4. There are three parts: I. The Consolation of the Thessalonians undergoing persecutions (2 Thessalonians 1). II. Instruction concerning the coming of the Lord, with the signs preceding it, and the seduction to be avoided (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3:5). III. An Admonition concerning brethren to be avoided (2 Thessalonians 3:6-18). Interpreters of the Epistle, Ancient, Reformed, Lutheran, Roman Catholic; and also a Synoptic Table.
Saint Paul here treats three things. First, he comforts the Thessalonians, who are undergoing persecutions (2 Thessalonians 1). Second, he, forewarning them of the time of the coming of Christ, and the signs preceding it, comfirst them against the fear of seduction (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3:5). Third, he admonishes them to avoid those living disorderly (2 Thessalonians 3:6-18).
I. His Consolation of the Thessalonians, undergoing persecutions, Chapter 1.
In which, with an inscription and prayer going before (verses 1, 2), he, giving thanks to God concerning the increase of their faith (verse 3), indicating his own glorying before other churches on account of their patience in persecutions (verse 4), makes certain to them the hope of the Kingdom of God, and of compensation of glory at the judgment of Christ, but threatens extreme punishment to persecutors (verses 5-10), making mention of his prayers, that God might perfect their faith, and that the name of Christ might be glorified in them (verses 11, 12): chapter 1.
II. Instruction concerning the coming of Christ and the signs preceding it, and the avoidance of seduction, Chapters 2:1-3:5. In which:
1. He forbids them to believe that the day of Christ is at hand (verses 1, 2), because it is necessary that the apostasy come first, and the man of sin be revealed (verse 3); where, describing Antichrist, and his revelation and consumption (verses 4-8), and also the reason why God would allow the seduction through him (verses 9-12), he gives thanks to God that He elected believers (verses 13, 14), and admonishes them to retain the traditions, and prays the consolation and protection of God for them (verses 15-17): chapter 2.
2. He commands them to pray, that the word of God might have free course, and that they might be freed from unreasonable men (verses 1, 2); he promises the protection of God (verse 3), and testifies to his confidence concerning them, with the help of God implored (verses 4, 5): chapter 3:1-5.
III. An Admonition concerning the avoidance of brethren walking disorderly, Chapter 3:6-18.
In which he exhorts to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly (verse 6), and that all ought to follow his example, and to work with their own hands (verses 7-12), and not to be weary in well-doing (verse 13), to mark the disobedient, and not to keep company with them, but admonish them (verses 14, 15). Finally, he, praying peace for them, clauses with his sign (verses 16-18): chapter 3:6-18.