corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.20.01.24
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Hebrews 1:8

But of the Son He says, "YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever - If this be said of the Son of God, i.e. Jesus Christ, then Jesus Christ must be God; and indeed the design of the apostle is to prove this. The words here quoted are taken from Psalm 45:6, Psalm 45:7, which the ancient Chaldee paraphrast, and the most intelligent rabbins, refer to the Messiah. On the third verse of this Psalm, Thou art fairer than the children of men, the Targum says: "Thy beauty, משיחא מלכא malca Meshicha, O King Messiah, is greater than the children of men." Aben Ezra says: "This Psalm speaks of David, or rather of his son, the Messiah, for this is his name," Ezekiel 34:24; : And David my servant shall be a Prince over them for ever. Other rabbins confirm this opinion.

This verse is very properly considered a proof, and indeed a strong one, of the Divinity of Christ; but some late versions of the New Testament have endeavored to avoid the evidence of this proof by translating the words thus: God is thy throne for ever and ever; and if this version be correct, it is certain the text can be no proof of the doctrine. Mr. Wakefield vindicates this translation at large in his History of Opinions; and ὁ Θεος, being the nominative case, is supposed to be a sufficient justification of this version. In answer to this it may be stated that the nominative case is often used for the vocative, particularly by the Attics; and the whole scope of the place requires it should be so used here; and, with due deference to all of a contrary opinion, the original Hebrew cannot be consistently translated any other way, ועד עולם אלהים כסאך kisaca Elohim olam vaed, Thy throne, O God, is for ever, and to eternity. It is in both worlds; and extends over all time; and will exist through all endless duration. To this our Lord seems to refer, Matthew 28:18; : All power is given unto me, both in Heaven and Earth. My throne, i.e. my dominion, extends from the creation to the consummation of all things. These I have made, and these I uphold; and from the end of the world, throughout eternity, I shall have the same glory - sovereign, unlimited power and authority, which I had with the Father before the world began; John 17:5. I may add that none of the ancient versions has understood it in the way contended for by those who deny the Godhead of Christ, either in the Psalm from which it is taken, or in this place where it is quoted. Aquila translates אלהים Elohim, by Θεε, O God, in the vocative case; and the Arabic adds the sign of the vocative ya, reading the place thus: korsee yallaho ila abadilabada, the same as in our version. And even allowing that ὁ Θεος here is to be used as the nominative case, it will not make the sense contended for, without adding εστι to it, a reading which is not countenanced by any version, nor by any MS. yet discovered. Wiclif, Coverdale, and others, understood it as the nominative, and translated it so; and yet it is evident that this nominative has the power of the vocative: forsothe to the sone God thi troone into the world of world: a gerde of equite the gerde of thi reume. I give this, pointing and all, as it stands in my old MS. Bible. Wiclif is nearly the same, but is evidently of a more modern cast: but to the sone he seith, God thy trone is into the world of world, a gherd of equyte is the gherd of thi rewme. Coverdale translates it thus: But unto the sonne he sayeth, God, thi seate endureth for ever and ever: the cepter of thi kyngdome is a right cepter. Tindal and others follow in the same way, all reading it in the nominative case, with the force of the vocative; for none of them has inserted the word εστι, is, because not authorized by the original: a word which the opposers of the Divinity of our Lord are obliged to beg, in order to support their interpretation. See some farther criticisms on this at the end of this chapter.

A scepter of righteousness - The scepter, which was a sort of staff or instrument of various forms, was the ensign of government, and is here used for government itself. This the ancient Jewish writers understand also of the Messiah.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/hebrews-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

But unto the Son he saith - In Psalm 45:6-7. The fact that the writer of this Epistle makes this application of the Psalm to the Messiah, proves that it was so applied in his time, or that it would be readily admitted to be applicable to him. It has been generally admitted, by both Jewish and Christian interpreters, to have such a reference. Even those who have doubted its primary applicability to the Messiah, have regarded it as referring to him in a secondary sense. Many have supposed that it referred to Solomon in the primary sense, and that it has a secondary reference to the Messiah. To me it seems most probable that it had an original and exclusive reference to the Messiah. It is to be remembered that the hope of the Messiah was the special hope of the Jewish people. The coming of the future king, so early promised, was the great event to which they all looked forward with the deepest interest.

That hope inspired their prophets and their bards, and cheered the hearts of the nation in the time of despondency. The Messiah, if I may so express it, was the “hero” of the Old Testament - more so than Achilles is of the Iliad, and Aeneas of the Aenead. The sacred poets were accustomed to employ all their most magnificent imagery in describing him, and to present him in every form that was beautiful in their conception, and that would be gratifying to the pride and hopes of the nation. Everything that is gorgeous and splendid in description is lavished on him, and they were never under any apprehension of attributing to him too great magnificence in his personal reign; too great beauty of moral character; or too great an extent of dominion. That which would be regarded by them as a magnificent description of a monarch, they freely applied to him; and this is evidently the case in this Psalm. That the description may have been in part derived from the view of Solomon in the magnificence of his court, is possible, but no more probable than that it was derived from the general view of the splendor of any Oriental monarch, or than that it might have been the description of a monarch which was the pure creation of inspired poetry.

Indeed, I do see not why this Psalm should ever have been supposed to be applicable to Solomon. His “name” is not mentioned. It has no special applicability to him. There is nothing that would apply to him which would not also apply to many an Oriental prince. There are some things in it which are much less applicable to him than to many others. The king here described is a conqueror. He girds his sword on his thigh, and his arrows are sharp in the hearts of his foes, and the people are subdued under him. This was not true of Solomon. His was a reign of peace and tranquillity, nor was he ever distinguished for war. On the whole, it seems clear to me, that this Psalm is designed to be a beautiful poetic description of the Messiah as king. The images are drawn from the usual characteristics of an Oriental prince, and there are many things in the poem - as there are in parables - for the sake of keeping, or verisimilitude, and which are not, in the interpretation, to be cut to the quick.

The writer imagined to himself a magnificent and beautiful prince; a prince riding prosperously in his conquests; swaying a permanent and wide dominion; clothed in rich and splendid vestments; eminently upright and pure; and scattering blessings everywhere - and that prince was the Messiah. The Psalm, therefore, I regard as relating originally and exclusively to Christ; and though in the interpretation, the circumstances should not be unduly pressed, nor an attempt be made to spiritualize them, yet the whole is a glowing and most beautiful description of Christ as a King. The same principles of interpretation should be applied to it which are applied to parables, and the same allowance be made for the introduction of circumstances for the sake of keeping, or for finishing the story. If this be the correct view, then Paul has quoted the Psalm in conformity exactly with its original intention, as he undoubtedly quoted it as it was understood in his time.

“Thy throne.” A throne is the seat on which a monarch sits, and is here the symbol of dominion, because kings when acting as rulers sit on thrones. Thus, a throne becomes the emblem of authority or empire. Here it means, that his “rule” or “dominion” would be perpetual - “forever and ever” - which assuredly could not be applied to Solomon. “O God.” This certainly could not be applied to Solomon; but applied to the Messiah it proves what the apostle is aiming to prove - that he is above the angels. The argument is, that a name is given to “him” which is never given to “them.” They are not called “God” in any strict and proper sense. The “argument” here requires us to understand this word, as used in a sense more exalted than any name which is ever given to angels, and though it may be maintained that the name אלהים 'elohiymis given to magistrates or to angels, yet here the argument requires us to understand it as used in a sense superior to what it ever is when applied to an angel - or of course to any creature, since it was the express design of the argument to prove that the Messiah was superior to the angels.

The word “God” should be taken in its natural and obvious sense, unless there is some necessary reason for limiting it. If applied to magistrates Psalm 82:6, it must be so limited. If applied to the Messiah, there is no such necessity, John 1:1; Isaiah 9:6; 1 John 5:20; Philemon 2:6, and it should be taken in its natural and proper sense. The “form” here - ὁ Θεὸς ho Theos- is in the vocative case and not the nominative. It is the usual form of the vocative in the Septuagint, and nearly the only form of it - Stuart. This then is a direct address to the Messiah, calling him God; and I see not why it is not to be used in the usual and proper sense of the word. Unitarians proposed to translate this, “God is thy throne;” but how can God be “a throne” of a creature? What is the meaning of such an expression? Where is there one parallel? And what must be the nature of that cause which renders such an argument necessary? - This refers, as it seems to me, to the Messiah “as king.”

It does not relate to his mode of existence before the incarnation, but to him as the magnificent monarch of his people. Still, the ground or reason why this name is given to him is that he is “divine.” It is language which properly expresses his nature. He must have a divine nature, or such language would be improper. I regard this passage, therefore, as full proof that the Lord Jesus is divine; nor is it possible to evade this conclusion by any fair interpretation of it. It cannot be wrong to address him as God; nor addressing him as such, not to regard him as divine. “Is forever and ever.” This could not in any proper sense apply to Solomon. As applied to the Messiah, it means that his essential kingdom will be perpetual, Luke 1:33. As Mediator his kingdom will be given up to the Father, or to God without reference to a mediatorial work, (1 Corinthians 15:24, 1 Corinthians 15:28 - see notes on these verses), but his reign over his people will be perpetual.

There never will come a time when they shall not obey and serve him, though the special form of his kingdom, as connected with the work of mediation, will be changed. The form of the organized church, for example, will be changed, for there shall be no necessity for it in heaven, but the essential dominion and power of the Son of God will not cease. He shall have the same dominion which he had before he entered on the work of mediation; and that will be eternal. It is also true that, compared with earthly monarchs, his kingdom shall be perpetual. They soon die. Dynasties pass away. But his empire extends from age to age, and is properly a perpetual dominion. The fair and obvious interpretation of this passage would satisfy me, were there nothing else, that this Psalm had no reference to Solomon, but was designed originally as a description of the Messiah as the expected King and Prince of his people. “A scepter of righteousness.”

That is, a right or just scepter. The phrase is a Hebraism. The former expression described the perpetuity of his kingdom; this describes its “equable nature.” It would be just and equal; see notes on Isaiah 11:5. A “scepter” is a staff or wand usually made of wood, five or six feet long, and commonly overlaid with gold, or ornamented with golden rings. Sometimes, however, the scepter was made of ivory, or wholly of gold. It was borne in the hands of kings as an emblem of authority and power. Probably it had its origin in the staff or crook of the shepherd - as kings were at first regarded as the “shepherds” of their people. Thus, Agamemnon is commonly called by Homer the “shepherd” of the people. The “scepter” thus becomes the emblem of kingly office and power - as when we speak of “swaying a scepter;” - and the idea here is, that the Messiah would be a “king,” and that the authority which he would wield would be equitable and just. He would not be governed, as monarchs often are, by mere caprice, or by the wishes of courtiers and flatterers; he would not be controlled by mere “will” and the love of arbitrary lower; but the execution of his laws would be in accordance with the principles of equity and justice. - How well this accords with the character of the Lord Jesus we need not pause to show; compare notes on Isaiah 11:2-5.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/hebrews-1.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

But of the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; And the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of thy kingdom.

This quotation is from Psalms 45:6 and relates to the Godhead of Christ.

CHRIST AS GOD

This verse has proved offensive to commentators who apparently resent such a blunt reference to Christ as God; but all kinds of learned arguments, predicated upon the Greek word, whether nominative or vocative, are not able to obscure the obvious and only meaning. Such would-be translations as "God is thy throne," or "Thy throne is God," etc., do not make sense nor harmonize with anything else in the Bible. God is not a chair to be sat upon; and no throne could possibly be God! The reluctance of people to allow so forthright a declaration of Christ's deity has been often noted. Bruce commented on this, saying "That he should be addressed as God has seemed too daring to many commentators who seek to evade it or explain it away."[16] Significantly, the most widely accepted versions of the New Testament allow it to stand as here and in KJV and RSV. Hebrews 1:8 must therefore be allowed to take its place as a witness of the eternal power and Godhead of Christ. Other passages bearing the same witness are; John 1:1; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Romans 9:5; Philippians 2:6; Colossians 2:9; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1; and 1 John 5:20. To be sure, there are an almost unlimited number of other passages in which Christ's deity must be inferred, as for example, in "Before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58).

A more indirect assault upon the plain meaning of this text is the allegation that would make Psalms 45 merely an epithalamium extolling the virtues of King Solomon (of all people)! Solomon does not fit the declaration here. His throne was not forever and ever; he did not love righteousness, but did love a thousand women; and, as for hating iniquity, he was a gross idolater. No, in the words of Christ himself, "A greater than Solomon is here"!

ENDNOTE:

[16] F. F. Bruce, op. cit., p. 19.


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

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/hebrews-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But unto the Son, he saith,.... What he does not to angels, and which sets him infinitely above them; which shows him to be a Prince and King, and not a servant, or minister; and which even ascribes deity to him:

thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: this, with what follows in this verse, and the next, is taken out of Psalm 45:6 which psalm is not spoken of Solomon, to whom many things in it will not agree; he was not fairer than other men; nor was he a warrior; nor was his throne for ever and ever; and much less a divine person, and the object of worship; but the Messiah, and so the ancient Jews understand it: the Targum applies it to him, and mentions him by name in Hebrews 1:2 and some of their modern writersF26Kimchi & R. Sol. ben Melech in loc. & R. Abraham Seba, Tzeror Hammor, fol. 49. 2. affirm it is said of the Messiah; though Aben Ezra seems doubtful about it, saying, it is spoken concerning David, or Messiah his Son, whose name is so, Ezekiel 37:25. Deity is here ascribed to the Son of God; he is expressly called God; for the words will not bear to be rendered, "thy throne is the throne of God, or thy throne is God"; or be supplied thus, "God shall establish thy throne": nor are the words an apostrophe to the father, but are spoken to the king, the subject of the psalm, who is distinguished from God the Father, being blessed and anointed by him; and this is put out of all doubt by the apostle, who says they are addressed "to the Son", who is not a created God, nor God by office, but by nature; for though the word "Elohim" is sometimes used of those who are not gods by nature; yet being here used absolutely, and the attributes of eternity, and most perfect righteousness, being ascribed to the person so called, prove him to be the true God; and this is the reason why his throne is everlasting, and his sceptre righteous, and why he should be worshipped, served, and obeyed. Dominion and duration of it are given to him; his throne denotes his kingly power, and government; which is general, over angels, good and bad; over men, righteous and wicked, even the greatest among them, the kings and princes of the earth: and special, over his church and people; and which is administered by his Spirit and grace in the hearts of his saints; and by his word and ordinances in his churches; and by his powerful protection of them from their enemies; and will be in a glorious manner in the latter day, and in heaven to all eternity; for his throne is for ever, and on it he will sit for ever: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; he will have no successor in it, nor can his government be subverted; and though he will deliver up the kingdom to the Father, it will not cease.

A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom; the sceptre is an ensign of royalty; and a sceptre of righteousness, or rightness, is expressive of the justice of government; the Syriac version renders it, "a sceptre stretched out"; which is a sceptre of mercy, as the instance of Ahasuerus stretching out his sceptre to Esther shows; and such is the Gospel of Christ, which holds forth and declares the mercy, grace, and love of God to men through Christ; and which may be called a sceptre of righteousness, since it reveals and directs to the righteousness of Christ, and encourages to works of righteousness; but here it designs the righteous administration of Christ's kingly office; for just and true are, have been, and ever will be his ways, as King of saints.


Copyright Statement
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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/hebrews-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

But unto the Son [he saith], Thy o throne, O God, [is] for ever p and ever: a q sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom.

(o) The throne is proper for princes and not for servants.

(p) For everlasting, for this repeating of the word increases the significance of it beyond all measure.

(q) The government of your kingdom is righteous.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/hebrews-1.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

O God — the Greek has the article to mark emphasis (Psalm 45:6, Psalm 45:7).

for ever … righteousnessEverlasting duration and righteousness go together (Psalm 45:2; Psalm 89:14).

a sceptre of righteousness — literally, “a rod of rectitude,” or “straightforwardness.” The oldest manuscripts prefix “and” (compare Esther 4:11).


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/hebrews-1.html. 1871-8.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

8. This verse certifies that our Lord’s everlasting kingdom is an administration of righteousness. The kingdom of Christ is set up in the heart by the Holy Ghost in regeneration, confirmed and perpetuated in sanctification. Here, however, the more direct allusion is to our Lord’s millennial reign, which will follow the present age, and continue forever. Though the millennium will only last about a thousand years, our glorious King will encumber the throne of final judgment, and reign on forever over this world after its cremation, celestialization and readmission into the Heavenly Universe.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Godbey, William. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/hebrews-1.html.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

O God (ο τεοςho theos). This quotation (the fifth) is from Psalm 45:7. A Hebrew nuptial ode (επιταλαμιυμepithalamium) for a king treated here as Messianic. It is not certain whether ο τεοςho theos is here the vocative (address with the nominative form as in John 20:28 with the Messiah termed τεοςtheos as is possible, John 1:18) or ο τεοςho theos is nominative (subject or predicate) with εστινestin (is) understood: “God is thy throne” or “Thy throne is God.” Either makes good sense.

Sceptre (ραβδοςrabdos). Old word for walking-stick, staff (Hebrews 11:21).


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/hebrews-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

d Fifth quotation, Psalm 45:7, Psalm 45:8. A nuptial ode addressed to an Israelitish king. The general sense is that the Messiah's kingdom is eternal and righteously administered.

Thy throne, O God ( ὁ θρόνος σου ὁ θεὸς )

I retain the vocative, although the translation of the Hebrew is doubtful. The following renderings have been proposed: “thy throne (which is a throne) of God”: “thy throne is (a throne) of God”: “God is thy throne.” Some suspect that the Hebrew text is defective.

Forever and ever ( εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος )

Lit. unto the aeon of the aeon. See additional note on 2 Thessalonians 1:9.

A sceptre of righteousness ( ἡ ῥάβδος τῆς εὐθύτητος )

Rend. the sceptre. The phrase N.T.oolxx. Ἐυθύτης , lit. straightness, N.T.oIt occurs in lxx.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/hebrews-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

O God — God, in the singular number, is never in scripture used absolutely of any but the supreme God. Thy reign, of which the sceptre is the ensign, is full of justice and equity. Psalm 45:6,7.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/hebrews-1.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

8.But to the Son, etc. It must indeed be allowed, that this Psalm was composed as a marriage song for Solomon; for here is celebrated his marriage with the daughter of the king of Egypt; (23) but it cannot yet be denied but that what is here related, is much too high to be applied to Solomon. The Jews, that they may not be forced to own Christ to be called God, make an evasion by saying, it at the throne of God is spoken of, or that the verb “established” is to be understood. So that, according to the first exposition, the word Elohim, God, is to be in construction with throne, “the throne of God;” and that according to the second, it is supposed to be a defective sentence. But these are mere evasions. Whosoever will read the verse, who is of a sound mind and free from the spirit of contention, cannot doubt but that the Messiah is called God. Nor is there any reason to object, that the word Elohim is sometimes given to angels and to judges; for it is never found to be given simply to one person, except to God alone. (24)

Farther, that I may not contend about a word, whose throne can be said to be established forever, except that of God only? Hence the perpetuity of his kingdom is an evidence of his divinity.

The scepter of Christ’s kingdom is afterwards called the scepter of righteousness; of this there were some, though obscure, lineaments in Solomon; he exhibited them as far as he acted as a just king and zealous for what was right. But righteousness in the kingdom of Christ has a wider meaning; for he by his gospel, which is his spiritual scepter, renews us after the righteousness of God. The same thing must be also understood of his love of righteousness; for he causes it to reign in his own people, because he loves it.

The Vulgate, following literally the Sept., without regarding the preceding peculiarity, has rendered “God” in the nominative, “Deus,” and not “O Deus.” — Ed.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/hebrews-1.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Ver. 8. Thy throne, O God, is for ever] Christ is God, then, as is here set forth by many arguments. God hath laid "help on one that is mighty." "I and the Father am one."


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/hebrews-1.html. 1865-1868.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 2270

EXCELLENCY OF CHRIST’S PERSON AND GOVERNMENT

Hebrews 1:8. Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

IN the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Apostle’s main object is to shew, that the Jewish ritual was completely fulfilled in Christ, and was therefore superseded by the Christian dispensation. But before he comes to the argumentative part, wherein this subject is regularly discussed, he shews how great and glorious a person Christ was: for, as the Jews had a high regard for Moses, and as they had received their law from God, it was necessary that they should be informed who Christ was; that he was greater than Moses, yea, than the very angels in heaven; and that therefore he had full authority to introduce the religion which was now established amongst his followers, and which the Jews were every where called upon to embrace. This, however, he takes care to ground upon their own Scriptures. He speaks of nothing as now, for the first time, revealed to himself; but appeals to the writings of their own prophets, in proof of every thing that he asserts.

The Psalm from whence the text is cited, relates chiefly to the Messiah. Whatever relation it may have to Solomon, it confessedly cannot be altogether applied to him. The ancient Jews understood it as speaking of the Messiah: and of the propriety of applying it to him, there can be no doubt. The words before us are addressed by the Father to the Messiah: and they lead us distinctly to notice two things; namely,

I. The dignity of his person—

Many there are, both Jews and Christians, who deny that the Divinity of Christ is here asserted—

[Jews have said, that the word Elohim is applied in Scripture to creatures, and therefore cannot be justly interpreted as importing the proper Deity of the person to whom it is addressed. But to this it may be observed, that though the word Elohim is applied to magistrates officially, as representatives of the Deity, it is no where applied to any individual but to Jehovah himself; and that to apply it to any individual besides Jehovah would be blasphemy.

But Christians also have attempted to invalidate the testimony of the Apostle, as the Jews have of the prophet; and for that purpose would translate the words thus; “God is thy throne for ever and ever.” But this is to force the words from their plain and obvious meaning: nor will it answer the end which they would endeavour to attain: for the very next quotation from the Psalms asserts the divinity of Christ, as clearly as the text itself does; speaking of him as the Creator of all things, and as continuing immutably “the same” for ever and ever [Note: ver. 10–12.]: and just before the text, another passage is cited from the Psalms to the same purpose, saying, “Let all the angels of God worship him [Note: ver. 6.].” We may safely therefore affirm, that the Messiah (who is here called “the Son,”) is addressed as truly and properly “God.”]

But the doctrine of his proper Deity, whilst it is asserted here, pervades also the whole Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament—

[The very name Emmanuel was assigned him on this account, because he was “God with us.” Yes, verily, he is “Jehovah’s fellow [Note: Zechariah 13:7.]:” even “the mighty God [Note: Isaiah 9:6.];” “Jehovah our righteousness [Note: Jeremiah 23:6.].” Nor does the New Testament leave this in doubt: for it asserts him to be “God manifest in the flesh [Note: 1 Timothy 3:16.],” even “the great God and our Saviour [Note: Titus 2:14.],” “God over all, blessed for ever [Note: Romans 9:5.].”]

And this doctrine lies at the root of all our hopes—

[The whole scope of this epistle is to shew, that what the blood of bulls and goats could not do, the blood of Christ, as shed upon the cross, has effected; namely, that it has made a propitiation for the sins of the whole world. But is it the blood of a mere creature that could effect this? If Christ be a mere creature, what force is there in that argument of the Apostle, “If the blood of bulls, &c. sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, &c. purge our conscience from dead works to serve the living God [Note: Hebrews 9:13-14.]?” What sense would there be in this, “If the blood of one creature could effect the smallest thing, how much more shall the blood of another creature effect the greatest?” But if Christ be God as well as man, then is the argument clear, and worthy of an inspired Apostle. In a word, Christ be not God, he cannot be the Saviour revealed in the Old Testament: for of him it is expressly said, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour: there is none beside me [Note: Isaiah 45:21-22.].”]

But it is not so much of the essential, as of the mediatorial, dignity of Christ that the text speaks: for it immediately proceeds to mark,

II. The excellency of his kingdom—

Earthly kingdoms are but of a limited duration: and, from the imperfection of all human institutions, there must of necessity be something in them of partiality and of comparative oppression. But Christ’s kingdom is perfect in every respect: it is,

1. In its duration perpetual—

[The four great monarchies all found a termination of their power [Note: Daniel 2:37-41.]: but the kingdom which Christ has established, shall endure for ever [Note: Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:13-14.]. True it is, that the present mode of administering it will cease, when there are no more subjects to be governed, or enemies to be subdued. When the final judgment is passed, the enemies of the Messiah’s kingdom will all be shut up in the prison prepared for their reception; and his subjects be exalted to those regions, where their every want will be supplied. “Then the Son will deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, that God may be all in all [Note: 1 Corinthians 15:24; 1 Corinthians 15:28.].” Still, however, the kingdom itself will remain: and Christ, as its glorious Head, be acknowledged by all his subjects, as the one source of their happiness, the one author of their salvation [Note: Revelation 5:9-10.].]

2. In its administration just—

[“His sceptre is a sceptre of righteousness.” Every law that proceeds from him is “holy, and just, and good.” Nothing of imperfection is found in any one of them: they are alike incapable of diminution or addition. If any one law appears too strict, it is only through our own ignorance and love of sin. To the renewed soul, not one of his commandments is grievous: the only thing that is grievous to it is, that it is not able to obey them all more perfectly. The very tendency of every law is to make those happy who obey it: and were any man to obey the laws of Christ as perfectly as they do in heaven, he would already in his own soul possess a heaven upon earth. Let any one who is disposed to complain of the strictness of the Gospel, examine its laws with candour, and see which of them he can reduce: Would he love God with less than all his heart; or his neighbour less than himself? Were he to reduce any one law below its present standard, he would so far give a licence for rebellion throughout all the kingdoms of the earth, and reason for murmuring throughout all the regions of hell, since a lower standard was appointed for others than was ever allowed to them.

But this righteousness is no less visible in the administration of the King, than in the laws by which he governs: for in no one instance is his favour or his frown accorded to any one, but in a strict consistency with equity. On whom did the King ever frown but on account of his transgressions, or more than in proportion to their enormity? or on whom did he ever deign to smile, but on those who humbled themselves before him as guilty, and pleaded his perfect righteousness as the ground of all their hopes? Nay, where did he ever pardon one rebel, till that rebel had cast himself entirely on the merit of his sacrifice, whereby Divine justice had been satisfied, and the law of God magnified? In earth, in hell, in heaven, the righteousness of his sceptre is alike displayed, and to all eternity shall it be acknowledged throughout the whole extent of his dominions.]

Keeping in view the general scope of the passage, as well as our own individual benefit, we would observe by way of improvement,

1. How clearly are the great truths of the Gospel founded on the Old Testament!

[We find nothing in the New Testament which was not predicted in the Old. Hence our blessed Lord and his Apostles continually refer to the Jewish Scriptures in confirmation of their own word. And it is worthy of particular remark, that we never so much as once hear of their enemies controverting or objecting to the construction which they put upon the Scriptures. The true import of the prophecies was, in many respects, better understood then than now; because the Jews, in order to justify their rejection of Jesus as their Messiah, have laboured to find out other interpretations of the Scriptures, different from those which their own forefathers acknowledged and approved. And I cannot but regard the very circumstance of the Apostles citing the different prophecies in the way they did, as a strong presumption, that the Scriptures were understood at that time in the very sense in which they cited them: for, had they not been so understood by the Jews of that day, the citation of them would have been nugatory: yea, worse than nugatory; it would have been absurd in the highest degree; and would have produced the directly opposite effect to that which it was intended to produce. Let any one, with this impression upon his mind, read the chapter from whence our text is taken, and he cannot for one moment doubt the divinity of Christ, or the truth of his Messiahship.]

2. How safely may we commit ourselves into the Saviour’s hands!

[Were our King a man only, what confidence could we have in his protection? He could not be every where: he could not hear and aid all persons at the same moment: consequently we might be overwhelmed before he could come to our aid. But our King is “the Mighty God,” who has all things in heaven, and earth, and hell under his controul; and who has engaged that all his enemies, and ours, shall be put under his feet. Let none then be discouraged because of the number, power, or inveteracy of their enemies: for, if he be for us, none can succesfully be against us. Let the consideration therefore which quieted David’s mind in all his troubles, compose and quiet our minds also under every trial that can befall us: “the floods have lifted, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice: the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea [Note: Psalms 93:3-4.]:” “The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven [Note: Psalms 11:3-4.].”]

3. How obedient should we be to his holy will!

[Were it only that we are the work of his hands, we ought to be altogether obedient to his will: but how much more, when, in addition to being our Creator, he has become our Redeemer; and has assumed our nature, in order that we, through his vicarious sufferings, may be made partakers of his kingdom and glory! We must not forget that the throne on which he sits is a mediatorial throne; and the kingdom which he governs is a mediatorial kingdom: and that he exercises his dominion not merely over us, but for us. How happy would the fallen angels be, if they could have one more offer of being received into his kingdom! But this privilege belongs to us only; and to us no longer than during the present short period of our existence upon earth. If we cast not down the weapons of our rebellion now, the day of grace will be past, and we shall hear him say, “Bring hither those that were mine enemies, who would not that I should reign over them, and slay them before me.” But methinks we should be constrained by love, rather than by fear. Think, my brethren, what it has cost him to establish his kingdom: what conflicts he has endured for us, that we might be made partakers of his triumphs! It was “through his own death that he triumphed over him that had the power of death, and delivered us from his cruel bondage.” Give ye then up yourselves to him: and though death should await you for your fidelity to him, fear it not, but rejoice that ye are counted worthy to suffer it for his sake. And know assuredly, that, “if ye suffer with him, ye shall reign with him,” and to all eternity “be glorified together” with him.]


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/hebrews-1.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Hebrews 1:8. πρὸς τὸν υἱὸν to the Son) by a direct speech. Comp. πρὸς, to, Hebrews 1:7.— θρόνοςμετόκους σου) So again, the LXX. say distinctly, Psalms 45:7-8, Thy throne, O GOD, is for ever and ever: the sceptre (rod) of thy kingdom is a sceptre (rod) of righteousness. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hast hated iniquity; therefore GOD, even thy GOD, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Concerning the Throne, comp. Lamentations 5:19. [Government over all is indicated.—V. g.]— θεὸς, O God) The vocative case with the article is in the highest degree emphatic. They clearly do violence to the text, who hold the opinion, that it is the nominative case in this passage, as Artemonius does, Part. ii. c. 2. The Throne and the Sceptre are joined; nor did God say, I will be thy throne, but, I will establish the throne of the son of David; Psalms 89:5; Psalms 89:30; Psalms 89:37.— αἰῶνα· εὐθύτητος, for ever: of righteousness) Eternity and righteousness are attributes very closely connected, Psalms 89:15, where the words מכון and יקדמו should be well considered. See also Hebrews 1:3 of this Psalms 45, where לעולם may be taken into consideration.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/hebrews-1.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

In the Father’s apostrophe to the Son, he giveth him the name of God, and thereby is he proved to have a better one than angels, made by, and servants to, him; and as the great gospel Minister hath a kingdom, in which they are his ministers and servants: this proof is quoted out of Psalms 45:6,7. It was not to Solomon or David, but to the Son God-man, spoken by the Father. The whole Psalm is written of him, and incompatible to any other is the matter of it. It represents him and his mystical marriage to the church; compare Ephesians 5:23-33 Revelation 19:7,8 22:17.

Thy throne, O God: some heretics, to elude this proof of Christ’s Deity, would make God the genitive case in the proposition, as: Thy throne of God, expressly contrary to the grammar, both in Hebrew and Greek: others gloss it, that o yeov is the nominative case, as, God is thy throne for ever, &c. i.e. He doth and will establish it: but this is cavilling, since it is the Father’s speech to and of his Son, describing his nature in opposition to the angels before. They were created spirits, but he was God; they were ministers and servants in his kingdom, where he was King; therefore his name and person is better than theirs.

God, in the singular, was a name never given to any creature, but is expressive of his Divine nature, and his relation in the Deity, being God the Son.

Is for ever and ever: his office as God-man, and great gospel Minister, is a royal one. He is a great King, angels are subjects of his kingdom as well as men, which royalty is set out by the ensigns of it; as here, by a throne, which is an emblem of royal authority, dominion, and power, whence he displayeth himself in his kingdom. It is a heavenly one, of a perfect constitution and administration, and of eternal continuance. His it was by natural inheritance, as God the Son; and as man united to the Godhead, he inheriteth the privileges of that person. This natural dominion over all things remaineth for ever, Colossians 1:16.

A sceptre of righteousness is a sceptre of thy kingdom: another ensign of his royal dominion and kingdom is his sceptre, which is his Spirit put out in his government of the world, and in his special work of grace, guiding and conforming, through his word and ordinances, the hearts of his chosen to the will of his Father. This sceptre is subjectively right in itself, and efficiently, making all under its power to be rectified according to the right and pure mind and will of God: compare Psalms 110:1-3.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/hebrews-1.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

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


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/hebrews-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

8. πρὸς δὲ τὸν υἱόν, “but with reference to the Son.” The Psalm [45] from which the quotation is taken, is called in the LXX. “A song for the beloved,” and has been Messianically interpreted by Jewish as well as Christian expositors. Hence it is chosen as one of the special Psalms for Christmas Day.

Ὁ θρόνος σου ὁ θεὸς εἰς αἱῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος. ὁ θεὸς is the ordinary vocative in Hellenistic Greek. This use of the nominative for the vocative is sometimes scornful in classical Greek (as in χαῖρε ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων), but is used in Hellenistic in direct addresses, comp. Luke 12:32 μὴ φοβοῦ τὸ μικρὸν ποίμνιον, Luke 8:54 ἡ παῖς ἔγειρε. The quotation is from Psalms 45:6-7 (LXX.), which in its primary and historic sense is a splendid epithalamium to Solomon, or Joram, or some theocratic king of David’s house. But in the idealism and hyperbole of its expression it pointed forward to “the King in His beauty.” “Thy throne, O Elohim,” is the rendering which seems most natural, and this at once evidences the mystic and ideal character of the language; for though judges and rulers are sometimes collectively and indirectly called Elohim (Exodus 21:6; Exodus 22:8; Psalms 82:1; John 10:34-36) yet nothing which approaches a title so exalted is ever given to a human person, except in this typical sense (as in Isaiah 9:6). The original, however, has been understood by some to mean “Thy divine throne”; and this verse may be rendered “God is Thy throne for ever and ever.” Philo had spoken of the Logos as “the eldest Angel,” “an Archangel of many names” (De Conf. Ling. 28), and it was most necessary for the writer to shew that the Mediator of the New Covenant was not merely an Angel like the ministers of the Old, or even an Archangel, but the Divine Prae-existent Son whose dispensation therefore supersedes that which had been administered by inferior beings. The Targum on this Psalm (45:3) renders it “Thy beauty, O King Messiah, is greater than the sons of men,” and Aben Ezra says it refers not so much to David as to his son Messiah.

ἡ ῥάβδος τῆς εὐθύτητος, “the sceptre of rectitude.” The A.V. gave the same word for εὐθύτητος and δικαιοσύνην in the next verse. The R.V. rightly distinguishes between the two words. Εὐθύτης is in the N.T. a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον.

τῆς βασιλείας σου. The two oldest MSS. (א, B) read αὐτοῦ .


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
"Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/hebrews-1.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8. Saith—Quoted from Psalms 45:6-7, generally held to be a Messianic psalm. See in vol. v, O.T., of this series. It is addressed not so much to the pre-existent Word as to the incarnate Son, tracing the character of his rule in the earth, with his Messianic exaltation in consequence.

Thy throne, O God—That the vocative here agrees with both Greek and Hebrew, see notes.

Sceptre of righteousness—The rule of the Mediator is in itself right; it is the origin and securer of the moral quality in the progress of the world; and it is pledge that the right shall prevail in the final destinies of men. Physical nature in itself is necessitated, and destitute of justice and mercy. The normal processes of necessary causes, by the law of the Father as God of nature, are all relentless and regardless of the gracious. It is from the presence and sway of the blessed Mediator, under grace of the Father, that the power of mercy and peace is felt in earthly things.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/hebrews-1.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Hebrews 1:8. But whatever the difficulties in the minute interpretation of those verses, the general sense is clear. Angels are all subordinate; while to Christ are given names of a very different import—God and Lord, and highest dignities—a sceptre and a throne, a kingdom.

A sceptre of righteousness, or rather of uprightness, as the word is translated in the Old Testament. If this change be made, it may then be said that righteous, righteousness, just, justify, justification, are throughout the New Testament forms of the same Greek word. His character befits His kingdom. His is a sceptre of uprightness. He loves righteousness and hates iniquity, showing herein the very nature of the Father.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/hebrews-1.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Hebrews 1:8. πρὸς δὲ τὸν υἱός …, the quotation being from Psalms 45 in which the King in God’s kingdom is described ideally. The points in the quotation which make it relevant to the writer’s purpose are the ascription of dominion and perpetuity to the Son. The emphatic words, therefore, are θρόνος, εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, ῥάβδος, and παρὰ τοὺς μετόχους σου. It does not matter, therefore, whether we translate “Thy throne is God” or “Thy throne, O God,” for the point here to be affirmed is not that the Messiah is Divine, but that He has a throne and everlasting dominion. Westcott adopts the rendering “God is thy throne,” and compares Psalms 71:3; Isaiah 26:4; Psalms 90:1; Psalms 91:1-2; Deuteronomy 33:27. He thinks it scarcely possible that “God” can be addressed to the King. Vaughan, on the other hand, says: “Evidently a vocative. God is thy throne might possibly have been said (Psalms 46:1): thy throne is God seems an unnatural phrase. And even in its first (human) application the vocative would cause no difficulty (Psalms 82:6; John 10:34-35).” Weiss strongly advocates this construction, and speaks of the other as quite given up. εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τ. f1αἰῶνος, “to the age of the age,” “for ever and ever,” “to all eternity.” Cf. Ephesians 3:21, εἰς πάσας τ. γενεὰς τοῦ αἰῶνος τ. αἰώνων, and the frequent εἰς τ. αἰῶνας τ. αἰώνων. See others in Vaughan or Concordance. “The aim of all these varieties of expression is the same; to heap up masses of time as an approximation to the conception of eternity” (Vaughan). καὶ ῥάβδος τῆς εὐθύτητος ῥάβδος τ. βασιλείας σου. The less strongly attested reading [see notes] gives the better sense: The sceptre of thy kingdom is a sceptre of uprightness. The well-attested reading gives the sense: “The sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of thy kingdom”. The everlasting dominion affirmed in the former clause is now declared to be a righteous rule. An assurance of this is given in the the further statement.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/hebrews-1.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

-9

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


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/hebrews-1.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

unto. Greek. pros, as Hebrews 1:7.

God. App-98.

for ever, &c. App-151.

a = the.

sceptre. Compare Psalms 2:9. Revelation 2:27.

righteousness = Rightness. Greek. euthutes See App-191.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/hebrews-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

O God , [ Ho (Greek #3588) Theos (Greek #2316)]. Grotius, 'God is Thy throne' - i:e., God will establish Thy throne. But nowhere is God said to be Christ's throne. Heaven, angels, and the righteous are termed God's throne; but Christ sits at God's right hand. The Hebrews, having no vocative form, use the nominative for it. So Targum on Psalms 45:1-17, and Aquila. Judges and angels (plural) are called '


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/hebrews-1.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

About the Song of Solomon, however. The quotation is from Psalm 45:6-7. Remember that one of the gifts from the Spirit which every apostle had, was inspired understanding of the Old Testament Scriptures. Your throne, O God. The angels are servants; the Son has an eternal throne!!! Notice the Son is here called God. Compare what Jesus said in John 8:24. You rule. The whole point is that the Son is a Divine King with an eternal throne. See 1 Corinthians 15:25-28 and notes.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/hebrews-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) Unto.—Rather, of. The connection with Hebrews 1:7 is so close (“Whereas of the angels He saith . . . of the Son He saith”), that we must not vary the rendering of the preposition. The passage which follows is taken from Psalms 45:6-7. As the words stand in the ordinary Greek text, they agree exactly with the LXX.; but certain alterations of reading are required by the best evidence. After the words “for ever and ever” and must be restored, and in the following clause the and a must change places. The latter change is of moment only as it affects the former. Were the words in all other respects cited with perfect exactness, the introduction of and would probably indicate that the writer intended to split up the quotation into two parts, each significant for his purpose. (Comp. Hebrews 2:13.) As, however, we note other minor changes, the insertion of the connecting word is probably accidental. A third reading is of much greater importance. At the close of the verse the two oldest of our Greek MSS. agree in reading “His kingdom:” to this we will return afterwards.

We have every reason to believe that the application of Psalms 45 which is here made was fully received by the ancient Jews; thus in the Targum on the Psalm Hebrews 1:7 is taken as a direct address to the King Messiah. Hence the readers of this Epistle would at once recognise the argument which the words contain. It is strongly maintained by some that the Psalm (like Psalms 110, see below, on Hebrews 1:13) is altogether prophetic, the promised Messiah alone being in the Psalmist’s thought. There appear to be insuperable objections to this view, from particular expressions used (in the later verses especially), and from the general structure and colouring of the Psalm. It is in every way more probable that the second Psalm (see Note on Hebrews 1:5), rather than Psalms 110, represents the class to which Psalms 45 belongs. Originally writing in celebration of the marriage of a king of David’s line (we know not whom, but many of the arguments urged against the possible reference to Solomon have no great weight), the inspired Psalmist uses words which bear their full meaning only when applied to that Son of David of whose kingdom there shall be no end. The promises made to David (2 Samuel 7) are before the writer’s mind in the first verses of the Psalm. The king appointed by God is His representative to God’s people; his cause is that of truth and righteousness; his dominion will continually advance. It is at this moment that, with the promise of a divine sonship (Psalms 2) in his thought, he suddenly addresses the sing as Elohim (Hebrews 1:7), a divine king who receives from God the reward of righteousness (Hebrews 1:8). There are in the Old Testament examples of the use of Elohim which diminish the difficulty of its application to an earthly king (such as Psalms 82:1; Psalms 95:3; 1 Samuel 28:13; Exodus 7:1); but it must still be acknowledged that the passage stands alone. This difficulty, however, relates only to the primary application. As the higher and true reference of the words became revealed, all earthly limitations disappeared; the Christian readers of the Psalm recognised in the Messiah of whom it speaks a King who is God.

The reading “His kingdom” has seemed to require a different rendering of the words in the first part of the verse: God is Thy throne for ever and ever. This rendering, however, will suit either reading of the Greek, and is equally admissible as a rendering of the Hebrew. Nor is it really inconsistent with the position in which the verse here stands: in contrast with the ministry of angels is set, on this view, not indeed a direct address to the Son as God, but the sovereign rule which the Son receives from God. The objections raised against it are: (1) such an expression as “God is Thy throne” is contrary to the analogy of Scripture language; (2) the ordinary rendering has the support of almost all ancient authority, Jewish writers and ancient versions being apparently united in its favour. The former argument is not very strong in face of Psalms 90:1, and similar passages; but the latter is so weighty that we hesitate to accept the change, helpful as it would be in making clear the original and typical reference of Hebrews 1:7. It should be said that the reading “His kingdom” is not inconsistent with the ordinary translation of the preceding words; for a sudden transition from “Thy throne, O God” to “His kingdom” is in full accordance with the usage of Hebrew poetry. (See Psalms 43:4; Psalms 67:5-6; Psalms 104:4-6, et al.) There are other renderings which would require discussion if we were concerned with the Hebrew text of the Psalm: the two given above are the only possible translations of the Greek.

A sceptre . . .—Rather, the sceptre of uprightness is a sceptre of Thy (or, His) kingdom. Righteousness itself (so to speak, the very ideal of righteous government) bears sway in Thy kingdom.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/hebrews-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
Thy throne
Psalms 45:6,7
O God
3:3,4; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6,7; 45:21,22,25; Jeremiah 23:6; Hosea 1:7; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:16,17; John 10:30,33; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 1 Timothy 3:16; Titus 2:13,14; 1 John 5:20
for
Psalms 145:13; Isaiah 9:7; Deuteronomy 2:37; 7:14; 1 Corinthians 15:25; 2 Peter 1:11
a sceptre
2 Samuel 23:3; Psalms 72:1-4,7,11-14; 99:4; Isaiah 9:7; 32:1,2; Jeremiah 23:5; 38:15; Zechariah 9:9
righteousness
Gr. rightness. or, straightness.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/hebrews-1.html.

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

The superiority of Christ over all other beings (except his Father) is still the main subject. Thy throne O God. Jesus is called God because that is the family name of the Godhead. He is called God in Acts 20:28, where his blood is mentioned as the purchasing price of the church. The throne of Christ is declared by his Father to be for ever and ever because He is to reign to the end of the age ( 1 Corinthians 15:24-26). A scepter is a rod or instrument that a ruler holds that is a token of his authority. The scepter connected with the kingdom of Christ is a righteous one, because it requires the citizens of the kingdom to live a life of righteousness only.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/hebrews-1.html. 1952.

Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom,

Christ is described, Psalmxlv6 , from which this is a quotation, as God sitting on His eternal throne, holding a sceptre of righteousness. This is eminently the characteristic of the Mediator's government, which is conducted on principles of the most perfect justice. While He has taken his redeemed from the fearful pit and the miry clay, He has magnified and made honorable the law which they had broken, they are clothed with a robe of unsullied righteousness. His Gospel, which proclaims God to be just while He justifies the ungodly, is the revelation of this righteousness, Romans 1:17; and when He has reduced the creation to order and harmony, He will deliver up the kingdom to His Father, and for ever remain the glorious Head of that Church which He hath purchased with His own blood, as well as of all principality and power. The kingdom here spoken of is that kingdom upon the throne of which the King sits who reigns in righteousness, Isaiah 32:1, and on which He sat down after having finished transgression, made an end of sin, made reconciliation for iniquities, and brought in everlasting righteousness. Daniel 9:24.

That the forty-fifth Psalm refers to Christ is evident, not only from the authority of the Apostle in this passage, but from the whole tenor of the Psalm. God promised David respecting him, "I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever;" and when Gabriel announced his birth to Mary, he said, "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Song of Solomon , and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall he no end." Luke 1:31-33. In the Psalm He is described as riding forth in majesty, vanquishing His enemies, and placing on his right hand the "Queen," the mother of a numerous offspring.

It is evident that the Apostle here speaks of Jesus in the character of Mediator, the Son of man. In this character alone could any comparison be instituted between Him and the highest of created beings.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Hebrews 1:8". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hal/hebrews-1.html. 1835.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, January 24th, 2020
the Second Week after Epiphany
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology