Hebrews 2:13 MEANING

Hebrews 2:13
(13) I will put my trust in him . . . Behold I and the children . . .--Of the two passages cited in this verse, the latter is certainly from Isaiah 8:18; and though the former might be derived from 2 Samuel 22:3 or Isaiah 12:2, yet, as the words are also found in the same chapter of Isaiah (Isaiah 8:17), we may with certainty consider this the source of the quotation. That the section of Isaiah's prophecies to which Hebrews 8 belongs is directly Messianic, is a fact that must be kept in mind; but the stress of the quotation cannot be laid on this. The prophet, as the representative of God to the people, has given utterance to the divine message: in these words, however, "I will put my trust" (better, "I will have my trust," for continuous confidence is what the words denote) "in Him," he retires into the same position with the people whom he has addressed; their relation towards God's word and the hope it inspires must be his also. This two-fold position of the prophet symbolised the two-fold nature of Him of whom every prophet was a type. (In Isaiah 8:17, the Authorised version, "I will look for Him," is nearer to the strict meaning of the original; but the difference is of little moment.)

The second passage is free from difficulty up to a certain point. In Isaiah 7, 8 we not only read of the word of God sent by Isaiah, but also find his sons associated with him in his message to the people. The warning of judgment and the promise are, so to speak, held up before the people inscribed in the symbolic names borne by the sons, Maher-shalal-hash-baz ("Speed the spoil, hastens the prey") and Shear-jashub ("A remnant shall return;" see Isaiah 7:3; Isaiah 10:21), and by Isaiah himself ("Salvation of Jehovah"). "Behold I," he says, "and the children whom the Lord hath given me, are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts." By God's own appointment, the children whom God gave him, though themselves no prophets, were joined with himself in the relation of prophets to the people, and were representatives of those whom God, who "hideth His face from the house of Jacob" (Isaiah 8:17), will save. As in the former passage Isaiah is taken as representing Christ, so here those who, being of the same blood, are joined with him in his work and in the promise of salvation, represent those whom the Son calls "brethren." The difficulty is that, whereas the original passage speaks of "the children" of the prophet, the meaning here must be children of God, given by Him to the Son. But no type can answer in every respect to that which it represents. The association of Jesus with His, people contains three elements of thought--His essential superiority, His sharing the same nature with His people, His brotherhood with them. The first two thoughts are truly represented in this Old Testament figure; the last no figure could at the same time set forth. And though Hebrews 2:12-13 are directly connected with the word "brethren," yet, as the next verse shows, the most important constituent of the thought is community of nature. It should be observed that in these two verses the citations are not so distinctly adduced by way of proof as are those of the first chapter.

Verse 13. - And again, I will put my trust in him. There are two passages of the Old Testament from which this may be a citation 2 Samuel 22:3 and Isaiah 8:17. In either case the original is slightly altered in the citation, probably with a purpose; the emphatic ἐγὼ being prefixed, and ἔσομαι being (suitably after this addition) placed before instead of after πεποιθὼς. The purpose of this change may be to bring into prominence the thought that the Messiah himself, in his humanity, puts his trust in God as well as the "brethren" with whom he associates himself. The passage in 2 Samuel 22:3 is from the psalm of David, written "in the day when the Loan had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul." It is given also in the Book of Psalms as Psalm 18, where the LXX. reads ἐλπιῶ ἐπ αὐτόν instead of πεποίθως ἔσομαι ἐπ αὐτῷ: so that, if the quotation is from the psalm, it is taken from the historical book. But is the quotation from the psalm or from Isaiah? If from the former, it serves (if Psalm 22. is also David's) to complete the type of the same royal sufferer, showing him reliant on God along with his brethren in the day of success, as well as during previous trial. Most commentators, however, suppose the quotation to be from Isaiah, inasmuch as the following one is from him, not only coming immediately after the first in the original, but also dependent on it for its meaning. Nor is the introduction of the second quotation by καὶ πάλιν conclusive against its being the continuation of the same original passage, since it introduces a new idea, to which attention may be thus drawn. Possibly the writer, familiar as he was with the Old Testament, had both passages in his view, the phrase common to both serving as a connecting link between David and Isaiah. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. The applicability of the whole passage in Isaiah (Isaiah 8:17, 18) to the writer's argument is not at first sight obvious. It occurs in connection with the memorable message to Ahaz, on the occasion of the confederacy of Rezin and Pekah against Judah, in the course of which the prophet foretells (Isaiah 7:14) the birth of Immanuel. In Hebrews 8. and Hebrews 9. he expands this message, rising into a vein of undoubted Messianic prophecy (see especially Isaiah 9:1-8). In the midst of general dismay and disbelief the prophet stands firm and undaunted, presenting himself as a sign as well as a messenger of the salvation which he foretells: "Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts." The "children" thus associated with himself as signs appear to have been his two sons, with their symbolical names, Shear-jashub and Maher-shalal-hash-baz, the first of whom he had been commanded to take with him (Isaiah 7:3) on his first visit to Ahaz, and the second of whom (Isaiah 8:3) had been borne to him by the "prophetess," and named under a Divine command. His own name also may be regarded in the "sign" as symbolical, meaning "Jehovah's salvation." If then, the words of vers. 17, 18 are quoted as those of the prophet himself (and they are certainly his own in our Hebrew text), he is viewed as himself a sign, in the sense of type, of the Immanuel to come. And the point of the quotation is that, to complete such typical sign, it was required that "the children God had given him" should be combined with him in the representation. They represent the ἀδελφοί, the ἀγιαζομένοι, as Isaiah does the υἱὸς, the ἀγιάζων, all being together ἐξ ἑνός. If it be objected that the children given to Isaiah were his own offspring, and not "brethren," as in the antitype, it may be replied that it is net the human paternity of the "children," but their having been given by God to the prophet to be "signs" along with him, that is the prominent; idea in the original passage, and that, thus viewed, the words of Isaiah have their close counterpart in those of our Lord; "The men which thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them me" (John 17:6, 9, 11, 12). Such, then, may be the ground for assigning the utterance to Christ, justified by the Messianic character of Old Testament prophecy in general, according to which "the historic sense of the utterance does not exclude the purpose of prophecy; but leaves typical references open which declare themselves historically by some corresponding Messianic fact, and hence are recognized afterwards from the point of view of historic fulfillment" (Meyer). But when we refer to the LXX. (which in the passage before us varies greatly from the Hebrew) we find a further reason. The LXX. has (Isaiah 8:16, 17, 18) "Then shall be manifest these that seal the Law that one should not learn it. And he will say (καὶ ἐρεῖ), I will wait upon God, who has turned away his hoe from the house of Israel, and I will put my trust in him. Lo I and the children which God hath given me." Here, in the absence of any preceding nominative in the singular to be the subject of ἐρεῖ, the writer of the Epistle may have understood the Messiah to be the speaker; and the Seventy also may have so intended the expression. The general drift of the passage, as interpreted in the Epistle, remains the same, though the LXX. more distinctly suggests and justifies its application to Christ. The only difference is that, according to the Hebrew, the prophet speaks and is regarded as a type; according to the LXX., the Antitype himself is introduced as speaking, and declaring the type of Isaiah to be fulfilled in himself.

2:10-13 Whatever the proud, carnal, and unbelieving may imagine or object, the spiritual mind will see peculiar glory in the cross of Christ, and be satisfied that it became Him, who in all things displays his own perfections in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. His way to the crown was by the cross, and so must that of his people be. Christ sanctifies; he has purchased and sent the sanctifying Spirit: the Spirit sanctifies as the Spirit of Christ. True believers are sanctified, endowed with holy principles and powers, set apart to high and holy uses and purposes. Christ and believers are all of one heavenly Father, who is God. They are brought into relation with Christ. But the words, his not being ashamed to call them brethren, express the high superiority of Christ to the human nature. This is shown from three texts of Scripture. See Ps 22:22; 18:2; Isa 8:18.These words are taken not from Isaiah 8:17 where, in the Septuagint version, is a like phrase; for they are not the words of the Messiah there, but of the prophet; and besides, the apostle disjoins them from the following words, which stand there, by saying, "and again"; but they are cited from Psalm 18:2 in which psalm are many things which have respect to the Messiah, and his times; the person spoken of is said to be made the head of the Heathen, to whom unknown people yield a voluntary submission, and the name of God is praised among the Gentiles, Psalm 18:43. The Targum upon it makes mention of the Messiah in Psalm 18:32 and he is manifestly spoken of under the name of David, in Psalm 18:50 and which verse is applied to the Messiah, by the Jews, both ancient and modern (i): and these words are very applicable to him, for as man he had every grace of the Spirit in him; and this of faith, and also of hope, very early appeared in him; he trusted in God for the daily supplies of life, and that he would help him in, and through the work of man's salvation; see Psalm 22:9 he committed his Spirit into his hands at death, with confidence, and believed he would raise his body from the dead; and he trusted him with his own glory, and the salvation of his people: and this is a citation pertinent to the purpose, showing that Christ and his people are one, and that they are brethren; for he must be man, since, as God, he could not be said to trust; and he must be a man of sorrows and distress, to stand in need of trusting in God.

And again, behold I and the children which God hath given me; this is a citation from Isaiah 8:18 in which prophecy is a denunciation of God's judgments upon Israel, by the Assyrians, when God's own people among them are comforted with a promise of the Messiah, who is described as the Lord of hosts; who is to be sanctified, and be as a sanctuary to the saints, and as a stone of stumbling to others; and the prophet is ordered to bind and seal up the doctrine among the disciples, at which he seems astonished and concerned, but resolves to wait; upon which Christ, to encourage him, speaks these words; for they are not addressed to God, as the Syriac version renders them, "behold I and the children, whom thou hast given me, O God"; in which may be observed, that the saints are children with respect to God, who has adopted them, and with respect to Christ, who is their everlasting Father; that they were given to Christ as his spiritual seed and offspring, as his portion, and to be his care and charge; and that this is worthy of attention, and calls for admiration, that Christ and his people are one, and that he is not ashamed to own them before God and men.

(i) Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 47. 3.

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