Hebrews 12:3
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) The figure of the race is still continued, “For unless ye thus look unto Jesus ye will grow weary.”

Consider.—Literally, compare; place your sufferings by the side of His.

Him that endured such contradiction.—Rather, Him that hath endured such gainsaying from sinners against themselves. The word “gainsaying,” (Hebrews 6:16; Hebrews 7:7) is so frequently used in the LXX. for the rebelliousness of the people of Israel, that we need not here limit it to contradiction in words. The change of “Himself” into “themselves” (the reading of the oldest MSS.) is important, but it is not easy to say with what the last two words should be joined; for the meaning may be either “sinners against themselves” (comp. Numbers 16:38), or “gainsaying against themselves,” In either case the force of the words will be that the sin or the opposition manifested against Him was really against themselves, since it was for their salvation that He came upon earth. To all His other sorrows were added the pain of their ingratitude and His grief over their aggravated guilt.

And faint.—Rather, fainting in your souls.

Hebrews 12:3-4. For consider him — Draw the comparison and think; the Lord bore all this, and shall his servants bear nothing? If he suffered, if he endured such things, why should not we do so also? If he, though so great, so excellent, so infinitely exalted above us; yet endured such contradiction of sinners — Such grievous things, both in words and deeds, from his enemies; against himself — Ought not we to do so too, if called to it? Consider this; lest ye be wearied — By the greatness and length of your trials and sufferings; and faint in your minds — Lest your hearts should fail you, and you should draw back, partially or totally, from the profession of the gospel. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood — Your sufferings are far short of those which Christ endured. He grants that they had met with many sufferings already, but their enemies had been so restrained that they had not proceeded to take their lives, or to inflict wounds and bruises upon their bodies. By which the apostle intimates two things: 1st, That those who are engaged in the profession of the gospel have no security that they shall not be called to the utmost and last sufferings, by laying down their lives on account of it; and 2d, That whatever befalls us on this side martyrdom, is to be looked on as a fruit of divine tenderness and mercy. Striving against sin — Or against violent and injurious persons, and in opposing men’s wicked practices, and your own sinful inclinations, lusts, and passions.12:1-11 The persevering obedience of faith in Christ, was the race set before the Hebrews, wherein they must either win the crown of glory, or have everlasting misery for their portion; and it is set before us. By the sin that does so easily beset us, understand that sin to which we are most prone, or to which we are most exposed, from habit, age, or circumstances. This is a most important exhortation; for while a man's darling sin, be it what it will, remains unsubdued, it will hinder him from running the Christian race, as it takes from him every motive for running, and gives power to every discouragement. When weary and faint in their minds, let them recollect that the holy Jesus suffered, to save them from eternal misery. By stedfastly looking to Jesus, their thoughts would strengthen holy affections, and keep under their carnal desires. Let us then frequently consider him. What are our little trials to his agonies, or even to our deserts? What are they to the sufferings of many others? There is a proneness in believers to grow weary, and to faint under trials and afflictions; this is from the imperfection of grace and the remains of corruption. Christians should not faint under their trials. Though their enemies and persecutors may be instruments to inflict sufferings, yet they are Divine chastisements; their heavenly Father has his hand in all, and his wise end to answer by all. They must not make light of afflictions, and be without feeling under them, for they are the hand and rod of God, and are his rebukes for sin. They must not despond and sink under trials, nor fret and repine, but bear up with faith and patience. God may let others alone in their sins, but he will correct sin in his own children. In this he acts as becomes a father. Our earthly parents sometimes may chasten us, to gratify their passion, rather than to reform our manners. But the Father of our souls never willingly grieves nor afflicts his children. It is always for our profit. Our whole life here is a state of childhood, and imperfect as to spiritual things; therefore we must submit to the discipline of such a state. When we come to a perfect state, we shall be fully reconciled to all God's chastisement of us now. God's correction is not condemnation; the chastening may be borne with patience, and greatly promote holiness. Let us then learn to consider the afflictions brought on us by the malice of men, as corrections sent by our wise and gracious Father, for our spiritual good.For consider him - Attentively reflect on his example that you may be able to bear your trials in a proper manner.

That endured such contradiction of sinners - Such opposition. The reference is to the Jews of the time of the Saviour, who opposed his plans, perverted his sayings, and ridiculed his claims. Yet, regardless of their opposition, he persevered in the course which he had marked out, and went patiently forward in the execution of his plans. The idea is, that we are to pursue the path of duty and follow the dictates of conscience, let the world say what they will about it. In doing this we cannot find a better example than the Saviour. No opposition of sinners ever turned him from the way which he regarded as right; no ridicule ever caused him to abandon any of his plans; no argument, or expression of scorn, ever caused him for a moment to deviate from his course.

Lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds - The meaning is, that there is great danger of being disheartened and wearied out by the opposition which you meet with. But with the bright example of one who was never disheartened, and who never became weary in doing the will of God, you may persevere. The best means of leading a faithful Christian life amidst the opposition which we may encounter, is to keep the eye steadily fixed on the Saviour.

3. For—justifying his exhortation, "Looking unto Jesus."

consider—by way of comparison with yourselves, so the Greek.

contradiction—unbelief, and every kind of opposition (Ac 28:19).

sinners—Sin assails us. Not sin, but sinners, contradicted Christ [Bengel].

be wearied and faint—Greek, "lest ye weary fainting." Compare Isa 49:4, 5, as a specimen of Jesus not being wearied out by the contradiction and strange unbelief of those among whom He labored, preaching as never man did, and exhibiting miracles wrought by His inherent power, as none else could do.

For consider him; the connection is rational, that they ought to regard this example, for that there were greater sufferings behind than any yet they had endured, which would enforce it, as Hebrews 12:4: analogisasye signifieth the use of it proportionable consideration, thinking on or reasoning about this example within a man’s self, such as may make the considerer bear a proportion to the subject considered.

That endured such contradiction of sinners against himself; this Jesus spoken of before, who most patiently submitted to, and perseveringly bore up under, such opposition and contradiction by the words and works of the most wicked and vilest men against himself, who was the most innocent and best of men, always going about doing good to them, so as their sin and his patience were without parallel: none was ever so scorned, taunted, reviled, blasphemed, spit on, and ignominiously treated like him; and never any so invincibly endured it, Romans 15:3.

Lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds; the reason of this consideration is, lest faintness, languishing, or deficiency of soul, that is, of vigour, strength, and activity of heart in grace, should befall them; and so they should lie down and cease to run the Christian race, which the devil designed to oblige them to, as he would Christ, by the multitude and soreness of the contradictions they should suffer from sinners in it, so greatly as would not end but by broaching their life-blood, as they did Christ’s, and these must expect from them. For consider him,.... In the greatness of his person, as God, the Son of God, the heir of all things; and in his offices of prophet, priest, and King, as the Saviour of lost sinners, the Leader and Commander of the people, as the apostle and high priest of our profession: consider him in his human nature, his conversation on earth, and what he did and suffered for men; how that in his nature he was pure and holy, in his conversation harmless and innocent, in his deportment meek and lowly; who went about doing good to the souls of men, and at last suffered and died, and is now glorified: consider the analogy between him and us, and how great is the disproportion; and therefore if he was ill treated, no wonder we should consider him under all his reproaches and sufferings:

that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself; against his person, they denying his deity, and speaking against his sonship, and against his offices; mocking him as a King, deriding him as a prophet, and treating him with the utmost contempt as a priest and Saviour; and against his actions, his works of mercy to the bodies of men, when done on the sabbath day; his conversing with sinners for the good of their souls, as if he was an encourager of them in sin, and a partner with them; his miracles, as if they were done by the help of the devil; and against the whole series of his life, as if it was criminal. Now we should analogize this contradiction, and see what proportion there is between this, and what is endured by us: we should consider the aggravations of it, that it was "against himself"; sometimes it was against his disciples, and him through them, as it is now against his members, and him in them; but here it was immediately and directly against himself: and this he endured "from sinners"; some more secret, as the Scribes, Sadducees, and Pharisees; some more open, as the common people; some of them the vilest of sinners, the most abandoned of creatures, as the Roman soldiers, and Herod's men of war: and this should be considered, that we cannot be contradicted by viler or meaner persons; and it is worthy of notice, with what courage and bravery of mind, with what patience and invincible constancy he endured it: this should be recollected for imitation and encouragement,

lest ye be wearied, and faint in your minds; contradiction is apt to make persons weary and faint, as Rebekah was, because of the daughters of Heth, and as Jeremiah was, because of the derision of the Jews, Genesis 27:46 but a consideration of Jesus, and of what he has endured, tends to relieve the saints in such a condition; See Matthew 10:25.

{3} For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

(3) An amplification, taken from the circumstance of the person and the things themselves, which he compares between themselves: for how great is Jesus in comparison of us, and how far more grievous things did he suffer than we?

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 12:3. Γάρ] is here, on account of the imperative, the corroborative: Yea! (comp. Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 415 f.); and ἀναλογίζεσθαι, in the N. T. a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον, denotes the comparing or reflecting contemplation. Bengel: Comparatione instituta cogitate: Dominus tanta tulit; quanto magis servi ferant aliquid?

ἀντιλογία, however, denotes nothing else than contradiction; and what is meant is, the contending against Christ’s divine Sonship and Messianic dignity. The notion of opposition and ill-usage in act, which is ordinarily assigned to it (still also by Böhme, Bleek, de Wette, Tholuck, Bloomfield, Delitzsch, Alford, and Maier) along with that of contradiction, this word never has. Even ἀντιλέγειν, to which appeal is made, has nowhere the sense of a hostile resistance manifesting itself in outward actions. See Meyer on Luke 2:34; John 19:12; Romans 10:21.

τοιαύτην] such, i.e. one so great, sc. that He was compelled to undergo the ignominious death of the cross (Hebrews 12:2), in comparison with which your sufferings are something insignificant.

ἵνα μὴ κάμητε κ.τ.λ.] that ye may not grow weary, desponding in your souls. ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν is to be conjoined with ἐκλυόμενοι (Beza, Er. Schmid, Hammond, Kuinoel, Bleek, de Wette, Ebrard, Bisping, Delitzsch, Alford, Maier, Moll, Kurtz, Hofmann, al.), not with κάμητε (Luther, Bengel, Chr. Fr. Schmid, Storr, Schulz, Böhme, and others), since otherwise something of a dragging character would be imparted to the participle.Hebrews 12:3. ἀναλογίσασθε γὰρ.… The reason for fixing the gaze on Jesus is given. That reason being found in the τοιαύτην. This so great contumely and opposition endured by Jesus the Hebrews are to consider, “to bring into analogy, think of by comparing” with their own and so renew their hopeful endurance. τὸνἀντιλογίαν, “Him who has endured at the hands of sinners such contradiction against Himself.” The desire on the part of several interpreters to put a stronger meaning into ἀντιλογία—although quite unsupported by usage—reveals a feeling that verbal abuse or contradiction was a much less severe trial than such as are enumerated in chap. 11. But not only was it this ἀντιλογία which brought Christ to the cross and formed the αἰσχύνη of it, but it was the repudiation of His claims throughout His life which formed the chief element in His trial. It was predicted (Luke 2:34) that He would be a σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον, full of significance misinterpreted, full of God rejected. It was precisely this general rejection and contempt from which the Hebrews were themselves suffering. They were finding how hard it was to maintain a solitary faith contradicted and scorned by public sentiment. Think then, says this writer, of Him who has endured at the hands of sinners so much more painful contradiction “against Himself”. ἴνα μὴ κάμητε … “that ye wax not weary, fainting in your souls”. ψυχαῖς may be construed either with κάμητε or with ἐκλυόμενοι; better with the latter. [Polybius, xx. 4, 7, speaking of the demoralisation of the Boeotians says that giving themselves up to eating and drinking, οὐ μόνον ταῖς σώμασιν ἐξελύθησαν ἀλλὰ καὶ ταῖς ψυχαῖς.]3. consider] Lit., “compare yourselves with.” Contrast the comparative immunity from anguish of your lot with the agony of His (John 15:20).

that endured …] Who hath endured at the hand of sinners such opposition.

such contradiction of sinners against himself] The Greek word for “contradiction” has already occurred in Hebrews 6:16, Hebrews 7:7. Three uncials (א, D, E) read “against themselves.” Christ was a mark for incessant “contradiction,”—“a sign which is spoken against” (Luke 2:34).

lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds] The correction of the R. V., “that ye wax not weary, fainting in your souls,” will be reckoned by careless and prejudiced readers among the changes which they regard as meaningless. Yet, as in hundreds of other instances, it brings out much more fully and forcibly the exact meaning of the original. “That ye wax not weary” is substituted for “lest ye be weary” because the Greek verb, being in the aorist, suggests a sudden or momentary break-down in endurance; on the other hand, “fainting” is in the present, and suggests the gradual relaxation of nerve and energy which culminates in the sudden relapse. Lastly the word in the original is “souls,” not “minds.” Endurance was one of the most needful Christian virtues in times of waiting and of trial (Galatians 6:9).Hebrews 12:3. Ἀναλογίσασθε) consider, by instituting a comparison. The Lord has suffered so much; how much more should His servants encounter some suffering? It is, so to speak, a modal expression (an appeal to their feeling); for it very rarely happens that γὰρ is added to the imperative;—it is the same as if he had said: for the Lord has endured so great contradiction, and you ought to remember it. The force of the Ætiology (assigning of the reason by γὰρ) falls upon the other verb, which is put beside it; comp. ὑπομεμενηκότα, here, and also ὑπέμεινε, Hebrews 12:2.—ὑπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν, by sinners) It is said of us, against sin, Hebrews 12:4 : comp. Hebrews 12:1. Sin itself, by which others are led away and we are tempted, assails us; not sin, but sinners, contradicted Christ.—ἀντιλογίαν) LXX. ἀντιλογία for מדון, Psalm 80:7 : for ריב, often. Contradiction involves striving against, John 19:12; Acts 28:19, and mostly denotes the natural disposition of infidelity or unbelief, as confession follows faith.—ἵνα μὴ κάμητε ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν) LXX. κάμνων τῇ ψυχῇ μου, Job 10:1. For in other places κάμνειν refers to the body; but ἐκλυόμενοι is put absolutely, as Hebrews 12:5.—ἐκλυόμενοι) Hebrews 12:5. He who ἐκλύεται, actually fails or faints, κάμνει is habitually wearied out.Verse 3. - For consider him that hath endured such contradiction of sinners against himself (or, of the sinners against him), lest ye be weary fainting in your souls. The word ἀντιλογία ("contradiction"), though strictly applicable to verbal gainsaying, and thus especially suggesting to our minds the blasphemies and false accusations against Christ, includes opposition of all kinds. It is used in the LXX. for "rebellion" (Hebrew, סְרַי), 2 Samuel 22:41; Proverbs 17:11, cf. Jude 1:11, τῇ ἀντιλογιᾴ τοῦ Κορέ. (Instead of εἰς ἑαυτόν (al. εἰς αὐτὸν) there is weighty manuscript authority for εἰς ἑαυτούς, equivalent to "against themselves.") "Lest ye be weary," etc., keeps in view the idea of getting tired in a race, the word ἐκλυεσθαι ("faint") being used primarily for corporeal, and figuratively for mental, lassitude (cf. Matthew 15:32, μήποτε ἐκλυθῶσι ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ). For consider (ἀναλογίσασθε γὰρ)

Γὰρ for introduces the reason for the exhortation to look unto Jesus. Look unto him, for a comparison with him will show you how much more he had to endure than you have. Ἁναλογίζεσθαι N.T.o. Comp. 3 Macc. 7:7. It means to reckon up; to consider in the way of comparison.

Contradiction of sinners (ὑπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν ἀντιλογίαν)

Contradiction or gainsaying. See on Hebrews 6:16, and comp. Hebrews 7:7. See on gainsaying, Jde 1:11. Of sinners, ὑπὸ by, at the hands of.

Against himself (εἰς ἑαυτοὺς)

According to this text we should render "against themselves." Comp. Numbers 16:38. The explanation will then be that Christ endured the gainsaying of sinners, who, in opposing him, were enemies of their own souls. The reading ἑαυτοὺς however, is doubtful, and both Tischendorf and Weiss read ἑαυτὸν himself, which Iprefer.

Lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (ἵνα μὴ κάμητε ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν ἐκλυόμενοι)

Rend. "that ye be not weary, fainting in your minds." Ἐκλύειν is to loosen, hence, to relax, exhaust. So often in lxx. See Deuteronomy 20:3; Judges 8:15; 1 Samuel 14:28. Comp. Matthew 15:32; Mark 8:3; Galatians 6:9.

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