|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:26-31 The exhortations against apostacy and to perseverance, are urged by many strong reasons. The sin here mentioned is a total and final falling away, when men, with a full and fixed will and resolution, despise and reject Christ, the only Saviour; despise and resist the Spirit, the only Sanctifier; and despise and renounce the gospel, the only way of salvation, and the words of eternal life. Of this destruction God gives some notorious sinners, while on earth, a fearful foreboding in their consciences, with despair of being able to endure or to escape it. But what punishment can be sorer than to die without mercy? We answer, to die by mercy, by the mercy and grace which they have despised. How dreadful is the case, when not only the justice of God, but his abused grace and mercy call for vengeance! All this does not in the least mean that any souls who sorrow for sin will be shut out from mercy, or that any will be refused the benefit of Christ's sacrifice, who are willing to accept these blessings. Him that cometh unto Christ, he will in no wise cast out.
Verse 28. - One that hath despised (rather, set at naught) Moses' Law dieth without mercy under (i.e. at the word of) two or three witnesses. The reference is to Deuteronomy 17:2-7, as shown by the mention of the "two or three witnesses" (ver. 6). The sin there spoken of is that of one who "hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD, in transgressing his covenant, and hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or the moon, or any of the host of heaven." The significance of this in its bearing on the meaning of ἁμαρτανόντων in ver. 26 has been already noted.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He that despised Moses' law,.... By breaking it wilfully, and presumptuously, for which there was no sacrifice; meaning the law which Moses was the minister of not the author; and it respects the whole body of laws given by him, from God; and is instanced in for the sake of the comparison between him and Christ, and between the law and the Gospel, and for the illustration of the case in hand. Now one that transgressed that law, either in whole, or in part, by denying it entirely, or by breaking any particular precept of it presumptuously,
died without mercy; a corporeal death; there was no atonement nor sacrifice for him, nor pity to be shown him, Deuteronomy 13:8.
Under two or three witnesses; who "stood by", or were present, as the Arabic version renders it, when the transgression was committed; or that "accused him", as the Ethiopic version; that were witnesses against him, and plainly and fully proved the fact, Deuteronomy 17:6.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. Compare Heb 2:2, 3; 12:25.
despised—"set at naught" [Alford]: utterly and heinously violated, not merely some minor detail, but the whole law and covenant; for example, by idolatry (De 17:2-7). So here apostasy answers to such an utter violation of the old covenant.
died—Greek, "dies": the normal punishment of such transgression, then still in force.
without mercy—literally, "mercies": removal out of the pale of mitigation, or a respite of his doom.
under—on the evidence of.
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