Commentary on II Thessalonians Super II ad Thessalonicenses Prologue Prooemium Genesis 49:1 Genesis 49:1 49:1 And Jacob called his sons, and said to them: gather yourselves together that I may tell you the things that shall befall you in the last days. 49:1 Vocavit autem Jacob filios suos, et ait eis: congregamini, ut annuntiem quae ventura sunt vobis in diebus novissimis. 1. These words are applicable to this epistle. For they touch on two things applicable to it, namely its fruit and its matter. 1. Haec verba competunt huic epistolae. Duo enim tanguntur quae ei conveniunt, scilicet fructus, et eius materia. Hence it says that I may announce what will befall you in the last days. This epistle treats of the three things that will happen in the last days. There will be dangers to the church in the time of the Antichrist. In the last days there shall come dangerous times (2 Tim 3:1). Likewise, the punishments of the wicked. Until I go into the sanctuary of God, and understand concerning their last ends (Ps 72:17). Finally, the rewards of the good. Strength and beauty are her clothing (Prov 31:25). And these things are dealt with in this epistle. Unde dicitur ut annuntiem, et cetera. Agitur enim in ea de his, quae ventura sunt in diebus novissimis, quae sunt tria, scilicet pericula Ecclesiae, tempore Antichristi. II Tim. c. III, 1: in novissimis diebus instabunt tempora periculosa, et cetera. Item malorum supplicia. Ps. LXXII, 17: donec intrem sanctuarium Dei, et cetera. Verumtamen propter dolos posuisti eis, deiecisti eos dum allevarentur. Item praemia bonorum. Prov. ult.: fortitudo et decor indumentum eius. Et de his agitur in hac epistola. 2. Its usefulness is shown by the words gather yourselves together. For this epistle achieves a gathering together, namely the gathering together of those who have harmony in the truth. For they were disagreeing with one another about the future judgment on account of what the Apostle said in the first epistle, then we who are living, who are left, shall be taken up together with them into the clouds, etc. (1 Thess 4:17). He will gather together the dispersed of Israel (Ps 146:2). 2. Utilitas ostenditur, quia congregamini. Sic acquiritur ex hac epistola congregatio, scilicet concordantium in veritate, quia discordabant de iudicio futuro, propter hoc quod dicit in prima epistola: deinde nos qui vivimus, et cetera. Ps. CXLVI, 2: dispersiones Israelis congregabit. It likewise achieves a harmony of wills, because when they consider that everything temporal will perish at the last day, one is given to understand that they gather themselves together around the one thing worth seeking, namely a heavenly reward. Gather together your heart in his holiness (Sir 30:24). Item voluntatum, quia cum considerant quod quaecumque temporalia sunt, in novissimo mundi peribunt, datur intelligi quod eos congregant ad unum quaerendum, scilicet caeleste praemium. Eccli. XXX, 24: congrega cor tuum in sanctitate eius. Again, it achieves a harmony of thoughts around one stable truth. But I know their works, and their thoughts: I come that I may gather them together (Isa 66:18). Item cogitationum ad unam stabilem veritatem. Is. ult.: ego autem opera eorum et cogitationes eorum venio ut congregem, et cetera. 3. And so the fruit and matter of this epistle are clear, for in the first epistle he armed them against past persecutions, while here he arms them against persecutions to come. 3. Sic ergo patet fructus et materia, quia in prima munivit eos contra persecutiones praeteritas, hic munit eos contra futuras. Chapter 1 Caput 1 Hope for the Final Judgment Spes Judicio Finalis Lecture 1 Lectio 1 Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians Gratias propter Thessalonicenses 1:1 Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, [n. 4] 1:1 Paulus, et Sylvanus, et Timotheus, ecclesiae Thessalonicensium in Deo Patre nostro, et Domino Jesu Christo. [n. 4] 1:2 Grace unto you: and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. [n. 7] 1:2 Gratia vobis, et pax a Deo Patre nostro, et Domino Jesu Christo. [n. 7] 1:3 We are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly and the charity of every one of you towards each other abounds: [n. 8] 1:3 Gratias agere debemus semper Deo pro vobis, fratres, ita ut dignum est, quoniam supercrescit fides vestra, et abundat caritas uniuscujusque vestrum in invicem: [n. 8] 1:4 So that we ourselves also glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and faith, and in all your persecutions and tribulations: which you endure [n. 10] 1:4 ita ut et nos ipsi in vobis gloriemur in ecclesiis Dei, pro patientia vestra, et fide, et in omnibus persecutionibus vestris, et tribulationibus, quas sustinetis [n. 10] 1:5 For an example of the just judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which also you suffer. 1:5 in exemplum justi judicii Dei, ut digni habeamini in regno Dei, pro quo et patimini. 4. This epistle is divided into the greeting and the epistolary narration, at we are bound to give thanks 4. Dividitur haec epistola in salutationem, et epistolarem narrationem, ibi gratias agere debemus, et cetera. And first the persons greeting are set out; Item primo ponuntur personae salutantes; second, the persons greeted; secundo personae salutatae; third, the good things wished. tertio bona optata. 5. Now they are the same persons as those in the first letter to the Thessalonians. And three persons are listed as sending greetings so that the epistle’s authority may appear the stronger. A threefold cord is not easily broken (Eccl 4:12). 5. Sunt autem eaedem personae, quae et in prima. Tres autem personae salutantes ponuntur, ut auctoritas epistolae robustior appareat. Eccle. IV, 12: funiculus triplex difficile rumpitur. 6. To the church of the Thessalonians. Church names a congregation, which should be in God—otherwise it is bad. A Psalm says of the good congregation, gather his holy ones to him (Ps 50:5). In Christ, that is, in the faith of Christ. Through whom we have access through faith into this grace (Rom 5:2). 6. Ecclesiae Thessalonicensium et cetera. Ecclesia congregationem dicit: quae debet esse in Deo, alias est mala. De bona dicitur Ps. XLIX, 5: congregate illi sanctos eius, et cetera. In Christo, id est, in eius fide. Rom. V, 2: per quem accessum habemus per fidem in gratiam istam. 7. Then he wishes goods for them, and first of all peace. For peace is the beginning of all the spiritual gifts. By the grace of God I am what I am (1 Cor 15:10). Similarly, he wishes for them the grace that is men’s end. Who makes your ends peace (Ps 147:14). And this is from God our Father. Every best and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (Jas 1:17). And from the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom he has given us great and precious promises (2 Pet 1:4). 7. Deinde optat eis bona, et primo pacem. Ipsa est enim principium omnium spiritualium donorum. I Cor. XV, 10: gratia Dei sum id quod sum. Item, pacem quae est finis hominum. Ps. CXLVII, 14: qui posuit fines tuos pacem, et cetera. Et hoc a Deo, et cetera. Iac. I, 17: omne datum optimum, et omne donum perfectum, desursum est, descendens a patre luminum, et cetera. Et Domino Iesu, et cetera. II Petr. I, 4: per quem maxima et pretiosa nobis donavit. 8. We are bound to give thanks always to God for you. This is the epistolary narration. 8. Gratias agere debemus, et cetera. Haec est epistolaris narratio. Et And first he instructs them about what is to happen in the last days; primo instruit eos de futuris in novissimis diebus; second, he warns them in a friendly way about certain things in the third chapter, at for the rest, brethren (2 Thess 3:1). secundo admonet eos familiariter de quibusdam, in tertio capite, ibi de caetero, fratres, et cetera. And first, he admonishes them, as was said, regarding the rewards of the good and the punishments of the wicked; Item primo monet, sicut dictum est, quantum ad praemia bonorum, et poenas malorum; second, he admonishes them regarding the dangers of the time of the Antichrist, in chapter two, at and we beseech you (2 Thess 2:1). secundo quantum ad pericula tempore Antichristi, cap. II, ibi rogamus autem vos, et cetera. And first he gives thanks for their preparation for the future judgment; Item primo agit gratias de praeparatione ad futurum iudicium; second, he describes the judgment itself, at seeing it is a just thing. secundo describit ipsum iudicium, ibi si tamen iustum. And first he gives thanks for their progress; Item primo gratias agit de profectu; second, he displays the fruit of their progress; secundo ostendit fructum profectus; third, he points to a sign of it. tertio signum.