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(Ttep æv&pwwww) for men; the proposition (uteg) is sometimes (vice, or, loco,) in the stead, sometimes (pro) for, only as it denotes the final cause; as to do a thing “for” the good of men. 2 Tim. ii, 10. And both these senses may have place here. For where the first intention is, the latter is always included. He that doth any thing in the stead of another, doth it always for his good. And the high priest might be so far said to stand and act in stead of other men, as he appeared in their behalf, represented their persons,
, pleaded their cause, and confessed their sins: but in their behalf, or “for their good,” and advantage, to perform what on their part is with God to be performed, is evidently intended in this place. (Kæðrciale Ta APOS TOV Osov) is ordained in things pertaining to God. The verb is used most frequently in a neuter or passive sense, and in this place it can be no otherwise.
, So the apostle explains himself, chap. viii, 3; “Every high priest (rabigidice) is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices; which place expoundeth this. And two things are intended in the word; God's designation and appointment; and—actual consecration according to the law. So was it in the case of Aaron. And this latter part, or his ordination, belonged to the weakness and imperfection of that priesthood, so that he could not be consecrated without the sacrifices of other things. But the Lord Christ, being both priest and sacrifice himself, needed no such ordination, nor was capable of it. His ordination therefore consisted merely in the divine designation and appointment, as we shall see.
“In things pertaining to God." The expression ( TH TPOS TOV QEDV) is elliptical and sacred , but what is intended by it, is sufficiently manifest. The things that were "to be done with or towards God," in his
worship, to answer the duties and ends of the priestly office; that is to do the things whereby God might be appeased, and reconciled, his anger being turned away, chap. ii, 17.
$5. (III.) The remaining part of the description, in this verse, is from the end of the priesthood. ("Ivek προσφερη δωρα και θυσιας) «That he may offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.” The Hebrew word (ap) compriseth the whole sacerdotal performance, from first to last; in bringing, flaying, and burning the sacrifices according to the law, (see Lev, i, 245, and our exercitations concerning the Sacrifices of the Jews.) The object of this sacerdotal action is (δωρα και θυσιας) gifts and offerings; if a distinction be here supposed, I should think that by “gifts,”all free-will offerings might be intended; and by “sacrifices” those that were determined as to occasions, times, and seasons, by the law. But I rather judge that the apostle useth these two words in general to express all sorts of sacrifices for sins, and therefore that expression (utega pagtiww) for sins, may refer to (swpe) gifts, as well as (Puoles) sacrifices.
$6. (IV.) From the words thus expounded we may draw the following brief observations:
1. Christ's participation of our nature, as necessary for the discharge of the office of an High Priest on our behalf, is a great ground of consolation to believers, a manifest evidence that he is, and will be compassionate towards them. See chap. ii, ver. 10, 11, &c.
2. It was the entrance of sin that made the office of priesthood necessary; and therefore it was of infinite grace that such an appointment was made. Without it all holy intercourse between God and man must have ceased; for neither were the persons of sinners meet to approach God; nor was any service which they could perform, suited to the great end which man was to look after-peace with God. Again, men in their own persons had nothing to offer to God but their moral duties, which the law of their creation and the covenant of works required of them. Now these were no way meet nor able to make atonement for sin, the great work now to be done with God, and without which every thing else that can be done by sinners is of no consideration. God therefore appointing a new service for this end—that of sacrifices; appointed also a new way,—the performance of a priest in the name and behalf of others. And a most gracious appointment it was, as that on which all blessed intercourse with God, and all hopes with him, solely depend. Though the occasion was grievous, the relief is glorious
3. Where there is no proper propitiary sacrifice, there is no proper priest. Every priest is to offer sacrifices for sin; that is, to make atonement; and therefore Jesus Christ alone is the High Priest of his people, for he alone could offer a sacrifice for our sins to make atonement.
4. It was a great privilege which the church enjoyed of old in the divinely appointed representation of the priesthood and sacrifice of Christ, in their own typical priests and sacrifices: but much more glorious is our privilege under the gospel, since our Lord Jesus hath taken upon him and actually discharged this part of his office, in offering an absolutely perfect and complete sacrifice for sin. Here is the foundation of all our peace and happiness.
5. What is to be done with God on the account of sin, that it may be expiated and pardoned, and that the people of God who have sinned, may be accepted and blessed, is all actually done for them, by Jesus
Christ their High Priest, in the sacrifice for sin which he offered on their behalf. He was ordained (Ta TpOS TOM Degu) “to do all things with God,” that were to be done for us, that we might be pardoned, sanctified, and saved. This he undertook when he undertook his office. If any one thing be omitted, as good all were so; for assuredly none besides himself in heaven or earth could do ought in this matter; but he hath faithfully, mercifully, and fully done all that was to be done with God on our behalf. Particularly, as the grand and only foundation of happy intercourse between heaven and earth, he hath offered that great sacrifice which was promised and represented from the foundation of the world.
Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are
out of the way, for he himself is compassed with infirmity. $1. Introductory remarks, and the subject slated. 92. (I.) A necessary qualifica.
tion of a High Priest.' $3. (II.) The peculiar object of his sacerdotal aets. 54. (III.) A special reason of the qualification. $5.--8. (IV.) Observations. 69. Additional observations.
şi. The apostle having before proposed, doth in this and the ensuing verses farther pursue, a description of an High Priest, according to the law; that whatever was useful or excellent in such an High Priest, was to be found in a more eminent manner in Jesus Christ, the only real and proper High Priest of the church; as also that whatever was weak and infirm in such a Priest-necessarily attending his frail and sinful condition, which either eclipsed the glory, or weakened the efficacy of the office he discharged_had no place in him at all. To understand, therefore, aright the comparison here made between the High Priest under the law, and Jesus Christ, we must observe:
1. That all real necessary, useful conditions and qualifications of an High Priest, required by the law, were found in Jesus Christ, as our High Priest; whereby he answered the representations that were made of him under the Old Testament.
2. That whatever adhered necessarily to the persons of the High Priests, as they were sinful men, “partakers of our nature as depraved,” was not to be sought for, nor found in him. And to these there is added, as a necessary result of both,
3. That sundry things wherein the singular eminency and perfection of this office doth consist, were so peculiar to him, as that they never were not could be represented by the High Priest constituted such by the law. To this purpose is the observation of Chrysostom on the place: “First, he sets down the things that are common to both; then declares wherein he (Christ) excelleth; for so an excellency is set out by comparison, when in some things there is an equality, in others an excellency on one side,-and; if it be otherwise, there is no comparison.”
There are three things in the words:
First, a great and necessary qualification or endowment of an High Priest; he is one who is “able to have compassion."
Secondly, the peculiar object of his office_acts, proceeding from, and suited to that qualification; those who are ignorant, and who wander from the way.”
Thirdly, a special reason of the qualification, because he himself is compassed with infirmity."
$2. (I.) “Who can have compassion.” “Who can,” the word (duvapas) properly signifies natural ability; but, in a secondary sense, denotes also a moral
power, with respect to the bounds of our duty. So (illud possumus quod jure possumus,) “that we can do, which