The Meaning of 1 Thessalonians 5:13 Explained

1 Thessalonians 5:13

KJV: And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

YLT: and to esteem them very abundantly in love, because of their work; be at peace among yourselves;

Darby: and to regard them exceedingly in love on account of their work. Be in peace among yourselves.

ASV: and to esteem them exceeding highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves.

What does 1 Thessalonians 5:13 Mean?

Context Summary

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 - "without Blame" At His Coming
The remainder of the chapter is filled with brief sentences of exhortation, like cablegrams from our Heavenly Captain to his soldiers, who, in the previous section, are described as wearing the breastplate of faith and love. As we endeavor to put them into practice, we become conscious of a new and divine energy entering and quickening our nature. It is the God of peace who is at work, co-operating with our poor endeavors and sanctifying us wholly.
Each soul has a ministry to others, 1 Thessalonians 5:14. A sketch is here given of the ideal believer, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22; full of joy, constant in prayer, giving thanks in everything, loving with the unquenched fire of the Holy Spirit, willing to listen to any voice that may bear a divine message, testing all events and utterances with a celestial solvent, steadfast in good, and persistent against evil. This is a high standard, and impossible of realization apart from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But when the inner shrine is truly surrendered to Him, He will possess the whole temple, even to our physical well-being. God is faithful and will never fail the soul that dares to be all that He wills [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Thessalonians 5

1  He proceeds in the description of Christ's coming to judgment;
16  and gives various instructions;
23  and so concludes the epistle

Greek Commentary for 1 Thessalonians 5:13

And to esteem them [και ηγεισται]
Get acquainted with them and esteem the leaders. The idlers in Thessalonica had evidently refused to follow their leaders in church activities. We need wise leadership today, but still more wise following. An army of captains and colonels never won a battle. [source]
Esteem [ἡγεῖσθαι]
Primarily to lead, which is the only sense in the Gospels and Acts, except Acts 26:2, in a speech of Paul. To lead the mind through a reasoning process to a conclusion, and so to think, to estimate. Only in this sense by Paul, Peter, and James. See 2 Corinthians 9:5; Philemon 2:3; James 1:2; 2 Peter 3:9. In both senses in Hebrews. See Hebrews 10:29; Hebrews 13:7. [source]
Very highly in love []
Const. very highly with esteem. In love qualifies both words. [source]
For their work's sake [διὰ τὸ ἔργον αὐτῶν]
Their esteem for their superintendents is not to rest only on personal attachment or respect for their position, but on intelligent and sympathetic appreciation of their work. It is a good and much-needed lesson for the modern congregation no less than for the Thessalonian church. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for 1 Thessalonians 5:13

Ephesians 3:20 Exceeding abundantly [ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ]
Only here, 1 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:13. Superabundantly. One of the numerous compounds of ὑπέρ beyondover and above, of which Paul is fond. Of twenty-eight words compounded with this preposition in the New Testament, Paul alone uses twenty. For the order and construction, see next note. [source]
Ephesians 3:20 Above all [υπερ παντα]
Not simply παντα — panta but υπερ — huper beyond and above all. Exceedingly abundantly (υπερεκπερισσου — huperekperissou). Late and rare double compound (υπερ εκ περισσου — huperων αιτουμετα — ekα — perissou) adverb (lxx, 1 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:13; Ephesians 3:20). It suits well Paul‘s effort to pile Pelion on Ossa. That we ask Ablative of the relative pronoun attracted from the accusative αιτουμετα — ha to the case of the unexpressed antecedent η νοουμεν — toutōn Middle voice The highest aspiration is not beyond God‘s “power” (dunamin) to bestow. [source]
1 Thessalonians 3:10 Exceedingly [υπερεκπερισσου]
Double compound adverb, only in 1 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:13 (some MSS. ως — ̇ōs). Like piling Ossa on Pelion, περισσως — perissōs abundantly, εκ περισσου — ek perissou out of bounds, υπερεκπερισσου — huperekperissou more than out of bounds (overflowing all bounds). [source]
Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you [μνημονεύετε τῶν ἡγουμένων ὑμῶν]
Remember, with a view to observing their admonitions. For τῶν ἡγουμένων thosewho lead or rule, see on 1 Thessalonians 5:13. Used of both civil and ecclesiastical rulers. Clement of Rome, among a great variety of names for church functionaries, has both ἡγούμενοι and προηγούμενοι (see Ad Corinth. i, xxi). Comp. Acts 15:22. In lxx frequently, of various forms of authority, and in later Greek of bishops and abbots. For “which have the rule,” rend. “which had,” etc. [source]
1 Peter 4:15 As [ως]
Charged as and being so. Two specific crimes (murderer, thief) and one general phrase Note η ως — ē hōs (or as) = or “also only as” (Wohlenberg). The word was apparently coined by Peter (occurring elsewhere only in Dionys. Areop. and late eccles. writers) from αλλοτριος — allotrios (belonging to another, 2 Corinthians 10:15) and επισκοπος — episkopos overseer, inspector, 1 Peter 2:25). The idea is apparently one who spies out the affairs of other men. Deissmann (Bible Studies, p. 224) gives a second-century papyrus with αλλοτριων επιτυμητης — allotriōn epithumētēs a speculator alienorum. Epictetus has a like idea (iii. 22. 97). Biggs takes it to refer to “things forbidden.” Clement of Alexandria tells of a disciple of the Apostle John who became a bandit chief. Ramsay (Church in the Roman Empire, pp. 293, 348) thinks the word refers to breaking up family relationships. Hart refers us to the gadders-about in 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:11 and women as gossipers in 1 Thessalonians 5:13. It is interesting to note also that επισκοπος — episkopos here is the word for “bishop” and so suggests also preachers meddling in the work of other preachers. [source]

What do the individual words in 1 Thessalonians 5:13 mean?

and to esteem them exceedingly in love because of the work of them Be at peace among yourselves
καὶ ἡγεῖσθαι αὐτοὺς ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ ἐν ἀγάπῃ διὰ τὸ ἔργον αὐτῶν εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς

ἡγεῖσθαι  to  esteem 
Parse: Verb, Present Infinitive Middle or Passive
Root: ἐπιτροπεύω 
Sense: to lead.
ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ  exceedingly 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ὑπέρ 
Sense: in behalf of, for the sake of.
ἀγάπῃ  love 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: ἀγάπη  
Sense: brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence.
διὰ  because  of 
Parse: Preposition
Root: διά  
Sense: through.
ἔργον  work 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: ἔργον  
Sense: business, employment, that which any one is occupied.
αὐτῶν  of  them 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
εἰρηνεύετε  Be  at  peace 
Parse: Verb, Present Imperative Active, 2nd Person Plural
Root: εἰρηνεύω  
Sense: to make peace.
ἑαυτοῖς  yourselves 
Parse: Reflexive Pronoun, Dative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἑαυτοῦ  
Sense: himself, herself, itself, themselves.