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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Hebrews 12

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

Hebrews 12:1. A double benefit becomes ours by the blood of Christ, namely, I. Deliverance from the guilt of sin; II. The gift of the new powers of life, which are subsequently exerted (put themselves forth into exercise) in good works. The former is called justification by the blood of Jesus Christ: and the latter is obtained by the man who eats the flesh of Christ, and drinks His blood, John 6.


Verse 2

Hebrews 12:2. But because the blood of Christ is the blood of sprinkling, the question is, whether that blood, as such, becomes the property of believers in both the ways now mentioned, or only in the former of these ways.


Verse 3

Hebrews 12:3. In the Old Testament there were many sprinklings, whether those be considered who performed the sprinkling, or the matter with which the sprinkling was performed, or the men and things for whom and on whom the sprinkling was made, or the object of the sprinkling—for dedication, consecration, etc. The whole of the people were sprinkled, Exodus 28:8, and Exodus 29:21; Leviticus 8:23, etc. Aaron and his sons, in both cases, at first for the purpose of initiation; and therefore, as they say, once for all. In like manner there was an initiation, in the case of lepers, for holding intercourse with the other Israelites, from whom they had been long excluded. There was always a particular sprinkling at the altar; but the Israelites were on their part kept in communion with God, by eating the sacrifices.


Verse 4

Hebrews 12:4. In the New Testament there is a sprinkling, which is performed by the blood of Christ Jesus; and because this is the only New Testament sprinkling, whereas moreover all the Levitical rites had relation to Christ, all the Levitical sprinklings must have been mere types of this sprinkling; as indeed the blood of Christ is celebrated for its spiritual excellence, not only in opposition to the blood of bulls and of goats, but also in opposition to the ashes of a heifer, in the water of sprinkling, ch. Hebrews 9:13-14.


Verse 5

Hebrews 12:5. The sprinkling of blood is mentioned, 1 Peter 1:2; and again, the blood of sprinkling, in this passage under our consideration. We are said also to have our hearts sprinkled, and to be delivered by sprinkling from an evil conscience, by which we may have a true heart in full assurance of faith, Hebrews 10:22. Nothing more occurs in the New Testament of New Testament sprinkling. But Esaias prophesied, 52:15, So shall He (Christ, the great Minister of Jehovah) sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at Him, etc.; where we once for all see who He is that sprinkles, and who they are that are sprinkled; in what way that sprinkling may be the consequence of His Sufferings; and that the obedience of faith follows from it, as Peter joins together obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.


Verse 6

Hebrews 12:6. The Levitical sprinklings did not purify physically, but morally. For, 1. It was not exclusively (precisely) the hand, or any other part of the body, which had accidentally contracted uncleanness, or even the whole body, that was sprinkled, but the sprinkling was performed in a general way, namely, whereever the blood or water of sprinkling might fall. 2. The sprinkling was analogous to the blood of the passover, Exodus 7:7; Exodus 7:13, which was not sprinkled on their bodies, but on their gates; and yet it was profitable to the Israelites. 3. After a man was sprinkled, it was his duty then, and not till then, to wash his body and his clothes. Consequently the sprinkling had a moral, and the washing a physical effect.


Verse 7

Hebrews 12:7. The washing is analogous to this washing in the New Testament which is attributed to pure water, (and) to the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:23; also to the blood of Jesus Christ: He has washed us from our sins in His own blood, Revelation 1:5 : They have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, Revelation 7:14.


Verse 8

Hebrews 12:8. But sprinkling has a moral power. Dorscheus says: “That sprinkling is not effected in ANY OTHER WAY THAN through the communication of the meritorious power, or rather of the atonement and redemption, of Jesus Christ, which have been acquired or effected by Him.”—Part i., Theol. Zachar., p. 53.


Verse 9

Hebrews 12:9. That passage, John 6, concerning the eating of Christ’s flesh and the drinking of His blood, is very emphatic; we must not however stretch the meaning of the words too far. For Jesus there (as He sometimes did against harsh gainsayers) used a metaphorical mode of expression quite extraordinary, which He did not use to His disciples either before or after. The word truly must be explained from John 15:1, I am the true vine: where the metaphor however remains, and that too in the predicate. In that sentence, My flesh is truly meat, the word truly does not affect the predicate, but the copula is; so that the fact may be established (asserted) in opposition to the contradiction. From the beginning and at the end of the conversation, the eating of Christ’s flesh and the drinking of His blood (as John 3 the new birth) are resolved into Faith. By such representations the precaution is used, that no one may understand faith in too weak and shallow (slight) a sense; and we are taught by the phrases concerning faith, that the harshness of these representations (the difficulty in the images used to represent it) does not exceed what is just and proper.


Verse 10

Hebrews 12:10. In the midst of all these things, it is clear and certain that by the eating of Christ’s flesh and the drinking of His blood, or by faith, 1. Christians are intimately united with Christ; 2. that they are indebted for that union to His flesh and blood, because they eat the one and drink the other; 3. that the flesh and blood of Christ have in them a close and efficacious operation, and impart to them eternal life.


Verse 11

Hebrews 12:11. Wherever in any other passage cleansing from sin is ascribed to the blood of Christ, it should be taken, according to the exigency (the bearing or relation) of the context, either morally or physically, or in both ways; for example, Hebrews 1:3; 1 John 1:7. And the same remark applies to the victory, Revelation 12:11.


Verse 12

Hebrews 12:12. All these things transcend nature, and it is absolutely necessary to guard ourselves against the sweet fallacy of the senses. Comp. Closterbergische Sammlung, P. ii., p. 138, and the following pages, where the homily of Lavius, on the virtue of the blood of Christ, is commended, and admonitions are given against deviations from it. If at any time, for example, the joy of the Spirit be diffused in the soul, or even in the body, it ought not to be repressed. We do not arrive at faith by sense (Gefühl), although faith may draw after itself something that may be felt; which however we are far from calling either heat or any other physical quality. Let us receive with humble thanksgiving, and keep without vain boasting, whatever sensations present themselves without affectation. Let no man, however, obtrude himself upon others as a model or example, nor let him propose others to himself as objects of imitation in the same way Otherwise many are forced into an eager and violent activity, so that they think it necessary to wring from themselves similar experiences and sensations; and in the case of endeavours of this kind, nature is worn out, so as at length to render itself tranquil by that which itself accomplishes, either unconsciously or in a dream.


Verse 13

Hebrews 12:13. In short, the precious blood of Christ is applied to us in sprinkling, in washing, in drinking, on account of the personal union, in a manner real, yet supernatural, and therefore quite incomprehensible. “That (saying respecting the blood of Jesus Christ, 1 John 1:7) is to be understood, not only of the MERIT of the blood of Christ perfected once for all upon the cross, but John there treats of that subject, because in the business of justification, not merely the divine nature in Christ, but also His blood, in the way of EFFICACY, is to cleanse us from all sin. Thus the flesh of Christ is life-giving food.”—Form. Conc., Art. 8, de Persona Christi, p. 776.


Verse 14

Hebrews 12:14. In like manner, on our part, faith not only has a moral power, but also in its own way a certain physical efficacy and operation for our justification and salvation.


Verse 15

Hebrews 12:15. I shall indeed rejoice, if, by means of the things which I have stated, any occasion (handle) will be afforded for increasing the love and knowledge of our Redeemer, who has paid the price of His blood for us. The capability of our heart for receiving holy mysteries is enlarged, not so much by the exercise of the understanding, as by the growth of the new man.


Verse 16

Hebrews 12:16. Jesus can save to the uttermost them that come to God by Him, ever living to make intercession for them.

κρεῖττον) So the more approved copies.(84) Some of the more recent have κρείττονα.— λαλοῦντι, that speaketh) not that crieth.— παρὰ τὸν ἄβελ, than Abel) The blood of Abel, shed in the first parricide (fratricide), is put by Synecdoche for all the blood shed on the earth and crying for vengeance towards heaven, and greatly increasing the other cries raised by sin in the world; and the open and calm speaking of the blood of Christ in heaven for us, and from heaven to us, overcomes this violent cry of the blood concealed by Cain. Comp. κρείττινα, better things, ch. Hebrews 6:9.

ACD( δ)f Vulg. read κρεῖττον. None of the oldest authorities support κρείττονα of Rec. Text.—ED.

Now let us take a general survey of the persons, places, and things, to which Christians have come.

There is A. Mount Zion,

B. And the city of the living GOD, the heavenly Jerusalem.

C. a. And ten thousands;

α. The general assembly of angels,

β. And the church of the first-born written in heaven:

b. And GOD the Judge of all:

D. c. And the spirits of just men made perfect:

d. And Jesus the Mediator of the New Testament,

e. And the blood of sprinkling speaking a better thing than Abel.

This enumeration is not only not confused, but its arrangement has been well considered. A and D, B and C, refer to each other by Chiasmus. In B and C the economy of GOD, more widely extended, is described, and that too in such a way in particular as will most gloriously appear at the last day, which is now present to our faith, Hebrews 12:26, ch. Hebrews 11:1; and so it is considered by Paul, Romans 2:16, note: in A and D, the internal economy of Christ, belonging to the New Testament, so far as it meantime prevails, as Paul testifies, 1 Corinthians 15:24. On the difference and connection of each economy, comp. annot. ult. Exeg. Germ. ad Revelation 14:10. A is put before B in the natural order, because, in Revelation 14, 21, Mount Zion is seen before the new Jerusalem; hence D and C, and the particular points in D and C, come to be considered in retrograde order (on which comp. ch. Hebrews 11:33, note).


Verse 17

Hebrews 12:17. ἴστε γὰρ, for ye know) The reason of the admonition from Genesis 27:30, etc.— καὶ μετέπειτα, even afterwards) He who has not, loses, Luke 8:18.— θέλων, when he would) Romans 9:16.— ἀπεδοκιμάσθη, was rejected) He did not fall from every blessing, ch. Hebrews 11:20 : but only from that which would have followed primogeniture.— μετανοίας τόπον, a place for repentance) There is said to have been no μετανοία, repentance; which is not with respect to Isaac; not that the case itself (the circumstances) opposes this explanation, for in fact to such a degree did he not change his opinion, that he said of Jacob, I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed, Genesis 27:33, but because with the LXX. and others τὸ μετανοεῖν, or even μετάνοια, means repentance, by which a man changes any opinion, whatever it be,—in short, a change of mind: whereas in the New Testament it always implies that by which the sinner entirely repents. Nor is it said, that no repentance was in the power of Esau; who, although he no doubt gave up the rights of the first-born, yet never the blessing, will not be said to have sought a change of purpose (if even μετάνοια ever so much denoted this). What remains is, that distress (anxiety or labour) of mind in Esau demanding the blessing afterwards (anew, back again), is called μετάνοια; the term referring to the Apodosis [i.e. to the spiritual Esau, rather than to Esau himself literally] (comp. notes on Matthew 18:13; Galatians 4:29) concerning profane despisers, who spontaneously cast away grace, Hebrews 12:15-16. They will indeed seek repentance afterwards (hereafter), but in vain, ch. Hebrews 6:6; Matthew 25:10-11. The same expression occurs, Wisdom of Solomon 12:10, κρίνων δὲ καταβραχὺ, ἐδίδους τόπον μετανοίας, but executing judgment upon them by little and little, thou gavest a place for repentance. ΄ετάνοια is put as it were impersonally, as θέλημα, will, 1 Corinthians 16:12. Es wollte bey Esau nicht mehr seyn. Esau would have it no more. The nature of the thing did not admit of it.— μετὰ δακρύων, with tears) He might have had it formerly without tears; afterwards, though weeping, he was rejected. [Tears sometimes spring from the eyes of men of the hardest nature, 1 Samuel 24:17. Things which are not done at the time, are done with difficulty afterwards.—V. g.] Let us improve the time! Luke 13:28.— αὐτὴν, it) the blessing. It has been thus expressly written, Genesis 27:38. And the Synonyms here are, when he would have inherited, though he earnestly sought.


Verse 18

Hebrews 12:18. οὐ γὰρ) The reason why they ought to obey this whole exhortation, which has been derived from the priesthood of Christ, because the salvation is more immediately at hand and the vengeance is more nearly at hand. Comp. ch. Hebrews 2:1, etc.— προσεληλύθατε) Deuteronomy 4:11, LXX., καὶ προσήλθετε καὶ ἔστητε ὑπὸ τὸ ὄρος, καὶ τὸ ὄρος ἐκαίετο πυρὶ ἕως τοῦ οὐρανοῦ· σκύτος, γνόφος, θύελλα.— ψηλαφωμένῳ) which was touched, by God, so that the whole was put in commotion (was shaken by an earthquake), Hebrews 12:26; Psalms 104:32; Psalms 144:5, and was to be touched meanwhile by no man or brute, Hebrews 12:20. So ψηλαφᾷν, to touch, is used in Judges 16:26. The mountain was touched at that one time; but GOD’S eternal habitation is described in Hebrews 12:22.— ὄρει, to the mount) The name of Sinai is elegantly passed over in silence, whereas Sion is mentioned.— κεκαυμένῳ πυρὶ, to the fire which burned) [But Engl. Vers., that burned with fire].— καὶ γνόφῳ καὶ σκότῳ, and to mist [blackness] and darkness) Ephraim Syrus, f. 85, ed. Oxon., says, “There is no light without fire, nor darkness ( σκότος) without blackness or mist ( γνόφος).” Whence the strict meaning of the words is evident.(78) We have already seen that the LXX. use the same expressions: ζόφος is a synonym of γνόφος.


Verse 19

Hebrews 12:19. καὶ σάλπιγγος ἤχῳ, and the sound of the trumpet) Exodus 19:16, LXX., φωνὴ τῆς σάλπιγγος ἤχει μέγα. The trumpet rouses hearers to listen to what is said.— κα φωνῆ ῥημάτων, and to the voice of words) So the LXX., Deuteronomy 4:12 : moreover the ten commandments are intended. The Decalogue, ib. Deuteronomy 12:13, pronounced with a loud voice, ib. ch. Deuteronomy 5:19 (Deuteronomy 5:22).— ἧς) Construed with ἀκούσαντες.— παρῃτήσαντο) implored, that not a word more should be spoken, Exodus 20:16 (Exodus 20:19).— μὴ προστεθῆναι, that there should be no more added) Deuteronomy 5:19 (Deuteronomy 5:22), in LXX., These words the Lord spake—and He added ( προσέθηκε) no more: for the rest were subsequently committed to Moses.


Verse 20

Hebrews 12:20. τὸ διαστελλόμενον, the interdict, that which was forbidden) that very command, Even if a beast, etc. The participle for the noun, as in the following verse.— κᾄν θηρίον θίγῃ τοῦ ὄρους, λιθοβοληθήσεται, if a beast should touch the mountain, he shall be stoned) The full text of Moses concerning the mountain is, “There shall not a hand touch it, for he shall surely be stoned or shot through with a dart; whether it be man or beast, he shall not live,” Exodus 19:13. Here we have a twofold proclamation, that the beast is to be put to death by a dart, man by stoning. The apostle, studying brevity, expresses the subject out of the one sentence, the predicate out of the other, and leaves the rest to be supplied from these very words which are expressed. The expression is elliptical almost in the same way as at ch. Hebrews 7:5; Acts 7:16, notes. It may be called a Semiduplex Oratio,(79) of which there are many examples in the Ordo tempor., p. 83, 88, 213 [Ed. ii. p. 73, 77, 187, 188]. The transcriber, not at all ancient, who added from the LXX. βολίδι κατατοξευθήσεται,(80) did not consider that with equal justice he might have added from the LXX., λίθοις, with stones, which would correspond to a dart; but with greater justice he might have supplied κἂν ἄνθρωπος, and if a man: for stoning was properly applicable to a man, when guilty, rather than to a beast: shooting with a dart was properly applicable to a beast, rather than to a man.


Verse 21

Hebrews 12:21. τὸ φανταζόμενον, the sight) A most real sight is meant. Herodian, εἴτε ἀληθῶς ἐφαντάσθη τισὶν, , κ. τ. λ., whether it was really seen by some, or, etc.— ΄ωϋσῆς, Moses) who however was the only one admitted very near, and therefore saw and felt more than the rest. He indeed acted as the messenger between God and the people; but while the very words of the Ten Commandments were pronounced, he stood by as one of the hearers; Exodus 19:25; Exodus 20:16 (19).— ἔκφοβός εἰμι καὶ ἔντρομος) I am struck with fear of mind, and trembling of body. The words differ: 1 Corinthians 2:3, notes. In Deuteronomy 9:19, for יגרתי, “I was afraid,” the LXX. have ἔκφοβός εἰμι, in the present. The apostle adopts that version, and supplies, καὶ ἔντρομος. Thereby Moses shows his fear and trembling for the anger of God, which had been kindled by the misconduct of the people after the giving of the law: but the sight itself presented to the eyes of Moses, who was previously also reckoned one of the people, Exodus 19:23, in the word, בנו ; ch. Exodus 34:27, rendered his fear the greater on account of the misconduct of the people, while the burning of the mountain still continued; Deuteronomy 9:15.


Verse 22

Hebrews 12:22. ἀλλὰ, but) A sevenfold opposition. Let us see the several points:

I. The mountain which was touched:

Mount Zion.

II. The fire that burned:

The city of the living GOD.

III. Blackness or mist:

Ten thousands (an innumerable company) of angels and of the first-born.

IV. Darkness:

GOD, the Judge of all.

V. Tempest:

The spirits of just men made perfect.

VI. The sound of a trumpet:

Jesus, the Mediator of the New Testament

VII. The voice of words:

The blood of sprinkling speaking what is very good.

In Articles I. and VII. there is an obvious opposition; there is no doubt but that there is an opposition also in the intermediate points, the number of which also the apostle adapts to one another. Access, in the Old Testament, was of that kind, that the people was kept back; in the access of the New Testament, all things are laid open [to all, people and ministers alike].— προσεληλύθατε, ye have come, ye have access to) having received the faith of the New Testament. And from this beginning, they who partake of Christ more and more reap the benefit of this access, till their perfection at death, and till the judgment, and unto eternal life. For this is not spoken of the coming (access) to the church militant, since others came (added themselves) rather to Israel, than the Israelites to others; but there is described here the highly exalted state of believers under the New Testament, in consequence of communion with the Church made perfect, and with Christ and GOD Himself. This access, too, not less than the former, Hebrews 12:18-19, was joined with the faculty of hearing, and that too in this life, Hebrews 12:24, etc., although our approach is much more obvious to heavenly eyes than to ours, that are still veiled; and brings along with it the best hopes for the future. The apostle here brings forward an excellent knowledge of the heavenly economy, worthy of what Paul heard and saw, when he was blessed by being caught up into the third heaven; 2 Corinthians 12:2; 2 Corinthians 12:4.— σιὼν ὄρει, Mount Zion) This is the seat of the dispensation of Christ; [and therefore comprehends the spirits of just men made perfect.—V. g.] Revelation 14:1; John 12:15; 1 Peter 2:6.— καὶ πόλει θεοῦ ζῶντος, and to the city of the living GOD) The seat of the dispensation of GOD, Hebrews 12:23, [comprehending ten thousands of angels and of the first-born.—V. g.] For it is a Chiasmus: 1. Zion. 2. The city of God. 3. God the Judges 4. Jesus the Mediator. The first and fourth, the second and third agree.— ἱερουσαλὴμ ἐπουρανίῳ, the heavenly Jerusalem) Revelation 21:2.— ΄υριάσιν, ten thousands) These are spoken of absolutely, as in the prophecy of Enoch, Jude 1:14 : comp. Deuteronomy 33:2; Daniel 7:10.— ἀγγέλων, of angels) We cannot construe καὶ μυριάσιν ἀγγέλων, πανηγύρει καὶ ἐκκλησίᾳ, κ. τ. λ.: for both the polysyndeton must be retained, and the general assembly no doubt belongs to one party; the church to another; for who would join the synonyms, general assembly and Church? The church consists of the first-born; the general assembly, therefore, of angels. But the ten thousands consist not only of the general assembly of angels, but also of the church of the first-born. For the expression, ten thousands, is applicable to both, and the dative μυριάσιν is suited to both. The things which are presently about to be mentioned, may be added. In the meantime we must here observe the Chiasmus of the genitive and dative [the genitives being first and fourth; the datives, second and third], ἀγγέλων πανηγύρει and ἐκκλησίᾳ πρωτοτόκων.— πανηγύρει, general assembly) This word, and presently afterwards, church and Judge, indicate solemnity; which is even now in heaven, and will be at its height at the revelation of Jesus from heaven. Consider the expression—all angels, all nations, Matthew 25:31-32.


Verse 23

Hebrews 12:23. καὶ ἐκκλησίᾳ πρωτοτόκων ἐν οὐρανοῖς ἀπογεγραμμένων, and to the church of the first-born that are written in heaven) The sons of GOD, of the ages that preceded the first coming of Christ, and the believing Israelites, come under the denomination of the first-born; Exodus 4:22; Jeremiah 31:9; Ephesians 1:12; especially the patriarchs, Matthew 8:11, and those who first attended Him who rose as the First-born from the dead, Matthew 27:53, as well as also the rest, so to say, of the ordinary flock. The church or assembly consists of these, as the general assembly consists of the angels.(81) The first-born in the time of Moses were written (in a roll), Numbers 3:40; but these, of whom the apostle speaks, are written in heaven, because they are citizens of the heavenly city: comp. ἀπογράφεσθαι, to be enrolled (written in a roll), Luke 2:1. Hence it is plain, that it does not follow on this account that they themselves are not in heaven, because they are written in heaven. They are, however, also written [as well as being actually in heaven], that their names may be at some future period publicly read over: Revelation 20:12; Revelation 21:27. The antithesis, made perfect, is a sweet antithesis to these first-born; for the van of the host of the blessed is led by the one, the rear is brought up (is closed) by the other. Finally, it is remarkable that these first-born in the Gradation are more nearly connected with the mention of GOD, than the angels; comp. James 1:18.— καὶ κριτῇ θεῷ πάντων, and to God the Judge of all) He is the GOD of all, Ephesians 4:6 : your Judge, favourable to you, opposed to His enemies.— καὶ πνεύμασι δικαίων τετελειωμένων, and to the spirits of just men made perfect) In this last place, the apostle enumerates the things which more gently affect and refresh the eyes of travellers, dazzled with the splendour of the economy of God, and which are derived from the economy of Christ. The spirits, souls in the separate state, 1 Peter 3:19. The three young men [Ananias, Azarias, Misael], in their song, exclaim: “O ye spirits and souls of the righteous, bless ye the Lord.” The just made perfect are New Testament believers, who enjoy, after their death, the full benefit of the perfection which was consummated by the death of Christ, and of the righteousness derived from it: comp. ch. Hebrews 11:40, note. The number of these was still imperfect; and for this reason also they have been separated from the ten thousands, and therefore from the first-born. Why the first-born, and the spirits of just men made perfect, are separated in the description, will be evident from the train of thought which will be presently unfolded. While Paul himself is alive, he declares that he is not perfect, Philippians 3:12 : for the verb, τετέλεκα, has one reference, 2 Timothy 4:7; the verb, τελειοῦ΄αι, has another. The former refers to the office, the latter to the person. τελειοῦ΄αι does not apply so long as a man has yet even one step before him, although now (at this point) he may make no more progress in his internal perfection. Christ Himself was τελειωθεἰς, made perfect, at death: Hebrews 5:9. In the 2d to Timothy, Paul congratulates himself on having finished his course. In the Epistle to the Philippians, he urges them to engage with alacrity in the race; and with that object before him, he makes himself one who is yet far from the goal: comp. Hebrews 3:14, note.


Verse 24

Hebrews 12:24. διαθήκης νέας, of the new covenant) It is elsewhere called καινή, νέα here: νέος denotes the newness of that which is native or born, or even that which is living: comp. ch. Hebrews 8:13, note,(82) and ch. Hebrews 10:20; Isaiah 43:19.— ΄εσίτῃ, to the Mediator) Formerly Moses, himself the mediating messenger, feared and trembled: now access has been granted to the Mediator of the New Testament.— αἵματι ῥαντισμοῦ, to the blood of sprinkling) A remarkable connection to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, AND to the blood of sprinkling. The blood is looked upon in this passage, as it is in heaven, in the same way as the Mediator is looked upon, and God, and the ten thousands, etc. Attend, reader, to what is now to be said, by distinct positions.

§ 1. The blood of Jesus Christ was most abundantly shed in His suffering and after His death.

In the sacrifices of the Old Testament, αἱματεκχυσία, the shedding of blood, was requisite; and the blood was to be entirely poured out, so that nothing should remain in the veins and vessels of the bodies. This was accomplished also in the one oblation of the New Testament—the oblation of the body of Jesus. Shedding of this most precious blood in every way then took place: in the garden, by sweat; in the palace, by scourging; on the cross, by the nails; and after death, by the spear. Thus Christ was manifestly put to death in the flesh, 1 Peter 3:18. I do not know whether he who has duly weighed the words of Psalms 22:15-16, can say, that even a drop of the whole mass of blood remained in His most holy body: I am poured out like WATER. My strength IS DRIED UP as a potsherd, and my tongue has cleaved to my jaws; and Thou hast brought me unto THE DUST of death. Truly the Lamb of God ἐσφάγη, was sacrificed. It does not mean, that one part of His blood was shed, another part not shed: but, as His whole body was delivered up, so His whole blood was shed: Matthew 26:28. The shedding of the blood and the death of Christ are concomitant: the one is not the cause of the other. He truly laid down His blood and His life; but not for natural causes, on account of which ordinarily they die, who perish by a violent death. This arises from the surpassing excellence of the Subject.

§ 2. The state of the shed blood followed the actual shedding of that blood.

The actual shedding of the blood was, while it was being shed; we call the state of the shed blood the whole period of its continuance out of the body of the Lord, whether that be short or long.

§ 3. That blood, even in its state of being shed, was free from all corruption.

We were redeemed NOT WITH CORRUPTIBLE THINGS, such as silver or gold, but with the PRECIOUS blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot; 1 Peter 1:18-19. The preciousness of that blood excludes all corruption. This remains firm and sure; nor do we in any way approve of the unworthy opinions of some respecting the shed blood of Christ, whom Hoepfner expressly confutes, especially in Tract. de S. C., p. 55.

§ 4. It cannot be affirmed, that the blood, which was shed, was again put into the veins of our Lord’s body.

Human reason comprehends nothing but what refers to this life: wherefore we only put our trust in Scripture, which very often refers to the shedding of the blood and to the death of Jesus Christ; and it too does not less celebrate His resurrection and eternal life. But it gives no direct intimation of the putting of the blood again into the body; nor is that fact to be deduced from Scripture by fair inference. Certainly this mode of reasoning makes a large leap: The blood of Christ is incorruptible; therefore it returned into His veins. If the body without the blood, and the blood out of the body, were uncorrupted during the three days of His death, each of them remains also more uncorrupted, after death was fully accomplished, without the other. Let us hear what Scripture suggests.

§ 5. At the time of the ascension the blood separated from the body was carried into heaven.

The entrance of the Priest of the New Testament into the true sanctuary was His Ascension into heaven; and indeed, at the death of Christ, the veil of the earthly temple was rent asunder, and then the true sanctuary, heaven, was opened; but the entrance itself was made by ascending into heaven. The resurrection took place on the third day after His death; His ascension, forty days after the resurrection. Moreover Christ entered into the sanctuary by His own blood; not merely after the blood was shed, and by the force of its being shed, nor with the blood taken back into the body, but BY the blood: therefore this Priest Himself carried into the sanctuary His own blood separately from His body (Scherzerus, in Syst., p. 390, accuses one of rashness, who thought that the particles of Christ’s blood which adhered to the lash, to the crown of thorns, and to the nails, and the drops of blood shed, were miraculously preserved on the earth, and were multiplied in the Eucharist); and at the very time of His entrance or ascension Christ had His blood separate from His body. His body was bloodless; yet not lifeless, but alive. The blood in His body would not have agreed with the type of the priest under the Old Testament, who entered into the sanctuary with the blood of animals. See ch. Hebrews 9:7; Hebrews 9:25, and especially Hebrews 12:12, where διʼ and διὰ entirely correspond to each other with the same meaning. Witsius, in Diss. de sacerdotio Aaronis et Christi, T. I. Misc., p. 510, where he treats of the passage Hebrews 13:11, acknowledges, that the analogy between the type and the antitype should be preserved; but he at the same time interprets the blood of Christ to be His soul, not correctly: for blood, properly so called, is denoted, as in the type, so in the antitype. Comp. Exx. in Symb. ap., p. 171. Moreover there is a still weaker explanation given by Sibrandus Lubbertus, lib. ii. c. Socin. de J. C. Servatore, c. 21: “We read concerning the annual sacrifice, Leviticus 16, that its blood was carried into the most holy place; but there is a great difference between this blood and the blood of Christ. For the material blood, that was shed when the animal victim was slain, was carried into the sanctuary; but the material blood of Christ, which was shed when He was slain for us, was NOT carried into heaven. What then was done? As the priest under the law appeared in the Levitical sanctuary with the blood of the victim slain for himself and the people, so Christ appears for us in heaven, not with the material blood that was shed, but by the power and efficacy of the blood shed for us.” The apostle does not say, the power and efficacy of the blood, but Christ’s own (proper) blood (ch. Hebrews 9:12), by which an entrance was made into the sanctuary: nor does he call it MATERIAL blood, but the blood of Him, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot unto God. The discourses of excellent interpreters and commentators often imitate this emphasis, which is given to this subject by the apostle. Chrysost. Hom. 33, on Hebrews 13 : “The actual economy of the suffering was without—I say, without; but the blood was carried up INTO heaven. You observe, that we are partakers of the blood that was carried into the sanctuary—the true sanctuary—the blood of the sacrifice in which He alone, the High Priest, delighted.” Some refer certain words of this passage to one thing, others to another; but all agree in giving the same meaning to ἀλλʼ εἰς τὸν, κ. τ. λ. The above translation is that which I am inclined to adopt. Conr. Pellicanus on Hebrews 9 : “Christ brought the price of His blood for redeeming us to the Father, into heaven.” Calvin on Hebrews 10.: “Since the blood of cattle became soon corrupted, it could not long retain its efficacy; but the blood of Christ, which has no foul corruption, but always flows with untainted colour, will be sufficient for us to the end of the world. We cannot wonder, if the sacrifices of cattle that had been slain had no power to give life, as they were dead; but Christ, who rose from the dead, to confer life upon us, diffuses His own life into us. This consecration of the way is perpetual, because the blood of Christ is always in a manner dropping before the Father’s face for the purpose of bedewing heaven and earth.” And on ch. 13: “Christ carried His own blood INTO the heavenly sanctuary, to make atonement for the sins of the world.” Again: “The apostle (Hebrews 13:20) seems to me to mean, that Christ so rose from the dead, that His death notwithstanding is not effaced, but retains eternal freshness and efficacy; as if he had said, God raised His Son, but in such a way, that the blood which He shed once for all in His death, for the ratification of the eternal covenant, still retains its efficacy (vigour) after the resurrection, and brings forth its own fruit, as if it were continually flowing.” Hunnius on Hebrews 13 : “Christ carried His own blood into the Holy of Holies.” Dorscheus, P. I. Theol. Zach., p. 51, etc., says on Zechariah 9:11 : “The blood is considered under that aspect of profusion and effusion, but not as it is in its natural state and within its ordinary vessels. 1. Because the manner (nature) of the type requires this: for the blood, under the Old Testament or Covenant, was considered as extravasated and shed, and by this very circumstance it was the shadow of the profusion and effusion of blood which was to take place under the New Testament. 2. Because the nature of the Divine covenant requires this, which demands shedding of blood. 3. Because in this aspect of the blood [i.e. by the effusion of the blood] an act of satisfactory obedience due to God for sin is performed, etc.” Sal. Deylingius: “Christ having ascended into heaven, and sitting at the right hand of GOD, commits our affairs to GOD, and shows to the Father His blood that was shed for us, and His wounds.” Again, quoting Rappoltus, he says: “He presents (shows) to His Father His own blood as the ransom and price of redemption for us, and teaches that by the shedding of it Divine justice has been satisfied.” Observ. Miscell., pp. 571, 572. I do not maintain that these interpreters show the present condition of the blood that has been shed; but I say, that their statements, if such a condition be kept in mind, are more consistent with the texts of which they treat.

§ 6. The blood of Jesus Christ always remains blood shed.

If the return of the blood of Jesus Christ into His body ever could or should have happened, it could or should have happened at least at the very moment of the resurrection, and not later. But that this did not happen before the ascension is evident from the preceding section. Therefore it did not happen at the resurrection; and therefore no time can be found, to which we may ascribe that return. The condition of the blood shed is perpetual. Jesus Himself is in heaven, and His body is also there: so too is His blood in heaven; but His blood is not for that reason now in His body. I am not inclined to refer to this the vision in Revelation 1:14, concerning the whiteness of the head of Jesus Christ, as if it were bloodless; for it has respect to the hair white as snow; but the face is compared to the exceeding brightness of the sun in his greatest strength, ibid. v. 16. Nor do we allege what is found at Luke 24:39, which has been alleged by Augustine, as bearing on this point; for the blood, although it be in the body, is less felt and seen than the flesh and bones. There are other indications given of the blood being separate from the body. The sacred writings present the body and blood under the aspect of things divided, not only in the sufferings and death of our Lord, but also in the supper instituted in remembrance of His death. Examine ch. Hebrews 13:9, etc., Hebrews 10:10; Hebrews 10:29; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25. The mode of predicating follows the mode of existence; for this very reason the body and blood of Christ are considered as quite distinct, because there is a distinction or separation existing in respect (on the part) of the subject. Therefore the blood, as shed, is still in heaven before the eyes of God; it still speaks for us; it is still the blood of sprinkling: 1 Peter 1:2. The blood of Abel, which the earth, having opened its mouth, drank from the hand of Cain, cried out apart from the body; so the blood of Jesus Christ speaks, likewise apart, in heaven, with greater power and benignity. For this reason mention is here properly made of the blood of sprinkling apart from Jesus Himself, as in ch. Hebrews 10:19; Hebrews 10:21, the entrance into the sanctuary in the blood of Jesus, and this same High Priest, are praised (spoken of) apart; and ch. Hebrews 13:12, the blood of Jesus is considered apart from His body (comp. Hebrews 12:11); and ch. Hebrews 13:20, the very raising of the great Shepherd of the sheep from the dead is said to have been accomplished through the blood of the eternal covenant. Comp. Rev. Riegeri. Hist. Frr. Boh., vol. ii., p. 68, etc., where, following the footsteps of Pfaffius, a very wide field of old and more recent opinions is so spread out before us, that this single opinion, which he skilfully states, comes forth without any of the disadvantages attending on the rest. The blood itself shed, not the shedding of the blood, is the ransom, the price of eternal redemption. That price, paid to God, remains paid, without being restored to the body of the Redeemer. The redemption is eternal; the value of the price is eternal, just as if the Redeemer hung on the cross daily and expired daily for us. In His death there was the power of a life that was not to be dissolved. In His life there is the value of His death, which is perpetual. The death of the Lord itself swept away the weakness of His life in the world, in which (weakness), for the sake of undergoing death, He became a partaker of flesh and blood, ch. Hebrews 2:14 : and so the same death, as a passage to a glorious life, had something forthwith suited to a glorious life. Comp. 1 Timothy 3:16, note. Hence the annunciation (“showing forth”) of the Lord’s death comprises His whole history, even that of His burial and resurrection (with which latter the burial is closely connected, 1 Corinthians 15:4), that of His ascension, that of His sitting at the right hand of God until He come: 1 Corinthians 11:26. The great Shepherd of the sheep was brought from the dead, but the covenant, in the blood of which He was brought, is eternal, ch. Hebrews 13:20. From this it is plain, that John has described with great propriety the Lamb, seen by him in His life and glory, as slain.

§ 7. This same fact was acknowledged by the ancient Doctors of the Church.

The fathers generally agreed, that the body of the Lord is now bloodless, nay, even aërial: see Magnif. Pfaffii diss. c. Roger, p. 50; and from this point some have descended even to too great subtlety. The author of the questions among the works of Athanasius, T. ii., f. 433, qu. 128, says, “The men of old themselves, and the ancient prophets, were baptized with that blood and water which flowed from the side of Christ. And how? Listen: Since the human body consists of four elements, it is again resolved into the same after death. So it happened also with Christ: because His holy side gave forth its blood and water, they were resolved, as those of the prophets were resolved, namely, into elements; and He thus baptized these (the elements of the prophets, etc.) when found, etc. Theodorus Abucaras has furnished a paraphrase to this philosophic observation, to whom alone Ittigius ascribes it in the Exercitation, in which he both publishes and refutes the little work of Abucaras. To be resolved into elements,—what is that, but to be subjected to corruption? But away with any thought of this kind concerning the blood of the Lord. These writers would not have fallen into this mistake, if they had learned from older authors, that the blood was put into His body when He rose from the dead. I know not whether this restoration of the blood was even acknowledged by the fathers (the proof [onus probandi] lies with him who maintains the acknowledgment), or at least that it is to be found brought forward before that communion in one kind (at length in the 13th and 14th cent.) began to prevail; to the defenders of which dogma, the Schoolmen, the excuse of concomitancy was convenient. The restoration of the blood was not universally maintained even in the age of Gerson, as is evident from his sermons on the day of the Lord’s circumcision, and from the Josephini, dist. 8. After the Reformation many admitted and propagated that opinion without any controversy, and therefore, as it happens usually, without any doubt. But the grounds on which they rest, evince that the blood of the Lord remained free from corruption, and that His remains (relics), accompanied with miracles, do not continue in the earth; both of which we heartily acknowledge; but by these same arguments it is not positively defined what is the present condition of that precious blood. Sec. I. Gerhard’s dispp., p. 789, 1426, seq.; J. Meisneri. exam. catech. Pal., p. 596, etc. It will be thy duty, Christian reader, to compare together the several opinions on this subject, and decide on them according to the rule of sacred Scripture.

§ 8. The personal union and the state of the shed blood well agree (are quite compatible with one another).

These two are not at variance with each other during the three days of His death: and much less is there any opposition ever afterwards. This whole consideration admits nothing Nestorian, nothing Eutychian.

§ 9. The resurrection and glorious life of Jesus Christ does not set aside the state of the shed blood.

If any one were to suppose that a small quantity of blood remained in the body of the Saviour even after His side was pierced, the restoration of the blood shed to the body might seem on that account the less necessary to the natural reason. But the whole blood was indeed shed, and yet it was not again restored; for the natural or animal life consists in the blood and its circulation, and is supported by bread; but the word of God without bread feeds the bodies of the saints. See concerning Moses, Exodus 24:18; Exodus 34:28; also concerning Elias, 1 Kings 19:8; but chiefly concerning Jesus Christ, Matthew 4:2; Matthew 4:4. For His whole mode of living is known to have exceeded in purity that of all men even from the suitableness of his raiment, John 19:23, note. But if the power of God effects that on the earth, how much more is that done and will be done in heaven? Matthew 22:29 (and for this reason the reader should by the way, but seriously, be reminded, that blood newly produced in the place of that which was shed, was never even dreamt of being ascribed by us to the risen Redeemer): His glorified life does not require the circulation of the blood. The whole is of God, Romans 4:4; Romans 4:10; 1 Corinthians 6:13; 1 Corinthians 15:44; 1 Corinthians 15:50. Our body, our blood, are subject to corruption. What will happen in regard to our blood, I know not; (even in the animal life itself we consider a very great loss of blood, provided life be not endangered, as a matter of less importance than the maiming of a finger or a joint:) The Saviour will certainly make the body conformable to His glorious body. Comp. Samml. von A. und N. 1739; I. Beytr. art. 8; Vales. philos. sacr., p. 81; Melch. I. 712. “We think it quite clear, that the battle fought by Michael, Revelation 12, did not take place immediately after Christ’s ascension into heaven, whither THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB being introduced, took away the dragon’s right to accuse.” Pfaff. Syst. germ., p. 307; Heding. ad Hebrews 9:24; Hebrews 10:14; Kraft Nachr. I. Band, p. 878. The hole in the side (such as a deadly wound would be in the natural body) is the never-failing proof and ornament of His glorified life: Ezekiel 37:6; Ezekiel 37:8. The veins are not mentioned, but גידים are nerves or muscles.

§ 10. The state of the shed blood very strongly confirms communion in both kinds.

The defenders of communion in one kind have no more specious pretence than the concomitancy of the body and blood. But the relation of the body and of the blood of the Lord in the sacred Supper is most distinct [the footing or aspect of the one is quite distinct from that of the other]. First, He says, This is My body: then next, This is My blood. Therefore the body is not exhibited by the blood, but by itself; the blood is not exhibited by the body, but by itself. Lightfoot, in Chron. of the Old Testament, compares Genesis 9:4 with this passage. But the language of Dannhawerus is much to the purpose, who writes as follows: “The blood of Jesus Christ, shed for His disciples and for many, is a heavenly thing, as it is drunk in the sacred Eucharist, and because it is incorruptible, it still exists, 1 Peter 1:19, and was carried by Christ into the sanctuary not made with hands; and yet (the blood spiritually received in the Eucharist) it is the very blood shed in the time of His passion. We must not enter here into scholastic disputes, truly scholastic and trifling, about the remains of Christ’s blood, and its being taken back, concerning which Baron. should be consulted, etc.” Hodos. p. 1202. At the death of Christ the blood was drawn out of the body: the “showing forth” of that death (1 Corinthians 11:26) demands that the bread, after having been blessed, should be eaten in remembrance of the Lord, and that the cup, after having been blessed, should be drunk in like manner in remembrance of the Lord; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25. Thomas Bromley has a profound Answer, published in ten treatises, on the different nature of enjoying the body and blood of Christ.

§ 11. The same cause [reason] admirably supports our faith.

The same Bromley, in the Revelation of Paradise, writes thus: “The blood of the eternal covenant is sprinkled in the sanctuary, which was in a peculiar manner performed once for all by the Lord Jesus after His ascension, according to Hebrews 9:12, By His own blood He entered once into the sanctuary, after He had obtained eternal redemption. But that is still continued at certain times by our great High Priest, for the purpose of allaying the wrath of God occasioned by sin; and it is therefore called the blood of sprinkling, on account of its use, which is continued in heaven, and in the consciences of the saints upon the earth.” Hebrews 9:14. They who are strong in spiritual judgment may decide such matters as these. Truly, believers, in the whole exercise of their faith, and especially in the sacred Supper, as much enjoy the efficacy of the blood of Jesus Christ, as if they had been established (placed) at the moment at which His blood was shed.

§ 12. This circumstance demands more ample consideration from the lovers of Christ.

We may transfer to the present discussion what Andreas Adamus Hochstetterus, P. M., has written in his Exercitation on the entrance of the High Priest into the Holy of Holies. “We do not doubt that the reader will perceive, from the discussion of an argument so perplexed, and omitted by even great interpreters, how much is still left to our own investigation (searching of the Scriptures), and will apply to the glory of the Saviour the labour which we have taken in searching out the hidden truth,” pp. 20, 21. I confess, I find this field but little cultivated, and on such a subject few in general are brought to stop and direct their attention to its consideration. But he who will not straightway shrink from that which seems at first a paradox (something contrary to what would be thought), will soon after taste its sweetness with the progress of faith. Notwithstanding, I obtrude nothing on any man; I merely ask the wise to condescend religiously to examine the whole subject, not according to the rule of human, but Divine judgment. Carnal curiosity has no place here, but the desire of knowing the Redeemer, so far as He has chosen to make known His glory by the rays of the apostolic testimony to them who love Him.

In commentaries and systems, indeed, this subject is not found to be well or fully treated; it is only slightly touched upon; and this perhaps arises from the following reasons: 1. In the passages concerning applicatory grace [applying to us redemption], it is said: The operating cause terminatively(83) is the Holy Spirit, which is true; but the mention of Christ and His merits is only made in relation to the question respecting the external impulsive cause. It so happens that the efficacious operation of Christ and His blood cannot come into consideration either in the one place or the other. 2. The proper (strict) consideration of Christ’s blood is sparingly introduced, and many have straightway recourse to a figure, whereby they understand under this word, blood, either the whole merit of Christ or His life, i.e. the living principle or soul. 3. In serious treatises, the writers directly refer rather to the holy and blessed fruits, than to the mode of the operations themselves, from which these fruits take their rise; comp., for example, the writing of an Anonymous author, die reinigende Kraft des Gottes—Blutes Jesu Christi (ed. A. 1745, Prenzl.), p. 49. When I was young, I anxiously meditated a solid disquisition on the bearing of the merit of Christ on our salvation; but after much thinking, I never proceeded so far as to write a special treatise on that subject. May the Lord Jesus, for His own name’s sake, now and henceforth bestow upon us the bright ray of His own light. Amen.


Verse 25

Hebrews 12:25. βλέπετε, see) An admonition which is sharpened by the omission of the particle, οὖν, then.— μὴ παραιτήσησθε, that ye refuse not) through unbelief.— τὸν λαλοῦντα, Him that speaketh) namely, GOD whose word, now present, is of such a kind that it is (as to be) the prelude of the last ‘shaking’ of all things (Hebrews 12:27) The same word, which is heard in the gospel from heaven, will shake heaven and earth. The blood speaks to God, Hebrews 12:24; but in Hebrews 12:25 there is a speaking, which is made to us: λαλοῦντι, Hebrews 12:24, is neuter, agreeing with αἷμα; λαλοῦντα is masculine. The apostle returns to that with which he set out, ch. Hebrews 1:1.— οὐκ ἔφυγον, they did not escape) They could not withdraw themselves from hearing, nay, they rushed on their punishment.— παραιτησάμενοι, who refused) Hebrews 12:19.— χρηματίζοντα, Him who spake oracles, warnings, precepts) He means God Himself: Hebrews 12:26 at the beginning.— πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἡμεῖς, much more we) namely, shall not escape.— τὸν ἀπʼ οὐρανῶν) namely, χρηματίζοντα, Him who gives oracles, etc., from the heavens. Mount Sinai on earth reached to the lowest region of heaven; but from the heavens, and therefore from the very heaven of glory, has the Son brought both His blessedness and His preaching, in consequence of which very frequent mention of the kingdom of the heavens is made in His discourses: and to all this the Father has superadded His testimony: and now in His word (speaking) He represents (presents vividly to us) the shaking of heaven, of which Hebrews 12:26.— ἀποστρεφόμενοι, if we turn away) This word signifies greater obstinacy than παραιτησάμενοι, they who refused.


Verse 26

Hebrews 12:26. οὗ φωνὴ) as being One whose voice. Hereby is explained what kind of speaking that was on earth, and what kind of speaking of oracles, χρηματισμὸς, this is from the heavens. Therefore the article τὸν in Hebrews 12:25 does not prevent it from being one and the same person who spoke on earth and who now speaks from heaven. There is however a Mimesis,(85) and the feelings of those are expressed who do not acknowledge Him that speaketh.— τὴν γῆν) γῆ ἐσείσθη, the earth was shaken, Psalms 68:9, רָעָשָׁה, and Haggai uses this same word. The psalm mentions, that even the heavens dropped at that time, namely, those near to the mountain; but Haggai speaks of the whole created (made) heavens.— νῦν, now) The apostle shows not only what GOD now has promised, but what He is doing (is to do).— ἐπήγγελται ) He hath promised. It is a promise intended to excite the hope of the saints, although the ungodly are terrified at it: therefore this passage contains an admonition entirely evangelical: comp. ch. Hebrews 2:3.— ἔτι ἁπαξ ἐγὼ σείσω οὐ μόνον τὴν γῆν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸν οὐρανὸν, yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also heaven) עוד אחת מעט היא ואני מרעיש ונ, LXX. ἔτι ἅπαξ, κ. τ. λ., and Hebrews 12:21, ἐγὼ σείω, κ. τ. λ., yet once I will shake the heaven and the earth and the sea and the dry land, etc.; and Hebrews 12:21, I shake the heaven and the earth and the sea and the dry land. The apostle brings the two verses into one, by which he shows that it was one and the same shaking, of which the one verse of Haggai denotes the beginning, the other the end. For that shaking began at the first coming of the Messiah; it will be finished at the second: concerning the former, comp. Matthew 3:17; Matthew 27:51; Matthew 28:2; Acts 2:2; Acts 4:31 : concerning the latter, Matthew 24:7; Revelation 16:20; Revelation 20:11. There is an illustrious testimony given by Sir Isaac New ton on Daniel, p. 94: “And there is scarcely any prophecy concerning Christ in the whole of the Old Testament, which does not, to some extent at least, refer to His second coming.”— σείσω, I will shake) Others read σείω. The LXX. have both, as we have now seen; but σείω, I will shake, expresses the promise.(86)

AC Vulg. Memph. and Theb. read σείσω. But Df and Rec. Text σείω, with less authority.—ED.


Verse 27

Hebrews 12:27. τῶν σαλευομένων, of those things that are shaken) the heaven and the earth.— τὴν μετάθεσιν, the removing) The same word occurs at Hebrews 7:12. The antithesis is μείνῃ, should remain. It will be said: When the earth was formerly shaken, no removal took place; how then is a removal now connected with the shaking of the heaven and the earth? Ans. This shaking is total; is final; is promised, and there is therefore an intimation, that better things will succeed,—that is, those things which are not removed, but are immoveable, will succeed those things which are removed. The first was the prelude of the second.— ὡς πεποιημένων, as of those things that are made) The reason why those things, which are said to be shaken, fall under removal, for they are things made formerly by creation, and so made, that they would not remain of themselves, but would be removed; and that subsequently those should only remain which are not removed. So Paul speaks, 2 Corinthians 5:1.— ἵνα μείνῃ) that they should remain. For he says μείνῃ, not μένῃ. The imperfect depends on the preterite πεποιημένων, made. ΄ένω, I remain, is often said of a thing which is left remaining (surviving) when others pass away; and hence also μόνος comes from μένω; 1 Corinthians 13:13.— τά μὴ σαλευόμενα, the things which are not shaken) the city of the living GOD, Hebrews 12:22 : the new heaven and the new earth, Revelation 21:1, note.


Verse 28

Hebrews 12:28. βασιλείαν) a kingdom more magnificent than the present heaven and earth.— παραλαμβάνοντες, receiving) receiving a promise from GOD, accepting with the willingness of faith.— ἔχωμεν χάριν, let us have grace) χάριν ἔχειν, is to have grace [to feel gratitude], to be grateful, Luke 17:9, and often. It also means to be acceptable to, Acts 2:47; and in much the same sense, 2 Corinthians 1:15. To have grace, passively, is to be under the power of grace; also in much the same sense in this passage. To find grace is an act; to have grace is a state, conjoined with the will (willingness on the part) of believers.— λατρεύωμεν,(87) we may serve) as royal priests.— μετά αἰδοῦς, with reverence) from the perception of our own unworthiness, lest we should offend the eyes of GOD.(88)καὶ εὐλαβείας, and fear) from the perception of the divine majesty, lest we should bring destruction upon ourselves. Hesychius explains εὐλαβεῖσθαι, as φυλάττεσθαι, φοβεῖσθαι. Hope is tempered (mingled) with reverence and fear, lest it should degenerate into petulant boldness: comp. the following ver. with ch. Hebrews 10:27.

The Indic. λατρεύομεν has none of the oldest authorities on its side. They all have λατρεύωμεν.—ED.


Verse 29

Hebrews 12:29. καὶ γὰρ, for) A very important Epiphonema.(89) θεὸς ἡμῶν πῦρ καταναλίσκον, our God is a consuming fire) Deut. above, at Deuteronomy 12:18-19, several times quoted, in ch. Deuteronomy 14:24, LXX., ὅτι κύριος θεός σου πῦρ καταναλίσκου ἐστί, θεὸς ζηλωτής; comp. ibid. ch. Hebrews 9:3. Our God, in whom we hope, is at the same time to be feared.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Hebrews 12:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/hebrews-12.html. 1897.


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