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Notes on Second Thessalonians From the Original 1599 Geneva Bible Notes

2Th 1:3

1:3 {1} We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith {a} groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

(1) The first part of the epistle, in which he rejoices that through the grace of God, they have bravely sustained all the assaults of their enemies. And in this he strengthens and encourages them, moreover showing with what gifts they must mainly fight, that is, with faith and charity, which must daily increase.
(a) That whereas it grew up before, it does also receive some increase every day more and more.

2Th 1:5

1:5 {2} [Which is] a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

(2) He shows the source of all true comfort, that is, that in afflictions which we suffer from the wicked for righteousness' sake, we may behold as it were in a mirror the testimony of that judgment to come, the end of which is most acceptable to us, and most severe to his enemies.

2Th 1:6

1:6 {3} Seeing [it is] a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

(3) A proof: God is just, and therefore he will worthily punish the unjust, and will do away the miseries of his people.

2Th 1:7

1:7 And to you who are troubled rest {4} with us, {5} when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

(4) He strengthens and encourages them also along the way by this means, that the condition both of this present state and the state to come, is common to him with them.
(5) A most glorious description of the second coming of Christ, to be set against all the miseries of the godly, and the triumphs of the wicked.

2Th 1:8

1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them {6} that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

(6) There is no knowledge of God to salvation, without the Gospel of Christ.

2Th 1:10

1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe ({7} because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

(7) They are considered as children of God by the faith which they have in the Gospel, which is preached to them by the apostles.

2Th 1:11

1:11 {8} Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of {b} [this] calling, and fulfil {c} all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the {d} work of faith with power:

(8) Seeing that we have the mark set before us, it remains that we go to it. And we go to it, by certain degrees of causes: first by the free love and good pleasure of God, by virtue of which all other inferior causes work: from there proceeds the free calling to Christ, and from calling, faith, upon which follows both the glorifying of Christ in us and us in Christ.
(b) By "calling" he does not mean the very act of calling, but that self same thing to which we are called, which is the glory of that heavenly kingdom.
(c) Which he determined long ago, only upon his gracious and merciful goodness towards you.
(d) So then, faith is an excellent work of God in us: and we plainly see here that the apostle leaves nothing to free will, to make it something which God works through, as the papists dream.

2Th 2:1

2:1 Now {1} we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our {a} gathering together unto him,

(1) The second part of the epistle, containing an excellent prophecy of the state of the Church, which will be from the apostles time to the latter day of judgment.
(a) If we think earnestly upon that unmeasurable glory which we will be partakers of with Christ, it will be an excellent remedy for us against wavering and impatience, so that neither the glistening of the world will allure us, nor the dreadful sight of the cross dismay us.

2Th 2:2

2:2 {2} That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by {b} spirit, nor by {c} word, nor by {d} letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

(2) We must take heed of false prophets, especially in this matter, who go about to deceive, and that for the most part, after three sorts: for either they brag of fake prophetical revelations, or they bring conjectures and reasons of their own, or use counterfeit writings.
(b) By dreams and fables, which men pretend to be spiritual revelations.
(c) Either by word of mouth, or by written books.
(d) Either by forged letter, or falsely commented upon.

2Th 2:3

2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: {3} for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and {e} that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

(3) The apostle foretells that before the coming of the Lord, there will be a throne set up completely contrary to Christ's glory, in which that wicked man will sit, and transfer all things that appertain to God to himself: and many will fall away from God to him.
(e) By speaking of one, he singles out the person of the tyrannous and persecuting antichrist.

2Th 2:4

2:4 Who opposeth and {f} exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; {4} so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

(f) All men know who he is that says he can shut up heaven and open it at his pleasure, and takes upon himself to be lord and master above all kings and princes, before whom kings and princes fall down and worship, honouring that antichrist as a god.
(4) He foretells that the antichrist (that is, whoever he is that will occupy that seat that falls away from God) will not reign outside of the Church, but in the very bosom of the Church.

2Th 2:5

2:5 {5} Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

(5) This prophecy was continually declared to the ancient Church, but it was neglected by those that followed.

2Th 2:6

2:6 And now ye know {g} what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

(g) What hinders and stops.

2Th 2:7

2:7 {6} For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: {7} only he who now {h} letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way.

(6) Even in the apostles time the first foundations of the apostolic seat were laid, but yet so that they deceived men.
(7) He foretells that when the empire of Rome is taken away, the seat that falls away from God will succeed and hold its place, as the old writers, Tertullian, Chrysostom, and Jerome explain and interpret it.
(h) He who is now in authority and rules all, that is, the Roman Empire.

2Th 2:8

2:8 {8} And then shall {i} that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall {k} consume with the {l} spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

(8) That wickedness will at length be detected by the word of the Lord, and will utterly be abolished by Christ's coming.
(i) Literally, "that lawless fellow", that is to say, he that will completely tread upon God's law.
(k) Bring to nothing.
(l) With his word, for the true ministers of the word are as a mouth, by which the Lord breathes out that mighty and everlasting word, which will break his enemies apart, as though the word were an iron rod.

2Th 2:9

2:9 {9} [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and {m} lying wonders,

(9) He foretells that Satan will bestow all his might and power, and use all false miracles that he can to establish that seat, and that with great success, because the wickedness of the world does so deserve it: yet in such a way that only the unfaithful will perish through his deceit.
(m) Which are partly false, and partly done to establish a falsehood.

2Th 2:11

2:11 And for this cause God shall send them {n} strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

(n) A most mighty working to deceive them.

2Th 2:12

2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but {o} had pleasure in unrighteousness.

(o) They liked lies so much that they had pleasure in them, which is the greatest madness that may exist.

2Th 2:13

2:13 {10} But 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 {p} sanctification of the Spirit and {q} belief of the truth:

(10) The elect will stand steadfast and safe from all these mischiefs. Now election is known by these testimonies: faith is increased by sanctification: faith, by that which we grant to the truth; truth, by calling, through the preaching of the Gospel: from where we come at length to a certain hope of glorification.
(p) To sanctify you.
(q) Faith which does not lay hold upon lies, but upon the truth of God, which is the Gospel.

2Th 2:14

2:14 Whereunto he called you by our {r} gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(r) By our preaching.

2Th 2:15

2:15 {11} Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

(11) The conclusion: it remains then that we continue in the doctrine which was delivered to us by the mouth and writings of the apostles, through the free good will of God, who comforts us with an invincible hope, and that we also continue in all godliness our whole life long.

2Th 3:1

3:1 Finally, {1} brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have [free] course, and be glorified, even as [it is] with you:

(1) He adds now consequently according to his manner, various admonitions: the first of them is, that they pray for the increase and passage of the Gospel, and for the safety of the faithful ministers of it.

2Th 3:2

3:2 And that we may be delivered from {a} unreasonable and wicked men: {2} for all [men] have not faith.

(a) Who do not do or care about their duty.
(2) It is no wonder that the Gospel is hated by so many, seeing that faith is a rare gift of God. Nonetheless, the Church will never be destroyed by the multitude of the wicked, because it is grounded and stayed upon the faithful promise of God.

2Th 3:3

3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep [you] from {b} evil.

(b) From Satan's snares, or from evil.

2Th 3:4

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

(3) The second admonition is, that they always follow the doctrine of the apostles as a rule for their life.

2Th 3:5

3:5 {4} And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

(4) Thirdly, he diligently and earnestly admonishes them of two things which are given to us only by the grace of God, that is, of charity, and a watchful mind to the coming of Christ.

2Th 3:6

3:6 {5} 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.

(5) Fourthly, he says that idle and lazy persons ought not to be supported by the Church; indeed, they are not to be endured.

2Th 3:7

3:7 {6} For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;

(6) Lest he might seem to deal harshly with them, he sets forth himself as an example, who besides his travail in preaching, laboured with his hands, which he says he was not bound to do.

2Th 3:10

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

(c) What will we do then with those fat lazy monks, and sacrificing priests? A monk (says Socrates, book eight, of his Tripartite History) who does not work with hands, is like a thief.

2Th 3:11

3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among {7} you disorderly, working not at all, {8} but are busybodies.

(7) How great a fault idleness is, he declares in that God created no man in vain or to no purpose, neither is there any to whom he has not allotted as it were a certain position and place. From which it follows, that the order which God has appointed is troubled by the idle, indeed broken, which is great sin and wickedness.
(8) He reprehends a vice, which is joined with the former, upon which follows an infinite sort of mischiefs: that is, that there are none more busy in other men's matters, than they who neglect their own.

2Th 3:12

3:12 {9} Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

(9) The Lord commands and the apostles pray in the name of Christ, first, that no man be idle, and next, that every man quietly and carefully sees to do his duty in that office and calling in which the Lord has placed him.

2Th 3:13

3:13 {10} But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

(10) We must take heed that the unworthiness of some men does not cause us to be slack in well-doing.

2Th 3:14

3:14 {11} And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no {12} company with him, {13} that he may be ashamed.

(11) Excommunication is a punishment for the obstinate.
(12) We must have no familiarity or fellowship with the one who has been excommunicated.
(13) The end of the excommunication is not the destruction, but the salvation of the sinner, that at least through shame he may be driven to repentance.

2Th 3:15

3:15 {14} Yet count [him] not as an enemy, but admonish [him] as a brother.

(14) We must avoid familiarity with the one who has been excommunicated in such a way, that we diligently seek every occasion and means that may be, to bring them again into the right way.

2Th 3:16

3:16 {15} Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord [be] with you all.

(15) Prayers are the seals of all exhortations.

2Th 3:17

3:17 {16} The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.

(16) The apostle writes the conclusion of his letter with his own hand, so that false letters might not be brought and put in place of true ones.