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

From: Edgar Foster (
Date: Tue Nov 24 1998 - 13:25:50 EST

---"Carl W. Conrad" <> wrote:

>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 thing.<

The ASV renders 2 Thess. 3:10: "If any will not work, neither let him
eat." This translation doesn't seem to convey the thought that a
command is being issued to cease a particular action. To the contrary,
it seems to convey a general principle.

Two other examples of MH + Present Imperative = cease a particular
ongoing action are Rev. 1:17; 5:5. In both of these passages, what
alerts us to the fact that a command of cessation is occurring, is the
context. In Rev. 1:17, John is clearly in fear when he is told to
"stop being afraid." In Rev. 5:4, 5, the apostle is filled with tears
when he is told to "stop crying." I don't know if one can say the same
of 2 Thess. 3:10. I guess my question is, is 3:10 a general principle
or a command regarding a specific ongoing action? Fanning has
questioned the latter view, and I wonder if he has a point. I would
appreciate any further input on the matter. I am also thankful for the
information on the lexeme.

Edgar Foster
Classics Major
Lenoir-Rhyne College

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