Hebrews 2:10
For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(10) For.—What seemed to Jews incredible, that the Christ should die, was ordained “by the grace of God.” For thus to make sufferings the path to His kingdom was worthy of God, for whose glory and through whose power all things exist; who as Creator commands all agencies, and who cannot but do that which will subserve His glory. If the means at which men wondered were chosen by God, no one may doubt their supreme fitness for the end. In what this fitness consisted the following words partially explain.

In bringing.—It is doubtful whether the Greek word should not be rendered, having brought. With this translation we must certainly explain the words on the same principle as the past tenses of Hebrews 2:7-8. As in the divine counsels all things were subjected to man, with the same propriety it may be said that God had brought many sons to glory when the Saviour suffered and died.

Many sons.—The new thought here introduced is of great importance in the argument. The divine purpose is to bring many sons (comp. Hebrews 1:14) unto glory—the glory already spoken of as reserved for man—through His Son, who has Himself received this glory that He may make it theirs.

Captain.—This word occurs in three other places. In Acts 5:31 it bears its original meaning, “Leader (“a Leader and a Saviour”); in Hebrews 12:2 and Acts 3:15 the idea of “leading the way” has passed into that of origination. In the present case, also, Author is the best rendering; but in a context which so distinctly presents our Lord as taking on Himself the conditions of man’s lot, and so passing into the glory which He wins for man, the primary thought of leading must not be entirely set aside. It is as the Author of salvation that He is made perfect through sufferings. Three aspects of this truth are presented in the Epistle. By His suffering unto death He “bare the sins of many” (Hebrews 2:9, Hebrews 9:28); He offered the sacrifice of a perfect obedience (Hebrews 5:8); He was enabled to be a perfect representative of man. This last thought pervades the remaining verses of the chapter.



Hebrews 2:10.

IT does not ‘become’ us to be hasty or confident in determining what ‘becomes’ God. We had need to know the divine nature more perfectly, and the bearings of His actions more comprehensively and clearly than we do, before it can be safe to reject anything on the ground that it is unworthy of the divine nature. Perhaps we have not quite got to the bottom of the bottomless; perhaps men’s conceptions do not precisely constitute the standard to which God is bound to conform. It is unsafe to pronounce that a given thing is unworthy of Him. It is much safer to pronounce that a given thing is worthy of Him.

And that is what the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews does here, venturing upon ground on which the New Testament seldom enters, viz., the vindication of the doctrine of a suffering Christ, on the ground of its being congruous with the divine nature that He should suffer. Especially would such a thought be appropriate and telling to the audience to whom it was originally addressed. ‘We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling-block,’ says Paul And that doctrine of a suffering Messiah was the thing that stood in the way of the Jewish reception of the gospel, more perhaps than anything besides. So here we have the writer turning the tables upon the people, who might oppose it, on the ground of that discord and incongruity, and asserting that the whole of the sufferings of Jesus Christ do entirely harmonise with, are worthy of, and ‘become’ the supreme and absolute sovereignty of the God ‘for whom are all things, and by whom are all things.’

There are three points, then, to which I desire to turn. There is first, the great sweep of the divine purpose. There is, secondly, the apparently paradoxical method of effecting it; and there is, finally, the assertion of the entire congruity between that method and the divine nature.

I. First of all, then, regard for a few moments the great sweep of the divine action in the gift of Christ as it is set forth here.

It is bringing many sons unto glory, wherein there lies, of course, a metaphor of a great filial procession, being led on through all changes of this lower life, steadily upwards into the possession of what is here called ‘glory.’ The same metaphor colours the other expression of our text, ‘the Captain of our salvation.’

For the word translated ‘Captain, which only occurs some four times in Scripture, literally means one who leads, or begins any course or thing; and hence comes to mean a commander, or a prince, as it is twice translated; and then again, with a very easy transition from the notion of leading to that of origination, it comes to mean ‘cause’ or ‘author,’ as it is once translated. The conception of ‘author’ is the dominant one here, but it is also coloured by the prolongation of the metaphor in the previous clause. This great procession of sons up into glory, which is the object and aim of God’s work, is all under the leadership of Him who is the Captain, the foremost, the Originator, and, in a profound sense, the Cause, of their salvation.

So, then, we have before us the thought that God brings, and yet Christ leads, and God’s bringing is effected through Christ’s leadership. Then we have other thoughts, upon which time will not allow me to dwell. Let me just indicate them to you for your own expansion.

Look at the extent of the divine act. ‘Many’ is used not in contrast to ‘all,’ as if there was proclaimed here a restricted application of Christ’s work in the divine idea; but ‘many’ is in opposition to ‘few,’ or, perhaps, in opposition to the One. There is One Leader, and there is an indefinite number of followers. The Connotation of the word ‘ many’ is the idea of uncounted number. This great procession, with its long and interminable files, sweeps onward under the guidance of the one Captain. So wide as to be universal is the sweep of God’s purpose to bring the ‘many,’ a ‘multitude that no man can number,’ into the possession of His glory. Then, note, the relationship which the members of that great company possess. The many are being brought as ‘sons’ under the leadership of the one Son. That opens out into the broad thought that the loftiest conception of God’s end in redemption is the making the ‘many’ like the One, and the investing of them all with every privilege and dignity which belongs to their Leader.

Then note, further, the end of the march. This great company stretching numberless away beyond the range of vision, and all exalted into the dignity of sons, is steadfastly pressing onwards to the aim of fulfilling that divine ideal of humanity, long since spoken in the psalm, which in its exuberant promises sounds liker irony than hope. ‘Thou crownest Him with glory and honour.’ They are not only steadily marching onwards to the realisation of that divine ideal, but also to the participation of the glory of the Captain who is the ‘brightness of the Father’s glory;’ as well as ‘the express image of His person.’ So again, the underlying thought is the identity, as in fate here, so in destiny hereafter, of the army with its Leader. He is the Son, and the divine purpose is to make the ‘many’ partakers of His Sonship. He is the realisation of the divine ideal We see not yet all things put under man, but we see Jesus, and so we know that the ancient hope is not the baseless fabric of a vision, nor a dream which will pass when we awake to the realities, but is to be fulfilled in every one, down to the humblest private in that great army, all of whom shall partake in their measure and degree in the glory of the Lord.

This, then, being the purpose, - the leading up out of the world into the glory, of a great company of sons who are conformed to the image of the Son - we attain the point from which we may judge of the adaptation of the means to the end. We cannot tell whether a thing is congruous with the nature of the doer of it till we know what the doer intended by the act. Inadequate conceptions of God’s purpose in Christ’s mission are sure to lead, as they always have led, to inadequate conceptions of the means to be adopted, and doubts of their congruity with the divine nature. If Christ’s mission is only meant to reveal to us a little more clearly truth concerning God and man, if He is only meant to stand before us as the ideal of conduct, and the pattern for our imitation, then there is no need for a Cross, which adds nothing to these; but if He has come to redeem, if He has come to turn slaves into sons, if He has come to lift men up from the mud and earthliness of their low and sensuous careers, and to set them upon the path that will lead them to share in the glory of God, then there is something more needed than would be adequate for the work of a Teacher howsoever wise, or than would be required for the work of an Example however beautiful and fair. The Cross is surplusage if Christ be a prophet only; it is surplusage and an incongruity if Christ be simply the foremost of the pure natures that have walked the earth, and shown the beauty of goodness. But if Christ has come to make men sons of God, by participation of His sonship, and to blanch and irradiate their blackness by the reflection and impartation of His own flashing glory, then it ‘became Him, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.’

II. That leads me to the next point that is here, viz., the paradox of the method adopted to carry out this divine purpose.

Of course, I do not need to explain, I suppose, that the ‘perfecting through sufferings,’ which is here declared to take effect upon our Lord, does not mean the addition of anything to, or the purging away of anything from, His moral nature. You and I are refined by suffering; which purges out our dross, if we take it rightly. You and I are ennobled by suffering, which adds to us, if we rightly accept it, that which without it we could never possess. But Christ’s perfecting is not the perfecting of His moral character, but the completion of His equipment for His work of being the Captain of our salvation. That is to say, He Himself, though He learned obedience by the things that He suffered, was morally perfect, ere yet one shadow of pain or conflict had passed across the calm depths of His pure spirit. But He was not ready for His function of Leader and Originator of our salvation until He had passed through the sufferings of life and the agonies of death. Thus the whole sweep of Christ’s sufferings, both those which preceded the Cross, and especially the Cross itself, are included in the general expression of my text; and these equipped Him for His work.

So we learn this lesson, the Captain who comes to make the soldiers like Himself can only accomplish His purpose by becoming like the soldiers. The necessity for our Lord’s sufferings is mainly based in the text here upon the simple principle that He who is to deliver men must be a Man. The leader must have no exemption from the hardships of the company. If He is to be a leader, He and we must go by the same road. He must tramp along all the weary path that we have to tread. He must experience all the conflicts and difficulties that we have to experience. He cannot lift us up into a share of His glory unless He stoops to the companionship of our grief. No man upon a higher level can raise one on a lower, except on condition of Himself going down, with His hand at any rate, to the level from which He would lift. And no Christ will be able to accomplish the Father’s design, except a Christ that knows the fellowship of our sufferings, and is made conformable unto our death. Therefore because ‘He took not hold to help angels, but the seed of Abraham, it behooved Him to be made in all things like unto His brethren.’ And when the soldiers are weary on the march, footsore and tired, they bethink themselves

‘Headquarters were here yesterday.’

‘We can go through no darker rooms

Than He went through before.’

And where He has stretched Himself on the cold ground and bivouacked, we need not be ashamed or afraid to lie down. The Captain of our salvation has gone through and shared all our hardships, and plodded with bleeding feet over every inch of the ground over which He would lead us.

Again, we learn the necessity of His suffering in order to His sympathy. Before He suffers, He has the pity of a God; after He suffers He has learnt the compassion of a man. And though in the fight the general seems to have gone up the hill, and left the army to struggle in the plain, He has gone like Moses to the mount to lift all-powerful bands of intercession, and bearing in His heart tender compassion, a fellow-feeling of our pains. No Christ is worth anything to me, suffering and bleeding and agonizing here, unless He be a Christ of whom I know that His heart is full of sympathy because Himself has felt the same, and that He has learnt to run to the help of the miserable, because He Himself is not ignorant of misfortune.

Then we learn, further, the necessity of the Captain’s suffering in order to emancipate us from the dominion of the evil that He bears. No doctrine of identification with our common infirmities, or sympathy in regard of our daily trials is adequate to explain, or to reach to the depths of this paradox of a crucified Commander. We need another thought than that, and it lies in this. ‘He Himself bare our sins in His own body on the tree.’ The necessity for knowing all our condition and sharing it was not the only necessity that brought Christ to suffer and to die. But upon Him was gathered the whole mass and Blackness of human sin, and in His separation from the Father, and in the outward fact of death, He bare our miseries, and by His stripes we were healed. No Christ is enough for me a sinner except a Christ whose Cross takes away the Burden and the penalty of my transgression. And thus ‘it became Him to make the Captain of salvation perfect through suffering,’ else the design of making men His sons and sharers of His glory could never come to pass.

III. Therefore, lastly, mark the harmony between the loftiest conception of the divine character and nature and these sufferings of Jesus.

The writer dwells upon two aspects of God’s relation to the universe. ‘It became Him for whom are all things, and by or through whom are all things.’ That is to say, the sufferings and death of the Christ, in whom is God manifest in the flesh, are worthy of that lofty nature to the praise and glory of which all things contribute. The Cross is the highest manifestation of the divine nature. The paradox remains that a dying man should more worthily set forth the deep heart of God, and should therefore more completely realise the divine purpose that all things should be for His glory, than all besides can do. Creation witnesses of Him, providence witnesses of Him, these marvellous spirits of ours proclaim His praise, but the deep heart of God, like some rich fruit, if I may so say, is cleft open by the Cross, and all its treasures laid bare, as they are displayed nowhere besides. So the purpose - which may be so stated as to be only Almighty selfishness, but which is really the expression of Almighty love - the purpose of God that all creation should redound to His honour, and be ‘for Him,’ reaches its end through the suffering of Jesus Christ, and in Him, and in His death God is glorified. ‘It became Him, for whom are all things, to perfect through suffering the Captain of our salvation.’

Another aspect, closely connected with this, lies in that other clause. Christ’s sufferings and death are congruous with that Almighty power by which the Universe has sprung into being and is sustained. His creative agency is not the highest exhibition of His power. Creation is effected by a word. The bare utterance of the divine will was all that was needed to make the heavens and the earth, and ‘to preserve the stars from wrong.’ But the bare utterance of will is not enough here. If men are to be brought to glory, they cannot be brought by the mere desire of God to bring them, or by the mere utterance of His will that they should be brought. This work needs a process, needs that something should be done. This work needs the humiliation, the suffering, the death, resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of God, of the Captain of our salvation and the Prince of our life.

So though by Him are all things, if we would know the full sweep and Omnipotence of His power, He points us away from creation, and its ineffectual fires that pale before this brighter Light in which His whole self is embodied, and says, ‘There, that is the arm of the Lord made bare in the sight of all the nations.’ Omnipotence has made the world, the Cross has redeemed it. From that Cross there come the loftiest conceptions of Him for whom all things are, but for whom men are not, unless the Cross has won them; by whom are all things, but by whom men are, through more wondrous exercise of divine power, when they are redeemed by the precious blood, than when they were made by the creative fiat.

Therefore, brethren, listen to God saying, ‘I have set Him for a witness to the people, for a Leader and a Commander to the people,’ and see to it that you enlist in this Captain’s army, and follow His banners and trust in His Cross, that your sufferings may be His, and the merit of His may be yours, and that in His sonship you may be sons, and the flashings of His glory may change your earthliness from glory to glory, into the image of the Son, made perfect through suffering and crowned with glory and honour, which He parts among all His soldiers.Hebrews 2:10. In this verse the apostle expresses, in his own words, what he before expressed in those of the psalmist. For it became him — It was suitable to all his attributes, especially to his justice and mercy, his holiness and goodness, his wisdom and truth; for whom — As their ultimate end; and by whom — As their first cause; are all things; in bringing many sons unto glory — Namely, believers, called God’s sons, John 1:12; Romans 8:14; and frequently elsewhere. The clause seems to be an allusion to the introduction of Israel (whom God dignified with the title of his son) into Canaan, which was a type of heaven; called glory, both because God there manifests his presence in a most glorious manner, and because there all his saints are rendered unspeakably glorious; to make the Captain Αρχηγον, the prince, leader, and author; of their salvation perfect — That is, a complete Saviour; through sufferings — Endured for them. By which sufferings he was consecrated to his office, and qualified to discharge it; expiated men’s sins, obtained for them the Holy Spirit, John 16:7; Acts 2:33; showed them by his example that their way lay through sufferings to glory, and in what spirit they must suffer; learned, as man, to sympathize with, and to succour and support them in their sufferings, Hebrews 2:17-18; Hebrews 4:15-16.2:10-13 Whatever the proud, carnal, and unbelieving may imagine or object, the spiritual mind will see peculiar glory in the cross of Christ, and be satisfied that it became Him, who in all things displays his own perfections in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. His way to the crown was by the cross, and so must that of his people be. Christ sanctifies; he has purchased and sent the sanctifying Spirit: the Spirit sanctifies as the Spirit of Christ. True believers are sanctified, endowed with holy principles and powers, set apart to high and holy uses and purposes. Christ and believers are all of one heavenly Father, who is God. They are brought into relation with Christ. But the words, his not being ashamed to call them brethren, express the high superiority of Christ to the human nature. This is shown from three texts of Scripture. See Ps 22:22; 18:2; Isa 8:18.For it became him - There was a fitness or propriety in it; it was such an arrangement as became God to make, in redeeming many, that the great agent by whom it was accomplished, should be made complete in all respects by sufferings. The apostle evidently means by this to meet an objection that might be offered by a Jew to the doctrine which he had been stating - an objection drawn from the fact that Jesus was a man of sorrows, and that his life was a life of affliction. This he meets by stating that there was a "fitness" and "propriety" in that fact. There was a reason for it - a reason drawn from the plan and character of God. It was fit, in the nature of the case, that he should be qualified to be "a complete" or "perfect Saviour" - a Saviour just adapted to the purpose undertaken, by sufferings. The "reasons" of this fitness, the apostle does not state. The amount of it probably was, that it became him as a Being of infinite benevolence; as one who wished to provide a perfect system of redemption, to subject his Son to such sufferings as should completely qualify him to be a Saviour for all people. This subjection to his humble condition, and to his many woes, made him such a Saviour as man needed, and qualified him fully for his work. There was a propriety that he who should redeem the suffering and the lost should partake of their nature; identify himself with them; and share their woes, and the consequences of their sins.

For whom are all things - With respect to whose glory the whole universe was made; and with respect to whom the whole arrangement for salvation has been formed. The phrase is synonymous with "the Supreme Ruler;" and the idea is, that it became the Sovereign of the universe to provide a perfect scheme of salvation - even though it involved the humiliation and death of his own Son.

And by whom are all things - By whose agency everything is made. As it was by his agency, therefore, that the plan of salvation was entered into, there was a "fitness" that it should be perfect. It was not the work of fate or chance, and there was a propriety that the whole plan should bear the mark of the infinite wisdom of its Author.

In bringing many sons unto glory - To heaven. This was the plan - it was to bring many to heaven who should be regarded and treated as his sons. It was not a plan to save a few - but to save many. Hence, learn:

(1) that the plan was full of benevolence.

(2) no representation of the gospel should ever be made which will leave the impression that only a few, or a small part of the whole race, will be saved. There is no such representation in the Bible, and it should not be made. God intends, taking the whole race together, to save a large part of the human family. Few in ages that are past, it is true, may have been saved; few now are his friends and are traveling to heaven; but there are to be brighter days on earth. The period is to arrive when the gospel shall spread over all lands, and during that long period of the millennium, innumerable millions will be brought under its saving power, and be admitted to heaven. All exhibitions of the gospel are wrong which represent it as narrow in its design; narrow in its offer; and narrow in its result.

To make the captain of their salvation - The Lord Jesus, who is represented as the leader or commander of the army of the redeemed - "the sacramental host of God's elect." The word "captain" we apply now to an inferior officer - the commander of a "company" of soldiers. The Greek word - ἀρχηγὸς archēgos - is a more general term, and denotes, properly, the author or source of anything; then a leader, chief prince. In Acts 3:15, it is rendered "prince" - "and killed the prince of life." So in Acts 5:31. "Him hath God exalted to be a prince and a Saviour." In Hebrews 12:2, it is rendered "author." "Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith;" compare the notes at that place.

Perfect through sufferings - Complete by means of sufferings; that is, to render him wholly qualified for his work, so that he should be a Saviour just adapted to redeem man. This does not mean that he was sinful before and was made holy by his sufferings; nor that he was not in all respects a perfect man before; but it means, that by his sufferings he was made "wholly suited" to be a Saviour of people; and that, therefore, the fact of his being a suffering man was no evidence, as a Jew might have urged, that he was not the Son of God. There was a "completeness," a "filling up," of all which was necessary to his character as a Saviour, by the sufferings which he endured. We are made morally "better" by afflictions, if we receive them in a right manner - for we are sinful, and need to be purified in the furnace of affliction; Christ was not made "better," for he was before perfectly holy, but he was completely endowed for the work which he came to do, by his sorrows. Nor does this mean here precisely that he was exalted to heaven as a "reward" for his sufferings, or that he was raised up to glory as a consequence of them - which was true in itself - but that he was rendered "complete" or "fully qualified" to be a Saviour by his sorrows. Thus, he was rendered complete:

(1) Because his suffering in all the forms that flesh is liable to, made him an example to all his people who shall pass through trials. They have before them a perfect model to show them how to bear afflictions. Had this not occurred, he could not have been regarded as a "complete" or "perfect" Saviour - that is, such a Saviour as we need.

(2) he is able to sympathize with them, and to succour them in their temptations, Hebrews 2:18.

(3) by his sufferings an atonement was made for sin. He would have been an "imperfect" Saviour - if the name "Saviour" could have been given to him at all - if he had not died to make an atonement for transgression. To render him "complete" as a Saviour, it was necessary that he should suffer and die; and when he hung on the cross in the agonies of death, he could appropriately say, "it is "finished." The work is complete. All has been done that could be required to be done; and man may now have the assurance that he has a perfect Saviour, perfect not only in moral character - but perfect in his work, and in his adaptedness to the condition of people;" compare Hebrews 5:8-9. See the note at Luke 13:32.

10. For—giving a reason why "the grace of God" required that Jesus "should taste death."

it became him—The whole plan was (not only not derogatory to, but) highly becoming God, though unbelief considers it a disgrace [Bengel]. An answer to the Jews, and Hebrew Christians, whosoever, through impatience at the delay in the promised advent of Christ's glory, were in danger of apostasy, stumbling at Christ crucified. The Jerusalem Christians especially were liable to this danger. This scheme of redemption was altogether such a one as harmonizes with the love, justice, and wisdom of God.

for whom—God the Father (Ro 11:36; 1Co 8:6; Re 4:11). In Col 1:16 the same is said of Christ.

all things—Greek, "the universe of things," "the all things." He uses for "God," the periphrasis, "Him for whom … by whom are all things," to mark the becomingness of Christ's suffering as the way to His being "perfected" as "Captain of our salvation," seeing that His is the way that pleased Him whose will and whose glory are the end of all things, and by whose operation all things exist.

in bringing—The Greek is past, "having brought as He did," namely, in His electing purpose (compare "ye are sons," namely, in His purpose, Ga 4:6; Eph 1:4), a purpose which is accomplished in Jesus being "perfected through sufferings."

many—(Mt 20:28). "The Church" (Heb 2:12), "the general assembly" (Heb 12:23).

sons—no longer children as under the Old Testament law, but sons by adoption.

unto glory—to share Christ's "glory" (Heb 2:9; compare Heb 2:7; Joh 17:10, 22, 24; Ro 8:21). Sonship, holiness (Heb 2:11), and glory, are inseparably joined. "Suffering," "salvation," and "glory," in Paul's writings, often go together (2Ti 2:10). Salvation presupposes destruction, deliverance from which for us required Christ's "sufferings."

to make … perfect—"to consummate"; to bring to consummated glory through sufferings, as the appointed avenue to it. "He who suffers for another, not only benefits him, but becomes himself the brighter and more perfect" [Chrysostom]. Bringing to the end of troubles, and to the goal full of glory: a metaphor from the contests in the public games. Compare "It is finished," Lu 24:26; Joh 19:30. I prefer, with Calvin, understanding, "to make perfect as a completed sacrifice": legal and official, not moral, perfection is meant: "to consecrate" (so the same Greek is translated Heb 7:28; compare Margin) by the finished expiation of His death, as our perfect High Priest, and so our "Captain of salvation" (Lu 13:32). This agrees with Heb 2:11, "He that sanctifieth," that is, consecrates them by Himself being made a consecrated offering for them. So Heb 10:14, 29; Joh 17:19: by the perfecting of His consecration for them in His death, He perfects their consecration, and so throws open access to glory (Heb 10:19-21; Heb 5:9; 9:9 accord with this sense).

captain of, &c.—literally, Prince-leader: as Joshua, not Moses, led the people into the Holy Land, so will our Joshua, or Jesus, lead us into the heavenly inheritance (Ac 13:39). The same Greek is in Heb 12:2, "Author of our faith." Ac 3:15, "Prince of life" (Ac 5:31). Preceding others by His example, as well as the originator of our salvation.

For it became him: a further reason of Christ’s humiliation and sufferings is added, to show the necessity of his being lower than the angels for a while; in which the Spirit prevents what these Hebrews were apt to question, why God would have Christ thus to die, &c., by adding: Therefore it became him so to do; it was agreeable to him, and had a meetness in it to his excellent perfection; by it displaying together his Divine wisdom, justice, mercy, and power. Amongst all his methods, he pitched upon this as the best, and did by it what was befitting and becoming a God to do. He likewise revealed this so becoming decree of his by the prophets to the church, and it was meet to and becoming his truth to fulfil it, Isaiah 53:1-12 Luke 24:25-27.

For whom are all things, and by whom, are all things; for the manifestation of God the Father’s glory, whose grace gave Christ to die for us, are all things which have a being; and by him are all things, as the Efficient and Creator of them, by his powerful word they are: this being likewise attributed to the gospel Prophet, God-man, John 1:3 Colossians 1:16.

By whom; it shows he is no more an instrument in this work than the Father, and equally efficient with him, Romans 3:26.

In bringing many sons unto glory: agagonta cannot agree with autw, him, for that is the dative case, but with what follows, ’ Archgon, the Leader of their salvation bringing many sons to glory: so that though the Father indeed glorify, yet it is most properly spoken of the Leader, to lead or bring his company thither; and so it is written, Ephesians 2:18 3:12. He showed and led them the way wherein they were to reach it, 1 Peter 3:18, who though for state were sinners, yet made fit by regeneration and adoption, and have their title from their Leader, John 1:12,13. He merited by his sufferings both the relation and inheritance for them, Romans 8:14-18 1 Peter 1:2-5; and so as to bring them to that glorious state and condition, for persons and enjoyments, in the heavenly Canaan prepared for them, Matthew 25:34 1 Peter 5:10 1Jo 3:1,2.

To make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings: so their ’ Archgov, a prime Leader of many, a person eminent for priority and dignity, directing and ordering all under his power, who is the prime of the creation of God, Colossians 1:18, having the pre-eminency of all angels and men: he was perfected; teleiwsai signifieth the consecrating or accomplishing of a person for office by sacrifice; so Christ useth it, Luke 13:32, I shall be perfected, i.e. sacrificed and completed in my office by death: so John 19:30. By his sufferings of all sorts accomplished in death, and by the blood of that sacrifice, was this great gospel Prophet made a perfect Mediator, and fitted for his officiating and ministering in heaven for ever, herein fulfilling his types, Hebrews 9:11,12,14,15,22-24: compare Exodus 29:1-46. He, in respect of saving his, is the author, purchaser, and perfecter of it to them: he by his sufferings and death merited salvation for them, by his word and Spirit fits them for it, by his intercession increaseth and applieth it; he vanquishes all opposers of it, and puts them finally into the actual possession of it in glory in heaven. For it became him, for whom are all things,.... This is not a periphrasis of Christ, who died, but of God the Father, who delivered him to death; and who is the final cause of all things, in nature, and in grace, all things being made for his pleasure and for his glory; and he is the efficient cause of all things, as follows:

and by whom are all things; all the works of creation, providence, and grace:

in bringing many sons to glory; not to worldly glory, but to the heavenly glory, which they are undeserving of; and which was long ago prepared for them; is at present hid; is weighty, solid, durable, yea, eternal: the persons whom God, of his rich grace, brings to this, are "sons"; who are predestinated to the adoption of children; are regenerated by the Spirit of God; believe in Christ; and have the spirit of adoption given them, and so being children, are heirs of glory: and these are "many"; for though they are but few, when compared with others, yet they are many, considered by themselves; they are many that God has ordained to eternal life, and given to Christ, and for whom he has given himself a ransom, and whom he justifies; and accordingly there are many mansions of glory provided for them in their Father's house, whose act it is to bring them thither: he has chosen them to this glory, and prepared it for them; he sent his Son to redeem them; he reveals his Son in them, the hope of glory; he calls them to his eternal glory, and makes them meet for it, and gives them an abundant entrance into it: and

him it became--to make the Captain of their salutation perfect through sufferings; Christ is "the Captain of salvation", and is so called, because he is the author of it; and he is the Prince and Commander of these sons, who are committed to his charge, and are under his care; and is their guide and leader; and who is gone before them to prepare their mansions of glory for them: and he is made "perfect through sufferings"; he suffered all that the law and justice of God could require; and hereby he became perfectly acquainted with the sufferings of his people, and a perfect Saviour of them; and in this way went to glory himself: and it "became" God the Father, the first cause, and last end of all things, since he had a design to bring all his adopted sons to glory, that his own Son should perfectly suffer for them; this was agreeable to, and becoming the perfections of his nature, his wisdom, his veracity, his justice, grace, and mercy.

{9} For it became {p} him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, {10} in bringing many sons unto glory, {11} to make the {q} captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

(9) He proves moreover by other arguments why it suited the Son of God who is true God (as he proved a little before) to become man nonetheless, subject to all miseries, with the exception of sin.

(p) God.

(10) First of all because the Father, to whose glory all these things are to be referred, purposed to bring many sons to glory. How could he have men for his sons, unless his only begotten son had become a brother to men?

(11) Secondly the Father determined to bring those sons to glory, that is, out of that shame in which they existed before. Therefore the son should not have been seen plainly to be made man, unless he had been made like other men, that he might come to glory in the same way, he would bring others: indeed rather, it suited him who was prince of the salvation of others, to be consecrated above others through those afflictions, Prophet, King, and Priest, which are the offices of that government, for the salvation of others.

(q) The Chieftain who as he is chiefest in dignity, so he is first begotten from the dead, among many brethren.

Hebrews 2:10. Not without design has the author, Hebrews 2:9, added to the declaration δόξῃ καὶ τιμῇ ἐστεφανωμένον the indication of the cause, διὰ τὸ πάθημα τοῦ θανάτου, and then brought into relief this superadded clause by the final statement: ὅπως χάριτι θεοῦ ὑπὲρ παντὸς γεύσηται θανάτου. For the Redeemer’s death of the cross, ridiculed by the Gentiles as folly, was to the Jews an offence (1 Corinthians 1:23). Even to the Hebrews, to whom the author is writing, the thought of a Messiah who passed through sufferings and death might be a stumbling-block not yet surmounted, and, with other things, have contributed to shake their confidence in Christianity, and incline them to relapse into Judaism. Without, therefore, further giving express utterance to the conclusion to be expected after Hebrews 2:9 (see on Hebrews 2:9, init.), but rather leaving the supplying of the same to the readers, the author passes over, Hebrews 2:10 ff., at once to the justification of that fact regarded as an offence, in bringing into relief the consideration that the choice of that way, so apparently strange, of causing the Messiah to attain to glory through sufferings and death, was altogether worthy of God (Hebrews 2:10), and necessary (Hebrews 2:14-18), in order that Christ might be qualified to be the redeemer of sinful humanity.

Wrongly does Tholuck suppose that Hebrews 2:10 attaches itself to δόξῃ ἐστεφανωμένον, Hebrews 2:9, and expresses the thought that the glorification of Him could not fail of its accomplishment, who became to others the author of salvation. For the centre of gravity in the proposition lies not in τελειῶσαι, but in διὰ παθημάτων, which Tholuck erroneously degrades to a mere “secondary thought.”

ἔπρεπεν] it was befitting; not an expression of necessity (Kuinoel, Bloomfield, al.), but of meetness and becomingness, in relation partly to the nature of God (comp. διʼ ὃν τὰ πάντα καὶ διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα), partly to the ends He would attain (cf. Hebrews 2:14-18). Comp. Philo, Legg. allegor. I. p. 48 E (with Mangey, I. p. 53): πρέπει τῷ θεῷ φυτεύειν καὶ οἰκοδομεῖν ἐν ψυχῇ τὰς ἀρετάς.

De incorrupt. Mundi, p. 950 B (with Mangey, II. p. 500): ἐμπρεπὲς δὲ θεῷ τὰ ἄμορφα μορφοῦν καὶ τοῖς αἰσχίστοις περιτιθέναι θαυμαστὰ κάλλη.

αὐτῷ, διʼ ὃν τὰ πάντα καὶ διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα] does not relate to Christ (Primasius, Hunnius, Königsmann, Cramer, al.), but is a periphrasis for God. This periphrastic delineation, however, of the divine characteristics justifies the ἔπρεπεν in its truth and naturalness. For He who is the Supreme Cause and Creator of the Universe cannot have done anything unworthy of Himself.

τὰ πάντα] the totality of all that exists, not merely that which serves for the bringing about of salvation (Schlichting, Grotius, Limborch, Paulus).

διʼ ὅν] for the sake of whom,[46] characterizes God as the One for whom, i.e. to accomplish whose ends, all things are designed, and corresponds to the εἰς αὐτόν, Romans 11:36, 1 Corinthians 8:6; while διʼ οὗ characterizes Him as the One by whom all things have been effected or created, inasmuch as, according to the popular conception, the notion of the originating is not strictly separated from that of effecting, since both are summed up under the more general notion of disposing, preparing [ποιεῖν, παρασκευάζειν, ἑτοιμάζειν]; comp. 1 Corinthians 1:9; Galatians 1:1. In the case of our author, moreover, the placing of the inaccurate διʼ οὖ instead of the more accurate ἐξ οὖ (comp. Romans 11:36) or ὑφʼ οὗ, may also have been occasioned with a view to the paronomasia produced by the use of the twofold διά with different cases.

πολλοὺς υἱοὺς εἰς δόξαν ἀγαγόντα] is not a preposed apposition to τὸν ἀρχηγὸν τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν: “it became God to make Him,—as one who led many sons unto glory,—namely, the Beginner of their salvation, perfect through sufferings” (Primasius, Erasmus, Paraphr.; Estius, Heinrichs, Stuart, Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl., p. 321 f.; Ebrard, Nickel, in Reuter’s Repert. 1857, Oct. p. 20, and many others). Such construction is not indeed to be opposed, as Böhme and Bleek think, on the ground that the article τόν could not in that case have been wanting also before πολλούς. On the contrary, either the addition or the omission of the article before πολλούς would be justified; only a modification of the sense results from the choice of the one or the other course. If the article is placed, then τὸν πολλοὺς υἱοὺς εἰς δόξαν ἀγαγόντα and τὸν ἀρχηγὸν τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν are two parallel but co-ordinate utterances, in such wise that the second repeats the first only in more sharply-defined form of expression. In connection with the omission of the article, again, the first expression stands in the relation of subordination to the second, and is a preposed statement of the reason for the same. But what really decides against that view is—(1) That according to Hebrews 2:11 the believers are brethren of Christ, and sons of God; consequently πολλοὺς υἱοὺς εἰς δόξαν ἀγαγόντα would be unsuitable as an utterance with respect to Christ, while the interpretation of the υἱούς as sons of God, adopted by Nickel, l.c., in connection with the referring of the ἀγαγόντα to Christ, would be unnatural. (2) That, assuming the identity of the subject in ἀγαγόντα and ἀρχηγόν, both expressions would in effect cover each other, consequently become tautological. We must accordingly take, as the subject in πολλοὺς υἱοὺς εἰς δόξαν ἀγαγόντα, God; in τὸν ἀρχηγὸν τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν, Christ. So Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Erasmus, Annott.; Luther, Vatablus, Calvin, Piscator, Grotius, Owen, Bengel, Böhme, Bleek, de Wette, Tholuck, Bisping, Delitzsch, Buttmann (Gramm. p. 262), Hofmann (Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 51 f.), Riehm (Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 581), Alford, Maier, Moll, Kurtz, Woerner, and many others. It cannot, however, be urged against the referring of ἀγαγόντα to God (Carpzov, Michaelis, and others), that we have not, instead of the accusative ἀγαγόντα, the dative ἀγαγόντι, which no doubt would have been more accurate on account of the preceding αὐτῷ; since this very accusative is otherwise the general case of the subject grammatically construed with the accusative. Transitions to the latter, spite of a preceding dative, are accordingly nothing rare; comp. Acts 11:12; Acts 15:22; Luke 1:74; Kühner, Gramm. II. p. 346 f.; Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 367, fin.

Πολλούς] not equivalent to πάντας (Seb. Schmidt). Πολλούς renders prominent only the notion of multitude or plurality, quite apart from the question whether or not this plurality is to be thought of as the totality of mankind; comp. Hebrews 9:28; Romans 5:15; Romans 8:29; Matthew 20:28; Matthew 26:28.

εἰς δόξαν] The δόξα is not distinguished, as to the thing itself, from the σωτηρία mentioned immediately after. The Messianic glory and blessedness is intended thereby. The word δόξα, however, was chosen in accordance with the words: δόξῃ καὶ τιμῇ ἐστεφανωμένον, Hebrews 2:9, taken over from the psalm cited.

ἀγαγόντα] cannot signify: “since He would lead” (Bleek, Stengel, Bloomfield, and Bisping; after the precedent of Erasmus, Annott.; Piscator, Grotius, Owen, Seb. Schmidt, Limborch, Peirce, Starck, Wolf, Storr, Ernesti, Dindorf, Schulz, Böhme, Kuinoel, Klee). For the aorist has never a future sense. But neither is ἀγαγόντα to be rendered by “qui adduxerat,” with the Vulgate, Estius, Hofmann (Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 39, 1 Aufl.; Komm. p. 121; differently Schriftbew. 2 Aufl. p. 51), and others; in such wise that the thought were directed to the saints of the O. T., already led to glory. For the characterizing of Christ as the ἀρχηγὸς τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν shows that the υἱοί, in whom was accomplished the εἶ δόξαν ἄγεσθαι on the part of God, must already have been in communion with Christ,[47]—the communion with Christ was the conditioning cause of their attainment to the δόξα. According to Tholuck, who is followed by Moll, the participle aorist indicates, “as the nearer defining of the infinitive aorist ΤΕΛΕΙῶΣΑΙ, the specific character of the same without respect to the relation of time.” But only the infinitive, not the participle aorist is used non-temporally; and the “specific character” of τελειῶσαι cannot be expressed by ἈΓΑΓΌΝΤΑ, for the reason that the personal objects of ἈΓΑΓΌΝΤΑ and ΤΕΛΕΙῶΣΑΙ are different, ἈΓΑΓΌΝΤΑ can have no other meaning than: since He led, and is the indication of the cause from the standpoint of the writer. The participle aorist has its justification in the fact that, from the moment Christ appeared on earth as a redeemer, and found faith among men, God in reality was leading εἰς δόξαν those who believed, i.e. caused them to walk in the way to the δόξα. For only this notion of title to the ΔΌΞΑ in reversion, not that of the actual possession of the same, can be meant; inasmuch as the possession of the δόξα will only come in at the Parousia. The causal relation, however, of the participial clause: ΠΟΛΛΟῪς ΥἹΟῪς ΕἸς ΔΌΞΑΝ ἈΓΆΓΟΝΤΑ, to the main statement: ἜΠΡΕΠΕ ΤῸΝ ἈΡΧΗΓῸΝ Τῆς ΣΩΤΗΡΊΑς ΑὐΤῶΝ ΔΙᾺ ΠΑΘΗΜΆΤΩΝ ΤΕΛΕΙῶΣΑΙ, and consequently the justification of the latter by the former, lies in the fact that the ΠΟΛΛΟῚ ΥἹΟΊ, just because they were not angels but men, could only be redeemed in that Christ for them became man, and for them suffered and died; even as the author himself will more fully show, Hebrews 2:14 ff. Others find the causal relation by supplying, in thought, ΔΙᾺ ΠΑΘΗΜΆΤΩΝ to the first clause also. So Jac. Cappellus: “quum tot filios suos per afflictiones consecrasset, afflictionum via perduxisset ad gloriam pater coelestis, decebat sane et aequum erat, ut principem salutis eorum eadem via perduceret ad coelestem gloriam.” In like manner Grotius: “quia fieri non potest, ut qui se pietati dedunt, non multa mala patiantur … ideo Deus voluit ipsum auctorem salutiferae doctrinae non nisi per graves calamitates perducere ad statum ilum perfectae beatitudinis.” But in this case the express addition of ΔΙᾺ ΠΑΘΗΜΆΤΩΝ in the first clause could not have been omitted.

ΤῸΝ ἈΡΧΗΓΌΝ] Comp. Hebrews 12:2; Acts 3:15; Acts 5:31. Designation of the beginner, or first in a series, to which the further notion of author then easily attaches, so that the word is frequently used, as here, exactly in the sense of αἴτιος. Instances in Bleek, Abth. II. 1 Hälfte, p. 302.

ΤΕΛΕΙῶΣΑΙ] to bring to perfection, to lead to the goal, does not here express “an inner moral perfection, which has as its consequence the attainment of the highest outward goal” (de Wette, Tholuck, Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 343, 346; and, long ago, Cameron), nor does it denote the close of the appointed course with which God has brought Jesus to the goal of that which He was to become, to the end of His earthly temporal existence (Hofmann); but resumes the notion of the δόξῃ καὶ τιμῇ στεφανοῦσθαι, Hebrews 2:9, and is identical with this.

[46] Not: “at whose command or will,” as Wieseler (Comm. üb. d. Br. an die Gal., Gött. 1859, p. 111) will have διʼ ὅν explained.

[47] For the same reason have we to reject the kindred interpretation of Kurtz, who takes the ἄγειν εἰς δόξαν as preceding the τελειῶσαι, and refers the νἱοί to the believing contemporaries of Jesus, with the inclusion of the believers under the Old Covenant.Hebrews 2:10-18. The humiliation of the Son justified; “a condensed and pregnant view of the theory of the whole work of Christ, which subsequent chapters develop, eludicate, and justify dialectically, in contrast or comparison with the O.T.… The ultimate source of all doubt whether the new dispensation is superior to the old is nothing else than want of clear insight into the work of Christ, and especially into the significance of His passion, which, to the Jews, from whom the Hebrew Christians of our Epistle were drawn, was the chief stumbling-block in Christianity. Here, therefore, the writer has at length got into the heart of his subject, and, leaving the contrast between Christ and the angels, urges the positive doctrine of the identification of Jesus with those that are his—his brethren, the Sons of God whom He sanctifies—as the best key to that connection between the passion and glorification of Christ which forms the cardinal point of N.T. revelation” (Robertson Smith). To this it may only be added that in order to prove man’s supremacy and justify Psalms 8, it was essential that the writer should show that Christ was man, identified with humanity.

In justification then (justification introduced by γὰρ) of the subjection of Jesus to the πάθημα θανάτου, the writer proceeds to say ἔπρεπεν αὐτῷ “it befitted Him”. The expression, says Carpzov, is “frequentissima Philoni phrasis”; but in Scripture, at least in this sense, it stands alone: cf. Jeremiah 10:7; Psalm 65:1. Aristotle (Nic. Eth., iv. 2–2: Burnet, p. 173) says that what is befitting is relative to the person, the circumstances and the object [τὸ πρέπον δὴ πρὸς αὐτὸν, καὶ ἐν ᾧ καὶ περὶ ὅ]. The object here in view, the “bringing many sons to glory,” needs no justification. As Tertullian (adv. Marcion, ii. 27) says: “nihil tam dignum Deo, quam salus hominis”. But that the means used by God to accomplish this end was not only fit to bring it about but was also πρέπον θεῷ, in other words, that Christ’s humiliation and death were in accordance with the Divine nature, is the point the writer wishes to make good. “The whole course of nature and grace must find its explanation in God, and not merely in an abstract Divine arbitrium, but in that which befits the Divine nature”. This matter of Christ’s suffering has not been isolated in God’s government but is of a piece with all He is and has done; it has not been handed over to chance, accident, or malevolent powers, but is part of the Divine rule and providence; it is not exceptional, unaccountable, arbitrary, but has its root and origin in the very nature of God. God acted freely in the matter, governed only by His own nature. “Man has not wholly lost the intuitive power by which the fitness of the Divine action, its correspondence to the idea standard of right which his conscience certifies and his reason approves, may be recognised” (Henson, Disc, and Law, p. 56). “It is worth noting that the chief value of Anselm’s view of the Atonement lies in the introduction into theology of the idea of what befits God—the idea, as he puts it, of God’s honour. Anselm fails, however, by thinking rather of what God’s honour must receive as its due than of what it is seemly for God in His grace to do, and thus his theory becomes shallow and inadequate” (Robertson Smith). The writer does not say ἔπρεπεν θεῷ but ἔπρεπεν αὐτῷ διʼ ὅν τὰ πάντα καὶ διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα “Him on account of whom are all things and through whom are all things,” who is the reason and the cause of all existence; in whom, therefore, everything must find its reason and justification. “Denn wenn um seinetwillen das All ist, also Alles seinen Zwecken dienen muss, und durch ihn das All ist, also nichts ohne sein Zuthun zu Stande kommt, so muss man bei Allem, was geschieht, und somit auch bei dem Todesleiden fragen, wiefern es ihm angemessen ist” (Weiss). The purpose of God is expressed in the words: πολλοὺς υἱοὺς εἰς δόξαν ἀγαγόντα “in bringing many sons to glory”. The accusative ἀγαγ. (although referring to αὐτῷ) does not require us to construe it with ἀρχηγὸν. That is a possible but clumsy construction. The use of υἱοὺς implies that the Father is the subject and leads us to expect that the action of God will be mentioned. And this construction, in which the dative of the subject becomes an accusative when an infinitive follows, is not unknown, but is merely a species of attraction—the infinitive drawing the noun into the case appropriate. Cf. Acts 11:12; Acts 15:22; Luke 1:74. Examples from the classics in Matthiae, 535. The aorist participle has led the Vulgate to translate “qui multos filios in gloriam adduxerat,” needlessly, for “the aorist participle is sometimes used adverbially in reference to an action evidently in a general way coincident in time with the action of the verb, yet not identical with it. The choice of the aorist participle rather than the present in such cases is due to the fact that the action is thought of, not as in progress, but as a simple event or fact (Burton, M. and T., 149). πολλοὺς υἱοὺς “many” is not used with any reference to the population of the world, or to the proportion of the saved, but to the one Son already celebrated. It was God’s purpose not only to have one Son in glory, but to bring many to be partakers with Him. Hence the difficulty; hence the need of the suffering of Christ. But it is not merely πολλοὺς but πολλοὺς υἱοὺς suggesting the relationship dwelt upon in the succeeding verses. τὸν ἀρχηγὸν τ. σωτηρίας … the author [pioneer] of their salvation indicating that feature of Christ’s relation to the saved which determined His experience, “the Captain of their salvation”. R.V. has “author” following Vulg. Chrysostom has ἀρχηγὸν τουτέστι τὸν αἴτιον, and so Robertson Smith, “it is hardly necessary to put more meaning into the phrase than is contained in the parallel expression of Hebrews 5:9”. So Bleek, Kübel and von Soden. But the word is select, and why select, if not to bring out precisely this, that in the present case the cause is also the leader, “that the Son goes before the saved in the same path”. He is the strong swimmer who carries the rope ashore and so not only secures His own position but makes rescue for all who will follow. “The ἀρχηγός himself first takes part in that which he establishes” (Westcott). One of the chief points in the Epistle is that the Saviour is also ἀρχηγός. The word is commonly used of founders of tribes, rulers and commanders, persons who begin anything in become the source of anything, but or this Epistle (Hebrews 12:2) it has over and above the sense of “pioneer”. διὰ παθημάτων τελειῶσαι, “to perfect through sufferings”. τελειῶσαι is to make τέλειον, to bring a person or thing to the appropriate τέλος, to complete, perfect, consummate. In the Pentateuch it is regularly used to denote the consecration of the priests. In the N.T. this consecration is no formal setting apart to office, but a preparation involving ethical fitness. So that here the word directly denotes making perfect as leader of salvation, but indirectly and by implication making morally perfect. And this moral perfection, requisite in one who was to cleanse sinners (note σωτηρίας) and lead the way to glory, could only be proved and acquired through the sufferings involved in living as man, tempted and with death to face. Therefore διὰ παθημάτων, “a plurality of sufferings” not merely as in Hebrews 2:9 τὸ πάθημα τοῦ θανάτου. Cf. Hebrews 2:18. The glory indeed to which this captain of salvation leads is the glory of triumph over temptation and all that tends to terrify and enslave men.10. For it became him] Unlike St Paul the writer never enters into what may be called “the philosophy of the plan of salvation.” He never attempts to throw any light upon the mysterious subject of the antecedent necessity for the death of Christ. Perhaps he considered that all which could be profitably said on that high mystery had already been said by St Paul (Romans 3:25; Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21). He dwells upon Christ’s death almost exclusively in its relation to us. The expression which he here uses “it was morally fitting for Him” is almost the only one which he devotes to what may be called the transcendent side of Christ’s sacrifice—the death of Christ as regards its relation to God. He develops no theory of vicarious satisfaction, &c., though he uses the metaphoric words “redemption” and “make reconciliation for” (Hebrews 9:15, Hebrews 2:17). The “moral fitness” here touched upon is the necessity for absolutely sympathetic unity between the High Priest and those for whom he offered His perfect sacrifice. Compare Luke 24:46, “thus it behoved Christ to suffer.” Philo also uses the phrase “it became Him.” It is a very remarkable expression, for though it also occurs in the LXX. (Jeremiah 10:7), yet in this passage alone does it contemplate the actions of God under the aspect of inherent moral fitness.

for whom] i.e. “for whose sake,” “on whose account.” The reference here is to God, not to Christ.

by whom] i.e. by whose creative agency. Compare Romans 11:36, “of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things.” The same words may also be applied to Christ, but the context here shews that they refer to God the Father.

in bringing] Lit., “having brought.” The use of the aorist participle is difficult, but the “glory” seems to imply the potential triumph of man in the one finished act of Christ which was due to “the grace of God.” The “Him” and the “having brought” refer to God and not to Christ. God led many sons to glory through the Captain of their Salvation, whom—in that process of Redemptive Work which is shared by each “Person” of the Blessed Trinity—He perfected through suffering. On the Cross the future glory of the many sons was won and was potentially consummated.

many] “A great multitude which no man could number” (Revelation 7:9-14).

sons] This word seems to shew that the “having brought” refers to God, not to Christ, for we are called Christ’s “brethren,” but never His sons.

the captain] The word also occurs in Acts 5:31. In Acts 3:15 it means “author,” or “originator,” as in Hebrews 12:2. The word primarily signifies one who goes at the head of a company as their leader (antesignanus) and guide (see Isaiah 55:4), and then comes to mean “originator.” Comp. Hebrews 5:9.

to make … perfect] Not in the sense of making morally, or otherwise, perfect, but in the sense of leading to a predestined goal or consummation. See the similar uses of this word in Hebrews 5:9, Hebrews 7:28, Hebrews 9:9, Hebrews 10:14, Hebrews 11:40, Hebrews 12:23. The LXX. uses the word to represent the consecration of the High Priest (Leviticus 21:10). In this Epistle the verb occurs nine times, in all St Paul’s Epistles probably not once. (In 2 Corinthians 12:9 the reading of A, B, D, F, G, L is τελεῖται. In Php 3:12 the reading of D, E, F, G is δεδικαίωμαι).

through sufferings] See note on Hebrews 2:9, and comp. Revelation 5:9; 1 Peter 5:10. Jewish Christians were slow to realise the necessity for a crucified Messiah, and when they did so they tried to distinguish between Messiah son of David and a supposed Messiah son of Joseph. There are however some traces of such a belief. See an Appendix to Vol. 11. of the last Edition of Dean Perowne on the Psalms.Hebrews 2:10. Ἔπρεπε, it became) So Psalm 8:2 (1), הודך, LXX., ἡ μεγαλοπρέπειά σου, “Thy becoming—magnificence (to which it became here alludes) is set above the heavens.” Moreover (for the rest) in the whole of this verse 10, the proposition, which in verses 8, 9, was clothed in the words of the same psalm, is now set forth in words more nearly accommodated to the purpose of the apostle; but with this difference, that Hebrews 2:8-9, treat more expressly of glory, (taken) from what goes before, Hebrews 2:7; whereas Hebrews 2:10 treats more expressly of His sufferings, thereby preparing us for the transition to what follows. The predicate of the proposition is, It became Him, on account of whom all things, and by whom all things exist: The subject follows, to make perfect, or consummate, through sufferings the Captain of their salvation, who thereby brings many sons to glory.[18] Ἀγαγόντα might be resolved into ἽΝΑ ἈΓΑΓῺΝ ΤΕΛΕΙΏΣῌ. But this is the construction, ἈΓΑΓΌΝΤΑ ΤῸΝ ἈΡΧΗΓῸΝ, that the first Leader or Captain of salvation may be also the One bringing unto glory. Ἀρχηγὸς is compounded of ἈΡΧῊ and ἌΓΩ; and ἈΡΧῊ looks forward in the text to ΤΕΛΕΙῶΣΑΙ (comp. ch. Hebrews 12:2), but ἌΓΩ looks back to ἈΓΑΓΌΝΤΑ. Therefore the proposition comprehends a number of important sentiments, which may thus be unfolded:—

[18] Or, perhaps, Beng. takes τελειῶσαι thus: that the Captain of their salvation, in bringing (ἀγαγόντα) many sons to glory, should make consummation (viz. of His own work and glory, and so of theirs) through His sufferings. Hebrews 12:2 favours this.—ED.

1. Jesus is the Captain of salvation.

2. It was necessary to procure salvation by suffering.

3. He was perfected (consummated) by suffering.

4. The glory of the sons was united with that consummation.

5. The sons are many.

6. This whole plan was highly becoming God, though unbelief considers it a disgrace.

7. It became God, that Jesus should suffer and save the sons; because for Him are all things.

8. It became God, that Jesus should be made perfect (consummated), and sons brought to glory; for by Him are all things.

We set down four of these points, marked by as many letters, at the same time observing the order of the text:—



The glory of the sons:

The Captain suffering.



The salvation of the sons:

The consummation of the Captain.

These points are referred to God, for whom and by whom all things exist, i.e. to whom are to be attributed the beginnings and ends of all things. B and C refer to the beginnings of things, D and A to the ends of things. But the same four points are transposed in the text by Chiasmus, so that the discourse proceeds in most beautiful order from the end, A, to those intermediate, which are included in B C D.—αὐτῷ) Him, God the Father, who is mentioned in Hebrews 2:9, and is to be understood in Hebrews 2:5.—διʼ ὃν· διʼ οὗ, for whom: by whom) Paul generally accumulates prepositions by a nice and elegant discrimination.—πολλοὺς, many) as many as possible, whence ἐκκλησία, the general assembly, in Hebrews 2:12.—υἱοὺς, sons) In the style of writing usual in the Old Testament, they are called παιδία, children; comp. Hebrews 2:13-14, note: in the style of the New Testament they are νἱοὶ, sons, whose condition is opposed to slavery or bondage, Hebrews 2:15; as with Paul, Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6. Jesus Himself is the Son; He makes us sons of God, He considers us as His own offspring: ילדים, παιδία (soboles), offspring, are synonymous. Comp. Psalm 22:31; Isaiah 53:10.—εἰς δόξαν, unto glory) This glory consists in this very circumstance, that they are sons, and are treated as sons; Romans 8:21. Examine John 17:10; John 17:22, and that whole prayer; and comp. Hebrews 2:7 of this second chapter. Glory and holiness, bringing unto glory and sanctification, have a very closely connected meaning; Hebrews 2:11.—τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν, of their salvation) This word presupposes destruction; and that we might be delivered from it, Christ must suffer. Δόξα, glory, follows salvation, in the style of Paul,[19] 2 Timothy 2:10, note.—τελειῶσαι, to make perfect, to consummate) Bringing to the end of troubles, and to the goal full of glory, ch. Hebrews 5:9, is included in this word. A metaphor derived from the contests in the public games. For τελειοῦσθαι, τέλειος, τελειότης, τελείωσις, τελειωτὴς, regarding Christ and Christians, are frequent in this epistle. This perfecting by sufferings includes two points: I. The glory of Christ, inasmuch as all things are subjected to Him, now that He has been made perfect. II. His previous sufferings. He presently afterwards treats directly of His sufferings, Hebrews 2:11-18, although he has slightly referred to them in the preceding part of the chapter. He has put the discussion concerning Glory in this very passage first, for the purpose of sharpening (giving the more point to) his exhortation, and meeting beforehand the scandal attached to His suffering and death. But he has interwoven a fuller consideration of both points with the following discussion respecting the Priesthood, which is brought forward at Hebrews 2:17. And indeed, as regards His Sufferings, the fact is evident (openly stated): but he describes the Glory (by implication), while he mentions, at convenient places, that Jesus was consummated or made perfect, that He is in heaven, that He is made higher than the heavens, that He sits at the right hand of God, that He will be seen a second time, that His enemies will be made His footstool: in this verse, and ch. Hebrews 4:14, Hebrews 5:9, Hebrews 7:26; Hebrews 7:28, Hebrews 8:1-2, Hebrews 9:24; Hebrews 9:28, Hebrews 10:12-13, Hebrews 12:2.

[19] Note once for all—the frequent Italicising of Paul’s name in such cases, is to show that his style accords with that of the writer of this Epistle: a proof that Paul was the writer.—ED.Verse 10. - For it became him, for whom (διὰ, with accusative) are all things, and through whom (διὰ with genitive) are all things (i.e. God), in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. This refers to what was said in the preceding verse, of Christ having been crowned with glory on account of his suffering of death, and of his tasting death for all. That he should attain through human suffering even unto death to his own perfected state of glory, as being the Leader of human sons whom the one Father of all would bring to glory, was a design worthy of him for whom and through whom are all things - suitable to what we conceive of him and of his way of working. The word ἔπρεπε is used in the same sense not infrequently in the LXX. It is probably used here with some view to "the offence of the cross," which might still linger in the minds of some of the Hebrew Christians. In the argument that follows, supported still by reference to Old Testament anticipations, the writer not only meets possible objections lingering in the Hebrew mind, but also carries on and completes the view of the SON which it is his purpose to inculcate, leading up (as aforesaid) to the final position of his being the High Priest of humanity. It became (ἔπρεπεν)

Not logical necessity (δεῖ, Hebrews 2:1), nor obligation growing out of circumstances (ὤφειλεν, Hebrews 2:17), but an inner fitness in God's dealing. Dr. Robertson Smith observes: "The whole course of nature and grace must find its explanation in God; and not merely in an abstract divine arbitrium, but in that which befits the divine nature."

For whom - by whom (δι' ὅν - δι' οὗ)

For whom, that is, for whose sake all things exist. God is the final cause of all things. This is not equals εἰς αὐτὸν τὰ πάντα unto whom are all things, Romans 11:36; which signifies that all things have their realization in God; while this means that all things have their reason in God. By whom, through whose agency, all things came into being. On διὰ applied to God, see on Hebrews 1:2. These two emphasize the idea of fitness. It was becoming even to a God who is the beginning and the end of all things.

In bringing many sons unto glory (πολλοὺς υἱοὺς εἰς δόξαν ἀγαγόντα)

Const. bringing with him; not with captain, which would mean "to perfect the captain, etc., as one who led many sons, etc." Αγαγόντα is not to be explained who had brought, or after he had brought, with a reference to the O.T. saints, "he had brought many O.T. sons of God unto glory"; but rather, bringing as he did, or in bringing, as A.V. Many sons, since their leader himself was a son. Unto glory, in accordance with the glory with which he himself had been crowned (Hebrews 2:9). The glory is not distinguished from the salvation immediately following. For the combination salvation and glory see 2 Timothy 2:10; Revelation 19:1.

To make perfect (τελειῶσαι)

Lit. to carry to the goal or consummation. The "perfecting" of Jesus corresponds to his being "crowned with glory and honor," although it is not a mere synonym for that phrase; for the writer conceives the perfecting not as an act but as a process. "To make perfect" does not imply moral imperfection in Jesus, but only the consummation of that human experience of sorrow and pain through which he must pass in order to become the leader of his people's salvation.

The captain of their salvation (τὸν ἀρχηγὸν τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν)

Comp. Acts 5:31. Ἀρχηγὸς captain, quite frequent in lxx and Class. Rev. renders author, which misses the fact that the Son precedes the saved on the path to glory. The idea is rather leader, and is fairly expressed by captain.

Hebrews 2:10 Interlinear
Hebrews 2:10 Parallel Texts

Hebrews 2:10 NIV
Hebrews 2:10 NLT
Hebrews 2:10 ESV
Hebrews 2:10 NASB
Hebrews 2:10 KJV

Hebrews 2:10 Bible Apps
Hebrews 2:10 Parallel
Hebrews 2:10 Biblia Paralela
Hebrews 2:10 Chinese Bible
Hebrews 2:10 French Bible
Hebrews 2:10 German Bible

Bible Hub

Hebrews 2:9
Top of Page
Top of Page