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2 Tesalonika 2:7

2:7 For the hidden power of lawlessness 1  is already at work. However, the one who holds him back 2  will do so until he is taken out of the way,

2 Tesalonika 2:12

2:12 And so 3  all of them who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil will be condemned. 4 

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[2:7]  1 tn Grk “the mystery of lawlessness.” In Paul “mystery” often means “revealed truth, something formerly hidden but now made widely known,” but that does not make sense with the verb of this clause (“to be at work, to be active”).

[2:7]  2 tn Grk “the one who restrains.” This gives a puzzling contrast to the impersonal phrase in v. 6 (“the thing that restrains”). The restraint can be spoken of as a force or as a person. Some have taken this to mean the Roman Empire in particular or human government in general, since these are forces that can also be seen embodied in a person, the emperor or governing head. But apocalyptic texts like Revelation and Daniel portray human government of the end times as under Satanic control, not holding back his influence. Also the power to hold back Satanic forces can only come from God. So others understand this restraint to be some force from God: the preaching of the gospel or the working of the Holy Spirit through God’s people.

[2:12]  3 tn Grk “that.” A new sentence was started here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

[2:12]  4 tn Grk “be judged,” but in this context the term clearly refers to a judgment of condemnation (BDAG 568 s.v. κρίνω 5.b.α; cf. KJV “that they all might be damned”). CEV views the condemnation as punishment (“will be punished”).

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