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Bible Commentaries

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary
Hebrews 1

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Multifariam, Greek: polumeros; which signifies, that God revealed the coming of his Son as it were by parts and parcels, or by degrees, first revealing some things and then others.

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Novissime, Greek: ep echatou, which reading Dr. Wells prefers before that in the ordinary Greek copies, which have Greek: ep echaton ton emeron, followed by the Protestant translation and Mr. N.


Verse 2

Whom he hath appointed heir of all things. Heir is here not taken for one that succeeds another at his death, but for the same as Master or Lord. And though Christ be inseparably God and man, yet this applies to him, as man, because, as God, he was not constituted in time, but was always from eternity, Lord of all things, with the Father and the Holy Ghost: by whom also he made the world. That is, all created beings, and in such a manner, that all creatures were equally produced by the three divine persons. See John i. 3. and the annotations on that place. (Witham)


Verse 3

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Splendor gloriæ, Greek: apaugasma, refulgentia, effulgentia, &c.

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Figura substantiæ, Greek: charakter tes upostaseos. Hypostasis signifies persona, subsistentia, and also substantia.


Verse 4

Being made so much better, &c. The Arians pretended from hence that Christ was made, or created. But the apostle speaks of Christ as man, and tells us that Christ, even as man, by his ascension was exalted above the Angels. --- As he hath inherited a more excellent name. That is, both the dignity and name of the Son of God, of his only Son, and of his true Son. See 1 John v. 20. (Witham)


Verse 5

Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. These words, though commonly expounded of the eternal generation of the Son of God in the day or moment of eternity, yet may be truly applied either to Christ made man by his incarnation, or to Christ risen from the dead, as they are used by St. Paul, (Acts xiii. 33.) because the same Christ both these ways is the Son of God. It was the only true and natural Son of God, who was made flesh, who was made man, who rose from the dead; and the eternal Father manifested his eternal Son by his incarnation, and shewed him triumphing over death by his resurrection. --- I will be to him a father, &c. Although these words might be literally spoken of Solomon, yet in the mystical sense (chiefly intended by the Holy Ghost) they are to be understood of Christ, who in a much more proper sense is the Son of God. (Witham)


Verse 6

Let all the Angels of God adore him. These words seem to be cited out of Psalm xcvi. 7. according to the Septuagint. And they seem to be an invitation, and a command to the Angels to adore Jesus Christ, when at the end of the world he shall come to judgment. This is one of the proofs which St. Paul here brings, to shew that the Angels are inferior to Christ, because they are commanded to adore him. (Witham) --- God shews the superiority of his divine Son over the Angels, in ordering the latter to adore him. Wherever the person of Christ is, there it ought to be adored by both men and Angels, therefore in the blessed sacrament [of the Eucharist].


Verse 7

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Greek: O poion tous Aggelous autou pneumata, not Greek: ta pneumata, the Greek article being put before Angels, and not before spirits, may seem to favour that exposition, which compares Angels to the winds and to a flame of fire.

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Verse 8

-9

But the Son. That is, to his Son Jesus Christ, he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, and lasts for eternity. --- A sceptre, or rod of equity, is the sceptre of thy kingdom. That is, O Christ, God and man, head of thy Church, judge of all mankind, thou shalt reward and punish all under thee with justice and equity, as thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee. Many here understand God first named, to be in the vocative case, and that the sense is: therefore thee, O God, thy God, hath anointed: thus Christ is called God. Others take God in both places to be in the nominative case, and to be only a repetition of God the Father; and the sense to be, thee Christ, God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above them that are partakers with thee: by which spiritual unction, some understand graces infused into Christ's soul at his incarnation, by a greater plenitude of graces than was ever given to any saints whom he made partakers of his glory in heaven; others expound it of an unction of greater glory given to Christ in heaven as man, because by his sufferings and merits he had destroyed and triumphed over sin. See Estius, Cornelius a Lapide, &c. (Witham)


Verse 8-9

But the Son. That is, to his Son Jesus Christ, he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, and lasts for eternity. --- A sceptre, or rod of equity, is the sceptre of thy kingdom. That is, O Christ, God and man, head of thy Church, judge of all mankind, thou shalt reward and punish all under thee with justice and equity, as thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee. Many here understand God first named, to be in the vocative case, and that the sense is: therefore thee, O God, thy God, hath anointed: thus Christ is called God. Others take God in both places to be in the nominative case, and to be only a repetition of God the Father; and the sense to be, thee Christ, God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above them that are partakers with thee: by which spiritual unction, some understand graces infused into Christ's soul at his incarnation, by a greater plenitude of graces than was ever given to any saints whom he made partakers of his glory in heaven; others expound it of an unction of greater glory given to Christ in heaven as man, because by his sufferings and merits he had destroyed and triumphed over sin. See Estius, Cornelius a Lapide, &c. (Witham)


Verse 10

And again: thou in the beginning, O Lord, hast founded the earth, &c. The text, as well as the authority of interpreters, shew these words to be still spoken of the Son of God, of Christ, who was both true God and man. And thought part of Psalm ci. from which these words are taken, contain a prayer to God for the restoring of the city of Jerusalem, yet in this psalm is chiefly signified the glory of Christ, and of his Church, which will be spread over all nations. See St. John Chrysostom, Estius, Cornelius a Lapide, &c. --- As a vesture shalt thou change them, &c. The apostle, in the second verse of this chapter, had said that the world was made by the Son of God: now he tells us that all created things shall wax old like a garment, shall decay and perish, (at least from their present state and condition) shall be changed; but thou, who art both God and man, art always the same, without decay or change. (Witham) --- The apostle here applies the work of the creation to the Son of God, and thus furnishes a clear and striking proof of his divinity, against the Unitarians. To elude this proof, some of them pretend that these verses have been fraudulently added; but they are found in all the Greek copies, and in all ancient versions of this epistle. Others try to give forced interpretations to these verses, but the words are convincingly clear to all who do not purposely shut their eyes.


Verse 13

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Sit on my right hand, &c. The ancient Jews themselves understood this 109th psalm of their Messias, nor could they answer Christ's words, (Matthew xxii. 45.) when he shewed them by these same words, that their Messias was not only the Son of David, but also the Lord of David, of whom it was said: the Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool. See also 1 Corinthians xv. 52. and in this epistle, Chap. x. 13. --- Are they not all ministering spirits? &c. The apostle, in this chapter, not only shews how much the dignity of Christ is superior to that of the highest Angels, but also his divinity; and that he is both true God and true man, as the ancient Fathers took notice against the Arians. (Witham) --- The holy Angels, says St. Augustine, to whose society we aspire, help us without difficulty, because their notion is pure and free. (De Civit. lib. 11. chap. xxxi.) Having then Jesus Christ for our advocate and mediator at the right hand of God, and his Angels for our guardians, ministering spirits, what can we wish for more?


Verse 13-14

Sit on my right hand, &c. The ancient Jews themselves understood this 109th psalm of their Messias, nor could they answer Christ's words, (Matthew xxii. 45.) when he shewed them by these same words, that their Messias was not only the Son of David, but also the Lord of David, of whom it was said: the Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool. See also 1 Corinthians xv. 52. and in this epistle, Chap. x. 13. --- Are they not all ministering spirits? &c. The apostle, in this chapter, not only shews how much the dignity of Christ is superior to that of the highest Angels, but also his divinity; and that he is both true God and true man, as the ancient Fathers took notice against the Arians. (Witham) --- The holy Angels, says St. Augustine, to whose society we aspire, help us without difficulty, because their notion is pure and free. (De Civit. lib. 11. chap. xxxi.) Having then Jesus Christ for our advocate and mediator at the right hand of God, and his Angels for our guardians, ministering spirits, what can we wish for more?


Verse 17

 


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Bibliography Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/hebrews-1.html. 1859.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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