English Standard Version
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
King James Bible
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
American Standard Version
Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
And hospitality do not forget; for by this some, being not aware of it, have entertained angels.
English Revised Version
Forget not to shew love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Webster's Bible Translation
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for by this some have entertained angels unawares.
Weymouth New Testament
Do not neglect to show kindness to strangers; for, in this way, some, without knowing it, have had angels as their guests.
Hebrews 13:2 Parallel
CommentaryVincent's Word Studies
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers (τῆς φιλοξενίας μὴ ἐπιλανθάνεσθε)
Lit. be not forgetful of hospitality. Φιλοξενία only here and Romans 12:13. olxx. Φιλόξενος hospitable, 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; 1 Peter 4:9. The rendering of Rev. to show love unto strangers, is affected. On the injunction comp. Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; 1 Peter 4:9, and see Clem. Rom. Ad Corinth. x., xi., xii. The virtue of hospitality is not distinctively Christian. It appears with the very beginnings of history, largely as the result of nomadic conditions. It was peculiarly an Oriental virtue. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, commendatory judgment is awarded to him who has fed the hungry and clothed the naked. The O.T. abounds in illustrations, and the practice of hospitality among the Arabs and Bedoueen is familiar through the writings of travelers in the East. Great stress was laid on the duty by the Greeks, as appears constantly in Homer and elsewhere. Hospitality was regarded as a religious duty. The stranger was held to be under the special protection of Zeus, who was called ξένιος, the God of the stranger. The Romans regarded any violation of the rites of hospitality as impiety. Cicero says: "It seems to me eminently becoming that the homes of distinguished men should be open to distinguished guests, and that it is an honor to the Republic that foreigners should not lack this kind of liberality in our city" (De Off. ii.18).
Have entertained angels unawares (ἔλαθόν τινες ξεσίσαντες ἀγγέλους)
The Greek idiom is, "were not apparent as entertaining angels." The verb ἔλαθον were concealed represents the adverb unawares. For similar instances see Mark 14:8; Acts 12:16; Aristoph. Wasps, 517; Hdt. i. 44; Hom. Il. xiii. 273. Ξενίζειν to receive as a guest, mostly in Acts. In lxx only in the apocryphal books. In later Greek, to surprise with a novelty; passive, to be surprised or shocked. So 1 Peter 4:4, 1 Peter 4:12; comp. 2 Ep. of Clem. of Rome (so called), xvii.: To be a stranger or to be strange, once in N.T., Acts 17:20. Ξενισμός amazement, perplexity, not in N.T. lxx, Proverbs 15:17. Comp. Ignatius, Ephesians 19.The allusion to the unconscious entertainment of angels is probably to Genesis 18, 19, but the idea was familiar in Greek literature. The Greeks thought that any stranger might be a God in disguise. See Hom. Od. i. 96 ff.; iii.-329-370; xvii. 485. Comp. also the beautiful story of Baucis and Philemon as related by Ovid (Metam. viii. 626-724). The thought appears in our Lord's words, Matthew 25:34-46.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.
He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth
The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
1 Timothy 3:2
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.