Hebrews 3

Holy brethren ( αδελφο αγιο ). Only here in N.T., for  αγιοις in 1Th 5:27 only in late MSS. See Heb 2:11 for same idea. First time the author makes direct appeal to the readers, though first person in 2:1.

Partakers ( μετοχο ). See Lu 5:7 for "partners" in the fishing, elsewhere in N.T. only in Hebrews (1:9; 6:4; 12:8) in N.T.

Of a heavenly calling ( κλησεως επουρανιου ). Only here in the N.T., though same idea in 9:15. See  η ανω κλησις in Php 3:14 (the upward calling). The call comes from heaven and is to heaven in its appeal.

Consider ( κατανοησατε ). First aorist active imperative of  κατανοεω, old compound verb ( κατα, νους ), to put the mind down on a thing, to fix the mind on as in Mt 7:3; Lu 12:24.

Even Jesus ( Ιησουν ). No "even" in the Greek, just like the idiom in 2:9, the human name held up with pride.

The Apostle and High Priest of our confession ( τον αποστολον κα αρχιερεα της ομολογιας ημων ). In descriptive apposition with  Ιησουν and note the single article  τον. This is the only time in the N.T. that Jesus is called  αποστολος, though he often used  αποστελλω of God's sending him forth as in Joh 17:3 ( απεστειλας ). This verb is used of Moses as sent by God (Ex 3:10). Moffatt notes that  αποστολος is Ionic for  πρεσβευτης, "not a mere envoy, but an ambassador or representative sent with powers." The author has already termed Jesus high priest (2:17). For  ομολογια (confession) see 2Co 9:13; 1Ti 6:12. These Hebrew Christians had confessed Jesus as their Apostle and High Priest. They do not begin to understand what Jesus is and means if they are tempted to give him up. The word runs through Hebrews with an urgent note for fidelity (4:14; 10:23). See  ομολογεω ( ομον, same,  λεγω, say), to say the same thing, to agree, to confess, to profess.

Who was faithful ( πιστον οντα ). Present active participle with predicate accusative agreeing with  Ιησουν, "as being faithful."

That appointed him ( τω ποιησαντ αυτον ). See 1Sa 12:6. Dative case of the articular participle (aorist active) of  ποιεω and the reference is to God. Note  πιστος as in 2:17.

As also was Moses ( ως κα Μωυσης ). The author makes no depreciatory remarks about Moses as he did not about the prophets and the angels. He cheerfully admits that Moses was faithful "in all his house" ( εν ολω τω οικω αυτου ), an allusion to Nu 12:7 ( εαν ολω τω οικω μου ) about Moses. The "his" is God's. The use of  οικος for the people (family) of God, not the building, but the group (1Ti 3:15) in which God is the Father. But wherein is Jesus superior to Moses? The argument is keen and skilful.

Hath been counted worthy of more glory than Moses ( πλειονος δοξης παρα Μωυσην ηξιωτα ). Perfect passive indicative of  αξιοω, to deem worthy, permanent situation described with definite claim of Christ's superiority to Moses.  Δοξης in genitive case after  ηξιωτα. For  παρα after the comparative  πλειονος see 1:4,9; 2:7.

By so much as ( καθ' οσον ). A proportionate measurement (common use of  κατα and the quantitative relative  οσος ).

Than the house ( του οικου ). Ablative case of comparison after  πλειονα. The architect is superior to the house just as Sir Christopher Wren is superior to St. Paul's Cathedral. The point in the argument calls for Jesus as the builder ( ο κατασκευασας, first aorist active participle of  κατασκευαζω, to found or build). But it is God's house as  αυτου means (verses 2,5) and  ου in verse 6. This house of God existed before Moses (11:2,25). Jesus as God's Son founded and supervised this house of God.

Is God ( θεος ). God is the Creator of all things and so of his "house" which his Son, Jesus Christ, founded and supervises.

And Moses ( κα Μωυσης μεν ). "Now Moses indeed on his part" ( μεν contrasted with  δε ).

In ( εν ). Moses was in "God's house" "as a servant" ( ως θεραπων ). Old word, in LXX, only here in N.T. and quoted from Nu 12:7f. Kin to the verb  θεραπευω, to serve, to heal, and  θεραπεια, service (Lu 9:11) and a group of servants (Lu 12:42).

For a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken ( εις μαρτυριον των λαληθησομενων ). Objective genitive of the articular future passive participle of  λαλεω. It is not certain what it means whether the "testimony" ( μαρτυριον ) is to Moses or to God and whether it points on to Christ. In 9:9 see  παραβολη applied to the old dispensation as a symbol pointing to Christ and Christianity.

But Christ ( Χριστος δε ). In contrast with Moses ( μεν in verse 5).

As a son ( ως υιος ). Instead of a  θεραπων (servant).

Over his house ( επ τον οικον αυτου ). The difference between  επ and  εν added to that between  υιος and  θεραπων. It is very neat and quite conclusive, especially when we recall the high place occupied by Moses in Jewish thought. In Ac 7:11 the Jews accused Stephen of speaking "blasphemous words against Moses and God" (putting Moses on a par with God).

Whose house are we ( ου οικος εσμεν ημεις ). We Christians (Jew and Gentile) looked at as a whole, not as a local organization.

If we hold fast ( εαν κατασχωμεν ). Condition of third class with  εαν and second aorist (effective) active subjunctive of  κατεχω. This note of contingency and doubt runs all through the Epistle. We are God's house if we do not play the traitor and desert.

Boldness ( παρρησιαν )

and glorying ( κα καυχημα ) some had lost. The author makes no effort to reconcile this warning with God's elective purpose. He is not exhorting God, but these wavering Christians. All these are Pauline words. B does not have  μεχρ τελους βεβαιαν (firm unto the end), but it is clearly genuine in verse 14. He pleads for intelligent confidence.

Wherefore ( διο ). Probably this inferential conjunction ( δια, ο, because of which) goes with  μη σκληρυνητε (harden not) in verse 8 rather than with  βλεπετε (take heed) in verse 12 unless the long quotation be considered a parenthesis. The long quotation in verses 7-11 is from Ps 95:7-11. After the quotation the author has "three movements" (Moffatt) in his discussion of the passage as applied to the Jewish Christians (3:12-19; 4:1-10; 4:11-13). The peril of apostasy as shown by the example of the Israelites is presented with vividness and power.

As the Holy Ghost saith ( καθως λεγε το πνευμα το αγιον ). Just this phrase nowhere else in the N.T., except Act 21:11 (Agabus), though practically the same idea in 9:8; 10:15. In 1Ti 4:1 the adjective "Holy" is wanting as in Re 2; 3. But the writer quotes this Psalm as the Word of God and in 4:7 attributes it to David.

If ye shall hear ( εαν ακουσητε ). Condition of third class with  εαν and first aorist active subjunctive of  ακουω.

Harden not ( μη σκληρυνητε ). Prohibition with  μη and first aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive of  σκληρυνω, late verb from  σκληρος (dried up, stiff, hard) as in Ac 19:9; Ro 9:18.

As in the provocation ( ως ην τω παραπικρασμω ). Late compound from  παραπικραινω, late verb to embitter ( παρα, πικρος ), found only in LXX and here and verse 15. It means embitterment, exasperation. For the simple verb  πικραινω, to make bitter, see Col 3:19. The reference is to Meribah (Ex. 17:1-7).

Like as in the day ( κατα την ημεραν ). "According to the day" as in Ac 12:1; 19:23.

Of the temptation ( του πειρασμου ). The reference is to Massah which took place at Rephidim.

Wherewith ( ου ). Literally, "where" (the wilderness) as in De 8:15.

Tempted me by proving me ( επειρασαν εν δοκιμασια ). No word for "me." The Israelites "tested" God "in putting to the proof" (only N.T. use of this word from  δοκιμαζω and this from the LXX). They were not content with God's promise, but demanded objective proof ( εργα, deeds) of God.

And saw ( κα ειδον ). "And yet saw."

Wherefore ( διο ). Not in the LXX, but it makes clear the argument in the Psalm.

I was displeased ( προσωχθισα ). First aorist active of  προσοχθιζω, late compound for extreme anger and disgust. In N.T. only here and verse 17.

Err ( πλανωντα ). Present middle indicative of  πλαναω, to wander astray, common verb.

They did not know ( ουκ εγνωσαν ). In spite of God's works ( εργα ) and loving patience the Israelites failed to understand God's ways with them. Are we any better? They "cared not to take my road" (Moffatt).

As I sware ( ως ωμοσα ). "Correlating the oath and the disobedience" (Vincent). First aorist active indicative of  ομνυω, old verb for solemn oath (6:13).

They shall not enter ( ε εισελευσοντα ). Future middle of  εισερχομα with  ε as an anacoluthon for the Hebrew im (not). Really it is a condition of the first class with the conclusion not expressed, common in the LXX as here (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1024).

Into my rest ( εις την καταπαυσιν μου ). Old word from  καταπαυω (Heb 4:8), to give rest, in LXX, in N.T. only in Ac 7:49; Heb 3:11-4:11. Primarily the rest in Canaan and then the heavenly rest in which God dwells.

Take heed ( βλεπετε ). Present active imperative as in Php 3:2 (three times) of  βλεπω in place of the more usual  ορατε. Solemn warning to the Jewish Christians from the experience of the Israelites as told in Ps 95.

Lest haply there shall be ( μη ποτε εστα ). Negative purpose with  μη ποτε and the future indicative as in Mr 14:2. But we have in Col 2:8  μη τις εστα as in Heb 12:25;  μη occurs with the aorist subjunctive, and  μη ποτε with present subjunctive (Heb 4:1) or aorist subjunctive (Ac 5:39).

In any one of you ( εν τιν υμων ). The application is personal and pointed.

An evil heart of unbelief ( καρδια πονηρα απιστιας ). A remarkable combination.

Heart ( καρδια ) is common in the LXX (about 1,000 times), but "evil heart" only twice in the O.T. (Jer 16:12; 18:12).  Απιστιας is more than mere unbelief, here rather disbelief, refusal to believe, genitive case describing the evil heart marked by disbelief which is no mark of intelligence then or now.

In falling away from the living God ( εν τω αποστηνα απο θεου ζωντος ). "In the falling away" (locative case with  εν of the second aorist active (intransitive) infinitive of  αφιστημ, to stand off from, to step aside from ( απο with the ablative case  θεου ) the living God (common phrase in the O.T. and the N.T. for God as opposed to lifeless idols)). "Remember that to apostatize from Christ in whom you have found God is to apostatize from God" (Dods). That is true today. See Eze 20:8 for this use of the verb.

So long as it is called today ( αχρις ου το σημερον καλειτα ). The only instance in the N.T. of this conjunction ( αχρ or  αχρις or  αχρις ου, etc.) with the present indicative in the sense of "so long as" or "while" like  εως. Elsewhere it means "until" and with either the aorist indicative (Ac 7:18), the future (Re 17:17), or the aorist subjunctive (Re 7:3).

Lest any one of you be hardened ( ινα μη σκληρυνθη τις εξ υμων ). Negative purpose clause with  ινα μη (that not) and the first aorist passive subjunctive of  σκληρυνω, the vivid verb from verse 8.

By the deceitfulness of sin ( απατη της αμαρτιας ). Instrumental case  απατη (trick, fraud) as is always the case with sin (Ro 7:11; 2Th 2:10). Apostasy (12:4) is their peril and it is a trick of sin.

For we are become partakers of Christ ( μετοχο γαρ του Χριστου γεγοναμεν ). Second perfect active of  γινομα, "we have become," not the equivalent of  εσμεν (are). For  μετοχο see 1:9; 3:1; 6:4. We have become partners with Christ and hence ( γαρ, for) should not be tricked into apostasy.

If we hold fast ( εαν περ κατασχωμεν ). The same condition as in verse 6 with  περ (indeed, forsooth) added to  εαν. Jonathan Edwards once said that the sure proof of election is that one holds out to the end.

The beginning of our confidence ( την αρχην της υποστασεως ). For  υποστασις see 1:3; 11:1. These faltering believers (some even apostates) began with loud confidence and profession of loyalty. And now?

While it is said ( εν τω λεγεσθα ). Locative case with  εν of the articular present passive infinitive of  λεγω, "in the being said." Thus the author (cf. same phrase in Ps 42:4) introduces the repeated quotation from verses 7,8. Probably it is to be connected with  κατασχωμεν, though it can be joined with  παρακαλειτε in verse 13 (treating 14 as a parenthesis).

Who ( Τινες ). Clearly interrogative, not indefinite (some).

Did provoke ( παρεπικραναν ). First aorist active indicative of  παραπικρινω, apparently coined by the LXX like  παραπικρασμος (verse 15) to which it points, exasperating the anger of God.

Nay, did not all ( αλλ' ου παντες ). "A favourite device of the diatribe style" (Moffatt), answering one rhetorical question with another (Lu 17:8) as in verses 17,18, There was a faithful minority mentioned by Paul (1Co 10:7f.).

With them that sinned ( τοις αμαρτησασιν ). Dative masculine plural after  προσωχθισεν (cf. verse 10) of the articular first aorist active participle of  αμαρτανω ( αμαρτησας, not  αμαρτων ).

Carcases ( κωλα ). Old word for members of the body like the feet, in LXX a dead body (Nu 14:29), here only in N.T.

That they should not enter ( μη εισελευσεσθα ). Negative  μη (cf.  ε in verse 11) and the future middle infinitive in indirect discourse.

To them that were disobedient ( τοις απειθησασιν ). Dative masculine plural of the articular first aorist active participle of  απειθεω, active disobedience with which compare  απιστιας in verse 12,19.

And we see ( κα βλεπομεν ). Triumphant conclusion of the exegesis of Ps 95. "So we see."

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