Hebrews 10:21
And having an high priest over the house of God;
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(21) An high priest.—The Greek words properly signify a great priest (comp. Hebrews 4:14), which is one of the names by which the high priest is frequently designated, both in the Hebrew (Leviticus 21, et al.), and in the LXX. It may seem strange that the writer should here make use of a new word in the place of that which has occurred so frequently. But there is strong reason for believing that the language of one of the prophecies of Zechariah (Zechariah 6:11-13) is here before his mind. In the preceding verses (Zechariah 6:12-14) he has used words which united sacerdotal and kingly imagery; and it would be remarkable if this did not lead his thought to that prophecy. On the head of Joshua, “the great priest” (Zechariah 6:11), are placed crowns of silver and gold in token of royal dignity: then follows the prediction of Him of whom Joshua was the type. “He shall build the house of the Lord: and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne.” In the verse before us are combined several of the characteristic thoughts of that passage—the great priest, the priestly ruler, the house of God. The last-mentioned words are repeatedly used throughout the Old Testament, both in the Pentateuch and in later books, for the Tabernacle or Temple of God. In Hebrews 3:6 (to which there is a manifest allusion here) the meaning is enlarged, but only so that under “the house” is also comprised the household of God. Here the two thoughts are combined. Into the house of God we may enter; over it Jesus rules as “the great Priest.” The family of God subject to His rule includes the whole community of “the people of God” in heaven and upon earth.

10:19-25 The apostle having closed the first part of the epistle, the doctrine is applied to practical purposes. As believers had an open way to the presence of God, it became them to use this privilege. The way and means by which Christians enjoy such privileges, is by the blood of Jesus, by the merit of that blood which he offered up as an atoning sacrifice. The agreement of infinite holiness with pardoning mercy, was not clearly understood till the human nature of Christ, the Son of God, was wounded and bruised for our sins. Our way to heaven is by a crucified Saviour; his death is to us the way of life, and to those who believe this, he will be precious. They must draw near to God; it would be contempt of Christ, still to keep at a distance. Their bodies were to be washed with pure water, alluding to the cleansings directed under the law: thus the use of water in baptism, was to remind Christians that their conduct should be pure and holy. While they derived comfort and grace from their reconciled Father to their own souls, they would adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. Believers are to consider how they can be of service to each other, especially stirring up each other to the more vigorous and abundant exercise of love, and the practice of good works. The communion of saints is a great help and privilege, and a means of stedfastness and perseverance. We should observe the coming of times of trial, and be thereby quickened to greater diligence. There is a trying day coming on all men, the day of our death.And having an High Priest over the house of God - Over the spiritual house of God; that is, the church; compare the notes on Hebrews 3:1-6. Under the Jewish dispensation there was a great high priest, and the same is true under the Christian dispensation. This the apostle had shown at length in the previous part of the Epistle. The idea here is, that as under the former dispensation it was regarded as a privilege that the people of God might have access to the mercy-seat by means of the high priest; so it is true in a much higher sense that we may now have access to God through our greater and more glorious High Priest. 21. high priest—As a different Greek term (archiereus) is used always elsewhere in this Epistle for "high priest," translate as Greek here, "A Great Priest"; one who is at once King and "Priest on His throne" (Zec 6:13); a royal Priest, and a priestly King.

house of God—the spiritual house, the Church, made up of believers, whose home is heaven, where Jesus now is (Heb 12:22, 23). Thus, by "the house of God," over which Jesus is, heaven is included in meaning, as well as the Church, whose home it is.

Christians have not only a liberty of coming, but a way wherein, and a help whereby, to reach home to God; which help is a surpassing Priest to all others, the great and eminent one for real worth and dignity, Christ himself, God-man, exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high, after he had fulfilled his work here; where he was invested with all authority and power, and set over the church of the living God, consisting both of Hebrew and Gentile Israelites, Hebrews 3:6 Acts 20:28; whose sacrifices of praise and prayer offered up to God, he presenteth, perfumed with the incense of his own merits, before the throne, representing their persons, pleading their cause, and continually interceding for their good, making all they are and perform acceptable to his Father by his own blood, Hebrews 8:2. And having an high priest over the house of God. The church of God, over which Christ is as prophet, priest, and King, and as the Son and owner of it; See Gill on Hebrews 3:6; See Gill on Hebrews 4:14. In the Greek text it is, "a great priest"; so the Messiah is called by the Targum on Zechariah 6:12 , "a great priest", as he is; even a great high priest, as in Hebrews 4:14, and greater than Aaron, and any of his sons. And having an high priest over the house of God;
Hebrews 10:21 is still governed by ἔχοντες, Hebrews 10:19. As τὰ ἅγια, Hebrews 10:19, was chosen as a general designation instead of the special τὰ ἅγια ἁγίων, so here (comp. Hebrews 5:6, Hebrews 7:1; Hebrews 7:3, al.) the general ἱερέα stands in the sense of the special ἀρχιερέα, and μέγαν is, as Hebrews 4:14, expression of the exaltedness of this High Priest (against Stuart, Klee, Stein, Ewald, M‘Caul, and others, who take ἱερέα μέγαν together as a designation of the High Priest).

ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ] over the house of God. Comp. Hebrews 3:6. Theodoret, Oecumenius, Estius, Grotius, Calov, Tholuck, Stengel, Hofmann (Schriftbew. II. 1, 2 Aufl. p. 454), Maier, Kurtz, and others understand by these words, in accordance with Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 3:6, the household of God, or the believers, by which, however, the unity of the figure is needlessly destroyed. The allusion is to heaven or the heavenly sanctuary, as the dwelling-place of God, over which Christ rules as High Priest.[101]

[101] That Delitzsch—who is followed therein by Alford—will have us understand, as the οἶκος τοῦ θεοῦ in our passage at the same time “the church” and “the heaven of glory,” can he looked upon only as an instance of manifest error.Hebrews 10:21. καὶ ἱερέα μέγαν. The opened way into the holiest is not the only advantage possessed by the Christian, he has also “a great priest,” cf. Hebrews 4:14 ἔρχοντες οὖν ἀρχιερέα μέγανπροσερχώμεθα. Philo (Leg. ad Gai., p. 1035) calls the High Priest ὁ μἐγας ἱερεύς, and so Leviticus 21:10, Numbers 35:25. But it is not to the fact that He is High Priest that this designation here points, but to His greatness as Son of God and as one who has passed into the Holy Presence. Especially is His greatness manifested in His administration ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ, over God’s house (cf. Hebrews 3:6) that is, over those heavenly realities which replace the house of God on earth, and necessarily over those for whom the priest is appointed to minister τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν (Hebrews 5:1).21. a high priest] Lit. “a great Priest” (as in Leviticus 21:10), here meaning a Kingly Priest (Zechariah 6:11-13).

over the house of God] See Hebrews 3:6; 1 Timothy 3:15.Hebrews 10:21. Ἱερέα μέγαν, the High Priest) ch. 7.—ἐτὶ τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Θεοῦ, over the house of God) ch. Hebrews 3:6.A high priest (ἱερέα μέγαν)

Lit. a great priest. Comp. Leviticus 21:10, lxx. Not merely equals ἀρχιερεὺς high priest, but emphasizing Christ's superior greatness as high priest.

House of God (οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ)

In the Gospels always of the temple. Not found in Paul. Once in the Pastorals, of the church, 1 Timothy 3:15, and so 1 Peter 4:17. Here the whole Christian family. Comp. 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:22.

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