1. brotherly love--a distinct special manifestation of "charity"
The Church of Jerusalem, to which in part this Epistle was addressed,
was distinguished by this grace, we know from Acts (compare
Heb 6:10; 10:32-34; 12:12, 13).
continue--Charity will itself continue. See that
it continue with you.
7. Two manifestations of "brotherly love," hospitality
and care for those in bonds.
Be not forgetful--implying it was a duty which they all
recognized, but which they might forget to act on
(Heb 13:3, 7, 16).
The enemies of Christianity themselves have noticed the practice of
this virtue among Christians [JULIAN,
entertained angels unawares--Abraham and Lot did so
(Ge 18:2; 19:1).
To obviate the natural distrust felt of strangers, Paul says, an
unknown guest may be better than he looks: he may be unexpectedly found
to be as much a messenger of God for good, as the angels (whose
name means messenger) are; nay more, if a Christian, he
represents Christ Himself. There is a play on the same Greek
word, Be not forgetful and unaware; let not the
duty of hospitality to strangers escape you; for, by
entertaining strangers, it has escaped the entertainers that
they were entertaining angels. Not unconscious and forgetful of the
duty, they have unconsciously brought on themselves the blessing.
3. Remember--in prayers and acts of kindness.
bound with them--by virtue of the unity of the members in the
body under one Head, Christ
suffer adversity--Greek, "are in evil state."
being yourselves also in the body--and so liable to the
adversities incident to the natural body, which ought to dispose you
the more to sympathize with them, not knowing how soon your own turn of
suffering may come. "One experiences adversity almost his whole life,
as Jacob; another in youth, as Joseph; another in manhood, as Job;
another in old age" [BENGEL].
4. is, &c.--Translate, "Let marriage be treated as
also is an exhortation.
in all--"in the case of all men": "among all." "To avoid
fornication let EVERY MAN have his own wife"
Judaism and Gnosticism combined were soon about to throw discredit on
marriage. The venerable Paphnutius, in the Council of Nice, quoted this
verse for the justification of the married state. If one does not
himself marry, he should not prevent others from doing so. Others,
especially Romanists, translate, "in all things," as in
But the warning being against lasciviousness, the contrast to
"whoremongers and adulterers" in the parallel clause,
requires the "in all" in this clause to refer to persons.
the bed undefiled--Translate, as Greek requires
"undefiled" to be a predicate, not an epithet, "And let the bed
God will judge--Most whoremongers escape the notice of human
tribunals; but God takes particular cognizance of those whom man does
not punish. Gay immoralities will then be regarded in a very different
light from what they are now.
5. conversation--"manner of life." The love of filthy lust and
the love of filthy lucre follow one another as closely akin, both
alienating the heart from the Creator to the creature.
such things as ye have--literally, "present things"
I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee--A promise tantamount
to this was given to Jacob
(De 31:6, 8),
It is therefore like a divine adage. What was said to them, extends
also to us. He will neither withdraw His presence ("never leave
thee") nor His help ("nor forsake thee") [BENGEL].
6. may--rather as Greek, expressing confidence actually
realized, "So that we boldly (confidently) say"
(Ps 56:4, 11; 118:6).
Punctuate as both the Hebrew and the Greek require, "And
(so) I will not fear: what (then) shall man do unto me?"
7. Remember--so as to imitate: not to invoke in prayer,
as Rome teaches.
have the rule--rather, "who have had the rule over you":
your spiritual leaders.
who--Greek, "the which": such persons as.
have spoken unto you--"spake" (so the Greek aorist means)
during their lifetime. This Epistle was among those written later, when
many of the heads of the Jerusalem Church had passed away.
whose faith--even unto death: probably death by martyrdom, as in
the case of the instances of faith in
Stephen, James the brother of our Lord and bishop of Jerusalem, as well
as James the brother of John
in the Palestinian Church, which Paul addresses, suffered martyrdom.
considering--Greek, "looking up to," "diligently
contemplating all over," as an artist would a model.
the end--the termination, at death. The Greek, is used of
of their conversation--"manner of life": "religious walk"
Considering how they manifested the soundness of their faith by
their holy walk, which they maintained even to the end of
that walk (their death by martyrdom).
8. This verse is not, as some read it, in apposition with "the
end of their conversation"
but forms the transition. "Jesus Christ, yesterday and to-day (is) the
same, and (shall be the same) unto the ages (that is, unto all ages)."
The Jesus Christ (the full name being given, to mark with
affectionate solemnity both His person and His office)
who supported your spiritual rulers through life even unto their
end "yesterday" (in times past), being at once "the Author and
the Finisher of their faith"
remains still the same Jesus Christ "to-day," ready to help you also,
if like them you walk by "faith" in Him. Compare "this same Jesus,"
He who yesterday (proverbial for the past time) suffered and
died, is to-day in glory
"As night comes between yesterday and to-day, and yet night itself is
swallowed up by yesterday and to-day, so the "suffering"
did not so interrupt the glory of Jesus Christ which was of yesterday,
and that which is to-day, as not to continue to be the same. He is the
same yesterday, before He came into the world, and
to-day, in heaven. Yesterday in the time of our
predecessors, and to-day in our age" [BENGEL]. So the doctrine is the same, not
variable: this verse thus forms the transition between
and Heb 13:9.
He is always "the same"
The same in the Old and in the New Testament.
9. about--rather, as oldest manuscripts read, "carried
aside"; namely, compare
divers--differing from the one faith in the one and the same
Jesus Christ, as taught by them who had the rule over you
strange--foreign to the truth.
established with grace; not with meats--not with observances of
Jewish distinctions between clean and unclean meats, to which ascetic
Judaizers added in Christian times the rejection of some meats, and the
use of others: noticed also by Paul in
1Co 8:8, 13; 6:13;
an exact parallel to this verse: these are some of the "divers and
strange doctrines" of the previous sentence. Christ's body offered once
for all for us, is our true spiritual "meat" to "eat"
"the stay and the staff of bread"
the mean of all "grace."
which have not profited--Greek, "in which they who walked
were not profited"; namely, in respect to justification, perfect
cleansing of the conscience, and sanctification. Compare on "walked,"
namely, with superstitious scrupulosity, as though the worship of God
in itself consisted in such legal observances.
10. Christianity and Judaism are so totally distinct, that "they
who serve the (Jewish) tabernacle," have no right to eat our spiritual
Gospel meat, namely, the Jewish priests, and those who follow their
guidance in serving the ceremonial ordinance. He says, "serve the
tabernacle," not "serve IN the tabernacle."
Contrast with this servile worship ours.
an altar--the cross of Christ, whereon His body was offered. The
Lord's table represents this altar, the cross; as the bread and wine
represent the sacrifice offered on it. Our meat, which we by faith
spiritually eat, is the flesh of Christ, in contrast to the typical
ceremonial meats. The two cannot be combined
That not a literal eating of the sacrifice of Christ is meant in the
Lord's Supper, but a spiritual is meant, appears from comparing
with Heb 13:10,
"with GRACE, NOT with
11, 12. For just as "the bodies of those beasts whose blood is
brought into the sanctuary by . . . are burned without the
camp," so "Jesus also that . . . suffered without the gate"
of ceremonial Judaism, of which His crucifixion outside the gate of
Jerusalem is a type.
for--reason why they who serve the tabernacle, are excluded from
share in Christ; because His sacrifice is not like one of those
sacrifices in which they had a share but answers to one which was
"wholly burned" outside (the Greek is "burnt completely,"
"consumed by burning"), and which consequently they could not eat of.
gives the general rule, "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." The sin
offerings are twofold: the outward, whose blood was sprinkled on
the outward altar, and of whose bodies the priests might eat; and the
inward, the reverse.
the sanctuary--here the Holy of Holies, into which the
blood of the sin offering was brought on the day of atonement.
without the camp--in which were the tabernacle and Levitical
priests and legal worshippers, during Israel's journey through the
wilderness; replaced afterwards by Jerusalem (containing the temple),
outside of whose walls Jesus was crucified.
12. Wherefore Jesus--In order that the Antitype might fulfil the
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sanctify--Though not brought into the temple "sanctuary"
His blood has been brought into the heavenly sanctuary, and "sanctifies
(Heb 2:11, 17),
by cleansing them from sin, and consecrating them to God.
his own--not blood of animals.
without the gate--of Jerusalem; as if unworthy of the society of
the covenant-people. The fiery ordeal of His suffering on the
cross, answers to the burning of the victims; thereby His mere
fleshly life was completely destroyed, as their bodies were; the second
part of His offering was His carrying His blood into the heavenly
holiest before God at His ascension, that it should be a perpetual
atonement for the world's sin.