Hebrews 7:25
Why he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Wherefore.—Since His priesthood is inviolable, His power of saving is complete. The association of the thought of “salvation” with the priesthood recalls Hebrews 5:9-10; as indeed several points in the later verses of this chapter show that the writer’s thought is resting on the first section of Hebrews 5. In His supplication unto God, “who was able to save Him out of death,” He was heard; this was the type—and more than the type (see the Note on Hebrews 5:7)—of the eternal salvation of which He, when made perfect, becomes the Author. The connecting link between the priestly office and “salvation” appears, therefore, to be the prevalent intercession of which this verse speaks—an intercession which implies all that has preceded in His priestly ministration. (See Hebrews 9:12; Hebrews 9:24.)

That come unto God by him.—Better, that approach through Him to God. See Hebrews 10:19-22, where full expression is given to the thought here briefly indicated. He leads and represents His people, and is the medium of their approach to God.

To make intercession for them.—The word occurs in Romans 8:34 in reference to Christ; in Romans 8:27 it is applied to the intercession of the Holy Spirit. The thought meets us in Hebrews 9:24; John 14:16; 1John 2:2. With the high priest’s confession of the sins of the people on the Day of Atonement was joined fervent intercession on their behalf; this intercession was also symbolised in the offering of the incense.

Hebrews 7:26-28 look back on all that has preceded, since the beginning of the fifth chapter, and prepare the way for the subsequent sections. The type afforded by Melchizedek has yielded its lessons, and to this there is no further reference. The mention of the high priest (Hebrews 6:20, taking up Hebrews 5:10) is resumed. The unique special teaching of Psalm 110:4 was far from bringing out the full significance of the priesthood of Jesus; for the sacred history does not connect Melchizedek with any of the most prominent high-priestly functions, or with any temple or place of ministration. The abrogation of the Levitical priesthood and the infinite elevation of the “other Priest” above those of the order of Aaron have been so clearly set forth that it is possible henceforth to concentrate attention on the types and lessons furnished by the Jewish ritual itself. Hence there is the closest connection (as has been already mentioned) between these verses and Hebrews 5:1-5.

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.Wherefore he is able also - As he ever lives, and ever intercedes, he has power to save. He does not begin the work of salvation, and then relinquish it by reason of death, but he lives on as long as it is necessary that anything should be done for the salvation of his people. We need a Saviour who has power, and Christ has shown that he has all the power which is needful to rescue man from eternal death.

To the uttermost - This does not mean simply "forever" - but that he has power to save them so that their salvation shall be "complete" - εἰς τὸ παντελὲς eis to panteles. He does not abandon the work midway; he does not begin a work which he is unable to finish. He can aid us as long as we need anything done for our salvation; he can save all who will entrust their salvation to his hands.

That come unto God by him - In his name; or depending on him. To come to God, is to approach him for pardon and salvation.

Seeing he ever liveth - He does not die as the Jewish priests did.

To make intercession for them - see the note at Romans 8:34. He constantly presents the merits of his death as a reason why we should be saved. The precise mode, however, in which he makes intercession in heaven for his people is not revealed. The general meaning is, that he undertakes their cause, and assists them in overcoming their foes and in their endeavors to live a holy life; compare 1 John 2:1. He does in heaven whatever is necessary to obtain for us grace and strength; secures the aid which we need against our foes; and is the pledge or security for us that the law shall be honored, and the justice and truth of God maintained, though we are saved. It is reasonable to presume that this is somehow by the presentation of the merits of his great sacrifice, and that that is the ground on which all this grace is obtained. As that is infinite, we need not fear that it will ever be exhausted.

25. Wherefore—Greek, "Whence"; inasmuch as "He remaineth for ever."

also—as a natural consequence flowing from the last, at the same time a new and higher thing [Alford].

save—His very name Jesus (Heb 7:22) meaning Saviour.

to the uttermost—altogether, perfectly, so that nothing should be wanting afterwards for ever [Tittmann]. It means "in any wise," "utterly," in Lu 13:11.

come unto God—by faith.

by him—through Him as their mediating Priest, instead of through the Levitical priests.

seeing he ever liveth—resuming "He continueth ever," Heb 7:24; therefore "He is able to the uttermost"; He is not, like the Levitical priest, prevented by death, for "He ever liveth" (Heb 7:23).

to make intercession—There was but the one offering on earth once for all. But the intercession for us in the heavens (Heb 7:26) is ever continuing, whence the result follows, that we can never be separated from the love of God in Christ. He intercedes only for those who come unto God through Him, not for the unbelieving world (Joh 17:9). As samples of His intercession, compare the prophetical descriptions in the Old Testament. "By an humble omnipotency (for it was by His humiliation that He obtained all power), or omnipotent humility, appearing in the presence, and presenting His postulations at the throne of God" [Bishop Pearson]. He was not only the offering, but the priest who offered it. Therefore, He has become not only a sacrifice, but an intercessor; His intercession being founded on His voluntary offering of Himself without spot to God. We are not only then in virtue of His sacrifice forgiven, but in virtue of the intercession admitted to favor and grace [Archbishop Magee].

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost: this inference proves his eminency in office above Aaron’s order by the efficacy of it; for he is possessor of a supernatural Divine power, which is able to save to perfection, to the full, to all ends, from sin, in its guilt, stain, and power; from its consequents, the curse, and wrath, and eternal death. What neither ourselves nor others could do for us, he is only able, and an willing as able, to set us in a safe, happy, blessed, and glorious state for ever, Romans 5:9-11,17.

That come unto God by him; all such who will come to God by him as their High Priest, and no other, praying for remission of sins for his sake and merit, by faith in his blood, renouncing self, expecting the mercy of God to flow in him to them, subjecting themselves entirely to him, and depending on him to present them unto God their end, without spot or blemish, or any such thing, and to make them blessed in the enjoyment of him for ever. This is his work, John 6:35-40 1 Peter 3:18.

Seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them; since he always exists and lives a High Priest for the good of those who wait on him, having life in himself, and quickening them; compare Romans 8:6; and, as their Advocate, 1Jo 2:1,2, answereth all charges against them, suing for those penitent believers, and pleading for all promised them by the Father in him. He sitting at God’s right hand must ever be in his presence: and appears as the general Representative of his, and useth all his interest with the supreme Lawgiver, Judge, and Governor, for them, {see Hebrews 9:24} as it was foretold he should, Isaiah 53:12, even for them who cannot plead their own cause through guiltiness or weakness; he will manage it for all of them who believe in him, and apply themselves to God by him, atoning him for their sins by his sacrifice, performing their duties and person by the incense of his merits, and presenting them to God, answering in heaven his type on earth, Exodus 30:1-10: compare Revelation 8:3,4 Ro 8:31-36. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost,.... Because he continues ever, and has an unchangeable priesthood. This is to be understood not of temporal salvation, nor of providential favours, but of spiritual and eternal salvation; and includes a deliverance from all evil, here and hereafter, and an enjoyment of all good in this world, and in that to come: Christ was called to this work by his Father; he was promised by him to do it, and was sent by him to effect it, and has accomplished it; and this is the reason of his name Jesus, and was the end of his coming into this world, and which the Gospel always represents as such: this work required ability; here was a law to be fulfilled; justice to be satisfied; sin to be bore, removed, and atoned for; many enemies to engage with, and a cursed death to undergo: it was a work no creature, angels, or men, were able to undertake and perform; the priests under the law could not; men cannot save themselves, nor can any creature work out salvation for them: but Christ is able; as appears from the help his Father laid on him, who knew him to be mighty; from his own undertaking it, being mighty to save; and from his having completely effected it; and he must needs be able to do it, since he is the mighty God: and he is able to save to the uttermost; "to the utmost perfection", as the Arabic version renders it; so as nothing can be wanting in the salvation he is the author of, nor anything added to it; or "for ever", as the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions render it; to the utmost of time, even to eternity, as well as to the utmost of men's wants: the persons he is able to save, are such

that come to God by him; Christ is able to save all the world, were it his will; but not his absolute power is designed by his ability, but that power which by his will is put into act; and reaches not to all men, for all are not saved; and those that are, are described by special characters, as here; they are such who come to God, not essentially considered, but personally, or in the person of the Father; and not as an absolute God, but as in Christ; not as on a throne of justice, but as on a throne of grace and mercy; not only as Christ's Father, but as theirs; and not only as the God of nature and providence, but as the God of grace: and this act of coming to him is a fruit of his everlasting love; an effect of Christ's death; is peculiar to regenerate persons; takes in the whole service of God, especially prayer; is not local but spiritual, it is by faith; and supposes spiritual life, and implies a sense of need, and of God's ability and willingness to help: the medium, or mean, by which such come to God, is Christ. Man had access to God in his state of innocence, but sinning, was not admitted; there is no approaching now unto him without a middle person; Christ is the Mediator, who having made peace, atoned for sin, satisfied justice, and brought in an everlasting righteousness, introduces his people into God's presence; in whom their persons and services are accepted, and through whom all blessings are communicated to them:

seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them; Christ ever lives as God, he is the living God; and though he died as man, he is risen from the dead, and will not die again, but live for evermore; and he lives as Mediator and Redeemer, and particularly as a priest; one branch of whose office it is to intercede for his people: this he does now in heaven; not by vocal prayer and supplication, at least not as in the days of his flesh; or as if he was supplicating an angry Judge; nor as controverting, or litigating, a point the court of heaven; but by the appearance of his person for them; by the presentation of his sacrifice, blood, and righteousness; by declaring his will, that such and such blessings be bestowed on such and such persons; and by recommending the prayers of his people, and removing the charges and accusations of Satan: the things he intercedes for are, the conversion of his that are in a state of nature; the consolation of distressed ones; fresh discoveries of pardoning grace to fallen believers; renewed strength to oppose sin, exercise grace, discharge duty, and bear up under temptations, and deliverance out of them; perseverance in faith and holiness, and eternal glorification; and he intercedes for these things; not for all the world, but for all the elect, even though transgressors; and he is very fit for this work, as the following verse shows; he is the one and only Mediator; and he is a very prevalent intercessor, he always succeeds; and he does this work readily, willingly, cheerfully, and freely; and all this proves him to be able to save; for though the impetration of salvation is by his death, the application of it is owing to his interceding life; had he died and not lived again, he could not have saved to the uttermost; his life is the security of his people's, and he lives for them, and as their representative; the blessed, effects of which they constantly enjoy.

Wherefore he is {k} able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

(k) He is fit and sufficient.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 7:25. Ὅθεν] Wherefore, sc. because His priesthood is an everlasting one.

καί] also, represents the statement, Hebrews 7:25, as being the natural effect of the ἀπαράβατον ἔχειν τὴν ἱερωσύνην, Hebrews 7:24, as its cause.

εἰς τὸ παντελές] means: perfectly, completely, entirely (comp. Luke 13:11), and combines with σώζειν in one idea. Theodoret: αὐτὸν γὰρ σώζειν ἡμᾶς εἴρηκεν καὶ τελείαν σωτηρίαν παρέχειν. The meaning: in perpetuum, attached to the word by the Peshito, the Vulgate, Chrysostom (οὐ πρὸς τὸ παρὸν μόνον, φησίν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐκεῖ ἐν τῇ μελλούσῃ ζωῇ), Oecumenius, Theophylact, Luther, Calvin, Schlichting, Grotius, Heinrichs, Schulz, Stein, Stengel, and others, in joining it either with σώζειν or with δύναται, is in accordance neither with the etymology nor the usage (instances in Bleek), but arises only from the connection, and is consequently to be rejected.

σώζειν] save, embraces the deliverance from the misery of sin and its consequences, and, on the other hand, the communication of everlasting blessedness. Too restricted, Hofmann: the answering of prayer, and deliverance out of every assault.

τοὺς προσερχομένους διʼ αὐτοῦ τῷ θεῷ] those who through Him, i.e. through faith in Him, draw near to God.

πάντοτε ζῶν εἰς τὸ ἐντυγχάνειν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν] seeing that He evermore lives, to make intercession for them (Romans 8:26-27; Romans 8:34), or to represent them (sc. in the presence of God). More precise unfolding of the notion already lying in ὅθεν.

Similarly for the rest does Philo, too, ascribe to his Logos an intercession with God. Comp. Vit. Mos. iii. p. 673 C (with Mangey, II. p. 155): Ἀναγκαῖον γὰρ ἦν τὸν ἱερωμένον τῷ τοῦ κόσμου πατρί, παρακλήτῳ χρῆσθαι τελειοτάτῳ τὴν ἀρετὴν υἱῷ, πρός τε ἀμνηστίαν ἁμαρτημάτων καὶ χορηγίαν ἀφθονωτάτων ἀγαθῶν.

Quis rer. div. haer. 42, p. 509 B (with Mangey, I. p. 501): Ὁ δʼ αὐτὸς ἱκέτης μέν ἐστι τοῦ θνητοῦ, κηραίνοντος ἀεί, πρὸς τὸ ἄφθαρτον.25. to save them to the uttermost] i.e. “to the consummate end.” All the Apostles teach that Christ is “able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory” (Jude 24; Romans 8:34; John 6:37-39.

to save] He saves them in accordance with His name of Jesus, “the Saviour.” Bengel.

by him] “No man cometh unto the Father but by me.”

to make intercession] “to appear in” the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24). Philo also speaks of the Logos as a Mediator and Intercessor (Vit. Mos. iii. 16).

Having thus proved in seven particulars the transcendence of the Melchisedek Priesthood of Christ, as compared with the Levitic Priesthood, he ends this part of his subject with a weighty summary, into which, with his usual literary skill, he introduces by anticipation the thoughts which he proceeds to develop in the following chapters.Hebrews 7:25. Ὅθεν, whence) From this, that He remains.—καὶ, also) He not only remains, but also saves.—σώζειν, to save) by His own name, Jesus, Hebrews 7:22.—εἰς τὸ παντελὲς, to the uttermost) So Luke 13:11. The meaning of παντελῶς is, in all ways, 1, 2 Macc. often. It is construed with δύναται, He is able; as πάντοτε, always, with ζῶν, living.—τοὺς προσερχομένους, those that come near) by faith, ch. Hebrews 4:16, Hebrews 10:22.—διʼ αὐτοῦ, by Him) as by a priest.—τῷ Θεῷ, to GOD) ch. Hebrews 11:6, Hebrews 12:22-23.—πάντοτε ζῶν, ever living) Because He always lives, therefore He is able to the uttermost. He is not prevented by death; comp. Hebrews 7:23.—εἰς, to) that is, even so as that He intercedes for them. The gradation may be compared in a passage of Paul’s very like this, Romans 8:34, and εἰς τὸ below, ch. Hebrews 11:3. There was but one offering, Hebrews 7:27; but ἔντευξις, intercession, for our salvation is continued in the heavens, Hebrews 7:26. Whence it results, that we can never be separated from the love of GOD in Christ. See again Romans 8:34; Romans 8:38-39.Verse 25. - Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. We again observe how, at the end of successive stages of the argument, thoughts to be enlarged on afterwards are brought in. Here it is the perpetual intercession of Christ before the heavenly mercy-seat. In the view of his office thus arrived at there is, in fact, a transition to the main subject set forth in the three chapters that follow; viz. the fulfillment in Christ of the ceremonial of the Law, and especially of the high priest's intercession on the Day of Atonement. And thus from Melchizedek the train of thought passes to the high priest. The type of the former has been sufficiently shown to be fulfilled in the higher order of Christ's priesthood; it is now to be shown how, being of such higher order, it is the antitype of the Aaronic priesthood too, accomplishing what it signified. Hence in ver. 26 the word "high priest" (ἀρχιερεὺς) is for the first time introduced, as the key-note of what is coming. Summary of the foregoing argument.

I. (Hebrews 5:1-11.) What does the Melchizedek priesthood of Psalm 110. signify?

1. (vers. 1 - 4.) One not depending on human ancestry, and one forever abiding.

2. (vers. 4 -11.) One of a higher order than that of Aaron; for:

(1) Melchizedek, being of a race apart, received tithe from Abraham the patriarch.

(2) This denotes a higher position than that of the Aaronic priests, who tithed their brethren of the same race with themselves, in virtue only of a special ordinance.

(3) The blessing of Abraham by Melchizedek is similarly significant.

(4) The idea of an ever-living priest with a right to tithe transcends that of the temporary claims of a succession of dying men.

(5) Levi himself virtually paid tithe to Melchizedek.

II. (vers. 11-18.) The Aaronic priesthood, and with it the whole dispensation based upon it, is thus shown to have been imperfect and transitory; for:

1. Otherwise a priesthood of another order would not have been spoken of in Psalm 110.

2. Which priesthood is evidently distinct from the Aaronic, our Lord being of the tribe, not of Levi, but of Judah.

3. What has been seen (vers. 5 and 8) as to the Melchizedek priesthood being not "after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life," makes this "more abundantly evident." Conclusion (vers. 18-20). The Antonio priesthood (being in itself unprofitable) is therefore now superseded by an availing one, "through which we draw nigh unto God."

III. (vers. 20-26.) Christ's priesthood is thus availing; for:

1. The Divine oath (Psalm 110.) established it, marking it as resting on the eternal Divine counsels.

2. It is (as shown by the same psalm) "unchangeable." The one Priest abides forever. Conclusion (ver. 25). We have, therefore, in him at last, a perfectly availing and eternal interceding High Priest. To the uttermost (εἰς τὸ παντελὲς)

Παντελής all complete, only here and Luke 13:11. Not perpetually, but perfectly.

Come unto God (προσερχομένους τῷ θεῷ)

The verb oP., and in this sense only in Hebrews and 1 Peter 2:4. See a peculiar usage in 1 Timothy 6:3. Comp. ἐγγίζειν to draw near, James 4:8; Hebrews 7:19.

To make intercession for them (εἰς τὸ ἐντυγχάνειν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν)

The verb only here in Hebrews. Comp. ὑπερεντυγχάνειν, Romans 8:26, see note. See also on ἐντεύξεις supplications, 1 Timothy 2:1. The idea is not intercession, but intervention. It includes every form of Christ's identifying himself with human interests. The attempt has been made to trace this idea to Philo, who alludes to the λόγος ἱκέτης the supplicant Logos, and the λόγος παράκλητος the advocate-Logos. But the Logos is not treated by Philo as a divine-human personality intervening for men, but as a poetical personification allegorically considered. In one instance the suppliant Logos is the cry of the oppressed Israelites; in another, Moses, as the allegorical representative of the universal reason of mankind. It represents certain functions of human reason and speech. Again, the suppliant is the visible Cosmos striving to realize its ideal.

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