2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you,

and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.

But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you.

Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.

Finally (v.1) = lit. “for the rest,” not necessarily implying that the letter is drawing to a close, but marking a transition in the subject matter.

may run (v.1) — indicating free and rapid progress

glorified, just as it is with you (v.1) — Paul was probably referring to the effectiveness of the word in turning men to Christ, as it had with the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 1:6-10).

that we may be delivered (v.2) — The apostle … had already received the divine assurance of personal safety while he remained in Corinth [but that] did not make him independent of the prayers of the saints to this very end. The knowledge of God’s will and purpose does not render prayer superfluous. — Vine, page 131.


At Corinth … a concerted effort was made by the Jews of the synagogue, to have [Paul] condemned by the Roman proconsul and cast into prison, so as to restrain his testimony. It is interesting to notice, however, that Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue when Paul departed to the Gentiles, and Sosthenes, the next chief ruler, who was so soundly beaten before Gallio’s court, both evidently came to trust in Christ (See Acts 18:8, 17; 1 Corinthians 1:1). — Stam, page 138.

unreasonable (v.2) = lit., “out of place,” perverse, capable of outrageous conduct. Referring to their behavior

evil (v.2) = malignant, bad in influence and effect. Referring to their character. In Greek, it would read “these unreasonable and wicked men,” indicating that Paul had particular men or a particular class of men in mind, and that the Thessalonians would understand who they were—almost always the Jews.

not all have faith (v.2) — in the sense of “few do”

In Greek, the end of v.2 and beginning of v.3 reads, “Not all have faith, faithful, however, is the Lord,” emphasizing the contrast between faithless men and the faithful God.

establish you (v.3) — Paul had been talking about himself, but now returned to his readers.

the evil one (v.3) — Satan, who opposes the gospel

confidence in the Lord concerning you (v.4) — It seems clear that the meaning is “we have confidence in you, not indeed because of any natural stability of character but because of your relationship with the Lord, the sufficient source of power for all His people.” — Vine, page 132.

the things we command you (v.4) — Probably not the things he was just referring to (prayer) but the things he had told them when he was with them. As an apostle, Paul had the authority to command.

Paul was confident the Thessalonians were already doing what he commanded even though he was gone. Compare this to how Moses predicted after he left, that the Israelites would cease to obey (Deuteronomy 31:217-29), and that was the pattern under the Law (Judges 2:18-19). Under grace, God’s people do “much more” in the absence of a spiritual authority (Philippians 2:12). There are commands under grace, Pauline commands (1 Corinthians 14:37). Paul makes over 600 imperative command statements, some of which sound like the ten commandments (1 Thessalonians 4:2-3), of which he repeats 9 of the 10. — Kurth

direct (v.5) = make straight

While a too rigid exegesis is to be avoided, it may be permissible to paraphrase: “the Lord teach and enable you to love as God loves, and to be patient as Christ is patient (v.5).” — Vine, page 132.


It is highly significant that in all of Paul’s epistles he never once mentions his deep love for God or for the Lord Jesus Christ. Rather he consistently extols God’s love for him.  Stam, page 139.

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