|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:11-14 Dull hearers make the preaching of the gospel difficult, and even those who have some faith may be dull hearers, and slow to believe. Much is looked for from those to whom much is given. To be unskilful, denotes want of experience in the things of the gospel. Christian experience is a spiritual sense, taste, or relish of the goodness, sweetness, and excellence of the truths of the gospel. And no tongue can express the satisfaction which the soul receives, from a sense of Divine goodness, grace, and love to it in Christ.
Verse 11 - Hebrews 7:1. - This is the long admonitory digression (see under ver. 1) felt by the writer to be necessary before his exposition of κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μελχιζεδέκ. He is entering on a new theme, higher and less level to the comprehension of his readers than any that has gone before. Even so far, we have seen how their Jewish prejudices had evoked admonitions, frequently interposed in the course of the argument. Much more so now, when it is to be shown how the priesthood of Christ not only fulfils the idea of, but also supersedes, that of the sons of Aaron, being of a different order from theirs. The region of thought to be entered now, being that of "the mystery of Christ," transcends more than any that has been so far entered the ordinary conceptions of traditional Judaism. Hence the writer's shrinking from entering all at once on the subject for fear of not being even understood; hence his earnest warnings to his readers as to the necessity of advancing to the state of full-grown Christians who can discern spiritual things. Verse 11 - Hebrews 6:20. - INTERPOSED EXHORTATION. Verse 11. - Of whom (the most obvious antecedent being Melchizedek, but with regard to his typical significance, as referred to in Psalm 110.) we have many things to say (the subject itself admits a lengthy exposition) and hard of interpretation, seeing ye are become (not, as in A.V., "ye are") dull of hearing, Their dullness is the reason of the λόγος being δυσερμήνευτος. It was not that the subject was in itself inexplicable, or that the writer was incompetent to explain it; his difficulty was in adapting the interpretation to the capacity of his readers: "Non scribentis, sed vestro vitio" (Bengel). It seems from γεγόνατε ("ye are become"), in this and the following verse, that the Hebrew Christians had even retrograded in spiritual perception. This is easily conceivable. As, through the teaching of St. Paul especially, the tie between Christianity and Judaism became more and more broken, there was likely to be a certain reaction among the Hebrew Christians, who, having gone to a certain extent with the tide of thought, became conscious how far it was carrying them. They would be inclined to cling the more fondly to their old associations from the fear of losing them altogether. Such retrogressions have been observable in other times of upheaval of old ideas.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Of whom we have many things to say,.... Either of Melchizedek, or of Christ, or of his priesthood or of all of these; since the apostle does largely treat of them in the following chapters: he says many things concerning Melchizedek in the seventh chapter, and many things of Christ, and his priesthood, in those that follow; Christ is a large and inexhaustible subject in the Gospel ministry, and what a Gospel minister delights to dwell on; and it is a fund and stock from whence he is furnished with things of the greatest usefulness, and of the utmost importance:
and hard to be uttered; as were many things respecting Melchizedek, mentioned in Hebrews 7:3 and also concerning Christ, and his priesthood: abstruse and difficult things are to be looked into, considered, searched after, and insisted on: the whole Scripture is profitable, and the whole counsel of God is to be declared, and things hard to be explained should be attempted; this is the way to an increase of light and knowledge; though it becomes ministers to consult their own abilities, and the capacity of their hearers, that they do not go beyond them:
seeing ye are dull of hearing; this dulness of hearing is thought by some to arise from their afflictions; or from their attachment to the law of Moses; or rather from their sluggishness, indocility, and want of industry; and often times this arises from pride and prejudice, and irreverence of the word of God; and frequently from the deceitfulness of riches, and the cares of this life.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. Here he digresses to complain of the low spiritual attainments of the Palestinian Christians and to warn them of the danger of falling from light once enjoyed; at the same time encouraging them by God's faithfulness to persevere. At Heb 6:20 he resumes the comparison of Christ to Melchisedec.
hard to be uttered—rather as Greek, "hard of interpretation to speak." Hard for me to state intelligibly to you owing to your dulness about spiritual things. Hence, instead of saying many things, he writes in comparatively few words (Heb 13:22). In the "we," Paul, as usual, includes Timothy with himself in addressing them.
ye are—Greek, "ye have become dull" (the Greek, by derivation, means hard to move): this implies that once, when first "enlightened," they were earnest and zealous, but had become dull. That the Hebrew believers AT Jerusalem were dull in spiritual things, and legal in spirit, appears from Ac 21:20-24, where James and the elders expressly say of the "thousands of Jews which believe," that "they are all zealous of the law"; this was at Paul's last visit to Jerusalem, after which this Epistle seems to have been written (see on Heb 5:12, on "for the time").
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