|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:1-6 The design of Christ in giving himself for us, is, that he may purchase to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works; and true religion is the strongest bond of friendship. Here are earnest exhortations to several Christian duties, especially contentment. The sin opposed to this grace and duty is covetousness, an over-eager desire for the wealth of this world, with envy of those who have more than ourselves. Having treasures in heaven, we may be content with mean things here. Those who cannot be so, would not be content though God raised their condition. Adam was in paradise, yet not contented; some angels in heaven were not contented; but the apostle Paul, though abased and empty, had learned in every state, in any state, to be content. Christians have reason to be contented with their present lot. This promise contains the sum and substance of all the promises; I will never, no, never leave thee, no, never forsake thee. In the original there are no less than five negatives put together, to confirm the promise: the true believer shall have the gracious presence of God with him, in life, at death, and for ever. Men can do nothing against God, and God can make all that men do against his people, to turn to their good.
Verse 1. - Let brotherly love continue. Φιλαδελφία does not mean general philanthropy, but the peculiar love of Christians to each other as brethren; "a narrower sphere within the wider sphere of ἀγάπη (Delitzsch); cf. 1. Peter 2:17, "Honor all men, love the brotherhood;" and 2 Peter 1:7, where Christians are exhorted to add ἀγάπη to their φιλαδελπία. This grace of φιλαδελφία they had already, and had evinced it by their conduct (cf. Hebrews 6:10, etc.); they are only to take care that it continue; and let them, among other ways, evince it in hospitality (ver. 2), and in sympathy with the afflicted brethren (ver. 3).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Let brotherly love continue. The Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions add, "in you"; or among you, as a church and society of Christians; for this is not to be understood of love to all mankind, or to those of the same nation, or who are in a strict natural relation brethren, though they are all in a sense brethren, and to be loved; but of love to those who are in the same spiritual relation to God, as their Father, to Christ, as the firstborn among many brethren; and are in the same church state, at least partakers of the same grace: and which love ought to be universal, and reach to all the saints, and be fervent and unfeigned, and as Christ hath loved us; and when it is genuine, it is active and laborious; and shows itself in praying with and for one another; in bearing one another's burdens; in forbearing and forgiving one another; in admonishing one another in love; in building up each other in the most holy faith; and in stirring up one another to the several duties of religion: and without this excellent and useful grace, a profession of religion is in vain; this is an evidence of regeneration; it is the bond of perfectness, and what renders the saints' communion delightful and edifying: many are the arguments moving to the exercise of it; as the love of God, and Christ; the new commandment of Christ; the relation saints stand in to one another; the comfort and joy of Gospel ministers, and our own peace and edification: and this should continue; for the love of God and Christ continues; the relation between the saints continues; and without this, churches cannot continue long: the apostle means, not the grace itself, the internal principle, for that, where it once is, always continues, and can never be lost; but the exercise and increase of it, an abounding in it yet more and more. One of the Jewish prayers is to this purpose (q);
"he that dwells in this house, let him plant among you , "brotherhood and love", (or brotherly love,) peace and friendship.''
(q) T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 3. 3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Heb 13:1-25. Exhortation to Various Graces, Especially Constancy in Faith, Following Jesus amidst Reproaches. Conclusion, with Pieces of Intelligence and Salutations.
1. brotherly love—a distinct special manifestation of "charity" or "love" (2Pe 1:7). The Church of Jerusalem, to which in part this Epistle was addressed, was distinguished by this grace, we know from Acts (compare Heb 6:10; 10:32-34; 12:12, 13).
continue—Charity will itself continue. See that it continue with you.
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