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1. Let brotherly love continue (filadelfia menetw). Filadelfia in Paul, Rom. xii. 10; 1 Thess. iv. 9. As a proper name, Revelation i. 11; iii. 7. It is not necessary to suppose that the admonition implies signs of estrangement among those addressed. Comp. ch. iii. 13; vi. 10; x. 24; xii. 12-15.
2. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers (thv filoxeniav mh epilanqanesqe). Lit. be not forgetful of hospitality. Filoxenia only here and Rom. xii. 13. o LXX. Filoxenov hospitable, 1 Tim. iii. 2; Titus i. 8; 1 Pet. iv. 9. The rendering of Rev. to show love unto strangers, is affected. On the injunction comp. Rom. xii. 13; 1 Tim. iii. 2; Titus i. 8; 1 Pet. iv. 9, and see Clem. Rom. Ad Corinth. x., xi., 12. The virtue of hospitality is not distinctively Christian. It appears with the very beginnings of history, largely as the result of nomadic conditions. It was peculiarly an Oriental virtue. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, commendatory judgment is awarded to him who has fed the hungry and clothed the naked. The O.T. abounds in illustrations, and the practice of hospitality among the Arabs and Bedoueen is familiar through the writings of travelers in the East. 244 Great stress was laid on the duty by the Greeks, as appears constantly in Homer and elsewhere. Hospitality was regarded as a religious duty. The stranger was held to be under the special protection of Zeus, who was called xeniov, the God of the stranger. The Romans regarded any violation of the rites of hospitality as impiety. Cicero says: "It seems to me eminently becoming that the homes of distinguished men should be open to distinguished guests, and that it is an honor to the Republic that foreigners should not lack this kind of liberality in our city" (De Off. ii. 18).
Have entertained angels unawares (elaqon tinev xevisantev aggelouv). The Greek idiom is, "were not apparent as entertaining angels." The verb elaqon were concealed represents the adverb unawares. For similar instances see Mark xiv. 8; Acts xii. 16; Aristoph. Wasps, 517; Hdt. i. 44; Hom. Il. xiii. 273. Xenizein to receive as a guest, mostly in Acts. In LXX only in the apocryphal books. In later Greek, to surprise with a novelty; passive, to be surprised or shocked. So 1 Pet. iv. 4, 12; comp. 2 Ep. of Clem. of Rome (so called), xvii. To be a stranger or to be strange, once in N.T., Acts xvii. 20. Xenismov amazement, perplexity, not in N.T. LXX, Prov. xv. 17. Comp. Ignatius, Ephesians 19. The allusion to the unconscious entertainment of angels is probably to Genesis 18, 19, but the idea was familiar in Greek literature. The Greeks thought that any stranger might be a God in disguise. See Hom. Od. 1. 96 ff.; 3. 329-370;
3. Them that are in bonds (twn desmiwn). See on ch. x. 34. As bound with them (wv sundedemenoi). N.T.o . As if you were fellow-prisoners. Comp. 1 Cor. xii. 14-26; 2 Cor. xi. 29. Public intercession for prisoners has formed a part of the service of the church from the earliest times. See the prayer at the close of Clem. Rom Ad Corinth. 59. It also occurs in the daily morning service of the synagogue.
Which suffer adversity (kakoucoumenwn). Rend. are evil entreated. See on ch. xi. 37.
As being yourselves also in the body (wv kai autoi ontev en swmati). As subject like them to bodily sufferings. Not in the body - the church, which would require the article. The expression ejn swmati in the sense of being still alive, only in 2 Cor. xii. 2
4. Marriage is honorable in all ( timiov oJ gamov ejn pasin). Gamov everywhere else in N.T. a wedding or wedding feast, often in the plural, as Matt. xxii. 2, 3, 4; Luke xii. 36. Timiov honorable or held in honor. Often in N.T. precious, of gold, stones, etc., as 1 Cor. iii. 12; Apoc. xvii. 4; xviii. 12: of life, Acts xx. 24: the fruits of the earth, James v. 7; the blood of Christ, 1 Pet. i. 19; the divine promises, 2 Pet. i. 4. Rend. "let marriage be had in honor." The statement is hortatory, as suiting the character of the entire context, and especially the gar for; "for whoremongers," etc. En pasin in all respects," as 1 Tim. iii. 11; 2 Timothy iv. 5; Tit. ii. 9; Col. i. 18; Philip. iv. 12. If as A.V., the more natural expression would be para pasin as Matt. xix. 26; Acts xxvi. 8; Rom. ii. 13; 2 Thess. i. 6; Jas. i. 27. En pasin in all things appears in this chapter, ver. 18. 245 There are many points in which marriage is to be honored besides the avoidance of illicit connections. See on 1 Thess. iv. 6.
6. Let your conversation be without covetousness (afilargurov o tropov). Tropov originally turn or direction. Hence ways manner, fashion; way or manner of life. In this sense N.T.o . Elsewhere often in the phrase on tropon or kaq' on tropon in or according to the way in which. See Matt. xxiii. 37; Luke xiii. 34; Acts i. 11; xv. 11; xxvii. 25. The meaning here is character or moral disposition. Afilargurov without covetousness, only here and 1 Tim. iii. 3, see note.
Be content with such things as ye have (ajrkoumenoi toiv parousin). Lit. being contented with the things which are at hand. For ajrkein to suffice, see Luke iii. 14; John vi. 7; 1 Tim. vi. 8. On the compounds aujtarkhv self-sufficient and aujtarkeia self-sufficiency, see on 2 Cor. ix. 8; Philip. iv. 11.
For he hath said ( autov gar eirhken). Rend. for "he himself." God himself. For eirhken hath said, see ch. i. 13; iv. 3, 4; x. 9.
I will never leave nor forsake thee ( ou mh se anw oud ou mh se egkatalipw). Comp. Gen. xxviii. 15; Josh. i. 5; Deut. xxxi. 6. None of these, however, give the saying in the form in which it appears here. This appears to be a combination or general adaptation of those passages. For "never," rend. "by no means" or "in no wise."'Anw from ajnihmi. In Acts xvi. 26; xxvii. 40, to loosen: Eph. vi. 9, to give up or forbear. Somewhat in this last sense here: "I will in no wise give thee up, or let thee go." I will not relax my hold on thee. For ejgkatalipw forsake, see on 2 Tim. iv. 10.
So that we may boldly say (wste qarrountav hmav legein). Lit. so that, being of good courage, we say. Qarrein to be confident or bold, only here in Hebrews. Elsewere only in Paul. The kindred form qarsein is used in N.T. only in the imperative qarsei or qarseite take courage. See Matt. ix. 2; Mark vi. 50; John xvi. 33; Acts xxiii. 11.
The Lord is my helper, etc. From LXX, Psalm cvii. 6 with slight alteration. Here, what shall man do unto me is an independent clause. LXX inserts and: "my helper and I will not fear," and connects the last clause with "fear": "I will not fear what man will do."
7-15. The following passage presents many difficulties of detail, but its general sense is clear. It sums up in a striking way the main topics of the epistle, bringing them all to bear upon the conclusion that Judaism and Christianity are mutually exclusive, and thus enforcing the warning against a relapse into Judaism. It goes to show, in connection with other features of the epistle, the absurdity of the hypothesis that the epistle was intended as a warning to Gentile Christians against a relapse into Paganism. 246
7. Remember them which have the rule over you (mnhmoneuete twn hgoumenwn umwn). Remember, with a view to observing their admonitions. For twn hJgoumenwn those who lead or rule, see on 1 Thessalonians v. 13. Used of both civil and ecclesiastical rulers. Clement of Rome, among a great variety of names for church functionaries, has both hJgoumenoi and prohgoumenoi (see Ad Corinth. 1, 21). Comp. Acts xv. 22. In LXX frequently, of various forms of authority, and in later Greek of bishops and abbots. For "which have the rule," rend. "which had," etc.
Who have spoken (oitinev elalhsan). Rend. "spake," and comp. ch. ii. 3, 4.
Follow (mimeisqe). Rend. "imitate." See on ch. vi. 12.
Considering (anaqewrountev). Only here and Acts xvii. 23, see note. The compound verb means to observe attentively. The simple verb qewrein implies a spiritual or mental interest in the object. See on John i. 18. The end of their conversation (thn ekbasin thv anastrofhv). Ekbasiv only here and 1 Cor. x. 13 (note). It means outcome or issue. See Wisd. viii. 8. In 1 Cor. x. 13, way out. Comp. Wisd. ii.
17. Anastrofh is life in intercourse with men. See on 1 Pet. i. 15. Conversation, in the older sense of that word, is a good rendering, as it is also a nearly literal rendering of the Greek word. The reference is to the end of their life; what kind of an end they made; possibly, but not necessarily, with an allusion to cases of martyrdom. What, now, was the subject of these teachers' faith which is commended to imitation? It is stated in the next verse.
8. Jesus Christ the same (Ihsouv Cristov o autov). The A.V. is slipshod, leaving the sentence without connection, or in apparent apposition with the end of their conversation. In translation this is commonly corrected by inserting is: "Jesus Christ is the same," etc. But even thus the real point of the statement is missed. No doubt the old teachers believed in the unchangeableness of Jesus Christ; but that fact is not represented as the subject of their faith, which would be irrelevant and somewhat flat. The emphatic point of the statement is Christ. They lived and died in the faith that Jesus is THE CHRIST - the Messiah. The readers were tempted to surrender this faith and to return to Judaism which denied Jesus's messiahship (comp. ch. x. 29). Hence the writer says, "hold fast and imitate their faith in Jesus as the Christ. He is ever the same. He must be to you, today, what he was to them, yesterday, and will be forever to the heavenly hosts - CHRIST. Rend. therefore "Jesus is Christ." Observe that our writer rarely uses the formula Jesus Christ. In ch. x. 10 it occurs in a passage in which the messianic mission of Jesus is emphasized (see vers. 5, 9), and in xiii. 21, in a liturgical formula. The temptation to forsake Jesus as Messiah is treated in the next verse.
9. Be not carried about (mh paraferesqe). A.V. follows T.R. periferesqe. Rend. "carried away." The present tense indicates a present and active danger.
With divers and strange doctrines (didacaiv poikilaiv kai xenaiv). For "doctrines" rend. "teachings." These teachings represent various phases of one radical error - the denial of Jesus's messiahship and of his messianic economy as superseding Judaism and all other means of salvation. Among them the writer's mind would naturally turn to the prescriptions concerning clean and unclean meats and sacrificial festivals. See next clause. These teachings were various as contrasted with the one teaching of the gospel; they were strange as they differed from that teaching. Comp. Gal. i. 6-9. For poikilaiv see on 2 Tim. iii. 16. That the heart be established (bebaiousqai thn kardian). There is an emphasis on heart as well as on grace. These strange teachings all emphasized externalism, in contrast with Christianity, which insisted upon the purification of the heart and conscience. The contrast is strongly stated in ch. ix. 9, 14, and the Epistle constantly directs the readers to the heart as the true point of contact with God, and the source of all departures from him. See ch. iii. 8, 10, 12, 15; iv. 7, 12; viii. 10; especially x. 22. Hence, the writer says, "it is good that the solid basis of your assurance before God be in the heart, purged from an evil conscience, so that you can draw near to God with a firmly-established confidence, with a true heart, in full assurance of faith": ch. x. 22; comp. 1 Thessalonians iii. 13; 2 Tim. ii. 22.
With grace, not with meats ( cariti ou brwmasin). The heart is the proper seat of the work of grace. Free grace is the motive-power of Christ's sacrifice (2 Cor. viii. 9; Gal. i. 15); it is behind the blood of the new covenant, and is the energetic principle of its saving operation. See Rom. v. 2, 15; 1 Cor. xv. 10; Eph. ii. 5, 7, 8; 2 Thessalonians ii. 16; Heb. ii. 9; iv. 16; x. 29. With meats stands for the whole system of ceremonial observances, in contrast with grace, working on the heart. See ch. ix. 10. This ceremonial system yielded no permanent benefit to those who lived under it. See ch. vii. 25; ix. 9, 13, 14; x. 1, 2, 4. Which have not profited them that have been occupied therein ( en oiv ouk wfelhqhsan oi peripatountev). Lit. in the which they who walked were not profited. Peripatein to walk about is often used to express habitual practice or general conduct of life. See Rom. vi. 4; 2 Corinthians x. 3; Eph. ii. 10; Col. iii. 7; iv. 5.
10. Those who persist in adhering to the Jewish economy can have no part in the blessing of the new covenant. The two are mutually exclusive. The statement is cast in the mould of the Jewish sacrificial ritual, and in the figure of eating a sacrificial meal.
We have an altar (ecomen qusiasthrion). It is a mistake to try to find in the Christian economy some specific object answering to altar - either the cross, or the eucharistic table, or Christ himself. Rather the ideas of approach to God, - sacrifice, atonement, pardon and acceptance, salvation, - are gathered up and generally represented in the figure of an altar, even as the Jewish altar was the point at which all these ideas converged. The application in this broader and more general sense is illustrated by Ignatius: "If one be not within the altar (ejntov tou qusiasthriou the sacred precinct), he lacketh the bread of God.... Whosoever, therefore, cometh not to the congregation (epi to auto), he doth thereby show his pride, and hath separated himself," Eph. 5. Ignatius here uses the word, not of a literal altar, but of the church. Comp. Trall. 7. Again: "Hasten to come together as to one temple, even God; to one altar, even to one Jesus Christ," Magn. 7.
Of which - to eat (ex ou - fagein). The foundation of the figure is the sacrifice of the peace or thank-offering, in which the worshippers partook of the sacrifice. See Lev. vii. 29-35; Deut. xii. 6; xxvii. 7. The peace-offerings were either public or private. The two lambs offered every year at Pentecost (Lev. xxiii. 19) were a public offering, and their flesh was eaten only by the officiating priests, and within the holy place. The other public peace-offerings, after the priests had received their share, were eaten by the offerers themselves. Jehovah thus condescended to be the guest of his worshippers. The large scale on which such festivals were sometimes celebrated is illustrated in 1 Kings vii. 63. In private peace-offerings, the breast of the victim belonged to the Lord, who gave it to the priests (Lev. vii. 30), and the right shoulder was given directly to the priests by Israel (Lev. vii. 32). After the ritual of waving, the entrails were consumed, and the rest was eaten by the priest or the worshippers and their invited guests, among whom were specially included the poor and the Levites.
Right (exousian). See on John i. 12.
Which serve the tabernacle (oi th skhnh latreuontev). This does not mean the priests only, but the worshippers also. Skhnh tabernacle is used figuratively for the whole ceremonial economy. A reference to the priests alone is entirely foreign to the context, and to the whole drift of the discussion which contrasts the privileges of Christians at large (we) with those of Israel at large. The writer is speaking in the present tense, of institutions in operation in his own time, to which tabernacle, in any other than a figurative sense, would be inappropriate. Moreover, latreuein to serve is used throughout the N.T., with the single exception of Hebrews viii. 5, of the service of the worshipper and not of the priest.
11. The statement that the adherents of the old economy are excluded from the privileges of the new is justified by an illustrative argument drawn from the ceremonies of the Great Day of Atonement. See Leviticus 16, and comp. Heb. ix. 7. Of the victims offered on that occasion neither people nor priest were allowed to eat. The blood of the bullock and of one of the goats was carried into the sanctuary and sprinkled upon the mercy-seat, and afterward on the horns of the great altar outside; and the bodies of the slain animals were burned in a clean place outside of the camp or city. Beasts (zwwn). Lit. living creatures. The victims for the Day of Atonement were a bullock and two young goats for sin-offerings, and two rams for burnt-offerings. Only one goat, chosen by lot, was slain; the other served as the scape-goat. Zwon animal is not used elsewhere of a sacrificial victim, either in N.T. or LXX. The word in N.T. mostly in Revelation. See on Apoc. i. 16; iv. 6.
Without the camp (exw thv parembolhv). Burning without the camp was also required in the case of victims offered at the consecration of the priests, Exod. xxix. 14; at the sin-offering for the priest, Lev. iv. 11, 12; and at the sin-offering for the congregation, Lev. iv. 21. For parembolh camp, see on Acts xxi. 34.
12. That he might sanctify the people (ina agiash ton laon). Agiazein to sanctify had a peculiar significance to Jews. It meant to set them apart as holy. Hence, the Israelites were called agioi, as separated from other nations and consecrated to God. Our writer extends the application of the word to Christians. For Christ's work he claims the same efficacy which the Jew claimed for the special call of God to Israel, and for the operation of the Jewish sacrificial system. The office of his atoning work is to sanctify; to make for himself a holy nation (eqnov agion), a people "prepared for the Lord" (Luke i. 17); a true Israel of God. O laov the people, or laov my people, occurs constantly in O.T. as a designation of Israel, and also in N.T. See, in this epistle, ch. v. 3; vii. 5, 11, 27; ix. 7,19. The N.T. extends the title to all who, under the new dispensation, occupy the position of Israel. See 1 Pet. ii. 10; Matthew i. 21; Luke ii. 10; Heb. iv. 9; viii. 10; x. 30; xi. 25.
With his own blood ( dia tou idiou aimatov). In contrast with the blood of animal-sacrifices. Comp. ch. ix. 12, 28.
Without the gate (exw thv pulhv). Gate is substituted for camp (ver. 11), as more appropriate to a city.
14. For here have we no continuing city (ou gar ecomen wde menousan polin). Here, on earth. Continuing city. Let us go forth without the gate to Jesus; for the system which has its center in Jerusalem, the Holy City, is no more ours. We are excluded from its religious fellowship by embracing the faith of him who suffered without the gate. The city itself is not abiding. As a holy city, it is the center and representative of a system of shadows and figures (ch. viii. 5; ix. 9, 23, 24; x. 1), which is to be shaken and removed, even as is the city itself (xii. 27); viii. 13; ix. 10; x. 9, 18. If the epistle had been written after the destruction of Jerusalem a reference to that event could hardly have been avoided here. One to come ( thn mellousan). Rend. "that which is to come." The heavenly Jerusalem. Comp. ch. xi. 10, 13-16.
The course of thought in vers. 9-14 is as follows: Be not carried away with divers and strange teachings, for example, those concerning meats and drinks and sacrificial feasts. It is good that the heart be established, rather than that the body should be ceremonially pure; and that the heart be established by the grace of God in Christ, which alone can give inward peace, a pure conscience, an established rest and security - rather than by the consciousness of having partaken of meats ceremonially clean: for those whose religious life was under the regimen of this ceremonial system derived no permanent profit from it. Not only so, the two systems exclude each other. You cannot hold by the Levitical system and enjoy the blessings of Christian salvation. It is the sacrifice of Christ through which you become partakers of grace. It is impossible to obtain grace through meats; for meats represent the economy which denies Christ; and, by seeking establishment through meats, you exclude yourselves from the economy which is the only vehicle of grace.
Accordingly, we have an altar and a sacrifice from which the votary of Leviticalism is excluded. By the Levitical law it was forbidden to eat the flesh of the victim offered on the Great Day of Atonement; so that, if the Levitical law still holds for you, you cannot partake of the Christian's atoning victim. The law under which you are prohibits you. According to that law, there is nothing to eat of in an atoning sacrifice, since the body of the victim is burned. Neither priest nor people have anything more to do with it, and, therefore, it is carried outside of the camp or city, outside of the region of O.T. covenant-fellowship. Similarly, so long as you hold by Judaism, participation in Christ's atoning sacrifice is impossible for you. It is outside your religious sphere, like the body of the victim outside the gate. You cannot eat of our altar.
The blood of the Levitical victim was carried into the holy of holies and remained there. If you seek the benefit of that blood, it must be within the camp, at the Levitical tabernacle or temple. And you cannot have the benefit of Christ's blood, for that compels you to go outside the gate, where he suffered. According to the O.T. law, you could partake of the benefit of the blood, but you could not eat of the body. Christ's sacrifice gives you both body and blood as spiritual food; but these you must seek outside of Judaism. Thus, by means of the O.T. ritual itself, it is shown that the Jewish and the Christian systems exclude each other. Christ must be sought outside of the Jewish pale.
15. By him therefore (di autou). Rend. "through him." Omit therefore. A.V. follows T.R. oun. Through Jesus, and not through the Jewish ritual. Let us offer (anaferwmen). Lit. bring up the offering to the altar. See Jas. ii. 21, where the full phrase occurs. For the phrase offer up through Jesus Christ, comp. 1 Pet. ii. 5.
The sacrifice of praise ( qusian ainesewv). The Levitical term for a thank-offering. See LXX, Lev. vii. 2, 3, 5; 2 Chron. xxix. 31; xxxiii. 16; Psalm xlix. 14, 23; cvi. 22; cxv. 8. Ainesiv praise, N.T.o . Often in LXX,o Class. For "the sacrifice" rend. "a sacrifice." The sacrifice of thanksgiving is to take the place of the animal sacrifice. For the emphasis on thanksgiving in N.T. see Eph. v. 20; Col. i. 12; 1 Thessalonians v. 18. The Rabbins had a saying, "in the future time all sacrifices shall cease; but praises shall not cease." Philo says: "They offer the best sacrifice who glorify with hymns the savior and benefactor, God." That is the fruit of our lips (toutestin karpon ceilewn). Omit our. From LXX of Hos. xiv. 3, where the Hebrew reads, "we will account our lips as calves" (offered in sacrifice). Comp. Isa. lvii. 19. Giving thanks to his name (omologountwn tw onomati autou). The phrase N.T.o , o LXX. Rend. "of lips which make confession to his name."
16. But to do good and to communicate forget (thv de eupoiiav kai koinwniav mh epilanqanesqe). Lit. but be not forgetful of doing good and communicating. Eupoiia beneficence, N.T.o , o LXX, o Class. For koinwnia communication, of alms, etc., see on Luke v. 10; Acts ii. 42. See also Rom. xv. 26; 2 Cor. viii. 4; ix. 13. Comp. the verb koinwnein to impart, Rom. xii. 13; xv. 27; Philip. iv. 15.
Unprofitable (alusitelev). N.T.o , o LXX. From aj not, and lusitelhv paying for expenses. Hence, what does not pay; unprofitable.
I may be restored to you (apokatastaqw umin). Not implying imprisonment, but enforced absence through sickness or other cause.
20. The God of peace. Not an O.T. phrase, and found only in Paul and Hebrews. See Rom. xv. 33; xvi. 20; 1 Cor. xiv. 33; Philip. iv. 9, 1 Thess. v. 23; 2 Thess. iii. 16. The phrase signifies God who is the author and giver of peace.
Who brought again from the dead (o anagagwn ek nekrwn). The only direct reference in the epistle to the resurrection of Christ. Ch. vi. 2 refers to the resurrection of the dead generally. Anagein of raising the dead, only Rom. x. 7. Rend. "brought up," and comp. Wisd. xvi. 13. Ana in this compound, never in N.T. in the sense of again. See on Luke viii. 22; Acts xii. 4; xvi. 34; xxvii. 3. The verb often as a nautical termt to bring a vessel up from the land to the deep water; to put to sea.
That great shepherd of the sheep ( ton poimena twn probatwn ton megan). The Greek order is, "the shepherd of the sheep the great (shepherd)." Comp. John x. 2, 11, 14; 1 Pet. ii. 25, and see Isa. lxiii. 11. Of God, Ezekiel 34.
Through the blood of the everlasting covenant (en aimati diaqhkhv aiwniou). Rend. "in the blood of an eternal covenant." See Zechariah ix. 11. The phrase eternal covenant N.T.o . Common in LXX; see Genesis ix. 16; xvii. 19; Lev. xxiv. 8; 2 Sam. xxiii. 5; Jer. xxxix. 40; Ezek. xvi. 60. Const. with the great shepherd of the sheep. It may be granted that the raising of Christ from the dead, viewed as the consummation of the plan of salvation, was in the sphere of the blood of the covenant; nevertheless, the covenant is nowhere in the N.T. associated with the resurrection, but frequently with death, especially in this epistle. See Matt. xxvi. 28; Luke xxii. 20; Heb. ix. 15, 16, 17, 20. The connection of the blood of the covenant with Christ's pastoral office gives a thoroughly scriptural sense, and one which exactly fits into the context. Christ becomes the great shepherd solely through the blood of the covenant. Comp. Acts xx. 28. Through this is brought about the new relation of the church with God described in ch. viii. 10 ff. This tallies perfectly with the conception of "the God of peace"; and the great Shepherd will assert the power of the eternal covenant of reconciliation and peace by perfecting his flock in every good work to do his will, working in them that which is well pleasing in his sight. With this agree Jer. l. 5, 19; Ezek. xxxiv. 25, and the entire chapter, see especially vers. 12-15, 23, 31. In these verses the Shepherd of the Covenant appears as guiding, tending his flock, and leading them into fair and safe pastures. Comp. Isa. lxiii. 11-14, and Apoc. vii. 17, see note on poimanei shall shepherd. En aimati "in the blood," is in virtue of, or in the power of the blood.
21. Make you perfect ( katartisai umav). The verb is aptly chosen, since the readers are addressed as a body - the flock of Christ. The prayer is for the complete mutual adjustment of all the members of the flock into a perfected whole, fitted to do the perfect will of God. See on 1 Peter v. 10, and comp. notes on 2 Tim. iii. 17; 1 Cor. i. 10; 2 Corinthians xiii. 11. Ignatius uses the word of the church's being joined (kathrtismenoi) in common subjection to the Bishops and the Presbytery (Eph. ii), and of himself as one composed or settled into union (eiv enwsin), that is, avoiding division in the church (Philad. 8); and again to the Smyrnaeans (1) "I have perceived that ye are settled or compacted in faith immovable, being, as it were, nailed on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ in flesh and in spirit."
To do his will (eiv to poihsai to qelhma autou). To the end that you do, etc.
Working in you ( poiwn en hmin). Rend. "in us." A.V. follows T.R. uJmin you. For "working" rend. "doing." The word plays on poihsai to do. "Make you perfect to do his will, he doing in us what is well-pleasing in his sight."
That which is well-pleasing in his sight (to auareston enwpion autou). Comp. Eph. v. 10. The phrase N.T.o . Euareston usually with the simple dative, as Rom. xii. 1; xiv. 8; Eph. v. 10; Philippians iv. 18. Comp. 1 John iii. 22.
22. Suffer the word of exhortation (anecesqe tou logou thv paraklhsewv). For "suffer," rend. "bear with." See Acts xviii. 14; 2 Corinthians xi. 1; 2 Tim. iv. 3. Do not become impatient at my counsels in this letter. The word of exhortation refers to the entire epistle which he regards as hortatory rather than didactic or consolatory. The phrase only in Acts xiii. 15.
I have written a letter unto you ( epesteila umin). A.V. supplies a letter. Rend. "I have written unto you." The verb only here, Acts xv. 20; xxi. 25. Lit. to send, not letters only. Sometimes with ejpistolai or ejpistolav letters added, as Neh. vi. 19; 1 Macc. xii. 7. In N.T. always of sending a letter.
In a few words (dia bracewn). There is a suggestion of apology. Do not grow impatient. The letter is short. The phrase N.T.o , but comp. dij ojligwn, 1 Pet. v. 12, and ejn ojligw briefly, Eph. iii. 3.
23. Our brother Timothy (ton adelfon hmwn Timoqeon). Paul's habit, when using oJ ajdelfov brother with a proper name, is to put the proper name first. See Rom. xvi. 23; 1 Cor. i. 1; xvi. 12; 2 Cor. i. 1; ii. 13; Philip. ii. 25.
24. They of Italy (oi apo thv Italiav). This may mean, "those who are in Italy send greeting from Italy"; or, "those of Italy (Italian Christians with the writer at the time) send greeting' from the place at which the letter is being written. See Introduction. The phrase affords no reliable indication as to the residence of the persons addressed.