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14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.


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14. He who has thus been shown to be the "Captain (Greek, 'Leader') of salvation" to the "many sons," by trusting and suffering like them, must therefore become man like them, in order that His death may be efficacious for them [Alford].

the children—before mentioned (Heb 2:13); those existing in His eternal purpose, though not in actual being.

are partakers of—literally, "have (in His purpose) been partakers" all in common.

flesh and bloodGreek oldest manuscripts have "blood and flesh." The inner and more important element, the blood, as the more immediate vehicle of the soul, stands before the more palpable element, the flesh; also, with reference to Christ's blood-shedding with a view to which He entered into community with our corporeal life. "The life of the flesh is in the blood; it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Le 17:11, 14).

alsoGreek, "in a somewhat similar manner"; not altogether in a like manner. For He, unlike them, was conceived and born not in sin (Heb 4:15). But mainly "in like manner"; not in mere semblance of a body, as the Docetæ heretics taught.

took part of—participated in. The forfeited inheritance (according to Jewish law) was ransomed by the nearest of kin; so Jesus became our nearest of kin by His assumed humanity, in order to be our Redeemer.

that through death—which He could not have undergone as God but only by becoming man. Not by Almighty power but by His death (so the Greek) He overcame death. "Jesus suffering death overcame; Satan wielding death succumbed" [Bengel]. As David cut off the head of Goliath with the giant's own sword wherewith the latter was wont to win his victories. Coming to redeem mankind, Christ made Himself a sort of hook to destroy the devil; for in Him there was His humanity to attract the devourer to Him, His divinity to pierce him, apparent weakness to provoke, hidden power to transfix the hungry ravisher. The Latin epigram says, Mors mortis morti mortem nisi morte tu lisset, Æternæ vitæ janua clausa foret. "Had not death by death borne to death the death of Death, the gate of eternal life would have been closed".

destroy—literally, "render powerless"; deprive of all power to hurt His people. "That thou mightest still the enemy and avenger" (Ps 8:2). The same Greek verb is used in 2Ti 1:10, "abolished death." There is no more death for believers. Christ plants in them an undying seed, the germ of heavenly immortality, though believers have to pass through natural death.

power—Satan is "strong" (Mt 12:29).

of death—implying that death itself is a power which, though originally foreign to human nature, now reigns over it (Ro 5:12; 6:9). The power which death has Satan wields. The author of sin is the author of its consequences. Compare "power of the enemy" (Lu 10:19). Satan has acquired over man (by God's law, Ge 2:17; Ro 6:23) the power of death by man's sin, death being the executioner of sin, and man being Satan's "lawful captive." Jesus, by dying, has made the dying His own (Ro 14:9), and has taken the prey from the mighty. Death's power was manifest; he who wielded that power, lurking beneath it, is here expressed, namely, Satan. Wisdom 2:24, "By the envy of the devil, death entered into the world."

15. fear of death—even before they had experienced its actual power.

all their lifetime—Such a life can hardly be called life.

subject to bondage—literally, "subjects of bondage"; not merely liable to it, but enthralled in it (compare Ro 8:15; Ga 5:1). Contrast with this bondage, the glory of the "sons" (Heb 2:10). "Bondage" is defined by Aristotle, "The living not as one chooses"; "liberty," "the living as one chooses." Christ by delivering us from the curse of God against our sin, has taken from death all that made it formidable. Death, viewed apart from Christ, can only fill with horror, if the sinner dares to think.




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