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3. Warning Against Idleness

1Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run and be glorified, even as also it is with you; 2and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and evil men; for all have not faith. 3But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and guard you from the evil one. 4And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command. 5And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of Christ. 6Now 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 they received of us. 7For yourselves know how ye ought to imitate us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 8neither did we eat bread for nought at any man's hand, but in labor and travail, working night and day, that we might not burden any of you: 9not because we have not the right, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you, that ye should imitate us. 10For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, If any will not work, neither let him eat. 11For we hear of some that walk among you disorderly, that work not at all, but are busybodies. 12Now them that are such we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 13But ye, brethren, be not weary in well-doing. 14And if any man obeyeth not our word by this epistle, note that man, that ye have no company with him, to the end that he may be ashamed. 15And yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 16Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all. 17The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. 18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

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2Th 3:1-18. He Asks Their Prayers: His Confidence in Them: Prayer for Them: Charges against Disorderly Idle Conduct; His Own Example: Concluding Prayer and Salutation.

1. Finally—literally, "As to what remains."

may have free course—literally, "may run"; spread rapidly without a drag on the wheels of its course. That the new-creating word may "run," as "swiftly" as the creative word at the first (Ps 147:15). The opposite is the word of God being "bound" (2Ti 2:9).

glorified—by sinners accepting it (Ac 13:48; Ga 1:23, 24). Contrast "evil spoken of" (1Pe 4:14).

as it is with you—(1Th 1:6; 4:10; 5:11).

2. that we … be delivered from unreasonable … men—literally, men out of place, inept, unseemly: out of the way bad: more than ordinarily bad. An undesigned coincidence with Ac 18:5-9. Paul was now at Corinth, where the Jews "opposed themselves" to his preaching: in answer to his prayers and those of his converts at Thessalonica and elsewhere, "the Lord, in vision," assured him of exemption from "the hurt," and of success in bringing in "much people." On the unreasonable, out-of-the way perversity of the Jews, as known to the Thessalonians, see 1Th 2:15, 16.

have not faith—or as Greek, "the faith" of the Christian: the only antidote to what is "unreasonable and wicked." The Thessalonians, from their ready acceptance of the Gospel (1Th 1:5, 6), might think "all" would similarly receive it; but the Jews were far from having such a readiness to believe the truth.

3. faithful—alluding to "faith" (2Th 3:2): though many will not believe, the Lord (other very old manuscripts read "God") is still to be believed in as faithful to His promises (1Th 5:24; 2Ti 2:13). Faith on the part of man answers to faithfulness on the part of God.

stablish you—as he had prayed (2Th 2:17). Though it was on himself that wicked men were making their onset, he turns away from asking the Thessalonians' prayers for HIS deliverance (2Th 3:2: so unselfish was he, even in religion), to express his assurance of THEIR establishment in the faith, and preservation from evil. This assurance thus exactly answers to his prayer for them (2Th 2:17), "Our Lord … stablish you in every good word and work." He has before his mind the Lord's Prayer, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil"; where, as here, the translation may be, "from the evil one"; the great hinderer of "every good word and work." Compare Mt 13:19, "the wicked one."

4. we have confidence in the Lord—as "faithful" (2Th 3:3). Have confidence in no man when left to himself [Bengel].

that ye both do—Some of the oldest manuscripts insert a clause, "that ye both have done" before, "and are doing, and will do." He means the majority by "ye," not all of them (compare 2Th 3:11; 2Th 1:3; 1Th 3:6).

5. If "the Lord" be here the Holy Ghost (2Co 3:17), the three Persons of the Trinity will occur in this verse.

love of God—love to God.

patient waiting for Christ—rather as Greek, "the patience (endurance) of Christ," namely, which Christ showed [Alford] (2Th 2:4; 1Th 1:3). Estius, however, supports English Version (compare Re 1:9; 3:10). At all events, this grace, "patience," or persevering endurance, is connected with the "hope" (1Th 1:3, 10) of Christ's coming. In Alford's translation we may compare Heb 12:1, 2, "Run with patience (endurance) … looking to Jesus … who, for the joy that was before Him, endured the cross"; so WE are to endure, as looking for the hope to be realized at His coming (Heb 10:36, 37).