1 Thessalonians 3:2-3

2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker for God in proclaiming the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you for the sake of your faith,
3 so that no one would be shaken by these persecutions. Indeed, you yourselves know that this is what we are destined for.

1 Thessalonians 3:2-3 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 THESSALONIANS 3

In this chapter the apostle expresses his great love to the Thessalonians, by sending Timothy to then, to establish and comfort them; and declares his satisfaction with the things he brought of them, and concludes the chapter with fervent prayers for them: such was his affection for them, that he chose rather to be left alone at Athens, and send Timothy to them, though so very dear and useful to him, as his characters show, to the end that they might be established and comforted, 1Th 3:2 and not be shaken with the afflictions the apostles met with, seeing these were no other than what God had appointed them to; and besides, they had been apprized of them before hand by the apostle, 1Th 3:3,4 but however, lest Satan should get an advantage of them, the apostle could not be easy without sending to know how things stood with them, 1Th 3:5 next he proceeds to give an account of the success of this mission, and the satisfaction it gave him and his fellow ministers to hear of their faith and charity, their remembrance of them, and desire to see them, 1Th 3:6 which comforted them under their afflictions, made them lively and cheerful, filled them with joy and thankfulness, and put them upon praying to God to see their face, and perfect what was lacking in their faith, 1Th 3:7-10 and then follow the petitions themselves, which are made both to God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that their way might be directed to them, that they might increase and abound in love to one another, and to all men, as they did to them, and that God would establish them in holiness in his sight, at the coming of Christ, 1Th 3:11-13.

Ver 1. \\Wherefore when we could no longer forbear\\ Or "bear", as the word properly signifies; or "bear that", as the Ethiopic version reads; that is, "that desire", as the Arabic version renders it; that ardent and longing desire of seeing them again, expressed in the latter part of the preceding chapter; which was as fire in their bones, and was retained with great pain and uneasiness; but now they could hold it no longer, and like Jeremiah, Jer 20:9 were weary with forbearing, and could not stay; or it was like a burden, which they stood up under as long as they could, even Paul, Silas, and Timothy, but now it became insupportable:

\\we thought it good to be left at Athens alone\\: that is, Paul and Silas, or Paul only, speaking of himself in the plural number; for he seems to have been alone at Athens, at least at last; he considering everything, thought it most fit and advisable when at Athens, where he waited for Silas and Timothy, having ordered them to come thither to him from Berea, Ac 17:14,15 either to send orders to Berea for Timothy to go from thence to Thessalonica, to know the state of affairs there, and Silas elsewhere; or if they came to him to Athens, of which Luke gives no account, he immediately dispatched Timothy to Thessalonica, and Silas to some other part of Macedonia, for from thence they came to him at Corinth, Ac 18:5 such was his desire of knowing how things were at Thessalonica, that he chose rather to be left alone at Athens, disputing with the unbelieving Jews, and Heathen philosophers of the Epicurean and Stoic sects, sustaining all their scoffs and jeers alone; and was content to be without his useful companions, Silas and Timothy, who might have been assisting to him at Athens, in hope of hearing of his dear friends at Thessalonica. 06448-940725-0731-1Th3.2

1 Thessalonians 3:2-3 In-Context

1 Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we decided to be left alone in Athens;
2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker for God in proclaiming the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you for the sake of your faith,
3 so that no one would be shaken by these persecutions. Indeed, you yourselves know that this is what we are destined for.
4 In fact, when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we were to suffer persecution; so it turned out, as you know.
5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith; I was afraid that somehow the tempter had tempted you and that our labor had been in vain.
6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love. He has told us also that you always remember us kindly and long to see us—just as we long to see you.

Footnotes 1

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.