|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:7-12 Mildness and tenderness greatly recommend religion, and are most conformable to God's gracious dealing with sinners, in and by the gospel. This is the way to win people. We should not only be faithful to our calling as Christians, but in our particular callings and relations. Our great gospel privilege is, that God has called us to his kingdom and glory. The great gospel duty is, that we walk worthy of God. We should live as becomes those called with such a high and holy calling. Our great business is to honour, serve, and please God, and to seek to be worthy of him.
Verse 11. - As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children. The translation of this verse is somewhat faulty; it ought to be, as in the R.V., as ye know how we dealt with each one of you, as a father with his own children, exhorting you, and encouraging you, and testifying. Paul here changes the image from that of a nursing mother to that of a father; because then he was speaking of his tender care for his converts, whereas here he speaks of the instructions and admonitions which he gave them; as a mother he nourished their spiritual life, and as a father he superintended their spiritual education. "Exhorting and comforting and charging;" representing three modes of the apostle's instructions: "exhorting" denotes also encouraging and consoling; "comforting" denotes supporting and sustaining ("Comfort the feeble minded," 1 Thessalonians 5:14); and "charging" denotes testifying or protesting - a solemn pressing home of the exhortation to the hearers.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As you know,.... This is added to the end of the last verse in the Arabic version, and which begins this verse thus, "as one of you, and as a father comforting his sons, so we", &c. but for what is said in the former verse, an appeal is made both to God and to the Thessalonians, so that there is no need of adding such a clause there; it properly stands here in connection with what follows,
how we exhorted; to flee from wrath to come, and to Christ for refuge; to look to, and believe in him, as the only Saviour of lost sinners; to perform the duties of religion, and to continue in the faith; to cleave to Christ, and walk on in him as they had received him, and to abide by the truths and ordinances of the Gospel they had embraced:
and comforted; under a sense of sin, with the soul comforting doctrines of free justification by the righteousness of Christ, of full pardon by his blood, and of a plenary satisfaction and atonement by his sacrifice; and under all their afflictions and persecutions for the sake of Christ, with exceeding great and precious promises of the presence, grace, and strength of Christ here, and glory hereafter:
and charged everyone of you; not only publicly, but privately, going from house to house; not in an austere and domineering way, but with the greatest tenderness, and yet faithfulness: even
as a father doth his children; not only in an authoritative, but in an affectionate way, and also with solid wisdom and judgment; for in such a relation, in a Spiritual sense, did the apostle and his fellow ministers stand in to them; see 1 Corinthians 4:15 and the substance of the charge is as follows:
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. exhorted and comforted—Exhortation leads one to do a thing willingly; consolation, to do it joyfully [Bengel], (1Th 5:14). Even in the former term, "exhorted," the Greek includes the additional idea of comforting and advocating one's cause: "encouragingly exhorted." Appropriate in this case, as the Thessalonians were in sorrow, both through persecutions, and also through deaths of friends (1Th 4:13).
charged—"conjured solemnly," literally, "testifying"; appealing solemnly to you before God.
every one of you—in private (Ac 20:20), as well as publicly. The minister, if he would be useful, must not deal merely in generalities, but must individualize and particularize.
as a father—with mild gravity. The Greek is, "his own children."
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