Hebrews 13:1
Let brotherly love continue.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) Brotherly love.—Better, The love of the brethren. (See Romans 12:10, and Note; 1Thessalonians 4:9; 1Peter 1:22.) The love which they had shown to the Christian brotherhood is commended in Hebrews 6:10 (Hebrews 10:33); and yet there was some ground for fear that such affection might not “continue” (Hebrews 10:25).

Hebrews 13:1-2. In this concluding chapter we find fresh instances of that divine wisdom wherewith the apostle was influenced in writing this epistle; improving still more the doctrines he had advanced to practical purposes; in which he gives all ministers of Christ an instructive example of the order and method proper to be pursued in teaching Christianity; first to declare the great doctrines of it, and then to improve them to promote holiness. And they will be mistaken who propose to themselves any other method, and those most of all who think one part of it is sufficient without the other.

Let brotherly love continue — Or abide constant. Love is the fountain and foundation of all moral and religious duties which Christians owe to each other and to all men, and therefore it is here placed at the head of them all. Several of the fruits of this love are touched on in the following verses. It is justly observed by Diodati, that this exhortation was peculiarly suitable to the converted Jews, as the prejudices of many of them against their Gentile brethren were so strong that they were ready to disown them with abhorrence. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers — The apostle chiefly means those of their Christian brethren who were travelling from place to place at their own cost to preach the gospel. Thus St. John speaks of some who went forth for the sake of Christ, taking nothing of the Gentiles, to whom they preached, 3 John 1:7. Add to this, the church being then under great persecution in sundry places, many Christians were obliged to leave their own habitations and countries, and to flee for safety to other parts where they were strangers. Such as these the apostle recommends to the love and charity of those to whom he wrote. For thereby some — For instance, 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.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.Let brotherly love continue - Implying that it now existed among them. The apostle had no occasion to reprove them for the want of it, as he had in regard to some to whom he wrote, but he aims merely to impress on them the importance of this virtue, and to caution them against the danger of allowing it ever to be interrupted; see the notes on John 13:34. CHAPTER 13

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.Hebrews 13:1 Exhortations to charity,

Hebrews 13:2 hospitality,

Hebrews 13:3 pity for the afflicted,

Hebrews 13:4 chastity,

Hebrews 13:5,6 contentment,

Hebrews 13:7,8 to regard the preachers of God’s word,

Hebrews 13:9 to avoid strange doctrines,

Hebrews 13:10-14 to confess Christ,

Hebrews 13:11-15 to offer up our praises to God by him,

Hebrews 13:16 to do good and to communicate,

Hebrews 13:17 to obey spiritual rulers,

Hebrews 13:18,19 and to pray for the apostle.

Hebrews 13:20-25 The apostle endeth with a prayer and salutations.

The apostle in this chapter pursueth his counsel to the subjects of the unmoveable kingdom of Christ, for their performing suitable duties to such a privilege, and especially such as more immediately terminate on their neighbour, and are contained in the second table of the Redeemer’s laws; as the chief and fundamental one, brotherly love. Let love, a fruit of the Spirit, show forth itself and its existence in you, in pre-eminence, and in duration, by disposing always the inward man, mind, will, and affections, to seek the good, to speak all the good to and of, and to do all good to their Christian brethren, to all true Christians, eminently styled by the Spirit the brotherhood, Matthew 12:50 28:10 John 13:34,35 20:17 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Ephesians 4:32 1 Thessalonians 4:9 1Jo 3:14,16.

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.

Let {1} brotherly love continue.

(1) He comes to the second table of the law, the sum of which is charity, especially toward strangers and such as are afflicted.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 13:1. Exhortation to enduring brotherly love.

Ἡ φιλαδελφία] The love of the brethren, i.e. love to the fellow-Christians. Comp. Romans 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Peter 1:22; 2 Peter 1:7.

μενέτω] abide, cease not. For, according to Hebrews 6:10, Hebrews 10:33, the readers had already exercised this virtue before, and were still exercising it. Yet in their case, since they had become doubtful regarding the absolute truth of Christianity, and in part already sought to withdraw from the outward fellowship of Christians (Hebrews 10:25), and, moreover, in particularistic prejudice closed their hearts against a brotherly intercourse with the Gentile Christians, the renewed inculcation of this virtue was of special importance.

Hebrews 13:1-25. Concluding exhortations partly of a general nature, partly in special relation to the main purport of the epistle, and concluding notices, followed by a twofold wish of blessing.Hebrews 13:1-6. Exhortations to social manifestations of their Christianity. Ἡ φιλαδελφία μενέτω. “Let love of the brethren continue”; it existed (Hebrews 6:10) and so, as Chrys. says, he does not write Γίνεσθε φιλάδελφοι, ἀλλὰ, μενέτω ἡ φιλ. In the general decay of their faith tendencies to disown Christian fellowship had become apparent, Hebrews 10:24-25. This might also lead to a failure to recognise the wants of Christians coming from a distance, therefore hospitality is urged; not as a duty they did not already practise, but, gently, as that which they might omit through forgetfulness and as that which might bring them a message from God: τῆς φιλοξενίας μὴ ἐπιλανθάνεσθε, “Entertainment of strangers do not neglect; for thus some have entertained angels unawares,” as in Genesis 18-19; Jdg 6:11-24; Jdg 13:2-23 [For testimonies to the hospitality of Christians Bleek refers to Lucian, De Morte Peregrin., chap. 16 and to the 49th Epistle of Julian. On the hospitality of the East see Palgrave’s Essays, p. 246–7.] ἔλαθόν τινες ξενίσαντες though a common classical idiom, occurs nowhere else in the N.T. Some of their fellow Christians might be in even more needy circumstances and therefore.1. Let brotherly love continue] Not only was “brotherly love” (Philadelphia) a new and hitherto almost undreamed of virtue but it was peculiarly necessary among the members of a bitterly-persecuted sect. Hence all the Apostles lay constant stress upon it (Romans 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:14-18, &c.). It was a special form of the more universal “Love” (Ἀγάπη), and our Lord had said that by it the world should recognise that Christians were His disciples (John 13:35). How entirely this prophecy was fulfilled we see alike from the fervid descriptions of tertullian, from the mocking admissions of Lucian in his curious and interesting tract “on the death of Peregrinus,” and from the remark of the Emperor Julian (Ep. 49), that their “kindness towards strangers” had been a chief means of propagating their “atheism.” But brotherly-love in the limits of a narrow community is often imperilled by the self-satisfaction of an egotistic and dogmatic orthodoxy, shewing itself in party rivalries. This may have been the case among these Hebrews as among the Corinthians; and the neglect by some of the gatherings for Christian worship (Hebrews 10:25) may have tended to deepen the sense of disunion. The disunion however was only incipient, for the writer has already borne testimony to the kindness which prevailed among them (Hebrews 6:10, Hebrews 10:32-33).Hebrews 13:1. Ἡ φιλαδελφία, brotherly love) The parts of this virtue are unfolded in the sequel. Paul uses the same word elsewhere.—μενέτω) continue, although old things have passed away: it does ‘abide’ or continue (the word of Paul) in itself (as far as concerns itself): 1 Corinthians 13:8; 1 Corinthians 13:13 : let it also continue with you (in your case, as far as concerns you).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). Let brotherly love continue (φιλαδελφία μενέτω)

Φιλαδελφία in Paul, Romans 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:9. As a proper name, Revelation 1:11; Revelation 3:7. It is not necessary to suppose that the admonition implies signs of estrangement among those addressed. Comp. Hebrews 3:13; Hebrews 6:10; Hebrews 10:24; Hebrews 12:12-15.

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