|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-5 It is needless or useless to ask about the particular time of Christ's coming. Christ did not reveal this to the apostles. There are times and seasons for us to work in, and these are our duty and interest to know and observe; but as to the time when we must give up our account, we know it not, nor is it needful that we should. The coming of Christ will be a great surprise to men. Our Lord himself said so. As the hour of death is the same to each person that the judgment will be to mankind in general, so the same remarks answer for both. Christ's coming will be terrible to the ungodly. Their destruction will overtake them while they dream of happiness, and please themselves with vain amusements. There will be no means to escape the terror or the punishment of that day. This day will be a happy day to the righteous. They are not in darkness; they are the children of the light. It is the happy condition of all true Christians. But how many are speaking peace and safety to themselves, over whose heads utter destruction is hovering! Let us endeavour to awaken ourselves and each other, and guard against our spiritual enemies.
Verse 1. - This verse is connected with what precedes. The apostle was comforting the Thessalonians under the loss of their deceased friends by the assurance that both the living and the dead would be gathered together at the advent. The question would naturally arise, "When shall these things be?" (Luke 21:7); and it would appear that the Thessalonians expected an immediate advent. The apostle represses their curiosity on this point by reminding them of the uncertainty of the time of the Lord's coming. But of the times and the seasons, brethren; that is, of the time and the precise period of the Lord's advent. "Times" and "seasons" are elsewhere united together (Ecclesiastes 3; Daniel 2:21; Acts 1:7). The word translated "times" denotes time absolutely without regard to circumstances; and the word rendered "seasons" denotes a definite point of time; not merely the day, but the hour (Mark 13:32). Ye have no need that I write unto you; literally, that ought be written unto you (R.V.); comp. 1 Thessalonians 4:9. The reason why it was not needful for the apostle to write unto them was, not because he regarded the information unprofitable or superfluous, or because he knew it to be impossible, but because he had already informed them when at Thessalonica that the time of the advent was beyond the sphere of his teaching. The apostle mentions this to repress that vain curiosity which is natural to man, and which was the occasion of so much disorder among the Thessalonians. Our duty is, not to pry into the times and seasons which the Father hath put in his own power (Acts 1:7), but to exercise constant watchfulness.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But of the times and the seasons, brethren,.... Of the coming of Christ, his "appointed time" and "his day", as the Ethiopic version renders it; of the resurrection of the dead in Christ first, and of the rapture of all the saints in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, things treated of in the preceding chapter: and which might excite a curiosity to know the times and seasons of them; as in what year they would come to pass; in what season of the year, whether winter or summer; in what month, and on what day of the month; and whether in the night season, or in the daytime; and in what hour, whether at midnight, cockcrowing, morning, or noonday: to repress which the apostle observes,
ye have no need that I write unto you; to write to them concerning the things themselves was necessary and useful, to stir up and encourage their faith, hope, and expectation of them; to allay their grief for departed friends, and to comfort one another under the various trials and exercises of life; but to write to them about the time of these things would be trifling and unnecessary, would be an idle speculation, and an indulging a vain curiosity; and, besides, was impracticable: for of that day and hour knows no man; the times and seasons the Father hath put in his own power; for these things are equally true of Christ's second coming, as of the kingdom of Christ coming with power and glory, and of the destruction of Jerusalem, Matthew 24:36. The Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions read, "ye have no need that we write unto you"; the reason follows;
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1Th 5:1-28. The Suddenness of Christ's Coming a Motive for Watchfulness; Various Precepts: Prayer for Their Being Found Blameless, Body, Soul, and Spirit, at Christ's Coming: Conclusion.
1. times—the general and indefinite term for chronological periods.
seasons—the opportune times (Da 7:12; Ac 1:7). Time denotes quantity; season, quality. Seasons are parts of times.
ye have no need—those who watch do not need to be told when the hour will come, for they are always ready [Bengel].
cometh—present: expressing its speedy and awful certainty.
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