Hebrews 1:9
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
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(9) The King by divine election has been exalted by divine reward. (Comp. Hebrews 2:9, and Philippians 2:9-10.)

Therefore God.—It is possible, but not probable, that the words, both here and in the Psalm, should be rendered, Therefore, O God, Thy God hath anointed Thee.

Thy fellows.—In the first application, probably, these words point to other earthly kings. (Comp. Psalm 89:27.) Hence Ephesians 1:21 will be the best commentary upon them in their higher meaning.

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.Thou hast loved righteousness - Thou hast been obedient to the Law of God, or holy and upright. Nothing can be more truly adapted to express the character of anyone than this is to describe the Lord Jesus, who was "holy, harmless, undefiled," who "did no sin, and in whose mouth no guile was found;" but it is with difficulty that this can be applied to Solomon. Assuredly, for a considerable part of his life, this declaration could not well be appropriate to him; and it seems to me that it is not to be regarded as descriptive of him at all. It is language prompted by the warm and pious imagination of the Psalmist describing the future Messiah - and, as applied to him, is true to the letter. "Therefore God, even thy God." The word "even" inserted here by the translators, weakens the force of the expression. This might be translated, "O God, thy God hath anointed thee." So it is rendered by Doddridge, Clarke, Stuart, and others.

The Greek will bear this construction, as well the Hebrew in Psalm 45:7. In the margin in the Psalm it is rendered "O God." This is the most natural construction, as it accords with what is just said before. "Thy throne, O God, is forever. Thou art just and holy, therefore, O God, thy God hath anointed thee," etc. It is not material, however, which construction is adopted. "Hath anointed thee." Anciently kings and priests were consecrated to their office by pouring oil on their heads; see Leviticus 8:12; Numbers 3:3; 1 Samuel 10:1; 2 Samuel 2:7; Psalm 2:2; Isaiah 61:1; Acts 4:27; Acts 10:38; Note, Matthew 1:1. The expression "to anoint," therefore, comes to mean to consecrate to office, or to set apart to some public work. This is evidently the meaning in the Psalm, where the whole language refers to the appointment of the personage there referred to to the kingly office. "The oil of gladness." This probably means the perfumed oil that was poured on the head, attended with many expressions of joy and rejoicing. The inauguration of the Messiah as king would be an occasion of rejoicing and triumph. Thousands would exult at it as in the coronation of a king; and thousands would be made glad by such a consecration to the office of Messiah. "Above thy fellows." Above thine associates; that is, above all who sustain the kingly office. He would be more exalted than all other kings. Doddridge supposes that it refers to angels, who might have been associated with the Messiah in the government of the world. But the more natural construction is to suppose that it refers to kings, and to mean that he was the most exalted of all.

9. iniquity—"unnrighteousness." Some oldest manuscripts read, "lawlessness."

therefore—because God loves righteousness and hates iniquity.

God … thy God—Jerome, Augustine, and others translate Ps 45:7, "O God, Thy God, hath anointed thee," whereby Christ is addressed as God. This is probably the true translation of the Hebrew there, and also of the Greek of Hebrews here; for it is likely the Son is addressed, "O God," as in Heb 1:8. The anointing here meant is not that at His baptism, when He solemnly entered on His ministry for us; but that with the "oil of gladness," or "exulting joy" (which denotes a triumph, and follows as the consequence of His manifested love of righteousness and hatred of iniquity), wherewith, after His triumphant completion of His work, He has been anointed by the Father above His fellows (not only above us, His fellow men, the adopted members of God's family, whom "He is not ashamed to call His brethren," but above the angels, fellow partakers in part with Him, though infinitely His inferiors, in the glories, holiness, and joys of heaven; "sons of God," and angel "messengers," though subordinate to the divine Angel—"Messenger of the covenant"). Thus He is antitype to Solomon, "chosen of all David's many sons to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel," even as His father David was chosen before all the house of his father's sons. The image is drawn from the custom of anointing guests at feasts (Ps 23:5); or rather of anointing kings: not until His ascension did He assume the kingdom as Son of man. A fuller accomplishment is yet to be, when He shall be VISIBLY the anointed King over the whole earth (set by the Father) on His holy hill of Zion, Ps 2:6, 8. So David, His type, was first anointed at Bethlehem (1Sa 16:13; Ps 89:20); and yet again at Hebron, first over Judah (2Sa 2:4), then over all Israel (2Sa 5:3); not till the death of Saul did he enter on his actual kingdom; as it was not till after Christ's death that the Father set Him at His right hand far above all principalities (Eph 1:20, 21). The forty-fifth Psalm in its first meaning was addressed to Solomon; but the Holy Spirit inspired the writer to use language which in its fulness can only apply to the antitypical Solomon, the true Royal Head of the theocracy.

Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: the administration of this King in his kingdom is suitable to his throne and sceptre, it is all goodness; for he so loved righteousness, and hated iniquity, being righteous and holy in himself, in life and death, expiating sin, and sanctifying believers. So that he acts as to both of these properly from himself, perfectly and for ever.

Therefore God: it may be a reason why he so loved righteousness, being anointed, or of his unction, because he loved the one, and hated the other; therefore God the Son is the person to whom the Father speaketh this.

Even thy God; God the Father, his God in respect of the human nature, Luke 1:35; formed by him, Galatians 4:4, as Mediator between God and sinners, John 20:17; the Head of the church, in covenant with God, his great gospel Minister.

Hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness; so his Father anointed him with the Holy Ghost and with power, John 3:34 Acts 10:38; and thereby as endowed, so exalted him above all kings and prophets who were literally anointed, and above all angels, having Divine power and authority supereminent to all communicated to him; enjoying the best and highest joy in all his transactions with the Father for us, and which may perfect joy in us, John 15:11 17:13.

Above thy fellows, the coheirs of his kingdom, beyond whatever God communicated to saints or angels. He had not the Spirit by measure, John 3:34. What others enjoy, it is from his fulness, John 1:16 Luke 4:18-21.

Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity,.... Christ loves righteous persons and righteous works, faithfulness and integrity, and a just administration of government, everything that is holy, just, and good; which has appeared in the whole course of his life on earth, in working out a righteousness for his people, and in encouraging righteousness in them, which he leads them in the way of; and his love of justice will still more appear at the last day, when he will judge the world in righteousness, and give the crown of righteousness to proper persons: and he hates iniquity; or "unrighteousness", as the Alexandrian copy and another read; as being contrary to his nature, both as God and man, and to the righteous law of God; which has appeared by his inveighing against it, and dehorting from it; by his severity exercised towards delinquents; by his suffering for it, and abolishing of it; and by chastising his own people on account of it; and his abhorrence of it will still more appear at the day of judgment, when all workers of iniquity, professors and profane, will be bid to depart from him:

therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows: the anointer is the God of Christ; that is, God the Father, who is the God of Christ, as man; and is so called, because he prepared and formed the human nature of Christ, and supported it under all its sufferings, and has glorified it; and as such Christ prayed unto him, believed in him, loved him, and obeyed him: the anointed is the Son of God, the Son spoken to, and is called God in the preceding verse; though he is not anointed as God, but as Mediator, to be prophet, and priest, and King: what he is anointed with is not material oil, but spiritual, the Holy Ghost, as it is explained in Acts 10:38 called the oil of gladness, in allusion to the use of oil at feasts and weddings, for the delight and refreshment of the guests; and because of the spiritual effects of joy and gladness, both on Christ, as man, and on his people. Now Christ was anointed as Mediator from all eternity; that is, he was invested with his office as such; and at his conception and birth he was filled with the Holy Ghost; who also descended on him at his baptism, after which he went about doing good, and healing diseases; but here it seems to refer to the time of his ascension, when he was declared to be Lord and Christ, the anointed one; and received gifts for men, the fulness of the Spirit without measure, and with which he was anointed above his "fellows"; by whom are meant, not the angels, nor the kings and princes of the earth; but the saints, who are so called, because they are of the same nature, and are of the same family, and are partakers of the same spirit, and grace; and having received the unction from him, are also kings, priests, and prophets, and will be companions with him to all eternity. Now the reason of his being anointed, or exalted, and made Lord and Christ, is, because he loves righteousness; see Philippians 2:7 or rather, because he is anointed with the Holy Spirit without measure, therefore he loves righteousness; for the words may be rendered, "thou lovest righteousness--because God, thy God, hath anointed thee".

Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated {r} iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath {s} anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy {t} fellows.

(r) This type of speech in which the Jews use contrasting phrases, has great force in it.

(s) In that, that the word became flesh, by sending the Holy Spirit on him without measure.

(t) For he is the head and we are his members.

Hebrews 1:9. Ἠγάπησας δικαιοσύνην κ.τ.λ.] Thou lovedst righteousness and hatedst wrong. In the Hebrew the corresponding verbs have a present signification: thou lovest justice and hatest wrong. Our author, however, refers the aorists of the LXX. to the historic life of the Son of God upon earth.

διὰ τοῦτο] therefore, i.e. as a reward for the ἀγαπᾶν δικαιοσύνην καὶ μισεῖν ἀνομίαν. Comp. διό, Php 2:9. Erroneously Augustine (in Ps.), Thomas Aquinas, Gerhard, Dorscheus, Brochmann, Schöttgen, and others: for this cause, that thou mightest love righteousness, etc.

ἔχρισέν σε, ὁ θεός, ὁ θεός σου ἔλαιον κ.τ.λ.] O God, Thy God hath Thee anointed with oil of gladness above Thy companions. Here, too, the author takes ὁ θεός as an apostrophe,[39] whereas in the Hebrew אֱלֹהִים is the subject to משָׁחֲךָ, and is taken up again into the discourse, and more nearly defined by אֱלֹהֶיךָ. The anointing with the oil of joy in the psalm is a figurative designation of the blessing and abundance given by God. Our author, however, understands it of the anointing to be king, as a figure of the divine glory with which the Son, after His life upon earth and His exaltation to heaven, has been crowned. Comp. also Acts 4:27; Acts 2:36. The sense of the author is departed from when the Fathers and earlier expositors interpret the expression of the anointing of the Son with the Holy Ghost.

On the double accusative combined with ἜΧΡΙΣΕΝ (Revelation 3:18), see Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 212. As an analogon, comp. also Aristophanes, Acharn. 114: ἽΝΑ ΜΉ ΣΕ ΒΆΨΩ ΒΆΜΜΑ ΣΑΡΔΙΝΙΑΚΌΝ.

] refers in the original to the contemporary kings, the rulers of other lands. But what our author understood by it in the application is obscure. Kuinoel, Ebrard, Delitzsch, and Moll suppose the author, like the Psalmist, to intend the other kings; Riehm (Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 306), all earthly and heavenly princes; Wittich, Braun, Cramer, the kings, high priests, and prophets of the O. T., inasmuch as they were anointed as types of Christ; Klee, all the creatures; Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Bengel, and Bisping, men in general; Theodoret, Calvin, Beza, Cameron, Piscator, Schlichting, Maier, Kurtz, the Christians specially [Owen hesitates between all believers and prophets and apostles]; Bleek, Olshausen, Alford, and Ewald finally, after the precedent of Peirce and others, the angels, “as beings which do not indeed appear as sitting at the right hand of God, but yet as existing in immediate proximity to the divine throne.” The last supposition is the most probable. It is true de Wette regards it as the least conceivable, because the author has “placed the angels in no other position than deeply below Christ,” and Ebrard even thinks the author must have been “beside himself” if he had referred the words to the angels. But (1) it is a question throughout the whole section of a comparison of Christ with the angels; the renewed indication of this point of comparison also in Hebrews 1:9 cannot therefore in itself be found unsuitable. (2) If shortly before (Hebrews 1:7) the angels are placed deeply below Christ, so it will be admitted their inferiority is likewise expressly intimated by means of παρά in our passage. (3) The angels were, in the conception of the author, the next in rank after Christ; for they are exalted above men. To whom, therefore, could the author more fittingly apply the designation μέτοχοι than precisely to them? The objection of Delitzsch, finally, that after all angels are not anointed ones, would be of weight only if the author were obliged of necessity to think of the μέτοχοι too as anointed; he finds, on the contrary, in the anointing only of the Son, a fact expressed, from which the exaltedness of the same above His companions, i.e. of those who of all others stand nearest to Him in dignity, is necessarily deduced. For ΠΑΡΆ is used here not in the sense of the quantity arising from the notion of comparison, but denotes the part accruing to one to the exclusion of others.

[39] On account of ver. 8 this construction is more natural than the supposition of Grimm, l.c. p. 602; Alford, and Ewald (to which Delitzsch also leaves the choice open), that we have to explain in accordance with the Hebrew: “God, even Thy God.”

Hebrews 1:9. ἠγάπησας δικαιοσύνην … “Thou lovedst righteousness and didst hate lawlessness, therefore God, thy God, anointed thee with oil of gladness above thy fellows.” The quotation is verbatim from LXX of Psalm 45:8 [the Alexand. text reads ἀδικίαν in place of ἀνομίαν, so that the author used a text not precisely in agreement with that of Cod: Alex. v. Weiss]. The anointing as King is here said to have been the result [διὰ τοῦτο] of his manifestation of qualities fitting him to rule as God’s representative, namely, love of right and hatred of iniquity. [ἀνομία is used in 1 John 3:4, as the synonym and definition of ἁμαρτία. ἡ ἁμαρτία ἐστὶν ἡ ἀνομία. It is contrasted with δικαιοσύνῃ in 2 Corinthians 6:14, τίς γὰρ μετοχὴ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀνομίᾳ;] It is the Messiah’s love of righteousness as manifested in His earthly life which entitles Him to sovereignty. ὁ Θεός is taken as a vocative here, as in Hebrews 1:8, by Lünemann, Weiss and others; and ὁ Θεός σου as the direct nom. to ἔχρισε. Westcott thinks that the ἔλαιον ἀγαλλ. refers “not to the solemn anointing to royal dignity but to the festive anointing on occasions of rejoicing”. So Alford. Davidson, on the other hand, says: “As Kings were anointed when called to the throne, the phrase means made King”. So, too, Weiss and von Soden. But the psalm is not a coronation ode, but an epithalamium; the epithalamium, indeed, of the ideal King, but still a festive marriage song (Hebrews 1:10-14), to which the festal ἔλαιον ἀγαλ. is appropriate. The oil of exultation is the oil expressive of intense joy (cf. psa 23:15 of the psalm). The only objection to this view is that God is said to be the anointer, but this has its parallel in Psalm 23:5; and throughout Psalms 45. God is considered the originator of the happiness depicted (cf. Psalm 23:2). Whether the marriage rejoicings are here to be applied to the Messiah in terms of Psa 23:16 and 17 of the psalm is doubtful. The verse is cited probably for the sake of the note of superiority contained in παρὰ τοὺς μετόχους σου. In the psalm the μέτοχοι are hardly other Kings; rather the companions and counsellors of the young King. In the Messianic application they are supposed by Bleek, Pierce, Alford, Davidson, Peake, etc., to be the angels. It seems preferable to keep the term indefinite as indicating generally the supremacy of Christ (cf. Psalm 45:2).—[παρά “From the sense of (1) beside, parallel to, comes that of (2) in comparison with; and so (3) in advantageous comparison with, more than, beyond”. Vaughan].

9. Thou hast loved] Rather, “Thou lovedst”—idealising the whole reign to one point. Comp. Isaiah 32:1, “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness;” and Jeremiah 23:5, “I will raise unto David a righteous Branch.”

iniquity] Lit., “lawlessness.”

therefore] Comp. Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 2:16-17, Hebrews 5:7-8, Hebrews 12:2.

God, even thy God] The first word might be a vocative “Oh God,” and it is so rendered even by the Jewish translator Symmachus. But this is contrary to the usage of the 2nd Book of Psalms. Where the word “God” is taken up and repeated with the suffix, there is no other instance in which the first is a vocative.

even thy God] Comp. John 20:17, “I ascend to … my God and your God.”

the oil of gladness] Rather, “of exultation.” The word means the joy of perfect triumph, Hebrews 12:2. For the “anointing” of Christ by the Spirit see Luke 1:35; Matthew 3:16; Acts 10:38; Isaiah 61:1; but the anointing in this verse, alludes to His glorification in Heaven.

above thy fellows] In the original Psalm this refers to all contemporary princes; in its present application it means above all the angel-dwellers on Mount Sion (Hebrews 12:22) and above all men who have fellowship with God (Hebrews 3:14) only in Christ (Hebrews 2:11; 1 John 1:3).

Hebrews 1:9. Διὰ τοῦτο, therefore) From the love of righteousness, in which Christ excels, there is deduced here not so much His anointing, as the duration of the office for which He was anointed. This discourse has four parts: the throne—the sceptre—thou lovest—therefore. Of these the first and fourth, the second and third, are parallel by Chiasmus; for the former describe the supreme happiness of the King; the latter, His virtue.—ὁ Θεός, ὁ Θεός σου) It may be resolved thus: God, who is thy God. Comp. Psalm 43:4; Psalm 67:7 : but the Son Himself is called GOD, as in the preceding verse.—ἔλαιον ἀγαλλιάσεως) the oil of gladness, and everlasting joy, is the Holy Spirit.—παρὰ τοὺς μετόχους σου, above [as compared with] thy fellows) These fellows may seem to some the angels; for even the angels have the name of gods, sons of God, morning stars, although in a far lower signification; and the name of Angel is wont to be given to the Son of GOD, although with a more majestic meaning. And indeed the Son of God has the angels as His companions, Genesis 18:2; Job 33:23; Psalm 68:18; 1 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 25:31 : and it might have seemed proper that He should rather assume [take to Himself as associates] angels than the seed of Abraham, if a different economy [dispensation] had not demanded something different, ch. Hebrews 2:16; and that very humiliation, of which Ibid., Hebrews 1:7, takes for granted intercourse with them. In short, the 45th Psalm itself addresses Christ as God in this very verse, and a little before as גבור, brave, strong, Hebrews 1:4; a term applied to the angels, Psalm 103:20. Therefore the angels may appear to be called the fellows of Christ, especially since Paul refers all the sayings here quoted to the superiority of Christ above the angels. Nevertheless the peculiar relationship of Christ to men leads us to conclude, that men are here meant by “His fellows,” ch. Hebrews 2:11, etc. For the Bridegroom has His companions, as the Bride has hers, Psalm 45:14 : and there is the same comparison, ibid. Hebrews 1:2, Thou art fairer than the sons of MEN.

Hebrews 1:9Iniquity (ἀνομίαν)

Lit. lawlessness.

Hath anointed (ἔχρισεν)

See on Christ, Matthew 1:1. The ideas of the royal and the festive unction are combined. The thought includes the royal anointing and the fullness of blessing and festivity which attend the enthronement.

Oil of gladness (ἔλαιον ἀγαλλιάσεως)

The phrase N.T.o. olxx. Ἀγαλλίασις exultant joy. Comp. Luke 1:44; Acts 2:46, and the verb ἀγαλλιᾶσθαι, Matthew 5:12; Luke 10:21, etc. The noun only here in Hebrews, and the verb does not occur.

Fellows (μετόχους)

With exception of Luke 5:7, only in Hebrews. Lit. partakers. In the Psalm it is applied to other kings: here to angels.

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