Restrainer (What is Restraining Him (Man of Sin) (2 Thessalonians 2:6))

In 2 Thessalonians 2 Paul warns of a coming “man of sin (or man of lawlessness)” whose presence is “restrained” by someone.  Ananias b. Nedebaeus was a high priest at different intervals between AD 47-58.  Ananias was the father of Eleazar b. Ananias.  Eleazar was Sagan (captain of the temple guard.  That was the second highest position in the priesthood (right underneath the High Priest)).

Ananias was high priest at the time when Second Thessalonians was written (AD 51-52).  He was also high priest again 6 years later in AD 58 at Paul’s trial before the Sanhedrin, and it was Ananias who had ordered that Paul be struck on the mouth (Acts 23:2).  Upon being struck, Paul predicted, “God is about to strike you, you whitewashed wall!” and then called him a law-breaker.  As was the father (a lawbreaker), so was the son (an even worse lawbreaker.  It was Eleazar b. Ananias who was the Man of Sin/Lawlessness (see: “Man of Sin (or Man of Lawlessness) (Lawless One)).

It was Eleazar’s father Ananias b. Nedebaeus, and his high position, which “restrained” the full force of the “Man of Lawlessness” from being “revealed” too early (2 Thess. 2:6)…until “he was taken out of the way (killed)” (2 Thess. 2:7).

Eight years after the trial of Paul, in September of AD 66, Ananias was indeed “struck” dead by the Zealot leader Menahem, and immediately after which his son Eleazar B. Ananias used his own temple soldiers to avenge his father by killing Menahem and his soldiers in Jerusalem, again in violation of the Law.  Once his father Ananias b. Nedebaeus was killed, it truly was like all “restraints” were taken off of Eleazar b. Ananias, and his degrees of lawlessness increased from AD 66 through the following years of the Roman-Jewish war.  Eleazar opposed every other Zealot leader and exalted himself above them all.  Josephus mentions repeatedly that all the Zealot leaders, especially Eleazar paid false prophets to deceive the people to fight in the rebellion and support their cause [Wars 6:285-288 (6.5.2-3)].

Contrary to Dispensationalism the “restrainer” does not lie in our distant future, but was in Paul’s near future.  Paul states that he would involve the Jewish Temple then standing (2 Thess. 2:4), he was currently being restrained at his time (2 Thess. 2:6), his restraint was known by Paul’s original audience (2 Thess. 2:6), and that “the mystery of lawlessness was already at work” (2 Thess. 2:7).


See also related “Topic Studies & Terms”:

Man of Sin (or Man of Lawlessness) (Lawless One)


Related full “Study Series” (available upon request if not hyperlinked):

[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 4 Rev. Chapters 13 thru 20 on The Beast and sub study on Man of Sin”]