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THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS - Chapter 2 - Verse 15

Verse 15. Who both killed the Lord Jesus. See Barnes "Ac 2:23".

The meaning here is, that it was characteristic of the Jews to be engaged in the work of persecution, and that they should not regard it strange, that they who had put their own Messiah to death, and slain the prophets, should now be found persecuting the true children of God.

And their own prophets. See Barnes "Mt 21:33, and following; See Barnes "Mt 23:20-37, and following; See Barnes "Ac 7:52".

 

And have persecuted us. As at Iconium, (Ac 14:1,) Derbe, and Lystra, (Ac 14:6) and at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. The meaning is, that it was characteristic of them to persecute, and they spared no one. If they had persecuted the apostles themselves, who were their own countrymen, it should not be considered strange that they should persecute those who were Gentiles.

And they please not God. Their conduct is not such as to please God, but such as expose them to his wrath, 1 Th 2:16. The meaning is, not that they did not aim to please God—whatever may have been the truth about that—but that they had shown, by all their history, that their conduct could not meet with the Divine approbation. They made extraordinary pretensions to being the peculiar people of God, and it was important for the apostle to show that their conduct demonstrated that they had no such claims. Their opposition to the Thessalonians, therefore, was no proof that God was opposed to them, and they should not allow themselves to be troubled by such opposition. It was, rather, proof that they were the friends of God—since those who now persecuted them had been engaged in persecuting the most holy men that had lived.

And are contrary to all men. They do not merely differ from other men in customs and opinions—which might be harmless— but they keep up an active opposition to all other people. It was not opposition to one nation only, but to all; it was not to one form of religion only, but to all, even including God's last revelation to mankind; it was not opposition evinced in their own country, but they carried it with them wherever they went. The truth of this statement is confirmed, not only by authority of the apostle and the uniform record in the New Testament, but by the testimony borne of them in the classic writers. This was universally regarded as their national characteristic, for they had so demeaned themselves as to leave this impression on the minds of those with whom they had intercourse. Thus Tacitus describes them as "cherishing hatred against all others"—adversus omnes alios hostile odium, Hist. v. 5. So Juvenal, (Sat. xiv. 103, 104,) describes them.

Non monstrare vias eadem nisi sacra colenti,

Quasitum ad fontem solos deducere verpos.

"They would not even point out the way to any one except of the same religion; nor, being asked, guide any to a fountain except the circumcised." So they are called by Appollonius, "atheists and misanthropes, and the most uncultivated barbarians"—ayeoi kai misanyrwpoi kai afuestatoi twn barbarwn Josephus Con. Ap. ii, 15. So Diodorus Sicuhs, (xxxiv. p. 524,) describes them as "those alone among all the nations who were unwilling to have any intercourse [or intermingling—epimixiav] with any other nation, and who regarded all others as enemies"—kai polemiouv upolambanein pantav-. Their history had given abundant occasion for these charges.

{a} "their own prophets" Ac 7:52 {1} "persecuted us" "chased us out" {+} "contrary to all men" "Against all men"

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