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In this second chapter, the apostle declares what his design and special aim was, with respect unto them to whom he wrote. It was not merely their instruction, or the information of their minds and judginents that he intended; though that also was in his eye, and necessary to his principal purpose. They had by their instability and fainting in trials, administered occasion to him of other discourse. Besides, he foresaw that they had great difficulties and temptations to contend withal, and was jealous lest they should miscarry under them, as he also was over other professors, 1 Cor. xv. 34. His principal end therefore in this whole Epistle, as hath been declared, was to prevail with the Hebrews unto stedfastness in the faith of the gospel, and to diligence in attending to all those ways and means where, by they might be established. The foundation of his exhortations unto this purpose, he lays in the incomparable excellence of the Author of the Gospel. Hence just and cogent inferences to constancy in the profession of his doctrine, and obedience to him, both absolutely, and in respect of the competition set up against it by Mosaic institutions, do naturally flow. And these considerations the apostle divides into several parts, interposing in great wisdom, between the handling of them, those exhortations which pressed towards his especial end before mentioned. And this course he proceeds in for several reasons. For,
First, le reminds them and us in general, that in handling of the doctrines of the gospel concerning the person and oflice's of Jesus Christ, we should not satisfy ourselves in a bare specullative notion of them, but should endeavour to get our hearts excited by them to faith, love, obedience and stedfastness in our profession. This use of these doctrines he inmediately makes. Instances unto this purpose he gives us in this chapter, upon his foregoing declaration of the excellencies of Christ, and the glory of his kingdom, that so his hearers might not be barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of lir).
Secondly, As to the Hebrews in particular, he had as it were so overwhelmed them with that flood of divine testimonies which he had poured out in the beginning of his Epistle, and with that heavenly glorious declaration which he had made of the person of the Messiah, that he thought it needful to give - then time to consider what was the tendency of that sublime discourse, and what was their especial concern therein.
Thirdly, As the apostle interposeth bis exhortation in this place, to be an application of what was before delivered, so by it he leads them on to the consideration of arguments of another nature, though of the same use and tendency, taken from the sacerdotal or priestly office of Christ, and the works or effects thereof. And herein doth a great part of the apostolical wisdom, in the various intertexture of doctrines and exhortations in this Epistle consist ; that as every exhortation flows na. turally from the doctrine that doth precede it, so always the principal matter of it leads directly to some other doctrinal argument, which he intends next to insist upon. And this we shall see evidenced in the transition that he makes from the exhortation laid down in the beginning of this chapter, unto the sacerdotal office of Christ, ver. 6—8.
The first verses then of this chapter are purely parænetical, or hortatory, with a mixture of some considerations serving to make the exhortation weighty and cogent.
Ver. 1.-The first verse contains the exhortation itself intended by the apostle, those following the especial enforcements of it. Ver. 1. Auce Teuto òir rightootegas impeces regorixu Tong kovo Selos, reno
ποτε παραρρυωμεν. Negrototiews, Abundatius ; V. L. Arias, more abundantly: Eo amplius, Beza, so much the more. Nx7017, Syr. Magis, the rather : Ut inagis, ut abundantius, as the rather, as more abundanily: Summa altentione, Arab, with all attention. The word denotes somewhat more than ordinary in the act it relates to, or the persons to whom it is applied. And diligence being especially required in attention to any thing, or in those that attend, which extends itself unto the whole deportment of the mind in that work, (if that be respected herein which we shall consider), it inay be not unmeetly rendered more diligently, directly; more abundantly.
Nesriyor. Observare, V. L. to observe, improperly: Adhibere, Ar. 11. a word of an imperfect sense, unless supplied with our minds, or understandings, or diligence ; Adhibere animum, adhibere diligentiam ; but immediately affecting the object, as adhibere auditis, it gives no perfect sense: Attendere, Beza, to allend unto, to give heed. 797973 4173, simus cauti, attenti ; Syr. that we be wary, or heedful. Igoriya, is usually in other authors when it refers to persons, ausculto, or obtempero; to hearken, attend and give heed to any one with an observant or obedient mind.'
unto an Tim. 1they mucand it is the unto the With a
And sometimes it signifies to hope, or place trust or confidence in him that is attended to. It is also used for to assent, to agree, or subscribe to what is spoken by another. In the New Testament it is principally used in two senses. 1. To beware, or look to ourselves, as to things or persons that might hurt us ; and then it is attended with ato orixi, as Matt. vii. 15. ch. x. 17.. ch. xvi. 6. 11, 12. Luke xii. 1. Or so to beware, or to look diligently unto our own concerns absolutely, Luke xvii. 3. ch. xxi. 34. Matt. vi. 1. Acts xx. 28. 2. To attend with diligence and submission of mind unto the words of another, or unto any business that we are employed in, Acts visi. 6. ch. xvi. 14. 1 Tim. i. 4. ch. iv, 1. 13. Titus i. 14. So it is said of the Samaritans, that they much beeded Simon Magus, mgoreigor av** TAITIS, Acts viii. 10. And it is the same word, whereby the reverential obedience of that people unto the preaching of Philip is expressed, ver. 6. An attendance then with a mind ready for obedience, is that which the word imports.
Toos axx698051, Auditis, to the things heard. 1907 722, Syr. In eo quod audivimus ; in that which we have heard. To the things heard, that is, by us, who are required to attend unto them.
Tuga tuwgeer. This word is no where else used in the New Testament. In other authors, it is as much as praterfluo, to run by. So Xenoph. Cyropæd. lib. 4. #11 &TO TOU FALLOUTES TOTA Mov, to drink of the river running by. Perefluamus, V. L. ne forte pereffluamus, lest perhaps we should run out. MToti, ne forte, lest perhaps, improperly ; it respects times and seasons, lest al any lime. 93 827, ne forte cadamus, decidamus ; lest we fall, fall down, that is perish. So is the word also interpreted by Chrysostom, Patott hagujjuwusy ; TOUTioti, in arowusda, Meny EX*towy, that we perish not, that we fall not. And he confirms this sense from that saying in the Proverbs, ch. iii. 21. Üve uen tarpeejuns, My son, fall not. So he interprets the word. In the original it is, 734-78, let them not depart; the word respecting not the person spoken unto, but the thing spoken of. Nor do the LXX. in any other place render 175, by tagappen, but by wxhstw, as in the next chapter, ver. 21. and words of the like signification, to decline, draw back, give over by negligence or weariness. Other ancient translations read, Ne decidamus ab honestate, • that we fall not from honesty ;' and Et nequaquam rejicias, ' and by no means to reject.' What sense of the word is most proper to the place, we shall afterwards consider. Ver. 1. Therefore (for this cause) the more abundantly ought we to allend (or give heed) to the things heard (by us) lest at
any time we should flow out (or pass away.) AI TAUTO, ' for this cause,' as much as duo, therefore, whore. . fore.' There is in the words an illation from the precedent discourse; and the whole verse is a hortatory conclusion froin thence. From the proposition that he hath made of the glory and excellency of the Author of the gospel, he draws this inference, “ Therefore ought we;" for the reason and causes insisted on. And thus the word Tapai fuwusy, flow out,' expresseth their losing by any ways or means the doctrine of the gospel wherein they had been instructed, and the benefits thereof. Seeing the gospel hath such a blessed author, we ought to take care that we forfeit not our interest in it. But if we take rapan' puwues, in the sense chosen by Chrysostom, to express the fall and perishing of them that attend not as they ought unto the word, (which interpretation is favoured by the Syriac translation) then the word, therefore, for this cause, respects the commination or threatening included therein. As if the apostle had said, therefore ought you to attend ;' that is, look to it, that you do attend, lest you fall and perish. I rather enibrace the former sense, both because the interpretation of the word used by Chrysostom is strained, as also because the apostle doth evidently in these words enter upon an exhortation unto obedience, upon his former discourse about the person of Christ. Indeed without a special regard thereunto, there is no foundation for such a threatening upto disobedience, as is pretended to be in the words; of which yet farther afterwards.
All mudes,' 'ought we;' the persons into whom he makes the application of his doctrine, and directs his exhortation. Some think that Paul joins himself here with all the Hebrews, upon the account of cognation and country, as being himself also a Hebrew, Phil. iii. 8. and therefore affectionately respecting of them, Rom. ix. 3. But the expression is to be regulated by the words that follow; all we who have heard the gospel preached, and made profession thereof. And the apostle joins hiinself with them, not that there was any danger on his part, lest he should not constantly obey the word, or as if he were of them whose wavering and instability gave occasion to this caution ; but, I. To manifest that the duty which he exhorts them unto, is of general concern unto all to whom the gospel is preached, so that he lays no singular burden on them; and 2. That he might not as yet discover unto them any jea. lousy of their inconstancy, or that he had entertained any severe thoughts concerning them. For such apprehensions are apt to render exhortations suspected; the minds of men being ready enough to disregard that which they are persuaded unto, if they suspect that undeserved blame lies at the bottom of the exhortation. Similar condescension upon the like account, we may see in Peter, 1 Pet, iv. 3. :
These are the persons spoken, unto. That which is spoken to them consists in an exhortation unto a duty, and an especial enforcement of it. The exhortation and duty in the first words, “ the more abundantly to attend unto the things heard;” and the enforcement in the close of them, “ lest at any time we should flow out.”
In the exhortation is expressed an especial circumstance of it, the duty itself, and the inanner of its performance,
The first is included in that word,“ more abundantly," which may refer either to the causes of the attendance required, or to the manner ot its performance. In the words as they lie in the text, dia touto Figarcotiews des spects agersysı, the word Triguerotiews, more abundantly,' is joined unto dice Touto, “therefore, for this cause,' and seems immediately to respect it; and so to intimate the excellent and abundant reason that we have to attend unto the gospel. But if we transpose the words, and read then as if they lay thus, Δει ημας περισσοτερως προσεχειν, tlien the word igrogotiews, more abundantly,' respects the following word, mporexcesy, to attend unto,' and so expresseth somewhat of the manner of the performance of the duty proposed. And so our translators report the sense, “ We ought to give the more diligent heed," or give beed the more diligently. The reader may embrace whether sense he judgeth most agreeable to the scope of the place. The former construction of the word, expressing the necessity of our attention to be intimated froin the cogency of the reasons thereof before insisted on, is not without its probability. And this the meaning of the word agrees unto, whether we take it absolutely (for so, as Chrysostom observes, it may be taken, though of itself it be of another form) or comparatively, in which form it is. Take it absolutely, and the apostle informs them that they have abundant cause to attend unto the things spoken or heard, because of him that spake them; for concerning him alone came that voice from the excellent glory, “ This is my beloved Son, hear him." So also in the other sense, the apostle is not consparing the manner of their attending unto the doctrine of the law, (which certainly they ought to have done with all diligence) and their attendance. unto the gospel, but shews the reasons which they had to attend unto the one and the other, as the following verses clearly manifest. This then may be that which the apostle intimates in this word, namely, that they had more abundant cause, and a more excellent reason for their attending unto the doctrine of the gospel, than they had unto that of the law; on this account, that he by whom the gospel was immediately preached unto us, was the Son of God himself. But the other application of the word is more commonly received, wherein it intends the duty enjoined.
In reference unto the duty exhorted unto, there is expressed