Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Called.—Rather, addressed. The divine words are, “Thou art a priest for ever.” In the quotation from the Psalm, “priest” is now altered into “High Priest.” The purport remains the same; or, rather, it is by this change of word that the meaning of the Psalm is fully expressed. This repetition of the words of Hebrews 5:6 at the close of the paragraph is singularly impressive.
At this point the course of the argument is interrupted by a long digression (Hebrews 5:11 to Hebrews 6:20), to which the writer is led by reflection on the inability of his readers to receive the teaching which befits their Christian standing. If, however, we remember the practical aim that is predominant in the Epistle, we can hardly call this a digression, so powerfully is every portion of it made subservient to one great purpose.Hebrews 5:10. Called — Προσαγορευθεις, denominated by God himself, or, as some understand the expression, openly declared, namely, in the 110th Psalm, before referred to; a high-priest after the order of Melchisedec — Or, according to the constitution of Melchisedec’s priesthood, which was a figure and example of Christ’s priesthood, in the peculiar properties and circumstances of it, namely, not by a material unction, legal ceremonies, or any human ordination, but by a heavenly institution, and the immediate unction of the divine Spirit. The Holy Ghost seems to have concealed who Melchisedec was, on purpose that he might be the more eminent type of Christ. This only we know, that he was a priest, and the king of Salem, or Jerusalem.Psalm 110:1-7;
An high priest - In the Septuagint Psalm 110:4, and in Hebrews 5:6, above, it is rendered "priest" - ἱερεύς hiereus - but the Hebrew word - כהן kohēn - is often used to denote the high priest, and may mean either; see Septuagint in Leviticus 4:3. Whether the word "priest," or "high priest," be used here, does not affect the argument of the apostle. "After the order of Melchizedek." see the notes at Hebrews 5:6.Psalm 110:1,2; which words of the psalmist the Spirit further explaineth in Hebrews 7:1-28, where he proves this gospel High Priest to be of a more excellent order than Aaron’s, even like that of Melchisedec, which it exceedeth, and which must last for ever. Psalm 110:4 there is a resemblance between Melchizedek and Christ; many things that are said of the one, agree with the other: there is a likeness in Melchizedek to Christ; in his person, and what is said of him, that he was without father and mother; and in his office as a priest, and in the manner of his instalment into it; and in the antiquity, dignity, and perpetuity of it: and this is repeated for the further confirmation of Christ's priesthood, and is a conclusion of the truth of it from sufficient evidence: this does not so much design the constitution of Christ as priest, nor the call of him to that office, as the denomination or surnaming of him a priest of Melchizedek's order, because of the agreement between them; and contains a reason of Christ's being the author of eternal salvation, because he is a priest for ever; and prevents any objections against Christ's priesthood, and opens a way to discourse more largely concerning it. Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Hebrews 5:10 is not to be separated from Hebrews 5:9 by a colon, and to be referred back to all that precedes, from Hebrews 5:7 onwards (Böhme). On the contrary, the statement connects itself closely with Hebrews 5:9, in that it contains an elucidation of the αἴτιος σωτηρίας αἰωνίου there found. Christ became for all believers author of everlasting blessedness, in that He was saluted (or named) of God as High Priest after the manner of Melchisedec. That is to say: In order to become the mediate cause of salvation for others, Christ must be the possessor of high-priestly dignity; but this was ascribed to Him on the part of God in the utterance from the psalm, already cited in Hebrews 5:6. Bengel: προσηγορία, appellatio sacerdotis, non solum secuta est consummationem Jesu, sed antecessit etiam passionem, tempore Psalm 110:4.
To appoint or constitute (Casaubon: constitutus; Schulz: proclaimed, publicly declared or appointed; Stengel: declared, appointed; Bloomfield: being proclaimed and constituted) προσαγορεύειν, a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον in the N. T., never means; but only to address, salute, name.Hebrews 5:10. προσαγορευθεὶς … Μελχισεδέκ “styled by God High Priest after the order of Melchizedek”. “προσαγορεύειν expresses the formal and solemn ascription of the title to Him to whom it belongs (‘addressed as,’ ‘styled’)” (Westcott). “When the Son ascended and appeared in the sanctuary on High, God saluted Him or addressed Him as an High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, and, of course, in virtue of such an address constituted Him such an High Priest” (Davidson). Originally called to the priesthood by the words of Psalms 110, He is now by His resurrection and ascension declared to be perfectly consecrated and so installed as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. It may be doubted, however, whether the full meaning of προσαγορεύειν “address” should here be found. The commoner meaning in writers of the time is “named” or “called”. Thus in Plutarch’s Pericles, iv. 4, Anaxagoras, ὃν Νοῦν προσηγόρευον, xxvii. 2, λευκὴν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην προσαγ., xxiv. 6, of Aspasia, Ηρα προσαγορεύεται. and viii. 2 of Pericles himself, Ὀλύμπιον … προσαγορευθῆναι. So in Diod. Sic., i. 51, of the Egyptians, τάφους ἀϊδίους οἴκους προσαγορεύουσιν. It cannot be certainly concluded either from the tense or the context that this “naming” is to be assigned to the date of the ascension and not to the original appointment. The emphasis is on the words ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ, not by man but by God has Christ been named High Priest; and on κατὰ … Μελχ. as warranting αἰωνίου.
The passage Hebrews 5:11 to Hebrews 6:20 is a digression occasioned by the writer’s reflection that his argument from the priesthood of Melchizedek may be too difficult for his hearers. In order to stimulate attention he chides and warns them, pointing out the danger of backwardness. He justifies, however, his delivery of difficult doctrine notwithstanding their sluggishness, and this on two grounds: (1) because to lay again the foundations after men have once known them is useless (Hebrews 6:1-8); and (2) because he cannot but believe that his readers are after all in scarcely so desperate a condition. They need to have their hope renewed. This hope they have every reason to cherish, seeing that their fathers have already entered into the enjoyment of it, that God who cannot lie has sworn to the fulfilment of the promises, and that Jesus has entered the heavenly world as their forerunner. 10. called] Lit, “saluted” or “addressed by God as.” This is the only place in the N.T. where the verb occurs.
a high priest after the order of Melchisedec] We should here have expected the writer to enter at once on the explanation of this term. But he once more pauses for a solemn exhortation and warning. These pauses and landing places (as it were) in his argument, cannot be regarded as mere digressions. There is nothing that they less resemble than St Paul’s habit of “going off at a word,” nor is the writer in the least degree “hurried aside by the violence of his thoughts.” There is in him a complete absence of all the hurry and impetuosity which characterise the style of St Paul. His movements are not in the least like those of an eager athlete, but they rather resemble the stately walk of some Oriental Sheykh with all his robes folded around him. He is about to enter on an entirely original and far from obvious argument, which he felt would have great weight in checking the tendency to look back to the rites, the splendours and the memories of Judaism. He therefore stops with the calmest deliberation, and the most wonderful skill, to pave the way for his argument by a powerful mixture of reproach and warning—which assisted the object he had in view, and tended to stimulate the spiritual dulness of his readers.Hebrews 5:10. Προσαγορευθεἱς) called. His name was the Song of Solomon of God; His surname, His appellation was Priest: προσηγορία, His being called a priest, not only followed the perfecting of Jesus, but also preceded His passion at the period mentioned in Psalm 110:4. The same word occurs 2Ma 14:37, where it is said that Razis was called (προσαγορευόμενος) the father of the Jews.
Rend. since he was addressed or saluted by God. God recognized and saluted him as that which he had become by passing through and completing his earthly discipline. Προσαγοεύειν to address N.T.o. A few times in lxx.
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