1 Thessalonians 4:11
And that you study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11)And that ye study to be quiet.—The word means more than “study;” “and that ye make it your ambition to keep quiet”—their ambition having formerly been to make a stir among the Churches. It is a strong use of the rhetorical figure called oxymoron, or combining words of contrary meaning in order to give force and point to the style. The warnings in this verse are not directed against defiance of the law of brotherly love, but against a thoroughly wrong mode of showing that love: the unquietness, meddlesomeness, desultoriness with which it was accompanied are not so much instances of unkindness to the brotherhood as scandals to the heathen. Hence the conjunction at the beginning of the verse has something of an adversative force: “We beg you to be even more abundantly liberal, and (yet) at the same time to agitate for perfect calmness about it.” It is commonly supposed (but proof is impossible) that the unsettlement arose from belief in the nearness of the Advent.

Do your own business.—Not merely was each individual to do his own work, but the whole Church was to refrain from interfering ostentatiously with other Churches. In all languages, “to mind one’s own business” signifies rather the negative idea of ceasing to meddle than the positive idea of industry.

Work with your own hands.—Apparently the Thessalonians had been so busy in organising away from home that they had had no time to see to their own industry, and so (see end of next verse) were beginning to fall into difficulties. The words “with your own hands” are supposed to indicate that most of the Thessalonian Christians were of the artisan class.

4:9-12 We should notice in others what is good, to their praise, that we may engage them to abound therein more and more. All who are savingly taught of God, are taught to love one another. The teaching of the Spirit exceeds the teachings of men; and men's teaching is vain and useless, unless God teach. Those remarkable for this or any other grace, need to increase therein, as well as to persevere to the end. It is very desirable to have a calm and quiet temper, and to be of a peaceable and quiet behaviour. Satan is busy to trouble us; and we have in our hearts what disposes us to be unquiet; therefore let us study to be quiet. Those who are busy-bodies, meddling in other men's matters, have little quiet in their own minds, and cause great disturbances among their neighbours. They seldom mind the other exhortation, to be diligent in their own calling, to work with their own hands. Christianity does not take us from the work and duty of our particular callings, but teaches us to be diligent therein. People often by slothfulness reduce themselves to great straits, and are liable to many wants; while such as are diligent in their own business, earn their own bread, and have great pleasure in so doing.And that ye study to be quiet - Orderly, peaceful; living in the practice of the calm virtues of life. The duty to which he would exhort them was that of being subordinate to the laws; of avoiding all tumult and disorder; of calmly pursuing their regular avocations, and of keeping themselves from all the assemblages of the idle, the restless, and the dissatisfied. No Christian should be engaged in a mob; none should be identified with the popular excitements which lead to disorder and to the disregard of the laws. The word rendered "ye study" (φιλοτιμέομαι philotimeomai), means properly, "to love honor, to be ambitious;" and here means the same as when we say "to make it a point of honor to do so and so. Robinson, Lex. It is to be regarded as a sacred duty; a thing in which our honor is concerned. Every man should regard himself as disgraced who is concerned in a mob.

And to do your own business - To attend to their own concerns, without interfering with the affairs of others; see the notes on Philippians 2:4; compare 2 Thessalonians 3:11; 1 Timothy 5:13; 1 Peter 4:13. The injunction here is one of the beautiful precepts of Christianity so well adapted to promote the good order and the happiness of society. It would prevent the impertinent and unauthorized prying into the affairs of others, to which many are so prone, and produce that careful attention to what properly belongs to our calling in life, which leads to thrift, order, and competence. Religion teaches no man to neglect his business. It requires no one to give up an honest calling and to be idle. It asks no one to forsake a useful occupation; unless he can exchange it for one more useful. It demands, indeed, that we shall be willing so far to suspend our ordinary labors as to observe the Sabbath; to maintain habits of devotion; to improve our minds and hearts by the study of truth, to cultivate the social affections, and to do good to others as we have an opportunity; but it makes no one idle, and it countenances idleness in no one. A man who is habitually idle can have very slender pretensions to piety. There is enough in this world for every one to do, and the Saviour set such an example of untiring industry in his vocation as to give each one occasion to doubt whether he is his true follower if he is not disposed to be employed.

And to work with your own hands, as we commanded you - This command is not referred to in the history Acts 17, but it is probable that the apostle saw that many of those residing in Thessalonica were disposed to spend their time in indolence, and hence insisted strongly on the necessity of being engaged in some useful occupation; compare Acts 17:21. Idleness is one of the great evils of the pagan world in almost every country, and the parent of no small part of their vices. The effect of religion everywhere is to make people industrious; and every man, who is able, should feel himself under sacred obligation to be employed. God made man to work (compare Genesis 2:15; Genesis 3:19), and there is no more benevolent arrangement of his government than this. No one who has already enough for himself and family, but who can make money to do good to others, has a right to retire from business and to live in idleness (compare Acts 20:34; Ephesians 4:27); no one has a right to live in such a relation as to be wholly dependent on others, if he can support himself; and no one has a right to compel others to labor for him, and to exact their unrequited toil, in order that he may be supported in indolence and ease. The application of this rule to all mankind would speedily put an end to slavery, and would convert multitudes, even in the church, from useless to useful people. If a man has no necessity to labor for himself and family, he should regard it as an inestimable privilege to be permitted to aid those who cannot work - the sick, the aged, the infirm. If a man has no need to add to what he has for his own temporal comfort, what a privilege it is for him to toil in promoting public improvements: in founding colleges, libraries, hospitals, and asylums; and in sending the gospel to those who are sunk in wretchedness and want! No man understands fully the blessings which God has bestowed on him, if he has hands to work and will not work.

11. study to be quiet—Greek, "make it your ambition to be quiet, and to do your own business." In direct contrast to the world's ambition, which is, "to make a great stir," and "to be busybodies" (2Th 3:11, 12).

work with your own hands—The Thessalonian converts were, it thus seems, chiefly of the working classes. Their expectation of the immediate coming of Christ led some enthusiasts among them to neglect their daily work and be dependent on the bounty of others. See end of 1Th 4:12. The expectation was right in so far as that the Church should be always looking for Him; but they were wrong in making it a ground for neglecting their daily work. The evil, as it subsequently became worse, is more strongly reproved in 2Th 3:6-12.

And that ye study to be quiet: he exhorts to quietness, and yet to be diligent; and probably he might see this needful, either by what he himself had observed amongst them, or by what he had heard of them, as appears by what he writes in his Second Epistle, 2 Thessalonians 3:10,11. To be quiet is to be of a peaceable temper and carriage, as the Greek word hsucazein importeth both; and stands contrary to strife, contention, division, either upon a civil or religious account. And to

study to be quiet, because the thing may be difficult, especially in some circumstances of times, places, and persons. And the Greek word filotimeisyai implies an ambitious study. Quietness we should pursue with a holy ambition, as that which is honourable to ourselves and our profession, Proverbs 20:3. The same word is used 2 Corinthians 5:9, where it is rendered we labour, & c. Study is properly the exercise of the mind, yet it here comprehends any kind of labour. This agrees with what the apostle elsewhere exhorteth to, Hebrews 12:14: see 1 Peter 3:11.

And to do your own business: he next commendeth to them diligence, and that in our own business; and this he prescribeth as a good way for quietness, contentions often arising from meddling in the affairs of other men which concern us not; for which he rebukes some in this church, 2 Thessalonians 3:11. But yet only to seek our own things is a great fault, and lamented by the apostle, Philippians 2:21. We are to concern ourselves in the affairs of others when called to it, and not otherwise; and then we may reckon them among our own things. A Christian’s calling is either general or particular, and what falls not within the compass of one of these, is to be accounted not our own business. And our doing and suffering ought to be kept within the sphere of our calling; for to suffer otherwise, is to suffer as busybodies, which the apostle cautions against, 1 Peter 4:15; as a bishop intruding himself into another’s office, to which the word there alludes.

And to work with your own hands; this condemneth idleness, and living out of a calling; we are not only to keep within our own sphere, but to stretch forth our hands to work. The same precept he gives to the Ephesians, Ephesians 4:28, not to steal, but to work with their hands, that they may not only eat their own bread, 2 Thessalonians 3:12, but have to give to him that lacketh. Not that there is no other work but that of the hands; the ministers of the gospel are excused from that, 1 Corinthians 9:6, but not from work; there is the work of the head, and the tongue, and the foot, and the lungs, as well as of the hands; but either under one species he comprehends all, or it may be he fitteth his speech to the condition of the people to whom he writes, who generally had such occupations wherein they wrought with their hands, Thessalonica being a great place of trade. And the apostle speaks of the churches of Macedonia as a poor sort of people, 2 Corinthians 8:2, and liberal beyond their power; though some among them might be tempted to idleness by the charity of others to them, which, as some conceive, was the occasion of the apostle’s thus writing. But if men have estates, and upon that account need not work, yet no man is to be idle: men’s time, parts, or other talents are to be employed, and account thereof is to be given, Matthew 25:19; and the unprofitable servant is cast into outer darkness, Matthew 25:30. Some way or other every man is to work, and may work, for profit to himself and others, unless under some invincible impediment.

As we commanded you; he means, when he was with them. He might probably observe some occasion for this commandment. Industry is of good report with all; and by meddling in others’ affairs, and unquiet carriage and idleness, they might dishonour their Christian profession among the heathen, which might be the chief reason of this commandment: and the apostle doth not act herein as a civil magistrate, commanding about civil affairs for the public welfare; but as a minister of Christ, with respect to a spiritual end, as appears by what follows. And that ye study to be quiet,.... To live peaceably in their own families, and to give no disturbance to other families, by talebearing, whispering, and backbiting; to behave with quietness in the neighbourhood, town, or city, they dwell in, and to seek the peace thereof; and to lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty, in the commonwealth, and under the government to which they belong; and not to create and encourage factions, divisions, animosities, and contentions, in their own church, or in any of the churches of Christ; and it becomes saints to make this their study, to be very solicitous for it, to strive for it, and pursue after it: the word used signifies to be ambitious of it, as what is a man's glory and honour, to emulate and strive to outdo each other, as who shall have the honour of being the quietest person, and the most peaceable member in the community:

and to do your own business: or private business, or what is proper and peculiar to a man's self; to abide every man in his own calling wherein he is called, and attend the business of it, and not thrust himself into other families, and officiously take upon him, under a pretence of zeal, affection, and friendship, to inspect, direct, or manage the business of others: in short, he should not meddle with other people's business, but mind his own: and this is what the Jews call , "the way of the earth", or the business of life:

"there are four things, (they say (a)) in which a man should employ himself continually, with all his might, and these are they, the law, and good works, and prayer, and the business of life;''

upon which the gloss has this note by way of explanation,

"if a man is an artificer (let him attend) to his art; if a merchant to his merchandise, and if he is a soldier to war;''

and which may serve to illustrate the apostle's sense:

and to work with your own hands; the reason of this is, because there were some among them, who would not work at all; see 2 Thessalonians 3:11 and by this instruction it appears, that the members of this church, in common, were such as were brought up to handicraft trades and businesses, and were poor and mean; and this was the general case of the primitive churches: it pleased God to choose and call the poor of this world, to whom the Gospel was preached, and they received it; few of the rulers among the Jews believed in Christ, and not many mighty, rich, or noble among the Gentiles were called; some there were, and in this church there were some of the chief women of the city, Acts 17:4, and though these and others of the better sort, as well as ministers of the Gospel among them, who laboured in the word and doctrine, were not obliged by this to perform manual work and labour, yet were not exempted from all concern in the exhortation; it being proper and necessary, that all sorts of persons be employed in one sort of business or another, and to use diligence and application in it: the apostle's view being chiefly to inveigh against sloth and idleness, and to exhort to labour and industry as the most effectual method to preserve peace and quietness, and to keep persons from being troublesome and hurtful, in families, churches, and commonwealths: the reasons enforcing this follow in this and the next verse,

as we commanded you; and the command of an apostle carries weight and authority with it, and ought to be obeyed; yea, they not only strictly enjoined a diligent application to business, but set them an example themselves, see 1 Thessalonians 2:9.

(a) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 32. 2.

{7} And that ye study to be quiet, {8} and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

(7) He condemns unsettled minds, and such as are curious in matters which do not concern them.

(8) He rebukes idleness and slothfulness: and whoever is given to these vices, fall into other wickedness, to the great offence of the Church.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Thessalonians 4:11 is attached to the preceding in the loosest grammatical connection. It has been thought that 1 Thessalonians 4:11 is only a further development of the preceding exhortation. So Olshausen, who finds in the whole section, 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12, only an exhortation to love, and in such a manner that 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 refer to love to fellow-Christians, and 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 to love to man in general. To the latter in particular, inasmuch as the Thessalonians were required to give no occasion to those who were not Christians to blame anything in the professors of the gospel. But evidently the apostle, when he exhorts his readers to give no offence by their conduct to those who were not Christians, considers this not as the fulfilment of the commandment of love to man in general, but as a matter of prudence and discretion, in order in such a manner to counteract the prejudices against Christianity, and so to pave the way for its diffusion in wider circles. Comp. also Colossians 4:5-6. Others suppose that to the exhortation to φιλαδελφία a warning against its abuse is attached; as some in the church practised liberality, so others made use of this liberality as an occasion of leading an idle life. So already Theodoret: Οὐκ ἐναντία τοῖς προῤῥηθεῖσιν ἐπαίνοις ἡ παραίνεσις· συνέβαινε γάρ, τοὺς μὲν φιλοτίμως χορηγεῖν τοῖς δεομένοις τὴν χρείαν, τοὺς δὲ διὰ τὴν τούτων φιλοτιμίαν ἀμελεῖν τῆς ἐργασίας· εἰκότως τοίνυν κἀκείνους ἐπῄνεσε καὶ τούτοις τὰ πρόσφορα συνεβούλευσε; and after him Estius (“Hac eorum liberalitate quidam pauperiores abutentes, otio et inertiae vacabant, discurrentes per domos et inhiantes mensis divitum atque in res alienas curiosi, adeo ut hoc nomine etiam apud infideles male audirent”), Benson, Flatt, Schott, de Wette (wavering), and Koch. But against this view is decisive—(1) That such a sharp division of the church into two different classes is not justified by the context; for, on account of the close connection of 1 Thessalonians 4:11 with the preceding, those of whom περισσεύειν μᾶλλον is required are the same with those to whom the exhortation to φιλοτιμεῖσθαι ἡσυχάζειν κ.τ.λ. is addressed. It accordingly follows, that as the church as such was distinguished by active brotherly love, so also the church as such (not a mere fraction of it) did not possess the qualities mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:11. (2) According to this view, the stress is placed only on ἐργάζεσθαι ταῖς χερσὶν ὑμῶν, whereas the demand to ἡσυχάζειν and πράσσειν τὰ ἴδια is entirely left out of consideration. And yet it apparently follows, from φιλοτιμεῖσθαι ἡσυχάζειν καὶ πράσσειν τὰ ἴδια being placed first, that the main point lies on these, whilst the idleness blamed in the readers is evidently described only as a consequence or result of the neglected ἡσυχάζειν καὶ πράσσειν τὰ ἴδια.

Accordingly, as a closer connection of ideas, than that which the form of the grammatical construction appears to indicate, is not without force demonstrable, we must, mindful of the rapid transitions which are peculiar to the Apostle Paul, especially in the practical parts of his Epistles, consider 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 as a new exhortation, internally distinct from that in 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10, and which only happens to be united with it, as both refer to the moral furtherance of the Christian life.

φιλοτιμεῖσθαι ἡσυχάζειν] is to be taken together: to make it your ambition to live quietly, and the juxtaposition of the two verbs is an oxymoron, as in the usual course of things every φιλοτιμία is properly an impulse to shine by actions.[52] Calvin takes ΦΙΛΟΤΙΜΕῖΣΘΑΙ by itself, referring it back to the command to brotherly love: Postquam enim admonuit, ut crescant in caritate, sanctam aemulationem illis commendat, ut mutuo inter se amore certent, vel (?) certe praecipit, ut se ipsum unusquisque vincere contendat, atque hoc posterius magis amplector. Ergo ut perfecta sit eorum caritas, contentionem in illis requirit. So also Hemming, and already Theophylact, leave this and the usual construction a matter of choice. But the omission of ΚΑΊ before ἩΣΥΧΆΖΕΙΝ would be harsh. On ΦΙΛΟΤΙΜΕῖΣΘΑΙ, comp. Romans 15:20; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Kypke, II. p. 189. The counterpart of ἩΣΥΧΆΖΕΙΝ is ΠΕΡΙΕΡΓΆΖΕΣΘΑΙ, 2 Thessalonians 3:11, and ΠΟΛΥΠΡΑΓΜΟΝΕῖΝ, Plat. Gorg. 526 C.

The disquiet or unsteadiness which prevailed in the church is not to be sought for in the political (so Zwingli: Nemo tumultuetus, nemo motum excitet; and, but undecidedly, Koppe: seditioner adversus magistratus Romanos; comp. also Schott, p. 121), but in the religious sphere. It was, as it appears, an excitement of mind which had been called forth by the new world of thought produced by Christianity; but an excitement, on the one hand, risen to such an unnatural height that worldly business was neglected, and idleness stepped into the place of a regular laborious life; and, on the other hand, manifesting itself by such a fanatical spiritual zeal that the Christians by such a line of conduct must fall into discredit with those who are not Christians. It is not improbable that the thought of the impending advent of Christ formed the centre part of this excitement. At least this, by a natural association of ideas, would give the reason why Paul after 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 suddenly interrupts the course of his admonitions, in order, exactly at this place, to attach instructions concerning the advent, whilst 1 Thessalonians 5:12 ff. shows that he intended to give various other admonitions.

The exhortation of the apostle in 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:8, to be prepared for the unexpected entrance of the advent, which might be abused in favour of such an excitement, is not decisive against the reference to an apocalyptic fanaticism (against de Wette, who for this reason supposes only “pious excitement in general”), because that exhortation intervenes between preceding (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5) and succeeding (1 Thessalonians 5:9 ff.) consolatory expressions, and, accordingly, loses all that is alarming about it; the addition of that exhortation was too naturally and necessarily required by the explanation of the circumstance itself, that Paul should have suppressed it from mere fear of a possible abuse.

πράσσειν τὰ ἴδια] same as ἹΔΙΟΠΡΑΓΕῖΝ, to be mindful of one’s own concerns, without wishing to take the oversight of the concerns of our neighbour. If the above remarks are not incorrect, Paul thinks on the unauthorized zeal, by which they had used the advent as a means of terror, in order to draw before their tribunal what was a matter of individual conscience, and by which a care for the salvation of their neighbour was assumed with an objectionable curiosity, τὰ ἑαυτοῦ πράσσειν would be more correct Greek than ΤᾺ ἼΔΙΑ ΠΡΆΣΣΕΙΝ. See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 441 f.; Kypke, II. p. 338 f. Comp. Dio Cass. lx. 27: τὴν δὲ δὴ ἡσυχίαν ἄγων καὶ τὰ ἑαυτοῦ πράττων ἐσώζετο.

ἐργάζεσθαι] means nothing else than to work. Incorrectly, Flatt: to gain one’s maintenance by work; Baumgarten-Crusius: not to be ashamed of work. From the addition ταῖς χερσὶν ὑμῶν, it follows that the Thessalonian church was mostly composed of the working class. Comp. also 1 Corinthians 1:26. Calixt, Pelt, Schott, Hofmann, and others erroneously find expressed in the words any imaginable business. Paul mentions only the business of hand labour, and to apply this to regular business of any form or kind is entirely to sever it from this meaning of the expression.

καθὼς ὑμῖν παρηγγείλαμεν] refers not only to ἘΡΓΆΖΕΣΘΑΙ, but to the whole of 1 Thessalonians 4:11. It would seem from this that these disorders already prevailed in their beginnings during the apostle’s personal residence in Thessalonica. There is nothing objectionable in this inference, as (1) from 2 Thessalonians 2:5 it appears that at the publication of the gospel in Thessalonica the advent had been the subject of very special explanations; and (2) the effect of such explanations on the minds of Gentiles anxious about salvation must have been overwhelming. Baur, p. 484, therefore is entirely mistaken when he maintains that exhortations, such as those given in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, could not have been necessary for a church recently founded.

[52] Bengel: φιλοτιμία politica erubescit ἡσυχάζειν.1 Thessalonians 4:11. φιλοτ. ἡσυχάζειν (oxymoron). The prospect of the second advent (1 Thessalonians 4:13 f., 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10) seems to have made some local enthusiasts feel that it was superfluous for them to go on working, if the world was to be broken up immediately. This feverish symptom occupies Paul more in the diagnosis of his second letter, but it may have been present to his mind here. For instances of this common phase in unbalanced minds compare the story of Hippolytus (Comm. Dan., 4:19) about a Pontic bishop in the second century who misled his people by prophesying the advent within six months, and also a recent outburst of the same superstition in Tripoli (Westminster Gazette, Nov., 1899) where “the report that the end of the world will come on November 13” produced “an amazing state of affairs. The Israelites are sending their wives to pray in the synagogues, and most workmen have ceased work. Debtors refuse to pay their debts, so that trade is almost paralysed.”—καὶ πράσσειν τὰ ἴδια. Plato uses a similar expression in his Republic, 496 D (ἡσυχίαν ἔχων καὶ τὰ αὑτοῦ πράττων); but of the philosopher who withdraws in despair from the lawlessness of a world which he is impotent to help (see also Thompson’s note on Gorg., 526c).11. and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business] Lit., that you be ambitions to be quiet—an example of St Paul’s characteristic irony; the contrast between ambition and quiet giving a sharper point to his exhortation, as though he said, “Make it your ambition to have no ambition!” The love of personal distinction was an active influence and potent for mischief in Greek city life; possibly the Thessalonians were touched with it, and betrayed symptoms of the restless and emulous spirit that afterwards gave the Apostle so much trouble at Corinth. Comp. 1 Timothy 2:2, where he makes it an object of prayer, “that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life.” Eager and active as his own nature was, St Paul much admired this kind of life, and deemed it ordinarily the fittest for the cultivation of Christian character, and (study), he continues, to be occupied with your own affairs. This, too, was to be their aim and ambition, in contrast with the busybody, gad-about habits to which some of them were inclined (see 2 Thessalonians 3:11, and note).

Those who meddle with other people’s business, commonly neglect their own; and idleness goes hand in hand with officiousness. Accordingly St Paul adds, and to work with your hands. Most of the Thessalonian Christians were probably handicraftsmen of one kind or other. Even for the few who possessed larger means the Apostle may have thought manual labour a good discipline; comp. note on ch. 1 Thessalonians 2:9, and 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12. He perceived the danger, especially marked in this Church, arising from the unsettling effect which great spiritual excitement is apt to have upon the pursuance of the ordinary duties of life. Hence this had been a subject of his warnings from the beginning—even as we charged you (comp. 1 Thessalonians 4:2). The Apostle Paul combined in his teaching a lofty spirituality with a quick sense for practical necessities.1 Thessalonians 4:11. Φιλοτιμεῖσθαι ἡσυχάζειν) that you study (be ambitious) to be quiet) An Oxymoron.[15] Political ambition is ashamed to be quiet. Its opposite is περιεργάζεσθαι [to be busybodies, opposed to, with quietness—work], 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12. It is therefore added here, πράσσειν τὰ ἴδια, to do your own business. There is, however, a strict propriety imparted to the word φιλοτιμεῖσθαι from 1 Thessalonians 4:12, at the end.[16]—ἐργάζεσθαι, to labour) It was necessary to mention this to men who had acquired a taste for heaven. Men immersed in the world labour of their own accord. The admonition increases in force at 2 Thessalonians 3:6-7.

[15] See App. The figure by which things contrary (as here ambition and quiet) are acutely and wisely joined together.

[16] i.e. “Having nothing which you need” to solicit ambitiously from others.—ED.Verse 11. - And that ye study; literally, that ye be ambitious. To be quiet; to avoid unrest, to live in peace. Worldly ambition excludes quietness and prompts to restlessness; so that the apostle's admonition really is, "that ye be ambitious not to be ambitious." The unrest which disturbed the peace of the Thessalonian Church was not political, but religions; it arose from the excitement naturally occasioned by the entrance of the new feeling of Christianity among them. It would also appear that they were excited by the idea of Christ's immediate advent. This had occasioned disorders, and had caused several to neglect their ordinary business and to give themselves over to an indolent inactivity, so that Christian prudence was overborne (comp. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12). Perhaps, also, the liberality of the richer members of the Church was abused and perverted, so as to promote indolence. And to do your own business; to attend to the duties of your worldly calling, to avoid idleness. And to work with your own hands. From this it would appear that the members of the Thessalonian Church were chiefly composed of the laboring classes. As we commanded you. A precisely similar exhortation is given in the Epistle to the Ephesians: "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good" (Ephesians 4:28). Study (φιλοτιμεῖσθαι)

Po. Make it your aim. Comp. Romans 15:20 (see note); 2 Corinthians 5:9. Often in Class. Lit. to be fond of honor: hence to strive for honor, to be ambitious.

To be quiet (ἡσυχάζειν)

Note the paradox, strive to be quiet. For similar instances see Romans 1:20, unseen things clearly seen: Romans 1:22, wise, be fooled (comp. Horace, Od. 1, 34, 2, insaniens sapientia): 2 Corinthians 8:2, poverty abounded unto riches: 2 Corinthians 7:10, repentance, not to be repented of. The disturbances rebuked in the second Epistle may have begun to show themselves, so that there is a possible allusion to the idle busybodies of 2 Thessalonians 3:11.

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1 Thessalonians 4:10
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