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Moses a Servant, Christ a Son

 3

Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,


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1. Wherefore, holy brethren, etc. He concludes the preceding doctrine with a necessary exhortation, that the Jews should attentively consider what sort of being and how great Christ is. As he had before, by naming him a teacher and a priest, briefly compared him with Moses and Aaron, so he now includes both clauses; for he adorns him with two titles, as he sustains a twofold character in the Church of God. Moses was a prophet and a teacher, and Aaron was a priest; but the two offices belong to Christ. If then we seek rightly to know him, we must inquire what sort of being he is; yea, he must be clothed with his own power, lest we lay hold on an empty shadow and not on him. 5353     He calls them “holy brethren.” Stuart takes holy as meaning “consecrated, devoted, i.e. to Christ, set apart as Christians.” The people of Israel were called holy in the same sense, not because they were spiritually holy, but because they were set apart and adopted as God’s people. The word saints, at the commencement of Paul’s Epistles, means the same thing. — Ed.

First, the word consider, is important, for it intimates that singular attention is required, as he cannot be disregarded with impunity, and that at the same time the true knowledge of Christ is sufficient to dissipate the darkness of all errors. And to encourage them the more to pursue this study, he reminds them of their calling; as though he had said, “God favored you with no common grace when He called you into his kingdom; 5454     The word heavenly, may also mean a call from heaven. See chapter 12:25. It is no doubt both, it is a call to the enjoyment of heavenly things, as well as a call that comes from heaven. — Ed. it now remains that you have your eyes fixed on Christ as your leader in the way.” 5555     This is the only place in which Christ is called an Apostle, the design no doubt was to institute a comparison between him and Moses, who is often said to have been sent by God, as Christ is said to have been sent by the Father: they might both therefore be rightly called Apostles, i.e., messengers sent by God. And then he adds, high priest, that he might afterwards make a comparison between him and Aaron.
   He had before exalted Christ as a teacher above all the prophets, including no doubt Moses among the rest; but here refers to Moses as the leader of the people, as one sent especially by God to conduct them from Egypt through the wilderness to the land of Canaan. But as our call is from heaven and to heaven, Christ is sent as a messenger to lead us to the heavenly country. We hence see that in this connection the “heavenly calling” is to be taken most suitably as a call to heaven. — Ed.
For the calling of the godly cannot be otherwise confirmed than by a thorough surrender of themselves to Christ. We ought not therefore to regard this as said only to the Jews, but that it is a general truth addressed to all who desire to come into the kingdom of God; they ought sedulously to attend to Christ, for he is the sole instructor of our faith, and has confirmed it by the sacrifice of himself; for confession, or profession, is to be taken here for faith, as thought he had said, that the faith we profess is vain and of no avail, unless Christ be its object. 5656     The simpler meaning of this phrase is to view it as sort of Hebraism, when a noun is put for an adjective or a participle; and it is so rendered by Schleusner and Stuart, “professed by us,” or, “whom we profess.” See similar instances in chapter 10:23, and in 2 Corinthians 9:13. — Ed.

2. Who was, or is faithful, etc. This is a commendation of the apostleship of Christ, in order that the faithful may securely acquiesce in him; and he commends it on two grounds, because the Father has set him to be over us as our teacher, and because Christ himself has faithfully performed the office committed to him. These two things are always necessary to secure authority to a doctrine; for God alone ought to be attended to, as the whole Scripture testifies; hence Christ declares, that the doctrine which he delivered was not his own, but the Father’s, (John 7:16;) and in another place he says, “He who received me, receiveth him who has sent me.” (Luke 9:48.) For we say of Christ, that as he is clothed with our flesh, he is the Father’s minister to execute his commands. To the calling of God is added the faithful and upright performance of duty on the part of Christ; and this is required in true ministers, in order that they may obtain credence in the Church. Since these two things are found in Christ, doubtless he cannot be disregarded without despising God in him.

As also Moses, etc. Omitting for a while the priesthood, he speaks here of his apostleship. For as there are two parts in God’s covenant, the promulgation of the truth, and so to speak, its real confirmation, the full perfection of the covenant would not appear in Christ, were not both parts found in him. Hence the writer of the epistle, after having mentioned both, roused attention by a brief exhortation. But he now enters on a longer discussion, and begins with the office of a teacher: he therefore now compares Christ only with Moses. The words, in all his house, may be applied to Moses; but I prefer to apply them to Christ, as he may be said to be faithful to his Father in ruling his whole house. It hence follows, that none belong to the Church of God except those who acknowledge Christ. 5757     This testimony as to Moses is found in Numbers 12:7. God says there “in all mine house;” we ought therefore to consider “his” here as referring to God or to Christ, and not to Moses.
   “For this man,” οὖτος; it is better to render it here he, as it is sometimes rendered, and is so rendered in this place by Doddridge, Macknight and Stuart. The connection is with “consider,” in the first verse; “for,” a reason is given for the exhortation; “for he,” i.e., the apostle and high priest before mentioned, etc. — Ed.




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