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Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. ( KJV )

I would like to know how many different ways that this verse can be interpreted. Please, refrain from posting argumentatively towards anyone else's posts, all I want are the different ways that it can be viewed. All views are welcome. Don't post if someone else has already posted your thoughts and you have absolutely nothing to add to it either, please. Thanks.

Now, WHY do you think that God would send, or allow, angels to disguise themselves as human in this fashion? Seem obvious to some of you? Let's see how many other ways it can be viewed.
 
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Hi Stickz,

I remember that verse. It hit home pretty deep about 3 years ago, Christmas 2011 at a Christmas church service. Not surprisingly, as soon as I walk out of service a homeless man came up to me and politely asked if I could spare a dollar.

I believe that GOD does this to test people. Not to trip us up, but to give us opportunities to do good, consider others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3) and bless those in need.

Proverbs 19:17
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Matthew 5:42
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Verses 1-6

The design of Christ in giving himself for us, is, that he may purchase to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works; and true religion is the strongest bond of friendship. Here are earnest exhortations to several Christian duties, especially contentment. The sin opposed to this grace and duty is covetousness, an over-eager desire for the wealth of this world, with envy of those who have more than ourselves. Having treasures in heaven, we may be content with mean things here. Those who cannot be so, would not be content though God raised their condition. Adam was in paradise, yet not contented; some angels in heaven were not contented; but the apostle Paul, though abased and empty, had learned in every state, in any state, to be content. Christians have reason to be contented with their present lot. This promise contains the sum and substance of all the promises; "I will never, no, never leave thee, no, never forsake thee." In the original there are no less than five negatives put together, to confirm the promise: the true believer shall have the gracious presence of God with him, in life, at death, and for ever. Men can do nothing against God, and God can make all that men do against his people, to turn to their good.
 
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Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. ( KJV )

I would like to know how many different ways that this verse can be interpreted. Please, refrain from posting argumentatively towards anyone else's posts, all I want are the different ways that it can be viewed. All views are welcome. Don't post if someone else has already posted your thoughts and you have absolutely nothing to add to it either, please. Thanks.

Now, WHY do you think that God would send, or allow, angels to disguise themselves as human in this fashion? Seem obvious to some of you? Let's see how many other ways it can be viewed.
Have you compared that to Genesis 18? Three men came up to Abraham. It doesn't say they were angels, but I believe one of them was the Lord and the other two angels, all three appearing as men. The Hebrew is "enosh", meaning literal general mortal men at least by appearance. Abraham treated them royally, having them rest under the tree and eat a good meal. Abraham had reason to believe they were very special, calling one (God) "Lord". Also, Moses had a face to face chat with the Lord in the tabernacle as would friend to friend speak to each other. (Ex 33:12)

A personal testimony about it comes from my wife, who was a devoted Baptist girl in college, whose promised ride home for Christmas break fell through. She had no choice but to walk at midnight to the Greyhound bus stop in a field with a single light pole and a few benches, no building. While waiting there alone some men began driving around her calling out to her. She began praying for protection. She was startled when a well dressed, dignified man on another bench spoke to her "You are OK, don't fear them.". The truck left. She turned to thank the man for being there, but he was gone, it not being possible to disappear from the light so quickly across an open field. I realize that doesn't prove or establish anything, but it impacted my wife for life. We presume that angels may well be encamped all around us, so we host anyone that walks into our lives. If you come to our door you'll be treated like Abraham did his angels, even though it's more likely you'll be a mortal neighbor. It's OK. We love visitors, though some have been startled by by wife asking them if they are an angel, though she does that rarely, at times the Lord impresses her not to be quick about letting someone in, or maybe by "woman's intuition" that trouble lurks.
 
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Thank you, Chad, Dovegiven. Anyone else have anything at all to add?

If God does this to test us, does the fact that it is an angel and not a real human being change the result of the test any?
 
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Thank you, Chad, Dovegiven. Anyone else have anything at all to add?

If God does this to test us, does the fact that it is an angel and not a real human being change the result of the test any?
I'd say if an angel is sent to a child of God, the intent is only for our good. Angels are sent for us, not against us, according to
Hebrews 1:13-14 (KJV) 13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?.



They don't act on their own toward us, but are sent by Jesus, who is higher than they according to verse 4. If sent then they are to carry out their mission in

verse 14. . I don't see angels in the scriptures testing people, but are either helping, instructing, or perhaps encamped around us in the presence of dangersome other or at the opposite end destroying wickedness. Being able to visit unseen they can collect intel to learn enough about us to render testing moot. Ideally they can analyze a situation then execute a plan on our behalf, Considering such a great service for us let's be sure to not offend an angel.
Exodus 23:20-22 (KJV)
20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.
22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.

We have access to those same angels, and If we cooperate we might witness something wonderful.
But if a real human is sent to test us, the final result of a test could be doubtful, depending on who sends. If sent by Satan using a deceiving "child of the Devil" it could be serious if we don't know what to do.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV) 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. You can know by that chapter God won't send someone who tempts you to sin leaving you 'painted into a corner', and the other side of that coin is never tempting the Lord. Deceivers look for ways to get us involved in such things. Maybe the person is sent from the Lord with the ministry gift of word of knowledge, or from some authority of earth. There are too many variables to safely let a "a" human test us without discerning which spirit they are of, which gift can be asked for in time of duress.
1 John 4:1-3 (KJV)
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.




 
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this Heb 13:1 verse reminds me of Matt 25, where Jesus says if you have done it for the least of these my brothers you have done it for me. Both verses are calling believers to treat others as if they could be someone special, either an angel or "the least brother". I don't think it would make a difference in the "test" if it was a real angel, or a person. The test is for our hearts; are we ready to live our faith?

Jesus calls us to such huge generosity....loving enemies, lending without expecting repayment, caring for the hungry, sick or imprisoned, being hospitable to strangers...it seems a bit overwhelming to me.
 
Loyal
Gen 18:20; And the LORD said, "The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.
Gen 18:21; "I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know."
Gen 18:22; Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the LORD.

We see the LORD is not an angel, because the "other men turned away" but the Lord was still standing there.

Gen 19:1; Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.
Gen 19:2; And he said, "Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant's house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way." They said however, "No, but we shall spend the night in the square."

We also see that angels can physically touch us.

Gen 19:10; But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.
Gen 19:11; They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.

Gen 19:13; for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it.
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The "burning bush" that Moses saw is also called an Angel.

Exod 3:2; The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.
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God can hide angels from us, and He can reveal them to us also. (not to mention make donkey's talk).

Num 22:21; So Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab.
Num 22:22; But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him.
Num 22:23; When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way.
Num 22:24; Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side.
Num 22:25; When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed herself to the wall and pressed Balaam's foot against the wall, so he struck her again.
Num 22:26; The angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right hand or the left.
Num 22:27; When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick.
Num 22:28; And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"
Num 22:29; Then Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now."
Num 22:30; The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?" And he said, "No."
Num 22:31; Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground.
Num 22:32; The angel of the LORD said to him, "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me.
Num 22:33; "But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live."
 
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Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget hospitality, for by this some unknowingly took in angels as guests. ( Green's Literal Translation )
Hebrews 13:2 of the hospitality be not forgetful, for through this unawares certain did entertain messengers; ( Young's Literal Translation )
Hebrews 13:2 Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. ( American Standard Version )

ξένος and ξενίζω--the only time in scripture that the two words show up. They mean to be a host, be hospitable, entertain as guests.
 

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