2 Thessalonians 1:5 Commentaries: This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
2 Thessalonians 1:5
Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Which is . . .—In the fervid eloquence of the original these connecting words are omitted, and the clause added in a kind of apposition to the words “in all your persecutions;” the effect is the same as when we in English put a dash: “which ye endure—a manifest token,” &c. The indication of God’s righteous judgment consisted not so much in the vitality and growth of the Thessalonians’ faith and love as in the very fact of their being persecuted; such persecution was an actual indication how the fair judgment of God would go in the last day. No undue stress is to be laid upon the epithet “righteous,” as if it were “a token of the righteousness of God’s judgment;” the point is only to indicate already what a fair judge was likely to decide.

That ye may be counted worthy.—This expresses the result, not of the future judgment of God, but of the patient sufferings which reveal what that judgment will be. The “counting worthy” (or rather, perhaps, the “declaring worthy”) is, in fact, the “judgment” or sentence itself. “You suffer in such a manner that we can forecast the fair verdict of God: viz., so as to be then declared (the Greek tense points to a distinct moment of forming the estimate) fit to receive God’s kingdom.” The word “counted worthy” has in this place nothing to do with the theological question of merit.

The kingdom of God.—Which had formed a prominent feature of the first preaching at Thessalonica. (See Introduction to the First Epistle to the Thessalonians.) Are the Thessalonian Christians, then, not yet in the kingdom of God? Yes; but only as its subjects: hereafter they are to be counted worthy not of admission into it, but of it itself—i.e., to inherit it, to become kings of it. (Comp. the parallel argument in 2Timothy 2:12.)

For which ye also suffer.—St. Paul is very fond of this “also” in relative clauses; it tightens the coupling between the relative and antecedent clauses, and so brings out more clearly the vital connection between suffering and reigning. They suffer “for the kingdom,” not merely for the sake of winning it, but on its behalf, in defence of it, in consequence of being its citizens, to extend its dominion.

1:5-10 Religion, if worth anything, is worth every thing; and those have no religion, or none worth having, or know not how to value it, cannot find their hearts to suffer for it. We cannot by all our sufferings, any more than by our services, merit heaven; but by our patience under sufferings, we are prepared for the promised joy. Nothing more strongly marks a man for eternal ruin, than a spirit of persecution and enmity to the name and people of God. God will trouble those that trouble his people. And there is a rest for the people of God; a rest from sin and sorrow. The certainty of future recompence is proved by the righteousness of God. The thoughts of this should be terrible to wicked men, and support the righteous. Faith, looking to the great day, is enabled partly to understand the book of providence, which appears confused to unbelievers. The Lord Jesus will in that day appear from heaven. He will come in the glory and power of the upper world. His light will be piercing, and his power consuming, to all who in that day shall be found as chaff. This appearance will be terrible to those that know not God, especially to those who rebel against revelation, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the great crime of multitudes, the gospel is revealed, and they will not believe it; or if they pretend to believe, they will not obey it. Believing the truths of the gospel, is in order to our obeying the precepts of the gospel. Though sinners may be long spared, they will be punished at last. They did sin's work, and must receive sin's wages. Here God punishes sinners by creatures as instruments; but then, it will be destruction from the Almighty; and who knows the power of his anger? It will be a joyful day to some, to the saints, to those who believe and obey the gospel. In that bright and blessed day, Christ Jesus will be glorified and admired by his saints. And Christ will be glorified and admired in them. His grace and power will be shown, when it shall appear what he has purchased for, and wrought in, and bestowed upon those who believe in him. Lord, if the glory put upon thy saints shall be thus admired, how much more shalt thou be admired, as the Bestower of that glory! The glory of thy justice in the damnation of the wicked will be admired, but not as the glory of thy mercy in the salvation of believers. How will this strike the adoring angels with holy admiration, and transport thy admiring saints with eternal rapture! The meanest believer shall enjoy more than the most enlarged heart can imagine while we are here; Christ will be admired in all those that believe, the meanest believer not excepted.Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God - The word "which" is supplied by our translators, and there may be some doubt to what the apostle has reference as being "a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God." The general sense seems to be, that the fact that they were thus persecuted was an evidence that there would be a future judgment, when the righteous who were persecuted would be rewarded, and the wicked who persecuted them would be punished. The manner in which they bore their trials was an indication also of what the result would be in regard to them. Their patience and faith under persecutions were constantly showing that they would "be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which they were called to suffer." It is evident that a relative must be supplied here, as our translators have done, but there has been a difference of view as to what it refers. Some suppose that it is to "patience," others to "persecutions and tribulations," and others to the "whole sentence" preceding. The latter is probably the true construction, and the sense is, that the endurance of affliction in a proper manner by the righteous is a proof that there will be a righteous judgment of God in the last day:

(1) It is evidence that there will be a future judgment - since the righteous here suffer so much, and the wicked triumph.

(2) these things are now permitted in order that the character may be developed, and that the reason of the sentence in the last day may be seen.

(3) the manner in which these afflictions are borne is an evidence - an indication (ἔνδειγμα endeigma) of what the results of the judgment will be. The word rendered "manifest token" (ἔνδειγμα endeigma), occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means an indication, token, proof - anything that shows or points out how a thing is, or is to be (from ἐνδείκνυμι endeiknumi, to show, to point out). The meaning here is, therefore, that the course of events referred to - the persecutions which they endured, and the manner in which they were borne - furnished a proof that there would be a righteous judgment, and also afforded an indication of what the result of that judgment would be. We may, in general, learn what will be the issues of the judgment in the case of an individual from the manner in which he bears trials.

Of the righteous judgment of God - That there will be a just judgment hereafter. The crimes of the wicked who go unpunished on the earth, and the sufferings of the good who are unavenged, are a demonstration that there will be a judgment, when all these inequalities will be adjusted.

That ye may be counted worthy - As the result of your affliction, that you may be fitted for the kingdom of God. This does not mean that Christians will merit heaven by their sufferings, but that they may show that they have such a character that there is a fitness or propriety that they should be admitted there. They may evince by their patience and resignation, by their deadness to the world and their holy lives, that they are not disqualified to enter into that kingdom where the redeemed are to dwell. No true Christian will ever feel that he is worthy on his own account, or that he has any claim to eternal life, yet he may have evidence that he has the characteristics to which God has promised salvation, and is fitted to dwell in heaven.

Of the kingdom of God. - In heaven, see the notes on Matthew 3:2.

For which ye also suffer. - The sufferings which you now endure are because you are professed heirs of the kingdom; that is, you are persecuted because you are Christians; see 1 Thessalonians 2:14.

5. Which—Your enduring these tribulations is a "token of the righteous judgment of God," manifested in your being enabled to endure them, and in your adversaries thereby filling up the measure of their guilt. The judgment is even now begun, but its consummation will be at the Lord's coming. David (Ps 73:1-14) and Jeremiah (Jer 12:1-4) were perplexed at the wicked prospering and the godly suffering. But Paul, by the light of the New Testament, makes this fact a matter of consolation. It is a proof (so the Greek) of the future judgment, which will set to rights the anomalies of the present state, by rewarding the now suffering saint, and by punishing the persecutor. And even now "the Judge of all the earth does right" (Ge 18:25); for the godly are in themselves sinful and need chastisement to amend them. What they suffer unjustly at the hands of cruel men they suffer justly at the hands of God; and they have their evil things here that they may escape condemnation with the world and have their good things hereafter (Lu 16:25; 1Co 11:32) [Edmunds].

that ye may be counted worthy—expressing the purpose of God's "righteous judgment" as regards you.

for which—Greek, "in behalf of which ye are also suffering" (compare Ac 5:41; 9:16; Php 1:29). "Worthy" implies that, though men are justified by faith, they shall be judged "according to their works" (Re 20:12; compare 1Th 2:12; 1Pe 1:6, 7; Re 20:4). The "also" implies the connection between the suffering for the kingdom and being counted worthy of it. Compare Ro 8:17, 18.

These words seem to follow by way of argument, to comfort these Thessalonians under their sufferings:

1. By what they manifest, viz. the righteous judgment of God; they are a plain indication of it, or demonstration, as the word is used by logicians. And by judgment we must not here understand the judgments or afflictions God inflicts in this world; so that when God doth not spare, but chasten his own children, it is a token of his righteous judgment. But rather under understand it of the last judgment: when we see the righteous suffering such wrongs and injuries from wicked men, and they go unpunished, we may argue thence that there is a judgment to come; we cannot else well vindicate the righteousness, wisdom, goodness, and faithfulness of God in his governing the world: as Solomon so argued, when he saw so much unrighteousness in the very seat of justice; I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time for every purpose and work, Ecclesiastes 3:16,17. And this judgment is called here righteous judgment, by way of eminency, as it is expressed by one word, dikaiokrisia, Romans 2:5, (for all God’s judgments are righteous):

(a) Because the wicked will then meet with justice without mercy, which is not so in any present judgments.

(b) Justice will then be clearly manifested, which now lies obscure, both with respect to the righteous and the unrighteous.

And in this sense the words carry an argument of comfort to the saints, under their present unjust, sufferings from their enemies. As to the same purpose the apostle speaks to the Philippians,

Philippians 1:28.

2. The other argument of comfort is from the result of their sufferings, the great advantage which will arise out of them; they will be hence accounted worthy of the kingdom of God: not by way of merit, as the papists say; the Greek word in the text, in its usual acceptation, will not favour that opinion, it signifies no more in the active voice, than the Latin word dignari, which we English to deign, or vouchsafe; and yet we may allow the word to signify more here, not only that this kingdom may be vouchsafed, but that ye may be meet or worthy to receive it; not that all their sufferings could deserve this kingdom, for the apostle saith, Romans 8:18: I reckon the sufferings of this present time not worthy of the glory, & c. There is no proportion between them, and so they cannot merit it, yet God may account those that suffer for this kingdom worthy of it, according to the grace of the new covenant in Jesus Christ, and as it hath a congruity with the nature of God, and his faithfulness in his promises; and so our translation renders the word, not that ye may be worthy of the kingdom of God, but accounted worthy; God of his free grace will account them worthy. The kingdom of God is propounded to men in the new covenant upon certain conditions, and those that perform them have a worthiness of right, as Revelation 22:14, but not of merit. But God enables men to perform the conditions, so that there is nothing on our part properly meritorious; yea, when we have performed them, yet our worthiness is to be attributed to Christ, and God’s grace, and not to ourselves, else man would have whereof to glory. The Scriptures call eternal life the gift of God, Romans 6:23, and attributes salvation to grace, Ephesians 2:8. We must allow a worthiness only that is consistent with grace; but when we have done all we must say: We are unprofitable servants. Luke 17:10; and after all we have done and suffered for the kingdom of God, must pray, as Paul for Onesiphorus, that we may find mercy of the Lord at that day, 2 Timothy 1:18.

For which ye also suffer; the sense either respects their enemies, that it was upon the account of this kingdom that they persecuted them, having nothing else justly against them; or else their own aim and intention in suffering, it was for the kingdom of God. And hence we may learn that his kingdom is worth suffering for, and that in some cases it cannot be obtained without suffering: and he that then refuseth to suffer will be accounted unworthy of it; as he that doth suffer for it, as these Thessalonians, hath, upon the account of God’s covenant, and the merits of Christ, not only the grace and mercy, but the justice and faithfulness, of God engaged to bestow it upon him. And also that we may and ought in our sufferings look to the reward, as Moses did, Hebrews 11:1-40. Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God,.... That is, according as some think, that God should glorify those that are persecuted, and punish their persecutors: this sense indeed may seem to agree with what follows; but the apostle is speaking not of something future, but of something present; not of what God will do hereafter, but of the present sufferings of the saints. According to others the sense is, that God's suffering affliction and persecution to befall his own people, as a chastisement of them, that they may not be condemned with the world, is an evidence of his strict justice, that he will not suffer sin in any to go unobserved by him; and is a manifest token how severely and righteously he will punish the wicked hereafter, see 1 Peter 4:17. But rather the meaning of the words is this, that whereas good men are afflicted and persecuted in this life, they have now their evil things, and bad men prosper and flourish, and have their good things, so that justice does not seem to take place; which seeming inequality in Providence has been sometimes the hardening of wicked men, and the staggering of the righteous, which should not be; this is now a manifest token, and a clear case, that there will be a righteous judgment, in which things will be set aright, and justice will take place; for God is neither unrighteous nor careless, or negligent; and this is observed to support the saints under their sufferings, and to animate them to bear them patiently:

that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer; either of the Gospel, which is sometimes so called, and for which they suffered, and so judged themselves worthy of it; as those that put it away from them, and care not to suffer the least reproach for it, show themselves to be unworthy of it, and of eternal life also: or of a Gospel church state, and a name, and a place in it, for which the people of God likewise suffer; and those who shun reproach and sufferings for it are not worthy to have a place, or their names there: or rather of the heavenly glory; for the hope of which saints suffer much here, whereby their graces are tried, and so they are counted worthy, not by way of merit of it, but meetness for it; many tribulations are the way, or at least lie in the way to this kingdom. In the school of afflictions the saints are trained up for it; and though these are not worthy to be compared with their future happiness, yet they work for them an eternal weight of glory; by the means of these the graces of the Spirit of God are exercised and increased, their hearts are weaned from the world; and coming up out of great tribulations, they wash their garments, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb, and are made meet to be partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light.

{2} Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

(2) He shows the source of all true comfort, that is, that in afflictions which we suffer from the wicked for righteousness' sake, we may behold as it were in a mirror the testimony of that judgment to come, the end of which is most acceptable to us, and most severe to his enemies.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Thessalonians 1:5. Judgment of the apostle concerning the conduct of his readers described in 2 Thessalonians 1:4. Their stedfastness in the sufferings of the present is a guarantee of future glory. 2 Thessalonians 1:5 is a sentence in apposition, which is united to the preceding in the nominative, not in the accusative, to which Buttmann, Gramm. des neutest. Sprachgebr. p. 134 [E. T. 153], is inclined. See Winer, p. 472 [E. T. 669]. But ἔνδειγμα refers not to the subject of ἀνέχεσθε, that is, to the Thessalonians, as if αἷς ἀνέχεσθε, ὄντες ἔνδειγμα were written (comp. Erasmus, Annot., Camerarius, Estius); for however simple and easy such a connection might be grammatically, yet logically it is objectionable. Besides, Paul would hardly have put καταξιωθῆναι ὑμᾶς instead of the simple infinitive, if he thought on no difference of subject in ἔνδειγμα and καταξιωθῆναι. But also ἔνδειγμα is not to be referred to πᾶσιν τοῖς διωγμοῖςἀνέχεσθε (Ambrosiaster, Zwingli, Calvin, Bullinger, Aretius, Wolf, Koppe, Pelt, Schrader, Ewald, Bisping, and others), but to the whole preceding principal and collective idea, ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑπομονῆςἀνέχεσθε. Accordingly it is to be analyzed as follows: (that is to say, καὶ τοῦτο, ὅτι ἐν ὑπομονῇ καὶ πίστει πάντων τῶν διωγμῶν ὑμῶν καὶ τῶν θλίψεων ἀνέχεσθε) ἐστιν ἔνδειγμα τῆς δικαίας κρίσεως τοῦ Θεοῦ.

ἔνδειγμα] is found here only in the N. T. It denotes a sign, guarantee, proof (comp. the active ἔνδειξις, Php 1:28); here, according to the context, a prognostic.

τῆς δικαίας κρίσεως τοῦ Θεοῦ] cannot, with Olshausen and Riggenbach, be understood of the present judgments executed on the earth, and which befall believers in order to perfect them and to make them worthy of the kingdom of God. Not only the article τῆς, pointing to the judgment κατʼ ἐξοχήν, but also the explanation in 2 Thessalonians 1:6 ff., decides against this view. The future judgment is meant which God will execute by Christ at the advent.

εἰς τὸ καταξιωθῆναι ὑμᾶς κ.τ.λ.] whose result will be that ye will be esteemed worthy of the kingdom of God, depends not on αἷς ἀνέχεσθε, so that ἔνδειγμα τῆς δικαίας κρίσεως τοῦ Θεοῦ would become a parenthetic exclamation (Bengel, Zachariae, Bisping, Hofmann, and others), nor does it also belong to the whole sentence ἔνδειγμαΘεοῦ: in reference to which ye, etc., but only to τῆς δικαίας κρίσεως. Accordingly εἰς τὸ καταξιωθ. κ.τ.λ. is not a statement of purpose (thus Alford and Ewald), but an epexegetical statement of result. εἰς τό, with the infinitive, also stands for the result in 2 Corinthians 8:6, etc. Comp. Winer, p. 294 [E. T. 414].

The infinitive aorist καταξιωθῆναι expresses the verbal idea simply, without any regard to time. See Kühner, II. p. 80.

ὑπὲρ ἧς καὶ πάσχετε] for striving to obtain which ye suffer, an additional statement of the cause whose corresponding result will be καταξιωθῆναι. The Thessalonians, by their enduring stedfastness, the motive of which was striving after the kingdom of God, made themselves worthy of participation in this kingdom, for they thereby showed how precious and dear Christ is to them; it is thus certain that the judgment of God to be expected at the return of Christ will recognise this worthiness, and will exalt the Thessalonians to be fellow-citizens of His kingdom. Comp. Php 1:28; Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:12.2 Thessalonians 1:5. ἔνδειγμα, in apposition to the general thought of the preceding clause; it does not matter to the sense whether the word is taken as an elliptic nominative or an appositional accusative. “All this is really a clear proof of (or points to) the equity of God’s judgment,” which will right the present inequalities of life (Dante, Purg., x. 109 f.). Δικαία κρίσις is the future and final judgment of 6–10, whose principle is recompense (Luke 16:25); there is a divine law of compensation which will operate. This throws back light upon the present sufferings of the righteous. These trials, it is assumed, are due to loyalty and innocence of life; hence, in their divine aspect (2 Thessalonians 1:5), they are the necessary qualification or discipline for securing entrance into the realm of God. They are significant, not casual. Paul begins by arguing that their very infliction or permission proves that God must be contemplating a suitable reward and destiny for those who endured them in the right spirit. εἰς τὸ κ.τ.λ., is thus a loose expansion (from the common rabbinic phrase, cf. Dalman’s Worte Jesu, 97 f.; E. Tr., 119) of one side of the δικ. κρίσις. The other side, the human aspect of θλῖψις, then emerges in 2 Thessalonians 1:6. Since the Thessalonians were suffering at the hands of men (τοὺς θλίβοντας, Isaiah 19:20), the two-handed engine of retribution (so Lamentations 3:64 f.; Obadiah 1:15; Isaiah 59:18, for ἀνταποδ.) must in all fairness punish the persecutors (cf. Sap. 11:9, 10). This is the only passage in which Paul welcomes God’s vengeance on the enemies of the church as an element in the recompense of Christians.—ὑπὲρ ἧς καὶ πάσχετε: to see an intelligible purpose in suffering, or to connect it with some larger movement and hope, is always a moral stay. “God gave three choice gifts to Israel—the Torah, the Land of Promise, and Eternal Life, and each was won by suffering” (Berachoth, 5a).5. which is a manifest token of the righteous judgement of God] Better, without the connecting words of the English version,—a token of the righteous Judgement of God.

The heroic faith of the Thessalonians showed that God was on their side. By the courage He Inspired in them the Righteous Judge already showed what His judgement was in their case, and gave token of His final recompense. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 1:6; Php 1:27-28, “Stand fast—in nothing terrified by your adversaries, which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.” So the joy of Stephen, when before the Council his face shone “as it had been the face of an angel” (Acts 6:15); so the triumph of Paul and Silas singing psalms in prison; so the rapture of Christian martyrs at the stake, were signs of God’s presence with them and omens of retribution to their enemies.

that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God] More precisely, to the end that (R. V.): “a token of God’s righteous judgement, given with the purpose that you may be counted worthy of His kingdom.”

God’s judgement in this controversy is already manifest to those who have eyes to see, in the brave endurance and growing faith of the persecuted Christian flock. But this sign looks onward and points to the final award, when “the blessed of My Father,” said Jesus, shall “inherit the kingdom prepared for them” (Matthew 25:34). God designs this blessedness for them—“chosen from the beginning unto salvation” (ch. 2 Thessalonians 2:13);—He “calls them unto His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). And this “manifestation” of His approval helps to prepare them for it.

That kingdom will be “given to those for whom it has been prepared” (Matthew 20:13); but at the same time, only to those who are “counted worthy” (see 2 Thessalonians 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 3:13 and notes; also Luke 20:35; Matthew 22:8, “The wedding-feast is ready; but those who were called were not worthy”). There must be manifest in the final judgement a personal fitness of character, corresponding to God’s purpose, in those admitted to His heavenly Kingdom. Read the solemn words of Revelation 22:10-15.

The sufferings of the Thessalonians were endured for the Kingdom’s sake: for the sake of which yum are also suffering. Their strong hope of the coming of Christ and the triumph of God’s Kingdom sustained them in their distress. “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:12): so sang the early Christians. But yet it was not so much their own share in it, as the prospect of the glory of the Kingdom itself, that made them “exult in tribulations.” Comp. Hebrews 10:34; Romans 8:16; Romans 8:19; Php 1:20.

Section II. The Approaching Retribution Ch. 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12These vv. contain further reasons for thanksgiving on the writer’s part, concluding with a prayer that his readers may receive the entire fruition of the blessedness to which their sufferings are designed to lead. At the same time, the thoughts here expressed travel far from those which formed the immediate ground of the Thanksgiving, and present a distinct topic of their own. We therefore treat them under a separate heading.

The Retribution the Apostle foresees is twofold,—consisting of rest and glory for Christ’s persecuted saints, 2 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:12; and of punishment for their godless persecutors, 2 Thessalonians 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9. In the view presented to us of this judgement we must carefully observe—(1) its essential righteousness, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-6; (2) that it attends on Christ’s advents, 2 Thessalonians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10; (3) that the chief purpose of the Saviour’s coming is the glorification of His people, to which the vengeance falling on their oppressors appears to be incidental, 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:10.2 Thessalonians 1:5. Ἔνδειγμα) namely, ὄν [It being a token, etc.] The Accusative absolute; comp. Acts 26:3, note. The fact of your ἀνέχεσθαι, enduring, 2 Thessalonians 1:4, is a proof or token.—δικαίας, just, righteous) What is stated as a Proposition in this clause is discussed at 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7.—εἰς τὸ καταξιωθῆναι, that you may be counted worthy) This clause is connected (coheres) with ye endure.—ὑπὲρ ἧς) for which. The suffering (πάσχετε) makes them worthy of the kingdom.Verse 5. - Which is a manifest token. A sentence in apposition, so that the words, "which is," printed in italics, ought to be omitted. By "token" is here meant pledge or proof. The reference is not simply to the Thessalonians, but to the whole clause - to the fact of the Thessalonians steadfastly enduring persecutions and affliction; in other words, to their sufferings for the sake of the gospel. Of the righteous - just - judgment of God. Not to be referred to the present state, and particularly to sufferings perfecting the Thessalonians and preparing them for the kingdom of God (Olshausen); but to the future judgment. These words imply that the sufferings of the righteous and the prosperity of their wicked persecutors was a clear proof that there shall be a future state of retribution, when the inequalities of the present state of things will be adjusted, when the apparent violations of justice will be rectified, and when matters will be completely reversed - when the persecutors will be punished and the persecuted rewarded (comp. Philippians 1:28, "And in nothing terrified by your adversaries; which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation and that of God"). That; in order that, indicating the purpose of God's dispensation. Ye may be counted worthy. Paul here finds, in the faith and patience of the Thessalonians amid persecution, an evidence of a state of reward, as well as in the cruelties of their persecutors an evidence of a state of punishment. The idea that man can merit salvation as a reward from God is not contained in this passage. As all men are sinners, salvation can only be obtained through the merits and mediation of Christ. But with this grace of God, justice is not abolished; the righteous will be rewarded for their faith and patience (comp. Hebrews 6:10; also Hebrews 11:6; Luke 6:35; 1 Corinthians 3:8; 2 John 1:8). Of the kingdom of God; namely, the Messianic kingdom which Christ will establish at the advent: here the heavenly state. For which; for the sake of which. Ye also suffer; or rather, are suffering; the sufferings being continued down to the time when the apostle wrote this Epistle. A manifest token (ἔνδειγμα)

N.T.o. Comp. ἔνδειξις, Philippians 1:28. The token is the patience and faith with which they endure persecution and tribulation. It is a token of the righteous judgment of God, in that it points to the future glory which God will confer at the final judgment and the righteous award which will be dispensed to the persecutors. Similarly Philippians 1:28.

That ye may be counted worthy

The structure of the sentence is loose. These words should be directly connected with righteous judgment, and denote the purport of that judgment - their assignment to an inheritance in the kingdom of God.

Of the kingdom of God (τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ θεοῦ)

The phrase is not frequent in Paul. βασιλεία θεοῦ four times; βασιλεία τοῦ χριστοῦ καὶ θεοῦ kingdom of Christ and of God, once. Here in the eschatological sense - the future, consummated kingdom, the goal of their striving and the recompense of their suffering. See on Luke 6:20.

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