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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Hebrews

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13

Book Overview - Hebrews

by E.W. Bullinger

Heb
THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS.

THE STRUCTURE OF THE EPISTLE AS A WHOLE.


Hebrews 1:12; Hebrews 1:18. DOCTRINAL INTRODUCTION.
Hebrews 1:2-14. SON OF GOD. BETTER THAN ANGELS
Hebrews 2:5-18. SON OF MAN. LOWER THAN ANGELS.
Hebrews 3:1 - Hebrews 4:13. THE MISSION OF CHRIST.
Hebrews 3:1-6. THE APOSTLES, &c.
Hebrews 3:6-19. WARNING.
Hebrews 4:1-13. THE REST GIVER.
Hebrews 4:14-16. GENERAL APPLICATION. "HAVING THEREFORE."
Hebrews 5:1 - Hebrews 10:18. THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST.
Hebrews 5:5-10. CHRIST CALLED OF GOD AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC.
Hebrews 5:11 - Hebrews 6:20. DIGRESSION. EXHORTATION.
Hebrews 7:1-28. PRIESTHOOD OF THE SON (MESSIAH); AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC.
Hebrews 8:3 - Hebrews 10:18. THE EFFICACY OF CHRIST""S PRIESTHOOD.
Hebrews 10:19 - Hebrews 12:29. PARTICULAR APPLICATION. "HAVING THEREFORE."
Hebrews 10:19-23. EXHORTATION TO DRAW NEAR...CHRIST BEING ACCESSIBLE/FAITHFUL.
Hebrews 10:38-39. LIVING BY FAITH.
Hebrews 11:1-40. EXAMPLES OF FAITH.
Hebrews 12:5-24. CHASTISEMENT.
Hebrews 12:12-24. COUNSELS AND ENCOURAGEMENTS.
Hebrews 13:1-25. PRACTICAL CONCLUSION.


INTRODUCTORY NOTES.

The general subject of the Epistle is that the Messiah of the Old Testament Scriptures must suffer as
Man (i.e. as Incarnate Man), and that Jesus is the Messiah.

ADDRESSED . "To the Hebrews":to the nation under its earliest name, Palestinian Jews and the Diaspora (John 7:35) alike. Outwardly for believers (Cp. Hebrews 6:8; Hebrews 12:15, Hebrews 12:16; Hebrews 13:10).
> AUTHORSHIP . The arguments in favour of the Pauline authorship are much more weighty than those in favour of all other candidates put together, and they may be stated thus:-

1. The thought and reasonings are Paul""s, whatever the style and language may be. All his other epistles were written to churches mainly composed of Gentiles. In addressing such an epistle to Hebrews , he would naturally write as an instructed scribe, one brought up
"at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers" (
Acts 22:3). It is therefore futile to argue that if Paul were really the author, the language and style would have been in exact accord with those of the other epistles. Had this been so, it would be an argument against , and not in favour of, Paul""s authorship.

2. There is a certain amount of external testimony that Paul was the writer, but none as to any other.

3. The testimony of 2 Peter 3:15, 2 Peter 3:16, strictly interpreted, proves that Paul wrote an epistle to the Hebrews , and if this is not the epistle, where is it? No trace or indication of any other has ever been found.

4. Its anonymity is eminently in favour of Pauline authorship. The suspicion with which the Jews regarded Paul, and their furious hatred of him (cp. Acts 21:21; 2 Corinthians 11:24; Philippians 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:15, &c.), would be ample reason why, in addressing so important a letter to his own race, he should withhold his name. If it was necessary at the time of it publication to send out such an epistle, equally necessary was it that it should not be handicapped with a name regarded generally by the Jews as that of an infamous renegade. The argument of the value of an unsigned article in any important journal applies with great force in the case of Hebrews .

5. DATE of writing and publication. Owing to the fixed idea in the minds of most commentators that the reference to Timothy in (see note there) must have been connected with the Naronian persecution, the date is usually assigned to a period shortly before the destruction of the Temple, which took place late in A.D. 69 (Appdx-50. VI). The very latest "guess" is that "it may have been written at any time between A.D 65 and 85". This is vague and unconvincing. In Appdx-180 the chronological position of Hebrews is shown, A.D. 53-
54. Modern tradition places it after 2 Tim.,
circa A.D. 68. That the former is correct seems clear for the following reasons:-

(
a ) If Hebrews was written in or about the year 68, Paul""s ministry had existed for twenty-two years (since his and Barnabas""s "separation" for the work, in 46, Acts 13:2) without the aid of a written statement of such paramount importance as this. What was the immediate object of publishing then , only a year or two before the destruction of the Temple, and very shortly before his own death (2 Timothy 4:6), so weighty an argument that Jesus was both Messiah and true Man, and as Man must have suffered? That the Old Covenant was ended and its place taken by a New (Hebrews 8:13)? It is incredible that the apostle who was inspired to write and publish Romans at a comparatively early date should not have been allowed to put forth Hebrew s till the very end of his ministry. "To the Jew first" is verily applicable in this connection.

(
b ) Paul was at Jerusalem for the Council meeting (51) when the very subjects of Hebrews had evidently been bitterly discussed (Acts 15:5, Acts 15:7). Shortly thereafter he writes Thess. 1 and 2, both of which contain poignant references to "shameful treatment" at the hands of his own people.

(
c .) Some authoritative statement must be placed in the hands of even an early ambassador in regard to new and altered relationships between his supreme head and those to whom he is commissioned and sent. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles may be used as illustration. No representative there reported ultimately by word of mouth to his country, but by presentation of a copy of the entire Treaty. So with this treatise-epistle. Paul, as God""s ambassador to the Diaspora and Gentiles, must have had some documentary argument, proof, and testimony, in support of his (and of Timothy""s and others"") oral teaching and instruction, for circulation among the "many thousands" of Jews who believed at and after Pentecost, yet all of whom were "zealous of the Law" (Acts 2:41; Acts 4:4; Acts 6:7; Acts 21:20), and with whom Paul and his fellow-workers must have come into contact. To Have attached his own name to this would have defeated his purpose, as above mentioned.

(
d ) The approximate time therefore for writing and publishing such a body of doctrine must have been shortly after the beginning of his ministry, and, consequently, Hebrews was in all probability written during the eighteen months of Paul""s sojourn at Corinth, during which he was "teaching among them the word of God" (Acts 18:11).

(
e ) Lastly, weighty support is given to these conclusions by the position Hebrews occupies in the four most important MSS., N, A, B, C, and in others. In some MSS. Hebrews is found in different positions with regard to the other books of the New Testament. In certain it appears as it stands in our Bibles, but in these four, N ( Codez Sinaiticus ), A ( Codex Alexandrinus ), B ( Codex Vaticanus ), and C ( Codex Ephraemi ), it is placed after 2 Thessalonians . This testimony to the foregoing is significant, and is not to be lightly set aside.


Hebrews 1:1 - Hebrews 2:18. DOCTRINAL INTRODUCTION.
Hebrews 1:1-2 -. God speaking.
-Heb 2-14. Son of God. Better than angels.
Hebrews 2:1-4. God speaking.
Hebrews 2:5-18. Son of Man. Lower than angels.

Hebrews 1:2-14. SON OF GOD. BETTER THAN ANGELS.
- Hebrews 1:2-3. Glory of His Person and work.
Hebrews 1:4-7. Superiority over angels.
Hebrews 1:8-12. Glory of His character and eternal being.
Hebrews 1:13-14. Superiority over angels.

Hebrews 2:5-18. SON OF MAN. LOWER THAN ANGELS.
Hebrews 2:5-6. God""s purpose. Not angels, but man, to have dominion.
Hebrews 2:7-8 -. Man""s equipment for dominion.
-
, Hebrews 2:8. First Adam""s failure.
Hebrews 2:9 -. Purpose fulfilled in the Lord Jesus.
-
, Hebrews 2:9-18. His fitness for dominion.

Hebrews 3:1 - Hebrews 4:13. THE MISSION OF CHRIST.
Hebrews 3:1-6 -. The Apostle and High Priest.
Hebrews 3:6-19. Warning.
Hebrews 4:1-13. The Rest-giver.

Hebrews 3:1-6. THE APOSTLE, &C.
Hebrews 3:1. Christ.
Hebrews 3:2. His faithfulness.
Hebrews 3:3. Greater than Moses.
Hebrews 3:4. Reason.
Hebrews 3:5. Moses"" faithfulness.
Hebrews 3:6 -. The Son.

Hebrews 3:6-19. WARNING.
=Hebrews 3:6. Condition of belonging to the Lord""s house.
Hebrews 3:7-8. "Harden not."
Hebrews 3:9. Provocation.
Hebrews 3:10. God grieved.
Hebrews 3:11. God""s oath.
1
Hebrews 3:2-13. Unbelief.
Hebrews 3:14. Condition of being partakers of Christ.
Hebrews 3:15. "Harden not."
Hebrews 3:16. Provocation.
Hebrews 3:17. God grieved.
Hebrews 3:18. God""s oath.
Hebrews 3:19. Unbelief.

Hebrews 4:1-13. THE REST-GIVER.
Hebrews 4:1. Exhortation. "Let us fear, lest."
Hebrews 4:2. Reason. The Word of God.
Hebrews 4:3-5. God""s rest and it""s character.
Hebrews 4:6-8. Perfect rest future.
Hebrews 4:9-10. Rest for God""s people, and its character.
Hebrews 4:11. Exhortation. "Let us labour, lest."
Hebrews 4:12-13. Reason. God and His Word.

Hebrews 4:12-13. REASON. GOD AND HIS WORD.
Hebrews 4:12 -. God Whose Word is wonderful.
-
, Hebrews 4:12 -. What His Word is. Living, powerful, a sharp sword.
-
, Hebrews 4:12 -. What His Word does. Pierces, divides asunder.
-
, Hebrews 4:12. What His Word is. A critic of the heart.
Hebrews 4:13. God Whose eye sees all.

Hebrews 4:14-16. GENERAL APPLICATION.
Hebrews 4:14 -. Our great High Priest. The Son of God.
-
, Hebrews 4:14. Exhortation based upon it.
Hebrews 4:15. Our great High Priest. The Son of Man.
Hebrews 4:16. Exhortation based upon it.

Hebrews 5:1-10. THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST.
Hebrews 5:1-4. Priesthood in general. "For ever" ( Pas gar ).
Hebrews 5:5-10. Christ called of God after the order of Melchisedec.
Hebrews 5:11 - Hebrews 6:20 Digression before considering Melchisedec as a type.
Hebrews 7:1-28. Christ called after the order of Melchisedec.
Hebrews 8:1-2. Summation. Christ the Antitype.
Hebrews 8:3 - Hebrews 10:18. The efficacy of Christ""s priesthood in particular. "For ever" ( Pas gar ).

Hebrews 5:1-4. PRIESTHOOD IN GENERAL.
Hebrews 5:1 -. The ordination of the High Priest.
-
, Hebrews 5:1. His offering for sins.
Hebrews 5:2 -. His compassion for other"" infirmities.
-
, Hebrews 5:2. The reason; his own infirmities.
Hebrews 5:3. His offering for sins.
Hebrews 5:4. The ordination of the High Priest.

Hebrews 5:5-10. CHRIST CALLED OF GOD AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC.
Hebrews 5:5-6. Christ a High Priest.
Hebrews 5:7-8. His salvation and obedience.
Hebrews 5:9. His people""s salvation and obedience.
Hebrews 5:10. Christ a High Priest.

Hebrews 5:11 - Hebrews 6:20. DIGRESSION.
Hebrews 5:11 - Hebrews 6:3. Exhortation.
Hebrews 6:4-6. Peril of Apostasy.
Hebrews 6:7-20. Exhortation.

Hebrews 5:11 - Hebrews 6:3. EXHORTATION.
Hebrews 5:11. Personal.
Hebrews 5:12 -. First principles.
Hebrews 5:12. Milk and strong meat.
Hebrews 5:13-14. Milk and strong meat.
Hebrews 6:1-2. First principles (or The Foundation of Christ).
Hebrews 6:3. Personal.

Hebrews 6:7-20. EXHORTATION.
Hebrews 6:7-11. Hope based on illustration of earth, and rain upon it.
Hebrews 6:12-15. The promises and the oath.
Hebrews 6:16-17. The oath and the promises.
Hebrews 6:18-20. Hope based on illustration of heaven, and Jesus having entered therein.

Hebrews 7:1-28. PRIESTHOOD OF THE SON (MESSIAH):AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC.
Hebrews 7:1-3 -. Melchisedec""s greatness. Greater than Levitical priests.
-
, Hebrews 7:3. His priesthood not transmissible.
Hebrews 7:4-10. Greater than Abraham, and therefore than Levi.
Hebrews 7:11-14. Change of priesthood. Change of law.
Hebrews 7:15-19. Change of priesthood. Disannulling of commandment.
Hebrews 7:20-23. The Lord""s greatness. God""s oath.
Hebrews 7:24. His priesthood intransmissible.
Hebrews 7:25-28. The Lord""s greatness. Greater than Levitical priests.

Hebrews 8:3 - Hebrews 10:18. THE EFFICACY OF CHRIST""S PRIESTHOOD.
Hebrews 8:3-6. A more excellent ministry. A better covenant on better promises.
Hebrews 8:7-13. The Old and New Covenants compared and contrasted.
Hebrews 9:1-5. The earthly sanctuary a copy of the heavenly pattern.
Hebrews 9:6-10. The offerings.
Hebrews 9:11-14. A greater and more perfect tabernacle. His own blood.
Hebrews 9:15-23. The Old and New Covenants compared and contrasted.
Hebrews 9:24. The heavenly sanctuary the pattern of the earthly copy.
Hebrews 9:25 - Hebrews 10:18. The offerings.

Hebrews 8:7-13. THE OLD AND NEW COVENANTS COMPARED AND CONTRASTED.
Hebrews 8:7-8. The First Covenant faulty.
Hebrews 8:9. The New Covenant. Not the same in the persons taking part (Neg.).
Hebrews 8:10. The New Covenant spiritual (Pos.).
Hebrews 8:11. The New Covenant. Not the same in result (Neg.).
Hebrews 8:12. The New Covenant spiritual (Pos.).
Hebrews 8:13. The First Covenant evanescent.

Hebrews 9:15-23. THE OLD AND NEW COVANANTS COMPARED AND CONTRASTED.
Hebrews 9:15. The Old Covenant related to the promise of eternal inheritance.
Hebrews 9:16. Death necessary for its making.
Hebrews 9:17. Reason.
Hebrews 9:18. Blood necessary for its consecration.
Hebrews 9:19-23 -. Reason.

- Hebrews 9:23. The New Covenant related to the heavenly things themselves.

Hebrews 9:25 - Hebrews 10:18. THE OFFERINGS.
Hebrews 9:25. Yearly sacrifices ineffectual. Because offered oftentimes.
Hebrews 9:26-28. Christ""s sacrifice effectual. Once ( hapax ).
Hebrews 10:1-4. Yearly sacrifice ineffectual. Offered continually.
Hebrews 10:5-10. Christ""s sacrifice effectual. Once for all ( ephapax ).
Hebrews 10:11. Daily sacrifices ineffectual. Offered oftentimes.
Hebrews 10:12-18. Christ""s sacrifice effectual. Having offered One, He sat down for a continuance.

Hebrews 10:19 - Hebrews 12:29. PATICULAR APPLICATION.
Hebrews 10:19-23. Exhortation to draw near in view of Christ being accessible and faithful.
Hebrews 10:24-25. Duty to accept exhortation.
Hebrews 10:26-31. Warning in view of God""s being the living God.
Hebrews 10:32-37. Patience in view of the promise.
Hebrews 10:38-39. Living by faith.
Hebrews 11:1-40. Examples of faith.
Hebrews 12:1. Patience in view of the examples.
Hebrews 12:2-4. Exhortation to look away from examples to the supreme Example.
Hebrews 12:5-24. Duty to endure chastening.
Hebrews 12:25-29. Warning in view of God""s being a consuming fire.

Hebrews 11:1-40. EXAMPLES OF FAITH.
Hebrews 11:1-7. A group of three. Abel, Enoch, Noah.
Hebrews 11:8-12. Abraham and Sarah.
Hebrews 11:13-19. General reflections.
Hebrews 11:20-21. Isaac and Jacob.
Hebrews 11:22. Joseph.
Hebrews 11:23-28. Moses"" parents and Moses.
Hebrews 11:29-31. Israel and Rahab.
Hebrews 11:32-38. Two groups. Faith conquering through God; faith suffering for God.
Hebrews 11:39-40. General reflections.

Hebrews 12:5-24. CHASTISMENT.
Hebrews 12:5-11. Duty to endure chastening.
Hebrews 12:12-24. Counsels and encouragements.

Hebrews 12:5-11. DUTY TO ENDURE CHASTENING.
Hebrews 12:5. Chastening not to be despised.
Hebrews 12:6. Proof of love.
Hebrews 12:7. A mark of sonship. Positive.
Hebrews 12:8. The lack of it. Negative.
Hebrews 12:9 -. Submission to earthly fathers.
-
, Hebrews 12:9. Much more to the Father of spirits.
Hebrews 12:10 -. The earthly fathers as they thought well.
-
, Hebrews 12:10. The Heavenly Father for our profit.
Hebrews 12:11 -. Chastening for the present grievous.
-
, Hebrews 12:11. The fruits afterwards.

Hebrews 12:12-24. COUNSELS AND ENCOURAGEMENTS.
Hebrews 12:12-13. The weak to be helped.
Hebrews 12:14 -. Peace with all.
-
, Hebrews 12:14. Holiness essential.
Hebrews 12:15 -. Watching against failure.
-
, Hebrews 12:15. The defining effect of bitterness.
Hebrews 12:16-17. The warning of Esau""s disappointment.
Hebrews 12:18-19. The terribleness of Sinai.
Hebrews 12:20-21. Its threatening of death.
Hebrews 12:22-23. The blessedness of the heavenly Jerusalem.
Hebrews 12:24. Its promise of life.

Hebrews 13:1-25. PRACTICAL CONCLUSION.
Hebrews 13:1-6. Exhortation.
Hebrews 13:7-9. Their teachers. Strange teachings unprofitable.
Hebrews 13:10-11. The servers of the tabernacle.
Hebrews 13:12-16. The sanctified people.
Hebrews 13:17. Their teachers. Disobedience unprofitable.
Hebrews 13:18-25. Closing requests and doxology.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, December 9th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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