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Bible Commentaries

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament
Hebrews 1

 

 

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Verse 1

The train of thought in this opening chapter of the epistle is the following: God, who in past ages has given various partial revelations, has now made a full revelation of himself through his Son, who is the brightness of his glory, the maker and upholder of all things, and exalted above all the angels, as in name, so also in nature and office.

At sundry times; or, in sundry parts. This marks the incompleteness of the past revelations.

In divers manners; as by dreams, visions, voices from heaven, etc. All these are contrasted with the perfect manner of the present revelation, through God manifest in the flesh.


Verse 2

Heir of all things; Christ is the only begotten Son of God, in the high and incommunicable sense of possessing equality with the Father in nature. By virtue of this his sonship, God has made him heir of all that he possesses, that is, of the universe, and constituted him the sovereign Lord and Ruler of all things. Matthew 28:18; John 16:15; John 17:10; Acts 2:36; Acts 10:36; Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16.

The worlds; the created universe, verse Hebrews 1:10; John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16-17. As the Scriptures are communications from God, we should receive them as such, diligently study, heartily believe, and faithfully obey them.


Verse 3

The brightness of his glory; in him the glory of the Father shines forth, so that in and through him the Father’s glory is seen. John 1:14; John 14:9; 2 Corinthians 4:6.

The express image of his person; he in whom the very being of God is represented to us, as far as we are able to apprehend it. The Greek word rendered person, means rather substance, reality of being, as opposed to mere appearance. Compare Matthew 11:27; John 1:18; Colossians 1:15.

Upholding all things; sustaining the universe in being. Colossians 1:17.

By the rod of his power; the word of his creative power. The same almighty word of his which called things into being, now sustains them. Compare Genesis 1:3; , etc.; Psalms 33:9; Psalms 148:5.

By himself; by the sacrifice of himself.

Purged our sins; made expiation for them, thus opening the way for our forgiveness and purification. Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5.

Sat down on the right hand; Psalms 110:1; Mark 16:16; Acts 7:55. As Jesus Christ made the atonement, it is perfect and sufficient for all men, should be preached to all, and accepted by all; and is a sure foundation of eternal life to all who believe on him.


Verse 4

Better; in dignity and office.

By inheritance obtained; obtained as his just right. See note to verse Hebrews 1:2.

A more excellent name; that of the Son of God. Angels and men are called sons of God; but Christ alone is "the Son of God" in a high and peculiar sense, because, as Son, he has the same nature with the Father.


Verse 5

Thou are my Son; see the following note on the quotation from 2 Samuel 7:14.

This day have I begotten thee; some understand these words of Christ’s eternal sonship, supposing that with God, to whom time is nothing, "this day" may include eternity. But they are more commonly taken in a declarative sense of the manifestation which the Father made of Christ’s sonship by his resurrection and glorification. So the apostle Paul seems to use them, Acts 13:33. Compare Romans 1:4; Colossians 1:18.

I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son; 2 Samuel 7:14, compared with Psalms 89:26-27. This promise was made not to Solomon as an individual, but to David’s whole royal line, at the head of which, after David, Solomon stood, and which led to and terminated in Christ. Luke 1:32-33. God took David’s house into the relation of sonship to himself, in the sense of making his seed heirs to his throne by an inalienable title. Psalms 89:28-29; Psalms 89:33-37. The lower sonship of David and Solomon, moreover, foreshadowed the higher sonship of Christ, in whom alone the promise here, and in Psalms 2:7, is perfectly fulfilled.


Verse 6

Bringeth in the first-begotten into the world; by his incarnation and the events that followed it, thus establishing in and through him "the kingdom of heaven" among men. It is of this kingdom that the ninety-seventh Psalm, from which the apostle immediately proceeds to quote, speaks. It describes, by anticipation, the coming of God as king to destroy the wicked and save his people, verses Hebrews 1:3-6. His reign is one in which "the multitude of isles," the whole gentile world, is called upon to rejoice, verse Hebrews 1:1. The ancient Jews rightly understood the psalm of the Messiah, in whom alone it is fulfilled, and whose kingdom it describes in its whole extent to the end of time.

Let all the angels of God worship him; quoted according to the Greek version from Psalms 97:7, where the word "gods" in the original Hebrew means the heavenly hosts. As Christ in his deepest humiliation received the worship of angels as well as of men, and as he is now receiving it in glory, it is certain that he is God; and that in paying him divine honors they and we are not breaking, but obeying the command, Worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Matthew 4:10; Revelation 5:8-14.


Verse 7

And of the angels he saith; Psalms 104:4. God indicates the nature and office of angels by calling them spirits and a flame of fire. The quotation, as usual in this epistle, is made from the Greek version of the Seventy.


Verse 8

Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; taken from Psalms 45:6-7, where the Messiah appears in the character of the husband of the church.


Verse 9

Above thy fellows; in power and office; for God has made him "King of kings, and Lord of lords," Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16; exalting him not only above all human kings, but above all heavenly principalities and powers. Ephesians 1:21; Philippians 2:9-10; Colossians 1:18.


Verse 10

Thou, Lord, in the beginning; taken from Psalms 102:25-27, another psalm which prays for the coming of God in glory to build up Zion, verse Psalms 102:16, and which, like Psalms 97:1-12, has its true fulfilment in Christ, who is God manifested in the flesh.


Verse 12

As Christ made, sustains, and governs all things, and will remain unchangeable for ever, it is safe to trust in him, and to commit all our interests to his care and disposal.


Verse 13

Sit on my right hand; Psalms 110:1. The Saviour interprets these words of himself. Matthew 22:41-45.


Verse 14

Ministering spirits; Genesis 19:1-23; Psalms 34:7; Psalms 103:21; Daniel 6:22; Daniel 7:10. Christians are highly honored and greatly blessed; their attendants are more exalted than those of any earthly kings, and they are themselves to be kings and priests unto God, and to reign with him for ever and ever. Romans 5:17; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:9-10; Revelation 22:5.

 


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Bibliography Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:4". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/hebrews-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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