|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:6-15 Those who have received the gospel, are to live according to the gospel. Such as could work, and would not, were not to be maintained in idleness. Christianity is not to countenance slothfulness, which would consume what is meant to encourage the industrious, and to support the sick and afflicted. Industry in our callings as men, is a duty required by our calling as Christians. But some expected to be maintained in idleness, and indulged a curious and conceited temper. They meddled with the concerns of others, and did much harm. It is a great error and abuse of religion, to make it a cloak for idleness or any other sin. The servant who waits for the coming of his Lord aright, must be working as his Lord has commanded. If we are idle, the devil and a corrupt heart will soon find us somewhat to do. The mind of man is a busy thing; if it is not employed in doing good, it will be doing evil. It is an excellent, but rare union, to be active in our own business, yet quiet as to other people's. If any refused to labour with quietness, they were to note him with censure, and to separate from his company, yet they were to seek his good by loving admonitions. The Lords is with you while you are with him. Hold on your way, and hold on to the end. We must never give over, or tire in our work. It will be time enough to rest when we come to heaven.
Verse 14. - And if any man obey not our word by this Epistle, note that man. Some attach the words, "by this Epistle," to" note that man," and render the clause, "Note that man by an epistle to me." Thus Calvin: "He desires that they may be reported to him, that he may reprove them by his authority." So also in the margin of our A.V.: "Signify that man by an epistle." But the presence of the article denoting a definite Epistle, "this Epistle," and the order of the words in the Greek, are against this interpretation. Others render the clause, "Note that man by this Epistle;" point out to him the injunctions and the warnings which are contained in it against such a line of conduct; but such a meaning is too artificial. It is better, therefore, to attach the words, "by this Epistle," to "our word," as in the A.V.: "If any man obey not our word by this Epistle." "Note that man;" that is, set a mark upon him, note him for the sake of avoidance, excommunicate him from your society. And have no company with him. Exclude him from your fellowship meetings, your love feasts. That he may be ashamed; the design or object of thus noting him. As if the apostle had said, "Bring the force of Christian opinion to bear upon him. Show your moral indignation by excluding him from the Christian community." The noting or excommunicating was more of the nature of a correction than of a punishment, and its design was the reclaiming of the offender.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And if any man obey not our word,.... Of command, to work quietly, and eat his own bread, now signified "by this epistle", particularly in 2 Thessalonians 3:12,
note that man; some read this clause in connection with the preceding phrase, "by this epistle", or by an epistle; and so the Ethiopic version, "show", or "signify him by an epistle"; that is, give us notice of it by an epistle, that we may take him under our cognizance, and severely chastise him, according to the power and authority given us by Christ; but that phrase rather belongs to the preceding words: and the clause here respects the notice the church should take of such a person; not in a private way, or merely by way of admonition and reproof, such as is given before rejection from communion; but by the black mark of excommunication; lay him under censure, exclude him from your communion, put a brand upon him as a scabbed sheep, and separate him from the flock; and so the Syriac version renders it, "let him be separated from you" and this sense is confirmed by what follows,
and have no company with him; as little as can be in common and civil conversation, lest he should take encouragement from thence to continue in his sin, and lest others should think it is connived at; and much less at the Lord's table, or in a sacred and religious conversation, or in a way of church fellowship and communion:
that he may be ashamed; that he may have his eyes turned in him, as the word signifies, and he may be brought to a sight and sense of his sin, and be filled with shame for it, and loath it, and himself on the account of it, and truly repent of it, and forsake it; and this is the end of excommunication, at least one end, and a principal end of it, to recover persons out of the snare of the devil, and return them from the error of their ways: so the Jews say (s),
"in matters of heaven (of God or religion), if a man does not return privately, they "put him to shame" publicly; and publish his sin, and reproach him to his face, and despise and set him at nought until he returns to do well.''
(s) Maimon, Hilch. Deyot, c. 6. sect. 8.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. note that man—mark him in your own mind as one to be avoided (2Th 3:6).
that he may be ashamed—Greek, "made to turn and look into himself, and so be put to shame." Feeling himself shunned by godly brethren, he may become ashamed of his course.
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