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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Hebrews 3

Verses 1-19

Jesus Christ, Lord of the Household of Gods

(b) Christ is superior also to Moses; for He is Son over the house of God, whereas Moses was only a servant in it.

1. Wherefore] A new section begins here, in which argument and exhortation are blended. The connexion with the preceding is not quite plain. It may lie in the fact that Christ has been described (Hebrews 2:10) as a Leader of salvation, conducting God’s children to glory, suggesting a similar function performed by Moses, the Leader of God’s people to the rest of Canaan. Christ is the Apostle and High Priest of the new profession, as Moses was of the old. But all those who set out under the leadership of Moses did not enter into the. promised rest. Hence the warning against unbelief and falling away from the living God (Hebrews 3:12: cp. Hebrews 2:1-3). Holy brethren] They are consecrated to God, as Israel was: cp. Exodus 19:6 and see on Exodus 2:11. The heavenly calling] RV ’a heavenly calling,’ as distinguished from the calling of Israel to an earthly Canaan. Apostle and High Priest] Christ is both the messenger (cp. Hebrews 1:2) or representative of God to man, and the representative of man before God.

2. In all his house] i.e. God’s house: see Numbers 12:7. Christ and Moses both set an example of faithfulness, which the Hebrews will do well to copy; but Christ’s sphere is higher than that of Moses, for while Moses was a servant in the house, Christ, as Son of God, made the house: cp. Hebrews 1:2.

5. For a testimony] i.e. to bear testimony to the revelation afterwards made in the Law: cp. Hebrews 1:1.

6. If we hold fast] Transition to the warning in v. 7-4:13. The condition of remaining in the house of God is steadfast faith.

7. Wherefore] In AV the long quotation from Psalms 95 is treated as a parenthesis, and ’Wherefore’ is connected with ’Take heed’ in Hebrews 3:12. This is probably correct, but owing to the length of the parenthesis, the connexion becomes broken and a new sentence begins at Hebrews 3:12. The Holy Ghost saith] cp. Hebrews 10:15; Acts 1:16; 2 Peter 1:21.

8. Provocation and temptation are translations of the Heb. proper names, Massah and Meribah. For the instances of unbelief and apostasy connected with these places see Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 20:1-13; Deuteronomy 33:8.

9. Proved me] RV ’by proving me,’ i.e. by presumptuously putting to the proof. Saw my works] ’my works of judgment following on their unbelief,’ or, more probably, ’in spite of their experience of my works of deliverance and mercy.’

13. Deceitfulness of sin] The sin in view is unbelief culminating in apostasy, for which no doubt many specious reasons were forthcoming.

15. While it is said] This is best taken in connexion with the preceding v. to mean ’in view of the saying,’ ’seeing we have received this warning.’

16. RV rightly takes this v., like the two following, interrogatively. ’For who, when they heard, did provoke? Nay, did not all they that came out of Egypt by Moses? And with whom was he displeased forty years?

Was it not with them that sinned..? And to whom sware he.. but to them that were disobedient?’ Israel’s apostasy was universal in spite of the fact that they had heard the words and seen the works of the Lord, and had such a leader as Moses. The inference is the same as in Hebrews 2:1-3.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 3". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.