Bible Study Christian Rules Discipleship

My translation and notes on Hebrews 13:1-6

The last chapter of Hebrews has many rules for living a Christian life.

Here are verses 1-6

My translation and notes on Hebrews 13:1-6

1 Let brotherly love continue.

[This love already existed; the writer reminded all readers to continue. The Greek word for ‘brotherly love’ is φιλαδελφία philadelphía (G5360). It means to love with family loyalty. Love is a choice. The actions of love are found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. It is characterized by a love that esteems (finds value in and holds a favorable opinion) others greater than ourselves (Romans 12:10). It is something God teaches us (1 Thessalonians 4:9). God showed love to us when He cleansed our hearts from sin, so we are now to show love to our brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Peter 1:22). This love is genuine, not faked. Since God has given us new birth though faith alone in Christ alone, we are now to exercise that faith and become stronger in it. God’s gives us the strength to do so. These ‘exercises’ are found in 2 Peter 1:3-8)].

2 Do not forget to be hospitable to strangers, because in doing so some have unknowingly been hospitable to angels.

[Not just anyone, but to brothers and sisters known perhaps only by name who come for fellowship and a safe place to sleep].

3 Remember those who are in prison, as though youp were in prison with them. [Remember] those who are mistreated, as though yourp body is being [mistreated] also.

[These are believers who are in prison for the faith. It is not only in prayer support (as for Peter in Acts 12:6-16), but as often the case to bring needed supplies (as for Paul in Acts 24:23 and Acts 28:)].

4 Let marriage be honored by all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

[If believers wish to marry, it is not sin. If they marry, they are under the Law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). Sexual purity is the only norm for Christians].

5 Let yourp conduct be without covetousness. Be satisfied with what youp have, because he has said, “I will never leave yous, nor forsake yous.”

[Quotes are from Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:5, and 1 Chronicles 28:20. ‘Conduct’ is our character and lifestyle. The Greek word for covetousness is ἀφιλάργυρος aphilárgyros (G866). It means to love money, riches, and goods. People love money because it can bring influence, power, admiration, and lots of stuff. It becomes a god and a violation of God’s law. See Exodus 20:17, Romans 13:8-9, Colossians 3:5-6, and Luke 12:13-15. Being content with what we have is important to keep us from covetousness. If there is lack, God does provide our needs if it is His will. If not His will, there He will be with us regardless of our condition. He does not forsake us. Joseph Benson (COMMENTARY ON THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS) writes on this verse: Endeavour to bring your mind down to your circumstances, be they what they may. “The apostle did not mean by this to preclude the Hebrews, or any person, from using lawful means for bettering their circumstances; but that, having used such means, they were to be contented, although God did not make them successful.” For he — Rather, he himself, namely, God, who hath all the stores of nature at his command, and who owns the relation of a Father to us; hath said — To all believers, in saying it to Jacob, Joshua, and Solomon, (see the margin,) I will never leave thee nor forsake thee — The many negative particles, and their position in the original, render this passage extremely emphatical and beautiful. Doddridge renders it, I will not, I will not leave thee; I will never, never, never forsake thee; words from which all God’s people (his love to them being the same in all ages) may take a just encouragement in all the difficulties to which they may be exposed].

6 So then, we can boldly say, “The Lord is my helper,” and “I will not be afraid of what anyone will do to me.”

[See Psalm 37:25, Psalm 27:1, and Psalm 118:6-7. Fear can be banished when blessed by God’s love].

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