SUMMARY.--The Imperfection of the Sacrifices of the Law. In Such Sacrifices God Had No Pleasure. Christ's Sacrifice Offered Once for All. The Holiest of All Opened by the Blood of Christ. Exhortation to Faithful Perseverance. If Christ is Rejected, No More Sacrifice.
23. Let us hold fast. The thought is, cling to the faith professed and the hope in the soul without wavering.
24, 25. Consider one another. Let each care for others and exhort others to love and to do good works both by word and example. 25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves. In times of persecution there was a great temptation to stay away from the church assemblies, and some had fallen into dangerous neglect. As ye see the day approaching. There were signs that the Hebrew Christians could see that the day was near at hand. They probably thought that Christ would come in person at that day. He did come in judgment on the Jewish nation. As that awful time of trial seemed near at hand they should be zealous in exhorting each other. Macknight, Stuart, Milligan, Meyer and many others refer "day" to the destruction of the Jewish nation.
26-31. For if we sin wilfully. Deliberately trample under foot Christ's will; apostasize from the faith in life. Remaineth no more sacrifice. We have, in that case, rejected Christ, the only sacrifice for sin. 27. There remains instead a looking for of judgment. Cut off from hope of salvation by rejecting Christ, one has only judgment and punishment to look forward to. 28. He that despised Moses' law. He who wilfully rebelled against the law of Moses had no remission. When proved guilty by two or three witnesses his fate was death. See Num. 15:30-36 Deut. 13:6-10 . There was mercy for the ignorant, the mistaken, those "overtaken," but not for the deliberate despiser. 29. Of how much sorer punishment. Where much is given much is required. How great the sin of the apostate! Trodden under foot the Son of God. Despised him instead of Moses. Counted the blood of the covenant, the blood of Christ, the blood by which he was sanctified (cleansed from the guilt of sin), treated this blood as if it was unholy. Done despite unto the spirit of grace. Rejected all the work, the words, the preaching, the pleadings of the Holy Spirit. 30. We know him that hath said. We know what God hath said. He promises vengeance and judgment upon sinners. Vengeance. See Deut. 32:35 . The Lord shall judge. See Deut. 32:36 . 31. It is a fearful thing, etc. A fearful thing for the sinner who has despised God's mercy; for the apostate who has trampled it under foot.
32-36. Call to remembrance the former days. Some former day of persecution, after they were enlightened (Revision) by the gospel. Possibly the great persecution at the death of Stephen is referred to, or that of Acts 12:1-3 . 33. Made a gazing stock. Looked upon with reproach, abused and afflicted personally. Companions. Sharing the suffering of those who were persecuted. 34. For ye had compassion on them in bonds (Revision). And actively showed their sympathy. Took joyfully the spoiling of your goods. The losses made necessary by becoming Christians. Knowing. Knowing that if they lost on earth they would gain in heaven. 35. Cast not away therefore. In as much as formerly ye endured so well, be faithful now. Some great period of trial was evidently being endured. 36. For ye have need of patience. Patience is an essential element of patient endurance. See Rom. 5:3-5 .
37-39. For yet a little while. Quoted from Habakkuk, chapter 2 , and applied to Christ. Soon Christ will come, either in person or by his providence, in such a way as to bring relief. He did thus come very soon after and ended Jewish persecution by the overthrow of the nation. This is a frequent sense of oft-repeated allusions to the coming of the Lord found both in the Old Testament and New Testament. See Habakkuk, chapter 2 . The passage there quoted refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and is here applied to the destruction by the Romans. 38. Now the just shall live by faith. Hab. 2:4 . Those who continued to walk in the full assurance of faith ( verse 22 ) shall live by faith. If any man draw back. He who draws back through fear, or because of trial, in him God hath no pleasure. See Ps. 5:4 . 39. But we are not of them. The apostle has confidence that the Hebrew saints are of those who "shall live by faith" rather than those who draw back to perdition. He that draweth back is lost.