The epistle to the hebrews



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Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth,

And the heavens are works of Thy hands.

11 They shall perish, but Thou continuest;

And they all shall wax old as doth a garment;

12 And as a mantle shalt Thou roll them up,

As a garment, and they shall be changed:

But Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail.

Heb. 1:10. kaiv...] The connexion of this passage with the former is very close although it introduces a new idea. Comp. Acts 1:20. The conjunction carries with it the levgei pro;" to;n uiJovn of vv. 8, 9. God through His Spirit so speaks in the Psalmist that words not directly addressed to Christ find their fulfilment in Him.

Su;...Kuvrie...] It has been already noticed that the Suv is brought forward by the writer of the Epistle, and the Kuvrie added to the original text in the LXX. The addition corresponds with the omission of the divine Name ( lae, H445) in v. 24 owing to a false rendering, but it is significant as definitely connecting the thought of divine immutability with the thought of the divine revelation consummated in the Incarnation.

katj ajrcav"] Vulg. in principio, O. L. initiis. The phrase is a wrong rendering of µynIp'l](e[mprosqen Judg. 1:10, 11, 23, & c.). It occurs again Ps. 119:152 (118:152) as the rendering of µd

11. aujtoiv] The heavens are taken as representing the whole visible universe.

ajpolou'ntai] The idea, as it is afterwards developed (Heb. 12:26 ff.), is of change, transfiguration, and not of annihilation: Is. 51:6, 16; 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Apoc. 20:11. Thus Theophylact: mei'zovn ti th'" dhmiourgiva" hj/nivxato, th;n metaschmavtisin tou' kovsmou, ajllaghvsontai ga;r pavnta ajpo; th'" fqora'" eij" ajfqarsivan.

diamevnei"] Latt. permanebis (diamenei'"). The present is more expressive. The compound marks continuance throughout some period or crisis suggested by the context: Luke 1:22; 22:28; 2 Pet. 3:4; Gal. 2:5.

pavnte"] The thought appears to be of sphere succeeding sphere in increasing purity and therefore in increasing permanence: but all alike are subject to time and to decay.

palaiwqhvsontai] Heb. 8:13; Luke 12:33; Is. 50:9; 51:6; Ecclus. 14:17.

Heb. 1:12. peribovlaion] a mantle. The word suggests a costly robe: Judg. 8:26 (A) tw'n peribolaivwn tw'n porfurw'n tw'n ejpi; toi'" basileu'si Madiavm. Ezek. 27:7. Comp. 1 Cor. 11:15.

eJlivxei"] The substitution of this word for the natural rendering ajllavxei" may have been due to a reference to Is. 34:4 eJlighvsetai oJ oujrano;" wJ" biblivon. In the original the verb is repeated (5Uløj}y"w“ µpeylij}T).

oJ aujtov"] The original is simply ‘Thou art He.’ Comp. Is. 41:4; 43:10; 46:4; 48:12; Deut. 32:39 (ejgwv eijmi).

See Heb. 13:8 note.

(4) Heb. 1:13, 14. The superior dignity of the Son as seated in Royal Majesty assured of triumph (‘having made purification...He sat down...’).

The comparison of the Son with angels is completed by the development of the idea contained in the fact of the Session of the Son at the right hand of the Father. This idea is conveyed by the opening words of Ps. 110 and is spread throughout the New Testament: Matt. 22:23 ff. and parallels; Acts 2:34 f. See also Heb. 10:13; 1 Cor. 15:25; 1 Pet. 3:22. The Psalm (Ps. 110) is quoted again Heb. 5:6; 7:17, 21.

13 But of which of the angels hath He said at any time

Sit on My right hand,

Until I make Thine enemies the footstool of Thy feet?

14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth unto service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation?

Heb. 1:13. pro;" tivna dev...] But of which... The writer appears to turn aside from the contemplation of the unchangeableness of God seen in the Person of Christ to the thought of the conflict between good and evil wrought out in time. Here also the supreme eminence of the Son is conspicuous. The language used of Him has been used of no angel. He serenely waits for a sure and absolute victory while they are busied with ministerial offices. For prov" see Heb. 1:7 note. The contrast between tivni ei\pevn pote (v. 5) and pro;" tivna ei[rhkevn pote is full of meaning.

ei[rhken] See Heb. 4:3; 10:9 notes.

kavqou...] The verb marks the continuance of the Session as distinguished from the assumption of the place (v. 3 ejkavqisen). Comp. Luke 22:69. For the image see Zech. 6:13;  on Matt. 22:44.

ejk dexiw'n] This phrase, which is with one exception (Mark 16:5 ejn toi'" dex.) the uniform phrase in the Synoptists, is used twice only in this Epistle. Elsewhere 1:3; 8:1 (note); 10:12; 12:2 ejn dexia'/ is written by the author himself.

e{w" a]n qw'] Compare 1 Cor. 15:28. Our powers are inadequate to realise that end.

uJpopovdion tw'n p.] Compare Josh. 10:24 f.

Heb. 1:14. oujciv] Heb. 3:17. For the interrogative form see 1:5 note.

pavnte"] Whatever differences of rank and dignity there may be among them, all are alike in this.

leitourgika; pn.] Vulg. administratorii spiritus, trEV;h' ykea’l]m'(Ber. R. 8). The word occurs here only in N.T. Comp. Philo, de carit. § 3 (2.387 M.) a[ggeloi leitourgoiv. de gig. § 3 (1.264 M.).

eij" diak. ajpost.] sent forth for ministry as each occasion arises (Old Lat. qui mittuntur. Vulg. missi). Contrast 1 Pet. 1:12 (ajpostalevnti). The difference between the general office of the angels as spirits charged with a social ministry (Heb. 1:7 leitourgouv"), and the particular services (Heb. 6:10 diakonou'nte") in which it is fulfilled, is clearly marked.

Herveius (and so Primasius) shews how the angels, even on their missions, remain in the presence of God:

Mittuntur igitur et assistunt, quia etsi circumscriptus sit angelicus spiritus, summus tamen spiritus ipse qui Deus est circumscriptus non est. Angeli itaque et missi ante ipsum sunt quia quolibet missi veniant intra ipsum currunt.

dia; tou;" m. kl. s.] The service is rendered to God for the sake of believers. The use of diav (accus.) instead of uJpevr indicates a wider relation. Compare Heb. 6:7 and contrast 6:20. The difference of idea is seen in Col. 4:3 compared with Eph. 6:20.

klhron. swthr.] Compare Heb. 6:12 (Additional Note); 12:17; (1 Pet. 3:9). See also Matt. 19:29 (eternal life); Luke 10:25; 18:18; Matt. 25:34; 1 Cor. 6:9 f.; Gal. 5:21 (the kingdom); 1 Cor. 15:50 (incorruption).

‘Salvation,’ like ‘eternal life,’ is at once present and future: Heb. 5:9; 9:28.

swthrivan] Salvation is contemplated in its essential character, and not in the concrete form of the expected and promised Salvation (hJ swthriva Acts 4:12; John 4:22).

Primasius refers the words to the belief (‘as the doctors say’) that to each of the faithful a guardian angel is assigned ‘from his birth or rather from his baptism.’





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