2 Thessalonians 3 Commentary

HE HAS NOT YET COME
Click chart to enlarge
Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Another Overview Chart 2 Thessalonans - Charles Swindoll
COMPARISON OF 
1 AND 2 THESSALONIANS
1 THESSALONIANS 2 THESSALONIANS

Addresses how the Thessalonians were evangelizes as they received the Word of God

Addresses how the Thessalonians are being edified, noting their progress in faith, love, and patience

The imminency and importance of the Lord’s return is emphasized

Misunderstandings about the Lord’s return are corrected

The saints are comforted and encouraged

The saints are assured of God’s judgment on His enemies

Paul is concerned with the church and its hope of the rapture (meeting Christ in the air)

Paul is concerned with Satan, the man of sin (Antichrist) and their destruction at the revelation (return of Christ to the earth)

Contains the outstanding passage on the rapture of the saints in 4:13–18

Contains the outstanding passage concerning the day of the Lord in 2:1–12

2 Thessalonians 3:1  Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you;

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, pray for us, brothers and sisters, that the Lord's message may spread quickly and be honored as in fact it was among you,

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:1 Τὸ λοιπὸν προσεύχεσθε, ἀδελφοί, περὶ ἡμῶν, ἵνα ὁ λόγος τοῦ κυρίου τρέχῃ καὶ δοξάζηται καθὼς καὶ πρὸς ὑμᾶς,

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord's message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:1 As to the rest, pray ye, brethren, concerning us, that the word of the Lord may run and may be glorified, as also with you,

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us that the Lord's message may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you,

NKJ  2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you,

NRS  2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified everywhere, just as it is among you,

  • pray: Mt 9:38 Lu 10:2 Ro 15:30 2Co 1:11 Eph 6:19-20 Col 4:3 1Th 5:17,25 Heb 13:18,19 
  • the word of the Lord : Ac 6:7 12:24 13:49 19:20 1Co 16:9 2Ti 2:9 The power in the Word alone: 1Th 1:5, 2:13 1Co 4:20
  • will spread rapidly: Ps 147:15 Gr. run
  • be glorified: Ps 138:2 Ac 13:48 
  • just as it did: 1Th 1:5 2:1,13 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

Matthew 9:38   “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Luke 10:2  And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

1 Th 1:8  For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.

A PRAYER FOR
PRAYER TO "RUN"

Finally, brethren (adelphos - fellow members of God's family), pray for us - Pray is command in present imperative calling for dependence on the Holy Spirit to obey. Paul is calling for them to "pray without ceasing" (1Th 5:17+) Note Paul's humility to ask for prayer. His asking for prayer also demonstrates he was confident that prayer was powerful! And one other point to remember is that the brethren he is writing to ask for prayer are BRAND NEW BELIEVERS! The moment you are in the family of God, you have full, bold access to your Heavenly Father through your Mediator Christ Jesus! (cf Heb 4:16+). 

THOUGHT - Do you really believe that prayer is powerful? Or are you too proud to ask for prayer? If so, you need to repent and imitate Paul (1Co 11:1+)!

MacArthur on finally Finally (loipos) can have the sense of finality, but it literally means "for the rest," or "besides that" (e.g., 1 Cor. 1:16). Paul used the same term in Philippians 3:1 and 1 Thessalonians 4:1, and in neither instance was he ready to conclude his epistle; he was simply making a transition ("besides that... this"). In several uses of the word, it marks the transition from the letter's doctrinal content to its practical content, as it does here. By it Paul marked his subject change from eschatology to matters of practical sanctification. (1 & 2 Thessalonians)

Paul was not prideful and not embarrassed to ask for prayer as we see in other epistles...

Romans 15:30+  Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together (PRAYER IS HARD WORK!) with me in your prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; 32 so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company.

2 Corinthians 1:11+   you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that (WHAT PURPOSE?) thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.

Ephesians 6:19; 20+  (PAUL IS WRITING FROM PRISON) and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (I BELIEVE GOD ANSWERED FOR IN Acts 28:31+ Luke records Paul was "preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness (BOLDNESS), unhindered.")

Colossians 4:3+  praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned;

1 Thessalonians 5:25+  Brethren, pray for us. 

Philemon 1:22  At the same time also prepare me a lodging, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given to you. 

2 Corinthians 1:11   you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.

Philippians 1:19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

That the Word (logos) of the Lord will spread rapidly (trecho - "speed on" "make progress")  - Word of the Lord describes the Gospel (cf Acts 8:14, 25; 13:5, 44, 46, 48, 49; 15:35-36; 16:32; 19:10, 20), which by itself is powerful (Ro 1:16+ - dunamis - dynamic power), but it still must be spread by men and women, by proclamation (cf Ro 10:14-15+). Thus this prayer would imply a request of God to motivate men and women to move out and spread the Gospel. This prayer also implies Spirit filled (Spirit sensitive) individuals because it is the Spirit Who enables us to boldly proclaim the Gospel (cf Acts 4:31+).

One is reminded of Psalm 147:15 "He sends forth His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly." 

In Acts we repeatedly see the Gospel "running"...

Acts 6:7   The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. 

Acts 12:24  But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied. 

Acts 19:20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. 

THOUGHT - What a great prayer -- literally a prayer that the "Word of the Lord" may run emphasizing that it is indeed "living and active" (Heb 4:12+) supernaturally charged so to speak! See also 1 Th 2:13, 1Th 1:5-10 Col 1:5-6 2Ti 2:9 Ro 1:16 Isa 55:11 1Pe 1:23.

And be glorified (doxazo) - How would the Gospel of the Lord be glorified, praised, honord, exalted? Glorify speaks of giving a proper opinion, proper respect to something. In this case it would be most obviously by demonstrating the Gospel's life transforming power making lost hell bound sinners into saved heaven bound saints, and so by being received (dechomai) and obeyed (cf Jas 1:21-22+). In short, radical repentance in the lives of the recipients of the Word of the Lord, would demonstrate supernatural efficacy of the glorious Gospel (1Ti 1:11). The fruit of changed lives would give a proper opinion (glorify means to give a proper opinion) of the intrinsic, inherent supernatural power of the Gospel message to penetrate and "circumcise" hearts (Col 2:11+, Ro 2:23+, Dt 10:16+)

Passages that allude to the glorifying effect of the Gospel

Acts 13:48+  When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Titus 2:10+  not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that (PURPOSE OF GOSPEL TRANSFORMED LIVES) they will adorn ("show the beauty of"; NET = bring credit to) the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. 

Just as it did also with you - The Gospel came into the lives of the Thessalonians with life changing power as Paul explained stating "our Gospel did not come to you in word only (IT HAD TO BE PROCLAIMED), but also in power (dunamis) and in the Holy Spirit (the "Jn 3:3-8+ effect" so to speak) and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake." (1Th 1:5+) And the rest of chapter 1 shows the "ripple effect" of lives made righteous by the Gospel as shown by their repentance (turning to God from idols)...

You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord (GOSPEL) has sounded forth from you (THIS IS THE WORD WHICH "SPREAD RAPIDLY"), not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and (RIGHTEOUS LIVING WAS MOTIVATED BY "RIGHTLY DIRECTED LOOKING" -- ANTICIPATING HIS RETURN AT ANY MOMENT!) to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come. (1Th 1:6-10+)

Paul also alludes to the power of the Gospel and their wholehearted reception of it (with you) writing

For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted IT not as the word of men, but for what IT really is, the word of God, WHICH also performs ITS work in you who believe. (1Th 2:13)


Spread Rapidly (5143) trecho from dremo = to run or walk hastily) means literally to move faster than a walk, making rapid linear movement. To speed on or to make progress. Trecho therefore describes someone in haste (Mt 28:8, Mk 5:6, Jn 20:2, 4, Lk 24:12). Figuratively trecho describes rapid propagation of doctrine, spreading without restraint (2Th 3:1). It also pictures one exerting effort, striving hard, spending strength to attain a goal (Ro 9:16, Gal 5:7, 2:2, Php 2:16, He 12:1). In Gal 5:7 trecho describes the course of the conduct. BDAG characterizes the figurative use of trecho as "to make an effort to advance spiritually or intellectually." In 1Cor 9:24, 26+ Paul uses trecho to emphasize the preparation and effort necessary to run spiritually (run in 1Cor 9:24 is  present imperative calling for dependence on the Holy Spirit to obey) and not with the intent of defeating rivals (as in the actual Olympics) for our fellow believers are not our rivals in this grace race!

Pray (4336proseuchomai from pros = toward, facing, before [emphasizing the direct approach of the one who prays in seeking God’s face] + euchomai = originally to speak out, utter aloud, express a wish, then to pray or to vow. Greek technical term for invoking a deity) in the NT is always used of prayer addressed to God (to Him as the object of faith and the One who will answer one’s prayer) and means to speak consciously (with or without vocalization) to Him, with a definite aim (See study of noun proseuche). Proseuchomai encompasses all the aspects of prayer -- submission, confession, petition, supplication (may concern one's own need), intercession (concerned with the needs of others), praise, and thanksgiving. Vine says that proseuchomai carries with it a notion of worship (but see the Greek word for worship = proskuneo) which is not present in the other words for prayer (eg, aiteo, deomai, both of which involve spoken supplication)

Wuest adds that the prefixed preposition pros..."gives it the idea of definiteness and directness in prayer, with the consciousness on the part of the one praying that he is talking face to face with God...(thus proseuchomai) speaks also of the consciousness on the part of the one who prays, of the fact of God’s presence and His listening ear. 

Detzler writes that "The basic idea of proseuchomai is to bring something, and in prayer this pertains to bringing up prayer requests. In early Greek culture an offering was brought with a prayer that it be accepted. Later the idea was changed slightly, so that the thing brought to God was a prayer. In later Greek, prayers appealed to God for His presence. (Detzler, Wayne E: New Testament Words in Today's Language. Victor. 1986)

Paul's uses of proseuchomai - Rom. 8:26; 1 Co. 11:4; 1 Co. 11:5; 1 Co. 11:13; 1 Co. 14:13; 1 Co. 14:14; 1 Co. 14:15; Eph. 6:18; Phil. 1:9; Col. 1:3; Col. 1:9; Col. 4:3; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Thess. 5:25; 2 Thess. 1:11; 2 Thess. 3:1; 1 Tim. 2:8; 


A Plea For Prayer

Brethren, pray for us. — 2 Thessalonians 3:1

A missionary recently visited the Bible study I was attending. She described what it had been like to pack up her household, part with friends, and relocate to a distant country. When she and her family arrived, they were greeted with a flourishing drug-trade and hazardous roadways. The language barrier brought on bouts of loneliness. They contracted four different stomach viruses. And her oldest daughter narrowly escaped death after falling through a railing on an unsafe stairwell. They needed prayer.

The apostle Paul experienced danger and hardship as a missionary. He was imprisoned, shipwrecked, and beaten. It’s no surprise that his letters contained pleas for prayer. He asked the believers in Thessalonica to pray for success in spreading the gospel—that God’s Word would “run swiftly and be glorified” (2 Thess. 3:1) and that God would deliver him from “unreasonable and wicked men” (v.2). Paul knew he would need to “open [his] mouth boldly” and declare the gospel (Eph. 6:19), which was yet another prayer request.

Do you know people who need supernatural help as they spread the good news of Christ? Remember Paul’s appeal, “Brethren, pray for us” (2 Thess. 3:1), and intercede for them before the throne of our powerful God. By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Commit to pray and intercede—
The battle’s strong and great’s the need;
And this one truth can’t be ignored:
Our only help comes from the Lord.
—Sper

Intercede for others in prayer; God’s throne is always accessible.

2 Thessalonians 3:2  and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:2 and that we may be delivered from perverse and evil people. For not all have faith.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:2 καὶ ἵνα ῥυσθῶμεν ἀπὸ τῶν ἀτόπων καὶ πονηρῶν ἀνθρώπων· οὐ γὰρ πάντων ἡ πίστις.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:2 And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:2 Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:2 and that we may be delivered from the unreasonable and evil men, for the faith is not of all;

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not all have faith.

NKJ  2 Thessalonians 3:2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.

  • and that we will be rescued: Ro 15:30-31 1Co 15:32 2Co 1:8-10 1Th 2:18 2Ti 4:17 
  • for not all have faith: De 32:20 Mt 17:17 23:23 Lu 18:8 Joh 2:23-25 Ac 13:45,50 14:2 Ac 17:5 28:24 Ro 10:16 2Co 4:3,4  1 Th 2:14 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Romans 15:30-31+ Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints;

A PRAYER REQUEST 
FOR SAFETY

And that we will be rescued from perverse (atopos) and evil (poneros) men - Paul had experienced perverse and evil men in Thessalonica and in virtually every city he entered the synagogue to proclaim the word of the Lord, the Gospel (see Acts 17:5-10+ Acts 18:6, 12+). He as rescued for example in Ephesus where "there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way" (Acts 19:23+) and accusations by Demetrius the silversmith that the result of Paul's proclamation (of the life changing Gospel) would result in the ruin of their profitable idol business (Acts 19:24-27). And in view of the fact that they became "filled with rage," Paul's life was definitely in danger (Acts 19:28) And while he wanted to go into the arena, the disciples talked him out of going (Acts 19:30, 31), in effect carrying out a "rescue." Perverse describes their character as "out of place," hence wrong. It was used by the criminal on the cross speaking of Jesus "this man has done nothing wrong.” (Lk 23:41+). These evil men (poneroswere not just bad in character (like kakos - see below), but bad in effect (injurious)! That this was a very real request for rescue is underscored by his testimony that he was "often in danger of death." (2Co 11:23+), writing in the same letter that "we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh." (2 Cor 4:11+).

Paul had described the "rescue" every believer will experience in the first letter writing "wait for His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, Who rescues (rhuomai) us from the wrath to come.." (1Th 1:10+)

For not all have faith - In context clearly he is referring to the perverse and evil men, who were for the most part also Jews like Paul, but unlike Paul they did not have faith. The phrase not all of course indicates some of them did come to believe in Jesus as their Messiah. Given that faith has the definite article, this could also refer to the specific phrase "the faith (pistis)" the content of what is believed. The context however favors that it refers to their act of believing more than the content of what they believed. 

Wycliffe Bible Commentary on not all have faith - An understatement; these men not only refused to believe but threatened all who did.


Rescued (4506) rhuomai from rhúo = to draw, drag along the ground) means to draw or snatch to oneself and invariably refers to a snatching from danger, evil or an enemy. This basic idea is that of bringing someone out of severe and acute danger, and so to save, rescue, deliver, preserve. Rhuomai emphasizes greatness of peril from which deliverance is given by a mighty act of power. In the NT rhuomai is always associated with God as the Deliverer and with a person as the object of His deliverance. Rhuomai was used in a secular writing to describe a soldier going to a wounded comrade on the battlefield and carrying him to safety (he runs to the cry of his comrade to rescue him from the hands of the enemy) (Godet) Rhuomai - 15v - Matt. 6:13; Matt. 27:43; Lk. 1:74; Rom. 7:24; Rom. 11:26; Rom. 15:31; 2 Co. 1:10; Col. 1:13; 1 Thess. 1:10; 2 Thess. 3:2; 2 Tim. 3:11; 2 Tim. 4:17; 2 Tim. 4:18; 2 Pet. 2:7; 2 Pet. 2:9

Perverse (824) atopos from a = without + topos = place) means literally having no place, out of place or out of the ordinary and hence unusual, unexpected, surprising ("nothing unusual happened" Acts 28:6+) . When atopos is used in an ethical context (as in this passage) it pertains to not being in accordance with what is right or fitting. The idea is behaviorally "out of place," unbecoming, inappropriate and hence improper or wrong. Atopos - 4v - Lk. 23:41; Acts 25:5; Acts 28:6; 2 Thess. 3:2

Evil (wicked, bad) (4190) poneros from poneo = work or toil, Robertson says the idea is that labor is an annoyance, bad, evil; Noun poneria derived from poneros) means evil including evil, malignant character, pernicious (see Webster 1828 definition below), that which is morally or socially worthless, wicked, base, bad, degenerate. Poneros denotes determined, aggressive, deliberate, and fervent evil that actively opposes what is good. Poneros in short is evil in active opposition to good, only evil in its nature but viciously evil in its influence and actively harmful.

Faith (4102pistis  refers to trust or belief and the conviction of the truth in this context of the fact that the Man Jesus was the Jewish Messiah or Christ. Genuine faith is not just intellectual assent, but a transaction that results in a transformation of one's behavior (aka "repentance"), the fruit being evidence of the reality of the "root" (planted in Christ Jesus). In short, true faith is in a sense an "action word" for true faith generates supernatural works (enabled by the Spirit indwelling the new believer). Pistis in 1& 2Thessalonians - 1 Thess. 1:3; 1 Thess. 1:8; 1 Thess. 3:2; 1 Thess. 3:5; 1 Thess. 3:6; 1 Thess. 3:7; 1 Thess. 3:10; 1 Thess. 5:8; 2 Thess. 1:3; 2 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 1:11; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Thess. 3:2

2 Thessalonians 3:3  But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:3 Πιστὸς δέ ἐστιν ὁ κύριος, ὃς στηρίξει ὑμᾶς καὶ φυλάξει ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:3 and stedfast is the Lord, who shall establish you, and shall guard you from the evil;

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen and guard you from the evil one.

NKJ  2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

NRS  2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.

  • But the Lord is faithful: 1Co 1:9 10:13 1Th 5:24 
  • He will strengthen: 2Th 2:17 
  • and protect you from the evil one.: Ge 48:16 1Ch 4:10 Ps 19:13 121:7 Mt 6:13 Lu 11:4 Joh 17:15 2Ti 4:18 2Pe 2:9 Jude 1:24 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

1 Thessalonians 5:24  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 

1 Thessalonians 3:2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith,

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.

But - Term of contrast. What's the change of "direction," for the bad guys to the Good Protector! 

The Lord is faithful - Paul is not saying evil won't come but he is saying that you can trust and depend on the Lord when it does come. As someone once told me, when trouble comes to knock at your door, send Jesus to answer the knock! Faithfulness is an unchanging attribute of the Lord, so we can always run to Him when evil comes. See God's attribute Faithfulness

The Lord is faithful - Dt. 7:9; Ps 36:5; Ps 40:10; Ps 89:1-2, 8, 24, 33; Ps 92:2; Ps 119:75, 90; Isa. 49:7; Lam 3:23; 1Co 1:9; 1Th. 5:24; Heb. 10:23; 1Pe 4:19; 1Jn 1:9

And He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one - The Lord will strength us like a "supernatural prop" to sustain us or support us when we are doubting or wavering. Protect is phulasso  which describes the shepherds "keeping watch (phulasso) over their flock by night (Lk 2:8), which congers up the image of savage wolves seeking to devour the helpless sheep. Our Lord is not like even good human shepherds but He is the Great Shepherd  Who keeps watch over His sheep, Peter describing Him as the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls! (1Pe 5:4, 1Pe 2:25). The word evil is the same word (poneros) used in 2Th 3:2, here describing the the desire to harm, here of the evil master (thus most versions add "evil one" alluding to Satan) who craftily guides the strategies of his evil men!

THOUGHT - Play Protector of your soul and praise Him that He is ever trustworthy. And if you are wrestling with doubts that the Lord is your Protector, read Psalm 121:1-8+ where the Greek Septuagint repeatedly uses the same verb as Paul uses (phulasso) emphasizing the protective, keeping power of the Lord for those who are His Sheep! 

MacArthur - God will firmly establish believers on the inside and guard them on the outside from the evil one (most likely a reference to Satan; cf. Matt. 13:19, 38; John 17:15; 1 John 2:13-14; 3:12; 5:18-19). The Lord fills His children with internal spiritual strength (2 Cor. 4:16; Eph. 3:16) while He shields them from external attacks (Eph. 6:16). Jude summarized this concept well when he wrote that God "is able to keep [believers] from stumbling, and to make [them] stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy" (Jude 24). (1 & 2 Thessalonians)


Faithful (4103pistos from peitho = to persuade - induce one by words to believe, have confidence) is something or someone who is worthy of faith or keeps promises and is applied to God, humans, His Word, etc Pistos means dependable (worthy of reliance or trust), trustworthy, steadfast, unswerving.  

Strengthen (4741) sterizo from histemi = to stand as in 1 Pe 5:12 "stand firm in" the true grace of God. Histemi also root of "Resist" - anthistemi and of "firm" - stereos, both used by Peter in 1 Pe 5:9) means to make firm or solid, to set fast, to fix firmly in a place, to establish (make firm or stable), to cause to be inwardly firm or committed, to strengthen. The basic idea is that of stabilizing something by providing a support or buttress (a projecting structure of masonry or wood for supporting or giving stability to a wall or building), so that it will not totter.

Protect (5442phulasso means to watch, to carry out the function as a military guard or sentinel (cp Ac 23:35, 28:16), to keep watch, to have one's eye upon lest one escape, to guard a person that he might remain safe (from violence, from another person or thing, from being snatched away, from being lost). The NT uses phulasso of guarding truth (eg, 1Ti 5:21, 6:20, 2Ti 1:14-note)

2 Thessalonians 3:4  We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:4 And we are confident about you in the Lord that you are both doing– and will do– what we are commanding.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:4 πεποίθαμεν δὲ ἐν κυρίῳ ἐφ᾽ ὑμᾶς, ὅτι ἃ παραγγέλλομεν [καὶ] ποιεῖτε καὶ ποιήσετε.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:4 We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:4 And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:4 and we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that the things that we command you ye both do and will do;

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:4 We have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do what we command.

  • We have confidence : Ro 15:14 2Co 2:3 7:16 8:22 Ga 5:10 Php 1:6 Phm 1:21 
  • that you are doing and will continue to do: 2Th 3:6,12 Mt 28:20 Ro 2:7 15:18 1Co 7:19 14:37 2Co 2:9 7:15 Php 2:12 1Th 4:1,2,10 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

Philippians 2:12+  So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) your salvation with fear and trembling;

1 Thessalonians 4:1+ 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 God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. 2 For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

KEEP ON 
KEEPING ON

We have confidence in the Lord concerning you - Have confidence is in the perfect tense  indicating that Paul had  to settled conviction regarding the saints as a result of a past completed process of turning this matter over in his mind until he was finally persuaded. Paul's confidence was not in self (his good teaching, etc) but in the Lord (see locative of sphere). Wycliffe Bible Commentary adds that "The faithfulness of God helps to assure the obedient response of the Thessalonians both in the present (ye both do) and in the future (will do)."

That you are doing and will continue to do what we command - Paul's confidence in the saints at Thessalonica is based on two thoughts, one past (see 1Th. 1:3, 6-8; 1Th 3:12-13; 1Th 4:1), what they were doing and the other future, indicating he fully believed they would continue to obey his "marching orders." In other words he was not concerned that they had experienced a transient, passing response to the Gospel, but that it would be action and obedience that persevered (even in face of difficulties which are always just around the corner for every genuine disciple of Christ). Paul of course is not calling for a legalistic continuing but a continuing motivated by love enabled by the Spirit. 


Confidence (persuaded) (3982peitho means literally to persuade or induce by words to believe. Peitho is a strong verb, carrying the components of confidence, reliance, and hope. The NT uses (see examples below) in the perfect tense mean to cause to come to a particular point of view or course of action. The idea is to come to a settled persuasion concerning something or to be persuaded. It means to be so convinced that one puts confidence in something or someone. The idea of a settled conviction is the result of a past completed process of turning a matter over in one’s mind until one is persuaded of it.

2 Thessalonians 3:5  May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts toward the love of God and the endurance of Christ.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:5 Ὁ δὲ κύριος κατευθύναι ὑμῶν τὰς καρδίας εἰς τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ εἰς τὴν ὑπομονὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:5 May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:5 May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:5 and the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God, and to the endurance of the Christ.

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:5 May the Lord direct your hearts to God's love and Christ's endurance.

  • May the Lord : 1Ki 8:58 that He may incline our hearts to Himself, 1Ch 29:18 and direct their heart to Thee; Ps 119:5,36 Incline my heart to Thy testimonies, And not to dishonest gain.Pr 3:6 Jer 10:23 Jas 1:16-18 
  • into the love of God : De 30:6 the LORD your God will circumcise your heart Jer 31:33 Ro 5:5 8:28 
  • 1Co 8:3 but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.Ga 5:22 Jas 2:5 1Jn 4:19 
  • and into: Ps 40:1 130:5,6 La 3:26 Lu 12:36,37 Ro 8:25 Php 3:20,21 1Th 1:3,10 2Ti 4:8 Tit 2:13 Heb 9:28 2Pe 3:12 Rev 3:10,11 13:10 
  • the steadfastness of Christ. :  Heb 12:2,3 1Pe 4:1 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

1 Thessalonians 3:11  Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you;

Deuteronomy 30:6+ (PROMISE FOR ISRAEL IN FUTURE! SOME IN ISRAEL ARE ALREADY EXPERIENCING IT - WATCH SOME OF THEIR TESTIMONIES!) “Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

A SIMPLE BUT POWERFUL
AND TOUCHING PRAYER

May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ - Yes, Paul was confident in them but not presumptuous regarding their "pressing" on toward the goal of Christlikeness. And so he immediately punctuates his confidence in them with prayer for them. He is asking the Lord to keep them on the track they are currently running on. He first asks God for direction in their hearts, not just to make them smarter sinners (in their head), but to make them more like the Savior (heart work). And then he specifically asks for them to experience the love of God, and in context of their "doing" in the previous verse, this would remind them that BEING precedes DOING, and as he commanded the saints at Corinth "let all you do be done in love (in the present passage because they are energized by the supernatural, unconditional, giving type love that God is)." (1 Cor 16:14). And secondly, he prays for them to have the supernatural (Spirit enabled) endurance just as their Lord manifested on earth, as for example when He "endured the cross, despising the shame" (Heb 12:2). It was almost like "preventive maintenance" for the saints. By that I mean, yes, he was confident in their walk, but he knew that there would be challenges, and so before those difficulties and testing came he was praying for their steadfast adherence to their course, for as Peter had taught "you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps." (1Pe 2:21) And they could only follow in His steps if they had the same supernatural enabling power of the Spirit and in essence that is what Paul is praying for these saints. 

THOUGHT - This is a short, simple prayer, but when unpacked it is a spiritual stick of dynamite! This a great prayer to pray for your disciples who are currently doing well and obeying the commands of the Lord. It is good "preventive maintenance" for their future walk. This prayer will undergird them when the winds of adversity begin to blow, which they invariably will! 

MacArthurDirect, "make straight," is the same word (kateuthunō) used in 1 Thessalonians 3:11 to indicate the removing of all obstacles and hindrances as someone opened a pathway or road. Paul did not want their spiritual progress to come to a halt, but rather that the Lord would clear the way so their hearts or inner persons would move into the love of God....Paul desired that his audience go down the pathway deeper and deeper into God's love for them, which in turn would cause them to love Him more and more. (1 & 2 Thessalonians)

Spurgeon - Our Father loves each of his children as if he had no others. We must peer into this abyss of love; plunge into this sea; dive into this depth unsearchable. Oh that God might direct us into the immeasurable greatness of this love! -- To be directed into the love of God is another thing from all that we can be told of it. A beautiful garden is before us. We look over the wall and are even allowed to stand at the door while one hands out to us baskets of golden apples. This is delightful. Who would not be glad to come so near as this to the garden of heavenly delights? Yet it is something more to be shown the door, to have the latch lifted, to see the gateway opened, and to be gently directed into the paradise of God. This is what is wanted—that we may be directed into the love of God. Oh that we may feel something of it while we meditate on it. We come, when we are taught of the Spirit of God, to enter into the love of God by seeing its central importance. We see that the love of God is the source and center, fountain and foundation of all our salvation and of all else that we receive from God.


Direct (2720) kateuthuno from kata = down, exactly according to, intensifies meaning + euthunô = straighten, make straight from euthus = straight) means to make straight, to straighten fully, to guide or lead directly straight towards or upon something, to guide one's way or journey to a place. The idea is that of conducting one straight to a place, and not by a round-about course. Gary Hill on kateuthuno - properly, go straight down by the most direct route; to go in a straight course which avoids all unnecessary delays, i.e. without any undue loss of time or achievement. The prefix kata lends the idea "exactly direct or guide" – literally "down to without unnecessary deviation." All three occasions of kateuthýnō teach that every moment of time is infinitely important to eternity.  See Lk 1:79; 1 Th 3:11; 2 Th 3:5 (cf. with 1 Cor 4:5; Ecc 12:14)." (Discovery Bible)

Kateuthuno - 3x in NT - Lk. 1:79; 1 Thess. 3:11; 2 Thess. 3:5

Kateuthuno gives a picture of opening up the way by removal of obstacles so that the desired goal may be reached. Paul recognizes the uselessness of personal efforts toward a revisit unless God "clears the way" and removes the obstacles that Satan had previously placed in his path of return which made that path impassable. Paul had learned the secret (Php 4:13-note) that it is God Who "directs our way" and Who Alone is powerful enough to remove all hindrances (1Th 2:18-note) that Satan places in our path.

2 Thessalonians 3:6  Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:6 But we command you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from any brother who lives an undisciplined life and not according to the tradition they received from us.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:6 Παραγγέλλομεν δὲ ὑμῖν, ἀδελφοί, ἐν ὀνόματι τοῦ κυρίου [ἡμῶν] Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ στέλλεσθαι ὑμᾶς ἀπὸ παντὸς ἀδελφοῦ ἀτάκτως περιπατοῦντος καὶ μὴ κατὰ τὴν παράδοσιν ἣν παρελάβοσαν παρ᾽ ἡμῶν.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:6 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don't follow the tradition they received from us.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:6 And we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw yourselves from every brother disorderly walking, and not after the deliverance that ye received from us,

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother who walks irresponsibly and not according to the tradition received from us.

  • in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,: 1Co 5:4 2Co 2:10 Eph 4:17 Col 3:17 1Th 4:1 1Ti 5:21 6:13,14 2Ti 4:1 
  • that you keep away: 2Th 3:14,15 Mt 18:17 Ro 16:17 1Co 5:11-13 1Ti 6:5 2Ti 3:5 Heb 12:15 Heb 12:16 3Jn 1:10,11 
  • who leads an unruly life: 2Th 3:7,11 1Th 4:11 5:14 
  • and not according to the tradition: 2Th 3:10,14 2:15 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

1 Corinthians 5:11-13+ (IN CONTRAST TO 2TH 3:6, IN THIS PASSAGE PAUL CALLS FOR "EXCOMMUNICATION") But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler–not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

SHUN THE IDLE
THOSE "OUT OF RANK"

William MacDonald has an interesting comment - " It seems clear that some of the saints at Thessalonica had stopped working for a living because they were so intently waiting for the Lord’s return. Paul does not encourage this as a spiritual attitude, but proceeds to give definite instructions as to how to deal with such brethren." (Believer's Bible Commentary)

James Grant - Christians have answered that question (IF JESUS' RETURN WAS TOMORROW?) in different ways throughout history. Early in the church, some people sold all they had, moved to a mountain, and waited for the appearing of Jesus, only to discover that they had to go back down to the city and figure out what to do with their lives when he did not return. We cannot just think that is an extreme view found in the early church. Just ten years ago some Christians sold their homes, cashed in their retirement funds, and moved away from the cities to wait for Jesus to appear in the year 2000 amidst all the excitement and speculation that surrounded the Y2K ordeal. (Preaching the Word: 1 & 2 Thessalonians)

Warren Wiersbe - Church problems are like physical problems: if left unsolved, they grow and become worse, and they infect more people. The local church is a body; and what germs are to the physical body, sin is to the spiritual body. When Paul wrote his first letter to the Thessalonian church, he warned the idle busybodies to get to work (1 Thes. 4:11). He admonished the church leaders to "warn them that are unruly" (1 Thes. 5:14). The word unruly means "a soldier out of rank," or "out of line." Apparently these troublemakers did not repent, because Paul devoted the rest of his second letter to this problem. (Be Ready: Living in Light of Christ's Return).

Wycliffe Bible Commentary. - With apostolic authority Paul attacks the problem of laziness which was plaguing the Thessalonian church. Reminding his friends of his own diligence, he commands firm yet loving discipline of the idle.

In the first letter Paul had made an alluded to hard work (and gave his example in 1Th 2:9) writing "make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you." (1Th 4:11+)

Now we command (paraggello) you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf similar command 2Th 3:12) -The combination of command (like an officer his troops) the phrase In Name of our Lord Jesus Christ (the full name) adds significant weight to Paul's command describing his authority as from the Lord. It is like Paul is a 3 star general on the front line, but the order comes based on the authority of the Commander in Chief! Paul is not simply casually passing on an announcement  (a meaning which paraggello can sometimes convey - but clearly not here). 

MacArthur on command - Paul’s directions were not mere suggestions but rather they carried the weight and authority of a judge’s court order which the apostle delivered and enforced (cf. vv. 4, 6, 10, 12). Here, he required separation so that obedient Christians were not to fellowship with habitually disobedient believers. (MacArthur Study Bible)

That you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life - Keep away from means to hold oneself aloof, to keep away from or keep one's distance from and in the present tense calls for this to be carried out continually. The practical application would be no social interactions which clearly would be the equivalent of a "rebuke." Paul does not say they are to excluded from the fellowship of the local body ("excommunication") Brother indicates these are believers in the local body (so there is a touch of gentleness), but even so, Paul does not make exceptions for them. Leads...life is the common verb peripateo referring to one's lifestyle, one's daily conduct and is in the present tense indicating that this was not an occasional lapse into laziness, but was their continual practice. Their unruly life or disorderly life (one that literally does not keep in step with others and thus is out of rank) is explained in 2Th 3:11+ as the result of not working on one hand and meddling in other people's business on the other hand. 

Wiersbe quips "They were also spreading gossip about people in the church. They had time on their hands and gossip on their lips." (Be Ready: Living in Light of Christ's Return)

And not according to the tradition which you received from us - While tradition (literally something handed down) from the Pharisees was negative or false (Mk 7:2-13) here tradition is positive and speaks of verbal instructions that Paul had handed down to the Thessalonians but they had not been written down. It signified the authoritative teaching of Paul. So even though verbally given, they were still divinely inspired teachings. 

We see instructions that would be in this classification of tradition are

2 Thessalonians 2:5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?

2 Thessalonians 3:10; For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.


Command (direct, instruct, order) (3853paraggello rom para = beside, alongside, near by, at the side of + aggelos = messenger, angello/aggello = to announce) means to hand on or pass on an announcement from one to another who is at one's side, such as to what must be done, usually with the idea of a command or charge. Paraggello was used in the context of a military command and demanded that the subordinate obey the order from the superior and required unhesitating and unqualified obedience. (cp Lk 5:14, Lk 8:29, Lk 9:21KJV, Acts 1:4, Acts 4:18; Acts 5:28KJV; Acts 15:5KJV; 1Th 4:11). It is like a mandate (an authoritative command) or a call to obedience from one in authority, in this case Paul passing it along in the authority of Jesus! 

Note that this verb is a key word in 2 Thessalonians 3 occurring 4 times  2 Thess. 3:4; 2 Thess. 3:6; 2 Thess. 3:10; 2 Thess. 3:12;

Keep away (4724stello originally meant “to get ready,” “to equip,” esp. in reference to equipping an army for an expedition or for sailing. Then it came to mean “to bring together” or “to gather up,” as for instance one gathers or tucks up clothes. From this comes the sense of an inner gathering-up or withdrawal, and so of flinching and avoiding. Here it is withdrawal from brethren who are out of step. Stello is only middle in the NT and only 2 uses, one of persons from which one is hold oneself aloof or  keep away from (2Th 3:6) The other use speaks of things one is to try to avoid, steer clear of, or be on guard against - "taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift;." (2Cor 8:20)  

Gilbrant on stello - Stellomai is a rather common verb in Greek generally meaning “make ready.” It is the middle form of the verb stellō meaning “set, place,” or “send.” As early as Herodotus we find the meanings “make ready, prepare, furnish with” and the passive meanings “prepare oneself, to set out, to summon” (cf. Liddell-Scott). With reference to ships it can mean “to furl a sail, shifting a sail to avoid enemy contact,” or “make compact.” Its medical use is “to restrict one’s diet,” hence the idea “to withdraw, shrink,” or “restrict oneself from someone or something” (ibid.). Of the seven occurrences in the Septuagint, Malachi 2:5 uses the idea of withdrawing in fear: “ . . . to shrink (withdraw) in fear from His name” (author’s translation). (Complete Biblical Library)

Unruly (814)(ataktos from a = negative + tasso = set in order) means without order, out of step.  Adverb; in a disorderly manner; figuratively, of persons who live irresponsibly idly, lazily. It is used only in 2 Thes 3:6,11 describing behavior os some Thessalonians who were causing disorder in the community. BDAG has "in defiance of good order, disorderly, holding religious services without regard to established times arbitrarily 1 Cl 40:2."

The related adjective ataktos described soldiers who will not obey orders and is used once in the NT in 1Th 5:14 ("admonish the unruly.") of of persons who evaded responsibilities and were idle or lazy. 

Tradition (3862) paradosis from paradidomi = deliver in teaching) means literally to give from the presence of, thus to give personally. It signifies an act of transmission or that which is transmitted and thus refers to that which is handed down or transmitted from generation to generation; injunction delivered or from one to another. It was used to refer to the Pharisaic traditions which had been engrafted on the Mosaic Law (Mt 15:2, 6; Mk 7:3, 13(. Paradosis "means literally “to give from the presence of,” thus “to give personally.” It signifies an act of transmission or that which is transmitted. In the New Testament it is used in the latter sense, without indicating the method of transmission or implying any lapse of time such as is usually associated with the English word tradition." (Wuest) In the NT, "tradition" is used of doctrine handed (passed) down from the Lord through the apostles, i.e. transferred (transmitted) as venerated tradition (1 Cor 11:2,23; 2 Thes 2:15, 3:6).

2 Thessalonians 3:7  For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you,

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you,

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:7 For you know yourselves how you must imitate us, because we did not behave without discipline among you,

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:7 Αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἴδατε πῶς δεῖ μιμεῖσθαι ἡμᾶς, ὅτι οὐκ ἠτακτήσαμεν ἐν ὑμῖν

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you,

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:7 For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:7 for yourselves have known how it behoveth you to imitate us, because we did not act disorderly among you;

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:7 For you yourselves know how you must imitate us: We were not irresponsible among you;

NKJ  2 Thessalonians 3:7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you;

  • For you yourselves know how: 2Th 3:9 1Co 4:16 1 Cor 11:1 Php 3:17 4:9 1Th 1:6,7 1Ti 4:12 Titus 2:7 1Pe 5:3 
  • because: 2Th 3:6 1Th 2:10 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

1 Corinthians 11:1  Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. 

Philippians 3:17   Brethren, join in following (be followers together) my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.

1 Thessalonians 1:6; 7  You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,

MIMIC US

Wiersbe - The greatest influence is that of godly living and sacrifice. A Christian leader may appeal to the authority of the Word; but if he cannot point also to his own example of obedience, his people will not listen. This is the difference between authority and stature. A leader earns stature as he obeys the Word and serves His people in the will of God. Authority comes from position; stature comes from practice and example. Stature earns the leader the right to exercise authority. (Be Ready: Living in Light of Christ's Return)

For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example (imitate - ESV, NET) - Know is eido which speaks of knowledge they should have beyond of a shadow of a doubt. They had seen Paul and his fellow missionaries working hard! They cannot claim ignorance! Ought is dei which indicates they were obligated to follow Paul's example (and presumably Silas and Timothy). 

Robertson on follow our example -  It is a daring thing to say, but Paul knew that he had to set the new Christians in the midst of Jews and Gentiles a model for their imitation (Phil. 3:17).

Because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you - This was an understatement! Not is ouk indicating absolute negation. Paul was confident he could deny any idleness or laziness on his part for in 1Th 2:9+ he said "you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden (epibareo) to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God." Act in an undisciplined manner is one Greek word atakteo used only here (Hapax legomenon) and literally meaning to set oneself outside the order ("to be out of ranks of soldiers" ATR) and thus referred to those who were idle, lazy or in some way evaded their responsibilities. BDAG adds atakteo means "Of such as are not at their appointed posts or do not conform to established law or custom, hence acting with self-interest and not for the common good." 

Example is the most powerful rhetoric
--Thomas Brooks


Follow...example (3401mimeomai  from mimos = imitator, "mimic") means to imitate, to use a model, to emulate, to follow (someone's actions or way of life), especially to follow an example (good example - 2Th 3:7, 9, Hebrews 13:7) and not to follow a bad example (3 Jn 1:11).

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 would not be a burden to any of you;

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:

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

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:8 and we did not eat anyone's food without paying. Instead, in toil and drudgery we worked night and day in order not to burden any of you.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:8 οὐδὲ δωρεὰν ἄρτον ἐφάγομεν παρά τινος, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν κόπῳ καὶ μόχθῳ νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἐργαζόμενοι πρὸς τὸ μὴ ἐπιβαρῆσαί τινα ὑμῶν·

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:8 nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:8 We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:8 nor for nought did we eat bread of any one, but in labour and in travail, night and day working, not to be chargeable to any of you;

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:8 we did not eat anyone's food free of charge; instead, we labored and struggled, working night and day, so that we would not be a burden to any of you.

  • eat: 2Th 3:12 Pr 31:27 Mt 6:11 
  • but: Ac 18:3 20:34 1Co 4:12 2Co 11:9 1Th 4:11 
  • night: 1Th 2:9 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Acts 20:34; “You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me.

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

PAUL SOUGHT
NO "
HAND OUTS"

Nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it - Bread of course would include any type of food for daily sustenance and more generally would refer to the fact that they made enough funds to support their livelihood. They refused to be "free loaders." Without paying is dorea (preceded by strong negative oude) which is literally "without payment" and is first in the Greek for emphasis. 

Paul is not say a Christian worker does not have the right to receive support (see Luke 10:7; Gal. 6:6; 1 Tim. 5:17-18). Church support your shepherd, so that he was work in the Word and feed the flock rich "spiritual food."

Wiersbe has an interesting note - Have you noticed that God called people who were busy at work? Moses was caring for sheep (Ex. 3). Joshua was Moses' servant before he became Moses' successor (Ex. 33:11). Gideon was threshing wheat when God called him (Judges 6:11ff), and David was caring for his father's sheep (1 Sam. 16:11ff). Our Lord called four fishermen to serve as His disciples, and He Himself had worked as a carpenter. Paul was a tentmaker (Acts 18:1-3) and used his trade to support his own ministry. The Jews honored honest labor and required all their rabbis to have a trade. But the Greeks despised manual labor and left it to their slaves. This Greek influence, plus their wrong ideas about the doctrine of the Lord's return, led these believers into an unchristian way of life. (Be Ready: Living in Light of Christ's Return ).

But - Term of contrast marks definite "change of direction."  

With labor and hardship we kept working night and day - Both labor and hardship pictures intense work. Night and day emphasizes their word was "endless" (not that they did not sleep but undoubtedly they actually did work into the night). 

So that (INDICATES PURPOSE) we would not be a burden to any of you - Paul did not want to be a financial burden to the Thessalonian saints.

Robertson - Paul had to make his financial independence clear to avoid false charges which were made in spite of all his efforts. To eat bread is merely a Hebraism for eat (2 Thes. 3:10).


Labor (2873kopos rom kopto = chop, hew, cut down, strike; figuratively to lament which apparently came from the idea of striking one's breast) (See also study of related verb kopiao) is strictly a smiting as a sign of sorrow, then sorrow itself. Kopos thus describes a state of discomfort or distress, trouble, difficulty, transferring the sense of the primary meaning which is beating. Kopos referring to labor conveys the sense that the labor involves toil, fatigue, suffering, weariness and sorrow. It thus speaks of an intense effort which can be united with trouble. In short kopos conveys the idea of arduous toil involving sweat and fatigue and emphasizes the weariness which follows as a result of the straining of all of one's powers to the utmost.

Hardship (3449mochthos 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.

Be a burden (1912epibareo 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. Epibareo used 3x - 2Th 3:8, 1Th 2:9+ , 2Co 2:5. To press too heavily on or be too severe with. To burden heavily, referring to material resources.Paul emulates civic-minded persons who did not wish the public to be burdened.

2 Thessalonians 3:9  not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give ourselves as an example for you to imitate.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:9 οὐχ ὅτι οὐκ ἔχομεν ἐξουσίαν, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα ἑαυτοὺς τύπον δῶμεν ὑμῖν εἰς τὸ μιμεῖσθαι ἡμᾶς.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:9 We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:9 not because we have not authority, but that ourselves a pattern we might give to you, to imitate us;

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:9 It is not that we don't have the right to support, but we did it to make ourselves an example to you so that you would imitate us.

  • not because we do not have the right: Mt 10:10 1Co 9:4-14 Ga 6:6 1Th 2:6 
  • in order to offer ourselves as a model for you: 2Th 3:7 Joh 13:15 1Pe 2:21 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

1 Thessalonians 2:6+ nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority (baros).

THE RIGHT OF SUPPORT
VINDICATED BUT DECLINED

not because we do not have the right (exousia) to this - The clear implication is that as an representatives of Christ preaching and teaching the Gospel, they did have the (apostolic) right to receive support. 

Robertson - Paul is sensitive on his right to receive adequate support (1Th 2:6; 1Cor 9:4+ where he uses the same word exousian in the long defence of this right, 1 Cor. 9:1-27+). So he here puts in this limitation to avoid misapprehension. He did allow churches to help him where he would not be misunderstood (2 Cor. 11:7-11; Phil. 4:15-16)

Wiersbe - As an apostle, Paul had the right to expect financial support; but he deliberately gave up this right that he might be an example to the young believers (see 1 Cor. 9:6-14+). In this attitude, Paul proved himself to be a mature Christian leader. Selfish leaders use people to build up their support, and they are always claiming their rights. A truly dedicated leader will use his rights to build up the people, and will lay aside his rights and privileges for the sake of others. (Be Ready: Living in Light of Christ's Return).

But in order to (hina - purpose clause) offer ourselves as a model (tupos) for you - For the second time (cf 2Th 3:7+) Paul alludes to the fact that they should emulate their model.

So that you would follow our example (mimeomai) - They had no excuses for they had seen Paul's model. Follow...example is in the present tense calling for this to be their lifestyle.


Right (1849exousia from éxesti = it is permitted, it is lawful) means the power to do something and was a technical term used in the law courts, of a legal right. "Authority or right is the dominant meaning (of exousia) in the New Testament." (Vincent) Exousía refers to delegated authority and combines the idea of the "right and the might", these attributes having been granted to someone. 

Model (example) (5179tupos from túpto = strike, smite with repeated strokes) literally refers to a visible mark or impression made by a stroke or blow from an instrument or object. What is left after the stroke or blow is called a print, a figure or an impression.  Stated another way tupos properly means a "model" or "pattern" or "mold" into which clay or wax was pressed (or molds into which molten metal for castings was poured), that it might take the figure or exact shape of the mold. In this passage Tupos was used figuratively of a pattern, mold, model, or copy of Paul, etal, example. Paul used tupos in 1Th 1:7+ describing the believers in Thessalonica as "an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia."

2 Thessalonians 3:10  For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this command: "If anyone is not willing to work, neither should he eat."

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:10 καὶ γὰρ ὅτε ἦμεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, τοῦτο παρηγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν, ὅτι εἴ τις οὐ θέλει ἐργάζεσθαι μηδὲ ἐσθιέτω.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:10 Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: "Those unwilling to work will not get to eat."

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:10 for even when we were with you, this we did command you, that if any one is not willing to work, neither let him eat,

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:10 In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: "If anyone isn't willing to work, he should not eat."

  • when: Lu 24:44 Joh 16:4 Ac 20:18 
  • if anyone is not willing to work: Ge 3:19 Pr 13:4 20:4 21:25 24:30-34 1Th 4:11 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

A REPEAT OF HIS
PREVIOUS ORDER

For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order (paraggello) - ESV = "We would give you this command." Note paraggello is a keyword in this section and emphasizes Paul is not just giving them a suggestion they might or might not accept. And since it is a command (not in the sense of the imperative mood though), it indicates even more that these lazy, out of step believers are without excuse. 

Wycliffe Bible Commentary - The imperfect tense of we commanded (give you this order) shows that more than once Paul had urged them to diligence with these words

If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either - If introduces a first class condition, assuming this is true. Not willing is modified by the absolute negative (ou) indicating these lazy believers had absolutely no desire to work! This is arrogant, willful refusal! This is in a sense the law of "reaping and sowing," for if there is no working, then there is no eating. He is not advocating that they starve to death, but just that they do not mooch off those who are working. It would seem to be that if their stomach growls enough, they might be motivated to get to work! Pr 16:26 says "A worker’s appetite works for him, For his hunger urges him on." Is not to eat is a command in the present imperative

MacArthur alludes to the practical implications of this in society - We are used to "entitlements" in our society. This is the idea that those who will not work hard are entitled to be paid money taken from those who do. The results of the welfare culture are visible for all to see—family breakups, immorality, crime, hopelessness, meaninglessness, and bitterness. (1 & 2 Thessalonians)


Willing (Wanting, desiring) (2309thelo refers to exercising of one's will with the underlying sense of to be willing, to desire, to want or to wish. To apply oneself to something. Vine adds Thelo "expresses not simply a desire, but a determined and constant exercise of the will." In secular Greek use thelo as used by Homer spoke of “readiness,” “inclination,” and “desire," so that when one was ready for an event or inclined to undertake a course of action, thelo was the Greek word used.

2 Thessalonians 3:11  For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:11 For we hear that some among you are living an undisciplined life, not doing their own work but meddling in the work of others.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:11 Ἀκούομεν γάρ τινας περιπατοῦντας ἐν ὑμῖν ἀτάκτως μηδὲν ἐργαζομένους ἀλλὰ περιεργαζομένους·

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:11 We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:11 Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people's business.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:11 for we hear of certain walking among you disorderly, nothing working, but over working,

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:11 For we hear that there are some among you who walk irresponsibly, not working at all, but interfering with the work of others.

  • are leading an undisciplined life: 2Th 3:6 
  • doing no work at all,: 1Th 4:11 1Ti 5:13 1Pe 4:15 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

1 Timothy 5:13  At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.

1 Peter 4:15   Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;

Wiersbe - Almost every culture has its saying about idleness. The Romans said, "By doing nothing, men learn to do evil." Isaac Watts wrote: "For Satan finds some mischief still, for idle hands to do." The Jewish rabbis taught, "He who does not teach his son a trade, teaches him to be a thief." (Be Ready: Living in Light of Christ's Return).

For we hear (cf "I hear" in 1Co 11:18+) - How he received the news is uncertain, but it was new news and it was bad news. 

That some among you are leading an undisciplined (ataktos) life - Some (tis) gives no sense of how widespread this "cancer" is, but it matters not, because we know the spiritual principle that "A little leaven leavens the whole lump." (Gal 5:9+) and “Bad company corrupts good morals." (1Cor 15:33+Leading...lIfe is peripateo referring to their lazy lifestyle, emphasized by the present tense (continuous activity). 

Roberton is quite picturesque in his description - These theological dead-beats were too pious to work, but perfectly willing to eat at the hands of their neighbours while they piddled and frittered away the time in idleness.

Doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies - "Doing no business but being busybodies." Doing no work and acting like busybodies are both in the present tense indicating this was their lifestyle. Acting like busybodies is periergazomai used only here (Hapax legomenon) literally meaning "working around" which at first sounds good, but it came to convey the opposite meaning - to be a busybody, to bustle about uselessly, to be preoccupied with trifling matters, to be intrusively busy ("getting in the way" of the real workers!) In English a busybody is a meddling or prying person who "sticks his/her nose" into the affairs of others!

THOUGHT - Have you ever known anyone like this? To say they are annoying is being euphemistic!


Work (2038)(ergazomai from ergon = work) means to engage in an activity involving considerable expenditure of effort. To work effectively and here would refer to literal manual type labor. 


Cuckoo Behavior

There are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. —2 Thessalonians 3:11

The European cuckoo bird is a freeloader. When spring comes, it doesn’t construct a home for its yearly brood. Instead, the female invades the nest of some unsuspecting bird and lays her egg there. The cuckoo’s offspring is left to be hatched and cared for by its “foster parent.”

While still featherless and blind, the intruder soon dominates the nest by pushing the rightful occupants over the edge to their death. Then it monopolizes all the attention of its new parents.

The selfish habits of the cuckoo family sound a lot like the irresponsible behavior that existed among believers in the early Thessalonian church (2 Th. 3:11). Those who sponged off others, lived undisciplined lives, and did no work were warned by the apostle Paul to change their ways. Their refusal to work involved more than just being allergic to perspiration. They were referred to as busybodies and disorderly. “They were,” says one commentator, “at nothing working, yet too busily working.”

When we neglect our God-given duties and begin interfering in the affairs of others, the result can be disastrous. Christian, beware of “cuckoo” behavior! Instead, faithfully accomplish the work God has given you to do. By:  Mart DeHaan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

We must not meddle in affairs
To which we're not assigned;
Instead, let's do our work for God
The way He has designed.
—Anon.

No one is unemployed who minds his own business.


Drones

There are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. —2 Thessalonians 3:11

As I sat looking at my beehives, I was especially interested in the activities of a considerable number of bees that seemed to be busybodies. They were always buzzing, going in and out of the hive, but doing no apparent work. These nonproductive ones are called drones. They are male bees—much larger than a worker or even the queen. Their only function is to fertilize a queen and then die.

While waiting for a new queen to emerge, the drones spend their time visiting one hive after another. But they do no work; they make no honey; they build no comb; they can’t even sting. And they’re noisy! You should hear them buzz, but it’s all bluff.

For a while drones are privileged characters, but when fall comes and the honey flow slackens, the worker bees will kill every drone! Not a one lives through the winter. The time of reckoning comes, and they are denied the reward of the workers.

In the apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy, he warned about people who are active in the wrong kinds of activities—going from house to house as busybodies, stirring up trouble instead of serving others (1 Timothy 5:13).

Don’t be a drone if you want to share in the heavenly treasures reserved for the faithful. By:  Mart DeHaan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

In service true of any kind,
Lord, happy I shall be,
If by my help some soul may find
The path that leads to Thee. |
—Anon.

God's house should be a hive for workers—not a nest for drones.

2 Thessalonians 3:12  Now such persons we command  and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:12 Now such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and so provide their own food to eat.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:12 τοῖς δὲ τοιούτοις παραγγέλλομεν καὶ παρακαλοῦμεν ἐν κυρίῳ Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ, ἵνα μετὰ ἡσυχίας ἐργαζόμενοι τὸν ἑαυτῶν ἄρτον ἐσθίωσιν.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:12 We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:12 and such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness working, their own bread they may eat;

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:12 Now we command and exhort such people by the Lord Jesus Christ that quietly working, they may eat their own food.

  • Now such persons we command: 2Th 3:6 
  • work in quiet fashion: Ge 49:14,15 Pr 17:1 Ec 4:6 Eph 4:28 1Th 4:11 1Ti 2:2 
  • eat their own bread: 2Th 3:8 Lu 11:3 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

SETTLE DOWN AND
EARN YOUR BREAD!

Now such persons we command (paraggello) and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ - Compare similar tone of authority in 2Th 3:6, 10. As above Paul gives a strong command and backs it up with the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is Christ's spokesman. He also adds exhort or "urge" (parakaleo) which adds a "gentle touch" to the firm command and yet does not ameliorate the sense of urgency. 

To work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread - Literally "that (hina - purpose clause) with quietness working."  NLT has "settle down and work to earn their own living." Note the contrast between the previous descriptions of disorder (2Th 3:6, 7, 11) and here the call for quiet. Paul could call them to do this because he had done it (cf 2Th 3:8+). This is the polar opposite of their conduct in 2 Th. 3:11.

Wiersbe - Instead of noisily running around, these people should "with quietness ... work, and eat their own bread." Their false views about the return of Christ had worked them into a pitch of excitement. "Your overemotional attitude is wrong," warned Paul. "Settle down and get to work." Work is a great antidote to unbalanced speculation and unthinking activity. (Be Ready: Living in Light of Christ's Return ).


Quiet fashion (2271hesuchia from hesuchos = still) means stillness, quiet. The opposite of causing a disturbance and so it speaks of an orderly manner.


Work And Hope

We command . . . that they work in quietnes. — 2 Thessalonians 3:12

Most of us will work a variety of jobs in our lifetime—some we love, some we would rather not talk about. I had my share of jobs as I made my way through college and grad school—from picking up old appliances to delivering coupon booklets door-to-door to washing dishes to construction to selling clothes.

Even if we don’t enjoy our work, it is better than the alternative (idleness), and it can give our lives real purpose. Our work takes on greater value when we work not just for a paycheck but for the Lord’s approval.

A line from English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge suggests the connection between work and value. He wrote, “Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve, and hope without an object cannot live.” Our work, he suggests, must have hope to maintain its value. But where do we find that hope?

It’s an idea found in the Bible. According to Colossians 3:23, we should work “as to the Lord ” because He is the One who will reward us (v.24). We are to be known as hard workers who never grow weary in doing good (2 Th. 3:6-15).

Honor God and be a positive testimony to others with the way you work. That will give your work—no matter what it is—true hope. By:  Dave Branon

Lord, I ask for strength to do
The task that You've assigned;
Help me work with diligence
Lest Your name be maligned.
—Fasick

Daily work done for God takes on eternal value.

2 Thessalonians 3:13  But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:13 But you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing what is right.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:13 ὑμεῖς δέ, ἀδελφοί, μὴ ἐγκακήσητε καλοποιοῦντες.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:13 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:13 As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:13 and ye, brethren, may ye not be weary doing well,

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:13 Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

NKJ  2 Thessalonians 3:13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.

NRS  2 Thessalonians 3:13 Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.

  • But as for you, brethren: Isa 40:30,31 Mal 1:13 Ro 2:7 1Co 15:28 Ga 6:9,10 Php 1:9 1Th 4:1 Heb 12:3 
  • not grow weary of doing good De 20:8 Ps 27:13 Isa 40:29 Zep 3:16 Lu 18:1 2Co 4:1,16 Heb 12:5 Rev 2:3 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

"DON'T THROW IN
THE TOWEL"

But as for you, brethren - Paul gives a contrasting statement to encourage those in the church who are working hard. 

Robertson - Emphatic position of humeis (you) in contrast to these piddlers.

Wiersbe - Sin in the life of a believer always affects the rest of the church. As members of His body, we belong to each other and we affect each other. The bad example of a few saints can destroy the devotion, and hinder the service, of the rest of the church. (ED: I CALL IT THE "RIPPLE EFFECT" WHICH HAS THE EFFECT OF RIPPING APART THE UNITY IN THE BODY.)  (Be Ready: Living in Light of Christ's Return ).

Do not grow weary of doing good - The hard working saints would need this encouragement from Paul so that they did not become discouraged. Don't "throw in the towel (as in a boxing match)!" On doing good see how good deeds are described in Scripture. 

THOUGHT - We've all had that experience of being discouraged when we are doing good and others in the group are sloughing off. It is very disheartening. If you have been slacking off dear believer, perhaps it is time for you to "pull your load!" If you need some added motivation, Jesus' words should help "Well done, good and faithful slave."  (Mt 25:21, cf Lk 19:17+). Is that what you will hear?


 Grow weary (Lose heart) (1457egkakeo from ek = out of or an intensifier + kakos = bad, evil) means to grow weary (especially in the spiritual sense), to become tired and it is interesting that it always is used in the NT in a negative construction, to not grow weary or lose heart, which in essence is really a "positive" admonition to keep on keeping on, to endure, to persevere despite obstacles, setbacks and adversaries. Rienecker - It became a Christian technical term expressing the unflagging pursuit of the goal of service to neighbor, or of apostolic ministry, as well as the tautness (having no give or slack -- tightly drawn, chiefly a nautical term signifying in proper order or condition) of the determined heart that does not let up or lose courage. (Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament)

Egkakeo - 6x in NT - Lk. 18:1; 2 Co. 4:1; 2 Co. 4:16; Gal. 6:9; Eph. 3:13; 2 Thess. 3:13


Shirkers Or Workers?

Do not grow weary in doing good. —2 Thessalonians 3:13

The apostle Paul had some tough words for shirkers: “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Some circumstances may make it impossible for us to work. But if we’re able-bodied and can find work, we must work with energy and diligence. This is not just good advice but a command from an inspired apostle and from our Lord Jesus Christ (v.12). Sloth is sin.

Paul also had a word for workers: “Do not grow weary in doing good” (v.13). Our work may seem mindless, offering little challenge or stimulation, but we can do it “heartily, as to the Lord” (Colossians 3:23).

We get weary in our work at times and want to give up, but we can stay the course if we understand that we’re working for our Lord and ultimately for His eyes only (Ephesians 6:7). He is an employer who sees and knows all we do, and He values what we do and why we do it. Knowing that God cares about our work gives meaning to all our actions, even those no one else notices or appreciates.

Michelangelo, painting in some obscure corner of the Sistine Chapel, was asked by one of his helpers why he lavished such attention on a part of the ceiling no one would ever see. He replied, “God will see.”   By:  David H. Roper  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Teach me, Lord, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see;
And what I do in anything,
To do it as for Thee! 
—Herbert

No matter who your boss is, you are really working for God.


Time Off

Do not grow weary in doing good. —2 Thessalonians 3:13

The teenager’s mom, a bit exasperated by the failure of her youngest child to show the desired maturity, sighed and said, “Two more years of junior high.” To which he, in typical style, replied with a smile, “Mom, why don’t you just take the next 2 years off!”

Often there are things we would simply like to avoid by taking “time off.” When we have a chronically sick family member, we may be tempted to just “check out” for a while. When children rebel and make parenting a struggle, we’d prefer a long vacation from the hassle. Then there are those times when we face great spiritual battles that we would like to skip altogether.

Paul spoke briefly about such struggles in 2 Thessalonians 3. He mentioned the problem of dealing with people who “walk among you in a disorderly manner, . . . busybodies” (v.11). Facing up to people problems can be frustrating. But Paul gave part of the solution when he said, “Do not grow weary in doing good” (v.13). Another part of the equation is to listen to the psalmist, who said, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you” (Psalm 55:22).

When it’s not possible to “take the next 2 years off,” we can gain hope from this advice: Keep doing good and keep casting your care on God. That’s better than taking time off. By:  Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Be not weary in well-doing
When you're tempted to give up;
Cast on God your every burden,
Trust in Him—keep looking up!
—Fitzhugh

When God stretches your patience He is seeking to enlarge your soul.

2 Thessalonians 3:14  If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:14 But if anyone does not obey our message through this letter, take note of him and do not associate closely with him, so that he may be ashamed.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:14 Εἰ δέ τις οὐχ ὑπακούει τῷ λόγῳ ἡμῶν διὰ τῆς ἐπιστολῆς, τοῦτον σημειοῦσθε μὴ συναναμίγνυσθαι αὐτῷ, ἵνα ἐντραπῇ·

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:14 Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:14 and if any one do not obey our word through the letter, this one note ye, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed,

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:14 And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take note of that person; don't associate with him, so that he may be ashamed.

  • If anyone does not obey our instruction: De 16:12 Pr 5:13 Zep 3:2 2Co 2:9 7:15 10:6 Php 2:12 1Th 4:8 Phm 1:21 Heb 13:17 
  • in this letter, 2Th 3:6 Mt 18:17 Ro 16:17 1Co 5:9,11 Tit 3:10 
  • so that he will be put to shame.: Nu 12:14 Ezr 9:6 Ps 83:16 Jer 3:3 6:15 31:18-20 Eze 16:61-63 Eze 36:31,32 Lu 15:18-21 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

DON'T MIX WITH
THE "MARKED MAN"

If anyone does not obey our instruction (logos) in this letter (epistole), take special note of that person - Does not obey has the absolute negative (ouch) indicating absolute refusal to hear and heed Paul's "logos" (word, instruction). Take special note is the verb semeioo (from  semeion = a sign) used only here (another hapax legomenon). 

Robertson - Paul sums up the issue bluntly with this ultimatum. Condition of the first class, with negative ou, assuming it to be true. "Put a tag on that man." (ED: "THE MARKED MAN") "The verb is regularly used for the signature to a receipt or formal notice in the papyri and the ostraca of the Imperial period" (Moulton & Milligan's Vocabulary). How this is to be done (by letter or in public meeting) Paul does not say.

And do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame - Ostracism was not to be punitive but hopefully to be corrective. Do not associate (sunanamignumi) is not a command but is present tense calling for this to be the busy believer's continual behavior. So that (hina) expresses purpose of shunning the busybodies -- if they have a conscience, it might have the effect of making them feel ashamed. Sin has repercussions. 

Robertson on ashamed (entrepo) - to turn on, middle to turn on oneself or to put to shame, passive to be made ashamed. The idea is to have one's thoughts turned in on oneself.


Obey (5219)(hupakouo from hupó = agency or means, under, assumes the need for submission + akoúo physical hearing and apprehension of something with the mind - akouo gives us our English acoustics - the science of design which helps one hear) (Click study on related noun hupakoe) literally means "under the hearing" or to listen under, listening with attentiveness and then responding positively to what is heard -- to obey what is heard. The sense is that one understands and responds accordingly. Hupakouo implies really listening with a readiness to execute (obey) what is requested or ordered. Hupakouo implies an inward attitude of respect and honor, as well as external act of obedience.

Associate (4874)(sunanamignumi from sun/syn= with in an intimate sense + ana - again + mignumi - to mix) means literally to mix up together, mingle together, as when mixing ingredients for medicine. Figuratively and only middle or passive in the NT mingle oneself with, intermingle, associate  (1Cor 5.9, 11, 2Th 3:14). 

Put to shame (1788entrepo) means literally to turn back or about. In the active sense it means put to shame, make ashamed, reprove (1Cor 4.14). In the passive (as in 2Th 3:14) it means to be put to shame, be ashamed (Titus 2.8). Finally in the passive with the middle sense, it means strictly to turn oneself toward someone; hence respect, reverence, have regard for (Mt 21.37). The idea is to be shamed into respect.

2 Thessalonians 3:15  Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:15 καὶ μὴ ὡς ἐχθρὸν ἡγεῖσθε, ἀλλὰ νουθετεῖτε ὡς ἀδελφόν.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:15 Don't think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:15 and as an enemy count him not, but admonish ye him as a brother;

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:15 Yet don't treat him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

NKJ  2 Thessalonians 3:15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

NRS  2 Thessalonians 3:15 Do not regard them as enemies, but warn them as believers.

NAB  2 Thessalonians 3:15 Do not regard him as an enemy but admonish him as a brother.

NJB  2 Thessalonians 3:15 though you are not to treat him as an enemy, but to correct him as a brother.

  • Yet do not regard him: Lev 19:17,18 1Co 5:5 2Co 2:6-10 10:8 13:10 Ga 6:1 1Th 5:14 Jude 1:22,23 
  • admonish: Ps 141:5 Pr 9:9 25:12 Mt 18:15 1Co 4:14 Tit 3:10 Jas 5:19,20 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

Galatians 6:1+  Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

A KIND, BROTHERLY
CAUTION

Yet - Added by the NASB translators. It would however fit with the context as an adversative. 

Do not regard him as an enemy Do not regard  is a command (present imperative with a negative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) implying they were already doing this and were to cease, or that they should not commence this negative consideration. 

Robertson - Not as an enemy (mē hōs echthron). This is always the problem in such ostracism as discipline, however necessary it is at times. Few things in our churches are more difficult of wise execution than the discipline of erring members. The word echthros is an adjective, hateful, from echthos, hate. It can be passive, hated, as in Romans 11:28, but is usually active hostile, enemy, foe.

But admonish him as a brother - This is the "converse command" -- don't denigrate him, but do warn him. Admonish is in the present imperative (see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) calling for this to be their continual action. Brother is adelphos and clearly means one who is in the family of God (1Jn 3:1). 

MacArthur adds that "Since he had not yet been put out of the fellowship (1 Cor. 5:2) and delivered to Satan (1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Tim. 1:20), the congregation was not yet to treat him "as a Gentile and a tax collector" (Matt. 18:17), but to admonish him as a brother. (1 & 2 Thessalonians)


Regard (consider, count) (2233)(hegeomai from ago = to lead, carry, bring) has two basic meanings in the NT. One is to lead as one would do in a supervisory capacity as when describing men in any leading position - ruler, leader, governor (Acts 7:10+) and stands opposite of a diakonos or servant in (Lk 22:26+). The second meaning USED IN THE PRESENT PASSAGE means to engage in an intellectual process (2Co 9:5, Php 2:25, Php 3:8, 2Pe 1:13). In this latter sense, hegeomai conveys the picture of leading out (note the root verb of origin = ago = to lead) before the mind, and thus to regard, esteem, count, reckon.  In this sense, hegeomai pictures one giving careful thought to something and not making a quick decision. In secular Greek hegeomai was a mathematical term which meant "Think about it and come to a conclusion."

Enemy (hostile) (2190echthros from échthos = hatred, enmity; noun = echthra = enmity, hostility) is an adjective which pertains to manifesting hostility or being at enmity with another, where enmity is a deep seated animosity or hatred which may be open or concealed or a "deep-rooted hatred." In the active sense echthros means to be hateful, hostile toward, at enmity with or adversary of someone. In the passive sense echthros pertains to being subjected to hostility, to be hated or to be regarded as an enemy. Echthros is one who has the extreme negative attitude that is the opposite of love and friendship. An enemy is one that is antagonistic to another; especially seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound the opponent. Scripture often uses echthros as a noun describing "the adversary", Satan! Like father like son! (THE COROLLARY IS THAT SATAN WOULD LOVE FOR US TO DO HIS BUSINESS AND CONSIDER OUR BELIEVING BROTHER AN ENEMY!)

Admonish  (warning, cautioning, gently reproving, exhorting)(3560)(noutheteo from nous = mind + títhemi = place) (see also Nouthesia) literally means to place in the mind and so to warn or give notice to beforehand especially of danger or evil, by reasoning with them. The idea is to lay it on the mind or heart of the person, with the stress being on influencing not only the intellect, but also the will, emotions and disposition. The idea is to counsel about avoidance or cessation of an improper course of conduct. 

Noutheteo used 8x in NT - Acts 20:31; Rom. 15:14; 1 Co. 4:14; Col. 1:28; Col. 3:16; 1 Thess. 5:12; 1 Thess. 5:14; 2 Thess. 3:15

2 Thessalonians 3:16  Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:16 Αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ κύριος τῆς εἰρήνης δῴη ὑμῖν τὴν εἰρήνην διὰ παντὸς ἐν παντὶ τρόπῳ. ὁ κύριος μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:16 and may the Lord of the peace Himself give to you the peace always in every way; the Lord is with you all!

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:16 May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

  •  Now may the Lord of peace Himself : Ps 72:3,7 Isa 9:6,7 Zec 6:13 Lu 2:14 Joh 14:27 Ro 15:33 16:20 1Co 14:33 2Co 5:19-21 13:11 Eph 2:14-17 1Th 5:23 Heb 7:2 13:20 
  • continually grant you peace in every circumstance: Nu 6:26 Jud 6:24 *marg: Ps 29:11 85:8-10 Isa 26:12 45:7 54:10 66:12 Hag 2:9 Joh 16:33 Ro 1:7 Php 4:7-9 
  • The Lord be with you all: 2Th 3:18 1Sa 17:37 20:13 Ps 46:7,11 Isa 8:10 Mt 1:23 28:20 2Ti 4:22 Philemon 1:25 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Numbers 6:26   The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’ 

Psalm 29:11 The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.

Psalm 85:8  I will hear what God the LORD will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; But let them not turn back to folly. 

Isaiah 57:19 Creating the praise of the lips. Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near,” Says the LORD, “and I will heal him.” 

Isaiah 26:3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. 

Isaiah 26:12 LORD, You will establish peace for us, Since You have also performed for us all our works. 

Romans 15:13  Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

John 20:19 So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be with you.”

John 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

John 20:26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”

PRAYER TO THE
LORD OF PEACE

How appropriate is this designation as the Lord of peace, because there is potential for disunity (lack of peace) in the local Body of Christ with these busybodies. 

Now - This marks a transition from the precious section of disciplining lazy saints. Indeed, in light of the previous section, NOW it is time to PRAY! 

MacArthur- true spiritual peace is completely different from the superficial, ephemeral, fragile human peace. It is the deep, settled confidence that all is well between the soul and God because of His loving, sovereign control of one's life both in time and eternity. That calm assurance is based on the knowledge that sins are forgiven, blessing is present, good is abundant even in trouble, and heaven is ahead. The peace that God gives His beloved children as their possession and privilege has nothing to do with the circumstances of life.  (1 & 2 Thessalonians)

May the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance  - Surprisingly this is the only designation that specifically describes God as the Lord of peace. He is of course called by the synonymous term the God of peace in 1Th 5:23 (and see below). Clearly He is the Source of peace, the very essence of peace, and thus He Alone is able to bring peace to the potential conflict in the local body (something Satan would love to see happen!) Grant is didomi (meaning to give as an expression of generosity) in the aorist active optative mood (mood of prayer) (Also Ro 15:5; 2Ti 1:16, 18.). Continually speaks of peace, so it is asking God that outward circumstances would not destroy inner peace. The clear implication is that His peace for believers is always available, independent of the circumstances (Are you experiencing His peace in the midst of your fiery trial beloved? It is possible...supernaturally!) NIV translates with the phrase “at all times and in every way.” The believer receives peace “at all times and in all ways—under all circumstances and conditions, whatever comes” (Amplified). 

God described as peace is found in Jdg 6:24; Ro 15:33; 16:20; 1Co 14:33; 2Co 13:11; Php 4:9; 1 Th 5:23; Heb. 13:20

Robertson - The Lord Jesus whose characteristic is peace, can alone give real peace to the heart and to the world. (John 14:27).

Faithlife Study Bible - The Roman Empire used the phrase “peace and safety” in its propaganda to promote the idea of Roman Peace (Pax Romana).

MacArthur on the role of the Trinity in peace - Isaiah 9:6 gives Him the title "Prince of Peace"; speaking of Christ, Ephesians 2:14 says, "He Himself is our peace." The Holy Spirit is also the source of peace. Peace is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), while Paul wrote in Romans 14:17, "The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." In the perfectly harmonious working of the Trinity, the Father decreed peace, the Son purchased it (cf. Acts 10:36; Ro 5:1; Col. 1:20), and the Holy Spirit brings it.   (1 & 2 Thessalonians)

The Lord be with you all - There is no verb. 

This is one of four prayers in this short letter (2Th 1:11; 2:16,17; 3:5; 3:16). Paul also prayed for theses believers in his first letter (1Th 3:11-13; 5:23) If there is trouble in the church, it is because there is trouble in somebody’s heart. If Christ is Lord, then there is peace in the heart. If there is war in the heart, then Jesus Christ is not Lord (Jas 4:1-10).

If you would have peace, make war with sin.
-- Thomas Watson


Peace (1515)(eirene from verb eiro = to join or bind together that which has been separated) literally pictures the binding or joining together again of that which had been separated or divided and thus setting at one again, a meaning convey by the common expression of one “having it all together”. It follows that peace is the opposite of division or dissension. Peace as a state of concord and harmony is the opposite of war. Peace was used as a greeting or farewell corresponding to the Hebrew word shalom - "peace to you".

Eirene in Thessalonians - 1Th 1:1, 5:3, 5:23, 2Th 1:2, 2Th 3:16.


The Secret of Peace

The Lord of peace himself give you peace. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Grace is a very special lady. One word comes to mind when I think of her: peace. The quiet and restful expression on her face has seldom changed in the six months I have known her, even though her husband was diagnosed with a rare disease and then hospitalized.

When I asked Grace the secret of her peace, she said, “It’s not a secret, it’s a person. It’s Jesus in me. There is no other way I can explain the quietness I feel in the midst of this storm.”

The secret of peace is our relationship to Jesus Christ. He is our peace. When Jesus is our Savior and Lord, and as we become more like Him, peace becomes real. Things like sickness, financial difficulties, or danger may be present, but peace reassures us that God holds our lives in His hands (Daniel 5:23), and we can trust that things will work together for good.

Have we experienced this peace that goes beyond logic and understanding? Do we have the inner confidence that God is in control? My wish for all of us today echoes the words of the apostle Paul: “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace.” And may we feel this peace “at all times and in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16). By:  Keila Ochoa (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Dear Lord, please give us Your peace at all times and in every situation.

To trust in Jesus is peace.


Quaking Aspens

Now may the Lord o peace Himself give you peace always in every way. —2 Thessalonians 3:16

While I was visiting Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, two trees caught my attention. Though the leaves on the surrounding trees were not moving, the leaves of these trees were fluttering with just the slightest hint of a breeze. I pointed them out to my wife, and she told me they were called quaking aspens. I was struck by the visual effect of those shaking leaves. While all the other trees appeared calm and steady, the quaking aspen leaves shook, even with only the faintest breeze.

Sometimes I feel like a quaking aspen. People around me seem to be moving through life without issues or concerns, apparently steady and secure, while even the slightest issue can unsettle my heart. I see others and marvel at their calm and wonder why my own life can so easily be filled with turbulence. Thankfully, the Scriptures remind me that genuine, steadying calm can be found in the presence of God. Paul wrote, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all” (2 Thess. 3:16). Not only does God offer peace, He Himself is the Lord of peace.

When we enter the disturbing, unsettling seasons of life, it is good to know that real peace is available in the God of all peace. By:  Bill Crowder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Prince of Peace, teach me to find in You the calming power of Your presence. Strengthen me today with Your peace, and grant me the stability I need in this turmoil-filled world. Amen.

Peace is more than the absence of conflict; peace is the presence of God.

2 Thessalonians 3:17  I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write.

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, which is how I write in every letter.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:17 Ὁ ἀσπασμὸς τῇ ἐμῇ χειρὶ Παύλου, ὅ ἐστιν σημεῖον ἐν πάσῃ ἐπιστολῇ· οὕτως γράφω.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:17 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:17 HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING-- PAUL. I DO THIS IN ALL MY LETTERS TO PROVE THEY ARE FROM ME.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:17 The salutation by the hand of me, Paul, which is a sign in every letter; thus I write;

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:17 This greeting is in my own hand-- Paul. This is a sign in every letter; this is how I write.

NKJ  2 Thessalonians 3:17 The salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is a sign in every epistle; so I write.

NRS  2 Thessalonians 3:17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.

  • with my own hand: 1Co 16:21 Col 4:18 
  • a distinguishing mark in every letter: 2Th 1:5 Jos 2:12 1Sa 17:18 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

PAUL'S AUTHENTICATION
OF THIS LETTER

I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand  - Here the phrase write this greeting with my own hand identifies this as Paul.  Paul often wrote through a secretary (Amanuensis) as indicated by the ending in the letter to the Romans  "I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord." (Ro 16:22) Can you imagine the incredible privilege to be the one to take down the inspired Word of God from the mouth of the great apostle!

Henry Morris - Possibly because of poor eyesight, Paul seems to have dictated many of his letters, confirming that they were, indeed, his by his personal signature at the end. Only occasionally did he feel it necessary to mention this, however, as it would normally have been obvious to their recipients. In this case, however, he was concerned that the church had been misled by a letter falsely claiming to be from him (2Th2:2), so he reminded them to always look for his personal signature.

And this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write  - This distinguishing mark identifies this letter as authentic, as from Paul. Why would this be important? Recall he had written earlier "that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come." (2Th 2:2). He wanted them to know this was the "real deal!" 


Greeting (salutation)(783) aspasmos from aspazomai = welcome, greet, to salute) describes the use of set words or phrases to express a welcome or farewell -- salutation, greeting, either orally or by letter. Acknowledgement or expression of good will on meeting. Louw-Nida = "employ certain set phrases as a part of the process of greeting, whether communicated directly or indirectly." Liddell-Scott adds an embrace.

Distinguishing mark (4592semeion from sema = sign) a sign is something that serves as a pointer to aid perception or insight. Semeion is a sign or distinguishing mark whereby someth. is known, in this case that it was from Paul. 

2 Thessalonians 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all

KJV  2 Thessalonians 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. <The second epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens.>

ESV  2 Thessalonians 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

NET  2 Thessalonians 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

BGT  2 Thessalonians 3:18 Ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν.

NIV  2 Thessalonians 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

NLT  2 Thessalonians 3:18 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

YLT  2 Thessalonians 3:18 the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is with you all! Amen.

CSB  2 Thessalonians 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

NKJ  2 Thessalonians 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

  • grace of our Lord Jesus Christ - Ro. 16:24; 2Co. 8:9; Gal. 6:18; 1Th. 5:28
  • 2 Thessalonians 3 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

2 Corinthians 8:9   For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

Galatians 6:18  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

1 Thessalonians 5:28  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

GRACE FROM
CHRIST

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all  - In 2 Ti 2:1 Paul wrote to Timothy to "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." Grace is in Christ Jesus. In 2Cor 12:9 Jesus told Paul "“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  Paul signed off the Second letter to the Corinthians "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.." (2Cor 13:14)

Robertson - Salutation just like that in 1 Thes. 5:28 with the addition of pantōn (all).


Grace (favor) (5485) charis  from chairo = to rejoice. English = charity. Beggars need "charity" even as sinners need grace, for we are all spiritual paupers outside of Christ, but "God gives where he finds empty hands"-Augustine [cp Mt 5:3-note]) is a word which defies a simple definition but at its core conveys the sense of favor while the specific nuances of charis depend on the context in which it is used. Someone has written that the word grace is probably the greatest word in the Scriptures, even greater even than “love,” because grace is love in action, and therefore includes it. It is hardly too much to say that God has in no word uttered Himself and all that was in His heart more distinctly than in this word grace (charis)!

Adrian Rogers says the best definition of grace that he has ever heard is that God's grace is "both the desire and the ability to do the will of God." It is striking that almost the same words occur in Php 2:13NLT-note "For (term of explanation - explains how it is possible to Work out our salvation - Php 2:12-note) God is working in you, giving you the DESIRE and the POWER to do what pleases Him." When you have a godly desire, that desire is from God, because no good thing can come out of our old vile heart! And only God the Spirit in us can give the supernatural power necessary to accomplish that godly desire! So we could paraphrase Php 2:13, in simple words, by saying that God's Spirit is continually giving us the grace (desire and power) to do what pleases Him! This practical definition of grace ought to free many of us who are "trying to clean ourselves up!" It can't be done! We need His grace to give us the desire to "clean up" and the power to "clean up!" Are you resisting His grace? You can either receive it or resist it! The first way leaves us filled, while the second way leaves us empty, dry, and spiritually barren. O beloved, tell God you desperately need and want Him to pour out His grace on the situation you find yourself entwined. Do you have a root of bitterness? Then confess it (even that act is a reflection of His grace) and cry out for His grace to give you the desire and the ability to eradicate that deadly root and its caustic fruit. And keep crying out until He removes the root, for it is in His will that no child of His should ever have a root of bitterness! And when He removes it, celebrate with a praise and worship service!