|New International Version (©2011)|
For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
New Living Translation (©2007)
For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way.
English Standard Version (©2001)
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way,
International Standard Version (©2012)
For the secret of this lawlessness is already at work, but only until the person now holding it back gets out of the way.
NET Bible (©2006)
For the hidden power of lawlessness is already at work. However, the one who holds him back will do so until he is taken out of the way,
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
The mystery of evil has even now begun to work within, only if that which now controls will be taken from the midst;
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
The mystery of this sin is already at work. But it cannot work effectively until the person now holding it back gets out of the way.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now restrains will do so, until he be taken out of the way.
American King James Version
For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way.
American Standard Version
For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way.
For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way.
Darby Bible Translation
For the mystery of lawlessness already works; only there is he who restrains now until he be gone,
English Revised Version
For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way.
Webster's Bible Translation
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now restraineth will restrain, until he be taken out of the way.
Weymouth New Testament
For lawlessness is already at work in secret; but only until the man who is now exercising a restraining influence is removed,
World English Bible
For the mystery of lawlessness already works. Only there is one who restrains now, until he is taken out of the way.
Young's Literal Translation
for the secret of the lawlessness doth already work, only he who is keeping down now will hinder -- till he may be out of the way,
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:5-12 Something hindered or withheld the man of sin. It is supposed to be the power of the Roman empire, which the apostle did not mention more plainly at that time. Corruption of doctrine and worship came in by degrees, and the usurping of power was gradual; thus the mystery of iniquity prevailed. Superstition and idolatry were advanced by pretended devotion, and bigotry and persecution were promoted by pretended zeal for God and his glory. This mystery of iniquity was even then begun; while the apostles were yet living, persons pretended zeal for Christ, but really opposed him. The fall or ruin of the antichristian state is declared. The pure word of God, with the Spirit of God, will discover this mystery of iniquity, and in due time it shall be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming. Signs and wonders, visions and miracles, are pretended; but they are false signs to support false doctrines; and lying wonders, or only pretended miracles, to cheat the people; and the diabolical deceits with which the antichristian state has been supported, are notorious. The persons are described, who are his willing subjects. Their sin is this; They did not love the truth, and therefore did not believe it; and they were pleased with false notions. God leaves them to themselves, then sin will follow of course, and spiritual judgments here, and eternal punishments hereafter. These prophecies have, in a great measure, come to pass, and confirm the truth of the Scriptures. This passage exactly agrees with the system of popery, as it prevails in the Romish church, and under the Romish popes. But though the son of perdition has been revealed, though he has opposed and exalted himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; and has spoken and acted as if he were a god upon earth, and has proclaimed his insolent pride, and supported his delusions, by lying miracles and all kinds of frauds; still the Lord has not yet fully destroyed him with the brightness of his coming; that and other prophecies remain to be fulfilled before the end shall come.
Verse 7. - For the mystery. "Mystery" here denotes something which was unknown or secret before it was revealed (comp. Ephesians 3:3-5). So also one of the names of Babylon, the seat of the antichristian power, is Mystery (Revelation 17:3). Of iniquity; rather, of lawlessness; namely, this apostasy which shall precede the coming of the man of sin. The genitive here is that of apposition - "that mystery which is lawlessness," whose essence and sphere of operation is lawlessness. Doth already work; or, is already working. The mystery of iniquity even now works in secret; but the man of sin himself will not appear until the restraining power be removed. Even at the time the apostle wrote the seeds of apostasy were already sown; the leaven of lawlessness was fermenting inside Christianity; the foundations of a false Christianity were being laid. Thus the apostle warned the Ephesians that false teachers would arise from among themselves; to Timothy he writes of those perilous times which were then present; and, in his Epistles, mention is made of false practices and doctrines, such as the worship of angels, abstinence from meats, bodily mortifications, and the honour conferred on celibacy. So also John, in his First Epistle, refers to this working of this antichristian power when he says, "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists .... Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world" (1 John 2:18; 1 John 4:3). "Antichrist does not step on the scene suddenly without any preparations; on the contrary, a stream of anti-christian sentiment and conduct pervades the whole history of the world" (Olshausen). Only he that now letteth; or, restraineth, the old meaning of the word "let." Will let. These words are not in the original, and ought to be omitted. Until he be taken out of the way. The whole clause ought to be rendered, "The mystery of lawlessness is already working, only until he who restraineth is removed;" when that takes place, when the restraining influence is removed, the mystery of lawlessness will no longer work secretly, but will be openly manifested.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work,.... Or "the mystery of that wicked one", as the Syriac; meaning either antichrist himself, and the spirit of antichrist, which were already in the world, 1 John 2:18, "mystery" being one of the names of antichrist, Revelation 17:5 and anciently this word was engraven on the mitres of the popes of Rome: or the evil doctrines and practices of antichrist may be intended; for as the doctrine of the Gospel is called a mystery, and the mystery of godliness; so the doctrines and practices of antichrist may be called the mystery of iniquity, especially as they were now secretly spread, imbibed, and practised: the foundations of it were now laying in the church by false teachers; for errors and heresies of every sort, respecting the person and offices of Christ, and in opposition to them, were now broached; idolatry, and holding communion with idolaters, now obtained; worshipping of angels was used by some; and superstition and will worship, worship after the commandments of men, were practised; days, and months, and years, distinguished by Jews and Pagans, and difference of meats, were observed; celibacy and virginity began to be admired and commended; dominion and magistracy were despised, and church authority contemned, and many, as Diotrephes, loved to have the pre-eminence; and the doctrine of justification by the works of the law was industriously spread, and zealously preached and received; all which laid the foundation, and are the life and soul of popery:
only he who now letteth, will let, until he be taken out of the way; that is, the Roman empire and Roman emperors, and which were by degrees entirely removed, and so made way for the revelation of this wicked one: and which was done partly by Constantine the emperor receiving the Christian faith, whereby the Roman empire as Pagan ceased; and by increasing the riches of the church, and feeding the pride, ambition, and covetousness of the bishops, especially the bishop of Rome; and next by removing the seat of the empire from Rome to Byzantium, which he called Constantinople: here the Greek emperors continued in succession, and neither they themselves, nor even their exarchs, resided at Rome, but at Ravenna; so that way was made for antichrist to come to his seat, and there was nothing to rival and eclipse the grandeur, power, and glory of the Roman popes: and that which let was also taken out of the way, by the division of the empire, by Theodosius, giving to his elder son Arcadius, the eastern, and to the younger, Honorius, the western parts of it: the eastern empire was in process of time seized upon and possessed by Mahomet and the Saracens; and the western empire was overrun by the Goths, Vandals, and Huns, and became extinct about the year 476, in Augustulus, the last of the Roman emperors, who was obliged to abdicate the government by Odoacer king of the Heruli; when the kingdom of the Lombards took place in Italy, and afterwards that was translated to Charles the great, king of the French; so that there was nothing more of the Roman empire remaining than the bare name, as at this day; and by this means the popes of Rome got to the height of their power and glory, which is meant by the revelation of the man of sin.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. the mystery of iniquity—the counterwork to "the mystery of godliness" (1Ti 3:16). Anti-Christianity latently working, as distinguished from its final open manifestation. "Mystery" in Scripture means, not what remains always a secret, but that which is for a while hidden, but in due time manifested (compare Eph 3:4, 5). Satan will resort to a mode of opposition more conformed to the then imminent "appearing" and "presence" of the Saviour, and will anticipate Him with a last effort to maintain the dominion of the world [De Burgh], just as at His first advent he rushed into open opposition, by taking possession of the bodies of men. "Iniquity," Greek, "lawlessness"; defiant rejection of God's law (compare Note, see on Zec 5:9, Zec 5:10). "Wickedness" (translated by the Septuagint by the same Greek, meaning "lawlessness," which Paul employs here), embodied there as a woman, answers to "the mystery of iniquity," here embodied finally in "the man of sin": as the former was ultimately banished for ever from the Holy Land to her own congenial soil, Babylon, so iniquity and the man of sin shall fall before Michael and the Lord Himself, who shall appear as the Deliverer of His people (Da 12:1-3; Zec 14:3-9). Compare Mt 12:43. The Jewish nation dispossessed of the evil spirit, the demon of idolatry being cast out through the Babylonian captivity, receives ultimately a worse form of the evil spirit, Christ-opposing self-righteousness. Also, the Christian Church in course of time taken possession of by the demon of Romish idolatry, then dispossessed of it by the Reformation, then its house "garnished" by hypocrisy, secularity, and rationalism, but "swept empty" of living faith, then finally apostatizing and repossessed by "the man of sin," and outwardly destroyed for a brief time (though even then Christ shall have witnesses for Him among both the Jews, Zec 13:9, and Gentiles, Mt 28:20), when Christ shall suddenly come (Da 11:32-45; Lu 18:7, 8).
already—(2Jo 9, 10; Col 2:18-23; 1Ti 4:1); compare "even now already" (1Jo 2:18; 4:3) as distinguished from "in his own time" of being revealed hereafter. Antiquity, it appears from hence, is not a justification for unscriptural usages or dogmas, since these were "already," even in Paul's time, beginning to spring up: the written word is the only sure test. "Judaism infecting Christianity is the fuel; the mystery of iniquity is the spark." "It is one and the same impurity diffusing itself over many ages" [Bengel].
only he who now letteth will let—The italicized words are not in the Greek. Therefore, translate rather, "only (that is, the continuance of the MYSTERY of iniquity-working will be only) until he who now withholdeth (the same Greek as in 2Th 2:6) be taken out of the way." "Only (waiting, Heb 10:13) until he," &c. Then it will work no longer in mystery, but in open manifestation.
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