Hebrews 13:22
And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) And I beseech you.—Rather, Bui I exhort you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation; for indeed it is in few words that I have written unto you. How fitly the whole Epistle may be spoken of as an “exhortation” is obvious. (See Note on Hebrews 5:11.) And if we take into account the subjects with which the writer has been dealing, we shall not wonder that a Letter which might have been read to the assembled church in less than an hour should be described as brief. (Comp. 1Peter 5:12.)

Hebrews 13:22-25. I beseech you, brethren — He subjoins this tender address to his epistle to caution them against losing, through negligence or prejudice, the benefit they might otherwise derive from it; suffer the word of exhortation — Or, consolation, (for the word παρακλησις signifies either,) addressed to you in this letter, which is contained in few words — Considering the copiousness of the subject. Know ye — That is, I give you the joy of knowing; that our brother Timothy — Whose zeal for me had for a while made him a partner in my confinement; is set at liberty; with whom, if he return to me shortly, I will see you — Will pay you a visit. From this it is evident that the apostle, when he wrote this, was set at liberty. They of Italy salute you — The salutations from the Christians of Italy show that the writer of this letter was either in Italy, or had some of the brethren of Italy with him when he wrote it; which agrees with the supposition that Paul was the author of it. For he had been two years a prisoner at Rome, but had now obtained his liberty, (Hebrews 13:23,) by means, as is supposed, of the persons he had converted in the emperor’s family, Php 4:22. Grace be with you all — St. Paul’s usual benediction. God apply it to our hearts!

13:22-25 So bad are men, and even believers, through the remainders of their corruption, that when the most important, comfortable doctrine is delivered to them for their own good, and that with the most convincing evidence, there is need of earnest entreaty and exhortation that they would bear it, and not fall out with it, neglect it, or reject it. It is good to have the law of holy love and kindness written in the hearts of Christians, one towards another. Religion teaches men true civility and good breeding. It is not ill-tempered or uncourteous. Let the favour of God be toward you, and his grace continually working in you, and with you, bringing forth the fruits of holiness, as the first-fruits of glory.Suffer the word of exhortation - Referring to the arguments and counsels in this whole Epistle, which is in fact a practical exhortation to perseverance in adhering to the Christian religion amidst all the temptations which existed to apostasy.

For I have written a letter unto you in few words - This does not mean that this Epistle is short compared with the others that the author had written, for most of the Epistles of Paul are shorter than this. But it means, that it was brief compared with the importance and difficulty of the subjects of which he had treated. The topics introduced would have allowed a much more extended discussion; but in handling them he had made use of as few words as possible. No one can deny this who considers the sententious manner of this Epistle. As an illustration of this, perhaps we may remark that it is easy to expand the thoughts of this Epistle into ample volumes of exposition, and that in fact it is difficult to give an explanation of it without a commentary that shall greatly surpass in extent the text. None can doubt, also, that the author of this Epistle could have himself greatly expanded the thoughts and the Illustrations if he had chosen. It is with reference to such considerations, probably, that he says that the Epistle was brief.

22. suffer the word—The Hebrews not being the section of the Church assigned to Paul (but the Gentiles), he uses gentle entreaty, rather than authoritative command.

few words—compared with what might be said on so important a subject. Few, in an Epistle which is more of a treatise than an Epistle (compare 1Pe 5:12). On the seeming inconsistency with Ga 6:11, compare Note, see on [2602]Ga 6:11.

The apostle now drawing to a close, desires them candidly to accept his Epistle; that, considering their relation to him as Christians and Hebrews, he doth affectionately entreat them, that they would fully receive, entertain, and hold fast, as well as bear with, or suffer, all the doctrine, reproof, exhortation, and consolation, even his whole discourse to them in this Epistle, which

the word implies. He had so comprised, summed up, and delivered the revelation of the doctrine of Christ, testified by Moses and the prophets, in a very few words, and sent them kindly and affectionately, in the form of an epistle or letter to them, that it might not be burdensome, either for its matter or length: though how weary are most professing Christians of the shortest heavenly discourse!

And I beseech you, brethren,.... The apostle closes his epistle to the Hebrews in a very tender and affectionate manner, calling them "brethren", as he often does; and speaking to them, not in an authoritative way, nor by way of advice, but by entreaty: the reason may be, because he was the apostle of the Gentiles, and because the Jews were not so well pleased with him, on account of his preaching down the ceremonies of the law; though such language is used by him in other epistles; he became all things to all, that he might gain some. The subject matter of his entreaty is, that they would

suffer the word of exhortation; either from one another, as to prayer, to attendance on the word and ordinances, to a regard to their lives and conversations, and to a close adherence to the Gospel, and the profession of it; or from their ministers, their guides, and governors, whose business it was to exhort them to the several duties of religion; or rather from himself; and it designs either the particular exhortation in Hebrews 12:5 or the continued exhortation to various duties in this chapter; or any, and everyone throughout the epistle: and this shows that the children of God are sometimes heavy and sluggish, and need stirring up; and that there are some things often in exhortations and reproofs which are not so agreeable to the flesh, and yet ought to be taken kindly, and patiently endured: the word may be rendered "consolation", or "solace", as it is by the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions; and may refer to the whole of this epistle, which is of a consolatory nature: this may suggest that these Hebrews were under afflictions, and needed comfort; and yet through unbelief might be tempted to refuse the comfort administered to them; which is too often the case with God's people:

for I have written a letter unto you in few words; or, "I have sent, or, wrote to you in brief"; meaning either the exhortatory part of the epistle, which lay in few words, and chiefly in this chapter; or the whole of the epistle, which was but short in comparison of the length he might have carried it, and as the subject matter of it might seem to require; it treating on the great doctrines of the Gospel, and mysteries of grace; things of the greatest moment and importance, and which might have been largely insisted on; but he had contracted things, and had wrote much in a little; and this he makes a reason why they should suffer or bear with the exhortation given, since it was not pressed with a multitude of words, wearing out their patience.

And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 13:22. Request for friendly reception of the epistle.

ἀνέχεσθε τοῦ λόγου τῆς παρακλήσεως] bear with the word of the exhortation, grant it entrance with you, close not your hearts against it. Mistakenly do the Vulgate, Stein, and Kluge make παράκλησις here have the signification of “consolation.” Neither the verb ἀνέχεσθε nor the tenor of the epistle is in keeping therewith.

ὁ λόγος τῆς παρακλήσεως] Comp. Acts 13:15. Not merely the admonitions scattered here and there in the epistle (Dindorf, Kuinoel) are to be understood under this expression; and just as little is merely chap. 13. (Semler), or the last specially hortatory sections, chap. 10.19–13. (Grotius, Calov, and others), thought of in connection therewith. Rather is there intended by it, as also the following ἐπέστειλα proves, the epistle in its full extent.

καὶ γὰρ διὰ βραχέων ἐπέστειλα ὑμῖν] Argument for the reasonableness of the request on the ground of the brevity of the epistle: for I have also (i.e. apart from the fact that, by reason of your perilous wavering in the Christian faith, the admonishing of you was laid as a duty upon my conscience), as you see, written to you only with brief words. Theophylact: Τοσαῦτα εἰπών, ὅμως βραχέα ταῦτά φησιν, ὅσον πρὸς ἃ ἐπεθύμει λέγειν. Quite remote from the meaning is that sense which Kurtz would put upon the words: the readers were also to take into account the fact that the epistle has, owing to its brief compass, often assumed a harsher and severer form of expression, than would be the case in connection with a more detailed amplification and a more careful limitation.

διὰ βραχέων] of the same import as διʼ ὀλίγων, 1 Peter 5:12.

ἐπιστέλλειν] in the signification “to write a letter,” elsewhere in the N. T. only Acts 15:20; Acts 21:25.

Hebrews 13:22. The writer adds, in closing, a request that the Hebrews would take in good part his “word of exhortation”—a request which implies that they were in an irritable state of mind, if not against the writer, then because their own conscience was uneasy. As a reason for their bearing with his exhortation he urges its brevity “for indeed (καὶ γὰρ) I have written (ἐπέστειλα as in Acts 15:20) to you with brevity” (διὰ βραχέων, cf. διʼ ὀλίγων ἔγραψα, 1 Peter 5:12). To them it might seem that he had said too much; his own feeling was that he had been severely cramped by the limits of a letter.

22. suffer the word of exhortation] “Bear with the word of my exhortation.” Comp. Acts 13:15. This is a courteous apology for the tone of severity and authority which he has assumed.

for] “for indeed,” as in Hebrews 12:29.

I have written a letter] This is the only place in the N. T. (except Acts 15:20; Acts 21:25) where epistello has this sense. Usually it means “I enjoin.”

in few words] “briefly,” considering the breadth and dignity of the subject, which has left him no room for lengthened apologies, and for anything but a direct and compressed appeal. Or the force of the words may be “bear with my exhortation, for I have not troubled you at any great length” (comp. δι' ὀλίγων, 1 Peter 5:12). Could more meaning have been compressed into a letter which could be read aloud in less than an hour, but which was to have a very deep influence on many centuries?

Hebrews 13:22. Παρακαλῶ· παρακλήσεως, I exhort: of exhortation) Conjugates, sweetly used.—τοῦ λόγου, the word) with which your ministers abundantly exhort you face to face. The antithesis is, ἐπέστειλα, I have sent, I have written: comp. Acts 15:27; Acts 15:32.—διὰ βραχέων) in few words, considering that the subject was copious.—ἐπέστειλα, I have sent) namely, this epistle, which abounds in παράκλησις, or exhortation.

Verse 22. - But I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words. This and the following verse are in the manner of a postscript, such as is usual with St. Paul. Some little apprehension is implied (cf. ver. 18) of the admonitions not being taken well by all. Though the Epistle is not short as compared with others, yet it has been compressed with as "few words" as the subject would allow (cf. ver. 11). If, however, this concluding portion of the Epistle was written or dictated by St. Paul himself, as suggested under ver. 19, the "few words" may possibly refer to it only. Hebrews 13:22Suffer the word of exhortation (ἀνέχεσθε τοῦ λόγου τῆς παρακλήσεως)

For "suffer," rend. "bear with." See Acts 18:14; 2 Corinthians 11:1; 2 Timothy 4:3. Do not become impatient at my counsels in this letter. The word of exhortation refers to the entire epistle which he regards as hortatory rather than didactic or consolatory. The phrase only in Acts 13:15.

I have written a letter unto you (ἐπέστειλα ὑμῖν)

A.V. supplies a letter. Rend. "I have written unto you." The verb only here, Acts 15:20; Acts 21:25. Lit. to send, not letters only. Sometimes with ἐπιστολαὶ or ἐπιστολὰς letters added, as Nehemiah 6:19; 1 Macc. 12:7. In N.T. always of sending a letter.

In a few words (διὰ βραχέων)

There is a suggestion of apology. Do not grow impatient. The letter is short. The phrase N.T.o , but comp. δἰ ὀλίγων, 1 Peter 5:12, and ἐν ὀλίγῳ briefly, Ephesians 3:3.

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