Hebrews 12:27
And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) This word, “Yet once more,” is equivalent to once more only; and the words “once more only will I move the heaven and the earth” must of necessity point to the final change, which issues in the removal of all that can pass away.

Which cannot be shaken.—Literally, which are not shaken. The great difficulty of the verse is to ascertain on what word this clause depends. (1) If upon “removing,” the sense will be: This word . . . signifieth the removing of the things made (as being created things), that the things not shaken may remain. The next verse throws light on the writer’s meaning; there that which “cannot be shaken” is the kingdom which we receive: he is not speaking of that which belongs to a material creation. (2) The other view can only be briefly mentioned: This word . . . signifieth the removing of the things shaken, as of things that have been made in order that the things not shaken may remain. The idea is striking—that created things were made for the very purpose of giving place to what shall abide; but the other view seems to give the more probable meaning of the verse.

12:18-29 Mount Sinai, on which the Jewish church state was formed, was a mount such as might be touched, though forbidden to be so, a place that could be felt; so the Mosaic dispensation was much in outward and earthly things. The gospel state is kind and condescending, suited to our weak frame. Under the gospel all may come with boldness to God's presence. But the most holy must despair, if judged by the holy law given from Sinai, without a Saviour. The gospel church is called Mount Zion; there believers have clearer views of heaven, and more heavenly tempers of soul. All the children of God are heirs, and every one has the privileges of the first-born. Let a soul be supposed to join that glorious assembly and church above, that is yet unacquainted with God, still carnally-minded, loving this present world and state of things, looking back to it with a lingering eye, full of pride and guile, filled with lusts; such a soul would seem to have mistaken its way, place, state, and company. It would be uneasy to itself and all about it. Christ is the Mediator of this new covenant, between God and man, to bring them together in this covenant; to keep them together; to plead with God for us, and to plead with us for God; and at length to bring God and his people together in heaven. This covenant is made firm by the blood of Christ sprinkled upon our consciences, as the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled upon the altar and the victim. This blood of Christ speaks in behalf of sinners; it pleads not for vengeance, but for mercy. See then that you refuse not his gracious call and offered salvation. See that you do not refuse Him who speaketh from heaven, with infinite tenderness and love; for how can those escape, who turn from God in unbelief or apostacy, while he so graciously beseeches them to be reconciled, and to receive his everlasting favour! God's dealing with men under the gospel, in a way of grace, assures us, that he will deal with the despisers of the gospel, in a way of judgment. We cannot worship God acceptably, unless we worship him with reverence and godly fear. Only the grace of God enables us to worship God aright. God is the same just and righteous God under the gospel as under the law. The inheritance of believers is secured to them; and all things pertaining to salvation are freely given in answer to prayer. Let us seek for grace, that we may serve God with reverence and godly fear.And this word, Yet once more - That is, this reference to a great agitation or commotion in some future time. This is designed as an explanation of the prophecy in Haggai, and the idea is, that there would be such agitations that everything which was not fixed on a permanent and immovable basis would be thrown down as in an earthquake. Everything which was temporary in human institutions; everything which was wrong in customs and morals; and everything in the ancient system of religion, which was merely of a preparatory and typical character, would be removed. What was of permanent value would be retained, and a kingdom would be established which nothing could move. The effect of the gospel would be to overturn everything which was of a temporary character in the previous system, and everything in morals which was not founded on a solid basis, and to set up in the place of it principles which no revolution and no time could change. The coming of the Saviour, and the influence of his religion on mankind, had this effect in such respects as the following:

(1) All that was of a sound and permanent nature in the Jewish economy was retained; all that was typical and temporary was removed. The whole mass of sacrifices and ceremonies that were designed to prefigure the Messiah of course then ceased; all that was of permanent value in the Law of God, and in the principles of religion, was incorporated in the new system, and perpetuated.

(2) the same is true in regard to morals. There was much truth on the earth before the time of the Saviour; but it was intermingled with much that was false. The effect of his coming has been to distinguish what is true and what is false; to give permanency to the one, and to cause the other to vanish.

(3) the same is true of religion, There are some views of religion which men have by nature which are correct; there are many which are false. The Christian religion gives permanence and stability to the one and causes the other to disappear. And in general, it may be remarked, that the effect of Christianity is to give stability to all that is founded on truth, and to drive error from the world. Christ came that he might destroy all the systems of error - that is, all that could he shaken on earth, and to confirm all that is true. The result of all will be that he will preside over a permanent kingdom, and that his people will inherit "a kingdom which cannot be moved;" Hebrews 12:28.

The removing of those things that are shaken - Margin, more correctly "may be." The meaning is, that those principles of religion and morals which were not founded on truth would be removed by his coming.

As of things that are made - Much perplexity has been felt by expositors in regard to this phrase, but the meaning seems to be plain. The apostle is contrasting the things which are fixed and stable with those which are temporary in their nature, or which are settled on no firm foundation. The former he speaks of as if they were uncreated and eternal principles of truth and righteousness. The latter he speaks of as if they were created, and therefore liable, like all things which are "made," to decay, to change, to dissolution.

That those things which cannot be shaken may remain - The eternal principles of truth, and law, and righteousness. These would enter into the new kingdom which was to be set up, and of course that kingdom would be permanent. These are not changed or modified by time, circumstances, human opinions, or laws. They remain the same from age to age, in every land, and in all worlds, They have been permanent in all the fluctuations of opinion; in all the varied forms of government on earth; in all the revolutions of states and empires. To bring out these is the result of the events of divine Providence, and the object of the coming of the Redeemer; and on these principles that great kingdom is to be reared which is to endure forever and ever.

27. this word, Yet once more—So Paul, by the Spirit, sanctions the Septuagint rendering of Hag 2:6, giving an additional feature to the prophecy in the Hebrew, as rendered in English Version, not merely that it shall be in a little while, but that it is to be "once more" as the final act. The stress of his argument is on the "ONCE." Once for all; once and for ever. "In saying 'once more,' the Spirit implies that something has already passed, and something else shall be which is to remain, and is no more to be changed to something else; for the once is exclusive, that is, not many times" [Estius].

those things that are shaken—the heaven and the earth. As the shaking is to be total, so shall the removal be, making way for the better things that are unremovable. Compare the Jewish economy (the type of the whole present order of things) giving way to the new and abiding covenant: the forerunner of the everlasting state of bliss.

as of things … made—namely, of this present visible creation: compare 2Co 5:1; Heb 9:11, "made with hands … of this creation," that is, things so made at creation that they would not remain of themselves, but be removed. The new abiding heaven and earth are also made by God, but they are of a higher nature than the material creation, being made to partake of the divine nature of Him who is not made: so in this relation, as one with the uncreated God, they are regarded as not of the same class as the things made. The things made in the former sense do not remain; the things of the new heaven and earth, like the uncreated God, "shall REMAIN before God" (Isa 66:22). The Spirit, the seed of the new and heavenly being, not only of the believer's soul, but also of the future body, is an uncreated and immortal principle.

The interpretation of the former matter in this verse, is introduced by reassuming:

And this, Yet once more; as if he said: I told you that God promised, Yet once more, &c.; what he meaneth by it I now declare to you: this shaking of God intends not a small alteration, but a total removal and abolition of the Israelitish heaven and earth, forementioned, an alteration of their church, religion, and administration, and a total abrogating of them, because they are hand work, Hebrews 9:24. Such as were at God’s direction made by men, as tabernacle, altar, and that typical service, not reaching the spiritual design of God, and but types of far better to succeed them; and which settled, did make the others to be finished, past, and never to return again.

That those things which cannot be shaken may remain: these better things are the administration of Christ’s kingdom unshakeable, his church state which is heavenly, settled by his own evangelical laws and ordinances, which he hath so fixed by promise, as never to be removed till the whole church of Christ be completed with him in heaven, Haggai 2:7 Matthew 17:5 28:18-20. And this word yet once more,.... Or as it is in Haggai 2:6 "yet once it is a little while"; which suggests, that as something had been done already, so in a very little time, and at once, something very marvellous and surprising would be effected: and it

signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made; which some understand of what will be done at Christ's coming to judgment; as the passing away of the heavens and the earth, which are things that are made, or created, by the power of God; when there will be a shaking of them, so as that they shall be removed, and pass away with a great noise; and so they interpret the next clause, of the permanency of the new heavens and the new earth, and of the immovable kingdom of glory, and the never fading inheritance of the saints; and of their fixed, unalterable, and unshaken state: but rather this is to be understood of Christ's coming to the destruction of Jerusalem; when there was an entire removal of the Jewish state, both political and ecclesiastical; and of the whole Mosaic economy; and of things appertaining to divine worship, which were made with hands, as the temple, and the things in it; and which were made to be removed; for they were to continue no longer than the time of reformation: and this removing of them designs the abolition of them, and entire putting an end to them; at which time, not only their civil government was wholly put down, but their ecclesiastic state also; for the place of their worship was destroyed, the daily sacrifice ceased, and the old covenant, and the manner of administering it, vanished away; and all the legal institutions and ordinances, which were abolished by the death of Christ, were no more performed in Jerusalem; the temple and temple service perishing together:

that those things which cannot be shaken may remain: the kingdom and priesthood of Christ, which are everlasting; and the good things which come by him, as remission of sins, justification, adoption, sanctification, and the heavenly inheritance; as also the Gospel, and the doctrines and ordinances of it, baptism, and the Lord's supper, and the mode of Gospel worship; all which are to continue until Christ's second coming.

And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 12:27. The author, arguing from the ἔτι ἅπαξ of the prophetic word of scripture just adduced, brings out as a second feature of the superiority of Christianity, that it is abiding and intransitory.

Τὸ δέ· Ἔτι ἅπαξ] The expression, however, Yet once more, sc. and then not again. ἔτι ἅπαξ, namely, is taken by the writer absolutely.

δηλοῖ τὴν τῶν σαλευομένων μετάθεσιν] declares (points to) the changing of that which is being shaken, sc. the earth and the (visible) heavens, inasmuch as it is a well-known matter (τήν) that, at the epoch of the consummation of the kingdom of God, the present earth and the present heavens will be transformed into a new earth and new heavens (comp. Isaiah 65:17 ff; Isaiah 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1); the shaking, however, of the heavens and the earth predicted by the prophet will be the only one, and consequently the last one, which will take place at all.

ὡς πεποιημένων] because they are created, i.e. visible, earthly, and transitory, things. The words draw attention to the constitution of the σαλευόμενα, thereby to make it appear as something natural that these should undergo a change or transformation. They are not to be taken together with the following ἵνα; in connection with which construction we have either the explanation: which namely has been made, to the end that that which is immovable may remain (Grotius, Bengel, Tholuck, Delitzsch, Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 130, Obs.; Kluge, Moll, Woerner, al.),—which, however, without more precise indication, yields arbitrary variations of the meaning, but no clear thought,—or: which was made indeed only for the purpose of awaiting that which is immovable, and giving place to the same when this comes in (Bauldry in Wolf, Storr, Böhme, Kuinoel, Hofmann, al.). Grammatically there is nothing to be alleged against this acceptation of the words, although the expression μένειν is not elsewhere employed by the author in the sense of “to await anything;” nor even against the thought in itself can any objection be raised. But then it appears unsuitable to the connection; since upon this interpretation that which the author will derive from the ἔτι ἅπαξ, namely, the coming in of that which is eternal and intransitory, is brought out in much too subordinate a form. ἵνα is therefore to be taken as dependent on τὴν τῶν σαλευομένων μετάθεσιν, inasmuch as it adduces the higher design of God in the transformation of the present earth and the present heavens: in order that there may then abide (have a permanent existence) that which cannot be shaken, sc. the eternal blessings of Christianity, into the full enjoyment of which the Christian will enter so soon as a new earth and new heaven is formed, and the kingdom of God attains to its consummation.27. And this word, Yet once more] The argument on the phrase “Again, yet once for all,” and the bringing it into connexion with the former shaking of the earth at Sinai resembles the style of argument on the word “to-day” in Hebrews 3:7 to Hebrews 4:9; and on the word “new” in Hebrews 8:13.

the removing …] The rest of this verse may be punctuated “Signifies the removal of the things that are being shaken as of things which have been made, in order that things which cannot be shaken, may remain.” The “things unshakeable” are God’s heavenly city and eternal kingdom (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 21:1, &c.). The material world—its shadows, symbols and all that belong to it—are quivering, unreal, evanescent (Psalm 102:25-26; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 20:11). It is only the Ideal which is endowed with eternal reality (Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:13-14). This view, which the Alexandrian theology had learnt from the Ethnic Inspiration of Plato, is the reverse of the view taken by materialists and sensualists. They only believe in what they can taste, and see, and “grasp with both hands;” but to the Christian idealist, who walks by faith and not by sight, the Unseen is visible (ὡς ὁρῶν τὸν Ἀόρατον (Hebrews 11:27), τὰ γὰρ ἀόρατα αὐτοῦνοούμενα καθορᾶται, Romans 1:20), and the Material is only a perishing copy of an Eternal Archetype. The earthquake which dissolves and annihilates things sensible is powerless against the Things Invisible. The rushing waters of the cataract only shake the shadow of the pine.Hebrews 12:27. Τῶν σαλευομένων, of those things that are shaken) the heaven and the earth.—τὴν μετάθεσιν, the removing) The same word occurs at Hebrews 7:12. The antithesis is μείνῃ, should remain. It will be said: When the earth was formerly shaken, no removal took place; how then is a removal now connected with the shaking of the heaven and the earth? Ans. This shaking is total; is final; is promised, and there is therefore an intimation, that better things will succeed,—that is, those things which are not removed, but are immoveable, will succeed those things which are removed. The first was the prelude of the second.—ὡς πεποιημένων, as of those things that are made) The reason why those things, which are said to be shaken, fall under removal, for they are things made formerly by creation, and so made, that they would not remain of themselves, but would be removed; and that subsequently those should only remain which are not removed. So Paul speaks, 2 Corinthians 5:1.—ἵνα μείνῃ) that they should remain. For he says μείνῃ, not μένῃ. The imperfect depends on the preterite πεποιημένων, made. Μένω, I remain, is often said of a thing which is left remaining (surviving) when others pass away; and hence also μόνος comes from μένω; 1 Corinthians 13:13.—τά μὴ σαλευόμενα, the things which are not shaken) the city of the living GOD, Hebrews 12:22 : the new heaven and the new earth, Revelation 21:1, note.Verses 27-29. - And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain. Wherefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken (observe the present participle, παραλαμβάνοντες: we already belong to this kingdom, which exists now behind the veil of this visible scene, and will survive its catastrophe; observe also that the phrase, βασιλείαν παραλαμβάνοντες, corresponds with Daniel 7:18, Καὶ παραλήψονται τὴν βασιλσίαν ἅγιοι ὑψίστου, - it implies an actual share in the royalty of the kingdom; cf. Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10), let as have grace (or, thankfulness; the usual meaning of ἔχειν χάριν is "to be thankful," or "to give thanks," as in Luke 17:9; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:3), whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire. This last verse is from Deuteronomy 4:24, where the Israelites are being warned of the danger of forgetting the covenant of the LORD their God. The LORD'S nature is not changed: he is still a consuming fire against evil, as he declared himself from Sinai; and if We scorn the present dispensation of grace, the day of judgment will still be to us a day of terror (cf. supra, Hebrews 10:26, etc.).



This word "yet once more" (τὸ δέ Ἔτι ἅπαξ)

Attention is called to this phrase as specially significant, because it indicates that the shaking prophesied by Haggai is to be final. It is to precede the new heaven and the new earth. Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1.

Signifieth (δηλοῖ)

From δῆλος manifest, evident. To make manifest to the mind. Used of indications which lead the mind to conclusions about the origin or character of things. See Thucyd. i. 3; Aesch. Pers. 518. Comp. 1 Corinthians 3:13; Hebrews 9:8; 1 Peter 1:11. Appropriate to prophetic revelations.

The removing (τὴν μετάθεσιν)

See on Hebrews 7:12. For the thought comp. 1 John 2:17; 1 Corinthians 7:31.

As of things that are made (ὡς πεποιημένων)

Made indeed by God, who also makes the new heaven and the new earth (Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22), but made to pass away.

That the things which cannot be shaken may remain (ἵνα μείνῃ τὰ μὴ σαλευόμενα)

Whether we consider the things which are shaken, the old heavens and earth which pass away, or the new heaven and earth which cannot be shaken, both are πεποιημένα made by God. The writer perceives this, and therefore adds to as of things that are made a clause stating that they were made (by God himself) to pass away. Accordingly, ἵνα in order that is to be connected with πεποιημένων, after which the comma should be removed. Rend. "the removal of things made in order that they might await the things which are not shaken." Μένειν is used in this sense, await, Acts 20:5, Acts 20:23, and often in Class.

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