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Hebrews 1:9

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Thou hast loved righteousness - This is the characteristic of a just governor: he abhors and suppresses iniquity; he countenances and supports righteousness and truth.

Therefore God, even thy God - The original, δια τουτο εχρισε σε ὁ Θεος, ὁ Θεος σου, may be thus translated: Therefore, O God, thy God hath anointed thee. The form of speech is nearly the same with that in the preceding verse; but the sense is sufficiently clear if we read, Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee, etc.

With the oil of gladness - We have often had occasion to remark that, anciently, kings, priests, and prophets were consecrated to their several offices by anointing; and that this signified the gifts and influences of the Divine Spirit. Christ, ὁ Χριστος, signifies The Anointed One, the same as the Hebrew Messias ; and he is here said to be anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows. None was ever constituted prophet, priest, and king, but himself; some were kings only, prophets only, and priests only; others were kings and priests, or priests and prophets, or kings and prophets; but none had ever the three offices in his own person but Jesus Christ, and none but himself can be a King over the universe, a Prophet to all intelligent beings, and a Priest to the whole human race. Thus he is infinitely exalted beyond his fellows - all that had ever borne the regal, prophetic, or sacerdotal offices.

Some think that the word μετοχους, fellows, refers to believers who are made partakers of the same Spirit, but cannot have its infinite plenitude. The first sense seems the best. Gladness is used to express the festivities which took place on the inauguration of kings, etc.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Thou hast loved righteousness - Thou hast been obedient to the Law of God, or holy and upright. Nothing can be more truly adapted to express the character of anyone than this is to describe the Lord Jesus, who was “holy, harmless, undefiled,” who “did no sin, and in whose mouth no guile was found;” but it is with difficulty that this can be applied to Solomon. Assuredly, for a considerable part of his life, this declaration could not well be appropriate to him; and it seems to me that it is not to be regarded as descriptive of him at all. It is language prompted by the warm and pious imagination of the Psalmist describing the future Messiah - and, as applied to him, is true to the letter. “Therefore God, even thy God.” The word “even” inserted here by the translators, weakens the force of the expression. This might be translated, “O God, thy God hath anointed thee.” So it is rendered by Doddridge, Clarke, Stuart, and others.

The Greek will bear this construction, as well the Hebrew in Psalm 45:7. In the margin in the Psalm it is rendered “O God.” This is the most natural construction, as it accords with what is just said before. “Thy throne, O God, is forever. Thou art just and holy, therefore, O God, thy God hath anointed thee,” etc. It is not material, however, which construction is adopted. “Hath anointed thee.” Anciently kings and priests were consecrated to their office by pouring oil on their heads; see Leviticus 8:12; Numbers 3:3; 1 Samuel 10:1; 2 Samuel 2:7; Psalm 2:2; Isaiah 61:1; Acts 4:27; Acts 10:38; Note, Matthew 1:1. The expression “to anoint,” therefore, comes to mean to consecrate to office, or to set apart to some public work. This is evidently the meaning in the Psalm, where the whole language refers to the appointment of the personage there referred to to the kingly office. “The oil of gladness.” This probably means the perfumed oil that was poured on the head, attended with many expressions of joy and rejoicing. The inauguration of the Messiah as king would be an occasion of rejoicing and triumph. Thousands would exult at it as in the coronation of a king; and thousands would be made glad by such a consecration to the office of Messiah. “Above thy fellows.” Above thine associates; that is, above all who sustain the kingly office. He would be more exalted than all other kings. Doddridge supposes that it refers to angels, who might have been associated with the Messiah in the government of the world. But the more natural construction is to suppose that it refers to kings, and to mean that he was the most exalted of all.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Many Jews had a superstitious or idolatrous respect for angels, because they had received the law and other tidings of the Divine will by their ministry. They looked upon them as mediators between God and men, and some went so far as to pay them a kind of religious homage or worship. Thus it was necessary that the apostle should insist, not only on Christ's being the Creator of all things, and therefore of angels themselves, but as being the risen and exalted Messiah in human nature, to whom angels, authorities, and powers are made subject. To prove this, several passages are brought from the Old Testament. On comparing what God there says of the angels, with what he says to Christ, the inferiority of the angels to Christ plainly appears. Here is the office of the angels; they are God's ministers or servants, to do his pleasure. But, how much greater things are said of Christ by the Father! And let us own and honour him as God; for if he had not been God, he had never done the Mediator's work, and had never worn the Mediator's crown. It is declared how Christ was qualified for the office of Mediator, and how he was confirmed in it: he has the name Messiah from his being anointed. Only as Man he has his fellows, and as anointed with the Holy Spirit; but he is above all prophets, priests, and kings, that ever were employed in the service of God on earth. Another passage of Scripture, Ps 102:25-27, is recited, in which the Almighty power of the Lord Jesus Christ is declared, both in creating the world and in changing it. Christ will fold up this world as a garment, not to be abused any longer, not to be used as it has been. As a sovereign, when his garments of state are folded and put away, is a sovereign still, so our Lord, when he has laid aside the earth and heavens like a vesture, shall be still the same. Let us not then set our hearts upon that which is not what we take it to be, and will not be what it now is. Sin has made a great change in the world for the worse, and Christ will make a great change in it for the better. Let the thoughts of this make us watchful, diligent, and desirous of that better world. The Saviour has done much to make all men his friends, yet he has enemies. But they shall be made his footstool, by humble submission, or by utter destruction. Christ shall go on conquering and to conquer. The most exalted angels are but ministering spirits, mere servants of Christ, to execute his commands. The saints, at present, are heirs, not yet come into possession. The angels minister to them in opposing the malice and power of evil spirits, in protecting and keeping their bodies, instructing and comforting their souls, under Christ and the Holy Ghost. Angels shall gather all the saints together at the last day, when all whose hearts and hopes are set upon perishing treasures and fading glories, will be driven from Christ's presence into everlasting misery.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 180

The soul of the prophet, emptied of self, was filled with the light of the divine. As he witnessed to the Saviour's glory, his words were almost a counterpart of those that Christ Himself had spoken in His interview with Nicodemus. John said, “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all.... For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” Christ could say, “I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.” John 5:30. To Him it is declared, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” Hebrews 1:9. The Father “giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” DA 180.1

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 734

Jesus was taken, faint with weariness and covered with wounds, and scourged in the sight of the multitude. “And the soldiers led Him away into the hall, called Praetorium, and they call together the whole band. And they clothed Him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about His head, and began to salute Him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they ... did spit upon Him, and bowing their knees worshiped Him.” Occasionally some wicked hand snatched the reed that had been placed in His hand, and struck the crown upon His brow, forcing the thorns into His temples, and sending the blood trickling down His face and beard. DA 734.1

Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth! Behold the oppressor and the oppressed. A maddened throng enclose the Saviour of the world. Mocking and jeering are mingled with the coarse oaths of blasphemy. His lowly birth and humble life are commented upon by the unfeeling mob. His claim to be the Son of God is ridiculed, and the vulgar jest and insulting sneer are passed from lip to lip. DA 734.2

Satan led the cruel mob in its abuse of the Saviour. It was his purpose to provoke Him to retaliation if possible, or to drive Him to perform a miracle to release Himself, and thus break up the plan of salvation. One stain upon His human life, one failure of His humanity to endure the terrible test, and the Lamb of God would have been an imperfect offering, and the redemption of man a failure. But He who by a command could bring the heavenly host to His aid—He who could have driven that mob in terror from His sight by the flashing forth of His divine majesty—submitted with perfect calmness to the coarsest insult and outrage. DA 734.3

Christ's enemies had demanded a miracle as evidence of His divinity. They had evidence far greater than any they had sought. As their cruelty degraded His torturers below humanity into the likeness of Satan, so did His meekness and patience exalt Jesus above humanity, and prove His kinship to God. His abasement was the pledge of His exaltation. The blood drops of agony that from His wounded temples flowed down His face and beard were the pledge of His anointing with “the oil of gladness” (Hebrews 1:9.) as our great high priest. DA 734.4

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Ellen G. White
The Faith I Live By, 117.1

Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Hebrews 1:9. FLB 117.1

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 59

Those who are looking for the revelation of Christ in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, as King of kings and Lord of lords, in life and character will seek to represent Him to the world. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” They will hate sin and iniquity, even as Christ hated sin. They will keep the commandments of God, as Christ kept His Father's commandments. They will realize that it is not enough to acquiesce in the doctrines of truth, but that the truth must be applied to the heart, practiced in the life, in order that the followers of Christ may be one with Him, and that men may be as pure in their sphere as God is in His sphere. There have been men in every generation who have claimed to be the sons of God, who paid tithes of mint and anise and cummin, and yet who led a godless life; for they neglected the weightier matters of the law—mercy, justice, and the love of God.... RC 59.2

The sons of God will not be like the worldling; for the truth received into the heart will be the means of purifying the soul, and transforming the character, and of making its receiver like-minded with God. Unless a man becomes like-minded with God, he is still in his natural depravity. If Christ is in the heart, He will appear in the home, in the workshop, in the marketplace, in the church. The power of the truth will be felt in elevating, ennobling the mind, and softening and subduing the heart, bringing the whole man into harmony with God. He who is transformed by the truth will shed a light upon the world. He that hath the hope of Christ in him will purify himself even as He is pure. The hope of Christ's appearing is a large hope, a far-reaching hope. It is the hope of seeing the King in His beauty, and of being made like Him.... RC 59.3

He that abideth in Christ is perfected in the love of God, and his purposes, thoughts, words, and actions are in harmony with the will of God expressed in the commandments of His law. There is nothing in the heart of the man who abides in Christ that is at war with any precept of God's law. Where the Spirit of Christ is in the heart, the character of Christ will be revealed, and there will be manifested gentleness under provocation, and patience under trial. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” Righteousness can be defined only by God's great moral standard, the Ten Commandments. There is no other rule by which to measure character.—The Signs of the Times, June 20, 1895. RC 59.4

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 66.2

How few have any conception of the anguish which rent the heart of the Son of God during His thirty years of life upon earth. The path from the manger to Calvary was shadowed by sorrow and grief. He was the Man of Sorrows, and endured such heartache as no human language can portray. He could have said in truth, “Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow” (Lamentations 1:12). His suffering was the deepest anguish of the soul; and what man could have sympathy with the soul anguish of the Son of the infinite God? Hating sin with a perfect hatred, He yet gathered to His soul the sins of the whole world, as He trod the path to Calvary, suffering the penalty of the transgressor. Guiltless, He bore the punishment of the guilty; innocent, yet offering Himself to bear the penalty of the transgression of the law of God. The punishment of the sins of every soul was borne by the Son of the infinite God. The guilt of every sin pressed its weight upon the divine soul of the world's Redeemer. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. In assuming the nature of man, He placed Himself where He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, that by His stripes we might be healed. TMK 66.2

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 118.4

The essence and flavor of all obedience is the outworking of a principle within—the love of righteousness, the love of the law of God. The essence of all righteousness is loyalty to our Redeemer, doing right because it is right. When the Word of God is a burden because it cuts directly across human inclinations, then the religious life is not a Christian life, but a tug and a strain, an enforced obedience. All the purity and godliness of religion are set aside. TMK 118.4

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