Therefore, brothers, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)In all our affliction and distress.—The words give no decisive indication whether the distress came from within or from without, and it is impossible to specify in what it consisted; but either way it suits very well with Acts 18:5-17; 1Corinthians 2:3.2 Corinthians 1:3-7; 2 Corinthians 7:6-7. The sense here is, that their steadfastness was a great source of comfort to him in his trials. It was an instance where the holy lives and the fidelity of a people did much, as will always be the case, to lighten the burdens and cheer the heart of a minister of the gospel. In the inevitable trials of the ministerial office there is no source of comfort more rich and pure than this.
in—in the midst of: notwithstanding "all our distress (Greek, 'necessity') and affliction," namely, external trials at Corinth, whence Paul writes (compare 1Th 3:6, with Ac 18:5-10).comforted by this faith of theirs in all his own affliction and distress. The faithfulness and constancy of a people is the great comfort of their teachers. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth, 3Jo 1:4.
in all our affliction and distress: which they met with at Corinth, where the apostle laboured with his own hands, and ministered to his own, and the necessities of others, and was greatly opposed, reproached, and persecuted; see Acts 18:3, but the news of the good estate and condition the Thessalonians were in, was a great relief and comfort to him, particularly their faith:
by your faith: by the report of it, that it grew exceedingly, and that they walked in the truth; see 1 John 5:4. The Alexandrian copy reads, "in all your distress and affliction, and by your faith."Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1 Thessalonians 3:7. Διὰ τοῦτο] is added in consequence of the preceding long participial sentence, and as its recapitulation. But Paul says διὰ τοῦτο, not διὰ ταῦτα, as we would naturally expect, because he here regards the joyful message of Timotheus as a whole or in its unity, but does not think on the separate points enumerated above.
παρεκλήθημεν] the aorist, in connection with ἄρτι, 1 Thessalonians 3:6, proves that this Epistle was composed immediately after the return of Timotheus.
ἐφʼ ὑμῖν] in reference to you (comp. 2 Corinthians 7:7), is not superfluous on account of the following διὰ τῆς ὑμῶν πίστεως (Koppe, Pelt), but puts the personal object first in regard to whom the consolation of the apostle occurred, whilst διὰ τῆς ὑμῶν πίστεως brings in afterwards the actual circumstances, by which the consolation was called forth.
ἘΠῚ ΠΆΣῌ Τῇ ἉΝΆΓΚῌ ΚΑῚ ΘΛΊΨΕΙ ἩΜῶΝ] on (or in) all our necessity and tribulation. ἐπὶ is not a causal, but a temporal statement. Comp. 2 Corinthians 7:4; Winer, p. 350 [E. T. 489]. Erroneously Schott, in every necessity and tribulation which we endure; this would be expressed by ἐπὶ πάσῃ ἀνάγκῃ κ.τ.λ. (without an article). By ΘΛΊΨΙς Schott understands the tribulation caused by the Corinthian adversaries of the apostle; and by ἈΝΆΓΚΗ, either sickness or (so also Macknight) pecuniary indigence, combined with hard labour; whilst Bouman (Chartae theolog. I. p. 80) considers “ἀνάγκην vocabulum generale esse, quod nullum non calamitatum genus contineat; θλίψιν de oppressionibus singulatim dici ac persecutionibus, quibus Christianos vel Ethnici vexarent vel Judaei.” These special determinations or limitations are certainly precarious; still so much is certain, that ἀνάγκη and ΘΛΊΨΙς cannot here be interpreted, with de Wette and Koch, of care and anxiety, but are to be understood of external necessity and tribulation. For the care and anxiety of the apostle could only, according to the context, refer to the Thessalonians, and must have been removed by the message of Timotheus. But ἐπί imports that the ἈΝΆΓΚΗ and ΘΛΊΨΙς of the apostle continued in spite of the glad message of Timotheus; on the other hand, by reason of it they were no longer esteemed or felt by the apostle as an evil (comp. 1 Thessalonians 3:8). For the thought can only be: We were comforted during, or in spite of, the heavy burden of necessity and tribulation which weighs upon us, consequently still rests upon us. With this interpretation what follows in 1 Thessalonians 3:8 must suitably agree.
 The opinion of Hofmann, that διὰ τῆς ὑμῶν πίστεως is to be combined with ὅτι νῦν ζῶμεν, ver. 8, whilst with the emphasis on ὑμῶν it must be translated: “because it is your faith by which we now live,” is so monstrous that it requires no refutation.7. therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you] for this cause (R. V.), the Greek phrase being identical with that of 1 Thessalonians 3:5. But while its reference there was to the peril of the tempted Thessalonians causing the Apostle intense anxiety, here it is to their loyalty and affection bringing him a corresponding joy. For a similar instance, comp. 2 Corinthians 7:6-7 : “He that comforteth the downcast, even God, comforted us by the coming of Titus … and in the comfort with which he was comforted over you,” &c.
For the verb “comfort” see note on 1 Thessalonians 3:2.
in all our affliction and distress] distress and affliction (R. V.), or necessity and affliction. The first of these terms, as e.g. in 1 Corinthians 9:16 (“Necessity is laid upon me”), implies outward constraint, stress of circumstances, or sometimes of duty; while the second (see ch. 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 3:3-4) commonly denotes trouble from men. For similar and more extended combinations, see 2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 12:10.
The preposition is literally over (as in last clause), not in. It was not simply that Timothy’s tidings brought comfort to the Apostle amidst his present trials; but this comfort bore upon those trials. The steadfastness of the Thessalonians heartened him to meet his troubles at Corinth. This effect of Silas and Timothy’s arrival “from Macedonia” is hinted in Acts 18:5.
we were comforted … through your faith (R. V.). This conveyed the needed solace to the lonely Apostle. Their “faith” was the essential point, that about which Timothy was sent to enquire (1 Thessalonians 3:5); if this remained, all would go well. So our Lord prayed for Peter, “That thy faith fail not” (Luke 22:32). “By faith ye stand” (2 Corinthians 1:24; see next verse).1 Thessalonians 3:7. Διὰ τῆς—πίστεως, by—faith) Construe this with παρεκλήθημεν, we were comforted.Verse 7. - Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you - with reference to you - in all our affliction and distress. Some refer "affliction" to outward troubles, and "distress" to internal evils - referring the one to the persecutions arising from his Corinthian opponents, and the other to his bodily infirmity (Koch). Such a distinction is, however, precarious. The words do not refer to the apostle's anxiety on account of the Thessalonians, for that was removed by the coming of Timothy. Clearly some external trouble is denoted. Paul, when he preached the gospel at Corinth, and before he obtained the protection of Gallio, was exposed to much persecution and danger. The Jews had expelled him from their synagogue (Acts 18:6), and attempts had been made against him which at length broke out into an insurrection against him, when he was dragged before the Roman tribunal (Acts 18:12). His condition at Corinth when he wrote this Epistle was dark and gloomy. By your faith; by the steadfastness of your faith. The good news which Timothy brought of the faith and love of the Thessalonians comforted the apostle amid all the trials and difficulties and disappointments of his ministry (comp. with this passage 2 Corinthians 7:4-7).
Rev. distress. The derivation from ἄγξειν to press tightly, to choke (Lightfoot, Ellicott) is doubtful. In the sense of urgency, distress, seldom in Class. See 1 Corinthians 7:26; 2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 12:10; Luke 21:23.
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