1 Thessalonians 4:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.

New Living Translation
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.

English Standard Version
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.

New American Standard Bible
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.

King James Bible
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.

International Standard Version
But we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve like other people who have no hope.

NET Bible
Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I want you to know my brethren, that you should not have sorrow for those who are asleep, as do the rest of mankind who have no hope.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Brothers and sisters, we don't want you to be ignorant about those who have died. We don't want you to grieve like other people who have no hope.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as the others who have no hope.

King James 2000 Bible
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them who are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.

American King James Version
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

American Standard Version
But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest, who have no hope.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And we will not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that are asleep, that you be not sorrowful, even as others who have no hope.

Darby Bible Translation
But we do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them that are fallen asleep, to the end that ye be not grieved even as also the rest who have no hope.

English Revised Version
But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest, which have no hope.

Webster's Bible Translation
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them who are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.

Weymouth New Testament
Now, concerning those who from time to time pass away, we would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, lest you should mourn as others do who have no hope.

World English Bible
But we don't want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep, so that you don't grieve like the rest, who have no hope.

Young's Literal Translation
And I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, that ye may not sorrow, as also the rest who have not hope,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:13-18 Here is comfort for the relations and friends of those who die in the Lord. Grief for the death of friends is lawful; we may weep for our own loss, though it may be their gain. Christianity does not forbid, and grace does not do away, our natural affections. Yet we must not be excessive in our sorrows; this is too much like those who have no hope of a better life. Death is an unknown thing, and we know little about the state after death; yet the doctrines of the resurrection and the second coming of Christ, are a remedy against the fear of death, and undue sorrow for the death of our Christian friends; and of these doctrines we have full assurance. It will be some happiness that all the saints shall meet, and remain together for ever; but the principal happiness of heaven is to be with the Lord, to see him, live with him, and enjoy him for ever. We should support one another in times sorrow; not deaden one another's spirits, or weaken one another's hands. And this may be done by the many lessons to be learned from the resurrection of the dead, and the second coming of Christ. What! comfort a man by telling him he is going to appear before the judgment-seat of God! Who can feel comfort from those words? That man alone with whose spirit the Spirit of God bears witness that his sins are blotted out, and the thoughts of whose heart are purified by the Holy Spirit, so that he can love God, and worthily magnify his name. We are not in a safe state unless it is thus with us, or we are desiring to be so.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 13. - With this verse the apostle proceeds to another subject, namely, to comfort those who were mourning the death of their friends. It would appear that the Thessalonians were in perplexity and distress concerning the fate of their deceased friends, fearing that these would miss those blessings which they expected Christ to confer at his advent. Their views of the time and nature of the advent and of the future state in general were confused. They expected that Christ would come immediately and establish his kingdom on earth; and consequently they feared that those who had died would be excluded from it. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren; a phrase often used by the apostle, when he makes a transition to new and important matters (comp. Romans 1:13; Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Corinthians 12:1; 2 Corinthians 1:8). Concerning them which are asleep; or, are fallen asleep. The death of believers in the New Testament is frequently called "sleep." "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth" (John 11:11). Of Stephen it is said that "he fell asleep" (Acts 7:60). "Many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep" (1 Corinthians 11:30). "Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished" (1 Corinthians 15:18). "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed" (l Corinthians 15:51). "He fell asleep" is a common epitaph on early Christian tombstones. It is to be observed that it is not of the dead generally that the apostle speaks, but of the dead in Christ, and especially of those members of the Thessalonian Church who had died. That ye sorrow not. Some suppose that sorrow for our deceased friends is here utterly prohibited; inasmuch as if we had a firm belief in their blessedness we would rejoice and not mourn. But the sorrow here prohibited is a despairing and an unbelieving sorrow; we are forbidden to sorrow as those who have no hope, no belief in a blessed resurrection. The tears of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus have authorized and sanctified Christian sorrow. "Paul," observes Calvin, "lifts up the minds of believers to a consideration of the resurrection, lest they should indulge excessive grief on occasion of the death of their relatives, for it were unseemly that there should be no difference between them and unbelievers, who put no end or measure to their grief, for this reason, that in death they recognize nothing but destruction. Those that abuse this testimony so as to establish among Christians stoical indifference, that is, an iron hardness, will find nothing of this nature in Paul's words." Even as others; literally, as the rest; namely, the heathen. Which have no hope; no hope of immortality beyond death, or no hope of the resurrection. The heathen, with very few exceptions, had no hope of a future life, and hence they mourned over the death of their friends as an irreparable loss. This disconsolate feeling is apparent in their writings (for examples, see Lunemann, Alford, and Jowett, in loco).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,.... As they seem to have been, about the state of the pious dead, the rule and measure of mourning for them, the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, the second coming of Christ, and the future happiness of the saints; wherefore the apostle judged it necessary to write to them upon these subjects: the Alexandrian copy and others, the Complutensian edition, the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read, "we would not have you to be ignorant", &c.

concerning them which are asleep; that is, dead: it was in common use among the Eastern nations, when they spoke of their dead, to say they were asleep. This way of speaking is used frequently both in the Old and the New Testament; see 1 Kings 2:10 1 Corinthians 15:20 and very often with the Targumists; so the Targum on Ecclesiastes 3:4 "a time to weep", paraphrases it,

"a time to weep , "over them that are asleep":''

and in Ecclesiastes 4:2.

"I praised , "those that are asleep",''

the dead: the reason of this way of speaking was, because there is a likeness between sleep and death; in both there is no exercise of the senses, and persons are at rest, and both rise again; and they are common to all men, and proper and peculiar to the body only. The apostle designs such persons among the Thessalonians, who either died a natural death, or were removed by violence, through the rage and fury of their persecutors, for whom their surviving friends were pressed with overmuch sorrow, which is here cautioned against:

that ye sorrow not, even as others that have no hope; the apostle's view is not to encourage and establish a stoical apathy, a stupid indolence, and a brutal insensibility, which are contrary to the make of human nature, to the practice of the saints, and even of Christ and his apostles, and our apostle himself; but to forbid excessive and immoderate sorrow, and all the extravagant forms of it the Gentiles ran into; who having no notion of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, had no hope of ever seeing their friends more, but looked upon them as entirely lost, as no longer in being, and never more to be met with, seen, and enjoyed; this drove them to extravagant actions, furious transports, and downright madness; as to throw off their clothes, pluck off their hair, tear their flesh, cut themselves, and make baldness between their eyes for the dead; see Deuteronomy 14:1 practices forbidden the Jews, and which very ill become Christians, that believe the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead: the words are to be understood not of other Christians, who have no hope of the eternal welfare of their deceased friends; not but that the sorrow of those who have a good hope of the future Well being of their dear relatives, must and ought to be greatly different from that of others, who have no hope at all: it is observed by the Jews (b) on those words in Genesis 23:2 and "Abraham came to mourn for Sarah", &c. that

"it is not said to weep for Sarah, but to mourn for her; "for such a woman as this, it is not fit to weep", after her soul is joined in the bundle of life, but to mourn for her, and do her great honour at her funeral; though because it is not possible that a man should not weep for his dead, it is said at the end, "and to weep for her":''

but here the words are to be understood of the other Gentiles that were in a state of nature and unregeneracy, who had no knowledge of the resurrection of the dead, or and hope of a future state, and of enjoying their friends in it: they are called , "the rest"; and the Syriac version renders it, "other men".

(b) Tzeror Hamnaor, fol. 23. 4.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13. The leading topic of Paul's preaching at Thessalonica having been the coming kingdom (Ac 17:7), some perverted it into a cause for fear in respect to friends lately deceased, as if these would be excluded from the glory which those found alive alone should share. This error Paul here corrects (compare 1Th 5:10).

I would not—All the oldest manuscripts and versions have "we would not." My fellow labourers (Silas and Timothy) and myself desire that ye should not be ignorant.

them which are asleep—The oldest manuscripts read present tense, "them which are sleeping"; the same as "the dead in Christ" (1Th 4:16), to whose bodies (Da 12:2, not their souls; Ec 12:7; 2Co 5:8) death is a calm and holy sleep, from which the resurrection shall waken them to glory. The word "cemetery" means a sleeping-place. Observe, the glory and chief hope of the Church are not to be realized at death, but at the Lord's coming; one is not to anticipate the other, but all are to be glorified together at Christ's coming (Col 3:4; Heb 11:40). Death affects the mere individual; but the coming of Jesus the whole Church; at death our souls are invisibly and individually with the Lord; at Christ's coming the whole Church, with all its members, in body and soul, shall be visibly and collectively with Him. As this is offered as a consolation to mourning relatives, the mutual recognition of the saints at Christ's coming is hereby implied.

that ye sorrow not, even as others—Greek, "the rest"; all the rest of the world besides Christians. Not all natural mourning for dead friends is forbidden: for the Lord Jesus and Paul sinlessly gave way to it (Joh 11:31, 33, 35; Php 2:27); but sorrow as though there were "no hope," which indeed the heathen had not (Eph 2:12): the Christian hope here meant is that of the resurrection. Ps 16:9, 11; 17:15; 73:24; Pr 14:32, show that the Old Testament Church, though not having the hope so bright (Isa 38:18, 19), yet had this hope. Contrast Catullus [Carmina 5.4], "When once our brief day has set, we must sleep one everlasting night." The sepulchral inscriptions of heathen Thessalonica express the hopeless view taken as to those once dead: as Aeschylus writes, "Of one once dead there is no resurrection." Whatever glimpses some heathen philosophers, had of the existence of the soul after death, they had none whatever of the body (Ac 17:18, 20, 32).

1 Thessalonians 4:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Return of the Lord
13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.…
Cross References
Acts 7:60
Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Romans 1:13
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

Ephesians 2:3
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

Ephesians 2:12
remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

1 Thessalonians 4:14
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

1 Thessalonians 4:15
According to the Lord's word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

1 Thessalonians 5:6
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.
Treasury of Scripture

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

I would.

Romans 1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brothers, that oftentimes I purposed …

1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brothers, I would not that you should be ignorant, how …

1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I would not have you ignorant.

2 Corinthians 1:8 For we would not, brothers, have you ignorant of our trouble which …

2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is …

which are.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord…

1 Thessalonians 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together …

1 Kings 1:21 Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep …

1 Kings 2:10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.

Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, …

Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

Luke 8:52,53 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not …

John 11:11-13 These things said he: and after that he said to them, Our friend …

Acts 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this …

Acts 13:36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of …

1 Corinthians 15:6,18 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brothers at once; of …

2 Peter 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers …

ye sorrow.

Genesis 37:35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but …

Leviticus 19:28 You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print …

Deuteronomy 14:1,2 You are the children of the LORD your God: you shall not cut yourselves, …

2 Samuel 12:19,20 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that …

2 Samuel 18:33 And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the …

Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I …

Ezekiel 24:16-18 Son of man, behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes …

John 11:24 Martha said to him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection …

Acts 8:2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation …

which have. See on

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the …

Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the …

Proverbs 14:32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous has …

Ezekiel 37:11 Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of …

1 Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

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