Hebrew i. 6-8.-"And again when He bringeth in the First-Begotten
into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him. And
of the Angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers
a flame of fire. But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever
[1.] Our Lord Jesus Christ calls His coming in the flesh an exodus [or
going out]: as when He saith, "The sower went out to sow." (Matt. xiii.
3.) And again, "I went out from the Father, and am come." (John xvi. 28.)
And in many places one may see this. But Paul calls it an [eisodus or]
coming in, saying, "And when again He bringeth in the First-Begotten into
the world," meaning by this Bringing in, His taking on Him flesh.
Now why has he so used the expression? The things signified [thereby]
are manifest, and in what respect it is [thus] said. For Christ indeed
calls it a Going out, justly; for we were out from God. For as in royal
palaces, prisoners and those who have offended the king, stand without,
and he who desires to reconcile them, does not bring them in, but himself
going out discourses with them, until having made them meet for the king's
presence, he may bring them in, so also Christ hath done. Having gone out
to us, that is, having taken flesh, and having discoursed to us of the
King's matters, so He brought us in, having purged the sins, and made reconciliation.
Therefore he calls it a Going out.
But Paul names it a Coming in, from the metaphor of those who come to
an inheritance and receive any portion or possession. For the saying, "and
when again He bringeth in the First-Begotten into the world," means this,
"when he putteth the world into His hand." For when He was made known,
then also He obtained possession of the whole thereof, He saith not these
things concerning God The Word, but concerning that which is according
to the flesh. For if according to John, "He was in the world, and the world
was made by Him" (John i. 10): how is He "brought in," otherwise than in
"And," saith he, "Let all the angels of God worship Him." Whereas he
is about to say something great and lofty, he prepares it beforehand, and
makes it acceptable, in that he represents the Father as "bringing in"
the Son. He had said above, that "He spake to us not by prophets but by
His Son"; that the Son is superior to angels; yea and he establishes this
from the name [Son]. And here, in what follows, from another fact also.
What then may this be? From worship. And he shows how much greater He is,
as much as a Master is than a slave; just as any one introducing another
into a house straightway commands those having the care thereof to do him
reverence; [so] saying in regard to the Flesh, "And let all the Angels
of God worship Him."
Is it then Angels only? No; for hear what follows: "And of His Angels
He saith, Which maketh His Angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of
fire: but unto the Son, Thy Throne, O God, is for ever and ever." Behold,
the greatest difference! that they are created, but He uncreated. While
of His angels He saith, who "maketh"; wherefore of the Son did He not say
"Who maketh"? Although he might have expressed the difference as follows:
"Of His Angels He saith, Who maketh His Angels spirits, but of the Son,
`The Lord created Me': `God hath made Him Lord and Christ.'" (Prov. viii.
22; Acts ii. 36.) But neither was the one spoken concerning the Son, nor
the other concerning God The Word, but concerning the flesh. For when he
desired to express the true difference, he no longer included angels only,
but the whole ministering power above. Seest thou how he distinguishes,
and with how great clearness, between creatures and Creator, ministers
and Lord, the Heir and true Son, and slaves?
[2.] "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and
ever." Behold a symbol of Kingly Office. "A scepter of righteousness is
the scepter of Thy kingdom." Behold again another symbol of Royalty.
Then again with respect to the flesh (ver. 9) "Thou hast loved righteousness
and hated iniquity, therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee."
What is, "Thy God"? Why, after that he hath uttered a great word, he
again qualifieth it. Here he hits both Jews, and the followers of Paul
of Samosata, and the Arians, and Marcellus, and Sabellius, and Marcion.
How? The Jews, by his indicating two Persons, both God and Man;1 the other
Jews,2 I mean the followers of Paul of Samosata, by thus discoursing concerning
His eternal existence, and uncreated essence: for by way of distinction,
against the word, "He made," he put, "Thy throne, O God, is for everand
ever." Against the Arians there is both this same again, and also that
He is not a slave; but if a creature, He is a slave. And against Marcellus
and the others, that these are two Persons, distinguished in reference
to their subsistence.3 And against the Marcionites, that the Godhead is
not anointed, but the Manhood.
Next he saith, "Above Thy fellows." But who are these His "fellows"
other than men? that is Christ received "not the Spirit by measure." (John
iii. 34.) Seest thou how with the doctrine concerning His uncreated nature
he alwaysjoins also that of the "Economy"? what can be clearer than this?
Didst thou see how what is created and what is begotten are not the same?
For otherwise he would not have made the distinction, nor in contrast to
the word, "He made" [&c.], have added, "But unto the Son He said, Thy
throne, O God, is for ever and ever." Nor would he have called the name,
"Son, a more excellent Name," if it is a sign of the same thing. For what
is the excellence? For if that which is created, and that which is begotten
be the same, and they [the Angels] were made, what is there [in Him] "more
excellent"? Lo! again o Qeoj, "God," with the Article.4
[3.] And again he saith (ver. 10-12): "Thou Lord in the beginning
hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of
Thine hands. They shall perish, but Thou remainest, and they shall all
wax old as a garment, and as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they
shall be changed: but Thou art the same and Thy years shall not fail."
Lest hearing the words, "and when He bringeth in the First-Begotten
into the world"; thou shouldest think it as it were a Gift afterwards super-added
to Him; above, he both corrected this beforehand, and again further corrects,
saying, "in the beginning": not now, but from the first. See again he strikes
both Paul of Samosata and also Arius a mortal blow, applying to the Son
the things which relate to the Father. And withal he has also intimated
another thing by the way, greater even than this. For surely he hath incidentally
pointed out also the transfiguration of the world, saying, "they shall
wax old as a garment, and as a vesture Thou shall fold them up, and they
shall be changed." Which also he saith in the Epistle to the Romans, that
he shall transfigure the world. (See Rom. viii. 21.) And showing the facility
thereof, he adds, as if a man should fold up a garment so shall He both
fold up and change it. But if He with so much ease works the transfiguration
and the creation to what is better and more perfect, needed He another
for the inferior creation? How far doth your shamelessness go? At the same
time too this is a very great consolation, to know that things will not
be as they are, but they all shall receive change, and all shall be altered,
but He Himself remaineth ever existing, and living without end: "and Thy
years," he saith, "shall not fail."
1 duo\ pro/swpa deiknu\j, kai\ Qeo\n kai\ a@nqrwpon.
That is both two distinct Persons in the Godhead, and also the Divine and
human natures of the Christ. The corrector would seem to have understood
it "two Persons, both God and man"; the common texts read duo\ to\n au0to\n
deiknu\j, k. q. k. a0. "showing the same [Person] to be two, both God and
man." [The first kai; may well be translated both. It seems to have been
omitted by the corrector simply as superfluous, not as altering the sense.-F.
2 Sav. and Ben. omit 'Ioudai/ouj. The teaching of Paul
of Samosata was regarded as closely connected with Judaism, and he and
his followers were called Jews.
3 kata\ th\n u9po/stasin, see above, pp. 370, 371, notes.
4 The Ben. editor observes that it had been said that
o9 qeo/j with the article is used in Scripture only of the Father, and
that St. Chrys. here as in other places argues that it is used of the Son.