“And if any man obey not our word, &c.”

Of command, to work quietly, and eat his own bread, now signified “by this epistle”, particularly in (2 Thessalonians 3:12),

“note that man;”

Some read this clause in connection with the preceding phrase, “by this epistle”, or by an epistle; and so the Ethiopic version, “show”, or “signify him by an epistle”; that is, give us notice of it by an epistle, that we may take him under our cognizance, and severely chastise him, according to the power and authority given us by Christ; but that phrase rather belongs to the preceding words: and the clause here respects the notice the church should take of such a person; not in a private way, or merely by way of admonition and reproof, such as is given before rejection from communion; but by the black mark of excommunication; lay him under censure, exclude him from your communion, put a brand upon him as a scabbed sheep, and separate him from the flock; and so the Syriac version renders it, çrpty, “let him be separated from you” and this sense is confirmed by what follows,

“and have no company with him;”

As little as can be in common and civil conversation, lest he should take encouragement from thence to continue in his sin, and lest others should think it is connived at; and much less at the Lord’s table, or in a sacred and religious conversation, or in a way of church fellowship and communion:

“that he may be ashamed;”

That he may have his eyes turned in him, as the word signifies, and he may be brought to a sight and sense of his sin, and be filled with shame for it, and loath it, and himself on the account of it, and truly repent of it, and forsake it; and this is the end of excommunication, at least one end, and a principal end of it, to recover persons out of the snare of the devil, and return them from the error of their ways: so the Jews say, “in matters of heaven (of God or religion), if a man does not return privately, ˆymylkm, they “put him to shame” publicly; and publish his sin, and reproach him to his face, and despise and set him at nought until he returns to do well.”


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