Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Hebrews 10:5

Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, " Sacrifice and offering You have not desired , But a body You have prepared for Me ;
New American Standard Version

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Nave's Topical Bible - Atonement;   Law;   Offerings;   Quotations and Allusions;   Types;   Scofield Reference Index - Quotations;   The Topic Concordance - Desire;   Jesus Christ;   Law;   Pleasure;   Reconciliation;   Sacrifice;   Sanctification;   Will of God;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Atonement, the;   Conscience;   Sacrifices;   Servants;  
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Adam Clarke Commentary

When he (the Messiah) cometh into the world - Was about to be incarnated, He saith to God the Father, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not - it was never thy will and design that the sacrifices under thy own law should be considered as making atonement for sin, they were only designed to point out my incarnation and consequent sacrificial death, and therefore a body hast thou prepared me, by a miraculous conception in the womb of a virgin, according to thy word, The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent.

A body hast thou prepared me - The quotation in this and the two following verses is taken from Psalm 40, 6th, 7th, and 8th verses, as they stand now in the Septuagint, with scarcely any variety of reading; but, although the general meaning is the same, they are widely different in verbal expression in the Hebrew. David's words are, לי כרית אזנים oznayim caritha li, which we translate, My ears hast thou opened; but they might be more properly rendered, My ears hast thou bored, that is, thou hast made me thy servant for ever, to dwell in thine own house; for the allusion is evidently to the custom mentioned, Exodus 21:2, etc.: "If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve, and in the seventh he shall go out free; but if the servant shall positively say, I love my master, etc., I will not go out free, then his master shall bring him to the door post, and shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever." But how is it possible that the Septuagint and the apostle should take a meaning so totally different from the sense of the Hebrew? Dr. Kennicott has a very ingenious conjecture here: he supposes that the Septuagint and apostle express the meaning of the words as they stood in the copy from which the Greek translation was made; and that the present Hebrew text is corrupted in the word אזנים oznayim, ears, which has been written through carelessness for גוה אז az gevah, Then a Body. The first syllable אז , Then, is the same in both; and the latter נים , which joined to אז , makes אזנים oznayim, might have been easily mistaken for גוה gevah, Body; נ nun, being very like ג gimel ; י yod, like ו vau ; and ה he, like final ם mem ; especially if the line on which the letters were written in the MS. happened to be blacker than ordinary, which has often been a cause of mistake, it might have been easily taken for the under stroke of the mem, and thus give rise to a corrupt reading: add to this the root כרה carah, signifies as well to prepare as to open, bore, etc. On this supposition the ancient copy, translated by the Septuagint, and followed by the apostle, must have read the text thus: לי כרית גוה אז az gevah caritha li, σωμα δε κατηρτισω μοι, then a body thou hast prepared me: thus the Hebrew text, the version of the Septuagint, and the apostle, will agree in what is known to be an indisputable fact in Christianity, namely, that Christ was incarnated for the sin of the world.

The Ethiopic has nearly the same reading; the Arabic has both, A body hast thou prepared me, and mine ears thou hast opened. But the Syriac, the Chaldee, and the Vulgate, agree with the present Hebrew text; and none of the MSS. collated by Kennicott and De Rossi have any various reading on the disputed words.

It is remarkable that all the offerings and sacrifices which were considered to be of an atoning or cleansing nature, offered under the law, are here enumerated by the psalmist and the apostle, to show that none of them nor all of them could take away sin, and that the grand sacrifice of Christ was that alone which could do it.

Four kinds are here specified, both by the psalmist and the apostle, viz.:

    Sacrifice, זבח zebach, θυσια·

    Offering, מנחה minchah, προσφορα·

    Burnt-Offering, עולה olah, ὁλοκαυτωμα·

    Sin-Offering, חטאה chataah, περι ἁμαρτιας .

Of all these we may say, with the apostle, it was impossible that the blood of bulls and goats, etc., should take away sin.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/hebrews-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Wherefore - This word shows that the apostle means to sustain what he had said by a reference to the Old Testament itself. Nothing could be more opposite to the prevailing Jewish opinions about the efficacy of sacrifice, than what he had just said. It was, therefore, of the highest importance to defend the position which he had laid down by authority which they would not presume to call in question, and he therefore makes his appeal to their own Scriptures.

When he cometh into the world - When the Messiah came, for the passage evidently referred to him. The Greek is, “Wherefore coming into the world, he saith.” It has been made a question “when” this is to be understood as spoken - whether when he was born, or when he entered on the work of his ministry. Grotius understands it of the latter. But it is not material to a proper understanding of the passage to determine this. The simple idea is, that since it was impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin, Christ coming into the world made arrangements for a better sacrifice.

He saith - That is, this is the language denoted by his great undertaking; this is what his coming to make an atonement implies. We are not to suppose that Christ formally used these words on any occasion for we have no record that he did - but this language is what appropriately expresses the nature of his work. Perhaps also the apostle means to say that it was originally employed in the Psalm from which it is quoted in reference to him, or was indited by him with reference to his future advent.

Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not - This is quoted from Psalm 40:6, Psalm 40:8. There has been much perplexity felt by expositorsin reference to this quotation, and after all which has been written, it is not entirely removed. The difficulty relates to these points.

(1) to the question whether the Psalm originally had any reference to the Messiah. The Psalm “appears” to have pertained merely to David, and it would probably occur to no one on reading it to suppose that it referred to the Messiah, unless it had been so applied by the apostle in this place.

(2) there are many parts of the Psalm, it has been said, which cannot, without a very forced interpretation, be applied to Christ; see Psalm 40:2, Psalm 40:12, Psalm 40:14-16.

(3) the argument of the apostle in the expression “a body hast thou prepared me,” seems to be based on a false translation of the Septuagint, which he has adopted, and it is difficult to see on what principles he has done it. - It is not the design of these notes to go into an extended examination of questions of this nature. Such examination must be sought in more extended commentaries, and in treatises expressly relating to points of this kind.

On the design of Psalm 40:2, the speaker in the Psalm says, “He brought me up out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock,” and on the ground of this he gives thanks to God. But there is no real difficulty in supposing that this may refer to the Messiah. His enemies often plotted against his life; laid snares for him and endeavored to destroy him, and it may be that he refers to some deliverance from such machinations. If it is objected to this that it is spoken of as having been uttered” when he came into the world,” it may be replied that that phrase does not necessarily refer to the time of his birth, but that he uttered this sentiment sometime “during” the period of his incarnation. “He coming into the world for the purpose of redemption made use of this language.” In a similar manner we would say of Lafayette, that “he coming to the United States to aid in the cause of liberty, suffered a wound in battle.” That is, during the period in which he was engaged in this cause, he suffered in this manner.

(b) The next objection or difficulty relates to the application of Psalm 40:12 to the Messiah. “Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart faileth me.” To meet this some have suggested that he refers to the sins of people which he took upon himself, and which he here speaks of as “his own.” But it is not true that the Lord Jesus so took upon himself the sins of others that they could be his. They were “not” his, for he was in every sense “holy, harmless, and undefiled.” The true solution of this difficulty, probably is, that the word rendered “iniquity” - צון ̀awon- means “calamity, misfortune, trouble;” see Psalm 31:10; 1 Samuel 28:10; 2 Kings 7:9; Psalm 28:6; compare Psalm 49:5. The proper idea in the word is that of “turning away, curving, making crooked;” and it is thus applied to anything which is “perverted” or turned from the right way; as when one is turned from the path of rectitude, or commits sin; when one is turned from the way of prosperity or happiness, or is exposed to calamity. This seems to be the idea demanded by the scope of the Psalm, for it is not a penitential Psalm, in which the speaker is recounting his “sins,” but one in which he is enumerating his “sorrows;” praising God in the first part of the Psalm for some deliverance already experienced, and supplicating his interposition in view of calamities that he saw to be coming upon him. This interpretation also seems to be demanded in Psalm 40:12 by the “parallelism.” In the former part of the verse, the word to which “iniquity” corresponds, is not “sin,” but “evil,” that is, calamity.

“For innumerable evils have compassed me about;

Mine iniquities (calamities) have taken hold upon me.”

If the word, therefore, be used here as it often is, and as the scope of the Psalm and the connection seem to demand, there is no solid objection against applying this verse to the Messiah.

(c) A third objection to this application of the Psalm to the Messiah is, that it cannot be supposed that he would utter such imprecations on his enemies as are found in Psalm 40:14-15. “Let them be ashamed and confounded; let them be driven backward; let them be desolate.” To this it may be replied, that such imprecations are as proper in the mouth of the Messiah as of David; but particularly, it may be said also, that they are improper in the mouth of neither. Both David and the Messiah “did” in fact utter denunciations against the enemies of piety and of God. God does the same thing in his word and by his Providence. There is no evidence of any “malignant” feeling in this; nor is it inconsistent with the highest benevolence. The Lawgiver who says that the murderer shall die, may have a heart full of benevolence; the judge who sentences him to death, may do it with eyes filled with tears. The objections, then, are not of such a nature that it is improper to regard this Psalm as wholly applicable to the Messiah.

(4) the Psalm cannot be applied with propriety to David, nor do we know of anyone to whom it can be but to the Messiah. When was it true of David that he said that he “had come to do the will of God in view of the fact that God did not require sacrifice and offerings?” In what “volume of a book” was it written of him before his birth that he “delighted to do the will of God?” When was it true that he had” preached righteousness in the great congregation?” These expressions are such as can be applied properly only to the Messiah, as Paul does here; and taking all these circumstances together it will probably be regarded as the most proper interpretation to refer the whole Psalm at once to the Redeemer and to suppose that Paul has used it in strict accordance with its original design. The other difficulties referred to will be considered in the exposition of the passage. The difference between “sacrifice” and “offering” is, that the former refers to “bloody” sacrifices; the latter to “any” oblation made to God - as a thank-offering; an offering of flour, oil, etc.; see the notes on Isaiah 1:11.

When it is said “sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not,” the meaning is not that such oblations were “in no sense” acceptable to God - for as his appointment, and when offered with a sincere heart, they doubtless were; but that they were not as acceptable to him as obedience, and especially as the expression is used here that they could not avail to secure the forgiveness of sins. They were not in their own nature such as was demanded to make an expiation for sin, and hence, a body was prepared for the Messiah by which a more perfect sacrifice could be made. The sentiment here expressed occurs more than once in the Old Testament. Thus, 1 Samuel 15:22. “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams,” Hosea 6:6, “For I desired mercy and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings;” compare Psalm 51:16-17, “For thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it; thou delightest not in burnt-offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.” This was an indisputable principle of the Old Testament, though it was much obscured and forgotten in the common estimation among the Jews. In accordance with this principle the Messiah came to render obedience of the highest order, even to such an extent that he was willing to lay down his own life.

But a body hast thou prepared me - This is one of the passages which has caused a difficulty in understanding this quotation from the Psalm. The difficulty is, that it differs from the Hebrew, and that the apostle builds an argument upon it. It is not unusual indeed in the New Testament to make use of the language of the Septuagint even where it varies somewhat from the Hebrew; and where no “argument” is based on such a “passage,” there can be no difficulty in such a usage, since it is not uncommon to make use of the language of others to express our own thoughts. But the apostle does not appear to have made such a use of the passage here, but to have applied it in the way of “argument.” The argument, indeed, does not rest “wholly,” perhaps not “principally,” on the fact that a “body had been prepared” for the Messiah; but still this was evidently in the view of the apostle an important consideration, and this is the passage on which the proof of this is based.

The Hebrew Psalm 40:6 “Mine ears hast thou opened,” or as it is in the margin, “digged.” The idea there is, that the ear had been, as it were, excavated, or dug out, so as to be made to hear distinctly; that is, certain truths had been clearly revealed to the speaker; or perhaps it may mean that he had been made “readily and attentively obedient.” Stuart; compare Isaiah 1:5. “The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious.” In the Psalm, the proper connection would seem to be, that the speaker had been made obedient, or had been so led that he was disposed to do the will of God. This may be expressed by the fact that the ear had been opened so as to be quick to hear, since an indisposition to obey is often expressed by the fact that the ears are “stopped.” There is manifestly no allusion here, as has been sometimes supposed, to the custom of boring through the ear of a servant with an awl as a sign that he was willing to remain and serve his master; Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy 15:17.

In that case, the outer circle, or rim of the ear was bored through with an awl; here the idea is that of hollowing out, digging, or excavating - a process to make the passage clear, not to pierce the outward ear. The Hebrew in file Psalm the Septuagint translates, “a body hast thou prepared me,” and this rendering has been adopted by the apostle. Various ways have been resorted to of explaining the fact that the translators of the Septuagint rendered it in this manner, none of which are entirely free from difficulty. Some critics, as Cappell, Ernesti, and others have endeavored to show that it is probable that the Septuagint reading in Psalm 40:6, was - ὠτίον κατηρτίσω μοι ōtion katērtisō moi- “my ear thou hast prepared;” that is, for obedience. But of this there is no proof, and indeed it is evident that the apostle quoted it as if it were σῶμα sōma“body;” see Hebrews 10:10. It is probably altogether impossible now to explain the reason why the translators of the Septuagint rendered the phrase as they did; and this remark may be extended to many other places of their version. It is to be admitted here, beyond all doubt, whatever consequences may follow:

(1)that their version does not accord with the Hebrew;

(2)that the apostle has quoted their version as it stood, without attempting to correct it;

(3)that his use of the passage is designed, to some extent at least, as “proof” of what he was demonstrating.

The leading idea; the important and essential point in the argument, is, indeed, not that “a body was prepared,” but that “he came to do the will of God;” but still it is clear that the apostle meant to lay some stress on the fact that a body had been prepared for the Redeemer. Sacrifice and offering by the bodies of lambs and goats were not what was required, but instead of that the Messiah came to do the will of God by offering a more perfect sacrifice, and in accomplishing that it was necessary that he should be endowed with a body But on what principle the apostle has quoted a passage to prove this which differs from the Hebrew, I confess I cannot see, nor do any of the explanations offered commend themselves as satisfactory. The only circumstances which seem to furnish any relief to the difficulty are these two:

(1)that the “main point” in the argument of the apostle was not that “a body had been prepared,” but that the Messiah came to do the “will of God,” and that the preparation of a body for that was rather an incidental circumstance; and

(2)that the translation by the Septuagint was not a material departure from the “scope” of the whole Hebrew passage.

The “main” thought - that of doing the will of God in the place of offering sacrifice - was still retained; the opening of the ears, that is, rendering the person attentive and disposed to obey, and the preparing of a body in order to obedience, were not circumstances so unlike as to make it necessary for the apostle to re-translate the whole passage in order to the main end which he had in view. Still, I admit, that these considerations do not seem to me to be wholly satisfactory. Those who are disposed to examine the various opinions which have been entertained of this passage may find them in Kuinoel, in loc., Rosenmuller, Stuart on the Hebrews, Excursus xx., and Kennicott on Psalm 40:6. Kennicott supposes that there has been a change in the Hebrew text, and that instead of the present reading - אזנים ‛aaznaayim- “ears,” the reading was אז גוף ‛aaz guwph- then a body;” and that these words became united by the error of transcribers, and by a slight change then became as the present copies of the Hebrew text stands. This conjecture is ingenious, and if it were ever allowable to follow a “mere” conjecture, I should be disposed to do it here. But there is no authority from mss. for any change, nor do any of the old versions justify it, or agree with this except the Arabic.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/hebrews-10.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Wherefore when he cometh into the world he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, But a body didst thou prepare for me; In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sins thou hadst no pleasure: Then said I, Lo, I come (In the roll of the book it is written of me) To do thy will, O God.

This quotation from Psalms 40:6-8 is introduced by the words, "When he cometh into the world," a reference to the incarnation of Christ, making him the true author of the words of David in this Psalm, and requiring that these words be understood as spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ and not by David. Lenski was doubtless correct in his understanding of this remarkable prophecy. He said:

The great force which these lines of the psalm and this true analysis of what they say has for the readers lies in the fact that David has written these lines in the psalm; they are in the holy scriptures, are a part of all that David the type says for the antitype, the Messiah. The lines are the voice of the Messiah himself speaking to God hundreds of years before this Messiah "appeared" (26) and did God's will.[7]

Also, from the comment of Westcott, "The words, it will be observed, assume the pre-existence of Christ."[8]

The well known problem of this place is that the author of Hebrews apparently quoted from the Septuagint (LXX) version of the Scriptures which differs greatly from the Hebrew text in the key words about the preparation of a body for the Messiah. Of this, Thomas said:

The Hebrew reads, "Mine ears thou hast opened," while the Greek text from which the quotation is made reads, "A body hast thou prepared me." On the principle that the Greek reading is the harder, it may be regarded as the original.[9]

We shall presume to pass no judgment as to the relative value of the word of scholars on this difficulty; but we do confidently affirm the right of every believer to accept the words as here quoted to be authentic and faithful words of God, reported in the verses before us by the inspired author of Hebrews.

Sacrifice and offering ... whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sins, constitute two pairs of words regarding the Jewish sacrifices, and again to Westcott we are indebted for this instructive note:

The two pairs of words give a complete view of the Jewish sacrifices. The first two describe them according to their material, the animal offering, and the meal offering. The second pair give in the burnt offering and the sin offering, representative types of the two great classes of offerings.[10]

In the roll of the book it is written of me seems like a strange expression; but as Clarke said,

Anciently, books were written on skins rolled up. Among the Romans, these were called "volumina, from "volvo", I roll; and the Pentateuch, in the Jewish synagogues, is still written in this way. There are two wooden rollers; on the one they roll ON; on the other they roll OFF.[11]

Clark also pinpointed the identification of just which book is meant, in these words,

The book mentioned here must be the Pentateuch, for in David's time no other part of divine revelation had been committed to writing. This whole book speaks about Christ, and his accomplishing the will of God, not only in Genesis 3:15, but in all the sacrifices and sacrificial rites mentioned in the law.[12]

The statement of the Messiah in presenting himself to do God's will, before his incarnation and at the time God purposed the redemptive act on behalf of man, is as follows; "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God." All kinds of offerings and sacrifices having failed to please God, or to give him any pleasure, and failing totally to remove man's sin and restore his broken fellowship with God, Christ in this place appears as the great Volunteer who would undertake the task. Even he would not be able to do it with such things as animal sacrifices, but would need "a body," a body prepared of God and made available to the Messiah through the seed of David; thus the principle is established that absolutely nothing less than the death of man for the sins of man could prevail; and no ordinary sinful man would suffice for such a purpose. Nothing less than the perfect and sinless Son of God could avail to make atonement.

No angel could his place have taken, Highest of the High, though he; The loved One on the cross forsaken Was one of the Godhead three.[13]

Thus, the dramatic and world-shaking significance of Christ's voluntary assumption of so dreadful and necessary a task on man's behalf is seen in the words, "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God." How profoundly different was the voluntary work of Christ from that of the old law offerings, which were not the result of any willing or voluntary assent on the part of the victims, but depended upon the arbitrary selection of others. How these precious words glow upon the sacred page: "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God"!

[7] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 331.

[8] Brooke Foss Westcott, op. cit., p. 309.

[9] W. H. Griffith Thomas, Hebrews (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company), p. 124.

[10] Brooke Foss Westcott, op. cit., p. 309.

[11] Adam Clarke, Commentary (New York: Carlton and Porter, 1829), Vol. 6I, p. 754.

[12] Ibid.

[13] J. M. Gray, Christian Hymnal (Dallas: Will W. Slater Company, Publishers, 1963), No. 268.

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Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/hebrews-10.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Wherefore, when he cometh into the world, he saith,.... In Psalm 40:7. This was said by David, not of himself, and his own times, for sacrifice and offering were desired and required in his times; nor was he able to do the will of God; so as to fulfil the law, and make void legal sacrifices; nor did he engage as a surety to do this; nor was it written of him in the volume of the book that he should: besides, he speaks of one that was not yet come, though ready to come, when the fulness of time should be up; and who is here spoken of as coming into the world, and who is no other than Jesus Christ; and this is to be understood, not of his coming into Judea, or the temple at Jerusalem; or out of a private, into a public life; nor of his entrance into the world to come, into heaven, into life eternal, as the Targum on Psalm 40:7 paraphrases it, after he had done his work on earth, for the other world is never expressed by the world only; nor did Christ go into that to do the will of God, but to sit down there, after he had done it; besides, Christ's entrance into heaven was a going out of the world, and not into it. To which may be added, that this phrase always signifies coming into this terrene world, and intends men's coming into it at their birth; See Gill on John 1:9 and must be understood of Christ's incarnation, which was an instance of great love, condescension, and grace; and the, reason of it was to do what the law, and the blood of bulls and goats, could not do. For it follows,

sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not; or didst not desire and delight in, as the word חפץ, used in Psalm 40:6 signifies; meaning not the sacrifices of wicked men, or such as were offered up without faith in Christ; but the ceremonial sacrifices God himself had instituted, and which were offered in the best manner; and that not merely in a comparative sense, as in Hosea 6:6 but the meaning is, that God would not have these continue any longer, they being only imposed for a time, and this time being come; nor would he accept of them, as terms, conditions, and causes of righteousness, pardon, peace, and reconciliation; but he willed that his Son should offer himself an offering, and a sacrifice for a sweet smelting savour to him.

But a body hast thou prepared me; or "fitted for me"; a real natural body, which stands for the whole human nature; and is carefully expressed, to show that the human nature is not a person. This was prepared, in the book of God's purposes and decrees, and in the council and covenant of grace; and was curiously formed by the Holy Ghost in time, for the second Person, the Son of God, to clothe himself with, as the Syriac version renders it, "thou hast clothed me with a body"; and that he might dwell in, and in it do the will of God, and perform the work of man's redemption: in Psalm 40:6 it is, "mine ears thou hast opened"; digged or bored, the ear being put for the whole body; for if he had not had a body prepared, he could not have had ears opened: besides; the phrase is expressive of Christ's assuming the form of a servant, which was done by his being found in fashion as a man, Philippians 2:7 and of his being a voluntary servant, and of his cheerful obedience as such, the opening, or boring of the ear, was a sign, Exodus 21:5. And thus by having a true body prepared for him, and a willing mind to offer it up, he became fit for sacrifice.

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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/hebrews-10.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

2 Wherefore when he b cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a c body hast thou prepared me:

(2) A conclusion following those things that went before, and encompassing also the other sacrifices. Seeing that the sacrifices of the law could not do it, therefore Christ speaking of himself as of our High Priest manifested in the flesh, witnesses plainly that God rests not in the sacrifices, but in the obedience of his Son our High Priest, in whose obedience he offered up himself once to his Father for us.

(b) The Son of God is said to come into the world, when he was made man.

(c) It is word for word in the Hebrew text, "You have pierced my ears through" that is, "you have made me obedient and willing to hear".

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/hebrews-10.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Christ‘s voluntary self offering, in contrast to those inefficient sacrifices, is shown to fulfill perfectly “the will of God” as to our redemption, by completely atoning “for (our) sins.”

Wherefore — seeing that a nobler than animal sacrifices was needed to “take away sins.”

when he comethGreek, “coming.” The time referred to is the period before His entrance into the world, when the inefficiency of animal sacrifices for expiation had been proved [Tholuck]. Or, the time is that between Jesus‘ first dawning of reason as a child, and the beginning of His public ministry, during which, being ripened in human resolution, He was intently devoting Himself to the doing of His Father‘s will [Alford]. But the time of “coming” is present; not “when He had come,” but “when coming into the world”; so, in order to accord with Alford‘s view, “the world” must mean His PUBLIC ministry: when coming, or about to come, into public. The Greek verbs are in the past: “sacrifice  …  Thou didst not wish, but a body Thou didst prepare for Me”; and, “Lo, I am come.” Therefore, in order to harmonize these times, the present coming, or about to come, with the past, “A body Thou didst prepare for Me,” we must either explain as Alford, or else, if we take the period to be before His actual arrival in the world (the earth) or incarnation, we must explain the past tenses to refer to God‘s purpose, which speaks of what He designed from eternity as though it were already fulfilled. “A body Thou didst prepare in Thy eternal counsel.” This seems to me more likely than explaining “coming into the world,” “coming into public,” or entering on His public ministry. David, in the fortieth Psalm (here quoted), reviews his past troubles and God‘s having delivered him from them, and his consequent desire to render willing obedience to God as more acceptable than sacrifices; but the Spirit puts into his mouth language finding its partial application to David, and its full realization only in the divine Son of David. “The more any son of man approaches the incarnate Son of God in position, or office, or individual spiritual experience, the more directly may his holy breathings in the power of Christ‘s Spirit be taken as utterances of Christ Himself. Of all men, the prophet-king of Israel resembled and foreshadowed Him the most” [Alford].

a body hast thou prepared meGreek, “Thou didst fit for Me a body.” “In Thy counsels Thou didst determine to make for Me a body, to be given up to death as a sacrificial victim” [Wahl]. In the Hebrew, Psalm 40:6, it is “mine ears hast thou opened,” or “dug.” Perhaps this alludes to the custom of boring the ear of a slave who volunteers to remain under his master when he might be free. Christ‘s assuming a human body, in obedience to the Father‘s will, in order to die the death of a slave (Hebrews 2:14), was virtually the same act of voluntary submission to service as that of a slave suffering his ear to be bored by his master. His willing obedience to the Father‘s will is what is dwelt on as giving especial virtue to His sacrifice (Hebrews 10:7, Hebrews 10:9, Hebrews 10:10). The preparing, or fitting of a body for Him, is not with a view to His mere incarnation, but to His expiatory sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10), as the contrast to “sacrifice and offering” requires; compare also Romans 7:4; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:22. More probably “opened mine ears” means opened mine inward ear, so as to be attentively obedient to what God wills me to do, namely, to assume the body He has prepared for me for my sacrifice, so Job 33:16, Margin; Job 36:10 (doubtless the boring of a slave‘s “ear” was the symbol of such willing obedience); Isaiah 50:5, “The Lord God hath opened mine ear,” that is, made me obediently attentive as a slave to his master. Others somewhat similarly explain, “Mine ears hast thou digged,” or “fashioned,” not with allusion to Exodus 21:6, but to the true office of the ear - a willing, submissive attention to the voice of God (Isaiah 50:4, Isaiah 50:5). The forming of the ear implies the preparation of the body, that is, the incarnation; this secondary idea, really in the Hebrew, though less prominent, is the one which Paul uses for his argument. In either explanation the idea of Christ taking on Him the form, and becoming obedient as a servant, is implied. As He assumed a body in which to make His self-sacrifice, so ought we present our bodies a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/hebrews-10.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

When he cometh into the world (εισερχομενος εις τον κοσμονeiserchomenos eis ton kosmon). Reference to the Incarnation of Christ who is represented as quoting Psalm 40:7-9 which is quoted. The text of the lxx is followed in the main which differs from the Hebrew chiefly in having σωμαsōma (body) rather than ωτιαōtia (ears). The lxx translation has not altered the sense of the Psalm, “that there was a sacrifice which answered to the will of God as no animal sacrifice could” (Moffatt). So the writer of Hebrews “argues that the Son‘s offering of himself is the true and final offering for sin, because it is the sacrifice, which, according to prophecy, God desired to be made” (Davidson).

A body didst thou prepare for me (σωμα κατηρτισω μοιsōma katērtisō moi). First aorist middle indicative second person singular of καταρτιζωkatartizō to make ready, equip. Using σωμαsōma (body) for ωτιαōtia (ears) does not change the sense, for the ears were the point of contact with God‘s will.

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/hebrews-10.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

d Confirming the assertion of Hebrews 10:4by a citation, Psalm 40:7-9, the theme of which is that deliverance from sin is not obtained by animal sacrifices, but by fulfilling God's will. The quotation does not agree with either the Hebrew or the lxx, and the Hebrew and lxx do not agree. The writer supposes the words to be spoken by Messiah when he enters the world as Savior. The obedience to the divine will, which the Psalmist contrasts with sacrifices, our writer makes to consist in Christ's offering once for all. According to him, the course of thought in the Psalm is as follows: “Thou, O God, desirest not the sacrifice of beasts, but thou hast prepared my body as a single sacrifice, and so I come to do thy will, as was predicted of me, by the sacrifice of myself.” Christ did not yield to God's will as authoritative constraint. The constraint lay in his own eternal spirit. His sacrifice was no less his own will than God's will.

Sacrifice and offering ( θυσίαν καὶ προσφορὰν )

The animal-offering and the meal-offering.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/hebrews-10.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

When he cometh into the world — In the fortieth psalm the Messiah's coming into the world is represented. It is said, into the world, not into the tabernacle, Hebrews 9:1; because all the world is interested in his sacrifice.

A body hast thou prepared for me — That I may offer up myself. Psalm 40:6,etc.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/hebrews-10.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

When he cometh; when Christ cometh. The quotation extending from Hebrews 10:5-7, is from Hebrews 10:5-7; Psalms 40:6-8.--Wouldst not; didst not desire.--But a body, &c. The corresponding expression in the original is, "Mine ears hast thou opened." It stands, however, as the writer has quoted it, in the Septuagint, a Greek version of the Old Testament, which was in common use in Paul's day. The circumstance of the writer's having followed in this, and in many other cases, the translation instead of the original, has given rise to much discussion.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/hebrews-10.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Посему, входя в мир.. Это вхождение Христа в мир было Его появлением во плоти. Поскольку Он облекся в человеческую природу, дабы предстать искупителем мира и явиться людям, говорится, что тогда Он и пришел в мир, как и в другом месте, сказано о Его схождении с небес. Однако Псалом тридцать девятый, который цитирует апостол, кажется, насильно притянут им ко Христу. Ведь Его лицу никак не подобает сказанное: беззакония мои охватили меня. Разве что в том смысле, что Христос добровольно принял на Себя пороки членов Собственного Тела. Несомненно, что все сказанное непосредственно подходит личности Давида. Однако, поскольку было отмечено, что Давид есть образ Христа, нет ничего глупого, если на Христа переносится то, что о себе проповедует Давид. Особенно там, где, как и в этом месте, упоминается об упразднении жертвоприношений закона. Хотя не все соглашаются с тем, что слова несут именно такой смысл. Думают, что здесь жертвы не отвергаются напрочь, но опровергается суеверное царящее в народе мнение. Ибо народ помещал в жертвах весь божественный культ. Если же это так, данное свидетельство мало значит для настоящей темы. Посему полезно тщательнее рассмотреть этот отрывок, чтобы понять, уместно ли апостол его процитировал.

У пророков повсеместно встречаются положения о том, что жертвы не нравятся Богу, что Он их не требует, что жертвы ничего не стоят, и даже отвратительны в глазах Бога. Но там говорится не о пороке жертв, происходящем от их природы, а о привходящем недостатке. Ведь лицемеры в иных случаях, ожесточенные в своем нечестии, хотели бы умилостивить Бога жертвами. Посему их надлежало таким образом обличить. Значит, пророки отвергают жертвы не постольку, поскольку они установлены Богом, но постольку, поскольку опорочены и обмирщены преступными людьми из-за их нечистой совести. Здесь же речь идет о другом. Здесь Бог осуждает не жертвы, принесенные в лицемерии или как-то неправильно из-за людской порочности и злобы, но отрицает, что жертвы требуются от благочестивых и искренних почитателей Бога. Ибо о себе говорит тот, кто прежде сам приносил эти жертвы с чистым сердцем. Однако же, по его словам, они не угодны Богу. Если же кто возразит, что жертвы понимаются здесь не сами по себе, не в собственном достоинстве, но как относящиеся к другой цели, я снова повторю: в данном случае неуместно вести об этом речь. Ибо людей призывают к духовному культу тогда, когда они приписывают внешним обрядам больше положенного. И Святой Дух говорит, что обряды – ничто в глазах Бога, если они превозносятся сверх меры по людскому заблуждению.

Несомненно, что Давид, будучи подчинен закону, не должен был пренебрегать обычаем жертвоприношения. Признаю, что он должен был почитать Бога внутренним сердечным чувством. Но ему не подобало упускать и заповеданные Богом действия. Значит, и Давид, и другие были связаны общей заповедью приносить жертвы. Так мы заключаем, что Давид, сказав о нежелании Богом жертвы, превзошел собственную эпоху. Даже во времена Давида отчасти правильным было, что Бог не смотрит на жертвоприношения. Но поскольку все еще находились под детоводительством закона, Давид не мог правильно почитать Бога, не соблюдая предписанную им форму поклонения. Значит, необходимо было наступить Христову Царству, дабы фраза: Бог не хочет, – стала истинной полностью.

Подобное место имеется и в Пс.15:10: не дашь святому твоему увидеть тление. Ведь если Бог до какой-то степени и избавил Давида от тления, полностью сказанное исполнилось только в Иисусе Христе. Весьма многозначительно, что Давид, исповедуя, что исполнит волю Господа, не отводит никакого места жертвоприношениям. Отсюда мы заключаем: жертвы находятся вне того послушания, которое надо выказывать Богу. А это истинно только при отмене закона. Я не отрицаю, что Давид, как в этом месте, так и в Пс.50:18, умаляет внешние жертвы так, чтобы предпочесть им главное. Однако нет сомнения, что в обоих случаях он взирает на Царство Христово. Посему апостол по праву выводит, что в этом псалме говорящим представляется Сам Христос. Ведь среди божественных заповедей не последнее место занимали жертвы, которые Бог столь сурово требовал во времена закона.

Тело уготовал Мне. Слова Давида звучат иначе: продырявил мне ухо. Некоторые думают, что это выражение заимствовано от древнего законнического обряда. Ведь если кто-то, презрев юбилейное отпущение рабов на свободу, хотел навеки остаться в рабстве, ему продырявливали шилом ухо. Они видят в сказанном следующий смысл: Господи, я – Твой раб навеки Тебе преданный. Однако я понимаю сказанное по-другому: в смысле сделать человека обучаемым и послушным. Ибо мы глухи, доколе Бог не отворит нам слух, то есть, не устранит присущее нам упорство. Хотя здесь присутствует скрытый антитезис между грубым народом (для которого жертвы были лишь зрелищем без всякой силы) и Давидом, которому Бог тонко указывал на духовное и законное употребление жертв. Апостол же говорит, следуя греческому переводу: уготовал Мне тело. Ибо апостолы не были настолько щепетильны в цитировании и следили лишь за тем, чтобы не злоупотребить Писанием для своей пользы. Всегда надо обращать внимание, для какой цели они приносят в жертву точность цитат. В отношении общего смысла апостолы прилежно остерегаются исказить содержание Писания, но в отношении слов и всего прочего, не служащего их настоящему намерению, они дают себе больше свободы.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/hebrews-10.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

body

Cf Psalms 40:6 the rule, applicable to all modifications of the modifications of the form of quotations in the N.T. from the O.T. writings, is that the divine Author of both Testaments is perfectly free, in using an earlier statement, to recast the mere literary form of it. the variant form will be found invariably to give the deeper meaning of the earlier statement.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Hebrews 10:5". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/hebrews-10.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

Ver. 5. But a body hast thou prepared] A metaphor from mechanics, who do artificially fit one part of their work to another, and so finish the whole, κατηρτισω. God fitted his Son’s body to be joined with the Deity, and to be an expiatory sacrifice for sin.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/hebrews-10.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Hebrews 10:5

The Body of Christ.

The mystical body of Christ is the whole fellowship of all who are united to Him by the Spirit, whether they be at rest in the world unseen, or here in warfare still on earth, differing only in this, that all His members who have been gathered out of this world are secure for ever; but in this world they who are still in trial may yet be taken away, and, as the fruitless and withered branch, cast forth for the burning. There are three manners, three miracles of Divine omnipotence, by which Christ's one body has been, is, and present: the first, as mortal and natural; the second, supernatural, real, and substantial; the third, mystical, by our incorporation. Surely these great realities ought to teach us many high and practical truths.

I. As, for instance, with how much of loving reverence we ought to regard every baptised person. He is a member of Christ; what more can be spoken or conceived? He is united by the Spirit of Christ to the mystical body, of which the Lord made flesh is the supernatural Head. He has in Him a life and an element which is above this world; even "the powers of the world to come." We partake of Him—of His very flesh, of His mind, of His will, and of His Spirit.

II. This is the great reality which has restored to the world two great laws of love, the unity and the equality of man. All the members of Christ are one in Him, and equal, because He is in all. The highest and most endowed is but as the poorest and the lowest. Christ's kingdom is full of heavenly paradoxes. Even the poor working man, with his hard palms, sits at the marriage supper with the king and princes; it may be he sits higher than his earthly lord. There is a courtesy, and a mutual observance, which is the peculiar dignity and sweetness of a Christian; and the source of it is, that He sees the presence of His Lord in others, and reveres Him in himself. Only the true Christian can have real self-respect. From this springs purity of manners, language, conversation, and amusements in private and social life.

III. And one more thought we may take from this blessed mystery,—I mean, with what veneration and devotion we ought to behave ourselves towards the presence of Christ, in the Sacrament of His body and Blood.

H. E. Manning, Sermons, vol. iv., p. 190.


The Atonement.

I. In Christ's sacrifice there was no earthly altar, no expiatory form, no visible priest; nobody could have told, either from His life or from His death, that He was the victim; He died by the natural course of events, as the effect of a holy and courageous life operating upon the intense jealousy of a class; He died by civil punishment, and in heaven that death pleaded as the sacrifice that taketh away the sin of the world. But that sacrifice was a willing, a self-offered sacrifice. The circumstance, then, of the victim being self-offered, makes, in the first place, all the difference upon the question of injustice to the victim. He who is sent is one in being with Him who sends. His willing submission, therefore, is not the willing submission of a mere man to one who is in a human sense another; but it is the act of one who, by submitting to another, submits to himself. By virtue of His unity with the Father, the Son originates, carries on, and completes Himself the work of the Atonement. It is His own original will to do this, His own spontaneous undertaking.

II. Consider the effect of the act of the Atonement upon the sinner. It will be seen, then, that with respect to this effect, the willingness of a sacrifice changes the mode of the operation of a sacrifice, so that it acts on a totally different principle and law from that upon which a sacrifice of mere substitution rests. The Gospel puts before us the doctrine of the Atonement in this light, that the mercy of the Father is called out toward man by our Lord Jesus Christ's generous sacrifice of Himself on behalf of man. The act of one produces this result in the mind of God towards another; the act of a suffering Mediator reconciles God to the guilty. But neither in natural mediation, nor in supernatural, does the act of suffering love, in producing that change of regard to which it tends, dispense with the moral change in the criminal. We cannot, of course, because a good man suffers for a criminal, alter our regards for him if he obstinately continues a criminal. And if the gospel taught any such thing in the doctrine of atonement, that would certainly expose itself to the charge of immorality. So rooted is the great principle of mediation in nature, that the mediator-ship of Christ cannot be revealed to us without reminding us of a whole world of analogous action, and a representation of action. It is this rooted idea of a mediator in the human heart which is so sublimely displayed in the sacred crowds of St. John's Revelation. The multitude which no man can number are indeed there, all holy; all kings and priests are consecrated and elect. But the individual greatness of all is consummated in One who is in the centre of the whole, Him who is the need of the whole race, who heads it, who has saved it, its King and Representative, the First-born of the whole creation, and the Redeemer of it. Toward Him all faces are turned; and it is as when a vast army fixes its look upon a great commander in whom it glories, who on some festival day is placed conspicuously in the midst. The air of heaven is perfumed with the fragrance of an altar, and animated with the glory of a great conquest. The victory of the Mediator never ceases, and all triumph in Him.

J. B. Mozley, University Sermons, p. 162.


References: Hebrews 10:5.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., pp. 275, 413. Hebrews 10:5-7.—G. Huntingdon, Sermons for Holy Seasons, p. 161; J. Thain Davidson, Sure to Succeed, p. 61.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/hebrews-10.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Hebrews 10:5. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, The following passage is a citation from Psalms 40 and the use of it plainly enough leads us to understand the words as uttered in the person of the Messiah; which is agreeable to other places in the Psalms. Indeed, unless we understand the words in this view, the citation must not only appear impertinent, but the proof urged to be none at all. But see the notes on that psalm.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/hebrews-10.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our apostle having showed the weakness and insufficiency of the Levitical sacrifices in the former verses, he comes now to declare the efficacy and sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice, and of his blessed undertaking, to do, fulfil, perform, and suffer all things required by the will and wisdom, by the holiness and righteousness of God, unto the complete salvation of the church. And this he doth by a quotation out of the Old Testament, Psalms 40:6-8. Where Christ is brought in, as newly made man, speaking to his Father, in and after this manner:

"Forasmuch as thy wisdom did institute, and formerly appoint sacrifices, as types to prefigure the sacrifice of thy Son, but thou didst not intend their longer continuance, when he shold once be offered up; persuant to this holy will and pleasure of thine, I am now come into the world: Thou hast prepared me a body, and holy and innocent human nature, fit to be united to my glorious Godhead, in which nature I will suffer, and, by my sufferings, satisfy thy justice for sin; and, by the sufficiency of my sacrifice, put a period to all the Levitical sacrifces that did precede me, and prefigure me."

Learn hence, 1. That in the fulness of God's appointed time, Christ came into the world to accomplish that which the Levitical sacrfices did only prefigure, but could not effectuate.

2. That in order thereunto, Christ did assume the human nature, and offered in himself that nature willingly to his Father, as a sacrifice to atone divine displeasure.

3. That by this one sacrifice and oblation of Christ, which he performed in obedience to the will of God, all that believe in him are justified and saved, do obtain remission of sin, grace here, and glory hereafter; By which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/hebrews-10.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

5.] Wherefore (seeing that the animal sacrifices of the O. T. had no power to take away sin, and that for that end a nobler sacrifice was wanting) coming into the world he saith (first, on the citation from Psalms 40. That Psalm, which is inscribed “A Psalm of David,” seems to be a general retrospect, in some time of trouble, of God’s former mercies to him, and of his own course of loving obedience as distinguished from mere expression of outward thankfulness by sacrifice and offering. Thus understood, there will be no difficulty in the direct application of its words to Him, of whose sufferings and of whose obedience all human experiences in suffering and obeying are but a faint resemblance. I have entered on this subject in speaking of the Messianic citation in ch. 2, and need not lay down again the principles there contended for, further than to say, that the more any son of man approaches, in position, or office, or individual spiritual experience, the incarnate Son of God, the more directly may his holy breathings in the power of Christ’s Spirit be taken as the utterances of Christ Himself. And of all men, the prophet-king of Israel thus resembled and out-shadowed Him the most. The Psalm itself seems to belong to the time of David’s persecution by Saul; and the sentiment of this portion of it is, as Delitzsch observes, an echo of Samuel’s saying to Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?”

Next, what is εἰσερχόμενος εἰς τὸν κόσμον? It expresses, I believe, the whole time during which the Lord, being ripened in human resolution, was in intent devoting himself to the doing of his Father’s will: the time of which that youthful question “Wist ye not that I must be ἐν τοῖς τοῦ πατρός μου?” was one of the opening announcements. See also Isaiah 7:16. To refer these words thus to his maturing purpose, seems far better than to understand them as Erasmus, “veluti mundum ingressurus,” from the O. T. point of time:—or as Grot., with whom are Bleek and De W., “cum e vita privata egrediens nomine Dei agere cœpit cum populo,” for that would more naturally require εἰσελθών, besides being liable to the objection, that it is not of Christ’s declaration before the world, but of his purpose as regards the Father, that our text treats:—or as Lünem., “in intent to enter into the world,” by becoming man: or “nascendo,” as Böhme, and similarly Hofmann: for thus it could hardly be said, σῶμα κατηρτίσω μοι), Sacrifice (of slain animals) and offering (of any kind: see reff.) thou wouldest not (similar declarations are found frequently in the O. T., and mostly in the Prophets: see Psalms 50:7-15; Psalms 51:16 f.: Isaiah 1:11; Jeremiah 6:20; Jeremiah 7:21-23; Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21 ff.: Micah 6:6-8), but a body didst thou prepare for me ( אָזְנַיִם כָּרִיתָ לִּי, “mine ears hast thou opened,” “fodisti,” “concavas reddidisti,” i. e. to hear and obey Thee. The idea of there being any allusion to the custom of boring through the ear of a slave who voluntarily remained subject to his master, Exodus 21:6 and Deuteronomy 15:17, seems to be a mistake. Neither the verb כָּרָה, nor the plural substantive אָזְנַיִם, will bear it without forcing: in Exod. l. c., the subst. is singular, and the verb is רָצַע. See Bleek, vol. ii. p. 633, note. The difficulty is, how such a clause can be rendered by σῶμα κατηρτίσω μοι, as it is in the LXX. Some (e. g. Bleek, Lünem., after Usher de LXX Int. Vers. p. 85 sq., Semler, Michaelis, Ernesti, al.) have supposed a misreading, owing to the last letter of the foregoing word ἠθέλησασ preceding ωτια, the τι being mistaken for M. The reading ὠτία is now found only in one ms. of the LXX (Holmes, 39), ὦτα in two (Holmes, 142, 156): it is the rendering of Theodotion, of the Quinta and Sexta in Origen, of Jerome (“aures autem perfecisti mihi”), of Eusebius (comm. in loc. Bleek, ii. p. 631, note, τὰ ὦτά μου καὶ τὴν ὑπακοὴν τῶν σῶν λογίων κατηρτίσω), of the Psalterium San-Germanense (in Sabatier: “aures perfecisti mihi”), and Irenæus (Interp. iv. 17. 1, p. 248), which two last Delitzsch suspects, but apparently without ground, of being corrections from the vulgate. Over against this hypothesis, of the present LXX text having sprung from a misreading, we may set the idea that the LXX have chosen this expression σῶμα κατηρτίσω μοι by which to render the Hebrew, as being more inteligible to the reader. This is the hypothesis adopted by Delitzsch, and that which was maintained with slight variation by Jac. Cappellus (“quia rem, ut alias sæpe, spectarunt magis quam verba”), Wolf (whose note gives all the literature of the passage at his own time. His view is that the σῶμα of our Lord was the μορφὴ δούλου, and thus answers to the “perfossio auris”), Carpzov, Tholuck, Ebrard, al. Others again suppose that the Writer of this Epistle has altered the expression to suit better the prophetical purpose. So an old Scholiast in the Lond. edn. of the LXX, 1653: τὸ ὠτία δὲ κατηρτίσω μοι ὁ μακάριος παῦλος εἰς τὸ σῶμα μεταβαλὼν εἴρηκεν, οὐκ ἀγνοῶν τὸ ἑβραϊκόν, ἀλλὰ πρὸς τὸν οἰκεῖον σκοπὸν τούτῳ χρησάμενος. I would leave the difficulty an unsolved one, not being satisfied by either of the above views, and having no other to propound. As Christian believers, our course is plain. How the word σῶμα came into the LXX, we cannot say: but being there, it is now sanctioned for us by the citation here: not as the, or even a proper rendering of the Hebrew, but as a prophetic utterance, equivalent to and representing that other):

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/hebrews-10.html. 1863-1878.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/hebrews-10.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Hebrews 10:5. εἰσερχόμενος εἰς τὸν κόσμον, when He comes into the world) In the 40th Psalm, the entrance of the Messiah into the world is set before us. The tabernacle itself was part of the world, ch. Hebrews 9:1; and it is here called the world, because the sacrifice of the Messiah extends much more widely than the Levitical sacrifices, reaching, as through all times, so through all the world, which is claimed for Him as His, Psalms 40:10, because He is its heir. The word, εἰσερχόμενος, entering, is elicited from ἥκω, I am come, and is represented by it, Hebrews 10:7.— θυσίανοὐκ εὐδόκησας.— τοῦ ποιῆσαι, θεὸς, τὸ θέλημά σου) LXX., in the psalm now quoted, θυσίανοὐκ ἐζήτησαςτοῦ ποιῆσαι τὸ θέλημά σου, θεός μου, ἠβουλήθην, καὶ τὸν νόμον σου ἐν μέσῳ τῆς κοιλίας μου. The apostle joins those words, τοῦ ποιῆσαι, θεὸς, τὸ θέτημά σου, which had been separated from those following, with those going before, which relate to the same thing, as the words, “forty years, in the wilderness,” ch. Hebrews 3:9.— σῶμα δὲ κατηρτίσω μοι) Heb., thou hast bored my ears (comp. Exodus 21:6), namely, that I may subserve Thy will with perfect love; comp. Isaiah 1:5. The slave, whose ears were bored, was claimed by the master whom he loved with his whole body as his property. Sam. Petitus, in var. lect. c. 28, ascribes the Greek translation of the Prophets and Psalms to the Essenes, and he ascribes to the Essenes this phrase, Thou hast fitted or prepared for me a body; for he says, that among the Essenes there was no slave, but that they had bodies or colleges, whose members served and obeyed one another. The favourers of liberty, however strong in that cause, might still retain the reading, ears; but the apostle maintains the proper (strict) acceptation of the term, body. The ears are a part: the body, as a whole, follows the example of their obedience. Thou hast prepared for me a body, viz. for the offering; Hebrews 10:10. The mentioning of the whole here is very suitable. There is an expression of Paul, concerning the body of Christ, very similar to this, Romans 7:4.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/hebrews-10.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Wherefore, Dio, introduceth the proof of the invalidity of legal sacrifices, and the efficacy of the one sacrifice of Christ, from Divine testimony about both of them.

He saith; God the Son, who existed before his incarnation, bespeaketh God the Father, when he was coming into this world, to become a part of it, by uniting a holy human nature to the Divine, as David voucheth by the Spirit of God, Psalms 40:6.

Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not: the bloody atoning sacrifices of bulls and goats, the peace-offerings, and thank-offerings, Leviticus 7:16, and offerings of every sort without blood, required by the law of Moses, God did neither desire, require, nor delight in as in themselves propitiatory; for he never intended them to take away sins, or perfect the worshippers: see 1 Samuel 15:22 Isaiah 1:11-15 Jeremiah 6:20 Amos 5:21,22.

But a body hast thou prepared me: but, the Hebrew text reads, the ears hast thou bored for me. The apostle makes use here of the Greek paraphrase, a body hast thou fitted me; as giving in proper terms the sense of the former figurative expression, discovering thereby Christ’s enitre willingness to become God’s servant for ever, Exodus 21:6; and that he might be so, which he could not as God the Son, simply, the Father by his Spirit did articulate him, and formed him joint by joint a body; that is, furnished him with a human nature, so as that he might perform that piece of service which God required, offering up himself a bloody sacrifice for sin, to which he was obedient, Philippians 2:8. Thus were his ears bored, which could not be if he had not been clothed with a body.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/hebrews-10.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

тело уготовал Мне Пс. 39:7 говорит «Ты открыл мне уши». Сказанное здесь не является важным изменением псалма. Автор цитировал версию из Септуагинты, для греческих читателей цитата была точна. Переводчики Септуагинты посчитали слова на иврите лишь образным выражением, в котором часть чего-то обозначала целое, т. е. слова о том, что были открыты уши, означали, что было открыто все тело. Уши же были избраны как часть тела, на которую делался акцент, так как они были символом послушания, служили органом, узнающим Божье Слово и волю (ср. 1Цар. 15:22). Христу нужно было тело для того, чтобы стать окончательной жертвой (2:14).

(10:5-7) Цитата из Пс. 39:7-9.

(10:5, 6) Ты не восхотел Бог не был доволен жертвами, приносимыми человеком не от чистого сердца (ср. Пс. 50:19; Ис. 1:11; Иер. 6:20; Ос. 6:6; Ам. 5:21-25). Жертва только как ритуал, без послушания, была насмешкой, хуже, чем отсутствие всякой жертвы (ср. Ис. 1:11-18).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/hebrews-10.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

He; Christ.

Sacrifice and offering; such as were presented under the law God no longer desired, Psalms 40:6-8; a psalm which had its fulfilment in David only in a lower and typical way, but was prefectly fulfilled in Christ the great antitype.

But a body has thou prepared me; the quotation is made from the Greek version of the Seventy. The Hebrew is, "Mine ears hast thou opened," that is, to hear and do thy will. How the difference has arisen is not known. But in both the essential idea is, that the Messiah makes a perfect devotion of himself to the Father to do his will.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/hebrews-10.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/hebrews-10.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

world. Greek. kosmos. App-129.

offering. Greek. prosphora. See Acts 21:26.

wouldest. Greek. thelo. App-102. The Hebrew is "demandedst".

body, &c. See Psalms 40:6, Psalms 40:7.

prepared. Greek. katartizo. App-125.

Me = for Me.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/hebrews-10.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

Christ's voluntary self-offering, in contrast to those inefficient sacrifices, fulfils perfectly "the will of God" as to redemption, by completely stoning 'for (our) sins.'

Wherefore - seeing that a nobler than animal sacrifices was needed.

When he cometh - `coming.' The time referred to is before (or just at) His entrance into the world, when the inefficiency of animal sacrifices for expiation had been proved (Tholuck). [ Eetheleesas (Greek #2309) ... kateertisoo (Greek #2675) are past: 'sacrifice, etc., thou didst not wish, but a body thou didst prepare for me;' but heekoo (Greek #2240), present perfect, 'Lo, I am come:' to harmonize these times, refer 'am come' to his actual arrival in the world, or incarnation, the past tenses to God's purpose from eternity, regarded as if already fulfilled.] 'A body thou didst prepare in thy eternal counsel.' This is more likely than explaining, with Alford, 'coming into the world,' as entering on his public ministry. David in Psalms 40:1-17 (here quoted), reviews his past troubles and God's having delivered him, and his consequent desire to render willing obedience to God as more acceptable than sacrifices; but the Spirit puts into his month language finding its full realization only in the Divine Son of David. 'The more any son of man approaches the incarnate Son of God in office, or spiritual experience, the more may his holy breathings in the power of Christ's Spirit be taken as utterances of Christ himself. Of all men, the prophet-king of Israel foreshadowed him the most' (Alford).

A body hast thou prepared me - `thou didst fit for me a body.' 'In thy counsels thou didst determine to make for me a body, to be a sacrificial victim' (Wahl). In the Hebrew, Psalms 40:6, it is "mine ears heat thou opened," or 'dug.' Perhaps this alludes to boring the ear of a slave who volunteers to remain under his master when he might be free. Christ's assuming a body, in order to die the death of a slave (Hebrews 2:14), was a voluntary submission to God's service, like that of a slave suffering his ear to be bored by his master. His willing obedience to the Father's will is what gave especial virtue to his sacrifice for man (Hebrews 10:7; Hebrews 10:9-10). The fitting of a body for him is not with a view to His incarnation merely, but to His expiatory sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10), as the contrast to "sacrifice and offering" requires: cf. also Romans 7:4; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:22. More probably 'opened mine ears,' means opened mine inward ear, to be obedient to what God wills me to do-namely, to assume the body He has prepared for my sacrifice. So Job, margin, Job 33:16; Job 36:10 (doubtless the boring of a slave's ear symbolized such willing obedience); Isaiah 1:5, "The Lord God hath opened mine ear" - i:e., made me obediently attentive as a slave to his master. Others, 'Mine ears hast thou digged,' or 'fashioned;' not with allusion to Exodus 21:6, but to the true office of the ear-a willing, submissive attention to God's voice. The forming of the ear implies the preparation of the body; this secondary idea, really in the Hebrew, though less prominent is the one which Paul uses for his argument. As he obediently assumed the body prepared by the Father, in which to make his self-sacrifice, so ought we present our bodies a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/hebrews-10.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(5) Wherefore.—That is, on account of this powerlessness of the sacrifices of the law.

He saith.—Christ, in the prophetic word of Scripture. Though not directly mentioned here, He has been the subject of the whole context (Hebrews 9:25-28). The words which follow are a quotation from Psalms 40:6-8, and agree substantially with the LXX., except that in Hebrews 10:7 a word of some importance is omitted (see the Note there). The LXX., again, is on the whole a faithful representation of the Hebrew text: one clause only (the last in this verse) presents difficulty. Particular expressions will be noticed as they occur: the general meaning and application of the psalm must first receive attention. Like Ps. 1. and 51 (with some verses of Psalms 69), Psalms 40 is remarkable for its anticipation of the teaching of the prophets (Isaiah 1:11-17; Jeremiah 7:21; Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8; et al.) on one point, the inferior worth of ceremonial observances when contrasted with moral duties. It seems probable that the psalm is David’s, as the inscription relates, and that its key-note is to be found in the words of Samuel to Saul (1 Samuel 15:22): “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying (literally, hearkening to) the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey (literally, to hear) is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” The first part of the psalm is an expression of thanksgiving to God for deliverance from peril. David has learned the true mode of displaying gratitude, not by offerings of slain animals, but by the sacrifice of the will. So far does the latter excel the former, so truly is the sacrifice of will in accordance with the will of God, that the value of the legal offerings is in comparison as nothing. There is in all this no real slighting of the sacrificial ritual (see Jeremiah 7:21-28), but there is a profound appreciation of the superiority of spiritual service to mere ritual observance. It can hardly be said that this quotation rests on the same principle as those of the first chapter. The psalm is certainly not Messianic, in the sense of being wholly predictive like Psalms 110, or directly typical like Psalms 2. In some respects, indeed, it resembles 2 Samuel 7 (See the Note on Hebrews 1:5.) As there, after words which are quoted in this Epistle in reference to Christ, we read of David’s son as committing iniquity and receiving punishment; so in this psalm we read, “Mine iniquities are more than the hairs of mine head.” David comes with a new perception of the true will of God, to offer Him the service in which He takes pleasure. And yet not so—for such service as he can offer is itself defective; his sins surround him yet in their results and penalties. Hence, in his understanding and his offering of himself he is a type, whilst his sinfulness and weakness render him but an imperfect type, of Him that was to come. Such passages as these constitute a distinct and very interesting division of Messianic prophecy. We may then thus trace the principle on which the psalm is here applied. Jesus came to His Father with that perfect offering of will and self which was foreshadowed in the best impulses of the best of the men of God, whose inspired utterances the Scriptures record. The words of David, but partially true of himself, are fulfilled in the Son of David. Since, then, these words describe the purpose of the Saviour’s life, we can have no difficulty in understanding the introductory words, “when He cometh into the world, He saith;” or the seventh verse, where we read, “Lo, I am come to do Thy will.” When David saw the true meaning of the law, he thus came before God; the purpose of Jesus, when He received the body which was the necessary instrument for human obedience, finds its full expression in these words.

Sacrifice and offering.—The corresponding Hebrew words denote the two divisions of offerings, as made with or without the shedding of blood.

But a body hast thou prepared me.—Rather, but a body didst Thou prepare for me. Few discrepancies between the LXX. and the Hebrew have attracted more notice than that which these words present. The words of the Psalmist are, “In sacrifice and offering Thou hast not delighted: ears hast Thou digged for me.” As in Samuel’s words, already referred to as containing the germ of the psalm, sacrifice is contrasted with hearing and with hearkening to the voice of the Lord, the meaning evidently is, Thou hast given me the power of hearing so as to obey. A channel of communication has been opened, through which the knowledge of God’s true will can reach the heart, and excite the desire to obey. All ancient Greek versions except the LXX. more or less clearly express the literal meaning. It has been supposed that the translators of the LXX. had before them a different reading of the Hebrew text, preferable to that which is found in our present copies. This is very unlikely. Considering the general principles of their translation, we may with greater probability suppose that they designed merely to express the general meaning, avoiding a literal rendering of a Hebrew metaphor which seemed harsh and abrupt. They seem to have understood the Psalmist as acknowledging that God had given him that which would produce obedience; and to this (they thought) would correspond the preparation of a body which might be the instrument of rendering willing service. If the present context be carefully examined, we shall see that, though the writer does afterwards make reference (Hebrews 10:10) to the new words here introduced, they are in no way necessary to his argument, nor does he lay on them any stress.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/hebrews-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
when
7; 1:6; Matthew 11:3; Luke 7:19; *Gr:
Sacrifice
Psalms 40:6-8; 50:8-23; Isaiah 1:11; Jeremiah 6:20; Amos 5:21,22
but
10; 2:14; 8:3; Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Jeremiah 31:22; Matthew 1:20-23; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Galatians 4:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 4:2,3; 2 John 1:7
hast thou prepared me
or, thou hast fitted me.
Reciprocal: Exodus 24:8 - Behold;  Leviticus 16:5 - GeneralPsalm 51:16 - delightest;  Isaiah 40:16 - nor;  Isaiah 50:5 - GeneralZechariah 13:7 - smite;  Matthew 1:18 - of the;  John 6:51 - my flesh;  John 8:29 - for;  John 12:27 - but;  John 14:31 - that the;  John 15:10 - even;  John 16:10 - righteousness;  John 17:19 - I sanctify;  Hebrews 2:9 - Jesus;  Hebrews 5:8 - yet;  Hebrews 12:2 - endured

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/hebrews-10.html.

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

The two pronouns he and the one me refer to Christ, and the two pronouns thou stand for God. When Christ was ready to come into the world He knew it was to fulfill the promise made to Abraham ( Galatians 3:1619), also that He was to make of himself a sacrifice to replace the animal sacrifices of the old law. Yes, Christ existed before he was born of the virgin ( John 8:58), and hence when God made the promise to Abraham, He made it also to Christ. (See the passages in Galatians referred to above.) The coming of Christ into the world by way of the virgin birth was therefore voluntary on His part, in the spirit of obedience to his Father. He also knew that a spiritual body could not die, and hence that a fleshly body would be needed. That is why it was said that God had prepared a body for Him, to be produced within the fleshly body of the virgin and consisting of one that could be made to die.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/hebrews-10.html. 1952.

Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews

Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.

Therefore when he (that Isaiah, Christ) cometh into the world.—Christ was known among the Jews as He who should come, Luke 7:19; and He is thus described in the passage before us. Thus we are taught that the40th Psalm is descriptive of Christ. It was written by David, but a greater than David is here. Indeed, the better we understand the Psalm the more clearly shall we see that they speak of Christ. The Lord, in discoursing with His disciples, divided the Old Testament into three parts; the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalm. Luke 24:44. Moses wrote of Him. He is the end of the law, and to Him give all the prophets witness. David, the sweet singer of Israel, who wrote the greater part of the Psalm, was a remarkable type of Him; and, in the greater part of the Psalm, while he speaks in his own person, he describes the experience of Christ in the days of His flesh. In the Psalm we are admitted into the Redeemer's closet. We contemplate Him as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, bowed down under the load of His people's sins, and, in the days of His flesh, making supplication with strong crying and tears to Him that was able to deliver Him from death. Both He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one family; therefore He is not ashamed to call them brethren. In virtue of their unity, their sins are His sins, and His righteousness their righteousness. Hence we find Him groaning under a load of sin, although He did no sin, nor was guile found in His lips. At other times we find Him describing Himself as holy, and rejoicing in the complacency with which His Father always viewed His righteous servant. The application by the Apostle of the40th Psalm to Christ, in the passage before us, gives us a key which opens to us the meaning of many other Psalm.

Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, or thou didst not desire, Psalm 40:6.—This describes God's weariness of all the sacrifices enjoined in the law. Isaiah 1:10-14. They were enjoined to maintain the expectation of a better sacrifice; but, when they had answered their end, they were offensive to God. Everything is beautiful in its season; the time of their abolition was come, and he that killed an ox was as if he slew a Prayer of Manasseh, &c. Isaiah 66:3.

A body hast thou prepared me.—It is in the Psalm, "Mine ears hast thou opened." Various conjectures have been offered to account for the difference, but none of them are satisfactory. The words, as quoted by the Apostle, are found in the Septuagint; but there seems a difficulty in the supposition of his quoting this version when writing to the Hebrews.

There Isaiah, however, a substantial agreement in these different renderings. The ear is the organ by which we receive the communications made to us by others. Hence to hear frequently signifies to believe, or obey. John 8:6-7; John 10:27; Deuteronomy 1:43. "The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back." Isaiah 50:5. Jesus came as His Father's servant, Isaiah 49:6; not to do His own will, but the will of Him that sent Him. John 5:30. On becoming incarnate, He took upon Him the form of a servant, Philippians 2:7; and it was His meat and His drink to do the will of His Father; and, therefore,

"A body hast thou prepared me," is equivalent to " Mine ears hast thou opened."

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Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hal/hebrews-10.html. 1835.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

b. So the decisive atonement is made by Christ’s submission to the demands for Hebrews 2:5-18.

5.Wherefore—In consequence of this demand for an adequate sacrifice.

He—The great unnamed, yet well-known.

Cometh into the world—The words of Psalms 40:6-8 are adduced as illustrating the spirit and pure purpose of the Messiah’s entrance into our sublunary world. The psalm was probably written by David at the period when the troubles with Saul had terminated, and he was about to assume the open royalty. By experience he had learned that richest offerings were less acceptable to Jehovah than profound obedience to the divine commands. Submissively, therefore, he had waited the divine will; submissively he is now ready to come to the throne, there to perform the divine purposes. Our author sees in him a permanent type, and here, at least, a parallel, of the Son of God entering on his mediatorial office in our world. Perowne elegantly thus versifies the passage of the psalm:—

“In sacrifice and offering thou hast no delight,

Mine ears hast thou opened,

Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required.

Then said I, ‘Lo, I come,

In the roll of the book it is prescribed to me:

To do thy pleasure, O my God, I delight;

Yea, thy law is in my inmost heart.’”

Sacrifice’ not—It was by an obedient heart and penitent soul that even under the Old Testament the sacrifice was made available. The offering was not the substitute of devout feeling, but the outward symbol and expression of it. When David wrote this, he doubtless knew that Samuel had lately said to Saul, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?”

A body hast thou prepared me—The Hebrew, as given by Perowne, is, “Mine ears hast thou opened.” More literally, Ears hast thou dug out for me. That is, thou hast framed me with a hearing ear-passage; so that I am a creature able to listen and obey. This the Septuagint version translated, or rather paraphrased, as quoted here by our author, a body hast thou fitted (or constructed) for me; namely, to be an obedient creature to thee. The ultimate thought is precisely the same: thou hast organized me for responsible obedience. The Hebrew makes God frame an ear-passage in order to the creature’s obedience; the Septuagint makes him frame the whole body for such obedience. The Hebrew puts a part for the whole; the Septuagint puts the whole. Such a whole, namely, a whole body, was truly framed for David at birth, and still more eminently for Christ at the incarnation. The Seventy thought that the mention of ears alone was too little intelligible, and so they explained, boldly but correctly, by substituting body.

It is often assumed that our author quotes the words as proof—or at least illustration—of the incarnation. That is not quite clearly the case. If, however, David’s obedient approach into the kingdom is type of Messiah’s coming into the world, then his being divinely framed with a physique for an obedient free-agent is a very fair illustration of Messiah’s incarnation.

Some critics hold that the words came into the Septuagint by a copyist’s mistake. They suppose that in the word for ears, , the letters were miswritten ; and that the last letter of the preceding word, which was a C=C, was repeated so as to make C , body. This is, to say the least, ingenious. Supposing it to be a mis-writing, still, if found in the current Septuagint of the apostles’ day, our writer would properly quote as his text stood. But the above explanation of the translation by the Seventy makes the supposition as unnecessary as it is unprovable.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/hebrews-10.html. 1874-1909.

The Bible Study New Testament

5. For this reason. To show that the sacrifices of the Law were useless, and could not take sins away. He said to God. The quotation is from Psalms 40:6-8Septuagint. This was a prophecy of how Christ would view the ritual of the Law and his own mission. The point is that the Son’s offering of himself is the true sacrifice, which as prophecy shows, God wanted to be made. You do not want the sacrifices and offerings of the Law, because they are weak and useless. But you have prepared. As the Eternal Logos, Christ did not have a body. But the prophecy is that he would come in human form. See 1 John 4:1-3. Jesus had to take our flesh and blood to be able to destroy the Devil (Hebrews 2:14-15and notes) by dying on the Cross.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/hebrews-10.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

5.Wherefore, when he cometh, etc. This entering into the world was the manifestation of Christ in the flesh; for when he put on man’s nature that he might be a Redeemer to the world and appeared to men, he is said to have then come into the world, as elsewhere he is said to have descended from heaven. (John 6:41.) And yet the Psalms 41:6, which he quotes, seems to be improperly applied to Christ, for what is found there by no means suits his character, such as, “My iniquities have laid hold on me,” except we consider that Christ willingly took on himself the sins of his members. The whole of what is said, no doubt, rightly accords with David; but as it is well known that David was a type of Christ, there is nothing unreasonable in transferring to Christ what David declared respecting himself, and especially when mention is made of abolishing the ceremonies of the Law, as the case is in this passage. Yet all do not consider that the words have this meaning, for they think that sacrifices are not here expressly repudiated, but that the superstitious notion which had generally prevailed, that the whole worship of God consisted in them, is what is condemned; and if it be so, it may be said that this testimony has little to do with the present question. It behaves us, then, to examine this passage more minutely, that it may appear evident whether the apostle has fitly adduced it.

Everywhere in the Prophets sentences of this kind occur, that sacrifices do not please God, that they are not required by him, that he sets no value on them; nay, on the contrary, that they are an abomination to him. But then the blame was not in the sacrifices themselves, but what was adventitious to them was referred to; for as hypocrites, while obstinate in their impiety, still sought to pacify God with sacrifices, they were in this manner reproved. The Prophets, then, rejected sacrifices, not as they were instituted by God, but as they were vitiated by wicked men, and profaned through unclean consciences. But here the reason is different, for he is not condemning sacrifices offered in hypocrisy, or otherwise not rightly performed through the depravity and wickedness of men; but he denies that they are required of the faithful and sincere worshippers of God; for he speaks of himself who offered them with a clean heart and pure hands, and yet he says that they did not please God.

Were any one to except and say that they were not accepted on their own account or for their own worthiness, but for the sake of something else, I should still say that unsuitable to this place is an argument of this kind; for then would men be called back to spiritual worship, when ascribing too much to external ceremonies; then the Holy Spirit would be considered as declaring that ceremonies are nothing with God, when by men’s error they are too highly exalted.

David, being under the Law, ought not surely to have neglected the rite of sacrificing. He ought, I allow, to have worshipped God with sincerity of heart; but it was not lawful for him to omit what God had commanded, and he had the command to sacrifice in common with all the rest. We hence conclude that he looked farther than to his own age, when he said, Sacrifice thou wouldest not. It was, indeed, in some respects true, even in David’s time, that God regarded not sacrifices; but as they were yet all held under the yoke of the schoolmaster, David could not perform the worship of God in a complete manner, unless when clothed, so to speak, in a form of this kind. We must, then, necessarily come to the kingdom of Christ, in order that the truth of God’s unwillingness to receive sacrifice may fully appear. There is a similar passage in Psalms 16:10, “Thou wilt not suffer thine holy one to see corruption;” for though God delivered David for a time from corruption, yet this was not fully accomplished except in Christ.

There is no small importance in this, that when he professes that he would do the will of God, he assigns no place to sacrifices; for we hence conclude that without them there may be a perfect obedience to God, which could not be true were not the Law annulled. I do not, however, deny but that David in this place, as well as in Psalms 51:16, so extenuated external sacrifices as to prefer to them that which is the main thing; but there is no doubt but that in both places he cast his eyes on the kingdom of Christ. And thus the Apostle is a witness, that Christ is justly introduced as the speaker in this Psalm, in which not even the lowest place among God’s commandments is allowed to sacrifices, which God had yet strictly required under the Law.

But a body hast thou prepared me, etc. The words of David are different, “An ear hast thou bored for me,” a phrase which some think has been borrowed from an ancient rite or custom of the Law, (Exodus 21:6;) for if any one set no value on the liberty granted at the jubilee, and wished to be under perpetual servitude, his ear was bored with an awl. The meaning, as they thinks was this, “Thou shalt have me, O Lord, as a servant forever.” I, however, take another view, regarding it as intimating docility and obedience; for we are deaf until God opens our ears, that is, until he corrects the stubbornness that cleaves to us. There is at the same time an implied contrast between the promiscuous and vulgar mass, (to whom the sacrifices were like phantoms without any power,) and David, to whom God had discovered their spiritual and legitimate use and application.

But the Apostle followed the Greek translators when he said, “A body hast thou prepared;” for in quoting these words the Apostles were not so scrupulous, provided they perverted not Scripture to their own purpose. We must always have a regard to the end for which they quote passages, for they are very careful as to the main object, so as not to turn Scripture to another meaning; but as to words and other things, which bear not on the subject in hand, they use great freedom. (165)

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:5". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/hebrews-10.html. 1840-57.