1 Thessalonians 5:13
And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Very highly in love.—The original here is difficult; but it seems best, with most good commentators, ancient and modern, to construe “in love” with “esteem,” and to make “very highly” (a very enthusiastic word in the Greek) an expletive attached to “in love,” implying “hold in a most extraordinary degree of love.” The bond which binds the Christian community to their directors is not to be one of “recognition” and obedience only (1Thessalonians 5:12), but of holy affection above all.

For their work’s sake.—Our love is to be paid them not for any social or intellectual qualities they may have in themselves; it is the work which they have to do that should attract our sympathy. The original seems to mean that we are to love them, not only because they do such work, but also ‘for the sake of their work,” i.e., to help it forward.

Be at peace among yourselves.—Discipline to be observed towards equals, as well as superiors.

5:12-15 The ministers of the gospel are described by the work of their office, which is to serve and honour the Lord. It is their duty not only to give good counsel, but also to warn the flock of dangers, and reprove for whatever may be amiss. The people should honour and love their ministers, because their business is the welfare of men's souls. And the people should be at peace among themselves, doing all they can to guard against any differences. But love of peace must not make us wink at sin. The fearful and sorrowful spirits, should be encouraged, and a kind word may do much good. We must bear and forbear. We must be long-suffering, and keep down anger, and this to all men. Whatever man do to us, we must do good to others.And to esteem them very highly in love - To cherish for them an affectionate regard. The office of a minister of religion demands respect. They who are faithful in that office have a claim on the kind regards of their fellow-men. The very nature of the office requires them to do good to others, and there is no benefactor who should be treated with more affectionate regard than he who endeavors to save us from ruin; to impart to us the consolations of the gospel in affliction; and to bring us and our families to heaven.

For their work's sake - Not primarily as a personal matter, or on their own account, but on account of the work in which they are engaged. It is a work whose only tendency, when rightly performed, is to do good. It injures no man, but contributes to the happiness of all. It promotes intelligence, industry, order, neatness, economy, temperance, chastity, charity, and kindness in this world, and leads to eternal blessedness in the world to come. A man who sincerely devotes himself to such a work has a claim on the kind regards of his fellow-men.

And be at peace among yourselves - See the Mark 9:50 note; Romans 12:18; Romans 14:19 notes.

13. very highly—Greek, "exceeding abundantly."

for their work's sake—The high nature of their work alone, the furtherance of your salvation and of the kingdom of Christ, should be a sufficient motive to claim your reverential love. At the same time, the word "work," teaches ministers that, while claiming the reverence due to their office, it is not a sinecure, but a "work"; compare "labor" (even to weariness: so the Greek), 1Th 5:12.

be at peace among yourselves—The "and" is not in the original. Let there not only be peace between ministers and their flocks, but also no party rivalries among yourselves, one contending in behalf of some one favorite minister, another in behalf of another (Mr 9:50; 1Co 1:12; 4:6).

See Poole on "1 Thessalonians 5:12" And to esteem them very highly,.... Or, as the Ethiopic version renders it, "honour them abundantly"; for such are worthy of double honour, and to be had in reputation; they should be honourably thought of, and be high in the affections of the saints, who should esteem them better than themselves, or others in the community; and should be spoke well of, and their characters vindicated from the reproach and obloquy of others; and should be spoke respectfully to, and be honourably done by; should be provided for with an honourable maintenance, which is part of the double honour due to them in 1 Timothy 5:17 and this should be

in love; not in fear, nor in hypocrisy and dissimulation; not in word and in tongue only, but from the heart and real affection: the Syriac version renders it, "that they be esteemed by you with more abundant love"; with an increasing love, or with greater love than is shown to the brethren in common, or to private members: and that for their works' sake; for the sake of the work of the ministry, which is a good work as well as honourable; is beneficial to the souls of men, and is for the glory of God, being diligently and faithfully performed by them; on which account they are to be valued, and not for an empty title without labour.

And be at peace among yourselves. The Vulgate Latin version reads, "with them"; and so the Syriac version, connecting the former clause with this, "for their works' sake have peace with them"; that is, with the ministers of the word; do not disagree with them upon every trivial occasion, or make them offenders for a word; keep up a good understanding, and cultivate love and friendship with them; "embrace them with brotherly love", as the Ethiopic version renders the words, understanding them also as relating to ministers; a difference with them is of bad consequence, and must render their ministry greatly useless and unprofitable to those who differ with them, as well as render them very uncomfortable and unfit for it. The Arabic version renders it, "in yourselves"; as referring to internal peace in their own souls, which they should be concerned for; and which only is attained to, enjoyed, and preserved, by looking to the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ: or else it may regard peace among themselves, and with one another as brethren, and as members of the same church; which as it is for their credit and reputation without doors, and for their comfort, delight, and pleasure within, in their church state and fellowship, so it tends to make the ministers of the Gospel more easy and comfortable in their work: thus the words, considered in this sense, have still a relation to them.

And to esteem them very highly in love for {d} their work's sake. {8} And be at peace among yourselves.

(d) So then, when this reason ceases, then must the honour cease.

(8) The maintenance of mutual harmony, is to be especially guarded.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Thessalonians 5:13. Καὶ ἡγεῖσθαι αὐτούς] is by Theodoret, Estius, Grotius, Wolf, Baumgarten, Koppe, de Wette, Koch, Bloomfield, and others, connected with ὑπερεκπερισσῶς, “and to esteem very highly, to value much,” to which ἐν ἀγάπῃ is added as a supplementary statement, to express that this esteem is not to be founded on fear, but on love, or is to express itself in love. But the requirement to esteem highly is already, 1 Thessalonians 5:12, expressed by εἰδέναι. Add to this that ἡγεῖσθαι, in order to denote the idea of high esteem or regard, requires an additional clause, as περὶ πλείονος, or περὶ πλείστου; but the adverb ὑπερεκπερισσῶς cannot represent that additional clause. We must therefore, with Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Beza, Flatt, Pelt, Schott, Olshausen, Alford, Hofmann, Riggenbach, and others, unite ἡγεῖσθαι with ἐν ἀγάπῃ, by which, along with the duty of high esteem, 1 Thessalonians 5:12, the duty of love toward the rulers of the church is specially brought forward. The formula ἡγεῖσθαι τινὰ ἐν ἀγάπῃ, to hold a person in love, to cherish toward him a loving disposition, is not without harshness, but has its analogy in the genuine Greek construction, ἔχειν τινὰ ἐν ὀργῇ (Thucyd. ii. 18). Others less suitably compare ἡγεῖσθαί τι ἐν κρίσει, LXX. Job 35:2.

διὰ τὸ ἔργον αὐτῶν] for their works’ (office) sake, i.e. first, on account of the labour which is connected with it; but secondly and chiefly, because it is an office in the service of Christ.

εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς] preserve peace among yourselves, comp. Romans 12:18; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Mark 9:50. ἐν ἑαυτοῖς is equivalent to ἐν ἀλλήλοις, see Kühner, II. p. 325; Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 273. The words contain an independent exhortation to be separated from the preceding, the apostle passing from the conduct enjoined respecting rulers, to the conduct enjoined generally of the readers to one another. Chrysostom, Theodoret, Faber Stapulensis, Zwingli, Calvin, Bullinger, Balduin, Cornelius a Lapide, Ernest Schmid, Fromond., and others, adopting the reading ἐν αὐτοῖς (see critical note), have indeed explained it: “preserve peace with them, the presbyters,” but without grammatical justification, because for this εἰρηνεύετε μετʼ αὐτῶν would be required, comp. Romans 12:18.1 Thessalonians 5:13. “Regard them with a very special love for their works’ sake” (so thorough and important it is). “Be at peace among yourselves” (instead of introducing divisions and disorder by any insubordination or carping).13. and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake] exceeding highly (R. V.)—the same Greek adverb as in ch. 1 Thessalonians 3:10, the strongest Intensive possible to the language. So deep and warm should be the affection uniting pastors and their flocks. Their appreciation is not to be a cold esteem; it has mutual “love” for its pervading element, a grace in which the Thessalonians were already “taught of God” (ch. 1 Thessalonians 4:9). Their “work,” described in 1 Thessalonians 5:12, is the reason for this devoted esteem. In work this Church excelled (ch. 1 Thessalonians 1:3); and this it knew how to appreciate.

And be at peace among yourselves] And is wanting in the Greek. But this appeal is closely connected with the last. Looking, moreover, at the exhortation to “admonish the unruly” that follows, and at the command “study to be quiet” of ch. 1 Thessalonians 4:11, and the measures prescribed against the idle and disorderly in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15, we can read between the lines sufficiently to see that the tendencies adverse to peace in this community were interfering with its discipline, and set the Church authorities at variance with a certain section of its membership.1 Thessalonians 5:13. Ἐν ἐαυτοῖς, among yourselves) Mutually.Verse 13. - And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake; that is, both on account of their labors, and especially on account of the dignity of their office, for their work is the work of the Lord. Both love for their persons and respect for their authority are here enjoined. And; to be omitted, as not in the original. Be at peace among yourselves. A new exhortation, entirely independent of the preceding; it is not addressed to the presbyters, but to the members of the Church in general. 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; Philippians 2:3; James 1:2; 2 Peter 3:9. In both senses in Hebrews. See Hebrews 10:29; Hebrews 13:7.

Very highly in love

Const. very highly with esteem. In love qualifies both words.

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.

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