Hebrews 13:3 MEANING

Hebrews 13:3
(3) As bound with them.--Either (1) "As if ye yourselves were in bonds" (see Hebrews 10:33-34; 1 Corinthians 12:26)--by true fellow-feeling make yourselves sharers in their lot; or, (2) "mindful that ye too are in bonds"--like them ye are Christ's prisoners, and their bonds are but one of the tokens of that service in which all Christians are bound. (Comp. 1 Corinthians 7:22.)

As being yourselves also in the body.--"Mindful that you, like them, still dwell in a body liable to pain, and may therefore suffer ill-treatment in the cause of Christ."

Verse 3. - Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. The Hebrew readers have been also specially commended for their past sympathy with their imprisoned and despoiled brethren (Hebrews 10:33, etc.), having been themselves also at the same time persecuted. Whether or not sufferers themselves now, they must not be forgetful of those that are "As bound with them" seems best taken as expressing the sympathy of one member with another (cf. Hebrews 10:33, 34 and 1 Corinthians 12:26, "If one member suffer," etc.). "As being yourselves," etc., reminds them that they are still in the flesh, and so not only on this account bound to sympathize, but also liable themselves at any time to the like afflictions. Exhortations to personal purity and to contentedness follow next. Of the need, and prominence in the Epistles, of warnings against impurity see what was said on ἁγιασμόν (Hebrews 12:14). St. Paul is given to couple covetousness 'rod uncleanness together in his warnings, as cognate sins, and alike incompatible with the kingdom of God (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:10, 11; 1 Corinthians 6:9, etc.; Ephesians 5:3, 5; Colossians 3:5). Greediness, or inordinate desire (πλεονεξία), may be for sensual indulgence or for wealth - the same word is used in both senses; and such πλεονεξία, whatever its object, is fatal to the spiritual life. So here, after a warning against impurity, comes a like one against covetousness.

13:1-6 The design of Christ in giving himself for us, is, that he may purchase to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works; and true religion is the strongest bond of friendship. Here are earnest exhortations to several Christian duties, especially contentment. The sin opposed to this grace and duty is covetousness, an over-eager desire for the wealth of this world, with envy of those who have more than ourselves. Having treasures in heaven, we may be content with mean things here. Those who cannot be so, would not be content though God raised their condition. Adam was in paradise, yet not contented; some angels in heaven were not contented; but the apostle Paul, though abased and empty, had learned in every state, in any state, to be content. Christians have reason to be contented with their present lot. This promise contains the sum and substance of all the promises; I will never, no, never leave thee, no, never forsake thee. In the original there are no less than five negatives put together, to confirm the promise: the true believer shall have the gracious presence of God with him, in life, at death, and for ever. Men can do nothing against God, and God can make all that men do against his people, to turn to their good.Remember them that are in bonds,.... Not for criminal actions, or for debt, though such should be remembered, and pity showed them, especially the latter; but such as are in bonds for the sake of Christ, and the Gospel. This has been often the lot of God's people, who should be remembered, by praying for them, sending comfortable letters to them, personally visiting them, and relieving them under their distresses:

as bound with them; as if it were so, as if in the same condition, and circumstances; by sympathizing with them; by considering themselves liable to the same bonds; by dealing with them as it would be desirable to be dealt with in the same case: and

them which suffer adversity; outward afflictions of body, distress for want of temporal mercies, food and raiment, and persecution by enemies; or spiritual adversity, as the prevailings of corruptions, and particularly unbelief, the hidings of God's face, and the temptations of Satan.

As being yourselves also in the body; as if in their bodies, enduring the same things; or as being afflicted in the body with diseases, necessities, and persecutions; or as being in the body, the church, of which these afflicted ones are a part, and therefore should have a fellow feeling with them; or rather as being in this world, in the flesh, or in a body and state subject to the like adversities, temporal and spiritual.

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