Hebrews 1:3
New International Version
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

New Living Translation
The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

English Standard Version
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Berean Study Bible
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature, upholding all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Berean Literal Bible
who, being the radiance of His glory and the exact expression of His substance, and upholding all things by the power of His word, through having made the purification of sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

New American Standard Bible
And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

King James Bible
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Christian Standard Bible
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Contemporary English Version
God's Son has all the brightness of God's own glory and is like him in every way. By his own mighty word, he holds the universe together. After the Son had washed away our sins, he sat down at the right side of the glorious God in heaven.

Good News Translation
He reflects the brightness of God's glory and is the exact likeness of God's own being, sustaining the universe with his powerful word. After achieving forgiveness for the sins of all human beings, he sat down in heaven at the right side of God, the Supreme Power.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

International Standard Version
He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact likeness of his being, and he holds everything together by his powerful word. After he had provided a cleansing from sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Highest Majesty

NET Bible
The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

New Heart English Bible
He is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification for sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For he is The Brilliance of his glory, The Image of his Being, and upholds all things by the power of his word; and he in his Essential Being has accomplished the purification of our sins, and he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
His Son is the reflection of God's glory and the exact likeness of God's being. He holds everything together through his powerful words. After he had cleansed people from their sins, he received the highest position, the one next to the Father in heaven.

New American Standard 1977
And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Jubilee Bible 2000
who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his substance and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

King James 2000 Bible
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

American King James Version
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

American Standard Version
who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the figure of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, making purgation of sins, sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high.

Darby Bible Translation
who being [the] effulgence of his glory and [the] expression of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, having made [by himself] the purification of sins, set himself down on the right hand of the greatness on high,

English Revised Version
who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Webster's Bible Translation
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself made purification of our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Weymouth New Testament
He brightly reflects God's glory and is the exact representation of His being, and upholds the universe by His all-powerful word. After securing man's purification from sin He took His seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

World English Bible
His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself made purification for our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Young's Literal Translation
who being the brightness of the glory, and the impress of His subsistence, bearing up also the all things by the saying of his might -- through himself having made a cleansing of our sins, sat down at the right hand of the greatness in the highest,
Study Bible
The Supremacy of the Son
2But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature, upholding all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4So He became as far superior to the angels as the name He has inherited is excellent beyond theirs.…
Cross References
Psalm 110:1
The LORD said to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."

Mark 16:19
After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

John 14:9
Jesus replied, "Philip, I have been with you all this time, and still you do not know Me? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

2 Corinthians 4:4
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Colossians 1:17
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Titus 2:14
He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Hebrews 1:13
But to which of the angels did God ever say: "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet"?

Hebrews 8:1
The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,

Hebrews 9:14
how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, purify our consciences from works of death, so that we may serve the living God!

Hebrews 10:12
But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God.

Hebrews 12:2
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2 Peter 1:17
For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice from the Majestic Glory said to Him, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Treasury of Scripture

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

the brightness.

John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 14:9,10
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? …

2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

image.

2 Corinthians 4:4
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Colossians 1:15,16
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: …

upholding.

Psalm 75:3
The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.

John 1:4
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Colossians 1:17
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

the word.

Ecclesiastes 8:4
Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

by himself.

Hebrews 7:27
Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

Hebrews 9:12-14,16,26
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us

John 1:29
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

sat.







Lexicon
[The Son]
ὃς (hos)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3739: Who, which, what, that.

is
ὢν (ōn)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

[the] radiance
ἀπαύγασμα (apaugasma)
Noun - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 541: A light flashing forth (from), radiation, gleam. From a compound of apo and augazo; an off-flash, i.e. Effulgence.

of [God’s]
τῆς (tēs)
Article - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

glory
δόξης (doxēs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1391: From the base of dokeo; glory, in a wide application.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

[the] exact representation
χαρακτὴρ (charaktēr)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5481: From the same as charax; a graver, i.e. engraving, the figure stamped, i.e. An exact copy or representation).

of
τῆς (tēs)
Article - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

His
αὐτοῦ (autou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

nature,
ὑποστάσεως (hypostaseōs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 5287: From a compound of hupo and histemi; a setting under, i.e. concretely, essence, or abstractly, assurance.

upholding
φέρων (pherōn)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5342: To carry, bear, bring; I conduct, lead; perhaps: I make publicly known. A primary verb.

all things
πάντα (panta)
Adjective - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3956: All, the whole, every kind of. Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.

by
τῷ (tō)
Article - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

His
αὐτοῦ (autou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

powerful
δυνάμεως (dynameōs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1411: From dunamai; force; specially, miraculous power.

word.
ῥήματι (rhēmati)
Noun - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4487: From rheo; an utterance, ; by implication, a matter or topic; with a negative naught whatever.

[After]
δι’ (di’)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1223: A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through.

He had provided
ποιησάμενος (poiēsamenos)
Verb - Aorist Participle Middle - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4160: (a) I make, manufacture, construct, (b) I do, act, cause. Apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do.

purification
καθαρισμὸν (katharismon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2512: From katharizo; a washing off, i.e. ablution, expiation.

for sins,
ἁμαρτιῶν (hamartiōn)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 266: From hamartano; a sin.

He sat down
ἐκάθισεν (ekathisen)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2523: Another form for kathezomai; to seat down, i.e. Set; intransitively, to sit; figuratively, to settle.

at
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

[the] right hand
δεξιᾷ (dexia)
Adjective - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1188: On the right hand, right hand, right. From dechomai; the right side or hand.

of the
τῆς (tēs)
Article - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

Majesty
Μεγαλωσύνης (Megalōsynēs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3172: (divine) majesty, greatness. From megas; greatness, i.e. divinity.

on
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

high.
ὑψηλοῖς (hypsēlois)
Adjective - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 5308: High, lofty. From hupsos; lofty.
(3) Who being the brightness . . .--Who being the effulgence of His glory and the exact image of His substance. The first figure is familiar to us in the words of the Nicene Creed (themselves derived from this verse and a commentary upon it), "God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God." Again striking parallels to the language present themselves in Philo, who speaks of the spirit breathed into man at his creation as an "effulgence of the Blessed and Thrice-blessed Nature"; and in the well-known passage of the Book of Wisdom, "She (Wisdom) is the effulgence of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of His goodness" (Wisdom Of Solomon 7:26). In the Old Testament the token of the divine presence is the Shechinah, the "cloud of glory" (called "the glory" in Romans 9:4; comp. Hebrews 9:5 in this Epistle); here it is the divine nature itself that is denoted by the "glory." Of the relation between this word and that which follows ("substance") it is difficult to speak, as the conceptions necessarily transcend human language; but we may perhaps say (remembering that all such terms are but figurative) that the latter word is internal and the former external,--the latter the essence in itself, the former its manifestation. Thus the "Son" in His relation to "God" is represented here by light beaming forth from light, and by exact impress--the perfect image produced by stamp or seal. These designations, relating to the essential nature of the Son, have no limitation to time; the participle "being" must be understood (comp. Philippians 2:6; John 1:1) of eternal, continuous existence. The word "person" is an unfortunate mistranslation in this place. Most of the earlier English versions have "substance," person being first introduced in the Genevan Testament in deference to Beza.

By the word.--The thought seems suggested by Genesis 1. (Psalm 33:9); the spoken word was the expression of His power. What is said above of "being" applies to "upholding," except that the latter implies a previous creative act.

When he had by himself purged our sins.--The older MSS. omit "by Himself" and "our," so that the words must be rendered, when He had made purification of sins. At first the change may seem a loss; but it is easily seen that the simpler statement is more majestic, and also more suitable in this place; the more complete explanation of the truth belongs to a later stage (Hebrews 9). To "make purification of sins" is an unusual phrase (comp. Matthew 8:3, "his leprosy was cleansed"), meaning, to make purification by the removal of sins (John 1:29; 1John 3:5; 2Peter 1:9).

Sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.--See Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 12:2; Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; also Hebrews 1:13, and Hebrews 10:12. This figure, which we meet with more than twenty times in the New Testament, is throughout derived from the first words of Psalms 110, which are descriptive of the exaltation of the Messiah. Jehovah's investiture of the Son of Man with unlimited dominion (Daniel 7:14) and supreme dignity (Ephesians 1:20-21); the Saviour's rest after the accomplishment of His work on earth (Hebrews 8:1); His waiting for the complete and final subjection of His enemies, are the ideas signified. On the Psalm see below (Hebrews 1:13).

Verse 3. - Who, being, etc. The participle ῳ}ν῞((νοτ γενόμενος, as in ver. 4 - denotes (as does still more forcibly ὐπάρχων in the cognate passage, Philippians 2:6) what the Son is in himself essentially and independently of his manifestation in time. This transcendent idea is conveyed by two metaphorical expressions, differing in the metaphors used, but concurrent in meaning. The brightness of his glory. The word δόξα (translated "glory"), though net in classical Greek carrying with it the idea of light, is used in the LXX. for the Hebrew כָּבוד, which denotes the splendor surrounding God; manifested on Mount Sinai, in the holy of holies, in the visions of Ezekiel, etc.; and regarded as existing eternally "above the heavens" (cf. Exodus 24:15; Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 8:11; Ezekiel 8:4; Psalm 24:7, 8, etc.). But the full blaze of this glory, accompanying" the face" of God, even Moses was not allowed to see; for no man could see him and live. Moses was hidden in a cleft of the rock while the God's glory passed by, and saw only its outskirts, i.e. the radiance left behind after it; had passed; hearing meanwhile a proclamation of the moral attributes of Deity, by a perception of which he might best see God (Exodus 33:18, etc.). Similarly in the New Testament. There also, as on Sinai, in the tabernacle, and in prophetic vision, the glory of God is occasionally manifested under the form of an unearthly radiance; as in the vision of the shepherds (Luke 2:9), the Transfiguration (Luke 9:28, etc.), the ecstasy of Stephen (Acts 7:55). But in itself, as it surrounds "the face" of God, it is still invisible and unapproachable; cf. John 1:18, "No man hath seen God at any time;" 1 John 1:5, "God is Light;" 1 Timothy 6:16, "Dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto (φῶς απρόσιτον), whom no man hath seen nor can see." It denotes really, under the image of eternal, self-existent, unapproachable light, the ineffable Divine perfection, the essence of Deity, which is beyond human ken. "Sempiterna ejus virtus et divinitas" (Bengel). Of this glory the SON is the ἀπαύγασμα - a word not occurring elsewhere in the New Testament, but used by the Alexandrian writers. The verb ἀπαυγάζω means "to radiate," "to beam forth brightness;" and ἀπαύγασμα, according to the proper meaning of nouns so formed, should mean the brightness beamed forth - this rather than its reflection from another object, as the sun's light is reflected from a cloud. So the noun is used in Wisd. 7:26, as applied to Σοφία, which is there personified in a manner suggestive of the doctrine of the Λόγος: Ατμὶς γὰρ ἐστὶ τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ δυνάμεως καὶ ἀπόρροια τῆς τοῦ παντοκράτορος δόξης εἰλικρινής... ἀπαύγασμα γὰρ ἐστὶ φωτὸς αἰδίου And Philo speaks of the breath of life breathed lute man (Genesis 2:7) as τῆς μακαρίας καὶ τρισμακαρίας φύσευς απαύγασμα ('De Spec. Leg.,' § 11). As, then, the eradiated brightness is to the source of light, so is the SON, in his eternal being, to the Father. It is, so to speak, begotten of the source, and of one substance with it, and yet distinguishable from it; being that through which its glory is made manifest, and through which it enlightens all things. The Person of the Son is thus represented, not as of one apart from God, irradiated by his glory, but as himself the sheen of his glory; cf. John 1:14, "We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father;" also John 1:4; John 1:9. The above is the view taken by the Fathers generally, and expressed in the Church's Creed, φῶς ἐκ φωτός. And express Image of his substance; not "of his person," as in the A.V. The latter rendering is due to the long-accepted theological use of the word ὑπόστασις in the sense of personal subsistence, as applied to each of the Three in One. What the Latins called persona the Greeks at length agreed to call hypostasis, while the Greek οὐσία (equivalent to essentia) and the Latin substantia (though the latter word etymologically corresponds with hypostasis) were used as equivalents in meaning. But it was long after the apostolic age that this scientific use of the word became fixed. After as well as before the Nicene Council usia was sometimes used to denote what we mean by person, and hypostasis to denote what we mean by the substance of the Godhead; and hence came misunderstandings during the Arian controversy. Bull ('Def. Fid. Nic.,' 2:9. 11) gives a catena of instances of this uncertain usage. The definite doctrine of the Trinity, though apparent in the New Testament, had not as yet come under discussion at the time of the writing of this Epistle, or been as yet scientifically formulated; and hence we must take the word in its general and original sense, the same as that now attached to its etymological equivalent, substantia. It means literally, "a standing under," and is used

(1) in a physical sense, for "foundation," as in Psalm 69:2, "I sink in deep mire where there is no standing," where the LXX. has ὑπόστασις:

(2) metaphorically, for "confidence" or "certainty," as below, Hebrews 3:14 and 2 Corinthians 9:4;

(3) metaphysically, for that which underlies the phenomena of things and constitutes their essential being. Of the substance, understood in the last sense, of God the Son is the χαρακτὴρ, which word expresses a similar kind of relation to the Divine substance as ἀπαύγασμα does to the Divine glory. Derived from χαράσσω (equivalent to "mark," "grave," or "stamp," with an engraven or imprinted character), its proper meaning is the perceptible image on the material so stamped or engraved, of which it thus becomes the χαρακτὴρ. Thus the "image and superscription" on a coin is its χαρακτὴρ, manifesting what the coin is. The instance of the tribute money (Matthew 22:20) at once occurs to us: our Lord pointed to the χαρακτὴρ on the coin as manifesting its ὑπόστασις, as being Caesar's money. Thus also the lineaments of a countenance are called its χαρακτὴρ, as in Herod., 1:116, Ὁ χαρακτὴρ τοῦ προσώπου. A passage in Philo is illustrative of the sense intended; and it is to be observed (both with regard to the expression before us and to the preceding ἀπαύγασμα) that the Alexandrian theologians are important guides to the interpretation of phrases in this Epistle, their influence on its modes of thought and expression being perceptible. He says ('De Plant. Nee.,' § 5) that Moses called the rational soul the image (εἰκόνα) of the Divine and Invisible, as being οὐσιωθεῖσαν καὶ τυπωθεῖσαν σφραγῖδι Θεοῦ ἥς ὁ χαρακτὴρ ἐστὶν ὁ ἀι'διος λόγος. Here, be it observed, χαρακτὴρ is used for the form or lineament of the Divine seal itself, not for the copy stamped on the plastic material. And it is applied, as here, to the "Eternal Word," as being the manifestation of what the unseen Godhead is. Hence it would be wrong to understand the word, as some have done, as denoting the form impressed by one substance on another - as though the impression left on the wax were the χαρακτὴρ of the seal. This misconception would mislead (as might also ἀπαύγασμα, if rendered "reflection") in that it would seem to represent the Son as distinct from God, though stamped with his likeness and irradiated by his glory. Arian views about the SON, or even mere humanitarian views about the Christ, might thus seem countenanced. The two words ἀπαύγασμα and χαρακτὴρ, as has been said, express a similar relation to δόξα and ὑπόσρασις respectively, and convey the same general idea of the Son's eternal relation to the Father. But both are, of course, but figures, each necessarily inadequate, of the inscrutable reality. If we may distinguish between them, it may be said that the former especially intimates the view of the operation and energy of the Godhead being through the Son, while the latter more distinctly brings out the idea of the Son being the Manifestation of what the God- head is, and especially of what it is to us. And upholding all things. We have here still the present participle, denoting the intrinsic operation of him who was revealed as Son. Though the word φέρειν, in the sense of upholding or sustaining creation, does not occur elsewhere in the, New Testament, it can hardly have any other meaning here, considering the context. We find a similar use of it in Numbers 11:14; Deuteronomy 1:9, "to bear (φέρειν) all this people alone." And in the later Greek and rabbinical writers parallels are found. Chrysostom interprets φέρων as meaning κυβερνῶν τὰ διαπίπτοντα συγκρατῶν, which comes to the same thing as "upholding" or "sustaining." The meaning is that not only were "the worlds" made through him; in his Divine nature he ever "upholds" the "all things" which were made through him, and of which, as SON, he was appointed "Heir;" el. Colossians 1:17, "And in him all things consist." And this upholding operation must not be supposed to have been in abeyance during the period of his humiliation. He was still what he had been eternally, though he had "emptied himself" of the state and prerogatives of Deity (Philippians 2:7); el. (though the text is somewhat doubtful) John 3:13, "The Son of man, which is (ω}ν) in heaven." By the word (ῤήματι) of his power is an expression elsewhere used of the voluntas efficax of Deity - the utterance of Divine power; cf. Hebrews 11:3, "The worlds were framed by the Word (ῤήματι) of God." The writer could hardly have used it in this connection, if speaking of a created being. As to the reference of "his" before" power," whether to the subject of the sentence or to God, there is the same ambiguity in the Greek as in the English translation. Even if αὐτοῦ be intended, and not αὑτοῦ (and the former is most likely, since the pronoun, though it be reflective, is not emphatically so), it may with grammatical propriety refer either, like the previous αὐτοῦ, to God, or to him who thus upholds all things. In either case the general meaning of the clause remains the same. Enough has been said on the whole series of phrases which is thus concluded to show the untenableness of the Socinian interpretation, which would refer them only to Christ in the flesh and to the Christian dispensation. On such interpretation of the first of them Bull remarks, "Interpretatio Socinistarum, Deum nempe dici per Filiam saecula condidisse, quod per ipsum genus humanum reformavit et restauravit, et in novum quemdam statum transtulit, prodigiosum est commentum. Sane juramento aliquis tuto affirmare possit, ex Hebraeis, ad quos scripta fuit ilia epistola, ne unum quidem fuisse, qui scriptoris verba hoc sensu intellexerit, aut vel per somnium cogitaverit, per τοὺς αἰῶνας, saeculaa, significarum fuisse tantum genus humanum, nedum ejus pattem illam, cui tunc temporis evangelii lux effulserat" ('Jud. Eccl. Cath.,' 5:8). When he had made purification of sins. (So, according to the best-supported 'rod now generally accepted text.) The aorist is now resumed, denoting an act in time - the act accomplished by him as incarnate SON, previous to and necessary for his entering on the inheritance appointed to him as such. This act, the grand purpose of the Incarnation, was atonement. There can be no doubt that the cleansing effected by atonement, and not the mere moral reformation of believers, is meant here by purification of sins. The sequel of the Epistle, being, as aforesaid, the full expression of the drift of the exordium, is sufficient proof of this. For in it Christ is exhibited at great length as the true High Priest of humanity, accomplishing truly what the Jewish priesthood signified; and as having "sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens," in virtue of his accomplished atonement (Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 10:12). Nor would the Hebrew readers to whom the Epistle was addressed be likely to understand καθαρισμὸν ("purification") in any other sense than this. The verb καθαρίζειν is the LXX. equivalent for the Hebrew מִהַר, frequent in the Old Testament for ceremonial cleansing, the result of atoning sacrifice; in which sense it is accordingly used in Hebrews 10. of this Epistle. The theory of the Jewish ceremonial law was that the whole congregation, including the priests themselves, were too much polluted by sin to approach the holy God who dwelt between the cherubim. Therefore sacrifices were ordained to make atonement for them. The word for "making atonement for" (Greek, ἰλασκέσθαι) is in Hebrew כָפַר, which means properly "to cover;" i.e. to cover sin from the sight of God. And the result of such atonement was called "purification," or "cleansing." This appears clearly in Leviticus 16, where the ceremonies of the great Day of Atonement are detailed. After an account of the various sacrifices of atonement, for the high priest and his house, for the people, and for the holy place itself polluted by their sins, we read (ver. 19), "And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it [i.e. the altar] with his finger seven times, and cleanse it (καθαριεῖ), and hallow it from the uncleanness (τῶν ἀκαθαρσιῶν) of the children of Israel." And finally (ver. 30), "For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you (καθαρίσαι), that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord." It is to be observed, further, that it is especially the meaning of the ceremonial of the Day of Atonement that Christ is spoken of afterwards in the Epistle as having fulfilled. For the phrase, ποιησάμενος καθαρισμὸν ἁμαρτιὼν, cf. Job 7:21, Διατί οὐκ ἐποιήσω τῆς ἀνομίας λήθην καὶ καθαρισμὸν τῆς ἁμαρτίας μου. Its meaning in the Epistle may be that Christ, by his death, brought into being and established a permanent purification of sins - "a fountain open for sin and for uncleanness" (Zechariah 13:1) - in his blood, which is regarded as now ever offered at the heavenly mercy-seat (Hebrews 9:12) and sprinkled on the redeemed below (Hebrews 9:14, 22). Thus the distinction, observed above, between the atonement (ἱλασμὸς), of sacrifice and its application for cleansing (καθαρισμὸς) would be preserved (cf. 1 John 1:7 and Revelation 7:14). Sat down; i.e. entered on his inheritance of all things; not simply in the sense of resuming his pristine glory, but of obtaining the preeminence denoted in prophecy as appointed to the Son, human as well as Divine, and won by obedience and accomplished atonement. And this his supreme exaltation (as will be seen hereafter) carries with it the idea of an exaltation of humanity, of which he was the High Priest and Representative. But be it observed that there is no change in the subject; of the sentence. He who "sat down on high" after making purification is the same with him through whom the worlds were made, and whose eternal Divinity has been expressed by the present participles. This identification supports the orthodox position of there being but one personality in Christ, notwithstanding the two natures, and justifies, against Nestorian-ism, the term θεοτόκος ασ applied to the blessed Virgin, with other cognate expressions accepted in orthodox theology, such as, "God suffered," though in his human, not his Divine, nature; "God shed his blood" (cf. Philippians 2:8, etc.). On the right hand of the Majesty on high. The expression is taken from Psalm 110:1, afterwards cited in this Epistle, and prominently referred to in like manner by St. Paul. The figure is suggested by the custom of Oriental kings, who placed at the right hand of the throne a son whom they associated with themselves in the prerogatives of royalty. Occurring as it does first in a Messianic psalm, the phrase is never applied to the Son's original relation to the Father "before the ages," but only to his exaltation as the Christ (on which see Bleek). The same idea seems expressed by our Lord's own words, "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18). But in the end, according to St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:24, 28), this peculiar "kingship" of the SON will cease, the redemptive purpose being accomplished. It is to be observed that, both here and afterwards (Hebrews 8:1), a fine periphrasis is used for "right-hand of God;" "the right hand of the Majesty on high" and "the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." This may be regarded, not only as characteristic of the eloquent style of the Epistle, but also as implying an avoidance of too local or physical a view of the session spoken cf. It is apparent elsewhere how the writer sees in the figures used to denote heavenly things only signs, level to our comprehension, of corresponding realities beyond our ken. 1:1-3 God spake to his ancient people at sundry times, through successive generations, and in divers manners, as he thought proper; sometimes by personal directions, sometimes by dreams, sometimes by visions, sometimes by Divine influences on the minds of the prophets. The gospel revelation is excellent above the former; in that it is a revelation which God has made by his Son. In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Father, Joh 14:7; the fulness of the Godhead dwells, not typically, or in a figure, but really, in him. When, on the fall of man, the world was breaking to pieces under the wrath and curse of God, the Son of God, undertaking the work of redemption, sustained it by his almighty power and goodness. From the glory of the person and office of Christ, we proceed to the glory of his grace. The glory of His person and nature, gave to his sufferings such merit as was a full satisfaction to the honour of God, who suffered an infinite injury and affront by the sins of men. We never can be thankful enough that God has in so many ways, and with such increasing clearness, spoken to us fallen sinners concerning salvation. That he should by himself cleanse us from our sins is a wonder of love beyond our utmost powers of admiration, gratitude, and praise.
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