The Berean Expositor
Volume 6 - Page 42 of 151
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The distinction between dia hou and dihon is made for us in the very epistle we are
considering. Heb. 2: 10, "For whom (accusative) are all things and by whom (genitive)
are all things." While we believe it to be true that the ages were made for or on account
of Christ, yet that is not the truth of the verse before us. Just as John 1: 3 declares that all
things were made by him (dia autou), and Col. 1: 16 that all thing were created by Him
(dia autou), so Heb. 1: teaches us that the ages are a part of His work. He made them.
They form a part of the great purpose that necessitated them. The quotation from
Heb. 11: 3 is more difficult to apprehend, and a few helps to its understanding may be
The word translated "framed" (katartizo) is used elsewhere in Hebrews, namely,
Heb. 10: 5, "A body hast Thou prepared Me," and Heb. 13: 21, "make you perfect."
The word occurs thirteen times in the N.T., and the first occurrence, Matt. 4: 21,
"mending their nets," conveys one of the principal ideas of the word, namely the
restoration, mending, or readjustment of parts; the idea of "fitted" seems best in
Rom. 9: 22, "fitted to destruction."
We shall probably obtain most help by a more careful study of the use of the word in
Hebrews itself. In Heb. 10: 5, "a body hast Thou prepared Me," cannot convey the
meaning of restoration, sometimes attaching to the word katartizo.  The verse is a
quotation from Ps. 40: 6, yet when we turn to that passage we read, "mine ears hast Thou
opened" (margin, Heb. "digged") instead of "a body hast Thou prepared me." "Opened"
is misleading; the passage does not refer to the "hearing," but to the custom of Ex. 21: 6.
It was the sign of willing submission. This is carried out in the parallelism, "I come to do
Thy will, O Lord." Hence, while Heb. 10: 5 is not a literal quotation, it is an inspired
commentary, and the "prepared" body of the Lord is referred to in Phil. 2: 7, "made
Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant," in contrast to the
glorious "form" of God. The same sense will apply to Heb. 13: 21, and it would seem
that we must keep to that aspect of its meaning in Heb. 11: 3, "By faith therefore we
understand that the ages were prepared and adjusted by the word of God."
We must not confuse the expression "by the word of God," with the Logos ("The
Word") of John 1: 1. The word here is rhema, and occurs in Hebrews four times, the first
passage being 1: 3, "Upholding all things by the word of His power." He who can thus
uphold all things, also perfectly adjusted the ages by the same word. This perfect
adjustment, among other reasons, had the one in view which is written here, "that the
things which are seen have not come to pass out of things which are apparent." The
succeeding verses contain illustrations of this truth. Noah prepared an ark when warned
of things "not seen as yet"; Abraham, going out "not knowing whither he went"; Moses
endured "as seeing Him Who is invisible." The secret of their faith was that they did not
judge by outward circumstances. They understood that the ages were perfectly fitted
together, knew they were all prepared by God, and they relied upon His unalterable word.
Even the dispensations which are within the ages have somewhat the same character.
The dispensation of the mystery certainly would never have been anticipated by any
before its revelation. The purpose of the ages, and the making of the ages are both in His
hands, and we rest content that it is so.