2 Thessalonians 1:8
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

New Living Translation
in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don't know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.

English Standard Version
in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Berean Study Bible
in blazing fire. He will inflict vengeance on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Berean Literal Bible
in a fire of flame, inflicting vengeance on those not knowing God and on those not obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus,

New American Standard Bible
dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

King James Bible
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don't know God and on those who don't obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

International Standard Version
in blazing fire. He will take revenge on those who do not know God and on those who refuse to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

NET Bible
With flaming fire he will mete out punishment on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

New Heart English Bible
giving vengeance to those who do not know God, and to those who do not obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Whenever he executes vengeance in blazing fire on those who do not know God and on those who have not recognized The Good News of our Lord Yeshua The Messiah,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He will take revenge on those who refuse to acknowledge God and on those who refuse to respond to the Good News about our Lord Jesus.

New American Standard 1977
dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Jubilee Bible 2000
with flaming fire, to take vengeance on those that do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,

King James 2000 Bible
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

American King James Version
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

American Standard Version
rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus:

Douay-Rheims Bible
In a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who know not God, and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Darby Bible Translation
in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who know not God, and those who do not obey the glad tidings of our Lord Jesus Christ;

English Revised Version
in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus:

Webster's Bible Translation
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Weymouth New Testament
He will come in flames of fire to take vengeance on those who have no knowledge of God, and do not obey the Good News as to Jesus, our Lord.

World English Bible
giving vengeance to those who don't know God, and to those who don't obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus,

Young's Literal Translation
in flaming fire, giving vengeance to those not knowing God, and to those not obeying the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Study Bible
Christ's Coming
7and to grant relief to you who are oppressed, and to us as well, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels 8in blazing fire. He will inflict vengeance on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His might,…
Cross References
Psalm 79:6
Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which do not know You, And upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Your name.

Isaiah 1:28
But transgressors and sinners will be crushed together, And those who forsake the LORD will come to an end.

Jeremiah 10:25
Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You And on the families that do not call Your name; For they have devoured Jacob; They have devoured him and consumed him And have laid waste his habitation.

Romans 2:8
But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow wickedness, there will be wrath and anger.

Galatians 4:8
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.

1 Peter 4:17
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?

Jude 1:7
In like manner, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, who indulged in sexual immorality and pursued strange flesh, are on display as an example of those who sustain the punishment of eternal fire.
Treasury of Scripture

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:


Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden …

Deuteronomy 4:11 And you came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain …

Deuteronomy 5:5 (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to show you the word …

Psalm 21:8,9 Your hand shall find out all your enemies: your right hand shall …

Psalm 50:2-6 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shined…

Daniel 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands …

Matthew 25:41,46 Then shall he say also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, …

Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, …

Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

2 Peter 3:7,10-12 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are …

Revelation 20:10,14,15 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and …

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, …

taking. or, yielding vengeance.

Deuteronomy 32:35,41,42 To me belongs vengeance and recompense; their foot shall slide in …

Psalm 2:9-12 You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them in pieces …

Psalm 94:1 O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs; O God, to whom vengeance belongs, …

Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance …

Isaiah 63:4-6 For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come…

Hebrews 10:30 For we know him that has said, Vengeance belongs to me, I will recompense, …

Revelation 6:10,16,17 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true…

that know.

Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to …

1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.

Psalm 9:10 And they that know your name will put their trust in you: for you, …

Psalm 79:6 Pour out your wrath on the heathen that have not known you, and on …

Isaiah 27:11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the …

Jeremiah 9:6 Your habitation is in the middle of deceit; through deceit they refuse …

Zephaniah 1:6 And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have …

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, …

John 8:19 Then said they to him, Where is your Father? Jesus answered, You …

Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God …

1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge …

1 Thessalonians 4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

and that.

Deuteronomy 4:30 When you are in tribulation, and all these things are come on you, …

Psalm 18:44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall …

Isaiah 1:19 If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land:

Acts 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied …

Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to …

Romans 2:7,8 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and …

Romans 6:16 Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, …

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias said, Lord, who …

Romans 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ …

Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, …

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself …

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey …

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

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation …

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which …

1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification …

1 Peter 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters you …

1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: …

(8) In flaming fire.--Most critics agree to change the punctuation here, by omitting the comma after "angels" and inserting it after "fire." The flaming fire here is not the instrument of the vengeance--i.e., hell-fire--but the common pictorial attribute of the Divine Presence (Exodus 3:2; Exodus 19:18; Daniel 7:9).

Taking vengeance.--The expression in the original is one which is said to be found nowhere else in Greek literature, save in Ezekiel 25:14 (though in Hebrew there is an almost exact equivalent in Numbers 31:3), so that it is difficult to assign the correct meaning. It certainly does not mean "taking vengeance" in the sense of "taking His revenge," as though our Lord had conceived a personal grudge and were wreaking it. What it does mean would seem to be "assigning retribution:" appointing, that is, to each man what satisfaction of justice he must make. The very word for "vengeance" can only mean vengeance exacted on some one else's behalf. (Comp. 1Thessalonians 4:6, and Psalm 79:10.)

On them that know not God.--According to the Greek, the word "them" should be repeated also in the next clause. The effect will then be to mark off the culprits into two classes: "them that know not," and "them that obey not." A comparison of Ephesians 4:17-18, 1Thessalonians 4:5, shows that by the first class are meant Gentiles; a comparison of Romans 10:16; Romans 10:21 (and many other passages) will show disobedience to be the characteristic of the Jews. The Greek negative particle here is one which shows that the ignorance of the one set and the disobedience of the other were just the points for which they were to be punished: therefore, of course, only those Gentiles whose ignorance was voluntary, who chose (Romans 1:28) to be Gentiles when they might have been joined to the true God, are objects of wrath. Here, as the context shows, St. Paul is thinking chiefly of those Gentiles and Jews who actually persecuted the truth.

Obey not the gospel.--A noteworthy phrase; see the reference. The gospel, the "glad tidings," contains not only a statement of facts, but also a call to obey a law which is the outcome of the facts. Even the acceptance of evangelical promises requires a submission. (Comp. Luke 24:47; Acts 11:18; Revelation 22:3.) It is here called specially the gospel "of our Lord Jesus Christ," because the sin of the Jews (who constitute this class of sinners) consisted precisely in the wilful rejection of Jesus as the Christ.

Verse 8. - In flaming fire; not the instrument of punishment - "in flaming fire taking vengeance;" but a further description of the glory of Christ's appearance - "revealed in flaming fire." In the Old Testament God is represented as appearing in flaming fire, as when he manifested himself to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:2; Acts 7:30); and especially his coming to judgment is represented as coming in fire (Psalm 97:3). What is there asserted of God is here referred to Christ (comp. Revelation 19:22). There is also a probable reference to the Shechinah or cloud of glory in which Christ will appear for judgment trey. 1:7). Some also suppose a reference to the fire of the universal conflagration which shall usher in the last day (2 Peter 3:10), and others to the fire which shall consume the ungodly, but it is best to restrict the expression to the glory of Christ's manifestation. Taking vengeance; literally, giving; that is, awarding or allotting vengeance, representing the act, not of a conqueror or of an avenger, but of a righteous Judge. On them that know not God - the unbelieving Gentiles - and that; or rather, on them that; a second class being here denoted. Obey not the gospel of our Lord Jests Christ; namely, the unbelieving Jews. The ignorance of the one and the disobedience of the other were the causes of their punishment. In flaming fire,.... Which may either refer to Christ, who will be revealed from heaven in such a manner; and whose coming will be as the lightning, not only sudden, but glorious, illustrious, and visible; he will be seen and easily discerned; there will be such a light and flaming fire about him, which, as it will serve to make him visible, will greatly add to the majesty of his appearance, and strike terror to his enemies, and burn them up round about; see Daniel 7:7 or else it may refer to the angels, who shall descend in fiery forms, which is agreeably to their nature, Psalm 104:4 and so they appeared in the forms of horses of fire, and chariots of fire, when Elijah was carried up to heaven. And it is a tradition of the Jews (z), that the angel Gabriel descended , "in a flame of fire", to burn Moses, as he was in the inn, when upon his journey from Midian to Egypt: or this clause may be read in construction with the following, as it is in the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions, "in flaming fire taking vengeance"; and so expresses the manner in which vengeance will be taken on the wicked by Christ, the Judge of all, to whom it belongs: and the punishment of ungodly men is often signified by fire, and flames of fire, by the fire of hell, and a lake which burns with fire and brimstone, by a furnace of fire, everlasting fire, and fire that cannot be quenched, to set forth the endless torture and inconceivable misery of the damned; and it may be, some regard is had to the general conflagration, which will be at the coming of Christ, when the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth, and all that is in it, shall be burnt up, when the bodies of the wicked, then living, will be consumed in flames of fire, and their souls feel the wrath of the Almighty. The persons who will then be punished, and on whom vengeance will be taken, are described as follows,

on them that know not God; which is a periphrasis, or common character of the Gentiles, 1 Thessalonians 4:5 who know not the one, true, and living God; or know him not so as to glorify him as God, and be thankful to him for the mercies they receive from him, and still less know him in Christ Jesus; which ignorance of theirs is not without sin, nor will it excuse from punishment; for though vengeance will not be taken on them, because they have not a spiritual saving knowledge of God, in the Mediator Jesus Christ, who never was revealed to them; yet forasmuch as they had the light and law of nature, by which the being of God, and the invisible perfections of his nature might be seen and understood, and much of his will, with respect to moral good and evil, be known, against both which they have rebelled, and having sinned, will perish without law: though it may also include all such persons, who having been favoured with an external revelation, have professed to know God, and yet in works have denied him:

and that obey not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; of which Christ is the author, was the preacher, and is the sum and substance; which is good news and glad tidings of the grace of, God, of peace, pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation by Christ; which may be said to be obeyed, when it is received and embraced by faith, with and from the heart, and confession is made of it with the mouth, and the ordinances of it are submitted to; and which is called the obedience of faith, because faith without obedience is not right, and obedience without faith is of no avail: but all that hear the Gospel do not obey it; there are some that disbelieve and reject the doctrines and ordinances of it, and others that, do profess it, and do not yield a cordial and cheerful obedience to it; both may be reckoned among the disobeyers of it: and though the unbelieving Jews may be chiefly designed here, yet deists of every age and place, where the Gospel revelation has come, and carnal professors, and profane despisers everywhere, may be included; whose condemnation will be aggravated by the external light which has shone around them, and they have hated; the severest punishment will be inflicted on them; it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, Sodom and Gomorrah, than for such persons; see 1 Peter 4:17.

(z) Zohar in Gen. fol. 63. 2.8. In flaming fire—Greek, "In flame of fire"; or, as other oldest manuscripts read, "in fire of flame." This flame of fire accompanied His manifestation in the bush (Ex 3:2); also His giving of the law at Sinai (Ex 19:18). Also it shall accompany His revelation at His advent (Da 7:9, 10), symbolizing His own bright glory and His consuming vengeance against His foes (Heb 10:27; 12:29; 2Pe 3:7, 10).

taking—literally, "giving" them, as their portion, "vengeance."

know not God—the Gentiles primarily (Ps 79:6; Ga 4:8; 1Th 4:5); not of course those involuntarily not knowing God, but those wilfully not knowing Him, as Pharaoh, who might have known God if he would, but who boasted "I know not the Lord" (Ex 5:2); and as the heathen persecutors who might have known God by the preaching of those whom they persecuted. Secondarily, all who "profess to know God but in works deny Him" (Tit 1:16).

obey not the gospel—primarily the unbelieving Jews (Ro 10:3, 16); secondarily, all who obey not the truth (Ro 2:8).

Christ—omitted by some of the oldest manuscripts, and retained by others.1:5-10 Religion, if worth anything, is worth every thing; and those have no religion, or none worth having, or know not how to value it, cannot find their hearts to suffer for it. We cannot by all our sufferings, any more than by our services, merit heaven; but by our patience under sufferings, we are prepared for the promised joy. Nothing more strongly marks a man for eternal ruin, than a spirit of persecution and enmity to the name and people of God. God will trouble those that trouble his people. And there is a rest for the people of God; a rest from sin and sorrow. The certainty of future recompence is proved by the righteousness of God. The thoughts of this should be terrible to wicked men, and support the righteous. Faith, looking to the great day, is enabled partly to understand the book of providence, which appears confused to unbelievers. The Lord Jesus will in that day appear from heaven. He will come in the glory and power of the upper world. His light will be piercing, and his power consuming, to all who in that day shall be found as chaff. This appearance will be terrible to those that know not God, especially to those who rebel against revelation, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the great crime of multitudes, the gospel is revealed, and they will not believe it; or if they pretend to believe, they will not obey it. Believing the truths of the gospel, is in order to our obeying the precepts of the gospel. Though sinners may be long spared, they will be punished at last. They did sin's work, and must receive sin's wages. Here God punishes sinners by creatures as instruments; but then, it will be destruction from the Almighty; and who knows the power of his anger? It will be a joyful day to some, to the saints, to those who believe and obey the gospel. In that bright and blessed day, Christ Jesus will be glorified and admired by his saints. And Christ will be glorified and admired in them. His grace and power will be shown, when it shall appear what he has purchased for, and wrought in, and bestowed upon those who believe in him. Lord, if the glory put upon thy saints shall be thus admired, how much more shalt thou be admired, as the Bestower of that glory! The glory of thy justice in the damnation of the wicked will be admired, but not as the glory of thy mercy in the salvation of believers. How will this strike the adoring angels with holy admiration, and transport thy admiring saints with eternal rapture! The meanest believer shall enjoy more than the most enlarged heart can imagine while we are here; Christ will be admired in all those that believe, the meanest believer not excepted.
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NT Letters: 2 Thessalonians 1:8 Giving vengeance to those who don't know (2 Thess. 2 Thes. 2Th iiTh ii th) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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