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A general introduction, &c. Joseph and Moses. (Chap. xi. 17–29.) Concluding his discourse with glancing on many other illustrious worthies; and besides those recorded in scripture, referring also to the case of several who suffered under the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes. (Chap. xi. 30; xii. 2.)
And having thus executed his design in the argumeniative part of the epistle, he applies the whole by exhorting the Hebrew Christians to sustain and improve the afflictions to which they were exposed, and to exert themselves vigorously to promote the united interests of peace and holiness. (Chap. xii. 3-14.) Cautioning them against disparaging the blessingsof the gospel, and making them a sacrifice either to any secular views or sensual gratifications ; representing the incom. parable excellence of these blessings, and the wonderful manner in which they were introduced, which even the introduc. tion of the Jewish economy, glorious and magnificent as it was, did by no means equal ; (chap. xii. 15—29.) Exhorting them to brotherly affection, purity, compassion, depend. ence on the Divine care, steadfastness in the profession of the truth, and to a life of thankfulness to God, and benevolence to man, from the consideration of the inestimable privileges derived to us from Christ; which ought always to encourage us resolutely to endure any infamy and suffering which we may meet with in his cause ; (chap. xiii. 1-16.) Concluding the whole, with recommending to them some particular regard to their pious ministers ; and entreating their prayers ; adding some salutations, and a solemn bene. diction. (Chap. xiii. 17, to the end.)
PARAPHRASE AND NOTES
THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE
The apostle reminds the Hebrews to whom he writes, of the great favour God had done them in sending them a revelation by his own Son; on whose glory he expatiates as far superior to that of angels, intending by this representation to engage them to embrace and retain the gospel. Heb. I. 1, to the end.
Hebrews I. 1. HEBREWS I. 1. COD, who at sun. THE great and wise God, a who in his won- sect. U dry times, and I derful condescension hath at many times, 1. in divers manners, and in various manners, of old, spoken to the Heb spake in time past unto the fathers by fathers of the Jewish nation, by the prophets i. I the prophets, whom he hath in successive ages raised up and
employed as the messengers of his will to them,
* God, who, &c.] Though St. Paul was 6 Many times, and various manners.] the author of this epistle, as we have al. The first word, as some apprehend, refers ready observed, yet he does not begin it, to the parcels by which God's will was as he does most of his other epistles, by delivered, in opposition to a complete reveprefixing his name to it; the reason of lation ; and the last, to the manner in which probably was, that those to whom which it was made known, namely, by ke was now writing were under strong dreams, visions, urim, prophets, voices, prejudices against his name ; and he was signs. not willing to alarm those prejudices at the beginning of his letter.
10 God, in these last days, hath spoken unto us by his Son ; sect in these last days hath magnified his mercy in 2 Hath in these i. a yet more amazing manner; for he hath spok- last days spoken unen unto us by the Son, his only begotten, and whom he hath ap
to us by his Son, 10 best beloved Son, whom he hath sent into our pointed heir of all
world as the Ambassador of his mercy to us, things, by whom aleven that illustrious person, whom he hath ah. so be made the pointed the heir and possessor of all things.d He hath adjusted all things in such a manner, as to advance the purposes of his glory, and committed the administration of his providential kingdom into his hands, by whom, and in ref. erence to whose honour, he also created all things, and constituted the agese and dispensa3 tions of the church and world. I speak of that 3 Who being the
great Emanuel, whom we have so long been brightness of his glotaught to know and adore; who being the efful :
A ry, and the express
image of his person, gent ray of this glory, and the express delinea- and upholding all tion of his person, on whom his likeness is in things by the word stamped in living characters in a manner which of his power; when no created nature can admit, and upholding the purged our sins, sat
he had by himself universe which he hath made by the efficacious down on the right word of his Father's power 8 which is ever res. hand of the Majesty ident in him, as his own, by virtue of that inti. on b mate though incomprehensible union which renders them one ; (John X. 30 ;) was nevertheless set forth in the feeble dress and humble form of human flesh, that he might be our aton. ing sacrifice. And accordingly having by him. self performed that great transaction, which is the cleansing away of our sins, he is now return. ed to the celestial world from which he descend. ed for this gracious purpose, and is sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high,h of that
c By the Son.] This is no argument that 'to the engraving of the seal. It is observ. God did not speak by Christ before ; but able, that Philo calls the Logos zapaxine only that it was not in so clear and express Halb exery 088. See Scott's Christian Life, a manner.
Vol. III. p. 559. d Heir and possessor.) Mr. Peirce & Word of his power.] Many explain this learnedly vindicates the latter of these of the Father's power, which is the sense interpretations.
I have given in the paraphrase. Some • Constituted the ages.] The sentiment, copies read auty, which would fully jusas thus expressed, is a very important tify our version. But if the power of the one ; but if any insist upon rendering Father be the power of Christ, to be used alwas, the world itself, I shall not oppose by him at pleasure for the security of his it ; for it is certain, that St. Paul asserts people, it seems to be all that the estabthis doctrine, Col. i. 15–17, if not here. lishment of our faith in him requires.
f Delineation of his person.] That is, saith Sat down on the right hand.) Some unLeigh, answering to the Divine perfec- derstand this of the right hand of the tions, as the impressions of the wax does Shechinah, in the most honourable place
who was made so much better than the angels. 11
glorious and excellent Being, who reigns su
preme in the heaven of heavens. 4 Being made so To this exalted Redeemer would I now call much better than the your thoughts, of whom I have some very im- 1:4 angels, as he hath by
biaine portant and sublime truths to deliver. Consida more excellent er, therefore, my brethren, what reverence, name than they. what fidelity, what zeal you owe to him who
was made in exaltation and celestial glory as
ages he hath been spoken of in the sacred ora-
know he hath said to the Messiah in that cele. my Son, this day
hoth oil to the Messiah in have I begotten thee? brated prophecy, (Psal. ii. 7,) Thou art my son, And again, I will be this day have I begotten thee ak And again, (2 he shall be to me a
ther, and Sam. vii. 14.) I will be a father to him, and he Son ?
shall be my son ?l For if these words were im-
a type of Christ, the great son of David, and
Son into the world, and speaks of him as coming
among men or angels ; and quote 1 Pet. it, and in this view there was a peculiar iii. 22; Eph. i. 20, 21; supposing there propriety in the apostle's labouring the armay be some glorious appearance of the gument he is here upon, namely, the suFather's presence in heaven, as there was periority of our blessed Lord to all the upon earth, which hath properly speak. angelic orders. ing a right or a left hand. “But this I Thou art my son.] These words are esteem no article of faith. Compare chap. taken from Psalm ii. 7. And I think it viii. 1.
is evident, (as others have observed, i Superior to angels.) Some have, I that this and the rest of the passages here think, very precariously imagined, that quoted, must refer to Christ in their origthe apostle, in this and the next chapter, inal sense, and in the strictest propriety insists so much on Christ's superiority to of interpretation ; otherwise the argument angels, in order to take off the Jews from would be entirely inconclusive ; for it that angel worship to which they were might be replied, that supposing these pasgreatly inclined. But it is evident the sages to be applicable to Christ, they will apostle does not speak expressly on that not prove him to be superior to the an. subject. It is more certain, therefore, gels, since they originally refer to David that his intention was to exalt their ideas and others confessedly inferior to those of our blessed Redeemer; as indeed their celestial spirits. It might be easily proved entertaining bigh and honourable concep. that this second psalm does originally betions of him would be of great importance long to the Messiah. Compare Acts iv. to their holding fast their Christian pro. 25; xiii. 33. fession. It is plain the Jews considered ' He shall be my son.] Mr. Peirce hath the angels as concerned in the promulga. laboured largely to prove, that these tion of their law, on which account they words can in their original and primary might be the more zealously attached to sense refer only to Christ. VOL. 6.
12 To him God saith, Thy throne is for ever and ever : sect. dom, he saith, (Psal. xcvii. 7,) And let all the the world, he saith, i. Angels of God worship him. And accordingly And let all the an
gels of God worship he did actually demand their homage to him, Bir Heb.
as constituted their Lord and Sovereign, not
zeal with which he had discharged his import-
maketh his angels angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire. spirits, and his min. He, who rules the winds and the lightnings, isters a fame of has his angels under equal command, and em- fire. ploys them with the strength of winds and the
rapidity of lightnings in his service. 8. But to the Son [he] speaks in a very different 8 But unto the manner, and [saith) in those memorable words, Son, he saith, Thy
throne, O God, is for which have an ultimate reference to Christ, ever (Psal. xlv. 6, 7,) Thy throne, O God" [is] for sceptre of righteous
ever and ever ; the sceptre of thy kingdom [is] a ness is the sceptre 9 sceptre of righteousness. Thou hast in the most of
thener of thy kingdom :
• Inou nas ne most 9 Thou hast loved eminent degree, through the whole of thine ad- righteousness, and ministration, loved righteousness and hated ini- hated iniquity;there. quity, and hast taken the most effectual meth- fore God, even thy od to suppress it ; therefore God, thy God, and thee with the oil of
God, hath anointed Father, hath anointed thee plentifully with the gladness above thy oil of gladness above thy associates :P thou art fellows. exalted to superior honour and happiness; so that none of thy brethren, none of the angels whom thou mayest in any instance or degree have condescended to join with thyself, and lead in thy train, can pretend to compare with
w He maketh his angels winds.] That answer is, not so much that the angels is, saith Mr. Cradock (Apost Hist. p. 363) are chargeable with mistakes, though not He, the son, makes use of the angels as with moral evil, (Job iv. 18; xv. 15, as his ministers, in producing storms and Mr. Peirce suggests, but rather that it lightning according to his pleasure. But refers to that unparalleled instance of the I would not change the signification of love of moral rectitude which Christ hath the pronoun, He, wbich returns here, given in becoming a sacrifice for sin by his without absolute necessity. The renderatonement; doing more than hath been ing nyeuala, winds, is very agreeable to ever done by any rational agent, towards the original and the context.
displaying his love of righteousness, and * Thy throne, O God, &c.] To render hatred of iniquity. this, as some would do, God is thy throne P Above thy associates : usloxon.] It for ever and ever, that is, God will establish seems to be intimated here, that as Christ thy throne, (according to 2 Sam vii. 13, took the special charge of Judea, angels 14; Psalm Ixxxix. 4,) appears to me very were charged with the government of unnatural.
other countries ; in reference to wbich it is • Loved righteousness, hated iniquity.] that they are called his fellows or companIt may be objected, that, as all the angels ions ; for (as others have observed) if fel. have maintained this character, conse. lows do not signify angels, the quotation is quently this can be no just reason for pre. nothing to the apostle's purpose. ferring Christ to them. But I think the true