Chapter 13:20 Through the blood of the covenant, etc The Vulg., our version, Calvin, and Scott, connect the words with |bringing again from the dead;| only the Vulg. and Calvin render the preposition in, and our version and Scott, through. The idea conveyed by in is explained by Calvin, and the same is given by Theodoret, and what is meant by through is thus explained by Scott, -- |In order to shew that his ransom was accepted, and that he might perform his gracious work as the great Shepherd of the sheep, God the Father had raised him from the dead through the blood of the everlasting covenant.'|
Others, as Beza, Doddridge and Stuart, connect the words with |the great Shepherd,| that is, that Christ became the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of an everlasting covenant; and Acts 20:28, and John 10:11-19, have been referred to as favorable to this view. Stuart's version is the following, --
20. |Now may the God of peace, that raised from the dead our Lord Jesus, (who by the blood of an everlasting covenant
21. has become the great Shepherd of the sheep,) prepare you for every good work, that ye may do his will; working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.|
But a more literal rendering may be given thus, --
20. |Now the God of peace, who has restored from the dead the Shepherd of the sheep (the chief through the blood of
21. the everlasting covenant) our Lord Jesus, -- may he fit you for every good work to do his will, forming in you what is wellpleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.|
The word megas great, means sometimes |chief,| summus, as given by Schleusner; and it has this meaning in chapter 4:14. In John 10:11, etc., our Savior refers to his death, the shedding of his blood, as an evidence that he was the good Shepherd. It may then be rightly said, that he became the chief by or through the blood of the everlasting covenant, that is, through the blood that sealed and rendered effectual a covenant that is permanent, and not temporary like that of Moses.
His prayer was that God would fit, adapt, or prepare them for every good work; and this he afterwards explains, |forming,| producing, or creating |in you,| etc.; for the verb, poieo, to make, is often used in this sense. He means an internal influence or operation, as expressed more fully in Philippians 2:13, |For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do (literally, to work) of his good pleasure.| And this forming or creating in them what was pleasing in his sight was to be done through Jesus Christ, through him as a Mediator, he having become the chief Shepherd of the sheep by shedding his blood for them.
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