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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Hebrews 1:5

For to which of the angels did He ever say, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU"? And again, "I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME"?

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee - These words are quoted from Psalm 2:7, a psalm that seems to refer only to the Messiah; and they are quoted by St. Paul, Acts 13:33, as referring to the resurrection of Christ. And this application of them is confirmed by the same apostle, Romans 1:4, as by his resurrection from the dead he was declared - manifestly proved, to be the Son of God with power; God having put forth his miraculous energy in raising that body from the grave which had truly died, and died a violent death, for Christ was put to death as a malefactor, but by his resurrection his innocence was demonstrated, as God could not work a miracle to raise a wicked man from the dead. As Adam was created by God, and because no natural generation could have any operation in this case, therefore he was called the son of God, Luke 3:38, and could never have seen corruption if he had not sinned, so the human nature of Jesus Christ, formed by the energy of the eternal Spirit in the womb of the virgin, without any human intervention, was for this very reason called the Son of God, Luke 1:35; and because it had not sinned, therefore it could not see corruption, nor was it even mortal, but through a miraculous display of God's infinite love, for the purpose of making a sacrificial atonement for the sin of the world and God, having raised this sacrificed human nature from the dead, declared that same Jesus (who was, as above stated, the Son of God) to be his Son, the promised Messiah; and as coming by the Virgin Mary, the right heir to the throne of David, according to the uniform declaration of all the prophets.

The words, This day have I begotten thee, must refer either to his incarnation, when he was miraculously conceived in the womb of the virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit; or to his resurrection from the dead, when God, by this sovereign display of his almighty energy, declared him to be his Son, vindicated his innocence, and also the purity and innocence of the blessed virgin, who was the mother of this son, and who declared him to be produced in her womb by the power of God. The resurrection of Christ, therefore, to which the words most properly refer, not only gave the fullest proof that he was an innocent and righteous man, but also that he had accomplished the purpose for which he died, and that his conception was miraculous, and his mother a pure and unspotted virgin.

This is a subject of infinite importance to the Christian system, and of the last consequence in reference to the conviction and conversion of the Jews, for whose use this epistle was sent by God. Here is the rock on which they split; they deny this Divine Sonship of Jesus Christ, and their blasphemies against him and his virgin mother are too shocking to be transcribed. The certainty of the resurrection of Jesus refutes their every calumny; proves his miraculous conception; vindicates the blessed virgin; and, in a word, declares him to be the Son of God with power.

This most important use of this saying has passed unnoticed by almost every Christian writer which I have seen; and yet it lies here at the foundation of all the apostle's proofs. If Jesus was not thus the Son of God, the whole Christian system is vain and baseless: but his resurrection demonstrates him to have been the Son of God; therefore every thing built on this foundation is more durable than the foundations of heaven, and as inexpugnable as the throne of the eternal King.

He shall be to me a Son? - As the Jews have ever blasphemed against the Sonship of Christ, it was necessary that the apostle should adduce and make strong all his proofs, and show that this was not a new revelation; that it was that which was chiefly intended in several scriptures of the Old Testament, which, without farther mentioning the places where found, he immediately produces. This place, which is quoted from 2 Samuel 7:14, shows us that the seed which God promised to David, and who was to sit upon his throne, and whose throne should be established for ever, was not Solomon, but Jesus Christ; and indeed he quotes the words so as to intimate that they were so understood by the Jews. See among the observations at the end of the chapter.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https: 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For unto which of the angels … - The object of this is, to prove that the Son of God, who has spoken to people in these last days, is superior to the angels. As the apostle was writing to those who had been trained in the Jewish religion, and who admitted the authority of the Old Testament, of course he made his appeal to that, and undoubtedly referred for proof to those places which were generally admitted to relate to the Messiah. Abarbanel says, that it was the common opinion of the Jewish doctors that the Messiah would be exalted above Abraham, Moses, and the angels - Stuart. There is a difficulty, as we shall see, in applying the passages which follow to the Messiah - a difficulty which we may find it not easy to explain. Some remarks will be made on the particular passages as we go along. In general it may be observed here:

(1) That it is to be presumed that those passages were in the time of Paul applied to the Messiah. He seems to argue from them as though this was commonly understood, and is at no pains to prove it.

(2) it is to be presumed that those to whom he wrote would at once admit this to be so. If this were not so, we cannot suppose that he would regard this mode of reasoning as at all efficacious, or adapted to convince those to whom he wrote.

(3) he did not apprehend that the application which he made of these texts would be called in question by the countrymen of those to whom he wrote. It is to be presumed, therefore, that the application was made in accordance with the received opinions, and the common interpretation.

(4) Paul had been instructed in early life in the doctrines of the Jewish religion, and made fully acquainted with all their principles of interpretation. It is to be presumed, therefore, that he made these quotations in accordance with the prevalent belief, and with principles which were well understood and admitted.

(5) every age and people have their own modes of reasoning. They may differ from others, and others may regard them as unsound, and yet to that age and people they are satisfactory and conclusive. The ancient philosophers employed modes of reasoning which would not strike us as the most forcible, and which perhaps we should not regard as tenable. So it is with the Chinese, the Hindus, the Muslims now. So it was with the writers of the dark ages who lived under the influence of the scholastic philosophy. They argue from admitted principles in their country and time - just as we do in ours. Their reasoning was as satisfactory to them as ours is to us.

(6) in a writer of any particular age we are to expect to find the prevailing mode of reasoning, and appeals to the usual arguments on any subject. We are not to look for methods of argument founded on the inductive philosophy in the writings of the schoolmen, or in the writings of the Chinese or the Hindus. It would be unreasonable to expect it. We are to expect that they will be found to reason in accordance with the customs of their time; to appeal to such arguments as were commonly alleged; and if they are reasoning with an adversary, “to make use of the points which he concedes,” and to urge them as suited to convince “him.” And this is not wrong. It may strike him with more force than it does us; it may be that we can see that is not the most solid mode of reasoning, but still it may not be in itself an improper method. That the writers of the New Testament should have used that mode of reasoning sometimes, is no more surprising than that we find writers in China reasoning from acknowledged principles, and in the usual manner there, or than that people in our own land reason on the principles of the inductive philosophy. These remarks may not explain all the difficulties in regard to the proof-texts adduced by Paul in this chapter, but they may remove some of them, and may so prepare the way that we may be able to dispose of them all as we advance. In the passage which is quoted in this verse, there is not much difficulty in regard to the propriety of its being thus used. The difficulty lies in the subsequent quotations in the chapter.

Said he at any time - He never used language respecting the angels like what he employs respecting his Son. He never applied to any one of them the name Son. “Thou art my Son.” The name “sons of God,” is applied in the Scriptures to saints, and may have been given to the angels. But the argument here is, that the name, my “Son” has never been given to any one of them particularly and by eminence. In a large general sense, they are the sons of God, or the children of God, but the name is given to the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, in a special sense, implying a unique relation to him, and a special dominion over all things. This passage is quoted from Psalm 2:1-12; - a Psalm that is usually believed to pertain particularly to the Messiah, and one of the few Psalms that have undisputed reference to him; see notes on Acts 4:25; Acts 13:33.

This day - see notes on Acts 13:33, where this passage is applied to the resurrection of Christ from the dead: proving that the phrase “this day” does not refer to the doctrine of eternal generation, but to the resurrection of the Redeemer - “the first-begotten of the dead:” Revelation 1:5. Thus, Theodoret says of the phrase “this day,” “it does not express his eternal generation, but what is connected with time.” The argument of the apostle here does not turn on the time when this was said, but on the fact that this was said to him and not to any one of the angels, and this argument will have equal force whether the phrase be understood as referring to the fact of his resurrection, or to his previous existence. The structure and scope of the second Psalm refers to his exaltation after the kings of the earth set themselves against him, and endeavored to cast off His government from them. In spite of that, and subsequent to that, he would set his king, which they had rejected, on his holy hill of Zion; see Psalm 2:2-6.

Have I begotten thee - See this place explained in the notes on Acts 13:33. It must, from the necessity of the case, be understood figuratively; and must mean, substantially, “I have constituted, or appointed thee.” If it refers to his resurrection, it means that that resurrection was a kind of “begetting” to life, or, a beginning of life; see Revelation 1:5.

And yet though Paul Acts 13:33 has applied it to the resurrection of the Redeemer, and though the name “Son of God” is applied to him on account of his resurrection (see notes on Romans 1:4), yet I confess this does not seem to me to come up to “all” that the writer here intended. The phrase,” The Son of God,” I suppose, properly denotes that the Lord Jesus sustained a relation to God, designated by that name, corresponding to the relations which he sustained to man, designated by the name “the Son of man.” The one implied that he had a special relation to God, as the other implied that he had a special relation to man. This is indisputable. But on what particular account the name was given him, or how he was manifested to be the Son of God, has been the great question. Whether the name refers to the mode of his existence before the incarnation, and to his “being begotten from eternity,” or to the incarnation and the resurrection, has long been a point on which people have been divided in opinion.

The natural idea conveyed by the title “the Son of God” is, that he sustained a relation to God which implied more than was human or angelic; and this is certainly the drift of the argument of the apostle here. I do not see, however, that he refers to the doctrine of “eternal generation,” or that he means to teach that. His point is, that God had declared and treated him as “a Son” - as superior to the angels and to human beings, and that this was shown in what had been said of him in the Old Testament. This would be equally clear, whether there is reference to the doctrine of eternal generation or not. The sense is, “he is more than human.” He is more than angelic. He has been addressed and treated as a Son - which none of the angels have. They are regarded simply as ministering spirits. They sustain subordinate stations, and are treated accordingly. He, on the contrary, is the brightness of the divine glory.

He is treated and addressed as a Son. In his original existence this was so. In his incarnation this was so. When on earth this was so; and in his resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of God, he was treated in all respects “as a Son” - as superior to all servants, and to all ministering spirits.” The exact reference, then, of the phrase “this day have I begotten thee,” in the Psalm, is to the act of “constituting” him in a public manner the Son of God - and refers to God‘s setting him as king on the “holy hill of Zion” - or making him king over the church and the world as Messiah; and this was done, eminently, as Paul shows Psalm 95:7; Hebrews 4:7. The order of the second Psalm, too, certainly does prove that the “begetting” took place after the opposition which the kings and rulers made to Christ, and not prior to it. Accordingly, the text is quoted elsewhere in reference to the resurrection of Christ, Romans 1:4; Acts 13:33. Besides, the chief design of the apostle in the place is not so much to show why Christ is called the Son of God, as simply to direct attention to the fact that he has this name, on the possession of which the whole argument is founded. He inherits a name which is never given to angels, and that of itself is proof of his superiority to them, whether we suppose the ground of the title to lie in his previous existence, or, with our author, in his incarnate Deity. But on this question, it must be admitted, that the passage determines nothing.

All this is substantially allowed by Owen, than whom a more stanch supporter of the doctrine of eternal Sonship cannot be named. “The apostle, in this place,” says he, “does not treat of the eternal generation of the Son, but of His exaltation and pre-eminence above angels. The word also, היום haayowmconstantly in the Scripture, denotes some signal time, one day, or more. And that expression, ‹this day have I begotten thee,‘ following immediately upon that other typical one, ‹I have set my King upon my holy hill of Zion,‘ seems to be of the same import, and in like manner to be interpreted.” On the general doctrine of the Sonship, the author has stated his views both here and elsewhere. That it is eternal or has its origin in the previous existence of Christ, he will not allow. It is given to the second person of the Trinity because he became God incarnate, so that but for the incarnation and the economy of redemption, he would not have had this name. But the eternal Sonship of Christ rests on a body of evidence, that will not soon or easily be set aside. See that evidence adduced in a supplementary Note under Romans 1:4. Meanwhile we would simply ask the reader, if it do not raise our idea of the love of God, in the mission of Christ, to suppose that he held the dear relation of Son previous to His coming - that being the Son, he was sent to prove what a sacrifice the Father could make, in yielding up one so near, and so dear. But this astonishing evidence of love, if not destroyed, is greatly weakened, by the supposition that there was no Sonship until the sending of Christ. See also supplementary note under Hebrews 1:3.)

“And again, I will be to him a Father.” This passage is evidently quoted from 2 Samuel 7:14. A sentiment similar to this is found in Psalm 89:20-27. As these words were originally spoken, they referred to Solomon. They occur in a promise to David that he should not fail to have an heir to sit on his throne, or that his throne should be perpetual. The promise was particularly designed to comfort him in view of the fact that God would not suffer him to build the temple because his hands had been defiled with blood. To console him in reference to that, God promises him far greater honor than that would be. He promises that the house should be built by one of his own family, and that his family and kingdom should be established forever. That in this series of promises the “Messiah” was included as a descendant of David, was the common opinion of the Jews, of the early Christians, and has been of the great body of interpreters.

It was certainly from such passages as this, that the Jews derived the notion which prevailed so universally in the time of the Saviour that the Messiah was to be the son or the descendant of David; see Matthew 22:42-45; Matthew 9:27; Matthew 15:22; Matthew 20:30-31; Mark 10:47-48; Luke 18:38-39; Matthew 12:23; Matthew 21:9; John 7:42; Romans 1:3; Revelation 5:5; Revelation 22:16. That opinion was universal. No one doubted it; and it must have been common for the Jews to apply such texts as this to the Messiah. Paul would not have done it in this instance unless it had been usual. Nor was it improper. If the Messiah was to be a descendant of David, then it was natural to apply these promises in regard to his posterity in an eminent and special sense to the Messiah. They were a part of the promises which included him, and which terminated in him. The promise, therefore, which is here made is, that God would be to him, in a special sense, a Father, and he should be a Son. It does not, as I suppose, pertain originally exclusively to the Messiah, but included him as a descendant of David. To him it would be applicable in an eminent sense; and if applicable to him at all, it proved all that the passage here is adduced to prove - that the name “Son” is given to the Messiah - a “name” not given to angels.

That is just the point on which the argument turns. What is implied in the bestowment of that name is another point on which the apostle discourses in the other parts of the argument. I have no doubt, therefore, that while these words originally might have been applicable to Solomon, or to any of the other descendants of David who succeeded him on the throne, yet they at last terminated, and were designed to terminate in the Messiah - to whom pre-eminently God would be a Father; compare the introduction to Isaiah, section 7, iii. (3), and the notes on Isaiah 7:16.

(The promise, doubtless, had a special reference to the Messiah. Nay, we may safely assert, that the chief reference was to him, for in the case of typical persons and things what they adumbrate is principally to be regarded. So here, though the original application of the passage be to Solomon, the type of Christ, yet it finds its great and ultimate application in the person of the glorious antitype. However strange this double application may seem to us, it is quite in accordance with the whole system of things under the Jewish dispensation. Almost everything connected with it was constructed on this typical principle. This the apostles understood so well, that they were never stumbled by it, and what is remarkable, and of the last importance on this subject, “never for a moment drawn from the ultimate and chief design of a promise or prophecy” by its primary reference to the type. They saw Christ in it, and made the application solely to him, passing over entirely the literal sense, and seizing at once the ultimate and superior import. The very passage in question 2 Samuel 7:11-17, is thus directly applied not only here, but throughout the New Testament; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 2:30, Acts 2:37; Acts 13:22-23. Now certainly the apostles are the best judges in matters of this kind. Their authority, in regard to the sense of passages quoted by them from the Old Testament, is just as great as in the case of the original matter of the New Testament. That Christ was indeed principally intended is further evident from the fact, that “when the kingdom had passed from the house of David,” succeeding prophets repeat the promise in Jeremiah 33:14, Jeremiah 33:26. Now connecting this fact with the direct assertion of the writer of the New Testament above referred to, every doubt must be removed.

It will be alleged, however, that while the direct application to the Messiah, of this and other prophecies, is obvious and authoritative, it is yet desirable, and they who deny inspiration will insist on it as essential, to prove that there is at least nothing in the original places, whence the citations are made, inconsistent with such application. Such proof seems to be especially requisite here; for immediately after the words, “I will be his Father and he shall be my Son,” there follows: “if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men,” 2 Samuel 7:14; which last sentence, it is affirmed, cannot, in any sense, be applicable to the Messiah. It has been said in reply, that though such language cannot be applied to Christ “personally,” it may yet refer to him as the “covenant head” of his people. Though there be no iniquity in him, “such fallings and transgressions as disannul not the covenant, often fall out on their part for whom he undertaketh therein.” In accordance with this view, it has been observed by Mr. Pierce, and others after him, that the Hebrew relative pronoun אשׁר 'ashershould be translated “whosoever;” in which case, the sense is, whosoever of his “children,” that is, the Messiah‘s, shall commit iniquity, etc. And to this effect indeed is the alteration of the words in Psalm 89, where the original covenant is repeated, “if his children forsake my law - then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.”

Perhaps, however, the better solution of the difficulty is what at once admits, that the words in question cannot apply to the antitype but to the type only. It is a mistake to suppose, that in a typical passage every thing must necessarily have its antitypical reference. The reader will find some excellent and apposite remarks on this subject in Dr. Owen‘s commentary on the place. “No type,” says that judicious writer, “was in all things a type of Christ, but only in that particular wherein he was designed of God so to be. David was a type of Christ, but not in all things that he was and did. In his conquests of the enemies of the church, in his throne and kingdom, he was so; but in his private actions, whether as a man, or as a king, or captain, he was not so. Nay, not all things spoken of him that was a type, even in those respects wherein he was a type, are spoken of him as a type, or have any respect unto the thing signified, but some of them may belong to him in his personal capacity only. And the reason is, that he who was a type by God‘s institution, might morally fail in the performance of his duty, even then and in those things wherein he was a type. And this wholly removes the difficulty connected with the words ‹if he sin against me;‘ for those words relating to the moral duty of Solomon, in that wherein he was a type of Christ, namely, the rule and administration of his kingdom, may not at all belong to Christ, who was prefigured by God‘s institution of things, and not in any moral deportment in the observance of them.”

These observations seem to contain the true principles of explication in this and similar cases. The solution of Prof. Stuart is not materially different. “Did not God,” says he, “engage, that David should have successors on his ‹earthly‘ throne, and also that he ‹should‘ have a son who would sit on a ‹spiritual‘ throne, and have a kingdom of which David‘s own was but a mere type? Admitting this, our difficulty is diminished if not removed. “The iniquity committed is predicated of that part of David‘s seed, who might commit it,” that is, his successors on the ‹national‘ throne, while the more exalted condition predicated of his successor, belongs to Him to whom was given a kingdom over all.”)

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, This day have I begotten thee? and again, I will be to him a father, And he shall be to me a Son?

Ps. 2:7,2 Samuel 7:14 are the two passages cited, both of which sustain the sonship of Christ. Now, all Christians are "Sons of God," and it is thought that even the angels bear this designation too (see Job 1:6; 38:7); but in the lofty sense intended here, no angel was ever called a son of God. In modern times, Jewish expositors have tried to remove the Messianic application of Psalms 2:7; but the fact remains that both the author and the readers of Hebrews accepted it as a true prophetic reference to the Messiah.

Pierce (as quoted by Macknight) affirms that the second Psalm belongs wholly to Messiah; and proves by passages from the writings of the ancient Jewish doctors, that they applied it to Messiah; and that some of the later doctors acknowledged "it advisable to apply the Psalm of David, in order to the better answering of the heretics" (meaning Christians).[12]

Apostolic authority for accepting it as reference to Christ comes from Peter's application of the first three verses to him in Acts 4:25. The question framing both these citations is clearly for the purpose of eliciting a negative response from the readers to the effect, "No, God, thou hast never referred to an angel as thy Son." But of course, he did so address the Messiah.

"This day have I begotten thee" is a statement upon which such things as the so-called "eternal Sonship" and other implications are said to rest. Although widely received, the doctrine of the eternal Sonship of Christ is not supported by this epistle, nor by anything else in the scripture. In truth, the scriptures deny such a teaching. By prophecy, Isaiah called Christ "everlasting Father" (Isaiah 9:6), a patent contradiction of the notion that he was eternally a son. Christ is called God no less than ten times in the Greek New Testament; and the mind cannot accept an idea of true deity that is tainted with any possible kind of inferiority. (See under Hebrews 1:8.) This expositor agrees with the words of John Wesley, as quoted by Adam Clarke:

In 1781 he (John Wesley) published in the fourth volume of the Arminian Magazine, p, 384, an article entitled "An Arian Antidote"; in this are the following words: "greater or lesser in infinity, is not; inferior Godhead shocks our sense; Jesus was inferior to the Father as touching his manhood (John 14:28); he was a son given and slain intentionally from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), and the firstborn from the dead of every creature (Colossians 1:15-18). But our Redeemer from everlasting (Isaiah 63:16) had not the inferior name of Son."[13]

To what, then, do the words "This day have I begotten thee" apply? An apostle has given the sure and certain answers; for, in the synagogue at Antioch, Paul said, "God hath raised up Jesus; as also it is written in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee" (Acts 13:33). Thus, the begetting mentioned in this place is the resurrection of Christ. It was the resurrection that established all that Christ said and did, confirming the virgin birth, the incarnation, the miracles, the prophecies, everything. Christ, therefore, in his risen human nature and united with Godhead, also glorified with the title of Son, in such a supremely exalted state, was and is far above all angels.

[12] James Macknight, op. cit., p. 510.

[13] Adam Clarke, op. cit., p. 694.

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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https: Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For unto which of the angels said he at any time,.... That is, he never said to any of the angels what he has said to Christ; namely, what follows,

thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee for though angels are called the sons of God, Job 1:6 yet are never said to be begotten by him; or, with this clause annexed to it, "this day have I begotten thee"; nor are they ever so called in a proper sense, or in such sense as Christ is: this is said to Christ, and of him, in Psalm 2:7 and that agreeably to the sense of the Jewish church at this time, or the apostle would never have produced it to the Hebrews in such a manner; and not only the whole psalm in general, but this verse in particular, is owned by Jewish writersF20Zohar in Numb. fol. 82. 2. Maimon. in Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 11. 1. & Abarbinel, Mashmia Jeshua, fol. 37. 4. & 38. 1. , both ancient and modern, to belong to the Messiah. Christ is the Son of God, not by Creation, nor by adoption, nor by office, but by nature; he is the true, proper, natural, and eternal Son of God; and as such is owned and declared by Jehovah the Father, in these words; the foundation of which relation lies in the begetting of him; which refers not to his nature, either divine or human: not to his divine nature, which is common with the Father and Spirit; wherefore if his was begotten, theirs must be also, being the same undivided nature, common to all three; much less to his human nature, in which he is never said to be begotten, but always to be made, and with respect to which he is without Father; nor to his office, as Mediator, in which he is not a Son, but a servant; besides, he was a Son, previous to his being a prophet, priest, and King; and his office is not the foundation of his sonship, but his sonship is the foundation of his office; or by which that is supported, and which fits him for the performance of it: but it has respect to his divine person; for as, in human generation, person begets person, and like begets like, so it is in divine generation; though care must be taken to remove all imperfection from it, as divisibility and multiplication of essence, priority and posteriority, dependence, and the like; nor can the modus, or manner of it, be conceived, or explained by us: the date of it, today, designs eternity, as in Isaiah 43:13, which is one continued day, an everlasting now; and this may be applied to any time and case, in which Christ is declared to be the Son of God; as at his incarnation, his baptism, his transfiguration on the Mount, and his resurrection from the dead, as in Acts 13:33 and at his ascension to heaven, when he was made Lord and Christ, and his divine sonship more manifestly appeared; which seems to be the time, and case, more especially referred to here. And again, I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a Son: which words are taken from 2 Samuel 7:14 and the sense is, not that he should be his son by adoption; or that he would be instead of a father to him; or that he should be as dear to him as a son is to a father; but that he was really and properly so; and he would make it manifest, and own him as such, as he did at Jordan's river, upon the Mount, and at his resurrection and ascension; though the words are spoken of Solomon, as a type of Christ, they properly belong to the antitype, who is greater than Solomon.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https: 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, k this day have I begotten thee? 6 And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

(5) He proves and confirms the dignity of Christ revealed in the flesh, by these six evident testimonies by which it appears that he far surpasses all angels, so much so that he is called both Son, and God in (Hebrews 1:5-8) , (Hebrews 1:10) , (Hebrews 1:13).

(k) The Father begat the Son from everlasting, but that everlasting generation was revealed and represented to the world in his time, and therefore he added this word "Today" {(6)} He proves and confirms the dignity of Christ revealed in the flesh, by these six evident testimonies by which it appears that he far surpasses all angels, so much so that he is called both Son, and God in (Hebrews 1:5-8) , (Hebrews 1:10) , (Hebrews 1:13).

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https: 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

For — substantiating His having “obtained a more excellent name than the angels.”

unto which — A frequent argument in this Epistle is derived from the silence of Scripture (Hebrews 1:13; Hebrews 2:16; Hebrews 7:3, Hebrews 7:14) [Bengel].

this day have I begotten thee — (Psalm 2:7). Fulfilled at the resurrection of Jesus, whereby the Father “declared,” that is, made manifest His divine Sonship, heretofore veiled by His humiliation (Acts 13:33; Romans 1:4). Christ has a fourfold right to the title “Son of God”; (1) By generation, as begotten of God; (2) By commission, as sent by God; (3) By resurrection, as “the first-begotten of the dead” (compare Luke 20:36; Romans 1:4; Revelation 1:5); (4) By actual possession, as heir of all [Bishop Pearson]. The Psalm here quoted applied primarily in a less full sense to Solomon, of whom God promised by Nathan to David. “I will be his father and he shall be my son.” But as the whole theocracy was of Messianic import, the triumph of David over Hadadezer and neighboring kings (2 Samuel 8:1-18; Psalm 2:2, Psalm 2:3, Psalm 2:9-12) is a type of God‘s ultimately subduing all enemies under His Son, whom He sets (Hebrew, “anointed,” Psalm 2:6) on His “holy hill of Zion,” as King of the Jews and of the whole earth. the antitype to Solomon, son of David. The “I” in Greek is emphatic; I the Everlasting Father have begotten Thee this day, that is, on this day, the day of Thy being manifested as My Son, “the first-begotten of the dead” (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5). when Thou hast ransomed and opened heaven to Thy people. He had been always Son, but now first was manifested as such in His once humbled, now exalted manhood united to His Godhead. Alford refers “this day” to the eternal generation of the Son: the day in which the Son was begotten by the Father is an everlasting to-day: there never was a yesterday or past time to Him, nor a to-morrow or future time: “Nothing there is to come, and nothing past, but an eternal NOW doth ever last” (Proverbs 30:4; John 10:30, John 10:38; John 16:28; John 17:8). The communication of the divine essence in its fullness, involves eternal generation; for the divine essence has no beginning. But the context refers to a definite point of time, namely, that of His having entered on the inheritance (Hebrews 1:4). The “bringing the first-begotten into the world” (Hebrews 1:6), is not subsequent, as Alford thinks, to Hebrews 1:5, but anterior to it (compare Acts 2:30-35).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https: 1871-8.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

5. This verse describes what theologians call “the eternal generation of the Son.”

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Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Unto which (ΤινιTini). “To which individual angel.” As a class angels are called sons of God (Elohim) (Psalm 29:1), but no single angel is called God‘s Son like the Messiah in Psalm 2:7. Dods takes “have I begotten thee” (γεγεννηκα σεgegennēka se perfect active indicative of γενναωgennaō) to refer to the resurrection and ascension while others refer it to the incarnation.

And again (και παλινkai palin). This quotation is from 2 Samuel 7:14. Note the use of ειςeis in the predicate with the sense of “as” like the Hebrew (lxx idiom), not preserved in the English. See Matthew 19:5; Luke 2:34. Like Old English “to” or “for.” See 2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 21:7 for the same passage applied to relation between God and Christians while here it is treated as Messianic.

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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https: Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

d The writer proceeds to establish the superiority of the Son to the angels by O.T. testimony. It is a mode of argument which does not appeal strongly to us. Dr. Bruce suggests that there are evidences that the writer himself developed it perfunctorily and without much interest in it. The seven following quotations are intended to show the surpassing excellence of Christ's name as set forth in Scripture. The quotations present difficulty in that they appear, in great part, to be used in a sense and with an application different from those which they originally had. All that can be said is, that the writer takes these passages as messianic, and applies them accordingly; and that we must distinguish between the doctrine and the method of argumentation peculiar to the time and people. Certain passages in Paul are open to the same objection, as Galatians 3:16; Galatians 4:22-25.

To which ( τίνι )

Note the author's characteristic use of the question to express denial. Comp. Hebrews 1:14; Hebrews 2:3; Hebrews 3:17; Hebrews 7:11; Hebrews 12:7.

First quotation from Psalm 2:7. The Psalm is addressed as a congratulatory ode to a king of Judah, declaring his coming triumph over the surrounding nations, and calling on them to render homage to the God of Israel. The king is called Son of Jahveh, and is said to be “begotten” on the day on which he is publicly recognized as king. Words of the same Psalm are quoted Acts 4:25, and these words Acts 13:33.

Thou art my Son

Note the emphatic position of υἱός sonSee on Hebrews 1:4. In the O.T. son is applied to angels collectively, but never individually. See Psalm 29:1; Psalm 89:6. Similarly, son is applied to the chosen nation, Exodus 4:22; Hosea 11:1, but to no individual of the nation.

Have I begotten ( γεγέννηκα )

Recognized thee publicly as sovereign; established thee in an official sonship-relation. This official installation appears to have its N.T. counterpart in the resurrection of Christ. In Acts 13:33, this is distinctly asserted; and in Romans 1:4, Paul says that Christ was “powerfully declared” to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead. Comp. Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5.

Second quotation, 2 Samuel 7:14. The reference is to Solomon. David proposes to build a temple. Nathan tells him that this shall be done by Solomon, whom Jahveh will adopt as his son. In 2 Corinthians 6:18, Paul applies the passage to followers of the Messiah, understanding the original as referring to all the spiritual children of David.

A father - a son ( εἰς πατέρα - εἰς υἱόν )

Lit. for or as a father - son. This usage of εἰς mostly in O.T. citations or established formulas. See Matthew 19:5; Luke 2:34; Acts 19:27; 1 Corinthians 4:3.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https: Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

Thou art my Son — God of God, Light of Light.

This day have I begotten thee — I have begotten thee from eternity, which, by its unalter able permanency of duration, is one continued, unsuccessive day.

I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son — I will own myself to be his Father, and him to be my Son, by eminent tokens of my peculiar love The former clause relates to his natural Sonship, by an eternal, inconceivable generation; the other, to his Father's acknowledgment and treatment of him as his incarnate Son. Indeed this promise related immediately to Solomon, but in a far higher sense to the Messiah. Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

These quotations are from Hebrews 1:5; Psalms 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14, and are here considered as applicable to the Messiah. The meaning is, that Jesus was the Son of God, and that, too, in a sense altogether distinctive and peculiar.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https: 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

5. Thou art my Son, etc. It cannot be denied but that this was spoken of David, that is, as he sustained the person of Christ. Then the things found in this Psalm must have been shadowed forth in David, but were fully accomplished in Christ. For that he by subduing many enemies around him, enlarged the borders of his kingdom, it was some foreshadowing of the promise, “I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance.” But how little was this in comparison with the amplitude of Christ’s kingdom, which extends from the east to the west? For the same reason David was called the son of God, having been especially chosen to perform great things; but his glory was hardly a spark, even the smallest, to that glory which shone forth in Christ, on whom the Father has imprinted his own image. So the name of Son belongs by a peculiar privilege to Christ alone, and cannot in this sense be applied to any other without profanation, for him and no other has the Father sealed.

But still the argument of the Apostle seems not to be well-grounded; for how does he maintain that Christ is superior to angels except on this ground, that he has the name of a Son? As though indeed he had not this in common with princes and those high in power, of whom it is written, “Ye are gods and the sons of the most”, (Psalms 50:6;) and as though Jeremiah had not spoken as honorably of all Israel, when he called them the firstborn of God. (Jeremiah 31:9.) They are indeed everywhere called children or sons. Besides, David calls angels the sons of God;

“Who,” he says, “is like to Jehovah among the sons of God?” (Psalms 84:6.)

The answer to all this is in no way difficult. Princes are called by this name on account of a particular circumstance; as to Israel, the common grace of election is thus denoted; angels are called the sons of God as having a certain resemblance to him, because they are celestial spirits and possess some portion of divinity in their blessed immortality. But when David without any addition calls himself as the type of Christ the Son of God, he denotes something peculiar and more excellent than the honor given to angels or to princes, or even to all Israel. Otherwise it would have been an improper and absurd expression, if he was by way of excellence called the son of God, and yet had nothing more than others; for he is thus separated from all other beings. When it is said so exclusively of Christ, “Thou art my Son,” it follows that this honor does not belong to any of the angels. (18)

If any one again objects and says, that David was thus raised above the angels; to this I answer, that it is nothing strange for him to be elevated above angels while bearing the image of Christ; for in like manner there was no wrong done to angels when the high­priest, who made an atonement for sins, was called a mediator. They did not indeed obtain that title as by right their own; but as they represented the kingdom of Christ, they derived also the name from him. Moreover, the sacraments, though in themselves lifeless, are yet honored with titles which angels cannot claim without being guilty of sacrilege. It is hence evident that the argument derived from the term Son, is well grounded. (19)

As to his being begotten, we must briefly observe, that it is to be understood relatively here: for the subtle reasoning of Augustine is frivolous, when he imagines that today means perpetuity or eternity. Christ doubtless is the eternal Son of God, for he is wisdom, born before time; but this has no connection with this passage, in which respect is had to men, by whom Christ was acknowledged to be the Son of God after the Father had manifested him. Hence that declaration or manifestation which Paul mentions in Romans 1:4, was, so to speak, a sort of an external begetting; for the hidden and internal which had preceded, was unknown to men; nor could there have been any account taken of it, had not the Father given proof of it by a visible manifestation. (20)

I will be to him a Father, etc. As to this second testimony the former observation holds good. Solomon is here referred to, and though he was inferior to the angels, yet when God promised to be his Father, he was separated from the common rank of all others; for he was not to be to him a Father as to one of the princes, but as to one who was more eminent than all the rest. By the same privilege he was made a Son; all others were excluded from the like honor. But that this was not said of Solomon otherwise than as a type of Christ, is evident from the context; for the empire of the whole world is destined for the Son mentioned there, and perpetuity is also ascribed to his empire: on the other hand, it appears that the kingdom of Solomon has confined within narrow bounds, and was so far from being perpetual, that immediately after his death it was divided, and some time afterwards it fell altogether. Again, in that Psalm the sun and moon are summoned as witnesses, and the Lord swears that as long as they shall shine in the heavens, that kingdom shall remain safe: and on the other hand, the kingdom of David in a short time fell into decay, and at length utterly perished. And further, we may easily gather from many passages in the Prophets, that that promise was never understood otherwise than of Christ; so that no one can evade by saying that this is a new comment; for hence also has commonly prevailed among the Jews the practice of calling Christ the Son of David.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1840-57.

William Newell's Commentary on Romans and Revelation

For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son, This day have I begotten Thee? (Ps. 2:7).

That Christ's Deity is here before us leaps into utterance in this verse. These angels are creatures, with the same creature-responsibility possessed by all creatures, a fact which is readily seen in God's pronouncement of future judgment upon the fallen angels in Psalm 82:6-7 (see John 10:34,36), Though called "sons" as created beings--as, indeed, Adam is called, being Divinely, created (Lk 3:38), yet no angel is ever addressed as is Christ. "In OT, 'sons' is applied to angels collectively but never individually. See Ps. 29:1, 89:6. Similarly, 'son' is applied to the chosen nation: Ex. 4:22, Hos. 11:1; but to no individual nation."--Vincent. Here (Ps. 2:7) Christ is addressed in an entirely different manner. First of all, He is the eternal Son. The relationship of Father, Son, and Spirit always existed in the Deity. Second, when He was born in Bethlehem, that is, in the incarnation, He is also called "Son of the Most High" and "Son of God" (Lk. 1:32, 35; see also Isa. 9:6, "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given"). Third, when He was raised from the dead He was so saluted, as we read in Acts 13:33: "The promise made unto the fathers ... God hath fulfilled ... unto our children, in that He raised up Jesus."

To what Occasion, then, of our Lord's life, do the words in Hebrews 1:5 refer? To His eternal Sonship? To His incarnation? Or to His resurrection-ascension, and session at God's right hand? Evidently to the last named. Paul said plainly to the Jews in Pisidia: "In that He raised up Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, 'Thou art My Son, this day I have begotten Thee.' And as concerning that He raised Him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, He hath spoken on this wise, 'I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.' (Isa. 55:3). Because He saith also in another psalm (16:10), 'Thou wilt not give Thy Holy One to see corruption.'"

Here Paul clearly connects the words of the Second Psalm, "This day have I begotten Thee," with our Lord's resurrection and His salutation by the Father as risen.

In the address, Thou art My Son, This day have I begotten Thee, are these two distinct elements: first, the fact that He is the Son eternally; and second, His public recognition as such afterwards, and most especially at His resurrection, when He was "declared to be the Son of God with power"--as is so emphasized in Romans 1:4.

But in Hebrews 1:5 the question is not when He was called Son, but the fact that He was so called, as over against the fact that no angel was ever thus addressed! We find God speaking to David in the great royal covenant (1 Chron. 17:13; 2 Sam. 7:14) whereby He promised him a Son, the throne of Whose kingdom He would establish forever, of that One of David's house Who should inherit his throne forever:

I will be to Him a Father,
And He shall be to Me a Son.

How wonderfully the Spirit of God brings out the thought of God, where our poor minds could not have followed! The words, He shall be to me a Son, are of course spoken of Christ as a Son of David--as Man. As God He was eternally in the relationship of Son. Again we would warn against seeking to probe into this mystery, which faith and faith alone can receive. (A godly and deeply instructed brother has written: "We cannot fathom what He was. Our hearts should not go and scrutinize the Person of Christ as though we could know it all. No human being can understand the union of God and man in His Person: 'No one knoweth the Son, save the Father' ... All that is revealed, you may know; we may learn a great deal about Him ... but when I attempt to fathom the union of God and man ... no man can.") When our Lord was born, He was Emmanuel, God with us (Isa. 7:14); and He was Man, yea, a babe, Who by the spirit of prophecy said, "Thou didst make me trust when I was upon My mother's breasts" '(Ps. 22:9).

There are in Matthew 11:27 three great facts shown unto us by our Lord: first: "All things have been delivered unto Me of My Father" (of this we do not now speak). Second, "No one knoweth the Son, save the Father." Of this we must speak with profoundest emphasis: for this "knowing" is that of which only God, and no creature, is capable. Third, "Neither doth any know the Father, save the Son, and He to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal Him." This He has willed for us who, begotten of God, born of His Spirit, are of God's family (1 John 2:13). But it is upon the Father's knowledge of the Son that we must ponder especially in Hebrews 1.

To sum up, Christ being the Son of God, greeted thus before incarnation and constantly afterwards, is "declared to be the Son of God with power ... by the resurrection from the dead" (Ro 1:4), and thus preached. "'Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee,' is His relationship in time with God. It depends, I doubt not, on His glorious nature; but this position for man was acquired by the miraculous birth of Jesus here below, and demonstrated as true and determined in its true import by His resurrection."--J.N. Darby.

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Newell, William. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". William Newell's Commentary on Romans, Hebrews and Revelation. https: 1938.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary


‘I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son.’

Hebrews 1:5

The question appropriately suggests itself: How was this prophecy fulfilled? How was God ‘a Father’ to Christ?—how was Christ ‘a Son’ to God? I shall only suggest one or two lines of thought.

I. God had it, in His eternal purpose, to give exceeding glory to His Son.—Let us never forget that, in tracing the life of Christ from the cradle to the grave. It is the clue to all. There was a far design to make Christ infinitely happy; happier than He could have been had He never passed His sad life upon this earth.

II. But see how God dealt with Him.—He humbled him in the very dust. ‘It pleased the Lord to bruise Him.’ And this, this was the way in which God fulfilled His great undertaking to His own Son: ‘I will be to Him a Father.’ But the Cross led to the Crown.

III. And now the other side. How was Christ a Son?—For ever it was in His heart to do His Father’s will. How willing! ‘Lo, I come!’ He set His face as a flint, and was not ashamed. Never, never did He turn back! From a little child, He ‘must be about His Father’s business.’ He, who might, at any moment, have called for ‘more than twelve legions of angels,’ never raised one look to avert one duty or to escape one pain! With that Father—while He was smiting Him—He always was in the closest communion. Into that Father’s ear He poured all His sorrows; and never, for an instant, mistrusted Him.

IV. There is yet one more deep meaning lying in these words.—The whole mystery of our salvation is wrapped up in it. When Christ was born, this day, He was born not a Son only, but a Representative Son. God sees all believers in that ‘Holy Child Jesus.’ There is not one birth only. As Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He is born in humble hearts. And then what God is to Christ, He is to them. Therefore, to every one of us, by virtue of our union to Christ, God says it even as He says it to Jesus, ‘I will be to you a Father.’

—Rev. James Vaughan.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". Church Pulpit Commentary. https: 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

Ver. 5. This day] Either the day of eternity, and so it is meant of Christ’s eternal generation; or else the fulness of time, wherein God brought his first begotten into the world, and mightily declared him to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead, Acts 13:33; Romans 1:4.

I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son] αυτοθεος. The second person is of himself, as God; of his Father, as a Son; because the Father communicateth to him his own nature, and that by generation; whence he is called "his begotten Son;" and his "only begotten;" because by generation God hath no more sons ‘out him; he is called the "Father of spirits," Hebrews 12:9; of all men, Malachi 2:10, as he is Creator and conserver of all; and of "all good men," by the grace of adoption and regeneration, 2 Corinthians 6:18; John 1:12.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https: 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Hebrews 1:5; Hebrews 2:4.

Why does the Apostle speak about the angels? He has shown from Psalm ii., from Psalm xcvii., from 2 Sam. vii., from Psalm cx., most clearly that the man Jesus is none other than God, and that therefore in His humanity also He is highly exalted above all angels. But what is the point of the comparison? The argument is simply this: the old dispensation, the law, was given under the mediation and administration of angels. If Jesus was above angels, then His dispensation, the new covenant, His priesthood, are high above that of the law. Scripture often speaks of the angels. Note some of the doctrines which the Bible contains concerning them.

I. Human beings know nothing about angels, except what God pleases to tell them. Hence all that human poets have imagined about them is of no importance or value, unless it agrees with the record of the Divine Scriptures. And Scripture tells us of the angels only, as it were, incidentally.

II. Notice the multitude of the angels. "We have come to an innumerable company of angels." This innumerable multitude is a polity, a state. There are gradations in it, groups, orders, legions of angels. There are the cherubim and the seraphim, thrones and dominions. This kingdom is intimately connected with the kingdom of grace. When a sinner is converted the angels rejoice, and when Jesus comes again the angels will come with Him.

III. Angels are connected with all physical phenomena. Through the angels God carries on the government of the world. Glorious as the angels are, they are in subjection to Jesus as man; for in His human nature God has enthroned Him above all things. Their relation to Jesus fixes also their relation to us. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation?"

A. Saphir, Expository Lectures on the Hebrews, vol. i., p. 94.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https:

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Hebrews 1:5. For unto which of the angels said he, &c.— The word for, shews that the sacred writer is here proceeding to his proofs. All the texts that are alleged by him, are to be considered as brought forward with this design; to shew that Christ at his resurrection was constituted, as man, infinitely superior to the angels. This amounted to a full proof, both according to the nature of things, and the notions which the Jews entertained of the angels: for, it being certainly true, and believed to be so by the Hebrews, that theangels, according to their original creation, had been made superior in their nature to other creatures; it must of necessity follow, that as he is superior to them, he must be superior to all below them: and since the highest order of creatures was made subject to him as Man, it might reasonably be supposed that the others were so too. Besides, as the Hebrews gloried in the revelations which had been made to them by angels, and were apt, upon that account, to see light by Christ; nothing could be more pertinent to the general design of the epistle, than the discourse here given upon this argument. We refer to the passages in the margin, and our notes upon them in the former part of this commentary; and also to Acts 13:33.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https: 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

5.] For (substantiation of διαφορώτερον κεκλ. ὄνομα) to whom of (among) the angels did He (God, the subject of Hebrews 1:1-2; as the subsequent citation shews) ever say (this citation from Psalms 2, has brought up in recent German Commentators the whole question of the original reference of that Psalm, and (as in Bleek) of O. T. citations in the N. T. altogether. These discussions will be found in Bleek, De Wette, and Ebrard. The latter is by far the deepest and most satisfactory: seeing, as he does, the furthest into the truth of the peculiar standing of the Hebrew people, and the Messianic import of the theocracy. Those who entirely or partially deny this latter, seem to me to be without adequate means of discussing the question. Ebrard’s view is, that the Psalm belongs to the reign of David. The objection, that Hebrews 1:6 will not apply to David’s anointing, inasmuch as that took place at Bethlehem in his boyhood, he answers, by regarding that anointing as connected with his establishment on Mount Zion, not as having locally taken place there, but as the first of that series of divine mercies of which that other was the completion. (Even Hupfeld gives up this objection.) He further ascribes the Psalm to that portion of David’s reign when (2 Samuel 8.) Hada-dezer, and many neighbouring nations, were smitten by him: which victories he looked on as the fulfilment to him of Nathan’s prophecy, 2 Samuel 7:8-17. In that prophecy the offspring of David is mentioned in the very words quoted below in this verse, and in terms which, he contends, will not apply to Solomon, but must be referred to the great promised Seed of David. He regards this triumphant occasion as having been treated by the royal Psalmist as a type and foretaste of the ultimate ideal dominion of the ‘Son of David’ over the kings of the earth. But I must refer the reader to his long note, which is well worth reading: and to Bleek’s, in which are several suggestions, valuable as notices of the way in which the present and the future, the political and Messianic ideas, are intermingled in the Psalms. See also Delitzsch, h. l. Even Hupfeld, who denies Messianic reference wherever he can, is obliged to acknowledge that the Psalm “probably applies to no particular king, but is a glorification of the theocratic kingdom in general, with poetic reference to the universal dominion promised to it:” and confesses, that this is in fact the Messianic idea. He also connects the Psalm with the prophecy in 2 Samuel 7. We may observe, that the connexion here of the two, the triumphant expression of the Psalm, and the prophecy of Nathan, is a strong presumption in favour of Ebrard’s view), Thou (the seed of David, anointed in God’s counsels as king on His holy hill of Sion: see above) art my Son (according to the promise presently to be quoted, finding its partial fulfilment in Solomon, but its only entire one in the Son of David who is also the Son of God), I (emphatic: ‘I and no other:’ expressed also in the Hebrew) this day have begotten thee (First, what are we to understand by γεγέννηκα? Bleek says, “As Sonship, in the proper sense, is dependent on the act of begetting, so may, especially by the Hebrews, ‘to beget’ be figuratively used to express the idea of ‘making any one a son,’ in which derived and figurative reference this also may be meant. And we get an additional confirmation of this meaning from Jeremiah 2:27, where it is said of the foolish idolatrous Israelites, τῷ ξύλῳ εἶπαν ὅτι ὁ πατήρ μου εἶ σύ, καὶ τῷ λίθῳ σὺ ἐγέννησάς με. Accordingly, the meaning here is,—‘I have made Thee my son’ (so Psalms 89:20; Psalms 89:26-27; ‘I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: … He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father.… Also will I make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth’):—namely, by setting Thee on the throne of my people: and the σήμερον will most naturally be referred to the time of the anointing of the King on Zion, as the act whereby he was manifested as Son of God in this sense.” And so Calvin, whom Bl. cites, in his comm. on Psalms 2.: “David genitus a Deo fuit, dum clare apparuit ejus electio. Itaque adverbium hodie tempus illud demonstrationis notat, quia, postquam innotuit creatum divinitus regem, prodiit tanquam nuper ex Deo genitus.” The above remarks seem pertinent and unobjectionable, as long as we regard them as explaining the supposed immediate reference to David and present circumstances: but it is plain that, according to the above view of Psalms 2, and indeed to the usage of the N. T., in applying this passage to our Lord, we want another and a higher sense in which both words, γεγέννηκα and σήμερον, may be applicable to Him: a sense in which I should be disposed to say that the words must in their fulness of meaning be taken, to the neglect and almost the obliteration of that their supposed lower reference. For, granting the application of such sayings to our Lord, then must the terms of them, suggested by the Holy Spirit of prophecy, which is His testimony, bear adequate interpretations as regards His person and office. It has not therefore been without reason that the Fathers, and so many modern divines, have found in this word γεγέννηκα the doctrine of the generation of the Son of God, and have endeavoured, in accordance with such reference, to assign a fitting sense to σήμερον. As the subject is exceedingly important, and has been generally passed over slightly by our English expositors, I shall need no apology for gathering from Bleek and Suicer the opinions and testimonies concerning it. 1. One view refers σήμερον to the eternal generation of the Son, and regards it as an expression of the “nunc stans, as they call it” (Owen) of eternity. Thus Origen very grandly says, in Joann. tom. i. 32, vol. iv. p. 33: λέγεται πρὸς αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ, ᾧ ἀεί ἐστι τὸ σήμερον· οὐκ ἔνι γὰρ ἑσπέρα θεοῦ, ἐγὼ δὲ ἡγοῦμαι, ὅτι οὐδὲ πρωΐα, ἀλλʼ ὁ συμπαρεκτείνων τῇ ἀγενήτῳ καὶ ἀϊδίῳ αὺτοῦ ζωῇ, ἵνʼ οὕτως εἴπω, χρόνος ἡμέρα ἐστὶν αὐτῷ σήμερον, ἐν ᾗ γεγέννηται ὁ υἱός· ἀρχῆσγενέσεως αὐτοῦ οὕτως οὐχ εὑρισκομένης, ὡς οὐδὲ τῆς ἡμέρας. And so Athanasius (de Decret. Nicæn. Syn. § 13, vol. i. p. 172, adv. Arian. iv. § 24, vol. ii. (Migne) p. 503), Basil (contra Eunom. ii. 24, vol. i. p. 260), Aug(3) (on the Psalm: “Quanquam etiam possit ille dies in prophetia dictus videri, quo Jesus Christus secundum hominem natus est: tamen hodie quia præsentiam significat, atque in æternitate nec præteritum quidquam est, quasi esse desierit, nec futurum, quasi nondum sit, sed præsens tantum: quia quidquid æternum est, semper est: divinitus accipitur secundum id dictum Ego hodie genuite, quo sempiternam generationem virtutis et sapientiæ Dei, qui est unigenitus Filius, fides sincerissima et catholica prædicat”), Primasius, Thom. Aq.; of the Commentators on this place, Thl. ( οὐδὲν ἓτερον δηλοῖ ἢ ὃτι ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, ἐξ οὗ ἐστιν ὁ πατήρ. ὥσπερ γὰρ ὢν λέγεται ἀπὸ τοῦ ἐνεστῶτος καιροῦ, οὗτος γὰρ μάλιστα ἁρμόζει αὐτῷ, οὕτω καὶ τὸ σήμερον): and so Corn.-a-lap., Est., Calov., Seb.-Schmidt, Schöttg., al. 2. A second, to the generation, in time, of the Incarnate Son of Man, when Jesus assumed the divine nature on the side of his Manhood also: so Chrys. (curiously enough using the illustration from ὤν, which Thl. afterwards, copying verbatim from him, turns to the opposite purpose: ὥσπερ δὲ ὤν λέγεται κ. τ. λ. as above under Thl. to ἁρμόζει αὐτῷ· οὕτω καὶ τὸ σήμερον ἐνταῦθά μοι δοκεῖ εἰς τὴν σάρκα εἰρῆσθαι), Thdrt. ( οὐ τὴν αἰώνιον δηλοῖ γέννησιν, ἀλλὰ τὴν τῷ χρόνῳ συνεζευγμένην. And even more expressly on the Psalm: ταύτην δέ τὴν φωνὴν οὐκ ἄν τις τῇ τοῦ θείου πνεύματος διδασκαλίᾳ πειθόμενος, τῇ θεότητι προσάψοι τοῖ δεσπότου χριστοῦ), Euseb., Cyr.-alex., Greg.-nyss. (see these in Suicer), Œc., Kuinoel, Stuart, &c. 3. A third, to the period when Jesus was manifested to men as the Son of God, i. e. by most, to the time of the Resurrection, with reference to Acts 13:33, where St. Paul alleges this citation as thus applying (so, recently, Delitzsch): by some, to that of the Ascension, when He was set at the right hand of God and entered on His heavenly High-priesthood (ch. Hebrews 5:5): so Hilary (on the Psalm, § 30, vol. i. p. 48, “Id quod nunc in psalmo est, Filius meus es tu, hodie genui te, non ad virginis partum, neque ad lavacri generationem, sed ad primogenitum ex mortuis pertinere apostolica autoritas est:” and again, “Vox ergo hæc Dei patris secundum Apostolum (Acts l. c.) in die resurrectionis exstitit”), Ambrose (de Sacr. iii. 3, vol. iii. p. 362: “Pulchre autem Pater dixit ad Filium: ‘Ego hodie genui te,’ hoc est, quando redemisti populum, quando ad cœli regnum vocasti, quando implesti voluntatem meam: probasti meum esse te Filium”), Calv. (“Frivola Augustini argutia est, qui hodie æternum et continuum fingit. Christus certe æternus est Dei filius, quia sapientia ejus est ante tempus genita. Sed hoc nihil ad præsentem locum, ubi respectus habetur ad homines, a quibus agnitus fuit Christus pro filio Dei postquam eum Pater manifestavit. Hæc igitur declaratio, cujus etiam Paulus meminit ad Romans 1:4, species fuit æternæ (ut ita loquar) generationis. Nam arcana illa et interior quæ præcesserat, hominibus fuit incognita, nec in rationem venire poterat, nisi eam Pater visibili revelatione approbasset”), Grot. (the Resurrection is “initium gloriæ Christi”), al.: Schlichting and the Socinians generally, Storr, Sack, Hengstenberg, &c. Owen also takes the same view (“The eternal generation of Christ, on which His filiation or sonship, both name and thing, doth depend, is to be taken only declaratively, and that declaration to be made in His resurrection, and exaltation over all, that ensued thereon”). Of these interpretations, I agree with Bleek that the first is that which best agrees with the context. The former verses represent to us the Son of God as standing in this relation to the Father before the worlds: and Hebrews 1:6, which plainly forms a contrast to this Hebrews 1:5 as to time, treats distinctly of the period of the Incarnation. It is natural then to suppose that this verse is to be referred to a time prior to that event. And he also remarks, that the sense of σήμερον thus adopted is by no means foreign to the Alexandrine theology: Philo, de Profugis, § 11, vol. i. p. 554, says, σήμερον δέ ἐστιν ὁ ὰπέραντος καὶ ἀδιεξίτητος αἰών. μηνῶν γὰρ καὶ ἐνιαυτῶν κ. συνόλως χρόνων περίοδοι δόγματα ἀνθρώπων εἰσὶν ἀριθμὸν ἐκτετιμηκότων, τὸ δὲ ἀψευδὲς ὄνομα αἰῶνος ἡ σήμερον. And in Leg. Allegor. iii. § 8, vol. i. p. 92, ἕως τῆς σήμερον ἡμέρας, τουτέστιν ἀεί. ὁ γὰρ αἰών ἅπας τῷ σήμερον παραμετρεῖται· μέτρον γὰρ τοῦ παντὸς χρόνου ὁ ἡμέριος κύκλος)? and again (how is the ellipsis here to be supplied? Probably, καὶ ( τίνι εἶπεν ποτὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων) πάλιν: or perhaps πάλιν (see below on Hebrews 1:6) merely serves to introduce a fresh citation), I will be to him as (‘for:’ so the LXX often for the Heb. הָיָה לְ : e. g. in the citation, ch. Hebrews 8:10. The more ordinary Greek construction would be as in Leviticus 26:12, κ. ἔσομαι ὑμῶν θεός, καὶ ὑμεῖς ἔσεσθέ μοι λαός) a father, and he shall be to me as (for) a son (the citation is from the LXX, as usual. It occurs in the prophecy of Nathan to David, respecting David’s offspring who should come after him. The import of it has been above considered, and its connexion with Psalms 2. shewn to be probable. The direct primary reference of the words to Solomon, 1 Chronicles 22:7-10, does not in any way preclude the view which I have there taken of their finding their higher and only worthy fulfilment in the greater Son of David, who should build the only temple in which God would really dwell. See Bleek in loc., who fully recognizes this further and Messianic reference)?

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https: 1863-1878.

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

Hebrews 1:5. τίνι γὰρ εἶπέν ποτε τῶν ἀγγέλων] For to which of the angels has He ever said, i.e. to none of the angels has He ever said.

The position of the words serves to put a strong accentuation at the same time upon τίνι and upon τῶν ἀγγέλων.

The subject in εἶπεν is θεός, as is evident alike from the passage itself which is cited, and from our context; inasmuch as both in that which precedes (Hebrews 1:1-4) θεός was expressly mentioned as the subject of the main proposition, and in that which follows (Hebrews 1:6) the subject of εἰσαγάγῃ τὸν πρωτότοκον can only be God.

ποτέ] is particle of time, at any time, unquam. Wrongly taken by Ch. F. Schmid, Kuinoel, and others as a mere strengthening particle, in the sense of the German doch or the Latin tandem. For then ποτέ must have been placed immediately after τίνι.

The citation υἱὸςσε is from Psalms 2:7, in verbal accordance with the LXX. In its historic sense the psalm relates to an Israelite king (probably Solomon), who, just now solemnly anointed in Zion as theocratic king, in the lofty feeling of his unity with Jehovah, warns the subjugated nations, who are meditating revolt and defection, of the fruitlessness of their undertaking. The author, however, sees Christ in the person addressed, even as a referring of this psalm to the Messiah was quite usual among the Jews of that period, and in the N. T. the Messianic interpretation thereof is further met with, besides Hebrews 1:5, in Acts 13:33.

υἱός μου] my Son, i.e. in the sense of the psalm, the king of my theocracy, my representative, the object of my fatherly love and protection The author, on the other hand, takes υἱός in the sense unfolded, Hebrews 1:2-3.

ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε] I have this day begotten thee, i.e. in the historic sense of the original: I have, by the anointing accomplished this day, installed thee as the theocratic prince. In the sense of the author, γεγέννηκα denotes the fact of having become the Son. The question is now, how he conceived of the σήμερον. It is referred either to the moment in which Christ was manifested to be the Son of God, i.e. to the moment of the Resurrection or the Ascension (Hilary, in Psalmum; Ambrose, de Sacram. 3. 1; Calvin, Cameron, Grotius, Schlichting, Limborch, Jac. Cappellus, Owen, Calmet, Peirce, Storr, Bloomfield, Bisping, Maier; comp. Delitzsch, who would have the words interpreted of “the entrance of the Son into the kingly life of supra-terrestrial glory in God, of which the resurrection is the initial point”), or to the moment of the Incarnation (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Eusebius, in Psalmum, alii; Piscator, Böhme, Kuinoel, Hofmann, Schriftbew. I. p. 123 f. of the 2d ed.; Woerner), or, finally, to the period before the creation of the world, thus to eternity (Origen in Joh., t. i. c. 32; Athanasius, de decret. Nicen. Synod. § 13; Basil, contra Eunom. 2. 24; Augustine, in Psalmum [Arnobius of Gaul, in Psalmum]; Primasius, Theophylact, Thomas Aquinas, Cornelius a Lapide, Estius, Calov, Wittich, Braun, Carpzov, Bleek [but with wavering; more decidedly in the lectures edited by Windrath(34)], Stein, Alford, Kurtz, and the majority). That the author, as Bleek I., de Wette, and Riehm (Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 287 f.) deem possible, attached no definite notion to the σήμερον, as being without significance for his demonstration, is an unexegetical supposition. Exclusively correct, because alone in harmony with the context, is the referring of the σήμερον to eternity; since, according to Hebrews 1:2, God created the world by Christ as the Son, thus Christ must already have existed as Son before the foundation of the world. With Philo, too, occurs the same interpretation of σήμερον, as signifying eternity. Comp. De Profugis, p. 458 E (with Mangey, I. p. 554): σήμερον δʼ ἐστὶν ἀπέρατος καὶ ἀδιεξίτητος αἰών· μηνῶν γὰρ καὶ ἐνιαυτῶν καὶ συνόλως χρόνων περίοδοι δόγματα ἀνθρώπων εἰσὶν ἀριθμὸν ἐκτετιμηκότων, τὸ δʼ ἀψευδὲς ὄνομα αἰῶνος σήμερον.

καὶ πάλιν] and further, serves, as frequently (e.g. Hebrews 2:13, Hebrews 10:30; Romans 15:11-12; 1 Corinthians 3:20; Philo, ed. Mangey, I. p. 88, 490, al.), for the introduction of a new passage of Scripture. The καὶ πάλιν κ. τ. λ. is not, however, to be taken as an assertory declaration, so that merely εἶπεν would have to be supplied (in accordance with which Lachmann punctuates); but the question is continued in such wise that the proposition is to be completed by καὶ ( τίνι εἶπέν ποτε τῶν ἀγγέλων) πάλιν.

This second citation is derived from 2 Samuel 7:14, in verbal accordance with the LXX. Comp. also 1 Chronicles 17(18):13. αὐτῷ and αὐτός refer in the historic sense to Solomon. To David, who designs building a temple to Jehovah, the divine direction comes by Nathan to desist from his purpose. Not David, but his seed, who shall ascend the throne after him, is to build a temple to Jehovah; to him will Jehovah for ever establish the throne of his kingdom; to him will Jehovah be a father, and he shall be to Him a son, and, if he transgress, Jehovah will chasten him with the rod of men and with the stripes of the children of men. Even this latter addition (which, for the rest, is not found in the parallel passage, 1 Chronicles 17:13 (1 Chronicles 18:13) makes it impossible to refer the words to the Messiah, as, moreover, the reference to Solomon is rendered certain even from the O. T. itself by the following passages: 1 Kings 5:19 (5), 1 Kings 8:17 ff.; 2 Chronicles 6:9-10; as also 1 Chronicles 22:9 (1 Chronicles 23:9 ff)., 1 Chronicles 28:2 (1 Chronicles 29:2) ff.

εἶναι εἰς] Formed after the Hebrew הָיָה לְ Comp. Hebrews 8:10, al.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https: 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Hebrews 1:5. τίνι γὰρ, for to which [whom]) A frequent argument in this epistle is derived from the silence of Scripture: Hebrews 1:13, ch. Hebrews 2:16, Hebrews 7:3; Hebrews 7:14.— τῶν ἀγγέλων, of the angels) For none of them took [was capable of taking] this glory.— υἱὸς, the Son) Acts 13:33.— ἐγὼυἱὸν) So the LXX., 2 Samuel 7:14. That promise, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son, had regard to Solomon, but much more, considering how august the promise is, to the Messiah; otherwise Solomon also would be greater than the angels. The seed of David, or the Son of David, is one name, under which, according to the nature (relation) of the predicate, sometimes Solomon, sometimes Christ—sometimes Solomon, and at the same time, in a higher sense, Christ—is intended; an ambiguity well suited to the times of expectation, Psalms 89:27-28. The apostles are the true interpreters of the Divine words, even though we should not have arrived at such an idea (such a mode of interpretation) as this without them [had it not been for their interpreting Scripture so].

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https: 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The apostle here proves that Christ hath a more excellent name, and pre-eminency over angels, by Scripture texts owned by these Hebrews. He had the name of Son of God, and so had not angels; for God the Father, who hath absolute power to give and state all excellency, never said to any angel, so as to constitute him his only Son by an ordinance or word of power.

Sons he may style them, as Job 2:1 Psalms 89:6; as he doth members of his church, Genesis 6:2, and princes and magistrates, Psalms 82:1,6; but always in the plural number, as he doth the angels, Job 38:7, noting out their power, place, and ministry. But Son is singular to Christ, and incommunicable to any other.

Thou art my Son: this is quoted out of Psalms 2:7.

Thou God-man, thou thyself, thou, and thou alone, (that this was spoken of Christ truly, and of David only as a type of him, the Spirit asserts, Acts 13:33), art my own Son, my ever-being Son, my Son by nature, Romans 8:32. Singularity sets out his eminency above all, and his propriety by nature in him.

This day have I begotten thee: at the day of his incarnation, Isaiah 9:6 Luke 1:31,32,35, but eminently at the day of his resurrection, was he declared and published to be his only begotten Son with power, Romans 1:4; and at his ascension inangurated the supreme, universal King and Priest in heaven and earth, Hebrews 5:5, possessed of a better name, place, and power than angels, Ephesians 1:20,21. What men enjoy in this kind attributed to them, is with a vast disproportion to this; born, or begotten, they are said to be, in respect of God’s operation on them, infusing Divine qualities into their souls, but this Son by a generation proper to a substantial person.

And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son: in another Scripture, as 2 Samuel 7:14 1 Chronicles 17:13 22:10, it is declared, I his natural Father, and he my natural Son; so as they are not related to any other as they are to each other. This in the type was spoken of Solomon, but fulfilled in Christ, who was universal King and Priest over his church for ever; so David understood it, Psalms 110:1; compare Psalms 89:19,26-29. He was the first-born Son, born a King; the Son of the universal and supreme King, the Heir and Lord of all.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https: 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

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.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Family Bible New Testament". https: American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

5. γάρ. The following paragraphs prove “the more excellent name.” By His work on earth the God-man Christ Jesus obtained that superiority of place in the order and hierarchy of salvation which made Him better than the Angels, not only in intrinsic dignity but in relation to the redemption of man. In other words the universal heirship of Christ is here set forth “not as a metaphysical but as a dispensational prerogative.” That it should be necessary for the writer to enter upon a proof of this may well seem strange to us; but that it was necessary is proved by the earnestness with which he devotes himself to the task. To us the difficulty lies in the mode of proof, not in the result arrived at; but his readers were unconvinced of the result, while they would have freely admitted the validity of this method of reasoning. The line of proof has been thoroughly studied by Dr W. Robertson Smith, in some papers published in the Expositor for 1881, to which I am indebted for several suggestions. “There is nothing added,” he says, “to the intrinsic superiority of Christ’s being, but He occupies towards us a position higher than the angels ever held. The whole argument turns, not on personal dignity, but on dignity of function in the administration of the economy of salvation.” It may be due to this Epistle that we find in later Jewish books (like the Yalkut Shimeoni) such sentences as “The King Messiah shall be exalted above Abraham, Moses, and the Ministering Angels” (see Schöttgen, p. 905).

εἶπεν. The “He” is God. This indirect mode of reference to God is common in the Rabbinic writings. The argument here is from the silence of Scripture, as in Hebrews 1:13, Hebrews 2:16, Hebrews 7:13-14.

Υἱός μου εἷ σύ. “My Son art Thou.” The order and the pronoun are both emphatic. The quotation is from Psalms 2:7 (comp. Psalms 89:20; Psalms 89:26-27). The author does not need to pause in order to prove that this, and the other passages which he quotes, apply to the Christ. This would have been at once conceded by every Jewish reader. Many of the Jews adopted the common view of the Rabbis that everything in the Old Testament prophecies might be applied to the Messiah. St Peter, in Acts 13:33, also applies this verse to Christ, and the great Rabbis, Kimchi and Rashi, admit that the Psalm was accepted in a Messianic sense in ancient days. The Divinity of Christ was a truth which the writer does not need to dwell upon. He might, of course, assume it in addressing Christians.

It must be observed that these passages are not advanced as proofs that Jesus was the Son of God—which, as Christians, the readers in no wise disputed—but as arguments ad hominem and ex concessis. In other words they were arguments to those whom the writer had immediately in view, and who had no doubt as to the premisses on which he based his reasoning. He had to confirm a vacillating and unprogressive faith (Hebrews 6:12, Hebrews 12:25), not to convince those who disputed the central truths of Christianity.

Our own conviction on these subjects rests primarily upon historical and spiritual grounds, and only depends in a very subordinate degree on indirect Scriptural applications. Yet even as regards these we cannot but see that, while the more sober-minded interpreters have always admitted that there was a primary historic meaning in the passages quoted, and that they were addressed in the first instance to David, Solomon, &c., yet [1] there is a “pre-established harmony” between the language used and its fulfilment in Christ; [2] the language is often so far beyond the scope of its immediate application that it points to an ideal and distant fulfilment; [3] it was interpreted for many centuries before Christ in a Messianic sense; [4] the Messianic sense has been amply justified by the slow progress of history. There is surely some medium between the two common extremes of [1] regarding these passages as soothsaying vaticinations, definitely and consciously recognised as such by their writers, and [2] setting them aside as though they contained no prophetic element at all. In point of fact the Jews themselves rightly looked on them as mingling the present and the future, the kingly-theocratic and the Messianic. No one will enter into their real meaning who does not see that all the best Jewish literature was in the highest sense prophetic. It centred in that magnificent Messianic hope which arose immediately from the connexion of the Jews with their covenant God, and which elevated them above all other nations. The Divine character of this confident hope was justified, and more than justified, by the grandeur of its fulfilment. Genuine, simple, historical exegesis still leaves room in the Old Testament for a glorious and demonstrable Christology. Although the old aphorism—Novum Testamentum in Vetere latet, Vetus in Novo patet—has often been extravagantly abused by allegoric interpreters, every instructed Christian will admit its fundamental truth. The germ of a highly-developed Messianic prophecy was involved from the first in the very idea of a theocracy and a separated people.

ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε, “I this day have begotten Thee.” St Paul says (Romans 1:4) that Jesus was “determined” or “constituted” (ὁρισθέντος) Son of God, with power, by resurrection from the dead. The aorist in that passage points to a definite time—the Resurrection (comp. Acts 13:33). La other senses the expression “to-day” might be applied to the Incarnation (Luke 1:31), or to the Ascension, or to the Eternal Generation. The latter explanation however,—which explains “to-day” of “God’s eternal now,” the nunc stans of eternity—though adopted by Origen (who finely says that in God’s “to-day” there is neither morning nor evening) and by St Augustine—is probably one of the “afterthoughts of theology.” Calvin stigmatises it as a “frivola Augustini argutia,” but the strongest argument in its favour is that Philo has a somewhat similar conception (σήμερον ὅ ἐστιν ὁ ἀπέρατος καὶ ἀδιεξίτητος αἰών, De profug., Opp. I. 554). The words, however, originally referred to the day of David’s complete inauguration as king upon Mount Sion. No one time can apply to the Eternal Generation, and the adoption of Philo’s notion that “to-day” means “for ever,” and that “all Eternity” is God’s to-day, would here be out of place. Possibly the “to-day “is only, so to speak, an accidental part of the quotation: in other words it may belong rather to the literal and primary prophecy than to its Messianic application. The Church shews that she understood the word “to-day” to apply to the Resurrection by appointing the second psalm as one of the special psalms for Easter-day.

Ἐγὼ ἔσομαι αὐτῷ εἰς πατέρα, 2 Samuel 7:14 (LXX.). εἶναι εἰς is the Hebrew הָיָה לְ . The words were primarily applicable to Solomon, but the quotation would not, without further argument, have helped forward the writer’s end if he had not been able to assume with confidence that none of his readers would dispute his typological method of exegesis. It is probable that the promise to David here quoted is directly connected with the passage just adduced from Psalms 2.

αὐτὸς ἔσται μοι εἰς υἱόν. The quotation (comp. Philo De Leg. Allegor. III. 8), though primarily applied to Solomon, has the wider sense of prophesying the advent of some perfect theocratic king. The “Angels” it might be objected are called “Sons of God” in Genesis 6:2; Job 1:6; Job 2:1; Job 38:7; Daniel 3:25. In these passages, however, the Alexandrian manuscript of the LXX. which this author seems to have used (whereas St Paul seems to quote from another type of manuscript—the Vatican) has “angels” and not “sons” If it be farther urged that in Psalms 29:1; Psalms 89:7, even the Alexandrian MS. has also “sons.” we must suppose either that the writer means to distinguish [1] between the higher and lower senses of the word “son”; or [2] between “Sons of Elohim” and “Sons of Jehovah” since Elohim is so much lower and vaguer a name for God than Jehovah, that not only Angels but even human beings are called Elohim; or [3] that he did not regard the name “sons” as in any way characteristic of angels. He shews so intimate a knowledge of the Psalms that—on this ground alone, not to dwell on others—the supposition that he forgot or overlooked these passages is hardly admissible.

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"Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https: 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2. Proof of this transcendence from Old Testament texts, Hebrews 1:5-14.

5. For—To prove this superiority of the eternal Son over the angels, our author now quotes six texts from the Old Testament. The modern interpreter, especially of the rationalistic type, finds not a little difficulty in applying these passages to Christ. But if, as in our Introduction we have indicated, the very purpose of our inspired apostle is to take the Alexandrian interpreters at their own word, and confirm all their brightest ascriptions and descriptions of the eternal Word, and affirm them of Christ, and thence show with what a glory even his humiliations are thereby irradiated, little difficulty need be felt in the interpretations here given. Says Delitzsch, “This epistle forms a link between the later Pauline epistles and the writings of John, and excels all others in the New Testament in the abundance of what cannot be merely accidental resemblances to Alexandrine modes of thought and expression. To us, indeed, it seems indisputable that the Jewish theology of the last few centuries before Christ, in Palestine, and more especially in Alexandria, did manifest many foregleams of that fuller light which was thrown on divine things in general, and on the triune nature of the Godhead in particular, by the great evangelical facts of redemption; nor can the admission that so it was prove a stumbling block to any but those who think that the long chain of divine preparations for the coming of Christ, on which the whole outward and inward history of Israel is strung, must have been broken off abruptly with the last book of the Old Testament canon. Is it, then, possible that the Book of Wisdom (Hebrews 7:26) should speak of the Sophia as απαυγασμα φωτος αιδιου—a beaming forth of the eternal light (Philo, De Cherub) of God—as αρχετυπος αυγη, archetypal splendour; and now our author of Him who was manifested in Jesus as απαυγασμα της δοξης αυτου, without these several terms having any internal historical connexion?”

At any time—Though angels are incidentally called sons, this is not their permanent name as significant of their nature. No one angel is ever mentioned or addressed as Son.

Thou—Quoted from Psalm ii, where see notes. The psalm was applied by the Jewish commentators to the Messiah as well as by the Jerusalem Church. Acts 4:25.

This day—As addressed by the Author to a human Son, anointed to be king in Zion, the phrase is of course temporal. It means “This day [it stands true that] I have [from eternity] begotten thee.” Even here, therefore, it does not mean that the exaltation and anointing are identical in time with the begetting. And this seems to refute those who in its higher application to Christ refer the begetting to his resurrection or to his incarnation.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And again, “I will be to him a Father, And he will be to me a Son?” ’

Or ‘And again, “I will be to him as a Father, And he will be to me as a Son.” ’ ‘And again’ (kai palin), signifies the introduction of a further witness from Scripture. This quotation is taken from 2 Samuel 7:14. Note the use of eis (unto) in the predicate with the sense of "as" like the Hebrew (an LXX idiom), not necessarily needing to be preserved in the English. See Matthew 19:5; Luke 2:34.

The same passage is applied to the relationship between God and His people see 2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 21:7, but not there with Messianic implications except in so far as they are spoken to the Messianic community.

These words were spoken after David had determined to build a Temple for Yahweh and God had come back with the reply that He did not want a temple, only a tent, but that in view of David’s faithfulness He would build for David an everlasting house, a living house of successive kings so that his throne would be established for ever. And this would begin with his son.

Yahweh then promised that He would be his father and would adopt him as His son (2 Samuel 7:5-16). And this relationship, along with the right to the throne, would then go on for ever in his descendants (2 Samuel 7:16). It would therefore also apply to the final everlasting king (Ezekiel 37:25). Intrinsic within the promises is potential for the kings who follow David to have a special relationship with God as appointed by Him, with a recognition of a greater Messianic fulfilment.

Again, once the Davidic house faded this became firmly attached to the necessary idea of a future coming king (which is intrinsic in the words) which eventually resulted in the words specifically being applied Messianically (as witnessed in the Dead Sea Scrolls). Thus, says the writer, God promised to the Messiah that He would be His Father, and He would be His Son.

So in both promises we have the assurance that the Messiah would be greater than the angels for He would be God’s Son, and God would be His Father. Such a relationship is never suggested of angels, and makes clear that the Sonship is no earthly expedient.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https: 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The phrase "to which of the angels" opens and closes this section of the text (cf. Hebrews 1:13). This literary device (an inclusio) marks off a literary unit by using the same word or phrase at the beginning and at the end of a discussion (cf. Hebrews 2:5-16; Hebrews 3:1 to Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 5:1-10; Hebrews 5:11 to Hebrews 6:12; Hebrews 7:1-10; Hebrews 12:14 to Hebrews 13:20).

David prophetically referred to Jesus Christ as God"s Son in Psalm 2:7, the verse the writer quoted first. [Note: See. Franz Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Psalm , 1:95-97.] The Old Testament writers referred to angels collectively as the "sons of God" ( Job 1:6; Job 2:1; Job 38:7), but they did not refer to any one of them as the Son of God. "Son of God" is a title that referred to the Davidic kings ( 2 Samuel 7:14) and specifically to Jesus Christ, God the Son ( Mark 1:11; Luke 1:32). "Today" evidently refers to Jesus Christ"s entrance into heaven. This happened after His resurrection and at His ascension.

The eternal Son of God ". . . entered into the full exercise of all the prerogatives implied by His Sonship when, after His suffering had proved the completeness of His obedience, He was raised to the Father"s right hand." [Note: Bruce, p13. Cf. Hebrews 1:3.]

Another less probable view, I think, is that this day was the day of Jesus" resurrection. [Note: Philip E. Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews , pp54-55; Pentecost, p48.]

"The writer is clearly more concerned to demonstrate the significance of the begetting in terms of the Son"s status, rather than to tie it down to a specific occasion." [Note: Guthrie, p73.]

The second quotation, from 2 Samuel 7:14 or 1 Chronicles 17:13, like the first, ties in with the Davidic Covenant and advances the previous point. Not only is Jesus the Son of God, He is also the promised son of David ( Luke 1:32-33; Luke 1:68-69; Romans 1:3). Even though Jesus Christ was always God"s eternal Song of Solomon , He became the Son prophesied to rule over David"s house. He received permission to rule the whole earth after His ascension (cf. Psalm 2:8).

To summarize, the title "Son" refers to Jesus in three separate respects. He was always the pre-existent Son ( Hebrews 1:3 a-b; cf. Hebrews 5:8), He became the incarnate Son at His birth ( Hebrews 1:2 a), and He became the exalted Son when He returned to heaven. [Note: See Lane, pp25-26.]

Note the chiastic style of the quotations, which begin and end with references to the Son surrounding references to the Father. This has the effect of stressing the Father but uniting the Son closely with Him.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https: 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Hebrews 1:5. My Son. Again by position the emphasis is on this name, and on the relation it describes: My Son art thou, today have I begotten thee. These words have been referred to the incarnation, when the ‘holy thing’ born of the Virgin was called Son of God (Luke 1:35); or to His resurrection and exaltation, when He is marked out as Son of God in regal dignity, ‘in power’ as Messianic King (Romans 1:4). This last view is favoured by Acts 13:32-33, where this identical promise is said to be fulfilled unto us when God raised up Jesus. Others refer the words to the essential nature of our Lord, as Son of the Father by ‘eternal generation,’ as it is called. God sent the Son, it is said, and so He had dignity before His incarnation and before His resurrection. The fact is, the word Son describes His relation to the Father, both personal and official; and ‘I have begotten thee’ applies to every state to which the word ‘Son’ applies—His original nature, His incarnation, and His kingship. In the following verse He is called ‘the first-begotten’—a title not given to Him in connection with His incarnation, but describing His dignity and rights. He is called first-begotten, never first-created, for all things belong to Him, as all things were made by Him. This expression, the first-begotten, is peculiar in this figurative sense to Paul’s writings (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5; comp. Hebrews 12:23).

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https: 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Hebrews 1:5. τίνι γὰρ εἶπέν ποτε τῶν ἀγγέλων … “For to which of the angels did he ever say My Son art Thou, I this day have begotten Thee?” τίνι to what individual; ποτε in the whole course of history. The angels as a class are called “Sons of Elohim” in the O.T. (Genesis 6:2; Psalms 29:1; Psalms 89:7; Job 1:6). But this was not used in its strict sense but merely as expressive of indefinite greatness, nor was it addressed to any individual. εἶπεν, the subject unexpressed, as is common in citing Scripture (2 Corinthians 6:2; Galatians 3:16; Ephesians 4:8, etc.). Winer and Blass supply θεός, others γραφή. Warfield, who gives the fullest treatment of the subjectless use of λέγει, φησί, and sucb words (Presb. and Ref. Rev., July, 1899) holds that either subject may be supplied, because “under the force of their conception of Scripture as an oracular book it was all one to the N.T. writers whether they said ‘God says’ or ‘Scripture says’.” Here, however, the connection involves that the subject is θεός. The words cited are from Psalms 2:7 and are in verbal agreement with the LXX, which again accurately represents the Hebrew. The psalm was written to celebrate the accession of a King, Solomon or some other; but the writer, seeing in his mind’s eye the ideal King, clothes the new monarch in his robes. The King was called God’s Son on the basis of the promise made to David (2 Samuel 7:14) and quoted in the following clauses: The words ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε do not seem to add much to the foregoing words, except by emphasising them, according to the ordinary method of Hebrew poetry. σήμερον is evidently intended to mark a special occasion or crisis and cannot allude to the eternal generation of the Son. In its original reference it meant “I have begotten Thee to the kingly dignity”. It is not the beginning of life, but the entrance on office that is indicated by γεγέννηκα, and it is as King the person addressed is God’s Son. Thus Paul, in his address to the Pisidians (Acts 13:33), applies it to the Resurrection of Christ; cf. Romans 1:4. The words, then, find their fulfilment in Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension and sitting down at God’s right hand as Messiah. He was thus proclaimed King, begotten to the royal dignity, and in this sense certainly no angel was ever called God’s Son.

This is more fully illustrated by another passage introduced by the usual καὶ πάλιν (see Hebrews 10:30, and Longinus, De Subl., chap, iv, etc.). ἐγὼ ἔσομαι αὐτῷ εἰς πατέρα …, words spoken in God’s name by Nathan in reference to David’s seed, and conveying to him the assurance that the kings of his dynasty should ever enjoy the favour and protection and inspiration enabling them to rule as God’s representatives. This promise is prior in history to the previous quotation, and is its source; see 2 Samuel 7:14. ἔσομαι εἰς is Hellenistic after a Hebrew model. See Blass, Gram., p. 85.

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https: 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https: 1859.

John Owen Exposition of Hebrews

The apostle proceedeth to the confirmation of his proposition concerning the pre-eminence of the Lord Christ above the angels, and of his proof of it from the excellency of the name given unto him; and this he doth by sundry testimonies produced out of the Old Testament, two whereof are conjoined in this verse, as the verses are divided in our Bibles.

Hebrews 1:5. τίνι γὰρ ει῏πέ ποτε τῶν ἀγγέλων· υἱός μου ει῏ οὺ ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε;

Hebrews 1:5. — Unto which of the angels did he at any time [or, ever] say, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? Two things are considerable in these words : —

1. The manner of the apostle’s producing the testimony which he intended to make use of: “Unto which of the angels said he at any time?”

2. The testimony itself: “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”

In the former three things may be observed: —

First, That the testimony which in a matter of faith he insisted on is that of the Scripture. He refers the Jews unto that common principle which was acknowledged between them. Men had not as yet learned in such contests to make that cavilling return which we are now used unto, ‘How do you know those Scriptures to be the word of God?’Nor, indeed, is it suitable unto common honesty for men to question the credit and prostitute the authority of their own most sacred principles, for no other end but to prejudice their adversaries’. But our apostle here confidently sends the Hebrews to the acknowledged rule of their faith and worship, whose authority he knew they would not decline, Isaiah 8:20.

Secondly, That the apostle argues negatively from the authority and perfection of the Scripture in things relating to faith and the worship of God. ‘It is nowhere said in the Scripture to angels; therefore they have not the name spoken of, or not in that manner wherein it is ascribed to the Messiah.’This argument, saith an expositor of great name on this place, seems to be weak, and not unlike unto that which the heretics made use of in the like cases; and therefore answers that the apostle argues negatively, not only from the Scripture, but from tradition also. But this answer is far more weak than the argument is pretended to be. The apostle deals expressly in all this chapter from the testimony of Scripture, and to that alone do his words relate, and therein doth he issue the whole controversy he had in hand, knowing that the Jews had many corrupt traditions, expressly contrary to what he undertook to prove; particularly, that the law of Moses was eternally obligatory, against which he directly contends in the whole epistle. An argument, then, taken negatively from the authority of the Scripture in matters of faith, or what relates to the worship of God, is valid and effectual, and here consecrated for ever to the use of the church by the apostle.

Thirdly, That the apostle either indeed grants, or else, for argument’s sake, condescends unto the apprehension of the Hebrews, that there is a distinction of degrees and pre-eminence amongst the angels themselves. To confirm, therefore, his general assertion of the dignity and pre-eminence of Christ above them all, he provokes them to instance in any one of them, which either indeed or in their apprehension was promoted above others, to whom such words as these were ever spoken: “To which of the angels said he.” His assertion respects not only the community of them, but any or all of the chief or princes among them. There are שָׂרִים הָרִאשׂנִים, Daniel 10:13, “chief princes” among the angels. And of them Michael, the prince of the people of God, is said to be אֶחָד, “one;” that is, not in order, but the chief in dignity, their head and leader. Now, saith the apostle, to which of these, or of the rest of them, were these words spoken?

Proceed we now to the testimony itself produced. Three things are required to make it pertinent unto his purpose, and useful unto the end for which he makes mention of it : —

First, That He of whom he speaks is peculiarly intended therein.

Secondly, That there be in it an assignation of a name unto him made by God himself, which thereon he might claim as his peculiar inheritance.

Thirdly, That this name, either absolutely or in its peculiar manner of appropriation unto him, is more excellent than any that was ever given unto angels, as a sign of their dignity, authority, and excellency. And these things, for the clearing of the apostle’s argument, must particularly be insisted on.

First, The words produced do peculiarly belong unto him to whom they are applied; that is, it is the Messiah who is prophesied of in the second psalm, from whence they are taken. This with all Christians is put beyond dispute, by the application of it in several places unto him; as Acts 4:25-27; Acts 13:33; Hebrews 5:5. It is certain, also, that the Jews always esteemed this psalm to relate unto the Messiah; they do so to this day. Hence the Targum on the psalm expressly applies it unto him, thus rendering these words: “O beloved! as a son to his father, thou art pure to me as in the day wherein I created thee.” So are the words perverted by the Targumist, not knowing what sense to ascribe unto them; which is frequent with him. But it is manifest that the constant opinion of the ancient Jews was that this psalm principally intended the Messiah, nor did any of them of old dissent. Some of their later masters are otherwise minded, but therein discover their obstinacy and iniquity. Thus Rabbi Solomon Jarchi, in his comment on this psalm, in the Venetian edition of the great Masoretical Bibles, affirms that “whatever is sung in this psalm our masters interpreted of Messiah the king; but,” saith he, “according unto the sound of the words, and for the confutation of the heretics” (that is, Christians), “it is convenient that we expound it of David.” So wickedly corrupt and partial are they now in their interpretations of the Scripture. But these words are left out in the Basle edition of the same notes and comments; by the fraud, it may be, of the Jews employed in that work, so to hide the dishonesty of one of their great masters. But the confession of the judgment of their fathers or predecessors in this matter is therein also extant. And Aben Ezra, though he would apply it unto David, yet speaks doubtfully whether it may not better be ascribed unto the Messiah.

But this was not enough for the apostle, that those with whom he dealt acknowledged these words to be spoken concerning the Messiah, unless they were so really, that so his argument might proceed “ex veris” as well as “ex concessis,” — from what was true as upon what was granted. This, then, we must next inquire into.

The whole psalm, say some, seems principally, if not only, to intend David. He having taken the hill and tower of Zion, and settled it for the seat of his kingdom, the nations round about tumultuated against him; and some of them, as the Philistines, presently engaged in war against him for his ruin, 2 Samuel 5:17. To declare how vain all their attempts should be, and the certainty of God’s purpose in raising him to the kingdom of Israel, and for his preservation therein against all his adversaries, with the indignation of God against them, the Holy Ghost gave out this psalm for the comfort and establishment of the church in the persuasion of so great a mercy. And this is borrowed of Rashi.

But suppose the psalm to have a further respect than unto David and his temporal kingdom, and that it doth point at the Messiah under the type of David, yet then also whatever is spoken in it must firstly and properly be understood of David. So that if the words insisted on by the apostle do prove that the Lord Christ was made more excellent than the angels, they prove the same concerning David also, concerning whom they were spoken in the first place.

Ans. 1. There is no cogent reason why we should acknowledge David and his kingdom to be at all intended in this psalm. The apostles, we see, apply it unto the Lord Christ without any mention of David, and that four several times, — twice in the Acts, and twice in this epistle. The Jews acknowledge that it belongs unto the Messiah. Besides, there are sundry things spoken in the psalm that could never truly and properly be applied unto David. Such are the promises, 2 Samuel 5:8-9, and the invitation of all men to put their trust and confidence in him, 2 Samuel 5:12. And we have a rule given us by the Holy Ghost, — That where any thing seems to be spoken of any one to whom it doth not properly belong, there the person is not at all to be understood, but the Lord Christ himself immediately. This rule Peter gives us in his interpretation of the 16th psalm, and his application of it unto the Lord Jesus, Acts 2:29-31. So that there is no necessity to grant that there is any reference in these words to any type at all. But, —

2. We grant that David was a type of Christ, and that as he was king of the people of God. Hence he is not only often signally called “The son of David,” but “David” also, Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 37:24-25; Hosea 3:5. And the throne and kingdom promised to David for ever and ever, that it should be as the sun, and established for ever as the moon, Psalms 89:36-37, — that is, whilst the world endures, — had no accomplishment but in the throne and kingdom of his Son, Jesus Christ. Thus also many other things are said of him and his kingdom, which in propriety of speech can no way be applied unto him but as he was a type of Christ, and represented him to the church. We may then grant, as that about which we will not contend, that in this psalm consideration was had of David and his kingdom, but not absolutely, but only as a type of Christ. And hence two things will follow: —

(1.) That some things may be spoken in the psalm which no way respect the type at all. For when not the type, but the person or thing signified, is principally aimed at, it is not necessary that every thing spoken thereof should be applicable properly unto the type itself, it being sufficient that there was in the type somewhat that bare a general resemblance unto him or that which was principally intended. So, on the contrary, where the type is principally intended, and an application made to the thing signified only by way of general allusion, there it is not required that all the particulars assigned unto the type should belong unto or be accommodated unto the thing typed out, as we shall see in the next testimony cited by the apostle. Hence, though in general David and his deliverance from trouble, with the establishment of his throne, might be respected in this psalm, as an obscure representation of the kingdom of Christ, yet sundry particulars in it, and among them this mentioned by our apostle, seem to have no respect unto him, but directly and immediately to intend the Messiah.

(2.) If it yet be supposed that what is here spoken, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” is also to be applied unto David, yet it is not ascribed unto him personally and absolutely, but merely considered as a type of Christ. What, then, is principally and directly intended in the words is to be sought for in Christ alone, it being sufficient to preserve the nature of the type that there was in David any resemblance or representation of it. Thus, whether David be admitted as a type of Christ in this psalm or no, the purpose of the apostle stands firm, that the words were principally and properly spoken of the Messiah, and unto him. And this is the first thing required in the application of the testimony insisted on.

Secondly, It is required that in the testimony produced a signal name be given unto the Messiah, and appropriated unto him, so as that he may inherit it for ever as his own, neither men nor angels having the same interest with him in it. It is not being called by this or that name in common with others that is intended, but such a peculiar assignation of a name unto him as whereby he might for ever be distinguished from all others. Thus many may be beloved of the Lord, and be so termed, but yet Solomon only was peculiarly called יְדִידְיָה, “Jedidiah;” and by that name was distinguished from others. In this way it is that the Messiah hath his name assigned unto him. God decreed from eternity that he should be called by that name; he spake unto him and called him by that name: “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” He is not called the Son of God upon such a common account as angels and men, — the one by creation, the other by adoption; but God peculiarly and in a way of eminency gives this name unto him.

Thirdly, This name must be such as either absolutely, or by reason of its peculiar manner of appropriation unto the Messiah, proves his pre- eminence above the angels. Now, the name designed is The Son of God: “Thou art my Son;” not absolutely, but with that exegetical adjunct of his generation, “This day have I begotten thee.” Chrysostom, Hom. 22, on Genesis 6, positively denies that the angels in Scripture are anywhere called the sons of God. Hence some conjecture that the translation of the LXX. is changed since that time, seeing it is evident that they are so called in the Greek Bibles now extant.

However, in the original they are called “the sons of God,” Job 1:6; Job 2:1, Psalms 82:6. Believers are also called “the sons of God,” Romans 8:16; Galatians 4:6; 1 John 3:1; and magistrates “gods,” Psalms 82:1; Psalms 82:6; John 10:34. It doth not therefore appear how the mere assigning of this name to the Messiah doth prove his pre-eminence above the angels, who are also called by it.

Ans. Angels may be called the sons of God upon a general account, and by virtue of their participation in some common privilege; as they are by reason of their creation, like Adam, Luke 3 ult., and constant obedience, Job 1. But it was never said unto any angel personally, upon his own account, “Thou art the son of God.” God never said so unto any of them, especially with the reason of the appellation annexed, “This day have I begotten thee.” It is not, then, the general name of a son, or the sons of God, that the apostle instanceth in; but the peculiar assignation of this name unto the Lord Jesus on his own particular account, with the reason of it annexed, “This day have I begotten thee,” which is insisted on. So that here is an especial appropriation of this glorious name unto the Messiah.

Again, The appropriation of this name unto him in the manner expressed proves his dignity and pre-eminence above all the angels. For it is evident that God intended thereby to declare his singular honor and glory, giving him a name to denote it, that was never by him assigned unto any mere creature, as his peculiar inheritance; in particular, not unto any of the angels. Not one of them can lay any claim unto it as his peculiar heritage from the Lord.

And this is the whole that was incumbent on the apostle to prove by the testimony produced. He manifests him sufficiently to be more excellent than the angels, from the excellency of the name which he inherits, according to his proposition before laid down. There is, indeed, included in this reasoning of the apostle an intimation of a peculiar filiation and sonship of Christ. Had he not been so the Son of God as never any angel or other creature was, he never had been called so in such a way as they are never so called. But this the apostle at present doth not expressly insist upon; only, he intimates it as the foundation of his discourse.

To conclude, then, our considerations of this testimony, we shall briefly inquire after the sense of the words themselves, absolutely considered; although, as I have showed, that doth not belong directly unto the present argument of the apostle.

Expositors are much divided about the precise intendment of these words, both as they are used in the psalm, and variously applied by the apostles. But yet generally the expositions given of them are pious, and consistent with each other. I shall not insist long upon them, because, as I said, their especial sense belongeth not unto the design and argument of the apostle.

That Christ is the natural and eternal Son of God is agreed at this day by all Christians, save the Socinians. And he is called so because he is so. The formal reason why he is so called is one and the same, namely, his eternal Sonship; but occasions of actual ascribing that name unto him there are many. And hence ariseth the difficulty that is found in the words. Some think these words, “This day have I begotten thee,” do contain the formal reason of Christ’s being properly called the Son of God, and so denote his eternal generation. Others think they express only some outward act of God towards the Lord Christ, on the occasion whereof he was declared to be the Son of God, and so called. The former way went Austin, with sundry of the ancients. The היּוֹם, the “hodie,” or “this day,” here, was the same with them as the “nunc stans,” as they call it, of eternity; and the יְליִדְתִּיךָ, “I have begotten thee,” denotes, as they say, the proper natural generation of the Son, by an inconceivable communication of the essence and substance of the Godhead by the person of the Father unto him. And this doctrine is true, but whether here intended or no is by some greatly questioned.

Others, therefore, take the words to express only an occasion of giving this name at a certain season to the Lord Christ, when he was revealed or declared to be the Son of God. And some assign this to the day of his incarnation, when he declared him to be his Son, and that he should be so called, as Luke 1:35; some to the day of his baptism, when he was again solemnly from heaven proclaimed so to be, Matthew 3:17; some to the day of his resurrection, when he was declared to be the Son of God with power, Romans 1:4, and Acts 13:33; some to the day of his ascension, whereunto these words are applied. And all these interpretations are consistent, and reconcilable with each other, inasmuch as they are all means serving unto the same end, that of his resurrection from the dead being the most signal amongst them, and fixed on in particular by our apostle in his application of this testimony unto him, Acts 13:33.

And in this sense alone the words have any appearance of respect unto David, as a type of Christ, seeing he was said, as it were, to be begotten of God when he raised him up, and established him in his rule and kingdom. Neither, indeed, doth the apostle treat; in this place of the eternal generation of the Son, but of his exaltation and pre-eminence above angels.

The word היּוֹם, also, constantly in the Scripture denotes some signal time, one day or more. And that expression, “This day have I begotten thee,” following immediately upon that other typical one, “I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion,” seems to be of the same importance, and in like manner to be interpreted. Thus far, then, I choose to embrace the latter interpretation of the words, — namely, that the eternal generation of Christ, on which his filiation or sonship, both name and thing, doth depend, is to be taken only declaratively; and that declaration to be made in his resurrection, and exaltation over all that ensued thereon. But every one is left unto the liberty of his own judgment herein.

And this is the first testimony whereby the apostle confirms his assertion of the pre-eminence of the Lord Christ above the angels, from the name that he inherits as his peculiar right and possession.

For the further confirmation of the same truth, he adds another testimony of the same importance, in the words ensuing : —

Hebrews 1:5. καὶ πάλιν· ᾿εγὼ ἔσομαι αὐτῷ εἰς πατέρα, καὶ αὐτὸς ἔσται μοι εἰς υἱόν;

Vulg.: “Et rursum, ego ero illi in patrem, et ipse erit mihi in filium;” — “I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to me for a son.” So also the Syriac, לַאבָּאand לָבְיָא, “in patrem,” and “in filium;” not “pro patre,” and “pro filio,’as some render the words. Erasmus worse than they: “Ego ero ei loco patris, et ille erit mihi loco filii;” — “Instead of a father,” and “instead of a son,” or, “in the place;” which agrees not with the letter, and corrupts the sense. Beza: “Ego ero ei pater, et ipse erit mihi filius;” who is followed by ours, “And again, I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son.”

Hebrews 1:5. — And again, I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son?

This is the second testimony produced by the apostle to prove the pre- eminence of the Lord Christ above the angels, from the excellency of the name given unto him. One word, one witness, the testimony being that of God, and not of man, had been sufficient to have evinced the truth of his assertion; but the apostle adds a second here, partly to manifest the importance of the matter he treated of, and partly to stir them up unto a diligent search of the Scripture, where the same truths, especially those that are of most concernment unto us, are scattered up and down in sundry places, as the Holy Ghost had occasion to make mention of them. This is that mine of precious gold which we are continually to dig for and search after, if we intend to grow and to be rich in the knowledge of God in Christ, Proverbs 2:3-4. Expositors do generally perplex themselves and their readers about the application of these words unto the Lord Christ.

Cajetan, for this cause, that this testimony is not rightly produced nor applied as it ought, rejects the whole epistle as not written by the apostle, nor of canonical authority. Such instances do even wise and learned men give of their folly and self-fullness every day. The conclusion that he makes must needs be built on these two suppositions: —

First, That whatever any man might or could apprehend concerning the right application of this testimony, he himself might and could so do; for otherwise he might have acknowledged his own insufficiency, and have left the solution of the difficulty unto them to whom God should be pleased to reveal it.

Secondly, That when men of any generation cannot understand the force and efficacy of the reasonings of the penmen of the Holy Ghost, nor discern the suitableness of the testimonies they make use of unto the things they produce them in the confirmation of, they may lawfully reject any portion of Scripture thereon. The folly and iniquity of which principles or suppositions are manifest.

The application of testimonies out of the Old Testament in the New depends, as to their authority, on the veracity of him that maketh use of them; and as to their cogency in argument, on the acknowledgment of them on whom they are pressed. Where we find these concurring, as in this place, there remains nothing for us but to endeavor a right understanding of what is in itself infallibly true, and unquestionably cogent unto the ends for which it is used.

Indeed, the main difficulty which in this place expositors generally trouble themselves withal ariseth purely from their own mistake. They cannot understand how these words should prove the natural sonship of Jesus Christ, which they suppose they are produced to confirm, seeing it is from thence that he is exalted above the angels. But the truth is, the words are not designed by the apostle unto any such end. His aim is only to prove that the Lord Christ hath a name assigned unto him more excellent, either in itself or in the manner of its attribution, than any that is given unto the angels, which is the medium of this first argument to prove him, not as the eternal Son of God, nor in respect of his human nature, but as the revealer of the will of God in the gospel, to be preferred above all the angels in heaven, and consequently, in particular, above those whose ministry was used in the giving of the law.

Two things, then, are necessary to render this testimony effectual to the purpose for which it is cited by the apostle; — first, That it was originally intended of him to whom he doth apply it; secondly, That there is a name in it assigned unto him more excellent than any ascribed unto the angels.

For the first of these, we must not waive the difficulties that interpreters have either found out in it, or cast upon it. The words are taken from 2 Samuel 7:14, and are part of the answer returned from God unto David by Nathan, upon his resolution to build him a house. The whole oracle is as followeth: 2 Samuel 7:11-16, “The LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.” (Or as 1 Chronicles 17:11, “And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired, that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.”) “He shall build an house for my name; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” (1 Chronicles 17:12, “He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.”) “I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.” (1 Chronicles 17:13, “I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee.”) “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” (1 Chronicles 17:14, “But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.”)

This is the whole divine oracle from whence the apostle takes the testimony under consideration; and the difficulty wherewith it is attended ariseth from hence, that it is not easy to apprehend how any thing at all in these words should be appropriated unto the Lord Christ, seeing Solomon seems in the whole to be directly and only intended. And concerning this difficulty there are three opinions among interpreters: —

1. Some cutting that knot, which they suppose could not otherwise be loosed, affirm that Solomon is not at all intended in these words, but that they are a direct and immediate prophecy of Christ, who was to be the son of David, and to build the spiritual house or temple of God. And for the confirmation of this assertion they produce sundry reasons from the oracle itself; as, —

(1.) It is said that God would raise up to David a seed, or son, intimating that he was not as yet born, being foretold to be raised up; whereas Solomon was born at the time of this prophecy.

(2.) It is also affirmed that this son or seed should reign and sit upon the throne of David after his decease, and being gathered unto his fathers; whereas Solomon was made king and sat upon the throne whilst David was yet alive, and not entered into rest with his fathers.

(3.) The throne of this son is to be established for ever, or as the same promise is expressed, Psalms 89, whilst the sun and moon continue; — the throne of Solomon and his posterity failed within a few generations.

(4.) The title there given unto him who is directly prophesied of shows him, as our apostle intimates, to be preferred above all the angels; and none will say that Solomon was so, who, as he was inferior to them in nature and condition, so by sin he greatly provoked the Lord against himself and his posterity.

But yet all these observations, though they want not some appearance and probability of reason, come short of proving evidently what they are produced for, as we may briefly manifest; for, —

(1.) It doth not appear that Solomon was born at the time of the giving forth of this oracle, if we must suppose that God intimated in it unto David that none of the sons which he then had should succeed him in his kingdom; yea, it is manifest from the story that he was not. Besides, “raising up” doth not denote the birth or nativity of the person intended, but his designation or exaltation to his throne and office, as is the usual meaning of that expression in the Scripture; so that Solomon might be intended, though now born, yea, and grown up, if not yet by the providence of God marked and taken out from amongst his brethren to be king, as afterwards he was.

(2.) Although a few days before the death of David, to prevent sedition and division about titles and pretensions to the kingdom, Solomon by his appointment was proclaimed king, or heir to the crown, yet he was not actually vested with the whole power of the kingdom until after his natural decease. Moreover, also, David being then very weak and feeble, and rendered unable for public administration, the short remainder of his days after the inauguration of Solomon needed no observation in the prophecy.

The other two remaining reasons must be afterwards spoken unto. And for the present removal of this exposition, I shall only observe, that to affirm Solomon not at all to be intended in this oracle, nor the house or temple which afterwards he built, is to make the whole answer of God by the prophet unto David to be equivocal. For David inquired of Nathan about building a house or material temple unto God. Nathan returns him answer from God that he shall not do so, but that his son should perform that work. This answer David understands of his immediate son and of a material house, and thereupon makes material provision for it and preparation in great abundance, upon the encouragement he received in this answer of God. Now, if neither of these were at all intended in it, — neither his son nor the material temple, — it is evident that he was led into a great mistake, by the ambiguity and equivocation of the word; but we find by the event that he was not, God approving and accepting of his obedience in what he did. It remains, then, that Solomon firstly and immediately is intended in these words.

2. Some, on the other hand, affirm the whole prophecy so to belong unto and so to be fulfilled in Solomon, and in him alone, that there is no direct respect therein unto our Lord Jesus Christ. And the reason for their assertion they take from the words which immediately follow those insisted on by the apostle, namely, “If he commit iniquity, I will chastise him with the rod of men;” which cannot be applied unto Him who did no sin, neither was there guile found in his mouth. They say, therefore, that the apostle applies these words unto Christ only by way of an allegory. Thus he deals with the law of not muzzling the ox which treadeth out the corn, applying it to the provision of carnal things to be made for the dispensers of the gospel; as he also in another place representeth the two testaments by the story of Sarah and Hagar.

That which principally is to be insisted on for the removal of this difficulty, and which will utterly take it out of our way, will fall in with our confirmation of the third interpretation, to be proposed. For the present, I shall only answer, that as the words cited by the apostle do principally concern the person of Christ himself, yet being spoken and given out in form of a covenant, they have respect also unto him as he is the head of the covenant which God makes with all the elect in him. And thus whole mystical Christ, head and members, are referred unto in the prophecy; and therefore David, in his repetition and pleading of this oracle, Psalms 89:30, changeth those words, “If he commit iniquity,” into “If his children forsake my law.” Notwithstanding, then, a supposition of transgression in him concerning whom these words are spoken, the Lord Christ may be intended in them; such failings and transgressions as disannul not the covenant often falling out on their part for whom he undertaketh therein. But I offer this only “in majorem cautelam,” to secure the testimony insisted on unto our apostle’s intention; the difficulty itself will be clearly afterwards assoiled.

3. We say, therefore, with others, that both Solomon and the Lord Christ are intended in this whole oracle; Solomon literally, and nextly as the type; the Lord Christ principally and mystically, as he who was typed, figured, and represented by him. And our sense herein shall be further explained and confirmed in the ensuing considerations: —

(1.) That there never was any one type of Christ and his offices that entirely represented him and all that he was to do: for as it was impossible that any one thing or person should do so, because of the perfection of his person and the excellency of his office, which no one thing that might be appointed to prefigure him as a type, because of its limitedness and imperfection, could fully represent; so had any such been found out, that multiplication of types which God in his infinite wisdom was pleased to make use of, for the revelation of him intended in them, had been altogether useless and needless. Wherefore, according as God saw good, and as he had made them meet and fit, so he designed one thing or person to figure out one thing in him, another for another end and purpose.

(2.) That no type of Christ was in all things that he was or did a type of him, but only in that particular wherein he was designed of God so to be, and wherein he hath revealed him so to have been. David was a type of Christ, but not in all things that he was and did. In his conquests of the enemies of the church, in his throne and kingdom, he was so; but in his private actions, whether as a man, or as a king or captain, he was not so. The like must be said of Isaac, Melchizedek, Solomon, and all other personal types under the old testament, and much more of other things.

(3.) That not all things spoken of him that was a type, even therein wherein he was a type, are spoken of him as a type, or have any respect unto the thing signified, but some of them may belong unto him in his personal capacity only. And the reason is, because he who was a type of God’s institution might morally fail in the performance of his duty, even then and in those things when and wherein he was a type. Hence somewhat may be spoken of him, as to his moral performance of his duty, that may no way concern the antitype, or Christ prefigured by him. And this wholly removes the difficulty mentioned in the second interpretation of the words, excluding the Lord Christ from being directly in the oracle, upon that expression, “If he commit iniquity;” for these words relating to the moral duty of Solomon in that wherein he was a type of Christ, — namely, the rule and administration of his kingdom, — may not at all belong to Christ, who was prefigured by God’s institution of things, and not in any moral deportment in the observance of them.

(4.) That what is spoken of any type, as it was a type, and in respect of its institution to be such, doth not really and properly belong unto him or that which was the type, but unto him who was represented thereby. For the type itself, it was enough that there was some resemblance in it of that which was principally intended, the things belonging unto the antitype being affirmed of it analogically, on the account of the relation between them by God’s institution. Hence that which follows on such enunciations doth not at all respect or belong to the type, but only to the antitype. Thus, at the sacrifice of expiation, the scape-goat is said to bear and carry away all the sins of the people into a land not inhabited, not really, and in the substance of the matter, but only in an instituted representation; for “the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Much less may the things that ensue upon the Lord Christ’s real bearing and taking away of our sins be ascribed to the devoted beast. So is it in this case. The words applied by the apostle to prove the Son to have a more excellent name than the angels, and consequently to be preferred above them, do not at all prove that Solomon, of whom they were spoken merely as he was a type, should be esteemed to be preferred above all angels, seeing he did only represent Him who was so, and had these words spoken unto him, not absolutely, but with respect unto that representation. And this removes the fourth objection made in the behalf of the first interpretation, excluding Solomon from being at all intended in the prophecy; for what was spoken of him as a type required not a full accomplishment in his own person, but only that he should represent him who was principally intended.

(5.) That there is a twofold perpetuity mentioned in the Scripture, the one limited and relative, the other absolute; and both these are applied unto the kingdom of David. First, there was a perpetuity promised unto him and his posterity in the kingdom, as of the priesthood to Aaron, — that is, a limited perpetuity, — namely, during the continuance of the typical state and condition of that people; whilst they continued, the rule by right belonged unto the house of David. There was also an absolute perpetuity promised to the kingdom of David, to be made good only in the kingdom and rule of the Messiah. And both these kinds of perpetuity are expressed in the same words, giving their sense according as they are applied. If applied to the successors of David, as his kingdom was a type of that of Christ, they denote the limited perpetuity before mentioned, as that which respected an adjunct of the typical state of that people, that was to be regulated by it and commensurate unto it; but as they are referred to the kingdom of Christ represented in the other, so an absolute perpetuity is expressed in them. And this takes away the third reason for excluding Solomon from being intended in these words, the perpetuity promised being unto him limited and bounded.

These considerations being premised, I say, the words insisted on by the apostle, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son,” belonged first and nextly unto Solomon, denoting that fatherly love, care, and protection that God would afford unto him in his kingdom, so far forth as Christ was represented by him therein; which requires not that they must absolutely and in all just consequences from them belong unto the person of Solomon. Principally, therefore, they intend Christ himself, expressing that eternal, unchangeable love which the Father bore unto him, grounded on the relation of father and son.

The Jews, I confess, of all others, do see least of typicalness in Solomon. But the reason of it is, because that his sin was the occasion of ruining their carnal, earthly glory and wealth; which things alone they lust after. But the thing was doubtless confessed by the church of old, with whom Paul had to do; and therefore we see that the writer of the Books of the Chronicles, written after the return of the people from their captivity, when Solomon’s line was failed, and Zerubbabel of the house of Nathan was governor amongst them, yet records again this promise, as that which looked forward, and was yet to receive its full accomplishment in the Lord Christ. And some of the rabbins themselves tell us that Solomon, because of his sin, had only the name of peace, God stirring up adversaries against him; the thing itself is to be looked for under Messiah Ben David.

The allegation of these words by the apostle being thus fully and at large vindicated, I shall now briefly inquire into the sense and meaning of the words themselves.

It was before observed, that they are not produced by the apostle to prove the natural sonship of Jesus Christ, nor do they signify it; nor were they urged by him to confirm directly and immediately that he is more excellent than the angels, of whom there is nothing spoken in them, nor in the place from whence they are taken. But the apostle insists on this testimony merely in confirmation of his former argument for the pre-eminence of the Son above angels taken from that more excellent name which he obtained by inheritance; which being the name of the Son of God, he hereby proves that indeed he was so called by God himself.

Thus, then, do these words confirm the intention of the apostle; for to which of the angels said God at any time, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son?” The words contain a great and signal privilege; they are spoken unto and concerning the Messiah; and neither they nor any thing equivalent unto them were ever spoken of any angel; especially the name of the Son of God, so emphatically, and in way of distinction from all others, was never assigned unto any of them. And this, as hath been already showed, proves an eminency and pre-eminence in him above all that the angels attain unto. All this, I say, follows from the peculiar, signal appropriation of the name of the Son of God unto him, and his especial relation unto God therein expressed.

Briefly, we may adjoin the intention of the words as in themselves considered, and so complete the exposition of them. Now, God promiseth in them to be unto the Lord Christ, as exalted into his throne, a father, in love, care, and power, to protect and carry him on in his rule unto the end of the world. And therefore upon his ascension he says that he went unto his God and Father, John 20:17. And he rules in the name and majesty of God, Micah 5:4. This is the importance of the words. They intend not the eternal and natural relation that is between the Father and Son, which neither is nor can be the subject of any promise, but the paternal care of God over Christ in his kingdom, and the dearness of Christ himself unto him.

If it be asked on what account God would thus be a father unto Jesus Christ in this peculiar manner, it must be answered that the radical, fundamental cause of it lay in the relation that was between them from his eternal generation; but he manifested himself to be his father, and engaged to deal with him in the love and care of a father, as he had accomplished his work of mediation on the earth and was exalted unto his throne and rule in heaven.

And this is the first argument of the apostle, whereby he proves that the Son, as the revealer of the mind and will of God in the gospel, is made more excellent than the angels; whose glory was a refuge to the Jews in their adherence to legal rites and administrations, even because they were given unto them “by the disposition of angels.”

According unto our proposed method, we must in our progress draw hence also some instructions for our own use and edification; as, —

I. Every thing in the Scripture is instructive. The apostle’s arguing in this place is not so much from the thing spoken, as from the manner wherein it is spoken. Even that also is highly mysterious. So are all the concernments of it. Nothing in it is needless, nothing useless. Men sometimes perplex themselves to find out the suitableness of some testimonies produced out of the Old Testament unto the confirmation of things and doctrines in the New by the penmen of the Holy Ghost, when all the difficulty ariseth from a fond conceit that they can apprehend the length and breadth of the wisdom that is laid up in any one text of Scripture, when the Holy Ghost may have a principal aim at those things which they are not able to dive into. Every letter and tittle of it is teaching, and every thing that relates unto it is instructive in the mind of God. And it must be so, because, —

1. It proceeds from infinite wisdom, which hath put an impress of itself upon it, and filled all its capacity with its blessed effects. In the whole frame, structure, and order of it, in the sense, words, coherence, expression, it is filled with wisdom; which makes the commandment exceeding broad and large, so that there is no absolute comprehension of it in this life. We cannot perfectly trace the footsteps of infinite wisdom, nor find out all the effects and characters of it that it hath left upon the Word. The whole Scripture is full of wisdom, as the sea is of water, which fills and covers all the parts of it. And, —

2. Because it was to be very comprehensive. It was to contain, directly or by consequence, one way or other, the whole revelation of God unto us, and all our duty unto him; both which are marvellous, great, large, and various. Now this could not have been done in so narrow a room, but that every part of it, and all the concernments of it, with its whole order, were to be filled with mysteries and expressions or intimations of the mind and will of God. It could not hence be that any thing superfluous should be put into it, or any thing be in it that should not relate to teaching and instruction.

3. It is that which God hath given unto his servants for their continual exercise day and night in this world; and in their inquiry into it he requires of them their utmost diligence and endeavors. This being assigned for their duty, it was convenient unto divine wisdom and goodness to find them blessed and useful work in the whole Scripture to exercise themselves about, that everywhere they might meet with that which might satisfy their inquiry and answer their industry. There shall never be any time or strength lost or misspent that is laid out according to the mind of God in and about his Word. The matter, the words, the order, the contexture of them, the scope, design, and aim of the Holy Ghost in them, all and every one of them, may well take up the utmost of our diligence, — all are divine. Nothing is empty, unfurnished, or unprepared for our spiritual use, advantage, and benefit. Let us then learn hence, —

(1.) To admire, and, as one said of old, to adore the fullness of the Scripture, or of the wisdom of God in it. It is all full of divine wisdom, and calls for our reverence in the consideration of it. And indeed a constant awe of the majesty, authority, and holiness of God in his Word, is the only teachable frame. Proud and careless spirits see nothing of heaven or Divinity in the Word; but the humble are made wise in it.

(2.) To stir up and exercise our faith and diligence to the utmost in our study and search of the Scripture. It is an endless storehouse, a bottomless treasure of divine truth; gold is in every sand. All the wise men in the world may, every one for himself, learn somewhat out of every word of it, and yet leave enough still behind them for the instruction of all those that shall come after them. The fountains and springs of wisdom in it are endless, and will never be dry. We may have much truth and power out of a word, sometimes enough, but never all that is in it. There will still be enough remaining to exercise and refresh us anew for ever. So that we may attain a true sense, but we can never attain the full sense of any place; we can never exhaust the whole impress of infinite wisdom that is on the Word. And how should this stir us up to be meditating in it day and night! And many the like inferences may hence be taken. Learn also, —

II. That it is lawful to draw consequences from Scripture assertions; and such consequences, rightly deduced, are infallibly true and “de fide.” Thus from the name given unto Christ, the apostle deduceth by just consequence his exaltation and pre-eminence above angels. Nothing will rightly follow from truth but what is so also, and that of the same nature with the truth from whence it is derived. So that whatever by just consequence is drawn from the Word of God, is itself also the Word of God, and truth infallible. And to deprive the church of this liberty in the interpretation of the Word, is to deprive it of the chiefest benefit intended by it. This is that on which the whole ordinance of preaching is founded; which makes that which is derived out of the Word to have the power, authority, and efficacy of the Word accompanying it. Thus, though it be the proper work and effect of the Word of God to quicken, regenerate, sanctify and purify the elect, — and the Word primarily and directly is only that which is written in the Scriptures, — yet we find all these effects produced in and by the preaching of the Word, when perhaps not one sentence of the Scripture is verbatim repeated. And the reason hereof is, because whatsoever is directly deduced and delivered according to the mind and appointment of God from the Word is the Word of God, and hath the power, authority, and efficacy of the Word accompanying it.

III. The declaration of Christ to be the Son of God is the care and work of the Father. He said it, he recorded it, he revealed it. This, indeed, is to be made known by the preaching of the gospel; but that it shall be done, the Father hath taken the care upon himself. It is the design of the Father in all things to glorify the Son; that all men may honor him even as they honor the Father. This cannot be done without the declaration of that glory which he had with him before the world was; that is, the glory of his eternal sonship. This he will therefore make known and maintain in the world.

IV. God the Father is perpetually present with the Lord Christ, in love, care, and power, in the administration of his office as he is mediator, head, and king of the church. He hath taken upon himself to stand by him, to own him, to effect every thing that is needful unto the establishment of his throne, the enlargement of his kingdom, and the ruin and destruction of his enemies. And this he will assuredly do to the end of the world, —

1. Because he hath promised so to do. Innumerable are the promises on record that are made unto Jesus Christ unto this purpose. God hath engaged to hold him in his hand, and to hide him as a polished shaft in his quiver, to give him a throne, a glorious kingdom, an everlasting rule and government, and the like. Now, what he hath promised in love and grace, he will make good with care and power. See Isaiah 49:5-9; Isaiah 50:7-9.

2. All these promises have respect unto the obedience of the Lord Christ in the work of mediation; which, being performed by him rightly and to the utmost, gives him a peculiar right unto them, and makes that just and righteous in the performance which was mere sovereign grace in the promise. The condition being absolutely performed on the part of Christ, the promise shall be certainly accomplished on the part of the Father. By this is the covenant of the Redeemer completed, ratified, and established.

The condition of it on his part being performed unto the uttermost, there shall be no failure in the promises, Isaiah 53:10-12.

3. The Lord Christ makes it his request that he may enjoy the presence and power of his Father with him in his work and the administration of his mediation; and the Father always hears him. Part of his covenant with his Father was like that of Barak (who was a type of him) with Deborah the prophetess, who spake in the name of the Lord, Judges 4:8 : “If thou wilt go with me, I will go,” against all the enemies of the church, Isaiah 50:8-9. And accordingly, upon his engagement to go with him, he requests his presence; and in the assurance of it professeth that he is not alone, but that his Father is with him, John 8:16. To this purpose see his requests, John 17.

4. The nature of his work and kingdom requires it. God hath appointed him to reign in the midst of his enemies, and mighty opposition is made on all hands to his whole design, and a very particular act of it. The whole work of Satan, sin, and the world, is both to obstruct in general the progress of his kingdom, and to ruin and destroy every particular subject of it; and this is carried on continually with unspeakable violence and unsearchable stratagems. This makes the presence of the authority and power of the Father necessary to him in his work. This he asserts as a great ground of consolation to his disciples, John 10:28-29. There will be a great plucking, a great contending to take believers out of the hand of Christ, one way or other, to make them come short of eternal life; and though his own power be such as is able to preserve them, yet he lets them know also, for their greater assurance and consolation, that his Father, — who is over all, is greater, more powerful than all, greater than he himself, in the work of mediation, John 14:28, — is also engaged with him in their defense and preservation. So also is he as to the destruction of his adversaries, all opposing power whatever, Psalms 110:5-6. The Lord stands by him, on his right hand, to smite and tread down his enemies, —

all that arise against his design, interest, and kingdom. Be they never so many, never so great, he will ruin them, and make them his footstool every one. See Micah 5:4.

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Owen, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "John Owen Exposition of Hebrews". https: 1862.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

For . . . Thee? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

begotten, &c. = brought Thee to the birth. i.e. at resurrection, when the Son became the glorified federal Head of a new order of beings. Compare Hebrews 5:5; Acts 13:33. Romans 1:4, with 1 Corinthians 15:45, &c, and Psalms 2:7 (Septuagint)

a = for (Greek. eis) a. Quoted from Psalms 2:7, which, with Acts 13:33, tells us that this day was the day of His resurrection. Father. App-98.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https: 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

For. Substantiating Hebrews 1:4.

Unto which. A frequent argument is derived from the silence of Scripture (Hebrews 1:13; Hebrews 2:16; Hebrews 7:3; Hebrews 7:14).

This day have I begotten thee (Psalms 2:7). Fulfilled at Christ's resurrection, whereby the Father "declared" His Divine Sonship, heretofore veiled by His humiliation (Acts 13:33; Romans 1:4). Christ has a fourfold right to be "Son of God":

(1) By generation, begotten of God;

(2) By commission, sent by God;

(3) By resurrection, "the first-begotten of the dead" (cf. Luke 20:36; Revelation 1:5);

(4) By actual possession, as heir of all (Dr. Pearson).

The Psalm (Psalms 2:1-12; Psalms 89:26-27) applied primarily to Solomon, of whom God promised by Nathan to David, "I will be his Father, and he shall be my son." But as the whole theocracy was of Messianic import, the triumph of David over Hadadezer and neighbouring kings (2 Samuel 8:1-18) typically foreshows God's ultimately subduing all enemies under His Son, whom He sets (Hebrew, anointed, Psalms 2:6) on His "holy hill of Zion," as King of the Jews and of the whole earth, the antitype to Solomon, son of David. "I [ egoo (Greek #1473): emphatic: the Everlasting Father] have begotten thee this day," the day of thy being manifested as My Son, "the first-begotten of the dead" (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5). He had been always Son, but now first was manifested as such in His once humbled, now exalted, manhood united to His Godhead. Not, here, the eternal generation of the Son: The everlasting today in which the Son was begotten by the Father (Proverbs 30:4; John 10:30; John 10:38; John 16:28; John 17:8). The communication of the full divine essence involves eternal generation; for the divine essence has no beginning. But a definite point of time is here implied-namely, that of is having entered on the inheritance (Hebrews 1:4). The 'bringing the first-begotten into the world' (Hebrews 1:6) is not subsequent, as Alford thinks, to Hebrews 1:5. but anterior (cf. Acts 2:30-35).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https: 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

Never said to. "God does not use this language to angels, but He does say this to the Son!" [God became the FATHER of Christ in the miraculous act of generation which took place prior to the Virgin Birth. See Luke 1:35.] The first quotation is from Psalm 2:7; the second is from 2 Samuel 7:14. His Sonship is proved by his raising from death! See Romans 1:4; Acts 13:32-33. In fact, the birth of Christ would be no more "greater than the angels" than the creation of Adam, were it not for the Resurrection! The whole FACT of the Messiahship stands or falls with the Resurrection (as Paul shows in 1 Corinthians 15:12-20). [See also notes on 1 John 5:6.]

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "The Bible Study New Testament". https: College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(5) For unto which of the angels . . . . “God has spoken of the Messiah as His Son, a title which no angel ever receives from Him.” That the appellation “sons of God” may be used in an inferior sense, and that thus angels may be so designated (Job 1:6; Job 38:7), does not affect this argument; for every reader must perceive that in these quotations “Son” is used of One, and in a sense that is unique The two quotations are taken from Psalms 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14. It seems probable that the second Psalm was written by David during the troublous times of 2 Samuel 8-10, in the fresh recollection of the promises of which we read in 2 Samuel 7. In the midst of the rebellious conspiracies of kings and nations is heard Jehovah’s word, “Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion” (Psalms 2:6). In Hebrews 1:7 the Anointed King declares the divine decree, “The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten Thee;” and the following verses describe the kingly dominion of the Son. The clearest comments on Hebrews 1:7 are supplied by 2 Samuel 7:12-14, and especially by Psalms 89:27 of the last-named Psalm, “I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth,” shows plainly that in their first meaning—that which relates to the royal rule of David or David’s son—the words “I have this day begotten thee” signify “I have this day established thee as my chosen king, and thus constituted thee my son;” for to the firstborn belongs natural, though derived, rule over the kingdom of his father. At what period the people in general, guided by prophetic teaching and the discipline of history (see below), learnt in how secondary a sense such words could be used of any human king, we do not know; but we have clear evidence, both from the New Testament (Hebrews 5:5; Acts 4:25-27; Acts 13:33; Revelation 2:27) and from Jewish tradition, that the second Psalm was understood to be a distinct prophecy of the Messiah; indeed, this very name “Messiah” and the appellation “Son of God” (see John 1:34; John 1:49) may be traced to this Psalm. The declarations of Hebrews 1:6-7, are typical of the enthronement of the Messiah. St. Paul (Acts 13:33) refers the words here quoted to the period of the Resurrection. With this the language used above (Hebrews 1:4) perfectly agrees. As, however, in that verse the exaltation of the Christ is declared to correspond to that essential dignity which lay in the name Son, a name which in this very context bears its highest sense (Hebrews 1:1-3), we are constrained to regard the “day” of the Resurrection as itself typical, and to believe that “this day” also pointed to the “eternal Now”—to what Origen (on John 1:1) speaks of as “the day which is co-extensive with the unbegotten and everlasting life of God.”

The second passage, which seems to have been the basis of the words we have just considered, occurs in the course of the divine promise that David’s seed shall be established in his kingdom, and that David’s throne shall be established for ever: the seed of David shall be received as God’s Son. With the words here quoted are closely joined others which plainly prove that Hebrews 1:14 is not a simple and direct prophecy of Christ, but in the first instance belonged to an earthly ruler. Through the teaching of successive disappointments, each “son of David” failing to realise the hopes excited by the promise, the nation was led to look to the future King, and at once to remove from the prophecy the purely earthly limitations and to discern a higher meaning in the promise of divine sonship.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https: 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
5:5; Psalms 2:7; Acts 13:33
I will
2 Samuel 7:14; 1 Chronicles 17:13; 22:10; 28:6; Psalms 89:26,27

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

The more excellent name mentioned in the preceding verse is that of Song of Solomon , as we may observe by the argument of this verse. God never said Thou art my Son to a single one of the angels, as he did to Jesus. This day have I begotten thee occurred when Mary conceived of God by the services of the Holy Spirit ( Luke 1:27-38). The angels were not brought into being by any personal relations between God and another being as was Jesus, but was created directly by the power of God. The rest of this verse restates the same relationship already mentioned.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https: 1952.

Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Song of Solomon , this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Song of Solomon , this day have I begotten thee?—Here the Apostle proceeds to prove his assertion, that Christ possesses by inheritance a more excellent name than the angels. This he demonstrates by a quotation from the second Psalm , which not only gives Jesus the title of Song of Solomon , but describes Him as begotten. The Apostle elsewhere applies this prediction to the resurrection of Christ, Acts 13:33, because He was thus declared to be the Son of God with power. Romans 1:4. In various ways had He been declared to be the Son of God, by His doctrine and miracles, the perfection of His character, and repeated testimonies by a voice from heaven; but His resurrection was the demonstration of His being the Son of God, the promised seed of the woman, the Judge of the world. Acts 17:31. Hence, the sign which He gave in token of the dignity of His person was the sign of the prophet Jonas. Jesus was to be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The temple of His body, in which dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, was to be destroyed, and in three days He would raise it up.

He appeared in our nature, that He might lay down His life. He came in the character of the Father's servant to accomplish the salvation of the children given to Him. He is the seed of the woman, the Head of God's elect; and having identified Himself with them, that He might raise them to life and glory, He in their nature endured the curse which they had incurred that they might inherit a blessing, and might all through union with Him be acknowledged to be the sons of God. He subjected Himself to suffering and death that they might partake of eternal life with Him. It was an easy service imposed on Adam to abstain from the fruit of one tree, but the service required of the second Adam included not only sorrow, shame, and grief in this world, but the pains of death. To all this He cheerfully submitted, knowing that His Father's commandment was life everlasting, not only to Himself, but to a countless multitude. As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself, and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man. John 5:26-27. The reason of all judgment being committed to the Son is very remarkable, "that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father."

The Apostle adds another testimony to the Sonship of Christ.

And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son.—It is evident that this passage refers primarily to Song of Solomon , 2 Samuel 7:14; 1 Chronicles 17:12, who was a remarkable type of Christ, but we learn from the Apostle that a greater than Solomon is here. Indeed, this is evident from the passage quoted, for God promises to establish His kingdom for ever. The Lord Jesus is frequently described both as David and the Son of David. David was a man after God's own heart, which denotes his zeal for the worship of God; but it has its full accomplishment in Christ, who is in all respects a man after God's own heart, for He always did those things which pleased His Father. He now sits on the throne of His father David, and is indeed the King of Israel. John 1:49.

We repeatedly find a double type in consequence of the different aspects in which Christ is presented to our view. He was in the form of a servant, engaged in a work committed to Him by His Father, which required Him to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs, a stranger and pilgrim, a houseless wanderer in this world, and finally to be made a curse by hanging on a tree, thus becoming obedient to the death of the cross. Again, we behold Him a resistless conqueror triumphing over death, His foot on the neck of Satan, and invested with all power in heaven and on earth. Hence a double type was necessary to denote His sufferings and glory. The former was typified by "David and all his afflictions," the latter, by Song of Solomon , who enjoyed a long, glorious, and peaceful reign; a remarkable type of Him of the increase of whose government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and of his kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice, from henceforth and for ever. Hence the Apostle applies to Jesus what was primarily said of Song of Solomon ,—I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son.

Besides David and Solomon prefiguring Christ in His humiliation and exaltation, we find other instances of a double type. Thus, on the great day of atonement there were two goats, one of which, when the sins of Israel were laid upon it, was slain, while the other was set free, denoting Christ dying for the sins of His people and raised for their justification.

Again, in cleansing the leper, there were two birds, the one of which was slain, the other, after being dipped in its blood, was set free. This represented the great Shepherd of the sheep brought again from the dead through the blood of the everlasting covenant. Hebrews 13:10.

Moses, the Mediator of the old covenant, was a remarkable type of our great Mediator, and in correspondence with the antitype, Israel could not enter Canaan till after his death. When the people sinned in the matter of the golden calf, and Moses had broken the tables in token of the covenant being broken, he said to the people, "Ye have sinned a great sin, and now I will go up unto the Lord, peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin." Exodus 32:30. He accordingly returned to the Lord, and said, "Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of the book which thou hast written." Exodus 32:31-32. Thus he offered his life to atone for the sin of Israel. We know that God spoke to Moses mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches. Num. xii8. There is therefore reason to suppose that Moses communicated to Israel in parables what he had heard plainly in the mount. Israel was a carnal, stiff-necked people, and could not have home the truth of the Son of God dying, and reviving, and rising. The doctrine of Christ was a stumbling-block to their children, after they had received all the additional instructions contained in the Scriptures of the prophets, had seen His own mighty works, and heard Him declared to be the Son of God by a voice from heaven,—notwithstanding all this, they crucified Him as a blasphemer. Hence, it is not improbable that Moses concealed in parables what he had been taught in the mount, and that this was intimated by the veil which he put upon his face while speaking to the people, and which he took off when he went in before the Lord. Exodus 34:33-34. If this were the case, Moses knew that Christ was to die for His people, and as the mediator of the old covenant he offered to expiate by death the sin of which Israel had been guilty. But Moses, however eminent, was but a sinful Prayer of Manasseh , and a sin-offering must be perfect to be accepted—"There shall be no blemish therein." Leviticus 22:21. But, although the death of Moses could not be accepted as an expiation for the sin of Israel, it was necessary for the correspondence of the type and the antitype, that the mediator should die before Israel could enter Canaan. Hence it is written, "Moses, my servant, is dead; now, therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel." Joshua 1:2. Thus Moses and Joshua were each a type of Christ, who, having by His death expiated the sins of His people, rose from the dead as the Captain of their salvation, and puts them in possession of the eternal inheritance.

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Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:5". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". https: 1835.

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