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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 2 - Verse 11

Verse 11. For both he that sanctifieth. This refers evidently to the Lord Jesus. The object is to show that there was such a union between him and those for whom he died, as to make it necessary that he should partake of the same nature, or that he should be a suffering man, Heb 2:14. He undertook to redeem and sanctify them. He called them brethren, he identified them with himself. There was, in the great work of redemption, a oneness between him and them, and hence it was necessary that he should assume their nature—and the fact, therefore, that he appeared as a suffering man, does not at all militate with the doctrine that he had a more exalted nature, and was even above the angels. Prof. Stuart endeavours to prove that the word sanctify here is used in the sense of, to make expiation or atonement, and that the meaning is, "he who maketh expiation, and they for whom expiation is made." Bloomfield gives the same sense to the word, as also does Rosenmuller. That the word may have such a signification it would be presumptuous in any one to doubt, after the view which such men have taken of it; but it may be doubted whether this idea is necessary here. The word sanctify is a general term, meaning, to make holy or pure; to consecrate, set apart, devote to God; to regard as holy, or to hallow. Applied to the Saviour here, it may be used in this general sense—that he consecrated, or devoted himself to God—as eminently the consecrated or holy one —the Messiah, (See Barnes "Joh 17:19"

:) applied to his people, it may mean that they, in like manner, were the consecrated, the holy, the pure on earth. There is a richness and fairness in the word when so understood, which there is not when it is limited to the idea of expiation; and it seems to me that it is to be taken in its richest and fullest sense, and that the meaning is, "the great consecrated Messiah—the Holy One of God—and his consecrated and holy followers, are all of one."

All of one. Of one family; spirit; Father; nature. Father of these significations will suit the connexion, and some such idea must be understood; The meaning is, that they were united, or partook of something in common, so as to constitute a oneness, or a brotherhood; and that since this was the case, there was a propriety in his taking their nature. It does not mean that they were originally of one nature or family; but that it was understood in the writings of the prophets that the Messiah should partake of the nature of his people, and that therefore, though he was more exalted than the angels, there was a propriety that he should appear in the human form. Comp. Joh 17:21.

For which cause. That is, because he is thus united with them, or has undertaken their redemption.

He is not ashamed. As it might be supposed that one so exalted and pure would be. It might have been anticipated that the Son of God would refuse to give the name brethren to those who were so humble, and sunken, and degraded, as those whom he came to redeem. But he is willing to be ranked with them, and to be regarded as one of their family.

To call them brethren. To acknowledge himself as of the same family, and to speak of them as his brothers. That is, he is so represented as speaking of them in the prophecies respecting the Messiah—for this interpretation the argument of the apostle demands. It was material for him to show that he was so represented in the Old Testament. This he does in the following verses.

{c} "all of one" Joh 17:21

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