Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. The....high
priest of our profession. That is, of the faith we confess, or profess. Christ is also here called our apostle,
i.e. sent by his Father. (Witham) --- Jesus Christ is not only our apostle, he is the doctor, the legislator of the religion
we profess. He is our high priest, who offered himself in sacrifice for the sanctification of his Church, and who is now exercising
at the right hand of his Father the office of the priesthood in our behalf, both in heaven and on earth. We here see our dignity:
we have a God for the apostle and high priest of our religion.
Ver. 2. Faithful
to him, &c. To be made, may apply to Christ as man; but here the sense is, who made him head over all his Church.
Ver. 3. Of
greater glory, &c. The apostle shews Christ to be greater than Moses several ways. 1. Christ is as
much above Moses, as an architect above the house which he has made; for Christ (who, as God, made all things) is the builder
of that very house, that is, of the house of Israel, of which Moses was only a part of a member. 2. Moses
was only employed in the house, as a servant, to give testimony to others, as he was ordered. (Witham)
Ver. 6. Christ,
as a Son in his own house: which house, or Church of the faithful are we: and Christ is our only Lord and Master,
equally with the Father, and the Holy Ghost; but we are all members, and profitable members, if we retain firm the confidence
in him, and the glory of hope, or a glorious hope unto the end. (Witham) --- Hitherto St. Paul endeavours to
detach the Hebrews from Moses and the law, to attach them to Christ and his gospel. What follows, is an exhortation to persevere
in the faith, lest we come to be cast off like the Jews.
Ver. 8. This
alludes to the 17th chapter of Exodus, where the history of provocations and contradictions of the Israelites is related at
Ver. 11. As
I have sworn in my wrath: if they shall enter into my rest. But if here implies the same as they shall
not. See Mark viii. 12. And that this is the sense here, appears by the 18th verse, where it is expressly said, they
should not enter into his rest; i.e. to rest in the land of Chanaan[Canaan], promised to them. (Witham)
Ver. 12. Take
heed, &c. Not to imitate their incredulous obstinacy, lest you never enter into the place of eternal rest, by departing
from God by sin. (Witham) --- To abandon Christ is to abandon God, since Christ is God. He who denies the Son, believes not
the Father, who has wrought so many miracles to sanction his mission. (1 John ii. 23.) It is of little consequence to eternity
whether it be the doctrine of faith or the life of faith we reject, if persons are equally lost by either practical or speculative
Ver. 13. To
day. The duration of the present life may be accounted but a day, which God destines for the trial of our faith and obedience;
we ought, therefore, to labour hard during the short time of the present day, that we may live and reign with God for all
eternity. We cannot too often entertain this truth in our hearts, if we wish to square our lives after the gospel. The heart
of man becomes insensibly hardened to Christian truths, when its natural corruption is not courageously attacked.
Ver. 14. You
have already been made partakers of the benefits of Christ, at your conversion and baptism, to the beginning
of his substance, by which seems to be understood the faith of Christ. (Witham) --- If to subsist in Jesus Christ,
to be washed in his blood, to be animated with his spirit, to be nourished with his flesh, is but a sketch, a seed of that
union with him which on a future day is to be effected, how comes it that we are so attached to this earth, how can we hazard
for such a mere trifle such immense felicity?
Ver. 15. From
the 6th and 14th verses we learn the great happiness conferred on us at baptism; but all this, happily, we are taught is dependent
on faith, on the foundation of our spiritual and divine being.
Ver. 16. Let
us not flatter ourselves with having quitted Egypt by our baptism, unless we also quit that opposition, and that disobedience
of our heart to the laws and maxims of the gospel. The Israelites, under the guidance of Moses, left Egypt for the promised
land, and after travelling in the desert for the space of two years, found themselves on the confines of the so much desired
country; but the possession of it was denied them, and they were left to perish in the desert, because they distrusted God's
promises, and were incredulous to his word. All that happened to this chosen people, says St. Paul, was a figure of what was
to happen to us. Here then we may read our destiny, if, like them, we prove ungrateful to God.
Ver. 17. Whose
carcasses were laid, or buried in the desert? None of those who were reckoned up (Numbers xiv.) entered the land
of Chanaan[Canaan], except Josue[Joshua] and Caleb; but then we may take notice, that none were there numbered under twenty
years of age, nor the Levites, nor the women. (Witham)
 Ver. 11. Si introibunt, ei eiseleusontai.
 Ver. 14. Initium substantiŠ ejus, ten archen tes upostaseos.
See Chap. xi. 1. Est fides sperandarum substantia rerum, elpizomenon upostasis.
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Christ is more excellent than Moses: and therefore we
must adhere to him by faith and obedience.
1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly vocation, consider
the apostle and high priest of our profession, Jesus:
2 Who is faithful to him who appointed him, as was also *Moses in all
3 For he was deemed worthy of greater glory than Moses, by so much as
he who hath built the house, hath greater honour than the house.
4 For every house is built by some man: but he who created all things,
5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a
testimony of those things which were to be spoken:
6 But Christ, as a Son in his own house: which house are we, if we hold
firm the confidence, and the glory of hope unto the end.
7 Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith: *To-day, if you shall hear his
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation
in the desert,
9 Where your fathers tempted me, proved, and saw my works,
10 Forty years: For which cause I was offended with this generation,
and I said: They always err in heart. And they have not known my ways,
11 As I have sworn in my wrath: If they shall enter into my rest.
12 Take heed, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart
of unbelief, to depart from the living God:
13 But exhort one another every day, whilst to-day is named: lest any
one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ: yet so if we hold the beginning
of his substance firm unto the end.
15 While it is said: To-day, if you shall hear his voice, harden not
your hearts, as in that provocation.
16 For some who heard did provoke: but not all who came out of Egypt
17 And with whom was he offended forty years? Was it not with those who
sinned, *whose carcasses fell in the desert?
18 And to whom did he swear that they should not enter into his rest:
but to them that believed not.
19 And we see that they could not enter in, because of unbelief.
2: Numbers xii. 7.
7: Psalm xciv. 8.; Hebrews iv. 7.
17: Numbers xiv. 37.