Context

Context is important in the interpretation of Scripture. When you realize that the people addressed in the Book of Hebrews were 1st generation Jews who had become shaky about their profession of faith in Christ because they were facing mild persecution, you recognize what it is that was behind the weakness of their trust.  And when you read the author’s comment in the last chapter about the letter being an exhortation, you recognize why there are seven warnings in the Book. Moreover, you can see that there is reason why they have become dull of hearing—they had not been immersing themselves in the Scriptures so that their perceptual faculties were sharp enough to discern the difference between good and evil.

A simple verse can provide all the context that is necessary.  In Ezekiel 28, there is oriental pageantry describing the king of Tyre who was on his way to hell. Instead, many, because they don’t recognize the extravagance of language used, think what is said if him really pertains to Satan. But read the contextual verse 2,where we read concerning the King: ”Yet you are a man and not a god.” He dressed and acted like one; he would raise himself to God’s place if he could, but he was not a god.  Nor was he the Devil.  We are told explicitly that he was “a man.”

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