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Christ far]

CHAP. III.

HEBREWS.

WHEREFORE, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faith ful in all his house.

3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

4 For every house is builded by some man ; but he that built all things is God.

5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

[superior to Moses.

8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence sted fast unto the end;

15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

16 For some, when they had heard,

EXPOSITION—Chap. II. Continued.

tion and sufferings, raised again to glory and honour, and placed at the head of all creation, all things being in a train of subjugation to him; the final accomplishment of which will close the mediatorial system, as we have already seen in 1 Cor. xv. 26-28, to which we must refer, to avoid repetition. While, however, there remains any enemy unsubdued, that is, till the general resurrection (for "the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death"), his kingdom will be progressing in the world; for he must reign till all things are put under him.”

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When God is said to make the Prince, Captain of our salvation," perfect, it does not imply that any imperfection was

or

attached to his character; but only that it was necessary for him to suffer trials and temptations, that he might be fully prepared to succour such of his people as were tried and tempted; and in order thus to suffer, it was necessary that he should take upon him all the sinless infirmities of human nature. Farther, that he might dethrone, depose, and destroy the assumed tyranny of death, not only over the bodies, but also over the minds of men, it was necessary that he should die; that be might grapple with Satan in his own dominions, and deliver those whom he held in miserable captivity, even through the fear of being enslaved by him.

NOTES.

CHAP. III. Ver. 1. Of our profession.-Mackn. and M'Lean, "confession;" i. e. of our faith. Ver. 2. To him that appointed him-Margin, "made him ;" i. e. made him apostle and high priest. Ver. 3. He who hath builded the house.-The Greek term (oikos) is equally equivocal with our word house, and is used either in the sense of family or residence; and, under the latter, may be the residence of either God or man,

Ver. 5. For a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after.-Doddr. "A testimony ef things afterwards to be mentioned;" namely, by Christ and his apostles.

Ver. 7. Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saithSee Psalm xev. 7-11.

Ver. 11 They shall not enter.-Marg. "If they shall enter." This is the form of an oath in Hebrew. Ver. 16. Not all that came out of Egypt-Theil

- Unbelievers]

CHAP. III.

did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness?

[excluded Canaan.

18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?

19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (C)

CHAP. III.

EXPOSITION.

(C) Ver. 1-19. Christ more worthy than Moses, and disobedience to him more criminal than under the old dispensation.-St. Paul having shown at large the superiority of Christ to angels, though for a time he had humbled himself beneath them, for the purpose of making atonement for hu man transgression, now proceeds to recommend him to the Hebrews, as the Apostle and High Priest of the Christian Religion.

"Considering him [Christ] as the Apostle, or founder of our religion, he compares him with Moses, that eminent prophet and ministerial founder of the Jewish religion. The Hebrews had justly a very high opinion of Moses, their great prophet and lawgiver; but as they did not clearly perceive the design of the Mosaic economy, which was to prefigure and give testimony to the gospel revelation, in which it was to terminate, they were still strongly attached to it, as of perpetual obligation. This, with the discouragements they met with from the opposition of their unbelieving Countrymen, tended to keep their minds na wavering state with regard to the Christian faith; so that they were in danger of reverting from Christ to Moses. Nohing, therefore, could better suit the aposJe's design of establishing the Hebrews in he Christian profession, than to compare gether the respective founders of the Old nd New dispensations. He [consequently] bserves (ver. 1-4), that both Christ and loses were faithful to God in the discharge f their offices; but that Christ was counted orthy of more glory than Moses, inasuch as the founder and ruler of the house, church, hath more honour than the ouse, or any eminent servant in it, such = Moses was. For he that hath formed e church, and ordered all things relative it, is God. [He adds, ver. 5, 6] That oses, indeed, was faithful in all things lating to God's house, the Jewish church; at it was as a servant, and in a typical onomy, designed for a testimony of the ings which were afterwards to be re

vealed but that Christ was faithful as a Son over his house, the gospel church; of whose house we who believe are members, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the [Christian] hope firm unto the end.”

"The apostle then proceeds to caution the Hebrews against apostacy from the faith of the gospel, by reminding them of the awful punishment inflicted upon their ancestors in the wilderness, who, on account of their unbelief and rebellion against God, were excluded from his rest in the land of Canaan; intimating that, if they should apostatize from Christ, they would be excluded from a more glorious rest in the heavenly country, of which the former was only a type." (M'Lean.)

To the above extracts from a judicious commentator on this Epistle, we add two other observations:-1. We may remark, that the term house is here used equivocally, for both a family and a residence, and that both of God and man. Moses was faithful in all his house, as was witnessed of him, Numb. xii. 7. That is, he was a faithful steward in building the Tabernacle, and regulating its worship exactly according to the orders he received. So Christ, in building up the Christian church, and managing all its concerns, acts in perfect harmony with the will of his heavenly Father. But in what sense are we to take the word when applied (ver. 4) to God himself? "Every house is builded by some one, but he who built all things is God." This, we think with Doddridge, applies most naturally to the works of creation at large. (See ch. xi. 3.) But it is equally true of the families of mankind"Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?" (Mal. ii. 10.)

2. We may note the great importance of a present attention to religion, and the extreme danger of delay. "To-day, while it is called to-day," the sceptre of mercy is held out to invite us; but if we neglect the call, as Israel did, to-morrow it may be too late for ever.

NOTES.

le ones (i. e. all under twenty years of age) were pressly excepted in the oath (Num. xiv. 31), for oath only excluded all who were numbered in

the beginning of the second year after they came out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, being fit for war," and not the Levites, (Num, i. 45-47.)

Rest attainable]

CHAP. IV.

HEBREWS.

LET us therefore fear, lest, a proᏞᎬ mise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

3 For we which have believed do enter into rest; as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest; although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to

[only through faith.

whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

7 (Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would be not afterward have spoken of another day.

9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his ow works, as God did from his.)

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. and of the joints and marrow; and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

13 Neither is there any creature

NOTES.

CHAP. IV. Ver. 1. Lest, a promise being left us. The pronoun us being marked with italics in our version, intimates its being supplementary, and it is, in our opinion, both unnecessary and improper. The rest was left indefinitely for all who should seek it. Let us [apostles and preachers] therefore indulge an affectionate jealousy, lest any of you to whom we preach, should seem to-should “evidently"-come short of it. See Note on 1 Cor. vii. 40.

Ibid. Any of you.-Some copies read, of us, to which Doddridge inclines; but, with Macknight, we prefer the common reading, which is supported by both the Syriac and the Vulgate.

Ver. 2. For unto us was the gospel preached, &c. -Doddr. "For we are made partakers of the good tidings." Greek," Have been evangelized even as they that is, according to Mr. M'Lean, "We Christians have been favoured with the good news of a rest in the heavenly country, even as Israel were with the good news of a rest in the land of Canaan.

Ibid. But the word preached-Gr. "The word of hearing "-did not profit them; not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it]. The idea is medical, and alludes to our food being mixed with the juices of the stomach, in order to its digestion. The margin reads, "because they were not united by faith;" and so many of the ancients: but Doddridge, Macknight, M'Lean, and most of the moderns, prefer the common translation, which is also sanctioned by the Vulgate and the Syriac.

Ver. 3. If they shall enter.-See Note on chap.

iii. 11.

Ibid. Although the works were finished from the foundation.-Mackn. "from the formation of the world." The word here evidently refers to the com

pletion, not the commencement, of creation, s the verse following.

Ver. 4. In a certain place-Namely, Gen. ii. Ver. 5. And in this place again-i. e. in Pain xcv. 11, as quoted in chap. iii. 11.

Ver. 6. To whom il-i. e. the gospel, or gad tidings.

Ver. 7. Again he limiteth.-Verses 7, 8, of the Psalm just quoted,

Ver. 8. For if Jesus.-Margin, "Joshua;" which is the Hebrew name corresponding to the Greek,

Jesus.

Ver. 9. A rest.-Marg. " a keeping of sabbath," or" sabbatism." The word here used is not the same as in the preceding verses.

Ver. 11. Example of unbelief.—Marg, of “ditobedience;" but the text is preferable.

Ver. 12. Quick and powerful-Literally, "rr and energetic."Sharper than any two-chel sword.-Macknight quotes from a Pagan wr that "reason penetrates into a man deeper tha sword:" but we apprehend it is the power of God's word upon the conscience, that is here alluded to

To the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow-that is, of things the m intimately and inseparably connected. See our Ne on 1 Thes. v. 23, where we have distinguished the rational soul from the animal; but whether the latter (which is common to brutes) be matter, of a rior kind of spirit, or a middle substance between both, we presume not to decide. Most certain its that many animals are intelligent, as well as se tient; that they feel, that they recollect, and that they dream; and, therefore, that they think.

20

Ver. 13. Naked and opened-Doddr. "laid bare This is an allusion to the state in which the bare!offerings were laid on the altar; they were stripped

The word of God]

CHAP. IV.

that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an High Priest

[quick and powerful.

which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (D)

CHAP. IV.

EXPOSITION.

(D) Ver. 1-16. A rest remaineth for the people of God-attainable by faith in Christ. This chapter opens with an inference from the preceding. Since Israel of old lost their earthly Canaan through unbelief, let us also fear, lest, by the same means, we should lose the heavenly country now promised to us.

To understand the reasoning of the apostle in this chapter," the reader ought to know," says Dr. Macknight, "that in the Covenant with Abraham, God promised him two kinds of seed-the one by natural descent, and the other by faith; and that the promise, to give to him and to his seed the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, being made to both.... it was to be fulfilled, not only to his natural progeny, by giving them the possession of the earthly Canaan; but also to his seed by faith, by giving them the possession of the heavenly country, of which Canaan was the emblem and the pledge.

"Upon these principles, the apostle affirms, that notwithstanding Abraham's natural seed have obtained the possession of Canaan, there is still left to his seed by faith, consisting of believers in all ages, whether they be Jews or Gentiles, a promise of entering into God's rest; for which reason he exhorted the Hebrews, in his own time, to be afraid lest any of them should fall short of that rest, as their fathers in the wilderness fell short of the rest in Canaan (ver. 1). His affirmation that, in the covenant, there is still left to Abraham's seed by faith, a promise of entering inte God's rest, the apostle establishes by observing, that the promise of the everlasting possession of Canaan being made to

Abraham's seed by faith, as well as to his natural seed, his seed by faith have received the good tidings of a rest in the heavenly country, typified by Canaan, as really as his natural seed have received the good tidings of a rest in Canaan. Only these good tidings did not profit the natural seed in the wilderness, because they did not believe them (ver. 2). More particularly, to show that all Abraham's seed by faith shall enter into God's rest in the country typified by Canaan, the apostle appealed to the words of God's oath, by which he excluded the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness from his rest: for seeing this oath was sworn, notwithstanding the works of God were finished at the formation of the world, and the seventhday rest was then instituted (ver. 3); also, seeing that rest was called God's rest, in the passage of Scripture where Moses had said concerning the seventh day, 'And God rested on the seventh day from all his works' (ver. 4), it follows, that the rest into which God sware that the Israelites in the wilderness should not enter, was not the seventh-day rest, in regard they were in possession of that rest when the oath was sworn." (Exod. xvi. 23; xx. 8.)

The substance of the apostle's argument is then summed up in ver. 9: "There remaineth therefore a rest-a Sabbatism— for the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest-that is, into the rest which God has provided for us-hath ceased from his own works, even as God did from his." From the account given in this verse of the rest which remaineth to the people of God, namely, that they do not enter into it till their works of trial and suffering are finished, it is evident that it

NOTES.

of their skins, their breasts ripped open, their backbone cleft, and their head thrown back, so as to be easily inspected by the officiating priest.With whom we have to do.-Doddr. and Macka. "To whom we must give an account:" so the Greek phrase is rendered, chap. xiii. 17; also Rom. xiv.

12, and elsewhere.

Ver. 14. Our profession-Or confession; see chap. iii. 1.

Ver. 15. Which cannot be touched.-Macknight, "who cannot sympathize."Like as we are-i.e. in the same points. See our Expos. of Matt. iv.

Jesus Christ]

CHAP. V.

HEBREWS.

FOR every High Priest taken from

among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for

sins:

2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

4 And no man taketh this honour

[our High Priest,

unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

5 So also Christ glorified not himself

to be made an High Priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned

EXPOSITION—Chap. IV. Continued.

must intend "the rest of heaven, of which the seventh-day rest was only au emblem." (So Doddridge, Macknight, and M'Lean.) But, as an emblem, it pointed out not only a rest from labours and from sufferings, but also a state of purity and devotion-a state of positive happiness, made up of communion with God, and saints, and holy angels.

The apostle hence urges the believing Hebrews (ver. 11): "Let us, therefore, labour to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." "The example referred to (says Mr. M'Lean), is that of Israel in the wilderness; who, though they had by a train of miracles been redeemed from Egyptian bondage, taken into covenant with God, and had the promise of the earthly rest in Canaan-yet, after all, forfeited that promise, and fell in the wilderness through unbelief. By this awful example, the apostle enforces his exhortation to the Hebrews, that they should labour to enter into the heavenly rest, of which a promise was left them, lest they should come short of it through unbelief, as Israel did of the earthly rest."

To urge the converted Hebrews (as, indeed, all professing Christians) thus to labour to secure their interest in this eternal

rest, the apostle reminds them, that the word of God, which had been preached to them (ver. 12), was quick (or living) and powerful; sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit," &c.—that is, figuratively speaking, piercing the conscience and dis secting the heart; and it [the word] a here follows," is a discerner (or judge) of the thoughts and intents of the heart," or, as we should say (in the English idiom), pe netrates the deepest recesses of the mind.

The term Logos, however, often so ap plied by the apostle John, may here intend the substantial or essential Word, of whom it may be more strictly asserted, "all things are laid naked and bare to him wit whom we have to do;" or, as Machnigil renders it," to whom we must give an account."

In the close of this chapter (which seems more properly to belong to the next, Christ is again introduced as the great High Priest of our profession (namely, Christianity); and who, on account of his compassion and sympathy towards us, we are encouraged to approach with a holy boldness, and to commit our whole inte rest into his hands. (Compare chap. ii, 17, 18; iii. 1.)

NOTES.

CHAP. V. Ver. 2. Who can have compassionMarg. "Can reasonably bear with "the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way-i, e. wandering, and in error.

Ver. 5. Glorified not himself-i. e, did not assume to himself that honour.

Ver. 7. Who in the days of his flesh.-Nothing can more clearly express the doctrine of the incarnation-"The word was made flesh, and dwelt among

ns. With prayers (Gr. deprecations) and suppli cations. The word for supplications signes branches of olive trees covered with wool, which such as supplicated for peace carried in their bands; hence it came to signily supplications for peaceDr. Gill.

Ibid. In that he feared.-Marg. " for his piety." So Bp. Fell, and others. Doddr. "In being del vered from that which he (particularly) feared."

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