Being ( ὢν )
Representing absolute being. See on John 1:1. Christ's absolute being is exhibited in two aspects, which follow:
The brightness of his glory ( ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ )
Of God's glory. For brightness rend. effulgence. Ἀπαύγασμα , N.T.olxx, only Wisd. 7:26. oClass. It is an Alexandrian word, and occurs in Philo. Interpretation is divided between effulgence and reflection. Effulgence or outraying accords better with the thought of the passage; for the writer is treating of the preincarnate Son; and, as Alford justly remarks, “the Son of God is, in this his essential majesty, the expression and the sole expression of the divine light; not, as in his incarnation, its reflection.” The consensus of the Greek fathers to this effect is of great weight. The meaning then is, that the Son is the outraying of the divine glory, exhibiting in himself the glory and majesty of the divine Being. “God lets his glory issue from himself, so that there arises thereby a light-being like himself” (Weiss). Δόξα gloryis the expression of the divine attributes collectively. It is the unfolded fullness of the divine perfections, differing from μορφὴ θεοῦ formof God (Philemon 2:6), in that μορφὴ is the immediate, proper, personal investiture of the divine essence. Δόξα isattached to deity. μορφὴ is identified with the inmost being of deity Δόξα is used of various visible displays of divine light and splendor, as Exodus 24:17; Deuteronomy 5:24; Exodus 40:34; Numbers 14:10; Numbers 16:19, Numbers 16:42; Ezekiel 10:4; Ezekiel 43:4, Ezekiel 43:5; Ezekiel 1:28, Ezekiel 3:23; Leviticus 9:23, etc. We come nearer to the sense of the word in this passage in the story of Moses's vision of the divine glory, Exodus 33:18-23; Exodus 34:5, Exodus 34:7.
The express image of his person ( χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ )
Rend the very image (or impress ) of his substance The primary sense of ὑπόστασις substanceis something which stands underneath; foundation, ground of hope or confidence, and so assurance itself. In a philosophical sense, substantial nature; the real nature of anything which underlies and supports its outward form and properties. In N.T., 2 Corinthians 9:4; 2 Corinthians 11:17, Hebrews 3:14; Hebrews 11:1, signifying in every instance ground of confidence or confidence In lxx, it represents fifteen different words, and, in some cases, it is hard to understand its meaning notably 1 Samuel 13:21. In Rth 1:12 , Psalms 37:8, Ezekiel 19:5, it means ground of hope: in Judges 6:4, Wisd. 16:21, sustenance in Psalms 38:5; Psalms 136:15, the substance or material of the human frame: in 1 Samuel 13:23; Ezekiel 26:11, an outpost or garrison: in Deuteronomy 11:6; Job 22:20, possessions. The theological sense, person, is later than the apostolic age. Here, substantial nature, essence. Χαρακτὴρ from χαράσσειν toengrave or inscribe, originally a graving-tool; also the die on which a device is cut. It seems to have lost that meaning, and always signifies the impression made by the die or graver. Hence, mark, stamp, as the image on a coin (so often) which indicates its nature and value, or the device impressed by a signet. N.T.olxx, Leviticus 13:28; Acts href="/desk/?q=ac+17:29&sr=1">Acts 17:29; Revelation 13:16, Revelation 13:17. Here the essential being of God is conceived as setting its distinctive stamp upon Christ, coming into definite and characteristic expression in his person, so that the Son bears the exact impress of the divine nature and character.
And upholding all things ( φέρων τε τὰ πάντα )
Rend. maintaining. Upholding conveys too much the idea of the passive support of a burden. “The Son is not an Atlas, sustaining the dead weight of the world” (quoted by Westcott). Neither is the sense that of ruling or guiding, as Philo (De Cherub. § 11), who describes the divine word as “the steersman and pilot of the all.” It implies sustaining, but also movement. It deals with a burden, not as a dead weight, but as in continual movement; as Weiss puts it, “with the all in all its changes and transformations throughout the aeons.” It is concerned, not only with sustaining the weight of the universe, but also with maintaining its coherence and carrying on its development. What is said of God, Colossians 1:17, is here said or implied of Christ: τὰ πάντα ἐν αὐτῷ συνέστηκεν allthings (collectively, the universe) consist or maintain their coherence in him. So the Logos is called by Philo the bond ( δεσμὸς ) of the universe; but the maintenance of the coherence implies the guidance and propulsion of all the parts to a definite end. All things ( τὰ πάντα ) collectively considered; the universe; all things in their unity. See Hebrews 2:10; Romans 8:32; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:16.
By the word of his power ( τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ )
The phrase N.T.obut comp Luke 1:37, and see note. The word is that in which the Son's power manifests itself. Ἀυτοῦ hisrefers to Christ. Nothing in the context suggests any other reference. The world was called into being by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3), and is maintained by him who is “the very image of God's substance.”
When he had by himself purged our sins ( καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος )
Omit by himself; yet a similar thought is implied in the middle voice, ποιησάμενος , which indicates that the work of purification was done by Christ personally, and was not something which he caused to be done by some other agent. Purged, lit. having made purification. The phrase N.T.olxx, Job 7:21. Καθαρισμός purificationoccurs in Mark, Luke John, 2nd Peter, oP., and only here in Hebrews. The verb καθαρίζειν topurify is not often used in N.T of cleansing from sin. See 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 John 1:7, 1 John 1:9. Of cleansing the conscience, Hebrews 9:14. Of cleansing meats and vessels, Matthew 23:25, Matthew 23:26, Mark 7:19, Acts 10:15; Acts 11:9. Of cleansing the heart, Acts 15:9. The meaning here is cleansing of sins. In the phrase “to cleanse from sin,” always with ἀπὸ fromIn carrying on all things toward their destined end of conformity to the divine archetype, the Son must confront and deal with the fact of sin, which had thrown the world into disorder, and drawn it out of God's order. In the thought of making purification of sins is already foreshadowed the work of Christ as high priest, which plays so prominent a part in the epistle.
Sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high ( ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς )
Comp. Psalms 110:1, Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 12:2; Ephesians 1:20; Revelation 3:21. The verb denotes a solemn, formal act; the assumption of a position of dignity and authority The reference is to Christ's ascension. In his exalted state he will still be bearing on all things toward their consummation, still dealing with sin as the great high priest in the heavenly sanctuary. This is elaborated later. See Hebrews 8:1-13; Hebrews 9:12ff. Μεγαλωσύνη majestyonly here, Hebrews 8:1; Judges 1:25. Quite often in lxx. There is suggested, not a contrast with his humiliation, but his resumption of his original dignity, described in the former part of this verse. Ἐν ὑψηλοῖς , lit. in the high places. Const. with sat down, not with majesty. The phrase N.T.olxx, Psalms 92:4; Psalms 112:5. Ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις inthe highest (places ), in the Gospels, and only in doxologies. See Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:10; Luke 2:14. Ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις inthe heavenly (places ), only in Ephesians. See Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 1:20; Ephesians 2:6; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12.