2 Thessalonians 3:9-10

9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.
10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

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2 Thessalonians 3:9-10 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 THESSALONIANS 3

In this chapter the apostle requests of the Thessalonians, that they would pray for him, and other Gospel ministers; and he puts up prayers for them, gives them rules about dealing with disorderly persons, and concludes the epistle with his usual salutation. The request to pray for ministers is in 2Th 3:1 the petitions to be made for them are, that their ministry might be succeeded, and their persons preserved and delivered from evil minded men, destitute of faith in Christ, 2Th 3:1-2 and, for the consolation of the saints, observes the faithfulness of God engaged in their behalf to establish them in the faith they had, and to preserve them from everything and person that is evil, 2Th 3:3 and expresses his confidence in them with respect to their walk and conversation, 2Th 3:4 and then prays for them that their hearts might be directed into the love of God, and patience of Christ, 2Th 3:5. And next follows an order to withdraw from every disorderly walker, particularly idle and slothful persons, 2Th 3:6 and from such a lazy idle life the apostle dissuades by his own example, who behaved not disorderly, nor ate the bread of others, but wrought with his own hands, though he had a right to a maintenance without it, but did this to set an example to them, 2Th 3:7-9. He puts them in mind of a precept of his when among them, that such who would not work should not eat, 2Th 3:10 and the order he now gave, and the precept he reminds them of, were not without reason; seeing there were disorderly idle persons, and busy bodies, among them, whom the apostle exhorts and beseeches, in the name of Christ, to be industrious, and eat their own bread, as the fruit of their labours, 2Th 3:11,12 and as for the other members of the church, he exhorts them to diligence and constancy in well doing, and to mark those that were incorrigible, and have no conversation with them, yet dealing with them not as enemies, but admonishing them as brethren, 2Th 3:13-15. And closes all with prayers, that the Lord would give them peace, and grant his presence to them, and with his usual salutation, written with his own hand, as a token of this being a genuine epistle of his, and by which every epistle of his might be known, 2Th 3:16-18.

2 Thessalonians 3:9-10 In-Context

7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you,
8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.
9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.
10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.

Cross References 4

  • 1. 1 Corinthians 9:4-14
  • 2. ver 7; S 1 Corinthians 4:16
  • 3. 1 Thessalonians 3:4
  • 4. 1 Thessalonians 4:11