Hebrews 10
Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary - Alford
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
'Chap. 10:1-18.] Solemn conclusion of the argument: 1. Christ’s voluntary self-offering, as contrasted with the yearly offerings of victims under the law, is the carrying out of God’s real will (vv. 1-10): 2. Christ’s priestly service, in contrast to the daily repeated service of the priests of the law, is for ever perfected by one High-priestly act, which has issued in His Kingly exaltation and waiting till His foes be subdued under Him (vv. 11-14): 3. Christ’s finished work is the inauguration of that new covenant before referred to, in which, the law being written on the heart, and sin put away and forgotten, there is no more need for sin-offering (vv. 15-18). And so, as Delitzsch observes, in this passage the leading thoughts of the whole argument are brought together in one grand finale, just as in the finale of a piece of music all the hitherto scattered elements are united in an effective whole.

1-10.] See above.

1.] For (γάρ connects with the whole passage ch. 9:24-28: hitherto has been shewn the impossibility of Christ’s offering being repeated as were those of the law: now is to be shewn its absolute perfection as compared with those of the law) the law, having (as it has; the participle has a ratiocinative force, which passes on upon what follows) a shadow (or, ‘the shadow,’ which in sense would be much the same. The putting forward of the word to the beginning of the sentence would render it anarthrous. I prefer, however, ‘a shadow,’ because of the meaning of σκιάν, presently to be treated of: see below) of the good things to come (viz. the same good things of which, in ch. 9:11, Christ is said to be the High Priest,—which belong to the μέλλων αἰών of ch. 6:5, whose δυνάμεις are working in the present dispensation,—and to the completion of the οἰκουμένη μέλλουσα of ch. 2:5: the good things which are still future to us as they were to those under the law, but are now made sure to us in and by Christ), not the very image of the things (every representation of μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν must be an εἰκών, whether it be in words, or in types, or in any other method of representation. The full description and entire revelation of the things thus designated will be αὐτὴ ἡ εἰκὼν τῶν πραγμάτων: which we possess in the gospel covenant: the very setting forth and form of the heavenly realities themselves. So that the gen. πραγμάτων is the ‘genitivus substantiæ,’ as in Colossians 3:10, τὸν ἀνακαινούμενον … κατʼ εἰκόνα τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτόν, and Romans 8:29, συμμόρφους τῆς εἰκόνος τοῦ υἱοῦ,—ὁ κτίσας in the one and ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ in the other, being and furnishing the εἰκών. But the law had no such εἰκών constructed out of the heavenly realities themselves, “ipsas res, certa sua forma et effigie præditas,” as Stier: it had merely σκιάν, merely a rough sketch or outline: so Chrys., not however to my mind entirely apprehending the identity of the εἰκών with the πράγματα which furnish it,—σκιὰν … τουτέστιν οὐκ αὐτὴν τὴν ἀλήθειαν. ἕως μὲν γὰρ ἂν ὡς ἐν γραφῇ περιάγῃ τις τὰ χρώματα, σκιά τις ἐστίν· ὅταν δὲ τὸ ἄνθος ἐπαλείψῃ τις καὶ ἐπιχρίσῃ τὰ χρώματα, τότε εἰκὼν γίνεται. See also Thdrt. and Œc.), year by year with the same sacrifices (most Commentators assume some inversion of arrangement in constructing the words κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν: some (Calvin, Erasm. Schmid, Wolf, Heinrichs, Bleek, De Wette, Stuart, al.) joining them with αἷς προσφέρουσιν, others (Lünem., al.) with ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις, others (Carpzov, al.) with τοὺς προσερχομένους. But there is no need to disturb the plain order of the sentence, in which κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν belongs to all that follows, viz. to the verb, οὐδέποτε δύναται, with its instrumental clause, ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις αἷς κ.τ.λ. And so Ebrard, Hofmann, and Delitzsch. “This,” says Del., “is more accordant with the sense of the Writer: for he does not say, that the law by means of the offerings which were always the same year by year never was able to perfect, &c.,—but that the law, year by year, by the repetition of the same offerings, testified its inability to perfect, &c., viz. on the day of atonement, on which the same expiatory offerings were always repeated, being necessary, not withstanding the many offerings brought throughout the year, and after which the same round of offerings again began anew.” It will be evident that ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις must refer, not to the daily offering, but to those of propitiation on the great day of atonement) which they (the ministering priests, not οἱ προσερχόμενοι, as Hofmann ii. 1. 314, which would be against all the terminology of the Epistle, in which προσφέρειν is without exception confined to priests. We have the same distinction as regards the προσερχόμενοι in ch. 7:25) offer continually (Hofmann would join this with what follows, alleging that εἰς τὸ διηνεκές does not mean continually but continuously. And so Lachmann punctuates. But against such a construction I conceive it to be decisive, that thus αἷς προσφέρουσιν would be in the last degree flat and unmeaning, and that the verb δύναται would have two qualifying adverbial predicates, εἰς τὸ διηνεκές and οὐδέποτε. I do not imagine that any one accustomed to the style of our Epistle would tolerate such a sentence. And with regard to εἰς τὸ διηνεκές, granting the meaning to be continuously, why may not that meaning be applicable here? Hofmann says that it is not applicable to a continually repeated act, but only to a continuously enduring agency. But why should not the offering of these sacrifices be looked upon as continuous, being unbroken from year to year? When I say, ‘The celebration of the day of atonement continued unbroken till the destruction of Jerusalem,’ I use the same method of expression, and might express my meaning in Greek by διηνεκὴς ἦν, ἕως) never (not even at any time) is able to perfect (see on ref., where I have entered into the meanings of τελειοῦν in our Epistle) those who draw near (to God, by means of them. Tholuck well remarks that this threefold κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν, ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις, εἰς τὸ διηνεκές, graphically sets forth the ever recurring cycle of the yearly sacrifices for sin).

2.] For (if it were so, if the law were able to perfect the worshippers) would they (αἱ αὐταὶ θυσίαι) not have ceased being offered, on account of the worshippers (the servers in the service of the tabernacle, used here in a wide sense, including priests and people) having no longer any conscience of sins (for construction, see reff.: = guilt of sin on the conscience, consciousness of the guilt of sin), if once (for all) purified?

That this sentence is to be read ἐπεὶ οὐκ ἄν, and as a question, is pretty universally agreed.

Some, as Thdrt. (apparently: διὰ τοῦτο τέλος ἐκεῖνα λαμβάνει), D-lat. (“nam nec cessassent offerri”), Beza (edd. 1, 2, “alioqui non desiissent offerri”), Whitby, Valcknaer, read οὐκ, and yet no question; understanding, “for then they would not have ceased to be offered,” viz. on the coming in of the N. T. dispensation. But this is surely hardly worth refutation. The rec. not reading οὐκ, might indeed be well thus rendered, “for in that case they would have ceased to be offered.” But then ἀλλά comes in awkwardly, which, when as here without any emphasis, more naturally follows a negative sentence. The taking our verse interrogatively is as old as Œc.: ἐπεὶ οὐκ ἂν ἐπαύσαντο κατʼ ἐρώτησιν ἀνάγνωθι. So also Thl.

3.] Which cessation is far from being the case, as is the having no more conscience of sin:—But (on the contrary: ἀλλά opposes the whole question of ver. 2, in both its clauses) in them (the sacrifices: not in the fact of their being offered, but in the course of their being offered on the day of atonement, see below) there is a recollection (‘recalling to mind;’ the usual meaning of ἀνάμνησις: better than “public mention,” as vulg., “commemoratio,” Calv., Bengel, al.: so also Schlichting, Grot., Jac. Cappell., al., thinking on the solemn confession of the sins of Israel made by the high priest, Leviticus 16:20 f. But the other is simpler, and suits the context better. Where sins are continually called to mind, there clearly the conscience is not clear from them. Several passages occur in Philo closely resembling this: e. g. De Plant. Noë, 25, vol. i. p. 345, βωμοῖς γὰρ ἀπύροις περὶ οὓς ἀρεταὶ χορεύουσι γέγηθεν ὁ θεός, ἀλλʼ οὐ πολλῷ πυρὶ φλέγουσιν, ὅπερ αἱ τῶν ἀνιέρων ἄθυτοι θυσίαι συνανέφλεξαν, ὑπομιμνήσκουσαι τὰς ἑκάστων ἀγνοίας τε καὶ διαμαρτίας. καὶ γὰρ εἶπέ που Μωυσῆς (Numbers 5:15, θυσία μνημοσύνου ἀναμιμνήσκουσα ἁμαρτίαν) θυσίαν ἀναμιμνήσκουσαν ἁμαρτίαν: De Victim. 7, vol. ii. p. 244, εὔηθες γάρ, τὰς θυσίας μὴ λήθην ἁμαρτημάτων, ἀλλʼ ὑπόμνησιν αὐτῶν κατασκευάζειν: and Vita Mos. iii. 10, p. 151, εἰ μὲν γὰρ ἀγνώμων καὶ ἄδικος, ἄθυτοι θυσίαι, καὶ ἀνίεροι ἱερουργίαι, καὶ εὐχαὶ παλίμφημοι, παντελῆ φθοραὶ ἐνδεχόμεναι. καὶ γὰρ ὁπότε γίνεσθαι δοκοῦσιν, οὐ λύσιν ἁμαρτημάτων, ἀλλʼ ὑπόμνησιν ἀργάζονται) of sins year by year:

4.] And that on account of inherent defect in the sacrifices themselves: for it is impossible, that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin (the Writer by no means denies the typical virtue of the O. T. sacrifices, but asserts that which the schoolmen explained by saying that they wrought remission of sin not ‘propria virtute,’ but ‘per accidens,’ viz. by means of the grace of the true Propitiation which was to come, and of faith directed to it. And thus only is it said, Leviticus 17:11, that the blood upon the altar makes an atonement for the soul: it was shed, as Ebrard well observes, not as the instrument of complete vicarious propitiation, but as an exhibition of the postulate of vicarious propitiation).

5-10.] Christ’s voluntary self-offering shewn to be the perfect fulfilment of the will of God.

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 Psa_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 1Samuel 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 Psalm 50:7-15; Psalm 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):

6.] whole burnt-offerings (ὁλοκαύτωμα, a subst. from the Alexandrine form ὁλοκαυτόω (-τέω. in Xenoph. Cyr. viii. 3. 11: Anab. vii. 8. 3 al.), is the ordinary LXX rendering for the Heb. עוֹלָה, an offering of a whole animal to be burnt on the altar. See Winer, Realw. art. Brandopfer) and (sacrifices) for sin (in the LXX also we have the same ellipsis: see reff.) thou didst not approve (it is probable that our Writer had εὐδοκήσας in his ms. of the LXX. He repeats it again below; and Cyr.-alex., even where he expressly cites the Psalm, has it. Possibly it may have come in here from the similarity to Psalm 50:16 (18), ὁλοκαυτώματα οὐκ εὐδοκήσεις: it is also possible, as Bl. suggests, that our Writer may have used the word, as a stronger one than ᾔτησας or ἐζήτησας, with reference to that well-known passage. The construction of εὐδοκέω with an accus. is not unfrequent in the LXX and Hellenistic Greek: see reff. εὐδοκεῖν τινι or ἔν τινι is more usual: Polyb. uses both):

7.] then I said (viz. when Thou hadst prepared a body for me), Behold, I am come, in the volume of the book it is written concerning me, to do, O God, thy will (the connexion and construction are somewhat differently given from those in the LXX. There it stands, τότε εἶπον Ἰδοὺ ἥκω, ἐν κεφαλίδι βιβλίου γέγραπται περὶ ἐμοῦ, τοῦ ποιῆσαι τὸ θέλημά σου, ὁ θεός μου, ἠβουλήθην, καὶ τὸν νόμον σου ἐν μέσῳ τῆς καρδίας μου: where τοῦ ποιῆσαι depends on ἠβουλήθην. And so in the Hebrew: see E. V. As our text stands, τοῦ ποιῆσαι depends on ἥκω, and ἐν κεφ. τ. βιβ. γέγρ. περὶ ἐμοῦ is parenthetical: see ver. 9. κεφαλίς is the LXX rendering of מְנִלָּה, a roll, or volume, as also in reff. Suid., κεφαλὶς βιβλίου, ὅπερ τινὲς εἵλημά φασι. κεφαλίς appears to have got this meaning from signifying the heads or knobs which terminated the cylinder on which the mss. were rolled, and which were called in Latin umbilici. On ποιῆσαι τὸ θέλημά σου, Thl. says, θέλημα δὲ τοῦ θεοῦ πατρὸς τὸ τὸν υἱὸν ὑπὲρ τοῦ κόσμου τυθῆναι κ. δικαιωθῆναι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους οὐκ ἐν θυσίαις ἀλλʼ ἐν τῷ θανάτῳ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ: and Chrys., τοῦ ἐμαυτόν φησιν ἐκδοῦναι, τοῦτο τοῦ θεοῦ θέλημα).

8.] The Writer now proceeds to expound the prophecy; and in so doing, cites it again, but in a freer form, and one accommodated to the explanation which he gives. Saying (as he does) above (the present participle is used, not εἰπών, because it is not the temporal sequence of the sayings, so much as their logical coherence, that is in the Writer’s thoughts. Similarly we say, “Holding as I do that, &c., I have ever maintained, &c.” The speaker is our Lord: cf. above, ver. 5, εἰσερχόμενος εἰς τὸν κόσμον λέγει), that (mere particle of recitation: cf. reff.) sacrifices and offerings, and whole burnt-offerings, and sacrifices concerning sin thou wouldest not, nor yet didst approve (observe that the two distinct clauses of the previous citation are now combined, for the sake of throwing into contrast the rejection of legal sacrifices and the acceptable self-sacrifice of the Son of God), of such sort as (αἵτινες does not, like the simple relative αἵ, identify, but classifies, the antecedent) are (habitually) offered according to (in pursuance of the commands of) the (whether the article is or is not retained, the English rendering will be the same; the νόμος according to which they were offered being not any general one, but the particular ordinance of Moses. If we say ‘according to law,’ we mean the same, but transfer ourselves to the standing-point of a Jew, with whom ‘the law’ was ‘law’) law,—

9.] then (more logical than chronological; but used probably in allusion to that τότε above, in the passage itself), hath he said, Behold I am come to do thy will. He (Christ again) taketh away (for ἀναιρεῖν, ‘tollere,’ see reff. and add Xen. Cyr. i. 1. 1, ὅσαι μοναρχίαι ὅσαι τε ὀλιγαρχίαι ἀνῄρηνται ἤδη ὑπὸ δήμων: Demosth. p. 246. 4, τὰ τῶν προγόνων καλὰ κ. δίκαια ἀναιρεῖν) the first, that he may set up (establish, see reff.) the second (ποῖόν ἐστι τὸ πρῶτον; αἱ θυσίαι. ποῖον τὸ δεύτερον; τὸ θέλημα τοῦ πατρός. Thl. It is a mistake to understand with Peirce, θέλημα after πρῶτον and δεύτερον: the contrast is between that which God wills not, and that which He wills. This is very plain both on other grounds, and on account of the ἐν ᾧ θελήματι in the next verse).

10.] In (the course of, the fulfilment of: not properly “by,” which belongs more to the διὰ below) which will (viz. the will and purpose of God towards us by Christ: the will which He came to fulfil. There is no real difference, or alternative to be chosen, as Ebrard maintains, between the will of God to redeem us by the sufferings and death of Christ, and the will of God as fulfilled by Christ’s obedience: the one includes the other: the latter was the condition of the former. Justiniani inclines to understand ἐν ᾧ θελήματι of the will of Christ, as expressed above: and so Calvin (quoting 1Thessalonians 4:3, “Hæc voluntas est Christi, sanctificatio vestra”), Schöttgen, and Carpzov. But clearly this cannot be so) we have been sanctified (see on the word ἁγιάζω, and on the use of the present and past passive participles of it, note on ch. 2:11. Here the perfect part. is used, inasmuch as it is the finished work of Christ in its potentiality, not the process of it on us, which is spoken of: see ver. 14, τετελείωκεν εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς τοὺς ἁγιαζομένους: which final completion is here indicated by the perfect part.) through the offering of the body (the reading αἵματος would, besides losing the reference to the σῶμα κατηρτίσω μοι, introduce an inaccuracy into the typology. It is by the Blood of Christ that we are reconciled to God, but by the offering of His Body that we are made holy. The one concerns our acceptance as acquitted from sin; the other our perfection in holiness by union with Him and participation in His Spirit. Thus we distinguish the two in the Communion Service: “that our sinful bodies may be made clean by His Body, and our souls washed through His most precious Blood”) of Jesus Christ, once for all (it may seem doubtful to which ἐφάπαξ belongs, whether to τῆς προσφορᾶς, or to ἡγιασμένοι ἐσμέν. For the former, may be said, that the once-for-all-ness of the offering of Christ is often insisted on by our Writer, cf. ch. 7:27; 9:12, 26, 28; vv. 12, 14. Against it, that thus we should seem to require the article τῆς before ἐφάπαξ. But this last is not needed, and no argument can be founded on its absence. Rather should we argue from the context, and say that the assertion is not mainly of our being sanctified once for all, though that does come in in ver. 14 as a consequence of the μία προσφορά, but of our sanctification having taken place by means of a final efficacious sacrifice, which does not, as those legal ones did, need repeating. I should therefore be disposed to join ἐφάπαξ with προσφορᾶς, with Syr., Œc., Thl. (διὰ τῆς προσφορᾶς τοῦ σώματς τοῦ χριστοῦ τῆς ἐφάπαξ γενομένης), Schlichting, Jac. Cappell., Limborch, Stein, al., and against Bleek, Lünem., Hofm., Delitzsch, and most of the best Commentators).

11-14.] See summary at ver. 1.

11.] And (καί introduces a new particular of contrast: ‘and besides’) every high priest (much has of late been said by Delitzsch against the reading ἀρχιερεύς, as bringing in an inaccuracy which our Writer could not be guilty of, seeing that the high priests did not officiate in the daily sacrifice. But all such arguments are worthless against preponderating evidence, and rather tend the other way, viz. to shew how natural it was to alter ἀρχιερεύς to ἱερεύς, on account of this very difficulty. So that on the “procliviori præstat ardua” principle as well, we are bound I conceive to retain ἀρχιερεύς. And with regard to the alleged inaccuracy, I really think that if closely viewed, it will prove rather to be a fine and deep touch of truth. The High-priesthood of our Lord is to be compared with that of the Jewish legal high priests. On the one side is Jesus, alone in the glory of his office and virtue of his sacrifice; on the other is the Jewish high-priesthood, not one man but many, by reason of death; represented in all its acts, personal or delegated, by its holder for the time, by πᾶς ἀρχιερεύς, offering not one, but many sacrifices. This ἀρχιερεύς is the representative of the whole priesthood. Whether he ministered in the daily service of the temple himself or not, it is he who embodies the acts and sufferings of Israel in his own person. How Delitzsch can say that such an idea is foreign alike to the Bible and the Jewish mind, I am at a loss to understand, considering the liberation at the death of the high priest, not to insist on the ceremonies themselves at the day of atonement, when he was clearly the centre and representative of the priesthood, and indeed of all Israel. In treating of the Head of so compact a system as the Jewish priesthood it is clearly allowable, if any where, to bring in the principle, “qui facit per alterum, facit per se.” See ch. 7:27, where the very same καθʼ ἡμέραν is predicated of the ἀρχιερεύς) standeth (see reff. No priest nor other person might sit in the inner court of the temple, except the king. There is perhaps more than a fortuitous contrast to ἐκάθισεν below. So Œc. and Thl., aft. Chrys.: ἄρα τὸ ἑστάναι σημεῖόν ἐστι τοῦ λειτουργεῖν, τὸ δὲ καθῆσθαι, ὥσπερ ὁ χριστὸς ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ πατρός, σημεῖόν ἐστι τοῦ λειτουργεῖσθαι οἷα θεὸν ὄντα. The vulgate rendering, “præsto est,” is clearly wrong) day by day ministering (see note, ch. 8:2), and (καί brings out that in the λειτουργία, which the Writer wishes most to emphasize) often offering the same sacrifices, the which (i. e. of a sort which, such as) can never take away (lit. ‘strip off all round:’ so of a ring, Genesis 41:42: Esther 3:10: Jos. Antt. xix. 2. 3: Ælian V. H. i. 21: Herod. iii. 41: of clothes from the body, Genesis 38:14: Deuteronomy 21:13: Jonah 3:6: 2 Macc. 4:38. See reff.: and many more examples in Bleek. And such a word is peculiarly fitting to express the removal of that of which it is said, ch. 5:2, αὐτὸς περίκειται ἀσθένειαν, and which is called, ch. 12:1, ἡ εὐπερίστατος ἁμαρτία. The sacrifice might bring sense of partial forgiveness: but it could never denude the offerer of sinfulness—strip off and take away his guilt) sins:

12.] but He (‘this (man),’ or, (priest): but such rendering should be avoided if possible, as should all renderings which import a new generic idea into the text, as always causing confusion: cf. for a notable example, 1Corinthians 2:11 end in E. V.) having offered one sacrifice for sins (on the punctuation, see below) for ever (εἰς τὸ διηνεκές may be joined either with the preceding or with the following words. If with the preceding, as Thl. (θυσίαν … εἰς τὸ δ. ἀρκοῦσαν ἡμῖν, and so Œc.), Luther, Castellio, Beza b, Chr. F. Schmid, Bengel, Böhme, Stein, al., we observe the usage of the Epistle, which is to place εἰς τὸ διηνεκές after that which it qualifies (reff.): we have μία θυσία εἰς τὸ διηνεκές opposed to τὰς αὐτὰς θυσίας πολλάκις; and we keep the propriety of the sense, according to what follows, τὸ λοιπὸν ἐκδεχόμενος ἕως κ.τ.λ., and according to 1Corinthians 15:28, where we are expressly told, that the session of our triumphant Saviour will have its end as such. If we join the words with the following, as Syr., D-lat., Faber Stap., Erasm., Calvin, Schlichting, Grot., Wolf, al., Schulz, De Wette, Bleek, Lünem., Ebrard, Hofmann, Delitzsch, al., we more thoroughly satisfy the construction, in which εἰς τὸ διηνεκές seems to refer better to an enduring state than to a past act, or at all events not to this last without a harsh ellipsis, “having offered one sacrifice (the virtue of which will endure) for ever:” we preserve the contrast between ἕστηκεν καθʼ ἡμέραν and εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς ἐκάθισεν: we preserve also the balance between the clauses ending προσφέρων θυσίας, and προσενέγκας θυσίαν: and we are in full accordance with the ἱερεὺς εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα so often insisted on. And to this latter arrangement I incline, not however laying it down as certain. The objection taken above, as to the change in the nature of Christ’s session at the end, when all things shall have been put under His feet, may be met by saying that such change, being obviously included in His ultimate state of reception into God’s presence in heaven, does not here count as a change, where the question is of renewal of sacrifice, with regard to which that session is eternal) sat down on the right hand of God,

13.] henceforth waiting (this sense of ἐκδέχομαι is said to belong exclusively to later Greek: but not altogether accurately, cf. Soph. Phil. 123, κεῖνον ἐνθάδʼ ἐκδέχου. It is, however, much more frequent in the later classics. We have ἐκδέχ. ἕως ἄν in Dion. Hal. vi. 67) until his enemies be placed as footstool of his feet (the ἕως construction is adopted for the sake of preserving the words of Psalm 110:1.

I cannot see how Bleek and Lünem. can find any real discrepancy between this passage and 1Corinthians 15:23-26. If this seems to date the subjection of all to Christ before the second advent, and that places it after the same event, we may well say, that the second advent is not here taken into account by the Writer, whose object is the contrast between the suffering and triumphant Christ, as it is by St. Paul, who is specially giving an account of the resurrection which is so inseparably bound up with that παρουσία. The second advent is no break in Christ’s waiting till his enemies be subdued to him, but it is the last step but one of that subjection; the last of all being the subjection of Himself, and his mystical body with him, to Him that did put all things under him. For among the enemies are His own elect, who were enemies: and they are not thoroughly subject to Him, till He with them is subject to the Father, the mediatorial veil being withdrawn, and the One God being all in all).

14.] And He need not renew his sacrifice: For by one offering (we might read also μία γὰρ προσφορά, nominative: and Bengel prefers this, from the fact that in ver. 11 the sacrifices are the subject, αἵτινες οὐδέποτε δύνανται κ.τ.λ. But here more probably Christ is the subject throughout, and therefore the dative is better: there being no relative to connect with θυσίαν, as there) He hath perfected for ever them who are being sanctified (“The Writer says not τοὺς τελειωμένους, but τοὺς ἁγιαζομένους. Sanctification, i. e. the imputed and implanted purification from sins (for both these are alike contained in the idea), is the way whereby the objective perfection already provided in the self-sacrifice of Christ gradually renders itself subjective in men.” Delitzsch).

15-18.] See summary at ver. 1. The prophetic word testifies the same, making absolute and final forgiveness of sins a characteristic of the new covenant.

15.] Moreover the Holy Spirit also testifies to us (Christians in general: and ἡμῖν is the dat. commodi, μαρτυρεῖ being used absolutely—testifies the fact which I am maintaining. Raphel, Wolf, al. regard ἡμῖν as signifying merely the Writer, and take the dat. as in Polyb. xviii. 11. 8, μαρτυρεῖ δὲ τοῖς ἡμετέροις λόγοις … τὸ τέλος τοῦ πολέμου: but the other is far better): for after having said (then the citation proceeds much as in ch. 8:10 ff. with some differences, noticed below. On the common points, see notes there),

16.] This is the covenant which I will make with them (in ch. 8:10, τῷ οἴκῳ Ἰσραήλ. Here the prophecy is taken out of its national limits and universalized) after those days, saith the Lord: giving my laws into their hearts (ch. 8:10, εἰς τὴν διάνοιαν), and on their mind (ἐπὶ καρδίας, ch. 8:10) will I in scribe them:—

17.] Now comes the apodosis of the μετὰ γὰρ τὸ εἰρηκέναι, then,—καὶ ἔσομαι αὐτοῖς εἰς θεὸν κ.τ.λ., and καὶ οὐ μὴ διδάξωσιν κ.τ.λ., ch. 8:10, 11, being omitted (see below), he further says: and their sins and their transgressions will I remember no more (it has been generally held since Beza and Camerarius, that the apodosis is introduced by λέγει κύριος, all that follows belonging to it. The reason for this, alleged by the later Commentators, is, the harshness of understanding ὕστερον λέγει, or the like, inserted in some unimportant mss. at the beginning of ver. 17, as inconsistent with the concinnity of our Writer’s style. But as against this objection, may fairly be alleged the still greater harshness of breaking διαθήσομαι from its qualifying διδούς, and the improbability that the words λέγει κύριος, which occur in the passage cited, should be taken by the Writer as his own. But still more cogent reasons for making the apodosis begin at ver. 17 are, 1. that there the εἰρημένον ends, not at λέγει κύριος: there a hiatus in the citation occurs, and the Writer first passes on to that which is said after: 2. that ver. 17 itself carries the whole burden of the citation with it. This is the object of the citation, to prove that there needs no more sacrifice for sins. And the previous portion of it is adduced to shew that this, τῶν ἁμαρτ. αὐτ. κ. τῶν ἀνομ. αὐτ. οὐ μὴ μνησθήσομαι ἔτι, does form an integral part of the prophecy of the introduction of the new and spiritual covenant. So that both construction and sense are troubled by the modern idea of breaking at λέγει κύριος. With regard to any supposed harshness in the ellipsis at ver. 17, I may remark that our Writer frequently uses καί in a kindred sense, as adducing new quotations: see ch. 1:5; 2:13 bis; 4:5; ver. 30. The break at ver. 17 is adopted by several cursive mss. (see Scholz), by Primasius, Clarius, Zeger, Schlichting, Estius, Jac. Cappellus, Grotius, Limborch, Carpzov, Heinrichs, Stuart, al.: the other, at λέγει κύριος, by Beza, Camer., al., and almost all the recent Commentators).

18.] But (or, ‘now:’ it is the ‘but’ of the demonstration, referring to a well-known axiomatic fact as contrasting with the contrary hypothesis) where there is remission of these, there is no longer offering concerning sin.

“Here ends the finale (10:1-18) of the great tripartite arrangement (7:1-25; 7:26-9:12; 9:13-10:18) of the middle portion of the Epistle. ‘Christ a High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek,’ this was its great theme, now brought to a conclusion. That the Priesthood of Christ, as Melchisedekite, is as high above the Levitical as God’s heaven is above the earth,—that Christ, with His One High-priestly self-sacrifice, has accomplished that which the Levitical priesthood with its sacrifices was unable to accomplish,—that henceforth, both our present possession of salvation, and our future completion of salvation, are as certain to us as that He is with God, ruling as a priest and reigning as a king, once more to appear, no more as a bearer of our sins, but in glory as a Judge;—these are the three great fundamental thoughts, now brought to their full development. What it is, to be a High Priest after the order of Melchisedek and not of Aaron, is set forth, ch. 7:1-25. That Christ however as High Priest is Aaron’s antitype, ruling in the true holy place by virtue of His self-sacrifice here on earth,—and Mediator of a better covenant, whose essential character the old covenant only shadowed forth and typified, we learn, 7:26-9:12. And that the self-sacrifice of Christ, offered through the eternal Spirit, is of everlasting power, as contrasted with the unavailing cycle of legal offerings, is established in the third part, 9:13-10:18: the second half of this portion, 10:1-18, being devoted to a reiterated and conclusive treatment of the main position of the whole,—the High-priesthood of Christ, grounded on His offering of Himself,—its Kingly character, its eternal accomplishment of its end, confirmed by Psa_40, Psa_110, Jer_31” Delitzsch.

19-13:25.] The third great division of the Epistle: Our duty in the interval of waiting between the beginning and accomplishment of our salvation. And herein, 10:19-39, exhortation to enter boldly into the holiest place, 19-22: to hold fast our profession, 23: to stir up one another, 24, 25: in consideration of the fearful punishment which awaits the rejecters of Christ, 26-31: and in remembrance of the previous sufferings which they underwent when first converted, 32-34. Finally, exhortation not to cast away confidence, for the time until His coming is short, and during that time, faith is the life of the soul.

There has been no exhortation, properly speaking, since ch. 7:1, i. e. during the great doctrinal argument of the Epistle. Before that, argument and exhortation were rapidly alternated. But so exquisite is the skill of arrangement and development, that the very exhortation with which he closed the former portion of the Epistle where first he began to prepare the way for his great argument, ch. 4:14-16, is now resumed, deepened indeed and expanded by the intervening demonstration, but in spirit and substance the same: προσερχώμεθα μετʼ ἀληθινῆς καρδίας ἐν πληροφρίᾳ πίστεως here, answering to προσερχώμεθα μετὰ παῤῥησίας τῷ θρόνῳ τῆς χάριτος there, and κατέχωμεν τὴν ὁμολογίαν here to κρατῶμεν τῆς ὁμολογίας there.

19.] Having (ἔχοντες is placed first as carrying the emphasis: ‘possessing, as we do …’) therefore (as above proved: οὖν collects and infers), brethren (see on ch. 3:1), confidence (see on ch. 3:6 παῤῥησία here as well as there is not justification, right (ἐξουσίαν Hesych.) to enter, but purely subjective, confidence, boldness) as regards the (our, see below) entering into the holy places (for construction, see reff. καὶ γὰρ ἐπειδὴ ἀφέθησαν ἡμῖν τὰ ἁμαρτήματα, παῤῥησίαν ἔχομεν πρὸς τὸ εἰσέρχεσθαι εἰς τὰ ἅγια, τουτέστιν εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν. Thl. ἡ εἴσοδος is our entering, not Christ’s entering, as Heinrichs and Dindorf: see ch. 4:16, προσερχώμεθα μετὰ παῤῥησίας τῷ θρόνῳ τῆς χάριτος) in the blood of Jesus (the ἐν introduces that wherein the confidence is grounded: cf. ref., ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν παῤῥησίαν καὶ [τὴν] προσαγωγήν. He having once entered in with His blood as our High Priest, and thereby all atonement and propitiation having been for ever accomplished, it is in that blood that our boldness to enter in is grounded. To understand ἐν, with Bleek and Stier, as in ch. 9:25, εἰσέρχεται εἰς τὰ ἅγια … ἐν αἵματι ἀλλοτρίῳ, is in fact to make us, as priests, renew Christ’s offering of Himself. “We enter,” says Stier, “with the blood of Jesus, even with the same, wherewith He entered before us:” which is very like a contradiction in terms, and is at all events inaccurate theology. We do not take the blood of Christ with us into the presence of God: it is there already once for all, and our confidence of access is therein grounded, that it is there. See note on ch. 12:24),

20.] which (entrance: so Œc. (below), Thl. (below), and most Commentators. Some, as Est., Erasm., Calv., Beza, refer the relative to αἵματι, making it attracted into the fem. by ὁδόν. Some again, as Seb. Schmidt, Hammond, al., and D-lat., refer it to παῤῥησίαν. The vulg., “quam initiavit nobis viam novam,” will bear either) He initiated (first opened: better than E. V., “consecrated,” which seems as if it existed before: so Œc., ἢν εἴσοδον τῶν ἁγίων νῦν νεωστὶ ἔτεμε: and Thl., ἥντινα εἴσοδον τῶν ἁγίων αὐτὸς ἡμῖν ὁδὸν ἐνεκαίνισε, τουτέστι νέαν ὁδὸν ἐποίησεν, αὐτὸς ταύτης ἀρξάμενος, καὶ αὐτὸς ταύτην βαδίσας πρῶτος. On the word, see note, ch. 9:18) for us (as) a way (ὁδόν is predicative, ‘to be a way’) recent (ὡς τότε πρῶτον φανεῖσαν, Thdrt.: cf. Romans 16:25, Romans 16:26, μυστηρίου χρόνοις αἰωνίοις σεσιγημένου, φανερωθέντος δὲ νῦν κ.τ.λ., and ch. 9:26. “On the use of πρόσφατος, see esp. Wetst. h.l. and Lobeck on Phryn. p. 374 f. The original meaning is ‘slain before,’ from πρό and σφάζω or σφάττω; and thus, just before, recently, slain or killed: so Il. ω. 757. According to usage, it means ‘fresh,’ recens, in contrast to παλαιός, old or antiquated: and is used not only of recently slain meat (Hippocr.), or a fresh corpse, νεκρὸς πρόσφατος (Herod. ii. 89, 121), but also ἰχθύς, αἷμα, πόμα, σταφυλή (Dioscorid. v. 12: Numbers 6:3), ἄλφιτον, φῦκος, ἄνθος, ἔλαιον, ἕλκος, χιών (Polyb. iii. 55. 1), μάρτυρες (Aristot. Rhet. i. 15), νίκη (Plutarch), ἀτύχημα (Polyb. i. 21. 9), εὐεργεσίαι (id. ii. 46. 1), δίκαι (Æschyl. Choeph. 800), ὀργή (Lys. p. 151. 5: Jos. Antt. i. 18. 3), φθόνος (Plut. Themistocl. p. 124 a), Demosth. p. 551. 15, ἕκαστος, ἄν τι συμβῇ, πρόσφατος κρίνεται (see also reff.): and Ecclesiastes 1:9, οὐκ ἔστι πᾶν πρόσφατον ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον.” Bleek. Others, as Passow, derive the word from πρό, and φένω. But πρόσφατος has not, as Ebrard would make it, the meaning of “ever fresh:” only that of new, ‘of late origin.’ “None before Him trod this way: no believer under the O. T. dared or could, though under a dispensation of preparatory grace, approach God so freely and openly, so fearlessly and joyfully, so closely and intimately, as we now, who come to the Father by the blood of Jesus, His Son.” Stier) and living (as contrasted with the mere dead ceremony of entrance into the earthly holy place. This entrance is a real, living and working entrance; the animated substance of what is imported, not the dead shadow. And so Lünemann and Delitzsch: and very nearly, Ebrard and Stier. Most Commentators make ζῶσαν = ζωοποιοῦσαν, producing, or leading to life: so Faber Stap., Schlichting, Grot., Peirce, Wetst., Böhme, Kuinoel, De Wette, Olshausen. Others, as Bl., interpret it, “everlasting:” and so Chrys., οὐκ εἶπε ζωῆς, ἀλλὰ ζῶσαν αὐτὴν ἐκάλεσε, τὴν μένουσαν οὕτω δηλῶν: Œc., εἰς ζωὴν ὄντως φέρει, ὅτι καὶ αὐτὴ ζῇ καὶ διαιωνίζει. πρόσφατον εἰπών, ἵνα μή τις εἴπῃ· οὐκοῦν εἰ πρόσφατος, καὶ παυθήσεται· γηράσκουσα γὰρ καὶ παλαιουμένη καὶ αὐτή, ὥσπερ καὶ ἡ τῆς παλαιᾶς διαθήκης καταλυθήσεται· οὐ μὲν οὖν, φησίν, ἀλλὰ πρόσφατος οὖσα ἀεὶ νεάζονσα καὶ ζῶσα ἔσται, οὐδέποτε ἐπιδεχομένη θάνατον καὶ κατάλυσιν) through (διὰ here in its primary local meaning, ‘through,’ not in its derived instrumental one. But no οὖσαν or ἄγουσαν need be supplied, as Bleek: διὰ follows directly upon ἐνεκαίνισεν) the veil, that is, his flesh (on καταπέτασμα, see note, ch. 6:19. The Flesh of Christ is here spoken of as the veil hung before the holiest place; that weak human mortal flesh was the state through which He had to pass before He could enter the holiest in heaven for us, and when He put off that flesh, the actual veil in the temple was rent from top to bottom, Matthew 27:51. And so in the main, the great body of interpreters: the Greek Commentators however, not quite accurately: e. g. Chrys., ἡ γὰρ σὰρξ αὕτη ἔτεμε πρώτη τὴν ὁδὸν αὐτῷ ἐκείνην, ἣν καὶ ἐγκαινίσαι λέγει, τῷ καὶ αὐτὸς ἀξιῶσαι διὰ ταύτης βαδίσαι· καταπέτασμα δὲ εἰκότως ἐκάλεσε τὴν σάρκα· ὅτε γὰρ ᾐρέθη εἰς ὕψος, τότε ἐφάνη τὰ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. And similarly Thl. and Œc., the latter however giving an alternative, καὶ ὅτι ἔκρυπτεν ἐν ἑαυτῇ τὴν θεότητα· καὶ τοῦτο γὰρ ἴδιον καταπετάσματος. Thdrt. understands it of the body of the Lord partaken in the Holy Communion: no less strangely than erroneously: for it is not the Body, but the Flesh of Christ which is the veil: and what our Writer means by that expression is evident from ch. 5:7, where ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ points to the time of His suffering Humanity),—

21.] and (‘having:’ τὸ ἔχοντες ἀπὸ κοινοῦ, Œc.) a great Priest (i. e. a great High Priest; but here his Priesthood, not his High-priesthood, is more brought into prominence. Do not suppose that μέγας ἱερεύς imports ‘High Priest,’ as ὁ ἱερεὺς ὁ μέγας in the LXX and Philo: our Writer always uses ἀρχιερεύς for it, and in ch. 4:14, calls our Lord ἀρχιερέα μέγαν. He is ἱερεὺς μέγας, because He is a Priest on his throne, a “sacerdos regius et rex sacerdotalis,” as Delitzsch quotes from Seb. Schmidt) over the house of God (this substitution of the preposition of motion for that of rest, is indicative of a later phase of a language, and requires the supplying of τεταγμένον, or some similar word, to make it good Greek: so Ξενοκλέα ἔταξεν ἐπὶ τοὺς ἱππεῖς, Xen. Cyr. iv. 5. 19. The οἶκος θεοῦ here need not be more limited in meaning than in the similar passage ch. 3:2: οἶκον δὲ θεοῦ τοὺς πιστοὺς προσηγόρευσεν, Thdrt., Œc., Estius, al. But it is alleged that the expression here must mean the heaven: Thl. having mentioned the other, says, ἤ, ὅπερ οἶμαι μᾶλλον, τὸν οὐρανόν· ἐκεῖνον γὰρ καὶ ἅγια καλεῖ, καὶ ἐν ἐκείνῳ λειτουργεῖν τὸν ἱερέα λέγει, ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐντυγχάνοντα: and so many Commentators. But Delitzsch well observes that the one meaning, the narrower, need not exclude the other, the wider. It is hardly probable, to begin with, that our Writer should in two places describe Christ as set ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ, in meanings entirely different from each other. Clearly, the heavenly sanctuary is regarded by him as also including the earthly, the Church above as the home of the Church below: see ch. 12:22 ff.),

22.] let us approach (προσέρχεσθαι, see ref., = ἐγγίζειν τῷ θεῷ ch. 7:19, and is a word belonging to worship. So that the participial clauses which follow are best regarded as both belonging to προσερχώμεθα, since they also describe requisite preparations for worship: see this further treated below, on ver. 23) with a true heart (χωρὶς ὑποκρίσεως, Chrys. So Hezekiah pleads, Isaiah 38:3, ἐπορεύθην ἐνώπιόν σου μετὰ ἀληθείας ἐν καρδίᾳ ἀληθινῇ) in full assurance (πληροφορία, subjective, as in ch. 6:11: see note there) of faith (with no doubt as to the certainty of our access to God by the blood of Jesus), having our hearts sprinkled from (pregnant construction for ‘sprinkled, and by that sprinkling cleansed from’) an evil conscience (a conscience polluted with the guilt of sin: for “if a man’s practice be bad, his conscience, in so far as it is the consciousness of that practice, is πονηρά:” see Delitzsch, Biblische Psychologie, p. 163) and having our body washed with pure water (both these clauses refer to the legal purifications of the Levitical priests, which took place by means of blood and water. At their first dedication, Aaron and his sons were sprinkled with blood, their bodies and their clothes, Exodus 29:21: Leviticus 8:30. And so are we to be as God’s priests, having access to Him, sprinkled with blood, not outwardly with that of the ram of consecration, but inwardly with that of the Lamb of God: the first could only produce καθαρότητα τῆς σαρκός (ch. 9:13), but the second, pureness of heart and conscience in God’s sight. The washing with water also (Exodus 29:4) was to be part of the cleansing of Aaron and his sons: nor only so, but as often as they entered the holy place or approached the altar, they were to wash their hands and feet in the brazen laver, Exodus 30:20; Exodus 40:30-32: and the high priest, on the day of atonement, λούσεται ὕδατι πᾶν τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ, Leviticus 16:4. There can be no reasonable doubt that this clause refers directly to Christian baptism. The λουτρὸν τοῦ ὕδατος of Ephesians 5:26, and the λουτρὸν παλιγγενεσίας, Titus 3:5, are analogous expressions: and the express mention of σῶμα here, as distinguished from καρδίας before, stamps this interpretation with certainty. This distinction makes it impossible, with Calvin, Limborch, Owen, Bengel, Ebrard, and the old Socinians, Schlichting, al., to spiritualize away the meaning into “Christi spiritus et doctrina, seu spiritualis illa aqua, qua suos perfundit Christus, ipsius etiam sanguine non excluso” (Schlichting); for σῶμα confines the reference to an outward act. And so Thl. (τῷ τοῦ βαπτίσματος·.… τοῦ σώματος ἕνεκα παραλαμβάνεται τὸ ὕδωρ· διττῶν γὰρ ὄντων ἡμῶν, διττὴ καὶ ἡ κάθαρσις), Thdrt., Œc., al. Böhme, Kuin., Thol., De W., Bleek, Lünem., Delitzsch, and the majority of Commentators. Still in maintaining the externality of the words, as referring, and referring solely, to Baptism, we must remember, that Baptism itself is not a mere external rite, but at every mention of it carries the thought further, viz. to that spiritual washing of which it is itself symbolical and sacramental. Notice here that the word is τὸ σῶμα, and not τὴν σάρκα, as ch. 9:13: our whole natural life, and not the mere outside surface: that in which our soul dwells and works, the seat of the emotions and desires: this also must be purified in those who would approach God in Christ. So that I would understand with Delitzsch (whose note here by all means see), that the sprinkling the heart from an evil conscience is, so to speak, intra-sacramental, a spiritual application of the purifying Blood, beyond sacramental rites, and the washing the body with pure water is purely sacramental, the effect of baptism taken in its whole blessed meaning and fulfilment as regards our natural existence. The end of his note is very beautiful: “As priests we are sprinkled, as priests we are bathed: sprinkled so that our hearts are freed from an evil conscience, and thus from self-condemnation, sprinkled with Christ’s Blood, to be sprinkled with which and to be certain of and joyful in justification before God is one and the same thing,—washed in Holy Baptism, whose pure water penetrates with its saving power not only into the depths of our self-conscious life, but also into the very foundation of our corporeity, and thus sanctifies us not only in the flesh, but in the body and in the spirit: so bringing us, in our whole personal existence, through the Blood speaking in the Sanctuary, through the Water welling forth out of the Sanctuary, into so real a connexion, so close an union with the Sanctuary itself, that we are at all times privileged to enter into the Sanctuary, and to use, in faith, the new and living way.” On the further details of the passage see Hofmann, Weissagung u. Erfüllung, ii. 234: Schriftbeweis, ii. 2. 161. The perfect participles shew that a state is spoken of introduced by one act the effect of which is abiding):

23.] (First we must treat of the punctuation and connexion. I have stated above the ground for attaching καὶ λελουμένοι κ.τ.λ. to the foregoing, with Syr., Primas., Faber Stap., Luther, E. V., Estius, Seb. Schmidt, Cramer, Michaelis (paraphr.), Wolf, Baumgarten, Storr, Kuin., De Wette, Bleek, Delitzsch,—not to κατέχωμεν with Erasm., Beza, Erasm. Schmid, Bengel, Peirce (and Michaelis as Peirce), Griesb., Knapp, Heinrichs, Schulz, Böhme, Lachmann, Tholuck, Tischdf. (edn. 2), Ebrard, Lünemann. Besides, 1. the ground there alleged, it may be further urged, 2. that the λελουμένοι has no imaginable connexion with κατέχωμεν κ.τ.λ., whereas it continues to describe the condition in which we are to approach God: and, 3. that by joining this participial clause with what follows, the rhythm of the sentence (agst. Lünem.) is entirely broken up. Then, thus much being determined, our next question is, what stop to set after καθαρῷ. Bleek prefers a period, Delitzsch a comma only. I believe a colon, as after ἐπαγγειλάμενος, would best give the form of the sentence, in which the three verbs, προσερχώμεθα … κατέχωμεν … καὶ κατανοῶμεν, are correlative) let us hold fast (= κρατῶμεν, ch. 4:14: let us hold with full and conscious possession: see ch. 3:6, 14) the confession (see on ch. 4:14: subjective, but in a pregnant sense,—that which we confess, held in our confession of it) of our hope (see ch. 3:6: and bear in mind that ἐλπίς is used also for the object of hope subjectivized: our hope (subj.), as including that on which it is fixed) so that it may be without wavering (“Valcknaer compares ἔχειν ἀκλινῆ τὸν λογισμόν, 4 Macc. 6:7” Del. The adjective predicates that which the confession becomes by being held fast: = βεβαίαν, ch. 3:14. The word itself is late Greek, found in Ælian, V. H. xii. 64: Lucian, Encom. Demosth. 33: Philo, al): for He is faithful that promised (viz. God, see reff.: and ch. 6:13; 11:11; 12:26, as referring to Him the title ὁ ἐπαγγειλάμενος. Thl. interprets it, ὁ χριστὸς ὁ εἰπών, ὅτι Ὅπου εἰμὶ ἐγώ, καὶ ὁ διάκονος ὁ ἐμὸς ἔσται, and similarly Œc., al., but not so accurately):

24.] and (“How beautifully does this chain of exhortations of our Writer fall into a triple division, according to St. Paul’s trias of the Christian life, 1Corinthians 13:13: 1Thessalonians 1:3; 1Thessalonians 5:8: Colossians 1:4 f. Next to an exhortation to approach God in full assurance of faith, follows one to hold fast the confession of hope, and now comes one to emulate one another in love.” Delitzsch. On the connexion, see above: we are still dependent on ἔχοντες οὖν above) let us consider one another (all of us have all in continual remembrance, bearing one another’s characters and wants and weaknesses in mind. This is far better than the merely one-sided explanation given by Chrys., Thl. (τουτέστιν, ἐπισκοπῶμεν εἴ τις ἐνάρετος, ἵνα τοῦτον μιμώμεθα· οὐχ ἵνα φθονῶμεν, ἀλλʼ ἵνα παροξυνώμεθα μᾶλλον εἰς τὸ τὰ αὐτὰ ἐκείνῳ καλὰ ἔργα ποιεῖν), Thdrt., Primas., Michaelis, Bleek (who endeavours to unite both views): κατανοεῖν has already been noticed, ch. 3:1) with a view to provocation (usually we have παροξυσμός in a bad sense, as our word provocation: so in reff. The verb is sometimes used in the classics in a good sense: e. g. Xen. Mem. iii. 3. 13, φιλοτιμίᾳ, ἥπερ μάλιστα παροξύνει πρὸς τὰ καλὰ καὶ ἔντιμα: Œcon. 13. 9, αἱ φιλότιμοι τῶν φύσεων καὶ τῷ ἐπαίνῳ παροξύνονται: Thuc. vi. 88, παρελθὼν δὲ ὁ Ἀλκιβιάδης παρώξυνέ τε τοὺς Λακεδ. κ. ἐξώρμησε, λέγων τοιάδε. And thus the subst. must be taken here: “provocatio amoris et bonorum operum, cui,” says Bengel, “contraria provocatio odii”) of (tending to produce: or we may say that it is a παροξυσμὸς ἀγάπης, the love itself being thereby excited) love and good work

Henry Alford - Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

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