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Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

Hebrews 13

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 19-25

19–13:25.] THE THIRD GREAT DIVISION OF THE EPISTLE: OUR DUTY IN THE INTERVAL OF WAITING BETWEEN THE BEGINNING AND ACCOMPLISHMENT OF OUR SALVATION. And herein, Hebrews 10:19-39, exhortation to enter boldly into the holiest place, Hebrews 10:19-22 : to hold fast our profession, Hebrews 10:23 : to stir up one another, Hebrews 10:24-25 : in consideration of the fearful punishment which awaits the rejecters of Christ, Hebrews 10:26-31 : and in remembrance of the previous sufferings which they underwent when first converted, Hebrews 10:32-34. Finally, exhortation not to cast away confidence, for the time until His coming is short, and during that time, faith is the life of the soul.

There has been no exhortation, properly speaking, since ch. Hebrews 7:1, i. e. during the great doctrinal argument of the Epistle. Before that, argument and exhortation were rapidly alternated. But so exquisite is the skill of arrangement and development, that the very exhortation with which he closed the former portion of the Epistle where first he began to prepare the way for his great argument, ch. Hebrews 4:14-16, is now resumed, deepened indeed and expanded by the intervening demonstration, but in spirit and substance the same: προσερχώμεθα μετʼ ἀληθινῆς καρδίας ἐν πληροφρίᾳ πίστεως here, answering to προσερχώμεθα μετὰ παῤῥησίας τῷ θρόνῳ τῆς χάριτος there, and κατέχωμεν τὴν ὁμολογίαν here to κρατῶμεν τῆς ὁμολογίας there.


Verse 1

1.] Let brotherly love ( φιλαδελφία in the classics, the love of brothers and sisters for one another: in the N. T., the love of the Christian brethren. In ref. 2 Pet. it is expressly distinguished from ἀγάπη, the more general word) remain (we learn from the Acts,—on the hypothesis of this Epistle being addressed to the church at Jerusalem (on which, however see Prolegg.),—how eminent this brotherly love had been in that church, and, without any hypothesis as to the readers, we see from our ch. Hebrews 10:32 ff. that the persons here addressed had exercised it aforetime, and from ch. Hebrews 6:10, that they still continued to exercise it. Let it then remain, not die out. And it is put first, as being the first of the fruits of faith. The exhortations in ch. Hebrews 3:12 f.; Hebrews 10:24 f.; Hebrews 12:12 ff., point the same way).


Verses 1-16

1–16.] Various exhortations to Christian virtues: more especially to the imitation of the faith of their leaders who had departed in the Lord: to firmness in the faith: and following of Jesus, who suffered outside the camp to teach us to bear His reproach.


Verse 2

2.] Forget not hospitality to strangers (so in ref. 1 Pet., after recommending ἀγάπην ἐκτενῆ εἰς ἑαυτούς, he proceeds φιλόξενοι εἰς ἀλλήλους. Cf. also ref. Rom., and Titus 1:8; 1 Timothy 3:2. Bleek remarks that the notices found in the writings of the enemies of Christianity shew how much this virtue was practised among the early believers: and refers to Julian, Ep. 49, and Lucian de Morte Peregrini, ch. 16): for thereby (by exercising it) some unawares entertained angels (viz. Abraham, Genesis 18, Lot, Genesis 19. Certainly it would appear at first sight from the former account, that Abraham regarded the “three men” from the first as angels: but the contrary view has nothing against it in the narrative, and was taken by the Jewish expositors: cf. Philo de Abr. § 22, vol. ii. p. 17, θεασάμενος τρεῖς ὡς ἄνδρας ὁδοιποροῦντας, οἱ δὲ θειοτέρας ὄντες φύσεως ἐλελήθεισαν: and Jos. Antt. i. 11. 2, θεασάμενος τρεῖς ἀγγέλους.… καὶ νομίσας εἶναι ξένους, ἠσπάσατό τε ἀναστάς, καὶ παρʼ αὐτῷ καταχθέντας παρεκάλει ξενίων μεταλαβεῖν. On the motive propounded, Calvin remarks, “Si quis objiciat rarum illud fuisse, responsio impromptu est, non angelos tantum recipi, sed Christum ipsum, quum pauperes in ejus nomine recipimus.” He further notices, “In Græcis elegans est allusio ( ἔλαθον and ἐπιλανθάνεσθε) quæ Latine exprimi non potest.” On ἔλαθον ξενίσαντες, Chrys. says, τί ἐστιν ἔλαθον; οὐκ εἰδότες φησὶν ἐξένισαν: and Thl., ἀντὶ τοῦ ἠγνόησαν ὅτι ἄγγελοι ἦσαν οἱ ξενιζόμενοι, καὶ ὅμως φιλοτίμως αὐτοὺς ἐξένισαν. Cf. Herod. i. 44, οἰκίοισι ὑποδεξάμενος τὸν ξεῖνον φονέα τοῦ παιδὸς ἐλάν θανε βόσκων. The vulg. rendering, “latuerunt quidam angelis hospitio receptis,” has led some R.-Cath. expositors mentioned in Estius to imagine that Lot’s escape by the men of Sodom being smitten with blindness is alluded to. Bleek refers to, and with reason, a very beautiful sermon of Schleiermacher’s, vol. i. p. 645, “Ueber die Christliche Gastfreundschaft.” He there sets forth, how the motive, though no longer literally applying to us, is still a real one, inasmuch as angels were the messengers of God’s spiritual purposes, and such messengers may be found in Christian guests, even where least expected).


Verse 2-3

2, 3.] φιλαδελφία is now specifically urged in two of its departments, hospitality, and care of prisoners.


Verse 3

3.] Remember (cf. ch. Hebrews 2:6) them that are in bonds, as if bound with them (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:26; as fully sympathizing with them in their captivity: not, as Böhme, al., “quippe ejus naturæ et conditionis homines, qui ipsi quoque pro captivis sint, nimirum in ecclesia pressa degentes,” which is travelling too far from the context): those in distress ( κακουχουμένων is the general idea, including captives and any other classes of distressed persons: as Œc. and Thl., ἢ ἐν φυλακαῖς ἢ ἐν λιμῷ ἢ ἐν ἑτέρᾳ θλίψει), as also yourselves being in the body (i. e. as in reff., bound up with a body which has the same capacity of suffering. The words have been differently rendered. Calvin says, “Refero ad ecclesiæ corpus, ut sit sensus, Quandoquidem estis ejusdem corporis membra, communiter vos affici decet alios aliorum malis:” and so Braun, al. But this cannot be extracted from the words ἐν σώματι, without the article. Beza renders, “ac si ipsi quoque corpore adflicti essetis:” and says, “ ἐν σώματι prorsus videtur illud declarare quod in vernaculo sermone dicimus en personne:” in other words, says Bleek, as Philo expresses it, De Spec. Legg. ad 6. 7, § 30, vol. ii. p. 326, ὡς ἐν τοῖς ἑτέρων σώμασιν αὐτοὶ κακούμενοι. But this is equally out of the question: and there can be no doubt that the simple meaning is the true one. So Œc. ( εἰ γάρ τις ἀναλογίσαιτο, ὅτι καὶ αὐτὸς περίκειται ὁμοιοπαθὲς ἐκείνοις σῶμα, ἐλεήσει μᾶλλον αὐτοὺς διά τε τὴν συμπάθειαν καὶ διὰ τὸν φόβον μὴ τὰ ὅμοια ἐκ τῆς ἀπανθρωπίας πάθῃ), Thl., and most Commentators).


Verse 4

4.] Exhortation to chastity. Let your marriage ( γάμος, elsewhere in N. T. in the sense of a wedding, here has its ordinary Greek meaning) be (held) in honour in all things (see below) and your marriage bed be undefiled: for fornicators and adulterers God shall judge. There are several debateable matters in this verse. First, is it a command or an assertion? The latter view is taken in Syr. “Honourable is marriage among all, and their bed is undefiled:” Beza, Grot., our E. V., al. And so Chrys. ( πῶς τίμιος ὁ γάμος; ὅτι ἐν σωφροσύνῃ, φησί, διατηρεῖ τὸν πιστόν), Œc., Thdrt. (apparently). But against this is the following clause, καὶ ἡ κοίτη ἀμίαντος: for it is impossible to keep to the same rendering in this case: cf. Syr. above: the E. V. has evaded this difficulty by rendering, “and the bed undefiled,” leaving it, as its guide Beza does, uncertain whether “undefiled” is an epithet, as usually taken by English readers, or a predicate, as the Greek absolutely requires. For had the meaning been, “Marriage is honourable among all, and the (an) undefiled bed,” certainly the article could not have stood before κοίτη without standing also before ἀμίαντος: it must have been καὶ κοίτη ἀμίαντος or καὶ ἡ κοίτη ἡ ἀμίαντος. So that the indicative supplement, ἐστιν, must be dismissed, as inconsistent with the requirements of the latter clause; and, I might add, with the context: in which, besides that the whole is of a hortatory character, the very same collocation of words immediately follows in ἀφιλάργυρος ὁ τρόπος, where no one suggests ἐστιν as our supplement. The imperative view has accordingly been taken by very many Commentators: as e. g. by Thl. (see below), and the great mass of moderns. Delitzsch holds that no supplement is wanted, the clause being an exclamation carrying with it a hortatory force. But surely this is equivalent to supplying ἔστω. The next question respects ἐν πᾶσιν, whether it is to be taken as masculine, ‘among all men,’ or as neuter, ‘in all things.’ The doubt was felt as early as Thl., who thus expresses it: ἐν πᾶσιν οὖν, μὴ ἐν τοῖς προβεβηκόσι μέν, ἐν δὲ τοῖς νέοις οὔ, ἀλλʼ ἐν πᾶσιν. ἢ καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τρόποις καὶ ἐν πᾶσι καιροῖς, μὴ ἐν θλίψει μέν, ἐν ἀνέσει δὲ οὔ, μὴ ἐν τούτῳ μὲν μέρει τίμιος, ἐν ἄλλῳ δὲ οὔ, ἀλλʼ ὅλος ἐν ὅλῳ τίμιος ἔστω. The masculine is taken by Erasmus, Cajetan, Luther, Calvin, Beza, and most Commentators, especially Protestants, and in later times by Schulz, Böhme, De Wette, Wahl, Kuinoel, Tholuck. And it is variously interpreted: either, α. as by Luther, that all should keep marriage in honour, by not violating it; β. as by Böhme, Schulz, al., that the unmarried should not despise it, but it should be held in honour by all; or, γ. as Calvin, al., that it is allowed to all conditions of men, not denied to any, as e. g. it is to the Romish priesthood. But it is altogether against the masculine sense, 1. that ἐν πᾶσιν would not be the natural expression for it, but παρὰ πᾶσιν: cf. Matthew 19:26 (bis), and (77): Acts 26:8; Romans 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:6; James 1:27 ( ἀμίαντος παρὰ τῷ θεῷ): and, 2. that our Writer uses ἐν πᾶσιν in this very chapter for ‘in all things,’ Hebrews 13:18. See also reff., and Colossians 1:18; Philippians 4:12. So that the neuter view is to be preferred: and so Œc., Corn. a-Lap., Calmet, the R.-Cath. expositors generally, Bleek, De Wette, Lünem., Delitzsch, al. For the phrase κοίτη ἀμίαντος, Wetst. quotes from Plutarch de Fluviis, p. 18, ὑπὸ τῆς μητρυιᾶς φιλούμενος, καὶ μὴ θέλων μιαίνειν τὴν κοίτην τοῦ γεννήσαντος. The latter clause carries with it the anticipation of condemnation in κρινεῖ. Man may, or may not, punish them: one thing is sure: they shall come into judgment, and if so into condemnation, when God shall judge all.


Verse 5

5.] Let your manner of life (reff.) be void of avarice: contented (sufficed) with things present (the construction is precisely as in ref. Rom., ἡ ἀγάπη ἀνυπόκριτος· ἀποστυγοῦντες τὸ πονηρὸν κ. τ. λ. On ἀρκούμενος and τοῖς παροῦσιν, see Bleek’s examples. Among them, we have the very phrase in Teles. in Stobæus, serm. 95, βιώσῃ ἀρκούμενος τοῖς παροῦσι, τῶν ἀπόντων οὐκ ἐπιθυμῶν: Democrit. in Stobæus, serm. 1, τοῖς παρεοῦσιν ἀρεκεῖσθαι: Phoeyl. 4, ἀρκεῖσθαι παρεοῦσι, καὶ ἀλλοτρίων ἀπέχεσθαι. The construction ἀρκεῖσθαί τινι occurs in Herod. ix. 33, οὐδʼ οὕτω ἔφη ἔτι ἀρκέεσθαι τούτοισι μούνοισι, and al. (Bl.): see also reff.): for He (viz. ὁ ἐπαγγειλάμενος, of ch. Hebrews 10:23, God, already named Hebrews 13:4. “In post-biblical Hebrew,” says Delitzsch, “ הוּא and אֲנִי are used as the mystical names of God”) hath said, I will not leave thee, no nor will I forsake thee (passages bearing some resemblance to this are found in the O. T., but no where the words themselves: see reff. But in Philo, Confus. Ling. § 32, vol. i. p. 431, we have, λόγιου τοῦ ἵλεω θεοῦ μεστὸν ἡμερότητος ἐλπίδας χρηστὰς ὑπογράφον τοῖς παιδείας ἐρασταῖς ἀνῄρηται τοιόνδε, οὐ μή σε ἀνῶ, οὐδʼ οὐ μή σε ἐγκαταλίπω. This is certainly singular, and cannot be mere coincidence. Bleek and Lünemann suppose the Writer to have made the citation direct from Philo (see Prolegg. § i. par. 156), whereas Delitzsch believes that the expression was taken from Deuteronomy 31:6 A, οὐ μή σε ἀνῇ οὐδʼ οὐ μή σε ἐγκαταλείπῃ, and had become inwoven into some liturgical or homiletic portion of the services in the Hellenistic synagogue. οὐδʼ οὐ μή occurs again Matthew 24:21):


Verse 5-6

5, 6.] St. Paul usually couples with filthy desire, filthy lucre, as both of them incompatible with the kingdom of God: e. g. 1 Corinthians 5:10-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9 f.: Ephesians 5:3; Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5.


Verse 6

6.] so that we say (not ‘can say’ nor ‘may say,’ both which weaken the confidence expressed) with confidence, The Lord ( יהוה in the Psalm, and probably used of the Father, as in other citations in this Epistle, e. g. ch. Hebrews 7:21; Hebrews 8:8-11; Hebrews 10:16; Hebrews 10:30; Hebrews 12:5 al., and without a citation ch. Hebrews 8:2) is my helper (in the Heb. only יְהֹוָה לִי ), [and (not in Heb., see also digest)], I will not be afraid: what shall man do unto me (such is the connexion, both in the Heb. and here: not, “I will not be afraid what man shall do unto me,” as the English Prayer Book after the vulg., “non timebo quid faciat mihi homo,” which is ungrammatical ( τί ἂν ποιῇ or ποιήσῃ))?


Verse 7

7.] Remember (may be taken in two ways, as Thl., βοηθεῖν αὐτοῖς ἐν ταῖς σωματικαῖς χρείαις, … ἢ καὶ πρὸς μίμησιν αὐτῶν ἐπαλείφει τούτους. The former meaning would agree with μιμνήσκεσθε in Hebrews 13:3; but it is plain from what follows here (e. g. ἐλάλησαν and ἔκβασιν) that the course of these ἡγούμενοι is past, and it is remembering with a view to imitation that is enjoined) your leaders ( ἡγούμενοι, Hebrews 13:17; Hebrews 13:24, are their leaders in the faith: cf. also προηγούμενοι, in Clem.-rom. ad Cor. i. c. 21, p. 256. It is a word of St. Luke’s, cf. reff., answering to the προϊστάμενοι of St. Paul, 1 Thessalonians 5:12. It is found in later Greek,—in Polyb., Herodian, Diod. Sic. al.,—in this same sense. See also Sirach 9:17; Sirach 10:2 al.), the which (of that kind, who) spoke to you the word of God (the aor, shews that this speaking was over, and numbers these leaders among those in ch. Hebrews 2:3; as those who heard the Lord, ὑφʼ ὧν εἰς ἡμᾶς ἐβεβαιώθη ( ἡ σωτηρία). The phrase λαλεῖν τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ, is the usual one with St. Luke, cf. reff.), of whom surveying ( ἀνα- θεωρεῖν, like ἀνα- ζητεῖν, to contemplate, or search from one end to the other. Bl. quotes from Winer de Verborum cum Prepp. compos. in N. T. Usu, p. iii, “aliquam rerum seriem ita oculis perlustrare, ut ab imo ad summum, ab extremo ad principium pergas.” Similarly Chrys., συνεχῶς στρέφοντες παρʼ ἑαυτοῖς. The word occurs elsewhere in St. Luke only (ref.)) the termination (by death: not as Œc., but without deciding, πῶς διεξέρχονται καλῶς τὴν ἐν τῷ βίῳ ἀναστροφήν: nor, as Braun and Cramer, the result for others of their Christian walk, viz. their conversion: nor as Storr, al., the result for themselves, viz. their heavenly reward, which their followers could not in any sense ἀναθεωρεῖν. We have ἔξοδος in the sense of death Luke 9:31; 2 Peter 1:15; and ἄφιξις, Acts 20:29. It is perhaps to be inferred that these died by martyrdom, as Stephen, James the brother of John, and possibly (but see the matter discussed in Prolegg. to James, and in Delitzsch’s note here) James the brother of the Lord: and possibly too, St. Peter (see Prolegg. to 1 Pet.). So the ancient Commentators: so Thdor.-mops., θεόδωρός φησιν ἡγουμένους τοὺς παρʼ αὐτοῖς καταγγείλαντας τὸν λόγον τῆς εὐσεβείας καὶ τελειωθέντας ὑπὸ ἰουδαίων αὐτόθι· πολλοὶ δὲ ἦσαν, οὔτε στέφανος μόνον καὶ ἰάκωβος ὁ μαχαίρᾳ ἀναιρεθείς, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὁ τοῦ κυρίου ἀδελφὸς ἰάκωβος, ἕτεροι δὲ πλεῖστοι σιωπῇ παραδεδομένοι. Similarly Thdrt., al.) of their conversation (i. e. their Christian ἀναστρέφεσθαι, behaviour, walk, course. No English word completely gives it. For usage, see reff.), imitate the faith.


Verse 8

8.] Jesus Christ is yesterday and to-day the same, and for ever (as to the construction, ὁ αὐτός is the predicate to all three times, not as vulg. (not Syr., if at least Etheridge’s version of it is to be trusted), “Jesus Christus heri et hodie: ipse et in sæcula;” Ambr(78) (passim), Calvin, al. As to the connexion, the verse stands as a transition from what has passed to what follows. ‘It was Christ whom these ἡγούμενοι preached, ἐλάλησαν τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ: Christ who supported them to the end, being the author and finisher of their faith; and He remains still with regard to you ( ὥσπερ τοὺς ἡγουμένους ὑμῶν οὐ κατέλιπεν, ἀλλʼ ἐν πᾶσιν ἀντελαμβάνετο αὐτῶν, οὕτω καὶ ὑμῶν ἀντιλήψεται· ὁ αὐτὸς γάρ ἐστι, altern. in Thl. Similarly Chrys. alt.) the same: be not then carried away’ &c. As to the meaning of the words, ἐχθές (the common and also Attic form, whereas χθές is Epic, Ionic, and Attic) refers to the time past, when their ἡγούμενοι passed away from them; σήμερον to the time present, when the Writer and the readers were living.

In our E. V., this verse, by the omission of the copula ‘is,’ appears as if it were in apposition with “the end of whose conversation:” and in the carelessly printed polyglott of Bagster, the matter is made worse, by a colon being substituted for the period after “conversation.” Observe ἰησοῦς χριστός, not common with our Writer: only e. g. Hebrews 13:21, where he wishes to give a solemn fulness to the mention of the Lord: Jesus, the Person, of whom we have been proving, that He is χριστός, the Anointed of God. Cf. also ch. Hebrews 10:10).


Verse 9

9.] Be not carried away (the rec. περιφ. is probably from Ephesians 4:14. παραφέρεσθαι, as the prep. indicates, is to be carried out of the right course. So Plato, Phædr. p. 265 B, ἴσως μὲν ἀληθοῦς τινος ἐφαπτόμενοι, τάχα δʼ ἂν καὶ ἄλλοσε παραφερόμενοι: Plut. Timoleon 6, αἱ κρίσεις.… σείονται καὶ παραφέρονται ῥᾳδίως ὑπὸ τῶν τυχόντων ἐπαίνων καὶ ψόγων, ἐκκρουόμενοι τῶν οἰκείων λογισμῶν. Ælian has ὑπὸ τοῦ οἴνου παραφερόμενος. Œc. says, τὸ δὲ παραφ. ἀπὸ μεταφορᾶς τῶν μαινομένων τῶν τῇδε κἀκεῖσε παραφερομένων εἴρηται. The fixed point from which they are not to be carried away, is clearly that given in the last verse, viz. Jesus Christ) by various ( ποικίλαις, παντοδαπαῖς· αἱ τοιαῦται γὰρ οὐδὲν βέβαιον ἔχουσιν, ἀλλʼ εἰσὶ διάφοροι· μάλιστα δὲ τὸ τῶν βρωμάτων διάφορον. Chrys. Thl. says, τουτέστιν παρὰ τοῦδε τόδε.… ἡ γὰρ ἀλήθεια μονοειδής, καὶ πρὸς ἓν ἀφορῶσα. The reference, from what follows, is to teachings about various meats) and strange ( τουτέστιν, ἀλλότριαι τῆς ἀληθείας, Thl. The use of ἕτερος is similar, from which ἑτεροδοξία has its technical sense) doctrines (teachings: so διδασκαλίαι, Matthew 15:9; Colossians 2:22; 1 Timothy 4:1): for it is good that the heart be confirmed (reff.) with grace (God’s grace, working on us by faith: δείκνυσιν ὅτι τὸ πᾶν πίστις ἐστίν· ἂν αὐτῇ βεβαιώσῃ, ἡ καρδία ἐν ἀσφαλείᾳ ἕστηκεν, Chrys.), not with meats (it is a question whether βρώμασιν be meant of meat eaten after sacrifices, or of “meats” as spoken of so much by St. Paul, meats partaken of or abstained from as a matter of conscience: cf. 1 Corinthians 8:8, βρῶμα ἡμᾶς οὐ παρίστησιν τῷ θεῷ; 1 Corinthians 8:13; ib. 1 Corinthians 6:13; Romans 14:15; Romans 14:20, μὴ ἕνεκεν βρώματος κατάλυε τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ. The former view is taken by Schlichting, Bleek, Lünemann, al., on the grounds, 1. that the expression will not suit meats abstained from, only those partaken of: “Cor non reficitur cibis non comestis, sed comestis. Ciborum ergo usui, non abstinentiæ, opponitur hic gratia,” Schlicht.; 2. that Hebrews 13:10, which is in close connexion with this, speaks of an altar and of partaking of meats sacrificed: and, 3. that this same reference, to meats offered in sacrifice, is retained throughout, to Hebrews 13:15. The other view is taken by Chrys., Thdrt., Œc., Thl., Primas., Faber Stap., Erasm., Calv., Beza, the great body of later Commentators, and recently by Böhme, Tholuck, and Delitzsch. It is defended against the above objections, 1. by remembering that in the other passages where βρώματα occurs with this reference, it is used not merely in the concrete, for meats absolutely partaken of, but in the abstract, for the whole department or subject of βρώματα, to be partaken of or abstained from: 2. see below on the verse: (3) stands or falls with (2). And besides, it is supported by the following considerations: 4. that βρώματα is a word not found in the law where offerings are spoken of (in Leviticus 19:6; Leviticus 22:30, we have βρωθήσεται of peace-offerings and thank-offerings): but in the distinction of clean and unclean, Leviticus 11:34; 1 Maccabees 1:63. 5. that in all N. T. places, where βρῶμα is used in a similar connexion, it applies to clean and unclean meats. 6. that διδαχαῖς ποικίλαις καὶ ξέναις μὴ παραφέρεσθε must refer, not to meats eaten after sacrifices, but to some doctrines in which there was variety and perplexity, as to those concerning clean and unclean. And I own these reasons incline me strongly to this view, to the exclusion of the other. Two ‘monstra interpretationis’ need only be mentioned: that of the R.-Cath. Bisping, who interprets χάριτι “by the eucharist:” and that of Ebrard, who renders βεβαιοῦσθαι, “cling fast to,” and χάριτι and βρώμασιν as datives), in which (the observance of which, βρώματα, as above, being used for the observance of rules concerning meats and drinks &c.) they who walked were not profited (the ἐν belongs, not to ὠφελήθησαν, but to περιπατήσαντες, according to the very usual construction, περιπατεῖν ἔν τινι, for to observe, to live in the practice of any thing: see reff. and Acts 21:21. So Chrys., τουτέστιν, οἱ διὰ παντὸς φυλάξαντες αὐτά. These, who walked in such observances, are the whole people of God under the O. T. dispensation (notice the historic aorists), to whom they were of themselves useless and profitless, though ordained for a preparatory purpose: so that Calvin’s objection is answered, “Certe patribus qui sub lege vixerunt utilis fuit pædagogia cujus pars erat ciborum discrimen.” Yes, and so was the shedding of the blood of bulls and goats part of the pædagogia: but it was useless to take away sin. Cf. Thl., οἱ τῇ τῶν βρωμάτων τηρήσει στοιχήσαντες διὰ παντὸς οὐδὲν εἰς τὴν ψυχὴν ὠφελήθησαν, ὡς τῆς πίστεως ἔξω ὄντες καὶ τῷ νόμῳ τῷ ἀνωφελεῖ δουλεύοντες. But he understands it of τοὺς τὴν ἰουδαϊκὴν παρατήρησιν τῶν βρωμάτων εἰσάγοντες).


Verse 10

10.] What is the connexion with Hebrews 13:9? It is represented as being entirely done away by our interpretation of βρώματα. If I regard it aright, it is not only not done away, but established in its proper light. Those ancient distinctions are profitless: one distinction remains: that ourtrue meat is not to be partaken of by those who adhere to those old distinctions: that Christianity and Judaism are necessarily and totally distinct. See more below. We have an altar (to what does the Writer allude? Some have said (Schlichting, Sykes, Michaelis, Kuinoel, and even Tholuck) that no distinct idea was before him, but that he merely used the term altar, to help the figure which he was about to introduce. And this view has just so much truth in it, that there is no emphasis on θυσιαστήριον; it is not θυσιαστήριον ἔχομεν. The altar bears only a secondary place in the figure; but still I cannot think that it has not a definite meaning. Others understand by the altar, Christ himself. So Suicer, Wolf, al. So Cyr.-alex. de Adoratione, ix. vol. i. p. 310, αὐτὸς οὖν ἄρα ἐστὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον, αὐτὸς δὲ τὸ θυμίαμα, καὶ ἀρχιερεύς. This again has so much truth in it, that the Victim is so superior to the altar as to cast it altogether into shade; but still is not Himself the altar. Some again (Corn. a-Lapide, Böhme, Bähr, Ebrard, Bisping, Stier, al.) understand, the table of the Lord, at which we eat the Lord’s Supper. This is so far true, that that table may be said to represent to us the Cross whereupon the Sacrifice was offered, just as the bread and wine, laid on it, represent the oblation itself: but it is not the altar, in any propriety of language, however we may be justified, in common parlance, in so calling it. Some again, as Bretschneider, have interpreted it to mean the heavenly place, where Christ now offers the virtue of His Blood to the Father for us. This again is so far true that it is the antitype of the Cross, just as the Cross is the antitype of the Lord’s table: but we do not want, in this word, the heavenly thing represented by, any more than the enduring ordinance representing, the original historic concrete material altar: we want that altar itself: and that altar is, the CROSS, on which the Lord suffered. That is our altar: not to be emphasized, nor exalted into any comparison with the adorable Victim thereon offered; but still our altar, that wherein we glory, that for which, as “pro aris,” we contend: of which our banners, our tokens, our adornments, our churches, are full: severed from which, we know not Christ; laid upon which, He is the power of God, and the wisdom of God. And so it is here explained by Thos. Aquinas, Jac. Cappell., Estius, Bengel, Ernesti, Bleek, De Wette, Stengel, Lünem., Delitzsch) to eat of which (cf. esp. 1 Corinthians 9:13, οἱ τὰ ἱερὰ ἐργαζόμενοι ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἐσθίουσιν· οἱ τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ προσεδρεύοντες τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ συμμερίζονται) they have not licence who serve the tabernacle (who are these? Some, as Schlichting, Morus, and strange to say more recently Hofmann, Schriftb. ii. 1. 322 ff., understand by them the same, viz. Christians, as the subject of ἔχομεν. We Christians have an altar whereof (even) they who serve the (Christian) tabernacle have no right to eat: i. e. as explained by Hofmann, as the high priest himself did not eat of the sin-offerings whose blood was brought into the tabernacle, but they were burnt without the camp, so we Christians have no sacrifice of which we have any right to eat, no further profit to be derived from that one sacrifice, by which we have been reconciled to God. But this is, 1. false in fact. We have a right to eat of our Sacrifice, and are commanded so to do. All that our Lord says of eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood (explain it how we will) would be nullified and set aside by such an interpretation. And, 2. it is directly against the whole context, in which the βρώματα, whatever they are, are pronounced profitless, and they who walked in them contrasted with us who have higher privileges. To what purpose then would it be to say, that we have an altar of which we cannot eat? that we have a sacrifice which brings us no profit, but only shame? I pass over the interpretation which understands by the words some particular class of Christians among the Hebrews, because it involves the anachronism of a distinction between clergy and laity which certainly then had no place: and also because it would furnish no sense at all suiting the passage, referring as it then would to some Christians only, not to all. The only true reference of our words, as also that which has been all but universally acknowledged, is that to the Jewish priesthood, and in them to those who have part with them in serving the rites and ordinances of the ceremonial law. These have no right to eat of our altar: for just as the bodies of those beasts whose blood was brought into the sanctuary were burnt without the camp, so Jesus suffered altogether without the gate of legal Judaism. Let us then not tarry serving that tabernacle which has no part in Him, but go forth to Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. For we cleave not to any abiding city, such as the earthly Jerusalem, but seek one to come. Let us then not tarry in the Jewish tabernacle, serving their rites, offering their sacrifices; but offer our now only possible sacrifice, that of praise, the fruit of a good confession, acceptable to God through Him. Thus and thus only does the whole context stand in harmony. Thus the words in οἱ τῇ σκηνῇ λατρεύοντες keep their former meanings: cf. ch. Hebrews 8:5, where we have λατρεύοντες ὑποδείγματι καὶ σκιᾷ τῶν ἐπουρανιων: and remember that ἡ σκηνή, barely so placed, cannot by any possibility mean any part of the Christian apparatus of worship, nor have an antitypical reference, but can only import that which throughout the Epistle it has imported, viz. the Jewish tabernacle: cf. ch. Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 9:21 al. Bengel, with his keen sight for nice shades of meaning, has noticed, “est aculeus, quod dicit τῇ σκηνῇ, non ἐν τῇ σκηνῇ”).


Verse 11

11.] For (reason why this exclusion has place: because our great Sacrifice is not one of those in which the servants of the tabernacle had any share, but answers to one which was wholly taken out and burnt: see below) of the animals of which the blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest, of these the bodies are consumed by fire outside the camp (there was a distinction in the sacrifices as to the subsequent participation of certain parts of them by the priests. Those of which they did partake (I take these particulars mainly from Delitzsch) were: 1. the sin-offering of the rulers (a male kid), and the sin-offering of the common people (a female kid or lamb), Leviticus 4:22 ff., Leviticus 4:27 ff. (compare the rules ib. Leviticus 6 about eating and not eating the sacrifices): 2. the dove of the poor man, Leviticus 5:9. 3. the trespass-offering, Leviticus 7:7. 4. the skin of the whole burnt-offering, ib. Leviticus 7:8. 5. the wave-breast and heave-shoulder of the peace-offerings. 6. the wave-offerings on the feast of weeks, entire. But those of which they did not partake were, 1. the sin-offering of the high priest for himself, Leviticus 4:5-7, esp. Leviticus 4:12. 2. the sin-offerings for sins of ignorance of the congregation, Leviticus 4:16-21, cf. Numbers 15:24. 3. the sin-offering for high priest and people combined, on the great day of atonement, the blood of which was brought not only into the holy but into the holiest place, Leviticus 16:27. Besides which we have a general rule, to which doubtless the Writer here alludes, Leviticus 6:30, “No sin-offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire.” As regards particular expressions: τὰ ἅγια here, as in ch. Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 9:12; Hebrews 9:24-25; Hebrews 10:19, probably means not the holy place commonly so called, but the holy of holies, into which the blood of the sin-offering was brought on the day of atonement, and which only typified heaven, whither Christ as High Priest is entered with His Blood. ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς refers to the time when Israel was encamped in the wilderness: the enclosure of the camp was afterwards replaced by the walls of Jerusalem, so that ἔξω τῆς πύλης below answers to it).


Verse 12

12.] Wherefore (as being the antitype of the sin-offering on the day of atonement: “ut ille typus veteris testamenti impleretur, illa figura quæ est de carnibus extra castra comburendis,” Est.) Jesus also, that He might sanctify (see on ch. Hebrews 2:11) the people (see on ch. Hebrews 2:17) through His own blood, suffered (see on ch. Hebrews 9:26 on the absolute meaning of παθεῖν) outside the gate ( ἔξω τῆς πόλεως ἱερουσαλήμ, Œc. It is necessary in order to understand this rightly, to trace with some care the various steps of the symbolism. The offering of Christ consists of two parts: 1. His offering on earth, which was accomplished on the cross, and answered to the slaying of the legal victim and the destruction of its body by fire, the annihilation of the fleshly life; and, 2. His offering in the holy place above, which consisted in His entering heaven, the abode of God, through the veil, that is to say His flesh, and carrying His blood there as a standing atonement for the world’s sin. This, the sanctifying of the people through His own blood, was the ulterior end of that sacrifice on earth: and therefore whatever belonged to that sacrifice on earth is said to have been done in order to that other. This will sufficiently account for the telic clause here, without making it seem as if the ultimate end, the sanctification of God’s people, depended on the subordinate circumstance of Christ’s having suffered outside the gate. It did depend on the entire fulfilment by Him of all things written of Him in the law: and of them this was one).


Verse 13

13.] So then ( τοίνυν commonly in Greek stands second at least in a sentence. But in later writers as in the LXX (reff.), it is not uncommonly put first, as here; and sometimes even in classical Greek: cf. Lobeck on Phrynichus, p. 342 f., who gives an example from Aristoph. Acharn. 904, ἐγῷδα· τοίνυν συκοφάντην ἔξαγε: and several from later authors) let us go forth to Him outside the camp ( ἀντὶ τοῦ ἔξω τῆς κατὰ νόμον γενώμεθα πολιτείας, Thdrt. This is certainly intended, and not the meaning given by Chrys. ( τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ αἰρῶμεν καὶ ἔξω κόσμου μένωμεν, in his second exposition in Hom. xxxiii. His first exposition is very similar, not as quoted by Bleek, that we should follow the Lord in his sufferings: this latter is the explanation of τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν αὐτοῦ φέροντες: see below. I may mention that the fact of Chrys. having given two expositions of the passage, as of some others, has much bewildered the Commentators. Delitzsch, e. g., charges Bleek with error in saying that Chrys. omits περὶ ἁμαρτίας in Hebrews 13:11. He does omit it the second time, but not the first), Limborch, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, al., nor that of Schlichting (“exilia, opprobria, &c., cum illo subeamus”), Grot., Michaelis, Storr, al. Both these may be involved in that which is intended; the latter particular is presently mentioned: but they are not identical with it. Possibly there may be a reference to Exodus 33:7, ἐγένετο, πᾶς ὁ ζητῶν κύριον ἐξεπορεύετο εἰς τὴν σκηνὴν τὴν ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς. Bleek objects that if so, we should not expect ἡ σκηνή to have been so shortly before mentioned as representing the Jewish sanctuary, in distinction from the Christian. But this seems hardly sufficient reason for denying the reference. The occasion in Exodus 33 was a remarkable one. The people were just quitting Sinai, the home of the law; and the πᾶς ὁ ζητῶν τὸν κύριον seems to bear more than ordinary solemnity), bearing His reproach (see on ch. Hebrews 11:26. τουτέστι, τὰ αὐτὰ πάσχοντες. κοινωνοῦντες αὐτῷ ἐν τοῖς παθήμασιν, Chrys., Œc.).


Verse 14

14.] For (reason why such going forth is agreeable to our whole profession: not, as Bengel, al., why the word παρεμβολή, and not πόλις, is used above) we have not here (on earth: not, as Heinrichs, in the earthly Jerusalem. ὧδε in a local sense is said by Böhme, after Aristarchus, to be hardly Greek: but it is a mistake; the sense being found in the classics from Homer downwards. Palm and Rost, sub voce, maintain the correctness of Aristarchus’s view: but it seems beyond question that in such expressions as ἡφαῖστε προμόλʼ ὧδε, the local meaning must be recognized) an abiding city, but we seek for ( ἐπιζητεῖν, see on ref.) that (abiding city) which is to come (“Futuram civitatem hanc vocat, quia nobis futura est. Nam Deo, Christo, Augelis jam præsens est.” Schlichting. Yet this is not altogether true. The heavenly Jerusalem, in all her glory, is not yet existing, nor shall be until the number of the elect is accomplished. Then she shall come down out of heaven as a bride prepared for her husband, Revelation 21:2. This verse certainly comes with a solemn tone on the reader, considering how short a time the μένουσα πόλις did actually remain, and how soon the destruction of Jerusalem put an end to the Jewish polity which was supposed to be so enduring).


Verse 15

15.] Through Him (placed first, as carrying all the emphasis—through Him, not by means of the Jewish ritual observances) therefore (this οὖν gathers its inference from the whole argument, Hebrews 13:10-14) let us offer up (see on ref.) a sacrifice of praise ( θυσία αἰνέσεως is the term for a thank-offering in the law: see Leviticus 7:12 (5, LXX). Cf. reff. and Ps. 49:23, θυσία αἰνέσεως δοξάσει με, and Psalms 115:17 (Psalms 116:8), σοὶ θύσω θυσίαν αἰνέσεως. The Commentators quote an old saying of the Rabbis, “Tempore futuro omnia sacrificia cessabunt, sed laudes non cessabunt.” Cf. Philo de Victim. Offer. § 3, vol. ii. p. 253, τὴν ἀρίστην ἀνάγουσι θυσίαν, ὕμνοις τὸν εὐεργέτην καὶ σωτῆρα θεὸν γεραίροντες) continually (not at fixed days and seasons, as the Levitical sacrifices, but all through our lives) to God, that is, the fruit of lips ( καρπὸν χειλέων is from Hosea (ref.), where the LXX give ἀνταποδώσομεν καρπὸν χειλέων ἡμῶν as the rendering of נְשַׁלְּמָה פָרִים שְׂפָתינוּ, “we will account our lips as calves” (for a sacrifice): E. V., “we will render the calves of our lips.” The fruit of the lips is explained by the next words to be, a good confession to God) confessing to His name (i. e. the name of God, as the ultimate object to which the confession, διʼ - αὐτοῦ, Jesus, is referred. For the construction, see reff.).


Verse 16

16.] But (q. d. the fruit of the lips is not the only sacrifice: God must be praised not only with the lips but with the life. So Thdrt., ἔδειξε τὴν τῆς αἰνέσεως θυσίαν ἀρέσκουσαν τῷ θεῷ· συνέζευξε δὲ αὐτῇ καὶ τὴν τῆς εὐποιΐας ἣν κοινωνίαν εἰκότως ἐκάλεσε) of beneficence ( εὐποιΐα is a word of later Greek: Wetstein gives many examples of it. Pollux says εὐεργεσία, χάρις, δωρεά. τὸ γὰρ εὐποιΐα οὐ λίαν κέκριται) and communication (of your means to others who are in want, see reff.: an usage of the word which, as Bleek remarks, sprung up in the primitive Christian church, as also the corresponding one of the verb: see on ch. Hebrews 2:14) be not forgetful (Hebrews 13:2): for with such sacrifices (viz. εὐποιΐᾳ καὶ κοινωνίᾳ, not including Hebrews 13:15, which is complete in itself) God is well pleased ( εὐαρεστοῦμαί τινι (ref.) is not elsewhere found in N. T. or LXX, but in the later Greek writers, e. g. Diog. Laert. iv. 6. 18: Diod. Sic. iii. 54; xx. 18: Clem.-alex. Strom. vii. 7, § 45, p. 858, ib. 12, § 74, p. 876 P.: and so in Polyb. iii. 8. 11, δυσηρεστοῦντο τοῖς ὑπʼ ἀννίβου πραττομένοις).


Verse 17

17.] Having already in Hebrews 13:7 spoken of their deceased leaders in the church, and thereby been reminded of their stedfastness in the faith, he has taken occasion in the intervening verses to admonish them respecting the danger of apostasy to Judaism, and to exhort them to come fearlessly out of it to Christ. Now he returns to their duty to their leaders. Obey your leaders ( περὶ ἐπισκόπων λέγει, Œc., Thl.), and submit (to them) ( πείθεσθαι, in the regular course of your habits, guided by them, persuaded that their rule is right: ὑπείκειν, where that rule interferes with your own will: πείθεσθαι has more of free following, ὑπείκειν of dutiful yielding): for they (on their part, brought out by the αὐτοί) keep watch on behalf of your souls (not = ὑπερ ὑμῶν as Böhme, but rather = ὑπερ ὑμῶν εἰς σωτηρίαν: the ψυχή bringing in the idea of immortality), as having to give an account (Thdrt. well-remarks, παραινεῖ μὲν τοῖς μαθηταῖς ὑπακούειν τοῖς διδασκάλοις· διήγειρε δὲ κατὰ ταὐτὸν καὶ τοὺς διδασκάλους εἰς πλείονα προθυμίαν· διδάσκει γὰρ αὐτοὺς ἀγρυπνεῖν καὶ τὰς εὐθύνας δειμαίνειν. Chrys. de Sacerdotio, lib. vi. init., vol. i. 2, p. 677 (Migne), says, τὸ γὰρ πείθεσθε τοῖς ἡγ. κ. τ. λ.… ἀποδώσοντες, εἰ καὶ πρότερον εἶπον, ἀλλʼ οὐδὲ νῦν σιωπήσομαι· ὁ γὰρ φόβος ταύτης τῆς ἀπειλῆς συνεχῶς κατασείει μου τὴν ψυχήν): that they may do this (viz. watch, not give an account, for thus the present ποιῶσιν, and τοῦτο γὰρ ἀλυσιτελὲς ὑμῖν would be inapplicable) with joy, and not lamenting (over your disobedience): for this (their having to lament over you) is unprofitable for you ( λυσιτελεῖ is found in Luke 17:2. “The exhortation is like Paul in its spirit, cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, but more like Luke in its expression. And as we proceed, St. Luke’s and St. Paul’s expressions are found mingled together.” Delitzsch).


Verse 18

18.] Pray for us (here, as elsewhere, it is probably a mistake to suppose that the first person plural indicates the Writer alone. As Del. observes, the passage from the ἡγούμενοι to the Writer individually would be harsh. And when Bleek finds in Hebrews 13:19 a proof that the Writer only is meant, he misses the point, that this ἡμῶν, including the Writer and his companions, is in fact a transition note between Hebrews 13:17 and Hebrews 13:19. Cf. Ephesians 6:19; Romans 15:30; 2 Corinthians 1:11): for we are persuaded ( πειθόμεθα, which is St. Luke’s way of speaking, cf. Acts 26:26, has been changed into πεποίθαμεν, which is St. Paul’s, cf. Galatians 5:10; Philippians 1:25; Philippians 2:24) that (Bengel, al. pause at πεποίθαμεν (rec.) γάρ, rendering ὅτι “quia: nam confidimus ponitur absolute, uti audemus, 2 Corinthians 5:8.” But the other is the better and more probable rendering, even with the rec.: and with πειθόμεθα, more necessary still) we have a good conscience (St. Luke’s expression, see reff.: and here chosen perhaps to correspond to καλῶς below), desiring in all things (not as Chrys., Erasm.(par.), Luth., al., masculine,— οὐκ ἐν ἐθνικοῖς μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν,—but as in Hebrews 13:4) to behave ourselves with seemliness ( τουτέστιν, ἀπροσκόπως διάγειν σπουδάζοντες καὶ ἀσκανδαλίστως. Thl. This appears to point at some offence of the same kind as we know to have been taken at the life and teaching of St. Paul with reference to the law and Jewish customs).


Verse 19

19.] But I the more abundantly (see on ch. Hebrews 2:1) exhort you to do this ( ποῖον τοῦτο; τὸ εὔχεσθαι περὶ ἡμῶν, Œc.), that I may be the sooner ( τάχιον is the form of the comparative usual in later Greek: in Attic θᾶσσον is commoner: Herod. uses ταχύτερον: cf. Palm and Rost in ταχύς, and Lobeck on Phryn. p. 77, who adds “In vulgari dialecto quantopere hoc nomen viguerit, innumera Diodori, Plutarchi, Dionysii et æqualium, exempla docent, quæ sciens prætermitto”) restored to you (reff., and Polyb. iii. 98. 7, ἐὰν ἐξαγαγὼν τοὺς ὁμήρους ἀποκαταστήσῃ τοῖς γονεῦσι καὶ ταῖς πόλεσιν. Cf. St. Paul’s expression Philemon 1:22, ἐλπίζω γὰρ ὅτι διὰ τῶν προσευχῶν ὑμῶν χαρισθήσομαι ὑμῖν. On the inferences from this and the other notices in this concluding passage, see Prolegg.).


Verse 20

20.] But ( δέ often introduces a concluding sentence, breaking off, as we use but: see again Hebrews 13:22, and passim at the end of St. Paul’s Epistles) the God of peace (so, often, at the end of St. Paul’s Epistles: see reff., and 2 Thessalonians 3:16. In the presence of so many instances of the expression under different circumstances, it would perhaps be hardly safe to infer from it here any reference to danger of strife within the church addressed. Still the words are not a mere formula, and in all the above places, some reference is made, doubtless, to circumstances either of internal dissension or external tribulation. And certainly both the exhortations in Hebrews 13:17-19 point to a state in which there was danger of disobedience within and suspicion towards the Writer and those who were on his part. So that ‘peace’ was a natural wish for them, even without taking into account those troubles which harassed and threatened them from without, in regard of which it would be also a haven, where they would be), who brought up from the dead ( περὶ ἀναστάσεως εἴρηται τοῦτο, Chrys. But perhaps not of the Resurrection only, but of the Ascension also. Delitzsch well remarks that ἀνά is not only rursum, but sursum: and Bl. refers to Plato, Rep. vii. p. 521 C, πῶς τις ἀνάξει αὐτοὺς εἰς φῶς, ὥσπερ ἐξ ᾅδου λέγονται δή τινες εἰς θεοὺς ἀνελθεῖν; “This is the only place where our Writer mentions the Resurrection. Every where else he lifts his eyes from the depth of our Lord’s humiliation, passing over all that is intermediate, to the highest point of His exaltation. The connexion here suggests to him once at least to make mention of that which lay between Golgotha and the throne of God, between the altar of the Cross and the heavenly sanctuary, the resurrection of Him who died as our sin-offering.” Delitzsch) the great shepherd of the sheep (the passage before the Writer’s mind has been that in the prophetic chapter of Isaiah (ref.), where speaking of Moses, it is said, ποῦ ὁ ἀναβιβάσας ἐκ τῆς θαλάσσης τὸν ποιμένα τῶν προβάτων, where A and the Codex Marchalianus read ἐκ τῆς γῆς, as 46 Chrys. read here, (79) and the Complutensian having ἐκ γῆς. In Isa. the shepherd is Moses; and the comparison between Moses and Christ is familiar to our Writer, ch. Hebrews 3:2-6. The addition of τὸν μέγαν as applied to Christ, is correspondent to His title ἱερεὺς μέγας, ch. Hebrews 10:21. To deny this reference, with Lünemann, seems impossible, with the remarkable conjunction of τὸν ποιμένα τῶν προβάτων. The connexion here in which this title of our Lord is brought in, may be, that οἱ ἡγούμενοι having been just mentioned, and himself also, and his labours and theirs for the settlement of the Church in peace being before his mind, he is led to speak of Him who is the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4), who was brought again from the dead by the God of Peace), in the blood of the everlasting covenant (but in what sense? First διαθήκη αἰώνιος is as Thdrt., αἰώνιον δὲ τὴν καινὴν κέκληκε διαθήκην, ὡς ἑτέρας μετὰ ταύτην οὐκ ἐσομένης· ἵνα γὰρ μή τις ὑπολάβῃ, καὶ ταύτην διʼ ἄλλης διαθήκης παυθήσεσθαι, εἰκότως αὐτῆς τὸ ἀτελεύτητον ἔδειξε. Then, the expression itself can hardly but be a reminiscence of Zechariah 9:11, καὶ σὺ ἐν αἵματι διαθήκης σου ἐξαπέστειλας δεσμίους σου ἐκ λάκκου οὐκ ἔχοντος ὕδωρ: and if so, the import of the preposition here will be at least indicated by its import there. And there it is, by virtue of, in the power of, the blood of thy covenant, i. e. of that blood which was the seal of the covenant entered into with thee. So also we must understand it here. Did the sentence apply only to the exaltation of Christ, the ἐν might be taken as by Bleek after Calv., ‘with the blood,’ so that Christ took the blood with Him. So Œc. and Thl., ἤγειρεν αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν σὺν αἵματι διαθήκης αἰωνίου, τουτέστι σὺν τῇ ἐγέρσει αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ αἷμα αὐτοῦ κεχάρισται ἡμῖν εἰς διαθήκην αἰώνιον: and Calvin, “Videtur mihi apostolus hoc velle, Christum ita resurrexisse a mortuis, ut mors tamen ejus non sit abolita, sed æternum vigorem retineat: ac si dixisset, Deus Filium suum excitavit, sed ita ut sanguis, quem semel in morte fudit, ad sanctionem fœderis æterni post resurrectionem vigeat, fructumque suum proferat perinde ac si semper flueret.” But here it is joined to the exaltation only by means of the resurrection. And thus, as Del. maintains, the instrumental, conditioning-element force of ἐν seems to predominate: through, or in virtue of, the blood (Acts 20:28). It is surely hardly allowable to join the words ἐν αἵματι διαθήκης αἰωνίου with τὸν ποιμένα τὸν μέγαν. Yet this is done by Beza, Estius, Grot., Limborch, Schulz, Böhme, Kuinoel, Lünem., Ebr., al., some of them joining it with μέγαν. It seems to me that τόν would in this case be repeated after μέγαν. The idea however is no less true, and is indeed involved in the connexion with ἀναγαγών, and thus with the whole sentence. The Lord Jesus did become, in His mediatorial work, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by virtue of that covenant which was brought in by His blood (Acts, ubi sup.): and by virtue of that blood also He was raised up as the great Shepherd, out of the dead, and to God’s right hand. Cf. on the whole, reff.; and Isaiah 55:3; Isaiah 61:8; John 10:11-18), even our Lord Jesus (here the personal name, Jesus, is joined with the assertion of His lordship over us: below, where the inworking of the Spirit through Him is spoken of, it is διὰ ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, His office as Christ at God’s right hand having made Him the channel of the Spirit to us: the anointing on Him, the Head, flowing down to the skirts of the raiment. Cf. Acts 2:36, ἀσφαλῶς οὖν γινωσκέτω πᾶς οἶκος ἰσραήλ, ὅτι καὶ κύριον αὐτὸν καὶ χριστὸν ὁ θεὸς ἐποίησεν, τοῦτον τὸν ἰησοῦν ὃν ὑμεῖς ἐσταυρώσατε),


Verse 20-21

20, 21.] Solemn concluding prayer. πρῶτον παρʼ αὐτῶν αἰτήσας τὰς εὐχάς, τότε καὶ αὐτὸς αὐτοῖς ἐπεύχεται πάντα τὰ ἀγαθά. Chrys.


Verse 21

21.] perfect you ( πληρώσαι, τελειώσαι, Œc. μαρτυρεῖ αὐτοῖς μεγάλα· τὸ γὰρ καταρτιζόμενόν ἐστι τὸ ἀρχὴν ἔχον, εἶτα πληρούμενον, Chrys. Still, as Bleek remarks, the praise of having made a beginning is not necessarily involved in the wish that they may be perfected) in every good work, towards the doing His will (cf. ch. Hebrews 10:36. The expression here is in the same final sense as there, as the aor. shews: it is not εἰς τὸ ποιεῖν, ‘to the habit of doing,’ but εἰς τὸ ποιῆσαι, ‘to the having done,’ i. e. ‘to the accomplishing’), doing in you ( ποιῶν chosen expressly as taking up εἰς τὸ ποιῆσαι, in exact correspondence with St. Paul’s saying Philippians 2:13, ἐνεργῶν ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ τὸ θέλειν καὶ τὸ ἐνεργεῖν) that which is well-pleasing in His sight ( ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ, an expression of St. Luke’s principally. It is a pregnant construction, involving τὸ ἀγαθὸν ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο εὐάρεστον αὐτῷ. See Ephesians 5:10 al.), through Jesus Christ (the reference is variously given: to εὐάρεστον, well-pleasing &c. through J. C.; so Grot., Hammond (“secundum Christi præcepta” &c.), al.: or to the verb, ποιῶν, as Thl., ὥστε, ὅταν ποιῶμεν ἡμεῖς τὸ καλόν, ὁ θεὸς ποιεῖ τοῦτο ἐν ἡμῖν διὰ ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, τουτέστι, μεσίτῃ κ. ἐνέργῳ τούτῳ χρώμενος: so Œc. The latter is by far the more probable, as the former would introduce a superfluity): to whom (i. e. to God, the chief subject of the whole sentence, God, who is the God of peace, who brought up the Lord Jesus from the dead, who can perfect us in every good work, to accomplish His will, and works in us that which is well-pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ. The whole majesty of the sentence requires this reverting to its main agent, and speaks against the referring ᾧ ἡ δόξα to our blessed Lord, who is only incidentally mentioned. See the very similar construction 1 Peter 4:11, where however the reference is not by any means equally certain) be (in 1 Pet. l. c. ἐστίν: and possibly also here: but perhaps ἔστω is the more probable supplement) the glory for ever. Amen.


Verse 22

22.] But (‘claudendi,’ see above, Hebrews 13:20) I beseech you, brethren, endure (reff.) the word of my exhortation (or, of exhortation. ἀσμένως δέξασθε τὰ παρʼ ἐμοῦ γράμματα, Schol.-Matth. Cf. Philo, Quod Omn. Prob. Liber, § 6, vol. ii. p. 451, καὶ πῶς πατρὸς μὲν ἢ μητρὸς ἐπιταγυάτων παῖδες ἀνέχονται; I may observe, that παράκλησις is rendered by the vulg. wrongly “solatium.” In that case no ἀνέχεσθε would have been needed. The expression λόγος παρακλήσεως applies without doubt to the whole Epistle, from what follows: not as Beza, Calov., al., to the few exhortations preceding, nor as Grot. to ch. 10–13 only: nor as Kuinoel, al., to the exhortations scattered up and down in the Epistle. It is St. Luke’s expression, see reff.): for also (besides other reasons, there is this) in (by means of, in the material of) few (words) (few in comparison of what might have been said on such a subject. τοσαῦτα εἰπὼν ὅμως βραχέα ταῦτά φησιν, ὅσον πρὸς ἃ ἐπεθύμει λέγειν. Thl.: for the expression, see reff.) I have written (the epistolary aorist, as ‘dabam,’ ἔγραψα, freq. in St. Paul, al. The word is elsewhere peculiar to St. Luke in N. T., see reff.) to you.


Verse 23

23.] Know ( γινώσκετε can hardly but be imperative, standing as it does at the beginning of the sentence. In τὴν δὲ δοκιμὴν αὐτοῦ γινώσκετε, Philippians 2:22, it is otherwise arranged. When the knowledge already exists, the fact is the prominent thing: when the knowledge is first conveyed, the information) that our brother Timotheus is dismissed (the construction is good Greek: Del. gives as instances ἤκουσε τὴν χώραν δῃουμένην, Xen. Anab. v. 5. 7: πυθόμενοι βασιλέα τεθνηκότα, Thuc. iv. 50: γνῶτε ἀναγκαῖον ὂν ὑμῖν ἀνδράσιν ἀγαθοῖ γενέσθαι, ib. vii. 77. It is in fact the original government of the accus. and inf. with a participial predicate substituted for the infinitive: ‘Know him being,’ for ‘know him to be.’ ἀπολύειν, on which see Prolegg. § ii. 24, does not occur in St. Paul, but is frequent in St. Luke; e. g. Luke 22:68; Luke 23:16 ff.: Acts 3:13; Acts 4:21, of dismissal from prison or custody; Acts 13:3; Acts 15:30, of official sending away; Acts 15:33, of solemn dismissal, and Acts 19:41; Acts 23:22, of simple dismissal), with whom, if he come ( πρός μεεἰκὸς γὰρ ἦν, ἀπολελύσθαι μὲν αὐτόν, μήπω δὲ ἀπεληλυθέναι πρὸς τὸν παῦλον. Œc.) soon (Luther, Schulz, al. take this in the Attic sense of ἐὰν θᾶττον or ἐπειδὰν θᾶττον, “as soon as,” “simul atque:” but such can hardly be the sense here), I will see you ( πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐρχόμενος. Œc.).


Verse 24

24.] Salute all your leaders, and all the saints. They from Italy salute you (on this, see Prolegg. § ii. 13).


Verse 25

25.] Grace (the grace, viz. of God. “Non exprimit, cujus gratiam ac favorem, unde omnis felicitas oritur, illis optet, quippe rem Christianis notissimam, Dei nimirum, Patris nostri, et Jesu Christi, Domini nostri.” Schlichting. Where ἡ χάρις is not put thus barely, as in the similar places of St. Paul, it is always filled up by τοῦ κυρίου ( ἡμῶν) ἰησοῦ ( χριστοῦ), e. g. (Romans 16:24) 1 Corinthians 16:23; 2 Corinthians 13:13 al. fr.) be with all of you ( πάντων first, carrying the emphasis. ὑμῶν πάντων would express more the totality of the church: πάντων ὑμῶν, every individual). Amen.

 


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Bibliography Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Hebrews 13:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/hebrews-13.html. 1863-1878.


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Sunday, July 23rd, 2017
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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