Wherefore we would have come unto you
They not only had a will, and purposed in themselves, and entered into some resolutions to come unto them, but endeavoured to put them into execution:
even I Paul:
as well as Silas and Timothy; the latter of which had been with them, and the others had as good a will, and especially Paul: and that
once and again:
or "once and twice" so the Jews used F8 to speak (xyynvw hnwvar Mep) , "one time and a second"; that is, several times:
but Satan hindered us.
The Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, "hindered me"; by moving the mob which rose at Thessalonica, to go to Berea, and disturb the apostle there; which obliged him, contrary to his will, to go to Athens instead of returning to Thessalonica, as he intended; and when at Athens, from whence also he might purpose to return thither, he was hindered by the disputes the Jews and the Stoics, and Epicurean philosophers, had with him; and after that, might be prevented by the lying in wait of the Jews for him, of which he might be informed; or by disturbances raised in the church, or churches where he was, by the false teachers; which required his stay with them, to oppose and refute error and heresy and to make up differences that arose among true Christians, fomented by Satan and his emissaries; see ( Romans 1:13 ) . Satan does all he can to hinder the preaching of the Gospel, the hearing of the word, the profession of religion, and the saints coming together, and having spiritual conversation with each other; being, as his name "Satan" signifies, an enemy to Christ and his interest, and to the souls of men: indeed he can do nothing but by divine permission, nor can he hinder the will of God, and the execution of that, though he often hinders the will of man, or man from doing his will; he hindered the apostle from doing what he willed and purposed, but he did not hinder the will of God, which was that Paul should be employed in other work elsewhere.
F8 Maimon. in Hilch. Chobel, c. 5. sect. 10.