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N11. Being Hospitable.    [Make a Comment]

We are to be hospitable to our neighbor.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed be He):

Key Scriptures

Leviticus 19:33-34
If a foreigner stays with you in your land, do not do him wrong. Rather, treat the foreigner staying with you like the native-born among you - you are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am ADONAI your God.

Leviticus 25:35
If a member of your people has become poor, so that he can't support himself among you, you are to assist him as you would a foreigner or a temporary resident, so that he can continue living with you.

Isaiah 58:6-7
Here is the sort of fast I want - releasing those unjustly bound, untying the thongs of the yoke, letting the oppressed go free, breaking every yoke, sharing your food with the hungry, taking the homeless poor into your house, clothing the naked when you see them, fulfilling your duty to your kinsmen!

Matthew 10:40-42
Whoever receives you is receiving me, and whoever receives me is receiving the One who sent me. Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive the reward a prophet gets, and anyone who receives a tzaddik because he is a tzaddik will receive the reward a tzaddik gets. Indeed, if someone gives just a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my talmid - yes! - I tell you, he will certainly not lose his reward!

Mark 9:41
Indeed, whoever gives you even a cup of water to drink because you come in the name of the Messiah - yes! I tell you that he will certainly not lose his reward.

Luke 14:12-14
Yeshua also said to the one who had invited him, "When you give a lunch or a dinner, don't invite your friends, brothers, relatives or rich neighbors; for they may well invite you in return, and that will be your repayment. Instead, when you have a party, invite poor people, disfigured people, the crippled, the blind! How blessed you will be that they have nothing with which to repay you! For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

Romans 12:13
Share what you have with God's people, and practice hospitality.

Romans 15:7
So welcome each other, just as the Messiah has welcomed you into God's glory.

1 Timothy 3:2
A congregation leader must be above reproach, he must be faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, orderly, hospitable and able to teach.

Titus 1:7-8
For an overseer, as someone entrusted with God's affairs, must be blameless - he must not be self-willed or quick-tempered, he must not drink excessively, get into fights or be greedy for dishonest gain. On the contrary, he must be hospitable, devoted to good, sober-mindedness, uprightness, holiness and self-control.

Hebrews 13:1-2
Let brotherly friendship continue; but don't forget to be friendly to outsiders [NKJ: "entertain strangers"]; for in so doing, some people, without knowing it, have entertained angels.

1 Peter 4:7-9
The accomplishing of the goal of all things is close at hand. Therefore, keep alert and self-controlled, so that you can pray. More than anything, keep loving each other actively; because love covers many sins. Welcome one another into your homes without grumbling.

Supportive Scriptures - Examples of Hospitality

Genesis 18:1-8
ADONAI appeared to Avraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the entrance to the tent during the heat of the day. He raised his eyes and looked, and there in front of him stood three men. On seeing them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, prostrated himself on the ground, and said, "My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, please don't leave your servant. Please let me send for some water, so that you can wash your feet; then rest under the tree, and I will bring a piece of bread. Now that you have come to your servant, refresh yourselves before going on." "Very well," they replied, "do what you have said." Avraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quickly, three measures of the best flour! Knead it and make cakes." Avraham ran to the herd, took a good, tender calf and gave it to the servant, who hurried to prepare it. Then he took curds, milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it all before the men; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.

Genesis 19:1-3
The two angels came to S'dom that evening, when Lot was sitting at the gate of S'dom. Lot saw them, got up to greet them and prostrated himself on the ground. He said, "Here now, my lords, please come over to your servant's house. Spend the night, wash your feet, get up early, and go on your way." "No," they answered, "we'll stay in the square." But he kept pressing them; so they went home with him; and he made them a meal, baking matzah for their supper, which they ate.

Genesis 24:31-32
"Come on in," he said, "you whom ADONAI has blessed! Why are you standing outside when I have made room in the house and prepared a place for the camels?" So the man went inside, and while the camels were being unloaded and provided straw and fodder, water was brought for him to wash his feet and the feet of the men with him.

Genesis 29:13
When Lavan heard the news of Ya'akov his sister's son, he ran to meet him, hugged him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Ya'akov told Lavan all that had happened.

Judges 13:15
Manoach said to the angel of ADONAI, "Please stay with us a bit longer, so that we can cook a young goat for you."

Judges 19:16-21
In time, at nightfall, an old man came from his work in the field. He was from the Efrayim hills and was staying in Giv'ah, although the residents were of Binyamin. The old man looked up, saw the traveler in the city's open space and said, "Where are you going, and where are you coming from?" He replied, "We're crossing from Beit-Lechem in Y'hudah to the far side of the Efrayim hills. That's where I'm from. I went to Beit-Lechem in Y'hudah, and now I'm going to the house of ADONAI; but there's no one here who will let me spend the night in his home. We have straw and food for our donkeys, also bread and wine for me, my concubine and the boy there with your servants; we don't need anything else." The old man said, "You're welcome to stay with me. I'll take care of anything you lack; just don't spend the night out in the open." So he brought him home and gave food to the donkeys. Then they washed their feet, and ate and drank.

1 Kings 17:10-16
So he [Eliyahu] set out and went to Tzarfat. On reaching the gate of the city, he saw a widow there gathering sticks. He called out to her, "Please bring a little water in a container for me to drink." As she was going to get it, he called after her, "Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand." She answered, "As ADONAI your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a pot and a little oil in the jug. Here I am, gathering a couple sticks of wood, so that I can go and cook it for myself and my son. After we have eaten that, we will die." Eliyahu said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go; and do what you said; but first, use a little of it to make me a small loaf of bread; and bring it out to me. After that, make food for yourself and your son. For this is what ADONAI the God of Isra'el, says: 'The pot of meal will not get used up, nor will there fail to be oil in the jug, until the day ADONAI sends rain down on the land.'" She went and acted according to what Eliyahu had said; and she, he and her household had food to eat for a long time. The pot of meal did not get used up, nor did there fail to be oil in the jug, in fulfillment of the word of ADONAI spoken through Eliyahu.

2 Kings 4:8-13
One day Elisha visited Shunem, and a well-to-do woman living there pressed him to stay and eat a meal. After this, whenever he came through, he stopped there for a meal. She said to her husband, "I can see that this is a holy man of God who keeps stopping at our place. Please, let's build him a little room on the roof. We'll put a bed and a table in it for him, and a stool and a candlestick. Then, whenever he comes to visit us, he can stay there." One day Elisha came to visit there, and he went into the upper room to lie down. He said to Geichazi his servant, "Call this Shunamit." He called her; and when she arrived, he said to him, "Tell her this: 'You have shown us so much hospitality! What can I do to show my appreciation? Do you want me to say anything to the king for you? or to the commander of the army?'" She answered, "I'm happy living as I do, among my own people."

2 Kings 6:21-23
When the king of Isra'el saw them, he asked Elisha, "My father, should I attack them? Should I attack them?" He answered, "Don't attack them! You wouldn't even attack prisoners you had captured with your own sword and bow, would you? So give them food to eat and water to drink, and let them return to their master." So he provided well for them; and after they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away; and they returned to their master. After that, no more raiding parties entered the land of Isra'el from Aram.

Job 31:32
No stranger had to sleep in the street; I kept my house open to the traveler.

Psalm 23:5
You prepare a table for me, even as my enemies watch; you anoint my head with oil from an overflowing cup.

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 25:32-40
All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. The 'sheep' he will place at his right hand and the 'goats' at his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you made me your guest, I needed clothes and you provided them, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the people who have done what God wants will reply, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you our guest, or needing clothes and provide them? When did we see you sick or in prison, and visit you?' The King will say to them, 'Yes! I tell you that whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did them for me!'

Luke 9:12-17
The day began to draw to a close. The Twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away, so that they can go and get lodging and food in the towns and farms around here, because where we are is a remote place." But he said to them, "Give them something to eat, yourselves!" They said, "We have no more than five loaves of bread and two fish - unless we ourselves are supposed to go and buy food for all these people!" (For there were about five thousand men.) He said to his talmidim, "Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each." They did what he told them and had them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish and, looking up toward heaven, made a b'rakhah, broke the loaves and began giving them to the talmidim to distribute to the crowd. Everyone ate as much as he wanted; and they took up what was left over, twelve baskets full of broken pieces.

Luke 10:33-35
But a man from Shomron who was traveling came upon him; and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. So he went up to him, put oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them. Then he set him on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day, he took out two days' wages, gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Look after him; and if you spend more than this, I'll pay you back when I return.'

Luke 10:38
On their way Yeshua and his talmidim came to a village where a woman named Marta welcomed him into her home.

Luke 11:37
As Yeshua spoke, a Parush asked him to eat dinner with him; so he went in and took his place at the table

Luke 19:1-6
Yeshua entered Yericho and was passing through, when a man named Zakkai appeared who was a chief tax-collector and a wealthy man. He was trying to see who Yeshua was; but, being short, he couldn't, because of the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed a fig tree in order to see him, for Yeshua was about to pass that way. When he came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zakkai! Hurry! Come down, because I have to stay at your house today!" He climbed down as fast as he could and welcomed Yeshua joyfully.

Luke 24:27-30
Then, starting with Moshe and all the prophets, he explained to them the things that can be found throughout the Tanakh concerning himself. They approached the village where they were going. He made as if he were going on farther; but they held him back, saying, "Stay with us, for it's almost evening, and it's getting dark." So he went in to stay with them. As he was reclining with them at the table, he took the matzah, made the b'rakhah, broke it and handed it to them.

John 4:8-9
(His talmidim had gone into town to buy food.) The woman from Shomron said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for water from me, a woman of Shomron?" (For Jews don't associate with people from Shomron.)

John 12:1-3
Six days before Pesach, Yeshua came to Beit-Anyah, where El'azar lived, the man Yeshua had raised from the dead; so they gave a dinner there in his honor. Marta served the meal, and El'azar was among those at the table with him. Miryam took a whole pint of pure oil of spikenard, which is very expensive, poured it on Yeshua's feet and wiped his feet with her hair, so that the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

John 21:12-13
Yeshua said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the talmidim dared to ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Yeshua came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.

Acts 2:44-46
All those trusting in Yeshua stayed together and had everything in common; in fact, they sold their property and possessions and distributed the proceeds to all who were in need. Continuing faithfully and with singleness of purpose to meet in the Temple courts daily, and breaking bread in their several homes, they shared their food in joy and simplicity of heart

Acts 10:25-28
As Kefa entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell prostrate at his feet. But Kefa pulled him to his feet and said, "Stand up! I myself am just a man." As he talked with him, Kefa went inside and found many people gathered. He said to them, "You are well aware that for a man who is a Jew to have close association with someone who belongs to another people, or to come and visit him, is something that just isn't done. But God has shown me not to call any person common or unclean

Acts 16:14-15
One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in fine purple cloth. She was already a "God-fearer", and the Lord opened up her heart to respond to what Sha'ul was saying. After she and the members of her household had been immersed, she gave us this invitation: "If you consider me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay in my house." And she insisted till we went.

Acts 28:1-2
After our escape, we learned that the island was called Malta. Its people showed extraordinary kindness - it was cold and it had started to rain, so they lit a bonfire and welcomed us all.

Acts 28:7
Nearby were lands belonging to the governor of the island, whose name was Publius. He received us in a friendly manner and put us up for three days.

Romans 16:1-2
I am introducing to you our sister Phoebe, shammash of the congregation at Cenchrea, so that you may welcome her in the Lord, as God's people should, and give her whatever assistance she may need from you; for she has been a big help to many people - including myself.

1 Timothy 5:9-10
Let a widow be enrolled on the list of widows only if she is more than sixty years old, was faithful to her husband, and is known for her good deeds - as one who has reared her children well, showed hospitality, washed the feet of God's people, helped those in trouble, and engaged in all kinds of good work.

Revelation 3:20
Here, I'm standing at the door, knocking. If someone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me.

Supportive Scriptures - Examples of Inhospitality

Genesis 43:30-32
Then Yosef hurried out, because his feelings toward his brother were so strong that he wanted to cry; he went into his bedroom and there he wept. Then he washed his face and came out, but he controlled himself as he gave the order to serve the meal. They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians included at the meal by themselves - Egyptians don't eat with Hebrews, because that is abhorrent to them.

Judges 19:15
There they turned off the road to go and stay in Giv'ah. He went in and sat down in the city's open space, since no one had offered his home for them to spend the night.

1 Samuel 25:10-11
Naval answered David's servants, "Who is David? Who is the son of Yishai? There are many servants nowadays running away from their masters. Am I supposed to take my bread, my water and my meat that I slaughtered for my shearers and give it to men coming from who knows where?"

Matthew 25:41-46
Then he will also speak to those on his left, saying, 'Get away from me, you who are cursed! Go off into the fire prepared for the Adversary and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave me no food, thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, a stranger and you did not welcome me, needing clothes and you did not give them to me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they too will reply, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, a stranger, needing clothes, sick or in prison, and not take care of you?' And he will answer them, 'Yes! I tell you that whenever you refused to do it for the least important of these people, you refused to do it for me!' They will go off to eternal punishment, but those who have done what God wants will go to eternal life.

Luke 2:4-7
So Yosef, because he was a descendant of David, went up from the town of Natzeret in the Galil to the town of David, called Beit-Lechem, in Y'hudah, to be registered, with Miryam, to whom he was engaged, and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in cloth and laid him down in a feeding trough, because there was no space for them in the living-quarters.

Luke 9:51-53
As the time approached for him to be taken up into heaven, he made his decision to set out for Yerushalayim. He sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village in Shomron to make preparations for him. However, the people there would not let him stay, because his destination was Yerushalayim.

Supportive Scriptures - Putting God and Others First

Leviticus 19:18b
... love your neighbor as yourself; I am ADONAI.

Deuteronomy 6:5
and you are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources.

Matthew 5:41-42
And if a soldier forces you to carry his pack for one mile, carry it for two! When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something from you, lend it to him.

Matthew 20:26-28
Among you, it must not be like that. On the contrary, whoever among you wants to be a leader must become your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave! For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve - and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Matthew 22:36-40
"Rabbi, which of the mitzvot in the Torah is the most important?" He told him, "'You are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.' This is the greatest and most important mitzvah. And a second is similar to it, 'You are to love your neighbor as yourself.' All of the Torah and the Prophets are dependent on these two mitzvot."

Mark 12:28-33
One of the Torah-teachers came up and heard them engaged in this discussion. Seeing that Yeshua answered them well, he asked him, "Which is the most important mitzvah of them all?" Yeshua answered, "The most important is, 'Sh'ma Yisra'el, ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad [Hear, O Isra'el, the LORD our God, the LORD is one], and you are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You are to love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other mitzvah greater than these." The Torah-teacher said to him, "Well said, Rabbi; you speak the truth when you say that he is one, and that there is no other besides him; and that loving him with all one's heart, understanding and strength, and loving one's neighbor as oneself, mean more than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices."

John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved.

Romans 12:9-10
Don't let love be a mere outward show. Recoil from what is evil, and cling to what is good. Love each other devotedly and with brotherly love; and set examples for each other in showing respect.

Galatians 2:20
When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too; so that my proud ego no longer lives. But the Messiah lives in me, and the life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had, who loved me and gave himself up for me.

Galatians 5:13-14
For, brothers, you were called to be free. Only do not let that freedom become an excuse for allowing your old nature to have its way. Instead, serve one another in love. For the whole of the Torah is summed up in this one sentence: "Love your neighbor as yourself"

Philippians 2:3b-4
... in humility, regard each other as better than yourselves - look out for each other's interests and not just for your own.


Hospitality is often thought of as inviting people into our homes, feeding them, and giving them lodging. That is, of course, hospitality, but hospitality is broader than that - it is giving of oneself, often at a cost. It stands alongside of charity and generosity as being among the most important attributes of a believer because it requires that we put the needs of others before our own, and puts into practice the most important and overarching mitzvot, quoted by Yeshua in Matthew 22:37b-40:

'You are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.' This is the greatest and most important mitzvah. And a second is similar to it, 'You are to love your neighbor as yourself.' All of the Torah and the Prophets are dependent on these two mitzvot.

Loving our neighbor (including our loved ones) involves self-sacrifice. Sometimes the sacrifice is miniscule and sometimes it is very great. However, the willingness and even desire to do it is the very nature of God Himself. The number of Scriptures I have found to cite is a testimony of how important God considers hospitality.

Classical Commentators

This Mitzvah is not addressed by any of the classical commentators. Components of it are addressed, however, such as having love for God and eighbor, giving tzedakah, and otherwise walking in God's ways.


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