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20 Hospitality Quotes from the Bible

Updated on August 3, 2018
MsDora profile image

MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor, is an avid Bible student and loves to compile user-friendly Bible quotes by topic.

“In a number of ancient civilizations, hospitality was viewed as a pillar on which all morality rested,” writes Christine Pohl in Making Room. In Bible times, welcoming the stranger was a cultural expectation, and so was hospitality among friends.

Each one of three sections into which the following quotes are divided, aims to share a glimpse of the heartfelt hospitality demonstrated in the Bible. They may also deepen our sense of hospitality, and cause us to be welcoming more often.

  • First, there are ten first person welcome expressions, which readers may adopt as their own in appropriate situations. Slight variations, when necessary, will make them more specific.
  • Then there are six statements of counsel on the practice of hospitality.
  • Finally, four welcome episodes illustrate hospitality in action. In one account, the welcomer issues a fake welcome, but with good intention; the recipient was a trouble maker. The other three, imitated as far as possible, will make the recipients happy.

(1) Welcome Expressions

Brothers Jacob and Esau exchange friendly smiles when Esau welcomes Jacob home.  Copyright by Sweet Publishing
Brothers Jacob and Esau exchange friendly smiles when Esau welcomes Jacob home. Copyright by Sweet Publishing | Source

(1) What a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God! (Genesis 33:10)

(2) Peace and prosperity to you, your family, and everything you own! (1 Samuel 25:6)

(3) Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us . . . And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well. (Ruth 2:9)

(4) Don’t be afraid! . . . I intend to show kindness to you. (2 Samuel 9:7)

(5) Your brother is back. . . We are celebrating because of his safe return. (Luke 15:27)

(6) If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord . . . come and stay at my home. (Acts 16: 15)

(7) May the God . . . who has been my shepherd all my life, to this very day, the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm— may he bless these boys. (Genesis 48: 15, 16)

(8) Come and stay with us, you who are blessed by the Lord! Why are you standing here outside the town when I have a room all ready for you? (Genesis 24:31)

(9) My servants have never said, "He let others go hungry." I have never turned away a stranger but have opened my doors to everyone. (Job 31: 31, 32)

(10) Come, you who are blessed by my Father . . . I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. . . When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:34, 35, 40)

(2) Welcome Counsel

Abraham welcomes strangers who were, in fact, angels. Copyright by Sweet Publishing
Abraham welcomes strangers who were, in fact, angels. Copyright by Sweet Publishing | Source

(11) Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! (Hebrews 13:2)

(12) Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. (1 Peter 4:9)

(13) Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome. (Proverbs 25:17)

(14) Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay. (Luke 10:7)

(15) Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me [Jesus]. (Matthew 18:5)

(16) Anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me [Jesus], and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me. (John 13:20)

On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate your hospitality?

See results

(3) Welcome Episodes

One Fake-Welcome Episode

(17) Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come into my tent, sir. Come in. Don’t be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket.
“Please give me some water,” he said. “I’m thirsty.” So she gave him some milk from a leather bag and covered him again. . .
But when Sisera fell asleep from exhaustion, Jael quietly crept up to him with a hammer and tent peg in her hand. (Judges 4: 17-21)

This story (Judges 4: 17-24) is not instructional, as in "Go and do likewise." It just proves how commonplace hospitality was. This time it was the bait that caught a national oppressor.

Three Genuine-Welcome Episodes

(18) He [Abraham] looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them . . . My lord,” he said, “if it pleases you, stop here for a while. Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet. And since you’ve honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey.” (Genesis 18: 2-5)

(19) It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. (Hebrews 11:31)

(20) When the girls returned to Reuel, their father, he asked, “Why are you back so soon today?”
“An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds,” they answered. “And then he drew water for us and watered our flocks.”
“Then where is he?” their father asked. “Why did you leave him there? Invite him to come and eat with us.”
Moses accepted the invitation, and he settled there with him. (Exodus 2: 18-21)

The importance of a welcoming attitude may be summed up in the words of Christian author, Ellen White, "The warmth of a genial welcome, a place at your fireside, a seat at your home table . . . would to many [guests] be like a glimpse of heaven." - Ellen White


Bible Quotes are from the New Living Translation unless noted otherwise.

© 2018 Dora Weithers

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    • profile image

      Anthony. 

      3 months ago

      Looking back on the answer you gave about hospitality, the answers you gave was spot on.

      No need to reply.

      Peace.

    • profile image

      Anthony. 

      4 months ago

      Thanks for that. The one thing we have more so than the animal world is "Free Will" making the right choices with that free will is what will make the world or heaven a beutiful place to live.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Yes, Anthony. The Golden Rule is also a good motivation for extending hospitality, and we cannot go wrong with the "agape" attitude toward each other.

    • profile image

      Anthony. 

      4 months ago

      Thank's for you're reply. I was thinking more in lines of the Greek "AGAPE" love, which is a "tradition found in many religions of the world" along with the "Golden Rule" I know "AGAPE" love extends to all of creation and not just human beings. You are right though, every human being deserves to be treated with hospitality.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Your answers in a nutshell:

      Number 1: Hospitality is kindness applied; we owe it to each other.

      Number Two: Hospitality is motivated by our desire to offer to someone else the kindness that every human being deserves.

    • profile image

      Anthony. 

      4 months ago

      Couple of questions. Why is hospitality important ? And what motivates hospitality ?

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Rajan. Yes, life is changing but it would boost our joy if the old courtesies can remain a part of it.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Beautiful quotes, Dora. Genuine welcomes are becoming a rarity in current times, which is sad. Thank you for sharing.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for your input, Lawrence. Wish this was an important part of the culture everywhere.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      5 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      MsDora

      In the Arab lands, this hospitality still goes on. You can still see the way things were done in Bible times.

      Very enjoyable hub.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Shaloo, thanks for your encouragement.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Tim. So true. "Even if we don't know their intent, kindness and love can turn hostility into mutual understanding." I appreciate your input.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      6 months ago from India

      Another beautiful hub focusing on moral values...Thanks for sharing!

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      6 months ago from U.S.A.

      Excellent as always, Ms. Dora, my spiritual sister. This reminds us to have an open attitude to those in need. In this day and time when we only hear of the negative, thank you for continuing to bring the news that matters to us.

      I particularly like the quote pertaining to entertaining angels when we come across strangers. Even if we don't know their intent, kindness and love can turn hostility into mutual understanding.

      Brilliant and thought provoking.

      Much respect,

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Sean. Your comment is so poetic, so open-hearted, so welcoming!

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      6 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      Another brilliant article filled with the Light of your Heart, my dear Sister! Thank you for helping me find significant "spots" of my Bible that I have still unmarked with my favourite orange underliner! Thank you for reminding us that welcoming is to open our heart to God!

      My heart welcomes your Love!

      Sean

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, thanks for your input. That catechism change also has me thinking about what really is the difference, if any, that they want to convey.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Nell. I think I understand how it helps to know why the person is there, and for me, also how long the visit is expected to last.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      6 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      As usual your article kept me thinking. There is a thing in the Catholic Church. I am not one but this is my 3rd year studying the Catechism.

      They changed there response to the greeting. "The Lord be with you"

      Old : "And also with you."

      New : "And with your spirit."

      I just find that so interesting.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 months ago from England

      Its definitely lost these days. Which is sad really. I had to admit that it does take me out of my comfort zone, but I suppose it all depends on why the person or persons are here.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Liz, for sharing. Great idea for a wedding sermon. With both spouses focused on hospitality, it helps keep the home atmosphere positive and caring.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      6 months ago from UK

      Another great article. At our wedding, the speaker preached on Hebrews 13 and emphasized the importance of hospitality, which we have tried to keep in mind ever since.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, thanks for sharing. I can imagine you being an efficient welcome guru. The world needs more of you.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      6 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I really like this. When I was travelling for work one of my jobs was to learn and share proper greeting and like the time to get up or sit down. Handshakes and bowing or a prayer move.

      My wife is pretty curt, not liking small chat. I just get after it and hug. Very uncomfortable for some, sorry.

      This is in the file for my son, he tries to be shy. That ain't how Jesus rocked.

      Thanks friend.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      No problem, Frank. It the people worship in a tent, then the tent peg could be considered a religious prop. Smiling.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Venkatachari, thanks for your kind comment. Glad that you find the quotes inspiring.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Bill. I agree that ideas like respect, hospitality and politeness are forgotten in the hustle and bustle of everyday life; but we miss them so much. We need them.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Linda. We meed these reminders. I learn more about a topic, too, when I'm compiling my list.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Michael. Some of those "primitive" considered visitors to be angels. Imagine how we would treat them if we thought the same way.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Yes, Jackie. We can certainly take a hospitality page from Bible times. It will do wonders toward respect and appreciation for each other.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Hi Flourish. Great that you're involved in your daughter's school, and in that capacity. Your hospitality is almost sure to influence her in a similar direction.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 months ago from Shelton

      OOOOHHH, City boy here.. I could have googled it, but I thought it was a religious expression.. thank you.. tent peg... OOOOHHHH LOL..

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      6 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very nice quotes that show the greatness of hospitality and the provider of such warm hospitality. Very inspiring and appealing collection. Thanks, Dora, for sharing these beautiful ones.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      6 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      That's a subject we don't hear much about these days, Dora. Thanks for digging into this one and making us aware of it. Hurrying through life we miss so much sometimes.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hospitality and kindness are very important. Thank you for the reminder, Dora.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 

      6 months ago

      These are very much welcomed, obvious and practical well known and applied greetings. ( I suppose.) Since the Bible is one of the most popular literature within the nation I was born, our "primitive" culture holds on to a saying" a guest into the house the God into the house". Welcoming is politely practiced by those who still have room for Jesus Christ in their heart...

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 months ago from The Beautiful South

      How important hospitality would have been back then! Can you imagine the difference in then and today?

      Still our hospitality is important, especially to our brothers and sisters I believe and to those in need, regardless. I hope as our economy shows new life our homeless can be addressed.

      I do not live where I witness this but it is much on my mind, knowing it is happening. I constantly wonder if there are women old like my mother out there hungry or in need in so many ways and there are no answers being sought for these old mothers and little children and wonder why not? I have hopes though God will put it on this new president's heart. He seems to be using him so well.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 months ago from USA

      I don’t have a lot of guests in my house but I’m very active at hosting visitors to my daughter’s magnet high school, including arranging recruitment events and lots of social events and celebrations. Includes a lot of food, entertainment, meet and greet.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Mary, I'm not surprised that you like hospitality. You impress me as being such. Thanks for sharing and continue to have fun being welcoming.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Manatita. I appreciate your kind comment. You help to make the HP environment welcoming.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Frank. Jael and her contemporaries lived in tents. The ten peg is "a pointed piece of wood or metal that is pushed into the ground to hold the corners of a tent in position." (Merriam-Webster) Perhaps you called it by another name when you went camping.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Don. You're right. Jesus even told his disciples, "If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you." I also have friends who are offended if you refuse to eat what they offer.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Bill. Really, people may not have the time to be as hospitable as they should be. Perhaps some just don't care, but life would be better if we took the time to be welcoming.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      You are right that many ancient cultures valued hospitality and practiced it as a virtue. I was reading that the Mongols were strong in this, too. I love though the lines you quoted from the Bible. I feel good though I have to prepare dinner for guests today and tomorrow. Our cottage is a welcoming place in the summer and we have lots of fun from doing this.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      6 months ago from london

      Some great welcoming quotes. The familiar and not so familiar. True benchmarks for good hospitality. Done well.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 months ago from Shelton

      these were interesting.. MsDora excuse my ignorance.. but what is tent peg?

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      When I was a young Catholic I found it awkward if someone offered my a meat dinner when I visited. Recently, I learned that rules of hospitality might require that I eat what is given to me by my host, at least if it was offered sincerely.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      We could use a bit more hospitality and welcoming in today's world. Thank you for sharing these, Dora!

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