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Chapter 2:9. That he by the grace of God, etc How to connect the different parts of this verse has been a difficulty which critics have in various ways attempted to remove. There is hardly a sense in our version. We must either regard a transposition in the words, or, like Stuart, give the meaning of when to ὅπως, “when by the grace of God he had tasted death for all.” But this is an unnatural meaning, and therefore not satisfactory. Doddridge supposes a transposition, and gives this version, —

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, that by the grace of God he might taste death for every man, crowned with glory and honor.”

Macknight more properly connects “the suffering of death” with “crowned with glory and honor,” while he makes a similar transposition. Bloomfield considers that there is an ellipsis in the last clause, and gives this rendering, —

“But him, who was made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, we behold, on account of having suffered death, crowned with glory and honor, which suffering he bore, in order that by the grace of God he might taste of death for every man.”

This borders on tautology, and cannot be admitted. That the transposition made by Doddridge and Macknight gives the real meaning, admits hardly of a doubt; and such a version would be the most suitable in our language. But how to account for the arrangement in the Apostle’s words seems to be this, it is a construction according to the system of Hebrew parallelism; the first and the last clause are connected, and the second and the third. Let the verse be arranged in lines, and this will become quite evident, —

“But him, who was made a little lower than angels, — We behold, even Jesus, for the suffering of death, Crowned with glory and honor, — That by God’s grace he might for all taste death.”

The meaning is clearly this, — that he was made lower than angels in order to die for all, and that on account of his atoning death he was crowned with glory and honor; which perfectly accords with what the Apostle teaches us in Philippians 2:8-10. See a similar arrangement in Matthew 7:6, and 1 Corinthians 6:11.

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