Hebrews 7:14
For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
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(14) Evident.—That is to say, manifest before the eyes of all.

Sprang.—Better, hath arisen out of Judah. In every other place in the New Testament this word is applied to the rising of the sun, the light, the day-star (2Peter 1:19), or the clouds (Luke 12:54); and in the prophecies of Numbers 24:17 and Malachi 4:2 the same word is used. On the other hand, the word also denotes the springing up of plants (Isaiah 44:4; Ezekiel 17:6), and a word closely connected with it occurs in the LXX. in the Messianic prophecy of “the Branch” (Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 3:8). The latter meaning seems much more suitable here.

7:11-25 The priesthood and law by which perfection could not come, are done away; a Priest is risen, and a dispensation now set up, by which true believers may be made perfect. That there is such a change is plain. The law which made the Levitical priesthood, showed that the priests were frail, dying creatures, not able to save their own lives, much less could they save the souls of those who came to them. But the High Priest of our profession holds his office by the power of endless life in himself; not only to keep himself alive, but to give spiritual and eternal life to all who rely upon his sacrifice and intercession. The better covenant, of which Jesus was the Surety, is not here contrasted with the covenant of works, by which every transgressor is shut up under the curse. It is distinguished from the Sinai covenant with Israel, and the legal dispensation under which the church so long remained. The better covenant brought the church and every believer into clearer light, more perfect liberty, and more abundant privileges. In the order of Aaron there was a multitude of priests, of high priests one after another; but in the priesthood of Christ there is only one and the same. This is the believer's safety and happiness, that this everlasting High Priest is able to save to the uttermost, in all times, in all cases. Surely then it becomes us to desire a spirituality and holiness, as much beyond those of the Old Testament believers, as our advantages exceed theirs.For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah - It is well known: it cannot be a matter of dispute. About the fact that the Lord Jesus was of the tribe of Judah, there could be no doubt; compare Matthew 1:3. But probably the apostle means here to refer to more than that simple fact. It was a doctrine of the Old Testament, and was admitted by the Jews, that the Messiah was to be of that tribe; see Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 11:1; Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:6. This was an additional consideration to show that there was to be a change of some kind in the office of the priesthood, since it was declared (Psalm 110) that the Messiah was to be a priest. The fact that the Messiah is to be of the tribe of Judah is still admitted by the Jews. As their distinction of tribes now, however, is broken up, and as it is impossible for them to tell who belongs to the tribe of Judah, it is held by them that when he comes this will be made known by miracle.

Of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood - That is, in the Mosaic laws respecting the office of priest, this tribe is not mentioned. All the arrangements pertain to the tribe of Levi.

14. evident—literally, "manifest before the eyes" as a thing indisputable; a proof that whatever difficulties may now appear, then Jesus Christ's genealogy labored under none.

our Lord—the only place where this now common title occurs without "Jesus," or "Christ," except 2Pe 3:15.

sprang—as a plant, and a branch.

Judah—Ge 49:10; Lu 1:27, 39 (Hebron of Judah, where Lightfoot thinks Jesus was conceived) Lu 2:4, 5; Re 5:5.

of which tribe … priesthood—"in respect to which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priests" (so the oldest manuscripts read, nothing to imply that priests were to be taken from it).

For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; the proof of this change of the tribe, and of what tribe he was, was undeniably evident to these Hebrews from their own genealogies, and the Roman census and enrolment of him; the providence of God ordering this, that it might be universally known that he was David’s seed, as well as Abraham’s, and as called by his name, Ezekiel 34:23,24 37:24,25. Our Lord was God-man, Lord-mediator, Psalm 110:1,4 Mt 22:42,46. He was, as to his humanity, born of the tribe of Judah, as his genealogy by his mother doth evince, Luke 3:33, and the concomitant evidence of the Roman rolls, in which his name was registered and kept in their archives above an age after his ascension.

Of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood: no man of which tribe was so designed by God, or so revealed to have the royal priesthood, but himself; none of them having any right to it, as they could prove out of Moses’s writing; and the rule of priesthood is to be found there, and no where else: so that a negative argument taken from Scripture in matters of religion is valid, though never so much puffed at in this age.

For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah,.... Out of the tribe of Judah; it is certain that the Messiah was to spring from that tribe, Genesis 49:10 he was to be of the family of Jesse, and of the house of David; and hence he is sometimes called David himself; and so the Jews expect that he will come from the tribe of Judah, and not from any other (p); and it is evident that Jesus, who is our Lord by creation, redemption, and the conquest of his grace, sprung from this tribe: this is clear from the place of his birth, Bethlehem of Judah; and from his reputed father Joseph, and real mother Mary, being both of the house of David; and this was known to the Jews, and it is owned by them that he was near to the kingdom (q), which he could not be if he was not of that tribe; and hence he is called the lion of the tribe of Judah;

of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning the priesthood: he said many things of it in Deuteronomy 33:8 and relates many things concerning it as spoken by Jacob, but nothing about the priesthood, as if it belonged to that, or that any that should spring from it should exercise that office, The Alexandrian copy, the Claromontane manuscript, and the Vulgate Latin version, read, "concerning the priests"; whence it follows that there is a change of the priesthood, and that the Messiah, as he was not to be, so he is not a priest of Aaron's order, not being of the same tribe.

(p) Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Exod. fol. 49. 3. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 62. 2.((q) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 43. 1.

For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
Hebrews 7:14. Further evidencing of Hebrews 7:13.

πρόδηλον γάρ ὅτι] for it is clearly apparent that. The προ in πρόδηλον is not to be taken, with Peirce (following Owen), temporally, according to which the sense would be, that Christ’s descent from the tribe of Judah was made known beforehand, i.e. before He had yet arisen upon earth,—with which, in the first place, the perfect ἀνατέταλκεν does not harmonize,—but contains the notion of lying manifestly before the eyes. Theodoret: τὸ πρόδηλον ὡς ἀναντίῤῥητον τέθεικε. προ serves, therefore, only for the strengthening of the simple δῆλον. Comp. 1 Timothy 5:24-25.

ἐξ Ἰούδα] out of Judah, i.e. from the tribe of Judah (comp. Revelation 5:5; Genesis 49:9-10). With emphasis preposed.

ἀνατέταλκεν] has arisen or sprung forth. The figure which underlies the verb is either that of a rising star (comp. Numbers 24:17; Malachi 4:2; Isaiah 40:1), or of a tender shoot coming up from the ground (Genesis 19:25; Isaiah 44:4; Ezekiel 17:6; comp. also ἀνατολή, צְמַח, with reference to the Messiah, Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12).

ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν] Jesus Christ.

εἰς ἣν φυλήν in reference to which tribe.

περὶ ἱερέων] sc. who should be taken out of the same.

Hebrews 7:14. He now proceeds to name the tribe πρόδηλον γὰρ ὅτι … “For it is evident that out of Judah our Lord has sprung, concerning which tribe Moses said nothing about priests”. With πρόδηλον may be compared δήπου of Hebrews 2:16. The facts of our Lord’s birth were so far known that everyone connected Him with Judah. The accounts of Matthew and Luke were accepted (cf. Revelation 5:5). This fact of his origin would naturally militate against His claims to be Priest; but this writer here skilfully reconciles them with Scripture. Weizsäcker translates by “längst bekannt” giving to πρό the temporal meaning. On Clem., ad Cor., xii, Lightfoot says: “It may be a question in many passages whether the preposition denotes priority in time or distinctness.” Wetstein quotes from Artemidorus καὶ ἐφάνη πρόδηλον τὸ ὄναρ μετὰ τὴν ἀπόφασιν and from Polyaenus τί καὶ χρὴ γράφειν; πρόδηλον γάρ. ἀνατέταλκεν is possibly a reminiscence of Zechariah 6:12, Ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ Ἀνατολὴ ὄνομα αὐτῷ · καὶ ὑποκάτωθεν αὐτοῦ ἀνατελεῖ, a passage referred to by Philo, see Carpzov in loc. εἰς ἣν φυλὴν, “εἰς is applied to the direction of the thought, as Acts 2:25. Δαυῒδ λέγει εἰς αὐτόν, aiming at Him, E. i. 10, ver. 32.” Winer, 49, and so in Dion. Hal., πολλοὶ ἐλέχθησαν εἰς τοῦτο λόγοι, and cf. our own expression, “He spoke to such and such points”. Vulg. translates “in qua tribu”. Whatever Moses spoke regarding priests was spoken with reference to another tribe and not with reference to Judah.

14. evident] “Known to all.” The word (prodçlon) occurs in 1 Timothy 5:24-25.

our Lord] This is the first time that we find this expression in the N.T. standing alone as a name for Christ. It is from this passage that the designation now so familiar to Christian lips is derived.

sprang] Lit., “hath sprung.” The verb is used generally of the sun rising (Malachi 4:2; Luke 12:54; 2 Peter 1:19), but also of the springing up of plants (Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12, &c). Hence the LXX. choose the word Anatolç which usually means sunrise, to translate the Messianic title of “the Branch.”

out of Juda] Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 11:1; Luke 3:33. “The Lion of the tribe of Judah,” Revelation 5:5.

concerning priesthood] The better reading is “concerning priests.” Uzziah, of the tribe of Judah, king though he was, had been punished by lifelong leprosy for usurping the functions of the tribe of Levi.

Hebrews 7:14. Πρόδηλον) it is manifest. Therefore, at that time the genealogy of Jesus Christ laboured under no difficulty; and this very circumstance entirely sweeps away the difficulties that afterwards arose. It is both evident and sufficient, that this point was formerly clear.—ἐξ Ἰούδα, from Judah) See Luke 1:27; Luke 1:39, note, and ch. Hebrews 2:4-5. For the Tribe is what is particularly referred to; not, however, to the exclusion of the city where our Lord was born, Bethlehem-Judah; nay, even there is reference to Hebron, a city of Judah, where Lightfoot says, in Chron. N. T. Part I. sect. 3 and 4, and in Harmon. evangel. on Luke 1:39, that it is very probable He was conceived.—ὅτι ἀνατέταλκεν, that our Lord sprang) as the Branch (ἀνατολὴ) of Righteousness.—εἰς ἥν) in respect of which. So εἰς, Ephesians 5:32; 1 Peter 1:11.

Hebrews 7:14Evident (πρόδηλον)

Obvious. See on 1 Timothy 5:24.

Sprang (ἀνατέταλκεν)

Rend. hath sprung. In N.T. always of the rising of a heavenly body, sun or star, except Luke 12:54, of a cloud, and here. See lxx, Genesis 32:31; Exodus 22:3; Numbers 24:17; Judges 9:33; Isaiah 14:12; Isaiah 40:1; Malachi 4:2. Also of the springing up of plants, Genesis 2:5; Genesis 3:18; Deuteronomy 29:23; of the growing of the beard, 2 Samuel 10:5.

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