Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
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(23) In this verse again we have the characteristic words of earlier exhortations: “hold fast” (Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 3:14); “profession,” or, rather, confession (Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 4:14).

Of our faith.—This rendering, apparently found in no earlier English version, is supposed to be due to oversight on the part of our translators. The true reading is “of the hope” (Hebrews 6:11; Hebrews 6:18-19). The two following words must be joined with “confession,” “let us hold fast the confession of the (Christian) hope so that it waver not.” This hope “maketh not ashamed” (Romans 5:5), for the promise is sure.

Hebrews 10:23-25. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith — Or, rather, of our hope, as the most approved MSS., indeed all but one, read the clause. The apostle referred to that profession or confession of their hope of eternal life, which believers made at their baptism. For being God’s children, and heirs through faith in Christ, (John 1:12; Galatians 3:26,) they had an undoubted right to hope for the heavenly inheritance: without wavering — Without giving way to any doubt or fear in a case where we have such certain and indubitable evidence; or unmoved by the threats of our persecutors. For he is faithful that promised — That is, all the promises of God shall be made good to us, if we continue steadfast. And let us consider one another — Let us reflect seriously on one another’s temptations, trials, infirmities, failings, and other circumstances attending us, that we may judge what influence we can have over one another for our mutual advantage: and especially to provoke and excite one another unto love to God, his people, and all mankind; and to good works — Of all kinds, the proper fruits of love. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together — For public or social worship; as the manner of some is — Either through fear of persecution, or from a vain imagination that they are above external ordinances; but exhorting one another — To constancy in the faith, zeal and diligence in all works of piety and virtue; and so much the more as ye see the day approaching — That awful day, in which we must appear before the tribunal of God, preceded by the day of death, which is drawing continually nearer, and will fix our character and condition for ever. As also that day of vengeance coming on the Jewish nation, which Christ hath described as so terrible an emblem of the day of final judgment, and the conflagration of the world. From what Christ had said concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, and the dreadful calamities awaiting the Jews, as events that should happen during the lives of some who had been present with him about thirty years before the date of this epistle, these Hebrews might infer that these judgments were now near, and doubtless might see them approaching, by the appearing of those signs which our Lord had said should precede them.

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.Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering - To secure this was one of the leading designs of this Epistle, and hence, the apostle adverts to it so frequently. It is evident that those whom he wrote were suffering persecution Hebrews 12, and that there was great danger that they would apostatize. As these persecutions came probably from the Jews, and as the aim was to induce them to return to their former opinions, the object of the apostle is to show that there was in the Christian scheme every advantage of which the Jews could boast; everything pertaining to the dignity of the great Founder of the system, the character of the High Priest, and the nature and value of the sacrifices offered, and that all this was possessed far more abundantly in the permanent Christian system than in what was typical in its character, and which were designed soon to vanish away. In view of all this, therefore, the apostle adds that they should hold fast the profession of their faith without being shaken by their trials, or by the arguments of their enemies. We have the same inducement to hold fast the profession of our faith - for it is the same religion still; we have the same Saviour, and there is held out to us still the same prospect of heaven.

For he is faithful that promised - To induce them to hold fast their profession, the apostle adds this additional consideration. God, who had promised eternal life to them, was faithful to all that he had said. The argument here is:

(1) that since God is so faithful to us, we ought to be faithful to him;

(2) the fact that he is faithful is an encouragement to us.

We are dependent on him for grace to hold fast our profession. If he were to prove unfaithful, we should have no strength to do it. But this he never does; and we may be assured, that all that he has promised he will perform. To the service of such a God, therefore, we should adhere without wavering; compare the notes on 1 Corinthians 10:13.

23. (Heb 3:6, 14; 4:14.)

profession—Greek, "confession."

our faith—rather as Greek, "our hope"; which is indeed faith exercised as to the future inheritance. Hope rests on faith, and at the same time quickens faith, and is the ground of our bold confession (1Pe 3:15). Hope is similarly (Heb 10:22) connected with purification (1Jo 3:3).

without wavering—without declension (Heb 3:14), "steadfast unto the end."

he—God is faithful to His promises (Heb 6:17, 18; 11:11; 12:26, 28; 1Co 1:9; 10:13; 1Th 5:24; 2Th 3:3; see also Christ's promise, Joh 12:26); but man is too often unfaithful to his duties.

Let us hold fast; this duty is inferred from the doctrine of the gospel High Priest, and the perfect work he wrought in taking away sin, and bringing in everlasting righteousness: let us herefore persevere in the faith and hope of him, really, actually, stedfastly, retaining it with all our might and power; whatsoever insinuations may be used to entice us, or violence by persecutions to force us, from it, retaining it still in mind, will, affection, and operation.

The profession of our faith; an outward exhibition to the world both in word and deed, as we have it sincerely in our hearts, solemnly owning it in the ordinances of God in his church, of the hope we have in Christ our High Priest, and of all that he hath purchased for us, and promised to perform in us and to us, Hebrews 3:1,6 4:14 6:11 Romans 10:9,10 1 Peter 1:3,21.

Without wavering; aklinh, without any declining from it, either to the right or left, from the first and due state of it; not warping or wavering from the revelation of God about it, when others weakly made a defection from it, Hebrews 6:6,9. And good reason for this unbiassed retention of it, while others declined.

For he is faithful that promised; for God, who covenanted with them what he will be to and do for them, is only primitively, eminently, and reciprocally faithful and unchangeable for his person and purpose; all is sure on God’s side, Numbers 23:19, and his power is irresistible. He hath promised to reward those who persevere and continue to the end true to the Redeemer, and to give them grace and assistance that they may so continue, so as they need not fear the power of their enemies, nor their own weakness, for he will enable them to perform the duty, endure the afflictions for it, and then to reach the blessing, 1 Corinthians 10:13 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24 2 Thessalonians 3:3.

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering,.... Either in the grace or doctrine of faith, or in the profession of both; See Gill on Hebrews 4:14.

For he is faithful that promised; that is God; and it is true of Father, Son, and Spirit; but God the Father may be more especially designed: he is a promising God, and is known to be so by his people; he is eminently and emphatically the Promiser; and all other promisers, and the promises made by them, signify little; but the promises of God are exceeding great and precious, very ancient, free, and unconditional, irrevocable and immutable, and are admirably suited to the cases of his people, and will be fulfilled everyone of them: they include in them things temporal, spiritual, and eternal; things temporal, as that his people shall not want, that their afflictions shall work for good, and that he will support them under all their troubles; things spiritual, as that he will be their God, which takes in his everlasting love to them, and his gracious presence with them, and his protection of them; and that all grace shall be wrought in them, and every blessing of grace bestowed on them: and things eternal; as everlasting glory and happiness; the promise of eternal life was in God's heart, made in the covenant, and put into Christ's hands before the world began, and is declared in the Gospel: now God is faithful to all his promises, nor can he fail, or deceive; he is all wise and foreknowing of everything that comes to pass; he never changes his mind, nor forgets his word; and he is able to perform, and is the God of truth, and cannot lie; nor has he ever failed in anyone of his promises, nor will he suffer his faithfulness to fail; and this is a strong argument to hold fast a profession of faith.

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Hebrews 10:23. The words: καὶ λελουμένοι τὸ σῶμα ὕδατι καθαρῷ, are, by the Peshito, by Primasius, Faber Stapulensis, Luther, Estius, Wolf, Baumgarten, Storr, Kuinoel, Bleek, Stein, de Wette, Bloomfield, Bisping, Delitzsch, Riehm (Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 741, Obs.), Alford, Maier, Kluge, and others, combined in one, and referred still to προσερχώμεθα, Hebrews 10:22, as a second participial clause. Better, nevertheless, shall we conjoin καί with κατέχωμεν; so that λελουμένοι τὸ σῶμα ὕδατι καθαρῷ becomes a parenthetic clause, which specifies the subjective qualification to the κατέχειν, exactly as ἐῤῥαντισμένοι κ.τ.λ., Hebrews 10:22, brought out the subjective qualification to the προσέρχεσθαι. In connection with the first-named construction,[102] the rhythmical symmetry of the members, Hebrews 10:22-23, would be needlessly sacrificed, and ΚΑΤΈΧΩΜΕΝ stand there too much torn from the context. For the supposition that ΚΑΊ might have been wanting before ΚΑΤΈΧΩΜΕΝ, since a third verb (ΚΑΤΑΝΟῶΜΕΝ) follows at Hebrews 10:24, the placing of the ΚΑΊ was thus necessary only before this last, is erroneous; inasmuch as the author could hardly, from the very outset, comprehend Hebrews 10:24 in thought with Hebrews 10:22, and Hebrews 10:23, on the contrary, only brings in later that which is observed at Hebrews 10:24 as a new and independent exhortation, while ΠΡΟΣΕΡΧΏΜΕΘΑΚΑῚ ΚΑΤΈΧΩΜΕΝ stands together in the closest inner relation (as a decided approaching to the communion with God opened up by Christ, and a persevering maintenance of the same).

ΛΕΛΟΥΜΈΝΟΙ ΤῸ ΣῶΜΑ ὝΔΑΤΙ ΚΑΘΑΡῷ] inasmuch as our body has been washed with pure water [washed as regards the body with pure water]. Reference to the sanctifying of Christians by Christian baptism. Comp. Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5. Analogon in the Levitical domain the washings, Exodus 29:4; Exodus 30:19 ff; Exodus 40:30 ff.; Leviticus 16:4. To find denoted in a merely figurative sense (to the exclusion of baptism), with Calvin [Owen] and others, in accordance with Ezekiel 36:25 : the communication of the Holy Ghost; or, with Limborch, Ebrard, and others: the being cleansed from sins; or, with [Piscator and] Reuss: the blood of Christ (“Il s’agit ici, comme dans toute cette partie de l’épître, du sang de Christ. C’est ce sang, qui nous lave mieux que l’eau des Lévites”); or, with Schlichting: “Christi spiritus et doctrina, seu spiritualis illa aqua, qua suos perfundit Christus, ipsius etiam sanguine non excluso,” we are forbidden by the addition of τὸ σῶμα, which implies likewise the reminiscence of an outward act.

ΚΑΘΑΡῷ] that which is pure, and in consequence thereof also makes pure.

κατέχωμεν τὴν ὁμολογίαν τῆς ἐλπίδος ἀκλινῆ] let us hold fast the confession of hope as an unbending, unswerving one.

κατέχωμεν] inasmuch as the ὉΜΟΛΟΓΊΑ became at once, with baptism, the possession of believers.

ΤῊΝ ὉΜΟΛΟΓΊΑΝ] may here be taken actively (the confessing of the hope), but it may also be taken passively (the confession which has as its subject the Christian’s hope).

ἀκλινῆ] stronger than ΒΕΒΑΊΑΝ, Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 3:14.

ΠΙΣΤῸς ΓᾺΡ Ὁ ἘΠΑΓΓΕΙΛΆΜΕΝΟς] for faithful (so that He keeps that which He promises; comp. 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:24) is He who has given the promises (namely, God). Ground of encouragement for the κατέχειν.

[102] A third mode of combining, followed by Hofmann (Schrifthbew. II. 2, 2 Aufl. p. 178 f.), according to which ἐῤῥαντισμένοι is separated by a full stop from that which precedes, and is conjoined with κατέχωμεν, will—since thereby the harmonic clause-formation of the whole delicately-arranged period, vv. 19–23, is rudely shattered—hardly meet with approval on any side. The period so euphoniously commenced would be lacking in the appropriate conclusion, the supposed new clause in the appropriate beginning.

Hebrews 10:23. A second branch of the exhortation is given in the words κατέχωμεν τὴν ὁμολογίαν … “Let us hold fast and unbending the confession of our hope,” as in Hebrews 3:6. Cf. also Hebrews 6:11. For as yet in this life the fulness of blessing which comes of fellowship with God is not experienced, the perfected salvation and the heavenly country (Hebrews 12:22-23) are yet to be reached. But these are the contents of the Christian hope, and this hope is confessed and maintained in presence of a commonplace, scoffing and alluring world. It is to be maintained for the best of all reasons: πιστὸς γὰρ ὁ ἐπαγγειλάμενος. The promises of God are necessarily the ground of hope, v. Hebrews 6:12. These promises cannot fail, because God cannot lie, Hebrews 6:18.

23. the profession of our hope] Rather, “the confession of our Hope.” Here we have the same trilogy of Christian graces as in St Paul—Faith (Hebrews 10:22), Hope (Hebrews 10:23), and Love (Hebrews 10:24).

without wavering] “So that it do not bend.” It must be not only “secure” (Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 3:14), but not even liable to be shaken.

for he is faithful that promised] Hebrews 6:13, Hebrews 11:11, Hebrews 12:26. The writer felt the necessity of insisting upon this point, because the sufferings of the Hebrew converts, and the long delay (as it seemed to them) of Christ’s return, had shaken their constancy.

Hebrews 10:23. Καὶ λελουμένοι, and being washed) Single verbs and single participles cohere in Hebrews 10:22-24,[64] and the particle καὶ, and, divides the members of the sentence. But the order is, verb, participle; participle, verb; verb, participle, by Chiasmus.—τὸ σῶμα, the body) The allusion is to the Levitical washings; and yet he does not say the flesh, but the body, by which the whole substance of the man is denoted by Synecdoche. The body also had been formerly polluted by sin, but it is washed, that it may be fitted, after the example of the holy body of Christ, Hebrews 10:10, for an oblation: Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 6:13; 1 Corinthians 6:20.—ὕδατι καθαρῷ, with pure water) Ezekiel 36:25; John 19:34; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:5; 1 John 5:6.—[65] τὴν ὁμολογίαν, confession) Confession was taken up at baptism, and ought to be retained [held fast].

[64] Beng. thus makes καὶ, in Hebrews 10:23, join προσερχώμεθα and κατέχωμεν, not ἐῤῥαντισμένοι and λελουμένοι.—ED.

[65] Καθαρῷτῆς ἐλπίδος, with clean—of hope) In like manner cleansing is joined with hope, 1 John 3:3.—V. g.

Verses 23-25. - Let us hold fast the confession (ὁμολογίαν, see Hebrews 3:1, and ref.; also Hebrews 4:14) of our hope without wavering (ἀκλινῆ, agreeing with "confession"); for he is faithful that promised: and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. The readers, having been exhorted to confidence towards God, are further warned against remissness in confession before men, or in their duties within the Church towards each other. They had once, at their baptism, "confessed the good confession" (τὴν καλὴν ὁμολογίαν, 1 Timothy 6:12). Let not the recurrence of Jewish prejudices, or either influence or persecution from their Jewish compatriots, or any delay of the Parousia, induce them to waver in maintaining it. Some among them did, it could not be denied, show signs of such wavering, notably in their remiss attendance at Christian worship; let the faithful give heed to keeping faith alive in themselves and others, and especially through the means of the regular Church assemblies. That by τὴν ἐπισυναγωγὴν ἑαυτῶν is meant definitely the actual assembling together of Christians for reading, exhortation, and worship (such as is referred to in 1 Corinthians 11; James 2:2, etc.,; and described by Justin Martyr, 'Apol., c. 87), we hold confidently with the majority of commentators and with Chrysostom. The word ἐπισυναγωγὴ occurs in the New Testament only here and 2 Thessalonians 2:1, where it denotes the gathering together at the Parousia. In 2 Macc. 2:7, where alone it occurs in the LXX., it expresses the actual assembling of people together, as does the verb ἑπισυνάγω, both in the LXX. and the New Testament (cf. Matthew 23:37; Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27; Mark 1:33; Luke 12:1). Hence, and in regard to the context as well as the etymology of the word, we may reject the less definite meaning, by some here assigned to it, of Christian communion (conjugatio fidelium), and the explanation of Bengel: "Sensus est, non modo debetis synagogam frequentare, ut Judaei, quod libentius facitis, sed etiam episynagogam, ut Christiani. Neque tamen innuitur praecise aggregatio ad unum locum, aut aggregatio ad unam fidem; sed, medio sensu, congregatio mutua per amorem et communicatio publica et privata officiorum Christianorum." The seen approach of the second advent (τὴν ἡμέραν: cf. 1 Corinthians 3:13) is adduced as an additional argument against remissness. The word βλέπετε seems to imply more than the general belief in its imminence, founded on the language of Christ. It would seem as if the signs of the times were interpreted as denoting its approach (el. 1 John 2:18). And it may be that they were rightly so interpreted in reference to the primary fulfillment of our Savior's words, though to that only, as the event proved. The blending together in the discourses of Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 17. and 21, of the times of the fall of Jerusalem and of the final day, would naturally lead Christians to regard the signs of the first event as denoting the other also. And indeed the imminence of the first, of which the signs were really apparent, was in itself a peculiar reason why the Hebrew Christians should stick resolutely to Christianity, for its own sake and apart from Judaism. Else might their whole hold on Christ be loosened in the temple's fall Thus, though the writer might share in the mistaken view then prevalent of the imminence of the final day, his warning, founded on the supposed signs of it, hits well the peculiar needs of his readers. Hebrews 10:23Profession of our faith (τὴν ὁμολογίαν τῆς ἐλπίδος)

Rend. "confession of our hope." Faith does not appear among Ms. readings. It is an innovation of the translators. Hope is the rendering of Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, the Geneva, the Bishops', and Rheims. On confession see on 2 Corinthians 9:13, and comp. notes on 1 Timothy 6:12, 1 Timothy 6:13. The phrase confession of hope N.T.o. They are steadfastly to confess their hope in God's promise and salvation. Comp. Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 6:11, Hebrews 6:18; Hebrews 7:19. Hope is here equals the object of hope.

Without wavering (ἀκλινῆ)


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