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tians were a lying, savage, and lazy people. The Greek of this is a complete hexameter verse. See Ostervald. On such propositions as the above, Mr. Horne in his Introduction, vol. ii. page 676, remarks: “Universal or indefinite propositions denote only what generally or often takes place. Thus Tit. i. 12. Prov. xxii. 6. Rom. vii. 18.”
1.-13. “Rebuke them sharply.” With cutting severity: The metaphor is taken from the art of a surgeon, who, as the wound is more dangerous or corrupt, makes the deeper incision.—Ostervald.
II.-ll. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men.” Or rather, as it should have been translated : The grace of God, which bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared. --Valpy's Greek Testament. 11.
-13. “The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." The article in the Greek, before the words Great God, shews that the pronoun our should be placed there, and not at the word Saviour. The following therefore is the true reading, Our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.-See Horne's Introduction, vol. ii. p. 515.-Also Valpy's Greek Testament,
Verse 19. "I Paul have written it with mine own hand." These words are to be explained by the Roman laws, by which it was enacted, that if any man write that he hath undertaken a debt, it is a solemn obligation upon him. Whatsoever is written as if it were done, seems, and is reputed to have been done. From hence it appears that a man is bound as much by his own hand, or confession under it, as if any other testimonies or proofs were against him of any fact or debt.--See Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. i. page
It is the general opinion that St. Paul was the author of this epistle. The salutation, or usual token was omitted, because it was probably written in his own hand, to persons well acquainted with his character. The Hebrew Christians, to whom it was directed, had fled from Judæa into Asia, and were treated by the Romans as enemies, because Jews by birth, and their leaders were secured; which was a sufficient reason to induce the Apostle to conceal his name. That this epistle was originally written in Greek, is evident from the Apostle's quoting the Septuagint, Heb. x. 5. which words are very different from the original Hebrew. As to his using the Greek tongue, it was highly proper, for at that time it was become the universal language; and these Hebrews had been long enough in Asia to learn it. St. Paul's design in this epistle is to confirm the Jewish Christians in the faith and practice of the Gospel of Christ, which they might be in danger of deserting, either through the insinuation or ill treatment of their persecutors.—Ostervald.
Dr. Lardner supposes, that the whole plan and sentiments of the epistle were Paul's, (of which there is strong internal evidence, but that he might have employed some amanuensis, (as he did on other occasions,) who expressed his thoughts in purer Greek than he commonly used himself.- Valpy's Greek Testament. The Arians refused to acknowledge St. Paul as the author of this epistle, on account of the strong arguments which it contains in favour of the Divinity of Christ: see chapter i.
1.-7. “Who maketh his angels spirits,” &c. Many eminent critics translate this—who maketh the winds his angels, &c: -according to Bp. Middleton, the Greek text will not allow this.-Craddock's rendering is very natural and easy : Who maketh his angels winds; i. e. he, the Son, makes use of the angels as ministers, in producing storms and lightning according to his pleasure.
IV.-3. “ If they shall enter into my rest." In order to avoid all ominous words, it was a custom, in antient times, thus to swear elliptically.-Ostervald.
IV.-12, 13. “The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,” &c. According to Mr. Horne, there is here an allusion to the manner of immolating victims. “ The victim,” says he, “ being thus immolated, the skin was stripped from the neck; its breast was opened; its bowels were taken out, and the back bone was cleft. It was then divided into quarters; so that, both externally and internally, it was fully exposed to view. To this custom of laying open the victim, St. Paul has a very beautiful and emphatic allusion in one of the most animated descriptions ever written, of the mighty effects produced by the preached Gospel.” (Heb. iv. 12, 13.) --Introduction, vol. iii. p. 281.
. VI.-l. Leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,” &c. Not leaving them so as to forget them; but leaving them as first lessons and to "go on unto perfection." Thus a child leaves the alphabet, and proceeds to lessons of a higher character.
VI.4. “It is impossible for those who were once enlightened,” &c. The Apostle here, alluding to adults, intends, enlightened with such glorious truths as are essential to Christianity: yet the antient fathers, by anticipation of that divine illumination afterwards conveyed to the mind by the knowledge of Christianity, called baptism, illumination ; and baptized persons, the enlightened. VI,- 5. The powers of the world to come.'
Some understand this of the miraculous powers of the gospel-age ; others of the impressions made relating to a future state.Ostervald.
VI.-18. “Who have fled for refuge," &c. There is, in these words, an allusion to the cities of refuge spoken of under the law. God appointed six for such to fly to as were guilty of casual homicide, or of killing a person by chance, that so they might avoid the fury of the avenger of blood.—Ostervald.
VII.-l. · King of Salem.” By Salem, most commentators understand Jerusalem, which is called Salem in Scripture, Psalm lxxvi. 2. But St. Jerom, Bochart, and others, think that it was a place situated near Jordan, perhaps the Salim mentioned by John iii. 23.-Ostervald.
VII.3. Without father, without mother.” Namely, it is not known who they were. It must here be observed, that several antient writers of character among the heathens, speak of persons being born of no father, or without a father, when they only mean to express by it, that their father was unknown. “ Without descent." There is no written account of his genealogy, by which it may be traced up to more distant progenitors of the priestly order : and in this, he answers to Christ, who, with respect to his human nature, had no father; and, with regard to his divine nature, no mother.
Having neither beginning of days, nor end of life.” Namely, not mentioned in Scripture.-Ostervald.
VII.- -4. “Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.” One or few antient versions may render a reading probable, when it is strongly supported by the sense, connexion, or parallel places, in opposition to one that does not agree with these, though found in other versions and manuscripts. Thus in Gen. xiv. 20. we read, and he gave tithes of all. This leaves it uncertain whether Melchizedek or Abram gave tithes. It rather seems to be the former, but it was the latter. In Heb. vii. 4. as well as the Samaritan text, and the Septuagint version, we have, Abram gave to him a tithe of all, which is probably the genuine reading.--Horne’s Introduction, vol. ii. page 330.
IX.-4. “Wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the corenant.” From the 1 Kings viii. 9. it appears that the ark contained nothing except the two tables of stone. Therefore the words in which wherein in the authorized translation refer to the tabernacle, and not to the ark; and thus the difference is removed.--See Horne's Introduction, vol. i.
IX.-27. “ It is appointed unto men once to die." Frequently, a distinction of the different senses of words, as well as of the different subjects and times, will enable us to obviate the seeming discrepancy, thus, when it is said, It is appointed unto all men once to die ; and elsewhere, I a man keep Christ's saying, he shall never see death, there is no contradiction ; for, in the former place, natural death, the death of the body, is intended, and in the latter passage, spiritual or eternal death.-Horne's Introduction, vol. i.
IX.28. “ Without sin.” The meaning of the Apostle is, without a sin-offering.
X... “ The law having a shadow of good things to come,” &c. This seems an allusion to the art of painting, in which a shadow, or the outlines are first drawn, and afterwards the very image itself.-Ostervald.
X.-5. “A body hast thou prepared me.” This the apostle appears to quote from the Septuagint; the Hebrew text reads nearly the same as our translation, see Psalm xl. 6. Exodus xxi. 6. Whether we follow the Hebrew text, or the Greek of the Septuagint, the idea conveyed is the same, i. e. possession and servitude.
X.-35. “Cast not away therefore your confidence." By the confidence here spoken of may be intended a profession of faith, which ought to be bold and courageous, firm and constant : or it may signify the grace of faith in its full