1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
(υπερ της παρουσιας του Κυριου (ημων) Ιησου Χριστου). For ερωτωμεν, to beseech, see on 1Th 4:1; 4:12. Hυπερ originally meant over, in behalf of, instead of, but here it is used like περ, around, concerning as in 1:4; 1Th 3:2; 5:10, common in the papyri (Robertson, Grammar, p. 632). For the distinction between Παρουσια, Επιφανεια (Epiphany), and Αποκαλυψις (Revelation) as applied to the Second Coming of Christ see Milligan on Thessalonian Epistles, pp. 145-151, in the light of the papyri. Παρουσια lays emphasis on the
of the Lord with his people, επιφανεια on his
of the power and love of God, αποκαλυψις on the
of God's purpose and plan in the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus.
(κα ημων επισυναγωγης επ' αυτον). A late word found only in II Macc. 2:7; 2Th 2:1; Heb 10:25 till Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, p. 103) found it on a stele in the island of Syme, off Caria, meaning "collection." Paul is referring to the rapture, mentioned in 1Th 4:15-17, and the being forever with the Lord thereafter. Cf. also Mt 24:31; Mr 13:27.
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
(εις το). One of Paul's favourite idioms for purpose, εις το and the infinitive.
(μη ταχεως σαλευθηνα υμας). First aorist passive infinitive of σαλευω, old verb to agitate, to cause to totter like a reed (Mt 11:7), the earth (Heb 12:26). Usual negative μη and accusative of general reference υμας with the infinitive.
(απο του νοος). Ablative case of nous, mind, reason, sober sense, "from your witte" (Wyclif), to "keep their heads."
(μηδε θροεισθα). Old verb θροεω, to cry aloud (from θροος, clamour, tumult), to be in a state of nervous excitement (present passive infinitive, as if it were going on), "a continued state of agitation following the definite shock received (σαλευθηνα)" (Milligan).
(μητε δια πνευματος). By ecstatic utterance (1Th 5:10). The nervous fear that the coming was to be at once prohibited by μηδε Paul divides into three sources by μητε, μητε, μητε. No individual claim to divine revelation (the gift of prophecy) can justify the statement.
(μητε δια λογου). Oral statement of a conversation with Paul (Lightfoot) to this effect
. An easy way to set aside Paul's first Epistle by report of a private remark from Paul.
(μητε δι' επιστολης ως δι' ημων). In 1Th 4:13-5:3 Paul had plainly said that Jesus would come as a thief in the night and had shown that the dead would not be left out in the rapture. But evidently some one claimed to have a private epistle from Paul which supported the view that Jesus was coming at once,
(ως οτ ενεστηκεν η ημερα του κυριου). Perfect active indicative of ενιστημ, old verb, to place in, but intransitive in this tense to stand in or at or near. So "is imminent" (Lightfoot). The verb is common in the papyri. In 1Co 3:22; Ro 8:38 we have a contrast between τα ενεστωτα, the things present, and τα μελλοντα, the things future (to come). The use of ως οτ may be disparaging here, though that is not true in 2Co 5:19. In the Koine it comes in the vernacular to mean simply "that" (Moulton, Proleg., p. 212), but that hardly seems the case in the N.T. (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1033). Here it means "to wit that," though "as that" or "as if" does not miss it much. Certainly it flatly denies that by conversation or by letter he had stated that the second coming was immediately at hand. "It is this misleading assertion that accounts both for the increased discouragement of the faint-hearted to encourage whom Paul writes 1:3-2:17, and for the increased meddlesomeness of the idle brethren to warn whom Paul writes 3:1-18" (Frame). It is enough to give one pause to note Paul's indignation over this use of his name by one of the over-zealous advocates of the view that Christ was coming at once. It is true that Paul was still alive, but, if such a "pious fraud" was so common and easily condoned as some today argue, it is difficult to explain Paul's evident anger. Moreover, Paul's words should make us hesitate to affirm that Paul definitely proclaimed the early return of Jesus. He hoped for it undoubtedly, but he did not specifically proclaim it as so many today assert and accuse him of misleading the early Christians with a false presentation.
3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
(μη τις υμας εξαπατηση κατα μηδενα τροπον). First aorist active subjunctive of εξαπαταω (old verb to deceive, strengthened form of simple verb απαταω) with double negative (μη τισ, μηδενα) in accord with regular Greek idiom as in 1Co 16:11 rather than the aorist imperative which does occur sometimes in the third person as in Mr 13:15 (μη καταβατω). Paul broadens the warning to go beyond conversation and letter. He includes "tricks" of any kind. It is amazing how gullible some of the saints are when a new deceiver pulls off some stunts in religion.
(οτ). There is an ellipse here of ουκ εστα (or γενησετα) to be supplied after οτ. Westcott and Hort make an anacoluthon at the end of verse 4. The meaning is clear. Hοτ is causal, because, but the verb is understood. The second coming not only is not "imminent," but will not take place before certain important things take place, a definite rebuff to the false enthusiasts of verse 2.
(εαν μη ελθη η αποστασια πρωτον). Negative condition of the third class, undetermined with prospect of determination and the aorist subjunctive. Αποστασια is the late form of αποστασις and is our word apostasy. Plutarch uses it of political revolt and it occurs in I Macc. 2:15 about Antiochus Epiphanes who was enforcing the apostasy from Judaism to Hellenism. In Jos 22:22 it occurs for rebellion against the Lord. It seems clear that the word here means a religious revolt and the use of the definite article (η) seems to mean that Paul had spoken to the Thessalonians about it. The only other New Testament use of the word is in Ac 21:21 where it means apostasy from Moses. It is not clear whether Paul means revolt of the Jews from God, of Gentiles from God, of Christians from God, or of the apostasy that includes all classes within and without the body of Christians. But it is to be
(πρωτον) before Christ comes again. Note this adverb when only two events are compared (cf. Ac 1:1).
(κα αποκαλυφθη ο ανθρωπος της ανομιασ, ο υιος της απωλειας). First aorist passive subjunctive after εαν μη and same condition as with ελθη. The use of this verb αποκαλυπτω, like αποκαλυψιν of the second coming in 1:7, seems to note the superhuman character (Milligan) of the event and the same verb is repeated in verses 6,8. The implication is that
is hidden somewhere who will be suddenly manifested just as false apostles pose as angels of light (2Co 11:13ff.), whether the crowning event of the apostasy or another name for the same event. Lightfoot notes the parallel between the man of sin, of whom sin is the special characteristic (genitive case, a Hebraism for the lawless one in verse 8) and Christ. Both Christ and the adversary of Christ are revealed, there is mystery about each, both make divine claims (verse 4). He seems to be the Antichrist of 1Jo 2:18. The terrible phrase, the son of perdition, is applied to Judas in Joh 17:12 (like Judas doomed to perdition), but here to the lawless one (ο ανομος, verse 8), who is not Satan, but some one definite person who is doing the work of Satan. Note the definite article each time.
4他抵挡 神，抬举自己，高过一切称为神和受人敬拜的，甚至坐在 神的殿中，自称为 神。
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
(ο αντικειμενος κα υπεραιρομενος). Like John's Antichrist this one opposes (αντι-) Christ and exalts himself (direct middle of υπεραιρω, old verb to lift oneself up
others, only here and 2Co 12:7 in N.T.), but not Satan, but an agent of Satan. This participial clause is in apposition with the two preceding phrases, the man of sin, the son of perdition. Note 1Co 8:5 about one called God and Ac 17:23 for σεβασμα (from σεβαζομα), object of worship, late word, in N.T. only in these two passages.
(ωστε αυτον εις τον ναον του θεου καθισα). Another example of the infinitive with ωστε for result. Caius Caligula had made a desperate attempt to have his statue set up for worship in the Temple in Jerusalem. This incident may lie behind Paul's language here.
(αποδεικνυντα εαυτον οτ εστιν θεος). Present active participle (μ form) of αποδεικνυμ, agreeing in case with αυτον,
. Caligula claimed to be God. Moffatt doubts if Paul is identifying this deception with the imperial cultus at this stage. Lightfoot thinks that the deification of the Roman emperor supplied Paul's language here. Wetstein notes a coin of Julius with θεος on one side and Θεσσαλονικεων on the other. In 1Jo 2:18 we are told of "many antichrists" some of whom had already come. Hence it is not clear that Paul has in mind only one individual or even individuals at all rather than evil principles, for in verse 6 he speaks of το κατεχον (that which restraineth) while in verse 7 it is ο κατεχων (the one that restraineth). Frame argues for a combination of Belial and Antichrist as the explanation of Paul's language. But the whole subject is left by Paul in such a vague form that we can hardly hope to clear it up. It is possible that his own preaching while with them gave his readers a clue that we do not possess.
5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
(ετ ων προς υμας). The present participle takes the time of the verb ελεγον (imperfect active),
. So Paul recalls their memory of his words and leaves us without the clue to his idea. We know that one of the charges against him was that Jesus was another king, a rival to Caesar (Ac 17:7). That leads one to wonder how far Paul went when there in contrasting the kingdom of the world of which Rome was ruler and the kingdom of God of which Christ is king. Frame notes Paul's abrupt question here "with an unfinished sentence behind him" (verses 3f.), even "with a trace of impatience."
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
(κα νυν οιδατε), says Paul in this cryptic apocalyptic passage. Unfortunately we do not know what Paul means by
(holds back, κατεχον), neuter here and masculine in verse 7 ο κατεχων. "This impersonal principle or power is capable also of manifesting itself under a personal form" (Milligan). "He is Satan's messiah, an infernal caricature of the true Messiah" (Moffatt). Warfield (Expositor, III, iv, pp. 30ff.) suggested that the man of lawlessness is the imperial line with its rage for deification and that the Jewish state was the restraining power. But God overrules all human history and his ultimate purpose is wrought out.
(εις το). Another example of εις το and the infinitive for purpose.
(εν τω αυτου καιρω). Note αυτου (his), not εαυτου (his own),
, in the time set him by God.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
(το γαρ μυστηριον ηδη ενεργειτα της ανομιας). See 1Th 2:13 for ενεργειτα. The genitive της ανομιας (lawlessness) describes το μυστηριον (note emphatic position of both). This mystery (μυστηριον secret, from μυστης, an initiate, μυεω, to wink or blink) means here the secret purpose of lawlessness already at work, the only instance of this usage in the N.T. where it is used of the kingdom of God (Mt 13:11), of God (1Co 2:1) and God's will (Eph 1:9), of Christ (Eph 3:4), of the gospel (Eph 6:9), of faith (1Ti 3:9), of godliness (1Ti 3:16), of the seven stars (Re 1:20), of the woman (Re 17:7). But this secret will be "revealed" and then we shall understand clearly what Paul's meaning is here.
(εως εκ μεσου γενητα). Usual construction with εως for the future (aorist middle subjunctive, γενητα). Note absence of αν as often in N.T. and the Κοινη. Paul uses εως only here and 1Co 4:5. When the obstacle is removed then the mystery of lawlessness will be revealed in plain outline.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
(κα τοτε). Emphatic note of time,
when the restraining one (ο κατεχων) is taken out of the way, then θε λαwλεσς ονε (ο ανομος), the man of sin, the man of perdition, will be revealed.
(ον ο κυριος [Ιησουσ] ανελε). Whether Jesus is genuine or not, he is meant by Lord. Ανελε is a late future from αναιρεω, in place of αναιρησε. Paul uses Isa 11:4 (combining
) to picture the triumph of Christ over this adversary. It is a powerful picture how the mere breath of the Lord will destroy this arch-enemy (Milligan).
(κα καταργησε τη επιφανεια της παρουσιας αυτου). This verb καταργεω (κατα, αργος) to render useless, rare in ancient Greek, appears 25 times in Paul and has a variety of renderings. In the papyri it has a weakened sense of hinder. It will be a grand fiasco, this advent of the man of sin. Paul here uses both επιφανεια (επιφανψ, elsewhere in N.T. in the Pastorals, familiar to the Greek mind for a visit of a god) and παρουσια (more familiar to the Jewish mind, but common in the papyri) of the second coming of Christ. "The apparition of Jesus heralds his doom" (Moffatt). The mere appearance of Christ destroys the adversary (Vincent).
9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
(ου εστιν η παρουσια). Refers to ον in verse 8. The Antichrist has his παρουσια also. Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, pp. 374, 378) notes an inscription at Epidaurus in which "Asclepius manifested his Παρουσια." Antiochus Epiphanes is called the manifest god (III Macc. 5:35). So the two Epiphanies coincide.
(τερασιν ψευδους). "In wonders of a lie." Note here the three words for the miracles of Christ (Heb 2:4), power (δυναμις), signs (σημεια), wonders (τερατα), but all according to the working of Satan (κατα ενεργειαν του Σατανα, the energy of Satan) just as Jesus had foretold (Mt 24:24), wonders that would almost lead astray the very elect.
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
(εν παση απατη αδικιας). This pastmaster of trickery will have at his command all the energy and skill of Satan to mislead and deceive. How many illustrations lie along the pathway of Christian history.
(τοις απολλυμενοις). Dative case of personal interest. Note this very phrase in 2Co 2:15; 4:3. Present middle participle of αππολλυμ, to destroy, the dreadful process goes on.
(ανθ' ον). In return for which things (αντ and the genitive of the relative pronoun). Same idiom in Lu 1:20; 12:3; 19:44; Ac 12:23 and very common in the LXX.
(την αγαπην της αληθειας). That is the gospel in contrast with lying and deceit.
(εις το σωθηνα αυτους). First aorist passive infinitive of σωζω with εις το, again, epexegetic purpose of
if they had heeded it.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
(κα δια τουτο πεμπε αυτοις ο θεος). Futuristic (prophetic) present of the time when the lawless one is revealed. Here is the definite judicial act of God (Milligan) who gives the wicked over to the evil which they have deliberately chosen (Ro 1:24,26,28).
(ενεργειαν πλανης). Terrible result of wilful rejection of the truth of God.
(εις το πιστευσα αυτους τω ψευδε). Note εις το again and τω ψευδε (the lie, the falsehood already described), a contemplated result. Note Ro 1:25 "who changed the truth of God into the lie."
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
(ινα κριθωσιν παντες). First aorist passive subjunctive of κρινω, to sift, to judge, with ινα. Ultimate purpose, almost result, of the preceding obstinate resistance to the truth and "the judicial infatuation which overtakes them" (Lightfoot), now final punishment. Condemnation is involved in the fatal choice made. These victims of the man of sin did not believe the truth and found pleasure in unrighteousness.
13But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
See 1:3 for same beginning.
(ηγαπημενο υπο κυριου). Perfect passive participle of αγαπαω with υπο and the ablative as in 1Th 1:4, only here κυριου instead of θεου, the Lord Jesus rather than God the Father.
(οτ ειλατο υμας ο θεος). First aorist middle indicative of αιρεω, to take, old verb, but uncompounded only in N.T. here, Php 1:22; Heb 11:25, and here only in sense of
, that being usually εξαιρεομα or προοριζω.
(απ' αρχης). Probably the correct text (Aleph D L) and not απαρχην (first fruits, B G P), though here alone in Paul's writings and a hard reading, the eternal choice or purpose of God (1Co 2:7; Eph 1:4; 2Ti 1:9), while απαρχην is a favourite idea with Paul (1Co 15:20,23; 16:15; Ro 8:23; 11:16; 16:5).
(εις σωτηριαν). The ultimate goal, final salvation.
(εν αγιασμω πνευματος). Subjective genitive πνευματος, sanctification wrought by the Holy Spirit.
(κα πιστε αληθειας). Objective genitive αληθειας, belief in the truth.
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(εις ο). The goal, that is the final salvation (σωτηρια). Through our gospel (δια του ευαγγελιου ημων). God called the Thessalonians through Paul's preaching as he calls men now through the heralds of the Cross as God
(cf. 1Th 2:12; 5:24).
(εις περιποιησιν). Probably correct translation rather than possession. See on 1Th 5:9, there
(the shekinah, glory of Jesus).
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
(αρα ουν). Accordingly then. The illative αρα is supported (Ellicott) by the collective ουν as in 1Th 5:6; Ga 6:10, etc. Here is the practical conclusion from God's elective purpose in such a world crisis.
(στηκετε). Present imperative active of the late present στηκο from εστηκα (perfect active of ιστημ). See on 1Th 3:8.
(κρατειτε τας παραδοσεις). Present imperative of κρατεω, old verb, to have masterful grip on a thing, either with genitive (Mr 1:31) or usually the accusative as here. Παραδοσις (tradition) is an old word for what is handed over to one. Dibelius thinks that Paul reveals his Jewish training in the use of this word (Ga 1:14), but the word is a perfectly legitimate one for teaching whether oral,
(δια λογου), or written,
(δι' επιστολης ημων). Paul draws here no distinction between oral tradition and written tradition as was done later. The worth of the tradition lies not in the form but in the source and the quality of the content. Paul in 1Co 11:23 says: "I received from the Lord what I also handed over (παρεδωκα) unto you." He praises them because ye "hold fast the traditions even as I delivered them unto you." The
may be merely that of men and so worthless and harmful in place of the word of God (Mr 7:8; Col 2:6-8). It all depends. It is easy to scoff at truth as mere tradition. But human progress in all fields is made by use of the old, found to be true, in connection with the new if found to be true. In Thessalonica the saints were already the victims of theological charlatans with their half-baked theories about the second coming of Christ and about social duties and relations.
(ας εδιδαχθητε). First aorist passive indicative of διδασκω, to teach, retaining the accusative of the thing in the passive as is common with this verb like doceo in Latin and teach in English.
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
(κα [ο] θεος ο πατηρ ημων). It is uncertain whether the first article ο is genuine as it is absent in B D. Usually Paul has the Father before Christ except here, 2Co 13:13; Ga 1:1.
(ο αγαπησας ημας). This singular articular participle refers to ο πατηρ, "though it is difficult to see how St. Paul could otherwise have expressed his thought, if he had intended to refer to the Son, as well as to the Father. There is probably no instance in St. Paul of a plural adjective or verb, when the two Persons of the Godhead are mentioned" (Lightfoot).
(παρακλησιν αιωνιαν). Distinct feminine form of αιωνιος here instead of masculine as in Mt 25:46.
17Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.