1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
The Day of the Lord 5 1 Now concerning w the times and the seasons, brothers, 1 x you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that y the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then z sudden destruction will come upon them a as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you b are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all c children 1 of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then d let us not sleep, as others do, but let us e keep awake and f be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, g are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, h having put on the breastplate of i faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for j wrath, but k to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 l who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing .
Main point summary
Stay awake and sober, brothers, for the day of the Lord is coming.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Now concerning w the times and the seasons, brothers, 1
Regarding the future and the times ahead, fellow Christians,
Now as to the a times and the epochs, brethren, you b have no need of anything to be written to you.
Now on the topic of times and seasons, 1 brothers and sisters, 2 you have no need for anything to be written to you.
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,
(1-3) I don’t think, friends, that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen. You know as well as I that the day of the Master’s coming can’t be posted on our calendars. He won’t call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would. About the time everybody’s walking around complacently, congratulating each other—“We’ve sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!”—suddenly everything will fall apart. It’s going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.
x you have no need to have anything written to you.
I need not write any further instruction.
For you yourselves are fully aware
This is because you are cognizant of the fact
For you yourselves know full well that a the day of the Lord 1 will come b just like a thief in the night.
For you know quite well that the day of the Lord 3 will come in the same way as a thief in the night. 4
for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
that y the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
that the day of the Lord will come like rain from a cloudless sky.
While people are saying, “There is peace and security,”
When people grow complacent and think that conflict has come to an end and stability has come to the world,
While they are saying, “ a Peace and safety!” then 1 b destruction 2 will come upon them suddenly like c labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.
Now when 5 they are saying, “There is peace and security,” 6 then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains 7 on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape.
While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
then z sudden destruction will come upon them a as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman,
then an instant and unexpected calamity will strike us, just as pain strikes a woman who is with child,
and they will not escape.
and those who were not ready for the day of the Lord will not escape it.
But you b are not in darkness, brothers,
But worry not fellow believers, for you are not like those are not ready, and you do not live in darkness,
But you, brethren, are not in a darkness, that the day would overtake you 1 b like a thief;
But you, brothers and sisters, 8 are not in the darkness for the day to overtake you like a thief would.
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
(4-8) But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.
for that day to surprise you like a thief.
such that the coming of the Lord would surprise you, like rain from a cloudless sky.
For you are all c children 1 of light, children of the day.
This is because all of us are children of God, bathed in the light of day.
for you are all a sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of b darkness;
For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness.
You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
We are not of the night or of the darkness.
We are not children of the night, surrounded by its darkness.
So then d let us not sleep,
Because we know that the Lord is coming, let us not be complacent and ignorant,
so then let us not a sleep as 1 b others do, but let us be alert and 2 c sober.
So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober.
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.
as others do,
as the non-believers are,
but let us e keep awake and f be sober.
but let us stay vigilant and serious about the Lord's return.
For those who sleep, sleep at night,
For those who are ignorant of the Lord's return are like those who are asleep, whom sleep at night, surrounded by darkness.
For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get a drunk at night.
For those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.
and those who get drunk, g are drunk at night.
And those who do not take the Lord's return are like drunks, whom are drunk at night, surrounded by darkness.
But since we belong to the day,
But because we do not belong to the night, but instead belong to the day,
But since a we are of the day, let us b be 1 sober, having put on the c breastplate of d faith and love, and as a e helmet, the f hope of salvation.
But since we are of the day, we must stay sober by putting on the breastplate 9 of faith and love and as a helmet our hope for salvation . 10
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
let us be sober,
let us be take the Lord's return seriously,
h having put on the breastplate of i faith and love,
equipping the armour of faith and love,
and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
and the helm that represents our hope of salvation through Jesus Christ.
For God has not destined us for j wrath,
For God has promised us believers that we are not destined to feel his anger,
For God has not destined us for a wrath, but for b obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
For God did not destine us for wrath 11 but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(9-11) God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
but k to obtain salvation
but instead to be able to acquire salvation,
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ,
l who died for us
who died for us on the cross,
a who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.
He died 12 for us so that whether we are alert or asleep 13 we will come to life together with him.
He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.
s0 no matter if we are alive or dead when he returns, that we might live with him in eternity.
Therefore encourage one another
Because of this, encourage each other to stay vigilant and serious,
Therefore 1 encourage one another and a build up one another, just as you also are doing.
Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
and build one another up,
and train each other to be more Christ like,
just as you are doing.
exactly as you have already been doing so.
Question 1: Notes and Observations Author: Paul Recipient(s): Church of the Thessalonians Relationship: Paul is their teacher, but also considers them dear brothers in Christ Occasion: Blessed thanksgiving of their continued faith, but also encouragement and instruction in face of persecution and misguiders of the early Church Themes: The Lord is coming soon; don't be asleep Encourage them in the 'hope of salvation' Tone: Cautionary Serious Hopeful Purpose: To instruct and warn them that Christ is coming Equip and encourage them for his coming Keywords: Time related ('times', 'seasons', 'day', 'night') Sudden descrutction Darkness vs Light, Night vs Day Sleep/Asleep vs Sober/Awake Breastplate of faith and love Helment of the hope of salvation Wrath vs Salvation Children General: From ESV Bible notes, Paul also tries to address Thessalonian concern of the believers who died before the second coming of Christ. I know there was concern there. Why does Paul decide to cover this topic last in the context of 1 Thessalonians? 'you yourselves are aware' (v2) - Paul does this throughout 1 Thessalonians, to the effect saying 'you already should know some of the things im saying' <- Is this a reminder, an encouragment, or a way of diffusing blame? 'labor pains'(v3) conjure up images of sharp pain that is debilitating There is a distinct difference between believers and non-beleivers (v4-8) 'So then let us not sleep' (v6) is clearly metaphorical, as Paul is not asking believers not to sleep, but instead by vigilant and mindful of Christ returning Example of 'means' (v8) Example of 'truth' (v9) 'just as you are doing' (v11) is used multiple times through 1 Thessalonians. It is both reminder and encouragement. A reminder to keep following and seeking Christ. But an encouragement that they are doing well, and that they are on the right path. Compare Versions: (ESV, NASB, NET, NIV, MSG) Note: NASB - Word for Word ESV - Essentially Literal NET - Less literal translation, but with heavy notes NIV - Thought for thought MSG - Paraphrase Strong sense of time for all the versions (v1) Interesting that the analogy is maintained between versions (v2) Likewise for the labor pains, sudden destruction (v3) Again, very similar (v4). If the translations stick to it closely, it means the analogy is probably less ambiguous, leading me to believe it is an apt analogy. Interesting difference of 'children' (ESV, NIV) vs 'sons' (NASB, NET) NET uses the word 'alert' in v10, which helps draw out some of the nuance in the word 'awake' vs 'asleep' (i.e alert vs not-alert) Versions follow each other closely in wording v4-10, with exception of MSG 'just as..in fact are doing' in NET, and similar phrasing NIV gives idea that it may come as a surprise, that the Thessalonians are already doing a lot of the things that he is asking them to do Question 2: Meditation and Takeaways The day of the Lord is imminent, everyday we have to keep this in mind and encourage one in another. It gives a since of urgency to this fact. 'labor pains' of a 'pregnant woman', although Paul is referring to the non-believers here, certainly gives this idea that we must be ready, and that if we are not ready for it that there can be dire consequences. I love this simile, as it has multiple meanings. It is surprising to me that it will come when people say 'There is peace and security'. In my mind, that would be a time that is most unexpected, and perhaps a time where we felt like we did not need Jesus as much. There is a staunch contrast between those who are 'awake' and those who are 'asleep'. For me, it also a reminder to remain 'awake' and help those who are 'asleep' become 'children of the day'. 'so that whether we are awake or asleep' was an interesting verse to understand, since the entire section just repeatedly warned us not to be asleep. It is only because of the context of this letter that I was able to distinguish its meaning. 1) Paul writes to the Thessalonians, addressing some of their fears that believers who have died before of the coming of Christ would not be saved (from ESV study notes). 2) 'Asleep' is often analogy for dead, an example of understatement. Question 5: The way forward After completing this course, I plan to take a break from learning new content and put into practice what I learned. I hope to perform paraphrasing on the whole of 1 Thessalonians, as well as a smaller book of the Bible (Micah, Nahum, etc). Long term, I hope to do a deep dive on one of the four gospels, applying techniques from this unit as well as the further ones of diagramming, phrasing, etc.