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Verse 19. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul. Hope accomplishes for the soul the same thing which an anchor does for a ship. It makes it fast and secure. An anchor preserves a ship when the waves beat and the wind blows; and as long as the anchor holds, so long a ship is safe, and the mariner apprehends no danger. So with the soul of the Christian. In the tempests and trials of life, his mind is calm as long as his hope of heaven is firm. If that gives way, he feels that all is lost. Among the heathen writers, hope is often compared with an anchor. So Socrates said, "To ground hope on a false supposition, is like trusting to a weak anchor." Again—"A ship ought not to trust to one anchor, nor life to one hope."

Both sure and stedfast. Firm and secure. This refers to the anchor. That is fixed in the sand, and the vessel is secure.

And which entereth into that within the veil. The allusion to the anchor here is dropped, and the apostle speaks simply of hope. The "veil" here refers to that which, in the temple, divided the holy from the most holy place. See Barnes "Mt 21:12".

The place "within the veil"—the most holy place—was regarded as God's peculiar abode, where he dwelt by the visible symbol of his presence. That holy place was emblematic of heaven; and the idea here is, that the hope of the Christian enters into heaven itself; it takes hold on the throne of God; it is made firm by being fastened there. It is not the hope of future riches, honours, or pleasures in this life—for such a hope would not keep the soul steady; it is the hope of immortal blessedness and purity in the world beyond.

{f} "within the veil" Le 16:15

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