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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Hebrews 6

Verse 1

1) "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ," (dio aphentes ton tes arches tou christou logon) "Wherefore leaving (of our own accord) the beginning things (principles or concepts) of the word of Christ," Philippians 3:12-14. The writer calls upon the "Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling," Hebrews 3:1; Matthew 28:18-20, to advance beyond the milk of the word or rudiments of Christian tenets to stronger meat of the word, ; 1 Peter 3:18.

2) "Let us go on unto perfection," (epi ten teleioteta phreometha) "Let us be gently ferried or borne (carried along) to or toward maturity;” The appeal is for these brethren of the Jerusalem church to grow beyond a Judaeo-Christian catechism knowledge of the word of God, Hebrews 7:11-19.

3) "Not laying again the foundation," (me palin themelion kataballomenoi) "Not again laying down a foundation;” on which to build a worthwhile life, the following six elementary teachings of Christ, which they already understood, as the milk of the word. 1 Corinthians 3:3; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, not repeating initial matters.

4) "Of repentance from dead works;”(metanoias apo nekron ergon) "Of repentance from dead or unfruitful works," but a loathing of sin, such as we had before salvation, Hebrews 9:14; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Acts 3:19. When one is saved from hell it is forever, but he should live a life of service and gratitude to God, Ephesians 2:10.

5) "And of faith toward God," (kai pisteos epi theon) "And of faith (upon) toward God," which Paul preached as the basis of a sinner’s becoming a child of God; but thereafter he desired that they go on to become servants of God and stewards of God, Acts 20:1; Mark 1:15; Luke 24:47; Romans 6:16-18; 1 Corinthians 4:2.

Verse 2

1) "Of the doctrine of baptism," (baptismon didasches) "Of teaching regarding (of) baptisms," of total washings that symbolized cleansing in Jewish Law, Mark 1:44; Luke 5:14, as the burial-washing of church baptism symbolizes the total gospel picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, personal faith in or through which one is saved, Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

2) "And of laying on of hands," (epitheseos te cheiron) "And of (the) laying on of hands," in ordination, as a symbol of committed trust to a special service, or purpose, Leviticus 1:4; Numbers 8:10-11; Acts 13:2-3. There was a laying on of hands by the apostles, for a limited time, that ceased with completion of the New Testament, by which special spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit were conferred, Acts 8:13-21; Acts 19:6; 1 Timothy 5:22.

3) "And of resurrection of the dead," (anastaseos nekron) "Of a resurrection of dead bodies," of people who have died, John 5:18; John 5:29; Acts 17:31-32; The resurrection of the bodies of the righteous dead is such an established fact or truth, a case made out, that controversy or doubt should not linger about it, Acts 23:8; 1 Corinthians 15:12; Luke 14:14; John 11:24; Acts 24:15.

4) "And of eternal judgement," (kai krimatos aioniou) "And of an eternal judgement;” Acts 24:15; Romans 2:16. These six things named or stated above are declared to be beginning, foundation, or elementary principles of the teachings of Christ; beyond which children should soon mature, and go on in greater comprehension of Divine principles and practical service to the Lord, thru the church, the house of God which Jesus built and is building, enlarging even today, Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 3:6; Matthew 16:18; Mark 13:34-37; 1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 2:19-22.

Verse 3

1) "And this will we do," (kai touto poiesomen) "And this we will do," actively, repeatedly, progressively. The idea is that we as "Holy brethren, partakers or sharers of the heavenly calling," members of the "Lord’s house," the church, will continually grow in maturity, partaking of the meat of the word for strength in labors in the heat of the day, in doing the Lord’s bidding, Ephesians 4:12-13; Hebrews 3:16; Mark 13:34-37; Matthew 28:18-20.

2) "If God permit," (eanperepitrepe hotheos) "If indeed (concerning this resolve) God should permit;” The will of God should be considered in every resolve of every child of God. It is so proper to say concerning our activities, "if the Lord wills," as we go on in study, worship, and service in his church to perfection or maturity; This was the attitude of Paul, James, and other New Testament writers, Acts 18:21; 1 Corinthians 4:19; Romans 15:30-32; James 4:15; 2 Corinthians 3:5.

Let our attitude in planning for the future always embrace or include the idea, "If the Lord wills or allows," for in this we daily. acknowledge that in him "we live and move and have our being," or existence, Acts 17:28.

Verse 4

1) "For it is impossible," (adunaton gar) "Because it (is) not possible," "It is not in the ability," or there (is) not a potential, a dynamic power; There exists no further methods, means or agency, Acts 4:12.

2) "For those who were once enlightened," (tous hapaks photisthentas) "For the ones having once been lighted from within," born again, having received Christ, the light of the world into their hearts, having received eternal life, Hebrews 10:32; John 1:11-12; John 8:12; John 10:27-29; 1 John 5:11.

3) "And have tasted of the heavenly gift," (geusamenous te tes doreastes epouraniou) "And tasting of the heavenly gift," or spiritually experiencing the heavenly gift, not only salvation but more specifically the continual indwelling witness and fellowship of the Holy Spirit, John 4:10; Romans 8:14-16; Ephesians 2:8-9.

4) "And were made partakers of the Holy Ghost," (kai metochous genethentas pneumatos hagiou) "And becoming (or having become) present sharers of the Holy Ghost," even presently made progressively to share the Holy Spirit with the Lord and others personally and in the church where he abides forever, John 14:15-17; John 16:13; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5; Galatians 3:2-5; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30.

Verse 5

1) "And have tasted the good word of God," (kai kalon geusamenous theous hrema) "Have tasted (and, are tasting) the good word of God;” or experiencing the indwelling engrafted word, Christ in them, the hope of glory, 1 Peter 1:22-23; James 1:18; James 1:21; Colossians 1:27; He is the anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast, Hebrews 6:18-19.

2) "And the powers of the world to come," (dunameiste mellontos ainos) "And dynamic things of a coming age," of both the millennial and heaven of heaven ages; We have had an experimental foretaste in Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and lives, Ephesians 1:6-7; Ephesians 1:18-22; For those who have received him into their hearts and yielded to him lives of loving, committed service thru his church have riches and rewards undreamed awaiting in the ages to come, 1 Corinthians 2:9; Ephesians 3:16-21.

Verse 6

1) "If they shall fall away," (kai parapesontas) "Even (those) falling away," or having fallen away, from going on to maturity, growing up to perfection, real usefulness as children of God; Time lost, opportunity lost, is gone forever; Such was the case of Ananias and Sapphira, and certain members of the Corinth church, Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 11:29-30.

2) "To renew them again unto repentance," (palin anakainizein eis metanoian) "To renew or restore them again to repentance;" No one can ever be saved a second time. The setting of this chapter context is that children of God should commit themselves to daily discipline of Divine obedience to God in growth in Spiritual things to which they are called, Hebrews 6:1-12; Repentance is to life, once for all, Acts 3:19; 2 Corinthians 7:11, and to service.

3) "Seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh," (ana staurountas heautous ton huion tou theou) "As they are crucifying to or for themselves (again) the Son of God," simply living, existing in his fresh crucifixion, but refusing to confess him, serve him, follow him, as the resurrected Christ openly, as a soldier of truth and right, Ephesians 6:10; Ephesians 6:19; Every slothful, negligent, unserving child of God is a sinning crucifier of the Lord Jesus Christ, Hebrews 10:29; Matthew 12:30.

4) "And put him to an open shame," (kai paradeig matizontas) "Even putting (him) to open shame," as a son or daughter would in refusing to honor or acknowledge his father or mother. Of such non-witnessing, non-serving, non-following, disobedient children, Jesus declared that he would be ashamed to acknowledge or confess them before the Father, at the judgement, Mark 8:38; that men might go on to Christian service and maturity, that they might not be ashamed at that hour, 1 John 2:28.

Verse 7

1) "For the earth that drinketh in the rain," (ge gar he hueton piousa) "For the earth that drinks rain," the land that absorbs the rain, sleet, and snow, Deuteronomy 11:1-2; Leviticus 26:4.

2) "That cometh oft upon it," (ton ep’ autes echomenon pollakis) "That is often coming upon it," repeatedly coming down upon it to refresh it, Ezekiel 34:26.

3) "And bringeth forth herbs," (kai tiktousa botanen) "And is bearing (bringing forth) fodder," herbs and plant life for food, to sustain animal and human life, Isaiah 30:23.

4) "Meet for them by whom it is dressed," (eutheton ekeinois di’ hous kai georgeitai) "Suitable for those on account of whom it is tilled or farmed," for food, "seed to the sower and bread to the eater," Isaiah 55:11-12.

5) "Receiveth blessing from God," (metalambanei eulogias apo tou theou) "Receives its, and their blessing from God;” For he makes the rain to fall on the earth, that it may bring forth food for the just and the unjust because he cares for his own creation, Psalms 65:9-10; Leviticus 26:4. The Lord gives this rain in due season; His children should receive these blessings with gratitude of obedience, Deuteronomy 32:1-4.

Verse 8

1) "But that which beareth thorns and briers," (ekpherousa de akanthas apo tribolous) "But that which is bringing forth thorns and thistles," growth, that is, of hurtful kind, as wood, hay, stubble of the professed believers life, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.

2) "Is rejected," (adokimos) "It is disapproved," or cast aside without usefulness, accursed. As our Lord cursed, cut down the fig tree because of its non-fruit-bearing, so God may cut off the lives of his children, take them home if they persist in lives of thorns and briars only, 1 Corinthians 3:14-15.

3) "And is nigh unto cursing," (kai kataras engus) "And is near (receiving) a curse;” a severs judgement, as was the unfruitful fig tree, after long patience, Luke 13:6-9; While Israel was that fig tree, she was cut off because of her unfaithfulness; The lesson is that individuals may have their lives cut short because of refusing to be fruit bearers, Hebrews 12:9; 2 Peter 1:4-9.

4) "Whose end is to be burned," (hes to telos eis kausin) "Of which the end (is) for burning," for ashes to be removed as rubbish that obstructs earth’s most fruitful production, Luke 12:46-47; James 4:17; The burning is not of the person in hell fire, but the works on which his life has been built as a selfish, covetous, worldly child of God, living the life of a spiritual dwarf, a pygmy, 1 Corinthians 3:13-15. When one is a professor, like Judas Iscariot, unsaved, who has never come to repentance or even tasted the good word of life, he, as a person, as well as his life’s work, shall be cut down like a tree - cast into hell, Matthew 7:19.

Verse 9

1) "But beloved we are persuaded," (pepeismetha de agapetoi) "But beloved (ones) we have been persuaded," Hebrews 10:39; Matthew 7:17. Paul’s persuasion was that these Hebrew church brethren to whom he wrote would bear fruit resembling the new nature they received in salvation as described, 1 Peter 1:4-11.

2) "Better things of you," (peri hupon ta kreissonta) "The better (kind of) things concerning you all," than your failing away from your profession, than your living or going on in an unfruitful, unproductive way, Matthew 5:13-16.

3) "And things that accompany salvation," (kai echoma soterias) "Even a kind of things accompanying salvation," even works and fruits of the spirit in your lives daily, Galatians 5:22-25; 1 Thessalonians 1:3-10.

4) "Though we thus speak," (ei kai houtos laloumen) "If indeed we thus speak," or "though we speak like this;” Because those in Christ are new creatures, created unto good works, Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Verse 10

1) "For God is not unrighteous," (our gar adikos ho theos) "For God is not unjust," in judgement, in response to the way you live and service you render him, Romans 3:4; Hebrews 10:36-37.

2) "To forget your work," (epilathesthai tou ergou humon) "To be forgetful of your work," whether it be good or evil, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11.

3) "And labour of love," (kai tes agapes) "And your (labor) of love, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Revelation 22:12; Galatians 5:6; 1 John 3:14.

4) "Which ye have shewed toward his name," (hes enedeiksasthe eis to onoma autou) "Which you all showed toward his name;” God is looking on, and knows and takes heed of every deed and thought of his children. He daily blesses and cares for them and keeps record for the day of reward, John 14:15-17; Colossians 3:17; Revelation 1:13.

5) "In that ye have ministered to the saints," (diakonesantes tois hagiois) "As ye have ministered to the saints," referring to the needy brethren of the church in Jerusalem and Judea, during a time of famine, Acts 4:32; Romans 15:25-26; 2 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 9:1; 2 Corinthians 9:12.

6) "And do minister," (kai diakonountes) "And as ye are ministering," 2 Timothy 1:18. This ministry also included spiritual needs of those engaged in full time mission and Christian service work, Acts 2:44-45; Romans 16:1-4; 1 Corinthians 3:9; Philippians 2:15.

Verse 11

1) "And we desire that every one of you," (epithumoumen de hekaston humon) "But we desire that each of you all;” The "we" evidently refers to Paul and his missionary companions in service, including those who did most of his correspondence for him, had a care or concern for the welfare of the brethren and unnamed church to which the letter was written, Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 3:14.

2) "Do shew the same diligence," (ten auten endeiknusthai spouden) "Demonstrate the same (kind of) eagerness," or diligence, earnestness, in helping others, as he and his missionary helpers, 1 Corinthians 3:9; 1 Corinthians 9:1-12. Paul leaned forward continually in labors of the Lord, awaiting the day of his meeting the Lord, 1 Corinthians 15:57-58; Galatians 6:9; Philippians 3:13-16.

3) "To the full assurance of hope," (pros ten plerophprian tes elpidas) "Toward the full assurance of the hope," 2 Peter 1:10-11; The full assurance is unfailing faith that what God has promised he will deliver, Hebrews 10:22. Let us be assured that God will faithfully reward those who do not fall by the wayside, Galatians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 3:8.

4) "Unto the end," (archi telous) "To the very moment (of the) end," the end of life or to the coming of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Hope, Titus 2:13. It should be the end purpose of each child of God to honor the Lord, 1 Peter 1:13 Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Revelation 2:10; 2 John 1:8.

Verse 12

1) "That ye be not slothful," (hina me nothroi genesthe) "In order that you all not become dull," in practicing the duties of church covenant commitments to the Lord, Judges 18:9; Luke 9:23; Matthew 25:26-27; Romans 12:11.

2) "But followers of them," (mimetai de ton) "But imitators of those," the ones who obey the Lord in spirit and deed, Romans 2:7; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Hebrews 12:1.

3) "Who through faith and patience," (dia pisteos kai marathumias) "Who thru faith and longsuffering, " those who have been examples of faith, endurance, and patience, who have gone before, such as those of the roster of the faithful, Hebrews 11:1-40.

4) "Inherit the promise," (kieronomounton tas epangelias) "Are inheriting the promises," becoming heirs to and sharers of the promises of God to his people Israel and to his church, not merely the promise of everlasting life, including resurrection of bodies to all believers; The church has the promise of marriage to the Lamb and positions of honor and service to him in the ages to come, for fidelity to his work in this age, John 14:1-3; Luke 22:28-30; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:5-9; Revelation 22:12; Hebrews 10:36-37.

Verse 13

1) "For when God made promise to Abraham," (to gar Abraam epangeilamenos ho theos) "For when God (was) making promise to Abraham," regarding the saviour and a future homeland for him and his people, Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 13:14-17; Genesis 15:1-6.

2) "Because he could swear by no greater," (epei kat’ oudenos eichen meizonos omosoi) "Since he had by no one greater to swear," to confirm his promise, Genesis 15:13-18; Genesis 17:1-8; Genesis 22:15-18.

3) "He sware by himself," (omosen kath’ heautou) "By himself (his own integrity) he swore;” Heaven and earth were polluted and would perish or pass away, and all men were by nature corrupt; God could confirm his oath by none greater than himself. So he pledged upon his own integrity of attributes and character. And his promises are thus secured, Psalms 105:9-10; Luke 1:70-75.

Of his good promises none has failed, Joshua 21:45; Joshua 23:14; 1 Kings 8:56.

0 that His children might yet trust him in all his promises! "I am with thee," "I will come again," "I will receive you unto myself," "I will never leave thee or forsake thee," Matthew 28:18-20; John 14:3; Hebrews 13:3-5; Proverbs 3:3-5.

Verse 14

1) "Saying, surely blessing," (legon ei men eulogon) "If surely blessing;” as surely as he is the Blessed God he promises to bless his people today as he blessed and multiplied Abraham and his natural seed, Deuteronomy 1:8-11.

2) "I will bless thee," (eulogeso se) "I will bless you," Abraham. And he did, Let it be continually remembered that these things are written, recorded, or recounted for our admonition and learning about Divine responses to human obedience; God’s special promise blessing to Abraham was first realized in the birth of Isaac, Genesis 21:12; Romans 15:4; Romans 4:23-24; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

3) "And multiplying I will multiply thee," (kai plethunon plethuno su) "And continually multiplying I will multiply you," Matthew 5:15-16; Acts 1:8; His promises to Abraham and his seed are no less true in character and fulfillment than his promise to those of his church in labors today, Ecclesiastes 11:6; John 4:35-38; Psalms 126:5-6; Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:21.

Verse 15

1)"And so, after he had patiently endured," (kai houtos makrothumesas) "And so being (existing) a long suffering person;” Until he was an hundred years of age, after serving God in patient endurance, as Noah had done while the ark was preparing, Hebrews 11:7-12.

2) "He obtained the promise," (epeteuchen tes epangelias) "He obtained the promise," or the pledge, the Son by Sara, Genesis 21:1-5; Genesis 21:12. Abraham did not stagger at obeying God in offering his son Isaac upon the altar. In God’s preservation of Isaac three things happened: a) Abraham stood the test of absolute obedience and surrender to God, and b) God verified his integrity in providing a substitutionary sacrifice for both Abraham and his son Isaac, and c) God preserved Abraham’s seed thru Isaac, Genesis 21:12; Romans 9:7-8; Hebrews 11:17-19.

Verse 16

1)"For men verily swear by the greater," (anthropoi gar kata tou meizonog omnuousin) "Because men swear according to the greater (one)," usually by God himself, often in legal matters by the lifting of the hand, Genesis 21:23; Genesis 21:14; Abraham required this of his eldest servant who was sent to secure a wife for Isaac, Genesis 24:1-4.

2) "And an oath for confirmation," (kai ho horkos eis bebaiosin) "And the oath with reference to a confirmation," or relating to a confirmation, a pledge of commitment, Exodus 22:11; Hebrews 6:17-19; Deuteronomy 23:21-23.

3) "Is to them an end of all strife," (pases autois antilogias peras) "Is or exists to them as an end (termination) of all contradiction;" Ecclesiastes 5:4-5; It is considered that an oath places men under the voluntary judgement of God for their breach of promise to other men; ; When men make oaths their testimony is believed, accepted of other men. To break such sacred oaths, promises, or vows in which God is called as witness is to play the fool, Numbers 30:2; Psalms 50:14-15; Psalms 76:11.

Verse 17

1) "Wherein God, willing more abundantly," (en ho perissoteron boulomenos ho theos) "In which God, resolving more abundantly," on which principle, in keeping with human custom, God was willing to condescend to men’s customs of certifying the truthfulness of his promise to Abraham and to his seed, 2 Peter 3:9.

2) "To shew unto the heirs of promise," (epideiksai tois kleronomos tes epangelias) "To show to or toward the heirs of the promise," Isaac and Jacob and their children after them, Hebrews 11:9.

3) "The immutability of his counsel," (to ametatheton tes boules autou) "The unchangeableness of his resolve," the unalterableness of his resolve," the unalterableness of his purpose, in sending the redeemer thru Abraham’s natural seed and saving those who would accept his Gospel by faith as Abraham, the father of us all did. Galatians 3:7-8; Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:16; Ephesians 1:11.

4) "Confirmed it by an oath," (emesiteusen horko) "Interposed by an oath," interposed himself, as if condescending to put himself under oath, that men might be without excuse to accept the truth of the promise, Hebrews 6:16; Genesis 22:16-18; Romans 2:1.

Verse 18

1) "That by two immutable things," (hina dia duo pragmaton ametatheton) "In order that through media of two (a duo of) unchangeable things," unalterable things –1st, his promise, and 2nd, his oath, 1 Peter 1:25; His word endures unchangeable forever, Hebrews 7:21.

2) "In which it was impossible for God to lie," (en ois adunaton pseusasthai theon) "in which (it was) not possible (for) God to be a liar," to lie, Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Titus 1:2.

3) "We might have a strong consolation," (ischuran paraklesinechomen)"We may have, or hold, or possess a strong consolation," basis for encouragement to meet all life’s troubles, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17.

4) "Who have fled for refuge," (hoi kataphugontes) "The ones (of us) having fled for refuge," to the Rock Christ Jesus, the better priest, Psalms 46:1; Psalms 62:6-8; Hebrews 13:5-6. He is the true believers refuge till the storms of life are over, 1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:19.

5) "To lay hold upon the hope set before us," (kratesai tes prokeimenes elpidos) "To lay hold of the hope set out before us," in view and in reach of us, even Jesus Christ, Hebrews 12:1; Romans 15:13; He is both "Christ in you the hope of glory," and that coming Blessed Hope one, Titus 2:13; Colossians 1:27.

Verse 19

1)"Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul," (hen hos agkuran echomen tes psuches) "Which we possess as an anchor (stabilizer) of the soul;" Even Jesus Christ in us, "the hope of glory," Colossians 1:27; 1 Timothy 1:1. The anchor is a symbol of hope and security from drifting and danger.

2) "Both sure and steadfast," (aspale te kai bebaian) "Both safe and firm," our security is in Christ, not in ourselves; Tho we err, fail, do wrong, he has pledged eternal life, given it to every believer, and he can not (by virtue of his nature), promise, and oath, take it from even one erring saint, John 10:27-29; 1 John 5:13; 2 Timothy 2:13; John 5:24.

3) "And which entereth into that within the veil," (kai eiserchomenen eis to esoteron tou katapetasmatos) "Even entering into that (one) within the inner side of the veil," even Jesus Christ. Our faith is centralized in him for salvation from every care so that he is personified as our anchor that is stabilized within the veil, the holy place, the sanctum sanitarium, heaven itself, where he "ever liveth to make intercession for us," Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:2. We rightly sing:

"My hope is built on nothing less,

Than Jesus’ Blood and righteousness

On Christ the solid rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand,"

Verse 20

1) "Whither the forerunner is for us entered," (hopou prodromos huper hemon eisethen) "Where a forerunner entered on behalf of us," This suggests that there are others running the race of life pursuing his way, John 14:23; Hebrews 12:1-3; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. There is no retirement from ones duty to Christ, .

2) "Even Jesus," (lesous) “(Even that is)Jesus," He is in heaven appearing before God for us now, Hebrews 9:24. What a hope! What an assurance! What an anchor!

3) "Made an high priest forever," (archierius genomenos eis ton aiona) "Existing as an high priest forever," without cessation or end as earthly and law priests’ services did, Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 5:6; Hebrews 10:7-17. Of his intercession for us there shall be no end!

4) "After the order of Melchisedec." (kata ten taksin Melchisedek) "According to the order or rank of Melchisedec;” without beginning or end of priesthood, without father or mother in priestly line before him, Hebrews 7:3; Hebrews 7:13-17.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Hebrews 6". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/hebrews-6.html. 1985.