Pristine Grace

Heb 2:1-4, (GILL)
1  INTRODUCTION TO HEBREWS 2

In this chapter the apostle, from the superior excellency of Christ, by whom the Gospel revelation is come, discoursed of in the preceding, urges the believers he writes to, to a more diligent attention to the Gospel, and the doctrines of it; to which he adds another motive inducing thereunto, lest those things should be let slip, and be lost, Heb 2:1 and then, by another argument from the less to the greater, that if the law, which was given by angels, could not be broken with impunity, then how should such escape divine punishment that neglected and despised the Gospel, which is a doctrine of salvation, was delivered by the Lord himself, and confirmed by various testimonies and miracles, Heb 2:2. And besides the Gospel dispensation is not put into the hands of angels, but into the hands of Christ, to whom all things are subject, which is proved out of Ps 8:4 and which proof shows, that though Christ, on account of his sufferings and death, was for a while made lower than the angels, yet being now crowned with glory and honour, he is above them, and they are subject to him, since all things are, Heb 2:5. And this anticipates an objection that might be taken from hence against what the apostle had asserted in the foregoing chapter, concerning the superiority of Christ to angels; and this leads him on to observe the reason of the sufferings and death of Christ, and also of his incarnation; that the moving cause of Christ's sufferings and death was the grace and good will of God; that he did not suffer for himself, but for others, for everyone of those described in the context; that inasmuch as he was the surety of those persons, it was agreeable to the justice of God, and it could not be otherwise, but he must be made perfect through suffering; and this was the way to bring many sons to glory, Heb 2:9 and as for his incarnation, or his becoming man, that was necessary, that the sanctifier and the sanctified might be of the same nature, that he might be able to call them brethren and children, Heb 2:11 as he does, for which are cited Ps 22:22 and because the children he engaged to bring to glory were partakers of flesh and blood; and also that he might be capable of dying, and by dying destroy the devil, and deliver his timorous people, who, through fear of death, lived in a continual state of bondage, Heb 2:14 for which reason he did not take upon him the nature of angels, but of the seed of Abraham, Heb 2:16 And besides, it was necessary he should be in all things like unto his brethren, that he might be merciful to them, and faithful to God, and be in a state and condition capable of sympathizing with them, and succouring them under their temptations, which he was able to do by suffering through temptation himself, Heb 2:17.

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed,.... This is an inference from the apostle's discourse in the preceding chapter; since he, by whom God has spoke in these last days, is his Son, who is infinitely above the angels, they being his creatures, and worshippers of him, and ministers to him, and his; therefore the greater regard should be had to the Gospel spoken by him: even to the things which we have heard; which are no other than the truths of the Gospel, which had been preached unto them, and which were heard by the apostles, who had preached them to them; and they had heard them from them, or from Christ himself, and were what their forefathers had desired to hear, and which the carnal ear has not heard; for there is an internal and an external hearing of the Gospel. Now it becomes the hearers of it to give heed, or attend unto it, to beware of that which is pernicious and hurtful, and to regard that which is good and profitable; and this giving heed takes in a close consideration of Gospel truths, a diligent inquiry into them, a valuable esteem of them, a strict adherence to them, and a watchfulness to retain what is heard, and to conform unto it: and this was to be done "more earnestly" than their forefathers had, or than they themselves had; or this may be put for the superlative degree, and signify, that they should give the most earnest heed; for they had the most abundant reason to give heed, since what they heard was not from Moses, and the prophets, to whom they did well to take heed, but from Christ the Son of God, who was greater than they: "lest at any time we should let them slip": and this either respects persons; and so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "lest we should run out"; and the Syriac version, "lest we should fall"; and the Arabic version, "lest we should fall from honesty": which may intend partial slips and falls, to which the people of God are subject; and which are oftentimes owing to inadvertency to the word; for the Gospel, duly attended to, is a preservative from falling: or it may respect things, even the doctrines of the Gospel, lest we should let them slip out of us, through us, or besides us: the metaphor seems to be taken either from leaking vessels, which let out what is put into them; or to strainers, which let the liquor through, and it falls on the ground, and cannot be gathered up, and so becomes useless; and which is expressive of unprofitable hearing of the word, through inattention, negligence, and forgetfulness, and the irrecoverableness of it, when it is gone: the Gospel may be lost to some that hear it, as to any real benefit and advantage by it; and some who hear the Gospel may be lost and perish; but the grace of the Gospel can never be lost.

2  For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast,.... This is a description of the law, from whence the apostle argues to a stricter regard to the Gospel, as from the lesser to the greater: this is called "the word", and a terrible one it was; it was a voice of words, which they that heard entreated they might hear no more; it was the word "spoken" with an articulate voice, and was heard by the Israelites, and it was spoken "by angels". Jehovah the Father's voice was never heard; when he came to give the law, ten thousand angels came along with him; and the ministry of these he used in the delivery of the law; by them he spoke it; they formed in the air the voices heard; it was ordained by them, and given by the disposition of them; see Ac 7:53. To which agree those words of Herod, spoken to the Jews, recorded by Josephus [b]; that we learn of God, di' aggelwn, "by angels", the best of doctrines, and the most holy things in the law. And this was "steadfast"; firm, and sure, being the word of God, which cannot pass away, until it be fulfilled: it was confirmed by terrible signs attending it, and by the people's assent unto it; the penalty of it is sure and certain, in case of disobedience; and as to the form and ministration of it, it remained until Christ, the end of it, came; and as to the matter of it, so far as of a moral nature, it still remains: the judicial and ceremonial parts of it are abrogated; and the whole of it is abolished, as in the hands of Moses, and as a covenant of works, and as to the curse and condemnation of it, and with respect to justification by it; but it still continues as a cursing law to all that are under it; and as a means of conviction to sinners in the hands of the Spirit; and as a rule of walk and conversation to saints, as in the hands of Christ:

and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; every precept of the law had a penalty annexed to it; and every breach of it was punished as that penalty required; and that according to the strict justice of God, and the just demerit of sin; and none escaped, but suffered the punishment due to the violation of the precept either in themselves, or in their surety; so steadfast and immovable was this law.

[b] Antiqu. l. 15. c. 5. sect. 3.

3  How shall we escape,.... The righteous judgment of God, and eternal punishment:

if we neglect so great salvation? as the Gospel is, which is called salvation; in opposition to the law, which is the ministration of condemnation; and because it is a declaration of salvation by Christ; and is the means of bringing it near, and of the application of it in conversion, and so is the power of God unto it: and it is a "great" salvation; the Gospel which reveals it is great, for the author of it is Christ; it has been confirmed by miracles, and attended with great success; and has in it great things, great mysteries, and exceeding great and precious promises: and the salvation which it declares is great; it is the produce of great wisdom; it is wrought by a great person, by a Saviour, and a great one, and who is the great God, and our Saviour; it has been procured at great charge and expense, even at the expense of the blood and life of the Son of God; and has been obtained through great difficulties; and is the salvation of the soul, the more noble part of man; and it is a complete and everlasting one: to "neglect" this, is to be careless of it; to condemn it, and to despise the ministers of it; and to make anything else but Christ the way of salvation: and the danger such are in is very great; it is not possible that they should escape divine vengeance, since their sin is so great, and attended with such aggravating circumstances; for it is a contempt of the grace and wisdom of God in providing such a Saviour, and a trampling under foot the Son of God, and a counting his blood as a common thing; and besides, there is no more sacrifice for sin, they can have nothing to atone for it; and that God, whom they offend hereby, is both omniscient and omnipotent, and there will be no escaping out of his hands: to which must be added, that this Gospel of salvation is that

which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord; by the Lord Jesus Christ himself; the Gospel was preached by him, and he was extraordinarily qualified for it; and he spake it as never man did: it was preached by John indeed, and by all the prophets before him, and to the Israelites in the wilderness, and to Abraham before them, and even to Adam in Eden's garden, which was the first time it was spoken; but then it was spoken to him by the Lord; by the Word of the Lord, the essential Word, the Son of God, as the ancient Chaldee paraphrases, which express the sense of the old Jewish church, show [c]: besides, it began most fully and clearly to be preached by him in the days of his flesh, so as it never was preached before, nor since; grace and truth, the doctrines of grace and truth came by him, in all their fulness and glory: and

was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; the Gospel is in itself firm and stable; nor did the words of Christ need any confirmation, who is truth itself, the "Amen", and faithful witness; but in condescension to human weakness, and by reason that Christ, as man, was not everywhere, and that by the mouth of more witnesses it should be established, he sent forth his apostles to preach it; who heard it from him, and they published it to the Jews first, as these were to whom the apostle writes, and then to the Gentiles. And though the apostle had it first by revelation from Christ himself, Ga 1:11 it was confirmed to him by Ananias.

[c] Targum Onkelos & Jon. in Gen. iii. 8. & Hieros. in v. 9.

4  God also bearing them witness,.... The apostles of Christ; God testifying to their mission and commission, and the truth of the doctrine they preached:

both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles; such as taking up serpents without hurt, healing the sick, causing the lame to walk, and raising the dead, and casting out devils, and the like; all which were for the confirmation of the Gospel preached by them: a sign, wonder, or miracle, for these signify the same thing, is a marvellous work done before men, by the power of God, to confirm a divine truth; God is the sole author of miracles; and they were done in the first ages of Christianity, when they were necessary, to give evidence of the truth of it, and to establish men in it; and these were various, as before observed: and gifts of the Holy Ghost; such as besides gifts of healing and working miracles, gifts of foretelling things to come, discerning of spirits, speaking with divers kinds of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues, 1Co 12:8 according to his own will; either according to the will of God, who bore testimony by these miracles and gifts; or according to the will of the Holy Spirit, who distributed them to men severally as he pleased, 1Co 12:11.

Compare passage in all translations or view KJV MKJV NASB LITV


  
Passage Lookup:
Examples: Rev 3 | John 1:1 | Eph 2:8-9

 
Book:
Chapter:
Verses: -
Translation:
Abbreviate Book Name(s)?
Strip Verse Numbers?
Collapse Passage Text?
Create Chapter Links?
Hide Interface When Displaying Results?

 

  
Search Terms:
Hint: Enter your search in "quotes like this" to search for an exact phrase.

 
And / Or:
Translation:
Restrict Search to:
Start Search at:
End Search at:
Abbreviate Book Name(s)?
Display Results as References Only?
Display Results in Descending Order?
Highlight Search Terms?
Create Chapter Links?
Hide Interface When Displaying Results?