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Intercession for Onesimus.
He will now Serre as a Brother. bonds endured for the gospel's sake (v. 9). 14. without 4. 18, which shows that the epistle to the Colossian thy mind-i.€.. consent. should not be as-"should not church, accompanying our epistle, had only its closing appear as a matter of necessity, but of free will." Had "salutation" written by Paul's own hand. albeit, &c.
"salutation written by Pant's own Paul kept Onesimus, however willing to gratify Paul. -lit.," that I may not say ... not to say," &c. thou owest in fact. Philemon might be, he would have no oppor ... even thine own self-not merely thy possessions. For tunity given him of showing he was so, his leave not to my instrumentality thou owest thy salvation. So having been asked. 15. perhaps-speaking in human the debt which "he oweth thee being transferred upon fashion, yet as one believing that God's Providence pro me (I making myself responsible for it) is cancelled. 20. bably for we cannot dogmatically define the hidden let me-"Me" is emphatic: "Let me bave profit ($0 purposes of God in providence) overruled the past evil | Greek for joy,' onaimen, referring to the pame Onesito ultimately greater good to him. This thought would mus, profitable') from thee, as thou shouldst have had soften Philemon's indignation et Onesimus' past from Onesimus:" for "thou owest thine own self to offence. So Joseph in Genesis, 46. 6. departed-lit.. me." in the Lord---not in worldly gain, but in thine "was parted from thee:" a softening term for "ran increase in the graces of the Lord's Spirit. (ALFORD.) away," to mitigate Philemon's wrath, receive him my bowels--my heart. Gratify my feelings by granting Greek, Have him for thyselj in full possession (Note. this request in the Lord-Tbe oldest MSS. read, "is Philippians, 4.18). The same Greek as in Matthew, 6.2. Christ." The element or sphere in which this act of for ever--in this life and in that to come (cf. Exodus, Christian love naturally ought to have place. 21. 21. 6). Onesimus' time of absence, however long, was Having confidence in thy obedience - to my apostolic but a short "hour' (80 Greek) compared with the ever-authority, if I were to "enjoin" it (v. 8), which I do lasting devotion henceforth binding him to his master not, preferring to beseech thee for it as a favour fe. 9). 16. No longer as a mere servant or slave though still chou wilt also do more-towards Onesimus: hinting at he is that, but above a servant, so that thou shalt | his possible manumission by Philemon, besides being derive from bim not merely the services of a slave, kindly received. 22. This prospect of Paul's visiting but higher benefits : & servant "in the flesh," he is a Colosse would tend to secure a kindly reception for brother in the Lord," beloved, specially to me-who am Onesimus, as Paul would know in person bow he bad his spiritual father, and who have experienced his been treated your...you - Referring to Philemon, faithful attentions. Lest Philemon should dislike Appbia, Archippus, and the church in Philemon's Onesimus being called "brother," Paul first recognises house. The same expectation is expressed by him, him as a brother, being the spiritual son of the same Philippians, 2. 33, 24, written in the same imprisonment. God. much more unto thee-to whom he stands in so 23. The same persons send salutations in the accommuch nearer and more lasting relation. 17. a partner panying epistle, except that “Jesus Justus" is not - in the Christian fellowship of faith, hope, and love. mentioned here. Epaphras, my fellow-prisoner-he had receive him as myself-Resuming "receive him that is been sent by the Colossian church to enquire after, and mine own bowels." 18. Greek, "But if (thou art not minister to, Paul, and possibly was cast into prison by inclined to receive him' because) he bath wronged the Roman authorities on suspicion. However, he is thee: a milder term than "robbed thee." Onesimus not mentioned as a prisoner in Colossians, 4. 12, 80 seems to have confessed some such act to Paul put that fellow-prisoner" here may mean merely one who that on mine account-I am ready to make good the loss was a faithful companion to Paul in his imprisonment, to thee if required. The latter parts of v. 19. 21, imply and by his society put himself in the position of a that he did not expect Philemon would probably de- prisoner. So also "Aristarchus, my fellow-prisoner," mand it. 19. with mine own hand-not employing an | Colossians, 4. 10, may mean. BENSON conjectures the amanuensis, as in other epistles: a special compliment meaning to be that on some former occasion these two to Philemon which he ought to show his appreciation were Paul's " fellow-prisoners," not at the time. 25. be of by granting Paul's request. Contrast Colossians, with your spirit-Galatians, 6. 18; 2 Timothy, 4.!
THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE
CANONICITY AND AUTHORSHIP.--Clement of Rome, at the end of the first century, A.D., copiously uses it
J adopting its words just as he does those of the other books of the New Testament; not indeed giving to either the term * Scripture," which he reserves for the Old Testament (the canon of the New Testament not yet having been formally esta! lished), but certainly not ranking it below the other New Testament acknowledged epistles. As our epistle claims authority on the part of the writer, Clement's adoption of extracts from it is virtually sanctioning its authority, and this in the apostolic age. Justin Martyr quotes it as divinely authoritative, to establish the titles "apostle," as well as "Angel," $ applied to the Son of God, Clement of Alexandria refers it expressly to Paul, on the authority of Pantænus, chief of the Catechetical school in Alexandria, in the middle of the second century, saying, that as Jesus is termed in it the "apostle" sent to the Hebrews, Paul, through humility, does not in it call himself apostle of the Hebrews, being apostle to the Gentiles Clement also says that Paul, as the Hebrews were prejudiced against him, prudently omitted to put forward his name in the beginning; also, that it was originally written in Hebrew for the Hebrews, and that Luke translated it into Greek for the Greeks, whence the style is similar to that of Acte. He, however, quotes frequently the words of the existing Greek epistle ag St. Paul's words. Oripen similarly quotes it as St. Paul's epistle. However, in his Homilies, he regards the style as da tinct from that of Paul, and as "more Grecian," but the thoughts as the apostle's; adding that the "ancients wbo base handed down the tradition of its Pauline authorship, must bave had good reason for doing so, though God alone knows the certainty who was the actual writer" (ie, probably "transcriber" of the apostle's thoughts). In the African cburch, in the beginning of the third century, Tertullian ascribes it to Barnabas. Irenaus, bishop of Lyons, is mentioned in Eusebius as quoting from this epistle, though without expressly referring it to Paul. About the same period, Caius, the presbyter, in the church of Rome, mentions only thirteen epistles of Paul, whereas, if the epistle to the Hebrews were included. there would be fourteen. So the canon fragment of the end of the second ceutury, or beginning of the third, pablished by
Introduction. Muratori, apparently omits mentioning it. And so the Latin church did not recognise it as Paul's till a considerable time after the beginning of the third century. Thus, also, Novatian of Rome. Cyprian of Carthage, and Victoripus, also of the Latin church. But in the fourth century, Hilary of Poitiers (A.D. 368), Lucifer of Cagliari (A.D. 371). Ambrose of Milan (A.D. 397), and other Latins, quote it as Paul's; and the fifth Council of Carthage (A.D. 419) formally reckons it among his fourteen epistles.
As to the similarity of its style to that of St. Luke's writings, this is due to his having been so long the companion of Paul. Chrysostom, comparing Luke and Mark, says, “Each imitated his teacher: Luke imitated Paul flowing along with more than river-fulness; but Mark imitated Peter, who studied brevity of style." Besides, there is a greater predominance of Jewish feeling and familiarity with the peculiarities of the Jewish schools apparent in this epistle than in St. Luke's writings. There is no clear evidence for attributing the authorship to him, or to Apollos, whom Alford upholds as the author. The grounds alleged for the latter view are its supposed Alexandrian phraseology and modes of thought. But these are such as any Palestinian Jew might have used; and Paul, from his Hebræo-Hellenistic education at Jerusalem and Tarsus, would be familiar with Philo's modes of thought, which are not, as some think, necessarily all derived from his Alexandrian, but also from his Jewish education. It would be unlikely that the Alexandrian church should have so undoubtingly asserted the Pauline authorship, il Apollor, their own countryman, had really been the author. The eloquence of its style and rhetoric, a characteristic of Apollos' at Corinth, whereas Paul there spoke in words unadorned by man's wiadom, are doubtless desiguedly adapted to the minds of those whom St. Paul in this epistle addresses. To the Greek Corinthians, who were in danger of idolizing human eloquence and wisdom, he writes in an upadorned style, in order to fix their attention more wholly on the gospel itself. But the Hebrews were in no such danger. And his Hebræo-Grecian edueation would enable him to write in a style attractive to the Hebrews at Alexandria, where Greek philosophy had been blended with Judaism. The Septuagint translation framed at Alexandria, bad formed a connecting link between the latter and the former; and it is remarkable that all the quotations from the Old Testament, excepting two (ch, 10.30; 13. 5). are taken from the LXX. The fact that the peculiarities of the LXX. are interwoven into the argument, prove that the Greek epistle is an original, not a translation; had the original been Hebrew, the quotations would have been from the Hebrero Old Testament. The same conclusion follows from the plays on similarly-sounding words in the Greek, and alliterations, and rhythmically-constructed periods. Calvin observes, If the epistle had been written in Hebrew, ch. 9. 15-17, would lose all its point, which consists in the play upon the double meaning of the Greek diathece, a "covenant," or a " testament:" whereas the Hebrero berith means only "covenant."
Internal evidence favours the Pauline authorship. Thus the topic so fully handled in this epistle, that Christianity is superior to Judaism, inasmuch as the reality exceeds the type which gives place to it, is a favourite one with St. Paul (cf. 2 Corinthians, 3. 6-18; Galatians, 3. 23-25; 4, 1-9, 21-31, wherein the allegorical mode of interpretation appears in its divinely-sanctioned application, a mode pushed to an unwarrantable excess in the Alexandrian school). So the Divine Son appears in ch. 1. 3. &c., as in other epistles of Paul (Philippians, 2 6; Colossians, 1. 15-20), as the Image, or manifestation of the Deity. His lowering of Himself for man's sake similarly, cf. ch. 2. 9, with 2 Corinthians, 8. 9; Philippians, 2. 7, 8. Also his final exaltation, cf. ch. 28; 10. 13; 12. 2, with 1 Corinthians, 15. 25-27. The word " Mediator* is peculiar to Paul alone, cf. eh. &, 6, with Galatians, 3. 19, 20. Christ's death is represented as the sacrifice for sin prefigured by the Jewish sacrifices, cf. Romans, 3. 22-26; 1 Corinthians, 5.7, with Hebrews, 7.-10. The phrase," God of Peace," is peculiar to St. Paul, cf. ch. 13. 90; Romans, 15, 33; 1 Thessalonians, 5. 23. Also, cf. ch. 2. 4, Margin, 1 Corinthians, 12 4. Justification, or "righteousness by faith," appears in ch. 11, 7; 10.38, as in Romans, 1. 17; 4. 29; 5. 1; Galatials, 3. 11: Philippians, 3. 9. The word of God is the "sword of the Spirit," cf. ch. 4. 12, with Ephesians, 6. 17. Inexperienced Christians are chüdren needing mük, ie, instruction in the elements, whereas riper Christiang, as full grown men, require strong meat, cf. ch. 5. 12, 13; 6, 1, with 1 Corinthians, 3. 1, 2; 14. 20; Galatians, 4. 9; Colossians, & 14. Salvation is represented as a boldness of access to God by Christ, cf. ch. 10, 19, with Romans, 5. 9; Ephesians, 2. 18; 3, 19. Afflictions are a fipht, ch. 10. 39; cf. Philippians, 1. 80; Colossians, 2. 1. The Christian life is a race, ch, 19. 1; of. 1 Corinthians, 9. 94; Philippians, 3. 12-14 The Jewish ritual is a service, Romans, 9. 4; cf. ch. 9. 1.6 Cf. " subject to bondage," oh. 2 15, with Galatians, 5.1. Other characteristics of Paul's style appear in this epistle, viz., a propensity" to go off at a word" and enter on a long parenthesis suggested by that word, a fondness for play upon words of similar sound, and a disposition to repeat some favourite word. Frequent appeals to the Old Testament, and quotations linked by "and again," cf. ch. 1. 5; 2, 12, 13, with Romans, 15. 9-12. Algo quotations in s peculiar application, cf. ch. 2. 8, with 1 Corinthians, 18. 97; Ephesians, 1. 22. Also the same passage quoted in a form not agreeing with the LXX., and with the addition " saith the Lord," not found in the Hebrew, in ch. 10. 30; Romans, 12. 19.
The supposed Alexandrian (which are rather Philon-like) characteristics of the epistle are probably due to the fact that the Hebrews were generally then imbued with the Alexandrian modes of thought of Philo, &c.; and Paul, without colouring or altering gospel truth" to the Jews, became (in style) as a Jew, that he might win the Jews" (1 Corintbians, 9. 20). This will account for its being recognised as St. Paul's epistle in the Alexandrian and Jerusalem churches unanimously, to the Hebrews of whom probably it was addressed. Not one Greek father ascribes the epistle to any but Paul, whereas in the Western and Latin churches, which it did not reach for some time, it was for long doubted, owing to its anonymous form, and generally less distinctively Pauline style. Their reason for not accepting it as Paul's, or indeed as canonical, for the first three centuries was negative, insufficient evidence for it, not positive evidence against it. The positive evidence is gene. rally for its Pauline origin. In the Latin churches, owing to their distance from the churches to whom belonged the Hebrews addressed, there was no generally received tradition on the subject. The epistle was in fact but little known at all, whence we find it is not mentioned at all in the canon of Muratori. When at last, in the fourth century, the Latins found that it was received as Pauline and canonical on good grounds in the Greek churches, they universally acknowledged it as such.
The personal notices all favour its Pauline authorship, viz., his intention to visit those addressed, shortly, along with Timotby, styled "our brother," ch. 13. 23; his being then in prison, ch. 13. 19; his formerly having been imprisoned in Palestine, according to English Version reading, ch. 10. 34; the salutation transmitted to them from believers of Italy, ch. 18. 24 A reason for not prefixing the same may be the rhetorical character of the epistle which led the author to waive the usual form of epistolary address.
DESIGN.-His airn is to show the superiority of Christianity over Judaism, in that it was introduced by one far higher than the angels or Moses, through whom the Jews received the law, and in that its priesthood and sacrifices are far less perfecting as to salvation than those of Christ; that He is the substance of wbich the former are but the shadow, and that the type Decessarily gives place to the antitype; and that now we no longer are kept at a comparative distance as vuder Introductron.
the law, but have freedom of access through the opened veil, ie, Christ's flesh; hence be warns them of the danger of apostasy, to which Jewish converts were tempted, when they saw Christians persecuted, whilst Judaism was tolerated by the Roman authorities. He infers the obligation to a life of faith, of which, even in the less perfect Old Testament dispensation, the Jewish history contained bright examples. He concludes in the usual Pauline mode, with practical exhortations and pious prayers for them.
HIS MODE OF ADDRESS is in it hortatory rather than commanding, just as we might have expeeted from St. Paal addrersing the Jews He does not write to the rulers of the Jewish Christians, for in fact there was no exclusively Jewish church; and his epistle, though primarily addressed to the Palestinian Jews, was intended to include the Hebress of all adjoining churches. He inculeates obedience and respect in relation to their rulers (ch. 13. 7, 17, 24): a tacit obviating of the objection that he was by writing this epistle interfering with the prerogative of Peter the apostle of the circumcision, and James the bishop of Jerusalem. Hence arises his gentle and delicate mode of dealing with them (Hebrews, 13. 22) So far from being surprised at discrepancy of style between an epistle to Hebrews, and epistles to Gentile Christians, it is just wbat we should expect. The Holy Spirit guided him to choose means best suited to the nature of the ends aimed at Wordstoorth notices & peculiar Pauline Greck construction, Romans, 12. 9, lit., "Let your love be without dissiroulation, ye abhorring ... evil, cleaving to...good:which is found nowhere else save Hebrews, 13.5, kl., "Let your conversation be without covetousness, ye being content with," &e. (a noun singular feminine nominative absolute, suddenly passing into a participle masculine nominative plural absolute). So in quoting Old Testament Scripture, the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews quotes it as a Jew writing to Jews would, "God spoke to our fathers," not "it is teritten" So eb. 13. 18. "We trust we have a good conscience" is an altogether Pauline sentiment (Acts, 23. 1; 84. 16; 9 Corinthians, 1. 19; 4. 9; 9 Timothy 1. 3). Though he has not prefixed his name, he has given at the close his universal token to identify him, vir., bis apostolic salutation, Grace be with you all;" this "salutation with his own hand” he declared (9 Thessalonians, 3. 17, 18) to be his * token in every epistle:" so I Corinthians, 16. 91, 93; Colossians, 4. 18. The same prayer of greeting closes eory one of his epistles, and is not found in any one of the epistles of the other apostles written in St. Paul's lifetime; but it is found in the last book of the New Testament Revelation, and subsequently in the epistle of Clement of Rome. This proves that, by whomsoever the body of the epistle was committed to writing (whether a mere amanuensis writing by dietation, or a com panion of Paul by the Spirit's gift of interpreting tongues, 1 Corinthians, 12. 10, transfusing Paul's Spirit-taught sentiments into his own Spirit-guided diction), Paul at the close sets his seal to the whole as really his, and sanctioned by him as such. The churches of the East, and Jerusalem, their centre, to which quarter it was first sent, received it as St Paal from the earliest times according to Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem (A.D. 349). Jerome, though bringing with him from Rome the prejudioes of the Latins against the epistle to the Hebrews, aggravated, doubtless, by its seeming sanction of the Novatian heresy (eb. 6. 4-6), was constrained by the foree of facts to receive it as Paul's, on the almost unanimous testimony of all Greek Christians from the earliest times, and was probably the main instrument in correcting the past error of Rome in rejecting it. The testimony of the Alexandrian church is peculiarly valuable, for it was founded by Mark, who was with Paul at Romne in his first confinement, when this epistle seems to have been written (Colossians, 4.10), and who possibly was the bearer of this epistle, at the same time visiting Colosse on the way to Jerusalem (where Mark's mother lived), and thence to Alexandria Moreover, 2 Peter, 3. 15, 16, written shortly before Peter's death, and like his first epistle written by him, "the apostle of the circumcision," to the Hebrew Christians dispersed in the East, saith, "As our beloved brother Paul hath written tento you," il., to the Hebreus ; also the words added, "As also in all his epistles," distinguish the epistle to the Hebrews from the rest: then he further speaks of it as on a level with “ other Scriptures, thus asserting st once its Pauline authorship and Divine inspiration. An interesting illustration of the power of Christian faith and lore: St. Peter, who had been openly rebuked by Paul (Galatians, 2. 7-14), fully adopted what St. Paul wrote: there was no differ ence in the gospel of the apostle of the circumcision and that of the apostle of the uncircumcision. It strikingly shows God's sovereignty that He chose as the instrument to confirm the Hebrews, Paul, the apoalle of the Gentiles; and on the other hand, Peter to open the gospel door to the Gentiles (Acte, 10. 1, &c.), though being the apostle of the Jews: thus perfect unity reigns amidst the diversity of agencies.
Rome, in the person of Clement of Rome, originally received this epistle. Then followed a period in which it eosed to be received by the Roman churches. Then, in the fourth century, Rome retracted her error. A plain proof she is not unchangeable or infallible. As far as Rome is concerned, the epistle to the Hebrews was not only lost for three centurité, but never would have been recovered at all but for the Eastern churches; it is therefore a happy thing for Christendorn that Rome is not the Catholic church,
It plainly was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, which would have been mentioned in the epistle bad tha! event gone before, ef. ch. 13. 10; and probably to churches in which the Jewish members were the more numerous, as those in Judea, and perhaps Alexandria In the latter city were the greatest number of resident Jews next to Jerusalem. Ia Leontopolis, in Egypt, was another temple, with the arrangements of which, Wieseler thinks the notices in this epistle mart nearly corresponded than with those in Jerusalem. It was from Alexandria that the epistle appears first to have come the knowledge of Christendom. Moreover, the epistle to the Alexandrians,"mentioned in the Canon of Muratori, mu possibly be this epistle to the Hebrews. He addresses the Jews as peculiarly " the people of God" (ch. 2 17; 4. 9; 13 14 "the seed of Abraham," i.e., as the primary stock on which Gentile believers are grafted, to which Romans, 11. 16-34 responds; but he urges them to come out of the carpal earthly Jerusalem and to realize their spiritual union to the heavenly Jerusalem" (ch, 19. 18-93; 13. 13).
The use of Greek rather than Hebrew is doubtless due to the epistle being intended, not merely for the Hebreu, bet for the Hellenistic Jew converte, not only in Palestine, but elsewhere: & view confirmed by the use of the LXX Bees thinks, probably (cf. 9 Peter, 3. 15, 16, explained above), the Jews primarily, though not exclusively, addressed, were thoresbo had left Jerusalem on account of the war and were settled in Asia Minor.
The notion of its having been originally in Hebrew arose probably from its Hebrew tone, method, and topics. It reckoned among the epistles, not at first generally acknowledged, along with James, 9 Peter, and 3 John, Jude, and Revelatie A beautiful link exists between these epistles and the universally acknowledged epistles. Hebrews unites the ordinadoes of Leviticus with their antitypical gospel fulfilment. St. James is the link between the highest doctrines of Christianity and the universal law of moral duty-a commentary on the sermon on the mount-harmonizing the decalogue law of Mora, and the revelation to Job and Elias, with the Christian law of liberty. Second Peter links the teaching of Peter with that of Paul. Jude links the earliest unwritten to the latest written Revelation. The two shorter epistles to Johas, like Philemon, apply Christianity to the miuute details of the Christian life, showing that Christianity can sanctify all earthly relations
The Dignity of the son.
by whom God now Speaks. CHAPTER I
| appointed," By whom He made the worlds,'Who sat Ver. 1-14. THE HIGHEST OF ALL REVELATIONS IS down on the right band of the Majesty on high: thus GIVEN US NOW IN THE SON OF GOD, WHO IS GREATER His course is described from the beginning of all things THAN THE ANGELS, AND WHO, HAVING COMPLETED till he reached the goal (v. 2, 3). (2.) Relatively, in REDEMPTION, SITS ENTHRONED AT GOD'S RIGHT comparison with the angels, t. 4: the confirmation of HAND. The writer, though not inscribing his name, this follows, and the very name 'Son' is pro was well known to those addressed (ch. 13. 19). For the 'heirship,' v. 6-9; the making the worlds,' v. 10-12; proofs of Paul being the author, see my Introduction. I the 'sitting at the right hand' of God, v. 13, 14." His In the Pauline method, the statement of subject and being made heir follows His sonship, and preceded the division are put before the discussion; and at the His making the worlds (Proverbs, 8. 22, 23; Ephesians, close, the practical follows the doctrinal portion. The 13. 11). As the first begotten, He is heir of the universe ardour of spirit in this epistie, as in 1 John, bursting 1 (v. 6), which He made instrumentally, ch. 11. 3, where forth at once into the subject (without prefatory in / "by the Word of God" answers to "by whom” (the scription of name and greeting), the more effectively Son of God) here (John, 1, 3). Christ was "appointed" strikes the hearers. The date must have been whilst in God's eternal counsel) to creation as an office; and the temple was yet standing, before its destruction, the universe so created was assigned to Him as a kingTO A.D.: some time before the martyrdom of Peter, who / dom, He is "heir of all things" by right of creation, mentions this epistle of Paul (2 Peter, 3. 16, 16): at a time and especially by right of redemption. The promise to when many of the first hearers of the Lord were dead. Abraham that he should be heir of the world, had its 1, at sandry times - Greek, “in many portions." All fulfilment, and will have it still more fully, in Christ was not revealed to each one prophet; but one received | Romans, 4. 13: Galatians, 3. 16; 4. 7). worlds-the one portion of revelation, and another another. To inferior and the superior worlds (Colossians, 1. 16). Noah the quarter of the world to which Messiah | Lit.. ages with all things and persons belonging to them: should belong was revealed; to Abraham, the nation; I the universe, including all space and ages of time, and to Jacob, the tribe; to David and Isaiah, the family: all material and spiritual existences. The Greck imto Micah, the town of nativity; to Daniel, the exact plies, He not only appointed His Son heir of all things time: to Malachi, the coming of His forerunner, and before creation, but He also better than "also He") His second advent; through Jonah, bis burial and re-made by Him the worlds. 3. Who being-by pre-existent surrection; through Isaiah and Hosea, His resurrection. I and essential being. brightness of his glory-Greek, the Each only knew in part; but when that which was per. efulgence of His glory. "Light of (from) light." fect came in Messiah, that which was in part was done | (NICENE Creed.) “Who is so senseless as to away (1 Corinthians, 13. 12). in divers manners-e... cerning the eternal being of the Son! For when bas internal suggestion, audible voices, the Urim and one seen light without effulgence" (ATHANASIUS Thummim, dreams, and visions. In one way He was against ARIUS, Orat. 2.) "The sun is never seen seen by Abraham, in another by Moses, in another by without effulgence, nor the Father without the Sun." Elias, and in another by Micah: Isaiah, Daniel, and I (THKOPHYLAOT.] It is because He is the brightness, Ezekiel, bebeld different forms" (THEODORET) (cf.&c., and because He upholds, &c., that He sat down Numbers, 12. 6-8). The Old Testament revelations were on the right hand, &c. It was a return to His Divine fragmentary in substance, and manifold in form: the glory (John, 6. 62; 17.5; cf. Wisd. 7. 26, 26, where similar very multitude of prophets shows that they prophesied things are said of wisdom). express image-"impress." only in part. in Christ the revelation of God is full But veiled in the flesh. not in shifting hues of separated colour, but Himseli
"The Son of God in glory beams the pure light, uniting in His one person the whole
Too bright for us to scan; spectrum (v. 3). Spake-the expression usual for a Jew
But we can face the light that streams to employ in addressing Jews. So St. Matthew, & Jew
From the mild Son of man." (2 Cor. 3. 18.) writing especially for Jews, quotes Scripture, not by of his person--Greek, "of His substantial essence:" the formula, "It is written," but "said," &c. in time hypostasis. opholding all things-Greek," the universe." past-From Malachi, the last of the Old Testament pro Cf. Colossians, 1. 16, 17, 20, which enumerates the three phets, for four hundred years, there had arisen no pro-facts in the same orderas here. by the word-Therefore phet, in order that the Son might be the more an object i the Son of God is a Person ; for He has the word, of expectation. (BENGEL] As God (the father) is ir (BENGEL) His word is God's word (ch. 11. 3). of his troduced as having spoken here : so God the Son, ch power—"The word" is the utterance which comes from 2. 3: God the Holy Ghost, ch, 3. 7. the fathers-the Jew His (the Son's) power, and gives expression to it. by ish fathers. The Jews of former days (1 Corinthians, himself-Omitted in the oldest MSS. parged-Greek, 10. 1). by-Greek, *IN." A mortal king speaks by his "made purification of...sins," viz., in His atonement, ambassador, not (as the King of kings) in his ambassa- which graciously covers the guilt of sin. "Our" 13 dor. The Son is the last and highest manifestation of omitted in the oldest MSS. Sin was the great unGod (Matthew, 21. 34, 87): not merely a measure, as in cieanness in God's sight, of which fle bas effected the the prophets, but the fulness of the Spirit of God purgation by His sacrifice. (ALFORD.) Our nature, as dwelling in him bodily (John, 1. 16; 3. 34; Colossians, guilt-laden, could not, without our great High Priest's 2.9. Thus he answers the Jewish objection drawn from blood of atonement sprinkling the heavenly mercy their prophets. Jesus is the end of all prophecy (Re- seat, come into immediate contact with God. EBRARD velation, 19. 10), and of the law of Moses (John, 1. 17: says. "The mediation between man and God, who was 5. 46). 2. in these last days-In the oldest MSS. the Greek present in the Most Holy Place, was revealed in three is, "At the last part of these days." The Rabbins forms: (1.) In sacrifices (typical propitiations for guilt); divided the whole of time into "this age," or "world," (2.) in the priesthood (the agents of those sacrifices); and "the age to come" ich, 2. 6:6.6). The days of Mes. (3.) in the Levitical laws of purity (Levitical purity being stab were the transition period, or "last part of these attained by sacrifice positively, by avoidance of Levidays" (in contrast to "in time past"), the close of the tical pollution negatively, the people being thus enabled existing dispensation, and beginning of the final dis to come into the presence of God without dying. pensation of which Christ's second coming shall be the Deuteronomy, 5. 26]" (Leviticus, 16.). sat down on the crowning consummation, by his Son-Greek, "IN (His) right hand of the Majesty on high-Iulflling Psalm 110. 1. Son" (John, 14. 10). The true " Prophet" of God. "His 'This sitting of the son at God's right hand was by the majesty is set forth, (1.) Absolutely by the very name act of the Father (ch. 8. 1; Ephesians, 1, 20): it is never *Son,' and by three giorious predicates,' Whom He hath ,used of His ze existing state coequal with the Father,
all inferior dords, as angels... to be worshipped by
Ciurists Fourfold Rignt
to the Title Son of God. but always of His exalted state as Son of man after His the world" (0.6), is not subsequent, as ALFORD thinks, sufferings, and as Mediator for man in the presence of too. 6, but anterior to it cf. Acts, 2. 30-35). 6. AndGod (Romans, 8. 34); a relation towards God and us' Greck," Bat." Not only this proves His superiority. about to come to an end when its object has been acBUT a more decisive proof is Psalm 97. 7, which shows complished (1 Corinthians, 15. 28). 4. Being made. better that not only at His resurrection, but also in prospect -by His exaltation by the Father (v. 3, 13): in contrast of His being brought into the world cf. ch. 9. 11; 10. 5) to His being "made lower than the angels" (ch. 2. 9. a3 man, in His incarnation, nativity Luke, 2. 9-14). * Better," i.e., superior to. As " being" (v. 3) expresses | temptation Matthew, 4. 10,11), resurrection Matthew, His essential being: so" being made" (ch. 7. 26 marks 28.2), and future second advent in glory, angels were what He became in His assumed manhood Philip-designed by God to be subject to Him, a. 1 Timothy, plans, 2. 6-9). Paul shows that His humbled forme (at 3. 16, “Seen of angels." God manifesting Messiah as which the Jews might stumble) is no objection to His one to be gazed at with adoring love by heavenly inDivine Messiahship. As the law was given by the telligences (Ephesians, 3. 10; 2 Thessalonians, 1. 9. 10; ministration of angels and Moses, it was inferior to i Peter, 3. 22). The fullest realization of His Lordship the gospel given by the Divine Son, who both is shall be at His second coming Psalm 97. 7;1 Corin(u. 4-14) as God, and has been made, as the exalted Son thians, 15. 24. 25; Philippians, 2. 9). "Worship Him of man (ch. 9. 6-18), much better than the angels. The all ye gods" ("gods," i.e., exalted beings, as angels, manifestations of God by angels (and even by the refers to God: but it was universally admitted among angel of the covenant) at different times in the Old the Hebrews that God would dwell, in a peculiar sense, Testament, did not bring man and God into personal in Messiah so as to be in the Talmud phrase, "capable union, as the manifestation of God in human flesh of being pointed to with the finger"); and so what was does. by inheritance obtained-He always had the thing said of God was true of, and to be fulfilled in, Messiah. itself, víz., Sonship: but He" obtained by inheritance," | KIMCRI says that Psalms 93.-101., contain in them the according to the promise of the Father, the name "Son," mystery of Messiah. God ruled the theocracy in and whereby He is made known to men and angels. He is through Rim. the world-subject to Christ (ch. 2. 6). "the Son of God" in a sense far exalted above that in As "the first-begotten" He has the rights of primo which angels are called "sons of God" (Job. 1. 6; 38, 7). geniture Romans, 8. 23: Colossians, 1. 15, 16, 18). In * The fulness of the glory of the peculiar name the Deuteronomy, 32, 43, the LXX. have, "Let all the Son of God,' is unattainable by human speech or angels of God worship Him," words not now found in thought. All appellations are but fragments of its the Hebrew. This passage of the LXX. may have klory-beams united in it as in a central sun. Revela been in Paul's mind as to the form, but the substance is tion, 19. 12. A name that no man knew but He Himself." | taken from Psalm 97. 7. The type David, in the Psalm 5. Por--Substantiating His having " obtained a more 89. 27 (quoted in . 6), is called "God's first-born, higher excellent name than the ange.s." unto wbich-A than the kings of the earth." so the antitypical firstfrequent argument in this epistle is derived from the begotten, the Son of David, is to be worshipped by silence of Scripture (v. 13; ch. 2. 16; 7. 3, 14). (BENGEL) all inferior dords, as angels (** gods," Psalm 97. T); for this day have I begotten thee-Psalm 2. 7.) Fulfilled at He is "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation, the resurrection of Jesus, whereby the Father “de- 19. 16). In the Greek, "again" is transposed: but this clared." 1.e., made manifest His Divine Sonship, here does not oblige us, as ALFORD thinks, to translate. tofore veiled by His humiliation (Acts, 13. 33; Romans, "When He again shall have introduced." &c., vis., at 1. 4). Christ has a fourfold right to the title “Son of Christ's second coming ; for there is no previous menGod" (1.) By generation, as begotten of God; (2.) by tion of a first bringing in; and "again" is often used in commission, as sent by God: (3.) by resurrection, as "the quotations, not to be joined with the verb, but parenfirst-begotten of the dead" (cf. Loke, 20. 36, Romans, thetically (that I may again quote Scripture ). 1. 4; Revelation, 1. 6): (4., by actual possession, as heir English Version is correct (cf, Matthew, 6. 39; Greck, of all. (BISHOP PEARSON.) The Psalm here quoted John, 12. 39). 7. of-The Greek is rather," In reference applied primarily in a less full sense to Solomon, of to the angels." spirits-or “winds:" Who employeth whom God promised by Nathan to David, "I will be His angels as the winds, His ministers as the lighthis Father, and he shall be my son." But as the nings; or, He maketh His angelic ministers the directwhole theocracy was of Messianic import, the triumph of ing powers of winds and flames, when these latter are David over Hadadezer and neighbouring kings required to perform His will. “Commissions them to (2 Samuel, 8.: Psalm 2. , 3, 9-12) is a type of God's assume the agency or form of flames for His purposes." ultimately subduing all enemies under His Son, wbom (ALFORD.] English Version, "Maketh His angels Ile sets (Hebrew, anointed. Psalm 2. 6) on His "boly spirits," means, He maketh them of a subtle, incorhul of Zion," as King of the Jews and of the whole poreal nature, swift as the wind. So Psalm 18, 10. "A earth, the antitype to Solomon, son of David. The "I" cherub...the wings of the wind.” Verse 14, “minister in Greek is emphatic: I the Everlasting Father have ing spirits,"favours English Version here, as "spirits bogotten thee this day, i.e., on this day, the day of thy implies the wind-like velocity and subtle nature of being manifested as My Son, the first-begotten of the the Cherubim, so "flame of fire" expresses the burndead" (Colossians, 1. 18: Revelation, l. 5). when thou ing devotion and intense all-consuming zeal of the ador hast, ransomed and opened beaven to thy people. He ing Seraphim (meaning "burning"), Isaiah. 6. 1. The had been always Son, but now first was manifested as translation, "Maketh winds His messengers such in His once humbled, now exalted manhood united flame of fire His ministers (!)", is plainly wrong. In tbe to His Godhead. ALFORD refers "this day" to the Psalm 101, 3, 4, the subject in each clause comes first, eternal generation of the Son: The day in which the and the attribute predicated of it second, so the Greek Son was begotten by the Father is an everlasting to- I article here marks "angels" and “ministers" as the day: there never was a yesterday or past time to Him, l subjects, and "winds" and "flame of fire. predicates. nor a to-morrow or future time: "Nothing there is to Schemoth Rabba says, "God is called God of Zeusoth come, and nothing past, but an eternal xow doth ever (the heaveniy hosts), because He does what he pleases last" (Proverbs, 30.4; John, 10. 30, 38; 16. 28; 17. 8). The with his angels. When He pleases, He makes them communication of the Divine essence in its fulness, to sit (Judges, 6. 11); at other times to stand (Isaiah, 67: involves eternal generation; for the Divine essence has at times to resemble women (Zechariah, 6. 9): at other no beginning. But the context refers to a definite times to resemble men (Genesis, 18. 2); at times He point of time, viz., that of His having entered on the makes them 'spirits; at times, fire." "Maketh' ininheritance (v.4). The bringing the first-begotten into plies that, however exalted, they are but creatures,