New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:1 free course. The Greek word translated “free course” is usually translated “run.” Paul desired that his preaching be accepted and applied readily, so that he could proceed on to the next community and preach there also.
3:5 waiting for Christ. Once again, the apostle urges us to be watching and waiting for Christ, not for the coming of Antichrist or other prophesied events of the last days. Evidently a few in the Thessalonian church were so sure the day of the Lord had begun that they had quit their jobs and were just becoming busybodies in the church. Paul was forced to rebuke such as these (II Thessalonians 3:6,11).
3:10 neither should he eat. From the very beginning, God has ordained that men should work for their food (Genesis 2:15-16). This became even more necessary with the entrance of sin and the curse (Genesis 3:17-19). We shall even continue to work, serving the Lord, in the new earth (Revelation 22:3). It is altogether inexcusable for Christians, when they are no longer children, to expect others to provide their sustenance while they stand idle, even if they offer some spiritual excuse for not working.
3:12 quietness. “Study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands,” Paul had already admonished them in his first epistle (I Thessalonians 4:11). Note also Ephesians 4:28.
3:16 Lord of peace. This is the only New Testament occurrence of the appellation “Lord of peace.” However, God is called “the God of peace” several times (Romans 15:33; Philippians 4:9; I Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:20). He is the one who both creates peace and sustains it in the believer’s soul. He is not only “the Lord of peace,” but also “the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), “the God of peace” (Romans 16:20); the Author of peace (I Corinthians 14:33), and “the King of peace” (Hebrews 7:2). In fact, “He is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14) and someday “shall speak peace unto the heathen” (Zechariah 9:10) and see that of “peace there shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:7).
3:17 mine own hand. Possibly because of poor eyesight, Paul seems to have dictated many of his letters, confirming that they were indeed his by his personal signature at the end. Only occasionally did he feel it necessary to mention this, however, as it would normally have been obvious to their recipients. In this case, however, he was concerned that the church had been misled by a letter falsely claiming to be from him (II Thessalonians 2:2), so he reminded them here to always look for his personal signature.