|Greek: mimneskesthe (2PPPM) ton desmion os sundedemenoi, (RPPMPN) ton kakouchoumenon (PPPMPG) os kai autoi ontes (PAPMPN) en somati.
Amplified: Remember those who are in prison as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are ill-treated, since you also are liable to bodily sufferings. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
NIV: Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (NIV - IBS)
NLT: Don't forget about those in prison. Suffer with them as though you were there yourself. Share the sorrow of those being mistreated, as though you feel their pain in your own bodies.(NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Think constantly of those in prison as if you were prisoners at their side. Think too of all who suffer as if you shared their pain. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Be constantly mindful of those in bonds as bound with them, of them who are suffering ill-treatment as also yourselves being in a body. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: be mindful of those in bonds, as having been bound with them, of those maltreated, as also yourselves being in the body;
|REMEMBER THE PRISONERS AS THOUGH IN PRISON WITH THEM AND THOSE WHO ARE ILL-TREATED : mimneskesthe (2PPPM) ton desmion os sundedemenoi (RPPMPN) ton kakouchoumenon (PPPMPG): (Heb 10:32,34, 6:10,11, Heb 11:36 Ge 40:14,15,23; Je 38:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13; Mt 25:36,43; Acts 16:29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34; Acts 24:23; 27:3; Ep 4:1; Php 4:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19; Col 4:18; 2Ti 1:16, 17, 18 )
You may be saying "How can I apply this passage in America?" Read on…
First, a proper understanding of the Cultural Context (context = "king" for accurate interpretation) helps one to accurately interpret the sense of this passage. In the first century, followers of Christ could be (and were) arrested and imprisoned not for any specific criminal activity but simply for believing in Jesus Christ as Lord (Ro 10:9, 10-note).
In America believers are not (yet) arrested for believing in Jesus as the Only Way to the Father (Jn 14:6, Acts 4:12, cp Acts 5:41), but many believers suffer throughout the world and are being called daily to suffer for their faith in Jesus. How we need to pray for them and share with them as the Lord enables us!
Remember (3403) (mimnesko through the idea of fixture in mind or of mental grasp) means to recall information from memory, but without necessarily implying that one has forgotten what is recalled. To recollect. To remind oneself.
Remember is in the present imperative calling for the readers to continually keep the prisoners in mind (in context very likely the ones who had been imprisoned for their faith in Messiah).
Mimnesko - 23x in 23v - Mt 5:23; 26:75; 27:63; Lk 1:54, 72; 16:25; 23:42; 24:6, 8; Jn 2:17, 22; 12:16; Acts 10:31; 11:16; 1Co 11:2; 2Ti 1:4; Heb 2:6; 8:12; 10:17; 13:3; 2Pe 3:2; Jude 1:17; Rev 16:19. NAS = recall(1), remember(13), remembered(8), remembrance(1).
This command to continually remember the prisoners would have been very practical because under Roman law persons could be retained in prison until punishment was meted out. Those who were enduring lengthy stays in prison often had to depend on outside sources for daily sustenance. In addition, obedience by the saints to this command carried potentially serious consequences, because those who aided the prisoners ran the risk of also being viewed as those who should be themselves placed in prison! And thus to obey this command could mean one would have to "count the cost" in a big way!
In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus made it clear that to minister to a prisoner in the name of Christ was to minister to Christ Himself (Mt 25:36, 40 - see below). When Jesus returns in His glory (Mt 25:31, 32, cp Zech 14:5, Mt 24:30, 31, Mk 13:26, 27, Lk 21:27) as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 1:7-note, Rev 19:11-note, Rev 19:16-note) to sit on His throne in Jerusalem (Isa 2:2, 3, 4-note) (Millennium or see Millennial Reign of Christ), He will have a time of judgment often referred to as the "judgment of the sheep and the goats" (Judgment of the Gentiles - "nations" in Mt 25:32 = ethnos - often translated "Gentiles" = Gentiles who survive the horrible time of the Great Tribulation). What is fascinating is that the main criteria on which He will judge the Gentiles is whether or not they have exhibited hospitality! Matthew records the somber scene, the King declaring…
Marcus Dods - “Be mindful of those in bonds” (Mt 25:36- see discussion above). This also they had already done (Heb 10:34-note). The motive now urged is contained in the words “as having been bound with them,” as fellow-prisoners. (Hebrews 13 Expositor's Greek Testament)
Bengel alludes to how to "remember" writing - remember in your prayers and in your acts of kindness as bound with them on account of the unity of the body under the one head, Christ.—in the body) in the natural body, which is not yet withdrawn from adversities, and the dangers which have befallen them. One man experiences great adversity during the whole period of his life, as Jacob: another in youth, as Joseph: another in manhood, as Job: another, finally, in old age; and this admonition is of especial advantage against such an event. (Hebrews 13 The Critical English Testament)
Andrew Murray (The Holiest of All) writes "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; them that are evil entreated, as being yourselves also in the body. We know so well in our own body that when one member suffers all the members suffer with it. The word points to loving union with Jesus and His body on earth as close and real. This feeling of sympathy may and must be as quick and real in the spiritual as in the natural body. We are to feel towards the prisoners and the persecuted as if we ourselves were suffering. We have been admitted to a life in the home and the love of God; they who abide there will learn thus to love. (Hebrews 13 Commentary - The Holiest of All)
Spurgeon - What are some churches but semi-religious clubs, mere conventions of people gathered together? They do not have in them that holy soul that is the essence of unity; there is no life to keep them in entirety. Why, the body would soon become disjointed, and a mass of rottenness, if the soul were not in it; and if the Spirit of Christ is absent, the whole fabric of the outward church begins to fall to pieces. For where there is no life, there can be no true union.
The perfect tense views this as a completed condition, an ongoing state. In other words, they had been imprisoned at a point in time and were still in prison.
Vine - The verb rendered “bound with them,” used here only in the New Testament, is in the perfect tense, “having been bound together,” suggesting the complete realization and abiding sense of what had taken place.
Ill-treated (2558) (kakoucheo from kakos = evil, ill + echo = to have) means literally to have affliction or ill treatment. To treat evilly. To ill-treat. In the passive voice it means to suffer ill, to be maltreated, to be tormented, afflicted or harassed.
The present tense indicates they were continually tormented, afflicted or harassed. The passive voice indicates the maltreatment came from an outside source, in context most likely their Jewish brothers (by race, but not by faith).
Kakoucheo = Only Hebrews 11:37, 13:3. In non-apocryphal Septuagint - 1Ki 2:26;11:39.
The writer used kakoucheo to describe the persevering (faithful) suffering of the saints in the "hall of faith" chapter - They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, (present tense = continually; passive voice = being) ill-treated (Heb 11:37)
Spurgeon on ill-treated - And being likely therefore to take your own turn of suffering, and to need the sympathy of your fellow Christians. Show sympathy to others while they need it, and they will gratefully remember you when you are in bonds or in adversity.
The Pulpit Commentary - The Hebrews were to “remember” the saints who might be in prison. They were to do so “as bound with them;”–a beautiful expression, breathing the aroma of true Christian sympathy. They were to pray earnestly for them, if possible visit them, minister to their wants, and strive to secure their liberation. Brotherly kindness would lead them to conceive of themselves as occupying the position of the sufferers. It would cause them to realize the “bonds” of their brethren as an affliction personal to themselves, just as the elder Brother’s love does (Acts 9:4). But, since imprisonment is not the only calamity to which believers are exposed, the apostle proceeds to bespeak sympathy for all who in any way “are evil entreated” for Jesus’ sake. We ourselves are liable to the same adversities which our brethren endure. Let us, therefore, identify ourselves with them. It is not enough that we contribute to public charities. Neither do we discharge all our duty when we employ some person as our proxy to care for the sufferers. True Christian sympathy requires that we bring ourselves into personal contact with them. Strength is often received from the glance of a sympathizing eye, or the grasp of a loving hand, or the utterance of a tender word of holy comfort. (Hebrews 13 Exposition)
The following notes are an abstract from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia article on prison and prisoner with most of the details relating to prison in as it was described in the Old Testament
SINCE YOU YOURSELVES ALSO ARE IN THE BODY: os kai autoi ontes (PAPMPN) en somati: (Nehemiah 1:3,4; Ro 12:15; 1Co 12:26; Ga 6:1,2; 1Pe 3:8)
You yourselves are in the body - This is not an easy phrase to interpret as is even reflected by the different ways the various translations handle this verse.
I agree with the approach of Phillip Hughes who writes that "Our author encourages his readers to remember also those who are ill-treated, that is, those who are enduring indignities and afflictions other than imprisonment because of their Christian witness, adding the important reminder that they also are in the body—by which he means, not, as Calvin and others suppose, that they are fellow members of the one Body of Christ, so that "if one member suffers, all suffer together" (1 Cor. 12:26), true and appropriate though this consideration is, but rather that, as they themselves are leading a bodily existence, the bodily hardships now being experienced by some of their fellow believers could equally well, and perhaps will, be experienced by them too, as indeed, again in "the former days," they had "endured a hard struggle with sufferings," having at times been "publicly exposed to abuse and affliction" (10:32f.). The impostor and the hypocrite betray themselves by their lack of brotherly love and compassion. (A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews- Philip Edgcumbe Hughes)
The translations which hold to a strict literal rendering such as NAS, ESV, KJV, Young's Literal add no bias to suggest it refers to the individual's body whereas the versions below render it in such a way as to favor interpretation as an individual's bodily existence (similar to the preceding note by Hughes)…
The Handbook on the Letter to the Hebrews summarizes the possibilities…
Marcus Dods comments that most…
Amplified: Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
NIV: Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
NLT: Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.
Wuest: Let your marriage be held in honor in all things, and thus let your marriage-bed be undefiled, for whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Young's Literal: honourable is the marriage in all, and the bed undefiled, and whoremongers and adulterers God shall judge.
|MARRIAGE IS TO BE HELD IN HONOR AMONG ALL: Timios o gamos en pasin: (Genesis 1:27,28; 2:21,24; Lev 21:13, 14, 15; 2Ki 22:14; Pr 5:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23; Is 8:3; 1Co 7:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; 9:5; 1Ti 3:2,4,12; 5:14; Titus 1:6)
LET LOVE OF THE
Don't forget the context of this paragraph which begins with let love of the brethren continue. This charge is the overarching command for the entire chapter and is especially relevant to our present passage. How better to let love of the brethren continue, then to let it continue in marriage between believers!
Most authorities feel that this exhortation represents a response and a refutation of the practice of asceticism which downgraded the high value God has placed on the institution of marriage. Paul warned against this practice in his letter to Timothy…
The other dangerous extreme in the early church was libertinism, which describes one who is unrestrained by conventional (Biblical) morality (the Bible is the only true source of what is moral before a Holy God) leading to personal dissolution (utter lack of moral restraint) and decay of a society that engages in such profane practices.
Some first-century Christian ascetics practiced strict self-denial (from sexual activity) as a "spiritual discipline" and even considered (to quote one source) “virginity as necessary to Christian perfection.” This later developed in the second century into what became known as the Montanist movement, which spawned celibate monasticism. These individuals falsely concluded that those who choose marriage choose inferior spirituality. Wrong! I have been married for 43 years and the greatest sanctifying "tool" in my life is my wife! I am far more "spiritual" with her than I ever would have been without her. The logic (illogic) of these celibates dishonors the God ordained institution of marriage. The ascetics were bad, but the real assault on the integrity and honor of marriage came from the libertines who saw marriage as irrelevant thus pursued unbridled sexual fulfillment. Also wrong! Very wrong!
GOING FROM BAD TO WORSE!
Does modern church need this exhortation to honor the marriage bed? Here's a comment from pollster George Barna that speaks to the morality crisis in America and even in the church (from a report in 2003)…
Marriage (1062) (gamos) described a public ceremony in which a man and a woman entered into a marital relationship and so speaks of a wedding or wedding feast (Jn 2:1). Here in Hebrews 13:4 gamos describes the actual state of being married. Eschatologically (prophetic, future) gamos refers to the wedding ceremony of the Bridegroom, Christ, with His Bride, the Church, at the outset of the Messianic (Millennial) Kingdom. (Rev 19:7-note, Rev 19:9-note). By metonymy gamos is used for wedding hall, the place where the wedding takes place (Mt 22:10)
Gamos = 16x in 16v in NAS - Mt 22:2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; 25:10; Lk 12:36; 14:8; Jn 2:1, 2; Heb 13:4; Rev 19:7, 9. NAS = marriage(3), wedding(5), wedding feast(7).
Gamos - 4x in 4v in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (Lxx) - Ge 29:22; Esther 1:5; 2:18; 9:22;
Gamos - 21x in 20v in the Apocrypha - Tobit 6:13; 8:19, 20; 9:2, 6; 10:7; 11:19; Tbs. 6:13; 9:2, 5f; 10:8; 12:1; 1Macc 9:37, 41; 10:58; 3Macc 4:8; Wis 13:17; 14:24, 26;
Marriage is to be held in honor among all - The words "is to be held" are added to make the reading more fluid. More literally this reads "honorable the marriage in all". Note also that honor (precious) is the first word in the Greek for emphasis. This tells you the high and holy value God Himself places on His institution of marriage.
Young's gives us a more literal rendering…
Regard for marriage and for the physical intimacy of marriage is an essential aspect of the pursuit of holiness he has just discussed in the previous chapter (Heb 12:14-note).
Honor - The literal rendering is "Precious the marriage in all"
Honor (5093) (timios - see study of related verb timao) literally speaks of things which are costly, precious or valuable (Re 17:4-note) or of persons who are "precious" and thus are highly regarded, esteemed or honored (Acts 5:34, 17:34). Timios describes that which possesses exceptional value (costly, of great worth). Timios was used to refer to precious metals and stones.
There are 13 uses of timios in the NT - Acts 5:34; 20:24; 1Co 3:12 (referring to works that endure eternally for they are built upon or with "gold, silver and precious stones"); Heb 13:4-note; James 5:7; 1Pe 1:19-note (referring to the "precious blood" of Jesus); 2Pe 1:4-note (the "precious and magnificent promises" of God); Re 17:4-note; Re 18:12-note, Re 18:16-note; Re 21:11-note, Re 21:19-note - observe the striking contrast between the two "women" in the last part of Revelation). The NAS translates it - dear(1), honor(1), precious(8), respected(1), very costly(2). The KJV translates it - precious 8, most precious 2, more precious 1, dear 1, honourable 1, had in reputation 1
There are 33 uses of timios in the Septuagint - 1Sa 3:1; 2Sa 12:30; 1Ki. 5:17; 7:9, 10, 11; 10:2, 10, 11; 1Chr. 20:2; 29:2; 2Chr. 3:6; 9:1, 9, 10; 32:27; Ezra 4:10; Job 28:16; Ps 19:10; 21:3; 116:15; Pr 3:15; 6:26; 8:11, 19; 12:27; 20:6; 24:4; 31:10; Eccl 10:1; Je 15:19; Lam 4:2; Da 11:38; Ho 11:7
Marriage is honored when the husband is the head (1Co 11:3, Ep 5:23-note), the wife submits (1Pe 3:1-note, 1Pe 3:6-note), there is mutual love and respect (1Pe 3:7-note). Marriage vows must not be taken lightly. Marriage means fidelity and commitment to one's spouse. Only as partners honor marriage can sexual union bring its intended fulfillment. (See Pr 5:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23; 1Co 7:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.)
Kent Hughes writes that…
Ralph Alexander emphasizes the effect of the fall of man on God's institution of marriage…
Study Torrey's Topical collection of Scriptures for an excellent summary of what God says about marriage.
1. Divinely instituted. Ge 2:24.
2. A covenant relationship. Mal 2:4.
3. Designed for
a. The happiness of man. Ge 2:18.
b. Increasing the human population. Ge 1:28; 9:1.
c. Raising up godly seed. Mal 2:15.
d. Preventing fornication. 1Co 7:2.
4. The expectation of the promised seed of the woman an incentive to, in the early age. Ge 3:15; 4:1.
5. Lawful in all. 1Co 7:2,28; 1Ti 5:14.
6. Honorable for all. Heb 13:4.
7. Should be only in the Lord. 1Co 7:39.
8. Expressed by
a. Joining together. Mt 19:6.
b. Making affinity. 1Ki 3:1.
c. Taking to wife. Ex 2:1.
d. Giving daughters to sons, and sons to daughters. Deut 7:3; Ezr 9:12.
9. Indissoluble during the joint lives of the parties. Mt 19:6; Ro 7:2,3; 1Co 7:39.
10. Early introduction of polygamy. Ge 4:19.
11. Contracted in patriarchal age with near relations. Ge 20:12; 24:24; 28:2.
12. Often contracted by parents for children. Ge 24:49-51; 34:6,8.
13. Should be with consent of parents. Ge 28:8; Jdg14:2,3.
14. Consent of the parties necessary to. Ge 24:57,58; 1Sa 18:20; 25:41.
15. Parents might refuse to give their children in. Ex 22:17; Deut 7:3.
16. The Jews
a. Forbidden to contract, with their near relations. Le 18:6.
b. Forbidden to contract with idolaters. Deut 7:3,4; Jos 23:12; Ezr 9:11,12.
c. Often contracted with foreigners. 1Ki 11:1; Ne 13:23.
d. Sometimes guilty of polygamy. 1Ki 11:1,3.
e. Careful in contracting for their children. Ge 24:2,3; 28:1,2.
f. Betrothed themselves some time before. Deut 20:7; Jdg14:5,7,8; Mt 1:18.
g. Contracted when young. Pr 2:17; Joe 1:8.
h. Often contracted, in their own tribe. Ex 2:1; Nu 36:6-13; Lk 1:5,27.
i. Obliged to contract with a brother’s wife who died without seed. Deut 25:5; Mt 22:24.
j. Considered being debarred from, a reproach. Is 4:1.
k. Considered being debarred from, a cause of grief. Jdg11:38.
l. Often punished by being debarred from. Jer 7:34; 16:9; 25:10.
m. Were allowed divorce from, because of hardness of their hearts. Deut 24:1; Mt 19:7,8.
n. Exempted from going to war immediately after. Deut 20:7
17. Priest not to contract, with divorced or improper persons. Le 21:7.
18. The high priest not to contract, with a widow or a divorced or profane person. Le 21:14.
19. Contracted at the gate and before witnesses. Ru 4:1,10,11.
20. Modes of demanding women in. Ge 24:3,4; 34:6,8; 1Sa 25:39,40.
21. Elder daughters usually given in, before the younger. Ge 29:26.
22. A dowry given to the woman’s parents before. Ge 29:18; 34:12; 1Sa 18:27,28; Ho 3:2.
a. With great rejoicing. Jer 33:11; Jn 3:29.
b. With feasting. Ge 29:22; Jdg14:10; Mt 22:2,3; Jn 2:1-10.
c. For seven days. Jdg14:12.
24. A benediction pronounced after. Ge 24:60; Ru 4:11,12.
25. The bride
a. Received presents before. Ge 24:53.
b. Given a handmaid at. Ge 24:59; 29:24,29.
c. Adorned with jewels for. Is 49:18; 61:10.
d. Gorgeously apparelled. Ps 45:13,14.
e. Attended by bridesmaids. Ps 45:9.
f. Stood on the right of bridegroom. Ps 45:9.
g. Called to forget her father’s house. Ps 45:10.
26. The bridegroom
a. Adorned with ornaments. Is 61:10.
b. Attended by many friends. Jdg14:11; Jn 3:29.
c. Presented with gifts. Ps 45:12.
d. Crowned with garlands. Song 3:11.
e. Rejoiced over the bride. Is 62:5.
f. Returned with the bride to his house at night. Mt 25:1-6.
27. Garments provided for guests at. Mt 22:12.
28. Infidelity of those contracted in, punished as if married. Deut 22:23,24; Mt 1:19.
29. Illustrative of
a. God’s union with the Jewish nation. Is 54:5; Jer 3:14; Ho 2:19,20.
b. Christ’s union with his church. Eph 5:23,24,32.
AND THE MARRIAGE BED BE UNDEFILED : kai e koite amianto: (Heb 12:16; 1Co 6:9; Ga 5:19,21; Ep 5:5; Col 3:5,6; Re 22:15)
THE BATTLE FOR
Marriage bed… be - The word "marriage" is added but literally it simply reads "bed". Similarly the verb "be" is not present in the Greek but added to give flow to the sentence.
Bed (2845) (koite) literally refers to a place for lying down and rest and thus refers to a bed or bedroom. Koite was used also of the den of an animal or the nest of a bird as well as of a box or basket. In certain contexts it was used to refer to the marriage bed, a figurative way to refer to the sexual relationship between a husband and his wife. Koite is also used to describe illicit sexual promiscuity,
refers to a place or structure on which one can lie down and in this context is
Barclay writes that koite "literally means a bed and has in it the meaning of the desire for the forbidden bed. This was the typical heathen sin. The word brings to mind the man who sets no value on fidelity and who takes his pleasure when and where he will. (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press)
Koite - 4x in 4v - Here are the other 3 NT uses…
Undefiled (283) (amiantos from a = negates what follows + miaino = to defile by staining, as with color) means without contamination, unpolluted, untainted, unstained (stainless), unsoiled, without uncleanness or impurity. The idea is free from that by which the nature of a thing is deformed or debased, or its force or vigor is impaired. In secular Greek writings amiantos was used to describe things such as unstained hands, heart, flesh or body. Aeschylus calls the sea simply "the undefiled".
The idea is that our marriage bed should be in perfect condition, free from any spot of moral dirt or ethical pollution, free from any influence that might defile it. We should allow nothing to cheapen the marriage bed in any way.
Just as our future inheritance in heaven is pure and free from anything that would deform it or cause it to lose its vigor, so too should the Christian couple's marriage bed be untainted by moral/ethical impurity.
Matthew Henry adds that "sin and misery, the two grand defilements that spoil this world, and mar its beauty, have no place there.
The undefiled Christian marriage is in marked contrast to an earthly inheritance, all of which is corrupted and defiled (2Pe1:4 [note] "the corruption that is in the world by lust.") Corruption cannot touch our inheritance or ever wear out its freshness, brightness, and beauty.
The writer of Hebrews uses amiantos to describe Jesus, writing that "it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled (amiantos - free from any moral or spiritual blemish - not even a taint of sin - Not merely ritual purity [Lev 21:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15] but real ethical cleanness), separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens. (see note Hebrews 7:26)
James says real religion is "pure and undefiled (amiantos)… in the sight of our God and Father… (and is shown to be genuine when we) visit orphans and widows in their distress, and… keep oneself unstained by the world. (Jas 1:27-note)
Trench aptly remarks that "it is a remarkable testimony to the reign of sin, and therefore of imperfection, of decay, of death throughout this whole fallen world, that as often as we desire to set forth the glory, purity, and perfection of that other, higher world toward which we strive, we are almost inevitably compelled to do this by the aid of negatives; by the denying to that higher order of things the leading features and characteristics of this.” (see Re 21:1-note Re 22:3-note)
To keep the marriage bed undefiled was a radical concept in the first century Greco-Roman world, and by such supernaturally enabled behavior, the first century believers proved themselves
Kent Hughes comments that "Christian sexual morality was unique in the pagan world and a source of wonder. And it has become increasingly so today in a world that considers adultery irrelevant, purity abnormal, and sex a “right” (however and with whomever one may get it) and that has invented the egregious (Ed: conspicuously bad) term “recreational sex.” We Christians are called to be outrageously pure—to be a source of wonder and even derision to this glandular world. From the beginning to the end of Hebrews, the abiding concern of the author has been to so instruct the tiny Hebrew church that it would stay afloat on the increasingly hostile seas of first-century Roman culture. Their ship was a microscopic dot on the massive billows of the official pagan/secular enterprise—and eminently vulnerable. It appeared to outside eyes that the external forces could sink it at will. But the author knew that the internal threat to the church was far more deadly. In fact, he knew that it could ride out any storm if things were right on the inside. He knows that nothing will sink a church faster than moral wavering in respect to sex, materialism, or mental outlook. Here is intimate advice regarding how to keep our ship afloat. It is so essential that any church that ignores it will founder and possibly even sink. (Ibid)
Spurgeon - And terrible will be their doom when God does judge them. They may think that, because they sin in secret, therefore they shall escape punishment; but it shall not be so. Whether men judge them or not, God will judge them.
David Guzik writes that…
Perhaps through a past of sexual sin, many people have a difficult time really believing that the marriage bed is undefiled. Guilt and sexual hang-ups are appropriate to extra-marital sex, but not in marital sex. But this is where the guilt and sexual hang-ups often exist, and where they most frequently cause trouble.
The enemy of our souls wants to do everything he can to encourage sex outside of the marriage bed, and he wants to do everything he can to discourage sex inside the marriage bed. We need to recognize this strategy and not give it a foothold among us.
Though God allows real freedom in the variety of sexual expression in marriage, all must be done with a concern for the other's needs and in love (1Corinthians 7:1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Eph 5:21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33). (Commentary)
FOR FORNICATORS AND ADULTERERS GOD WILL JUDGE: pornous gar kai moichous krinei (3SFAI) o theos: (1Co 6:9 Ga 5:19,21 Ep 5:5) (Ps 50:16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22; Malachi 3:5; 1Co 5:13; 2Co 5:10)
FIGHT TO KEEP THE
For (gar) is a pithy term of explanation explaining why we must fight the good fight of faith to keep the marriage bed undefiled. Our joy in both time and eternity are at stake as explained below.
John MacArthur writes that…
Fornicators (4205) (pornos from from pernáo = sell in turn from peráō = to pass thru, as a merchant would do, passing thru and then coming to mean to sell) (see also study of related word porneia) means a fornicator, one who is sexually immoral or who commits sexual immorality. Pornos originally meant a "male prostitute" but came to be used in the universal meaning of "fornicator" or one who engages in sexual immorality, whether a man or a woman. A pornos in secular Greece was a person who prostituted themselves for gain.
Fornicate is from Late Latin fornicatus, past participle of fornicare to have intercourse with prostitutes, from Latin fornic-, fornix = arch, vault, brothel. The 1828 Webster's says fornicate means to commit lewdness, as an unmarried man or woman, or as a married man with an unmarried woman.
1828 Webster's defines fornication as "The incontinence or lewdness of unmarried persons, male or female; also, the criminal conversation of a married man with an unmarried woman."
The KJV translates pornos as “whoremonger”, which describes one who consorts with whores (a lecher). One can carry on the life of a "whoremonger" in "private" on the internet's plethora of sleazy porn sites, in filthy magazines at the newsstand (or even at the checkout stand at the grocery store!), or at the movies (unfortunately even PG Rated can be contaminated with pornos). In our local cable listings in Austin, Texas (Summer, 2008) there are some 5-10 channels devoted solely to pornography (I don't subscribe to any of them by the way). America is in very serious trouble beloved. Let us pray for revival (2Chr 7:13,14, 6:37, 38, 39)
Pornos - 10x in 10v in the NT - 1Cor 5:9, 10, 11; 6:9; Eph. 5:5-note; 1Ti 1:10; describing Esau = Heb 12:16-note; describing those who defile the marriage bed = Heb 13:4-note; describing those who will not be in heaven = Rev 21:8-note; Re 22:15-note.
The NAS translates pornos as fornicators(2), immoral(2), immoral men(1), immoral people(2), immoral person(1), immoral persons(2). The KJV as noted translates pornos with the word whoremonger (5 times).
Pornos is not found in the non-apocryphal Septuagint.
NIDNTT has this note on the classical Greek uses of this word group…
Vine in commenting on the use of pornos in the description of Esau in Hebrews 12:16 says that "the word pornos, fornicator, is not to be limited to the idea of spiritual fornication, it includes the actual sin and all such sensual and lustful practices. Esau’s profanity consisted not merely in his satisfying his immediate desires and abandoning his birthright, but in treating the holy privileges of the patriarchal family, the priesthood, and the title to the land, and the ancestorship of the Messiah, as of no value compared with the satisfaction of a natural hunger of the moment (“one mess of meat”). The warning is against renouncing our privileges and duty and “the recompense of the inheritance” in order to enjoy an indulgence of the flesh or the pleasures of the world. That is profanity as here described.
Wuest adds that pornos is "a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire, a male prostitute, a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator. (Hebrews - Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament)
Jon Courson makes a strong statement declaring that "Paul says your heart tells you and your spirit confirms that if you are a whoremonger—if you are delighted by and caught up in pornography—you are not part of the kingdom. You can come to church every time we meet; you can show up every time the doors are open. But if you are involved in this stuff—if this is your idol, if this is what you’re living for—you’re not saved. (Courson, J. Jon Courson's Application Commentary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson) (Bolding added)
Remember that sexual sin is first of all a sin against a Holy God (Joseph running from sin with Potiphar's wife = Ge 39:9, David after sin with Bathsheba = 2Sa 12:13, Ps 51:4-note) Who is obligated by His very nature to judge sin (see Nu 32:23).
Paul explains that sexual sin is also against self in his command to the saints at Corinth to…
Perhaps this passage in Hebrews 13:4 is difficult to read because you have fallen into the snare of sexual sin via a work or counseling situation (with a person of the opposite sex) or become enticed and ensnared by the internet (pornographic images, lewd videos on youtube, iphones giving internet access anywhere, anytime [including face time phone calls]!, chat rooms leading to inappropriate liaisons, social networks like facebook, twitter being abused and misused, etc, etc - when these "tools" which can be used for good become perverted Romans labels those who pervert them as "inventors of evil"! Ro 1:30-note), which is tragically becoming a soul deadening, joy killing, rest and peace stealing "epidemic" even among genuine followers of Christ! These things ought not to be beloved!
Read the warning and the promise of Solomon…
To summarize, these two sexually related sins are distinguished as follows and thus leave no reader relieved of the obligation to follow the charge in Hebrews 13:4…
Pornos = Unmarried & impureMoichos = Married & impure
Bruce - Fornication and adultery are not synonymous in the New Testament: adultery implies unfaithfulness by either party to the marriage vow, while the word translated "fornication" covers a wide range of sexual irregularities.
Moichos - 3x in NAS - here in Hebrews 13:4 and in…
Moichos - 3x in non-apocryphal Septuagint (Lxx)- Ps 50:18; Pr 6:32; Job 24:15; Isa 57:3
See related resource = on site commentary dealing with sexual sins in Proverbs:
Moichos - 2x in Apocrypha - Wis 3:16; Sir 25:2;
The Lord's purpose for His creation of Adam and Eve was that it was to be a permanent, monogamous marriage (Ge 2:21, 22, 23, 24; Mt 19:4, 5, 6), with children raised in the corresponding family unit. Any other type of sexual relationship is wrong (NO MATTER WHAT SOCIETY SAYS!), whether pre-marital, extra-marital, homosexual, incestuous or anything else. How serious is this issue?
John Piper emphasizes that…
It is noteworthy that of all the exhortations in Hebrews 13, the only one associated with a judgment warning is Hebrews 13:4!
John MacArthur warns…
When Christians commit sexual sins (believers are not immune unfortunately), God will (must) judge us because He is holy, righteous and just and He desires a holy people whose lights are not tarnished and dim and dirty but bright and pure and holy. And thus He will take us out to His "holy woodshed" and "beat the hide off of us" (no sacrilege intended - see note below), the writer of Hebrews explaining this divine judgment on believers…
God will judge sexual sin in marriage. As alluded to in the previous passages there eternal consequences for believers but there are also a different genre of eternal consequences for men and women who habitually practice such sins. If sexual sins constitute one's lifestyle, then that person in plain English, is not a genuine believer and is destined for eternal torment. Paul makes this very clear in his warning in first Corinthians writing…
God will judge sexual sin in marriage as Jesus sternly warned…
Will judge (2919)(krino) primarily signifies to distinguish, separate or discriminate; then, to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, without necessarily passing an adverse sentence, though this is usually involved.
Krino - 114x in 98v - Mt 5:40; 7:1 2; 19:28; Lk 6:37; 7:43; 12:57; 19:22; 22:30; Jn 3:17 18; 5:22, 30; 7:24, 51; 8:15 16, 26, 50; 12:47 48; 16:11; 18:31; Acts 3:13; 4:19; 7:7; 13:27, 46; 15:19; 16:4, 15; 17:31; 20:16; 21:25; 23:3, 6; 24:21; 25:9 10, 20, 25; 26:6, 8; 27:1; Ro 2:1, 3, 12, 16, 27; 3:4, 6 7; 14:3 4 5, 10, 13, 22; 1Co 2:2; 4:5; 5:3, 12 13; 6:1 2 3, 6; 7:37; 10:15, 29; 11:13, 31 32; 2Co 2:1; 5:14; Col 2:16; 2Th 2:12; 2Ti 4:1; Titus 3:12; Heb 10:30; 13:4; Jas 2:12; 4:11 12; 5:9; 1Pe 1:17; 2:23; 4:5 6; Rev 6:10; 11:18; 16:5; 18:8, 20; 19:2, 11; 20:12 13
Krino is translated in NAS as - act as… judge(1), concluded(1), condemn(1), condemning(1), considered(1), decided(8), determine(1), determined(2), go to law(1), goes to law(1), judge(42), judged(25), judges(10), judging(5), judgment(1), pass judgment(1), passes judgment(1), passing judgment(1), pronounced(1), regards(2), stand trial(2), sue(1), trial(3), tried(1), try(1).
W E Vine speaks of the judgment of God regarding sexual sins noting that…
As Ray Stedman reminds us…
Those who have taken up adulterous lifestyles (emphasis on lifestyle) and remain unrepentant (exhibit no repentance and no evidence of repentance > cp Mt 3:8, 4:17,11:20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 12:41, Mk 1:15, 6:12, Lk 3:3, 8, 5:32, rich man in Sheol = Lk 16:29, 30, 31, Lk 24:47, Acts 3:19, 11:18, 13:24, 17:30, 19:4, Acts 20:21 Acts 26:20 Ro 2:4-note Study especially 2Cor 7:9 and 2Cor 7:10. 2Cor 12:21 2Pet 3:9-note Re 2:21, 22-note, Re 9:20-note, "of their immorality" = Re 9:21-note, Rev 16:9-note, Re 16:11-note) will suffer the ultimate judgment of God with eternal separation from God. Despite their insistence that they are “Christians,” they are self-deceived (See 1Co 6:9, 10, 1Co 15:33, Gal 6:7-note, Ep 5:5, 6-note, Ep 5:7-note, Titus 3:3, 1Jn 3:7, Mt 7:21-note, Mt 7:22, 23-note). God’s Word is clear that all who live a life (habitually) of adultery or fornication and are unrepentant are under God’s wrath and ultimate judgment regardless of what they assert about their salvation experience.
God's judgment on sexual immorality in marriage is not just future but is also seen in the present. Physical disease is an ever present threat (herpes, Chlamydia, AIDS). In addition their is mental anguish with guilt, self-hatred and ego disintegration. Couples become alienated, estranged, hateful and occasionally even commit murder. And then there is the toll on society with the problem of a plethora of illegitimate children without fathers and the plight of abortion. Unrepentant adultery and sexual immorality will not go unpunished as all these various aspects of present judgment attest. In addition a terrible judgment awaits for all unrepentant sinners will stand before God, who is a “consuming fire” (cf. Heb 12:29-note; Heb 10:27-note, Heb 10:31-note).
Kent Hughes writes that…
Within marriage, sex is beautiful, fulfilling, creative but outside of marriage, sex is evil, ugly (contrary to the "Hollywood commentaries"), destructive, and damning.
The pithy nineteenth century bishop J C Ryle wrote that "The violation of the seventh commandment is the sin above all others, that, as Hosea says, "takes away the understanding" (Ho 4:11). It is the sin that leaves deeper scars upon the soul than any other sin that a man can commit. It is a sin that destroys thousands of young men in every age, and has even overthrown a few of the saints of God in the past. Samson and David are fearful proofs. It is the sin that man dares to smile at, and smooths over using the terms:thrills, love, uncontrollable passions, and natural desires. But it is the sin that the devil rejoices over, for he is the "unclean spirit;" and it is the sin that God abhors, and declares He "will judge" (Heb 13:4). Young men, "Flee from sexual immorality" (1Co 6:18) if you love life. "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient" (Ep 5:6-note). Flee from the opportunity of it--from the company of those who might draw you into it--from the places where you might be tempted to do it. Read what our Lord says about it in (Mt 5:28-note). Be like the holy servant Job: (Job 31:1). Flee from talking about it. It is one of the things that ought not even be hinted about in conversation. You cannot even touch black grease without getting your hands dirty. Flee from the thoughts of it; resist them, destroy them, pray against them--make any sacrifice rather than give way to them. Imagination is the hotbed where this sin is too often hatched. Guard your thoughts (cp Pr 4:23-note), and there will be little fear about your actions.
Spurgeon - Old Hugh Latimer preached before Henry VIII. It was the custom of the court preacher to present the king with something on his birthday, and Latimer presented Henry VIII with a pocket handkerchief with this text in the corner: “God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers” (Heb 13:4)—a very suitable text for bluff Harry. And then he preached a sermon before his most gracious majesty against sins of lust, and he delivered himself with tremendous force, not forgetting or abridging the personal application. And the king said that next time Latimer preached—the next Sunday—he should apologize, and he would make him so mold his sermon as to eat his own words. Latimer thanked the king for letting him off so easily. When the next Sunday came, he stood up in the pulpit and said: “Hugh Latimer, you are this day to preach before the high and mighty prince Henry, King of Great Britain and France. If you say one single word that displeases his Majesty he will take your head off; therefore, mind what you are doing.” But then he said, “Hugh Latimer, you are this day to preach before the Lord God Almighty, who is able to cast both body and soul into hell, and so tell the king the truth outright.” And so he did. His performance was equal to his resolution. However, the king did not take off his head; he respected him all the more. The fear of the Lord gave him strong confidence, as it will any who cleave close to their colors. Drive right straight ahead in the fear of the everlasting God, and whoever comes in your way had better mind what he is doing. It is yours to do what is right, and bear everything they devise that is wrong. God will bless you in it, and therefore you shall praise Him.
Pastor Steven Cole (all of his messages are highly recommended - see all his sermons by book - Pdf and some audio) has the following excellent message on…