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When Paul says that they were "torn away" from them, that word translated as "torn away" means bereaved or made an orphan.

He feels like he has been torn away from his children. When I hear this word, I get a certain picture in my head.

Baby Richard – 1995 (picture of torn away)

For those of you old enough to remember the Baby Richard case from 1995, you remember that a child had been given up for adoption by his mother, when the birth father was gone. He was told the baby died at birth. When he found out the baby was alive, he pursued getting the child back. It took 4 years to work through the court system when he was granted custody.

This was such a sad case on all sides. Imagine though the feelings of the adoptive parents and the 4 year old boy being torn away from the only parents he had ever known.

Imagine the feelings of the mother having this child she loved and had raised for 4 years being torn away from her arms.

This is the feeling being described by Paul’s use of the term ‘torn away’ from the Thessalonians, a sense of being orphaned.

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