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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 2 - Verse 14

Verse 14. Forasmuch then. Since; or because.

As the children. Those who were to become the adopted children of God; or who were to sustain that relation to him.

Are partakers of flesh and blood. Have a human and not an angelic nature. Since they are men, he became a man. There was a fitness or propriety that he should partake of their nature. See Barnes "1 Co 15:50; See Barnes "Mt 16:17".

 

He also himself, etc. He also became a man, or partook of the same nature with them. See Barnes "Joh 1:14".

 

That through death. By dying. It is implied here,

(1.) that the work which he undertook of destroying him that had the power of death was to be accomplished by his own dying; and

(2.) that, in order to this, it was necessary that he should be a man. An angel does not die, and therefore he did not take on him the nature of angels; and the Son of God, in his Divine nature, could not die, and therefore he assumed a form in which he could die—that of a man. In that nature the Son of God could taste of death; and thus he could destroy him that had the power of death.

He might destroy. That he might subdue, or that he might overcome him, and destroy his dominion. The word destroy here is not used in the sense of closing life, or of killing, but in the sense of bringing into subjection, or crushing his power. This is the work which the Lord Jesus came to perform—to destroy the kingdom of Satan in the world, and to set up another kingdom in its place. This was understood by Satan to be his object. See Barnes "Mt 8:29"; See Barnes "Mr 1:24".

 

That had the power of death. I understand this as meaning that the devil was the cause of death in this world, he was the means of its introduction, and of its long and melancholy reign. This does not affirm anything of his power of inflicting death in particular instances—whatever may be true on that point—but that death was a part of his dominion; that he introduced it; that he seduced man from God, and led on the train of woes which result in death. He also made it terrible. Instead of being regarded as falling asleep, or being looked on without alarm, it becomes, under him, the means of terror and distress. What power Satan may have in inflicting death in particular: instances no one can tell. The Jewish Rabbins speak much of Samuel, "the angel of death"—

HEBREW

—who they supposed had the control of life, and was the great messenger employed in closing it. The Scriptures, it is believed, are silent on that point. But that Satan was the means of introducing "death into the world, and all our woe," no one can doubt; and over the whole subject, therefore, he may be said to have had power. To destroy that dominion; to rescue man; to restore him to life; to place him in a world where death is unknown; to introduce a state of things where not another one would ever die, was the great purpose for which the Redeemer came. What a noble object! What enterprise in the universe has been so grand and noble as this! Surely an undertaking that contemplates the annihilation of DEATH; that designs to bring this dark dominion to an end, is full of benevolence, and commends itself to every man as worthy of his profound attention and gratitude. What woes are caused by death in this world! They are seen everywhere. The earth is "arched with graves." In almost every dwelling death has been doing his work of misery. The palace cannot exclude him; and he comes unbidden into the cottage. He finds his way to the dwelling of ice in which the Esquimaux and the Greenlander live; to the tent of the Bedouin Arab, and the wandering Tartar; to the wigwam of the Indian, and to the harem of the Turk; to the splendid mansion of the rich, as well as to the abode of the poor. That reign of death has now extended near six thousand years, and will travel on to future times—meeting each generation, and consigning the young, the vigorous, the lovely, and the pure, to dust. Shall that gloomy reign continue forever? Is there no way to arrest it? Is there no place where death can be excluded? Yes: heaven —and the object of the Redeemer is to bring us there.

{a} "he himself also" Joh 1:14 {b} "through death" 1 co 15:54

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