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VERSE IC. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all
things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
$1. The propriety and force of the connexion. 32.-4. The principal words ex
plained. 5. The subject stated. $6---8. (I.) The design of God to bring many sons to glory. $9. (II.) The means of accomplishing that deep design. $10. (III.) Christ's qualification for this arduous work. Şil..-13. (IV.) The reason why Christ was to be consecrated by his sufferings. $14---23. Observations, 1. The whole work of bringing the sons to glory is committed to Christ, $24. 2. Christ by suffering hath consecrated the way of suffering $25. 3. Such is the desert of sin, that sinners could not be saved without the sufferings of the Son of God.
şi. The apostle in the verses foregoing made mention of that which, of all other things, the Jews generally were most offended at, but which was of the greatest importance to be believed; namely, the suffer, ings of the Messiah: wherein a great part of the discharge of his sacerdotal office (whereunto he here makes a transition) consisted. This his own disciples were slow to believe, Matt. xvi, 22, and chap. xvii, 22, 23; Luke xxiv, 25, 26; and at this the Jews generally stumbled. They thought it strange that the Messiah, the Son of God, the Savior of his people, and captain of their salvation, concerning whom so great and glorious things were promised and foretold, should be brought into so low and despised a condition, and therein suffer and die. Hence they cried unto him on the cross, “If thou be the Christ, come down and save thyself;” intimating, that by his sufferings he was actually proved not to be so; for why any one should suffer, that could deliver himself, they sew no reason. Besides, they had inveterate prejudices about the salvation promised by the Messiah, and the way whereby it was to be wrought, arising from their love and over-valuation of temporal or carnal things, with their contempt of things spiritual and eternal. They ex.
pected a deliverance outward, glorious, and kingly in this world, and that to be introduced with arms, power, and a mighty hand. And what should they expect from a Messiah that suffered and died? Wherefore the apostle, having asserted the sufferings of Christ, saw it necessary to proceed to a full confirination of it.
$2. The proper signification of the words in this verse is much to be heeded, as that which will give us much light into the sense of the whole. "It became him.” The import of the first word ( 7 Peter, decet, convenit dignum est,) is, it becometh, it is meet, convenient, or just. That which becometh any one in his state and condition in a moral sense; as holiness becometh the house, that is, the people of God. The word then signifies that decency and becomingness which justice, reason, and equity require; so that the contrary would be unmeet, because unequal and unjust. Thus every one's duty, that which is morally incumbent on him in his place and station, is that which becomes him; and thence in the New Testament, that which is not (xcele TO TPETOV) thus decent, is condemned as evil, 1 Cor. xi, 13; 1 Tim. ii, 10. And itself is commended as a rule of virtue, Matt. iii, 15; Ephes. v, 3.
“For whom,” (di ov.) The particle (du,) with an accusative case, constantly denotes the final cause. And (si ou tu wevic) "by whom are all things." The same particle, with a genitive, denotes the efficient cause. The principal efficiency or supreme production of a’l things by God is intended in this expression.
$3. The term (cycyovice) “bringing" is of common use and known signification, but in this place atten! ed with a double difficulty, from a double enallage of the case and tense, in the use of it. First in the case;
for whereas it seems to relate to (au1w) him, “it became him in bringing,” it should then regularly be the dative (eyeyonli) and not the accusative (@yayovia.) Wherefore an enallage of the case is necessarily to be allowed, unless we suppose a repetition of (ET PETE) “it became,” which frequently admits of the accusative case; but the principal author however is unquestionably intended. Again, as to the tense; the word (@yayaYOUTC) “bringing” is a particle of the second aorist, which usually denotes the time past; and thence it is translated by many, (adduxit, adduxerat and filiis adductis) “after he had brought many sons to glory.” But neither did this restraining of the word answer the apostle's intention. The second aorist (@yayayovice) then is put for the present (ayovic) unless we shall suppose that the act of God here intended was on purpose thus expressed to comprehend "all the sons,” both those that lived before, and those that lived after the sufferings of Christ. In short, it concerns the whole execution of the design of God, for the salvation and glorification of believers, (Ilondes üres) “many sons," Jews and Gentiles, all that were by faith to become his sons, and then led into glory.
$4. (Tov ccpXuyov) “the author.” Wherever this word is used in the New Testament, it is applied to Christ. Acts iii, 5, he is called (2pXnyos Tus Swrs) “the Prince of Life.” And chap. V, 31, God is said to make him (ep xu you not owTypce) “a Prince and a Sav. ior;” that is, as here, “the Prince of our salvation." Heb. xii, 13, the apostle calls him (TOV TUS Tuinws apmuyov xul TEREwinu) “the author and finisher of faith,” as we render it; as here God is said (TEREIWGA TOV apguyov) "to finish, or perfect, this author of our salvation.” In this place it is limited by: (owinpics) “salvation,” and thereby suggests the idea of the chief or principal ope
rator, or worker of that salvation; with a special reference to the kingly or princely power whereunto he was advanced after his sufferings; as he is also absolutely a prince, a ruler, and the author or spring of the whole race and kind of believers, according to the other senses of the word.
$5. There is in the words,
I. A design of God intimated as the foundation of the discourse, which was “to bring many sons unto glory.”
II. The means he fixed on for the accomplishment of that design, namely, the appointing for them “a captain of their salvation.”
III. The especial way of dedicating him to that office, he made him perfect through sufferings.”
IV. The reason of this his proceeding and dealing with him, "it became him so to do, him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things.”
$6. (I.) The design of God in this whole matter was to bring many sons to glory. And herein the apostle declares the nature of the salvation which was to be wrought by the Messiah, about which the Jews vere so greatly mistaken, and consequently about the way whereby it was to be wrought. His purpose was not now to bring his children into a new Canaan, an earthly kingdom, to be effected by might, and power, and arms, but to bring them to glory, eternal glory with himself in heaven; and so it is no wonder if the way whereby this is to be accomplished be quite of another nature than that whereby their temporal deliverance was wrought; by the death and sufferings of the Messiah himself. And here, in reference to this design of God, it is supposed, that some who are created for the glory of God had by sin come short of it, so that without a new way of bringing them to it, it
was impossible that they should ever be made partakers of it. It is also here supposed by the apostle, and is the foundation of all his doctrine concerning the Messiah, that the way whereby God will at length bring them to their destined glory, is by taking them first into a state of sonship and reconciliation. He dealeth not with the Hebrews in this epistle professedly about the conversion of the elect, their introduction into a state of grace and sonship, but of the government of them being already made sons, and their subsequent guidance into glory; and therefore the suffer
of Christ, which absolutely and in themselves are the cause of their sonship and reconciliation, are mentioned here only as the means whereby Christ entered into a condition of leading them to their glorious inheritance. But yet this is not so precisely respected neither, but that the apostle withal intimates the necessity of the sufferings of Christ, as to the whole effect of it, towards the elect. Now these sons are said to be “many;" not all men absolutely, not a few, not the Jews only, which they looked for; but all the elect of God, who are many; Rev. vii, 9.
$7. And this work is here signally assigned by the apostle to God the Father, whose wisdom, love, and grace, believers are principally to eye in the whole work of their salvation wrought out and accomplished by Jesus Christ. For instance: The eternal designation of them to that glory is peculiarly assigned to him; be predestinates them to be conformed to the image of his Son, Rom. viii, 28–30. He was the spring and fountain (as in all other operations of the Deity) of that covenant that was of cld between himself and his Son, about the salvation and glory of his elect. He signally gave out the first promise, and afterwards declared, confirmed, and ratified by his oath,