Hebrews 10:29
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite to the Spirit of grace?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) Shall he be thought worthy.—Better, shall he be accounted (or, judged) worthy, by God the Judge of all, when “the Day” shall come. In the act of apostasy the sinner trampled under foot the Son of God, treated with contempt and scorn Him to whom belongs this highest Name (Hebrews 1:1-4); and the principle of this act becomes the principle of the whole succeeding life. That “blood” by which the new covenant was established (Hebrews 9:15-17)—the blood in which he himself had received the sanctification which the law could not give—he has esteemed an unholy thing. There is no medium between highest reverence and utter contumely in such a case: to those who did not receive Jesus as Lord He was a deceiver (Matthew 27:63), and one who deserved to die.

Hath done despite.—Hath treated with outrage and insult the Spirit of whose gifts he had been partaker (Hebrews 6:4), for “grace” returning arrogant scorn.

10:26-31 The exhortations against apostacy and to perseverance, are urged by many strong reasons. The sin here mentioned is a total and final falling away, when men, with a full and fixed will and resolution, despise and reject Christ, the only Saviour; despise and resist the Spirit, the only Sanctifier; and despise and renounce the gospel, the only way of salvation, and the words of eternal life. Of this destruction God gives some notorious sinners, while on earth, a fearful foreboding in their consciences, with despair of being able to endure or to escape it. But what punishment can be sorer than to die without mercy? We answer, to die by mercy, by the mercy and grace which they have despised. How dreadful is the case, when not only the justice of God, but his abused grace and mercy call for vengeance! All this does not in the least mean that any souls who sorrow for sin will be shut out from mercy, or that any will be refused the benefit of Christ's sacrifice, who are willing to accept these blessings. Him that cometh unto Christ, he will in no wise cast out.Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy - That is, he who renounces Christianity ought to be regarded as deserving a much severer punishment than the man who apostatized from the Jewish religion, and if he ought to be so regarded he will be - for God will treat every man as he ought to be treated. This must refer to future punishment, for the severest punishment was inflicted on the apostate from the Jewish religion which can be in this world - death; and yet the apostle here says that a severer punishment than that would be deserved by him who should apostatize from the Christian faith. The reasons why so much severer punishment would be deserved, are such as these - the Author of the Christian system was far more exalted than Moses, the founder of the Jewish system; he had revealed more important truths; he had increased and confirmed the motives to holiness; he had furnished more means for leading a holy life; he had given himself as a sacrifice to redeem the soul from death, and he had revealed with far greater clearness the truth that there is a heaven of glory and of holiness. He who should apostatize from the Christian faith, the apostle goes on to say, would also be guilty of the most aggravated crime of which man could be guilty - the crime of trampling under foot the Son of God, of showing contempt for his holy blood. and despising the Spirit of grace.

Who hath trodden under foot the Son of God - This language is taken either from the custom of ancient conquerors who were accustomed to tread on the necks of their enemies in token of their being subdued, or from the fact that people tread on what they despise and contemn. The idea is, that he who should apostatize from the Christian faith would act as if he should indignantly and contemptuously trample on God's only Son. What crime could be more aggravated than this?

And hath counted the blood of the covenant - The blood of Jesus by which the new covenant between God and man was ratified; see the notes on Hebrews 9:16-20; compare the notes on Matthew 26:28.

Wherewith he was sanctified - Made holy, or set apart to the service of God. The word "sanctify" is used in both these senses. Prof. Stuart renders it, "by which expiation is made;" and many others, in accordance with this view, have supposed that it refers to the Lord Jesus. But it seems to me that it refers to the person who is here supposed to renounce the Christian religion, or to apostatize from it. The reasons for this are such as these:

(1) it is the natural and proper meaning of the word rendered here "sanctified." This word is commonly applied to Christians in the sense that they are made holy; see Acts 20:32; Acts 26:18; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Jde 1:1; compare John 10:36; John 17:17.

(2) it is unusual to apply this word to the Saviour. It is true, indeed, that he says John 17:19, "for their sakes I sanctify myself," but there is no instance in which he says that he was sanctified by his own blood. And where is there an instance in which the word is used as meaning "to make expiations?"

(3) the supposition that it refers to one who is here spoken of as in danger of apostasy, and not of the Lord Jesus, agrees with the scope of the argument. The apostle is showing the great guilt, and the certain destruction, of one who should apostatize from the Christian religion. In doing this it was natural to speak of the dishonor which would thus be done to the means which had been used for his sanctification - the blood of the Redeemer. It would be treating it as if it were a common thing, or as if it might be disregarded like anything else which was of no value.

An unholy thing - Greek common; often used in the sense of unholy. The word is so used because what was holy was separated from a common to a sacred use. What was not thus consecrated was free to all, or was for common use, and hence, also the word is used to denote what is unholy.

And hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace - The Holy Spirit, called "the Spirit of grace," because he confers favor (grace) upon people. The meaning of the phrase "done despite unto" - ἐνυβρίσας enubrisas - is, "having reproached, or treated with malignity, or contempt." The idea is, that if they were thus to apostatize, they would by such an act treat the Spirit of God with disdain and contempt. It was by him that they had been renewed; by him that they had been brought to embrace the Saviour and to love God; by him that they had any holy feelings or pure desires; and if they now apostatized from religion, such an act would be in fact treating the Holy Spirit with the highest indignity. It would be saying that all his influences were valueless, and that they needed no help from him. From such considerations, the apostle shows that if a true Christian were to apostatize, nothing would remain for him but the terrific prospect of eternal condemnation. He would have rejected the only Saviour; he would have in fact treated him with the highest indignity; he would have considered his sacred blood, shed to sanctify people, as a common thing, and would have shown the highest disregard for the only agent who can save the soul - the Spirit of God. How could such an one afterward be saved? The apostle does not indeed say that anyone ever would thus apostatize from the true religion, nor is there any reason to believe that such a case ever has occurred, but if it should occur the doom would be inevitable. How dangerous then is every step which would lead to such a precipice! And how strange and unscriptural the opinion held by so many that sincere Christians may "fall away" and be renewed, again and again!

(See the supplementary note on Hebrews 6:6. where certain principles are laid down, for the interpretation of this and similar passages, in consistency with the doctrine of the saints' perseverance. If that doctrine be maintained, and our author's view of the passage at the same be correct, then plainly it contains an impossible case. It is descriptive of real Christians, yet they never can fall away. The utility of the warning, in this case, may indeed successfully be vindicated, on the ground that it is the means of preventing apostasy in the saints, the means by which the decree of God in reference to their stability is effected. Most, however, will incline to the view which regards this case, as something more than imaginary, as possible, as real. The warning is addressed to professors generally, without any attempt of distinguishing or separating into true or false. Doubtless there might be some even of the latter class in the churches whose members the apostles, presuming on their professed character, addressed as "saints, "elect," and "faithful," without distinction.

Of course, in consistency with the doctrine of perseverance only the "false," in whom the "root of the matter" had never existed, could apostatize; yet at the same time, when no distinction was made, when the apostle made none, but addressed all in the language of charity, when Christians themselves might find it difficult at all times to affirm decidedly on their own case, universal vigilance was secured, or at all events designed. But is not the party whose apostasy is here supposed, described by two attributes which belong to none but genuine Christians, namely, the "reception of the knowledge of the truth," and "sanctification through the blood of the covenant?" The answer which has been given to this question is generally, that neither of these things necessarily involves more than external dedication to God. The first is parallel to the "once enlightened" of Hebrews 6:4, and of course admits of the same explanation; see supplementary note there.

The second thing, namely, the sanctification of the party "is not real or internal sanctification, and all the disputes concerning the total and final apostasy from the faith of them who have been really and internally sanctified from this place, are altogether vain. As at the giving of the Law, the people being sprinkled with blood, were sanctified or dedicated to God in a special manner, so those who, by baptism and confession of faith in the church of Christ, were separated from all others were especially dedicated to God thereby." - "Owen." Yet, this eminent writer is rather disposed to adopt the opinion of those who construe, ἐν ᾡ ἡγιασθη en hō hēgiasthē with the immediate antecedent, τον Υἱον του Θεου ton Huion tou Theou, thus referring the sanctification to Christ, and not to the apostate; see John 17:19. Whichever of these views we receive, the great doctrine of perseverance is, of course, unaffected. In reference to an objection which the author has urged that "the sentiment (in the Hebrews 10:26 and Hebrews 10:27 verses) would not be correct, if it referred to any but true Christians," let it be noticed that while many may be saved, who have long resisted the Spirit, yet the assertion must appear hazardous in the extreme, that any can be saved, who do all that the apostate in this passage is alleged to do. The sin described seems to be that of a determined, insulting, final rejection of the only remedy for sin.)

29. sorer—Greek, "worse," namely, "punishment" (literally, "vengeance") than any mere temporal punishment of the body.

suppose ye—an appeal to the Hebrews' reason and conscience.

thought worthy—by God at the judgment.

trodden under foot the Son of God—by "wilful" apostasy. So he treads under foot God Himself who "glorified His Son as an high priest" (Heb 5:5; 6:6).

an unholy thing—literally, "common," as opposed to "sanctified." No better than the blood of a common man, thus involving the consequence that Christ, in claiming to be God, was guilty of blasphemy, and so deserved to die!

wherewith he was sanctified—for Christ died even for him. "Sanctified," in the fullest sense, belongs only to the saved elect. But in some sense it belongs also to those who have gone a far way in Christian experience, and yet fall away at last. The higher such a one's past Christian experiences, the deeper his fall.

done despite unto—by repelling in fact: as "blasphemy" is despite in words (Mr 3:29). "Of the Jews who became Christians and relapsed to Judaism, we find from the history of Uriel Acosta, that they required a blasphemy against Christ. 'They applied to Him epithets used against Molech the adulterous branch,' &c." [Tholuck].

the Spirit of grace—the Spirit that confers grace. "He who does not accept the benefit, insults Him who confers it. He hath made thee a son: wilt thou become a slave? He has come to take up His abode with thee; but thou art introducing evil into thyself" [Chrysostom]. "It is the curse of evil eternally to propagate evil: so, for him who profanes the Christ without him, and blasphemes the Christ within him, there is subjectively no renewal of a change of mind (Heb 6:6), and objectively no new sacrifice for sins" (Heb 10:26) [Tholuck].

Of how much sorer punishment: the expostulation aggravates both the sin and the punishment in the consequent on the former assertion; a punishment heavier, bitterer, sorer, more grievous, and unexpressibly greater, than death.

Suppose ye; you yourselves being judges, to whom I appeal about it; what can you suppose, think, or determine of it?

Shall he be thought worthy; doth he fully deserve, and is liable to, by the judgment of man, but much more by the righteous and inexorable judgment of God?

Who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God; who sinneth at a higher rate than a Jew against Moses’s law, being an apostate from the gospel, a revolter from and a rebel against it, discovering it by as much as in him lieth, tearing from his throne God the Son incarnate, and treading him under his feet, wickedly undervaluing and horribly vilifying him, treating him with the greatest contempt that can be expressed by such an action, as if he were the vilest malefactor. A person so much greater and more excellent than Moses, to be so used; so as, if he were here on earth, he would tread him (who is higher than the heavens, and had done and suffered so much for him) as the dust and dirt under his feet; and this by a contemptuous forsaking his church assemblies, wherein he was set out in all his excellencies.

And hath counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing; accounting and so deserting the blood of Christ, (which ratified the everlasting covenant of grace, by whose virtue was made unalterable, firm, and effectual in all the promises of it of pardon, righteousness, holiness, grace, and glory, unto penitent believing sinners), as either the common blood of men, or the blood of a malefactor, to have not so much excellency in it as the blood of bulls, or goats, or rams, or birds, under the law; as not sanctifying souls, but polluted.

Wherewith he was sanctified; en w hgiasyh, in or by which he was sanctified, is by most interpreters referred to the apostate, as aggravating his sin, to despise that blood by which he thought he was so, and boasted of it, and was so reputed by the church upon his baptism and profession of his faith, and, as a member of the church, had a visible relation to it, partaking of those ordinances wherein its fruits were conveyed, and enjoying the external privileges purchased by it. Others refer it unto Christ himself, the blood whereby he was consecrated to God as a holy sacrifice, John 17:19. All this was discovered by his forsaking the church assembly, wherein this was declared to be the only way and means to justification of life and salvation.

And hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace; injuring, wronging, despising, greatly grieving, not a creature, but God the Spirit, the quickening Spirit of dead sinners, who fits them for union to God, and in order to it, uniteth him to Christ and his God, animateth it; who graciously communicated to these apostates the knowledge natural and supernatural which they had and abused, Hebrews 6:5, by the desertion of the assemblies, where he manifested his gifts and graces. They reject him with them, and treat his gifts and motions as if they were the delusions and impostures of an evil spirit; and this wilfully done out of malice to Christ, and abhorrence of his church and religion. A sin like the devil’s, for them to forsake God loving, Christ redeeming, his blood justifying, his Spirit renewing, and so wilfully refuse to be saved, and expose themselves to the severest punishment God can inflict on such sinners, and they do deserve. Of how much sorer punishment,.... Than a mere corporeal death, which was the punishment inflicted on the transgressors of the law of Moses.

Suppose ye; the apostle appeals to the Hebrews themselves, and makes them judges of what punishment

shall he be thought worthy; who is described as follows:

who hath trodden under foot the Son of God: this seems to be a stronger expression than crucifying him again, Hebrews 6:6 and is to be understood, not of what was in fact committed, but in will by persons; who, could they have had their will of him, would have pulled him from his throne, and trampled upon him: it is a phrase expressive of the utmost scorn, contempt, and ill usage; and which such are guilty of, who deny his deity, and eternal sonship; who render him useless in his offices, undervalue his sacrifice, despise his righteousness, and strip him of the glory of his person, office, and grace. And this is aggravated by his being the Son of God who is thus used, who became the son of man for the sake of men, is superior to men, and equal with God:

and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing; or "common thing"; putting it upon a level with the blood of a bullock, or at most counting it , "as that of another man"; as the Syriac version renders it; yea, reckoning it as unclean and abominable, as the blood of a very wicked man: this is aggravated by its being "the blood of the covenant"; of the covenant of grace, because that is ratified and confirmed by it, and the blessings of it come through it; and from sanctification by it: either of the person, the apostate himself, who was sanctified or separated from others by a visible profession of religion; having given himself up to a church, to walk with it in the ordinances of the Gospel; and having submitted to baptism, and partook of the Lord's supper, and drank of the cup, "the blood of the New Testament", or "covenant": though he did not spiritually discern the body and blood of Christ in the ordinance, but counted the bread and wine, the symbols of them, as common things; or who professed himself, and was looked upon by others, to be truly sanctified by the Spirit, and to be justified by the blood of Christ, though he was not really so: or rather the Son of God himself is meant, who was sanctified, set apart, hallowed, and consecrated, as Aaron and his sons were sanctified by the sacrifices of slain beasts, to minister in the priest's office: so Christ, when he had offered himself, and shed his precious blood, by which the covenant of grace was ratified, by the same blood he was brought again from the dead, and declared to be the Son of God with power; and being set down at God's right hand, he ever lives to make intercession, which is the other part of his priestly office he is sanctified by his own blood to accomplish. This clause, "wherewith he was sanctified", is left out in the Alexandrian copy:

and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace; by denying his being, deity, and personality; despising his powerful operations as enthusiasm; treating his extraordinary gifts as illusions; and ascribing his miracles to Satan, and representing the Gospel dictated by him as a fable, or a lie: and this is aggravated by his being "the spirit of grace"; the author, giver, and applier of all grace to the saints; and who therefore ought not to be in the least slighted, but highly esteemed and honoured; nor will such affronts go unpunished.

Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 10:29. Of how much more severe punishment, think ye, will he be counted worthy, who, etc.

With δοκεῖτε the author leaves the decision to the readers, inasmuch as on the question how this will be given, no doubt whatever can prevail.

ἀξιωθήσεται] sc. by God at the judgment.

τιμωρία in the N. T. only here.

ὁ καταπατήσας] who has trodden under foot, as though it were a contemptible, useless thing. A strong expression. Designation of the bold contemning and insulting of Him who is nevertheless the Son of God, and with whom one has become personally acquainted as the Redeemer.

τὸ αἶμα τῆς διαθήκης] the blood of the covenant, i.e. the blood which Christ shed for the sealing of the New Covenant for the redemption of mankind. Comp. Hebrews 9:15 ff.

κοινόν] either: as common, ordinary blood, not distinguished in any respect from other blood (Peshito, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Clarius, Beza, Schlichting, Bengel, Schulz, Stuart, Bleek, Stein, de Wette, Bloomfield, Bisping, Delitzsch, Alford, and others), or—what is better, because stronger, and on that account more in accord with the other statements—as impure (Vulgate, Luther, Grotius, Carpzov, Michaelis, Chr. Fr. Schmid, Storr, Böhme, Tholuck, Ebrard, Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 769; Maier, Moll, Kurtz, and others), i.e. as the blood of a transgressor, which Christ must be, if He was not the Son of God and the Redeemer.

ἐν ᾧ ἡγιάσθη] contrasting addition to κοινὸν ἡγησάμενος, and paronomasia: by the communion with which he was nevertheless sanctified, or: the sanctifying efficacy of which he has nevertheless felt in his own person.

καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς χάριτος ἐνυβρίσας] and has done despite to the Spirit of Grace, sc. by scorn and mockery of the wondrous unfolding of that Spirit’s power in the life of the Christians. The compound form ἐνυβρίζειν τινί or τί, found, apart from the poets (Soph. Phil. 342), only with the later Greeks. In the N. T. a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον.

τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς χάριτος] the Holy Spirit, who is a gift of the divine grace.Hebrews 10:29. πόσῳ δοκεῖτε χείρονος.… “Of how much sorer punishment, think ye, will he be counted worthy, who, etc.” The argument of Hebrews 2:1-4 and Hebrews 12:25. By the parenthetically interjected δοκεῖτε he appeals to their own sense of proportion and fitness; although the judgment alluded to in ἀξιωθήσεται is not theirs but God’s. καταπατήσας … The guilt of the apostate which justifies this sorer punishment is detailed in three particulars. He has trampled on the Son of God. The highest of Beings who has deserved best at his hands is spurned with outrageous scorn. καὶ τὸ αἷμαἡγιάσθη “and has reckoned the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified, a common thing”. “The blood of the covenant” is the blood of Christ (cf. Hebrews 9:15 ff., Hebrews 13:20); here it is thus designated because repudiation of the covenant is in question. This blood is the purifying agent by which men are fitted for the fellowship and service of God, and so brought within the covenant. Cf. ἡγιάσθη with ἁγιάζει of Hebrews 9:13 and καθαριεῖ of Hebrews 9:14. This sole means of purification, the sanctifying virtue of which the supposed apostate has experienced, he now counts κοινὸν, common or unclean. [The Vulg. has “pollutum,” the Old Latin “communem”. Chrysostom ἀκάθαρτον ἢ τὸ μηδέν πλέον ἔχον τῶν λοιπῶν; and so Kübel, “which has no more worth than the blood of other men”. All these meanings lie close to one another. Cf. Mark 7:2, Acts 10:14. What is “common” is unsanctified, ceremonially unclean.] The third point in the heinousness of the sin of apostasy is τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς χάριτος ἐνυβρίσας, “and has insulted the spirit of grace”. This seems the direct antithesis to “Moses’ law” of Hebrews 10:28. The spirit of grace is the distinctive gift of Christian times, and is not only the Pauline but the universal antithesis to the law. To have blasphemed this gracious Spirit, who brings the assurance of God’s presence and pardon, and gifts suited to each believer, is to renounce all part in things spiritual. Cf. Hebrews 6:4, Hebrews 2:4; Ephesians 4:7.29. of how much sorer punishment] The word for “punishment” in the N.T. is in every other passage kolasis, which means, in accordance with its definition, and in much of its demonstrable usage, “remedial punishment.” Here the word (though the difference is not observed by our A.V. which has created so many needless variations, and obliterated so many necessary distinctions) is timoria which means “vengeance” or “retribution.” It need hardly be said that “vindictive punishment” can only be attributed to God by the figure of speech known as anthropopathy, i.e. the representation of God by metaphors drawn from human passions. It is also obvious that we misuse Scripture when we press casual words to unlimited inferences. “Vengeance” is here used because (1) the author is alluding to defiant and impenitent apostates, in language derived from the earthly analogies, and (2) because he is referring to the temporal ruin and overthrow of the Jewish polity at the fast-approaching Day of Christ’s Coming. The passage which he proceeds to quote (Deuteronomy 32:35) refers directly to national and temporal punishments. The verb “to avenge” is only used twice in the N.T. (Acts 22:5; Acts 26:11)—both times of the persecution of Christians by Saul.

trodden under foot the Son of God] The writer could hardly use stronger language to imply the extremity of wilful rebellion which he has in view. It scarcely applies to any except blaspheming infidels and to those Jews who have turned the very name of Jesus in Hebrew into an anagram of malediction, and in the Talmud rarely allude to Him except in words of scorn and execration.

the blood of the covenant] He uses the same phrase in Hebrews 13:20.

an unholy thing] Lit., “a common thing,” i.e. either “unclean” or “valueless.” Clearly such conduct as this must be the nearest approach we can conceive to “the sin against the Holy Ghost,” “the unpardonable sin,” “the sin unto death,” for which no remedy is provided in any earthly means of grace (Matthew 12:31; 1 John 5:16).

done despite unto] Lit., “insulted;” e.g. “by blasphemy against the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 12:31-32). It is possible to grieve utterly that Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) and so to become “reprobate.” The apostates whose case is here imagined despise alike the Father (Hebrews 5:5), the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 6:4-6). They reject the very promises of their baptismal profession and abnegate the whole economy of grace. The verb for “to do despite” occurs here only in the N.T.Hebrews 10:29. Χείρονος) which is worse and more horrible than any punishment of the body.—) i.e. he who most atrociously sins against GOD, whose Son is the Priest, ch. Hebrews 5:5, and against the Son, whose own blood is the blood of the New Testament, and against the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of grace. A man of this sort retracts the whole form and confession of his baptism, and rejects the whole economy of the New Testament; comp. Hebrews 6:6, note.—καταπατήσας, who has trodden) whereas he ought to adore. But he who sins spontaneously, treads under foot, as it is described at Hebrews 10:26.—τῆς διαθήκης) of the testament, that is, the better testament or covenant which GOD has made.—κοινὸν, common) as if it were the blood of a mere man, common or even guilty. The antithesis is, he was sanctified.—ἡγησάμενος, and has counted) without discernment; comp. 1 Corinthians 11:29.—ἐν ᾧ ἡγιάσθη, by which he was sanctified) Therefore Christ died even for such a man as this. The same word is used concerning the redeemed, Hebrews 10:10; Hebrews 10:14, ch. Hebrews 2:11 (where they are distinguished from the Redeemer, who sanctifies); ch. Hebrews 13:12, where mention is likewise made of the blood.—τῆς χάριτος, of grace) See note on Hebrews 10:26.—ἐνυβρίσας, and has treated insultingly, [and hath done despite to]) by repelling Him. Insult or despite is done by deeds; blasphemy is vented by words: comp. 1 Timothy 1:13, note. Where blasphemy is added, the guilt is in the very worst degree aggravated; Mark 3:29.Verses 29, 30. - Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing (κοινὸν, a word commonly denoting things unclean; cf. Mark 7:2; Acts 10:14, 28; Acts 11:8; Romans 14:14; and supra, Hebrews 9:13; and so probably here, meaning more than common, i.e. ordinary human blood. If vilified by denial of its atoning efficacy, it was relegated into the class of unclean things themselves requiring purification. The word is used in opposition to ἡγιάσθη), and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? It has been already remarked how these very strong expressions (answering to those in Hebrews 6:6) further denote the kind of sin. intended by ἁμαρτανόντων in ver. 26. Three characteristics of it are given:

(1) contumelious repudiation of Christ;

(2) vilification of his atonement;

(3) despite to the Holy Spirit that has been given and enjoyed.

Citations from the Old Testament follow, according to the general plan of the Epistle, to show that there is a terrible as well as a gracious side of the revelation of the God of Israel, and especially (as intimated by the second quotation) that his own people may be the objects of his vengeance. For we know him that said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. Both citations are from Deuteronomy 32:35, 36, the second being introduced also into Psalm 135:14. The first is remarkable as a combination of the texts of the Hebrew and the LXX., neither being exactly followed. The Hebrew has (A.V.), "To me belongeth vengeance and recompense;" the LXX., Ἐν ἡμέρα ἐκδικήσεως ἀνταποδώσω. And in the same form as in the text the passage is cited Romans 12:19. It may be, in this and some other cases of variation from the LXX., that a text different from ours was used by the New Testament writers. The difference here is quite immaterial with regard to the drift of the quotation. Of how much (πόσῳ)

Not qualifying χείρονος sorer, but the whole clause: "by how much think ye shall he be thought worthy of sorer punishment."

Punishment (τιμωρίας)

N.T.o. Occasionally in lxx, frequent in Class. Originally assistance; assistance to one who has been wronged; punishment. With no sense of chastisement. It is purely retributive.

Trodden under foot (καταπατήσας)

Only here in Hebrews. oP. Frequent in lxx for spoiling, defeating, treating contemptuously. The strong term is purposely selected in order to convey the sense of the fearful outrage involved in forsaking Christ and returning to Judaism.

Hath counted an unholy thing (κοινὸν ἡγησάμενος)

Ἡγεῖσθαι to count or deem means a conscious judgment resting on a deliberate weighing of the facts. See Romans 12:10; Philippians 2:3. Here it implies a deliberate, contemptuous rejection of the gifts of the new covenant. The fundamental idea of κοινὸς is shared by all, public. Thus Acts 2:44; Acts 4:32; Titus 1:4; Jde 1:3. Out of this grows the idea of not sacred; not set apart for particular uses by purification, and so (ceremonially) unclean or defiled, as Mark 7:2, Mark 7:5; Acts 10:14, Acts 10:28; Acts 11:8. In these cases it is not implied that the thing is defiled or filthy in itself, but only unclean through the absence of that which would set it apart. Comp. Romans 14:14. Here the word admits of two explanations: (1) that Christ's blood was counted common, having no more sacred character or specific worth than the blood of any ordinary person; (2) that in refusing to regard Christ's blood as that of an atoner and redeemer, it was implied that his blood was unclean as being that of a transgressor. The former seems preferable. There was no specific virtue in Christ's blood as blood; but a peculiar and unique virtue attached to it as the offering of his eternal spirit (Hebrews 9:14), as the blood shed in ratification of a sacred covenant established by God, and as having sanctifying virtue. This view is further justified by the combination of blood and spirit, as sources of sanctification allied in the writer's mind.

Hath done despite unto the spirit of grace (καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς χάριτος ἐνυβρίσας)

Ἐνυβρίζειν to insult, N.T.o. The simple verb ὑβρίζειν in Matthew, Luke, Acts, and Pastorals. It will be observed that the work of the Holy Spirit does not receive in this epistle the emphasis which marks it in some other portions of the N.T.

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