The Use of the Old Testament in Hebrews 13

The centrality of scriptural texts and themes to the structure and argument of the Letter to the Hebrews has resulted in numerous significant studies of the author’s use of the Old Testament. Detailed investigations have thus been undertaken into areas such as the text form(s) employed by the author (e.g. McCullough, Steyn), his hermeneutical method (Caird, Hughes), or his representation of specific passages and motifs, including Moses (D’Angelo), Melchizedek (Horton), and covenant (Dunnill). The Old Testament citations and allusions present in Hebrews chapter 13 have received very little scholarly attention, however, doubtless because they are relatively few in number and do not appear to be central to the author’s argument. This paper therefore will aim to investigate these more closely, focusing in particular on an analysis of the author’s specific exegetical techniques. The key verses under discussion will be: 13:2, 5, 6, 15, 20. Comparisons will then be drawn between the author’s use of the Old Testament in chapter 13 and elsewhere in Hebrews, in an attempt to illuminate from a different angle the long-disputed question of the nature of the relationship between this chapter and the rest of the epistle.