Re: 2 Thess. 3:10--MH + Present Imperative = Stop That?

From: Michael Burer (
Date: Tue Nov 24 1998 - 07:31:27 EST

-----Original Message-----
From: Carl W. Conrad <>

>At 7:32 PM -0600 11/23/98, Edgar Foster wrote:
>>Dear B-Greekers,
>>I am still wrestling with the significance of present imperatives. One
>>such example is 2 Thess. 3:10:
>>Can this verse rightfully be translated as a command to stop doing a
>>certain action? I.e., "if anyone isn't willing to work, let him STOP
>I don't really see any alternative, unless you understand "he is not to
>continue eating" or "he is not to go on eating" to mean something different
>from "he is to stop eating." I rather think these all point to the same

I see this as due to the lexeme of the verb more than the nature of the
negated present imperative. ESQIETW describes a daily, continuous, non-stop
activity that in essence will always be going on. Semantically, there is no
other option except "stop eating," especially given the proverbial nature of
Paul's statement which appears to be very broad in scope (meaning that Paul
isn't describing a meal presently in progress but the general life activity
of eating).

Mike Burer
Ph.D. Student
Dallas Theological Seminary

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