And again, when he bringeth the first begotten into the
&c.] By "the first begotten" is meant Christ. This is a name given him in the Old Testament, and is what the Hebrews were acquainted with, and therefore the apostle uses it; it is in ( Psalms 89:27 ) from whence it seems to be taken here, and which the ancient Jews F21 acknowledge is to be understood of the Messiah; who, as the Son of God, is the only begotten of the Father, and was begotten from eternity, as before declared, and before any creature had a being, and therefore called the firstborn of every creature, ( Colossians 1:15 ) and is sometimes styled the first begotten from the dead; he rose the first in time, and is the first in causality and dignity: and he may be called the firstborn, with respect to the saints, who are of the same nature with him, and are partakers of the divine nature, and are adopted into the family of God, though they are not in the same class of sonship with him; and the bringing of him into the world may refer to his second coming, for this seems agreeable from the natural order of the words, which may be rendered, "when he shall bring again" that is, a second time, and from ( Psalms 97:1-12 ) from whence the following words are cited; and from the glory he shall then have from the angels, who will come with him, and minister to him; and not to his resurrection from the dead, when he was exalted above angels, principalities, and powers; though, as we read the words, they seem to regard his first coming in to this habitable world, at his incarnation and birth, when he was attended with angels, and worshipped by them, according to the order of God the Father, as follows:
he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him;
these words are cited from ( Psalms 97:7 ) where the angels are called Elohim, gods. So Aben Ezra on the place observes, that there are some (meaning their doctors) who say, that "all the gods are the angels"; and Kimchi says, that the words are not imperative, but are in the past tense, instead of the future,
all the angels have worshipped him;
that is, they shall worship him; as they have done, so they will do. According to our version, they are called upon to worship God's firstborn, his only begotten Son, with a religious worship and adoration, even all of them, not one excepted; which shows, that Christ, as the first begotten, is the Lord God, for he only is to be served and worshipped; and that if angels are to worship him, men ought; and that angels are not to be worshipped, and that Christ is preferable to them; and the whole sets forth the excellency and dignity of his person. Philo the Jew F23 often calls the Logos, or Word of God, his first begotten.
F21 Shemot Rabba, sect. 19. fol. 104. 4.
F23 De Agricultura, p. 195. De Confus. Ling. p. 329, 341. Somniis, p. 597.