Hebrews 1:3
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

King James Bible
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

American Standard Version
who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the figure of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, making purgation of sins, sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high.

English Revised Version
who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Webster's Bible Translation
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself made purification of our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Weymouth New Testament
He brightly reflects God's glory and is the exact representation of His being, and upholds the universe by His all-powerful word. After securing man's purification from sin He took His seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Hebrews 1:3 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Being (ὢν)

Representing absolute being. See on John 1:1. Christ's absolute being is exhibited in two aspects, which follow:

The brightness of his glory (ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ)

Of God's glory. For brightness rend. effulgence. Ἀπαύγασμα, N.T.o. lxx, only Wisd. 7:26. oClass. It is an Alexandrian word, and occurs in Philo. Interpretation is divided between effulgence and reflection. Effulgence or outraying accords better with the thought of the passage; for the writer is treating of the preincarnate Son; and, as Alford justly remarks, "the Son of God is, in this his essential majesty, the expression and the sole expression of the divine light; not, as in his incarnation, its reflection." The consensus of the Greek fathers to this effect is of great weight. The meaning then is, that the Son is the outraying of the divine glory, exhibiting in himself the glory and majesty of the divine Being. "God lets his glory issue from himself, so that there arises thereby a light-being like himself" (Weiss). Δόξα glory is the expression of the divine attributes collectively. It is the unfolded fullness of the divine perfections, differing from μορφὴ θεοῦ form of God (Philippians 2:6), in that μορφὴ is the immediate, proper, personal investiture of the divine essence. Δόξα is attached to deity. μορφὴ is identified with the inmost being of deity Δόξα is used of various visible displays of divine light and splendor, as Exodus 24:17; Deuteronomy 5:24; Exodus 40:34; Numbers 14:10; Numbers 16:19, Numbers 16:42; Ezekiel 10:4; Ezekiel 43:4, Ezekiel 43:5; Ezekiel 1:28, Ezekiel 3:23; Leviticus 9:23, etc. We come nearer to the sense of the word in this passage in the story of Moses's vision of the divine glory, Exodus 33:18-23; Exodus 34:5, Exodus 34:7.

The express image of his person (χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ)

Rend the very image (or impress) of his substance The primary sense of ὑπόστασις substance is something which stands underneath; foundation, ground of hope or confidence, and so assurance itself. In a philosophical sense, substantial nature; the real nature of anything which underlies and supports its outward form and properties. In N.T., 2 Corinthians 9:4; 2 Corinthians 11:17, Hebrews 3:14; Hebrews 11:1, signifying in every instance ground of confidence or confidence In lxx, it represents fifteen different words, and, in some cases, it is hard to understand its meaning notably 1 Samuel 13:21. In Ruth 1:12, Psalm 37:8, Ezekiel 19:5, it means ground of hope: in Judges 6:4, Wisd. 16:21, sustenance in Psalm 38:5; Psalm 136:15, the substance or material of the human frame: in 1 Samuel 13:23; Ezekiel 26:11, an outpost or garrison: in Deuteronomy 11:6; Job 22:20, possessions. The theological sense, person, is later than the apostolic age. Here, substantial nature, essence. Χαρακτὴρ from χαράσσειν to engrave or inscribe, originally a graving-tool; also the die on which a device is cut. It seems to have lost that meaning, and always signifies the impression made by the die or graver. Hence, mark, stamp, as the image on a coin (so often) which indicates its nature and value, or the device impressed by a signet. N.T.o. lxx, Leviticus 13:28; 2 Macc. 4:10; 4 Macc. 15:4. The kindred χάραγμα mark, Acts 17:29; Revelation 13:16, Revelation 13:17. Here the essential being of God is conceived as setting its distinctive stamp upon Christ, coming into definite and characteristic expression in his person, so that the Son bears the exact impress of the divine nature and character.

And upholding all things (φέρων τε τὰ πάντα)

Rend. maintaining. Upholding conveys too much the idea of the passive support of a burden. "The Son is not an Atlas, sustaining the dead weight of the world" (quoted by Westcott). Neither is the sense that of ruling or guiding, as Philo (De Cherub. 11), who describes the divine word as "the steersman and pilot of the all." It implies sustaining, but also movement. It deals with a burden, not as a dead weight, but as in continual movement; as Weiss puts it, "with the all in all its changes and transformations throughout the aeons." It is concerned, not only with sustaining the weight of the universe, but also with maintaining its coherence and carrying on its development. What is said of God, Colossians 1:17, is here said or implied of Christ: τὰ πάντα ἐν αὐτῷ συνέστηκεν all things (collectively, the universe) consist or maintain their coherence in him. So the Logos is called by Philo the bond (δεσμὸς) of the universe; but the maintenance of the coherence implies the guidance and propulsion of all the parts to a definite end. All things (τὰ πάντα) collectively considered; the universe; all things in their unity. See Hebrews 2:10; Romans 8:32; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:16.

By the word of his power (τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ)

The phrase N.T.o., but comp Luke 1:37, and see note. The word is that in which the Son's power manifests itself. Ἀυτοῦ his refers to Christ. Nothing in the context suggests any other reference. The world was called into being by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3), and is maintained by him who is "the very image of God's substance."

When he had by himself purged our sins (καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος)

Omit by himself; yet a similar thought is implied in the middle voice, ποιησάμενος, which indicates that the work of purification was done by Christ personally, and was not something which he caused to be done by some other agent. Purged, lit. having made purification. The phrase N.T.o lxx, Job 7:21. Καθαρισμός purification occurs in Mark, Luke John, 2nd Peter, oP., and only here in Hebrews. The verb καθαρίζειν to purify is not often used in N.T of cleansing from sin. See 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 John 1:7, 1 John 1:9. Of cleansing the conscience, Hebrews 9:14. Of cleansing meats and vessels, Matthew 23:25, Matthew 23:26, Mark 7:19, Acts 10:15; Acts 11:9. Of cleansing the heart, Acts 15:9. The meaning here is cleansing of sins. In the phrase "to cleanse from sin," always with ἀπὸ from. In carrying on all things toward their destined end of conformity to the divine archetype, the Son must confront and deal with the fact of sin, which had thrown the world into disorder, and drawn it out of God's order. In the thought of making purification of sins is already foreshadowed the work of Christ as high priest, which plays so prominent a part in the epistle.

Sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high (ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς)

Comp. Psalm 110:1, Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 12:2; Ephesians 1:20; Revelation 3:21. The verb denotes a solemn, formal act; the assumption of a position of dignity and authority The reference is to Christ's ascension. In his exalted state he will still be bearing on all things toward their consummation, still dealing with sin as the great high priest in the heavenly sanctuary. This is elaborated later. See Hebrews 8:1-13; Hebrews 9:12 ff. Μεγαλωσύνη majesty, only here, Hebrews 8:1; Jde 1:25. Quite often in lxx. There is suggested, not a contrast with his humiliation, but his resumption of his original dignity, described in the former part of this verse. Ἐν ὑψηλοῖς, lit. in the high places. Const. with sat down, not with majesty. The phrase N.T.o. lxx, Psalm 92:4; Psalm 112:5. Ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις in the highest (places), in the Gospels, and only in doxologies. See Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:10; Luke 2:14. Ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις in the heavenly (places), only in Ephesians. See Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 1:20; Ephesians 2:6; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12.

Hebrews 1:3 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the brightness.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory...

John 14:9,10 Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father...

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts...

image.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ...

Colossians 1:15,16 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature...

upholding.

Psalm 75:3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Revelation 4:11 You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things...

the word.

Ecclesiastes 8:4 Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say to him, What do you?

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first...

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

by himself.

Hebrews 7:27 Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's...

Hebrews 9:12-14,16,26 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place...

John 1:29 The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another...

1 John 3:5 And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

sat.

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest...

Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame...

Psalm 110:1 The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.

Matthew 22:24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed to his brother.

Mark 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Luke 20:42,43 And David himself said in the book of Psalms, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand...

Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost...

Acts 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Romans 8:34 Who is he that comdemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God...

Ephesians 1:20-22 Which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places...

Colossians 3:1 If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.

1 Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Majesty.

1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty...

Job 37:22 Fair weather comes out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.

Micah 5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide...

2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ...

Jude 1:25 To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Cross References
Psalm 110:1
A Psalm of David. The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."

Mark 16:19
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

John 14:9
Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

2 Corinthians 4:4
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Colossians 1:17
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Titus 2:14
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Hebrews 1:13
And to which of the angels has he ever said, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"?

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