For they have refreshed my spirit
By their coming and presence; the very sight of them gave him joy and pleasure, and more so their Christian discourse and conversation, and especially the account they brought of this church; for though there were many things in it which were very disagreeable, and were the occasion of this epistle, yet there were others related, which were exceedingly pleasing to the apostle, and revived his spirit, which had been greatly depressed by what he might have heard of them from another quarter, and through fear that it was worse with them than it really was; for by these brethren he understood, that there were many in the church that had great grace, and large gifts bestowed on them, so that they came behind none in these things; and were steadfast in the faith of the Gospel, and with rigour opposed the false teachers; and in all things sought the welfare of the church, and the interest of Christ; and this was good news to the apostle, and which exhilarated his spirit: and he adds,
his spirit and theirs, in divine things, being the same; they were of one heart and soul; they had the same love, and were of one accord, and of one mind; so that what was grateful to the one, was so to the other: or his sense is, that when these brethren should return, and acquaint the church how the spirit of the apostle was revived, and refreshed with the narrative they gave him of the affairs of the church, their spirits would be also refreshed too. Dr. Hammond thinks that this phrase is taken out of the Greek translation of ( Zechariah 6:8 ) , "have quieted my spirit", which the Septuagint interpret by (anepausan ton yumon mou) , "they stilled", or "caused my wrath to cease"; and in the same way Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi explain the words; but the apostle's phrase is nearer to the original itself of that text, (yxwr ta wxynh) , "they have stilled", or "caused my spirit to rest"; and is the very same phrase the Syriac version uses here; and which the Chaldee paraphrase renders thus, (ytwer ty wdybe) , "they have done my will"; that which was agreeable and well pleasing to God; and so these brethren by their coming and company, and news they brought, did that which was grateful and satisfactory to the apostle: and the phrase of the spirit of man having rest from another, is often used in the Rabbinical writings, for having satisfaction in them, and approving of them; so they say, F5,
``(wnmyh hxwn twyrbh xwrv) , that everyone "from whom the spirit of men have rest", the Spirit of God has rest; and everyone from whom the spirit of man has no rest, the Spirit of God has no rest:''and which their commentators F6 explain thus,
``whoever is beloved below, it is manifest that he is beloved above:''
therefore acknowledge ye them that are such;
as these men; know them, have an affection for them, show respect to them, highly esteem of them for their works' sake; see ( 1 Thessalonians 5:12 1 Thessalonians 5:13 ) .
F5 Pirke Abot, c. 3. sect. 10.
F6 Jarchi & Bartenora in Pirke Abot, c. 3. sect. 10.