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New King James
Hebrews 1:1

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

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- Clarke Commentary;   A.W. Pinks's Commentary;   Birdgeway Bible Commentary;   Coffman Commentaries;   Barne's Notes;   Box's Commentaries on Selected Books;   Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes;   Calvin's Commentary;   Cambridge Greek Testament;   Church Pulpit Commentary;   Chuck Smith Commentary;   Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible ;   Constable's Expository Notes;   Daily Study Bible;   Darby's Synopsis;   Ellicott's Commentary;   Expositor's Greek Testament;   Family Bible New Testament;   Hole's Commentary;   Meyer's Commentary;   Gaebelein's Annotated;   Morgan's Biblical Exposition;   Gill's Exposition;   Godbey's NT Commentary;   Gary Hampton Commentary;   Everett's Study Notes;   Geneva Study Bible;   Alford's Commentary;   Haydock's Catholic Commentary;   Meyer's Commentary;   Mahan's Commentary;   The Bible Study New Testament;   Ironside's Notes;   Bengel's Gnomon;   Commentary Critical and Explanatory;   Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged;   Gray's Commentary;   Owen Exposition of Hebrews;   The People's Bible;   Sutcliffe's Commentary;   Trapp's Commentary;   Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible;   Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures;   Grant's Commentary;   Wells of Living Water;   Henry's Complete;   Henry's Concise;   Poole's Annotations;   Pett's Bible Commentary;   Peake's Bible Commentary;   Preacher's Homiletical Commentary;   Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary;   People's New Testament;   Benson's Commentary;   Robertson's Word Pictures;   Sermon Bible;   Schaff's New Testament Commentary;   Spurgeon's Verse Expositions;   Biblical Illustrator;   Coke's Commentary;   Expositor's Bible;   Pulpit Commentaries;   Treasury of Knowledge;   Vincent's Studies;   Burkitt's Notes;   Wesley's Notes;   Whedon's Commentary;   Zerr's N.T. Commentary;  


- Nave's Topical Bible - God;   Jesus Continued;   Prophets;   Word of God;   Scofield Reference Index - Hebrews;   Jewish-Christian;   Thompson Chain Reference - Better;   Christ;   Creator;   Dispensation, New;   Holy Spirit;   Inspiration;   New;   Prophecy;   Prophets;   The Topic Concordance - Creation;   Jesus Christ;   Last Days;   Speech/communication;   World;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Christ, the Prophet;   Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the;   Prophets;   Trinity, the;  


- American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Exodus;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Creation;   Eschatology;   Father;   Hebrews, letter to the;   Interpretation;   Messiah;   Preaching;   Prophecy, prophet;   Revelation;   Son of god;   Word;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Bible, Authority of the;   God;   Name;   Old Testament in the New Testament, the;   Proverbs, Theology of;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Revelation;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Bible;   John, the Epistles of;   Word, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Acceptance;   Ascension of Christ;   Christ, Christology;   Church;   Confessions and Credos;   Creation;   Doctrine;   Gospel;   Hebrews;   History;   Mission(s);   Presence of God;   Revelation of God;   Word;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Canon of the New Testament;   God;   Grace;   Hebrews, Epistle to;   Hexateuch;   Logos;   Plain;   Revelation;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Art;   Boyhood of Jesus;   Evolution (Christ and);   Faith;   God;   Hebrews Epistle to the;   Incarnation (2);   Inspiration;   Inspiration and Revelation;   Old Testament;   Presence;   Prophet;   Revelation (2);   Trust;   Truth;   Type;   Woe;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Fathers;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Prophecy;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Jehu;   Obsolete or obscure words in the english av bible;   Scripture;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Holy Ghost;   Inspiration;  


- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Authority in Religion;   Bible, the;   Christ, Offices of;   Divers;   Evolution;   Hebrews, Epistle to the;   Mediation;   Nahum, the Book of;   Papyrus;   Person of Christ;   Philosophy;   Priest;   Providence;   Text and Manuscripts of the New Testament;  


- Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life - Devotion for March 31;   Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for October 6;   Every Day Light - Devotion for December 2;  

Parallel Translations

The Amplified Bible
IN MANY separate revelations [ each of which set forth a portion of the Truth] and in different ways God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets,

The Complete Jewish Bible
In days gone by, God spoke in many and varied ways to the Fathers through the prophets.

American Standard Version
God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners,

Bible in Basic English
In times past the word of God came to our fathers through the prophets, in different parts and in different ways;

English Revised Version
God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners,

Contemporary English Version
Long ago in many ways and at many times God's prophets spoke his message to our ancestors.

English Standard Version
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,

Darby's Translation
God having spoken in many parts and in many ways formerly to the fathers in the prophets,

Easy-to-Read Version
In the past God spoke to our people through the prophets. God spoke to them many times and in many different ways.

The Geneva Bible (1587)
At sundry times and in diuers maners God spake in the olde time to our fathers by the Prophetes: in these last dayes hee hath spoken vnto vs by his Sonne,

The Bishop's Bible (1568)
God which in time past, at sundrie tymes, and in diuers maners, spake vnto the fathers in the prophetes:

King James Version (1611)
God who at sundry times, and in diuers manners, spake in time past vnto the Fathers by the Prophets,

New Revised Standard
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets,

New Century Version
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets many times and in many different ways.

James Murdock Translation of the Peshitta
IN many ways, and many forms, God anciently conversed with our fathers, by the prophets:

Wesley's New Testament (1755)
God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake of old to the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son;

George Lamsa Translation of the Peshitta
FROM of old God spoke to our fathers by the prophets in every manner and in all ways; and in these latter days, he has spoken to us by his Son;

Douay-Rheims Bible
God, who, at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all,

Good News Translation
In the past God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways through the prophets,

Holman Christian Standard
Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways.

Miles Coverdale Bible (1535)
God in tyme past dyuersly & many wayes, spake vnto ye fathers by prophetes,

Mace New Testament (1729)
God who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past to the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his SON,

J.P. Green Literal Translation
In many ways and in various ways of old, God spoke to the fathers in the prophets;

New Living Translation
Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets.

New International Version
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

King James Version
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

New American Standard Version
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,

New Life Version
Long ago God spoke to our early fathers in many different ways. He spoke through the early preachers.

Hebrew Names Version
God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

International Standard Version
God, having spoken in former times in fragmentary and varied fashion to our forefathers by the prophets,

John Etheridge Translation of the Peshitta
In manifold portions [B'cull manon, in all portions. "Omnibus partibus, i. e., omnifariam, multifariam." SCHAFF] and in all manners, spake Aloha with our fathers by the prophets from the first: but in these last days he hath spoken with us by his Son;

The Emphasised Bible
Whereas, in many parts and in many ways of old, God spake unto the fathers, in the prophets,

Revised Standard Version
In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets;

Tyndale Bible
God in tyme past diversly and many wayes spake vnto the fathers by Prophetes:

Updated Bible Version 1.9
God, having of old time spoken to the fathers in the prophets by diverse portions and in diverse manners,

The Webster Bible
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

World English Bible
God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

Weymouth New Testament
God, who in ancient days spoke to our forefathers in many distinct messages and by various methods through the Prophets,

The Wycliffe Bible (1395)
God, that spak sum tyme bi prophetis in many maneres to oure fadris, at the

Young's Literal Translation
In many parts, and many ways, God of old having spoken to the fathers in the prophets,

The Message
Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries.

Lexham English Bible
HebrewsChapter 1God's Full and Final Revelation in the Son Although´╗┐*Here "although" is supplied as a component of the participle ("spoke") which is understood as concessive God spoke long ago in many parts and in many ways to the fathers by the prophets,

Contextual Overview

1God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,2has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Verse Review

Treasury of Scripure Knowledge

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Genesis 3:15; 6:3,13-22; 8:15-19; 9:1-17; 12:1-3; 26:2-5; 28:12-15; Genesis 32:24-30; 46:2-4; Exodus 3:1-22; Luke 24:27,44; Acts 28:23; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20,21
Numbers 12:6-8; Joel 2:28
the fathers
Luke 1:55,72; John 7:22; Acts 13:32


Genesis 1:4
And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:5
God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

Genesis 1:11
Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.

Genesis 1:12
And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:16
Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.

Genesis 1:17
God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth,

Genesis 1:19
So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Genesis 1:20
Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens."

Genesis 1:22
And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."

Genesis 1:30
Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so.

Gill's Notes on the Bible

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners,.... The apostle begins the epistle with an account of the revelation God has made of his mind and will in former times: the author of this revelation is God, not essentially, but personally considered, even God the Father, as distinguished from his Son in the next verse; for the revelation under the Old Testament is divine, as well as that under the New; in this they both agree, in whatsoever else they differ: and this revelation was made at several times, at different seasons, and to different persons; and consisted of a variety of things relating to doctrine and worship, and concerning the Messiah, his person and office; of whom, at different times, there were gradual discoveries made, both before and after the giving of the law, from the beginning of the world, or the giving forth of the first promise, and in the times of the patriarchs, of: Moses, David, Isaiah, and other prophets: and this was delivered in various manners; sometimes by angels; sometimes in a dream; at other times by a vision; and sometimes by Urim and Thummim: and this he

spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets; by Moses, and other succeeding prophets, as David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, Zechariah, Malachi, and others; who were sent to the Jewish fathers, the ancestors of the people of the Jews, to whom they prophesied and declared the will of God, as they were moved and inspired by the Holy Ghost: and the apostle suggests, by this way of speaking, that it was a long time since God spake to this people; for prophecy had ceased ever since the times of Malachi, for the space of three hundred years; and this time past includes the whole Old Testament dispensation, from the beginning to the end of it, or of prophecy in it.

Barnes' Notes on the Bible

God who at sundry times - The commencement of this Epistle varies from all the others which Paul wrote. In every other instance he at first announces his name, and the name of the church or of the individual to whom he wrote. In regard to the reason why he here varies from that custom, see the introduction, section 3. This commences with the full acknowledgment of his belief that God had made important revelations in past times, but that now he had communicated his will in a manner that more especially claimed their attention. This announcement was of particular importance here. He was writing to those who had been trained up in the full belief of the truths taught by the prophets. As the object of the apostle was to show the superior claims of the gospel, and to lead them from putting confidence in the rites instituted in accordance with the directions of the Old Testament, it was of essential importance that he should admit that their belief of the inspiration of the prophets was well founded.

He was not an infidel. He was not disposed to call in question the divine origin of the books which were regarded as given by inspiration. He fully admitted all that had been held by the Hebrews on that heart, and yet showed that the new revelation had more important claims to their attention. The word rendered “at sundry times” - πολυμερῶς polumerōs- means “in many parts.” It refers here to the fact that the former revelation had been given in various parts. It had not all been given at once. It had been communicated from time to time as the exigencies of the people required, and as God chose to communicate it. At one time it was by history, then by prophecy, by poetry, by proverbs, by some solemn and special message, etc. The ancient revelation was a collection of various writings, on different subjects, and given at different times; but now God had addressed us by His Son - the one great Messenger who had come to finish the divine communications, and to give a uniform and connected revelation to mankind. The contrast here is between the numerous separate parts of the revelation given by the prophets, and the oneness of that given by his Son. The word does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament.

And in divers manners - - πολυτρόπως polutropōsIn many ways. It was not all in one mode. He had employed various methods in communicating his will. At one time it was by direct communication, at another by dreams, at another by visions, etc. In regard to the various methods which God employed to communicate his will, see Introduction to Isaiah, section 7. In contradistinction from these, God had now spoken by his Son. He had addressed us in one uniform manner. It was not by dreams, or visions; it was a direct communication from him. The word used here, also, occurs nowhere else in the New Testament.

In times past - Formerly; in ancient times. The series of revelations began, as recorded by Moses, with Adam Romans 12:6 note; 1 Corinthians 14:1 note. It is used here in that large sense - as denoting all those by whom God had made communications to the Jews in former times.

Clarke's Notes on the Bible

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners - We can scarcely conceive any thing more dignified than the opening of this epistle; the sentiments are exceedingly elevated, and the language, harmony itself! The infinite God is at once produced to view, not in any of those attributes which are essential to the Divine nature, but in the manifestations of his love to the world, by giving a revelation of his will relative to the salvation of mankind, and thus preparing the way, through a long train of years, for the introduction of that most glorious Being, his own Son. This Son, in the fullness of time, was manifested in the flesh that he might complete all vision and prophecy, supply all that was wanting to perfect the great scheme of revelation for the instruction of the world, and then die to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. The description which he gives of this glorious personage is elevated beyond all comparison. Even in his humiliation, his suffering of death excepted, he is infinitely exalted above all the angelic host, is the object of their unceasing adoration, is permanent on his eternal throne at the right hand of the Father, and from him they all receive their commands to minister to those whom he has redeemed by his blood. in short, this first chapter, which may be considered the introduction to the whole epistle is, for importance of subject, dignity of expression, harmony and energy of language, compression and yet distinctness of ideas, equal, if not superior, to any other part of the New Testament.

Sundry times - Πολυμερως, from πολυς, many, and μερος, a part; giving portions of revelation at different times.

Divers manners - Πολυτροπως, from πολυς, many, and τροπος, a manner, turn, or form of speech; hence trope, a figure in rhetoric. Lambert Bos supposes these words to refer to that part of music which is denominated harmony, viz. that general consent or union of musical sounds which is made up of different parts; and, understood in this way, it may signify the agreement or harmony of all the Old Testament writers, who with one consent gave testimony to Jesus Christ, and the work of redemption by him. To him gave all the prophets witness, that, through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins; Acts 10:43.

But it is better to consider, with Kypke, that the words are rather intended to point out the imperfect state of Divine revelation under the Old Testament; it was not complete, nor can it without the New be considered a sufficiently ample discovery of the Divine will. Under the Old Testament, revelations were made πολυμερως και πολυτροπως, at various times, by various persons, in various laws and forms of teaching, with various degrees of clearness, under various shadows, types, and figures, and with various modes of revelation, such as by angels, visions, dreams, mental impressions, etc. See Numbers 12:6, Numbers 12:8. But under the New Testament all is done ἁπλως, simply, by one person, i.e. Jesus, who has fulfilled the prophets, and completed prophecy; who is the way, the truth, and the life; and the founder, mediator, and governor of his own kingdom.

One great object of the apostle is, to put the simplicity of the Christian system in opposition to the complex nature of the Mosaic economy; and also to show that what the law could not do because it was weak through the flesh, Jesus has accomplished by the merit of his death, and the energy of his Spirit.

Maximus Tyrius, Diss. 1, page 7, has a passage where the very words employed by the apostle are found, and evidently used nearly in the same sense: Τῃ του ανθρωπου ψυχῃ δυο οργανων οντων προς συνεσιν, του μεν ἁπλου, ὁν καλουμεν νουν, του δε ποικιλου και πολυμερους και πολυτροπου, ἁς αισθησεις καλουμεν . "The soul of man has two organs of intelligence: one simple, which we call mind; the other diversified, and acting in various modes and various ways, which we term sense."

A similar form of expression the same writer employs in Diss. 15, page 171: "The city which is governed by the mob, πολυφωνον τε ειναι και πολυμερη και πολυπαθη, is full of noise, and is divided by various factions and various passions." The excellence of the Gospel above the law is here set down in three points:

  1. God spake unto the faithful under the Old Testament by Moses and the prophets, worthy servants, yet servants; now the Son is much better than a servant, Hebrews 1:4.
  • Whereas the body of the Old Testament was long in compiling, being about a thousand years from Moses to Malachi; and God spake unto the fathers by piecemeal, one while raising up one prophet, another while another, now sending them one parcel of prophecy or history, then another; but when Christ came, all was brought to perfection in one age; the apostles and evangelists were alive, some of them, when every part of the New Testament was completely finished.
  • 3. The Old Testament was delivered by God in divers manners, both in utterance and manifestation; but the delivery of the Gospel was in a more simple manner; for, although there are various penmen, yet the subject is the same, and treated with nearly the same phraseology throughout; James, Jude, and the Apocalypse excepted. See Leigh.

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