1Thessalonians 2:14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: humeis gar mimetai egenethete, (2PAPI) adelphoi, ton ekklesion tou theou ton ouson (PAPFPG) en te Ioudaia en Christo Iesou, oti ta auta epathete (2PAAI) kai umeis upo ton idion sumphuleton kathos kai autoi upo ton Ioudaion,
Amplified: For you, brethren, became imitators of the assemblies (churches) of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judea, for you too have suffered the same kind of treatment from your own fellow countrymen as they did [who were persecuted at the hands] of the Jews, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: And then, dear brothers and sisters, you suffered persecution from your own countrymen. In this way, you imitated the believers in God's churches in Judea who, because of their belief in Christ Jesus, suffered from their own people, the Jews. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: When you suffered at the hands of your fellow-countrymen you were sharing the experience of the Judean Christian churches, who suffered persecution by the Jews. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For as for you, you became imitators, brethren, of the assemblies of God which are in Judaea in Christ Jesus, because as for you, you also suffered the same things at the hands of your own countrymen even as also they themselves suffered at the hands of the Jews, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for ye became imitators, brethren, of the assemblies of God that are in Judea in Christ Jesus, because such things ye suffered, even ye, from your own countrymen, as also they from the Jews
|FOR YOU, BRETHREN, BECAME IMITATORS OF THE CHURCHES OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS THAT ARE IN JUDEA: humeis gar mimetai egenethete, (2PAPI) adelphoi, ton ekklesion tou theou ton ouson (PAPFPG) en te Ioudaia en Christo Iesou:(1Thes 1:6) (Acts 9:31; Galatians 1:22) (1Thes 1:1; 2Thessalonians 1:1)
For (1063)(gar) is a conjunction which introduces an explanation (see value of observing and querying terms of explanation) and in the present context explains that the the clear evidence of the Thessalonians’ acceptance of the Gospel as the Word of God and that Word performing its supernatural work in their hearts (note 1Thess 2:13) is demonstrated by their willingness to endure sufferings for the sake of the Gospel. Their willingness to suffer for the Gospel is added authentication of the veracity of their conversion to God from idols.
The Word (the Gospel) was operative in their lives as demonstrated by their imitation of other believing churches in Judea.
Brethren (80) (adelphos from collative a = denoting unity + delphús = womb) is literally one born from same womb and so a male having the same father and mother as reference person.
Figuratively, adelphos as in this verse refers to a close associate of a group of persons having well-defined membership, specifically here referring to fellow believers in Christ who are united by the bond of affection and the "brotherhood of suffering"
The term brethren appears nineteen times in 1 Thessalonians (more than any other epistle except 1 Corinthians) and is employed generically, referring to both male and female believers who, like Paul, have been adopted into the eternal family of God. In other contexts brethren can refer to those of the same nationality but not necessarily believers as Peter does in Acts 3…
Spurgeon calls our attention to these…
Became (1096)(ginomai) means to come into existence.
You brethren became imitators - In chapter they had become imitators also, Paul recording…
You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit (see note 1Thessalonians 1:6)
Obviously this imitation was hardly their choice but instead was a reflection of that the power of the gospel had worked itself out in their lives so that they were willing to suffer for the gospel. This was striking proof of the energizing power of the gospel in their lives and it clearly demonstrated that they were not among the superficial hearers Jesus described…
Persecution for Christ's sake did not cause the Thessalonians to fall away.
Imitators (3402) (mimetes) means one who follows. Mimetes basically means to copy or imitate someone's behavior and has many related words in English - "mime" (one who acts out an imitation of another person or animal), "pantomime" (a theater production which originally was without words), "mimeograph" (a machine which makes many copies from one stencil).
In ancient Greek mimetes referred to imitation. Aristotle used the word to describe how people imitated animals, postulating that at the beginning of civilization men learnt from animals-weaving and spinning from spiders, and house-building from swallows.
Paul is saying in essence that this church's actions (specifically in regard to sufferings) spoke louder than their words.
Richison adds that…
W. Bauder writes that…
Teachers based their whole educational procedure on imitation, as students imitated the behavior of teachers. Slowly the idea developed that people should imitate the gods, and Plato emphasized this.
The basic meaning of mimetes is seen in a mime. An English woman went to France to study under the famous mime artist, Marcel Marceau. All day he taught his students how to make the movements of mime, and each evening they went to see him perform. Their performances were marked indelibly by the style of the master. This is an excellent picture of a Christian who imitates the Lord by exposure to Him.
A person who mimes acts a part with mimic gesture and action, usually without words. Let your actions speak louder than your words and then you will have a platform to proclaim the word of truth, the gospel. As believers in their message the Thessalonians began to pattern their lives after the example set by the missionaries. This fact rejoiced the heart of Paul as it was open evidence of the reality of the Thessalonian believers' conversion and therefore of their divine election. The Thessalonians had become third generation mimics of Christ. Christ is the first; Paul is the second; and the Thessalonians are the third. The Thessalonian believers imitated the Lord and Paul (Silvanus, Timothy) in that they responded to the gospel in spite of affliction. Note that Paul did not write what reportedly was said by one pastor "Do as I say; not as I do." Unfortunately this saying has characterized numerous preachers, many of whom have reputations as great teachers of God’s Word. However, when their lives are measured by the Bible’s qualifications for communication and character, such ministers come up woefully short. Make sure you mime the right model!
As an African chief once said:
Jonathan Edwards was so concerned was he about the example which he set, that he framed the resolve to
Here is a secular quote that has more truth in it then we would like to believe (think of "spiritual children")…
Here's another quote worth pondering in this area of imitation…
In his preface to the writings of Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson wrote that
Dr. Merrill Tenney once said that…
Charles Spurgeon once said that…
As shown in the uses of mimetes below Scripture always uses this word in a positive sense.
Richards writes that mimetes
Barclay wrote that "When Paul talked of imitation he was using language which the wise men of Greece could understand. Mimesis, imitation, was a main part in the training of an orator. The teachers of rhetoric declared that the learning of oratory depended on three things-theory, imitation and practice. The main part of their training was the study and the imitation of the masters who had gone before. It is as if Paul said: "If you were to train to be an orator, you would be told to imitate the masters of speech. Since you are training in life, you must imitate the Lord of all good life." (cp 1Pe 2:21-note) (1 Thessalonians 2 Commentary - Daily Study Bible - online )
Churches (1577) (ekklesia from ek = out + kaleo = call) is literally the "called-out ones". Greeks used ekklesia for an assembly of citizens "called out" to transact city business. The church is not an organization but a living organism, Christ's body, composed of individual members (believers) joined together and in and through which Christ, the Head works, carries out His purposes and lives.
In Christ Jesus (see related topic In Christ) - this phrase usually denotes the fellowship which binds together believers but here is used of that same union which binds Christian churches so that their mutual life is caught up into, and sustained from, the life of the risen Christ.
Hiebert has an interesting thought regarding the phrase in Christ Jesus commenting that…
Vine rightly reminds us in the day of a plethora of denominations that…
That are in Judea - Are is the verb eimi which in this phrase could be more literally rendered "the being or existing churches". The idea conveyed by this phrase would be that they were still standing despite the storms of persecution, that they had prevailed against the gates of Hades and thus the work of God had not come to an end in the place of its origin and the home of its fiercest enemies. The conclusion? In the same way the persecution would avail as little at "first Baptist Church" of Thessalonica. It is interesting to recall that the writer himself (Paul) had himself persecuted the church at Jerusalem, writing to the Corinthians…
Compare Luke's record…
FOR YOU ALSO ENDURED THE SAME SUFFERINGS AT THE HANDS OF YOUR OWN COUNTRYMEN, EVEN AS THEY DID FROM THE JEWS: hoti ta auta epathete (2PAAI) kai humeis hupo ton idion sumphuleton kathos kai autoi hupo ton Ioudaion: (1Thes 3:4; Acts 17:1-8,13; 2Corinthians 8:1,2) (Acts 8:1,3; 9:1,13; 11:19; 12:1-3; Hebrews 5:7,8; 10:33,34)
For (hoti) can be translated because (see value of observing and querying terms of explanation) and here presents the evidence that the Thessalonian believers had become imitators of the Judean churches. The saints in Judea suffered at the hands of the Jews, and the saints in Thessalonica suffered at the hands of the Gentiles, but even this Gentile persecution was encouraged by the Jewish unbelievers (Acts 17:5, 13). Jesus promised that this would happen (John 15:18-27).
Don't forget the intimate association with the acceptance of the word as the Word of God which energizes us as we believe it (and obey it for if we believe it we will obey it). If we are going to experience victory in sufferings, we must appreciate and appropriate the Living Word.
The same sufferings - could also be rendered "fellow sufferings". This is the very idea inherent in the English word sympathy which is derived from sun (with) plus pathos (feelings, emotion, experience) (pathos is etymologically related to the verb below - pascho - to experience or to suffer). With this background one can better understand why sympathy sums up the relationship between the two churches, for as Webster says sympathy is an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other. Sympathy represents the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another. In short, sympathy pictures the relationship existing between these churches that are naturally (supernaturally) drawn together. Fellow suffering always forges a strong bond of unity and in the present scenario brought together the hearts of Jews (Jerusalem church) and Gentiles (Thessalonian church) both united in Christ Jesus and the fellowship of His sufferings…
Vine - Churches are knit together not by any external bond, as of order, organization, history, or distinctive doctrine but by the vital relation of each to the one Lord of all, on Whom each is directly dependent, and to Whom alone each is directly responsible. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
The writer of Hebrews uses pascho to describe our Lord's sufferings…
Peter also uses pascho of Jesus' sufferings writing…
When the Thessalonians accepted Jesus as Lord, the implication is that they in effect rejected the claims to sovereignty of Caesar as "Lord" along with the tenets of the imperial cult, and thus they were perceived as threats to the established social order and government.
Bruce commenting on their imitation writes that…
Countrymen (4853)(sumphuletes from sún = together with, + phulétes = one of the same tribe from phule = a race, clan or tribe) describes one of the same tribe or fraternity. In the NT, generally a fellow citizen, fellow countryman and in this context countrymen denotes that the persecutors were Gentiles, as indicated the sharp contrast with the Jews as well as by the use of your own.
In Acts 17 we read of persecution although these were doubtless also Jewish in addition to Gentile protagonists…
The Jewish protagonists made a wily appeal to political passions ("another king" in verse 7) and thus had aroused the Gentiles to attack Paul and his colleagues. The result was the persecution of the church at Thessalonica, which had not yet subsided.
Hiebert - The fires of persecution against the church were ignited by the unbelieving Jews in Judea; the story of Acts makes it clear that the unbelieving Jews of the dispersion kept those fires burning in the Gentile world. The remark of Tertullian fits the experience of the early churches: "The synagogues of the Jews, founts of persecution." (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 & 2 Thessalonians: BMH Book. 1996)
Even as they did from the Jews (2453) (Ioudaios) - this refers of course to the churches in Jerusalem and Judea which had suffered at the hands of the Jews their own countrymen. Such persecution from countrymen is reminiscent of Jesus' prophetic words in Matthew…
Compare to Micah's charge against his fellow countrymen…
Amplified: Who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and harassed and drove us out, and continue to make themselves hateful and offensive to God and to show themselves foes of all men, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: For some of the Jews had killed their own prophets, and some even killed the Lord Jesus. Now they have persecuted us and driven us out. They displease God and oppose everyone. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: It was the Jews who killed their own prophets, the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus, and the Jews who drove out us, his messengers. Their present attitude is in opposition to both God and man. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: those who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and are not pleasing God, and are hostile to all men, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: who did both put to death the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and did persecute us, and God they are not pleasing, and to all men are contrary,
|WHO BOTH KILLED THE LORD JESUS AND THE PROPHETS, AND DROVE US OUT: ton kai ton kurion apokteinanton (AAPMPG) Iesoun kai tous prophetas, kai emas ekdioxanton (AAPMPG): (Matthew 5:12; 21:35-39; 23:31-35,37; 27:25; Luke 11:48-51; 13:33,34; Acts 2:23; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30; 7:52) (Amos 7:12; Acts 22:18-21)
This is the only place in the Pauline writings where the Jews are stated to be responsible for Messiah's death and the intensity of this denunciation is without parallel in his writings. Paul proceeds to make five charges against the Jews in the next two verses.
It must be categorically stated that Paul is not advocating anti-Semitism for there is no place in the Christian faith for this sinful attitude. Paul himself loved his fellow unbelieving Jews and sought to help them (Acts 24:17; see notes Romans 9:1; 9:2; 9:3; 9:4; 9:5).
Denney comments on Paul's denunciation writing…
Killed (615)(apokteino from apó = intensifies + kteíno = slay, related to anthropoktónos = manslayer, murderer) means to kill outright, put to death.
The charge that the Jews killed their Messiah is alluded to in several NT passages (cf. John 11:45-53; 18:28-31; also Acts 2:23, 36; 3:13-15; 4:10; 7:52; 10:39; 13:28) and is accurate to the extent that while the actual execution was carried out at the hands of Roman soldiers under the command of Pontius Pilate, the later authority was coerced into giving Jesus over to Crucifixion by the Jewish leaders.
John records that…
Peter echoes Paul's charge against the Jews declaring…
Vine expands on Paul's accusation of the Jewish part in Jesus' death writing that "when His enemies thought to compass His death privately, His popularity deterred them, Matthew 21:46, and, as a public trial and execution according to their own laws were barred by the authority of the Romans, John 18:31, they accused Him before Pilate on a trumped-up political charge, Luke 23:2, and so procured His death, the actual executioners being the Roman soldiery, Matthew 27:27, 31. While this distinction is fully recognized, Luke 24:20; Acts 13:27, 28, e.g., yet, on the principle everywhere acknowledged, that what a man obtains to be done by others he does himself the words of Peter, Acts 3:14, 15, and of Stephen, Acts 7:52, and of Paul, here are also true to fact. And, further, the persecution of the Christians by the Jews of the Dispersion, John 7:35; see note 1 Peter 1:1, shewed how thoroughly they were imbued by the same fanatical spirit that animated those who dwelt in Judaea. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Prophets (4396) (prophetes from próphemi = tell beforehand from pró = before or forth + phemí = tell) generally one who speaks for God, proclaiming what God wants to make known. In the OT of prophetic personalities, of John the Baptist, of Jesus, of believers endowed with the gift. The prophet is one who declares God's message publicly as a forth teller, as teacher, admonisher, preacher. The prophet is a foreteller with special knowledge of the future. The Christian prophet is one with a special gift and calling to proclaim the divine message, interpret the times, and urge people to believe in Christ for salvation.
Regarding the prophets Paul does not mean that this is the way all the Jews treated all the prophets but that this was the general attitude toward the messengers of God. For example…
Drove out (1559)(ekdioko from ek = out + dioko = to pursue, persecute) means to chase out or drive out from a place. To banish. To persecute harshly. It means to persecute severely or harass. It means to use tactics that cause the departure of someone from a place.
Paul declares that the Jews pursued Christians out of Judea, painting the picture of them driving or banishing Christians systematically out of their their province.
Ekdioko occurs 16 times in the Septuagint (LXX) (Deut 6:19; 1 Chr. 8:13; 12:15; Ps. 37:28; 44:16; 69:4; 101:5; 119:157; Jer. 49:19; 50:44; Da 4:25, 32f; 5:21; Joel 2:20)
There is only one other NT use…
Paul is referring at least in part to the events in Acts 17…
This action by the Jews brings to mind Paul's later instruction to…
THEY ARE NOT PLEASING TO GOD, BUT HOSTILE TO ALL MEN: kai theo me areskonton, (PAPMPG) kai pasin anthropois enantion: (Acts 12:3; 1Corinthians 10:5) (Esther 3:8; Luke 11:52,53)
Not pleasing to God - The logical conclusion from what Paul has just stated about the actions of the unbelieving Jews.
Hiebert - To persist in a course of conduct that can only evoke divine displeasure is a serious thing indeed. (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 & 2 Thessalonians: BMH Book. 1996)
Pleasing (700) (aresko) means to be satisfying or behaving properly toward one with whom one is related. Aresko is found in ancient inscriptions praising those who have served their fellow citizens and thus conveys the sense of service and obedience. Note Paul's use of the present tense which describes this trait as continuously present which marks the result of their continued persecution
Aresko - 17x in 16v in NAS - Mt 14:6; Mk 6:22; Acts 6:5; Ro 8:8; 15:1, 2, 3; 1Co 7:32 33 34; 10:33; Gal 1:10; 1Th 2:4, 15; 4:1; 2Ti 2:4
The misguided, deluded Jews thought that by such hostile deeds they were pleasing to God as explained by Jesus to His disciples that the Jews…
In Romans Paul added "I bear them (the Jews) witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. (Ro 10:2-note)
Through His prophet Jeremiah God declared "Indeed the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah have been doing only evil in My sight from their youth; for the sons of Israel have been only provoking Me to anger by the work of their hands," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 32:30)
Paul spoke to the basic underlying principle of why any man would not be pleasing to God writing that…
TDNT notes that aresko "originally meant to set up a positive relation, hence to make peace, then aesthetically to please, with such nuances as a. to be well disposed, b. to take a pleasant attitude, and c. to please. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)
Paul explains how we can please God writing "Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please (aresko) God (just as you actually do walk), that you may excel still more. (1Thessalonians 4:1)
Hostile (1727)(enantios from en = in + antíos = set against) (see note on enantios) literally, of direction over against or opposite and figuratively antagonistic, contrary to, hostile toward, opposed as an adversary.
Enantios is used primarily of a place and pertains to being opposite (as in face to face or fronting someone) or over against in terms of direction, as in describing the wind (enantios is used 3 times in the NT to describe winds as contrary).
Metaphorically as used here in Thessalonians enantios means contrary, adverse, hostile (marked by malevolence, open opposition and resistance
To all men - God's chosen people who were set apart by God in order that through them He might bless all men, so departed from their original purpose that here Paul says they are hostile to all men! The next verse explains that the basis for this charge is the fact that they hindered Paul from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved.
Hiebert - The Roman historian Tacitus (Histories 5.5) charged the Jews with "hostile odium" toward all men. In general, the Gentiles in that day regarded Jews as an unsociable and unfriendly race. This misreading of their true nature arose out of a misunderstanding of their religious exclusiveness, which made them separate themselves from all other people. While beginning as a nation divinely called to be a separate people, the Jews had become a sinfully exclusive and bigoted nation. When God overruled their perverted nationalism they reacted in bitter hostility. But Paul well understood that their hostility to non Jews was grounded "not in their natural make-up, but their rejection of the Gospel, and their determination to thwart its progress."' And, it may be added, there is a permanent element in Paul's teaching here: to the unbelieving Jew, the preaching of the cross is still a "stumbling block" (1 Cor. 1:23) (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 & 2 Thessalonians: BMH Book. 1996)
Vincent quotes historical writings testifying to the Jewish hostility to all men - Tacitus (Hist. v. 5) describes the Jews as stubborn in their faith, prompt in kindly offices to each other, but bitterly hostile toward everybody else. Juvenal (Sat. xiv. 102 f.) says that they observe and respect whatever Moses has taught in his mystical volume; not to show the way except to one who practises the same rites, and to show the well only to the circumcised.
1Thessalonians 2:16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: Forbidding and hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles (the nations) that they may be saved. So as always they fill up [to the brim the measure of] their sins. But God’s wrath has come upon them at last [completely and forever]! (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: by trying to keep us from preaching the Good News to the Gentiles, for fear some might be saved. By doing this, they continue to pile up their sins. But the anger of God has caught up with them at last. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: They refused to let us speak to those who were not Jews, to tell them the news of salvation. Alas, I fear they are completing the full tale of their sins and the wrath of God is over their heads. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: forbidding us to tell the Gentiles that they [also] may be saved, with the result that they fill up the measure of their sins always. And there came upon them the wrath to the utmost. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: forbidding us to speak to the nations that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always, but the anger did come upon them -- to the end!
|HINDERING US FROM SPEAKING TO THE GENTILES THAT THEY MIGHT BE SAVED: koluonton (PAPMPG) hemas tois ethnesin lalesai (AAN) hina soteosin, (3PAPS): (Acts 11:2,3,17,18; 13:50; 14:5,19; 17:5,6,13; 18:12,13; 19:9; 21:27-31; Acts 22:21,22; Galatians 5:11; Ephesians 3:8,13) (Isaiah 45:22; Mark 16:16; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:13-15; 2Thessalonians 2:10; 1Timothy 2:4)
Hindering us from speaking - Paul had endured the attempts of the Jews to restrain his ministry to the Gentiles in almost every town…
Jesus made a similar accusation against the Jews declaring…
Hindering (2967) (koluo from kólos = docked, lopped, clipped, kolazo = curtail) means to cut off, to cut short, to weaken and generally to hinder, to prevent, to check, to restrain or to forbid by word or act. The idea is to cause something not to happen. Koluo can describe the keeping back of something from someone (Acts 10:47 referring to the Holy Spirit - see verse below).
To hinder means to make slow or difficult the progress of something by interfering in some way with the activity or progress thereof. In short koluo means to make it difficult for someone to do something or for something to happen.
Here in 1Thessalonians 2:16, koluo is in the present tense indicating an active, persistent practice by the unbelieving Jews to prevent by whatever means the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles. By their obstructionist tactics, the Jews were interfering with the work of the missionaries among the Gentiles, but clearly did not succeed in silencing the Gospel of God.
Koluo is used 13 times in the LXX (Ge. 23:6; Ex 36:6 = "the people were restrained from bringing" more contributions; Num. 11:28; 1 Sam. 25:26; 2 Sam. 13:13; Job 12:15 = "Behold, He restrains the waters, and they dry up; And He sends them out, and they inundate the earth."; Ps. 40:9; 119:101 = I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Thy word.; Eccl. 8:8 = "No man has authority to restrain the wind with the wind"; Isa. 28:6; 43:6; Ezek. 31:15; Mic. 2:4) and 23 times in the NT…
Gentiles (1484) (ethnos) refers to non-Jews or the heathen and when preceded by the definite article ("the") in Greek, means "the nations" which is synonymous with the Gentiles a description implying those who practice idolatry and are ignorant of the true and living God.
All of mankind can be divided into Jew and Gentile and thus "Gentile" is a synonym for anyone who is non-Jew, who is not a member of the "chosen people". The Hebrew word corresponding to Gentile is goyim. From Genesis 12 onward the majority of the Scriptures are about the Jews, with the Gentiles mentioned as they interface with the Jews. The NT does have more mention of the Gentiles after the formation of the Church, but the last book, the book of Revelation is predominantly Jewish with over 200 OT quotes or allusions to OT passages.
So that (2443) (hina) expresses the purpose for which they were seeking to speak to the Gentiles, to preach Christ and Him crucified that they might be saved. See value of observing and querying terms of purpose or result (so that, in order that, that, as a result).
This was the purpose for which Jesus had called him and set Paul aside, Luke recording that…
In Romans Paul declared…
Hiebert explains that the fierce opposition of the Jews…
Sozo is sometimes used of physical deliverance from danger of perishing (see Mt 8:25; Mt 14:30; Lk 23:35; Acts 27:20 27:31), physical healing from sickness (Mt 9:21-22; Mk 5:23, Acts 4:9), and deliverance from demonic possession (Lk 8:36).
More often as here in 1Thessalonians 2:16, sozo refers to salvation in a spiritual sense as in Matthew's record the angel's conversation with Joseph declaring
Here sozo is equated with deliverance from sins (guilt and power of) with Jesus' name being a transliteration of Joshua meaning "Jehovah is salvation".
Jesus warned His disciples
Note it is not one's endurance (self effort or works) that saves but that one's endurance to the end demonstrates that they have been saved and supernaturally enabled to endure.
Again Jesus was teaching His disciples about salvation and declared
Here He equated entrance into the kingdom of God with being saved. In explaining to His disciples and the multitudes what it meant to come after Him, denying self, taking up one's cross and following Him, Jesus declared that
Jesus speaking to a
In these passages Jesus equates sozo with forgiveness of sins, confession of faith and experiencing peace!
In a parable explaining the role of the Word of God and the character of the "soil" in salvation, Jesus taught that
Observe that one cannot be saved unless he believes the word and that merely hearing (and even assenting to the veracity) of the word does not result in salvation. (see discussion 1Th 2:13-note)
NET Bible notes add that
Vine has an excellent summary note on salvation adding that
WITH THE RESULT THAT THEY ALWAYS FILL UP THE MEASURE OF THEIR SINS: eis to anaplerosai (AAN) auton tas hamartias pantote: (Genesis 15:16; Zechariah 5:6 7 8; Matthew 23:32)
With the result (eis) - Here expresses purpose of result (see terms of purpose or result )
Always (3842)(pantote from pas = all + tote = then) means at all times and is emphatically placed at the end of the sentence. At all times signifies before Christ came in the flesh, in Christ's time and now, in all these times the Jews by their resistance to the divine word were filling up their sins. What would be the culmination of this always filling up? It would be the time of Jacob's distress (see Jeremiah 30:7) but even in the midst of the outpouring of His wrath God remembered mercy for Jeremiah adds that Jacob will be saved from it (Jeremiah 30:7) (See synonym The Great Tribulation). The point is that God's longsuffering has an endpoint but even then, unlike men who explode in anger which does not accomplish the righteousness of God, God's holy wrath fulfills His divine purpose of keeping His covenant promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Paul explaining…
Vincent commenting on always adds "Always blind and stubborn, the Jews filled up the measure of their sins by their treatment of Christ and his apostles."
Fill up (378) (anapleroo from aná = up or as an emphatic + pleroo = to fill) means to fill up, spoken of a measure. Anapleroo means the making up of what is lacking to perfect fulness. Anapleroo is the filling of a partial void. This description implies that there is a certain measure of wickedness that God will allow a nation, a group, or an individual to complete before His judgment falls on them. In other words this verse reveals the principle that God permits sin to run its full course. The figure of speech which the prophets used was that the cup of iniquity must be filled up. God is permitting the cup to be filled. Anapleroo also refers to fulfilling a prophecy (Mt 13:14). Anapleroo can mean to supply (make up for - 1Cor 16:17).
Friberg - (1) literally fill up, make complete; figuratively, of filling up the measure of sins sin to the limit (1Thes 2.16); (2) of prophecy fulfill, confirm, cause to happen; passive be fulfilled, happen (Mt 13.14); (3) of filling or taking someone's place replace, make up for someone's absence (1Cor 16.17); fill a position (1Cor 14.16); (4) of making good a lack supply (Php 2.30); (5) of observing the law fulfill, obey (Gal 6.2) (Analytical Lexicon)
Anapleroo - 6x in 6v - NAS Usage: complete(1), fill up the measure(1), fills(1), fulfill(1), fulfilled(1), supplied(1).
Anapleroo - 11v in Septuagint - Gen 2:21 ("closed up the flesh"); Ge 15:16 ("iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete"); Ge 29:28; Ex 7:25 ("Seven days passed" - were fulfilled); Ex 23:26 ("I will fulfill the number of your days"); Lev 12:6 ("When the days of her purification are completed,"); 1Kgs 7:51 ("Thus all the work that King Solomon performed in the house of the LORD was finished"); Esther 1:5 ("When these days were completed,"); Esther 2:12, 15; Isa 60:20 ("And the days of your mourning will be over.").
Barclay paints a vivid picture writing that "Each fresh act of hostility to the Gospel was an additional drop in their cup of guilt, which had been steadily filling during the ages. (1 Thessalonians 2 Commentary - Daily Study Bible - online )
Criswell points out that the phrase "Fill up the measure of their sins" - points out the reality that the persecutors of believers are sometimes allowed to continue their sinful conduct. The evil nature of their actions will become a matter of record, and God's response of judgment will unquestionably be seen as an administration of righteousness. There is a limit to God's patience, and the fact that the wrath of God is spoken of here in the present (not future) tense affirms the certainty that it is in the process of coming even now. (Criswell, W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas Nelson)
Hiebert explains that "The rendering "heap up" (NIV Translation) conveys the picture of the unbelieving Jews continuing to pile up their sins as a great heap. The more familiar rendering here, "to fill up,"" conveys the common Hebrew image of a measure or cup that is being filled up. It implies that the cup is still partially empty but that it is rapidly being filled to the brim… The task at which their fathers had been diligently working, the Jews by their opposition to the Gospel were still aggressively carrying on. (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 & 2 Thessalonians: BMH Book. 1996)
Calvin says that "this is why the punishment of the ungodly is often postponed—it is because their acts of ungodliness are so to speak not yet ripe.
Tasker remarks "that God delays the display of His wrath till offenders have reached a kind of saturation point, beyond which they may not pass… that time, Paul implies in 1 Thessalonians 2:16, is now imminent
Moses records a parallel thought in Genesis writing that
God is longsuffering and gives men time to repent while at the same time permitting them to continue in wickedness. And yet there is a limit. To the antediluvians, He warned
And He followed through by sending the Great Flood to cleanse the earth. God delayed giving the promised land to Abraham and his seed for four hundred years because
In the case of the Jews of whom Paul was writing, they not only had slain their prophets and killed Christ, but now were trying to keep the gospel of God from being brought, not just to Jews, but even to the Gentiles (hostile to all men - Jews and Gentiles), so their iniquity, like that of the Amorites long before, was being filled up. In fact it was not many years after this was written that the Jewish Temple and their beloved city Jerusalem would be destroyed (70AD), and their people scattered or dispersed all over the world almost 2000 years. And this destruction would only portend of an even greater retribution in the time of the Great Tribulation. One wonders how long God will be patient with once Christian, but sadly now pagan, America?
Peter spoke of God's longsuffering…
Paul addressing religious men (especially Jews) asked…
Vine explains that "On the other hand, God permits the evil things He sees in a man, or in a nation, to grow and develop until they become manifest to other eyes than His own, that thus the righteousness of His judgments, when they do come may be put beyond dispute, see Ps 89:2, 14. So He dealt with the Amorites, Ge 15:16 (the language of which the apostle uses here from the LXX), and in due time judgment fell upon them, see Joshua 10. Gabriel ascribed this reason for the delay of the divine retribution, Dal 8:23 ("And in the latter period of their rule, When the transgressors have run their course, a king will arise Insolent and skilled in intrigue."); and the Lord warned the leaders of Israel that they were pursuing the same infatuated course that involved their fathers in disaster and exile, Matthew 23:32 ("Fill up then the measure of the guilt of your fathers.). (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Sins (266) (hamartia) originally conveyed the idea of missing mark as when hunting with a bow and arrow then missing or falling short of any goal, standard, or purpose. Sin is missing true ultimate purpose God has for each individual. It is an act contrary to the will and law of God, a departure from doing what is right.
BUT WRATH HAS COME UPON THEM TO THE UTMOST: ephthasen (3SAAI) de ep' autous e orge eis telos: (Joel 2:30,31; Malachi 4:1,5; Matthew 3:7 8 9 10,12; 12:45; 21:41 42 43 44; 22:6,7; Mt 24:6,14,21,22; Luke 11:50,51; 19:42 43 44; 21:20-24; Hebrews 6:8; Hebrews 10:27 28 29 30; James 5:1-6; Revelation 22:11)
But - see discussion of value of assessing terms of contrast.
Literally the Greek reads "but the anger did come upon them -- to the end!"
John MacArthur comments that "Orge does not refer to an explosive outburst of temper but to an inner, deep resentment that seethes and smolders, often unnoticed by others. It is therefore an anger that only the Lord and the believer know about. Therefore, it is a special danger, (for the believer because the anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God) in that it can be privately harbored. (Macarthur J. James. Moody)
Orge refers to to an inner, deep resentment that seethes and smolders. Orge as used of God refers to His constant and controlled indignation toward sin, while thumos (which originally referred to violent movements of air, water, etc., and consequently came to mean well up or boil up) refers more to a passionate outburst of rage. Thumos type anger represents an agitated, vehement anger that rushes along relentlessly. The root meaning has to do with moving rapidly and was used of a man’s breathing violently while pursuing an enemy in great rage!
God’s settled opposition to
Orge does not refer to uncontrollable anger to which men are so prone but to God's settled indignation and controlled passionate hostile feeling toward sin in all its various manifestations. "Settled" indignation means that God’s holiness cannot and will not coexist with sin in any form whatsoever. Orge is not the momentary, emotional, and often uncontrolled anger (thumos) to which human beings are prone.
God’s wrath is his holy hatred of all that is unholy. It is His righteous indignation at everything that is unrighteous. It is the temper of God towards sin. It is not God's uncontrollable rage, vindictive bitterness or a losing of His temper, but the wrath of righteous reason and holy law.
Orge - 36x in 34v in the NAS - Mt 3:7; Mk 3:5; Lk 3:7; 21:23; Jn 3:36; Ro 1:18; 2:5, 8; 3:5; 4:15; 5:9; 9:22; 12:19; 13:4 5; Ep 2:3; 4:31; 5:6; Col 3:6, 8; 1Th 1:10; 2:16; 5:9; 1Ti 2:8; He 3:11; 4:3; Jas 1:19 20; Rev 6:16 17; 11:18; 14:10; 16:19; 19:15. NAS = anger(6), wrath(30).
John MacArthur adds that orge "signifies the strongest kind of anger, that which reaches fever pitch, when God’s mercy and grace are fully exhausted. It will mark the end of God’s patience and tolerance with unregenerate, unrepentant mankind in the swelling of His final, furious anger which He will vent on those whose works evidence their persistent and unswerving rebellion against Him. (MacArthur, J: Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press)
William Barclay - The Greeks defined thumos as the kind of anger which is like the flame which comes from straw; it quickly blazes up and just as quickly subsides. On the other hand, they described ogre as anger which has become habitual… Orge is anger which has become inveterate; it is long-lasting, slow-burning anger, which refuses to be pacified and nurses its wrath to keep it warm… To the Christian the burst of temper and the long-lived anger are both alike forbidden. (1 Thessalonians 2 Commentary - Daily Study Bible - online )
Larry Richards in describing God's anger writes that…
Arthur Pink defined God’s wrath as…
Bishop Trench defines orge as
Orge is used of our Lord when, after healing the man with the withered hand, He observed the hardness of heart of the Pharisees, and looked upon them with anger (Mk 3:5).
Marvin Vincent describes orge as God’s personal emotion with regard to sin. It represents God’s abhorrence and hatred of sin and His constant, invariable reaction to sin.
Literally the passage reads
Come (5348) (phthano) means to come on. It means to to come to or arrive at a particular state. This common verb means to do or be first to overtake. The meaning of the aorist tense is debated (see below), but can be understood as having come and still remaining with a potential that is yet to be fulfilled but here is spoken of as a potential that one day will be consummated (reach its goal).
John has a similar statement regarding the present state all of unbelieving mankind…
Wrath has come upon them is a difficult phrase to understand, for we know that final wrath has not come upon the Jews (see discussion above regarding The Great Tribulation). Not surprisingly, the commentaries offer numerous interpretations (and of course only one is correct - one always hears there are many ways to interpret the Bible, which to an extent may be accurate, but the truth is that there is only one accurate interpretation!).
MacArthur writes that has come…
F F Bruce feels that…
Vine explains wrath has come upon the Jews reminding us that at the time of the writing of this epistle…
To the utmost (to the end) (5056) (telos) speaks of a consummation, a goal achieved, a result attained, or a realization. Telos is the culmination or the outcome of a growth or development representing an attained objective.
Wiersbe observes that…
Telos is the result of an event or process with special focus upon the final state or condition and in the present context indicates that God's wrath has now reached its extreme limits. Judgment cannot be averted.
John used this same phrase to the utmost (eis telos) but in marked contrast writing of Jesus and His disciples…
Vine explains that to the utmost is a reference
Hiebert explains that …