1 Thessalonians 1:7
So that you were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) “Your zeal was so great and sincere that you, in your turn, became a model: for even in far-away countries the tale of your conversion is told with wonder.”

Ensamples.—Probably the singular should be read: the whole church became a model church.

To all that believei.e., now; not to those that then believed; Philippi was the only such church.

Macedonia and Achaia.—These two provinces comprised all Roman Greece. The influence of the Thessalonians spreads far beyond their own country.

1:6-10 When careless, ignorant, and immoral persons are turned from their carnal pursuits and connexions, to believe in and obey the Lord Jesus, to live soberly, righteously, and godly, the matter speaks for itself. The believers under the Old Testament waited for the coming of the Messiah, and believers now wait for his second coming. He is yet to come. And God had raised him from the dead, which is a full assurance unto all men that he will come to judgment. He came to purchase salvation, and will, when he comes again, bring salvation with him, full and final deliverance from that wrath which is yet to come. Let all, without delay, flee from the wrath to come, and seek refuge in Christ and his salvation.So that ye were ensamples to all that believe - Examples in reference to the firmness with which you embraced the gospel, the fidelity with which you adhered to it in trials, and the zeal which you showed in spreading it abroad. These things are specified in the previous and subsequent verses as characterizing their piety. The word here rendered "ensamples" - τύπον tupon, singular - is that from which the word type is derived. It properly denotes anything caused or produced by the means of "blows" (from τύπτω tuptō), and hence a mark, print, or impression, made by a stamp or die; and then a resemblance, figure, pattern, exemplar - a model after which anything is made. This is the meaning here. They became, as it were, a model or pattern after which the piety of others should be moulded, or showed what the piety of others ought to be.

In Macedonia - Thessalonica was an important city of Macedonia (see the Intro.; compare notes, Acts 16:9), and of course their influence would be felt on the whole of the surrounding region. This is a striking instance of the effect which a church in a city may have on the country. The influence of a city church may be felt, and will usually be felt afar on the other churches of a community - just as, in all other respects, a city has an important influence on the country at large.

And Achaia - Achaia proper was the part of Greece of which Corinth was the capital. The word, however, was sometimes so used as to comprehend the whole of Greece, and in this sense it seems to be employed here, as there is no reason to suppose that their influence would be felt particularly in the province of which Corinth was the center. Koppe observes that Macedonia and Achaia were the two provinces into which all Greece was divided when it was brought under the Roman yoke, the former of which comprehended Macedonia proper, Illyricum, Epirus, and Thessaly, and the other Greece properly so called. The meaning here is, therefore, that their influence was felt on all the parts of Greece; that their piety was spoken of, and the effect of their conversion had been felt in all those places. Thessalonica was a commercial city, and a sea-port. It had contact with all the other parts of Macedonia, with Greece, and with Asia Minor. It was partly owing to the advantages of its situation that its influence was thus felt.

Its own merchants and mariners who went abroad would carry with them the spirit of the religion of the church there, and those who visited it from other ports would see the effect of religion there. This is just an instance, therefore, of the influence which a commercial town and a sea-port may have in religion on other parts of the world. A revival of religion in such a place will extend its influence afar to other places, and appropriate zeal among the friends of the Redeemer there may have an important effect on sea-ports, and towns, and lands far remote. It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of such places in regard to the spread of the gospel; and Christians who reside there - be they merchants, mechanics, lawyers, physicians, mariners, or ministers of the gospel, should feel that on them God has placed the responsibility of using a vast influence in sending the gospel to other lands. He that goes forth from a commercial town should be imbued with the spirit of the gospel, and churches located there should be so under the influence of religion, that they who come among them from abroad shall bear to their own lands honorable testimony of the power of religion there.

7. ensamples—So some of the oldest manuscripts read. Others, "ensample" (singular), the whole Church being regarded as one. The Macedonian Church of Philippi was the only one in Europe converted before the Thessalonians. Therefore he means their past conduct is an ensample to all believers now; of whom he specifies those "in Macedonia" because he had been there since the conversion of the Thessalonians, and had left Silvanus and Timotheus there; and those in "Achaia," because he was now at Corinth in Achaia. As ye followed our example, and of the Lord, so ye were examples yourselves, and such great examples that influenced all the believers both of Macedonia and Achaia. Your example reached beyond the confines of Thessalonica, unto the believers of all Macedonia, yea farther, to the believers of all Achaia. And though the Philippians of Macedonia received the gospel before you, as appears in the story, Acts 16:1-40, yet ye exceeded them, and became examples to them in your faith and patience, &c. So that ye were ensamples to all that believe,.... They were not only followers of Christ and his apostles, whom they took for examples of faith, holiness, courage, meekness, and patience; but they were patterns of good works; and of suffering afflictions to other believers, even to all that knew them, or heard of them, particularly

in Macedonia; as at Philippi and other places: though the Gospel was first preached there, and they had received it, and a Gospel church state was formed there; yet these were more forward in the exercise of grace and discharge of duty, and were even ensamples to them to copy after; so the first are sometimes last, and the last first:

and Achaia; another part of Greece, the metropolis of which was Corinth, where there also was a very considerable church; but these saints at Thessalonica set them an example in many things, and particularly in acts of beneficence and liberality, being one of the churches of Macedonia spoken of in 2 Corinthians 8:1.

So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Thessalonians 1:7. The Thessalonians had so far advanced that they who were formerly imitators had now become a model and an example to others.

τύπον] The singular is regular, as the apostle considers the church as a unity (see Winer’s Grammar, p. 164 [E. T. 218]; Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 60; Kühner, II. p. 27).

πᾶσιν τοῖς πιστεύουσιν] not to all believers (de Wette), but to the whole body of believers. See Winer, p. 105 [E. T. 137]. πᾶσιν augments the praise given. οἱ πιστεύοντες are believers, Christians (comp. Ephesians 1:19). Chrysostom, whom Oecumenius, Theophylact, and most interpreters (also Pelt and Schott) follow, takes πιστεύουσιν in the sense of πιστεύσασιν, finding in 1 Thessalonians 1:7 the idea that the Thessalonians converted at a later period were further advanced in the intensity of their faith than those who had been earlier believers: Καὶ μὴν ἐν ὑστέρῳ ἦλθε πρὸς αὐτούς· ἀλλʼ οὕτως ἐλάμψατε, φησίν, ὡς τῶν προλαβόντων γενέσθαι διδασκάλουςΟὐ γὰρ εἶπεν, ὥστε τύπους γενέσθαι πρὸς τὸ πιστεῦσαι, ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἤδη πιστεύουσι τύπος ἐγένεσθε. But this view would contain a historical untruth. For in Europe, according to the Acts (comp. also 1 Thessalonians 2:2), only the Philippians were believers before the Thessalonians; all the other churches of Macedonia and Achaia were formed afterwards. The present participle is rather to be understood from the standpoint of the apostle, so that all Christians then present in Macedonia and Achaia, that is, all Christians actually existing there at the time of the composition of the Epistle, are to be understood.

ἐν τῇ Μακεδονίᾳ καὶ ἐν τῇ Ἀχαΐᾳ] Comp. Romans 15:26; Acts 19:21 : the twofold division of Greece usually made after its subjection to the Romans (comp. Winer, Realwörterb. 2d ed. vol. I. p. 21). The emphasis which Theodoret puts on the words (Ηὔξησε τὴν εὐφημίαν, ἀρχέτυπα αὐτοὺς εὐσεβείας γεγενῆσθαι φήσας ἔθνεσι μεγίστοις καὶ ἐπὶ σοφίᾳ θαυμαζομένοις) is not contained in it. Baur’s (p. 484) assertion, that what is said in 1 Thessalonians 1:7 is only suitable for a church already existing for a longer time, is without any justification. For to be an example to others depends on the behaviour; the idea of duration is entirely indifferent.7. so that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia] Rather, ye became an ensample (R. V.),—or example, or pattern (as the same word—naturalized as “type” in English—is rendered in Titus 2:7, Hebrews 8:5). The Apostle applies this expression to himself in 2 Thessalonians 3:9; also in Php 3:17; and to Timothy, in 1 Timothy 4:12.

“Those that believe” (that is, “in God,” or “Christ”) equivalent to believers—is a frequent designation of Christians with St Paul. See ch. 1 Thessalonians 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; &c. Similarly, “they that are of faith” (Galatians 3:7; Galatians 3:9), “him that is of faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26); for faith is the root and essence of all that makes a man a Christian.

The example of the Thessalonians affected all believers in Macedonia and in Achaia (according to the true reading). These were distinct provinces, and the influence of Thessalonian faith had extended from the one to the other. The Apostle was now in Corinth, the capital and centre of Achaia (a Roman province, covering nearly the area of the present Kingdom of Greece), and could judge of the effect of the conduct of the Thessalonian Church in that district. And Timothy, with Silas, had lately returned from the northern province, traversing various Macedonian towns on his way, and would be able to report of the influence of this example there (ch. 1 Thessalonians 3:6; Acts 18:5). On the relation of Thessalonica to Macedonia, see Introd. pp. 9, 10, and the map. In 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 St Paul brings these two provinces into competition, in a sort of generous rivalry.

St Paul imitated Christ, the Thessalonians him (1 Thessalonians 1:6), and all neighbouring Christians took pattern by them. So good example spreads.1 Thessalonians 1:7. Τύπους,[3] types, patterns) Ensamples of faith; see presently, and in the following verse.

[3] The Germ. Vers. expresses τυπὸν in the singular; a reading which, by the margin of both Ed., is held of equal authority with the plural.—E. B.

BD(Δ) corrected, df Vulg. Memph. Theb. read τύπον. So Lachm. and Tisch. ACGg, Later Syr., and Rec. Text, have τύπονς.—ED.Verse 7. - So that ye were ensamples. The word here rendered "ensamples" literally signifies "types." It is used to denote a form or figure (Acts 7:43), a model or likeness (Acts 7:44), a mark or impression (John 20:25). Hence, in a metaphorical sense, it came to signify an example, a pattern for imitation. "Now these things are our examples" (1 Corinthians 10:6). To all that believe - to all believers - in Macedonia and Achaia. These are the two provinces into which ancient Greece was divided by the Romans, each of which was governed by a proconsul Macedonia was the northern portion, including Macedonia proper, Epirus and Illyricum; at first it was divided into four districts, but afterwards united into one province, of which Thessalonica was constituted the capital. Achaia was the southern portion of ancient Greece, including the Peloponnesus, Attica, Boeotia, etc., and, until recently, was nearly of the same dimensions with the modern kingdom of Greece; its capital was Corinth. An ensample (τύπον)

See on 1 Peter 5:3.

Macedonia and Achaia

Shortly after 146 b.c., all Greece south of Macedonia and Epirus was formed into a Roman province under the name of Achaia, and Macedonia with Epirus into another province called Macedonia.

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