2 Thessalonians 2:10
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
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(10) And with all deceivableness.—“Deceivableness” does not mean “readiness to be deceived,” but, according to old English usage, has an active meaning; the words include and expand the list just given “in all sham power and signs and wonders, and, in fact, in every iniquitous fraud.”

In them that perish.—Rather, for them. These are not the persons who exercise the fraud, but the objects of it. The word depends not only on “deceivableness,” but on the whole sentence:” his coming (for them) is,” &c. St. Paul adds the words as a consolation to “them that are saved”: it will not be possible to seduce the elect (Mark 13:22). “They that perish” (1Corinthians 1:18; 2Corinthians 2:15; 2Corinthians 4:3; comp. also Acts 2:47) is a phrase which contains no reference whatever to the doctrine of predestination, but merely describes the class; the men who let themselves be thus duped are, as a plain matter of fact, in course of perishing.

Because.—Here does come in the question of God’s decree. The phrase rendered “because” means “in requital of the fact that,” which at once implies that their being duped by Antichrist’s coming is a judicial visitation. (See next verse.) “They did not receive,” i.e., it was offered them, and they refused it; not, as Calvinism would teach, because it was not given them. The grace of love of the truth is offered us along with every new presentment of truth; if we are too indolent to examine whether it be truth, we are rejecting the love of the truth. This is a worse thing than not accepting the truth itself: if they had only aspired to know what was the truth they would have been saved, even if, in fact, they had been in error.

2:5-12 Something hindered or withheld the man of sin. It is supposed to be the power of the Roman empire, which the apostle did not mention more plainly at that time. Corruption of doctrine and worship came in by degrees, and the usurping of power was gradual; thus the mystery of iniquity prevailed. Superstition and idolatry were advanced by pretended devotion, and bigotry and persecution were promoted by pretended zeal for God and his glory. This mystery of iniquity was even then begun; while the apostles were yet living, persons pretended zeal for Christ, but really opposed him. The fall or ruin of the antichristian state is declared. The pure word of God, with the Spirit of God, will discover this mystery of iniquity, and in due time it shall be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming. Signs and wonders, visions and miracles, are pretended; but they are false signs to support false doctrines; and lying wonders, or only pretended miracles, to cheat the people; and the diabolical deceits with which the antichristian state has been supported, are notorious. The persons are described, who are his willing subjects. Their sin is this; They did not love the truth, and therefore did not believe it; and they were pleased with false notions. God leaves them to themselves, then sin will follow of course, and spiritual judgments here, and eternal punishments hereafter. These prophecies have, in a great measure, come to pass, and confirm the truth of the Scriptures. This passage exactly agrees with the system of popery, as it prevails in the Romish church, and under the Romish popes. But though the son of perdition has been revealed, though he has opposed and exalted himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; and has spoken and acted as if he were a god upon earth, and has proclaimed his insolent pride, and supported his delusions, by lying miracles and all kinds of frauds; still the Lord has not yet fully destroyed him with the brightness of his coming; that and other prophecies remain to be fulfilled before the end shall come.And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness - There are two ideas here. The first is, that there would be deceit; and the other is, that it would be for the purpose of promoting unrighteousness or iniquity. The iniquitous system would be maintained by fraudulent methods. No one who has read Pascal's Provincial Letters can ever doubt that this description is applicable to the system of the Jesuits; and no one familiar with the acts of the papacy, as they have always been practiced, can doubt that the whole system is accurately described by this language. The plausible reasoning by which the advocates of that system have palliated and apologized for sins of various kinds, has been among its most remarkable features.

In them that perish - Among those who will perish; that is, among the abandoned and wicked. The reference is to men of corrupt minds and lives, over whom this system would have power; countenancing them in their depravity, and fitting them still farther for destruction. The idea is, that these acts would have special reference to men who would be lost at any rate, and who would be sustained in their wickedness by this false and delusive system.

Because they received not the love of the truth - They prefer this system of error and delusion to the simple and pure gospel, by which they might have been saved.

10. deceivableness—rather as Greek, "deceit of (to promote) unrighteousness" (2Th 2:12).

in—The oldest manuscripts and versions omit "in." Translate, "unto them that are perishing" (2Co 2:15, 16; 4:3): the victims of him whose very name describes his perishing nature, "the son of perdition"; in contrast to you whom (2Th 2:13) "God hath from the beginning chosen to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth."

because—literally, "in requital for"; in just retribution for their having no love for the truth which was within their reach (on account of its putting a check on their bad passions), and for their having "pleasure in unrighteousness" (2Th 2:12; Ro 1:18); they are lost because they loved not, but rejected, the truth which would have saved them.

received not—Greek, "welcomed not"; admitted it not cordially.

love of the truth—not merely love of truth, but love of THE truth (and of, Jesus who is the Truth, in opposition to Satan's "lie," 2Th 2:9, 11; Joh 8:42-44), can save (Eph 4:21). We are required not merely to assent to, but to love the truth (Ps 119:97). The Jews rejected Him who came in His divine Father's name; they will receive Antichrist coming in his own name (Joh 5:43). Their pleasant sin shall prove their terrible scourge.

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness; or, deceit of unrighteousness, unrighteous deceit, or deceitful unrighteousness. And it is universal, all. It is unrighteousness managed with great subtlety to deceive; and so the same with the mystery of iniquity, mentioned before, or the mystery of unrighteousness, as we may read it. All sin is unrighteousness, whether against God or man, as all virtue is comprehended in righteousness. The apostle here means unrighteousness so cloaked and covered, that men discern it not, but are deceived by it: as the Pharisees, who devoured widows’ houses, and for pretence made long prayers; and so also they tithed mint and cummin as exactly religious, built the sepulchres of the prophets, made broad their phylacteries, would not eat with unwashen hands, &c. The like we find in the Church of Rome, as I mentioned before, where men are ambitious, covetous, cruel, superstitious, &c., and all under a pretence of righteousness, and for honour to Christ and the church: make use of Peter’s keys to open rich men’s coffers; and for a sum of money, to absolve men in this world, or to redeem them out of purgatory in the other worid; which is a mere cheat, &c. Thus comes this man of sin, and by such ways he hath advanced himself.

In them that perish: this shows who they are that are deceived by him. Reprobates are often so described, 2 Corinthians 2:15 4:3; and it is the same as elsewhere signifies damnation. The word signifies men that are lost, so used Matthew 18:11, or destroyed, 2 Corinthians 4:9. They are such as have not their names written in the book of life, Revelation 13:8; and who shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, and the smoke of their torment ascendeth for ever, Revelation 14:10,11.

Because they received not the love of the truth: and the apostle gives the reason why they are thus deceived. He saith not they had not received the truth, but the love of it, and so hold it not fast, but are carried away with the general apostacy. Truth is either natural, which the heathen had, and detained in unrighteousness, Romans 1:18; or supernatural, from Divine revelation. This is meant, for he speaks not of heathens, but Christians; not the world, but the church.

That they might be saved: and the truth here meant is saving truth, as the gospel is called the word of truth, Ephesians 1:13 Colossians 1:5; for had they received it in love they might have been saved, but for want of that they perish; so that it is unsound, notional professors that are carried away by the man of sin, and deceived by him. Truth, if it be not received into the heart as well as the head, will not secure against apostacy or popery, nor prevent perishing. And the amiableness that is in gospel truth calls for love, as the certainty of its revelation calls for faith; and had they so received the truth they might have been saved.

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness,.... Not that he deceives, or goes about to deceive, or thinks to deceive by open unrighteousness; but by unrighteousness, under a pretence of righteousness and holiness; as with the doctrines of justification and salvation by a man's own righteousness, with the doctrines of merit and of works of supererogation, which are taking to men, and by which they are deceived, and are no other than unrighteousness with God, and betray ignorance of his righteousness, and a non-submission to it; as also with practices which carry a show of holiness, religion, and devotion, when they are no other than acts of impiety, superstition, and will worship; as their litanies and prayers, their worship of images, angels, and saints departed, their frequent fasts and festivals, their pilgrimages, penance, and various acts of mortification and the like: but then these deceptions only have place

in them that perish; whom the god of this world has blinded, from whom the Gospel is hid, and to whom it is foolishness: all men indeed are in a lost perishing condition, through original and actual sin; but all shall not perish, there are some that God will not have perish, whom Christ is given for that they should not perish, and whom he has redeemed by his blood, and to whom he gives eternal life; but there are others that are vessels of wrath afore ordained to condemnation, reprobate men left to themselves, and given up to their hearts' lusts; and these, and only these, are finally and totally deceived, by the signs and lying wonders, and false appearances of antichrist; see Matthew 24:24

because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved; by the "truth" is meant either Christ the truth of types, the sum of promises, in whom the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are, and by whom grace and truth came; or the Gospel, often called truth, and the word of truth, it coming from the God of truth, has for its subject Christ the truth, is dictated and directed into by the spirit of truth, and contains nothing but truth: and by "the love" of it is meant, either the loveliness of it, for truth is an amiable, lovely thing, in its nature and use; or an affection for it, which there is, where true faith in it is, for faith works by love: there may be a flashy affection for the truths of the Gospel, where there is no true faith in Christ, or the root of the matter is not, as in the stony ground hearers; and there may be an historical faith in the doctrines of the Gospel, where the power of them is denied, and there is no true hearty love for them; and in these persons there is neither faith nor love; the truths of the Gospel are neither believed by them, nor are they affected with them, that so, they might be saved; for where there is true faith in the Gospel of Christ, and in Christ the substance of it, there is salvation; the reason therefore of these men's perishing is not the decree of God, nor even want of the means of grace, the revelation of the Gospel, but their rejection and contempt of it.

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:10. Καὶ ἐν πάσῃ ἀπάτῃ ἀδικίας] and in every deceit which leads to or advances unrighteousness, i.e. ungodliness (Estius, Aretius, Grotius, de Wette, and others).

But this energetic working of Antichrist by no means describes his power as irresistible; only the ἀπολλύμενοι succumb under it. Theodoret: Οὐ γὰρ πάντων κρατήσει, ἀλλὰ τῶν ἀπωλείας ἀξίων, οἳ καὶ δίχα τῆς τούτου παρουσίας σφᾶς αὐτοὺς τῆς σωτηρίας ἐστέρησαν.

τοῖς ἀπολλυμένοις] is dativus incommodi, and belongs not only to ἐν πάσῃ ἀπάτῃ ἀδικίας (Heydenreich, Flatt, Hofmann), but to the whole sentence from 2 Thessalonians 2:9 onwards.

οἱ ἀπολλύμενοι] are they who perish, who fall into eternal ἀπώλεια (comp. 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 2:15; 2 Corinthians 4:3), and the present participle characterizes this future fate as already decided. Comp. Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 371. But the addition ἀνθʼ ὧν κ.τ.λ. denotes that this was occasioned by their own fault.

ἀνθʼ ὧν τὴν ἀγάπην τῆς ἀληθείας οὐκ ἐδέξαντο] in requital for this (comp. Luke 1:20; Luke 19:44; Acts 12:23; LXX. 1 Kings 11:11; Joel 3:5; Xen. Anab. i. 3. 4, ibid. v. 5. 14), that they have not received in themselves the love of the truth. To interpret, with Bolten: τὴν ἀγάπην τῆς ἀληθείας, “the loveable and true religion,” is naturally as impossible as, with Chrysostom, Theodoret,[51] Oecumenius, and Theophylact, to find therein a circumlocution for Christ Himself. ἡ ἀλήθεια denotes moral and religious truth generally, not, as is usually supposed, Christian truth specially. Thus every objection which Kern (p. 212) takes to it vanishes, that τὴν ἀγάπην τῆς ἀληθείας οὐκ ἐδέξαντο was written instead of the simple τὴν ἀλήθειαν οὐκ ἐδέξαντο. For in a similar manner, as the apostle in Galatians 5:5, instead of the simple δικαιοσύνην ἀπεκδεχόμεθα, which one would expect, put the apparently strange ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης ἀπεκδεχόμεθα, but did so designedly, in order to oppose to the arrogant feeling of the legally righteous the humble feeling of the true Christian; so here the expression τὴν ἀγάπην τῆν ἀληθείας οὐκ ἐδέξαντο is designedly chosen to bring forward the high degree of guilt. Not only have they not received the Christian truth presented to them; for it might be still conceivable that they highly esteemed the truth itself and felt themselves drawn to it, although in consequence of spiritual blindness they had not known and recognised Christianity as an embodiment and full expression of the truth; but they have not even received into their hearts the love of the truth under whatever form it may be presented to them; they have rendered themselves entirely unsusceptible of the truth, they have hardened themselves against it.

εἰς τὸ σωθῆναι αὐτούς] in order that they might be saved, brings still more prominently forward this hardness. They ought to have received that ἀγάπη τῆς ἀληθείας, to the end that they might receive σωτηρία, eternal salvation. But the attainment of such an end did not trouble them, was something indifferent to them.

[51] Ἀγάπην ἀληθείας τὸν κύριον κέκληκεν, ὡς ἀληθῶς ἡμᾶς καὶ γνησίως ἀγαπήσαντα.

2 Thessalonians 2:10. ἀγάπη (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:12) here, as Luke 11:42, with obj. gen. Cf. Asc. Isa., iv. 15, 16: “And He will give rest [above, ch. 2 Thessalonians 1:7] to the godly whom He shall find in the body in this world, and to all who because of their faith in Him have execrated Beliar and his kings”. ἀλήθεια, not = “truth” in the general sense of the term (Lünemann, Lightfoot, Zimmer) but = “the truth of the gospel” (as usual in Paul) as against ἀδικία and ψεῦδος (Romans 1:15 f., 2 Thessalonians 2:8). The apostle holds that the refusal to open one’s mind and heart to the gospel leaves life a prey to moral delusion; judicial infatuation is the penalty of disobedience to the truth of God in Christ.

10. and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish] Both reading and rendering need to be amended; it is rather, and in all deceit of unrighteousness for the perishing—the opposite of “them that are being saved,” or “the subjects of salvation” (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 2:15). They follow, alas, the guidance of “the son of perdition,” and share his ruin (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

“Deceit of unrighteousness” is a phrase compounded similarly to “good pleasure of goodness,” ch. 2 Thessalonians 1:11; it signifies such deceit as belongs to unrighteousness, that which it is wont to employ. These devices are “deceit for the perishing,” for men without the lie of God, whose spiritual perception is destroyed by sin and who therefore fall a prey to deceit. The children of God are not imposed upon by these means; they know how to “prove all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Read carefully 1 John 4:1-6, and compare with this context.

because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved] Placing himself amid the scenes of the triumph of Antichrist and viewing the sad fate of his victims, St Paul explains their ruin. They had no “love of the truth.” This sentiment they never “entertained.” And so—in compensation for this—they believe wicked lies, to their undoing: in return for their refusal to entertain the love of the truth. On receive, see note to 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (second “received”); there is implied a want of heart to receive.

It is not “the truth” simply, but “the love of the truth” that these unhappy men repudiate. Their unbelief is not of the reason so much as of the heart. Those of whom the Apostle speaks resist “the truth” with an instinctive, invincible prejudice; for they have no desire to “be saved” from the sins it condemns. Christ found in this moral prepossession the reason why so many rejected His word. “Every one that doeth evil,” He said, “hateth the light” (John 3:20; comp. John 10:26; &c.). So St Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, “Our gospel is a veiled thing amongst them that perish. The god of this world has blinded their minds … that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ may not shine upon them.” It is a just, but mournful result, that rejecters of Christ’s miracles become believers in Satan’s, and that atheism should be avenged by superstition. So it has been, and will be.

2 Thessalonians 2:10. Τῆς ἀληθείας, of the truth) which is in Christ Jesus.—οὐκ εδέξαντο, they did not receive) The Jews were mostly chargeable with this conduct, John 5:43; and that Iniquitous one [Wicked] will be particularly hurtful to the Jews. The remarks, which we a little before threw out concerning the Jews here and there in the positions laid down, refer to this point.

Verse 10. - And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness; or rather, with all deceit of unrighteousness (R.V.); either with all deceit leading to unrighteousness or with all deceit which is unrighteousness. The man of sin works by deceit and falsehood; and by means of imposture and wonders and high pretensions he will succeed in imposing on the world. The energetic power of the man of sin is, however, by no means irresistible; only they who perish will succumb to it. In them. In the best manuscripts the preposition "in" is wanting; therefore the words are to be translated for them or to them. That perish (comp. 2 Corinthians 2:15); because they received not the love of the truth. Not only did they not receive the truth when it was offered them, but, what was worse, they were destitute even of a love of the truth. By the truth here is meant, not Christ himself, as some expositors think, but primarily the Christian truth, and secondarily the truth generally. There was in them a want of susceptibility for the truth, and thus not only were they prevented embracing the gospel, but they were led astray by numerous errors and delusions. That they might be saved. The result which naturally would arise from the reception of the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:10Deceivableness of unrighteousness (ἀπάτῃ ἀδικίας)

Better deceit of unrighteousness; which is characteristic of unrighteousness and is employed by it.

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