But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Whereof all are partakers.—Better, whereof all (God’s children) have been made partakers. Were it possible that they have never known this fatherly “chastening,” it must be that they are not sons whom a father acknowledges, and for whose training he has care.
Whereof all are partakers - All who are the true children of God.
Then are ye bastards, and not sons - The reference here is to the neglect with which such children are treated, and to the general want of care and discipline over them:
"Lost in the world's wide range; enjoin'd no aim,
Prescrib'd no duty, and assign'd no name."
In the English law, a bastard is termed "nullius filius." Illegitimate children are usually abandoned by their father. The care of them is left to the mother, and the father endeavors to avoid all responsibility, and usually to be concealed and unknown. His own child he does not wish to recognize; he neither provides for him; nor instructs him; nor governs him; nor disciplines him. A father, who is worthy of the name, will do all these things. So Paul says it is with Christians. God has not cast them off. In every way he evinces toward them the character of a father. And if it should be that they passed along through life without any occurrence that would indicate the paternal care and attention designed to correct their faults, it would show that they never had been his children, but - were cast off and wholly disregarded. This is a beautiful argument; and we should receive every affliction as full proof that we are not forgotten by the High and Holy One who condescends to sustain to us the character, and to evince toward us, in our wanderings, the watchful care of a Father.
all—all sons: all the worthies enumerated in the eleventh chapter: all the witnesses (Heb 12:1).
are—Greek, "have been made."
then are ye bastards—of whom their fathers take no care whether they are educated or not; whereas every right-minded father is concerned for the moral well-being of his legitimate son. "Since then not to be chastised is a mark of bastardy, we ought [not to refuse, but] rejoice in chastisement, as a mark of our genuine sonship" [Chrysostom].
bastards in his account; and indeed so the most forlorn, wretched persons of all others, left under the power and dominion of sin, hurrying them on to their utter destruction, John 8:41. These visible church members have a bastardly disposition, hearts alienated from God and his law, and inclined to the will and works of the flesh, expressing it in their conversation, running into the excess of sin, having no chastening to restrain them, and are deserted by God for it, Isaiah 1:4-6 Hosea 4:14,17.
whereof all are partakers; that is, all the children of God; they are all alike children; they are all in a state of imperfection, and prone to sin; God has an impartial respect unto them: and though they are not all alike chastened, nor chastened at all times, yet none are exempted from chastisement, but have it in some way or another, and at some time or another.
Then are ye bastards, and not sons; all are not sons that are under a profession of religion; all that are under a profession of religion are not chastised; but then those are not the children of God, but the children of the world, of Satan, and of the antichristian harlot; for though all that are chastised are not children, yet all that are children are chastised: hence we learn, that outward peace and prosperity is not a note of a true church; and that such have reason to distrust their state, who know not what it is to have the chastising rod of God upon them; and that afflictions are rather arguments for than against sonship.But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Hebrews 12:8. Εἰ δὲ χωρίς ἐστε παιδείας] If, on the other hand, ye are free from chastisement (have been spared it). Wrongly Theodoret: εἰ τοίνυν καὶ ὑμεῖς τὴν παιδείαν ἐκκλίνετε.
ἧς μέτοχοι γεγόνασιν πάντες] of which all (sc. whom God—like the saints of the O. T. enumerated chap. 11—has really acknowledged as His sons) have become partakers. That the relative clause contains no statement of entirely universal import, applicable also to the relation towards the earthly fathers (Camerarius, Beza, Limborch, al.), but, on the contrary, one affecting exclusively the relation towards God, is clear from the parallel with Hebrews 12:7, as well as from the perfect γεγόνασιν.
νόθοι] bastards, begotten out of wedlock, for whose weal or woe their father is not wont to be greatly concerned.8. whereof all are partakers] He speaks of God’s blessed and disciplinary chastisement as a gift in which all His sons have their share.Hebrews 12:8. Εἰ δὲ χωρίς ἐστε) If ye are and wish to be, etc.; χωρὶς, without, a melancholy particle.—μέτοχοι, partakers) A favourable word.—πάντες, all) all sons, Hebrews 12:7 : all the witnesses, Hebrews 12:1.—ἄρα νόθοι ἐστὲ καὶ οὐχʼ υἱοὶ, in that case ye are bastards and not sons) An Enthymeme (covert Syllogism), in which this may be understood: but we do not wish to be bastards but sons; therefore we shall receive the discipline.
Rend. "of which all have been made partakers." For μέτοχοι partakers see on Hebrews 3:14. All, that is, all sons of God.
N.T.o. See Wisd. 4:3. They might think that they would not suffer if they were really God's sons; whereas the reverse is the case. If they did not suffer, they would not be God's sons.
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