even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not
work, neither should he eat.") the word 'work'
means 'effort in some direction'. It is also translated as 'minister',
'wrought', 'traded', etc.
The verse means
you should not support one whom you know for sure is a lazy no good bum
who doesn't want to work. It doesn't mean that you don't give to
a down and outer who's background you don't know. He may sincerely be in
need of help. But if you see the same guy day after day for a few months
and he's still in need, yet obviously mentally and/or physically capable
of work, but seems to want to continually do nothing, then why support
In the verse
here, Paul was admonishing those who stopped working and were just waiting
for what they thought would be Christ's imminent return; like 'let's all
keep each other going till He comes back', perhaps with in mind somewhat
like occurred upon the first day
of Pentecost -Acts
all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their
possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking
bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness
of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the
Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."