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Who being, atavyoua ons dons, splendor, radius, jubar, effulgentia, refulgentia, relucentia. The splendour, ray, beam, effulgency,' or shining forth of glory. Syr. Anny Germen, so Boderius, the branch ;' Tremelius and D' Dieu, splendor, the Arabic concurring.
Avy, is lur, ' light ;' particularly the morning-light, Acts xx. 11. õpid nous ayeus cunns, he talked until the break of day, or the beaming of the morning light; auyn xos, Glos. Vet. jubar solis ; the sun-beam; and sometimes it denotes the day itself. It is also sometimes used for the light that is in burning iron : aravin, is of the same signification : properly splendor lucis, the brightness, shining, beauty, glory, or lustre of light. Hence is avys, to shine forth, to shine into, to irradiate, 2 Cor. iv. 4. 55 to rem avy@out avtors, that the light of the gospel should not irradiate, shine into them. Afevy, is of the same import; and from thence απαύγασμα. . The word is no where used in the New Testament save in this place only; nor doth it occur in the Old of the LXX. Only we have it, Wisd. vii. 26. Wisdom is said to be aweuycopese Patos aïdis, a beam of eternal light; to which place the margin of our translation refers. And it is so used by Nazianzen, μεγαλε φωτος μικρον απανγασμα ; α little beam of a great light. It answers exactly to the Hebrew 723 or 71 123; that is, the morning light, Prov. iv. 18. The path of the righteous, 723 7x3, ut lux splendoris, Hierome ; as the light of brightness; that is, of the morning, augn, Acts xx. 11. And it is also applied to the light of fire, or fire in iron, Isa. iv. 5. WX 772, the light of fire; and the fiery streaming of lightening, Heb. iii. 11.
The brightness, shining, ray, beam, tas dotns, of glory; some look on this expression as a Hebraism; «Tevy collea ons dočas, the beam of glory; for svdoğor atau yccoule, a glorious beam ; but this will not answer the design of the apostle, as we shall see afterwards.
Our translators have supplied his, the brightness of his glory, by repeating ávts, from the end of the sentence; perhaps as we shall find, not altogether necessarily; in which cases alone, such supplements unto the text are allowed in translations.
Kot xapaxtne, character, imago, forma, figura, expressa forma, figura expressa, xox, Syr. the character, image, form, figure, express form, express figure;' so variously is the word rendered by translators with little difference. It is no where used in the New Testament, but only in this place. In other authors it hath many significations. Sometimes they use it properly and naturally ; sometimes metaphorically and artificially; as when it denotes several forms of speech, or orations. Proper. ly from xaqaoow or xaqattw, to engrave with a tool, or style, is Xagaypane and tagaxons, which is first and properly, the note or mark cut by a tool or instrument into wood, or any other subject capable of such impression; or the stamp and sign that is left in the coining of money. The mark or scar also left by a wound, is by the LXX. termed yogaxtne, Lev. xiii. 25. It is in general an express representation of another thing commu. nicated unto it, by an impression of its likeness upon it; opposed unto that which is umbratile and imaginary.
Ins Forlarins áuts, substantia, subsistentiæ, persona ; Syr. nnin'x7, substantia ejus ; hypostasis, substance, subsistence, person. The word is four times used in the New Testament. Thrice in this epistle ; in this place, and chap. iii. 14. and chap. xi. 1. as also, 2 Cor. ix. 4. every where in a different sense ; so that the mere use of it in one place, will afford no light unto the meaning of it in another; but it must be taken from the context and subject treated of. The composition of the word would denote substantia, but so as to differ from, and to add something unto sri«, substance, or being; which in the divine nature can be nothing but a special manner of subsistence. But into the discussion of the controversy that hath been about the precise signification of these words, we shall not here enter.
Osgwr, agens, regens, moderans ; ' acting, disposing, ruling, governing ;' also portans, bajulans, sustinens ; bearing, supporting, carrying, upholding;' which of these senses is peculiarly intended, we shall afterwards inquire into.
To impeato ans durapias aurx; by the word of his power; by his powerful word; Syr. no7 x 577a, by the power of his word changing the order of the words, but not the meaning of them ; by the power of his word, or the word of his power; that is, his powerful word. euts, some would read it auts, and refer it unto the Father; by the powerful word of him, that is of the Father, by whose power, they say, the Son disposeth of all things. But all copies with accents have éuts constantly, none Kutx, nor will the disposition of the words bear that reference.
Ai ixUTY; by himself, in his own person.
Kabagsamo montajesvos. Purgationem faciens ; purgatione facta. Having purged, cleansed, expiated, or purified us from our sins: having made a purgation or purification of our sins.
Erudio, xubila, is used both neutrally and actively ; answer. ing to av, both in Kal and Hiphil; signifying to sit down, and to cause to sit down. Chrysostom seems to have understood the word in the latter sense; referring it to God the Father causing the Son to sit down. But it is hard to find any antecedent word whereby it should be regulated, but only os, who, in the beginning of the verse; that is, he himself: and as Erasmus observes, rivopesvos, in the following words, will not grammatically admit of this construction; for if ixabice, be to be understood actively and transitively, it must have been ysvorsvor. And the apostle clears the neutral sense of the word, chap. viii. 1. It is well then rendered by our translators: he sat, or sat down.
E, dožice, Psal. cx. 1. on av; LXX, xatov ex dežuw, in the plural number; so is the same thing expressed, Acts vii. 55. and by Mark, sy dežtos, chap. xvi. 5. Our apostle constantly keepeth the singular number, with us, chap. i. 13. viii. 1. xii. 2 The same thing in both expressions is intended; only that of sx diğw, or w dožious, in the plural number is more eminently destructive of the folly of the Anthropomorphites; for they cannot hence pretend that God hath a right hand, unless they will grant that he hath many; which were not only to turn the glory of the invisible God into the likeness of a man, but of a monster. And Austin well observes, that in the Psalm, where that expression is first used, sit on my right hand ; it is added, 73973-57 1978, the Lord on thy right hand; at the right hand of him, who sat on his right hand : which removes all carnal apprehensions from the meaning of the words.
This resganworms. This word is seldom used in other authors: twice in this Epistle, here, and ch. vii. 1. once by Jude, ver. 25. and no where else in the New Testament: by the LXX. not at all. The apostle evidently expresseth by it 7123, or 077123, not as they are used appellatively, for glory, power or majesty, but as they are names, and denote the essential glory of God, the glorious God. So that pryd hwoven is God himself, not absolutely considered, but with reference to the revelation of his glory and majesty in heaven ; God on his throne, as our apostle declareth; ch. viii. 1.
Εν υψηλσις, τη the highest. μεγάλωσυνη εν υψηλοις, is ύψιστος ; that is, 7190, the Highest, God himself
. See Luke i. 35.
Ver. 3.- Who being the brightness of glory, and the express
image of his Person, and upholding, or disposing of, all things by the word of his power, having by himself purged our sins,
sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. The apostle proceeds in his description of the person in whoma God spake in the revelation of the gospel; ascending unto such a manifestation of him, as that they might understand his eminence above all who were formerly used in the like ministra. tions ; as also how he was pointed out and shadowed by sundry types and figures under the Old Testament.
Of this description there are three parts: the first declaring what he is ; the second, what he doth, or did; and the third the consequent of them both, in what he enjoyeth.
Of the first part of this description of the Messiah, there are two branches, or it is two ways expressed. For he affirms of him, first, That he is the brightness, beam or splendour of the
glory; and secondly, the express image, or character of his Father's person.
In the second also there are two things assigned unto him: the former relating unto his power; as he is the brightness of glory; he sustaineth, or ruleth and disposeth of all things by the word of his power. The latter unto his love and work of mediation ; by himself, or in his own person, he hath purged our sins.
His present and perpetual enjoyment, as a consequent of what he was and did, or doth, is expressed in the last words : “ He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
Some of these expressions may well be granted to contain some of those durronta, things hard to be understood, which Peter affirms to be in this Epistle of Paul, 2 Epist. iii. 16. which unstable and unlearned men have in all ages wrested unto their own destruction. The things intended are unquestionably sublime and mysterious. The terms wherein they are expressed are rare, and no where else used in the Scripture to the same purpose; some of them not at all, which deprives us of one great help in the interpretation of them. The metaphors used in the words, or types alluded to by them, are abstruse and dark; so that the difficulty of discovering the true, precise and genuine meaning of the Holy Ghost in them is such, as that this verse, at least some part of it, may well be reckoned among those places which the Lord hath left in his word, to exercise our faith and diligence and dependance on his Spirit, for a right understanding of them. It may be indeed, that from what was known and acknowledged in the Judaical church, the whole intention of the apostle was more plain unto them, and more plainly and clearly delivered, than now it seemeth to us to be, who are deprived of their advantages. However, both to them and us, the things were and are deep and mysterious. And we shall desire to handle, as it becometh us, both things and words with reverence and godly fear, looking up unto him for assistance, who alone can lead us into all truth.
We begin with the double description given us of the Lord Christ at the entrance of the verse, as to what he is in himself; and here a double difficulty presents itself unto us : First, In general unto what nature in Christ, or unto what of Christ, this description doth belong. Secondly, What is the particular meaning and import of the words or expressions themselves.
For the first, some assert that these words intend only the divine nature of Christ, wherein he is consubstantial with his Father. Herein as he is said to be, God of God, and Light of Light, an expression doubtless taken from hence, receiving as the Son his nature and subsistence from the Father, so fully and'absolutely as that he is every way the same with him in respect of his essence, and every way like him in respect of his person ; so he is said to be the brightness of his glory, and the character of his person on that account. This way went the ancients generally, and of modern expositors very many; as Calvin, Brentius, Marloratus, Rollocus, Gomarus, Paræus, Estius, Tena, A Lapide, Ribera, and sundry others.
Some think that the apostle speaks of him as incarnate, as he is declared in the gospel, or as preached to be the image of the invisible God, 2 Cor. iv. 4. And these take three ways in the explication of the words, and their application of them unto him.
First, Some affirm that their meaning is, that whereas God is in himself infinite and incomprehensible, so that we are not able to contemplate his excellencies, but that we are overpowered in our minds with their glory and majesty, he hath in Christ the Son as incarnate, contemporated his infinite love, power, goodness, grace, greatness and holiness, unto our faith, love and contemplation, they all shining forth in him, and being eminently expressed in him; so Beza. Secondly, Some think that the apostle pursues
the description that he had entered upon of the kingly office of Jesus Christ, as heir of all; and that his being exalted in glory unto power, rule and dominion, expressing and representing therein the person of his Father, is intended in these words ; so Camero.
Thirdly, Some refer these words to the prophetical office of Christ, and say that he was the brightness of God's glory, &c. by his revealing and declaring of the will of God unto us, which before was done darkly only, and in shadows. So the Socinians generally, though Schlictingius refers the words unto all that similitude, which they fancy to have been between God, and the man Christ Jesus, while he was in the earth; and therefore he renders the participle w, not by the present, but præterimperfect tense, who was, that is, while he was on the earth, though as he says, not exclusively unto what he is now in heaven.
I shall not examine in particular the reasons that are alleged for these several interpretations, but only propose and confirm that sense of the place, which on full and due consideration appears both agreeable to the analogy of faith, and expressly to answer the design and intention of the apostle ; wherein also, the unsoundness of the two last ways of applying the second interpretation, with the real coincidence of the first, and first branch of the latter exposition, will be discovered. To this end the following positions are to be observed.
First, It is not the direct and immediate design of the apostle to treat absolutely of either nature of Christ, his divine or human, but only of his person. Hence though the things which he mentioneth and expresseth, may some of them belong unto,