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Commentary On Hebrews by Jean Calvin


Chapter 13:7 Rule over you, etc. The word hegoumenoi means properly leaders, conductors, guides, such as lead the way, and according to its secondary meaning, presidents, chiefs, governors, rulers. It is rendered |prefects -- praefectorum,| by the Vulg.; |leaders -- ductorum,| by Beza and Stuart; and |rulers| by Macknight; Doddridge paraphrases it, |Who have presided over you.| The version most suitable to the context is |your leaders;| for they are spoken of as persons to be followed; they were such as took the lead in religion and were examples to others. But in verse 17 the idea of a ruler is most suitable, for they were to be obeyed. The specific meaning of a word which has various senses is ever to be ascertained from the context. The leaders here referred to were those who had finished their course; for they were to remember them, and not to observe their conduct then as though they were living; and contemplating the end or conclusion of their life, they were to follow their faith.

The word echthasis; means an outlet, a way of escape, also the end, conclusion, or termination of a thing, or the issue; and anastrophe signifies manner of life, intercourse, behavior, conduct, the way in which one lives. There is no English word that can suitably express it. It may be rendered here |life,| -- |and contemplating the end of their life, follow their faith;| that is, what they believed. They ended their life in peace, and were enabled to triumph over all evils by means of the faith which they professed and possessed.

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