1 Thessalonians 5:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
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.

Berean Study Bible
While people are saying, "Peace and security," destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Berean Literal Bible
For when they might say, "Peace and security," then suddenly destruction comes upon them, as the labor pains to her having in womb; and they shall 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.

New Heart 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.

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.

New American Standard 1977
While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not 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;
Study Bible
The Day of the Lord
2For you are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, “Peace and security,” destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you, brothers, are not in the darkness so that this day should overtake you like a thief.…
Cross References
Job 15:21
"Sounds of terror are in his ears; While at peace the destroyer comes upon him.

Psalm 35:8
Let destruction come upon him unawares, And let the net which he hid catch himself; Into that very destruction let him fall.

Psalm 55:15
Let death come deceitfully upon them; Let them go down alive to Sheol, For evil is in their dwelling, in their midst.

Psalm 69:22
May their table before them become a snare; And when they are in peace, may it become a trap.

Isaiah 20:6
"So the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, 'Behold, such is our hope, where we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria; and we, how shall we escape?'"

Isaiah 21:3
For this reason my loins are full of anguish; Pains have seized me like the pains of a woman in labor. I am so bewildered I cannot hear, so terrified I cannot see.

Isaiah 29:5
But the multitude of your enemies will become like fine dust, And the multitude of the ruthless ones like the chaff which blows away; And it will happen instantly, suddenly.

Isaiah 47:9
"But these two things will come on you suddenly in one day: Loss of children and widowhood. They will come on you in full measure In spite of your many sorceries, In spite of the great power of your spells.

Isaiah 47:11
"But evil will come on you Which you will not know how to charm away; And disaster will fall on you For which you cannot atone; And destruction about which you do not know Will come on you suddenly.

Jeremiah 6:14
"They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, 'Peace, peace,' But there is no peace.
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 …

(3) They.--Quite vague and general, like the French on. The plural is so used frequently in St. Luke (Luke 12:11; Luke 12:20, margin; Luke 16:9, probably; Luke 23:29-31). Of course, however, no Christian could say so, for they are ever on the watch, so that "they" will mean "the world." The word "for" at the beginning of the verse should (according to the best MSS.) be struck out--the abruptness helps to enforce the lesson.

Peace and safety.--Carrying on the thought suggested by the word "night; they are taking their repose in security, without dreaming of any interruption to their slumbers. Is it possible that there may here be a faint recollection of the parable related in Matthew 25:1-13?

Destruction cometh upon them.--Literally, stands over them; or takes its stand over them; presents itself. The present tense is used for the sake of a more vivid effect. The extreme similarity of this passage to Luke 21:34 (with other indications) inclines Bishop Wordsworth to think that the Thessalonians had the Gospel of St. Luke to refer to.

As travail.--A common Oriental simile to express not only suddenness, but horror also. Theodoret fairly says, "The woman with child knows that she has the child to bear, but knows not the exact time for her pangs; so we also know that the Lord of all will appear, but the moment itself we have by no means been explicitly taught." The comment, however, hardly suits this passage, as the persons on whom the destruction will thus burst are not persons who live in any expectation of such a judgment.

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. 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. 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).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.
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