2 Thessalonians 2:4

He that opposeth and exalteth himself (o antikeimeno kai uperairomeno). Like John's Antichrist this one opposes (anti-) Christ and exalts himself (direct middle of uperairw, old verb to lift oneself up above others, only here and 2 Corinthians 12:7 in N.T.), but not Satan, but an agent of Satan. This participial clause is in apposition with the two preceding phrases, the man of sin, the son of perdition. Note 1 Corinthians 8:5 about one called God and Acts 17:23 for sebasma (from sebazomai), object of worship, late word, in N.T. only in these two passages. So that he sitteth in the temple of God (wste auton ei ton naon tou qeou kaqisai). Another example of the infinitive with wste for result. Caius Caligula had made a desperate attempt to have his statue set up for worship in the Temple in Jerusalem. This incident may lie behind Paul's language here. Setting himself forth as God (apodeiknunta eauton oti estin qeo). Present active participle (mi form) of apodeiknumi, agreeing in case with auton, showing himself that he is God. Caligula claimed to be God. Moffatt doubts if Paul is identifying this deception with the imperial cultus at this stage. Lightfoot thinks that the deification of the Roman emperor supplied Paul's language here. Wetstein notes a coin of Julius with qeo on one side and Tessalonikewn on the other. In 1 John 2:18 we are told of "many antichrists" some of whom had already come. Hence it is not clear that Paul has in mind only one individual or even individuals at all rather than evil principles, for in verse 1 John 6 he speaks of to katecon (that which restraineth) while in verse 1 John 7 it is o katecwn (the one that restraineth). Frame argues for a combination of Belial and Antichrist as the explanation of Paul's language. But the whole subject is left by Paul in such a vague form that we can hardly hope to clear it up. It is possible that his own preaching while with them gave his readers a clue that we do not possess.