New Defender's Study Bible Notes
13:2 entertained angels unawares. Angels have the ability to assume the appearance of men. Notice the angels who ate with Abraham and later with Lot (Genesis 18:2; 19:1-3). On entertaining strangers, see Leviticus 19:34; Matthew 25:35-45. It may even be that the “angels” of the seven churches (Revelation 1:20) appear to be human members or visitors of the churches. In any case, the admonition of this verse should be taken seriously.
13:4 Marriage is honourable. The Lord’s purpose for His human creation was that of permanent, monogamous marriage between one man and one woman (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:21-24; Matthew 19:3-6), with children raised in the corresponding family unit. Any other type of sexual relationship is wrong—whether pre-marital, extra-marital, homosexual, incestuous, or anything else. “God will judge” these illegal affairs.
13:5 conversation. That is, “manner of life.”
13:6 The Lord is my helper. This reference is from Psalm 118:6. Because of such assurances, fear and covetousness are utterly out of character for a believer.
13:7 rule over you. Note the three admonitions in this chapter concerning “them that have the rule over you:” (1) “remember” them, in gratitude and prayer; (2) “obey them” (Hebrews 13:17), for they have been divinely called for teaching and leadership, as more mature in the faith; (3) “salute all them” (Hebrews 13:24) in the sense of showing respect and appreciation. Those who exercise such “rule,” if they are faithful to their calling, do not rule arbitrarily, “as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock” (I Peter 5:3). Note that they “have spoken unto you the word of God,” are men whose “faith” deserves following, and are men who “watch for your souls” (Hebrews 13:17). Such faithful rulers also deserve adequate financial support by those for whom they “must give account” (Hebrews 13:17; see I Timothy 5:17-18).
13:8 Jesus Christ the same. Jesus Christ is “Alpha and Omega” (Revelation 1:11). He created all things yesterday (Colossians 1:16), is “upholding all things” today (Hebrews 1:3), and shall “make all things new” tomorrow (Revelation 21:5). He is the eternal Creator, the living Lord, and our coming King.
13:13 without the camp. Lepers, whose disease was regarded as a symbol of sin, were made to remain “without the camp” (Leviticus 13:46); those who were convicted of blasphemy against God were stoned “without the camp” (Leviticus 24:14). Those who ignored God’s sabbath rest were also stoned “without the camp” (Numbers 15:35). The bodies of animals slain in sacrifice for the sins of the people likewise had to be “burned without the camp” (Hebrews 13:11). Therefore Jesus, upon whom was laid the whole “sin of the world” (John 1:29), had to suffer and die “without the gate” (Hebrews 13:12). In Jesus’ time on earth, there was no camp as such, for the people were then living in the city of Jerusalem, so they executed Jesus outside the city walls. We therefore, as His followers, should be willing to suffer with Him, outside the wall of the world system, bearing the opprobrium of organized society.
13:14 no continuing city. As were the ancient patriarchs, we should be looking for that “city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).
13:15 sacrifice of praise. We no longer sacrifice the blood of animals to cover our sins, for Christ has “offered one sacrifice for sins forever” (Hebrews 10:12). Instead, we offer praises, the “[fruit] of our lips” (Psalm 50:23; Hosea 14:2). These are not to be offered only once each week, in a so-called worship service, or praise service, but continually! “In every thing give thanks” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
13:16 do good. In addition to continual praise, other acceptable sacrifices (Romans 12:1) are “to do good” and to “communicate.” People often speak with disdain of so-called “do-gooders,” but Jesus “went about doing good,” and God “did good” for us every day (Acts 10:38; 14:17). Therefore we are exhorted to “do good unto all men” (Galatians 6:10), for “he that doeth good is of God” (III John 11; see also II Thessalonians 3:13; I Peter 2:15; 4:19).
13:16 communicate. To “communicate,” as used here, does not mean to share one’s thoughts, but to share one’s material blessings with others, especially those in Christian ministries. See especially Galatians 6:6 in this connection; also Philippians 4:14. The admonitions to “do good” and “to communicate” are again brought together in I Timothy 6:18.
13:18 live honestly. It should go without saying that a Christian should “live honestly in all things.” Apparently it does need saying, however, for the Scriptures have many such references (Romans 12:17; II Corinthians 8:21; Philippians 4:8).
13:20 God of peace. Note the many wonderful appellations of God. Here He is called “the God of peace” (also in Romans 15:33; 16:20; Philippians 4:9; and I Thessalonians 5:23). He is, in addition, “the God of glory” (Acts 7:2), “the God of patience and consolation,” as well as “the God of hope” (Romans 15:5,13); “the God of all comfort” (II Corinthians 1:3); “the God of love and peace” (II Corinthians 13:11); and “the God of all grace” (I Peter 5:10).
13:20 brought again. The same Greek word is used in Acts 16:39. As the magistrates brought out Paul and Silas from the prison, so did God bring forth the Lord Jesus from death and the grave. This is the only direct reference to Christ’s resurrection in the book of Hebrews, although inferences and applications of that great event abound throughout the book.
13:20 that great shepherd. Christ is also called “the good shepherd” (John 10:11), and “the chief Shepherd” (I Peter 5:4).
13:20 blood of the everlasting covenant. Note that “the blood of the covenant” is counted “an unholy thing” by apostates (Hebrews 10:29), but it sealed the new covenant as “everlasting.”
13:21 every good work. Note Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13.
13:21 wellpleasing. Compare Hebrews 13:16.
13:24 Italy. Note here that, contrary to the usual relationships in the epistles, Gentiles are greeting Jews!