Labor (Noun and Verb) - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Labor (Noun and Verb)

[ A-1,Noun,G2873, kopos ]
primarily denotes a striking, beating" (akin to kopto, "to strike, cut"); then, "toil resulting in weariness, laborious toil, trouble;" it is translated "labor" or "labors" in John 4:38; 1 Corinthians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Corinthians 6:5; 2 Corinthians 10:15; 2 Corinthians 11:23, 2 Corinthians 11:27, RV, "labor" (AV, "weariness"); 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:8; (in some mss., Hebrews 6:10); Revelation 2:2 (RV "toil"); Revelation 14:13. In the following the noun is used as the object of the verb parecho, "to afford, give, cause," the phrase being rendered "to trouble," lit., "to cause toil or trouble," to embarass a person by giving occasion for anxiety, as some disciples did to the woman with the ointment, perturbing her spirit by their criticisms, Matthew 26:10; Mark 14:6; or by distracting attention or disturbing a person's rest, as the importunate friend did, Luke 11:7; Luke 18:5; in Galatians 6:17, "let no man trouble me," the Apostle refuses, in the form of a peremptory prohibition, to allow himself to be distracted further by the Judaizers, through their proclamation of a false gospel and by their malicious attacks upon himself.

[ A-2,Noun,G4192, ponos ]
(a) "labors, toil," Colossians 4:13, in the best mss. (some have zelos, "zeal," AV);
(b) "the consequence of toil," viz., distress, suffering, pain, Revelation 16:10-Revelation 16:11; Revelation 21:4. See PAIN.


(1) In Philippians 1:22, AV, ergon, "work," is translated "labor" (RV, "work"); work refers to what is done, and may be easy and pleasant; kopos suggests the doing, and the pains taken therein.

(2) A synonymous word is mochthos, "toil, hardship, distress," 2 Corinthians 11:27; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8.

[ B-1,Verb,G2872, kopiao ]
akin to A, No. 1, has the two different meanings
(a) "growing weary,"
(b) "toiling;" it is sometimes translated "to bestow labor" (See under BESTOW, No. 3). It is translated by the verb "to labor" in Matthew 11:28; John 4:38 (2nd part); Acts 20:35; Romans 16:12 (twice); 1 Corinthians 15:10; 1 Corinthians 16:16; Ephesians 4:28; Philippians 2:16; Colossians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 Timothy 5:17; 2 Timothy 2:6; Revelation 2:3; 1 Corinthians 4:12, RV, "toil" (AV, "labor"). See TOIL.

[ B-2,Verb,G5492, cheimazo ]
from cheima, "winter cold," primarily, "to expose to winter cold," signifies "to drive with a storm;" in the Passive Voice, "to be driven with storm, to be tempest-tossed," Acts 27:18, RV, "as (we) labored with the storm" (AV, "being ... tossed with a tempest").

[ B-3,Verb,G4866, sunathleo ]
"to contend along with a person" (sun, "with," athleo, "to contend"), is said in Philippians 4:3 of two women who "labored with" the Apostle in the Gospel; in Philippians 1:27, RV, "striving (for)," marg., "with," AV, "striving together (for). See STRIVE.


(1) In John 6:27; 1 Thessalonians 2:9, AV, ergazomai, "to work," is translated respectively "labor" and "laboring" (RV, "working"). It is used of manual work here and in 1 Thessalonians 4:11; Ephesians 4:28; of work for Christ in general, in 1 Corinthians 16:10. See COMMIT.

(2) In Hebrews 4:11, AV, spoudazo, "to be diligent," is translated "let us labor" (RV, "let us give diligence").

(3) In Colossians 4:12, AV, agonizomai, "to strive, wrestle," is translated "laboring fervently" (RV, and AV, marg., "striving").

(4) In 2 Corinthians 5:9, AV, philotimeomai, "to seek after honor," and hence, "to be ambitious," is translated "we labor," marg., "endeavor" (RV, "we make it our aim," marg., "are ambitious"); cp. Romans 15:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:11, RV, marg.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words