King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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1 Thessalonians 2

The apostle reminds the Thessalonians of his preaching and behaviour. (1-12) And of their receiving the gospel as the word of God. (13-16) His joy on their account. (17-20)

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The apostle reminds the Thessalonians of his preaching and behaviour

1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:

2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:

4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:

6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.

7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

And of their receiving the gospel as the word of God

13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:

15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:

16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

His joy on their account

17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.

18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

20 For ye are our glory and joy.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Vain. Our entrance among you was not in vain fables, or lies; our preaching was not in trifles: (Œcumenius) or rather was not without fruit. Others have spoken of it every where; but why refer you to others when yourselves know that it was every where followed by abundance of good works, faith, patience? &c. Estius.

Ver. 3. Our exhortation was not proceeding from error.[1] That is, was not by promoting errors, or uncleanness. Wi.

Ver. 4. As we were approved of and chosen by God to announce his gospel, we have tried to correspond with his designs; and we speak in a spirit of disinterestedness, not to please men, but God. Being chosen by God, it is to him we must render an account. Have we spoken to you in words of flattery? Have we disguised the gospel truth, or concealed its austerity? Have we made piety a cloak for avarice? &c. Calmet.

Ver. 5. Nor taken an occasion of covetousness. Not so as to make the gospel a cloak for gain-sake. Wi.

Ver. 7. But we became little,[2] by our carriage, and by our humility and kindness. In the Greek, made ourselves gentle, good natured, &c. Wi.

Ver. 8. Because you were become most dear to us. Lit. desiring you.[3] S. Chrys. admires the tender expressions of love in S. Paul. Wi.

Ver. 10. You are witnesses. We must necessarily conclude that the apostle speaks this not from vain glory, or personal vanity; but in the just right of defending his own character against the aspersions of enemies, and lest the faith of any might be staggered by the calumnies. In such cases self-praise is not only lawful, but frequently an imperative duty, if confined within the limits of truth. A.

Ver. 13. The word[4] of the hearing of God, which can only signify the word of God you heard from us. Wi.

Ver. 16. To full up the measure of their sins, after which God’s justice would punish them. Wi. — The Jews filled up the measure of their iniquities by the opposition they every where manifested to the religion of Christ. The earliest Fathers of the Church testify that they dispersed people into every nation to blaspheme the name of Christ; and hence sprang the evil fame which Christians bore among the pagans. See the apologies of S. Justin, Tertullian, Origen, &c. — For the wrath of God is come upon them to the end. It seems a foretelling of their entire destruction, which happened not long after under Vespasian and Adrian. Wi.

Ver. 17. Being taken away from[5] you. Lit. become desolate, because of our separation from you. Wi.

Ver. 18. Satan hindered us. That is, has raised such an aversion to me among the pagans and Jews of Thessalonica, that my friends do not think it safe I should come among you. I am now detained from you by violence; but when this life is past, you shall form my joy and my crown. I will present you at the tribunal of my Saviour, and say: Behold me and my children; behold the fruits of my labours, the proofs of my fidelity, and my claims for a recompense. Calmet. — If the apostle here calls his disciples his hope, joy, glory, why may we not call the blessed Virgin Mary, or other saints, their joy and hope, for the special confidence they have in their prayers?

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[1] V. 3. De errore, &c. i.e. ex errore, ek planes, &c.

[2] V. 7. Parvuli: and so nepioi, in divers Greek copies; but in the common copies, epioi, placidi.

[3] V. 8. Desiderantes vos, imeiromenoi umon. See Legh’s Crit. Sacra.

[4] V. 13. Verbum auditus Dei, logon akoes.

[5] V. 17. Desolati a vobis, aporphanisthentes.