Hebrews 13 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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Verse 1

[1] Let brotherly love continue.

Brotherly love is explained in the following verses.

Verse 2

[2] Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Some — Abraham and Lot.

Have entertained angels unawares — So may an unknown guest, even now, be of more worth than he appears, and may have angels attending him, though unseen. Genesis 18:2; Genesis 19:1.

Verse 3

[3] Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Remember — In your prayers, and by your help.

Them that are in bonds, as being bound with them — Seeing ye are members one of another.

And them that suffer, as being yourselves in the body — And consequently liable to the same.

Verse 4

[4] Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Marriage is honourable in, or for all sorts of men, clergy as well as laity: though the Romanists teach otherwise.

And the bed undefiled — Consistent with the highest purity; though many spiritual writers, so called, say it is only licensed whoredom.

But whoremongers and adulterers God will judge — Though they frequently escape the sentence of men.

Verse 5

[5] Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

He — God.

Hath said — To all believers, in saying it to Jacob, Joshua, and Solomon. Genesis 28:15; Joshua 1:5; 1 Chronicles 28:20.

Verse 6

[6] So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Psalms 118:6.

Verse 7

[7] Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Remember them — Who are now with God, considering the happy end of their conversation on earth.

Verse 8

[8] Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Men may die; but Jesus Christ, yea, and his gospel, is the same from everlasting to everlasting.

Verse 9

[9] Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Be not carried about with various doctrines — Which differ from that one faith in our one unchangeable Lord.

Strange — To the ears and hearts of all that abide in him.

For it is good — It is both honourable before God and pleasant and profitable That the heart be stablished with grace - Springing from faith in Christ.

Not with meats — Jewish ceremonies, which indeed can never stablish the heart.

Verse 10

[10] We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

On the former part of this verse, the fifteenth and sixteenth depend; on the latter, the intermediate verses.

We have an altar — The cross of Christ.

Whereof they have no right to eat — To partake of the benefits which we receive therefrom.

Who serve the tabernacle — Who adhere to the Mosaic law.

Verse 11

[11] For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.

For — According to their own law, the sin-offerings were wholly consumed, and no Jew ever ate thereof. But Christ was a sin-offering. Therefore they cannot feed upon him, as we do, who are freed from the Mosaic law.

Verse 12

[12] Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Wherefore Jesus also — Exactly answering those typical sin - offerings.

Suffered without the gate — Of Jerusalem, which answered to the old camp of Israel.

That he might sanctify — Reconcile and consecrate to God.

The people — Who believe in him.

By his own blood — Not those shadowy sacrifices, which are now of no farther use.

Verse 13

[13] Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

Let us then go forth without the camp — Out of the Jewish dispensation.

Bearing his reproach — All manner of shame, obloquy, and contempt for his sake.

Verse 14

[14] For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

For we have here — On earth No continuing city - All things here are but for a moment; and Jerusalem itself was just then on the point of being destroyed.

Verse 15

[15] By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

The sacrifice — The altar is mentioned, Hebrews 13:10; now the sacrifices: 1. Praise; 2. Beneficence; with both of which God is well pleased.

Verse 17

[17] Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Obey them that have the rule over you — The word implies also, that lead or guide you; namely, in truth and holiness.

And submit yourselves — Give up (not your conscience or judgment, but) your own will, in all things purely indifferent.

For they watch over your souls — With all zeal and diligence, they guard and caution you against all danger.

As they that must give account — To the great Shepherd, for every part of their behaviour toward you. How vigilant then ought every pastor to be! How careful of every soul committed to his charge! That they may do this - Watch over you.

With joy and not with groans — He is not a good shepherd, who does not either rejoice over them, or groan for them. The groans of other creatures are heard: how much more shall these come up in the ears of God ! Whoever answers this character of a Christian pastor may undoubtedly demand this obedience.

Verse 20

[20] Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

The everlasting covenant — The Christian covenant, which is not temporary, like the Jewish, but designed to remain for ever. By the application of that blood, by which this covenant was established, may he make you, in every respect, inwardly and outwardly holy!

Verse 22

[22] And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.

Suffer the word of exhortation — Addressed to you in this letter, which, though longer than my usual letters, is yet contained in few words, considering the copiousness of the subject.

Verse 23

[23] Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.

If he come — To me.

Verse 25

[25] Grace be with you all. Amen.

- Grace be with you all — St. Paul's usual benediction. God apply it to our hearts!

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