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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 7 - Verse 22

Verse 22.

By so much.

Inasmuch as an oath is more solemn than a mere appointment. The meaning is, that there is all the additional security in the suretyship of Jesus which arises from the solemnity of an oath. It is not implied that God would not be true to his mere promise, but the argument here is derived from the custom of speaking among men. An oath is regarded as much more sacred and binding than a mere promise; and the fact that God has sworn in a given case furnishes the highest security that what he has promised will be performed.

Was Jesus made a surety. The word surety egguov— occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, nor is it found in the Septuagint. It properly means, a bondsman; one who pledges his name, property, or influence, that a certain thing shall be done. When a contract is made, a debt contracted, or a note given, a friend often becomes the security in the case, and is himself responsible if the terms of the contract are not complied with. In the case of the new covenant between God and man, Jesus is the "security," or the bondsman. But of what, and to whom, is he the surety? It cannot be that he is a bondsman for God that he will maintain the covenant, and be true to the promise which he makes, as Crellius supposes, for we need no suck "security" of the Divine faithfulness and veracity. It cannot be that he becomes responsible for the Divine conduct in any way—- for no such responsibility is needed or possible. But it must mean, that he is the security or bondsman on the part of man; He is the pledge that we shall be saved. He becomes responsible, so to speak, to law and justice, that no injury shall be done by our salvation, though we are sinners. He is not a security that we shall be saved, at any rate, without holiness, repentance, faith, or true religions for he never could enter into a suretyship of that kind; but his suretyship extends to this point, that the law shall be honoured; that all its demands shall be met; that we may be saved though we have violated it, and that its terrific penalty shall not fall upon us. The case is this:— A sinner becomes a true penitent, and enters heaven. It might be said that he does this over a broken law; that God treats the good and bad alike, and that no respect has been paid to the law or the penalty in his salvation. Here the great Surety comes in, and says that it is not so. He has become responsible for this; he the surety, the pledge, that all proper honour shall be paid to justice, and that the same good effects shall ensue as if the penalty of the law had been fully borne. He himself has died to honour the law, and to open a way by which its penalty may be fully remitted consistently with justice, and he becomes the everlasting pledge or security to law, to justice, to the universe, that no injury shall result from the pardon and salvation of the sinner. According to this view, no man can rely on the suretyship of Jesus but he who expects salvation on the terms of the gospel. The suretyship is not at all that he shall be saved in his sins, or that he shall enter heaven no matter what life he leads; it is only that if he believes, repents, and is saved, no injury shall be clone to the universe, no dishonour to the law. For this the Lord Jesus is responsible.

Of a better testament. Rather, "of a better covenant." The former covenant, was that which God made with his people under the Mosaic dispensation: the new covenant is that made by means of Christ. This is better, because

(1) the terms are more simple and easy;

(2) the observances and rites are much less onerous and hard;

(3) it relates to all men, not being confined to the Jewish people;

(4) it is now sure. The former was administered through the instrumentality of the Levitical priesthood, this by the Son of God; that was transitory and changing, this is permanent and eternal.

{f} "better testament" Heb 8:6

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