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    VARIOUS Readings. — Dikac . Lachmann, on the authority of B, prefers didach>n . Conybeare and Howson adopt the punctuation of Chrysostom, — baptismw~n , didach~v , ejpiqe>sewv .

    Exposition. — According to Ebrard, the passage is not an intimation of the author’s intention, but an admonition to his readers. He understands katazallo>menoi , not in the sense of “laying down,” but of” demolishing.” ‘Strive after perfection, while you do not again demolish the foundation of repentance, and faith,’ etc. Luther and, as we have seen, Conybeare and Howson, understand “doctrine” as separate from and in apposition with “baptisms.” Calvin, Beza, Storr, Bleek, and Ebrard, connect it with baptismw~n , and supply it to ejpiqe>sewv , ajnasta>sewv , and kri>matov . — ED. Various Reading. — Manuscripts A C D E read poih>swmen . — ED. Exposition. — Turner holds that these verses “describe a true Christian condition and character, and recognize the danger, and of course the possibility, of falling therefrom irrecoverably.” The verses, as Owen shows, in his remarks on them in his work on the Perseverance of the Saints, present no small difficulty, even if interpreted according to the Arminian principle of the possible defectibility of the saints; for they would thus imply not merely that a saint may fall away, but, — what no Arminian holds, or at least can hold consistently, — that, once falling away, he cannot be renewed. Doddridge appears to lean to the exegesis of Owen, expounding the privileges and attainments mentioned as not implying a state of grace. Stuart differs from them, and admits that true believers are intended by the apostle, but meets the difficulty thus: “Whatever may be true in the divine purposes, as to the final salvation of all those who are once truly regenerated, — and this doctrine I feel constrained to admit, — yet nothing can be plainer than that the sacred writers have everywhere addressed saints in the same manner as they would address those whom they considered as constantly exposed to fall away and to perish for ever.....God treats Christians as free agents, as rational beings; he guards them against defection, not by mere physical power, but by moral means adapted to their nature as free and rational agents.” — Ed. See quotations from Tertullian, and others, in works, vol. 7. p. 14. — Ed. See four additional pages on the preceding topic, works, vol. 7:28-32. — Ed. For additional ten pages on this topic, see works, vol. 7. pp. 40-51. — Ed. VARIOUS READING — Tou~ ko>pou are omitted by Griesbach, Scholz, Lachmann, and Tischendorf, on the authority of the best MSS. — Ed. EXPOSITION. — Tw~| gapromise “through faith and patience”? Owen holds that the galink of connection, He states two particulars on which the force of the proof rests: First, God promised to Abraham with an oath, unnecessary if the gift were bestowed immediately. Secondly, The subject-matter of the promise, — the multiplication of his seed, — was such as could only be realized after the death of Abraham. — ED. TRANSLATIONS. — Whither Jesus is entered, as a forerunner for us.” — Scholefield. “Whither Jesus, our forerunner, is for us entered.” — Conybeare and Howson. — ED. EXPOSITION. —— jAfwm . Ebrard thus explains the substance of the paragraph: “Calvin has already observed with reason that the author does not say oJmoi~ov . Melchisedec was not like to Christ, but was represented in a manner like to Christ ..... The Levitical priest became a priest by his birth, and left the priesthood at his death to his son; his office was, from the nature of him who held it, not a continuing one, but one that moved onwards from member to member, and the succession was expressly prescribed and regulated in the law .....

    Melchisedec, a, was a priest nat by formal, legal investment, but because his internal character, his qualities of righteousness and peace, impelled him to bring sacrifices to God, and to consecrate the power of the king by the internal qualities of the priest; b, was a priest not by descent, but in himself; and therefore, c, was not a link in a chain of predecessors and successors, but is represented as alone in his order, and thus far as one who continues a priest, — yields up his priesthood to no one.” — ED. EXPOSITION. — To meet the objection, that no stress can be laid on the circumstance that Melchisedec received tithes, inasmuch as the Levitical priests also received them, the apostle, according to Ebrard, argues, 1. From the fact that they received the priesthood in virtue of descent, than lamza>nontev : 2. From their right to tithes by statute, whereas Abraham gave tithes to Melchisedec voluntarily: 3.

    From the limitation of the Levitical right to the lao>v , the chosen people, while that of Melchisedec stretched beyond his tribe, and was recognised by Abraham: and, 4. Descent from Abraham, while it secured tithes for the Levites, involved those who were not Levites in the burden of paying, “though they came out of the loins of Abraham.”

    Ebrard sums the whole up in a mathematical formula: Melchisedec > > [Abraham > (Levites > not Levites)]. — Ed. EXPOSITION. — Mart . o[ti zh~| , can be nothing else than a concise representation of the idea, Mh>te ajrchte zwh~v te>lov e]cwn : and is therefore to be explained thus: — “Of whom only his life is recorded, not his death” (Bleek); or, in other words, it is not the individual Melchisedec who has the testimony that he liveth, but it is again the typical figure of him, as it appeared to the eye of the psalmist [Psalm 110. ] in the framework of Genesis 14:— Ebrard. — ED. VARIOUS READINGS. — Lachmann and Tisehendorf adopt as the text, aujth~v nenomoqe>thtai , on the authority of such manuscripts as A B C D. TRANSLATION. jEp j aujt . “Under it;” the rendering of our version would convey the impression that the law was prescribed during the time of the priesthood, whereas part of the law was in existence antecedently to the institution of the priesthood; and if aujth~v be the preferable reading, such a translation would be untenable for grammatical reasons. It is accordingly differently rendered by various critics; — by Craik,” In dependence upon it;” by Ebrard, “Upon the basis of it;” and by Turner, “In connection with it.” The last remarks, “Inasmuch as the author proceeds to show that the predicted abrogation of the priesthood, in the announcement of another like Melchisedec’s, implied also an intended abrogation of the law, it was directly to the purpose to intimate the close connection of the two.”

    Stuart gives the same view: “The meaning is, that the priesthood and the law are inseparably linked together, so that if the one be changed, the other must of necessity be,” — ED. VARIOUS READINGS. — So far is this statement from being correct, that iJere>wn is adopted as the text by Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Theile, while Griesbach marks it as a reading of great value, on the authority of Mss. A B C* D* E., and eight versions. EXPOSITION. — “The application of iJere>wn , is not certain. It may be connected with the point already stated, the change, namely, of the priesthood, and then pro>dhlon will mean for, and the idea be this: ‘Such a change was no doubt intended, for it is shown clearly by the fact that “our Lord sprang from Judah. Then the next verse will continue the proof: ‘And that this change was intended is yet more abundantly evident, if (or since, eij ) another priest like Melchisedec rises up.’ But the connection may be with the statement immediately preceding, and then o[ti must be rendered that, and the meaning will be as in our English translation. This view is most generally followed by interpreters....The use of pro>dhlon immediately followed by perisso>teron e]ti kata>dhlon seems to favor the other view.” — Turner. While OEcumenius, Limborch, Tholuck, Bleek, and others, connect kata>dhlon with the change of the priesthood, (“That, with the priesthood, the law also is changed, is so much the more manifest,”) Ebrard, De Wette, and Boothroyd, connect it with the descent of Christ: “That Jesus sprang from Judah is already in itself an acknowledged fact (verse 14); but this is all the more manifest, as (verse 15) it follows from Christ’s priesthood being after the order of Melchisedec that he could not be born kata< no>mon .” — ED. VARIOUS READINGS. — Sarki>nhv, instead of sarkikh~v, is the reading preferred by Griesbach, Lachmann, and Tischendorf; the sense remaining unchanged. Marturei~tai is adopted by Lachmann and Tischendorf, on the authority of such Mss. as ABD*E.*. The sense is thus improved, “it is testified.” The other reading would seem to ascribe the psalm to Moses, verse 14, contrary to Matthew 22:43. — ED. EXPOSITION — The word commandment has been explained in reference to the law respecting the priesthood; as, in Romans 7:8, it has been limited to the particular commandment, “Thou shalt not covet.” But here the reason given for the “annulling,” namely, the “weakness and uselessness” of the commandment, applies to the law as a whole; and so in Romans, “the commandment coming,” “the commandment for life,” and otherplaces of the same sort, accord best with the idea of the moral law as a whole, it is elsewhere used in this general sense, 2 Peter 2:21, 3:2. — Turner. — ED. TRANSLATION. — Different renderings of this passage have been proposed. 1. Scholefield suggests, “But was the bringing in of a better hope;” and Turner, to the same effect, referring in support of this view to Erasmus, Zuingle, Tyndale, and Cranmer, translates thus: “The law perfected nothing, but was (merely) the introduction of a better hope.”

    So also Ebrard. According to this view, the Mosaic system is the introduction to the Christian. 2. Schlichting, Michaelis, Semler, and Ernesti, supply ejtelei>wsen to ejpeisagwgh> ; “the bringing in of a better hope made perfect.” To this view Owen accedes, and the rendering of the authorized version agrees with it. According to it, the Christian system, in its efficacy to bring to perfection, is contrasted with the Mosaic, which could not. 3. Conybeare and Howson regard the A. V. as wrong; and ascribe the error to an oversight of the connection of me>n in verse 18 with de> in verse 19. Their translation is as follows: “On the one hand, an old commandment is annulled, because it was weak and profitless (for the law perfected nothing); and on the other hand, a better hope is brought in, whereby we draw near unto God.” This view in the main has the support of Theodoret, Luther, Gerhard, Bengel, Tholuck, Bleek, Olshausen, Bloomfield, and Craik. It contrasts not the Christian system as a whole with the Mosaic as a whole, but the abolition of the latter with the introduction of the former. — ED. VARIOUS READING. — The clause, Su< iJereuk , is omitted by Tischendorf, on the authority ofc, some other manuscripts, and several versions. EXPOSITION. — Christ is called a “surety” here, not as the vicarious fulfiller of that which men ought to have performed, but because God on his part gave him to the human race, as a surety for the actual fulfillment of his covenant promise. For this, and this alone, is what is spoken of in the context. — Ebrard. Several writers expound it as a paronomasia with ejggi>zomen , verse 19; in which case it must include not his relation, as surety, to God only, but to his redeemed also. TRANSLATION. — Owen here translates diaqh>kh “covenant,” not “testament,” according to the A.V. He is followed by all modern critics, Scholefield, Craik, Stuart, Ebrard, etc. Bleek, however, adheres to the rendering, “testament.” — ED. TRANSLATIONS. — jApara>zatov . A priesthood without succession. — Stuart. Not transferable. — Peils. Untransferable. — Craik. Such as cannot pass to a successor. — Ebrard. Giveth not his priesthood unto another. — Conybeare and Howson. Halt das Priesterthum als ein nicht ubergehendes. — De Wette. Tholuck prefers the passive signification: “He has the priesthood which cannot be passed over, or changed;” or, as Turner explains it, “which is indestructible.” Eijv to< pant ., says Ebrard, does not signify “evermore,” but “to completeness;” — the precise antithesis to the words, verse 19, “the law made nothing perfect.” — ED. VARIOUS READING. — Kai< is prefixed to e]prepen by Scholz and Tischendorf; the latter of whom cites in support of it MSS. A B D E.. EXPOSITION . — Conybeare and Howson, as also Ebrard, explain kecwrisme>nov ajpo< t . ajm . in reference to the obligation resting on the high priest to keep aloof from any one Levitically unclean, Leviticus 21:1-12. — ED.

    FT21 EXPOSITION. — Kaq j hJme>ran has occasioned much perplexity; for the high priest only offered the sin-offerings here referred to once a-year, on the day of atonement, Leviticus 16, and Exodus 30:7-10. We must either suppose (with Tholuck) that the kaq j hJme>ran is used for diapanto>v , perpetually, — i.e., year after year; or we must suppose a reference to the high priest as taking part in the occasional sacrifices made by all the priests, for sins of ignorance, Leviticus 4; or we must suppose that the regular acts of the priesthood are attributed to the high priests, as representatives and heads of the whole order; or, finally, we must take oiJ ajrcierei~v, as in Matthew 2:4, Acts 5:24, for the heads of the twenty-four classes into which the priests were divided, who officiated in turn. This latter view is perhaps the most natural. — Conybeare and Howson. — ED.

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