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9How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? 10Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.


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9. For what thankswhat sufficient thanks?

render … again—in return for His goodness (Ps 116:12).

for you—"concerning you."

for all the joy—on account of all the joy. It was "comfort," 1Th 3:7, now it is more, namely, joy.

for your sakes—on your account.

before our God—It is a joy which will bear God's searching eye: a joy as in the presence of God, not self-seeking, but disinterested, sincere, and spiritual (compare 1Th 2:20; Joh 15:11).

10. Night and day—(See on 1Th 2:9). Night is the season for the saint's holiest meditations and prayers (2Ti 1:3).

praying—connected with, "we joy"; we joy while we pray; or else as Alford, What thanks can we render to God while we pray? The Greek implies a beseeching request.

exceedingly—literally, "more than exceeding abundantly" (compare Eph 3:20).

that which is lacking—Even the Thessalonians had points in which they needed improvement [Bengel], (Lu 17:5). Their doctrinal views as to the nearness of Christ's coming, and as to the state of those who had fallen asleep, and their practice in some points, needed correction (1Th 4:1-9). Paul's method was to begin by commending what was praiseworthy, and then to correct what was amiss; a good pattern to all admonishers of others.

11. Translate, "May God Himself, even our Father (there being but one article in the Greek, requires this translation, 'He who is at once God and our Father'), direct," &c. The "Himself" stands in contrast with "we" (1Th 2:18); we desired to come but could not through Satan's hindrance; but if God Himself direct our way (as we pray), none can hinder Him (2Th 2:16, 17). It is a remarkable proof of the unity of the Father and Son, that in the Greek here, and in 2Th 2:16, 17, the verb is singular, implying that the subject, the Father and Son, are but one in essential Being, not in mere unity of will. Almost all the chapters in both Epistles to the Thessalonians are sealed, each with its own prayer (1Th 5:23; 2Th 1:11; 2:16; 3:5, 16) [Bengel]. Paul does not think the prosperous issue of a journey an unfit subject for prayer (Ro 1:10; 15:32) [Edmunds]. His prayer, though the answer was deferred, in about five years afterwards was fulfilled in his return to Macedonia.

12. The "you" in the Greek is emphatically put first; "But" (so the Greek for "and") what concerns "YOU," whether we come or not, "may the Lord make you to increase and abound in love," &c. The Greek for "increase" has a more positive force; that for "abound" a more comparative force, "make you full (supplying 'that which is lacking,' 1Th 3:10) and even abound." "The Lord" may here be the Holy Spirit; so the Three Persons of the Trinity will be appealed to (compare 1Th 3:13), as in 2Th 3:5. So the Holy Ghost is called "the Lord" (2Co 3:17). "Love" is the fruit of the Spirit (Ga 5:22), and His office is "to stablish in holiness" (1Th 3:13; 1Pe 1:2).




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