The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Father MacEvily’s Commentary on Hebrews 2:9-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 2, 2012

This post includes the Bishop’s brief analysis of all of chapter 2, followed by his notes on Heb 2:9-11. In addition, the post also includes (in purple text) the Bishop’s paraphrasing of the text he is commenting on.

Analysis of Hebrews 2~In this chapter, the Apostle infers, from the superior excellence of Christ above the angels, which he demonstrated in the preceding, that the New Law, of which he was the promulgator, was to be observed with greater diligence than was required in the observance of the Old (Heb 2:1-4). Then, reverting to the question of the superiority of Christ over the angels, he shows, that to him, and not to them, was subjected the world to come; and although we do not see all things subjected to him; still, the prophecy of David regarding him, a part of which is already fulfilled, shall ultimately receive its full accomplishment (Heb 2:4-9).

As the passion of Christ was a source of scandal to the Jews, on this account, the Apostle points out from several reasons, the congruity of his suffering, and vindicates the economy of redemption (Heb 2:10-15). Finally, he shows how perfectly our blessed Saviour possessed the qualities required in one, who was to undertake the redemption of mankind (Heb 2:17-18).

Heb 2:9. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that through the grace of God he might taste death for all.

But the other part is fulfilled. We see that Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels in his passion, now crowned with honour and glory, in reward for this passion, which he submitted to, so as to die for all, owing to the gratuitous love and bounty of God, sincerely wishing for the redemption of all men.

But we see Jesus, &c. Hence, one part of the promise is fulfilled. “For the suffering of death,” may be also connected with the words, “made a little lower than the angels,” as if he said, “he was made a little lower than the angels, on account of the suftering of death.”  “That through the grace of God” is an explanation of the words, “suffering of death,” as if he said, when I refer to the suffering of death, I must explain it, as being the result of the gratuitous love of God by which he sincerely wished for the redemption of the entire human race. “For all.” In Greek, υπερ παντος, for every man.

Heb 2:10. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, who had brought many children into glory, to perfect the author of their salvation, by his passion.

(But as the ignominious death and sufferings of Christ might prove to you a subject of scandal, I shall point out to you the congruity, on the part of God, of fixing on suffering as the means of redeeming man, and glorifying his own Son). For, it became the wisdom of God the Father, the end and author of all things, after having decreed to bring many adopted sons to glory (by means of suffering), to fix also upon suffering, as the means of bringing to perfect glory, the author of their salvation, i.e., to adopt unity and identity of means, in glorifying all his children, both natural and adopted.

The ignominious death of Christ was to the Jews a subject of scandal. Hence, the Apostle here sets about vindicating the economy of redemption. “Who had brought many children unto glory.” The words, by suffering, are understood. Some understand the words, “who had brought,” to mean, “who had decreed to bring,” because no one was brought to heavenly glory, before Christ’s Passion and Ascension. Others, who by “glory,” also understand heavenly glory, take the word “brought,” literally to mean, actually brought, because the patriarchs, and just of old, were sure of heavenly glory, and were immediately to enter on it; or rather these say, that “glory” means not heavenly glory, but renown, celebrity; and God had rendered many of his sons of old, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, &c., renowned and celebrated, through the ordeal of suffering. Hence, God brought them to glory by suffering, because they performed the works of suffering, to which this glory or renown was attached. ” The author of their salvation.” In Greek, αρχηγον, the chief, or captain of their salvation.

Heb 2:11  For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one. For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.

For the High Priest (see Heb 2:17), who sanctifies (such as Christ), and they who are sanctified, should be of the same stock, of the same nature. Therefore, it is, that Christ having adopted our nature, is not ashamed to call us brethren.

“He that sanctifieth,” &c. The Apostle more fully explains the preceding verse. The Pontiff who sanctifies, and they who are sanctified, should be of the same nature, or from the same stock. The High Priests among the Jews were taken from the Jewish people. Hence, as Christ is constituted by God (Heb 2:19) a Priest to redeem men, he ought to be of the same nature, a nature passible and liable to suffering. The reason why Christ, as High Priest, should assume a passible nature is assigned (Heb 2:17), between which verse and this (Heb 2:11) the closest connexion is clearly traceable. “For which cause he is not ashamed,” &c. Hence, to observe this congruity of being of the same nature with the redeemed, Christ assumed our nature, in virtue of which he is not ashamed to call us brethren, as appears from (Heb 2:12).

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