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1. By the coming (uper). More correctly touching. Comp. Rom. ix. 27;
2 Cor. i. 8. Uper never in N.T. in a formula of swearing.
Gathering together (episunagwghv). Only here and Heb. x. 25. The verb ejpisunagein is used, as the noun here, of the Lord's gathering together his elect at his coming. See Matt. xxiv. 31; Mark xiii. 27; comp. 2 Macc.ii. 7.
2. Shaken (saleuqhnai). From salov the tossing or swell of the sea. See Luke xxi. 25. Comp. Matt. xi. 7; xxiv. 29; Acts iv. 31; Heb. xii. 26. In mind (apo tou noov). More correctly, from your mind. Nouv signifies the judgment, sober sense. Comp. 1 Cor. xiv. 15, and see on Romans vii. 23. They are to "keep their heads" under the temptation to fanatical extravagances concerning the Lord's appearing.
By word (dia logou). Oral expressions falsely imputed to Paul.
By letter as from us (di epistolhv wv di hmwn). Const. as from us with word and letter. The reference is to a letter or letters forged in Paul's name; not to the first Thessalonian Epistle, as misunderstood by the readers.
As that (wv oti). Indicating the contents of such communications.
Is at hand (enesthken). Better than Rev. is now present. Lightfoot, happily, is imminent.
3. Deceive (exapathsh). Better beguile; since the word means not only making a false impression, but actually leading astray.
The man of sin - the son of perdition (oJ anqrwpov thv ajnomiav, oJ uiJov thv ajpwleiav). See on children of light, 1 Thess. v. 5. The phrase man of sin (lawlessness) does not occur elsewhere, either in N.T. or LXX. Son of perdition is found John xvii. 12, o LXX: tekna apwlei.av children of perdition (A.V. transgression), Isa. lvii. 4. The man of sin has been thought to refer to Caligula, Titus, Simon Magus, Nero, the Pope of Rome, Luther, Mahomet, etc.
That is worshipped (sebasma). An object of adoration, including things as well as persons. Only here and Acts xvii. 23 on which see note under devotions.
Shewing (apodeiknunta). Publicly asserting divine dignity. Rev. setting himself forth as God.
6. What withholdeth (to katecon). Better restraineth. The verb means to hold fast, as Luke viii. 15: to hold back, as Luke iv. 42. See on Rom. i. 18. He refers to some power which hinders the revelation of the man of sin or Antichrist.
In his time (en tw autou kairw). Better, in his own season, Not before his appointed season.
7. Mystery of iniquity (musthrion thv anomiav). Better, of lawlessness. The phrase is unique in N.T. and o LXX. Mystery is found in various combinations, as mystery of the kingdom of heaven, Matthew xiii. 11; of God, 1 Cor. ii. 1: of his will, Eph. i. 9: of Christ, Eph. iii. 4: of the gospel, Eph. vi. 19: of faith, 1 Tim. iii. 9: of godliness, 1 Tim. iii. 16: of the seven stars Apoc. i. 20: of the woman, Apoc. xvii. 7. A mystery does not lie in the obscurity of a thing, but in its secrecy. It is not in the thing, but envelops it. Applied to a truth, it signifies a truth once hidden but now revealed or to be revealed; a truth which without special revelation would be unknown. It is almost universally found in connection with words signifying publication or revelation. See on Matt. xiii. 11. The mystery of lawlessness is the mass of lawlessness yet hidden, but which is to reveal itself in the person and power of Antichrist. The position of the word is emphatic, emphasising the concealed character of the evil power.
Letteth (katecwn). The same word as restraineth, ver. 6. Let is old English for hipder, prevent. Often in Chaucer.
"May I him lette of that?" (prevent him from it). Troil. and Cress.ii. 732.
"And bothe in love y-like sore they brente (burned) That noon or alle hir (their) frendes might hit lette." Legend of Good Women, 731.
"What lets but one may enter?" Two Gentlemen of Verona, iii. 1.
"I'll make a ghost of him that lets me." Hamlet i. 4.
"The flesh resisteth the work of the Holy Ghost in our hearts, and lets it." - Latimer, Serm.
Spirit (pneumati). Better, breath. Pneuma, almost always translated spirit, is from pnein to breathe or blow. Frequent in class. in this sense. Comp. John iii. 8; Heb. i. 7. LXX, Psalm cxlvii. 7; Ep. of Jer. 61. Philo says "the spirit of God signifies, in one sense, the air, the third element; and it is used in this sense in the beginning of Genesis... for air, being light, is born up, and uses water as its basis. In the other sense it is the pure wisdom in which every wise man participates" (De Gigantibus, 5). See on Rom. viii. 4.
With the brightness (th epifaneia). See on 1 Tim. vi. 14. Rev., correctly, manifestation. See LXX, Esther v. 1; Amos v. 22; 2 Macc. ii. 21; 3 Macc. ii. 9. In class. (but late) of deities appearing to a worshipper (Plut. Themistocles, 30): of the sudden appearance of an enemy (Polyb. i. 54, 2): of a manifestation of Providence (Diod. Sic. i. 15): of the heathen gods assuming shape and appearing in order to work mischief (Just. Mart. Apol. i. 5). In N.T. of the parousia. See 1 Tim. vi. 14; 2 Tim. i. 10; iv. 1, 8; Tit. ii. 13. In 2 Tim. i. 10, of Christ's historical manifestation. So ejpifainw, Tit. ii. 11; iii. 4. Only here in Paul.
Coming (parousiav). Or presence, which is the original meaning. In N.T. with a few exceptions, of the second coming of Christ. The combination manifestation of his presence (only here) appears to emphasize the resistless power of the Son of man, not (as Lightfoot) his splendor and glory. The mere appearing of his presence suffices to destroy his adversary.
9. After the working of Satan. The sense is that the coming of Antichrist proclaims itself to be according to the working of Satan by means of power, signs, etc.'Energeia P o . power in exercise, used only of superhuman power. See Col. i. 29; ii. 12.
Signs and lying wonders (shmeioiv kai terasin yeudouv). Lit. signs and wonders of a lie. Of a lie characterizes the three words, power, signs, wonders. All bear the stamp of fraud. For signs and wonders see on Matt. xxiv. 24, and mighty works, Matt. xi. 20.
10. Deceivableness of unrighteousness (apath adikiav). Better deceit of unrighteousness; which is characteristic of unrighteousness and is employed by it.
11. Strong delusion (energeian planhv). Rev., literally and correctly, a working of error. See on working ver. 9. The phrase is unique in N.T. It means an active power of misleading. For planh error which shows itself in action, see on 1 Thess. ii. 3.
A lie (tw yeudei). Properly, the lie. The article gives the generic sense, falsehood in all its forms. Comp. John viii. 44; Rom. i. 25; Eph. iv. 25. Comp. the contrast of truth and unrighteousness in ver. 12. All wrongdoing has an element of falsity.
13. Hath chosen (eilato). The only case in N.T. in which this word is used of God's election. LXX, Deut. xxvi. 18, of God's choosing Israel to be his peculiar people. Comp. Philip. i. 22; Heb. xi. 25. From the beginning (ap archv). Not elsewhere in Paul. His usual expressions are pro twn aijwnwn before the ages (1 Cor. ii. 7): pro katabolhv kosmou before the foundation of the world (Eph. i. 4): ajpo twn aijwnwn from the ages (Eph. iii. 9). Before eternal times (pro cronwn aiwniwn) is found 2 Tim. i. 9; Tit. i. 2.
15. Traditions (paradoseiv). See on 1 Cor. xi. 2. Not emphasizing a distinction between written and oral tradition. Tradition, in the scriptural sense, may be either written or oral. It implies on the part of a teacher that he is not expressing his own ideas, but is delivering or handing over (paradidwmi) a message received from some one else. See 1 Corinthians xi. 23. The prominent idea of paradosiv is therefore that of an authority external to the teacher. Comp. by word nor by letter, ver. 2.