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honour, who was for a little while made lower than the angels for
the suffering of death, that he by the grace of God might taste death
for every man." And the only reason of the transposition of the
words consisteth in the apostle's following the order of the things
testified unto by the psalmist, first his humiliation, then his exalta-
tion; and yet connecting that which he would next treat of unto
tliat which was first laid down, passing by the other as now suffi-
ciently confirmed.

(3.) The general design of the words and their order being
cleared, we shall open them in particular, seeing that besides the
application of the testimony of the psahnist unto the Lord Jesus
now vindicated, there is an assertion in them containing that which
of all other things was of most difficult acceptation with the Jews,
upon the account whereof the apostle confirms it with many reasons
in the verses following, to the end of this chapter. And, indeed,
we have here the sum of the gospel and the doctrine of it, concern-
ing the person and office of the Messiah, asserted and vindicated
from the prejudicate opinions of many of the Jews, under these two
heads: — [1.] That the salvation and deliverance that God had pro-
mised and intended to accomplish by the Messiah was spiritual and
eternal, from sin, death, Satan, and hell, ending in everlasting glory;
not temporal and carnal, with respect unto the world and the coji-
comitants of it in this life, as they vainly imagined. [2.] That this
salvation could be no otherwise wrought nor brought about but by
the incarnation, suffering, and death of the Messiah; not in especial
by arms, war, and mighty power, as the people were of old led into
Canaan under the conduct of Joshua, the captain of that salvation,
and as some of them expected yet to be saved and delivered by the
Messiah. Now, the apostle strengthening his discourse by multi-
plicity of reasons and arguments, he doth not only in these words
apply his testimony to what he had before proposed unto confirma-
tion, namely, the subjection of the world to come unto Christ, but
also lays in it the springs of those two other principles which we
have mentioned, and whose proof and confirmation in the next verses
he pursues.

Sundry things, as we have partly seen, are contained in the words;
as, [i.] the exinanition and humiliation of Christ: 'We see Jesus for
a little while made lower, and brought into a more indigent condi-
tion, than the angels are, or ever were, obnoxious unto." [2.] The
general end of that exinanition and depression of Jesus; it was that
he mighf'suffer death." [3.] His exaltation unto power and authority
over all things, in particular the world to come: "crowned with
glory and honour." [4.] A numerous amplification subjoined of the
end of his depression and the death that it tended unto; — \st. From
tlie cause of it, — the "grace of God;" 2.dly. The nature of it, — he was


to "taste of death ;" odly. The end of it, — it was for others; and,
Atldy. Its extent, — for all: " That he by the grace of God might taste
death for all."

[1.] T//1' hi. A:- for aXkd, an adversative, intimating the introduc-
tion of one singular person in opposition to him or them ^
spoken of in the end of the foregoing verse, " We see
not yet all things put under his feet" (which some, against the whole
context, apply unto Christ), " but we see Jesus." Had the same
person been spoken of in both verses, the expression would have
been, aurhv 51, "but we see him;" but a new antecedent being here
introduced, "but we see Jesus," another person is substituted as the
subject spoken of; as the Syriac version declares, " We see him, that
it is Jesus."

How and in what sense he was made lower than the angels hath
been declared in opening the words as they lie in the 'jrpodiGiq, com-
prised in that testimony of the psalmist. Only it may be inquirtd
whether this exinanition of Christ, or minoration in respect of angels,
did consist merely in his incarnation and participation of human
nature, which in general is esteemed beneath angelical, or in the
misery and anxiety which in that nature he conflicted withal. And
the apostle seems not absolutely to intend the former, — \st. Because
he speaks of " Jesus"as the subject of this minoration. Now that name
denotes the Son of God as incarnate, who is supposed so to be when
he is said to be made less than the angels. 2dly. Because the human
nature, in the very instant of its union unto the person of the Son
of God, was absolutely advanced above the angelical, and might
have immediately been possessed of glory if other works in it had
not been to be performed. And yet neither doth it intend the
low condition wherein he was placed exclusively to his incarnation,
though that be afterwards (verse 14) particularly spoken unto, but
his beinor incarnate and brought forth, and in that condition wherein
he was exposed to suffering, and so consequently to death itself.
And thus was he made less than angels in part in that nature which
he assumed. He was obnoxious unto all the infirmities which at-
tend it, as hunger, thirst, weariness, pain, sorrow, grief; and exposed
unto all the miseries from without that any person partaker of tliat
nature is obnoxious unto; and, in sum, death itself: from all which
miseries angels are excepted. This we see, know, and grant to have
been the state and condition of Jesus.

But saith he, ' This was but for a little while, during his conver-
sation with us on the earth, ending at his death.' The apostle knew
that he had now fixed upon that which of all things the Jews most
stumbled at, the low and mean and despised condition of Jesus, they
having inveterate prejudicate opinions of another manner of state
and condition for the Messiah; wherefore he immediately subjoiu.-»


the end why he was humbled into this condition, which he first ex-
plains, and then vindicates the necessity of it.

[2.] The end, then, is, llddyi,u,a rou '^avdrou, " The suf-

n«^«^« rou ^^^- Qf death/' He was so humbled that he mii-ht
suffer death. This yet more displeased the Jews; the
necessity whereof he immediately proves, adding by the way, — -

[3.] To complete the application of the testimony produced, his ex-
altation upon his suffering, he was "crowned with glory and honour;"
referring us to the testimony itself to declare what was contained
in that exaltation, namely, an absolute dominion over all things, God
only excepted, and so, consequently, over the world to come, that was
not put in subjection to angels. And in these words the apostle
closeth his argument for the excellency of Christ above the angels
from the subjection of all things unto him, and proceeds, [4.] To the
amplification of that end of the humiliation of Christ which he had
before intimated, and that in four things: —

1st. In the impulsive and efficient cause, which in the acts of God's
will are coincident: "O-rug x,"'piri Qtov. "Ottws for ha, denoting the
final cause of what was before asserted, relating to the whole clause
following. That which is here called x^dpig ©soC, " the grace of God,"
is elsewhere explained by eoiri^piog. Xdpig rou 0icu r, curtjpiog, Tit.
ii. 11,—" The saving grace of God." And sometimes it is termed his
yjriGTfirrig and <piXav^po)'KiaL, chap. iii. 4, — his "goodness," " kindness,"
" benignity," and " love of mankind;" absolutely, his dyd'^n, John
iii. 16, Rom. v. 8, 1 John iii. 16, — "love," intense love; also his
sudoxia, Eph. i. 5, — his "good pleasure," from "the riches of his grace,"
verse 7; and his rrpodiffig, verse 9, Rom. viii. 28, or "purpose of his
will," being the same with his '^rpoymffig and 'zpoopigfiog, Rom. viii.
29, SO, — his predesignation and predestination of men unto grace
and glory. From all which it appears what this %"V'5, or " grace" of
God is, that was the moving and impulsive cause of the death of
Christ; even the gracious, free, sovereign purpose of the will of
God, suited unto and arising from his natural grace, love, goodness,
benignity, pity, mercy, compassion, exerting themselves therein. It
was not out of any anger or displeasure of God against Jesus, in
whom his soul was always well pleased; not out of any disregard
unto him, whom he designed hereby to be crowned with glory and
honour; but out of his love, kindness, and goodness towards others,
who could no otherwise be brought unto giory, as in the next verses
the apostle declares, that he thus appointed him to die.

2dly. In the manner of his death: "Otws yivarirai ^avdrov, "that
he should taste of death," — so die as to experience the sorrows, bitter-
ness, and penalties of death. To " taste of death" is, first, really to
die; not in appearance or pretence, in opinion or show, as some
foolishly of old blasphemed about the death of Christ, which couid


have bad no other fruit but a shadow of redemption, a deliverance in
opinion. See the plirase used, Mark ix. 1, Oj fi^ yixjemrai SamVoi/,
• — " Shall not taste of death ;" that is, not die. And that wliicli is
called, to "see death," John viii, 51, is called to "taste of death,"
verse 52, where the phrase is applied to the second death, or death
eternal. AnJ it being death which was threatened unto those for
whom he died, and which they should have undergone, he really
tasted of that death also. So, secondly, it is intimated that there
was bitterness in the death he underwent. Himself compares it
unto a " cup," whose bitterness he declares by his aversation from it,
considered absolutely and without reference unto that hand of the
will of God wherein it was held out unto him. Matt. xxvi. 39 ; which
voTYjpiov, or Di3 , " cup," was his lot or portion, Ps. xvi. 5, that which was
prepared for him by his Father, And by the same metaphor he
calls the will of God his "meat," which he tasted of in the doing and
suti'ering of it. To taste of death, as is known, is an Hebraism. So
the rabbins speak, Beresh. Rab. sect. 9, N^C' piysin Dn^S' n-n 'ixi
nnvo nyo myi:''; — "The first Adam was Avorthy that he should not
taste of death," or " die." And it compriseth somewhat more than
merely to die ; it expresseth also to find out and experience what is
in death. And 01^9 is sometimes rendered by yivuicxnv, " to know,"
2 Sam. xix. 36; and sometimes the substantive by evvicig, "under-
standing," Job xii. 20. So that Christ by tasting of death had ex-
perience, knew what was in death, as threatened unto sinners. He
found out and understood what bitterness was in that cup wherein
it was given him. To which purpose the rabbins have a proverb in
Jalkut. fol. 265, p^'^K^nm HDyD no :;T' i^-^l^p h^2^'\ IND ; — " He that
eateth of the pot kuoweth the taste of the meat that is in it." Thus
when Agng thought he should escape a violent death by the sword,
he expresseth his joy by n^.'?L''iP ">?, 1 Sam. xv. 32, "The bitterness
of death is removed," or taken away. Though die he must, yet he
thought he should not taste the bitterness of death, or die by the
sword. Thirdly, His conquest over death may be also intimated in
this expression: for though the phrase, to " taste of death," be used
concerning other persons also, yet as applied unto Christ, the event
showeth that it was only a thorough taste of it that he had ; he neither
was nor could be detained under the power of it, Acts. ii. 24. And
so is the word " to taste" used, chap. vi. 4 of this epistle. And thus
by the grace of God did he taste of death.

'Sdly. The end of this his tasting of death, — it was for others; 'T^sp
'^ravTog. Of the extent of this end of his death, expressed in that word
itavrog, we shall speak afterwards; for the present we consider how he
died b-vcp, "for" them, for whom he died, 'Trr'ip, is either "pro," or
"super,"or "supra," — "for," or "above," or "over." The latter signifi-
cation belongs not unto this place. As it signifies vpo, " for," it is used


sometimes as hd, " propter," and with respect unto persons is as
much as "ahcujus causa/' " for his sake," or "in alicujus gratiam," or
" bonum," "for his good and advantage;" sometimes as avri, in the
stead of another. And this is the constant and inviolable sense of
I'TTsp in Greek, " pro" in Latin, where the suffering of one for another
is expressed by it. And that also is the constant sense of the Hebrew
nnn^ when used in that case. Some instances on each word will
illustrate our intention. Thus David expresseth his desire to have
died in the stead of Absalom, that he might have been preserved
aUve: 2 Sam. xix. 1, ^'^nn >JX ^nio |ri^ ^p^_" Who will grant me
to die, I for thee, my son Absalom?" that is, " in thy stead," or " so
that thou mightest be alive." So Isa. xliii. 4. And by that word
is still expressed the succeeding of one to another in government,
or reigning in the stead of him that deceased, 1 Kings iii. 7, xix.
16; 2 Sam. X. 1; and in general, children succeeding in the place
and room of their fathers, Num. iii. 12. So that to die nnri^ " for
another," is to die in his stead the death he should have died, that
he might live, or in general to be substituted in the room and place
of another. So when Jehu commanded his officers to slay the priests
and worshippers of Baal, he tells them that if any one should let any
one of them escape, ^'^^l nnPi iC'D3 ^ " his life should go for his life,"
or he should die in his stead, 2 Kings x. 24. So is uc=p used, Rom.
V. 7, expressing the act of an am^/u^/os, one that lays down his life
instead of another; as Damon for Pythias, and Nisus for Euryalus,
"Me, me, adsum qui feci." See 1 Pet. i. 20, 21. And it is explained by
avri, perpetually denoting a substitution, where opposition can have
no place. See Matt. xx. 28; Mark x. 4o; 1 Tim. ii. 6, ' AvrlXvTpot
vvip 'jdvTuv. " Pro," also, as h'^rip in this case is to be rendered, hath
no other signification. So often in the poet : —

" Hanc tibi Eryx meliorem animam pro morte Daretis
Persolvo" Mn. v. 483.

He slew the ox and sacrificed it to Eryx instead of Dares, who was
taken from him. And Mezentius upon the death of Lausus his son,
who undertook the fight with iEneas, upon the wounding of his
father, being slain himself, —

" Tantane me tenuit vivendi, nate, voluptaa,
Ut pro me hostili paterer succedere dextrae,
Quem genui ? tuane haec genitor per vulnera server,
Morte tua vivens?" Mn. x. 846.

" Pro me," " in my stead." And of Palinurus, by whose death the

rest of his companions escaped, ^n. v. 815, —

" Unum pro multis dabitur caput."

So the Comedian, Ter. And. I. ii. 28, —

" Verberibus csesum te in pistrinum, Dave, dedam usque ad necem;
Ea lege atque omine, ut, si inde te exemerim, ego pro te molam :"


" grind in thy stead." And Juvenal to the same purpose of the

Decii, Sat. viii. 2o4, — •

" Plebeite Deciorum animte, plebcia fuerunt
Nomina. Pro totis legionibus hi tamen, et pro
Omnibus auxiliis atque omni plebe Latiua,
Sufficiunt diis infernis."

They were accepted in sacrifice /or or instead of all the rest. So
did they express their doing or suffering who cast themselves into
danger in the stead of others, that they might go free, as those who
sacrificed themselves, like Menoeceus, for the safety of their country ;
as Papinius expresses his design, Thebaid. lib. x. 762, —
" Armorum superi, tuque 6 qui funere tanto
Indulges mihi, Phoebe, mori, date gaudia Tliebis,
Qu£e pepigi, et toto quce sanguine prodigus emi;"

of which afterwards.

In the common constant use of these words, then, to die for
another, signifies to die in his room and stead. And this the Jews
understood in the use of their sacrifices, where the life of the beast
was accepted in the stead of the life of the sinner. Thus Christ
" tasted of death bvip iravrog." He was, by the grace and wisdom of
God, substituted as a mediator, surety, ayTi-^u-)(og, " in their stead," to
undergo the death which they should have undergone, that they
might go free, as we shall see in the following verses.

'^thly. This dying of Christ is said to be vvip vavrog. The word is
either of the masculine or neuter gender; ami in the latter it seems
to have been taken by them who tor %ap/r/ ©fotJ, read x'^pig Qiou, as
some Syriac copies do still, and Ambrose ad Gradiauum, with some
other of the ancients, intimating that Christ died for every thing,
God only excepted, — alluding it may be unto Eph. i. 10, of which
place we have spoken before. For we may not suppose )t a corrup-
tion of the Nestorians, when some read so before their days ; nor will
the words so read give any countenance to their error, none affirm-
ing that Christ died any otherwise than in his human nature, though
he who is God died therein. But this conjecture is groundless and
inconsistent with the signification of the preposition Wip insisted on,
which will not allow that he be said to die for any but those in
whose stead he died, and which, therefore, in themselves were obnox-
ious to death, as he declares, verses 14, 15. Uavrog, then, is put for
vrdvTOJv by an enallage of number, the singular for the plural, for all
men ; — that is, all those many sons which God by his death intended
to bring unto glory, verse 10; those sanctified by him, whom he calls
his brethren, verses 11, 12, and children given him by Goi. verse 13;
whom by death he delivers from the fear of death, verses 14, 15; even
all the seed of Abraham, verse 16.

(4 ) And thus, we hope, our whole interpretation of these verses
.eceives light from as well as brings some light unto the text; and


that we need no argument to confirm it but its own suitableness
throughout to the context and design of the apostle. That wherein
divers worthy expositors are otherwise minded and differ from us, is
the apphcation of the words of the psahn immediately unto the person
of Clirist; which they say are referred unto him only by way of allu-
sion. Now, though our exposition sufficiently confirm and strengthen
itself by its own evidence, yet because divers learned men, whose
judgment is much to be regarded, have given another sense of the
words than that embraced by us, I shall by some further considera-
tions confirm that part of our exposition which is by them called
into question, premising unto them, for the further clearing of the
place, what we grant in reference unto the s&nse by them contended
for : —

[1.] I grant that the psalmist's design in general is to set forth the
goodness, kindness, love, and care of God unto mankind; so that in
these words, " What is man," and " the son of man," though he
principally respects the instance of the person of the Messiah, yet he
doth it not exclusively to the nature of man in others, but hath a
special regard unto mankind in general, in contradistinction unto
other outwardly more glorious works of the hands of God. But it
is the especial instance of the person of the Messiah wherein alone
he undertakes to make good his assertion of mankind's pre-eminence.

[2.] I also grant that he hath respect unto the dignity and honour
collated on the first man at his creation, not directly and intention-
ally, as his chiefest scope, but by way of allusion, as it did prefigure
and obscurely represent that great glory and honour which mankind
was to be advanced unto in the person of the Messiah; but that
primarily and directly he, and he alone, according to our exposition,
is intended in the psalm; for, —

1st. That the whole psalm is prophetical of the Messiah, the pas-
sages out of it reported in the New Testament and applied unto liim
do make evident and miquestionable. See Matt. xxi. 1 6, 1 Cor. xv. 27,
with this place. So that he must needs be the " man" and " son of
man" therein treated of, and who alone did " make to cease the
enemy and self-avenger," verse 2; as the apostle declares, verses
14, 15, of this chapter.

2dly. The general scope of the psalm will admit of no other inter-
pretation. The psalmist, on his contemplation of the great glory of
God in framing the heavens and all the host of them, especially those
which then appeared unto him, falls into an admiration of his wis-
dom, goodness, and love in that which was far greater and more ex-
cellent, as that wherein his glory was more exalted; which lie re-
joiceth and triumpheth in, as that wherein his own and the interest
of all others did lie. Now, this could not be either the state of maa
as fallen by sin, which is far enough from a matter of exultation and


joy, nor yet the state of Adam in innocency, in no privilege whereof,
without a restitution by Christ, have we share or interest.

'^dly. There are not any words in the testimony that can properly
be applied unto any other man, or be verified in him ; — not in Adam
at his first creation, not in mankind in general, but only in the in-
stance of the person of Christ. For how was Adam diminished and
made less than angels, and therein depressed from another state and
condition than that be had, or was due to liim? or how can this be
said of mankind in general, or of believers in a special sense? And
how could this be spoken of them as to continue for a little while,
seeing the nature of man, in itself considered, is for ever beneath the
angelical? Again, if the apostle's interpretation be allowed, that ex-
pression, " He hath put all things under his feet," is universal, and
extends unto all the works of God's hands, and among them to the
world to come; and these were never put in subjection to Adam
nor any other man, " the man Christ Jesus" excepted. And this
also the apostle plainly avers, verse 8. So that the scope of the
place, context of the words, and imporiance of the expression, do all
direct us unto the Messiah, and to him alone.

4tliltj. The uncertainty and mutual contradictions, yea, self-contra-
dictions of the most who apply the words of the psalmist directly unto
any other but Christ, may serve further to fix us unto this interpre-
tation, liable to none of those inconveniences which they cast them-
selves upon. Some would have a double literal sense in the words;
• — the one principal, relating unto Adam or man in general; the
other less principal, or subordinate, respecting Clnist: which is upon
the matter to affirm that the words have no sense at all ; for those
words which have not one certain determinate sense, — as those have
not which have two, — have indeed no true proper sense at all, for their
sense is their determinate signification of any thing. Some would
have the literal sense to respect mankind in general, and what is
atfirmed in them to be mystically applied unto Christ. How far
this is from truth we have already declared, by showing that the
words cannot so in any measure be verified or made good. By "man,"
some understand Adam in his integrity; but how he can be called
" the son of man" I know not. Besides, how was his honour— not to
be thought of or mentioned without the remembrance of his sin and
shameful fall — such a cause of rejoicing and exultation unto the
psalmist? Some understand man in his corrupted condition; which
how far he is from the things here mentioned need not be declared.
Can we suppose the apostle would prove the subjection of the world to
come unto Christ by a testimony principally resjDectiiig them who have
no interest in it? Some understand believer's as restored in Christ;
which is true consequentially and in respect of participation. Rev. ii.
26, 27, but not antecedently unto the investiture of the honour that


they are made partakers of in the person of Christ. Besides, — which
is the great absurdity of this Interpretation, — they all affirm that
the same words are used to express and confirm things directly con-
trary and adverse unto one another. For those words in the psalmist,
" Thou hast made him little less than the angels," they would have
to signify the exaltation of man in his creation, being made nigh
unto and little less than angels; and in the application of them by
the apostle unto Christ, they acknowledge that they denote depres-
sion, minoration, humiliation, or exinanition. How the same words
in the same place can express contrary things, prove the exaltation
of one and the depression of another, is very hard if not impossible
to be understood. Besides, thoy are compelled to interpret the
same phrase in diverse senses, as well as the same sentence in con-

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