1 Thessalonians 5:3

3 While people are saying, "There is peace and security," then 1sudden destruction will come upon them 2as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

1 Thessalonians 5:3 Meaning and Commentary

1 Thessalonians 5:3

For when they shall say
Or men shall say, that is, wicked and ungodly men, persons in a state of unregeneracy:

peace and safety;
when they shall sing a requiem, to themselves, promise themselves much ease and peace for years to come, and imagine their persons and property to be very secure from enemies and oppressors, and shall flatter themselves with much and long temporal happiness:

then sudden destruction cometh upon them;
as on the men of the old world in the times of Noah, and on the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Lot; for as these, will be the days of the Son of man, as at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, so at the last day; see ( Luke 17:26-30 ) and as was the destruction of literal Babylon, so of Babylon in a mystical sense, or antichrist and his followers: and which will be

as travail upon a woman with child;
whose anguish and pains are very sharp, the cause of which is within herself, and which come suddenly upon her, and are unavoidable; and so the metaphor expresses the sharpness and severity of the destruction of the wicked, thus the calamities on the Jewish nation are expressed by a word which signifies the sorrows, pangs, and birth throes of a woman in travail, ( Matthew 24:8 ) , and likewise that the cause of it is from themselves, their own sins and transgressions; and also the suddenness of it, which will come upon them in the midst of all their mirth, jollity, and security; and moreover, the inevitableness of it, it will certainly come at the full and appointed time, though that is not known:

and they shall not escape;
the righteous judgment of God, the wrath of the Lamb, or falling into his hands; to escape is impossible, rocks, hills, and mountains will not cover and hide them; before the judgment seat of Christ they must stand, and into everlasting punishment must they go.

1 Thessalonians 5:3 In-Context

1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers,you have no need to have anything written to you.
2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3 While people are saying, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.
5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Luke 21:34; [Psalms 35:8; Luke 17:26-30; 2 Thessalonians 1:9]
  • 2. See Isaiah 13:8
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.