SUMMARY.--A Life of Love.
Regard for Rulers.
Christ Our High Priest and Example.
1-3. Let brotherly love continue. The love which binds brethren
in the church together.
2. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers. Hospitality is a
duty often emphasized in the New Testament. Here it assumes the form of
receiving stranger saints. Often they were driven from their homes by
persecution, and the church elsewhere was wont to open its homes to
Some have entertained angels unawares. See
Gen. 18:1-3. Also Matt. 25:35.
3. Remember them that are in bonds. Another manifestation of
brotherly love. The prisoners referred to are those imprisoned for
Christ's sake. The Christian must enter into full sympathy with all his
4-6. Marriage is honorable. Let it be held in honor, but
licentiousness God will judge, even though
men may tolerate it.
5. Let your conversation. Your life.
Without covetousness. Without manifesting a stingy or grasping
For he hath said
With such an assurance we may well be content with what we have.
6. So that we may boldly say. The words which follow are quoted
7-15. Remember them that had the rule over you. As the past
tense is used, the rulers named, it is thought, were dead. At the date
of this epistle, James the brother of John, and "James the brother of
our Lord," both so closely connected with the Jerusalem church, had
suffered martyrdom. The last named, whose martyrdom is recorded by
Josephus, was put to death in A. D. 63.
Whose faith follow. Imitate it.
8. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, etc. He is named as the end
or object of the lives of the rulers just referred to. With them the
unchangeable Christ was the all in all. Since he remains the same, he
is as able to help you as he was to help them.
9. Be not carried about, etc. Suffer no false teachers to delude
It is a good thing, etc. Though more than thirty years had
passed since the church was founded the temple service still
continued, though the apostle has shown that it was done away in
Christ. No doubt some of the Hebrew Christians had continued to observe
its ceremonials. There were even teachers who taught "divers strange
doctrines" concerning the need of keeping the law. The apostle,
however, enjoins that
the heart be established with grace, instead of resorting to
sacrificial meats which had proved profitless to make the conscience
10. We have an altar. We have no need of the temple altar for we
have an altar, that on which Christ offered himself, to which those who
cling to the tabernacle service have no right. Christ's altar implies
the abolition of the tabernacle and the old covenant. Those who cling
to these show their lack of faith in Christ.
11. The bodies of those beasts. The sacrifices slain for a sin
offering on the day of atonement. This blood was carried by the high
priest before the mercy seat, but the bodies were burned without the
thus representing the penalty of sin. They were held to be
12. Wherefore Jesus also. In order to cleanse his people by
becoming the complete atonement he was willing, as an
accursed thing, a sin offering, to be led
without the gate and to suffer there.
13. Let us go forth therefore unto him. Go forth from the
unbelieving and rebellious camp which sent him forth to die. Let us
Bearing his reproach. The reproach of the cross of Christ.
14. For here have we no continuing city. The temple itself, and
Jerusalem the city of their race, were about to be destroyed. They were
all pilgrims seeking a city as their fathers did
They should then go forth like their fathers.
15. By him. Through Christ.
Let us offer the sacrifice of praise. We need no bloody victims,
but let us bring the sacrifice of praise continually for our great
16-21. But. Thanksgiving is not all: there must be good deeds.
Communicate. Give of our goods.
Such sacrifices. These givings for God's purposes are sacrifices
that please him.
17. Obey them that have the rule over you. Your elders or
They watch for your souls. Give them deference on this account,
and because they must give account to the Master of those committed to
18. Pray for us. Paul often makes this request.
He refers to his uprightness of life perhaps because he had been
arrested as an evil doer in Jerusalem.
19. I beseech you the rather for your prayers that I may be the
sooner released and returned to you. Paul had been torn away from
Jerusalem, and finally sent to Rome as a prisoner. The language here
implies the imprisonment of the writer.
20. The God of peace, who gives us peace.
That great Shepherd. Christ, "the Good Shepherd."
Through the blood of the everlasting covenant. The blood of Christ
on the cross sealed the everlasting covenant of the Gospel of which the
resurrection of Christ from the dead was the surety.
21. Make you perfect in every good work. By supplying what is
Working in you. See
God works in us by his Spirit.
22-25. Suffer the word of exhortation. Though the epistle in
part is argumentative, even the argument is used to point the
Written . . . in a few words. Few with what might be
said on such great themes.
23. Our brother Timothy is set at liberty. How intimately
Timothy was associated with Paul all his epistles show. Timothy too
joined him at Rome during his imprisonment.
This language implies that Timothy had been arrested and afterwards set
free. Of this imprisonment, or just where it occurred, there is no
24. Salute all them, etc. Salute for me the elders, and saints,
at Jerusalem and in Judea.
They of Italy salute you. The epistle was, therefore, written
from Italy, which harmonizes with Paul's long imprisonment there.