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V. ¹Πᾶς γὰρ ἀρχιερεὺς ἐξ ἀνθρώπων λαμβανόμενος

III. @The High-priesthood of Christ universal and sovereign@ (cc. v.-vii.).

In the last two chapters the writer of the Epistle has shewn the general superiority of 'Jesus,' the Founder of the New Covenant, over Moses and Joshua; and, further, that the divine promise partially fulfilled by the occupation of Canaan still awaits its complete and absolute fulfilment. He is thus brought back to the thought of Christ's High-priesthood, in virtue of which humanity finds access to the Presence of God, 'His rest,' pursuing in detail the line of argument suggested in ii. 17, 18 and resumed in iv. 14—16.

In this section the Apostle deals with the general conception of Christ's High-priesthood. He treats of the accomplishment of Christ's High-priestly work in the next section.

The section consists of three parts. The writer first briefly characterises the work and the qualifications of a High-priest; and shows that the qualifications are possessed by Christ in ideal perfection, and that He completes the (theocratic) type of the Aaronic High-priest by adding to it the features of the (natural) type of the High-priesthood of Melchizedek (v. 1—10). Then follows a hortatory passage in which the duty of continuous and patient effort is enforced as the condition of right knowledge of the Christian revelation (v. 11—vi.). Having thus prepared the way for a fuller exposition of the truth with which he is engaged, the writer unfolds through the image of Melchizedek a view of the absolute High-priesthood of Christ (vii.).

Thus we have shortly:

i. The characteristics of a High-priest fulfilled in Christ (v. 1—10).

ii. Progress through patient effort the condition of the knowledge of Christian mysteries (v. 11—vi.).

iii. The characteristics of Christ as absolute High-priest shadowed forth by Melchizedek (vii.).

i. The characteristics of a High-priest are fulfilled in Christ. (v. 1—10).

This paragraph falls naturally into two parts. (1) The characteristics of a High-priest are first laid down (v. 1—4); and then (2) it is shewn that these were perfectly satisfied by Christ (5—10).

(1) The characteristics of a High-priest are drawn from a consideration of his office (v. 1); and from the qualifications which its fulfilment requires in regard to men and to God (2-4).

¹For every High-priest, being taken from among men, is appointed for men in the things that pertain to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; ²being able to bear gently with the ignorant and erring, since he also himself is compassed with infirmity, ³and by reason thereof is bound, as for the people so also for himself, to offer for sins. ⁴And no one taketh the honour to himself, but being called of God, even as was Aaron.

(1). The general purpose of the institution of the High-priesthood.

πᾶς γάρ...] This section follows naturally from that which precedes. The perfect sympathy of our High-priest (iv. 15) satisfies one of the conditions which are necessarily attached to the office universally. On the ground of this fundamental correspondence between Christ's Nature and the High-priesthood, the writer proceeds to develop the idea of the High-priesthood before he applies it to Christ. The γάρ is explanatory and not directly argumentative; and the Mosaic system is treated as embodying the general conception (πᾶς); but even so the type of Melchizedek's priesthood is not to 118 ὐπὲρ ἀνθρώπων καθίσταται τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν, ἵνα προςφέρῃ δῶρά [τe] καὶ θυσίας ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτιῶν, ²μετριοπαθεῖν

1 δῶρά τε אAC syr hl: om. τε Β vg syr vg me: τε δῶρα D₂*.

be forgotten. The words recur c. viii. 3.

ἐξ ἀνθ. λαμβ. ὑπὲρ ἀνθρ. καθ....] being taken from among men... The human origin of the High-priest is marked as a ground of the fitness of his appointment. A High-priest being himself man can act for men: comp. Ex. xxviii. 1 (from among the children of Israel). He is 'of men' and 'on behalf of men' (for their service), and in the original these two phrases correspond emphatically. Κἅν τῷ νόμῳ οὐκ ἄγγελος ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων ἱερατεύειν ἐτάχθη ἀλλ' ἄνθρωπος ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων (Theod.). Chrysostom (followed by later Fathers) remarks: τοῦτο κοινὸν τῷ Xpιστῷ. The present participle (λαμβανόμενος, Vulg. assumptus, inadequately) suggests the continuity of the relation (v. 4 καλούμενος, Vulg. [ὁ καλ.] qui vocatur).

It is unnatural and injurious to the argument to take ἐξ ἀνθρ. λαμβανόμενος as part of the subject (Syr. every high-priest that is from men).

καθίσταται] is appointed, Vulg. constituitur. Καθίστασθαι is the ordinary word for authoritative appointment to an office: c. vii. 28; viii. 3; (Tit. i. 5); Luke xii. 14; Philo, de vet. Mos. ii. 11 (ii. 151 M.).

τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν] c. ii. 17 note; Deut. xxxi. 27 (lxx.).

ἵνα προσφ.] Comp. viii. 3 εἶς τὸ προσφέρειν. In a considerable number of passages ἵνα and εἰς τό occur in close connexion: c. ii. 17 note; 1 Thess. ii. 16; 2 Thess. ii. 11 f.; iii. 9; 1 Cor. ix. 18; 2 Cor. viii. 6; Rom. i. 11; iv. 16; vii. 4; xi. 11; xv. 16; Phil. i. 10; Eph. i. 17 f. Ἵνα appears to mark in each case the direct and immediate end, while εἰς τό indicates the more remote result aimed at or reached.

προσφέρῃ] The word προσφέρειν is commonly used in the lxx. for the 'offering' of sacrifices and gifts, and it is so used very frequently in this Epistle (19 times). It never occurs in the Epistles of St Paul, and rarely in the other books of Ν. T. Matt. v. 23 f. (comp. ii. 11); viii. 4 and parallels; John xvi. 2; Acts vii. 42; xxi. 26. Compare ἀναφέρειν c. vii. 27 note.

This usage of προςφέρειν appears to be Hellenistic and not Classical.

δῶρά τε καὶ θυσίας] O. L. munera et hostias, Vulg. dona et sacrificia. Δῶρον can be used comprehensively to describe offerings of all kinds, bloody and unbloody: viii. 4 (comp. xi. 4). The same offering indeed could be called, under different aspects, a 'gift' and a 'sacrifice.' But when 'gifts' and 'sacrifices' are distinguished the former mark the 'meal-offering' (Hebrew) and the latter the bloody offerings. Comp. viii. 3; ix. 9.

In this narrower sense the 'sacrifice' naturally precedes the 'offering' (comp. Ps. xl. (6), c. x. 5). It is possible that the transposition is made in order to emphasise the thought that man needs an appointed Mediator even to bring his gifts to God. The particular reference is to the offerings of the High-priest on the Day of Atonement, 'the Day' (Joma) as it is called in the Talmud, which concentrated all the ideas of sacrifice and worship, as the High-priest concentrated all the ideas of personal service (Lev. xvi.; Num. xxix.).

The clause ὑπέρ ἁμαρτιῶν is to be joined with θυσίας (sacrifices for sins) and not with προσφέρῃ as referring to both nouns. The two ideas of eucharistic and expiatory offerings are distinctly marked.

For ὑπέρ see c. vii. 27; x. 12; (ix. 119 δυνάμενος τοῖς ἀγνοοῦσι καὶ πλανωμένοις, ἐπεὶ καὶ αὐτὸς

2 ἐπεὶ δαί: καὶ γάρ D₂*.

7); 1 Cor. xv. 3 (Gal. i. 4). More commonly περί is used: v. 3; c. x. 6, 8, 18; xiii. 11; 1 Pet. iii. 18; 1 John ii. 2; iv. 10; Rom. viii. 3.

2—4. From the office of the High-priest the writer passes on to his qualifications in regard to man and God. He must have sympathy with man (2, 3) and receive his appointment from God (4).

(2). The capacity for calm and gentle judgment fits him for the fulfilment of his office in behalf of his fellow men. He offers sacrifices as one 'able to bear gently' with the ignorant and erring.

μετριοπαθεῖν] to feel gently towards, to bear gently with. Vulg. condolere. Ambr. affici pro... Syr. to make himself humble and suffer with. The proper idea of μετριοπαθεῖν (μετριοπαθής, μετριοπάθεια) is that of a temperate feeling (of sorrow and pain and anger) as contrasted with the impassibility (άπάθιια) of the Stoics (Diog. Laert. § 31 Aristoteles: ἔφη δὲ τὸν σοφὸν μὴ εἶναι μὲν ἀπαθῆ μετριοπαθῆ δέ). The word is frequently used by Philo: de Abrah. § 44 (ii. 37 M.) μήτε πλείω τοῦ μετρίου σφαδάζειν...μήτε ἀπαθείᾳ...χρῆσθαι, τὸ δὲ μέσον πρὸ τῶν ἀκρων ἐόμενον μετριοπαθεῖν πειρπασθαι. de Jos. § $ (ii. p. 45 Μ.) μυρία αὐτὸς ἔπαθον τῶν α'νηκέστων ἐφ' εἶς, παιδευθεὶς μετριοπαθεῖν, οὐκ ἐγνάμφθην. de spec. legg. § 17 (ii. 315 Μ., joined with ἐπιεικής). id de nobil. § 2 (ii. p. 439 M., opposed to ἡ ''αμετρία τῶν παθῶν).

Comp. Jos. Antt. xii. 3, 2, Plut. de frat. am. p. 489 C ἡ φύσις ἔδωκεν ἡμῖν πραότητα καὶ μετριοπαθείας ἔκγενον ἀνεξικακίαν. Clem. Alex. Strom. ii. 8, § 39 (p. 450 P.); iv. 17, § 100 (p. 611 P.).

In the Law no special moral qualifications are prescribed for the priests. Here the essential qualification which lies in their humanity is brought out. Their work was not and could not be purely external and mechanical even if it seemed to be so superficially. Within certain limits they had to decide upon the character of the facts in regard to which offerings were made.

τοῖς ἀγνοοῦσι καὶ πλανωμένοις] Vulg. iis qui ignorant et errant. The compound description may either indicate the source (ignorance) and the issue (going astray) of sin; or it may describe sinners, so far as they come into consideration here, under two main aspects. Wilful, deliberate sin does not fall within the writer's scope, nor indeed within the scope of the Levitical Law. Such sin required in the first instance the manifestation of a sterner judgment. Comp. Num. xv. 22—31 (sins of ignorance and sins of presumption).

For the use of ἀγνοεῖν in lxx. (Hebrew, Hebrew) see 1 Sam. xxvi. 21; Ezek. xiv. 20 (Alex.); Lev. iv. 13; v. 18; Lev. iv. 2 (Hebrew, lxx. ἁμάρτῃ ἀκουσίως, Aqu., Symm. ἀγνοίᾳ). Ecclus. v. 15. Compare ἄγνοια, Gen. xxvi. 10; Ecclus. xxviii. 7; xxx. 11; xxiii. 3; ἀγνόημα c. ix. 7 note. True knowledge implies corresponding action. Comp. 1 John ii. 3 note.

For πλανᾶσθαι, which is comparatively rare in the general sense of 'going astray' (sinning), see c. iii. 10; Tit. iii. 3; (James v. 19; 2 Tim. iii. 13; Apoc. xviii. 23). The full image is given Matt. xviii. 12; 1 Pet. ii. 25 (Is. liii. 6).

In iv. 15 our High-priest is described as one δυνάμενος συμπαθῆσαι ταῖς ἀσθενείαις, (while here he generally is required μετριοπαθεῖν τοῖς ἀγνοοῦσιν καὶ πλανωμένοις. The one phrase describes his relation to the source of transgression, the other his relation to the transgressor. It is necessary that the true High-priest should be able 120 περίκειται ἀσθένειαν, ³καὶ δι' αὐτὴν ὀφείλει, καθὼς περὶ τοῦ λαοῦ, οὕτως καὶ περὶ ἑαυτοῦ προσφέρειν περὶ ἁμαρτιῶν. ⁴καὶ οὐχ ἑαυτῷ τις λαμβάνει τὴν τιμήν, ἀλλὰ

3 δι' αὐτήν אΑΒC* D₂*: διὰ ταύτην S syr hl mg. ἑαυτοῦ אΑC: αὐτοῦ (αὑτοῦ) BD₂*. περὶ ἁμ. אABC* D₂*: ὑπὲρ ἁμ. S. 4 λαμβάνει τις D₂.

to sympathise with the manifold forms of weakness from which sins spring, as himself conscious of the nature of sin, but it is not necessary that he should actually share the feelings of sinners, as having himself sinned. Towards sinners he must have that calm, just feeling which neither exaggerates nor extenuates the offence. It may further be noticed that Christ, as High-priest, has no weakness, though He sympathises with weaknesses (vii. 28; iv. 15).

ἐπεί] The particle is unusually frequent (9 times) in this Epistle (10 times in St Paul), while ὅτι causal only occurs in quotations (c. viii. 9 ff.). See v. 11 note.

περὶκειται ἀσθ.] V. L. gestat infirmitatem. Vulg. circumdatus est infirmitate. Syr. clothed with infirmity. For the use of περίκειμαι, compare (c. xii. 1); Acts xxviii. 20 τὴν ἅλυσιν ταύτηv περίκειμαι. Clem. 2 Cor. 1 ἀμαύρωσιν περικείμενοι. Ign. ad Trall. 12; and for the general thought see c. vii. 28 ἔχοντας ἀσθένειαν. The image is common in Greek literature from the time of Homer: Il. xviii. 157 ἐπιειμένοι ἀλκήν. Comp. Lk. xxiv. 49; Col. iii. 12. Εἰδὼς τὸ μέτρον τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης ἀσθενείας ἐφ' ἑαυτῷ ἐπιμετρεῖ καὶ τὴν συγγνώμην (Theoph.).

The exact opposite to περικεῖσθαι is περιελεῖν (c. x. 11). With the sing. (ἀσθένεια) contrast the plural c. iv. 15.

(3). καὶ δι' αὐτήν] and by reason thereof, i.e. of the weakness. This clause may be an independent statement, or depend upon ἐπεί. On the whole the form (καὶ δι' αὐτήν instead of δι' ἥν) is in favour of the former view; which is further supported by the fact that weakness does not absolutely involve sin, so that the weakness and the sin even in the case of man, as he is, are two separate elements.

In the case of the human High-priest weakness actually issued in sin. In this respect the parallel with Christ fails. But it has been seen (iv. 15) that a sense of the power of the temptation and not the being overpowered by it is the true ground of sympathy. Comp. vii. 27.

ὀφείλει] he is bound in the very nature of things, in virtue of his constitution and of his office. He must obtain purity for himself before he can intercede for others. Comp. c. ii. 17 note.

περὶ ἑαυτοῦ] The ceremonies of the Day of Atonement are still foremost in the writer's thoughts (Lev. xvi.). Philo (Quis rer. div. hær. § 36, i. 497 M.) regards the daily meal offering as the offering for the priest (Lev. vi. 20), as the lamb was the offering for the people.

προσφ. περὶ ἁμαρτιῶν] The constant use of the singular in the sense of 'sin-offering' (x. 6, 8; xiii. 11 περὶ ἁμαρτίας and lxx.) seems to shew that here περὶ ἁμ. is to be taken generally 'for sins,' while προσφ. is absolute as in Luke v. 14, though not elsewhere in this Epistle. See also Num. vii. 18.

(4). A second qualification for the High-priesthood lies in the divine call. He must be man, and he must be called by God. The fact of human sinfulness naturally leads to this complementary thought. Of himself a man could not presume to take upon him such an office. He could not draw near to God being himself sinful: still less could he draw near to God to intercede for others. At the 121 καλούμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ, καθώσπερ καὶ Ἀαρών. ⁵Οὕτως

καλούμενος (אABCD₂ syr hl: + *ὀ' καλ. S vg syr vg. καθὠσπερ א* ABD₂*: καθάπερ S א*. om. καὶ D₂* vg syr vg. Ἀαρών אABCD₂: + 'ο' Ά. S.

most he could only indicate in action the desire for fellowship with God.

ἑαυτῷ λαμβάνει] The idea of bold presumption does not lie in the phrase itself (Luke xix. 12), but in the context The unusual form οὐχ ἑαυτῷ τις corresponds with οὐχ ἑaυτόν which follows.

τὴν τιμήν) Latt. honorem, the office. So ή τιμή is used of the High-priesthood by Josephus: e.g.. Antt. iii. 8, 1.

ἀλλὰ καλούμ.] but being called (as called) he taketh it (λαμβάνες is to be supplied from the preceding λαμβάνει ἑαυτῷ).

The word καλεῖσθαι (comp. c. xi. 8) is specially used for the 'call' to the Christian Faith: c. ix. 15 (especially by St Paul and St Peter).

καθώσπερ καὶ Άαρών] Ex. xxviii. 1; Num. xvi.—xviii. Even Aaron himself, though specially marked out before (Ex. xvi. 33), did not assume the office without a definite call.

Aaron is the divine type of the High-priest, as the Tabernacle is of ritual service. He is mentioned in the N.T. besides only cc. vii. 11; ix. 4; (Lk. i. 5; Acts vii. 40).

From the time of Herod the succession to the High-priesthood became irregular and arbitrary and not confined to the line of Aaron (Jos. Antt. xv. 2, 4; xx. 9). Therefore the writer goes back to the divine ideal. The notoriousness of the High-priestly corruption at the time could not fail to give point to the language of the Epistle.

Schoettgen quotes from Bammidbar R. c. xviii.: Moses said [to Korah and his companions]: If Aaron my brother had taken the priesthood to himself ye would have done well to rise against him; but in truth God gave it to him, whose is the greatness and the power and the glory. Whosoever therefore rises against Aaron, does he not rise against God? (Wünsche, p. 441).

(2) Having characterised the office and qualifications of a High-priest generally, the writer now goes on to shew that Christ satisfied the qualifications (5—8), and fulfils the office (9, 10).

The proof is given in an inverted form. The divine appointment of Christ is established first (5, 6); and then His power of sympathy (7, 8); and lastly His office is described (9, 10).

This inversion, in an elaborate parallelism, is perfectly natural, and removes the appearance of formality.

⁵So Christ also glorified not Himself to become High-priest, but He that spake unto Him,

Thou art My Son,

I have today begotten Thee: —

⁶Even as He saith also in another place

Thou art a priest for ever,

After the order of Melchizedek:—

⁷Who, in His days of flesh (or in the days of His flesh) having offered up, with strong crying and tears, prayers and supplications unto Him that was able to save Him out of death, and having been heard for His godly fear, ⁸though He was Son yet learned obedience by the things which He suffered; ⁹and having been made perfect He became to all that obey Him the cause of eternal salvation, ¹⁰being addressed by God as High-priest after the order of Melchizedek.

5—8. The qualifications of Christ for the High-priesthood are established by His divine appointment (5, 6), and by His human discipline which became the ground of perfect sympathy (7, 8). 122 καὶ ὁ χριστὸς οὐχ ἑαυτὸν ἐδόξασεν γενηθῆναι ἀρχιερέα, ἀλλ' ὁ λαλήσας πρὸς αὐτόν Υἱός μου εἶ σύ, ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε. ⁶καθὼς καὶ ἐν ἑτέρω λέγει

5 γεννηθῆναι D₂*: γενέσθαι Α. 6 ἑτέρῳ + πάλιν D₂*.

(5), (6). The divine appointment of Christ is exhibited in two passages of the Psalms in which the Lord who declares Him to be His Son declares Him also to be 'High-priest after the order of Melchizedek.'

These two quotations from Ps. ii. 7; Ps. cx. 4 establish the source of the Lord's sovereign dignity as 'Son,' and mark the particular form in which this dignity has been realised. They correspond in fact to the two ideas ἐδόξασεν and γενηθῆναι ἀρχιερέα. The first passage which has been already quoted (i. 5) refers the glory of the Risen Christ, the exalted Son of man, to the Father. This glory is not exactly defined, but the position of sonship includes every special honour, kingly or priestly. He to whom this had been given could not be said to 'glorify himself.' The second quotation (Ps. cx. 4) defines the particular application of the first. The kingly priesthood of Melchizedek was promised to Christ. Such a priesthood naturally belongs to the exalted Son.

(5). οὕτως καὶ ὁ σριστός] So Christ (the Christ) also... The title of the office emphasises the idea of the perfect obedience of the Lord even in the fulness of His appointed work. It is not said that 'Jesus' glorified not Himself, but 'the Christ,' the appointed Redeemer, glorified not Himself.

Comp. iii. 14; vi. 1; ix. 14, 28; xi. 26 (ὁ χριστός); and iii. 6; ix. 11, 24 (χριστός).

οὐχ ἑαθ. ἐδόξ. γεν.] Vulg. non semetipsum clarificavit ut pontifex fieret. This fuller phrase, in place of the simple repetition of the words used before, 'took not to Himself the honour,' gives a distinct prominence to the general character of Christ's work. 'He glorified not Himself so as (in the assertion of this dignity) to become High-priest.' Christ, as sinless man, could approach God for Himself; but He waited for His Father's appointment that He might approach God as Son of man for sinful humanity. Comp. John viii. 54, 42; Acts iii. 13.

The High-priesthood, the right of mediation for humanity, was a 'glory' to 'the Son of man.' Comp. John xvii. 5.

ἀλλ' ὁ λαλ. πρὸς αὐτόν] but His Father glorified Him, that He should be made High-priest, even He that spake unto Him... (Ps. ii. 7 Κύριος εἶπεν πρός με).

σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε] Comp. i. 5 note. Hoc est dicere Ego semper et aeternaliter manens semper te habeo filium coaeternum mihi. Hodie namque adverbium est praesentis temporis quod proprie Deo competit (Prim., Herv.).

In connexion with the quotation from Ps. ii. 7 it must be observed that the lxx. translation of Ps. cix. (cx.) 3 gives a thought closely akin to it: ἐκ γαστρὸς πρὸ ἑωσφόρου ἐγέννησά σε, which was constantly cited by the Greek fathers as a true parallel.

(6). καθὼς καί...] The absolute declaration of the Sonship of Christ found a special application in these words of another Psalm. The definite office of Priesthood is a partial interpretation of the glory of the Son. 'The Father glorified the Son to become High-priest, even as in fact (καί) He expressly declares.' This glorifying was not a matter of general deduction only but definitely foreshewn. 123 Σὺ ἱερεὺς εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μελχισεδέκ.

σὺ + εἰ' vg syr hl me.

καθως καί] 1 Thess. v. 11; Eph. iv. 4.

ἐν ἑτέρῳ] probably neuter, in another place (Ps. cx. 4). Comp. iv. 5; 1 Clem. viii. 4 ἐν ἑτέρῳ τόπῳ λέγει.

Psalm cx. describes the Divine Saviour under three aspects as

King (1—3); Priest (4); Conqueror (5-7).

It is quoted in the Ν. T. to illustrate three distinct points in the Lord's Person.

(1) His Lordship and victory: Matt. xxii. 43 ff. and parallels (εἶπεν κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου...Eἰ οὖν Δαυεὶδ καλεῖ αὐτὸν κύριον...); 1 Cor. xv. 25; c. x. 12 f.

(2) His Exaltation at the right hand of God (κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου...): Acts ii. 34 f.; c. i. 13.

And this phrase underlies the many references to Christ's 'sitting' (Matt. xxvi. 64) and taking His seat (Mark xvi. 19 ἐκάθισεν) at the right hand of God.

(3) His Priesthood (ἱερεὺς εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα): v. 10 and in cc. vi. vii.

κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μ.] Vulg. secundum ordinem. Syr. after the likeness (cf. vii. 15 κατὰ τὴν ὁμοιότητα) — after the order, to occupy the same position, as priest at once and king (Hebr. rr). For τάξις see 2 Macc. ix. 18; the word is used very widely in classical Greek for the 'position,' 'station' of a slave, an enemy &c. Comp. Philo, de vit. Mos. iii. § 21 (ii. p. 161 Μ.) οὐ μία τάξις τῶν ἱερωμένων.

It is worth while to summarise the characteristic note in which Primasius enumerates three main points in which the High-priesthood of Christ was, like that of Melchizedek, contrasted with the High-priesthood of Aaron:

(1) It was not for the fulfllmont of legal sacrifices, sacrifices of bulls and goats; but for the offering of bread and wine, answering to Christ's Body and Blood. Animal offerings have ceased: these remain.

(2) Melchizedek combined the kingly with the priestly dignity: he was anointed not with oil but with the Holy Spirit.

(3) Melchizedek appeared once: so Christ offered Himself once.

Oecumenius, in almost the same form, marks the following points of resemblance in Melchizedek to Christ: ὅτι οὐ δι' ἐλαίου εἰς ἱερωσύνην ἐχρίσθη ὁ Μελχισεδὲκ ὡς Ἀαρών, καὶ ὅτι οὐ τὰς δι' αἴματος προσήγαγε θυσίας, καὶ ὅτι τῶν ἐθνῶν ἧν ἀρχιερεύς, καὶ ὅτι δι' ἄρτου καὶ οἴνου ηύλόγησεν τὸν Ἀβραάμ.

Two features in Melchizedek's priesthood appear to be specially present to the mind of the writer, (1) that it was connected with the kingly office, and (2) that it was not made dependent on any fleshly descent, or limited by conditions of time. Melchizedek had no recorded ancestry and no privileged line of descendants. He represented a non-Jewish, a universal priesthood. In relation to the Priesthood he occupies the position which Abraham occupies in relation to the Covenant. Comp. Zech. vi. 13.

No early Jewish writer applies this promise of the priesthood to Messiah. Justin (Dial. cc. 33, 83) and Tertullian (adv. Marc. v. 9) mention that the Psalm was referred by the Jews to Hezekiah. Compare Schoettgen, ii. 645. The Aboth R. Nathan from which he quotes an application of the words to Messiah is in its present form probably of post-Talmudical date (Zuns Gottesd. Vort. 108 f.; Steinschneider Jewish Literature, 40).

The Chaldee paraphrase of the verse (referring it to David) is remarkable: 'The Lord has determined that thou shalt be set Prince (Hebrew) over the world to come, for thy desert, because thou art an innocent king.'

εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα] Christ is a Priest for ever, because He has no successor, nor any need of a successor. His High-priestly 124ὅς ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ, δεήσεις τε καὶ

7 δε + ὥν D₂*. om. τε vg (syr vg) me.

Sacrifice, His High-priestly Entrance 'with Hie own blood' into heaven, to the presence of God, are 'eternal' acts, raised beyond all limits of time. Comp. ix. 12, 14; xiii. 20.

Here therefore there is no possibility of repetition, as in the Levitical sacrifices. All is 'one act at once,' while for men the virtue of Christ's sacrifice is applied in time.

Oecumenius understands the phrase of the perpetual memory of Christ's offering: οὐ γὰρ τὴν πρὸς ἅπαξ γενομένην ὑπὸ θεοῦ θυσίαν καὶ προσφορὰν εἶπεν ἅν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, ἀλλ' ἀφορῶν εἰς τοὺς νῦν ἱερουργοὺς δι' ὧν μέσων Χριστὸς ἱερουργεῖ καὶ ἱερουργεῖται, ὁ καὶ παραδοὺς αὐτοῖς ἐν τῷ μυστικῷ δείπνῳ τὸν τρόπον τῆς τοιαύτης ἱερουργίας.

Theophylact in much more careful language says: πῶς εἶπε τὸ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα; ὅτι καὶ νῦν μετὰ τοῦ σώματος. ὅ ὑπὲρ ἡμπων ἔθυσεν ἐντυγχάνει ὑπὲρ ἡμπων τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρὶ...ἥ ὅτι ἡ καθ' ἑκάστην γινομένη καὶ γενησομένη εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα προσφορὰ διὰ τῶν τοῦ θεοῦ λειτουργῶν αὐτὸν ἔχει ἀρχιερέα καὶ ἱερέα τὸν κύριον, καὶ ἱερεῖον ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἁγιάζοντα καὶ ταῦτα γίνεται ὁ θάνατος τοῦ κυρίου καταγγέλλεται.

7—10. The complicated sentence is divided into two main propositions by the two finite verbs (1) ὅς...προσενέγκας καὶ εἰσακουσθείς...ἔμαθεν... (2) καὶ τελειωθεὶς ἐγένετο. The first sentence describes the divine discipline through which Christ was perfected in His human nature: the second, the efficacy of the work which He was fitted to accomplish in His perfected humanity.

The great statement of the first sentence (ὅς ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τῆσ σαρκὸσ αὐτοῦ...ἔμαθεν ἀφ' ὧν ἔπαθεν τὴν ὑπακοήν) is enlarged by two subordinate statements which illustrate the character of the divine discipline (δεήσεις τε καὶ ἱκετ....αὐλαβείας), and Christ's unique nature (καίπερ ὥν θἱός). Of these the first is again elaborated in detail. The character (δεή. καὶ ἱκετ.), the object (πρὸς τὸν δ. σ. αὐ. ἐκ θ.), and the manner (μ. κρ. ἱ. κ. δ.) of Christ's prayers are vividly given; and the answer to them is referred to its moral cause (ἀπὸ τῆς εὐλ.).

If the words are arranged in a tabular form their symmetrical structure is at once evident:


⁷in His days of flesh,

having offered up,

with strong crying and tears,

prayers and supplications

unto Him that was able to save

Him out of death,

and having been heard

for His godly fear,

⁸though He was Son, yet

(1) learned obedience

by the things which He suffered;


having been made perfect,

(2) He became to all them that obey

Him, the cause of eternal salvation,

¹⁰being addressed by God, as

High-priest after the order of


(7), (8). Christ—the Son, the priest after the order of Melchizedek—has been shewn to have fulfilled one condition of true High-priesthood by His divine appointment: He is now shewn to have fulfilled the other, as having learnt through actual experience the uttermost needs of human weakness.

(7). ὅς] The relative goes back to the main subject of v. 5, Christ, who has been more fully described in the two intervening verses. Here there is no difficulty. Comp. 2 Thess. ii. 9; 1 Pet. iv. 11. In c. iii. 6 the ambiguity is greater, but there οὗ is to be 125 ἱκετηρίας πρὸς τὸν δυνάμενον σώζειν αὐτὸν ἐκ θανάτου μετὰ κραυγῆς ἱσχυρᾶς καὶ δακρύων προςενέγκας καὶ

referred to God and not to Χριστός. Comp. v. 11 note.

ἐν ταῖς ἡμ. τ. σ. α.] Vulg. in diebus carnis suae, Syr. when He was clothed with flesh. The pronoun may be taken either with τῆς σαρκός or with the compound phrase, in the days of His flesh. or in His days of flesh. The general meaning of the phrase is well given by Theodoret as describing 'the time when He had a mortal body' (ἡμέρας δὲ σαρκὸς τὸν τῆς θνητότητος ἔφη καιρόν, τουτέστιν ἡμίκα θνητὸν εἶχε τὸ σῶμα. Quamdiu habitavit in corpore mortali. Prlmas.).

'Flesh' here describes not that which is essential to true humanity (Luke xxiv. 39), but the general conditions of humanity in the present life: Gal. ii. 20; Phil. i. 22, 24: 1 Pet. iv. 2. Comp. 1 Cor. xv. 50; and (perhaps) c. x. 20.

οὐκ εἶπεν ἑμέρας σαρκός.....ὡς νῦν ἀποθεμένου αὐτοῦ τὴν σάρκα. ἄπαγε. ἔχει γὰρ αὐτὴν εἰ καὶ ὄφθαρτον. ἀλλ' ἡμέρας φησὶ σαρκὸς οἷον τὰς ἐν τῇ σαρκικῇ ζωῇ αὐτοῦ ἡμέρας (Oecum.). Comp. 2 Clem. v. 5 ἥ ἐπιδημία ἡ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ τούτῳ τῆς σαρκὸς ταύτης μικρά ἐστιν καὶ ὀλιγοχρόνιος.

We can indeed form no clear conception of 'immortal,' 'incorruptible' flesh; but the phrase represents to us the continuance under new conditions of all that belongs to the perfection of our nature.

The words ἐν ρ. ἡμ. τ. σ. stand in contrast with τελειωθείς. It is not said or implied that the conflict of Christ continued in the same form throughout His earthly life. A contrast is drawn between the period of His preparation for the fulness of His Priestly work, and the period of His accomplishment of it after His 'consummation.'

ταῖς ἡμέραις] The use of the term 'days' for 'time' or 'season' seems to suggest the thought of the changing circumstances of life (comp. Matt. xxviii. 20).

Compare also c. x. 32; i. 2.

For the plural see c. i. 2; x. 32; Eph. v. 16; 2 Tim. iii. 1 (ἔσχαται ἡμ.); James v. 3 (ἔσχ. ήμ.); 1 Pet. iii. 20; 2 Pet. iii. 3; Apoc. ii. 13 &c.

προσ. καὶ εἰςακουσθείς] These participles have been interpreted as preparatory to ἔμαθεν ('after He had offered...He learnt), or as explanatory and confirmatory of it ('in that He offered.. .He learnt'). Usage and the gradual development of the thought favour the first view. The 'obedience' of Christ was slowly fashioned through prayer, which was answered for His reverent devotion.

δεήσεις τε καὶ ἱκετ.] Vulg. preces supplicationesque. The first word δέησις is the general term for a definite request (e.g. James v. 16). The second ἱκετηρία (here only in Ν. T. in which no other word of its group is used) describes the supplication of one in need of protection or help in some overwhelming calamity. The one (δέησις) is expressed completely in words: the other (ἱκετηρία, properly an olive branch entwined with wool borne by suppliants) suggests the posture and external form and emblems of entreaty (comp. Mark xiv. 35).

The two words are combined Job xi. 22 (lxx.) (xli. 3); comp. Philo de Cher. § 13 (i. p. 147 M.). The difference between them is shewn strikingly in a letter of Agrippa given by Philo, Leg. ad Caium § 36 (ii. p. 586 M.) γραφὴ δὲ μηνύσει μου τὴν δέησιν ἥν ἀνθ' ἱκετηρίας προτείνω. Comp. 2 Macc. ix. 18.

πρὸς τὸν δυν.] The clause has been taken with δεήσεις καὶ ἱκετηρίας, but the general structure of the sentence, which appears to mark each element in the supplication separately, points to the connexion with the participle 126 (προσενέγκας); and the unusual construction of προσφ. πρός (for dat.) may be compared with γνωριζέσθω πρός (Phil. iv. 6 with Lightfoot's note). The prayers of the Son were directed Godward, each thought was laid open in the sight of Him who was able to save out of death.

σώζειν ἐκ θαν.] to save out of death, Vulg. salvum facere a morte. Syr. to quicken him from death. The phrase covers two distinct ideas, 'to save from physical death so that it should be escaped,' 'to bring safe out of death into a new life.' In the first sense the prayer recorded in John xii. 27 was not granted, that it might be granted in the second.

Σώζειν ἐκ does not necessarily imply that that is actually realised out of which deliverance is granted (comp. 2 Cor. i. 10), though it does so commonly (John xii. 27; and cxx. in Bleck).

In σώζειν ἐκ (James v. 20; Jude 5) the dominant thought is of the peril in which the sufferer is immersed (contrast σώζειν εἰς 2 Tim. iv. 18); in σώζειν ἀπό (Matt. i. 21; Acts ii. 40; Rom. v. 9), of the peril from which he is rescued. Compare λυτροῦσθαι ἐκ 1 Pet. i. 18; λυτρ. ἀπό Tit. ii. 14; and ῥύσασθαι ἐκ Luke i. 74; Rom. vii. 24; 2 Cor. i. 10; Col. i. 13; 1 Thess. i. 10; 2 Tim. iii. 11; 2 Pet. ii. 9; ῥύσασθαι ἀπό Matt. vi. 13; Rom. xv. 31; 2 Thess. iii. 2; both constructions are found together 2 Tim. iv. 17, 18.

The force of the present σώζειν will be seen in contrast with σῶσαι Luke xix. 10.

μετὰ κραυγῆς ἰσχ.] Vulg. cum clamore valido. The passage finds a striking illustration in a Jewish saying: 'There are three kinds of prayers each loftier than the preceding: prayer, crying, and tears. Prayer is made in silence: crying with raised voice; but tears overcome all things ['there is no door through which tears do not pass']' Synopsis Sohar ap. Schoettgen ad loc.

There can be little doubt that the writer refers to the scene at Gethsemane; but the mention of these details of 'the loud cry' 'and tears' (John xi. 35 ἐδάκρυσεν; Luke xix. 41 ἔκλαυσεν), no less than the general scope of the passage, suggests the application of the words to other prayers and times of peculiar trial in the Lord's life. Compare John xi. 33 ff.; xii. 27 f.; (Matt. xxvii. 46, 50).

There is a tradition that originally the High-priest on the Day of Atonement, when he offered the prayer for forgiveness in the Holy of Holies, uttered the name of God with a loud voice so that it could be heard far off. Comp. Maimon. ap. Delitzsch, Hebr. ii. p. 471 (E. Tr.).

κραυγή] The loud cry of deeply-stirred feeling of joyful surprise: Lc. i. 42; Mt. xxv. 6; of partisan applause: Acts xxiii. 9; of grief: Apoc. xxi. 4 (not Apoc. xiv. 18); of anger: Eph. iv. 31. Compare Ps. xxii. 24 (lxx.); and see also κράζω in Gal. iv. 6; Rom. viii 15.

μετὰ...δακρύων] c. xii. 17; Acts xx. 31: (not Mk. ix. 24). Compare Hos. xii. 4.

Epiphanius (Ancor. 31) seems to use Ι«λανσ< as a general periphrasis of the passage in St Luke (xxii. 43): οὐ μόνον γὰρ τὰ ἡμῶν βάρη ἀνεδέξατο ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐλθὼν ὁ ἅγιος Λόγος ἀλλὰ καὶ ὑπὸ ἀφὴν ἐγένετο καὶ σάρκα ἔλαβε...ἀλλὰ καὶ ἔκλαυσε. καῖται ἐν τῷ κατὰ Λοῦκαν εὐαγγελίῳ ἐν τοῖς ἀδιορθώτοις ἀντεγράφοις...καὶ γενόμενος ἐν ἀγωνίᾳ...καὶ ὤφθη ἄγγελος ἐνισχύων αὐτόν.

The question has been asked for what did Christ pray? (περὶ τίνων ἐδεήθη; περὶ τῶν πιστευσάντων εἰς αὐτόν Chrys.). Perhaps it is best to answer generally, for the victory over death the fruit of sin. This was the end of His work, and to this end every part of it contributed. Under this aspect the conditional prayers for His own deliverance (Matt. xxvi. 39 and parallels; John xii. 27) become intelligible. And the due connexion is established between the prayer at 127 εἰσακουσθεὶς ἀπὸ τῆς εὐλαβείας, ⁸καίπερ ὥν υἱός, ἔμαθεν

ἀκουσθείς D₂*.

the Agony, and the High-priestly prayer which preceded it. The general truth is admirably expressed by the Latin commentators: Omnia autem quae ipse egit in carne preces supplicationesque fuerunt pro peccatis humani generis. Sacra vero sanguinis ejus effusio clamor fuit validus in quo exanditus est a deo patre pro sua reverentia, hoc est, voluntaria obedientia et perfectissima caritate (Prim., Herv.).

προσενέγκας] Comp v. 1, note. Perhaps the use of the ritual word (προσεωέγκας) of the Lord's prayers on earth points to the true sacrificial character of spiritual service: c. xiii. 15. The combination προσφέρειν δέησιν occurs in late Greek writers. See Lexx.

εἰσακουσθεὶς ἀπο τῆς εὐλαβείας] having been heard for His godly fear, O. L. exauditus a metu (all. ab illo metu v. propter timorem), Vulg. exauditus est pro sua reverentia. The Syr. transfers the words ἀπὸ τῆς εὐλ. from this clause to the next, learnt obedience from fear and the sufferings which He bore. True prayer—the prayer which must be answered—is the personal recognition and acceptance of the divine will (John xiv. 7: comp. Mark vi. 24 ἐλάβετε). It follows that the hearing of prayer, which teaches obedience, is not so much the granting of a specific petition, which is assumed by the petitioner to be the way to the end desired, but the assurance that what is granted does most effectively lead to the end. Thus we are taught that Christ learnt that every detail of His Life and Passion contributed to the accomplishment of the work which He came to fulfil, and so He was most perfectly 'heard.' In this sense He was 'heard for His godly fear' (εὐλάβεια).

The word εὐλάβεια occurs again in c. xii. 28 (only in N.T.) and the verb in c. xi. 7. It is very rare in the lxx. Josh. xxii. 24 (Hebrew); Prov. xxviii. 14; Wisd. xvii. 8. The adj. εὐλαβής is found Lev. xv. 31; Mic. vii. 2, v. l. The verb εὐλαβεῖσθαι is more frequent and represents no less than a dozen Hebrew words. Εὐλάβεια marks that careful and watchful reverence which pays regard to every circumstance in that with which it has to deal. It may therefore degenerate into a timid and unworthy anxiety (Jos. Antt. vi. 2, 179); but more commonly it expresses reverent and thoughtful shrinking from over-boldness, which is compatible with true courage: Philo, Quis rer. div. haer. § 6 (i. 476 M.) σκόπει πάλιν ὅτι εὐλαβείᾳ τὸ θαρρεῖν ἀνακέκραται. id. p. 477 μήτε ἄνευ εὐλαβείας παρρησιάζεσθαι μήτε ἀπαρρησιάστως εἰλαβεῖσθαι. Here the word in its noblest sense is singularly appropriate. Prayer is heard as it is 'according to God's will' (1 John v. 14 f.), and Christ by His εὐλάβεια perfectly realised that submission which is obedience on one side and fellowship on the other.

Primasius has an interesting note: pro sua reverentia: hoc est propter voluntariam obedientiam et perfectissimam caritatem...Notandum autem quia reverentia, secundum sententiam Cassiodori, accipitur aliquando pro amore, aliquando pro timore: hic vero pro summa ponitur caritate qua Filius Dei nos dilexit et pro summa obedientia qua fuit obediens Patri usque ad mortem.

The Greek Fathers take a less wide view. E.g. πλὴν μὴ τὸ ἐμὸν θέλημα ἀλλὰ τὸ σόν...ἧν ὡς ἀληθῶς πολλῆς εὐλαβείας...εἰσηκούσθη τοίνυν ὁ Χριστὸς οὐκ ἀπὸ τῆς παραιτήσεως ἀλλ' ἀπὸ τῆς εὐλαβείας (Oecum.).

The sense 'heard and set free from His fear' or 'from the object of His fear' is wholly untenable. For the 128 ἀφ' ὧν ἔπαθεν τὴν ὑπακοήν, ⁹καὶ τελειωθεὶς ἐγένετο

use of ἀπό see Luke xix. 3; xxiv. 41; Acts xii. 14; xxii. 11; John xxi 6.

(8). καίπερ ὥν υἱός...] though He was Son...The clause has been taken with the words which precede ('being heard not as Son but for His godly fear'), and with those which follow ('though Son went through the discipline of suffering to obedience'). The latter connexion is most in accordance with the whole scope of the passage. Though Son and therefore endowed with right of access for Himself to the Father, being of one essence with the Father, for man's sake as man He won the right of access for humanity. In one sense it is true that the idea of Sonship suggests that of obedience; but the nature of Christ's Sonship at first sight seems to exclude the thought that He should learn obedience through suffering.

For καίπερ see c. vii. 5; xii. 17; Phil. iii. 4; 2 Pet. i. 12.

In v. 5 the title 'Son' has been used of the Sonship of the exalted Christ in His twofold nature. Here it is used of the eternal, divine relation of the Son to the Father. There is a similar transition from one aspect to the other of the unchanged Personality of the Lord in i. 1—4. The Incarnation itself corresponds with and implies (if we may so speak) an immanent Sonship in the Divine Nature. Thus, though it may be true that the title Son is used of the Lord predominantly (at least) in connexion with the Incarnation, that of necessity carries our thoughts further. Comp. John v. 19 ff.

Chrysostom gives a personal application to the lesson: εἰ ἐκεῖνος υἱὸς ὥν ἐκέρδανεν ἀπὸ τῶν παθημάτων τὴν ὑπακοὴν πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἡμεῖς.

ἔμαθεν...τὴν ὑπακ.] learned obedience...The spirit of obedience is realised through trials, seen at least to minister to good. Sufferings in this sense may be said to teach obedience as they confirm it and call it out actively. The Lord 'learned obedience through the things which He suffered,' not as if the lesson were forced upon Him by the necessity of suffering, for the learning of obedience does not imply the conquest of disobedience as actual, but as making His own perfectly, through insight into the Father's will, that self-surrender which was required, even to death upon the cross (comp. Phil. ii. 8).

The Lord's manhood was (negatively) sinless and (positively) perfect, that is perfect relatively at every stage; and therefore He truly advanced by 'learning' (Luke ii. 52; 40 πληρούμενου), while the powers of His human Nature grew step by step in a perfect union with the divine in His one Person.

τὴν ὑπακοήν] obedience in all its completeness, the obedience which answers to the idea. It is not said that the Lord 'learned to obey.' For the difference between ἔμαθεν τὴν ὑπακ. and ἔμ. ὑπακ. see 1 John iii. 10 note; and contrast 2 Cor. x. 5 εἰς τὴν ὑπακ. τ. χρ. with Rom. i. 5 εἰς ὑπακ. πιστ. The word 'obedience' contains a reference to the occasion of sin. Man's fall was due to disobedience: his restoration comes through obedience. Comp. Rom. v. 19.

The alliteration in the phrase ἔμαθεν ἀφ' ὧν ἔπαθεν is common in Greek literature from the time of Herodotus downwards: Hdt. i. 207 τὰ δέ μοι παθήματα ἐόντα ἀχάριστα μαθήματα γέγονεν. Aesch. Agam. v. 177 πάθει μάθος (comp. v. 250); Philo, de Somn. ii. § 15 (i. 673 Μ.) ἀναφθέγξεται ὅ (so read, not ) παθὼν ἀκριβῶς ἔμαθεν. de spec. leg. 6 (ii. 340 Μ.) ἵνα ἐκ τοῦ παθεῖν μάθῃ. Wetstein has collected many examples.

(9), (10). Christ, it has been seen, satisfies the conditions of High-priesthood. He has received divine appointment: He is inspired with the 129 πᾶσιν τοῖς ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ αἴτιος σωτηρίας αἰωνίου,

9 πᾶσιν τ. ὑπ. αὐτῷ אABCD₂ vg syrr me: τ. ὑπ. αὐ. πᾶσιν S.

completest sympathy. But His High-priesthood goes immeasurably beyond that of the Levitical system in its efficacy. As He is in His humanity superior to Moses (c. iii. 1 ff. note), so He is superior to Aaron. The one fact has been affirmed directly (iii. 5 f.): the other fact is shewn in a type (Melchizedek). And this superiority is further shown in the action of Christ as High-priest. The Levitical High-priest entered into the Holy of Holies through the blood of goats and calves, but Christ through His own blood to the presence of God Himself (comp. c. ix. 11 ff.). Yet further, the reference to Ps cx. necessarily includes the thought of the Royal priesthood which is developed afterwards.

(9). καὶ τελειωθείς...] and having been made perfect... Vulg. et consummatus... Syr. and thus was perfected and... Comp. ii. 10 note.

This perfection was seen on the one side in the complete fulfilment of man's destiny by Christ through absolute self-sacrifice, and on the other in His exaltation to the right hand of God, which was in the divine order its due consequence. Comp. c. ii. 9 διὰ τὸ πάθημα. Phil. ii. 9. Thus the word, which carries with it the conception of Christ's complete preparation for the execution of His priestly office, suggests the contrast between His priestly action and that of Aaron.

ἐγένετο] became in the fulfilment of what we conceive of as a natural law. It is said 'became' and not 'becomes' or 'is,' because on the divine side and in the eternal order the issue of Christ's work is complete. For γενέσθαι see v. 5; i. 4; ii. 17; vi. 20 vii. 22, 26.

Comp. Rom. viii. 29 f.; Col. iii. 1 ff.

πᾶσιν τοῖς ὑπακούουσιν] to all that obey Him, Gentiles as well as Jews. Comp. John i. 7. In this connexion continuous active obedience is the sign of real faith (contrast iv. 3 οἱ πιστεύσαντες). The obedience of the believer to Christ answers to the obedience of the Son to the Father. By obedience fellowship is made complete. Si obedientia Filii causa est salutis humanae, quanta nobis necessitas est obedire Deo, ut dignl inveniamur ejus salutis quam nobis per Filium proprium donavit (Atto).

αἴτιος σωτ. αἰων.] the cause of eternal salvation, Latt. causa salutis aiternae. In ii. 10 the word corresponding to αἴτιος is ἀρχηγός. There the thought was of Christ going before the 'many sons' with whom He unites Himself. Here the thought is of that which He alone does for them. In the former passage He is the great Leader who identifies Himself with His people: in this He is the High-priest who offers Himself as an effectual sacrifice on their behalf.

The word αἴτιος does not occur elsewhere in N.T. Comp. 1 Sam. xxii. 22; 2 Macc. xiii. 4; Bel 42.

The phrase αἴτιος σωτηρίας is used by Philo of the brazen serpent (De agric. § 22, i. 315), and of Noah in relation to his sons (De nobil. § 3, ii. 440). Comp. De vit. cont. § 11 (ii. 485 M.). It is found not unfrequently in classical writers: e.g. Demosth. De Rhod. libert. § 4 (p. 191) μόνοι τῶν πάντων τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτοῖς αἰώνιον.

σωτ. αἰων.] This spiritual, eternal, divine deliverance answers to the external and temporal deliverance which Moses wrought. The phrase is not found elsewhere in Ν. T.

Comp. Is. xlv. 17 Ἰσραὴλ σώζεται ὑπὸ κυρίου σωτηρίαν αἰώνιον (תשועת עולמים).

The phrase corresponds with ζωὴ αἰώνιος (comp. 1 John v. 20, Addit. Note). Compare also c. vi. 2 κρίμα 130 ¹⁰προσαγορευθεὶς ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἀρχιερεὺς κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μελχισεδέκ.

10 ἀρχ. + εἰς τὸν αἰῶνά (syr hl) me.

αἰώνιον. ix. 12 αἰωνία λύτρωσις. 15 ἡ αἰώνιος κληρονομία. xiii. 20 διαθήκη αἰώνιος.

The words with which αἰώνιος is used in other books of the Ν. T. throw light upon its meaning: πῦρ Matt. xviii. 8; xxv. 41 (τὸ π. τὸ αἰ.); Jude 7 (π. αἰ.); κόλασις Matt xxv. 46; σκηνή Luke xvi. 9 (αἱ. αἰ. σκ.); βασιλεία 2 Pet. i. 11 (ἡ αἰ. β.); ὅλεθρος 2 Thess. i. 9; παράκλησις 2 Thess. ii. 16; χρόνοι Rom. xvi. 25; 2 Tim. i. 9; Tit. i. 2; θεός Rom. xvi. 20 (ὁ αἰ. θ.); κράτος 1 Tim. vi. 16; δόξα 2 Tim. ii. 10; 1 Pet. v. 10 (ἡ αἰ. δ.); εὐαγγέλιον Apoc. xiv. 6.

The double correspondence of σώζειν, ὑπακοήν (vv. 7, 8) with ὑπακούουσιν, σωτηρίας is to be noticed. Three brief notes of Greek commentators deserve to be quoted:

τελείωσιν τὴν ἀνάστασιν καὶ τὴν ἀθανασίαν ἐκάλεσε. τοῦτο γὰρ τῆς οἰκονομίαν τὸ πέρας (Theod.).

ἄρα οὖν τελείωσις διὰ τῶν παθημάτων γίνεται. πῶς οὖν ὑμεῖς δυσχεραίνετε ἐπὶ ταῖς τελειοποιοῖς θλίψεσιν; (Theoph.).

ὁρᾷς ὅσα περὶ ὑπακοῆς διαλέγεται ὥστε πείθεσται αὐτούς; δοκοῦσι γάρ μοι συνεχῶς ἀφηνιάζειν καὶ τοῖς λεγομένοις μὴ παρακολουθεῖν (Chrys.).

(10). προσαγορευθεὶς...ἀρχ.] being addressed by God as High-priest...O. L. vocatus (pronunciatus) sacerdos (princeps sacerdotum). Vulg. vocatus pontifex. The title (High-priest) is involved in the words of Ps. cx. v. 4 and v. 1 taken together; comp. vi. 20. A royal priesthood is there combined with admission to the immediate Presence of God (sit...at my right hand), which was the peculiar privilege of the High-priest. At the same time the peculiar character of this priesthood (after the order of Melchizedek) includes the pledge of its eternal efficacy (eternal salvation). Comp. c vii. 16 f. The word προσαγορεύειν (here only in N.T.) expresses the formal and solemn ascription of the title to Him to whom it belongs ('addressed as,' 'styled'). Comp. 1 Macc. xiv. 40; 2 Macc. iv. 7; x. 9; xiv. 37; 1 Clem. 10, 17. Philo, de migr. Abr. § 24 (ii. 19 Μ.) πατὴρ μὲν τῶν ὅλων ὁ μέσος, ὅς ἐν ταῖς ἱεραῖς γραφαῖς κυρίῳ ὀνόματι καλεῖται ὁ Ὥν, αἱ δὲ παρ' ἐκάτερα πρεσβύταται καὶ ἐγγύταται τοῦ ὄντος δυνάμεις, ὧν ἡ μὲν ποιητικὴ ἡ δ' αδ βασιλικὴ προσαγορεύεται. καὶ ἡ μὲν ποιητικὴ θεός...ἡ δὲ βασιλικὴ κύριος...

ii. Progress in patient effort (v. 11—vi. 20).

The general view which has been given of the Divine High-priest, of His office and of His qualifications, of His power of sympathy and of His direct appointment by God, leads naturally to a consideration of the obligations which this revelation imposes upon those to whom it is made. The highest truth is not to be mustered at once, nor without serious and continuous effort It can only be grasped in virtue of a corresponding growth in those to whom it is addressed. There is always, in the case of those who have learnt somewhat, the danger of resting in their attainment, which is a fatal relapse. Yet we are encouraged by past experience to hold our hope firmly; and the promise of God remains sure beyond the possibility of failure.

These general thoughts are unfolded in four sections. (1) The mention of Melchizedek calls up the difficulties connected with his priesthood which the Hebrews were not prepared to meet. They had become stationary and therefore had lost the power of receiving higher teaching (v. 11—14). (2) Such a condition illustrates the paramount duty of Christian progress, and the perils of relapse (vi. 1—8). 131 ¹¹Περὶ οὖ πολὺς ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος καὶ δυσερμήνευτος

11 + καὶ' (περί) D₂*. om. ὁ' (λόγος) D₂*.

(3) At the same time the frank recognition of danger does not exclude the consolation of hope (vi. 9—12). And (4) though God requires patience from men, His promise can never fail (13—20).

It is of deep interest to observe that here for the second time the writer pauses when the subject of Christ's priestly work rises before him. He announced this subject in ii. 17, and directly turned aside from it to enforce the lessons of Israel's failure. He returned to the subject in iv. 14, and, after a fuller exposition of its outlines, he now again interrupts his argument to insist on the strenuous labour which believers must undertake that they may rightly enter into it.

Chrysostom says justly: ὅρα γοῦν αὐτὸν συνεχῶς ὠδίνοντα τὸν περὶ τοῦ ἀρχιερέως εἰσαγαγεῖν λόγον καὶ ἀεὶ ἀναβαλλόμενον...ἐπεὶ οὖν τοσαυτάκις ἐξεκρούσθη, ὡσανεὶ ἀπολογούμενός φησιν ἡ αἰτία παρ' ὑμᾶς.

(1) Stationariness in religious life and its consequences (v. 11—14).

The life of faith is like the natural life. It has appropriate support in its different stages. Healthy growth enables us to appropriate that which we could not have received at an earlier stage. But this general law carries with it grave consequences. (a) The period of first discipleship may be misused, as by the Hebrews, so that we remain still mere 'babes' when it is past (11, 12). And so (b) when the time comes for maturer instruction we may be unprepared to apprehend it (13, 14).

¹¹Of whom (which) we hate many things to say and hard of interpretation since ye are become dull in your hearing. ¹²For when ye ought to be teachers by reason of the time, ye again have need that some one teach you the elements of the first principles of the oracles of God; and ye are become in need of milk, (and) not of solid food. ¹³For every one that partaketh of milk is without experience in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. ¹⁴But solid food is for full-grown men, even those who in virtue of their state have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.

(a) The Hebrews have failed to grow with years (11, 12).

(11) f. The difficulty of unfolding the truth of Christ's High-priestly office typified in Melchizedek is due to the spiritual state of the Hebrews. They are still babes when they ought to have advanced to ripe intelligence.

The character of the complaint seems to indicate clearly that the Epistle could not have been addressed to a large body as a whole, but to some section of it (comp. xiii. 17) consisting, as it appears, of men in the same general circumstances of age, position and opinion.

(11). περὶ οὖ πολὺς ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος...] Of whom (which). Vulg. De quo grandis nobis sermo...The relative is ambiguous. It may mean concerning which, i.e. the High-priestly dignity of Christ, or concerning whom. In the latter case the antecedent may be Christ (περὶ οὖ χριστοῦ Oecum.) or Melchizedek (Pesh. about this Melchizedek) or (as a complex subject) Christ a High-priest after the order of Melchizedek (vi. 20; comp. ὅς v. 7).

The reference to Melchizedek simply appears to be too limited. Although Melchizedek is afterwards spoken of in detail (vii. 1 ff.), the mysteries to which the apostle refers do not lie properly in his person, but in Him whom he foreshadowed; and, again, the reference to Christ generally 132 λέγειν, ἐπεὶ νωθροὶ γεγόνατε ταῖς ἀκοαῖς. ¹²καὶ γὰρ

is too vague. Hence it seems best to interpret the οὖ of Christ as typified by Melchizedek, or of Melchizedek as a type of Christ. Christ's Priesthood and Sacrifice is the main and most difficult subject of the Epistle; and this is foreshadowed in Melchizedek, whose significance was overlooked by the Jewish interpreters (e.g. Bereshith R.). In regard to the general sense it makes no difference whether the οὖ be neuter or masculine (with this reference), but the neuter is less in the style of the Epistle.

It will be observed that, while the writer of the Epistle recognises the difficulty of his theme, he declares no less plainly that he must deal with it. He speaks of the discourse, the teaching (ὁ λόγος), which (he implies) it is his duty and his purpose to deliver. There is no indication that the fulfilment of his design is contingent on those whom he addresses. His part must be done, however hard it may be to do it. In this respect he identifies himself with the society which he represents (ἡμῖν).

δυσερμήωευτος] hard of interpretation: Vulg. ininterpretabilis ad dicendum: hard for a writer to express, so that it will be fully understood. The difficulty of the interpreter lies in the small capacity of his audience. The addition of λέγειν, which corresponds with the image in ταῖς ἀκοαῖς, shows decisively, as is otherwise most natural, that the difficulty is considered with regard to him who has to make the exposition and not to those who have to receive it.

The sense is rightly given by the early commentators: ὅταν τις πρὸς ἀντρώπους ἔχῃ (l. λέγῃ) μὴ παρακολουθοῦντας μηδὲ τὰ λεγόμενα νοοῦντας ἑρμηνεῦσαι καλῶς αὐτοῖς οὐ δύναται (Chrys.).

Difficultas interpretandi...non fuit in ejus ignorantia cui revelata sunt mysteria a seculis abscondita sed potius in illorum tarditate qui imbecilles, i.e. infirmi in fide...(Primas., Herv.).

Philo speaks of seeing the unchanging beauty of the ideal world, ἀλέκτῳ τινὶ καὶ δυσερμηνεύτῳ θέᾳ (De Somn. i. § 32; i. 649 M.).

ἐπεὶ νωθροὶ γεγόνατε...] since ye are become dull of hearing, Vulg. quoniam imbecilles facti estis ad audiendum...The difficulty of which the apostle has spoken came from the fault of the Hebrews. They had become with years less quick in understanding and not more quick according to a natural and healthy development. Compare Chrysostom: τὸ εἰπεῖν ἐπεὶ νωθροὶ γεγόνατε ταῖς ἀκοαῖς δηλοῦντος ἧν ὅτι πάλαι ὑγίαινον καὶ ἧσαν ἰσχυροί, τῇ προφυμίᾳ ζέοντες (c. x. 3), καὶ ὕστερον αὐτοὺς τοῦτο παθεῖν μαρτυρεῖ.

As yet however this dulness had not extended to action though such an issue was not far off (c. vi. 12; comp. 2 Pet. ii. 20). Ὅρα δέ, writes Chrysostom, πῶς μέχρις ἀκοῆς τὴν νωθρότητα ἔστησε.

For νωθροί see c. vi. 12. The word is found in lxx., Prov. xxii. 29; Ecclus. iv. 29; xi. 12. The plural αἱ ἀκοαί expresses the powers of hearing. Comp. Mk. vii. 35.

ἐπεί] since, seeing. The conjunction is of frequent use in the Epistle, in which the strengthened form ἐπειδή is not found. See ii. 14; iv. 6; v. 2; vi. 13; ix. 17, 26; x. 2; xi. 11. It expresses a fact which influences a result, yet not so that the result is the direct and necessary consequence of it (ὅτι).

(12). The fault of the Hebrews is clearly defined. When by reason of the time—because they had been Christians so long,—they ought to have been teachers, they were themselves in need of elementary teaching. For καὶ γάρ see iv. 2 note; for ὀφείλοντες, 133 ὀφείλοντες εἶναι διδάσκαλοι διὰ τὸν χρόνον, πάλιν χρείαν ἔχετε τοῦ διδάσκειν ὑμᾶς τινὰ τὰ στοιχεῖα τῆς ἀρχῆς τῶν λογίων τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ γεγόνατε χρείαν ἔχοντες

12 λογίων: λόγων D₂* (vg syrr me).

ii. 17; v. 3 notes; and for διὰ τὸν χρόνον compare v. 14 διὰ τὴν ἔξιν.

On διδάσκαλος Bengel says 'vocabulum non muneris sed facultatis.'

π. χρείαν ἔχετε τοῦ διδ. ὑμᾶς τινὰ τὰ στ.] ye have need again that some one teach you the elements... The τινα is ambiguous. It may be treated as an interrogative (τίνα): 'that one teach you what are the rudiments...' (so Vulg. Syr. Orig. Cyr.), or as the indefinite pronoun (τινά). In spite of the ancient authority for the first rendering, the second seems to be preferable (comp. 1 Thess. iv. 9). It gives a sharper antithesis to διδάσκαλοι εἶναι. And it could hardly be said the Hebrews required to learn what the elements of the Faith were. They knew what they were though they did not know them.

The constructions of χρείαν ἔχειν are singularly varied. The phrase is used absolutely (Mk. ii. 25; Acts ii. 45; 1 Cor. xii. 24; Eph. iv. 28; 1 John iii. 17); with an object in the genitive (γάλακτος, c. x. 36 &c.); with the simple infinitive (1 Thess. i. 8; v. 1; Matt. iii. 14 &c.); with ἵνα (John ii. 25; xvi. 30; 1 John ii. 27); and here only with the infinitive and article.

The phrase τὰ στοιχεῖα τῆς ἀρχῆς τῶν λογίων τοῦ θεοῦ (Vulg. elementa exordii sermonum Dei) is very remarkable. Even 'the beginning,' the simplest fruitful presentation of the Gospel, is complex. The divine message includes from the first distinct elements which require to grow together. It is one, not as monotonous, but in virtue of a vital unity.

'The beginning of the oracles of God' corresponds with 'the beginning of Christ' (vi. 1). Τῆς ἀρχῆς is not in either place to be separated from the genitive which follows as if it could have one adjectival sense, 'the first elements,' 'the first teaching.'

τὰ στοιχεῖα] the rudiments, the first, simplest, elements of which anything consists: 'the alphabet' of a subject.

The word occurs elsewhere in the N.T. of the material elements of the universe: 2 Pet. iii. 10, 12; and metaphorically: Gal. iv. 3, 9; Col. ii. 8, 20.

τῶν λογίων τοῦ θεοῦ] Rom. iii. 2. Comp. 1 Pet. iv. 11; Acts vii. 38. The phrase might refer to the new revelation given by Christ to His apostles (comp. c. i. 2); but it seems more natural to refer it to the collected writings of the O.T. which the Hebrew Christians failed to understand and so, through mistaken loyalty to the past, were in danger of apostasy.

For the patristic use of λόγιον, which is common in lxx., see Euseb., H. E. iii. 39; 1 Clem. 19, 53; Polyc. ad Phil. 8.

γεγόνατε χρείαν ἔχοντες] Vulg. facti estis quibus lacte opus sit. The change of expression from σρείαν ἔχετε is most significant. Χρείαν ἔχετε describes the simple fact: this phrase points out a fact which is the result of degeneracy. The Hebrews had through their own neglect become young children again. So Chrysostom: οὺκ εἶπε χρείαν ἔχετε ἀλλὰ γεγόνατε χρείαν ἔχοντες..., τουτέστιν, ὑμεῖς ἡθελήσατε, ὑμεῖς ἑαυτοὺς εἰς τοῦτο κατεστήσατε, εἶς ταύτην τὴν χρείαν.

γάλα...στερεὰ τροφή] milk...solid food...There has been much discussion as to what should be understood by these terms respectively. The early commentators generally supposed that 'milk,' the food of young converts, was the teaching on 'the Lord's 134 γάλακτος, T oὐ στερεᾶς τροφῆς. ¹³πᾶς γὰρ ὁ μετέχων γάλακτος ἄπειρος λόγου δικαιοσύνης, νήπιος γάρ ἐστιν.

12 καὶ

καὶ οὐ אABD₂ syrr: om. καί ­­אC vg me. 13 *δικ. + ἐστίν D₂*. νηπ. γ. + ἀκμήν D₂*.

humanity,' and His Resurrection and Ascension, while 'the solid food' was the more mysterious teaching on His Godhead. Thus, for example, Primasius: Lac simplicis doctrinae est incarnatio filii Dei, passio, resurrectio illius, ascensio ad caelum: solidus vero cibus perfecti sermonis est mysterium trinitatis, quomodo tres sunt in personis et unum in substantia deitatis.

The true explanation lies in vi. 1 ff.

The respective topics of the two stages of teaching are not spoken of as more or less essential or important.

That which corresponds with the 'milk' is in fact 'the foundation.' The 'milk' and 'solid food' are appropriate to different periods of growth. The older Christian ought to be able to assimilate fresh and harder truths.

γάλακτος...] In Rabbinic language young students were called 'sucklings' (Hebrewmpwn). See Schoettgen on 1 Pet. ii. 2. Comp. 1 Cor. iii. 2, Is. xxviii.

The image occurs in Philo: De agric. § 2 (i. 301 Μ.) νηπίοις μέν ἐστι γάλα τροφή, τελείοις δὲ τὰ ἐκ πυρπων πλεμματα. De leg. Spec. § 36 (ii. 332 M.). Compare also a remarkable parallel in Arrian: οὐ θέλεις ἥδη ὡς τὰ παιδία ἀπογαλακτισθῆναι καὶ ἄπτεσθαι στερεᾶς τροφῆς (Dissert. ii. 16, 39).

(b) Each age has its appropriate support (13, 14).

(13) f. The consequences of the fault of the Hebrews are indicated by the statement of a general law. Each age has its proper food. But spiritual maturity comes through discipline and not through years only.

(13). πᾶς γὰρ ὁ μετ. γάλ.] The argument would have been clearer if the terms of the sentence had been inverted: 'For every one that is inexperienced...—as you shew yourselves to be—is fed with milk...'But the writer prefers to suggest the fact that his readers are actually living in the most rudimentary stage of faith, 'partaking of milk,' and so condemning themselves of unfitness for deeper instruction. For every one that partaketh of milk, and the Hebrews had brought themselves to this diet, is according to the figure a mere infant, and necessarily ignorant of the teachings and the problems of life. Such a one therefore could not but be without experience of the word of righteousness (Vulg. expers sermonis justitiae), unprepared by past training to enter upon the discussion of the larger problems of Christian thought.

The absence of the definite articles (λόγος δικαιοσύνης not ὁ λ. τῆς δικ.) shews that the main conception of the phrase lies in the character and not in the concrete realisation of the 'word.' It is not 'the word of righteousness,' the full exposition of the Christian Faith (2 Cor. iii. 9), but teaching such as belongs to it, 'teaching of righteousness,' teaching which deals at once with the one source of righteousness in Christ, and the means by which man is enabled to be made partaker of it. The doctrine of Christ's priestly work is based upon these conceptions, which belong to the 'solid food' of the mature believer.

Chrysostom offers two interpretations of the phrase: ὁ ἄπειρος λόγου δικαιοσύνης, τουτέστι, τῆς ἄνω φιλοσοφίας ἄπειρος, οὐ δύναται παραδέξασθαι βίον καὶ ἠκριβωμένον. ἥ δικαιοσύνην 135 ¹⁴τελείων δέ ἐστιν ἡ στερεὰ τροφή, τῶν διὰ τὴν ἔξιν τὰ αἰσθητήρια γεγυμνασμένα ἐχόντων πρὸς διάκρτισιν καλοῦ τε καὶ κακοῦ.

ἐνταῦθα τὸν Χριστόν φησι καὶ τὸν ὑψηλὸν περὶ αὐτοῦ λόγον.

The word ἄπειρος does not occur again In the Ν. T.

(14). Milk is the food of babes; and he who is fed on milk—whether it be in the due order of nature or by lack of reasonable growth—is a babe. But solid food is for full-grown men.

The contrast between babes and full-grown men occurs again Eph. iv. 13 f. μέχρι καταντήσωμεν...εἰς ἄνδρα τέλειον, εἰς μέτρον ἡλικίας τοῦ πληρώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ. ἵνα μηκέτι ὧμεν νήπιοι...1 Cor. xiv. 20 τῇ κακίᾳ νηπιάζετε, ταῖς δὲ φρεσὶν τέλειοι γίνεσθε. 1 Cor. ii. 6, iii. 1. Comp. Philo, Leg. Alleg. i. § 30 (i. 62 M.) τῷ τελείῳ κατ' εἰκόνα προστάττειν ἥ ἀπαγορεύειν ἥ παραινεῖν οὐχὶ δεῖ...τῷ δὲ νηπίῳ παραινέσεως καὶ διδασκαλίας [χρεία].

A man is said to be τέλειος who has reached the full maturity of his powers, the full possession of his rights, his τέλος, his 'end.' This maturity, completeness, perfection, may be regarded generally or in some particular aspect. As compared with the child, the full-grown man is τέλειος physically, intellectually, socially (comp. 1 Cor. xiii. 10 f.; Gal. iv. 3); as compared with the fresh uninstructed convert, the disciplined and experienced Christian is τέλειος (1 Cor. xiv. 20; ii. 6; Eph. iv. 13; Phil. iii. 15; Col. i. 28; iv. 12; James i. 4). There is also an ideal completeness answering to man's constitution in his power of self-control (James iii. 2), in his love for his fellows (Matt. v. 48; comp. xix. 21).

He is absolutely τέλειος in whom each human faculty and gift has found a harmonious development and use, who has fulfilled the destiny of man by attaining the likeness of God (Gen. i. 26).

In the same manner any object is τέλειος which completely satisfies its ideal, so that all the constituent elements are found in it in perfect efficiency (1 John iv. 18 ἡ τελεία ἀγάπη. James i. 4, 17; comp. Rom. xii. 2). Law is framed for the guidance of man in the attainment of his proper end: the perfect law therefore is 'the law of freedom,' which completely corresponds with the unhindered fulfilment of his duty (James 1. 25). The Levitical Tabernacle was designed to represent under the conditions of earth the dwelling of God among men, offering a revelation of God and a way of approach to God: the heavenly Tabernacle through which Christ's work is accomplished is 'the greater and more perfect Tabernacle' (ix. 11), the divine archetype of the transitory copy.

Compare ii. 10 τελειῶσαι note.

The spiritual maturity of which the apostle speaks is the result of careful exercise. It belongs to those who have their senses—their different organs of spiritual perception—trained, in virtue of their moral state gained by long experience.

διὰ τὴν ἔξιν] by reason of, on account of, habit. Old Lat. per (propter) habitum. Vulg. pro consuetudine. The state in which they are is the ground and pledge of the discipline of their powers (διὰ τὴν ἔξιν not διὰ τῆς ἔξεως).

Ἔξις (here only in N.T.) expresses not the process but the result, the condition which has been produced by past exercise and not the separate acts following one on another (firma quaedam facilitas quae apud Graecos exis vocatur Quint x. 1, 1). Comp. Ecclus. Prol. ἐκανὴν ἔξω περιποιησάμενος 136 (having acquired sufficient experience), id. xxx. 14, Jud. xiv. 9 (Alex.): 1 Sam. xvi. 7.

τὰ αἰσθητήρια] Vulg. sensus. Here only in N.T. Comp. Jer. iv. 19 (lxx.) τὰ αἰσθ. τῆς καρδίας μου.

γεγυμνασμένα] Comp. c. xii. 11; 1 Tim. v. 7; 2 Pet ii. 14.

For γεγυμν. ἔχοντες compare xii. 1, ἔχοντες περιπείμενον.

πρὸς διάκρισιν κ. τε καὶ κ.] The phrase recalls the language of the Ο. T. e.g. Gen. iii. 5; Deut. i. 39; Is. vii. 16.

The discernment of 'good and evil' is here regarded in relation to the proper food of the soul, the discrimination of that which contributes to its due strengthening. The mature Christian has already gained the power which he can at once apply, as the occasion arises. This power comes through the discipline of use which shapes a stable character.

Philo De migr. Abr. § 9 (i. 443 M.) ἕτερος νηπίων καὶ ἕτερος τελείων χῶρός ἐστιν, ὁ μὲν ὀνομαζόμενος ἄσκησις, ὁ δὲ καλούμενος σοφία.


*Additional Note on* v. 1. *The præ-Christian Priesthood*It had been my hope to write an Essay on the præ-Christian priesthood. This has been impossible; and I venture to give a few notes which indicate some of the main points in the inquiry..

I. @The Idea of Priesthood.

Man is born religious: born to recognise the action of unseen powers about him and to seek for a harmonious relation with them, conceived of personally22   No non-religious tribe is actually found or known to have existed. Tylor, Primitive Culture, i. 378..

This thought is conveyed in the Mosaic record of Creation, by the statement that it was the purpose of God to 'make man in His image and after His likeness' (Gen. i. 27); that is to endow man with faculties by which he might attain to a divine fellowship, and finally share in the divine rest (Heb. iv. 9).

Even if man had not sinned he would have needed the discipline of life, supported by divine help, to reach this destiny33   The Essay of Bp Bull *On the state.

As it is, the consciousness of sin, variously realised, hinders the present approach to God (the unseen power). However the unseen is realised, there is in men a shrinking from it.

Some means of approach to the unseen power therefore must be provided that a harmony may be established; and man naturally looks for some one through whom this access shall be gained. The provision of this access is the work of the priest.

It is then briefly the part of the priest to establish a connexion of man with God, and secondarily of man with man.

The priest brings man to God (the unseen power); and he brings God to man.

So it is that the conception which we form of priesthood shapes our whole view of religion (Hebr. vii. 12).

These thoughts are of universal application, and find manifold embodiments in the experience of mankind.

Of these manifold embodiments we must take account in our endeavour to grasp the full meaning of the Christian Dispensation.

The special training of the Jewish people is one part, the most intelligible part indeed, but yet only one part, of the universal training of humanity for the accomplishment of the divine purpose of creation.

J. Lippert's Allg. Gesch. d. Priesterthume, Berlin 1883—4, contains the most ample collection of materials with which I am acquainted. Tylor's Primitive Culture, London, 1871, and Spencer's Ecclesiastical Institutions, London, 1885, contain much that is of interest. The Jewish priesthood as a positive institution is well treated by Œhler; but it is desirable to place it in detailed comparison and contrast with ethnic priesthoods.

of man before the Fall*, contains many most suggestive thoughts on this subject.


In considering the conception of the præ-Christian priesthood we must therefore notice the priesthood of the Nations (the natural priesthood), and the priesthood of the People (the theocratic priesthood).

II. The Priesthood of the Nations. (The natural priesthood.)

The conception of priesthood in its most general form is recognised universally: it belongs to the constitution of man. The facts of ethnic religions enable us to see the elements which were taken up and purified in Judaism.

i. Types of natural priesthood.

In many cases the idea of priesthood is most rude, imperfect and unworthy—perhaps by degradation—but it exists.

It may be that the agent seeks to coerce or to propitiate hostile powers; or to honour friendly powers.

But the essential idea is the same: he seeks to establish a harmony between those whom ho represents and the unseen.

The mediating person is marked out variously according to circumstances, either (i) by superior station, or (2) by superior knowledge.

(1) The chief types of priest in the former case are

(a) the head of the family: the father;

(b) the head of the race; the king.

(2) The second class is represented by the 'medicine-man': the sorcerer: the guardian of an oracular shrine.

(1)(a) The family priesthood was very widely spread. Examples occur in all early history.

(b) The kingly priesthood was recognised in the great early civilised states: Egypt; Assyria; Greece; Rome.

The form of this royal priesthood was retained even when the royal government was overthrown (ἄρχων βασιλεύς, rex sacrificulus).

(2) The 'oracular' type of priesthood was dominant among the Arabian tribes who had no central government. Notice Balaam (Num. xxii.).

Gradually the office was delegated to a caste or a class, which exercised more or less power. In classical Greece the power of the priesthood was exceptionally small.

ii. Examples of natural priesthood in the 0. T.

There are many traces of this 'natural' priesthood in the Ο. T., both (1) before and (2) after 'the Law.

(1) Natural priesthood in the 0. T. before the Law.

(a) The Patriarchs.

Gen. viii. 20 ff. (Noah).

— xiii. 4 (Abraham).

— xxvi. 25 (Isaac).

— xxxv. 1 (Jacob).

Comp. Job i. 5.


(b) Melchizedek.

Gen. xlv. 18 ff.

(e) Jethro.

Ex. xviii. 1, 12.

Comp. Ex. xix. 22.

(2) Natural priesthood in the Ο. T. after the Law.

(a) The Judges.

Jud. vi. 19 ff. (Gideon).

— xiii. 19 (Manoah).

— xvii. 5 (Micah).

[1 Sam. vii. 9 f. (Samuel); comp. vii. 1 (Eleazar).

— ix. 13 (Samuel).]

(b) The Kings.

Saul: 1 Sam. xiii. 9 f.

— xiv. 34, 35.

David: 2 Sam. vi. 13 f.

— xxiv. 25 (1 Chron. xxl. 26).

Comp. xxiii. 16.

Solomon: 1 K. ix. 25 (2 Chron. viii. 12 f.).

Ahaz: 2 K. xvi. 12 f. (comp. 2 Chron. xxvi. 16 ff).

Comp. Jer. xxx. 21.

III. The Priesthood of the People. (The theocratic priesthood@.)

i. Jewish Monotheism.

All monotheistic religions derive their origin from Abraham.

The Jews alone in the Old World made the belief in one God the foundation of life.

In the Scriptures of the Ο. T. no stress is laid upon abstract opinion as to the being of God in Himself. The character of God and the relation of man to God is made known through action.

The essential element of belief in one God is brought out in the history of Abraham. It lies in personal trust in Him, and not in thought about Him.

So again Moses enforces the belief in one God not as a new truth, but as the inspiration and support of personal and social duty.

Conduct, character, is the one end of the Mosaic system.

The heathen—the Canaanite nations specially--are punished not for false belief but for vile actions: Deut. xii. 31; Lev. xviii. 24 ff.

The fact of monotheistic belief is recognised in others (cf. Gen. xx. 2 f.); and if God took Israel for His peculiar people, it was not as 'a national God' (of limited sovereignty), but as the God of the whole earth: Ex. xix. 4 ff.; Deut. x. 14 f.

The legislation of Israel has then this moral purpose. God moves among His people to guide them to their end. So it came to pass that the 140 religious development of the Jews was against their nature; while the religious development of the Gentiles was an expression of their nature11   Compare Kurtz, *Hist. of Old Covenant i. 116 ff. (E. Tr.)..

In the fulfilment of this discipline God manifested Himself to the people in different ways, by prophets, kings, priests22   The derivation of כָּהַן (priest) is keenly debated. Two derivations seem to deserve notice, (1) that the word is formed from כון and describes either 'one who presents an offering,' or 'one who stands to represent another'; and, (2) that it corresponds with Arab, kahin, 'soothsayer,' the earliest type of Shemitic priest in Arabia..

The prophet spoke in the name of God: the king became the representative of the divine action: the priest expressed the idea of the fellowship of God and man.

The work of the priesthood was specially directed to the thoughts of sin: consecration: holiness.

ii. Organization of the Jewish priesthood.

We notice stages in the organisation of the priesthood. (1) The whole people: Ex. xix. 6. See also Num. xvi. 3 (Korah: sons of Reuben): Ex. xxx. 11—16 (atonement for each). Compare Apoc. i. 6; v. 10; xx. 6; 1 Pet ii. 5, 9.

(2) Then Levi

(a) Representatives: Num. iii. 9, 12 (instead of all the firstborn): ambiguity of the term. Comp. Deut. x. 8.

(b) Their consecration: Num. viii. 5 ff.


(α) sprinkling (contrast Lev. viii. 6 of priests); cleansing (comp. Lev. xiv. 8 of the leper; Deut. xxi. 12 of woman captive).

(β) sacrifices: bullock for burnt-offering (comp. Lev. i. 3); for sin-offering (comp. Lev. iv. 3, 14).

(γ) their dedication to God: 'children of Israel' lay their hands upon them (comp. Lev. i. 4).

(δ) their resignation by God to the priest's service, as 'waved' before the Lord (of a gift resigned by God to priests): comp. Num. xviii. 6 f.

(ε) offering of victims: the Levites laying hands upon them.

(3) The separation of Aaron and his sons.

Their consecration: Lev. viii.; Ex. xxix.

(α) Washing. Comp. Ex. xl. 12; Lev. xvi. 4; and contrast Ex. xxx. 19 f.; xl. 31 f.

(β) Robing. Comp. Ex. xxviii. 40.

(γ) Anointing of Aaron. Comp. v. 30; Ex. xxviii. 41; xxx. 30; xl. 15; Lev. x. 7.

(δ) A threefold sacrifice: a bullock and two rams.

(ε) Personal application of the blood to Aaron and his sons: ear, hand, foot. Comp. Lev. xiv. 14.


(ζ) Investment of Aaron and his sons with the elements of sacrifice.

(η) Sprinkling of the anointing oil and blood on Aaron and his sous and upon their garments. Ex. xxix. 21.

In each case people, tribe, family, as representatives, were taken by the free choice of God, and not in virtue of any natural privilege of position; Num. xvi. 7; xviii. 7; Ex. xxviii. 1; 1 Sam. ii. 28.

(4) The High-priest: Ex. xxix. 5—7; Num. xx. 26—28.

iii. The priestly duties.

General description: Deut. xxxiii. 8 ff.; 1 Sam. ii. 28.

(1) Teaching and administering the Law: Deut. xvii. 8 f. (a 'judge' also recognised); Lev. x. 10 f.; Ezek. xliv. 23 f.; Mal. ii. 7. Comp. Hos. iv. 6 ff.; Amos ii. 6—8.

Notice the use of the 'lot': Lev. xvi. 8; comp. Num. xxvi. 55; Josh. vii. 14 ff.; 1 Sam. x. 17; xiv. 41; Prov. xvi. 33.

(2) Ministering the ceremonial.

(a) To prepare the Shew-bread: Lev. xxiv. 5 ff.

(b) To burn incense: Ex. xxx. 7 f.; 2 Chron. xxvi. 16 ff.; Num. xvi. 40.

(c) To offer sacrifice: specially to sprinkle the blood; Lev. i. 5; v. 16

(3) Blessing: Num. vi. 22 ff. Comp. Lev. ix. 22.

No necessity for laborious study, but for scrupulous care.

iv. Political position of priests.

The priests occupied a subordinate political position till the time of the Maccabees, with rare exceptions (2 Kings xi. 1 ff.). Eli was the only Judge from among them; and there were few priest-prophets. They were the ordinary ministers of the divine blessing with 'a self-denying ordinance.'

The Levites are commonly classed with 'the poor': a body without inheritance in an agricultural state: Deut. x. 8 f.; xii. 12, 18 f.; xiv. 29; xvi. 11, 14; xxvi. 11. Compare Gen. xlix. 5 ff.

Jerusalem not one of the forty-eight Levitical cities (Josh. xxi. 41); so that priests were strangers in the place of their service.

Contrast the position of the Brahmins; Magians (Hdt. i. 101, 132); Chaldaeans (Diod. ii. 29); Egyptian priests (Hdt. ii. 35 ff.).

v. The idea of the Theocracy embodied in the High-priest.

The High-priest was the representative of the whole people: he took their names upon his shoulders and upon his heart: Ex. xxviii. 12, 29.

The same offering was made for his sins of ignorance as for the sins of the congregation: Lev. iv. 3, 13.

He bore upon his head the words which marked the consecration of the nation, and that in relation to their failures: Ex. xxviii. 36 ff.; comp. Num. xviii. 1.

In his person once in the year the people entered into the Presence of God.

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