Hebrews 1:10
And, You, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of your hands:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) And.Hebrews 1:10-12 are by this word linked with Hebrews 1:8, as presenting the second part of the contrast between angels and the Son. As there we read of a divine sovereignty, so here of the work of creation, the power to change all created things, the divine attribute of changeless existence. This quotation from Psalm 102:25-27 agrees almost exactly with the text of the LXX. as we have it in the Alexandrian MS., except that the words “as a garment” (not found in the Psalm) must here (Hebrews 1:12) be added, according to our best authorities. The only point of any difficulty in these verses is that the writer discovers a testimony to the supremacy of the Son in words which, as they stand in the Psalm, would appear to be directly addressed to God as Creator. If, however, the Psalm be examined, it will be found (see Hebrews 1:13-14) to contain the expression of hopes which in reality were inseparably united with the fulfilment of the Messianic promise. “The Lord shall appear to build up Zion:” this is the Psalmist’s theme, and it is to the same Lord that he addresses the words which are quoted here. As in Jesus the Christian Jew saw Him who fulfilled all these promises of God to His people, the application of the words of adoration to the same Lord would at once be recognised as true.

Hebrews 1:10-12. And thou, Lord, in the beginning, &c. — These words, with those contained in the two following verses, are quoted from Psalm 102:25-27, where they are evidently spoken of the God of Israel, the living and true God. “Some have thought they are here addressed to the Father, and not to the Son. But, as the former passages are directed to the Son, it is reasonable to suppose this is so likewise: especially as it would not have been to the apostle’s purpose to quote it here, if it had been addressed to the Father. By affirming that these words were spoken to the Son, the apostle confuted the opinion of those Jews who held that the angels assisted in making this mundane system; an error which was afterward maintained by some heretics in the Christian Church. They — Permanent as they seem, and though firmly founded; shall at length perish — Of the perishing of the earth and aerial heavens, Peter speaks, 2 Peter 3:10-13, where he also foretels that there shall be new heavens and a new earth, formed for the habitation of the righteous, after the old creation is destroyed. But thou remainest Διαμενεις, continuest in undecaying glory; as a vesture Περιβολαιον, a mantle, upper garment, or cloak; shalt thou fold them up — With infinite ease; and they shall be changed — Into new heavens and a new earth; or thou shalt remove them out of their place, and introduce a new scene of things with as much ease as a prince lays aside one robe and puts on another. But thou art eternally the same, and thy years shall not fail — Through everlasting ages, nor can thy perfections admit any possible diminution. 1:4-14 Many Jews had a superstitious or idolatrous respect for angels, because they had received the law and other tidings of the Divine will by their ministry. They looked upon them as mediators between God and men, and some went so far as to pay them a kind of religious homage or worship. Thus it was necessary that the apostle should insist, not only on Christ's being the Creator of all things, and therefore of angels themselves, but as being the risen and exalted Messiah in human nature, to whom angels, authorities, and powers are made subject. To prove this, several passages are brought from the Old Testament. On comparing what God there says of the angels, with what he says to Christ, the inferiority of the angels to Christ plainly appears. Here is the office of the angels; they are God's ministers or servants, to do his pleasure. But, how much greater things are said of Christ by the Father! And let us own and honour him as God; for if he had not been God, he had never done the Mediator's work, and had never worn the Mediator's crown. It is declared how Christ was qualified for the office of Mediator, and how he was confirmed in it: he has the name Messiah from his being anointed. Only as Man he has his fellows, and as anointed with the Holy Spirit; but he is above all prophets, priests, and kings, that ever were employed in the service of God on earth. Another passage of Scripture, Ps 102:25-27, is recited, in which the Almighty power of the Lord Jesus Christ is declared, both in creating the world and in changing it. Christ will fold up this world as a garment, not to be abused any longer, not to be used as it has been. As a sovereign, when his garments of state are folded and put away, is a sovereign still, so our Lord, when he has laid aside the earth and heavens like a vesture, shall be still the same. Let us not then set our hearts upon that which is not what we take it to be, and will not be what it now is. Sin has made a great change in the world for the worse, and Christ will make a great change in it for the better. Let the thoughts of this make us watchful, diligent, and desirous of that better world. The Saviour has done much to make all men his friends, yet he has enemies. But they shall be made his footstool, by humble submission, or by utter destruction. Christ shall go on conquering and to conquer. The most exalted angels are but ministering spirits, mere servants of Christ, to execute his commands. The saints, at present, are heirs, not yet come into possession. The angels minister to them in opposing the malice and power of evil spirits, in protecting and keeping their bodies, instructing and comforting their souls, under Christ and the Holy Ghost. Angels shall gather all the saints together at the last day, when all whose hearts and hopes are set upon perishing treasures and fading glories, will be driven from Christ's presence into everlasting misery.And - That is, "To add another instance;" or, "to the Son he saith in another place, or in the following language." This is connected with Hebrews 1:8. "Unto the Son he saith Hebrews 1:8, Thy throne," etc. - and Hebrews 1:10 he "also" saith, "Thou Lord," etc. That this is the meaning is apparent, because:

(1) the "object" of the whole quotation is to show the exalted character of the Son of God, and,

(2) an address here to Yahweh would be wholly irrelevant. Why, in an argument designed to prove that the Son of God was superior to the angels, should the writer break out in an address to Yahweh in view of the fact that he had laid the foundations of the world, and that he himself would continue to live when the heavens should be rolled up and pass away? Such is not the manner of Paul or of any other good writer, and it is clear that the writer here designed to adduce this as applicable to the Messiah. Whatever difficulties there may be about the principles on which it is done, and the reason why This passage was selected for the purpose, there can be no doubt about the design of the writer. He meant to be understood as applying it to the Messiah beyond all question, or the quotation is wholly irrelevant, and it is inconceivable why it should have been made. "Thou Lord." This is taken from Psalm 102:25-27. The quotation is made from the Septuagint with only a slight variation, and is an accurate translation of the Hebrew. In the Psalm, there can be no doubt that Yahweh is intended. This is apparent on the face of the Psalm, and particularly because the "name" Yahweh is introduced in Hebrews 1:10, and because He is addressed as the Creator of all things, and as immutable. No one, on reading the Psalm, ever would doubt that it referred to God, and if the apostle meant to apply it to the Lord Jesus it proves most conclusively that he is divine. In regard to the difficult inquiry why he applied this to the Messiah, or on what principle such an application can be vindicated, we may perhaps throw some light by the following remarks. It must be admitted that probably few persons, if any, on reading the "Psalm," would suppose that it referred to the Messiah; but:

(1) the fact that the apostle thus employs it, proves that it was understood in his time to have such a reference, or at least that those to whom he wrote would admit that it had such a reference. On no other principle would he have used it in an argument. This is at least of some consequence in showing what the prevailing interpretation was.

(2) it cannot be demonstrated that it had no such reference, for such was the habit of the sacred writers in making the future Messiah the theme of their poetry, that no one can prove that the writer of this Psalm did not design that the Messiah should be the sub ject of his praise here.

(3) there is nothing in the Psalm which may not be applied to the Messiah; but there is much in it that is especially applicable to him. Suppose, for example, that the Psalmist Psalm 102:1-11, in his complaints, represents the people of God before the Redeemer appeared - as lowly, sad, dejected, and afflicted - speaking of himself as one of them, and as a fair representative of that people, the remainder of the Psalm will well agree with the promised redemption. Thus, having described the sadness and sorrow of the people of God, he speaks of the act that God would arise and have mercy upon Zion Psalm 102:13-14, that the pagan would fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth would see his glory Psalm 102:15, and that when the Lord should build up Zion, he would appear in his glory; Psalm 102:16. To whom else could this be so well applied as to the Messiah? To what time so well as to his time? Thus, too in Psalm 102:20, it is said that the Lord would look down from heaven "to hear the groaning of the prisoner, and to loose them that are appointed to death" - language remarkably resembling that used by Isaiah, Isaiah 61:1, which the Saviour applies to himself, in Luke 4:17-21. The passage then quoted by the apostle Psalm 102:25-27 is designed to denote the "immutability" of the Messiah, and the fact that in him all the interests of the church were safe. He would not change. He had formed all things, and he would remain the same. His kingdom would be permanent amidst all the changes occurring on earth, and his people had no cause of apprehension or alarm; Psalm 102:28.

(4) Paul applies this language to the Messiah in accordance with the doctrine which he had stated Hebrews 1:2, that it was by him that God "made the worlds." Having stated that, he seems to have felt that it was not improper to apply to him the passages occurring in the Old Testament that speak of the work of creation. The argument is this, "He was in fact the creator of all things." But to the Creator there is applied language in the Scriptures which shows that he was far exalted above the angels. He would remain the same, while the heavens and the earth should fade away. His years are enduring and eternal. "Such" a being must be superior to the angels; such a being must be divine. The words "Thou Lord" - σὺ Κύριε su Kurie - are not in the Hebrew of the Psalm, though they are in the Septuagint. In the Hebrew, in the Psalm (Psalm 102:24,), it is an address to God - "I said, O my God" - אלי 'Eeliy - but there can be no doubt that the Psalmist meant to address Yahweh, and that the word "God" is used in its proper sense, denoting divinity; see Hebrews 1:1, Hebrews 1:12, of the Psalm. "In the beginning;" see Genesis 1:1.

When the world was made; compare notes on John 1:1, where the same phrase is applied to the Messiah - "In the beginning was the word, where the same phrase is applied to the Messiah - "In the beginning was the word." "Hast laid the foundation of the earth." Hast made the earth. This language is such as is common in the Scriptures, where the earth is represented as laid on a foundation, or as supported. It is figurative language, derived from the act of rearing an edifice. The meaning here is, that the Son of God was the original creator or founder of the universe. He did not merely arrange it out of pre-existing materials, but he was properly its creator or founder. "And the heavens are the works of thine hands." This must demonstrate the Lord Jesus to be divine. He that made the vast heavens must be God. No creature could perform a work like that; nor can we conceive that power to create the vast array of distant worlds could possibly be delegated. If that power could be delegated, there is not an attribute of Deity which may not be, and thus all our notions of what constitutes divinity would be utterly confounded. The word "heavens" here, must mean all parts of the universe except the earth; see Genesis 1:1. The word "hands" is used, because it is by the hands that we usually perform any work.

10. And—In another passage (Ps 102:25-27) He says.

in the beginning—English Version, Ps 102:25, "of old": Hebrew, "before," "aforetime." The Septuagint, "in the beginning" (as in Ge 1:1) answers by contrast to the end implied in "They shall perish," &c. The Greek order here (not in the Septuagint) is, "Thou in the beginning, O Lord," which throws the "Lord" into emphasis. "Christ is preached even in passages where many might contend that the Father was principally intended" [Bengel].

laid the foundation of—"firmly founded" is included in the idea of the Greek.

heavens—plural: not merely one, but manifold, and including various orders of heavenly intelligences (Eph 4:10).

works of thine hands—the heavens, as a woven veil or curtain spread out.

And, Thou, Lord: this connective particle joins this to the former proof, that Christ had a more excellent name than angels, even that of God. That he was God, he proved out of Psalm 45:6,7. He seconds it in this and the two following verses, which he quotes out of Psalm 102:25-27. The strength of which lieth thus: He who was Jehovah, and the great Creator of the world, is God; such is Christ, the great gospel Prophet. This is evident in the prayer recorded in the Psalm made to him, compared with the Spirit’s testimony, Hebrews 1:8; the very works appropriated to Jehovah there, are the acknowledged works of God the Son, as redemption, Psalm 102:20,21, vocation of the Gentiles, Psalm 102:15,18,22.

In the beginning; in the beginning of time, when that came to be the measure and limit of things, as Genesis 1:1. Before there were any such creatures as angels, he was Jehovah, John 1:1; and then manifested himself to be Jehovah. The enemies of Christ’s Deity say that the name Jehovah is not in the verse of the Psalm quoted by the Spirit; yet thou, the relative used in all those verses, refers to God, the antecedent, prayed to in Psalm 102:24, and to Jehovah, the name given him in Psalm 102:1,12,15,16,18,19,21,22, of that Psalm; all importing one and the same person. And it is well known that Kuriov, Lord, doth eminently decipher the Redeemer in the New Testament; he is not an instrument of Jehovah to create by, but the fountain of all being, Jehovah himself.

Hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: by founding the earth, and the heavens being the work of his hands, is meant the whole work of creation throughout the space of six days: he was the true, full, sole, and self-causality of the earth’s being, and all creatures in it, and of the heavens, and all beings which are in them; he was the great Architect and Founder of them all; they were his peculiar workmanship, possession, and dominion, 1 Corinthians 8:6: compare John 1:3 Colossians 1:16. If the heavens were the works of his hands, and all in them, then he was the Creator of angels, and therefore must be, for person, name, and office, more excellent than they. And thou Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth,.... The person here addressed, as the Lord or Jehovah, and as the Maker of the heavens and the earth, is the same with the Son spoken to, and of, before; for the words are a continuation of the speech to him, though they are taken from another psalm, from Psalm 102:25. The phrase, "thou, Lord" is taken from Psalm 102:12 and is the same with, "O my God", Psalm 102:24 and whereas it is there said, "of old", and here, in the beginning, the sense is the same; and agreeably to the Septuagint, and the apostle, Jarchi interprets it by "at", or "from the beginning"; and so the Targum paraphrases it, , "from the beginning", that the creatures were created, &c. that in the beginning of the creation, which is the apostle's meaning; and shows the eternity of Christ, the Lord, the Creator of the earth, who must exist before the foundation of the world; and confutes the notion of the eternity of the world: and the rounding of it shows that the earth is the lower part of the creation; and denotes the stability of it; and points out the wisdom of the Creator in laying such a foundation; and proves the deity of Christ, by whom that, and all things in it, were made:

the heavens are the works of thine hands: there are more heavens than one; there are the airy heaven, and the starry heaven, and the heaven of heavens, the third heaven; and they were created the beginning, as the earth was, Genesis 1:1 and are the immediate work of Christ; they were made by himself, not by the means of angels, who were not in being till these were made; nor by any intermediate help, which he could not have, and which he did not need: the phrase is expressive of the power of Christ in making the upper parts of the creation, and of his wisdom in garnishing them, in which there is a wonderful display of his glory; and the whole serves to set forth the dignity and excellency of his person.

{9} And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast {u} laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

(9) He proves and confirms the dignity of Christ revealed in the flesh, by these six evident testimonies by which it appears that he far surpasses all angels, so much so that he is called both Son, and God in Heb 1:5,6,7,8,10,13.

(u) Made the earth firm and sure.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 1:10-12. A second citation—co-ordinate with the Scripture testimony adduced, Hebrews 1:8-9—derived from Psalm 102:26-28 (25–27) according to the LXX. The psalm is a lamentation, belonging probably to the first century after the Captivity. The words of address refer in the original to God. The author, however, mainly indeed misled[40] by the κύριε in the LXX., which was the ordinary appellation of Christ in apostolic time, takes the utterance as an address to Christ, the Son of God. This interpretation must the more have appeared to him unquestionable, inasmuch as the scope of the utterance fully harmonized with his own conception of the Son of God as the premundane Logos. Comp. Hebrews 1:2-3. When, for the rest, Hofmann (Schriftbew. I. p. 169 f., 2 Aufl.) supposes that the author found no address whatever to Christ designed in the κύριε of the psalm, but only meant to say in the words of Scripture what was true of Jesus according to his own belief and that presupposed in the readers, this is a freak of fancy without anything to justify it, and even opposed to the context (comp. πρὸς δὲ τὸν υἱόν, Hebrews 1:8). For the author can have been concerned only about this very object of proving the higher attestation given to his assertion by the Scriptures.

Καί] not a constituent part of the citation, but a brief formula of connecting, when a further passage of Scripture is linked to that which precedes, comp. Acts 1:20.

σὺ κατʼ ἀρχάς, κύριε, τὴν γῆν ἐθεμελίωσας] LXX. Cod. Alex.: κατʼ ἀρχὰς, σύ, κύριε, τὴν γῆν ἐθεμελίωσας; Cod. Vatic.: κατʼ ἀρχὰς, τὴν γῆν σύ, κύριε, ἐθεμελίωσας. It is probable the author changed the position of the words in order to make σύ the more emphatic.

κατʼ ἀρχάς] in the beginning. With the LXX. elsewhere only Psalm 119:152, instead of the more usual ἐν ἀρχῇ or ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, but frequently met with in Philo and the classics (see Raphel, Wetstein, and Munthe ad loc.). In the Hebrew stands the more general לְפָּנִים, “formerly,” or “of old.”

[40] According to Delitzsch, indeed, it would be “a poor look-out” if that were “true.” But when, following in Hofmann’s steps, he objects against it that “we may already see from Hebrews 8:8 ff., Hebrews 12:6 ff., that the author is far from everywhere understanding Christ to be intended by the O. T. κύριος,” these passages naturally prove nothing, since the usual practice is never the constant and invariable practice. When Delitzsch further adds: “such perversity originating in ignorance is not to be laid to the charge of an author who shows so deep an insight into the innermost core of the O. T.,” that is a prejudiced verdict, arising from subjectivity and dogmatic partiality, to the establishing of which it would have been necessary first of all to bring forward the proof that the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews in reality possessed an accurate knowledge not only of the Greet text of the LXX., but also of the original text of the O. T.,—a proof which even Delitzsch has not been able to afford.Hebrews 1:10. In Hebrews 1:10-12 the writer introduces another quotation from Psalms 102 (in LXX Psalm 101:25–7). The quotation is verbatim from the LXX except that σὺ is lifted from the fifth to the first place in the sentence, for emphasis, and that a second ὡς ἱμάτιον is inserted after αὐτούς in Hebrews 1:12. With the introductory καὶ Weiss understands πρὸς τὸν υἱὸν λέγει, as in Hebrews 1:8. He is also of opinion that the writer considers that the words were spoken by Jehovah and that κύριε, therefore, must be the Messiah. This is possible, but it is not necessary for the justification of the Messianic reference. This follows from the character of the psalm, which predicts the manifestation of Jehovah as the Saviour of His people, even though this may only be in the far future (see Psalm 103:13 : “Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion.… So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, etc.”) Prof. B. W. Bacon of Yale has investigated this matter afresh and finds that, so far from the application of these verses to the Messiah being an audacious innovation, or even achieved, as Calvin says, “pia deflectione,” “the psalm itself was a favourite resort of those who sought in even pre-Christian times for proof-texts of Messianic eschatology”; also that “we have specific evidence of the application of Psalm 102:23-24 to the Messiah by those who employed the Hebrew or some equivalent text” and finally that by the rendering of ענה in Psalm 102:24 (English Psalm 102:23) by respondit or ἀπεκρίθη “we have the explanation of how, in Christian circles at least, the accepted Messianic passage could be made to prove the doctrine that the Messiah is none other than the pre-existent wisdom of Proverbs 8:22-31, “through whom,” according to our author, Hebrews 1:2, “God made the worlds.” Indeed, we shall not be going too far if with Bruce we say: “It is possible that the writer (of Heb.) regarded this text (Psalm 102:25-27) as Messianic because in his mind creation was the work of the pre-existent Christ. But it is equally possible that he ascribed creative agency to Christ out of regard to this and other similar texts believed to be Messianic on other grounds.” See Preuschen’s Zeitschrift für N.T. Wissenschaft, 1902, p. 280.

In Hebrews 1:13-14, we have the final contrast between the place of the Son and that of the angels in human redemptive history. This contrast is connected by the form of its statement with Hebrews 1:5 (“to which of the angels, etc.”). There it was the greater name that was in question, here it is the higher station and function. πρὸς τίνα δὲ κ.τ.λ. “But to which of the angels has He at any time said …?” implying that to the Son He has said it, as is proved by the citation from Psalms 110. On this psalm (see note on Hebrews 1:9). δὲ connects this ver. with Hebrews 1:8, and stands in the third place as frequently in classics when a preposition begins the sentence (Herod., viii., 68, 2; Thuc., i., 6; Soph., Philoct., 764. See examples in Klotz’ Devarius, p. 379). κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου, see Hebrews 1:3; ἐκ δεξ. is not classical, but frequent in Hellenistic Greek, see references, ἕως ἂν θῶ.… “Until I set thine enemies as a footstool for thy feet.” ὑποπόδιον is a later Greek word used in LXX and N.T. The figure arose from the custom of conquerors referred to in Joshua 10:24. Here it points to the complete supremacy of Christ. This attained sovereignty is the gauge of the World’s consummation. The horizon of human history is the perfected rule of Jesus Christ. It is the end for which all things are now making. Whereas the angels are but the agents whose instrumentality is used by. God for the furtherance of this end. οὐχὶ πάντες εἰσὶ λειτουργικὰ πνεὐματα.… “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?” They have no function of rule, but are directed by a higher will to promote the interests of those who are to form Christ’s kingdom. This is true of all of them [πάντες] whatever hierarchies there be among them. λειτουργικὰ, cf. Hebrews 5:5. λειτουργός with its cognates has come to play a large part in ecclesiastical language. It is originally “a public servant”; from λεῖτος, an unused adjective connected with λαός, meaning “what belongs to the people” and ἔργον. It occurs frequently in LXX, sometimes denoting the official who attends on a king (Joshua 1:1), sometimes angels (Psalm 103:21), commonly the priests and Levites (Nehemiah 10:39), οἱ ἱερεῖς οἱ λειτουργοί, and Isaiah 61:6. In N.T. it is used of those who render service to God or to Christ or to men (cf. Lepine’s Ministers of Jesus Christ, p. 126). εἰς διακονίαν ἀποστελλόμενα, present part., denoting continuous action. “Sent forth”; therefore as servants by a higher power (cf. Acts 1:25, διακονίας ταύτης κ. ἀποστολῆς). Διακονία originally means the ministry of a body servant or table servant (cf. Luke 4:39; Mark 1:13, οἱ ἄγγελοι διηκόνουν αὐτῷ) and is used throughout N.T. for ministry in spiritual things. μέλλοντας might almost be rendered “destined” as in Matthew 3:7; Matthew 11:14; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 17:12, etc. κληρονομεῖν, see on Hebrews 1:4. σωτηρίαν in the classics means either preservation or deliverance. In N.T. the word naturally came to be used as the semi-technical term for the deliverance from sin and entrance into permanent wellbeing effected by Christ. See Luke 1:71; Luke 1:77; John 4:22; Acts 4:12; Acts 16:17; Romans 1:16, etc. In Hebrews 2:3 the salvation referred to is termed τηλικαύτη. Cf. Hooker’s outburst, Eccles. Pol., i., iv., 1, and Sir Oliver Lodge (Hibbert Journal, Jan., 1903, p. 223): “If we are open to influence from each other by non-corporeal methods, may we not be open to influence from beings in another region or of another order? And if so, may we not be aided, inspired, guided by a cloud of witnesses—not witnesses only, but helpers, agents like ourselves of the immanent God?” On guardian angels, see Charles’ Book of Jubilees, Moulton in J. T. S., August 1902, and Rogers’ edition of Aristoph., Eccles., 999, and the Orphic Fragment quoted by Clement (Strom., v.) Σῷ δὲ θρόνῳ πυρόεντι παρεστᾶσιν πολυμόχθοι Ἄγγελοι οἷσι μέμηλε βροτοῖς ὡς πάντα τελεῖται. Cf. Shakespeare’s “Angels and ministers of grace defend us”.10. Thou, Lord, in the beginning] The quotation is from Psalm 102:25-27. The word “Lord” is not in the original, but it is in the LXX.; and the Hebrew Christians who already believed that it was by Christ that “God made the world” (see note on Hebrews 1:2) would not dispute the Messianic application of these words to Him. They are a prayer of the afflicted written at some late period of the exile. Calvin (on Ephesians 4:8) goes so far as to say of such passages that the Apostle “by a pious diversion of their meaning (piâ deflectione) accommodates them to the Person of Christ.” The remark illustrates the courageous honesty and stern good sense of the great Reformer; but no Jewish-Christian exegete would have thought that he was practising a mere pious misapplication of the sacred words, or have admitted the objection of Cardinal Cajetan that “in a matter of such importance it was unbecoming to use such an argument.” The writer’s object is not proof—which was for his readers unnecessary; he wished to illustrate acknowledged truths by admitted principles.

in the beginning] Heb. לְפָנִים, “face-wards,” i.e. of old.Hebrews 1:10. Καὶ, and) This particle connects the testimonies.—σὺ κατʼ ἀρχὰςοὐκ ἐκλείψουσι) Psalm 102:26-28; LXX. κατʼ ἀρχὰς σὺ, Κύριε, τἡν γῆν, etc., the remainder in the same words. The time of the creation is intimated, to which the end of the world is opposed; and by this very fact, Dissertation 3. of Artemonius is done away with.—σὺ, Thou) The same to whom the discourse is directed in the preceding ver.—Κύριε, O Lord) The LXX. have repeated that from ver. 23 of the same psalm. Christ is preached (proclaimed) even in those passages, where many might contend that the writer was principally speaking of the Father.—γῆν, the earth: οὐρανοὶ, the heavens) A gradation. There is no reason why the angels may not be included in the word heavens, as the creation of man is included under the word earth, which passes away.Verses 10-12. - And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning, etc. The bearing of this quotation (from Psalm 102:25-27) on the argument in hand is not at first sight obvious; since, in the psalm, the address is plainly to God, without any mention of, or apparent reference to, the Son. The psalm is entitled, "A prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD." It seems likely, from its contents, to have been written by some suffering saint during the Babylonian captivity: for its purport is a prayer, rising into confident expectation for deliverance from a state of deep affliction, Israel being in captivity and Jerusalem in ruins. The prayed-for and expected deliverance, portrayed in vers. 16-24, corresponds so closely, both in thought and expression, with that pictured in the latter chapters of Isaiah (beginning at Hebrews 40.),that we cannot hesitate in assigning the same meaning to both. There is, for instance, the looking down of the Loan from. heaven to behold the affliction of his people (cf. Isaiah 63:15); the setting free of captives (cf. Isaiah 42:7; Isaiah 61:1); the rebuilding and restoration of Zion, and in connection with this the conversion of the Gentiles to serve the Lore) with Israel (cf. Isaiah 40. - 66; and especially Isaiah 59:19; Isaiah 60:2). These are specimens of the general correspondence between the two pictures, which must be evident to all who have studied both. But the ultimate reference of Isaiah's prophecy is certainly Messianic: wherefore that of the psalm may be concluded to be the same. And thus we have made one step in explanation of the applicability of this quotation to the argument of the Epistle in confirming its ultimate reference to the Messiah's advent; to the final realization of the ideal of the Son, typified by theocratic kings. But we have still to account for the apparent application to the Son of what, in the original psalm, shows no sign of being addressed to him. One view is that there is no intention in the Epistle of quoting it as addressed to him, the phrase, πρὸς τὸν υἱόν (as has been seen) not of necessity implying such intention. According to this view, the point of the quotation is that the Messianic salvation is made to rest solely on the eternity and immutability of God - of him who, as he created all at first, so, though heaven and earth should pass away, remains unchanged. And the character of the salvation, thus regarded, is conceived to carry with it the transcendent super-angelic dignity of its accomplisher, the SON. So, in effect, Ebrard, who dwells on this as one example of the general character of apostolical exegesis, as opposed to rabbinical, in that, instead of drawing inferences, often arbitrary, from isolated words or phrases, the apostolic interpreters draw all their arguments from the spirit of the passages considered in their connection and this with a depth of intuition peculiar to themselves. Other commentators consider it more consistent with both the context and the argument to see, in the Epistle at least, an intended address to the Son. If this be so, our conclusion must be that this application of the psalmist's words is the inspired writer's own; since it is certainly not apparent in the psalm. It by no means follows that the writer of the Epistle foisted, consciously or unconsciously, a false meaning into the psalm. Even apart from the consideration of his being an inspired contributor to the New Testament canon, he was too learned in Scripture, and too able a reasoner, to adduce an evidently untenable argument. He may be understood as himself applying the passage in a way which he does not mean to imply was intended by the psalmist. His drift may be, "You have seen how in Psalm 45. the Son is addressed as God, and as having an eternal throne. Yea, so Divine is he that the address to the everlasting God himself in another psalm prophetic of his advent may be truly recognized as an address to him." Whichever view we take of this difficult passage, this at any rate is evident - that the inspired writer of the Epistle, apart from the question of the relevancy of quotation in the way of argument, associated Christ in his own mind with the unchangeable Creator of all things. Sixth quotation (Hebrews 1:10-12), exhibiting the superior dignity of the Son as creator in contrast with the creature. Psalm 102:26-28. The Psalm declares the eternity of Jahveh.

And - in the beginning (καὶ - κατ' ἀρχάς)

And connects what follows with unto the Son he saith, etc., Hebrews 1:8. Κατ' ἀρχὰς in the beginning, N.T.o. Often in Class., lxx only Psalm 119:152. The more usual formula is ἐν ἀρχῇ or ἀπ' ἀρχῆς.

Hast laid the foundation (ἐθεμελίωσας)

Only here in Hebrews. In Paul, Ephesians 3:18; Colossians 1:23.

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