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¹Ὅθεν, ἀδελφοὶ ἅγιοι, κλήσεως ἐπουρανίου

II. @Μοses, Joshua, Jesus, the founders of the Old Economy and of the New (cc. iii., iv.).

The writer of the Epistle after stating the main thought of Christ's High-priesthood, which contained the answer to the chief difficulties of the Hebrews, pauses for a while before developing it in detail (cc. v.—vii.), in order to establish the superiority of the New Dispensation over the Old from another point of view. He has already shewn that Christ (the Son) is superior to the angels, the spiritual agents in the giving of the Law; he now goes on to shew that He is superior to the Human Lawgiver.

In doing this he goes back to the phrase which he had used in ii. 5. The conception of ἡ οἶκουμένη ἡ μέλλουσα leads naturally to a comparison of those who were appointed to found on earth the Jewish Theocracy and the new Kingdom of God.

This comparison is an essential part of the argument; for though the superiority of Christ to Moses might have seemed to be necessarily implied in the superiority of Christ to angels, yet the position of Moses in regard to the actual Jewish system made it necessary, in view of the difficulties of Hebrew Christians, to develop the truth independently.

And further the exact comparison is not between Moses and Christ, but between Moses and Jesus. Moses occupied a position which no other man occupied (Num. xii. 6 ff.). He was charged to found a Theocracy, a Kingdom of God. In this respect it became necessary to regard him side by side with Christ in His humanity, with the Son, who was Son of man no less than the Son of God. In the Apocalypse the victorious believers 'sing the song of Moses and the Lamb' (Apoc. xv. 3). (Compare generally John v. 45 ff.)

And yet again the work of Joshua, the actual issue of the Law, cast an important light upon the work of Moses of which the Christian was bound to take account.

Thus the section falls into three parts.

i. Moses and Jesus: the servant and the Son (iii. 1—6).

ii. The promise and the people under the Old and the New Dispensations (iii. 7—iv. 13).

iii. Transition to the doctrine of the High-priesthood, resuming ii. 17 f. (iv. 14—16).

i. Moses and Jesus: the servant and the Son (1— 6).

The paragraph begins with an assumption of the dignity of the Christian calling, and of 'Jesus' through whom it comes (vv. 1, 2); and then the writer establishes the superiority of Christ by two considerations:

(1) Moses represents a 'house,' an economy: Christ represents 'the framer of the house,' God Himself (vv. 3, 4).

(2) Moses held the position of a servant, witnessing to the future: Christ holds the position of a Son, and the blessings which He brings are realised now (vv. 5, 6).

Perhaps we may see, as has been suggested, in the form in which the truth is presented-the Father, the faithful servant, the Son—some remembrance of Abraham, and Eliezer, and Isaac.

¹Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High-priest of our confession, even Jesus, ²faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also was Moses in all His (God's) house. ³For He hath been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by so much as He hath more glory than the house who established it. ⁴For every house is established by some one; but He that established all


μέτοχοι, κατανοήσατε τὸν ἀπόστολον καῖ ἀρχιερέα τῆς

1 κατατοήσατε: κατανοήσετε D₂*.

things is God. ⁵And while Moses was faithful in all His (God's) house as a servant, for a testimony of the things which should be spoken, ⁶Christ is faithful as Son over His (God's) house; whose house are we, if we hold fast our boldness and the boast of our hope firm unto the end.

vv. 1, 2. The thought of the majesty and sympathy of Christ, the Son, and the glorified Son of man, glorified through sufferings, which bring Him near to fallen man as Redeemer and High-priest, imposes upon Christians the duty of considering His Person heedfully, in His humanity as well as in His divinity.

(1). ὅθεν] Wherefore, because Christ has taken our nature to Himself, and knows our needs and is able to satisfy them.

ἀδελφοὶ ἅγιοι] holy brethren. The phrase occurs only here, and perhaps in 1 Thess. v. 27. It follows naturally from the view of Christ's office which has just been given. This reveals the destiny of believers.

The epithet ἅγιοι is social and not personal, marking the ideal character not necessarily realised individually. (Compare John xiii. 10.)

In this sense St Paul speaks of Christians generally as ἅγιοι (e.g. Eph. ii. 19). Compare 1 Pet. ii. 5 ἑιράτευμα ἅγιον, id. ii. 9 ἔθνος ἅγιον.

Here the epithet characterises the nature of the fellowship of Christians which is further defined in the following clause.

The title ἀδελφοί occurs again in the Epistle v. 12; x. 19; xiii. 22. The sense of brotherhood springs from the common relation to Christ, and the use of the title here first may have been suggested by ii. 11 ff., to which however there is no direct reference. Contrast iv. 1. Filil unius caelestis Patris et unius Ecclesiae matris (Herv.).

Primasius says: Fratres eos vocat tam carne quam spiritu, qui ex eodem genere erant, eandemque fidem habebant. This is true in itself, but perhaps does not lie in the writer's thoughts.

κλήσεως ἐπουρανίου] Comp. Phil. iii. 14 τῆς ἄνω κλἡσεως.

The Christian's 'calling' is heavenly not simply in the sense that it is addressed to man from God in heaven, though this is true (comp. c. xii. 25), but as being a calling to a life fulfilled in heaven, in the spiritual realm. The voice from heaven to Moses was an earthly calling, a calling to the fulfilment of an earthly life.

Theophylact's words are too narrow when he says, treating heaven as a place not a state: ἐκεῖ ἐκλήθημεν, μηδὲν ἐνταῦθα ζητῶμεν. ἐκεῖ ὁ μισθός, ἐκεῖ ἡ ἀνταπόδοσις.

The word κλῆσις is found elsewhere in the Ν. T. only in St Paul and 2 Pet. i. 10. Comp. Clem. 1 Cor. vii; xlvi.

ἐπουρανίου] c. vi. 4; viii. 5; ix. 23; xi. 16; xii. 22. Comp. Eph. i. 3; Phil. ii. 10; John iii. 12 note; and, for the lxx., Ps. lxvii. 15; (Dan. iv. 23); 2 Macc. iii. 39.

μέτοχοι] Vulg. participes. The word occurs again v. 14 (τοῦ Χριστοῦ); vi. 4 (πνεύματος ἁγίου); xii. 8 (παιδείας) (elsewhere in Ν. Τ. Luke v. 7); Clem. 1 Cor. xxxiv. Comp. ii. 14 μετέσχεν (note).

As distinguished from κοινωνός, which suggests the idea of personal fellowship (comp, c. x. 33 note), μέτοχος describes participation in some common blessing or privilege, or the like. The bond of union lies in that which is shared and not in the persons themselves.

κατανοήσατε...πιστὸν ὅντα] Ο. L. intuimini...fidelem esse (fidelem existentem). Vulg. considerate...qui fidelis est.


ὁμολογίας ἡμῶν Ίησοῦν, ²πιστὸν ὄντα τῷ ποιήσαντι αὐτὸν

Ίησοῦν אABC* D₂* M₂ vg me the: Ί. Χριστόν syrr: Χριστὸν Ἰ. S.

The sense is not simply: 'Regard Jesus...who was...'; but 'Regard Jesus...as being....' Attention is fixed upon the perfect fidelity with which He fulfilled His work, and that essentially, both now and always (ὅντα not γενόμενον). Comp. i. 3 ὥν.

For the verb κατανοεῖν, which expresses attention and continuous observation and regard, see c. x. 24; James i. 23 ff.; Luke xii. 24, 27. Philo, Leg. Alleg. iii. § 32 διὰ τῶν ἔργων τὸν τεχνίτην κατανοοῦντες. 1 Clem. xxxvii. 2.

The use of the second person (κατανοήσατε) is rare in the Epistle in such a connexion (comp. vii. 4 θεωρεῖτε). The writer generally identifies himself with those to whom he gives counsel (iv. 1, 11, 14, 16; vi. 1; x. 22 f.: xii. 28; xiii. 13, 15).

τὸν ἀπόστολον καὶ ἀρχιερέα] 'Him who occupies the double position of legislator—envoy from God—and Priest.' In Christ the functions of Moses and Aaron are combined, each in an infinitely loftier form. The compound description (ὁ ἀπόστ. καὶ ἀρχ.) gathers up what has been already established as to Christ as the last revealer of God's will and the fulfiller of man's destiny. Comp. c. viii. 6 note.

Here the double office of Christ underlies the description of Christians which has boon given already. Άπόστoλος gives the authority of the κλῆσις ἐπουράνιος and ἀρχιερεύς the source of the title ἅγιοι.

Bengel says admirably of Christ: qui Dei causam apud nos agit, causam nostram apud Deum agit.

ἀπόστολον] Comp. John xvii. 3 &c. Theodoret, referring to Gal. iv. 5, calls attention to the fact that the Father is said to have sent forth the Son γενόμενον ἐκ γυναικός and not γενέσθαι ἐκ γυναικός. He is ἀπόστολος in respect of His perfect manhood. For the idea of ἀπόστολος΄ compare Just M. Dial. 75. Lightfoot Galatians pp. 89 ff.

ἀρχ. τῆς ὁμολογίας ἡμῶν] Old Lat. principem constitutionis nostrae. The apostle and high-priest who belongs to, who is characteristic of our confession. In Christ our 'confession,' the faith which we hold and openly acknowledge, finds its authoritative promulgation and its priestly application.

The sense 'whom we confess' or 'who is the subject and sum of our confession' falls short of the meaning.

ὁμολ.] c. iv. 14; x. 23; 1 Tim. vi. 12 f. Comp. 2 Cor. ix. 13 (Rom. x. 9). Comp. Philo de Sumn. i. § 38 (i. 654 M.) ὁ μέγας ἀρχιερεὺς [τῆς ὁμολογίας]. Clem. 1 Cor. xxxvi. Ίησοῦν Χριστόν, τὸν ἀρχιερέα τῶν προσφορῶν ἡμῶν...id. lxi. διὰ τοῦ ἀρχιερέως καὶ προστάτου τῆω ψθχῶν ἡμῶν Ἱησοῦ χριστοῦ...id. lxiv. διὰ τοῦ αῤχιερέως καὶ προστάτου Ίησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

The word is objective here like πίστις. Theod. ὁμολ. δὲ ἡμῶν τὴν πίστιν ἐκάλεσεν (so Theophlct., Prim., Oecum.).

Ίησοῦν] The human name of the Lord is chosen as presenting in brief the thoughts developed at the end of c. ii. The name Christ appears first in v. 6.

The use of the name is characteristic of the Epistle; see ii. 9 note, and Addit. Note on i. 4. It is of interest to notice that the usage in the Epistle of Barnabas is similar (Rendall on Barn. Ep. ii. 6). The difficulty of the Hebrews and their consolation turned on the Lord's humanity.

(2). πιστὸν ὅντα τῷ ποιήσ. αὐ.] faithful in His perfect humanity to Him who appointed Him to His authoritative


ὡς καὶ Μωυσῆς ἐν [ὅλῳ] τῷ οἴκῳ αὐτοῦ. ³πλείονος γὰρ οὗτος

2 om. ὅλῳ Β me the. 3 οὗτος δόξης אABCD₂: δ. οὗτ. S Μ₂ vg.

and mediatorial office. Comp. 1 Cor. iv. 2.

τῷ ποιήσαντι] Old Lat. creatori suo (qui creavit eum). Vulg. ei qui fecit illum. The phrase is capable of two distinct interpretations. It may be understood (1) of the Lord's humanity, or (2) of the Lord's office.

The language of i. 3 absolutely excludes the idea that the writer speaks of Christ Himself personally as ποίημα, or κτίσμα.

In favour of the first view it is urged that the phrase is commonly used of the Creator in reference to men: e.g. Is. xvii. 7 (τῷ π. αὐτόν); Ps. xciv. (xcv.) 6; Ps. cxlix. 2.

And the fathers constantly speak of the Lord's humanity in these terms, as, for example, Athanasius de sent. Dion. (i. p. 496 Migne), though he appears to interpret this passage of the Lord's office as well as of His humanity: c. Ar. ii. 7.

In itself this interpretation is admissible, but such a reference to the Lord's human nature apart from His office seems to be out of place.

It is better therefore to adopt the second interpretation and refer the 'making' to the Lord's office: 'who invested Him with His office, who appointed Him, who made Him Apostle and High Priest' comp. Acts ii. 36). This sense is perfectly natural (comp. 1 Sam. xii. 6; Mark iii. 14).

So Theodoret: τῷ ποιήσαντι αὐτόν, τουτέστιν ἀπόστολον καὶ ἀρχιερέαποίησιν δὲ οὐ τὴν δημιουργίαν ἀλλὰ τὴν χειροτονίαν κέκληκεν. And Chrysostom: οὐδὲν ἐνταῦθα περὶ οὐσίας φησίν, οὐδὲ περὶ τῆς θεότητος, ἀλλὰ τέως περὶ ἀξιωμάτων ἀνθρωπίνων.

Primasius refers the word to the Lord's humanity, being led astray by the Latin rendering of Rom. i. 3: qui fecit illum, juxta quod alibi dicitur qui factus est ei ex semine David secundum carnem.

ὡς καὶ Μωυσῆς] The former discussion has prepared the way for this comparison of 'Jesus' with the founder of the Old Theocracy.

ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ οἴκῳ] The point of comparison lies in the fact that Moses and Christ were both engaged, not as other divine messengers with a part, but with the whole of the divine economy. The prophets dealt severally with this or that aspect of Truth, the Kings with another region of life, the Priests with another. But Moses and Christ dealt with 'the whole house of God.'

The words, taken from Num. xii 7, may go either with 'Moses' or with 'Jesus.' In either case the sense is the same. Perhaps the reference of αὐτοῦ to God, and the emphasis which is naturally laid on the fact that the office of Christ was as wide as that of Moses, favours the connexion of the words with 'Jesus.'

In their original reference to Moses the words were much discussed by Rabbinical writers, who found various deeper meanings in נֶאֱמָן (faithful), as one who could speak with authority, to whom the secrets of the Lord were entrusted. Comp. Philo, Leg. Alleg. iii. § 72 (i. 128 M.); § 81 (i. 132 M.).

For the perfect faithfulness of Moses in his work see Ex. xi. 16. The nobility of his service is recognised when that of Christ is set above it Comp. 1 Clem. xvii. 5.

τῷ οἴκῳ αὐτοῦ] His house, i.e. the house of God, not of Christ or of Moses. This is decided in the original context: The Lord...said...My servant Moses...is faithful in all Mine house, where the Targums give the sense rightly 'in all My people.' The familiarity of the words left no room for misunderstanding to a Jew.


δόξης παρὰ Μωυσῆν ἠξίωται καθ' ὅσον πλείονα τιμὴν

The 'house of God' is the organised society in which He dwells. Israel was the type of redeemed mankind.

Compare 1 Tim. iii. 15; 1 Pet. iv. 17; Eph. ii. 21 f.; Hos. viii. 1.

This 'house' in relation to God is essentially one, but in relation to the two agents, Moses and 'Jesus,' through whom it is administered, it is twofold in form.

Compare Philo de Somn. i. § 32 (i. 648 Μ.) ὁ αἰσθητὸς οὑτοσὶ κὀσμος οὐδὲν ἄρα ἄλλο ἐστὶν ἥ οἶκος θεοῦ, μιᾶς τῶν τοῦ ὄντως θεοῦ δυνάμεων καθ'ἧν ἀγαθὸς ἧν (the reference is to Gen. xxviii. 17).

(3), (4). The general affirmation of the dignity of Christ which has been included in the two preceding verses is enforced by a view of His superiority over Moses. Moses was, so to speak, lost in the economy which was given through him: Christ was the author of that which He instituted. Ὅση, φησί, ποιήματος πρὸς ποιητὴν διαφορὰ τοσαύτν Μωῦσέως πρὸς τὸν Χριστὸν (Theodt.).

πλείονος γάρ...] The duty of careful regard is pressed by the consideration of Christ's preeminence: Regard...Jesus...for He hath been counted worthy of more glory than Moses...The fidelity of Christ in dealing with the whole house of God was as complete as that of the Lawgiver who was raised above all other men, and His authority was greater.

For the use of πλείων compare c. xi. 4 (not in St Paul in this usage).

πλείονος...καθ' ὅσον...] He hath been counted worthy of more...by so much as...Old Lat. ampliorem gloriam...consecutus est, quanto majorem honorem habet domus qui praeparavit ipsam...Vulg. amplioris gloriae...dignus est habitus, quanto ampliorem h. h. d. qui fabricavit illam.

oὕτος] He, who is the one present object of our thoughts. Compare c. x. 12 (vii. 1, 4). The usage is very common in St John (e.g. i. 2; 1 John v. 6).

ἡξέωται] The thought is of the abiding glory of Christ, and not of the historic fact of His exaltation (ἡξιώθη). Comp. ii. 9 note. It is implied that that which was merited was also given. For ἀξιοῦσθαι see c. x. 29; 1 Tim. v. 17.

δόξης...τιμήν] glory...honour. The term is changed in the second case to cover more naturally the application to 'the house.' 'Glory' is internal, as light flashed forth from an object: 'honour' is external, as light shed upon it. Comp. ii. 7, 9; and for δόξα, 2 Cor. iii. 7 ff.

καθ' ὅσον...] The remark is quite general. Here the force of the argument lies in the fact that Moses is identified with the system which was entrusted to him. He was himself a part of it. He did not originate it. He received it and administered it with absolute loyalty. But its author was God. And Christ is the Son of God. Hence the relation of Moses to Christ is that of a system to its author. The argument is indicated but not worked out in the next verse. Kαὶ αὐτός, φησί, τῆς οἰκίας ἧν. καὶ οὐκ εἶπεν οὗτος μὲν γὰρ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος δὲ δεσπότης, ἀλλὰ τοῦτο λανθανόντως ἐνέφηνεν (Chrys.).

Some have referred ὁ κατασκευάσας to Christ, as the real Founder of that Kingdom of God of which the Jewish economy was a shadow. This thought is completely in harmony with the argument of the Epistle, but it is not directly expressed elsewhere. And on this interpretation v. 4 must be taken as a parenthetical remark designed to guard the sovereign authorship of God in all things and His part in the ordering of the Law, a view which appears to be unsatisfactory. The compressed suggestiveness of the argument is not unlike John viii. 31—36.


ἔχει τοῦ οἴκου ὁ κατασκευάσας αὐτόν. ⁴πᾶς γὰρ οἶκος κατασκευάζεται ὑπό τινος, ὁ δὲ πάντα κατασκευάσας θεός. ⁵καὶ Μωυσῆς μὲν πιστὸς ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ οἴκῳ αὐτοῦ ὥς θεράπων εἰς μαρτύριον τῶν λαληθησομένων, ⁶Χριστὸς δὲ ὥς υἱὸς

4 πάντα אABC* D₂* M₂: + τὰ' π. S.

ὁ κατασκευάσας] he that established, Vulg. qui fabricavit. The word (κατασκευάζειν) expresses more than the mere construction of the house. It includes the supply of all necessary furniture and equipment. Comp. c. ix. 2, 6; xi. 7; Num. xxi. 27.

(4). πᾶς γάρ...] The general principle, that the framer is superior to the thing framed, admits of application in the case of the Law. Even here we must not rest on the system; for every system, and this highest of all, has its framer; and finally every system is carried up to God as its Author, and 'Jesus' our 'Apostle and High-priest' is the Son of God.

Nothing is said here expressly of the unique relation in which Christ, as the Son, stands to God. That is assumed, as having ben already laid down in the opening of the Epistle.

πάντα] all things taken severally, and not the sum of all things (τὰ πάντα). Comp. ii. 10.

θεός] For the difference of θεός and ὁ θεός see Additional Note on 1 John iv. 12. The anarthrous form (θεός) wherever it is used in the Epistle suggests the thought of the character of God as God: i. 6; ii. 9 (note); v. 12 (θεὸς ζῶν note); vi. 1, 5, 18; viii. 10; xi. 3, 16; xii. 23. The force of it will be felt by comparing vi. 1, 5 with vi. 3; vi. 17 with vi. 18; xi. 3 with xi. 4.

(5), (6). The superiority of Christ over Moses is shewn also by another argument. Moses and Christ are not only distinguished as standing to one another in the relation of an economy to its author; but also in regard to the respective economies which they administered. The position of Moses was, by a necessary consequence, that of a servant acting in a certain sphere, the position of Christ that of a Son over a certain sphere. And yet again, the Mosaic order pointed forward as preparatory to that which should come after: the Christian order includes the blessings which it proclaims.

(5). ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ οἴκῳ αὐτοῦ] in all God's house, as before. The phrase which marks the inferiority of Moses to Christ marks at the same time his superiority to all the other prophets.

ὡς θεράπων] Vulg. tanquam famulus (O. L. servus). Here only in Ν. T. Num. xii. 7 lxx. (Hebrew); Jos. i. 2; viii. 31, 33; Wisd. x. 16. Comp. Clem. 1 Cor. c. 43 (see also cc. 17, 51) ὁ μακάριος πιστὸς θεράπων ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ οἴκῳ Μωυσῆς. Θεράμπων suggests a personal service freely rendered. Δοῦλος expresses a permanent social condition. The same person may be described by both words under different aspects. Comp. Ps. cv. (civ.) 26; Apoc. xv. 3 (δοῦλος of Moses).

εἰς μαρτ. τῶν λαληθησομένων] for a testimony of the things which should be spoken by God through the prophets and finally through Christ (i. 1). Old Lat. in testimonio loquendorum. Vulg. in testimonium eorum quae dicenda erant. The position of Moses and of the Mosaic Dispensation was provisional. Moses not only witnessed to the truths which his legislation plainly declared, but also to the truths which were to be made plain afterwards. The Ο. T. in all its parts pointed forward to a spiritual antitype. Comp. Deut. xviii. 15 ff.

The rendering, 'to be spoken by him' (Pesh.) or 'by the prophets of


ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ. οὗ οἶκός ἐσμεν ἡμεῖς, ἐὰν τὴν παρρησίαν καὶ τὸ καύχημα τῆς ἐλπίδος [μέχρι τέλους βεβαίαν]

6 οὗ οἶκος אΑΒC: ὅς οἶκος D₂* M₂ vg. ἐὰν) BD₂ M₂ vg: ἐάνπερ S א* AC (not disturbed in v. 14; vi. 3). om. μέχρι τ. βεβ. Β (no omission in v. 14).

the O. T.' wholly obscures the contrast of the Old and New.

On the rarity of the future participle in the Ν. T. see Winer-Moulton, p. 428.

(6). Xριστὸς δέ] The name is changed. The human title (v. 1 Ἰνσοῦν) is replaced by the 'prophetic' title after the full description of the relation of the Incarnate Son to Moses. Χριστός occurs again as a proper name without the article ix. 11, 24.

ὡς υἱός...] Moses and Christ were alike 'faithful' (v. 2), but their perfect fidelity was exercised in different respects. Moses was faithful as a servant in the administration of God's house: Christ was faithful as a Son as sovereign over God's house (i. 2). Comp. c. x. 21; Matt. xxi. 37 ff.

The form of the sentence requires the extension of πιστὸς to Christ no less than in v. 2; and probably of the whole phrase πιστὸς ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ οἶκῳ, so that ὥς υἱὸς ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον corresponds with ὥς θεράπων εἰς μαρτ. τῶς λαληθησομένων.

ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ] over His, that is God's, house. The phrase necessarily retains one meaning throughout. The Vulg. not unnaturally gives in domo sua (Old Lat. ejus), making a contrast apparently between 'in domo ejus' and 'in domo sua.''

For ἐπί (the force of which is missed by the Latin version) compare c. x. 21.

οὗ οἶκος...] The writer might have said, taking up the words of the quotation, οὗ ὁ οἶκος..., but he wishes to insist on the character (οἶκος) and not upon the concrete uniqueness (ὁ οἶκος) of the Christian society. Comp. i. 2 ἐν υἱῷ.

Christians are 'the house of God,' and no longer the Jews. They have the fulness of blessing in their grasp even if it is not yet manifested. On the reference of the relative to a remote antecedent (θεός v. 4), see c. v. 7 note.

ἐὰν...] The spiritual privileges of Christians depend upon their firm hold upon that glorious hope which the Hebrews were on the point of losing.

τὴν παρρησίαω] Ο. L. libertatem, Vulg. fiduciam, c. x. 35, 19; iv. 16; Eph. iii. 12.

Παρρησία always convoys the idea of boldness which finds expression in word or act.

τὸ καύχημα τῆς ἐλπ.] Old Lat. exsultationem spei. Vulg. gloriam spei.

The Christian hope is one of courageous exultation. Comp. vi. 18 ff. This exultation is here regarded in its definite concrete form (καύχημα boast) and not as finding personal expression (καύχησις boasting). Contrast 2 Cor. i. 14 with 1 Cor. i. 12; Rom. iii. 27 with Rom. iv. 2.

μέχρι τέλ. βεβ.] If this clause is genuine, and not an interpolation from v. 14, then τῆς ἐλπίδος must be taken with παρρ. as well as καύχημα, the gender of βεβαίαν being determined by the former noun. This connexion is unlikely, and so far the internal evidence is against the authenticity of the clause.

μέχρι τέλους) till hope passes into sight. Comp. c. vi. 11; Apoc. ii. 26; Matt. x. 22; 1 Cor. i. 8.

The conception of 'hope' occupies an important place in the Epistle (vi. 11, 18; vii. 19; x. 23, note). 'Hope' is related to 'Faith' as the energetic activity of life is related to life. Through hope the power of faith is seen in regard to the future. Hope gives distinctness to the objects of faith.


ii. The promise and the people under the Old and the New Dispensations (iii. 7—iv. 13).

The comparison of Christ with Moses lends naturally to a comparison of those who respectively received their teaching. The faithlessness of the Jews in the desert becomes an eloquent warning to Christians who are in danger of unbelief. Even the date (about 'forty years' from the Passion) seemed to give additional force to the parallel. At the same time the history of the past was fitted to prepare 'the remnant' of Jewish believers for the general faithlessness of their countrymen. The Old Testament is in fact a record of successive judgments of Israel out of which a few only were saved.

The argument turns upon the Psalmist's interpretation of the discipline of the wilderness (Ps. xcv.). (1) Faith is first laid down as the condition of the enjoyment of the divine blessing (iii. 7—19); and then (2) it is shewn that the promise still remains to be realised by Christians (iv. 1-13).

(1) Faith is the condition of the enjoyment of the divine blessing (iii. 7—19).

The condition of Faith is established by (a) the experience of the wilderness (7—11), which (b) is applied generally (12—15), and then (c) interpreted in detail (16—19).

The construction of the paragraph is by no means clear. It is uncertain whether vv. 12, 15 are to be connected with the verses which precede or with those which follow. On the whole it seems to be simplest to take βλέπετε (v. 12) as the sequel of διό (v. 7), treating vv. 7 b—11 as structurally parenthetical; and to join v. 15 with v. 13, treating v. 14 also as parenthetical. In any case the whole scope of the passage remains the same.

(a) The example of the wilderness (7—11).

The xcvth Psalm serves perfectly to point the lesson which the Apostle desires to draw. It contains an invitation to the people of God to worship, and a divine warning against disobedience.

The Psalm has been used from the earliest times in the Synagogue service for the Sabbath, and as "the Invitatory Psalm" at Matins in the Western Church.

It is assigned in the lxx. (not in the Hebrew) to David (comp. c. iv. 7), but this popular attribution cannot be right.

The words which immediately precede the quotation (8—11) justify the application to Christians:

We are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand (Lk. xii. 32 ποίμνιον).

The particular interpretation of this claim gives also the particular interpretation of 'today.' The voice of God comes still to those who claim to be His.

The quotation agrees with the lxx. text except by the insertion of διό and by the substitution of ταύτῃ for ἐκείνῃ and of αὐτοὶ δέ for καὶ αὐτοί in v. 10; [πειρασμοῦ is the true reading of lxx.] and of ἐv δοκιμησίᾳ for ἐδοκίμησαν (v. 9).

⁷Wherefore—even as the Holy

Ghost saith,

Today, if ye shall hear His voice,

⁸Harden not your hearts, as in the Provocation,

At the day of the Temptation in

the wilderness,

⁹Where your fathers tempted by


And saw my works forty years,

¹⁰Wherefore I was displeased with

this generation,

And said They do always err in

their heart;

But they did not know my ways,

¹¹As I swore in my wrath,

They shall not enter into my


(7). διό] Wherefore, because it is only by holding fast our hope that we


κατάσχωμεν. ⁷Διό—καθὼς λέγει τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ˹ἅγιον,

Σήμερον ἐὰν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ ἀκούσητε,

μὴ σκληρύνητε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν ὥς ἐν τῷ παραπικρασμῷ,

7...11 ἅγιον,...μεν.

8 παραπικρασμῷ: πιρασμῶ Κ.

can secure the privilege of the divine society.

The point of transition lies in v. 6. The condition of resolute fidelity suggests the consideration of the consequences of failure.

The construction of the clauses which follow is uncertain. It may be complete or incomplete. In the former case two modes of construction are possible. The quotation from Ps. xcv. may be appropriated by the writer of the Epistle and made part of his own appeal, so that the words μὴ σκληρύνητε...become the immediate sequel (διό...μὴ σκληρ.). Or the whole quotation may be parenthetical, and διό be connected immediately with βλέπετε in v. 12.

It is a serious objection to the former view that the words μὴ σκληρύνητε...in the Psalm are spoken by God, and it is unlikely that the writer should so appropriate them, while long parentheses are not alien from his style; and further it may be urged that βλέπετε by itself is abrupt as a beginning.

If then the construction is complete we must connect v. 7 directly with v. 12; but it is possible that the sentence begun in v. 7 is left formally unfinished, so that v. 12 takes up again the main thought. Such a broken construction may be compared with x. 16.

κ. λέγει τὸ πν. τὸ ἅγ.] Comp. ix. 8; x. 15; Acts xxviii. 25. See also Mk. xiii. 11; Acts xiii. 2; xx. 23; xxi. 11; 1 Clem. xiii. 1; xvi. 2. The same words are afterwards referred to 'God': iv. 4 f.

It is characteristic of the Epistle that the words of Holy Scripture are referred to the Divine Author and not to the human instrument. The phrase τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον occurs again c. ix. 8; x. 15: in clear contrast with πνεῦμα ἅγιον ii. 4; vi. 4. Comp. c. x. 29 τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς χάριτος. The forms τὸ πνεῦμα and τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα, which are both used by St Paul, are not found in this Epistle. It is however to be noticed that the form τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα is comparatively very rare. It occurs Matt. xxviii. 19; Lk. xii. 10, 12; Acts i. 8; ii. 38; ix. 31; xiii. 4; xvi. 6 (not ii. 33; x. 45; xv. 28); 1 Cor. (vi. 19;) xiii. 13.

σήμερον] Today. Comp. 2 Cor. vi. 2. The word emphasises the immediate necessity of vigilance and effort. In old times the people fell away when the divine voice was still sounding in their ears.

ἐὰν τῆς φ.] The original may be rendered as a wish 'O that today ye would...'; but the structure of the Psalm favours the rendering of the lxx. followed here, though, indeed, ἐὰν is used to represent a wish (Ps. cxxxix. 19).

τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ] His voice, that is, the voice of God spoken through Christ as the Apostle applies the words. The application to Christ of that which is said of the Lord in the Old Testament was of the highest moment for the apprehension of the doctrine of His Person. Comp. Acts ii. 21. See Additional Note.

(8). μὴ σκληρύνητε...] Harden not... Unbelief, like faith, finds one element in man's self-determination. The issue of unbelief is his act. On the other hand he is subject to adverse influences. It is alike true that he 'hardens his heart' and also that 'he is hardened' (v. 13). Scripture recognises


κατὰ τὴν ἡμ΄΄εραν τοῦ πειρασμοῦ ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ,

οὗ ἐπείρασαν οἱ πατέρες ὑμῶν ἐν δοκιμασίᾳ καὶ εἶδον τὰ ἔργα μου τεσσεράκοντα ἔτη.

¹⁰διὸ προσώχθισα τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ

9 ὄπου D₂*. ἐπείρασαν (א* ) ABCD₂*: ἐπ. + με S M₂ vg syrr (so lxx.). ὑμῶν: ἡμῶν A. ἐν δοκιμασίᾳ א* (A)BCD₂* M₂ me: ἐδοκίμας με S (vg) (syrr) (sο lxx.). 10 ταύτῃ אABD₂* M₂ vg: ἐκείνῃ S C syrr me (so lxx.).

man's responsibility and no less the inexorable law of moral consequence by the working of which God hardens the heart of the disobedient and self-willed. In this respect the variations in the narrative of the Exodus are most instructive. Pharaoh 'hardened his heart' (Ex. viii. 15, 32; ix. 34). 'The Lord hardened' Pharaoh's heart (iv. 21; ix. 12; x. 1, 20, 27; xi. 10; xiv. 4, 8). Pharaoh's heart 'was hardened' (vii. 14, 22; ix. 7, 35).

The word σκληρύνειν, except in this context (vv. 13, 15; iv. 7), is found in the Ν. T. only in Acts xix. 9; Rom. ix. 18. It is used in the lxx. of 'the heart,' 'the spirit' (Deut. ii. 30), 'the back,' 'the neck.'

παραπικρασμῷ......πειρασμοῦ] The original text gives the two proper names: As at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness; and perhaps the lxx., which elsewhere gives equivalents for proper names, may have intended Παραπικρασμός and Πειρασμός to be so taken.

The two acts of faithlessness referred to cover the whole period of the forty years (Num. xx. 1 ff.; Ex. xvii. 1 ff.; comp. Deut. xxxiii. 8).

The rendering κατὰ τ. ἡ. (כַיּ֖וֹם) obscures the distinctness of the second (first) event, but does not destroy it.

The preposition κατά is probably to be understood in a temporal sense (at the day...iii. 13) and not of comparison, like as on...secundum diem tentationis (Vulg.), id est, sequentes et imitantes diem et tempus in quo patres vestri me tentaverunt (Herv.).

πειρασμοῦ] when the people 'tempted' God: comp. Ps. lxxviii. 17 ff.

(9). οὖ] where, Vulg. ubi, and not 'in which' by attraction for

ἐπείρ. ἐν δοκιμασίᾳ] The absence of a direct object in this clause according to the true reading points to the connexion of ἐπείρ. as well as εἶδον with τὰ ἔργα μου (Vulg. probaverunt et viderunt opera mea). This rendering departs considerably from the Hebrew and from the lxx., but places in a more vivid light the character of unbelief. The faithless people tried and tested not the invisible God but His visible works. They found reason to question where they should have rested in faith.

τὰ ἔργα μου] The Hebrew is singular. The many works of God in the wilderness were all one work, one in essence and aim, whether they were works of deliverance or works of chastisement. Under this aspect acts of righteous judgment and of mercy were parts of the same counsel of loving discipline.

τεσσερ. ἔτη] In the original these words go with the following clause (and so in v. 17). Here they are transposed to draw attention to the duration of God's discipline. The period had a significant coincidence with the interval which had elapsed since the Passion at the time when the Epistle was written.

Jewish writers connected the 'forty years' in the wilderness with the time of Messiah. For example: R. Eliezer said: The days of the Messiah are forty years, as it is said: Ps. xcv. 10 (Sanh. 99. 1, quoted by Bleck).

(10). διό...] Wherefore...The particle is inserted by the writer, who separates


καὶ αἶπον. Δεὶ πλανῶνται τῇ καρδίᾳ.

αὐτοὶ δὲ οὐκ ἔγνωσαν τὰς ὁδούς μου.

¹¹ὡς ὥμοσα ἐν τῇ οργῇ μου

Εἰ εἰσελεύσονται εἶς τὴν κατάπαυσίν μου— ˺

the period of discipline from the sentence of rejection.

προσώχθισα] I was wroth, vehemently displeased. The original term (קום) expresses loathing.

τῇ καρδίᾳ] in their heart, the seat of man's personal character, of his moral life. See Additional Note on c. iv. 12.

αὐτοὶ δέ...]. But they...The particle seems to involve a silent reference to the constant warnings and teachings of God: 'I ever shewed them my purpose, but they on their part recognised not my ways.' Comp. viii. 9.

(11). ὡς ὥμοσα] according as I sware, Vulg. sicut juravi, in that time of disobedience. Loqui Dei magnum est: jurare vero nimis metuendum (Primas.).

The rendering so that is not required by the original Hebrew, and is (apparently) unexampled in Greek. Comp. Winer p. 578 (Moulton's note).

εἰ αἰσελεύσονται] They shall not enter... Compare Mark viii. 12 (εἰ δοθήσεται); Gen. xiv. 23; Num. xiv. 30; 1 Sam. iii. 17. See Winer-Moulton p. 627.

εἰς τὴν κατάπαυσιν] The rest was primarily Canaan (Deut. xii. 9 f.), and then that divine kingdom and order of which the earthly Canaan was an imperfect type. At the first the occupation of the promised Land was treated as being ideally the fulfilment of the highest destiny of Israel in perfect fellowship with God (Lev. xxvi. 11 f.). But the partial outward accomplishment of the national hope necessarily fixed attention upon the spiritual realities with which the imperfect earthly blessings corresponded. The unsatisfying character of the temporal inheritance quickened the aspiration after a truer inheritance which the prophets cherished and deepened.

The writer of the Epistle afterwards identifies the true rest with the rest of God after Creation (iv. 4). The rest which God had proposed for His people was no other than that into which He Himself had entered.

Primasius (translating Chrysostom) distinguishes these three rests: Notandum tres requies ab apostolo in hac epistola commemorari, unam sabbati, quo requievit Deus ab operibus suis; secundam Palaestinae, in quam ingressi Israelitae requieturi erant a miseria et laboribus multis; tertiam quoque, quae vera est requies, regnum videlicet caelorum, ad quam quos pervenire contigerit planissime requiescent a laboribus et aerumnis hujus saeculi.

κατάπαυσις] In classical Greek the word means 'a stopping,' 'a causing to cease,' literally or figuratively: in the lxx. 'a rest' or 'rest' Comp. Deut. xii. 9; Is. lxvi. 1 (Acts vii. 49); 2 Macc. xv. 1. It is found in the Ν. T. only in this context besides the quotation in the Acts.

(b) The general application of the lesson of the wilderness (12—15).

The words of the Psalm which have been quoted at length are now applied generally to Christians. The reality of the blessings which they have received depends upon the faith with which they receive the present voice of God while it is still addressed to them.

[Wherefore, I repeat,] ¹²take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from Him who is a living God; ¹³but exhort your own selves day by day so long


¹²βλέπετε, ἀδελφοί, μή ποτε ἔσται ἔν τινι ὑμῶν καρδία πονηρὰ ἀπιστίας ἐv τῷ ἀοστῆναι ἀπὸ θεοῦ ζῶντος,

as it is called Today, that no one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin—¹⁴for we are become partakers of Christ, if at least we hold the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end— ¹⁵while it is said

Today, if ye shall hear His voice,

Harden not your hearts, as in the Provocation.

(12). βλέπετε, ἀδελφοί, μή...] Τhe words take up the διό of v. 7, enforced and Illustrated by the teachings of the Psalm. This use of βλέπειν μή (for ὁρᾶν μη) is unclassical. It is not unfrequent in the Ν. T.: c. xii. 25; Matt. xxiv. 4; Acts xiii. 40, &c. For ἀδελφοί see v. 1. The argument which the title includes is written out in v. 14.

μή ποτε ἔσται] The construction, as distinguished from μή γένηται, marks the reality and the urgency of the danger. Comp. Mk. xiv. 2; Col. ii. 8; Gal. iv. 11 (μή πως κεκοπίακα).

ἔν τινι ὑμ.] in any one of you. A single unbelieving soul might corrupt the whole body.

καρδ. π. ἀπιστίας] The phrase is remarkable. Kαρδία πονηρά go closely together, and ἀπιστίας characterises the 'evil-heart'; as σῶμα τῆς ἁμαρτίας Rom. vi. 6; σῶμα τῆς σαρκός Col. i. 22. Comp. Clem. 1 Cor. iii. 4.

This thought of 'unbelief,' 'unfaithfulness,' stands in contrast with the 'faithfulness' which was the glory of Moses and of Christ (v. 2 πιστὸς ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ οἴκῳ).

'Unbelief' (ἀπιστία) finds its practical issue in 'disobedience' (ἀπείθεια). Comp. v. 19 (δι' ἀπιστίαν); c. iv. 6 (δι' ἀπείθειαν). See v. 19 note.

ἐν τῷ ἀποστῆναι] in falling away from...shewn In this apostasy (Acts iii. 26 ἐν τῷ ἀποστρέφειν). Unbelief might prevail at last even after a temporary victory of faith. The Vulgate rendering is expressive, cor....discedendi.

For ἀποσστῆναι compare Lk. viii. 13. It is construed commonly with Απο (Acts xv. 38), but also with the simple genitive (1 Tim. iv. 1).

ἀπὸ θεοῦ ζῶντος] from Him Who is a living God. The anarthrous title (θεὸς ζῶν), which is far more common than ὁ. θ. ὁ ζῶν (comp. cc. ix. 14; x. 31; xii. 22), always fixes attention upon the character as distinguished from the 'Person' of God (ὁ θεὸς ὁ ζῶν Matt. xvi. 16; xxvi. 63; Apoc. xv. 7). In every case it suggests a ground for corresponding thought or action (e.g. Acts xiv. 15 ἐπὶ θεὸν ζῶντα not τὸν θ. τὸν ζ.; 1 Thess. i. 9; Rom. ix. 26 lxx.). The title is generally used of God, as the Creator and Preserver and Governor of the world (Deut. v. 26; Josh, iii. 10; 1 Sam. xvii. 26 (A); 2 K. xix. 4, 16; (Jer. xxiii. 36); Dan. vi. 20, 26; (Ps. lxxxiv. 2), in contrast with the idols ('vanities,' 'nothings,' θεοὶ νεκροί Didache vi. 3) of heathendom. Here it suggests, among other thoughts, the certainty of retribution on unfaithfulness. The title Is not found in the Gospel or Epistles of St John (but notice John vi. 57 ὁ ζῶν πατήρ).

In old times the glory of Israel was the knowledge of 'the living God'; but now to fall back from Christianity to Judaism was really to revolt from Him (comp. vi. 5 ff.), for as God is living so the revelation which He gives of Himself is progressive. On the one side He spake In His Son (i. 2 ἐλάλησεν), and on the other side He is speaking still (xii. 25 τὸν λαλοῦντα).

The phrase reappears in Herm. Vis. ii. 3, 2 σώζει σε τὸ μὴ ἀποστῆναι σε ἀπὸ θεοῦ ζῶντος...Comp. 1 Clem. iii. 4 ἐν τῷ ἀπολιπεῖν ἔκαστον τὸν φόβον τοῦ θεοῦ.


¹³ἀλλὰ παρακαλεῖτε ἑαυτοὺς καθ' ἑκάστην ἡμέραν, ἄχρις οὗ τό Σήμερον καλεῖται, ἵνα μὴ σδκηρυνθῇ Γτις ἐξ ὑμῶν ¹⁴ἀπάτῃ τῆς ἁμαρτίας. μέτοχοι γὰρ τοῦ χριστοῦ γεγόναμεν,

13 ἐξ ὑμῶν τις.

13 καλεῖται: καλεῖτε AC. σκλ. τις ἐξ ὑ. אΑCΗΜ₂ vg syrvg me; σκλ. ἐξ ὑ. τις BD₂ syr hl. τῆς ἁμ.: ἁμαρτίαις D₂*. 14 τοῦ χρ. γεγόν. אΑΒCD₂ΗΜ₂ vg: γεγ. τοῦ χρ. S.

(13). ἀλλὰ παρακαλεῖτε ἑαυτούς...] But in place of undue confidence, of blindly reposing in the past, help, encourage, exhort your own selves. The virtual negative of the former clause ('do not neglect the fresh voices of God...') is naturally followed by ἀλλά. The use of ἑαυτούς for the more simple ἀλλήλους (quisque se ipsum et alterum Bengel) suggests the close unity of the Christian body. The similar usage of the pronoun in other places will repay study: 1 Pet. iv. 8, 10; Eph. iv. 32 εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἑαυτοῖς; Col. iii. 13 ἀλλήλων, ἑαυτοῖς; id. iii. 16; 1 Thess. v. 13.

For παρακαλεῖν see c. x. 25; Acts xiv. 22; Jude 3; Rom. xii. 1. Chrysostom says ?ὅρα τὸ ἥμερον καὶ προσηνές. οὐκ εἶπεν ἐπιτιμᾶτε, ἀλλὰ παρακαλεῖτε. οὕτως ἡμᾶς χρὴ τοῖς ἀπὸ θλίψεως στενοχωρουμένοις προσφέρεσθαι.

καθ' ἑκάστην ἡμέραν] day by day. There is continuous, daily need.

ἄχρις οὖ τό Σήμερον καλεῖται] Vulg. donec hodie cognominatur. So long as the term 'Today' (τὸ Σήμερον, not ἡ σἠμερον) is still used: so long as, in the language of the Psalm, the voice of God is still addressed to you in its appointed time.

In various connexions the term 'Today' will have various interpretations. For the Church it is the whole time till Christ's coming. For the believer the period of his own life. Thus Theodoret says: σήμερον τὸν παρόντα κέκληκεν βίον, and Chrysostom: ἔως ἄν συνεστήκῃ ὁ κόσμος. Primasius gives various interpretations in detail:

Hodie, id est in die Novi Testamenti; vel omni tempore, quamdiu dicitur hodie, nolite obdurare corda vestra: hodie namque pro sempiterno ponitur, donec mundus et vita praesens manet. Comp. Clem. Alex. Prot. 9 § 84 μέχρι δὲ συντελείας καὶ ἡ σήμερον καὶ ἡ μάθησις διαμένει, καὶ τότε ἡ ὄντως σήμερον, ἡ ἀνελλιπὴς τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμερα, τοῖς αἰῶσι συνεκτείνεται. See also c. i. 5 note.

ἵνα μὴ σκληρυνθῇ τις...that no one...be hardened. The effect is here attributed to sin while man is passive. In the Psalm the activity of man's opposition is marked: μὴ σκληρύνητε, v. 8 note. The order of the words τις ἐξ ὑμῶν, ἐξ ὑμῶν τις, is doubtful, and involves a difference of emphasis not without interest.

ἀπόατῃ τῆς ἁμαρτίας] Sin is represented as an active, aggressive, power: c. xii. 4. Comp. Rom. vii. 8, 11; (v. 21; vi. 12; vii. 17, 20): 2 Thess. ii. 10 ἀπ. ἀδικίας; James i. 15.

The readers of the Epistle were in danger of entertaining false views of the nature of the promised salvation. It was in this form that sin assailed them, cloking itself under the dress of faithfulness to the past.

Theophylact gives a more general sense: ἀπάτην δὲ ἁμαρτίας καλεῖ ἥ τὴν ἀπάτην τοῦ διβόλου, τουτέστι τὸ μὴ ἐλπίζειν ὅτι ἔσται ἀνταπόδοσις, ἧ ἀναλγησίαν, τὸ γὰρ λέγειν ὅτι λοιπὸν ἅπαξ ἥμαρτον (leg. ἅπ. ἥμ. λοιπὸν) οὐκ ἕχω ἐλπίδας, ἀπάτη ὅντως ἐστὶν ἁμαρτίας.

For the singular ἡ ἁμαρτία see c. xii. 4 note. Additional Note on i. 3.

(14). μέτοχοι γάρ...] Such an exhortation has a solid ground to rest upon, for we are become partakers in


ἐάνπερ τὴν ἀρχὴν τῆς ὑποστάσεως μέχρι τέλους

14 ὑποστ.: + αὐτοῦ A vg.

Christ, or, more strictly, in the Christ, the hope of our fathers. We have been united with Him and so we have been made now to partake in the fulness of His life (Vulg. participes Christi effecti sumus). The old promises have found for us a complete fulfilment, though unbelief destroys it or hides it from us. The phrase can also be rendered partakers with Christ, i.e. Christ's fellows (c. i. 9; Luke v. 7); but this sense is far less natural here, and, as far as it is applicable, it is included in the more comprehensive idea.

In either case the thought is of a blessing conferred (γεγόναμεν), and not simply of a blessing enjoyed (ἐσμέν). For the form μετ. γεγόναμεν as contrasted with μετεσχήκαμεν (vii. 13), see c. ii. 2 note.

The form ὁ χριστός occurs again v. 5; vi. 1; ix. 14, 28; xi. 26. See Additional Note on i. 4.

For μέτοχοι see v. 1 note. Chrysostom thus paraphrases the words: μετέχομεν αὐτοῦ, φησίν, ἐν ἐγενόμεθα ἡμεῖς καὶ αὐτός, εἴπερ, αὐτὸς μὲν κεφαλὴ σῶμα δε]ἡμαῖς, συγαληρονόμοι καὶ σύσσωμοι And Primasius more fully: Christo participamur et jungimur, utpote unum et in illo existentes; siquidem hoc participamur illi quia ipse caput nostrum et nos membra illius, cohaeredos et concorporales illi secundum spiritalem hominem, qui creatus est in ipso. In eo etiam participamur, quia corpus et sanguinem ejus sumimus ad redemptionem nostram.

ἐάνπερ...] if at least... The particle is not found in the lxx., and occurs again in N.T. in c.vi. 3 (not v. 6) only. That which has been stated as a fact (γεγόναμεν) is now made conditional in its permanence on the maintenance of faith. This is the ever-present antithesis of religion. That which God has done is absolute; but man's appropriation of the gift must be by continuous effort. Comp. Col. iii. 3, 5 (ἀπεθάνετε..., νεκρώσατε οὖν).

ἐάνπερ τὴν ἀρχήν...] if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. Vulg. si initium substantia ejus usque ad finem firmum retineamus. The beginning of our confidence is more than our first confidence. It describes that which is capable (so to speak) of a natural growth; a principle which is active at first, and continues to be progressively energetic. Comp. x. 32 ff.

There can be no doubt that ὑπόστασις is here need to express that resolute confidence, which opposes a strong resistance to all assaults. It is used in late Greek writers for firmness of endurance under torture (Diod. Sic. ii. 557 ἡ ἐν ταῖς βασάνοις ὑπόστασις τῆς ψυχῃς); and generally for courageous firmness of character (Polyb. vi. 55, 2): and so for resolution (Diod. Sic. ii. 57 κατὲ τὴν ἰδίαν ὑπόστασιν). The word occurs in a similar sense in 2 Cor. ix. 4; xi. 17. Compare cc. i. 3; xi. 1 and notes.

The Fathers give an objective sense to ὑπόστασις, as expressing that in virtue of which we are what we are, believers united with Christ, and this is expressed by the Vulgate (substantia ejus). Thus Chrysostom: τί ἐστὶν ἀρχὴ τῆς ὑποστάσεως; τὴν πίστιν λέγει, δι' ἧς ὑπέστημεν καὶ γεγενήμεθα καὶ συνουσιώθημεν, ὡς ἄν τισ εἴποι.. And Theodoret: τὴν ἀρχὴν τῆς ὑποστάσεως [τὴν πίστεν] κέκληκεν. δι' ἐκείνης γὰρ ἐνεουργήθημεν καὶ συνήφθημεν τῷ δεσπότῃ χριστῷ καὶ τῆς τοῦ παναγίου πνεύματος μετειλήφαμεν χάριτος. And Theophylact: τουτέστιν τὴν πίστιν, δε' αὐτῆς γὰρ ὑπέστημεν καὶ οὐσιώθημεν τῆν θείαν καὶ πηεθματικὴν, ούσίωσιν καὶ ἀναγέννησιν.

And so Primasius more in detail:


βεβαίαν Γκατάσχωμεν. ¹⁵ἐν τῷ λέγεσθαι rip Σήμερον ἐάν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ ἀκοπυσητε, Μὴ σκληρύνητε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν ὡς ἐν τῷ παραπικρασμῷ. κατάσχωμεν,

15 oμ. ὡς Μ₂.

Initium substantiae dicit fidem Christi, per quam subsistimus et renati sumus, quia ipse est fundamentum omnium virtutum. Et bene substantiam eam vocat, quia sicut corpus anima subsistit et vivificatur, ita anima fide subsistit in Deo et vivit hac fide. Substantia autem Christi appellatur fides vel quia ab illo datur, vel certe quia ipse per eam habitat in cordibus fidelium.

According to this interpretation ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς ὑποστάσεως has the same general sense as has been already given to ὑπόστασις alone.

μέχρι τέλους] until the end. The 'end' is not exactly defined. The writer leaves it undetermined whether the close of trial is the close of the individual life or of 'the age' itself. Comp. vi. 11.

(15). ἐν τῷ λέγεσθαι] The connexion of the quotation is uncertain. It has been taken closely with v. 16. But the question τίνες γάρ, which marks a beginning, is fatal to this view.

Again it has been taken with v. 14, or, more particularly, with the conditional clause of it ἐάνπερ....This connexion gives a good sense, and brings the necessity of effort into close relation with obedience to every voice of God.

Chrysostom, followed by the later Greek commentators, supposed that the whole passage vv. 15—19 is an irregular parenthesis, and that the sequel of v. 14 is in c. iv. 1. But the abrupt ἐν τῷ λέγεσθαι without any particle, followed by τίνες γάρ...;, is strongly against this view, and also against the view that a new paragraph is begun in v. 15, which is not formally completed.

It is on the whole most natural to connect the quotation with v. 13. According to this view v. 14 is parenthetical, and brings out the real nature of the Christian privilege—a participation in the Messiah—and the condition on which it is kept.

If this connexion be adopted the sense is: 'exhort one another so long as it is called today...while the voice of God is still addressed to you, and still claims loyal obedience.'

(c) Detailed interpretation of the lesson of the Psalm (16—19).

The general application of the warning of the Psalm to Christians is confirmed by a closer interpretation of the circumstances. Those who incurred the displeasure of God and who were excluded from the promised rest, were the people who had been delivered from Egypt. Unbelief and disobedience finally cut off from their goal men who had entered on the way. So it may be with those who have been joined to Christ.

¹⁶For who when they heard did provoke? Nay, did not all they that came out of Egypt by Moses? ¹⁷And with whom was He displeased forty years? Was it not with them that sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? ¹⁸And to whom did He swear that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that were disobedient? ¹⁹And we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

16—19. The succession of thought is significant. The very people whom God had rescued provoked Him (v. 16). They sinned and met with the fatal consequences of sin (v. 17). They disobeyed and received the sentence of rejection (v. 18). Unbelief (comp. v. 12) made them incapable of that rest towards which they had started by faith (v. 19).


¹⁶τίνες γὰρ ἀκούσαντες παρεπίκραναν; ἀλλ' οὐ πάντες οἱ ἐξελθόντες ἐξ Αἰγύπτου διὰ Μωυσέως; ¹⁷τίσιν δὲ προςώχθισεν τεσσεράκοντα ἔτη; οὐχὶ τοῖς ἁμαρτήσασιν, ὧν τὰ κῶλα ὡχθισεν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ; ¹⁸τίσιν δὲ ὥμοσεν μὴ εἰσελεύσεσθαι εἰς τὴν κατάπαυσιν αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἀπειθήσασιν; ¹⁹καὶ βλέπομεν ὅτι οὐκ ἠδυνήθησας εἰσελθεῖν δι' άπιστίαν.

17 τίσιν δέ: + καί Α. ἁμαρτ.: ἀπειθήσασιν Α. ἔποσεν: ἔπεσαν D₂.

(16). τίνες γάρ...] The warning is necessary. Christians have need of anxious care. For who wore they who so provoked God in old times? Even those whom He had already brought from bondage.

τίνες...ἀλλ' οὐ πάντες...] For who...? Nay, did not...? Vulg. Quidam cum (τινὲς γὰρ)...sed non universi...For some when they had heard did provoke (A.V.). This rendering is quite alien from the context. The vast mass who came out of Egypt could not be described as 'some.' On the other hand the interrogative completely corresponds with the two interrogatives which follow (τίνες...τίσιν...τίσιν...); and the three questions point to the three stages of the divine displeasure. Nor does the faith of Joshua and Caleb invalidate the general statement.

παρεπίκραναν] The verb occurs here only in N.T., but it is not unfrequent in lxx. and Philo. It is used generally with acc. of object: Ps. lxxvii. (lxxviii.) 17 παρεπίκραναν τὸν ὕψιστον, but also absolutely: Ps. lxxvii. 8, ηενεὰ σκολιὰ καὶ παραπικραίνουσα; Ezek. ii. 5, 7, 8 &c.

ἀλλ' οὐ...] Nay, such a question cannot be asked as if the answer were doubtful: was it not..?

For the use of ἀλλά compare Lk. xvii. 8 (ἀλλ' οὐχί...); Mk. xiv. 36; John xii. 27.

oἱ ἐξελθόντες] The word marks the act of the people, the manifestation of faith on their part, as well as the act of Moses. They 'came out' and not only 'were led out' (Acts vii. 36 ἐξήγαγεν; c. viii. 9).

διὰ Μωυσέως] The fact that Moses had been the instrument of their deliverance should have kept them from 'chiding with him' (Ex. xvii. 2).

(17). The unbelief of the people shewed itself in open sin from first to last (v. 8).

τίσιν δὲ προς.] And with whom...? In this place the writer gives the connexion of τεσσ. ἔτη which is found in the Hebrew. From the beginning of the wanderings to the end (Ex. xvii. 7; Num. xx. 13), the people sinned in like ways. In this verse and in the next (ἀπειθήσασιν) the reference is not to the general character of the people, but to the critical acts which revealed it.

ἁμαρτήσασιν] This is the only form of the aor. partic. in Ν. T. In the moods the form of ἡμαρτον is always used except Matt. xviii. 15 || Lk. xvii. 4 (ἁμαρτήσῃ); Rom. vi. 15.

τὰ κῶλα] The word is borrowed from the lxx. (Num. xlv. 29).

It seems best to take the clause ὧν...ἐρήμῳ, as a subsidiary element In the description and not as an independent statement.

(18). τίσιν δὲ ὡμοσεν μὴ εἶσελ.] The change of subject is unusual ('He sware that they...' and not 'He sware that He...').

τοῖς ἀπειθήσασιν] to them that disobeyed, that were disobedient. Vulg. qui increduli (O. L. contumaces) fuerunt. Unbelief passed into action. Comp. xi. 31; iv. 6, 11; Rom. xi. 30, 32, contrast vv. 20, 23.

(19). καὶ βλέπομεν...] And we see... The conjunction introduces the general 88 conclusion: 'And so on a review of the record (or of the argument) we see...' βλέπομεν may mean 'We see in the familiar record of the Pentateuch,' or, 'We see in the details just set forth.' The two interpretations really pass one into the other.

οὐκ ἠδυνήθησαν] Their exclusion from Canaan was not only a fact (oὐκ εἰσῆλθον), but a moral necessity.

δι΄ ἀπιστίαν] The failure of the first generation of redeemed Jews, who corresponded in position with the first generation of Christians, is traced back to its source. The faith which they had at the beginning failed them. They fell into unbelief; and unbelief issued in its practical consequences, disobedience, open sin. For the general relation of 'unbelief and 'disobedience' see Rom. ii. 8 (τοῖς ἀπειθοῦσιν); iii. 3 (ἡ ἀπιστία); Acts xiv. 2 (οἱ ἀπειθήσαντες Ἰουδαῖοι); xix. 9 (ἠπείθουν); xxviii. 24 (ἠπίστουν). Compare John iii. 36 (ὁ πιστεύων, ὁ ἀπειθῶν).


*Additional Note on* iii. 7. *The application to Christ of words spoken in the Ο. T. of the Lord*.

We have already seen that words originally applied to 'the Lord' in the O. T. are used of Christ by the writer of the Epistle (i. 6; 10 f. note). The principle involved in this application of scriptural language was of great importance in the historical development of the doctrine of the Person of Christ.

Three main types of national expectation appear to have prevailed among the Jews at the time of the Advent, the expectation of 'a Davidic King,' of 'a day of the Lord,' of 'a Divine King and Judge.' Each expectation was connected with the thought of a passage from 'this age' of trial and suffering to 'the future age' of triumph and joy, through a crisis of travail-pains (see c. i. 2 note). The ground of the different hopes lay in the Scriptures, and it does not seem that they were united in any one consistent view. We read the Ο. T. in the light of the Ν. T., and it becomes difficult for us to appreciate the manifoldness of the aspects of the Divine Redemption which were offered separately in the prophets. But this manifoldness, this apparent vagueness or inconsistency, as we might think, must be realised before we can form a right estimate of the revelation of Christ

(1). The first and most familiar portraiture of the expected Deliverer is as a King of the line of David (Is. xi. 1; lv. 3 f.; Jer. xxiii. 5; xxx. 9; Ezek. xxxiv. 23 f.; xxxvii. 24). At first the prophetic imagery suggests a line of kings who shall fulfil the counsels of God. 'The tabernacle of David' is to be restored (Amos ix. 11 f.; comp. Acts xv. 16 f.); and 'shepherds' are to be set over the regathered flock (Jer. xxiii. 4; comp. xxxiii. 17, 20 f., 26; 14— 26 is not in lxx.). But in this royal line one King stands out in glory, in whom all the promises are concentrated, a King who shall 'execute judgment and justice on the earth' (Jer. xxiii. 5 ff.; comp. xxxiii. 15 ff.), and realise in peace and safety the will of the Lord (id.), through the gift of His Spirit (Is. xi. 2 ff.). He is to come from the city of David (Mic. v. 2), and to bring peace to the divided kingdom (Zech. ix. 10) and to the heathen (id.); and His throne is to be everlasting (Is. ix. 6 f.).

After the Captivity the thought of the Davidic King falls again into the background. Zechariah alone touches upon it (iii. 8; vi. 12 f. with reference to Jer. xxiii. 5 f.). Tho people and not the royal line is the centre of hope. And it must be added that in the second part of Isaiah the name of David is only once mentioned, and that in a passage (lv. 3) which appears to indicate that the royal prerogatives of the ideal monarch are extended to the ideal people.

(2). Meanwhile another view of the divine interposition in favour of Israel had been powerfully drawn. The prophets had said much of 'a day of the Lord.' The phrase extends through their writings from first to last, 90 from Joel (i. 15; ii. 1, 11; iii. 14) to Malachi (iv. 5 [iii. 23]). On this 'great and terrible' day it is said that Jehovah Himself will execute judgment, bringing victory to His own people and ruin on His enemies and theirs (Joel iii. 14 ff.; comp. Is. ii. 12 ff.). The crisis is painted as full of gloom and anguish (Amos v. 18, 20), and fierce conflict (Ezek. xiii. 5). The people confident in their privileges desire the coming of the day: the prophet, who knows that the Presence of the Lord is a moral judgment, turns them to the thought of its terrors. The revelation of deliverance is a revelation of righteousness (Amos l. c.). In this conception therefore the idea of retribution for evil, of vengeance on the wicked, who are typically identified with the oppressors of Israel, prevails over every other (Is. xiii. 6, 9; Obad. 15; Zeph. i. 7 ff., 14 ff.). The Lord Himself carries out His will. The thought of deliverance is connected directly with His action. No human agent is singled out for the accomplishment of His counsel.

(3). These two conceptions of the Davidic king and of the judgment of Jehovah were united in the apocalyptic writings. In these the Saviour King is clothed with a supernatural character. Whatever may be the date of the Book of Daniel, there can be no doubt that it marks an epoch in the growth of the Messianic hopes of Israel. Henceforward the looked-for King appears under a new aspect, as the heavenly Fulfiller of the purpose of God. The image is mysterious and obscure in Daniel (vii. 13, 18); but it gains clearness in the later works which follow out the same line of thought, the Sibylline fragments, the book of Henoch, and the Psalms of Solomon. In these the figure of the Divine King is presented with ever-increasing glory; and it was probably in the latest period of the development of Jewish hope, to which they belong, that the title of 'the Christ,' 'the Anointed King,' which is used characteristically in the Ο. T. of the theocratic monarch, came to be appropriated to the expected Saviour.

We are able to see now how these various hopes were harmonised and fulfilled by Him whom we acknowledge as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God. And in the first age they contributed to guide the apostles naturally, if the word may be used, to the apprehension of the depths of His Being. In this respect it will be evident that the expectation of the coming of the Lord was of critical significance. The work of the Baptist was recognised as preparatory to this Divine Advent (Mk. i. 2; Lk. i. 76; Matt. xi. 10 [Mal. iii. 1]; Matt. xi. 14; xvii. 11; Mk. ix. 12; Lk. i. 16 f. [Mal. iv. 5 f.]; and the remarkable change of pronoun in the first quotation from Malachi (before thee for before me) seems designed to point to the coming of the Lord in One Who is His true Representative. The herald of the Lord was indeed the herald of Christ. This, St John tells us, was the Baptist's own view of his mission. He was sent to 'make straight the way of the Lord' (Is. xl. 3; John i. 23; comp. Matt. iii. 3; Mk. i. 2 f.; Lk. iii. 4 ff.). And after the Resurrection and the descent of the Spirit, the apostles proclaimed that in Christ the promise of the Lord's coming was indeed fulfilled (Acts ii. 16 ff., 21, 36, 38; iv. 12; Joel ii. 28 ff.), and looked forward to His revelation in glory (Zech. xiv. 5; Matt. xvi. 27; xxv. 31; Mk. viii. 38; 1 Thess. iii. 13; 2 Thess. i. 10), when He should exercise the divine office of judgment (Acts xvii. 31; Ps. ix. 8; 2 Thess, i. 7 f.; Is. lxvi. 15).


So it was that the apostolic writers applied to Christ the prerogatives of the Lord (Jer. xvii. 10, Apoc. ii. 23; comp. Num. xiv. 21, Apoc. i. 18; Ps. x. 16, Apoc. xi. 15), and His Sovereign Name (Deut x. 17, Apoc. xix. 16; comp. Ps. xxiv. 10, 1 Cor. ii. 8), and the accomplishment of His promises (Is. lvii. 19, Eph. ii. 13 ff.; comp. Is. lx. 3 ff, 19, Apoc. xxi. 24 ff.). St Peter distinctly applies to Christ what was said of 'the Lord of hosts' (1 Pet iii. 14, Is. viii. 12, 13). And St John in especial, looking back from the bosom of a Christian Church, found deeper meanings in His Master's words (John xiii. 19, Is. xliii. 10), and discerned that the divine vision of Isaiah was a vision of Christ (John xii. 39 ff.; Is. vi. 1 ff.). The very phrase in which he expresses the Gospel includes implicitly the declaration of the fulfilment of the promise of the Lord's dwelling with His people (John i. 14; Lev. xxvi. 11 f.; Ezek. xxxvii. 27).

From the study of such passages it is not difficult to see how, as has been briefly said, the fact of the Covenant leads to the fact of the Incarnation. The personal intercourse of God with man is a prophecy of tho fulfilment of man's destiny: ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἧν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὶς ἦν ὁ λόγος...καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκίνωσεν ἐν ἡμῑν.

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