2 Thessalonians 3:13
But you, brothers, be not weary in well doing.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) But ye, brethren.—The last verse was addressed to all those whose consciences would prick them on hearing it read at the Eucharist. Now the writer turns to the orderly brethren, as quite a distinct class. The rhetorical effect of this quick apostrophe would be the same as in the well-known story of Napoleon addressing the rioters, and requesting the gentlemen to separate themselves from the canaille. The distinction is so invidious that every one would hasten to join the ranks of the respectable.

Be not weary in well doing.—This is an exhortation to “the patience of Christ,” for which the Apostle had prayed. The phrase takes for granted that they had been hitherto engaged in “well doing”—i.e., in acting honourably, “walking honestly towards them that are without” (1Thessalonians 4:12); and St. Paul is anxious to preserve them from “fainting” (as the word is translated in Galatians 6:9), and so slipping into the like idleness and bringing scandal upon the Church.

2 Thessalonians 3:13-15. But ye, brethren — Who are not guilty of these, and such like miscarriages; be not weary in well-doing — In pursuing that line of conduct which is reputable and useful, which brings glory to God, and good to mankind. The original expression, μη εκκακησητε, properly signifies, do not flag, through sloth or cowardice. The Thessalonians, therefore, are here cautioned against flagging in the performance of their duty, either to God or their fellow-creatures. If any man obey not our word — Whether spoken to you during our short abode with you, or signified by this, or our former epistle; note that man Σημειουσθε, set a mark upon, or point out, that man. Probably he intended that the rulers of the church should point him out to the rest, that they might avoid all familiarity and needless correspondence with him, which is meant by having no company with him; that he may be ashamed — In order that, being shunned by all as an evil-doer, he may be ashamed of his conduct and amend. Yet count him not as an enemy — An obstinate, incurable sinner, no more to be regarded; but admonish him as a brother — Remind him of his duty and danger as a member of the same body with yourselves; or tell him lovingly of the reason why you shun him.3:6-15 Those who have received the gospel, are to live according to the gospel. Such as could work, and would not, were not to be maintained in idleness. Christianity is not to countenance slothfulness, which would consume what is meant to encourage the industrious, and to support the sick and afflicted. Industry in our callings as men, is a duty required by our calling as Christians. But some expected to be maintained in idleness, and indulged a curious and conceited temper. They meddled with the concerns of others, and did much harm. It is a great error and abuse of religion, to make it a cloak for idleness or any other sin. The servant who waits for the coming of his Lord aright, must be working as his Lord has commanded. If we are idle, the devil and a corrupt heart will soon find us somewhat to do. The mind of man is a busy thing; if it is not employed in doing good, it will be doing evil. It is an excellent, but rare union, to be active in our own business, yet quiet as to other people's. If any refused to labour with quietness, they were to note him with censure, and to separate from his company, yet they were to seek his good by loving admonitions. The Lords is with you while you are with him. Hold on your way, and hold on to the end. We must never give over, or tire in our work. It will be time enough to rest when we come to heaven.But ye, brethren, be not weary in well-doing - Margin, "faint not." The Greek means, properly, to turn out a coward; then to be faint-hearted, to despond. The idea is, that they were not to be discouraged from doing good to the truly worthy and deserving by the idleness and improper conduct of some who asked their assistance. They were, indeed, shiftless and worthless. They would not labor; they spent their time in intermeddling with the concerns of their neighbors, and they depended for their support on the charity of others. The tendency of this, as all persons feel who have ever been applied to by such persons for aid, is, to indispose us to do good to any. We almost insensibly feel that all who ask for aid are of the same character; or, not being able to discriminate, we close our hands alike against all. Against this the apostle would guard us, and he says that though there may be many such persons, and though we may find it difficult to distinguish the worthy from the unworthy, we should not become so disheartened as not to give at all. Nor should we be weary though the applications for assistance are frequent. They are indeed frequent. God designs that they should be. But the effect should not be to dishearten us, or to make us weary in well-doing, but to fill us with gratitude - for it is a privilege to be permitted to do good. It is the great distinguishing characteristic of God that he always does good. It was that which marked the character of the Redeemer, that he "went about doing good;" and whenever God gives us the opportunity and the means of doing good, it should be to us an occasion of special thanksgiving. A man ought to become "weary" of everything else sooner than of evincing benevolence; compare the notes on Galatians 6:10. 13. be not weary—The oldest manuscripts read, "Be not cowardly in"; do not be wanting in strenuousness in doing well. Edmunds explains it: Do not culpably neglect to do well, namely, with patient industry do your duty in your several callings. In contrast to the "disorderly, not-working busybodies" (2Th 3:11; compare Ga 6:9). But ye, brethren: the apostle now directs his speech to those of the church that were not guilty of the disorders before mentioned, to whom he speaks in mild and familiar language, as if the others deserved not to be so called.

Be not weary in well doing: and that which he speaks to them is, not to be weary of well doing. The Greek word is often used about sufferings, as 2 Corinthians 4:1 Ephesians 3:13; and then usually translated fainting, and which seems to be its most proper use, to shrink or faint as cowards in war; Mh ekkakhshte, Ne segnescite, definite, defatigamini; it signifies a receding or fainting, or tiring in our duty, because of the evil that attends it. Sometimes it is used of prayer, Luke 18:1; and sometimes generally of all duties of religion, which are generally called well doing, Galatians 6:9, and signifies either a slothfulness in them, or weariness of them: as those whom the prophets complain of, Amos 8:5 Malachi 1:13. The apostle useth the same word in this sense, Galatians 6:9: Let us not be weary in well doing; and in the text, those that did walk orderly, he exhorts them to hold on their course, either more peculiarly to the works of charity, which are called well doing, Philippians 4:14; though those that worked not did not deserve them, or enjoy them, yet this should not discourage them from practising them towards others: or the word may extend more generally to all good works; we should persevere in them without fainting or weariness, notwithstanding the evils that may threaten us therein. But ye, brethren,.... The rest of the members of the church, who were diligent and industrious in their callings, minded their own business, and did not trouble themselves with other men's matters, took care of themselves, and their families, and were beneficent to others:

be not weary in well doing; which may be understood generally of all well doing, or of doing of every good work; which is well done when done according to the will of God, in faith, and from a principle of love, and in the name and strength of Christ, and with a view to the glory of God: or particularly of acts of beneficence to the poor; for though the idle and lazy should not be relieved, yet the helpless poor should not be neglected. This the apostle observes, lest covetous persons should make an handle of this, and withhold their hands from distributing to any, under a notion of their being idle and disorderly; or lest the saints should be tired, and become weary of doing acts of charity through the ingratitude, moroseness, and ill manners of poor people; see Galatians 6:9.

{10} But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

(10) We must take heed that the unworthiness of some men does not cause us to be slack in well-doing.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Thessalonians 3:13. The apostle again turns himself to those who had kept themselves free from this fault.

ἐκκακεῖν] with the following participle (see Kühner, II. p. 369) denotes to be weary in doing something.

καλοποιεῖν] cannot signify “to be charitable” (Calvin, Estius, Flatt, Pelt, de Wette, Bloomfield, Ewald, Bisping, and most critics), so that the sense would be: But suffer not yourselves, through those who abuse your charity, to be restrained from exercising charity in general. The verb can only denote, so act as is right and proper. Comp. Galatians 6:9. As Paul still speaks, even in 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15, of the special matter which he treated of in the preceding words, καλοποιεῖν cannot be understood in its most general sense, but must be referred to the matter in question. Accordingly, the apostle requires that those who had kept themselves free from this fault should not be weary in doing what is right and proper, that is to say, that they should not suffer themselves to be infected with the evil example given.[72]

[72] Also Olshausen understands καλοποιεῖν only of doing good in general, but arbitrarily refers it—because anticipating the contents of ver. 15—to the loving and forbearing treatment of the brethren.2 Thessalonians 3:13. ὑμεῖς δέ, whoever else drops out of the ranks of industrious, steady Christians.—μὴ ἐγκ., implying that they had not begun to grow slack (Moulton, 122 f.). Perhaps with a special allusion to the presence of people who abused charity; generous Christians must not forego liberality and help, arguing that it is no use to succour any because some will take advantage of the church’s largess.13. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing] From this do-nothing, or ill-doing fraction of the Church the Apostle turns to the rest, who were busy in “well-doing,” and bids them persevere. Comp. ch. 2 Thessalonians 2:17, and note; also 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:10, for the diligent and honourable character which in the main this Church bore.

The pronoun bears marked emphasis: But as for you, brethren,—in contrast with “them that are such,” 2 Thessalonians 3:12.

On “well-doing,” see note to 1 Thessalonians 5:21. The word rendered “well” here is “good” there; it implies a fine quality of action.

The Greek verb for “be not weary” appears in other passages (e.g. Luke 18:1; Galatians 6:9) as “faint not,” and signifies failure of courage rather than of strength: do not falter in well-doing; comp. notes on “stablish your hearts,” ch. 2 Thessalonians 2:17 and 1 Thessalonians 3:13. Perhaps the Apostle’s rebuke of “busy-bodies” and commendation of “quietness” might have damped the ardour of some whose activity was praiseworthy, had it remained unqualified. The misconduct of the unruly was of a kind to disappoint and grieve all zealous friends of the Church.2 Thessalonians 3:13. Καλοποιοῦντες, doing well) even with the industry of your hands.Verse 13. - But ye, brethren; contrasted with those who walk disorderly, ye who have not neglected your worldly employments. Be not weary in well doing; or, as it is in the margin, faint not in well doing; "lose not heart in well doing" (Ellicott). The phrase has been differently interpreted. Thus Chrysostom explains it that indolent persons, however justly they may be condemned, must not be suffered to perish from want - a meaning opposed to the context. Calvin renders it that, although there are many that are undeserving and abuse our liberality, we must not on this account leave off helping those who need our aid: let not the sloth of those disorderly persons hinder or damp your charity - a most needful admonition, but it does not exhaust all that is meant by the precept. Others restrict it to diligence in our earthly duties: though others be idle, working not at all, let not their example lead you astray; be not ye weary in doing what is right and proper (Lunemann). But the phrase is to be understood in its general sense, denoting holy and upright conduct (see Galatians 6:9, where the same exhortation is given). Be not weary (ἐντραπῇ)

With one exception, Luke 13:1, only in Paul. To faint or lose heart.

Well doing (καλοποιοῦντες)

N.T.o. According to the Greek idiom, doing well, be not weary. Not limited to works of charity, but including Christian conduct generally, as, for instance, steadily attending to their own business, 2 Thessalonians 3:12.

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