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however, is used in other ways, and does not necessarily indicate fleeing for refuge,
unless the context so demands. For instance, the LXX version of Lev. 26: 25 renders
"gather together", katapheugo, and the Hebrew word so translated is asaph, its normal
meaning. Jer. 50: 5 and Zech. 2: 11 use the word to translate the Hebrew lavah, "to
join". Isa. 54: 15 uses katapheugo to translate naphal, "to fall". In Isa. 55: 5 the word
translates the Hebrew rutz "to run". This Hebrew word is found in Psa. 19: 5 (6) where
it is used of "running a race" and in Esther 3: 13, 15; 8: 10, 14 for the "posts" that
ran with letters, and Job speaks of his days being "swifter than a post" (9: 25). This
meaning of the word katapheugo, viz., "to run", is in entire harmony with both the
context of Heb. 6: and the more remote context of Heb. 12:
The reason why we see a connection in Heb. 12: is found in the recurrence of another
word which we must consider. The hope is said to be "set before" us. This word is
prokeimai and occurs in Heb. 12: 1, 2:
"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us" (prokeimai).
"Who for the joy that was set before Him" (prokeimai).
Here the subject is unmistakable. It is a race with a reward at the end. It sums up the
whole series of overcomers detailed in Heb. 11: It speaks of those who do not draw back
but who go on unto perfection, who believe unto the acquiring of the soul. The Apostle,
further, urges the believer "to lay hold upon" this hope that is set before him. This word
krateo appears in Heb. 4: 14, "let us hold fast our confession".
So far then we have seen that those who, like Abraham, were pressing on toward the
goal set before them in going on unto spiritual adulthood were comforted and supported
by the fact that they had a High Priest Who knew their temptations, Who had passed that
way before them, and Who was ever ready to succour them that are tested, even as
Abraham was sustained.
Other figures are used and fuller details are given which we must reserve for another
article. Let us, however, not forget that in our own case also we have strong consolation
and encouragement drawn from Christ, not perhaps as Priest after the order of
Melchisedec, but from the sublime statement of Phil. 2: 6-11 where many parallels may
be found with the teaching of Hebrews.
"Being confident of this very thing, that He Which hath begun a good work in you
will perform (perfect) it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1: 6).