OceanSide church of Christ
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A GOD WHO SPEAKS
Victor M. Eskew
A. This is a very unique introduction.
1. No salutation
2. No mention of the author’s name
3. No indication as to whom the recipients are
B. The writer immediately begins his discourse with God.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.
Title: A GOD WHO SPEAKS (Hebrews 1:1-2a)
This section presents a contrast:
Past versus Present
Old Testament versus New Testament
Prophets (men) versus Son of God (deity)
Many versus one
To the fathers versus unto us
Partial versus complete
1. God: 2316 theos
A. Strong: deity, the Supreme Divinity
B. Thayer: the only true God
C. The writer begins with God
1. There is not examination of the evidence; no apologetics; just a simple statement of fact that God exists.
a. He knew his readers believed in God.
b. He knew the evidence for God’s existence is so overwhelming that he did not feel compelled to prove it (See Ps. 14:1).
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
2. The writer puts the attention immediately upon God.
2. Sundry times: 4181 polumeros
1) A compound of poloos (many) and meros (a division or share
2) Many portions
3) Variously as to time and agency
B. Thayer: by many portions, by many times and in many ways
1) In many parts
2) In many separate revelations, each of which sets forth only a portion of truth
3) Fragmentary, in successive acts
D. Divine revelation was not all given at one time.
1. Isaiah 28:10
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon one; here a little, and there a little.
2. God gave His revelation as it was needed and at the proper time.
3. Divers manners: 4187 polutrops
1. A compound of poloos (many) and tropos (a turn, that is, mode or style)
2. Many ways
3. Variously as to method or form
B. Thayer: in many manners
C. Robertson: dreams, direct voice, signs
D. Vincent: Not the different ways God imparted his revelation to the prophets, but the different ways in which he spake by the prophets to the father: in one way through Moses, in another way through Elijah, in others through Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc.
E. God’s revelation came from things such as dreams, visions, signs, and direct conversations with the prophets.
4. Spake: 2980 laleo
A. Strong; to talk, that is, to utter words
B. Thayer: to utter a voice, to speak, to talk…to use words in order to declare one’s mind and disclose one’s thoughts
C. Vincent: the announcement of the divine will
D. God has communicated with man.
1. This shows that God is a personal God
2. The importance of God’s speaking to man:
a. Bruce: Had God remained silent, enshrouded in thick darkness, the plight of mankind would have been desperate indeed; but now He has spoken His revealing, redeeming and life giving word.
b. Taylor: Had he never spoken to us, we would be bereft of how we came to be, what our purpose is and where our destiny lies (Studies in Hebrews, p. 13).
5. In time past: 3819 palai
2. Also translated as “a great while ago”
1. Of old time
2. Long ago
C. Robertson: long ago (See Matthew 11:21)
1. Of old
2. The time of the Old Testament revelation
3. It indicates a revelation, not only given, but completed in the past
6. Unto the fathers: 3962 patayr
A. Strong: a father
1. Generator or male ancestor
2. A more remote ancestor, the founder of a tribe or family, a progenitor of a people, forefather: so Abraham is called, Jacob and David
C. Robertson: the OT worthies
D. Vincent: See Romans 9:5; 15:8
Whose are the fathers…to confirm the promises made unto the fathers…
7. By the prophets: 4396 prophetes
1. A compound of pro (in front of, prior) and phemi (show or make known one’s thoughts, that is, speak or say)
2. A foreteller…by analogy an inspired speaker
B. Thayer: One who, moved by the Spirit of God and hence his organ or spokesman, solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially concerning future events, an in particular such as relate to the cause and kingdom of God and to human salvation
1. Literally: “in the prophets” which does not mean “in the collection of the prophetic writings”… but rather in the prophets themselves as the vessels of divine revelation.
2. God spoke in them and from them.
3. Thus Philo; “the prophet is an interpreter, echoing from within…the sayings of God.”
8. Hath in these last days
A. Last 2078 eachatos
1. Strong: farthest, final (of place or time)
2. Thayer: last, referring to time
B. Days 2250 hemera
1. Strong: a period, time
2. Thayer: used of time in general
C. The “last days” refers to the gospel dispensation (Isa. 2:2; Hosea 3:5; Acts 2:17).
9. Hath spoken unto us by his Son
A. The words “hath spoken” in the Greek verb tense indicates completed action.
B. We have the full and final revelation of God to man given through Jesus Christ in contrast to what was given through the prophets (See Jude 3).
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
C. The importance of this fact:
1. There were not later prophets who received revelation from God.
2. There was to be NO continued revelation.