Scripture Notes.


1 Timothy 2:1-7.

The "alls" of this scripture are most interesting. The apostle exhorts that supplications, prayers, etc., be made for all men. The foundation of this precept lies in two great facts: first, that God is now presented to the world as a Saviour-God, who desires that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; and, secondly, that there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. In accordance with this attitude of grace toward all men on God's part, and the universal scope of the death of Christ (giving Himself a ransom for all), Paul is commissioned (as a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher) to all. Not to the Jews only, but to the nations (the Gentiles);  in fact, to all men. (Comp. Col. 1:23.) We thus see that Christ died for all, that God desires all to be saved, and that Paul was sent with the gospel to all; and hence it is that, in fellowship with the heart of God, and the object of the death of Christ, as well as with the apostolic mission, that believers are to pray for all men. But even while praying for all, the moment kings, and all that are in authority, are brought into view, the welfare of the saints in their worldly circumstances, as under human laws and government, is remembered. How true it is that God's affections and desires should govern those of His people!


Luke 23:41.

The "green tree" in this scripture is Christ Himself, and the "dry" is the Jewish nation. Together with others, the women of Jerusalem followed Jesus on His way to Calvary, and, in the natural tenderness of their hearts they "bewailed and lamented Him." Jesus turning, bade them weep rather for themselves and for their children, on account of the judgment that would soon fall upon the unhappy and guilty city and people (vv. 29, 30); adding, "For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" That is, if such things, wicked malice, hypocrisy, unrighteous judgment, and a degrading death, were visited upon Him who was like a green tree (compare Psalm 1:3; Jeremiah 17:7-8), what should be done to the people, who were as a dry tree, morally dead before God, without fruit or even leaves, and who were now committing their crowning sin in the rejection of their Messiah? For such a state, symbolized by a dry tree, there remained nothing but the axe and the fire. (Compare Matthew 3:10.)


Hebrews 3:6.

This verse is more accurately rendered as follows "But Christ as a Son over His house," etc. To take it as it stands in the Authorized Version would make it mean Christ's, or the Son's, house; but it is God's house. This is clearly seen from the comparison drawn. The Apostle and High Priest of our confession (Jesus) was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was in all His house; that is, in the house of God in the wilderness. But though both alike were faithful, Christ is more glorious in His person than was Moses; for He built the house (see Matt. 16:18), and, moreover, having "built all things," He is God. Again, if Moses was faithful in all His house, it was "as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;" but Christ as a Son over His house. The glory of Christ thus outshines that of Moses, both as to His person and as to His position; and we also learn that as Son He is supreme over the house of God. (Compare John 8:35-36.) And we believers are the house, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (See Ephesians 2:22.) In the wilderness we are tested, and thus continuance or perseverance becomes the sign of reality.


Matthew 26:26.

The true reading in this passage is "gave thanks," and not "blessed," as in our version. But the variation is valuable as showing the meaning of "to bless" in similar scriptures. (See Matthew 14:19; Mark 6:41; Mark 14:22, etc.) It is to bless God, or to give thanks to Him. (See Mark 8:6; Luke 22:17-19; John 6:11, etc.) The insertion of the word "it" after "bless" has obscured this meaning, and given occasion for the sacerdotal practice of consecrating the bread and the cup before distribution. The passage, moreover, in 1 Cor. 10:16 must be interpreted in the same way; i.e. it is the cup of blessing for which we bless God. E. D.