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

Verse 2. But even after that we had suffered before. Before we came among you.

And were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, Ac 16:19, seq. By being beaten and cast into prison. The shame of the treatment consisted in the fact that it was wholly undeserved; that it was contrary to the laws; and that it was accompanied with circumstances designed to make their punishment as ignominious as possible. The Thessalonians knew of this, and Paul was not disposed to palliate the conduct of the Philippians. What was "shameful treatment" he speaks of as such without hesitation. It is not wrong to call things by their right names, and when we have been abused, it is not necessary that we should attempt to smoothe the matter over by saying that it was not so.

We were bold in our God. By humble dependence on the support of our God. It was only his powerful aid that could have enabled them to persevere with ardour and zeal in such a work after such treatment. The meaning here is, that they were not deterred from preaching the gospel by the treatment which they had received, but at the very next important town, and on the first opportunity, they proclaimed the same truth, though there was no security that they might not meet with the same persecution there. Paul evidently appeals to this in order to show them that they were not impostors, and that they were not influenced by the hope of ease or of selfish gains. Men who were not sincere and earnest in their purposes would have been deterred by such treatment as they had received at Philippi.

With much contention. Amidst much opposition, and where great effort was necessary. The Greek word here used is agwn (agony,) a word referring usually to the Grecian games. See Barnes "Col 2:1".

It means the course, or place of contest; and then the contest itself, the strife, the combat, the effort for victory; and the apostle here means, that, owing to the opposition there, there was need of an effort on his part like the desperate struggles of those who contended for the mastery at the Grecian games. Comp. Notes on 1 Co 9:24-27. The triumph of the gospel there was secured only by an effort of the highest kind, and by overcoming the most formidable opposition.

{a} "at Philippi we" Ac 16:12 {b} "bold" Ac 17:2,3 {c} "contention" Jude 1:3

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