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Commentary On Hebrews by Jean Calvin


Chapter 1:6 And again when he bringeth, etc Critics have found some difficulty in the order in which the particles are arranged here, and have proposed a transposition, which is not at all necessary. The word |firstbegotten,| or firstborn, seems to have been used on account of what the previous verse contains. The words, |Today have I begotten thee,| refer clearly to the resurrection; and Christ is said to have been |the firstborn from the dead,| Colossians 1:18. Having then referred to Christ's resurrection, he now as it were goes back to his birth, or to the announcement made in prophecy of his coming into the world, and seems to say, that not only when he became the firstborn from the dead he attained a manifested superiority over angels, but even at his first introduction into the world, for they were commanded even to worship him. |And when again,| or also, or moreover, |he introduces,| etc.; as though he had said, |God owned him as his Son by raising him from the dead; and again, or in addition to this, when he introduced him into the world, he commanded the angels to worship him.| So that the subordination of angels was evident before his resurrection, even at his very introduction into the world.

Stuart considers his introduction to be his birth, and regards the words, |and let all the angels of God worship him,| as borrowed, though not literally, from Psalm 97:7, to express what is intimated in the account of his birth, Luke 2:10-14. The Hebrews, written to, were, he supposes, acquainted with that event.

This is the view taken by some of the fathers, Chrysostom and others. But some, as Mede, thinking the quotation a prophecy, consider that his second coming is intended, as the contents of the Psalm were deemed to be descriptive of the day of judgment. A third party, as Dr. Owen, view the introduction to be Christ's birth, and consider the Psalm as giving an allegorical description of the progress of the Gospel in the world; and this seems to be the view taken by Calvin, and is apparently the most consistent.

The difference in the quotation is quite immaterial. The words in the Psalm are, |Worship him all gods,| or rather angels; for so is the word sometimes rendered. The version of the Sept. is, |Worship him all ye his angels;| and here |God |is put instead of |his.|

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