Hebrews 1:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

King James Bible
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Darby Bible Translation
God having spoken in many parts and in many ways formerly to the fathers in the prophets,

World English Bible
God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

Young's Literal Translation
In many parts, and many ways, God of old having spoken to the fathers in the prophets,

Hebrews 1:1 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners - We can scarcely conceive any thing more dignified than the opening of this epistle; the sentiments are exceedingly elevated, and the language, harmony itself! The infinite God is at once produced to view, not in any of those attributes which are essential to the Divine nature, but in the manifestations of his love to the world, by giving a revelation of his will relative to the salvation of mankind, and thus preparing the way, through a long train of years, for the introduction of that most glorious Being, his own Son. This Son, in the fullness of time, was manifested in the flesh that he might complete all vision and prophecy, supply all that was wanting to perfect the great scheme of revelation for the instruction of the world, and then die to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. The description which he gives of this glorious personage is elevated beyond all comparison. Even in his humiliation, his suffering of death excepted, he is infinitely exalted above all the angelic host, is the object of their unceasing adoration, is permanent on his eternal throne at the right hand of the Father, and from him they all receive their commands to minister to those whom he has redeemed by his blood. in short, this first chapter, which may be considered the introduction to the whole epistle is, for importance of subject, dignity of expression, harmony and energy of language, compression and yet distinctness of ideas, equal, if not superior, to any other part of the New Testament.

Sundry times - Πολυμερως, from πολυς, many, and μερος, a part; giving portions of revelation at different times.

Divers manners - Πολυτροπως, from πολυς, many, and τροπος, a manner, turn, or form of speech; hence trope, a figure in rhetoric. Lambert Bos supposes these words to refer to that part of music which is denominated harmony, viz. that general consent or union of musical sounds which is made up of different parts; and, understood in this way, it may signify the agreement or harmony of all the Old Testament writers, who with one consent gave testimony to Jesus Christ, and the work of redemption by him. To him gave all the prophets witness, that, through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins; Acts 10:43.

But it is better to consider, with Kypke, that the words are rather intended to point out the imperfect state of Divine revelation under the Old Testament; it was not complete, nor can it without the New be considered a sufficiently ample discovery of the Divine will. Under the Old Testament, revelations were made πολυμερως και πολυτροπως, at various times, by various persons, in various laws and forms of teaching, with various degrees of clearness, under various shadows, types, and figures, and with various modes of revelation, such as by angels, visions, dreams, mental impressions, etc. See Numbers 12:6, Numbers 12:8. But under the New Testament all is done ἁπλως, simply, by one person, i.e. Jesus, who has fulfilled the prophets, and completed prophecy; who is the way, the truth, and the life; and the founder, mediator, and governor of his own kingdom.

One great object of the apostle is, to put the simplicity of the Christian system in opposition to the complex nature of the Mosaic economy; and also to show that what the law could not do because it was weak through the flesh, Jesus has accomplished by the merit of his death, and the energy of his Spirit.

Maximus Tyrius, Diss. 1, page 7, has a passage where the very words employed by the apostle are found, and evidently used nearly in the same sense: Τῃ του ανθρωπου ψυχῃ δυο οργανων οντων προς συνεσιν, του μεν ἁπλου, ὁν καλουμεν νουν, του δε ποικιλου και πολυμερους και πολυτροπου, ἁς αισθησεις καλουμεν. "The soul of man has two organs of intelligence: one simple, which we call mind; the other diversified, and acting in various modes and various ways, which we term sense."

A similar form of expression the same writer employs in Diss. 15, page 171: "The city which is governed by the mob, πολυφωνον τε ειναι και πολυμερη και πολυπαθη, is full of noise, and is divided by various factions and various passions." The excellence of the Gospel above the law is here set down in three points:

1. God spake unto the faithful under the Old Testament by Moses and the prophets, worthy servants, yet servants; now the Son is much better than a servant, Hebrews 1:4.

2. Whereas the body of the Old Testament was long in compiling, being about a thousand years from Moses to Malachi; and God spake unto the fathers by piecemeal, one while raising up one prophet, another while another, now sending them one parcel of prophecy or history, then another; but when Christ came, all was brought to perfection in one age; the apostles and evangelists were alive, some of them, when every part of the New Testament was completely finished.

3. The Old Testament was delivered by God in divers manners, both in utterance and manifestation; but the delivery of the Gospel was in a more simple manner; for, although there are various penmen, yet the subject is the same, and treated with nearly the same phraseology throughout; James, Jude, and the Apocalypse excepted. See Leigh.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

at.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head...

Genesis 6:3,13 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh...

*etc:

Genesis 8:15 And God spoke to Noah, saying,

*etc:

Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

*etc:

Genesis 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house...

Genesis 26:2-5 And the LORD appeared to him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell you of...

Genesis 28:12-15 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven...

Genesis 32:24-30 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day...

Genesis 46:2-4 And God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I...

Exodus 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert...

*etc:

Luke 24:27,44 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself...

Acts 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God...

1 Peter 1:10-12 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come to you...

2 Peter 1:20,21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation...

in.

Numbers 12:6-8 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known to him in a vision...

Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy...

the fathers.

Luke 1:55,72 As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever...

John 7:22 Moses therefore gave to you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses...

Acts 13:32 And we declare to you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made to the fathers,

Library
Messiah the Son of God
For to which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee? T hough every part of a revelation from God must of course be equally true, there may be a considerable difference even among truths proposed by the same authority, with respect to their immediate importance. There are fundamental truths, the knowledge of which are essentially necessary to our peace and holiness: and there are others of a secondary nature, which, though very useful in their proper connection,
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

The Friend Whose Years do not Fail. Rev. W. Arthur, M. A.
"And thy years shall not fail."--HEBREWS i. 12. You know that these words are taken from the hundred and second Psalm. There, they are addressed to God the Creator; here, to Christ the Redeemer. In both cases they express the same truths. Man finds himself here, looks out to what he can see around him, and then in thought passes on to what he cannot see. He knows that a very little while ago he was not here, he was not anywhere. He has an instinct within which tells him that though it is so short
Knowles King—The Wesleyan Methodist Pulpit in Malvern

The Son and the Angels.
HEBREWS i. 4-ii. 18. The most dangerous and persistent error against which the theologians of the New Testament had to contend was the doctrine of emanations. The persistence of this error lay in its affinity with the Christian conception of mediation between God and men; its danger sprang from its complete inconsistency with the Christian idea of the person and work of the Mediator. For the Hebrew conception of God, as the "I AM," tended more and more in the lapse of ages to sever Him from all
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

Agency of Evil Spirits
The connection of the visible with the invisible world, the ministration of angels of God, and the agency of evil spirits, are plainly revealed in the Scriptures, and inseparably interwoven with human history. There is a growing tendency to disbelief in the existence of evil spirits, while the holy angels that "minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1:14) are regarded by many as spirits of the dead. But the Scriptures not only teach the existence of angels, both good and evil,
Ellen Gould White—The Great Controversy

Cross References
Numbers 12:6
he said, "Listen to my words: "When there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.

Numbers 12:8
With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"

Joel 2:28
"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

John 9:29
We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't even know where he comes from."

John 16:13
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Acts 2:30
But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.

Acts 3:21
Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.

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