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Verse 16. For verily. Truly. He took not on him the nature of angels. Marg., He taketh not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold. The word here used—epilambanetai; means, to take hold upon; to seize; to surprise; to take hold with a view to detain for one's self. Robinson. Then it means to take hold of one as by the hand—with a view to aid, conduct, or succour, Mr 8:23; Ac 23:19. It is rendered took, Mr 8:23; Lu 9:47; Lu 14:4; Ac 9:27; 17:19; 18:17; 21:30,33; 23:19; Heb 8:9; caught, Mt 14:31; Ac 16:19; take hold, Lu 20:20,26; lay hold, and laid hold, Lu 23:26; 1 Ti 6:12. The general idea is that of seizing upon, or laying hold of any one—no matter what the object is—whether to aid, or to drag to punishment, or simply to conduct. Here it means to lay hold with reference to aid, or help; and the meaning is, that he did not seize the nature of angels, or take it to himself, with reference to rendering them aid, but he assumed the nature of man in order to aid him. He undertook the work of human redemption, and consequently it was necessary for him to be a man.

But he took on him the seed of Abraham. He came to help the descendants of Abraham, and consequently, as they were men, he became a man. Writing to Jews, it was not unnatural for the apostle to refer particularly to them as the descendants of Abraham, though this does not exclude the idea that he died for the whole human race. It was true that he came to render aid to the descendants of Abraham, but it was also true that he died for all. The fact that I love one of my children, and that I make provision for his education, and tell him so, does not exclude the idea that I love the others also, and that I may make to them a similar appeal when it shall be proper.

{1} "verily" "he taketh not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold.

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