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world,' and all things therein contained, they do signify in this very epistle, chap. xi. 3.
5. Wherever the apostle in this epistle speaks in the Judaical idiom of the church state under the Messiah, he never calls it by the name of oixovporn, or aww, but still with the limitation of, “ to come," as chap. ii. 5. vi. 5. And where the word is used absolutely as in this place, and chap. xi. 3. it is the “ whole world” that is intended.
6. The context utterly refuseth this gloss. The Son in the preceding words is said to be made heir or Lord of all; that is of all things absolutely and universally, as we have evinced, and is confessed. To that assertion he subjoins a reason of the equity of that transcendent grant made to him, namely, because“ by him all things were made," whereunto he adds his upholding, ruling and disposing of them when so made by him ; “ he upholdeth all things by the word of his power.” That between the “ all things” whereof he is Lord, and the “ all things” that he upholds, there should be an interposition of words of the same import with them, expressing the reason of those that go before, and the foundation of that which follows, knitting both parts together, and yet indeed have a signification in them of things utterly heterogeneous to them, is most unreasonable to imagine.
We have now obtained liberty by removing the entanglements cast in our way, to proceed to the opening of the genuine sense and import of these words.
Ai's, by whom,' not as an instrument or an inferior intermediate created cause, for then also must he be created by himself, seeing all things that were made were made by him, John i. 3. but
as his own eternal Word, wisdom and power, Prov. viii. 22–24. John i. 3. The same individual creating act, being the work of Father and Son, whose power and wisdom being one and the same undivided, so also are the works which outwardly proceed from them. And as the joint working of Father and Son doth not infer any other subordination but that of subsistence and order, 80 the preposition dix doth not of itself intimate the subjection of an instrumental cause, being used sometimes to express the work of the Father himself, Gal. i. 1.
Eront, 192, 'created, so the apostle expresseth that word, Acts xvii. 24. 26. And the LXX. most commonly, as Gen. i. 1. though sometimes they use xtile, as our apostle also doth, chap. X. He made, created, produced out of nothing, by the things not seen," chap. xi. 3.
Tas alwas, alev, bw, so that word is constantly rendered by the Greeks. Ohy is to hide, or to be hid, kept secret, close, undiscovered. Whence a virgin is called mly, one not yet VOL. III.
come into the public state of matrimony, as by the Greeks on the same account xalexas.ctos, one shut up,' or a recluse,' as the Targumists call a harlot 812 mpos, a goer abroad, from that description of her, Prov. vii. 11, 12.
, “ her feet dwell not in her own house ; one while she is in the street, another while abroad.” As the mother of the family is called n'a nii, “ the dweller at home,” Psal. Ixviii. 13. Hence, why signifies the ages
of the world in their succession and duration, which are things secret and hidden; what is past is forgotten, what is to come is unknown, and what is present is passing away without much observation. See Eccles. i. 10.
The world then that is visible and a spectacle in itself, in respect of its continuance and duration, is obw, a thing hidden.' So that the word denotes the fabric of the world,' by a meta nymy of the adjunct. When the Hebrews would express the world in respect of the substance and matter of the universe, they do it commonly by a distribution of the whole into its most general and comprehensive parts, as the heavens, earth and sea, subjoining, all things contained in them. This the Greeks and Latins, from its order, frame and ornaments, call zoopos, and mundus, which principally respects that DOU 17700, that beauty and ornament of the heavens which God made by his Spirit, Job xxvi. 13. And as it is inhabited by the sons of men, they call it ban, that is, oix@petrn, that is, yoxsan, Prov. viii. 30." The world of the earth,” principally the habitable parts of the earth. As “ quickly passing away,”, they call it 4577; and in respect of its successive duration shw, that is olmay, the word here used.
2. 'Alaves, in the plural number, the worlds,' so called, chap. xi. 3. by a mere enallage of number, as some suppose, or with respect to the many ages of the world's duration. But moreover, the apostle accommodates his expression to the received opinion of the Jews, and their way of expressing themselves about the world. Obw, denotes the world as to the subsistence of it, and as to its duration ; in both these respects, the Jews distributed the world into several parts, calling them so many worlds. R. D. Kimchi on Isa. vi. distributes these worlds into three, on the account of which he says, Viip, holy, was three times repeated by the Seraphim. There are, saith he,
' heavens and stars; and Soun Bw, this world below. But in the first respect they generally assign these four, 1. Obwynt houn, the lower world,' the depressed world,' the earth and air in the several regions of it.
עולם העליון והוא עולם ;three worlds : ,שלשה עולמות the upper world which is the world of* ,המלאכים והנשמות the world of the ,עולם הגלגלים והכוכבים ,angels and spirits
the העולם המלאכים .2
world of angels, or ministering spirits, whom they suppose to inhabit high places, where they may superintend the affairs of the earth. 3. Sibaban Dhiy, the world of spheres,' and 4.7rbyn Dw, the highest world,' called by Paul “ the third heaven," 2 Cor. xii. 2. and by Solomon, sow now, “ the heaven of heavens,” 2 Kings viii
. 27. and niwan oby, Olam hanneshamoth, the world of spirits, or souls departed. In respect of duration they assign a five-fold world. l. 729 dbw, called by Peter the sold world,” or the world before the flood, the world that perished. 2. in Ow, the present world,' or the state of things under the Judaical church. Ti'w DN'In, 'the world of the coming of the Messiah,' or the world to come, as the apostle calls it, chap. ii. 5.
, the world of the resurrection of the dead.' And 5. 77784 Obw,' the prolonged world,' or life eternal. Principally with respect to the first distribution, as also to the duration of the whole world to the last dispensation mentioned in the second, doth the apostle here call it, tous alwas, the worlds.'
Thus the apostle having declared the honour of the Son as Mediator, in that he was made “ heir of all,” adds thereto his excellency in himself from his eternal power and godhead, which he not only asserts, but gives evidence to by an argument from the works of creation. And to avoid all straitening thoughts of this work, he expresseth it in terms comprehending the whole creation, in that distribution whereunto it was usually cast by themselves. As John contents not himself by affirming that he made all things, but adds to that assertion, that without him nothing was made that was made, John i. 3.
And this was of old the common faith of the Judaical church. That all things were made, and all things disposed by the Word of God, they all confessed. Evident footsteps of this faith abide still in their Targums. For that by the word of God so often mentioned in them, they did not understand the word of his power, but an hypostasis in the divine nature, is manifest from the personal properties which are every where assigned unto it; as the Word of God did this, said that, thought, went, and the like: as Psal. Ixviii. 17. they affirm that “ Word” which. gave the law on Mount Sinai, “ dwells in the highest heavens.” Yea, and they say in Bereschit Rabba, of those words, Gen. i. 2. “The Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters,"
, siah,' by whom they cannot deny but that all things were formed. And the apostle in this expression lets the Hebrews know, that Jesus the Messiah was that Word of God, “by whom all things were made.” And so the influence of these words on his present argument is manifest. For the Son, in whom
-this is the Spirit of the King Mes : זה רוחו של מלך המשיח
the Father had now spoken to them, and declared the gospel, being his eternal Word, by whom the world and all ages were created, there could be no question of his authority to alter their ceremonial worship, which he himself had appointed for a season.
Before we pass to the next verses, we may mark out those instructions, which the words passed through afford us in common, as to the abiding interest of all believers.
The foundation of them is, That the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the great prophet of his church under the New Testa ment, the only revealer of the will of the Father, as the Son and Wisdom of God, made the worlds, and all things contained in them. And therein,
1. We have an illustrious testimony given to the eternal Godhead and power of the Son of God; for he who made all things is God, as the apostle elsewhere affirms. And,
2. Unto the equity of his being made Heir, Lord, and Judge of all. No creature can decline the authority, or wave the tribunal of him that made them all. And,
3. A stable ground of faith, hope, contentment and patience, is administered unto the saints in all dispensations. He who is their Redeemer that bought them, hath all that interest in all things wherein they are concerned, that the sovereign right of creation can afford to him; besides that grant which is made to him for this very end, that they might be disposed of to his own glory, in their good and advantage, Isa. liv. 4, 5. And,
4. From this order of things, that Christ as the eternal Son of God having made the worlds, hath them, and all things in them, put under his power as Mediator and Head of the church, we may see in what a subserviency to the interest of the saints of the Most High, the whole creation is laid and disposed. And,
5. The way of obtaining a sanctified interest in, and use of the things of the old creation; namely, by receiving them not merely on the general account as made by the Son of God, but on the more especial account, of their being granted to him as Mediator of the church. And,
6. How men on both these foundations, are to be accountable for the use or abuse of the things of the first creation.
But besides these particular instances, there is that which is more general, and which we may a little insist upon from the context and design of the apostle in this whole discourse, the consideration of which will not again occur to us; and it is, That God in infinite wisdom ordered all things in the first creation, so as that the whole of that work inight be subservient to the glory of his grace, in the new creation of all by Jesus Christ.
By the Son he made the worlds in ihe beginning of time, that in the fulness of time he might be the just Heir and Lord of all. The Jews have a saying, that the world was made for the Messiah ; which is thus far true, that both it, and all things in it, were made, disposed of, and ordered in their creation, so as that God might be everlastingly glorified in the work which he was designed unto, and which by him he had to accomplish. I shall consider it only in the present instance; namely, that by the Son he made the worlds, that he might be the proper Heir and Lord of them; of which latter we shall treat more particularly on the ensuing words.
This was declared of old, where he was spoken of as the Wisdom of God, by whom he wrought in the creation and production of all things, Prov. viii. 22–30. Here this Son, or Wis. dom of God, declares at large, 1. His co-existence with bis Father from eternity, before all or any of the visible or invisible creation were by his power brought forth, ver. 22, 23. and so onward. And then sets forth the infinite, eternal and ineffable delight, that was between him and his father, both before, and also in the work of creation, ver. 30. Farther, he declares his presence and co-operation with him in the whole work of making the world, and the several parts of it, ver. 27–30. which in other places is expressed as here by the apostle, that God by him made the worlds. After which he declares the end of all this dispensation ; namely, that he might“ rejoice in the habitable parts of the earth, and his delight be with the sons of men;" to whom therefore he calls to hearken unto him, that they may be blessed, ver. 31. to the end of the chapter; that is, that he might be meet to accomplish the work of their redemption, and bring them to blessedness, to the glory of the grace of God; which work his heart was set upon, and which he greatly delighted in, Psal. xl. 6.-8.
Hence the apostle John, in the beginning of his gospel, brings both the creations together: the first by the eternal Word, absolutely; the other by him as incarnate, that the suitableness and correspondence of all things in them might be evident. “ The Word was with God," saith he,“ in the beginning," and “ all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made,” ver. 1-3. But what was this to the Gospel that he undertook to declare? Yes, very much ; for it appears from hence, that when this Word was made flesh, and came and dwelt among us, ver. 14. that he came into the world that was made by him, though it knew him not, ver. 10. he came but to his own, whatever were the entertainment that he received, ver. 11. For this end then God made all things by him, that when he came to change and renew all things, he might have good right and title so to do, seeing he undertook