Hebrews 10:15
Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
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(15) Whereof.—Better, And the Holy Ghost also beareth witness unto us. The Holy Ghost, speaking in Scripture (Hebrews 3:7; Hebrews 9:8)—the Scripture quoted in Hebrews 8:8-12—beareth witness.

After that he had said before.—Rather, after He hath said. The word “before” is not in the best MSS.

10:11-18 Under the new covenant, or gospel dispensation, full and final pardon is to be had. This makes a vast difference between the new covenant and the old one. Under the old, sacrifices must be often repeated, and after all, only pardon as to this world was to be obtained by them. Under the new, one Sacrifice is enough to procure for all nations and ages, spiritual pardon, or being freed from punishment in the world to come. Well might this be called a new covenant. Let none suppose that human inventions can avail those who put them in the place of the sacrifice of the Son of God. What then remains, but that we seek an interest in this Sacrifice by faith; and the seal of it to our souls, by the sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience? So that by the law being written in our hearts, we may know that we are justified, and that God will no more remember our sins.Whereof the Holy Ghost is a witness to us - That is, the Holy Spirit is a proof of the truth of the position here laid down - that the one atonement made by the Redeemer lays the foundation for the eternal perfection of all who are sanctified. The witness of the Holy Spirit here referred to is what is furnished in the Scriptures, and not any witness in ourselves. Paul immediately makes his appeal to a passage of the Old Testament, and he thus shows his firm conviction that the Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

For after that he had said before - The apostle here appeals to a passage which he had before quoted from Jeremiah 31:33-34; see it explained in the notes on Hebrews 8:8-12. The object of the quotation in both cases is, to show that the new covenant contemplated the formation of a holy character or a holy people. It was not to set apart a people who should be externally holy only, or be distinguished for conformity to external rites and ceremonies, but who should be holy in heart and in life. There has been some difficulty felt by expositors in ascertaining what corresponds to the expression "after that he had said before," and some have supposed that the phrase "then he saith" should be understood before Hebrews 10:17. But probably the apostle means to refer to two distinct parts of the quotation from Jeremiah, the former of which expresses the fact that God meant to make a new covenant with his people, and the latter expresses the nature of that covenant, and it is particularly to the latter that he refers. This is seen more distinctly in the passage in Jeremiah than it is in our translation of the quotation in this Epistle. The meaning is this, "The Holy Spirit first said, this is the covenant that I will make with them:" and having said this, he then added, "After those days, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." The first part of it expresses the purpose to form such a covenant; the latter states what that covenant would be. The quotation is not, indeed, literally made, but the sense is retained; compare the notes on Hebrews 8:8-12. Still, it may be asked, how this quotation proves the point for which it is adduced - that the design of the atonement of Christ was "to perfect forever them that are sanctified?" In regard to this, we may observe:

(1) that it was declared that those who were interested in it would be holy, for the law would be in their hearts and written on their minds; and,

(2) that this would be "entire and perpetual." Their sins would be "wholly" forgiven; they would never be remembered again - and thus they would be "perfected forever."

15. The Greek, has "moreover," or "now."

is a witness—of the truth which I am setting forth. The Father's witness is given Heb 5:10. The Son's, Heb 10:5. Now is added that of the Holy Spirit, called accordingly "the Spirit of grace," Heb 10:29. The testimony of all Three leads to the same conclusion (Heb 10:18).

for after that he had said before—The conclusion to the sentence is in Heb 10:17, "After He had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them (with the house of Israel, Heb 8:10; here extended to the spiritual Israel) … saith the Lord; I will put (literally, 'giving,' referring to the giving of the law; not now as then, giving into the hands, but giving) My laws into their hearts ('mind,' Heb 8:10) and in their minds ('hearts,' Heb 8:10); I will inscribe (so the Greek) them (here He omits the addition quoted in Heb 8:10, 11, I will be to them a God … and they shall not teach every man his neighbor …), and (that is, after He had said the foregoing, He then adds) their sins … will I remember no more." The great object of the quotation here is to prove that, there being in the Gospel covenant, "REMISSION of sins" (Heb 10:17), there is no more need of a sacrifice for sins. The object of the same quotation in Heb 8:8-13 is to show that, there being a "NEW covenant," the old is antiquated.

The assumption cleared before, the apostle now proceedeth to prove out of the Old Testament, viz. that God’s purpose was, by Christ’s one sacrifice to take away all sins for ever; therefore there was no need of the repetition of the legal sacrifices.

Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: the authority avouched, is the testimony of the Holy Spirit of truth, that cannot deceive nor be deceived in what it witnesseth, but confirms the truth beyond all just ground of doubting, by his amanuensis the prophet Jeremiah, Jeremiah 31:31,33,34; where the person that the prophet styleth Jehovah, is by the apostle declared to be the Holy Ghost; and by it is proved to be the eternal God. He testifieth

to us, the church of God, in the prophet’s time, and to us all called to be members of it to this day.

For after that he had said before: this contains the preface of the Spirit’s testimony, that which he spake before, the covenant, which is his evidence; and this preface is laid down, Jeremiah 31:31. Here they are all the apostle’s words.

Wherefore the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us,.... In Jeremiah 31:33. This preface to the following citation shows that the books of the Old Testament are of divine original and authority; that the penmen of them were inspired by the Holy Ghost; that he existed in the times of the Old Testament; that he is truly and properly God, the Lord, or Jehovah, that speaks in the following verses; and that he is a distinct divine Person, and the author of the covenant of grace; and in what he says in that covenant, he bears testimony to the truths before delivered, concerning the insufficiency and abolition of legal sacrifices, and of full and perfect remission of sin, by the blood and sacrifice of Christ:

for after that he had said before; what is expressed in the following verse.

{5} Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

(5) Although there remains in us relics of sin, yet the work of our sanctification which is to be perfected, hangs on the same sacrifice which never shall be repeated: and that the apostle proves by referring again to the testimony of Jeremiah, thus: Sin is taken away by the new testament, seeing the Lord says that it shall come to pass, that according to the form of it, he will no more remember our sins: Therefore we need now no purging sacrifice to take away that which is already taken away, but we must rather take pains, that we may now through faith be partakers of that sacrifice.

Hebrews 10:15. Μαρτυρεῖ δὲ ἡμῖν καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον] Moreover, also, the Holy Ghost bears witness to us.

ἡμῖν] has reference to the Christians generally. Without warrant is it limited by Raphel, Wolf, Baumgarten, and others to the author of the epistle (“the Holy Ghost attests my statement”).

τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον] for it is the Holy Spirit of God who in the passage indicated speaks by the prophet.

The subject in εἰρηκέναι is God, in that the author makes his own the words λέγει κύριος following in Hebrews 10:16, although they form an originally constituent part of the citation, in such wise that μετὰ γὰρ τὸ εἰρηκέναιἑκείνας forms the former member of the proposition; and to this former member all the rest, from διδοὺς μόμους μου to the end of Hebrews 10:17, is then opposed by the author as a concluding member, by means of λέγει κύριος. The supposition that the second, or concluding, member of the citation begins only with Hebrews 10:17, and that thus before this verse a λέγει, an εἶτʼ ἐπιλέγει a τότε εἴρηκεν, or something of the kind is to be supplemented (Primasius, Clarius, Zeger, Schlichting, Jac. Cappellus, Grotius, Limborch, Wolf, Carpzov, Stuart, Heinrichs, Alford, Conybeare, Reuss, Hofmann, and others), is to be rejected,—although the main consideration, about which the author is quite specially concerned, follows only in Hebrews 10:17,—because it is opposed to the literary accuracy elsewhere prevailing in the Epistle to the Hebrews. For the same reason, too, the ὕστερον λέγει, which several MSS. (but only among those of late date) and some translations add at the close of Hebrews 10:16, is to be regarded as a gloss.

Hebrews 10:15-18. That there is no need of any further expiatory sacrifice, the Scripture also testifies. This Scripture proof the author derives from the declaration, Jeremiah 31:31-34, already adduced at Hebrews 8:8 ff., in that he here briefly comprehends the same in its two main features.

Hebrews 10:15-18. Proof from Scripture that the one sacrifice of Christ, the mediator of the new covenant is final.

15. Whereof] Rather, “But.”

the Holy Ghost] For “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).

for after that he had said] There is no direct completion of this sentence, but the words “again He saith” are found in some editions before Hebrews 10:17. They have no manuscript authority, but were added by Dr Paris (from the Philoxenian Syriac) in the margin of the Cambridge Bible of 1762.

Hebrews 10:15. Καὶ) also. There is added, not a testimony to the arguments; for the testimonies even preceded the latter; but μαρτυρῶν to μαρτυροῦντας [the Holy Ghost witnessing in addition to those who bear witness]. Paul had given the testimony of the Father to the priesthood of Christ, ch. Hebrews 5:10, and of the Son, ch. Hebrews 10:5; now also that of the Holy Spirit: the testimony of each everywhere carrying with it the same conclusion; Hebrews 10:18. Look back to the General View (Synopsis) of the epistle. And he presently afterwards repeats in his admonition this reference to the Holy Trinity, Hebrews 10:29, note.—μετὰ, after) The verb φησὶν, says He, is swallowed up in the clause, λέγει Κύριος, saith the Lord, in the following verse. But this μετὰ, after, shows that the forgiveness of sins belongs to the New Testament. Therefore the intermediate words of Jeremiah are not repeated here. The passage in Jer. is quoted Hebrews 8, on account of the word καινὴν, and ch. 10 on account of ἄφεσιν. The appellation of the Spirit of grace is consonant with this: Hebrews 10:29.

Verses 15-18. - And the Holy Ghost also testifieth to us: for after that he hath said, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (then saith he), And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. The apodosis to "after that he hath said," not distinctly marked in the Greek or in the A.V., is denoted in the above rendering by "then saith he" before ver. 17. Another view is that it begins earlier in the sentence, being introduced by "saith the Lord," which occurs in the quotation from Jeremiah. But this is improbable, since

(1) words in the quotation itself could not well be intended to be understood as the quoter's own;

(2) the quotation down to ver. 17 is continuous, whereas the citation of ver. 17 is in the original passage of Jeremiah separated from the preceding one;

(3) the logical conclusion intended to be drawn requires ver. 17 to be the apodosis. For the writer's purpose in referring once more to Jeremiah's prediction of the" new covenant" is to show from it the completeness and finality of Christ's atonement; and this, he argues, follows from this characteristic of the "new covenant" being added to the previous description of it - "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." CH. 10:19-END. HORTATORY PORTION OF THE EPISTLE. The great doctrine of Christ's eternal priesthood having been led up to, established by argument, and at length fully expounded, it remains only to press the practical result of a belief in it in alternate tones of encouragement and of warning. We have seen that, even in the earlier chapters, hortatory passages were frequently interposed, showing the purpose all along in the writer's mind. In the central and deepest part of the argument (Hebrews 7:1-10:19) there were none, close and uninterrupted attention to the course of thought being then demanded. But now, the argument being completed, the previous exhortations are taken up again, and enforced in consequently fuller and deeper tones. The connection of thought between these final admonitions and those previously interposed is evident when we compare the very expressions in Hebrews 10:19-23 with those in Hebrews 4:14-16, and the warnings of Hebrews 10:26, etc., with those of Hebrews 6:4, etc. Thus appears, as in other ways also, the carefully arranged plan of the Epistle, different in this respect from the undoubted Epistles of St. Paul, in which the thoughts generally follow each other without great regard to artistic arrangement. This, however, is in itself by no means conclusive against St. Paul's authorship, since there would be likely to be just this difference between a set treatise composed for a purpose, and a letter written currente calamo by the same author. It does, however, mark a different class of composition, and is suggestive, as far as it goes, of a different writer. Hebrews 10:15Repetition of the passage already cited from Jeremiah in Hebrews 8:10-12. The nerve of the citation is Hebrews 10:17.
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