1 Thessalonians 3:1-4

1 Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone,

and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith,

that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.

For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.

therefore (v.1) — because of Paul’s affection for them and his (frustrated) desire to see them again (1 Thessalonians 2:17-20).

endure (v.1) = lit.” by covering to keep off” — to bear up against, to hold out against, bear, forbear — Paul could no longer endure  the suspense of being away from them while not knowing how they were holding up

we (v.1) — Paul, Timothy and Silas all loved the Thessalonians and they all though it best for Paul to be left in Athens alone while they went to visit.

Athens (v.1) — Acts 17:15

alone (v.1) — Acts 17:16 is no contradiction. Verse 16 explains. It was after Paul’s discourse at Mars Hill that Timothy was evidently reunited with him again and then sent back to the Thessalonians. — Stam, page 45.

establish (v.2) = fix firmly, strengthen, support

encourage (v.2) — with the idea of comforting

shaken (v.3) = lit. “to wag the tail” — perturbed, disturb, beguile, agitate, move — Paul wanted to be sure the afflictions wouldn’t move them away from the faith — the opposite of “establish” in v.2.

we are appointed to this (v.3) — For believers, persecution is not an ultimate destiny but a temporary experience endured as a means to an end — Acts 9:16; Acts 14:22; 1 Corinthians 4:9; 2 Timothy 3:12

we told you before (v.4) — continuous tense — “we used to tell you …”

you know (v.4) — from personal experience

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