|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:32-39 Many and various afflictions united against the early Christians, and they had a great conflict. The Christian spirit is not a selfish spirit; it puts us upon pitying others, visiting them, helping them, and pleading for them. All things here are but shadows. The happiness of the saints in heaven will last for ever; enemies can never take it away as earthly goods. This will make rich amends for all we may lose and suffer here. The greatest part of the saints' happiness, as yet, is in promise. It is a trial of the patience of Christians, to be content to live after their work is done, and to stay for their reward till God's time to give it is come. He will soon come to them at death, to end all their sufferings, and to give them a crown of life. The Christian's present conflict may be sharp, but will be soon over. God never is pleased with the formal profession and outward duties and services of such as do not persevere; but he beholds them with great displeasure. And those who have been kept faithful in great trails for the time past, have reason to hope for the same grace to help them still to live by faith, till they receive the end of their faith and patience, even the salvation of their souls. Living by faith, and dying in faith, our souls are safe for ever.
Verse 34. - For ye had compassion on those who were in bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing that ye have for yourselves a better possession, and an abiding one. For τοῖς δεσμίοις, the Receptus has τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου, which the A.V., so as to avoid the impropriety of expressing sympathy with the bonds themselves, renders "me in my bonds." Even apart from manuscript authority, δεσμίοις is evidently to be preferred, both as suiting the verb συνεπαθήσατε and as being more likely to have been altered to the common Pauline expression, δεσμοῖς μου, than vice versa, especially on the supposition of the writer being St. Paul himself. Thus no evidence as to the authorship of the Epistle is hence deducible. The allusion is to persecutions of Christians, under which the Hebrews addressed had been plundered, and had succored others who were prisoners for the faith, as is intimated also in Hebrews 6:10. More than one such persecution might be in the writer's view, including, perhaps, that after the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:1; Acts 11:19); that instituted by Herod Agrippa, under which James the elder suffered (Acts 12.); that which led to the martyrdom of James the Just (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 20:09. 1) and others.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For ye had compassion of me in my bonds,.... When he was bound at Jerusalem, by the chief captain Lysias, with two chains, Acts 21:33 or when he was in bonds elsewhere; which they did by sympathizing with him in their hearts; by their prayers for him, and in their letters to him; and by sending presents to him for his relief and support. The Alexandrian copy, and two of Stephens's, the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions, read, "had compassion on the prisoners"; or "them that were bound"; meaning prisoners in general, remembering them that were in bonds, as bound with them; or particularly such as were prisoners for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel; and it may be some of them, which the apostle himself committed to prison, in his state of unregeneracy:
and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods; the furniture of their houses, their worldly substance, of which they were stripped by their persecutors; and this they took quietly and patiently, yea, joyfully; rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer the confiscation of their goods for the sake of Christ: the reason of which joy was,
knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance: that which is laid up for the saints in heaven is "substance"; it is signified by an house, a city, a kingdom; and so it is rendered here in the Ethiopic version; and by riches, true, glorious, and durable; and by a treasure and an inheritance: and this is "better" than anything in this world; as to the quality of it, it being celestial; and as to the quantity of it, it being all things; and as to the place where it is, "in heaven"; though this clause is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions; and as to the company with whom it is enjoyed, saints in light; yea, God himself is the portion of his people: and this is an "enduring" substance; it cannot be wasted by the saints themselves; nor taken away from them by others; nor can it decay in its own nature; and the saints will always endure to enjoy it: and this they may be said to "have": it is promised to them, and prepared for them; they have a right unto it, and the earnest of it; and they have it already in Christ, their head and representative; so that it is, upon all accounts, sure unto them: and this they know in themselves; from what they find and feel in their own hearts; from the sealing testimony and earnest of the Spirit, and from the promise of Christ, Matthew 5:10.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
34. ye had compassion on me in my bonds—The oldest manuscripts and versions omit "me," and read, "Ye both sympathized with those in bonds (answering to the last clause of Heb 10:33; compare Heb 13:3, 23; 6:10), and accepted (so the Greek is translated in Heb 11:35) with joy (Jas 1:2; joy in tribulations, as exercising faith and other graces, Ro 5:3; and the pledge of the coming glory, Mt 5:12) the plundering of your (own) goods (answering to the first clause of Heb 10:33)."
in yourselves—The oldest manuscripts omit "in": translate, "knowing that ye have for (or 'to') yourselves."
better—a heavenly (Heb 11:16).
enduring—not liable to spoiling.
substance—possession: peculiarly our own, if we will not cast away our birthright.
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