I am getting acquainted with the commentary on the book of Hebrews by the Puritan great, John Owen. It does not disappoint! This seven volume set, just on Hebrews, starts off with a two-volume preamble (volumes 1 & 2) of Owen’s Exercitations on the book of Hebrews where he lays the ground work for a right approach to this magisterial Epistle. The actual exegesis and exposition of the text does not begin until volume 3. When considering his reason for undertaking this mammoth work, Owen says in his preface to the reader in volume 1…
…..casting my mite into this treasury…..after I had made a thorough perusal of all the comments, expositions, annotations, or observations on the Epistle, which by any means I could obtain, I returned again, upon sundry considerations, unto my former thoughts and resolutions. For, first I found the excellency of the writing to be such; the depths of the mysteries contained in it to be so great; the compass of the truth asserted, unfolded, and explained, so extensive and diffused through the whole body of the Christian religion; the usefulness of the things delivered in it so important and indispensably necessary; as that I was quickly satisfied that the wisdom, grace, and truth, treasured in this sacred storehouse, are so far from being exhausted and fully drawn forth by the endeavours of any or all that are gone before us…..
In volume 3, Owen spends no less than 80 pages on the first two verses. To give you a taste of Owen’s focus, the below excerpt is from the end of that particular portion of exposited scripture….
Now, the utmost end of God, in all his ways towards the sons of men, being the manifestation of his own glory by the way of justice and mercy, whatever tendeth thereunto is all jointly to be looked on as one entire means tending unto that end and purpose. The works, therefore, of the old and new creation being of this sort and nature, one joint and general means for the compassing of the forementioned end, nothing can hinder but that they may have that respect to each other which before we have declared.