The Berean Expositor
Volume 14 - Page 42 of 167
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unchangeability of His counsel. In the expression, "two immutable things", the word
"things" is:--
"Pragma, an `act or deed' such as we make and deliver, when we convey anything
from one to another" (Owen).
Are we to understand by these two immutable things
1. The Promise of God originally given,
2. The oath superadded afterwards?
We do not think such an answer fully meets the case. If we read on to the end of the
chapter we find that the Melchisedec priesthood of Christ is resumed. This priesthood is
connected with "hope" (Heb. 6: 18-20). In chapter 7: Abraham is seen together with
Melchisedec where the greatness of Melchisedec is established, and then by an easy
transition the superiority of the Melchisedec priesthood to that of Levi is shown. This is
followed by a reference to a "better hope" and the fact that unlike the Levitical priesthood
Christ was made a priest with an oath.
"For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by Him that said
unto Him, The Lord SWARE and will not repent (cf. the immutable counsel and the oath,
6: 17). Thou art a priest for the age after the order of Melchisedec" (Heb. 7: 21).
This close connection of the two oaths, the one with Abraham, the other with Christ,
together with the double reference to hope and to Melchisedec, is too plainly the part of a
design to be ignored. There is yet further testimony. The words of 6: 17, "Confirmed it
by an oath", are given in the margin as "interposed Himself by an oath". The word in the
original is mesiteuo, "to mediate". Mesites occurs in Heb. 8: 6; 9: 15; 12: 24, and is
consistently rendered "mediator". I Tim. 2: 5 tells us that there is but "one mediator
between God and men, the man Christ Jesus". We understand therefore the passage to
convey this thought. When God first gave Abraham the promise that he should be the
father of many nations, there was not made known to him at the time the fact that the
promise was secured in Christ. Nevertheless, even at the beginning, Abraham's faith
went out to God Who quickeneth the dead, and the deadness both of Abraham and Sarah
is set forth as a picture of resurrection. So then in Rom. 4: 16 the promise is of faith:--
"that it might be by grace, to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed."
Heb. 6: shows that not only the birth of Isaac, but the offering of Isaac are both
closely connected with resurrection:--
"Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from whence he
did also in a parable receive him back" (Heb. 11: 19).
It was, we believe, on Mount Moriah that Abraham, in this fellowship with the
great gift of God, rejoiced to see the day of Christ, calling the name of that place
Jehovah-Jireh. Then it was that the oath was uttered, then it was that the purpose of God
was seen secured in Christ as the priest after the order of Melchisedec. The association
of Melchisedec with Abraham we leave until we consider chapter 7:, but it is important
to remember that Abraham had met Melchisedec and had received a profound impression