Hebrews 9:28
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
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(28) So Christ was once offered.—The ordinary translation, dividing the verse into two similar portions, fails to show where the emphasis really lies. The two members of the verse correspond to each other, point by point, with remarkable distinctness; but the first is clearly subordinated to the second. “So the Christ. also, having been once offered that He might bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time apart from sin to them that wait for Him unto salvation.” It is important to notice that, not only is there perfect. parallelism between the two members of this verse, but there is a similar relation between this verse as a whole and Hebrews 9:27. In that were presented two cardinal points of the history of sinful man; in this the main outlines of the Redeemer’s work. Each verse deals first with the present world, and secondly with “the last things.” The two verses, taken together, are connected with the preceding argument by the word “once.” Christ will not “suffer” often. He has been manifested once, to accomplish by one act the “annulling” of sin (Hebrews 9:26). And this is in harmony with the lot of man, who must die once, and but once (Hebrews 9:27-28). But what is the exact nature of this correspondence? Do the words simply mean that, as the Christ was man, so it was laid up for Him to die but once? Or may the connection of thought be expressed thus?—The work of redemption is so ordered as to correspond to the course of man’s history: as man must die once, and what remains is the judgment which he must abide, so the Christ has died once, and what remains is His return for judgment—a judgment which He Himself administers, giving salvation to His people. We will not venture to say that the former thought is absent from the words (which are sufficiently general to include both), but certainly the second is the more important. If now we return to Hebrews 9:28, it will be seen that the words “having been once offered” in the first member are answered by “shall appear” in the second; “to bear sins,” by “apart from sin . . . unto salvation;” and “of many,” by “to them that wait for Him.” In Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 9:25, the writer spoke of Christ as offering Himself, here as “having been offered;” so in Ephesians 5:2 we read that He “delivered Himself up for us,” but in Romans 8:32 that God “delivered Him up for us all,” and in Romans 4:25, “who was delivered up for our offences.” The words which follow are taken (with a slight change) from Isaiah 53:12, “and He bare the sin of many.” These words clearly involve sacrificial imagery. What is signified is not directly the removal of sin (as in the different words of John 1:29); but, as on the animal to be slain the sins of the offerer were in figure laid, and the death which followed signified the death which the offerer had deserved, so, with an infinite extension of meaning, are the words here applied. It is certainly no mere accident that the writer, thus availing himself of the prophet’s words, speaks of the Christ. In contrast with the one Sufferer are the “many” whose sins are borne (comp. Hebrews 2:10; Matthew 26:28). When the Christ shall appear the second time, it shall be “apart from sin”—no longer bearing sin, but “separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26). Of the judgment which He shall pass upon “the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:27) this verse does not speak, but only of His appearing to His own people, who “wait for Him.” This expressive word, again and again used by St. Paul (see Note on Romans 8:19) to describe the attitude of Christ’s people upon earth towards their Lord (Philippians 3:20; 1Corinthians 1:7) and His salvation (Romans 8:23; Romans 8:25), is here applied to all who love His appearing. By these “He shall be seen” as He is (1John 3:2). The last words “unto salvation” declare the purpose of His appearing, in a form which at once recalls the teaching of earlier verses in the Epistle (Hebrews 5:9; Hebrews 7:26), and especially Hebrews 9:12 of this chapter, and which brings to mind the name of Him for whom we wait, the Saviour (Philippians 3:20).

9:23-28 It is evident that the sacrifices of Christ are infinitely better than those of the law, which could neither procure pardon for sin, nor impart power against it. Sin would still have been upon us, and have had dominion over us; but Jesus Christ, by one sacrifice, has destroyed the works of the devil, that believers may be made righteous, holy, and happy. As no wisdom, learning, virtue, wealth, or power, can keep one of the human race from death, so nothing can deliver a sinner from being condemned at the day of judgment, except the atoning sacrifice of Christ; nor will one be saved from eternal punishment who despises or neglects this great salvation. The believer knows that his Redeemer liveth, and that he shall see him. Here is the faith and patience of the church, of all sincere believers. Hence is their continual prayer as the fruit and expression of their faith, Even so come, Lord Jesus.So Christ was once offered - Since people are to die but once; and as all beyond the grave is fixed by the judgment, so that his death there would make no change in the destiny, there was a propriety that he should die but once for sin. The argument is, there is one probation only, and therefore there was need of but one sacrifice, or of his dying but once. If death were to occur frequently in the existence of each individual, and if each intermediate period were a state of probation, then there might be a propriety that an atonement should be made with reference to each state. Or if beyond the grave there were a state of probation still, then also there might be propriety that an atoning sacrifice should be offered there. But since neither of these things is true, there was a fitness that the great victim should die but once.

(Rather, perhaps, as in the original sentence, "once dying" was the penalty denounced on the sinner, so the substitute in enduring it, is in like manner, under necessity of dying but once. By this he fully answers the requirement of the Law. Or there may be in the passage a simple intimation that, in this respect, as in others. Christ is like us, namely, in being but once subject to death. It would be inconsistent with the nature which he sustains, to suppose him a second time subject to death.)

To bear the sins of many - To suffer and die on account of their sins; see Isaiah 53:6, Isaiah 53:11 notes; Galatians 3:13 note. The phrase does not mean:

(1) that Christ was a "sinner" - for that was in no sense true. See Hebrews 7:26. Nor

(2) that he literally bore the penalty due to transgression - for that is equally untrue.

The penalty of the Law for sin is all which the Law when executed inflicts on the offender for his transgression, and includes, in "fact," remorse of conscience, overwhelming despair, and eternal punishment. But Christ did not suffer forever, nor did he experience remorse of conscience, nor did he endure utter despair. Nor.

(3) does it mean that he was literally "punished" for our sins. Punishment pertains only to the guilty. An innocent being may "suffer" for what another does, but there is no propriety in saying that he is "punished" for it. A father suffers much from the misconduct of a son, but we do not say that he is punished for it; a child suffers much from the intemperance of a parent - but no one would say that it was a punishment on the child. Men always connect the idea of criminality with punishment, and when we say that a man is punished, we suppose at once that there is "guilt." The phrase here means simply, that Christ endured sufferings in his own person, which, if they had been inflicted on us, would have been the proper punishment of sin. He who was innocent interposed, and received on himself what was descending to meet us, and consented to be treated "as he would have deserved if he had been a sinner." Thus, he bore what was due to us; and this, in Scripture phrase, is what is meant by "bearing our iniquities;" see the notes Isaiah 53:4.

(It is indeed true, that Christ did not endure the very penalty which we had incurred, and, but for his interference, should have endured. His sufferings must be regarded in the light of an equivalent to the Law's original claim, of a satisfaction to its injured honor, which the Lawgiver has been pleased to accept. It is, however, equally true, that the sufferings of Christ were strictly penal. They were the punishment of sin. The true meaning of the important phrase in this verse, "to bear sin," establishes this point. It can have no other meaning than bearing the punishment of sin. See Stuart's xix. Excursus. That punishment supposes guilt is not denied. What then? Not certainly that Christ was personally guilty, but that our guilt has been imputed to him - that he has taken the place of the guilty, and become answerable for their transgressions. See Supp. note, 2 Corinthians 5:21.)

And unto them that look for him - To his people. It is one of the characteristics of Christians that they look for the return of their Lord; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 3:12; compare the notes, 1 Thessalonians 1:10. They fully believe that he will come. They earnestly desire that he will come; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 22:20. They are waiting for his appearing; 1 Thessalonians 1:10. He left the world and ascended to heaven, but he will again return to earth, and his people are looking for that time as the period when they shall be raised up from their graves; when they shall be publicly acknowledged to be his, and when they shall be admitted to heaven; see the notes on John 14:3.

Shall he appear the second time - He first appeared as the man of sorrows to make atonement for sin. His second appearance will be as the Lord of his people, and the Judge of the quick and the dead; Matthew 25:31, see the notes, Acts 1:11. The apostle does not say when this would be, nor is any intimation given in the Scriptures when it will occur. It is on the contrary everywhere declared that this is concealed from people Acts 1:7; Matthew 24:36, and all that is known respecting the time is, that it will be suddenly and at an unexpected moment; Matthew 24:42, Matthew 24:44, Matthew 24:50.

Without sin - That is, when be comes again he will not make himself a sin-offering; or will not come in order to make atonement for sin. It is not implied that when he came the first time he was in any sense a sinner, but that he came then with reference to sin. or that the main object of his incarnation was to "put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." When he comes the second time, it will be with reference to another object.

Unto salvation - That is, to receive his friends and followers to eternal salvation. He will come to save them from all their sins and temptations; to raise them from their graves; to place them at his right hand in glory, and to confirm them in the everlasting inheritance which he has promised to all who truly love him, and who wait for his appearing.

In view of this anticipated return of the Redeemer, we may remark:

(1) There is a propriety that the Lord Jesus should thus return. He came once to be humbled, despised, and put to death; and there is a fitness that he should come to be honored in his own world.


28. Christ—Greek, "THE Christ"; the representative Man; representing all men, as the first Adam did.

once offered—not "often," Heb 9:25; just as "men," of whom He is the representative Head, are appointed by God once to die. He did not need to die again and again for each individual, or each successive generation of men, for He represents all men of every age, and therefore needed to die but once for all, so as to exhaust the penalty of death incurred by all. He was offered by the Father, His own "eternal Spirit" (Heb 9:14) concurring; as Abraham spared not Isaac, but offered him, the son himself unresistingly submitting to the father's will (Ge 22:1-24).

to bear the sins—referring to Isa 53:12, "He bare the sins of many," namely, on Himself; so "bear" means, Le 24:15; Nu 5:31; 14:34. The Greek is literally "to bear up" (1Pe 2:24). "Our sins were laid on Him. When, therefore, He was lifted up on the cross, He bare up our sins along with Him" [Bengel].

many—not opposed to all, but to few. He, the One, was offered for many; and that once for all (compare Mt 20:28).

look for him—with waiting expectation even unto the end (so the Greek). It is translated "wait for" in Ro 8:19, 23; 1Co 1:7, which see.

appear—rather, as Greek, "be seen." No longer in the alien "form of a servant," but in His own proper glory.

without sin—apart from, separate from, sin. Not bearing the sin of many on Him as at His first coming (even then there was no sin in Him). That sin has been at His first coming once for all taken away, so as to need no repetition of His sin offering of Himself (Heb 9:26). At His second coming He shall have no more to do with sin.

unto salvation—to bring in completed salvation; redeeming then the body which is as yet subject to the bondage of corruption. Hence, in Php 3:20 he says, "we look for THE Saviour." Note, Christ's prophetical office, as the divine Teacher, was especially exercised during His earthly ministry; His priestly is now from His first to His second coming; His kingly office shall be fully manifested at, and after, His second coming.

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many: outwv kai is an illative connection between the antecedent Hebrews 9:27, and this consequent; As it was appointed to men once to die, so it was appointed to Christ once to offer himself. God’s statute determineth both of these; Christ the High Priest, opposed to men, Hebrews 9:27, having died once as a sacrifice for sins, and offered his blood to God to expiate them, bearing their punishment which God laid on him, Isaiah 53:6; and so took away sins, guilt, filth, power and condemnation from many, whom the Father gave to him, and he undertook for, in it, Matthew 20:28 26:28 John 10:15,16.

And unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin; and to his believing, penitent expectants, such as long for his coming, Philippians 3:20 Titus 2:13, stretching out their heads, as the mother of Sisera, Judges 5:28, with a holy impatience of seeing him, such as by faith and prayer are hastening it, Romans 8:23 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 1 Peter 1:3-9, shall he once more visibly appear to them and the world, Acts 1:11 Revelation 1:7, gloriously, without need to suffer or die again for them, having at his departure after his first coming, carried all their sins into the land of forgetfulness.

Unto salvation; and to their persons will he bring entire and complete salvation, raising and uniting bodies and souls together, Philippians 3:21; and then take them as assistants to himself in the judgment-work on men and angels in the air; and having despatched that work, return with them to the holy of holiest in heaven, there to be completely blessed, in praising, serving, glorifying, and enjoying God in Christ, and the blessedness that attends that state, for ever and ever, as 1 Corinthians 6:2,3 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many,.... As man dies but once, Christ was offered but once, or he suffered and died but once; and that was not on his own account, or for his own sins, "but to bear the sins of many": not of angels but of men, and these not a few, but "many"; which is said to magnify the grace of God, to exalt the satisfaction and righteousness of Christ, and to encourage souls to hope in him: hence many are brought to believe in him, and many are justified by him, have their sins forgiven them, and are glorified; though Christ bore not the sins of all men; for as all men have not faith, all are not justified, pardoned, and saved: what he bore were "sins"; all kind of sin, every act of sin, and all that belongs to it; its filth, guilt, and punishment, even the iniquity of all his people; which must be a prodigious weight, and than which nothing could be more nauseous: his bearing them supposes they were upon him, though not in him, imputed, though not inherent; that he did not sink under them; that he made an entire satisfaction for them, and bore them wholly away, both from the persons of his people, and from the sight of justice. The way in which he came to bear them was this; he became a surety for all the elect; his Father imputed to him all their sins, and he voluntarily took them upon himself; where justice found them, and demanded satisfaction of him for them, and he gave it; which is an instance both of his great love, and of his great strength:

and unto them that look for him: with affection, faith and patience:

shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation; this is to be understood of Christ's visible and personal appearance on earth, which will be a glorious one; he will appear in his own glory, and in his Father's glory, and in the glory of the holy angels, and in the glory of his power, to the joy of saints, and to the terror of the wicked; for every eye shall see him: and this is said to be "the second time"; that is, that he appears on earth, and personally; for though he often appears to his people, it is in a spiritual way; and though he appeared to Stephen and to Paul, yet not on earth, but in heaven; and this is called the second time, with reference to his first appearance in human nature at his incarnation, and after that he ascended to heaven; and as this will be the second, it will be the last: the manner in which he will appear, will be, "without sin"; without sin itself; without any thing like it: without any infirmities, which though not sinful are the effects of sin; without sin imputed to him, with which he appeared before; without being a sacrifice for sin; and without sin upon his people that come with him, or he shall meet whom he shall raise, or change, and take to himself: and the end of his appearance with respect to them, will be "unto salvation"; the end of his first appearance was to obtain salvation for his people, and he has obtained it, and there is a comfortable application of it made unto them by the Spirit of God; but the full possession of it will be hereafter, and into this will Christ put them, when he shall appear: the Alexandrian copy adds, "by faith", and also some other copies.

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of {s} many; {16} and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

(s) Thus the general promise is restrained to the elect only: and we have to seek the testimony of our election, not in the secret counsel of God, but in the effects that our faith works, and so we must climb up from the lowest step to the highest, there to find such comfort as is most certain, and shall never be moved.

(16) Shortly by the way he sets Christ as Judge, partly to terrify those who are not trusting in the only sacrifice of Christ once made, and partly to keep the faithful in their duty, so that they will not go back.

Hebrews 9:28. Ἅπαξ προσενεχθείς] once offered (by the suffering of death). Chrysostom: ὑπὸ τίνος προσενεχθείς; ὑφ ̓ ἑαυτοῦ δηλονότι. Wrongly (comp. ἑαυτόν, Hebrews 9:25; Hebrews 9:14) Delitzsch: in connection with the passive προσενεχθείς we have “to think of the violence proceeding from the human and demoniac power, which Christ endured, in order to become the προσφορά for the propitiation of mankind;” Kurtz and Hofmann: ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ is to be supplemented, which, accordingly, is interpreted by Kurtz into the signification of the “sending of the Son into the world, in behoof of the vicarious atoning for sin by means of His sacrificial death;” by Hofmann: into a “being brought to that place where He was to be at the disposal of Him who had ordained Him to be an expiatory sacrifice for sins.” The words ἅπαξ προσενεχθείς correspond to the ἅπαξ ἀποθανεῖν, Hebrews 9:27, and προσενεχθείς forms a paronomasia with the following ἀνενεγκεῖν: borne as a sacrifice, that He might bear away, dargebracht, um fortzubringen [oblatus ut auferret]. For ἀνενεγκεῖν denotes not the bearing up (and fastening) to the cross (Jac. Cappellus, Calov, Wolf, Bengel, and others, after 1 Peter 2:24, where, however, ἐπὶ τὸ ξύλον is employed with it), or the substitutionary bearing (Augustine, de pecc. mer. i. 28; Estius, Seb. Schmidt, Böhme, de Wette, Bloomfield, Bisping, Delitzsch, Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 544 f.; Alford, Maier, Conybeare, Moll, Kurtz, Ewald, M‘Caul, Hofmann, and others, in accordance with the signification of the verb, Isaiah 53:12, LXX.: αὐτὸς ἁμαρτίας πολλῶν ἀνήνεγκε, an utterance which certainly may have been before the mind of the author at the time of his writing this passage), or the offering up of the sins, as it were, as a sacrifice (Peshito, Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Michaelis); but the expiation of sins, conceived under the form of the result immediately of necessity attaching itself thereto, i.e. the putting away of sins, in such wise that it takes up again the idea expressed by εἰς ἀθέτησιν ἁμαρτίας, Hebrews 9:26, and becomes identical with ἀφαιρεῖν ἁμαρτίας, Hebrews 10:4. From a linguistic point of view this interpretation encounters no difficulty (against Delitzsch and others), since the ἀνά in ἀνενεγκεῖν was employed not otherwise than, e.g., very frequently the ἀνά in ἀναιρεῖν. How easily the notion of bearing in φέρειν could pass over into that of bearing away or doing away with, is shown in the kindred verb βαστάζειν, which is unquestionably used, Matthew 8:17, John 20:15, in the sense of auferre. Comp. also Galen, de compos. medicam. 2 : ψώρας τε θεραπεύει καὶ ὑπώπια βαστάζει.

πολλῶν] here too, as Hebrews 2:10 and often (see p. 122), lays stress only on the notion of multitude or plurality, without regard to the question whether this plurality constitutes the totality of mankind or not.

ἐκ δευτέρου ὀφθήσεται] shall appear the second time before the eyes of men, namely, at His Parousia. According to Bleek, there arises a difficulty from the words, if we explain προσενεχθείς of the death suffered upon earth, and not, with him, of an action accomplished in heaven, only after the resurrection, inasmuch as in the former case Christ already appeared in a visible form the second time after His resurrection. But such difficulty does not at all present itself in connection with that application of προσενεχθείς either. For ἐκ δευτέρου ὀφθήσεται can only be understood of a second appearing in a visible form upon earth; when, however, Christ after His resurrection appeared again to His disciples, He had not yet left the earth; those manifestations of the risen Christ before His ascension belonged consequently to His first visible coming forth upon earth.

χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας] forms the opposition to εἰς τὸ πολλῶν ἀνενεγκεῖν ἁμαρτίας, is therefore to be interpreted after the analogy of these words. (Erroneously Bleek, according to whom χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας forms the opposition to εἰς ἀθέτησιν ἁμαρτίας διὰ τῆς θυσίας αὐτοῦ πεφανέρωται, Hebrews 9:26.) Christ has once offered Himself up for the expiation of the sins of men; when He returns to earth the second time, He will not once more have to do with the expiation of human sin, but He will, apart from sin, or free from all relation to sin, appear to bring the σωτηρία to the believers. Free from the guilt and punishment of sin, Christ has already rendered His believers by means of His sacrificial death at His first appearing upon earth. Positively, He will bless them with salvation at His return. To combine χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας with τοῖς ἀπεκδεχομένοις by means of an hyperbaton (so Faber Stapulensis and Grotius) is grammatically impossible. The sense, however, cannot be either, as the Irvingites will, that Christ Himself will be free from sin at His second appearing, in opposition to the lust which they suppose to have attached to Him during His first appearing; for that Christ during this period too, notwithstanding all the temptation to which He was subject, was free from sin, the author certainly distinctly asserts at Hebrews 4:15. Incorrectly also does Bleek—after the example of Theodore of Mopsuestia (τὸ γὰρ χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας τοῦτο λέγει, ὅτι μὴ κρατούσης ἔτι τῆς ἁμαρτίας οὕτω καὶ αὐτὸς ἔξω παντὸς ἀνθρωπίνου πάθους ὀφθήσεται τότε) and of Theodoret (οὐκέτι τῆς ἁμαρτίας κρατούσης, ἀντὶ τοῦ χώραν οὐκέτι ἐχούσης κατὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων τῆς ἁμαρτίας)—take χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας as equivalent in signification to μὴ οὔσης ἁμαρτίας, so that the sense would be: “at the return of Christ sin will no longer be present, at least in the domain to which the operation of the Redeemer will relate.” Even in a grammatical respect this application of the words is inadmissible, since χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας must stand in relation to the subject in ὀφθήσεται, thus cannot be torn away from this reference by being made equivalent to an independent participial clause. But also the thought thence arising would be encumbered with difficulty, as Bleek himself admits, by the addition of “at least,” etc., although Bleek has sought to justify it. Additional misinterpretations of χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας are met with in other writers. Thus it is supposed to mean: without, again vicariously laden with the sins of men, being made sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) for them (Oecumenius, Theophylact, Clarius, Akersloot, Wolf, Carpzov, Chr. Fr. Schmid, Heinrichs, de Wette, Bloomfield, Bisping, Delitzsch, Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 545, Obs.; Alford, Maier, Moll, and others), which is already refuted by the erroneousness of explaining the foregoing ἀνενεγκεῖν of the vicarious bearing of sins; without the punishment of sin (Klee, al.); without the sufferings undertaken for sin (Tholuck); sine corporis, peccato obnoxii, mortalitate (Zeger); sine sacrificio pro peccato (Jac. Cappellus, Stuart, M‘Caul, and many); not as a sufferer for the guilt of others, but as the holy judge of the guilt of others (Ebrard, Delitzsch; similarly Stein and others), and so forth, all of which have the plain expression of the language against them.

εἰς σωτηρίαν] belongs to ὀφθήσεται, not, as it is true, upon the retention of the spurious addition (see the critical remark) διὰ πίστεως, it must be conjoined, to ἀπεκδεχομένοις (so Primasius, Faber Stapulensis, Camerarius, Wolf, Klee, Paulus, Stein). For τοῖς αὐτὸν ἀπεκδεχομένοις contains a non-essential element of the statement, Hebrews 9:28; εἰς σωτηρίαν, on the other hand, an essential element of the same. εἰς σωτηρίαν, namely, is the positive nearer defining of the negative χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας, and forms consequently, like the latter, an antithesis to εἰς τὸ πολλῶν ἀνενεγκεῖν ἁμαρτίας. The whole clause, however, ἐκ δευτέρουεἰς σωτηρίαν, corresponds to the second member of the clause, Hebrews 9:27 : μετὰ δὲ τοῦτο κρίσις.

Hebrews 9:28. οὕτως. The comparison extends to both terms, the once dying and the judgment. [Cf. Kübel, “die Korrespondenz ist nicht bloss die der gleichen Menschennatur, sondern das, dass mit dem Tod das, was das Leben bedeutet, abgeschlossen, fertigist”]. The results of the life are settled. And in Christ’s case the result is that He appears the second time without sin unto salvation, the sin having been destroyed by His death, ἅπαξ προσενεχθεὶς corresponds to ἅπαξ ἀποθανεῖν of Hebrews 9:27. The passive is used to be more in keeping with the universal law expressed in ἀπόκειται of Hebrews 9:27. Though the “offering” as we have seen includes both the death and the entrance into the Holiest with the blood, it is the death which is here prominent. εἰς τὸ πολλῶν ἀνενεγκεῖν ἁμαρτίας, “to bear the sins of many”. Westcott says, “the burden which Christ took upon Him and bore to the cross was ‘the sins of many’ not, primarily, or separately from the sins, the punishment of sins.” But in what intelligible sense can sins be borne but by bearing their punishment? In Numbers 14:33, e.g., it is said “your sins shall be fed in the wilderness forty years καὶ ἀνοίσουσι τὴν πορνείαν ὑμῶν, where the same verb is used as here to express the idea of suffering punishment for the sins of others, πολλῶν, although it was the death of but one, cf. Romans 5:12-21, but probably only a reminiscence of Isaiah 58:12. αὐτὸς ἁμαρτίας πολλῶν ἀνήνεγκε. ἐκ δευτέρου … a second time He shall appear, ὀφθήσεται, visible to the eye. The word is probably used because appropriate to the appearances after the resurrection, cf. Luke 24:34, Acts 9:17; Acts 13:31, 1 Corinthians 5, 6, 7, 8 where ὤφθη is regularly used. But on this “second” appearance His object is different. He will come not εἰς τὸ πολ. ἀνεν. ἁμαρτίας, but χωρὶς ἁμ. εἰς σωτηρίαν irrespective of sin, not to be a sin offering but to make those who wait for Him partakers of the great salvation, Hebrews 2:3, cf. Hebrews 10:37-39; and Hebrews 9:12. τοῖς αὐτὸν ἀπεκδεχομένοις “There may be an illusion to the reappearance of the High Priest after the solemn ceremonial in the Holy of Holies on the day of atonement to the anxiously waiting people” (Vaughan). Cf. Luke 1:21. The word is used in 1 Corinthians 1:7 and Php 3:20 of the expectation of the second advent, and in 2 Timothy 4:8 is varied by the beautiful expression “they that have loved His appearing”.

28. was once offered] Christ may also be said as in Hebrews 9:14 “to offer Himself;” just as He is said “to be delivered for us” (Romans 4:25) and “to deliver up Himself” (Ephesians 5:2).

to bear the sins] The word rendered “to bear” may mean “to carry them with Him on to the Cross,” as in 1 Peter 2:24; or as probably in Isaiah 53:12 “to take them away.”

of many] “Many” is only used as an antithesis to “few.” Of course the writer does not mean to contradict the lesson which runs throughout the N.T. that Christ died for all. Once for all One died for all who were “many” (see my Life of St Paul, ii. 216).

without sin] Not merely “without (χωρὶς)” but “apart from (ἄτερ) sin,” i.e. apart from all connexion with it, because He shall have utterly triumphed over, and annulled it (Hebrews 9:26); Daniel 9:24-25; Isaiah 25:7-8). The words do not go with “the second time” for at Christ’s first coming He appeared without sin indeed, but not “apart from sin,” seeing that “He was numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12) and was “made sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

unto salvation] “It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; … we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (Isaiah 25:9). It is remarkable that the Sacred Writers—unlike the Mediæval painters and moralists—almost invariably avoid the more terrible aspects of the Second Advent. “How shall He appear?” asks St Chrysostom on this passage, “As a Punisher? He did not say this, but the bright side.” The parallelism of these verses is Man dies once, and is judged; Christ died once and shall return—he might have said “to be man’s judge” (Acts 17:31)—but he does say “He shall return … for salvation.”

We may sum up some of the contrasts of this previous chapter as follows. The descendants of Aaron were but priests; Christ, like Melchisedek, was both Priest and King. They were for a time; He is a Priest for ever. They were but links in a long succession, inheriting from forefathers, transmitting to dependents; He stands alone, without lineage, without successor. They were established by a transitory ordinance, He by an eternal oath. They were sinful, He is sinless. They weak, He all-powerful. Their sacrifices were ineffectual, His was perfect. Their sacrifices were offered daily, His once for all. Theirs did but cleanse from ceremonial defilement, His purged the conscience. Their tabernacle was but a copy, and their service a shadow; His tabernacle was the Archetype, and His service the substance. They died and passed away; He sits to intercede for us for ever at God’s right hand. Their Covenant is doomed to abrogation; His, founded on better promises, is to endure unto the End. Their High Priest could but enter once and that with awful precautions, with the blood of bulls and goats, into a material shrine; He, entering with the blood of His one perfect sacrifice into the Heaven of Heavens, has thrown open to all the right of continual and fearless access to God. What a sin then was it, and what a folly, to look back with apostatising glances at the shadows of a petty Levitism while Christ the Mediator of a New, of a better, of a final Dispensation—Christ whose blood had a real and no mere symbolic efficacy had died once for all, and Alone for all, as the sinless Son of God to obtain for us an eternal redemption, and to return for our salvation as the Everlasting Victor over sin and death!

Hebrews 9:28. Οὕτω, so) i.e. Christ hath delivered us from death and judgment, notwithstanding that, as death, so also judgment remains, as far as the name is concerned.—προσενεχθεὶς εἰς τὸ ἀνενεγκεῖν, having been offered to bear) There is a difference between the words; comp. 1 Peter 2:24, τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἀνήνεγκεν, He bore our sins: Our sins were laid on Him by the Father: while therefore He was lifted np on the cross, He bore (took) up our sins along with Him. The LXX. use the same expression, Numbers 14:33, ἀνοίσουσι τὴν πορνείαν ὑμῶν, they shall bear your whoredoms. In other places they are put indiscriminately: ch. Hebrews 7:27.—πολλῶν, of many) A pleasant antithesis: once; of many, who lived during so many ages. Isaiah 53:12, in the LXX. version, καὶ αὐτὸς ἁμαρτίας πολλῶν ἀνήνεγκε, and He bore the sins (sin, Heb.) of many. Thus the absolute power of the one sacrifice of Christ is very clearly evinced. The word again, John 14:3, accords with a second time, here. Both places treat of His coming, regarded as to itself (secundum se). But His coming, for the first time in the flesh, was in the strange form of a servant: His second coming is in His own glory. In the eyes of all, who had not formerly seen, [not only so] but had not either acknowledged Him, He is at that time Coming (ὁ ἐρχόμενος, The Comer). Let us suppose the arrival of a guest, the intimate friend of the father of the family, but unknown to the family. The father of the family will think, A brother RETURNS; whereas in the family it will be said, A guest IS COMING.—ὀφθήσεται, He will be seen) in His glory.—ἀπεκδεχομένοις, to them that look for Him) The dative of advantage. The unrighteous also will see Him, but not for salvation. To them that look for Him, He will be the Saviour, Php 3:20.—εἰς σωτηρίαν, unto salvation) and therefore to set us free from condemnation.


Hebrews 9:28Christ

Emphasizing him, as the figure to which the old economy pointed.

Was once offered (ἅπαξ προσενεχθεὶς)

Lit. having been offered once for all. Note the passive in contrast with offer himself, Hebrews 9:25. He was appointed to die as truly as we. Comp. Luke 24:26; Matthew 26:53, Matthew 26:54; Psalm 40:7, Psalm 40:8.

To bear (ἀνενεγκεῖν)

Not in the sense of bearing a sin offering up to the cross; for ἁμαρτία never means a sin-offering; nor in the sense of putting away; but signifying to take upon himself and bear as a burden.

Unto them that look for him (τοῖς αὐτὸν ἀπεκδεχομένοις)

Rend. await him. For the verb, see on Philippians 3:20. This second coming with salvation is only for those who await him in faith.

Shall he appear (ὀφθήσεται)

The usual verb for the appearance of Christ after his resurrection.

The second time (ἐκ δευτέρου)

A phrase quite common in N.T., but not in Paul. The idea is, beginning from the second: the second in a series taken as the point of departure. As among men judgment follows as the second thing after death, so, when Christ shall appear for the second time, he will appear as the sinless Savior.

Unto salvation (εἰς σωτηρίαν)

Not as a sinner to be judged, but as the Savior of mankind. It is not said that he will appear as judge, but only that he will not share the judgment which befalls all men after death. Still the phrase may imply that he will award salvation, as judge, to such as have believed on him.

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