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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

Hebrews 3

Verse 1

1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Ver. 1. Holy brethren ] HOLY, because partakers of a calling that is heavenly. 1. Rations fontis,Philippians 3:14-15; Philippians 3:14-15 . Philippians 3:2 . Ratione finis, to the fruition of heavenly privileges in Christ.

Consider ] Gr. κατανοησατε . Bend your minds with utmost diligence upon him.

The apostle and high priest ] Those two chief offices of both Testaments, ut ubique superemineat Christus.

Verse 2

2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

Ver. 2. As also Moses was faithful ] And yet how unworthily handled by the author of the Marrow of Modern Divinity, that sly Antinomian, in various passages of his book, as might easily be instanced. How much better (herein at least) Bellarmine! Moses vir Deo longe acceptissimus, saith he, quo nihil habuit antiqua aetas mitius, satientius, sanctius: Moses a man highly accepted in heaven for his meekness, wisdom, holiness.

Verse 3

3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

Ver. 3. Worthy of more glory than Moses ] In whom these Hebrews trusted,John 5:45; John 5:45 . And the Jews at this day hold that the law of nature shall bring to heaven those that observe it, but the Hebrews (unto whom the law of Moses was peculiarly given) by keeping it shall have a prerogative of glory. Poor seduced souls!

Verse 4

4 For every house is builded by some man ; but he that built all things is God.

Ver. 4. He that built all things ] Moses and all.

Is God ] That is, Christ, whom he had proved to be God by many arguments, Hebrews 1:1-14 . Messiah therefore is to be preferred before Moses.

Verse 5

5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

Ver. 5. As a servant ] Famulus ingenuus, a servant of the better sort, a man of worship, as the word seemet.h to import ( θεραπων , ex verbo θεραπευειν ); though it be honour enough to be Christ’s servant, of the meaner in his family. Constantinus, Valentinianus, and Theodosius, three emperors, called themselves Vassallos Christi, the vassals of Christ as Socrates testifieth.

Verse 6

6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Ver. 6. Whose house are we ] And he is bound (by his own promise) to repair. He also is our dwelling house, Psalms 90:1 ., and by the civil law, De domo sun nemo extrahi debet, aut in ius vocari. A man’s house is his castle.

If we hold fast ] See here a just description of the invisible Church of Christ.

Verse 7

7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

Ver. 7. Wherefore as the Holy Ghost ] It is well observed by Calvin, that the words after "wherefore," toHebrews 3:12; Hebrews 3:12 , should be enclosed with a parenthesis, and then the sense is clear. If Jerome and Egranus had observed so much in this and other places, they would not so sharply have censured St Paul for his obscurities and incongruities, and lame senses and sentences. (Jerome Epist. ad Algesiam. Joh. Egran. apud Jo. Manl. loc. com.)

Verse 8

8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

Ver. 8. Harden not your hearts ] Some hearts are so hard that neither ministry, nor misery, nor miracle, nor mercy can possibly mollify them. Such a heart is in some respects worse than hell. And if God broke David’s bones for his adultery, and the angels’ backs for their pride, the Lord, if ever he save any, will break his heart too. As when he marks out a man for eternal misery, he denies him his grace; and then the sinner hardens his own heart by his own inward depravity. Like as when an owner denies to prop up or repair a ruinous reeling house, the house falls by its own ponderousness.

Verse 9

9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

Ver. 9. Tempted me ] God must be trusted, but not tempted, as he is, when men, 1. Question and awake his power; 2. Limit the Holy One of Israel, and presume to prescribe to him, set him a time, &c.; 3. Nelgect the use of means, and serve not his providence.

Verse 10

10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

Ver. 10. I was grieved ] The Hebrew text hath it, I was nauseated, and ready to rid my stomach at them, to spew them out of my mouth.

They do alway err ] They must needs err that know not God’s ways. Yet cannot they wander so wide as to miss of hell.

Verse 11

11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

Ver. 11. They shall not enter ] This the apostle propounds to unbelievers of his time, that they may beware. Alterius perditio tua sit cautio. Seest thou another suffer shipwreck? look well to thy tackling.

Verse 12

12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Ver. 12. In departing from ] απιστια parit αποστασιαν . Infidelity is the mother of apostasy; as in Cranmer: but worse in John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, in Queen Mary’s days, who being brought to the scaffold on Tower hill, and having promise of life if he would recant his profession, dastard like forsook his Master, and exhorted the people to the Romish religion. Which his death sermon afterwards came forth in print by authority. (Speed’s Chron.)

Verse 13

13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Ver. 13. But exhort one another ] A special preservative from apostasy. See my Common Place of Admonition, and my treatise onMalachi 3:17; Malachi 3:17 .

Lest any of you be hardened ] Continuance in sin hardeneth the heart, and gradually indisposeth it to the work of repentance. Qui non est hodie, &c. There is a deceitfulness in sin, a lie in vanity, John 2:8 . Doctor Preston relateth of one in Cambridge, that had committed a great sin, and had this temptation upon him, Do the act again, and your conscience will trouble you no more. He did it again, and then he grew a very sot indeed and went on in his wickedness.

Verse 14

14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

Ver. 14: For we are made partakers ] Christ’s consorts, co-heirs with him, Romans 8:17 . This we are in present, if we persevere to the end.

The beginning of our confidence ] Gr. υποστασεως , of our subsistence, or substance, that is, of our faith,Hebrews 11:1; Hebrews 11:1 , whereby we subsist, and become sons of God, as Ambrose expounds it. The Greek signifieth the very first act of faith, whereby we began to subsist in Christ.

Verse 15

15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

Ver. 15. While it is said ] sc. To you now, as it was said to them of old, Hebrews 3:7 . We must see our own names written on every precept, promise, example, &c.,Hosea 12:4; Hosea 12:4 . There God spake with us.

To day if ye will hear, &c. ] The negligent spirit cries, Cras Domine, Tomorrow, Lord. In crastinum seria. But who can tell what a great bellied day may bring forth? Either space or grace may be denied. God may leave men under his ordinances, as rocks in the midst of rivers, as blind at noonday.

Verse 16

16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

Ver. 16. Howbeit not all ] Yet all fell in the wilderness save Joshua and Caleb. Good men are oft wrapped up in a common calamity. The righteous perisheth, Isaiah 57:1 , so the world thinketh; "But whether they live, they live unto the Lord, or whether they die, they die unto the Lord,"Romans 14:8; Romans 14:8 . The good grain is cut down together with the tares, but to another and to a better purpose.

Verse 17

17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

Ver. 17. Whose carcases fell ] Gr. κωλα . Whose members, joints, limbs. Cadavera a cadendo. Oh that we could make that use of their disaster, that Waldus the French merchant (father and founder of the Waldenses) did of that sad sight that befell him. For walking in the streets, and seeing one fall suddenly dead, he went home and repented of his Popish errors and profane courses.

Verse 18

18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?

Ver. 18. To them that believe not ] Or, that will not be persuaded, uncounsellable persons, that acquiesce not in wholesome advice.

Verse 19

19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Ver. 19. Because of unbelief ] A bloody sin, John 3:19 . No sin will gripe so in hell as this. The devil will keep a holy day there, in respect of unbelievers.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 3". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.