Locate verse: Type a verse reference like 'Romans 10:9' or abbreviated 'Rm 10:9'.
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Examples (without the quotes): '1 Tim 3:16', 'Rv 1:8', 'Matthew 5', '3:16', '8', 'Phm'.
2TH3:1 In conclusion, brothers, continue to pray for us69
that the Master’s message may quickly become triumphant just as it did among all of you.
Pray for us: Paul asks for their prayers regarding two subjects: a) for the teachings of Jesus to triumph quickly. Even historians
are impressed by the speed with which Christianity spread. Read Acts chapters 2-8 and note the growth in thousands. And, b) deliverance from evil men such as those who are part of the “man of lawlessness.” Paul’s various deliverances are recorded in the Book of Acts.
2TH3:2 Also that we may escape wicked and harmful men,70
for not everyone has such deep conviction.
Harmful men: Or, KJV: unreasonable and wicked men; TCN: wrong-headed; GDS: unjust; WMS: unprincipled; BER: unbalanced and malicious.
That “lawlessness already at work” within the Church.
2TH3:3 However, the Master is faithful. He will strengthen and guard you from evil things.71
2TH3:5 May the Master guide your hearts73
into The God’s benevolent empathy and Christ’s steadfastness.
May the Master guide your hearts: Or, direct. Another
brief petition that their hearts will move in one direction, toward a growing love of God and a firm conviction in Jesus Christ. Note the “Holy Ghost” is missing here.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-12 – Withdraw From Disorderly
2TH3:6 Now, brothers, we give all of you these instructions74
in the name of our Master Jesus Christ – that you disassociate yourselves from any brother75
who is lazy and disorderly and behaves in a manner not in harmony with the tradition76
you received from us.
These instructions: Or, command, charge. Note this is not a suggestion but an apostolic command by one who represents Christ.
See the word command elsewhere. This is the apostolic restraint at work – the protection of the flock.
Disassociate yourselves from any brother: Or, KJV: withdraw; TCN: avoid; MOF: shun KNX: have nothing to do with; PME: don’t associate with; BAR: refuse to associate with him. The Greek is STELLESTHAI [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #4724,
to abstain from familiar intercourse with one]. This is an apostolic command to shun or refuse to associate with a “brother.” Jesus recommends something similar at Matthew 18:15-18. See notes below.
Harmony with the tradition: The reason to shun this brother is given here: an idle life. Or, TCN: ill-ordered life; WEY: disorderly; MOF: loafing; WMS: shirker;
KNX: lives a vagabond life; PME: undisciplined. What Paul means by this is next explained. Some teachers and prophets (elders) were possibly taking advantage of charity and hospitality. They may have insisted they be cared for without offering to work for their existence. This would later develop into a clergy-laity relationship with a financially supported leadership. In time they would live in grand style. Today most Christian leaders live a better life-style than the average member of the flock.
2TH3:7 For all of you realize how you ought to imitate us.77
We were not lazy78
when we were among you.
You ought to imitate us: (1 Corinthians 11:1) Though Paul accepted charity and hospitality he did not insist on it or take
advantage of it. He often was hungry and homeless and ill-clad. (1 Corinthians 4:11, 12) He even provided for himself by tent-making. (Acts 18:3) He states he had learned the secret of living a life-style of poverty. (Philippians 4:12) In this he imitated the role model of the Nazarene perfectly.
We were not lazy: Or, NEB: no idlers; TCN: not ill-ordered; MOF: not loaf; KNX: no vagabonds; PME: never undisciplined. They did not depend on the hospitality and charity of this poor and persecuted congregation. They may have offered to help any household where they stayed.
2TH3:8 We never ate anybody’s food free,79
but rather with toil and hard labor we worked night and day80
so that we would never become an expensive burden to anyone.
Never ate anybody’s food free: Or, RSV: We did not eat any one’s bread without paying. It is hard to believe that a household would accept payment from Paul and his associates. They surely offered to help around the house. Or, they had enough finances from others they would insist to contribute. They may have left funds to be found later by the hospitable household.
We worked night and day: Or, MOF: toiling hard at our trade; BER: hard and heavy work; NEB: toiled and drudged. Paul may have made his goat-hair tents into the evening.
2TH3:9 Not because we did not have the authority,81
but rather to give you a role model in our conduct you could imitate.82
Authority: Or, right, power. See Paul’s argument to a well-off urban congregation at 1 Corinthians chapter 9.
Conduct you could imitate: Or, RSV: Give you in our conduct an example to imitate. (1 Corinthians 11:1) Nothing teaches better than an example, or a role model one may imitate. He did not have to preach. They saw a living example of Christ in the flesh. At the same time he exposed the clerical leeches in the congregation.
2TH3:10 For when we were among you we gave the command – if anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat.83
Neither let him eat: One must work for his food. It is interesting that this sentence is duplicated in Chinese leader Mao’s
little red book.
2TH3:11 Now we hear reports that some among you are living a lazy and idle life84
in other peoples affairs and not doing any work themselves.
Living a lazy and idle life: Or, RSV: Some of you are living in idleness. These were the first of the “man of lawlessness”
2TH3:12 So now we command and encourage that such persons do their own work in quiet and thus earn their
Earn their own living: Without naming names as he does elsewhere, Paul identifies and exposes these lawless ones. No doubt this letter is read to the congregation as Paul commanded the first one. We can imagine the deathly quiet as this letter is read
and as eyes dart one to another. This is the apostolic restraint at work: exposing the lawless.
2 Thessalonians 3:13-18 – Concluding Exhortations
2TH3:13 Brothers, do not get tired of doing good to others87
Not get tired of doing good: Or, RSV: Do not be weary in well-doing; TCN: not grow weary of doing what is right; PME: don’t
get tired of honest work!
2TH3:14 If anyone refuses to obey what we say in this letter,88
mark such a person,89
and disassociate yourselves from them,90
so that they may become ashamed.91
If any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter: It seems clear this letter is read to the congregation. Those in the
congregation who refuse to listen are to be treated differently.
Mark such a person: Or, NAS: take
special note of that man; KNX: he is to be a marked man; BAR: mark him well. The Greek is SEMEIOUSTHE [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #4593, to mark, to note, distinguish by marking], literally, “put a sign upon.”
Disassociate yourselves from them: Or, RSV: have nothing to do with him; BAR: refuse to associate with him; KJV: have no company
with; TCN: avoid his company. The Greek is SYNANAMIGYNYSTHAI [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #4874, to keep company with, be intimate with one], literally meaning, “Do not mix up yourselves with.” The word occurs in only one other place – 1 Corinthians 5:9, 11 – where the context is widened to include habitually sexually immoral persons, the greedy, extortioners, revilers, drunkards and idolaters. Apparently, to the Corinthians, it seems the congregation took a vote and the majority determined the actions to be taken against the offender. (2 Corinthians 2:6) Some refer to this “shunning” as excommunication or disfellowshipping.
That they may be ashamed: This is the purpose of the shunning. One wonders how many clergy or governing leaders would be so treated in the modern church if this were applied to those for whom it was meant.
2TH3:15 But do not view them as an enemy,92
but instead reprove them as a brother.93
Do not view them as an enemy: Jesus taught to pray for, do good to, and even help financially “enemies.” (Luke
6:30-35) Thus, this brother, though avoided and shunned does not fit the category of an enemy.
them as a brother: Or, KJV: admonish; TCN: caution; GDS: warn; KNX: correcting; PME: reprimand; NEB: give him friendly advice, as one of the family. The person is still viewed and treated as a “brother.”
2TH3:16 Now may the Master of peace94
and harmony himself grant you peace always in everything. The Master be with all of you.
The Master of peace and harmony: Paul prays for peace among them. It is this lawless type that creates a spirit of disunity.
2TH3:17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand.95
This is the mark I make in every letter I write, as it is my way of writing.
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand: Paul has mentioned earlier that apparently some have claimed to receive letters
from him. (2 Thessalonians 2:2) It is possible Paul dictated the letter to Silvanus who wrote the bulk of the epistle. Here he puts his mark to insure that this is an authentic or autograph paper.
unmerited charity of our Master Jesus Christ be with all of you.