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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Hebrews: Chapter 6)

6:1 {Wherefore} (dio). Because of the argument already made about the difficulty of the subject and the dulness of the readers.
{Let us cease to speak} (aphentes ton logon). Second aorist active participle of aphiˆmi, to leave off or behind. {Of the first principles of Christ} (tˆs archˆs tou Christou). Objective genitive Christou (about Christ). "Leaving behind the discussion of the beginning about Christ," another way of saying again ta stoicheia tˆs archˆs t“n logi“n tou theou of 5:12. {And press on} (kai pher“metha). Volitive present subjunctive passive, "Let us be borne on" (both the writer and the readers). The Pythagorean Schools use pher“metha in precisely this sense of being borne on to a higher stage of instruction. Bleek quotes several instances of Greek writers using together as here of aphentes pher“metha (Eurip., "Androm". 393, for instance). {Unto perfection} (epi tˆn teleiotˆta). Old word from teleios mature, adults as in 5:14. Only twice in N.T. (here and Col 3:14). Let us go on to the stage of adults, not babes, able to masticate solid spiritual food. The writer will assume that the readers are adults in his discussion of the topic.
{Not laying again the foundation} (mˆ palin themelion kataballomenoi). The regular idiom for laying down the foundation of a building (themelion, Lu 6:48f.). The metaphor is common (1Co 3:11) and the foundation is important, but one cannot be laying the foundation always if he is to build the house. There are six items mentioned here as part of the "foundation," though the accusative didachˆn in apposition with themelion may mean that there are only four included in the themelion. Two are qualitative genitives after themelion (metanoias and piste“s). What is meant by "dead works" (apo nekr“n erg“n) is not clear (9:14), though the reference may be to touching a corpse (Nu 19:1f.; 31:19). There are frequent allusions to the deadening power of sin (Jas 2:17,26; Joh 7:25; Rom 6:1,11; 7:8; Col 2:13; Eph 2:1,5). The use of repentance and faith together occurs also elsewhere (Mr 1:15; Ac 20:21; 1Th 1:9).

6:2 The other four items are qualitative genitives with didachˆn (baptism“n, epithese“s cheir“n, anastase“s nekr“n, krimatos ai“niou). The plural baptism“n "by itself does not mean specifically Christian baptism either in this epistle (9:10) or elsewhere (Mr 7:4), but ablutions or immersions such as the mystery religions and the Jewish cultus required for initiates, proselytes, and worshippers in general" (Moffatt). The disciples of the Baptist had disputes with the Jews over purification (Joh 3:25). See also Ac 19:2. "The laying on of hands" seems to us out of place in a list of elementary principles, but it was common as a sign of blessing (Mt 19:13), of healing (Mr 7:32), in the choice of the Seven (Ac 6:6), in the bestowal of the Holy Spirit (Ac 8:17f.; 19:6), in separation for a special task (Ac 13:3), in ordination (1Ti 4:14; 5:22; 2Ti 1:6). Prayer accompanied this laying on of the hands as a symbol. The resurrection of the dead (both just and unjust, Joh 5:29; Ac 24:15) is easily seen to be basal (cf. 1Co 15) as well as eternal judgment (timeless and endless).

6:3 {If God permit} (eanper epitrepˆi ho theos). Condition of the third class with eanper (note per indeed). See 1Co 16:7 (ean ho kurios epitrepsˆi) and Ac 18:21 (tou theou thelontos). It is not an idle form with the author. He means that he will go on with the argument and not attempt to lay again the foundation (the elements). Moffatt takes him to mean that he will teach them the elements at a later time (13:23) if the way opens, a less probable interpretation.

6:4 {As touching those who were once enlightened} (tous hapax ph“tisthentas). First aorist passive articular participle (the once for all enlightened) of photiz“, old and common verb (from ph“s) as in Lu 11:36. The metaphorical sense here (cf. Joh 1:9; Eph 1:18; Heb 10:32) occurs in Polybius and Epictetus. The accusative case is due to anakainizein in verse 6. Hapax here is "once for all," not once upon a time (pote) and occurs again (9:7,26,27,28; 12:26,27).
{Tasted of the heavenly gift} (geusamenous tˆs d“reas tˆs epouraniou). First aorist middle participle of geu“, old verb once with accusative (verse 5, kalon rˆma, dunameis), usually with genitive (Heb 2:9) as here.
{Partakers of the Holy Ghost} (metochous pneumatos hagiou). See 3:14 for metochoi. These are all given as actual spiritual experiences.
{And then fell away} (kai parapesontas). No "then" here, though the second aorist (effective) active participle of parapipt“, old verb to fall beside (aside), means that. Only here in N.T. In Gal 5:4 we have tˆs charitos exepesate (ye fell out of grace, to law, Paul means).

6:6 {It is impossible to renew them again} (adunaton palin anakainizein). The adunaton (impossible) comes first in verse 4 without estin (is) and there is no "them" in the Greek. There are three other instances of adunaton in Hebrews (6:18; 10:4; 11:6). The present active infinitive of anakainiz“ (late verb, ana, kainos, here only in the N.T., but anakaino“, 2Co 4:16; Col 3:10) with adunaton bluntly denies the possibility of renewal for apostates from Christ (cf. 3:12-4:2). It is a terrible picture and cannot be toned down. The one ray of light comes in verses 8-12, not here.
{Seeing they crucify to themselves afresh} (anastraurountas heautois). Present active participle (accusative plural agreeing with tous ... parapesontas) of anastauro“, the usual verb for crucify in the old Greek so that ana- here does not mean "again" or "afresh," but "up," "sursum", not "rursum" (Vulgate). This is the reason why renewal for such apostates is impossible. They crucify Christ.
{And put him to an open shame} (kai paradeigmatizontas). Present active participle of paradeigmatiz“, late verb from paradeigma (example), to make an example of, and in bad sense to expose to disgrace. Simplex verb deigmatisai in this sense in Mt 1:19.

6:7 {Which hath drunk} (hˆ piousa). Articular second aorist active participle of pin“, to drink.
{Herbs} (botanˆn). Old word from bosk“, to feed, green plant, only here in N.T. Cf. our botany.
{Meet} (eutheton). Old compound verbal (eu, tithˆmi) well-placed, fit (Lu 9:62).
{It is tilled} (ge“rgeitai). Present passive indicative of ge“rge“, old and rare verb from ge“rgos (tiller of the soil, gˆ, ergon, 2Ti 2:6), here only in the N.T.
{Receives} (metalambanei). Present active indicative of metalamban“, old verb to share in, with genitive (eulogias) as here (Ac 2:46) or with accusative (Ac 24:25).

6:8 {If it beareth} (ekpherousa). Present active participle of ekpher“, conditional participle. For "thorns and thistles" see Mt 7:16 for both words (akanthas kai tribolous). Roman soldiers scattered balls with sharp iron spikes, one of which was called "tribulus", to hinder the enemy's cavalry.
{Rejected} (adokimos). See 1Co 9:27; Ro 1:28. For kataras eggus (nigh unto a curse) see Gal 3:10.
{To be burned} (eis kausin). "For burning." Common sight in clearing up ground.

6:9 {But we are persuaded} (pepeismetha de). Perfect passive indicative of peith“, literary plural. Note Paul's use of pepeismai in 2Ti 1:12.
{Better things} (ta kreissona). "The better things" than those pictures in 6:4-8.
{That accompany salvation} (echomena s“tˆrias). "Things holding on to salvation" (Mr 1:38), a common Greek phrase echomena, present middle participle of ech“.
{Though we thus speak} (ei kai hout“s laloumen). Concessive condition of the first class. Explanatory, not apologetic, of his plain talk.
{Not unrighteous to forget} (ou gar adikos epilathesthai). Second aorist middle infinitive of epilanthan“ with genitive case (ergou, work, agapˆs, love). But even God cannot remember what they did not do.
{In that ye ministered and still do minister} (diakonˆsantes kai diakonountes). First aorist active and present active participle of the one verb diakone“, the sole difference being the tense (single act "aorist", repeated acts "present").

6:11 {And we desire} (epithumoumen de). Literary plural again like pepeismetha (6:9). He is not wholly satisfied with them as he had already shown (5:11-14). They have not given up Christ (6:4-8), but many of them are still babes (nˆpioi, 5:13) and not adults (teleioi, 5:14) and others are in peril of becoming so.
{Unto the fulness of hope} (pros tˆn plˆrophorian tˆs elpidos). For plˆrophoria see 1Th 1:5; Col 2:2.
{To the end} (achri telous). As in 3:6,14.

6:12 {That ye be not sluggish} (hina mˆ n“throi genˆsthe). Negative final clause with second aorist middle subjunctive of ginomai, "that ye become not sluggish (or dull of hearing)" as some already were (5:11).
{Imitators} (mimˆtai). See 1Th 1:6; 2:14 for this word (our "mimic" in good sense). The writer wishes to hold and develop these sluggards through those who inherit the promises (see 10:19-12:3), one of his great appeals later in ch. Heb 11 full of examples of "faith and long-suffering."

6:13 {Made promise} (epaggeilamenos). First aorist middle participle of epaggell“. Could swear by none greater (kat' oudenos eichen meizonos omosai). Imperfect active of ech“ in sense of edunato as often with omosai (first aorist active infinitive of omnu“) and “mosen (he sware) is first aorist active indicative.

6:14 {Surely} (ei mˆn). By itacism for ˆ mˆn (Deissmann, "Bible Studies", p. 205). The quotation is from Ge 22:16f. (the promise renewed to Abraham with an oath after offering of Isaac). {Blessing} (eulog“n). Hebraism (present active participle) for the Hebrew infinitive absolute and so with plˆthun“n (multiplying).

6:15 {Having patiently endured} (makrothumˆsas). First aorist active participle of makrothumos (makros, thumos, long spirit) illustrating makrothumia of verse 12.
{He obtained} (epetuchen). Second aorist (effective) active indicative of epetugchan“, old verb with genitive. God was true to his word and Abraham was faithful.

6:16 {In every dispute} (pasˆs antilogias). Objective genitive of old word several times in Hebrews (6:16; 7:7; 12:3). Talking back, face to face, in opposition.
{Final} (peras). Limit, boundary (Mt 12:42). Men may perjure themselves.

6:17 {To shew} (epideixai). First aorist active infinitive of epideiknumi, to show in addition (epi-) to his promise "more abundantly" (perissoteron).
{The immutability of his counsel} (to ametatheton tˆs boulˆs autou). Late compound verbal neuter singular (alpha privative and metatithˆmi, to change), "the unchangeableness of his will."
{Interposed} (emesiteusen). First aorist active indicative of mesiteu“, late verb from mesitˆs, mediator (Heb 8:6), to act as mediator or sponsor or surety, intransitively to pledge one's self as surety, here only in the N.T.
{With an oath} (hork“i). Instrumental case of horkos (from herkos, an enclosure), Mt 14:7,9.

6:18 {By two immutable things} (dia duo pragmat“n ametathet“n). See verse 17. God's promise and God's oath, both unchangeable. {In which it is impossible for God to lie} (en hois adunaton pseusasthai theon). Put this "impossibility" by that in verses 4-6.
{Theon} is accusative of general reference with pseusasthai, first aorist middle infinitive of pseudomai. {That we may have} (hina ech“men). Purpose clause with hina and the present active subjunctive of ech“, "that we may keep on having."
{Strong consolation} (ischuran paraklˆsin). "Strong encouragement" by those two immutable things.
{Who have fled for refuge} (hoi kataphugontes). Articular effective second aorist active participle of katapheug“, old verb, in N.T. only here and Ac 14:6. The word occurs for fleeing to the cities of refuge (De 4:42; 19:5; Jos 20:9).
{To lay hold of} (kratˆsai). First aorist active (single act) infinitive of krate“ in contrast with present tense in 4:14 (hold fast). {Set before us} (prokeimenˆs). Placed before us as the goal. See this same participle used with the "joy" (charas) set before Jesus (12:2).

6:19 {Which} (hˆn). Which hope. What would life be without this blessed hope based on Christ as our Redeemer? {As an anchor of the soul} (h“s agkuran tˆs psuchˆs). Old word, literally in Ac 27:29, figuratively here, only N.T. examples. The ancient anchors were much like the modern ones with iron hooks to grapple the rocks and so hold on to prevent shipwreck (1Ti 1:19).
{Both sure and steadfast} (asphalˆ te kai bebaian). This anchor of hope will not slip (alpha privative and sphall“, to totter) or lose its grip (bebaia, from bain“, to go, firm, trusty). {That which is within the veil} (to es“teron tou katapetasmatos). The Holy of Holies, "the inner part of the veil" (the space behind the veil), in N.T. only here and Ac 16:24 (of the inner prison). The anchor is out of sight, but it holds. That is what matters.

6:20 {As a forerunner} (prodromos). Old word used for a spy, a scout, only here in N.T. Jesus has shown us the way, has gone on ahead, and is the surety (egguos, Heb 7:22) and guarantor of our own entrance later. In point of fact, our anchor of hope with its two chains of God's promise and oath has laid hold of Jesus within the veil. It will hold fast. All we need to do is to be true to him as he is to us.
{A high priest for ever} (archiereus eis ton ai“na). There he functions as our great high priest, better than Aaron for he is "after the order of Melchizedek," the point that now calls for elucidation (5:10f.).

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Hebrews: Chapter 6)

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