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VI. ¹Διὸ ἀφέντες τὸν τῆς ἀρχῆς τοῦ χριστοῦ λόγον

(2) The duty of Christian progress: the perils of relapse (vi. 1—8).

The apostle bases a general exhortation on the view which he has given of the spiritual degeneracy of the Hebrews. He first (a) enforces the duty of progress, both positively and negatively, and accepts the obligation for himself (1—3); and then (b) portrays the perils of relapse, pointing out the impossibility (from the human side) of repeating the past, and appealing to the stern teaching of nature (4-8).

(a) The duty of progress (1—3).

The succession of thoughts is simple and natural. The general principle is first stated, with a clear enunciation of what must (1 a), and what must not be done (1 b, 2); and then the writer accepts the consequence as decisive for his own teaching (3).

1—3. A question has been raised whether these verses contain an exhortation to the Hebrews or a declaration of the writer's own purpose. The two ideas seem to be inseparable. If the readers are to strain forward to a higher knowledge the writer must lead them. If the writer is to aim at the exposition of deeper truth it must be with the conviction that his readers will endeavour to follow him. Thus he first identifies himself with those whom he addresses (φερώμεθα) and afterwards he indicates his own purpose definitely (ποιήσομεν). The words ἀφέντες and τελειότης take their appropriate meanings in each case.

¹Wherefore leaving the word of the beginning of Christ (or the Christ, the Messiah), let us be borne on to perfection, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith upon God, ²of teaching (or a teaching) of baptisms and laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment. ³And this will we do if God permit.

διὸ ἀφέντες τὸν τ. ἀρχῆς τοῦ χ. λ....] Vulg. Quapropter intermittentes inchoationis Christi sermonem... It is characteristic of the tone of the Epistle that the exhortation to progress is based directly on the stern criticism which precedes (διό). At first sight an adversative particle would have seemed more natural. But it is assumed that the position of inferiority occupied by the readers of the Epistle is not to be acquiesced in. The fact that they do for the moment hold it is an overwhelming reason for effort. Quia exercitatos sensus decet nos habere in logo domini...ad profunda et alta mysteria...ducamur (Primasius).

The necessary condition of progress is a 'giving up.' We hold what we have as a preparation for something more. At the same time all that is surrendered is incorporated in that which is afterwards gained. In relation to the Hebrews the word ἀφέντες has the sense of 'leaving' as applied to those who advance to a deeper knowledge: in relation to the writer, as applied to those who pass to a new subject. Both senses are perfectly natural, and there is no confusion in the double application of the word. For the thought compare Phil. iii. 14.

In the remarkable phrase ὁ τῆς ἀρχῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ λόγος, the word, the exposition, of the beginning, the elementary view of the Christ, there can be little doubt that ἡ ἀρχὴ τοῦ Χριστοῦ go together, and that ὁ τῆς ἀρχῆς λόγος does not form a compound noun. On this point the order seems to be decisive. 'The beginning of Christ' (or 'the Christ') is 'the fundamental explanation of the fulfilment of the Messianic promises in Jesus of Nazareth.' Ἡ ἀρχὴ τοῦ Χριστοῦ corresponds with Ἡ άρχὴ τῶν λογίων τοῦ θεοῦ (v. 12): the former phrase concentrates attention upon the personal Messiah, the latter on the records in which He was foreshewn. 143 ἐπὶ τὴν τελειότηταα φερώμεθα, μὴ πάλιν θεμέλιον καταβαλλόμενοι μετανοίας ἀπὸ νεκρῶν ἔργων, καὶ πίστεως

1 φερώμεθα: φερόμεθα D₂* syr hl.

Sermonem inchoationis Christi vocat initium fidei,instructionem videlicet de nativitate Christi humana, de passione, de resurrectione, atque ascensione ejus et gratia baptismatis (Primas.).

ἐπὶ τὴν τελειότητα φερώμεθα] let us be borne on to perfection. Vulg. ad perfectionem feramur. The form of this positive charge is remarkable. The thought is not primarily of personal effort, 'let us go on,' 'let us press' (Old Lat. tendamus; Aug. respiciamus), but of personal surrender to an active influence. The power is working (comp. i. 3 φέρων τὰ πάντα): we have only to yield ourselves to it (comp. Acts xxvii. 15, 17). At the same time the influence and the surrender are continuous (φερώμεθα), and not (under this aspect) concentrated in one momentary crisis. The goal of this forward movement is 'perfection,' that is for the readers the full maturity of spiritual growth, opposed to νηπιότης (v. 13); and for the writer the teaching which corresponds with maturity. Philo (De agric. § 37; i. 324) distinguishes three classes ἀρχόμενοι, προκόπτοντες, τετελειωμένοι. Compare John iii. 12 f. Additional Note on ii. 10.

The patristic interpreters understand τελειότης of practical life. So Chrysostom: πρὸς αὐτὴν χωρῶμεν λοιπόν, φησί, τὴν ὀροφήν, τουτέστι, βίον ἄριστον ἔχωμεν.

μὴ πάλιν θεμέλιον καταβαλλόμενοι] The emphasis lies upon the noun. The tense of the participle marks the effort. Jos. Antt. viii. 5, 1 οἰκοδομίαν κατεβάλετο.

Tho writer does not (of course) mean to say that his readers must build higher without having secured their foundation. He assumes that the recognition of the paramount duty of progress will constrain them to do this at once in order that they may duly advance.

The sense given by the Old Latin fundamentum diruentes (d) (not Augustine) is contrary to the usage of the middle.

For πάλιν see v. 6; and for θεμέλιον c. xi. 10 note.

θεμέλοιν...μετανοίας...] The different elements in the 'foundation' appear to be distinguished in three groups, Repentance and Faith, Baptism and Laying on of hands, Resurrection and Judgment. Of these the first two are the fundamental characteristics of the Christian's temper, while the two pairs which follow give typical representatives of outward ordinances, and specific beliefs. Under another aspect the three groups deal with our personal character, our social relations, our connexion with the unseen world. The three pairs are not however strictly coordinate: μετ...καὶ π...., βαπτ....ἐπιθ. τε χ., ἀναστ. ν. καὶ κρ. αἱ. The centre pair are regarded as forming one great subject of teaching in two parts. For the use of τε compare ix. 1 note.

The history of the Acts shows how intimately each of these six articles was involved in the first teaching of the Apostles: ii. 38; iv. 2, 33; viii. 16 f.

For θεμέλ. καταβ. compare Philo, de Gig. § 7 (i. 266 Μ.) θεμέλοις...ὑποβἐβλνται...

θεμ. μετανοίας...καὶ πίστεως...] The genitive in each case describes an element of the foundation: a foundation consisting in repentance...and faith...Comp. c. xii. 11; Rom. iv. 11 (?); 1 Cor. v. 8; Eph. vi. 14, 16 f. Comp. Winer, iii. 59, 8 (a).

μετανοίας...καὶ πίστεως...] Repentance and Faith are not treated as abstract subjects of debate, but as personal attributes. Each has its supreme object in human life (repentance from dead works, faith towards God). So it is that they are combined together in the first proclamation 144 ἐπὶ θεόν, ²βαπτισμῶν διδαχῆς ἐπιθέσεώς τε χειρῶν,

2 διδαχὴν 2 βαπτισμόν D₂*. διδαχῆς אACD₂ vg: διδαχήν Bd.

of the Gospel by Christ, Mark i. 15, and practically in the first proclamation of the Gospel by the Apostles, Acts ii. 38.

Comp. Acts xx. 21.

'Repentance from dead works' gives the negative, 'faith towards God' gives the positive side of the Christian mind. The old must be abandoned, the new must be grasped.

μετανοίας ἀπὸ νεκρῶν ἔργων] The force of this unique expression depends upon the sense of 'dead works' (νεκρὰ ἔργα, Vulg. opera mortua), a phrase which occurs in the Ν. T. only here and c. ix. 14 καθαριεῖ τὴν συνείδησιν ἀπὸ νεκρῶν ἔργων, nor is there any parallel phrase. Faith is spoken of as 'dead' when it is unfruitful in deed (James ii. 17, 26). Sin again is said to be 'dead' when it is not called into activity (Rom. vii. 8). And the body is already 'dead' as carrying in it the doom of death: it has lost the power of abiding continuance (Rom. viii. 10 δι' ἁμαρτίαν). Once more, men are said to be 'dead' in relation to sin in three ways, (1) 'dead unto sin' (τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ Rom. vi. 11) when their connexion with the principle of sin is broken de facto (v. 2 ἀπεθάνετε) and they use de jure the power of the new life (ζῶντας δέ...), (2) 'dead by transgressions and sins' as deprived of true life through the manifold instrumentality of sin (τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίας Eph. ii. 1, 5), and (3) 'dead in transgressions' as abiding in them and devoid of the capacity for real action (ἐν παραπτώμασιν Col. ii. 13, but the ἐν is doubtful).

Compare also Matt. viii. 22; Luke ix. 60; xv. 24, 32; John v. 25; Eph. v. 14.

From the analogy of these usages it is possible to give a precise sense to the phrase 'dead works.' Dead works are not vaguely sins which lead to death, but works devoid of that element which makes them truly works. They have the form but not the vital power of works. There is but one spring of life, and all which does not flow from it is 'dead.' All acts of a man in himself, separated from God, are 'dead works' (comp. John xv. 4 ff.). The first step in faith is to give up the selfish life which they represent.

Here the phrase has necessarily a special application. The writer of the Epistle is thinking, as it seems, of all the works corresponding with the Levitical system not in their original institution but in their actual relation to the Gospel as established in the Christian society. By the work of Christ, who fulfilled, and by fulfilling annulled, the Law, the element of life was withdrawn from these which had (so to speak) a provisional, and only a provisional, vitality. They became 'dead works.' Comp. Herm. Sim. ix. 21, 2 τὰ ῥήματα αὐτῶν μόνα ζῶσι, τὰ δὲ ἔργα αὐτῶν νεκρά ἐστι.

The contrast between πίστις and νεκρὰ ἔργα corresponds with and yet is distinct from that between πίστις and ἔργα νόμου in St Paul. 'Dead works' present the essential character of the works in themselves: 'works of law' present them in relation to an ideal, unattainable, standard.

It follows therefore that 'Repentance from dead works' expresses that complete change of mind—of spiritual attitude—which leads the believer to abandon these works and seek some other support for life.

For the construction μετάνοια ἀπό compare Acts viii. 22 μετανόησον ἀπὸ τῆς κακίας and the characteristic phrase of the Apocalypse μετανοεῖν ἐκ: Apoc. ii. 21 f; ix. 20 f.; xvi. 11.

The patristic interpretations of the phrase are vague: e.g. Primasius: Poenitentiam ab operibus mortuis 145 agere est ipsa opera mala per poenitentiam delere, qua animam mortificabant. Opera namque mortis sunt peccata.

πίστεως ἐπὶ θεόν] of faith toward God, Vulg. fidei ad Deum. This phrase also is unique.

πέστις is used (1) with gen. in each group of the writings of the Ν. T.: Mark xi. 22; Acts iii. 16; Rom. iii. 22; Apoc. xiv. 12; James ii. 1, &c.

(2) with εἰς, Acts xx. 21; xxiv. 24; xxvi. 18; Col. ii. 5; comp. 1 Pet. i. 21; Philem. 5.

(3) with ἐν Eph. i. 15; 1 Tim. iii. 13; 2 Tim. iii. 15.

(4) with πρός, 1 Thess. i. 8.

Πιστεύειν ἀπί τινα occurs not unfrequently: Matt. xxvii. 42; Acts ix. 42; xi. 17; xvi. 31; xxii. 19; Rom. iv. 5. 24.

As distingnished from πιστεύειν εἰς perhaps πιστεύειν ἐπί (acc.) suggests the idea of being directed towards, and πιστ. ἐπί (dat.) resting upon some solid foundation (the Rock). The relation in ἐπί is external, in εἰς, internal.

(2). βαπτισμῶν διδαχῆς (διδαχήν)] Vulg. baptismatum doctrinae, impositionis quoque manuum. The construction of διδαχῆς, if this reading be adopted, has been variously explained. It has been taken either (1) absolutely: baptisms, teachings, and laying on of hands; or, (2) in connexion with βαπτισμῶν, either as (α) depending on it and qualifying it; baptisms of teaching, baptisms involving teaching and not mere ceremonial lustrations; or as (β) governing βαπτισμῶν: teaching of baptisms.

The construction and sense of the whole passage are decidedly in favour of the last view. The order is decisive against taking the word διδαχῆς absolutely. There is no special propriety in speaking of Christian baptism as 'a baptism of teaching'; and on the other hand 'baptisms,' 'laying on of hands,' 'resurrection,' 'judgment,' form characteristic subjects of teaching. This construction is also supported by the variant διδαχήν; and it makes but little difference whether we read διδαχῆς as parallel with θεμέλιον, or διδαχήν as explanatory of it; yet, on the whole, it seems simpler to take the genitive.

The unusual order is probably to be explained by the emphasis gained for the characteristic contents of the teaching by placing βαπτισμῶν first. If διδαχῆς were placed first, this would appear to be coordinate with μετανοίας and πίστεως rather than the elements which it includes.

The progress in the subjects of teaching is significant. It reaches from the first scene of the Christian life to the last, as it is made known to us. The two types of divine ordinances (baptism, laying on of hands) correspond broadly to the two characteristics of the Christian's temper already noticed. The first marks the passage from an old state to a new (the gift of life by the action of the Holy Spirit); the second, the arming for the fulfilment of the new service (the endowment for the work of life by the gift of the Holy Spirit). It appears to be of great importance to keep in close connexion the 'ordination' of the Christian layman and the 'ordination' of the Christian priest, as corresponding provisions for the impartment of strength required for the fulfilment of the two essential forms of service.

The simple gen. in place of περί with gen. is remarkable. Elsewhere in the Ν. T. the gen. is used only of the author: Acts ii. 42, τῇ διδαχῇ τῶν ἀποστόλων; 2 John 9; Apoc. ii. 14 f. It seems to express more completely the contents, the substance, of the teaching than the preposition which would give merely the subject.

βαπτισμῶν] Vulg. baptismatum. For the form see c. ix. 10; Mk. vii. 4; Col. ii. 12 v. l.

The plural and the peculiar form seem to be used to include Christian Baptism with other lustral rites. The 'teaching' would naturally be 146 ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν καὶ κρίματος αἰωνίου. ³καὶ τοῦτο

2 τε

ἀναστ. τε אΑC vg syrr me: om. τε BD₂*. νεκρῶν: χειρῶν D₂*.

directed to shew their essential difference. Comp. Acts xix. 3, 4; John iii. 25 περὶ καθαρισμοῦ. Primasius explains the plural strangely: Quod dixit plurali numero...pro varietate accipientium posuit

ἐπιθέσεώς τε χειρῶν] 'The laying on of hands' is the expressive symbol of a solemn blessing (Matt. xix. 13), of the restoration or communication of strength for a definite work. The significance of the act is clearly marked in healings in the Gospels: Mk. vi. 5 (comp. xvi. 18); viii. 23; Luke iv. 40; xiii. 13. It was regarded as natural by those who sought for help: Matt. ix. 18 (comp. Mk. v. 23); Mk. vii. 32. Compare also Acts xxviii. 8. In the record of the Acts 'laying on of hands' appears as (1) the complement of Baptism, the outward rite through which the gift of the Holy Spirit was normally made (Acts viii. 17 f.; xix. 6, 'Confirmation'); (2) the form of the appointment of 'the Seven' (Acts vi. 6, 'Ordination'); (3) the mode of separation for a special work (Acts xiii. 3). In the first two cases it is the act of Apostles. In the Epistles to Timothy it is used of 'ordination' and attributed to 'the presbytery' (1 Tim. iv. 14; comp. 2 Tim. i. 6); to Timothy himself (1 Tim. v. 22); to St Paul (2 Tim. i. 6; comp. 1 Tim. iv. 14).

Primasius (Atto), not unnaturally, limits the phrase to Confirmation: Impositionem manuum appellat per quam plenissime creditur accipi Spiritus sanctus, donum quod post baptismum ad confirmationem unitatis in ecclesia a pontificibus fieri solet (kindred texts vary); and the close connexion of ἀπιθ. χειρῶν with βαπτ. (βαπτ. ἐπιθ. τε χ.) may be urged in favour of this view.

ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν καὶ κρίματος αἰωνίου] This last pair of truths taken together represents the permanence of our present actions, the significance of earthly life in the eternal order. Comp. Apoc. xiv. 13 (κόποι, ἔργα).

The genitives appear to depend on διδαχῆς (or διδαχήν and not directly upon θεμέλιον. The teaching on these subjects made part of the foundation.

In connexion with the Resurrection three phrases must be studied:

(1) ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν Acts xvii. 32; xxiii. 6; xxiv. 21 (comp. v. 15); 1 Cor. xv. 12 ff.

(2) ἡ ἀνάστασις ἡ ἐκ νεκρῶν Luke xx. 35; Acts iv. 2. Comp. Acts x. 41; 1 Pet. i. 3; Col. i. 18, &c.

(3) ἡ ἐξανάστασις ἡ ἐκ νεκρῶν Phil. iii. 11.

The phrase 'eternal judgment' may be compared with 'eternal sin' (Mark iii. 29 αἰώνιον ἁμάρτημα).

Κρίμα describes the sentence and not the process. Compare John ix. 39 note; Matt. vii. 2; Acts xxiv. 25; and contrast c. ix. 27; x. 27 (κρίσις).

For αἰώνιος see c. v. 9 note.

(3). καὶ τοῦτο ποιήσομεν] The fulfilment of the Apostle's purpose is not made in any way to depend on the condition of those whom he addresses. His message has to be delivered. Compare Ezek. ii. 5; and contrast φερώμεθα v. 1.

Hoc faciemus, hoc est, ad majora vos ducemus et de his omnibus quae enumeravimus plenissimo docebimus vos, ut non sit iterum necesse ex toto et a capite ponere fundamentum (Primas.).

ἐάνπερ ἀπιτρέπῃ ὁ θεός] Compare 1 Cor. xvi. 7. εἵωθε ὁ ἀπόστολος πάντα ἐξαρτᾶν τῆς θείας προμηθείας (Theod.). James iv. 14.

(b) The perils of apostasy (4—8).

The Apostle has given expression to a general charge in which he has joined his readers with himself 147 ποιήσομεν ἐάνπερ ἐπιτρέπῃ ὁ θεός. ⁴Ἀδύνατον γὰρ τοὺς

3 ποιήσομεν אB vg: ποιήσωμεν ACD₂ (comp. v. 19; iv. 3).

φερώμεθα), but he makes one limitation to the efficacy of the work which he proposes. He cannot do again what has been done once for all. He cannot offer a fresh Gospel able to change the whole aspect of life and thought, if the one Gospel has been received and afterwards rejected (4—6). Nature itself teaches that the divine gifts must be used fruitfully: they carry with them an inevitable responsibility (7, 8).

For in the case of them who were once for all enlightened, having both tasted of the heavenly gift and been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, ⁵and who tasted the good word of God and the powers of a world to come, ⁶and fell away, it it impossible again to renew them to repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.

4—6. The necessity of progress lies in the very nature of things. There can be no repetition of the beginning. The preacher cannot again renew to 'repentance' (μετάνοια), a complete change of the intellectual, moral, spiritual state. He must go on to the completion of his work. Those who fall away from the Faith, of which they have felt the power, are as men who crucify 'the Son of God.'

This description of apostates is closely parallel with that given in the Apostolical Constitutions (vi. 18, 2) of 'godless, impenitent leaders of heresy': οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ βλασφημήσαντες τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς χάριτος (c. x. 29) καὶ ἀποπτύσαντες τὴν παρ' αὐτοῦ δωρεὰν μετὰ τὴν χάριν, εἶς οὺκ ἀφεθήσεται οὗτε ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ οὔτε ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι.

The correlation of the four participles (φωτισξέντας, γευσμένους, γενηθέντας, γευσαμένους) is by no means clear, nor are the conjunctions decisive (γευσαμένους τε...καὶ μετόχους γεν....καὶ καλὸν γευσαμένους...). The τε may (1) introduce a new and distinct clause closely connected with φωτισθέντας and in a sense subordinate to it (who were once enlightened and so tasted..., and were made...); or (2) it may be taken in connexion with the καί...καί... which follow, so that the three clauses γευσαμένους τε..., καὶ μετόχους γενηθέντας...καὶ καλὸν γευσαμένους..., are coordinate with φωτισθέντας and explanatory of it (who were once illuminated, having both tasted...and been made partakers...and tasted...); or (3) it may be taken with the καὶ which immediately follows, so that γευσαμένους τε...καὶ μετόχους...γενηθέντας form the twofold explanation of φωτισθέντας while καὶ καλὸν γευσαμένους is an independent clause (who were once illuminated—having both tasted...and been made partakers...—and who tasted...). Both uses of τε are fully justified. It occurs as a retrospective and additive conjunction both simply (c.. i. 3 note), and followed by καί (Acts ii. 40; xxi. 30; xxii. 7; xxiv. 23; xxvi. 30); and most commonly as a prospective and combinative conjunction both with a single clause following (c. ix. 19; Luke xxi. 11; Acts ii. 10), and with two or more clauses following (Acts i. 8; xiii. 1; 1 Cor. i. 30).

The choice between the three constructions will be decided by individual feeling as to the symmetry of expression and thought. On the whole the third arrangement seems to bring out most distinctly two fundamental aspects of the reception of the Christian Faith, illumination in respect to the divine action, and experience in respect to the human appropriation. The Christian is illuminated by the conscious sense of the gift of life, and by participation in the Spirit; and he gains an individual sense of the beauty (the intellectual grandeur) of revelation, and of the powers of the new Order. 148 ἅπαξ φωτισθέντας, γευσαμένους τε τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς ἐπουρανίου καὶ μετόχους γενηθέντας πνεύματος ἁγίου,

4 γενηθέντας: γεννηθέντας Α.

The course of thought will be seen clearly if it is marked in a tabular form. The Christian has been

(1) Illuminated (in regard of the divine action) in two respects,

(α) By the consciousness of the reception of the gift of life (γευς. τῆς δ. τῆς ἐπ.),

(β) By participation in the power of a wider life (μετ. γεν. πν. ἁγ.).

(2) And he has tasted (in regard of the individual experience)

(α) The beauty (intellectual grandeur) of revelation (καλ. θ. ῥ.),

(β) The spiritual powers of the new order (δυν. μέλλ. αἱ.).

(4) ἀδύνατον γὰρ τοὺς ἅπαξ φ....ἀνακοινίζειν...] For as touching those who were once enlightened...it is impossible to renew them... It is indeed necessary, the Apostle seems to say, that I should add this reserve 'if God will,' for there is only one fatal obstacle to the fulfilment of my work. It is impossible for man to renew to μετάνοια those who have fallen from the Faith. The ἀδύνατον at the head of the sentence is singularly impressive. So Chrysostom: οὐκ εἶπεν οὐ πρέπει οὐδὲ συμφέρει οὐδὲ ἔξεστιν ἀλλ' ἀδύνατον, ὥστε εἰς ἀπόγνωσιν ἐμβάλλειν.

τοὺς ἅπαξ φωτισθέντας] Vulg. eos qui semel illuminati sunt. The object is placed before the verb in order to fix attention upon the variety and greatness of the gifts which have been received and cast away. The enumeration of these abandoned blessings prepares for the statement of the impossibility of restoring them.

The word φωτίζεσθαι occurs again c. x. 32. The illumination both here and there (φωτισθέντες) is referred to the decisive moment when the light was apprehended in its glory (contrast Eph. i. 18 πεφωτισμένους). For the image compare John i. 9; 2 Tim. i. 10; Eph. iii. 9; (Apoc. xxi. 23); 2 Cor. iv. 4, 6 (φωτισμός). See also Ecclus. xlv. 17; 4 (2) K. xii. 2. Inwardly this crisis of illumination was marked by a reception of the knowledge of the truth (c. x. 26); and outwardly by the admission to Christian fellowship. Hence φωτίζειν and φωτισμός were commonly applied to Baptism from the time of Justin (Apol. i. 61, 65; comp. Dial. c. 122) downwards. And the Syriac versions give this sense here: Pesh. who have once descended to baptism. Hcl. who have once been baptized. The addition of ἅπαξ (once for all) marks the completeness and sufficiency of the single act. The word is characteristic of the Epistle; ix. 7, 26 ff.; x. 2; (xii. 26 f.). Compare 1 Pet. iii. 18; Jude 3, 5; and ἐφάπαξ c. vii. 27 note; ix. 12; x. 10; 1 Cor. xv. 6; Rom. vi. 10.

The force of the tense is carried on through γευσαμένους, γενηθέντας, καλὸν γευσαμένους, in contrast with πάλιν v. 6.

γευσαμένους τε...καὶ μετόχους γεν....] This twofold blessing—the substance of illumination—describes first the conscious possession of the principle of life and then the sense of fellowship in a vaster life. The first element is that which the believer has personally in himself: the second that which he has by partaking in something which has a far wider action.

γευς. τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς ἐπουρανίου] who tasted of the gift, the heavenly gift, the gift of the divine life brought by Christ and in Him: John iv. 10 note. Compare Rom. v. 15, 17; viii. 32; 2 Cor. ix. 15. Any special interpretation, such as the Eucharist or more generally forgiveness, peace and the like, falls short of the general idea which is required here.

The gift is described as 'heavenly' 149καὶ καλὸν γευσαμένους θεοῦ ῥῆμα δυνάμεις τε μέλλοντος

5 δυν. τε μέλλ. αἰ.: Tert. occidente jam aevo.

(ἐπουράνιοςs) not in the sense that it comes from heaven, or has the character of heaven, but that it is realised in heaven. It belongs to a higher sphere of existence than earth.

For δωρεά see John iv. 10 note. The word is used in the Ν. T. only of spiritual gifts (? Rom. v. 17), and especially of the gift of the Holy Spirit. For ἐπουράνιος see c. iii. 1 note.

Γεύσασθαι expresses a real and conscious enjoyment of the blessing apprehended in its true character (comp. John vi. 56 ff. τρώγειν). Philo de Abr. § 19 (ii. 14 M.) τὸ δὲ μέγεθος αὐτῶν οὐ παντὶ δῆλον ἀλλὰ μόνον τοῖς γευσαμένοις ἀρετῆς. But at the same time the enjoyment as here described (γευσ. δωρεᾶς) is only partial and inchoative. To feast, to live upon the fulness of the divine blessing belongs to another order.

Compare γ. θανάτου Matt. xvi. 28; John viii. 52; c. ii. 9; γ. ὅτι χρηστὸς ὁ κύριος 1 Pet. ii. 3. See also Ps. xxxiii. (xxxiv.) 9.

The use of the gen. (γευς. δωρεᾶς) here stands in sharp contrast with the use of the acc. in the following clause (καλὸν γευς. θ. ῥῆμα). It is difficult to suppose that this repetition of the verb with a changed construction is without design and force. The difference which is inherent in the two cases ('a part of,' 'something of,' and 'the thing as a simple object') falls in perfectly with the scope of the passage. The divine life is apprehended little by little to the end: the divine word is apprehended in its character as a whole, and so each separate manifestation of spiritual power (δυνάμεις not τῶν δυνάμεων).

μετόχους γενηθ. πν. ἁγ.] The compound expression (μετόχ. γεν.), as distinguished from μετασχόντας (c. ii. 14), marks more than the simple fact of participation (c. vii. 13; 1 Cor. x. 17). It brings out the fact of a personal character gained; and that gained in a vital development. Compare xii. 8; iii. 14; x. 33; xi. 6, 7.

For μέτοχος see c. iii. 1 note; and for πνεῦμα ἅγιον see ii. 4 note. The gift, the operation (πν. ἅγ.), is distinguished from the Person (iii. 7; ix. 8; x. 15, 29).

Comp. Orig. ap. Athan. Ep. ad Serap. iv. § 10.

(5). The fact of illumination including the two elements of the communication of the divine (personal) life and of the participation in the divine (social) life, is followed by the fact of individual apprehension of the beauty of the message of God and of the manifestations of the higher life. The Christian life has been realised not only in its essential beginnings but in the fulness of its power. Both the blessings which are now put forward have become the objects of direct experience in their essential completeness (γευσαμένους...ῥῆμα...δυνάμεις).

καὶ καλὸν γευς. θεοῦ ῥῆμα] Vulg. gustaverunt nihilominus bonum Dei verbum. The order of the original gives the sense 'tasted the goodness—beauty—of the Word of God.' For καλόν (Tert. dulce) compare c. x. 24 καλὰ ἔργα note; 1 Pet. ii 12. That of which experience was made was not the whole message of the Gospel (ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ), but some special utterance (θεοῦ ῥῆμα), such as that which marks the confession of faith, apprehended in its true character as an utterance of God: Rom. x. 8; Eph. v. 26; comp. c. i. 3 n.; John vi. 68. Philo, de Prof. § 25 (i. 566 M.) ζητήσαντες καὶ τί τὸ τρέφον ἐστὶ τὴν φυχὴν (Ex. xvi. 15) εὗρον μαθόντες ῥῆμα θεοῦ καὶ λόγον θεοῦ, ἀφ' οὖ πᾶσαι παιδεῖα καὶ σοφίας ῥέουσιν ἀένναοι. Comp. Leg. Alleg. iii. §§ 59, 61 quoted on c iv. 12.

δυν΄΄αμεις μελλοντος αἰῶνος] powers of a future age, powers, so to speak, of 150 αἰῶνος, ⁶καὶ παραπεσόντας, πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν, άνασταυροῦντας ἑαυτοῖς τὸν υἱὂν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ

6 παραπεσόντος D₂*.

another world. The indefinite expression suggests the idea of the manifoldness of the energies of the spiritual order of which each believer feels some one or other (c. ii. 4). The anarthrous αἰὼν μέλλων, which is not found elsewhere, serves also to fix attention on the character of the 'age' as one hitherto unrealised, as distinguished from the conception of any particular future order (comp. Eph. ii. 7: c. ii. 5 ἡ οἰκουμένη ἡ μέλλουσα). A strangely similar phrase is quoted from Philo, Leg. Alleg. i. § 12 (i. 50 M.), ὁ θεὸς ἐπένευσεν αὐτῷ (Adam) δύναμιν ἀληθινῆς ζωῆς.

It is significant that in the enumeration of the divine gifts received by those who are conceived as afterwards falling away there is no one which passes out of the individual. All are gifts of power, of personal endowment. There is no gift of love. Under this aspect light falls upon the passage from Matt. vii. 22 f.; 1 Cor. xiii 1 f.

In this connexion it will be noticed that it was the presence of love among the Hebrews which inspired the Apostle with confidence (v. 10). Haec est margarita pretiosa caritas, sine qua nihil tibi prodest quodcunque habueris; quam si solam habeas sufficit tibi (Aug. in 1 Joh. Tract. v. § 7).

(6). καὶ παραπεσόντας] Vulg. et prolapsi sunt (Tert. cum exciderint). The catalogue of privileges is closed by the statement of apostasy: those who were once for all enlightened...and fell away... Each part of the picture is presented in its past completeness. Compare 1 John ii. 19.

The verb παραπίπτειν does not occur elsewhere in the Ν. T. though the noun παράπτωμα is common. The verb and the noun occur together Exek. xiv. 13; xv. 8 (HebrewVpp).

The idea is that of falling aside from the right path, as the idea of ἁμαρτάνειν is that of missing the right mark.

πόλιν ἀνακαινίζειν ἐις μετάνοιαν] again to renew them to repentance, Vulg. renovari rursum ad paenitentiam (so also Tert., Ambr., Hier.; d e alone iterum renovare). The use of the active voice limits the strict application of the words to human agency. This is all that comes within the range of the writer's argument. And further the present (ἀνακαινίζειν) suggests continual effort. Some divine work then may be equivalent to this renewing though not identical with it (Matt. xix. 26). The change in such a case would not be a new birth, but a raising from the dead.

Ἁνακαινίζειν is found here only in the Ν. T. It occurs five times in the later books of the lxx., and in Herm. Sim. viii. 6, 3; ix. 14, 3. Compare ἀνακαινοῦν 2 Cor. iv. 16; Col. iii. 10; ἀνακαίνωσις Rom. xii. 2; Tit. iii. $, where the idea is simply that of 'making new,' not of 'making again new.'

τὸ καινοὺς ποιῆσαι, Chrysostom says from one point of sight, τοῦ λουτροῦ μόνον ἐστί. Comp. Herm. Sim. viii. 6; ix. 14.

The end of this renewal is μετάνοια, a complete change of mind consequent upon the apprehension of the true moral nature of things. It follows necessarily that in this large sense there can be no second μετάνοια (comp. v. 1). There may be, through the gift of @God@, a corresponding change, a regaining of the lost view with the consequent restoration of the fulness of life, but this is different from the freshness of the vision through which the life is first realised. The popular idea of repentance, by which it is limited to sorrow for the past, has tended to obscure the thought here. 151 παραδειγματίζοντας. ⁷H γὰρ ἡ πιοῦσα τὸν ἐπ' αὐτῆς

παραδειγματίζοντες D₂*.

ἀνασταυροῦντας...καὶ παραδειγματίζοντας] Vulg. rursum crucifigentes (d e recruciantew, Tert. refigentes cruci) et ostentui habentes. The present participles (contrast παραπεσόντας of the definite past act of apostasy) bring out the moral cause of the impossibility which has been affirmed. There is an active, continuous hostility to Christ in the souls of such men as have been imagined.

The two words express the main idea under different aspects. The first (ἀνασταυροῦντας) marks specially the wrong done to Christ: the second (παραδειγματίζοντας) the effect which is produced upon others in deterring them from the Faith.

ἀνασταυροῦντας] seeing they crucify again. Τί δὲ ἐστὶν ἀνασταυροῦντας ἅνωθεν πάλιν σταυροῦντας (Chrys.), and so the other ancient interpreters with the versions (comp. Hier. ad Gal. v. 24 ἀνασταυροῦντες...quod nos interpretari possumus recrucifigentes). In classical Greek however the word has the sense of 'raising on the cross,' crucifying with the additional notion of exposure: e.g. Herod. vii. 194, 238 (ἐκέλευσε ἀποταμόντας τὴν κεφαλὴν ἀνασταυρῶσαι). There is the same double meaning in other similar compounds: e.g. ἀναβλέπω. The word is illustrated by the phrase attributed to the Lord which is quoted by Origen (In Joh. xx. 12) from 'the Acts of Paul': ἄνωθεν μέλλω σταυρωθῆωαι. Compare Resch, Agrapha, p. 430.

It was through faithlessness, by clinging to selfish prepossessions instead of yielding to divine guidance, that the Jews first crucified Christ. Those who fall away practically repeat the act as often as their unbelief is shewn, and by the notoriety of their apostasy put Him to open shame.

Perhaps there is the further thought in the image of crucifixion that Christ dwells in the believer. To fall away from the faith is therefore to slay Him. Contrast Gal. vi. 14.

This new crucifixion of Christ is said to be ἑαυτοῖς, that is to their own loss and condemnation (Tert. in semetiptis, Vulg. sibimetipsis). Compare Rom. xiii. 2; Matt. xxiii. 31; Gal vi. 14. The Fathers present the impossibility as the impossibility of repeating Baptism. So, for example, Chrysostom: ὁ τοίνυν δεύτερον ἑαυτὸν βαπρίζων πάλιν αὐτὸν σταυροῖ. And Primasius: Qui iterum baptizari volunt quantum in se est Christum quoque iterum crucifigere volunt et derisui habere...quoniam sicut Christus semel mortuus est in carne in cruce, ita et nos semel mori possumus in baptismate peccato.

τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ] The use of the title indicates the greatness of the offence. Compare x. 29; iv. 14 note.

παραδειγματίζοντας] The verb occurs as a variant in Matt. i. 19 (δειγματίσαι). Comp. Num. xxv. 4 (lxx.).

(7), (8). The law of human life, the condemnation which follows from the neglect of blessings, is illustrated by an example from nature. The Parables of the Lord and the usage of the prophets suggest this method of enforcing truth. We spontaneously attribute will, responsibility (πιοῦσα, τίκτουσα, εὐλογίας μεταλαμβάνει), even to the earth. We look for certain results from certain general conditions; and not only so but we regard certain results as naturally appropriate to certain objects. Comp. Mark iv. 28 (αὐτομάτη): Rom. viii. 19 ff. The comparison between processes of agriculture and moral training is common in all literature. Comp. Philo de Agric. §§ 1 ff. (i. 300 ff. M.).

The illustration here apparently is not taken from the familiar image of the field and the seed and the sower. The case is rather that of the natural produce of the land. No mention is 152 έρχόμενον πολλάκις ὑετόν, καὶ τίκτουσα βοτάνην εὐθετον ἐκείνοις δι' οὕs καὶ γεωργεῖται, μεταλαμβάνει εὐλογίας

7 ἐρχ. πολλ. אBD₂ syrr me: πολλ. ἐρχ. AC vg. καὶ γεωργ.: om. καὶ D₂* vg syr vg me.

made of human activity as contributing to the production of the 'herb'; though the land is such as is cultivated. From the land and from man it is reasonable to look for fruitful use of divine gifts. The human ministry of tiller and teacher falls into the background.

The primal record of Genesis furnishes the example of fruitful fertility (Gen. i. 11 βοτάνη) and the example of noxious growth (Gen. iii. 18 ἄκανθαι καὶ τρίβολοι), followed in the one case by blessing (i. 13), and connected in the other with a curse (iii. 17).

For land that drinketh the rain that cometh oft upon it and then bringeth forth herb meet for them for whose sake it is alto tilled, receiveth blessing from God; ⁸but if it beareth thorns and thistles it is rejected and nigh unto a curse; whose end is for burning.

(7). γῆ γὰρ ἡ πιοῦσα] For land—to borrow an image from another form of God's works—land that in the season drank the rain of His gift... For the tense compare c. ix. 2; Rom. ix. 30; Phil. iii. 12 and Lightfoot ad loc.

πιοῦσα...τίκτουσα] The complete appropriation of the gift at the time when it comes precedes the production of the fruit. Here the Latin (as commonly with such participles) fails to express the full thought: bibens...et generans...(Tert. quae bibit...et peperit...).

For πιοῦσα compare Deut. xi. 11. ('Sat prata biberunt.') The gift had not been rejected. So the parallel is established with those who had believed the Gospel.

τὸν ἐπ' αὐτῆς ἐρχόμενον πολλ. ὑ.] The harvest is prepared not by one gift of heaven but by many. The gen. in ἐπ' αὐτῆς gives not only the idea of 'reaching to' but adds also that of extending over. Comp. James v. 17; Mk. iv. 26; Apoc. iii. 10. Chrysostom sees in ὑετόν a pointed reference to the human parallel, τὴν διδασκαλίαν φησίν. Compare Is. v. 6; Amos viii. 11.

καὶ τίκτουσα] and then bringeth forth, as the natural and proper fruit. The personal word gives force and vividness to the application of the image. Comp. James i. 15.

The more complete form of expression would have been τίκτουσα μέν...ἐκφέρουσα δέ..., but the first case is taken by itself as giving the true normal issue.

βοτάνην] the simplest natural produce: Gen. i. 11 ff. Hence the word is used in a bad sense for wild plants, weeds. Comp. Lightfoot on Ign. Eph. 10.

εὔθετον] Vulg. opportunam (Old Lat. utilem, apiam); Luke ix. 62; xiv. 35. The word probably is not to be taken absolutely but joined with ἐκεινοις.

δι' οὔς καὶ γεωργεῖται] for whose sake it is also tilled. For the use of καί compare c. vii. 26; 2 Cor. iii. 6; Col. iii. 15.

The laborious culture of the soil seems to be contrasted with its spontaneous fruitfulness. In its truest state, as fulfilling the divine purpose, it meets (so to speak) man's efforts for the service of man. Those 'for whom' it is cultivated are not the tillers themselves only (Vulg. a quibus, Old Lat. propter quos), nor yet the owners, but men at large.

It is easy to see an allusion to the human field tilled for God's glory: 1 Cor. iii. 9.

μεταλαμβάνει εὐλογίας] shares in 153 ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ. ⁸ἐκφέρουσα δὲ ἀκάηθας καὶ τριβόλους ἀδόκιμος καὶ κατάρας ἐγγύς, ἧς τὸ τέλος εἰς καῦσιν. ⁹Πεπείσμεθα

τοῦ θεοῦ: om. τοῦ D₂*.

blessing which is of wider range. This blessing may best be supposed to lie in increased fruitfulness: John xv. 2.

For μεταλαμβάνει see c. xii. 10; 2 Tim. ii. 6.

(8). ἐκφέρουσα δέ] but if it bear, breaking the law of fruitfulness. The word ἐκφέρουσα stands in contrast with τίκτουσα, though in Gen. i. 12 ἐξήνεγκεν is used of the productiveness of the earth in answer to the divine command. Usage hardly justifies the remark of the Greek Fathers: οὐκέτι εἶπε τίκτουσα ἀλλ' ἐκφέρουσα, τὸ παρὰ φύσιν τῆς ἐκβολῆς αἰνεττόμενος (Œcum.).

ἀδόκιμος...καῦσιν] The judgment on the land, fruitful only for ill, is given in three stages. It is rejected: such land cannot any longer be reckoned as land for fruitful service. It is nigh unto a curse: it presents the outward features of the curse (Gen. iii. 17 f.), whence the near presence of the curse is inferred. Its end is burning. Ἀδόκιμος (Lat. reproba) is found elsewhere in the Ν. T. only in St Paul: e.g. 1 Cor. ix. 27; 2 Cor. xiii. 5 ff.

For κατάρας ἐγγύς compare c. viii. 13 ἐγγὺς ἀφανισμοῦ. Primasius remarks upon the phrase; Notandum quia non dixit maledicta est sed maledictioni proxima (φοβῶν ἅμα καὶ παραμυθούμενος Euth. Zig.); and Œcumenius (following Chrysostom) ὁ δὲ ἐγγὺς κατάρας γενόμενος καὶ μακρὸν γενέσθαι δύναται διὰ μετανοίας.

ἧς τὸ τέλος εἰς καῦσιν] whose end (i.e. the end of the land) is for burning, Vulg. cujus consummatio in combustionem. The rhythm of the whole sentence shews that the relative looks back to the main and not to the last (κατάρα) antecedent.

So Œcumenius (after Chrysostom): ἐὰν μέχρι τέλους ἐπιμείνῃ, φησί, καὶ μέχρι τελευτῆς ἀκάνθας ἐκφέρων τότε καυθήσεται. For εἰς compare Rom. x. 10; 1 Cor. xi. 17; and for καῦσις 2 Pet. iii. 10, 12; c. x. 27.

The image here appears to represent utter desolation as of a land destroyed by volcanic forces (ἡ κατακεκαυμένη). Compare Deut. xxix. 23. The thought of purification by fire, true in itself, is foreign to the context; nor does the image of the burning of the noxious growth of the land (Virg. Georg. i. 84 ff.) seem to be sufficiently expressive. Compare c. x. 26 f.; John xv. 6.

The warning found a typical fulfilment in the overthrow of Jerusalem and the old Theocracy.

(3) Words of hope and encouragement (9—12).

The spiritual dulness and sluggishness of the Hebrews had not yet checked their active exercise of Christian love. In this the Apostle found the assurance of better things (9, 10). And he grounded upon it his desire for a corresponding development of hope through long-suffering faith (11, 12). Thus in this brief section we have a view of (a) the Apostle's confidence; and (b) the Apostle's wish.

 ⁹But we are persuaded of you, beloved, better things and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak; ¹⁰for God is not unrighteous to forget your work and your love, which ye shewed toward His name in that ye ministered to he saints and still do minister. ¹¹And we desire that each one of you may shew the same zeal that ye may attain unto the fulness of hope even to the end; ¹²in order that ye may not become sluggish, but imitators of them that through faith and long-suffering inherit the promises.

(a) The Apostle's confidence (9, 10). 154 δὲ περὶ ὑμῶν, ἀγαπητοί, τὰ κρείσσονα καὶ ἐχόμεν και έχόμενα σωτηρίας, εἰ καὶ οὔτως λαλοῦμεν. ¹⁰οὐ γὰρ ἄδικος ὁ

9 ἀγαπητοί: ἀδελφοί א* syrr.

(9), (10). The Apostle guards himself against the supposition that he classes the Hebrews among those who had 'fallen away. The presence of active love among them was a sure sign that God had not left them.

(9).πεπείσμεθα δέ...σωτηρίας] But we are persuaded of you, beloved...The order of the words is most significant. First comes πεπείσμεθα, which suggests a past conflict of feeling issuing in a settled judgment. Then follows the pronoun (περὶ ὑμῶν), which at once separates the Hebrews from the apostates who had been just described. Then a unique title of deep affection.

πεπείσμεθα] Compare Rom. xv. 14; and contrast c. xiii. 18 (πειθόμεθα); Gal. v. 10 (πέποιθα). The form implies that the writer had felt misgivings and had overcome them. Chrysostom notices both the word and the plural: οὐκ εἶπε νομίζομεν, οὐδὲ στοχαζόμεθα, οὐδὲ προσδοκῶμεν, οὐδὲ ἐλπίζομεν. ἀλλὰ τίς πεπείσμεθα, καὶ οὐ περὶ ἑαυτοῦ τοῦτο μόνον φησὶν ἀλλὰ περὶ πάντων, οὐ γὰρ εἶπε πέπεισμαι ἀλλὰ πεπείσμεθα.

ἀγαπητοί] Vulg. dilectissimi (d carissimi). The word occurs nowhere else in the Epistle. The use of it in this connexion emphasises the affection which the stern language of the former paragraphs might seem to have obscured or negatived. The title generally suggests an argument: 1 Cor. x. 14; xv. 58; 2 Cor. vii. 1; xii. 19. Compare 1 John ii. 7 note.

τὰ κρείσσονα καὶ ἐχ. σωτ.] There are but two issues: a better and a worse. The comparative is not used for the positive, but plainly suggests the contrast (cf. c. vii. 7; xi. 40). For the word (κρείσσονα), which is characteristic of the Epistle, see i. 4 note.

The exact meaning of ἐχόμενα σωτηρίας (Vulg. viciniora [d proximiora. Aug. adv. Cres. iii. 74 haerentia] ealuli) is somewhat uncertain. The phrase is parallel with and yet distinct from (κατάρας) ἐγγύς (v. 8). The construction ἔχεσθαί τινος is used of local contiguity (Mk. i. 38), and also of temporal connexion (Lk. xiii. 33; Acts xx. 15; xxi. 26). Hence ἐχ. σωτηρίας may here mean either 'which issue in salvation as immediately following,' or 'which issue from salvation as immediately preceding.' Probably there is no exact definition of the relation: which accompany salvation, which are closely connected with it, and so, in some sense, bring it with them. Comp. Luc. Hermog. 69 ἐλπίδος οὐ μικρᾶς ἐχόμενα.

εἰ καί] though, Vulg. tametsi (d e nam et sic, corruption of tametsi ?); Luke xi. 8; xviii. 4; 2 Cor. xii. 11; vii. 8; 1 Pet. iii. 14.

The circumstance thus introduced may be either distinctly acknowledged or simply admitted for the sake of argument. In each case the καί emphasises the word which it precedes by suggesting some limit which is over-passed. Comp. Winer, p. 544.

(10). oὐ γὰρ ἄδικος...ἀγάπης] The active exercise of love, which is itself a sign of the divine presence, carries with it the assurance of a divine reward. The deed and the result are regarded from the human side as cause and effect, service and reward, while essentially the one includes the other. The thought is of character shewn in life, and not of any special works which have a merit of their own. The 'reward' is the power of more perfect service (v. 7).

The claim (so to speak) on God's righteousness (comp. Rom. iii. 5) is not an assertion of merit. Its ground lies in a perfect trust in His Nature 155 θεὸς ἐπιλαθέσθαι τοῦ ἔργου ὑμῶν καὶ τῆς ἀγάπης ἧς ἐνεδείξασθε εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, διακονήσαντες τοῖς

10 τῆς ἀγάπης אABCD₂* vg syrr: + τοῦ κόπου' τῆς ἀγ. S me (1 Thess. i. 3).

and Will as revealed to men within and without. He is alike righteous when He rewards and when He punishes. Compare Chrys. on Col. i. Hom. ii. § 4 εἰ κρίσις οὐκ ἔστιν, οὐκ ἔστι δίκαιος ὁ θεός. κατὰ ἄνθρωπον λέγω. εἰ δίκαιος οὔκ ἐστιν ὁ θεός, οὐδὲ θεὸς ἐστίν. εἰ θεὸς οὐκ ἔστιν, ἁπλῷς ἄπαντα φέρεται, οὐδὲν ἀρετή, οὐδὲν κακία.

The reward of God is the inherent issue of action (1 John i. 9; Mark ix. 41); and without Himself it is valueless (Matt. xx. 14 ὕπαγε). Compare 1 John i. 9 note.

For other forms of trust based upon the essential character of God, see 1 Cor. x. 13; 1 Thess. v. 34; 2 Tim. i. 12.

The sense of God's righteousness is indeed a necessary condition of faith: c. xi. 6.

ἐπιλαθέσθαι] Compare Lk. xii. 6. The thought is perfectly general, and must not be limited either to the past or to the future. We necessarily present the relation of God to men in terms of man's experience.

τοῦ ἔργου ὑμῶν καὶ τ. ἀγ.] the energy of life in its unity (contrast c. x. 24), of which love was the inspiration.

For the use of the singular see Rom. ii. 7; Gal. vi. 4; 1 Thess. i. 3; and also John iv. 34; vi. 29 (ἔργα v. 28); xvii. 4 and notes.

The nature of 'the work' of the Hebrews is described in c. x. 32 ff.

Bengel notices the prominence given to love, hope and faith successively in vv. 10—12.

ἧς ἐνεδ. εἰς τὸ ὅνομα αὐτοῦ] The love was directed to God's name, to God as He was made known in Christ, and so found its objects in those who were His children (οὐχ ἁπλῶς εἰς ἁγίους ἀλλἀ εἰς τὸν θεόν, Chrys.). The tense seems to point to some well-known occasion.

For the construction with εἰς see 2 Cor. viii. 24.

The tense of ἐνεδείξασθε is accommodated to the first participle (διακονήσαντες). A present ἐνδείκνυσθε is spontaneously supplied with διακονοῦντες. The 'name' (compare c. xiii. 15) is specially mentioned (rather than 'towards Him') because the sonship of believers is included in it; and the Hebrews had satisfied the claim on Christian lore which lay in that common tie.

The false translation of εἰς τὸ ὅνομα of the Latin (in nomine), which obscures, if it does not wholly alter, the sense, is the uniform Latin translation of εἰς τὸ ὅνομα. In some places it leads (as here) to very serious misunderstanding; and it commonly influenced the A. V., as in the rendering of the most important phrases:

(1) βαπρίζειν εἰς τὸ ὅνομα, Matt. xxviii. 19; Acts viii. 16; xix. 5; 1 Cor. i. 13. 15.

(2) συνάγεσθαι εἰς τὸ ὅνομα, Matt. xviii. 20 (so R. V.).

(3) πιστεύειν εἰς τὸ ὅν., John i. 12; ii. 23; iii. 18; 1 John v. 13. Compare Matt. x. 41 f.

διακονήσαντες τοῖς ἁγίοις] See c. x. 32 ff. Compare Rom. xv. 25. The thought is of service to Christians as Christians, c. xiii. 24 (iii. 1); and not to Christians as men. Love of the brethren (c. xiii. 1) is crowned at last by love (2 Pet. i. 7).

There is nothing in such passages as Rom. xv. 26; 1 Cor. xvi 1; 2 Cor. viii. 4; ix. 1 to show that the Christians at Jerusalem had the title oἱ ἅγιοι specially. Comp. Rom. xii. 13.

The title is used again of Christians in the Epistle: xiii. 24, who are elsewhere addressed as ἀδελφοί (iii. 12; x. 19; xiii. 22), ἀγαπητοί (v. 9, ἀδελφοὶ ἅγιοι (iii. 1). 156 ἁγίοις καὶ διακονοῦντες. ¹¹ ἐπιθυμοῦμεν δὲ ἔκαστον ὑμῶν τὴν αὐτὴν ἐνδείκνυσθαι σπουδὴν πρὸς τὴν πληροφορίαν τῆς ἐλπίδος ἄχρι τέλους, ¹²ἵνα μὴ νωθροὶ γένησθε,

διακονοῦντες: διακούοντες D₂*.

(b) The Apostle's wish.

(11), (12). The activity of practical love among the Hebrews fills the Apostle with the desire that the spirit from which this springs may find a wider work among them in the strengthening of hope and faith, through which alone the divine promises can be realised.

(11). ἐπιθυμοῦμεν δέ...] Action alone is not sufficient, nor can it be sustained without the inspiration of hope.

The word of strong personal—even passionate—desire, coveting (ἐπιθυμοῦμεν), is expressive of the intense longing of the writer. There is no exact parallel. Compare 1 Pet. i. 12; (1 Tim. iii. 1). Chrysostom dwells on the expression: ἐπιθυμοῦμεν φησίν. οὐκ ἄρα μέχρι ῥημάτων τοῦτο βουλόμεθα μόνον; and again οὐκ εἶπε θέλω ὅπερ ἧν διδασκαλικῆς αὐθεντίας, ἀλλ' ὅ πατρικῆς ἧν φιλοστοργίας καὶ πλέον τοῦ θέλειν; and so later Fathers.

ἕκαστον ὑμῶν] The desire is individual, while the expression of confidence is general (v. 9). In this way the force of ἐπιθυμοῦμεν is strengthened. The writer's wish goes beyond the general character of the body, or the perfection of some of the members of it. Καὶ μεγάλων καὶ μικρῶν ὁμοίως κήδεται (Chrys.).

τὴν αὐτὴν ἐνδ. σπ....τέλους] The desire of the writer is that the Hebrews should shew the same zeal in other directions as they shewed in works of love. Their hope was chilled. It was essential that this should be rekindled 'in regard to,' 'with a view to securing' the fulness of hope even to the end (Vulg. ad expletionem [d e confirmationem] spei).

For the phrase ἡ πληροφορία τῆς ἐλπίδος compare c. x. 22 πληροφορία πίστεως. Col. ii. 2 ἡ πληροφορία τῆς συνέσεως. It describes the fulness, the full measure, of hope. The word πληροφορία (not found in classical writers) is always taken passively in N. T. ('fulness' not 'fulfilling'); and it seems better to understand it here of the full development of hope than of the full assurance of hope (1 Thess. i. 5).

Such zeal issuing in such growing hope must be exercised until the end of the present period of trial and discipline: compare c. iii. 6 note μέχρι τέλους. The interpretation 'till it is consummated' is contrary to the usage of the phrase. On the Christian function of hope see c. iii. 6; x. 23 notes.

(12). ἵνα μὴ νωθροὶ γέν., μιμ. δέ...] that ye become not sluggish, but imitators..., Vulg. ut non segues efficia mini (d ne sitis aegri) verum imitatores... The object of the Apostle's desire was that the Hebrews might avoid an imminent peril, and strive after a great ideal. If hope failed to have her perfect work the dulness which had already come over their powers of spiritual intelligence would extend to the whole of life (v. 11 νωθροὶ τοῖς ἀκοαῖς). In this one definite respect they bad 'become' dull (v. 11, γεγόνατε): the danger was lest they should 'become' dull absolutely (ἵνα μὴ γένησθε ν.). On the other hand if hope were kindled they would be enabled to imitate the heroes of faith.

The word μιμητής (which should be rendered closely imitator and not follower) is found here only in the Epistle. Elsewhere in the Ν. T. it is peculiar to St Paul (five times). The word occurs as a false reading in 1 Pet. iii. 13.

τῶν διὰ π. καὶ μακρ...ἐπαγγ.] The 157 μιμηταὶ δὲ τῶν διὰ πίστεως καὶ μακροθυμίας κληρονομούντων

12 διὰ + τῆς' π. D₂*. καὶ μακροΦυμοῦντας D₂*.

model of Christian effort is offered by those who through the exercise of the characteristic graces of faith and long-suffering are even now realising in a true sense the promiseσ of God. 'Faith' is the essential principle through which the blessing is gained, and 'long-suffering ' marks the circumstance under which faith has to be maintained. The two graces of patience (ὑπομονή) and faith are combined in Apoc. xiii. 10 (xiv. 12); James i. 3; 2 Thess. i. 4.

The word μακροθυμία and its cognates are very rarely found except in Biblical Greek (Plutarch). Some form of the class occurs in each group of the writings of the Ν. T. except the writings of St John. It is important to distinguish μακροθυμία from ὑπομονή, with which it is often confounded by the Latin Versions. Ύπομονή (c. x. 36; xii. 1) suggests the pressure of distinct trials which have to be borne. Μακροθυμία expresses the trial of unsatisfied desire. So God bears with men who fail to fulfil His will (Rom. ii. 4; ix. 22; 1 Tim. i. 16; 1 Pet. iii. 20; 2 Pet. iii. 15 τοῦ κυρίου); and in their place men seek to imitate His long-suffering: 1 Thess. v. 14; Gal. i. 22; Eph. iv. 2; Col. iii. 12; 2 Tim. iv. 2; James v. 7 f.

Μακροθυμία and ὑπομονή occur together 2 Cor. vi. 4, 6 ἐν ὑπομονῇ πολλῇ, ἐν θλίψεσιν...ἐν γνώσει, ἐv μακροθυμία, ἐν χρηστότητι...Col. iii. 11 εἰς πᾶσαν ὑπομονὴν καὶ μακροθυμίαν. 2 Tim. iii. 10 τῇ πίστει, τῇ μακροθυμίᾳ, τῇ ἀγάπῃ, τῇ ὑπομονῇ. James v. 7 f.

The contrast lies in 1 Cor. xiii. 4, 7 ἡ ἀγάπη μακροθυμεῖ...πάντα ὑπομένει.

κληρονομούντων] who.....inherit, Vulg: hereditabunt, d e potiuntur.

The participle is a strict present. Believers even now enter on their inheritance (c. iv. 3), and with them the saints of old time enjoy the fulfilment of that for which they looked (c. xii. 22 ff.).

Compare 1 Cor. xv. 50 κληρονομεῖ; and contrast the perfect, c. i. 4; and the aorist, c. xii. 17.

For the image comp. i. 4, 14; ix. 15 and Additional Note.

There is an evident distinction between oἱ κληρονομοῦντες (τὰς ἐπαγγελίας) and oἱ κληρονόμοι (τῆς ἐπαγγελίας v. 17). The first phrase marks the direct realisation of the blessings of heirship, and the second simply the position.

The plural (αἱ ἐπαγγελίαι) represents the various promises made in old time in many parts (i. 1). Compare c. vii. 6; xi. 13; Rom. ix. 4; xv. 8; Gal. iii. 16. Clem. 1 Cor. 10 Ἀβραάμ...ἐξῆλθεν...ὅπως...κληρονομήσῃ τὰς ἐπαγγελίας τοῦ θεοῦ. Ps. Sol. xii. 8 ὅσιοι Κυρίου κληρονομήσαιεν ἐπαγγελίας Κυρίου, and Ryle and James ad loc.

These many promises are gathered up in the one promise of that salvation which Christ wrought and which awaits its complete accomplishment: v. 17; ix. 15; x. 36; xi. 39.

(4) The certainty of the divine promises (13—20).

The reference to the divine promises in v. 12 suggests the consideration that long-suffering (patience) is necessary and reasonable. Though their fulfilment may be delayed it is certain. This certainty of fulfilment after long waiting is illustrated by (a) the fundamental promise to Abraham, which by its very form—pointing to a distant future—implied the exercise of patience (13—15). And (b) this promise partially, typically, yet not exhaustively fulfilled, has been handed down to us, doubly confirmed, so that we cannot doubt as to its uttermost accomplishment (16—18); (c) an accomplishment which is presented to us in the exaltation of the Son, Whom hope can follow now within the veil (19, 20). 158 τὰς ἐπαγγελίας. ¹³Τῷ γὰρ Ἀβραὰμ ἐπαγγειλάμενος ὁ θεός, ἐπεὶ κατ' οὐδενὸς εἶχεν μείζονος ὀμόσαι,

¹³For when God had made promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He sware by Himself, saying, ¹⁴Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. ¹⁵And thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

¹⁶For men swear by the greater, and the oath is an end of all gain-saying in their case for confirmation. ¹⁷Wherein God being minded to shew more abundantly to the heirs of salvation the immutability of His counsel interposed by an oath, ¹⁸that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have strong encouragement, who fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

¹⁹Which we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering within the veil; ²⁰whither, as forerunner, Jesus entered on our behalf, having become, after the order of Melchizedek, a High-priest for ever.

(a) The promise to Abraham (13—15).

13—15. The example of Abraham establishes two things, the certainty of the hope which rests on a promise of God, and the need of patience in order to receive its fulfilment. God promised with an oath: Abraham endured to wait and that not in vain. He is thus a perfect representative of all 'who through faith and long-suffering inherit the promises.'

By fixing the attention of his readers on the promise to Abraham the writer carries their thoughts beyond the Law. The Law appears as a stage only in the fulfilment of the promise. Comp. Gal. iv. 21 ff.

(13). τῷ γὰρ Ἀ. ἐπαγγειλἀμενος...καθ' ἑαυτοῦ] For God having made promise to Abraham...sware...Vulg. promittens (Old Lat. cum repromisisset) ...juravit....The promise was given, and then the promise was confirmed by an oath (Gen. xii. 3, 7; xiii. 14; xv. 5 ff.; xvii. 5 ff.; compared with Gen. xxii. 16 ff.). The student will do well to consider very carefully the exact differences of form under which the promise was given to Abraham at different times and afterwards to Isaac (Gen. xxvi. 2 ff.) and to Jacob (Gen. xxviii. 13 ff.).

This interpretation, which is directly suggested by the history, seems to be better than that which regards ἐπαγγειλάμενος and ὥμοσεν as contemporaneous, a construction which is in itself perfectly admissible. (Comp. c. ii. 10)

It may be further added that the interposition of an oath implied delay in the fulfilment of the promise. No oath would have been required if the blessing had been about to follow immediately. But in the nature of the case the promise to Abraham pointed to a remote future. Thus his example was fitted to encourage the Hebrews to trust in the unseen. At the same time the promise was absolute and not conditional (as 1 K. ii. 4).

ἐπεὶ κατ' οὐδενὸς εἶχεν μ. ὁ.] since He could swear by no greater one (according to usage). Vulg. quoniam nominem habuit per quem juraret majorem. Comp. Philo, Leg. Alleg. iii. § 72 (i. 127 M.) ὁπᾷς ὅτι οὐ καθ' ἑτέρου ὀμνύει θεός, οὐδὲν γὰρ αὐτοῦ κρεῖττον, ἀλλὰ καθ' ἑαυτοῦ ὅς ἐστι πάντων ἄριστος (in reference to Gen. xxii. 16).

ὥμοσεν καθ' ἑαυτοῦ] The oath to Abraham was the foundation of the hope of Israel (Ps. cv. 6 ff.; Luke i. 73) and the support of all positive religious faith. In this respect it is important to notice that it is the first explicit mention of the divine oath, which however was implied in the promise to Noah (Is. liv. 9; Gen. 159 ὥμοσεν καθ' ἑαυτοῦ, ¹⁴λέγων Εἰ μὴν εὐλογῶν €γλοηω σε καὶ πληθύνων πληθυνῶ σε. ¹⁵καὶ οὕτως μακροθυμήσας ἐπέτυχεν

14 εἰ μήν אABD₂*: εἰ μή C vg: ἧ μήν S.

νiii. 21 f.; ix. 11 ff.). Compare also Gen. xv. 8 ff. Jewish scholars dwelt on the thought of God's oath 'by Himself': Shemoth R. 44 (on Ex. xxxii. 13), What means By Thyself? R. Eliezer replied: Moses spake thus to the Lord (Blessed be He). If Thou hadst sworn by heaven and earth, I should say, since heaven and earth shall perish, so too Thine oath. Now Thou hast sworn to them by Thy great name: as Thy great name lives and lasts for ever and ever, Thy oath also shall last for ever and ever.

The phrase ὀμν. κατά τινος does not occur again in the Ν. T. (comp. Matt. xxvi. 63). It is found in the lxx.: Jer. xxix. 14 (xlix. 13); xxviii. (li.) 14; Amos vi. 8; and in later Greek. The classical construction (with the simple acc.) is found in James v. 12.

(14). εἰ μὴν εὐλογῶν...] Gen. xxii. 17. The writer of the Epistle substitutes σέ for τὸ σπέρμα σου in the last clause. He concentrates his attention on Abraham alone. Comp. Gen. xii. 3 with Gen. xxii. 18.

The promise which is quoted is simply that of outward prosperity, of which in part Abraham lived to see the fulfilment. But the Messianic promise, with which the readers were familiar, was given under the same circumstances.

εὐλογῶν εὐλογήσω] Old Lat. benedicendo benedixero. Vulg. benedicens benedicam. This construction in imitation of Hebr. inf. abs. with the finite verb is found in the Ν. T. only in quotations from the lxx. in which it is extremely frequent Comp. John iii. 29 χαρᾷ χαίρει note.

The form εἰ μήν both here and in the text of the lxx. is attested by overwhelming authority against the common form ἧ μήν. The form εἰ is recognised in Etymol. Magn. as an alternative form for as ἐπίρρημα ὁρκικόν with a reference to this passage. It may be a dialectic peculiarity.

(15). καὶ οὔτως...] and thus, confident in a promise solemnly ratified, having patiently endured...The οὔτως is to be taken separately and not in close connexion with μακρ. ('having thus patiently endured'). Comp. Acts vii. 8; xxviii. 14; 1 Cor. xiv. 25.

According to the history twenty-five years elapsed from the call of Abraham to the birth of Isaac (Gen. xii. 4; xxi.5).

For μακροθυμήσας see v. 12 note.

ἐπέτυχεν τῆς ἐπαγγ.] obtained the promise, Vulg. adeptus est repromissionem. The phrase following after ἐπαγγειλάμενος and separated from it by μακροθυμήσας cannot mean simply 'obtained from God the assurance of a future blessing.' It affirms that in some sense Abraham gained that for which he looked. And in fact Abraham obtained the fulfilment of the promise in its beginning in Isaac, born past hope and given to him, as it were a second time, and also afterwards in Isaac's sons. In part however the promise necessarily remained to be fulfilled in after time (πληθύνων πληθυνῶ...καὶ ἐν σοὶ...), so that through Christ Christians inherit it. Compare c. xi. 33; Rom. xi. 7; James iv. 2; and c. x. 36; xi. 15, 39 (κομίσασθαι).

In c. xi. 39 it is said of the faithful fathers οὐκ ἐκομίσαντο τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν (comp. xi. 15). Chrysostom calls attention to the apparent contradiction and solves it: oὐ περὶ τῶν αὐτῶν ἐνταῦθά φησι κἀκεῖ, ἀλλὰ καὶ διπλῆν ποιεῖται τὴν παράκλησιν. ἐπηγγείλατο τῷ Ἀβραάμ, καὶ τὰ μὲν ἐνταῦθα μετὰ μακρὸν χρόνον ἕδωκε, τὰ δὲ ἐκεῖ οὐδέπω.

(b) The fulfilment of the promise is doubly assured to us (16—18). 160 τῆς ἐπαγγελίας. ¹⁶ἄνθρωποι γὰρ κατὰ τοῦ μείζονος ἐμνύουσιν, καὶ πάσης αὐτοῖς ἀντιλογίας πέρας εἰς βεβαίωσιν ὁ ὄρκος. ¹⁷ἐν ῷ περισσότερον βουλόμενος ὁ

16 ἄνθρωποι אABD₂* vg syrr: ἄνθρ. + μέν C me. π. αὐτ. ἀντιλ.: π. ἀντιλ. αὐτ. D₂* syrr. 17 ἐν ῷ: ἐν τῷ D₂*. περισσότερον: -τέρως Β. β. ὁ θ.: ὁ θ. β. D₂.

16—18. The promise which Abraham received still awaits its complete accomplishment, and it is our inheritance, doubly confirmed to us as to him, being a promise, and a promise confirmed by an oath.

In this respect the character and purpose of a human oath illustrate the divine oath. An oath is a decisive appeal to the highest power to close all controversy. Therefore in condescension God interposed an oath to give to His promise this additional pledge of immutability for our encouragement.

The argument assumes the religious propriety of oaths.

(16). ἄνθρωποι γάρ...] For men, being men, as men, not oἱ ἄνθρ. (c. ix. 27)—swear by the greater...Here the main thought is the fact of the oath. The character of the oath (κατὰ τ. μ.) follows from the nature of man. There can be no doubt from the context that τοῦ μείζονος is masculine (Vulg. per majorem sui), and not, as it might be (Matt. xii. 6 μεῖζον) neuter.

For the use of ἄνθρωποι, marking the nature and not the class, see John v. 41 compared with 2 Tim. iii. 2; Tit. iii. 8.

Compare Philo, de sacr. Ab. et Cain § 28 (i. 181 Μ.) τοῦ πιστευθῆναι χάριν ἀπιστούμενοι καταφεύγουσιν ἐφ' ὅρκον ἄνθρωποι. Cic. de Offic. iii. 31, 111.

πάσης...ἀντιλ. πέρας εἰς βεβ.] Vulg. omnis controversiæ eorum finis ad confirmationem. The oath has two results, negative and positive: it finally stops all contradiction; and it establishes that which it attests. It is on the one side an end to all gainsaying in the relation of man to man (αὐτοῖς). By an appeal to a higher authority it stays the human denial of the statement which it affirms: ἐκ τούτου λύεται πάσης ἀντιλογίας ἀμφισβήτησις (Chrys.). And on the other side it issues in confirmation. The oath which silences contradiction confirms that in favour of which it is taken (βεβαίωσις, Phil. i. 7; Wisd. vi. 19). For the sense of ἀντιλ. see c. vii. 7 (xii. 3; Jude 11). The sense of 'controversy' (Ex. xviii. 16; lxx.) is too vague. The issue raised is simple and direct (Comp. Prov. xviii. 18.)

Compare Philo, de Somn. i. § 2, τὰ ἐνδοιαζόμενα τῶν πραγμάτων ὅρκῷ διακρίνεται καὶ τὰ ἀβέβαια βεβαιοῦται καὶ τὰ ἄπιστα πίστιν λαμβάνει.

(17). ἐν ῷ...] wherein, i.e. in this method of appeal to remove all doubt and gainsaying, God being minded to shew more abundantly to man's apprehension than by a simple promise...Περισσύτερον is to be taken with δεῖξαι (Acts xviii. 28). The oath was given to bring home to men the certainty of the divine promise. Compare Philo, de Abr. 46 (ii. 39 Μ.) φησί, κατ' ἑαυτοῦ ὥμοσα, παρ' ῷ ὁ λόγος ὅρκος ἐστί, ἕνεκα τοῦ διάνοιαν ἀκλινῶς καὶ παγίως ἔτι μᾶλλον ἧ πρότερον ἐρηρεῖσθαι.

βουλόμενος] As distinguished from θέλειν, βούλεσθαι regards a purpose with respect to something else, while θέλειν regards the feeling in respect of the person himself. βούλεσθαι is used of the divine purpose: Matt. xi. 27 (Luke x. 22); 1 Cor. xii. 11; James i. 18; 2 Pet. iii. 9. For θέλειν see Mk. xiv. 36; Acts xviii. 21; Rom. ix. 22; 1 Cor. iv. 19; xv. 38; Col. i. 27; 1 Tim. ii. 4; James iv. 15; 1 Pet. iii. 17; Matt. xii. 7 (lxx.); Hebr. x. 5, 8 (lxx.).

τοῖς κληρ. τῆς ἐπαγγ.] The oath to 161 θεὸς ἐπιδεῖξαι τοῖς κλρονόμοις τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τὸ ἀμετάθετον τῆς βουλῆς αὐτοῦ ἐμεσίτευσεν ὅρκῳ, ¹⁸ἵνα διὰ δύο πραγμάτων ἀμεταθέτων ¹⁹ἐν οἷς ἀδύνατον

ἐπιδεῖξαι: ἐπιδείξασθαι Α. 18 διὰ δ. πρ.: μετὰ δ. πρ. D₂*.

Abraham was not for himself alone even as the promise was not for himself alone. It was for him and his seed: for the father of the faithful and all faithful sons (c. ii. 16). Thus the phrase (the heirs of the promise) includes all who under different circumstances and different degrees succeeded to the promise, the Patriarchs (xi. 9), the præ-Christian Jews, Christians. The immediate application is (ἔχωμεν) to the generation of believers represented by the Hebrews who had need of the assurance.

τὸ ἀμετ. τῆς βουλῆς] Vulg. immobilitatem consilii (Old Lat. voluntatis) sui.

The counsel was that of bringing universal blessing through the seed of Abraham (comp. Acts iii. 25). This part of the promise has not been directly quoted, but the reference to it is perfectly intelligible from v. 14.

For the use of the adj. (τὸ ἀμετ.) see Rom. ii. 4; viii. 3; 1 Cor. i. 25; 2 Cor. iv. 17; Phil. iii. 8.

The word βουλή is used of God Luke vii. 30; Acts ii. 23; iv. 28; xiii. 36; xx. 27; Eph. i. 11 κατὰ τὴν β. τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ.

ἐμεσίτευσεν ὅπκῳ] Latt. interposuit jusjurandum, interposed, as it were, between Himself and Abraham with an oath: took the position of one invoking a higher power.

Tho oath directly referred to is that to Abraham; but the mention of the oath carries the mind of the reader to the oath by which Christ's Priesthood was confirmed (c. vii. 20 f.). The promise to Abraham confirmed by an oath is parallel to the promise to Christ—and through Him to Christians—confirmed by an oath. The latter oath shews how the first oath was to attain fulfilment.

Delitzsch observes that a similar thought lies in the prayer of Hezekiah Is. xxxviii. 14 (Lord) be Thou surety for me (עָרְבֵֽנִי).

The word μεσιτεύειν occurs here only in N.T. It occurs both in Philo and Josephus for that which interposes between conflicting powers or persons: Philo de plant. Noæ § 2 (i. 331) τοῦ θείου νόμου...τὰς τῶν ἐναντίων (elements) ἀπειλάς...μεσιτεύοντος καὶ διαιτῶντος. Jos. Antt. vii. 8, 5; xvi. 4, 3. For μεσίτης, see c. viii. 6 n.

(18). ἵνα...ἰσχ. παράκ. ἔχ. οἱ καταφ...] that...we may have strong encouragement who fled...Latt. ut fortissimum solacium habeamus qui confugimus...The whole context shews that παράκλησιν is to be understood as encouragement to maintain with boldness a position beset by difficulties, and not simply passive consolation. The word occurs again in the Epistle c. xii. 5; xiii. 22.

The epithet (ἐσχυράν) is unusual (comp. v. 7 κραυγὴ ἰσχ. [xi. 34]). It describes that which possesses absolute might, and not simply strength sufficient for a particular task. Compare 2 Cor. x. 10; Apoc. xviii. 2, 10; xix. 6; Lk. xv. 14 (not Matt. xiv. 30).

For the order see ix. 12; and distinguish the predicative use in vii. 24.

On ἔχωμεν Chrysostom says with true feeling: ὁρᾷς ὅτι οὐ τὴν ἀξίαν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ σκοπεῖ ἀλλ' ὅπως τοὺς ἀνθρώπους πείσῃ. Comp. 1 John ii. 1 note.

διὰ δύο πραγμ. ἀμ.] by two immutable things, the promise and the oath (vv. 13, 17). Πρᾶγμα may mean either object (c. x. 1; xi. 1) or fact, action (Acts v. 4; Luke i. 1).

ἐν οἷς ἀδύν. ψεύς.] That the promise of God should fail is as inconceivable as that His oath should fail. He must 162 ψεύσασθαι T θεόν, ἰσχυρὰν παράκλησιν ἔχωμεν oἰ καταφνγόντες

18 τὸν

τὸν θ. א* ΑC: om. τόν א* BD₂.

(as we speak) fulfil His promise: He must fulfil His oath. Comp. Philo, de Sacr. Ab. et Cain § 28 (i. 181 M.) oὐ δι' ὅρκον πιστὸς ὁ θεὸς ἀλλὰ δι' αὐτὸν καὶ ὁ ὅρκος βέβαιος. For ἀδύνατον comp. vi. 4; x. 4; xi. 6; and for ἀδύν. ψεύσ. see Tit. i. 2; Clem. R. i. c. 27 οὐδὲν ἀδύνατον παρὰ τῷ θεῷ εἰ μὴ τὸ ψεύσασθαι. For illustrations of the 'divine impossibility' see John v. 19 note. Aug. de civ. v. 10 Recte quippe [Deus] omnipotens dicitur qui tamen mori et falli non potest. Dicitur enim omnipotens faciendo quod vult, non patiendo quod son vult; quod ei si accideret nequaquam esset omnipotens. Unde propterea quædam non potest quia omnipotens est.

The use of ὁ θεός (v. 17) and θεόν is instructive. In the second case the idea is rather that of the nature of God than of His Personality: 'impossible for Him who is God....'

oἱ καταφυγόντες κρατῆσαι...] we who at the decisive moment fled for refuge to lay hold of....Comp iv. 3 oἱ πιστεύσαντες. Every other support was abandoned. The word occurs again Acts xiv. 6. Delitzsch refers to two striking passages of Philo: Leg. All. iii. § 12 (i. 95) ὁ δὲ ἐναντίος τοῦτῳ (who is destitute of feeling for the noble) φεύγει μὲν ἀφ' ἑαυτοῦ καταφεύγει δ' ἐπὶ τὸν τῶν ὅντων θεόν. de prof. § 18 (i. 560) μήποτ' οὖν ἡ πρεσβυτάτη...μητρόπολις (among the cities of refuge) ὁ θεῖός ἐστι λόγος ἐφ' ὅν πρῶτον καταφεύγειν ὠφελιμώτατον. So Clement speaks of Christians as τοὺς προσπεφευγότας τοῖς οἰκτιρμοῖς αὐτοῦ [τοῦ μεγάλου δημιουργοῦ καὶ δεσπότου τῶν ἁπάντων] διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (1 Cor. 2θ).

The words κρατῆσαι τ. προκ. ἐλπ. appear to be connected in different ways both with καταφυγόντες and with παράκλησιν. The position of the words makes it difficult to separate κρατῆσαι from καταφυγόντες; and under any circumstances oἱ καταφυγόντες would be most harsh if taken absolutely. At the same time the exact sense of κρατῆσαι carries back the thought of κρατ. τῆς προκ. ἐλπ. to παράκλησιν: 'that we who fled for refuge to seize the hope may have encouragement to keep hold on it.'

The idea of κρατῆσαι is 'to lay hold on and cling to that which has been so taken.' See iv. 14 note. By the choice of this word in place of λαβεῖν or the like, the writer emphasises the special duty of the Hebrews to keep their own by a fresh effort that which they had originally felt to be the one spring of safety, even the hope based on the efficacy of Christ's work, and specially of His Priestly intercession, whereby the promise of universal blessing through Abraham's seed is fulfilled.

This 'hope' is described as 'lying before us' (comp. c. xii. 1, 2), the prize of victory (Philo, de mut. nom. § 14; i. 591 M.), open and obvious, as soon as we embrace the Faith. It is treated as being at once God's gift and man's own feeling. It is both an 'objective' hope and a 'subjective' hope. For the power of hope see Rom. viii. 24. Philo makes hope the characteristic of a true man Quod det. pot. ins. § 38 (i. 218 Μ.) ἐγγράφεται γὰρ τῇ θεοῦ βίβλῳ ὅτι μόνος εὔελπις (leg. ὁ εὕελπις) ἄνθρωπος. ὥστε κατὰ τὰ ἐναντία ὁ δύσελπις οὐκ ἄνθρωπος. ὅρος οὖν...τοῦ...κατὰ Μωυσῆν ἀνθρώπου διάθεσις ψυχῆς ἐπὶ τὸν ὅντως ὅντα θεὸν ἐλπίζουσα.

(c) The promise fulfilled in the exaltation of the Son of man (19, 20).

(19), (20). The promise has been fulfilled for humanity in the Son of man. Hope therefore can now enter into the very Presence of God where 'Jesus' 163 κρατῆσαι τῆς προκειμένης ἐλπίδος. ¹⁹ἥν ὡς ἄγκυραν ἔχομεν τῆς ψυχῆς, ἀσφαλῆ τε καὶ βεβαίαν καὶ εἰσερχομένην

19 ἔχομεν: ἔχωμεν D₂.

is, a High-priest for ever.

(19). ἥν ὡς' ἄγκ. ἔχ.] The hope created and sustained by the promise keeps the soul secure in all storms (1 Tim. i. 19). The Anchor, which is not mentioned in the Ο. T., Is the familiar symbol of hope. Clement of Alexandria mentions it as a device on Christian rings (Pæd. iii. § 59). It occurs commonly with the ἰχθύς on epitaphs. And names of hope (Elpis, [Helpis,] Elpidius) are very frequent.

ἀσφ. τε καὶ βεβ. καὶ εἰσερχ.] These words may refer, as far as the structure of the sentence is concerned, either to 'hope,' the main subject, or to the 'anchor,' with which it is compared. Patristic interpreters, following Chrysostom, connect them with the anchor, and endeavour to lessen the harshness of the last predicate (εἰσερχομένην εἰς τὸ ἐσ. τ. καταπ.) by drawing an ingenious contrast between the earthly anchor which sinks to the depths of the sea, and the spiritual anchor which rises to the heights of heaven (δείκνυσιν ὅτι καινή τις αὐτη τῆς ἀγκύρας ἡ φύσις, οὐ κάτω πιέζουσα ἀλλ' ἄνω κουφίζουσα τὴν διάνοιαν Chrys. ap. Cram. Cat. vii. 52211   The printed text of the Homily is manifestly imperfect.). But no explanation of the kind can remove the strangeness of the image or adapt the tense of εἰσερχομένην directly to the action of the anchor. It seems certain then that this clause at least must refer to 'hope.' But there are still two possible combinations. The three predicates may be taken together referring to 'hope' or the two first may be closely joined (τε...καὶ... comp. v. 4) and referred to 'the anchor,' while the third may give a second characteristic of hope (ὡς ἄγκυραν...καὶ εἰσερχομένην). In favour of this view, which appears to be taken by Œcumenius and Theophylact, it may be urged that it gives distinctness to two aspects of hope, its immovable stability, and its penetrative vigour. Perhaps however such a division is artificial, so that it is best to connect the whole description with the principal subject (hope).

The stability of hope is twofold. It is undisturbed by outward influences (ἀσφαλής), and it is firm in its inherent character (βεβαία). Comp. ii. 2 note. Spes in nobis similitudinem exercet anchoræ, quæ navem ne ad scopulos frangatur retinet, et tutam facit ut non timeat submergi, atque firmam ne vel titubare possit (Herv.).

The participle εἰσερχομένην presents hope as ever entering afresh into the Divine Presence encouraged by past experience.

εἰς τὸ ἐσώτ. καταπ.] Hope enters to the innermost Sanctuary, the true Holy of Holies, that Presence of God, where Christ is (comp. vii. 19). The καταπέτασμα was the inner veil separating the Holy from the Most Holy place (Matt. xxvii. 51, c. x. 20) as distinguished from the outer veil (מסך κάλυμμα). The distinction of the two is not strictly preserved in the lxx.; see also c. ix. 3 μετὰ τὸ δεύτερον καταπέτασμα. Comp. Ex. xl. 5, 19.

Compare Philo de vit. M. iii. § 5 (ii. 148 Μ.) ἐκ τὼν αὐτῶν τό τε καταπέτασμα καὶ τὸ λεγόμενον κάλυμμα κατεσκευάζετο. τὸ μὲν εἴσω κατὰ τοὺς τέσσαρας κίονας ἵν' ἀπικρύπτηται τὸ ἄδυτον, τὸ δὲ ἔξω κατὰ τοῦς πέντε...: and so § 9. See also de gig. § 12 (i. 270 M.) for a spiritual interpretation.

Hope, like the anchor, is fixed on the unseen: Nautis arenæ quibus anchora figitur et hæret sunt tectæ nec videri possunt, et tamen nautæ sunt in securitate, licet illa videre non 164 εἰς τὸ ἐσώτερον τοῦ καταπετάσματος, ²⁰ὅπου πρόδρομος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν εἰσῆλθεν Ἰησοῦς, κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μελχισεδὲκ ἀρχιερεὺς γενόμενος εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.

20 Ἰησοῦς: + χριστός D₂*.

possint quibus anchoræ brachia firmiter adhæsere. Sic et nos in hujus sæculi fluctibus positi cælestia non videmus, et tamen illis ita per spem conjuncti sumus ut nullo timoris incursu moveri possimus (Herv.). Compare Primasius: Spes interiora velaminis penetrat dum per mentis contemplationem futura bona conspicit, dum cælestia præmia absque ulla dubitatione credit sibi provenire, sperat, amat, operibusque ostendit quid credat et quid speret.

(20). Hope enters where 'Jesus'—the Son of man—has entered as the forerunner of redeemed humanity, on our behalf (ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν), to make atonement and intercession for us, and, yet more, to prepare an entrance and a place for us also. Comp. John xiv. 2.

Thus to the fulfilment of the type of the High-priest's work another work is added. The High-priest entered the Holy of Holies on behalf of the people, but they never followed him. Christ enters heaven as forerunner of believers. Comp. x. 19 ff. Προέδραμεν ἵνα τοῦς ἑπομένους εἰσαγάγῃ (Euth. Zig.).

The word πρόδρομος was used especially of the men or troops which were sent to explore before the advance of an army. Comp. Wisd. xii. 8 (Ex. xxiii. 28). In Num. xiii. 21 (22) it is used, in a different connexion, of the earliest fruits.

The use of the word εἰσῆλθεν fixes attention on the fact of Christ's entrance into the Holiest—the transition from the seen to the unseen—and not on His continuance as our High-priest within the Veil (c. ix. 28).

For "θπὲρ ἡμῶν compare ix. 24; ii. 9 (ὑπὲρ παντός).

Ίησοῦς...ἀρχ. γενόμενος] The human name of the Lord, placed emphatically at the end of the sentence (see c. ii. 9 note), is here used (contrast ὁ χριστός c. v. 5) in regard to His High-priesthood, in order to connect it definitely with the fulfilment of His work on earth, whereupon He became a High-priest for ever.

The order of words in the last clause, κατὰ τὴν τάξ. Μ. ἀρχ. γεν., is emphatic. Stress is laid upon the fact that Christ is High-priest after a new and higher order. He does therefore all that the High-priest did and more. Comp. vii. 11, 15; and contrast v. 10 (v. 6; vii. 17).

From this passage it is clear that the eternal High-priesthood of the Lord 'after the order of Melchizedek,' King and Priest, followed on His exaltation to the throne of God in His glorified humanity (comp. v. 9 f.; vii. 28). At the same time this view does not exclude the recognition of the Lord's Death as a priestly act whereby He once for all offered Himself (vii. 27).

εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα] Etiam in futuro [sæculo] pontificis agit opus, non tunc pro peccatis nostris offerens, que nulla erunt, sed ut bonum quod in nobis operatus est indeficiens et stabile permaneat (Herv.).


*Additional Note on* vi. 1 — 8.

In considering this passage several points must be kept in mind.

(1). The apostasy described is marked not only by a decisive act (παραπεσόντας), but also by a continuous present attitude, a hostile relation to Christ himself and to belief in Christ (ἀνασταυροῦντας, παραδειγματίζοντας).

(2). Thus there is no question of the abstract efficacy of the means of grace provided through the ordinances of the Church. The state of the men themselves is such as to exclude their application.

(3). The case is hypothetical. There is nothing to shew that the conditions of fatal apostasy had been fulfilled, still less that they had been fulfilled in the case of any of those addressed. Indeed the contrary is assumed: vv. 9 ff.

(4). But though the case is only supposed it is one which must be taken into account. It is possible for us to see how it can arise. The state of a man may become such as to make the application to him of the appointed help towards the divine life not only difficult but impossible.

(5). Such a condition is noticed elsewhere c. x. 26 f.; comp. c. iii. 12; 1 John v. 16 (note).

And the frame of mind is recognised not only in relation to apostasy, but in relation to the first reception of the Gospel: Matt. xii. 31 (ἡ τοῦ πνεύματος βλασφημία), when the spirit, through which man has the power of approach to the Divine, becomes itself rebellious and defiant.

(6). Compare also Gal. v. 4 (κατηργήθητε ἀπὸ Χpιστοῦ); Rom. xi. 21 (τῶν κατὰ φύσιν κλάδων οὐκ ἐφείσατο); 1 Tim. iv. 1 (ἀποστήσονταί τινες τῆς πίστεως); 1 Tim. vi. 10 (ἀπεπλανήθησαν ἀπὸ τῆς πίστεως); 2 Pet. ii. 20; John xν. 1 ff., 6 (ἐβλήθη ἔξω, ἐξηράνθη, καίεται). In these passages various aspects of the sin and its consequences are indicated, which answer to the responsible action of man and the fulfilment of the divine law of retribution.

(7). The analogy of human life furnishes an illustration of the general idea. A second birth is inconceivable: but a restoration to life is not so. This however does not come within the ordinary view. So it is in the spiritual life. A re-birth is impossible, yet even here a restoration to life may be accomplished.

The passage was variously interpreted in early times. @Tertullian , representing the sterner (Montanist) view, held that it declared that all who had fallen away from the faith, either by temporary apostasy or by gross sin, were cut off from it for their whole life, without possibility of readmission on repentance: de Pudic. xx. Hoc qui ab apostolis didicit et cum apostolis docuit, nunquam mœcho et fornicatori secundam pœnitentiam promissam ab apostolis norat.

In the earliest stage of the Novatianist controversy the words do not seem to have been quoted. Novatian himself does not refer to the epistle.


In the fourth century and onwards however it was pressed by those who held his views (comp. Theodoret ad loc.; Athanas. Ep. ad Serap. iv. § 13; Hieron. adv. Jovin. ii. 3; Ambros. de Pæn. ii. 2 §§ 6 ff.).

But this opinion and this use of these words found no favour in the Catholic Church. On the contrary the Catholic writers limited the meaning of the passage to the denial of a second baptism. So among the Greek Fathers.

Athanasius (l. c.) μίαν εἶνaι τὴν ἀνακαίνισιν διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος καὶ μὴ δευτέρον ἀποφαίνεται.

Epiphanius (Ηær. lix. 2, p. 494) τῷ μὲν ὄντι τοὺς ἅπαξ ἀνακαινισθέντασ καὶ παραπεσόντας ἀνακαινίζειν ἀδύνατον. οὕτε γὰρ ἕτι γεννηθήσεται Χριστὸς ἵνα σταύρωθῇ ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν' οὔτε άνασταυροῦν δύναταί τις τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ τον μηκέτι σταυρούμενον' οὔτε δύναταί τις λουτρὸν δεύτερον λαμβάνειν ἑv γάρ ἐστι τὸ βάπτισμα καὶ εἶς ὁ ἐγκαινισμός.

Chrysostom@ (ad loc.) τί οὖν; ἐκβέβληται ἡ μετάνοια; οὐχ ἡ μετάνοια μὴ γένοιτο' άλλ' ό διὰ λουτροῦ πάλιν άνακαινισμός. οὐ γὰρ εἶπεν ἀδύνατον ἀνακαινισθῆναι εἰς μετάνοιαν καὶ ἐσίγησεν, ἀλλ' εἰπὼν 'ἀδύνατον' ἐπήγαγεν 'ἀνασταυροῦντας'...ὁ δὲ λέγες τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ βάπτισμα σταυρός ἐστε συνεσταυρώθη γὰρ ὁ παλαιὸς ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος....

Theodoret: τῶν ἅγαν ἀδυνάτων, φησίν, τοὺς τῷ παναγίῳ προσεληλυθότας βαπτίσματι...αὖθις προσελθεῖν καὶ τυχεῖν ἑτέρου βαπτίσματος' τοῦτο γὰρ οὐδέν ἐστιν ἕτερον ἧ πάλιν τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ τῷ σταυρῷ προσηλῶσαι.

(Œcumenius: τί οὖν; ἐξέβαλε τὴν μετάνοιαν; μὴ γένοιτο...ἀλλὰ τὴν διὰ βαπτίσματος μετάνοιαν...ὅθεν καὶ εἶπεν 'ἀνακαινίζειν' ὅπερ ἴδιον βαπτίσματος.

@Euthymius Zig.: τί οὖν; ἐκβέβληται ἡ μετάνοια; μὴ γένοιτο' εἰπῶν γὰρ 'εἰς μετάνοιαν' οὐκ ἔστη μέχρι τούτου ἀλλ' ἐπήγαγεν 'άνασταυροῦντας ἑαυτοῖς τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ,' διὰ μετανοίας, φησίν, ἀνασταυρούσης τὸν Χριστόν...τὸ [γὰρ] βάπτισμα σταυρός ἐστιν...ὥσπερ οὖν ἅπαξ ἀλλ' οὐ δεύτερον ἐσταυρώθη ὁ Χριστὸς οὕτως ἅπαξ ἀλλ' οὐ δεύτερον χρὴ βαπτίζεσθαι.

And among the Latin fathers:

Ambrose@ (*de Pænit. ii. 3): De baptismate autem dictum verba ipsa declarant quibus significavit impossibile esse lapsos renovari in poenitentiam, per lavacrum enim renovamur...eo spectat ut de baptismo dictam credamus in quo crucifigimus filium Dei in nobis....

Possum quidem etiam illud dicere ei qui hoc de poenitentia dictum putat, quia quae impossibilia sunt apud homines possibilia sunt apud Deum....

Sed tamen de baptismo dictum, ne quis iteret, vera ratio persuadet.

Primasius: Quid ergo? exclusa est poenitentia post baptismum et venia delictorum? Absit. Duo siquidem genera sunt poenitentiae, unum quidem ante baptismum, quod et praeparatio baptismi potest appellari...altorum autem gonus poenitentiae quo post baptismum delentur peccata quam beatus Apostolus minime ezcludit.

This specific and outward interpretation of the words is foreign to the scope of the passage, and indeed to the thought of the apostolic age; but none the less it presents in a concrete shape the thought of the Apostle. It brings out plainly that there can be no repetition of the beginning. 167 The forces which in the order of divine providence are fitted to call out faith in the first instance, and to communicate life, are not fitted to recreate it when it has been lost. There can be no second spiritual birth. The powers which are entrusted to the Christian society are inadequate to deal with this last result of sin; but the power of God is not limited. Compare Additional Note on 1 John v. 16.

@Herveius@ (reading renovari) emphasises the moral impossibility from the human side with singular power and freshness: Non...Montani vel Novati hæresim hic approbamus qui contendunt non posse renovari per pænitentiam eos qui crucifixere sibimet filium Dei. Sed ideo impossibile esse dicimus ut tales renoventur quia nolunt renovari. Nam si vollent, esset utique possibile. Quod ergo renovari nequeunt non est excusatio infirmitatis eorum sed culpa voluntatis ipsorum qui malunt veteres perdurare quam renovari...sicque fit ut ad pænitentiam redire non valeant...Quales et in monasteriis hodie sunt nonnulli, habentes quidem speciem pietatis virtutem autom ejus abnegantes, et ideo pænitentiam agere non possunt, quia de sole extoriori habitu gloriantur et sanctos se esse putant quia sanctitatis indumentum portant.

*Additional Note* on vi 12: *The Biblical idea of 'inheritance*' (*κληρονομία*).

The group of words κληρονόμος (i. 2; vi. 17; xi. 7), κληρονομεῖν (i. 4, 14; vi. 12; xii. 17), and κληρονομία (xi. 8) is characteristic of the Epistle. The idea of 'inheritance' which they convey is in some important respects different from that which we associate with the word. This idea finds a clear expression in the lxx. from which it was naturally transferred to the Ν. T.

The word κληρονόμος is rare in the lxx. It occurs only in Jud. xviii. 7; 2 Sam. xiv. 7; Jer. viii. 10; Mic. i. 15 (Jer. xlix. 1 Symm.) as the rendering of יּוֹרֵשׁ, and in Ecclus. xxiii 22.

Κληρονομεῖν and κληρονομία are very frequent. The former word occurs about 140 times and 100 times as the rendering of ירש, and 18 times as the rendering of נחל.

The latter word occurs more than 180 times and about 145 times as the representative of נחלת and about 17 times as the rendering of derivatives of ירש.

The fundamental passage which determines the idea is the promise to Abraham Gen. xv. 7, 8 δοῦναί σοι τὴν γῆν ταύτην κληρονομήσαι (following on vv. 3, 4 κληρονομήσει με) ; xxii. 17 κληρονομήσει τὸ σπέρμα σου τὰς πόλεις τῶν ὑπεναντίων. Comp. xxiv. 60; xxviii. 4.

Hence the phrase κληρονομεῖν τὴν γῆν is used constantly of the occupation of Canaan by the Israelites: Lev. xx. 24 "θμεῖς κληρονομήσετε τὴν γῆν αὐτῶν κσὶ ἐγὼ δώσω ὑμῖν αὐτὴν ἐv κτήσει: Deut. iv. 1, 5, 14 &c.; xxx. 5; Jos. i. 15; Jud. xviii. 9; Neh. ix. 15, 22 ff.; Obad. 20; and that also with a distinct reference to the destruction of the nations in possession of it: Num. xxi. 35; 168 Deut. ii. 24, 31; ix. 1; xxxi. 3. The land belonged to the Lord and He gave it to Israel (Ps. civ. (cv.) 44). In the Psalms this 'inheritance of the land' assumes a spiritual colouring as the privilege of the righteous: Ps. xxiv. (xxv.) 13; xxxvi. (xxxvii.) 9, 11 (Matt. v. 5), &c.; and in the second part of Isaiah the idea finds its complete fulfilment in the Messianic age: Is. liv. 3; lvii. 13; lx. 21; lxi. 7 (ἐκ δευέρας κλ. τ. γ.); lxiii. 18; lxv. 9.

The word κληρονομεῖν is used even where the absolute claim urged by violence is unjust: 1 K. xx. (xxi.) 15 ff. (comp. 2 K. xvii. 24; Ps. lxxxii. (lxxxiii.) 13; Is. xiv. 21; Ezek. [vii. 24; xxxiii. 25]); and also where it expresses a rightful mastery used for a necessary destruction (Hos. ix. 6; Ezek. xxxvi. 12; Zech. ix. 4).

In all these cases κληρονομεῖν answers to Hebrew. As the rendering of Hebrew it is used of the possession of Canaan (Ex. xxiii. 30), of inheritance generally (Jud. xi. 2), and metaphorically (Ps. cxviii. (cxix.) 111; Prov. iii. 35; xiii. 22 ἀγαθὸς ἀνὴρ κληρονομήσει υἱοὺς υἱῶν).

Comp. Ecclus. iv. 13; vi. 1; x. 11; xix. 3; xx. 25; xxxvii. 26; 2 Macc. ii. 4.

The senses of κληρονομία correspond with those of κληρονομεῖν. It is used for an allotted portion, a possession, an inheritance (Num. xxiv. 18; xxvii. 7; xxxvi. 2 ff.; Deut. iii. 20; Ps. ii. 8; cxxvi. (cxxvii.) 3 ἡ κληρονομία κυρίoυ υἱοί). The land itself is 'a possession' of the Lord: Jer. ii. 7 (comp. iii. 19). Two particular uses of the word require to be noticed: God is the κληρονομία of His people, and His people are His κληρονομία. The former usage is rare. In a peculiar sense God is spoken of as the 'inheritance'—'portion'—of the Levites: Num. xviii. 20; Josh. xiii. 14; Ezek. xliv. 28; but the same privilege is extended also to Israel: Jer. x. 16; xxviii. (li.) 19. On the other hand the thought of Israel as the 'inheritance' —'portion'— of God extends throughout the Old Testament: Deut. xxxii. 9; 1 Sam. x. 2; xxvi. 19; 2 Sam. xiv. 16; xx. 19; xxi. 3; 1 K. viii. 51, 53; Ps. xxvii. (xxviii.) 9; xxxii. (xxxiii.) 12; lxxiii. (lxxiv.) 2, &c.; Is. xix. 25; xlvii. 6; lxiii. 17; Jer. xii. 7 ff.; Joel ii. 17; Mic. vii. 14.

In all these cases κληρονομία represents Hebrew which is much less frequently rendered by κλῆρος and μέρις. In Deuteronomy however God is spoken of as the κλῆρος of Levi (x. 9); and Israel as the κλῆρος (c. ix. 29; xviii. 2) and μέρις (c. ix. 26) of God. Comp. Ecclus. xxiv. 12; xlv. 22 (?).

From these examples it will appear that the dominant Biblical sense of 'inheritance' is the enjoyment by a rightful title of that which is not the fruit of personal exertion. The heir being what he is in relation to others enters upon a possession which corresponds with his position; but there is no necessary thought of succession to one who has passed away (yet see Matt. xxi. 38 and parallels; Lk. xii. 13). An inheritance, in other words, answers to a position of privilege and describes a blessing conferred with absolute validity; and an heir (κληρονόμος) is one who has authority to deal with, to administer, a portion, a possession (κλῆρος).

The principle that 'inheritance is by birth and not by gift' (Arist. Pol. v. 8) has a spiritual fulfilment When God 'gives' an inheritance (Acts vii. 5; xx. 32) it is because those to whom it is given stand by His grace in that filial relation which in this sense carries the gift.


In the N. T. the words are commonly used in connexion with the blessing (1 Pet. iii. 9) which belongs to divine sonship, the spiritual Ν. T. correlative to the promise to Abraham (Rom. iv. 13 f.; viii. 17; Gal. iii. 18, 29; iv. 1, 7; comp. c. vi. 12, 17; xi. 8). The son of God as son enjoys that which answers to his new birth (comp. Matt. v. 5; Eph. i. 14, 18; Col. iii. 24). This is described as 'eternal life' (Matt. xix. 29; Tit iii. 7; comp. Mk. x. 17; Lk. x. 25; xviii. 18), or 'the kingdom of God' (1 Cor. vi. 9 f.; xv. 50; Gal. v. 21; comp. Matt. xxv. 34; Eph. v. 5; James ii. 5), or 'salvation' (c. i. 14), 'an inheritance incorruptible' (1 Pet. i. 4; comp. 1 Cor. xv. 50), 'the eternal inheritance' (c. ix. 15). Under one aspect it is realised through conflict (Apoc. xxi. 7).

This ruling sense illustrates the use of the word in the other connexions in which it is found. Esau vainly sought to 'inherit the blessing' (c. xii. 17): he had lost the character to which it belonged. Noah in virtue of his faith 'became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith' (c. xi. 7): faith produced in him its proper fruit. The Son as Creator was naturally appointed 'heir of all things' (c. i. 2); and in virtue of His work 'He hath inherited' in His glorified humanity 'a name more excellent than angels' (c. i. 4).

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