Who gave himself a ransom for all
What the Mediator gave as a ransom for men is "himself", his body and his soul, which were both made an offering for sin; and his life, which is the result of union between soul and body; his whole human nature as in union with his divine person, and so might be truly said to be himself: this he gave into the hands of men, of justice and of death; and that voluntarily, which shows his great love to his people; and also as a "ransom", or a ransom price for them, (antilutron) , in their room and stead; to ransom them from the slavery of sin, and damnation by it, from the captivity of Satan, and the bondage of the law, and from the grave, death, hell, ruin, and destruction: and this ransom was given for "all"; not for every individual of mankind, for then all would be delivered, freed, and saved, whereas they are not; or else the ransom price is paid in vain, or God is unjust to receive a sufficient ransom price from Christ, and yet not free the captive, but punish the person for whom he has received satisfaction; neither of which can be said. But the meaning is, either that he gave himself a ransom for many, as in ( Matthew 20:28 ) for the Hebrew word (lk) , to which this answers, signifies sometimes many, a multitude, and sometimes only a part of a multitude, as Kimchi observes F25: or rather it intends that Christ gave himself a ransom for all sorts of men, for men of every rank and quality, of every state and condition, of every age and sex, and for all sorts of sinners, and for some out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation, for both Jews and Gentiles; which latter may more especially be designed by all, as they are sometimes by the world, and the whole world; and so contains another argument why all sorts of men are to be prayed for, since the same ransom price is given for them; as that for the children of Israel was the same, for the rich as for the poor. We F26 read, that when the people of Israel comforted the high priest upon the death of his wife, or any relation, they used to say to him, (Ktrpk wna) , "we are thy atonement", expiation, or ransom; that is, as the commentators F1 explain it, by us thou shalt be atoned, for we will be in thy room and stead, with respect to all things that shall come upon thee; but here the High priest and Mediator is the atonement and ransom for the people:
to be testified in due time;
or "a testimony in his own times"; that is, the sum and substance of what is before said is the Gospel, which is a testimony concerning the person, office, and grace of Christ, exhibited in the times of the Messiah, or the Gospel dispensation. Some copies read, "the mystery", which is another word often used for the Gospel; for that that is intended, appears by what follows.
F25 Sepher Shorash. rad. (llk)
F26 Misna Sanhedrin, c. 2. sect. 1.
F1 Jarchi & Bartenona in ib.