Hebrews 13:24 MEANING

Hebrews 13:24
(24) That have the rule over you.--Better, that are your leaders: see Hebrews 13:7; Hebrews 13:17.

They of Italy salute you.--These much discussed words are consistent with either of two hypotheses:--(1) That the writer is in Italy, and salutes "the Hebrews" in the name of the Christians of Italy: (2) That the writer is addressing a Church of Italy, and sends greeting from Christians who have their home in Italy, but are now with him. (See Introduction.)

Verse 24. - Salute all them that have the rule over you (τοὺς ἡγουμένους, as before), and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. The fact that no names are here mentioned, as is usual with St. Paul in sending salutations to Churches he was personally well acquainted with, leads us to infer that there had been no such close association, at any rate recently, between the writer and the readers in this case; or else that a circle of Churches in some locality is addressed. Nothing certain can be concluded as to the writer's whereabouts at the time of writing from the expression, "they of Italy (οἱ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰταλίας)," though it seems to favor the idea, rather than otherwise, that he was in Italy at the time, possibly at Rome. For the phrase means simply "natives of Italy" (cf. Acts 10:23; Acts 10:38; Acts 12:1; Acts 17:13; Acts 21:27; Acts 18:13; all these being, we observe, expressions of St. Luke's); it by no means implies that they had left Italy. In fact, as Delitzsch observes, "if the author was then in Italy, and at the same time was not a native of Italy, he could not have selected a more appropriate designation for the Italian Christians." The Epistle is concluded by St. Paul's accustomed words, which, with some variations, seem to have been appended to all his letters as his authenticating autograph (see 2 Thessalonians 3, etc.) -

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.Salute all them that have the rule over you,.... The pastors and officers of the church of the Hebrews, the same with those in Hebrews 13:7 and all the saints; the several members of the church, who were set apart to holiness by God; whose sins were expiated by Christ; to whom Christ was made sanctification; and who were internally sanctified by the Spirit of God, and lived holy lives and conversations; to these the apostle wished all prosperity, inward and outward, spiritual and temporal; and he uses the word "all" in both clauses; and, including every officer and member, expresses his universal love to them, whether high or low, rich or poor, greater or lesser believers:

they of Italy salute you; that is, the brethren, as the Vulgate Latin version reads; the Italian brethren; such as were at Puteoli, and other places, in that country; see Acts 28:13. Italy is a famous and well known country in Europe; a very fruitful and delightful one; of which Rome, where the apostle very likely now was, is the chief city: it has been called by different names, as Saturnia from Saturn; and Ausonia, Aenotria, and Hesperia Magna; and it had its name Italy, some say, from Italus, the son of Penelope and Telegonus; others, from Italus, a king of the Arcadians, or, as some say, the Sicilians; but, according to Timsaeus and Varro (e), it was so called from the multitude of oxen in it, which in the old Greek language were called "Italoi", to which comes near in sound the Latin word "vituli", used for "calves"; and Italy is frequently, by Jewish writers (f) called , "Italy of Greece"; and formerly it was inhabited by Greeks, and was called Great Greece (g): it is bounded on the east with the Adriatic sea; and on the west by the river Var, with the Alps, which separate France from Italy; and on the south with the Tyrrhene, or Tuscan sea, called the lower, and on the north, partly with the Alps, which are on the borders of Germany, and partly with the Adriatic sea, called the higher. There were Christians in this country before the Apostle Paul came to Rome, both at Rome, and other places, as before observed. It is said (h), that Barnabas was first at Rome, and planted the church there; that he went round Lombardy, and lived at Milain; that in the "first" century, Apollinaris preached at Ravenna, and Hermagoras at Aquileia; and there were Christian churches in the "second" century, not only at Rome, but in many other cities and places; and so likewise in the "third" century, as at Verona, Spoletum, Beneventum, &c. and in the "fourth" century, there were great numbers of churches in this country; as at Verona, and Capua, in Calabria, Campania, and Apulia; and which might be traced in following centuries.

(e) Apud Aul. Gell. Noct. Attic. l. 11. c. 1. Vid. Apollodor. de Orig. Deorum, l. 2. p. 101. (f) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 67. fol. 59. 4. T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 56. 2. R. Sol. Jarchi in Genesis 27.39. (g) lsidor. Hispal. Origin. l. 14. c. 4. (h) Hist. Eccl. Magdeburg. cent. 1. l. 2. c. 2. p. 17. cent. 2. c. 2. p. 4. cent. 3. c. 2. p. 4. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 6.

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