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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Hebrews 10

 

 

Introduction

CHAPTER 10

Hebrews 10:1 reads in the Recepta: σκιὰν γὰρ ἔχων νόμος τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν, οὐκ αὐτὴν τὴν εἰκόνα τῶν πραγμάτων, κατʼ ἐνιαυτὸν ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις, ἃς προσφέρουσιν εἰς τὸ διηνεκές, οὐδέποτε δύναται τοὺς προσερχομένους τελειῶσαι. Instead thereof, Lachm. takes the words σκιὰνπραγμάτων as an independent clause, placing a full stop after πραγμάτων. He then, in the stereotype edition, omits the relative before προσφέρουσιν,—while in the larger edition he has again added the ἅς of the Recepta before this verb,—places a comma after προσφἐρουσιν, and writes δύνανται in place of δύναται. This punctuation and form of the text given by Lachm. is in all essential respects to be unhesitatingly rejected. In connection with the breaking off of the opening words of the verse into an independent statement, ἐστίν must be supplemented to ἔχων. Such supplementing, however, would be altogether opposed to the linguistic character of the Epistle to the Hebrews; moreover, it would remain inexplicable, from the very brevity of the clause, how the participle ἔχων should come to be written for the finite tense ἔχει, which naturally suggests itself. In addition to this, the joining to that which precedes by means of γάρ would occasion a difficulty, and the clause following would become an asyndeton. Besides, this following clause, in the absence of any connecting relative, would not even comply with the laws of grammar. The relative before προσφέρουσιν is wanting in A, 2, 7* 17, 47, Syr. utr. Arm., and A** 31, Syr. Philonex. then insert αἵ before old οὐδέποτε. Instead of the Recepta ἃς προσφέρ. there is found, however, in D* L (?), 73, 137, in an ancient fragment with Matthaei, which Tisch., in the edit. 7 (comp. Pars I. p. cxci.), has designated as N, with Theodoret, as well as in a MS. of Chrysostom and in the Latin version of D E: αἷς προσφέρ., and the latter is preferred by Bleek, Tisch. and Alford. Yet the Recepta ἅς, which is supported by C D*** E (?) K א, the majority of the cursives, and many Fathers, is to be defended. Since the three words immediately preceding end in αις, ἅς might easily also be changed into αἷς. The Recepta δύναται, finally, is attested by D (* and ***) E K L, very many cursives, Vulg. It. Copt, al., Chrys. Theodoret (text), Oecum. (comm.) al., while the plural δύνανται (preferred also by Tisch. 1, and already placed by Griesbach upon the inner margin) is presented by A C D** א, about thirty cursives, Syr. al., Chrys. (codd.) Theodoret (comm.?), Damasc. Theophyl. al. But the plural is devoid of sense, and can on that account be regarded only as a transcriber’s error, which was occasioned by the foregoing plural προσφέρουσιν.

Hebrews 10:2. ἐπεὶ οὐκ ἂν ἐπαύσαντο] Elz.: ἐπεὶ ἂν ἐπαύσαντο. Against the decisive authority of all uncial mss., of most cursives, vss. and Fathers.

The preference to the Recepta κεκαθαρμένους is deserved by κεκαθαρισμένους (approved by Grotius, Bleek, Tisch. 1 and 8, Delitzsch, Alford), as better attested. In favour of κεκαθαρισμένους pleads not only the testimony of D E K א, 23** 37, 39, al., but also the form which in A C has arisen as a transcriber’s error from the same κεκαθερισμένους, which latter Lachm. has adopted.

Hebrews 10:6. Recepta here and Hebrews 10:8 : εὐδόκησας. Better attested, however, here (by A C D* E, the early fragment in Matth. al.) and Hebrews 10:8 (by A D* [E?], al., Cyr. Theodoret) is the reading, chosen by Lachm. Tisch. and Alford, as also approved by Delitzsch: ηὐδόκησας.

Hebrews 10:8. In place of the Recepta θυσίαν καὶ προσφοράν, Lachm. Bleek, Tisch. Delitzsch, Alford rightly read the plural: θυσίας καὶ προσφοράς, in accordance with A C D* א* 17, 23, 57, al., Vulg. It. Syr. Copt. Sahid. Arab. Erp. Cyril. Already commended to attention by Griesbach. The singular is a later change, with a view to its conformation to Hebrews 10:5.

In like manner we have, with Lachm. and Tisch., to delete τόν, which the Recepta adds before νόμον, as not being found in A C, א, 37, 46, 71, 73, al., Sahid. Cyril, Chrys. Theodoret. The insertion of the article was more easily possible than its rejection.

Hebrews 10:9. τοῦ ποιῆσαι] Elz.: τοῦ ποιῆσαι, θεός. Against A C D E K א* 17, 39, 46, al. mult. It. Copt, al., θεός is a complementary addition from Hebrews 10:7. Rightly deleted by Griesbach, Lachm. Scholz, Bleek, de Wette, Tisch. Delitzsch, Alford, Reiche.

Hebrews 10:10. Instead of the mere διά in the Recepta, Matthaei and Tisch. 2 and 7 read, after the precedent of the Edd. Complutens. Erasm. Colin. Stephan.: οἱ διά. Bloomfield places οἱ within brackets. But οἱ (sc. ἡγιασμένοι) is wanting in A C D* E* א, 31, 47, al., Chrys. Theodoret, and owes its origin to an error of the eye, in that the termination σμένοι in ἡγιασμένοι gave rise to the writing of ἐσμὲν οἱ.

In place of τοῦ σώματος in the Recepta, D* E, with their Latin translation, have τοῦ αἵματος. Mistaken emendation, since τοῦ σώματος, Hebrews 10:10, was chosen in manifest correspondence to the citation σῶμα δὲ κατηρτίσω μοι, Hebrews 10:5.

ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ] Elz.: τοῦ ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ. But the article has against it the testimony of all the uncials, many cursives and Fathers, and is rightly rejected by Griesbach, Matthaei, Scholz, Lachm. Bleek, Tisch. Delitzsch, Alford.

Hebrews 10:11. Elz. Griesbach, Matthaei, Scholz, Tisch. 2, 7, and 8, Bloomfield, Reiche read: πᾶς μὲν ἱερεύς. Defended also by Böhme, Tholuck, and Delitzsch. The preference, however, is deserved by the reading: πᾶς μὲν ἀρχιερεύς, which is furnished by A C, 31, 37, 46, al., Syr. utr. (yet in the Philonex. with an asterisk) Basm. Aeth. Arm. Theodoret (text), Cyril Euthal. al., was already adopted in the Editt. Complut. Plantin. Genev., and more recently has been restored by Lachm. Bleek, Tisch. 1, and Alford. If the ordinary Levitical priests had been intended, οἱ ἱερεῖς would, as is rightly observed by Bleek, have been written instead of πᾶς ἱερεύς, since each single Levitical priest had by no means daily to offer sacrifice. Less unsuitable, on the other hand, is the statement of the daily presentation of sacrifice in regard to the high priest, since that which was true of the Levitical priests in general could indeed be ascribed to the high priest as the head and representative of the same. In any case we have here, at the close of the argument, and because of the parallel with the person of Christ, to expect not so much the mention of the ordinary Jewish priest, as the mention of the Jewish high priest. The reading: πᾶς μὲν ἱερεύς, is therefore to be looked upon as a later correction, made on account of the following καθʼ ἡμέραν, since this stood in apparent contradiction to πᾶς μὲν ἀρχιερεύς.

Hebrews 10:12. οὗτος δέ] Elz. Matthaei, Tisch. 2 and 7, Bloomfield: αὐτὸς δέ. But οὗτος δέ (recommended by Griesbach; adopted by Lachm. Bleek, Scholz, Tisch. 1 and 8, Alford, Reiche; approved also by Delitzsch) is demanded by the preponderating authority of A C D* E א, 67** 80, 116, al., Syr. utr. Arr. Copt. Basm. Aeth. Arm. It. Vulg. al., Chrys. Cyr. Damasc. al.

Instead of the Recepta: ἐν δεξιᾷ, Lachm. had written in the stereotype edition: ἐκ δεξιῶν, which, however, is only feebly attested by A, 31 ( א* has ἐκ δεξιᾷ, which by א*** was changed into ἐν δεξιᾷ). Rightly, therefore, has Lachm. returned in his larger edition to the Recepta.

Hebrews 10:15. μετὰ γὰρ τὸ εἰρηκέναι] Elz. Matth. Scholz, Tisch. 2 and 7, Bloomfield, Reiche: μετὰ γὰρ τὸ προειρηκέναι. Against decisive witnesses (A C D E א, l7, 31, 47, al. m. Syr. utr. Arr. Copt. Basm. Aeth. It. Vulg. Chrys. Theoph. Ambrose, Sedul.). Already held suspected by Griesbach.

Hebrews 10:16. Elz. Griesbach, Matthaei, Scholz, Tisch. 2 and 7, Bloomfield, Alford, Reiche: ἐπὶ τῶν διανοιῶν, after D** and *** E K L, most cursives and vss., Chrys. Theodoret, al., Ambrose, al. On the other hand, A C D* א, 17, 31, 47, al., Vulg. (Amiat. Havlej.* Tolet.) have: ἐπὶ τὴν διάνοιαν. Approved by Lachm. Bleek, Tisch. 1 and 8, and probably the original reading.

Hebrews 10:17. Elz. Matthaei, Scholz, Bloomfield: μνησθῶ. More correctly, Lachm. Bleek, Tisch. Delitzsch, Alford, after A C D* E א* Hebrews 17: μνησθήσομαι, which Griesbach has placed upon the inner margin. μνησθῶ was carried over from Hebrews 8:12.

Hebrews 10:22. Recepta: ἐῤῥαντισμένοι. After A C D* א* Lachm. writes: ῥεραντισμένοι, Tisch. and Alford: ῥεραντισμένοι.

Hebrews 10:29. The words ἐν ἡγιάσθη are deleted by Lachm. in the stereotype edition; but are rightly, since they are omitted only by A and Chrysostom, retained by him in the larger edition.

Hebrews 10:30. The addition following ἀνταποδώσω in the Recepta: λέγει κύριος, is rejected by Tisch. 1, 2, and 8, after D* א* 17, 23* 67** Vulg. It. Copt. Syr. Aeth. Arab. Erp. Ambr. Bede, and is regarded by Mill (Prolegg. 496), Bengel, Griesbach, and others as probably a gloss. Bloomfield encloses it within brackets. It is nevertheless protected by A D*** E K L א*** etc., Syr. Philonex. al., and many Fathers. Rightly, therefore, has it been received again by Tisch. into the edit. vii. Delitzsch, Alford, and Reiche also have lately decided in favour of its genuineness.

The Recepta κύριος κρινεῖ we have, with Lachm. Tisch. and Alford, after A D E K א* 31, 73, al., Vulg. It. Syr. utr. Aeth. Theodoret (semel), to transpose into κρινεῖ κύριος. Bleek and Delitzsch read, after D E, 55, 71, Vulg. It. Theodoret (sem.): ὅτι κρινεῖ κύριος. Quite similarly, LXX. Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalms 135:14.

Hebrews 10:34. τοῖς δεσμίοις] Thus we have to read, with Griesbach, Lachm. Scholz, Bleek, Tisch. Delitzsch, Alford, Reiche, and others, after A D* [as Cod. B breaks off at Hebrews 9:14, so also Hebrews 10:24 to Hebrews 12:15 is wanting in Cod. C] 47, 67** 73, al, Syr. utr. Arab. Erpen. Copt. Arm. Vulg. Chrys. Antioch. Damasc. Theodoret (comm.), Oecum. (comm.) Pelag. Ambrose, al. From τοῖς δεσμίοις arose, by a slip on the part of the copyist, τοῖς δεσμοῖς, which is found with Origen, Exhort. ad martyr. 44, and to which the vinculis eorum of the Latin translation in D E corresponds; while, then, τοῖς δεσμοῖς was completed by means of a gloss into the Recepta, still defended by Matthaei, Bloomfield, M‘Caul, and Hofmann: τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου (D*** E K L א, etc.), in that Paul was regarded as the author of the epistle, and thus was found expressed an acknowledgment of the sympathy manifested by the Palestinian Christians towards himself during his imprisonment.

In that which follows, the reading: ἔχειν ἑαυτοῖς, very strongly confirmed by D E K L, almost sixty cursives, Chrys. Theodoret, Isidor. iii. 225, Damasc. Theoph., already adopted into the Editt. Complut. Erasm. 1, Steph. 1 and 2, and later preferred by Bengel, Griesbach, Matthaei, Knapp, Scholz, Tisch. 2 and 7, Delitzsch, Alford, Reiche, is to be held the original one, inasmuch as from this reading the rise, as well of the Recepta: ἔχειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς (which, as it would seem, rests only upon a few cursives), as also of the reading afforded by A א, four cursives, the early fragment in Matthaei, Vulg. It. al., and followed by Lachm. Bleek, Tisch. 1 and Hebrews 8 : ἔχειν ἑαυτούς, is to be explained.

The addition: ἐν οὐρανοῖς after ὕπαρξιν in the Recepta is wanting in A D* א* 17, in the early fragment with Matthaei in the text, in Copt. Aeth. Vulg. It., with Clem. Al. Bed., and stands with Theodoret only after μένουσαν. Elucidatory gloss, suspected by Mill (Prolegg. 1208) and Griesbach, rightly rejected by Lachm. Bleek, Tisch. Delitzsch, Alford.

Hebrews 10:35. Recepta: μισθαποδοσίαν μεγάλην. With Lachm. Bleek, Tisch. 1, 7, and 8, Alford, we have to transpose into μεγάλην μισθαποδοσίαν, after A D E א, the early fragment in Matthaei, 73, 116, al., Clem. Al. Orig. Eus. It. Vulg. Copt. al.

Hebrews 10:38. The Recepta omits the μον, which is found in most MSS. of the LXX. after πίστεως. D* Syr. utr. Copt., the Latin version in D E, Eus. Theodoret (alic.), Cypr. Jerome have it after πίστεως. On the other hand, it is found after δίκαιος in A א, Arm. Vulg., in the early fragment with Matthaei by the first hand, with Clem. Al. Eus. (alic.) Theodoret (alic.), Proc. Sedul. Bed. Lachm. Bleek, Tisch. and Alford have adopted it at this latter place, and probably the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews so read, inasmuch as it is found with the LXX. at this place in Cod. A.


Verse 1

Hebrews 10:1. Establishment of the ἅπαξ προσενεχθεὶς εἰς τὸ πολλῶν ἀνενεγκεῖν ἁμαρτίας, Hebrews 9:28, as being the main thought lying in Hebrews 9:25-28, by making good the opposite state of the case in the province of the O. T. theocracy: “For since the law contains only a shadow of the future good things, not the actual likeness of the things, it is not able by means of the same sacrifices every year, which are unceasingly offered, ever to make perfect them that draw nigh.” The emphasis of the proposition rests partly upon the characterization of the law as σκιὰν ἔχων κ. τ. λ., partly upon κατʼ ἐνιαυτὸν ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις, ἃς προσφέρουσιν εἰς τὸ διηνεκές. The author, however, cannot thereby mean, as the words at first hearing might seem to imply, that the law, in case its contents were no mere σκιὰ τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν, would in reality effect the τελείωσις by means of its ever-repeated expiatory sacrifices. For, as is shown by Hebrews 10:2-3, the author already bases upon the very fact of the yearly repetition of the Mosaic expiatory sacrifices the proof for their inadequacy. We must therefore suppose that two independent particulars of thought have been blended together into a single statement. One can resolve the matter either in such wise that οὐδέποτε δύναται τελειῶσαι is looked upon as the common predicate for both particulars: the law is incapable of leading to τελείωσις, because it contains a mere σκιά κ. τ. λ.; and certainly it is incapable, by means of its ever-repeated sacrifices, of leading to τελείωσις. Or in such wise that the second particular is thought of originally as an inference from the first, from which the οὐδέποτε δύναται κ. τ. λ. is then progressively derived: because the law contains a mere σκιὰ τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν, there is found in its domain an unceasing repetition of the same expiatory sacrifices; by this unceasing repetition, however, it is never able to lead to perfection. The latter analysis is to be preferred, because by means of it the opposition, required by the course of the argument, between the once offered and the ofttimes repeated expiatory sacrifice, comes out clearly and definitely in all its severity; while the characterization of the νόμος, on the other hand, as σκιὰν ἔχων κ. τ. λ., is made only that which here, in harmony with the context, it alone can be, i.e. a mere subsidiary factor in the argument.

σκιάν] a shadow, which is unsubstantiated, melts away into obscurity, and only enables us to recognise the external outlines. Opposite to this is the εἰκών, the image or impress, which sets before us the figure itself, sharply and clearly stamped forth. See on Hebrews 8:5. Freely, but not incorrectly, does Luther translate: “the very substance of the good things.”

τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν] see at Hebrews 9:11.

τῶν πραγμάτων] different from τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν only as respects the more general form of expression.

κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν] belongs neither to οὐδέποτε δύναται (Ebrard, Delitzsch, Hofmann, Schrifibew. II. 1, 2 Aufl. p. 446; Alford) nor to ἃς προσφέρουσιν (Calvin, Er. Schmid, Wolf, Heinrichs, Bleek, de Wette, Bloomfield, and others), in which latter case the words would have to be resolved by ταῖς θυσίαις, ἃς κατʼ ἐνιαυτὸν τὰς αὐτὰς προσφέρουσιν, or something similar. But κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν is rather to be taken in intimate combination with ταῖς αὐταῖς: with the same sacrifices every year. The author forebore writing ταῖς αὐταῖς κατʼ ἐνιαυτὸν θυσίαις, in order that he might accentuate each notion equally strongly. As, moreover, with κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν in this place, so also elsewhere with adverbs which in point of meaning may be compared with it, such as ἀεί, πολλάκις, etc., a transposing is nothing rare. Comp. Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 514 f.

ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις] Those meant are, as is required by κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν (comp. also Hebrews 10:4), only the sacrifices on the great day of atonement, not also the daily sacrifices of propitiation (Hebrews 10:11), as Böhme, Stein, and others suppose.

προσφέρουσιν] sc. the Levitical high priests. Wrongly Hofmann (Schriftbew. II. 1, 2 Aufl. p. 446), who in general has entirely failed in his interpretation of the statement:(96) the προσερχόμενοι.

εἰς τὸ διηνεκές] Note of time to προσφέρουσιν. If we should seek, with Paulus, Lachmann, and Hofmann, l.c., to conjoin εἰς τὸ διηνεκές with that which follows, the relative clause ἃς προσφέρουσιν would be deprived of all signification.

τοὺς προσερχομένους] those who approach God through the medium of the Levitical priests, thus identical with τοὺς λατρεύοντας, Hebrews 10:2; Hebrews 9:9.


Verses 1-4

Hebrews 10:1-4. Presentation in a clearer light of the necessity for Christ’s offering Himself only once for the expiation of sins (Hebrews 9:25-28), by pointing to the ineffectiveness of the expiatory sacrifices continually repeated within the domain of Judaism. This constant repetition attests that sins are still ever present, as indeed a cancelling of sin by the blood of bullocks and of goats is impossible.


Verse 2

Hebrews 10:2. Proof for the κατʼ ἐνιαυτὸν ταῖς αὐτ. θυσ. οὐδέποτε δύναται τοὺς προσερχομένους τελειῶσαι in the form of a question: for otherwise would not their presentation have ceased? because the worshippers, so soon as they have once been really purged from sin, have no more consciousness of sins, and thus no more need of an expiatory sacrifice. In connection with the Recepta ἐπεὶ ἂν ἐπαύσαντο, the sense itself would remain unchanged, only the words would then have to be taken as an assertory statement (“for their presentation would have come to an end, because,” etc.); by which, however, the discourse would suffer in point of vivacity (observe also the ἀλλά, Hebrews 10:3, corresponding to the question of Hebrews 10:2). But the process is not a natural one, when Beza, edd. 1 and 2, Wetstein, Matthaei, Stein, and others (comp. already Theodoret) will have the proposition of Hebrews 10:2 regarded as an assertory statement, even with the retention of the οὐκ. They then explain either (and thus ordinarily): for otherwise their presentation would not have ceased, sc. by the coming in of the New Covenant (Beza: alioqui non desiissent offerri; Matthaei: non cessavissent, non sublata essent; comp. Theodoret: διὰ τοῦτο τέλος ἐκεῖνα λαμβάνει, ὡς οὐ δυνάμενα συνείδησιν καθαρὰν ἀποφῆναι), or, in that ἐπεὶπροσφερόμεναι, is closely attached to the main verb of Hebrews 10:1, and διὰ τὸ μηδεμίαν κ. τ. λ. is regarded as belonging to the whole proposition, Hebrews 10:1-2 : the law was not able by its sacrifices to lead to perfection, since their presentation was an endless one; because those who are once purified have no longer any consciousness of sins. So Wetstein, who, however, will write—what in that case, no doubt, would be necessary and perfectly justified

οὐκ ἀνεπαύσαντο instead of οὐκ ἂν ἐπαύσαντο (… “quum non cessarent offerri. Ita quidem, ut haec verba, sublata distinctione majori, jungantur iis, quae praecedunt, deinde sequatur totius sententiae confirmatio: quia sacrificantes,” etc.). But against the last-mentioned mode of explanation it is decisive, that the relation of the members of the sentence to each other would become obscure, and the arrangement cumbrous; against the first-mentioned, the presupposition, underlying the ἃς προσφέρουσιν εἰς τὸ διηνεκές, Hebrews 10:1, as well as the epistle in general (Hebrews 9:9, al.), that the Jewish sacrificial ritual was still in continuance at the time of our author’s writing.

ἐπαύσαντο προσφερόμεναι] sc. αἱ θυσίαι. The construction of παύεσθαι, with the participle is the ordinary one, in classic as well as in Hellenistic Greek. Comp. Ephesians 1:16; Colossians 1:9; Acts 5:42, al.; Hermann, ad Viger. p. 771; Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 323 f.

τοὺς λατρεύοντας] see at Hebrews 9:9.


Verse 3

Hebrews 10:3. Contrast to τὸ μηδεμίαν ἔχειν ἔτι συνείδησιν ἁμαρτιῶν τοὺς λατρεύοντας. In such wise, however, that the offerers should have no more consciousness of guilt, the matter does not stand; on the contrary, there lies in the yearly repetition of the sacrifices the yearly reminder that sins are still remaining, and have to be expiated.(97) Comp. Philo, de Victim. p. 841 A (with Mangey, II. p. 244): εὔηθες γὰρ τὰς θυσίας μὴ λήθην ἁμαρτημάτων, ἀλλʼ ὑπόμνησιν αὐτῶν κατασκευάζειν.

De plantat. Noë, p. 229 B (I. p. 345): αἱθυσίαιὑπομιμνήσκουσαι τὰς ἑκάστων ἀγνοίας τε καὶ διαμαρτίας.

Vit. Mos. 3. p. 669 E (II. p. 151): καὶ γὰρ ὁπότε γίνεσθαι δοκοῦσιν (sc. the θυσίαι, and εὐχαί of the impious), οὐ λύσιν ἁ΄αρτη΄άτων ἀλλʼ ὑπό΄νησιν ἐργάζονται.

ἐν αὐταῖς] sc. ταῖς θυσίαις.

ἀνάμνησις] not: commemoratio (Vulgate, Calvin, Clarius, al.) or commemoratio publica (Bengel and others), so that we must think of the confession of sin (tract. Jom. iv. 2, iii. 8, vi. 2) which the high priest made on the great day of atonement with regard to himself and the whole people (Schlichting, Grotius, Braun, al.); but: reminding, recalling to memory. Comp. 1 Corinthians 11:24-25; Luke 22:19.


Verse 4

Hebrews 10:4. Proof that it cannot be otherwise, drawn from the matter itself which is under consideration. By a rudely sensuous means we cannot attain to a high spiritual good.


Verse 5

Hebrews 10:5. διό] Wherefore, i.e. in accordance with the impossibility declared at Hebrews 10:4.

λέγει] He saith. As subject thereto is naturally supplied Christ, although He was not mentioned again since Hebrews 9:28. This determination of the subject is already placed beyond doubt by the whole connection, but not less by the pointing back of τοῦ σώματος ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, Hebrews 10:10, to σῶμα δὲ κατηρτίσω μοι, Hebrews 10:5. According to the view of our author, Christ is speaking(98) in the person of the psalmist. The psalm itself, indeed, as is almost universally acknowledged, refuses to admit of the Messianic interpretation (comp. especially Hebrews 10:13 (12)). The present λέγει, moreover, might be placed, because the utterance is one extending into the present, i.e. one which may still be daily read in the Scripture.

εἰσερχόμενος εἰς τὸν κόσμον] at His coming into the world, i.e. on the eve of coming (see Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 249) into the world(99) (sc. by His incarnation). This determining of time is taken from the ἥκω, Hebrews 10:7. According to Bleek, who is preceded therein by Grotius, and followed by de Wette, as more recently by Maier and Beyschlag, die Christologie des Neuen Testaments, Berl. 1866, p. 192, the author in penning the words εἰσερχόμενος εἰς τὸν κόσμο ν was thinking “less of the moment of the incarnation and birth than of the public coming forth upon earth to the work assigned to Him by the Father, in connection with which His entrance into the world first became manifested to the world itself.” But in that case εἰσελθών must have been written, and the formula εἰσερχό΄ενος εἰς τὸν κόσ΄ον (John 1:9; John 6:14; John 11:27; Romans 5:12; 1 Timothy 1:15, al.) would lose its natural signification. The same applies against Delitzsch, who, bringing in that which lies very remote, will have the words explained: “incarnate, and having entered upon the years of human self-determination, signified Isaiah 7:16,”—an exposition which is not any the more rendered acceptable, when Delitzsch adds, with a view to doing justice to the participle present: “we need not regard the εἰσέρχεσθαι εἰς τὸν κόσμον as a point; we can also conceive of it as a line.”(100) For the author cannot possibly have thought of Christ’s εἰσέρχεσθαι εἰς τὸν κόσμον, and His λέγειν temporally therewith coinciding, as something constantly repeated and only progressively developed.

θυσίαν καὶ προσφορὰν οὐκ ἠθέλησας] sacrifice and offering (bloody and un-bloody sacrifices) Thou didst not will. Kindred utterances in the O. T.: Psalms 50:7-15; Psalms 51:18 ff. [16 ff.]; Isaiah 1:11; Jeremiah 6:20; Jeremiah 7:21-23; Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21 ff.; 1 Samuel 15:22. That, however, the author founded his Scripture proof precisely upon Psalms 40, was occasioned principally by the addition, very important for his purpose: σῶμα δὲ κατηρτίσω μοι, which is found there.

σῶμα δὲ κατηρτίσω μοι] but a body hast Thou prepared me, sc. in order to be clothed with the same, and by the giving up of the same unto death to fulfil Thy will. Comp. Hebrews 10:7. Thus, without doubt, the author found in his copy of the LXX. But that the Hebrew words: אָזְנַיִם כָּרִיתָ לִּי (the ears hast Thou digged to me, i.e. by revelation opened up religious knowledge to me), were even originally rendered by the LXX. by σῶ΄α δὲ κατηρτίσω ΄οι, as is contended by Jac. Cappellus, Wolf, Carpzov, Tholuck, Ebrard, Delitzsch, Maier, Moll, and others, is a supposition hardly to be entertained. Probably the LXX. rendered the Hebrew words by ὠτία δὲ κατηρτίσω ΄οι, as they are still found in some ancient MSS. of that version, and σῶ΄α δὲ κατηρτίσω ΄οι arose, not “from the translator being unable to attach any satisfactory meaning to the words ‘the ears hast thou digged to me,’ and therefore altering them with his own hand” (Kurtz); but only from an accidental corruption of the text, in that σ, the final letter of the ἠθέλησας immediately preceding, was wrongly carried over to the following word, and instead of τι the letter ΄ was erroneously read.


Verses 5-10

Hebrews 10:5-10. Scripture proof, from Psalms 40:7-9 [6–8], that deliverance from sins is to be obtained, not by animal sacrifices, but only by the fulfilling of the will of God. On the ground of this fulfilment of God’s will by Christ are we Christians sanctified.


Verse 6

Hebrews 10:6. In burnt-offerings and sin-offerings hadst Thou no pleasure.

LXX. Cod. Vatic.: ὁλοκαύτωμαοὐκ ᾒτησας; Cod. Alex.: ὁλοκαυτώματαοὐκ ἐζήτησας.

καὶ περὶ ἁμαρτίας] Oecumenius: τουτέστι προσφορὰν περὶ ἁμαρτίας. Elsewhere also occasionally (Leviticus 7:37; Numbers 8:8, al.) the LXX. denote the sin-offering by the mere περὶ ἁμαρτίας, in that the additional notion of sacrifice is naturally yielded by the context. Stein’s expedient for avoiding all supplementing of the idea, in translating καί by “also” (“Thou hast also no pleasure in offerings for sin”), is grammatically inadmissible.

εὐδοκεῖν] with the accusative also not rare elsewhere in Hellenistic Greek. Comp. LXX. Genesis 33:10; Leviticus 26:34; Leviticus 26:41; Psalms 51:18-19, al. Besides this in the Hellenistic εὐδοκεῖν ἐν (Hebrews 10:38), with Greek writers εὐδοκεῖν τινι.


Verse 7

Hebrews 10:7. τότε εἶπον] then said I. In the sense of the writer of the epistle: then, when Thou hadst prepared for me a body. In the sense of the composer of the psalm: then, when such deeper knowledge was revealed to me. Contrary to the usage of the language, Carpzov, Stein, and others take τότε as equivalent to ideo, propterea, while just as capriciously Heinrichs makes it redundant as a particle of transition.

ἐν κεφαλίδι βιβλίου γέγραπται περὶ ἐμοῦ] is a parenthesis; so that τοῦ ποιῆσαι depends not on γέγραπται, as Paulus thinks, but upon ἥκω: Lo, I come to do, O God, Thy will. Comp. Hebrews 10:9. Otherwise truly with the LXX. (and in the Hebrew), where τοῦ ποιῆσαι is governed by the closing verb ἠβουλήθην, which is omitted in the Epistle to the Hebrews ( τοῦ ποιῆσαι τὸ θέλημά σου, θεός μου, ἠβουλήθην: to do Thy will, O God, is my delight).

ἐν κεφαλίδι βιβλίου γέγραπται περὶ ἐμοῦ is in the Hebrew differently connected and applied. In the sense of our author: in the prophecies of the O. T. it is written of me.

κεφαλίς, little head, then the knob at the end of the staff, around which the manuscript roll was wound in antiquity. κεφαλὶς βιβλίου consequently denotes the book-roll, volume. Elsewhere also the LXX. translated the Hebrew מְגִלָּה (volumen), with and without the addition of βιβλίου, by κεφαλίς. Comp. Ezekiel 2:9; Ezekiel 3:1-3; Ezra 6:2.

τὸ θέλημα] in the sense of our author: the obedient presentation of the body as a sacrifice for the redemption of mankind.


Verses 8-10

Hebrews 10:8-10. Contrasting of the two main elements in the citation just adduced, and emphasizing of the fact that the one element, upon which God lays no stress, is represented by Judaism; the other, to which value is attached in God’s sight, is represented by Christianity.

ἀνώτερον] above, in the opening words of the declaration.

λέγων] sc. χριστός. The participle present, in place of which Schlichting, Grotius, Bleek, de Wette expect that of the aorist, is employed here, even as λέγει, Hebrews 10:5, because the utterance, as being recorded in Scripture, is one still enduring. Only the author makes manifest, by the fact that he writes λέγων, not εἰπών or λέξας, that less importance is to be attached to the indication as to the relation of time, in which the two statements are placed to each other, than to the contrasting of these two statements themselves; thus: while He saith above, etc., He has then said, etc.

ὅτι] recitative particle, as Hebrews 7:17, Hebrews 11:18.

θυσίας καὶ προσφοράς] The plural appropriately serves for the generalization of the utterance.

αἵτινες κατὰ νόμον προσφέρονται] as those things which are presented by virtue of legal precept. Suggestive reference to the imperfection and ineffectiveness of Judaism, since this makes salvation dependent precisely upon those ordinances of external sacrifice which God willed not, and in which He has no pleasure. The words are no parenthetic clause, as is still maintained by Bleek and Kurtz, but an addition essential to the argument of the writer, which does not interrupt the construction. They form the application, thus emphatically appended, of the first half of the thought in the Scripture citation, to Judaism, to which the parallel is formed in Hebrews 10:10 by the application of the second half to Christianity.

αἵτινες] refers back to the whole of the preceding substantives.


Verse 9

Hebrews 10:9. τότε εἴρηκεν] are words of the author, and form the apodosis to ἀνώτερον λέγων, Hebrews 10:8. Quite erroneously does Peirce, who, with Chrysostom, Hom. xviii. and the Vulgate (tunc dixi), instead of τότε εἴρηκεν will read τότε εἶπον, which, however, only arose from Hebrews 10:7, make the apodosis begin first with ἀναιρεῖ τὸ πρῶτον.

τότε, however, not ὕστερον, which would more exactly accord with the ἀνώτερον, Hebrews 10:8, the author wrote, because the τότε εἶπον of the citation was still fresh in his memory.

ἀναιρεῖ τὸ πρῶτον, ἵνα τὸ δεύτερον στήσῃ] he abolishes the first, or deprives it of validity, in order to establish the second as the norm in force (Romans 3:31). Parenthetic insertion, so that Hebrews 10:10 attaches itself closely to τὸ θέλημα, and is to be separated therefrom only by a comma. The parenthesis serves by way of exclamation to call attention to the importance of the application to be given in Hebrews 10:10 to the ἰδοὺ ἥκω κ. τ. λ. Subject in ἀναιρεῖ is naturally here also Christ; not “the Spirit of God,” as Kurtz arbitrarily supposes.

τὸ πρῶτον] sc. τὸ προσφέρειν θυσίας καὶ προσφορὰς κ. τ. λ.

τὸ δεύτερον] sc. τὸ ποιεῖν τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ. Theodoret: πρῶτον εἶπε τὴν τῶν ἀλόγων θυσίαν, δεύτερον δὲ τὴν λογικηήν, τὴν ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ προσενεχθεῖσαν. Wrongly does Peirce take τὸ πρῶτον and τὸ δεύτερον adjectivally, in supplementing to each τὸ θέλημα θεοῦ. With equally little warrant Carpzov: the διαθήκη πρώτη and the διαθήκη καινή, or the ἱερωσύνη κατὰ τὴν τάξιν ἀαρών and the ἱερωσύνη κατὰ ὁμοιότητα ΄ελχισεδέκ, are meant; as also Stein: the O. T. and the N. T. economy.


Verse 10

Hebrews 10:10. ἐν θελήματι] upon the ground of which will (more exactly: of which fulfilment of His will), and in conditioning connection with that will. What is meant is the will of God, of which the author has before spoken.

ἡγιασμένοι ἐσμέν] we (Christians) have been sanctified (delivered from sins). ἁγιάζεσθαι correlative to the notions τελειοῦσθαι, Hebrews 10:1, and καθαρίζεσθαι, Hebrews 10:2.

By the προσφορὰ τοῦ σώματος ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ cannot be meant “the self-presentation of Christ in the heavenly Holy of Holies” (Kurtz), but only (comp. Hebrews 9:28) Christ’s death upon the cross on earth. For the indication of the former idea the expression τοῦ σώματος would be altogether unsuitable. Comp. also Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 475 f.

ἐφάπαξ] belongs to ἡγιασμένοι ἐσμέν, not, as Oecumenius, Theophylact, Schlichting, Jac. Cappellus, Limborch, Stein, Bloomfield, Alford, and others conjoin, to διὰ τῆς προσφορᾶς τοῦ σώματος ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, because otherwise the article τῆς must have been repeated.


Verse 11

Hebrews 10:11. καὶ πᾶς] καί is the explanatory: and indeed. It develops the ἐφάπαξ, Hebrews 10:10, and belongs equally to Hebrews 10:12 as to Hebrews 10:11.

ἀρχιερεύς] comp. the critical remark.

καθʼ ἡμέραν] see at Hebrews 7:27.

περιελεῖν] stronger than ἀφαιρεῖν, Hebrews 10:4. Literally: take away round about.


Verses 11-14

Hebrews 10:11-14. Renewed emphasizing of the main distinction between the Jewish high priest and Christ. The former repeats day by day the same sacrifices without being able to effect thereby the cancelling of sin; Christ has by His single sacrifice procured everlasting sanctification. This the main thought of Hebrews 10:11-14. Into the same, however, there is at the same time introduced a subordinate feature, by virtue of the opposition of the ἕστηκεν and ἐκάθισεν, by which likewise is manifest the pre-eminence of Christ over the Levitical high priests. The Jewish high priests were required to accomplish their ministration standing (comp. Deuteronomy 10:8; Deuteronomy 18:7; Judges 20:28, al.), were thus characterized as servants or inferiors (comp. also James 2:3); whereas in Christ’s sitting down at the right hand of God, His participation in the divine majesty and glory is proclaimed.


Verse 12

Hebrews 10:12. οὗτος] comp. Hebrews 3:3.

εἰς τὸ διηνεκές] belongs to ἐκάθισεν.

With that which precedes is it conjoined by Oecumenius, Theophylact, Luther, Bengel, Böhme, Stein, Ewald, and others; whereby, however, the manifest antithesis, which εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς ἐκάθισεν forms to ἕστηκεν καθʼ ἡμέραν, Hebrews 10:11, is destroyed, and the symmetry of the proposition, Hebrews 10:12, is lost.


Verse 13

Hebrews 10:13. τὸ λοιπόν] henceforth, sc. from the time of His sitting down at the right hand of God. What is meant is the time yet intervening before the coming in of the Parousia. The taking of τὸ λοιπόν in the relative sense: “as regards the rest, concerning the rest” (Kurtz), is, on account of the close coherence with ἐκδεχόμενος ἕως, unnatural, for which reason also the passages adduced by Kurtz as supposed parallels, Ephesians 6:10, Philippians 3:1; Philippians 4:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:1, 2 Thessalonians 3:1, do not admit of comparison.

The object of the waiting is expressed by our author in the language of Psalms 110:1.

The ἐκάθισεντὸ λοιπὸν ἐκδεχόμενος ἕως … involves for the rest the supposition that the destruction of the enemies of Christ is to be looked for even before His Parousia. The author accordingly manifests here, too, a certain diversity in his mode of viewing the subject from that of the Apostle Paul, since the latter (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:22-28) anticipates the destruction of the anti-Christian powers only after the time of Christ’s Parousia. The supposition, which de Wette holds possible for the removal of this difference, that the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews “thought only of the triumph of the gospel among the nations, even as Paul also expected the universal diffusion of the gospel and the conversion of the Jews before the appearing of Christ,” has little probability, considering the absolute and unqualified character of the expression here chosen: οἱ ἐχθροὶ αὐτοῦ.


Verse 14

Hebrews 10:14. Proof of the possibility of the εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ θεοῦ, Hebrews 10:12, from the needlessness for a fresh sacrifice, since Christ has already, by the sacrifice once offered, brought in perfect sanctification for His believers.

The accentuation: μιᾷ γὰρ προσφορᾷ, merits the preference to μιὰ γὰρ προσφορά, to which Bengel is inclined, and which has been followed by Ewald, since by the former the words acquire an immediate reference to Christ.

τοὺς ἁγιαζομένους] them that are sanctified, sc. as regards the decree of God. The participle present is used substantively, as Hebrews 2:11, without respect to time.


Verse 15

Hebrews 10:15. ΄αρτυρεῖ δὲ ἡμῖν καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον] Moreover, also, the Holy Ghost bears witness to us.

ἡμῖν] has reference to the Christians generally. Without warrant is it limited by Raphel, Wolf, Baumgarten, and others to the author of the epistle (“the Holy Ghost attests my statement”).

τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον] for it is the Holy Spirit of God who in the passage indicated speaks by the prophet.

The subject in εἰρηκέναι is God, in that the author makes his own the words λέγει κύριος following in Hebrews 10:16, although they form an originally constituent part of the citation, in such wise that μετὰ γὰρ τὸ εἰρηκέναιἑκείνας forms the former member of the proposition; and to this former member all the rest, from διδοὺς μόμους μου to the end of Hebrews 10:17, is then opposed by the author as a concluding member, by means of λέγει κύριος. The supposition that the second, or concluding, member of the citation begins only with Hebrews 10:17, and that thus before this verse a λέγει, an εἶτʼ ἐπιλέγει a τότε εἴρηκεν, or something of the kind is to be supplemented (Primasius, Clarius, Zeger, Schlichting, Jac. Cappellus, Grotius, Limborch, Wolf, Carpzov, Stuart, Heinrichs, Alford, Conybeare, Reuss, Hofmann, and others), is to be rejected,—although the main consideration, about which the author is quite specially concerned, follows only in Hebrews 10:17,—because it is opposed to the literary accuracy elsewhere prevailing in the Epistle to the Hebrews. For the same reason, too, the ὕστερον λέγει, which several MSS. (but only among those of late date) and some translations add at the close of Hebrews 10:16, is to be regarded as a gloss.


Verses 15-18

Hebrews 10:15-18. That there is no need of any further expiatory sacrifice, the Scripture also testifies. This Scripture proof the author derives from the declaration, Jeremiah 31:31-34, already adduced at Hebrews 8:8 ff., in that he here briefly comprehends the same in its two main features.


Verse 16

Hebrews 10:16. Instead of τῷ οἴκῳ ἰσραήλ, Hebrews 8:10, the author here places πρὸς αὐτούς. Certainly not unintentionally. By means of the more general πρὸς αὐτούς, the more definite reference to the natural descendants of the patriarch as the recipients of the New Covenant receded into the background.

διδούς] attaches itself here also only to ἣν δοαθήσομαι; here it is true, with yet greater grammatical ruggedness than at Hebrews 8:10.


Verse 17

Hebrews 10:17. The καί at the beginning of the verse is held by Böhme and Kuinoel to be a further particle of citation on the part of the author; while Hofmann will have it translated by “also.” Better, however, because more naturally and simply, is it taken as a constituent part of the Scripture citation.


Verse 18

Hebrews 10:18. τούτων] is not a neuter (Böhme: “ut, quicquid esset peccati, in universum designaretur”), but feminine, inasmuch as it refers back to ἁμαρτιῶν and ἀνομιῶν, Hebrews 10:17.

οὐκέτι] sc. ἐστίν, there expiatory sacrifice no longer takes place, sc. because in connection with such a state it has become unnecessary.


Verse 19

Hebrews 10:19. οὖν] Conclusion from the investigations made chap. 5 onwards.

ἀδελφοί] Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 3:12, Hebrews 13:22.

παῤῥησίαν] not: freedom or authorization (Vatablus, Jac. Cappellus, Grotius, Ernesti, Schulz, Böhme, Stengel, al.), but: firm, joyful confidence.

εἰς τὴν εἴσοδον τῶν ἁγίων] in respect to entrance into the sanctuary, i.e. of entering into the sanctuary, or heavenly Holy of Holies ( τῶν ἁγίων, of the same import as εἰς τὰ ἅγια, comp. Hebrews 9:8). Arbitrarily would Heinrichs refer the words to the entering of Jesus, in that he regards εἰς τὴν εἴσοδον τῶν ἁγ. ἐν τῷ αἵμ. ἰησοῦ as equivalent to εἰς τὴν εἴσοδον ἰησοῦ ἐν τῷ αἵματι αὐτοῦ, which is impossible.

ἐν τῷ αἵματι ἰησοῦ] upon the ground, or by virtue of the blood of Jesus. Belongs to the whole proposition: ἔχοντες παῤῥησίαν εἰς τὴν εἴσοδον τῶν ἁγίων, not merely to εἴσοδον (Akersloot, Storr, Schulz, Böhme, Klee, Paulus, Bleek, Bisping). The passage, Hebrews 9:25, by no means pleads in favour of the latter mode of apprehending it, since at Hebrews 9:25, but not in the present passage, ἐν can be understood in the material sense: “with;” the reference of the ἐν αἵματι in the two places is an entirely different one.


Verses 19-25

Hebrews 10:19-25. The readers, in possession of such an exalted High Priest, and of the blessings obtained by Him, are with decision and constancy to persevere in the Christian faith, to incite each other to love and good works, and not—as had become a practice with some—to forsake the assemblies for Christian worship. So much the more should they thus act, since the Parousia is near at hand. Comp. on Hebrews 10:19-25 the similar exhortation Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 4:16.


Verse 20

Hebrews 10:20. ἥν] sc. εἴσοδον. Not as yet with ὁδόν (Carpzov, Stuart, and others) is ἥν to be combined as indication of object, in such wise that merely πρόφατον καὶ ζῶσαν would form the predicate; but still less is παῤῥησίαν (Seb. Schmidt, Hammond, al.) to be supplemented to ἥν. For against the former decides the order of the words, against the latter the manifest correspondence in which εἴσοδον, Hebrews 10:19, and ὁδόν, Hebrews 10:20, stand to each other. The ὁδός, namely, characterized Hebrews 10:19 as to its goal (as εἴσοδος τῶν ἁγίων), is, Hebrews 10:20, further described with regard to its nature and constitution (as ὁδὸς πρόσφατος and ζῶσα).

ἣν ἐνεκαίνισεν ἡμῖν ὁδὸν πρόσφατον καὶ ζῶσαν] which He for us (in order that we may walk in it) has consecrated (inaugurated, in that He Himself first passed through it) as a new (newly-opened, hitherto inaccessible, comp. Hebrews 9:8; Theodoret: ὡς τότε πρῶτον φανεῖσαν) and living way. πρόσφατος, originally: fresh slain; then in general: fresh, new, recens. See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 374 f.

ζῶσα, however, that way or entrance is called, not because it “ever remains, and needs not, like that into the earthly sanctuary, to be consecrated every year by fresh blood” (Bleek, after the precedent of Ernesti, Schulz, and others; comp. also Chrysostom, Oecumenius, and Theophylact), but because it is living in its efficacy (comp. ἄρτος ζῶν, John 6:51), in such wise that it leads to the goal of everlasting life. The contrast is found in the inefficaciousness of the entrance into the earthly holy of holies.

διὰ τοῦ καταπετάσματος, τουτέστιν τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ,] through the veil, that is to say, His flesh. As the high priest must pass through the concealing veil, in order to come within the earthly Holy of Holies, thus also the flesh of Christ formed a veil, which must first be withdrawn or removed (comp. Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45) ere the entrance into the heavenly Holy of Holies could be rendered possible.

διά] is to be taken locally,—wrongly is it understood by Stein as instrumental,—and is not to be combined with ἐνεκαίνισεν (Böhme, Delitzsch, Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 1, 2 Aufl. p. 253; Alford, Kluge), but is to be attached to ὁδόν, as a nearer definition, standing upon a parallel with πρόσφατον καὶ ζῶσαν, seeing that an οὖσαν or ἄγουσαν naturally suggests itself by way of supplement.

τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ] depends immediately upon the preceding διά, not first, as Peirce and Carpzov maintain, upon a τοῦ καταπετάσματος to be supplied.


Verse 21

Hebrews 10:21 is still governed by ἔχοντες, Hebrews 10:19. As τὰ ἅγια, Hebrews 10:19, was chosen as a general designation instead of the special τὰ ἅγια ἁγίων, so here (comp. Hebrews 5:6, Hebrews 7:1; Hebrews 7:3, al.) the general ἱερέα stands in the sense of the special ἀρχιερέα, and μέγαν is, as Hebrews 4:14, expression of the exaltedness of this High Priest (against Stuart, Klee, Stein, Ewald, M‘Caul, and others, who take ἱερέα μέγαν together as a designation of the High Priest).

ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ] over the house of God. Comp. Hebrews 3:6. Theodoret, Oecumenius, Estius, Grotius, Calov, Tholuck, Stengel, Hofmann (Schriftbew. II. 1, 2 Aufl. p. 454), Maier, Kurtz, and others understand by these words, in accordance with Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 3:6, the household of God, or the believers, by which, however, the unity of the figure is needlessly destroyed. The allusion is to heaven or the heavenly sanctuary, as the dwelling-place of God, over which Christ rules as High Priest.(101)


Verse 22

Hebrews 10:22. προσερχώμεθα] let us then draw nigh, sc. to this ἅγια, Hebrews 10:19, and this ἱερεὺς μέγας, Hebrews 10:21, or, what is, as regards the matter itself, not different, to God; in such wise that προσερξώμεθα is here, like τοὺς προσερχομένους, Hebrews 10:1, used absolutely, or else receives its supplementation from the τοῦ θεοῦ immediately preceding. Comp. Hebrews 7:25, Hebrews 11:6; also Hebrews 4:16.

μετʼ ἀληθινῆς καρδίας] with true, i.e. sincere heart, so that we are really in earnest about the προσέρχεσθαι.

ἐν πληροφορίᾳ πίστεως] in firm conviction of faith, firm inner certainty of faith. Comp. Hebrews 6:11. Epexegesis of μετʼ ἀληθινῆς καρδίας, for the clearer defining of the contents thereof.

ἐῤῥαντισμένοι τὰς καρδίας ἀπὸ συνειδήσεως πονηρᾶς] inasmuch as our hearts have been sprinkled from an evil conscience, so that we have been delivered from the same (see Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 577). Indication of the subjective qualification for the προσέρχεσθαι, while Hebrews 10:19-21 contains the objective qualification for the same. What is meant, is the justification of Christians through Christ’s bloody sacrificial death (Hebrews 9:14), after the analogy of the sprinkling with blood, whereby the first Levitical priests were consecrated and qualified to approach God. Comp. Exodus 29:21; Leviticus 8:30.


Verse 23

Hebrews 10:23. The words: καὶ λελουμένοι τὸ σῶμα ὕδατι καθαρῷ, are, by the Peshito, by Primasius, Faber Stapulensis, Luther, Estius, Wolf, Baumgarten, Storr, Kuinoel, Bleek, Stein, de Wette, Bloomfield, Bisping, Delitzsch, Riehm (Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 741, Obs.), Alford, Maier, Kluge, and others, combined in one, and referred still to προσερχώμεθα, Hebrews 10:22, as a second participial clause. Better, nevertheless, shall we conjoin καί with κατέχωμεν; so that λελουμένοι τὸ σῶμα ὕδατι καθαρῷ becomes a parenthetic clause, which specifies the subjective qualification to the κατέχειν, exactly as ἐῤῥαντισμένοι κ. τ. λ., Hebrews 10:22, brought out the subjective qualification to the προσέρχεσθαι. In connection with the first-named construction,(102) the rhythmical symmetry of the members, Hebrews 10:22-23, would be needlessly sacrificed, and κατέχω΄εν stand there too much torn from the context. For the supposition that καί might have been wanting before κατέχω΄εν, since a third verb ( κατανοῶ΄εν) follows at Hebrews 10:24, the placing of the καί was thus necessary only before this last, is erroneous; inasmuch as the author could hardly, from the very outset, comprehend Hebrews 10:24 in thought with Hebrews 10:22, and Hebrews 10:23, on the contrary, only brings in later that which is observed at Hebrews 10:24 as a new and independent exhortation, while προσερχώ΄εθα καὶ κατέχω΄εν stands together in the closest inner relation (as a decided approaching to the communion with God opened up by Christ, and a persevering maintenance of the same).

λελου΄ένοι τὸ σῶ΄α ὓδατι καθαρῷ] inasmuch as our body has been washed with pure water [washed as regards the body with pure water]. Reference to the sanctifying of Christians by Christian baptism. Comp. Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5. Analogon in the Levitical domain the washings, Exodus 29:4; Exodus 30:19 ff; Exodus 40:30 ff.; Leviticus 16:4. To find denoted in a merely figurative sense (to the exclusion of baptism), with Calvin [Owen] and others, in accordance with Ezekiel 36:25 : the communication of the Holy Ghost; or, with Limborch, Ebrard, and others: the being cleansed from sins; or, with [Piscator and] Reuss: the blood of Christ (“Il s’agit ici, comme dans toute cette partie de l’épître, du sang de Christ. C’est ce sang, qui nous lave mieux que l’eau des Lévites”); or, with Schlichting: “Christi spiritus et doctrina, seu spiritualis illa aqua, qua suos perfundit Christus, ipsius etiam sanguine non excluso,” we are forbidden by the addition of τὸ σῶμα, which implies likewise the reminiscence of an outward act.

καθαρῷ] that which is pure, and in consequence thereof also makes pure.

κατέχωμεν τὴν ὁμολογίαν τῆς ἐλπίδος ἀκλινῆ] let us hold fast the confession of hope as an unbending, unswerving one.

κατέχωμεν] inasmuch as the ὁ΄ολογία became at once, with baptism, the possession of believers.

τὴν ὁ΄ολογίαν] may here be taken actively (the confessing of the hope), but it may also be taken passively (the confession which has as its subject the Christian’s hope).

ἀκλινῆ] stronger than βεβαίαν, Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 3:14.

πιστὸς γὰρ ἐπαγγειλά΄ενος] for faithful (so that He keeps that which He promises; comp. 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:24) is He who has given the promises (namely, God). Ground of encouragement for the κατέχειν.


Verse 24-25

Hebrews 10:24-25. Progress from that which the Christian has to do with regard to himself, to that which he has to do with regard to his fellow-Christians.

καὶ κατανοῶμεν ἀλλήλους] and let us direct our view to each other (comp. Hebrews 3:1), so that we may endeavour to emulate the good and salutary which we discover in our neighbour, and, on the other hand, to put away the bad and hurtful in ourselves and him. For limiting the expression, with Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Michaelis, ad Pierc., Bleek, and others, to the first-named particular, no reason exists; since the positive εἰς παροξυσμὸν κ. τ. λ. is yet followed by the negative μὴ ἐγκαταλείποντες κ. τ. λ.

εἰς παροξυσμὸν ἀγάπης καὶ καλῶν ἔργων] that incitement to love and good works may arise therefrom.

παροξυσμός] Acts 15:39; Deuteronomy 29:27; Jeremiah 32:37, and elsewhere in the bad sense: irritation, i.e. embittering. Here, however, as occasionally with the classic writers, the verb is used (comp. Xen. Memor. 3:3. 13 : ἀλλὰ μὴν οὔτε εὐφωνίᾳ τοσοῦτον διαφέρουσιν ἀθηναῖοι τῶν ἄλλων, οὔτε σωμάτων μεγέθει καὶ ῥώμῃ, ὅσον φιλοτιμίᾳ, ἥπερ μάλιστα παροξύνει πρὸς τὰ καλὰ καὶ ἔντιμα; Thucyd. vi. 88, al.) in the good sense.

ἀγάπη] brotherly love, and καλὰ ἔργα, the single manifestations thereof.


Verse 25

Hebrews 10:25. ΄ὴ ἐγκαταλείποντες τὴν ἐπισυναγωγὴν ἑαυτῶν, καθὼς ἔθος τισίν] while not forsaking (ceasing to frequent), as is the custom with some, our own assembly, and thereby, in connection with the already prevalent tendency to apostasy from Christianity, setting a pernicious example.

τὴν ἐπισυναγωγὴν ἑαυτῶν] is taken by Calvin, Böhme, Bleek, and others as designation of the Christian congregation or Christian religious society itself. But in this case the only signification which could be attached without violence to ἐγκαταλείπειν would be that of apostasy from Christianity; to understand the expression, in that case, of the leaving to its fate of the Christian church, sunk in poverty, peril, and distress, by the refusal of acts of assistance (Böhme), or of the escape from the claims of the church to the cherishing and tending of its members, by the neglecting of the common religious assemblies (Bleek), would not be very natural. We are prevented, however, from thinking of an actual apostasy from Christianity by the addition καθὼς ἔθος τισίν, according to which the ἐγκαταλείπειν was an oft-recurring act on the part of the same persons. τὴν ἐπισυναγωγὴν ἑαυτῶν, therefore, is best explained as: the assembling of ourselves, in order to be united together (comp. 2 Thessalonians 2:1), i.e. our own religious assemblies.

ἑαυτῶν] has great emphasis; for otherwise the simple ἡμῶν would have been written. It has its tacit opposition in the alien, i.e. Jewish religious assemblies, and contains the indication that the τινές gave the preference to the frequenting of the latter.

ἀλλὰ παρακαλοῦντες] sc. ἑαυτούς (comp. Hebrews 3:13) or ἀλλήλους, which is easily supplemented from the foregoing ἑαυτῶν: but animating one another, namely, to the uninterrupted frequenting of our own Christian assemblies. Quite unsuitably, Hofmann (Schriftbew. II. 2, 2 Aufl. p. 379) would supply in thought to παρακαλοῦντες, as its object: τὴν ἐπισυναγωγήν.

καὶ τοσούτῳ μᾶλλον ὅσῳ βλέπετε ἐγγίζουσαν τὴν ἡμέραν] and that so much the more, as ye see the day itself drawing nigh. Reinforcing ground of obligation to the παρακαλεῖν.

βλέπετε] The transition from the first to the second person plural augments the significance of that which has been remarked, since the author can appeal to the verdict of the readers themselves for the truth thereof.

The ἡμέρα is the day κατʼ ἐξοχήν, the day of the coming in of the Parousia of Christ, which the author thinks of as quite near at hand (comp. Hebrews 10:37), and which the readers themselves already saw drawing nigh in the agitations and commotions which preceded the Jewish war, such as had already begun to appear.


Verse 26

Hebrews 10:26. ἑκουσίως γὰρ ἁμαρτανόντων ἡμῶν μετὰ τὸ λαβεῖν τὴν ἐπίγνωσιν τῆς ἀληθείας] For if we sin wilfully (i.e. against our better knowledge and conscience) after having received the certain knowledge of the truth; so that we become recreant to Christianity (comp. Hebrews 10:29), to which the ἐγκαταλείπειν τὴν ἐπισυναγωγὴν ἑαυτῶν forms the dangerous preliminary step. The ἑκουσίως ἁμαρτάνοντες are the opposite of the ἀγνοοῦντες καὶ πλανώμενοι, Hebrews 5:2,(103) and the participle present indicates the continuous or habitual character of the action.

ἀλήθεια is the truth absolutely, as this has been revealed by Christianity. The ἐπίγνωσις of this absolute truth, however, embraces, along with the recognition thereof by the understanding, also the having become conscious of its bliss-giving effects in one’s own experience. Comp. Hebrews 6:4-5.

οὐκέτι περὶ ἁμαρτιῶν ἀπολείπεται θυσία] there remains in relation to sins, i.e. for the expiation thereof, no more sacrifice; inasmuch, namely, as the sin-cancelling sacrifice of Christ, the communion of which we then renounce, is a sacrifice which takes place only once, is not further repeated, while at the same time the Levitical sacrifices are unable to effect the cancelling of sins. Bengel: Fructus ex sacrificio Christi semper patet non repudiantibus; qui autem repudiant, non aliud habent.


Verses 26-31

Hebrews 10:26-31. In the ἐγκαταλείπειν τὴν ἐπισυναγωγὴν ἑαυτῶν, Hebrews 10:25, there was manifested a lukewarmness in Christianity, which might lead to apostasy therefrom. In warning notes, therefore, the author points out that the man who knowingly slights recognised Christian truth, and sins against it, will infallibly be overtaken by the punitive judgment of God. To be compared Hebrews 6:4-8.


Verse 27

Hebrews 10:27. φοβερὰ δέ τις ἐκδοχὴ κρίσεως] sc. ἀπολείπεται: but there remains indeed, etc. The ἀπολειπόμενον is of two kinds, something subjective ( φοβερὰκρίσεως) and something objective ( πυρὸςὑπεναντίους).

φοβερὰ ἐκδοχὴ κρίσεως] denotes not “a terrible banquet of judgment,” as Ewald strangely translates it, nor is it any hypallage in the sense of ἐκδοχὴ κρίσεως φοβερᾶς, as Jac. Cappellus, Heinrichs, and Stengel suppose, and to which the choice is left open by Wolf. The terribleness is transferred to the subjective domain of the expectation. For one who has sinned against better light and knowledge, even the expectation of the divine judgment is something terrible.

φοβερά τις] an exceedingly terrible one. On the τις, added with rhetorical emphasis to adjectives of quality or quantity, comp. Kühner, II. p. 331; Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 160.

κρίσις] is used here, too, as Hebrews 9:27, quite without restriction, of the divine judgment in general. That this will be a punitive judgment is not indicated by the word; it only follows from the connection.

In the second member the emphasis rests upon the preposed πυρός, on which account also the case of the following participle conforms itself to this, not to ζῆλος. We cannot, therefore, with Luther and others, combine together πυρὸς ζῆλος in a single notion (“fiery zeal,” sc. of the divine wrath). The πῦρ is personified, and in such way a ζῆλος, a fury, ascribed to the same. There was probably present to the mind of the author in connection with the last member, LXX. Isaiah 26:11 : ζῆλος λήψεται λαὸν ἀπαίδευτον καὶ νῦν πῦρ τοὺς ὑπεναντίους ἔδεται.

τοὺς ὑπεναντίους] the adversaries. The empiric usage of the term forbids our attaching to it, with Braun and Paulus, on account of the ὑπό, the notion of secret foes. See Meyer on Col. ii.14, 4 Aufl. p. 331.


Verse 28-29

Hebrews 10:28-29. That in reality the consequences of an ἑκουσίως ἁμαρτάνειν μετὰ τὸ λαβεῖν τὴν ἐπίγνωσιν τῆς ἀληθείας are so terrible as was asserted at Hebrews 10:27, the author renders evident by a conclusion a minora ad majus. Apostasy from the Mosaic law itself is punishable with death; how much greater thus must be the punishment of him who, by apostasy from Christ, has treated with contumely the Son of God, of whose redeeming benefits he has already had experience! With the conclusion in Hebrews 10:28-29 we may compare, as regards the thoughts, Hebrews 2:2-3, Hebrews 12:25; as regards the form, however, the utterances just noticed differ from that before us, in the respect that there the first member of the comparison appears as a hypothetical premiss, here as an independent statement. ἀθετήσας τις νόμον ΄ωϋσέως κ. τ. λ.] He who has set at nought the Mosaic law, has in opposition to his better knowledge and conscience violated or broken it, dies, without any one compassionating him, upon the deposition of two or three witnesses. Although death was imposed as the punishment for many single transgressions of the Mosaic law (Exodus 21:15 ff; Exodus 31:14; Leviticus 17:14; Deuteronomy 22:22 ff., al.), yet the author certainly has reference, as is evident from the addition: ἐπὶ δυσὶν τρισὶν μάρτυσιν, and as is required also by the parallel relation to Hebrews 10:29, quite specially to the ordinance, Deuteronomy 17:2-7 [cf. also Numbers 15:30-31], in conformity with which the punishment of death was inflicted upon the man who, by idolatry, apostatized from Jehovah. Comp. l.c. Hebrews 10:6, LXX.: ἐπὶ δυσὶ μάρτυσιν ἐπὶ τρισὶ μάρτυσιν ἀποθανεῖται.

ἐπί] as Hebrews 9:17 : upon condition that two or three witnesses depose against him.


Verse 29

Hebrews 10:29. Of how much more severe punishment, think ye, will he be counted worthy, who, etc.

With δοκεῖτε the author leaves the decision to the readers, inasmuch as on the question how this will be given, no doubt whatever can prevail.

ἀξιωθήσεται] sc. by God at the judgment.

τιμωρία in the N. T. only here.

καταπατήσας] who has trodden under foot, as though it were a contemptible, useless thing. A strong expression. Designation of the bold contemning and insulting of Him who is nevertheless the Son of God, and with whom one has become personally acquainted as the Redeemer.

τὸ αἶμα τῆς διαθήκης] the blood of the covenant, i.e. the blood which Christ shed for the sealing of the New Covenant for the redemption of mankind. Comp. Hebrews 9:15 ff.

κοινόν] either: as common, ordinary blood, not distinguished in any respect from other blood (Peshito, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Clarius, Beza, Schlichting, Bengel, Schulz, Stuart, Bleek, Stein, de Wette, Bloomfield, Bisping, Delitzsch, Alford, and others), or—what is better, because stronger, and on that account more in accord with the other statements—as impure (Vulgate, Luther, Grotius, Carpzov, Michaelis, Chr. Fr. Schmid, Storr, Böhme, Tholuck, Ebrard, Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 769; Maier, Moll, Kurtz, and others), i.e. as the blood of a transgressor, which Christ must be, if He was not the Son of God and the Redeemer.

ἐν ἡγιάσθη] contrasting addition to κοινὸν ἡγησάμενος, and paronomasia: by the communion with which he was nevertheless sanctified, or: the sanctifying efficacy of which he has nevertheless felt in his own person.

καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς χάριτος ἐνυβρίσας] and has done despite to the Spirit of Grace, sc. by scorn and mockery of the wondrous unfolding of that Spirit’s power in the life of the Christians. The compound form ἐνυβρίζειν τινί or τί, found, apart from the poets (Soph. Phil. 342), only with the later Greeks. In the N. T. a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον.

τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς χάριτος] the Holy Spirit, who is a gift of the divine grace.


Verse 30

Hebrews 10:30. The χείρονος ἀξιωθήσεται τιμωρίας, Hebrews 10:29, is a matter for the most serious consideration. This the declarations of God Himself in the Scriptures prove.

οἴδαμεν γὰρ τὸν εἰπόντα] for we know Him who hath spoken, i.e. we know what it means when God makes predictions like those which follow.

The first utterance is without doubt from Deuteronomy 32:35. It deviates from the Hebrew original ( לִי נָקָם וְשִׁלֵּם), but still more from the LXX. ( ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ἐκδικήσεως ἀνταποδώσω); on the other hand, it agrees to so great an extent with Paul’s mode of citing the same in Romans 12:19, that even the λέγει κύριος, which is wanting in Deuteronomy, is found in both these places. This agreement arises, according to Bleek, de Wette, Delitzsch, and Reiche, Comm. Crit. p. 97 (comp. also Böhme), from a deriving of the citation from the Epistle to the Romans; while according to Meyer (at Rom. xii. 19, 2, 3, and 4 Aufl.) the identical words: ἐγὼ ἀνταποδώσω, are to be traced back to the paraphrase of Onkelos ( וַאֲנִא אֲשַׁלֵּם) as the common source employed by Paul and the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Yet with much greater probability is the coincidence to be explained by the supposition that the utterance, in the form adopted here as with Paul, had become proverbial. This was also the later view of Meyer (see Meyer on Rom. xii. 19, 5 Aufl. p. 551 f.).

The second utterance: κρινεῖ κύριος τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ, attached by means of καὶ πάλιν (Hebrews 1:5, Hebrews 2:13), is found in like form, Deuteronomy 32:36 and Psalms 135:14. This κρίνειν τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ has, in the mind of the author of the epistle, the general signification of the holding of judgment upon His people, so that the recreant members among the same will not be able to escape punishment. Different is the sense of the original: He shall do justice for His people. Delitzsch, it is true, who is followed therein by Maier, Kluge, Moll, and Hofmann, will not acknowledge such diversity of the sense. But he is able to remove such diversity only, in that—manifestly led thereto in the interest of a mistaken harmonistic method—he foists upon the author of the epistle the statement: “the Lord will do justice for His church, and punish its betrayers and blasphemers;” a statement of which the first half—as opposed to the grammatical meaning of κρίνειν, as well as to the connection with Hebrews 10:26, since this latter leads of necessity not to the idea of rendering justice to any one, but exclusively to the idea of punitive judgment—is only arbitrarily imported.

At Hebrews 10:31 the whole train of thought, Hebrews 10:26-30, is briefly summed up, and with this the warning brought to a close. Fearful is it to fall into the hands of the living God, i.e. to fall a victim to the divine punitive judgment. Comp. Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:4-5.

ἐμπίπτειν εἰς χεῖρας κυρίου occurs also with the LXX. 2 Samuel 24:14, 1 Chronicles 21:13, Sirach 2:18, but is there used in the mild sense, in that it is opposed to falling into the hands of men. Bengel: Bonum est incidere cum fide; temere terribile.

θεοῦ ζῶντος] see at Hebrews 3:12.


Verse 32

Hebrews 10:32. φωτισθέντες] after ye were illumined, i.e. after ye had recognised Christ as the Saviour of men, and ranked yourselves among His confessors. Comp. Hebrews 6:4.

ἄθλησιν] a word of the later Greek style, in the N. T., however, a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον, combines with παθημάτων into a single idea: contest of sufferings. Chrysostom: οὐχ ἁπλῶς εἶπεν ἄθλησιν ὑπεμείνατε, ἀλλὰ μετὰ προσθήκης τοῦ πολλήν. καὶ οὐκ εἶπε πειρασμούς, ἀλλὰ ἄθλησιν, ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἐγκωμίου ὄνομα καὶ ἐπαίνων μεγίστων.

ὑπομένειν] to sustain, here with the subsidiary notion of stedfastness and unweariedness.


Verses 32-39

Hebrews 10:32-39. There follows after the warning an arousing. Mindful of the Christian manliness which the readers had displayed in former days, they are not to lose Christian joyfulness, but rather with patience to persevere in the Christian life; for only quite a short time will now elapse before the return of Christ and the coming in of the promised fulness of blessing. Comp. Hebrews 6:9 ff.

Theodoret: ἐπειδὴ δὲ ταῦτα ἱκανὰ ἦν αὐτοὺς ἀνιᾶσαι, ὀλιγωρίαν αἰνιττόμενα καὶ τῶν θείων ἀμέλειαν, κεράννυσι τῶν εἰρημένων τὸ αὐστηρὸν τῇ μνήνῃ τῶν ἤδη κατορθωμένων. οὐδὲν γὰρ οὕτως εἰς προθυμίαν διεγείρει, ὡς τῶν οἰκείων κατορθωμάτων μνήμη.

Of the facts themselves, of which mention is made Hebrews 10:32-34, nothing further is known from other sources. That the author, as Bleek, II. 2, p. 707, thinks possible, had before his mind “the whole first period of the Christian church at Jerusalem, in which the church still held firmly together, and particularly the persecutions which preceded and followed the martyrdom of Stephen,” is hardly to be supposed. For only in a very indirect way could praise be bestowed upon the recipients of the Epistle to the Hebrews for their behaviour under these afflictions, seeing they formed a second generation of the Palestinian Christians, who, according to Hebrews 12:4, had as yet been spared persecutions having a bloody termination.


Verse 33

Hebrews 10:33. τοῦτο μὲντοῦτο δέ] on the one hand … on the other; partly … partly. A genuinely Greek formula (comp. Wetstein ad loc.). In the N. T. only here.

τοῦτο μὲν ὀνειδισμοῖς τε καὶ θλίψεσιν θεατριζόμενοι] in that, on the one hand, by conditions of infamy (Hebrews 11:26, Hebrews 13:13) and by tribulations, ye were made a spectacle (were exposed publicly to reviling). ὀνειδισμοί (belonging to the later period of the Greek language; see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 512) has reference to the assaults upon honour and good name, θλίψεις to assaults upon the person (the life) and outward possessions.

θεατριζόμενοι] comp. 1 Corinthians 4:9 : θέατρον ἐγενήθημεν τῷ κόσμῳ καὶ ἀγγὲλοις καὶ ἀνθρώποις. The verb only here and with the Church Fathers.

τοῦτο δὲ κοινωνοὶγενηθέντες] and, on the other hand, ye became associates (fellow-sufferers) … sc. by the administering of consolation, and by efforts for the alleviation of their sufferings. κοινωνοὶ γενηθέντες is elucidated by συνεπαθήσατε, Hebrews 10:34, thus alludes equally as the first half of the sentence to historic facts. Arbitrarily therefore Ebrard: the expression indicates that the readers, “by the act of their conversion, had become once for all associates in that community, of which they knew that it thus fared, or was thus wont to fare with it.”

τῶν οὕτως ἀναστρεφομένων] of those who were in such condition (sc. ἐν θλίψεσιν καὶ ὀνειδισμοῖς). Kypke, Storr, Böhme, Kuinoel, and others supplement the οὕτως from the πολλὴν ἄθλησιν ὑπεμείνατε παθημάτων, Hebrews 10:32 : of those who thus walked, i.e. sustained with great stedfastness the contest of sufferings. In favour of this interpretation the authority of the ordinary Biblical use of ἀναστρέφεσθαι may no doubt be urged. Since, however, πολλὴν ἄθλησιν ὑπεμείνατε παθημάτων, Hebrews 10:32, is the general statement, which afterwards, Hebrews 10:33, separates into two special subdivisions by means of τοῦτο μὲντοῦτο δέ, so οὕτως in the second member can only refer back to the immediately foregoing characterization in the first member.


Verse 34

Hebrews 10:34. Confirmatory elucidation of Hebrews 10:33, and that in such form that καὶσυνεπαθήσατε corresponds to the latter half of Hebrews 10:33, and καὶπροσεδέξασθε to the former half thereof.

καὶ γὰρ τοῖς δεσμίοις συνεπαθήσατε] for ye had both compassion (Hebrews 4:15) on the prisoners, in that ye bestowed upon them active sympathy.

καὶ τὴν ἁρπαγὴν τῶν ὑπαρχόντων ὑμῶν κ. τ. λ.] and also accepted (comp. Hebrews 11:35) with joy the plundering of your goods, with joy, or willingly submitted to it. Wrongly Heinrichs, according to whom προσδέχεσθαι, here expresses, at the same time, the idea of “exspectare” and of “recipere,” so that we have to translate: “ye looked for it.”

γινώσκοντες ἔχειν ἑαυτοῖς κρείττονα ὕπαρξιν καὶ μένουσαν] indication of motive for καὶ τὴν ἁρπαγὴν κ. τ. λ.: knowing that ye have for yourselves (as your true possession) a better property (Acts 2:45), and that an abiding one, namely, the spiritual, everlasting blessings of Christianity, of which no power of the earth can deprive you. Comp. Matthew 6:20; Luke 12:33.


Verse 35

Hebrews 10:35. Exhortation deduced from Hebrews 10:32-34. The self-sacrificing zeal for Christianity displayed in the past ought to animate the readers to a joyful maintenance of the same likewise in the present, since of a truth this very stedfastness in zeal leads to the longed-for goal.

ἀποβάλλειν] here not the involuntary losing (Jac. Cappellus, Lösner, and others), but the voluntary casting from one, or letting fall away (comp. Mark 10:50), as though it were a question only of a worthless, useless thing; μὴ ἀποβάλλειν thus the same as κατέχειν, Hebrews 10:23; Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 3:14, and κρατεῖν, Hebrews 4:14, Hebrews 6:18.

τὴν παῤῥησίαν ὑμῶν] your joyful confidence, sc. towards Christ as your Saviour. The free, courageous confession of Christianity before the world, of which Beza, Grotius, and others understand the expression, is only the consequence of the παῤῥησία, which here, too, as Hebrews 10:19; Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 4:16, denotes a frame of the mind.

ἥτις] which of a truth. Introduction of a well-known, indisputable verity.

μεγάλην μισθαποδοσίαν] great rewarding retribution (see at Hebrews 2:2), namely, the promised everlasting blessedness (Hebrews 10:36).

The present ἔχει, although the μισθαποδοσία is as yet something future, of the undoubted certainty of its containing in itself, or having as a consequence.


Verse 36

Hebrews 10:36. Justification of the foregoing exhortation μὴ ἀποβάλητε. It is true the readers have already distinguished themselves by Christian manliness; but what is needing to them in order to reach the goal is stedfastness and perseverance, since they are beginning to grow lukewarm in Christianity. ὑπομονῆς is therefore, as the principal notion, emphatically prefixed.

τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ] that which God wills, or requires, i.e. in accordance with the context: not merely the having become believers in Christ, but also the stedfast continuance in faith unto the end. Theophylact: θέλημα θεοῦ τὸ ἄχρι τέλους ὑπομεῖναι. Against the connection Bleek: τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ is “the sanctification of men by the sacrifice of the Son of God” (Hebrews 10:7; Hebrews 10:9-10), and consequently the ποιεῖν thereof the willing submission to be sanctified by the Redeemer. Too general the acceptation of Tholuck (similarly Stein and others): “the regulation [Normirung] of the life in accordance with the divine will,” without further limitation, is that which is meant.

ποιήσαντες] refers not to that which, according to Hebrews 10:32 ff., has already been accomplished by the readers (Bengel); nor does it denote something simultaneous with the κομίζεσθαι, or rather without regard to time therewith coinciding (Delitzsch, Alford); it is employed in a strictly aoristic sense, and points on to the future, inasmuch as the ποιῆσαι must already have become a completed fact, before the κομίζεσθαι, as yet belonging to the future, can be realized.

τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν] the promise, i.e. that which is promised, the promised everlasting blessedness.


Verse 37-38

Hebrews 10:37-38. Ground of encouragement to the ὑπομονή, of which the readers stood in need, expressed with a free application of the words of Habakkuk 2:3-4, according to the LXX. Continuance is necessary for the readers, and that continuance, indeed, only for a short time, since the return of Christ is to be looked for within a very short space of time, and then to those who have persevered in the faith everlasting life will be the portion conferred; the apostates, on the other hand, shall be overtaken by destruction.

The words ἔτι γὰρ μικρὸν ὅσον ὅσον are not a constituent part of the citation, but proceed from the author himself.

μικρὸν ὅσον ὅσον] is found Isaiah 26:20, and signifies literally: a little, how much, how much! i.e. a very, very little, or a very short time. μικρόν (John 14:19; John 16:16 ff.) is nominative,—not accusative to the question when, as is supposed by Bleek (but only in his larger Comm.; otherwise in his later Vorlesungen, p. 417), Bisping, Alford, and Hofmann, as also Meyer on John 13:33,—and nothing more than ἐστίν is to be supplemented to the same (see Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 544). The reduplication of the ὅσον, however, serves for the significant strengthening of the notion. To be compared Aristoph. Vesp. 213: τί οὐκ ἀπεκοιμήθημεν ὅσον ὅσον στίλην; Arrian, Indic. xxix. 15: ὀλίγοι δὲ αὐτῶν σπείρουσιν ὅσον ὅσον τῆς χώρης. See Hermann, ad Viger. 726.

ἐρχόμενος ἥξει καὶ οὐ χρονιεῖ] and then He that cometh will come, and will not delay.

LXX. l.c. Hebrews 10:3 : διότι ἔτι ὅρασις εἰς καιρὸν καὶ ἀνατελεῖ εἰς πέρας καὶ οὐκ εἰς κενόν· ἐὰν ὑστερήσῃ, ὑπόμεινον αὐτόν, ὅτι ἐρχόμενος ἥξει καὶ οὐ μὴ χρονίσῃ. In the sense of the prophet, the discourse is of the certain fulfilment of the prophecy regarding the overthrow of the Chaldees. The LXX., however, wrongly translated the words, and as the ἐρχόμενος looked upon either God or the Messiah, of whom also the later Jewish theologians interpreted the passage (see Wetstein ad loc.). Of the Messiah the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews also understands the expression, and therefore adds the article to ἐρχόμενος. In like manner ἐρχόμενος appears, Matthew 11:3, Luke 7:19, as a current appellation of the Messiah (based upon Daniel 7:13; Zechariah 9:9; Malachi 3:1; Psalms 40:8 (7), Psalms 118:26). Only in the instances mentioned the first appearing of the Messiah upon earth is intended, whereas in our passage (as also very frequently by ἔρχεσθαι elsewhere in the N. T., e.g. 1 Corinthians 11:26; Acts 1:11; Matthew 16:27-28; John 21:22-23) the return of Christ, as of the Messiah crucified upon earth and exalted to heaven, for the consummation of the kingdom of God, is that which is referred to. Arbitrarily Carpzov, Heinrichs, Bloomfield, Ebrard, and others: a coming for the destruction of Jerusalem, is here to be thought of.


Verse 38

Hebrews 10:38. Continuation of the citation, yet so that the author adduces the two clauses of Habakkuk 2:4 in inverted order. For in the O. T. passage the words read: ἐὰν ὑποστείληται, οὐκ εὐδοκεῖ ψυχή μου ἐν αὐτῷ· δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεώς μου [ δὲ δίκαιός μου ἐκ πίστεως] ζήσεται. The transposition is intentional, in order to avoid the supplying of the subject ἐρχόμενος to ὑποστείληται.

δὲ δίκαιός μου ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται] my (of God, not of Christ: Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 621, Obs.) righteous one (the devout man belonging to me), however, shall live by faith. ἐκ πίστεως, namely, is, in the sense of the author of the epistle, to be referred to ζήσεται. To conjoin it here, too, as Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11, with δίκαιος (so Baumgarten, Schulz, Böhme, Kuinoel, Klee, Stengel, al.), is inadmissible, because, according to the connection, the design is not to state by what any one becomes δίκαιος, but by what he will obtain the ἐπαγγελία, or, what is the same thing, the ζωὴ αἰώνιος. The notion of the πίστις here closely attaches itself to the Hebrew אמוּנָה. The meaning, in harmony with the conception prevailing elsewhere in the Epistle to the Hebrews, divergent from that of Paul, is the believing, faithfully enduring trust in God and His promises. The second member, καὶ ἐὰν ὑποστείληται κ. τ. λ., has been misunderstood by the LXX. In the Hebrew: הִנֵּה עֻפְּלַה לֹא־יָשְׁרָה נַפְשׁוֹ בֹּו, behold, lifted up, not upright is his (sc. the Chaldean’s) soul in him.

ἐὰν ὑποστείληται] if so be that he with faint heart draws back. Comp. Galatians 2:12. In the application: if he becomes lukewarm in Christianity, and apostatizes from the same. ὑποστείληται does not stand impersonally; nor have we, with Grotius, Maier, and others, to supply τίς, or, with de Wette, Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 487 (less decidedly, 5 Aufl. p. 427), and Buttmann, Gramm. des neutest. Sprachgebr. p. 117, to supplement from the foregoing δίκαιος the general idea ἄνθρωπος as subject. The subject is still the foregoing δίκαιός μου. This is, moreover, placed beyond doubt, since δίκαιος above is not to be taken in the narrower Pauline sense, but in the general sense of the devout man; he, however, who is in this sense δίκαιος, ceases by the ὑποστέλλεσθαι, to be a δίκαιος.

ψυχή μου] μου has reference to God, not to Christ (Oecumenius, as likewise, but with hesitation, Theophylact, as more recently Riehm, l.c.), still less to the author of the epistle (Calvin: perinde accipiendum est, ac si ex suo sensu apostolus proferret hanc sententiam. Neque enim illi propositum fuit exacte recitare prophetae verba, sed duntaxat locum notare, ut ad propriorem intuitum invitaret lectores).


Verse 39

Hebrews 10:39. The author expresses his confidence that the readers and himself belong not to the class of men who, because they draw back from Christianity out of cowardly misgiving, fall a prey to destruction, but rather to the class of those who do not grow weary in the Christian faith, and therefore attain to life. This expression of confidence is in its essence an admonition, and indeed a more urgent one than though the direct form of exhortation had been chosen.

To ἐσμέν Grotius, Wolf, Carpzov, Heinrichs, and many others erroneously supplement τέκνα or υἱοί. For εἶναι, with the mere genitive, is a well-known genuinely Greek manner of expressing a relation of pertaining to a thing. See Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 165; Kühner, II. p. 167.

εἰς ἀπώλειανεἰς περιποίησιν ζωῆς] Corroborative allusion to the result of the two opposite lines of action.

ἀπώλεια is everlasting perdition, and περιποίησις ψυχῆς (comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 : εἰς περιποίησιν σωτηρίας) gaining of the soul, i.e. everlasting life and everlasting blessedness. Wrongly Ebrard: of the bodily deliverance from the judgment impending over Jerusalem, is the discourse to be understood.

ψυχῆς, moreover, belongs simply to περιποίησιν, not already, as Böhme and Hofmann will have it, to ἀπώλειαν, since only περιποί., not also ἀπώλ., stood in need of an addition.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/hebrews-10.html. 1832.

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