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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 1 - Verse 10

Verse 10. And. That is, "To add another instance;" or, "to the Son he saith in another place, or in the following language." This is connected with Heb 1:8. "Unto the Son he saith, (Heb 1:8,) Thy throne, etc.—and (Heb 1:10) he also saith, Thou Lord," etc. That this is the meaning is apparent, because

(1.) the object of the whole quotation is to show the exalted character of the Son of God, and

(2.) an address here to JEHOVAH would be wholly irrelevant. Why, in an argument designed to prove that the Son of God was superior to the angels, should the writer break out in an address to JEHOVAH, in view of the fact that he had laid the foundations of the world, and that he himself would continue to live when the heavens should be rolled up and pass away? Such is not the manner of Paul, or of any other good writer; and it is clear that the writer here designed to adduce this as applicable to the Messiah. Whatever difficulties there may be about the principles on which it is done, and the reason why this passage was selected for the purpose, there can be no doubt about the design of the writer. He meant to be understood as applying it to the Messiah, beyond all question, or the quotation is wholly irrelevant, and it is inconceivable why it should have been made.

Thou, Lord. This is taken from Ps 102:25-27. The quotation is made from the Septuagint, with only a slight variation, and is an accurate translation of the Hebrew. In the Psalm, there can be no doubt that JEHOVAH is intended. This is apparent on the face of the Psalm, and particularly because the name JEHOVAH is introduced Ps 102:1,12, and because he is addressed as the Creator of all things, and as immutable. No one, on reading the Psalm, ever would doubt that it referred to God; and, if the apostle meant to apply it to the Lord Jesus, it proves most conclusively that he is divine. In regard to the difficult inquiry, why he applied this to the Messiah, or on what principle such an application can be vindicated, we may perhaps throw some light by the following remarks. It must be admitted, that probably few persons, if any, on reading the Psalm, would suppose that it referred to the Messiah; but

(1.) the fact that the apostle thus employs it, proves that it was understood, in his time, to have such a reference, or, at least, that those to whom he wrote would admit that it had such a reference. On no other principle would he have used it in an argument. This is at least of some consequence, in showing what the prevailing interpretation was.

(2.) It cannot be demonstrated that it had no such reference—for such was the habit of the sacred writers in making the future Messiah the theme of their poetry, that no one can prove that the writer this Psalm did not design that the Messiah should be the subject of his praise here.

(3.) There is nothing in the Psalm which may not be applied to the Messiah; but there is much in it that is peculiarly applicable to him. Suppose, for example, that the Psalmist, Ps 102:1-11, in his complaints, represents the people of God, before the Redeemer appeared, as lowly, sad, dejected, and afflicted, speaking of himself as one of them, and as a fair representative of that people, the remainder of the Psalm will well agree with the promised redemption. Thus, having described the sadness and sorrow of the people of God, he speaks of the fact that God would arise and have mercy upon Zion, (Ps 102:13,14,) that the heathen would fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth would see his glory, (Ps 102:15,) and that when the Lord should build up Zion he would appear in his glory, Ps 102:16. To whom else could this be so well applied as to the Messiah? To what time so well as to his time? Thus, too, in Ps 102:20, it is said that the Lord would look down from heaven "to hear the groaning of the prisoner, and to loose them that are appointed to death"— language remarkably resembling that used by Isaiah, Isa 61:1 which the Saviour applies to himself, in Lu 4:17-21. The passage then quoted by the apostle (Ps 102:25-27) is designed to denote the immutability of the Messiah, and the fact that in him all the interests of the church were safe. He would not change. He had formed all things, and he would remain the same. His kingdom would be permanent, amidst all the changes occurring on earth, and his people had no cause of apprehension or alarm, Ps 102:28.

(4.) Paul applies this language to the Messiah, in accordance with the doctrine which he had stated, (Heb 1:2,) that it was by him that God "made the worlds." Having stated that, he seems to have felt that it was not improper to apply to him the passages occurings in the Old Testament that speak of the work of creation. The argument is this. "He was, in fact, the Creator of all things. But, to the Creator, there is applied language in the Scriptures which shows that he was far exalted above the angels. He would remain the same, while the heavens and the earth should fade away. His years are enduring and eternal. Such a Being MUST be superior to the angels; such a Being must be divine." The words "Thou, Lord" su kurie are not in the Hebrew of the Psalm, though they are in the Septuagint. In the Hebrew, in the Psalm, (Ps 102:24,) it is an address to God—"I said, O my God"—

HEBREW

—but there can be no doubt that the Psalmist meant to address JEHOVAH, and that the word God is used in its proper sense, denoting divinity. See Ps 102:1,12, of the Psalm.

In the beginning. See Ge 1:1. When the world was made. Comp. See Barnes "Joh 1:1, where the same phrase is applied to the Messiah —"In the beginning was the Word."

Hast laid the foundation of the earth. Hast made the earth. This language is such as is common in the Scriptures, where the earth is represented as laid on a foundation, or as supported. It is figurative language, derived from the act of rearing an edifice. The meaning here is, that the Son of God was the original Creator or Founder of the universe. He did not merely arrange it out of pre-existing materials, but he was properly its Creator or Founder.

And the heavens art the works of thine hands. This must demonstrate the Lord Jesus to be divine. He that made the vast heavens must be God. No creature could perform a work like that; nor can we conceive that power to create the vast array of distant worlds could possibly be delegated. If that power could be delegated, there is not an attribute of Deity which may not be, and thus all our notions of what constitutes divinity would be utterly confounded. The word "heavens" here must mean all parts of the universe except the earth, see Ge 1:1. The word hands is used, because it is by the hands that we usually perform any work.

{a} "Thou Lord" Ps 102:25

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