What does 2 Thessalonians 1:7 mean?
ESV: and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels
NIV: and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.
NASB: and to give relief to you who are afflicted, along with us, when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels
CSB: and to give relief to you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels,
NLT: And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels,
KJV: And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
NKJV: and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,
Verse Commentary:
This verse anticipates the second coming of our Lord. His arrival will put things right. Afflicted Christians can find relief in knowing that Jesus will judge those who trouble them. The word translated "relief" in this verse is anesin, meaning "loosening" or "rest." Instead of being agitated or worried, Christians can relax, because Jesus is coming again, and when He comes, He will be accompanied by His mighty angels. James urged his persecuted readers to be patient until the coming of the Lord (James 5:7).

Paul included himself, Silas, and Timothy among those who would find relief from all their troubles when Jesus returns. Trials assault all Christians, whether or not they are God's appointed leaders. Likewise, divine retribution comes to all persecutors regardless of their rank and station in life. This fact is illustrated in the story Jesus told in Luke 16:19–31 about a rich man and the beggar named Lazarus. The rich man, who lived lavishly without regard for God or Lazarus, died and went to Hades, whereas Lazarus died and went to paradise, where he rested. When the rich man complained about his suffering in Hades, Abraham reminded him that he had received good things in his life, whereas Lazarus had received bad things. He added, "But now he [Lazarus] is comforted here, and you are in anguish" (v. 25).
Verse Context:
Second Thessalonians 1:5–12 refers to the Thessalonians' trials as evidence that God is righteous and just. Paul indicates that the Thessalonians' faith and endurance would prove their status as inheritors of God's kingdom. Further, Paul assures his readers that God will avenge those who troubled the Thessalonians, giving the persecuted ones relief. When Jesus returns with His angels, He will inflict flaming fire on those who do not know God and on those who heard the gospel but rejected it. Their punishment will include eternal ruin and separation from God. When Jesus returns, those who have believed in Him will share in Jesus' glory and will marvel at Him. This look into the future was meant to help the Thessalonians continue to be steadfast under persecution and trouble. Paul prays that God would enable his readers to live successfully and worthy of their calling.
Chapter Summary:
The apostle Paul received word that some Thessalonian believers did not understand clearly what he had written about the day of the Lord. Paul had told them in his first letter that Christians were exempt from the judgment and tribulation of the day of the Lord. However, some of the Thessalonians thought the day of the Lord had already begun, because they were undergoing fierce persecution. Here, Paul seeks to relieve those misunderstandings. He also addresses the matter of idleness and tells the church how to deal with those who are idle. Paul commends the believers for perseverance and faith, encouraging them to live according to the teachings he had given them.
Chapter Context:
Second Thessalonians opens with Paul's typical greetings, then shifts into encouragement. In his prior letter, Paul had explained the nature of death, for a Christian believer, and given a description of Christ's eventual return for His people. Now, the Thessalonian believers were experiencing persecution. Though they seem to be enduring it well, Paul reminds them that judgment before God awaits all people. Those who are persecuted for His sake will be part of His kingdom, while those who reject Him will face fire and vengeance. After this, Paul returns to the subject of Christ's return, and the rapture, seemingly to combat misunderstandings which linger despite his earlier letter.
Book Summary:
Second Thessalonians follows Paul's earlier letter to the same group of Christian believers. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul had praised them for their faithfulness and given them reassurances about the day of the Lord. This included teachings on the rapture and a description of death as ''sleep'' from a Christian viewpoint. In this second letter, Paul corrects possible misunderstandings about those ideas. Among his teachings here are the importance of a good work ethic and God's impending judgment on sin, including judgment on those who persecute the Christian church. Paul also provides the Thessalonians with reassurances that they have not somehow missed out on Christ's return.
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