Hebrews 4:13
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) In his sight.—Still the proper subject is “the word of God”; but, as explained above, it has assumed the meaning, God speaking and present in His word. Touched by this word, every creature “returns of force to its own likeness”—shows itself as it is.

Opened.—Better, exposed, laid bare. The Greek word is peculiar (literally meaning, to take by the neck), and it seems impossible to determine with certainty the exact metaphor which it here presents. It is usually applied to a wrestler who by dragging back the neck overthrows his adversary: and “prostrate” has been suggested as the meaning here. Another explanation refers the word to the drawing back of a criminal’s head, so as to expose his face to public gaze; but, though we read of such a custom in Latin authors, we have no proof that the Greek word was used in this sense. There seems no good reason for supposing any allusion to a sacrificial victim with head thrown back (slain, or ready to be slain).

Unto the eyes of him . . .—Rather, unto His eyes: with Whom (or, and with Him) we have to do. The last solemn words recall the connection of the whole passage. No thought of unbelief or disobedience escapes His eye: the first beginnings of apostasy are manifest before Him.

Hebrews 4:14-16 are the link connecting all the preceding part of the Epistle with the next great section, . Heb 5:1 to Heb 10:18. Following the example of Luther, Tyndale and Coverdale begin the fifth chapter here; but the connection of the three verses with what precedes is too close to justify this.

Hebrews 4:13. Neither is there any creature — Especially no human creature; that is not manifest — Αφανης, unapparent; in his sight — Namely, in the sight of God, whose word is thus powerful; for it is God in whose sight, or before whom, Greek ενωπιο, αυτου, every creature is manifest, and of this his word, working on the conscience, gives the fullest conviction; but all things are naked and opened — Γυμνα και τετραχηλισμενα, expressions used with a plain allusion to the state in which the sacrifices called burnt-offerings were laid on the altar. They were stripped of their skins, their breasts were ripped open, their bowels were taken out, and their back-bone was cleft from the neck downward, as the latter word signifies. So that every thing, both within and without them, was exposed to open view, particularly to the eye of the priest, in order to a thorough examination, Leviticus 1:5-6. And being found without blemish, they were laid in their natural order on the altar, and burned, Hebrews 4:8. The apostle’s meaning is, that neither infidelity, nor hypocrisy, nor worldly- mindedness; neither covetousness, nor pride, nor ambition, nor any sinful disposition, however secretly it may lurk in the mind, can be concealed from our judge; with whom we have to do — Προς ον ημιν ο λογος, to whom we must give an account. So the word λογος frequently signifies. See Matthew 12:36; Matthew 18:23; Luke 16:2; and particularly Romans 14:12, where the final judgment is spoken of. So every one of us, λογον δωσει, shall give an account of himself to God; and Hebrews 13:17, they watch for your souls, ως λογον αποδωσοντες, as those who must give account.4:11-16 Observe the end proposed: rest spiritual and eternal; the rest of grace here, and glory hereafter; in Christ on earth, with Christ in heaven. After due and diligent labour, sweet and satisfying rest shall follow; and labour now, will make that rest more pleasant when it comes. Let us labour, and quicken each other to be diligent in duty. The Holy Scriptures are the word of God. When God sets it home by his Spirit, it convinces powerfully, converts powerfully, and comforts powerfully. It makes a soul that has long been proud, to be humble; and a perverse spirit, to be meek and obedient. Sinful habits, that are become as it were natural to the soul, and rooted deeply in it, are separated and cut off by this sword. It will discover to men their thoughts and purposes, the vileness of many, the bad principles they are moved by, the sinful ends they act to. The word will show the sinner all that is in his heart. Let us hold fast the doctrines of Christian faith in our heads, its enlivening principles in our hearts, the open profession of it in our lips, and be subject to it in our lives. Christ executed one part of his priesthood on earth, in dying for us; the other he executes in heaven, pleading the cause, and presenting the offerings of his people. In the sight of Infinite Wisdom, it was needful that the Saviour of men should be one who has the fellow-feeling which no being but a fellow-creature could possibly have; and therefore it was necessary he should actual experience of all the effects of sin that could be separated from its actual guilt. God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, Ro 8:3; but the more holy and pure he was, the more he must have been unwilling in his nature to sin, and must have had deeper impression of its evil; consequently the more must he be concerned to deliver his people from its guilt and power. We should encourage ourselves by the excellence of our High Priest, to come boldly to the throne of grace. Mercy and grace are the things we want; mercy to pardon all our sins, and grace to purify our souls. Besides our daily dependence upon God for present supplies, there are seasons for which we should provide in our prayers; times of temptation, either by adversity or prosperity, and especially our dying time. We are to come with reverence and godly fear, yet not as if dragged to the seat of justice, but as kindly invited to the mercy-seat, where grace reigns. We have boldness to enter into the holiest only by the blood of Jesus; he is our Advocate, and has purchased all our souls want or can desire.Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight - There is no being who is not wholly known to God. All his thoughts, feelings, plans, are distinctly understood. Of the truth of this there can be no doubt. The "design" of the remark here is, to guard those to whom the apostle was writing from self-deception - since they could conceal nothing from God.

All things are naked - Exposed; uncovered. There is nothing that can be concealed from God; Psalm 139:11-12.

"The veil of night is no disguise,

No screen from thy all-searching eyes;

Thy hands can seize thy foes as soon.

Thro' midnight shades as blazing noon."

And opened - - τετραχηλισμένα tetrachēlismena. The word used here - Τραχηλίζω Trachēlizō - properly means:

(1) to lay bare the neck, or to bend it back, so as to expose the throat to being cut;

(2) to expose; to lay open in any way.

Why the word is used here has been a matter of inquiry. Some have supposed that the phrase is derived from offering sacrifice, and from the fact that the priest carefully examined the victim to see whether it was sound, before it was offered. But this is manifestly a forced exposition. Others have supposed that it is derived from the custom of bending back the head of a criminal so as to look full in his face, and recognize him so as not to be mistaken; but this is equally forced and unnatural. This opinion was first proposed by Erasmus, and has been adopted by Clarke and others. Bloomfield, following, as he says, the interpretation of Chrysostom, Grotius (though this is not the sentiment of Grotius), Beza, Atling, Hammond, and others, supposes the allusion to be to the custom of cutting the animal down the back bone through the spinal marrow, and thus of laying it open entirely.

This sense would well suit the connection. Grotius supposes that it means to strip off the skin by dividing it at the neck. and then removing it. This view is also adopted substantially by Doddridge. These explanations are forced, and imply a departure more or less from the proper meaning of the Greek word. The most simple and obvious meaning is usually the best in explaining the Bible. The word which the apostle employs relates to "the neck" - τράχηλος trachēlos - and not to the spinal marrow, or the skin. The proper meaning of the verb is "to bend the neck back" so as to expose it in front when an animal is slain - Passow. Then it means to make bare; to remove everything like covering; to expose a thing entirely - as the naked neck is for the knife. The allusion here is undoubtedly to the "sword" which Paul had referred to in the previous verse, as dividing the soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow; and the meaning is, that in the hand of God, who held that sword, everything was exposed.

We are in relation to that, like an animal whose neck is bent back, and laid bare, and ready for the slaughter. Nothing "hinders" God from striking; there is nothing that can prevent that sword from penetrating the heart - any more than when the neck of the animal is bent back and laid bare, there is anything that can hinder the sacrificing priest from thrusting the knife into the throat of the victim. If this be the true interpretation, then what an affecting view does it give of the power of God, and of the exposedness of man to destruction! All is bare, naked, open. There is no concealment; no hindrance; no power of resistance. In a moment God can strike, and his dreadful sentence shall fall on the sinner like the knife on the exposed throat of the victim. What emotions should the sinner have who feels that he is exposed each moment to the sentence of eternal justice - to the sword of God - as the animal with bent-back neck is exposed to the knife! And what solemn feelings should all have who remember that all is naked and open before God! Were we "transparent" so that the world could see all we are, who would dare go abroad?

Who would wish the world to read all his thoughts and feelings for a single day? Who would wish his best friends to look in upon his naked soul as we can look into a room through a window? O what blushes and confusion; what a hanging down of the head, and what an effort to escape from the gaze of people would there be, if every one knew that all his secret feelings were seen by every person whom he met! Social enjoyment would end; and the now frivolous and blithe multitudes in the streets would become processions of downcast and blushing convicts. And yet all these are known to God. He reads every thought; sees every feeling; looks through the whole soul. How careful should we be to keep our hearts pure; how anxious that there should be nothing in the soul that we are not willing to have known!

With whom we have to do - Literally, "with whom is our account." Our account; our reckoning is to be with him before whom all is naked and open. We cannot, therefore, impose on him. We cannot pass off hypocrisy for sincerity. He will judge us according to truth, not according to appearances; and his sentence, therefore, will be just. A man who is to be tried by one "who knows all about him," should be a pure and holy man.

13. creature—visible or invisible.

in his sight—in God's sight (Heb 4:12). "God's wisdom, simply manifold, and uniformly multiform, with incomprehensible comprehension, comprehends all things incomprehensible."

opened—literally, "thrown on the back so as to have the neck laid bare," as a victim with neck exposed for sacrifice. The Greek perfect tense implies that this is our continuous state in relation to God. "Show, O man, shame and fear towards thy God, for no veil, no twisting, bending, coloring, or disguise, can cover unbelief" (Greek, 'disobedience,' Heb 4:11). Let us, therefore, earnestly labor to enter the rest lest any fall through practical unbelief (Heb 4:11).

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: kai is not only copulative, but rational, showing the ground of the former efficacy of the gospel word, because its Author seeth and knoweth all persons and things, and filleth it with this power and force. For every creature which God the Son created, angel, or man, or any other, from the greatest to the least, from the leviathan to a mite, and all parts of every creature, especially of every creature to whom the gospel is preached, Mark 16:15; not any one is afanhv, without light, invisible, unapparent, obscure, or possible to be covered, or hid, or concealed from his view or face: where the relative autou agreeth with yeou, God in Christ, and not with logov, or the word, Hebrews 4:12, as the following relative evinceth. To this God-man no spirit nor thought can be hid; it shall not be so from the efficacious power of his word; much less shall infidelity or hypocrisy be hid from it, or his most piercing eye.

But all things are naked and opened; but all things in general and particular, not any one excepted, are bare, naked, unclothed, the covering is removed, all secrets are open and manifest to view, God the Son seeth within and without, all are unveiled to him, and laid open as by dissection, tetrachlismena a metaphor taken from the sacrificed beasts, which being skinned, were cut open from the neck, and so divided by the chine to the rump, or by the throat downward embowelled by the priests, so as every part within may be clearly seen whether clean or unclean. The truth of which is, the every thing in the world, even the most secret and inward thoughts of the heart of a sinner, which is a great deep, is opened and laid forth to every scruple unto God in Christ; every secret unbelief, apostatizing principle, or hypocrisy, he discerneth clearly and fully, Jeremiah 17:9,10: he that made the eye, must see best.

Unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do; his eyes who pierceth beyond the vulture’s, into things and places that no eye can discern, the souls of men, Job 28:7,10 Psa 94:9 Proverbs 20:12. All this is asserted concerning the person of whom Paul writes, Christ, God-man, the great gospel Minister, whose word is so powerfully piercing: of him and his word is all this speech and discourse; he it is who is the all-knowing and impartial Judge, and makes his gospel word of counsel, promise, and threatenings to cut so deeply, and search the secrets of the hearts of all. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight,.... Christ is the Lord God omniscient; there is no creature, in general, rational, or irrational, animate or inanimate, but what are known to him, and seen by him; for all creatures are made, and upheld by him, and he is omnipresent; and in particular, there is no man but is manifest to him; so "creature", is often used by the Rabbins for "man"; all men, openly profane men, who are enemies to Christ, and his people, are under his eye and notice; he knows their persons, he sees their actions, even those that are most secretly devised and performed against him, and his saints; and he takes such notice of them, as to bring them into judgment for them; he knows formal professors of religion, and upon what foot they have taken up their profession, and how they keep their lusts with their profession; he can distinguish between profession and grace; and he knows and observes the springs and progress of their apostasy: and as for true believers, he knows their persons, and knows them to be his; he sees their sins and their weaknesses; he takes notice of their graces, and observes their wants; and there is nothing in them, or belongs to them, but what is before him, even the secret desires of their souls. So Philo the Jew says (q) the divine Word reaches to, and comprehends all things, nothing escapes him: and this phrase is very commonly used of the divine Being by the Jews, , "all things are manifest before him" (r); and this being used of Christ, is no inconsiderable proof of his proper deity:

but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. The words are an allusion to wrestlers, who exercised naked, and took each other by their necks and collars; and when one was thrown upon his back, as the word rendered "opened" is by some translated, he was publicly exposed and known: or to the putting of a creature in such a posture when sacrificed; or rather to the cutting of it up, and laying open its entrails: and especially to the manner of doing it among the Jews, with which these persons, the apostle writes to, were acquainted: and it was this; when the lamb for the daily sacrifice was slain, the priest hung it up by the foot, and skinned it; and when he came to the breast, he cut off the head; and having finished the skinning of it, he divided the heart, and took out the blood; then he cut off the shoulders; and when he came to the right leg, he cut it off, and then cut it down through the chine bone, and , "all of it was manifest before him" (s). The very phrase before used. The word here used seems to answer to which, with the Arabians, signifies, "to know", or make known; and with the Rabbins; is used for a companion, a familiar one that is well known; the theme in the Hebrew, is, the "neck". The last clause, "with whom we have to do", manifestly points at the person here spoken of, Jesus Christ: saints have a concern with him now, as their way to the Father, as their Saviour and Redeemer; they have to do with his blood for pardon and cleansing, and with his righteousness for justification, and with his fulness for every supply of grace; and with him as their King to rule over them, protect and defend them, and as their prophet to teach them, and their high priest to intercede for them. Moreover, the words may be rendered, "to whom we must give an account"; and so the Syriac version renders them, "to whom they give an account"; as all men must at the great day: and all this that is said of the Word of God should engage to care, watchfulness, and circumspection in the course of a profession of religion.

(q) De Sacrif. Abel, p. 140. (r) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 122. 2. Vid. Seder Tephillot, fol. 281. 1. Ed. Basil. (s) Misna Tamid, c. 4. sect. 2.

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in {i} his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

(i) In God's sight.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 4:13. Transition from the word of God to God Himself. That the twofold αὐτοῦ and the ὅν, Hebrews 4:13, cannot be referred to Christ,[69] follows from the correct interpretation of ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ, Hebrews 4:12. That, however, in general not the total notion ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ (so Ebrard still) can form the subject of the pronouns, Hebrews 4:13, but only the ὁ θεός to be deduced therefrom, is evident from the expression τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς αὐτοῦ, which is appropriate only to the latter, not to the former. The transition from the word of God to God Himself was, moreover, a very natural one, inasmuch as in the word of God, God Himself is present and operative.

κτίσις] as Romans 8:39, and frequently, in the most universal sense: any creature, and indeed here not merely as regards its external existence, but also as regards its inner essence. Quite mistakenly Grotius, who is followed by Carpzov: Videtur mihi hoc loco κτίσις significare opus hominis, quia id est velut creatura hominis.

δέ] on the contrary. See on Hebrews 2:6.

τετραχηλισμένα laid bare. Hesychius: πεφανερωμένα. τραχηλίζειν means: to bend back the neck of the victim, in the act of slaying, in order to lay bare the chest, then generally: to lay bare, disclose, expose to view. See the Lexicons of Passow and Pape on the word. Comp. Hom. Il. 1:459: αὖ ἔρυσαν, sc. τὸυ τράχηλον τοῦ ἱεροῦ; Orpheus, Argon. 311: ταῦρον σφάζον, ἀνακλίνας κεφαλὴν εἰς αἰθέρα δῖαν; P. Fr. Ach. Nitsch, Beschreibung des häuslichen, gottesdienstlichen u. s. w. Zustandes der Griechen, 2 Aufl. Th. I. p. 667. Others, as Elsner, Wolf, Baumgarten, Kuinoel, Bleek, de Wette, Bisping, and Maier, would, after the precedent of Perizonius, ad Aeliani Var. Hist. 12:58, derive the signification “lay bare” to τραχηλίζειν, from the practice in antiquity of laying hold of transgressors by the neck when they were being led away to execution, and bending back the head, that they might be exposed to the gaze of all. Appeal is made not amiss to Suetonius in favour of this custom, Vitell. 17: donec (Vitellius) religatis post terga manibus, injecto cervicibus laqueo, veste discissa, seminudus in forum tractus est … reducto coma capite, ceu noxii solent, atque etiam mento mucrone gladii subrecto, ad visendam praeberet faciem neve submitteret. In like manner to Pliny, Panegyr. 34. 3 : Nihil tamen gratius, nihil seculo dignius, quam quod contigit desuper intueri delatorum supina ora retortasque cervices. Yet a Roman custom cannot in itself afford a standard for determining the signification of a Greek word. Yet others, as Cameron, Brochmann, and Klee, suppose the general signification: “to lay bare,” for τραχηλίζειν, to arise from the circumstance that the verb is used also of the wrestler, who grasps his opponent by the throat, and hurls him down backwards, whereby the face of the latter is exposed to the full view of the spectators (Cameron: Videtur esse metaphora petita a re palaestrica. Nam luctatores turn demum adversarium dicuntur τραχηλίζειν, cum obstricto collo ita versant, ut objiciant spectatorum oculis nudum conspiciendum et retectum undiquaque, id quod turn demum maxime fit, quum ejus cervicibus inequitant). But the exposing of the face of the thrown opponent was a circumstance of no importance in the τραχηλίζειν of the athlete, because not at all necessarily connected therewith. Further, and not less improbable derivations, see in Bleek.

πρὸς ὅν κ.τ.λ.] is to be taken in close combination only with the αὐτοῦ immediately preceding, not likewise, as is done by Michaelis, Bloomfield, and Hofmann (Schriftbew. I. 2 Aufl. p. 104), with the first αὐτοῦ, and upon ἡμῖν falls no emphasis (against Ebrard and Alford). The words for the rest have too little the character of independence to justify our taking them alone, with Alford, and separating them by a colon from that which precedes.

πρὸς ὅν ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος] towards whom exists for us the relation, i.e. with whom we have to do. Calvin: vertendum erat: cum quo nobis est ratio: cujus orationis hic est sensus, Deum esse, qui nobiscum agit, vel cum quo nobis est negotium, ideoque non esse ludendum quasi cum homine mortali, sed quoties verbum ejus nobis proponitur, contremiscendum esse, quia nihil ipsum lateat. Comp. 1 Kings 2:14 and 2 Kings 9:5 : λόγος μοι πρὸς σέ.

Aristides, Leuctr. iv. p. 465: ἐμοὶ δὲ καὶ τοῦτο θαυμαστὸν φαίνεται, εἴ τις τὸ μὲν Θηβαίους μόνους ἀντιπάλους ἡμῖν καταλειφθῆναι δέδιε, τὸ δὲ πρὸς ἀμφοτέρους ἡμῖν εἶναι τὸν λόγου, οὐδενὸς ἄξιου κρίνει φόβον. Further examples in Wetstein and Bleek. Incorrectly do Luther, Vatablus, Cameron, Schlichting, Cornelius a Lapide [Piscator hesitates between this and the rendering above given], Grotius, Calov, Wolf, Schulz, Stengel, al., generally with an appeal to πρός, i. 7, 8, and a comparison of Hebrews 5:11, take πρὸς ὅν ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος as equivalent to περὶ οὗ ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος. Moreover, something entirely foreign is imported by Ewald when, with a reference to ii. 10 f., he finds in the words the sense: “to whom, as a friend and brother, we can always most confidently speak.” Finally, the Peshito, Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Primasius, Erasmus Paraphr., Clarius, Zeger, Owen, Limborch, Michaelis, Whitby, Cramer, Stuart, Hofmann, al., explain: to whom we shall have to give an account of our actions. In itself this interpretation would be admissible; but, inasmuch as the words must in consequence thereof be taken in reference to an event yet future, we should necessarily expect the addition of ἔσται.

[69] As is done even by Dorscheus, Calov, Wittich, Braun, Brochmann, and Schöttgen, although they do not explain hypostatically the word of God in ver. 12.13. in his sight] i.e. in the Sight of God, not of “the Word of God.” “He seeth all man’s goings,” Job 34:21. “Thou hast set … our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance,” Psalm 90:8; comp. Psalm 139:1-12.

opened] The Greek word τετραχηλισμένα must have some such meaning, but it is uncertain what is the exact force of the metaphor from which it is derived. It comes from τράχηλος, “the neck,” and has been explained to mean: (1) “seized by the throat and thrown on the back”; or (2) “with the neck forced back like that of a malefactor compelled to shew his face” (Sueton. Vitell. 17); or (3) “with the neck held back like that of animals in order that the Priest may cut their throats”; or (4) “flayed”; or (5) “anatomised” (comp. Leviticus 1:6; Leviticus 1:9). This anatomic examination of victims by the Priests was called momoskopia since it was necessary that every victim should be “without blemish” (amomos), and Maimonides says that there were no less than 73 kinds of blemishes. Hence Polycarp (ad Phil, iv.) says that “all things are rigidly examined (πάντα μωμοσκοπεῖται) by God.” The usage of Philo, however, decisively shews that the word means “laid prostrate.” For the truth suggested see Proverbs 15:11; “I try the reins,” Jeremiah 17:10; Psalm 51:6; Proverbs 20:27, “the candle of the Lord searching all the inner parts of the belly.”

unto the eyes] “The Son of God, who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire.” Revelation 2:18.

with whom we have to do] This might be rendered, “to whom our account must be given.” Thus in Luke 16:2, “render thy account” (τὸν λόγον). Perhaps, however, our A. V. correctly represents it “Him with whom our concern is.” Comp. 1 Kings 2:14; 2 Kings 9:5 (LXX.), where a similar phrase occurs in this sense.Hebrews 4:13. Κτίσις, a creature) A word quite general: presently afterwards we find πάντα, all things.—ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ, in His sight) His, GOD’S, Hebrews 4:12. The analysis of the statement will be easy, if both of its parts are put in the nominative case: It is GOD, whose word is quick or living: it is GOD, before whom there is no creature that is not manifest. So, in ch. Hebrews 11:23, the nominative case is to be understood: By faith the parents of Moses concealed Moses. Ibid., 11"30: By faith the Israelites went round the walls of Jericho, that they might fall down. The omniscience of GOD is laid open to men by the word; and those who have not the word still feel that omniscient power in their consciences. A remarkable argument for the truth of religion from its efficacy.—τετραχηλισμένα) τραχηλίζω, I throw one on his back, is used in Greek and Latin for I lay open. Bodies which lie on the belly are scarcely considered naked, for they cover themselves: those lying on their back are laid open to the view in all their noblest and most distinguishing parts. Show, O man, shame and fear towards thy GOD; for no veil, no twisting, bending, colouring, or disguise, can cover faithlessness.—αὐτοῦ, of Him) This again is to be referred to GOD.—πρὸς ὃν ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος, with whom we have to do) We have to do with Him, with God, with such a one as is described, Hebrews 4:12-13, [whose face and judgment we cannot escape.—V. g.] We have therefore need of earnestness [Hebrews 4:11, σπουδάσωμεν]. The relative ὅν, whom, has the power of the demonstrative pronoun: λόγος, דבר, concern, business. So the LXX., Jdg 18:28, λόγος οὐκ ἔστιν αὐτοῖς μετὰ ἀνθρώπου, they had no business with any man; 2 Kings 9:5, λόγος μοι πρός σε; comp. Acts 19:38. There is the same expression in Chrysostom, περὶ ἱερως., p. 336, αἱ θυγατέρες τῶν ἱερέων, αἷς οὐδεὶς τρὸς τὴν ἱερωσύνην λόγος, the daughters of the priests, who have nothing to do with the priesthood.Verse 13. - Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight; but all things are naked and laid open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. The main difficulty in this verse is as to the meaning of the word τετραχηλισμένα (translated "laid open"). The verb τραχηλίζω (which occurs nowhere else in the New Testament or LXX., but is, with its compound ἐκτραχηλίζω, not uncommon in Philo and Josephus) has in classical Greek the sense of "seizing by the throat," or "bending back the neck," as in wrestling. And this, with the further idea of "overthrowing" or "laying prostrate," is the prevailing sense in Philo, from whom Wetstein quotes many passages in illustration. Taking, then, with most modern commentators, the sense of bending back the neck as the primary one, we have only to consider what secondary meaning is here to be attached to it. Some take the idea to be that of being thrown on the ground supine, so as to be thoroughly exposed to view. So Bengel: "Τραχηλίζω, resupino, Graece et Latine dicitur pro patefacio. Corpora quae prona jacent vix nuda censentur; nam se ipsa tegunt: resupinata, secundum partes nobilissimas quasque et distinctissimas visui patent." Many (Eisner, Wolf, Baumgarten, Kuinoel, Bretschneider, Block, De Wette, etc., following Perizonius, on AElian, 'Vat. Hist.,' 12:58) see an allusion to the Roman custom of exposing criminals "reducto capite," "retortis cervieibus," so that all might see their faces (see Suetonius, Vitel.,' 17; Pliny, 'Panegyr.,' 34. 3). There is, however, no other known instance of the Greek verb being used with this reference, which there seems to be no necessity for assuming. The idea may be simply the general one thus expressed by Delitzsch, "that whatever shamefaced creature bows its head, and would fain withdraw and cloak itself from the eyes of God, has indeed the throat, as it were, bent back before those eyes, with no possibility of escape, exposed and naked to their view." Many of the ancients (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Ecumenius, Theophylact) saw in τετραχηλισμένα a reference to the treatment of sacrificial victims, as being smitten on the neck or hung by the neck for the purpose of being flayed from the neck downwards, or cut open thence, so as to expose the entrails to view. But no instance is known of such use of the word τραχηλίζω, the idea of which may have been suggested to commentators by the figure of the sword in the verse preceding; which figure, however, there is no reason to suppose continued in ver. 13, the idea of which is simply complete exposure, introduced by οὐκ ἀφανὴς. The ancients take the concluding expression, πρὸς ο}ν ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος, as meaning "to whom our account must be given," i.e. "to whom we are responsible as our judge" - in the sense of λόγον διδόναι. The A.V. seems better to give the general idea of relation by the apt phrase, "with whom we have to do." Of course, λόγας here has no reference to the Word of God, the recurrence of the word, in a subordinate sense, being merely accidental. From the word of God the writer proceeds to God himself as cognizant of all things; thus giving a second ground for the exhortation of Hebrews 4:11.

Creature (κτίσις)

See on Romans 8:19; see on 2 Corinthians 5:17; see on Colossians 1:15. Here in the sense of thing created.

Opened (τετραχηλισμένα)

N.T.o. olxx. Only later Greek. Evidently connected with τράχηλος neck, throat. The exact metaphor, however, it is impossible to determine. The following are the principal explanations proposed: taken by the throat, as an athlete grasps an adversary; exposed, as a malefactor's neck is bent back, and his face exposed to the spectators; or, as the necks of victims at the altar are drawn back and exposed to the knife. The idea at the root seems to be the bending back of the neck, and the last explanation, better than any other, suits the previous figure of the sword. The custom of drawing back the victim's neck for sacrifice is familiar to all classical students. See Hom. Il. i. 459; ii. 422; Pindar, Ol. xiii. 114. The victim's throat bared to the sacrificial knife is a powerful figure of the complete exposure of all created intelligence to the eye of him whose word is as a two-edged sword.

With whom we have to do (πρὸς ὃν ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος)

Rend. with whom is our reckoning; that is to whom we have to give account.

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