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Bible Commentaries

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Hebrews 13



Hebrews 13:4 . The preference over the Recepta πορνοὺς δέ is merited on account of the better attestation (A D* D, Lat. M א , Vulg. Copt. Anton. Max. Bed.) by πορνοὺς γάρ . Commended to attention by Griesbach. Adopted by Lachm. Bleek, Alford, and Tisch. 8.

Hebrews 13:8 . Elz.: χθές . But A C* D* M א have ἐχθές . Rightly admitted by Lachm. Tisch. and Alford.

Hebrews 13:9 . μὴ παραφέρεσθε ] Elz.: μὴ παριφέρεσθε . Against A C D M א , the later supplementer of B, the preponderant majority of the cursives, Vulg. Copt, al., and very many Fathers. Already rejected by Grotius, Bengel, and Wetstein, then by Griesbach, Matthaei, Knapp, Scholz, Bleek, de Wette, Lachm. Tisch. Bloomfield, Delitzsch, Alford, Reiche, and others. Correction to accord with Ephesians 4:14 .

Instead of the Recepta περιπατήσαντες , A D* א * present περιπατοῦντες . Placed in the text by Lachm. and Tisch. 1 and 8, and probably the original reading.

Hebrews 13:10 . In place of the Recepta οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἐξουσίαν , Tisch. 2 and 7 reads only οὐκ ἔχουσιν , and already Mill (Prolegg. 1292) has condemned ἐξουσίαν as a gloss. But ἐξουσίαν is lacking only in D* Gr. and Lat., in M and with Damascen., whereas it is present in A C D** and *** K א , etc. (with Chrysostom before οὐχ ἔχουσιν ). It was erroneously omitted by reason of its similarity in sound to the foregoing οὐκ ἔχουσιν .

Hebrews 13:11 . Elz. Tisch. 8 : τὸ αἷμα περὶ ἁμαρτίας εἰς τὰ ἅγια . So D K M א , etc. In place of this, Lachm. and Tisch. 1 write, after C* al., Copt. Syr. al.: τὸ αἷμα εἰς τὰ ἅγια περἰ ἁμαρτίας . By means of its varying position, however, περἰ ἁμαρτίας betrays itself as a glossematic elucidation, seeing that it is entirely wanting in A, in Aeth., and with Chrysostom, and seeing, moreover, that some cursive MSS. (14, 47) present in place of the singular the plural περὶ ἁμαρτιῶν . Rightly therefore have Bleek, Tisch. 2 and 7, and Alford deleted the addition.

Hebrews 13:17 . ὑπὲρ τῶν ψυχῶν ὑμῶν ὡς λόγον ἀποδώσοντες ] Instead of which Lachm. in the stereotype ed. and Tisch. 1 chose the order: ὡς λόγον ἀποδώσοντες ὑπὲρ τῶν ψυχῶν ὑμῶν . But the authority of A, Vulg. Bede does not suffice for the transposing. Rightly therefore did Lachm. in the larger ed., and Tisch. 2, 7, and 8, return to the Recepta.

Hebrews 13:18 . Elz.: πεποίθαμεν . Against the preponderating testimony of A C* D* D, Lat. (suademus) M, 17, 67** 137, which demands the reading, commended by Griesb. and adopted by Lachm. Bleek, Tisch. Alford: πειθόμεθα . To the latter points also the θα γαρ οτι καλην in the Cod. Sinait., since in this codex οτι καλῆ . has been placed immediately before, only in consequence of a manifest oversight of the copyist.

Hebrews 13:21 . To the Recepta ἐν παντὶ ἔργῳ , instead of which the Cod. Sinait. presents only ἐν παντί (adopted by Tisch. 8), had Lachmann in the stereotype ed. further added: καὶ λόγῳ , which he has yet rightly struck out again in the larger edition. The addition καὶ λόγῳ is found only in A, and once with Chrysostom, whereas it is twice wanting with the latter. It is a gloss from 2 Thessalonians 2:17 .

Instead of the mere ποιῶν of the Recepta, Lachmann reads in the Edit. Stereotypa: αὐτὸς ποιῶν ; in the larger edition: αὐτῷ ποιῶν . But αὐτός rests only upon 71 and D, Lat. (ipso faciente); the alleged testimony of C in favour thereof is founded on an error of Wetstein. αὐτῷ , however, which has for it the authority of A C* N* and of Gregor. Nyssen., is a disturbing addition, and manifestly arose only from a twofold writing of the αὐτοῦ immediately foregoing.

Elz. Lachm. Bloomfield, Delitzsch, Reiche, Tisch. 8 : εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων . But τῶν αἰώνων is wanting in C*** D, in many cursives, in Arab. Armen., with Clem. Alex, and Theodoret. Suspected by Bengel and Griesbach; rightly rejected by Bleek, de Wette, Tisch. 1, 2, 7, and Alford. For it is more probable that the simpler formula, occurring for the rest Romans 11:36 ; Romans 16:27 , would be enlarged into the ampler formula more usual in the case of doxologies, than that the ampler would be abbreviated into the simpler one.

Hebrews 13:22 . D* 46, 57, al., Vulg. Syr. Arm. have ἀνέχεσθαι . Adopted by Lachmann. But the imperative ἀνέχεσθε , presented by the Recepta, is to be retained, as imparting more animation to the discourse. This reading is protected by the preponderating authority of A C D*** K M א , etc., Am. Copt. Aeth. al., Chrys. Theodoret (also in the Commentary), al.

Hebrews 13:23 . Elz.: τὸν ἀδελφόν . Lachm. Bleek, Tisch. 1 and 8, de Wette, Delitzsch: τὸν ἀδελφὸν ἡμῶν . The latter is to be preferred on account of the stronger attestation by A C D* M א * 17, 31, 37, 39, al., all vss. Euthal. Maxim. Athan.

Verse 1

Hebrews 13:1 . Exhortation to enduring brotherly love.

φιλαδελφία ] The love of the brethren, i.e. love to the fellow-Christians. Comp. Romans 12:10 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:9 ; 1Pe 1:22 ; 2 Peter 1:7 .

μενέτω ] abide, cease not . For, according to Hebrews 6:10 , Hebrews 10:33 , the readers had already exercised this virtue before, and were still exercising it. Yet in their case, since they had become doubtful regarding the absolute truth of Christianity, and in part already sought to withdraw from the outward fellowship of Christians (Hebrews 10:25 ), and, moreover, in particularistic prejudice closed their hearts against a brotherly intercourse with the Gentile Christians, the renewed inculcation of this virtue was of special importance.

Verses 1-25

Hebrews 13:1-58.13.25 . Concluding exhortations partly of a general nature, partly in special relation to the main purport of the epistle, and concluding notices, followed by a twofold wish of blessing.

Verse 2

Hebrews 13:2 . Exhortation to hospitality. Comp. Romans 12:13 ; 1Pe 4:9 ; 1 Timothy 3:2 ; Titus 1:8 . Owing to the hatred of the Jews towards the Christians, and the almost entire absence of public places of entertainment, hospitality towards fellow-Christians on their journeys became, for the Palestinians also, an urgent necessity.

διὰ ταύτης γὰρ ἔκαθόν τινες ξενίσαντες ἀγγέλους ] Enforcement of the command uttered, by calling attention to the high honour [123] which, by the exercise of this virtue, accrued to single remote ancestors of the Jewish people; for by the manifestation of hospitality some have unwittingly entertained angels. The author was certainly, in connection with this statement, thinking specially of Abraham and Lot (Genesis 18:19 ). We have, moreover, to compare the declaration of the Lord, Matthew 25:44-40.25.45 , according to which he who entertains one of His people, entertains the Lord Himself.

The ἜΛΑΘΟΝ , written in accordance with genuine Greek praxis, but not occurring elsewhere in the N. T., forms a paronomasia with ἘΠΙΛΑΝΘΆΝΕΣΘΕ .

[123] Comp. Philo, de Abrah . p. 366 (with Mangey, II. p. 17 f.): Ἐγὼ δὲ οὐκ αἶδα τίνα ὑπερβολὴν εὐδαιμονίας καὶ μακαριότητος εἶναι φῶ περὶ τὴν οἰκίαν , ἐνκαταχθῆναι καὶ ξενίων λαχεῖν ὑπίμειναν ἄγγελοι πρὸς ἀνθρώτους , ἱεραὶ καὶ θεῖαι φὑσεις , ὑποδιάκονοι καὶ ὕπαρχοι τοῦ πρώτου Θεοῦ διʼ ὦν σἷα πρισβευτῶν ὅσα ἄν θελήστῷ γένει ἡμῶν προθεσπίσαι , διαγγέλλει .

Verses 2-3

Hebrews 13:2-58.13.3 . Summons to two particular forms of expression of the general virtue, Hebrews 13:1 .

Verse 3

Hebrews 13:3 . Exhortation to have a care for the prisoners and distressed.

Μιμνήσκεσθε τῶν δεσμίων ] Be mindful ( sc . in order to aid them with ministering love) of the prisoners .

ὡς συνδεδεμένοι ] as fellow-prisoners, i.e. with as much devotion to them as though the captivity had fallen upon yourselves. For the Christians are members of the same body; as in the prosperity, so also are they to share in the sufferings one of the other. Comp. 1 Corinthians 12:26 . Böhme (in like manner Heinrichs too) explains: “quippe ejus naturae et conditionis homines, qui ipsi quoque pro captivis sint, nimirum in ecclesia pressa degentes.” Upon this interpretation, it is true, the twofold ὡς retains its full significance; but in order to represent the readers as “in ecclesia pressa degentes,” an addition to συνδεδεμένοι could not have been dispensed with.

τῶν κακουχουμένων ] of those who suffer evil treatment . τῶν κακουχουμένων is the genus , under which the foregoing τῶν δεσμίων are ranged as a particular species .

ὡς καὶ αὐτοὶ ὄντες ἐν σώματι ] as sojourning yourselves in a body , thus likewise still subjected to the earthly order of the world, and not secured against the like ill-treatment. According to Calvin and others, the sense is: since ye indeed are members of the same body (to wit, the church), which, however, must have been indicated by ὡς καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐν τῷ σώματι τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὄντες . According to Beza: as though in your own person ye were κακουχούμενοι , a sense which can only with violence be put upon the words.

Verse 4

Hebrews 13:4 . Exhortation to chastity in the narrower sense.

Τίμιος ] held in estimation, honourable, sc . ἔστω . Others supplement ἐστίν . So already the Peshito (honoratum est connubium inter omnes), then Beza, Grotius (apud omnes gentes moratas honos est conjugio), M‘Caul, and others. But against this stands the addition: καὶκοίτη ἀμίαντος , since the latter could not be asserted as a truth in point of fact. Rather might the indicative rendering thereof be preserved by taking the clauses descriptively : “Marriage honourable in all things,” etc., which then would not be different in sense from the direct requirement that marriage should be honourable. Nevertheless, this mode of interpretation too recently adopted by Delitzsch could only be justified if it were followed by a long series of similar statements; here, on the other hand, where imperatives are placed in close proximity before and after, it is unnatural.

γάμος ] marriage . In this sense the word occurs frequently with the Greeks. In the N. T. it has everywhere else the signification: wedding, and its celebration .

ἐν πᾶσιν ] is neuter: in all things . The majority take ἐν πᾶσιν as masculine . There is then found expressed in it the precept, either, as by Luther and others, that marriage should in the estimation of all be held in honour, i.e. not desecrated by adultery; or, as by Böhme, Schulz, and others, that it should not be despised or slighted by any unmarried person (according to Hofmann, by any one, whether he live in wedlock, or he think that he ought for his own part to decline it); or finally, as by Calvin and many, that it is to be denied to no order of men (as later to the Catholic priests). In the two last cases it is generally supposed that the reference is to a definite party of those who, out of ascetic or other interest, looked unfavourably upon the married life. But for all three modes of explanation, παρὰ πᾶσιν would have been more suitably written than ἐν πᾶσιν ; and a preference for celibacy on the part of born Jews in particular, to whom nevertheless the Epistle to the Hebrews is addressed, is an unexplained presupposition, because one not in accordance with the teaching of history.

καὶκοίτη ἀμίαντος ] and the marriage bed (against the ordinary usus loquendi , Valckenaer and Schulz: the cohabitation ) be undefiled .

πόρνους γὰρ καὶ μοιχοὺς κρινεῖΘεός ] for fornicators and adulterers will God judge (condemn at the judgment of the world). Comp. 1 Corinthians 6:9 f., al . The ὁ Θεός placed at the close of the sentence is not without emphasis. It reminds that, though such sins of uncleanness remain for the most part unpunished by earthly judges, the higher Judge will one day be mindful of them.

Verses 5-6

Hebrews 13:5-58.13.6 . Warning against covetousness; exhortation to contentedness.

Ἀφιλάργυρος ] free from greediness of money, from covetousness and avarice , 1 Timothy 3:3 . Comp. Hebrews 6:2-58.6.4 ff.

τρόπος ] sc . ἔστω : let the mind and comportment, the character, be .

ἀρκούμενοι τοῖς παροῦσιν ] sc . ἔστε : be contented with that which is present . τὰ παρόντα here, as Xen. Sympos . iv. 42 ( οἷς γὰρ μάλιστα τὰ παρόντα ἀρκεῖ , ἥκιστα τῶν ἀλλοτρίων ὀρέγονται ), and often with the classic writers, of the earthly possession which one has.

αὐτὸς γὰρ εἴρηκεν ] for He Himself has said , namely, God , as He who is speaking in the scripture; not Christ (Beza, Böhme, Klee).

οὐ μή σε ἀνῶ οὐδʼ οὐ μή σε ἐγκαταλίπω ] I will in no wise fail thee, nor by any means forsake thee . To this citation the most similar passages are Deuteronomy 31:6 ( οὔτε μή σε ἀνῇ , οὔτε μή σε ἐγκαταλίπῃ ), ibid. Hebrews 13:8 ( οὐκ ἀνήσει σε , οὐδὲ μή σε ἐγκαταλίπῃ ), and 1 Chronicles 28:20 ( οὐκ ἀνήσει σε καὶ οὐ μὴ ἐγκαταλίπῃ ); although, in these passages, instead of the first person singular the third person is used. Less corresponding in point of expression are Joshua 1:5 ( οὐκ ἐγκαταλιέψω σε οὐδʼ ὑπερόψομαί σε ), Genesis 28:15 ( οὐ μή σε ἐγκαταλίπω ), and Isaiah 41:17 ( οὐκ ἐγκαταλείψω αὐτούς ). On the other hand, there is found a citation entirely correspondent to ours in Philo, de Confus. Linguar . p. 344 C (ed. Mang. I. p. 430). It is possible that, as Bleek and de Wette suppose, the author adopted the same immediately from Philo. It is, however, also possible that the utterance, in the form in which we meet with it here and in Philo, had become proverbial. According to Delitzsch and Kluge, the utterance of Deuteronomy 31:6 assumed this form in the liturgic or homiletic usage of the Hellenistic synagogue, in that reminiscences of other similar O. T. passages blended with the original passage. [According to Piscator, Owen, and Tischendorf, the reference is to Joshua 1:5 .]

Verse 6

Hebrews 13:6 . Ὥστε θαῤῥοῦντας ἡμᾶς λέγειν κ . τ . λ .] so that we boldly say (namely, in the words of Psalms 118:6 ): the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear; what can a man do to me ?

τί ποιήσει μοι ἄνθρωπος ;] is an independent direct question. Grammatically false is the construction of the Vulgate (so also Jac. Cappellus and others), which takes the words as dependent on οὐ φοβηθήσομαι : non timebo, quid faciat mihi homo.

Verse 7

Hebrews 13:7 . Exhortation to a remembrance of the former teachers, and an emulation of their faith.

οἱ ἡγούμενοι ] the presidents and leaders of the congregation . Comp. Hebrews 13:17 ; Hebrews 13:24 ; where, however, those still living are indicated, while here we have to think of those already fallen asleep. By virtue of the characteristic οἵτινες ἐλάλησαν ὑμῖν τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ they appear as identical with the persons mentioned Hebrews 2:3 , the immediate disciples of Christ, from whom the readers had received the gospel.

ὧν ] has reference equally to τὴν ἔκβσαιν τῆς ἀναστροφῆς and τὴν πίστιν .

ἀναθεωρεῖν ] the prolonged, closely observing contemplation. Comp. Acts 17:23 .

τὴν ἔκβασιν τῆς ἀναστροφῆς ] not: the course or path of development of their walk (Oecumenius, but without deciding, and Lud. de Dieu) which is opposed to linguistic usage; nor yet: the result for others of their believing walk , inasmuch as many were thereby converted to Christianity (Braun, Cramer) which must have been more precisely defined by means of additions; just as little: the result of their believing walk for the ἡγούμενοι themselves , as regards their rewarding in heaven (Storr, Bloomfield, and others), for an ἀναθεωρεῖν of the latter, to which the author is supposed to exhort, would not have been possible; but: the outlet or end of their walk on earth [1 Corinthians 10:13 ]. Comp. τὴν ἔξοδον , Luke 9:31 , 2 Peter 1:15 , and τὴν ἄφιξιν , Acts 20:29 . That which is intended, seeing that in combination with the ἀναθεωρεῖν τὴν ἔκβασιν τῆς ἀναστροφῆς a μιμεῖσθαι τὴν πίστιν is spoken of, is beyond doubt the martyr’s death , endured by the earlier leaders and presidents of the Palestinian congregations, Stephen, James the elder, James the brother of the Lord, and Peter, whereby they had manifested the strength and immovable stedfastness of their faith.

Verse 8

Hebrews 13:8 is ordinarily comprehended in one with Hebrews 13:7 . Expositors then find in the utterance either, as Bleek, Ebrard, Bisping, and others, an adducing of the motive for the emulation of the faithful leaders enjoined at Hebrews 13:7 ; or, as Zeger, Grotius, Schulz, Kurtz, and others (comp. already Theophylact), the encouraging assurance that, as to these leaders, so also to the readers, provided they only take the faith of these leaders as a model for themselves, the gracious aid of Christ of which, however, there was no mention in Hebrews 13:7 will not be wanting; or finally, as Carpzov, [124] the more precise information as to that in which their faith had consisted. More correctly, however, on account of the antithetic correspondence between ὁ αὐτός , Hebrews 13:8 , and ποικίλαις καὶ ξέναις , Hebrews 13:9 , are the words, Hebrews 13:8 , taken as constituting the foundation and preparation for the injunction of Hebrews 13:9 . Jesus Christ is for ever the same; the Christian therefore must give no place in his mind and heart to doctrines which are opposed to Christ, His nature and His requirements.

ἐχθὲςσήμερονεἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας ] Designation of the past, present, and future; exhaustive unfolding of the notion ἀεί . The expression is rhetorical; ἐχθές is consequently not to be further expounded, in such wise that we must think of the time of the former teachers (Schlichting, Grotius, Hammond, Limborch, Bleek, de Wette, Bisping, Delitzsch, Maier, Kluge, Kurtz, Hofmann, Woerner, al .), or of the time before the appearing of Christ (Bengel, Cramer, Stein), or to the whole time of the Old Covenant (Calvin, Pareus, al .), or even to the eternal pre-existence of Christ (Ambrose, de Fide , v. 1. 25; Seb. Schmidt, Nemethus, and others).

Ἰησοῦς Χριστός is the subject, and ὁ αὐτός ( sc . ἐστίν , not ἔστω ) the common predicate to all three notes of time. Wrongly Paulus: “Jesus is the God-anointed One; yesterday and to-day is He altogether the same” which must have read: ἸησοῦςΧριστός . But mistaken also the Vulgate, Oecumenius, Luther, Vatablus, Zeger, Calvin, and others, in that they interpunctuate after σήμερον : Jesus Christ yesterday and to-day; the same also in eternity . For that which is to be accentuated is not the eternity of Christ , as would be the case by means of the ἐχθὲς καὶ σήμερον taken alone, but the eternal unchangeableness of Christ .

[124] “Imitamini vestrorum praefectorum fidem, nimirum hanc: Jesus Christus heri, hodie et semper ὁ αὐτὸς Deus est.”

Verses 8-15

Hebrews 13:8-58.13.15 . Exhortation to hold aloof from unchristian doctrines and ritual observances.

Verse 9

Hebrews 13:9 . The exhortation itself, for which preparation was made at Hebrews 13:8 , now follows.

Διδαχαῖς ποικίλαις καὶ ξέναις μὴ παραφέρεσθε ] By manifold and strange doctrines do not be seduced, borne aside from the right path . As is shown by the connecting of the two halves of the verse by the γάρ , expressive of the reason or cause, the διδαχαὶ ποικίλαι καὶ ξέναι are related to the βρώματα mentioned immediately after as the genus to a species coming under particular notice; and, as is manifest from Hebrews 13:10 ff., both belong to the specifically Jewish domain. By διδαχαὶ ποικίλαι καὶ ξέναι , therefore, the ordinances of the Mosaic law in general are to be understood, the observance of which was proclaimed among the readers as necessary to the attainment of salvation, while then under βρώματα a special group of the same is mentioned. ποικίλαι the same are called, because they consist in commands and prohibitions of manifold kind; ξέναι , however, because they are opposed to the spirit of Christianity.

καλὸν γάρ ] for it is a fair thing, i.e. praiseworthy and salutary.

χάριτι βεβαιοῦσθαι τὴν καρδίαν ] that by grace the heart be made stedfast , in it seek and find its support. For no other thing than the grace of God is that which determines the character of the New Covenant, as the law that of the Old, Romans 6:14 , al . Erroneously, therefore, Castellio and Böhme, χάριτι means by thanksgiving or gratitude towards God ; yet more incorrectly Bisping and Maier: by the Christian sacrificial food, the Holy Communion.

οὐ βρώμασιν ] not by meats . This is referred by the majority, lastly by Böhme, Stengel, Tholuck, Bloomfield, Delitzsch, Riehm ( Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr . p. 158), Alford, Moll, Ewald, and Hofmann, to the Levitical ordinances concerning pure and impure food. But only of the sacrificial meals can οὐ βρώμασιν be understood. For rightly have Schlichting, Bleek, and others called attention to the fact that (1) the expression, Hebrews 13:9 , is more applicable to the enjoyment of sacred meats than to the avoiding of unclean meats. Schlichting: Cor non reficitur cibis non comestis, sed comestis. Ciborum ergo usui, non abstinentiae, opponitur hic gratia; that (2) it is said of the Christians, at Hebrews 13:10 , in close conjunction with Hebrews 13:9 , that they possess an altar of which the servants of the Jewish sanctuary have no right to eat; that, finally, (3) at the close of this series of thoughts, Hebrews 13:15 , the reference to the sacrifices is retained, inasmuch as there, in opposition to the Levitical sacrifices, it is made incumbent on Christians through Christ continually to offer sacrifices of praise unto God. Tholuck, it is true, objects to this reasoning: (1) that βρώματα may denote “the clean, legally permitted meats, with (the mention of) which is at the same time implied the abstinence from the unclean.” But this expedient is artificial and unnatural; since, if we had in reality to think of the Levitical precepts with regard to food, in the exact converse of that which happens the avoiding of unclean meats would be the main idea brought under consideration. (2) That the connection of Hebrews 13:10 with Hebrews 13:9 would only apparently be lost, since one may warrantably assume the following line of thought: “Do not suffer yourselves to be led astray by a variety of doctrines alien to the pure truth surely it is a fairer thing to assure the conscience by grace than by meats, by means of which no true appeasement is obtained; we Christians have an altar with such glorious soul-nourishment, of which no priest may eat.” But this supposed thought of Hebrews 13:10 would be highly illogical. For how does it follow from the fact that Christians have an altar of most glorious soul-nourishment, that no priest may partake of the same? Logically correct, certainly, would be only the thought: for we Christians possess an altar with such glorious soul-nourishment, that we have no need whatever of the Levitical ordinances regarding food. Then again, at Hebrews 13:10 , nothing at all is written about “glorious soul-nourishment;” but, on the contrary, the design of this verse can only be to make good the incompatibility of the Christian altar with the Jewish. (3) That the exhortation to the spiritual sacrifices, Hebrews 13:15 , may be more immediately referred back to Hebrews 13:10 . But Hebrews 13:10 stands to Hebrews 13:9 , in which the theme of the investigation, Hebrews 13:8-58.13.15 , is expressed, in the relation of subordination. The following οὖν , Hebrews 13:15 , may therefore serve for the introducing of the final result from the whole preceding investigation. (4) Finally, that it cannot be perceived how the participation in sacrificial meals could have been looked upon as a means of justification. But the participation in the sacrificial meals was certainly a public avouchment of participation in the sacrifices themselves. Comp. 1 Corinthians 10:18 . Very easily, therefore, might the author be led finally to take up this preference of his readers for the Jewish sacrificial cultus in this particular form of manifestation, which had hitherto remained unnoticed in the epistle.

The supports, too, which Delitzsch has more recently sought to give to the referring of οὐ βρώμασιν to ordinances regarding clean and unclean meats, are weak. For that βρώματα is a word unheard of in the sacrificial thora , but familiar in the legislation regarding food, and that βρῶμα is used elsewhere in the N. T. of that which is prohibited or permitted for eating, does not in any way fall under consideration; because our passage claims before everything to be intelligible per se , nothing thus can be determinative of its meaning which is opposed to its expression and connection. That, however, the author cannot by διδαχαὶ ποικίλαι καὶ ξέναι have meant the ordinances of the law in general, because he has recognised their divine origin, and therefore could not have indicated them with so little reverence, is a mere prepossession. For the Apostle Paul, too, speaks of them, as is already shown by Galatians 4:9 f., Hebrews 5:2 , with no greater reverence. We are prevented from thinking, with Delitzsch, of “erroneous doctrines invented in accordance with one’s own will, though it may be attaching themselves to the O. T. law,” by the relation in which διδαχαῖς ποικίλαις καὶ ξέναις stands to βρώμασιν , Hebrews 13:9 , and this again to ἐξ οὗ φαγεῖν οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἐξουσίαν οἱ τῇ σκηνῇ λατρεύοντες , Hebrews 13:10 .

ἐν οἷς οὐκ ὠφελήθησαν οὑ περιπατοῦντες ] from which those busied therein have derived no profit , inasmuch, namely, as by such partaking of the sacrifice they did not attain to true blessedness.

ἐν οἷς belongs to οἱ περιπατοῦντες , since these words cannot stand alone, not to ὠφελήθησαν .

Verse 10

Hebrews 13:10 . Justification of οὐ βρώμασιν , Hebrews 13:9 , by the emphasizing of the incompatibility of the Christian altar with that of Judaism. We possess an altar, of which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle, i.e. he who seeks in the Jewish sacrificial meals, and consequently in the Jewish sacrificial worship, a stay and support for his heart, thereby shuts himself out from Christianity, for he makes himself a servant of the tabernacle; but he who serves the tabernacle has no claim or title to the altar of Christians. That the subject in ἔχομεν is the Christian , is acknowledged on all sides. But equally little ought it ever to have been disputed that by οἱ τῇ σκηνῇ λατρεύοντες persons must be denoted who are contrasted with the Christians. For, in accordance with the expression chosen, the author can only mean to say that the Christians possess the right to eat of the altar; those τῇ σκηνῇ λατρεύοντες , on the other hand, forego this right. Quite in a wrong sense, therefore, have Schlichting, Schulz, Heinrichs, Wieseler ( Schriften der Univ. Kiel aus d. J . 1861, p. 42), Kurtz, and others, referred οἱ τῇ σκηνῇ λατρεύοντες likewise to the Christians, [125] in that they found expressed the thought: for Christians there exists no other sacrifice than one of which it is not permitted them to eat . They then suppose to be intended by οἱ τῇ σκηνῇ λατρεύοντες either, as Schlichting, “omnes in universum Christiani,” or, as Schulz, particular officers of the society, who conducted the Christian worship. But in the first case apart from the fact that then, what would alone be natural, ἐξ οὗ φαγεῖν οὐκ ἔχομεν ἐξουσίαν would have been written instead of ἐξ οὗ φαγεῖν οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἐξουσίαν οἱ τῇ σκηνῇ λατρεύοντες the Christians would, as Bleek has already justly observed, have been designated by a characteristic which could not possibly be predicated of them; in the second, an anachronistic separation into clerics and laity would be imputed to the author, and the sense arising would be unsuitable, since the proposition, that the warrant for eating of the Christian sacrifice is wanting, could not possibly hold good of the clergy alone, but must have its application to Christians in general. By ἡ σκηνή can thus be understood nothing other than the earthly, Jewish sanctuary, as opposed to the ἀληθινή and τελειοτέρα σκηνή of Christians, Hebrews 8:2 , Hebrews 9:11 . The τῇ σκηνῇ λατρεύοντες , however, are not specially, as Bleek, de Wette, Delitzsch, Riehm ( Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr . p. 161), Alford, and others suppose, the Jewish priests (Hebrews 8:5 ), but the members of the Jewish covenant people universally (Hebrews 9:9 , Hebrews 10:2 ).

The θυσιαστήριον further is the altar, upon which the sacrifice of the New Covenant, namely, the body of Christ (comp. Hebrews 13:12 ), has been presented. Not “ipse Christus” (Piscator, Owen, Wolf; comp. Calvin), or the θυσία itself which has been presented (Limborch, Whitby, M‘Lean, Heinrichs, and others), nor yet the cultus (Grotius), can be denoted thereby. But likewise the explaining of the table of the Supper , the τράπεζα κυρίου , 1 Corinthians 10:21 , with Corn. a Lapide, Chr. Fr. Schmid, Böhme, Bähr ( Stud. u. Krit . 1849, H. 4, p. 938), Ebrard, Bisping, Maier, and others (comp. also Rückert, das Abendmahl. Sein Wesen und seine Geschichte in der alten Kirche , Leipz. 1856, pp. 242 246), is inadmissible. For then there would underlie our passage the conception that the body of the Lord is offered in the Supper, Christ’s sacrifice is thus one constantly repeated; but such conception is unbiblical, and in particular is remote from the thought of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in which the presentation of the sacrifice of Christ once for all, and the all-sufficiency of this sacrifice by its one presentation, is frequently urged with emphasis; comp. Hebrews 7:27 , Hebrews 9:12 ; Hebrews 9:25 ff., Hebrews 10:10 . Exclusively correct is it, accordingly, to understand by the altar, with Thomas Aquinas, Estius, Jac. Cappellus, Bengel, Bleek, de Wette, Stengel, Delitzsch, Riehm, l.c. , Alford, Kluge, Moll, Kurtz, Woerner, and others, the spot on which the Saviour offered Himself, i.e. the cross of Christ . But to eat of this altar, i.e. to partake of the sacrifice presented thereon, signifies: to attain to the enjoyment of the spiritual blessings resulting from Christ’s sacrificial death for believers; the same thing as is represented, John 6:51 ff., as the eating of the flesh and drinking of the blood of Christ.

[125] So also Hofmann ( Schriftbew . II. 1, 2 Aufl. p. 457 ff.), who will have only the twofold fact to be accentuated at ver. 10 : “that we are priests,” and “that we possess a means of expiation,” and brings out as the sense of the verse: “that we, whose only propitiatory sacrifice, and one for all alike, is Christ, have no other profit from our means of expiation, than that we are reconciled.” (!)

On Hebrews 13:11-58.13.13 , comp. Bähr in the Stud. u. Krit . 1849, H. 4, p. 936 ff.

Verses 11-12

Hebrews 13:11-58.13.12 . Proof for Hebrews 13:10 . The proof lies in the fact that Christ’s sacrifice is one which has been presented without the camp, and consequently has been freed from all community with Judaism. Hebrews 13:11 and Hebrews 13:12 are, as a proof of Hebrews 13:10 , closely connected, and only in Hebrews 13:12 lies the main factor, whereas Hebrews 13:11 is related to the same as a merely preparatory and accessory thought (Bähr). For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest are burned without the camp ; wherefore Jesus also, in order that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered without the gate . That is to say: The N. T. sacrifice of the covenant is typically prefigured by the great atoning sacrifice under the Old Covenant. Of the victims, however, which were devoted to the latter, neither the high priest nor any other member of the Jewish theocracy was permitted to eat anything. For of those animals only the blood was taken, in order to be brought by the high priest into the Most Holy Place as a propitiatory offering; the bodies of those animals, on the other hand, were burned without the camp or holy city (Leviticus 16:27 ), wherein was contained the explanation in an act (comp. Bähr, l.c. ), that they were cast out from the theocratic communion of Judaism. But thus, then, has Jesus also, in that He entered with His sacrificial blood into the heavenly Holy of Holies, made expiation for the sins of them that believe in Him; His sacrificial body, however, has, since He was led out of the camp, or beyond the gate of the holy city, in order to endure the infliction of death (comp. Leviticus 24:14 ; Numbers 15:35 f.; Deuteronomy 17:5 ), declared by this act to be cast out from the Jewish covenant-people. Eat of His sacrificial body, i.e. obtain part in the blessing procured by His sacrifice, can therefore no one who is still within the camp, i.e. who still looks for salvation from the ordinances of Judaism. Consequently he who will eat of the altar of Christ must depart out of Judaism, and go forth unto Christ without the camp (Hebrews 13:13 ).

τὰ ἅγια ] as Hebrews 9:8 ; Hebrews 9:12 ; Hebrews 9:24-58.9.25 , Hebrews 10:19 , the Most Holy Place .

The tenses in the present mark the practice as one still continuing.

παρεμβολή ] Characterization of the dwelling-place of the Jewish people at the time of the lawgiving, while it was still journeying through the wilderness and had tents for its habitation. The camp was the complex of the tents, enclosing the totality of the people together with the sanctuary. Thus there was combined with the idea of locality the religious reference to the people as one covenant-people, and “without the camp” became equivalent in signification to “without the bounds of the Old Covenant.” But, since afterwards the city of Jerusalem, with the temple in its midst, took the place of the παρεμβολή , the ἔξω τῆς πύλης standing in Hebrews 13:12 , without the gate, sc . of the city of Jerusalem, says in effect the same thing as ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς , Hebrews 13:11 ; Hebrews 13:13 .

διό ] wherefore, i.e. because the sacrificial death of Jesus has been prefigured by the type mentioned, Hebrews 13:11 .

ἰδίου ] opposition to the animal blood in the O. T. sacrifices of atonement.

τὸν λαόν ] see at Hebrews 2:16 , p. 132.

ἔπαθεν ] comp. Hebrews 9:26 .

Verse 13

Hebrews 13:13 . Deduction from Hebrews 13:10-58.13.12 , in the form of a summons: Let us then no longer seek salvation for ourselves within the bounds of Judaism, but come forth from the camp of the Old Covenant and betake ourselves to Christ, untroubled about the reproach which may fall upon us on that account. Theodoret: ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς ἀντὶ τοῦ ἔξω τῆς κατὰ νόμον γενώμεθα πολιτείας . False, because opposed to all the connection, is it when Chrysostom 1, Theophylact, Primasius, Erasmus, Paraphr. , Clarius, and others find in Hebrews 13:13 the exhortation to renounce the world and its delights; or Chrysostom 2, Limborch, Heinrichs, Dindorf, Kuinoel, Bloomfield: willingly to follow the Lord into sufferings and death; or Schlichting, Grotius, Michaelis, Zachariae, Storr: willingly to submit to expulsion by the Jews from their towns and fellowship; or Clericus: to forsake the city of Jerusalem on account of its impending destruction (Matthew 24:0 .).

τοίνυν ] as the commencement of a sentence only rare. Comp. LXX. Isaiah 3:10 ; Isaiah 5:13 ; Isaiah 27:4 ; Isaiah 33:23 ; Lobeck, ad Phryn . p. 342 sq.

τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν αὐτοῦ ] See at Hebrews 11:26 .

Verse 14

Hebrews 13:14 . Ground of encouragement to the φέρειν τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν τοῦ Χριστοῦ , Hebrews 13:13 .

ἔχομεν ] namely: we Christians . Not: we men in general .

ὧδε ] here upon earth . Erroneously Heinrichs: in the earthly Jerusalem .

τὴν μέλλουσαν ] sc . πόλιν : the city to come , which, namely, is an abiding one. Comp. Hebrews 12:22 : Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἐπουράνιος , and Hebrews 11:10 : ἡ τοὺς θεμελίους ἔχουσα πόλις , ἧς τεχνίτης καὶ δημιουργὸςΘεός . Rightly, for the rest, does Schlichting observe: Futuram autem civitatem hanc vocat, quia nobis futura est. Nam Deo, Christo, angelis jam praesens est.

Verse 15

Hebrews 13:15 . Closing exhortation, through Christ, to offer to God sacrifices of praise. Deduced from Hebrews 13:8-58.13.14 .

Διʼ αὐτοῦ ] is with great emphasis preposed: through HIM ( sc . Christ), but not through the intervention of the Jewish sacrificial institution. Through Him, inasmuch as by the all-sufficiency of His expiatory sacrifice once offered, He has qualified believers so to do.

θυσίαν αἰνέσεως ] a praise-offering ( זֶבַח תּוֹדָם ), thus a spiritual sacrifice, in opposition to the animal sacrifices of Judaism.

διὰ παντός ] continually. For the blessings obtained through Christ are so abundant and inexhaustible, that God can never be sufficiently praised for them.

τουτέστιν καρπὸν χειλέων ὁμολογούντων τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ ] that is, fruit of lips which praise His name. Elucidation of the meaning in θυσίαν αἰνέσεως , in order further to bring into special relief the purely spiritual nature of this Christian thankoffering already indicated by those words. The expression καρπὸν χειλέων the author has derived from Hosea 14:3 , LXX.: καὶ ἀνταποδώσομεν καρπὸν χειλέων ἡμῶν (in the Hebrew: נְשַׁלְּמָה פָרִים שְׂפָתֵינוּ , let us offer for oxen our own lips). For the thought, comp. Vajikra R. 9. 27, in Wetstein: R. Pinchas, R. Levi et R. Jochanam ex ore R. Menachem Galilaei dixerunt: Tempore futuro omnia sacrificia cessabunt, sacrificium vero laudis non cessabit. Omnes preces cessabunt, sed laudes non cessabunt. Philo, de Sacrificantibus, p. 849 E (with Mang. II. p. 253): τὴν ἀρίστην ἀνάγουσι θυσίαν , ὕμνοις καὶ εὐχαριστίαις τὸν εὐεργέτην καὶ σωτῆρα Θεὸν γεραίροντες .

The referring of αὐτοῦ to Christ (so Sykes, who finds the sense: confessing ourselves publicly as the disciples of Christ) is unnatural, seeing that God has been expressly mentioned only just before as the One to whom the θυσία αἰνέσεως is to be presented.

Verse 16

Hebrews 13:16 . Exhortation to beneficence. By means of δέ this verse attaches itself to the preceding, inasmuch as over against the Christianly devout mind which expresses itself in words, is placed the Christianly devout mind which manifests itself in deeds.

Τῆς δὲ εὐποιΐας καὶ κοινωνίας μὴ ἐπιλανθάνεσθε ] Of well-doing, moreover (the substantive εὐποιΐα only here in the N. T.; εὖ ποιεῖν , Mark 14:7 ), and fellowship ( i.e. communication of earthly possession, comp. Romans 15:26 ; 2 Corinthians 9:13 ), be not forgetful (Hebrews 13:2 ).

τοιαύταις γὰρ θυσίαις εὐαρεστεῖταιΘεός ] for in such sacrifices God has pleasure .

τοιαύταις ] refers back only to εὐποιΐας καὶ κοινωνίας , not likewise to Hebrews 13:15 (Theophylact, Schlichting, Bengel, Böhme, Kuinoel, Hofmann, Woerner).

The formula εὐαρεστοῦμαί τινι is elsewhere foreign to the N. T. as to the LXX.; with later Greek writers, however, not unusual.

Verse 17

Hebrews 13:17 . Exhortation to obedience to the presidents of the assembly. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-52.5.13 .

Πείθεσθε τοῖς ἡγουμένοις ὑμῶν καὶ ὑπείκετε ] Obey your leaders, and yield to them . Bengel: Obedite in iis, quae praecipiunt vobis tanquam salutaria; concedite, etiam ubi videntur plusculum postulare. The demand presupposes, for the rest, that the author knew the ἡγούμενοι as men like-minded with himself, who had kept themselves free from the hankering after defection.

αὐτοὶ γὰρ ἀγρυπνοῦσιν ὑ̔ πὲρ τῶν ψυχῶν ὑμῶν ] for it is they who watch for your souls, for the salvation thereof .

ὡς λόγον ἀποδώσοντες ] as those who must give an account (of the same), sc . to God and the Lord at His return.

ἵνα ] is the subsequently introduced note of design to πείθεσθε καὶ ὑπείκετε . On that account, however, it is not permitted, with Grotius, Carpzov, and others, to enclose αὐτοὶ γὰρὑμῶν within a parenthesis; because the subject-matter of the clause of design refers back to the subject-matter of the foregoing establishing clause.

μετὰ χαρᾶς ] with joy , namely, over your docility.

τοῦτο ] sc . τὸ ἀγρυπνεῖν . Erroneously do Owen, Whitby, Michaelis, M‘Lean, Heinrichs, Stuart, and others supplement τὸ λόγον ἀποδιδόναι . For the latter takes place only in the future, whereas the conjunctive of the present ποιῶσιν points to that which is already to be done in the present.

καὶ μὴ στενάζοντες ] and without sighing, sc . over your intractableness.

ἀλυσιτελές ] unprofitable , inasmuch as it will bring you no gain, but, on the contrary, will call down upon you the chastisement of God. A litotes .

τοῦτο ] sc . τὸ στενάζειν .

Verses 18-19

Hebrews 13:18-58.13.19 . Summons to the readers to intercession on behalf of the author. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:25 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:1 ; Romans 15:30 ; Ephesians 6:19 ; Colossians 4:3 .

περὶ ἡμῶν ] The plural has reference exclusively to the author of the epistle. In addition to himself, to think of Timothy (Seb. Schmidt, al .), or of the ἡγούμενοι spoken of Hebrews 13:17 (Carpzov, Kluge), or of the fellow-labourers in the gospel in the midst of the Gentile world, remote from the Hebrew Christians (Delitzsch, comp. also Alford), or of the companions in his vocation, with regard to whom it was to be made known that they wished to be looked upon as joint-representatives of the subject-matter of the epistle (Hofmann), is arbitrary. For apart from the fact that no mention has been made of Timothy until now, and that the presupposition that the author wished himself to be numbered among the ἡγούμενοι spoken of in Hebrews 13:17 is a wholly baseless one the singular, which in Hebrews 13:19 without any qualification takes the place of the preceding plural, is in itself decisive against this view. For, even if perchance at Hebrews 13:19 the person of the writer had to be brought into special relief, out of a plurality of persons indicated at Hebrews 13:18 , a distinguishing ἐγώ as addition to the simple παρακαλῶ could not have been wanting.

πειθόμεθα γὰρ ὅτι κ . τ . λ .] for we persuade ourselves, i.e. we suppose or take it to be so (comp. Acts 26:26 ), that [126] we have a good conscience, since we endeavour in all things to walk in a praiseworthy manner . Indication of the reason on the ground of which the author believes he is entitled to claim an interest on the part of the readers, manifesting itself in intercession on his behalf. But in the fact that he regards such explanation as necessary, there is displayed the consciousness that the Palestinian Christians took umbrage at him and his Pauline character of teaching; to remove this umbrage is therefore the object of the justificatory clause.

ἐν πᾶσιν ] belongs to that which follows, not still, as Oecumenius and Theophylact suppose, to ἜΧΟΜΕΝ ; and ΠᾶΣΙΝ is not masculine (Chrysostom: οὐκ ἐν ἐθνικοῖς μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν ; Oecumenius, Theophylact, Luther, Er. Schmid, Tholuck, Hofmann, al .), but neuter .

[126] Bengel, Böhme, Kuinoel, Klee, and others take ὅτι in reading the received πεποίθαμεν γάρ , and then supposing this to be put absolutely as the causal “for” or “because,” which, however, even supposing the correctness of the Recepta , is forced and unnatural. Yet more unsuitable, however, is it when Hofmann, even with the reading πειθόμεθα , will have ὅτι taken causally. The sense is supposed to be: “if we believe that ye are praying for us, this has its ground in the fact that we have a good conscience.” But to derive the more precise indication of contents for the dependent πειθόμεθα from that which precedes, is altogether inadmissible.

Verse 19

Hebrews 13:19 . Περισσοτέρως ] is on account of its position more naturally referred to παρακαλῶ than, with Seb. Schmidt, Rambach, Bengel, and Hofmann, to ποιῆσαι .

ἵνα τάχιον ἀποκατασταθῶ ὑμῖν ] that I may the sooner be restored to you , may be in a position to return to you. There is to be inferred from these words, neither that the author, at the time of the composition of the epistle, was a prisoner (Euthalius, Calov, Braun, Bisping, and others), nor yet that he belonged, as member, to the congregation of those to whom he was writing (R. Köstlin in the Theol. Jahrb . of Baur and Zeller, 1853, H. 3, pp. 423, 427, and 1854, H. 3, pp. 369, 406). The former not, because the notice, Hebrews 13:23 : μεθʼ οὗ , ἐὰν τάχιον ἔρχηται , ὄψομαι ὑμᾶς , shows beyond refutation that the writer at the time of the composition of the epistle was able to dispose freely of his own person. The latter not, because it is illogical to place the general notion of a “being restored” to a community upon a level with the special notion of the “return of one who has been torn from his home.” Only two things follow from the words, namely (1) from the τάχιον , that the author was still prevented, in some way or other which had nothing to do with his personal freedom, from quitting his temporary place of residence so quickly as he could wish; (2) from ἀποκατασταθῶ , that he had already, before this time, been personally present in the midst of his readers.

Verses 20-21

Hebrews 13:20-58.13.21 . A wish of blessing . Chrysostom: Πρῶτον παρʼ αὐτῶν αἰτήσας τὰς εὐχάς , τότε καὶ αὐτὸς αὐτοῖς ἐπεύχεται πάντα τὰ ἀγαθά .

Θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης ] A designation of God very usual with Paul also. Its import may either be, as 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (see at that place): the God of salvation , i.e. God, who bestows the Christian salvation; or, as Romans 15:33 ; Romans 16:20 , Php 4:9 , 2 Corinthians 13:11 : the God of peace , i.e. God, who produces peace. In favour of the first acceptation, which is defended by Schlichting, may be urged the tenor of the benediction itself. In favour of the latter acceptation decides, however, the connection of thought with Hebrews 13:18 f. For, since the closing half of Hebrews 13:18 betrayed the presupposition that the receivers of the epistle were biassed by prejudice against the person of the writer, there lies indicated in the fact, that in the following wish of blessing God is designated as the God who creates peace, the further idea, that He will also make peace between the readers and the writer, i.e. will bring the Christian convictions of the readers into harmony with that of the writer. So in substance Chrysostom ( τοῦτο εἶπε διὰ τὸ στασιάζειν αὐτούς . Εἰ τοίνυνθεὸς εἰρήνης θεός ἐστι , μὴ διαστασιάζετε πρὸς ἡμᾶς ), Oecumenius, Theophylact, Jac. Cappellus, and others. Wrongly do Grotius, Böhme, de Wette, Bisping, and others derive the appellation “the God of peace” from the supposition that reference is made to the contentions which prevailed amongst the members of the congregation itself. For the assumption of a state in which the congregation was rent by internal dissensions, is one warranted neither by Hebrews 12:14 nor by anything else in the epistle.

ἀναγαγὼν κ . τ . λ .] Further characterizing of God as the God who, by the raising of Christ from the dead, has sanctioned and attested the redeeming work of the same.

ἀναγαγὼν ἐκ νεκρῶν ] He who has brought up from the dead, i.e. who has raised from death. Wrongly do Bleek, de Wette, Bisping, Maier, Kluge, and Kurtz suppose that in ὁ ἀναγαγών is contained at the same time the exaltation into heaven. For, since ὁ ἀναγαγών does not stand absolutely, but has with it the addition ἐκ νεκρῶν , so must that idea also have been made evident by a special addition. There would thus have been written ὁ ἐκ νεκρῶν εἰς ὕψος ἀναγαγών , or something similar. Compare, too, Romans 10:7 , where in like manner, as is shown by Hebrews 13:9 , by the Χριστὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναγαγεῖν is denoted exclusively the resurrection of Christ, and not likewise His ascension .

τὸν ποιμένα τῶν προβάτων τὸν μέγαν ] the exalted (comp. Hebrews 4:14 ) Shepherd of the sheep . For the figure, comp. John 10:11 ff.; Matthew 26:31 ; 1Pe 2:25 ; 1 Peter 5:4 ( ὁ ἀρχιποιμήν ). According to Theophylact, Bengel, Bleek, de Wette, Delitzsch, Alford, Kurtz, Hofmann, and others, the author had in connection with this expression present to his mind LXX. Isaiah 63:10 , where it is said in regard to Moses: ποῦἀναβιβάσας ἐκ τῆς θαλάσσης τὸν ποιμένα τῶν προβάτων , a supposition which, considering the currency of the figure in the N. T., may certainly be dispensed with.

ἐν αἵματι διαθήκης αἰωνίου ] in virtue of the blood of an everlasting covenant , i.e. in virtue of the shed blood of Christ, by which the New Covenant was sealed; comp. Hebrews 9:15 ff., Hebrews 10:29 . Oecumenius, Theophylact, Clarius, Calvin, Bengel, Bleek, Bisping, Delitzsch, Alford, Kluge, Kurtz, Hofmann, Woerner, and others conjoin these words with ὁ ἀναγαγών , but then again differ from each other in the determining of the sense. According to Bleek and Kurtz (similarly Bisping), the author intends to say: “God brought up Christ from the dead in the blood of the everlasting covenant; in such wise that He took, as it were, the shed blood with Him, in that He opened up to Himself by the same the entrance into the heavenly sanctuary, and it retained continually its power for the sealing of an everlasting covenant.” But this interpretation falls with the erroneous presupposition that ὁ ἀναγαγών includes in itself likewise the idea of the exaltation to heaven. According to Oecumenius 2, Theophylact 2, and Calvin, ἐν , on the other hand, stands as the equivalent in signification to σύν : who has raised Christ from the dead with the blood of the everlasting covenant , so that this blood retains everlasting virtue; while Clarius (comp. the first interpretation in Oecumenius and Theophylact) understands the words as though εἰς τὸ εἶναι τὸ αἷμα αὐτοῦ ἡμῖν εἰς διαθήκην αἰώνιον had been written, and Bengel, as likewise Hofmann, makes ἐν αἵματι the same as διὰ τὸ αἷμα (for the blood’s sake). But all these acceptations are linguistically untenable. Equally inadmissible is it to take ἐν , in this combination, instrumentally (Delitzsch, Kluge: “by means of, by the power of, by virtue of;” Alford: “through the blood”). For if one insists on the strict signification of the instrumental explanation, there arises a false thought, since the means by the application of which the miraculous act of the resurrection was accomplished is not the blood of Christ, but the omnipotence of God. If, however, we mingle the notion of mediately effecting with that of the meritorious cause , as is done by Delitzsch and Alford, inasmuch as the former dilutes the “ kraft ” (by virtue of) into “virtute ac merito sanguinis ipsius in morte effusi,” the latter the “ through ” into “ in virtue of the blood,” we come back to Bengel’s ungrammatical equalizing of ἐν αἵματι with διὰ τὸ αἷμα . Another class of expositors combine ἐν αἵματι διαθήκης αἰωνίου with the μέγαν immediately foregoing; either, as Sykes and Baumgarten, in taking τὸν μέγαν as a notion per se ; or, as Starck, Wolf, and Heinrichs, prolonging in connection with it the idea of the shepherd. Nevertheless, it is most natural, with Beza, Estius, Grotius, Limborch, Schulz, Böhme, Kuinoel, Stuart, Stengel, Ebrard, Riehm ( Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr . p. 601), Maier, Moll, and others, to regard ἐν αἵματι διαθήκης αἰωνίου as instrumental nearer definition to the total idea τὸν ποιμένα τῶν προβάτων τὸν μέγαν ; in such wise that by the addition is indicated the means by which Christ became the exalted Shepherd, with whom no other shepherd may be placed upon a parallel. Comp. Acts 20:28 : προσέχετεπαντὶ τῷ ποιμνίῳ , ἐνὑμᾶς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἔθετο ἐπισκόπους , ποιμαίνειν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ κυρίου , ἣν περιεποιήσατο διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου .

διαθήκης αἰωνίου ] Comp. Jeremiah 32:40 ; Jeremiah 50:5 ; Isaiah 55:3 ; Isaiah 61:8 . Theodoret: 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 ἔδειξεν .

Verse 21

Hebrews 13:21 . Καταρτίσαι ὑμᾶς ἐν παντὶ ἔργῳ ἀγαθῷ ] cause that ye become ἄρτιοι , ready or perfect, in every good work . Oecumenius: πληρώσαι , τελειώσαι . That, for the rest, καταρτίσαι is optative , and not, as Kurtz strangely supposes, imperative aorist middle , is self-evident.

εἰς τὸ ποιῆσαι ] Statement of the design , not of the effect (Schlichting and others): that ye may accomplish .

τὸ θέλημα αὐτοῦ ] His will, i.e. that which is morally good and salutary. There is certainly comprehended under the expression the faithful continuance in Christianity.

ποιῶν ἑν ὑμῖν τὸ εὐάρεστον ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ] working in you (wrongly Böhme: among you) that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Christ Jesus . Modal definition to καταρτίσαι .

τὸ εὐάρεστον ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ ] Comp. 2 Corinthians 5:9 ; Romans 12:1 ; Romans 14:18 ; Ephesians 5:10 ; Philippians 4:18 .

διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ] belongs neither to καταρτίσαι (Bloomfield) nor to τὸ εὐάρεστον ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ (Grotius, Hammond, Michaelis, Storr, and others), but to ποιῶν .

ᾧ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας ] sc . ἔστω

δόξα ] the glory due to Him .

The doxology is referred by Limborch, Wetstein, Bengel, Chr. Fr. Schmid, Ernesti, Delitzsch, Alford, Kluge, Woerner, and others, to God ; and in favour of this it may be urged that in the wish of blessing ὁ θεός forms the main subject. More correctly, however, shall we refer it, partly on account of the immediate joining of ᾧ to Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ , partly on account of the design of the whole epistle, to warn the readers, who had become wavering in their faith in Christ, against relapse into Judaism, with Calvin, Jac. Cappellus, Grotius, Owen, Böhme, Stuart, Bleek, Stengel, Tholuck, Bisping, Riehm ( Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr . p. 286), Maier, Moll, and the majority, to Christ .

Verse 22

Hebrews 13:22 . Request for friendly reception of the epistle.

ἀνέχεσθε τοῦ λόγου τῆς παρακλήσεως ] bear with the word of the exhortation , grant it entrance with you, close not your hearts against it. Mistakenly do the Vulgate, Stein, and Kluge make παράκλησις here have the signification of “consolation.” Neither the verb ἀνέχεσθε nor the tenor of the epistle is in keeping therewith.

λόγος τῆς παρακλήσεως ] Comp. Acts 13:15 . Not merely the admonitions scattered here and there in the epistle (Dindorf, Kuinoel) are to be understood under this expression; and just as little is merely chap. 13. (Semler), or the last specially hortatory sections, chap. 10.19 13. (Grotius, Calov, and others), thought of in connection therewith. Rather is there intended by it, as also the following ἐπέστειλα proves, the epistle in its full extent.

καὶ γὰρ διὰ βραχέων ἐπέστειλα ὑμῖν ] Argument for the reasonableness of the request on the ground of the brevity of the epistle: for I have also ( i.e. apart from the fact that, by reason of your perilous wavering in the Christian faith, the admonishing of you was laid as a duty upon my conscience), as you see, written to you only with brief words . Theophylact: Τοσαῦτα εἰπών , ὅμως βραχέα ταῦτά φησιν , ὅσον πρὸςἐπεθύμει λέγειν . Quite remote from the meaning is that sense which Kurtz would put upon the words: the readers were also to take into account the fact that the epistle has, owing to its brief compass, often assumed a harsher and severer form of expression, than would be the case in connection with a more detailed amplification and a more careful limitation .

διὰ βραχέων ] of the same import as διʼ ὀλίγων , 1 Peter 5:12 .

ἐπιστέλλειν ] in the signification “to write a letter,” elsewhere in the N. T. only Acts 15:20 ; Acts 21:25 .

Verse 23

Hebrews 13:23 . Communication of the intelligence that Timothy has been set free, and the promise, if the arrival of Timothy is not long delayed, in company with him to visit the readers.

γινώσκετε ] is imperative (Peshito, Vulgate, Faber Stapulensis, Luther, Calvin, Beza, Junius, Owen, Bengel, Böhme, Stuart, Bleek, I. p. 278; Stein, Ebrard, Bisping, Delitzsch, Alford, Maier, Kluge, Moll, Kurtz, Ewald, M‘Caul, Hofmann, Woerner, and others), not indicative (Vatablus, Nösselt, Opusc . I. p. 256; Morus, Schulz, Bleek ad loc. , and Einl. in d. N. T. , 3 Aufl. p. 583; de Wette, al .). For, that the author would be obliged to communicate further details concerning the liberation of Timothy in the case that the readers had not yet known of it, cannot be maintained; while, on the other hand, upon the supposition of the indicative, the whole notice would become superfluous.

γινώσκετε ἀπολελυμένον ] know as one released, i.e. know that he has been released. Comp. Winer, Gramm. , 7 Aufl. p. 324. Wrongly will Storr, Schleussner, Bretschneider, Paulus have γινώσκετε taken in the sense: hold in honour , or: receive with kindness , against which, equally as against the interpretation of Schulz: “ye know the brother Timothy, who has been set at liberty,” the non-repetition of the article τόν before the participle is in itself decisive.

ἀπολελυμένον ] is to be understood of liberation from imprisonment . So Chrysostom, Oecumenius, and Theophylact (all three, however, with hesitation), then Beza, Grotius, Er. Schmid, Seb. Schmidt, Hammond, Wolf, Bengel, Sykes, Chr. Fr. Schmid, Böhme, Bleek, de Wette, Stengel, Ebrard, Bisping, Delitzsch, Maier, Kurtz, Ewald, M‘Caul, Hofmann, and others. Of an imprisonment of Timothy nothing is known to us, it is true, from other sources, but the possibility of the same cannot be disputed. The suppositions, that ἀπολελυμένον signifies: sent away to the Hebrews with our epistle (Theodoret, subscription of the epistle in many cursives: ἐγράφη ἀπὸ Ἰταλίας διὰ Τιμοθέου ; Faber Stapulensis, al .), or: sent away somewhither, and consequently absent from the author (Estius, Jac. Cappellus, Limborch, Carpzov, Stuart, and others), have the simple signification of the word against them.

ἐὰν τάχιον ἔρχηται ] if he very speedily (earlier, sooner than I leave my present abode) comes to me (incorrectly Grotius, Heinrichs, Stuart, al .: returns).

ὄψομαι ὑμᾶς ] Oecumenius: ἐρχόμενος πρὸς ὑμᾶς .

Verse 24

Hebrews 13:24 . Request for the delivering of salutations, together with the conveying of salutations to the readers.

πάντας τοὺς ἡγουμένους ὑμῶν καὶ πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους ] This designation of persons has about it something surprising, since according to it the letter would have the appearance of being addressed neither to the presidents of the assembly, nor to the whole congregation, but to single members of the latter. Probably, however, the meaning of the author is only that those to whom the epistle is delivered, for reading to the congregation, should greet as well all the presidents as also all the other members of the congregation.

οἱ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰταλίας ] is not to be explained from the absorption of one local preposition into another; in such wise that it should stand for οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰταλίᾳ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰταλίας , which is thought possible by Winer, Gramm. , 7 Aufl. p. 584. It signifies: those from Italy, i.e. Christians who have come out of Italy, and are now to be found in the surroundings of the writer. The general expression: οἱ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰταλίας , seems to point to a compact number of persons already known to the readers. It is highly probable, therefore, that those referred to are Christians who, on the occasion of the Neronian persecution, had fled from Italy, and had settled down for the time being at the place of the author’s present abode. The expression shows, moreover, that the epistle was written outside of Italy. See p. 13.

Verse 25

Hebrews 13:25 . Concluding wish of blessing, entirely in accord with that of Titus 3:15 .

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Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Hebrews 13". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. 1832.