Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament1 Thessalonians 4:11
- That ye study to be quiet (pilotimeistai hsuxazein).
- First infinitive dependent on parakaloumen (verse 10, we exhort you), the second on pilotimeistai (old verb from pilotimov, fond of honour, pilos, timh). The notion of ambition appears in each of the three N.T. examples (1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Romans 5:20), but it is ambition to do good, not evil. The word ambition is Latin (ambitio from ambo, ire), to go on both sides to accomplish one's aims and often evil). A preacher devoid of ambition lacks power. There was a restless spirit in Thessalonica because of the misapprehension of the second coming. So Paul urges an ambition to be quiet or calm, to lead a quiet life, including silence (Acts 11:18).
- To do your own business (prassein ta idia).
- Present infinitive like the others, to have the habit of attending to their own affairs (ta idia). This restless meddlesomeness here condemned Paul alludes to again in 2 Thessalonians 3:11 in plainer terms. It is amazing how much wisdom people have about other people's affairs and so little interest in their own.
- To work with your own hands (ergazestai taiv xersin umwn).
- Instrumental case (xersin). Paul gave a new dignity to manual labour by precept and example. There were "pious" idlers in the church in Thessalonica who were promoting trouble. He had commanded them when with them.