Hebrews 13:17
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

King James Bible
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Darby Bible Translation
Obey your leaders, and be submissive; for they watch over your souls as those that shall give account; that they may do this with joy, and not groaning, for this would be unprofitable for you.

World English Bible
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they watch on behalf of your souls, as those who will give account, that they may do this with joy, and not with groaning, for that would be unprofitable for you.

Young's Literal Translation
Be obedient to those leading you, and be subject, for these do watch for your souls, as about to give account, that with joy they may do this, and not sighing, for this is unprofitable to you.

Hebrews 13:17 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Obey them that have the rule over you - Margin, guide; see notes on Hebrews 13:7. The reference here is to their religious teachers, and not to civil rulers. They were to show them proper respect, and to submit to their authority in the church, so far as it was administered in accordance with the precepts of the Saviour. The obligation to obedience does not, of course, extend to anything which is wrong in itself, or which would be a violation of conscience. The doctrine is, that subordination is necessary to the welfare of the church, and that there ought to be a disposition to yield all proper obedience to those who are set over us in the Lord; compare notes on 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13.

And submit yourselves - That is, to all which they enjoin that is lawful and right. There are in relation to a society:

(1) those things which God has positively commanded - which are always to be obeyed.

(2) many things which have been agreed on by the society as needful for its welfare - and these are to be submitted to unless they violate the rights of conscience; and

(3) many things which are in themselves a matter of no express divine command, and of no formal enactment by the community. They are matters of convenience; things that tend to the order and harmony of the community, and of the propriety of these, "rulers" in the church and elsewhere should be allowed to judge, and we should submit to them patiently.

Hence, in the church we are to submit to all the proper regulations for conducting public worship; for the promotion of religion; and for the administration of discipline.

For they watch for your souls - They have no selfish aim in this. They do not seek "to lord it over God's heritage." It is for your own good that they do this, and you should therefore submit to these arrangements. And this shows also the true principle on which authority should be exercised in a church. It should be in such a way as to promote the salvation of the people; and all the arrangements should be with that end. The measures adopted, therefore, and the obedience enjoined, should not be arbitrary, oppressive, or severe, but should be such as will really promote salvation.

As they that must give account - To God. The ministers of religion must give account to God for their fidelity. For all that they teach, and for every measure which they adopt, they must soon be called into judgment. There is, therefore, the best security that under the influence of this solemn truth they will pursue only that course which will be for your good.

That they may do it with joy, and not with grief - Greek μὴ στενάζοντες mē stenazontes - not sighing, or groaning; as they would who had been unsuccessful. The meaning is, that they should so obey, that when their teachers came to give up their account they need not do it with sorrow over their perverseness and disobedience.

For this is unprofitable for you - That is, their giving up their account in that manner - as unsuccessful in their efforts to save you - would not be of advantage to you, but would be highly injurious. This is a strong mode of expressing the idea that it must be attended with eminent peril to their souls to have their religious teachers go and give an account against them. As they would wish, therefore, to avoid that, they should render to them all proper honor and obedience.

Hebrews 13:17 Parallel Commentaries

September 16. "I Will Never Leave Thee nor Forsake Thee" (Heb. xiii. 5).
"I will never leave Thee nor forsake Thee" (Heb. xiii. 5). It is most cheering thus to know that although we err and bring upon ourselves many troubles that might have been easily averted, yet God does not forsake even His mistaken child, but on his humble repentance and supplication is ever really both to pardon and deliver. Let us not give up our faith because we have perhaps stepped out of the path in which He would have led us. The Israelites did not follow when He called them into the Land of
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Blood of the Covenant
The subject of the Epistle to the Hebrews is deep, for it passes on from the superficial rudiments to those underlying truths which are more mysterious and profound. It is a book for the higher classes in Christ's school; and hence this prayer is not for babes, but for men of understanding. We could not say to all the saints, "after this manner pray ye," for they would not know what they were asking; they have need to begin with something simpler, such as that sweet "Our Father, which art in heaven,"
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 20: 1874

Carey's College
1761-1785 The Heart of England--The Weaver Carey who became a Peer, and the weaver who was father of William Carey--Early training in Paulerspury--Impressions made by him on his sister--On his companions and the villagers--His experience as son of the parish clerk--Apprenticed to a shoemaker of Hackleton--Poverty--Famous shoemakers from Annianus and Crispin to Hans Sachs and Whittier--From Pharisaism to Christ--The last shall be first--The dissenting preacher in the parish clerk's home--He studies
George Smith—The Life of William Carey

The Never Changing One.
"JESUS Christ the same yesterday, and to-day and forever" (Heb. xiii:8). Blessed truth and precious assurance for us poor, weak creatures, yea, among all His creatures the most changing; He changeth not. "For I am the Lord, I change not" (Mal. iii:6). "Of old hast Thou laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. They shall all perish, but Thou shalt endure: yea all of them shall wax old like a garment, as a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall be changed;
Arno Gaebelein—The Lord of Glory

Cross References
Isaiah 62:6
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves;

Ezekiel 3:17
"Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.

Acts 20:28
"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

1 Corinthians 16:16
that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.

1 Thessalonians 5:12
But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,

Hebrews 13:7
Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.

Hebrews 13:24
Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.

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