For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same…
Sundry are the respects wherein the devil may be said to have the power of death.
1. As he is the executioner of God's just judgment. He is in this regard as an hangman, who may be said to have the power of the gallows because he hangeth men thereon.
2. As he is like an hunter, fisher, fowler or falconer. He hunteth, fisheth, and fowleth for the life, not of unreasonable creatures only, but also of reasonable men.
3. As he is a thief and continually layeth wait for blood, and seeks the precious life of man's body and soul.
4. As a continual tempter to allure or drive men into sin, and thereby to death. Herein he spared not Christ Himself (Matthew 4:1, &c.).
5. As he is an accuser of men and as an adversary to press God's just law against men, and to call for judgment against them.
6. As he is a tormentor: for when he hath drawn men to sin he affirighteth them with the terror of death and damnation. In general nothing is more terrible than death. In this respect death is called the king of terrors (Job 18:14). This kind of power, namely of death, attributed to the devil —
(1) Showeth wherein his strength especially lieth: even in doing mischief and bringing men to destruction. His power is to hurt men. In this respect he hath names of destruction given unto him — as in Hebrew Abaddon, and in Greek Apollyon (Revelation 9:11), and he is styled a murderer (John 8:44).
(2) It manifested the vile slavery and woful bondage of the devil's vassals. They serve him who hath the power of death, and doth what he can to bring all to death. What can any expect from him but death? The task that he puts on them is sin: the wages that he gives is death (Romans 6:23).
(3) It is an incitation unto those to whom this kind of power is made known to be more watchful against Satan, more manful in resisting him, and the better prepared against his assaults.
(4) It warneth all of all sorts to renounce the devil and all his works, to come out of his Babel: to come into and abide in the glorious liberty of the sons of God, which Christ has purchased for us: and to renounce Satan's service. As the devil hath the power of death, so Christ hath the power of life (John 6:39, 40).
(5) It amplifieth both the glory and also the benefit of that conquest which Christ hath gotten over him that hath the power of death. Tile glory of that victory appeareth herein, that he hath overcome so potent an enemy as had the power of death. The benefit thereof herein appears that he hath overcome so malicious and mischievous an enemy as exercised his power by all manner of death. Hence ariseth the ground of this holy insultation, "O death, where is thy sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55). He who had the power of death, being destroyed, death now can have no more power over them that are redeemed by Christ.
Parallel VersesKJV: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
WEB: Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in the same way partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,