Hebrews 13:7
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken to you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) Which have the rule.—Rather, which were your leaders (Hebrews 13:17; Hebrews 13:24; Acts 15:22), who spake unto you the word of God. These spiritual guides had been removed from them by death.

Whose faith follow.—Better, and, contemplating: the end (or, issue) of their life, imitate their faith. Their Christian life and course (James 3:13; 1Peter 1:15, et al.), had been known by the Church; they, too, have obtained a good report “by faith” (Hebrews 11:2), and all who contemplate the blessed issue of such a life will be strengthened to imitate their faith. We may well suppose that some had died a martyr’s death, but the writer seems carefully to avoid any direct expression of this thought; his words apply to all who have ended their course in the triumph of faith. This verse recalls a striking passage in the Book of Wisdom, Hebrews 2:17-18; especially Hebrews 13:17, where the ungodly say of the righteous man, “Let us see if his words be true, and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him.”

Hebrews 13:7. Remember them who have the rule over you Των ηγουμενων υμων, or, who are, or rather, were, the guides of you, namely, formerly; who have spoken — Or, who spake; unto you the word of God — Remember who they were, and your obligations to them; and though all your intercourse with them is for the present cut off, do not, however, forget their instructions and their examples. Bishop Lloyd (see his funeral sermon for Bishop Wilkins) thinks this may refer to James the brother of John, and to James, commonly called the first bishop of Jerusalem, both of whom had been put to death there before this epistle was written; whose faith follow — Embrace by faith the same doctrines, precepts, and promises of the gospel which they embraced; and let your faith be assured, lively, and operative as theirs was, purifying your hearts, and rendering your lives fruitful to the glory of God; considering the end Την εκβασιν, the issue, of their conversation — The happy end they made; the blessed manner in which they quitted life; the ground of that support which they experienced in their latest moments from the truths they had taught you; the heroic resolution with which they were animated to meet even martyrdom itself in that sacred cause; and let the remembrance of these things engage you to retain their faith, and courageously to follow their steps.13:7-15 The instructions and examples of ministers, who honourably and comfortably closed their testimony, should be particularly remembered by survivors. And though their ministers were some dead, others dying, yet the great Head and High Priest of the church, the Bishop of their souls, ever lives, and is ever the same. Christ is the same in the Old Testament day. as in the gospel day, and will be so to his people for ever, equally merciful, powerful, and all-sufficient. Still he fills the hungry, encourages the trembling, and welcomes repenting sinners: still he rejects the proud and self-righteous, abhors mere profession, and teaches all whom he saves, to love righteousness, and to hate iniquity. Believers should seek to have their hearts established in simple dependence on free grace, by the Holy Spirit, which would comfort their hearts, and render them proof against delusion. Christ is both our Altar and our Sacrifice; he sanctifies the gift. The Lord's supper is the feast of the gospel passover. Having showed that keeping to the Levitical law would, according to its own rules, keep men from the Christian altar, the apostle adds, Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp; go forth from the ceremonial law, from sin, from the world, and from ourselves. Living by faith in Christ, set apart to God through his blood, let us willingly separate from this evil world. Sin, sinners, nor death, will not suffer us to continue long here; therefore let us go forth now by faith and seek in Christ the rest and peace which this world cannot afford us. Let us bring our sacrifices to this altar, and to this our High Priest, and offer them up by him. The sacrifice of praise to God, we should offer always. In this are worship and prayer, as well as thanksgiving.Remember them which have the rule over you - Margin, "are the guides." The word used here means properly "leaders, guides, directors." It is often applied to military commanders. Here it means teachers - appointed to lead or guide them to eternal life. It does not refer to them so much as rulers or governors, as teachers, or guides. In Hebrews 13:17, however, it is used in the former sense. The duty here enjoined is that of remembering them; that is, remembering their counsel; their instructions; their example.

Who have spoken to you the word of God - Preachers; either apostles or others. Respect is to be shown to the ministerial office, by whomsoever it is borne.

Whose faith follow - That is, imitate; see the notes on Hebrews 6:12.

Considering the end of their conversation - Of their conduct; of their manner of life. The word rendered here "the end" - ἔκβασις ekbasis - occurs only here and in 1 Corinthians 10:13, where it is rendered "a way of escape." It properly means, "a going out, an egress," and is hence spoken of as a going out from life, or of an exit from the world - "death." This is probably the meaning here. It does not mean, as our translation would seem to imply, that Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever, was the aim or end for which they lived - for the Greek will not bear that construction; but it means that they were attentively to contemplate the end or the issue of the conduct of those holy teachers - the close or going out of all that they did; to wit, in a peaceful death. Their faith sustained them. They were enabled to persevere in a Christian course, and did not faint or fail. There is allusion, doubtless, to those who had been their religious instructors, and who had died in the faith of the gospel, either by persecution or by an ordinary death, and the apostle points to them as examples of that to which he would exhort those whom he addressed - of perseverance in the faith until death. Thus explained, this verse does not refer to the duty of Christians toward living teachers, but toward those who are dead. Their duty toward living teachers is enforced in Hebrews 13:17. The sentiment here is, that the proper remembrance of those now deceased who were once our spiritual instructors and guides, should be allowed to have an important influence in inducing us to lead a holy life. We should remember them with affection and gratitude; we should recall the truths which they taught, and the exhortations which they addressed to us; we should cherish with kind affection the memory of all that they did for our welfare, and we should not forget the effect of the truths which they taught in sustaining their own souls when they died.

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, Epistles, 49].

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.

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 Heb 11:35. Stephen, James the brother of our Lord and bishop of Jerusalem, as well as James the brother of John (Ac 12:2), 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 decease (Lu 9:31; 2Pe 1:15).

of their conversation—"manner of life": "religious walk" (Ga 1:13; Eph 4:22; 1Ti 4:12; Jas 3:13). 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).

Imitation of their godly ministers, is another duty that Christ’s law chargeth on his subjects, both here and Hebrews 13:17.

Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God; be mindful of your spiritual guides and rulers, firmly and constantly to retain their excellencies in memory, esteeming of them, and thanking God for them, which were sent to them and set over them by the Holy Ghost, who were guiding of them by Christ to God, and enjoyment of eternal life with him, which they did by preaching to them, and writing the gospel of Christ for their edification, by the inspiration of the Spirit. Some of which guides were removed by death, slain and martyred for the truth of Jesus, and ascended unto heaven, and others were alive among them; they were to remember all of them, but especially their spiritual fathers that had begotten them to God by the gospel, 1 Corinthians 4:15 2 Corinthians 2:17 1 Timothy 5:17 2 Timothy 3:14-17 1 Peter 4:11 5:2,3.

Whose faith follow; the best way of remembering such is by imitating them, to believe the doctrine which they taught and practised, and to be as stedfast in the faith as were they, and holding of it out to others, how eminent believers they were, 1 Timothy 4:12 6:11 2 Timothy 2:22.

Considering the end of their conversation; such as their doctrine was, such was their life, conformable to Christ’s, 1 Corinthians 11:1. It was honest, upright, and blameless, much in heaven, 2 Corinthians 10:3 Philippians 3:20. All their turnings and motions in the world, their very life, was hid with Christ in God; all agreeable to, as ordered by, his will. And such was the issue and egress of this life, which it is their concernment to review, they having by it an outlet from the remainders of sin and misery, which did defile and oppress them, Revelation 14:13, and a victory over the world and all its oppositions to them, sealing the truth with their blood which they had preached and practised among them, and were more than conquerors over all by death, having an inlet into life, and peace, and eternal glory, in the inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away, reserved for them in heaven, Romans 8:37 2 Timothy 4:8 1 Peter 1:4 3:4. Remember them which have the rule over you,.... Christ's church is a kingdom, and he is King in it; pastors of churches are subordinate governors; who rule well when they rule not in an arbitrary way, according to their own wills, but according to the laws of Christ, with all faithfulness, prudence, and diligence. The word may be rendered "guides" or "leaders"; for such point out the way of peace, life, and salvation to men, and direct them to Christ; and guide them into the understanding of the Scriptures, and the truths of the Gospel; and lead them in the paths of faith and holiness, and are examples to them. The Greek word, here used, is what the Jews call Christian bishops by; and is, by Maimonides (w), said to be the same as "a bishopric": to "remember" them is to know, own, acknowledge, and respect them as their governors; to obey them, and submit to them; to treasure up in memory their doctrines and exhortations; to be mindful of them at the throne of grace, to pray for them; and to take care of their maintenance and outward supply of life:

who have spoken unto you the word of God; of which God is the author, being agreeably to the Scriptures, given by inspiration of God; the subject of which is the love and grace of God in Christ; and which God makes useful for conversion and comfort; and which, when spoken aright, is spoken freely, boldly, and faithfully:

whose faith follow; or "imitate"; meaning either their faithfulness, by owning the truths and ordinances of the Gospel before men; by reproving fellow Christians in love; by discharging the several duties of their place in the church; and by performing the private duties of life: or the grace of faith, their strong exercise of it, together with its fruits and effects, love, and good works; also the profession of their faith, which they hold fast unto the end; and the doctrine of faith, by embracing the same, as it appears agreeably to the word; by abiding by it, standing fast in it, striving for it, and persevering in it to the end.

Considering the end of their conversation; which may intend the whole of their conduct in the discharge of the several duties of their office; the end of which designs either the manner of it, as De Dieu explains it, agreeably to the sense of the Hebrew word, in Psalm 68:20 or the drift and scope of it, which was Christ, his honour and glory, as in connection with the following verse; or the event of it in life, being for the glory of God, and the good of men; or rather the issue of it in death, or what a comfortable end they made; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "considering" their "last manner of living, in their exit out of the world"; and this is to be considered for imitation and encouragement.

(w) In Misn. Gittin, c. 1. sect. 1.

{4} 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.

(4) We have to set before us the examples of valiant captains, whom we ought diligently to follow.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 13:7. Exhortation to a remembrance of the former teachers, and an emulation of their faith.

οἱ ἡγούμενοι] the presidents and leaders of the congregation. Comp. Hebrews 13:17; Hebrews 13:24; where, however, those still living are indicated, while here we have to think of those already fallen asleep. By virtue of the characteristic οἵτινες ἐλάλησαν ὑμῖν τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ they appear as identical with the persons mentioned Hebrews 2:3, the immediate disciples of Christ, from whom the readers had received the gospel.

ὧν] has reference equally to τὴν ἔκβσαιν τῆς ἀναστροφῆς and τὴν πίστιν.

ἀναθεωρεῖν] the prolonged, closely observing contemplation. Comp. Acts 17:23.

τὴν ἔκβασιν τῆς ἀναστροφῆς] not: the course or path of development of their walk (Oecumenius, but without deciding, and Lud. de Dieu)—which is opposed to linguistic usage; nor yet: the result for others of their believing walk, inasmuch as many were thereby converted to Christianity (Braun, Cramer)—which must have been more precisely defined by means of additions; just as little: the result of their believing walk for the ἡγούμενοι themselves, as regards their rewarding in heaven (Storr, Bloomfield, and others), for an ἀναθεωρεῖν of the latter, to which the author is supposed to exhort, would not have been possible; but: the outlet or end of their walk on earth [1 Corinthians 10:13]. Comp. τὴν ἔξοδον, Luke 9:31, 2 Peter 1:15, and τὴν ἄφιξιν, Acts 20:29. That which is intended, seeing that in combination with the ἀναθεωρεῖν τὴν ἔκβασιν τῆς ἀναστροφῆς a μιμεῖσθαι τὴν πίστιν is spoken of, is beyond doubt the martyr’s death, endured by the earlier leaders and presidents of the Palestinian congregations, Stephen, James the elder, James the brother of the Lord, and Peter, whereby they had manifested the strength and immovable stedfastness of their faith.Hebrews 13:7-16. The Hebrews are exhorted to keep in remembrance their former leaders, to abide steadfastly by their teaching, to rid themselves of the ideas of Judaism, to bear the shame attaching to the faith of Christ, to persevere in good works. Μνημονεύετε τῶν ἡγουμένων ὑμῶν … “Have in remembrance them who had the rule over you, especially as they are those who spoke to you the word of God”. μνημον. might be used, as in Hebrews 11:22 and Galatians 2:10, τῶν πτωχῶν μνημ., of keeping living persons in mind (and so Rendall) but what follows makes it more likely that it here refers to the past. These deceased leading men were the persons alluded to in Hebrews 2:3 and Hebrews 4:2, who first “spoke” the word of the gospel to the Hebrews and who were now no longer present. The word ἡγούμενοι, occurring also in Hebrews 13:17; Hebrews 13:24 and in Acts 15:22 (and cf. Sir 30:18, οἱ ἡγούμενοι ἐκκλησίας) is a general term for leading and influential men in whom some undefined authority was vested. Official status was not yet defined and official titles were not yet universal. The chief reason why they are to be held in remembrance is given in the clause under οἵτινες, “for they are they who”. But an additional reason is suggested in the following clause, ὧν ἀναθεωροῦντες … “whose faith imitate as you closely consider the issue of their manner of life”. ὧν follows ἀναστροφῆς. ἀναθεωρέω in Theophrastus and Diodorus Siculus is explicitly contrasted with the simple verb to denote a keener and more careful observation. We cannot therefore render, as naturally we might, “look back upon”. ἔκβασιν, in 1 Corinthians 10:18 has the meaning “escape”; but in Wis 2:17, as here, it denotes the end of life with a distinct reference to the manner of it, as illustrating the man’s relation to God. The leading men among the Hebrew Christians had, whether by martyrdom (as Weiss, etc.) or not, sealed their teaching and exhibited a faith worthy of imitation. Hebrews 13:8 gives force both to Hebrews 13:7 and to Hebrews 13:9. Imitate their faith, for the object of faith has not changed nor passed away. Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς ἐχθὲς.… “Jesus Christ yesterday and to-day is the same, yea and for ever.” ὁ αὐτὸς exactly as in Plutarch’s Pericles, xv. 2, where in describing the influence of success upon Pericles it is said οὐκέθʼ ὁ αὐτὸς ἧν, he was no longer the same. ἐχθὲς is the proper Attic form, χθές the old Ionic, see Rutherford’s New Phryn., 370. “Yesterday and to-day,” in the past and in the present Jesus Christ is the same, and He will never be different. Therefore, διδαχαῖς ποικίλαις καὶ ξέναις μὴ παραφέρεσθε. “Be not carried away by teachings various and unheard of, and foreign.” παραφερ. is used in Diodorus and Plutarch of being swept away by a river in flood; cf. παραρυῶμεν of Hebrews 2:1. The teachings against which the Hebrews are here warned are such constructions of Old Testament institutions and practises as tended to loosen their attachment to Christ as the sole mediator of the New Covenant. These teachings were “various,” inasmuch as they laid stress now on one aspect, now on another of the old economy [“bald in der Schriftgelehrsamkeit, bald in peinlicher Gesetzseserfüllung, bald im Opferkult, bald in den Opfermahlzeiten” (Weiss)]. They were ξέναι both as being novel and as being irreconcileable with pure Christian truth. καλὸν γὰρ χάριτι.… “For it is good that by grace the heart be confirmed, not by meats.” The present wavering unsatisfactory condition of the Hebrews is to be exchanged for one of confidence and steadfastness not by listening to teachings about meats which after all cannot nourish the heart, but by approaching the throne where grace reigns and from which it is dispensed, Hebrews 4:16. From the following verse (Hebrews 13:10) in which sacrificial food is expressly mentioned, it would appear that the reference in οὐ βρώμασιν is not to asceticism nor to the distinction of clean and unclean meats, but to sacrificial meals. These are condemned by experiment as useless, ἐν οἷς οὐκ ὠφελήθησαν … “which were of no avail to those who had recourse to them” (Moffatt). Cf. the ἀσθενὲς καὶ ἀνωφελές of Hebrews 7:18. Sacrificial meals are also shown to be irreconcileable (ξέναι) with the Christian approach to God, for our (the Christian) altar is one from which neither worshippers nor priests have any right to eat. The point he wishes to make is, that in connection with the Christian sacrifice there is no sacrificial meal. As in the case of the great sacrifice of the Day of Atonement the High Priest carried the blood into the Holy of Holies, while the carcase was not eaten but burned outside the camp; so the Christian altar is not one from which food is dispensed to priest and worshipper. οἱ τῇ σκηνῇ λατρεύοντες refers to the Christian worshippers. The figure introduced in θυσιαστήριον is continued in these words. To refer them to the O.T. priests is to shatter the argument. Literally the words mean “they who serve the tabernacle,” that is, the priests, cf. Hebrews 8:5. The peculiarity, he says, of our Christian sacrifice is that it is not eaten. Then follows in support of this statement an analogy from the O.T. ritual, ὧν γὰρ εἰσφέρεται ζώων.… “For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the holy place by the High Priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp.” Cf. Leviticus 4:12; Leviticus 4:21. In conformity with this type (διὸ καὶ Ἰησοῦς) Jesus, that He by His own blood might purify the people from their sin, suffered outside the gate. “The burning of the victim was not intended to sublimate but to get rid of it. The body plays no part in the atoning act, and has in fact no significance after the blood has been drained from it. The life, and therefore the atoning energy, resides in the blood and in the blood alone. On the writer’s scheme, then, no function is left for the body of Jesus. It is ‘through his own blood,’ that he must ‘sanctify the people’. It is thus inevitable that while the writer fully recognises the fact of the Resurrection of Christ (Hebrews 13:20), he can assign no place to it in his argument or attach to it any theological significance” (Peake). The suffering ἔξω τῆς πύλης is equivalent to the αἰσχύνη of Hebrews 12:2; the ignominy of the malefactor’s death was an essential element in the suffering. The utmost that man inflicts upon criminals he bore. He was made to feel that he was outcast and condemned. But it is this which wins all men to Him. τοίνυν ἐξερχώμεθα πρὸς αὐτὸν … “let us therefore go out to him outside the camp bearing his reproach”. Cf. Hebrews 11:26. Do not shrink from abandoning your old associations and being branded as outcasts and traitors and robbed of your privileges as Jews. This is the reproach of Christ, in bearing which you come nearer to Him. And the surrender of your privileges need not cost you too much regret, “for we have not here (on earth) an abiding city, but seek for that which is to be,” that which has the foundations, Hebrews 11:10, the heavenly Jerusalem, Hebrews 12:22. That which is spiritual and eternal satisfies the ambition and fills the heart. Cf. Mark 3:35; Php 3:20. The want of recognition and settlement on earth may therefore well be borne.7. them which have the rule over you, who have spoken] Rather, “your leaders, who spoke to you;” for, as the next clause shews, these spiritual leaders were dead. At this time the ecclesiastical organisation was still unfixed. The vague term “leaders” (found also in Acts 15:22), like the phrase “those set over you” (proistamenoi, 1 Thessalonians 5:12) means “bishops” and “presbyters,” the two terms being, in the Apostolic age, practically identical. In later ecclesiastical Greek this word (ἡγούμενοι) was used for “Abbots.”

whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation] In the emphatic order of the original, “and earnestly contemplating the issue of their conversation, imitate their faith.”

the end] Not the ordinary word for “end” (telos) but the very unusual word ekbasin, “outcome.” This word in the N.T. is found only in 1 Corinthians 10:13, where it is rendered “escape.” In Wis 2:17 we find, “Let us see if his words be true, and let us see what shall happen at his end” (ἐν ἐκβάσει). It here seems to mean death, but not necessarily a death by martyrdom. It merely means “imitate them, by being faithful unto death.” The words exodos, “departure” (Luke 9:31; 2 Peter 1:15) and aphixis (Acts 20:29) are similar euphemisms for death.Hebrews 13:7. Ἡγουμένων) them who have the rule, Hebrews 13:17; Hebrews 13:24. The use of this word is very extensive; it is applied to a prince, to a teacher, etc.; it is presently explained in this passage, who have spoken to you the world of GOD. He therefore intends teachers, who were among the first witnesses and apostles of Christ, or their disciples and companions, who had died a little before, or were now almost at the point of death.—ἀναθεώρουντες, looking to, considering) i.e. when you look to with remembrance. The same grand expression occurs at Acts 17:23. “Magnam ἀναθεώρησιν res habet,” Cic. ep. to Atticus, lib. xiv. ep. 15; and again, “Quanta est ἀναθεώρησις,” ep. xvi.—τὴν ἔκβασιν, the end) blessed, wished for.—τῆς ἀναστροφῆς, of their conversation) in the faith, consistent.—μιμεῖσθε, imitate) The imperative. We more easily contemplate and admire the happy death of godly men, than imitate the faith by which they have attained to it.—τὴν πίστιν, the faith) chiefly shown at the end.Verses 7, 8. - Remember your leaders (τῶν ἡγουμένων ὑμῶν, wrongly rendered in the A.V., "them that have the rule over you;" for the reference is to departed chiefs. The word is similarly used by St. Luke (see Luke 22:26; Acts 15:22; also below, ver. 17 and ver. 24). St. Paul, with a like meaning, calls the rulers of the Church οἱ προιστάμενοι: see Romans 12:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy 5:17), who spake to you the Word of God; of whose conversation (i.e. course of life, ἀναστροφῆς), considering the end (or issue, ἔκβασιν), imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is yesterday and today the same, and forever. This allusion to departed leaders shows the comparatively late date of the Epistle. Those who had died as martyrs, and hence, having a peculiar halo round them in the issue of their lives, may be supposed to be especially referred to; such as Stephen the proto-martyr at Jerusalem, James the son of Zebedee, and possibly James the Just, the acknowledged leader of the Jewish Christians. It may be that Peter, the apostle of the circumcision, had also suffered before the writing of the Epistle. This supposition, however, which would involve a date for the Epistle after St. Paul's death also, is by no means necessary. Others, too, may be alluded to of whom we have no record, but whose memory would be fresh in the minds of the readers. But it does not follow that martyrs only are intended. Others also who had died in peace, and whose end had been blessed, might be pointed to as models for the imitation of survivors. Ver. 8 must be taken as a distinct appended sentence, the watchword on which the preceding exhortation is based. Its drift is that, though successive generations pass away, Jesus Christ remains the same - the Savior of the living as well as of the departed, and the Savior of all to the end of time. It may be here observed that, though his eternal Deity is not distinctly expressed - for "yesterday" does not of necessity reach back to past eternity - yet the sentence can hardly be taken as not implying it. For his unchangeableness is contrasted with the changing generations of men, as is that of Jehovah in the Old Testament (e.g. in Psalm 90:2-4), and surely such language would not have been used of any but a Divine Being. Remember them which have the rule over you (μνημονεύετε τῶν ἡγουμένων ὑμῶν)

Remember, with a view to observing their admonitions. For τῶν ἡγουμένων those who lead or rule, see on 1 Thessalonians 5:13. Used of both civil and ecclesiastical rulers. Clement of Rome, among a great variety of names for church functionaries, has both ἡγούμενοι and προηγούμενοι (see Ad Corinth. i, xxi). Comp. Acts 15:22. 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 (οἵτινες ἐλάλησαν)

Rend. "spake," and comp. Hebrews 2:3, Hebrews 2:4.

Follow (μιμεῖσθε)

Rend. "imitate." See on Hebrews 6:12.

Considering (ἀναθεωροῦντες)

Only here and Acts 17:23, see note. The compound verb means to observe attentively. The simple verb θεωρεῖν implies a spiritual or mental interest in the object. See on John 1:18.

The end of their conversation (τὴν ἔκβασιν τῆς ἀναστροφῆς)

Ἔκβασις only here and 1 Corinthians 10:13 (note). It means outcome or issue. See Wisd. 8:8. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, way out. Comp. Wisd. 2:17. Ἁναστροφή is life in intercourse with men. See on 1 Peter 1:15. 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.

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