Hebrews 10:23-25 - Exposition
Let us hold fast the confession ( ὁμολογίαν , see Hebrews 3:1 , and ref; also Hebrews 4:14 ) of our hope without wavering ( ἀκλινῆ , agreeing with "confession"); for he is faithful that promised: and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. The readers, having been exhorted to confidence towards God, are further warned against remissness in confession before men, or in their duties within the Church towards each other. They had once, at their baptism, "confessed the good confession" ( τὴν καλὴν ὁμολογίαν , 1 Timothy 6:12 ). Let not the recurrence of Jewish prejudices, or either influence or persecution from their Jewish compatriots, or any delay of the Parousia, induce them to waver in maintaining it. Some among them did, it could not be denied, show signs of such wavering, notably in their remiss attendance at Christian worship; let the faithful give heed to keeping faith alive in themselves and others, and especially through the means of the regular Church assemblies. That by τὴν ἐπισυναγωγὴν ἑαυτῶν is meant definitely the actual assembling together of Christians for reading, exhortation, and worship, we hold confidently with the majority of commentators and with Chrysostom. The word ἐπισυναγωγὴ occurs in the New Testament only here and 2 Thessalonians 2:1 , where it denotes the gathering together at the Parousia. In 2 Macc. 2:7, where alone it occurs in the LXX ., it expresses the actual assembling of people together, as does the verb ἑπισυνάγω , both in the LXX . and the New Testament. Hence, and in regard to the context as well as the etymology of the word, we may reject the less definite meaning, by some here assigned to it, of Christian communion ( conjugatio fidelium ) , and the explanation of Bengel: "Sensus est, non modo debetis synagogam frequentare, ut Judaei, quod libentius facitis, sed etiam episynagogam, ut Christiani. Neque tamen innuitur praecise aggregatio ad unum locum, aut aggregatio ad unam fidem ; sed, medio sensu, congregatio mutua per amorem et communicatio publica et privata officiorum Christianorum." The seen approach of the second advent ( τὴν ἡμέραν : cf. 1 Corinthians 3:13 ) is adduced as an additional argument against remissness. The word βλέπετε seems to imply more than the general belief in its imminence, founded on the language of Christ. It would seem as if the signs of the times were interpreted as denoting its approach (el. 1 John 2:18 ). And it may be that they were rightly so interpreted in reference to the primary fulfillment of our Savior's words, though to that only, as the event proved. The blending together in the discourses of Matthew 24:1-51 ; Mark 13:1-37 ; Luke 17:1-37 ; Luke 21:1-38 ., of the times of the fall of Jerusalem and of the final day, would naturally lead Christians to regard the signs of the first event as denoting the other also. And indeed the imminence of the first, of which the signs were really apparent, was in itself a peculiar reason why the Hebrew Christians should stick resolutely to Christianity, for its own sake and apart from Judaism. Else might their whole hold on Christ be loosened in the temple's fall Thus, though the writer might share in the mistaken view then prevalent of the imminence of the final day, his warning, founded on the supposed signs of it, hits well the peculiar needs of his readers.
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