Hebrews 10:33
Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(33) Whilst ye were made a gazingstock.—Literally, being exposed in the theatre (see the Notes on Acts 19:29; 1Corinthians 4:9; 1Corinthians 15:32). Here also it is probable that the word has only a figurative sense.

Whilst ye became companions.—Better, having become sharers with them that thus lived—that lived amidst “reproaches and afflictions.” Not “companions” only had they been, but sharers of the lot of their persecuted brethren, both by sympathy and by voluntary association with their sufferings.

10:32-39 Many and various afflictions united against the early Christians, and they had a great conflict. The Christian spirit is not a selfish spirit; it puts us upon pitying others, visiting them, helping them, and pleading for them. All things here are but shadows. The happiness of the saints in heaven will last for ever; enemies can never take it away as earthly goods. This will make rich amends for all we may lose and suffer here. The greatest part of the saints' happiness, as yet, is in promise. It is a trial of the patience of Christians, to be content to live after their work is done, and to stay for their reward till God's time to give it is come. He will soon come to them at death, to end all their sufferings, and to give them a crown of life. The Christian's present conflict may be sharp, but will be soon over. God never is pleased with the formal profession and outward duties and services of such as do not persevere; but he beholds them with great displeasure. And those who have been kept faithful in great trails for the time past, have reason to hope for the same grace to help them still to live by faith, till they receive the end of their faith and patience, even the salvation of their souls. Living by faith, and dying in faith, our souls are safe for ever.Partly - That is, your affliction consisted partly in this. The Greek is, "this" - specifying one kind of affliction that they were called to endure.

Whilst ye were made a gazing-stock - Greek θεατριζόμενοι theatrizomenoi - you were made a public spectacle, as if in a theater; you were held up to public view, or exposed to public scorn. When this was done, or in precisely what manner, we are not told. It was not an uncommon thing, however, for the early Christians to be held up to reproach and scorn, and probably this refers to some time when it was done by rulers or magistrates. It was a common custom among the Greeks and Romans to lead criminals, before they were put to death, through the theater, and thus to expose them to the insults and reproaches of the multitude. See the proofs of this adduced by Kuinoel on this passage. The "language" here seems to have been taken from this custom, though there is no evidence that the Christians to whom Paul refers had been treated in this manner.

By reproaches - Repreached as being the followers of Jesus of Nazareth; probably as weak and fanatical.

And afflictions - Various "sufferings" inflicted on them. They were not merely reviled in words, but they were made to endure positive sufferings of various kinds.

And partly, while ye became companions of them that were so used - That is, even when they had not themselves been subjected to these trials, they had sympathized with those who were. They doubtless imparted to them of their property; sent to them relief, and identified themselves with them. It is not known to what particular occasion the apostle here refers. In the next verse he mentions one instance in which they had done this, in aiding him when he was a prisoner.

33. The persecutions here referred to seem to have been endured by the Hebrew Christians at their first conversion, not only in Palestine, but also in Rome and elsewhere, the Jews in every city inciting the populace and the Roman authorities against Christians.

gazing-stock—as in a theater (so the Greek): often used as the place of punishment in the presence of the assembled multitudes. Ac 19:29; 1Co 4:9, "Made a theatrical spectacle to the world."

ye became—of your own accord: attesting your Christian sympathy with your suffering brethren.

companions of—sharers in affliction with.

Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; their sufferings personal in this famous instance, yeatrizomenoi. They were so publicly exposed as on a stage or theatre, so as multitudes might sport themselves with them, 1 Corinthians 4:9; as many were exposed to be devoured by beasts in their public shows, 1 Corinthians 15:32. Or, to destroy them, exposed in their public courts of justice, and there taunted and reviled, as Christ foretold them, Matthew 10:17,18. They were suffering reproaches and afflictions publicly both in word and deed. What nick-names imposed on them, what crimes imputed to them which they abhorred, what buffeting, scourging, tormenting, shackling, imprisoning, banishing, were they not exercised with, as their fellow Christians are to this day?

And partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used; their sufferings by participation, in presence and sympathy with their fellow Christians. This is another kind of it; they were consorts and sharers of all those members of Christ, who were so abused by the devil and his instruments, and they bore their burdens with them, were inwardly grieved for them, publicly owned and comforted them, supplied and supported them as they could, as Hebrews 10:34 2 Corinthians 11:25,26.

Partly whilst ye were made a gazing stock,.... Brought upon the stage or theatre, and made a spectacle to the world, angels, and men, 1 Corinthians 4:9

both by reproaches and afflictions; suffering both in their characters and reputations, and in their persons and substance:

and partly whilst ye became companions of them that were so used; they maintained their communion with them, relieved them in distress, and sympathized with them.

Partly, whilst ye were made a {p} gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became {q} companions of them that were so used.

(p) You were brought forth to be shamed.

(q) In taking their miseries, to be your miseries.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 10:33. Τοῦτο μὲντοῦτο δέ] on the one hand … on the other; partly … partly. A genuinely Greek formula (comp. Wetstein ad loc.). In the N. T. only here.

τοῦτο μὲν ὀνειδισμοῖς τε καὶ θλίψεσιν θεατριζόμενοι] in that, on the one hand, by conditions of infamy (Hebrews 11:26, Hebrews 13:13) and by tribulations, ye were made a spectacle (were exposed publicly to reviling). ὀνειδισμοί (belonging to the later period of the Greek language; see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 512) has reference to the assaults upon honour and good name, θλίψεις to assaults upon the person (the life) and outward possessions.

θεατριζόμενοι] comp. 1 Corinthians 4:9 : θέατρον ἐγενήθημεν τῷ κόσμῳ καὶ ἀγγὲλοις καὶ ἀνθρώποις. The verb only here and with the Church Fathers.

τοῦτο δὲ κοινωνοὶγενηθέντες] and, on the other hand, ye became associates (fellow-sufferers) … sc. by the administering of consolation, and by efforts for the alleviation of their sufferings. κοινωνοὶ γενηθέντες is elucidated by συνεπαθήσατε, Hebrews 10:34, thus alludes equally as the first half of the sentence to historic facts. Arbitrarily therefore Ebrard: the expression indicates that the readers, “by the act of their conversion, had become once for all associates in that community, of which they knew that it thus fared, or was thus wont to fare with it.”

τῶν οὕτως ἀναστρεφομένων] of those who were in such condition (sc. ἐν θλίψεσιν καὶ ὀνειδισμοῖς). Kypke, Storr, Böhme, Kuinoel, and others supplement the οὕτως from the πολλὴν ἄθλησιν ὑπεμείνατε παθημάτων, Hebrews 10:32 : of those who thus walked, i.e. sustained with great stedfastness the contest of sufferings. In favour of this interpretation the authority of the ordinary Biblical use of ἀναστρέφεσθαι may no doubt be urged. Since, however, πολλὴν ἄθλησιν ὑπεμείνατε παθημάτων, Hebrews 10:32, is the general statement, which afterwards, Hebrews 10:33, separates into two special subdivisions by means of τοῦτο μὲντοῦτο δέ, so οὕτως in the second member can only refer back to the immediately foregoing characterization in the first member.

33. ye were made a gazingstock] Lit. “being set upon a stage” (theatrizomenoi). The same metaphor is used in 1 Corinthians 4:9 (“We became a theatre,” comp. 1 Corinthians 15:32).

companions] Rather, “partakers.”

that were so used] “Who lived in this condition of things.”

Hebrews 10:33. Τοῦτο· τοῦτο) A pronoun with an adverbial meaning. Two heads are set before us, which are explained in inverse order by Chiasmus, Hebrews 10:34.

Verse 33. - Partly, being made a gazing-stock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, having become partakers with them that were so used. On θεατριζομένοι (translated "made a gazing-stock"), cf. 1 Corinthians 4:9, Θέατρον ἐγενήθημεν τῷ κόσμῳ καὶ ὀγγέλοις καὶ ἀνθρώποις. The figure is drawn from the Roman amphitheatres, where persons doomed to death were exposed to the gaze and the contumely of crowds; and the expression may not be wholly figurative, but denote the actual treatment of Christians, as expressed by the common cry, "Christianos ad leones!" The phrase, τῶν οὕτω ἀναστρεφομένων, (translated "them that were so used"), might be more correctly rendered (as ἀναστρέφεσθαι is elsewhere), "them that so had their conversation," i.e. manner of life. For the word is not used in a passive sense, but as equivalent to versari; cf. Matthew 17:22; 2 Corinthians 1:12; Ephesians 2:3; Hebrews 13:18; also Galatians 1:13; Ephesians 4:22, etc. (ἀναστροφὴ). The Vulgate has taliter conversantium; Wickliffe, "men living so;" Tyndale and Cranmer, "them who so passed their time." But the A.V. may give the meaning with sufficient correctness, the main thought being probably the experience of the persons referred to rather than their demeanor under it. Hebrews 10:33Whilst ye were made a gazing-stock (θεατριζόμενοι)

N.T.o. olxx, oClass. Lit. exhibited in the theater. Comp. 1 Corinthians 4:9.

Whilst ye became companions (κοινωνοὶ γενηθέντες)

Rend. by becoming partakers. More than companionship is implied. For κοινωνοὶ see on Luke 5:10. The noun and its kindred verb in N.T. almost exclusively of ethical and spiritual relations, as 1 Timothy 5:22; 1 Peter 4:13; 2 John 1:11; 1 Corinthians 10:18; 2 Corinthians 1:7; Plm 1:17. Even when applied to pecuniary contributions they imply Christian fellowship as the basis of the liberality. See on Romans 12:13; see on Romans 15:27; see on Philippians 4:15.

Of them that were so used (τῶν οὕτως ἀναστρφομένων)

Rend. "of them that fared thus." Others render "who conducted themselves thus"; endured their persecutions, so bravely. But the οὕτως can refer only to made a gazing-stock.

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