Editor (Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D.) Notes from the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible NASB 1Thessalonians 1:10 This is the only instance in the entire N.T. that the verb anemenō is used. It is composed of the emphatic ana and menō, “to stay.” It means to wait for or await. This word is still used in Modern Greek today to stress a certain eagerness in this waiting. This waiting or looking forward to implies a state of readiness on the part of the Thessalonians who in v. 9 were commended as serving the Lord faithfully. Their expectation of God’s Son from heaven undoubtedly refers to His Second Coming. This must refer to what the Apostle Paul in 1Thess. 4:14-18 calls the rapture (only the verb is used in v. 17, harpagēsometha from harpazō) If these believers were going to go through the tribulation, how could Paul possibly present the fact of the coming of God’s Son out of the heavens as something that they could, at that time, be looking forward to with such great and joyful expectation? Here the Lord Jesus is presented as coming by Himself from heaven for His saints, both dead and alive. In 1Thess. 3:13 He is presented as coming with His saints. This is at the end of the tribulation period, so that His saints may reign with Him.
The translation of the last part of this verse “who (Jesus) delivers us from the wrath to come” speaks of present deliverance. The present participle rhuomenon means ‘the one delivering us” from the present persecution is able also to deliver us from the future one. Paul is comforting the Thessalonians, who were then being so greatly persecuted, by the fact that they would be delivered by the Lord from the great future tribulation and that they would not need to go through the coming wrath of God. What could that coming wrath be except the great tribulation? See note on 1Thess. 2:19.
2:19 The word translated “coming” is parousia, which means basically “presence” or “arrival” (1Cor. 16:17; 2Cor. 7:7). In Hellenistic Greek it was used to designate the visit of a ruler. The same Jesus who ascended to heaven will again visit the earth in personal presence (Act 1:11) at the end of the age (Mt. 24:3) in power and glory (Mt. 24:7) to destroy the anti-Christ and evil (2Thess. 2:8), to raise the righteous dead (1Cor. 15:23), and to gather the redeemed (Mt. 24:31,37,39; Jn. 5:28,29; 1Thess. 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2Thess.2:1; Js. 5:7,8)
The word parousia is used in Mt. 24:3,27,37,39; 1Cor. 15:23; 16:17; 2Cor. 7:6,7; 10:10; Phil. 1:26; 2:12; 1Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2Thess. 2:1,8,9; Js. 5:7-8; 2Peter 1:16; 3:4,12; 1 John 2:28. The specific meaning of parousia is made clear in 1Thess. 4:15 where it is defined as the time when the Lord shall come out of heaven (1Thess. 1:10). At that time the dead who are believers will rise first, and those who are believers and are alive will be changed and be caught up in the air by Jesus Christ.
The return of Christ will also be an apokalupsis, a revelation or taking the cover off of something that is hidden. It is an unveiling or disclosure when the power and glory which are now His by virtue of His exaltation in heavenly session (Eph. 1:20; Phil. 2:9; Heb. 1:3; 2:9) will be disclosed to the world (1Peter 4:13). Christ is now reigning as Lord at God’s right hand (1Cor. 15:25; Heb. 1:3; 12:2) and sharing God’s throne (Rev. 3:21). His reign is now invisible to the world. It will, however, be made visible by His apokalupsis, “revelation.” The word apokalupsis, “revelation,” occurs in Lk. 2:32; Rom. 2:5; 8:19; 16:25; 1Cor. 1:7; 13:6,26; 2Cor. 12:1,7; Gal. 1:12; 2:22; Eph. 1:17; 1Peter. 1:7,13; 4:13; Rev. 1:1.
There is yet a third word used which is related to the Second Coming of the Lord and that is epiphaneia which means “a manifestation.” In Ancient Greek, it was used especially of the appearing of gods and also of the manifestation of divine power and providence in extraordinary events. In the N.T. it is used of the appearing of the manifestation of Jesus Christ on earth (2Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2Tim. 1:10; 4:1; Tit. 2:13). These are the only references in the N.T. of the word epiphaneia.
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4:15 See note on 1Thess. 2:19. The word that is translated “precede” is the Greek verb phthanō meaning “to anticipate, to be before.” Here the dead are called “those who have fallen asleep.”
The Greek word is koimaō or koimaomai in the middle or passive voice. In the N.T. this always refers to the body that is asleep and not to the soul. See note on Rev.4 and also the Editor’s book Conquering the Fear of Death, an exegetical exposition of 1Cor. 15.
4:17 See note on 2Cor. 12:2-10. There are two important words here. One is harpagēsometha which is in the punctiliar future. This means that at a specific moment in the future we shall be caught up by Someone other than ourselves which is, of course, Jesus Christ who will descend from heaven. The noun is not used in the N.T. with eschatological meaning. Harpagē, “a forceable taking away,” is only used in Mt. 23:25; Lk. 11:39 and Heb. 10:34. The verb harpazō, “to seize upon with force,” is also used generally as meaning to forceably seize upon or take to oneself. This verb is used in Mt. 11:12; 13:19; Jn. 6:15; 10:12,28,29; Acts 8:39; 23:10; 2Cor. 12:2,4; 1Thess. 4:17; Jude 23; Rev. 12:5. See the derivative harpagmos, which means “a thing robbed.” The other important word which is translated, “to meet” in Greek is expressed with a preposition, eis, “unto or for,” and apantēsin, “meeting,” from the verb apantaō. This verb is used in Mt. 28:9; Mk. 5:2; 14:13; Lk. 14:31; 17:12; Jn. 4:51; Acts 16:16. It is made up of the preposition apo, “from,” antaō, “to meet,” meaning “to come into the presence of, to meet.” In Modern Greek it means exactly what it has always meant, to leave a place and go to meet one who is coming toward you. It also means to reply to a question that has been put forth. It involves responding to an action of another. Here Paul is speaking of the reaction of the believers as a result of the initiative that Christ will take when He comes to take His own unto Himself, after the dead have been raised by Him and the living transformed according to this entire passage and also 1Cor. 15:51-53. See note on 1Thess. 1:10.
5:2 The expression “the day of the Lord” forms part of the eschatology of the Bible. In the O.T. it meant the day when Jehovah would intervene to put Israel at the head of nations, irrespective of Israel’s faithlessness to Him. Amos declares that the day means judgment for Israel (see Isa. 2:12f; Ezek. 13:5; Joel 1:15; 2:1,11; Zeph. 1:7,14; Zech. 13:1)
Other prophets speak of it as God’s Day of Judgment upon other individual nations such as Babylon (Isa. 13:6,9); Egypt (Jer. 46:10); Edom (Obad. 8); many nations (Joel 2:31; 3:14; Obad. 15). In the O.T. then, the Day of the Lord represents the occasion when Jehovah will actively intervene to punish sin which will reach its climax.
On the Day of the Lord there are truly repentant believers who are saved (Joel 2:28-32), while those who remain enemies of the Lord, whether Jews or Gentiles, are punished. There are also physical effects on the world of nature (Isa. 2).
In the N.T. the Day of the Lord is related to the Second Coming of Christ. So also is the phrase “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” or an equivalent which occurs in 1Cor. 1:8; 5:5; Phil. 1:6,10; 2:16; 2Thess. 2:2. When we read the Day of the Lord or the Day of Christ, we are not to think of it as a twenty-four hour day, but a period of time during which the judgments of the Lord Jesus Christ will take place. Both expressions mean a time of judgment. The Day of the Lord will include the time of the millennial age within this period. If the Day of the Lord did not begin until after the Second Advent, since that advent is preceded by signs, it could not come as a “thief in the night,” unexpectedly upon the world is for it to begin immediately after the rapture of the Church. The Day of the Lord is, therefore that extended period of time which begins with God’s dealing with Israel after the rapture, at the beginning of the tribulation, and which extends through the Second Advent and the millennial age unto the creation of the new heavens and new earth after the millennium.
The expression “the day of the Lord Jesus” or the “day of Christ” occurring in 1Cor. 5:5; 2Cor. 1:14; Phil 1:6,10; 2:16, and 2Thess. 2:2 relates to the liberation by Jesus Christ of His own, His Church. The Day of the Lord and the Day of Christ occur simultaneously. For the Church, it is the rapture, and for the unbelieving world, it is the beginning of judgment and the tribulation. See the Editor’s book A Richer Life for You in Christ, an exegetical exposition on 1Cor. 1.