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Hebrews 5:2

    Hebrews 5:2 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    who can bear gently with the ignorant and erring, for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    He is able to have feeling for those who have no knowledge and for those who are wandering from the true way, because he himself is feeble;

    Webster's Revision

    who can bear gently with the ignorant and erring, for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity;

    World English Bible

    The high priest can deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray, because he himself is also surrounded with weakness.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    who can bear gently with the ignorant and erring, for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity;

    Clarke's Commentary on Hebrews 5:2

    Who can have compassion on the ignorant - The word μετριοπαθειν, signifies, not merely to have compassion, but to act with moderation, and to bear with each in proportion to his ignorance, weakness, and untoward circumstances, all taken into consideration with the offenses he has committed: in a word, to pity, feel for, and excuse, as far as possible; and, when the provocation is at the highest, to moderate one's passion towards the culprit, and be ready to pardon; and when punishment must be administered, to do it in the gentlest manner.

    Instead of αγνοουσι, the ignorant, one MS. only, but that of high repute, has ασθενουσι, the weak. Most men sin much through ignorance, but this does not excuse them if they have within reach the means of instruction. And the great majority of the human race sin through weakness. The principle of evil is strong in them; the occasions of sin are many; through their fall from God they are become exceedingly weak; and what the apostle calls, Hebrews 12:1, that ευπεριστατον ἁμαρτιαν, the well-circumstanced sin, often occurs to every man. But, as in the above ease, weakness itself is no excuse, when the means of strength and succor are always at hand. However, all these are circumstances which the Jewish high priest took into consideration, and they are certainly not less attended to by the High Priest of our profession.

    The reason given why the high priest should be slow to punish and prone to forgive is, that he himself is also compassed with weakness; περικειται ασθενειαν; weakness lies all around him, it is his clothing; and as he feels his clothing, so should he feel it; and as he feels it, so he should deplore it, and compassionate others.

    Barnes' Notes on Hebrews 5:2

    Who can have compassion - Margin, "Reasonably bear with." The idea is that of "sympathizing with." The high priest is taken from among men, in order that he may have a fellow-feeling for those on whose behalf he officiates. Sensible of his own ignorance, he is able to sympathize with those who are ignorant; and compassed about with infirmity, he is able to succour those who have like infirmities.

    And on them that are out of the way - The erring, and the guilty. If he were taken from an order of beings superior to people, be would be less qualified to sympathize with those who felt that they were sinners, and who needed pardon.

    For that he himself also is compassed with infirmity - see chap. Hebrews 7:28. He is liable to err; He is subject to temptation; he must die, and appear before God - and encompassed with these infirmities, he is better qualified to minister in behalf of guilty and dying people. For the same reason it is, that the ministers of the gospel are chosen from among people. They are of like passions with others. They are sinners; they are dying men. They can enter into the feelings of those who are conscious of guilt; they can sympathize with those who tremble in dread of death; they can partake of the emotions of those who expect soon to appear before God.

    Wesley's Notes on Hebrews 5:2

    5:2 Who can have compassion - In proportion to the offence: so the Greek word signifies. On the ignorant - Them that are in error. And the wandering - Them that are in sin. Seeing himself also is compassed with infirmity - Even with sinful infirmity; and so needs the compassion which he shows to others.