“And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words” (Hebrews 13:22).
There may be a bit of humor to be found here in this exhortation from Hebrews 13:22. Having already penned more than six thousand words within this epistle, our author now concludes by saying, “…I’ve only written a short letter to you!” (CEB). But then again, considering the nature of the subjects he has addressed throughout this letter, he surely could have written more.
In fact, the constraints of time have weighed upon our author at various points throughout this epistle. For instance…
“Above the Ark were the cherubim of divine glory, whose wings stretched out over the Ark’s cover, the place of atonement. But we cannot explain these things in detail now” (Hebrews 9:5 NLT).
“And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets” (Hebrews 11:32 CSB).
Nevertheless, those who have studied this letter have learned a great deal, especially concerning the person and work of Christ. For instance…
- Chapter one: Jesus is superior to any angelic being.
- Chapter two: “in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).
- Chapter three: We should not repeat the mistake that Old Testament Israel made in turning away from God in unbelief.
- Chapter four: “…the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” Hebrews 4:12).
- Chapter five: Jesus is our High Priest who represents us before God.
- Chapter six: The importance of spiritual growth.
- Chapter seven: The superior characteristics of Jesus’ priesthood.
- Chapter eight: The New Covenant.
- Chapter nine: Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant.
- Chapter ten: The just shall live by faith.
- Chapter eleven: The faith “Hall Of Fame.”
- Chapter twelve: The importance of spiritual discipline.
- Chapter thirteen: Exhortations to Godly living.
So, if (as some commentators believe), the Epistle to the Hebrews was originally a sermon that was adapted for the benefit of our author’s original audience, the previous verse marks the end of the author’s homily while this portion of Scripture begins his personal remarks.