2 Thessalonians 2:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

King James Bible
Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Darby Bible Translation
encourage your hearts, and establish you in every good work and word.

World English Bible
comfort your hearts and establish you in every good work and word.

Young's Literal Translation
comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.

2 Thessalonians 2:17 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Comfort your hearts - Keep your souls ever under the influence of his Holy Spirit: and stablish you - confirm and strengthen you in your belief of every good word or doctrine, which we have delivered unto you; and in the practice of every good work, recommended and enjoined by the doctrines of the Gospel. It is not enough that we believe the truth; we must love the truth.

Antinomianism says: "Believe the doctrines, and ye are safe." The testimony borne by the Gospel is: Believe, love, obey: none of these can subsist without the other. The faith of a devil may exist without loving obedience; but the faith of a true believer worketh by love; and this faith and love have not respect to some one commandment, but to all; for God writes his whole law on the heart of every genuine Christian, and gives him that love which is the fulfilling of the law.

The reader will have observed that, in going through this chapter, while examining the import of every leading word, I have avoided fixing any specific meaning to terms: the apostasy or falling away; the man of sin; son of perdition; him who letteth or withholdeth, etc. The reason is, I have found it extremely difficult to fix any sense to my own satisfaction; and it was natural for me to think that, if I could not satisfy myself, it was not likely I could satisfy my readers. But, as something should be said relative to the persons and things intended by the apostle, I choose to give rather what others have said, than attempt any new mode of interpretation. The great variety of explanations given by wise and learned men only prove the difficulty of the place.

1. The general run of Protestant writers understand the whole as referring to the popes and Church of Rome, or the whole system of the papacy.

2. Others think that the defection of the Jewish nation, from their allegiance to the Roman emperor, is what is to be understood by the apostasy or falling off; and that all the other terms refer to the destruction of Jerusalem.

3. The fathers understood the Antichrist to be intended, but of this person they seem to have formed no specific idea.

4. Dr. Hammond refers the apostasy to the defection of the primitive Christians to the Gnostic heresy; and supposes that, by the man of sin and son of perdition, Simon Magus is meant.

5. Grotius applies the whole to Caius Caesar.

6. Wetstein applies the apostasy to the rebellion and slaughter of the three princes that were proclaimed by the Roman armies, previously to the reign of Vespasian; and supposes Titus and the Flavian family to be intended by the man of sin and son of perdition.

7. Schoettgen contends strongly that the whole refers to the case of the Jews, incited to rebellion by the scribes and Pharisees, and to the utter and final destruction of the rabbinic and Pharisaic system; and thinks he finds something in their spirit and conduct, and in what has happened to them, to illustrate every word in this prophecy. Dr. Whitby is nearly of the same sentiments.

8. Calmet follows, in the main, the interpretation given by the ancient fathers; and wonders at the want of candour in the Protestant writers, who have gleaned up every abusive tale against the bishops and Church of Rome; and asks them, would they be willing that the Catholics should credit all the aspersions cast on Protestantism by its enemies?

9. Bishop Newton has examined the whole prophecy with his usual skill and judgment. The sum of what he says, as abridged by Dr. Dodd, I think it right to subjoin. The principal part of modern commentators follow his steps. He applies the whole to the Romish Church: the apostasy, its defection from the pure doctrines of Christianity; and the man of sin, etc. the general succession of the popes of Rome. But we must hear him for himself, as he takes up the subject in the order of the verses.

2 Thessalonians 2:3, 2 Thessalonians 2:4. For that day shall not come, except, etc. - "The day of Christ shall not come except there come the apostasy first." The apostasy here described is plainly not of a civil but of a religious nature; not a revolt from the government, but a defection from the true religion and worship. In the original, it is the apostasy, with an article to give it an emphasis; the article being added signifies, "that famous and before-mentioned prophecy." So likewise is the man of sin with the like article, and the like emphasis. If, then, the notion of the man of sin be derived from any ancient prophet, it must be derived from Daniel 7:25; Daniel 11:36. Any man may be satisfied that St. Paul alluded to Daniel's description, because he has not only borrowed the same ideas, but has even adopted some of the phrases and expressions. The man of sin may signify either a single man, or a succession of men; a succession of men being meant in Daniel, it is probable that the same was intended here also. It is the more probable, because a single man appears hardly sufficient for the work here assigned; and it is agreeable to the phraseology of Scripture, and especially to that of the prophets, to speak of a body or number of men, under the character of one: thus, a king, Daniel 7:8; Revelation 17:1-18, is used for a succession of kings. The man of sin being to be expressed from Daniel 7:24, according to the Greek translation, He shall exceed in evil all that went before him; and he may fulfill the character either by promoting wickedness in general, or by advancing idolatry in particular, as the word sin signifies frequently in Scripture. The son of perdition is also the denomination of the traitor Judas, John 17:12, which implies that the man of sin should be, like Judas, a false apostle; like him, betray Christ; and, like him, be devoted to destruction. Who opposeth, etc., is manifestly copied from Daniel, He shall exalt himself, etc. The features exactly resemble each other: He opposeth and exalteth himself above all; or, according to the Greek, above every one that is called God, or that is worshipped. The Greek word for worshipped is σεβασμα, alluding to the Greek title of the Roman emperors, σεβαστος, which signifies august or venerable. He shall oppose; for the prophets speak of things future as present; he shall oppose and exalt himself, not only above inferior magistrates, (who are sometimes called gods in holy writ), but even above the greatest emperors; and shall arrogate to himself Divine honors. So that he, as God, sitteth in the temple, etc. By the temple of God the apostle could not well mean the temple of Jerusalem; because that, he knew, would be destroyed within a few years. After the death of Christ the temple of Jerusalem is never called by the apostles the temple of God; and if at any time they make mention of the house or temple of God, they mean the Church in general, or every particular believer. Who ever will consult 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Timothy 3:15; Revelation 3:12; will want no examples to prove that, under the Gospel dispensation, the temple of God is the Church of Christ; and the man of sin sitting implies this ruling and presiding there; and sitting there as God implies his claiming Divine authority in things spiritual as well as temporal; and showing himself that he is God, implies his doing it with ostentation.

2 Thessalonians 2:5, 2 Thessalonians 2:6, 2 Thessalonians 2:7. Remember ye not, etc. - The apostle thought it part of his duty, as he made it a part of his preaching and doctrine, to forewarn his new converts of the grand apostasy that would infect the Church, even while he was at Thessalonica. From these verses it appears that the man of sin was not then revealed; his time was not yet come, or the season of his manifestation. The mystery of iniquity was indeed already working; the seeds of corruption were sown, but they were not grown up to maturity; the man of sin was yet hardly conceived in the womb; it must be some time before he could be brought forth; there was some obstacle that hindered his appearing. What this was we cannot determine with absolute certainty at so great a distance of time; but if we may rely upon the concurrent testimony of the fathers, it was the Roman empire. Most probably it was somewhat relating to the higher powers, because the apostle observes such caution; he mentioned it in discourse, but would not commit it to writing.


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which has loved us...

Isaiah 51:3,12 For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden...

Isaiah 57:15 For thus said the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place...

Isaiah 61:1,2 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek...

Isaiah 66:13 As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

2 Corinthians 1:3-6 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort...


2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil.

Isaiah 62:7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Romans 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, to the end you may be established;

Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ...

1 Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:21 Now he which establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God;

Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

1 Thessalonians 3:2,13 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you...

Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats...

1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect...

Jude 1:24 Now to him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,


James 1:21,22 Why lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word...

1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Everlasting Consolation and Good Hope
'Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace. 17. Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.'--2 THESS. ii. 16, 17. This is the second of the four brief prayers which, as I pointed out in my last sermon, break the current of Paul's teaching in this letter, and witness to the depth of his affection to his Thessalonian converts. We do not know the special circumstances
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

An Era of Spiritual Darkness
The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, foretold the great apostasy which would result in the establishment of the papal power. He declared that the day of Christ should not come, "except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." And furthermore, the apostle warns his
Ellen Gould White—The Great Controversy

Fifteenth Day. The Holy Spirit.
But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believed on Him were to receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet: because Jesus was not yet glorified.'--John vii. 39. 'The Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things.'--John xiv. 26. 'God chose you to salvation in sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth.'--2 Thess. ii. 13. (See 1 Pet. i. 2.) It has sometimes been said, that while the Holiness of God stands out more prominently
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

The Calling of the Regenerate:
"Whom He did predestinate, them He also called."--Rom. viii. 30. In order to hear, the sinner, deaf by nature, must receive hearing ears. "He that hath ears let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Rev. ii. 7, 11, 17, 29; iii. 6, 13, 22). But by nature the sinner does not belong to these favored ones. This is a daily experience. Of two clerks in the same office, one obeys the call and the other rejects it; not because he despises it, but because he does not hear God's call in it. Hence
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Cross References
1 Thessalonians 3:2
We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God's service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,

1 Thessalonians 3:13
May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

1 Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

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