Hebrews 5:9
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) And being . . .—Rather, and having been made perfect. This was the mode in which He who “glorified Him to be made High Priest” (Hebrews 5:5) led Him into the possession of this office. The thought of this verse and the last is closely analogous to Hebrews 2:9-10 (see Notes), and to Philippians 2:6-13. The transition from the obedience manifested by our Lord to that which must be rendered by all who seek from Him salvation, strikingly recalls Hebrews 5:8; Hebrews 5:12 of the last-named chapter. He presents to all the model of the obedience to be rendered to Him, and through Him to the Father. “Eternal” salvation,—for He is a priest “for ever” (Hebrews 5:6). On the connection of “salvation” with His priesthood, see the Note on Hebrews 7:25.

Hebrews 5:9. And being made perfect, &c. — Many of the difficulties which we meet with in Scripture, are entirely owing to our ignorance: some to our ignorance of the subjects under consideration, and others of the meaning of the terms made use of to express these subjects. This is peculiarly the case here: there would be no difficulty in conceiving how Christ could be said to be made perfect, if we observed, 1st, That he was very man, and that his human nature, before his resurrection, was in a state of infirmity, and not of perfection, his body being subject to various weaknesses, and the faculties of his soul, of course, being influenced thereby. While in his childhood he is said to have increased in wisdom as well as in stature, namely, as the powers of his mind were gradually unfolded, and subjects, through the medium of his senses, were presented to his contemplation. And if he increased in wisdom, he must, of course, have increased in love to God and man, and all other graces and virtues, though always perfectly free from every defilement of sin, internal or external: but when he was raised from the dead, and exalted to his Father’s right hand, his human nature was fully and for ever freed from this state of infirmity, and was rendered completely perfect. This, however, does not appear to be the meaning of the word perfect here, but the expression rather refers, 2d, To his having fully accomplished the work he had to do, and the sufferings he had to endure in order to his being a perfect Mediator and Saviour. Accordingly the expression here used by the apostle, τελειωθεις, is literally being perfected, answering directly to the word used Hebrews 2:10, τελειωσαι, to perfect by sufferings; only there it is used actively, it became him (God the Father) to make perfect the Captain of our salvation; here it is used passively, with respect to the effect of that act, and signifies his being consummated, or having finished his whole process, from his leaving the celestial glory to his returning to it; which process it was absolutely necessary he should accomplish, that his character, as a High-Priest, might be completed, and he might be consecrated as such. This, 3d, Is another meaning of the term, and a meaning given it by our translators at the close of the seventh chapter, where they have rendered τετελειωμενων, (another participle of the same verb,) consecrated or dedicated to his high office. The priests under the law were consecrated by the death and oblation of the beasts offered in sacrifice at their consecration, (Exodus 29.,) but it belonged to the perfection of Christ as a high-priest, that he should be consecrated by his own sufferings. This was necessary both from the nature of the office, to which he was to be solemnly set apart, and to answer the types of the Aaronical priesthood. This, however, was only the external means of his consecration, and an evidence thereof. He was really consecrated by the act of God the Father, who said, Thou art my Son, &c., and by his own act when he said, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He became the author Αιτιος, the cause, both the meritorious and efficient cause; of eternal salvation — As procuring it for us by his obedience unto death, and conferring it upon us in all its branches, in consequence of his ascension and exaltation; to all those that obey him — The expression is emphatical: the salvation belongs only to those that obey him, and it belongs to all such. And as the Greek term here used imports to obey upon hearing, the obedience intended Isaiah , 1 st, Faith, which cometh by hearing. 2d, The subjection of the heart, of the will and affections to him, in consequence of faith; and, 3d, A uniform complying with the will of God as far as it is known to us, (Matthew 7:21,) or a conscientious, steady, and persevering obedience to all the precepts of the gospel. For only blessed are they that do his commandments, because they, and only they, shall have a right to the tree of life, Revelation 22:14. Thus, as Macknight observes, “in this verse three things are clearly stated: 1st, That obedience to Christ is equally necessary to salvation with believing on him. 2d, That he was made perfect as a high-priest, by offering himself a sacrifice for sin; and, 3d, That by the merit of that sacrifice he hath obtained pardon and eternal life for them who obey him.”5:1-10 The High Priest must be a man, a partaker of our nature. This shows that man had sinned. For God would not suffer sinful man to come to him alone. But every one is welcome to God, that comes to him by this High Priest; and as we value acceptance with God, and pardon, we must apply by faith to this our great High Priest Christ Jesus, who can intercede for those that are out of the way of truth, duty, and happiness; one who has tenderness to lead them back from the by-paths of error, sin, and misery. Those only can expect assistance from God, and acceptance with him, and his presence and blessing on them and their services, that are called of God. This is applied to Christ. In the days of his flesh, Christ made himself subject to death: he hungered: he was a tempted, suffering, dying Jesus. Christ set an example, not only to pray, but to be fervent in prayer. How many dry prayers, how few wetted with tears, do we offer up to God! He was strengthened to support the immense weight of suffering laid upon him. There is no real deliverance from death but to be carried through it. He was raised and exalted, and to him was given the power of saving all sinners to the uttermost, who come unto God through him. Christ has left us an example that we should learn humble obedience to the will of God, by all our afflictions. We need affliction, to teach us submission. His obedience in our nature encourages our attempts to obey, and for us to expect support and comfort under all the temptations and sufferings to which we are exposed. Being made perfect for this great work, he is become the Author of eternal salvation to all that obey him. But are we of that number?And being made perfect - That is, being made a "complete" Saviour - a Saviour suited in all respects to redeem people. Sufferings were necessary to the "completeness" or the "finish" of his character as a Saviour, not to his moral perfection, for he was always without sin; see this explained in the notes on Hebrews 2:10.

He became the author - That is, he was the procuring cause (αἴτιος aitios) of salvation. It is to be traced wholly to his sufferings and death; see the note, Hebrews 2:10. "Unto all them that obey him." It is not to save those who live in sin. Only those who "obey" him have any evidence that they will be saved; see the note, John 14:15.

9. made perfect—completed, brought to His goal of learning and suffering through death (Heb 2:10) [Alford], namely, at His glorious resurrection and ascension.

author—Greek, "cause."

eternal salvation—obtained for us in the short "days of Jesus' flesh" (Heb 5:7; compare Heb 5:6, "for ever," Isa 45:17).

unto all … that obey him—As Christ obeyed the Father, so must we obey Him by faith.

And being made perfect: as to the powerful execution of his office, this God-man exceeds his types; for having consummated all the work to which he was designed, by his doing, suffering, dying, rising, and ascending into heaven in the human nature, he perfected the work of redemption, and consecrated himself to his office.

He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him: by this was he constituted, made, and declared by his Father to be, not an instrument, as all his types were, but the cause efficient, meritorious, and exemplar of salvation; by his sacrifice satisfying God’s justice, meriting and effecting reconciliation and justification for sinners; and on his ascension sends forth the Holy Ghost, to qualify them for the reception of his benefits, by working in them what he requires; and on their application to him, he, as their High Priest, pleads the merit of his blood, and intercedes for their justification and salvation, which is the freeing them from all evil, criminal and penal, sin, and whatever it subjecteth them to in this world, or that which is to come; and insisting them into all the heavenly privileges promised in the covenant of grace, righteousness, holiness, heirship to, and life and glory with, God, and to be safe in the possession of them all, not for time only, but for eternity. This efficient cause produceth this only to the duty qualified subject: mankind is rendered salvable by the obedience and sacrifice of this High Priest; but it is only to penitent believing sinners that he doth communicate this, and for whom he effects it; those who will entirely submit themselves to Christ as a Lord and King, and be loyal to him and obey him, as well as to a Priest or a Saviour, continuing his faithful subjects to the end, John 3:16,18,36; compare Matthew 10:22. And being made perfect,.... In his obedience, through sufferings; having completed his obedience, gone through his sufferings, and finished his sacrifice, and being perfectly glorified in heaven:

he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; the salvation Christ is the author of is "eternal"; it was resolved upon from eternity, and contrived in it; it was secured in the everlasting covenant, in which not only a Saviour was provided, but blessings both of grace and glory: and it is to eternity; and stands distinguished from a temporal salvation, and is opposed to eternal damnation; it is the salvation of the soul, which is immortal; and it takes in both grace and glory, which are of a durable nature; and the continuance of it is owing to the abiding and lasting virtue of Christ's person, blood, and righteousness: and Christ is the cause or author of this salvation, by his obedience and sufferings; by obeying the precept, and bearing the penalty of the law; by the price of his blood, and by the power of his arm; by his death and by his life; by his sacrifice on the cross, and by his intercession in heaven; by bestowing grace here, and glory hereafter: this shows that salvation is done, and that Christ is the sole author of it, and that all the glory of it should be given to him; and those to whom he is the author of salvation, are such as hearken to the voice of his Gospel, and obey hin in his ordinances. Christ is not the author of salvation to all men; all men do not obey him; all those whom Christ saves, he brings them to an obedience to himself; for his obedience for them does not exempt them from obedience to him, though their obedience is no cause of their salvation; Christ himself is the alone author of that.

{5} And being made {k} perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

(5) The other part of the first comparison: Christ was consecrated by God the Father as the author of our salvation, and an High Priest for ever, and therefore he is a man, though nonetheless he is far above all men.

(k) See Heb 2:10.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 5:9. Καὶ τελειωθείς] and being brought to consummation, i.e. being crowned with glory by His exaltation to heaven (comp. Hebrews 2:9-10), sc. in consequence of the obedience to God proved by His sufferings and death.

ἐγένετο] He became. Author and Mediator of everlasting blessedness for His believers, Christ certainly was even during His earthly life. But in an eminent manner, because formally and manifestly accredited by God as such, He became so first by His resurrection and exaltation.

πᾶσιν] perhaps added in order to indicate the equal claim of the believing Gentiles also, to the salvation in Christ.

τοῖς ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ] The expression attaches itself in point of form to τὴν ὑπακοήν, Hebrews 5:8, with which it forms a paronomasia; in point of subject-matter it is not different from τοῖς πιστεύουσιν (Hebrews 4:3). Comp. Romans 10:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8, al.

The mode of expression: αἴτιόν τινι εἶναι σωτηρίας (comp. τὸν ἀρχηγὸν τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν, Hebrews 2:10), is also often met with in Philo, Josephus, and the classical writers. Instances in Wetstein, Kypke, and Bleek.

The adjective αἰώνιος with σωτηρία in the N. T. only here. Comp., however, LXX. Isaiah 45:17.Hebrews 5:9. καὶ τελειωθεὶςαἰωνίου “and having [thus] been perfected became to all who obey Him the source [originator] of eternal salvation”. τελειωθείς (v. Hebrews 2:10) having been perfectly equipped with every qualification for the priestly office by the discipline already described. Several interpreters (Theodoret, Bleek, Westcott) include in the word the exaltation of Christ, but illegitimately. The word must be interpreted by its connection with ἔμαθεν ὑπακοήν; and here it means the completion of Christ’s moral discipline, which ended in His death. He thus became αἴτιος σωτηρίας αἰωνίου author, or cause of eternal salvation, in fulfilment of the call to an eternal priesthood, Hebrews 5:6 εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα and Hebrews 5:10. αἴτιος frequently used in a similar sense from Homer downwards, as in Diod. Sic., iv. 82, αἴτιος ἐγένετο τῆς σωτηρίας. Aristoph., Clouds, 85, οὗτος γὰρ ὁ θεὸς αἴτιός μοι τῶν κακῶν. Philo, De Agri., 22, πᾶσι τοῖς ὑπακούουσιναὐτῷ with a reference to τὴν ὑπακ. of Hebrews 5:8. The saved must pass through an experience similar to the Saviour’s. Their salvation is in learning to obey. Thus they are harmonised to the one supreme and perfect will. This is reversely given in Hebrews 2:10.9. and being made perfect] Having been brought to the goal and consummation in the glory which followed this mediatorial work. See Hebrews 2:10 and comp. Luke 13:32, “the third day I shall be perfected.”

he became the author] Literally, “the cause.”

of eternal salvation] It is remarkable that the epithet aionios is here alone applied to the substantive “salvation.”

salvation unto all them that obey him] In an author so polished and rhetorical there seems to be an intentional force and beauty in the repetition in this verse of the two leading words in the last. Christ prayed to God who was able to “save” Him out of death, and He became the cause of “eternal salvation” from final death; Christ learnt “obedience” by His life of self-sacrifice, and He became a Saviour to them that “obey” Him.Hebrews 5:9. Καὶ τελειωθεὶς, and being made perfect) by sufferings, ch. Hebrews 2:10.—τοῖς ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ, to them that obey Him) 2 Corinthians 10:5. We must obey likewise through sufferings and death [as Christ obeyed the Father.—V. g.] and chiefly by faith, ch. Hebrews 11:8.—πᾶσιν, to all) Great power, ch. Hebrews 2:10-11; Hebrews 2:15.—αἴτιος σωτηρίας αἰωνίου, the author of eternal salvation) Dessen habe der liebe Herr Jesu Dank von uns in Ewigkeit. “For which the beloved Lord Jesus may have thanks from us in eternity.” E. Schmidius, piously. Moreover αἴτιος is a word extremely worthy of Him and (comp. 1 Samuel 22:22, αἴτιος ψυχῶν) one by which it is intimated, that Christ, being made perfect, pleads the cause of the brethren, from this circumstance, because it now evidently belongs to Him to accomplish [to make good] their salvation; for He is able: comp. δυνάμενον, who was able, Hebrews 5:7, ch. Hebrews 7:25 : and ought (it behoved Him) to do so, comp. ὤφειλε, He ought, ch. Hebrews 2:17. [Der für Etwas stehet, an der man sich halten kann. He stands for something to which one can cling.—V. g.] We must also observe the epithet, eternal salvation, which is opposed to the shortness of the days of Jesus’ flesh, and flows (is derived) from Hebrews 5:6, for ever. Concerning this salvation, look back to ch. Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 2:14, etc. The eternity of salvation is mentioned, Isaiah 45:17. Ἰσραήλ σώζεται ὑπὸ Κυρὶου σωτηρίαν αἰώνιον, Israel is saved by the Lord with an eternal salvation.Verses 9, 10. - And being made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the Author of eternal salvation; called (or rather so addressed) of God a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Here τελειωθεὶς (translated "being made perfect") refers to the time of his resurrection, when the sufferings were over and the atonement complete (cf. Luke 13:32, τῇ τρίτῃ τελειοῦμαι). The word may be used in its general sense of perfected, i.e. "being made perfectly that which he was intended to become" (Delitzsch). In such sense St. Paul uses the word of himself, Οὐκ ὅτι ἤδη τετελείωμαι (Philippians 3:12). Or the specific sense of priestly consecration may be here, as well as in Hebrews 2:10 and Hebrews 7:28, intended. In Hebrews 7:28 the A.V. renders εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τετελειωμένον by "consecrated for evermore." And this view is supported by passages in the LXX., where the word τελείωσις is used with special reference to the consecration of the high priest. Cf. ἔστι γὰρ τελείωσις αὔτη (Exodus 29:22); τοῦ κριοῦ τῆς τελειώσεως, ὅ ἐστιν Ἀαρών, (vers. 26, 27, 31); τελειῶσαι τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν (vers. 29, 33, 35); τῆς θυσίας τῆς τελειώσεως (ver. 34) τὸν δεύτερον κριὸν τῆς τελειώσεωσ (Leviticus 8:22, 29); ἀπὸ τοῦ κανοῦ τῆς τελειώσεως (ver. 26); τὸ ὁλοκαύτωμα τῆς τελειώσεως (ver. 28); ἕως ἡμέρα πληρωθῆ, ἡμέρα τελειώσεως ὑμῶν (ver. 33); also Leviticus 21:10, where the high priest - ὁ ἱερεὺς ὁ μέγας ἀπὸ τῶν ἀδελφῶν αὐτοῦ ( ισ described as τοῦ ἐπικεχυμένου ἐπὶ τῆν κεφαλὴν τοῦ ἐλαίου σοῦ Ξριστοῦ καὶ τετελειωμένου ἐνδύσασθαι τὰ ἱμάτια. See also Gesenius on the Hebrew word מלֻּאים. Hence, and in view of the drift of the passage before us, Jackson very decidedly regards τελειωθεὶς in ver. 9 as a verbum solenne, denoting specifically Christ's consecration to his eternal office of High Priest. So also Hammond and Whitby. Being thus perfected, or consecrated, he became, for ever afterwards, the Author, not of mere ceremonial cleansing or temporary remission of guilt, but of eternal salvation; potentially to all mankind (cf. ὑπὲρ παντὸς, Hebrews 2:9), and effectively to "all them that obey him;" being addressed, in tiffs his consummated position (the reference being to Psalm 110.) as "High Priest for ever," etc. Here again we perceive that it is not till after the Resurrection that the prophetic ideal of the SON at God's right hand, and of the eternal High Priest, are regarded as fully realized. If it be objected that his high priesthood must have begun before the Resurrection for his death upon the cross to be a true atonement, it may be replied that his one oblation of himself upon the cross at once consummated his consecration and effected the atonement. Doubtless, as a true High Priest on earth, he thus "offered one sacrifice for sins for ever" (Hebrews 10:12); all that is meant above is that it was not till after the Resurrection that he entered on his eternal office of mediation in virtue of that one accomplished sacrifice. And being made perfect (καὶ τελεωθεὶς)

Comp. Hebrews 2:10. The fundamental idea in τελειοῦν is the bringing of a person or thing to the goal fixed by God. Comp. Hebrews 7:11, Hebrews 7:19; Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 10:1, Hebrews 10:14; Hebrews 11:40; Hebrews 12:23. Here of Christ's having reached the end which was contemplated in his divinely-appointed discipline for the priesthood. The consummation was attained in his death, Philippians 2:8; his obedience extended even unto death.

The author of eternal salvation (αἴτιος σωτηρίας αἰωνίου)

Ἀίτιος, N.T.o , an adjective, causing. Comp. captain of salvation, Hebrews 2:10. The phrase σωτηρία αὀώνιος eternal salvation N.T.o , but see lxx, Isaiah 15:17. Not everlasting salvation, but a salvation of which all the conditions, attainments, privileges, and rewards transcend the conditions and limitations of time.

Unto all them that obey him (πᾶσιν τοῖς ὑπκούουσιν αὐτῷ)

Obey points to obedience, Hebrews 5:8, and salvation to save, Hebrews 5:7. If the captain of salvation must learn obedience, so must his followers. Comp. 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

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