1 Thessalonians 2:7-9 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

1 Thessalonians 2:7 But we proved to be gentle among * you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: dunamenoi (PPPMPN) en barei einai (PAN) os Christou apostoloi, alla egenethemen (1PAPI) nepioi en meso humon. os ean trophos thalpe (3SPAS) ta heautes tekna

Amplified: But we behaved gently when we were among you, like a devoted mother nursing and cherishing her own children. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but we were as gentle among you as a mother feeding and caring for her own children. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: Our attitude among you was one of tenderness, rather like that of a devoted nurse among her babies. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: But we became gentle in your midst, even as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 

Young's Literal: But we became gentle in your midst, as a nurse may cherish her own children,

BUT WE PROVED TO BE GENTLE AMONG YOU, AS A NURSING MOTHER TENDERLY CARES FOR HER OWN CHILDREN: alla egenethemen (1PAPI) nepioi en meso humon. os ean trophos thalpe (3SPAS) ta heautes tekna:

Young's Literal - But we became gentle in your midst, as a nurse may cherish her own children,

Without going into a lengthy explanation, it should be noted that this text is what is referred to as a "first class textual problem". The Nestle-Aland is normally favored for accuracy but in this case it has the word nepios which means babe while the Textus Receptus has epios meaning gentle. Most authorities favor the most accurate interpretation as gentle and even the NAS translates it "gentle" even though the corresponding Nestle-Aland text (which is the source of the NAS translation) has the word for babe! If you would like a more technical explanation see (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 & 2 Thessalonians: BMH Book. 1996)

But (alla) introduces a strong contrast… Instead of using apostolic authority, they used only the most kind and gentle methods to win them and to promote their peace and order.

Three Negative Characteristics
Three Positive Qualities

1Th 2:5,6 - note vs 1Th 2:7,8-note

Flattering speech Gentle… tenderly cares
Pretext for greed Fond affection
Seek glory from men Our own lives… very dear

Proved (1096) (ginomai) means to come into existence. And so literally "we became gentle in your midst".

Gentle (2261) (epios) means placid, gentle, mild, easy, compliant (like a nursing mother). In fact epios was frequently used by Greek writers as characterizing a nurse with trying children or a teacher with refractory scholars, or of parents toward their children. We find epios in a secular Greek writing which describes "a day favorable (epios) for beginning a thing". Epios was used to describe medicines as soothing or assuaging.

Hiebert comments that…

The missionaries had held the position of a gentle teacher surrounded by his eager students. Far from ascending a lofty pinnacle and speaking down to their followers, the missionaries freely mingled with them. The assertion concerning their gentle behavior is immediately followed by a figurative statement, "like a mother caring for her little children." This (metaphor)… forms a beautiful and appropriate amplification if the reading was gentle. When the Thessalonians accepted the gospel they were indeed like children who were in need of the tender, loving care the missionaries provided. (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 & 2 Thessalonians: BMH Book. 1996)

Among (1722) (mesos) more literally, in the midst of you, which implies more intimate intercourse than among you.

As a nursing mother - Introduces a simile (see terms of comparison simile) which is a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind frequently using the words like or as (e.g. he was as brave as a lion).

McGee writes that Paul states he was…

“a nursing mother,” like a mother bird. This is Paul’s positive expression of his relationship to the Thessalonians: “I’ve been a nursing mother, a mother bird to you.” Oh, the gentleness of Paul! He was as tender as a woman in his dealings with the church at Thessalonica. (Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)

Wiersbe observes that "As an apostle, Paul was a man of authority; but he always used his authority in love. The babes in Christ sensed his tender loving care as he nurtured them. He was indeed like a loving mother who cared for her children. It takes time and energy to care for children. Paul did not turn his converts over to baby-sitters; he made sacrifices and cared for them himself. He did not tell them to “read a book” as a substitute for his own personal ministry … A nursing mother imparts her own life to the child. This is exactly what Paul wrote in 1 Thes 2:8-note. You cannot be a nursing mother and turn your baby over to someone else. That baby must be in your arms, next to your heart. The nursing mother eats the food and transforms it into milk for the baby. The mature Christian feeds on the Word of God and then shares its nourishment with the younger believers so they can grow (see notes 1 Peter 2:1; 2:2; 2:3). A nursing child can become ill through reaction to something the mother has eaten. The Christian who is feeding others must be careful not to feed on the wrong things himself… if we do not nurse the new Christians on the milk of the Word, they can never mature to appreciate the meat of the Word (Heb 5:11-12-note; Heb 5:11-12-note). (Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

Nursing mother (5162) (trophos from trepho = to nourish, feed, nurture) is one who nourishes, feeds and rears up a child. A nourisher, feeder, rearer. This word means any woman who breast-feeds (nurses) a baby. It could therefore refer also to what used to be called a wet nurse. A wet nurse in the ancient world not only had strict contractual stipulation, but often came to be a very trusted person whose influence lasted a lifetime. Even secular philosophers in Paul's day used the nurse metaphor to suggest how one ought to care for those being taught.

Criswell - Paul uses the imagery of the nursery at feeding time. Paul didn't feed on them; he fed them. The Greek word trophos (meaning "nursing mother") is a tender and vivid picture of Paul's heart for the church. It should move the Thessalonians to hold him in high regard so that his influence might continue throughout the lifetime of his spiritual children. The word "cherishes" further emphasizes the nursing mother's activity as well as her attitude. (Criswell, W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas Nelson)

Paul used the maternal metaphor in writing to the Galatians…

My children with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you. (Galatians 4:19)

Later in Thessalonians Paul uses a related metaphor writing…

While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1Th 5:3-note)

MacArthur - As the phrase her own children indicates, Paul was no paid surrogate mother or modern-style, hired day care worker. The apostle exhibited the same feelings as a nursing mother when he cared for the Thessalonians’ spiritual needs. This picture is usually foreign to all leaders outside the true church of Jesus Christ. In fact, for most, it would appear to be sentimental, weak, and unproductive. The standard for worldly leadership is to accomplish the leader’s desires through people. In the church, pastors have the privilege of seeing things God desires done in people. That changes the dynamic. As good parents are concerned about their children’s hearts, so are good pastors. The preceding metaphors make that clear. (MacArthur, John: 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Moody Press)

Tenderly cares (2282)(thalpo) primarily means to heat, to soften by heat, then, to keep warm, as of birds covering their young with their feathers. Josephus, Ant. 7, 343 uses thalpo in his description of a young woman who provided warmth for King David.

In the present use the picture is of loving mother who would take her infant in her arms to warm the child with her own body heat. This vivid picture illustrates the kind of personal care the Thessalonians received from Paul.

Metaphorically thalpo means to cherish with tender love, to foster with tender care.

Thalpo is used one other time in the NT by Paul in Ephesians 5 describing Christ and the Church…

for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes (thalpo) it, just as Christ also does the church (Ep 5:29-note)

Comment: Husbands are to provide a secure, warm place for their wives. The Septuagint (LXX) usages of thalpo suggest that men are to provide their wives with a nest, which pictures a place of a security, a place of warmth, and a place of nourishment.

There are 5 uses in the Septuagint (LXX) (Deut. 22:6; 1 Ki. 1:2, 4; Job 39:14) with a picturesque uses in…

Dt 22:6 If you happen to come upon a bird's nest along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting (thalpo - brooding) on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young;

Job 39:14 For she abandons her eggs to the earth, and warms (thalpo) them in the dust

Here in 1Thessalonians thalpo clearly refers to the care of the saints at Thessalonica by Paul and his associates, as of a nurse for her children. Paul uses the imagery of the nursery at feeding time. Paul is drawing a vivid contrast saying that he did not feed on them but instead he himself fed them.

Children (5043)(teknon from tíkto = bring forth, bear children, be born is a child as viewed in relation to his parents or family. This word takes on special theological significance when the Bible calls believers the children of God. NT pupils or disciples are called children of their teachers, because the latter by their instruction nourish the minds of their pupils and mould their characters

1Thessalonians 2:8 Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the Gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: outos homeiromenoi (PMPMPN) humon eudokoumen (1PIAI) metadounai (AAN) humin ou monon to euaggelion tou theou alla kai tas heauton psuchas, dioti agapetoi hemin egenethete. (2PAPI)

Amplified: So, being thus tenderly and affectionately desirous of you, we continued to share with you not only God’s good news (the Gospel) but also our own lives as well, for you had become so very dear to us. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

ESV: So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

HCSB: We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.

KJV: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

NET: with such affection for you we were happy to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.

NLT: We loved you so much that we gave you not only God's Good News but our own lives, too. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: Because we loved you, it was a joy to us to give you not only the Gospel of God but our very hearts - so dear did you become to us. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: Thus having a kindly feeling for you, we constantly took delight in imparting to you not only the good news of God but also our own souls, because you became beloved ones to us.

Young's Literal: so being desirous of you, we are well-pleased to impart to you not only the good news of God, but also our own souls, because beloved ye have become to us,

HAVING THUS A FOND AFFECTION FOR YOU, WE WERE WELL-PLEASED TO IMPART TO YOU NOT ONLY THE GOSPEL OF GOD BUT ALSO OUR OWN LIVES: houtos homeiromenoi (PMPMPN) humon eudokoumen (1PIAI) metadounai (AAN) humin ou monon to euaggelion tou theou alla kai tas heauton psuchas:

Other translations: We were yearning for you so tenderly (Williams), having a kindly feeling for you (Wuest)

Having fond affection (2442) (homeiromai or himeíromai from hímeros = a longing or yearning after) means to desire, to be affectionately desirous of. The word expresses an experiencing of a strong feeling intensified by an inner attachment and thus a longing for, having a strong affection for or loving very much.

Homeiromai means to long for someone passionately and earnestly, and, being linked to a mother’s love, is intended here to express an affection so deep and compelling as to be unsurpassed.

It is used on grave inscriptions describing the parents’ sad yearning for their dead child and seems to indicate deep affection and great attraction or when parents wanted to describe their sad longing for a too-soon-departed child.

Hiebert writes regarding homeiromai that "Whatever its origin, it denotes the warm affection and tender yearning that the missionaries felt for their spiritual babes at Thessalonica. The present tense marks the constant nature of the learning and affection the new believers experienced. (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 & 2 Thessalonians: BMH Book. 1996)

The only other use of this verb in Scripture is in the Septuagint (LXX) translation of Job…

Who long for death, but there is none, and dig for it more than for hidden treasures (Job 3:21)

Homeiromai is is used only here in Scripture and indicates the yearning love of a mother for her children. Paul's pastoral heart is laid bare in these verses as he continues the figure of the nursing mother picturing her as not satisfied with nursing the child, but interesting herself affectionately in all that concerns the child.

WE WERE WELL-PLEASED TO IMPART TO YOU NOT ONLY THE GOSPEL OF GOD BUT ALSO OUR OWN LIVES: eudokoumen (1PIAI) metadounai (AAN) humin ou monon to euaggelion tou theou alla kai tas heauton psuchas:


It has been well said that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care! Paul gave both his care and his knowledge, and we who desire to make disciples of all the nations should do no less!

We see a similar thought expressed by Paul in other NT passages …

(Paul declaring to the Ephesian elders in their last encounter) I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)

And I will most gladly spend and be expended (consumed) for your souls. If I love you the more, am I to be loved the less? (2Corinthians 12:15)

But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. (Php 2:17-note)

Well pleased (2106) (eudokeo [word study] from eu = well + dokeo = think) means to think well of, approve of or take pleasure in. Paul is saying in essence that this imparting (gospel and souls) was actually done as a free and deliberate choice. The word denotes a predetermination of the will and could be rendered something like “we esteemed it good.”

Vincent writes that Paul's use of the imperfect tense for eudokeo could be rendered "we continued to entertain and manifest our affectionate solicitude (Or as Wuest has it "we constantly took delight ")

Hiebert writes that "The imperfect tense testified that with continued hearty good will they acted "to share" with the Thessalonians what they had to share. (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 & 2 Thessalonians: BMH Book. 1996)

God said "This is My beloved (agapetos) Son, in whom I am well pleased (eudokeo). (Mt 3:17)

Eudokeo occasionally is found in later Greek, and often in the Septuagint. In NT eudokeo is used of God's decrees, as Lk 12:32; 1 Cor. 1:21; Gal. 1:15; Col. 1:19; and of the free determination and plans of men, as Ro 15:26; 2 Cor. 5:8; 1 Th. 3:1.

Eudokeo - 21x in 21v in NAS - Mt 3:17; 12:18; 17:5; Mk 1:11; Luke 3:22; 12:32; Ro 15:26 27; 1 Cor 1:21; 10:5; 2Cor 5:8; 12:10; Gal 1:15; Col 1:19; 1Th 2:8; 3:1; 2Th 2:12; Heb 10:6, 8, 38; 2Pe 1:17. NAS = am well content(1), am well-pleased(5), been pleased(1), chosen gladly(1), good pleasure(1), has… pleasure(1), pleased(2), prefer(1), taken pleasure(1), taken… pleasure(1), thought it best(1), took pleasure(1), well-pleased(4).

Living for Jesus Who died in my place,
Bearing on Calv'ry my sin and disgrace;
Such love constrains me to answer His call,
Follow His leading, and give Him my all.

Impart (3330) (metadidomi from metá = with, denoting association + dídomi = to give) means to share with someone else what one has, and has the nuances of to impart, to communicate, to give a share or part of. It means refers to transferring something to another.

It is the giving of something by which the giver retains one part and the receiver another so that they both share in the matter. The The word means more than “to give.” It means to give from oneself.

The usual Greek verb for giving is didomi, but metadidomi is the intensified form which carries the additional meanings of sharing and imparting that which is one’s own.

Hiebert explains that "The preposition meta prefixed to the infinitive brings out the thought that the missionaries did not merely give a gift but rather imparted something they desired to share with the Thessalonians. The aorist tense of the infinitive summarizes their work at Thessalonica as having had this character. Far from coming to get something from the people, the missionaries came to share with them the best possession they had: "the gospel of God." This good news, which has its origin and source in God, was indeed a priceless treasure that would enrich the Thessalonians for time and eternity. Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy's willingness to share this treasure was indeed an expression of genuine love. The sharing of the saving gospel with others was the reason for their call and function as Christ's apostles. (Ibid)

MacArthur explains that metadidomi "means to share, or give someone something of which one retains a part. That is exactly what happens when Christians impart to other people divine truth. They give someone else the good news of salvation, yet without losing possession of it themselves. (1 & 2 Thessalonians. Moody Press)

Paul speaks of himself and his fellow–missionaries as having been well pleased to impart to the converts both God’s Gospel and their own souls (i.e., so sharing those with them as to spend themselves and spend out their lives for them)

There are 2 uses in the LXX (Job 31:17, Pr 11;26) 5 uses of metadidomi in the NT…

Luke 3:11 And he would answer and say to them, "Let the man who has two tunics share with him who has none; and let him who has food do likewise."

Romans 1:11 (note) For I long to see you in order that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established;

Romans 12:8 (note) or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Ephesians 4:28 (note) Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.

1 Thessalonians 2:8 Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.

The gospel of God - Far from coming to get something from the people, the missionaries came to share with them the best possession they had: "the gospel of God."

Barnes sounds the right note here commenting that "To be willing to communicate the knowledge of the gospel was in itself a strong proof of love, even if it were attended with no self-denial or hazard in doing it. We evince a decided love for a man when we tell him of the way of salvation, and urge him to accept of it. We show strong interest for one who is in danger, when we tell him of a way of escape, or for one who is sick, when we tell him of a medicine that will restore him; but we manifest a much higher love when we tell a lost and ruined sinner of the way in which he may be saved. There is no method in which we can show so strong an interest in our fellow-men, and so much true benevolence for them, as to go to them and tell them of the way by which they may be rescued from everlasting ruin. (Albert Barnes. Barnes NT Commentary)

Gospel (2098)(euaggelion [word study] from = good + aggéllo = proclaim, tell) originally referred to a reward for good news and later became the good news itself. The word euaggelion was in just as common use in the first century as our words good news today. “Have you any good news for me today?” would have been a common question. In this secular use euaggelion described good news of any kind and prior to the writing of the New Testament, had no definite religious connotation in the ancient world until it was taken over by the "Cult of Caesar" which was the state religion and in which the emperor was worshipped as a god (see more discussion of this use below). The writers of the New Testament adapted the term as God's message of salvation for lost sinners.

Bruce comments that "They could share the gospel with their converts without any diminution in their own enjoyment of its benefits, but to share their own lives involved utter self-denial, spending and being spent in the interest of others (cf. 2 Cor 12:15). (Bruce, F F: 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas: Word, Incorporated. 1982)

Lives (5590) (psuche from psucho = breathe, blow) signifies life in the distinctness of individual existence, especially of man, occasionally of brutes. In the further development of the idea it becomes, instead of the body, the seat of the will, dispositions, desires, passions; and, combined with the soma body, denotes the constituent parts of humanity. Hence the morally endowed individuality of man which continues after death. In this context is the non-material inner life of human beings for which the body serves as a dwelling place and as in this verse often with focus on various aspects of feeling, thinking, choosing in which the psychological being

Psuche denotes their inner being, their entire personality. Literally, they gave up their souls—their real inner beings—not so much to die for them but to live for the sake of the Thessalonians. Along with their preaching went an unstinting outpouring of their innermost self. It sets the true standard of pastoral service and is the key to a vital ministry. Such a ministry is costly but it is the antidote to the blight of professionalism. There was nothing superficial or partial about their sacrificial service.

Psuche signifies here the life of the individual person which is shared with another. It is the life of the individual as it is manifested in behavior and refers to the observable totality of Paul’s earthly existence. Paul is saying literally that they gave up their souls (psuche) their real inner beings, for the sake of the Thessalonians.

Bruce comments that "psuche is here the seat of affection and will (cf. Phil 1:27; Phil 2:2; Phil 2:19). The meaning is not simply we were willing to give (lay down) our lives for you but we were willing to give ourselves to you, to put ourselves at your disposal, without reservation. Those addressed seem to have followed and reciprocated the apostolic example, to judge from 2Cor 8:5, where it is said that the Macedonian churches first gave themselves to the Lord and to us (Paul and his companions) by the will of God. (Bruce, F F: 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas: Word, Incorporated. 1982)

When William Tyndale was told that the bishops had burnt all the copies of his New Testament on which they could lay their hands, he calmly wrote, with a too sure presage of his after fate, “In burning the New Testament, they did none other things than I looked for: nor more shall they do if they burn me also, if it be God’s will it shall be so”; and that he was prepared for that was amply proved that day at Vilvorde, when, standing at the stake, he cried, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!”

The writers of the New Testament adapted the term Gospel as God's glorious message of salvation for lost otherwise hopeless, helpless sinners. Euaggelion is found in several combination phrases, each describing the gospel like a multifaceted jewel in various terms from a different viewpoint (from the NASB, 1977):

  1. the gospel of the kingdom (Mt 4:23+, Mt 9:35+, Mt 24:14+)
  2. the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Mk 1:1+) because it centers in Christ
  3. the gospel of God (Mk 1:14+, Ro 15:16+, 2Co 11:7+, 1Th 2:2+, 1Th 2:8,9+, 1Pe 4:17+) because it originates with God and was not invented by man
  4. the gospel of the kingdom of God (Lu 16:16+)
  5. the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24+, Ro 1:1+),
  6. the gospel of His Son (Ro 1:9+)
  7. the gospel of Christ (Ro 15:19+, 1Co 1:9+, 2Co 2:12+, 2Co 9:13+, 2Co 10:14+, Gal 1:7+, Phil 1:27+, 1Th 3:2+)
  8. the gospel of the glory of Christ (2Co 4:4+)
  9. the gospel of your salvation (Eph 1:14+)
  10. the gospel of peace (Eph 6:15+)
  11. the gospel of our Lord Jesus (2Th 1:8+)
  12. the glorious gospel of the blessed God (1Ti 1:11+)
  13. In Ro 16:25, 26+ Paul called it “my Gospel” indicating that the special emphasis he gave the gospel in his ministry.

For a rewarding study, study the preceding references in context making notation of the truth you observe about the gospel. If you would like a special blessing, take an afternoon to go through all 76 uses of euaggelion in context making a list of what you learn about the gospel. The Spirit of God will enlighten your heart and encourage your spirit in a very special way...and you'll want to share the "good news" with someone because of your "discoveries"!

Euaggelion - Matt. 4:23; Matt. 9:35; Matt. 24:14; Matt. 26:13; Mk. 1:1; Mk. 1:14; Mk. 1:15; Mk. 8:35; Mk. 10:29; Mk. 13:10; Mk. 14:9; Mk. 16:15; Acts 15:7; Acts 20:24; Rom. 1:1; Rom. 1:9; Rom. 1:16; Rom. 2:16; Rom. 10:16; Rom. 11:28; Rom. 15:16; Rom. 15:19; Rom. 16:25; 1 Co. 4:15; 1 Co. 9:12; 1 Co. 9:14; 1 Co. 9:18; 1 Co. 9:23; 1 Co. 15:1; 2 Co. 2:12; 2 Co. 4:3; 2 Co. 4:4; 2 Co. 8:18; 2 Co. 9:13; 2 Co. 10:14; 2 Co. 11:4; 2 Co. 11:7; Gal. 1:6; Gal. 1:7; Gal. 1:11; Gal. 2:2; Gal. 2:5; Gal. 2:7; Gal. 2:14; Eph. 1:13; Eph. 3:6; Eph. 6:15; Eph. 6:19; Phil. 1:5; Phil. 1:7; Phil. 1:12; Phil. 1:16; Phil. 1:27; Phil. 2:22; Phil. 4:3; Phil. 4:15; Col. 1:5; Col. 1:23; 1 Thess. 1:5; 1 Thess. 2:2; 1 Thess. 2:4; 1 Thess. 2:8; 1 Thess. 2:9; 1 Thess. 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; 2 Thess. 2:14; 1 Tim. 1:11; 2 Tim. 1:8; 2 Tim. 1:10; 2 Tim. 2:8; Phlm. 1:13; 1 Pet. 4:17; Rev. 14:6

BECAUSE YOU HAD BECOME VERY DEAR TO US: dioti agapetoi hemin egenethete. (2PAPI):

Because (1360) (dioti from dia = for + hoti = that) is a marker of cause or reason and thus means on account of this, for this reason or as the NAS renders it because. Love was the inducement for this costly ministry of giving their lives and the gospel.

Became (1096) (ginomai) means to come into existence or to being. As a result of their labors among the Thessalonians there came into existence (aorist tense = at a point in time) in the missionaries a deep affection.

Dear (27) (agapetos) pertains to one who is loved or the object of another's affection. This indicates that a deep, affectionate relationship had developed between the missionaries and their converts, who were beloved to them

Paul used agapetos twice in one verse to describe the saints at Philippi writing…

Therefore, my beloved (agapetos) brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, so stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. (Philippians 4:1-note)

Agapetos - 61x in 60v in NAS -

Matt 3:17; 12:18; 17:5; Mark 1:11; 9:7; 12:6; Luke 3:22; 20:13; Acts 15:25; Rom 1:7; 11:28; 12:19; 16:5, 8f, 12; 1 Cor 4:14, 17; 10:14; 15:58; 2 Cor 7:1; 12:19; Eph 5:1; 6:21; Phil 2:12; 4:1; Col 1:7; 4:7, 9, 14; 1 Thess 2:8; 1 Tim 6:2; 2 Tim 1:2; Philemon 1:1, 16; Heb 6:9; Jas 1:16, 19; 2:5; 1 Pet 2:11; 4:12; 2 Pet 1:17; 3:1, 8, 14f, 17; 1 John 2:7; 3:2, 21; 4:1, 7, 11; 3 John 1:1f, 5, 11; Jude 1:3, 17, 20

Have you ever heard someone say (and not jokingly) "I love ministry; it is just people I can’t stand!" Paul shows us clearly in these verses that true ministry has a deep love for the people one ministers to.

1Thessalonians 2:8 - Our Daily Bread - Give It Away- Parents, teachers, and school board members in central Texas were astounded when a retired couple offered 4-year college scholarships to all 45 children in a local school's first-grade class. The only conditions are that the child stays off drugs, graduates from the high school in that district, and attends an accredited Texas public university, junior college, or trade school. Years earlier, a company had paid half the college tuition for one of the donors, and he never forgot. "They helped me," he says, "and now it's my turn."

All of us have received a gift we can share with others. Although it may not be money, it's something that has enhanced our lives. Paul reminded the Thessalonians that "we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us" (1 Thessalonians 2:8).

What has been given to you that you need to pass along in the name of Christ? The gift of listening when someone needs to talk? Sharing in a Bible-study group where people learn to nourish themselves from the Word? Sending a thoughtful card to someone with a heavy heart?

The gospel is always most effective when it is shared by people who joyfully give themselves away. —David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

The message you may give,
The words that come from you,
Most truly honor Jesus
When love is given too. —D. De Haan

God gives to you so you can give to others.

1 Thessalonians 2:9 For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: mnemoneuete (2PPAI) gar, adelphoi, ton kopon hemon kai ton mochthon; nuktos kai hemeras ergazomenoi (AAN) pros to me epibaresai (1PAAI) tina umon ekeruxamen eis humas to euaggelion tou theou.

Amplified: For you recall our hard toil and struggles, brethren. We worked night and day [and plied our trade] in order not to be a burden to any of you [for our support] while we proclaimed the glad tidings (the Gospel) of God to you. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: Don't you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that our expenses would not be a burden to anyone there as we preached God's Good News among you. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: Our struggles and hard work, my brothers, must still be fresh in your minds. Day and night we worked so that our preaching of the Gospel to you might not cost you a penny. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: For you remember, brethren, our fatiguing labor and hardship, night and day working at manual labor that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the good news of God.

Young's Literal: for ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail, for, night and day working not to be a burden upon any of you, we did preach to you the good news of God;

FOR YOU RECALL, BRETHREN, OUR LABOR AND HARDSHIP: mnemoneuete (2PPAI) gar, adelphoi, ton kopon hemon kai ton mochthon:

For (gar) is a conjunction which basically introducing an explanation and here indicates that Paul intends to further develop the point that the Thessalonians had become very dear to the missionaries.

THOUGHT -  In simple terms for is a term of explanation and its occurrence should always prompt one to pause and ponder the text and context, always asking at least one 5W/H question "What is the text explaining?" which will force you to examine the preceding passages, which in turn will hone or refine your skill of observation and help you establish thte context, which will lead to a more accurate Interpretation, which is essential for valid Application of the text.

While not every "for" in the Bible is a term of explanation, most are and since there are over 7500 uses of for (NAS), you will have ample opportunity to observe and interrogate the text. Two clues that the for is a term of explanation - (1) It is at the beginning of the sentence or clause or (2) you can substitute the word "because" and it makes good sense. As you practice this discipline of pausing to ponder, you are establishing the context (which leads to more accurate interpretation and thus more apropos application) and you are in effect engaging in the blessed activity of Biblical Meditation (See Ps 1:2+, Ps 1:3+ and Joshua 1:8+ for the blessed benefits of meditation = I like to call it a "mini-meditation".).

McGee feels Paul is continuing his picture of "a mother’s work. We are familiar with the expression: “Man’s work is from sun to sun, but a woman’s work [or a mother’s work] is never done.” A mother is not a paid nurse. Paul is saying that he wasn’t a paid nurse who worked by the hour. He wasn’t a hired baby-sitter. He did not belong to a union. Have you ever heard of a mothers’ union which insisted a mother would work only for eight hours of the day? Have you known any mothers who punch the clock and then turn away from their crying babies because they refuse to work anymore? Maybe some mothers will work out some kind of union agreement like that, but I don’t think real mothers would want it. Mothers work a little differently—night and day. (Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)

Recall (3421) (mnemoneuo from mimnesko = to recall to one's mind) means to exercise memory, call something to mind, recollect, to pay attention to something and so to be warned (eg, Lk 17:32).

The Analytical Lexicon has an excellent summary of the NT meanings - (1) of recollection recall, remember (Mt 16.9); (2) of solicitous concern be mindful of, think of, remember (Gal 2.10); (3) of self-reflection remember, keep in mind (Eph 2.11); (4) speak (of), (make) mention (of) (He 11.22) (Borrow Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament)

Mnemoneuo is "derived from the Indo-European root *mēn, to think… Hence there arises, in Indo-European languages generally, the following complex of meanings: (a) to remember (referring to the intellectual ability, and its exercise, of linking the past to the present); (b) to consider, weigh up (where the present is linked to the future); (c) to be mindful, take into account, mention (assessing how the present relates both to past and future). This range of meanings can be seen in English, e.g., in the various uses of the word “mind”: to remind, call to mind, give one’s mind to, bear in mind, have a mind to, etc. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)

A couple of "plugs" for remembering God's Word (which points to the Incarnate Word - Jn 1:1) - See discussion of Memorizing God's Word of Truth & Life and then put it into practice as a daily discipline (under grace, not law!) by beginning to Memorize Verses by Topic. You will not regret it… in the present age or the age to come.

Paul Tucker said that "One of the products of the Fall is that we remember the things we ought to forget—and forget the things we ought to remember."

Aldous Huxley adds that "Each man's memory is his private literature". And now as new creatures in Christ (2Cor 5:17-note), we should continually seek to fill our mind with the best "literature", washing it with the water of the Word, which alone can counter the effects of the fall, for it is only by the Word that we are sanctified (made holy) and our minds are renewed (Jn 17:17, cp Php 4:8-note, Php 4:9-note, Col 3:16-note, Ep 4:23-note, Ro 12:2-note, Jn 8:31, 32, 36).

Websters 1828 definition of remember - To have in the mind an idea which had been in the mind before, and which recurs to the mind without effort (Ed comment: I think in the NT sense we often need to make a conscious effort, a volitional choice to remember. And we have the Spirit to aid our recall - cp Jn 14:26, 1Co 2:12, 13). When we use effort to recall an idea, we are said to recollect it. This distinction is not always observed. Hence remember is often used as synonymous with recollect, that is, to call to mind. We say, we cannot remember a fact, when we mean, we cannot recollect it. 

Mounce has an interesting note on the two NT verbs for remember (mimneskomai and mnemoneuo) noting that …

These two verbs share a common root (mnē) and often carry the simple meaning of remembering or recalling to mind (Mt 16:9; 26:75; 1Th. 2:9). Remembering, however, is often more active and effective than the mere recollection of certain data.

Remembering should affect one’s life significantly, in terms of changing attitudes (Jn 2:22; 12:16; Ep 2:11) or taking some action (Rev 2:5; 3:3).

The NT authors frequently exhort believers to remember with prayer and action (Gal 2:10; 1Th 1:3; He 13:3, 7). Belief and confession can follow remembering (1Ti 2:8; Heb 11:22).

When God remembers, there are always consequences, both merciful (Lk 1:54, 72; 23:42; Acts 10:31) and just (Rev 16:19; 18:5). When God does not remember, this is not forgetfulness, but a choice to not dwell upon or consider someone or something (Heb 8:12; 10:17). We can praise Him that He has chosen not to remember our sins. (Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan)

Isaac Watts - We are said to remember anything, when the idea of it arises in the mind with the consciousness that we have had this idea before.

Even as the missionaries remembered (mnemoneuo) the Thessalonians’ "work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope" (1Th 1:3-note), so they expected that the Thessalonians would remember (mnemoneuo) how they too had labored while they were with them.

Mnemoneuo - 21x in 21v in NAS = bearing in mind(1), made mention(1), recall(1), remember(14), remembered(1), remembering(1), remembers(1), thinking(1). Mt 16:9; Mk 8:18; Lk 17:32; Jn 15:20; 16:4, 21; Acts 20:31, 35; Gal 2:10; Eph 2:11; Col 4:18; 1Th 1:3; 2:9; 2Th 2:5; 2Ti 2:8; Heb 11:15, 22; 13:7; Rev 2:5; 3:3; 18:5.

Matthew 16:9 "Do you not yet understand or remember (present tense = continually recall to your mind) the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up?

Comment: Context is Mt 16:8 "men of little faith" discussing no bread when the Bread of life was in their very midst! Oh my, how often I am like them! How often I see the temporal and miss the eternal, forgetting that He is using the visible to teach me about the invisible (cp 2Co 4:18-note)! Lord help my unbelief. Amen

Comment from Matthew Henry: Though they had no bread with them, they had him with them who could provide bread for them. If they had not the cistern, they had the Fountain. Do ye not yet understand, neither remember? Note, Christ's disciples are often to be blamed for the shallowness of their understandings, and the slipperiness of their memories. "Have ye forgot those repeated instances of merciful and miraculous supplies; five thousand fed with five loaves, and four thousand with seven loaves, and yet they had enough and to spare? Remember how many baskets ye took up." These baskets were intended for memorials, by which to keep the mercy in remembrance, as the pot of manna which was preserved in the ark, Ex 16:32. The fragments of those meals would be a feast now; and he that could furnish them with such an overplus then, surely could furnish them with what was necessary now. That meat for their bodies was intended to be meat or their faith (Ps 74:14), which therefore they should have lived upon, now that they had forgotten to take bread.

Mark 8:18 (for context read Mk 8:16, 17 - see preceding comments) "HAVING EYES, DO YOU NOT SEE? (cp His next miracle - Mk 8:22 23 24 25 26) AND HAVING EARS (cp Mk 7:32-37), DO YOU NOT HEAR? (see Jer 5:21, cp similar language in Ezek 12:2; Isa 6:9 10-note) And do you not remember, (present tense = continually recall to your mind)? (Jesus' question expects a positive answer)

Comment: Eyes, ears and mind (memory) here are all referring to their spiritual perception (lack of). Jesus desires that all His disciples (cp who they were in Acts 11:26) develop their skills of spiritual perception. How are your spiritual eyes, ears and memory beloved? A bit cloudy, a bit "stopped up", a bit forgetful?

Luke 17:32 "Remember (present imperative = command calling for ready recall to be one's continual attitude. Keep this historical event constantly on the "front burner" of your mind!) Lot's wife.

Comment: Jesus is speaking to disciples (Lk 17:22 - genuine followers, compare the name of the "disciples" in Acts 11:26 - note that the most common name for believers in Acts was "disciples" - 30x in 28 verses - eg look at the birth of the Church in Ac 6:1 2 7 9:1 13:52 Note the effect of the preaching of the Gospel - Acts 14:21 22 - some teach that "disciples" are a separate category of believers - What does God's Word teach? For a pithy, provocative study of what Scripture teaches consider Being a Disciple Counting the Real Cost), knowing that He is about to go to the Cross. And so here Jesus warns the disciples to remember Ge 19:17, 26 which parallels His earlier pithy teaching in Luke 9:62 (where "looking" is in the present tense = continually looking back. We all "look back" at the world and our possessions occasionally but that is not our lifestyle - a believer's lifestyle is looking forward, fixing one's eyes on Jesus He 12:2-note, looking for the blessed hope Titus 2:13-note, loving the thought of His appearing 2Ti 4:8-note). What did Lot's wife decision reflect? Disobedience. And her disobedience was a manifestation of her lack of faith (see relationship between faith and obedience in Hebrews 3:18, 19-note). And thus if a person professes to follow after Jesus and yet continually manifests a "Lot's wife heart", they are not genuine followers of Christ and they are not fit for the kingdom of God (Lk 9:62 - the phrase "kingdom of God" in this verse and the previous one Lk 9:60, 61 ["proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God"] is equivalent to or tantamount to salvation because the truly saved are the only ones who will "see the kingdom of God" as Jesus' explained to Nicodemus in John 3:3.). So Jesus' call to remember Lot's wife conveys a serious, sobering warning to all who would seek to follow Him

One side note - As we make a habitual practice to remember the truth of God's Word (truths like the tragic outcome of Lot's wife), we are in a sense practicing a form of "meditation", mulling His truth over and over in our heart and mind. This is the essence of Biblical Meditation, a somewhat lost discipline/art in the modern church, but one which promises incredible spiritual blessings which should strongly motivate us (Joshua 1:8-note, Ps 1:1-note, Ps 1:2-note, Ps 1:3-note). As we seek to remember God's Word (especially to memorize it), we are laying the groundwork to be able then to meditate on it. (Compare the association of remember and meditate in Ps 63:5 below)

John 15:20 "Remember (present imperative = command to continually, habitually recall, recollect) the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

Comment: Jesus' disciples must continually be aware that since the unbelieving world persecuted Jesus, they will persecute His followers. This is not a "maybe" but a "gimme"! But unfortunately this message is not clearly taught many times for "fear" of chasing off potential converts. And yet the Scriptures clearly and repeatedly teach this is the lot in this present life for all Christ followers (cp 2Ti 3:12-note, Php 1:29-note, Acts 14:22, 1Pe 2:21-note) (See also Lk 6:22 21:17; Jn 15:19, 20, 17:14, Mt 10:34, 35, 36 but be comforted by Jn16:33,14:27). Remember is used in a similar context in the following verse Jn 16:14.

John 16:4 "But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember (present tense = continually recall to your mind) that I told you of them. These things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.

John 16:21 "Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers (present tense = continually recalls to her mind) the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.

Henry Morris comments: Jesus uses this common experience (suffering and travail in giving birth) as an example of what God is doing with His whole creation and what He Himself was accomplishing for His followers as He proceeded toward the Cross. He would "see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied" (Isaiah 53:11). He, "for the joy that was set before him endured the cross" (Hebrews 12:2). Furthermore, His travail will deliver a new world. "The [creation] itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" (Ro 8:21,22).

Comment: And so dear follower in the footsteps of Christ Jesus, remember that present suffering, which includes taking up the cross, denying self and following Him will bring persecution in the present but will be followed by a crown, by glory, by an eternity of unfettered joy and unbroken intimate fellowship with the Lover of our soul! Remember - No cross, no crown. In sum when the followers of Christ remember the vivid metaphor He uses in this passage, they are undergirded and strengthened by His grace (2Ti 2:1-note) to suffer victoriously (Ro 8:37KJV-note, Ro 8:31-note) the present trials and tribulations for His Name's sake, for they know that "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2Co 4:17-note, 2Co 4:18-note)

Acts 20:31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering (present tense = continually recalling to your minds) that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.

Acts 20:35 "In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember (present tense = continually recall to your minds) the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

Comment: It is notable that twice Paul uses the verb to remember when addressing the elders who are to oversee the body of Christ at Ephesus. This is a good word (verb) for all elders!

Galatians 2:10 They only asked us to remember (present tense = continually recall to your mind) the poor-- the very thing I also was eager to do.

Ephesians 2:11-note Therefore remember (present imperative = command to continually, habitually recall, recollect) that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision " by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands

Comment: What will it do to our attitude of gratitude when we continually are mindful of the pit of destruction from which the Almighty has rescued us by the redeeming blood of His Son?!

Colossians 4:18-note I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember (present imperative = command to continually recall) my imprisonment. Grace be with you.

1 Thessalonians 1:3-note constantly bearing in mind (present tense = continually recall to our minds) your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,

1 Thessalonians 2:9-note For you recall (present tense = continually recall to your minds [plural]), brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.

2 Thessalonians 2:5 Do you not remember (present tense = continually recall to your minds [plural]) that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? (Mnemoneuo is used in a question introduced by the negative particle which expects the answer “yes”: “you remember don’t you?”)

2 Timothy 2:8-note Remember (present imperative = command to continually, habitually recall, recollect) Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel

Comment: What do you observe in this verse? Or to ask another way, how is the Gospel "abbreviated"? The first half speaks of our Lord becoming the perfect sinless God Man as testified by the fact that His Father was satisfied (Propitiation) with His sacrifice on the Cross and raised Him from the dead. The second half testifies that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ (Christos = Messiah) Who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies including His origin from the lineage of David (cp Mt 1:1). In fact indirectly this latter passage even alludes to the presence of the "Gospel" in the Old Testament, a truth which is validated by Paul in Gal 3:8. The OT saints looked forward to the coming of the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29), while we today look back to the finished work (Jn 19:30-note) of the Lamb of God. Both Old and New Testament saints are saved by grace through faith (Ep 2:8, 9-note Gal 3:6, 7) and their faith is in God's Gospel.

Hebrews 11:15-note And indeed if they had been thinking (imperfect tense = means to do something over and over) of that country from which they went out, they would have had (imperfect tense = means to do something over and over) opportunity to return.

Comment: Some things are best not remembered (compare this to Jesus' call to disciples not to keep looking backwards - see comments above on Lk 17:32, 9:62). The idea of the imperfect tense is to be in the habit of remembering and then remembering again, doing this over and over, again and again (which reminds one of the hearts of the children of Israel who longed for the leeks and garlic of Egypt, forgetting the bondage of Egypt! Look what they remembered in Nu 11:5! Leeks rather than the LORD! That is a sad substitute, an evil exchange! Are there any "leeks" in your/my life, forgetting [not remembering!] the bondage those "leeks" might bring?) their former country, the pagan land of Ur of the Chaldees (home of Abram), they could again and again have had an opportunity (have is also in the imperfect tense) to return. There Abram and his family could have enjoyed the sensual comforts instead of the rough tent life (cp the call on all followers of Christ to live as aliens and strangers - 1Pe 2:11-note, cp 1Pe 1:1-note). How clear is this application to all those who have been called out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1Pe 2:9-note), and yet how insistent is the old, fallen flesh to seek to lure us back (Jas 1:14, 15-note) to the passing pleasures of "Egypt" (the world) (He 11:25-note), which itself is passing away (1Jn 2:17-note) as are even it's strong lusts which continually seek to seduce us to gratify self but which can never satisfy for true satisfaction and contentment comes only as we seek and surrender to the sweet will our Gentle Shepherd and Lord, Christ Jesus (Jn 14:27, 16:33, Php 4:6-note, Php 4:7-note, Php 4:11, 12-note, Php 4:13-note).

Hebrews 11:22-note By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention (aorist - historical act, past tense completed action) of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.

Hebrews 13:7-note Remember (present imperative = command to continually, habitually recall, recollect) those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.

Revelation 2:5-note 'Therefore remember (present imperative = command to continually, habitually recall, recollect) from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place-- unless you repent.

Revelation 3:3-note 'So remember (present imperative = command to continually, habitually recall, recollect) what you have received and heard; and keep (tereo = Guard it - (present imperative = command to continually, habitually guard it) it, and repent. (aorist imperative = Do it! This tense often conveys a sense of urgency.) Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.

Revelation 18:5-note for her (Babylon) sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered (Aorist - used here of a future event, so certain is that future event!) her iniquities.

Mnemoneuo - 11 x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX)- Ex 13:3; 2Sa14:11; 2Kgs 9:25; 1Chr 16:12, 15; Esther 2:1; 4:17; Ps 6:5; 63:6; Pr 8:21; Isa 43:18.

Exodus 13:3 Moses said to the people, “Remember this day (The Feast of Passover) in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand the Lord brought you out from this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten.

1Chronicles 16:12 Remember (command) His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth… 15 Remember (command) His covenant forever (Which covenant? See 1Chr 16:16), The word which He commanded to a thousand generations

Comment: Beloved, notice the association of recalling the Lord's marvelous deeds in your own life (the day of your new birth for instance) as well as His covenant (solemn and binding and stabilizing and assuring - remembering that the New Covenant which believers are in today is an extension in part of the Abrahamic Covenant, excepting the specific land promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - see Covenant: Abrahamic vs Old vs New and Covenant: Why the New is Better)

Psalm 63:6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches

Spurgeon comments: When I remember thee upon my bed. Lying awake, the good man betook himself to meditation, and then began to sing. He had a feast in the night, and a song in the night. He turned his bedchamber into an oratory, he consecrated his pillow, his praise anticipated the place of which it is written, "There is no night there." Perhaps the wilderness helped to keep him awake, and if so, all the ages are debtors to it for this delightful hymn. If day's cares tempt us to forget God, it is well that night's quiet should lead us to remember him. We see best in the dark if we there see God best.

And meditate on thee in the night watches. Keeping up sacred worship in my heart as the priests and Levites celebrated it in the sanctuary. Perhaps David had formerly united with those "who by night stand in the house of the Lord," and now as he could not be with them in person, he remembers the hours as they pass, and unites with the choristers in spirit, blessing Jehovah as they did. It may be, moreover, that the king heard the voices of the sentries as they relieved guard, and each time he returned with renewed solemnity to his meditations upon his God. Night is congenial, in its silence and darkness, to a soul which would forget the world, and rise into a higher sphere. Absorption in the most hallowed of all themes makes watches, which else would be weary, glide away all too rapidly; it causes the lonely and hard couch to yield the most delightful repose -- repose more restful than even sleep itself. We read of beds of ivory, but beds of piety are better far. Some revel in the night, but they are not a tithe so happy as those who meditate in God.

Isaiah 43:18 Do not call to mind (Lxx = mnemoneuo = stop recalling them is the idea) the former things, or ponder things of the past.

John MacArthur Comments: Deliverances of the nation in the past will pale into insignificance in comparison with the future deliverance the Lord will give His people (Isa 42:9; 48:6; Jer 16:14 15). (MacArthur, J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word or Logos)

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.

Labor and hardship - Lightfoot points out the distinction between the two when he writes

Kopos (from kopto) is properly a 'blow' or 'bruise,' and hence signifies 'wear and tear,' the fatigue arising from continued labour, and hence the labor which brings on lassitude. In mochthos on the other hand the leading notion is that of struggling to overcome difficulties.

Labor (2873) (kopos from kopto = chop, cut down, strike) (See also study on related verb kopiao) primarily, refers to beating or smiting as a sign of sorrow and then sorrow itself. fatigue) As labor it involves toil and weariness and sorrow. Kopos conveys the idea of arduous, wearying toil involving sweat and fatigue and emphasizes the weariness which follows on the straining of all of one's powers to the utmost. In secular Greek kopos means “beating,” “weariness as though one had been beaten,” and the “exertion” or “trouble” which causes this state. In prose it is the proper word for physical tiredness induced by work, exertion or heat.

It was not easy to make tents and minister the Word at the same time. No wonder Paul labored “night and day”!

As the missionaries remembered the Thessalonians' work of faith and labor of love, so they expected that the Thessalonians would remember how they too had labored while they were with them. Paul used the first word, kopos, in 1.3 in describing how the Thessalonians' love made them work so hard.

constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor (kopos) of love (agape) and steadfastness of hope (elpis) in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father (1Th 1:3-note)

Hardship (3449) (mochthos from mógos = labor, toil) means toil, painfulness, travail, afflicting and wearisome labor. Hardship, struggle, strenuous toil. It refers to hard and difficult labor involving suffering and implying an unusual exertion of energy and effort.

The word refers to the trouble and pain of arduous work and the leading notion is that of struggling to overcome difficulties.

Mochtos is the everyday word for that labor which, in one shape or another, is the lot of all the sinful children of Adam. It is more than kópos and it therefore follows kópos in all the three passages wherein it occurs. Kopos emphasizes fatigue and mochthos hardship.

Mochthos is used 37 times in the Septuagint (LXX)

Ex. 18:8; Lev. 25:43, 46, 53; Nu 20:14; 23:21; Deut. 26:7; Neh. 9:32; Job 2:9; Eccl. 1:3; 2:10f, 18ff, 24; 3:13; 4:4, 6, 8f; 5:15, 18f; 6:7; 8:15; 9:9; 10:15; Isa. 55:2; 61:8; Jer. 3:24; 51:35; Lam. 3:65; Ezek. 23:29; 34:4). Note the 21 uses in Ecclesiastes with this representative use…

Ecclesiastes 1:3 What advantage does man have in all his work (mochthos) which he does under the sun?

There are 3 uses of mochthos in the NT…

2 Corinthians 11:27 I have been in labor (kopos) and hardship (mochthos), through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.

1 Thessalonians 2:9 For you recall, brethren, our labor (kopos) and hardship (mochthos), how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.

2 Thessalonians 3:8 nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor (kopos) and hardship (mochthos) we kept working night and day so that we might not be a burden to any of you;

Hiebert comments that…

Paul's expression aptly stresses the reality and exhausting character of the work of the missionaries. It certainly was no pleasant, self-chosen activity adopted as an easy means of gaining a livelihood. In their own memories of the toil of the missionaries, the readers had proof of the self-sacrificing spirit of the preachers. (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 & 2 Thessalonians: BMH Book. 1996)

HOW WORKING NIGHT AND DAY SO AS NOT TO BE A BURDEN TO ANY OF YOU: nuktos kai hemeras ergazomenoi (AAN) pros to me epibaresai (1PAAI) tina humon:

In a similar vein Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth reminding them…

and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure (1Cor 4:12)

If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things, that we may cause no hindrance (egkope = impediment from egkopto which In classic Greek was used as a military metaphor meaning to cut in on, throw obstacles in the way of, or cut up the road so that normal movement is impossible) to the gospel of Christ. (1Cor 9:12)

Paul spoke of his manual labor in Acts

(Paul came to Corinth to join Aquila and Priscilla) and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working; for by trade they were tent-makers. (Acts 18:3)

(At Paul's last face to face address to the elders at Ephesus) You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. (Acts 20:34)

Bruce observes that…

A later teacher, Rabban Gamaliel III, gave voice to a traditional principle when he said that study of the Torah was excellent if it were combined with a secular occupation (Pirqe Abot… 2.2), and this principle, in accordance with which Paul had been brought up, was carried over by him into his apostolic ministry. In Thessalonica, then, as later in Corinth (1 Cor 4:12) and Ephesus (Acts 19:12; 20:34), Paul maintained himself by manual labor. (Bruce, F F: 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas: Word, Incorporated. 1982)

Working (2038) (ergazomai) means to engage in an activity involving considerable expenditure of effort.

Night (3571) (nux) is literally the period between sunset and sunrise. Here night and day is a figure of speech. .

Night and day reflects Jewish reckoning of time where the day begins at dusk (cf. Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 21).

Moffatt quotes Ramsay writing that "Paul means by the phrase, night and day, that he started work before dawn; the usage is regular and frequent. He no doubt began so early in order to be able to devote some part of the day to preaching.

Be a burden (1912) (epibareo from epí = upon or an intensifier + baréo = to burden) means to weigh down, to place a weight upon someone, to put a burden on or to be burdensome to. To press too heavily on or be too severe with. To burden heavily, referring to material resources.

Paul did not want to be a financial burden to the Thessalonian saints. Paul emulates civic-minded persons who did not wish the public to be burdened.

Paul made it his policy to work so as to shut the mouths of those who would have liked to say that he, like others, was in the preaching business for what he could get out of it (cf. 2 Cor 11:12).

Epibareo is used 3 times in Scripture…

2 Corinthians 2:5 But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but in some degree-- in order not to say too much-- to all of you. (Comment: Here epibareo seems to have the meaning "in order not to heap up too great a burden of words" or in order not to say too much).

1 Thessalonians 2:9 For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.

2 Thessalonians 3:8 nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we might not be a burden to any of you

Paul did manual labor (likely making tents) in order to give the gospel without charge. He wanted to avoid any appearance of self-serving in their evangelistic ministry (or pretext of greed 1Thessalonians 2:5), Paul and Silas did not preach in order to secure money for their support. They earned their sustenance by their own labor most likely by making and selling tents (Acts 18:3). They performed manual labor in order to give the gospel without charge. In a Jewish setting, there would have been nothing unusual about this, since every rabbi had a trade. However, in Thessalonica it would have been remarkable, since non-Jewish traveling lecturers were often less scrupulous, and the Greeks generally despised manual labor.

WE PROCLAIMED TO YOU THE GOSPEL OF GOD: ekeruxamen eis humas to euaggelion tou theou:

Proclaimed the gospel of God - This is the third time in this chapter we encounter the term gospel of God. (1Thes 2:2, 2:8, 2:9) (It is notable that there are only 8 total uses of this phrase in the NT - click for all 8 in NASB) The designation stresses the divine origin and authority of their message and points to the greatness of the good news they had imparted to the Thessalonians. It was because the messengers were deeply convinced that their message was indeed God's gospel that they were willing to proclaim it freely while working for their own living.

This is the very thing Jesus did at the inception of His ministry…

Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching (kerusso) the Gospel of God. 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled (cf Gal 4:4 "fullness of time" in God's prophetic timetable, the time was ripe for the appearance of the King), and the kingdom of God is at hand (Or "is near" because the King has arrived!). Repent (present imperative = not just a one time repentance but as one's lifestyle!) and believe (present imperative = again, not just a one time belief but believing as a lifestyle! Problems and doubts assail us moment by moment, stressing the need for us to continually walk by faith, in the Sprit, not by sight!) in the gospel." (Mark 1:14-15)

Hogg and Vine remark that at each occurrence of the expression the missionaries appear in a different capacity…

in 1Thes 2:2 Paul refers to the work of the missionaries as evangelists among the as yet unconverted Thessalonians; in 1Thes 2:8 he refers to their work as pastors, and in 1Thes 2:9 as teachers, among their converts.

Proclaimed (2784) (kerusso or kerysso from kerux/keryx = a herald - one who acts as the medium of the authority of one who proclamation he makes; kerugma = the thing preached or the message) means to proclaim (publicly) or to herald or act as a public crier - the town official who would make a proclamation in a public gathering.

Kerusso was used of the official whose duty it was to proclaim loudly and extensively the coming of an earthly king, even as our gospel is to clearly announce the coming of the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 19:16-note)!

The Imperial Herald would enter a town in behalf of the Emperor, and make a public proclamation of the message which his Sovereign ordered him to give, doing so with such formality, gravity, and authority as to emphasize that the message must be heeded! (Think about this in regard to the Gospel of God instead of the decree of a man! cf 1Th 2:13-note). He gave the people exactly what the Emperor bade him give, nothing more, nothing less. He did not dare add to the message or take away from it. Should this not be the example and pattern every preacher and teacher of the holy gospel of God seeks and strives to emulate, yea, even doing so with fear and trembling! ("not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts" see 1Th 2:4-note)

The original meaning of the root word kerux was a "herald at the royal court." Homer used kerusso and kerux in this connection. They not only announced the coming of the prince, but they also carried his commands to the uttermost corners of his realm. As the government of Greece became more republican, these heralds came to serve the state rather than the court. Certain qualities were required of heralds. They must have powerful voices, so voice auditions were often held. Also they had to be capable of calming down an unruly mob, in order to faithfully communicate the command. An honest disposition was also required, as a protection against the exaggeration of a royal decree. Furthermore, they could make no additions or subtractions from the received message. Later these heralds were also used to declare the message of a Greek deity or a religious oracle.

To preach, proclaim, publish, always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed. The idea is to preach or proclaim with the goal to persuade, urge or warn to comply.

How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher (kerusso)? (Ro 10:14-note)

Comment: Kerusso also means to preach the Gospel in Ro 10:15-note; 1Cor 1:23; 15:11, 12; Galatians 2:2; Php 1:15-note; 1Th 2:9-note; 1 Ti 3:16

Kerusso is used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it as proclaimed by John the Baptist, Jesus, the apostles and other Christian teachers. An unexpected group of preachers were some of those whom the miracles of Jesus touched. A cleansed leper told his tale of healing far and wide (Mark 1:44-45). When a demon-possessed man was released, he proclaimed the glories of Christ throughout the whole city (Mark 5:19-20). In the New Testament, from John the Baptist to the establishment of an Apostolic church, preaching was the main means of communicating the Christian message. This gives validity to the preaching ministry today.

Kerusso does not carry within it the content or nature of the message which is proclaimed. The context usually indicates what is being preached or qualifying phrase must be used for that purpose. In the New Testament, the word is used either with a qualifying phrase such as “the gospel” (Mark 16:15), or the contents of the proclamation are given as in Revelation 5:2, or it is used alone without the contents of the message being given as in Romans 10:15.

R. C. H. Lenski - The point to be noted is that to preach is not to argue, reason, dispute, or convince by intellectual proof, against all of which a keen intellect may bring counterargument. We simply state in public or testify to all men the truth which God bids us state. No argument can assail the truth presented in this announcement or testimony. Men either believe the truth, as all sane men should, or refuse to believe it, as only fools venture to do” (The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel [Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1964], p. 168).

Kerusso is a term borrowed from the secular sphere where it was used for the proclamation of an official message from a ruler or other person of power. Because of that association, the term implies some dignity for the person doing the proclaiming.

Kerusso means to make a formal or an official announcement and thus to announce by means of a herald or one who functions as a herald

And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?" (see note Revelation 5:2).

Kerusso means to make known extensively or tell everywhere

And he (man healed of a demon) went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone marveled. (Mark 5:20).

In a religious sense it denotes proclamation of a sacred message and can mean to preach or publish…

John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Mark 1:4)

Comment: Here kerusso pictures John as a herald with an official proclamation from a coming King, the Messiah of Israel. He acted as one, making a public proclamation of the news of the advent of the Messiah with such formality, gravity, and authority as must be listened to and obeyed.

And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. (Mt 4:23).

Comment: Generally a herald speaks for the king, making his decrees known. In this case, the proclamation was about the kingdom of God and the herald was the King! Matthew uses kerusso for John, for Jesus, and for the disciples. He emphasizes the binding and official legalistic character of the proclamation.

Kerusso like its synonym euaggelizo, is especially used of preaching the gospel with the distinction lying in the literal significance where kerusso signifies to proclaim as a herald (kerux) and euaggelizo means to announce a good message or declare good tidings. Stated another way euaggelizo stresses the content while kerusso emphasizes the manner of the proclamation. Kerusso also conveys a sense of urgency with which the proclamation is made. Similarly while didasko relates to explaining a message, kerusso relates to announcing it, proclaiming openly something which has been done.

Vance Havner once said

It is not the business of the preacher to fill the house. It is his business to fill the pulpit.

Similarly Dwight L. Moody (1837-99) claimed

The best way to revive a church is to build a fire in the pulpit

John Ruskin (1819-1900) remarked

Preaching is 30 minutes in which to raise the dead.

Hunter writing on kerusso says that…

In the New Testament the verb does not mean ‘to give an informative or hortatory or edifying discourse expressed in beautifully arranged words with a melodious voice; it means to proclaim an event

Preaching is not a lecture on the nature of God's kingdom. It is proclamation (Webster = official, authoritative notice given to the public) or the declaration of an event (Webster says "In England, a declaration of the king’s will, openly published." The proclamation should be characterized by that dignity which comes from the consciousness of the fact that the kerux or preacher is an official herald of the King of kings. It is to be accompanied by a sense of divinely given authority, authority which commands the respect, careful attention, and proper reaction of the listeners. In short, there is no place for clowning around in the pulpit of Jesus Christ (Read Paul's solemn charge to Timothy regarding preaching the Word - 2Ti 4:1-note)

C. H. Dodd writes that the word kerusso

signifies not the action of the preacher, but that which he preaches, his message, as we sometimes say

Kerusso - 61 times NAS = made proclamation, 1; preach, 16; preached, 10; preacher, 1; preaches, 2; preaching, 11; proclaim, 8; proclaimed, 6; proclaiming, 6.

Mt 3:1; 4:17, 23; 9:35; 10:7, 27; 11:1; 24:14; 26:13; Mk. 1:4, 7, 14, 38 39, 45; 3:14; 5:20; 6:12; 7:36; 13:10; 14:9; 16:15, 20; ; Lk 3:3; 4:18 19, 44; 8:1, 39; 9:2; 12:3; 24:47; Acts 8:5; 9:20; 10:37, 42; 15:21; 19:13; 20:25; 28:31; Ro 2:21-note; Ro 10:8-note, Ro 10:14 15-note; 1Co 1:23; 9:27; 15:11 12; ; 2Co 1:19; 4:5-note; 2Co 11:4; Gal 2:2; 5:11; Php 1:15-note; Col 1:23-note; 1Th 2:9; 1Ti 3:16; 2Ti 4:2-note; 1Pe 3:19-note; Rev 5:2-note.

Kerusso -26 times in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) - Ge 41:43; Ex 32:5; 36:6; 2Ki. 10:20; 2Chr 20:3; 24:9; 36:22; Est 6:9, 11; Pr 1:21; 8:1; Is 61:1 (… He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives… "); Da 3:4 (Then the herald loudly proclaimed "To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men of every language"); Da 5:29; Hos 5:8; Joel 1:14 (Proclaim a solemn assembly); Joel 2:1, 15; 3:9; Jonah 1:2 {Note: Here Kerusso is used of bringing bad news! But what effect did first presenting the "bad news" have on their reception of the "good news"? cp Jonah 3:4 5 6 7 8 9 10}; Jonah 3:2, 4 5, 7; Mic 3:5; Zeph. 3:14; Zech 9:9

Paul uses the noun kerux (herald) in 1 Ti 2:7 ("And for this I was appointed a preacher") and 2Ti 1:11 (note) ("for which [for the Gospel] I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher"). In Ro 16:25 (note) ("Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ… ") he uses the related derivative kerugma of the content of his preaching.

TDNT has an excellent discussion of kerusso

1. The Dignity and Social Position of the Herald. The herald has a high place in Greek antiquity; he belongs to the court, carries a sceptre, and is renowned for cleverness and wisdom. Yet he also performs menial tasks and runs very ordinary errands. Later there are heralds of mysteries, games, festivals, and markets. As state officials heralds come to be poorly regarded but still render important services, belong to the higher classes, and are often given high honors and rewards.

2. The Qualities Demanded of a Herald. A strong and resonant voice is the basic requirement, since the herald has to issue summons, keep the peace, and make announcements. The games include contests to test the strength and diction of heralds. To restrict garrulity and exaggeration, it is important that heralds deliver news or pass on messages strictly as these are given to them. In negotiations they seldom act on their own initiative but simply deliver short messages, put a few questions, and report back for further instructions. In the assembly or in court they act only as the voice of the chairman or president.

3. The Religious Significance of the Herald. a. His Inviolability on Diplomatic Missions. Since politics and religion are inseparable for the Greeks, heralds on foreign missions are regarded as under the protection not only of their country but also of the gods. To violate them is to bring down divine wrath. Even if their message is unwelcome, they must be hospitably received. They have a special sanctity which enables them to speak without fear or favor. For this reason they often accompany envoys. Even in war they may go to the enemy camp to open up negotiations for peace. Similarly, they may go to an enemy capital to declare war.

b. His Participation in Cultic Life. Heralds offer prayers at the opening of assemblies or the mustering of the army. They invoke divine blessing on their cities and cursing on traitors and public offenders. They also have a part in preparations for sacrifices and lead in prayer at the actual sacrifices. They have a part, too, in the religious act of making treaties. Their intimation of festivals and games may also have a cultic aspect, and some heralds are specifically employed by cultic societies (cf. their role in the Eleusinian mysteries, in which they issue the call to worship, lead in prayer, help in the sacrifices, and make important announcements).

4. The Herald of the Gods. While all heralds stand under the protection of the gods, the gods have their own special heralds. Hermes is the herald-god who plays the herald role in the divine assemblies. Birds are also at times heralds of the gods. So, too, are Stoic philosophers, who, according to Epictetus, go through the world in simple style with the task of presenting divine teaching with its truth and claim, bringing a higher peace than even the emperor can grant, but also issuing a call for decision, chiding error, and summoning to emulation. Formally one sees a close parallel here to the work of early Christian missionaries. A primary distinction is that the Stoic sees himself as a katáskopos, an inspector of people who declares his message on the basis of his observations. The Stoic starting point, then, is human need or wickedness, whereas the Christian starting point is God's gracious presence in Christ. This points to the fundamental difference, namely, between the god whose heralds the Stoics are and the Father of Christ whose message the apostles declare. The message itself differs in consequence, for while the Stoics have high ideals, they can finally hope only to quicken a slumbering seed of morality, whereas the gospel ushers in the new age of the kingdom which involves radical conversion and renewal. Philosophical heralds proclaim human development and divinization, apostolic messengers the incarnation, the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of eternal life. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)

Gospel (2098)(euaggelion from = good + aggéllo = proclaim, tell) originally referred to a reward for good news and later became the good news itself. The word euaggelion was in just as common use in the first century as our words good news today. “Have you any good news for me today?” would have been a common question. In this secular use euaggelion described good news of any kind and prior to the writing of the New Testament, had no definite religious connotation in the ancient world until it was taken over by the "Cult of Caesar" which was the state religion and in which the emperor was worshipped as a god (see more discussion of this use below). The writers of the New Testament adapted the term as God's message of salvation for lost sinners.

Paul gives his definition of the Gospel in 1Co 15:1-8. Read 1Co 15:1, 1Co 15:2, 1Co 15:3 4 5-note 1Co 15:6 7 8-note

The Gospel of God - It is the Gospel…

of God (cf Mk 1:14, Romans 15:16 (note), 2Cor 11:7, 1Th 2:2-note, 1Th 2:8, 9-note, 1Pe 4:17-note) because it originates with God and was not invented by man

of God… concerning His Son - Ro 1:1, 2, 3 (notes)

of His Son - Ro 1:9 (note)

of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Mk 1:1 because it centers in Christ

of our Lord Jesus - 2Th 1:8

of Christ - Ro 15:19 (note), 1Cor 9:12, 2Cor 2:12, 9:13, 10:14, Gal 1:7, Php 1:27 (note), 1Th 3:2 (note)

of the glory of Christ - 2Co 4:4

of the grace of God - Acts 20:24

of the glory of the blessed God - 1Ti 1:11

of your salvation - Eph 1:13 (note)

of peace - Eph 6:15 (note)

of the Kingdom - Mt 4:23; 9:35; 24:14

of the Kingdom of God - Lk 16:16

an eternal gospel - Re 14:6 (note) (Some such as C I Scofield interpret this as a "different gospel" than the other "gospels" mentioned above but I think such a distinction is incorrect and is poorly substantiated).

my Gospel - Ro 16:25, 26 (note) Paul called it “my Gospel” indicating the special emphasis he gave the gospel in his ministry.