Hebrews 1:6
And again, when he brings in the first-begotten into the world, he said, And let all the angels of God worship him.
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(6) And again.—There seems little doubt that the true translation is, And when He again leadeth (literally, shall have led) the Firstborn into the world He saith. The position of “again” (in the Greek) shows that it does not indicate a new step in the argument, but must be joined with “leadeth.” The speaker (“He saith”) is God, speaking in the word of Scripture; in this Epistle quotations from the Old Testament are usually thus introduced. The quotation involves some difficulty. It cannot be directly taken from Psalm 97:7, “worship Him, all His angels;” for the citations from the Greek Bible in this Epistle are usually so exact that we cannot believe the writer would have so altered the form of the sentence now before us. In Deuteronomy 32:43, however, we find words identical with those of the text in most copies of the LXX.; but there is nothing answering to them in the Hebrew, and there is no sufficient reason for supposing that the clause has dropped out of the Hebrew text. There are similarities (both of subject and of diction) between the Psalm and the last section of the Song of Moses, which make it easy to see how the words could find their way into the Song. The Psalm belongs to a cycle (Psalms 93, 95-99) whose theme is the triumphant announcement of the coming of God’s kingdom, by which was denoted (as the readers of the Epistle knew) the kingdom of Christ. In the divine plan the predicted Theophany was coincident with the fulfilment of the Messianic hope. In both Psalm and Song we read of the judgment exercised and the vengeance inflicted by the enthroned King. (Comp. Psalm 2:9.) This agreement in tone and subject renders less important the question whether the Hebrew original of the Song really contained the words. The thought was familiar from Scripture, and in this very connection. When the Messiah, reigning as the Firstborn of God (see Hebrews 1:5), shall appear for judgment—that is, when God leadeth a second time His Firstborn into “the world of men” (see Hebrews 2:5), that He may receive full possession of His inheritance—He saith, And let all angels of God worship Him. The word here rendered “leadeth in” is in frequent use for the introduction of Israel (typically God’s “firstborn,” Exodus 4:22) into the land of Canaan. It should, perhaps, be noted that, though in Psalm 97:7 “angels” may not be perfectly exact as a rendering of the Hebrew Elohim, the verse so distinctly expresses the homage done to the King by superhuman powers, that its fitness for the argument here is obvious.

1:4-14 Many Jews had a superstitious or idolatrous respect for angels, because they had received the law and other tidings of the Divine will by their ministry. They looked upon them as mediators between God and men, and some went so far as to pay them a kind of religious homage or worship. Thus it was necessary that the apostle should insist, not only on Christ's being the Creator of all things, and therefore of angels themselves, but as being the risen and exalted Messiah in human nature, to whom angels, authorities, and powers are made subject. To prove this, several passages are brought from the Old Testament. On comparing what God there says of the angels, with what he says to Christ, the inferiority of the angels to Christ plainly appears. Here is the office of the angels; they are God's ministers or servants, to do his pleasure. But, how much greater things are said of Christ by the Father! And let us own and honour him as God; for if he had not been God, he had never done the Mediator's work, and had never worn the Mediator's crown. It is declared how Christ was qualified for the office of Mediator, and how he was confirmed in it: he has the name Messiah from his being anointed. Only as Man he has his fellows, and as anointed with the Holy Spirit; but he is above all prophets, priests, and kings, that ever were employed in the service of God on earth. Another passage of Scripture, Ps 102:25-27, is recited, in which the Almighty power of the Lord Jesus Christ is declared, both in creating the world and in changing it. Christ will fold up this world as a garment, not to be abused any longer, not to be used as it has been. As a sovereign, when his garments of state are folded and put away, is a sovereign still, so our Lord, when he has laid aside the earth and heavens like a vesture, shall be still the same. Let us not then set our hearts upon that which is not what we take it to be, and will not be what it now is. Sin has made a great change in the world for the worse, and Christ will make a great change in it for the better. Let the thoughts of this make us watchful, diligent, and desirous of that better world. The Saviour has done much to make all men his friends, yet he has enemies. But they shall be made his footstool, by humble submission, or by utter destruction. Christ shall go on conquering and to conquer. The most exalted angels are but ministering spirits, mere servants of Christ, to execute his commands. The saints, at present, are heirs, not yet come into possession. The angels minister to them in opposing the malice and power of evil spirits, in protecting and keeping their bodies, instructing and comforting their souls, under Christ and the Holy Ghost. Angels shall gather all the saints together at the last day, when all whose hearts and hopes are set upon perishing treasures and fading glories, will be driven from Christ's presence into everlasting misery.And again - Margin, "When he bringeth in again." The proper construction of this sentence probably is, "But when, moreover, he brings in," etc. The word "again" refers not to the fact that the Son of God is brought "again" into the world, implying that he had been introduced before; but it refers to the course of the apostle's argument, or to the declaration which is made about the Messiah in another place. "The name Son is not only given to him as above, but also in another place, or on another occasion when he brings in the first-begotten into the world." "When he bringeth in." When he introduces. So far as the "language" here is concerned this might refer to the birth of the Messiah, but it is evident from the whole connection that the writer means to refer to something that is said in the Old Testament. This is plain because the passage occurs among quotations designed to prove a specific point - that the Son of God, the Author of the Christian system, was superior to the angels.

A declaration of the writer here, however true and solemn, would not have answered the purpose. A "proof-text" was missing; a text which would be admitted by those to whom he wrote to bear on the point under consideration. The meaning then is, "that on another occasion different from those to which he had referred, God, when speaking of the Messiah, or when introducing him to mankind, had used language showing that he was superior to the angels." The meaning of the phrase, "when he bringeth in," therefore, I take to be, when he introduces him to people; when he makes him known to the world - to wit, by the declaration which he proceeds immediately to quote. "The first-begotten." Christ is called the "first-begotten," with reference to his resurrection from the dead, in Revelation 1:5, and Colossians 1:18. It is probable here, however, that the word is used, like the word "first-born," or "first-begotten" among the Hebrews, by way of eminence.

As the first-born was the principal heir, and had special privileges, so the Lord Jesus Christ sustains a similar rank in the universe of which God is the Head and Father; see notes on John 1:14, where the word "only-begotten" is used to denote the dignity and honor of the Lord Jesus. "Into the world." When he introduces him to mankind, or declares what he is to be. "He saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." Much difficulty has been experienced in regard to this quotation, for it cannot be denied that it is intended to be a quotation. In the Septuagint these very words occur in Deuteronomy 32:43, where they are inserted in the Song of Moses. But they are not in the Hebrew, nor are they in all the copies of the Septuagint. The Hebrew is, "Rejoice, O ye nations with his people; for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries." The Septuagint is, "Rejoice ye heavens with him; and let all the angels of God worship him. Let the nations rejoice with his people, and let all the sons of God be strong in him, for he has avenged the blood of his sons." But there are objections to our supposing that the apostle had this place in his view, which seem to me to settle the matter.

(1) one is, that the passage is not in the Hebrew; and it seems hardly credible that in writing to Hebrews, and to those residing in the very country where the Hebrew Scriptures were constantly used, he should adduce as a proof-text on an important doctrine what was not in their Scriptures.

(2) a second is, that it is omitted in all the ancient versions except the Septuagint.

(3) a third is, that it is impossible to believe that the passage in question in Deuteronomy had any reference to the Messiah. It does not relate to his "introduction" to the world. It would not occur to any reader that it had any such reference. The context celebrates the victory over the enemies of Israel which God will achieve. After saying that "his arrows would be drunk with blood, and that his sword would devour flesh with the blood of the slain and of captives, from the time when he began to take vengeance on an enemy," the Septuagint (not the Hebrew) immediately asserts, "let the heavens rejoice at the same time with him, and let all the angels of God worship him." That is, "Let the inhabitants of the heavenly world rejoice in the victory of God over the enemies of his people, and let them pay their adoration to him." But the Messiah does not appear to be alluded to anywhere in the context; much less described as "introduced into the world."

There is, moreover, not the slightest evidence that it was ever supposed by the Jews to have any such reference; and though it might be said that the apostle merely quoted "language" that expressed his meaning - as we often do when we are familiar with any well-known phrase that will exactly suit our purpose and convey an idea - yet it should be remarked that this is not the way in which this passage is quoted. It is a "proof-text," and Paul evidently meant to be understood as saying that that passage had a "fair" reference to the Messiah. It is evident, moreover, that it would be admitted to have such a reference by those to whom he wrote. It is morally certain, therefore, that this was not the passage which the writer intended to quote. The probability is, that the writer here referred to Psalm 97:7, (in the Septuagint Psalm 96:7). In that place, the Hebrew is, "worship him, all ye gods" כל אלהים kaal 'elohiym - "all ye 'elohiym."

In the Septuagint it is, "Let all his angels worship him;" where the translation is literal, except that the word "God" - "angels of God" - is used by the apostle instead of "his" - "all his angels" - as it is in the Septuagint. The word "gods" - אלהים 'elohiym - is rendered by the word "angels" - but the word may have that sense. Thus, it is rendered by the Septuagint; in Job 20:15; and in Psalm 8:6; Psalm 137:1. It is well known that the word אלהים 'elohiym may denote "kings" and "magistrates," because of their rank and dignity; and is there anything improbable in the supposition that, for a similar reason, the word may be given also to "angels"? The fair interpretation of the passage then would be, to refer it to "angelic beings" - and the command in Psalm 97:1-12 is for them to do homage to the Being there referred to. The only question then is, whether the Psalm can be regarded properly as having any reference to the Messiah? Did the apostle fairly and properly use this language as referring to him? On this we may remark:

(1) That the fact that he uses it thus may be regarded as proof that it would be admitted to be proper by the Jews in his time, and renders it probable that it was in fact so used.

(2) two Jewish Rabbis of distinction - Rashi and Kimchi - affirm that all the Psalms P1 Samuel 93-101 are to be regarded as referring to the Messiah. Such was, and is, the opinion of the Jews.

(3) there is nothing in the Psalm which forbids such a reference, or which can be shown to be inconsistent with it. Indeed the whole Psalm might be taken as beautifully descriptive of the "introduction" of the Son of God into the world, or as a sublime and glorious description of his advent. Thus, in Hebrews 1:1, the earth is called on to rejoice that the Lord reigns. In Hebrews 1:2-5, he is introduced or described as coming in the most magnificent manner - clouds and darkness attend him; a fire goes before him; the lightnings play; and the hills melt like wax - a sublime description of his coming, with appropriate symbols, to reign, or to judge the world. In Hebrews 1:6, it is said that all people shall see his glory; in Hebrews 1:7, that all who worship graven images shall be confounded, and "all the angels are required to do him homage;" and in Hebrews 1:8-12, the effect of his advent is described as filling Zion with rejoicing, and the hearts of the people of God with gladness. It cannot be proveD, therefore, that this Psalm had no reference to the Messiah; but the presumption is that it had, and that the apostle has quoted it not only as it was usually regarded in his time, but as it was designed by the Holy Ghost. If so, then it proves, what the writer intended, that the Son of God should be adored by the angels; and of course that he was superior to them. It proves also more. Whom would God require the angels to adore? A creature? A man? A fellow-angel? To ask these questions is to answer them. He could require them to worship none but God, and the passage proves that the Son of God is divine.

6. And—Greek, "But." Not only this proves His superiority, BUT a more decisive proof is Ps 97:7, which shows that not only at His resurrection, but also in prospect of His being brought into the world (compare Heb 9:11; 10:5) as man, in His incarnation, nativity (Lu 2:9-14), temptation (Mt 4:10, 11), resurrection (Mt 28:2), and future second advent in glory, angels were designed by God to be subject to Him. Compare 1Ti 3:16, "seen of angels"; God manifesting Messiah as one to be gazed at with adoring love by heavenly intelligences (Eph 3:10; 2Th 1:9, 10; 1Pe 3:22). The fullest realization of His Lordship shall be at His second coming (Ps 97:7; 1Co 15:24, 25; Php 2:9). "Worship Him all ye gods" ("gods," that is, exalted beings, as angels), refers to God; but it was universally admitted among the Hebrews that God would dwell, in a peculiar sense, in Messiah (so as to be in the Talmud phrase, "capable of being pointed to with the finger"); and so what was said of God was true of, and to be fulfilled in, Messiah. Kimchi says that the ninety-third through the hundred first Psalms contain in them the mystery of Messiah. God ruled the theocracy in and through Him.

the world—subject to Christ (Heb 2:5). As "the first-begotten" He has the rights of primogeniture (Ro 8:29); Col 1:15, 16, 18). In De 32:43, the Septuagint has, "Let all the angels of God worship Him," words not now found in the Hebrew. This passage of the Septuagint may have been in Paul's mind as to the form, but the substance is taken from Ps 97:7. The type David, in the Ps 89:27 (quoted in Heb 1:5), is called "God's first-born, higher than the kings of the earth"; so the antitypical first-begotten, the son of David, is to be worshipped by all inferior lords, such as angels ("gods," Ps 97:7); for He is "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Re 19:16). In the Greek, "again" is transposed; but this does not oblige us, as Alford thinks, to translate, "when He again shall have introduced," &c., namely, at Christ's second coming; for there is no previous mention of a first bringing in; and "again" is often used in quotations, not to be joined with the verb, but parenthetically ("that I may again quote Scripture"). English Version is correct (compare Mt 5:33; Greek, Joh 12:39).

This is a further proof of the great gospel Minister being more excellent than angels, by God’s command to them to worship him.

And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world: palin some refer to God the Father’s speech, as: Again he saith: others think it too gross a transposition, and unusual in the Scripture, and so read it as it stands in the Greek text: He again, or a second time, bringeth, &c. This hath started a query about what time it is that the Father saith this, and that he brought in the First-born into the world? Some say it was at his incarnation; others, at his coming to judgment. Considering the former proofs brought out of Psalm 2:7, and 2 Samuel 7:14, it seems most fairly to be at his resurrection and ascension, when the decree was proclaimed of his being the great King; and he was actually exalted far above all gods, whether angels or men: compare Psalm 2:7, with Psalm 97:1,9, and Acts 13:33, to which agrees Colossians 1:15,18. Then was the demonstration of what a royal Head he was to be, and how acknowledged by all, Philippians 2:9-11.

He saith, And let all the angels of God worship him; he powerfully and effectually publisheth his command unto his angels, as recorded by his prophet in his word. Psalm 97:7, where the sense of the Hebrew text is full: Bow down to him all ye Elohim, or gods; which the Septuagint renders angels, and is so quoted by Paul here; and the Spirit warrants it: so is it rendered, Deu 32:43. That translation was commonly used by the dispersed Graecising Hebrews. This title is attributed to angels, Psalm 8:5. By their worship they do obey the Father, and own their subjection to his Son at his resurrection, Matthew 28:2 Luke 24:4 John 20:12; and at his ascension, Acts 1:9,10 Re 5:11,12: so that the worshipped is more excellent than the worshippers. And again, when he bringeth the first begotten into the world;.... By "the first begotten" is meant Christ. This is a name given him in the Old Testament, and is what the Hebrews were acquainted with, and therefore the apostle uses it; it is in Psalm 89:27 from whence it seems to be taken here, and which the ancient Jews (u) acknowledge is to be understood of the Messiah; who, as the Son of God, is the only begotten of the Father, and was begotten from eternity, as before declared, and before any creature had a being, and therefore called the firstborn of every creature, Colossians 1:15 and is sometimes styled the first begotten from the dead; he rose the first in time, and is the first in causality and dignity: and he may be called the firstborn, with respect to the saints, who are of the same nature with him, and are partakers of the divine nature, and are adopted into the family of God, though they are not in the same class of sonship with him; and the bringing of him into the world may refer to his second coming, for this seems agreeable from the natural order of the words, which may be rendered, "when he shall bring again", &c. that is, a second time, and from Psalm 97:1 from whence the following words are cited; and from the glory he shall then have from the angels, who will come with him, and minister to him; and not to his resurrection from the dead, when he was exalted above angels, principalities, and powers; though, as we read the words, they seem to regard his first coming in to this habitable world, at his incarnation and birth, when he was attended with angels, and worshipped by them, according to the order of God the Father, as follows:

he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him; these words are cited from Psalm 97:7 where the angels are called Elohim, gods. So Aben Ezra on the place observes, that there are some (meaning their doctors) who say, that "all the gods are the angels"; and Kimchi says, that the words are not imperative, but are in the past tense, instead of the future,

all the angels have worshipped him; that is, they shall worship him; as they have done, so they will do. According to our version, they are called upon to worship God's firstborn, his only begotten Son, with a religious worship and adoration, even all of them, not one excepted; which shows, that Christ, as the first begotten, is the Lord God, for he only is to be served and worshipped; and that if angels are to worship him, men ought; and that angels are not to be worshipped, and that Christ is preferable to them; and the whole sets forth the excellency and dignity of his person. Philo the Jew (w) often calls the Logos, or Word of God, his first begotten.

(u) Shemot Rabba, sect. 19. fol. 104. 4. (w) De Agricultura, p. 195. De Confus. Ling. p. 329, 341. Somniis, p. 597.

{7} And {l} again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

(7) He proves and confirms the dignity of Christ revealed in the flesh, by these six evident testimonies by which it appears that he far surpasses all angels, so much so that he is called both Son, and God in Heb 1:5,6,7,8,10,13.

(l) The Lord was not content to have spoken it once, but he repeats it in another place.

Hebrews 1:6. Ὅταν, with the conjunctive aorist, takes the place of the Latin futurum exactum. See Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 289. Ὅταν εἰσαγάγῃ cannot consequently mean, as was still assumed by Bleek I., and recently by Reuss:[35] “when He brings in,” but only: “when He shall have brought in.” To take πάλιν, however, with the Peshito, Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Jac. Cappellus, Schlichting, Grotius, Limborch, Hammond, Bengel, Wolf, Carpzov, Cramer, Valckenaer, Schulz, Kuinoel, Bleek, Stengel, Ebrard, Bloomfield, Reuss, alii, as Hebrews 1:5, i.e. merely as the formula for linking on a new citation, is forbidden by the position of the words. It must then have been written: πάλιν δέ, ὅταν εἰσαγάγῃλέγει. The possibility of an inversion of the ΠΆΛΙΝ is defended, it is true, by Bleek, after the precedent of Carpzov, on the authority of two passages in Philo (Legg. Allegor. iii. p. 66; ed. Mangey, p. 93). But neither of these presents a case analogous to the one before us, nor does an inversion of the πάλιν at all take place in them. For in both ΠΆΛΙΝ has the signification in turn, or on the other hand, inasmuch as in the former two classes of persons (ὁ δὲ νοῦν τὸν ἴδιον ἀπολείπων and Ὁ ΔἙ ΠΆΛΙΝ ἈΠΟΔΙΔΡΆΣΚΩΝ ΘΕΌΝ), in the latter two classes of ΔΌΞΑΙ or opinions (Ἡ ΜῈΝ ΤῸΝ ἘΠῚ ΜΈΡΟΥς, ΤῸΝ ΓΕΝΝΗΤῸΝ ΚΑῚ ΘΝΗΤῸΝ ἈΠΟΛΙΠΟῦΣΑ and Ἡ ΔῈ ΠΆΛΙΝ ΘΕῸΝ ἈΠΟΔΟΚΙΜΆΖΟΥΣΑ), are compared together by way of contrast, in such wise that in both ΠΆΛΙΝ only serves for bringing the ΔΈ into stronger relief, and in both has occupied its legitimate place. By virtue of its position, ΠΆΛΙΝ, in our passage, can be construed only with ΕἸΣΑΓΆΓῌ, in such wise that a bringing again of the First-born into the world, which is an event still belonging to the future, is spoken of. In the former member of Hebrews 1:6 the reference can accordingly be neither to the time of the Incarnation of the Son (Chrysostom, Primasius, Calvin, Owen, Calov, Bengel, Storr, Kuinoel [Stuart: or beginning of His ministry], Bleek II. alii); nor to the time of the Resurrection and Exaltation to heaven (Schlichting, Grotius, Hammond, Wittich, Braun, Wetstein, Rambach, Peirce, Whitby, and others); nor, as Bleek I. supposed, to a moment yet preceding the Incarnation of Christ, in which the Father had, by a solemn act as it were, conducted forth and presented the Son to the beings created by Him, as the First-born, as their Creator and Ruler, who was to uphold and guide all things,[36]—which in any case would be an entirely singular thought in the N. T.,—but simply and alone to the coming again of Christ to judgment, and the accomplishment of the Messianic kingdom. So, rightly, Gregory Nyssen, contra Eunom. Orat. iii. p. 541; Cornelius a Lapide, Cameron [Mede: for the inauguration of His millennial kingdom], Gerhard, Calmet, Camerarius, Estius, Gomar, Böhme, de Wette, Tholuck, Bisping, Hofmann (Schriftbew. I. p. 172, 2d ed.), Delitzsch, Riehm (Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 306, 617), Alford, Conybeare, Maier, Moll, Kurtz, Ewald, M‘Caul, Woerner. The objection brought by Bleek and Ebrard against this interpretation of the former member, required as it is by the exigencies of the grammar, viz. that the discourse could not turn on the bringing again of the First-born into the world, unless an earlier bringing in of the same into the world, or at least a former being of the Son ἐν τῇ οἰκουμένῃ had been explicitly spoken of, is invalidated by Hebrews 1:1; Hebrews 1:3, where certainly the discourse was already of the historic appearing of the Son on earth, and thus of a first bringing in of the same into the world. The additional objection of Bleek, however, that the author would hardly have limited the scope of a divine summons to the angels to do homage to the First-born to a time even in his day future, is set aside by the consideration that, according to Hebrews 2:9, Christ was during His earthly life humbled to a condition beneath the angels, and only the Parousia itself is the epoch at which His majesty will be unfolded in full glory.

ΤῸΝ ΠΡΩΤΌΤΟΚΟΝ] in the N. T. only here without more precisely defining addition; comp. however, Psalm 89:28 (27). That the expression must not be regarded as equivalent to ΜΟΝΟΓΕΝΉς, as is done by Primasius, Oecumenius (ΤῸ ΔῈ ΠΡΩΤΌΤΟΚΟΝ ΟὐΚ ἘΠῚ ΔΕΥΤΈΡΟΥ ΛΈΓΕΙ ἈΛΛʼ ἘΠῚ ἙΝῸς ΚΑῚ ΜΌΝΟΥ ΤΟῦ ΓΕΝΝΗΘΈΝΤΟς ἘΚ ΤΟῦ ΠΑΤΡΌς), Clarius, and even now by Stengel, is self-evident. But neither is it identical with the ΠΡΩΤΌΤΟΚΟς ΠΆΣΗς ΚΤΊΣΕΩς, Colossians 1:15, in such wise that the temporal priority of Christ, as the eternal Logos, over all creatures, and the notion of His precedence over all creatures, necessarily resulting therefrom, should be contained in the word (Bleek, Grimm in the Theol. Literaturbl. to the Darmstadt A. K.-Z., No. 29, p. 662; Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 292 f.; Kurtz, Ewald, and others). For this interpretation is excluded by the absoluteness of the expression in our passage. Rather is Christ called the First-born with respect to Christians, who are His brethren (Hebrews 2:11 f.), and therefore likewise υἱοί of God (Hebrews 2:10). Comp. also Romans 8:29.

As, for the rest, the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews terms Christ the First-born Son of God; so does Philo also term the Logos the First-born Son. Comp. de Agricultura, p. 195 B (ed. Mangey, I. p. 308): τὸν ὀρθὸν αὑτοῦ λόγον, πρωτόγονον υἱύν. De Confus. Ling. p. 329 (ed. Mang. I. p. 415): τοῦτον μὲν γὰρ πρεσβύτατον υἱὸν ὃ τῶν ὄντων ἀνέτειλε πατήρ, ὅν ἐτέρωθι πρωτόγονον ὠνόμασεν, al.

ἡ οἰκουμένη] the world, not in the widest sense (equivalent to οἱ αἰῶνες, Bleek; or to Ἡ ΟἸΚΟΥΜΈΝΗ Ἡ ΜΈΛΛΟΥΣΑ, Böhme); but, since the former member has reference to the Parousia, the habitable earth.

λέγει] sc. ὁ θεός, not Ἡ ΓΡΑΦΉ (Grotius, Clericus, Böhme, and others). The present is chosen, because the utterance of God, which shall infallibly be made in the future, stands already noted down in the Scripture.

The citation is not derived from Psalm 97:7, but from Deuteronomy 32:43. For, in the former passage, the LXX. have a reading divergent from that of our text, in the words: καὶ προσκυνήσατε αὐτῷ πάντες [οἱ] ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ, whereas in the Codex Vaticanus of Deuteronomy 32:43, the words occur as in our text; while the ΚΑΊ, taken up by the author into his citation, manifestly points—seeing that it is without any importance for his reasoning—to the verbatim reproduction of an O. T. utterance. Now, it is true our author follows in other cases a form of the Sept. text which bears affinity less to that contained in the Codex Vaticanus than to that in the Codex Alexandrinus, and the latter displays the variation from the Cod. Vat. Deuteronomy 32:43, in so far as ΥἹΟῚ ΘΕΟῦ is found therein in place of ἌΓΓΕΛΟΙ ΘΕΟῦ. But the Song of Moses, of which Deuteronomy 32:43 forms the conclusion, is communicated anew, in many MSS. of the LXX., and so also in the Codex Alexandrinus, in a second recension, having its place after the Psalms; and in this second recension the Codex Alexandrinus, too, reads ἌΓΓΕΛΟΙ ΘΕΟῦ, only the article ΟἹ has been interpolated between ΠΆΝΤΕς and ἌΓΓΕΛΟΙ. It is probable, therefore, that the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews did not take the citation direct from Deuteronomy 32:43, but mediately, i.e. from that second recension of the hymn.

It remains to be said that the words of the citation are wanting in the Hebrew; they are found only in the LXX.

προσκυνεῖν] with the dative only in the case of later classic authors, whereas the earlier combine the accusative with this verb. Comp. Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 463; Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 113, 266. The N. T. has both constructions, as besides them the Hebraizing turns προσκυνεῖν ἐνώπιον, or ἜΜΠΡΟΣΘΈΝ ΤΙΝΟς, or ΤῶΝ ΠΟΔῶΝ ΤΙΝΟς. See the Lexicons.

ΑὐΤῷ] That this pronoun of the third person was to be referred to the Messiah naturally suggested itself, inasmuch as Jehovah is the subject speaking immediately before in the Song.

[35] Comp. Reuss, L’épître aux Hébreux. Essai d’une traduction accompagnée d’un commentaire (Nouvelle Revue de Théologie, vol. v. 4e, 5e, et 6e livraison, Strasb. et Paris 1860, p. 199).

[36] In like manner Reuss, l.c. p. 201: “Il est plus naturel de songer au moment, où le monde nouvellement créé était sommé de reconnaître le Fils comme créateur. A ce moment, les anges seuls étaient les êtres formant pour ainsi dire l’Eglise du Verbe (comme Hebrews 12:22), et qui pouvaient recevoir l’ordre de Dieu d’adorer le Fils.”Hebrews 1:6. ὅταν δὲ πάλιν εἰσαγάγῃ … “And when He shall again have brought the first-begotten into the world [of men], He says, “And let all God’s angels worship Him”. Having shown that “Son” is a designation reserved for the Messiah and not given to any of the angels, the writer now advances a step and adduces a Scripture which shows that the relation of angels to the Messiah is one of worship. It is not easy to determine whether πάλιν merely indicates a fresh quotation (so Bleek, Bruce, etc.) as in Hebrews 1:5; or should be construed with εἰσαγάγῃ. On the whole, the latter is preferable. Both the position of πάλιν and the tense of εἰσαγ. seem to make for this construction. The “bringing in” is still future. Apparently it is to the second Advent reference is made; cf. Hebrews 9:28. To refer εἰσαγ. to the incarnation, with Chrysostom, Calvin, Bengel, Bruce (see esp. Schoettgen); or to the resurrection with Grotius; or to an imagined introduction of the Son to created beings at some past period, with Bleek, is, as Weiss says, “sprachwidrig”. Rendall remarks: “The words bring in have here a legal significance; they denote the introduction of an heir into his inheritance, and are used by the LXX with reference to putting Israel in possession of his own land both in the time of Joshua and at the Restoration (Exodus 6:8; Exodus 15:17; Deuteronomy 30:5).” This throws light not only on εἰσαγ. but also on πρωτότοκον and οἰκουμένην, and confirms the interpretation of the clause as referring to the induction of the first-born into His inheritance, the world of men. πρωτότ. is used of Christ (1) in relation to the other children of Mary (Luke 2:7; Matthew 1:25); (2) in relation to other men (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:18); (3) in relation to creation (Colossians 1:15). Nowhere else in N.T. is it used absolutely; but cf. Psalm 89:27. “I will make him first-born,” i.e., superior in dignity and closer in intimacy. λέγει, the present is used because the words recorded in Scripture and still unfulfilled are meant. These words, καὶ προσκυνησάτωσαν … occur verbatim in Moses’ song (Deuteronomy 32:43). In the Alexandrian text, from which this writer usually quotes, we find υἱοὶ Θεοῦ (v. Swete’s LXX), but in a copy of the song subjoined to the Psalter this MS. itself has ἄγγελοι. The words are not represented in the Hebrew, and are supposed by Delitzsch to have been added in the liturgical use of Moses’ song. The part of the song to which they are attached represents the coming of God to judgment, a fact which further favours the view that it is the second Advent our author has in view.6. And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world] The older and literal rendering is as in the R. V., “and when he, again, shall have brought in …” The A. V. takes the word “again” (palin) as merely introducing a new quotation, as in Hebrews 1:5, and in Hebrews 2:13, Hebrews 4:5, &c. The word “again,” says Bp. Wordsworth, serves the purpose of inverted commas (see Romans 15:10-12). In that case it is displaced by an accidental hyperbaton or trajection, as this transmission of a word into another clause is called. If however the “again” belongs to the verb it can only be explained of Christ’s second coming to judge the world (Matthew 25:31) unless the writer, assuming the point of view of the ancient prophet, alludes to the Resurrection. But since the mere displacement of the palin is certainly possible, it is better to accept this simple explanation than either to adopt these latter theories or to suppose that there had been some previous and premundane presentation of the Son to all created beings. Hypotheses non fingo is a rule even more necessary for the theologian than for the scientist.

bringeth in] The Greek verb is in the aorist subjunctive (εἰσαγαγῇ), and means “shall have brought in,” exactly as in Exodus 13:5; Exodus 13:11 (where the same word occurs in the LXX.) and as in Luke 17:10, “when ye shall have done all that is commanded you” (ποιήσητε).

the firstbegotten] Rather, “first-born.” This title (see Psalm 89:27) was always applied in a Messianic sense to Christ as “the first-born of all creation” (Colossians 1:15; and the first-born of many brethren (Hebrews 2:10-11).

into the world] The Greek word here used is not kosmos the material world, but oikoumene “the habitable world.”

he saith] The language of the Scriptures is regarded as a permanent, continuous, and living utterance (Hebrews 3:7, Hebrews 5:6, Hebrews 8:8-10, Hebrews 10:5, &c.).

And let all the angels of God worship him] It is doubtful whether the quotation is from Psalm 97:7 “worship Him all ye gods (Elohim)”—where the word Elohim is rendered “angels” in the LXX. as in Psalm 8:5—or rather from Deuteronomy 32:43, where there is an “and,” and where the LXX. either added these words or found them in the Hebrew text. The Messianic application of the word is natural in the latter passage, for there Jehovah is the speaker, and if the “him” is applied to the ideal Israel, the ideal Israel was the Jasher or “upright man,” and was the type of the Messiah. The Apostles and Evangelists always describe Christ as returning “with the Holy Angels” (Matthew 25:31; Mark 8:38), and describe “all Angels and authorities” as “subject unto Him” (1 Peter 3:22; Revelation 5:11-13).Hebrews 1:6. Ὅταν δὲ πάλιν εἰσαγάγῃ τὸν πρωτότοκον εἰς τὴν οἰκουμένην, and again, when He brings His First-begotten into the world) Comp. with ὅταν, when, ὅταν in Jam 1:2, joined with the 2d Aor. subj. The particle δὲ, but, intimates that something more important is to follow. Not only is the Son greater than angels, but He is worshipped by angels. ἡ οἰκουμένη, is the world subject to Christ, ch. Hebrews 2:5, as the First-begotten; see the psalm last quoted, and presently about to be quoted. This introduction implies something more than a mission, or mere sending. Both, however, take for granted τὴν προΰπαρξιν, the pre-existence of the Son of GOD; and His entrance into the world corresponds to that pre-existence: ch. Hebrews 10:5. He entered, by the will of GOD, when He presented Himself to do the will of GOD, ch. Hebrews 10:5; with which comp. ch. Hebrews 9:11; when He came into the world, as He is everywhere said to have done. Πάλιν, again, is brought in, corresponding to the common word, likewise, where scripture upon scripture is quoted, Hebrews 1:5, ch. Hebrews 2:13, Hebrews 10:30; but the meaning of this particle is more clearly seen when it is enclosed in a parenthesis, the verb, I say, or some other of that kind, being supplied, in this manner: But when (I shall again state what GOD says concerning His Son) He brings in His First-begotten. So John 12:39, They could not believe, because (I shall again quote Isaiah) the same prophet says, He has blinded, etc. Matthew 5:33, Ye have heard (I shall again bring forward an example) that it was said to the ancients. For the forms of quotation are somewhat freely introduced into a speech; ch. Hebrews 8:5, ὃρα γὰρ φησι, instead of For, He says, See.

The appellation, First-begotten, includes the appellation, Son, and further shows the force of its signification. For it involves the rights of primogeniture, which the Only-begotten most eminently possesses. Paul also uses similar language, Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15; Colossians 1:18. In this passage, the appellation, First-begotten, includes the description of the subject of Whom the Psalm is treating, with the Ætiology[7] or reason given for the predicate, viz. He is brought in, for He is the First-begotten.—λέγει, He says) An abbreviated mode of expression. When the bringing in was predicted, the word was given; when the bringing in was accomplished, the same word was fulfilled. He says, viz. GOD; comp Hebrews 1:5. Therefore the word αὐτῷ, Him, presently after, refers to the Son.—καὶ προσκυνησάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι Θεοῦ, and let all the angels of GOD worship Him) LXX., Deuteronomy 32, before Deuteronomy 1:43, has these words: εὐφράνθητε οὐρανοὶ ἅμα αὐτῷ καὶ προσκυνησάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι Θεοῦ, which are wanting in the Hebrew text and in the Chaldee Paraphrase. Mill is of opinion that the omission was occasioned long ago by the recurrence of the verb הרנינו. Then [after the words in the LXX. at the beginning of Deuteronomy 1:43] there follows in Moses, εὐφράνθητε ἔθνη μετὰ τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ, הרנינו גוים עמו (where ב after מ is wanting), which Paul, Romans 15:10, also refers to the times of the Messiah. Moses, especially in the Song, wrote of Christ. Nevertheless, Psalm 97:7 has, ΠΡΟΣΚΥΝΉΣΑΤΕ ΑὐΤῷ ΠΆΝΤΕς ΟἹ ἌΓΓΕΛΟΙ ΑὐΤΟῦ; and Paul refers to this psalm, for the bringing in of the First-begotten into the world, in this passage, corresponds to the inscription of the psalm in the LXX, τῷ Δαβὶδ, ὅτε ἡ γῆ αὐτοῦ καθίσταται, that is, of David, when the land is brought under his authority, as Oederus has observed.

[7] Ætiologia. See Append.Verse 6. - And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. The most obvious translation of the Greek here seems at first sight to be, "But whenever he [i.e. God] shall again bring [or, 'bring back'] the Firstborn into the inhabited world, he saith;" ὅταν εἰσαγάῃ denoting the indefiniteness of future time, and the position of πάλιν connecting it most naturally with εἰσαγάγῃ. If such be the force of πάλιν, the reference must be to the second advent; which, however, is not suggested by the context, in which there has been no mention of a first advent, but only of the assignation to the Messiah of the name of Son. This supposed reference to a second advent may be avoided by disconnecting πάλιν in sense from εἰσαγάγῃ, and taking it (as in the verse immediately preceding, and elsewhere in the Epistle) as only introducing a new quotation. And the Greek will bear this interpretation, though the order of the words, taken by themselves, is against it. The "Firstborn" (πρωτότοκος) is evidently the Son previously spoken of; the word is so applied (Psalm 89:27) in a passage undoubtedly founded on the text last quoted. The same word is applied in the New Testament to Christ, as "the Firstborn among many brethren," "the Firstborn of every creature," "the Firstborn from the dead" (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15, 18). And the idea conveyed by these passages may have been in the writer's mind, and intended to be understood by his Christian readers. But for the immediate purpose of his argument he may be supposed to refer only to this designation as applied in the Old Testament to the SON already spoken cf. Thus the meaning may be, "But, again, with reference to the time when he shall introduce this SON, the Firstborn, into our inhabited world, he speaks thus of the angels." Or it may be, "But whenever he shall bring a second time into the world the Firstborn who has already once appeared, he speaks thus of the angels." But the first meaning seems more suitable to the general context. The force of the writer's argument is the same, whichever view we take; the point being that, at the time of the advent of the So, whatever advent may be meant, the angels appear only as attendant worshippers. As to the understood nominative to "saith," we may suppose it to be "God," as in ver. 5. But it is to be observed that λέγει, without an expressed nominative, is a usual formula for introducing a scriptural quotation. The question remains - What is the text quoted, and how can it be understood as bearing the meaning here assigned to it? In the Hebrew Bible we find nothing like it, except in Psalm 97:7, "Worship him, all ye gods," A.V.; where the LXX. has προσκυνήσατε αὐτῷ πάντες οἱ ἄγγελοι Θεοῦ. But in Deuteronomy 32:43 we find in the LXX., though not in the Masoretic text, καὶπροσκυνησάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι Θεοῦ: the very words, including the introductory καὶ, which are quoted. Hence, the quotations in this Epistle being mainly from the LXX., we may conclude that this is the text referred to. It occurs towards the end of the Song of Moses, in connection with its concluding picture of the LORD'S final triumph, in which the nations are called upon to rejoice with his people, when he would avenge the blood of his servants, and render vengeance to his adversaries, and make atonement for (Greek, ἐκκαθαριεῖ) his land and for his people. Viewed in the light of later prophecy, this triumph is identified with that of the Messiah's kingdom, and is therefore that of the time of bringing "the Firstborn into the world." cf. Romans 15:10, where "Rejoice, ye Gentiles," etc., from the same passage, is applied to the time of Christ. It is no objection to the quotation that, as it stands in the Epistle, "the Firstborn," though not mentioned in the original, seems to be regarded as the object of the angels' worship. The passage is simply cited as it stands, the reader being left to draw his own inference; and the main point of it is that the angels in "that day" are not, like the Son, sharers of the throne, but only worshippers. Third quotation, marking the relation of angels to the Son.

And again, when he bringeth in, etc. (ὅταν δὲ πάλιν εἰσαγάγῃ)

Const. again with bringeth in. "When he a second time bringeth the first-begotten into the world." Referring to the second coming of Christ. Others explain again as introducing a new citation as in Hebrews 1:5; but this would require the reading πάλιν δὲ ὅταν and again, when. In Hebrews, πάλιν, when joined to a verb, always means a second time. See Hebrews 5:12; Hebrews 6:1, Hebrews 6:2. It will be observed that in this verse, and in Hebrews 5:7, Hebrews 5:8, God is conceived as spoken of rather than as speaking; the subject of λέγει saith being indefinite. This mode of introducing citations differs from that of Paul. The author's conception of the inspiration of Scripture leads him to regard all utterances of Scripture, without regard to their connection, as distinct utterances of God, or the Holy Spirit, or the Son of God; whereas, by Paul, they are designated either as utterances of Scripture in general, or of individual writers. Very common in this Epistle are the expressions, "God saith, said, spake, testifieth," or the like. See Hebrews 2:11, Hebrews 2:13; Hebrews 3:7; Hebrews 4:4, Hebrews 4:7; Hebrews 7:21; Hebrews 10:5, Hebrews 10:8, Hebrews 10:15, Hebrews 10:30. Comp. with these Romans 1:17; Romans 2:24; Romans 4:17; Romans 7:7; Romans 9:13; Romans 10:5, Romans 10:16, Romans 10:20, Romans 10:21; Romans 11:2. Ὅταν εἰσαγάγῃ whenever he shall have brought. The event is conceived as occurring at an indefinite time in the future, but is viewed as complete. Comp. John 16:4; Acts 24:22. This use of ὅταν with the aorist subjunctive never describes an event or series of events as completed in the past.

The first-begotten (τὸν πρωτότοκον)

Mostly in Paul and Hebrews. Comp. Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15, Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5. Μονογενής only-begotten (John 1:14, John 1:18; John 3:16, John 3:18; 1 John 4:9, never by Paul) describes the unique relation of the Son to the Father in his divine nature: πρωτότοκος first-begotten describes the relation of the risen Christ in his glorified humanity to man. The comparison implied in the word is not limited to angels. He is the first-born in relation to the creation, the dead, the new manhood, etc. See Colossians 1:15, Colossians 1:18. The rabbinical writers applied the title first-born even to God. Philo (De Confus. Ling. 14) speaks of the Logos as πρωτόγονος or πρεσβύτατος the first-born or eldest son.

And let all the angels of God worship him (καὶ προσκυνησάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι θεοῦ)

Προσκυνεῖν to worship mostly in the Gospels, Acts, and Apocrypha. In Paul only 1 Corinthians 14:25. Very often in lxx. Originally, to kiss the hand to: thence, to do homage to. Not necessarily of an act of religious reverence (see Matthew 9:18; Matthew 20:20), but often in N.T. in that sense. Usually translated worship, whether a religious sense is intended or not: see on Acts 10:25. The quotation is not found in the Hebrew of the O.T., but is cited literally from lxx, Deuteronomy 32:43. It appears substantially in Psalm 96:7. For the writer of Hebrews the lxx was Scripture, and is quoted throughout without regard to its correspondence with the Hebrew.

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