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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
Hebrews 13

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

Brotherly love (πιλαδελπιαphiladelphia). Late word from πιλαδελποςphiladelphos (1 Peter 3:8). See 1 Thessalonians 4:9. It is always in order in a church.

To show love unto strangers (της πιλοχενιαςtēs philoxenias). Old word for hospitality, from πιλοχενοςphiloxenos (1 Timothy 3:2), in N.T. only here and Romans 12:3. In genitive case with επιλαντανεστεepilanthanesthe (present middle imperative, cf. Hebrews 6:10).

Have entertained angels unawares
(ελατον χενισαντες αγγελουςelathon xenisantes aggelous). Second aorist active indicative of λαντανωlanthanō old verb to escape notice and first aorist active participle of χενιζωxenizō old verb to entertain a guest (χενοςxenos stranger), according to a classic idiom seen with λαντανω τυγχανω πτανωlanthanō class="translit"> tugchanō class="translit"> phthanō by which the chief idea is expressed by the participle (supplementary participle), here meaning, “some escaped notice when entertaining angels.” The reference is to Gen 18; 19 (Abraham and Sarah did this very thing).


Verse 2

As bound with them (ως συνδεδεμενοιhōs sundedemenoi). Perfect passive participle of συνδεωsundeō old verb, here only in N.T. For sympathy with prisoners see Hebrews 10:34.

As being yourselves also in the body (ως και αυτοι οντες εν σωματιhōs kai autoi ontes en sōmati). And so subject to evil treatment. See Hebrews 11:37 for κακουχεωkakoucheō and Hebrews 11:25 for συνκακουχεωsunkakoucheō f0).


Verse 4

Let marriage be (ο γαμοςho gamos). No verb in the Greek. The copula can be supplied either εστινestin (is) or εστωestō (let be, imperative).

Had in honour (τιμιοςtimios). Old adjective from τιμηtimē (honour) as in Acts 5:34. ΓαμοςGamos elsewhere in the N.T., means the wedding or wedding feast (Matthew 22:29; John 2:1).

Undefiled
(αμιαντοςamiantos). Old compound word (alpha privative and verbal of μιαινωmiainō to defile), already in Hebrews 7:26. Μιαινω την κοιτηνMiainō tēn koitēn is a common expression for adultery.

Fornicators
(πορνουςpornous). Unmarried and impure.

Adulterers
(μοιχουςmoichous). Impure married persons. God will judge both classes whether men do or not.


Verse 5

Be ye free from the love of money (απιλαργυρος ο τροποςaphilarguros ho tropos). No copula, but supply εστοesto “Let your manner of life (τροποςtropos way, Matthew 23:37), be without love of money” (απιλαργυροςaphilarguros double compound), once found only in the N.T., here and 1 Timothy 3:3, but now several times - or the adverb απιλαργυρωςaphilargurōs - in papyri and inscriptions (Deissmann, Light, etc., pp. 85f.). Alpha privative and πιλοςphilos and αργυροςarguros The N.T. is full of the peril of money on the character as modern life is also.

Content with such things as ye have (αρκουμενοι τοις παρουσινarkoumenoi tois parousin). Present passive participle of αρκεωarkeō to suffice, to be content as in Luke 3:14. Cf. αυταρκηςautarkēs in Philemon 4:11. Here in the nominative plural with no substantive or pronoun (anacoluthon, as in 2 Corinthians 1:7) or the participle used as a principal verb as in Romans 12:16. “Contented with the present things” (τοις παρουσινtois parousin associative instrumental case of τα παρονταta paronta present active neuter plural participle of παρειμιpareimi to be present or on hand).

For himself hath said
(αυτος γαρ ειρηκενautos gar eirēken). God himself as in Acts 20:33 of Christ. Perfect active indicative as in Hebrews 1:13; Hebrews 4:3.; Hebrews 10:9. The quotation is a free paraphrase of Genesis 28:15; Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:5; 1 Chronicles 28:20. Philo (de Confus. Ling. 32) has it in this form, “a popular paraphrase” (Moffatt). Note the five negatives strengthening each other (ου μηou mē with the second aorist active subjunctive ανωanō from ανιημιaniēmi to relate, as in Acts 16:26; ουδ ου μηoud' ou mē with second aorist active subjunctive εγκαταλιπωegkatalipō from εγκαταλειπωegkataleipō to leave behind, as in Matthew 27:46; 2 Timothy 4:10). A noble promise in times of depression.


Verse 6

So that we say (ωστε ημας λεγεινhōste hēmas legein). The usual construction (the infinitive) with ωστεhōste in the Koiné even when the idea is result instead of purpose. The accusative ημαςhēmas is that of general reference.

With good courage (ταρρουνταςtharrountas). Present active participle of ταρρεωtharreō (Ionic and early Attic ταρσεωtharseō Matthew 9:2) as in 2 Corinthians 5:6, 2 Corinthians 5:8. The accusative agreeing with ημαςhēmas “being of good courage.” The quotation is from Psalm 118:6.

My helper
(εμοι βοητοςemoi boēthos). “Helper to me” (ethical dative εμοιemoi). οητοςBoēthos is old adjective (cf. βοητεωboētheō to help, Hebrews 2:18), often in lxx as substantive, here only in N.T.

I will not fear
(ου ποβητησομαιou phobēthēsomai). Volitive first future passive of ποβεομαιphobeomai f0).


Verse 7

Remember (μνημονευετεmnēmoneuete). Present active imperative of μνημονευωmnēmoneuō old verb to be mindful of (from μνημωνmnēmōn mindful) with genitive (John 15:20) or accusative (Matthew 16:9). “Keep in mind.” Cf. Hebrews 11:22.

Them that had the rule over you (των ηγουμενων υμωνtōn hēgoumenōn humōn). Present middle participle of ηγεομαιhēgeomai with genitive of the person (υμωνhumōn) as in Hebrews 13:17, Hebrews 13:24. The author reminds them of the founders of their church in addition to the long list of heroes in chapter Acts 11. See a like exhortation to respect and follow their leaders in 1 Thessalonians 5:12. Few lessons are harder for the average Christian to learn, viz., good following.

The word of God
(τον λογον του τεουton logon tou theou). The preaching of these early disciples, apostles, and prophets (1 Corinthians 1:17).

And considering the issue of their life
(ων ανατεωρουντες την εκβασιν της αναστροπηςhōn anatheōrountes tēn ekbasin tēs anastrophēs). No “and” in the Greek, but the relative ωνhōn (whose) in the genitive case after αναστροπηςanastrophēs “considering the issue of whose life.” Present active participle of ανατεωρεωanatheōreō late compound, to look up a subject, to investigate, to observe accurately, in N.T. only here and Acts 17:23. ΕκβασιςEkbasis is an old word from εκβαινωekbainō to go out (Hebrews 11:15, here only in N.T.), originally way out (1 Corinthians 10:13), but here (only other N.T. example) in sense of end or issue as in several papyri examples (Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary).

Imitate their faith
(μιμειστε την πιστινmimeisthe tēn pistin). Present middle imperative of μιμεομαιmimeomai old verb (from μιμοςmimos actor, mimic), in N.T. only here, 2 Thessalonians 3:7, 2 Thessalonians 3:9; 3 John 1:11. Keep on imitating the faith of the leaders.


Verse 8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yea and forever (Ιησους Χριστος εχτες και σημερον ο αυτος και εις τους αιωναςIēsous Christos echthes kai sēmeron ho autos kai eis tous aiōnas). There is no copula in the Greek. Vincent insists that εστινestin be supplied between ΙησουςIēsous and ΧριστοςChristos “Jesus is Christ,” but it more naturally comes after ΧριστοςChristos as the Revised Version has it. The old adverb εχτεςechthes is rare in the N.T. (John 4:52; Acts 7:28; Hebrews 13:8). Here it refers to the days of Christ‘s flesh (Hebrews 2:3; Hebrews 5:7) and to the recent work of the leaders (Hebrews 13:7). “Today” (σημερονsēmeron Hebrews 3:15) is the crisis which confronts them. “Forever” (εις τους αιωναςeis tous aiōnas) is eternity as well as the Greek can say it. Jesus Christ is eternally “the same” (Hebrews 1:12) and the revelation of God in him (Hebrews 1:1.) is final and never to be superseded or supplemented (Moffatt). Hence the peril of apostasy from the only hope of man.


Verse 9

Be not carried away (μη παραπερεστεmē parapheresthe). Prohibition with μηmē and present passive imperative of παραπερωparapherō old verb to lead along (Judges 1:12), to carry past (Mark 14:36), to lead astray as here.

By divers and strange teachings (διδαχαις ποικιλαις και χεναιςdidachais poikilais kai xenais). For ποικιλοςpoikilos (many coloured) see Hebrews 2:4. ΧενοςXenos for guest we have had in Hebrews 11:13, but here as adjective meaning unheard of (1 Peter 4:12) as in older Greek also. The new is not always wrong any more than the old is always right (Matthew 13:52). But the air was already full of new and strange teachings that fascinated many by their very novelty. The warning here is always needed. Cf. Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Timothy 3:16.

That the heart be established by grace
(χαριτι βεβαιουσται την καρδιανchariti bebaiousthai tēn kardian). Present passive infinitive of βεβαιοωbebaioō (from βαινωbainō) to make stable with the instrumental case χαριτιchariti (by grace) and the accusative of general reference (την καρδιανtēn kardian). How true it is that in the atmosphere of so many windy theories only the heart is stable that has an experience of God‘s grace in Christ.

That occupied themselves
(οι περιπατουντεςhoi peripatountes). “That walked” in the ritualistic Jewish rules about meats.

Were not profited
(ουκ ωπελητησανouk ōphelēthēsan). First aorist passive indicative of ωπελεωōpheleō to help. Mere Jewish ceremonialism and ritualism failed to build up the spiritual life. It was sheer folly to give up Christ for Pharisaism or for Moses.


Verse 10

We have an altar (εχομεν τυσιαστηριονechomen thusiastērion). We Christians have a spiritual altar (τυσιαστηριονthusiastērion), not a literal one (Hebrews 7:13). This metaphor is carried out.

Whereof (εχ ουex hou). Our spiritual altar.

The tabernacle
(τηι σκηνηιtēi skēnēi). Dative case with λατρευοντεςlatreuontes (serve), σκηνηskēnē being used for “the whole ceremonial economy” (Vincent) of Judaism.


Verse 11

Of those beasts whose blood (ων ζωων το αιμα τουτωνhōn zōōn to haima toutōn). The antecedent (ζωωνzōōn) of ωνhōn is here incorporated and attracted into the case of the relative, “the blood of which beasts” and then τουτωνtoutōn (genitive demonstrative) is added, “of these.” Cf. Leviticus 4:12., Leviticus 4:21; Leviticus 16:27 for the Old Testament ritual in such cases. This is the only example in the lxx or N.T. where ζωωνzōōn (animal) is used of a sacrificial victim. See also Exodus 29:14; Exodus 32:26. for burning without the camp.


Verse 12

Wherefore Jesus also (διο και Ιησουςdio kai Iēsous). The parallel is drawn between the O.T. ritual and the better sacrifice of Jesus already discussed (9:13-10:18). The purpose of Jesus is shown (ινα αγιασηιhina hagiasēi ιναhina and the first aorist active subjunctive of αγιαζωhagiazō to sanctify), the means employed (δια του ιδιου αιματοςdia tou idiou haimatos by his own blood), the place of his suffering (επατενepathen as in Hebrews 5:8) is also given (εχω της πυληςexō tēs pulēs outside the gate, implied in John 19:17) which phrase corresponds to “outside the camp” of Hebrews 13:11.


Verse 13

Let us therefore go forth to him (τοινυν εχερχωμετα προς αυτονtoinun exerchōmetha pros auton). Inferential particle (τοι νυνtoi class="normal greek">εχερχομαι — nun), usually post-positive (Luke 20:25; 1 Corinthians 9:26) only N.T. examples. Present middle volitive subjunctive of τον ονειδισμον αυτου περοντεςexerchomai “Let us keep on going out there to him.” If a separation has to come between Judaism and Christianity, let us give up Judaism, and go out to Christ “outside the camp” and take our stand with him there on Golgotha, “bearing his reproach” (ton oneidismon autou pherontes) as Jesus himself endured the Cross despising the shame (Hebrews 12:2) and as Moses accepted “the reproach of the Messiah” (Hebrews 11:26) in his day. The only decent place for the follower of Christ is beside the Cross of Christ with the reproach and the power (Romans 8:1.) in it. This is the great passionate plea of the whole Epistle.


Verse 14

An abiding city (μενουσαν πολινmenousan polin). Jerusalem has lost its charm for followers of Christ. Vincent rightly argues that the Epistle must have been written before the destruction of Jerusalem else a reference to that event could hardly have been avoided here. We are now where Abraham was once (Hebrews 11:10).


Verse 15

Through him (δι αυτουdi' autou). That is Jesus. He is our Priest and Sacrifice, the only efficient and sufficient one.

Let us offer up (αναπερωμενanapherōmen). Present active volitive subjunctive of αναπερωanapherō “let us keep on offering up.” Jesus is living and let us go to him.

A sacrifice of praise
(τυσιαν αινεσεωςthusian aineseōs). This phrase occurs in Leviticus 7:12; Psalm 54:8. The word αινεσιςainesis (from αινεωaineō to praise), common in lxx, is only here in N.T.

The fruit of lips
(καρπον χειλεωνkarpon cheileōn). In apposition (τουτ εστινtout 'estin) and explanation of τυσιαν αινεσεωςthusian aineseōs Cf. Hosea 14:3; Isaiah 57:19.

Which made confession to his name
(ομολογουντων τωι ονοματι αυτουhomologountōn tōi onomati autou). This use of ομολογεωhomologeō with the dative in the sense of praise like εχομολογεωexomologeō is unique, though the papyri furnish examples in the sense of gratitude (Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary).


Verse 16

To do good (της ευποιιαςtēs eupoiias). Genitive case. Late compound from ευποιοςeupoios (ευποιεωeupoieō), common in Epictetus, but here only in N.T., a doing good.

To communicate (κοινωνιαςkoinōnias). Genitive case. See 2 Corinthians 9:13 for use for contribution, beneficence. Moffatt notes that the three great definitions of worship and religious service in the N.T. (here, Romans 12:1.; James 1:27) are all inward and ethical.

Forget not
(μη επιλαντανεστεmē epilanthanesthe). Prohibition with μηmē and the present middle imperative of επιλαντανωepilanthanō (Hebrews 6:10; Hebrews 13:2). Here with the genitive case.

Is well pleased
(ευαρεστειταιeuaresteitai). Present passive indicative of ευαρεστεωeuaresteō (Hebrews 11:5). With the associative instrumental case τυσιαιςthusiais (sacrifices).


Verse 17

Obey (πειτεστεpeithesthe). Present middle imperative of πειτωpeithō with dative case.

Submit (υπεικετεhupeikete). Present active imperative of υπεικωhupeikō old compound to yield under, to give up. Here only in N.T.

They watch
(αγρυπνουσινagrupnousin). Present active indicative of αγρυπνεωagrupneō old verb (from αγρεωagreō to search, υπνοςhupnos sleep), to seek after sleep, to be sleepless, be watchful (Mark 13:33).

As they that shall give account
(ως λογον αποδωσοντεςhōs logon apodōsontes). Regular Greek idiom with ωςhōs and the future participle. For λογον αποδιδωμιlogon apodidōmi to render account, see Matthew 12:36. These leaders as good shepherds recognize keenly their responsibility for the welfare of the flock.

And not with grief
(και μη στεναζοντεςkai mē stenazontes). “And not groaning” (cf. Romans 8:23).

Unprofitable
(αλυσιτελεςalusiteles). Old double compound adjective (alpha privative and λυσιτεληςlusitelēs and this from λυωluō to pay, and τελοςtelos tax, useful or profitable as Luke 17:2), not profitable, not advantageous, by litotes, hurtful, pernicious. Common rhetorical litotes, here only in N.T.


Verse 18

Honestly (καλωςkalōs). Nobly, honourably. Apparently the writer is conscious that unworthy motives have been attributed to him. Cf. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 1:11., 2 Corinthians 1:17


Verse 19

That I may be restored to you the sooner (ινα ταχειον αποκαταστατω υμινhina tacheion apokatastathō humin). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the first aorist passive subjunctive of αποκατιστημιapokathistēmi an old double compound as in Matthew 12:13. What is meant by ταχειονtacheion (John 13:27; John 20:4) we do not know, possibly sickness. See Hebrews 13:23 also for ταχειονtacheion f0).


Verse 20

The God of peace (ο τεος της ειρηνηςho theos tēs eirēnēs). God is the author and giver of peace, a Pauline phrase (6 times) as in 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

Who brought again from the dead (ο αναγαγων εκ νεκρωνho anagagōn ek nekrōn). Second aorist active articular participle of αναγωanagō (cf. Romans 10:7), the only direct mention of the resurrection of Jesus in the Epistle, though implied often (Hebrews 1:3, etc.).

That great shepherd of the sheep
(τον ποιμενα των προβατων τον μεγανton poimena tōn probatōn ton megan). This phrase occurs in Isaiah 63:11 except τον μεγανton megan which the author adds as in Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 10:21. So here, “the shepherd of the sheep the great one.”

With the blood of the eternal covenant
(εν αιματι διατηκης αιωνιουen haimati diathēkēs aiōniou). This language is from Zechariah 9:11. The language reminds us of Christ‘s own words in Mark 14:24 (Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25) about “my blood of the covenant.”


Verse 21

Make you perfect (καταρτισαιkatartisai). First aorist active optative of καταρτιζωkatartizō to equip, as in Hebrews 10:5. A wish for the future. See 1 Corinthians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 13:11; 2 Timothy 3:17.

Working in us (ποιων εν εμινpoiōn en hemin). “Doing in us.” Some MSS. read “in you.”

Well-pleasing
(ευαρεστονeuareston). Compound adjective (ευ αρεστοςeu class="normal greek">ενωπιον αυτου — arestos). Usually with the dative (Romans 12:2), here with enōpion autou more like the Hebrew. This is one of the noblest doxologies in the N.T.


Verse 22

Bear with (ανεχεστεanechesthe). Present middle imperative (some MSS. have ανεχεσταιanechesthai infinitive) of ανεχωanechō with the ablative, “hold yourselves back from” as in Colossians 3:13.

The word of exhortation (του λογου της παρακλησεωςtou logou tēs paraklēseōs). His description of the entire Epistle. It certainly is that, a powerful appeal in fact.

I have written
(επεστειλαepesteila). First aorist active indicative (epistolary aorist) of επιστελλωepistellō old word to send a letter (επιστοληepistolē) as in Acts 15:20.

In few words
(δια βραχεωνdia bracheōn). Common Greek idiom, here only in N.T. (from βραχυςbrachus brief, short). Cf. δι ολιγων εγραπσαdi' oligōn egrapsa in 1 Peter 5:12.


Verse 23

Hath been set at liberty (απολελυμενονapolelumenon). Perfect passive participle of απολυωapoluō to set free, in indirect discourse after γινωσκετεginōskete Possibly from prison if he came to Rome at Paul‘s request (2 Timothy 4:11, 2 Timothy 4:21).

Shortly (ταχειονtacheion). Same comparative as in Hebrews 13:19, “sooner” than I expect (?).


Verse 24

They of Italy (οι απο της Ιταλιαςhoi apo tēs Italias). Either those with the author in Italy or those who have come from Italy to the author outside of Italy.

 


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Hebrews 13:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/hebrews-13.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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