Hebrews 3:3
For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who has built the house has more honor than the house.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) For this man was counted.—Rather, For He hath been accounted, by God, who hath crowned Him with glory and honour (Hebrews 2:9). In this reward lies contained the proof that He was faithful. This is probably the connection of thought; others join this verse with the first: “Consider Him . . . for He hath received higher glory than Moses.”

Inasmuch as.—That is, in proportion as: the glory attained by Jesus exceeds the glory of Moses, as the honour due to the builder of the house exceeds that possessed by the house itself. It is not said that Jesus is the Builder; but the relation in which He stands to the Builder of the house is compared with that of Moses to the house. (See Hebrews 3:5-6.) “Builded” is not a happy word here (especially if we consider the sense in which “house” is used), but it is not easy to find a suitable rendering. The meaning is, He who prepared or formed the house, with all its necessary parts and arrangements.

Hebrews 3:3-4. For, &c. — The apostle proceeds in this verse, and the three following, with his design of evidencing the excellence of Christ above Moses, as he had done before in reference to angels, and all other revealers of the will of God to the church; the word for denoting the connection of this paragraph with Hebrews 3:1 : “Consider him,” says he; for he is worthy of more glory than Moses. — The church being called the house of God, and that by God himself, the apostle takes advantage of the metaphor to express the dignity of Christ. He that buildeth the house, &c. — The verb κατασκευαζω, here used, and rendered to build, signifies to set things in order, Hebrews 9:6. It likewise signifies to form a thing as an artificer doth; in which sense it is applied to Noah’s forming the ark, Hebrews 11:7. In this passage it signifies the forming a church, or religious society, by bestowing on it privileges, and by giving it laws for the direction of its members. And, as the apostle is speaking of the forming of the Christian Church, his meaning is, that Jesus, who formed the Christian Church, is a more honourable or greater person than all the members of that church collectively; consequently greater than any particular member of it. By making this observation, the apostle intimated that Moses, being a member of the Jewish Church, which he formed as God’s servant, and needing its services and privileges equally with the Israelites, he was not to be compared with Jesus, who by his own authority had erected and supported the church in all ages and places, and had need of none of the privileges or services of the church which he had formed. For every house is builded by some man — As the discourse is not concerning a material edifice, but concerning the Jewish and Christian Churches, every house must mean every church or religious society; perhaps also every community, state, or government righteously established, is included in this general expression. But he that built all things — Or all these things, as Beza renders the expression, namely, the whole church, and all the persons that belong to it, or the parts of it, in all ages; the expression all things being properly restrained to the subject treated of, and the word used by the apostle to express the building of the house, plainly declaring that it is the same kind of building he is treating of, and not the absolute creation of all things, which is nowhere expressed by that word; is God — “The words may be so understood as to signify either that God made or built all these things, or that he who made and built all these things is God; the first sense making God the subject, the latter the predicate of the proposition. But as to our purpose, they amount to the same thing; for if he who made them is God, his making of them declares him to be so. And that it is the Lord Christ who is intended in this expression, will appear immediately; for, 1st, If God absolutely, or God the Father be intended, then by the building of all things, the creation of the world is designed; so they all grant who are of that opinion; but that this is not so, we have already demonstrated from the words themselves. 2d, The introduction of God absolutely, and his building of all things in this place, is no way subservient to the apostle’s purpose; for what light or evidence doth this contribute to his principal assertion, namely, that Christ was more honourable than Moses, and that on account of his building the house of God, the confirmation whereof he doth in these words expressly design? 3d, It is contrary to his purpose. For he doth not prove the Lord Christ to be deservedly preferred before Moses, unless he manifest that by his own power he built the house of God in such a manner as Moses was not employed in; whereas, according to this interpretation, he assigns the principal building of the house to another, even the Father, and so overthrows what he had before asserted. This then is that which by these words the apostle intends to declare; namely, the ground and reason whence it is that the house was or could be in that glorious manner built by Christ, even because he is God, and so able to effect it; and by this effect of his power he is manifested so to be.” — Owen.3:1-6 Christ is to be considered as the Apostle of our profession, the Messenger sent by God to men, the great Revealer of that faith which we profess to hold, and of that hope which we profess to have. As Christ, the Messiah, anointed for the office both of Apostle and High Priest. As Jesus, our Saviour, our Healer, the great Physician of souls. Consider him thus. Consider what he is in himself, what he is to us, and what he will be to us hereafter and for ever. Close and serious thoughts of Christ bring us to know more of him. The Jews had a high opinion of the faithfulness of Moses, yet his faithfulness was but a type of Christ's. Christ was the Master of this house, of his church, his people, as well as their Maker. Moses was a faithful servant; Christ, as the eternal Son of God, is rightful Owner and Sovereign Ruler of the Church. There must not only be setting out well in the ways of Christ, but stedfastness and perseverance therein to the end. Every meditation on his person and his salvation, will suggest more wisdom, new motives to love, confidence, and obedience.For this man - The Lord Jesus. The word "man" is understood, but there can be no doubt that he is referred to.

Was counted more worthy - Was more worthy; or is more worthy. The word used here does not refer to anything that had been said of him, or to any estimate which had been made of him. It means simply that he was worthy of more honor than Moses. how he was so, Paul proceeds to show.

Of more glory - - δόξης doxē̄s. Honor, dignity, regard. He really had a higher rank, and was worthy of more respect. This was saying much for the Messiah, and that it was proper to say this, Paul proceeds to show. He did not attempt in any way to undervalue Moses and his institutions. He gave him all the honor which the Jews were themselves disposed to render him. He admitted that he had been eminently faithful in the station where God had placed him; and he then proceeds to show that the Lord Jesus was entitled to honor superior to that, and that hence the Christian religion had more to attach its friends to it than the Jewish had.

Inasmuch as he who hath builded the house - The idea here is, either that he who is the maker of a house - the architect - is worthy of more respect than the house itself; or that he who is the founder of a family is worthy of more honor than the family of which he is the founder. It seems to me that the former is the meaning - for the latter is not always true. The founder of a family may be really deserving of much less respect than some of his descendants. But it is always true that the architect is worthy of more respect than the house which he makes. He exhibits intellect and skill. The house, however splendid, has neither. The plan of the house was drawn by him; its beauty, its proportions, its ornaments, are what he made them, and but for him they would not have existed. Michelangelo was worthy of more honor than "St. Peter's Cathedral" at Rome; and Sir Christopher Wren worthy of more than "St. Paul's Cathedral" at London. Galileo is worthy of more praise than the telescope, and Fulton more than a steam-engine. All the evidence of skill and adaptedness that there is in the invention had its origin in the inventor all the beauty of the statue or the temple had its origin in the mind of him that designed it. An author is worthy of more honor than a book; and he that forms a work of art is worthy of more respect than the work itself. This is the idea here. Paul assumes that all things owed their origin to the Son of God; Hebrews 1:2, Hebrews 1:8,Hebrews 1:10. He was the author of the universe; the source of all wise and well-founded systems; the originator of the Jewish dispensation over which Moses presided. Whatever beauty or excellence there might have been, therefore, in that system, was to be traced to him; and whatever ability even Moses displayed was imparted by him. Christ is really the head of the family over which Moses presided, and has claims, therefore, to higher honor as such.

3. For—assigning the reason why they should "consider" attentively "Christ" (Heb 3:1), highly as they regard Moses who resembled Him in faithfulness (Heb 3:2).

was—Greek, "has been."

counted worthy of more glory—by God, when He exalted Him to His own right hand. The Hebrew Christians admitted the fact (Heb 1:13).

builded the house—Greek, "inasmuch as He hath more honor than the house, who prepared it," or "established it" [Alford]. The Greek verb is used purposely instead of "builded," in order to mark that the building meant is not a literal, but a spiritual house: the Church both of the Old Testament and New Testament; and that the building of such a house includes all the preparations of providence and grace needed to furnish it with "living stones" and fitting "servants." Thus, as Christ the Founder and Establisher (in Old Testament as well as the New Testament) is greater than the house so established, including the servants, He is greater also than Moses, who was but a "servant." Moses, as a servant, is a portion of the house, and less than the house; Christ, as the Instrumental Creator of all things, must be God, and so greater than the house of which Moses was but a part. Glory is the result of honor.

For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses: the Spirit proves to the Hebrews, that the gospel Prophet was not only like to, but more excellent than, their greatest prophet, and who had familiarity with God beyond others, as God testifieth, Numbers 12:6-8. This he proves by an undeniable supposition, that God is better than man; such is Christ; which he demonstrates by a work of God, his making the church and all things. If he made the church, then he is better than the whole church, and worthy of more honour than Moses, who is but a member of it. For this, man is not in the original, this gospel Prophet, who was God as well as man, the apostle and High Priest of Christians, was esteemed and accounted by God the Father, the best judge of worth, and who appointed him to his offices: he treated him more honourably than Moses, as he deserved it, having real excellency and worth in himself. He was God’s Son, Moses his servant. He lay in God’s bosom, saw his face, was his fellow, Zechariah 13:7 John 1:14,18; Moses only heard his voice, and saw his back parts, Exodus 33:19,20,23 34:5-7. Moses’s face only shined, but Christ’s person was entirely glorious, Exodus 34:29,30 2 Corinthians 3:7: compare Matthew 17:2-6 2 Peter 1:17.

Inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house; he is the cause, principal, efficient, and architect of this building, not a stone is laid in it without him. By this metaphor of house to which it relateth, is meant God’s spiritual building and temple, 1 Corinthians 3:10,16,17; styled God’s household or family, Ephesians 2:19-22: in sum, God’s church, built by and on Christ, of which Moses was but one living stone or member, 1 Peter 2:4-8. Therefore this builder ought to be esteemed and honoured above the church, or Moses, a member of it. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses,.... Moses was counted worthy of glory and honour, and had it given him, both by God and by men; by God, as appears from the work he called him to, to deliver his people Israel, to reveal his mind and will to them, and to rule and govern them; and from the favours he showed him, as the miracles he did by him, the near converse he admitted him to, and the view he gave him of his glory, which he made to pass before him, and his regard to him at his death and burial, as well as the testimony he gave of him; and he was counted worthy of honour by men, and who gave it him, as Pharaoh and his people, and the Israelites. The Jews give very great commendations of him; they call him a father in the law, a father in wisdom, and a father in prophecy (u); and say, that he is the father, master, head, and prince of all the prophets (w); yea, the great prophet expected in the last days, they say, will be but next to Moses, their master (x): they observe, that there were more miracles wrought by, and for him, than were wrought by, and for all the prophets that have been since the world began (y); so that he not only exceeded them in the excellency and sublimity of prophecy, but in the multitude of miracles; but Christ is worthy of more glory than Moses, and has it given him by God, angels, and men: he is a greater Saviour than Moses; Moses was but a temporal saviour, but he is the author of spiritual and eternal salvation: he is a greater prophet than Moses, being the only begotten Son of God, who lay in the bosom of the Father, and has declared him, his mind and will, his Gospel, grace, and truth, as Moses never did: he is a greater King than he, being made higher than the kings of the earth: he did more miracles than Moses, and had a greater testimony from God than he had, as that he was his beloved Son, and to be heard; he was also raised, from the dead, and is set down at the right hand of God, and is appointed Judge of all; he is ministered to, and worshipped by angels, is believed on by men, who ascribe the whole glory of their salvation to him.

Inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house; this "house", or "temple", as the Arabic version renders it, is the church, of which Christ is the builder; though not to the exclusion of the Father and the Spirit, who are coefficient builders with him, nor of ministers of the Gospel as instruments, nor of believers in a private capacity, who build up one another; but he has the chief concern in the building, which lies in the conversion of souls, and in the edification of them, and is carried on by his Spirit in the ministry of the word and ordinances, and from hence he has a glory; see Zechariah 6:12 a greater glory than Moses, seeing he was but a part of this house, at most but a pillar in it; but Christ is the builder, foundation, and cornerstone.

(u) T. Bab. Megilia, fol. 12. 1.((w) Shemot Rabba, sect. 21. fol. 106. 3. Maimon. Yesode Hattorah, c. 7. sect. 6. Obede Cochabim, c. 1. sect. 3. & in Misn Sanhedrin, c. 11. sect. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 18. 3.((x) Maimon. Teshubah, c. 9. sect. 2.((y) Menasseh ben Israel, Conciliat. in Deut. qu. 11.

{4} For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

(4) The first comparison: The builder of the house is better than the house itself, therefore Christ is better than Moses. The reason for the conclusion is this: because the builder of the house is God, which cannot be attributed to Moses; and therefore Moses was not the builder, but a part of the house: but Christ as Lord and God, made the house.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 3:3.[56] Continued alleging of reasons for the καταΝΟΉΣΑΤΕ, Hebrews 3:1, in bringing into more distinct relief the exaltedness of Christ above Moses. Hebrews 3:3 is not, as de Wette supposes, explication or analysis of Hebrews 3:2. For a placing upon a parallel cannot be explained or analysed by a placing superior.

ΑὟΤΟς] sc. Ἰησοῦς.

On ΠΑΡΆ after a comparative, see at Hebrews 1:4.

ἨΞΊΩΤΑΙ] has been counted worthy, sc. by God. The verb stands, as ordinarily (comp. 2 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; 1 Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 10:29), in the real sense, so that it includes the notion of the possession obtained.

The figure in the proposition of comparison, καθʼ ὅσον πλείονα τιμὴν ἔχει τοῦ οἴκου κ.τ.λ., is occasioned by the preceding ἘΝ ὍΛῼ Τῷ ΟἼΚῼ ΑὐΤΟῦ added in Hebrews 3:2. The words contain a truth of universal validity, the application of which, for the rest, to Christ and Moses, follows of itself. Greater honour than the house (in the wider sense [of household], the family and servants included therein) has he who has prepared it. Thus, also, Christ stands higher in honour and glory than Moses. For founder and establisher of the house of God, or the divine kingdom,—which in its first formations reaches back to the time of the Old Covenant, but by the New Covenant comes to full realization,—is Christ; while Moses is only a part of the οἶκος itself, only a (ministering, cf. Hebrews 3:5) member of this house, or an ΟἸΚΈΤΗς in the same. Confusing and full of caprice is the indication of the connection of thought of Hebrews 3:3-6 as given by Delitzsch. See, in opposition to him, Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 309.

τοῦ οἴκου] is governed by the comparative ΠΛΕΊΟΝΑ: more (greater) honour than the house. Mistakenly do Homberg, Wolf, Peirce, Michaelis, Heumann, Semler, Morus, Ernesti, Heinrichs, Paulus, Stengel, and others make it depend upon τιμήν: greater honour of the house, or in the house.

κατασκευάζειν] implies more than ΟἸΚΟΔΟΜΕῖΝ. Not only the erection of the house, but also the arrangement thereof, the providing of it with the necessary furniture and servants, is thereby expressed.

[56] Comp. Gabler, Dissert. exeg. in illustrem locum Hebrews 3:3-6, Jena 1778. (Reprinted in the Opuscc. acad. vol. II. Ulm 1831, 8.)3. For this man] Rather, “For He,” i.e. Christ. The “for” depends on the “Consider.”

was counted worthy] Rather, “hath been deemed worthy,” namely, by God.

more glory] Rather, “a fuller glory” (amplioris gloriae, Vulg.).

of more glory than Moses] Eagerly as the writer is pressing forwards to develop his original and central conception of Christ as our Eternal High Priest, he yet has to pause to prove His superiority over Moses, because the Jews had begun to elevate Moses into a position of almost supernatural grandeur which would have its effect on the imaginations of wavering and almost apostatising converts. Thus the Rabbis said that “the soul of Moses was equivalent to the souls of all Israel;” (because by the cabbalistic process called Gematria the numerical value of the letters of “Moses our Rabbi” in Hebrew = 613, which is also the value of the letters of “Lord God of Israel”). They said that “the face of Moses. was like the Sun;” that he alone “saw through a clear glass” not as other prophets “through a dim glass” (comp. St Paul’s “through a mirror in a riddle,” 1 Corinthians 13:12) and that whereas there are but fifty gates of understanding in the world, “all but one were opened to Moses.” See the Rabbinic references in my Early days of Christianity, 1. 362. St Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:7-8 contrasts the evanescing splendour on the face of Moses with the unchanging glory of Christ.

he who hath builded the house] The verb (κατασκευάσας) implies rather “equipped” or “established” than “builded” (see Hebrews 9:2; Hebrews 9:6, Hebrews 11:7 and note on Hebrews 1:2; Wis 13:4).

hath more honour than the house] The point of this expression is not very obvious. If taken strictly it would imply that Moses was himself “the house” which Christ built. But οἶκος, “house” or “household” means more than the mere building (οἰκία), It means the whole theocratic family, the House of Israel in its covenant relation; and though Moses was not this House, he was more than a servant in it being also its direct representative and human head. (There is a somewhat similar phrase in Philo, De plant. Noe, 16.)Hebrews 3:3. Πλείονος, of more) Christ, a prophet as Moses, Acts 3:22, note (whereas the other prophets only explained Moses); and yet He was different from Moses, ch. Hebrews 8:9; John 1:7. He is greater than Moses according to this passage.—γὰρ, for) The reason assigned (Ætiology) has relation to κατανοήσατε, consider.—δόξης, glory) Presently afterwards, τιμὴν, honour: τιμὴ here rather denotes something internal; δόξα follows it.—τοῦ οἴκου) The genitive is governed by πλείονα, the comparative; for it is an Enthymeme [a covert syllogism, wherein one or other premiss needs to be supplied], as follows: Christ is greater than the house (for the house is being prepared [‘built,’ κατασκευάζεται]; Christ hath prepared [‘built’] the house and all things, and so Christ is God): therefore Christ is greater than Moses. The reason is: for Moses is less than the house, as a minister and as in some measure a portion of the house; comp. Matthew 12:6, note.Verse 3. - For of more glory than Moses hath this man (so A.V., for οὕτος, supplying "man," though it is to be observed that the humanity of the person spoken of is not expressed in the original) been counted worthy (ἠξίωται: cf. Luke 7:7; 1 Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 10:24; 2 Thessalonians 1:11), by so much as more honor than the house hath he that built (or, established) it. Here the account of Christ's superiority to Moses begins. On the several expressions used we remark:

(1) The initiatory γὰρ connects the sentence logically with κατανοήσατε in ver. 1, and thus retains its usual sense of "for."

(2) The form of comparison in the Greek, πλείονος παρὰ, is the same as in Hebrews 1:4, where the account of Christ's superiority to angels began (on which see supra).

(3) The "glory" (δόξα) here assigned to Christ is the" glory and honor" spoken of above as attained by him in consequence of his human obedience (cf. Hebrews 2:9, "because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor"). This, rather than "the glory he had with the Father before the world was" (John 17:5), is suggested by the word ἠξίωται, as well as by the drift of the preceding chapters. We may suppose also a reference, in contrast, to the transitory "glory" on the countenance of Moses ( καταργουμένη), which is contrasted (2 Corinthians 3.) with the ὑπερβαλλούση δόξα in Christ. We observe, further, that in the latter part of the verse τιμή is substituted for δόξα, as more suitable to the mundane comparison of a house and its builder.

(4) Κατασκευάζειν may include the idea of fitting up and furnishing a house as well as building it. But what is the drift of the intended argument? It is usual, with the Fathers generally, to suppose that Christ (οὕτος) is intended to be denoted as the Builder or Establisher of the house in which Hoses was a servant, and that the argument is that he, as such, is necessarily greater than the servant, who was but a part of the house, or household, thus established. Οϊκος, it is to be observed, may include in its meaning the familia, as well as the house itself, as κατασκευάζειν may include the idea of constituting the whole establishment (cf. infra, "whose house we are"). Among moderns, Hofmann and Delitzsch deny this identification of ὁ κατασκευάσας with οὕτος: against which there are the following reasons:

(1) The SON has not been represented so far in the Epistle as the originator of the economy of redemption. Notwithstanding distinct intimations of his eternal proexistent Deity (as in Hebrews 1:1, 2, 10), it has been as the Messiah, the Apostle and High Priest, manifested in time, and passing through humanity to glory, that he has been regarded in the preceding argument. Nor is there any proof here adduced of his being the Builder of the "house," so as to justify the conclusion on this ground of his glory being greater than that of Moses.

(2) The word ἠξίωται ("has been counted worthy of") suggests (as has been already remarked) refer once to the glory won by him, "on account of the suffering of death," rather than to his pristine glory as the Divine Builder.

(3) Elsewhere in the New Testament, when the Church is referred to under the figure of a house, it is spoken of as God's building (cf. Hebrews 10:21; 1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:22; 1 Peter 4:17; 1 Peter 2:5). It is never spoken of as Christ's.

(4) The wording of ver. 3 does not necessitate the identification of ὁ κατασκευάσας with οὕτος. Καθ ὅσον means "so far as;" it implies only that the glory of Christ is greater than that of Moses, in proportion as the honor of the builder is greater than that of the house.

(5) The identification increases the difficulty of understanding the relevance to the argument of ver. 4, of which more will be said presently. Taking, then, ὁ κατασκευάσας to denote God the Father, we may state the argument thus: God is the Builder, or Founder, of his own house. Christ has been already shown to be his SON, associated with him in dignity and power, and, as such, Lord over his Father's house. Moses, on the other hand, as appears from Numbers 12:7, was but a servant in God's house. As, then, the Founder is to the house, so is the Son and Lord to a servant in it; the Son partaking of the glory of the Founder; the servant only of that of the house in which he serves. According to this view of the argument, the premises have been established, and the conclusion follows; the relation of Christ to the Builder of the house has been set forth in the preceding chapter, and may be now assumed; that of Moses is sufficiently shown by the quotation from the Pentateuch. Thus also vers. 5 and 6 are found to carry out naturally the idea here introduced, instead of unexpectedly starting a different one. Was counted worthy (ἠξίωται)

Used both of reward which is due (1 Timothy 5:17) and of punishment (Hebrews 10:29).

Of more glory (πλείονος δόξης)

Comp. Hebrews 2:8, Hebrews 2:9.

Inasmuch as (καθ' ὅσον)

Rend. by so much as. The argument is based on the general principle that the founder of a house is entitled to more honor than the house and its individual servants. There is an apparent confusion in the working out, since both God and Christ appear as builders, and Moses figures both as the house and as a servant in the house. The point of the whole, however, is that Moses was a part of the O.T. system - a servant in the house; while Christ, as one with God who established all things, was the founder and establisher of both the Old and the New Testament economies.

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