἑαυτοῖς μή ποτε ... ἐπιστῇ ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς ἑφνίδιος τ̔ ἡμέρα ἐκείνη ὡς παγίς.

αἰ(ε)φνίδιος is found only in these two passages in the N.T., but it occurs several times in the O.T. apocrypha, Sap. 17:15 (14) αἰφνίδιος γὰρ αὐτοῖς καὶ ἀπροσδόκητος φόβος ἐπῆλθεν, 2 Maccabees 14:17, 3 Maccabees 3:24; cf. also O.G.I.S. 339, 18 (2./b.c.) ἐκ τῆς αἰφνιδίου περιστάσεως. For the form see WH.2 Notes p.157 f., and for the use of the adjective, where we would expect an adverb, to give point and clearness to the sentence see WM. p. 582 f. The adverb is found in P.Fay. 123, 21 f. (c. a.d. 100) ἀλλὰ αἰφνιδί[.]ως εἴρηχεν ἡμῖν σήμερον.

In ἐπίσταται (Vg. superveniet, Beza imminet) the idea of suddenness does not belong to the verb itself, though frequently, as here, it is suggested by the context, cf. Luke 20:1, Acts 6:12; Acts 17:5, where ἐφίστημι is used similarly of hostile intent. It occurs elsewhere in the Pauline writings only in 2 Timothy 4:2; 2 Timothy 4:6. The unaspirated form ἐπίσταται may be due to confusion with the other verb ἐπίσταμαι (WH.2 Notes p. 151, WSchm. p. 39).

ὄλεθρος (class., LXX.) is confined in the N.T. to the Pauline Epp., and, while not necessarily implying annihilation (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:5), carries with it the thought of utter and hopeless ruin, the loss of all that gives worth to existence (2 Thessalonians 1:9, 1 Timothy 6:9): cf. Sap. 1:12 and especially 4 Maccabees 10:15 where τὸν αἰώνιον τοῦ τυράννου ὄλεθρον is contrasted with τὸν ἀοίδιμον τῶν εὐσεβῶν βίον. The word is thus closely related to ἀπωλεία (Matthew 7:13, Romans 9:22, Philippians 3:19): see further J. A. Beet The Last Things (ed. 1905) p. 122 ff.

ὥσπερ ἡ ὠδίν κτλ.] Another reminiscence of our Lord’s teaching, Matthew 24:8, Mark 13:8, cf. John 16:21. The same figure is frequent in the O.T. e.g. Isaiah 13:8, Jeremiah 4:31, Hosea 13:13, 2 Esdras 16:38 f.—passages which doubtless suggested the Rabbinic expectation of the חֶבְלֵי־הַמָּשִׁיחַ, see Schürer Geschichte3 2. p. 523 f. (E.Tr. Div. 11. 2. p. 154 f.), Weber Jüd. Theol. p. 350 f. The expression is never however used by St Paul in this sense (for the idea cf. 1 Corinthians 7:26 ), and in the present passage the figure must not be pressed to denote more than the suddenness of the coming—

For suddenly

It comes; the dreadfulness must be

In that; all warrants the belief—

‘At night it cometh like a thief.’

(B. Browning ‘Easter-Day.’)

The late ὠδίν (for ὠδίς) is found in the LXX. Isaiah 37:3; cf. in the κοινή nom. εὐθύριν, P.Grenf. 11. 35, 5 (1./b.c.). In οὐ μὴ ἐκφύγ. we have probably another reminiscence of Luke 21. (see above), ἵνα κατισχύσητε ἐκφυγεῖν ταῦτα πάντα (v. 36). For the absolute use of the verb in the present passage cf. Acts 16:27, Hebrews 2:3; Hebrews 12:25, Sirach 16:13 (14), and for οὐ μή see the note on 4:15.


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Milligan, George. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "George Milligan - Paul's Epistle to the Thessalonians". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gmt/1-thessalonians-5.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘When they are saying “Peace and Safety (or ‘Certainty’)”, then sudden destruction comes on them, as birth-pains on a woman with child, and they shall in no way escape.’

This defines further the day of the Lord in terms of God’s final judgments. The world, content and self satisfied, says ‘Peace and safety’, and then suddenly and unexpectedly, as with the final moments before birth, sudden destruction comes from which they cannot escape. Whether this comprises final desolation on earth in the midst of warfare and violence, or the activity of God as judge we are not told. ‘Destruction’ (olethros) describes the sentence after judgment in 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 6:9.

‘Peace and safety.’ The idea of falsely saying ‘peace’ occurs regularly in the Old Testament, see Ezekiel 13:10; Jeremiah 6:14; Jeremiah 8:11; Micah 3:5. The word translated safety can mean ‘certainty’ (Luke 1:4), ‘safely secured’. Possibly it is intended to be seen as an ironic declaration of false certainty over against the truth. The suddenness of the destruction is an argument against seeing this as referring to destruction over a period of time. It suggests the final judgment.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-thessalonians-5.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3. They shall say—A sudden and significant change from ye to they; the they of the age of the advent, who will be in no state of faith and preparation. Comp. Matthew 24:38, and Luke 17:26.

Then—At whatever age of the world this event takes place, its then shall be a sudden one, and the result shall be destruction, that is, not annihilation, but ruin to the unbelieving rioters.

Travail—Lunemann unhappily sanctions the false inference of De Wette, that as the woman knows the near approach though not the hour, so the apostle claimed the unknown hour to be within his own day. But the only point of comparison is between the suddenness, of the birth-pang and that of the advent; nothing of the woman’s earlier knowledge is adduced.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Evidently the occasion for the false sense of security felt then will be the Antichrist"s signing of a covenant with Israel (cf. Daniel 9:27). Thus the beginning of the day of the Lord and the beginning of Daniel"s seventieth week also coincide. [Note: See Showers, Maranatha ..., pp58-63.] That signing will set the stage for a period of unprecedented destruction even though it will be the signing of a peace treaty. Unbelievers living on earth then will be able to anticipate this period of persecution since God has revealed it in Scripture. It will be much like a pregnant woman"s delivery which observers can anticipate by her appearance (cf. Matthew 24:8). No one living on the earth then will in any way (double negative for emphasis in the Greek text) escape the turmoil to follow. They cannot escape it any more than a pregnant woman can escape delivering her child. This seems to argue against midtribulationism. No one on earth who is living in peace and safety during the first half of the Tribulation will escape the destruction coming in the second half, except those who die.


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-thessalonians-5.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

1 Thessalonians 5:3. When they shall say. When ‘unbelieving and unthinking’ men are persuading themselves that there is no cause for apprehension, then destruction comes upon them suddenly.

As travail upon her that is with child. This is the usual expression in Scripture for great anguish, but the point of the comparison in this passage seems to be the suddenness of the pang. The woman is seized as she travels, or sits at table, or lies asleep the suddenness being all the more striking because she thinks she is prepared for it. The inevitable nature of that pain may also be in the apostle’s mind, and may have suggested the following clause.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 Thessalonians 5:3. ὅταν, κ. τ. λ., when the very words, “All’s well,” “It is all right,” are on their lips.— ἐπίσταται, of an enemy suddenly appearing (Isocrat., Evag., § 58 ἐπὶ τὸ βασίλειον ἐπιστάς, Herod. iv. 203).— αὐτοῖς, i.e., while the Day comes suddenly to Christians and unbelievers alike, only the latter are surprised by it. Christians are on the alert, open-eyed; they do not know when it is to come, but they are alive to any signs of its coming. Thus there is no incompatibility between this emphasis on the instantaneous character of the advent and the emphasis, in II., 2 Thessalonians 2:3 f., on the preliminary conditions.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1897-1910.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

1 Thessalonians 5:3 “When they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape”

“When”: Which connects with everything that has proceeded, all the way back to 4:13. "When" Jesus comes and Christians are raised and changed (4:16-17), the unbelievers will have been saying "peace and safety", therefore we do not have two or three comings of Jesus involving different groups of people. Instead one coming in which both the righteous and the wicked are involved (John 5:28-29; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). “They are saying”: The unbelievers are saying this in the time period before Jesus arrives. “Peace and safety”: “All is quiet and safe” (TCNT). “Present active” (Robertson p. 34). “Safety”: A word that means security, certainty and safety. “It is an unusual word with a basic meaning like ‘that cannot be shaken’” (Morris p. 153). “They will be rejoicing in a fancied security right up to the very moment of the disaster. Moffatt brings this out by rendering, ‘when all"s well" and "all is safe" are on the lips of men” (Morris p. 153).

Various contributing factors to this false security are noted in the Scriptures: Religious teachers who tell people that they do not have to worry (Jeremiah 6:14). The passage of time (2 Peter 3:8-9). A materialistic view of life, that is, nothing supernatural has ever happened on this planet (2 Peter 3:4). Preoccupation with the physical things of life (Matthew 24:37-39). The same people who just never seem to have the "time" to serve God are the same people who will not be prepared when Jesus does come. Consider that a supposed coming of Jesus following 7 years of all out world war (the great tribulation) does not fit this context for the people on this planet are saying, "peace and safety" right before Jesus comes!

“Then sudden destruction cometh upon them”: “Destruction shall come upon them in a moment” (Con). Groups like the Jehovah Witnesses are always trying to get the idea of annihilation into the word "destruction", that is, hell for the wicked is complete annihilation, yet the same groups also believe that one ceases to exist at death. So what can God do to a person that man cannot? If someone kills you, then they have completely ended your existence (according to their doctrine) (Matthew 10:28), seeing that death and hell are both non-existence. “As travail”: A pang or throe, especially of childbirth. “As birth pangs of a pregnant woman” (Phi). “And they shall in no wise escape”: “When the time has come, what is in the womb must come forth. The travail cannot be avoided. It will be completely impossible for men to escape, and Paul does not leave this to be inferred, but states it categorically. It still needs emphasis that there are no other alternatives than life with the Lord or eternal loss. One or the other is inevitable” (Morris p. 154). “So, putting the two metaphors together, we may say that Christ"s coming will be (1) sudden and unexpected and (2) sudden and unavoidable. In the first case there will be no warning, and in the second no escape” (Stott p. 109). Obviously then, everyone will not be right with God when Jesus comes, therefore the idea that God will end up saving everyone is false (Matthew 7:13-14; Matthew 21:1-46; Matthew 22:1-46; Matthew 23:1-39).


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

For. The texts omit.

shall. Omit.

sudden. Greek. aiphnidios. Only here and Luke 21:34.

destruction. Greek. olethros. See 1 Corinthians 5:5.

travail. Greek. odin. See Acts 2:24.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

They - the men of the world. 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6; Colossians 4:13, "others:" all the rest of the world except Christians.

Peace (Judges 18:7; Judges 18:9; Judges 18:27-28; Jeremiah 6:14; Ezekiel 13:10).

Then - at that very moment, when they least expect it. Compare Belshazzar, Daniel 5:1-6; Daniel 5:9; Daniel 5:26-28; Herod, Acts 12:21-23; Luke 21:25-35.

Cometh upon , [ efistatai (Greek #2186)] - stands at their doors "sudden" (not an epithet, but a secondary predicate of manner).

As travail. 'As the labour pang' comes in an instant on the woman when otherwise engaged (Psalms 48:6; Isaiah 13:8).

Shall not escape , [ ou (Greek #3756) mee (Greek #3361) ekfugoosin (Greek #1628)] - 'shall not at all escape;' another awful feature of their ruin: there shall be then no possibility of shunning it (Amos 9:2-3; Revelation 6:15-16).


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) They.—Quite vague and general, like the French on. The plural is so used frequently in St. Luke (Luke 12:11; Luke 12:20, margin; Luke 16:9, probably; Luke 23:29-31). Of course, however, no Christian could say so, for they are ever on the watch, so that “they” will mean “the world.” The word “for” at the beginning of the verse should (according to the best MSS.) be struck out—the abruptness helps to enforce the lesson.

Peace and safety.—Carrying on the thought suggested by the word “night; they are taking their repose in security, without dreaming of any interruption to their slumbers. Is it possible that there may here be a faint recollection of the parable related in Matthew 25:1-13?

Destruction cometh upon them.—Literally, stands over them; or takes its stand over them; presents itself. The present tense is used for the sake of a more vivid effect. The extreme similarity of this passage to Luke 21:34 (with other indications) inclines Bishop Wordsworth to think that the Thessalonians had the Gospel of St. Luke to refer to.

As travail.—A common Oriental simile to express not only suddenness, but horror also. Theodoret fairly says, “The woman with child knows that she has the child to bear, but knows not the exact time for her pangs; so we also know that the Lord of all will appear, but the moment itself we have by no means been explicitly taught.” The comment, however, hardly suits this passage, as the persons on whom the destruction will thus burst are not persons who live in any expectation of such a judgment.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-thessalonians-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
Peace
Deuteronomy 29:19; Judges 18:27,28; Psalms 10:11-13; Isaiah 21:4; 56:12; Daniel 5:3-6; Nahum 1:10; Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-30; 21:34,35
then
Exodus 15:9,10; Joshua 8:20-22; Judges 20:41,42; 2 Chronicles 32:19-21; Psalms 73:18-20; Proverbs 29:1; Isaiah 30:13; Luke 17:27-29; 21:34,35; Acts 12:22,23; 13:41; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Peter 2:4; Revelation 18:7,8
as
Psalms 48:6; Isaiah 43:6-9; 21:3; Jeremiah 4:31; 6:24; 13:21; 22:23; Hosea 13:13; Micah 4:9,10
and they
Matthew 23:33; Hebrews 2:3; 12:23

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-thessalonians-5.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

When people say. Some think this means the signs which preceded the destruction of Jerusalem ( Matthew 24) will NOT appear again just before the Second Coming. People will be saying: "everything is quiet and safe," and suddenly, Jesus will be here! No one will be ignorant of his Coming (Revelation 1:7).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:3". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-thessalonians-5.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.


Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 24th, 2017
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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