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In this and the two following chapters the apostle sub -
joins an exhortation, answering each head of the preceding chapter.
1: Lest we should let them slip - As water out of a leaky
vessel. So the Greek word properly signifies.
2: In giving the law, God spoke by angels; but in
proclaiming the gospel, by his Son. Steadfast - Firm and
valid. Every transgression - Commission of sin. Every
disobedience - Omission of duty.
3: So great a salvation - A deliverance from so great
wickedness and misery, into so great holiness and happiness.
This was first spoken of (before he came it was not known)
by Him who is the Lord - of angels as well as men.
And was confirmed to us - Of this age, even every article of it.
By them that had heard him - And had been themselves also both
eye - witnesses and ministers of the word.
4: By signs and wonders - While he lived. And various
miracles and distributions of the Holy Ghost - Miraculous gifts,
distributed after his exaltation. According to his will - Not
theirs who received them.
5: This verse contains a proof of the third; the greater
the salvation is, and the more glorious the Lord whom we despise,
the greater will be our punishment. God hath not subjected the
world to come - That is, the dispensation of the Messiah; which
being to succeed the Mosaic was usually styled by the Jews, the
world to come, although it is still in great measure to come
Whereof we now speak - Of which I am now speaking. In this last
great dispensation the Son alone presides.
6: What is man - To the vast expanse of heaven, to
the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained! This psalm
seems to have been composed by David, in a clear, moonshiny,
and starlight night, while he was contemplating the wonderful
fabric of heaven; because in his magnificent description of its
luminaries, he takes no notice of the sun, the most glorious of
them all. The words here cited concerning dominion were
doubtless in some sense applicable to Adam; although in their
complete and highest sense, they belong to none but the second
Adam. Or the son of man, that thou visitest him - The sense
rises: we are mindful of him that is absent; but to visit,
denotes the care of a present God.(Ps 8:4).
7: Thou hast made him - Adam. A little lower than the
angels - The Hebrew is, a little lower than (that is, next to)
God. Such was man as he came out of the hands of his Creator:
it seems, the highest of all created beings. But these words are also
in a farther sense, as the apostle here shows, applicable to the Son
of God. It should be remembered that the apostles constantly cited
the Septuagint translation, very frequently without any variation.
It was not their business, in writing to the Jews, who at that time
had it in high esteem, to amend or alter this, which would of
consequence have occasioned disputes without end.
8: Now this putting all things under him, implies that
there is nothing that is not put under him. But it is plain,
this is not done now, with regard to man in general.
9: It is done only with regard to Jesus, God - Man, who
is now crowned with glory and honour - As a reward for his
having suffered death. He was made a little lower than the
angels - Who cannot either suffer or die. That by the grace
of God, he might taste death - An expression denoting both the
reality of his death, and the shortness of its continuance.
For every man - That ever was or will be born into the world.
10: In this verse the apostle expresses, in his own
words, what he expressed before in those of the Psalmist. It
became him - It was suitable to all his attributes, both to his
justice, goodness, and wisdom. For whom - As their ultimate
end. And by whom - As their first cause. Are all things, in
bringing many adopted sons to glory - To this very thing, that
they are sons, and are treated as such To perfect the
captain - Prince, leader, and author of their salvation, by his
atoning sufferings for them. To perfect or consummate
implies the bringing him to a full and glorious end of all his
troubles, (Heb 5:9). This consummation by sufferings intimates,
Of these he treats
expressly, (Heb 2:11-18); having before spoken of his glory, both
to give an edge to his exhortation, and to remove the scandal of
sufferings and death. A fuller consideration of both these points
he interweaves with the following discourse on his priesthood.
But what is here said of our Lord's being made perfect through
sufferings, has no relation to our being saved or sanctified by
sufferings. Even he himself was perfect, as God and as man,
before ever be suffered. By his sufferings, in his life and
death, he was made a perfect or complete sin - offering. But
unless we were to be made the same sacrifice, and to atone for
sin, what is said of him in this respect is as much out of our
sphere as his ascension into heaven. It is his atonement, and
his Spirit carrying on "the work of faith with power" in our
hearts, that alone can sanctify us. Various afflictions indeed
may be made subservient to this; and so far as they are blessed to
the weaning us from sin, and causing our affections to be set on
things above, so far they do indirectly help on our sanctification.
- the glory of Christ, to whom, being consummated, all things are
- The preceding sufferings.
11: For - They are nearly related to each other.
He that sanctifieth - Christ,(Heb 13:12).
And all they that are sanctified - That are brought to God;
that draw near or come to him, which are synonymous terms.
Are all of one - Partakers of one nature, from one parent, Adam.
12: I will declare thy name to my brethren - Christ
declares the name of God, gracious and merciful, plenteous
in goodness and truth, to all who believe, that they also may
praise him. In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto
thee - As the precentor of the choir. This he did literally, in
the midst of his apostles, on the night before his passion. And as
it means, in a more general sense, setting forth the praise of God,
he has done it in the church by his word and his Spirit; he still
does, and will do it throughout all generations.(Ps 22:22).
13: And again - As one that has communion with his
brethren in sufferings, as well as in nature, he says, I will
put my trust in him - To carry me through them all. And again
- With a like acknowledgment of his near relation to them, as younger
brethren, who were yet but in their childhood, he presents all
believers to God, saying, Behold I and the children whom thou hast
given me.(Isa 8:17,18)
14: Since then these children partake of flesh and blood
- Of human nature with all its infirmities. He also in like manner
took part of the same; that through his own death he might
destroy the tyranny of him that had, by God's permission,
the power of death with regard to the ungodly. Death is the devil's
servant and serjeant, delivering to him those whom he seizes in sin.
That is, the devil - The power was manifest to all; but who exerted it,
they saw not.
15: And deliver them, as many as through fear of death
were all their lifetime, till then, subject to bondage
- Every man who fears death is subject to bondage; is in a
slavish, uncomfortable state. And every man fears death,
more or less, who knows not Christ: death is unwelcome to
him, if he knows what death is. But he delivers all true
believers from this bondage.
16: For verily he taketh not hold of angels - He does not
take their nature upon him. But he taketh hold of the seed of
Abraham - He takes human nature upon him. St. Paul says the seed
of Abraham, rather than the seed of Adam, because to Abraham was
the promise made.
17: Wherefore it behoved him - It was highly fit and
proper, yea, necessary, in order to his design of redeeming
them. To be made in all things - That essentially pertain to
human nature, and in all sufferings and temptations. Like his
brethren - This is a recapitulation of all that goes before: the
sum of all that follows is added immediately. That he might be a
merciful and faithful High Priest - Merciful toward sinners;
faithful toward God. A priest or high priest is one who has a
right of approaching God, and of bringing others to him.
Faithful is treated of,(Heb 3:2), &c., with its use;
merciful,(Heb 4:14), &c., with the use also;
High Priest,(Heb 5:4), &c., (Heb 7:1), &c.
The use is added from Heb 10:19.
In things pertaining to God, to expiate the sins of the people
- Offering up their sacrifices and prayers to God; deriving God's
grace, peace, and blessings upon them.
18: For in that he hath suffered being tempted himself
he is able to succour them that are tempted - That is, he has
given a manifest, demonstrative proof that he is able so to do.