The Restrainer - 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8
Updated: Jul 24, 2022
There are some scriptures in II Thessalonians 2:6-8 which, I believe, are commonly misunderstood by Christian commentators and Christians in general. When you read these scriptures you find that there is a restrainer that is holding back the forces of the evil one. Paul states that when this restrainer is taken out of the way then the anti-christ will be revealed. Most commentators state that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer. I would like to offer another view from a Hebraic viewpoint.
In Daniel 12:1 we read, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”
The Hebrew word for “stand up” is amad. One of the meanings of this word according to Strong's Concordance is: to stand still, stop (moving or doing), stand erect, cease, tarry.
The great Jewish Commentator, Rashi, had this to say about this verse of scripture in Daniel:
“He will be silent like a mute person, for he will see the Holy One, blessed be He, judging by Himself and saying, “How will I destroy a great nation like this for the sake of Israel?” 1
The word is used in Joshua 10:13 when it states that the moon stayed. The word stayed is amad. The word is also used in Job 32:16 where it says, “they spake not, but stood still (amad) and answered no more.” These are only a few scriptures where the word is used.
In Daniel Chapter 10:21 it states: “But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince." The word ‘holdeth” means to “restrain, bind or withstand”. Michael has a restraining order or hindering order on Israel’s behalf.” He fights for them!
According to those who excel in Hebrew, like the most renown Rashi, the word amad here in Daniel 12:1 is like a military term meaning to desist or stand down. In other words Michael, who is the prince or military aid to Israel, is given orders “not to intervene militarily” for the people of Israel. He is to “cease” and “stand still”.
According to the Hebraic understanding of this word, if a person is sitting, they stand to amad. If the person were already standing then they just stand still to amad. In the book of Acts when Stephen is being stoned, he sees Yeshua standing on the right hand of God. Yeshua was doing the “amad” thing. He saw the situation that Stephen was in but He was not restraining or intervening on his behalf.
Daniel 10:21, stated above, informs us that it is indeed Michael who is “restraining” the evil forces. When Michael is given the command to cease and desist and to stand still then the time of Jacob's trouble (See Jeremiah 30:7) or the Great Tribulation will reach its highest pinnacle. The Great Tribulation and the time of Jacob's trouble are one and the same. Please read the entire chapter of Jeremiah 30 and 31.
We find in the book of II Thessalonians 2:6-8 that it is the “one who restrains” that is holding back the forces of the anti-christ. When this restrainer is taken out of the way then the lawless one will be revealed and immediately after that the Messiah will return and destroy him and his armies.
Michael is this restrainer. We should understand this from the above scriptures. Michael will stand still, he will not fight for Israel and then the anti-messiah will have his way for a short time before he is destroyed.
For discussion on who Michael might really be, please see my teaching on, “A little talk about Angels.”