by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2 November 30, 2014 Dayton, Texas
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and [that] ye may have lack of nothing.
1901 ASV Translation:
11 and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your hands, even as we charged you;
12 that ye may walk becomingly toward them that are without, and may have need of nothing.
A. This is the primary verb, followed by three explanatory infinitives.
B. Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon says a lot about the verbal idea involved. A succinct summary of the discussion would be "to be heavily involved in creating one's 'lasting reputation'". The NASB says, "Make it your ambition...".
C. The primary verb is used three times in the New Testament, all by Paul.
1. Romans 15:20 -- Paul wanted to be known as one who preached where Christ was not known.
2. 2 Corinthians 5:9 -- Paul wanted more than anything "to be pleasing to God".
3. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 -- our current text.
II. The Explanatory Infinitives.
A. "To Be Quiet".
1. This follow-up verb is used five times in the New Testament and has to do with a "cessation" of something: effort, speech, etc. In every case the issue is the cessation of the attempts to "make something happen that was not going to happen".
2. This is a sticky wicket: how does one go about making big waves through the proclamation of the Gospel and yet "study to be quiet"?
3. This "study to be quiet" has nothing to do with the faithful pursuit of the calling of God; it has everything to do with continuing to push one's own agenda when it is obvious that the push is vain...nag, nag, nag... .
B. "And To Do Your Own Things".
1. This is attached to the primary verb (Study...).
2. The verb used, translated "to do," has the connotation of the "pursuit of an action to its intended result". It does not settle for just "doing" something; it is about "doing" everything that needs to be done to see the objective achieved.
3. That it follows "to be quiet" has this implication: those are "noisy" who are sticking their noses into the business of others.
4. The pursuit is to be of "one's own things", primarily the specific assignment of God to the specific individual.
C. "And to work with your hands".
1. The issue is not specifically "manual labor", but it derives its meaning from that root.
2. The issue is the use of one's own, God-given, God-directed, God-empowered, assets to seek to provide for oneself and those for whom one is responsible.
III. The Basis: "Just As We Commanded You".
A. The "command" idea is almost always attached to a specific set of issues: "because of this reality, do that".
B. The use of the word indicates specific instructions that come across as "insistent demands".
C. That it is "just as" something we said when we were with you indicates that this was most likely to have been an integral part of Paul's preaching everywhere. He told everyone who responded to the Gospel to "study to...be quiet...pursue your own things...work with your own assets...".
IV. The Rationale.
A. To walk in a way that is acceptable to those "without".
B. To provide one's own needs so that someone else doesn't need to.