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APPENDIX K

Chapter 2:16 For verily he took not, etc The words may be rendered, “For verily he lays not hold on angels, but on the seed of Abraham does he lay hold.” Both early and later divines have supposed “nature” to be understood; but some moderns, following Cameron of an earlier age, regard the verb in the sense of bringing aid or help. So Stuart and Bloomfield. The first renders the verse thus, —

“Besides, he doth not at all help the angels, but he helpeth the seed of Abraham.”

The present, the historical present, is used for the past; or if we render οὐ γὰρ δήπου “for nowhere,” the reference is to Scripture; nowhere in Scripture is such a thing recorded.

But to “take hold on” is sufficiently plain and very expressive. Christ took hold on Peter when he was sinking, (Matthew 14:31:) it is the same verb. Our Savior took not hold on the angels when sinking into ruin, but he did take hold on the seed of Abraham to save them from perdition. The connection seems to be with the preceding verses; therefore γὰρ ought to be rendered “for” and not “besides,” as by Stuart, nor “moreover,” as by Macknight. A reason is given why Christ became partaker of flesh and blood; and the reason was, because he did not come to deliver angels but the seed of Abraham; that is, his spiritual, not his natural seed, for he speaks throughout of God’s sons and God’s children. See John 1:12, 13, where the born of God are represented to be those to whom Christ grants the privilege of children.

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