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- Apocalypse Fulfilled? -
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*Revelation 1:7*
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* Revelation 20:1-10*
 

II Thessalonians 2:2
enestemi - "at hand"

"that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come." 
[New American Standard]

NOTE: enestemi is only rendered "at hand" in this verse, it is most often rendered "present"

Wrath in 1 Thessalonians 1-2

Future Wrath (1:10)Present Wrath (2:16)
Jesus... delivers us [followers of the Lord] from the wrath to come.Wrath has come upon them [the Jews] to the uttermost.

 

Dean Henry Alford (1868)
"The day of the Lord is present (not is at hand).
enestemi occurs six times besides in the New Testament, and always in the sense of being present. Besides which, St. Paul could not have so written, nor could the Spirit have so spoken by him." (vol. iii. p.274)

"These Thessalonians imagined it to be already come, and, accordingly, were deserting their pursuits in life, and falling into other irregularities, as if the day of grace were closed." (Greek Testament, in loco.)

John Albert Bengel (1742)
"Extreme proximity is signified by this word; for enistemi is present."

Dr. Thomas Manton (1620-1677)
"There is some difference in the words, for eggizo signifies it draweth near,
enistemi, it is begun already." (Works, vol. 3. p.15)

William Whiston (1737)
"enistemi is here, and in many other places of Josephus, immediately at hand; and is to be so expounded 2 Thess. ii. 2, where some falsely pretended that St. Paul had said, either by word of mouth or by an epistle, or by both, "that the day of Christ was immediately at hand;" for still St. Paul did then plainly think that day not many years future." (Whiston's Josephus, Ant. bk. xviii. c. ix. sec. 2)

 

Ken Gentry (1985)
"Verses 1-2
. Paul's reference 'concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him' (2 Thessalonians 2:1) is the crux interpretum of this passage. Paul is here speaking of the A.D. 70 judgment on the Jews - the very judgment given emphasis in the first portion of the Olivet Discourse, the Book of Revelation, and several other passages of Scripture." (He shall have Dominion, p.386)

N. Nisbett (1787)
"St. Paul speaks of false prophets, as being among the Corinthians; calling them deceitful workers, who transformed themselves into Apostles of Christ. In the 2d epistle to the Thessalonians, he mentions one whom he characterizes as the Man of Sin, whose coming would be after the working of Satan, with all power and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. St. John assured those to whom he wrote, that many antichrists and many false prophets, were already gone out into the world; whereby they knew it was the last time, or the time when the Jewish polity was arrived to its utmost period, and Jerusalem would be destroyed. St. Peter also mentions some false teachers, who would bring in damnable or destructive heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (APPENDIX)

Moses Stuart (1836)
‘This interpretation (viz. The speedy advent of Christ) was formally and strenuously corrected in 2 Thess. ii. Is it not enough that Paul has explained his own words? Who can safely venture to give them a meaning different from what he gives?’ (Quote in
The Parousia)

 

Charles J. Ellicot (1863)
"The verb
enestoken, is somewhat stronger than eqesthkenv (2 Tim. 6), and seems to mark not only the nearness, but the actual presence and comhiencement of the day of the Lord." (Commentary on Thessalonians, in loco.)

 

1. Jamieson, Fausset, Brown, [JFB], Commentary on the Whole Bible, Zondervan, 1977, pg. 1343- "is immediately imminent, lit., 'is present;' is instantly coming."

2. J.C. Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament, Vol. 4, Broadman, 1931, pg. 48- Robertson renders it "as present" but then insists that here since it is "intransitive in this tense to stand in or at or near. So "is imminent" [Lightfoot]."

3. John Eadie, Greek Text Commentaries, Baker Books, 1979, p. 259ff--Eadie has one of the fullest discussions of the word. Says, "The true meaning of the word is not "at hand, but "is come," or "is present." Excellent source material.

4. William Barclay, Letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians, The Daily Study Bible Series, Westminster Press, 1975, pg. 211-212-Barclay translates it as "is here."

5. Pulpit Commentary, Vol 21 Eerdmans, 1977, pg. 24 says it means "literally is present," although they confess they find it "difficult to conceive how the Thessalonians could think that the day of the Lord was actually present. We cannot imagine that they thought that Christ had already come for judgment." We shall have more to say on this later.

6. Leon Morris, The New International Commentary On The New Testament, [NICNT], Eerdmans, 1979, pg. 216- "The verb does not really mean 'to be at hand,' but rather "to be present." He also cites Frame and Lillie, as well as Bicknell who insists "is now present" as "the only possible translation of the Greek." He does list Warfield as dissenting.

7. A Translators Handbook on Paul's Letters to the Thessalonians, Ellingworth and Nida, United Bible Societies, 1976, pg. 160- "In place of has come, a few translators [Knox, following the Latin, cf. KJV] have "is close at hand." The Greek verb can have this meaning in other tenses and in other contexts. In past tenses, however, it means "has arrived." They list Rigaux who says the translation as "imminent" is "a commentary having no linguistic basis."

8. F.F.Bruce, Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 45, p. 165, Word Incorporated, Dallas, Texas, 1982, In his translation he renders it as "present." In his commentary he says, "It cannot be seriously disputed that 'is present' is the natural sense of enesteken." He says there is, "considerable support for the sense of imminence," but admits enesteken "will not bear" this. It is clear Bruce is troubled by the significance of this for he says "...it cannot be supposed that the Thessalonians ..could have been misled ...that the events of I Thessalonians had taken place."

9. Robertson Nicoll, The Expositors Greek Testament, Vol. 4, Eerdmans, pg. 47-- "were already present."

10. Alford's Greek Testament, Vol. III, Baker, 1980, pg. 289- "... is present [not, 'is at hand,' ...six times in the NT and always in the sense of being present...."

                                                                    
Lexicons

1. Thayer's, pg 216, - "to be upon, impend, threaten: II Thess.2:2." Note: We would cite his admission that "many would adopt the meaning of "present" in II Thessalonians...."

2. Analytical Greek Lexicon, pg 140 - "to be at hand, impend, to be present, Romans 8:38; II Thess. 2:2."

3. Vines Dictionary of New Testament Words, Vol.II, pg. 191,- "In 2 Thess. 2:2 the verb enistemi, to be present ... is wrongly translated "is at hand": the RV correctly renders it, "is [now] present...."

4. Baur, [Arndt and Gingrich], pg 266 - "1. in past tenses to be present ... II Thess. 2:2."

5. Kittel's Theological Dictionary, vol II, pg 543-- "In the perfect it means "to have entered" and therefore "to be present."

                                                                    
Translations

1. KJV--is at hand.
2. Weymouth--is already here.
3. New KJV--as though ...had come.
4. RSV--has come
5. NASB--has come
6. New English Bible--is already here
7. NIV--has already come
8. Amplified--has [already] arrived and is here
9. Living New Testament--has already begun
10. McCord's New Testament Translation--has come
11. Williams--is already here
12. Beck--has already come
13. Good News For Modern Man--has come
14. Lamsa--at hand
15. Jerusalem--has already arrived
16. Berkeley--had arrived
17. Today's English Version--has come
18. Twentieth Century NT--is come
19. Emphasized NT, Rotherham--hath set in
20. Goodspeed--had already come


 

"Enestemi" (Has Already Come)

"Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure.. to the effect that the day of the Lord has come." [NAS]

Enestemi

1764 enistemi {en-is'-tay-mee} from 1722 and 2476; TDNT - 2:543,234; v
AV - present 3, things present 2, be at hand 1, come 1; 7

Defintion:

1) to place in or among, to put in
2) to be upon, impend, threaten
3) close at hand
4) present

Other Examples:

Ro 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present <1764>, nor things to come,

1Co 7:26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present <1764> distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.

Ga 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present <1764> evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come <1764>. (This time enestemi is in the future tense. See number 7 under commentators)

Heb 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present <1764>, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Commonly Mistaken Words Which Are Translated "at hand":

I. eggizo

AV - draw nigh 12, be at hand 9, come nigh 8, come near 5, draw near 4, misc 5; 43

 

Defintion:

1) to bring near, to join one thing to another
2) to draw or come near to, to approach

 

Examples:

Mt 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mt 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mt 26:45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Mt 26:46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

II. eggus

from a primary verb agcho (to squeeze or throttle; akin to the base of 43); TDNT - 2:330,194; adv AV - nigh 13, at hand 6, nigh at hand 4, near 4, from 1, nigh unto 1, ready 1; 30

 

Definition:

1) near, of place and position

1a) near
1b) those who are near access to God

1b1) Jews, as opposed to those who are alien from God and his blessings
1b2) The Rabbis used the term "to make nigh" as equivalent to "to make a proselyte"

2) of time

2a) of times imminent and soon to come pass

 

Examples:

Mt 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh <1451>:

Mt 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near <1451>, even at the doors.

Mt 26:18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand <1451>; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

Mr 13:29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh <1451>, even at the doors.

Lu 19:11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh <1451> to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.

Joh 19:42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand <1451>.

Php 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand <1451>.

Heb 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh <1451> unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready <1451> to vanish away.

Re 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand <1451>.

Re 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand <1451>.

 

Critical Commentary in The Parousia

Dr. Manton, comparing the force of the words and [draweth nigh] (Jas. v. 8; 1 Pet. iv. 17), observes:---

‘There is some difference in the words, for signifies it draweth near, , it is bugun already.’

Bengel says:---

‘Extreme proximity is signified by this word; for is present.’

Whiston, the translator of Josephus, has the following note:---

‘ is here, and in many other places of Josephus, immediately at hand; and is to be so expounded 2 Thess. ii. 2, where some falsely pretended that St. Paul had sai, either by word of mouth or by an epistle, or by both, "that the day of Christ was immediately at hand;" for still St. Paul did then plainly think that day not many years future.

Dr. Paley observes:---

‘It should seem that the Thessalonians, or some however amongst them, had from this passage (1 Thess. iv. 15-17) conceived an opinion (and that not very unnaturally) that the coming of Christ was to take place instantly : and that persuasion had produced, as it well might, much agitation in the church.’

Conybeare and Howson translate,---

"That the day of the Lord is come;" adding the following note:---‘Literally, "is present." So the verb is always used in New Testament.’

Dean Alford comments thus:---

‘The day of the Lord is present (not is at hand), occurs six time besides in the New Testament, and always in the sense of being present. Besides which, St. Paul could not have so written, nor could the Spirit have so spoken by him. The teaching of the apostles was, and of the Holy Spirit in all ages has been, that the day of the Lord is at hand. But these Thessalonians imagined it to be already come, and accordingly were deserting their pursuits in life, and falling into other irregularities, as if the day of grace were closed.’

Albert Barnes

‘If Paul here refers to his former epistle, ---which might easily be understood as teaching that the end of the world was near,---we have the authority of the apostle himself that he meant to teach no such thing.’

Dr. Lange:---

‘The first epistle [to the Thessalonians] is pervaded by the fundamental thought, "the Lord will come speedily:" the second, by the thought, "the Lord will not yet come speedily." Both of these are in accordance with the truth; because, in the first part, the question is concerning the coming of the Lord in His dynamic rule in a religious sense; and, in the second part, concerning the coming of the Lord in a definite historical and chronological sense.’

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