The Berean Expositor
Volume 41 - Page 141 of 246
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The Captain of our salvation is the TRUE JOSHUA under Whom we shall enter into
the rest that remaineth.
Propitiation and the Pilgrim (2: 16 - 18).
pp. 88 - 93
The passage before us is confessedly difficult, and there are a number of ways in
which the language of the apostle can be construed. The A.V. renders Heb. 2: 16 thus:
"For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of
The words printed in italics reveal the point of the problem, and the A.V. margin
translates the verse as follows, omitting the italicized words, and telling us that the Greek
"He taketh not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold."
What the A.V. puts into its margin, the R.V. places in its text. The student will
discover that there is a great variety of opinion among the commentators and the
following is a fair presentation of their differing views.
Parkhurst in his Lexicon says:
"The text therefore means that Christ, when He came to redeem us, did not assume a
glorious, awful and angelic appearance, but, etc., etc.".
This is promptly denied by his Editor who follows with a note:
"There appears little ground for assigning this sense to epilambanomai. Ernesti says
that the ancient Greek church always interpreted the verb in this place to assist."
Moses Stuart disposes of the A.V. idea of the nature of angels by saying that both
usus loquendi and context is against this meaning:
"For the apostle had just asserted above that Jesus took on Him a human nature, and it
would be a mere repetition."
Moses Stuart thinks it means "to aid". Dr. Owen proceeds by lengthy argument and
characteristic subdivision to prove the meaning to be "assumo, accipio, to take unto, or to
take upon", and that:
"The apostle teacheth us by it, that the Lord Christ took to Him, and took on Him, our
human nature of the seed of Abraham."