Expiation in Order to Reconciliation
Hebrews 1:1-3
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,…

The purification here specified is not the sanctification of the sinner's soul; for the work is said to have been realised before Christ ascended into heaven. Atonement, or propitistion — an end attributed in so many other texts to the death of Christ (Isaiah 53:5, 6, 10, 11; Matthew 20:28; Romans 3:24-26; 1 Corinthians 15:8; 1 Timothy 2:6; 1 Peter 2:24; Revelation 1:5; &c.) — is certainly what is meant. The language by which the idea is here denoted probably refers to the purification by sacrifice under the Levitical economy, as set forth in Leviticus 14., 16. The work of expiation is here associated with human" sins"; atonement having an essential reference to sin as what requires expiation to be made in order to reconciliation between God and man. Christ is represented as having made the expiation "by Himself" — a view which both indicates the greatness of His condescending mercy in the matter, and accounts for the fact that, by His one sacrifice, such a mighty multitude of sins are pardoned, and such a mighty multitude of sinners are saved. It is strange, indeed, that "the brightness of God's glory, the express image of God's person" — that One who is Himself so glorious and so pure. and against whom the sins of men are acts of foul rebellion — should have stooped so low, and suffered so much, and that for the very purpose of securing pardon and salvation for His foes. But the fact that He actually did so — here, and in so many other passages declared — evolves and exhibits magnificent and animating views alike of the transcendent mercy of His heart, and of the transcendent virtue of His work.

(A. S. Patterson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

WEB: God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

Divine Revelation Under the Law, and Under the Gospel
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