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THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 9

Verse 9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction. See Barnes "Mt 25:41,46".

The word which is here rendered destruction (oleyron,) is different from that which occurs in Mt 25:46, and which is there rendered punishment kolasiv. The word oleyron —occurs only here and in 1 Co 5:5; 1 Th 5:8; 1 Ti 6:9; in each of which places it is rendered destruction. It does not denote annihilation, but is used in the same sense in which we use the word when we say that a thing is destroyed. Thus health is destroyed when it fails; property is destroyed when it is burned, or sunk in the ocean; a limb is-destroyed that is lost in battle; life is destroyed when one dies. In the case before us, the destruction, whatever it be, is

(1.) to be continued for ever; and

(2.) is to be of the nature of punishment. The meaning then must be, that the soul is destroyed as to the great purposes of its being with enjoyment, dignity, honour, holiness, happiness. It will not be annihilated, but will live and linger on in destruction. It seems difficult to conceive how any one can profess to hold that this passage is a part of the word of God, and yet deny the doctrine of future eternal punishment. It would not be possible to state that doctrine in clearer language than this. It never is stated in clearer language in any creed or confession of faith; and if it be not true that the wicked will be punished for ever, it must be admitted that it would not have been possible to reveal the doctrine in human language.

From the presence of the Lord. That is, a part of their punishment will consist in being banished from the immediate presence of the Lord. There is a sense in which God is everywhere present, and in that sense he will be in the world where the wicked will dwell, to punish them. But the phrase is also used to denote his more immediate presence; the place where are the symbols of his majesty and glory; the home of the holy and the blessed. It is in that sense that the word is used here; and the idea is, that it will be one of the circumstances contributing to the deeper woe of the place of punishment, that those who dwell there will be banished from that holy abode, and will never be permitted to enter there.

And from the glory of his power. The meaning seems to be, that they will not be able to endure the manifestation of his power and majesty when he shall appear, but will be driven away by it into outer darkness. See 2 Th 2:8. The Saviour, in describing his Second Advent, uses this language: "They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory," Mt 24:30. There will be a great exhibition of both. The power will be seen in the convulsions of nature, which will precede or attend him; in the resurrection of the dead; and in the bringing of all to judgment. And the glory will be seen in his own person; the dignity and number of his attendants; and the honour that shall then be conferred on him as the final Judge of all mankind. By the manifestation of that power and glory the wicked will be driven away into eternal ruin. They will not be able to stand before it, and though, in common with the righteous, they may see the majesty of the Redeemer in the last day, yet they will be driven away to witness it no more.

{e} "destruction from" Php 3:19; 2 Pe 3:7 {f} "glory" Isa 2:19

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