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only an ellipsis, easy to be supplied, of that in them which answers
unto flesh and blood in the children.

Thirdly, " The apostle," he saith, " showeth, verse 17, that Christ
ought in all things to be made like unto us, by this reason, ' Quod
non assumpsit angelos, sed semen Abrahse.' But if this be to take on
him the nature of man, he comes to prove the same thing by the same;
for to be made like unto us, and to assume human nature, difter only
in words, and not really or in deed. But take l-iXa/jbCdnrai to signify
• to help' or ' relieve,' and all things agree. For because he came
to help us and not angels, it became him to be made like unto us."
But herein lies a double mistake: — First, In the scope and argument
of the apostle; for those words in the beginning of the 17th verse
are not an inference or conclusion from what is asserted in this verse,


but an affirmation of the necessity of what is there asserted from
that which follows in the same verse, " that he might be a faitliful
high priest." Secondly, These words, " like unto us," do not intend
his conformity unto us in his participation of human nature, which
he had on other reasons before confirmed, but in the sufferings and
temptations which there he insists upon.

Fourthly, '"The seed of Abraham,'" he says, "is a collective expres-
sion, and denotes many; at least it must denote the person of some
man, which Christ did not assume. And therefore it is the spiiitual
seed of Abraham that is intended ; that is, believers. And the apostle
so calls them, because the Hebrews were well pleased with the men-
tion of that privilege." But this will not abide the examiuati<in.
The great promise of old unto Abraham was, that in his seed all
the nations of the earth should be blessed. The intendment of that
promise was, that the Messiah shoidd be his seed, of his posterity.
That by this seed one individual was intended our apostle declares,
Gal. iii. 16; as Christ in like manner is said to be " of the seed of
David according to the flesh," Rom. i. 3. Of this promise the apostle
minds the Hebrews. So that his taking on him the seed of Abra-
ham is not the assuming of many, nor of the person of any one of
them, but merely his being made of the seed of Abraham according
to the promise. And to bend these words unto any other sense
than the accomplishment of the promise made to Abraham, that
Christ should be of his seed, is plainly to pervert them. And this
is all of weight that I can meet withal which is objected unto our
interpretation of this place; which being removed, it is further

Lastly, In the disparate removed, by " angels," the good angels,
not /a^/e^i angels, are princijoally regarded. Of fallen angels he had
newly spoken under the collective expression, " the devil," who had
the power of death. Nor are, it may be, the devils anywhere called
absolutely by the name of angels; but they are termed either " evil
angels," or " angels that sinned," " that left their habitation," " that
are to be judged," " the devil's angels," or have some or other pecu-
liar adjunct whereby they are marked out and distinguished. Now,
it cannot be that this word sTiXa/j^Cdvirai, if it be interpreted " to help,"
"assist," or "relieve," can in any sense be applied unto the angels that
must be intended, if any ; for the word must denote either any help,
assistance, or relief in general, or that especial help and assistance
which is given by Christ in the work of reconciliation and redemp-
tion. If the first be intended, I much question the truth of the
assertion, seeing the angels owe their establishment in grace unto
Christ, and also their advancement in glory, Eph. i. 10. If it be to be
taken in the latter sense, as is pretended, then the nature of the dis-
crete axiom here used by the apostle requires that there be the same


need of the help intimated in both the disparates, which is denied
as unto tiie one, and affirmed as unto the other. But now the angels,
that is, the good angels, had no need of the help of redemption and
reconciliation unto God, or of being freed from death, or the fear of
it, which they were never obnoxious unto. And what remains for
the clearing of the mind of the apostle will appear yet further in the
ensuing observations from the words.

I. The Lord Jesus Christ is truly God and man in one person;
and this is fully manifested in these words. For, 1. There is supposeil
in them his pre-existence in another nature than that which he is
said here to assume. He was before, he subsisted before, or he
could not have taken on him what he had not. This was his divine
nature; as the like is intimated where he is said to be "made flesh,"
John i. 14; to be "made of a woman," Gal. iv. 4; to be "manifested
in the flesh," 1 Tim. iii. 16; to " take on him the form of a servant,"
Phil. ii. .8, 9; as here, "he took the seed of Abraham." He vms
before he did so; that is, as the Son, the Word of God, the Son of
God, as in the places mentioned, eternally pre-existing unto this his
incarnation : for the subject of this proposition, " He took on him,"
etc., denotes a person pre-existing unto the act of taking here as-
cribed unto him; which was no other than the Son of God. 2. He
assumed, he took to himself, another nature, " of the seed of Abra-
ham," according unto the promise. So, continuing what he was, he
became what he was not. For, 3. He took this to be his ovjn nature.
He so took it as himself to become truly "the seed of Abraham," to
Avhom and concerning whom the promise was given, Gal. iii. 16; and
was himself made " of the seed of David according to the flesh/'
Rom. i. 3; and " as concerning the flesh came of the fathers," Rom.
ix. 5 ; and so was " the son of David, the son of Abraham," Matt. i. 1.
And this could no otherwise be done but, 4. By taking that nature
into personal subsistence with himself, in the hypostasis of the Son
of God. The nature he assumed could no otherwise become his. For
if he had by any ways or means taken the person of a n^an to be
united unto him, in the strictest union that two persons are capable
of, a divine and a human, the nature had still been the nature of
thit other person, and not his own. 5. But he took it to be his own
nature; which it could no ways be but by personal union, causing it
to subsist in his own person. And he is therefore a true and perfect
man: for no more is required to make a complete and perfect man
but the entire nature of man subsisting; and this is in Christ as a
man, the human nature having a subsistence communicated unto it
by the Son of God. And therefore, 6. This is done without a mul-
tiplicatio7t of persons in him; for the human nature dan have no
ptrsunality of its own, because it was taken to be the nature o*
auotlier person who was pre-existent unto it, and by assuming of '


prevented its proper personality. Neither, 7. Did hence any mix-
ture or confusion of natures ensue, or of the essential properties of
them; for he took the seed of Abraham to be his human nature,
which if mixed with the divine it could not be. And this he hath
done, 8. Inseparably and for ever. Which things are handled at
large elsewhere.

II. The redemption of mankind by the taking of our nature, was
a work of mere sovereign grace.

He took the seed of Abraham; he took not the nature of angels.
And for what cause or reason ? Can any be assigned but the so v
reign grace, pleasure, and love of God ? nor doth the Scripture any-
where assign any other. And this will the better appear if we con-
sider, —

1. That for a sinning nature to be saved, it was indispensably
necessary that it sliould be assumed. The nature of angels being
not taken, tliose that sinned in that nature must perish for ever;
and they that fancy a possibility of saving sinners any other way
but by satisfaction made in the nature that had sinned, seem not to
have considered aright the nature of sin and the justice of God.
Had any other way been possible, why doth the perishing of angels
so inevitably follow the non-assumption of their nature ? This way
alone, then, could it be wrought.

2. That we were carrying away all human nature into endless
destruction; for so it is intimated: whence Christ's assumption
of it is expressed by his putting forth his hand and taking hold
of it, to stop it in its course of apostasy and ruin. Of angels, only
some individual persons fell from God; but our whole nature, in
every one to whom it was communicated from and by Adam, was
running headlong to destruction. In itself there could be no relief,
iior any thing to commend it unto God.

Here sovereign grace interposeth, — the love of God to mankind,
Tit. iii. 4. As to the angels, he "spared them not," 2 Pet. ii. 4. He
spared not them, and "spared not his Son" for us, Kom. viii. 82. And
if we consider rightly what the Scripture informs us of the number
and dignity of the angels that sinned, of their nature and ability to
accomplish the will of God, and compare therewith our own vileness
and low condition, we may have matter of eternal admiration sug-
gested unto us. And there was infinite wisdom as well as sovereign
grace in this dispensation, sundry brandies whereof the apostle after-
wards holds out unto us.

Verses 17, 18.

Having declared the general reasons why tbe Son or Messiah was
for a liitle while to be made lower than the angels, in his incarna-
tion and sufferings, and shov\ed the ends thereof, the apostle pro-


ceeds to declare other especial ends of this divine dispensation, and
therein makes way unto what he had to instruct the Hebrews in
ahout the priestly office of Christ; which was the principal ground
and foundation of what he intended more fully afterwards to dis-
course with them about and to inform them in.

Ver. 17, 18. — "Ohv wfs/Xs xara, rravra tou adiXfoTg ofMoiw&rjvai, 7va
iAsri/J,!fjv yivriTui xai vierhg dpy^npiuc ra irpog rhv Giov, sig rh iXdiy/.iGdai
Tcig d/j,apTiag rou Xaou, 'Ev oi yap -TriTovdsv ax)Tog Tupaahtg, diivarai rotg
'iriipa'^oiJ.ivoig jSoTj^riSai.

"Odiu u>(p£i>.e. v., " unde debuit," "whence he ought." So Beza. Syr., ''^-'?
"71 ^l^, " ^or which cause," (or " wherefore") " it was just," " meet," or " equal."
Othersi, " wherefore it was due;" "it was convenient;" "wherefore it lelioved
him :" so ours. 'Oips/Aw joined with an infinitive mood, as here it is, signifies
commonly " oportet me," or " necesse est," or '• deheo," — " I ought," " it behoveth
me," " it is necessary for me;" and denotes more than a mere congruency, cun-
veniency, or expediency, even such a kind of necessity as ariseth from that which
in itself is just and equal; which the Syriac expresseih. It is of the same import-
ance with iTrpiTis, verse 10.

KctToi TTciuTX, "per omnia." Syr., '=7.'? ^?r, "•" omni re," "in every thing."
Arab., "In cunctis eorum conditionibus," "in all conditions ;" that is, every con-
dition and state of hfe. Ours, " in all things," leaving the words where they are
placed in the original, "wherefore in all things it behoved him;" whereas a little
transposition of them would more clear up the sense, " wherefore it behoved him
tc be made like unto his brethren in all things." The Ethiopic qiiite omits the
words here, and placeth them after ', "merciful in all things."

To<f »li7^(poi; oy-oiud'/iuoii. V., " fratrihus simulari;" Eras., " simili^ reddi:"
Bez;i, '• simiiis fieri ;" as ours, "to be made like." The article prefixed to aosX-
^o~iS restrains the name " brethren" unto those whom he had before discoursed
ot under the names of " children," " disciples," " sanctified ones."

"Ij/«4 I'Ki'/jfx.uv ysvYiTui x,ccl -TridTog at.p%iipiv^, " ut misericors fieret" (or "esset")
"pontifex;" so V , Eras.. Bez. The Syriac somewhat otherwise, "frT'l'? '^.".v^?
s^'sis a"^"!^ "that he might be merciful, and a great prie-t," or "chief priest,"
*'?';^~?, "faithful in the things of God;" so making his tnercifulness an attribute
of his person absolutely, and faithfulness only to respect him as a hi'uh priest.
So also the Arabic and Ethiopic. And the word whereby e'^iyj/y.uu is rendend
signifies " tenderly merciful," with that kind of mercy which is calleil " bowels of
compa>sion,"from °'!'7'. And it may be here observed, that that interpreter through-
out the epistle renders oip)(,tipi^<; by >!-?2i3 3i"rab comara," though that word
be always u^ed in an ill sense in the Old Testament. Three times it occurs therein ;
— 2 Kings xxiii. 5, where we render it "idokitrous priests;" Ziph. i. 4, [where]
the name "chemarims " is retained; Hos. x. 5, [where] we express it by "priests,"
but place " chemarim " in the margin. For it prmcipally denoted tlie priests
of Baal and Moloch, and their " blackness" (as the word is rendered. Job iii. 5),
not from the garments they wore, but from the colour they contracted in their
diabolical sacrifices in the fire. Hence, wherever tiie word 1~3 is applied unto a
priest of a false god, or one engaged in false worship, the Targumists constantly
render it by vm-.-z. See Judg. xvii. 5, xviii. 4, 30. But this translator re-pected
r,o- so much the use, as the original and extraction of the word ; for from "'r^ in
Ni]>hal, ""??', is " to wax hot," and " to be moved with internal heat;" whence it is
taken to signify compassion and pity, — the same with '^n'^. Hence, Deut. xiii. 18,
VOL. XII. — 30


^""r?!!- ~. ir^\ *' and sliall give thee tender mercy" (" bowels of compassion "), is
rendered by Ben Uzziel, inrb? urn-^ vwni y^zhy i-,a3^% " and shall wax hot
towards you with compassion, and shall have compassion on you," — ' He shall lie
wai-med and moved with compassion towards you.' In like manner is the word
used, Ps. Ixxvii. 10. With respect unto this heat of affection and aliuiid mt
compassion, the word may well be applied unto the Lord Christ, our hi^h priest.

T« TT/sof TOJ/ Qiov. v., "ad Dt'um," "pontifex ad Detim," "an hiuh [iriest
towards God ;" very defectively. Eras., " in his quae apud Deum forent ajiCeiida,"'
" in the things that were to be done before God: " so also Beza, noting " t'orent
airenda," as a supplement unto the text. So Vatablus and others. Syr., *'~^''"r,
" in the things of God." The apostle explains his own meaning, Ileb. v. 1,
where he tells us, that "every high priest KocSiarcircct toL Trpog rou Qsov, 'ivoi Trpoa-
<(:ipvj," — " is set over the things appertaining unto God, that he may offer sacrifice."
" In things appertaining unto God," — what he hath to do with God in thiir be-
half for whom he ministers in his office before him. Arab., "res nostras apud
Deum perasiens."

E(V TO i' T«f eif^,xpri'»; rov 'Ken.ov. V., " ut repropitiaret delicta po-
puli;'" aiming to express the sense of the original, it falls upon a barbai'ous word,
yi'lding no tolerable sense, though that which seems to be intended in it is, to make
pro|)itiation or atonement. Ar., Vatab., Eras., Bez., "adexi iandum," Syr., "^rFS^^
N-:>-i ■""■"•jn ^»^ "expians super peccata populi;" so the word is constantly trans-
lat d, though it rather signifies to show mercy or pity. ' \'ha.<sK(i^at.i is com-
monly used actively for " propitiuni facio," or " propitio," " to please," " appease,"
"atone," "turn away anger;" and when it is taken in a passive or n; uter sense,
it -ignities " to be merciful," "appeased," " rt-conciled," as Luke xviii, 13, 'O ©so?,
i'ha.aSmi ^01 Tui'Ku, — " God be mi rciful unto me a sinmer." I much <louljt
whether any instance can be given of its signifying " to expiate," though, beiause
of the construction of it in this place, it be generally so rendered. If it be taken
in its first proper sense, then sin cannot be the next object of the act denoted
by it. Ours, "to make reconciliation for the sins of the people;" of the sense
whereof we shall deal afterwards at large.

'E» u y«/9. v., "in eo enini," "for in that;" Eras., "nam ex hoc," "for
from hence;" Beza, " nam ex eo;" Vat., " ex eo ;" " ob id ;" ours, " for in that,"
— that is, "inasmuch;" not, "in that thing wherein he was tempted," but,
"whereas," "inasmuch," " seeing that ;" Arab., "for from those thmgs which
happened unto him when he was tempted."

l\i'7rou6iy axnoi 'Treipocadii'i. V., " passus est ipse tentatus," " in which himself suf-
fered and was tempted." "Et." Erasmus tells us, is not in many ancient copies.
Ar., •' in quo passus est ipse tentatus," "in that he suffered himself being tempted."
Bez., "ex eo quod perpessus ipse fuit, quum est tentatus," " for that which he suf-
fered w hen he was tempted." But the words rather signify hi< suffermgs by beiiig
tempted, or from his temptations, than his suffering on other accounts when he
was tempted. Syr., " for in that he suffered and was tempted ;" as the Vul., Eras.,
" quod ipsi contigit tentatum esse," " that it befell him to be tempted," laying the
whole upon temptation, because in the latter clause mention is made of "them that
are tempted," without any addition of sufferings It is not certain whether ■7ri7rov6»
be from ita-a-K^u or from movku, from uhose active, 7r£7ro'i/nx«, the middle significa-
tion in TTSTTovfls is formed, and viTrovSce, by a u^ual pleonasm of theta: and if so,
not his siifering, but his labouring unler temptation, is intended. If, as it is
commonly thought, it be from voca-)cu, I confess that word is sometimes used as
it is here rendered by Erasmus, " accidit," "contigit," " usu venit," "it hap-
pened," " it befell ;" but it is but rarely, and that not without regard unto suffer-
ing. But it being evident that the suffering of Christ is here intended, his
temptation being mentioned only as an instance of that whereby he suffered, that


is not to be passed over, and the sens-e carried on unto his teinpt.-v'ion only:
" He suffered beinpf tempted." TLsipx^oi is in itself but to make a trial or exfie-
riment ; but this being <lone fro n various principles, by sundry means, for dif-
ferent ends, and upon diverse subjects, there is a great difference in such trial-;,
and L'reat variety in the n;iture of temptations. How the Lord Christ was tempted,
bv whom, and of what sort his temptations were, we shall con>ider afterwards.
The Ethiop. reads, "when he tempted him and afflicted him;" that is, God.

AvuotTxi liondmxi. v., " potens est et eis qui tentantur auxiliari." " Et " again
is added, iiut retained by Beza, as not copulative, but emphatical, " potest et tis
qui tentantur succurrere," — " he can " (or " is able to ") " help," " relieve," '• suc-
cour." 'BonSiu is properly stti (ior^v Biu, "to run in to the cry of any one;" that is,
to help and relieve him in his distress, to come speedily, and as it were in haste, to
the help of him that crieth out in danger. So Thucydides: Ovroi iirol;' Adnuoii'rjie
i^s'^ortd'/iiciactv, — "These came in to the help of the Athenians" [in their distre-s].
And this is the direct sense of the word in this place, as it respects them that
are distressed under the povv^er of temptation, crying out for help. And it is
plainly expressed in the Latin "succurrere," and our "succour," taken from thence.
So Chrysostom interprets these \\ords, Ai/j/ktos; fioyiSijacii' [mto, ttoAXsjj vpo9v-
fiicc; cpi^si xiipcc, — " He gives out his hand unto them with all readiness."

Ver. 17, 18. — "Wherefore [hence] it behoved him to [it
teas meet he should] be made hke unto his [the] brethren
in all things [every manner of loay], that he might
be a merciful and faithful high priest in the things of
[pertaining unto] God, to make reconciliation for the
siiisof the people. For in that [whereas] he hath
suffered being [luhen he was] tempted, he is able to
succour [come in to the help of] them that are tempted.

In these two verses the apostle illustrates what he had taught
before, and confirms what he had asserted concerning the Son's par-
ticipation of flesh and blood in like manner with the children, from
one especial end thereof. And this end is his being a high priest;
which that the Messiah was to be, both the Hebrews granted and lie
himself intended more largely afterwards to demonstrate. More-
over, he was to be such a high priest as was settled and suited for
the discharge of his office unto the benefit of them for whose good
he was to minister therein. This the wisdom of God and the nature
of the thing itself do require. Now, they being persons obnoxious
unto temptations and suti'erings of all sorts, he must in an especial
manner be able to help, relieve, and save such persons. And ail
this the apostle declares in these verses, in the opening whereof we
may consider, —

1. The importance of the illative expression in the entrance:
** wherefore," or " hence." 2. The necessity intimated of what is
here assigned to the Messiah: " it behoved him,'" or, " it was meet
that he should." 3. What the apostle repeats and re-asserts, namely,
that he was "in all things" (or "every manner of way") " to be


made like unto his brethren ;" 4. The general end of this his neces-
sary conformity unto the brethren: "that he might be a mercifid
and faithful high priest." 5. The especial work and end of that
office which he was so prepared for: " in the things of God to make
reconciliation for the sins of the people." 6. A further enforcement
of the necessity of the foregoing assertion, taken from a double con-
sideration; — (1.) Of what he did, or what befell him, in the condi-
tion wherein he was made like unto the brethren : he " suffered
being tempted," or " when he was tempted ;" (2.) Of the blessed
effect and consequence thereof, both in his own preparation unto
the further discharge of his office, and the benefit of them whom he
ministers in it for: " he is able to succour them that ai-e tempted."

1. There is the illation intimated in the word o^si*, " wherefore."
Now, this may respect either what had been before discoursed, or
what is further insisted on in the words ensuing. In the first way
the apostle would seem to infer the necessity of his being " made like
unto his brethren in all things," from wliat he had before proved of
his participation of human nature ; but this seems not to be the
meaning of the word. That expression, " To be made like unto his
brethren in all things," is only a recapitulation of what the apostle
had before taught concerning his incarnation and sufferings; and
here his design is to show the reason or end thereof, namely,
that he might be a high priest, and discharge his office unto the
benefit of the people. He gives, therefore, an account of what he
had delivered, and declares the end of it: " Wherefore" (or " there-
fore") "ought he thus to be made like his brethren, that he might
be a merciful high priest." And thus did Chrysostom understand
the connection of these words, "ha ovv, saith he, vposiViyKji '^ua/av
huva/Msvriv fi,u^ag zaSapicsai, bia touto jijonv a.vSpcu'Xog' — " Therefore
was he made man, that he might be a sacrifice able to purge our

2. The necessity of the matter of the apostle's assertion is ex-
pressed in the word ufuXt, " he ought," " it must be so;" it could not
be otherwise, on supposition that he was to be a high priest. God
having designed him unto that office and the work thereof, it was
indispensably necessary for him to be made like unto his brethren
in all things.

o. That which the apostle thus asserts, is his being "made like unto
, his brethren in all things." The proposition is of the nature of them
that are xadoXov ug /xri aadoXov, — universal, but not universally to be
understood. For that expression, xara ffa^^a, is capable of sundry
limitations; as, first, It respects only all those things which are
necessary unto the end assigned ; and, secondly, In them also there
may be a great difference. The things it respects are nature with
the essential properties thereof, attended with temptations and suffer-


ings. But whereas the brethren are sinners, he was not made like
unto them in sin; which exception the apostle elsewhere puts in unto
tins assertion, chap. iv. 15: for this would have been so far from
conducing unto the end aimed at, that it would have been utterly
destructive thereof. In the things also wherein he was made like
uuto them, still the regulation from the end is to be carried along

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