Hebrews 7:28
For the law makes men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, makes the Son, who is consecrated for ever more.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(28) For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity . . .—Better, For the Law appointeth men high priests, (men) having infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was after the Law, appointeth a Son, who hath been perfected for ever. On “the word of the oath” see Hebrews 7:20-21. Coming “after the Law,” it revoked the commandment (Hebrews 7:18), and was not revoked by it. (“A Son,” see Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 5:8. “Perfected,” see Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 5:10.) We are not to understand that Jesus was first “perfected” and then appointed as High Priest: this would contradict what has just been taught (Hebrews 7:27), for it was as High Priest that He offered the sacrifice of Himself. In these closing words are united the two cardinal predictions of Psalms 2, 110 (comp. Hebrews 5:5-6): Thou art My Son,” “Thou art a Priest for ever.”

7:26-28 Observe the description of the personal holiness of Christ. He is free from all habits or principles of sin, not having the least disposition to it in his nature. No sin dwells in him, not the least sinful inclination, though such dwells in the best of Christians. He is harmless, free from all actual transgression; he did no violence, nor was there any deceit in his mouth. He is undefiled. It is hard to keep ourselves pure, so as not to partake the guilt of other men's sins. But none need be dismayed who come to God in the name of his beloved Son. Let them be assured that he will deliver them in the time of trial and suffering, in the time of prosperity, in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment.For the law - The ceremonial law.

Which have infirmity - Who are weak, frail, sinful, dying. Such were all who were appointed to the office of priest under the Jewish Law.

But the word of the oath - By which one was appointed after the order of Melchizedek; note, Hebrews 7:21.

Maketh the Son - The Son of God. That appointment has resulted in his being set apart to this work.

Who is consecrated forevermore - Margin, "Perfected;" see the note at Hebrews 2:10. The idea is, that the appointment is "complete" and "permanent." It does not pass from one to the other. It is perfect in all the arrangements, and will remain so forever.

Remarks

The subject of this chapter is the exalted high priesthood of the Redeemer. This is a subject which pertains to all Christians, and to all men. All religions imply the priestly office; all suppose sacrifice of some kind. In regard to the priestly office of Christ as illustrated in this chapter, we may observe:

(1) He stands alone. In that office he had no predecessor, and has no one to succeed him. In this respect he was without father, mother, or descent - and he stands in lonely majesty as the only one who sustains the office; Hebrews 7:3.

(2) he is superior to Abraham. Abraham never laid claim to the ofrice of priest, but he recognized his inferiority to one whom the Messiah was to resemble; Hebrews 7:2, Hebrews 7:4.

(3) he is superior to all the Jewish priesthood - sustaining a rank and performing an office above them all. The great ancestor of all the Levitical priests recognized his inferiority to one of the rank or "order" of which the Messiah was to be, and received from him a blessing. In our contemplation of Christ, therefore, as priest, we have the privilege of regarding him as superior to the Jewish high priest - exalted as was his office, and important as were the functions of his office; as more grand, more pure, more worthy of confidence and love.

(4) the great High Priest of the Christian profession is the only perfect priest; Hebrews 7:11, Hebrews 7:19. The Jewish priests were all imperfect and sinful men. The sacrifices which they offered were imperfect, and could not give peace to the conscience. There was need of some better system, and they all looked forward to it. But in the Lord Jesus, and in his work, there is absolute perfection. What he did was complete, and his office needs no change.

(5) the office now is permanent. It does not change from hand to hand; Hebrews 7:23-24. He who sustains this office does not die, and we may ever apply to him and cast our cares on him. Men die; one generation succeeds another; but our High Priest is the same. We may trust in him in whom our fathers found peace and salvation, and then we may teach our children to confide in the same High Priest - and so send the invaluable lesson down to latest generations.

(6) his work is firm and sure; Hebrews 7:20-22. His office is founded on an oath, and he has become the security for all who will commit their cause to him. Can great interests like those of the soul be entrusted to better hands? Are they not safer in his keeping than in our own?

(7) he is able to save to the uttermost; Hebrews 7:25. That power he showed when he was on earth; that power he is constantly evincing. No one has asked aid of him and found him unable to render it; no one has been suffered to sink down to hell because his arm was weak. What he has done for a few he can do for "all;" and they who will entrust themselves to him will find him a sure Saviour. So why will people not be persuaded to commit themselves to him? Can they save themselves? Where is there one who has shown that he was able to do it? Do they not need a Saviour? Let the history of the world answer. Can man conduct his own cause before God? How weak, ignorant, and blind is he; how little qualified for such an office! Has anyone suffered wrong by committing himself to the Redeemer? If there is such an one, where is he? Who has ever made this complaint that has tried it? Who ever will make it? In countless millions of instances, the trial has been made whether Christ was "able to save." Men have gone with a troubled spirit; with a guilty conscience; and with awful apprehensions of the wrath to come, and have asked him to save them. Not one of those who have done this has found reason to doubt his ability; not one has regretted that he has committed the deathless interest of the soul into his hands.

continued...

28. For—reason for the difference stated in Heb 7:27, between His one sacrifice and their oft repeated sacrifices, namely, because of His entire freedom from the sinful infirmity to which they are subject. He needed not, as they, to offer For His own sin; and being now exempt from death and "perfected for evermore," He needs not to REPEAT His sacrifice.

the word—"the word" confirmed by "the oath."

which—which oath was after the law, namely, in Ps 110:4, abrogating the preceding law-priesthood.

the Son—contrasted with "men."

consecrated—Greek, "made perfect" once for all, as in Heb 2:10; 5:9; see on [2558]Heb 2:10; [2559]Heb 5:9. Opposed to "having infirmity." Consecrated as a perfected priest by His perfected sacrifice, and consequent anointing and exaltation to the right hand of the Father.

This is the reason why the Aaronical priests had need to sacrifice for themselves, and the gospel High Priest had not, and is finally describing him who is so.

For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; for the law which God gave to Moses, the ceremonial law, constituteth, sets up, and puts into this Aaronical order and office of priesthood, such as are not only liable to bodily infirmities, but to moral ones, sins. Aaron and all his sons had their spiritual sinful infirmities, Hebrews 5:2, for which they were to offer their propitiatory sacrifices to God, as well as for those of the people; they were sinful, dying men, Hebrews 7:26.

But the word of the oath, which was since the law; but God the Father’s promise to his Son, ratified with an oath, that he should he the great High Priest perfecting of souls for God, as David testifieth, Psalm 110:4, to be revealed to him; and this four hundred years after the law was given which constituted the Aaronical priesthood. The word revealed God’s promise to him, the oath made it irreversible; yet this promise was not actually performed to him till his ascension in the human nature higher than the heavens, Psalm 110:1.

Maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore; God the Son incarnate, the man Christ God’s fellow, the glorious only begotten and bosom Son of the Father, Zechariah 13:7 John 1:14,18 1 Timothy 2:5, is made by this ratified word the only single everlasting High Priest, who is not only completely and perfectly holy, as opposed to the infirmities of the Aaronical priests, but ever able and fit for his work, as successful in it. Who would not therefore leave that abolished priesthood, and cleave to this which must abide for ever? For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity,.... Every word has an emphasis on it, and shows the difference between Christ and these priests: they were many; they were made priests by the law, the law of a carnal commandment, which made nothing perfect, and was disannulled; they were men that were made priests by it, and could not really draw nigh to God, and mediate with him for themselves, or others, nor atone either for their own or others' sins; and they were men that had infirmity, not natural and corporeal, for they were to have no bodily blemishes and deficiencies in them, but sinful ones; and especially such were they who bore this office under the second temple, and particularly in the times of Christ and his apostles (d):

but the word of the oath, which was since the law; that word which had an oath annexed to it, which declared Christ an high priest after the order of Melchizedek, was since the law of the priesthood of Aaron; for though Christ was made a priest from eternity, yet the promise which declared it, and had an oath joined to it, was afterwards in David's time, Psalm 110:4 and this word of the oath maketh the son; not a son, but a priest; publishes and declares him to be so: Christ, though a man, yet he is not mere man; he is the Son of God, and as such opposed to men; and therefore is not the Son of God as man; and this shows that he was a son before he was a priest, and therefore is not so called on account of his office; and it is his being the Son of God which gives lustre and glory to his priestly office, and virtue and efficacy to his sacrifice and intercession, and gives him the preference to all other priests:

who is consecrated for evermore; or "perfected", or "perfect"; he is perfect in his obedience and sufferings, in his sacrifice, and as he is now in heaven, in complete glory; the law made men priests that did not continue, but Christ is a priest for evermore, and absolutely, perfect.

(d) Vid. T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 8. 2. & 9. 1.

For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the {n} word of the oath, {14} which {o} was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

(n) The commandment of God which was bound with an oath.

(14) Another argument taken by the time: Former things are taken away by the later.

(o) Exhibited.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 7:28. Establishment of τοῦτο ἐποίησεν ἐφάπαξ, Hebrews 7:27, by the definite formulating of the statement of the fourth point of superiority of the New Testament High Priest over the high priests of the Old Covenant,—a statement for which the way has been prepared by Hebrews 7:26-27. The law constitutes high priests men who are subject to weakness, and thus also to sin (comp. Hebrews 5:2-3), on which account they have to offer, as for the people, so also for themselves, and have ofttimes to repeat this sacrifice; the word of the oath, on the other hand (comp. Hebrews 7:21), which ensued after the law,—namely, only in the time of David,—and consequently annulled the law, ordains as high priest the Son (see on Hebrews 1:1), who is for ever perfected, i.e. without sin (Hebrews 4:15), and by His exaltation withdrawn from all human ἀσθένεια, however greatly He had part therein during His life on earth; wherefore He needed not for Himself to present an expiatory sacrifice, but only for the people, and, inasmuch as this fully accomplished its end, He needed not to repeat the same.

Entirely misapprehending the reasoning of the author, Ebrard supposes that even the first half of the proposition, Hebrews 7:28, is likewise to be referred to Jesus. The author, he tells us, presupposes as well known, that Christ has been as well ἄνθρωπος ἀσθένειαν ἔχων (according to chap. 5) as υἱὸς τετελειωμένος εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα (according to chap. 7), and is here recapitulating (!) the two. Thus, then, ὁ νόμος γὰρἀσθένειαν contains a concession (!) having reference to chap. 5, and the thought is: “the law (in so far as it has not (!) been annulled) demands of all high priests (consequently (!) also of Jesus) that they be ἄνθρωποι ἔχοντες ἀσθένειαν; the sworn word of promise, however (given after the law), proceeding far beyond and above the same, constitutes as high priest the Son for ever perfected” (!). A misinterpreting of the meaning, against which even the opposition of ὁ νόμοςὁ λόγος δέ, as a manifest parallel to οἱ μὲνὁ δέ, Hebrews 7:20 f., Hebrews 7:23 f., ought to have kept him.

τῆς μετὰ τὸν νόμον] The author did not write ὁ μετὰ τὸν νόμον, according to which the Vulgate and Luther translate, because he wished to accentuate ὁρκωμοσία as the principal notion.28. men] i.e. ordinary “human beings.”

the oath, which was since the law] Namely, in Psalm 110:4.

consecrated] Rather, “who has been perfected.” The word “consecrated” in our A.V. is a reminiscence of Leviticus 21:10; Exodus 29:9. The “perfected” has the same meaning as in Hebrews 2:10, Hebrews 5:9.Hebrews 7:28. Ὁ νόμος γὰρ· ὁ λόγος δὲ, for the law: but the word) The antithesis is very express, as the conjunction is put after the nouns.—ὁ λόγος, the word) rendered as strong as possible in consequence of the oath.—τῆς μετὰ τὸν νόμον) Not only the word, but the oath of God, is said to have been given after the law (comp. v. 18) in the time of David, and that too by David, as GOD very often swears by the mouth of the prophets. Comp. Acts 2:30, where Peter speaks of the kingdom of Christ sanctioned by an oath in that same age. Paul is reasoning from the order of revelations, as Galatians 3:17, note. Below, ch. Hebrews 10:7; Hebrews 10:16.—Υἱὸν) Song of Solomon of GOD. The antithesis is, men having infirmity.—εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, for ever) It is thus resolved: The Son (once made perfect) was constituted a priest for ever, ch. Hebrews 5:9-10, note. Absolute eternity is here intended. Jesus continues a priest for ever. His work being finished, His state remains.Verse 28. - For the Law maketh men high priests, having infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was after the Law, maketh the Son, perfected for evermore. With men (i.e. a succession of men; cf. ver. 8) having infirmity is contrasted the one Son, for ever perfected. The absence of the article before υἱὸς does not imply the meaning "a son;" the title denotes here, as throughout the Epistle, the peculiar Son of prophecy (see under Hebrews 1:1). There is here no denial of his complete humanity, though he is plainly regarded as more than man. Nor is his participation In human ἀσθένεια, in the sense explained under Hebrews 5, denied. His implied freedom from it may mean either that he never had any inherent in himself, none due to personal imperfection, or that now, in his exalted state, he is altogether removed from it. In both these senses the implication is true; and both may be understood; but τετελειωμένον being here opposed to ἔχοντας ἀσθενείαν (as υἵον to ἀνθρώπους), the latter sense may be conceived to have been especially in the writer's mind. It is, in fact, our ever-living High Priest, interceding for us above, after passing through human experience, and after atonement completed, that is now being presented to our view. It is to be observed, lastly, that τετελειωμένον in this verse may be intended to bear, or at any rate to suggest, the special sense noted under Hebrews 5:9, and strenuously maintained by Jackson, and hence to be not incorrectly rendered by "consecrated" in the A.V.; and this notwithstanding Alford's protest against this rendering as "obliterating both sense and analogy with Hebrews 2:10 and Hebrews 5:1."



Summarizing the contents of Hebrews 7:26, Hebrews 7:27. - The law constitutes weak men high priests. God's sworn declaration constitutes a son, perfected forevermore. Ἀνθρώπους men, many in number as contrasted with one Son. Ἔχοντας ἀσθένειαν having infirmity, stronger than ἀσθενεῖς weak, which might imply only special exhibitions of weakness, while having infirmity indicates a general characteristic. See on John 16:22.

A son

Again the high-priesthood is bound up with sonship, as in Hebrews 5:5, Hebrews 5:6.

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