4291 PROISTEMI (8): pro = before + istemi = to stand; to stand in front of others to lead, to be a leader; e.g., a father figuratively standing in front of his household leading them (1Ti. 3.4,5,12). Similarly, in 1Ti.5.17 older men (presbuteros) lead (proistemi) a group of Called-ones. (This is the only passage in which proistemi is used in contextually with "older men"). Comp. "lead" (2233 hegeomai ).

The concept of "rule" is not included in the meaning of proistemi, even though the King James Version translates it "rule" in Rom.12.8, 1Ti.3.4,5,12 and 5.17. Additional information about leaders may be found in the context.

1Th.5.12 states: "Now we ask you, brothers, to know the [ones] laboring among you and taking the lead of you in [the] Lord and admonishing you..." ("taking the lead of you" or "leading you," not "are over you" as erroneously stated in the KJV.) Verse 13 continues, "and consider (2233 hegeomai) them superabundantly in love because of their work." 1Pe.5.3 limits the actions of those "leading" by explaining, "...neither as exercising lordship over [God's] inheritance, but becoming a pattern for the flock.

The aforementioned six passages relate to leading God's Called-ones in general. But in Tit.3.8 and 14 proistemi is used differently, by specifying "good works" as something in which God's people should lead:

Tit.3.8: "...and I desire you (i.e., Titus) to speak confidently about these things, so that those having trusted God may give thought to leading in good works."

Tit.3.14: "And let our [people] also learn of leading in good works for [fulfilling] urgent needs, lest they be unfruitful."

Proistemi and hegeomai are similar in meaning. But proistemi relates more to the action of leading, whereas hegeomai has more to do with the relationship between leaders and others among a group of Called-ones.

LEAD Rom.12.8. 1Th.5.12. 1Ti.3.4,5,12; 5.17. Tit.3.8,14. Tit.3.8,14.


Back to word index