2:6 The identity of what is “restraining” the man of lawlessness (vv. 6, 7; cf. Rev. 20:1–3) is no longer self-evident to readers of 2 Thessalonians. Interpreters have proposed numerous alternatives. The restraining power seems to be both impersonal (v. 6, “what is restraining”) and personal (v. 7, “he who now restrains”). Hence it may be an institution that can also be represented by a single person, such as the Roman state with its emperor, the Jewish state with its leader, or the universal ministry of the gospel with Paul as its chief minister. Whatever the precise reference, it is clear that behind the restraining power is the will of God.