What does Hebrews 13:7 mean?
ESV: Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
NIV: Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
NASB: Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their way of life, imitate their faith.
CSB: Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith.
NLT: Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.
KJV: Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
NKJV: Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
Verse Commentary:
The prior passage mentioned a series of practical instructions. These were all aimed at Christian behavior and followed major themes offered in the rest of the New Testament. Among these were brotherly love, charity, sexual purity, and contentment (Hebrews 13:1–6). The ultimate source of confidence for Christian living, despite hardship, is our knowledge that Christ is on our side.

Here, the writer continues offering instructions, but with a more theological approach. The first instruction involves respect for Christian leadership. This might be a call for cooperation under the spiritual guidance of those leaders, similar to what Paul expressed to Timothy (1 Timothy 5:17) and Titus (Titus 3:1). Spiritual growth is meant to come via discipleship, which involves a more mature believer helping to grow the faith of a less-experienced Christian (Matthew 28:19–20; Ephesians 4:12–15). Reasonable respect is a necessity for learning.

However, the intent of this passage might be something more historical. Chapter 11 gave an extended list of figures who attained victory through faith, despite persecution. The ideas of remembrance, outcomes, and imitations seem to mirror earlier depictions (Hebrews 12:1). Context, then, suggests remembering the specific spiritual leaders in our lives, and their examples, when living out the Christian life.
Verse Context:
Hebrews 13:7–17 contains practical instructions for the Christian believer. These follow major themes from the rest of this letter, including perseverance, peacefulness, and praise. This text also continues to parallel components of the old covenant with the ministry of Jesus Christ. Specifically, these verses compare the disposal of sacrificed animals with Jesus' crucifixion; both occurred outside the borders of the community. The writer also encourages good works and for believers to cooperate with their spiritual leaders.
Chapter Summary:
Chapters 1—9 explained how the new covenant in Jesus Christ is superior to the old covenant of animal sacrifices. This comparison drew on extensive use of Old Testament Scripture. Chapters 10––12 applied that evidence to encourage Christians to ''hold fast'' despite persecution. The summary of these applications was that believers ought to trust in their faith, and choose to obey God, during times of struggle. Chapter 13 adds a few specific reminders about Christian conduct. This passage also reiterates the idea that Christ is meant to be our ultimate example. The letter concludes with a request for prayer and words of blessing.
Chapter Context:
The last chapter of the book of Hebrews follows a pattern common in New Testament books, especially those written by Paul. The writer gave extensive evidence in chapters 1––9 to support a central idea. This concept was that the new covenant, in Jesus Christ, is superior to the old covenant, composed of the Levitical laws. Chapters 10¬-––12 applied this knowledge to the need for persecuted Christians to maintain their faith. Here, in chapter 13, the writer offers a few specific encouragements for the reader, before signing off with a request for prayer and a benediction.
Book Summary:
The book of Hebrews is meant to challenge, encourage, and empower Christian believers. According to this letter, Jesus Christ is superior to all other prophets and all other claims to truth. Since God has given us Christ, we ought to listen to what He says and not move backwards. The consequences of ignoring God are dire. Hebrews is important for drawing on many portions of the Old Testament in making a case that Christ is the ultimate and perfect expression of God's plan for mankind. This book presents some tough ideas about the Christian faith, a fact the author makes specific note of.
Accessed 6/22/2024 6:03:08 PM
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