1 Thessalonians 2:11
As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
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(11) As (emphatic):” we lived holily—just (in fact) as you remember we tried to induce each one of you to live.”

Every one,—Now they appeal to the individual recollection of the Thessalonians. It gives us an incidental glimpse of the apostolic method,—which was, to deal with individual souls. (Comp. Acts 20:20; Acts 20:31; Colossians 1:21.) St. Chrysostom exclaims: “Fancy! not one in all that multitude passed over!” The image is changed from that of motherly tenderness to that of fatherly direction.

Comforted is here used as almost equivalent to “exhorted,” or, rather, encouraged, when the moral aspirations were beginning to flag.

Charged.—Better, adjured; so Galatians 5:3.

2:7-12 Mildness and tenderness greatly recommend religion, and are most conformable to God's gracious dealing with sinners, in and by the gospel. This is the way to win people. We should not only be faithful to our calling as Christians, but in our particular callings and relations. Our great gospel privilege is, that God has called us to his kingdom and glory. The great gospel duty is, that we walk worthy of God. We should live as becomes those called with such a high and holy calling. Our great business is to honour, serve, and please God, and to seek to be worthy of him.How we exhorted - That is, to a holy life.

And comforted - In the times of affliction.

And charged - Greek, "testified." The word testify is used here in the sense of protesting, or making an earnest and solemn appeal. They came as witnesses from God of the truth of religion, and of the importance of living in a holy manner They did not originate the gospel themselves, or teach its duties and doctrines as their own, but they came in the capacity of those who bore witness of what God had revealed and required, and they did this in the earnest and solemn manner which became such an office.

As a father doth his children - With an interest in your welfare, such as a father feels for his children, and with such a method as a father would use. It was not done in a harsh, dictatorial, and arbitrary manner, but in tenderness and love.

11. exhorted and comforted—Exhortation leads one to do a thing willingly; consolation, to do it joyfully [Bengel], (1Th 5:14). Even in the former term, "exhorted," the Greek includes the additional idea of comforting and advocating one's cause: "encouragingly exhorted." Appropriate in this case, as the Thessalonians were in sorrow, both through persecutions, and also through deaths of friends (1Th 4:13).

charged—"conjured solemnly," literally, "testifying"; appealing solemnly to you before God.

every one of you—in private (Ac 20:20), as well as publicly. The minister, if he would be useful, must not deal merely in generalities, but must individualize and particularize.

as a father—with mild gravity. The Greek is, "his own children."

Besides his public ministry, he dealt more privately with them, as Acts 20:20; and that in a way of exhortation and comfort; by exhortation to quicken them, and by comfort to support them under troubles both outward and inward. And he did this as a father to his children, with much earnestness, compassion, and love, yea, and authority also. He was before represented as a mother, 1 Thessalonians 2:7; and here as a father, whose work and duty is to exhort, counsel, and comfort his children privately at home; so did he as well as publicly, for he was their spiritual father, as he begat them to Christ by the gospel, as he tells the Corinthians also, 1 Corinthians 4:15. As before he represented his gentleness, so here his fatherly care. Or, at their first conversion he carried it with gentleness as a mother, but afterwards used his fatherly authority. And in this he appeals to their own knowledge also, calling their own consciences to bear witness to what he speaks, that it might leave the greater impression upon them.

As you know,.... This is added to the end of the last verse in the Arabic version, and which begins this verse thus, "as one of you, and as a father comforting his sons, so we", &c. but for what is said in the former verse, an appeal is made both to God and to the Thessalonians, so that there is no need of adding such a clause there; it properly stands here in connection with what follows,

how we exhorted; to flee from wrath to come, and to Christ for refuge; to look to, and believe in him, as the only Saviour of lost sinners; to perform the duties of religion, and to continue in the faith; to cleave to Christ, and walk on in him as they had received him, and to abide by the truths and ordinances of the Gospel they had embraced:

and comforted; under a sense of sin, with the soul comforting doctrines of free justification by the righteousness of Christ, of full pardon by his blood, and of a plenary satisfaction and atonement by his sacrifice; and under all their afflictions and persecutions for the sake of Christ, with exceeding great and precious promises of the presence, grace, and strength of Christ here, and glory hereafter:

and charged everyone of you; not only publicly, but privately, going from house to house; not in an austere and domineering way, but with the greatest tenderness, and yet faithfulness: even

as a father doth his children; not only in an authoritative, but in an affectionate way, and also with solid wisdom and judgment; for in such a relation, in a Spiritual sense, did the apostle and his fellow ministers stand in to them; see 1 Corinthians 4:15 and the substance of the charge is as follows:

{9} As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

(9) To exhort and comfort with a fatherly mind and affection.

are not a mere further digression into particulars, which we can scarcely assume after the general concluding words in 1 Thessalonians 2:10, without blaming the author, notwithstanding the freedom of epistolary composition, of great logical arbitrariness and looseness, but are a proof of the general concluding sentence 1 Thessalonians 2:10, ex analogia

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 are not a mere further digression into particulars, which we can scarcely assume after the general concluding words in 1 Thessalonians 2:10, without blaming the author, notwithstanding the freedom of epistolary composition, of great logical arbitrariness and looseness, but are a proof of the general concluding sentence 1 Thessalonians 2:10, ex analogia. As in all that has hitherto been said the twofold reference to the apostle and his two associates on the one hand, and to the readers on the other, has predominated, so is this also the case in 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12. The circumstance that he has anxiously and earnestly exhorted his readers to a similar conduct in ὁσιότης, δικαιοσύνη, and ἀμεμψία, is asserted by the apostle as a proof that he himself behaved in the most perfect manner (ὡς) among the Thessalonians ὁσίως καὶ δικαίως καὶ ἀμέμπτως. For if any one be truly desirous that others walk virtuously, this presupposes the endeavour after virtue in himself. It is thus erroneous when de Wette and Koch, p. 172, think that the apostle in 1 Thessalonians 2:10 speaks of his conduct generally, and in 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 of his ministerial conduct particularly. In 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 Paul does not speak wholly of his ministerial conduct, for the participles παρακαλοῦντες, παραμυθούμενοι, and μαρτυρόμενοι are not to be taken independently, but receive their full sense only in union with εἰς τὸ περιπατεῖν κ.τ.λ., so that the chief stress in the sentence rests on εἰς τὸ κ.τ.λ., and the accumulation of participles serves only to bring vividly forward the earnestness and urgency of the apostle’s exhortation to περιπατεῖν. Entirely erroneous, therefore, is Pelt’s idea of the connection: Redit P. ad amorem, quo eos amplectatur, iterum profitendum; for the attestation of love, in the conduct described in 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, is only expressed by the addition: ὡς πατὴρ τέκνα ἑαυτοῦ, and is thus only subsidiary to the main thought.

καθάπερ] as then, denotes the conformity of what follows to what precedes. As regards the construction: οἴδατε ὡς κ.τ.λ., we miss a finite tense.[35] Koppe considers that the participles are put instead of the finite tenses, ὡς παρεκαλέσαμεν καὶ παρεμυθησάμεθα καὶ ἐμαρτυρησάμεθα, an assertion which we can in the present day the less accept, as it is of itself self-evident that the participles of the present must have another meaning than that which could have been expressed by the finite forms of the aorist, i.e. of the purely historical tense. Others, objecting to the two accusatives, ἕνα ἕκαστον and ὙΜᾶς, have united ὙΜᾶς with the participle, and suggested a finite tense to ἕνα ἕκαστον, which, at the beginning of the period, must have been in Paul’s mind, but which he forgot to add when dictating to his amanuensis. Vatablus, Er. Schmid, Ostermann would supply to ἝΝΑ ἝΚΑΣΤΟΝ, ἨΓΑΠΉΣΑΜΕΝ; Whitby, ἘΦΙΛΉΣΑΜΕΝ, or ἨΓΑΠΉΣΑΜΕΝ, or ἘΘΆΛΨΑΜΕΝ, from 1 Thessalonians 2:7; Pelt, ΟὐΧ ἈΦΉΚΑΜΕΝ(?); Schott, a verb containing the “notio curandi sive tractandi sive educandi.”[36] But (1) the two accusatives do not at all justify supplying a special verb to ἝΝΑ ἝΚΑΣΤΟΝ, as not only among the classics is the twofold use of personal determinations not rare (see Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 275), but also in Paul’s Epistles there are similar repetitions of the personal object (comp. Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:5). (2) To supply ἠγαπήσαμεν, or a similar idea, is in contradiction with the design and contents of 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, as the chief point in these verses is to be sought in the recollection of the impressive exhortations addressed to the Thessalonians to aim at a conduct similar to that of the apostle. Not only the simplest, but the only correct method, is, with Musculus, Wolf, Turretin, Bengel, Alford, and Hofmann, to supply ἐγενήθημεν, which has just preceded 1 Thessalonians 2:10, to ὩςΠΑΡΑΚΑΛΟῦΝΤΕς Κ.Τ.Λ. And just because ἘΓΕΝΉΘΗΜΕΝ precedes, the supplying of ἮΜΕΝ, which Beza, Grotius, Flatt, and others assume, and which otherwise would be the most natural word, is to be rejected. Accordingly, there is no anacoluthon in 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, but ἘΓΕΝΉΘΗΜΕΝ to be supplied in thought is designedly suppressed by the apostle in order to put the greater emphasis on the verbal ideas, παρακαλεῖν, παραμυθεῖσθαι, and ΜΑΡΤΎΡΕΣΘΑΙ. The circumlocutionary form, ἘΓΕΝΉΘΗΜΕΝ ΠΑΡΑΚ. Κ.Τ.Λ., has this in common with the form ἮΜΕΝ ΠΑΡΑΚ. Κ.Τ.Λ., that it denotes duration in the past, but it is distinguished from it by this, that it does not refer the action of the verb simply as something actually done, and which has had duration in the past; but this action, enduring in the past (and effected by God), is described in its process of completion, i.e. in the phase of its self-development.

ἕνα ἕκαστον ὑμῶν ὡς πατὴρ τέκνα ἑαυτοῦ] The thought, according to Flatt, consists in this: the apostle has exhorted and charged, “with a view to the special wants of each, just as a father gives heed to the individual wants of his children.” But ἝΝΑ ἝΚΑΣΤΟΝ ὙΜῶΝ denotes only the carefulness of the exhortation which is addressed to each individual without distinction (of rank, endowment, Chrysostom: Βαβαὶ ἐν τοσούτῳ πλήθει μηδένα παραλιπεῖν, μὴ μικρόν, μὴ μέγαν, μὴ πλούσιον, μὴ πένητα), and the addition Ὡς ΠΑΤῊΡ ΤΈΚΝΑ ἙΑΥΤΟῦ denotes only paternal love (in contrast to the severity of a taskmaster) as the disposition from which the exhortations proceeded. But in a fitting manner Paul changes the image formerly used of a mother and her children into that of a father and his children, because in the context the point insisted on is not so much that of tender love, which finds its satisfaction in itself, as that of educating love; for the apostle, by his exhortation, would educate the Thessalonians for the heavenly kingdom. That the apostle resided a long time in Thessalonica (Calovius) does not follow from ἕνα ἕκαστον.

παρακαλεῖν] to exhort by direct address. Erroneously Chrysostom, Theophylact: ΠΡῸς ΤῸ ΦΈΡΕΙΝ ΠΆΝΤΑ.

] resumes ἝΝΑ ἝΚΑΣΤΟΝ ὙΜῶΝ; but whilst that emphatically precedes, this is placed after παρακαλοῦντες, because here the verb ΠΑΡΑΚ. has the emphasis (comp. Colossians 2:13). Paul adds ὙΜᾶς, which certainly might be omitted, not so much from carelessness or from inadvertence, but for the sake of perspicuity, in order to express the personal object belonging to the participles in immediate connection with them.

Also ΠΑΡΑΜΥΘΕῖΣΘΑΙ does not mean here to comfort (Wolf, Schott, and others), but to address, to exhort, to encourage; yet not to encourage to stedfastness, to exhort to moral courage (Oecumenius, Theophylact, de Wette), for the object of ΠΑΡΑΜΥΘΟΎΜΕΝΟΙ does not follow until 1 Thessalonians 2:12.

[35] Certainly otherwise Schrader, who regards καθάπερ οἴδατε as “a mere parenthesis which refers to what goes before and what follows,” so that then ὡς παρακαλοῦντες καὶ παραμ. καὶ μαρτ., vv. 11, 12, would be only parallel to ὡς ὁσίως καὶ δικ. καὶ ἀμέμπτ., ver. 10. So recently also Auberlen. But this construction is impossible, because καθάπερ οἴδατε is not a complete repetition of the preceding ὑμεῖς μάρτυρες καὶ ὁ Θεός, but only of its first part (ὑμεῖς μάρτυρες), and thus can in no wise be considered as a meaningless addition.

[36] Erasmus completes the clause: complexi fuerimus, and finds in the double accusatives a “balbuties apostolicae charitatis, quae se verbis humanis seu temulenta non explicat.”

1 Thessalonians 2:11. καθάπερ, sharper than καθώς. Viteau (ii. 111) suggests that κ. ο. is a parenthesis, and ὡς a causal introductory particle for the participles (“heartening,” “encouraging,” “adjuring”) which in their turn depend on ὑμῖνἐγενήθημεν, but the likelihood is that in the rush of emotion, as he dictates, Paul leaves the participial clause without a finite verb (so e.g., 2 Corinthians 7:5).—ὡς πατήρ κ.τ.λ. (cf. ὡς ἐὰν τροφός, 7). The figure was used by Jewish teachers of their relationship to their pupils. Cf. e.g., the words of Eleazar b. Azarja to his dying master, “Thou art more to Israel than father or mother; they only bring men into this world, whereas thou guidest us for this world and the next”. Catullus, lxxii. 4 (dilexi tum te non tantum ut uulgus amicam, sed pater ut natos diligit et generos).

11. as you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children] The R. V. recasts the verse, restoring the order and emphasis of the Apostle’s words: how we dealt with each one of you, as a father with his own children, exhorting you, and encouraging you, and testifying, &c. “Dealt with” is not in the Greek, but English idiom requires some such verb to sustain the participles that follow. The writer intended to complete the sentence with some governing verb, but the intervening words carried his thoughts away. See the observations on St Paul’s style in the Introd. Chap. VI.

The Apostle compared himself to a nurse-mother (1 Thessalonians 2:7) in his tender, gentle affection; now he is a father in the fidelity and manly strength of his counsels. Comp. 1 Corinthians 4:14-21, where he gives a different turn to the figure.

“Exhorting” is the general term for animating address: comp. notes on 1 Thessalonians 2:3, and ch. 1 Thessalonians 3:2. “Encouraging” (as in ch. 1 Thessalonians 5:14, John 11:19; John 11:31; rendered uniformly in A.V., “comforting”) is the calming and consoling side of exhortation, as addressed to the afflicted or the weak. “Testifying” (same word as in Galatians 5:3; Ephesians 4:17; Acts 26:22) supplies its solemn, warning element. The Thessalonian Church was both suffering and tempted, and the Apostle’s ministry to them had been at once consolatory and admonitory. So are his two Epistles.

every one] Lit., each single one, as in 2 Thessalonians 1:3, indicates St Paul’s discrimination and care for individuals. Comp. the “publicly, and from house to house” of Acts 20:20.

1 Thessalonians 2:11. Ὡς ἕνα ἕκαστον, how every one) They do not act in this way who seek [their own] glory, 1 Thessalonians 2:6.—ὡς πατὴρ, as a father) Mild gravity is the characteristic of fathers.—παρακαλοῦντες, exhorting) This depends on ἐγενήθημεν, we became (behaved), 1 Thessalonians 2:10. Παράκλησις, exhortation, rouses one to do something willingly; παραμύθιον, consolation, to do it joyfully; τὸ μαρτυρεῖσθαι, earnest entreaty, testifying [charging], to do it with awe.

Verse 11. - As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children. The translation of this verse is somewhat faulty; it ought to be, as in the R.V., as ye know how we dealt with each one of you, as a father with his own children, exhorting you, and encouraging you, and testifying. Paul here changes the image from that of a nursing mother to that of a father; because then he was speaking of his tender care for his converts, whereas here he speaks of the instructions and admonitions which he gave them; as a mother he nourished their spiritual life, and as a father he superintended their spiritual education. "Exhorting and comforting and charging;" representing three modes of the apostle's instructions: "exhorting" denotes also encouraging and consoling; "comforting" denotes supporting and sustaining ("Comfort the feeble minded," 1 Thessalonians 5:14); and "charging" denotes testifying or protesting - a solemn pressing home of the exhortation to the hearers. 1 Thessalonians 2:11Comforted (παραμυθούμενοι)

The A.V. renders the three participles in this verse as finite verbs, we exhorted, etc. Rev. retains the participial construction. Better than comforted, persuading. Persuasion is the form which the exhortation assumed. Παράκλησις exhortation, and παραμύθιου persuasion, are associated in Philippians 2:1. The verb παραμυθέομαι, to persuade occurs only four times in N.T. See on Philippians 2:1. Neither verb nor noun in lxx.

Charged (μαρτυρόμενοι)

Rev. testifying; but the A.V. is more correct. Rend. charging. The verb means to conjure, or appeal to by something sacred. So Ephesians 4:17. Comp. Acts 20:26; Galatians 5:3, and διαμαρτύρομαι I charge, 1 Timothy 5:21; 2 Timothy 2:14; 2 Timothy 4:1. Comp. Thucyd. vi. 80.

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