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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament

Hebrews 13

Verse 1


Keep on loving. They had loved each other (Hebrews 6:10), but in the general decay of faith, they were losing this (Hebrews 10:24-58.10.25; Matthew 24:12; Revelation 2:4-66.2.5). Their love must make them one in Christ, and break down the walls between Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free men, men and women, etc. Reuel Lemmons says that without the mortar of love to hold us together, the church becomes just a pile of jagged rocks! (Ephesians 2:20-49.2.22)

Verse 2


To welcome strangers. Persecution often made Christians homeless. It was important to be able to depend upon your fellow Christians! See note on 1 Timothy 3:2. And welcomed angels. See Genesis 18:1; Matthew 25:35.

Verse 3


In prison. See note on Hebrews 10:34. Suffering. See notes on Hebrews 10:33; 1 Corinthians 12:26. There was great danger that they would conceal their Christianity, disown their teachers and fellow Christians, and resent the disgrace and persecution which following Christ brought on them. For this reason, Christian love (treating others as God treats you through Christ) is VITAL, because all these other good qualities grow out of it!!!

Verse 4


Marriage. “Marriage is an honest thing, decreed by God, and should be honored by all people.” MacKnight thinks this is pointed toward the Jewish Essenes, who generally viewed marriage as vulgar, and practiced celibacy. Compare 1 Timothy 4:3 and note. Immoral. See note on Matthew 19:9 (immoral = unfaithful = fornication). Adultery is included in immorality, and specifically points to breaking marriage vows.

Verse 5


From the love of money. The love of money is a source of sin. See 1 Timothy 6:10; Ephesians 5:5 and notes. The quotation is from Deuteronomy 31:6; and other places. Read what Jesus said in John 14:18.

Verse 6


Let us be bold. “When you are persecuted, be bold, and say with the Psalmist (Psalms 118:6 Septuagint), ‘The Lord is my helper.’ ” What can man? Read Jesus’s words in Matthew 10:28.

Verse 7


Remember your former leaders. James the brother of John, and James the Lord’s brother, were both dead at this time. They had been closely connected with the Jerusalem church. There would be many others unknown to us. They were good examples to imitate!!!

Verse 8


Jesus Christ. The farmer leaders looked to Jesus as their Pioneer! He will always be the same powerful, gracious, faithful, and loving Savior!!! See Hebrews 1:12.

Verse 9


Do not let. “Unauthorized teachers will tell you strange things about food, marriage, holy days, the sacrifices of the Law, etc. But don’t be fooled into turning away from the right way!” Compare 1 Timothy 4:1-54.4.4; Colossians 2:20-51.2.23. By God’s grace. Grace is contrasted with the strange teachings. The one excluded the other! See Galatians 3:1-48.3.5.

Verse 10


Have no right to eat. MacKnight says: “The sacrifice belonging to those who believe, is the sacrifice of himself, which Christ offered to God in heaven for the sins of the world: and the eating of that sacrifice does not mean the literal eating of it, but the partaking of the pardon which Christ has procured for sinners by that sacrifice.” See notes on John 6:53-43.6.56. The Jewish priests did eat the sacrifice of their altar in the Jewish tent (Hebrews 9:8-58.9.10). The point is that Christians are not to be seduced away from Christ by animal sacrifices.

Verse 11


Burned outside the camp. The blood was taken into the Most Holy Place and offered as a sacrifice for sin. But the bodies of the SIN OFFERINGS were not eaten at all, since the curse of sin was on them. This is cited as proof that the priests who serve in the Jewish tent have no right to share the Christian’s sin offering!

Verse 12


For this reason. All these sin offerings were symbolic of Jesus THE SIN OFFERING!!! Outside the city gate = outside the camp. This was because he shared our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Verse 13


Go to him. “Be bold to give up your old associations, even though you will be branded as a traitor and a sinner, and your privileges as a Jew will be taken away (Matthew 10:17). But this cost is not too high when you measure it against what the Lord gives you!!!”

Verse 14


No permanent city. “We are strangers and foreigners here (Philippians 3:20).” In less than nine years, Jerusalem was demolished!!!

Verse 15


Praise . . . through Jesus. “We need no bloody sacrifices. The praise from our lips is our offering to God, through Jesus Christ! Our God wants a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-45.12.2).”

Verse 16


Do not forget. This also is part of praising God. See Philippians 4:18; James 1:27 and notes.

Verse 17


Obey your leaders. Church leaders (see note on Ephesians 4:11). In each congregation, the Church leader/elders were spiritual guards over the souls of the members. They must account to God for their work. If you obey them. “For your own good you should make the work of your leaders easy and joyful, for otherwise it will do you no good. Your unwillingness to hear them means that you are out of sympathy with their teaching and that will end in your condemnation.”

Verse 18


Keep on praying for us. Paul (if he is the author) always asks for the prayers of the Christians! A clear conscience. “Even though you may not like my teaching in this letter, yet it is the truth which I received from God.” Johnson thinks this is also said because Paul was arrested as a criminal in Jerusalem (Acts 21:28).

Verse 19


And I beg. He wants to be released from prison, so he can be with them in person, and help them.

Verse 20


God has raised. He is the God of peace! He has made peace through the death and resurrection of his Son!!! The Great Shepherd. See Ezekiel 34:23; John 10:11. It was as the Great Shepherd that Christ gave his life for the sheep!!! The eternal covenant is here viewed in its start from the grave. Blood = death. Compare Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Hebrews 2:9-58.2.17; Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:14-47.5.21.

Verse 21


May the God of peace. He is the source of everything we need to do his will! See Philippians 2:12-50.2.13. This doxology of praise is addressed to the God of peace, through our Lord Jesus. It is through Jesus, now reigning as Messiah, that all grace is given to God’s people.

Verse 22


To listen patiently. “I am afraid you may be prejudiced against me, and I want you to listen patiently to the brief letter I have written to you on such important issues.”

Verse 23


Timothy. We have no information about Timothy being in prison. The fact that the writer mentions him, implies that these Jewish Christians were not members of the circumcision party, or at least not hostile to Paul and his associate Timothy.

Verse 24


Give our greetings to your leaders and all God’s people in Judea. The brothers from Italy. This shows he writes from Rome. This would agree with Paul’s authorship.

Verse 25


God’s grace. This is the usual closing word. God’s grace was constantly on the mind of the Christians!!!

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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Hebrews 13". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.