1 Thessalonians 3:3
That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
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(3) Moved, or more literally, seduced. The very peculiar word in the original means, in the first instance, the fawning of an animal upon its master: then, through the intermediate sense of “wheedling,” it comes to mean the gradual detachment of a person from his resolution by any insinuating representations, whether of flattery or (as here) of fear. The next word should be in or in the midst of, rather than “by”, therefore (though both may be included) their own “afflictions” are chiefly meant, not St. Paul’s.

For yourselves.—“Your previous expectation that Christianity involved the suffering of persecution ought to be enough to prevent you now from losing your faith.”

We are appointed thereunto.—The “we” means all Christian people: their election into the Church must needs be an election to suffering (see marg. refs.). “No cross, no crown.”

3:1-5 The more we find pleasure in the ways of God, the more we shall desire to persevere therein. The apostle's design was to establish and comfort the Thessalonians as to the object of their faith, that Jesus Christ was the Saviour of the world; and as to the recompence of faith, which was more than enough to make up all their losses, and to reward all their labours. But he feared his labours would be in vain. If the devil cannot hinder ministers from labouring in the word and doctrine, he will, if possible, hinder the success of their labours. No one would willingly labour in vain. It is the will and purpose of God, that we enter into his kingdom through many afflictions. And the apostles, far from flattering people with the expectation of worldly prosperity in religion, told them plainly they must count upon trouble in the flesh. Herein they followed the example of their great Master, the Author of our faith. Christians were in danger, and they should be forewarned; they will thus be kept from being improved by any devices of the tempter.That no man should be moved - The word rendered "moved" (σαίνω sainō) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly means to wag, to move to and fro, as of dogs which wag their tails in fondness (Hom. Od. K. 216. AEl. A. N. 10:7. Ovid. 14:258); then to caress, to fawn upon, to flatter; then to move or waver in mind - as from fear; to dread, to tremble. See Passow and Wetstein. Here the sense is, to be so moved or agitated by fear, or by the terror of persecution, as to forsake their religion. The object of sending Timothy was, that they might not be thus moved, but that amidst all opposition they might adhere steadfastly to their religion.

These afflictions - See the notes at 1 Thessalonians 2:14.

For yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto - It is not quite certain whether by the word "we" here the apostle refers to himself; or to himself and the Thessalonians; or to Christians in general. On either supposition what he says is true, and either would meet the case. It would be most to the purpose, however, to suppose that he means to state the general idea that all Christians are exposed to persecution and could not hope to avoid it. It would then appear that the Thessalonians had partaken only of the common lot. Still there may have been a special reference to the fact that Paul and his fellow-laborers there were subjected to trials; and if this be the reference, then the idea is, that the Thessalonians should not be "moved" by their trials, for even their teachers were not exempt. Even their enemies could not say that the apostle and his co-workers were impostors, for they had persevered in preaching the gospel when they knew that these trials were coming upon them. The phrase, "we are appointed thereunto," means that such was the divine arrangement. No one who professed Christianity could hope to be exempted from trial, for it was the common lot of all believers; compare 1 Corinthians 4:9 note; 2 Timothy 3:12 note.

3. moved—"shaken," "disturbed." The Greek is literally said of dogs wagging the tail in fawning on one. Therefore Tittmann explains it, "That no man should, amidst his calamities, be allured by the flattering hope of a more pleasant life to abandon his duty." So Elsner and Bengel, "cajoled out of his faith." In afflictions, relatives and opponents combine with the ease-loving heart itself in flatteries, which it needs strong faith to overcome.

yourselves know—We always candidly told you so (1Th 3:4; Ac 14:22). None but a religion from God would have held out such a trying prospect to those who should embrace it, and yet succeed in winning converts.


appointed thereunto—by God's counsel (1Th 5:9).

The apostle had mentioned before his great afflictions, and they knew well what he himself had suffered both at Thessalonica and Berea, Acts 17:1-34, and therefore might fear they might hereupon be shaken in their faith. And Timothy therefore was sent to comfort and establish them: God could do this without him, but the ministry is his ordinance he works by. And when he saith,

that no man should be moved, it shows what is a Christian’s duty, to be unmoved by sufferings for the gospel. The word here used by the apostle answers another word, used 2 Thessalonians 2:2, which alludes to the waves of the sea shaken by the winds. Fears, and doubts, or hesitations of mind, do move and shake it, which the apostle sent Timothy to prevent, or remove. And besides, he addeth an argument of his own to confirm them, when he tells them, ye

know that we are appointed thereunto. The word is used Luke 2:34 1 Timothy 1:9. But he means, we suffer afflictions according to the purpose and intention of God; they come not by chance, or merely from men’s wrath and enmity, but from the appointment of God. And whether the apostle speaks only of his own sufferings, and other ministers of the gospel, or of all saints in general, as Acts 14:22 Romans 8:17,36 2 Timothy 3:12, is uncertain; we may well understand it of both; so that he would not have these Thessalonians think it strange, as if some strange thing happened to them, 1 Peter 4:12, whereby to be shaken in their minds. That no man should be moved by these afflictions,.... Which the apostle endured for the sake of preaching the Gospel among them, and which he feared might be a means of troubling their minds, of shaking their faith, and moving them from the hope of the Gospel; for though none of these things moved him, who was an old soldier of Christ, and used to hardness, and an apostle of Christ; yet these were young converts, and not used to such things, and therefore might be staggered at them, and be offended, as stony ground hearers are; and though the apostle hoped better things of them, yet was he concerned for them, that no one among them might be unhinged by them, or succumb under them:

for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto; by the immutable decree of God: afflictions, as to their nature, measure, and duration, are appointed for the people of God, and they are appointed for them; this is the case of all who will live godly in Christ Jesus, and especially of Gospel ministers; of which these saints had been apprized by the apostle, and therefore was nothing new, unheard of, and unexpected, or to be looked upon as a strange thing; and seeing this was the appointment of heaven, and the will of God, they should be patiently endured, and quietly submitted to.

That no man should be moved by these afflictions: {1} for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

(1) The will of God, who calls his own on this condition, to bring them to glory by affliction, is a most sure remedy against all afflictions.

1 Thessalonians 3:3. Σαίνειν] related to σείειν,—only here in the N. T.,—means, to shake, to swing hither and thither. It is used specially of dogs who wag their tails (comp. Hom. Od. xvi. 4 ff., x. 217; Arist. Eq. 1031), from which the wider acceptation of fawning or caressing is derived. Then the verb stands generally for any act of shaking, passing from the sphere of sense to that of mind. Comp. Diog. Laert. viii. 41: οἱ δὲ σαινόμενοι τοῖς λεγομένοις ἐδάκρυόν τε καὶ ᾤμοζον.

Sophocl. Antig. 1214: παιδός με σαίνει φθόγγος. (Other proofs in Wetstein.) Thus here σαίνεσθαι denotes a being disquieted, becoming wavering in the faith. Chrysostom correctly explains it by θορυβεῖσθαι καὶ ταράττεσθαι. With unnecessary harshness Faber Stapulensis, to whom also Beza (adblandiri, adversariis videlicet evangelii) is inclined, Elsner, Observ. sacr. II. p. 275 f., Wolf, and Tittmann, de synonym. in N. T. p. 189, think to preserve the meaning fawning (and alluring), giving the sense: that they should not permit themselves, by “adulationes et illicitamenta carnis” (Faber Stapulensis), to apostatize from Christianity, and relapse into heathenism or Judaism. Also Rückert, whom Koch follows, adopts this view, as he will not acknowledge the meaning θορυβεῖσθαι in the verb: he thinks, rather, that from the meaning to fawn, the meaning blanditiis corrumpi in the passive is formed; and from that, in consequence of the toning down of the meaning, the general idea of corrumpi arose. Hofmann explains σαίνειν directly by to delude, a meaning which the word never has.

ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσιν ταύταις] in these afflictions, ἐν, is purely temporal, not instrumental, although, in regard to the subject in hand, it cannot be doubted that it was the θλίψεις to whose influence the possibility of a σαίνεσθαι is attributed. ταύταις is δεικτικῶς, indicative, denoting the afflictions which both the Thessalonians and Paul (so Calixtus, Flatt, Schott, and others; Oecumenius, Theophylact, Estius, Osiander, Nat. Alexander, Benson, Macknight, erroneously refer the θλίψεις to Paul only) have just experienced, and which are here considered as belonging to the present, since a renewed outbreak of them was every instant to be feared. The first part of 1 Thessalonians 3:3, accordingly, contains the warning not to suffer themselves to apostatize from the faith in Christ in the time of trouble and of need.

But it is asked how 1 Thessalonians 3:3 is to be connected with the preceding. Those who read, with the Receptus, τῷ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι (see critical note), regard τῷ as the Dativus commodi, which, as the Hebrew לְ placed before an infinitive, serves for the statement of the object; thus τῷ would be equivalent to εἰς τό (Grotius, Turretin, Benson, Koppe, Pelt, Olshausen). But τῷ with the infinitive is used exclusively to denote the reason or the inducing cause, never to denote the design; comp. 2 Corinthians 2:12, and Winer, p. 293 [E. T. 413]. Rückert, indeed, retaining this grammatical use of τῷ, makes it denote: “unde nascituram τὴν παράκλησιν speraverat, quum Timotheum misit, apostolus;” and, although he does not decide positively, prefers the reading τῷ, in order that he may find expressed therein a twofold object in sending Timotheus, in conformity with the longing of the apostle previously stated: (1) in respect to the readers, and (2) in respect to himself. Timotheus, Paul intends to say, is sent “fratres ut firmaret, sibi ut afferret ex bona illorum conditione solatium.” But this interpretation is simply impossible, as, in referring παρακαλέσαι to the apostle, it would be indispensably necessary, on account of the preceding ὑμᾶς, to subjoin ἡμᾶς. Accordingly, even from internal reasons, criticism requires us to read τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι. But here, also, a different view is conceivable:—(1) We might, with Matthaei, supply a second εἰς to τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι from the preceding εἰς τὸ στηρίξαι. But in this case we cannot understand why the second εἰς has been suppressed by Paul, as elsewhere he does not avoid the repetition of the form εἰς τό; comp. e.g. Romans 4:11. Or (2) with Schott, Koch, and Bisping, we might take τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι as an absolute accusative, in the sense of quod attinet ad. But, considering the rarity of this construction, and the misuse which is practised with its assumption (comp. Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 132 f.; also Php 4:10, on which Schott founds, is no analogy, as there τὸ ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ φρονεῖν is the usual objective accusative to ἀνεθάλετε, used transitively), this shift should only be resorted to when no other expedient presents itself. (3) Winer, 5th ed. p. 375 [E. T. 413], whom de Wette, Reiche, Buttmann, Gramm. des neutestam. Sprachgebrauchs, p. 226 [E. T. 263f.], Hofmann, and Riggenbach follow, makes τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι dependent on παρακαλέσαι, and considers it as a further explanation of ὑπὲρ τῆς πίστεως, namely, to exhort that none should become wavering. But if τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι depended on παρακαλέσαι, then παρακαλεῖν, in the sense of to exhort, would be construed with the simple accusative of the thing, an assumption the possibility of which is to be absolutely denied. (The passages on which Reiche supports the opposite view are without force. In Luke 3:18 both accusatives are not governed by παρακαλῶν, but, in agreement with Acts 13:32, by εὐηγγελίζετο; in 1 Timothy 6:2, ταῦτα depends on δίδασκε, and καὶ παρακάλει is annexed only in a loose manner to ταῦτα δίδασκε; so also in Titus 2:15 ταῦτα belongs only to λάλει, but not also to the following verbs; further, in Mark 5:23 πολλά does not depend on παρακαλεῖ, but is the adverbial much, very; lastly, Mark 5:17 and Acts 8:31 are not analogous, as there παρακαλεῖν is put with the accusative of the person, to which a simple infinitive, but not an infinitive with the article τό, follows.) Besides, if τὸ μηδένα σαίν. were a further explanation or epexegesis of ὑπὲρ τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν, then not the accusative τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι would have been put, but the genitive τοῦ μηδένα σαίν., in agreement with ὑπὲρ τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν. Accordingly, this interpretation is also to be rejected. There consequently remains only (4) to consider τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι ἐν ταῖς θλ. ταύταις as an apposition to the whole preceding sentence εἰς τὸ στηρίξαι ὑμᾶς καὶ παρακαλέσαι ὑπὲρ τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν, so that τὸ μηδένα σαίν. serves only to repeat the same thought which was before positively expressed in a negative but better defined form; thus, instead of τό, τουτέστι might have been written. Thus the sense is: to strengthen you and to exhort you on behalf of your faith—that is, that no one may be shaken in these troubles; or, to strengthen and exhort you on account of your faith, particularly on one point, which is contained in one requirement: that no one may be shaken, etc.[46] Accordingly, ΤῸ ΜΗΔΈΝΑ ΣΑΊΝΕΣΘΑΙ certainly depends on the preceding ΕἸς; but our interpretation is entirely different from that adduced in (1), as no second ΕἸς can be inserted before ΤῸ ΜΗΔΈΝΑ ΣΑΊΝΕΣΘΑΙ without injuring the indissoluble unity which combines ΤῸ ΜΗΔΈΝΑ ΣΑΊΝ. Κ.Τ.Λ. with what precedes.

ΑὐΤΟῚ ΓᾺΡ ΟἼΔ.… ΚΑῚ ΟἼΔΑΤΕ, 1 Thessalonians 3:4, is not, with Moldenhauer, Griesbach, Vater, Flatt, to be included in a parenthesis, as ΔΙᾺ ΤΟῦΤΟ, 1 Thessalonians 3:5, is connected with what directly precedes.

ΓΆΡ] proves the legitimacy of the demand ΜΗΔΈΝΑ ΣΑΊΝΕΣΘΑΙ.

] 1 Thessalonians 3:4, explains whence they knew it,—namely, partly from previous definite intimations of the apostle, and partly from their own experience. Contrary to the text, Theodoret: from the previous intimation of Christ.

ὍΤΙ ΕἸς ΤΟῦΤΟ ΚΕΊΜΕΘΑ] that we were appointed thereto. Comp. Php 1:17; Luke 2:34. εἰς τοῦτο, i.e. not εἰς τὸ μηδένα σαίνεσθαι, but ΕἸς ΤῸ ΘΛΊΒΕΣΘΑΙ (comp. 1 Thessalonians 3:4), in connection with ΘΛΊΨΕΣΙΝ. Moreover, ΚΕΊΜΕΘΑ refers not only to Paul (Oecumenius, Estius, Osiander, and others), or to Paul and his companions (Hofmann), nor also to Paul and the Thessalonians (Koppe), but to Christians in general.

[46] Alford accedes to this interpretation. Bouman (Chartae theolog. I. p. 79 ff.) assumes a middle position between this view and that adopted by Winer, de Wette, and Reiche: Ego … ita de Wettium sequor ac Winerum, ut μηδένα σαίνεσθαι cum proxime praecedente Infinitivo παρακαλέσαι connectendum existimem. Verum toto tertiae hujus sectionis dicto: μηδένακείμεθα, illius, quam Timothei ministerio ad Thessalonicenses perferendam curabat Apostolus, παρακλήσεως praecipuum argumentum ac summa contineri mihi videtur. Cujus rei, ni fallor, indicium est dictumque adeo acuit et a caeteris distinguit praemissus ille articulus τό. Quem ibi ponere Graecos, ubi nos signa, citationis vulgo notum est. Veluti postmodum, chap. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 : τὸ πῶς δεῖ κ.τ.λ.1 Thessalonians 3:3. Cf. Artemid., Oneirocritica ii. 11, ἀλλότριοι δὲ κύνες σαίνοντες μὲν δόλους καὶ ἐνέδρας ὑπὸ πονηρῶν ἀνδρῶν [cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:2] ἢ γυναικῶν [cf. Acts 17:4] σημαίνουσιν.3. that no man should be moved by these afflictions] Better, that no mam be moved (R. V.). “Objective sentence, explaining and specifying the subject-matter of the exhortation” (Ellicott). “That” means “to the effect that.”

With “moved” comp. the fuller expression of 2 Thessalonians 2:2, “Shaken in mind or troubled”; also Colossians 1:23, “moved away from the hope of the gospel.” But the Greek verb here used seems to imply “moved to softness” (Jowett).

Not by, but literally in, or amid these afflictions; for these were not so much the cause by which faith was likely to be shaken, as the circumstances amid which it was assailed and which lent force to every temptation. “Amid these afflictions” the reasonings of unbelief and the enticements of idolatry and sin would have redoubled force. It was Timothy’s business to shew that such trials ought not to disturb, but rather to confirm their faith.

for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto] The R. V. gives the verb its proper emphasis: hereunto we are appointed.

St Paul delicately associates himself with his persecuted friends, passing from “you” of the last sentence to “we;” comp. the transition in ch. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5. Indeed “these afflictions” were directed in the first instance against the apostles (see ch. 1 Thessalonians 2:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15; 1 Thessalonians 3:7, &c.), and came on the Thessalonians through association with them.

Appointed is identical with “set for defence of the gospel” (Php 1:16) and “set upon a hill” (Matthew 5:14), indicating the situation in which one is placed. This was their appointed post and station. And they well “knew” that such was their “calling of God:” “the fiery trial” was no “strange thing” (comp. 1 Peter 2:20-21; 1 Peter 4:12).1 Thessalonians 3:3. Σαίνεσθαι) [that no man should be moved,—seduced and cajoled out of his faith]: σαίνω from σέω, to move. Eustathius shows, that it is properly applied to dogs, when they fawn by wagging the tail;[11] by metaphor ΕἸς ΤΟῪς ὙΠΟΎΛΟΙς ΚΑῚ ΚΟΛΑΚΙΚΟῪς, applied to those that are deceitful at heart and prone to flatter; and this is obviously the idea here. For in afflictions, relatives and opponents, and the heart itself, mingle their flatteries, and when these are overcome, believers are confirmed.—ταὺταις, in these (present) afflictions) The present time.—κείμεθα, we lie, i.e. are set, are appointed unto this) An argument from our calling: comp. ch. 1 Thessalonians 5:9, God ἔθετο, hath appointed us.

[11] So Latin ceveo in Persius; Th. cieo, to move or shake, as σαίνω from σέω, σείω.—ED.Verse 3. - This verse contains the object of the exhortation; the clause is an accusative to the verb. That no man should be moved (or, shaken) by; or rather in; expressing the position in which they were placed. These afflictions. The same word as "tribulation" in the next verse. For yourselves know. How they knew is explained, partly from the forewarnings of the apostle, and partly from their own experience. That we; not to be referred to Paul only, nor to Paul and his companions, Silas and Timothy, nor to Paul and the Thessalonians, but to all Christians in general; that we Christians. Are appointed thereunto; namely, by God. Our afflictions do not result from chance, but are the necessary consequence of our Christianity; they arise from the appointment and ordinance of God. Tribulation is the Christian's portion. Whatever truth there may be in the saying that prosperity is the promise of the Old Testament, affliction is certainly the promise of the New. We must be conformed to Christ in his sufferings. "In the world," says our Lord, "ye shall have tribulation" (John 16:33). When our Lord called Paul to his apostleship, he showed him how great things he must suffer for his Name's sake (Acts 9:16). All the apostles suffered from persecution, and concerning Christians in general Paul asserts that it is only through tribulation that they can enter into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22; see Revelation 7:14). Moved (σαίνεσθαι)

N.T.o olxx. In Class., as early as Homer, of dogs; to wag the tail, fawn (Hom. Od. x. 217; xvi. 6). Hence of persons, to fawn or cringe. The word is apparently used here in the original sense, to be shaken.

We are appointed (κείμεθα)

As Luke 2:34 (see note); Philippians 1:17. Comp. Acts 14:22, in which occur four of the words used here. For the thought, see Matthew 5:10; Matthew 10:17; Matthew 16:24; 1 Peter 2:21 ff.; 1 Peter 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:12.

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