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Hebrews 11:3

Hebrews 11:3

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the
word of God
The celestial world, with its inhabitants, the angels; the starry and ethereal worlds, with all that is in them, the sun, moon, stars, and fowls of the air; the terrestrial world, with all upon it, men, beasts and the watery world, the sea, and all that is therein: perhaps some respect may be had to the distinction of worlds among the Jews; (See Gill on Hebrews 1:2), though the apostle can scarce be thought to have any regard to their extravagant notions of vast numbers of worlds being created: they often speak of three hundred and ten worlds, in all which, they say, there are heavens, earth, stars, planets F6; and sometimes of eighteen thousand F7; but these notions are rightly charged by Philo F8 with ignorance and folly. However, as many worlds as there are, they are made "by the Word of God"; by Christ, the essential Word of God, to whom the creation of all things is ascribed in ( John 1:1-3 ) . And this agrees with the sentiments of the Jews, who ascribe the creation of all things to the Word of God, as do the Targumists F9, and Philo the Jew F11. And these are "framed" by the Word, in a very beautiful and convenient order; the heavens before the earth; things less perfect, before those that were more so in the visible world, or terraqueous globe; and things for men, before men, for whom they were; and it is by divine revelation and faith that men form right notions of the creation, and of the author of it, and particularly of the origin of it, as follows:

so that things which are seen:
as the heaven, earth, and sea, and in which the invisible things of God, the perfections of his nature, are discerned:

were not made of things which do appear;
they were not made from pre-existent matter, but out of nothing, out of which the rude and undigested chaos was formed; and from that invisible mass, covered with darkness, were all visible things brought into a beautiful order; and all from secret and hidden ideas in the divine minds; and this also is the faith of the Jews, that the creation of all things is (Nyam) , "out of nothing" F12. There seems to be an allusion to the word (arb) , used for creation, which signifies to make appear a thing unseen; and is rendered in the Septuagint version by (deiknumi) , ( Numbers 16:30 ) and (katadeiknumi) , ( Isaiah 40:26 ) ( 41:20 ) to show, or make appear; and thus God created, or made to appear, the heavens and earth, which before were not in being, and unseen, ( Genesis 1:1 Genesis 1:2 ) and created to make, as in ( Genesis 2:3 ) that is, made them to appear, that he might put them into the form and order they now are.


FOOTNOTES:

F6 Misn. Oketzim, c. 3. sect. 12. Targum Jon. in Exod. xxviii. 30. Kettoreth Hassamim in Targum Jon. in Gen. fol. 4. 4. Lex. Cabel. p. 60, 61.
F7 T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 3. 2. Yalkut, par. 2. fol. 50. 4.
F8 De Opificio, p. 39.
F9 Targum Oak. in Deut. xxxiii. 27. & Ben Uzziel in Isa. xlviii. 13.
F11 De Opificio, p. 4. & Leg. Alleg. l. 1. p. 44.
F12 Tzeror Hammor, fol. 1. 1. Kettoreth Hassamim in Targ. Jon in Gen. fol. 5. 1, 2.
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