« السابقةمتابعة »
faith in, nor love unto Jesus Christ. But this whole argument the apostie further pursues in the following verses.
Ver. 2, 3, 4.- In these three verses, the apostle follows on his exhortation laid down in that foregoing, and giveth many peculiar enforcements unto a due compliance with it, as we shall see in our exposition of them.
one that heard it and transgressed it;' with peculiar respect, as it should seem, to rapazon, which includes a disobedience to that which is heard. Encov sydıxov for futodocomv, accepit juslam mercedis retributionem ; V.L.-Beza, relulit.- Præmii; Eras. all to the same purpose, received a just recompence,' reward, a just compensation ; Syr. 'received a retribution in righteousness.'
Ver. 2.--For if the word spoken (pronounced) by angels, was · sure (stedfast), and every transgression, and (stubborn) dis
obedience received a just (meet, equal) retribution (or) recompence of reward.
7997 1998 192777, super ea ipsa quæ sunt vitæ, - those things which are our life ;' or as others render the words, eos sermones qui vivi sunt, • those words which are living.' The former translation taking the pronoun in the neuter gender, and 7"77, substantiveJy with respect unto the effects of the gospel, most suits the place: útis aexmy docßovru nanufai, quæ cum primum enarrari cæpit, Eras. Bez. · which when it was begun to be declared ;' and so the Syriac, which began to be declared;' which was first, at first spoken, declared, pronounced. Ver. 3.-How shall we escape (Ny or avoid) if we neglect (not
taking care about) so great salcalion, which began lo be (was first of all) spoken (declared) by the Lord ; and was confirmed (assured, established) unto us, by them that heard (it of him.)
Ver. 4.--Evvetipagluggulos T8 18 CALLELOGS TE xat tigari, xat F04X67. ALIS
δυναμεσι, και Πνευματος αγια μερισμοις, κατα την αυτο θελησιν. Euren ipagtupavlos, Contestanle Deo, V. L. Attestante Deo, Eras. T'estimonium illis præbente Deo, Beza, “God withal testifying, attesting it; giving testimony unto them. It is doubtful whether it be the word itself, or the preachers of it, that God is said to give testimony unto. Syr. - When God had testified unto them.' Arab. · Whose truth was also proved unto us, besides the testimony of God with wonders ;' separating between God's testimony to the word, and the signs or wonders that accompanied it. Tigaci, prodigiis, portentis, miraculis.
Ver. 4.—God bearing witness with signs and wonders (prodi.
gies) and divers (various) mighty works (powers) and distributions (divisions) of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will.
The design of the apostle in these three verses, is to confirin - and enforce the inference and exhortation laid down in the first; as that which arose froin the discourse of the former chapter. The way he proceeds in for this end, is by interposing, after his usual manner in this Epistle, subservient motives, arguments and considerations, tending directly to his principal end, and connatural unto the subject treated on. Thus the main argument, wherewith he presseth his preceding exhortation to attendance and obedience into the word, is taken, ab incommodo, or ab eventu pernicioso, from the pernicious end and event of their disobedience thereunto. The chief proof of this is taken from another argument a minori, and that is the confessed event of disobedience unto the law, ver. 2. To confirm and strengthen which reasoning, he gives us a summary comparison of the law
and the gospel; whence it might appear, that if a disregard unto the law was attended with a sure and sore revenge, that much more must and would the negiect of the gospel be so. And this comparison on the part of the gospel is expressed : 1. In the nature of it-it is great salvation. 2. The author ot' it-it was spoken by the Lord. 3. The manner of its tradition—" being confirmed unto us by them that heard them," and the testimony given to it and them, by “ signs, and wonders, and distributions of the Holy Ghost ;" from all which he draws the intended inference respecting the pernicious event of disobedience unto it, or disregarding of it. This is the sum of the apostle's reasoning, which we shall further open as the words present it unto us in the text.
The first thing we nieet with in the word, is his subservient argument a minori, ver. 2. wherein three things occur. 1. The description that he gives us of the law, with which he compares the gospel-it was the word spoken by angels. 2. An adjunct of it, which ensued upon its being spoken by them-it was firm and stedfast. 3. The event of disobedience unto it-every transgression of it, and stubborn disobedience, had a just recompence of reward. How from hence he confirms his assertion of the pernicious consequence of neglecting the gospel, we shall see afterwards.
The first thing in the words is the description of the law, by that periphrasis, ó nogos di cygenwy dacambios, the word spoken or pronounced by angels.' Dogos is a word very variously used in the New Testament. The special senses of it, we shall not need in this place to insist upon. It is here taken for a system · of doctrine, (and by the addition of donders) as publisbed, preached, or declared. Thus the gospel, from the principal subject-matter of it, is called ó nogos ó 78 otaugs, 1 Cor. i. 18.
the word, the doctrine, the preaching concerning the cross, or Christ crucified.' So ó royos here, the word,' is the doctrine of the laws, that is the law itself spoken, declared, published, promulgated, di' ayyehave, by angels ;' that is, by the ministry of angels. It is not the Nouobotns, he from whom the law was given,' that the apostle intends, but the ministerial publishers of it, by whom it was given. The law was given from God; but it was given by angels in the way and manner to be considered.
Two things we may observe in this periphrasis of the law. 1. That the apostle principally intends that part of the Mosaic dispensation which was given on Mount Sinai; and which, a: such, was the covenant between God and that people, asunt: the privilege of the promised land. 2. That he fixed on thi description of it, rather than any other, or merely to have pressed it by the law : Ist, Because the ministry of angels,
the giving of the law by Moses, was that by which all the prodigious effects wherewith it was attended, which kept the people in such a durable reverence unto it, were wrought. This Therefore he mentions, that he might appear not to undervalue it, but to speak of it with reference unto that excellency of its administration, which the Hebrews even boasted in. 2d, Because having newly insisted on a comparison between Cbrist and the angels, his argument is much strengthened, when it shall be considered, that the law was the word spoken by the angels, the gospel was delivered by the Son, so far exalted above them. But the manner how this was done, must be a little farther inquired into.
That the law was given by the ministry of angels, the Jews always confessed, yea and boasted. So saith Josephus, one much ancienter than any of their rabbins extant. Aexaron. lib. 5. όμων τα καλλιστα των δογματων, και τα όσιωταία των εν τοις νομοις, δι' αγyaw tupa tw Osw pecadortay. “We learned the most excellent and most holy constitutions of the law from God by angels.' The same was generally acknowledged by them of old. This Stephen treating with them, takes for granted, Acts vii. 53. “ You received the law by the disposition of angels.” And our apostle affirms the same, Gal. iii. 19. “ It was ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator:” a word of the same original and sense is used in both places, though by ours variously rendered, diatayn, diatoayers. This then is certain, but the manner of it is yet to be considered.
First then, nothing is more unquestionable, than that the law was given from God himself. He was the author of it. This the whole Scripture declares and proclaims. And it was the impious abomination of the Valentinians and Marcionites: of old, to ascribe the original of it unto any other author.
Secondly, He who spake in the name of God on Mount Sinai, was no other than God himself, the second person in the
Trinity, Psal. Ixviii. 17-19. Him Stephen calls the angel, Acts vii. 30. 38. even the angel of the covenant, the Lord whom the people sought, Mal. ïïi. 1, 2. Some would have it to be a created angel, delegated unto that work, who thereon took on him the presence and name of God, as if he himself had spoken. But this is wholly contrary to the nature of all ministerial work. Never did ambassador speak in his own name, as if he were the king himself whose person he doth represent. The apostle tells us, that the preachers of the gospel were God's ambassadors, and that God by them doth persuade men to be reconciled in Christ, 2 Cor. v. 20. But yet if any on that account should take on him to personate God, and to speak of himself as God, he would be highly blasphemous. Nor can this be imagined in this place, where not only he that speaks, speaks in the name of
said tos, then is ascribed to obedichat law,
God, “ I am the Lord thy God," but also elsewhere it is frequently affirmed, that Jehovah himself did give that law, which is made unto the people an argument unto obedience. And the things done on Sinai are always ascribed unto God himself.
Thirdly, It remains then to consider, how notwithstanding this, the law is said to be the word spoken by angels. It is no where affirmed, that the law was given by angels, but that the people received it by the disposition of angels, and that it was ordained by angels, and here spoken by them. From hence it is evident, that not the original authoritative giving of the law, but the ministerial ordering of things in its promulgation, is that which is ascribed to angels. They raised the fire and smoke; they shook and rent the rock; they framed the sound of the trumpet; they essected the articulate voices which conveyed the words of the law to the ears of the people, and therein proclaimed and published the law, whereby it became the word spoken by angels.
Grotius on this place contends, that it was a created angel who represented the person of God on Mount Sinai ; and in the confirmation of his conjecture, after he hath made use of the imagination before rejected, he adds, “that if the law had been given out by God in his own person (as he speaks), then upon that account, it would have been preferred above the gospel.' But as the apostle grants in the first words of his Epistle, that the law, no less than the gospel, was primitively and originally from God, so we say not that God gave the law immediately without the ministry of angels. And the comparison which the apostle is pursuing, respects not the first Author of law or gospel, but the principal ministerial publishers of them, which of the one was angels, and of the other the Son himself.
And in these words lies the spring of the apostle's argument, as is manifest in those interrogatory particles, si yae, for if; for if the law that was published unto our fathers by angels was so vindicated against the disobedient, how much more shall the neglect of the gospel be revenged.
Secondly, He affirms concerning this word thus published, that it was BeBeios, firm or stedfast. That is, it became an assured covenant between God and the people. That peace which is firm and well-grounded, is called signin BeBolia, 'a firm unalterable peace.' And to 386atós, is public security. The law's becoming Beßasos, then, “firm, sure, stedfast,' consists in its being ratified to be the covenant between God and that people as to their typical inheritance, Deut. v. 2. “ The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.” And therefore in the greater transgressions of the law, the people were said to fo. suke, to break, to profane, to transgress the covenant of God,