They shall perish; but you remain; and they all shall wax old as does a garment;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And they all . . .—Both the earth and the heavens: see Isaiah 34:4, “The heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll;” and Isaiah 51:6, “The earth shall wax old like a garment.”2 Peter 3:10-13; Matthew 24:35. "But thou remainest." Thou shalt not die or be destroyed. What a sublime thought! The idea is, that though the heavens and earth should suddenly disappear, or though they should gradually wear out and become extinct, yet there is one infinite being who remains unaffected and unchanged.
Nothing can reach or disturb him. All these changes shall take place under his direction, and by his command; see Revelation 20:11. Let us not be alarmed then at any revolution. Let us not fear though we should see the heavens rolled up as a scroll, and the stars falling from their places. God, the Creator and the Redeemer, presides over all. He is unchanged. He ever lives; and though the universe should pass away, it will be only at his bidding, and under his direction. "And they all shall wax old." Shall "grow" or become old. The word "wax" is an Old Saxon word, meaning to grow, or increase, or become. The heavens here are compared to a garment, meaning that as that grows old and decays, so it will be with the heavens and the earth. The language is evidently figurative; and yet who can tell how much literal truth there may be couched under it? Is it absurd to suppose that that sun which daily sends forth so many countless millions of beams of light over the universe, may in a course of ages become diminished in its splendor, and shine with feeble lustre? Can there be constant exhaustion, a constant burning like that, and yet no tendency to decay at some far distant period? Not unless the material for its splendor shall be supplied from the boundless resources of the Great Source of Light - God; and when he shall choose to withhold it, even that glorious sun must be dimmed of its splendor, and shine with enfeebled beams.
remainest—through (so the Greek) all changes.
as … a garment—(Isa 51:6).They shall perish; the heavens themselves instanced in, as containing the most excellent part of the creation, (such as the Gentile philosophy esteemed incorruptible), are mutable, as by the various changes, not only in the airy part of it, but in the ethereal, doth appear: the glorious lights in it have their spots and rusts, as the sun itself, both increasing and diminishing upon them, and so as to their present, natural frame, are changeable, perishable, and dissolvable, Isaiah 51:6 Matthew 24:35.
But thou remainest; but the Son Jehovah is unchangeable, hath a stedfast being, such as never loseth its state, no term is set for the ending of him. His immutability proves his Deity.
Remainest is an expression of present time, denoting constant abiding. He was before, in, and after all ages immutable, Lamentations 5:19.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever, Hebrews 13:8.
And they all shall wax old as doth a garment: the antiquation of a garment is a metaphor borrowed, to show the corruptibility of the heavens. A garment wears and decayeth with use in tract of time, it changeth its fashion, is another thing as to its matter and form: so will the heavens, as to their form and face, decay, they are gradually coming to an end as to what they are now, 2 Peter 3:7,10.
That which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away, Hebrews 8:13; so these heavens do.
But thou remainest; without any change or alteration, neither in his natures, divine or human, as God or man, nor in his office as Mediator; as a priest, he has an unchangeable priesthood, and ever lives to make intercession; as a King, his kingdom is an everlasting one, and of it there will be no end; and as a prophet, he will be the everlasting light, of his people.
They all shall wax old as doth a garment; garments in time wax old, and lose their beauty and usefulness, unless when a miracle is wrought, as in the case of the children of Israel in the wilderness. Now the heavens, and the light thereof, are as a garment and a curtain, Psalm 104:2 and these, together with the earth, will in time come to their end of usefulness, in the present form of them; see Isaiah 51:6.They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Hebrews 1:11. Αὐτοί] refers back not to earth and heaven, Hebrews 1:10, taken together (Kuinoel, Stuart, Bloomfield, Delitzsch, Kurtz), but, as is evident from the following πάντες, and in particular from ἑλίξεις, Hebrews 1:12, only to οἱ οὐρανοί.
ἀπολοῦνται] shall perish. Comp. Isaiah 34:4; Isaiah 51:6; Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 20:11; Revelation 21:1.
σὺ δὲ διαμένεις] but Thou abidest for evermore (throughout all duration of time, διά). On account of the environment of futures, and because the future is used here in the Hebrew, Bleek, after the example of Luther, Cornelius a Lapide, Peirce, Bengel, Wetstein, alii, accentuates: διαμενεῖς. So also the Vulgate (permanebis). Hardly in the sense of the author. For, since he employed only the LXX., not the Hebrew original, he surely took σὺ δὲ διαμ. as a parallel member to σὺ δὲ ὁ αὐτὸς εἶ, Hebrews 1:12, consequently also construed the former as a present.
ὡς ἱμάτιον παλαιωθήσονται] will grow old like a garment, which by long use is worn out and laid aside, to be replaced by a new and better one. Comp. Isaiah 50:9; Isaiah 51:6; Sir 14:17.11. They shall perish] Isaiah 34:4, &c.; 2 Peter 3:12; Revelation 21:1. remainest] The verb means “abidest through all times.”
as doth a garment] A common Scripture metaphor. Isaiah 50:9, &c.Hebrews 1:11. Αὐτοὶ, they) the earth and heaven.—ἀπολοῦνται, shall perish) There is the same word at Luke 5:37; Jam 1:11; 1 Peter 1:7; 2 Peter 3:6.
The heavens: not heaven and earth.
Note the present tense: not shalt remain. Permanency is the characteristic of God in the absolute and eternal present.
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