1 Thessalonians 5:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

New Living Translation
When people are saying, "Everything is peaceful and secure," then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman's labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.

English Standard Version
While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

New American Standard Bible
While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.

King James Bible
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When they say, "Peace and security," then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains come on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

International Standard Version
When people say, "There is peace and security," destruction will strike them as suddenly as labor pains come to a pregnant woman, and they will not be able to escape.

NET Bible
Now when they are saying, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
When they shall say, “There is peace and quiet”, then suddenly destruction shall arise upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they shall not escape.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When people say, "Everything is safe and sound!" destruction will suddenly strike them. It will be as sudden as labor pains come to a pregnant woman. They won't be able to escape.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction shall come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

King James 2000 Bible
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

American King James Version
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes on them, as travail on a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

American Standard Version
When they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For when they shall say, peace and security; then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape.

Darby Bible Translation
When they may say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon her that is with child; and they shall in no wise escape.

English Revised Version
When they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape.

Webster's Bible Translation
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Weymouth New Testament
While they are saying "Peace and safety!" then in a moment destruction falls upon them, like birth-pains on a woman who is with child; and escape there is none.

World English Bible
For when they are saying, "Peace and safety," then sudden destruction will come on them, like birth pains on a pregnant woman; and they will in no way escape.

Young's Literal Translation
for when they may say, Peace and surety, then sudden destruction doth stand by them, as the travail doth her who is with child, and they shall not escape;
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - For; the best manuscripts omit this conjunction; the description is continuous. When they shall say; namely, the unbelieving world. Peace and safety; peace denoting internal rest, and safety external security. Sudden destruction cometh upon them. When they thought themselves most secure, they were then in the greatest danger; when they were most off their guard, then the crisis came. As travail upon a woman with child. The primary point of resemblance is certainly the suddenness and unexpectedness of the event; as labor comes upon a woman suddenly, so sudden destruction cometh upon the ungodly world. Still, however, the unavoidableness of the judgment may also be here intimated; there is no possibility of escape: this is implied in the last clause, and they shall not escape.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For when they shall say,.... Or men shall say, that is, wicked and ungodly men, persons in a state of unregeneracy:

peace and safety; when they shall sing a requiem, to themselves, promise themselves much ease and peace for years to come, and imagine their persons and property to be very secure from enemies and oppressors, and shall flatter themselves with much and long temporal happiness:

then sudden destruction cometh upon them; as on the men of the old world in the times of Noah, and on the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Lot; for as these, will be the days of the Son of man, as at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, so at the last day; see Luke 17:26 and as was the destruction of literal Babylon, so of Babylon in a mystical sense, or antichrist and his followers: and which will be

as travail upon a woman with child; whose anguish and pains are very sharp, the cause of which is within herself, and which come suddenly upon her, and are unavoidable; and so the metaphor expresses the sharpness and severity of the destruction of the wicked, thus the calamities on the Jewish nation are expressed by a word which signifies the sorrows, pangs, and birth throes of a woman in travail, Matthew 24:8, and likewise that the cause of it is from themselves, their own sins and transgressions; and also the suddenness of it, which will come upon them in the midst of all their mirth, jollity, and security; and moreover, the inevitableness of it, it will certainly come at the full and appointed time, though that is not known:

and they shall not escape; the righteous judgment of God, the wrath of the Lamb, or falling into his hands; to escape is impossible, rocks, hills, and mountains will not cover and hide them; before the judgment seat of Christ they must stand, and into everlasting punishment must they go.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. they—the men of the world. 1Th 5:5, 6; 1Th 4:13, "others," all the rest of the world save Christians.

Peace—(Jud 18:7, 9, 27, 28; Jer 6:14; Eze 13:10).

then—at the very moment when they least expect it. Compare the case of Belshazzar, Da 5:1-5, 6, 9, 26-28; Herod, Ac 12:21-23.

sudden—"unawares" (Lu 21:34).

as travail—"As the labor pang" comes in an instant on the woman when otherwise engaged (Ps 48:6; Isa 13:8).

shall not escape—Greek, "shall not at all escape." Another awful feature of their ruin: there shall be then no possibility of shunning it however they desire it (Am 9:2, 3; Re 6:15, 16).

1 Thessalonians 5:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Day of the Lord
2For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;…
Cross References
Job 15:21
Terrifying sounds fill his ears; when all seems well, marauders attack him.

Psalm 35:8
may ruin overtake them by surprise-- may the net they hid entangle them, may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.

Psalm 55:15
Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the realm of the dead, for evil finds lodging among them.

Psalm 69:22
May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and a trap.

Isaiah 20:6
In that day the people who live on this coast will say, 'See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! How then can we escape?'"

Isaiah 21:3
At this my body is racked with pain, pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor; I am staggered by what I hear, I am bewildered by what I see.

Isaiah 29:5
But your many enemies will become like fine dust, the ruthless hordes like blown chaff. Suddenly, in an instant,

Isaiah 47:9
Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells.

Isaiah 47:11
Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.

Jeremiah 6:14
They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace.

Jeremiah 8:11
They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. "Peace, peace," they say, when there is no peace.

Jeremiah 14:19
Have you rejected Judah completely? Do you despise Zion? Why have you afflicted us so that we cannot be healed? We hoped for peace but no good has come, for a time of healing but there is only terror.

Ezekiel 13:10
"'Because they lead my people astray, saying, "Peace," when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash,

John 16:21
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.

2 Thessalonians 1:9
They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might
Treasury of Scripture

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes on them, as travail on a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Peace.

Deuteronomy 29:19 And it come to pass, when he hears the words of this curse, that …

Judges 18:27,28 And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which …

Psalm 10:11-13 He has said in his heart, God has forgotten: he hides his face; he …

Isaiah 21:4 My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure …

Isaiah 56:12 Come you, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves …

Daniel 5:3-6 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple …

Nahum 1:10 For while they be entwined together as thorns, and while they are …

Matthew 24:37-39 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be…

Luke 17:26-30 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days …

Luke 21:34,35 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged …

then.

Exodus 15:9,10 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the …

Joshua 8:20-22 And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, …

Judges 20:41,42 And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were …

2 Chronicles 32:19-21 And they spoke against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods …

Psalm 73:18-20 Surely you did set them in slippery places: you cast them down into …

Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardens his neck, shall suddenly be …

Isaiah 30:13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, …

Luke 17:27-29 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in …

Luke 21:34,35 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged …

Acts 12:22,23 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and …

Acts 13:41 Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work …

2 Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence …

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down …

Revelation 18:7,8 How much she has glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much …

as.

Psalm 48:6 Fear took hold on them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.

Isaiah 43:6-9 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: …

Isaiah 21:3 Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold on …

Jeremiah 4:31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish …

Jeremiah 6:24 We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish has …

Jeremiah 13:21 What will you say when he shall punish you? for you have taught them …

Jeremiah 22:23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that make your nest in the cedars, how gracious …

Hosea 13:13 The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come on him: he is an unwise son…

Micah 4:9,10 Now why do you cry out aloud? is there no king in you? is your counselor …

and they.

Matthew 23:33 You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation …

Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the …

Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written …

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