Formulae for Old Testament Citations in the New, Part 3

But you may say that the text alleged in the first place from Psalm 97:7 hinders. Since that, καὶ προσκυνησάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι Θεοῦ, and let all the angels of God worship Him, could appear to be a divine mandate of such a sort that no creature would be capable of commanding the good Angels with such authority, in which manner the Most Illustrious WESSELIUS, Dissertationibus Academicis, XVIII, § I, “Suddenly by an Apostrophe[1] the speech is turned toward Elohim, to whom the Adoration of Jehovah as Lord of the whole earth is commanded.[2]  Yet notwithstanding the Person speaking is also Jehovah, God the Father or the Holy Spirit.  Indeed, the Prophet in the Spirit heard and wrote this commandment; he did not give it.  For, that the Prophets or Apostles as Ministers of God commanded evil Angels in the name of God, is evident from Acts 16:16-18; but it is unheard of to give commandments to Good and Holy Angels, and to exhort them to their duties concerning God.  Therefore, God speaks here of God, one Divine Person concerning Another, commanding the Angels as His creatures to worship Him.  Which mystery Paul indicates, when concerning God Introducing the First into the world he says, He said concerning God the Firstborn, and the Lord of every creature and of the whole world, Let all the Angels of God worship Him.”  But, with the reverence due to this man preserved, I believe that to this commentary an answer is able to be returned, that not incorrectly are the words of the Psalm that are treated taken to be an exhortation, whereby the Angels are incited to their proper duty:  why this sort of urging of Angels and whatever creatures to ascribe praise, glory, and worship to God would not be befitting every pious man urged by God, I do not think that reasons are able to be alleged; much less, when the contrary practice is also expressly confirmed by examples from Psalm 148 in its entirety; Psalm 103:20-22; so that it is not altogether unheard of for Prophets, as Ministers of God, to exhort Good Angels to their duties concerning God; in which manner they indicate τὸ πρέπον, the propriety, of that matter itself, and demonstrate by their pious wish their zeal to advance the glory of God.  At the same time, an exhortation of this sort, proceeding from a holy Man urged by the prophetic Spirit and recorded in the Canon, with respect to rational beings, for example, Angels, unto whom it is directed, obtains the force of a precept entirely because of the θεοπνευστίαν/inspiration, whereby it was brought forth.  And so the argument brought forth by the Most Illustrious WESSELIUS is hardly sufficient to conclude that God the Father ought to be considered properly as the person speaking in Psalm 97:7b.  The Most Illustrious ALPHEN, in his Explicatione analytica of Psalm 97, pages 117-119, following the torch that he believes the Apostle displays in Hebrews 1:6, thinks that God the Father is introduced as speaking in the prior seven verse of this Psalm, and as discoursing in exalted manner concerning the economic Kingdom of His glorious exalted Son:  but he thinks that in the other part of the Psalm the speech is continued by someone that piously reveres Jehovah, the reigning Son, and he then speaks to this very King with a reverent address, verses 8 and 9, and exhorts those sharing his faith as subjects of this King to fulfill their holy and joyous duties, and supports their souls with strong consolations, verses 10-12.  I acknowledge that the layout of the Psalm is thus neatly arranged.  But whether a convincing argument for this exegesis occurs in the words of the Apostle in Hebrews 1:6, I doubt:  yet unless the Illustrious Interpreter had taken occasion from them, I do not know whether this division of the Psalm would have come to mind.  Certianly from what precedes it sufficiently appears, if I am not mistaken, that the same λέγει, He saith, with the three passages following cited in verses 7-12, is not able to be urged with such force that you might conclude from it that God the Father is to be contemplated in them specifically as the person speaking.  In the same manner, why might not that λέγει in the first place in verse 6 be taken similarly in the much more common sense?  The argument of Psalm 95, which came just a little before, clearly evinces that the sacred hymn are given in which partly men, and partly a Divine Person, speak:  indeed, in verses 1-7a the reader undoubtedly meets the pious people of God inciting one another to joyous and reverent worship of Jehovah, their God and King:  in verses 7b-11 a weighty admonition or dehortation from a divine Person, supported with a threat, follows; which divine Person the Apostle taught us to be the Holy Spirit, who sternly calls every one from hardness toward the royal voice of the Messiah, the Son of God, Hebrews 3:7, διό, καθὼς λέγει τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, Σήμερον ἐὰν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ ἀκούσητε, etc., wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear His voice, etc.  In the same manner the matter is able to be compared with Psalm 97, so that in that place the Holy Spirit Himself first prophesies through the Prophet concerning the glorious Kingdom of Messiah; and then He supplies the words of this King to His Ministers, by which they might learn in a suitable manner to extol this King, and to admonish and comfort His subjects.  Which again in the more common sense explained above at the end of § 5 is indeed able to be attribed to God the Father; nevertheless, others think that even here our attention is not so fixed by the λέγει, He saith, of the Apostle upon the first person of the Deity speaking in the Psalm, that they might not also on this verse explain the λέγει by λέγεται, it is said, or λέγει ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture saith:  see JAMES CAPPEL[3] in Bibliciis Criticis on Hebrews 1:5.  Let us also attend on this passage, Hebrews 1:6, to the French annotation of the Reverend MARTIN:  “[Il [est] dit, He saith, or it is said]  Greek, He saith; as it is not God the Father Himself that speaks in the Psalm from which these words are taken, but the Prophet, as in the other citations of the Psalms that are added in the following verse, it is necessary to supply in all these places, as some versions do, the word Scripture, and to translate it, the Scripture saith; or to translate it, as we have done, by the impersonal verb, il est dit, it is said, in accordance with the style of the Hebrews, as can be seen on the Note on Ephesians 5:14.”  This Note we cited at the end of § 3; and from all the things hitherto considered we now conclude that the διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith, in this our passage, Ephesians 5:14, is to be taken as a formula for the citation of the Scripture of the Old Testament; and that the λέγει is best supplied by ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture, or that the active λέγει is to be taken as the impersonal passive λέγεται, it is said.  In which opinion we especially agree with the Most Illustrious COCCEIUS in his Commentario on this passage, § 77, where you read: Verse 14, διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith. Grotius:  τὸ φῶς, the light, that is, the pious man. And he thinks that they are not the words of Scripture.  But it is better that it is a confirmation from the words of Scripture.  But also with PISCATOR, whose Scholium on this passage is this:  “Λέγει, he/it saith.  Namely, ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture.  There is a similar ellipsis in James 4:6.”  Likewise with LE CLERC in his Notis ad Hammondum in Novum Testamentum on Ephesians 5:14:  “Διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith.  Γραφὴ/Scripture is to be understood.”  And also with WOLF writing on this passage: Now, while I myself consider which of these diverse opinions is most safely able to be adopted, I deny that those have ever satisfied me that refer the διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith, to the φῶς/light mentioned immediately before, that is, the man filled with divine light, who is wont and ought to make use of this formula for the correction of others. But there is one reason why I am not able to plant my foot here.  I see that Paul, elsewhere making use of this formula of exhortation, always goes back to some passage of Scripture.  So, for example, Ephesians 4:8, διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith, where he brings forth a passage of a Psalm. And so I am unwilling to draw back from the force and notion of the phrase in this passage either.  After he had already also said before that this φράσιν/phrase, διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith, used by Paul elsewhere, always recalls the reader to some passage of Scripture; and that this is evident from Romans 15:9, 10.  In interpreting the verb λέγει, He saith, impersonally by λέγεται, it is said, the Most Illustrious MARCKIUS has also gone before, Historia Exaltationis Jesu Christi, book III, chapter IX, § 5, although, being doubtful, he is more hesitant in determining whether by this verb in our text the Scripture of the Old Testament ought to be thought to be alleged, or not.  Discoursing in the place cited concerning the text of Psalm 68:18, cited by Paul in Ephesians 4:8, he writes: Moreover, those preceding words of the Psalm Paul cites in such a way that he sets down first, διὸ λέγει, propter quod, wherefore, in the Vulgate, or quapropter/wherefore in Beza, he saith, with the Syriac having here, it was said. Certainly, when the verb λέγει, He saith, is active here without any person speaking added, either the Prophetic Scripture, or God, or the Spirit, or the Prophets who thus spoke in the Scripture by the urging of God, is indeed able not incorrectly to be understood. Which sort of names are sometimes added elsewhere; but I doubt whether it might not be simpler to take that Verb Impersonally, and to render it here passively, it is said, by an obvious Hebraism, comparing 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 1:7; James 4:6; etc.  To which you might best refer the text of Ephesians 5:14 also, διὸ λέγει, Ἔγειραι ὁ καθεύδων, καὶ ἀνάστα ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός, wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light; in which, nevertheless, others just as here want to understand some agreeable name, if regard is not to be had to τὸ φῶς, or the light, by personification, of which mention was previously made in verse 13. On which passage this also is to be noted, that, while the words adduced there are never found thus, with respect to the whole or to one or the other member, in the Old Testament, Isaiah 9:2; 26:19; 60:1, 2, which texts are generally wont to be cited here, or in any other place, it is perhaps no less fitting to refer that impersonal expression to the Apostles and Ministers of the Gospel thus speaking with Paul continually, as a summary of Evangelical preaching with respect to duty and promise, by comparison with Romans 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; etc. Into which matter the Most Learned Men have gone before, rather than that on account of the general phrase, it is said, they should think here, either concerning some Apocryphal Book, or even of some last Canonical Book.  And let these things suffice as a response to the first Question propounded above.

[1] That is, an exclamatory passage addressed to a person (usually absent).

[2] Psalm 97:6, 7:  “The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.  Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols:  worship him, all ye gods/Elohim (הִשְׁתַּחֲווּ־ל֜וֹ כָּל־אֱלֹהִֽים׃).”

[3] James Cappel (1570-1614) was the older brother of Louis Cappel.  He was Professor of Hebrew and Theology at the Academy of Sedan.

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