1 Thessalonians Jewish New Testament and comments of David H. Stern
1. But you have no need to have anything written to you, brothers, about the times and dates when this will happen;
2. because you yourselves well know that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3. When people are saying, “Everything is so peaceful and secure,” then destruction will suddenly come upon them, the way labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there is no way they will escape.
The picture of destruction coming suddenly in the midst of apparent peace echoes the Tanakh (Isaiah 57:19-21; Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11; Ezekiel 13:10).
Only the Father knows the times and dates when this will happen (Mt 24:36), and you have no need to know them (Ac 1:7). You need only to be prepared (Mt 24:44, 25:13), since, using a comparison made by Yeshua himself (Mt 24:43), the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night (the analogy is also used at 2 Ke 3:10). The expression, "the Day of the Lord," is from the Tanakh (Amos 5:18-20; Isaiah 2:9; Zephaniah 1:7ff., 14ff.; 2:2-3; 3:8). See the same or similar expressions at Yn 6:39-40, lC 1:8, Pp 1:6, 2 Th 1:10, 2 Ke 3:12,Yd 6, Rv 1:10&N.
4. But you, brothers, are not in the dark, so that the Day should take you by surprise like a thief;
5. for you are all people who belong to the light, who belong to the day. We don’t belong to the night or to darkness,
A play on words: the Day of Judgment won't take believers by surprise, since they are not in the dark about it; nor does the brightness of day surprise people who belong to the light (literally, "sons of light"; see Ep 5:8&N).
6. so let’s not be asleep, like the rest are; on the contrary, let us stay alert and sober.
7. People who sleep, sleep at night; and people who get drunk, get drunk at night.
8. But since we belong to the day, let us stay sober, putting on trust and love as a breastplate and the hope of being delivered as a helmet (Isaiah 59:17)
Imagery from Isaiah is also used at Ep 6:14, 17.
9. For God has not intended that we should experience his fury, but that we should gain deliverance through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah,
10. who died on our behalf so that whether we are alive or dead, we may live along with him.
11. Therefore, encourage each other, and build each other up — just as you are doing.
12. We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are working hard among you, those who are guiding you in the Lord and confronting you in order to help you change.
13. Treat them with the highest regard and love because of the work they are doing. Live at peace among yourselves;
On esteeming the elders of the congregation, compare MJ 13:17. Confronting you in order to help you change. See 1С 4:14N.
14. but we urge you, brothers, to confront those who are lazy, your aim being to help them change, to encourage the timid, to assist the weak, and to be patient with everyone.
15. See that no one repays evil for evil; on the contrary, always try to do good to each other, indeed, to everyone.
16. Always be joyful.
17. Pray regularly.
Pray regularly. KJV has "Pray without ceasing," but this suggests praying in a mindless way, like reciting a Hindu mantra, which is not what Sha'ul means (compare Mt 6:7-8). He intends that believers should make prayer a regular habit, as it is for himself (3:10&N) and for Jews generally.
18. In everything give thanks, for this is what God wants from you who are united with the Messiah Yeshua.
19. Don’t quench the Spirit,
20. don’t despise inspired messages.
21. But do test everything — hold onto what is good,
In the light of the current controversy over the charismatic movement (see 1С 12:8-10N), this passage, like 1 Corinthians 12-14, counsels a middle course. Prophetic messages are not to be rejected out of hand, but they are to be tested against Scripture, and by the other prophets (1С 14:32-33&N).
22. but keep away from every form of evil.
23. May the God of shalom make you completely holy — may your entire spirit, soul and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
May the God of shalom make you completely holy. Compare the last verse of the Kaddish: "May he who makes peace in his high places ('Oseh shalom bimromav, quoted from Job 33:5) make peace for us and for all Israel; and say: Amen." The essence of peace is not only the absence of war but holiness, which means living a life centered on and guided by God. Whether a human being consists of three parts — body, soul and spirit — as this verse and MJ 4:12 suggest, or two ("body" and "soul" (Mt 10:28), physical and spiritual (1С 5:3), etc.), is less important than that the whole person, the entire "living soul" or "living being" (Genesis 2:7), should become holy. This will happen to believers, because God is faithful and will do it.
24. The one calling you is faithful, and he will do it.
25. Brothers, keep praying for us.
26. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
27. I charge you in the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
28. The grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you.
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- chapter 3
- chapter 4
- chapter 5