Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect to the recompense of the reward.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The reproach of Christ.—Better, The reproach of the Christ. Many explanations have been proposed of this remarkable phrase, some of which—as “reproach for Christ,” “reproach similar to that which Christ endured”—cannot possibly give the true meaning. The first point to be noted is that the words are almost exactly a quotation from one of the chief of the Messianic Psalms (Psalm 89:50-51)—“Remember, Lord, the reproach of Thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of many peoples: wherewith Thine enemies have reproached, O Lord; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of Thine Anointed.” Here the writer in effect speaks of himself as bearing “the reproach of the Anointed” of the Lord; pleading in his name and identifying himself with his cause. “The Anointed” is the king who (see the Note on Hebrews 1:5) was the type of the promised Christ. Throughout the whole of their history the people of Israel were the people of the Christ. Their national existence originated in the promise to Abraham, which was a promise of the Christ; and till the fulness of time should come their mission was to prepare the way for Him. The reproach which Moses accepted by joining the people of the promise was, therefore, “the reproach of the Christ,” the type of that “reproach” which in later days His people will share with Him (Hebrews 13:13). He who was to appear in the last days as the Messiah was already in the midst of Israel (John 1:10). (See Psalm 69:9; Colossians 1:24; 1Peter 1:11; and the Note on 2Corinthians 1:5. Philippians 3:7-11 furnishes a noble illustration of this whole record.)
For he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.—Rather, for he looked unto the recompence (Hebrews 10:35). He habitually “looked away” from the treasures in Egypt, and fixed his eye on the heavenly reward.
Greater riches - Worth more; of greater value. Reproach itself is not desirable; but reproach, when a man receives it in an effort to do good to others, is worth more to him than gold, 1 Peter 4:13-14. The scars which an old soldier has received in the defense of his country are more valued by him than his pension; and the reproach which a good man receives in endeavoring to save others is a subject of greater joy to him than would be all the wealth which could be gained in a life of sin.
Than the treasures in Egypt - It is implied here, that Moses had a prospect of inheriting large treasures in Egypt, and that he voluntarily gave them up to be the means of delivering his nation from bondage. Egypt abounded in wealth; and the adopted son of the daughter of the king would naturally be heir to a great estate.
For he had respect unto the recompense of the reward - The "recompense of the reward" here referred to must mean the blessedness of heaven - for he had no earthly reward to look to. He had no prospect of pleasure, or wealth, or honor, in his undertaking. If he had sought these, so far as human sagacity could foresee, he would have remained at the court of Pharaoh. The declaration here proves that it is right to have respect to the rewards of heaven in serving God. It does not prove that this was the only or the main motive which induced Moses to abandon his prospects at court; nor does it prove that this should be our main or only motive in leading a life of piety. If it were, our religion would be mere selfishness. But it is right that we should desire the rewards and joys of heaven, and that we should allow the prospect of those rewards and joys to influence us as a motive to do our duty to God, and to sustain us in our trials; compare Philippians 3:8-11, Philippians 3:13-14.
the reproach of Christ—that is, the reproach which falls on the Church, and which Christ regards as His own reproach, He being the Head, and the Church (both of the Old and New Testament) His body. Israel typified Christ; Israel's sufferings were Christ's sufferings (compare 2Co 1:5; Col 1:24). As uncircumcision was Egypt's reproach, so circumcision was the badge of Israel's expectation of Christ, which Moses especially cherished, and which the Gentiles reproached Israel on account of. Christ's people's reproach will ere long be their great glory.
had respect unto, &c.—Greek, "turning his eyes away from other considerations, he fixed them on the (eternal) recompense" (Heb 11:39, 40).Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: faith influenced and determined his former choice from the most excellent ground of it, the representation of these by the Divine inspired truth to him; it made him weigh and deliberate about the matters proposed, and then to judge, and positively determine about them: That the reproachful suffering of all sorts of afflictions, poverty, distresses, tortures, most ignominiously inflicted on them by their enemies for their faith in Christ, and expectation of him according to God’s promise, and who was now the Angel of the covenant that protected them, as well as their ancestor Jacob, Genesis 48:15,16: these Moses chose to suffer patiently, out of faith in and love to Christ; these, with what excellent things were to follow by virtue of God’s promise, he preferred as a better and richer estate, and infinitely more desirable, than all the treasures of honours and riches, which either Egypt or its king could oblige him with, the whole of them founded in the dust, disposed by flesh, fading in enjoyment, and ending in vanity. What are these treasures, compared to those laid up in store by Christ for his in heaven?
For he had respect unto the recompence of the reward: these were the things Moses had in his eye, the end of Christ’s reproach, and Egypt’s glory; this made him turn his eye and heart away from Egypt, and intently to look on the excellent issue of his reproachful sufferings for Christ, even Christ rendering to him his unexpressibly glorious and eternal reward for it, 2 Corinthians 4:17,18. This God had promised to, Christ had purchased for, such, who were by faith bearing his reproach, and qualified for the enjoying of it, Romans 8:17,18 2 Timothy 2:12 1 Peter 4:13,14.
greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; he counted reproach itself riches; that is, he esteemed that riches for which he was reproached, as Christ, his word, and ordinances, and communion with the saints in them; all which are comparable to gold, silver, and precious stones; yea, are more valuable and desirable than thousands of gold and silver, or than the treasures in Egypt, which were very large; money, cattle, and lands coming into the hands of the king, through the seven years' famine in it, Genesis 47:14 and for which immense treasure, treasure cities were built, Exodus 1:11 which would have become Moses's, had he been Pharaoh's successor, to which he bid fair, before he discovered himself.
For he had respect unto the recompence of the reward; by which is meant, either the deliverance of the Israelites from their bondage, which he judged a sufficient recompence for all his afflictions and reproaches he endured, as the Apostle Paul did for the elect's sake, for the sake of Christ's body the church, Colossians 1:24 or the enjoyment of the land of Canaan, promised for an inheritance to the seed of Abraham; or the enjoyment of God's presence among his people, who is their shield, and exceeding great reward; or rather eternal glory, which is the reward of the inheritance, and is a reward of grace, and not of debt; this he had respect unto, looked for, and believed he should enjoy; so that his faith was of things unseen; and this caused him to prefer even afflictions with the saints, and reproaches for Christ, to all worldly riches and grandeur.Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Hebrews 11:26. Indication of cause for Hebrews 11:25, in such wise that ἡγησάμενος, Hebrews 11:26, is subordinated to the μᾶλλον ἑλόμενος, Hebrews 11:25.
τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν τοῦ χριστοῦ] the reproach of Christ. That signifies not: the reproach for Christ’s sake, which he endured, namely, by virtue of the hope in the Messiah (Castellio, Wolf, Carpzov, Böhme, Kuinoel, Bloomfield, and others). For by the mere genitive this notion cannot be expressed. The sense is: the reproach, as Christ bore it, inasmuch, namely, as the reproach, which Moses took upon him to endure in fellowship with his oppressed people at the hand of the Egyptians, was in its nature homogeneous with the reproach which Christ afterwards had to endure at the hands of unbelievers, to the extent that in the one case as in the other the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom was the end and aim of the enduring. Comp. τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν αὐτοῦ φέροντες, Hebrews 13:13, and τὰ παθήματα τοῦ Χριστοῦ 2 Corinthians 1:5; as also τὰ ὑστερήματα τῶν θλίψεων τοῦ Χριστοῦ, Colossians 1:24.
ἀπέβλεπεν γὰρ εἰς τὴν μισθαποδοσίαν] for he looked stedfastly to the bestowal of the reward. The determining ground for his action.
ἀποβλέπειν in the N. T. only here.
ἡ μισθαποδοσία is the promised heavenly reward, the everlasting salvation; comp. Hebrews 11:39-40. Unsuitably does Grotius limit the expression to the promised possession of the land of Canaan.26. the reproach of Christ] Rather, “of the Christ” (comp. Hebrews 13:13; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Romans 15:3; Php 3:7-11; Colossians 1:24). There may be in the words a reminiscence of Psalm 89:50-51, “Remember Lord the reproach of thy servants … wherewith thine enemies have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed.” By “the reproach of the Christ” is meant “the reproach which He had to bear in His own person, and has to bear in that of His members” (2 Corinthians 1:5). It is true that in no other passage of the Epistle does the writer allude to the mystical oneness of Christ and his Church, but he must have been aware of that truth from intercourses with St Paul and knowledge of his writings. Other wise we must suppose him to imply that Moses by faith realised, at least dimly, that he was suffering as Christ would hereafter suffer.
he had respect unto] Lit. “for he was looking away from it to.” What Moses had in view was something wholly different from sinful pleasure. The verb is found here only in the N. T.Hebrews 11:26. Τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν τοῦ Χριστοῦ, the reproach of Christ) So ch. Hebrews 13:13. The expectation of Christ, which Moses had in so great a degree, was the centre of all the things on account of which both the Egyptians and all the Gentiles despised Israel, especially circumcision, of which the opposite, uncircumcision, is called the reproach of Egypt, where circumcision was unknown, Joshua 5:9 : and yet Moses did not for that reason desert the people.—ἀπέβλεπε) he looked far forward.—τὴν μισθαποδοσίαν, to the recompence of reward) which follows the reproach of Christ, is more magnificent than the treasures of Egypt, and to be expected by Moses and all the saints. A grand expression.
The participle gives the reason for his choice of affliction instead of sin: since he esteemed. "The reproach of Christ" is the reproach peculiar to Christ; such as he endured. The writer uses it as a current form of expression, coloring the story of Moses with a Christian tinge. Comp. Romans 15:3; Hebrews 13:13; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Colossians 1:24; Philippians 3:14; 1 Peter 4:14. The phrase is applied to Moses as enduring at the hands of the Egyptians and of the rebellious Israelites the reproach which any faithful servant of God will endure, and which was endured in a notable way by Christ.
He had respect unto (ἀπέβλεπεν εἰς)
N.T.o. Lit. he looked away (from the treasures of Egypt, etc.) unto the recompense.
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